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Farewell Blues

R.I.P. HRH Queen Elizabeth ll (1926 - Sept. 8, 2022).
R.I.P. Trevor Tomkins (1941 - Sept. 9, 2022).
R.I.P. Gordon McGregor (Sept. 11, 2022).
R.I.P. Ramsey Lewis (1935 - Sept. 12, 2022).
R.I.P. Pharoah Sanders (Oct. 13, 1940 - Sept. 24, 2022).

Bebop Spoken There

Larry Klein: "- in a certain way - Leonard [Cohen] is the greatest songwriter ever." - (Jazzwise October 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

14581 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 14 years ago. 859 of them this year alone and, so far, 59 this month (Sept. 21).

From This Moment On ...

September

Sun 25: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 25: Musicians Unlimited @ Park Inn, Hartlepool. 1:00pm.
Sun 25: Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm. CANCELLED!
Sun 25: Skylla + Pete Wareham-Ruth Goller-Will Glaser @ Bobik’s, Punch Bowl, Jesmond, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music event.

Mon 26: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Mon 26: Lewis Watson Quartet @ Black Bull, Blaydon. 8:00pm. Blaydon Jazz Club.

Tue 27: Beth Clarke @ British Legion Club, West Jesmond, Newcastle. 1:00-4:00pm. Free.
Tue 27: Paul Skerritt @ The Rabbit Hole, Durham. 7:00pm. Free (to reserve a table phone 0191 386 5556).
Tue 27: Black is the Color of My Voice @ Alnwick Playhouse. 7:30pm. One woman stage play (the life & times of Nina Simone).

Wed 28: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 28: Battle of the Bands @ NE Volume Music Bar, Yarm Lane, Stockton. Doors 6:00pm. Tickets: £5.00. adv., £6.00. on the door. Participants inc. Milne Glendinning Band.
Wed 28: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 28: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 28: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Wed 28: Black is the Color of My Voice @ Alnwick Playhouse. 7:30pm. One woman stage play (the life & times of Nina Simone).
Wed 28: Laura Jurd @ Sage Gateshead. 8:00pm.

Thu 29: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 29: Ushaw Ensemble @ King’s Hall, Newcastle University. 1:10pm. Free.
Thu 29: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library. 3:00-5:00pm. £1.00. All welcome.
Thu 29: Czajka & Puchaz + Mark Solborg + Anthropology @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 7:00pm. A Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music event.
Thu 29: ‘58 Jazz Collective @ Hops & Cheese, Hartlepool. 7:30pm.
Thu 29: La Sonora Boreal’s Latin Jam Session @ The Globe, Newcastle (7:45pm). Free (donations). Latin jazz performance & jam session.
Thu 29: Peter Morgan Trio @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 30: Adam Johnson @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. A Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music event.
Fri 30: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 30: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 30: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 30: Pete Churchill & Noel Dennis: Exploring the Jazz Metaphor in Leadership & Management @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 2:30-4:00pm. Workshop.Tickets: £3.30 (inc. bf). A Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music event.
Fri 30: FILM: Bird (Dir. Clint Eastwood) + Swing Bridge (in the bar) @ Forum Cinema, Hexham. 6:30pm.
Fri 30: Orphy Robinson + Maniscalco-Bigoni-Solborg + Nicole Mitchell + Binker Golding-Alexander Hawkins-John Pope-Paul Hession @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle (7:00pm). A Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music event.
Fri 30: Ushaw Ensemble @ St Mary’s Church, Holy Island. 7:30pm.
Fri 30: Alter Ego @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Fri 30: King Bee @ The Craig Charles Funk & Soul Club, Independent, Sunderland. 9:00pm. £22.50. DJs + King Bee.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Keith Nichols (1945-2021)

Pianist Keith Nichols died today (Jan. 21). A noted authority on ragtime and early piano styles, Nichols was born in Ilford, Essex in 1945. As a young child he played piano and accordion, becoming a national junior champion on the latter instrument. From running bands at school to becoming a world-renowned performer and scholar of 'classic' jazz, Nichols did it all with panache and a great sense of humour. 

