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Bebop Spoken There

JD Allen: "...art in itself is now a luxury that you need a lot of finances to do." - (DownBeat October 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

13,822 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 1239 of them this year alone and, so far, 66 this month (Oct. 18).

From This Moment On ...

October

Mon 18: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Mon 18: Zoë Gilby Quartet @ The Black Bull, Blaydon. 8:00pm. Blaydon Jazz Club.

Wed 20: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 20: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 20: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Wed 20: Jeremy McMurray & the Jazz Pocket Orchestra @ Middlesbrough Town Hall. 8:00pm.

Thu 21: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 21: NUJO Jazz Jam @ Bar Loco, Newcastle. 7:00pm. Newcastle University Jazz Orchestra.
Thu 21: Alter Ego @ St James' & St Basil's Church, Newcastle 7:30pm.
Thu 21: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead. 8:30pm.
Thu 21: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman's Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 22: Mick Shoulder Quartet @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. Quartet featuring Alex Clarke (BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year finalist).
Fri 22: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 22: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm.
Fri 22: Paul Edis Trio w Ruth Lambert @ St Cuthbert's Centre, Crook. 7:30pm.
Fri 22: Michael Feinstein @ Sage Gateshead. 8:00pm.
Fri 22: Peter Morgan Trio @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Sat 23: Mary Coughlan @ Gosforth Civic Theatre, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sat 23: Têtes de Pois @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Sun 24 Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 24: Musicians Unlimited @ South Durham Social Club, Hartlepool. 1:00pm.
Sun 24: Voices of Virtue Gospel Choir @ The Globe, Newcastle. 4:00pm.
Sun 24: Milne Glendinning Band @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

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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