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Bebop Spoken There

Art Blakey: "You [Bobby Watson] don't want to play too long, because you don't know they're clapping because they're glad you finished!" - (JazzTimes, Nov. 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!"


15848 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 15 years ago. 855 of them this year alone and, so far, 53 this month (Sept. 18).

From This Moment On ...


Fri 22: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 22: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 22: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 22: Brief Encounter @ Bardon Mill Village Hall, Northumberland. 7:00pm. Tickets: £10.00. adv from 07885 303166; £12.00. on the door. Chris & Veronica Perrin improvising to a screening of the 1929 'Jazz Age' silent film Piccadilly (Dir. Ewald André Dupont).
Fri 22: Paul Edis & Graeme Wilson + Three Tsuru Origami @ Jesmond United Reformed Church, Newcastle. 7:30pm. A Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music event.
Fri 22: Crooners @ Tyne Theatre, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Fri 22: Abbie Finn's Finntet @ Traveller's Rest, Darlington. 8:00pm. Opus 4 Jazz Club.

Sat 23: Tyne Valley Big Band @ Tanfield Railway, Gateshead. 2:00-4:00pm. Free. A '1940s Weekend' event.
Sat 23: Jason Isaacs @ Stack, Seaburn. 3:30-5:30pm. Free.
Sat 23: Andrew Porritt & Keith Barrett @ Cullercoats Watch House, Front St., Cullercoats NE30 4QB. 7:00pm.
Sat 23: Michael Woods @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A 'Jar on the Bar' gig. Country blues.

Sun 24: Musicians Unlimited @ Park Inn, Hartlepool. 1:00pm. Free.
Sun 24: More Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00pm. Free.

Mon 25: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Mon 25: Michael Young Trio @ The Engine Room, Sunderland. 7:00pm.

Tue 26: Paul Skerritt @ The Rabbit Hole, Hallgarth St., Durham DH1 3AT. 7:00pm. Paul Skerritt's (solo) weekly residency.

Wed 27: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 27: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 27: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 28: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 28: Alice Grace Quartet @ King's Hall, Newcastle University. 1:15pm. Free.
Thu 28: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library, Gateshead. 2:30pm. All welcome.
Thu 28: Faye MacCalman + Snape/Sankey @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 7:00pm.
Thu 28: Zoe Rahman @ Jesmond United Reformed Church, Jesmond, Newcastle. 7:30pm. A Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music event.
Thu 28: '58 Jazz Collective @ Hops & Cheese, Hartlepool. 7:30pm.
Thu 28: Speakeasy @ Queen's Hall, Hexham. 7:30pm. £15.00. A Southpaw Dance Company presentation. Dance, audio-visuals, Count Basie, Benny Goodman, swing dancers etc.
Thu 28: Mick Cantwell Band @ Harbour View, Sunderland. 8:00pm. Free. Ace blues band.
Thu 28: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman's Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

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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