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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.


16476 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 356 of them this year alone and, so far, 68 this month (May 24).

From This Moment On ...


Sat 25: Tyne Valley Big Band @ Bywell Hall, Stocksfield. 2:30pm.
Sat 25: Baghdaddies @ Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Whitley Bay Carnival (outdoor stage).
Sat 25: Northern Monkey Brass Band @ Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay. 4:30pm. Whitley Bay Carnival (outdoor stage).
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: Bellavana @ Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay. 11:00am. Whitley Bay Carnival (outdoor stage).
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.

Tue 28: Bold Big Band @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Wed 29: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 29: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 29: Jazz Night @ The Tannery, Hexham. 7:00-9:00pm. Free. The first night of a new jam session!
Wed 29: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

Thu 30: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 30: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Ragtime piano. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 30: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests Josh Bentham (sax); Neil Brodie (trumpet); Garry Hadfield (keys); Adrian Beadnell (bass);

Fri 31: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 31: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 31: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 31: Castillo Nuevo Trio @ Revoluçion de Cuba, Newcastle. 5:30pm. Free.
Fri 31: Borealis @ The Witham, Barnard Castle. 7:30pm.
Fri 31: Redwell @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Album review: Espen Berg - The Trondheim Concert

Espen Berg (solo piano)

Confronted with a double album of solo improvised piano pieces it is impossible not to think immediately of what’s his name and the inevitable questions (Is it as good as Keith Jarrett? Is it different enough to make the exercise worthwhile or is it another copyist? Have we found the next one in the line that runs from Art Tatum, through Bud Powell and Bill Evans?) will follow. Keith Jarrett is always the elephant in the room for solo piano recordings.

 This one is a snapshot from a single night in Trondheim in November 2019 and I’m grateful that it has now reached the public after 3 years of interesting times. The musicianship on a recording like this is a given but to make it work the music must challenge both the player and the audience. It is a balancing act on a tightrope that can go from high wire to haywire in a moment. It has to be strong and intense; it must draw the listener in to the point where they are submerged in the music. It should be a full sensurround experience. Berg has managed this.

His playing may range across different styles and conjure up numerous images (Part 1 for example, conjures up images of wide open American country spaces and Nordic forests) but you hang on to every note waiting for the next departure. There are lyrical flourishes and long stretches where the rhythm dominates and the melodic changes are minimal, building up a tension that cries out for a release.

The pieces, or movements, have no titles beyond Part 1 to Part 10, some flowing from one into another, indeed the applause at some points also serves to break the tension. There are sections (Part 6) where right and left hands are playing against each other creating a dissonance, and other sections of two fisted fury. Part 2 gives us bold, thundering movements, moments of two handed bravado that sweep back and forth like powerful waves. In contrast there are moments of whimsy such as the inclusion in Part 3 of sections that sound like songs from the shows which leaven the seriousness without any loss of intensity.  Other moments are balletic elegance; peace after the fury (Parts 8 and 10). At times, it’s an exhausting listen but completely worth the effort.

There is more information about Berg’s career to date, including recordings, projects and tour dates, (none in the UK) HERE on his website and there is an article about him and a review of this album in this month’s Jazzwise. The Trondheim Concert is released on October 28 and is available through the usual outlets. Dave Sayer 

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