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Bebop Spoken There

Steve Fishwick: “I can’t get behind the attitude that new is always somehow better than old” - Jazz Journal, April 15, 2019,

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...


16034 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 15 years ago. 1041 of them this year alone and, so far, 73 this month (Nov. 27).

From This Moment On ...


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

Thu 30: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 30: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 7:30pm (7:00pm doors). Tickets: £25.00. inc. buffet. A Gatsby themed evening.
Thu 30: Jools Holland's R & B Orchestra @ Newcastle City Hall. 7:30pm.
Thu 30: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Ragtime piano. A 'Jar on the Bar' gig.
Thu 30: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman's Club, Middlesbrough. Guest band night: Mark Toomey Quintet (Mark Toomey, sax; Paul Donnelly, guitar; Jeremy McMurray, keys; Peter Ayton, bass; Mark Robertson, drums). 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: Paul Skerritt @ All Saints’ Church, Eastgate, Co. Durham. 7:00pm. Xmas Tree Fest.
Fri 01: Alligator Gumbo @ Saltburn Community Hall. 7:30pm. SOLD OUT!
Fri 01: Nu Sound Brass @ Billy Bootlegger’s, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free.
Fri 01: Struggle Buggy w. Jim Murray @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Blind Pig Blues Club. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Sat 02: Paula Jackman's Jazz Masters @ St Augustine's Parish Centre, Darlington. 12:30pm. £10.00.
Sat 02: Play Jazz! workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. Tutor: Steve Glendinning. £25.00. Enrol at:
Sat 02: Abbie Finn Trio @ Claypath Deli, Durham. 7:00pm.
Sat 02: Tenement Jazz Band @ John Marley Centre, Newcastle. Swing Tyne Winter Social. £8.00. + bf. Advance purchase only, no admission at the door. BYOB. Lindy hop workshop from 11:00am. £39.00.
Sat 02: Zoë Gilby Quartet @ The Masham, Hartburn Village, Stockton. 7:00pm. Feat. Noel Dennis.
Sat 02: Classic Swing @ The Nuthatch, 9 - 11 Bedford St, Middlesbrough TS1 2LL. 7:00-9:00pm. Classic Swing in trio format.
Sat 02: Paul Skerritt w. Danny Miller Big Band @ Westovian Theatre, South Shields. 7:30pm.
Sat 02: Vermont Big Band @ Whitley Bay FC. 7:30pm. £10.00. (inc. hot buffet). Tickets available from WBFC’s Seahorse pub club house.
Sat 02: Milne-Glendinning Band @ Ponteland Social Club, Northumberland. 7:30pm. £18.00 (inc. stotties & soup supper). A fundraiser for Hexham Constituency Labour Party.
Sat 02: Durham Dynamics & Basement Jazz @ Kingsgate Bar & Café, Durham Students’ Union. 7:30pm. £5.00. (£4.50. concs.). ‘Fab & Festive’. A cappella & jazz. Abba, Mariah Carey & more.
Sat 02: Tom Remon & Laurence Harrison @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Sat 02: Rendezvous Jazz @ Red Lion, Earsdon. 8:00pm. Xmas party night inc. buffet & special raffle. £3.00.
Sat 02: Groovetrain @ The Unionist Club, Laygate, South Shields. 9:00pm.

Sun 03: The Central Bar Quartet @ Central Bar, Gateshead. 2:00pm. £10.00. The Central Bar Quartet plays Lou Donaldson’s Gravy Train. Featuring Jamie Toms.
Sun 03: Paul Skerritt @ Smith’s Arms, Carlton, Stockton-on-Tees. 7:00pm.
Sun 03: Johnny Hunter Quartet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 03: Jam session @ The Schooner, Gateshead. 8:00pm. Free.

Mon 04: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Mon 04: Northern Monkey Brass Band @ People’s Kitchen, Bath Lane, Newcastle. From 5:30pm. On-street gig supporting the work of the People’s Kitchen charity. Wrap up warm! Donate!
Mon 04: Michael Young Trio w Lindsay Hannon @ The Engine Room, Sunderland. 7:00pm. Free.
Mon 04: James Birkett Trio @ The Black Bull, Blaydon. 8:00pm. £8.00.
Mon 04: Durham University Jazz Orchestra + Durham University Big Band @ Durham Castle DH1 3RW. 8:30pm. £6.00.; £5.00. concs; £4.00. DSM. ‘Jazzy Christmas’.

Tue 05: Customs House Big Band @ All Saints Church, Cleadon. 7:00pm. Concert in the church hall. BYOB.
Tue 05: Jam session @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free. House trio: Michael Young, Paul Grainger, Sid White. The best free show in town!

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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