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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...

Josh Weir: I love the writing on bebop spoken here... I think the work you are doing is amazing.


16542 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 422 of them this year alone and, so far, 29 this month (June 17).

From This Moment On ...


Fri 21: Alan Barnes with Dean Stockdale Trio @ The Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. SOLD OUT!
Fri 21: Joe Steels’ Borealis @ The Gala, Durham. 1:00pm. £8.00.
Fri 21: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 21: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 21: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 21: Soznak @ The Bike Garden, Nunsmoor, Newcastle NE4 5NU. 5:00-9:00pm. Free.
Fri 21: Errol Linton + Michael Littlefield & Scott Taylor (King Bees) @ Gosforth Civic Theatre, Newcastle. 7:30pm. £20.00. Blues double bill.
Fri 21: Alan Barnes with the Dean Stockdale Trio @ Seventeen Nineteen, Sunderland. 7:30pm.
Fri 21: Strictly Smokin’ Big Band @ Alnwick Playhouse. 8:00pm. ‘Ella & Ellington’.
Fri 21: Mark Toomey Quartet @ Traveller’s Rest, Darlington. 8:00pm. Opus 4 Jazz Club.

Sat 22: Jason Isaacs @ Stack, Seaburn SR6 8AA. 12:30-2:30pm. Free.
Sat 22: Abbie Finn Trio @ The Vault, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free.
Sat 22: Hejira: Celebrating Joni Mitchell @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 7:30pm (doors). £22.50.
Sat 22: Rockin’ Turner Bros. @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Sun 23: Paul Skerritt @ Hibou Blanc, Newcastle. 2:00pm.
Sun 23: More Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00pm. Free.
Sun 23: Matt Carmichael @ St Mary’s Church, Wooler. 3:00pm. Carmichael (saxophone), Fergus McCreadie (piano), Charlie Stewart (fiddle). ‘Scottish jazz, folk-roots & landscape’ Wooler Arts: Summer Concerts.
Sun 23: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 23: Tweed River Jazz Band @ Barrels Ale House, Berwick. 7:00pm. Free.
Sun 23: Bede Trio @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 23: Leeway @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Sun 23: Jazz Jam @ Fabio’s Bar, Saddler St., Durham. 8:00pm. Free. A Durham University Jazz Society event. All welcome.

Mon 24: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Mon 24: Remy CB @ The Hoppings, Newcastle Town Moor NE2 3NH. 5:00-7:00pm.

Tue 25: Louise Dodds & Elchin Shirinov @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Wed 26: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 26: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 26: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

Thu 27: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 27: Jeremy McMurray & the Pocket Jazz Orchestra @ Arc, Stockton. 8:00pm.
Thu 27: The Joni Project @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Joni Mitchell.
Thu 27: Lindsay Hannon’s Tom Waits for No Man @ Harbour View, Roker, Sunderland. 8:00pm.
Thu 27: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. Ragtime piano. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 27: Loco House Band @ Bar Loco, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free.
Thu 27: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests: Richie Emmerson (tenor sax); Neil Brodie (trumpet); Garry Hadfield (keys); Adrian Beadnell (bass)

Monday, July 29, 2019

Malta Jazz Festival 2019 - Nights July 19

(Review by Steve T)

On Friday evening the festival shifted to the side of the empire shaping harbour with its spectacular views of historic fortresses and palaces. At some point a luxury yacht pulled alongside and parked up for the evening. I speculated whether, if they could afford a yacht they could afford the entrance fee.
Each of the two nights here opened with a Maltese group and Friday was a guitar trio led by drummer William Smith. Clearly the Maltese know that jazz guitar is in the ascendancy again and this was a highly enjoyable set with all three young musicians acquitting themselves brilliantly with their original compositions and improvisational skills.

Although sold out, there were still seats unoccupied at this point, but the surrounding area, punctuated with food stalls, a beer tent and cocktail bar, was buzzing with activity and anticipation.

By the time Chucho Valdez took to the stage, everyone was in their seat. At seventy seven, he's a giant of a man, looking dapper in matching white beret and trousers, a pianist of formidable technique. The Monk influence seemed less prevalent than on the album and I actually preferred the whole thing live. 

A quintet featuring piano, bass and three people on percussion, including one on the sacred bata drums rather than kit, is a dream ticket for me, and I suspect many Maltese.

Some thought this the gig of the festival.    

To these ears, Weather Report were one of the great moments in C20th music, transcending time and genre. Few would argue the final years - featuring Omar Hakim - were less prodigious than their previous output, but even their least successful albums are better than most other things. When main man Josef Zawinul recruited Hakim, he was keen to move the focus of the rhythm section from bass to drums, so he became a crucial part of their new direction. 

He arrived in Malta with a genuine all-star band called Ozmosys, featuring his wife, acclaimed keyboardist Rachel Z; the figurehead of the recent jazz guitar surge, Kurt Rosenwinkel, and bass player Linley Marthe, described by Zawinul as the greatest in the world, and he should know.  

Hakim himself has played with Miles, Gil Evans, Herbie, Marcus Miller, Benson, Scofield, Sanborn, Grover, Ramsey Lewis, Peter Gabriel, Michael Jackson, Bryan Ferry, Bowie, Madonna, Kate Bush, Daft Punk, Dire Straits, Sting and loads more jazz artists and popstars.  
Fireworks are a nightly event in Valletta in summer and, while Hakim's tenure in Weather Report was half a decade after Black Market, he'll know it well and will likely have played it, so I wondered if he was having flashbacks of the explosions during the coda of one of their most celebrated pieces. 

His drumming never let up throughout the set, which was fusion through and through from start to finish, and I've always thought a powerful drummer an essential ingredient in jazz-rock. 

Rachel Z was quite extraordinary, whether playing piano or unashamed seventies/eighties synthesizer’s sounds. She also has a bit of the hippy about her. 

Marthe was funky and flamboyant and his pair of solos drew perhaps the greatest applause. 

Kurt will have silenced any doubters - and I may have been one of them - that he's THE guitarist of his generation; the most significant jazz guitarist since Metheny, and possibly even McLaughlin. Not as rocky as the jazz-rock guitarists, like McLaughlin, Coryell and Stern, nor as traditional sounding as Christian, Wes and Benson. Solid body guitars seem to be the order of the day amongst the major players, though this is likely as much about aesthetics and making a statement.

One piece sounded like something I vaguely recognise from one of the Weather Report albums he played on and there was a take on a Foo Fighters song - mercifully unrecognisable - as, he announced, he and Rachel are wont to reinterpret songs by rock bands. 

The whole thing was absolutely magnificent and I could have merrily stayed there all night, though many seats had been vacated as we headed towards 1:00am and beyond.

One of the greatest drummers I've ever seen and one of the greatest guitarists I've ever seen, not to mention world class pianist and bass player; not for the first time, I wondered if life could possibly get better than this. The good news is there's an album due later in the year and they're playing the London Jazz Festival in November.        
Steve T

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