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Bebop Spoken There

Ambrose Akinmusire: “ I am certainly always aware of what the masses are doing. And when I see too many people going one way, I'm going another way - even when I don't know what's over that way". DownBeat, March, 2024.

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!"

Simon Spillett: A lovely review from the dean of jazz bloggers, Lance Liddle...

Josh Weir: I love the writing on bebop spoken here... I think the work you are doing is amazing.


16233 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 115 of them this year alone and, so far, 59 this month (Feb. 23).

From This Moment On ...

February 2024

Mon 26: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.

Tue 27: Meditative Soundscapes - Improvised Music @ Earthlings - Healing Cafe, Buckingham St., Newcastle NE4 5QR. 7:00-8:30pm. Feat. Johannes Dalhuijsen, Richard Herdman, Nick Bagnall & Michael Olatunji.
Tue 27: Ruth Lambert Quartet @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 8:00pm (7:00pm doors). £12.00., £10.00. (adv.).

Wed 28: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 28: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 28: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

Thu 29: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 29: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library, Gateshead. 2:30pm.
Thu 29: Student Performances @ King’s Hall, Newcastle University. 4:00pm. Free. Inc. Olly Styles (saxophone).
Thu 29: ’58 Jazz Collective @ Hops & Cheese, Hartlepool. 7:00pm. Free.
Thu 27: Student Jazz Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Thu 29: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests: Richie Emmerson (tenor sax); Josh Bentham (alto sax); Graham Thompson (keys); Adrian Beadnell (bass).

Fri 01: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 01: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 01: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 01: Wind Ensemble + Big Band + Jazz Combo + R&B Band @ Boiler House, Newcastle University. 5:30pm. Free.
Fri 01: Joseph Carville Trio @ Saltburn Community Hall. 7:30pm.
Fri 01-Sun 03: Great North Big Band Jazz Festival @ Park View Community Centre, Chester-le-Street. From 8:00pm Friday. Weekend ticket: £20.00.
Fri 01: TBC @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig. Blind Pig Blues Club.
Fri 01: Great North Big Band Jazz Festival @ Park View Community Centre, Chester-le-Street. £10.00. Day 1/3. Musicians Unlimited + Festival Band.

Sat 02: Great North Big Band Jazz Festival @ Park View Community Centre, Chester-le-Street. 11:00am. £15.00.. Day 2/3. Senior bands in competition.
Sat 02: Frog & Henry @ St Augustine's Parish Centre, Darlington. 12:30pm.£10.00. Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club. Superb Anglo-American band!
Sat 02: Play Jazz! workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. Tutor: TBC. £25.00. Enrol at:
Sat 02: The Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Repas7 by Night, 7 West St, Berwick TD15 1AS, 07900 627562. Tapas Specials from 5.00pm - showtime 8.00pm.
Sat 02: Durham University Big Band @ Durham Students' Union, New Elvet, Durham. 7:30pm. £8.00.
Sat 02: Tom Remon & Laurence Harrison @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Sat 02: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Red Lion, Earsdon. 8:00pm. £3.00. The band’s 25th anniversary gig!
Sat 02: John Logan @ The Dyvels, Corbridge. 8:00pm. Rat Pack-style swing.

Sun 03: Great North Big Band Jazz Festival @ Park View Community Centre, Chester-le-Street. 11:00am. £10.00.. Day 3/3. School & Youth bands in competition.
Sun 03: Smokin’ Spitfires @ the Cluny, Newcastle. 12:45pm. £7.50.
Sun 03: Alan Law Trio plays Ahmad Jamal’s At the Pershing: But Not for Me & more @ Central Bar, Gateshead. 2:00pm. £10.00. The music of Ahmad Jamal.
Sun 03: Alice Grace & Ben Helm @ St Francis’ Church, High Heaton, Newcastle. 2:00-5:00pm. £12.00. (children free admission). A Children’s Society fundraiser. Two x 30 mins sets. Refreshments available, child-friendly event with participation of children encouraged!
Sun 03: Sax Choir @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00-5:00pm. Free (donations). Monthly workshop, all welcome (participant and/or listener).
Sun 03: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay Metro Station. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 03: ’58 Jazz Collective @ St George’s Venue, Park Road, Hartlepool. 3:30pm (refreshments from 2:30pm). £6.00.
Sun 03: Down for the Count: A Century of Swing @ The Fire Station, Sunderland. 7:00pm.
Sun 03: SH#RP Collective @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 03: Remy CB @ Blues & Bourbon, Nelson St., Newcastle. 9:00pm. Free. Newcastle University music student Remy Coulthard Boardman.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Album review: Dave Stryker – Baker’s Circle (Strikezone Records)

