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Bebop Spoken There

Alan Barnes: "Normally you can cobble a set together with five guys on the back of an envelope over the first pint and it's just fine. Livestreaming isn't like that." - (Jazzwise July 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.


13,381 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 799 of them this year alone and, so far, 73 this month (June 20).

From This Moment On


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

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

Thu 24: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside 1:00pm).

Thu 24: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead (8:30pm).

Fri 25: Hot Club du Nord @ St Mary's Parish Hall, Barnard Castle. 7:00pm. Tickets: £15.00. + bf. A Barnard Castle Rotary Club event. POSTPONED!

Fri 25: Archipelago + Faith Brackenbury @ Gosforth Civic Theatre, Newcastle (8:00pm). £10.00. & £8.00. Echoes to the Sky album launch. A GCT Jazz Club-Jazz North East co-promotion.

Fri 25 Alter Ego @ Traveller's Rest, Cockerton, Darlington (8:00pm). POSTPONED!

Sat 26: Tyne Valley Big Band @ The Sele, Hexham (3:45pm).

Sun 27: Vieux Carré Hot Four @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay (12 noon).

Sun 27: Noel Dennis Trio @ The Globe, Newcastle (8:00pm). £10.00. Advance booking essential: www.jazzcoop. A Jazz Co-op-Jazz North East co-promotion.

Friday, December 25, 2020

The Nutcracker Suite live streamed from Kansas Smitty's - Dec. 25

(Screenshot by Russell)

I know a live stream isn't perfect but, unlike one of those live gigs our parents used to go to, at least if you were held up in traffic, or were just held up (take my wallet but don't take my ticket for Duke's concert - he's doing the Nutcracker - oh, you too are into nutcracking? Ouch!) at least you can start from the beginning - or can you?

Tonight's music began before any of tonight's players were born, before, even Duke Ellington himself was born. 

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's music has provided a goldmine for the Tin Pan Alley tune-smiths but, I think, Ellington was the first to see the potentialities of the Russian composer in a big band jazz setting.

The Nutcracker Suite proved to be a winner sales-wise. I cherish the record but, I must confess, I don't play it that often.

So, it was with some trepidation that I (eventually) linked up with this version by a star-studded Kansas Smitty Big Band.

The regulars were there, bumped up with big hitters such as Tomasso, Barker and Long and off they went.

The original this wasn't and I won't be trading in my Ellington vinyl.

The ensembles tended to sound, in the early stages, a bit stodgy compared to Duke's boys however, where tonight's band really made it for me was in the solos.

The soloists kept the mood Duke intended but the actual notes were for today and tomorrow - not yesterday!

As my all-time favourite Ellingtonian is Jimmy Hamilton (he could blow Barney Bigard off the stage anytime) it says so much that Pete Long and Giacomo also played really great clarinet - I guess Pete was Hamilton and GS was Procope.

Ignore the pros and the cons of the gig, what Smitty's are doing is fantastic!


Enrico Tomasso, Guy Barker, George Hogg, Alex Ridout; Malcolm Earle-Smith, Dan Higham, James Wade (trombones); Alec Harper (tenor sax), Pete Long (tenor sax, clarinet), Giacomo Smith (alto sax, clarinet), Nat Facey (alto sax), Alex Garnett (baritone sax, bass clarinet) ; Joe Webb (piano); Ferg Ireland (double bass); Will Cleasby (drums)

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