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Bebop Spoken There

Billy Boy Arnold: “As long as you don't think old you're good.” - DownBeat, December, 2023.

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...


16061 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 15 years ago. 1068 of them this year alone and, so far, 22 this month (Dec. 11).

From This Moment On ...


Tue 12: Stu Collingwood Organ Trio @ Forum Music Centre, Darlington. 7:00pm. £10.00.

Wed 13: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 13: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 13: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.
Wed 13: Bold Big Band @ Cluny 2, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Wed 13: Giles Strong Quartet @ Alphabetti Theatre, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 14: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 14: Hot Fingers @ The Lubetkin Theatre, Peterlee. 7:00pm. £10.00.
Thu 14: After Hours Student Jazz Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free.
Thu 14: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. . Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 14: Niffi Osiyemi Trio @ Harbour View, Sunderland. 8:00pm. Free.
Thu 14: Mo Scott ‘Little Mo’s Festive Appearance’ @ The Schooner, Gateshead. 8:00pm. Free.
Thu 14: Tees Hot Club w. Kevin Eland, Josh Bentham, Garry Hadfield, Adrian Beadnell @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 15: Paul Edis @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. SOLD OUT!
Fri 15: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 15: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 15: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 15: Paul Skerritt @ Black Horse Inn, Crook. From 7:00pm.
Fri 15: Paul Edis: A Jazzy Christmas @ St Cuhtbert's Centre, Crook. 7:30pm. £15.00. SOLD OUT! Waiting list open.
Fri 15: Zoë Gilby Trio @ Seventeen Nineteen, Hendon, Sunderland. 7:30pm. £12.00. POSTPONED!
Fri 15: Strictly Smokin' Big Band @ Gosforth Civic Theatre, Newcastle. 8:00pm. First night of two. SOLD OUT!
Fri 15: Darlington Big Band @ Traveller’s Rest, Darlington. 8:00pm. £10.00. Opus 4 Jazz Club.
Fri 15: Baghdaddies @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £14.00.; £10.00.

Sat 16: Paul Edis: A Jazzy Christmas @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 2:00pm. A Jazzy Christmas + Jambone.
Sat 16: Porritt & Barrett & Friends Xmas Special @ Cullercoats Watch House. 7:00pm. £4.00.
Sat 16: Milne-Glendinning Band @ The Vault, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free.
Sat 16: Red Kites Jazz Band @ The Staithes Café, Gateshead. 7:00pm--9:00pm.
Sat 16: Hayley's Little Big Band @ Ellingham Village Hall, Chathill. 7:30pm. £12.00., £8.00.
Sat 16: Paul Edis: A Jazzy Christmas @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.
Sat 16: Strictly Smokin' Big Band @ Gosforth Civic Theatre, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Second night of two.

Sun 17: Red Kites Jazz Band @ Gibside Chapel, nr. Rowlands Gill. 1:00-2:30pm.
Sun 17: Paul Skerritt @ Hibou Blanc, Newcastle. 2:00pm.
Sun 17: Revolutionaires @ Tyne Bar, Newcastle. 4:00pm. Free. Rock ‘n’ roll excellence!
Sun 17: Tweed River Jazz Band @ Barrels Alehouse, Berwick. 7:00pm. Free.
Sun 17: The Globe Xmas Party @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:00pm. Free. Multi-bill inc. David Gray’s Flextet + jam session.
Sun 17: Paul Edis: A Jazzy Christmas @ Queen's Hall, Hexham. 7:30pm. £17.00., £15.00.
Sun 17: Hayley's Little Big Band @ Amble Parish Hall. 7:30pm. £12.00., £6.00.
Sun 17: Snake Davis Trio @ St John’s Hall, Snods Edge, Shotley Bridge DH8 9TJ. 7:30pm. £15.00. from 07766 037893.

Mon 18: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Mon 18: Paul Edis: A Jazzy Christmas @ The Fire Station, Sunderland. 7:30pm.

Friday, November 03, 2023

Album Review: Michael Moore/John Pope/Johnny Hunter - Something Happened

Michael Moore (alto sax, clarinet); John Pope (double bass); Johnny Hunter (drums, percussion).

And so John Pope’s bid to officially become the ‘Hardest Working Man in Show Business’ acquires another piece of evidence. Hot upon the heels of the release of his group’s Citrinitas album here he is again, this time in a collaboration with saxophonist and clarinet player Michael Moore. Ever reliable drummer Johnny Hunter, also a member of Pope’s quintet, makes up the trio.

I’ll be honest, I was expecting something very abrasive from the off with this one, but, in fact it strikes a lovely balance in just being free enough to excite and restrained enough for the unsure amongst us not to lose our sense of security.

Providence is the classic case in point. It opens with a lovely, mellifluous sax from Moore before the rhythm section join in and start pulling it in different directions with Hunter’s rattling drums and a bass solo that sounds rooted in the earth. Having lured you in with Providence, A Simple Change is all about the trio listening to each other and reacting to what’s going on. It’s fractured in places and unified in others. Undulation takes us just that little further step out but First Half of May, an unexpected lullaby with soft clarinet over a mellow bass solo pulls us back. Anything Can Happen opens with a sax solo that suggests 'Round Midnight and that theme is hinted at several times during the tune, but there's upheaval going on below with rattling, rolling drums punching below a solid bass solo. To disconnect further Moore reaches into the higher register with his sax. It’s like the swan with all the activity below the waterline, but, having said that, Moore is happy enough at certain points to join in the excitement.

The big beast at the heart of the album is Some Moore/Middle of the Road, which title perfectly illustrates my so far out/so far in theory. The opening bars suggest Love for Sale but it breaks down into the three component parts. A metronomic bass line from Pope supports a strangled wail from Moore. It’s a very delicate, desolate piece with atmospheric bowed bass and thin cries from Moore which builds a tension and anticipation that remains unresolved. It fades away as if blown on the wind. It’s immersive and frustrating at the same time as if the joke is on us.

May-Ting is as predictable as they come if you expected a western hoedown to be mixed in with some deconstructed free jazz and an elegant be bop ballad over a bass and drum shuffle. If you saw that coming I’ll have Saturday’s lottery numbers off you with thanks. Half way though it becomes an exercise in different levels of languid. Moore is the most relaxed, playing elegant lines and, at the other end of the scale, Hunter is the most energetic. Pope seems to move between the two, at one moment relaxed in his accompanying Moore, at others falling in with Hunter’s energetic displays.

Closer, Bug Music, opens with a statement toot and a crash of cymbal that develops, after more languid  tenor playing from Moore, and a sudden stop/turn on a dime moment, into a rolling squall, full of sound and fury. Delicate moments follow between the outbreaks when regular rhythms are interposed. It demands the attention and, moment by moment, gives no hint at what will follow.

The whole album is lightning in a bottle, captured with great separation so that you can hear every note, every rattle and hum that’s played. Points to John Martindale (listed on the sleeve as responsible for recording, mixing and mastering the album) for that. I’m not sure yet, whether I like this more or less than Citrinitas but in any case it’s a joyous way to pass the time!

The album was released on October 20 and is available HERE on Bandcamp. Dave Sayer

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