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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.

Postage

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 ...

April

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.

Monday, May 09, 2022

Cheltenham Jazz Festival: Brian Jackson @ the Jazz Arena - May 2

I saw Gil Scott Heron twice but never with Brian Jackson, with whom he made what many, myself included, consider his best music. A serious musician to Gil’s maverick genius. Their music cannot be easily categorised; it’s not blues, soul, jazz, jazz-funk, funk or folk but all of them and more.

The set opened with Offering from their first album together First Minute of a New Day. Playing mostly Fender Rhodes and occasional grand piano, at nearly seventy he’s a decent singer, though sometimes drowned out; not unlike Gil, but with some of the endearing fragility of Curtis Mayfield. His band consisted of Steve Walters on bass, a drummer whose name I missed and Musical Director Lex Cameron.

 

He shared with us who he and Gil were listening to when they got together: Al Green, Otis Redding, Ella Fitzgerald, Alice Coltrane, Miles Davis and two in particular, which could only be an introduction to Lady Day and John Coltrane from the Pieces of a Man album, when Jackson was still just one of the musicians in the band.  We Almost Lost Detroit followed, from the Bridges album by which time they were full collaborators.  

This was clearly a Gil Scott Heron tribute set and he claimed his friend and musical partner was one of the greatest poets of C20th. In my view he was one of many great artists from C20th music.

 

He offered Home is Where the Hatred Is as exhibit A, originally on Pieces of a Man and then on the collaborative album It’s Your World.

 

Exhibit B was the track Pieces of a Man, played on solo piano with some light bass towards the end.

 

For exhibit C he offered Your Daddy Loves You from the Winter in America album, about his heartfelt feelings for his daughter, ten years before he had a daughter.


Early on he said it was okay for people to move, so he seemed somewhat tentative inviting audience participation and, despite the obvious presence of a significant number of people who clearly knew their Gil Scott Heron, clapping and singing along was patchy and sporadic, but once it got going, he seemed amazed and delighted.

 

Gil Scott Heron made many fine records but two stand out in my view, both with Brian Jackson. I was DJing when he died in 2011 and played Winter in America in tribute and played it again on my radio show ahead of this. A stunning, sublime, magnificent piece of music. His Musical Director, who’d played mostly keyboards and occasional guitar, played flute on this, which was slightly disappointing until he and Jackson switched roles for the solo. Incidentally it isn’t on the Winter in America album but can be found on First Minute.

 

The title track of It’s Your World followed and Tony Dudley Evans could be seen prowling as the finishing time passed, when they quickly played Little Orphan Boy, an old song on his new album This is Brian Jackson, which was good; up-tempo with some scatting and reminiscent of Brazilian singer and pianist Ed Motta, who I’m sure was influenced by them, but the audience were clearly becoming restless.

 

I first came across Gil Scott Heron in the mid-seventies when The Bottle was an unlikely guaranteed floor-filler on the northern soul scene. Its popularity continued through jazz-funk and it became a classic in the clubs alongside future club classics. Gil became an icon of the hip-hop generation, mostly because of his very earliest, pre-Jackson albums and somewhat misplaced in my view, but also became a feature of the pop history evolving in the media which couldn’t really ignore a genuine revolutionary amongst all the pretend ones.  

 

Without missing a beat, we even got the uno dos tres cuatro and the place erupted at last. Sadly no flute from either and it seemed a little rushed, but the night was complete. Steve T               

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