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Bebop Spoken There

Lakecia Benjamin: "From my early days with Clark Terry, he told me 'they see you before they hear you'... I'm just not from that school of thought where I'm gonna wear my jeans and T-shirt on stage and that's going to be respectable." - (Jazzwise, February 2023)

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

15056 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 15 years ago. 75 of them this year alone and, so far, 75 this month (Jan. 25).

From This Moment On ...

January

Sun 29: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 29: Musicians Unlimited @ Park Inn, Hartlepool. 1:00pm.
Sun 29: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 29: Revolutionaires @ Greens, Low Row, Sunderland. 6:00pm. Rhythm & blues band with a horn section (inc. Pete Tanton).
Sun 29: Hypnotic Brass Band @ Cluny, Newcastle. 7:00pm (doors). £20.00.
Sun 29: Jam No.12 @ Fabio's, Saddler St., Durham. 8:00pm. Free. Durham University Jazz Society jam session. All welcome (students & non-students).
Sun 29: Origin @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 30: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Tue 31: ???

February

Wed 01: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 01: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 01: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 01: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Wed 01: Moonlight Serenade Orchestra UK: Glenn Miller & Big Band Spectacular @ Darlington Hippodrome. 7:30pm.

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.

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: TBA @ Prohibiton 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.

Thursday, October 21, 2021

The Simon Spillett Big Band plays the music of Tubby Hayes @ The 100 Club, London - Oct 20

An orderly queue formed outside the 100 Club. Some had travelled a distance, Scottish accents were detected, Geordie too. Descending a flight of stairs leading to the legendary basement venue, the gentle hubbub of conversation, accompanied by Snowboy's DJ set, heightened what was already an eagerly awaited occasion, the sense of anticipation was palpable. We were on Oxford Street to listen to the big band charts of one of the great figures in British modern jazz. 

A dream was about to come true for one of the great advocates of British modern jazz. Simon Spillett, himself regarded as one of today's great British jazz saxophonists, had set about assembling an amazing, all-star band to play the big band charts of the late, great Tubby Hayes. It had been more than half a century since Hayes' renowned big band graced the stage here at the 100 Club. This evening Spillett, biographer, saxophonist, bandleader and leading authority on Hayes, stood in the footsteps of his hero. 

At a little after eight o'clock, the Simon Spillett Big Band took to the stage, opening with Dear Johnny B.* Wow! Wow! Wow! Words cannot convey how brilliant, how thrilling this was! The super-charged band (lead with boundless enthusiasm by Spillett) almost blew the roof off the place (Sammy Mayne's searing alto sax solo, Mark Armstrong** blowing fearless trumpet)! If that had been it, if MD Spillett had said: Thank you, and good night, it would have been worth the trip from BSH HQ up on Tyneside. Absolutely brilliant!

From here on in, Spillett's stupendous band played a blinder with the standing-room-only audience loving every minute of it not least because of the leader's own solos which perfectly encapsulated the technique and the vitality of the original without any suggestion of plagiarism. In part, the set list served to illustrate Hayes' interest in the work of other composers, notably, Ian Hamer (Pedro's Walk, a feature for the rhythm section, Messrs Rob Barron, Alec Dankworth and Pete Cater), Milt Jackson (Bluesology, Simon Allen, tenor sax solo).and Jimmy Deuchar (Russian Roulette). Of course Hayes' own work featured: She Insulted Me in Marrakesh (the title tickling some in the audience) and As Close As You Are, but two of several choice numbers in the pad.     
 
Much of the material heard here on Oxford Street was drawn from Tubbs' Tours and 100% Proof. The albums featured all-star line-ups, so it was fitting that this 2021 in concert big band was similarly of the all-star variety. All sections boasted top rank soloists: the trumpets, Mark Armstrong, Freddie Gavita and George Hogg with Nathan Bray playing lead; Ian Bateman and late dep Andy Wood in the 'bones; the reeds truly A-listers, namely the tenors Alex Garnett and Simon Allen, the altos Sammy Mayne and Pete Long, and occupying the baritone chair, the ubiquitous, not to mention brilliant, Alan Barnes. 

MD Spillett suggested it was rather apt that Victor Feldman's Seven Steps to Heaven should feature in the set list considering the Feldman family established 100 Oxford Street as a key venue on the London jazz scene. Simon Spillett thanked each and every member of the band, the man appeared to be in 'seventh heaven', and who could blame him?! To close out a truly memorable evening, the man himself, Simon Spillett, went toe-to-toe with Alex Garnett on a stupendous take on Sonnymoon for Two. It, and the entire set, won the Simon Spillett Big Band a prolonged standing ovation.              
 
Drummer Johnny Butts worked with Tyneside's legendary modern jazz outfit the EmCee Five.

** Mark Armstrong was born in Newcastle upon Tyne. 

Simon Spillett Big Band: Simon Spillett (MD, tenor sax); Alex Garnett (tenor sax, clarinet, flute); Simon Allen (tenor sax, clarinet); Pete Long (alto sax); Sammy Mayne (alto sax); Alan Barnes (baritone sax, clarinet); Mark Armstrong; Nathan Bray; Freddie Gavita; George Hogg (trumpets); Ian Bateman; Andy Flaxman; Richard Henry; Andy Wood (trombones); Rob Barron (piano); Alec Dankworth (double bass); Pete Cater (drums) + DJ Snowboy. 

Set list included: Dear Johnny BAs Close As You ArePedro's WalkBluesologyShe Insulted Me in MarrakeshSong for a Sad LadyRussian RouletteSolveig; Seven Steps to Heaven; Sonnymoon for Two

3 comments :

Grant Duncan said...

Couldn’t agree more! One of the best Big Band Gigs I have ever been to!

Charlie said...

Thank you for this review. It was as much as anything a joyous occasion. Everybody, but everybody was smiling. The band, the audience, the bar staff. I swear when I emerged onto a drenched Oxford Street passers by were grinning. Thank you Simon.

Alan said...

Equally fabulous gig by this band at Herts Jazz Festival on Sunday 17 October. Thanks so much, Simon, for putting all this together - a fantastic evening!

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