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Bebop Spoken There

Branford Marsalis: "As ignorance often forces us to do, you make a generalisation about a musician based on one specific record or one moment in time." - (Jazzwise June 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!"


15491 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 15 years ago. 512 of them this year alone and, so far, 133 this month (May 31).

From This Moment On ...

Wed 07: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 07: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 07: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 07: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 08: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free. CANCELLED! BACK ON JUNE 15.
Thu 08: Easington Colliery Brass Band @ The Lubetkin Theatre, Peterlee. 7:00pm. £10.00.
Thu 08: Faye MacCalman + Blue Dust Archive @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 7:00pm.
Thu 08: Dilutey Juice + Ceramic @ The Ampitheatre, Sea Road, South Shields. 7:00pm. Free. A South Tyneside Festival event.
Thu 08: Lara Jones w. Vigilance State @ Lubber Fiend, Blandford Square, Newcastle. 7:00pm.
Thu 08: Michael Littlefield @ the Harbour View, Roker, Sunderland. 8:00pm. Free. Country blues.
Thu 08: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman's Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 09: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 09: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 09: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 09: Castillo Nuevo @ Revolución de Cuba, Newcastle. 5:30-8:30pm.
Fri 09: Emma Rawicz @ Sage Gateshead. 8:00pm.

Sat 10: Miners' Picnic @ Woodhorn, Ashington. Music inc. Northern Monkey Brass Band (3:00-3:50pm); New York Brass Band (4:00-4:55pm).
Sat 10: Front Porch Three @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:00pm. Free. Americana, blues, jazz etc.
Sat 10: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A 'Jar on the Bar' gig.

Sun 11: WORKSHOP: Tim Richards' Jazz Piano Workshop @ JG Windows, Newcastle. Time TBC. Further details tel. 0191 232 1356.
Sun 11: Jeremy McMurray's Pocket Jazz Orchestra @ Ropner Park, Stockton TS18 4EF. 2:00-4:00pm. Free.
Sun 11: Am Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:30pm. Free.
Sun 11: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 11: Groovetrain @ Innisfree Sports & Social Club, Longbenton NE12 8TY. Doors 6:30pm. £15.00 (£7.00. under 16).
Sun 11: Jeffrey Hewer Collective @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 12: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Tue 13: Paul Skerritt @ The Rabbit Hole, Hallgarth St., Durham DH1 3AT. 7:00pm. Paul Skerritt's (solo) weekly residency.
Tue 13: Infusion Trio @ Forum Music Centre, Darlington. 7:30pm.
Tue 13: Alice Grace & Pawel Jedrzejewski @ Black Swan, Newcastle Arts Centre. 8:00pm. £12.00 (£10.00. adv.).

Tuesday, May 03, 2022

Cheltenham Jazz Festival: Paul Dunmall Quartet @ Parabola Arts Centre - May 1.

Paul Dunmall (tenor, soprano sax); Liam Noble (piano); John Edwards (double bass); Mark Sanders (drums).

Is it really three years since we were last in Cheltenham?!


As preparation for this gig I bought my first Dunmall album and streamed another on the way down. So far so good and the gig was essentially more of the same. I like free jazz but maintain what I consider healthy scepticism. It’s all about making it up as they go along, though within tried and tested motifs, licks, riffs, melodies, rhythms, harmonies, timbre, textures etc. This isn’t necessarily a criticism and some say the music’s child-like, which isn’t necessarily a criticism either.

I think it’s necessary to distinguish between free jazz and total improvisation, the latter commonly mistaken for the former where instruments associated with jazz are used. In my view, the latter is simply the naked emperor doodling, but this band  certainly weren’t that. A standard saxophone quartet and this was definitely jazz, encompassing the music’s rich history, startling musicianship and plenty of soul.

They started out with Dunmall on soprano and Edwards playing bowed bass, enabling them to change the dynamics twice, firstly by ditching the bow and then by switching to tenor. Lots of juxtaposition between quiet and rousing moments and between pairings of the musicians, responding to each other's new directions masterfully. Inventive drumming and use of percussion can be crucial and Sanders was all over it.


We’d only just arrived in Cheltenham and hit the ground running so, with the next show starting precisely when this one finished, we made an early exit. I can think of people in my native north east who would have given their eye teeth to have been here, who’d no doubt also claim that I’d missed all sorts of things, but to me, while the claim is that it’s always different, and on one level it is, to these ears it always ends up sounding the same.

This music is all about a one-off, never to be repeated event and doesn’t necessarily benefit from repeated listening – again not necessarily a bad thing - so could benefit as the industry increasingly moves from CD to streaming.


A few years ago I saw Archie Shepp deliver some riveting free-jazz at Cheltenham, which ranks with the greatest live music I’ve ever heard, but, I’ve also heard improvised music which I found unlistenable and insulting. This was neither, though I could have happily stayed til the end, but Mrs T – more selective about her jazz - was less keen. Steve T  

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