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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

Sat 02: Hot Fingers @ St Augustine’s Parish Centre, Darlington. 12:30pm. £10.00.
Sat 02: Play Jazz! workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. Tutor Steve Glendinning: Latin jazz. £25.00. Enrol at: www.jazz.coop.
Sat 02: Talk: Storytelling & jazz as an expression of urban life @ The Exchange, North Shields. 1:45pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Sat 02: The Commandments + On Parole @ The Exchange, North Shields. 2:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event. Rhythm & blues.
Sat 02: Geordie Jazz Man @ The Exchange, North Shields. 5:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event. Screening of Abi Lewis’ documentary film about Keith Crombie & the Jazz Café.
Sat 02: The Delta Prophets Trio @ The Exchange, North Shields. 6:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event. Rhythm & blues.
Sat 02: Swing Manouche @ Claypath Deli, Durham. 7:00pm.
Sat 02: Swung Eight & King Bees @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event. Swing dance + ace Chicago blues band.
Sat 02: Tyne Valley Big Band @ Greenside Community Centre, Ryton. 7:30pm.
Sat 02: Patrick Cromb @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Sun 03 Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 03: Smokin’ Spitfires @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 12:45pm.
Sun 03: Ruth Lambert & Martin Craggs @ The Exchange, North Shields. 2:00pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Sun 03: Abbie Finn Trio @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Sun 03: Wild Women of Wylam @ The Exchange, North Shields. 4:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Sun 03: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 5:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Sun 03: Jazz Jam @ The Exchange, North Shields. 6:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Sun 03: Jeffrey Hewer Quartet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 04: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

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.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Sue Ferris Quintet @ Gala Theatre, Durham - Nov. 23

Sue Ferris (tenor sax/flute); Graham Hardy (trumpet/flugelhorn); Paul Edis (piano); Paul Susans (bass); Rob Walker (drums).
(Review by Brian Ebbatson - PHOTOS courtesy of Malcolm Sinclair.)


There’s something about Lunchtime Jazz that’s really taken off since Paul Edis started the lunchtime concerts at the Lit and Phil some five and a half years ago, followed later in the year by the Durham Gala series. Now you can virtually find one on almost every week, with Bishop Auckland Town Hall Jazz, organised by Mick Shoulder and Jazz at the Lubetkin in Peterlee started this year by Emma Fisk. Whilst the Lit & Phil is often packed out – even to the extent of some discomfort – the Gala concerts win out for audience numbers, with punters now having to book 2 – 3 months in advance. 

The Gala Studio has recently been partially refurbished with new lighting that gives all of the audience a good view of the musicians and makes for a much clubbier atmosphere. From the beginning the musicians have always commented on the good acoustics, as well as the good response their music elicits from the appreciative audiences. It’s just a shame that the Gala management won’t buy another 20 seats, so the Studio fills to its 120 capacity, and people who turn up on the day aren’t left waiting for returns or worse turned away.

Last Friday the Sue Ferris Quintet gave another performance to remember, ranging from the Ellington opener, Just Squeeze Me, through to the soul-inflected jazz of Stanley Turrentine, the Blue Note hard-bop of Freddie Hubbard, Horace Silver, and saxist Benny Golson, and the post-bop of Roy Hargrove and McCoy Tyner.

Just Squeeze Me got the audience in the mood and established the band’s credentials and the format (with a few variations) for the set-list that followed. Sue and Graham exchanged choruses on the melody before each taking a solo, Sue on tenor and Graham with the plunger mute much featured in many Ellington arrangements. Paul Edis took a solo, first gently improvising on lines of the melody, then building tension with striding chords, bringing back Sue and Graham to restate the catchy melody and close off with gentle harmonies.

Next up was Stanley Turrentine’s Sugar. Paul Susan’s crisply resonant bass took the first solo, Sue’s deep expressive tenor tones and intensely developed lines followed, Graham’s matching her in inventiveness and range, then Paul Edis, first unaccompanied, carefully picking his way through the changes, then in full swing as bass and drums drove him forward. Rob Walker’s cymbal clash brought back the horns for the band to restate the theme and close.

Freddie Hubbard played trumpet on the original Sugar, and the journey through the Blue Note canon next took us to Hubbard’s quirky song, Up Jumped Spring (a favourite of mine, revived by Abbey Lincoln and Stan Getz in the nineties). In contrast to the cold late autumn sun and bare trees across the Wear behind the band, Sue’s soaring lyricism on flute soon invoked the warmth and sense of renewal of the number’s title. Graham responded in style, almost pastoral in mood, and Paul Edis did what Paul Edis does best, Rob and Paul Susans prompting and pushing him on, until Rob signalled a change of tempo and the ensemble played the number out, Sue’s flute again leading with Graham in harmony behind.

Horace Silver’s The Natives are Restless Tonight, from the classic Song For My Father album, next, another opportunity for all five band member to show hard bop credentials. Solos again from Sue (back on tenor), Graham and Paul E, Rob Walker and Paul S working up a storm behind them.

Then moving on three decades to Roy Hargrove’s Soppin’ the Biscuits (Dunking the Parkin in Anglo-Saxon English), from Hargrove’s 1994 album Tenors of our Time, a new number for the quintet introduced by Graham, a catchy post-bop piece yet harking back to the Blue Note heyday. (Another link with the theme of the programme is Stanley Turrentine playing tenor with Roy on the recording.)

Back to the late 50s for Benny Golson’s Are You Real? from the Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers’ Moanin’ LP. Golson is no doubt another key influence for Sue, and although I’ve never heard Paul quote Bobby Timmons as such, in this mood Paul’s piano always reminds me of his playing.
Paul featured too on the finale, his C21 Tyneside tribute to McCoy Tyner, McCoin a Phrase, a great ensemble piece to conclude the programme, leaving the audience in high spirits, and wishing the band would just keep on going.

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