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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: 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.

Monday, June 14, 2021

Reminiscing in (and out of) Tempo by Andy Hudson - Part Two

Having kicked off last week with the tale of  how, in my first  few months here in the North East, myself and   a fellow student, Ivan Dunne    who shared my passion for both rugby and jazz,   blew our entire SRC grant on supporting a concert by the Duke Ellington Orchestra at the City Hall. I still maintain that it was worth it to hear that horn section with Paul Gonsalves, Johnny Hodges, Harry Carney and the extraordinary Cat Anderson on screaming high note trumpet. We took them out for a pint afterwards - the rest is somewhat hazy…

Talking of hazy, in the mid-1970s I managed a bit of a coup in securing the first ever BBC Live outside broadcast – You’ll perhaps remember that this was achieved by playing Radio 3 Audio along with BBC2 TV.

We constructed an unlikely concert as part of the Newcastle Jazz Festival in November '76 – 4 sets

1. The Alex Welsh Band with Bud Freeman, tenor sax. 2. Soft Machine. 3. The Syd Lawrence Orchestra with Annie Ross, vocal. 4. The Roland Kirk Quintet with Steve Turré, trombone, Hilton Ruiz, piano.

So where’s the hazy bit?

Introduced for Live TV by Spike Milligan …. HINT!

As this was of enormous prestige and high technical challenge, the University Theatre (as it was then) was awash with BBC brass (close to 100 of them mostly staying at the Gosforth Park Hotel).

Hazy part 1 – The Sound check.

Enter stage left – Rahsaan Roland Kirk, crashing into the mic array sending them into the theatre front row. Upon re-assembly, a rather urgent young BBC Floor Manager echoed his instructions from the mobile studio in the car park outside.

Mr Kirk sir could you and the band play a piece for us

“Harrumph! “

Whereupon Kirk hit into a medium swing number Indiana – played in a Lester Young Style that would have happily sat in Steve Andrews’ Savannah Syncopators repertoire.

“Thank you Mr Kirk – perhaps now a more up tempo piece.”

“Mo Fokel “  or something similar.

1-2,-1234 count in by Kirk of at least 280 bpm into a blistering Indiana.

“Thank you Mr Kirk – I believe you play more than one instrument at once – might we hear something?”

“Mo Fukel sona bits” or something similar.

Honk Honk from 2 saxes with the bells right up to the mics followed by a free form complex time band rendering in at least 3 different keys of….wait for it… Indiana!

“Thank you Mr Kirk. All fine!”

Kirk was “mo fukelin” his way off stage with a definite grin and the BBC team breathed a sigh of relief. Myself and the TV producer, Tony Cash were laughing away at the piss-take we had all been experiencing from Kirk.

The concert was, as you might expect from the line-up, of exceptional quality.

If you wanted totally predictable spot on delivery of timed autocue reportage commensurate with all the top brass of the BBC present – who would be the last person you would engage as the presenter – you got it - Spike Milligan.

ROLLING

Off the credits and into Spike in 5- 4- 3 -2 -1…- Camera 1

The Auto cue rolled and some bland text eased up the screen about to introduce the big start of Syd Lawrence. At which point Spike took out a monocle and glared threateningly into the camera affecting a German accent.

“Ladies unt Gentlemen - This is not known generally but during zee war, Syd Lawrence was a Luftwaffe pilot, who shot down Glenn Miller just to steal his arrangements unt here he is tonight to play zem – HERR SYD LAWRENCE!”

Syd and the band took at least 10 secs to stop laughing and start playing. The BBC went into the first of many flat spins, until the talented Director Robin Lough just winged it which in a sense was a better manifestation of the jazz genre.

Other memorable parts of the show to me were Soft Machine’s, John Marshall who’s drum kit was quite the largest I’d ever seen…AND of course Roland Kirk, who having crashed on stage which was the only thing that was consistent with his sound check, introduced his set with a crude sound coming from a small recorder under his shirt – The BBC thought there was breakthrough from some other sound source and were in an ultra-flat ultra-spin. But Kirk explained that Ain’t Misbehavin’ was a way of introducing his set which was to be a tribute to Fats Waller with solos on conch and many other surprises for the now, busking in the best possible way, BBC crew.

I did take Kirk along to Roy’s Two Rooms in Gallowgate for a bite to eat. I am not sure that the patron at the time, Roy Santos, had ever seen a large black man wearing a top hat have steak and fries PLUS Peach Melba….All on the same plate!

I am told, but haven’t checked myself, that extracts of that show can be purchased from the archives https://www.loc.gov/item/jots.200022199/ - Andy H.

See also: Reminiscing in (and out of) Tempo by Andy Hudson -Part One.

3 comments :

Cormac Loane said...

Fascinating reminiscences, Andy! Was that Ellington's 70th birthday concert in 1969? I was there as a 14-year-old schoolboy who had recently discovered jazz. I ventured backstage after the gig to collect autographs from the sax section - unfortunately, the only one I could find was Russell Procope. It sounds like Hodges, Gonsalves and the rest were across the road having a pint with you - if only I'd known! (And, by the way, thank you for allowing me to join the Newcastle Big Band a couple of years later - I was so lucky to have that amazing apprenticeship as a musician!)

Roly said...

I remember going a couple of times to an enjoyable jazz session in Gosforth with Cormac on alto. I knew of him from the Newcastle Big Band Sunday lunchtime sessions. It was a classic bebop quintet playing Parker stuff - Donna Lee etc. Was it at the Gosforth Hotel? An upstairs room I think. What was the full line up?
Roly

cadie@protonmail.com said...

Being a member of the audience at the time and having just re-listened to the BBC Festival broadcast from '76 with Spike Milligan's witticisms it was nice to read of these insider comments from the time of the recordings..............

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