Total Pageviews

Farewell Blues

R.I.P. HRH Queen Elizabeth ll (1926 - Sept. 8, 2022).
R.I.P. Trevor Tomkins (1941 - Sept. 9, 2022).
R.I.P. Gordon McGregor (Sept. 11, 2022).
R.I.P. Ramsey Lewis (1935 - Sept. 12, 2022).
R.I.P. Pharoah Sanders (Oct. 13, 1940 - Sept. 24, 2022).
R.I.P. Sue Mingus (April 2, 1930 - Sept. 24, 2022).

Bebop Spoken There

Larry Klein: "- in a certain way - Leonard [Cohen] is the greatest songwriter ever." - (Jazzwise October 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!

Holly Cooper, Mouthpiece Music: "Lance writes pull quotes like no one else!"


14602 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 14 years ago. 880 of them this year alone and, so far, 80 this month (Sept. 26).

From This Moment On ...


Wed 28: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 28: Battle of the Bands @ NE Volume Music Bar, Yarm Lane, Stockton. Doors 6:00pm. Tickets: £5.00. adv., £6.00. on the door. Participants inc. Milne Glendinning Band.
Wed 28: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 28: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 28: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Wed 28: Black is the Color of My Voice @ Alnwick Playhouse. 7:30pm. One woman stage play (the life & times of Nina Simone).
Wed 28: Laura Jurd @ Sage Gateshead. 8:00pm.

Thu 29: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 29: Ushaw Ensemble @ King’s Hall, Newcastle University. 1:15pm. Free.
Thu 29: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library. 3:00-5:00pm. £1.00. All welcome.
Thu 29: Czajka & Puchaz + Mark Solborg + Anthropology @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 7:00pm. A Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music event.
Thu 29: ‘58 Jazz Collective @ Hops & Cheese, Hartlepool. 7:30pm.
Thu 29: Peter Morgan Trio @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 30: Adam Johnson @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. A Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music event.
Fri 30: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 30: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 30: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 30: Pete Churchill & Noel Dennis: Exploring the Jazz Metaphor in Leadership & Management @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 2:30-4:00pm. Workshop.Tickets: £3.30 (inc. bf). A Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music event.
Fri 30: FILM: Bird (Dir. Clint Eastwood) + Swing Bridge (in the bar) @ Forum Cinema, Hexham. 6:30pm.
Fri 30: Orphy Robinson + Maniscalco-Bigoni-Solborg + Nicole Mitchell + Binker Golding-Alexander Hawkins-John Pope-Paul Hession @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle (7:00pm). A Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music event.
Fri 30: Ushaw Ensemble @ St Mary’s Church, Holy Island. 7:30pm.
Fri 30: Alter Ego @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. CANCELLED!
Fri 30: King Bee @ The Craig Charles Funk & Soul Club, Independent, Sunderland. 9:00pm. £22.50. DJs + King Bee.


Sat 01: Dale Storr @ St Augustine’s Parish Centre, Darlington. 12:30pm. £10.00.
Sat 01: Nicole Mitchell & Alexander Hawkins @ The Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. A Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music event.
Sat 01: Play Jazz! workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. Tutor: Pete Churchill. £25.00. Enrol at:
Sat 01: Orphy Robinson (in conversation); Beck Hunters w John Pope & Laura Cole; Daniel Levin; Black Top w Mariam Rezaei @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 6:00pm. A Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music event.
Sat 01: Simon O'Byrne @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. Solo guitar & vocals.
Sat 01: King Bees @ Grainger Market, Newcastle. 9:00-9:45pm. A Great Market Caper multi-bill event. Superb Chicago blues band. Doors: 6:30pm. Tickets: £10.00. + bf.

Sun 02 RUTH LAMBERT TRIO @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 02: Helena Anahita Wilson @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. A Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music event.
Sun 02: Smokin’ Spitfires @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 12:45pm.
Sun 02: Zoë Gilby Trio w Noel Dennis + John Garner & John Pope + Dilutey Juice @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00pm. £7.00.
Sun 02: Paul Skerritt @ Hibou Blanc, Newcastle. 2:00pm.
Sun 02: Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 02: Lindsay Hannon's 'Tom Waits for No Man' @ Three Tanners Bank, North Shields. 6:00pm. Free.
Sun 02: Celebrating the Life & Music of Pharoah Sanders @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 7:00pm. £8.00. on the door. Feat. Sue Ferris, Paul Gowland, Tom Atkinson, Jude Murphy, Jeff Armstrong.
Sun 02: Shifa + Bex Burch & Leafcutter John + Farida Amadou @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 7:00pm. A Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music event.

