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Bebop Spoken There

Kelly Sill: "Just because everyone is playing through the changes in the same time doesn't mean they're actually playing together" - (JazzTimes March/April 2023).

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!"


15260 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 15 years ago. 279 of them this year alone and, so far, 92 this month (March 29).

From This Moment On ...

Sat 01: The Big Easy @ St Augustine's Parish Centre, Darlington. 12:30pm.
Sat 01: Play Jazz! workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. Tutor: Steve Glendinning - In a Minor Key. £25.00. Enrol at:
Sat 01: Abbie Finn Trio @ The Vault, Darlington Covered Market, Darlington DL1 5PN. 6:00pm. New venue, live jazz!
Sat 01: Jambone @ Sage Gateshead. 7:00pm. Free (book online). A YMP! event in the Northern Rock Foundation Hall.
Sat 01: Jude Murphy & Dan Stanley @ Prohibtion Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A 'Jar on the Bar' gig.
Sat 01: Boys of Brass @ Stack, Seaburn. 7:00-9:00pm.
Sat 01: Hot Club du Nord @ Pleased to Meet You, Bridge St., Morpeth. 8:00pm. £79.00. A charity fundraising event.
Sat 01: Rendezvous Jazz @ Red Lion, Earsdon. 8:00pm. £3.00. RESCHEDULED to next week (Sat 08).

Sun 02: Smokin' Spitfires @ The Cluny. 12:45pm.
Sun 02: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.

Mon 03: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Tue 04: Paul Skerritt @ The Rabbit Hole, Hallgarth St., Durham DH1 3AT. 7:00pm. Paul Skerritt's (solo) weekly residency.
Tue 04: Jam session @ Black Swan, Newcastle Arts Centre. 7:30pm. House trio: Bradley Johnston (guitar); Paul Grainger (double bass); Abbie Finn (drums).

Wed 05: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 05: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 05: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 05: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 06: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 06: Thursday Night Prayer Meeting @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Donations. Feat. John Pope, Marie Shreer, John Garner.
Thu 06: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibtion Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Ragtime piano. A 'Jar on the Bar' gig.
Thu 06: Darlington Big Band @ Dorman's Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Note earlier start time.

Fri 07: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 07: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 07: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 07: Gaz Hughes Trio @ Saltburn Community Hall. 7:30pm.
Fri 07: Mark Toomey Quartet @ Traveller's Rest, Darlington. 8:00pm. £8.00.
Fri 07: Finntet + Zoë Gilby & Andy Champion @ Bobik's, Punch Bowl, Newcastle. 8:00pm. JNE.
Fri 07: TBA @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A 'Jar on the Bar' gig. Blind Pig Blues Club.

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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