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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

14438 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 14 years ago. 716 of them this year alone and, so far, 13 this month (August 6).

From This Moment On ...

August

Thu 11: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 11: Baghdaddies @ Cumberland Arms, Newcastle. Time TBC.
Thu 11: Indigo Jazz Voices: Little Big Band Special @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:45pm. POSTPONED!
Thu 11: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm. Guests Donna Hewitt (sax) Josh Bentham (sax) Garry Hadfield (keys).

Fri 12: Ben Gilbert Trio @ Bishop Auckland Town Hall. 1:00pm.
Fri 12: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 12: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 12: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.

Sun 14: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 14: Tees Valley Jazzmen @ Hammer & Pincers, Preston le Skerne. 1:00pm.
Sun 14: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ West Park, South Shields. 2:00pm.
Sun 14: Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 14: Anth Purdy @ Blues & Bourbon, Newcastle. 4:00pm. Free.
Sun 14: Castillo Nuevo @ Revoluçion de Cuba, Newcastle. 5:30-8:30pm.
Sun 14: Sunday Night Am Jam Special @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Note start time.

Mon 15: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Mon 15: Stu Collingwood Organ Trio @ Black Bull, Blaydon. 8:00pm. Blaydon Jazz Club.

Wed 17: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 17: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 17: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 17: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

A (belated) book review. Gay Talese - Frank Sinatra Has a Cold and other essays

If I state that this is probably the finest piece of non-fictional journalism ever published I will probably be accused, as we BSH writers often are, of going over the top when we discover a new talent. Not that Gay Talese can be defined as new, the articles in this anthology date from 1961 to 1997 and Talese is still around - now aged 89.

The book isn't about jazz, nor is it totally about Frank Sinatra although that particular essay is one of the most astute observations of what life was like for those in and around the great man's day to day activities. It is universally regarded as one of the most influential American magazine articles of all time after it was published in Esquire magazine in 1966.

In the previous paragraph, I wrote that the book isn't about jazz, and it isn't, whilst yet it is. Talese's prose displays all the dexterity of a Stan Getz solo, the urbanity and sophistication of an Ellington composition as well as the astute observations of someone able to get just close enough to see it like it is. He gets the meaning out of words when he writes them the way that Sinatra does when he sings them.

Apart from Sinatra, Talese writes about boxers, Joe Louis, Floyd Patterson and Mohammed Ali - not about their fights but about their post fight careers. He goes to Dublin with Peter O'Toole, takes a witty look at the fashion magazine hierarchy, describes a life or death situation faced by an Italian tailor with a Mafioso Godfather after a customised order for a suit went wrong as well as an essay about an obituary writer who can't wait for his subjects to die so that his pre-written articles for the New York Times get published.

It's all there and much more.

My only regret is that it took me all these years to discover this book which came out in Penguin format in 2011. For this, my thanks go out to my dear friend Liz who brought it to my attention and to her son Kevin who brought it to hers!

Thank you both.

Lance

Gay Talese - Frank Sinatra Has a Cold and other essays. Penguin Modern Classics ISBN 978-0-141-19415-8

2 comments :

Liz said...

My pleasure Lance. As I said, it lay on my bookshelf for ages after my son bought it for me as a Xmas present. When I did pick it up again during the darkest of Pandemic days and with little else to read, I was overjoyed, and could not believe the extraordinary writing skill of Gay Talese!! When you find something like this, all you want to do is share it with like minded people, and that is what lance is doing!

Liz said...

My pleasure Lance. As I said, it lay on my bookshelf for ages after my son bought it for me as a Xmas present. When I did pick it up again during the darkest of pandemic days and with little else to read, I was overjoyed, and could not believe the extraordinary writing skill of Gay Talese!! When you find something like this, all you want to do is share it with like minded people, and that is what Lance is doing!

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