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Bebop Spoken There

Greg Osby: “I have my own style, my own attitude, my own opinions about things. I'm not a follower". DownBeat, February, 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.


16221 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 103 of them this year alone and, so far, 47 this month (Feb. 18).

From This Moment On ...

February 2024

Fri 23: Mark Williams Trio @ The Gala, Durham. 1:00pm. £8.00. SOLD OUT!
Fri 23: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 23: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 23: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 23: Salty Dog Trio @ The Greenhouse, Tynemouth. 7:00pm. £8.00. (£6.00. adv.). CANCELLED!
Fri 23: Crooners @ The Maltings, Berwick upon Tweed. 7:30pm. £30.00., £28.00.
Fri 23: Strictly Smokin' Big Band w Dennis Rollins @ Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.

Sat 24: NUJO Jazz Jam @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 7:00pm (doors). Free (donations). A Newcastle University Jazz Orchestra event, all welcome.
Sat 24: Bradley Creswick’s Western Swingfonia @ Hexham Abbey, Hexham. 7:30pm. £15.00. A fundraiser for Hexham Abbey.
Sat 24: Papa G’s Troves @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Sun 25: Musicians Unlimited @ The Park Inn, Hartlepool. 1:00pm. Free.
Sun 25: More Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:30pm. Free.
Sun 25: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay Metro Station. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 25: Lindsay Hannon: Tom Waits for No Man + Lee Maddison @ Laurels, Whitley Bay. 4:00pm (3:30pm doors). £11.00., £8.80. inc. bf. SOLD OUT!
Sun 25: Bex Burch + Rachel Musson @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £11.00. Two solo performances. JNE.
Sun 25: Jazz Jam @ Fabio's, Saddler St., Durham. 8:00pm. Free. A Durham University Jazz Society event. All welcome.

Mon 26: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.

Tue 27: Ruth Lambert Quartet @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 8:00pm (7:00pm doors). £12.00., £10.00. (adv.).

Wed 28: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 28: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 28: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

Thu 29: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 29: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library, Gateshead. 2:30pm.
Thu 29: Student Performances @ King’s Hall, Newcastle University. 4:00pm. Free. Inc. Olly Styles (saxophone).
Thu 29: ’58 Jazz Collective @ Hops & Cheese, Hartlepool. 7:00pm. Free.
Thu 27: Student Jazz Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Thu 29: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests: Richie Emmerson (tenor sax); Josh Bentham (alto sax); Graham Thompson (keys); Adrian Beadnell (bass).

Tuesday, March 08, 2022

TJ Johnson @ Darlington New Orleans Club - March 5

TJ Johnson (piano, vocals); Alex Clarke (alto sax, tenor sax); Curtis Volp (guitar); Ed Harrison (double bass); Jack Cotterill (drums)

Saturday March 5 was a homecoming for jazz at St Augustine's, after the last two years. With Darlington bathed in early March sunshine, over 70 excited jazz fans queued up to pay their entrance fee.

T J Johnson is one of the UK's most popular jazz and blues musicians. He's been an entertainer on piano and vocals since he was 16 years old, when he was discovered by Pete Cotterill, drummer on the north west jazz scene (and Jack Cotterill's grandfather!), and joined the legendary Max Collie's Rhythm Aces in 1986, touring extensively across the UK, Europe and beyond. 

Alex Clarke is an amazing young talent on clarinet and saxes, and a 2020 BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year finalist. Alex will be well known to BSH readers, with recent appearances at the Lit and Phil, plus the Salute to Humphrey Lyttelton show at Newcastle's Black Swan venue. Ed Harrison is a fine young bass player, with technique across all jazz styles - he's played with our very own Dean Stockdale. Jack Cotterill is based in the Potteries, and another young talent on the UK jazz scene. It's not surprising that he started on the drums when he was a toddler, with dad and grandfather both drumming aces. Curtis Volp is another youngster, a busy multi instrumentalist specialising in guitar and banjo, from London. He's a recent graduate from the renowned Guildhall School of Music, has made festival appearances in Holland and France, and released to wide acclaim a duets CD with reeds specialist Michael McQuaid.

The room was buzzing with anticipation as the band took to the stage. Ray Sams, organiser of the Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club gigs, welcomed us all back - and we were off. We were treated to two 50 minute sets of highly entertaining jazz, blues and country. T J started out as a young folk and country music singer, before jazz took over - but he still loves to sing those old numbers about heartache and lost love. Several of the numbers were requests from fans in the audience - T J and his bands are hugely popular with the Darlington crowd. We got classics from Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard, sung engagingly by T J at the Korg keyboard, with super Alex on sax, and rhythmic support from Ed, Jack and Curtis. T J loves to sing the blues too, and we got a swinging take on the Jimmy Witherspoon classic When the Lights Go Out. This really gave Alex and the rhythm section a chance to rock, and the audience loved it. Poor Butterfly closed a highly entertaining first set - first published in 1916, this was a feature for Alex, and she played it beautifully.

Ray's Raffle is a fixture at these Darlington gigs. Your BSH correspondent always buys a couple of strips, in the faint hope of reward. The stars must have been aligned on this occasion, as my number was the first one pulled out of the hat! My companion had the second ticket too - how's that for a coincidence! Anyway, after this exciting interlude, we were ready for another 50 minutes of TJ. We started with a trip to New Orleans, with Bourbon Street Parade - and rocking second line drumming from Jack Cotterill. Then it was a real, eclectic mix of country, blues, and jazz classics - Willie Nelson, followed by Lester Leaps In and Body And Soul (two fine features for Alex) and a gorgeous take on You Turned The Tables On Me. If you've ever wondered what happened in the Black Mountains, T J told us the sorry, mean tale of Black Mountain Blues - as originally recorded by Bessie Smith in 1930.

The next session at Darlington New Orleans Club is on Saturday April 2: The New Century Ragtime Orchestra, performing rags, hot dance numbers from the 1920s and early swing from the 1930s. Patti

See for more details.

Set list: My Old Kentucky HomeOn the Road AgainSongs from the Jazz CountryWhen the Lights Go OutCurse of an Aching HeartHe'll Have to GoPoor ButterflyA Man with the BluesWithout a SongRed WingBourbon Street ParadeYou Do Something to MeRambling FeverBlueberry HillLester Leaps InYou Turned the Tables On MeBody and SoulBlack Mountain BluesAngel Flying Too Close to the GroundIn a MellotoneRoll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die.

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