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Bebop Spoken There

Billy Boy Arnold: “As long as you don't think old you're good.” - DownBeat, December, 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!"

Simon Spillett: A lovely review from the dean of jazz bloggers, Lance Liddle...


16051 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 15 years ago. 1058 of them this year alone and, so far, 12 this month (Dec. 6).

From This Moment On ...


Sun 10: Musicians Unlimited’s Xmas Party with Zoë Gilby Quartet @ Park Inn, Hartlepool. MU 1:00-3:00pm; Zoë Gilby Quartet 4:00-6:00pm. Tickets: £7.50.
Sun 10: Alan Law, Paul Grainger & Abbie Finn @ Darlington Market, Market Square, Darlington. 1:00pm. Free. A ‘Christmas Market’ outdoor gig. Wrap up warm!
Sun 10: Am Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00-4:00pm. Free.
Sun 10: Funk Soul Sista @ Stack, Seaburn. 5:00-7:00pm. Free.
Sun 10: Beth Clarke @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 7:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Sun 10: Hayley's Little Big Band @ Whittingham Memorial Institute, Alnwick. 7:30pm. £12.00., £10.00.
Sun 10: Tele-Port @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Line-up inc. Zhenya Strigalev.

Mon 11: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Mon 11: Interim Final Recitals @ Newcastle University. Details TBC.

Tue 12: Stu Collingwood Organ Trio @ Forum Music Centre, Darlington. 7:00pm. £10.00.

Wed 13: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 13: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 13: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.
Wed 13: Bold Big Band @ Cluny 2, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Wed 13: Giles Strong Quartet @ Alphabetti Theatre, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 14: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 14: Hot Fingers @ The Lubetkin Theatre, Peterlee. 7:00pm. £10.00.
Thu 14: After Hours Student Jazz Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free.
Thu 14: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. . Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 14: Niffi Osiyemi Trio @ Harbour View, Sunderland. 8:00pm. Free.
Thu 14: Mo Scott ‘Little Mo’s Festive Appearance’ @ The Schooner, Gateshead. 8:00pm. Free.
Thu 14: Tees Hot Club w. Kevin Eland, Josh Bentham, Garry Hadfield, Adrian Beadnell @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 15: Paul Edis @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. SOLD OUT!
Fri 15: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 15: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 15: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 15: Paul Skerritt @ Black Horse Inn, Crook. From 7:00pm.
Fri 15: Paul Edis: A Jazzy Christmas @ St Cuhtbert's Centre, Crook. 7:30pm. £15.00. SOLD OUT! Waiting list open.
Fri 15: Zoë Gilby Trio @ Seventeen Nineteen, Hendon, Sunderland. 7:30pm. £12.00. POSTPONED!
Fri 15: Strictly Smokin' Big Band @ Gosforth Civic Theatre, Newcastle. 8:00pm. First night of two. SOLD OUT!
Fri 15: Darlington Big Band @ Traveller’s Rest, Darlington. 8:00pm. £10.00. Opus 4 Jazz Club.
Fri 15: Baghdaddies @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £14.00.; £10.00.

Sat 16: Paul Edis: A Jazzy Christmas @ Sage Gateshead. 2:00pm. A Jazzy Christmas + Jambone.
Sat 16: Porritt & Barrett & Friends Xmas Special @ Cullercoats Watch House. 7:00pm. £4.00.
Sat 16: Milne-Glendinning Band @ The Vault, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free.
Sat 16: Red Kites Jazz Band @ The Staithes Café, Gateshead. 7:00pm--9:00pm.
Sat 16: Hayley's Little Big Band @ Ellingham Village Hall, Chathill. 7:30pm. £12.00., £8.00.
Sat 16: Paul Edis: A Jazzy Christmas @ Sage Gateshead. 8:00pm.
Sat 16: Strictly Smokin' Big Band @ Gosforth Civic Theatre, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Second night of two.

