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Bebop Spoken There

Fergus McCreadie: "I think a lot of the best music is very political, and there are so many things going on in the world that I'm constantly angry at. But for me making music is not the space for that" (Jazzwise July 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! -- Holly Cooper:"Lance writes pull quotes like no one else!"


14336 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 14 years ago. 555 of them this year alone and, so far, 55 this month (June 19).

From This Moment On ...


Sun 26 Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 26: Musicians Unlimited @ Jackson’s Wharf, Hartlepool. 1:00pm. Outdoor (indoor if inclement weather).
Sun 26: Mississippi Dreamboats @ Springwell Village Community Venue, Gateshead. 2:30pm. A ‘1940s’ Weekend’ event (from 1:00pm).
Sun 26: More Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 26: Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 26: Los Chichanos @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £10.00 adv., £12.00. door.

Mon 27: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Tue 28: Jam session @ Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. House trio: Dean Stockdale, Paul Grainger, Sid White.

Wed 29: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 29: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 29: Four @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 29: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 30: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 30: 58 Jazz Collective @ Hops & Cheese, Hartlepool. 7:30pm.
Thu 30: Lights Out By Nine @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. 8:30pm. Free.
Thu 30: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead. 8:30pm.
Thu 30: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.


Fri 01: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 01: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 01: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 01: Swing Manouche @ The Vault, Hexham. 7:30pm (doors). £20.00.
Fri 01: 1920s Speakeasy w live jazz @ The Exchange, North Shields. 8:00pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Fri 01: Struggle Buggy @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. Blind Pig Blues Club. 8:00pm.

Sat 02: Hot Fingers @ St Augustine’s Parish Centre, Darlington. 12:30pm. £10.00.
Sat 02: Play Jazz! workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. Tutor Steve Glendinning: Latin jazz. £25.00. Enrol at:
Sat 02: Talk: Storytelling & jazz as an expression of urban life @ The Exchange, North Shields. 1:45pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Sat 02: The Commandments + On Parole @ The Exchange, North Shields. 2:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event. Rhythm & blues.
Sat 02: Geordie Jazz Man @ The Exchange, North Shields. 5:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event. Screening of Abi Lewis’ documentary film about Keith Crombie & the Jazz Café.
Sat 02: The Delta Prophets Trio @ The Exchange, North Shields. 6:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event. Rhythm & blues.
Sat 02: Swing Manouche @ Claypath Deli, Durham. 7:00pm.
Sat 02: Swung Eight & King Bees @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event. Swing dance + ace Chicago blues band.
Sat 02: Tyne Valley Big Band @ Greenside Community Centre, Ryton. 7:30pm.
Sat 02: Patrick Cromb @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Book review: John Altman - Hidden Man: My Many Musical Lives.

Hidden Man, huh? Well, no longer will this be the case as the remarkably versatile and talented John Altman outlines a potted history of jazz and popular music as well as film scores from 1970 to the present day. In both the UK and USA he was there as a saxophonist, arranger, composer, conductor and producer. His prodigious memory and healthy photo archive provide the reader with an entertaining and fascinating collection of anecdotes of the behind the scenes' antics therein.

To attempt to list the unending names of the great and the good that Altman has played and collaborated with would be fruitless. As the cliché goes, it would be much easier and more economical to list the few that he has NOT been involved with. As this review is for a  jazz publication it might be wiser to the highlight the many jazz names that this prominent polymath knew and worked with. These include Quincy Jones (of whom a picture of him and Altman feature on the top of John's F/b home page), Benny Carter, Plas Johnson, Dudley Moore, Chet Baker, Amy Winehouse and...(at a stretch) Van Morrison. All of whom bear heartwarming and lovingly told tales of interactions with the author.

Not to be overlooked is that Altman is the nephew of both Sid and Woolf Phillips - two renowned bandleaders and musical directors in the UK during the 2nd half of the 20th Century. His cousin is Simon Phillips, an internationally recognised session and rock drummer who boasts appearances with Toto, The Who, Peter Gabriel, Frank Zappa and Gil Evans, amongst many luminous others. One cannot imagine a more successful and noteworthy UK music biz dynasty. It's no surprise that Altman's many talents and skills in so many different musical arenas are a product from his early musical years amongst this lot.

Altman formed his big band in 1985 and has performed with it in both London and LA - his musical home - frequently to this day. The repertoire consists of an equal mix of his original pieces and jazz standards. Having heard the band on a few occasions I can say that  I was  particularly delighted with his treatments of Clifford Brown's Joyspring and Mario Bauza's  Mambo Inn. Both of which show great respect for the stylistic idiom peppered with a healthy dash of John Altman. Plus, his longtime copyist, Leytonstone based tubist and bassist Graham Read, remains on his payroll today as both lead tubist and chief copyist. Such devotion and consistency, indeed.

As the tumult of the pandemic appears to be abating do keep an eye out for the John Altman Big Band who have been known to  appear annually at a pub in NE London. If so, the author will be the guy with the soprano saxophone hanging from his neck throughout the entire gig as well as conducting  and playing solos along with telling many stories - quite a few of which are eloquently and endearingly included in Hidden Man.

John Altman, like Salmon Rushdie, is no longer hiding. The fatwa has now been lifted. Read Hidden Man sharpish to experience the Forrest Gump of popular music's take on a lengthy and distinguished career. And it ain't over yet (especially if you can toddle  along to his next big band gig...) Frank Griffith

SBN 10: 1800501544 / ISBN 13: 9781800501546 Published by EQUINOX PUBLISHING ACADEMIC, 2022

1 comment :

Simon Spillett (on F/b) said...

Frank Griffith needs an award for coming up with the Forrest Gump line. I'd have given my eye teeth to coin something as pithy as that.

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