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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.).

Monday, May 15, 2023

Hexham Jazz Festival: Claire Martin & Jamie Safir + Joe Steels' Borealis - May 14

For the final night of the 2023 Hexham Jazz Festival the focus switched from Hexham Abbey to Queen's Hall Arts Centre. A conventional theatre space with a large stage and a Steinway piano, the scene was set fair for the weekend's headline performer, Claire Martin. A 5:00am start saw Ms Martin setting off from her Brighton home to meet up with pianist Jamie Safir in the Northumberland market town to sing a selection of songs inspired by her 'Jazz Divas'.     

Claire Martin (vocals); Jamie Safir (piano) + Jo Harrop (vocals)

Cole Porter's At Long Last Love opened the show and from the down beat Claire Martin was in imperious form. As accompanists go, Jamie Safir is up there with the best of them; bold, creative, responsive, sensitive, the perfect foil to Martin. George Gershwin (The Man I Love), Vernon Duke (Autumn in New York, with rarely sung verse), Martin's selections were crowd-pleasing and, equally, songs Martin wanted to sing. 
Ms Martin moved from mic stand to centre stage, to leaning against the Steinway, expressive vocals, a 'jazz' singer for sure. Tipping her metaphorical hat to Ernestine Anderson, Ella Fitzgerald (Lover Come Back to Me), Georgie Fame, Shirley Horn (Come Back to Me), remembering Richard Rodney Bennett and Tina May (Lazy Afternoon), our star performer pretty well covered the waterfront.

An unexpected, but welcome, bonus delighted the audience when Ms Martin invited Ms Jo Harrop to join her and Jamie to sing Old Devil Moon. This was a first time collaboration, you could say it was a success! The audience wanted more and Claire Martin obliged as she and Jamie Safir went out on a blues. A fine finale to this year's Hexham Jazz Festival.        

Earlier in the evening, guitarist Joe Steels' Borealis gave its inaugural performance right here in Hexham. A six piece outfit drawn from across Cumbria, Northumberland and north of the border, the original material embraces an ethereal, Metheny-esque element allied to a decidedly folk feel. The members of the band are from these here rural parts and, no doubt, have an attuned ear to Steels' compositions. 

Borealis: Joe Steels (guitar); Asha Nicholson (voice); Ferg Kilsby (trumpet); Dan Brown (piano); Paul Susans (double bass); John Hirst (drums)

The Tyne Valley's rising star trumpeter Ferg Kilsby (shortly to begin a music degree course in London) got to grips with the material, pitching in on the opener, Re:emerge, later in the set blowing some tremendous post-bop lines. Vocalist Asha Nicholson (a new name to BSH) is listed as 'voice' rather than 'vocals'. Think Norma Winstone and you're in the ball park, unison lines with Kilsby were particularly effective. Pianist Dan Brown, based in Glasgow, earlier in the day made the trip from Skye in order to make this Hexham performance. And what a revelation Brown was! A team player with a percussive edge, it'll be good to hear more from D Brown.

Bassist Paul Susans, heard earlier in the day at the Forum Cinema (see review), played an integral part; great 'woody' sound, walking through the material, most impressive. And then there was the man at the back, tucked in the corner, local lad, Berklee graduate John Hirst. As drummers go, he's right up there. A recent Steels' composition, Lady Day, paying homage to, of course, Billie Holiday, slotted in nicely alongside original material from the band's debut album (physical CDs will be available soon!). Russell                                                                                                                                               


Dave said...

The first song I heard by Claire Martin was The People That You Never Get To Love which was on a BBC Newcastle Jazz Programme in 1992 when her first album came out. It remains my favourite. I've never heard her sing it live before last night and the 31 year wait was worth it.
Dave Sayer

Chris Kilsby said...

Hats off to Russell for his unstinting 3-day support of the nascent Hexham (Hexhampstead?)Jazz Festival, and thoughtful and comprehensive reporting for BSH despite train strikes and the vagaries of the Tynedale Ten bus!

Borealis' debut album available for listen, purchase and pre-order on CD on Bandcamp at :

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