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Farewell Blues

A quiet month so far...

Bebop Spoken There

Joe Daley: "We [Daley & Sam Rivers] did an entire tour, and nothing was discussed other than what time was dinner" - (JazzTimes Sept. 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

14644 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 14 years ago. 922 of them this year alone and, so far, 21 this month (Oct.6).

From This Moment On ...

October

Fri 07: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 07: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 07: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 07: Hannabiell & the Midnight Blue Collective + Knats @ Dance City, Newcastle. 7:00pm. £15.00. (£12.50. student).
Fri 07: Dean Stockdale Quartet @ Saltburn Community Hall. 7:30pm. 'Celebrating Oscar'.
Fri 07: Mick Cantwell Quartet @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free (donations). Blind Pig Blues Club.
Fri 07: Anth Purdy @ Waterford Arms, Seaton Sluice. 8:00pm.
Fri 07: Rob Heron & the Tea Pad Orchestra @ Forum Music Centre, Darlington. 8:30pm.

Sat 8 Oct, Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Buck Inn, Thornton Watlass, Ripon HG4 4AH. 12.20pm. NOTE SATURDAY GIG AS OPPOSED TO REGULAR SUNDAY GIG. COACH FROM WHITLEY BAY NOW SOLD OUT!
Sat 08: Paul Skerritt w Danny Miller Big Band @ Westovian Theatre, South Shields. 7:30pm.
Sat 08: Milne-Glendinning Band @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sat 08: Rendezvous Jazz @ Red Lion, Earsdon. 8:00pm. Maureen Hall's monthly residency one week later than usual.

Sun 09: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 09: Tees Valley Jazzmen @ Hammer & Pincers, Preston le Skerne. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Sun 09: Chip Wickham @ The Cluny, Newcastle.
Sun 09: Blue Jazz Quartet w Rivkala @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 10: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Mon 10: Central Bar Quintet plays Blue Train @ Central Bar, Gateshead. 7:30pm. Concert performance + jam session. £5.00 (free admission to sitters-in).

Tue 11: Dean Stockdale Trio @ Forum Music Centre, Darlington. 7:30pm.

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

Thu 13: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 13: Hypothetical: Works Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement @ King's Hall, Newcastle University. 1:15pm. Free.
Thu 13: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library. 3:00-5:00pm. £1.00. All welcome.
Thu 13: Indigo Jazz Voices @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:45pm. £5.00.
Thu 13: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm. The Mark Toomey Quartet with Mark Toomey (alto sax) Jeremy McMurray (piano) Peter Ayton (bass) Paul Smith (drums).

Monday, April 20, 2020

The beginning of a century-long love affair between France and black American music ?

Ann Alex's review of BBC Radio 4's series Black Music in Europe: A Hidden History brought to mind a piece I wrote up last year after reading David Olusoga's* The World's War, about the forgotten soldiers of various European nation's empires, the USA and other countries made to participate in the First World War. There is a short section entitled The beginning of a century-long love affair between France and black American music ? - Brian Ebbatson.
----- 
“The 93rd Division (Colored) had been assembled from various African-American National Guard units, volunteers and draftees from the more liberal Northern and North-eastern states. The 93rd contained four black regiments, the most famous of which was the 369th Infantry Regiment – formerly the 15th New York National Guard, soon to be known as the ‘Harlem Hellfighters’.


The 93rd was trained and dispatched to France on the firm promise that its men would be allowed to fight. They arrived at St Nazaire on board the USS PocahontasAmong the men of the 369th Infantry were the forty-four members of the regimental band, some of Harlem’s finest professional musicians, under the leadership of James Reese Europe, who was a pioneer of ragtime in New York City and the leading light of the legendary Clef Club. In the dockside at St Nazaire the band brought a little of Harlem to France, playing their arrangement of the ‘Marseillaise’. Some have pointed to this moment as being the first performance of jazz – or more accurately its musical precursor, ragtime – in France, an event that marked the beginning of a century-long love affair between France and black American music. The moment of history was somewhat lost on the French soldiers present, however, who were reportedly slow to stand to attention to their national anthem, the jazz arrangement was so inventive that it took several bars before they could recognize it for what it was.”      (pages 341-342)   (My emphasis – BE).

David Olusoga goes on to describe how 80% of approximately 200,00 African-Americans who served their country in the First World War were consigned to the Supply of Services (SOS) labour corps, rather than be the combat troops they were trained to become. Because the US command did not want African-Americans fighting alongside white Americans, four regiments of the 93rd Division were transferred to the French Army in March 1918. Of these the 369th Regiment suffered 1,300 casualties and were awarded the French Croix de Guerre for their bravery. (page 343) They were however not represented in the American Expeditionary Force’s contingent at the Paris Victory Parade on the 14th July 1919. (page 403).

On their return to the USA the 369th Regiment “marched through Manhattan in a special parade. Lined up sixteen abreast – an unfamiliar French formation – they marched up Fifth Avenue with the regimental band leading the way playing French military marches. The parade took them through central Manhattan, along streets lined with white Americans, then up to Harlem. ……. The leader of the Universal Negro Improvement Organisation, Marcus Garvey, was said to have wept at the sight of the 369th Infantry parading through the city. That whites, too, had lined Fifth Avenue was taken by some as a hopeful sign that …. the United States might be on the verge of a new era of black-white relations. But African Americans returning to their homes in the South quickly understood that …..  their overseas service had cast them in the minds of many whites as dangerous, radicalized black men who needed to be put back in their place.”

On Armistice Day Senator James Vardaman of Mississippi declared that: “Now that the war is over we shall soon be face to face with the military negro, and if this country is to be spared much trouble we shall need men in office who can realize the truth that where the negro constitutes any appreciable percentage of the population, he must be separated from the white people. Unless that policy shall be pursued, the result will be disastrous for the negro and unfortunate for the white man”. (pages 389-390)
Brian Ebbatson.

Members of the 369th Infantry Regiment (Harlem Hellfighters) band outside the YMCA canteen in La Bourboule, France.




More on James Reese Europe: 
* David Oligusa - of this manor (brought up on the Tyne).

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