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Bebop Spoken There

Ambrose Akinmusire: “ I am certainly always aware of what the masses are doing. And when I see too many people going one way, I'm going another way - even when I don't know what's over that way". DownBeat, March, 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.


16246 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 128 of them this year alone and, so far, 72 this month (Feb. 29).

From This Moment On ...

Fri 01: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 01: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 01: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 01: Wind Ensemble + Big Band + Jazz Combo + R&B Band @ Boiler House, Newcastle University. 5:30pm. Free.
Fri 01: Joseph Carville Trio @ Saltburn Community Hall. 7:30pm.
Fri 01-Sun 03: Great North Big Band Jazz Festival @ Park View Community Centre, Chester-le-Street. From 8:00pm Friday. Weekend ticket: £20.00.
Fri 01: King Bees @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig. Blind Pig Blues Club.
Fri 01: Great North Big Band Jazz Festival @ Park View Community Centre, Chester-le-Street. £10.00. Day 1/3. Musicians Unlimited + Festival Band.

Sat 02: Great North Big Band Jazz Festival @ Park View Community Centre, Chester-le-Street. 11:00am. £15.00.. Day 2/3. Senior bands in competition.
Sat 02: Frog & Henry @ St Augustine's Parish Centre, Darlington. 12:30pm.£10.00. Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club. Superb Anglo-American band!
Sat 02: The Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Repas7 by Night, 7 West St, Berwick TD15 1AS, 07900 627562. Tapas Specials from 5.00pm - showtime 8.00pm.
Sat 02: Cuba Libre @ Revolución de Cuba, Cloth Market, Newcastle. 6:00-9:00pm. Free.
Sat 02: Jeffrey Hewer Trio @ The Vault, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free.
Sat 02: Durham University Big Band @ Durham Students' Union, New Elvet, Durham. 7:30pm. £8.00.
Sat 02: Tom Remon & Laurence Harrison @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Sat 02: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Red Lion, Earsdon. 8:00pm. £3.00. The band’s 25th anniversary gig!
Sat 02: John Logan @ The Dyvels, Corbridge. 8:00pm. Rat Pack-style swing.

Sun 03: Great North Big Band Jazz Festival @ Park View Community Centre, Chester-le-Street. 11:00am. £10.00.. Day 3/3. School & Youth bands in competition.
Sun 03: Smokin’ Spitfires @ the Cluny, Newcastle. 12:45pm. £7.50.
Sun 03: Alan Law Trio plays Ahmad Jamal’s At the Pershing: But Not for Me & more @ Central Bar, Gateshead. 2:00pm. £10.00. The music of Ahmad Jamal.
Sun 03: Alice Grace & Ben Helm @ St Francis’ Church, High Heaton, Newcastle. 2:00-5:00pm. £12.00. (children free admission). A Children’s Society fundraiser. Two x 30 mins sets. Refreshments available, child-friendly event with participation of children encouraged!
Sun 03: Sax Choir @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00-5:00pm. Free (donations). Monthly workshop, all welcome (participant and/or listener).
Sun 03: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay Metro Station. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 03: ’58 Jazz Collective @ St George’s Venue, Park Road, Hartlepool. 3:30pm (refreshments from 2:30pm). £6.00.
Sun 03: Down for the Count: A Century of Swing @ The Fire Station, Sunderland. 7:00pm.
Sun 03: SH#RP Collective @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 03: Remy CB @ Blues & Bourbon, Nelson St., Newcastle. 9:00pm. Free. Newcastle University music student Remy Coulthard Boardman.

Mon 04: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.

Tue 05: Jam session @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free. House trio: Joe Steels, Paul Grainger, Michael Mather.

Wed 06: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 06: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 06: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

Thu 07: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 07: Ray Stubbs R & B All Stars @ The Schooner, South Shore Road, Gateshead. 8:00pm.
Thu 07: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig. Ragtime piano.
Thu 07: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm.

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Mike Durham's International Classic Jazz Party: Rendezvous with Rhythm - Ellington Small Bands in the 1930s + That's All - Annette Hanshaw + Hot Town! Fess Williams + The Professor + Is Everybody Happy? - Ted Lewis + Battle of the Bands - Henderson vs The Missourians + Sunday Night Pub Jam - Nov. 6

The Classic Jazz Party fails in one respect - it deprives festival goers of sleep. Year after year, from Thursday's late evening 'welcome concert' through to Sunday evening's late night jam session, there is little opportunity to get some shut eye. 

For some, Sunday began early - 10:00am or thereabouts - with the prospect of rummaging through a record dealer's stall of rare 78s. Yes, there is a market for the old shellac discs and here in West Allotment (the Village Hotel backs onto the village's terraced houses) the collectors were out in force. Sales, trades and deals were being done ahead of the third day of the 2022 Classic Jazz Party's noon start.

