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Bebop Spoken There

Tineke Postma: “ I had a huge crush on him [Sting] when I was a teenager ". Jazzwise, June 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.


16462 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 342 of them this year alone and, so far, 54 this month (May 18).

From This Moment On ...


Thu 22: Olly Styles (saxophone): Stage 2 recital @ The Music Sudios, Newcastle University. 10:00am. Free, all welcome.
Thu 23: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 23: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library, Gateshead. 2:30pm.
Thu 23: Castillo Nuevo Trio @ Revoluçion de Cuba, Newcastle. 5:30pm. Free.
Thu 23: Immortal Onion + Rivkala @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 7:00pm.
Thu 23: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests: Jeremy McMurray (keys); Dan Johnson (tenor sax); Donna Hewitt (alto sax); Bill Watson (trumpet); Adrian Beadnell (bass).

Fri 24: Hot Club du Nord @ The Gala, Durham. 1:00pm. £8.00. SOLD OUT!
Fri 24: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 24: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 24: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 24: Swannek + support @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. Time TBC.

Sat 25: Tyne Valley Big Band @ Bywell Hall, Stocksfield. 2:30pm.
Sat 25: Baghdaddies @ Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Whitley Bay Carnival (outdoor stage).
Sat 25: Paul Edis Trio w. Bruce Adams & Alan Barnes @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. 6:30pm. A Northumberland Jazz Festival event.
Sat 25: Nubiyan Twist @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.
Sat 25: Papa G’s Troves @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Sun 26: Tyne Valley Youth Big Band @ The Sele, Hexham. 12:30pm. Free. A Northumberland Jazz Festival event.
Sun 26: Musicians Unlimited @ Jackson’s Wharf, Hartlepool. 1:00pm. Free.
Sun 26: Alice Grace @ The Sele, Hexham. 1:30pm. Free. Alice Grace w. Joe Steels, Paul Susans & John Hirst.
Sun 26: Bryony Jarman-Pinto @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. 3:00pm. A Northumberland Jazz Festival event.
Sun 26: Ruth Lambert Trio @ The Juke Shed, North Shields. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 26: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 26: Northern Monkey Brass Band @ Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay. 4:30pm. Whitley Bay Carnival (outdoor stage).
Sun 26: Clark Tracey Quintet @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. 6:00pm. A Northumberland Jazz Festival event.
Sun 26: Saltburn Big Band @ Saltburn Community Hall. 7:30pm.
Sun 26: Ruth Lambert Quartet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 26: SARÃB @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.

Mon 27: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.

Tue 28: Bold Big Band @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Wed 29: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 29: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 29: Jazz Night @ The Tannery, Hexham. 7:00-9:00pm. Free. The first night of a new jam session!
Wed 29: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

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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