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Bebop Spoken There

Charles Lloyd: "I'm raring to go out to play, because I know I'll find something to explain the inexplicable." (DownBeat August 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, Mouthpiece Music: "Lance writes pull quotes like no one else!"

Postage

14454 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 14 years ago. 732 of them this year alone and, so far, 30 this month (August 11).

From This Moment On ...

August

Thu 18: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 18: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library. 3:00-5:00pm. £1.00. All welcome.
Thu 18: Castillo Nuevo @ Revoluçion de Cuba, Newcastle. 5:30-8:30pm.
Thu 18: Newcastle Jazz Festival @ Bridge Hotel, Newcastle. Strictly Smokin’ Big Band. 7:00pm. Free (four-day festival ticket £40.00.). www.newcastlejazzfestival.co.uk.
Thu 18: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm. Guests: Dave Archbold (keys); Dan Johnson (sax); Josh Bentham (sax); Bill Watson (trumpet); Ron Smith (bass)

Fri 19: Jo Harrop & Jamie McCredie @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. SOLD OUT!
Fri 19: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 19: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 19: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri. 19: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Ayr Jazz Club, Fairfield House Hotel, Fairfield Rd, AYR KA7 2AS. 7:30pm. For accommodation call the hotel on 01292 267461. For tickets call Ayr Jazz Club Secretary, Stuart McLean, on 01292 590773.
Fri 19: Jo Harrop & Jamie McCredie @ St Cuthbert’s Centre, Crook. 7:30pm.
Fri 19: Newcastle Jazz Festival @ Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Harry Keeble Duo + Northern Monkey Brass Band. £15.00. (four-day festival ticket £40.00.). www.newcastlejazzfestival.co.uk.
Fri 19: Mo Scott @ The Millstone, South Gosforth, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Scott w Gary Dunn, Neil Harland & Paul Smith.

Sat 20: Newcastle Jazz Festival @ Tyne Bank Brewery, Newcastle. All day event (from 1:30pm): Riviera Effect + Alter Ego + Graham Hardy Quartet + Jo Harrop & Jamie McCredie + Ivo Neame Quartet. £17.00. (four-day festival ticket £40.00.). www.newcastlejazzfestival.co.uk.
Sat 20: Anth Purdy @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free (donations).
Sat 20: Boys of Brass @ Brandling Villa, South Gosforth, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Sun 21 Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 21: Newcastle Jazz Festival @ Tyne Bank Brewery, Newcastle. All day event (from 1:30pm): Lindsay Hannon & Alan Law + Knats + David Gray’s Flextet + Ben Gilbert Trio + Emma Rawicz. £17.00. (four-day festival ticket £40.00.). www.newcastlejazzfestival.co.uk.
Sun 21: Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.

Mon 22: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Tue 23: FILM: Space is the Place @ Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle. 6:25pm. Dir. John Coney (1974). Starring Sun Ra!
Tue 23: Paul Skerritt @ The Rabbit Hole, Durham. 7:00pm. Free (to reserve a table phone 0191 386 5556).
Tue 23: Jam session @ Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. House trio: Steve Glendinning, Paul Grainger, Abbie Finn.

Wed 24: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 24: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 24: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Monday, April 26, 2021

Ten Irish Jazz Musicians from the 1960s and 70s

Like Newcastle in the 1960s and 70s Dublin was full of venues with live music and in particular you could find clubs and bars offering live jazz most nights. As I was a frequent visitor to many of these places my BSH List of 10  is Irish jazz musicians I heard playing live during this period.

Number 1 - Rock Fox (aka Chas Meredith) - trumpet and saxophone

I first heard live jazz as a teenager in our local village hall in Foxrock outside Dublin. It was a mainstream seven-piece group called the Butler Fox Jazz Band and the sound of all the musicians playing together at full volume made an indelible impression on the 50 or so youngsters crammed into the tiny room. One of the leaders, Rock Fox, was an amateur jazz historian who made wonderfully long-winded introductions to each track, particularly those by his favourite composer Duke Ellington, in a rich, mellifluous accent that greatly increased the entertainment value of the session. 

We also liked him because he actually lived locally and because he was a practising solicitor called Chas Meredith. when he started playing professionally he needed a stage name at short notice and took inspiration from our village. No wonder I was drawn to the music as, thanks to Chas Meredith, jazz was embedded in our village’s name from the late 1950s.

As well as his erudite intros, Rock Fox was a very good trumpet and saxophone player and excellent arranger and he and the band were regularly called upon to back visiting British and American jazz stars during visits to Ireland. He famously accommodated Gerry Mulligan in his house for a number of weeks in the early 1970s and took him on an elegantly manic series of gigs around the country.

I saw the band a lot during those early years and caught up with it a few times later on trips back home. Rock Fox was still going strong and playing with different bands at least 40 years after I first heard him and for a long time he had an influential and long running jazz programme on Irish national radio. He is generally recognised as one of the important figures in the development of jazz in Ireland.

About five years ago I had the genuine pleasure of interviewing Rock Fox for a musical project I was working on and after two hours of fascinating but unfinished memories we decided to stop and arrange another time. Unfortunately, he died shortly afterwards and I was never able to complete the interview. This was a real sadness as we had only reached 1952 so I never did get to talk to him in detail about those early sessions that were so important to me.

JC

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