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Bebop Spoken There

Delfeayo Marsalis: "Slide Hampton once told me that it's not always the person that is playing the highest or playing the fastest that's making the greatest impact." - (DownBeat March 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!"


15229 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 15 years ago. 248 of them this year alone and, so far, 61 this month (March 20).

From This Moment On ...


Mon 20: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Mon 20: Central Bar Quintet plays Wes Montgomery @ Central Bar, Gateshead. 7:30pm. Feat. Joe Steels.

Tue 21: Paul Skerritt @ The Rabbit Hole, Hallgarth St., Durham DH1 3AT. 7:00pm. Paul Skerritt's (solo) weekly residency.
Tue 21: Jam session @ Black Swan, Newcastle Arts Centre. 7:30pm. House trio: Jacob Egglestone (guitar); Jamie Watkins (bass guitar); Bailey Rudd (drums).

Wed 22: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 22: Darlington Big Band @ Traveller's Rest, Cockerton. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public). Note change of venue - this week only.
Wed 22: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 22: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 23: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 4:00-6:00pm. Free.
Thu 23: NUJO Jazz Jam @ Bar Loco, Newcasatle. From 6:30pm 'til late. Free. Newcastle University Jazz Orchestra jam session. All welcome (students & non-students).
Thu 23: Kerrin Tatman + John Garner & John Pope @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 7:00pm.
Thu 23: Sunna Gunnlaugs & Julia Hülsmann @ Sage Gateshead. 8:00pm. A two-piano gig. A Sage Gateshead-JNE promotion.
Thu 23: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Ragtime piano.
Thu 23: Sleep Suppressor @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £10.00., £8.00. adv. Upstairs.
Thu 23: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman's Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 24: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 24: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 24: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 24: FILM: Mo' Better Blues @ Forum Cinema, Hexham. 7:00pm.
Fri 24: Ian Millar & Dominic Spencer @ Scarth Hall, Staindrop, Co. Durham. 8:00pm. £10.00.
Fri 24: Archipelago + Bulbils @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 7:00pm.

Sat 25: Vermont Big Band @ Walker Community Centre, Walker, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Fundraiser for Benfield Juniours Football Club. Hot food available, BYOB.
Sat 25: John Logan & Friends @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Rat Pack, Motown etc. 8:00pm. Free (donations).

Sun 26: Musicians Unlimited @ Park Inn, Hartlepool. 1:00pm.
Sun 26: More Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 26: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 26: Outlines @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. JNE promotion (upstairs).

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

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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