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Bebop Spoken There

Joe Farnsworth: "I have to say that jazz in New York will never die. It may seem like all the music happened 3,000 years ago, but, Charlie Parker, Billy Higgins, Max Roach and all the others are still here. You can feel their presence."- (DownBeat, January 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! --

Postage

13862 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 81 of them this year alone and, so far, 81 this month (Jan. 25).

From This Moment On ...

January 2022

Thu 27: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 27: Tobias Sarra & John Garner @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 7:00pm .
Thu 27: 58 Jazz Collective @ Hops & Cheese, Hartlepool. 7:30pm.
Thu 27: Knats’ Night: Knats + Swannek @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. 8:30pm. Free.
Thu 27: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead. 8:30pm. CANCELLED! .
Thu 27: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman's Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 28: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 28: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm.
Fri 28: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 28: Ian Millar & Dominic Spencer @ Bishop Middleham Village Hall, Ferryhill. 8:00pm. £10.00.
Fri 28: Struggle Buggy @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Blues band.CANCELLED!

Sat 29: Lindsay Hannon & Martin Douglas @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 2:00pm. Life Drawing & Live Music. Enrol at: www.cobaltstudios.co.uk.

Sun 30 Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 30: Musicians Unlimited @ South Durham Social Club, Hartlepool. 1:00pm.
Sun 30: Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 30: Hot Club du Nord @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £10.00 adv., £12.00. door.

Mon 31: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

February 2022

Tue 01: East Coast Swing Band @ East Bedlington Community Centre. 10:00am - 12 noon. Rehearsal session (open to the public).

Wed 02: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 02: Classic Swing @ Venue, Cramlington NE23 6UT. 1:00pm.
Wed 02: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 02: Four @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 02: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 03: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 03: Bradley Creswick’s Western Swingfonia @ LIVE Concerts at Home. 1:15pm. A Newcastle University online only event.
Thu 03: John Williamson Trio @ Durham University (Music Dept.). 7:30pm. £5.00.
Thu 03: Chris Farlowe w Norman Beaker Band + Teresa Watson Band @ Newcastle Labour Club. 7:30pm. An evening of rhythm & blues.
Thu 03: Knats @ Daniel Farm Shop & Tea Rooms, Wylam. 8:15pm. £18.00. (inc. food from 7:00pm). A Wylam Winter Tales Festival event. SOLD OUT!
Thu 03: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead. 8:30pm.
Thu 03: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman's Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Friday, February 14, 2020

CD Review: Pete Whittaker, Art Themen, George Double - Thane & The Villeins

Art Themen (tenor sax); Pete Whittaker (organ); George Double (drums).
(Review by James Henry)

Just once in a while one chances upon a new album that is just perfect, and love at first listen.  Thane & The Villeins is one of those rare gems.  Organ trios are unusual, and can be a tad heavy, especially if the mighty Hammond is given full rein.  Thankfully, Themen, Whittaker and Double give us a light and playful synergy in this collection of quirky tunes, to be released today (February 14).

Thane & The Villeins is a new project from Art Themen, and the album celebrates his 80th birthday. Themen has had a truly remarkable career, for many years combining work as a consultant orthopaedic surgeon and playing saxophone with Stan Tracey, Alexis Korner and other British jazz luminaries. Now retired from his clinical duties, Themen is still going strong as a jazz musician, and there is still an energy and invention to his playing that makes it constantly exciting. Pete Whittaker gained experience in the 1990s playing in rock bands, including The Wonder Stuff, but has come back to jazz, and has mastered the Hammond organ, clearly influenced by the great Jimmy Smith.   Drummer George Double has worked with Dame Shirley Bassey, Marc Almond and Alan Barnes, to name but a few.

The album is a celebration of the tenor saxophone canon, with clear homage to Sonny Rollins, Dexter Gordon and Hank Mobley. A strong groove guides the collection of 10 tracks, set up beautifully by Double’s unwavering drumming, and Whittaker’s funky use of the Hammond bass. The band begin with Recado Bossa Nova by Djalma Ferreira.  Hanky Panky (Dexter Gordon) begins as a tight syncopated swing, morphing into a wild improvisation by Themen.  And What if I Don’t? (Herbie Hancock) gets a relaxed, bluesy groove. I’m An Old Cowhand (Mercer) gives George Double his first solo (and a chance to play the horse’s hooves). The pace only really relaxes for Willow Weep for Me (Ronell) and Themen and Whittaker both take sensitive solos. As a finale we get Sweet Emma (Nat Adderley), an ideal showcase for all that is good about the Hammond organ, where Whittaker rustles up a gospel-like fervor, aided and abetted by Themen, and the album romps on: only a slow fade can stop the ecstasy.

It is impossible to fault Thane & The Villeins.  Themen and Whittaker complement each other faultlessly, blending seamlessly at times, and Double keeps order with steady but imaginative drumming. Simon Paterson’s mixing and mastering are clear and well balanced, adding to the perfection.

So, we have a collection of funky, quirky tunes, a strong groove and a stunning debut album for this brand-new organ trio.  Jazz doesn’t get much better than this.  But why call the album “Thane & The Villeins”?   Well, buy the album and the sleeve note will reveal all.  
(Released February 14, Hadleigh Jazz Records)
James Henry

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