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Bebop Spoken There

Dee Dee Bridgewater: “ Our world is becoming a very ugly place with guns running rampant in this country... and New Orleans is called the murder capital of the world right now ". Jazzwise, May 2024.

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!"

Simon Spillett: A lovely review from the dean of jazz bloggers, Lance Liddle...

Josh Weir: I love the writing on bebop spoken here... I think the work you are doing is amazing.

Postage

16382 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 262 of them this year alone and, so far, 59 this month (April 20).

From This Moment On ...

April

Wed 24: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 24: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 24: Sinatra: Raw @ Darlington Hippodrome. 7:30pm. Richard Shelton.
Wed 24: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.
Wed 24: Death Trap @ Theatre Royal, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Rambert Dance Co. Two pieces inc. Goat (inspired by the music of Nina Simone) with on-stage musicians.

Thu 25: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 25: Jim Jams @ King’s Hall, Newcastle University. 1:15pm. Jim Jams’ funk collective.
Thu 25: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library, Gateshead. 2:30pm.
Thu 25: Death Trap @ Theatre Royal, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Rambert Dance Co. Two pieces inc. Goat (inspired by the music of Nina Simone) with on-stage musicians.
Thu 25: Jeremy McMurray & the Pocket Jazz Orchestra @ Arc, Stockton. 8:00pm.
Thu 25: Kate O’Neill, Alan Law & Paul Grainger @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 25: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests: Richie Emmerson (tenor sax); Neil Brodie (trumpet); Adrian Beadnell (bass); Garry Hadfield (keys).

Fri 26: Graham Hardy Quartet @ The Gala, Durham. 1:00pm. £8.00.
Fri 26: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 26: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 26: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 26: East Coast Swing Band @ Morpeth Rugby Club. 7:30pm. £9.00. (£8.00 concs).
Fri 26: Paul Skerritt with the Danny Miller Big Band @ Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.
Fri 26: Abbie Finn’s Finntet @ Traveller’s Rest, Darlington. 8:00pm. Opus 4 Jazz Club.

Sat 27: Abbie Finn Trio @ The Vault, Darlington. 6:00pm. Free.
Sat 27: Papa G’s Troves @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Sun 28: Musicians Unlimited @ Jackson’s Wharf, Hartlepool. 1:00pm. Free.
Sun 28: More Jam Festival Special @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00pm. Free. A ’10 Years a Co-op’ festival event.
Sun 28: Swing Dance workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00-4:00pm. Free (registration required). A ’10 Years a Co-op’ festival event.
Sun 28: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay Metro Station. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 28: Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox: The '10' Tour @ Glasshouse International Centre for Music, Gateshead. 7:30pm. £41.30 t0 £76.50.
Sun 28: Alligator Gumbo @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ’10 Years a Co-op’ festival event.
Sun 28: Jerron Paxton @ The Cluny, Newcastle. Blues, jazz etc.

Mon 29: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Mon 29: Michael Young Trio @ The Engine Room, Sunderland. 6:30-8:30pm. Free. ‘Opus de Funk’ (a tribute to Horace Silver).

Tue 30: Celebrate with Newcastle Jazz Co-op. 5:30-7:00pm. Free.
Tue 30: Swing Manouche @ Newcastle House Hotel, Rothbury. 7:30pm. A Coquetdale Jazz event.
Tue 30: Clark Tracey Quintet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ’10 Years a Co-op’ festival event.

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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