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Bebop Spoken There

Maurice J. Summerfield: "Over dinner one night Barney [Kessel] told me about his seminar The Effective Guitarist, and in 1972 my company presented the first of twelve annual UK seminars in Newcastle upon Tyne." - (Just Jazz Guitar, September 1997)

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!"

Postage

15087 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 15 years ago. 106 of them this year alone and, so far, 4 this month (Feb. 1).

From This Moment On ...

February

Thu 02: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 02: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library. 2:30-4:30pm. £1.00. All welcome.
Thu 02: Paul Skerritt Duo @ Tomahawk Steakhouse, High St., Yarm. 8:00pm.
Thu 02: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman's Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm. Guests: Dave Archbold (keys); Josh Bentham (tenor sax); Donna Hewwitt (alto sax); Adrian Beadnell (bass).

Fri 03: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 03: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 03: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 03: Abbie Finn Trio @ Saltburn Community Hall. 7:30pm.
Fri 03: Dilutey Juice @ Bobik's, Punch Bowl, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Fri 03: Smoove & Turrell @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. 7:30pm (doors). £25.00.
Fri 03: Struggle Buggy @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Blind Pig Blues Club.

Sat 04: Alligator Gumbo @ St Augustine's Parish Centre, Darlington. 12:30pm.
Sat 04: Play Jazz! workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. Tutor: John Pope - Up Your Rhythm Game. £25.00. Enrol at: www.jazz.coop.
Sat 04: King Bees @ Grainger Market, Newcastle. 6:30pm (doors). Live music, comedy, DJs, food stalls. £10.00. advance, £15.00. on the door. Blues band King Bees on stage 9:45-11:15pm. A Great Market Caper event.
Sat 04: Jives Aces @ The Witham, Barnard Castle. 7:30pm.
Sat 04: Renegade Brass Band @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 7:30pm (doors).
Sat 04: Rendezvous Jazz @ Red Lion, Earsdon. 8:00pm. £3.00.

Sun 05 Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 05: Rivkala @ Cumberland Arms, Newcastle. 6:00pm.
Sun 05: Jive Aces @ Fire Station, Sunderland. 7:30pm.
Sun 05: Dale Storr @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Sun 05: Jam No.13 @ Fabio's, Saddler St., Durham. Free. Durham University Jazz Society jam session. All welcome (students & non-students alike).

Mon 06: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Tue 07: Jam session @ Black Swan, Newcastle Arts Centre. 7:30pm. House trio: Alan Law (piano); Paul Grainger (double bass); Rob Walker (drums). Jam session reverts to a first & third Tuesday in the month schedule.

Wed 08: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 08: Jam session @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 1:00pm. Free. TBC.
Wed 08: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 08: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 08: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Tuesday, October 05, 2021

Book review: The History of Jazz (3rd Edition) – Ted Gioia (Oxford University Press)

This newly revised edition of Ted Gioia’s book is the best history of jazz that I have read. Over 520 pages he covers the evolution of the music as it arose out of the swamps of Louisiana, met with various influences on the way, grew across the US, adapted to technological developments, exploded out of its linear narrative in the 1950s and 60s as it explored many different roads and became the many headed beast we know and love today.

We start in 1819 with slaves in Congo Square, New Orleans playing string and percussion instruments from their homelands. This music is Americanised (or American music was Africanised), meets with church music and French and Spanish influences, unique in the USA to New Orleans, and, by the time of the Civil War, becomes something that might be recognised as jazz. 

We follow the journey to Chicago and thence to New York. By this time there are early jazz recordings and writings to draw upon. Up to this point, it’s a simple story and it appears as one where a new development comes on the shoulders of previous activities. I suspect that a lot more was going on outside of these three centres but the lack of a historical record makes it impossible to cover every nook and cranny. He manages to follow most of the new routes in jazz with the explosion of free jazz, fusion, socially conscious music, chamber jazz, Latin jazz and so on. In later chapters he is still more enthused by the music expanding and growing than he is with the Wynton Marsalis led retrenchment of the 80s. He closes with a statement of faith in that he believes that jazz musicians will continue to adapt and to incorporate whatever the wider world throws at them.

Gioia tells his story through a mixture of overviews showing how the music developed, the social and technological impacts on it and short critical biographies of the main players in any one era, the length of the entry dictated by their importance in the development of jazz. Thus, most are a couple of pages long whilst Ellington and Miles Davis are given several pages across several chapters. There is some discussion about musical notation and techniques but not enough to lose the non-musician like me.

Of course, one of the purposes of a book like this is to either introduce you to new performers or to encourage you to dig out recordings that haven’t been played for a while. Thus, I took a break to listen to a couple of hours of Bud Powell, before returning to the story, having already spent time in the company of Louis Armstrong and Art Tatum.

It is a very US-centric view of jazz, though this edition includes more information from around the rest of the world in recent years. There is only a passing mention of the great jazz made in the UK in the 60s and 70s, summarised into only a list of names, but more recent developments that show modern artists mixing Afro-Caribbean influences and hip-hop is covered in slightly more depth. There is also recognition of European jazz as well.

I finished it a couple of days before the recent Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music in Newcastle and came away from that thinking that some of the musicians I heard  (John Pope, Fergus McCreadie) are punching holes in the tradition and taking the music to new places whilst many American musicians are still bound to older ways. Maybe these next steps will turn up in the next edition.

I heartily recommend this book and suggest you all write to Santa so he can bulk buy before he starts his round and drop a copy down the chimney to good jazz fans everywhere. Dave Sayer

The History of Jazz (3rd Edition) – Ted Gioia (Oxford University Press - ISBN: 9780190087210)

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