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Bebop Spoken There

Dee Dee Bridgewater: “ Our world is becoming a very ugly place with guns running rampant in this country... and New Orleans is called the murder capital of the world right now ". Jazzwise, May 2024.

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!"

Simon Spillett: A lovely review from the dean of jazz bloggers, Lance Liddle...

Josh Weir: I love the writing on bebop spoken here... I think the work you are doing is amazing.

Postage

16382 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 262 of them this year alone and, so far, 59 this month (April 20).

From This Moment On ...

April

Mon 22: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.

Tue 23: Vieux Carre Hot 4 @ Victoria & Albert Inn, Seaton Delaval. 12:30-3:30pm. £12.00. ‘St George’s Day Afternoon Tea’. Gig with ‘Lashings of Victoria Sponge Cake, along with sandwiches & scones’.
Tue 23: Jalen Ngonda @ Newcastle University Students’ Union. POSTPONED!

Wed 24: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 24: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 24: Sinatra: Raw @ Darlington Hippodrome. 7:30pm. Richard Shelton.
Wed 24: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.
Wed 24: Death Trap @ Theatre Royal, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Rambert Dance Co. Two pieces inc. Goat (inspired by the music of Nina Simone) with on-stage musicians.

Thu 25: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 25: Jim Jams @ King’s Hall, Newcastle University. 1:15pm. Jim Jams’ funk collective.
Thu 25: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library, Gateshead. 2:30pm.
Thu 25: Death Trap @ Theatre Royal, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Rambert Dance Co. Two pieces inc. Goat (inspired by the music of Nina Simone) with on-stage musicians.
Thu 25: Jeremy McMurray & the Pocket Jazz Orchestra @ Arc, Stockton. 8:00pm.
Thu 25: Kate O’Neill, Alan Law & Paul Grainger @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 25: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests: Richie Emmerson (tenor sax); Neil Brodie (trumpet); Adrian Beadnell (bass); Garry Hadfield (keys).

Fri 26: Graham Hardy Quartet @ The Gala, Durham. 1:00pm. £8.00.
Fri 26: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 26: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 26: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 26: Paul Skerritt with the Danny Miller Big Band @ Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.
Fri 26: Abbie Finn’s Finntet @ Traveller’s Rest, Darlington. 8:00pm. Opus 4 Jazz Club.

Sat 27: Abbie Finn Trio @ The Vault, Darlington. 6:00pm. Free.
Sat 27: Papa G’s Troves @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Sun 28: Musicians Unlimited @ Jackson’s Wharf, Hartlepool. 1:00pm. Free.
Sun 28: More Jam Festival Special @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00pm. Free. A ’10 Years a Co-op’ festival event.
Sun 28: Swing Dance workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00-4:00pm. Free (registration required). A ’10 Years a Co-op’ festival event.
Sun 28: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay Metro Station. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 28: Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox: The '10' Tour @ Glasshouse International Centre for Music, Gateshead. 7:30pm. £41.30 t0 £76.50.
Sun 28: Alligator Gumbo @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ’10 Years a Co-op’ festival event.
Sun 28: Jerron Paxton @ The Cluny, Newcastle. Blues, jazz etc.

Monday, March 23, 2020

CD Review: Keith Oxman - Two Cigarettes in the Dark

Keith Oxman, Houston Person (tenor sax); Jeff Jenkins (piano); Ken Walker (bass); Paul Romaine (drums); Annette Murrell (vocal on 2 tracks).
(Review by Lance).

What a gem this is! Admittedly I'm a sucker for two tenor front-line outfits and this one compares with the best of them. However, unlike most pairings, it's not a joust or a cutting contest. The two horns' contrasting tones complement each other. Oxman, the suave sophisticate, Houston, the super soulful saxist. Together they weave a magical tapestry that ranges from balladry to bop (the hard version). The opener, Frank Loesser's I've Never Been in Love Before fits comfortable between the two extremes.


84 year old Person, for many years Etta James' musical partner, has that gutsy sound that could be traced back to Illinois Jacquet via, maybe Johnny Griffin. Oxman leans more towards Hank Mobley so perhaps it is no coincidence that, along with the standards, Mobley (Bossa For Baby) and Griffin (Sweet Sucker) provided a couple of the tunes.

Annette Murrell interprets  the words to  Crazy He Calls Me and  Everything Happens to Me. The latter tune by that most underrated tune-smith Matt Dennis never fails to get me with it's ironic lyric:
I make a date for golf and you can bet your life it rains,
I try to throw a party and the guy upstairs complains,
I guess I'll go through life just catching colds and missing trains,
Everything happens to me.

I telegraphed and phoned sent an airmail special too,
Your answer was goodbye - there was even postage due...

Ah that last line! A true loser's song. However, Annette is anything but a loser and her earthy-voiced delivery does both songs justice. As a tribute to the singer, Oxman titled  an original composition of his Murrellancholy. Other originals are Voss is Boss and Murphy's Law Impacts L.E.A.P - catchy title - Person sits these ones out.

Some nice piano from Jenkins, who also composed the groove based Wind Chill, which, coupled with solid support from bass and drums make this an album of sheer delight. Oh yes, the title track. Two Cigarettes in the Dark was initially a Bing Crosby ballad. These days, such a title, romantic as it was back in the 1930s, would set off alarms with both the fire dept and the health service although, at present, the latter may have other things on its mind.

Highly recommended - ECM it ain't!
Lance 
PS: Liner notes are by the legendary alto saxist Charles McPherson who draws attention to the stylistic contrasts between the two tenor players - "Keith's long flowing lines and Houston's warm rich tone". Trust me, Charles knows about these things!

Available now from Capri Records.

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