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Farewell Blues

R I P Terry Shannon - November 5, 1929 - October 29, 2022
R I P Oliver Soden - ? - November 6, 2022
R I P Top Cat Daphne - ? - November 24, 2022.
R I P Louise Tobin - November 11, 1918 - November 26, 2022

Bebop Spoken There

Kenny Barron: "During the pandemic I got to do a lot more cooking. As long as you can read you can cook." - (DownBeat December, 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, Mouthpiece Music: "Lance writes pull quotes like no one else!"

Postage

14845 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 14 years ago. 1094 of them this year alone and, so far, 93 this month (Nov. 30).

From This Moment On ...

November

December
Mon 05: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Mon 05: Sia Ahmad & Raymond MacDonald @ Blank Studios, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Tickets: £5.00. from www.seetickets.com. Live recording session - note no late admissions. BYOB.

Tue 06: Paul Skerritt @ The Rabbit Hole, Durham. 7:00pm. Free (table reservations 0191 386 5556). Feat. Johnny Murphy (keyboards).

Wed 07: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 07: Jam session @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 12 noon-3:00pm.Free. New!
Wed 07: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 07: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 07: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 08: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Last one of the year, resuming Jan 26.
Thu 08: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library. 3:00-5:00pm. £1.00. All welcome.
Thu 08: Indigo Jazz Voices @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:45pm.
Thu 08: Christmas Crooners @ Alnwick Playhouse. 7:30pm.
Thu 08: Musicians Unlimited @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. £5.00. on the door.

Fri 09: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon. £25.00. 'Afternoon Jazz with Festive Lunch'.
Fri 09: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 09: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 09: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 09: Jason Isaacs @ Northern Rugby Club, Gosforth, Newcastle. 7:00pm. £25.00 (inc. two course Xmas meal). Isaacs performing with backing tapes.

Sat 10: Lindsay Hannon & Martin Douglas: Life Drawing & Improvised Music @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 2:00-4:00pm. TBC.
Sat 10: Alan Barnes Octet: A Jazz Xmas Carol @ Black Swan, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £20.00. All-star band!

Sun 11: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 11: Spanish City Rollers @ Northumberland Square, North Shields. 12:30pm. Free. Community band inc. Graham Hardy.
Sun 11: Am Jam @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 3:00pm. Free. Jam session, all welcome.
Sun 11: Musicians Unlimited @ Park Inn, Hartlepool. 1:00pm. Xmas party feat. Mick Donnelly Quartet. 4:00pm. Tickets: £6.00 (admission from 12 noon).
Sun 11: Paul Skerritt @ Liberty Brown's, Sunderland. 1:00pm.
Sun 11: Tees Valley Jazzmen @ Hammer & Pincers, Preston le Skerne. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Sun 11: Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 11: DC Blues Band @ Tyne Bar, Newcastle. 4:00pm. Free. Blues Band.
Sun 11: Jason Isaacs @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. 5:30pm. SOLD OUT!
Sun 11: Boys of Brass @ Stack, Seaburn. 6:00pm. Free.
Sun 11: Elda with Faye MacCalman + John Pope & John Garner @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Black Swan Jam Session (in the Mezzanine Café) - March 19

Jeremy McMurray (piano); John Pope (drums); Dave McKeague (drums) + Steve Summers (alto/tenor saxes); Graham Easthope (soprano/tenor saxes); Jordan Alfonso (alto sax); Elliott Todd (trumpet); David 'Showtime' Gray (trombone); Paddy ? (clarinet).
(Review/PHOTOS by Lance).

Three cracking gigs in a row and if I'd been able to slot in Blaydon, Bishop Auckland and the Lit & Phil it would have been six!

I'm going to buck protocol and relive last night by starting at the finish. All the major players are on stage - this could have been JATP at Hartford, Connecticut back in the 1950s except it was 2019 in Newcastle. The fortnightly Jam at the Black Swan Arts Centre taking place, for this week only, in the Mezzanine Café. Accessible via a series of signposted twists and turns - by comparision the maze at Hampton Court pales into insignificance - the question debated by the contenders is as to whether the grand finale should be Cherokee or Caravan

Caravan it is. The house trio sets the pace leading them across the burning sands. Valves fingered, keys rattled, slide slid in anticipation. A battle royal. It's Joshua, Fury, Wilder and a couple more preparing to mug each other. Showtime Gray isn't taking prisoners, he never does, staccato bursts pepper the room, the body language adds video to the audio and the crowd roars its approval. Wild!

Todd offers contrast, he's lyrical and melodic without letting the temperature drop. Enter Alfonso he takes it up a notch with a paint-stripping solo - even Charlie Parker* couldn't top this - it looked like game, set and match to Jordan.
Wrong!
Easthope and Summers form an unholy alliance to wipe the floor with the opposition. The intricate weaving, the contrapuntal passages all slot together and the crown is theirs which just goes to prove that two heads are better than one.

A fitting climax to what, initially, had had me thinking of an early bath.

The opener by the trio suggested that the acoustics were less than perfect. McKeague, a drummer whom I rate very highly, drowned everyone out including McMurray which isn't easy. However, as the evening progressed the balance improved which had me wondering if its the band that adjusts to the acoustics of the room or is it the ears of the listeners that adjust? Certainly, by the time the caravanserai set off everything was Jake.

The first of the jammers was a debutant clarinetist identified only as Paddy who, by his own admission was very nervous to the extent he played with his back to the audience and eschewed the use of the mic. which would have made his playing more audible. Also putting him in with big hitter Steve Summers probably added to his trepidation. Autumn Leaves and Who's Sorry Now? the test pieces. Let's hope he returns now that he's dipped his reed into the water.

Easthope on soprano, Summers on tenor and Showtime took off on Afro Blue. Easthope's dramatic entry on soprano was electrifying! Summers had some Getzian moments on How Insensitive before a second break was called.

Bottles of Grainger Ale were quaffed then we were off once more. Alfonso taking Yardbird Suite on a memorable flight. Black Orpheus meant Machine Gun Gray entering the fray on a number that also had powerhouse piano from McMurray and some dynamic drumming from Dave (McKeague).

Todd and Summers (now on alto) gave There Will Never Be Another You a workout which saw Pope take a bass solo that trespassed into violin/viola territory.

Easthope blew tenor on that good old 'erbie 'ancock classic - Watermelon Man. Some nice drum 'n' bass work going on.

A suggestion that they played some Miles was readily taken up and, of course, it was All Blues - come back Summertime all is forgiven! Miles' repertoire is extensive and yet it always seems to be that one! Still, they did a job on it with Pope once more defying gravity. And this is where we came in.

All's well that ends well.
Lance.
*Not the Charlie Parker but a painter and decorator of my acquaintance.

1 comment :

Patti said...

Yeah - it was a great night - and full of surprises! I can imagine that Juan Tizol himself would be impressed with young Showtime's playing on Caravan .......

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