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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.

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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