Total Pageviews

Bebop Spoken There

Ethan Iverson: "Oscar Peterson famously said that Bud [Powell] played just too many wrong notes. He was really critical of Bud as a player, which I think is not right." - (DownBeat March 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'"


12,557 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 276 of them this year alone and, so far, 127 this month (Feb. 28).

Wednesday March 3


Tuesday, February 02, 2021

James Pearson's Rhapsody in Light Blue live streaming from Ronnie Scott's - Feb. 1

James Pearson (piano); Jeremy Brown (double bass); Matt Skelton (drums); Pete Long (alto sax, clarinet); Callum Au (trombone, euphonium); James 'JT' Turner (tuned percussion); Alicja Smietana (violin). 

(Screenshots by Ken Drew)

James Pearson presented a live stream celebration of Rhapsody in Blue. Ronnie Scott's MD introduced an all-star chamber jazz ensemble to perform a selection of compositions from George Gershwin's earliest days on Tin Pan Alley to Porgy and Bess to his An American in Paris Days and the focus of this Monday evening concert, Rhapsody in Blue

The house trio is an attraction in itself, the addition of two of Ronnie's regulars (Pete Long, reeds, Callum Au, brass) and a couple of specialists (James 'JT' Turner, tuned percussion, Alicja Smietana, violin) assisted Pearson in creating something akin to the full orchestral voices available to Gershwin (and Paul Whiteman) almost a century ago. 

Swanee from 1919, a vehicle for star singer Al Jolson, made composer G. Gershwin, not yet twenty one, a small fortune. MD Pearson has yet to pen a chart-topper but he sure can play them! Our pianist's easy going commentary helped join the dots of Gershwin's rise and rise. Social distancing measures obliged the trio to take to the stage (joined from time to time by classical violin virtuoso Smietana) with Long (playing some hot Goodman-style clarinet) and Au (a one-man brass section) on the floor of the room, percussionist Turner to one side. 

Porgy and Bess medley (inc. It Ain't Necessarily SoThere's a Boat Dat's Leavin' Soon for New York), a Tubby Hayes' arrangement of Love Walked In (what's the betting Tubbs played it, with a modern jazz line-up to die for, in this very room?) featured Smietana and Long. Is Pete Long underrated? Does he have the same high profile as some of his contemporaries?*

Pearson in Oscar P mode on The Man I Love from the Broadway version of An American in ParisBlue Lullaby (Prelude no.2) as a Pearson-Smietana duo feature, and on to the finale. Twenty minutes or thereabouts, Pearson directing the ensemble, the one we (some of us?) had been waiting for - Rhapsody in Blue, or as our MD preferred, Rhapsody in Light Blue.   

Pete Long will be working with the Strictly Smokin' Big Band on an Ellington concert programme at Sage Gateshead next year (February 26, 2022). Book now at:                 

No comments :

Blog archive