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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!"


15848 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 15 years ago. 855 of them this year alone and, so far, 53 this month (Sept. 18).

From This Moment On ...


Thu 21: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 21: La Malbec Orchestra @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Thu 21: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Ragtime piano. A 'Jar on the Bar' gig.
Thu 21: Linsday Hannon: Tom Waits for No Man @ Harbour View, Sunderland. 8:00pm. Free.
Thu 21: Ray Stubbs R & B All Stars @ The Schooner, Gateshead. 8:30pm. Free.
Thu 21: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman's Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 22: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 22: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 22: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 22: Brief Encounter @ Bardon Mill Village Hall, Northumberland. 7:00pm. Tickets: £10.00. adv from 07885 303166; £12.00. on the door. Chris & Veronica Perrin improvising to a screening of the 1929 'Jazz Age' silent film Piccadilly (Dir. Ewald André Dupont).
Fri 22: Paul Edis & Graeme Wilson + Three Tsuru Origami @ Jesmond United Reformed Church, Newcastle. 7:30pm. A Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music event.
Fri 22: Crooners @ Tyne Theatre, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Fri 22: Abbie Finn's Finntet @ Traveller's Rest, Darlington. 8:00pm. Opus 4 Jazz Club.

Sat 23: Tyne Valley Big Band @ Tanfield Railway, Gateshead. 2:00-4:00pm. Free. A '1940s Weekend' event.
Sat 23: Jason Isaacs @ Stack, Seaburn. 3:30-5:30pm. Free.
Sat 23: Andrew Porritt & Keith Barrett @ Cullercoats Watch House, Front St., Cullercoats NE30 4QB. 7:00pm.
Sat 23: Michael Woods @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A 'Jar on the Bar' gig. Country blues.

Sun 24: Musicians Unlimited @ Park Inn, Hartlepool. 1:00pm. Free.
Sun 24: More Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00pm. Free.

Mon 25: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Mon 25: Michael Young Trio @ The Engine Room, Sunderland. 7:00pm.

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.

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Jazz at The Black Swan: reignite. Pat Boynes talks to Alice Grace

Jazz at The Black Swan, featuring some of the Northeast’s favourite jazz musicians, swings into action next month, with an exciting new programme that reignites the spirit of the former Newcastle Jazz Cafe. Showcasing a range of styles from brass ensembles to intimate duos, gypsy jazz and much more, these events will take place mostly on the third Thursday of the month, complementing the popular jam sessions that already take place on alternative Tuesdays.

Bringing the new programme together are jazz bassist Paul Grainger and jazz vocalist, Alice Grace, who are Chair and board member, respectively, for the Newcastle Arts Centre Trust. Alice chats about the “fantastic line up of very talented jazz musicians performing at the Black Swan over the coming months,” and how they all talk about how supportive and enthusiastic the audiences are. She looks forward to welcoming back their regular jazz audiences while also inspiring new people to get involved in the Newcastle jazz scene, adding “our aim is to work together with other organisations in the city and across the north east, helping to develop a rich and diverse jazz community for everyone.”

The Jazz programme kicks off on Thursday 23rd June with the Stu Collingwood Organ Trio, featuring Stu Collingwood on organ, Abbie Finn on drums and Harry Keeble on saxophone. Stu’s versatility and skill as a jazz pianist and organist has seen him perform across the UK with the likes of sax player Snake Davis and the Pasadena Roof Orchestra. At this gig he’ll be singing some swing and playing bass pedals too. Look forward to tunes ranging from modern swing to Latin, funk and some originals, with musical influences such as Jimmy Smith and Joey DeFrancesco, Keith Emerson and Dr Lonnie Smith. 

Thursday 21st July sees the return of professional jazz trumpet and flugelhorn player Noel Dennis with his trio that includes Mark Williams on guitar and Andy Champion on bass performing a mixture of be-bop and post-bop. Expect to hear jazz influenced by some of Noel’s favourite trumpet players - Miles Davis, Tom Harrell, Chet Baker and Woody Shaw, with a selection of standards thrown into the mix that will be thoroughly explored through deep improvisation. 

