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Bebop Spoken There

Charles McPherson: “Jazz is best heard in intimate places”. (DownBeat, July, 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.


16590 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 483 of them this year alone and, so far, 29 this month (July 14).

From This Moment On ...


Fri 19: Luis Verde with the Dean Stockdale Trio @ The Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. SOLD OUT!
Fri 19: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 19: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 19: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 19: Luis Verde with the Dean Stockdale Trio @ Traveller’s Rest, Darlington. 8:00pm. Opus 4 Jazz Club.
Fri 19: Zoë Gilby Trio @ Seventeen Nineteen, Hendon, Sunderland. 7:30pm.

Sat 20: Snake Davis & Helen Watson Duo @ Chopwell Community Centre NE17 7HZ. 7:30pm. £17.50.

Sun 21: Paul Skerritt @ Hibou Blanc, Newcastle. 2:00pm.
Sun 21: Salty Dog @ The Globe, Newcastle. 3:00pm.
Sun 21: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Free. Sun 21: The Big Easy @ The White Room, Stanley. 5:00pm.
Sun 21: Ben Crosland Quartet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 22: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.

Tue 23: Nomade Swing Trio @ Newcastle House Hotel, Rothbury. 7:30pm. £10.00. Tickets from Tully’s of Rothbury or at the door (cash only). A Coquetdale Jazz event.

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: The Ronnie Scott’s Story @ The Fire Station, Sunderland. 7:30pm.
Wed 24: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.
Wed 24: Milne-Glendinning Band @ Cafédral, Owengate, Durham. 9:00pm. £9.00. & £6.00. A Durham Fringe Festival event.

Thu 25: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. Ragtime piano. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 25: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests: Garry Hadfield (keys); Noel Dennis (tpt); Richie Emmerson (tenor sax); Adrian Beadnell (bass).
Thu 25: Milne-Glendinning Band @ Cafédral, Owengate, Durham. 9:00pm. £9.00. & £6.00. A Durham Fringe Festival event.

Tuesday, May 09, 2023

SNJO unites east and west, ancient and modern in World of the Gods

(© Derek Clark)

(Press release) The Scottish National Jazz Orchestra unites Orient with Occident and a 2000-year-old musical tradition with contemporary improvisation in World of the Gods, which tours to Greenock, Perth and Edinburgh in late May.

Composed by SNJO artistic director Tommy Smith and incorporating traditional Japanese melodies, World of the Gods was first performed in 2010 and brings the orchestra together with the percussive choreography of the Mugenyko Taiko Drummers. 

"I saw a fascinating Taiko drumming documentary full of choreography, sounds of thunder and delicacy, skill, strength, and endurance," says Smith. “But I assumed I’d have to travel to Japan to find genuine Taiko drummers.”

(© Derek Clark)
The reality was quite different. Smith, who lives near Lanark, discovered that the UK's first and only professional Taiko group, Mugenkyo were closer to hand than he could have imagined.

"Although they tour all over the UK and Europe, I was astonished to discover that their Dojo (rehearsal space) is only 5 miles from my house,” says Smith. "They were very excited about working with the SNJO, and in 2010 and 2011, we had two successful tours in Scotland and England with World of the Gods. The audiences loved the spectacle of all these drums and the energy and musicality of Mugenkyo's performances."

Over the past thirty years, Mugenkyo has become synonymous with performances that are strikingly visual and range from industrially powerful rhythms to delicately expressive sequences and have thrilled audiences from Glastonbury to Cork Jazz Festival to the Last Night of the Proms. 

(© Derek Clark)

"World of the Gods is a project we've wanted to return to for some time," says Smith. "So we're looking forward to performing it again. We can justifiably say we'll bring the rumble of thunder but also the sweet fragrance of cherry blossoms in this music." 

The Scottish National Jazz Orchestra with Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers play World of the Gods at Beacon Arts Centre, Greenock, Friday 26th May; Perth Concert Hall, Saturday 27th May; and Queen's Hall, Edinburgh, Sunday 28th May.

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