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Bebop Spoken There

George "Big Nick" Nicholas: "This band [George Adams-Don Pullen Quartet] is a bitch on roller skates, baby. They'll run you over if you ain't ready" (JazzTimes April, 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! --

Postage

14264 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 14 years ago. 483 of them this year alone and, so far, 83 this month (May 26).

From This Moment On ...

May.

Thu 26: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 26: Deep Pope + Garner & Pope @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 7:00pm. £7.00.
Thu 26: 58 Jazz Collective @ Hops & Cheese, Hartlepool. 7:30pm.
Thu 26: Knats @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Thu 26: Jeremy McMurray & the Pocket Orchestra @ Arc, Stockton. 8:00pm.
Thu 26: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead. 8:30pm.
Thu 26: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 27: Alice Grace Quartet @ The Gala, Durham. 1:00pm.
Fri 27: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 27: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm.
Fri 27: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 27: Fergus McCreadie Trio @ The Witham, Barnard Castle. 7:30pm.

Sat 28: Whitley Bay Carnival: Northern Monkey Brass Band (1:00-1:45pm & 4:00-4:45pm); Baghdaddies (2:00-2:45pm & 5:00-5:45pm) @ Spanish City Plaza Arena, Whitley Bay. Northern Monkey Brass Band (2:30-2:45pm) @ Rainbow Corner (Marine Ave.), Whitley Bay.
Sat 28: Jack Logan & the Swing Section @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Sun 29 Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 29: Musicians Unlimited @ Hartlepool United Supporters’ Club, Hartlepool. 1:00pm.
Sun 29: Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 29: Groovetrain @ Tyne Bar, Newcastle. 4:00pm. Free.
Sun 29: Zoë Gilby Quartet @ Allendale Village Hall, Northumberland. 7:30pm.
Sun 29: Two of a Mind: Sue Ferris-Steve Summers Quartet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £10.00 adv., £12.00. door.
Sun 29: Jam session @ Fabio's Bar, Durham. 8:00pm. A Durham Uni Jazz Soc event. All welcome.
Sun 29: Cedric Burnside @ Cluny, Newcastle. Superb Mississippi hill country blues!

Mon 30: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Tue 31: Jam session @ Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. House trio: Stu Collingwood, Paul Grainger, Rob Walker.

June

Wed 01: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 01: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 01: Four @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 01: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

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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