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Bebop Spoken There

Wendell Brunious: "Because the blues is not 1,4 and 5 or 1,4,5,2,1. You could wake up with a flat tyre or a headache this morning, that's the blues, man" - (DownBeat, Oct. 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!"


15878 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 15 years ago. 885 of them this year alone and, so far, 83 this month (Sept. 30).

From This Moment On ...


Mon 02: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Mon 02: FILM: Wattstax; 50th Anniversary @ Forum Cinema, Hexham. 8:00pm.

Tue 03: Paul Skerritt @ The Rabbit Hole, Hallgarth St., Durham DH1 3AT. 7:00pm. Paul Skerritt's (solo) weekly residency.
Tue 03: Jam session @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. House trio: Michael Young (piano); Paul Grainger (double bass); Sid White (drums). CANCELLED!

Wed 04: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 04: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 04: Paul Skerritt @ Vespa Italian Bar & Steakhouse, Primrose Hill, Jarrow. From 7:00pm. To book a table - 0191 483 3355.
Wed 04: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 05: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 05: Sound the Trumpets @ King's Hall, Newcastle University. 1:15pm. Free.
Thu 05: Hot Club du Nord @ The Lubetkin Theatre, Peterlee. 7:00pm. £10.00. POSTPONED!
Thu 05: Thursday Night Prayer Meeting @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Thu 05: Tommy Bentz Trio + Mark Croft Duo + George Shovlin & George Lamb @ The Harbour View, Sunderland. 8:00pm. Free. Harbour View Speakeasy's USA blues double bill + Shovlin & Lamb!
Thu 05: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Ragtime piano. A 'Jar on the Bar' gig.
Thu 05: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman's Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 06: Alcyona Mick @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. A Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music event.
Fri 06: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 06: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 06: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 06: WORKSHOP: Philosophy of Arts & Entertainment @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 2:00pm. A Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music event.
Fri 06: Balo @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 6:20pm. A Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music event.
Fri 06: Paul Skerritt @ 3Sixty Champagne Lounge, Hadrian’s Tower, Newcastle. From 7:00pm. To book a table - 0191 933 8591.
Fri 06: Lexer/Mayes/Noble + Semay Wu + Miman @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 7:20pm. A Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music event.
Fri 06: Dulcie May Moreno @ The Vault, Hexham. 7:30pm. £20.00. Book in advance. Moreno with Alan Law, Paul Grainger & John Bradford.
Fri 06: Dean Stockdale Quartet @ Saltburn Community Hall. 7:30pm. 'Celebrating Oscar'.
Fri 06: Nu Brass Sounds: Big Brass Bash @ Billy Bootlegger’s, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free.
Fri 06: TBC @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Blind Pig Blues Club. A 'Jar on the Bar' gig.

Sat 07: WORKSHOP: Philosophy of Arts & Entertainment @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 10:15am. A Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music event.
Sat 07: Hot Club du Nord @ St Augustine's Parish Centre, Darlington. 12:30pm.
Sat 07: Bugge & Niccols + Moore & Fairhall @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. A Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music event.
Sat 07: Play Jazz! workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. Tutor: Steve Glendinning - All the Things You Are. £25.00. Enrol at:
Sat 07: Abbie Finn Trio @ The Vault, Darlington. 6:00pm. Free.
Sat 07: Rie Nakajima @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 6:20pm. A Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music event.
Sat 07: Paul Skerritt @ 3Sixty Champagne Lounge, Hadrian’s Tower, Newcastle. From 7:00pm. To book a table - 0191 933 8591.
Sat 07: Samuel Blaser Trio + Toxvaerd & Zeeberg + Muramatsu & Welch @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 7:20pm. A Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music event.
Sat 07: Anth Purdy @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sat 07: Rendezvous Jazz @ Red Lion, Earsdon. 8:00pm. £3.00.

Sun 08: Zoë Gilby Quintet + Ubunye @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00pm. Line-up inc. Tony Kofi. A Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music event.
Sun 08: Tommy Bentz Band @ Tyne Bar, Newcastle. 4:00pm. Free. USA blues band.

