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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.

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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