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Bebop Spoken There

Raymond Chandler: “ I was walking the floor and listening to Khatchaturian working in a tractor factory. He called it a violin concerto. I called it a loose fan belt and the hell with it ". The Long Goodbye, Penguin 1959.

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, Mouthpiece Music: "Lance writes pull quotes like no one else!"

Simon Spillett: A lovely review from the dean of jazz bloggers, Lance Liddle...

Josh Weir: I love the writing on bebop spoken here... I think the work you are doing is amazing.

Postage

16350 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 230 of them this year alone and, so far, 27 this month (April 11).

From This Moment On ...

April

Thu 18: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 18: NONUNONU @ Elder Beer Café, Chillingham Road, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Thu 18: Knats @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. 8:00pm (doors 7:30pm). £8.00. + bf. Support act TBC.
Thu 18: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig. Ragtime piano.
Thu 18: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guest band night with Just Friends: Ian Bosworth (guitar); Donna Hewitt (sax); Dave Archbold (keys); Ron Smith (bass); Mark Hawkins (drums).

Fri 19: Cia Tomasso @ The Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. ‘Cia Tomasso sings Billie Holiday’. SOLD OUT!
Fri 19: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 19: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 19: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 19: Tweed River Jazz Band @ The Radio Rooms, Berwick. 7:00pm (doors). £5.00.
Fri 19: Lindsay Hannon: Tom Waits for No Man @ Seventeen Nineteen, Hendon, Sunderland. 7:30pm.
Fri 19: Levitation Orchestra + Nauta @ Cluny 2, Newcastle. 7:30pm (doors). £11.00.
Fri 19: Strictly Smokin’ Big Band @ The Witham, Barnard Castle. 8:00pm. ‘Ella & Ellington’.

Sat 20: Record Store Day…at a store near you!
Sat 20: Bright Street Band @ Washington Arts Centre. 6:30pm. Swing dance taster session (6:30pm) followed by Bright Street Big Band (7:30pm). £12.00.
Sat 20: Michael Woods @ Victoria Tunnel, Ouseburn, Newcastle. 7:00pm. Acoustic blues.
Sat 20: Rendezvous Jazz @ St Andrew’s Church, Monkseaton. 7:30pm. £10.00. (inc. a drink on arrival).

Sun 21: Jamie Toms Quartet @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. 3:00pm.
Sun 21: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay Metro Station. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 21: Lindsay Hannon: Tom Waits for No Man @ Holy Grale, Durham. 5:00pm.
Sun 21: The Jazz Defenders @ Cluny 2. Doors 6:00pm. £15.00.
Sun 21: Edgar Rubenis @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 7:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig. Blues & ragtime guitar.
Sun 21: Tweed River Jazz Band @ Barrels Ale House, Berwick. 7:00pm. Free.
Sun 21: Art Themen with the Dean Stockdale Trio @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £10.00. +bf. JNE. SOLD OUT!

Mon 22: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.

Tue 23: Vieux Carre Hot 4 @ Victoria & Albert Inn, Seaton Delaval. 12:30-3:30pm. £12.00. ‘St George’s Day Afternoon Tea’. Gig with ‘Lashings of Victoria Sponge Cake, along with sandwiches & scones’.
Tue 23: Jalen Ngonda @ Newcastle University Students’ Union. POSTPONED!

Wed 24: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 24: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 24: Sinatra: Raw @ Darlington Hippodrome. 7:30pm. Richard Shelton.
Wed 24: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.
Wed 24: Death Trap @ Theatre Royal, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Rambert Dance Co. Two pieces inc. Goat (inspired by the music of Nina Simone) with on-stage musicians.

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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