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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: Mostly Moonlight @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 7:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig. Vocals/piano duo.
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. Guests: Mark Toomey (alto sax); Donna Hewitt (tenor sax); Garry Hadfield (keys); Ron Smith (bass); Mark Hawkins (drums). 8:30pm.

Sunday, February 19, 2023

Album review: Dave Liebman – Live At Smalls (Cellar Music Group)

Dave Liebman (saxophones); Peter Evans (trumpet); Leo Genovese (piano); John Hebert (bass); Tìyshawn Sorey (drums).

I do believe that Dave Liebman was one of the fortunate visiting stars that worked with the Voice of the North Orchestra back in the day. What a fine orchestra that was, it would probably be called a collective these days. 

Whilst that was probably a career highlight for Mr Liebman, as it would be for any American lucky enough to visit Darlington, he is probably still best known for his membership of Miles Davis’ group back in the days of On The Corner which came out in 1972. Leo Genovese has also been up this way, performing in a group at a Sage jazz festival one year with Joe Lovano, Esperanza Spalding and Jack DeJohnette. Both Tyshawn Sorey and Peter Evans have extensive discographies as both leaders and sidemen so there is quality, here, throughout the ranks.

Last January found Dave Liebman at Smalls in New York recording this collection of free jazz pieces with, it must be said, a very fine band. Liebman had undergone a hip operation six weeks earlier (what other kind of operation would there be for a jazzman?) and this was his return to the stage.

This is Dave Liebman in free mode across three long pieces, The Beginning, The Middle  and The End  which clock in at 15, 33 and 25 minutes, respectively. It is intense stuff which gives time and opportunity for each player to contribute. Although it’s billed as free jazz and the sleeve notes expound at length on the liberation offered by this freedom there are moments when it anchors onto something, a groove or a familiar pattern of notes, that will feel more secure to many listeners, before such secure handholds fall away, back into something more overwhelming. Conversely, there are moments that require close concentration, which is rewarded, when it becomes clearer how the musicians are relating to each other’s contribution.

At times the music is delicate, almost furtive, with only spare interjections behind a single lead instrument, as delicate as lacework. At others it’s full-on, a high speed train rush, in take-no-prisoners mode. This music is, however, a marvellous blend of competition and co-operation. Whilst there are rapid changes of direction, what you notice most is the flow. It keeps moving forward with whoever has the lead at any time pulling the others onward like a marathon relay whilst the lead goes where the spirit takes them. Even when most fall back and one instrument steps forward, such as during John Hebert’s bass solo at the end of The Beginning, there are still prompts from drums and piano to maintain the momentum and the idea of the group.

It’s impossible to single anyone out for specific praise as the baton passes back and forth so frequently each relishes their moments in the spotlight and there is imagination and energy in abundance. That sentence should be followed by a ‘But’ and references to Sorey’s powerhouse drumming, ride cymbal work and cymbal splashes, or Genovese’s dazzling piano runs, or Evans’ burning trumpet solos, but (again), it’s the ensemble working together that comes through. And it all comes back to the flow.

Live At Smalls, which is listed on some websites as Lost In Time, is available now from the usual outlets. Anyone with a further interest in Liebman’s work should head over to Dave Sayer

1 comment :

Russell said...

Back in the day (2011) Leo Genovese was in Michael Janisch's band at Newcastle's Lit & Phil and three years later he appeared at the Gateshead International Jazz Festival.

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