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Bebop Spoken There

Steve Fishwick: “I can’t get behind the attitude that new is always somehow better than old”. (Jazz Journal, April 15, 2019).

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.


16527 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 407 of them this year alone and, so far, 29 this month (June 12).

From This Moment On ...


Thu 13: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 13: Indigo Jazz Voices @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:45pm. £5.00. Upstairs.
Thu 13: Musicians Unlimited @ Dorman’s, Middlesbrough. 8:00pm.
Thu 13: Jazz Guys @ Tynedale Beer & Cider Festival, Corbridge. 8:00pm.
Thu 13: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. Ragtime piano. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 13: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guest band: Musicians Unlimited

Fri 14: Mark Williams Trio @ The Old Library, Auckland Castle, Bishop Auckland. 1:00pm. £8.00.
Fri 14: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 14: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 14: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 14: Strictly Smokin’ Big Band @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. ‘Ella & Ellington’. 7:30pm. £18.00.
Fri 14: Customs House Big Band @ Customs House, South Shields. 7:30pm. Donations (online, min. £3.00.).

Sat 15: Keith Barrett & Andrew Porritt @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 12 noon. Free. A Cullercoats Festival event.
Sat 15: NUJO Jazz Jam @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 7:00pm.
Sat 15: James Birkett & Emma Fisk @ Sunderland Minster. 7:30pm. £15.00., £8.00. (u16s free). ‘The Great American Songbook’. A Bishopwearmouth Choral Society event, conductor David Murray.
Sat 15: Jude Murphy & Dan Stanley @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Sun 16: Jason Isaacs @ Stack, Seaburn SR6 8AA. 1:00-2:45pm. Free.
Sun 16: Paul Skerritt @ Hibou Blanc, Newcastle. 2:00pm.
Sun 16: Gaz Hughes Trio @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. 3:00pm. £10.00.
Sun 16: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 16: Gaz Hughes Trio @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 16: Jazz Jam @ Fabio’s Bar, Saddler St., Durham. 8:00pm. Free. A Durham University Jazz Society event. All welcome.

Mon 17: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Mon 17: ‘Tower of Power’ @ The Library Bar, Saddler St., Durham . 7:30pm.Free. A Durham University Jazz Society event. All welcome.

Tue 18: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Victoria & Albert Inn, Seaton Delaval. 12:30pm. £13.00. ‘Jazz, Sausage ‘n’ Mash’…’with Onion Gravy’!
Tue 18: Jam Session @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free. House trio: Stu Collingwood, Paul Grainger, Tim Johnston.
Tue 18: Libby Goodridge & Ben Davies @ The Lost Wanderer, Leazes Park Road, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £6.00. Triple bill, inc. Goodridge & Davies (jazz).

Wed 19: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 19: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 19: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

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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