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Bebop Spoken There

Raymond Chandler: “ I was walking the floor and listening to Khatchaturian working in a tractor factory. He called it a violin concerto. I called it a loose fan belt and the hell with it ". The Long Goodbye, Penguin 1959.

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.


16350 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 230 of them this year alone and, so far, 27 this month (April 11).

From This Moment On ...


Sat 13: Giles Strong Quartet @ Claypath Deli, Durham. 7:00-9:00pm. £10.00.
Sat 13: Phantom Bagman + Forgetmenots @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 7:30pm.£5.00. + bf. Upstairs.
Sat 13: Rockin’ Turner Brothers @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig. Downstairs.

Sun 14: Am Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00pm. Free.
Sun 14: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay Metro Station. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 14: Alan Law, Jude Murphy & Tim Johnston @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 7:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Sun 14: JazzMain @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 15: Dave Newton @ Yamaha Music School, Seaforth St., Blyth NE24 1AY. 1:00 - 1:45pm. £8.00. + bf. Newton, solo piano.
Mon 15: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Mon 15: Hideout @ Cluny 2, Newcastle. 7:00pm. £7.50 + £1.33 bf. Feat. Sleep Suppressor + Flat Moon.
Mon 15: Russ Morgan Quartet @ The Black Bull, Blaydon. 8:00pm. £8.00.

Tue 16: The Horne Section’s Hit Show @ Middlesbrough Town Hall. 7:30pm.
Tue 16: Jam session @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free. House trio: Bradley Johnston, Paul Grainger, Bailey Rudd.

Wed 17: Bailey Rudd (Minor Recital) @ The Music Studios, Haymarket Lane, Newcastle University. 11:40am. Bailey Rudd (drums). Open to the public.
Wed 17: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 17: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 17: The Horne Section’s Hit Show @ The Gala, Durham. 7:30pm. SOLD OUT!
Wed 17: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

Thu 18: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 18: NONUNONU @ Elder Beer Café, Chillingham Road, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Thu 18: Knats @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. 8:00pm (doors 7:30pm). £8.00. + bf. Support act TBC.
Thu 18: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig. Ragtime piano.
Thu 18: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guest band night with Just Friends: Ian Bosworth (guitar); Donna Hewitt (sax); Dave Archbold (keys); Ron Smith (bass); Mark Hawkins (drums).

Fri 19: Cia Tomasso @ The Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. ‘Cia Tomasso sings Billie Holiday’. SOLD OUT!
Fri 19: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 19: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 19: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 19: Lindsay Hannon: Tom Waits for No Man @ Seventeen Nineteen, Hendon, Sunderland. 7:30pm.
Fri 19: Levitation Orchestra + Nauta @ Cluny 2, Newcastle. 7:30pm (doors). £11.00.
Fri 19: Strictly Smokin’ Big Band @ The Witham, Barnard Castle. 8:00pm. ‘Ella & Ellington’.

Wednesday, May 04, 2022

Cheltenham Jazz Festival: Electric Ladyland Big Band @ the Jazz Arena – May 1

I’ve never seen the Jazz Arena this busy. Was it the pull of Hendrix, of which I approve, or big bands, of which I don’t? Probably both.

Four of each: trumpets, trombones and saxes; drums, bass, keyboards and of course guitar; this is the brainchild of Denny Ilett armed with a typically Hendrix white Stratocaster guitar. Trumpets behind the rhythm section with saxes and trombones on either side and more lights and dry ice than is common at a jazz gig.

Ain’t No Tellin’ and If 6 was 9 were familiar, the latter with nice interplay between pedalled-up guitar and baritone, before an enthusiastic drum solo from the ever smiling and bouncy Daisy Palmer, which drew the usual rapturous applause and earned her the loudest cheer during band introductions. Crosstown Traffic featured a fine alto solo and a guitar solo serving the first notice that Hendrix probably transformed his instrument more than anybody else before or since.

Long Hot Summer Night got funky and featured the trombone section followed by solos from trumpet, keys, guitar and sax.

Hendrix famously only started singing when he realised how poor Bob Dylan was. He was apparently thrilled when he first heard his voice on the title track of Electric Ladyland, because he felt he sounded a little like Curtis Mayfield – a hero of his and mine – and I agree. Fire came next and for the first time Denny sang it, which was fine but he probably shouldn’t give up the day-job either. Solos from sax, trumpet, trombone and bass.

So far, still no burning of anything, whether the midnight lamp or a guitar, and no sexual or popstar posturing, but no real fireworks or explosions either.

Up from the Skies followed, the almost Hammond keyboard sound and assembled horns working for me, along with some tasty rhythm guitar, followed by solos from trumpet and guitar .     

As time was running out I listed songs I still  expected, based on the premise that they would all be Jimi compositions: Purple Haze, Voodoo Chile and Machine Gun.

Next up was Come On by Earl King, (one of two rhythm and/ blues acts with that name, for anybody who thought blues only had three kings) so I needed to add Hey Joe and All Along the Watchtower to my listThe flame was gradually mounting and, for the first time, I really noticed a wah wah (cry baby) pedal, such an important part of Hendrix’ thing (though I believe it was first popularised by Eric Clapton in Cream).

Next up he was back at the microphone to sing Angel and this really didn’t work for me, sounding entirely like a white, middle class, middle-aged, straight, square, male big-band, complete with schmaltz.

Watchtower has become almost obligatory in these type of things, complete with a claim it’s the greatest cover version ever. The usual assertion is that it’s a rare example of a cover version that’s superior to the original. While I think it’s one of Bob Dylan’s best records, I agree Hendrix’ version is better but not that it’s rare for covers to improve on originals. Bob Dylan seemed to agree since he started playing it like Hendrix’ version in his live set. Incidentally, in my view Hendrix also improved on Bob Dylan’s Like a Rolling Stone when he played it at the Monterey Festival. I was surprised that Ilett didn’t seem to acknowledge the famous three part solo of this piece.     

Voodoo Chile – his posthumous and only number one – has become equally inevitable and visibly received the appreciation of the full-on baby-boomers in the audience. A solo from each of the horn sections with more effective rhythm guitar was followed by his most potent solo yet, a reference to Third Stone from the Sun – ripe pickings for Santana and Jaco Pastorius in their live sets – before the familiar wah wah intro closed the set.

All in all a highly enjoyable gig but didn’t quite blow the mind the way Hendrix’s music still can and it seemed almost as if he was holding back for a jazz audience - Steve T

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