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Bebop Spoken There

Ambrose Akinmusire: “ I am certainly always aware of what the masses are doing. And when I see too many people going one way, I'm going another way - even when I don't know what's over that way". DownBeat, March, 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.


16233 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 115 of them this year alone and, so far, 59 this month (Feb. 23).

From This Moment On ...

February 2024
Tue 27: Meditative Soundscapes - Improvised Music @ Earthlings - Healing Cafe, Buckingham St., Newcastle NE4 5QR. 7:00-8:30pm. Feat. Johannes Dalhuijsen, Richard Herdman, Nick Bagnall & Michael Olatunji.
Tue 27: Ruth Lambert Quartet @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 8:00pm (7:00pm doors). £12.00., £10.00. (adv.).

Wed 28: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 28: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 28: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

Thu 29: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 29: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library, Gateshead. 2:30pm.
Thu 29: Student Performances @ King’s Hall, Newcastle University. 4:00pm. Free. Inc. Olly Styles (saxophone).
Thu 29: ’58 Jazz Collective @ Hops & Cheese, Hartlepool. 7:00pm. Free.
Thu 27: Student Jazz Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Thu 29: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests: Richie Emmerson (tenor sax); Josh Bentham (alto sax); Graham Thompson (keys); Adrian Beadnell (bass).

Fri 01: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 01: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 01: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 01: Wind Ensemble + Big Band + Jazz Combo + R&B Band @ Boiler House, Newcastle University. 5:30pm. Free.
Fri 01: Joseph Carville Trio @ Saltburn Community Hall. 7:30pm.
Fri 01-Sun 03: Great North Big Band Jazz Festival @ Park View Community Centre, Chester-le-Street. From 8:00pm Friday. Weekend ticket: £20.00.
Fri 01: TBC @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig. Blind Pig Blues Club.
Fri 01: Great North Big Band Jazz Festival @ Park View Community Centre, Chester-le-Street. £10.00. Day 1/3. Musicians Unlimited + Festival Band.

Sat 02: Great North Big Band Jazz Festival @ Park View Community Centre, Chester-le-Street. 11:00am. £15.00.. Day 2/3. Senior bands in competition.
Sat 02: Frog & Henry @ St Augustine's Parish Centre, Darlington. 12:30pm.£10.00. Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club. Superb Anglo-American band!
Sat 02: Play Jazz! workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. Tutor: TBC. £25.00. Enrol at:
Sat 02: The Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Repas7 by Night, 7 West St, Berwick TD15 1AS, 07900 627562. Tapas Specials from 5.00pm - showtime 8.00pm.
Sat 02: Durham University Big Band @ Durham Students' Union, New Elvet, Durham. 7:30pm. £8.00.
Sat 02: Tom Remon & Laurence Harrison @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Sat 02: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Red Lion, Earsdon. 8:00pm. £3.00. The band’s 25th anniversary gig!
Sat 02: John Logan @ The Dyvels, Corbridge. 8:00pm. Rat Pack-style swing.

Sun 03: Great North Big Band Jazz Festival @ Park View Community Centre, Chester-le-Street. 11:00am. £10.00.. Day 3/3. School & Youth bands in competition.
Sun 03: Smokin’ Spitfires @ the Cluny, Newcastle. 12:45pm. £7.50.
Sun 03: Alan Law Trio plays Ahmad Jamal’s At the Pershing: But Not for Me & more @ Central Bar, Gateshead. 2:00pm. £10.00. The music of Ahmad Jamal.
Sun 03: Alice Grace & Ben Helm @ St Francis’ Church, High Heaton, Newcastle. 2:00-5:00pm. £12.00. (children free admission). A Children’s Society fundraiser. Two x 30 mins sets. Refreshments available, child-friendly event with participation of children encouraged!
Sun 03: Sax Choir @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00-5:00pm. Free (donations). Monthly workshop, all welcome (participant and/or listener).
Sun 03: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay Metro Station. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 03: ’58 Jazz Collective @ St George’s Venue, Park Road, Hartlepool. 3:30pm (refreshments from 2:30pm). £6.00.
Sun 03: Down for the Count: A Century of Swing @ The Fire Station, Sunderland. 7:00pm.
Sun 03: SH#RP Collective @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 03: Remy CB @ Blues & Bourbon, Nelson St., Newcastle. 9:00pm. Free. Newcastle University music student Remy Coulthard Boardman.

Mon 04: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.

Tue 05: Jam session @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free. House trio: Joe Steels, Paul Grainger, Michael Mather.

Thursday, October 26, 2023

The Elina Duni and Rob Luft Duo – Songs of Love and Exile @ Kings Place, London. Oct. 22

Elina Duni (vocals and tambour); Rob Luft (guitar) plus, for 3 songs, James Kitchman (guitar).

This was a concert of music for the twenty-first century nomad including songs from Germany, Scotland, the Balkans, all four corners of the Mediterranean and on further south into Africa. Songs from across the ages as well; the oldest piece is from Egypt in the 1300s. Duni’s rich voice is set against a palette of Rob Luft’s psychedelic space folk from that hitherto unexplored point where Pat Metheny, John Martyn and Steve Hillage meet. Using more pedals than the Raleigh factory, Luft and his trusty Gibson semi-acoustic archtop uses echoes, loops and reverb to create an orchestra behind Duni as her voice rises through the scales to a full force impassioned wail and drops back to a whisper.

Duni treats each song as a dramatic vignette as she inhabits each character at the heart of the lyric. Thus, during the second song, Bella Ci Dormi, a tragic Italian piece she is passionate, singing of yearning and loss, dramatically reaching out. On another she is a Parisian boulevardier, scatting her way up the scales indulging in a little call and response with Luft’s guitar. 

Lamma Badaa Yatathana is the ancient Egyptian number with Luft’s delicately plucked Arabic swirls and Duni’s gentle hand drum, it’s another dramatic performance. Luft plays dazzling, crystalline single note runs reminiscent of Metheny in his early days. One of the high points of the first set was an Albanian folk song which originated in Pristina in Kosovo in the 1960s. It’s another song of loss and Duni’s character seeks the help of the moon to find her lover. Luft plays a simple single note motif which subsumed into a series of dense flurries; Duni fills the song with tragedy and we feel like voyeurs, intruding on private grief. As her despair builds so does the guitar ringing out and echoing. The audience is enraptured.

Another song talks of being at one with nature, as she says in the introduction, at the point where things are exactly as they are supposed to be. It opens with a fragile waterfall of notes. As Duni sings in the upper register Luft conjures up images of dappled sunlight in a forest. The music is a light dance with hints of the song's Albanian folk origins. She sings of more pressing current woes in My Rainbow, a song about migration and exile. As she curses the years of separation her voice is enveloped in the guitar tones, tragedy writ large.

Hexham lad James Kitchman joins the duo for Luiz Bonfá’s The Gentlemen. The extra musical voice fills the bottom end of the sound providing a foundation over which Duni’s sultry vocal and Luft’s crying guitar take the lead. He stays on stage for Wayfaring Stranger, a Scottish by way of America tune of heartbreak and hope, resignation and acceptance. The two guitars are seamless, there’s a wash of reverb and delicate silver filigree picking and in Duni’s voice there’s still a trace of her origins, enough to make the song hers. They close with some joyous African hi life. The guitars challenge Duni’s voice as she runs up and down the scales, Luft adding in extra flourishes. Kitchman providing some solid ground under all of Duni’s and Luft’s sonic acrobatics. Dave Sayer 

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