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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.


16462 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 342 of them this year alone and, so far, 54 this month (May 18).

From This Moment On ...


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: Anth Purdy @ The Links, Blyth. 12:30-1:00pm. Free. ‘Blyth Battery: Blyth Goes to War Weekend’.
Sun 19: Women Play Jazz! workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. £25.00. Tutor: Andrea Vicari. Enquiries:
Sun 19: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Free. 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.

Sat 25: Tyne Valley Big Band @ Bywell Hall, Stocksfield. 2:30pm.
Sat 25: Paul Edis Trio w. Bruce Adams & Alan Barnes @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. 6:30pm. A Northumberland Jazz Festival event.
Sat 25: Nubiyan Twist @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.
Sat 25: Papa G’s Troves @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

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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