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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

15080 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 15 years ago. 99 of them this year alone and, so far, 99 this month (Jan. 30).

From This Moment On ...

January

Tue 31: ???

February

Wed 01: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 01: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 01: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 01: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Wed 01: Moonlight Serenade Orchestra UK: Glenn Miller & Big Band Spectacular @ Darlington Hippodrome. 7:30pm.

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: TBA @ 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.

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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