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Farewell Blues

R I P Terry Shannon - November 5, 1929 - October 29, 2022
R I P Oliver Soden - ? - November 6, 2022
R I P Top Cat Daphne - ? - November 24, 2022.
R I P Louise Tobin - November 11, 1918 - November 26, 2022

Bebop Spoken There

Kenny Barron: "During the pandemic I got to do a lot more cooking. As long as you can read you can cook." - (DownBeat December, 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

14845 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 14 years ago. 1094 of them this year alone and, so far, 93 this month (Nov. 30).

From This Moment On ...

November

December
Mon 05: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Mon 05: Sia Ahmad & Raymond MacDonald @ Blank Studios, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Tickets: £5.00. from www.seetickets.com. Live recording session - note no late admissions. BYOB.

Tue 06: Paul Skerritt @ The Rabbit Hole, Durham. 7:00pm. Free (table reservations 0191 386 5556). Feat. Johnny Murphy (keyboards).

Wed 07: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 07: Jam session @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 12 noon-3:00pm.Free. New!
Wed 07: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 07: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 07: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 08: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Last one of the year, resuming Jan 26.
Thu 08: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library. 3:00-5:00pm. £1.00. All welcome.
Thu 08: Indigo Jazz Voices @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:45pm.
Thu 08: Christmas Crooners @ Alnwick Playhouse. 7:30pm.
Thu 08: Musicians Unlimited @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. £5.00. on the door.

Fri 09: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon. £25.00. 'Afternoon Jazz with Festive Lunch'.
Fri 09: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 09: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 09: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 09: Jason Isaacs @ Northern Rugby Club, Gosforth, Newcastle. 7:00pm. £25.00 (inc. two course Xmas meal). Isaacs performing with backing tapes.

Sat 10: Lindsay Hannon & Martin Douglas: Life Drawing & Improvised Music @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 2:00-4:00pm. TBC.
Sat 10: Alan Barnes Octet: A Jazz Xmas Carol @ Black Swan, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £20.00. All-star band!

Sun 11: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 11: Spanish City Rollers @ Northumberland Square, North Shields. 12:30pm. Free. Community band inc. Graham Hardy.
Sun 11: Am Jam @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 3:00pm. Free. Jam session, all welcome.
Sun 11: Musicians Unlimited @ Park Inn, Hartlepool. 1:00pm. Xmas party feat. Mick Donnelly Quartet. 4:00pm. Tickets: £6.00 (admission from 12 noon).
Sun 11: Paul Skerritt @ Liberty Brown's, Sunderland. 1:00pm.
Sun 11: Tees Valley Jazzmen @ Hammer & Pincers, Preston le Skerne. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Sun 11: Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 11: DC Blues Band @ Tyne Bar, Newcastle. 4:00pm. Free. Blues Band.
Sun 11: Jason Isaacs @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. 5:30pm. SOLD OUT!
Sun 11: Boys of Brass @ Stack, Seaburn. 6:00pm. Free.
Sun 11: Elda with Faye MacCalman + John Pope & John Garner @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Thursday, January 02, 2020

Johnny Desmond

(By Lance)

Reading Russell's preview of Ray McVay's Glenn Miller tribute at Sage Gateshead prompted me to reflect upon the late iconic bandleader. It seems to me that, possibly because of the enduring popularity of the music, the legend continues to grow. I doubt if Goodman, Shaw, Dorsey or even Ellington and Basie tribute bands could pull the punters like Miller - 75 years after his presumed death.

I've heard all the jokes "Better if Miller had lived and the music died" being one of the favourites and, it has to be admitted, the music could be a little schmaltzy at times. However, moving away from the civilian orchestra to the Army Air Force Band he fronted in Bedford, UK, we find ourselves in a different ball game.

This band swung - how could it not with Ray McKinley on drums, Peanuts Hucko blowing sax and clarinet, Bobby Nichols and Zeke Zarchey on trumpets, Mel Powell on piano and vocals by Johnny Desmond...

...Johnny Desmond! If Desmond had had a 'punctured eardrum' and escaped the draft the history of American popular song could have been a whole lot different.

This came to mind as I listened to a couple of postwar albums he made back in civvy street. Once Upon a Time is a fine orchestral album that shows off Desmond's perfectly pitched interpretations of standards but it is Blue Smoke that elevates him into the upper echelons of crooners.
Accompanied by Tony Mottola on guitar and Bob Haggart on bass, this is an album that can stand comfortably alongside the Sinatra's, Ella's and all the other vocal legends. Listen to I'm Thru With Love and you may get an idea where I'm coming from.
Lance

2 comments :

Steve T said...

It's always treacherous to second-guess the future, but I suspect people will be listening to Duke Ellington when the popularity of Miller - alongside other dead popstars - is restricted to discussion in academia.

Lance said...

Absolutely! Totally agree with you. The point I'm making is that Miller captured the imagination of so many people (mainly, these days, non jazz fans) of a certain age who probably remember the film - and, for all its inaccuracies, it was a good film - and the circumstances of his disappearance. The myths and misinformation that followed all added to the mystique.

My theory is that Ray McVay is actually the real Glenn Miller. He looks to be about the same age (114)...

Seriously Steve, you and I know that Ellington's music, like that of Bach and Beethoven will last forever but, who's not to say that Miller's music, like that of Gilbert and Sullivan, Bill Haley and Billy Cotton will not only also survive.

Howver, I digress, my whole point was to draw attention to what a fine crooner Johnny Desmond was...

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