Dave Stryker (guitar); Walter Smith III (tenor sax); Jared Gold (organ); McClenty Hunter (drums); + Mayra Casales (percussion on two tracks).

Back in the olden days (February 2020) this is the sort of album I would have played as a wake up on my daily commutes, a bit of electric boogalooing up and down the A1. It still carries enough heft to bring some light and life into lockdown.

Dave Stryker is not a name known to me though his history includes stints with Jack McDuff and Stanley Turrentine, (including sessions at times with Freddie Hubbard and Dizzy Gillespie) and he appears on Charenee Wade’s ‘Offering: A Tribute to Gil-Scott Heron and Brian Jackson’ which is a favourite in this reviewer’s house. His main focus since Turrentine died has been his organ trio with Gold and Hunter, augmented on this album by Walter Smith III. Smith is another firm favourite round here. He appeared with Michael Janisch in the Northern Rock Hall at the Sage a few years back and his 2018 album Twio is another that was high on the playlist in the car and in the small back room when it came out in 2018.

Track one, Tough, starts as an ensemble boogie with all the band rocking away, a slow interlude allows WSIII to build a solo from tentative notes to a series of fuller fatter tenor runs, Jared Gold’s solo on organ is more full bodied from the off, with the drummer roaring and rolling in the (not too far) background.

El Camino, with Mayra Casales on additional percussion, is more of a dance track with a long run from the leader who then hands the baton over to WSIII, the space behind his solo filled with stabbing organ flourishes and punchy drums, before Stryker comes back in with a needlepoint solo.

Dreamsong calls to mind very early solitary mornings in closing bars and fluorescent lights on wet city streets; you can almost see the pork pie hats. Cole Porter’s Everything I Love is equally romantic, though this time there is someone else in the room as an object of affection.

Rush Hour, a Jared Gold composition, does what it says on the tin. It’s taken at a higher pace, organ and drums pushing the band along, along with Gold grandstanding to keep the energy levels up.

Superstar, a Leon Russell/Delaney & Bonnie Bramlett tune, is probably best known in the UK from the Carpenters’ cover. It’s a laid back early 70s groove.

The title track is named in memory of Stryker’s colleague, Professor David Baker, at the Indiana University Music School; The Circle was the turning circle where Professor Baker waited for his lift at the end of the day. The song is a mid-paced funky roller with Hunter covering a lot of ground on drums. People with working feet can dance to this; me, notsomuch.

Next there is a cover of Marvin Gaye’s Inner City Blues. Covers of this or of Mercy, Mercy, The Ecology Song seem to be almost compulsory now. This is more pulsing urban funk with slower passages to evoke the tragedy of the decay that Gaye witnessed and led him to write the song.

Love Dance is another accurate description; a laid back groove for when lights are low, slow and spacious with Stryker soloing over Jared Gold’s swirling organ. It sounds like the band are taking a breath and conserving their energy for last track, Trouble (No.2). It’s a cover of a song by Lloyd Price who first recorded Stagger Lee. It’s a boisterous swinging strut an all-in, all cylinders firing romp to close with.

This is largely energetic, good time music, and, if I ever go back to work, it
’s going in the car with me.

Dave S

Tough, El Camino, Dreamsong, Everything I Love, Rush Hour, Superstar, Baker’s Circle, Inner City Blues, Love Dance, Trouble (No. 2)

Baker’s Circle is released on March 5 and will be available from all the usual suspects and from

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