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Bebop Spoken There

Lakecia Benjamin: "From my early days with Clark Terry, he told me 'they see you before they hear you'... I'm just not from that school of thought where I'm gonna wear my jeans and T-shirt on stage and that's going to be respectable." - (Jazzwise, February 2023)

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!"

Postage

15056 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 15 years ago. 75 of them this year alone and, so far, 75 this month (Jan. 25).

From This Moment On ...

January

Fri 27: Zoë Gilby Quartet @ Gala Theatre, Durham. 1:00pm. SOLDOUT!
Fri 27: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 27: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 27: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 27: Hip Hop Hooray @ Bar 52, Newcastle. 7:00pm.
Fri 27: John Dikeman, Pat Thomas, John Edwards, Steve Noble @ Lit & Phil. 7:30pm. £10.00.
Fri 27: Rob Heron & the Tea Pad Orchestra @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. 7:30pm. £10.00. on the door. A Swung Eight event.
Fri 27: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. Ragtime & stride piano. 8:00pm.

Sat 28: Tyneside Improvisers Workshop @ Ye Olde Cross, Ryton. 2:00-4:00pm. All welcome.
Sat 28: Secular Sounds in a Sacred Place @ Holy Cross Church, Ryton. 4:30-7:00pm. £10.00. Continuous performance featuring: Christian Alderson, Faye MacCalman, Sally Pilkington, John Pope. Event preceded by a Tyneside Improvisers Workshop (2:00pm, see above).
Sat 28: Entartete Musik @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. A Brundibár Arts Festival event.

Sun 29: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 29: Musicians Unlimited @ Park Inn, Hartlepool. 1:00pm.
Sun 29: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 29: Hypnotic Brass Band @ Cluny, Newcastle. 7:00pm (doors). £20.00.
Sun 29: Jam No.12 @ Fabio's, Saddler St., Durham. 8:00pm. Free. Durham University Jazz Society jam session. All welcome (students & non-students).
Sun 29: Origin @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 30: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Tue 31: ???

February

Wed 01: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 01: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 01: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 01: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Wed 01: Moonlight Serenade Orchestra UK: Glenn Miller & Big Band Spectacular @ Darlington Hippodrome. 7:30pm.

Thu 02: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 02: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library. 2:30-4:30pm. £1.00. All welcome.
Thu 02: Paul Skerritt Duo @ Tomahawk Steakhouse, High St., Yarm. 8:00pm.
Thu 02: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman's Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

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 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.

3 comments :

Steve Andrews said...

Happy days, Andy! I think I learned a lot about performing ro an audience from those University Theatre sessions with you leaping up from the piano stool and bounding around in that tiny space between the punters and the band, including the audience in the joyous experience of live jazz. I remember most of the band, and I'm astonished at how good it was when you consider that several of them read music worse than me! Many thanks are also due to you for including me and my band in supporting roles in several Newcastle Jazz Festivals. I got to hear, and sometimes play beside or in support of some legendary figures, and to see many more that you booked, including Bud Freeman, Benny Carter, Dexter Gordon, Ralph Sutton, George Melly...... You also organised a £200 grant from Northern Arts (I think) for the Savannah Syncopators to transcribe (well, Kevin Elliott did it) and perform Duke Ellington's first extended composition "Creole Rhapsody" in 1978. I'm looking forward to further installments!

Ann Alex said...

THis reminds me of what a friend told me about the Newcastle Jazz festival. He'd better be name;ss and he lives away now. He was involved in the organisation and had to arrange menus. so he put on a pork salad. Guess what? He'd forgotten one vital fact - the jazz musician who the meal was meant for was Jewish!

carstairs said...

I came up in 1975 to run the Science & Engineering museums in Tyne and Wear. It was a short step from the old Museum in Exhibition Park to the Union so I got to experience the Newcastle Big Band for a few years and eventually play with some of them. A few characters, definitely!

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