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Bebop Spoken There

Steve Fishwick: “I can’t get behind the attitude that new is always somehow better than old”. (Jazz Journal, April 15, 2019).

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

16527 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 407 of them this year alone and, so far, 29 this month (June 12).

From This Moment On ...

June

Mon 17: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Mon 17: ‘Tower of Power’ @ The Library Bar, Saddler St., Durham . 7:30pm.Free. A Durham University Jazz Society event. All welcome.

Tue 18: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Victoria & Albert Inn, Seaton Delaval. 12:30pm. £13.00. ‘Jazz, Sausage ‘n’ Mash’…’with Onion Gravy’!
Tue 18: Jam Session @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free. House trio: Stu Collingwood, Paul Grainger, Tim Johnston.
Tue 18: Libby Goodridge & Ben Davies @ The Lost Wanderer, Leazes Park Road, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £6.00. Triple bill, inc. Goodridge & Davies (jazz).

Wed 19: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 19: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 19: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

Thu 20: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 20 Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Brunswick Methodist Church, Newcastle. 2:00pm. £4.00. Note new venue!
Thu 20: Karine Polwart & Dave Milligan @ The Fire Station, Sunderland. 7:30pm. £29.00., £23.00. Folk/jazz duo.
Thu 20: Richard Herdman & Ray Burns @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 20: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests: Josh Bentham (tenor sax); Donna Hewitt (alto sax); Dave Archbold (keys); Dave Harrison (trumpet); Ron Smith (bass).

Fri 21: Alan Barnes with Dean Stockdale Trio @ The Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. SOLD OUT!
Fri 21: Joe Steels’ Borealis @ The Gala, Durham. 1:00pm. £8.00.
Fri 21: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 21: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 21: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 21: Soznak @ The Bike Garden, Nunsmoor, Newcastle NE4 5NU. 5:00-9:00pm. Free.
Fri 21: Errol Linton + Michael Littlefield & Scott Taylor (King Bees) @ Gosforth Civic Theatre, Newcastle. 7:30pm. £20.00. Blues double bill.
Fri 21: Alan Barnes with the Dean Stockdale Trio @ Seventeen Nineteen, Sunderland. 7:30pm.
Fri 21: Strictly Smokin’ Big Band @ Alnwick Playhouse. 8:00pm. ‘Ella & Ellington’.
Fri 21: Mark Toomey Quartet @ Traveller’s Rest, Darlington. 8:00pm. Opus 4 Jazz Club.

Sat 22: Jason Isaacs @ Stack, Seaburn SR6 8AA. 12:30-2:30pm. Free.
Sat 22: Abbie Finn Trio @ The Vault, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free.
Sat 22: Hejira: Celebrating Joni Mitchell @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 7:30pm (doors). £22.50.
Sat 22: Rockin’ Turner Bros. @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Sun 23: Paul Skerritt @ Hibou Blanc, Newcastle. 2:00pm.
Sun 23: More Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00pm. Free.
Sun 23: Matt Carmichael @ St Mary’s Church, Wooler. 3:00pm. Carmichael (saxophone), Fergus McCreadie (piano), Charlie Stewart (fiddle). ‘Scottish jazz, folk-roots & landscape’ Wooler Arts: Summer Concerts.
Sun 23: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 23: Tweed River Jazz Band @ Barrels Ale House, Berwick. 7:00pm. Free.
Sun 23: Bede Trio @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 23: Leeway @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Sun 23: Jazz Jam @ Fabio’s Bar, Saddler St., Durham. 8:00pm. Free. A Durham University Jazz Society event. All welcome.

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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