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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.

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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