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Bebop Spoken There

Ambrose Akinmusire: “ I am certainly always aware of what the masses are doing. And when I see too many people going one way, I'm going another way - even when I don't know what's over that way". DownBeat, March, 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

16233 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 115 of them this year alone and, so far, 59 this month (Feb. 23).

From This Moment On ...

February 2024

Sun 25: Musicians Unlimited @ The Park Inn, Hartlepool. 1:00pm. Free.
Sun 25: More Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:30pm. Free.
Sun 25: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay Metro Station. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 25: Lindsay Hannon: Tom Waits for No Man + Lee Maddison @ Laurels, Whitley Bay. 4:00pm (3:30pm doors). £11.00., £8.80. inc. bf. SOLD OUT!
Sun 25: Bex Burch + Rachel Musson @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £11.00. Two solo performances. JNE.
Sun 25: Jazz Jam @ Fabio's, Saddler St., Durham. 8:00pm. Free. A Durham University Jazz Society event. All welcome.

Mon 26: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.

Tue 27: Meditative Soundscapes - Improvised Music @ Earthlings - Healing Cafe, Buckingham St., Newcastle NE4 5QR. 7:00-8:30pm. Feat. Johannes Dalhuijsen, Richard Herdman, Nick Bagnall & Michael Olatunji.
Tue 27: Ruth Lambert Quartet @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 8:00pm (7:00pm doors). £12.00., £10.00. (adv.).

Wed 28: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 28: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 28: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

Thu 29: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 29: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library, Gateshead. 2:30pm.
Thu 29: Student Performances @ King’s Hall, Newcastle University. 4:00pm. Free. Inc. Olly Styles (saxophone).
Thu 29: ’58 Jazz Collective @ Hops & Cheese, Hartlepool. 7:00pm. Free.
Thu 27: Student Jazz Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Thu 29: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests: Richie Emmerson (tenor sax); Josh Bentham (alto sax); Graham Thompson (keys); Adrian Beadnell (bass).

March
Fri 01: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 01: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 01: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 01: Wind Ensemble + Big Band + Jazz Combo + R&B Band @ Boiler House, Newcastle University. 5:30pm. Free.
Fri 01: Joseph Carville Trio @ Saltburn Community Hall. 7:30pm.
Fri 01-Sun 03: Great North Big Band Jazz Festival @ Park View Community Centre, Chester-le-Street. From 8:00pm Friday. Weekend ticket: £20.00.
Fri 01: TBC @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig. Blind Pig Blues Club.
Fri 01: Great North Big Band Jazz Festival @ Park View Community Centre, Chester-le-Street. £10.00. Day 1/3. Musicians Unlimited + Festival Band.

Sat 02: Great North Big Band Jazz Festival @ Park View Community Centre, Chester-le-Street. 11:00am. £15.00.. Day 2/3. Senior bands in competition.
Sat 02: Frog & Henry @ St Augustine's Parish Centre, Darlington. 12:30pm.£10.00. Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club. Superb Anglo-American band!
Sat 02: Play Jazz! workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. Tutor: TBC. £25.00. Enrol at: www.jazz.coop.
Sat 02: The Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Repas7 by Night, 7 West St, Berwick TD15 1AS, 07900 627562. Tapas Specials from 5.00pm - showtime 8.00pm.
Sat 02: Durham University Big Band @ Durham Students' Union, New Elvet, Durham. 7:30pm. £8.00.
Sat 02: Tom Remon & Laurence Harrison @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Sat 02: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Red Lion, Earsdon. 8:00pm. £3.00. The band’s 25th anniversary gig!
Sat 02: John Logan @ The Dyvels, Corbridge. 8:00pm. Rat Pack-style swing.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Andy Hudson remembers George Wein

GEORGE WEIN 1925-2021
(George Wein (r)  on his 90th
birthday w. Andy Hudson)

As the Americans say…"Way to go" and to learn that my old friend and business partner had died in his sleep at 95 was still a shock as he had an indestructible air about him.

I met him first whilst putting together the Jazz Festival in Middlesbrough, of which most say "Oh that one with Ella and Oscar in it".  Paradoxically the only 2 acts on that enormous bill that were not George’s were Ella and Oscar, All the rest were from the "Newport" stable for that summer. As I have said before in this excellent publication, it was George that took me out of the North East to work with him on festivals elsewhere.

Some of my most magic moments were in the company of George and a few that I outline here concerned his great loves, apart from his late wife Joyce and music- they were WINE and ART.

