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Bebop Spoken There

Steve Fishwick: “I can’t get behind the attitude that new is always somehow better than old” - Jazz Journal, April 15, 2019,

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...


16034 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 15 years ago. 1041 of them this year alone and, so far, 73 this month (Nov. 27).

From This Moment On ...


Tue 28: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Victoria & Albert Inn, Seaton Delaval NE25 0AT. 12:30pm. ‘Afternoon Jazz Tea Party’ £12.00. Tickets from: 0191 237 3697.
Tue 28: Full Score & Durham University Jazz Orchestra @ St Oswald’s Church, Durham. 7:00pm. £8.00., £7.00. conc., £6.00. DSM. ‘Singing with a Swing’. In support of the Angel Trust.
Tue 28: Pete Tanton’s Chet Set @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. £12.00., £10.00. Doors 7pm/Music 8pm.

Wed 29: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 29: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 29: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 30: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 30: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 7:30pm (7:00pm doors). Tickets: £25.00. inc. buffet. A Gatsby themed evening.
Thu 30: Jools Holland's R & B Orchestra @ Newcastle City Hall. 7:30pm.
Thu 30: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Ragtime piano. A 'Jar on the Bar' gig.
Thu 30: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman's Club, Middlesbrough. Guest band night: Mark Toomey Quintet (Mark Toomey, sax; Paul Donnelly, guitar; Jeremy McMurray, keys; Peter Ayton, bass; Mark Robertson, drums). 9:00pm.

Fri 01: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 01: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 01: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 01: Paul Skerritt @ All Saints’ Church, Eastgate, Co. Durham. 7:00pm. Xmas Tree Fest.
Fri 01: Alligator Gumbo @ Saltburn Community Hall. 7:30pm.
Fri 01: Nu Sound Brass @ Billy Bootlegger’s, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free.
Fri 01: Struggle Buggy w. Jim Murray @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Blind Pig Blues Club. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Sat 02: Paula Jackman's Jazz Masters @ St Augustine's Parish Centre, Darlington. 12:30pm. £10.00.
Sat 02: Play Jazz! workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. Tutor: Steve Glendinning. £25.00. Enrol at:
Sat 02: Abbie Finn Trio @ Claypath Deli, Durham. 7:00pm.
Sat 02: Tenement Jazz Band @ John Marley Centre, Newcastle. Swing Tyne Winter Social. £8.00. + bf. Advance purchase only, no admission at the door. BYOB. Lindy hop workshop from 11:00am. £39.00.
Sat 02: Zoë Gilby Quartet @ The Masham, Hartburn Village, Stockton. 7:00pm. Feat. Noel Dennis.
Sat 02: Classic Swing @ The Nuthatch, 9 - 11 Bedford St, Middlesbrough TS1 2LL. 7:00-9:00pm. Classic Swing in trio format.
Sat 02: Paul Skerritt w. Danny Miller Big Band @ Westovian Theatre, South Shields. 7:30pm.
Sat 02: Vermont Big Band @ Whitley Bay FC. 7:30pm. £10.00. (inc. hot buffet). Tickets available from WBFC’s Seahorse pub club house.
Sat 02: Milne-Glendinning Band @ Ponteland Social Club, Northumberland. 7:30pm. £18.00 (inc. stotties & soup supper). A fundraiser for Hexham Constituency Labour Party.
Sat 02: Tom Remon & Laurence Harrison @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Sat 02: Rendezvous Jazz @ Red Lion, Earsdon. 8:00pm. Xmas party night inc. buffet & special raffle. £3.00.
Sat 02: Groovetrain @ The Unionist Club, Laygate, South Shields. 9:00pm.

Sun 03: The Central Bar Quartet @ Central Bar, Gateshead. 2:00pm. £10.00. The Central Bar Quartet plays Lou Donaldson’s Gravy Train. Featuring Jamie Toms.
Sun 03: Paul Skerritt @ Smith’s Arms, Carlton, Stockton-on-Tees. 7:00pm.
Sun 03: Johnny Hunter Quartet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 03: Jam session @ The Schooner, Gateshead. 8:00pm. Free.