Newcastle Arts Centre is very happy to be bringing the Newcastle Jazz Festival  to the Black Swan on Friday 19th August with an exciting double bill  - The Harry Keeble Duo and the Northern Monkey Brass Band.  Harry Keeble on saxophone is joined by Mark Williams on guitar in their debut as a duo for this event. These similarly inspired musicians have been playing together in various ensembles for several years. For this performance you can expect an eclectic  mix of originals and thoughtfully arranged standards, full of harmonic exploration and touches of free improvisation.   

They’ll be followed by some swinging jazz from the finest New Orleans Jazz Band in the north east – the Northern Monkey Brass Band who are a regular highlight at Whitley Bay Carnival due to their feel-good vibe and the fact that the audience can’t stop themselves from moving to the music. This will be a dynamic, exciting, visceral, energetic experience, where they’ll be playing original tunes, New Orleans classics and covers in their own indomitable style. 

Alice adds “Perfect for a Friday night in summer and a real stand out performance for Newcastle Arts Centre’s debut sponsorship of the Newcastle Jazz Festival.”

One of the UK’s leading gypsy jazz quartets, Hot Club du Nord, perform on Thursday 15th September, when Jazz at the Black Swan returns to its regular third Thursday in the month slot. Led by Emma Fisk on violin, with James Birkett (guitar), David Harris (guitar) and Bruce Rollo (bass), Hot Club du Nord plays a selection of popular songs, jazz standards and Reinhardt/Grappelli originals as performed by Reinhardt & Grappelli's Hot Club de France during the 1930s and 40s. You can expect fresh, inspired interpretations of the material as well as recreations of some of the delightful arrangements from the original recordings. A treat for connoisseurs of swinging, string jazz and lovers of all things vintage.

In a continuation of their sold-out pre-pandemic performance, Graham Hardy and Pete Tanton return for the next instalment of their musical tour de force, Mondo Trumpet on Thursday 20th October. The band features Pete Tanton (vocals/trumpet), Graham Hardy (trumpet), Ben Lawrence (piano), Andy Champion (bass), John Bradford (drums) and they are “especially excited to be bringing the show to The Black Swan, where the vibe is always the right side of 'cool'.” Born out of the love that two men share for their trumpets, Mondo Trumpet was conceived in the pubs and vegan restaurants of the north east with the aim to provide something different, something beyond the usual display of killer tunes and technical virtuosity. Mondo Trumpet is a musical journey to far-flung places which takes the listener through a panoply of original compositions and familiar tunes you thought you knew. With influences ranging from New Orleans second-line jazz, to classic bossa nova, and current chart hits, Hardy and Tanton guarantee an evening to remember. There may even be some mariachi. Expect singing, foot-tapping rhythms, ear-catching melodies, and of course, trumpets!

On Thursday 17th November, Jazz at the Black Swan is excited to be presenting its first album launch from the Harry Keeble Quartet, with Harry Keeble (saxophone), Mark Williams (guitar), Andy Champion (bass), Abbie Finn (drums). When the quartet first got together in early 2020 it was clear that this was a high energy band and the music they were aiming for was modern jazz, with elements of rock and funk and straight ahead. It wasn’t until early the following year the quartet had their first gig. This became the catalyst for the band to release their first works, their EP ‘The Beacon’. The quartet has a wide range of inspirations, mostly focused on the music from modern musicians such as Jerry Bergonzi, Kurt Rosenwinkel and Chris Potter. Though they are rooted in straight ahead jazz, usually including material from musicians such as Wayne Shorter, the original compositions from the quartet have an even wider range of inspirations, delving into concepts reminiscent of the music of Tigran Hamasyan, and even Meshuggah. While always energetic, the quartet can play with remarkable sensitivity, which you’ll hear at this performance of all new original music. Listen out for a guest feature from jazz vocalist Alice Grace.

And that’s just for starters. More jazz acts are being booked for 2023, so keep the third Thursday of the month free for Jazz at the Black Swan. Most events start at 8pm with the exception of the Newcastle Jazz Festival double bill on Friday 19th August which starts at 7.30pm. And while you’re checking your diary, pencil in Saturday 10th December for a spectacular Christmas show. More details coming soon. Pat Boynes

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