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Bebop Spoken There

Abbie Finn: "Even though there's a lot of great work being done to promote women in jazz, I still come up against some attitudes! I pulled up at a recording session with my drums in the car and the studio owner said, 'I'm sorry, this space is reserved for the drummer!'" - (Jazzwise April 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!"


15229 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 15 years ago. 248 of them this year alone and, so far, 61 this month (March 20).

From This Moment On ...


Thu 23: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 4:00-6:00pm. Free.
Thu 23: NUJO Jazz Jam @ Bar Loco, Newcasatle. From 6:30pm 'til late. Free. Newcastle University Jazz Orchestra jam session. All welcome (students & non-students).
Thu 23: Kerrin Tatman + John Garner & John Pope @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 7:00pm.
Thu 23: Sunna Gunnlaugs & Julia Hülsmann @ Sage Gateshead. 8:00pm. A two-piano gig. A Sage Gateshead-JNE promotion.
Thu 23: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Ragtime piano.
Thu 23: Sleep Suppressor @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £10.00., £8.00. adv. Upstairs.
Thu 23: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman's Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 24: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 24: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 24: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 24: FILM: Mo' Better Blues @ Forum Cinema, Hexham. 7:00pm.
Fri 24: Ian Millar & Dominic Spencer @ Scarth Hall, Staindrop, Co. Durham. 8:00pm. £10.00.
Fri 24: Archipelago + Bulbils @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 7:00pm.

Sat 25: Vermont Big Band @ Walker Community Centre, Walker, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Fundraiser for Benfield Juniours Football Club. Hot food available, BYOB.
Sat 25: John Logan & Friends @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Rat Pack, Motown etc. 8:00pm. Free (donations).

Sun 26: Musicians Unlimited @ Park Inn, Hartlepool. 1:00pm.
Sun 26: More Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 26: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 26: Outlines @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. JNE promotion (upstairs).

Mon 27: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Tue 28: Paul Skerritt @ The Rabbit Hole, Hallgarth St., Durham DH1 3AT. 7:00pm. Paul Skerritt's (solo) weekly residency.
Tue 28: Sanaz Lavasani Trio @ Black Swan, Newcastle Arts Centre. 8:00pm. £12.00 (£10.00. adv).

Wed 29: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 29: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 29: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 29: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Monday, May 02, 2022

Album review: Fergus McCreadie - Forest Floor

Fergus McCreadie (piano); David Bowden (double bass);  Stephen Henderson (drums)

Those of us who saw this trio play at the Lit & Phil last year as part of the Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music have a problem with Fergus McCreadie. That too short set was jaw on the floor outstanding and anything that comes after cannot hope to compete. The concert was not too long after the news broke that Keith Jarrett had had to retire from playing and those of us inclined towards excess and hyperbole started to wonder if the seat at the top table could be filled by McCreadie himself. Surely not, we wondered. Although …

Forest Floor is the trio’s third album, after Turas which was self-released in 2018 and last year’s Cairn (also on Edition). Like Cairn, Forest Floor shows its Caledonian roots. 

Law Hill opens the album with thunder and bluster, piano trills exploding all over and not a moment's silence left unfilled. 

The Unfurrowed Field, which follows carries echoes of Scottish country dancing, in which some of us were obliged to partake in junior school and the memories linger. Bowden’s bass is one of the highlights here.

Morning Moon is even more delicate and you have to lean into it to hear all of the softly rolling drums, the heartbeat bass and the piano diving and swooping, more like the evening swallow than a bird of the morning.

Landslide is a much more tightly entwined, four on the floor trio piece with a firm left hand motif on the piano as the foundation for extended runs over a forceful, driving performance from Bowden and Stephenson.

The centrepiece of the album is The Ridge, which follows the title track. A slow, wistful opening builds as McCreadie soars over Stephenson’s solid driving on the drums. Whilst McCreadie is undoubtedly the leader, The Ridge is a full trio performance in all senses. 

The closer, Glade, is a lullaby in all but name, beautiful and calming after all that has gone before. The line has been drawn in the sand for album of the year nominations.

This trio are setting incredibly high standards both live and in the studio, to the extent that there are very few contemporaries to match them. 

Including them in lists alongside Esbjorn Svensson and Keith Jarrett is not unreasonable. Whether McCreadie expands the group to include other instruments or if he writes for a much larger ensemble it will be important to this listener that his personal ‘voice’ on the piano is not lost.

The album is available from all the usual outlets, including Bandcamp and Edition Records at their store site or on  Fergus’ own website

The Trio are playing at the Witham in Barnard Castle on May 27. Dave Sayer

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