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Bebop Spoken There

Tineke Postma: “ I had a huge crush on him [Sting] when I was a teenager ". Jazzwise, June 2024.

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

16527 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 407 of them this year alone and, so far, 29 this month (June 12).

From This Moment On ...

June

Thu 13: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 13: Indigo Jazz Voices @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:45pm. £5.00. Upstairs.
Thu 13: Musicians Unlimited @ Dorman’s, Middlesbrough. 8:00pm.
Thu 13: Jazz Guys @ Tynedale Beer & Cider Festival, Corbridge. 8:00pm.
Thu 13: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. Ragtime piano. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 13: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guest band: Musicians Unlimited

Fri 14: Mark Williams Trio @ The Old Library, Auckland Castle, Bishop Auckland. 1:00pm. £8.00.
Fri 14: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 14: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 14: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 14: Strictly Smokin’ Big Band @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. ‘Ella & Ellington’. 7:30pm. £18.00.
Fri 14: Customs House Big Band @ Customs House, South Shields. 7:30pm. Donations (online, min. £3.00.).

Sat 15: Keith Barrett & Andrew Porritt @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 12 noon. Free. A Cullercoats Festival event.
Sat 15: NUJO Jazz Jam @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 7:00pm.
Sat 15: James Birkett & Emma Fisk @ Sunderland Minster. 7:30pm. £15.00., £8.00. (u16s free). ‘The Great American Songbook’. A Bishopwearmouth Choral Society event, conductor David Murray.
Sat 15: Jude Murphy & Dan Stanley @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Sun 16: Jason Isaacs @ Stack, Seaburn SR6 8AA. 1:00-2:45pm. Free.
Sun 16: Paul Skerritt @ Hibou Blanc, Newcastle. 2:00pm.
Sun 16: Gaz Hughes Trio @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. 3:00pm. £10.00.
Sun 16: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 16: Gaz Hughes Trio @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 16: Jazz Jam @ Fabio’s Bar, Saddler St., Durham. 8:00pm. Free. A Durham University Jazz Society event. All welcome.

Mon 17: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Mon 17: ‘Tower of Power’ @ The Library Bar, Saddler St., Durham . 7:30pm.Free. A Durham University Jazz Society event. All welcome.

Tue 18: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Victoria & Albert Inn, Seaton Delaval. 12:30pm. £13.00. ‘Jazz, Sausage ‘n’ Mash’…’with Onion Gravy’!
Tue 18: Jam Session @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free. House trio: Stu Collingwood, Paul Grainger, Tim Johnston.
Tue 18: Libby Goodridge & Ben Davies @ The Lost Wanderer, Leazes Park Road, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £6.00. Triple bill, inc. Goodridge & Davies (jazz).

Wed 19: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 19: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 19: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

Monday, October 19, 2020

Roly Veitch remembers René Thomas (1927 – 1975)

Many years back I bought a vinyl album ‘The Bobby Jaspar Quartet’ at Ronnie Scott’s recorded in 1962. It was on the Mole Jazz label and issued in 1986. Alongside Thomas were: Bobby Jaspar (tenor sax/flute); Benoit Quersin (bass) and Daniel Humair (drums)

At that time I regularly bought jazz albums, usually at good old JG Windows, and I guess I just took a chance on this one as I had other Mole albums - the wonderful Art Pepper & Milcho Leviev LPs. Well, it turned out to be a very good choice, an exciting live session with great players and a guitarist who absolutely stood out as someone up there with the best.

Thomas had a very fluent, freewheeling, adventurous approach to soloing – melodic yet exciting. Great solo building in a quite modern, boppish style and a very distinct woody tone, a sound that had warmth yet bite and attack. Rather different from the classic warm toned, full bodied, mellow sound of many archtop guitar players of the day.

His instrument was an old Gibson 150, non-cutaway, with a Charlie Christian bar pick up. I loved his playing and really should have searched out more recordings then but never did. Recently I happened to see a CD by Chet Baker (Chet is Back) and bought it because it was the same quartet that played Ronnie’s plus Armadee Tommasi piano and Chet as leader of the sextet. A good CD and more top guitar playing. This has caused me to look up more information about Thomas. There is not much on Wikipedia but I found this very informative link which readers might find interesting.

I think I’ll now search out more of his recordings although it seems some of his best work is no longer available. Lots on YouTube though. It just strikes me that here is a guitarist who sadly died aged only 47 who would have achieved so much more and who is recognised by those who know his work as one of Europe’s great jazz players. Perhaps some readers will know more about him? He doesn’t seem to get much of a mention in the jazz press these days.

Does René Thomas deserve to be better known? What do readers think? I think he would be a good subject for any young music graduate guitarist to research for a thesis with transcriptions, if it hasn’t already been done by someone. 

The images are of the Mole album front cover together with drummer Daniel Humair’s rather telling handwritten note from the album rear cover.

Roly

See also ...

1 comment :

Maurice J.Summerfield said...

I was pleased to see Roly Veitch's post reminding us of René Thomas. René was not fully recognised for his great jazz artistry outside of France and Belgium. His too early death aged 47 meant that he was soon forgotten by many in the jazz world. I was fortunate to see Thomas at Ronnie Scott's around 1970. My old friend the late Tom Charlton was a great Jimmy Raney fan and he insisted that I join him at Scott's to hear Thomas live. Thomas's guitar style and sound was indeed greatly influenced by Raney. He in fact played the same Gibson E150 model guitar as Raney. However, the influence of Django Reinhardt was also evident at times. As Roly confirms there are many René Thomas recordings on You Tube, both audio and video. Included is the full CD album -'René Thomas - Guitar Genius'. All recommended.

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