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Bebop Spoken There

Billy Boy Arnold: “As long as you don't think old you're good.” - DownBeat, December, 2023.

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...


16051 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 15 years ago. 1058 of them this year alone and, so far, 12 this month (Dec. 6).

From This Moment On ...


Fri 08: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 08: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 08: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 08: Giles Strong Quartet @ The Old Library, Auckland Castle. 1:00pm. £7.00.
Fri 08: Hayley's Little Big Band @ Woodland Village Hall, Bishop Auckland. 7:00pm. £12.00.
Fri 08: Sleep Suppressor + Redwell @ Head of Steam, Neville St., Newcastle. 8:00pm. £10.00. (£8.00. adv); £5.00. student.
Fri 08: Hot Club du Nord @ St Cuthbert's Church, Shadforth, Co. Durham.
Fri 08: Têtes de Pois + Nauta @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £12.00., £8.00.

Sat 09: Prudhoe Community Band @ Central Station, Newcastle. 10:00am - 12 noon. Charity fundraiser.
Sat 09: Durham Alumni Big Band @ Number One Bar, Skinnergate, Darlington. 1:00pm.
Sat 09: Castillo Nuevo Trio @ Revoluçion de Cuba, Newcastle. 5:30pm. Free.
Sat 09: Hayley's Little Big Band @ Middleton & Todridge Village Hall, Morpeth. 7:30pm. £12.00., £6.00.
Sat 09: Paul Skerritt @ Slaley Hall, Hexham NE47 0BX. 7:30pm. From £42.00.

Sun 10: Musicians Unlimited’s Xmas Party with Zoë Gilby Quartet @ Park Inn, Hartlepool. MU 1:00-3:00pm; Zoë Gilby Quartet 4:00-6:00pm. Tickets: £7.50.
Sun 10: Alan Law, Paul Grainger & Abbie Finn @ Darlington Market, Market Square, Darlington. 1:00pm. Free. A ‘Christmas Market’ outdoor gig. Wrap up warm!
Sun 10: Am Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00-4:00pm. Free.
Sun 10: Funk Soul Sista @ Stack, Seaburn. 5:00-7:00pm. Free.
Sun 10: Beth Clarke @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 7:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Sun 10: Hayley's Little Big Band @ Whittingham Memorial Institute, Alnwick. 7:30pm. £12.00., £10.00.
Sun 10: Tele-Port @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Line-up inc. Zhenya Strigalev.

Mon 11: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Mon 11: Interim Final Recitals @ Newcastle University. Details TBC.

Tue 12: Stu Collingwood Organ Trio @ Forum Music Centre, Darlington. 7:00pm. £10.00.

Wed 13: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 13: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 13: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.
Wed 13: Bold Big Band @ Cluny 2, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Wed 13: Giles Strong Quartet @ Alphabetti Theatre, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 14: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 14: Hot Fingers @ The Lubetkin Theatre, Peterlee. 7:00pm. £10.00.
Thu 14: After Hours Student Jazz Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free.
Thu 14: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. . Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 14: Niffi Osiyemi Trio @ Harbour View, Sunderland. 8:00pm. Free.
Thu 14: Mo Scott ‘Little Mo’s Festive Appearance’ @ The Schooner, Gateshead. 8:00pm. Free.
Thu 14: Tees Hot Club w. Kevin Eland, Josh Bentham, Garry Hadfield, Adrian Beadnell @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

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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