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Bebop Spoken There

Willie Jones lll: "I often wondered what it would be like to play with Clifford Brown or Lee Morgan. For me, Roy Hargrove was the closest thing to that." - (JazzTimes, November 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

13683 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 1402 of them this year alone and, so far, 18 this month (Dec.5).

From This Moment On ...

December

Wed 08: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 08: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 8:00pm. Concert performance. Free admission.
Wed 08: Four @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00-9:30pm. In the bar.
Wed 08: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Wed 08: Durham Uni Big Band + Durham Uni Jazz Soc Big Band @ Durham University Students' Union. 8:00pm.

Thu 09: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon. £22.00. Xmas lunch. Tel: 0191 691 7090.
Thu 09: Hot Club du Nord, Lubetkin Theatre, East Durham College, Peterlee. 7:00pm (doors). £10.00. + bf.
Thu 09: TBC + Knats @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 7:00pm. £7.00. (£10.00. inc food).
Thu 09: Indigo Jazz Voices @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Thu 09: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead. 8:30pm.
Thu 09: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman's Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 10: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon. £22.00. Xmas lunch. Tel: 0191 691 7090.
Fri 10: Zoë Gilby Trio @ Bishop Auckland Town Hall. 1:00pm.
Fri 10: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 10: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm.
Fri 10: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 10: Secret Night Gang @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Fri 10: Jack Logan (replacement for Alter Ego) @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Sat 11: Paul Skerritt @ Newcastle Central Station. 11:00am. On the concourse.
Sat 11: Life Drawing & Live Jazz @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 2:00-4:00pm. Lindsay Hannon & Martin Douglas. Book via: www.cobaltstudios.co.uk.
Sat 11: Boys of Brass @ Branding Villa, South Gosforth, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Sun 12 Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 12: Musicians Unlimited @ South Durham Social Club, Hartlepool. 1:00pm.
Sun 12: Hot Club du Nord @ Hurworth Grange. 2:30pm. Festive Special! SOLD OUT!
Sun 12: Glenn Miller Orchestra UK @ Stockton Globe. 3:00pm. Ray McVay & co.
Sun 12: Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 12: Am Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 3:00pm.
Sun 12: Sue Ferris Quintet (Musicians Unlimited’s Xmas Party) @ South Durham Social Club, Hartlepool. 4:00pm. Tickets: £6.00.
Sun 12: Jason Isaacs Big Band @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. 5:00pm.
Sun 12: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 7:00pm.
Sun 12: Larry’s Brass Band @ The Vigilant Inn, South Shields. 7:00pm. Free. Brass band playing Xmas tunes!
Sun 12: corto.alto @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 12: Under the Surface @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £10.00 adv., £12.00. door.

Mon 13: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Mon 13: 6th Street Swing w Calvert & the Old Fools @ St Thomas Aquinas’ Church, Darlington. 7:00pm. £5.00. Swing dance (‘social dancing’) night.
Mon 13: Stuart Fowler Quintet plays Art Blakey’s album Moanin’ + jam session @ Central Bar, Gateshead. 7:30pm. £5.00.

Tue 14: Harry Keeble & Friends @ Forum Music Centre, Darlington. 7:30pm. Keeble (tenor sax); Dean Stockdale (keyboards); Paul Grainger (bass); John Bradford (drums).

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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