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Bebop Spoken There

Lakecia Benjamin: "From my early days with Clark Terry, he told me 'they see you before they hear you'... I'm just not from that school of thought where I'm gonna wear my jeans and T-shirt on stage and that's going to be respectable." - (Jazzwise, February 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!"

Postage

15056 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 15 years ago. 75 of them this year alone and, so far, 75 this month (Jan. 25).

From This Moment On ...

January

Fri 27: Zoë Gilby Quartet @ Gala Theatre, Durham. 1:00pm. SOLDOUT!
Fri 27: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 27: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 27: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 27: Hip Hop Hooray @ Bar 52, Newcastle. 7:00pm.
Fri 27: John Dikeman, Pat Thomas, John Edwards, Steve Noble @ Lit & Phil. 7:30pm. £10.00.
Fri 27: Rob Heron & the Tea Pad Orchestra @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. 7:30pm. £10.00. on the door. A Swung Eight event.
Fri 27: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. Ragtime & stride piano. 8:00pm.

Sat 28: Tyneside Improvisers Workshop @ Ye Olde Cross, Ryton. 2:00-4:00pm. All welcome.
Sat 28: Secular Sounds in a Sacred Place @ Holy Cross Church, Ryton. 4:30-7:00pm. £10.00. Continuous performance featuring: Christian Alderson, Faye MacCalman, Sally Pilkington, John Pope. Event preceded by a Tyneside Improvisers Workshop (2:00pm, see above).
Sat 28: Entartete Musik @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. A Brundibár Arts Festival event.

Sun 29: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 29: Musicians Unlimited @ Park Inn, Hartlepool. 1:00pm.
Sun 29: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 29: Hypnotic Brass Band @ Cluny, Newcastle. 7:00pm (doors). £20.00.
Sun 29: Jam No.12 @ Fabio's, Saddler St., Durham. 8:00pm. Free. Durham University Jazz Society jam session. All welcome (students & non-students).
Sun 29: Origin @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 30: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Tue 31: ???

February

Wed 01: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 01: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 01: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 01: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Wed 01: Moonlight Serenade Orchestra UK: Glenn Miller & Big Band Spectacular @ Darlington Hippodrome. 7:30pm.

Thu 02: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 02: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library. 2:30-4:30pm. £1.00. All welcome.
Thu 02: Paul Skerritt Duo @ Tomahawk Steakhouse, High St., Yarm. 8:00pm.
Thu 02: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman's Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Scarborough Jazz Festival 2019. Sunday Sept. 22. Evening Session. Partisans and Jim Mullen and the Volunteers.

Partisans: Julian Siegel (reeds), Phil Robson (guitar), Thaddeus Kelly (bass guitar), Gene Calderazzo (drums).
(Review/photos by Steve T).

Mr Birkett, his trio and guests on keyboard and clarinet had them dancing in the aisles so Partisans were already onstage by the time I returned to the main hall. I'd seen them before and enjoyed it but this was better; much better. 

The second piece was That's Not His Bag but we were assured it referred to Easyjet and not James Brown. Robson - having whet our appetite with Dankworth - was playing pedalled up guitar and crazy chords, weaving solos in and out of Siegel's sax and I'll be amazed if the guitarist isn't familiar with prog guitar maestro Steve Howe.

Overthink rocked things up nicely, bass guitar pumping and squelching like a heavy metal band, guitar set at eleven and even the arrival of sax somehow managed not to tone things down. It was clearly a bit much for some, covering their ears a bit of a giveaway, but Scarborough is a fiercely across the board festival and they're used to the esoteric. 

Right on cue, they demonstrated their quieter side with 3:15 on the Dot, named for a groundhog in New York called Barry and featuring bass clarinet, then guitar over cymbals and barely perceptible bass.

Drums set up a groove and guitar chords and a heavy bass sound found them firmly in Weather Report territory, guitar and some effects pedals playing it close to Zawinul's 70s/ 80s arsenal of keyboards.

Last Chance had Siegel back on bass clarinet, Robson bending notes, running through his pedals 'til he found the one marked jazz-rock, from the heady days of Lifetime and Mahavishnu Mk 1. In the best traditions of those times, it was then taken down to a trickle with gentle rhythm behind a remarkably fluid solo from bass clarinet, a notoriously tempestuous instrument.

Jim Mullen's Volunteers: Jim Mullen (guitar), Gareth Lockrane (flute, arranger), Steve Fishwick (trumpet, flugelhorn), Mark Nightingale (trombone), Alan Barnes, Julien Siegel (reeds), Gareth Williams (piano), Nick Hatton (bass), Tristram Mayo (drums).

Following a period of serious illness, Jim Mullen has found himself an elder statesman of British Jazz, a veritable national treasure.

I first saw him with jazz-funk outfit Morrissey-Mullen at the start of the eighties, next backing soul singer Terry Callier, then giving a masterclass followed by an organ trio performance at Sage Gateshead, and most recently with vintage British funk band Kokomo supporting the Average White Band at the London Jazz Festival. The local guitar teacher in Crook refers to him as Big Thumbs, reflecting his unique style of emulating his hero Wes Montgomery.

The all-star assembly more or less took turns taking solos, the guitarist taking one during each piece. Lockrane was visibly active keeping everything together from the stage and Mullen was keen to heap praise on him.

The entire set was taken from his current album The Volunteers, a mixture of Mullen originals: Medications, Spare Change, Overactive and Smart Money, plus a sprinkling of standards: When I Fall in Love, Spring is Here and Back in the Day.

Smart Money was the final piece and illustrated the tightrope jazz musicians operate from every night. Mullen finished his solo and turned to Williams and, when he didn't respond, turned quickly to Lockrane and back to the pianist who opened his solo. Great stuff.

Though I relish being amongst the youngest, I can't believe this festival doesn't attract a younger audience. There really is something on offer for everybody and the oldies for the most part, lap up the multitude of sounds the festival presents them with. Perhaps the seaside setting makes the cool young people think it's a bastion for the elderly. 

I was  also encouraged to see the CD store attracting so much interest, and I read somewhere that sales of CDs in jazz and the other genres are holding up well, despite the decline in pop music old and new.     
Steve T       

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