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Bebop Spoken There

Steve Fishwick: “I can’t get behind the attitude that new is always somehow better than old”. (Jazz Journal, April 15, 2019).

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!"

Simon Spillett: A lovely review from the dean of jazz bloggers, Lance Liddle...

Josh Weir: I love the writing on bebop spoken here... I think the work you are doing is amazing.

Postage

16542 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 422 of them this year alone and, so far, 29 this month (June 17).

From This Moment On ...

June

Mon 17: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Mon 17: ‘Tower of Power’ @ The Library Bar, Saddler St., Durham . 7:30pm.Free. A Durham University Jazz Society event. All welcome.

Tue 18: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Victoria & Albert Inn, Seaton Delaval. 12:30pm. £13.00. ‘Jazz, Sausage ‘n’ Mash’…’with Onion Gravy’!
Tue 18: Jam Session @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free. House trio: Stu Collingwood, Paul Grainger, Tim Johnston.
Tue 18: Libby Goodridge & Ben Davies @ The Lost Wanderer, Leazes Park Road, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £6.00. Triple bill, inc. Goodridge & Davies (jazz).

Wed 19: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 19: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 19: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

Thu 20: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 20 Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Brunswick Methodist Church, Newcastle. 2:00pm. £4.00. Note new venue!
Thu 20: Karine Polwart & Dave Milligan @ The Fire Station, Sunderland. 7:30pm. £29.00., £23.00. Folk/jazz duo.
Thu 20: Richard Herdman & Ray Burns @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 20: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests: Josh Bentham (tenor sax); Donna Hewitt (alto sax); Dave Archbold (keys); Dave Harrison (trumpet); Ron Smith (bass).

Fri 21: Alan Barnes with Dean Stockdale Trio @ The Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. SOLD OUT!
Fri 21: Joe Steels’ Borealis @ The Gala, Durham. 1:00pm. £8.00.
Fri 21: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 21: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 21: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 21: Soznak @ The Bike Garden, Nunsmoor, Newcastle NE4 5NU. 5:00-9:00pm. Free.
Fri 21: Errol Linton + Michael Littlefield & Scott Taylor (King Bees) @ Gosforth Civic Theatre, Newcastle. 7:30pm. £20.00. Blues double bill.
Fri 21: Alan Barnes with the Dean Stockdale Trio @ Seventeen Nineteen, Sunderland. 7:30pm.
Fri 21: Strictly Smokin’ Big Band @ Alnwick Playhouse. 8:00pm. ‘Ella & Ellington’.
Fri 21: Mark Toomey Quartet @ Traveller’s Rest, Darlington. 8:00pm. Opus 4 Jazz Club.

Sat 22: Jason Isaacs @ Stack, Seaburn SR6 8AA. 12:30-2:30pm. Free.
Sat 22: Abbie Finn Trio @ The Vault, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free.
Sat 22: Hejira: Celebrating Joni Mitchell @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 7:30pm (doors). £22.50.
Sat 22: Rockin’ Turner Bros. @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Sun 23: Paul Skerritt @ Hibou Blanc, Newcastle. 2:00pm.
Sun 23: More Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00pm. Free.
Sun 23: Matt Carmichael @ St Mary’s Church, Wooler. 3:00pm. Carmichael (saxophone), Fergus McCreadie (piano), Charlie Stewart (fiddle). ‘Scottish jazz, folk-roots & landscape’ Wooler Arts: Summer Concerts.
Sun 23: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 23: Tweed River Jazz Band @ Barrels Ale House, Berwick. 7:00pm. Free.
Sun 23: Bede Trio @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 23: Leeway @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Sun 23: Jazz Jam @ Fabio’s Bar, Saddler St., Durham. 8:00pm. Free. A Durham University Jazz Society event. All welcome.

Monday, August 23, 2021

Jimmy Jazz, included in ‘The Guts’ by Roddy Doyle (Vintage Books, 2013)

Jimmy Jazz is a short story appended to the end of The Guts, a 2013 novel by Roddy Doyle and features several of the same characters from the principal novel. It’s a ‘hidden track’ like Her Majesty at the end of Sgt. Pepper’s by the Beatles or English Rose by the Jam at the end of Setting Sons (I don’t know of any examples from the jazz world).

The protagonist is Jimmy Rabbitt, whom we first met as the manager/fixer in The Commitments. Jimmy is now working in the field of vintage Irish rock, assembling compilations and organising reunion tours. He hates jazz; as he says “He wasn’t a bigot, he was just right”. This goes back to a case of teenage sexual frustration when, as a teenager, Jimmy’s girlfriend told him that her parents were out for the day, but they arrived at her house to find her father very much at home and listening to Charlie Parker.

In an attempt to open his mind to jazz his wife buys Jimmy tickets to see Keith Jarrett in Dublin. Jimmy will take his pal, Outspan, (guitarist in the Commitments), with him. Outspan hasn’t heard of Jarrett and the conversation goes: -

“Keith Jarrett”

“The one out of Boyzone?”

“No”

“I’ve run out of Keiths”

“He’s a piano player”

“Like Richard Clayderman?”

Jimmy does his research. Jarrett sounds like a terror; he’d walked off stage because some ‘sham’ in the audience couldn’t stop coughing. This was all part of the Jarrett experience – “the tension, the terror. This wasn’t a gig, this was a concert.”

At the concert someone coughs, ‘The applause was dying. So was Jimmy’

The descriptions of the concert itself are, of course the high points of the story and serve as wonderful descriptions of the improviser’s art.

‘Jarrett was staring at the piano keys. His head was moving from side to side as if he was making his mind up.... Then he started playing. And it was incredible. Like he was composing the piece Jimmy was hearing and throwing it away at the same time…. And it was brilliant. Never played before. And it would never be played again… something so brilliant, gone… He wanted to stand up and catch a note and take it home’.

It’s a very short story, just 12 pages but it builds the tension and creates a release, like a good jazz piece and I’m jealous of a fictional character because he got to see Keith Jarrett live and I never did (I assume that Doyle was writing from experience).

I doubt many people from the jazz world will read Jimmy Jazz unless they are already Roddy Doyle fans, although, you never know, it may turn up in a collection of jazz writing one day.

The Guts is available from the usual online retailers, some second hand shops and selected branches of Oxfam. Dave Sayer

4 comments :

Lance said...

Great minds think alike Dave, as the saying goes. I have been thinking for awhile about posts/references to jazz in non-jazz literature although sometimes, with writing, there's a jazz feel to it even if it has nothing to do with music!
What do others think? Have you got jazz quotes from non-jazz books?

Anonymous said...

Interesting one, Doyle's a master. Hmmm but what's a ''non-jazz'' book? Conundrum of the day in this regard ponder this, isn't it demoralising when some ''bona fide'' jazz books, of the interesting-as-paint-drying direction aren't jazz even when the subject matter seems to deem it so? Perhaps every book is jazz except when become dull. But again into the mystic you can't improvise a book and have it consumed by a reader in real-time. More's the pity.

Lance said...

I should have been more specific. By non- jazz I mean novels that aren't jazz themed but have jazz incidents in them e.g On The Road.

Anonymous said...

OK, again ironies about how about Jazz (1992) by the Nobel winning Toni Morrison.

It's a ''non-jazz'' book because even though set in the Harlem of the 1920s when you might think jazz is centre to the time the narrative also extends back to the pre-jazz of the mid-19th-century American South.

In it the character Alice however does digress to comment according to the narrator that jazz ''disturb (s) her peace, making her aware of flesh and something so free she could smell its bloodsmell.''

Great idea for a thread!

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