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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 ...


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)

Fri 28: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 28: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 28: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 28: Pete Tanton’s Chet Set @ Warkworth War Memorial Hall. 7:30pm. £10.00.
Fri 28: Paul Edis @ St Cuthbert’s Centre, Crook. 7:30pm.
Fri 28: Ant Law, Alex Hitchcock, Jasper Høiby & Sun-Mi Hong @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm. £15.40., £13.20.

Sat 29: Spat’s Langham’s Hot Fingers @ St Augustine's Parish Centre, Darlington. 12:30pm. Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club.
Sat 29: Vermont Big Band @ Seahorse Pub, Whitley Bay Football Club. 7:30pm. £10.00. (inc. hot buffet).
Sat 29: Papa G’s Troves @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

The Return of the Misha Mullov-Abbado Group @ Pizza Express, Soho - Oct.22

Misha Mullov-Abbado (bass); Matthew Herd (alto sax); James Davison (trumpet and flugelhorn); Sam Rapley (tenor sax); Liam Dunachie (piano); Dave Ingamells (drums).

Here we are of a Sunday lunchtime beneath the fabled streets of London for the Return of the Misha Mullov-Abbado Group. Whilst MM-A has been busy with a number of other projects this group has been largely dormant since 2019 when they released the Dream Circus album and he’s been able to bring most of the line-up from the album for this gig, with only the manga cat t-shirted Ingamells in as the new face.

It’s a gig of two halves with the first set being all new tunes, mainly written during lockdown, and the second set bringing back some highlights from Dream Circus and previous albums. Opener, Song of Sobriety, (“I was drinking too much during lockdown”, Misha confesses) is a hurtle back through times to the glory days of Blue Note bop mixed to a rolling samba rhythm. It’s a full blooded statement of intent and it’s too loud for a Sunday, (maaan!). Peace is restored with a lush romantic ballad, Song for Bridge, for the new Mrs M-A. It’s a floating, bluesy waltz.

We get a long introduction to Train Tracker during which Misha explains his love of trains and how he has a Wi-Fi enabled tube map on the wall at home that shows where all the trains are on the Underground network with lights that show when a train is in the station. It’s a far cry from Parker and Pepper trying to score drugs in Harlem alleyways. The tune itself is a forceful, rhythmically complex piece that really pushes the front line. The bass rings through before Ingamells carefully creates a drum solo, accreting small pieces of rhythm into a greater whole from rim shots to full on fury. The whole group build to full on wailing before everything fades away, the last few bars, the soundtrack for the train entering the tunnel.

Rose delicately builds over a simple piano motif behind a subdued front line. A knotty bass solo reminded me of Charlie Haden’s playing on some of his excellent duo albums. It’s all about the space.

The first set closes with Subsonic Glow, which is based on the changes in When Lights are Low, which, says Misha, has always been a way for jazz composers to get round copyright. It’s a 1940s' swinger, cheerful and uplifting, full of snap and bounce with a blazing trumpet solo before a singing bass solo that leads into a full chorus from the front line for the closing bars.

The lights go down again for Seven Colours from the Dream Circus album. Altogether more delicate and subdued, it is more like music for when lights are low. A frantic bass solo over cymbals and piano chords leads into a big-hearted, joyful, trumpet solo.

Short piece Redder, leads into the Earth Wind & Fire song September. I don’t think E,W&F ever played it this way but I’m sure Maurice White appreciated the royalties (from a jazz album? ROFL). It’s bleaker than the original, ominous and deconstructed with a fragmented bass solo and the piano dropping bombs into the mix.

Nanban is named after a, now closed, restaurant in Brixton. (I’ve been there! It’s not my fault it closed). It opens with tinkling piano, rolling bass and brushed drums. The tenor sax calls out and we roll into a cool blues. A floating tenor solo, slowly building in waves of soul; trumpet and alto support and push to create a crescendo that suddenly stops dead. Closer, Blue Deer, has a funereal, tragic opening with a pulsing heartbeat bass before Ingamells explodes, the back line play loose, free and frantic, whilst trumpet and saxes hold to a simpler melody until it all develops into a charge, a swinging rampage. 

This has been an excellent couple of hours. There are no cobwebs from the layoff since 2019 and I’ll be in the queue for a copy if the music from the first set makes it onto an album. Dave Sayer

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