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Bebop Spoken There

Charlotte Keeffe: "I don't know what I'm going to play any more than you [the audience] do." - (Jazz North East/Jazz Co-op gig June 13, 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.


13,359 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 777 of them this year alone and, so far, 51 this month (June 13).

From This Moment On


Wed 16: Washboard Resonators @ Punchbowl Hotel, Jesmond, Newcastle (8:00pm). SOLD OUT!

Thu 17: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside (1:00pm).

Thu 17: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead (8:30pm).

Fri 18: Jazz Jamaica @ Sage Gateshead (8:00pm).

Sat 19: Jude Murphy @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle (8:00pm).

Sun 20 Knats @ The Globe, Newcastle (8:00pm). Advance booking essential:

Mon 21: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club (1:00pm). CANCELLED TFN.

Wed 23: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club (1:00pm). CANCELLED TFN.

Friday, December 18, 2020

Book review (sort of): Thulani Davis - Nothing But the Music

I'm not going to lie and lay claim to fully understanding the meaning of each line or stanza in this deep and thoughtful collection of poems by a writer who conveys in words what Trane, Monk, Miles and the brothers of the Arts Ensemble of Chicago conveyed with their music.

Davis paints a verbal picture of smoke filled nightclubs, places where sweat and substance mingle with sounds the 9 to 5 person rarely hears nor understands when he/she does.

Each word has deep meaning to the writer. A meaning which a reader who's never smoked a joint, drunk whiskey from the bottle, had sex and pretended it to be love to a soundtrack of groundbreaking, boundary pushing music, will never understand.

Here's an extract (verbatim from a 1985 interview with Papa Jo Jones in a New York hospital):

I could indulge me/but you can hear me/playing behind Lady Day/I know nothing/'bout slavery/I was born free/and heard the blues/when they they asked me/was the Count colored?/all I could say was very.

You see I played music/with folks who could stand up/with nothing but the rhythm.

The words are Papa Joe's but the way Davis structures them is poetry in itself.

It's the music of black life put into the writer's distinctly personal prose. I'll read this more times than any of God's reps read the bible and then I'll be on the way to enlightenment ...

As compelling as the poetry is, the Foreword by Davis' poet sister artist comrade for over 50 years, Jessica Hagedorn, and the Introduction by Tobi Haslett are also riveting in their descriptions of the poet and her output.

I'll finish off this hopelessly inadequate review with a few further words from Davis:

a kid from Brownsville asked me

had I ever seen any violence

that’s why I clean my house

listening to songs from the past

times when no one asked anyone

if they’d seen a town burn

cause baby everybody had.

(From It's Time For the Rhythm Review)


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