Anything 'Ellington' is a must and the afternoon's session included Claus Jacobi's presentation of Rendezvous with Rhythm - Ellington Small Bands in the 1930s. Small group recordings led by the likes of Cootie Williams, Johnny Hodges and Rex Stewart were under the microscope, with Jacobi (pictured) leading an Anglo-European outfit. Perhaps the late night (early hours of Sunday morning) finish to Saturday's pub jam did for the CJP's American contingent! Enrico Tomasso as Cootie and Rex, Lars FrankJean-François Bonnel and Jacobi taking turns in trying to emulate Hodges and co. This was the business! 

All the way from Chicago, Roya Naldi (photo left) sang a selection of songs associated with Annette Hanshaw. In devising the set, Michael McQuaid assembled a top notch ensemble including David Horniblow on the rarely-heard bass sax, Young Talent Award-winner Curtis Volp and, all the way from County Durham, virtuoso violinist Emma Fisk (pictured). Naldi's elegance, poise and nuanced reading of the material won her many new fans. 

Hot Town! - Fess Williams (photo at top) closed the afternoon session. Michael McQuaid led the charge supported by a heavyweight ensemble featuring Andy Schumm (cornet), Torstein Kubban (trumpet), four-strong reeds and pianist Andrew Oliver. This 'Hot Town' New York blast sent all 280 of us on our way. Time for dinner, then onto the last lap.

The final evening session of this year's Classic Jazz Party began with Andrew 'Piano Professor' Oliver at the Kawai. Few in the hall would have been aware of Oliver's one-time flirtation with contemporary jazz. Formerly resident in London, some years ago our man from Oregon toured Britain as part of an outfit which was, musically speaking, a million miles from what was heard here on North Tyneside. A fine set. 

Tom 'Spats' Langham showcased the 'high-hatted tragedian of song' in a half hour set titled Is Everybody Happy? - Ted Lewis. Dressed appropriately (high hat and spats), Langham peppered his set with anecdotes about his subject, Ted Lewis, playing guitar (unamplified, of course) and singing in his usual engaging manner. Anything Spats does has the Midas touch.

And to the final set of the 2022 Classic Jazz Party. Originally the brain child of the late Keith NicholsBattle of the Bands - Henderson vs The Missourians pitted two star-studded ensembles against one another in friendly but fierce competition to decide which band would be crowned 'best band'. BBC employee Jonathan Holmes brought along a state of the art digital 'clap-o-meter' (a decibel counter). The louder the applause, the higher the 'score', a simple method to determine the result.

A toss of the coin decided which of the two bands would take to the stage first. Claus Jacobi readied his troops (Fletcher Henderson's band), Michael McQuaid's Missourians would have to wait their turn. And so to battle!  There was a lot riding on this, professional pride if nothing else! 

Jacobi's men steadied themselves...charge! Andy SchummTorstein KubbanJon-Erik Kellso, that's some spearhead, played as if their lives depended upon it. The rhythm section - Jacob Ullberger (banjo, guitar), Malcolm Sked (tuba, string bass), Richard Pite (drums) - stoked the fires, at the end of each number, the clap-o-meter recording raucous applause. So loud was the hollering it would have come as little surprise if local residents half a mile away had reported an earthquake! 

McQuaid and co had it all to do. Rico Tomasso and Malo Mazurié were powerful allies, likewise pianist Colin Good. And then there was Josh Duffee, top man behind the traps. The Missourians gave as good as they got, the clap-o-meter pressed into action once more. Cue huge applause. The bandleaders weren't above a little chicanery. As one band was on stage, several of the opposition band's musicians paraded in front of the stage with banners proclaiming Vote Such and Such! If one band could stoop to such underhand tactics, so could the other. Mid-tune, banners were torn to shreds and thrown at the on-stage opposition! Such antics were met with a mix of cheers and boos! The music was superb, the comedic element all good fun. For the record, the contest was a close run thing, a mere four decibels separating the bands. And the winning band...Michael McQuaid's Missourians! Hurrah! Hiss! Boo!

A memorable weekend went out with a bang in the form of a third and final late night jam session. Trumpeters Torstein Kubban and Jon-Erik Kellso co-led the finale and once again it would prove to be a dizzying affair. To a man and a woman they got up to have a blow. Early morning calls for some (a 3:30am car to the airport) didn't deter the participants. Highlights were many, not least Analucia Tomasso singing like a dream and Félix Hunot (accomplished on guitar and banjo) singing On the Sunny Side of the Street. So many memories, next year (2023) there will be many more. Russell. (All Sunday's photos are © Malcolm Sinclair)

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