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

Tue 04: Paul Skerritt @ The Rabbit Hole, Durham. 7:00pm. Free (to reserve a table phone 0191 386 5556).
Tue 04: Jam session @ Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. House trio: Dean Stockdale, Paul Grainger, Tim Johnston.
Tue 04: Blue Jazz Quartet w Rivkala @ The Ship Isis, Sunderland. 7:30pm. Free.

Friday, July 08, 2022

Album review: Theo Croker Quartet, Berliner Philharmoniker, Magnus Lindgren: Jazz at Berlin Philharmonic XII - Sketches of Miles

Theo Croker (trumpet);  Danny Grissett (piano); Joshua Ginsburg (double bass); Gregory Hutchinson (drums) + Berliner Philharmoniker w. Magnus Lindgren (conductor, tenor sax, flute)  

Jazz collisions with orchestras are not always happy occasions as the loss of small group intimacy and interplay may not be compensated by the extra symphonic power and variety. I placed much of the recent venture by Avishai Cohen (bass) with the Gothenburg Symphony in this category (REVIEW HERE). I feared the worst for this expanded take on Miles as well, but it turned out the Berliners under Magnus Lindgren had it sorted, as they have experience at these collaborations, with a series of recordings, most recently with a Mingus Centenary (REVIEW HERE) with the  same pianist and drummer. This album is a recording of a live concert in 2021 in honour of Miles, who played at the venue at the first Jazzfest Berlin in 1964, returning eight times.

The lead role is taken by Theo Croker, familiar to me as a post-bop player dabbling in electronica and hip-hop,  and revered by my son for his exciting and virtuosic modern style. Croker was born in Florida 1985, grandson of legendary trumpeter Doc Cheatham, resident in Shanghai for seven years before returning to the US.  In his seventh album, 2022's Love Quantum (MASTERWORKS MSWK988249.2), he makes the bold proclamation: "Long live music, jazz is dead" so I was curious to hear his genre-defying take on classic Miles!   I needn’t have worried, as Croker counts a sensitive, warm tone in his armoury, allowing an authentic and respectful contribution to this Miles retrospective, while still stretching the idiom with interesting technical and artistic updates.

The first of two CDs is a set of classics from Miles Davis‘ late fifties band while for the second  the Philharmonic join for three suites from “orchestral albums” Miles Ahead, Porgy and Bess and Sketches of Spain.  The first set of small ensemble tunes are a delight, casting fresh light on the classics. Croker’s superb technique gives an extra dimension, with sensitive and inventive soloing from all, jet propelled when needed by explosive drumming. Pinocchio runs smoothly into Milestones, followed by a glorious 12 minute exposition of Footprints, starting as a languid stroll,  building to piano and drum solos which brought the house down.  I’ve chewed over Footprints a lot recently, with a muscular live version by Knats and a sublime run through from Herbie  Hancock at Glasto with Terence Blanchard, and I have to say the Berliners topped the lot. My Funny Valentine luxuriates (perhaps too much!) over a relaxed 11 minutes, before So What charges off at a satisfying lick, with Lindgren adding rollicking tenor.

The second CD’s augmented arrangements are a natural extension to the originals, more big band than Philharmonic, with plenty of space and visibility for the quartet. Sketches of Spain has some work to do to match the original, but manages new ideas and spectacular breathy trumpet  while retaining the original cool.  The album closes with a sparky ten minute All Blues which holds the interest with powerful solos and thoughtful addition of Lindgren on flute.

While Miles famously wouldn’t return to his classics, there are certainly some enjoyable and new angles in this top class live homage. Chris K

ACT 9948-2 release August, 26, double-cd, double-lp & digital.

No comments :

Blog Archive