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Bebop Spoken There

JD Allen: "...art in itself is now a luxury that you need a lot of finances to do." - (DownBeat October 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

13,822 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 1239 of them this year alone and, so far, 66 this month (Oct. 18).

From This Moment On ...

October

Wed 20: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 20: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 20: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Wed 20: Jeremy McMurray & the Jazz Pocket Orchestra @ Middlesbrough Town Hall. 8:00pm.

Thu 21: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 21: NUJO Jazz Jam @ Bar Loco, Newcastle. 7:00pm. Newcastle University Jazz Orchestra.
Thu 21: Alter Ego @ St James' & St Basil's Church, Newcastle 7:30pm.
Thu 21: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead. 8:30pm.
Thu 21: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman's Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 22: Mick Shoulder Quartet @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. Quartet featuring Alex Clarke (BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year finalist).
Fri 22: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 22: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm.
Fri 22: Paul Edis Trio w Ruth Lambert @ St Cuthbert's Centre, Crook. 7:30pm.
Fri 22: Michael Feinstein @ Sage Gateshead. 8:00pm.
Fri 22: Peter Morgan Trio @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Sat 23: Mary Coughlan @ Gosforth Civic Theatre, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sat 23: Têtes de Pois @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Sun 24 Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 24: Musicians Unlimited @ South Durham Social Club, Hartlepool. 1:00pm.
Sun 24: Voices of Virtue Gospel Choir @ The Globe, Newcastle. 4:00pm.
Sun 24: Milne Glendinning Band @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 25: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Tue 26: Classic Swing @ Ship inn, Monkseaton. 1:00pm. The post-lockdown resumption of the band’s weekly residency will be fortnightly until further notice.
Tue 26: Jam session @ Black Swan, Newcastle Arts Centre. 8:00pm. The post-lockdown resumption of the Black Swan’s fortnightly jam session.

Friday, December 18, 2020

Playback session @ Smitty's - John Coltrane & Johnny Hartman

Jalen N'Gonda (vocals); Alec Harper (tenor sax); Deschanel Gordon (piano); Ferg Ireland (bass); Will Cleasby (drums).

(Screenshot courtesy of Ken Drew)

John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman - one of the great jazz vocal albums of all time. File it alongside your Sinatra's, Tormé's, Ella's and any other singer you care to name, it's up there with them and not as an also ran. No, that album is the tops.

This, as is the case with all Playback sessions, puts the reviewer and the listener in a predicament. How do you judge it? How do you compare?

The answer is that you don't. Instead, you look for the players to offer an alternative that is close enough to the original without being a pastiche which is how the guys worked it tonight.

N'Gonda has an amazing range capable of reaching up into the falsetto-sphere which I'd heard him exploit at previous gigs causing me to fear for his take on Johnny Hartman.

I needn't have worried, he was perfect. Close enough to get the feeling yet artistically distanced enough to be his own man.

The playlist followed the order of the album, opening with Irving Berlin's They Say it's Wonderful. This is my favourite Berlin song on the strength of just one word - and

They say that falling in love is grand, and... A lesser songwriter would have begun the next line with and but not old Irving he knew how to build the tension by hanging on to that seemingly inconsequential conjunction.

Dedicated to You followed by My One and Only Love and Lush Life kept the mood of the album intact. To give Jalen a chance to oil his vocal chords the band went to town on Coltrane's version of Body and Soul. Harper laying down the gauntlet for all tenor contenders. Good to hear Deschanel on piano. Since winning the BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year he's now making his mark in the Jazz Premier League in which Smitty's, let's be honest, is doing way better than Arsenal in that other Premier League!

Jalen bounced back for another classic You Are Too Beautiful and finished up with Autumn Serenade.

Superb, and not forgetting Ferg and tonight's Will - both solid in support.

Lance

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