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Bebop Spoken There

Raymond Chandler: “ I was walking the floor and listening to Khatchaturian working in a tractor factory. He called it a violin concerto. I called it a loose fan belt and the hell with it ". The Long Goodbye, Penguin 1959.

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!"

Simon Spillett: A lovely review from the dean of jazz bloggers, Lance Liddle...

Josh Weir: I love the writing on bebop spoken here... I think the work you are doing is amazing.


16350 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 230 of them this year alone and, so far, 27 this month (April 11).

From This Moment On ...


Thu 18: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 18: NONUNONU @ Elder Beer Café, Chillingham Road, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Thu 18: Knats @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. 8:00pm (doors 7:30pm). £8.00. + bf. Support act TBC.
Thu 18: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig. Ragtime piano.
Thu 18: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guest band night with Just Friends: Ian Bosworth (guitar); Donna Hewitt (sax); Dave Archbold (keys); Ron Smith (bass); Mark Hawkins (drums).

Fri 19: Cia Tomasso @ The Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. ‘Cia Tomasso sings Billie Holiday’. SOLD OUT!
Fri 19: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 19: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 19: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 19: Tweed River Jazz Band @ The Radio Rooms, Berwick. 7:00pm (doors). £5.00.
Fri 19: Lindsay Hannon: Tom Waits for No Man @ Seventeen Nineteen, Hendon, Sunderland. 7:30pm.
Fri 19: Levitation Orchestra + Nauta @ Cluny 2, Newcastle. 7:30pm (doors). £11.00.
Fri 19: Strictly Smokin’ Big Band @ The Witham, Barnard Castle. 8:00pm. ‘Ella & Ellington’.

Sat 20: Record Store Day…at a store near you!
Sat 20: Bright Street Band @ Washington Arts Centre. 6:30pm. Swing dance taster session (6:30pm) followed by Bright Street Big Band (7:30pm). £12.00.
Sat 20: Michael Woods @ Victoria Tunnel, Ouseburn, Newcastle. 7:00pm. Acoustic blues.
Sat 20: Rendezvous Jazz @ St Andrew’s Church, Monkseaton. 7:30pm. £10.00. (inc. a drink on arrival).

Sun 21: Jamie Toms Quartet @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. 3:00pm.
Sun 21: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay Metro Station. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 21: Lindsay Hannon: Tom Waits for No Man @ Holy Grale, Durham. 5:00pm.
Sun 21: The Jazz Defenders @ Cluny 2. Doors 6:00pm. £15.00.
Sun 21: Edgar Rubenis @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 7:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig. Blues & ragtime guitar.
Sun 21: Tweed River Jazz Band @ Barrels Ale House, Berwick. 7:00pm. Free.
Sun 21: Art Themen with the Dean Stockdale Trio @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £10.00. +bf. JNE. SOLD OUT!

Mon 22: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.

Tue 23: Vieux Carre Hot 4 @ Victoria & Albert Inn, Seaton Delaval. 12:30-3:30pm. £12.00. ‘St George’s Day Afternoon Tea’. Gig with ‘Lashings of Victoria Sponge Cake, along with sandwiches & scones’.
Tue 23: Jalen Ngonda @ Newcastle University Students’ Union. POSTPONED!

Wed 24: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 24: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 24: Sinatra: Raw @ Darlington Hippodrome. 7:30pm. Richard Shelton.
Wed 24: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.
Wed 24: Death Trap @ Theatre Royal, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Rambert Dance Co. Two pieces inc. Goat (inspired by the music of Nina Simone) with on-stage musicians.

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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