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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.

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Album review: Samara Joy - A Joyful Holiday

Well it's that time of year when Santa arrives with a sackful of CDs to get you into the Christmas spirit although, personally, I'd prefer a glass of mulled wine and I'm not that fond of mulled wine.

However, this EP by one of my favourite singers goes someway to dispelling my apathy.

At least for the first four tracks it does! 

Warm in December: I first came across the Bill Russell song as a track on Julie London's 1956 album Calendar Girls and I've never encountered it since which is a shame as it's a beautiful song that deserves to be heard irrespective of the season. Julie did a job on it and Samara matches it. Fortner (piano), Wong (bass) and Washington (drums) are with her all the way.

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little me: Wow! Another winner. I wasn't familiar with the Stevie Wonder tune but, accompanied by only Fortner on piano, the duo make it their own. 

The Christmas Song: Mel Tormé never wrote a better song and both he and Nat 'King' Cole stamped their vocal chords on it. Definitive one might say. However, Samara adds her name to the roll of honour  accompanied by Fortner and David Wong on bass - this is heading to be my best Christmas ever!

Have Yourself a Merry Little ChristmasAccompanied by her longtime musical associate, Pasquale Grasso on guitar, plus Wong and Washington this must surely, despite the brevity, be the greatest Christmas album of all-time - well it almost was but ...

Oh Holy Night: After the previous four tracks, the mood changed. I've nothing against Christmas carols and, on occasion, I've sung lustily (and maybe only a semi-tone sharp) at those occasions where it was required to sing lustily. However, this 'carol?' just does not work in the context of the album. There's a choir of angelic voices and Fortner doesn't do what a B3 ought to do.

The Christmas Song (live): The game is raised slightly but, after the beautiful studio recording, this is in the wrong place at the wrong time. It's a duet with Samara and Antonio McLendon who was part of the McLendon family group who provided the choir on the previous track. McLendon has a good soulful sound that would be worth hearing, solowise, elsewhere. The combination with Samara, comes across like a pastiche of Vaughan/Eckstine.

So, maybe not the greatest Christmas album of all-time but if they ever release just those first four ... But what am I saying? These days you can download, upload, sideload (for stereo) or even buy single tracks via the online hucksters. A flawed gem. Lance Luddite. 

Samara Joy (vocals); Sullivan Fortner (piano on tks 1,2,3/B3 on tk 5); David Wong (bass on tks 1,3,4); Kenny Washington (drums on tks 1,3,4); Pasquale Grasso (guitar on tk 4); Shedrick Mitchell (piano on tk 6); Eric Wheeler (bass on tk 6); Charles Wayne (drums on tk 6); Antonio McLendon, Goldwire McLendon, Laurone McLendon, Tiera Lovell Rowe, Alana Alexander (backing vocals on tk 5); Antonio McLendon (vocal duet on tk 6)

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