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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

16233 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 115 of them this year alone and, so far, 59 this month (Feb. 23).

From This Moment On ...

February 2024

Fri 23: Mark Williams Trio @ The Gala, Durham. 1:00pm. £8.00. SOLD OUT!
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.). CANCELLED!
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. 3:00pm. 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.).

Wed 28: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 28: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 28: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

Thu 29: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 29: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library, Gateshead. 2:30pm.
Thu 29: Student Performances @ King’s Hall, Newcastle University. 4:00pm. Free. Inc. Olly Styles (saxophone).
Thu 29: ’58 Jazz Collective @ Hops & Cheese, Hartlepool. 7:00pm. Free.
Thu 27: Student Jazz Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Thu 29: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests: Richie Emmerson (tenor sax); Josh Bentham (alto sax); Graham Thompson (keys); Adrian Beadnell (bass).

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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