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Bebop Spoken There

Raymond Chandler: “ I was walking the floor and listening to Khatchaturian working in a tractor factory. He called it a violin concerto. I called it a loose fan belt and the hell with it ". The Long Goodbye, Penguin 1959.

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

16350 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 230 of them this year alone and, so far, 27 this month (April 11).

From This Moment On ...

April

Fri 12: Pete Tanton’s Chet Set @ The Old Library, Auckland Castle. 1:00pm. £8.00.
Fri 12: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 12: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 12: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 12: Katrina Miller Trio @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Sat 13: Giles Strong Quartet @ Claypath Deli, Durham. 7:00-9:00pm. £10.00.
Sat 13: Phantom Bagman + Forgetmenots @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 7:30pm.£5.00. + bf. Upstairs.
Sat 13: Rockin’ Turner Brothers @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig. Downstairs.

Sun 14: Am Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00pm. Free.
Sun 14: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay Metro Station. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 14: Alan Law, Jude Murphy & Tim Johnston @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 7:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Sun 14: JazzMain @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 15: Dave Newton @ Yamaha Music School, Seaforth St., Blyth NE24 1AY. 1:00 - 1:45pm. £8.00. + bf. Newton, solo piano.
Mon 15: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Mon 15: Hideout @ Cluny 2, Newcastle. 7:00pm. £7.50 + £1.33 bf. Feat. Sleep Suppressor + Flat Moon.
Mon 15: Russ Morgan Quartet @ The Black Bull, Blaydon. 8:00pm. £8.00.

Tue 16: The Horne Section’s Hit Show @ Middlesbrough Town Hall. 7:30pm.
Tue 16: Jam session @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free. House trio: Bradley Johnston, Paul Grainger, Bailey Rudd.

Wed 17: Bailey Rudd (Minor Recital) @ The Music Studios, Haymarket Lane, Newcastle University. 11:40am. Bailey Rudd (drums). Open to the public.
Wed 17: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 17: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 17: The Horne Section’s Hit Show @ The Gala, Durham. 7:30pm. SOLD OUT!
Wed 17: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

Thu 18: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 18: NONUNONU @ Elder Beer Café, Chillingham Road, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Thu 18: Knats @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. 8:00pm (doors 7:30pm). £8.00. + bf. Support act TBC.
Thu 18: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig. Ragtime piano.
Thu 18: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guest band night with Just Friends: Ian Bosworth (guitar); Donna Hewitt (sax); Dave Archbold (keys); Ron Smith (bass); Mark Hawkins (drums).

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Observations on a book: Pete Hamill - Why Sinatra Matters.

There are books, and then there are books and then there are more books.

Some books you read, enjoy, then  put on the shelf where they gather dust until, eventually, they go into the charity bag.

Other books you wonder why you bought them in the first place, maybe an unexpected, unwanted gift. Whatever. However, there is also that magical moment when, you stumble across a book that may have begun life in one of the former categories but, like the moment when you discover the girl whose pigtails you once pulled at school no longer has braces on her teeth and is now wearing a bra, things change.

This is that book. there have been countless books on Sinatra, I have a shelf full of them, most of which are gathering dust.

Not this one. Written just after Sinatra's death in 1998 it's about the great man and yet it isn't. The highs and lows, the loves and the Mob are in there, neither glorified or brushed over, more as a dusky background to an amazing life.

The book opens in 1970, or thereabouts. The author is sitting in the backroom of a late night bar, with Frank, sportswriter Jimmy Cannon, Jilly Rizzo and a few of the few who ever got close to the greatest singer of his era. Outside it's raining and such is the power of the author's descriptive powers that you are there with him in a rundown bar on Third Street in Manhattan. You can taste the Jack Daniel's, smell the rain.

So yes, the book is about Sinatra but, unlike any other biography (if this is indeed a biography) you've ever read. Hamill  attempts neither deification nor vilification but places the man, his life, his music in relation to the times.

Today, when the Black Lives Matter movement is so justifiably in the forefront, the author also points out that the early Italian immigrants were also being lynched and quotes the infamous Sacco and Vanzetti cause célèbre. Sinatra, when asked why he contributed to the NAACP said it was because he knew what it was to be a member of  a minority group.

Hamill quotes from an interview he did with Dizzy Gillespie: "The professional is the guy that can do it twice."

"Wow, is that true" said Frank.

The author goes on to say "The world of my grandchildren will not listen to Sinatra in the way that four generations of Americans have listened to him. But high art always survives. Long after his death, Charlie Parker still plays his version of the urban blues. Billie Holiday still whispers her anguish. Mozart still erupts in joy".

By coincidence, I talked with a cousin whom I'd never had contact with for some years. During the course of our telephone conversation she told me that her 22 year old grandson had just discovered Sinatra ...
Lance.

Pete Hamill: Why Sinatra Matters. Published 1998 by Little Brown & Co. Ltd. ISBN. 0-3316-34796-5

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