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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! --

Postage

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 ...

May.

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.

June

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: (?) 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.

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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