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Bebop Spoken There

Ambrose Akinmusire: “ I am certainly always aware of what the masses are doing. And when I see too many people going one way, I'm going another way - even when I don't know what's over that way". DownBeat, March, 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.


16233 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 115 of them this year alone and, so far, 59 this month (Feb. 23).

From This Moment On ...

February 2024

Sun 25: Musicians Unlimited @ The Park Inn, Hartlepool. 1:00pm. Free.
Sun 25: More Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:30pm. Free.
Sun 25: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay Metro Station. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 25: Lindsay Hannon: Tom Waits for No Man + Lee Maddison @ Laurels, Whitley Bay. 4:00pm (3:30pm doors). £11.00., £8.80. inc. bf. SOLD OUT!
Sun 25: Bex Burch + Rachel Musson @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £11.00. Two solo performances. JNE.
Sun 25: Jazz Jam @ Fabio's, Saddler St., Durham. 8:00pm. Free. A Durham University Jazz Society event. All welcome.

Mon 26: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.

Tue 27: Meditative Soundscapes - Improvised Music @ Earthlings - Healing Cafe, Buckingham St., Newcastle NE4 5QR. 7:00-8:30pm. Feat. Johannes Dalhuijsen, Richard Herdman, Nick Bagnall & Michael Olatunji.
Tue 27: Ruth Lambert Quartet @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 8:00pm (7:00pm doors). £12.00., £10.00. (adv.).

Wed 28: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 28: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 28: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

Thu 29: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 29: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library, Gateshead. 2:30pm.
Thu 29: Student Performances @ King’s Hall, Newcastle University. 4:00pm. Free. Inc. Olly Styles (saxophone).
Thu 29: ’58 Jazz Collective @ Hops & Cheese, Hartlepool. 7:00pm. Free.
Thu 27: Student Jazz Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Thu 29: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests: Richie Emmerson (tenor sax); Josh Bentham (alto sax); Graham Thompson (keys); Adrian Beadnell (bass).

Fri 01: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 01: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 01: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 01: Wind Ensemble + Big Band + Jazz Combo + R&B Band @ Boiler House, Newcastle University. 5:30pm. Free.
Fri 01: Joseph Carville Trio @ Saltburn Community Hall. 7:30pm.
Fri 01-Sun 03: Great North Big Band Jazz Festival @ Park View Community Centre, Chester-le-Street. From 8:00pm Friday. Weekend ticket: £20.00.
Fri 01: TBC @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig. Blind Pig Blues Club.
Fri 01: Great North Big Band Jazz Festival @ Park View Community Centre, Chester-le-Street. £10.00. Day 1/3. Musicians Unlimited + Festival Band.

Sat 02: Great North Big Band Jazz Festival @ Park View Community Centre, Chester-le-Street. 11:00am. £15.00.. Day 2/3. Senior bands in competition.
Sat 02: Frog & Henry @ St Augustine's Parish Centre, Darlington. 12:30pm.£10.00. Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club. Superb Anglo-American band!
Sat 02: Play Jazz! workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. Tutor: TBC. £25.00. Enrol at:
Sat 02: The Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Repas7 by Night, 7 West St, Berwick TD15 1AS, 07900 627562. Tapas Specials from 5.00pm - showtime 8.00pm.
Sat 02: Durham University Big Band @ Durham Students' Union, New Elvet, Durham. 7:30pm. £8.00.
Sat 02: Tom Remon & Laurence Harrison @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Sat 02: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Red Lion, Earsdon. 8:00pm. £3.00. The band’s 25th anniversary gig!
Sat 02: John Logan @ The Dyvels, Corbridge. 8:00pm. Rat Pack-style swing.

Saturday, March 04, 2023

The Great North Big Band Jazz Festival - Friday March 3

If it's Park View Community Centre in Chester-le-Street, it can only be one thing, that's the Great North Big Band Jazz Festival! Yes, the GNBBJF is celebrating its twentieth year and Friday's opening concert presented Musicians Unlimited and a specially formed Festival Big Band. The weather was kind (dry and mild), perhaps a crucial factor in pulling an audience. And a good crowd duly turned up. The bar was open, programmes detailing the weekend's schedule were available, seats were taken, we were all set to go.

Mick Donnelly has been running Musicians Unlimited for, well, a very long time. Based on Teesside, the band, having recently returned to its long time base, the Park Inn, Hartlepool, opened in some style. Donnelly conducts the ensemble with vigour and no little humour. Big hitters peppered the ranks - Josh Bentham, tenor sax, Sue Ferris, tenor sax, Mark Toomey, alto sax, Dave Brocklesby and Terry O'Hern, trombones, Kevin Eland and Bill Watson, trumpets and a purring rhythm section comprising Paul Donnelly, guitar, Rick Laughlin, piano, Mick Shoulder, bass and drummer John Bradford. And not forgetting the vocalists...first up, Paul Skerritt singing That's Life

Charts old and older were dusted off, including On Green Dolphin Street which has been in the pad for twenty years and more. Emancipation Blues highlighted the ensemble's top class brass players, In the Mood (the Doc Severinsen arrangement) rattled along with Ferris and Toomey trading for fun. And not forgetting the band's other vocalist...Jan SpencelayhThey Can't Take That Away from Me sang Jan, later returning to the stage to cheekily suggest Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps. Mr S (Paul Skerritt) bowed out with a tremendous version of Georgia (the late Dave Connolly's arrangement for the band). Musicians Unlimited closed the show with a showstopper, featuring Sue Ferris' flute on Tito Puente's Oye Como Va.

Earlier in the evening the GNBBJF's Festival Big Band presented an accessible, entertaining opening set. The six-strong female reeds were directed by MD Bill Watson (moving from the trumpet section to front of stage and back again), the brass boys more than up to the job - Tom Hill and Gordon Marshall in the trumpet section, Terry O'Hern in the bones and a familiar looking piano, bass and drums rhythm section (see Musicians Unlimited). 

From Bill Bailey (a saxophone section feature) to Cute, a drum feature (cue John Bradford) to Gordon Marshall playing beautifully on You Stepped Out of a Dream to Barbara Fagan's alto sax feature on Harlem Nocturne, the Festival Big Band (very much an occasional band) did the job and more. To close a most enjoyable set, pianist Rick Laughlin brought in Sammy Nestico's swinging arrangement of Sweet Georgia Brown. It had been a cracking start to the 2023 GNBBJF. Day two (Saturday) presents a slew of senior big bands in competition mode from 11:00am.  Russell

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