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Bebop Spoken There

Roy DuNann: "I would have sent him [Ornette Coleman] home ... It wasn't music at all for me" (JazzTimes May 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! --


14264 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 14 years ago. 483 of them this year alone and, so far, 83 this month (May 26).

From This Moment On ...


Sat 28: Whitley Bay Carnival: Northern Monkey Brass Band (1:00-1:45pm & 4:00-4:45pm); Baghdaddies (2:00-2:45pm & 5:00-5:45pm) @ Spanish City Plaza Arena, Whitley Bay. Northern Monkey Brass Band (2:30-2:45pm) @ Rainbow Corner (Marine Ave.), Whitley Bay.

Sun 29 Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 29: Musicians Unlimited @ Hartlepool United Supporters’ Club, Hartlepool. 1:00pm.
Sun 29: Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 29: Groovetrain @ Tyne Bar, Newcastle. 4:00pm. Free.
Sun 29: Zoë Gilby Quartet @ Allendale Village Hall, Northumberland. 7:30pm.
Sun 29: Two of a Mind: Sue Ferris-Steve Summers Quartet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £10.00 adv., £12.00. door.
Sun 29: Jam session @ Fabio's Bar, Durham. 8:00pm. A Durham Uni Jazz Soc event. All welcome.
Sun 29: Cedric Burnside @ Cluny, Newcastle. Superb Mississippi hill country blues!

Mon 30: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Tue 31: Jam session @ Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. House trio: Stu Collingwood, Paul Grainger, Rob Walker.


Wed 01: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 01: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 01: Four @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 01: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 02: The Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Walled Garden, Gibside National Trust, NE16 6BG. 12.30 - 3.30pm.
Thu 02: (CANCELLED THIS WEEK ONLY!) Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 02: House of the Back Gardenia @ Gilsland Village Hall. 7:00pm.
Thu 02: The Blues Band @ Whitley Bay Playhouse. 7:30pm.
Thu 02: Thursday Night Prayer Meeting @ The Globe, Newcastle. Featured performers: Tony Bevan & Williwaw. 7:30pm. Free admission (donations). Upstairs.
Thu 02: Atom Eyes @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free.
Thu 02: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead. 8:30pm.
Thu 02: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 03: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 03: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm.
Fri 03: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 03: Tyne Valley Big Band @ Bywell Hall, Stocksfield. 2:00pm.
Fri 03: Sam Braysher Trio @ Saltburn Community Hall. 7:30pm. Braysher, Matyas Gayer, John Williamson.
Fri 03: Ruth Lambert Quartet @ The Vault, Hexham. 7:30pm (doors). £15.00.
Fri 03: Lee Bates @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. 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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