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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 ...


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, Abbie Finn.

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. Guests: Mark Toomey (alto sax); Donna Hewitt (tenor sax); Garry Hadfield (keys); Ron Smith (bass); Mark Hawkins (drums). 8:30pm.

Fri 08: Noel Dennis Quartet @ The Old Library, Auckland Castle. 1:00pm. £8.00. Noel Dennis (trumpet, flugelhorn); Rick Laughlin (keyboards); Mick Shoulder (double bass); Tim Johnston (drums).
Fri 08: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 08: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free. CANCELLED! Back on March 15.
Fri 08: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.

Sat 09: Alex Fawcett Band + Lindsay Hannon Blues Trio @ Sedgefield Parish Hall. 7:00pm. £15.00. A Sedgefield Rock & Blues Club event. Tickets:
Sat 09: Shunyata Improvisation Group @ Cullercoats Watch House. 8:00pm. Donations. A Watch House renovation fundraising concert.
Sat 09: Ray Stubb’s R&B All Stars @ The Peacock, Sunderland. 6:00pm. Free. Gig in the downstairs bar.

Sun 10: Am Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:30pm. Free.
Sun 10: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay Metro Station. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 10: Salty Dog @ The Lounge, Blyth. 4:00pm. Free.
Sun 10: Vintage Explosion @ Wylam Brewery, Newcastle.
Sun 10: Fraser Fifield: Secret Path Trio @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 10: Jazz Jam @ Fabio's, Saddler St., Durham. 8:00pm. Free. A Durham University Jazz Society event. All welcome.

Mon 11: Matthew Forster Quartet @ Yamaha Music School, Seaforth St., Blyth NE24 1AY. 1:00 - 1:45pm. £8.00. + bf.
Mon 11: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.

Tue 12: Lewis Watson Quartet @ Newcastle House Hotel, Rothbury. 7:30pm.

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Alex Clarke Quartet @ The Globe, Newcastle - Jan. 10

(© Debra Milne)
Alex Clarke (tenor sax, alto sax); Dave Newton (piano); James Owston (double bass); Clark Tracey (drums)

Post festive blues, end-of-the-month pay day seemingly a long way off, rain, wind, and the little matter of 52000 football fans heading to St James' Park for a League Cup quarter final tie, it all pointed to a low turn out for the first big jazz gig of the year at the Globe. On the approach to the Jazz Co-op's Railway Street premises vehicles were parked everywhere (on roads and pavements), black and white scarves making their way up to Gallowgate. Yes, the portents weren't good.

(© Ken Drew)
How wrong can one be? As the eight o'clock start approached the Globe was all but full. We were there to hear Alex Clarke on the first night of her nationwide tour. Alternating between tenor sax and alto sax, the 'rising star' of the British jazz scene just happened to have with her a hand-picked rhythm section - Messrs Dave Newton, James Owston and Clark Tracey. Labelling these three gents as a 'rhythm section' borders on insulting! Headliners in their own right, this was more 'superstar quartet' than anything else. 

(© Pam)
Tenor sax in hand, Clarke opened with Who Can I Turn To?. Solos all, regulation fours, we were on our way. Poor Butterfly (Clarke switching to alto), a mid-tempo Autumn Leaves, bandleader Clarke didn't go for the 'hard sell' when introducing Billy Strayhorn's Ballad for Very Tired and Very Sad Lotus Eaters, saying simply 'it's on the new album', (CDs were available on the night). Clarke played it as a duet with the masterful Dave Newton. Yes, masterful. A New Orleans shuffle brought in Beetroots Burn (an anagram of Bourbon Street). An A-list quartet, a listening audience, you could describe the first set as a 'resounding success'.   

Second set, alto sax, for a while we were were in bop territory - VoyageIt's You or No One, the new album's title track Only a Year (a Clarke original, referencing her brief time at Birmingham Conservatoire), the breadth of material and Clarke's undoubted composure, suggests the Jazz Co-op's guest star is going to have a long, illustrious career. The trio swung like the proverbials bringing in Just in Time, Clarke must be living the dream working with these guys - Newton and Tracey the senior men, Owston, like Clarke, an outstanding 'rising star'. At about twenty past ten Clarke thought it high time for an end-of-set blues. This Alex Clarke Quartet gig set the standard, the Jazz Co-op's 2023 gig diary features many 'big names', they've got it all to do. It's going to be a fun year. Russell    

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