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Bebop Spoken There

Steve Fishwick: “I can’t get behind the attitude that new is always somehow better than old”. (Jazz Journal, April 15, 2019).

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

16527 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 407 of them this year alone and, so far, 29 this month (June 12).

From This Moment On ...

June

Thu 13: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 13: Indigo Jazz Voices @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:45pm. £5.00. Upstairs.
Thu 13: Musicians Unlimited @ Dorman’s, Middlesbrough. 8:00pm.
Thu 13: Jazz Guys @ Tynedale Beer & Cider Festival, Corbridge. 8:00pm.
Thu 13: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. Ragtime piano. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 13: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guest band: Musicians Unlimited

Fri 14: Mark Williams Trio @ The Old Library, Auckland Castle, Bishop Auckland. 1:00pm. £8.00.
Fri 14: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 14: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 14: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 14: Strictly Smokin’ Big Band @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. ‘Ella & Ellington’. 7:30pm. £18.00.
Fri 14: Customs House Big Band @ Customs House, South Shields. 7:30pm. Donations (online, min. £3.00.).

Sat 15: Keith Barrett & Andrew Porritt @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 12 noon. Free. A Cullercoats Festival event.
Sat 15: NUJO Jazz Jam @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 7:00pm.
Sat 15: James Birkett & Emma Fisk @ Sunderland Minster. 7:30pm. £15.00., £8.00. (u16s free). ‘The Great American Songbook’. A Bishopwearmouth Choral Society event, conductor David Murray.
Sat 15: Jude Murphy & Dan Stanley @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Sun 16: Jason Isaacs @ Stack, Seaburn SR6 8AA. 1:00-2:45pm. Free.
Sun 16: Paul Skerritt @ Hibou Blanc, Newcastle. 2:00pm.
Sun 16: Gaz Hughes Trio @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. 3:00pm. £10.00.
Sun 16: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 16: Gaz Hughes Trio @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 16: Jazz Jam @ Fabio’s Bar, Saddler St., Durham. 8:00pm. Free. A Durham University Jazz Society event. All welcome.

Mon 17: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Mon 17: ‘Tower of Power’ @ The Library Bar, Saddler St., Durham . 7:30pm.Free. A Durham University Jazz Society event. All welcome.

Tue 18: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Victoria & Albert Inn, Seaton Delaval. 12:30pm. £13.00. ‘Jazz, Sausage ‘n’ Mash’…’with Onion Gravy’!
Tue 18: Jam Session @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free. House trio: Stu Collingwood, Paul Grainger, Tim Johnston.
Tue 18: Libby Goodridge & Ben Davies @ The Lost Wanderer, Leazes Park Road, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £6.00. Triple bill, inc. Goodridge & Davies (jazz).

Wed 19: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 19: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 19: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Book review: David Burke - Giant Steps Diverse Journeys in British Jazz

David Burke has been writing about music since the mid-eighties. A contributor to Classic Pop and Vintage Rock magazines and the All About Jazz website, Burke is the author of books on subjects as diverse as Van Morrison, Bruce Springsteen and folk artists Maddy Prior, June Tabor and Linda Thompson. Giant Steps is a collection of portraits-cum-interviews with established and emerging British jazz musicians. The common denominator in Burke's book is the experience of 'Black British' artists, their heritage, experiences and the challenge of making a name for themselves in post-colonial Britain.

Many of Giant Steps' interviewees make reference to Gary Crosby and Janine Irons. The Jazz Warriors and Tomorrow's Warriors were, and are, training grounds for black British musicians. To this day Crosby continues to do invaluable work. NYJO and its regional equivalents were populated predominately by white British musicians, many jazz venues weren't particularly welcoming to non-white British musicians (Ronnie Scott's doesn't escape criticism), these are the observations of several of Burke's subjects. This is how it used to be and the general concensus among the interviewees is that things have changed for the better but there is still much work to do. 

Musicians gigging in London, south London and, down to the micro level, south east London, are considered integral to an emerging, developing and self-sustaining scene. Almost without exception there is proud acknowledgement of the influence of Caribbean, African and Asian heritage. Recurring themes abound: recognition of the notion they're 'standing on the shoulders of giants' - Coleridge Goode, Joe Harriott, Harry Beckett and others in Britain, Ellington through to Coltrane and beyond in America; in the year of the book's publication, commentary on Black Lives Matter and the global pandemic.

Black representation in British jazz was/is an issue, similarly, women in jazz. Of Burke's twenty five interviewees, five are female - Gail Thompson, Zoe Rahman, Zara McFarlane, Camilla George and Shirley Tetteh. Each has a story to tell of barriers, discrimination and, crucially, how they overcame or continue to deal with it all. 

From Courtney Pine to KT Reeder, there is a story to be told. One such, is Tony Kofi's story...a young man working as an apprentice carpenter, a near-death experience leading to a life in jazz. As 'human interest' stories go, this is one hell of a story. It is to be hoped most jazz fans will, at the very least, be familiar with Burke's subjects. For those who aren't up to speed, Giant Steps will serve as a useful primer. Russell      
                       
Giant Steps Diverse Journeys in British Jazz by David Burke is published by Desert Hearts (ISBN: 9781908755483). 

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