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Bebop Spoken There

Charlotte Keeffe: "I don't know what I'm going to play any more than you [the audience] do." - (Jazz North East/Jazz Co-op gig June 13, 2021)

Archive quotes.

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.

Postage

13,359 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 777 of them this year alone and, so far, 51 this month (June 13).

From This Moment On

JUNE

Wed 16: Washboard Resonators @ Punchbowl Hotel, Jesmond, Newcastle (8:00pm). SOLD OUT!

Thu 17: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside (1:00pm).

Thu 17: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead (8:30pm).

Fri 18: Jazz Jamaica @ Sage Gateshead (8:00pm).

Sat 19: Jude Murphy @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle (8:00pm).

Sun 20 Knats @ The Globe, Newcastle (8:00pm). Advance booking essential: www.jazz.coop.

Mon 21: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club (1:00pm). CANCELLED TFN.

Wed 23: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club (1:00pm). CANCELLED TFN.

Friday, June 11, 2021

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

The indefatigable Lance in his search for jazz titbits to fill this splendid publication has asked me to make some contributions based on my hazy career part of which was intimately linked with the jazz genre.

A bit of context - at school in Yorkshire in the early 1960s, I started a trad band (2 of the players were teachers) and most of the rest were not improvisers but learned by rote the licks and solos that I prepped for them on manuscript. Then in ’65, arriving in Newcastle to study Chemistry at the University, I started a swing band and also via the Uni Jazz Society put on a few concerts.

This led to a commercial interest in jazz (an odd combination really and seldom seen ie “commercial” and “jazz” in the same sentence).

Older readers of BSH may be aware of some of these earlier efforts….The Newcastle Big Band (’69 -’77) and the Newcastle Jazz Festival.

Taking the latter first, I staged a number of events, taking the personal risk (and losing money)- arresting the usual suspects - the Balls, Barbers, Bilks, Mellys and Scotts - and  eventually adding Skidmore, Surman, Taylor, Winstone, Rendell, Garrick, Tracey and fresher, more experimental names, via a  small grant from the forward looking City Councilman the late Hughie White and the Newcastle Jazz Festival became a runner. When I departed in late 1978 to head South it was left in the capable hands of Jazz North East (At that time Alex Roberts, Chris Yates and Margaret Barnes all, sadly, no longer with us however, the organisation is still going strong).

Turning to the Big Band and particularly those Sunday lunchtime sessions - It pleases me that on my occasional trips to Newcastle, how they are fondly remembered by so many. The pool of players was about 30 at its peak, of mixed ability and local fame. We knew that some of us were not the best players, but I contend we were by far the best entertainers. Those sessions were packed with fun humour and running gags and I realised that if players seem to be enjoying themselves then this transfers across the footlights (or in the case of the University Theatre bar the two inches between the Sax section and the punters). That bar, currently licenced for 80 persons, to my certain knowledge on one occasion had an audience of 700 - judging from the receipts.

At the risk of retrospective HMRC tax action I have asked Lance to publish here  an extract from the accounts that I sent him some years ago (see graphic) – which will also show him earning as much as Sting – a situation which  he hopes will be restored again soon!

That mention of crossing the footlights has been a niggling critique of mine for years. In the following weeks I will try and share some experiences with you of working with the greats, BB King, Ray Charles, Miles, Brubeck, Shearing, Ella, Sarah V, Herbie H, Blakey etc…

Something they all shared was the ability to PUT ON A SHOW as well as showing their own individual creative genius. Far too often, there is an introspection among more contemporary players that is either apologetic or subscribes to the Van Morrison - couldn’t-give-a-toss school of presentation.

 Andy Hudson.

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