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Farewell Blues

R.I.P. HRH Queen Elizabeth ll (1926 - Sept. 8, 2022).
R.I.P. Trevor Tomkins (1941 - Sept. 9, 2022).
R.I.P. Gordon McGregor (Sept. 11, 2022).
R.I.P. Ramsey Lewis (1935 - Sept. 12, 2022).
R.I.P. Pharoah Sanders (Oct. 13, 1940 - Sept. 24, 2022).

Bebop Spoken There

Larry Klein: "- in a certain way - Leonard [Cohen] is the greatest songwriter ever." - (Jazzwise October 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!"


14581 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 14 years ago. 859 of them this year alone and, so far, 59 this month (Sept. 21).

From This Moment On ...


Sun 25: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 25: Musicians Unlimited @ Park Inn, Hartlepool. 1:00pm.
Sun 25: Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm. CANCELLED!
Sun 25: Skylla + Pete Wareham-Ruth Goller-Will Glaser @ Bobik’s, Punch Bowl, Jesmond, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music event.

Mon 26: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Mon 26: Lewis Watson Quartet @ Black Bull, Blaydon. 8:00pm. Blaydon Jazz Club.

Tue 27: Beth Clarke @ British Legion Club, West Jesmond, Newcastle. 1:00-4:00pm. Free.
Tue 27: Paul Skerritt @ The Rabbit Hole, Durham. 7:00pm. Free (to reserve a table phone 0191 386 5556).
Tue 27: Black is the Color of My Voice @ Alnwick Playhouse. 7:30pm. One woman stage play (the life & times of Nina Simone).

Wed 28: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 28: Battle of the Bands @ NE Volume Music Bar, Yarm Lane, Stockton. Doors 6:00pm. Tickets: £5.00. adv., £6.00. on the door. Participants inc. Milne Glendinning Band.
Wed 28: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 28: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 28: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Wed 28: Black is the Color of My Voice @ Alnwick Playhouse. 7:30pm. One woman stage play (the life & times of Nina Simone).
Wed 28: Laura Jurd @ Sage Gateshead. 8:00pm.

Thu 29: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 29: Ushaw Ensemble @ King’s Hall, Newcastle University. 1:10pm. Free.
Thu 29: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library. 3:00-5:00pm. £1.00. All welcome.
Thu 29: Czajka & Puchaz + Mark Solborg + Anthropology @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 7:00pm. A Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music event.
Thu 29: ‘58 Jazz Collective @ Hops & Cheese, Hartlepool. 7:30pm.
Thu 29: La Sonora Boreal’s Latin Jam Session @ The Globe, Newcastle (7:45pm). Free (donations). Latin jazz performance & jam session.
Thu 29: Peter Morgan Trio @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 30: Adam Johnson @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. A Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music event.
Fri 30: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 30: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 30: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 30: Pete Churchill & Noel Dennis: Exploring the Jazz Metaphor in Leadership & Management @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 2:30-4:00pm. Workshop.Tickets: £3.30 (inc. bf). A Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music event.
Fri 30: FILM: Bird (Dir. Clint Eastwood) + Swing Bridge (in the bar) @ Forum Cinema, Hexham. 6:30pm.
Fri 30: Orphy Robinson + Maniscalco-Bigoni-Solborg + Nicole Mitchell + Binker Golding-Alexander Hawkins-John Pope-Paul Hession @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle (7:00pm). A Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music event.
Fri 30: Ushaw Ensemble @ St Mary’s Church, Holy Island. 7:30pm.
Fri 30: Alter Ego @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Fri 30: King Bee @ The Craig Charles Funk & Soul Club, Independent, Sunderland. 9:00pm. £22.50. DJs + King Bee.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Daniel Herskedal, Paul Taylor @ Sage Gateshead - March 23.

Daniel Herskedal (tuba/bass trumpet); Bergmund Waal Skaslien (viola); Eyolf Dale (piano); Helge Andreas Norbakken (percussion). 
(Review by Lance/PHOTOS courtesy of Ken Drew).

I'd missed Herskedal's previous appearances at Sage Gateshead although the near capacity, Sage Two, Level One, audience obviously hadn't. Across the great divide in Sage One, The Rumours of Fleetwood Mac 50th Anniversary Tour was also packing them in - in even greater numbers!

As a once owner of the original Rumours LP I'd have probably gone myself for nostalgic reasons but, duty called...

The prime reason for the Norwegian quartet's tour is the launching of their latest CD - Voyage from which most of the music played was drawn. Herskedal has a mellifluous tone on bass trumpet and manages the cumbersome beast that is the tuba without sounding lugubrious. The use of viola makes for an interesting alternative to that of violin. The array of percussion was put to good use - tinkling cymbals, jingling bells and other odd items adorned the traditional kit. Pianist Dale, was perhaps the most exciting member of the band. However, the overall effect leaned towards the soporific and I left before the end in case I embarrassed myself by snoring...
Paul Taylor (piano) + Faye MacCalman (tenor sax/clarinet).

Earlier, local hero Taylor dazzled in his inimitable style. Floating like a butterfly with rippling runs that left few notes untouched albeit with not very many of the chordal passages so beloved of the more traditional jazz pianists. Director of Performance, Tamsin Austin, in her introduction, expressed some doubt as to whether or not Faye MacCalman would be joining Taylor. No reason was given. The reed player did appear towards the end of the set for some input that suited the mood of the evening which could be perhaps best described as "The Night of the Long Notes."


