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Bebop Spoken There

Belá Fleck: "...he [Chick Corea] brought out the best in musicians. Not only would you get to play with him, but you'd get to play with the best version of yourself." - (DownBeat April 2021).

Archive quotes.

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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

13,073 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 492 of them this year alone and, so far, 47 this month (April 9).

Bar Manager Required

The Jazz Co-op are looking for an experienced bar manager who can be available to start when The Globe reopens in May.

Preference will be given to a suitably qualified person who lives relatively near to The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD.

Interested parties please follow this link.

Coming soon ...

April 29: Vieux Carré Jazzmen are back at The Holystone.

May 20 Maine Street Jazzmen are back at Sunniside Social Club.
May 23: Vieux Carré Hot Four are back at The Spanish City.

June 2: Vieux Carré Jazzmen are back at Cullercoats Crescent Club.
June 7: Jazz in the Afternoon are back at Cullercoats Crescent Club.

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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