To list Nichols' achievements would run to several pages, in summary: student years at the Guildhall, performing with and/or arranging for Digby Fairweather, Harry Gold, the Midnite Follies Orchestra, a first visit to America working with Dick Sudhalter (playing Carnegie Hall), and, one to dine out on, recording an album with Bing Crosby. 

Nichols featured on the soundtrack of Pupi Avaki's 1991 film Bix (alongside other jazz world luminaries including Kenny Davern, Vince Giordano and Bob Wilber) playing the part of Hoagy Carmichael at the piano. Nichol's extensive discography includes many albums recorded for the American Stomp Off label and Cumbrian based Lake Records. In July 2006 Nichols appeared at Sage Gateshead in an ambitious, Arts Council supported, tribute to Paul Whiteman. Keith Nichols' Jazz Artists performed alongside the Northern Sinfonia to a capacity audience. The concert was recorded and issued on Lake Records (cat. no. LACD 245).      

Keith Nichols enjoyed a long association with the north east of England, Tyneside in particular. In the late eighties Mike Durham extended an invitation to Nichols to play a pub gig at the Lonsdale in Newcastle with the West Jesmond Rhythm Kings. The following three decades would see Nichols return time and again to perform at the Whitley Bay International Jazz Festival (Nichols' Collegians, Nichols' Wolverines, Nichols and his Rhythm) and later to participate in, and for a number of years, direct, the International Classic Jazz Party on North Tyneside (one of many memorable highlights being a concert presentation by the transatlantic Nichols-Duffee Orchestra). In addition, Dave Kerr's New Century Ragtime Orchestra would frequently call upon Nichols to join them in sellout concerts throughout the region.         

In a National Jazz Archive interview (www.nationaljazzarchive.org) Nichols said: I got to be a champion accordion player before I gave it up - the devil's music got me in the end at the age of 14. Keith Nichols b. 13 Feb 1945, d. 21 Jan 2021.    
Russell

6 comments :

Brian Bennett said...

So many happy memories of being entertained by Keith. Whether it was the back room of a pub, a jazz festival or concert hall, he was simply brilliant. Supreme musicianship on piano AND trombone. His comical stories and songs were hysterical.
A sad day indeed for the jazz world. RIP Keith.

carstairs said...

What an honour when Mike Durham asked me to be part of the rhythm section of Spats and his Rhythm Boys, lead by the inimitable Keith. With Spats on bjo, grr, uke and vocals,, Pete Soulsby or ,later, Nick Ward on drums, plus Frank Sjostrom on bass Sax we couldn't go wrong following Keith's lead. Quiet, humourous, hard-working ( and quick to modify the chords or routine without putting anyone's nose out of joint ) he was a joy to work with. I shall miss him as a 'real Professor of Jazz' and I am certain many others feel the same?

Anonymous said...

[Tiny point, It's Pupi Avati. See, https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0002194/ & https://variety.com/2019/film/news/pupi-avati-il-signor-diavalo-wide-1203219468/]

Brian Chester said...

What a shock when Patti rang to pass on the sad news. Such a fine musician and nice man. I've played and recorded with Keith on many occasions and it was always a delight. He will be badly (and sadly) missed.

David Burr said...

To say this is very sad would be to understate the general sense of shock at the loss of such a talented, influential and good-humoured individual. I spoke to him on the phone early in the New Year and he was characteristically looking forward to presenting a new project as soon as circumstances permitted.
We shall remember him.

Phil Rutherford said...

Such shocking news, the worst. Not just the public loss of a great performer, entertainer, arranger, jazz authority, one of the foundations of the Whitley Bay International Jazz Festival/Jazz Party, but the personal loss of one of the most genuine and generous people in the business, friend, mentor and gentleman. So many happy memories of playing alongside Keith in the West Jesmond Rhythm Kings, the New Century Ragtime Orchestra and at the Jazz Party. How we will miss him. RIP Keith. My condolences to Eve and to all his family and friends.

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