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Bebop Spoken There

Raymond Chandler: “ I was walking the floor and listening to Khatchaturian working in a tractor factory. He called it a violin concerto. I called it a loose fan belt and the hell with it ". The Long Goodbye, Penguin 1959.

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.


16350 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 230 of them this year alone and, so far, 27 this month (April 11).

From This Moment On ...


Fri 12: Pete Tanton’s Chet Set @ The Old Library, Auckland Castle. 1:00pm. £8.00.
Fri 12: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 12: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 12: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 12: Katrina Miller Trio @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Sat 13: Giles Strong Quartet @ Claypath Deli, Durham. 7:00-9:00pm. £10.00.
Sat 13: Phantom Bagman + Forgetmenots @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 7:30pm.£5.00. + bf. Upstairs.
Sat 13: Rockin’ Turner Brothers @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig. Downstairs.

Sun 14: Am Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00pm. Free.
Sun 14: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay Metro Station. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 14: Alan Law, Jude Murphy & Tim Johnston @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 7:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Sun 14: JazzMain @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 15: Dave Newton @ Yamaha Music School, Seaforth St., Blyth NE24 1AY. 1:00 - 1:45pm. £8.00. + bf. Newton, solo piano.
Mon 15: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Mon 15: Hideout @ Cluny 2, Newcastle. 7:00pm. £7.50 + £1.33 bf. Feat. Sleep Suppressor + Flat Moon.
Mon 15: Russ Morgan Quartet @ The Black Bull, Blaydon. 8:00pm. £8.00.

Tue 16: The Horne Section’s Hit Show @ Middlesbrough Town Hall. 7:30pm.
Tue 16: Jam session @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free. House trio: Bradley Johnston, Paul Grainger, Bailey Rudd.

Wed 17: Bailey Rudd (Minor Recital) @ The Music Studios, Haymarket Lane, Newcastle University. 11:40am. Bailey Rudd (drums). Open to the public.
Wed 17: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 17: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 17: The Horne Section’s Hit Show @ The Gala, Durham. 7:30pm. SOLD OUT!
Wed 17: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

Thu 18: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 18: NONUNONU @ Elder Beer Café, Chillingham Road, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Thu 18: Knats @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. 8:00pm (doors 7:30pm). £8.00. + bf. Support act TBC.
Thu 18: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig. Ragtime piano.
Thu 18: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guest band night with Just Friends: Ian Bosworth (guitar); Donna Hewitt (sax); Dave Archbold (keys); Ron Smith (bass); Mark Hawkins (drums).

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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