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Bebop Spoken There

Sean Jones: "There were like three people in church who couldn't sing or play an instrument. We thought there was something wrong with them." (DownBeat July 2022)

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:"Lance writes pull quotes like no one else!"


14362 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 14 years ago. 581 of them this year alone and, so far, 81 this month (June 26).

From This Moment On ...


Mon 27: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Tue 28: Jam session @ Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. House trio: Dean Stockdale, Paul Grainger, Sid White.

Wed 29: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 29: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 29: Four @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm. CANCELLED!
Wed 29: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 30: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 30: 58 Jazz Collective @ Hops & Cheese, Hartlepool. 7:30pm.
Thu 30: Lights Out By Nine @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. 8:30pm. Free.
Thu 30: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead. 8:30pm.
Thu 30: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.


Fri 01: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 01: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 01: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 01: Swing Manouche @ The Vault, Hexham. 7:30pm (doors). £20.00.
Fri 01: 1920s Speakeasy w live jazz @ The Exchange, North Shields. 8:00pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Fri 01: Struggle Buggy @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. Blind Pig Blues Club. 8:00pm.

Sat 02: Hot Fingers @ St Augustine’s Parish Centre, Darlington. 12:30pm. £10.00.
Sat 02: Play Jazz! workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. Tutor Steve Glendinning: Latin jazz. £25.00. Enrol at:
Sat 02: Talk: Storytelling & jazz as an expression of urban life @ The Exchange, North Shields. 1:45pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Sat 02: The Commandments + On Parole @ The Exchange, North Shields. 2:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event. Rhythm & blues.
Sat 02: Geordie Jazz Man @ The Exchange, North Shields. 5:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event. Screening of Abi Lewis’ documentary film about Keith Crombie & the Jazz Café.
Sat 02: The Delta Prophets Trio @ The Exchange, North Shields. 6:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event. Rhythm & blues.
Sat 02: Swing Manouche @ Claypath Deli, Durham. 7:00pm.
Sat 02: Swung Eight & King Bees @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event. Swing dance + ace Chicago blues band.
Sat 02: Tyne Valley Big Band @ Greenside Community Centre, Ryton. 7:30pm.
Sat 02: Patrick Cromb @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Sun 03 Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 03: Smokin’ Spitfires @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 12:45pm.
Sun 03: Ruth Lambert & Martin Craggs. @ The Exchange, North Shields. 2:00pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Sun 03: Abbie Finn Trio @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Sun 03: Wild Women of Wylam @ The Exchange, North Shields. 4:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Sun 03: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 5:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Sun 03: Jazz Jam @ The Exchange, North Shields. 6:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Sun 03: Jeffrey Hewer Quartet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 04: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

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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