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Bebop Spoken There

Charles Lloyd: "I'm raring to go out to play, because I know I'll find something to explain the inexplicable." (DownBeat August 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

14438 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 14 years ago. 716 of them this year alone and, so far, 13 this month (August 6).

From This Moment On ...

August

Thu 11: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 11: Baghdaddies @ Cumberland Arms, Newcastle. Time TBC.
Thu 11: Indigo Jazz Voices: Little Big Band Special @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:45pm. POSTPONED!
Thu 11: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm. Guests Donna Hewitt (sax) Josh Bentham (sax) Garry Hadfield (keys).

Fri 12: Ben Gilbert Trio @ Bishop Auckland Town Hall. 1:00pm.
Fri 12: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 12: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 12: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.

Sun 14: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 14: Tees Valley Jazzmen @ Hammer & Pincers, Preston le Skerne. 1:00pm.
Sun 14: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ West Park, South Shields. 2:00pm.
Sun 14: Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 14: Anth Purdy @ Blues & Bourbon, Newcastle. 4:00pm. Free.
Sun 14: Castillo Nuevo @ Revoluçion de Cuba, Newcastle. 5:30-8:30pm.
Sun 14: Sunday Night Am Jam Special @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Note start time.

Mon 15: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Mon 15: Stu Collingwood Organ Trio @ Black Bull, Blaydon. 8:00pm. Blaydon Jazz Club.

Wed 17: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 17: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 17: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 17: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Jam Session @ The Black Swan - May 14.

(Review by/Photos by Lance).

Quite a night! A tenor saxist born in L.A., a drummer studying in Boston Mass, a Nigerian (?) vocalist, an invasion of Hartlepuddlians and some of Newcastle's finest, what could go wrong?
Answer - nothing!

The evening began in a sombre mood. The normally ebullient James Harrison taking us on an unaccompanied trip to St. James' Infirmary. Abbie Finn joined the mourners with some suitable funereal drumming before upping the tempo for the Battle Hymn of the Republic (John Brown's Body). John Brown interred, more staple jam session fare followed in the form of Yardbird Suite and St. Thomas with Abbie well-featured on the latter.

The first of the sitters-in, Mel Grundy, sang Beautiful Love and Paul Grainger related as to how the song was first heard in a Boris Karloff movie.

The trio played In a Mellow Tone with lots of quirky quotes from James before the first of the three tenors took to the stage. John Rowland, who sounds like Lockjaw Davis, blew Take the A Train and Straight No Chaser. Matt was now on drums and James managed to slot a chorus of Wardell's Twisted into his solo.

Niffi was next with a unique version of Mack the Knife and a more conventional (by Niffi's standards) Autumn Leaves. Tenor number two, Graham Easthope, kicked off The Chicken and was soon joined by Showtime on trombone. Milestones (I think) saw Matt MacKellar unleash a minor explosion, James was his usual jack-in-the-box self and the whole thing went out on a fun note. The audience loved it and I was sorry that Nathan (see an earlier post) wasn't present.

Interval time - take cover, the Hartlepool hit squad are advancing.

Russell had spoken glowingly of Jan Spencelayh after hearing her with Musicians Unlimited recently so I expected nothing but the best. Our tastes in vocalists don't always coincide but, on this occasion, I was in total agreement. At Last acknowledged Etta but in a more tasteful, more subtle way. No over the top histrionics. Likewise, on Moon Dance, she didn't try to emulate Van Morrison - how could she? - she's better looking!
However, Hartlepool wasn't done with - enter Bob Caswell. Some years ago Bob was a semi-regular visitor to Blaydon Jazz Club and I seem to recollect hearing him at the Cherry Tree and being impressed. Despite the passage of time, he is still the master showman as Don't Get Around Much Anymore proved. However, it was that much-maligned song Cry Me a River that brought the house down and the only time I've heard it sung by a male vocalist. It worked.

It seemed as though it was game, set and match Hartlepool - or so we thought! 

Enter tenor number three Jordan Alfonso. The Los Angeles born, resident on Tyneside saxist is normally heard on alto but this week tenor was his chosen axe and he reduced the room to pin-dropping silence with an emotive My One and Only Love (Liz of York should have been here). A cadenza-like sax intro led into as good an instrumental version as you're ever likely to hear. Stan Getzish at first then edging into Coltrane territory - beautiful and, for once, James restrained from inserting any quotes - that's how seriously good it was.

Showtime joined in for There Will Never be Another You with an out of tempo trombone/tenor free for all.

Mel and John Rowland did You'd Be So Nice to Come Home to and the other three horns augmented You Don't Know What Love is (written for an Abbott and Costello film). Caswell and all the horns did Cottontail/I Got Rhythm before the whole shebang came to a frenzied finale with Blue Monk.
Yup, quite a night!
Lance.
James Harrison (keys); Paul Grainger (bass); Abbie Finn (drums) + John Rowlands, Graham Easthope, Jordan Alfonso (tenor sax); David 'Showtime' Gray (trombone); Matt MacKellar (drums); Melanie Grundy, Niffi Osiyemi, Jan Spencelayh, Bob Caswell (vocals).

3 comments :

Ron said...

Great review of a great ' I was there' jam session. Great photos too!
Northeast is so privileged to have so many top jazz musicians and vocalists.
Wonderful night!

Patti said...

Yeah - it was indeed one of those extra special jamming sessions. It was fantastic to see our two top class young drummers in such brilliant form too - and the very best of jazzy good wishes to both Abbie and Matt in their future musical lives!

Jan S said...

What a thoroughly enjoyable night! This was my very first jazz jam session but will absolutely not be my last! I was blown away by the quality and talent of the musicians, core and contributing. I was feeling somewhat apprehensive about how an intruding unknown vocalist might be received but was soon reassured by the warm welcome of the 'resident' musicians and the friendliness of the crowd. I know Bob totally enjoyed his night too. Thank you for a great time - The Hartlepuddlians will definitely be back!

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