Sunday, February 26, 2023

Graham Collier – Down Another Road @ Stockholm Jazz Days ’69 (My Only Desire Records)

Graham Collier (double bass); Harry Beckett (trumpet, flugelhorn); Nick Evans (trombone); Stan Sulzmann (tenor, alto sax); Karl Jenkins (oboe, piano); John Marshall (drums).

British bassist/ composer Graham Collier, (extravagantly pschedelicised on the album cover, in keeping with the era when this album was recorded) shows on this album that any comparison with the bassist/composer that was Charles Mingus are not entirely just hot air. Of course it helps if you can surround yourself with absolute first-division talent to bring these compositions to life.

Collier had recorded the Down Another Road studio album in March 1969 and followed it up with a tour of European Festivals using the same group that had appeared on the studio recording. Of the music on the album, five tracks made it into the live set list with the seventeen and a half minute Danish Blue being replaced by the shorter Burblings For Bob.

Collier had, by 1969, fused what he had learned as the first British graduate of Berklee with influences from Mingus, Gil Evans and, to a lesser degree, Ellington along with the vibrancy of developing American funk and rhythm and blues and his English roots to create music with the breadth of those great American composers and arrangers and the drive of more contemporary sounds from outside of the jazz canon.

Of course all this attempted analysis of how Collier combined all of these American influences is tempered by the fact that the tunes on the album include one dedicated to a pub in the home counties, (The Barley Mow) and another named after a breed of Scottish cattle, or possibly a bloke from the granite city, (Aberdeen Angus).

From the off it sounds like there are more on stage than just the sextet. Opener, Burblings For Bob’s, discordant opening resolves itself into something balletic Beckett’s full voiced trumpet solo gains a melancholic backing from bass and piano before Sulzmann joins in to give a flowing solo that could have come from Gershwin. The group turns on a sixpence into a driving backing for more from Beckett with driving bass playing to the fore. Eight minutes into the first tune and already this group has shown more imagination than many achieve across a full album. Karl Jenkins’ oboe is an acquired taste. I suggest you acquire it quickly because it’s not the last time you’ll be hearing it.

Why the next piece is called Molewrench is beyond me. I will acknowledge the value of a good molewrench, having found one to be more effective than, for example, plumbers’ grips. In a small field this may well be the best known tool titled tune after MC Hammer’s Hammer Time. But enough whimsy. The piece itself is another driven by Collier’s muscular bass playing which is high in the mix as other instruments, including that oboe, dance around it. That propulsive force is maintained as the brass join in, Marshall very busy on the drums. This piece is nearly half as long again as the studio version so it really has time and space to develop. The discordant closing has a gospel call and response over the top and, as the two themes merge together, it is striking again exactly how much there is in this one track. Lullaby for A Lonely Child is a Karl Jenkins composition, the only non-Collier track on the album. It’s a slow paced, elegant piece that works as a showcase for Stan Sulzmann on alto.

Title track, Down Another Road, is a piece of finger-snapping R’n’B featuring a chirruping solo from Beckett on flugelhorn that grows into a long fluid solo in the higher register. As the rest of the band creep up on him Sulzmann takes off into a long, joyous solo that probably raised the roof on the night and blew a few valves for those listening to the live broadcast on Sveriges Radio.

The Barley Mow is a piece of English pastoralism, evoking the peace of the countryside in the Home Counties where the pub sits. Beckett’s flugelhorn and Jenkins’ sinuous oboe conjure up images of rolling hills and a disappearing way of life.

Collier’s bass and Jenkins’ piano roll us into closing track, Aberdeen Angus. This is another upbeat piece which, again, owes much to, then contemporary, soul music. It’s a joyous and celebratory way to close the set, even if we don’t get to find out if Angus is bovine or human. Marshall drives it from the back and it swings like a mommy-kisser.

For more information about Collier’s life and times I could do no better than direct you to John Fordham’s Guardian obituary from 2011.

Down Another Road @ Stockholm Jazz Days ’69 is available now from all of the usual retailers and from My Only Desire Records at

Dave Sayer

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