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Bebop Spoken There

Lakecia Benjamin: "From my early days with Clark Terry, he told me 'they see you before they hear you'... I'm just not from that school of thought where I'm gonna wear my jeans and T-shirt on stage and that's going to be respectable." - (Jazzwise, February 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!"

Postage

15056 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 15 years ago. 75 of them this year alone and, so far, 75 this month (Jan. 25).

From This Moment On ...

January

Sat 28: Tyneside Improvisers Workshop @ Ye Olde Cross, Ryton. 2:00-4:00pm. All welcome.
Sat 28: Secular Sounds in a Sacred Place @ Holy Cross Church, Ryton. 4:30-7:00pm. £10.00. Continuous performance featuring: Christian Alderson, Faye MacCalman, Sally Pilkington, John Pope. Event preceded by a Tyneside Improvisers Workshop (2:00pm, see above).
Sat 28: Entartete Musik @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. A Brundibár Arts Festival event. SOLD OUT!

Sun 29: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.

Sat 28: Revolutionaires @ Brandling Villa, South Gosforth, Newcastle. 9:00pm. Rhythm & blues band.

Sun 29: Musicians Unlimited @ Park Inn, Hartlepool. 1:00pm.
Sun 29: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 29: Revolutionaires @ Greens, Low Row, Sunderland. 6:00pm. Rhythm & blues band with a horn section (inc. Pete Tanton).
Sun 29: Hypnotic Brass Band @ Cluny, Newcastle. 7:00pm (doors). £20.00.
Sun 29: Jam No.12 @ Fabio's, Saddler St., Durham. 8:00pm. Free. Durham University Jazz Society jam session. All welcome (students & non-students).
Sun 29: Origin @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 30: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Tue 31: ???

February

Wed 01: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 01: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 01: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 01: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Wed 01: Moonlight Serenade Orchestra UK: Glenn Miller & Big Band Spectacular @ Darlington Hippodrome. 7:30pm.

Thu 02: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 02: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library. 2:30-4:30pm. £1.00. All welcome.
Thu 02: Paul Skerritt Duo @ Tomahawk Steakhouse, High St., Yarm. 8:00pm.
Thu 02: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman's Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Monday, July 11, 2022

An Imaginary Tale

This began life as the first chapter of an uncompleted novel - a novel that will, no doubt, never be completed. However, after reading it again some years down the line I came to the conclusion that the opening chapter could stand on its own feet as a short story, although I must apologise for the language which ill becomes this site and, if anyone objects it will be removed - Lance.

An Imaginary Tale

Barry and Glory couldn’t have been further apart socially or intellectually and yet, they made great music together.

As a child, Barry avoided school whenever possible. Adding two and two without making five stretched him to the limit. His spelling was phonetic rather than grammatical and he never did work out why psychology wasn’t spelled cicoladgly.

A slum kid who had nothing going for him other than that he could play the saxophone.

Boy could he play!

He’d only ever had one music lesson in his life but it was enough! The teacher, an old West Indian jazz musician showed him what fingers to press to get a particular note, how to get the sound you wanted and how to read music.

It was only the latter teaching that he didn’t fully absorb. Barry regarded music notation the same way he did spelling – they were both about phonetics or, as he would have it if he’d known there was such a word – funetics. Words and music were sounds not black shapes on a piece of paper.

Glory, Gloria Dayton-Carmody never had a problem adding two and two and, if the figures were preceded by a $ or a £ sign and followed by several noughts, she knew how to make them add up to five. Glory could spell, converse in several languages and had a degree or two to her name.

At her Swiss Finishing School, her voice tutor marvelled at her range and her pitching which was as close to perfection as anyone ever gets.

The tutor said that, with her natural ability and some (expensive) personal coaching from himself, La Scala, Covent Garden, the Met and many more were all achievable.

And then she heard, in quick succession … Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Cleo Laine and Norma Winstone.

The die was cast.

Both Barry and Glory’s parents were aghast – horrified.

