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Bebop Spoken There

Jack Teagarden: "I never did like anything Ellington ever did. He never had a band all in tune, always had a bad tone quality and bad blend" - Metronome, April 1947.

Archive quotes.

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.

Postage

13,490 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 908 of them this year alone and, so far, 72 this month (July 23).

From This Moment On

Fri 23: Emma Fisk's Hot Club du Nord @ Gala Theatre & Cinema, Durham. 1:00pm. Tickets: £6.00. + £2.00. bf. Tel: 03000 266 600.

Fri 23: Jeremy McMurray & the Pocket Jazz Orchestra @ Middlesbrough Town Hall. 7:30pm.

Fri 23: Helen Anahita Wilson & Shahbaz Hussain @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 8:00pm. SOLD OUT!

Fri 23 - Sun 25: The Globe Summer Festival @ The Globe, Newcastle. Multi-genre bill (jazz inc. Tenement Jazz Band, Nishla Smith). Various ticket options (live stream option available) see: www.jazz.coop.

Sat 24: Youth Ensembles present St Cuthbert Suite @ Sage Gateshead. 7:30pm. Composer Paul Edis conducts Folkestra, Jambone, Quay Voices & Young Sinfonia in a new arrangement of his St Cuthbert Suite. AVAILABLE ONLY AS A PRE-RECORDED STREAM ON YOUTUBE AT 7:30PM.

Sat 24: Simon O'Byrne & Paul Grainger @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Sun 25: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.

Sun 25: Emma Johnson's Gravy Boat @ Bobik's, Punch Bowl Hotel, Newcastle. 3:30pm.

Thu 29: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone North Tyneside. 1:00pm.

Thu 29: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead. 8:30pm.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Wild Thorn Jam Gate and the Younger Jazzanation? By Steve H

Many, many years ago I was invited to a wedding on the same day as an important relegation fixture between Brentford and Portsmouth. I came up with the Hitchcockian idea that one could be in two places as once. After getting my wife’s blessing ‘do what you think you must’, I snuck out of the wedding reception while no one was watching, drove to Griffin Park and then returned to the wedding party after the match. My hopes of no once noticing my absence were shot down in flames as soon as I bumped into the first person who asked if I enjoyed the match. Funnily enough, despite getting what I thought was permission to go, this episode is still used against me by my long-suffering partner to this day.

Roll forward a quarter a century and I thought I would try this manoeuvre one more time, albeit in different circumstances. A young colleague was drumming at a gig for his heavy metal band Wild Thorn at Trillians in town and a large group of workmates had gone along to support him. My dilemma was that there was a gig at the Jazz Café on the same night. Time to unroll the Hitchcock manoeuvre once more, surely nothing could possibly go wrong this time. I turned up early at Newcastle’s finest heavy metal emporium saw the first number then snuck out of the now darkened venue down to Pink Lane to enjoy a very enjoyable set from AlexanderBone’s Jam Experiment (see photo courtesy of Mike Tilley). I returned with impeccable timing to Trillians and was able to catch the encore of the rock outfit. Mission accomplished - or so I thought.  Unfortunately, the drummer had clocked me leaving. He was singularly unimpressed. I think the fact I’d gone to a jazz gig added insult to injury.

What is it with the younger generation and jazz? It is a feature of most jazz gigs that I attend that the musicians are the youngest people in the room. In fact, a contemporary jazz audience has so many older attendees I’m surprised Saga don’t get in on the act and start sponsoring gigs. Clearly there is no shortage of young people coming through the UK jazz scene. I doubt if the variety and quality of playing has ever been better. It’s just a shame that so many of their peer group seem to shun the music.

Three months prior to ‘Wild Thorn Jam Gate’ I took a  group of young work colleagues to see The Dead Hedge Trio at the Jazz Café a few years ago. It wasn’t a bad gig (see review) but they hated it; half of them couldn’t wait to leave after the first set. A post-mortem on the gig seemed to focus more on the occasional spittle which had left the enthusiastic saxophonist’s mouth rather what they had listened to. These were clever bright professional people. One of the admirable traits of this generation is their obsession with physical fitness. Obviously, this is a good thing - it’s just a shame they aren’t prepared to exercise their minds in the same way they do their bodies. It is not just music they are blinkered to. Rarely do they visit art galleries, see anything other than Marvel movies or read serious literature. Harry Potter and his Game of Thrones seems to be the cultural zenith for these young professionals. What is wrong with the younger jazzanation?

Something needs to be done to entice these future captains of industry to gigs. Unlike the standard Victor Meldrew style jazz audience, these people drink. So rather than the venue selling at best a single drink each set per customer, bar sales could be exponentially lifted if only we could entice the more youthful element through the jazz doors.  Just as one begins to despair, there appears to be a resurgence of interest in the big cities. Artists such as Kamasi Washington sell out and Camden’s Jazz Café is frequently packed to the rafters with young groovers so maybe all is not lost.  Jazz will never have mass appeal (we wouldn’t like it if it did) but along as enough new people keep on dipping their toes in the improvised waters maybe there is a future for this finest of musical art forms to prosper.

By the way, for anyone interested in the result of the football match we lost one nil and were relegated at the end of the season but as Miles Davis would say ‘So What?’
Steve H

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

Kind of blue then?

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