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Bebop Spoken There

Charles McPherson: “Jazz is best heard in intimate places”. (DownBeat, July, 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.

Postage

16590 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 483 of them this year alone and, so far, 29 this month (July 14).

From This Moment On ...

July

Thu 18 Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Brunswick Methodist Church, Newcastle NE1 7BJ. 2:30pm. £4.00.
Thu 18: Theo Croker @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.
Thu 18: Brad Linde’s Continentals @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Thu 18: Eva Fox & the Jazz Guys @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 18: Ray Stubbs R&B All Stars @ The Mill Tavern, Hebburn. 8:00pm. Rhythm & blues.
Thu 18: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guest band: Darlington Big Band.

Fri 19: Luis Verde with the Dean Stockdale Trio @ The Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. SOLD OUT!
Fri 19: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 19: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 19: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 19: Luis Verde with the Dean Stockdale Trio @ Traveller’s Rest, Darlington. 8:00pm. Opus 4 Jazz Club.
Fri 19: Zoë Gilby Trio @ Seventeen Nineteen, Hendon, Sunderland. 7:30pm.

Sat 20: Snake Davis & Helen Watson Duo @ Chopwell Community Centre NE17 7HZ. 7:30pm. £17.50.

Sun 21: Paul Skerritt @ Hibou Blanc, Newcastle. 2:00pm.
Sun 21: Salty Dog @ The Globe, Newcastle. 3:00pm.
Sun 21: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Free. Sun 21: The Big Easy @ The White Room, Stanley. 5:00pm.
Sun 21: Ben Crosland Quartet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 22: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.

Tue 23: Nomade Swing Trio @ Newcastle House Hotel, Rothbury. 7:30pm. £10.00. Tickets from Tully’s of Rothbury or at the door (cash only). A Coquetdale Jazz event.

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: The Ronnie Scott’s Story @ The Fire Station, Sunderland. 7:30pm.
Wed 24: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.
Wed 24: Milne-Glendinning Band @ Cafédral, Owengate, Durham. 9:00pm. £9.00. & £6.00. A Durham Fringe 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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