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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...

Josh Weir: I love the writing on bebop spoken here... I think the work you are doing is amazing.


16542 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 422 of them this year alone and, so far, 29 this month (June 17).

From This Moment On ...


Fri 21: Alan Barnes with Dean Stockdale Trio @ The Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. SOLD OUT!
Fri 21: Joe Steels’ Borealis @ The Gala, Durham. 1:00pm. £8.00.
Fri 21: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 21: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 21: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 21: Soznak @ The Bike Garden, Nunsmoor, Newcastle NE4 5NU. 5:00-9:00pm. Free.
Fri 21: Errol Linton + Michael Littlefield & Scott Taylor (King Bees) @ Gosforth Civic Theatre, Newcastle. 7:30pm. £20.00. Blues double bill.
Fri 21: Alan Barnes with the Dean Stockdale Trio @ Seventeen Nineteen, Sunderland. 7:30pm.
Fri 21: Strictly Smokin’ Big Band @ Alnwick Playhouse. 8:00pm. ‘Ella & Ellington’.
Fri 21: Mark Toomey Quartet @ Traveller’s Rest, Darlington. 8:00pm. Opus 4 Jazz Club.

Sat 22: Jason Isaacs @ Stack, Seaburn SR6 8AA. 12:30-2:30pm. Free.
Sat 22: Abbie Finn Trio @ The Vault, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free.
Sat 22: Hejira: Celebrating Joni Mitchell @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 7:30pm (doors). £22.50.
Sat 22: Rockin’ Turner Bros. @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Sun 23: Paul Skerritt @ Hibou Blanc, Newcastle. 2:00pm.
Sun 23: More Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00pm. Free.
Sun 23: Matt Carmichael @ St Mary’s Church, Wooler. 3:00pm. Carmichael (saxophone), Fergus McCreadie (piano), Charlie Stewart (fiddle). ‘Scottish jazz, folk-roots & landscape’ Wooler Arts: Summer Concerts.
Sun 23: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 23: Tweed River Jazz Band @ Barrels Ale House, Berwick. 7:00pm. Free.
Sun 23: Bede Trio @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 23: Leeway @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Sun 23: Jazz Jam @ Fabio’s Bar, Saddler St., Durham. 8:00pm. Free. A Durham University Jazz Society event. All welcome.

Mon 24: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Mon 24: Remy CB @ The Hoppings, Newcastle Town Moor NE2 3NH. 5:00-7:00pm.

Tue 25: Louise Dodds & Elchin Shirinov @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Wed 26: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 26: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 26: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

Thu 27: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 27: Jeremy McMurray & the Pocket Jazz Orchestra @ Arc, Stockton. 8:00pm.
Thu 27: The Joni Project @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Joni Mitchell.
Thu 27: Lindsay Hannon’s Tom Waits for No Man @ Harbour View, Roker, Sunderland. 8:00pm.
Thu 27: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. Ragtime piano. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 27: Loco House Band @ Bar Loco, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free.
Thu 27: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests: Richie Emmerson (tenor sax); Neil Brodie (trumpet); Garry Hadfield (keys); Adrian Beadnell (bass)

Saturday, October 21, 2023

Crazy Street, Number Zero


(© RAI)
Imagine switching on your TV any weekday evening around 8.15 and being treated to around 20 minutes of music and conversation, presented in a light and engaging way by a noted vocalist/actress and an internationally renowned jazz pianist.  Not something that you would find in the UK, but in Italy it’s a reality.

I first became aware of Stefano Bollani 20 years ago, when I heard him play in the quintet led by trumpeter Enrico Rava. It was clear then that Bollani had an outstanding talent and that he and Rava had a strong rapport.  This became even more evident when I saw them perform as a duo a few years later, promoting their album for ECM, The Third Man. In the meantime, Bollani’s career was flourishing, through both collaborations with the likes of Chick Corea, Phil Woods and Paul Motian, and a wide range of projects in his own right.  Seeing Bollani in a solo piano gig sometime afterwards, I was struck not only by his virtuosity but also by his extrovert nature – a real showman.

So, perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised to learn that he now co-presents a TV show.  But I was amazed to discover that this show currently goes out five days a week at prime time on one of Italy’s main channels (RaiTre).  The title of the show, Via dei Matti, n. 0, which translates as “Crazy Street, Number Zero”, refers to an Italian nursery rhyme of the same name. Bollani and his wife Valentina Cenni chat, play music, and welcome musicians from many genres.

According to the RaiPlay website, each episode is based on a different topic related to music: intriguing anecdotes, stories intertwined with philosophical reflections which give shape to a new musical universe where there are no distinctions between genres and, above all, no limits on thought.  This might sound highfaluting, but in fact the programmes flow easily and are very entertaining.  For example, a recent episode I watched whilst in Italy focused on dreams and surrealism. Bollani and Cenni discussed Erik Satie’s collaboration with Pablo Picasso for the ballet Parade and Bollani played an extract from Satie’s Ragtime du Paquebot. The presenters also spoke about Joan Miró’s love for jazz and his meeting in 1966 with his idol, Duke Ellington - unfortunately, neither man understood the other’s language!

To date, there have been more than 100 episodes, featuring jazz musicians such as trumpeters Paolo Fresu and Fabrizio Bosso; saxophonists Stefano Di Battista and Rosario Giuliani; clarinettist Gabriele Mirabassi; trombonist Gianluca Petrella; vocalists Sarah Jane Morris and Barbara Casini; pianists Dado Moroni and Danilo Rea; percussionist Trilok Gurtu; and drummers Jeff Ballard and Roberto Gatto.  Many Italian pop and classical musicians, as well as actors, have also appeared as guests. Critical reaction to the show has been overwhelmingly positive. The leading Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera describes it as “a rare pearl of Rai programming”.  According to another leading paper, La Repubblica, “you should go and live in Crazy Street, Number Zero”.

I’ve left the best news to last: you don’t need to go to Italy to watch the show!  All episodes are available here.  A knowledge of Italian would enable you to get the most from the programmes, but – even without that – there’s much to be enjoyed from the musical performances. Some of these are also available as stand-alone videos; for example, here’s a link to Bollani and Ballard playing Monk’s Bye-Ya* and the blues Second Line.

So, come on BBC, ITV, or Channel 4 – why can’t we have the same kind of prime time show in the UK?  With a North East connection in mind, how about having Paul Edis at the piano and vocals from Jo Harrop?  Or, thinking back to their entertaining living room gigs during lockdown, Zoë Gilby on vocals and Andy Champion on double bass could take centre stage.  As La Repubblica points out, it’s ridiculous to think about how much has been spent on the creation of absurd TV formats; rather, “peace of mind can always be found with a small idea and able people, to create a show characterised by dignity and talent”. Colin Muirhead


* The song was incorrectly listed as Epistrophy during the show; Bollani later corrected this.

1 comment :

Pippo said...

we are proud of this program, thank you for your flattering comment

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