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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!"


15260 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 15 years ago. 279 of them this year alone and, so far, 92 this month (March 29).

From This Moment On ...

Sat 01: The Big Easy @ St Augustine's Parish Centre, Darlington. 12:30pm.
Sat 01: Play Jazz! workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. Tutor: Steve Glendinning - In a Minor Key. £25.00. Enrol at:
Sat 01: Abbie Finn Trio @ The Vault, Darlington Covered Market, Darlington DL1 5PN. 6:00pm. New venue, live jazz!
Sat 01: Jambone @ Sage Gateshead. 7:00pm. Free (book online). A YMP! event in the Northern Rock Foundation Hall.
Sat 01: Jude Murphy & Dan Stanley @ Prohibtion Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A 'Jar on the Bar' gig.
Sat 01: Boys of Brass @ Stack, Seaburn. 7:00-9:00pm.
Sat 01: Hot Club du Nord @ Pleased to Meet You, Bridge St., Morpeth. 8:00pm. £79.00. A charity fundraising event.
Sat 01: Rendezvous Jazz @ Red Lion, Earsdon. 8:00pm. £3.00. RESCHEDULED to next week (Sat 08).

Sun 02: Smokin' Spitfires @ The Cluny. 12:45pm.
Sun 02: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.

Mon 03: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Tue 04: Paul Skerritt @ The Rabbit Hole, Hallgarth St., Durham DH1 3AT. 7:00pm. Paul Skerritt's (solo) weekly residency.
Tue 04: Jam session @ Black Swan, Newcastle Arts Centre. 7:30pm. House trio: Bradley Johnston (guitar); Paul Grainger (double bass); Abbie Finn (drums).

Wed 05: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 05: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 05: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 05: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 06: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 06: Thursday Night Prayer Meeting @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Donations. Feat. John Pope, Marie Shreer, John Garner.
Thu 06: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibtion Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Ragtime piano. A 'Jar on the Bar' gig.
Thu 06: Darlington Big Band @ Dorman's Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Note earlier start time.

Fri 07: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 07: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 07: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 07: Gaz Hughes Trio @ Saltburn Community Hall. 7:30pm.
Fri 07: Mark Toomey Quartet @ Traveller's Rest, Darlington. 8:00pm. £8.00.
Fri 07: Finntet + Zoë Gilby & Andy Champion @ Bobik's, Punch Bowl, Newcastle. 8:00pm. JNE.
Fri 07: TBA @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A 'Jar on the Bar' gig. Blind Pig Blues Club.

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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