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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.

Friday, May 05, 2023

The Ronnie Scott's All Stars: Ronnie Scott's Soho Songbook @ the Fire Station, Sunderland - May 4

James Pearson (MD, piano); Natalie Williams (vocals); Alex Garnett (tenor sax, vocals); Jeremy Brown (double bass); Luke Tomlinson (drums)

Gerrard Street, Frith Street, Ronnie, Pete, the Krays, Zoot, zoot suits, sepia-tinted photographs, black and white photographs, colour too, all projected onto a large screen, setting the scene for a night of the Ronnie Scott's All Stars Soho Songbook. It's three hundred miles or so from Soho to Sunderland but, for one night only, Wearside laid claim to being the jazz capital of the world. The Fire Station is Sunderland's cultural pride and joy and to see the place packed to the rafters suggests there is an audience out there for jazz, jazz and more jazz*

From time to time Ronnie Scott's Artistic Director James Pearson takes the show on the road. This evening Pearson arrived on High Street West with tour regulars Natalie Williams and Alex Garnett and two top class 'house band' deps in the form of Jeremy Brown and Luke Tomlinson. As the lights dimmed, grainy footage and poor audio (adding to the ambiance) of Ronnie Scott in his Frith Street office transported us to another time, a time from way back when. Scott's legendary one-liners were replicated on stage by born-and-bred Londoner, tenor saxophonist Alex Garnett's narrative as he and the band took us on a musical journey through time and place, from the 'Old Place' via the Big Apple to 47 Frith Street. 

I'm Sick and Tired of Waking Up Sick and Tired opened the show and from here on in Pearson and co - and the audience - had a ball. In due course Garnett would reveal that the tenor in his hands once belonged to the man, Ronnie Scott. MD Pearson sought to make connections: How many of you have been to Ronnie Scott's? A forest of hands shot up. Pearson no doubt thought his supplementary question would draw a blank: Did anyone go to the 'Old Place'? From the back of the hall one or two voices replied: Yes! Cue a round of applause. 

The 'names' were mentioned as if old friends...Jimmy Deuchar, Tubby Hayes (Tubbs to NYC, Zoot Sims in exchange), Ella, Miles, Ben Webster, Zoot and many, many more. As a trio, Pearson, Brown and Tomlinson swung like nobody's business, there has to be a gig for them 'up north' sometime. Vocalist Natalie Williams never fails to impress and this evening here in Sunderland it could be said she was better than ever. A 'proper' jazz singer - dynamics, phrasing, range, the lot. We heard Ella - Did anyone ever see Ella live? enquired Williams. A lone voice (your correspondent) answered: Yes. Williams, quick as a flash: I'm jealous! Williams singing/scatting Ella's How High the Moon will live long in the memory. We heard Sassy, Dinah, Nina, what a performance, what a night!

The deps - Brown and Tomlinson - had their moment(s) in the spotlight. At one point drummer Tomlinson's band mates left the stage all to himself as he got stuck into Frith Street favourite Buddy Rich's Sing, Sing, Sing drum solo. Mesmerising, a 'party piece' you could say. Thunderous applause at its conclusion. 

The Ronnie Scott's 'franchise', if that's what it is, certainly pulls an audience. It had been quite a night. A standing ovation suggests that in the not too distant future Pearson and co will be making a return visit to Sunderland.      

Has Sunderland's Fire Station cracked it? In the short time since the venue opened it has presented several excellent jazz concerts with more in the pipeline. A series of well attended concerts, now this evening's standing room only concert, we could be entering a 'golden age' for jazz in Sunderland. The Fire Station's next jazz concert features Harry Strutter's Hot Rhythm Orchestra and the Lindy Hop Dance Company. They'll be Swinging at the Cotton Club on Sunday 4 June. Book now at:           

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