George had a wonderful villa on the slopes outside Vence (S. of France) which I was generously invited to stay in during the summer months. On one occasion he was entertaining his "wine club friends" - Joyce was cooking - and the house wine for the dinner was Château Lafite 29. I did protest that I would not impose on his gathering and would gladly go into a Vence Bistro to eat….Mercifully he wouldn’t hear of it and so  I joined in with  the club along with the Ertegun Brothers    (Nesuhi and Ahmet), Bobby Short and the famous French-American sculptor, Arman. I’d like to feel that the quality of the wine would have led to inspirational conversation, which it may have done the only lasting effect I recall was a next morning headache.

On another occasion George’s generosity stretched to taking me and the other guests at his house to a private 10 course dinner at the Chanticleer Nice which is what these days would be known as a Tasting Menu, the chef was Jacques Maximin, at the time one of France’s leading chefs who also was the chef for state functions at the Élysée Palace. We each had the privilege of asking the chef a question and I was able to get out of him the secret of how a delicious dessert was made which changed flavour as you ate from left to right……… Not telling!

George and Joyce loved art, sculpture and classical music, particularly opera. Once George told me that Luciano Pavarotti was staying with them in Vence and George who was far from shy started to play and sing Nessun Dorma. Luciano stood up approached the piano and just said…."George – you need to practice more."

They had a lovely house in Connecticut where during residence George liked to have his original Renoir (one of the ladies in red) to look at. When I stayed there we all had to go back to New York, so George asked if I would help him. "Andy can you carefully pick up  the painting from the wall and follow me? "So I trudged along with $20 million worth of painting solidly gripped and followed him into a closet in the laundry room. He instructed me to place the picture flat down on a cotton sheet and then proceeded to tip a load of un-ironed washing onto it.

Looking quizzically at him he said, "Pick that picture up from over there and put it over the fireplace where you took the other from" I turned it to look at and it was a not-too-good copy of the Renoir.

Georges’s advanced security thinking was that the would-be art thief would unlikely to be an art expert and would just be told to pick up the red painting over the fireplace.

Jackson Pollock (he of the spotty early 20th century) was a painter much admired by Joyce and George and they collected a number of them. I used to make George giggle by often enquiring "How’s your load of old Pollocks". George was sufficiently Anglophilic to understand the humour.

George’s first encounter with England came in 1944, where he was a private in the allied forces that invaded France on D-Day. He told me that, happily, he never fired a shot in anger, but did play the piano in the mess - adding that may have been why the Germans capitulated.

I have not here dwelled upon the impresario and jazz/blues/soul and also folk music that he promoted so effectively as that will be reported elsewhere abundantly. Here rather I focussed on an interesting intelligent generous man who I was proud to call a friend. On his last trip to Europe on the new Queen Mary flagship, he had a chauffeur drive him up to Newcastle (via 2 Michelin Restaurants - hey! you need a stop off!) just to have dinner with me, meet my new wife and have a chat. We often laughed about people described by that old Jewish epithet of – when he came into a room…it was like someone just left! George was the opposite of that, although he was small in stature when he came into the room it was closer to an invasion of warmth, humour and good feelings.

In the spirit of how they lived, all of George’s artistic and valued treasures will revert to the George and Joyce Wein Foundation which will be dedicated to music and education in America

A fantastic heritage from people of care and conscience.

RIP George

Andy

4 comments :

Lance said...

Andy, that was a wonderful tribute. It painted a beautiful portrait of a gentleman. It is my deepest regret that I was unable to meet him at Blaydon but your fond memories of George make me feel that I knew him and, like most of the jazz world, I will mourn his passing. Thanks Andy.

Roly said...

Agreed Lance. Very touching to read. What a remarkable man.

Mike Farmer said...

George Wein was a great promoter but he was also a fine jazz pianist. In 1973 I saw him play in Central Park NY leading a quintet that contained James Spaulding on alto sax and Roland Prince on guitar and he surprised me how modern he sounded. I also saw his all-star band at a Berlin Jazz festival which included Ruby Braff cornet, Larry Ridley bass, Don Lamond drums and the legendary Joe Venuti who brought the house down with his feature Sophisticated Lady. The last time I saw Mr Wein was during the Middlesborough Jazz Festival when I was having lunch at the Motel I was staying at. He walked in with three ladies and they sat at the next table to mine. I felt honored to be in the same room. He will be missed by all jazz fans and musicians. R I P.

Unknown said...

Hi Andy, it's been a long time ......but I enjoyed your George Wein tribute .....thank you. Hope you are doing well. Ina

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