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Bebop Spoken There

Charles Lloyd: "I'm raring to go out to play, because I know I'll find something to explain the inexplicable." (DownBeat August 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

14454 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 14 years ago. 732 of them this year alone and, so far, 30 this month (August 11).

From This Moment On ...

August

Mon 15: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Mon 15: Stu Collingwood Organ Trio @ Black Bull, Blaydon. 8:00pm. Blaydon Jazz Club.

Tue 16: Paul Skerritt @ The Rabbit Hole, Durham. 7:00pm. Free (to reserve a table phone 0191 386 5556).

Wed 17: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 17: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 17: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 17: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 18: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 18: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library. 3:00-5:00pm. £1.00. All welcome.
Thu 18: Castillo Nuevo @ Revoluçion de Cuba, Newcastle. 5:30-8:30pm.
Thu 18: Newcastle Jazz Festival @ Bridge Hotel, Newcastle. Strictly Smokin’ Big Band. 7:00pm. Free (four-day festival ticket £40.00.). www.newcastlejazzfestival.co.uk.
Thu 18: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm. Guests: Dave Archbold (keys); Dan Johnson (sax); Josh Bentham (sax); Bill Watson (trumpet); Ron Smith (bass)

Fri 19: Jo Harrop & Jamie McCredie @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. SOLD OUT!
Fri 19: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 19: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 19: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 19: Jo Harrop & Jamie McCredie @ St Cuthbert’s Centre, Crook. 7:30pm.
Fri 19: Newcastle Jazz Festival @ Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Harry Keeble Duo + Northern Monkey Brass Band. £15.00. (four-day festival ticket £40.00.). www.newcastlejazzfestival.co.uk.
Fri 19: Mo Scott @ The Millstone, South Gosforth, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Scott w Gary Dunn, Neil Harland & Paul Smith.

Sat 20: Newcastle Jazz Festival @ Tyne Bank Brewery, Newcastle. All day event (from 1:30pm): Riviera Effect + Alter Ego + Graham Hardy Quartet + Jo Harrop & Jamie McCredie + Ivo Neame Quartet. £17.00. (four-day festival ticket £40.00.). www.newcastlejazzfestival.co.uk.
Sat 20: Anth Purdy @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free (donations).

Sun 21 Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 21: Newcastle Jazz Festival @ Tyne Bank Brewery, Newcastle. All day event (from 1:30pm): Lindsay Hannon & Alan Law + Knats + David Gray’s Flextet + Ben Gilbert Trio + Emma Rawicz. £17.00. (four-day festival ticket £40.00.). www.newcastlejazzfestival.co.uk.
Sun 21: Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.

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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