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Bebop Spoken There

Jim Keltner: “I was snatched right out of the jazz world. I shouldn't say snatched, I went willingly, I ran. From $85 a week to $250 a week, that gets your attention." - (JazzTimes, September 2021)

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! --

Postage

13,715 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 1132 of them this year alone and, so far, 76 this month (Sept. 21).

From This Moment On ...

September

Thu 23: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 23: Jeremy McMurray & the Jazz Pocket Orchestra @ Middlesbrough Town Hall 8:00pm. .
Thu 23: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Sunniside, Gateshead. 8:30pm. .

Fri 24: Perdido Street Jazzmen (with Frank Brooker reeds, Eugene Farrar trombone, Brian Bennett banjo & Phil Rutherford sousaphone) @ Darlington Market Square, Darlington. 11:00am.
Fri 24: Sue Ferris Quintet @ Gala Theatre, Durham. 1:00pm.
Fri 24: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 24: Rendezvous Jazz @ Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 24: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band, Stockton. 1:00pm.
Fri 24: FILM: Jazz on a Summer's Day + Swing Bridge Trio (in the bar) @ Forum Cinema, Hexham. 7:00pm.

Sat 25: Silent Music Seeing Sound + Spinningwork @ Newcastle Arts Centre. 6:30pm. Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music (NFOJIM).
Sat 25: Knats @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Sun 26: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon. .
Sun 26: Musicians Unlimited @ South Durham Social Club, Hartlepool. 1:00pm. .
Sun 26: More Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 3:00pm. .
Sun 26: Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ The Exchange, North Shields. 4:00pm.
Sun 26: Sax Appeal @ The Blue Bell, Hill Street, Corbridge NE45 5AA. 4:30pm. Free. .
Sun 26: David Gray Flextet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 26: Nubiyan Twist @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 27: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Wed 29: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 29: Darlington Big Band @ Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 29: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Film review: Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

George C. Wolfe's film adaptation of August Wilson's Pittsburgh Cycle play Ma Rainey's Black Bottom is available now on Netflix. Starring Viola Davis as Ma Rainey and Chadwick Boseman as Levee, the action, such as it is, is largely confined to a Chicago recording studio. It's 1927 in stifling mid-summer heat, tensions rising as blues singer Rainey, knowing her worth, isn't going to be exploited by white record company bosses or her manager. 
First staged in 1982, Wilson's stage play is, by the nature of the form, set-bound, which director George C. Wolfe exploits to the full as, first, members of the band awaiting the arrival of Rainey exchange pleasantries, rapidly evolving into sharper exchanges. Trumpeter Levee, Chadwick Boseman's character, haunted by disturbing childhood experiences and harbouring ambitions to lead his own band, pushes to the limit, the outcome both disturbing and unpredictable. 

Viola Davis delivers a powerful performance as Rainey. The physical transformation of Davis' the actor into the film's central character is striking. The scenes involving Davis/Rainey are a visual treat. The score was written by Branford Marsalis and several familiar names are on the soundtrack. If you're looking for an action packed movie, look elsewhere, if you're looking for an exposition of the struggle of black Americans in a deeply racist country in the 1920s, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom is for you. 

The (off-screen) Ma Rainey band musicians are: Wendell Brunious (trumpet); Freddie Lonzo (trombone); Sean Mason (piano); Eric Revis (double bass); Herlin Riley (drums). Others heard on the soundtrack include Delfeayo Marsalis and Don Vappie. In some quarters Ma Rainey's Black Bottom has been tipped for Oscar success. Viola Davis for Ma Rainey? The late Chadwick Boseman for Levee? We'll find out when the Academy Awards' winners are announced on April 25 next year. Sign up to Netflix (www.netflix.com) for one month for £6.99.  
Russell           

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