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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.

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Album review: Tomas Fujiwara’s Triple Double – March (Firehouse 12 Records)

Tomas Fujiwara (drums, vibraphone; Gerald Cleaver (drums); Mary Halvorson (guitar); Brandon Seabrook (guitar); Ralph Alessi (trumpet); Taylor Ho Bynum  (cornet).

All things being equal, it’s neither six nor two threes but a triple double at play here with the idea being that the baton is passed from one player on an instrument to a colleague playing something similar, so it’s pairings that matter, rather than two trios playing against each other. 

There have been examples of bandleaders putting ‘doubles’ together before (Ornette Coleman’s Double Quartet on Free Jazz being the best known) so this isn’t breaking new ground but it is an unusual instrumental line up nonetheless. Unfortunately, we don’t have the visuals that a live setting would provide so we can’t see it in action and we can’t be sure who is playing which part at any particular time. I always think that music like this is best in the moment of creation on the bandstand and albums are often a long way behind second best. As this group is unlikely to turn up at the Globe any time soon we have to draw such pleasures as we can from this recording.

I’m not a huge fan of free jazz, but I like to dip a toe in occasionally and it’s no great hardship when the performers involved are as accomplished as those at work on this album. Looking on Fujiwara’s website (which is available at it is clear that bass players don’t often get a look in. This often gives a sparseness to the music; individual or pairs of instruments play in solitude or duets against the silence. Other times, when all six are playing or during parts of the epic closing drum duet, For Alan II, there is no space, only a wall of sound.

The opener Pack Up, Coming For You starts softly with the trio of Fujiwara, Halvorson and Bynum and builds to an early climax where they seem simply to run out of space. They break down and return to basics before the other three join in. This dynamism of space and full widescreen technicolour sets the standard for the rest of the album.

The March of the Storm Before the Quiet of the Dance is probably the most accessible on the album as it starts slowly, sparely, in a more conventional form before it breaks up and away. The title captures the format of the tune as it gives us a march, a storm and something approximating a dance. Docile Fury Ballad is another accurately named piece, this time with a call and response between docility (trumpet) and fury (guitars and drums).

For Alan II, the 17 minute drum duet is wonderful. Not an expression that I thought I would be using. There are a couple of rock bands who have two drummers such as The Grateful Dead and the Allman Brothers Band and, like those bands, Fujiwara and Cleaver swap the roles of lead and rhythm drummer. There are short motifs at various times during the piece that, briefly, anchor the listener, but these pass and are replaced with others or lost and on it flows not, in any way wearing out its welcome. It’s not a furious piece at all, as you might expect from two drummers, as both play delicately for most of the time. March, the album is worth it for this track alone. Dave Sayer

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