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Bebop Spoken There

Dee Dee Bridgewater: “ Our world is becoming a very ugly place with guns running rampant in this country... and New Orleans is called the murder capital of the world right now ". Jazzwise, May 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.


16382 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 262 of them this year alone and, so far, 59 this month (April 20).

From This Moment On ...


Wed 24: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 24: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 24: Sinatra: Raw @ Darlington Hippodrome. 7:30pm. Richard Shelton.
Wed 24: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.
Wed 24: Death Trap @ Theatre Royal, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Rambert Dance Co. Two pieces inc. Goat (inspired by the music of Nina Simone) with on-stage musicians.

Thu 25: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 25: Jim Jams @ King’s Hall, Newcastle University. 1:15pm. Jim Jams’ funk collective.
Thu 25: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library, Gateshead. 2:30pm.
Thu 25: Death Trap @ Theatre Royal, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Rambert Dance Co. Two pieces inc. Goat (inspired by the music of Nina Simone) with on-stage musicians.
Thu 25: Jeremy McMurray & the Pocket Jazz Orchestra @ Arc, Stockton. 8:00pm.
Thu 25: Kate O’Neill, Alan Law & Paul Grainger @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 25: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests: Richie Emmerson (tenor sax); Neil Brodie (trumpet); Adrian Beadnell (bass); Garry Hadfield (keys).

Fri 26: Graham Hardy Quartet @ The Gala, Durham. 1:00pm. £8.00.
Fri 26: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 26: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 26: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 26: East Coast Swing Band @ Morpeth Rugby Club. 7:30pm. £9.00. (£8.00 concs).
Fri 26: Paul Skerritt with the Danny Miller Big Band @ Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.
Fri 26: Abbie Finn’s Finntet @ Traveller’s Rest, Darlington. 8:00pm. Opus 4 Jazz Club.

Sat 27: Abbie Finn Trio @ The Vault, Darlington. 6:00pm. Free.
Sat 27: Papa G’s Troves @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Sun 28: Musicians Unlimited @ Jackson’s Wharf, Hartlepool. 1:00pm. Free.
Sun 28: More Jam Festival Special @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00pm. Free. A ’10 Years a Co-op’ festival event.
Sun 28: Swing Dance workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00-4:00pm. Free (registration required). A ’10 Years a Co-op’ festival event.
Sun 28: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay Metro Station. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 28: Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox: The '10' Tour @ Glasshouse International Centre for Music, Gateshead. 7:30pm. £41.30 t0 £76.50.
Sun 28: Alligator Gumbo @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ’10 Years a Co-op’ festival event.
Sun 28: Jerron Paxton @ The Cluny, Newcastle. Blues, jazz etc.

Mon 29: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Mon 29: Michael Young Trio @ The Engine Room, Sunderland. 6:30-8:30pm. Free. ‘Opus de Funk’ (a tribute to Horace Silver).

Tue 30: Celebrate with Newcastle Jazz Co-op. 5:30-7:00pm. Free.
Tue 30: Swing Manouche @ Newcastle House Hotel, Rothbury. 7:30pm. A Coquetdale Jazz event.
Tue 30: Clark Tracey Quintet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ’10 Years a Co-op’ festival event.

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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