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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

Sat 25: Tyne Valley Big Band @ Bywell Hall, Stocksfield. 2:30pm.
Sat 25: Baghdaddies @ Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Whitley Bay Carnival (outdoor stage).
Sat 25: Northern Monkey Brass Band @ Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay. 4:30pm. Whitley Bay Carnival (outdoor stage).
Sat 25: Paul Edis Trio w. Bruce Adams & Alan Barnes @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. 6:30pm. A Northumberland Jazz Festival event.
Sat 25: Nubiyan Twist @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.
Sat 25: Papa G’s Troves @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Sun 26: Bellavana @ Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay. 11:00am. Whitley Bay Carnival (outdoor stage).
Sun 26: Tyne Valley Youth Big Band @ The Sele, Hexham. 12:30pm. Free. A Northumberland Jazz Festival event.
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.
Fri 31: Redwell @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Friday, March 31, 2023

Lakecia Benjamin Quartet + the Deschanel Gordon Trio @ Jazz Café, Camden, London - March 27

Lakecia Benjamin (alto sax); Zaccai Curtis (piano); EJ Strickland (drums); Ivan Taylor (bass).

Lakecia Benjamin proudly wears her John Coltrane/Pharoah Sanders influences on her golden leather jacketed sleeve. It’s what was the new thing 60 years ago but now remade for this century.

Her opening solo is an explosive statement of intent. There is no build-up, no subtlety; with the trio she is part of an avalanche of sound, climbing, searching, soaring, her long locks wrapped around her face and horn as she plays. Her music is rooted in the melancholy of the blues with a ferocious defiant refusal to accept the world as it is built on top. One of her songs turns into a rap “A shot rings out, A black man is down, IT’S NOT FOR ME.” She and Strickland face off, challenging each other to go louder, to bring more of it, whatever it might be. Benjamin is an energetic performer, there is no stillness to her; the trio take station at the edges of the small stage leaving room for her leaps and wanderings during the set.

She slows proceedings at one point for a duet with Curtis on Amazing Grace, her solo pierces the sky and follows that with a melancholic swoop back to earth. Up next, Jubilation is a return to the thunder with Strickland’s drumming even mightier than what has gone before; after the duet with Curtis, this is a duel with Strickland. Taylor is the anchor at the back holding it all together as the theme turns up on the sax, no, it’s over there on the piano, solos everywhere but great ensemble playing too.

She introduces the band and herself (Lake CIA, she says, “Like the Government”) and then, for the avoidance of doubt, Benjamin leads off the next tune on her own and her solo leads us into a fast and furious My Favorite Things. Steve said “She’s fantastic” and then he had to leave to catch the last train. My new best friend, Ian the postman from Muswell Hill, and me were grinning at each other like daft things. Jazz as a communal force for good! Her album, Phoenix, (reviewed here on BSH) is tremendous and still my favourite of the year so far, but the live experience is so much better!

I told her manager afterwards to bring her to Newcastle. She said she’d look into it.

Deschanel Gordon (piano) plus bass and drums

You get used to jazz gigs being a first hour, half hour break, second hour and home with no support and that a support act always comes as a bit of a surprise and the fear that, if they’re not very good, you’ve wasted time that could have been better spent listening to the headliner. Not tonight, however. Deschanel Gordon won the Young Jazz Musician of the Year Award in 2020 and, as my mate Steve said, “He can really play.” There’s touches of Oscar Peterson in there and, at other times, thoughts turn to Herbie Hancock and Count Basie but most of the time I was busy being impressed by the delicacy of his touch and the complexity of some of the rhythms he and the others (whose names I didn’t catch) ran through. Less complex moments came with a reggae lilt and a hint of Gershwin in a more romantic interlude. Half an hour very well spent. Dave Sayer (and Steve)

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