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Bebop Spoken There

Maurice J. Summerfield: "Over dinner one night Barney [Kessel] told me about his seminar The Effective Guitarist, and in 1972 my company presented the first of twelve annual UK seminars in Newcastle upon Tyne." - (Just Jazz Guitar, September 1997)

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!"

Postage

15087 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 15 years ago. 106 of them this year alone and, so far, 4 this month (Feb. 1).

From This Moment On ...

February

Thu 02: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 02: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library. 2:30-4:30pm. £1.00. All welcome.
Thu 02: Paul Skerritt Duo @ Tomahawk Steakhouse, High St., Yarm. 8:00pm.
Thu 02: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman's Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm. Guests: Dave Archbold (keys); Josh Bentham (tenor sax); Donna Hewwitt (alto sax); Adrian Beadnell (bass).

Fri 03: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 03: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 03: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 03: Abbie Finn Trio @ Saltburn Community Hall. 7:30pm.
Fri 03: Dilutey Juice @ Bobik's, Punch Bowl, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Fri 03: Smoove & Turrell @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. 7:30pm (doors). £25.00.
Fri 03: Struggle Buggy @ Prohibiton Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Blind Pig Blues Club.

Sat 04: Alligator Gumbo @ St Augustine's Parish Centre, Darlington. 12:30pm.
Sat 04: Play Jazz! workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. Tutor: John Pope - Up Your Rhythm Game. £25.00. Enrol at: www.jazz.coop.
Sat 04: King Bees @ Grainger Market, Newcastle. 6:30pm (doors). Live music, comedy, DJs, food stalls. £10.00. advance, £15.00. on the door. Blues band King Bees on stage 9:45-11:15pm. A Great Market Caper event.
Sat 04: Jives Aces @ The Witham, Barnard Castle. 7:30pm.
Sat 04: Renegade Brass Band @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 7:30pm (doors).
Sat 04: Rendezvous Jazz @ Red Lion, Earsdon. 8:00pm. £3.00.

Sun 05 Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 05: Rivkala @ Cumberland Arms, Newcastle. 6:00pm.
Sun 05: Jive Aces @ Fire Station, Sunderland. 7:30pm.
Sun 05: Dale Storr @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Sun 05: Jam No.13 @ Fabio's, Saddler St., Durham. Free. Durham University Jazz Society jam session. All welcome (students & non-students alike).

Mon 06: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Tue 07: Jam session @ Black Swan, Newcastle Arts Centre. 7:30pm. House trio: Alan Law (piano); Paul Grainger (double bass); Rob Walker (drums). Jam session reverts to a first & third Tuesday in the month schedule.

Wed 08: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 08: Jam session @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 1:00pm. Free. TBC.
Wed 08: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 08: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 08: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Wednesday, September 09, 2020

Album review: Allegra Levy Sings John McNeil – Lose My Number

Allegra Levy (vocal); Carmen Staaf (piano); Carmen Rothwell (bass); Colleen Clark (drums) + John McNeil (trumpet 3 tracks) Pierre Dorge (ukulele 1 track)

I hadn't heard of John McNeil before but I'm sure most other BSH readers have. He first hit the N Y jazz scene in the mid '70s, playing with the Horace Silver Quintet, Gerry Mulligan and others. This album features his tunes with lyrics by Allegra Levy. I approach original material with wariness as it sometimes takes a while to get used to new songs, but I needn't have worried.

 The music is boppish, I don't say bebop as I'm unsure how that is defined, and the lyrics are assertive, feminist, even stroppy in an amusing way. I expected the title track, which closes the album, would be a sad, lovelorn song. Not a bit of it! It means what it says, e.g. 'Lose my number, lose it, don't you dare call me up on the phone. This matches well with the lively music, short sharp phrases, great leaps, variation of tones, staccato rhythms, unsingable - except to a skilled vocalist such as Ms Levy. And an all-woman band (apart from a couple of guests including McNeil and a uke player) adds even more interest.

Allegra Levy graduated from the New England Conservatory in 2011, where trumpeter McNeil was her mentor. She went on to complete three highly acclaimed albums* and win first place in the Adult Contemporary category of the Great American Song Contest 2019. This is her fourth album.

Samba De Beach outlines the problems of the musician's life, made worse by corvid;  Livin' Small paints a picture of the simple life; then comes Tiffany, a drama in song about a man who longs to buy his wife expensive jewellery which he can't afford, expressed through dreamy bass playing and sparse piano tones.

Strictly Ballroom is just that, a woman rejecting a man on the dancefloor, with a steady dance 4/4 on the piano and an amusing trumpet and voice duet. Dover Beach is different, the lyrics have the Victorian poem of that name in mind, and also the words of Ms Levy's grandmother, 'Nothing's insurmountable', sung to a haunting tune. Ukulele Tune is in the style of 1920s' jazz. All rounded off  with the spirited Lose My Number.

The album is released live stream from Soapbox Gallery in Brooklyn on Tuesday September 15 at 8pm EST. It is also available via Steeplechase. See www.allegralevy.com
 Ann Alex

Samba De Beach; Livin' Small; Tiffany; Strictly Ballroom; C.J.; Dover Beach; Ukulele Tune; Zephyr; Lose My Number.

* BSH editor Lance reviewed all 3 of Allegra Levy's previous albums and listed her 2018 album Looking at the Moon as one of his Albums of the Year.

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