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Bebop Spoken There

Charles McPherson: “Jazz is best heard in intimate places”. (DownBeat, July, 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.


16573 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 466 of them this year alone and, so far, 12 this month (July 7).

From This Moment On ...


Fri 12: The Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ The White Swan, Main Road, Ovingham NE42 6AG. 12:30pm. Free.
Fri 12: John Settle @ The Old Library, Auckland Castle, Bishop Auckland. 1:00pm. £8.00. Settle (vibes) w. Dean Stockdale, Mick Shoulder & Tim Johnston.
Fri 12: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 12: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 12: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.

Sat 13: Jazz Stage @ Mouth of the Tyne Festival. Free. Vieux Carré Jazzmen (12 noon); Trilogy of Four (1:35pm); Classic Swing (3:10pm); Archipelago (4:40pm).
Sat 13: East Coast Swing Band @ Tynemouth Metro Station. 1:00pm. Free. A Mouth of the Tyne Festival event.
Sat 13: Tyne Valley Big Band @ Prudhoe Riverside Park. 12:55-1:40pm. Free.
Sat 13: Michael Woods @ Cycle Hub, Ouseburn, Newcastle NE6 1BU. 1:30-2:30pm & 3:00-4:00pm. Country blues. An Ouseburn Festival event.
Sat 13: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ The Beehive, Hartley Lane, Whitley Bay NE25 0SZ. 5:30pm. Free. Gig in the Secret Garden.
Sat 13: Anth Purdy @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. ‘Swing Jazz Guitar’. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Sun 14: OUTRI + Slowlight Quartet @ The Bandstand, The Sele, Hexham. 12 noon-2:00pm. Free. OUTRI is Ian ‘Dodge’ Paterson’s new solo bass project. ‘The Bandstand Sessions’.
Sun 14: Jazz Stage @ Mouth of the Tyne Festival. Free. Rendezvous Jazz (12 noon); Delta Prophets Trio (1:35pm); Abbie Finn Trio (3:10pm); River City Band (4:40pm).
Sun 14: MSK @ Tynemouth Metro Station. 1:00pm. Free. A Mouth of the Tyne Festival event.
Sun 14: Paul Skerritt @ Hibou Blanc, Newcastle. 2:00pm.
Sun 14: Am Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00pm. Free.
Sun 14: Jamil Sheriff’s Five Gold Rings @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. 3:00pm.
Sun 14: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Free. Sun 14: Lounge Lizards + King Bees @ The Tyne Bar, Newcastle. 3:00pm. Free. The Tyne Bar’s 30th anniversary, top class blues double bill.
Sun 14: Richard Herdman @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Mon 15: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Mon 15: Nathan Lawson Trio @ The Black Bull, Blaydon. 8:00pm. £8.00. Blaydon Jazz Club.

Tue 16: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Victoria & Albert Inn, Seaton Terrace, Seaton Delaval NE25 0AT. 12:30pm. £15.00 (tel: 0191 237 3697). Summer BBQ in the Beer Graden.
Tue 16: Jam session @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free. House trio: Alan Law, Paul Grainger & Abbie Finn.

Wed 17: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 17: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 17: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.
Wed 17: John Pope & John Garner + Nisha Ramayya @ Cluny 2, Newcastle. 7:30pm (doors). £15.00. (£12.00. adv.). A Gem Arts Masala Festival event.

Thu 18 Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Brunswick Methodist Church, Newcastle NE1 7BJ. 2:30pm. £4.00.
Thu 18: Theo Croker @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.
Thu 18: Brad Linde’s Continentals @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Thu 18: Eva Fox & the Jazz Guys @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 18: Ray Stubbs R&B All Stars @ The Mill Tavern, Hebburn. 8:00pm. Rhythm & blues.
Thu 18: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Album review: Mark Turner – Return from the Stars

Mark Turner (tenor sax); Jason Palmer (trumpet); Joe Martin (double bass); Jonathan Pinson (drums)

I was down in that Big Fancy London a couple of weeks ago and paid my usual visit to Ray’s Jazz in Foyles on Charing Cross Road. The new shop is all bright and light and separated by a floor or two from the new café. I always preferred the old space in the shop next door at number 84. You could order your coffee and cake and then carry out a bit of crate digging, leaving an unattended briefcase full of top military secrets to bagsy a window seat from which you could later watch the buses go by. (Sometimes, you had to take the top secret files out to fit the LPs in.) They do, however, still have an excellent selection of new and second-hand CDs and they can still lay an aural trap to snare the unwary punter, unused to the big city ways.

They did it to me but I have no regrets as I now find myself fifteen quid lighter but the better for having bought Return from the Stars by Mark Turner.

I’ve been a fan of Turner’s ever since his Fly Trio album Year of the Snake came out in 2012, on which album he partnered with Larry Grenadier and Jeff Ballard, a rhythm section of some repute. Lathe of Heaven from 2014 by the Mark Turner Quartet was another exceptional album. Bassist Joe Martin is the only carry over from that album to feature on Return from the Stars and you can see why Turner has hung onto him when you hear the role he plays in the current quartet.

The album opens with the title track, Miles-ian, tightly structured and controlled with delicate, tickling drums. Passages of unison play by sax and trumpet are broken by bass solo interludes then Turner and Palmer indulge in a soaring joust that takes us back to the stars.

To an extent that sets the model for what follows. If that sounds dismissive it is not meant as such. This is a wonderful album, full of verve and drama. Turner has composed all the tracks but these are, as with the best of jazz, foundations for the others to build on. Palmer, especially, on trumpet, takes full advantage to really open up, and again, soar on Bridgetown whilst It’s Not Alright with Me  has Martin and Turner playing with, against and around each other and it makes for wonderful listening.

Nigeria II is probably the standout track for me. Its pace and attack and furious chasing solos from Turner and Palmer are a joy and the only mark against it is its brevity, at 4:36 it’s the shortest track on the album.

Of course, with it being an ECM album, it is beautifully recorded with exceptional separation between the musicians and every note sounds clearly, though I would have pushed the drums a bit further up in the mix on some of the early tracks as sometimes they feel remote and a bit lost. (The exceptions are Unacceptable and Waste Land where the sax and trumpet are broken up by interludes as on the first track but this time it is Pinson’s drums that take on the task, Martin playing a few spare phrases on bowed bass).

The closer, Lincoln Heights is a showcase for bassist Joe Martin and it’s a reward for holding the whole album together. He solos for most of the track over delicately played horns before a full pile by the others and some furious drumming. Although he anchors the sound of the group throughout it’s in a prominent role, just behind the horns. I’ll be looking to see if he has anything out under his own name.

The CD also comes in the usual cardboard sleeve, the main purpose of which, for me, is in helping to spot ECM albums in the second hand racks at Foyles. Having said that, and in the interests of the environment and reducing excess packaging, it’s probably time for ECM to knock the cardboard sleeves on the head.

The album is currently available on CD and download from all the usual outlets with a vinyl release to follow in the autumn. Turner’s website doesn’t look to have been updated for a few years and part of it is being cyber squatted by a bookies. He does have a Facebook page which can be found by searching Mark Turner Jazz and that is up to date - Dave Sayer

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