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Bebop Spoken There

Raymond Chandler: “ I was walking the floor and listening to Khatchaturian working in a tractor factory. He called it a violin concerto. I called it a loose fan belt and the hell with it ". The Long Goodbye, Penguin 1959.

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

16350 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 230 of them this year alone and, so far, 27 this month (April 11).

From This Moment On ...

April

Thu 18: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 18: NONUNONU @ Elder Beer Café, Chillingham Road, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Thu 18: Knats @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. 8:00pm (doors 7:30pm). £8.00. + bf. Support act TBC.
Thu 18: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig. Ragtime piano.
Thu 18: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guest band night with Just Friends: Ian Bosworth (guitar); Donna Hewitt (sax); Dave Archbold (keys); Ron Smith (bass); Mark Hawkins (drums).

Fri 19: Cia Tomasso @ The Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. ‘Cia Tomasso sings Billie Holiday’. SOLD OUT!
Fri 19: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 19: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 19: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 19: Tweed River Jazz Band @ The Radio Rooms, Berwick. 7:00pm (doors). £5.00.
Fri 19: Lindsay Hannon: Tom Waits for No Man @ Seventeen Nineteen, Hendon, Sunderland. 7:30pm.
Fri 19: Levitation Orchestra + Nauta @ Cluny 2, Newcastle. 7:30pm (doors). £11.00.
Fri 19: Strictly Smokin’ Big Band @ The Witham, Barnard Castle. 8:00pm. ‘Ella & Ellington’.

Sat 20: Record Store Day…at a store near you!
Sat 20: Bright Street Band @ Washington Arts Centre. 6:30pm. Swing dance taster session (6:30pm) followed by Bright Street Big Band (7:30pm). £12.00.
Sat 20: Michael Woods @ Victoria Tunnel, Ouseburn, Newcastle. 7:00pm. Acoustic blues.
Sat 20: Rendezvous Jazz @ St Andrew’s Church, Monkseaton. 7:30pm. £10.00. (inc. a drink on arrival).

Sun 21: Jamie Toms Quartet @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. 3:00pm.
Sun 21: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay Metro Station. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 21: Lindsay Hannon: Tom Waits for No Man @ Holy Grale, Durham. 5:00pm.
Sun 21: The Jazz Defenders @ Cluny 2. Doors 6:00pm. £15.00.
Sun 21: Edgar Rubenis @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 7:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig. Blues & ragtime guitar.
Sun 21: Tweed River Jazz Band @ Barrels Ale House, Berwick. 7:00pm. Free.
Sun 21: Art Themen with the Dean Stockdale Trio @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £10.00. +bf. JNE. SOLD OUT!

Mon 22: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.

Tue 23: Vieux Carre Hot 4 @ Victoria & Albert Inn, Seaton Delaval. 12:30-3:30pm. £12.00. ‘St George’s Day Afternoon Tea’. Gig with ‘Lashings of Victoria Sponge Cake, along with sandwiches & scones’.
Tue 23: Jalen Ngonda @ Newcastle University Students’ Union. POSTPONED!

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.

Monday, October 04, 2021

Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music 2021 - Pat Thomas plays the music of Duke Ellington + Alina Bzhezhinska HipHarp Quartet @ The Lit and Phil October 2nd


Pat Thomas (solo piano)

(All pics © Ken Drew)

Pat Thomas’s solo tribute to the music of Duke  Ellington was a masterclass of free improvisation. First performed at London’s Cafe Oto in 2019 to mark the 120th anniversary of the Duke’s birth. On Saturday night he left a captivated audience at the Lit and Phil spellbound. Thomas sees Duke not only as one of the great composers but also as one of great improvisers. The Ellington songbook was placed on the Lit and Phil’s grand piano and Thomas leafed backwards and forwards through the book during  the entire recital.  


What was delivered contained everything one could wish for in a performance of this type - crazy, wild, quiet, gentle, melodic and even humorous passages. The music swung, challenged, and enthralled. I have seen many pianists play the piano's strings but Thomas’s effort here was truly by far the best I have seen. The set simply flew by and at the end the rapturous crowd demanded and were rewarded with an encore but, for this, the Ellington songbook was firmly shut.

Preceding the concert we were treated to a fascinating conversation between Pat Thomas and jazz writer/critic Andy Hamilton. Many topics were discussed such as Pat’s influences (amongst them Oscar Peterson, Cecil Taylor, Horace Silver and obviously, Duke). His recollection of his  emergence on the free jazz scene in his home town Oxford with the late Derek Bailey was most entertaining. 


Hamilton then asked about the Black Lives Matter and again Thomas was extremely eloquent describing the obstacles people of colour experienced but he also was very strident about how hard it was for female performers to gain the recognition they deserved. Applause was drawn from the  crowd when he cited Marilyn Crispell as someone  who deserves far more respect from the music world for her outstanding ability. Only time constraints forced this very enjoyable session to end although an old friend of Pat’s - Paul Bream - when invited to ask a question declined the offer saying ‘Pat had told him everything he knew already’.  

 

Alina Bzhezhinska’s HipHarp Quartet: Alina Bzhezhinska (harp); Mikele Montolli (electric bass); Adam Teixeira (drums); Joel Prime (percussion)


And now for something completely different. Alina Bzhezhinska’s HipHarp Quartet was a very bright and breezy affair paying tribute to previous jazz harpists Dorothy Ashby and Alice Coltrane. Not surprisingly with a drummer and a percussionist there was plenty of funk in the set. Bzhezinska’s harp has been modified with effect pedals and electronics so the already amazing range of sounds the harp produces is further enhanced although the tune, An Annoying Semitone, does not refer to her instrument but rather to an irritating friend. 


Most of the pieces were very uptempo but one of the final pieces that I believe to be by Alice Coltrane was rather mournful and beautiful. 


Fittingly for a typical Saturday night in the Toon the last piece was a fast poppy electronic number which Jean Michel Jarre would have been proud of. Although now in the mood for some clubbing I decided not to join the queuing masses in the pouring rain outside  many of Newcastle’s trendy hotspots. Steve H

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