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Bebop Spoken There

Steve Fishwick: “I can’t get behind the attitude that new is always somehow better than old” - Jazz Journal, April 15, 2019,

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...


16034 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 15 years ago. 1041 of them this year alone and, so far, 73 this month (Nov. 27).

From This Moment On ...


Tue 28: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Victoria & Albert Inn, Seaton Delaval NE25 0AT. 12:30pm. ‘Afternoon Jazz Tea Party’ £12.00. Tickets from: 0191 237 3697.
Tue 28: Full Score & Durham University Jazz Orchestra @ St Oswald’s Church, Durham. 7:00pm. £8.00., £7.00. conc., £6.00. DSM. ‘Singing with a Swing’. In support of the Angel Trust.
Tue 28: Pete Tanton’s Chet Set @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. £12.00., £10.00. Doors 7pm/Music 8pm.

Wed 29: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 29: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 29: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 30: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 30: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 7:30pm (7:00pm doors). Tickets: £25.00. inc. buffet. A Gatsby themed evening.
Thu 30: Jools Holland's R & B Orchestra @ Newcastle City Hall. 7:30pm.
Thu 30: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Ragtime piano. A 'Jar on the Bar' gig.
Thu 30: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman's Club, Middlesbrough. Guest band night: Mark Toomey Quintet (Mark Toomey, sax; Paul Donnelly, guitar; Jeremy McMurray, keys; Peter Ayton, bass; Mark Robertson, drums). 9:00pm.

Fri 01: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 01: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 01: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 01: Paul Skerritt @ All Saints’ Church, Eastgate, Co. Durham. 7:00pm. Xmas Tree Fest.
Fri 01: Alligator Gumbo @ Saltburn Community Hall. 7:30pm.
Fri 01: Nu Sound Brass @ Billy Bootlegger’s, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free.
Fri 01: Struggle Buggy w. Jim Murray @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Blind Pig Blues Club. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Sat 02: Paula Jackman's Jazz Masters @ St Augustine's Parish Centre, Darlington. 12:30pm. £10.00.
Sat 02: Play Jazz! workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. Tutor: Steve Glendinning. £25.00. Enrol at:
Sat 02: Abbie Finn Trio @ Claypath Deli, Durham. 7:00pm.
Sat 02: Tenement Jazz Band @ John Marley Centre, Newcastle. Swing Tyne Winter Social. £8.00. + bf. Advance purchase only, no admission at the door. BYOB. Lindy hop workshop from 11:00am. £39.00.
Sat 02: Zoë Gilby Quartet @ The Masham, Hartburn Village, Stockton. 7:00pm. Feat. Noel Dennis.
Sat 02: Classic Swing @ The Nuthatch, 9 - 11 Bedford St, Middlesbrough TS1 2LL. 7:00-9:00pm. Classic Swing in trio format.
Sat 02: Paul Skerritt w. Danny Miller Big Band @ Westovian Theatre, South Shields. 7:30pm.
Sat 02: Vermont Big Band @ Whitley Bay FC. 7:30pm. £10.00. (inc. hot buffet). Tickets available from WBFC’s Seahorse pub club house.
Sat 02: Milne-Glendinning Band @ Ponteland Social Club, Northumberland. 7:30pm. £18.00 (inc. stotties & soup supper). A fundraiser for Hexham Constituency Labour Party.
Sat 02: Tom Remon & Laurence Harrison @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Sat 02: Rendezvous Jazz @ Red Lion, Earsdon. 8:00pm. Xmas party night inc. buffet & special raffle. £3.00.
Sat 02: Groovetrain @ The Unionist Club, Laygate, South Shields. 9:00pm.

Sun 03: The Central Bar Quartet @ Central Bar, Gateshead. 2:00pm. £10.00. The Central Bar Quartet plays Lou Donaldson’s Gravy Train. Featuring Jamie Toms.
Sun 03: Paul Skerritt @ Smith’s Arms, Carlton, Stockton-on-Tees. 7:00pm.
Sun 03: Johnny Hunter Quartet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 03: Jam session @ The Schooner, Gateshead. 8:00pm. Free.

Mon 04: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Mon 04: Northern Monkey Brass Band @ People’s Kitchen, Bath Lane, Newcastle. From 5:30pm. On-street gig supporting the work of the People’s Kitchen charity. Wrap up warm! Donate!
Mon 04: Michael Young Trio w Lindsay Hannon @ The Engine Room, Sunderland. 7:00pm. Free.
Mon 04: James Birkett Trio @ The Black Bull, Blaydon. 8:00pm. £8.00.
Mon 04: Durham University Jazz Orchestra + Durham University Big Band @ Durham Castle DH1 3RW. 8:30pm. £6.00.; £5.00. concs; £4.00. DSM. ‘Jazzy Christmas’.

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Album review: Zoe Rahman – Colour of Sound (Manushi Records)

Zoe Rahman (piano); Alec Dankworth (double bass) Gene Calderazzo (drums); Idris Rahman (tenor/alto sax, clarinet); Rowland Sutherland (flutes); Rosie Turton (trombone) + Alex Ridout (trumpet/flugelhorn on 3 tracks); Byron Wallen (trumpet on 1 track).

Zoe Rahman has mainly recorded solo, duo and trio albums thus far in her career, occasionally augmenting the line-up, but this, from what I can see is her first album with a group as large as this sextet (plus occasional extras). Hopefully, most of these folks will be joining her on stage when she plays the Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music at the Jesmond United Reformed Church   on Sept. 28. She is, thankfully, a frequent visitor to the North East, not being one of that fancy London crowd who may have heard of us, but seem incapable of finding us on the map.

To the music, then. It’s a lovely album underpinned by Rahman’s heavy duty, rolling solid Tyner-ish piano and she has premier league support from jazzers old and new. It’s that combination you always hope for with an album like this of top drawer ensemble arrangements and impressive soloing. None of the tunes feels like it outstays its welcome, though I’d rather some did and hopefully the band will be able to stretch out more when the album is played live.

If there are any weaknesses it’s in the fact that Messrs Ridout and Wallen appear on trumpet and/or flugelhorn on only 4 of 8 tracks. That said, the high points of the second track, For Love, (which does include Alex Ridout), are the solos from the Rahman siblings, Idris’ squealing, argumentative sax first and then a solid, weighty, rolling solo from Zoe.  Those solos rose out of the group arrangements; by contrast stripped back support allows solos from Idris on clarinet, Alec Dankworth on bass and some lyricism from Zoe to feature front and centre on Little Ones.

My favourite is probably Go With the Flow which is built on a very solid foundation by Zoe on piano. A strong fluid melody breaks down for a piano solo from the leader in which she intermingles those heavy chords again intercut with more fluid runs. Dankworth follows on, showing that for a nepo baby he’s still one of the best bass players in the country.

If you want unadorned Zoe Rahman, she gives us this, firstly, on Roots. Solo and as part of a piano/bass/drums trio her playing is simply stunning, melodies cast behind her like discarded explosives. It’s energetic, complex, involving and wonderful by whatever measure you use. She gives us a more lyrical, contemplative version of her playing on Peace Garden to close out the album.

This is another album that will slot onto the right hand of the shelf where the album of the year contenders sit in our house, though I suspect it will get a lot of spins before the list is compiled. This is an exceptionally good album. It has already bagged the coveted number one slot on the Jazzwise magazine office chart and undoubtedly there will be an article and review to follow next month.

Colour of Sound is released on July 7 in CD and download formats and is available to order HERE on Bandcamp and through all the usual outlets. Tickets for her Festival gig are available HERE but they are selling quickly so don’t hang about! Dave Sayer

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