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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.


16476 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 356 of them this year alone and, so far, 68 this month (May 24).

From This Moment On ...


Thu 30: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
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. 8:30pm. Guests Josh Bentham (sax); Neil Brodie (trumpet); Garry Hadfield (keys); Adrian Beadnell (bass);

Fri 31: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 31: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 31: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 31: Castillo Nuevo Trio @ Revoluçion de Cuba, Newcastle. 5:30pm. Free.
Fri 31: Borealis @ The Witham, Barnard Castle. 7:30pm. CANCELLED!
Fri 31: Redwell @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.


Sat 01: Enrico Tomasso’s Swing Company @ St Augustine's Parish Centre, Darlington. 12:30pm. Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club.
Sat 01: Play More Jazz! workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. Tutor: Steve Glendinning.
Sat 01: Hop, Skiffle & Jump: The Story of Skiffle @ 1719, Hendon, Sunderland. 6:00-9:00pm.
Sat 01: Edison Herbert Trio @ The Vault, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free.
Sat 01: Lindsay Hannon’s Tom Waits for No Man @ Dry Water Arts, Amble. 7:00pm. £15.00.
Sat 01: John Garner & John Pope @ Victoria Tunnel, Ouseburn, Newcastle. 7:00pm.
Sat 01: Milne-Glendinning Band @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Sun 02: Musicians Unlimited @ West Hartlepool RFC, Hartlepool. 12 noon. Two sets (12 noon-1:00pm & 2:00-3:00pm). ‘Sunday Big Band Blast meets WHRFC’s Classic Car Show’.
Sun 02: Smokin’ Spitfires @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 12:45pm. £7.50.
Sun 02: Mark Williams Trio @ Central Bar, Gateshead. 2:00pm. £10.00.
Sun 02: Sax Choir @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00pm.
Sun 02: New Century Ragtime Orchestra @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 2:30pm. Free. A 'Jar on the Bar' gig. A 'pint sized' NCRO gig/rehearsal session feat. Dave Hignett, Jim McBriarty, Gavin Lee, Keith Stephen, Phil Rutherford with special guest drummer Nick Ward.
Sun 02: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 02: Anth Purdy @ The Quakerhouse, Darlington. 6:30pm. Free. ‘Swing Jazz Guitar’.
Sun 02: MSK @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 03: John Garner & John Pope @ Yamaha Music School, Blyth. 1:00pm. £8.00.
Mon 03: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.

Tue 04: Jam session @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free. House trio: Ben Phillips, Paul Grainger, Abbie Finn.

Wed 05: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 05: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 05: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Book review: Alyn Shipton - The Gerry Mulligan 1950s Quartets

The ninth volume in OUP's Studies in Recorded Jazz series, based around Gerry Mulligan's 1950s quartet recordings, and meticulously covered in detail by musician, bandleader, broadcaster, author and jazz authority Alyn Shipton, is surely the definitive work yet to appear on one of the, if not the, greatest jazz baritone saxophonists of all time.

As the title implies, the writer concentrates on that magical decade where, apart from the hard bop sounds that were emerging from the Blue Note studios, there were also various chamber jazz ensembles emerging such as the Modern Jazz Quartet and Dave Brubeck. However, not only did Mulligan get in there ahead of the rest but he was, arguably, at that time the first to do so without harmonic support from piano or guitar.

Baritone and trumpet, initially with Chet Baker and later with Jon Eardley, Art Farmer and Bob Brookmeyer (on valve trombone),  plus bassists such as Bob Whitlock, Carson Smith or Bill Crow and drummers Chico Hamilton, Dave Bailey and Gus Johnson, the quartet carved their names in jazz history.

Shipton analyses each session in depth, frequently including printed transcriptions to demonstrate a particular point.

These are invaluable except: They are written in concert key making it essential for an instrumentalist to transpose to make them playable. The author explains that this is to make it easier for the reader to assimilate the harmonies or for a pianist to play over on the piano. This would work if it had been in a ring-bind folder ... 

However, apart from that - and if you are of an age to have grown up with the quartets your eyesight couldn't cope anyway - this is, without doubt, the definitive work. Not just about the quartets but also his earlier work as sideman/arranger with Thornhill, Krupa and Miles and the later recordings and tours with the Gerry Mulligan Concert Jazz Band - one of the great 'mini' big bands (13 pieces).

Although Mulligan's early heroin addiction (it came with the territory back then) and his subsequent imprisonment is dealt with factually it is neither glamorised nor sensationalised as was the case with so many of his contemporaries most notably Chet Baker.

Likewise, his private life whilst noted is respected up to the death of the love of his life Judy Holliday.

There's an excellent discography that had me digging out those albums I already have whilst making notes to check out those ones that I don't have.

Highly recommended. Lance 

Alyn Shipton: The Gerry Mulligan 1950s Quartets. Publisher: Oxford University Press ISBN 978-0-19-757976-3

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