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Bebop Spoken There

Roseanna Vitro: "Have you ever tried singing a bridge to a Charlie Parker song? It just looks like the craziest thing in the world to me.'" - (DownBeat, January 2022)

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

13848 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 67 of them this year alone and, so far, 67 this month (Jan. 20).

From This Moment On ...

January 2022

Fri 21: Emma Fisk & James Birkett @ The Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. POSTPONED!
Fri 21: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 21: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm.
Fri 21: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 21: John Law @ Durham Cathedral. 7:30pm. £20.00. POSTPONED!
Fri 21: Dean Stockdale Quartet @ Traveller’s Rest, Darlington. 8:00pm. £8.00. Opus 4 Jazz Club.
Fri 21: Jude Murphy & Dan Stanley @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Sat 22: East Coast Swing Band @ East Bedlington Community Centre. 7:30pm. £5.00.
Sat 22: MGB @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. The Milne-Glendinning Band.
Sat 22: Ian Millar & Dominic Spencer @ Hamsteels Community Centre, Esh Winning. 8:00pm. £10.00.

Sun 23 Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 23: Musicians Unlimited @ South Durham Social Club, Hartlepool. 1:00pm.
Sun 23: Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 23: More Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 3:00pm.
Sun 23: Anth Purdy: Swing Jazz Guitar @ Blues & Bourbon, Newcastle. 3:00pm.
Sun 23: Svarc Hanley Longhawn @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £10.00 adv., £12.00. door.

Mon 24: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Mon 24: Vels Trio + Knats @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 8:00pm. POSTPONED!.

Tue 25: East Coast Swing Band @ East Bedlington Community Centre. 10:00am - 12 noon. Rehearsal session (open to the public). .
Tue 25: Jam session @ Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. House trio: Murray Wankling, Paul Grainger, King David Ike-Elechi.

Wed 26: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 26: Classic Swing @ Venue, Cramlington NE23 6UT. 1:00pm. .
Wed 26: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public). .
Wed 26: Four @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm. .
Wed 26: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 27: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. .
Thu 27: Tobias Sarra & John Garner @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 7:00pm. .
Thu 27: 58 Jazz Collective @ Hops & Cheese, Hartlepool. 7:30pm. .
Thu 27: Knats’ Night @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. Knats + guests. .
Thu 27: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead. 8:30pm. CANCELLED! .
Thu 27: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman's Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

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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