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Bebop Spoken There

Fergus McCreadie: "I think a lot of the best music is very political, and there are so many things going on in the world that I'm constantly angry at. But for me making music is not the space for that" (Jazzwise July 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:"Lance writes pull quotes like no one else!"

Postage

14336 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 14 years ago. 555 of them this year alone and, so far, 55 this month (June 19).

From This Moment On ...

June

Sun 26 Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 26: Musicians Unlimited @ Jackson’s Wharf, Hartlepool. 1:00pm. Outdoor (indoor if inclement weather).
Sun 26: Mississippi Dreamboats @ Springwell Village Community Venue, Gateshead. 2:30pm. A ‘1940s’ Weekend’ event (from 1:00pm).
Sun 26: More Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 26: Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 26: Los Chichanos @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £10.00 adv., £12.00. door.

Mon 27: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Tue 28: Jam session @ Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. House trio: Dean Stockdale, Paul Grainger, Sid White.

Wed 29: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 29: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 29: Four @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 29: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 30: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 30: 58 Jazz Collective @ Hops & Cheese, Hartlepool. 7:30pm.
Thu 30: Lights Out By Nine @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. 8:30pm. Free.
Thu 30: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead. 8:30pm.
Thu 30: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

July

Fri 01: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 01: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 01: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 01: Swing Manouche @ The Vault, Hexham. 7:30pm (doors). £20.00.
Fri 01: 1920s Speakeasy w live jazz @ The Exchange, North Shields. 8:00pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Fri 01: Struggle Buggy @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. Blind Pig Blues Club. 8:00pm.

Sat 02: Hot Fingers @ St Augustine’s Parish Centre, Darlington. 12:30pm. £10.00.
Sat 02: Play Jazz! workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. Tutor Steve Glendinning: Latin jazz. £25.00. Enrol at: www.jazz.coop.
Sat 02: Talk: Storytelling & jazz as an expression of urban life @ The Exchange, North Shields. 1:45pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Sat 02: The Commandments + On Parole @ The Exchange, North Shields. 2:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event. Rhythm & blues.
Sat 02: Geordie Jazz Man @ The Exchange, North Shields. 5:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event. Screening of Abi Lewis’ documentary film about Keith Crombie & the Jazz Café.
Sat 02: The Delta Prophets Trio @ The Exchange, North Shields. 6:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event. Rhythm & blues.
Sat 02: Swing Manouche @ Claypath Deli, Durham. 7:00pm.
Sat 02: Swung Eight & King Bees @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event. Swing dance + ace Chicago blues band.
Sat 02: Tyne Valley Big Band @ Greenside Community Centre, Ryton. 7:30pm.
Sat 02: Patrick Cromb @ Prohibition Bar, 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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