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Farewell Blues

R I P Terry Shannon - November 5, 1929 - October 29, 2022
R I P Oliver Soden - ? - November 6, 2022
R I P Top Cat Daphne - ? - November 24, 2022.
R I P Louise Tobin - November 11, 1918 - November 26, 2022

Bebop Spoken There

Kenny Barron: "During the pandemic I got to do a lot more cooking. As long as you can read you can cook." - (DownBeat December, 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, Mouthpiece Music: "Lance writes pull quotes like no one else!"

Postage

14845 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 14 years ago. 1094 of them this year alone and, so far, 93 this month (Nov. 30).

From This Moment On ...

November

December
Mon 05: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Mon 05: Sia Ahmad & Raymond MacDonald @ Blank Studios, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Tickets: £5.00. from www.seetickets.com. Live recording session - note no late admissions. BYOB.

Tue 06: Paul Skerritt @ The Rabbit Hole, Durham. 7:00pm. Free (table reservations 0191 386 5556). Feat. Johnny Murphy (keyboards).

Wed 07: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 07: Jam session @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 12 noon-3:00pm.Free. New!
Wed 07: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 07: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 07: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 08: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Last one of the year, resuming Jan 26.
Thu 08: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library. 3:00-5:00pm. £1.00. All welcome.
Thu 08: Indigo Jazz Voices @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:45pm.
Thu 08: Christmas Crooners @ Alnwick Playhouse. 7:30pm.
Thu 08: Musicians Unlimited @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. £5.00. on the door.

Fri 09: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon. £25.00. 'Afternoon Jazz with Festive Lunch'.
Fri 09: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 09: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 09: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 09: Jason Isaacs @ Northern Rugby Club, Gosforth, Newcastle. 7:00pm. £25.00 (inc. two course Xmas meal). Isaacs performing with backing tapes.

Sat 10: Lindsay Hannon & Martin Douglas: Life Drawing & Improvised Music @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 2:00-4:00pm. TBC.
Sat 10: Alan Barnes Octet: A Jazz Xmas Carol @ Black Swan, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £20.00. All-star band!

Sun 11: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 11: Spanish City Rollers @ Northumberland Square, North Shields. 12:30pm. Free. Community band inc. Graham Hardy.
Sun 11: Am Jam @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 3:00pm. Free. Jam session, all welcome.
Sun 11: Musicians Unlimited @ Park Inn, Hartlepool. 1:00pm. Xmas party feat. Mick Donnelly Quartet. 4:00pm. Tickets: £6.00 (admission from 12 noon).
Sun 11: Paul Skerritt @ Liberty Brown's, Sunderland. 1:00pm.
Sun 11: Tees Valley Jazzmen @ Hammer & Pincers, Preston le Skerne. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Sun 11: Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 11: DC Blues Band @ Tyne Bar, Newcastle. 4:00pm. Free. Blues Band.
Sun 11: Jason Isaacs @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. 5:30pm. SOLD OUT!
Sun 11: Boys of Brass @ Stack, Seaburn. 6:00pm. Free.
Sun 11: Elda with Faye MacCalman + John Pope & John Garner @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

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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