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Bebop Spoken There

Raymond Chandler: “ I was walking the floor and listening to Khatchaturian working in a tractor factory. He called it a violin concerto. I called it a loose fan belt and the hell with it ". The Long Goodbye, Penguin 1959.

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.

Postage

16350 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 230 of them this year alone and, so far, 27 this month (April 11).

From This Moment On ...

April

Thu 18: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 18: NONUNONU @ Elder Beer Café, Chillingham Road, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Thu 18: Knats @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. 8:00pm (doors 7:30pm). £8.00. + bf. Support act TBC.
Thu 18: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig. Ragtime piano.
Thu 18: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guest band night with Just Friends: Ian Bosworth (guitar); Donna Hewitt (sax); Dave Archbold (keys); Ron Smith (bass); Mark Hawkins (drums).

Fri 19: Cia Tomasso @ The Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. ‘Cia Tomasso sings Billie Holiday’. SOLD OUT!
Fri 19: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 19: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 19: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 19: Tweed River Jazz Band @ The Radio Rooms, Berwick. 7:00pm (doors). £5.00.
Fri 19: Lindsay Hannon: Tom Waits for No Man @ Seventeen Nineteen, Hendon, Sunderland. 7:30pm.
Fri 19: Levitation Orchestra + Nauta @ Cluny 2, Newcastle. 7:30pm (doors). £11.00.
Fri 19: Strictly Smokin’ Big Band @ The Witham, Barnard Castle. 8:00pm. ‘Ella & Ellington’.

Sat 20: Record Store Day…at a store near you!
Sat 20: Bright Street Band @ Washington Arts Centre. 6:30pm. Swing dance taster session (6:30pm) followed by Bright Street Big Band (7:30pm). £12.00.
Sat 20: Michael Woods @ Victoria Tunnel, Ouseburn, Newcastle. 7:00pm. Acoustic blues.
Sat 20: Rendezvous Jazz @ St Andrew’s Church, Monkseaton. 7:30pm. £10.00. (inc. a drink on arrival).

Sun 21: Jamie Toms Quartet @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. 3:00pm.
Sun 21: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay Metro Station. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 21: Lindsay Hannon: Tom Waits for No Man @ Holy Grale, Durham. 5:00pm.
Sun 21: The Jazz Defenders @ Cluny 2. Doors 6:00pm. £15.00.
Sun 21: Edgar Rubenis @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 7:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig. Blues & ragtime guitar.
Sun 21: Tweed River Jazz Band @ Barrels Ale House, Berwick. 7:00pm. Free.
Sun 21: Art Themen with the Dean Stockdale Trio @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £10.00. +bf. JNE. SOLD OUT!

Mon 22: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.

Tue 23: Vieux Carre Hot 4 @ Victoria & Albert Inn, Seaton Delaval. 12:30-3:30pm. £12.00. ‘St George’s Day Afternoon Tea’. Gig with ‘Lashings of Victoria Sponge Cake, along with sandwiches & scones’.
Tue 23: Jalen Ngonda @ Newcastle University Students’ Union. POSTPONED!

Wed 24: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 24: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 24: Sinatra: Raw @ Darlington Hippodrome. 7:30pm. Richard Shelton.
Wed 24: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.
Wed 24: Death Trap @ Theatre Royal, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Rambert Dance Co. Two pieces inc. Goat (inspired by the music of Nina Simone) with on-stage musicians.

Friday, November 01, 2019

Reflections...

(Reflections by Lance/ Photo of Greg Abate courtesy of Malcolm Sinclair)

Is this the end of jazz as I  know it? The CDs that arrive daily from various points on the globe make me wonder if I'm not on the edge of a personal jazz Armageddon. 

Some albums I find difficult to identify as jazz at all although I suppose it is. Improvisation, originality and - most certainly - the sound of surprise is there and yet I find it difficult to equate it with the music that drew me to jazz in the first place.

The thrill of discovering the Eddie Condon, Muggsy Spanier bands. The Armstrong All-stars, Ellington, Basie, Goodman, Herman and, at home, the big bands of Ted Heath, Dankworth, Vic Lewis. Discovering Bird and Diz, the Jazz Messengers, Stan Getz, Tubby Hayes and so many more. Somehow, for me, the present has yet to catch up with the past. 

