Total Pageviews

Bebop Spoken There

Branford Marsalis: "As ignorance often forces us to do, you make a generalisation about a musician based on one specific record or one moment in time." - (Jazzwise June 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!"


15491 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 15 years ago. 512 of them this year alone and, so far, 133 this month (May 31).

From This Moment On ...


Fri 02: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 02: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 02: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 02: Joseph Carville Trio @ Saltburn Community Hall. 7:30pm.
Fri 02: Claire Martin & Her Trio @ The Witham, Barnard Castle. 7:30pm. £25.00., £20.00. Feat. Jim Mullen, Alex Garnett & Jeremy Brown.
Fri 02: Guy Davis + Michael Littlefield & Scott Taylor @ Cluny 2, Newcastle. Doors 7:30pm. Blues double bill.
Fri 02: Anders Ingram @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Blind Pig Blues Club. Country blues. A 'Jar on the Bar' gig.

Sat 03: Newcastle Record Fair @ Northumbria University, Newcastle NE8 8SB. 10:00am-3:00pm. Admission: £2.00.
Sat 03: Pedigree Jazz Band @ St Augustine's Parish Centre, Darlington. 12:30pm.
Sat 03: Play Jazz! workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. Tutor: Sue Ferris. £25.00. Enrol at:
Sat 03: Abbie Finn Trio @ The Vault, Darlington. 6:00pm. Free.
Sat 03: Rendezvous Jazz @ Red Lion, Earsdon. 8:00pm. £3.00.
Sat 03: Papa G's Troves @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A 'Jar on the Bar' gig.

Sun 04: Smokin' Spitfires @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 12:45pm.
Sun 04: Central Bar Quintet @ Central Bar, Gateshead. 2:00-4:00pm. £5.00. The Central Bar Quintet plays Sonny Rollins' Saxophone Colossus. Featuring Lewis Watson.
Sun 04: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 04: Struggle Buggy + Michael Littlefield @ Tyne Bar, Newcastle. 4:00pm. Free. Acoustic blues.
Sun 04: Swinging at the Cotton Club: Harry Strutters' Hot Rhythm Orchestra @ The Fire Station, Sunderland. 7:30pm.
Sun 04: Richard Jones Trio @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 04: Jam No. 18 @ Fabio's Bar, Saddler Street, Durham. 8:00pm. Free. All welcome. A Durham University Jazz Society event.

Mon 05: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Tue 06: Paul Skerritt @ The Rabbit Hole, Hallgarth St., Durham DH1 3AT. 7:00pm. Paul Skerritt's (solo) weekly residency.
Tue 06: Jam session @ Black Swan, Newcastle Arts Centre. 7:30pm. House trio: Stu Collingwood (piano); Paul Grainger (double bass); Sid White (drums).

Wed 07: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 07: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 07: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 07: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 08: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 08: Easington Colliery Brass Band @ The Lubetkin Theatre, Peterlee. 7:00pm. £10.00.
Thu 08: Faye MacCalman + Blue Dust Archive @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 7:00pm.
Thu 08: Dilutey Juice + Ceramic @ The Ampitheatre, Sea Road, South Shields. 7:00pm. Free. A South Tyneside Festival event.
Thu 08: Lara Jones w. Vigilance State @ Lubber Fiend, Blandford Square, Newcastle. 7:00pm.
Thu 08: Michael Littlefield @ the Harbour View, Roker, Sunderland. 8:00pm. Free. Country blues.
Thu 08: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman's Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Monday, February 27, 2023

Ant Law and Alex Hitchcock Quartet @ the Bridge Hotel - Feb. 25 (Take Two)

(© Ken Drew)

Some gigs make a big impression and lodge in your memory, for a host of reasons: the music, obviously,  but also the band, the audience, the venue, the vibe. This was one of those gigs!

Presented by Jazz North East, a return to upstairs at the Bridge Hotel as part of their policy to spread the love around great Newcastle venues. The event was pretty well sold out to capacity, and the reputation of the band could be measured by the stature of the many top north-east musicians in the audience rather than on stage for a change.

I was expecting a night of dazzling technique and clever composition, as all four virtuoso players are composers and band leaders and in their own right. I wasn’t disappointed in that regard, but what I wasn’t expecting was to be as shaken up and moved by the emotion and energy of a band in full flight, while also in full empathy with each other. 

Sensitively supportive ensemble playing, with uncannily precise unison playing, loose forms – solos merging into ensemble playing,  blending into a continuous, swirling and satisfying whole. If at times I didn’t know what was going on, or lost track of time signature or form, no matter - the telepathic musicality of the band swept us along in a rollicking helter skelter of varied grooves and textures.  

At the centre of the melodic maelstrom, the most remarkable rhythm section I’ve seen in many a year!  As the band trooped on, the statuesque Høiby dwarfed the diminutive Sun-Mi Hong. But any pre-conceived notions were soon dispelled as she delivered a masterclass of energetic but subtle drumming – roiling waves of sound interspersed with staccato offbeats,  and constantly shifting focus and texture.  Jasper Høiby, the renowned founder of jazz super-trio Phronesis, deployed his uniquely elegant rhythmic drive to great effect, propelling the band to ever greater heights. I last saw him at Sage Gateshead with Phronesis, but here he seemed a different character altogether: Nordic austerity replaced by jaunty smiles and hip wiggles, taking obvious delight in the playful interchanges between four master musicians. 

The twin leads of Law and Hitchcock took full advantage of such a platform and delivered a superb and under-stated reprise of numbers from Law’s recent album, Same Moon in the Same World.  Law’s subtle playing eschews the obvious plank-spanking motifs, preferring an array of seemingly relaxed effects and magical sounds conjured from the guitar.  

The high points of the night for me, apart from a drum solo which brought the biggest applause of the night, were the final two numbers: an “experimental” very tuneful new song Colours, and the stunning A Low Glow from the album to finish. Høiby changed up a gear for a solo here which was a sublime moment of musicality, transcending the physical limits the upright bass imposes on mere mortals. And in case we thought they were all about energy, groove and flying fingers, the elegiac Don't Wait Too Long managed to bring a tear to my eye as I gazed through the Bridge’s historic stained glass windows at the crescent moon and lit up trains passing in the night….

All in all, quite a night to remember and four names to watch whatever they do next. Chris K

1 comment :

Brian Bennett said...

Many thanks for your superbly written and detailed review, Chris. Although I wasn’t there you gave me a vivid impression of the performance, atmosphere and venue. Great stuff!

Blog Archive