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Bebop Spoken There

Dee Dee Bridgewater: “ Our world is becoming a very ugly place with guns running rampant in this country... and New Orleans is called the murder capital of the world right now ". Jazzwise, May 2024.

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, Mouthpiece Music: "Lance writes pull quotes like no one else!"

Simon Spillett: A lovely review from the dean of jazz bloggers, Lance Liddle...

Josh Weir: I love the writing on bebop spoken here... I think the work you are doing is amazing.

Postage

16382 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 262 of them this year alone and, so far, 59 this month (April 20).

From This Moment On ...

April

Sun 21: Jamie Toms Quartet @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. 3:00pm.
Sun 21: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay Metro Station. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 21: Lindsay Hannon: Tom Waits for No Man @ Holy Grale, Durham. 5:00pm.
Sun 21: The Jazz Defenders @ Cluny 2. Doors 6:00pm. £15.00.
Sun 21: Edgar Rubenis @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 7:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig. Blues & ragtime guitar.
Sun 21: Tweed River Jazz Band @ Barrels Ale House, Berwick. 7:00pm. Free.
Sun 21: Art Themen with the Dean Stockdale Trio @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £10.00. +bf. JNE. SOLD OUT!

Mon 22: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.

Tue 23: Vieux Carre Hot 4 @ Victoria & Albert Inn, Seaton Delaval. 12:30-3:30pm. £12.00. ‘St George’s Day Afternoon Tea’. Gig with ‘Lashings of Victoria Sponge Cake, along with sandwiches & scones’.
Tue 23: Jalen Ngonda @ Newcastle University Students’ Union. POSTPONED!

Wed 24: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 24: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 24: Sinatra: Raw @ Darlington Hippodrome. 7:30pm. Richard Shelton.
Wed 24: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.
Wed 24: Death Trap @ Theatre Royal, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Rambert Dance Co. Two pieces inc. Goat (inspired by the music of Nina Simone) with on-stage musicians.

Thu 25: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 25: Jim Jams @ King’s Hall, Newcastle University. 1:15pm. Jim Jams’ funk collective.
Thu 25: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library, Gateshead. 2:30pm.
Thu 25: Death Trap @ Theatre Royal, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Rambert Dance Co. Two pieces inc. Goat (inspired by the music of Nina Simone) with on-stage musicians.
Thu 25: Jeremy McMurray & the Pocket Jazz Orchestra @ Arc, Stockton. 8:00pm.
Thu 25: Kate O’Neill, Alan Law & Paul Grainger @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 25: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests: Richie Emmerson (tenor sax); Neil Brodie (trumpet); Adrian Beadnell (bass); Garry Hadfield (keys).

Fri 26: Graham Hardy Quartet @ The Gala, Durham. 1:00pm. £8.00.
Fri 26: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 26: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 26: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 26: Paul Skerritt with the Danny Miller Big Band @ Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.
Fri 26: Abbie Finn’s Finntet @ Traveller’s Rest, Darlington. 8:00pm. Opus 4 Jazz Club.

Sat 27: Abbie Finn Trio @ The Vault, Darlington. 6:00pm. Free.
Sat 27: Papa G’s Troves @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

BSH Interviews Zoë Gilby

(Interview by Russell/ Photo from GIJF 2018 courtesy of Ken Drew)
On Friday (June 1) you have the honour, alongside Andy Champion (pictured), of opening this year’s DJazz: Durham City Jazz Festival. Your voice and double bass duo set is well suited to a smaller, intimate space, and Friday’s concert in the atmospheric setting of Durham Castle’s Norman Chapel has all the makings of a memorable evening. The building dates from about 1080. Can you recall playing in such an ancient venue?

We are super excited to be opening the festival and performing our voice and double bass duo in the Norman Chapel. I understand it is the first time it has been used as a venue for the festival, so it’ll be a pretty special occasion. We haven’t performed in anywhere so ancient with such a rich history. As part of the Ellington Sacred Concerts in 2017, I performed with Jambone in the astonishing St Cuthbert’s Chapel at Ushaw College (dating back only to 1808 I believe). The acoustics and ambiance were unbelievable. My quartet often performs around the country as part of the rural touring scheme. Some of those venues have been beautiful village churches, tucked away in the countryside. I think it’s fantastic that these amazing spaces are being transformed into venues and that we have the opportunity to perform there too. Durham’s Norman Chapel on Friday 1st June is going to be epic!!


