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Bebop Spoken There

Maurice J. Summerfield: "Over dinner one night Barney [Kessel] told me about his seminar The Effective Guitarist, and in 1972 my company presented the first of twelve annual UK seminars in Newcastle upon Tyne." - (Just Jazz Guitar, September 1997)

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

15087 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 15 years ago. 106 of them this year alone and, so far, 4 this month (Feb. 1).

From This Moment On ...

February

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. Guests: Dave Archbold (keys); Josh Bentham (tenor sax); Donna Hewwitt (alto sax); Adrian Beadnell (bass).

Fri 03: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 03: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 03: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 03: Abbie Finn Trio @ Saltburn Community Hall. 7:30pm.
Fri 03: Dilutey Juice @ Bobik's, Punch Bowl, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Fri 03: Smoove & Turrell @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. 7:30pm (doors). £25.00.
Fri 03: Struggle Buggy @ Prohibiton Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Blind Pig Blues Club.

Sat 04: Alligator Gumbo @ St Augustine's Parish Centre, Darlington. 12:30pm.
Sat 04: Play Jazz! workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. Tutor: John Pope - Up Your Rhythm Game. £25.00. Enrol at: www.jazz.coop.
Sat 04: King Bees @ Grainger Market, Newcastle. 6:30pm (doors). Live music, comedy, DJs, food stalls. £10.00. advance, £15.00. on the door. Blues band King Bees on stage 9:45-11:15pm. A Great Market Caper event.
Sat 04: Jives Aces @ The Witham, Barnard Castle. 7:30pm.
Sat 04: Renegade Brass Band @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 7:30pm (doors).
Sat 04: Rendezvous Jazz @ Red Lion, Earsdon. 8:00pm. £3.00.

Sun 05 Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 05: Rivkala @ Cumberland Arms, Newcastle. 6:00pm.
Sun 05: Jive Aces @ Fire Station, Sunderland. 7:30pm.
Sun 05: Dale Storr @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Sun 05: Jam No.13 @ Fabio's, Saddler St., Durham. Free. Durham University Jazz Society jam session. All welcome (students & non-students alike).

Mon 06: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Tue 07: Jam session @ Black Swan, Newcastle Arts Centre. 7:30pm. House trio: Alan Law (piano); Paul Grainger (double bass); Rob Walker (drums). Jam session reverts to a first & third Tuesday in the month schedule.

Wed 08: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 08: Jam session @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 1:00pm. Free. TBC.
Wed 08: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 08: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 08: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Saturday, January 04, 2020

Reflections on New York - December 2019

(By James Henry)

In recent years, for just four or five weeks in late November and December, it has been possible to fly directly from Newcastle upon Tyne to Newark Airport, New Jersey. Free from the need to transfer in Heathrow, Schiphol or other monuments to lost luggage and missed connections, one can leave Newcastle at 9.00am Monday and be in the Big Apple at lunch time, given the element of time travel gifted in transatlantic flight. That is, if one’s chosen airline hasn’t left the ULDs in Manchester  (ULD- Unit Load Devices- those big aluminium containers seemingly essential to loading baggage onto wide bodied airliners- things I didn’t know a month ago). Never mind, a bit more CO2 in the atmosphere and our plane makes the round trip to Manchester, returning replete with the missing ULDs and we make our way to NY in time for tea, glad we had booked nothing for our first afternoon or evening.

New York doesn’t disappoint: after decades of watching New York “policiers” (remember Kojak, Cagney and Lacey and the rest?) and Woody Allen films (whatever his fall from grace, Annie Hall and Manhattan are as good as it gets), it is a bit like most of our life has been spent in preparation for this trip. 

Daylight on Tuesday morning finds a moderate snowfall, and we make our way to Central Park. Soon we find the ice rink, and we are minded of John Lewis’ wonderful Modern Jazz Quartet composition Skating in Central Park: disconcertingly, the ice rink is now operated by Trump Enterprises. Later we happen upon a tenor sax player, busking solo in the crisp cold, taking the horn to new places: difficult not to think of Sonny Rollins and his sabbatical on the Williamsburg Bridge, back in the day. 

