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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.

Sunday, May 21, 2023

Strictly Smokin' Big Band: Harlem '58 @ Queen's Hall, Hexham - May 20

The Strictly Smokin' Big Band on tour. Who'd have thought it? From the band's formation (MD Michael Lamb was still at school!) through to a string of successful concerts at Hoochie Coochie, Sage Gateshead and elsewhere, not forgetting the now legendary Christmas shows at Gosforth Civic Theatre, the Strictly Smokin' can do no wrong. Art Kane's famous 1958 group portrait photograph of a gathering of the great and good of the jazz world outside a NYC brownstone sparked the idea of touring a concert programme inspired by and commemorating the momentous occasion.

Half an hour before curtain up, in an all but deserted auditorium, a woman took her front row seat. Looking at a projected image high above the stage (see photo), the woman asked if tonight's band was from Harlem. Not exactly, replied your correspondent...  
As the house lights dimmed, the near full house heard the strains of Basie's Avenue C. The recorded music gave way to the SSBB's rhythm section seamlessly picking up the tune. The horns took it up, the auditorium reverberating to the sound of the Basie band/SSBB. MD Michael Lamb as narrator began to tell the story of Art Kane and a truly 'Great Day in Harlem'. Famous, indeed legendary, musicians 'walked out' of the photograph into the Queen's Hall spotlight. Historical context, both musical and political, gave a sense of time and place. Our MD handed on the narrative baton to several members of the orchestra who, in turn, would introduce the next number and onto the next. 

As an ensemble the SSBB is as good as they come. What places the band a cut above most others is a plethora of outstanding soloists in all sections; variously Pete Tanton (turbo-charged trumpet on Night in Tunisia), Chris Kurgi-Smith (trombone), all five of the reeds - Jamie Toms, Matt Forster (Body and Soul a feature), Steve Summers (alongside star vocalist Alice Grace, blowing the solo of the night on Social Call), Keith Robinson (Horace Silver's Song for My Father), Sue Ferris (baritone, brilliant, full stop). And then there was Mr Graham Don, seated at the Queen's Hall's Steinway concert grand. From Basie to Mary Lou Williams to Horace Silver, Graham had it all at his fingertips.

The Strictly Smokin' boasts a top class rhythm section (guitarist Pawel 'Pav' Jedrzejewski, bassist Michael Whent and drummer Guy Swinton), excellent sections and, to top it off, the band's quite wonderful vocalist, Ms Alice Grace. Harlem '58 is a show for the jazz nut and anyone who appreciates excellent musicianship presented with flawless professionalism. The Strictly Smokin' Big Band's tour continues, check out forthcoming dates at: Russell
Strictly Smokin' Big Band: Michael Lamb (MD), Pete Tanton, Dick Stacey, Gordon Marshall (trumpets); Jamie Toms, Matt Forster, Keith Robinson, Steve Summers, Sue Ferris (reeds); Mark Ferris, Kieran Parnaby, Chris Kurgi-Smith, John Flood (trombones); Pawel Jedrzejewski (guitar); Graham Don (piano, keyboards); Michael Whent (bass guitar); Guy Swinton (drums); Alice Grace (vocals)

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