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Bebop Spoken There

Greg Osby: “I have my own style, my own attitude, my own opinions about things. I'm not a follower". DownBeat, February, 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.

Postage

16221 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 103 of them this year alone and, so far, 47 this month (Feb. 18).

From This Moment On ...

February 2024

Wed 21: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 21: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 21: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

Thu 22: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 22: Student Performances @ King’s Hall, Newcastle University. 4:00pm. Free. Inc. Remi Coulthard-Boardman (voice).
Thu 22: Crooners @ Darlington Hippodrome. 7:30pm. £30.00., £27.00., £24.00., £18.00.
Thu 22: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Ragtime piano. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 22: Soznak @ The Schooner, South Shore Road, Gateshead. 8:00pm.
Thu 22: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests Kevin Eland (trumpet); Josh Bentham (sax); Garry Hadfield (keys); Ron Smith (bass).

Fri 23: Mark Williams Trio @ The Gala, Durham. 1:00pm. £8.00.
Fri 23: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 23: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 23: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 23: Salty Dog Trio @ The Greenhouse, Tynemouth. 7:00pm. £8.00. (£6.00. adv.).
Fri 23: Crooners @ The Maltings, Berwick upon Tweed. 7:30pm. £30.00., £28.00.
Fri 23: Strictly Smokin' Big Band w Dennis Rollins @ Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.

Sat 24: NUJO Jazz Jam @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 7:00pm (doors). Free (donations). A Newcastle University Jazz Orchestra event, all welcome.
Sat 24: Bradley Creswick’s Western Swingfonia @ Hexham Abbey, Hexham. 7:30pm. £15.00. A fundraiser for Hexham Abbey.
Sat 24: Papa G’s Troves @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

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. 2:30pm. 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: Ruth Lambert Quartet @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 8:00pm (7:00pm doors). £12.00., £10.00. (adv.).

Saturday, May 20, 2023

Maze feat. Frankie Beverly Live In New Orleans...

...is one of the iconic live soul albums, though on this side of the pond we know the best time and space to see them was the eighties at Hammersmith Odeon. Frankie Beverly knows this too.

By the time they arrived in the TV studios in '83 his voice  was shot, but those of us who’d just seen them (and I’d seen them three times) forgave him because we knew he gave 1000% night after night. I saw them at the end of the nowties and his voice was shot then and recently saw an interview where he conceded this was the price of him giving everything but claims he still does it because people want him to and forgive him and the audience sing all the words anyway.

Many things got me to N’Awlins but if there’d been just one, it would be the opportunity to see Maze one last time, and in the city they recorded the album that took them to another level. By the final day we’d decided we were going to concentrate entirely on this show. If Mrs T was prepared to sacrifice Tom Jones I was prepared to accept I’m just not destined to see Herbie Hancock after many near misses over many years. At the entrances to the jazz tent people were jockeying for positions in the hope that they may catch a glimpse of, probably the greatest living jazz musician still performing, on one of the screens.

The situation on the Congo Stage was equally desperate. It looked like the entire black population of Louisiana had descended on the festival with their one-day pass, each armed with a chair, and a table per family. We found a space where we could just about see one of the screens. The warm-up act was a DJ and our seated neighbours seemed to accept us when they realised we knew all the words to all the songs, one lady referring to me as a soul man, though I’d have felt safer if they’d flashed the video for Too Many Games on the screen, complete with me shaking hands with Frankie Beverly at Hammersmith Odeon in 1985.

 

When they finally arrived it became clear his voice was even worse than I imagined and he seemed frail compared to recent footage. None of the classic band remained and he didn’t introduce them, rap with the audience or reference N’Awlins. It became clear that many hadn’t realised his voice wasn’t what it used to be which enabled us to gradually move forward and really get into the party. His voice improved for a while from the funky Runnin’ Away and the spectacle of tens of thousands of people grooving and singing along, small kids, old folks, and cool dudes dancing in unison in small groups across the field. I was certain they’d play the almost entirely instrumental Twilight which they recorded two versions of and was a part of their set, but he would generally play piano on it and didn’t play piano or guitar at all during the set.

The final track was I Wanna Thank You and in many respects I did this to say thank you: for the music, the memories, the best five (out of nine) gigs I ever saw. Maze were the tail-end of the classic soul/funk bands but I find young people more interested in them than the more heavyweight bands who came before, largely due to his extraordinary unique soulful voice but also because, across a little over nine studio albums worth, there really isn’t a bad track. I suspect Black America’s best kept secret may become less of a secret in the future. Steve T            

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