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Bebop Spoken There

Sean Jones: "There were like three people in church who couldn't sing or play an instrument. We thought there was something wrong with them." (DownBeat July 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! -- Holly Cooper:"Lance writes pull quotes like no one else!"

Postage

14375 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 14 years ago. 594 of them this year alone and, so far, 94 this month (June 26).

From This Moment On ...

July

Fri 01: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 01: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 01: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 01: Swing Manouche @ The Vault, Hexham. 7:30pm (doors). £20.00.
Fri 01: 1920s Speakeasy w Niffi Osiyemi Trio @ The Exchange, North Shields. 8:00pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Fri 01: Struggle Buggy @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. Blind Pig Blues Club. 8:00pm.

Sat 02: Hot Fingers @ St Augustine’s Parish Centre, Darlington. 12:30pm. £10.00.
Sat 02: Play Jazz! workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. Tutor Steve Glendinning: Latin jazz. £25.00. Enrol at: www.jazz.coop.
Sat 02: Talk: Storytelling & jazz as an expression of urban life @ The Exchange, North Shields. 1:45pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Sat 02: The Commandments + On Parole @ The Exchange, North Shields. 2:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event. Rhythm & blues.
Sat 02: Geordie Jazz Man @ The Exchange, North Shields. 5:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event. Screening of Abi Lewis’ documentary film about Keith Crombie & the Jazz Café.
Sat 02: The Delta Prophets Trio @ The Exchange, North Shields. 6:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event. Rhythm & blues.
Sat 02: Swing Manouche @ Claypath Deli, Durham. 7:00pm.
Sat 02: Swung Eight & King Bees @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event. Swing dance + ace Chicago blues band.
Sat 02: Tyne Valley Big Band @ Greenside Community Centre, Ryton. 7:30pm.
Sat 02: Patrick Cromb @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Sun 03 Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 03: Smokin’ Spitfires @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 12:45pm.
Sun 03: Ruth Lambert & Martin Craggs. @ The Exchange, North Shields. 2:00pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Sun 03: Abbie Finn Trio @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Sun 03: Wild Women of Wylam @ The Exchange, North Shields. 4:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Sun 03: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 5:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Sun 03: Jazz Jam @ The Exchange, North Shields. 6:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Sun 03: Jeffrey Hewer Quartet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 04: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Wed 06: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 06: Michael Bublé @ Durham County Cricket Club, Chester le Street. Doors: 5:00pm.
Wed 06: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 06: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 06: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 07: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 07: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library. 3:00-5:00pm. £1.00. All welcome.
Thu 07: Lara Jones + Echo Juliet @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 7:00pm.
Thu 07: Thursday Night Prayer Meeting @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free admission (donations).
Thu 07: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead. 8:30pm.
Thu 07: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

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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