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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).
R.I.P. Sue Mingus (April 2, 1930 - 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!"

Postage

14602 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 14 years ago. 880 of them this year alone and, so far, 80 this month (Sept. 26).

From This Moment On ...

September

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. 1:15pm. 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: 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.

October

Sat 01: Dale Storr @ St Augustine’s Parish Centre, Darlington. 12:30pm. £10.00.
Sat 01: Nicole Mitchell & Alexander Hawkins @ The Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. A Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music event.
Sat 01: Play Jazz! workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. Tutor: Pete Churchill. £25.00. Enrol at: www.jazz.coop.
Sat 01: Orphy Robinson (in conversation); Beck Hunters w John Pope & Laura Cole; Daniel Levin; Black Top w Mariam Rezaei @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 6:00pm. A Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music event.
Sat 01: Simon O'Byrne @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. Solo guitar & vocals.
Sat 01: King Bees @ Grainger Market, Newcastle. 9:00-9:45pm. A Great Market Caper multi-bill event. Superb Chicago blues band. Doors: 6:30pm. Tickets: £10.00. + bf.

Sun 02 RUTH LAMBERT TRIO @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 02: Helena Anahita Wilson @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. A Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music event.
Sun 02: Smokin’ Spitfires @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 12:45pm.
Sun 02: Zoë Gilby Trio w Noel Dennis + John Garner & John Pope + Dilutey Juice @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00pm. £7.00.
Sun 02: Paul Skerritt @ Hibou Blanc, Newcastle. 2:00pm.
Sun 02: Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 02: Lindsay Hannon's 'Tom Waits for No Man' @ Three Tanners Bank, North Shields. 6:00pm. Free.
Sun 02: Celebrating the Life & Music of Pharoah Sanders @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 7:00pm. £8.00. on the door. Feat. Sue Ferris, Paul Gowland, Tom Atkinson, Jude Murphy, Jeff Armstrong.
Sun 02: Shifa + Bex Burch & Leafcutter John + Farida Amadou @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 7:00pm. A Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music event.

Mon 03: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Tue 04: Paul Skerritt @ The Rabbit Hole, Durham. 7:00pm. Free (to reserve a table phone 0191 386 5556).
Tue 04: Jam session @ Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. House trio: Dean Stockdale, Paul Grainger, Tim Johnston.
Tue 04: Blue Jazz Quartet w Rivkala @ The Ship Isis, Sunderland. 7:30pm. Free.

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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