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Bebop Spoken There

Dee Dee Bridgewater: “ Our world is becoming a very ugly place with guns running rampant in this country... and New Orleans is called the murder capital of the world right now ". Jazzwise, May 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.


16382 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 262 of them this year alone and, so far, 59 this month (April 20).

From This Moment On ...


Tue 23: Vieux Carre Hot 4 @ Victoria & Albert Inn, Seaton Delaval. 12:30-3:30pm. £12.00. ‘St George’s Day Afternoon Tea’. Gig with ‘Lashings of Victoria Sponge Cake, along with sandwiches & scones’.
Tue 23: Jalen Ngonda @ Newcastle University Students’ Union. POSTPONED!

Wed 24: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 24: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 24: Sinatra: Raw @ Darlington Hippodrome. 7:30pm. Richard Shelton.
Wed 24: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.
Wed 24: Death Trap @ Theatre Royal, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Rambert Dance Co. Two pieces inc. Goat (inspired by the music of Nina Simone) with on-stage musicians.

Thu 25: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 25: Jim Jams @ King’s Hall, Newcastle University. 1:15pm. Jim Jams’ funk collective.
Thu 25: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library, Gateshead. 2:30pm.
Thu 25: Death Trap @ Theatre Royal, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Rambert Dance Co. Two pieces inc. Goat (inspired by the music of Nina Simone) with on-stage musicians.
Thu 25: Jeremy McMurray & the Pocket Jazz Orchestra @ Arc, Stockton. 8:00pm.
Thu 25: Kate O’Neill, Alan Law & Paul Grainger @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 25: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests: Richie Emmerson (tenor sax); Neil Brodie (trumpet); Adrian Beadnell (bass); Garry Hadfield (keys).

Fri 26: Graham Hardy Quartet @ The Gala, Durham. 1:00pm. £8.00.
Fri 26: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 26: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 26: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 26: East Coast Swing Band @ Morpeth Rugby Club. 7:30pm. £9.00. (£8.00 concs).
Fri 26: Paul Skerritt with the Danny Miller Big Band @ Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.
Fri 26: Abbie Finn’s Finntet @ Traveller’s Rest, Darlington. 8:00pm. Opus 4 Jazz Club.

Sat 27: Abbie Finn Trio @ The Vault, Darlington. 6:00pm. Free.
Sat 27: Papa G’s Troves @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Sun 28: Musicians Unlimited @ Jackson’s Wharf, Hartlepool. 1:00pm. Free.
Sun 28: More Jam Festival Special @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00pm. Free. A ’10 Years a Co-op’ festival event.
Sun 28: Swing Dance workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00-4:00pm. Free (registration required). A ’10 Years a Co-op’ festival event.
Sun 28: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay Metro Station. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 28: Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox: The '10' Tour @ Glasshouse International Centre for Music, Gateshead. 7:30pm. £41.30 t0 £76.50.
Sun 28: Alligator Gumbo @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ’10 Years a Co-op’ festival event.
Sun 28: Jerron Paxton @ The Cluny, Newcastle. Blues, jazz etc.

Mon 29: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Mon 29: Michael Young Trio @ The Engine Room, Sunderland. 6:30-8:30pm. Free. ‘Opus de Funk’ (a tribute to Horace Silver).

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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