Many of the albums I receive are fantastic and I rave over them but, in the cold light of morning, I think, will I ever play these albums over and over again like I did with: Mingus Ah Um, Concert by the Sea, Ella Sings Gershwin (duo w. Ellis Larkins), Art Pepper Plus Eleven, Songs For Swinging Lovers, Jazz at Oberlin, Atomic Mr Basie, Historically Speaking the Duke? 

Will I ever hear anything to top the Newcastle City Hall concerts by Basie, Ellington, Hampton, Herman, Kenton, JATP, Gillespie, Brubeck, Ella, Oscar, Armstrong, Ory, MJQ, Miles, Maynard and so many more? Who knows? 

I'd like to think so but probably not. Admirable as the jazz courses at colleges across the land are - the end products, at a technical level, are greater by far than anything produced by, say Lester, Louis even Dizzy and most of the other jazz greats - but who can identify this new breed from hearing just one or two notes?
 
Nobody, and that's what's missing from so much of today's jazz. Or maybe it's me and I just need new ears!

Correction! Next Thursday (Nov. 7), at the Black Swan Arts Centre in Newcastle  JNE present Greg Abate with the Paul Edis Trio and thus lay waste to all of the above! Greg is the real deal do not miss it and, if you want more - and you will - Greg and Paul play a duo set at the Gala Theatre in Durham the following lunchtime. These are a couple of gigs you will miss at your peril - be warned! 
Lance.

3 comments :

shepherdlass said...

I know he's by now one of the old guard but I believe Kenny Garrett is a unique voice, which is probably why Miles worked with him so much in latter years

Chris K said...

Come on Lance, this must be a wind up? Trying to get some more traffic going on BSH?

A proper "youth of today" would just smile and post LOL and few emojis in response ;)

Still, since I'm not youth any more, I'll have a go, as I'm familiar with this line from my kids when I tell them that bands today aren't a patch on when I was a lad : Mahavishnu, Nucleus, Hendrix, Soft Machine etc - Steve T knows the score.

After some years of active listening to "new" music (post 2000?) I can make a few of my own (personal and flawed) observations. I guess these won't change what Lance hears - this stuff is all personal and a unique product of our own individual musical journey and history.

1. "Jazz" is wider, deeper and more "developed" now than in any previous era - far more diverse than the era of the one true authentic way of swing/bop (with its own British strand) so loved (justifiably of course) by Lance;

2. we have unrivalled and privileged access to live and recorded music now, and even if 1. (above) isn't true, then it seems like it to me ;

3. the changed nature of the music industry and streaming doesn't lend itself to a small roster of jazz "superstars" and heroes (and also makes it darn' difficult to make a living for musicians);

4. Lance may not recognise them, but even to my sceptical ears there are highly distinctive and unmistakable voices today, even playing in and visiting the North East! From the new wave of (under-5Os?) on the world stage I give you Tigran, Adam Baldych, Mehldau, Kamasi, Christian Scott, Yazz Ahmed, Snarky Puppy, Marcus Gilmore, Simcock, Avishai Cohen (x2!). I'm confident there are jazz listeners out there in abundance who could pass the two note test with these artists!

If he needs an introduction to some distinctive voices, then perhaps tomorrow's Jazz Record Requests special on ECM's 50th birthday (https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0009zpp) would be a good reminder of some other"two-note" masters - Garbarek, Metheny and Jarrett?

Anyway, Lance, thanks as ever for the provocation, and my realisation that there is more than enough great music out there for all of us to enjoy. I hope you find what you're looking for in your pile of CDs, but remember that your first love is the most intense, and you're asking a lot to re-live that thrill again!

Chris K

Gordon Solomon said...

I know what you mean Lance. Thanks to the excellent college run jazz courses we now have a superb pool of jazz musicians, who as you say, are technically superior to the past players who you and I grew up with. But to me there is a lack of uniqueness and individualism that earmarked players such as Pee Wee Russell, Wild Bill Davison, Jack Teagarden, Benny Carter, Charlie Parker and many more. Obviously there are a few exceptions but I'm sure that you and I could identify literally dozens of musicians from the period of which you speak, simply because nobody else played like them!
Gordon Solomon.

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