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Bebop Spoken There

Steve Race: "The personnel is different, notably in the inclusion of Ben Webster, always, to my mind, a rather half-hearted tenor player" - Musical Express, 16-9-49.
Archive quotes.

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.

Postage

13,490 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 908 of them this year alone and, so far, 72 this month (July 23).

From This Moment On

Wed 28: Ragtime Rewind Swing Band @ Assembly Rooms, 40 North Bailey, Durham DH1 3ET. 9:20pm. £8.00. A Durham Fringe Festival event (www.durhamfringe.co.uk).

Thu 29: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone North Tyneside. 1:00pm.

Thu 29: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead. 8:30pm.

Sat 31: Lindsay Hannon @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Lindsay previews new, original material.

Sat 31: jaktar + Johnny Richards @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 8:00pm. JNE promotion.

August

Sun 01: Vieux Carre Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.

Sun 01: Jeffrey Hewer Quartet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Leeds College of Music graduate guitarist (Masters, Jazz Performance & Composition).

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Curtis Stigers @ Sage Gateshead - Nov. 5

Curtis Stigers (vocals/tenor); John 'Scrapper' Sneider (trumpet); Robin Aspland (piano); Cliff Schmitt (bass); Paul Wells (drums).
(Review by Lance/photo from BSH archives).
There are two views when it comes to a Stigers gig. Some say he offers variety whilst others claim he has too many hats and not enough heads!
The evidence suggests that both factions are right which may be why the latter opinionists stayed away for this wasn't the best attended of the 3 or 4 Stigers' concerts I've seen. I remember that at one of his earlier concerts a girl sitting next to me said to her boyfriend "I hope he isn't going to sing jazz all night." He didn't so, presumably, she went home satisfied.

Let's look at those hats.
1) Stigers the rocker.
2) Stigers the jazzman.
3) Stigers the singer of show tunes on 'The Proms'.
4) Stigers the crooner.

With the exception of no. 3 he more or less ticked all of the boxes,
His early hits were given the standard recognition of opening bars applause.
He blew some fine walkin' the bar, Big Easy style, tenor and his running mates were no slouches either - more of those relatively unsung heroes later.
He mercifully stayed away from the show tunes which brings us to Stigers the crooner.

His latest CD was recorded live with the Danish Radio Big Band and was a recreation of the legendary Sinatra/Basie at the Sands sessions and I think many (Team Bebop included) expected we were going to get more of the same as it was his current CD. In retrospect, how could we have been so naive as to expect a two-piece frontline to replicate the guys from Copenhagen let alone the full might of Basie's band!
As it was, he sang Fly me to the Moon from the album and it was ok.

Other gassers included an impressive rendition of My Funny Valentine - unlike most Valentiners he injected some powerful dynamics into this most maudlin of songs. Hooray For Love reminded us that Yip Harburg wrote some good songs, You Don't Know What Love is was suitably poignant and Bye Bye Blackbird swung us into the Randy Newman encore. 

Contemporary material included pieces by Tom Waites, Bob Dylan, Mose Allison, Willie Dixon and the Randy Newman tear jerker to close.

However, for me, the highlights were Stigers' earthy tenor,  Robin Aspland's piano, drummer Wells' solos and support, the effective bass/vocal moments and the unlikely named Scrapper Schneider on trumpet. Closing my eyes, I was hearing Roy Hargrove again - the same clear sound. Paradoxically, 'Scrapper' is from Brockton, Mass, the same city that undefeated heavyweight champ, the late Rocky Marciano, came from. Perhaps that's how he got the name! Scrapper may never make The Ring ratings but he sure deserves to be in the DownBeat ones.

The standing ovation at the end was probably deserved and, although I didn't stand up myself, I did applaud heartily.
Lance. 

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