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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.


16434 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 314 of them this year alone and, so far, 26 this month (May 9).

From This Moment On ...


Sat 18: Jam session @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:00-9:00pm. Free. Celebrating ‘10 years of the Jazz Jam!’. House trio: Alan Law, Paul Grainger, Tim Johnston. A Late Shows event.
Sat 18: SH#RP Collective @ Holy Name Parish Church Hall, Jesmond, Newcastle. 7:00-9:00pm. Tickets: £15.00. Bar available, BYO snacks. A Jesmond Community Festival event. All proceeds to Kabuyanda Charity (Ugandan health care).
Sat 18: Red Kites Jazz @ Staithes Café, Autumn Drive, Gateshead. 7:30pm.
Sat 18: Alligator Gumbo @ The Witham, Barnard Castle. 7:30pm.
Sat 18: Rockin’ Turner Brothers @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Sun 18: Papa G’s Amigos special summer Latin set @ The Schooner, Gateshead NE8 3AF. 9:00pm. Free.
Sat 18: Late Night Special with Ruth Lambert & special guests @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 10:00pm-midnight. £5.00. (booking essential). Lambert & surprise jam session guests from down the years.

Sun 19: BTS Trombone Day @ Mark Hillery Arts Centre, Collingwood College, Durham University DH1 3LT. 11:00am-5:00pm. Free to British Trombone Society members (£10.00. & £5.00. to non-members). Recitals, workshops and mass blows.
Sun 19: Women Play Jazz! workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. £25.00. Tutor: Andrea Vicari. Enquiries:
Sun 19: Ransom Van @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 7:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Sun 19: Tweed River Jazz Band @ Barrels Ale House, Berwick. 7:00pm. Free.
Sun 19: Andrea Vicari Trio @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 20: Harmony Brass @ the Crescent Club, Cullercoats. 1:00pm. Free.
Mon 20: Michael Young Trio @ The Engine Room, Sunderland. 6:00-8:00pm. Free. Opus de Funk: Horace Silver.
Mon 20: Joe Steels-Ben Lawrence Quartet @ The Black Bull, Blaydon. 8:00pm. £8.00.

Tue 21: Jam session @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free. House trio: Alan Law, Paul Grainger, John Bradford.

Wed 22: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 22: Alice Grace Vocal Masterclass @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 6:00pm. Free.
Wed 22: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 22: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.
Wed 22: Daniel Erdmann’s Thérapie de Couple @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.

Thu 23: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 23: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library, Gateshead. 2:30pm.
Thu 23: Castillo Nuevo Trio @ Revoluçion de Cuba, Newcastle. 5:30pm. Free.
Thu 23: Immortal Onion + Rivkala @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 7:00pm.
Thu 23: The Doris Day Story @ Phoenix Theatre, Blyth. 7:30pm.
Thu 23: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests: Jeremy McMurray (keys); Dan Johnson (tenor sax); Donna Hewitt (alto sax); Bill Watson (trumpet); Adrian Beadnell (bass).

Fri 24: Hot Club du Nord @ The Gala, Durham. 1:00pm. £8.00. SOLD OUT!
Fri 24: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 24: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 24: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 24: Swannek + support @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. Time TBC.

Saturday, November 18, 2023

Cécile McLorin Salvant @ Queen Elizabeth Hall (EFG LJF 2023) - Nov 15

Cécile McLorin Salvant (voice); Sullivan Fortner (piano); Yasushi Nakamura (bass); Weedie Braimah (percussion); Savannah Harris (drums)

Cécile McLorin Salvant is a storyteller in song with a wide-ranging songbook that gives voice to her appeal as a luminous communicator. The Miami-born American singer is a child of Haitian and French diasporas, and sings with an immaculate bel canto in English, French and even Occitan. A passion for language and a crisp articulation combine with eclectic musical influences and make for a rising reputation in this three-time Grammy-winning singer’s magnetic performances. It was no lesser than Wynton Marsalis who said, "You get a singer like this once in a generation or two.”

She and her collegial group, performing at London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, brought an exquisite seventy-minute set of songs judiciously picked from her seven albums to date. These include the Grammy award winning second and third collections For One To Love and Dreams and Daggers, and last year’s Ghost Song. Salvant's seventh album Mélusine recounts the European folk legend of Mélusine with songs in French and Haitian Creole. Her catalogue imbues a unique identity beginning in jazz and blues, reaching out through pop, musical theatre and art music of the avant-garde, and even lachrymose Renaissance madrigals. 

Introducing Flow Not So Fast Ye Fountain by the late-16th early-17th century composer John Dowland, an audience member nominated him “the Jimi Hendrix of the lute!”—  a welcome heckle she responded to with thanks. A meeting of music separated by centuries is exactly the kind of encounter that she specialises in. Our lad the moderately famous Sting is a Renaissance man who has also recorded Dowland, and whose amazing song Until is one of many beautiful treasures among her selections that she just makes her own with customary respect for both source and audience.

These selections ranged from barnstorming familiar opener Don’t Rain On My Parade into deep cut classics Wives and Lovers by Burt Bacharach (and Hal David at his most Sonheimesque), twinned with Frank Loesser’s sardonic Never Will I Marry, certainly developing a theme of gently perplexed fascination at the foibles of relationships, most deliciously unpacked in her own song Obligation. A cappella, she sings "Expectations are premeditated resentments" — a gut punch to lead into her what’s almost an art piece, a scabrous conversation between R.D. Laing and Diamanda Galás. 

Throughout her work is a very serious social and political commitment, realised in her readings of Weill and Brecht (and his uncredited collaborator Elizabeth Hauptmann, as she valuably reminds us) of The World Is Mean as well as her chillingly beautiful setting of a poem by  Léo Ferré called Est-ce ainsi que les hommes vivent? The set’s climactic moment is in Build a House a powerful political blues by Grammy Award-winning musician, MacArthur recipient and Pulitzer Prize winner Rhiannon Giddens. She transfers herself into a sterner, harder blues singer of tradition of strong female genius, another shade of her astonishing range.

The encore is of course her spacious delivery of Kate Bush’s Wuthering Heights, shorn of its chart topping bombast, and richly augmented with appropriately Celtic vocal ornamentations that show a deep understanding of her source. It always seems too short, but now segues into another Bush classic to close, Breathing about Bush’s mother’s battle with terminal lung cancer. Without any of the usual manipulative tricks we associate with the diva role, she had me properly sobbing, as she closed out with a fragile but firm a cappella as the air momentarily left the room. Out, in, out, in, out…

She is direct without being confrontational. Whether in close companionship with the superb band including a special rapport with the wizard-like pianist Sullivan Fortner, or leaning out from the front of the stage and into your soul from hers, she portrays a vivid intimacy and a sense that she, of all divas, is somehow supernaturally present — there and real, abidingly modern, yet timeless and everywhere. A.J. Dehany

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