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Bebop Spoken There

Steve Fishwick: “I can’t get behind the attitude that new is always somehow better than old” - Jazz Journal, April 15, 2019,

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...


16034 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 15 years ago. 1041 of them this year alone and, so far, 73 this month (Nov. 27).

From This Moment On ...


Sun 03: Smokin’ Spitfires @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 12:30pm. £7.50.
Sun 03: The Central Bar Quartet @ Central Bar, Gateshead. 2:00pm. £10.00. The Central Bar Quartet plays Lou Donaldson’s Gravy Train. Featuring Jamie Toms.
Sun 03: Paul Skerritt @ Smith’s Arms, Carlton, Stockton-on-Tees. 7:00pm.
Sun 03: Johnny Hunter Quartet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 03: Jam session @ The Schooner, Gateshead. 8:00pm. Free.

Mon 04: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Mon 04: Northern Monkey Brass Band @ People’s Kitchen, Bath Lane, Newcastle. From 5:30pm. On-street gig supporting the work of the People’s Kitchen charity. Wrap up warm! Donate!
Mon 04: Michael Young Trio w Lindsay Hannon @ The Engine Room, Sunderland. 7:00pm. Free.
Mon 04: James Birkett Trio @ The Black Bull, Blaydon. 8:00pm. £8.00.
Mon 04: Durham University Jazz Orchestra + Durham University Big Band @ Durham Castle DH1 3RW. 8:30pm. £6.00.; £5.00. concs; £4.00. DSM. ‘Jazzy Christmas’.

Tue 05: Customs House Big Band @ All Saints Church, Cleadon. 7:00pm. Concert in the church hall. BYOB.
Tue 05: Jam session @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free. House trio: Michael Young, Paul Grainger, Sid White. The best free show in town!

Wed 06: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 06: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 8:00pm. Free. Note later start time, concert performance (open to the public).
Wed 06: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 07: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free CANCELLED!
Thu 07: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay, Newcastle. 12 noon - 4:00pm. £26.00 (inc 3-course meal in in St Mary's Lighthouse Suite). SOLD OUT!
Thu 07: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library, Gateshead. 2:30pm. All welcome.
Thu 07: Thursday Night Prayer Meeting @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.Donations. Feat. Mark Sanders.
Thu 07: Indigo Jazz Voices @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:45pm. £5.00. Downstairs.
Thu 07: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 08: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 08: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 08: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 08: Hayley's Little Big Band @ Woodland Village Hall, Bishop Auckland. 7:00pm. £12.00.
Fri 08: Sleep Suppressor + Redwell @ Head of Steam, Neville St., Newcastle. 8:00pm. £10.00. (£8.00. adv); £5.00. student.
Fri 08: Hot Club du Nord @ St Cuthbert's Church, Shadforth, Co. Durham.
Fri 08: Têtes de Pois + Nauta @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £12.00., £8.00.

Sat 09: Castillo Nuevo Trio @ Revoluçion de Cuba, Newcastle. 5:30pm. Free.
Sat 09: Abbie Finn Trio @ Claypath Deli, Durham. 7:00pm.
Sat 09: Hayley's Little Big Band @ Middleton & Todridge Village Hall, Morpeth. 7:30pm. £12.00., £6.00.
Sat 09: Paul Skerritt @ Slaley Hall, Hexham NE47 0BX. 7:30pm. From £42.00.

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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