Tuesday evening finds us in Birdland at the first night of the Joe Lovano Ensemble’s residency there. Birdland is in its third home, and is now not so far from Times Square. We are lucky to be able to get a table at short notice. Lovano and his 10 piece ensemble gave a cracking performance, with a mix of stuff including part of the Streams of Expression suite, a hymn-like Lovano original called Our Daily Bread, and a goodly bit from his 52nd Street Themes album (Tadd Dameron’s On a Misty Night being especially memorable). 

The playing is tight and the sound big and bold, but with some anarchic moments to offset the general order and close ensemble.  Leaving the club we get the chance to speak to Joe and to thank him for a memorable session.  We remind him of his gig at the Gateshead Jazz Festival back in 2014, he remembers our wonderful Queen Elizabeth Hall: we note that the world is a big place, with lots of venues.

And Birdland itself: a pleasant place, interesting menu, standard New York prices. I would particularly recommend the seafood gumbo. Tuesday night found the venue about two thirds full, and despite the bar and the restaurant, there was no chatter or noise during the performance.

Thursday finds us at the Bluenote Jazz Club in Greenwich Village, where Arturo Sandoval is in a four day residency with a quintet.  We had booked this in advance, and wisely so, as the gig is a sell-out, and the venue packed. Sandoval, a Cuban exile and a protégé of Dizzy Gillespie is now 71 and celebrating 60 years in performance.  The gig reminds me very much of the one time that I saw Gillespie (Edinburgh, 1982) in its energy, sense of fun and spontaneity. One tune segues into another, with only minimal introduction, and Sandoval moves confidently from trumpet through keyboard, percussion, vocals (some amazing scat) and jaws harp. 

Mike Tucker on tenor is the perfect foil to Sandoval, and is an exciting presence in his own right. Sandoval gives us a homily on his disdain for the concept of Latin music (which he seemingly doesn’t play: why would he celebrate a dead language?) and Afro Cuban music (this is what he plays!). He dedicates a flawless version of When I Fall in Love to his sister Cynthia (in the audience on her birthday), identifies his proctologist at the bar, and delivers a scatological five minutes on the difficulties of English as a second language.  A very different vibe to Lovano and Birdland and equally fine in its own way. We have Manhattans and snack on cheese and fruit (note to UK jazz clubs: think about this: beats crisps and beer every time). Despite the venue being packed, there is utter respect for the music, with barely a whisper when the band play.

Of course we find our way to other attractions in NYC: the Brooklyn Bridge, the Staten Island Ferry, Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, the Twin Towers memorial and museum, Grand Central Station, the subway, yellow cabs and the rest. In four days we only scratch the surface, and we leave an awful lot of jazz unheard.

I would thoroughly recommend a few days in New York: both the jazz and the city are infinite. Check out the “New York JazzRecord” just to get a feel for the breadth and variety of the jazz on offer. I’m sure we will return, having left so much unheard and unseen.  
James Henry

4 comments :

NeilC said...

Thank you James for sharing your experience with us it gives a great insight into a great city . I was lucky enough to go a few years back at around the same time and the atmosphere everywhere is just electric . I think in 4 days I had about 4 hours sleep in total I remember being at a Jazz Club until the wee small hours and then grabbing some breakfast and a good few coffees , a quick hours snooze and then out again . Its sadly so true that you leave so much unheard Jazz behind, like you I hope to return soon to see something of what I missed .I, like you , loved every second.

Lance said...

Yes a great city indeed! I made but one visit and, even though my written memories have been lost (or misplaced?), they are permanently lodged in my mind and my heart.

Steve T said...

I've only been once, in the mid eighties, and with so many places in the world to visit, have no plans to return, but never say never. We went to a jam session in the village and I recall lots of black musicians turning up with their horns and sitting in for cuts, mostly from Kind of Blue. I sometimes wonder if any of them made it.

Jen said...

I worked at United Nations New York in the mid 70's and lived in 5 different appartments in Manhatten, latterly on 44th Street between 1st and 2nd Avenue. It is the most fantastic city in the world. I remember visiting many jazz clubs in the lower East and the Village. Partying through the night, walking out for a newspaper at 2 am feeling perfectly safe! Highlight was seeing Sinatra live at Maddison Square Gardens in 1974 - this film was recently on TV - and happy memories came flooding back. It is indeed the city that never sleeps. Saw New Year in at Times Square a few years ago and would have no problem returning again and again.

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