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Bebop Spoken There

Belá Fleck: "...he [Chick Corea] brought out the best in musicians. Not only would you get to play with him, but you'd get to play with the best version of yourself." - (DownBeat 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.


13,073 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 492 of them this year alone and, so far, 47 this month (April 9).

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.

Monday, March 08, 2021

Let's hear it for the girls!

International Women's Day (International Men's Day, in case the publicity passed you by, was back on Nov. 19) got me to thinking about some of the north east's jazz women past and present.

My emphasis is on women instrumentalists (although some do also sing) as, compared to their male counterparts, female jazz singers have never been so much in abundance - not that I'm complaining!

Kathy Stobart is perhaps the best known instrumentalist to emerge from the region. The late, South Shields born saxophonist began her musical life with Don Rico's Ladies' Swing Band before joining Peter Fielding's Band at Newcastle's Oxford Galleries. Her subsequent career centred around London where, as well as leading her own band, she played in the Vic Lewis Orchestra, formed a quintet with her then husband, trumpet player Bert Courtley and ended her career as a member of Humphrey Lyttleton's band.

I'm sure there were many others although most have either been forgotten or found refuge in the Ivy Benson Band.

Once such was Lynn Weems who, after a spell with Ivy Benson, returned to the area and played alto sax in the Newcastle Big Band as well taking up a music-teaching post with one of the local authorities.

A jump forward to the present with apologies to those I've overlooked.

Monarch of all she surveys, Emma Fisk (pictured) can hold her own with just about any swing violinist in the country and I'm not sure who the "just about" is! Her Hot Club du Nord was a natural follow on from her stint with Djangologie and is always a crowd-puller either live or online.

Another swing fiddler is former Northern Sinfonia violinist Kay Usher who enlivened many of the jam sessions at the Dun Cow in Jesmond. Which reminds me of another violinist; Elaine Binney who shook up some of the Jazz Café jams and gigged with her band, the Jazz Rascals. I spoke to her recently and I'm pleased to report that after several years of ill-health she's alive and kickin' on the country music scene. Among the various Strad (Strad(i)varius get it?) aspirants, Judith Thompson co-led The Hot House Dragons with Matt Office before disappearing off the radar.

Abbie Finn has developed from jam session sitter in to bandleader and local A-Lister. A player who can handle any gig anywhere and, as if that isn't enough, she's appeared on stage in the West End!

You name it, Jude Murphy does it! Sax, flute, bass guitar, sings and goodness knows what else. Jude's the one you say "Hey Jude" to when you're looking for someone for a gig.

Then there's Sue Ferris. Not many sax players of any gender will put themselves in the frame to swap choruses with Alan Barnes on baritone sax but Sue isn't just any sax player and she could, also, probably take most guys to the cleaners on flute!

Faye MacCalman, Karen Rann, Rachel Richman, Faye Thompson, Sarah Travena, Nicola Milne (Weaver), Fiona Finden and Caroline Bagley all blow sax as good as some men and maybe better than most.

There are so many more coming up, pianist Laurent Ainsborough whom we featured a couple of days back, Beth Roberts from Teesside, the various girls who are increasingly turning up in student big bands - the girls are on the march - look out guys, you better start practising or else you you'll be buying sweeping brushes instead of drum brushes!


PS: And how could I forget sax players Jill Brett and Elaine Francis of the Customs House Big Band?!

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