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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 16, 2022

Album review: John Scofield - John Scofield

John Scofield (guitar and looper)

Did I tell you I met John Scofield once, at the bar in what is now the Northern Playhouse after a gig at a Newcastle Jazz Festival, probably in the early nineties? My mate Ian pointed out, after we had both shaken hands with Scofield, that that hand had probably shaken hands with Miles Davis. Thus, was our tenuous link to jazz history established.

I didn’t realise how many John Scofield albums I had until I started rummaging. As well as a couple of his own in my collection I also have him on albums with Joe Lovano, Dave Holland and Al Foster (as ScoLoHoFo), Marc Johnson, The Allman Brothers Band, Pat Metheny, Medeski, Martin and Wood and a very good tribute to Tony Williams Lifetime with Larry Goldings and Jack DeJohnette. Of course his profile was raised enormously by being part of Miles Davis’ group in the mid-80s, though he had been recording prolifically for over 10 years before that. Safe to say he gets around. So much so that the last place I saw his albums up for sale was the Drift Café on Druridge Bay

This album is another classic lockdown album on which Scofield, on his own and with loops, revives a few of his tunes and those of friends, adds a few covers that he has a soft spot for and chucks in a couple of ‘Trad. Arrs’ for good measure. He recorded it in a studio in the hamlet of Katona in upstate New York. If it sounds like the noodlings of a happy man, then that’s no bother and the pressure is off the listener. It’s a collection of pastoral sketches from simpler times, of Norman Rockwell farmers and trains that whistle in the distance.

Coral slides out of the speakers and we’re up and ambling rather than running. A gentle (looped?) strum overlaid with some of those spiky, pointed notes that Scofield specialises in. It’s a Keith Jarrett song from the days when we all had big hair and Scofield says in his sleeve notes that he learnt it from Gary Burton whilst at Berklee. Honest I Do is one of Scofield’s from 1991. Stripped back, as here, it floats by and the words wistful and melancholic come to mind.

Jimmy Van Heusen’s It Could happen To You is a gently swinging toe-tapper as previously performed by Kenny Dorham and by old boss Miles Davis.

Danny Boy, one of the ‘Trad. Arr’ tunes is all wide open spaces. A song for open prairies or big Northumberland skies. Scofield at his most reflective. He plays the melody and then sets up a drone over which he layers longer, rounder notes with a touch of the Indian ragas to it.

The gentle, elegant Mrs Scofield’s Waltz is a homesteader’s turn around the garden, whist Junco Partner retains the Cajun swing from performances by Dr John and, surprisingly, The Clash. It’s one to dip your head into  and shuffle your feet to.

Not Fade Away is, of course, the Buddy Holly/ Rolling Stones classic built on a shuffling Bo Diddley riff i.e. ‘Shave and a haircut, two bits’. Scofield’s version is less Buddy Holly and more Grateful Dead who covered Not Fade Away a few thousand times live. Scofield’s sleeve notes mention his friendship with Phil Lesh from The Dead and playing this tune live with him. He sets up the riff and calls over it as the riff responds.

Not an album that will blow the doors off, but one that will open the windows on a warm day and let a little air in. Nobody is going to put it forward as their album of the year for 2022 until they realise how often they have played it because it’s just a little bit different and just fits when the mood is right.

The CD is available now  on ECM from all reasonable suppliers with a vinyl release scheduled for the autumn - Dave Sayer

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