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

The Mike Vax Quintet @ Wigan Jazz Festival - July 10

Mike Vax (trumpet, flugelhorn); Al Wood (alto sax); Martin Longhawn (piano); Dave Linane (double bass); Dave Hassell (drums)

Wigan Jazz Festival's star attraction from America was expecting to perform in concert with an all-British big band. Flying across the Atlantic from Arizona, plans changed somewhat for ex-Stan Kenton man, trumpeter Mike Vax. At short notice the proposed big band gig fell through and, stepping into the breach, multi-instrumentalist and friend of Wigan Jazz Festival, Al Wood pulled a few strings to assemble a first rate quintet. 

Vax and Wood go back a long way and the American left it to his British friend to call the right guys for the job. Talk about A-list! Martin Longhawn was available and there he was sitting at the Steinway, bassist Dave Linane (he was in Maynard Ferguson's 'British' outfit!) and drummer Dave Hassell. And then there was Wood himself, another Brit who worked with Maynard Ferguson. A-list? Most definitely!

Mike Vax cuts an amiable figure, but make no mistake, Mr Vax knows who Mike Vax is! Throughout this Sunday afternoon concert Vax and Wood, perched atop high stools, presented an impeccable set list, opening with My Romance. Now in his late seventies, Vax showed remarkable facility, as fleet of finger as someone half his age. Similarly, Wood (on this gig restricting himself to alto sax, although, had the fancy taken him, he could have brought along half a dozen instruments) proved equally adept, we were listening to two masters at work. 

In addition to being one heck of a trumpet player, Vax has a fund of stories to tell. Holding court here at the Village on the Green, our American guest recalled being on the road with a who's who of the jazz world, of driving a Buick through the night, night after night, from one gig to another. 

The rhythm section had a ball, Vax appreciative of the talent supporting him here at Wigan. Bassist Dave Linane has a great sound, quietly walking the quintet through the set. Drummer Dave Hassell, a Mr Reliable type, was just that, reliable. These are the guys for an engagement like this, and pianist Martin Longhawn couldn't stop smiling, he was living the dream. 

Al Wood can play anything - instrument or song. Vax happily played several of Wood's arrangements including Nat Adderley's Work Song. Vax, of course, knew the cornetist, saying he'd have been world famous but for Cannonball!

Vax played Horace Silver's The Preacher, using a Harmon mute borrowed from one of the many trumpeters in the room. In years to come the conversation will go: Do you remember the time Mike Vax borrowed your mute?...Ah, yeah, he used it on The Preacher.

A solo trumpet feature - the band took five - heard Vax playing Danny Boy. An oddity in the set list, but impressive, nevertheless. An uptempo All the Things You Are featured rip-roaring, bop-like solos, then to close, Mike Vax bade farewell saying: We're gonna close on Duke Ellington. And so they did (strictly Juan Tizol) with Perdido. Perfect. 

Earlier, The Chicken opened an entertaining concert set by The Anchormen Jazz Orchestra. The west Yorkshire-based outfit, fronted  by ebullient Liverpudlian vocalist Alan Cross, ran through a bucket full of big band charts, including Birdland, the Buddy Rich version of Love for Sale and Mack the Knife. The entertaining Mr Cross threw in a few Sinatra numbers and it wasn't long before he and the band had 'em up dancing (a friend of BSH was among their number, photographic evidence is available upon request!). Russell

1 comment :

Cormac Loane said...

You’re right, Russell - Al Wood is an amazing musician and multi-instrumentalist. In 1979 I was privileged to play alongside him in the Ken Turner Orchestra at the Blackpool Dance Festival in the Empress Ballroom. On the first night Al was playing trumpet, so I assumed that was his instrument. But on the second night he was playing trombone and on the third night I’m pretty sure he was playing piano because the keyboard player hadn’t turned up! And at the end of that show I went round the corner to the Galleon late-night jazz club where Al was in full flight on alto saxophone! I also recall that a few minutes before we started the final show of the festival, Al was scribbling out band parts for several fanfare arrangements he had just done to celebrate the Festival winners - a task Ken Turner had delegated to him at the very last moment. Of course, the fanfares worked brilliantly and were perfectly sight read by the musicians!

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