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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 ...

Tue 06: Paul Skerritt @ The Rabbit Hole, Hallgarth St., Durham DH1 3AT. 7:00pm. Paul Skerritt's (solo) weekly residency.
Tue 06: Jam session @ Black Swan, Newcastle Arts Centre. 7:30pm. House trio: Stu Collingwood (piano); Paul Grainger (double bass); Sid White (drums).

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.

Saturday, May 20, 2023

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