Total Pageviews

Bebop Spoken There

Chick Corea: "Things feel good when there's a lot of music happening." - (DownBeat August 2005 (unpublished. Published posthumously April 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.


13,107 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 526 of them this year alone and, so far, 81 this month (April 16).

Bar Manager Required

The Jazz Co-op are looking for an experienced bar manager who can be available to start when The Globe reopens in May.

Preference will be given to a suitably qualified person who lives relatively near to The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD.

Interested parties please follow this link.

Coming soon ...

April 29: Vieux Carré Jazzmen are back at The Holystone.

May 20 Maine Street Jazzmen are back at Sunniside Social Club.
May 23: Vieux Carré Hot Four are back at The Spanish City.

June 2: Vieux Carré Jazzmen are back at Cullercoats Crescent Club.
June 7: Jazz in the Afternoon are back at Cullercoats Crescent Club.

Tuesday, March 02, 2021

Chris Barber (April 17, 1930 - March 2, 2021) -

There are legends and there are legends and then there is, or rather was, Chris Barber who died earlier today.

Remembered most recently as the last of the "Three Bs" - Barber, Bilk and Ball - Chris Barber was in the forefront of British New Orleans jazz long before the other two. Along with Humph, Barber's old Boss Ken Colyer and Mick Mulligan they headed what was then called The Revivalist Movement recreating the original sounds of the roots of jazz whilst still maintaining a degree of their own individuality.

Barber, like Humph, soon moved away from the Mississippi Delta. Humph towards more mainstream areas whilst Barber found gold in blues and work songs such as Rock Island Line which brought fame to Lonnie Donegan and fortune to Chris Barber. I well remember hearing that initial performance at Newcastle City Hall in 1955 which soon after set off the skiffle craze.

As well as adding some early Ellington numbers to the repertoire he also crossed a few more genres with his 1973 album Battersea Rain Dance which verged on Mingusian territory. Barber may have begun with Ken Colyer but this was closer to Graham Collier!

There will be many more tributes and memories to follow the world over but it is with a sense of pride that I'm able to post my own small tribute.

Chris Barber was 90 years old. He will be sadly missed throughout the jazz world.

REST IN PEACE - you were one of a kind (and a great trombone player).


NeilC said...

Sadly it appears that never a day goes by when we lose another great . Not Jazz related but the penultimate Wailer from when Bob Marley and the Wailers broke with Catch A Fire, Bunny Wailer, died yesterday and today it is the British Icon Mr Chris Barber, not only a bastion of British Jazz he was a stalwart of the formative Blues scene in the UK . I often listen to his classic Who's Blues Album , yet another devastating and very sad loss.

Steve Andrews said...

Sometime in the '70's when I was with the Vieux Carre we played a gig in a drill hall in, I think, Dumfries, as "support" band to Chris Barber's Jazz & Blues Band - the one with Johnny Crocker and Sammy Rimmington on reeds, and with electric guitar as well as banjo. We went by minibus and it took a long, long time, which we employed profitably by drinking a multitude of cans of beer. When we finally arrived we had to back down a small incline to the open double doors at the side of the stage, through which we could hear the Barber band doing a soundcheck. When we opened the back doors of the transit to get the gear out, around a hundred empty cans rolled out and into the hall and onto the dancefloor to the delight of Barber's musicians (though not him!) and to our mingled (80%/20%) hilarity and shame. I don't think that we were much of a "support", but, in fairness, they didn't need much support, they managed very well! That was also the first gig where I ever saw clarinets double-miked, i.e. one mike over the top joint and one at the bell - a very sensible idea!

Carstairs said...

Somehow, in the mid-60s Barber's band and a crowd of us young followers ended up at a post-concert party in the cellar of the Anglican Chaplaincy at Sheffield University. The ceiling was about 5 feet high so no chance for a string bass. We sat on the floor, me next to Chris with my tuba (the property of Sheffield Transport Band!) in my lap, playing a bit. What a nice man he was but he didn't play trombone that night.
I followed him for years and loved his departure from the accepted norms of Trad. Such numbers as Sweet Savannah Sue and his work with Joe Harriot. In later years I enjoyed his Big Chris Barber Band, playing arrangements by Bob Hunt. Sad to see him go downhill but his trombone playing could still show his drive and unique tone. I will miss him but his music lives on.

Gordon Solomon said...

The end of an era, Chris was hugely important for introducing firstly New Orleans Jazz, then R&B, Gospel, Eastern European jazz influences and some more modern jazz sounds to world wide audiences over the years.

His bands were unerringly correct in their approach to the music, his arrangements and indeed his trombone playing were immaculate and unique, and lets not forget he played very accurate double bass too.

The River City Jazzmen had the pleasure of playing as the back up band for Chris on a few occasions and I always found him very approachable and helpful. There is no doubt that he inspired literally hundreds, perhaps thousands of young people, myself included, to take up an instrument and see how far they could progress playing jazz.

Because of the huge success of his band in the 1950's he did tend to be typecast for playing traditional jazz, which is a shame as his later band played a much broader program, latterly specialising in the music of Duke Ellington. I could write many pages outlining his achievements but these are well documented on the internet.
Gordon S

Barry Aitchison said...

Sorry to here that Chris Barber is gone his music was good his band was good the sound of jazz.
We all will miss him RIP.

Blog archive