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Bebop Spoken There

James Brandon Lewis: "Sometimes I'm not thinking about anything other than blowing the paint off the walls, and other times I'm narrating a story about my life." - (DownBeat June 2023).

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!"


15516 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 15 years ago. 536 of them this year alone and, so far, 25 this month (June 7).

From This Moment On ...

Sat 10: Miners' Picnic @ Woodhorn, Ashington. Music inc. Northern Monkey Brass Band (3:00-3:50pm); New York Brass Band (4:00-4:55pm).
Sat 10: Jeffrey Hewer @ The Vault, Darlington Covered Market, Darlington. 6:00-8:00pm. Free.
Sat 10: Front Porch Three @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:00pm. Free. Americana, blues, jazz etc.
Sat 10: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A 'Jar on the Bar' gig.

Sun 11: WORKSHOP: Tim Richards' Jazz Piano Workshop @ JG Windows, Newcastle. Time TBC. Further details tel. 0191 232 1356.
Sun 11: Jeremy McMurray's Pocket Jazz Orchestra @ Ropner Park, Stockton TS18 4EF. 2:00-4:00pm. Free.
Sun 11: Am Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:30pm. Free.
Sun 11: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 11: Groovetrain @ Innisfree Sports & Social Club, Longbenton NE12 8TY. Doors 6:30pm. £15.00 (£7.00. under 16).
Sun 11: Jeffrey Hewer Collective @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 11: Jam No. 19 @ Fabio's Bar, Saddler Street, Durham. 8:00pm. Free. All welcome. A Durham University Jazz Society event.

Mon 12: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Tue 13: Paul Skerritt @ The Rabbit Hole, Hallgarth St., Durham DH1 3AT. 7:00pm. Paul Skerritt's (solo) weekly residency.
Tue 13: Infusion Trio @ Forum Music Centre, Darlington. 7:30pm.
Tue 13: Alice Grace & Pawel Jedrzejewski @ Black Swan, Newcastle Arts Centre. 8:00pm. £12.00 (£10.00. adv.).

Wed 14: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 14: NUJO Final Jazz Jam @ Bar Loco, Newcastle. 6:30pm. Free. Newcastle University Jazz Orchestra's final jam session of the academic year. All welcome.
Wed 14: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 14: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 14: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 15: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 15: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library. 2:30-4:30pm. £2.00. All welcome.
Thu 15: Castillo Nuevo @ Revolución de Cuba, Newcastle. 5:30-8:30pm.
Thu 15: Alexander Ord Trio @ Tynedale Beer & Cider Festival, Tynedale Rugby Club, Corbridge. Evening, time TBC.
Thu 15: Têtes de Pois + Nauta @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. Time TBC.
Thu 15: Indigo Jazz Voices @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:45pm. £5.00.

Fri 16: Sue Ferris Quintet @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. SOLD OUT!
Fri 16: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 16: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 16: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 16: Stu Collingwood @ Baltic, Gateshead. 7:00pm. £15.75. A Let's Caper event featuring exhibitions, food, music etc.
Fri 16: Steve Beresford-Hannah Marshall-John Butcher @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 7:30pm. JNE promotion.
Fri 16: James Taylor Quartet @ Fire Station, Sunderland. 7:30pm.
Fri 16: Customs House Big Band @ Customs House, South Shields. 7:30pm.
Fri 16: Sue Ferris Quintet @ Traveller's Rest, Darlington. 8:00pm.
Fri 16: New Orleans Brass Band @ Billy Bootlegger's, Arch 2, Stepney Bank, Ouseburn, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. NOBB directed by Jason Holcomb.

Thursday, May 05, 2022

Album Review: Ester Wiesnerova – Blue Journal

Ester Wiesnerova (vocals); Sam Knight (sax); Charles Overton (harp); Kan Yanabe (percussion); Michal Selep (bass)

The first impression you get about this album is its beautiful packaging: a cardboard box containing a blue felt-covered notebook, which shows the song lyrics, photographs of scenes and personnel, and many blank pages for your own notes. I suppose you could write replies to the songs!

The next surprise is that this is the debut album of a Slovakian singer, and, with the exception of the Bratislava Hot Serenaders, Slovakia isn't a country noted for jazz, but rather for classical and folk music. If this CD is an example of Slovakian jazz then we have much to look forward to.

Ms Wiesnerova knew jazz from listening to her mother's records, and went on to study at Berklee College of Music and the New England Conservatory. She taught and performed at festivals and clubs worldwide, before returning home when the pandemic struck. The lockdown gave Ms Wiesnerova a chance to think about her experiences and her own identity, after having immersed herself in American culture and the English language.

Our singer has a pleasing soprano-toned voice, with good phrasing and clear diction. These self-penned songs concern issues of identity and current problems. Influences of Maria Schneider and Luciana Souza are mentioned but I noticed mainly traces of Joni Mitchell, both in the vocal quality and the wide leaps of pitch.

The musicians, British, American, Japanese and Slovakian, are well skilled and do long solos also, instruments not listed appear in some songs, such as the wooden flute on Nightingales And Maple Trees, to portray nature. The harp is effective instead of the more usual piano. Notable songs include Burrito, about a skilled burrito chef, introduced by newscast voices concerning Trump's Mexican wall, singing to a Latin rhythm with clapping. The music for this track was improvised, based on the lyrics.

Thirsty is about someone thirsting for real communication which isn't supplied by social media. Citlivli (Sensitive) is the words of a  Slovakian poet, played with a sensitive deep sax, sung in Slovakian. I'm Not Spinning If It Rains has vocal gymnastics which suits the title and the album is rounded off well with Epilogue, layers of wordless singing by multiple voices, the instruments playing at full pelt.

Fancy a trip to Bratislava? That is where you must go for the album release party which is on May 20.  After that the album will be available everywhere. See

Sinking Deep; Circles; Burrito; Thirsty; Feet Are Screaming; Nightingales And Maple Trees; Who Are You Now; Citlivli; Dripping; I'm Not Spinning If It Rains; Epilogue

Ann Alex

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