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Bebop Spoken There

Charles McPherson: “Jazz is best heard in intimate places”. (DownBeat, July, 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.


16611 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 1504 of them this year alone and, so far, 50 this month (July 23).

From This Moment On ...


Thu 25: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. Ragtime piano. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 25: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests: Garry Hadfield (keys); Noel Dennis (tpt); Richie Emmerson (tenor sax); Adrian Beadnell (bass).
Thu 25: Milne-Glendinning Band @ Cafédral, Owengate, Durham. 9:00pm. £9.00. & £6.00. A Durham Fringe Festival event.

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: Bailiwick + Sleep Suppressor + Christie/Chan @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm (doors 6:30pm). ‘Experimental evening of jazz, punk and jazz-punk’.
Fri 26: Nomade Swing Trio @ Repas7 by Night, Berwick. 7:30pm. Free.
Fri 26: Stuart Turner @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Fri 26: Milne-Glendinning Band @ Cafédral, Owengate, Durham. 9:00pm. £9.00. & £6.00. A Durham Fringe Festival event.
Fri 26: Bold Big Band @ Old Coal Yard, Byker, Newcastle. 9:30pm. A Newcastle Fringe Festival event.

Sat 27: BBC Proms: BBC Introducing stage @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 12 noon. Free. Line-up inc. Nu Groove (2:00pm); Abbie Finn Trio (2:50pm); Dilutey Juice (3:50pm); SwanNek (5:00pm); Rivkala (6:00pm).
Sat 27: Nomade Swing Trio @ Billy Bootlegger’s, Ouseburn, Newcastle. 2:00pm. Free.
Sat 27: Mississippi Dreamboats @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sat 27: Milne-Glendinning Band @ Cafédral, Owengate, Durham. 9:00pm. £9.00. & £6.00. A Durham Fringe Festival event.
Sat 27: Theon Cross + Knats @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 10:00pm. £22.00. BBC Proms: BBC Introducing Stage (Sage Two). A late night gig.

Sun 28: Musicians Unlimited @ Jackson’s Wharf, Hartlepool. 1:00pm. Free.
Sun 28: Paul Skerritt @ Hibou Blanc, Newcastle. 2:00pm.
Sun 28: Miss Jean & the Ragtime Rewind Swing Band @ Fonteyn Ballroom, Dunelm House (Durham Students’ Union), Durham. 2:00pm. £9.00. & £6.00. A Durham Fringe Festival event.
Sun 28: More Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00pm. Free.
Sun 28: Ruth Lambert Trio @ The Juke Shed, Union Quay, North Shields. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 28: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 28: Nomade Swing Trio @ Red Lion, Alnmouth. 4:00pm. Free.
Sun 28: Jazz Jam Sandwich! @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 7:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Sun 28: Jeffrey Hewer Collective @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 28: Milne Glendinning Band @ Cafédral, Owengate, Durham. 9:00pm. £9.00. & £6.00. A Durham Fringe Festival event.

Mon 29: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.

Tue 30: ???

Wed 31: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 31: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 31: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

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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