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Bebop Spoken There

Alan Barnes: "Normally you can cobble a set together with five guys on the back of an envelope over the first pint and it's just fine. Livestreaming isn't like that." - (Jazzwise July 2021)

Archive quotes.

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.

Postage

13,381 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 799 of them this year alone and, so far, 73 this month (June 20).

From This Moment On

JUNE

Thu 24: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead (8:30pm).

Fri 25: Hot Club du Nord @ St Mary's Parish Hall, Barnard Castle. 7:00pm. Tickets: £15.00. + bf. A Barnard Castle Rotary Club event. POSTPONED!

Fri 25: Archipelago + Faith Brackenbury @ Gosforth Civic Theatre, Newcastle (8:00pm). £10.00. & £8.00. Echoes to the Sky album launch. A GCT Jazz Club-Jazz North East co-promotion.

Fri 25 Alter Ego @ Traveller's Rest, Cockerton, Darlington (8:00pm). POSTPONED!

Sat 26: Tyne Valley Big Band @ The Sele, Hexham (3:45pm).

Sun 27: Vieux Carré Hot Four @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay (12 noon).

Sun 27: Noel Dennis Trio @ The Globe, Newcastle (8:00pm). £10.00. Advance booking essential: . A Jazz Co-op-Jazz North East co-promotion.

Tue 29: Dean Stockdale Trio @ The Lubetkin Theatre, East Durham College, Peterlee (1:00pm). Tickets £6.00. + bf from: www.ticketsource.co.uk

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Lest we forget - as if!

I got to thinking the other day - or was it last year? - about some of the characters that have been part of the northeast jazz scene during the course of my lifetime. I've only picked out those who are no longer with us to avoid a libel action or getting filled in.

They weren't always the best or the worst on their instrument but they all had one thing in common - they were individuals. They were what jazz musicians were when jazz musicians were, shall we say, jazz musicians. Their sounds were as identifiable as their speech. They didn't learn to play the blues or blow bop or Dixieland at college but instead it was in the clubs and bars with like-minded wannabees. So, working on a one per instrument, here are my choices:

Teddy Langston: Trumpeter Teddy didn't mix much with the jazzers - he was a brass band man at heart - but when push came to shove he could hold his own as he proved on those Sunday mornings at The Bluebell in Felling. He could play Harry James better than Betty Grable. Once, after being stopped by the police on the way home from a gig he gave his occupation as "drain cleaner". This wasn't very flattering as I'd been on the gig with him that night!

Ronnie McLean: Ronnie was one of the few local trombonists who took the Teagarden/Dorsey route as opposed to his contemporaries who toed the Ory/Barber party line. His claim to fame was having played with Lennie Hastings and Diz Disley in a club in Dusseldorf. I worked alongside him in a music shop for many years and noted that he had few conversations with customers without the word Dusseldorf somehow entering the conversation.

John Saxelby: John had but one aim in life - to find the perfect clarinet mouthpiece. To achieve this goal he would buy mouthpieces like other players bought reeds! He was a big fan of the Dutch Swing College Band and when he discovered they were playing at a local venue he scraped up enough money to buy a ticket and, during the interval, he cornered the band's clarinet player, bought him a drink and asked the important question, "What make of mouthpiece do you use?"

The Dutchman shrugged, "I don't know - it came with the instrument!"

Nigel Stanger: Undoubtedly the number one alto player back then. He returned to the area after playing and recording in London with Alexis Korner and many other names that were rising to stardom by way of the emerging blues/rock scene. I remember the first words he said to me were: "Do you have a ciggie?" Me and everyone else I gather!

Charlie CarmichaelDifficult to be objective as Charlie was one of my best friends and favourite tenor players. However, he didn't suffer fools gladly and nor did they. He had little concern about chord changes but, somehow, it always sounded good. He was the only guy I heard blow bebop on clarinet. He worked as an electrician in the shipyards and, during his break, would spend the time blowing on a flute mouthpiece. Wonder he didn't get thrown over the side!


Clive Gray: Without doubt the number one banjo player. His idol was Eddie Peabody - google him - Clive used Clarion banjo strings, him and nobody else. I once asked him why and he replied saying that it was because they're the cheapest! They may have been the cheapest but Clive made them sound as good as the so-called best and most expensive!

Jacky Denton: Outwardly, drummer Jacky was as hard as they come and, if he didn't like what the guys out front were doing he could make their life hell! However, if he did like what was going on then they had it made!

These are just a few of them as was. I'm sure others will have their own memories to relate and perhaps a few others to add. I should also say that, for all their idiosyncrasies, they were all great, very talented guys.

Lance.

For more info on Bobby Carr (see Roly's comment.)

4 comments :

Gordon Solomon said...

Lance, we can't leave out Don Eddy. A superb drummer,who as you remember did stints with the Newcastle Big Band and the River City Jazzmen. I still giggle at the hilarious situations he got involved in when the NBB went to play in Pau in Southern France. Like the hot summer day when he climbed fully clothed into the municipal town fountain in Pau's main square to cool off. Unfortunately the fountain had a slippery base which sloped steeply down to the centre and Don slowly slid down to the middle and could'nt get back up again. we only got him out by borrowing some ladders from a passing builder. Priceless.

John Hallam (on F/b). said...

I once asked Jacky Denton if he could play a bit quieter. After the explosion, that's just what he did. A listening drummer who lifted every band he played with.

David Holman (on F/b) said...

I remember Ted Langston from when I worked in Wardley Legion.My dad said he was a brilliant trumpet player.

Roly Veitch said...

I've often reminisced about Bobby Carr. He was a great trumpet player and quite a character.
I once saw him at The Golden Lion, Winlaton Mill, having a sit in with Vieux Carre led at the time by Peter Gascoigne. (1970s) He played his party piece 'I Can't Get Started' a la Berrigan and got down on his knees to sing it. Quite a showman. I didn't know him personally and only saw him a few times but he was very highly regarded. Maybe your readers will have more information and stories about him.
Roly

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