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Bebop Spoken There

George "Big Nick" Nicholas: "This band [George Adams-Don Pullen Quartet] is a bitch on roller skates, baby. They'll run you over if you ain't ready" (JazzTimes April, 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! --

Postage

14250 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 14 years ago. 469 of them this year alone and, so far, 69 this month (May 19).

From This Moment On ...

May.

Sat 21: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Market Place, Darlington. 11:00am - 3:00pm. All star line-up!
Sat 21: Elkie Brooks @ Whitley Bay Playhouse. 7:30pm.
Sat 21: Jools Holland’s R & B Orchestra @ The Hippodrome, Darlington. 7:30pm.
Sat 21: Milne-Glendinning Band @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Sun 22 Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 22: More Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 22: Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 22: Abstract Orchestra plays J Dilla @ Wylam Brewery, Newcastle. 7:30pm. CANCELLED!
Sun 22: Panharmonia @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £10.00 adv., £12.00. door.

Mon 23: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Wed 25: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 25: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 25: Four @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 25: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 26: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 26: Deep Pope + Garner & Pope @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 7:00pm. £7.00.
Thu 26: 58 Jazz Collective @ Hops & Cheese, Hartlepool. 7:30pm.
Thu 26: Knats @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Thu 26: Jeremy McMurray & the Pocket Orchestra @ Arc, Stockton. 8:00pm.
Thu 26: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead. 8:30pm.
Thu 26: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 27: Alice Grace Quartet @ The Gala, Durham. 1:00pm.
Fri 27: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 27: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm.
Fri 27: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 27: Fergus McCreadie Trio @ The Witham, Barnard Castle. 7:30pm.

Sat 28: Jack Logan & the Swing Section @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

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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