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Bebop Spoken There

Steve Fishwick: “I can’t get behind the attitude that new is always somehow better than old”. (Jazz Journal, April 15, 2019).

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.


16542 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 422 of them this year alone and, so far, 29 this month (June 17).

From This Moment On ...


Mon 17: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Mon 17: ‘Tower of Power’ @ The Library Bar, Saddler St., Durham . 7:30pm.Free. A Durham University Jazz Society event. All welcome.

Tue 18: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Victoria & Albert Inn, Seaton Delaval. 12:30pm. £13.00. ‘Jazz, Sausage ‘n’ Mash’…’with Onion Gravy’!
Tue 18: Jam Session @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free. House trio: Stu Collingwood, Paul Grainger, Tim Johnston.
Tue 18: Libby Goodridge & Ben Davies @ The Lost Wanderer, Leazes Park Road, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £6.00. Triple bill, inc. Goodridge & Davies (jazz).

Wed 19: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 19: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 19: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

Thu 20: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 20 Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Brunswick Methodist Church, Newcastle. 2:00pm. £4.00. Note new venue!
Thu 20: Karine Polwart & Dave Milligan @ The Fire Station, Sunderland. 7:30pm. £29.00., £23.00. Folk/jazz duo.
Thu 20: Richard Herdman & Ray Burns @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 20: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests: Josh Bentham (tenor sax); Donna Hewitt (alto sax); Dave Archbold (keys); Dave Harrison (trumpet); Ron Smith (bass).

Fri 21: Alan Barnes with Dean Stockdale Trio @ The Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. SOLD OUT!
Fri 21: Joe Steels’ Borealis @ The Gala, Durham. 1:00pm. £8.00.
Fri 21: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 21: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 21: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 21: Soznak @ The Bike Garden, Nunsmoor, Newcastle NE4 5NU. 5:00-9:00pm. Free.
Fri 21: Errol Linton + Michael Littlefield & Scott Taylor (King Bees) @ Gosforth Civic Theatre, Newcastle. 7:30pm. £20.00. Blues double bill.
Fri 21: Alan Barnes with the Dean Stockdale Trio @ Seventeen Nineteen, Sunderland. 7:30pm.
Fri 21: Strictly Smokin’ Big Band @ Alnwick Playhouse. 8:00pm. ‘Ella & Ellington’.
Fri 21: Mark Toomey Quartet @ Traveller’s Rest, Darlington. 8:00pm. Opus 4 Jazz Club.

Sat 22: Jason Isaacs @ Stack, Seaburn SR6 8AA. 12:30-2:30pm. Free.
Sat 22: Abbie Finn Trio @ The Vault, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free.
Sat 22: Hejira: Celebrating Joni Mitchell @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 7:30pm (doors). £22.50.
Sat 22: Rockin’ Turner Bros. @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Sun 23: Paul Skerritt @ Hibou Blanc, Newcastle. 2:00pm.
Sun 23: More Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00pm. Free.
Sun 23: Matt Carmichael @ St Mary’s Church, Wooler. 3:00pm. Carmichael (saxophone), Fergus McCreadie (piano), Charlie Stewart (fiddle). ‘Scottish jazz, folk-roots & landscape’ Wooler Arts: Summer Concerts.
Sun 23: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 23: Tweed River Jazz Band @ Barrels Ale House, Berwick. 7:00pm. Free.
Sun 23: Bede Trio @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 23: Leeway @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Sun 23: Jazz Jam @ Fabio’s Bar, Saddler St., Durham. 8:00pm. Free. A Durham University Jazz Society event. All welcome.

Thursday, December 23, 2021

More tenor players

The review of the cut price Avid label's 2 CD release of four albums by Wardell Gray prompted me to dig out the other 16 vinyl albums I have  of the great man. I love them all - Wardell was perhaps the most underrated of the lot.

