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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

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.

Sat 28: Revolutionaires @ Brandling Villa, South Gosforth, Newcastle. 9:00pm. Rhythm & blues band.

Sun 29: Musicians Unlimited @ Park Inn, Hartlepool. 1:00pm.
Sun 29: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 29: Revolutionaires @ Greens, Low Row, Sunderland. 6:00pm. Rhythm & blues band with a horn section (inc. Pete Tanton).
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.

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Ten trumpet players who worked with Charlie Parker (well eleven actually)

Dizzy Gillespie was one of the founding fathers of bebop, in at its inception at Minton’s with others such as Kenny Clarke, Monk, Charlie Christian and Bud Powell. He was the doyen of all the ‘modern’ trumpet players at the time. Blessed with great technique, ideas, humour. showmanship, business acumen and ebullience, he was a member of the Parker Quintet in 1945/46 and appeared in many “one-off” gigs with Bird in the years that followed.

Howard McGhee, an accomplished trumpeter and something of a transitional figure from ‘swing’ to ‘bop’. In Bird’s group on the disastrous Lover Man session in the summer of ’46, he resumed his position on Charlie’s release from Camarillo Hospital in the spring of ’47. ‘Maggie’ had a brilliant technique, a bright tone, fast fingering with much use of the upper register notes. His career was interrupted by ‘personal problems’ and he was on and off the scene for many years in the ‘50s, ‘60s and70s.

Miles Davis was a teenager when he joined Bird’s group first in ’46 then later from late ’47 to December ’48 and his playing was much influenced by Gillespie. However he was a young man ‘searching for his own voice’ within the maelstrom of bebop, and in his own words “used to quit every night at Bird’s side”.

Subsequently he became a huge star in his own right - constantly evolving his playing throughout a wonderful career.

Kenny Dorham took Miles’ place in December ’48 leaving at the end of spring ’49 following Bird’s successful appearance at the Paris Jazz Festival and short tour of France. Again influenced earlier by Gillespie, Kenny developed into a fine musician with a warm, burnished tone, who moved first into ’hard bop’ then ‘modal’ styles of playing.

Fats Navarro, the virtuoso of the trumpet, never actually worked regularly for Bird in the quintet although he appeared on various gigs from time to time. Blessed with a fluent, imaginative style, he could ascend and descend effortlessly in and out of the ‘stratosphere’ of the instrument’s top range. My opinion is that Charlie thought Navarro was ‘too good’ to be in his band because he didn’t want to be outplayed on the stand by anybody and Fats was more than capable of that…

Colourful character Red Rodney took over Bird’s trumpet chair from late ’49 to roughly spring ’51. He had a bright, brash tone and a fluent style to match his personality and is featured on some of the ‘live’ recordings of the period. His subsequent career was marked by absences from the scene due to incarceration. However, he always bounced back ready to move on. For a while he played in a Los Angeles casino band and later acted as ‘consultant’ to Clint Eastwood’s film Bird as well as doing some teaching.

Rolf Ericson joined Bird’s combo for the tour of Sweden in 1950. An accomplished player, he knew all the repertoire and could handle himself with assured solos and group work in the bop style. He had a long and successful career in jazz working steadily with many of the great names including Ellington. He ran his own big band for a while as well as playing as a freelance musician in radio, tv and film work

“Little” Benny Harris worked for Charlie on and off from spring ’51 to summer ’53. As a trumpet player, he was capable enough but prone to erratic and slipshod playing at times. Parker liked him though because ha had composed several of the bebop anthems notably Ornithology, Wahoo, Crazyology  and Reets and I.

Chet Baker was a member of Bird’s group on at least two occasions. Firstly in June ’52 at the Trade Winds Club in Inglewood, California then as a participant in “The West Coast in Jazz” package on tour in late ’53. Charlie was impressed by what he heard and foresaw Baker’s later great success. Despite ‘personal problems’ Chet was very popular in the jazz world and worked regularly as a sideman and leader of his own group in the U S and around the world.

Herb Pomeroy joined Bird’s group on two occasions when he worked at the “Hi-Hat” Club in Boston in June and September ’53. A fine musician, he played in and led many big bands of the era as well as teaching at the Lenox School of Jazz and Berklee College of Music. His view was that jazz should be listened to ‘live’ rather than on disc.

Herbie Williams briefly joined the quintet in January ’54 in Boston. Charlie Parker was not in good shape at that time with personal issues in his life and contract disputes arising from his musical work. Nevertheless, Herbie was comfortable in this environment and played with confidence.

Footnote: It is known also that trumpeters Clifford Brown, Joe Gordon and Ira Sullivan played briefly in Charlie’s groups circa 1954. Dave Brownlow.        

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