Mon 04: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Mon 04: Northern Monkey Brass Band @ People’s Kitchen, Bath Lane, Newcastle. From 5:30pm. On-street gig supporting the work of the People’s Kitchen charity. Wrap up warm! Donate!
Mon 04: Michael Young Trio w Lindsay Hannon @ The Engine Room, Sunderland. 7:00pm. Free.
Mon 04: James Birkett Trio @ The Black Bull, Blaydon. 8:00pm. £8.00.
Mon 04: Durham University Jazz Orchestra + Durham University Big Band @ Durham Castle DH1 3RW. 8:30pm. £6.00.; £5.00. concs; £4.00. DSM. ‘Jazzy Christmas’.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Kenny Garrett Quintet & Chris Potter Trio @ San Francisco Jazz Center- June 21

Kenny Garrett Quintet: Garrett (alto sax/flute); Vernell Brown (piano); Corcoran Holt (bass); Samuel Laviso (drums); Rudy Bird (percussion).
(Review by Dave Clarke/photo courtesy of Pam)

Prior to attending this late-June San Francisco Jazz Festival concert I had never seen either Kenny Garrett or Chris Potter in live performance and nor was I familiar with their recordings. If I hadn’t read an interview with Potter in the March issue of Jazzwise magazine my ignorance would have probably led me to think that they were an odd mix for a double bill: Garrett, with a tendency towards the funky, and Potter, a critically acclaimed ECM recording artist.

My initial reaction to leader Garrett’s shiny suit and the band’s high energy soul-jazz was “Lance, you should have sent Steve T on this gig!.”    
By the second tune though, with Garrett and Laviso embroiled in an intense and seemingly endless duo, I was glad to be there and just sorry for Steve that this time I’d got the holiday in California. The duo turned into a solo for the leader played, like the majority of the gig, with his back to the audience. Which didn’t mean we had nothing to look at. Far from it. Both Laviso at the kit and Bird the percussionist were well worth watching and the whole band were hugely impressive musicians.

At about this point Kenny Garrett’s solo had come to seem as though it was endless and I had a sudden flashback to how I first became aware of San Francisco and of America’s “alternative” culture: i.e. through the ‘50s novels of Jack Kerouac in which black jazz musicians blew endless bop choruses in underground clubs. Not, I’m sure, what Kenny Garrett had in mind but in fact he splendidly covered many stylistic bases in the concert including, in his encore, the contemporary jazz of Wayne Shorter through Wayne’s Thing. The whole band switched style immaculately.

The point where they lost me – just call me an old fart – was, in the last couple of tunes, when Garrett began urging the audience to clap and chant together. The point where jazz meets showbiz you might call it. Call and response are fine if both parties are on something like the same rhythmic level. Otherwise, leave it to the band I say.  
Chris Potter Trio: Chris Potter (tenor sax/flute/electronics); James Francies (piano); Eric Harland (drums).

Potter had the opening slot although, status-wise, he was no ‘second-banana’.

In the Jazzwise interview, tenor star Potter reminded or informed us that the funk aesthetic had always been important to him but had been abandoned for a number of years. The trio onstage in San Francisco was brought together as an experiment for the tenorist to get back to groove-based music and the chemistry worked. The leader wrote music for the band, they recorded an album (Circuits) and took the music out on tour in the States. The UK is not so lucky. Only Southampton will be getting the Circuits Trio – in November – before they head off into Europe.

The trio had time to play five tunes, all but one from their Circuits album and all, I believe, compositions by Chris Potter with whom I was enormously impressed. Most tunes began with an extensive solo by the leader featuring his highly percussive yet melodic style and his use of the whole range of his instrument.  His solo introduction over, he switched up the electronics as Eric Harland and James Francies entered the fray. Harland is a phenomenal drummer who, like Potter, operates on the whole range of his instrument – all the drums, all the cymbals, all of the time. Except on the introduction to one tune for which he played one, hand-held cymbal, Chris Potter played flute and the excellent James Francies abandoned his two keyboards in favour of the venue’s grand.  

In closing, a few words about the venue and its organiser.  The San Francisco Jazz Center is the largest non-profit presenter of jazz in the United States. Founded in 1982 by Randall Kline, as was their Jazz Festival, in 2013 they opened their custom–built venue which has a steeply raked 700 seat auditorium, useable for all-seated and for dance events and a 150 seat studio venue. The festival consists of 40 shows in 13 days and in the rest of the year around 700 shows are presented.      
In 2004 they established the SF Jazz Collective, a leaderless composer’s workshop of 8 musicians which tours and records. Members have included Joe Lovano, Bobby Hutcherson, Dave Douglas, Joshua Redman and others.

Every two years a small group of musicians are chosen to each develop a new work for performance at the Center. Known as Resident Artistic Directors they have included Bill Frisell, Jason Moran, Christian McBride and Vijay Iyer.  The Jazz Center also runs a large music education programme in jazz appreciation, creation and performance, both in-house and throughout the Bay Area.
Dave Clarke

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