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Farewell Blues

R I P Terry Shannon - November 5, 1929 - October 29, 2022
R I P Oliver Soden - ? - November 6, 2022
R I P Top Cat Daphne - ? - November 24, 2022.
R I P Louise Tobin - November 11, 1918 - November 26, 2022

Bebop Spoken There

Kenny Barron: "During the pandemic I got to do a lot more cooking. As long as you can read you can cook." - (DownBeat December, 2022)

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!"


14845 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 14 years ago. 1094 of them this year alone and, so far, 93 this month (Nov. 30).

From This Moment On ...


Mon 05: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Mon 05: Sia Ahmad & Raymond MacDonald @ Blank Studios, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Tickets: £5.00. from Live recording session - note no late admissions. BYOB.

Tue 06: Paul Skerritt @ The Rabbit Hole, Durham. 7:00pm. Free (table reservations 0191 386 5556). Feat. Johnny Murphy (keyboards).

Wed 07: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 07: Jam session @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 12 noon-3:00pm.Free. New!
Wed 07: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 07: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 07: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 08: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Last one of the year, resuming Jan 26.
Thu 08: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library. 3:00-5:00pm. £1.00. All welcome.
Thu 08: Indigo Jazz Voices @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:45pm.
Thu 08: Christmas Crooners @ Alnwick Playhouse. 7:30pm.
Thu 08: Musicians Unlimited @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. £5.00. on the door.

Fri 09: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon. £25.00. 'Afternoon Jazz with Festive Lunch'.
Fri 09: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 09: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 09: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 09: Jason Isaacs @ Northern Rugby Club, Gosforth, Newcastle. 7:00pm. £25.00 (inc. two course Xmas meal). Isaacs performing with backing tapes.

Sat 10: Lindsay Hannon & Martin Douglas: Life Drawing & Improvised Music @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 2:00-4:00pm. TBC.
Sat 10: Alan Barnes Octet: A Jazz Xmas Carol @ Black Swan, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £20.00. All-star band!

Sun 11: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 11: Spanish City Rollers @ Northumberland Square, North Shields. 12:30pm. Free. Community band inc. Graham Hardy.
Sun 11: Am Jam @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 3:00pm. Free. Jam session, all welcome.
Sun 11: Musicians Unlimited @ Park Inn, Hartlepool. 1:00pm. Xmas party feat. Mick Donnelly Quartet. 4:00pm. Tickets: £6.00 (admission from 12 noon).
Sun 11: Paul Skerritt @ Liberty Brown's, Sunderland. 1:00pm.
Sun 11: Tees Valley Jazzmen @ Hammer & Pincers, Preston le Skerne. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Sun 11: Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 11: DC Blues Band @ Tyne Bar, Newcastle. 4:00pm. Free. Blues Band.
Sun 11: Jason Isaacs @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. 5:30pm. SOLD OUT!
Sun 11: Boys of Brass @ Stack, Seaburn. 6:00pm. Free.
Sun 11: Elda with Faye MacCalman + John Pope & John Garner @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Tuesday, October 04, 2022

Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music: Orphy Robinson in conversation + Beck Hunters with Laura Cole & John Pope + Daniel Levin + Black Top with Mariam Rezaei @ The Lit & Phil - Oct. 1

(© Ken Drew)
Beck Hunters: Mick Beck (tenor sax, bassoon, whistles); Laura Cole (piano); Anton Hunter (guitar); John Pope (bass); Johnny Hunter (drums)

Beck Hunters, an established trio, with the addition of Laura Cole and John Pope got proceedings underway for Saturday Night at the Lit and Phil. 

Rarely is a bassoon  seen in a jazz context but Mick Beck employed this orchestral woodwind behemoth to marvellous effect yet that was only one of the many instruments employed by the doyen of the Sheffield improvised jazz scene. An ordinary whistle and a swanee whistle were also employed and of course the more conventional tenor saxophone. 

You would not have believed that this was the first time this band had played together. The music was absolutely exceptional as it flowed seamlessly throughout. Beck is a master saxophonist, the fabulous Hunter boys were fabulous as usual, festival favourite John Pope on double bass (by my calculations the  Pontiff will have participated on 5 of the 8 festival's days) was his usual ebullient self. Laura Cole on the piano was sensational. There was so much fantastic playing it was impossible who to select who to focus on as wonderful sounds seemed to be emanating from every  corner of the stage. A real great performance -  my favourite of the festival.

Daniel Levin (cello)

In keeping with the theme of instruments rarely seen in a jazz context the cello was featured in the solo spot of the night. Brooklyn based Daniel Levin is a one man activity centre. 

Every part of the cello is incorporated into his routine. Even the bow is used in a number of non-standard ways including swishing it through the air (as I was  seated literally in front of Levin  this was quite alarming as any miscalculation would have seen me floored) and using it as a stick to beat things with. Levin mixes classical passages with free improvisation and the percussive effects he manages to carve out from every part of the instrument  including the spike on the bottom of the cello was captivating.

The cello is more often than not associated with gentle and melancholy music. In the hands of Daniel Levin it is a brute of an instrument able to conjure up an exciting and exhilarating  musical and visual extravaganza.

Black Top: Orphy Robinson (xylosynth & electronics); Pat Thomas (piano & electronics); Mariam Rezaei (turntables).

(© Ken Drew)
The evening culminated with yet another unusual vehicle rarely, if ever, seen at a jazz gig. This time it was the turntables of Mariam Razaei. Black Top is the brainchild of Orphy Robinson and Pat Thomas and since its inception they have invited many guests to participate. Both Thomas and Robinson had their regular instruments but they also had electronic devices so to be honest at times it was hard to work out who was doing what with what but judging by the amount of activity on stage it appeared that Razaei was doing most of the hard yards as she frantically worked the dials and knobs of her music station.  

The band themselves describe their output as "archaic Nubian dubstep". I'm not sure what that means but what was witnessed was a high tech, high energy, high volume  celebration of improvised electronic composition.


(© Ken Drew)
At the start of the evening there was an  enjoyable conversation between Orphy Robinson and Corey Mwamba. I remember seeing Orphy Robinson in the Jazz Warriors in the 1980s' so it was a very enjoyable trip down memory lane for me. Robinson reminisced about his journey as a multi instrumentalist, composer and educator going as far back as his early school days in Hackney. As a youngster he used to take teaspoons up to his room at night to use them to practice with hoping he wouldn’t disturb the rest of the house. Of course they heard the disturbance and also noticed there was nothing to stir their tea with. Robinson has certainly had a fulfilling and illustrious  career to date and judging from his number of appearances in this festival fortunately shows no signs of slowing down. Steve H 

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