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Farewell Blues

R.I.P. HRH Queen Elizabeth ll (1926 - Sept. 8, 2022).
R.I.P. Trevor Tomkins (1941 - Sept. 9, 2022).
R.I.P. Gordon McGregor (Sept. 11, 2022).
R.I.P. Ramsey Lewis (1935 - Sept. 12, 2022).
R.I.P. Pharoah Sanders (Oct. 13, 1940 - Sept. 24, 2022).

Bebop Spoken There

Larry Klein: "- in a certain way - Leonard [Cohen] is the greatest songwriter ever." - (Jazzwise October 2022)

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

14581 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 14 years ago. 859 of them this year alone and, so far, 59 this month (Sept. 21).

From This Moment On ...

September

Sun 25: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 25: Musicians Unlimited @ Park Inn, Hartlepool. 1:00pm.
Sun 25: Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm. CANCELLED!
Sun 25: Skylla + Pete Wareham-Ruth Goller-Will Glaser @ Bobik’s, Punch Bowl, Jesmond, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music event.

Mon 26: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Mon 26: Lewis Watson Quartet @ Black Bull, Blaydon. 8:00pm. Blaydon Jazz Club.

Tue 27: Beth Clarke @ British Legion Club, West Jesmond, Newcastle. 1:00-4:00pm. Free.
Tue 27: Paul Skerritt @ The Rabbit Hole, Durham. 7:00pm. Free (to reserve a table phone 0191 386 5556).
Tue 27: Black is the Color of My Voice @ Alnwick Playhouse. 7:30pm. One woman stage play (the life & times of Nina Simone).

Wed 28: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 28: Battle of the Bands @ NE Volume Music Bar, Yarm Lane, Stockton. Doors 6:00pm. Tickets: £5.00. adv., £6.00. on the door. Participants inc. Milne Glendinning Band.
Wed 28: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 28: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 28: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Wed 28: Black is the Color of My Voice @ Alnwick Playhouse. 7:30pm. One woman stage play (the life & times of Nina Simone).
Wed 28: Laura Jurd @ Sage Gateshead. 8:00pm.

Thu 29: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 29: Ushaw Ensemble @ King’s Hall, Newcastle University. 1:10pm. Free.
Thu 29: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library. 3:00-5:00pm. £1.00. All welcome.
Thu 29: Czajka & Puchaz + Mark Solborg + Anthropology @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 7:00pm. A Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music event.
Thu 29: ‘58 Jazz Collective @ Hops & Cheese, Hartlepool. 7:30pm.
Thu 29: La Sonora Boreal’s Latin Jam Session @ The Globe, Newcastle (7:45pm). Free (donations). Latin jazz performance & jam session.
Thu 29: Peter Morgan Trio @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 30: Adam Johnson @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. A Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music event.
Fri 30: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 30: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 30: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 30: Pete Churchill & Noel Dennis: Exploring the Jazz Metaphor in Leadership & Management @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 2:30-4:00pm. Workshop.Tickets: £3.30 (inc. bf). A Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music event.
Fri 30: FILM: Bird (Dir. Clint Eastwood) + Swing Bridge (in the bar) @ Forum Cinema, Hexham. 6:30pm.
Fri 30: Orphy Robinson + Maniscalco-Bigoni-Solborg + Nicole Mitchell + Binker Golding-Alexander Hawkins-John Pope-Paul Hession @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle (7:00pm). A Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music event.
Fri 30: Ushaw Ensemble @ St Mary’s Church, Holy Island. 7:30pm.
Fri 30: Alter Ego @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Fri 30: King Bee @ The Craig Charles Funk & Soul Club, Independent, Sunderland. 9:00pm. £22.50. DJs + King Bee.

Wednesday, October 07, 2020

Album review: Ella Fitzgerald - ELLA: The Lost Berlin Tapes

Ella Fitzgerald (vocals); Paul Smith (piano); Wilfred
Middlebrooks (bass); Stan Levey (drums)

Two years previous (1960), Ella had played Berlin and famously forgot the words to Mack the Knife. The result was a best-selling album! Two years later she remembered the words, although she did keep the previously improvised line but didn't know which city she was in. When you're on the road I guess one place is the same as the next - Berlin today, Newcastle tomorrow. This may well have been the case as she did play Newcastle's City Hall on that tour as part of JATP.

I was there and I don't recall her mistaking Newcastle for Gateshead (or vice versa as so often happened later when big names played Sage Gateshead). Obviously Newcastle made a more lasting impression on her than Berlin did.

Ella also made a lasting impression on me 58 years ago, and, if I close my eyes, I'm still sitting there in awe of what I'm hearing perched on the edge of seat F23 (poetic licence!)

Although I didn't take notes, I'm fairly sure that at least some of the numbers she sang then would be among these classics taken from a newly discovered tape found in Herr Granz's Verve bunker.

As always, the First Lady gives each number her own individual take. A typical example being the gender reversed Matt Monro hit, My Kind of Boy in which she credits the boy with the combined attributes of Sinatra, Eckstine, Belafonte, Como, Cole and Basie - no wonder he was her kind of boy!

Sixteen numbers, well actually seventeen as Hallelujah, I Love Him So was so good she sang it twice, that had me as hooked now as I'd been way back then. Even Summertime and Cry me a River don't spoil the mood - it's as if I'm hearing them for the first time!

On piano, Paul Smith proved to be the ideal accompanist even though in the March 1962 edition of Jazz Journal Sinclair Traill wasn't impressed. Stan Levey's drum solo on Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie gave him the contender status he didn't achieve as a fighter whilst Middlebrooks was the ideal bassist - he had to be - Ella's ex-husband was Ray Brown!

One number I distinctly recall from the City Hall was Mr. Paganini. It brought the house down then and it does just that here.

Mack the Knife, naturally, also had both audiences on their feet. Even Louis and Bobby Darin never quite hit this groove. The final Wee Baby Blues had Ella in the unfamiliar role of blues singer. Like Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughan Ella was never an out and out blues mama but she has a fair crack at it here.

The other tracks are Cheek to Cheek; I Won't Dance; Someone to Watch Over Me; Jersey Bounce; Angel Eyes; Taking a Chance on Love; C'est Magnifique & Good Morning Heartache.

If, inexplicably, you haven't any Ella in your collection this is a good place to start. If you are well-stocked then I suggest you make room for one more. In the words of Bing Crosby "Man, woman or child ..." you know the rest and it's true, she is "The Greatest!"

Lance.

Available now on CD, vinyl etc.

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