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Bebop Spoken There

Tineke Postma: “ I had a huge crush on him [Sting] when I was a teenager ". Jazzwise, June 2024.

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.


16462 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 342 of them this year alone and, so far, 54 this month (May 18).

From This Moment On ...


Tue 21: Jam session @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free. House trio: Alan Law, Paul Grainger, John Bradford.

Wed 22: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 22: Alice Grace Vocal Masterclass @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 6:00pm. Free.
Wed 22: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 22: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.
Wed 22: Daniel Erdmann’s Thérapie de Couple @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.

Thu 23: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 23: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library, Gateshead. 2:30pm.
Thu 23: Castillo Nuevo Trio @ Revoluçion de Cuba, Newcastle. 5:30pm. Free.
Thu 23: Immortal Onion + Rivkala @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 7:00pm.
Thu 23: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests: Jeremy McMurray (keys); Dan Johnson (tenor sax); Donna Hewitt (alto sax); Bill Watson (trumpet); Adrian Beadnell (bass).

Fri 24: Hot Club du Nord @ The Gala, Durham. 1:00pm. £8.00. SOLD OUT!
Fri 24: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 24: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 24: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 24: Swannek + support @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. Time TBC.

Sat 25: Tyne Valley Big Band @ Bywell Hall, Stocksfield. 2:30pm.
Sat 25: Paul Edis Trio w. Bruce Adams & Alan Barnes @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. 6:30pm. A Northumberland Jazz Festival event.
Sat 25: Nubiyan Twist @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.
Sat 25: Papa G’s Troves @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Sun 26: Tyne Valley Youth Big Band @ The Sele, Hexham. 12:30pm. Free. A Northumberland Jazz Festival event.
Sun 26: Musicians Unlimited @ Jackson’s Wharf, Hartlepool. 1:00pm. Free.
Sun 26: Alice Grace @ The Sele, Hexham. 1:30pm. Free. Alice Grace w. Joe Steels, Paul Susans & John Hirst.
Sun 26: Bryony Jarman-Pinto @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. 3:00pm. A Northumberland Jazz Festival event.
Sun 26: Ruth Lambert Trio @ The Juke Shed, North Shields. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 26: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 26: Clark Tracey Quintet @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. 6:00pm. A Northumberland Jazz Festival event.
Sun 26: Saltburn Big Band @ Saltburn Community Hall. 7:30pm.
Sun 26: Ruth Lambert Quartet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 26: SARÃB @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.

Mon 27: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.

Friday, September 16, 2022

Album review: Clark Summers Lens – Intertwine (Outside In Music)

Clark Sommers (bass); Geof Bradfield, (tenor/sop sax/ clarinet); Chris Madsen (tenor sax); Matt Gold, (guitar); Dana Hall; (drums).

This is an absolutely stonking group playing high energy jazz, dragging in influences from a variety of sources and trampling clichés in the dust. Sommers is the composer of all the music but this is a band album, though it’s hard to believe, after listening to the first track Also Tomorrow, that this isn’t a drummer led band. The front line ranges from wild to subtle but overwhelming it all is a man at the back driving in piles for a tower block or taking furniture apart with a large hammer. And it’s all rather joyful in many places.

Second track, James Marshall, is a tribute to Mr Hendrix. Gold’s guitar echoes and suggests some of Jimi’s lines but he develops these hints and makes them his own. Dana Hall continues dropping bombs and blowing things up at the back. By now you will have noticed that Sommers is the anchor, holding everything together for the others to do their things. This is not to suggest that he is simply playing rhythms or vamping - he is a master of long fluid runs, stops and changes of direction.

Ancient Voices is the breather, an elegant flowing lament that pushes the bass to the front. Hall’s cymbals provide the backwash for dancing, intertwined guitar and clarinet. Sommers talks about jazz being conversational and the album title comes from a belief that we all need each other. He combines those two ideas beautifully here.

Why the next track is called Silent Observer is anybody’s guess. It opens as a driving drums/bass/sax trio before the others join in and it’s everybody’s rodeo. You can imagine wide grins all round and the body language, urging each other on, as they were recording this one. Skin And Bone, which follows is a brief, but intense, diversion into free jazz but with an ancient feel as if music is first being explored and the only instruments are skin and bone.

Weeks & Weeks is another tribute, this time to Willie Weeks who played with everyone in the 70s and 80s and is still going strong. Sommers seems to have captured the best in every soul music instrumental break from that period. It is a mellow, late night jam, with the horns playing in harmony throughout but the fractured rhythm stops it sliding into Sanborn/Washington Jr territory.

Nichols on the Quarter is preceded by a short bass solo before it moves off in a mellow mood with only Hill’s galloping around the drum kit promising something more lively to come. There’s solos in turn from clarinet and guitar before the saxes give it a more widescreen feeling and turn up the energy levels.

The title track Intertwine, closes the album. It is more delicate, contemplative, philosophical than what has gone before; an opportunity to reflect on the last two years. Sommers showcases his bass in a long solo playing over subdued contributions from Gold and Hall again covers the kit before the saxes, exchanging squabbling solos, join again to take us home.

It’s worth awarding points to the production on the album which is probably by Ken Christiansen (it’s not clear). The music is beautifully recorded with clear separation between the instruments. That you don’t always get this makes it worthy of comment.

I can’t help feeling that the name of the group, Clark Sommers Lens, is missing an apostrophe somewhere along the way, although that is the only problem with this album.

The album is released today, September 16 and there is more about Clark Sommers and this group at his website HERE - Dave Sayer

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