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Bebop Spoken There

Dee Dee Bridgewater: “ Our world is becoming a very ugly place with guns running rampant in this country... and New Orleans is called the murder capital of the world right now ". Jazzwise, May 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

16382 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 262 of them this year alone and, so far, 59 this month (April 20).

From This Moment On ...

April

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

Tue 23: Vieux Carre Hot 4 @ Victoria & Albert Inn, Seaton Delaval. 12:30-3:30pm. £12.00. ‘St George’s Day Afternoon Tea’. Gig with ‘Lashings of Victoria Sponge Cake, along with sandwiches & scones’.
Tue 23: Jalen Ngonda @ Newcastle University Students’ Union. POSTPONED!

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: Sinatra: Raw @ Darlington Hippodrome. 7:30pm. Richard Shelton.
Wed 24: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.
Wed 24: Death Trap @ Theatre Royal, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Rambert Dance Co. Two pieces inc. Goat (inspired by the music of Nina Simone) with on-stage musicians.

Thu 25: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 25: Jim Jams @ King’s Hall, Newcastle University. 1:15pm. Jim Jams’ funk collective.
Thu 25: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library, Gateshead. 2:30pm.
Thu 25: Death Trap @ Theatre Royal, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Rambert Dance Co. Two pieces inc. Goat (inspired by the music of Nina Simone) with on-stage musicians.
Thu 25: Jeremy McMurray & the Pocket Jazz Orchestra @ Arc, Stockton. 8:00pm.
Thu 25: Kate O’Neill, Alan Law & Paul Grainger @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 25: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests: Richie Emmerson (tenor sax); Neil Brodie (trumpet); Adrian Beadnell (bass); Garry Hadfield (keys).

Fri 26: Graham Hardy Quartet @ The Gala, Durham. 1:00pm. £8.00.
Fri 26: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 26: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 26: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 26: Paul Skerritt with the Danny Miller Big Band @ Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.
Fri 26: Abbie Finn’s Finntet @ Traveller’s Rest, Darlington. 8:00pm. Opus 4 Jazz Club.

Sat 27: Abbie Finn Trio @ The Vault, Darlington. 6:00pm. Free.
Sat 27: Papa G’s Troves @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Sun 28: Musicians Unlimited @ Jackson’s Wharf, Hartlepool. 1:00pm. Free.
Sun 28: More Jam Festival Special @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00pm. Free. A ’10 Years a Co-op’ festival event.
Sun 28: Swing Dance workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00-4:00pm. Free (registration required). A ’10 Years a Co-op’ festival event.
Sun 28: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay Metro Station. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 28: Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox: The '10' Tour @ Glasshouse International Centre for Music, Gateshead. 7:30pm. £41.30 t0 £76.50.
Sun 28: Alligator Gumbo @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ’10 Years a Co-op’ festival event.
Sun 28: Jerron Paxton @ The Cluny, Newcastle. Blues, jazz etc.

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Charlie Parker – The Golden Era Bebop Five.


On May 7, 1949, Charlie Parker and his Quintet flew to France to take part in that year’s Paris International Jazz Festival together with a star-studded line-up of American jazz stars of the era including Sidney Bechet, Hot Lips Page, Miles Davis, Big Chief Russell Moore, Pete Johnson, and Tadd Dameron among others. On May 5, Bird and his group were in the studio taping tracks for Norman Granz’ Mercury label.

A musically successful session, but the results were never released in any logical format until decades later. As a result, the tracks have been overlooked by many reviewers, discographers and commentators down the years owing to the chaotic, error-strewn, piece-meal naming and releasing of the songs and by the incompetence of the various music organisations, mainly Granz, involved.


However, thanks to Phil Schaap (a Parker ‘authority’ who has spent his life researching all aspects of  Bird’s music in minute detail), all the material recorded on that day has been correctly released “warts-and-all” on Unheard Bird: Charlie Parker The Unissued Takes on Verve 00602547846587. The three tracks are now known as Tune X (Segment/Diverse) Tune Y (Blues) and Tune Z (Passport) and throughout, Charlie’s playing is amazing. He is confident, unbelievably imaginative, playful, daring and fully in control of the situation. One can tell that the whole group were also looking forward to this prestigious event in Paris.

Al Haig, in my opinion, Bird’s best accompanist – his comping was so musical, apposite and supportive that it would inspire the front line players. Max Roach, equally impressive, prompting, cajoling, guiding and thoughtfully kicking the whole session along.

Trumpeter Kenny Dorham’s playing was somewhat uneven, however, it must be remembered that he was a young man learning his trade in the shadows of Gillespie and Navarro in the crucible of the Parker Quintet and who, later in his career, became a fluent first-rate player with a lovely burnished tone.

Tommy Potter on bass was Bird’s ‘Mr Dependable’ providing accurate, bouncy, bebop bass-lines completing the ideal rhythm section. There is a photograph taken at the Salle Pleyel where Tommy is playing at the front of the group and Bird and Kenny are standing behind – it looks as though Bird wanted the bass lines to be picked up by the house sound system (there were no amps for the bass in those days).

From the numerous alternate takes provided by Phil Schaap it’s possible to hear Charlie trying out ideas, improving or discarding them. There are several examples of him using a favourite device where he begins his phrase a bar or two before the conventional sequence leaving the listener (and possibly the rhythm section) disconcerted – this was groundbreaking in 1949! He also gets himself into musical tight corners in his solos but always seems ‘to get away with it’ naturally. The aural fidelity of the session is surprisingly high for the time and Charlie’s own tone was captured fully ranging from gentle, warm, beguiling and sensuous to harsh, electrifying and demanding.

Bird, vous etes formidable, Bravo!
Dave B.                                                                   

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