Earlier this year Gateshead and Darlington, Durham this week, later in the year Ushaw, Newcastle and Whitley Bay (and an as yet unannounced Teesside event), jazz festivals appear to be thriving! 
You’re well acquainted with the jazz scene in the north east of England. The demise of Jazzaction (the regional jazz development agency), never-ending ‘austerity’ cuts, many promoters existing on shoestring budgets, are you surprised that new festivals and venues (seemingly against all odds!)  continue to emerge?

No, I’m not surprised but I am beyond impressed. The dedication and hard work it requires to successfully organise any live music event especially on the level of DJazz is astounding. The quality and diversity of DJazz festival programming is exceptional and thankfully there are many other festivals and venues like it across the UK. As long as there are musicians to perform, promoters willing to organise and the audiences who are thirsty to experience live music, then it doesn’t matter what budget cuts are made. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

You maintain a number of projects – Family Jazz All-Stars, Pannonica, Watching Sideways, Rural Touring, Newcastle University Group, not to mention duo, trio and quartet gigs – ranging from solo to large ensemble performances. Does any particular one take priority or are you happy to mix and match?

All of the projects are very special to me. They each give me a unique creative outlet to express myself. Having a strong band of musicians to work with on these projects is so important too. Not to mention all of the wonderful different performance settings I have had the pleasure to showcase these projects. Churches, schools, art centres, libraries, you name it, the list goes on. It’s never a dull life.

Beatles Bossa and Beyond is your duo gig with pianist Alan Law (next one National Glass Centre, Sunderland on July 20) must be fun. How did it come about?

I’ve known and worked with Alan for a few years now, performing the Great American Songbook. We were asked by Jazz Cafe to perform as a duo a couple of years back and we decided to make it “a thing” Often Alan and I would talk about how excellent The Beatles catalogue is and how brilliant it would be to give them our own treatment and perform them. It’s seemed like a no-brainer. We compiled a list of some of our favourite Beatles tunes, arranged them and thanks to the quality of the original compositions (thanks to Lennon/McCartney) we were able to generate our own sound. Very much like the Great American Songbook, a huge collection of songs that act as a blank canvas for our musical expression. We’re really excited to be performing at National Glass Centre in July. It’s another fabulous space.

Speaking of the duo format…the great Sheila Jordan had something to do with the development of your voice and bass duo with Andy Champion. You have been fortunate to spend time with Sheila. On stage she comes across as a warm, encouraging individual. Is she much the same off stage?

She is brilliant! An inspiring educator as well as being a legendary jazz artist. So encouraging, she really knows how to light the fire within the vocalist and the musicians. Her wealth of experience, her personality, her humour just warms your heart and makes you want to push yourself and be fearless. With Sheila’s guidance, anything is possible.
As a globetrotting musician you must be looking forward to the Jazz in July Festival on Crete, then the little matter of a tour of Ukraine! How does it work…fly in, hire a car and hit the road?

It’s really quite bonkers. Planes, trains and automobiles. I am so blessed to get these opportunities to travel and share our music abroad. A little nerve-wracking too, flight schedules, lost luggage, a lot can go not exactly to plan but it’s always 100% worth it. Seize the chances and live for the moment on and off stage. The adventure is what life is all about.

A favourite of Bebop Spoken Here is the too-little-heard trumpeter Noel Dennis. It is good to see a Tom Harrell project is in the offing. Tell us about your involvement?

Noel Dennis is an incredible musician and a joy to work with. He has suggested putting together a Tom Harrell project for ages. Tom Harrell is Noel’s trumpet/flugelhorn/composer hero. His body of work is so lyrical and melodic, Noel has always felt that it is crying out for a vocal interpretation. I love to compose lyrics and this venture is no exception. Debuting at the 2nd Newcastle Jazz Festival on Saturday 6th October with a spectacular band. Mark Williams on guitar, Andy Champion on double bass and of course Noel Dennis on trumpet and flugelhorn.

Three albums in - Now That I Am Real, Looking Glass and Twelve Stories - is there another one in the pipeline? What can you tell us about Living in Shadows or are you keeping it under wraps?

Andy and I indeed have a new project in the pipeline. We’re buzzing about it. A new direction, a new sound. All original compositions and it is mind blowing how it is coming together. It’s our next musical chapter.... watch this space.


Thanks Zoë, we’ll see you at DJazz (Friday June 1) in Durham Castle!  

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