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Bebop Spoken There

Roy DuNann: "I would have sent him [Ornette Coleman] home ... It wasn't music at all for me" (JazzTimes May 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! --


14264 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 14 years ago. 483 of them this year alone and, so far, 83 this month (May 26).

From This Moment On ...


Sat 28: Whitley Bay Carnival: Northern Monkey Brass Band (1:00-1:45pm & 4:00-4:45pm); Baghdaddies (2:00-2:45pm & 5:00-5:45pm) @ Spanish City Plaza Arena, Whitley Bay. Northern Monkey Brass Band (2:30-2:45pm) @ Rainbow Corner (Marine Ave.), Whitley Bay.

Sun 29 Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 29: Musicians Unlimited @ Hartlepool United Supporters’ Club, Hartlepool. 1:00pm.
Sun 29: Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 29: Groovetrain @ Tyne Bar, Newcastle. 4:00pm. Free.
Sun 29: Zoë Gilby Quartet @ Allendale Village Hall, Northumberland. 7:30pm.
Sun 29: Two of a Mind: Sue Ferris-Steve Summers Quartet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £10.00 adv., £12.00. door.
Sun 29: Jam session @ Fabio's Bar, Durham. 8:00pm. A Durham Uni Jazz Soc event. All welcome.
Sun 29: Cedric Burnside @ Cluny, Newcastle. Superb Mississippi hill country blues!

Mon 30: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Tue 31: Jam session @ Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. House trio: Stu Collingwood, Paul Grainger, Rob Walker.


Wed 01: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 01: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 01: Four @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 01: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 02: The Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Walled Garden, Gibside National Trust, NE16 6BG. 12.30 - 3.30pm.
Thu 02: (?) Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 02: House of the Back Gardenia @ Gilsland Village Hall. 7:00pm.
Thu 02: The Blues Band @ Whitley Bay Playhouse. 7:30pm.
Thu 02: Thursday Night Prayer Meeting @ The Globe, Newcastle. Featured performers: Tony Bevan & Williwaw. 7:30pm. Free admission (donations). Upstairs.
Thu 02: Atom Eyes @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free.
Thu 02: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead. 8:30pm.
Thu 02: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 03: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 03: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm.
Fri 03: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 03: Tyne Valley Big Band @ Bywell Hall, Stocksfield. 2:00pm.
Fri 03: Sam Braysher Trio @ Saltburn Community Hall. 7:30pm. Braysher, Matyas Gayer, John Williamson.
Fri 03: Ruth Lambert Quartet @ The Vault, Hexham. 7:30pm (doors). £15.00.
Fri 03: Lee Bates @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Blind Pig Blues Club.

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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