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Bebop Spoken There

Dee Dee Bridgewater: “ Our world is becoming a very ugly place with guns running rampant in this country... and New Orleans is called the murder capital of the world right now ". Jazzwise, May 2024.

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!"

Simon Spillett: A lovely review from the dean of jazz bloggers, Lance Liddle...

Josh Weir: I love the writing on bebop spoken here... I think the work you are doing is amazing.


16382 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 262 of them this year alone and, so far, 59 this month (April 20).

From This Moment On ...


Wed 24: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 24: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 24: Sinatra: Raw @ Darlington Hippodrome. 7:30pm. Richard Shelton.
Wed 24: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.
Wed 24: Death Trap @ Theatre Royal, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Rambert Dance Co. Two pieces inc. Goat (inspired by the music of Nina Simone) with on-stage musicians.

Thu 25: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 25: Jim Jams @ King’s Hall, Newcastle University. 1:15pm. Jim Jams’ funk collective.
Thu 25: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library, Gateshead. 2:30pm.
Thu 25: Death Trap @ Theatre Royal, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Rambert Dance Co. Two pieces inc. Goat (inspired by the music of Nina Simone) with on-stage musicians.
Thu 25: Jeremy McMurray & the Pocket Jazz Orchestra @ Arc, Stockton. 8:00pm.
Thu 25: Kate O’Neill, Alan Law & Paul Grainger @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 25: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests: Richie Emmerson (tenor sax); Neil Brodie (trumpet); Adrian Beadnell (bass); Garry Hadfield (keys).

Fri 26: Graham Hardy Quartet @ The Gala, Durham. 1:00pm. £8.00.
Fri 26: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 26: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 26: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 26: East Coast Swing Band @ Morpeth Rugby Club. 7:30pm. £9.00. (£8.00 concs).
Fri 26: Paul Skerritt with the Danny Miller Big Band @ Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.
Fri 26: Abbie Finn’s Finntet @ Traveller’s Rest, Darlington. 8:00pm. Opus 4 Jazz Club.

Sat 27: Abbie Finn Trio @ The Vault, Darlington. 6:00pm. Free.
Sat 27: Papa G’s Troves @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Sun 28: Musicians Unlimited @ Jackson’s Wharf, Hartlepool. 1:00pm. Free.
Sun 28: More Jam Festival Special @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00pm. Free. A ’10 Years a Co-op’ festival event.
Sun 28: Swing Dance workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00-4:00pm. Free (registration required). A ’10 Years a Co-op’ festival event.
Sun 28: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay Metro Station. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 28: Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox: The '10' Tour @ Glasshouse International Centre for Music, Gateshead. 7:30pm. £41.30 t0 £76.50.
Sun 28: Alligator Gumbo @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ’10 Years a Co-op’ festival event.
Sun 28: Jerron Paxton @ The Cluny, Newcastle. Blues, jazz etc.

Mon 29: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Mon 29: Michael Young Trio @ The Engine Room, Sunderland. 6:30-8:30pm. Free. ‘Opus de Funk’ (a tribute to Horace Silver).

Tue 30: Celebrate with Newcastle Jazz Co-op. 5:30-7:00pm. Free.
Tue 30: Swing Manouche @ Newcastle House Hotel, Rothbury. 7:30pm. A Coquetdale Jazz event.
Tue 30: Clark Tracey Quintet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ’10 Years a Co-op’ festival event.

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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