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Bebop Spoken There

Charles McPherson: “Jazz is best heard in intimate places”. (DownBeat, July, 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

16590 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 483 of them this year alone and, so far, 29 this month (July 14).

From This Moment On ...

July

Fri 19: Luis Verde with the Dean Stockdale Trio @ The Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. SOLD OUT!
Fri 19: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 19: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 19: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 19: Luis Verde with the Dean Stockdale Trio @ Traveller’s Rest, Darlington. 8:00pm. Opus 4 Jazz Club.
Fri 19: Zoë Gilby Trio @ Seventeen Nineteen, Hendon, Sunderland. 7:30pm.

Sat 20: Snake Davis & Helen Watson Duo @ Chopwell Community Centre NE17 7HZ. 7:30pm. £17.50.

Sun 21: Paul Skerritt @ Hibou Blanc, Newcastle. 2:00pm.
Sun 21: Salty Dog @ The Globe, Newcastle. 3:00pm.
Sun 21: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Free. Sun 21: The Big Easy @ The White Room, Stanley. 5:00pm.
Sun 21: Ben Crosland Quartet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

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

Tue 23: Nomade Swing Trio @ Newcastle House Hotel, Rothbury. 7:30pm. £10.00. Tickets from Tully’s of Rothbury or at the door (cash only). A Coquetdale Jazz event.

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: The Ronnie Scott’s Story @ The Fire Station, Sunderland. 7:30pm.
Wed 24: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.
Wed 24: Milne-Glendinning Band @ Cafédral, Owengate, Durham. 9:00pm. £9.00. & £6.00. A Durham Fringe Festival event.

Thu 25: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. Ragtime piano. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 25: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests: Garry Hadfield (keys); Noel Dennis (tpt); Richie Emmerson (tenor sax); Adrian Beadnell (bass).
Thu 25: Milne-Glendinning Band @ Cafédral, Owengate, Durham. 9:00pm. £9.00. & £6.00. A Durham Fringe Festival event.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Carefree Fred & Ginger

In these lockdown times the Beeb has probably attracted larger than usual weekday, daytime audiences. The best part of two hours of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers on a Friday afternoon was just what the doctor - a psychoanalyst at that - ordered. First, excerpts of Fred and Ginger singing the GASbook, then Carefree a late-period Fred and Ginger RKO movie.   

The plot to any Fred and Ginger film is all but immaterial, what counts is the music (invariably written by some of the great songwriters of the time - Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, the Gershwins et al) and, of course, the dancing. The plot: Fred (Tony) falls in love with...hang on a minute! On this occasion Ginger (Amanda) falls for Fred, comic capers ensue as Stephen (played by Ralph Bellamy) thinks he's in with a chance of marrying Amanda. Tony, a psychoanalyst, treats his patient (Amanda) and, as if we couldn't guess, they live happily ever after. The End. 

Well, yeah, but what about the set-piece dance routines? Sensational, that's what! The first humdinger of a scene finds Fred on the golf course and he literally comes out swinging as he tees-off (in real life Astaire was a keen golfer) hitting golf balls, as Bing said: straight down the middle. It took Astaire two weeks of rehearsal time with his long-time associate, choreographer Hermes Pan, to get it right with much more editing than he would normally tolerate. This was Fred Astaire the perfectionist at work.

Victor Baravalle orchestrated Irving Berlin's material with a magical slow motion dream sequence particularly effective as Fred and Ginger danced to I Used to Be Color Blind. The 1938 RKO studio production attracted three Academy Award nominations, one of which was Best Song for Change Partners. It didn't win an Oscar yet it has proven to be one of Berlin's enduring numbers. 

It could be said that Astaire didn't have matinee idol looks. Did this add to the appeal? Did the cinema-goer focus more on the dancing? And how great was that?! 

Earlier, half an hour of song and dance in Astaire and Rogers Sing the Great American Songbook was simply fabulous. As much song as dance, the timeless melodies flowed from the pen(s) of the GASbook composers...A Fine RomanceTop HatPick Yourself UpCheek to Cheek and more. BSH editor-in-Chief LL was in Hebburn/Heaven - literally and metaphorically. On Monday (May 25, bank holiday) BBC 2 offers more goodies. At 2:00pm in Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers: Talking Pictures the duo can be heard doing just that in archive interviews followed at 2:50 by an all time classic - Top Hat!        
Russell 

1 comment :

Lance said...

I watched the half hour programme whilst working out on the exercise bike and the faster the dance routines the harder I pushed the pedals round. By the end I had quite a sweat on and burned off a couple of 100 calories!

Watching the Astaire/Rogers' movies always brings to mind the famous quote by Ginger: "I was doing everything he did - backwards and wearing high heels!"

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