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Bebop Spoken There

Abbie Finn: "Even though there's a lot of great work being done to promote women in jazz, I still come up against some attitudes! I pulled up at a recording session with my drums in the car and the studio owner said, 'I'm sorry, this space is reserved for the drummer!'" - (Jazzwise 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!"

Postage

15229 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 15 years ago. 248 of them this year alone and, so far, 61 this month (March 20).

From This Moment On ...

March

Thu 23: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 4:00-6:00pm. Free.
Thu 23: NUJO Jazz Jam @ Bar Loco, Newcasatle. From 6:30pm 'til late. Free. Newcastle University Jazz Orchestra jam session. All welcome (students & non-students).
Thu 23: Kerrin Tatman + John Garner & John Pope @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 7:00pm.
Thu 23: Sunna Gunnlaugs & Julia Hülsmann @ Sage Gateshead. 8:00pm. A two-piano gig. A Sage Gateshead-JNE promotion.
Thu 23: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Ragtime piano.
Thu 23: Sleep Suppressor @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £10.00., £8.00. adv. Upstairs.
Thu 23: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman's Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 24: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 24: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 24: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 24: FILM: Mo' Better Blues @ Forum Cinema, Hexham. 7:00pm.
Fri 24: Ian Millar & Dominic Spencer @ Scarth Hall, Staindrop, Co. Durham. 8:00pm. £10.00.
Fri 24: Archipelago + Bulbils @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 7:00pm.

Sat 25: Vermont Big Band @ Walker Community Centre, Walker, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Fundraiser for Benfield Juniours Football Club. Hot food available, BYOB.
Sat 25: John Logan & Friends @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Rat Pack, Motown etc. 8:00pm. Free (donations).

Sun 26: Musicians Unlimited @ Park Inn, Hartlepool. 1:00pm.
Sun 26: More Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 26: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 26: Outlines @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. JNE promotion (upstairs).

Mon 27: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Tue 28: Paul Skerritt @ The Rabbit Hole, Hallgarth St., Durham DH1 3AT. 7:00pm. Paul Skerritt's (solo) weekly residency.
Tue 28: Sanaz Lavasani Trio @ Black Swan, Newcastle Arts Centre. 8:00pm. £12.00 (£10.00. adv).

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: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 29: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

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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