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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.

Postage

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.

Wednesday, April 07, 2021

Ten great north east jazz musicians. 10 - Jackie Armstrong

Jackie Armstrong (1920 - 2005). The Consett born trombonist slipped off my radar for the simple reason that I hadn't realised he'd been born in County Durham plus, he hadn't been included in John Chilton's otherwise excellent Who's Who of British Jazz.

Armstrong's omission from the latter publication is unforgivable given that he was voted top trombonist in the Melody Maker Poll for four consecutive years (1949 - 1952) - second only to George Chisholm in overall gongs. Of the other 9 greats I've chosen, only Ian Carr came close to this feat winning the trumpet category three times.

Like many northern brass players he came to music via the brass band scene and, after wartime service in the Royal Artillery, he became a dance band musician with Lou Preager's band at the Hammersmith Palais where his playing caught the eye of  the leader of a new band - Ted Heath.

This was the first great Heath band that included, at various times, Kenny Baker, Jack Parnell and (briefly) Ronnie Scott. No doubt it was the exposure gained with this high-flying outfit that helped Armstrong, and the above trio, to their Melody Maker successes.

After leaving Heath he joined the Skyrockets who, led by Woolf Phillips, were resident orchestra at the London Palladium followed by stints with the BBC Showband and Jack Parnell's ATV studio orchestra.

Eventually, the wheel turned the full circle and he became part of the New Ted Heath Band organised by Moira Heath and led by Armstrong's successor in the Heath trombone section, Don Lusher. Lusher, incidentally, only managed two MM number ones.

He was 85 when he died but, hopefully, this rather longer post than intended will help to sustain his memory.

Lance.

PS: Thanks to Maurice Summerfield and Len Gatoff for ensuring that Jackie Armstrong wasn't overlooked in this, the final part of the series. I assume there will be those out there reminding me of the ones I've overlooked.

Soon, perhaps, we will have a series commemorating those who are still with us such as John McLaughlin, Paul Booth, Paul Moran, Paul Edis and Jo Harrop for starters...

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