Chris Kilsby said...

I don’t normally respond to reviews, as music is in the ear of the behearer etc, and especially not on the (normally) authoritative regional phenomenon which is BSH…… However, I feel I must in this instance, as my experience of the Herskedal gig was so much at odds with Lance’s verdict of “soporific”. My verdict is that this was the gig of the (great!) year so far, and is shared with the party of 6 I took along, ranging in age across five decades, and familiarity with jazz from neophyte to aficionado. If Lance had stayed until the end perhaps he would have seen the rest of the audience were wide awake as well, judging by their ovation!

Herskedal’s band were truly outstanding, playing original and groundbreaking music of epic and majestic proportion, which remained accessible, listenable and in many places downright tuneful, drawing seamlessly on classical, folk and jazz (whatever that is ...). Maybe Lance was looking for a giant of the tenor to take the stage and blow us apart, but this had variety, dynamics to spare, and a regularly achieved climactic energy which had the audience bouncing. Herskedal has re-defined the tuba as lead and accompanying instrument, but this virtuousity was borne lightly, with no ego or pretentiousness – all subsumed within a delightful collective humility and humour, framed in his acclaimed, third, through-composed album. The level of musicality and ambition from all four players was remarkable, with heart-rending emotion, along with extraordinary tastefulness, delicacy and interplay. These are leading international musicians, defining their own take on contemporary music, riding a tidal wave of Scandinavian jazz sweeping Europe (if not BSH!).

Herskedal is the latest in the Sage’s Spring jazz season, standing in this year for the Festival. I am finding it a better means of bringing top bands to the North East - frankly we are punching above our weight this year, with international stars like Herskedal, Tigran and Phronesis, with Kamasi Washington to come - I bet he will succeed in keeping Lance awake! In Tigran’s case, I was almost moved to respond to Ann Alex’s also underwhelming review. My take (and that of a contingent of students from Leeds College of Music I facilitated) on that concert was that I felt privileged to attend, in my own back yard or anywhere: as Herbie Hancock says “Now, Tigran, you are my teacher”.

So, in conclusion, I love and appreciate the work Lance and his tireless reviewers carry out on BSH, informing, reporting and supporting the remarkable wealth of jazz throughout the great North East – this is vital work to encourage and facilitate regional artists and audiences. But underwhelming and unrepresentative reviews such as those recently for Herskedal and Tigran do not only the artists a disservice, but also the audiences. Such reviews do nothing to encourage new listeners to try something different to the (rightly) venerated GASbook, or for promoters like the Sage to continue their ambitious and risky policy of bringing major jazz stars here to our little corner of the country.

Anyway, keep up the good work, but please let’s hear some more enthusiastic voices cheering on these new masters!

Chris Kilsby

Lance said...

Thank you Chris for your comment and let me hasten to say that I totally respect your views. It's always difficult trying to weigh up the objective against the subjective. However, any honest reviewer can only record his/her reactions to what they hear. I fully appreciated the musicality of the musicians concerned but, for me, it lacked that vital spark. I realised that I was in the minority and, yes, I would have loved a tenor giant to take to the stage. However, isn't that what music/art is all about - to say what you feel and not what you ought to feel?

Over the years, I have been totally supportive of Sage Gateshead and will continue to do so, although I'm sure they know that I don't just 'follow the party line' they do know that most of the time I do.

Possibly I'm in the wrong job which I obviously was last Saturday. Problem is, finding horses for courses. Jazz and its spinoffs are such a varied field that the 'one man's meat...' adage is ever present.

Unfortunately, at the moment, our review team seems to be somewhat decimated and whilst Russell and I try to cover as much as we can we are always open to new contributors. The recent review by Iain Kitt on the Maja Bugge gig in the Victoria Tunnel was most welcome and if you, yourself, Chris, fancy contributing reviews of future gigs or CDs (which I will happily send to you) then I'd be pleased to welcome you, or any other more enthusiastic voices aboard.
PS: Thank you also for the kind words re BSH.I've now added some terrific photos of the gig from Ken Drew who, incidentally, sides with you.

drandyhills said...

Having differing opinions is why we have such diversity of music out there - if we all liked the same stuff there would be a much more narrow spectrum of musical styles. For what it's worth I found Paul Taylor to be soporific what with his endless runs up and down the piano with odd bit of delay here and there; whereas Daniel Herskedal’s performance for me was deeply original, pastoral and evocative. I'm glad though that there's something for everyone and that we can have differing emotional responses to the music.

Paul Taylor said...

I like the cognitive dissonance between the disingenuous condescension towards the "diversity of music out there" and the gratuitously banal critique of "endless runs up and down the piano". "Soporific"? Keeps me awake, at least.

Lance said...

Apologies Paul, your comment was inadvertently deleted. Now, hopefully, restored. Certainly, when I used the term "Soporific" it wasn't directed at you but at the headline act. I've also discovered the reason for Faye's delayed appearance - the girls a star and a tribute to the motto - The show must go on. Hope everything works out ok for her.

Paul said...

Paul Taylor: Steinway Piano and Virus TI synthesiser.
Live performance at Sage Gateshead, March 23rd 2019.
Part Two.
Recorded and produced by Paul Taylor

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