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Bebop Spoken There

Lakecia Benjamin: "From my early days with Clark Terry, he told me 'they see you before they hear you'... I'm just not from that school of thought where I'm gonna wear my jeans and T-shirt on stage and that's going to be respectable." - (Jazzwise, February 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!"

Postage

15056 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 15 years ago. 75 of them this year alone and, so far, 75 this month (Jan. 25).

From This Moment On ...

January

Fri 27: Zoë Gilby Quartet @ Gala Theatre, Durham. 1:00pm. SOLDOUT!
Fri 27: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 27: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 27: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 27: Hip Hop Hooray @ Bar 52, Newcastle. 7:00pm.
Fri 27: John Dikeman, Pat Thomas, John Edwards, Steve Noble @ Lit & Phil. 7:30pm. £10.00.
Fri 27: Rob Heron & the Tea Pad Orchestra @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. 7:30pm. £10.00. on the door. A Swung Eight event.
Fri 27: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. Ragtime & stride piano. 8:00pm.

Sat 28: Tyneside Improvisers Workshop @ Ye Olde Cross, Ryton. 2:00-4:00pm. All welcome.
Sat 28: Secular Sounds in a Sacred Place @ Holy Cross Church, Ryton. 4:30-7:00pm. £10.00. Continuous performance featuring: Christian Alderson, Faye MacCalman, Sally Pilkington, John Pope. Event preceded by a Tyneside Improvisers Workshop (2:00pm, see above).
Sat 28: Entartete Musik @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. A Brundibár Arts Festival event.

Sun 29: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 29: Musicians Unlimited @ Park Inn, Hartlepool. 1:00pm.
Sun 29: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 29: Hypnotic Brass Band @ Cluny, Newcastle. 7:00pm (doors). £20.00.
Sun 29: Jam No.12 @ Fabio's, Saddler St., Durham. 8:00pm. Free. Durham University Jazz Society jam session. All welcome (students & non-students).
Sun 29: Origin @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 30: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Tue 31: ???

February

Wed 01: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 01: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 01: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 01: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Wed 01: Moonlight Serenade Orchestra UK: Glenn Miller & Big Band Spectacular @ Darlington Hippodrome. 7:30pm.

Thu 02: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 02: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library. 2:30-4:30pm. £1.00. All welcome.
Thu 02: Paul Skerritt Duo @ Tomahawk Steakhouse, High St., Yarm. 8:00pm.
Thu 02: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman's Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Alice Grace Quartet: “Weavers of Dreams” @ the Gala Theatre, Durham - May 27

(© Malcolm Sinclair)

Alice Grace (voice); Mark Williams (guitar); Paul Grainger (double bass); Abbie Finn (drums)

Posters for Ballet Cymru’s forthcoming adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream dominated the foyer at the Gala. But different dreams were on the menu for the midday May Gala audience – summoned up by the enthralling Alice Grace Quartet.

The programme promised “toe-tapping medium swing and stirring ballads” and we were not to be disappointed. After the gently swinging Nat King Cole ballad opener A Weaver of Dreams treated the audience to both her remarkable voice and the superb interplay of her band, Alice invited the audience to join in with voice and feet to the opening riff of the upbeat Horace Silver classic Sister Sadie. This had the audience engaged in every sense, although Sadie’s encounter with Alphonso Brown seems hardly the stuff of dreams. Both songs gave Alice the opportunity to feature her scat singing and Mark his solo dexterity.

The tempo (and temperature) came back down for Blame it on my Youth, another Nat Cole reference, for me the pick of the set. Alice’s voice was crystal clear, Mark’s solo had the audience entranced, Paul’s melodic solo and Abbie’s gently understated brushes added to the perfection. A pin could have dropped, so captivated was the audience.

(© Malcolm Sinclair)
Alice’s set-list revealed her influences, although the interpretation was always hers. Devil May Care, (Billie?), then the promised Ella tribute in Love me or Leave me, followed by a strong nod to Sarah Vaughan with If I Knew Then What I Know Now, the latter returning to the dream theme (and the beauty of hindsight) with the line “If I had only taken your dreams and made them part of mine”. More dreaming on Jimmy Van Heusen and Johnny Mercer’s I Thought About You (Miles, but also Ella again) with “Moon shining down on some little town, And with each beam, the same old dream”. And Nat Cole again with the “a little shy and sad of eye” Nature Boy, to conclude the set.

(© Malcolm Sinclair)
It’s difficult to say what was best about the music; Alice’s voice and vocalese, Mark’s exquisite guitar backing and intense solos, Paul’s melodic bass, or Abbie’s sensitive percussion. Or was it rather the interplay of these four accomplished musicians weaving their own musical tapestries? I missed Alice’s ‘old’ quartet when they first appeared at Durham’s (now closed) Empty Shop, but the current band made an impressive Gala debut and will be certainly enthusiastically welcomed back. For now the next concert is back to Midsummer (Midsummer’s Day, June 24) featuring two of today’s dream weavers in the Abbie  Finntet. Get your tickets now - it certainly won’t disappoint. Brian E  

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