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Bebop Spoken There

Art Blakey: "You [Bobby Watson] don't want to play too long, because you don't know they're clapping because they're glad you finished!" - (JazzTimes, Nov. 2019)..

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!"


15867 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 15 years ago. 874 of them this year alone and, so far, 72 this month (Sept. 25).

From This Moment On ...


Tue 26: Paul Skerritt @ The Rabbit Hole, Hallgarth St., Durham DH1 3AT. 7:00pm. Paul Skerritt's (solo) weekly residency.

Wed 27: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 27: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 27: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 28: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 28: Alice Grace Quartet @ King's Hall, Newcastle University. 1:15pm. Free.
Thu 28: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library, Gateshead. 2:30pm. All welcome.
Thu 28: Faye MacCalman + Snape/Sankey @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 7:00pm.
Thu 28: Zoe Rahman @ Jesmond United Reformed Church, Jesmond, Newcastle. 7:30pm. A Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music event.
Thu 28: '58 Jazz Collective @ Hops & Cheese, Hartlepool. 7:30pm.
Thu 28: Speakeasy @ Queen's Hall, Hexham. 7:30pm. £15.00. A Southpaw Dance Company presentation. Dance, audio-visuals, Count Basie, Benny Goodman, swing dancers etc.
Thu 28: Mick Cantwell Band @ Harbour View, Sunderland. 8:00pm. Free. Ace blues band.
Thu 28: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman's Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 29: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 29: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 29: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.

Sat 30: John Pope Quintet + Late Girl + Shapeshifters @ Bobik's, Jesmond, Newcastle.
Sat 30: Papa G's Troves @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A 'Jar on the Bar' gig.


Sun 01: Smokin' Spitfires @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 12:45pm.
Sun 01: Dulcie May Moreno sings Portrait of Sheila @ Central Bar, Gateshead. 2:00pm. £10.00. Moreno sings Sheila Jordan with Giles Strong, Mick Shoulder & John Bradford.
Sun 01: Middlesbrough Jazz & Blues Orchestra @ Saltburn Community Hall. 2:00pm.
Sun 01: The Easy Rollers @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 7:00pm. £13.70., £11.55.
Sun 01: Brand/Roberts/Champion/Sanders @ Blank Studios, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music event.
Sun 01: Papa G's Troves @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 02: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Mon 02: FILM: Wattstax; 50th Anniversary @ Forum Cinema, Hexham. 8:00pm.

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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