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Bebop Spoken There

Greg Abate: "So many sounds are ugly now. There are no harmonics, no chords. What do people hear these days? Why do things have to change from that good music?" (JazzTimes June/July 2022)

The Things They Say!

Hudson Music: Lance's "Bebop Spoken Here" is one of the heaviest and most influential jazz blogs in the UK.

Rupert Burley (Dynamic Agency): "BSH just goes from strength to strength".

'606' Club: "A toast to Lance Liddle of the terrific jazz blog 'Bebop Spoken Here'"

The Strictly Smokin' Big Band included Be Bop Spoken Here (sic) in their 5 Favourite Jazz Blogs.
Ann Braithwaite (Braithwaite & Katz Communications) You’re the BEST! -- Holly Cooper:"Lance writes pull quotes like no one else!"

Postage

14378 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 14 years ago. 597 of them this year alone and, so far, 2 this month (July 2).

From This Moment On ...

July

Sun 03 Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 03: Smokin’ Spitfires @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 12:45pm.
Sun 03: Ruth Lambert & Martin Craggs @ The Exchange, North Shields. 1:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Sun 03: Abbie Finn Trio @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Sun 03: Wild Women of Wylam @ The Exchange, North Shields. 4:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Sun 03: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 5:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Sun 03: Jazz Jam @ The Exchange, North Shields. 6:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Sun 03: Jeffrey Hewer Quartet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 04: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Wed 06: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 06: Michael Bublé @ Durham County Cricket Club, Chester le Street. Doors: 5:00pm.
Wed 06: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 06: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 06: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 07: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 07: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library. 3:00-5:00pm. £1.00. All welcome.
Thu 07: Lara Jones + Echo Juliet @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 7:00pm.
Thu 07: Thursday Night Prayer Meeting @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free admission (donations).
Thu 07: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead. 8:30pm.
Thu 07: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 08: Alex Clarke Quartet @ Bishop Auckland Town Hall. 1:00pm. £7.00.
Fri 08: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 08: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 08: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.

Sat 09: Jazz Stage @ Mouth of the Tyne Festival: Zoë Gilby Duo (12 noon); Vieux Carré Jazzmen (1:35pm); Harmony Brass (3:10pm); Ruth Lambert Quartet (4:40pm). Outdoor stage adjacent to Tynemouth Priory.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Graeme Wilson Quartet @ The Jazz Café - Jan 19


Graeme Wilson (tenor & baritone saxophones, bass clarinet, flute & whistling), Paul Edis (keyboards, flute & whistling), Andy Champion (bass, double bass, flute & whistling) & Adam Sinclair (drums & whistling)  
(Review and flute trio photo by Russell/quartet photo courtesy of Mike Tilley).
We know the Graeme Wilson Quartet, we know what to expect, or rather we did. This Newcastle Jazz Café date produced surprise upon surprise. The atmospheric first-floor performance space works best when there is a good crowd in and as the first set was about to get underway the few remaining seats were being snapped up.
Composer, multi-instrumentalist, Honourary Geordie, Graeme Wilson arrived from his Edinburgh home to link up once again with pals Paul Edis, Andy Champion and Adam Sinclair. Wilson said there would be lots of new material (premiere pieces, no less!), and there was, together with two tracks from the quartet’s excellent CD Sure Will Hold a Boat. Wilson opened on tenor saxophone playing a new number titled Hyvot Mill. It bore all the hallmarks of a Graeme Wilson composition with its intricate harmonic structure (the lads were concentrating hard, real hard!) and ‘slow burn’ tenor solo culminating in near volcanic eruption only for our tenor man to take it down then out.
Five Floors Up from Sure Will Hold a Boat heard yet more wonderful tenor playing by Wilson and, as the bandleader took a breather, the trio – Edis, keyboards, Champion, double bass and Adam Sinclair, drums – stretched out in classic piano trio style before Wilson returned to lead the quartet in a most entertaining whistled coda. A new tune without a title prompted Wilson to announce that   Profane Drawings of Trees would suffice. An urgent, swift opening (this had the makings of a new favourite number), the composition’s title inspired by the nineteenth-century novelist James Hogg, pianist Edis crafting a fine solo, inviting the brilliant Sinclair to engage in musical conversation.

Spinning Slowly from Sure Will Hold a Boat featured Sinclair’s imperious, ever-so-slow percussion work (a master at work). A good idea would be to acquire the album – let’s call it a ‘recommended purchase’. Oh, a new album is in the pipeline, watch this space.                 

Earlier your eagle-eyed BSH correspondent spied Wilson’s baritone saxophone lying to one side of the stage…difficult to miss given that it isn’t something easily concealed in a jacket pocket. Golden Gate is a composition that Wilson took along to a rehearsal session by the sadly now defunct John Warren Splinter Group. That rehearsal session would be the last time the orchestra met, as shortly after, the pride of the north east of England would disband due to early-onset austerity cuts. Wilson put the charts away in his study drawer, to be dusted off one day. That day was January 19, 2018. The Jazz Café audience heard the premiere public performance of the tune, a tune Wilson was at pains to point out was named after the Golden Gate Quartet, a magnificent gospel vocal quartet at its peak in the thirties (second-hand vinyl recordings of the Golden Gate Quartet are scarce, one of which resides on the shelves of your reviewer). Amazingly, Wilson’s facility on baritone is equal to his tenor playing, and he’s more than adept on other instruments…

Second set, likely to settle down, fewer surprises. No chance! Flautists Wilson, Edis and Champion – yes, three flutes on stage! – began the set playing an intro to a new chart, Wilson’s After School. Is there no end to their talents? Apparently not! Adam Sinclair wasn’t to be left out, once again the amiable drummer par excellence showing what he could do ahead of our three Pied Pipers taking it out. Why Are You Staring at Me? saw Andy Champion switching to electric bass (echoes of Shiver and other outfits) bookended by Edis’ wonky harpsichord contribution. At its conclusion bandleader Wilson led the applause for ‘Paul Edis on harpsichord’. Moments earlier review notes read: wonky harpsichord. It’s good to be in accord, wonky or not.

Wilson like crosswords (each to their own) and took great delight in discovering ‘brainless act’ is an anagram of bass clarinet! At which point, our man picked up his bass clarinet. The reed didn’t quite behave itself, necessitating a change as Andy Champion, on double bass once more, played a fine solo; considered, restrained, chops in check. The tune? A Dwindling (another new one). The Bold Sammy (referencing firebrand and scourge of the establishment, novelist James Kelman) featured Wilson (tenor) and drummer Sinclair on what would be the penultimate number of the evening. The final tune, yet another new one – Friction Motor – did what a closing number should do, knock ’em dead. That doesn’t tell half the story. This was masterful stuff with its stop time device, the counting in the head (band and audience!), the elision of rip-roaring, full-on sections into swing time feel and back again. Brilliant, quite simply, brilliant.  
Russell. 

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