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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

Charles Lloyd Ocean Trio @ Barbican (EFG London Jazz Festival) - Nov. 17

Inevitably, tonight's gig exemplified the Art of the Trio. Charles Lloyd and the many iterations of his Ocean Trio have accrued a number of albums and concerts that show this master at his best.

(© Ash Knotek)
Opening for him was a contrasting but complementary trio, that of Norway's
Henriette, a more austere but no less engaging tenorist, accompanied by Johan Lindvall on piano and Judith Hamann on cello. Henriette's compositions (mainly drawn this evening from her latest album Drifting) are framed by gentle choral figures from Lindvall - I don't think I've ever heard a piano played so softly - and often playing in unison with Hamann's exquisite cello.

After a tentative opening, Henriette's tone focused, and her prowess in complex lines delivered with novel & intricate fingering, trills and startling breath control began to grip the hall. One couldn't avoid comparisons with the established north-European sounds of Garbarek and the recent collaborations of Andy Sheppard, which is no bad thing.  She has a distinctive presence, not only in her command of the tenor, but her very stature.  It’s hard to avoid the cliché of an ice maiden, but her shimmering steely-white gown and her still presence at the epicentre of the stage suggested a bright silver reed in a sonic sea. Her grounding in theatre and performance art paid dividends, making us hang on to her every breath and, more importantly, every silence. It was where her compositions started and finished.


On the way, contrasts were notably supplied by Hamann, playing every part of the cello, from the farthest reach of the tailpiece through the length of the strings. At one point, her suddenly severe bowing evoked cracking wood, a stark contrast to Henriette & Lindvall's folk-like melodies beneath. For all the apparent Nordic austerity, the drama in this was startlingly effective. Perhaps a trio that ignores a conventional rhythm section is a step too far for some dyed-in-the-wool jazzers, but I would hope that anyone with a feeling for the broad church of jazz would embrace the tone, technique and dramatic richness of Henriette's music.


(© Ash Knotek)
Coming from the American post-bop tradition, Lloyd's set offered something more familiar to the jazz audience. A confession: he was my gateway to the genre, his early (1964) Discovery set getting a re-release as Bizarre on CBS Jazz Realm at an affordable 29/11 in 1968. It disrupted and enriched my teenage prog-blues focus with gorgeous
tunes like Sweet Georgia Bright and Forest Flower, and subsequently brought me to Jarrett and DeJohnette through the Fillmore sets. So tonight was a full circle. And while his Ocean Trio (Gerald Clayton on piano and Marvin Sewell on guitar) eschewed the conventional bass & drum rhythm section, there was nothing missing in rhythmic drive or complexity.

Lloyd's command of his instruments (mainly a gorgeously plangent tenor, plus an outing for generously rounded flute and clarinet) is second to none. He stands alongside Rollins and Shorter in fluidity and sheer bravura, with even the fastest run or surprising swoop skilfully articulated and focused. Yeah, he's got a lotta technique, but my gosh you feel it! There's a spiritual basis to all he does - not least in the encore’s Tagi (Lament), a Brahmin text he intones over his partners' vamping - but gospel, standards and blues inform every number. 


Opening with Ornette Coleman's Peace, set the bar high, but established the Trio's role as soloists and rhythm section. A notable blues excursion from Sewell, swapping to a bottleneck & Fender had us whooping, even if the boss didn't join in.  Lloyd has established some new standards in the last decade or so, the gorgeous gospel-inflected Lift Every Voice and the ballad How Can I Tell You?, with generous soloing of great delicacy from Clayton and Sewell along the way in the flute-led Booker’s Garden.


Like Henriette's opening set, there was always space to breathe, to play gently to help us listen, and hang on to those effortless low Cs and B-flats. Clayton's solos were as expansive as Sewell's were complex, and Lloyd seemed to relish them.


What a marvellous opportunity to explore the Art of the Trio, specifically, tenor-led trios, both of the tradition and the future. To hear a new generation handle the baton so superbly in the same evening as a master effortlessly displays a lifetime’s skill was quite a privilege. Quite honestly, the distance between them, in terms of sheer inventive musicianship, was negligible. Bigger bands have their place but here was everything to play for. Richard Lee

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