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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 ...

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. CANCELLED! BACK ON JUNE 15.
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.

Fri 09: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 09: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 09: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 09: Castillo Nuevo @ Revolución de Cuba, Newcastle. 5:30-8:30pm.
Fri 09: Emma Rawicz @ Sage Gateshead. 8:00pm.

Sat 10: Miners' Picnic @ Woodhorn, Ashington. Music inc. Northern Monkey Brass Band (3:00-3:50pm); New York Brass Band (4:00-4:55pm).
Sat 10: Front Porch Three @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:00pm. Free. Americana, blues, jazz etc.
Sat 10: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A 'Jar on the Bar' gig.

Sun 11: WORKSHOP: Tim Richards' Jazz Piano Workshop @ JG Windows, Newcastle. Time TBC. Further details tel. 0191 232 1356.
Sun 11: Jeremy McMurray's Pocket Jazz Orchestra @ Ropner Park, Stockton TS18 4EF. 2:00-4:00pm. Free.
Sun 11: Am Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:30pm. Free.
Sun 11: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 11: Groovetrain @ Innisfree Sports & Social Club, Longbenton NE12 8TY. Doors 6:30pm. £15.00 (£7.00. under 16).
Sun 11: Jeffrey Hewer Collective @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 12: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Tue 13: Paul Skerritt @ The Rabbit Hole, Hallgarth St., Durham DH1 3AT. 7:00pm. Paul Skerritt's (solo) weekly residency.
Tue 13: Infusion Trio @ Forum Music Centre, Darlington. 7:30pm.
Tue 13: Alice Grace & Pawel Jedrzejewski @ Black Swan, Newcastle Arts Centre. 8:00pm. £12.00 (£10.00. adv.).

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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