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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

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).

Fri 19: Cia Tomasso @ The Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. ‘Cia Tomasso sings Billie Holiday’. SOLD OUT!
Fri 19: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 19: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 19: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 19: Tweed River Jazz Band @ The Radio Rooms, Berwick. 7:00pm (doors). £5.00.
Fri 19: Lindsay Hannon: Tom Waits for No Man @ Seventeen Nineteen, Hendon, Sunderland. 7:30pm.
Fri 19: Levitation Orchestra + Nauta @ Cluny 2, Newcastle. 7:30pm (doors). £11.00.
Fri 19: Strictly Smokin’ Big Band @ The Witham, Barnard Castle. 8:00pm. ‘Ella & Ellington’.

Sat 20: Record Store Day…at a store near you!
Sat 20: Bright Street Band @ Washington Arts Centre. 6:30pm. Swing dance taster session (6:30pm) followed by Bright Street Big Band (7:30pm). £12.00.
Sat 20: Michael Woods @ Victoria Tunnel, Ouseburn, Newcastle. 7:00pm. Acoustic blues.
Sat 20: Rendezvous Jazz @ St Andrew’s Church, Monkseaton. 7:30pm. £10.00. (inc. a drink on arrival).

Sun 21: Jamie Toms Quartet @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. 3:00pm.
Sun 21: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay Metro Station. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 21: Lindsay Hannon: Tom Waits for No Man @ Holy Grale, Durham. 5:00pm.
Sun 21: The Jazz Defenders @ Cluny 2. Doors 6:00pm. £15.00.
Sun 21: Edgar Rubenis @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 7:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig. Blues & ragtime guitar.
Sun 21: Tweed River Jazz Band @ Barrels Ale House, Berwick. 7:00pm. Free.
Sun 21: Art Themen with the Dean Stockdale Trio @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £10.00. +bf. JNE. SOLD OUT!

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.

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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