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Bebop Spoken There

Greg Abate: "So many sounds are ugly now. There are no harmonics, no chords. What do people hear these days? Why do things have to change from that good music?" (JazzTimes June/July 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:"Lance writes pull quotes like no one else!"

Postage

14378 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 14 years ago. 597 of them this year alone and, so far, 2 this month (July 2).

From This Moment On ...

July

Mon 04: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Wed 06: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 06: Michael Bublé @ Durham County Cricket Club, Chester le Street. Doors: 5:00pm.
Wed 06: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 06: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 06: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 07: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 07: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library. 3:00-5:00pm. £1.00. All welcome.
Thu 07: Lara Jones + Echo Juliet @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 7:00pm.
Thu 07: Thursday Night Prayer Meeting @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free admission (donations).
Thu 07: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead. 8:30pm.
Thu 07: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 08: Alex Clarke Quartet @ Bishop Auckland Town Hall. 1:00pm. £7.00.
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.

Sat 09: Jazz Stage @ Mouth of the Tyne Festival: Zoë Gilby Duo (12 noon); Vieux Carré Jazzmen (1:35pm); Harmony Brass (3:10pm); Ruth Lambert Quartet (4:40pm). Outdoor stage adjacent to Tynemouth Priory.

Sun 10: Tusk X Yeah You @ Live Theatre, Newcastle. 12 noon. £10.00. All day event, line-up inc. Pat Thomas.
Sun 10: Jazz Stage @ Mouth of the Tyne Festival: Rendezvous Jazz (12 noon); River City Jazzmen (1:35pm); House of the Black Gardenia (3:10pm); Classic Swing (4:40pm). Outdoor stage adjacent to Tynemouth Priory.
Sun 10 Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 10: Tees Valley Jazzmen @ Hammer & Pincers, Preston le Skerne. 1:00pm.
Sun 10: Shunyata Improvisation Group @ Saltwell Park, Gateshead NE9 5AX. 1:00pm.
Sun 10: Am Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 10: Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 10: Anth Purdy @ Blues & Bourbon, Newcastle. 4:00pm.
Sun 10: Jazzframe @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

CD Review: John Allee – Bardfly

John Allee (vocals, composer, arranger, additional lyrics); Mahesh Balasooriya (piano); Aaron Mclendon (drums); Dominic Thiroux (bass); Javier Vergara (saxophone); Matt Von Roderick (trumpet).
(Review by Ann Alex)

Is Lance favouring me with the most unusual, interesting CDs to review? I ask after listening to this latest humdinger by John Allee, veteran stage and TV actor and singer/songwriter from LA. We get 13 delightful tracks of songs from Shakespeare's plays, set to jazz, with some added lyrics by Allee, who adopts the persona of Feste the jester. The plays range from Othello to Henry IV to Hamlet and the music includes elements of blues, ballads, swing, and even hymns and spoken word.

I have a theory that jazz is especially suitable to accompany Shakespeare's work. I've heard it at many performances; the universal 'feel' sits well with the Bard's universal themes, and much of the music played in the time of Shakespeare was dance music anyway, their 'swing'. The CD begins with Allee speaking to us over a piano jazz groove, introducing the band and setting the scene. Then comes the calm, slow strains of Until the Break of Day, followed by Tomorrow Is St Valentine's Day, with suitably saucy-sounding comments from the trumpet.

Philomel/Hold Thy Peace (You Spotted Snakes) took me back to schooldays when I sang this, but this version is much more fun, done as swing with scat. Oh Mistress Mine is a song of seduction and the shortness of life, a common Shakespearian theme and Sigh No More is a sensitive ballad with a pleasing sax solo. The Hungry Lion is a sly creepy number about graveyards, with a final dissonant chord. Green Willow is gentle and sad and Full Fathom Five has a suitable 'under water' feel from the mellow instrumentation. Then comes the lively irony of Heigh Ho The Holly, and Allee brings out the meaning of the words skilfully ' most friendship is failing, most loving mere folly.' Come Away Death is slow with a bass solo, which is the right instrument to portray death (hope no bass players are offended). Then another death song Never Come Again, and a humorous song to finish, The Wind and the Rain, which outlines the stages of human life.

It goes without saying that the instrumentalists are well up to and beyond the mark. John Allee has performed in many Shakespeare plays, including Twelfth Night and he has also played in the Benjamin Britten musical version of A Midsummer Night's Dream. It is worth noting that the CD deserves careful listening to catch the full meaning of the lyrics, maybe hearing the album three times would hardly be enough. The CD has been available everywhere from October 11 on the Portuguese Knees Music label. See www.johnallee.com
Ann Alex

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