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Bebop Spoken There

Greg Abate: "So many sounds are ugly now. There are no harmonics, no chords. What do people hear these days? Why do things have to change from that good music?" (JazzTimes June/July 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:"Lance writes pull quotes like no one else!"

Postage

14378 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 14 years ago. 597 of them this year alone and, so far, 2 this month (July 2).

From This Moment On ...

July

Mon 04: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Wed 06: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 06: Michael Bublé @ Durham County Cricket Club, Chester le Street. Doors: 5:00pm.
Wed 06: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 06: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 06: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 07: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 07: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library. 3:00-5:00pm. £1.00. All welcome.
Thu 07: Lara Jones + Echo Juliet @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 7:00pm.
Thu 07: Thursday Night Prayer Meeting @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free admission (donations).
Thu 07: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead. 8:30pm.
Thu 07: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 08: Alex Clarke Quartet @ Bishop Auckland Town Hall. 1:00pm. £7.00.
Fri 08: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 08: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 08: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.

Sat 09: Jazz Stage @ Mouth of the Tyne Festival: Zoë Gilby Duo (12 noon); Vieux Carré Jazzmen (1:35pm); Harmony Brass (3:10pm); Ruth Lambert Quartet (4:40pm). Outdoor stage adjacent to Tynemouth Priory.

Sun 10: Tusk X Yeah You @ Live Theatre, Newcastle. 12 noon. £10.00. All day event, line-up inc. Pat Thomas.
Sun 10: Jazz Stage @ Mouth of the Tyne Festival: Rendezvous Jazz (12 noon); River City Jazzmen (1:35pm); House of the Black Gardenia (3:10pm); Classic Swing (4:40pm). Outdoor stage adjacent to Tynemouth Priory.
Sun 10 Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 10: Tees Valley Jazzmen @ Hammer & Pincers, Preston le Skerne. 1:00pm.
Sun 10: Shunyata Improvisation Group @ Saltwell Park, Gateshead NE9 5AX. 1:00pm.
Sun 10: Am Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 10: Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 10: Anth Purdy @ Blues & Bourbon, Newcastle. 4:00pm.
Sun 10: Jazzframe @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

KSTV: Playback session - Mingus Ah Um

Nathaniel Facey (alto sax); Alec Harper (tenor sax/clarinet); Daniel Higham (trombone); Deschanel Gordon (piano); Ferg Ireland (bass); Will Cleasby (drums).

(Screenshots by Ken Drew)

1959 was, according to many, the year when more great jazz albums were released than in any other year before or since. It's a debatable point but certainly the evidence leans strongly towards that conclusion. Miles Davis: A Kind of Blue; Dave Brubeck: Time Out; Art Pepper + Eleven. 

There were many more classic recordings and one that more than held its own was Charles Mingus: Mingus Ah Um. It was the first Mingus album I bought - the first of many - and was the subject of tonight's playback session at Kansas Smitty's.

Could they handle it?  After all, it was a bit like asking someone to rewrite Hamlet.

It only took the opening bars of Better Git it in Your Soul for me to look in the mirror and say, "Oh ye of little faith."

This was storming with both saxes going for gold, Cleasby proving that he most certainly has "got it in his soul" and Ferg as much a tower of strength as Mingus was and he didn't thump anyone!

A beautiful rendition of Goodbye Pork Pie Hat featured Alec Harper.

Boogie Stop Shuffle saw Facey ticking all the boxes. Giacomo was initially listed in the line-up but I guess he's still in New York - hopefully not in a line-up down at the precinct.

Self-Portrait in Three Colors. No solos but the rich harmonies that typified the depth of Mingus' harmonic savvy.

The famous (infamous?) Fables of Faubus with its quirky theme and tempo changes was almost, almost, the number of the night with Facey again blowing like as though there was no tomorrow, Higham taking his first trombone solo of the set, Desch on the refurbished grand and Ferg slotting in a couple of choruses.

Pussy Cat Blues was a killer with Harper charming a few snakes on clarinet. Pee Wee Russell lives! This was as earthy a clarinet solo as you're ever likely to hear.

Jelly Rolls, as the title implies was dedicated to Jelly Roll Morton and the theme related to those early days of jazz although the solos by Facey and Desch were very much of today.

And so we came to the final number. Would it be An Open Letter to Duke or Bird Calls, the only two numbers from the LP they hadn't covered?

It was neither! Girl of my Dreams was recorded at the same time but wasn't on the original album and didn't surface until 1979. As it turned out, this was the arrangement I loved most - particularly Harper's tenor solo.

Great set.
Lance

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