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Bebop Spoken There

Charles Lloyd: "I'm raring to go out to play, because I know I'll find something to explain the inexplicable." (DownBeat August 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

14454 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 14 years ago. 732 of them this year alone and, so far, 30 this month (August 11).

From This Moment On ...

August

Tue 16: Paul Skerritt @ The Rabbit Hole, Durham. 7:00pm. Free (to reserve a table phone 0191 386 5556).

Wed 17: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 17: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 17: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 17: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 18: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 18: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library. 3:00-5:00pm. £1.00. All welcome.
Thu 18: Castillo Nuevo @ Revoluçion de Cuba, Newcastle. 5:30-8:30pm.
Thu 18: Newcastle Jazz Festival @ Bridge Hotel, Newcastle. Strictly Smokin’ Big Band. 7:00pm. Free (four-day festival ticket £40.00.). www.newcastlejazzfestival.co.uk.
Thu 18: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm. Guests: Dave Archbold (keys); Dan Johnson (sax); Josh Bentham (sax); Bill Watson (trumpet); Ron Smith (bass)

Fri 19: Jo Harrop & Jamie McCredie @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. SOLD OUT!
Fri 19: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 19: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 19: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 19: Jo Harrop & Jamie McCredie @ St Cuthbert’s Centre, Crook. 7:30pm.
Fri 19: Newcastle Jazz Festival @ Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Harry Keeble Duo + Northern Monkey Brass Band. £15.00. (four-day festival ticket £40.00.). www.newcastlejazzfestival.co.uk.
Fri 19: Mo Scott @ The Millstone, South Gosforth, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Scott w Gary Dunn, Neil Harland & Paul Smith.

Sat 20: Newcastle Jazz Festival @ Tyne Bank Brewery, Newcastle. All day event (from 1:30pm): Riviera Effect + Alter Ego + Graham Hardy Quartet + Jo Harrop & Jamie McCredie + Ivo Neame Quartet. £17.00. (four-day festival ticket £40.00.). www.newcastlejazzfestival.co.uk.
Sat 20: Anth Purdy @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free (donations).

Sun 21 Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 21: Newcastle Jazz Festival @ Tyne Bank Brewery, Newcastle. All day event (from 1:30pm): Lindsay Hannon & Alan Law + Knats + David Gray’s Flextet + Ben Gilbert Trio + Emma Rawicz. £17.00. (four-day festival ticket £40.00.). www.newcastlejazzfestival.co.uk.
Sun 21: Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.

Mon 22: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Tue 23: Paul Skerritt @ The Rabbit Hole, Durham. 7:00pm. Free (to reserve a table phone 0191 386 5556).
Tue 23: Jam session @ Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. House trio: Steve Glendinning, Paul Grainger, Abbie Finn.

Thursday, December 24, 2020

A Peggy for my thoughts

The December issue of JazzTimes features an in depth article on Peggy Lee's iconic Album Black Coffee also pointing out that, had she still been with us, May 26 would have marked her 100th birthday - a fact that seems to have bypassed most of the jazz media, BSH included.

This apparent indifference may be due to Ms Lee, like Sinatra, Nat Cole, Lena Horne and others straddling the ever narrowing line that separates jazz singer from entertainer as if it's not possible to be both. For my money it's essential.

So, although I never saw her live, her recordings are never far from my turntable and I'd like to mention a few. Because her output was so prolific I'm sure other readers will have their own choices.

First a question? What did Peggy Lee and Lonnie Donegan have in common?*

Peggy recorded 34 sides with  Benny Goodman including, in 1942, her first big hit Why Don't You Do Right? A minor key blues recorded previously by Lil Green.

She left Goodman, married guitarist Dave Barbour, signed with Capitol and together they had another hit with  Mañana.

I got hooked on Peggy in 1952 when I first heard her recording of Lover. She took Rodgers and Hart's sedate waltz and turned it inside out. It was electric! I'd never heard anything like it before - Jeanette McDonald it wasn't! This was recorded by Decca after Capitol refused to let her commit such sacrilege probably fearing a lawsuit from the composer.

It was during her sojourn  at Decca that the aforementioned Black Coffee album was recorded. One of the greatest vocal albums ever not least for Pete Candoli's trumpet insertions, The title track is but one of 12 masterpieces.

My Old Flame, initially recorded with Goodman and again when she returned to Capitol is given its best outing on the Decca album Dream Street.               

The film Pete Kelly's Blues had Ella singing Hard Hearted Hannah but for me the highlight was Peggy singing Sugar with a Bobcats' style band.

Differences healed, Peggy returned to Capitol for the bulk of the remainder of her career which included Fever - fantastic recording that has somehow become devalued owing to every wannabee jazz singer adding it to their repertoire and failing to come within a mile of the original.

The Folk Who Live on the Hill is one of the all-time classics, first sung by Bing back in 1937. Twenty years later Peggy made it her own. When Bing sang the line Darby and Joan who used to be Jack and Jill he sounded like a "Darby" whereas as Peggy's husky, sensuous voice sounds nothing like Darby's Joan so she wisely substitutes Baby and Joe!

You Came A Long Way From St. Louis from the album with George Shearing - Beauty and the Beat - is almost a throw back to Why Don't You Do Right? The same cynical approach but this time with a more hardboiled edge. 

Mirrors saw her recording an album of songs by Leiber and Stoller for A & M records in 1975. Some Cats Know made ripples and, even aged 55, Peggy could still turn you on with the suggestive lyrics. I recall Zoë Gilby featuring the song in her set a few years back.

So there we are, my thoughts on Peggy Lee.

Lance

*Both Peggy and Lonnie had million sellers without receiving any royalties. Benny Goodman picked up the loot for Why Don't You Do Right? and Chris Barber rode the Rock Island Line all the way to the bank. In fairness though it must be said that these early hits did pave the way for their future, successful, careers.

2 comments :

Miles said...

Jack Jackson's record show on a Saturday night often featured Peggy Lee, Don't Smoke In Bed sent me to bed with dreams an adolescent shouldn't have. Miles
.

Liz said...

Like you Lance,I was a huge Peggy Lee fan. "Fever" was probably how I first came to be aware of her. However my late Dad was in awe of her. I often thought about her " Baby & Joe", and wondered about the original Darby & Joan. I just assumed the latter was British , but Peggy's was more Stateside. She was part of our young years, but seemed to have an air of mystery about her. like so many, gone but never forgotten.

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