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Bebop Spoken There

Billy Boy Arnold: “As long as you don't think old you're good.” - DownBeat, December, 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!"

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


16051 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 15 years ago. 1058 of them this year alone and, so far, 12 this month (Dec. 6).

From This Moment On ...


Fri 08: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 08: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 08: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 08: Giles Strong Quartet @ The Old Library, Auckland Castle. 1:00pm. £7.00.
Fri 08: Hayley's Little Big Band @ Woodland Village Hall, Bishop Auckland. 7:00pm. £12.00.
Fri 08: Sleep Suppressor + Redwell @ Head of Steam, Neville St., Newcastle. 8:00pm. £10.00. (£8.00. adv); £5.00. student.
Fri 08: Hot Club du Nord @ St Cuthbert's Church, Shadforth, Co. Durham.
Fri 08: Têtes de Pois + Nauta @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £12.00., £8.00.

Sat 09: Prudhoe Community Band @ Central Station, Newcastle. 10:00am - 12 noon. Charity fundraiser.
Sat 09: Durham Alumni Big Band @ Number One Bar, Skinnergate, Darlington. 1:00pm.
Sat 09: Castillo Nuevo Trio @ Revoluçion de Cuba, Newcastle. 5:30pm. Free.
Sat 09: Hayley's Little Big Band @ Middleton & Todridge Village Hall, Morpeth. 7:30pm. £12.00., £6.00.
Sat 09: Paul Skerritt @ Slaley Hall, Hexham NE47 0BX. 7:30pm. From £42.00.

Sun 10: Musicians Unlimited’s Xmas Party with Zoë Gilby Quartet @ Park Inn, Hartlepool. MU 1:00-3:00pm; Zoë Gilby Quartet 4:00-6:00pm. Tickets: £7.50.
Sun 10: Alan Law, Paul Grainger & Abbie Finn @ Darlington Market, Market Square, Darlington. 1:00pm. Free. A ‘Christmas Market’ outdoor gig. Wrap up warm!
Sun 10: Am Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00-4:00pm. Free.
Sun 10: Funk Soul Sista @ Stack, Seaburn. 5:00-7:00pm. Free.
Sun 10: Beth Clarke @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 7:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Sun 10: Hayley's Little Big Band @ Whittingham Memorial Institute, Alnwick. 7:30pm. £12.00., £10.00.
Sun 10: Tele-Port @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Line-up inc. Zhenya Strigalev.

Mon 11: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Mon 11: Interim Final Recitals @ Newcastle University. Details TBC.

Tue 12: Stu Collingwood Organ Trio @ Forum Music Centre, Darlington. 7:00pm. £10.00.

Wed 13: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 13: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 13: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.
Wed 13: Bold Big Band @ Cluny 2, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Wed 13: Giles Strong Quartet @ Alphabetti Theatre, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 14: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 14: Hot Fingers @ The Lubetkin Theatre, Peterlee. 7:00pm. £10.00.
Thu 14: After Hours Student Jazz Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free.
Thu 14: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. . Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 14: Niffi Osiyemi Trio @ Harbour View, Sunderland. 8:00pm. Free.
Thu 14: Mo Scott ‘Little Mo’s Festive Appearance’ @ The Schooner, Gateshead. 8:00pm. Free.
Thu 14: Tees Hot Club w. Kevin Eland, Josh Bentham, Garry Hadfield, Adrian Beadnell @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Album review: Esbjörn Svensson - HOME.S.

Esbjörn Svensson (piano)

These recordings do, of course, come with more than a tinge of sadness as they are hitherto ‘lost’ solo pieces recorded by Svensson at home before he died in a swimming accident in 2008. He’d recorded them, digitally, onto a hard drive and after his death the hard drive had been left in a bag at the back of the cupboard and lain undisturbed until this year. We have to consider the ‘rightness’ of releasing them. I’ve called them pieces already but some feel more like aural doodles or sketches rather than finished works. 

On the scale of what’s right and wrong they are not as bad as a World Cup in 'Catarrh' but the question remains to be asked. There have been posthumous releases by the Esbjörn Svensson Trio (Leucocyte, 301 and Live in London) but in those cases the other two members of the Trio (Dan Berglund and Magnus Ostrom) were able to make the decisions about their release.

On the other side of the scale are the facts that posthumous releases of possibly unfinished works is no rare thing (just look at the catalogue of Jeff Buckley, who died in a similar swimming accident 11 years before Svensson) and the quality of the work. If these were just sketches and noodles the standard of playing is very high.

So, we have here 9 tracks, named after the first 9 letters of the Greek alphabet clocking in at 36 minutes and change. From these humble beginnings follows a concert, an online event and, next year, a book as well as the album (more details can be found on Esbjö ).

And to the music. The pieces display much of the flare for which Svensson was famous, both his pensive Evans-ish delicacy and his Tyner-esque percussiveness. The quieter pieces draw you in; Alpha opens with an almost quote from Evans’ Peace Piece that flows into something more powerful as it closes. Beta is all delicacy.

Delta opens with trills like something from a Regency ball before that percussive left hand comes into dominate and left and right dance around each other in a quest for domination. Epsilon is, simply, imperious. Beautiful, intricate, knotty melodies are worked through rising time and again to climaxes and then flowing into further intricacy. Listen closely and you can hear Svensson humming as he plays. (That’s humming, not Jarrett-esque grunts).

Zeta is a romance for a film and Eta is a folk dance, again with that solid left hand foundation under melodic frills and thrills. The closer, Iota, really encapsulates, in its two and a bit minutes, all that went before. We have that delicacy and intricacy and a rolling thunder central passage that fades away leaving a simple melody that takes us to the close.

Is it right that this should have been released? On balance I think so. The recordings were completed in the months just before Svensson’s accidental death and they show the range of his ambition at that stage in his career, suggesting further classical and folk influences. Some pieces may have stayed as solo works and others may have been worked up by the Trio but, sadly, we’ll never know which and how.

HOME.S. is released this Friday Nov. 18, through all the usual channels. Dave Sayer

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