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Bebop Spoken There

Jim Keltner: “I was snatched right out of the jazz world. I shouldn't say snatched, I went willingly, I ran. From $85 a week to $250 a week, that gets your attention." - (JazzTimes, September 2021)

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! --

Postage

13,715 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 1132 of them this year alone and, so far, 76 this month (Sept. 21).

From This Moment On ...

September

Thu 23: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 23: Jeremy McMurray & the Jazz Pocket Orchestra @ Middlesbrough Town Hall 8:00pm. .
Thu 23: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Sunniside, Gateshead. 8:30pm. .

Fri 24: Perdido Street Jazzmen (with Frank Brooker reeds, Eugene Farrar trombone, Brian Bennett banjo & Phil Rutherford sousaphone) @ Darlington Market Square, Darlington. 11:00am.
Fri 24: Sue Ferris Quintet @ Gala Theatre, Durham. 1:00pm.
Fri 24: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 24: Rendezvous Jazz @ Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 24: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band, Stockton. 1:00pm.
Fri 24: FILM: Jazz on a Summer's Day + Swing Bridge Trio (in the bar) @ Forum Cinema, Hexham. 7:00pm.

Sat 25: Silent Music Seeing Sound + Spinningwork @ Newcastle Arts Centre. 6:30pm. Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music (NFOJIM).
Sat 25: Knats @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Sun 26: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon. .
Sun 26: Musicians Unlimited @ South Durham Social Club, Hartlepool. 1:00pm. .
Sun 26: More Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 3:00pm. .
Sun 26: Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ The Exchange, North Shields. 4:00pm.
Sun 26: Sax Appeal @ The Blue Bell, Hill Street, Corbridge NE45 5AA. 4:30pm. Free. .
Sun 26: David Gray Flextet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 26: Nubiyan Twist @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 27: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Wed 29: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 29: Darlington Big Band @ Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 29: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Thu 30: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 30: Mainly Two @ Newcastle University. 1:15pm. ONLINE ONLY (YouTube).
Thu 30: Shiver + Run Logan Run @ Gosforth Civic Theatre, Newcastle. 8:00pm. NFOJIM.
Thu 30: Jeremy McMurray & the Jazz Pocket Orchestra @ Arc, Stockton. 8:00pm.
Thu 30: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead. 8:30pm.

Fri 01: Robert Mitchell @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. NFOJIM.
Fri 01: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 01: Rendezvous Jazz @ Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 01: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm.
Fri 01: Warmer Than Blood + Kit Downes + Ceitidh Mac @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 7:30pm. NFOJIM.
Fri 1: Knats + Hand to Mouth @ Gosforth Civic Theatre, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free but ticketed.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Guitar Lessons: James Birkett & Bradley Johnston @ Blaydon Jazz Club – Oct. 21

Bradley Johnson, James Birkett (guitars); Irene (vocal)
(Review by Jerry)

My last gig chipped away at my general ignorance of jazz trumpet: this time out it was jazz guitar and who better to enlighten me than Messrs. JB & BJ? James Birkett promised us a selection of guitar tunes from different decades and, with a set-list from Eddie Lang to Pat Metheny, every decade from the 20’s to the present was covered. As Lang pretty much invented jazz guitar (the banjo was the instrument of choice before him) I guess you could say that’s the entire history? The selection included one which was, according to Birkett, “a little corker” and another which was “a gas to play”. For the listeners they were all “corkers” and “a gas” to listen to: as history lessons go, it sure was lively!

The evening started and finished on Django favourites, Swing 39 and Dark Eyes. I’d not heard the former played live before and the latter, far from being “a moment of madness” is always a great finale. Also from Django’s canon were: I’m Confessin’ that I Love You; Nuages and Artillerie Lourde. This last was very dramatically performed with variations of pace and volume which I don’t recall from the version recorded on my Djangologie CD. All were beautifully played and it was a particular pleasure to see Bradley Johnston whizzing through Dark Eyes with much aplomb. I first saw him at the age of about 17 with Jambone, and Roly reminded us of his first Blaydon gig at about 14: how far he has come in those few short years!

Eddie Lang was also well represented with Perfect, Blue Room and Stringing the Blues, on which Bradley got to play Joe Venuti’s part. Blue Room was probably my favourite tune of the evening (my weakness for blues again!) as this (1929?) collaboration with Lonnie Johnson sounded purely Delta! I’m not sure why Salvatore Massaro had to become Eddie Lang for professional purposes but his billing as Blind Willie Dunn on collaborations with Johnson speaks volumes about 1920’s America.

“When you get two guitarists in the room there’s always a bossa nova” and so we had the quiet, gentle, Benny Carter tune, Only Trust Your Heart which kept reminding me, simultaneously and perhaps obscurely of I’ve Got You Under My Skin and the Beatles’ And I love Her. Sorry if that’s heretical! I recognised (and enjoyed – especially the snap ending) Chicken-A-La-Swing but could not, before, have named Carl Kress and Dick McDonough.

I also enjoyed the next unannounced tune but could not, for the life of me, figure out (as Birkett suggested we should) that it was All the Things You Are: “jazz standard re-worked by Bach” was as near as I got to a working hypothesis! Clearly, there is still much to learn!
We then had a “surprise guest”, Irene, adding vocals to the evening on Louis Jordan’s 1944 hit, Is You Is or Is You Ain’t My Baby? Loved that, too! The first set closed with Ray Noble’s Cherokee, a slow-burner which starts quietly and oddly dissonant then builds to a strummed frenzy contrasted with moments of lullaby calm. Intriguing!

In the second set, and as yet unmentioned, we had an unannounced opener and the beautiful ballad, Polka Dots and Moonbeams (no lyrics here so no kissing “the pug-nosed dream”!). The “little corker” mentioned earlier was by Luiz Bonfa but a debate over the correct pronunciation of his forename meant that I missed the title of the tune! It was, however, lyrical and lovely and was very well received by the audience. Which leaves Always and Forever, by Pat Metheny, one of the few living practitioners from tonight’s Hall of Fame. Versions on YouTube came up with cloying graphics and mawkish (in my opinion) lyrics, but the tune itself is spellbinding. Pure gold! Bradley Johnston took the lead throughout showing that he can do slow and sensitive every bit as well as fast and furious stuff like Dark Eyes.
Thanks to both musicians (and Irene) and to Roly Veitch for a fine evening.

Jerry

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