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Bebop Spoken There

Pat Thomas: “He’s definitely one to watch, he's going to be a breath of fresh air for the jazz scene. What I like is he [Xhosa Cole] plays like Dexter Gordon and Sonny Rollins - you don't hear anybody come from that. He knows tunes like "Fried Bananas" by Dexter Gordon and he can play free as well." - (The Wire September 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

13,698 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 1115 of them this year alone and, so far, 59 this month (Sept. 17).

From This Moment On ...

September

Fri 17: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 17: Rendezvous Jazz @ Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 17: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm.
Fri 17: Abbie Finn's Finntet @ Traveller's Rest, Cockerton, Darlington. 8:00pm.

Sat 18: Baghdaddies @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sat 18: David Gray Trio @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Sun 19: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 19: Musicians Unlimited @ South Durham Social Club, Westbourne Road, Hartlepool TS25 5RB. 1:00pm. South Durham Social Club aka Steelworks or Steelies. New venue for Teesside's premier big band.
Sun 19: Hand to Mouth: Lindsay Hannon & Bradley Johnston @ St James' & St Basil's Church, Newcastle. 3:00pm.
Sun 19: Green Tangerines + Knats @ Punch Bowl Hotel, Newcastle. 3:30pm.
Sun 19: Alice Grace Quartet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 20: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Wed 22: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 22: Darlington Big Band @ Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public)
Wed 22: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Celebrating TITTB's 20th anniversary & Dave Weisser's forthcoming birthday! Limited gig tickets (£1.00.). Free live stream. www.jazz.coop.

Thu 23: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 23: Jeremy McMurray & the Jazz Pocket Orchestra @ Middlesbrough Town Hall 8:00pm. .
Thu 23: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Sunniside, Gateshead. 8:30pm. .

Fri 24: Sue Ferris Quintet @ Gala Theatre, Durham. 1:00pm.
Fri 24: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 24: Rendezvous Jazz @ Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 24: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band, Stockton. 1:00pm.
Fri 24: FILM: Jazz on a Summer's Day + Swing Bridge Trio (in the bar) @ Forum Cinema, Hexham. 7:00pm.

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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