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Bebop Spoken There

Dee Dee Bridgewater: “ Our world is becoming a very ugly place with guns running rampant in this country... and New Orleans is called the murder capital of the world right now ". Jazzwise, May 2024.

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

16382 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 262 of them this year alone and, so far, 59 this month (April 20).

From This Moment On ...

April

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.

Thu 25: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 25: Jim Jams @ King’s Hall, Newcastle University. 1:15pm. Jim Jams’ funk collective.
Thu 25: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library, Gateshead. 2:30pm.
Thu 25: 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.
Thu 25: Jeremy McMurray & the Pocket Jazz Orchestra @ Arc, Stockton. 8:00pm.
Thu 25: Kate O’Neill, Alan Law & Paul Grainger @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 25: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests: Richie Emmerson (tenor sax); Neil Brodie (trumpet); Adrian Beadnell (bass); Garry Hadfield (keys).

Fri 26: Graham Hardy Quartet @ The Gala, Durham. 1:00pm. £8.00.
Fri 26: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 26: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 26: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 26: Paul Skerritt with the Danny Miller Big Band @ Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.
Fri 26: Abbie Finn’s Finntet @ Traveller’s Rest, Darlington. 8:00pm. Opus 4 Jazz Club.

Sat 27: Abbie Finn Trio @ The Vault, Darlington. 6:00pm. Free.
Sat 27: Papa G’s Troves @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Wednesday, November 03, 2021

Book/CD review: Brian Morton - The Making of Chet Baker Sings

Chet Baker (trumpet, vocal); Russ Freeman (piano); Jimmy Bond, Carson Smith, Joe Mondragon (bass); Peter Littman, Lawrence Marable, Bob Neel, Shelly Manne (drums)

Back in the mid-fifties I recall a Melody Maker headline that read "Chet Baker to appear in London - But only to sing!" This was, at the time, akin to saying that Fred Astaire would be appearing but wouldn't be dancing.

This was, of course, due to the ongoing situation where foreign musicians weren't allowed to play for fear of them taking work away from British musicians. It didn't apply to singers as they would have local musicians accompanying them.

As time went by Chet's singing became more and more accepted although the late Sinclair Traill in the April 1959 issue of Jazz Journal reviewing Chet Baker Sings wrote: "It is the sad music of despair - a sound I can do without". A ludicrous statement that was typical of the jazz critics of that era.

Fortunately, the years and this album have proved the pundits wrong. Chet Baker Sings now stands alongside Sinatra's Wee Small Hours and the Ella Song Books as being among the all time vocal classics.

The fact that someone has found it worthy enough to write an 80 page hard-backed book about the album is proof, if proof were needed, of its importance. A Kind of Blue, Jazz at Massey Hall and A Love Supreme are among the few jazz albums given that degree of acceptance. Morton does it justice without going too deeply into the actual goings on in the studio. Instead he gives us the background to the session without the sensationalism that most of Baker's biographers do.

As regards the actual music, this is as cool as it gets and yet packed with underlying emotion. The voice rests comfortably between Sinatra's romanticism and Tormé's vocal agility over twenty GASbook classics - six more than on the 12" album and twelve more than on the original 10" album released in 1954.

Despite the title, the trumpet isn't absent. On The Thrill is Gone he blows a fine obligato behind the vocal whilst his intro to There Will Never be Another You wouldn't have sounded out of place at Condon's or Jimmy Ryan's giving substance to the suggestion that Chet was a natural evolution from Bix. Fine piano from Russ Freeman too.

Highly recommended for both the music, Brian Morton's descriptive writing and the black and white photos, many previously unseen, by various photographers including William Claxton - Lance

That Old Feeling; It's Always You; Like Someone in Love; My Ideal; I've Never Been in Love Before; My Buddy; But Not For Me; Time After Time; I Get Along Without You Very Well; My Funny Valentine; There Will Never be Another You; The Thrill is Gone; I Fall in Love Too Easily; Look For the Silver Lining; Daybreak;; Just Friends; I Remember You; Let's Get Lost; Long Ago and Far Away; You Don't Know What Love is.

Brian Morton: The Making of Chet Baker Sings. Jazz Images 2021.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the review. It's probably common currency among your readers. But just in case not it's worth reiterating that Brian Morton is one of the world's best jazz writers. No one really gives a damn really about jazz writers which is abysmal of course but the reality so more should actually praise writers of his calibre given the pervasive whistling in the dark otherwise. Because what he writes belongs more in the realms of literature even if he only pens a small review, even a caption (as he sometimes writes for the Italian Cam Jazz label). Only Geoff Dyer (in the pages of But Beautiful) is in the same league in terms of style, intellectual rigour and substance.

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