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Bebop Spoken There

JD Allen: "...art in itself is now a luxury that you need a lot of finances to do." - (DownBeat October 2021)

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! --

Postage

13,806 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 1223 of them this year alone and, so far, 50 this month (Oct. 13).

From This Moment On ...

October

Sat 16: Women Play Jazz! workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. Tutor Julija Jacenaite: Improvarium..
Sat 16: Emma Fisk & James Birkett @ St Mary's Church, Monkseaton. 7:30pm..
Sat 16: Triptych @ Sage Gateshead. 7:45pm. Trio with live visuals by Lisa Delarny. .
Sat 16: Rendezvous Jazz @ Memorial Hall, Ponteland. 8:00pm. Guest Ian Wynne (piano)..

Sun 17: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 17: Musicians Unlimited @ South Durham Social Club. 1:00pm.
Sun 17: Shunyata Improvisation Group @ Unitarian Church, Newcastle. 1:30pm.
Sun 17: Vula Viel @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 18: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Wed 20: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 20: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 20: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Wed 20: Jeremy McMurray & the Jazz Pocket Orchestra @ Middlesbrough Town Hall. 8:00pm.

Thu 21: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 21: NUJO Jazz Jam @ Bar Loco, Newcastle. 7:00pm. Newcastle University Jazz Orchestra.
Thu 21: Alter Ego @ St James' & St Basil's Church, Newcastle 7:30pm.
Thu 21: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead. 8:30pm.
Thu 21: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman's Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 22: Mick Shoulder Quartet @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. Quartet featuring Alex Clarke (BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year finalist).
Fri 22: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 22: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm.
Fri 22: Paul Edis Trio w Ruth Lambert @ St Cuthbert's Centre, Crook. 7:30pm.
Fri 22: Michael Feinstein @ Sage Gateshead. 8:00pm.
Fri 22: Peter Morgan Trio @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Sat 23: Mary Coughlan @ Gosforth Civic Theatre, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sat 23: Têtes de Pois @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

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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