Barry’s father said, “You want to be a fuckin’ magician? Makin’ things disappear?”

“Not a magician dad, a musician. They say I’ve got talent.”

“Who says you’ve got fuckin’ talent? That fuckin’ darkie who sold you that trumpet fuckin’ thing?”

“It’s a saxophone thing dad.”

“I don’t care what it fuckin’ is. Listen son, I ‘ad a word with ‘arry, down the boozer last night. ‘arry’s the foreman on that buildin' site back o’ the fuckin’ dog track. ‘e says they’re takin’ on ‘od carriers and because we’re mates, if you turn up at eight o’ clock tomorrow morning – the job’s yours.”

“Dad, I know you mean well but I don’t want to be a hod carrier and, even if I did, I would want to get the job on merit not just because the foreman is one of your boozing mates. I’ve told you – I’m going to be a musician. Maybe one day I’ll be famous and you’ll have to pay to see me!”

“Pay to see you? If you don’t get your arse down to that building site tomorrow then I suggest you pack up your trombone or whatever it is and fuck off. Me and your ma didn’t bring you up to be a fuckin’ musician.”

“I’m going just like you got rid of my ma and she wasn’t a musician – she just wanted a life of her own – I wonder why?

Barry left.

The discussion in the Dayton-Carmody household was similar although somewhat verbally different.

“Now darling, it’s absolutely wonderful that you have so much talent – such a beautiful voice I can just picture you singing One Fine Day from Tosca at Covent Garden” gushed her mother.

“It’s from Carmen dear” said her father.

Gloria – she had yet to become Glory – contradicted them both with “Actually it’s from Madame Butterfly.”

“Well you, of course, know best darling. Singing jazz, I’m sure is all good fun but with a voice like yours you deserve better. Not that I’ve anything against it after all, when we were young, daddy and I often went to dear old Humph’s place on Oxford Street and once we were invited to Wavendon by Sir John and Dame Cleo. They were absolutely top drawer, well at least he was as, of course was Humph. But some of these jazz chaps are somewhat different – I remember one of Humphrey's band had dirty finger nails!" Mrs Dayton-Carmody shuddered at the thought.

Her father put on his most serious expression. It was an expression that was ominous with foreboding. Usually reserved for an Aussie fast bowler about to take out an English tailender at Lords.

“You know Gloria, we’ve never stopped you following your dreams. Remember how we bought you your first pony and you fell off and sprained your ankle?”

“Of course I do but do you remember that a sprained ankle didn’t stop me getting back into the saddle and I never fell off again?"

Her future was mapped out at a cellar club in Soho. It was a jam session and Glory, accompanied by a young man her parents classified as ‘suitable’, was somewhat apprehensively hoping she’d be allowed to try her hand at jazz singing. She’d practised and listened to hundreds of tracks by the greats and decided that Billie Holiday’s version of This Year’s Kisses was the one she was going to wow, if not the world, the fifty or so drinkers crammed into the club.

It was almost closing time before the bass player who seemed to double as the MC got around to asking her to step up to the mic.

“What’s your name darlin’?” he asked. Gloria Dayton hyphen Carmody decided that Gloria Dayton hyphen Carmody, with or without the hyphen, wasn’t a jazz name so, on the spur of the moment she said, “Glory Daye”.

“Wotcha gonna sing?” asked the bass player adding that, as it was near closing time, there’d only be time for one number.

This Year’s Kisses, can you play it in G?”

After much fiddling about with ipads they concurred that they could play it in G.

“How many sharps or flats is that?” asked Barry who'd been jamming with the band whilst, at the same time eying up the posh tottie with the legs who now wanted to sing

“Twenty seven” replied the pianist giving the bass and drums a wink.

It was maybe 32 bars later that “Lady Daye” sang, Barry blew and the pair simply flew. Lester Young and Billie Holiday lived as if they’d never died.

Closing time was forgotten, they played until the early hours and history was made.

Glory’s escort left knowing that Glory wouldn’t be going home with him, his day had passed... Lance

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