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Bebop Spoken There

Art Blakey: "You [Bobby Watson] don't want to play too long, because you don't know they're clapping because they're glad you finished!" - (JazzTimes, Nov. 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!"


15848 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 15 years ago. 855 of them this year alone and, so far, 53 this month (Sept. 18).

From This Moment On ...


Sat 23: Tyne Valley Big Band @ Tanfield Railway, Gateshead. 2:00-4:00pm. Free. A '1940s Weekend' event.
Sat 23: Jason Isaacs @ Stack, Seaburn. 3:30-5:30pm. Free.
Sat 23: Andrew Porritt & Keith Barrett @ Cullercoats Watch House, Front St., Cullercoats NE30 4QB. 7:00pm.
Sat 23: Michael Woods @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A 'Jar on the Bar' gig. Country blues.

Sun 24: Musicians Unlimited @ Park Inn, Hartlepool. 1:00pm. Free.
Sun 24: More Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00pm. Free.

Mon 25: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Mon 25: Michael Young Trio @ The Engine Room, Sunderland. 7:00pm.

Tue 26: Paul Skerritt @ The Rabbit Hole, Hallgarth St., Durham DH1 3AT. 7:00pm. Paul Skerritt's (solo) weekly residency.

Wed 27: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 27: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 27: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 28: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 28: Alice Grace Quartet @ King's Hall, Newcastle University. 1:15pm. Free.
Thu 28: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library, Gateshead. 2:30pm. All welcome.
Thu 28: Faye MacCalman + Snape/Sankey @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 7:00pm.
Thu 28: Zoe Rahman @ Jesmond United Reformed Church, Jesmond, Newcastle. 7:30pm. A Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music event.
Thu 28: '58 Jazz Collective @ Hops & Cheese, Hartlepool. 7:30pm.
Thu 28: Speakeasy @ Queen's Hall, Hexham. 7:30pm. £15.00. A Southpaw Dance Company presentation. Dance, audio-visuals, Count Basie, Benny Goodman, swing dancers etc.
Thu 28: Mick Cantwell Band @ Harbour View, Sunderland. 8:00pm. Free. Ace blues band.
Thu 28: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman's Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 29: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 29: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 29: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.

Tuesday, March 08, 2022

International Women's Day – We Should All Be Celebrating!

I became interested in jazz relatively late in life, so perhaps that makes me more aware of the position of women in jazz. I mainly get to write about singers on BSH but this time I'm considering our local women instrumentalists, and what an inventive, talented, hard-working set of people! The likes of sax players such as Sue Ferris, also a helpful tutor; Fiona Finden with her curved soprano sax, Faye Thompson who began her playing with Jambone, Faye McCalman who ventures into free jazz with the nationally acclaimed Archipelago, Rachel Richman, a stalwart of many jam sessions and Lauren Ainsborough who occasionally jams on keyboards.

I'm not done yet! What about Emma Fisk with her gypsy jazz violin, and Abbie Finn (pictured), playing drums, once considered as an instrument that only men had the strength and energy to play, and Katy Trigger on bass, so empathetic to work with? Then there's singer and multi-instrumentalist Jude Murphy. I could go on, and remember, that's without mentioning the national and international scene.

So there's more than enough to celebrate on this day. But I wonder about the special difficulties that women in jazz face?  I can't speak for the women mentioned as I've never discussed the matter with them, but I notice that the Globe runs special women only workshops monthly. I attended these before lockdown, very enjoyable and useful they were too. It is said that women are more accommodating with each other and less inclined to rivalry than men. That rule applied at the Globe sessions.

Many of the reviews of jam sessions on BSH remark that 'the sax players took no prisoners' a phrase which makes me cringe. Is jazz a war? There's a lot of give and take at an effective jam session and each player should get their turn. As long as communication is good and everyone is very sure of when their turn is.

As for performing gigs, some questions occur to me. Is it easier to perform with someone who is your romantic partner? Can you keep musical disagreements out of your love life? What about being in a band with a son or daughter? Can you act the heavy parent? It must be tempting. 

It goes without saying that there is no place for discrimination in the jazz world, in all the usual categories. I'd be interested to read on BSH about what others think about the situation of women jazz instrumentalists. Ann Alex

Ps: My apologies to anyone that I’ve unintentionally left out.


Unknown said...

Since I wrote this piece I've been thinking about this subject on and off all day. Consider the following:
If a woman plays an instrument that is blown, does she put on lipstick?
Can you still play drums if you are pregnant?

How does a woman react if a reviewer comments on her dress but doesn't comment on how the men are dressed?
Is a woman's playing affected by the time of the month? It is said that women get mad once a month but men get mad for the whole month!

What if it's all men at a jam session? Do you even notice?

Jude Murphy (on F/b) said...

You could come and see the Wild Women of Wylam - all-female sextet - at one of our next gigs

Ann Alex said...

Thanks Jude, I'll watch for that gig being listed on BSH

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