Nevertheless, as I listened to him playing Blue Lou along with Erroll Garner it occured to me that not only was this the most relaxed tenor playing I'd ever heard but that it also made me realise that, wonderful as Hawkins, Lester, Rollins and Trane are/were there were others that I listened to more - sometimes as much for their lifestyles as for their music although the latter quality had, of course, to cut it too. Here are some reminiscences...

Wardell Gray: The first time I met Charlie Carmichael he played me a record of  Wardell playing A Sinner Kissed an Angel. This was it - more than Lester less than Bird - maybe one really was a sinner and the other an angel. I don't think either Charlie or myself slotted into the latter category!

Dexter Gordon: When Wardell and Dexter were slugging it out in the joints on Central Avenue the groundwork was set down for whenever tenor saxists should meet and trade blows. I know Flip and Illinois had done it earlier with JATP but this was better. Later, Dexter's Blue Note albums became classics.

Brew Moore: Loved Lester almost as much as he loved booze. The combination of the two served to produce some great tenor playing on several albums that only ceased when his addiction to the latter overcome his dedication to the former and he broke his neck falling downstairs.

Allen Eager: Had it all. A great bop tenor player. Cooler than Getz he could hold his own on 52nd St. alongside the greats. He also manged to work as a ski instructor as well as doing a bit of motor racing. He could, I'm told, also pull the birds. I heard him at a club in Covent Garden. He wasn't at his best that night.

Teddy Edwards: A memorable night hearing him at a venue in Darlington. It was everything I expected from a man who'd been in at the birth of bebop. It was with a local rhythm section - Paul Smith was on drums, I can't recall the others but it was one of those nights that stayed ...

Guy Lafitte: It was at the Breda Jazz Festival where I first heard the French tenor sax player. Breda was predominately a trad festival with Tyneside bands such as the River City Jazzmen and the Saratoga Jazzmen frequently featured so that when I heard Lafitte with Bob Wilber and Warren Vaché it was like a breath of fresh air and I subsequently attempted to corner the market of his albums!

Tommy Whittle: Closer to home, Whittle was, for many years, my favourite British tenor player. I heard him several times at the Hopbine, a pub in North London that served two purposes. It enabled me to untangle the map of the London underground and, in doing so, introduced me to some of the finest tenor playing I'd ever heard. Even after 50 - maybe more - years later I still recall the opening number, Cole Porter's I Love You. Esquire vinyl, Spotlite CDs are still treasured as are the memories of hearing him at Blaydon and Live Theatre.

Gary Cox: A surprise choice but, those of us who remember Gary playing with the EmÇee 5 I'm sure will go along with me in thinking that Gary is another of the most underrated tenor players. My favourite story about Gary, who was playing with Don Smith at the Oxford Galleries in Newcastle at the time, was when he was asked by Ronnie McLean to play with his band at the New Orleans Club. "What's it pay?" asked Gary. "We split the door money" replied Ronnie. Gary went home with one and ninepence. He didn't do the next session!

Betty Smith: She was with Freddie Randall's Dixieland outfit at Seaburn Hall. I'd never heard of a woman playing saxophone until then (I was maybe 15 or 16) but she blew like Bud Freeman and I fell hopelessly and unrequitedly in love with her! Later she played on tv variety shows and Ian Forbes played drums in her band but that moment at Seaburn Hall is the moment that sticks.

Unknown: It was the early 1960s. The late Jim McDowell and myself went for a pint in the Forge and Hammer - a Jarrow pub now long gone. We'd anticipated a quiet pint and maybe a chat about an album by Erroll Garner or Stan Getz. Garner and Getz were soon forgotten! The crew from The Queen of Bermuda were in and there was a guy on tenor blowing some wild blues choruses. Another guy was singing and the ancient piano in the corner suddenly sounded like a Steinway albeit a Steinway that needed some attention both before and after - particularly after! I don't know who the tenor player was but he could have cut it anywhere!


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