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Bebop Spoken There

Tineke Postma: “ I had a huge crush on him [Sting] when I was a teenager ". Jazzwise, June 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.

Postage

16476 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 356 of them this year alone and, so far, 68 this month (May 24).

From This Moment On ...

May

Sun 26: Tyne Valley Youth Big Band @ The Sele, Hexham. 12:30pm. Free. A Northumberland Jazz Festival event.
Sun 26: Bellavana @ Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay. 1:00pm. Whitley Bay Carnival (outdoor stage).
Sun 26: Musicians Unlimited @ Jackson’s Wharf, Hartlepool. 1:00pm. Free.
Sun 26: Alice Grace @ The Sele, Hexham. 1:30pm. Free. Alice Grace w. Joe Steels, Paul Susans & John Hirst.
Sun 26: Bryony Jarman-Pinto @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. 3:00pm. A Northumberland Jazz Festival event.
Sun 26: Ruth Lambert Trio @ The Juke Shed, North Shields. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 26: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 26: Clark Tracey Quintet @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. 6:00pm. A Northumberland Jazz Festival event.
Sun 26: Saltburn Big Band @ Saltburn Community Hall. 7:30pm.
Sun 26: Ruth Lambert Quartet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 26: SARÃB @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.

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

Tue 28: Bold Big Band @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Wed 29: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 29: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 29: Jazz Night @ The Tannery, Hexham. 7:00-9:00pm. Free. The first night of a new jam session!
Wed 29: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

Thu 30: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 30: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Ragtime piano. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 30: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests Josh Bentham (sax); Neil Brodie (trumpet); Garry Hadfield (keys); Adrian Beadnell (bass);

Fri 31: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 31: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 31: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 31: Castillo Nuevo Trio @ Revoluçion de Cuba, Newcastle. 5:30pm. Free.
Fri 31: Borealis @ The Witham, Barnard Castle. 7:30pm. CANCELLED!
Fri 31: Redwell @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

June

Sat 01: Enrico Tomasso’s Swing Company @ St Augustine's Parish Centre, Darlington. 12:30pm. Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club.
Sat 01: Play More Jazz! workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. Tutor: Steve Glendinning.
Sat 01: Hop, Skiffle & Jump: The Story of Skiffle @ 1719, Hendon, Sunderland. 6:00-9:00pm.
Sat 01: Lindsay Hannon’s Tom Waits for No Man @ Dry Water Arts, Amble. 7:00pm. £15.00.
Sat 01: John Garner & John Pope @ Victoria Tunnel, Ouseburn, Newcastle. 7:00pm.
Sat 01: Milne-Glendinning Band @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

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 http://www.myonlydesirerecords.com/

Dave Sayer

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