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Bebop Spoken There

Lakecia Benjamin: "From my early days with Clark Terry, he told me 'they see you before they hear you'... I'm just not from that school of thought where I'm gonna wear my jeans and T-shirt on stage and that's going to be respectable." - (Jazzwise, February 2023)

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!"


15056 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 15 years ago. 75 of them this year alone and, so far, 75 this month (Jan. 25).

From This Moment On ...


Sun 29: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 29: Musicians Unlimited @ Park Inn, Hartlepool. 1:00pm.
Sun 29: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 29: Revolutionaires @ Greens, Low Row, Sunderland. 6:00pm. Rhythm & blues band with a horn section (inc. Pete Tanton).
Sun 29: Hypnotic Brass Band @ Cluny, Newcastle. 7:00pm (doors). £20.00.
Sun 29: Jam No.12 @ Fabio's, Saddler St., Durham. 8:00pm. Free. Durham University Jazz Society jam session. All welcome (students & non-students).
Sun 29: Origin @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 30: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Tue 31: ???


Wed 01: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 01: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 01: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 01: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Wed 01: Moonlight Serenade Orchestra UK: Glenn Miller & Big Band Spectacular @ Darlington Hippodrome. 7:30pm.

Thu 02: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 02: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library. 2:30-4:30pm. £1.00. All welcome.
Thu 02: Paul Skerritt Duo @ Tomahawk Steakhouse, High St., Yarm. 8:00pm.
Thu 02: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman's Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 03: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 03: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 03: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 03: Abbie Finn Trio @ Saltburn Community Hall. 7:30pm.
Fri 03: Dilutey Juice @ Bobik's, Punch Bowl, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Fri 03: Smoove & Turrell @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. 7:30pm (doors). £25.00.
Fri 03: TBA @ Prohibiton Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Blind Pig Blues Club.

Sat 04: Alligator Gumbo @ St Augustine's Parish Centre, Darlington. 12:30pm.
Sat 04: Play Jazz! workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. Tutor: John Pope - Up Your Rhythm Game. £25.00. Enrol at:
Sat 04: King Bees @ Grainger Market, Newcastle. 6:30pm (doors). Live music, comedy, DJs, food stalls. £10.00. advance, £15.00. on the door. Blues band King Bees on stage 9:45-11:15pm. A Great Market Caper event.
Sat 04: Jives Aces @ The Witham, Barnard Castle. 7:30pm.
Sat 04: Renegade Brass Band @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 7:30pm (doors).
Sat 04: Rendezvous Jazz @ Red Lion, Earsdon. 8:00pm. £3.00.

Saturday, March 07, 2020

CD Review: John Di Martino - Passion Flower

John Di Martino (piano/arranger); Eric Alexander (tenor sax); Boris Kaslov (bass); Lewis Nash (drums) + Raul Midon (vocal, Lush Life).
(Review by Lance)

Compositions by Strayhorn, piano and arrangements by Di Martino, tenor by Alexander and top notch bass and drums - what could go wrong?


Fourteen superb compositions by Strayhorn. Compositions that, somehow or other, managed to keep Duke's name off the credit sheet. As a composer, Bill - as his mother called him - was surely Ellington's equal although the truth will probably never be known as to their overall relative input.

Still, that is one for the historians and the investigative journalists - they haven't yet come to a verdict on Shakespeare/Bacon so we may have to wait a bit longer. What is important here is the music we're hearing and it is well worth hearing. Alexander has long been my favourite American tenor player which means my favourite tenor player! He reincarnates Dexter, Wardell, Hank, Joe and so many more Bb reed players without losing his own individuality. Tone, phrasing, ideas - he has them in spades.

Leader Di Martino made a good choice - not least in sitting himself on the piano stool. His solos and arrangements totally capture the images Strayhorn created. Like Duke, the titles fit the tune. Daydream is just that, a languorous  statement of the theme followed by some agitated tenor sax that suggests the daydream may be moving towards stormy waters. However, Di Martino and Kazlov on bass restore tranquility before Alexander takes it out in a frenzied coda.

Possibly Strayhorn's best known piece, Lush Life, receives a smoky baritone vocal from Raul Midon that slots in easily alongside the various male singers that Ellington used over the years.

Away from the Ellington Orchestra, I don't think Sweet Pea's music has ever been better presented. From the swinging Johnny Come Lately to the exotic Lotus Blossom via U.M.MG (Upper Manhattan Medical Group) and other classic pieces this is the real deal.

Back in the day, I worked alongside Hughie Aitchison (father of Colin - our man in Hong Kong) who knew more about Ellington than Ellington himself and I would have loved to be able to go back in time, listen to the album and dissect it with him. I suspect he may have liked it - I certainly do.

Like a flower, it's a lovesome thing.

Johnny Come Lately; Lush Life; Rain Check; Star-Crossed Lovers; Isfahan; Chelsea Bridge; Daydream; Passion Flower; U.M.MG; Blood Count; Take the A Train; A Flower is a Lovesome Thing; Absinthe; Lotus Blossom.

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