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Bebop Spoken There

Steve Fishwick: “I can’t get behind the attitude that new is always somehow better than old”. (Jazz Journal, April 15, 2019).

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

16542 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 422 of them this year alone and, so far, 29 this month (June 17).

From This Moment On ...

June

Fri 21: Alan Barnes with Dean Stockdale Trio @ The Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. SOLD OUT!
Fri 21: Joe Steels’ Borealis @ The Gala, Durham. 1:00pm. £8.00.
Fri 21: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 21: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 21: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 21: Soznak @ The Bike Garden, Nunsmoor, Newcastle NE4 5NU. 5:00-9:00pm. Free.
Fri 21: Errol Linton + Michael Littlefield & Scott Taylor (King Bees) @ Gosforth Civic Theatre, Newcastle. 7:30pm. £20.00. Blues double bill.
Fri 21: Alan Barnes with the Dean Stockdale Trio @ Seventeen Nineteen, Sunderland. 7:30pm.
Fri 21: Strictly Smokin’ Big Band @ Alnwick Playhouse. 8:00pm. ‘Ella & Ellington’.
Fri 21: Mark Toomey Quartet @ Traveller’s Rest, Darlington. 8:00pm. Opus 4 Jazz Club.

Sat 22: Jason Isaacs @ Stack, Seaburn SR6 8AA. 12:30-2:30pm. Free.
Sat 22: Abbie Finn Trio @ The Vault, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free.
Sat 22: Hejira: Celebrating Joni Mitchell @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 7:30pm (doors). £22.50.
Sat 22: Rockin’ Turner Bros. @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Sun 23: Paul Skerritt @ Hibou Blanc, Newcastle. 2:00pm.
Sun 23: More Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00pm. Free.
Sun 23: Matt Carmichael @ St Mary’s Church, Wooler. 3:00pm. Carmichael (saxophone), Fergus McCreadie (piano), Charlie Stewart (fiddle). ‘Scottish jazz, folk-roots & landscape’ Wooler Arts: Summer Concerts.
Sun 23: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 23: Tweed River Jazz Band @ Barrels Ale House, Berwick. 7:00pm. Free.
Sun 23: Bede Trio @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 23: Leeway @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Sun 23: Jazz Jam @ Fabio’s Bar, Saddler St., Durham. 8:00pm. Free. A Durham University Jazz Society event. All welcome.

Mon 24: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Mon 24: Remy CB @ The Hoppings, Newcastle Town Moor NE2 3NH. 5:00-7:00pm.

Tue 25: Louise Dodds & Elchin Shirinov @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Wed 26: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 26: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 26: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

Thu 27: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 27: Jeremy McMurray & the Pocket Jazz Orchestra @ Arc, Stockton. 8:00pm.
Thu 27: The Joni Project @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Joni Mitchell.
Thu 27: Lindsay Hannon’s Tom Waits for No Man @ Harbour View, Roker, Sunderland. 8:00pm.
Thu 27: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. Ragtime piano. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 27: Loco House Band @ Bar Loco, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free.
Thu 27: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests: Richie Emmerson (tenor sax); Neil Brodie (trumpet); Garry Hadfield (keys); Adrian Beadnell (bass)

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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