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Bebop Spoken There

Greg Osby: “I have my own style, my own attitude, my own opinions about things. I'm not a follower". DownBeat, February, 2024.

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

16221 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 103 of them this year alone and, so far, 47 this month (Feb. 18).

From This Moment On ...

February 2024

Wed 21: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 21: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 21: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

Thu 22: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 22: Student Performances @ King’s Hall, Newcastle University. 4:00pm. Free. Inc. Remi Coulthard-Boardman (voice).
Thu 22: Crooners @ Darlington Hippodrome. 7:30pm. £30.00., £27.00., £24.00., £18.00.
Thu 22: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Ragtime piano. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 22: Soznak @ The Schooner, South Shore Road, Gateshead. 8:00pm.
Thu 22: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests Kevin Eland (trumpet); Josh Bentham (sax); Garry Hadfield (keys); Ron Smith (bass).

Fri 23: Mark Williams Trio @ The Gala, Durham. 1:00pm. £8.00.
Fri 23: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 23: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 23: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 23: Salty Dog Trio @ The Greenhouse, Tynemouth. 7:00pm. £8.00. (£6.00. adv.).
Fri 23: Crooners @ The Maltings, Berwick upon Tweed. 7:30pm. £30.00., £28.00.
Fri 23: Strictly Smokin' Big Band w Dennis Rollins @ Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.

Sat 24: NUJO Jazz Jam @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 7:00pm (doors). Free (donations). A Newcastle University Jazz Orchestra event, all welcome.
Sat 24: Bradley Creswick’s Western Swingfonia @ Hexham Abbey, Hexham. 7:30pm. £15.00. A fundraiser for Hexham Abbey.
Sat 24: Papa G’s Troves @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Sun 25: Musicians Unlimited @ The Park Inn, Hartlepool. 1:00pm. Free.
Sun 25: More Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:30pm. Free.
Sun 25: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay Metro Station. 2:30pm. Free.
Sun 25: Lindsay Hannon: Tom Waits for No Man + Lee Maddison @ Laurels, Whitley Bay. 4:00pm (3:30pm doors). £11.00., £8.80. inc. bf. SOLD OUT!
Sun 25: Bex Burch + Rachel Musson @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £11.00. Two solo performances. JNE.
Sun 25: Jazz Jam @ Fabio's, Saddler St., Durham. 8:00pm. Free. A Durham University Jazz Society event. All welcome.

Mon 26: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.

Tue 27: Ruth Lambert Quartet @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 8:00pm (7:00pm doors). £12.00., £10.00. (adv.).

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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