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Bebop Spoken There

JD Allen: "...art in itself is now a luxury that you need a lot of finances to do." - (DownBeat October 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

13,822 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 1239 of them this year alone and, so far, 66 this month (Oct. 18).

From This Moment On ...

October

Mon 18: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Mon 18: Zoë Gilby Quartet @ The Black Bull, Blaydon. 8:00pm. Blaydon Jazz Club.

Wed 20: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 20: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 20: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Wed 20: Jeremy McMurray & the Jazz Pocket Orchestra @ Middlesbrough Town Hall. 8:00pm.

Thu 21: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 21: NUJO Jazz Jam @ Bar Loco, Newcastle. 7:00pm. Newcastle University Jazz Orchestra.
Thu 21: Alter Ego @ St James' & St Basil's Church, Newcastle 7:30pm.
Thu 21: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead. 8:30pm.
Thu 21: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman's Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 22: Mick Shoulder Quartet @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. Quartet featuring Alex Clarke (BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year finalist).
Fri 22: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 22: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm.
Fri 22: Paul Edis Trio w Ruth Lambert @ St Cuthbert's Centre, Crook. 7:30pm.
Fri 22: Michael Feinstein @ Sage Gateshead. 8:00pm.
Fri 22: Peter Morgan Trio @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Sat 23: Mary Coughlan @ Gosforth Civic Theatre, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sat 23: Têtes de Pois @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Sun 24 Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 24: Musicians Unlimited @ South Durham Social Club, Hartlepool. 1:00pm.
Sun 24: Voices of Virtue Gospel Choir @ The Globe, Newcastle. 4:00pm.
Sun 24: Milne Glendinning Band @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Christmas Celebration @ Coventry Cathedral - A Concert of Sacred Music by Duke Ellington - Dec. 29

(Review by Cormac Loane).
As a resident of the West Midlands for over 30 years, I have often visited the beautiful and inspiring Coventry Cathedral. And, each time I have done so, I have recalled a photograph I saw in Jazz Journal during the mid-1960s of the Duke Ellington Orchestra performing there. So when I found out recently that ITV footage of that 1966 concert was to be shown at the Cathedral on December 29 (last night!) this year, this was too good an opportunity to miss. 

The concert was the European premiere of Duke Ellington’s first Concert of Sacred Music, and it reportedly came about because Ellington, having heard about the opening of the new Coventry Cathedral in 1962, contacted the Cathedral authorities to ask if they would be interested in hosting the event. A film of the concert, shown on ITV television at the time, was thought to have been lost long ago. However, it was recently rediscovered, and through the work of Ghost Town, an archive television project, working in collaboration with other local organisations, the film has now been digitally restored in preparation for this, the first public viewing in over 50 years.

When I arrived at the Cathedral an hour before the scheduled viewing I was amazed to find it already packed out with the licensed bar and gentle background music giving this place of worship something of the ambiance of a jazz club. 

The black and white film, entitled Celebration, had characteristic 1960s camera work and the sound quality was less than brilliant, but it demonstrated the incredible innovation and creativity of Duke Ellington’s sacred music. This was quite different to the music I had heard at his 70th Birthday Concert which I attended (along with Lance) at Newcastle City Hall in 1969. Although equally brilliant, the City Hall concert comprised mainly performances of Ellington’s standard jazz repertoire.

The Celebration film opened with New World A-Comin’, a really interesting solo piano performance by Ellington after which the Duke spoke briefly, but inspiringly, about the new world he was looking forward to – “a world without war” and “a world without categorisation.” It was particularly appropriate for these words to be spoken in Coventry, the City of Peace and Reconciliation, and they are, arguably, as relevant today as they were in 1966. This was followed by an extremely slow and haunting performance of Come Sunday, featuring  Johnny Hodges (my alto sax hero until Lance sold me my first Charlie Parker record at Windows in 1969). In the Beginning God included almost operatic-style singing from baritone George Webb, an exciting tenor sax solo from Paul Gonsalves and choral contributions from the Cliff Adams Singers – well-known at the time for their long-running BBC radio show Sing Something Simple. The concert continued with the calypso-inspired West Indian Pancake and ended with La Plus Belle Africaine, featuring a fantastic drum solo from Sam Woodyard (using mainly hands rather than sticks) and a bowed double bass solo from John Lamb. In the course of the concert, we also heard beautifully controlled and mellow playing from clarinetist Jimmy Hamilton and trombonist Lawrence Brown, as well as unbelievably high-note (yet tasteful) trumpet playing from Cat Anderson.

It was a truly memorable occasion and a very special experience to hear Duke Ellington’s wonderful Sacred Music in the same beautiful space where it was performed and recorded all those years ago.
Cormac.

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