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Bebop Spoken There

Tineke Postma: “ I had a huge crush on him [Sting] when I was a teenager ". Jazzwise, June 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

16476 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 356 of them this year alone and, so far, 68 this month (May 24).

From This Moment On ...

May

Thu 30: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 30: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Ragtime piano. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 30: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests Josh Bentham (sax); Neil Brodie (trumpet); Garry Hadfield (keys); Adrian Beadnell (bass);

Fri 31: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 31: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 31: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 31: Castillo Nuevo Trio @ Revoluçion de Cuba, Newcastle. 5:30pm. Free.
Fri 31: Borealis @ The Witham, Barnard Castle. 7:30pm. CANCELLED!
Fri 31: Redwell @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

June

Sat 01: Enrico Tomasso’s Swing Company @ St Augustine's Parish Centre, Darlington. 12:30pm. Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club.
Sat 01: Play More Jazz! workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. Tutor: Steve Glendinning.
Sat 01: Hop, Skiffle & Jump: The Story of Skiffle @ 1719, Hendon, Sunderland. 6:00-9:00pm.
Sat 01: Edison Herbert Trio @ The Vault, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free.
Sat 01: Lindsay Hannon’s Tom Waits for No Man @ Dry Water Arts, Amble. 7:00pm. £15.00.
Sat 01: John Garner & John Pope @ Victoria Tunnel, Ouseburn, Newcastle. 7:00pm.
Sat 01: Milne-Glendinning Band @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Sun 02: Musicians Unlimited @ West Hartlepool RFC, Hartlepool. 12 noon. Two sets (12 noon-1:00pm & 2:00-3:00pm). ‘Sunday Big Band Blast meets WHRFC’s Classic Car Show’.
Sun 02: Smokin’ Spitfires @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 12:45pm. £7.50.
Sun 02: Mark Williams Trio @ Central Bar, Gateshead. 2:00pm. £10.00.
Sun 02: Sax Choir @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00pm.
Sun 02: New Century Ragtime Orchestra @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 2:30pm. Free. A 'Jar on the Bar' gig. A 'pint sized' NCRO gig/rehearsal session feat. Dave Hignett, Jim McBriarty, Gavin Lee, Keith Stephen, Phil Rutherford with special guest drummer Nick Ward.
Sun 02: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 02: Anth Purdy @ The Quakerhouse, Darlington. 6:30pm. Free. ‘Swing Jazz Guitar’.
Sun 02: MSK @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 03: John Garner & John Pope @ Yamaha Music School, Blyth. 1:00pm. £8.00.
Mon 03: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.

Tue 04: Jam session @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free. House trio: Ben Phillips, Paul Grainger, Abbie Finn.

Wed 05: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 05: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 05: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

Sunday, February 02, 2020

The Big Blind @ The Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre, London - Jan. 31


The BBC Concert Orchestra performs alongside an all-star cast in ‘The Big Blind’ - a noir-inspired jazz audio drama by Kurt Elling and Phil Galdston. 
(Review by Lauren Bush/Photos © Tom Howard)
Cast:
Clarke Peters Eddie Freeman, an older, African-American jazz saxophonist
Kurt Elling Jack Lewis, a young, up-and-coming jazz vocalist
Ian Shaw Tony ‘The Mongoose’ Bonilla, a mob-connected British talent manager
Dee Dee Bridgewater Veronica Legrand, a middle-aged, African-American talent manager
Cherise Adams-Burnett Jilly Radford, a young, African-American photographer
Jeff Ward Foley artist/announcer
Guy Barker conductor/arranger
A “big blind” is a poker term that describes a bet you have to make when you don’t know what the cards will show. The Big Blind, performed for it’s UK debut at Queen Elizabeth Hall in the Southbank Centre, is based loosely on the true story of Chicago jazz singer Joe E. Lewis who found out the hard way what kind of trouble the music business could get him into.

The musical follows the career of up-and-coming jazz singer Jack Lewis who ends up getting caught in a tug-of-war between two crooked managers. Things get ugly and Jack gets hurt, his voice suffering in the cruel attack. After hitting rock bottom, he seeks the help of his young ingénue and finds a way to recover and express himself. 

Kurt Elling, the mastermind behind this whole endeavour, grew up and worked as a jazz singer in Chicago and felt inspired by the scene and the stories he knew so well. His love of radio dramas as a child motivated his idea, paying homage to a time when those radio plays were as popular as the music he sings.

After meeting Guy Barker while working on another song project, Elling realised he would finally be able to turn his concept into a reality with the help of Barker and his songwriting partner Phil Galdston. The inaugural production was performed at Lincoln Center in New York last year with a smaller orchestra but this production would feature the entire (65 musicians listed in the program) BBC Concert Orchestra.
Set up like a live radio drama, the cast was comprised of Clarke Peters, who narrated most of the show, playing Jack Lewis’ friend, confident and tenor sax player. Dee Dee Bridgewater played the endearing yet feisty manager and wife, Veronica Legrand. The villainous money-hungry Tony ‘The Mongoose’ Bonilla was played by Ian Shaw and the ingénue bright-eyed photographer by Cherise Adams-Burnett. There was also the special Foley Artist, Jeff Ward, who was very interesting to watch, especially during the fight scenes. Elling, of course, played the lead character, naïve Jack Lewis, falling for the bright lights and too-good-to-be-true deals of Vegas.  

The production was inspiring. It brought the whole audience into a world that’s long been forgotten. The massive orchestral arrangements filled the hall with Barker’s beautiful arrangements. Each performer had internalised the songs, channelling Elling’s distinct writing style in their own way. Adams-Burnett carried the music so charmingly bringing softness to her songs while still having such power in her voice. Peters endearingly connected the audience with a sincere clarity in his role, and Shaw and Bridgewater’s character development played on the love/hate relationship necessary for a successful villain. They are both experts at delivering the comedy and the drama of a lyric.

This project was a sold-out success. It captured the nostalgia of the music, the era and the place perfectly and it was wonderful to hear Elling’s voice, while in a different context, still just as powerful, playful and flawless as usual.
Lauren Bush. 
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About Lauren Bush:

twitter: @laurenbushjazz 
instagram: @laurenbushjazz

All My Treasures
You can listen to the album here.


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Solid Debut ★★★1/2 stars ~Downbeat Magazine

Supremely Confident Vocalist, A mature and very experienced artist...
★★★★1/2 stars ~All About Jazz

Top 5 Finalist Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition 2016.

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