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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

Michael League: "We flew back from Europe, and the second gig we [Snarky Puppy] did was in Arcata, California. There were two people. And one of them was the bartender." - (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

14836 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 14 years ago. 1085 of them this year alone and, so far, 84 this month (Nov.28).

From This Moment On ...

November

Tue 29: Jam session @ Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. House trio: Alan Law, Paul Grainger, Rob Walker.

Wed 30: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 30: Castillo Nuevo @ Revoluçion de Cuba, Newcastle. 6:00pm.
Wed 30: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 30: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 30: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

December
Thu 01: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 01: New York Jazz Night feat. Zoë Gilby @ The Keys, Yarm. 7:00pm. £30.00. (inc. meal). Tickets from Skiddle. Gilby w. Noel Dennis, Mark Williams & Andy Champion.
Thu 01: Bold Big Band @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Cluny 2.
Thu 01: Paul Skerritt Duo @ Tomahawk Steakhouse, High St., Yarm. 8:00pm. Paul Skerritt & James Harrison residency.
Thu 01: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 02: Swing Manouche @ Bishop Auckland Town Hall. 1:00pm. £7.00.
Fri 02: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 02: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 02: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 02: Helen Walker (French horn/trumpet) & Caroline Guirr (piano) @ St. Andrew's Church, Corbridge. 2:00pm. Duo concert by two members of 'The Wild Women of Wylam'. Part of the annual Christmas Tree Festival.
Fri 02: Durham University Big Band + Durham University Jazz Orchestra @ Kingsgate Bar, Durham Students' Union, Dunelm House, Durham. 7:00pm. £3.00. & £2.50. Fundraiser for Coppafeel.
Fri 02: Niffi Osiyemi Trio @ The Vault, Hexham. 7:30pm.
Fri 02: Alligator Gumbo @ Saltburn Community Hall. 7:30pm. Xmas party.
Fri 02: Struggle Buggy's Almost Xmas Party @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free (donations). Blind Pig Blues Club.

Sat 03: Jake Leg Jug Band @ St Augustine’s Parish Centre, Darlington. 12:30pm. £10.00.
Sat 03: Play Jazz! workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. Tutor: Liane Carroll. £25.00. Enrol at: www.jazz.coop.
Sat 03: Castillo Nuevo @ Revoluçion de Cuba, Newcastle. 6:00pm.
Sat 03: Remi Harris & Tom Moore @ Amble Parish Hall, Northumberland. 7:30pm.
Sat 03: Rendezvous Jazz @ Red Lion, Earsdon. 8:00pm. Xmas party.
Sat 03: Ray Johnson, Richard Herdman & Jude Murphy @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free (donations).

Sun 04: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 04: Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 04: Remi Harris & Tom Moore @ Bowes & Gilmonby Parish Hall, Co. Durham. 7:30pm.
Sun 04: Liane Carroll @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £10.00. adv., £12.00. door.
Sun 04: Let Spin + Ceitidh Mac @ Bobik's, Punch Bowl, Jesmond, Newcastle (8:00pm).

Mon 05: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

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

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Bus Tour to Hell @ Bix Fest, Racine, Wisconsin - Mar 12

(By Russell)

Bix Fest's Phil Pospychala comes into his own on Bus Tour to Hell day. The maverick octogenarian does it his way and it's best to go along with him or you'll literally be left behind! This year's day trip - the sites of interest were to be a surprise - came up trumps again with a visit to a strange but magical mansion and the final resting place of...read on...

Ten in the morning, all aboard the school bus! A boneshaker of fifties' vintage, supplies of beer and munchies loaded, we were off on a Bixian Magical Mystery Tour! The late, great Alan Plater would have struggled to do justice to the day's events, your BSH correspondent will merely pen a few observations.  

An hour or so into Illinois, the Bus Tour to Hell from Racine, Wisconsin, wound its way to the middle of nowhere. 'Nowhere' being Barrington, Illinois, a nondescript rural landscape, the bus turned into the drive of a private residence. A house, make that a mansion, standing in squillions of acres, stood ahead of us. What lay behind its facade could never have been imagined. The Sanfilippo Collection is like no other. Business tycoon Jacob Sanfilippo first made his fortune designing a pecan nut-shelling machine, later branching out into packaging, making another fortune, the bottom line being the recently deceased Mr Sanfilippo considered a million bucks loose change. 

Sanfilippo's obsession was the nickelodeon and the orchestrion. At the turn of the last century a nickel in the slot of these ingenious machines entertained the masses, they were the forerunners of the jukebox and wireless radio. The cabinets in which the engineering wizardry is housed are, in themselves, works of art. The collection is vast with each exhibit in immaculate condition and full working order. In this 'Place du la Musique' these wonders of fine engineering share the limelight with the largest theatre organ ever built (almost a third bigger than the instrument at Radio City Music Hall in NYC). At the end of our tour we would take a seat in a 350-seat theatre (it's a large house!) to hear the 8000 pipes full throttle - quite some experience! 

In another building on the Sanfilippo estate there is another wondrous exhibit. The Eden Palace, built in 1890, is the most complete example of a European salon carousel in existence with a facade 89' wide and 42' tall. The Bus Tour to Hell's crazy jazz cats clambered aboard, mounting horses and riding in chariots and gondolas as the carousel picked up speed - round and round and round we went. Absolutely bizarre, a dream world, the vision of a driven, self-made man. What's this got to do with jazz, you ask? Well, nuttin' other than to allow the imagination to run wild, to experience something of what it must have been like during the Roaring Twenties, the Jazz Age of F Scott Fitzgerald, Capone and the Ordinary Joe.

From Barrington to the outskirts of Downtown Chicago. Back on board the Bus Tour to Hell the booze flowed as the music of Bix filled the air. Mr Pospychala held court for those who wanted to hear stories about, fanciful or not, the Chicago jazz scene. Turning off the freeway at Forest Park we arrived at our second and final destination of the day. Forest Home Cemetery looks like any other cemetery except for Bixians the place holds special significance. It was late afternoon as our bus pulled into the last resting place of one of the legendary figures of the music. As Bixians tumbled off the charabanc we were to follow our leader, Phil Pospychala, to the grave of...but wait, having had a few en route, PP ran off, taking cover behind a large gravestone to, well, water the daisies! You've heard the expression 'I wouldn't p*** on his grave', well, our Phil would, and did! Moving swiftly on...

Our Phil is a character, garrulous, rambling, a true Bixian. As we reached our final destination Phil waited for the stragglers to catch up. We were in Forest Home Cemetery (incidentally, the final resting place of Ernest Hemingway's parents) to pay our respects to Dave Tough, drummer with many star names including Bud Freeman and Eddie Condon. 

We filed out, boarded the school bus (in itself bizarre) and headed north into Wisconsin. Our return to Bix Fest HQ in Racine would include a stop-off at an all American, cheap 'n' cheerful diner. Who knows, perhaps Dave Tough and co stopped-off, late night, at the very same establishment on the way home from a gig?!  
Russell

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

Russell from Ann Alex, I've loved reading about your trip, just what we need to cheer us up! I think you should go in for travel writing. Hope you have no trouble getting back in the present circumstances.

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