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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

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.

Sun 10: Tusk X Yeah You @ Live Theatre, Newcastle. 12 noon. £10.00. All day event, line-up inc. Pat Thomas.
Sun 10: Jazz Stage @ Mouth of the Tyne Festival: Rendezvous Jazz (12 noon); River City Jazzmen (1:35pm); House of the Black Gardenia (3:10pm); Classic Swing (4:40pm). Outdoor stage adjacent to Tynemouth Priory.
Sun 10 Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 10: Tees Valley Jazzmen @ Hammer & Pincers, Preston le Skerne. 1:00pm.
Sun 10: Shunyata Improvisation Group @ Saltwell Park, Gateshead NE9 5AX. 1:00pm.
Sun 10: Am Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 10: Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 10: Anth Purdy @ Blues & Bourbon, Newcastle. 4:00pm.
Sun 10: Jazzframe @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 11: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Mon 11: Central Bar Quintet plays Chet Baker Sings @ Central Bar, Gateshead. 7:30pm. Concert performance featuring Pete Tanton + jam session. £5.00 (free admission to sitters-in).

Tue 12: Jam session @ Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. House trio: Alan Law, Paul Grainger, Rob Walker.
Tue 12: Harry Keeble Quartet @ Forum Music Centre, Darlington. 7:30pm.

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Darlington Jazz Festival: Jazz Comes to the Quakerhouse - May 5

(Review by Russell)
Saturday afternoon at the Quakerhouse pub is a well-established session at the Darlington Jazz Festival. The CAMRA award-winning hostelry is home to Darlington Jazz Club’s bi-monthly gigs making it a home from home for organisers and regulars alike, the one difference being that the festival session takes place in the downstairs bar rather than in the upstairs room. The format is simple; squeeze in three sets (‘squeeze’ being the operative word) in the compact space at one end of the bar, plug in and play.

Graham Hardy Trio
Graham Hardy (trumpet, flugelhorn); Dean Stockdale (piano); Mick Shoulder (double bass).
Tyneside-based trumpeter Graham Hardy arrived in good time for a one o’clock start. A trio is the optimum number given the restricted space and joining Hardy for a set of forty-five minutes or so were pianist Dean Stockdale and bassist Mick Shoulder. First, Cotton Tail with Hardy’s flugelhorn, then again on If I Should Lose You – typically assured, lyrical, playing.  Mood Indigo heard Hardy on plungered trumpet before returning to flugel to play In a Mellotone alongside a Mick Shoulder solo with our bassist singing to himself as is his wont. More muted trumpet from Hardy on Benny Golson’s Whisper Not as Dean Stockdale played a relaxed, restrained, solo. Stockdale featured again on Blame it on My Youth and in no time Graham Hardy’s set wound up with Tom Harrell’s April Mist.

Emma Fisk & James Birkett play Venuti & Lang
Emma Fisk (violin) & James Birkett (guitar). (Pictured above)
Joe Venuti and Eddie Lang probably played many a juke joint not dissimilar to the Quakerhouse. One room, alcohol the main attraction, perhaps conversation, musicians all but incidental, typical working conditions for the legendary duo some ninety years ago. Fast forward to 2018, one room, alcohol an attraction, perhaps conversation, the musicians anything but incidental, rather the main event. Emma Fisk (Joe Venuti) and James Birkett (Eddie Lang) held court, the room crowded, the jazz of the highest order. Their programme centred around the Venuti-Lang recording partnership, including sides by the Blue Four.

Sunday opened this Saturday afternoon set, Cheese and Crackers followed (Emma observing that nibbles didn’t appear to be on the bar…they weren’t), then a Venuti-Lang duo recording titled, wait for it… Sunshine! Darlington on a bank holiday, doors open wide, endless sunshine, jazz…perfect.

Emma’s commentary noted one of the non-Venuti and Lang numbers in the set – Sweet Georgia Brown. Everyone knows the tune including non-jazz fans and the Quakerhouse barflies, standing, or sitting, where they always stand or sit, became instant fans of Emma Fisk and James Birkett. A one set performance doesn’t allow for too many tunes but time enough to fit in I Found a New Baby and an early Venuti-Lang duo recording (1926), the saucily titled Black and Blue Bottom. You know it’s time to go when the brilliant Fisk-Birkett duo go out on Lady Be Good. Brilliant, always brilliant!

Pocket Jazz Orchestra
Mark Toomey (alto saxophone); Paul Donnelly (guitar); Jeremy McMurray (piano); Peter Ayton (bass); Paul Smith (drums)
How do you fit five musicians into a crowded space, crowded when three are on the stand? With difficulty, that’s how. This is jazz, and where there’s a will, there’s a way. Fisk and Birkett made a sharp exit leaving the way clear for a five-strong Teesside orchestra to set up and start more or less to time. The Pocket Jazz Orchestra is an established five-piece band based on Teesside. A gig up the road in Darlington was on the doorstep and all five musicians have played many a gig, upstairs or down, at the Quakerhouse.

It was a case of introductory solos all round as the Pocket Jazz Orchestra opened with Stella by Starlight – Mark Toomey’s alto hewn from Charlie Parker’s granite monument (there must be one somewhere!), the classy guitar playing of Paul Donnelly, the torrent of notes comprising Jeremy McMurray’s trademark style, the five-string bass of Peter Ayton and in-the-groove drumming by Paul Smith.

A bossa-like intro to Nature Boy developed into a feature for Paul Donnelly. The Wes Montgomery influence became evident as Donnelly stretched out with piano, bass and drums backing as altoist Mark Toomey sat contentedly, listening intently. Toomey himself stepped up to play a quote-laden On Green Dolphin StreetBye Bye Blackbird and Surrey with a Fringe on Top two of many tunes referenced by the altoist – and Donnelly followed up, without quotes.

Pianist Jeremy McMurray took his share of the solos, Ayton and Smith weren’t left out of things but it was either Toomey or Donnelly who shared the spotlight. The setlist was familiar, no bad thing at a free admission festival session, and on this sunniest of days, the Pocket Jazz Orchestra elected to play Work Song.                                   
Russell

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