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Bebop Spoken There

Dee Dee Bridgewater: “ Our world is becoming a very ugly place with guns running rampant in this country... and New Orleans is called the murder capital of the world right now ". Jazzwise, May 2024.

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

16382 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 262 of them this year alone and, so far, 59 this month (April 20).

From This Moment On ...

April

Wed 24: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 24: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 24: Sinatra: Raw @ Darlington Hippodrome. 7:30pm. Richard Shelton.
Wed 24: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.
Wed 24: Death Trap @ Theatre Royal, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Rambert Dance Co. Two pieces inc. Goat (inspired by the music of Nina Simone) with on-stage musicians.

Thu 25: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 25: Jim Jams @ King’s Hall, Newcastle University. 1:15pm. Jim Jams’ funk collective.
Thu 25: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library, Gateshead. 2:30pm.
Thu 25: Death Trap @ Theatre Royal, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Rambert Dance Co. Two pieces inc. Goat (inspired by the music of Nina Simone) with on-stage musicians.
Thu 25: Jeremy McMurray & the Pocket Jazz Orchestra @ Arc, Stockton. 8:00pm.
Thu 25: Kate O’Neill, Alan Law & Paul Grainger @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 25: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests: Richie Emmerson (tenor sax); Neil Brodie (trumpet); Adrian Beadnell (bass); Garry Hadfield (keys).

Fri 26: Graham Hardy Quartet @ The Gala, Durham. 1:00pm. £8.00.
Fri 26: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 26: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 26: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 26: East Coast Swing Band @ Morpeth Rugby Club. 7:30pm. £9.00. (£8.00 concs).
Fri 26: Paul Skerritt with the Danny Miller Big Band @ Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.
Fri 26: Abbie Finn’s Finntet @ Traveller’s Rest, Darlington. 8:00pm. Opus 4 Jazz Club.

Sat 27: Abbie Finn Trio @ The Vault, Darlington. 6:00pm. Free.
Sat 27: Papa G’s Troves @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Sun 28: Musicians Unlimited @ Jackson’s Wharf, Hartlepool. 1:00pm. Free.
Sun 28: More Jam Festival Special @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00pm. Free. A ’10 Years a Co-op’ festival event.
Sun 28: Swing Dance workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00-4:00pm. Free (registration required). A ’10 Years a Co-op’ festival event.
Sun 28: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay Metro Station. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 28: Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox: The '10' Tour @ Glasshouse International Centre for Music, Gateshead. 7:30pm. £41.30 t0 £76.50.
Sun 28: Alligator Gumbo @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ’10 Years a Co-op’ festival event.
Sun 28: Jerron Paxton @ The Cluny, Newcastle. Blues, jazz etc.

Mon 29: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Mon 29: Michael Young Trio @ The Engine Room, Sunderland. 6:30-8:30pm. Free. ‘Opus de Funk’ (a tribute to Horace Silver).

Tue 30: Celebrate with Newcastle Jazz Co-op. 5:30-7:00pm. Free.
Tue 30: Swing Manouche @ Newcastle House Hotel, Rothbury. 7:30pm. A Coquetdale Jazz event.
Tue 30: Clark Tracey Quintet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ’10 Years a Co-op’ festival event.

Friday, August 13, 2021

Mark Williams and Paul Susans– Hexham Bandstand Sessions - August 12

Jazz in the Park – Northumberland style! This concert was number seven in a new series of Bandstand Sessions in the Sele Park in Hexham, and the first jazz gig amongst a very varied line up of blue grass, folk, pop, rock and singer-songwriters. The new venture is funded by a Hexham Town Council rejuvenated by the local elections back in May, and promoted/stage managed by the town’s fabulous Core Music, the social enterprise responsible for much of the area’s music teaching, performing and enabling.

The person responsible for the promotion and organization of this series and on hand tonight was none other than Berklee-educated jazz supremo John Hirst, who will be well known to readers from his drumming and band-leading some years back (reported here).  I bet he was itching to join the night’s two stars on stage!

The Bandstand Sessions run on Sunday afternoons and Thursday evenings, and this one kicked off at 6:00pm (though normal start time is 5:00pm) programmed for 45 mins or so, attracting over a hundred in the audience, probably mostly unfamiliar with jazz, but all very appreciative of the opportunity to hear first rate music near to home in such pleasant surroundings. The diverse crowd were comfortably seated in the sunshine, many with drinks and snacks,  on a variety of Hexham Town Council branded deckchairs, benches, camping chairs, picnic rugs and even some folk from a nearby care home in wheel chairs!  The bandstand sits on a network of paths, so a constant stream of passers-by and dogwalkers get the benefit of a quick taster, and we even had the dubious pleasure of a young man pulling a wheelie on his bike on a full circuit of the stage!

Anyway, back to the music – Paul Susans at the mic explained this was the first time the pair had played together for two years or so – apart from a few days ago! No sign of rustiness or lack of rapport though as they treated us to a very tastefully arranged selection of standards and a couple of their originals, played immaculately as you would expect.  My concerns that their subtle and mellow style would be inaudible were quickly allayed as a decent PA system resonated around the park, only briefly disrupted by a raucous flock of crows heading for their roost!

Paul Susans’ powerful and resonant playing was the perfect foil for Mark’s trademark cascading waterfalls of notes and shimmering chords, and the audience were soon foot-tapping and engrossed. The foot-tapping was a little confused during a lovely rendition of All the Things You Are as the maestros indulged in some cheeky interludes in 7.  Paul then explained he had spent some months in lockdown working on his bowing technique, and this was unveiled in a powerful and effective contrasting intro section – practice time well spent!

A couple of Metheny numbers were introduced by way of Paul’s assumption that Mark was a fan, only to be told he’d rather gone off him! You could have fooled me though, as a subtle and intricate Soul Cowboy led into a stirring rendition of the classic crowd pleaser Song for Bilbao. Next up was a gorgeously melodic Williams original, Finally, that turned out to be mis-named as an enthusiastic crowd called for more, and the duo were pleased to deliver Booze Blues to much applause.

Hats off to Mark and Paul for an enthralling set of subtlety and grace, with variety and impact well beyond the confines of an acoustic duo. Hats off too to Hexham Town Council and Core Music for setting this up and making such good use of a lovely public space, and providing a platform for outstanding musicians to reach out to new audiences. The second half of the Bandstand Sessions programme will be released soon – so look out for more outdoor jazz and other genres in Hexham through to mid-September! Chris K

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