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Bebop Spoken There

Charles McPherson: “Jazz is best heard in intimate places”. (DownBeat, July, 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.


16573 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 466 of them this year alone and, so far, 12 this month (July 7).

From This Moment On ...


Fri 12: The Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ The White Swan, Main Road, Ovingham NE42 6AG. 12:30pm. Free.
Fri 12: John Settle @ The Old Library, Auckland Castle, Bishop Auckland. 1:00pm. £8.00. Settle (vibes) w. Dean Stockdale, Mick Shoulder & Tim Johnston.
Fri 12: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 12: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 12: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.

Sat 13: Jazz Stage @ Mouth of the Tyne Festival. Free. Vieux Carré Jazzmen (12 noon); Trilogy of Four (1:35pm); Classic Swing (3:10pm); Archipelago (4:40pm).
Sat 13: East Coast Swing Band @ Tynemouth Metro Station. 1:00pm. Free. A Mouth of the Tyne Festival event.
Sat 13: Tyne Valley Big Band @ Prudhoe Riverside Park. 12:55-1:40pm. Free.
Sat 13: Michael Woods @ Cycle Hub, Ouseburn, Newcastle NE6 1BU. 1:30-2:30pm & 3:00-4:00pm. Country blues. An Ouseburn Festival event.
Sat 13: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ The Beehive, Hartley Lane, Whitley Bay NE25 0SZ. 5:30pm. Free. Gig in the Secret Garden.
Sat 13: Anth Purdy @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. ‘Swing Jazz Guitar’. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Sun 14: OUTRI + Slowlight Quartet @ The Bandstand, The Sele, Hexham. 12 noon-2:00pm. Free. OUTRI is Ian ‘Dodge’ Paterson’s new solo bass project. ‘The Bandstand Sessions’.
Sun 14: Jazz Stage @ Mouth of the Tyne Festival. Free. Rendezvous Jazz (12 noon); Delta Prophets Trio (1:35pm); Abbie Finn Trio (3:10pm); River City Band (4:40pm).
Sun 14: MSK @ Tynemouth Metro Station. 1:00pm. Free. A Mouth of the Tyne Festival event.
Sun 14: Paul Skerritt @ Hibou Blanc, Newcastle. 2:00pm.
Sun 14: Am Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00pm. Free.
Sun 14: Jamil Sheriff’s Five Gold Rings @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. 3:00pm.
Sun 14: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Free. Sun 14: Lounge Lizards + King Bees @ The Tyne Bar, Newcastle. 3:00pm. Free. The Tyne Bar’s 30th anniversary, top class blues double bill.
Sun 14: Richard Herdman @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Mon 15: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Mon 15: Nathan Lawson Trio @ The Black Bull, Blaydon. 8:00pm. £8.00. Blaydon Jazz Club.

Tue 16: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Victoria & Albert Inn, Seaton Terrace, Seaton Delaval NE25 0AT. 12:30pm. £15.00 (tel: 0191 237 3697). Summer BBQ in the Beer Graden.
Tue 16: Jam session @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free. House trio: Alan Law, Paul Grainger & Abbie Finn.

Wed 17: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 17: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 17: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.
Wed 17: John Pope & John Garner + Nisha Ramayya @ Cluny 2, Newcastle. 7:30pm (doors). £15.00. (£12.00. adv.). A Gem Arts Masala Festival event.

Thu 18 Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Brunswick Methodist Church, Newcastle NE1 7BJ. 2:30pm. £4.00.
Thu 18: Theo Croker @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.
Thu 18: Brad Linde’s Continentals @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Thu 18: Eva Fox & the Jazz Guys @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 18: Ray Stubbs R&B All Stars @ The Mill Tavern, Hebburn. 8:00pm. Rhythm & blues.
Thu 18: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm.

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Album Review: Julian Costello Quartet – And All The Birds Were Set Free (33 Jazz)

Julian Costello (tenor/soprano saxes); John Turville (pianos); Andy Hamill (double bass, harmonica); Tom Hooper (drums) + Georgia Mancio (vocals).

This album is definitely a grower. It has moved from acceptable background music to the front of the stage with every listening. There is some very fine playing, especially from Julian Costello and John Turville and it was nice to ‘catch up’ with Turville after not hearing much by him in recent years. Costello has, for the most part, a lovely flowing style, forceful but not overwhelming. Don’t be misled into thinking he’s a smooth operator, though. He has a big voice and his sound, unless he is sharing the metaphorical front line with Turville’s piano, dominates. Turville is the other star of this session. I remember him from a concert at Newcastle University back in 2013 and was hugely impressed then. This recording only serves to increase my admiration for his playing.

Opener, Why, is the first of two tracks featuring Georgia Mancio’s voice, which is a thing of beauty in itself. She rides the lyric line perfectly and Turville’s piano rises and falls alongside her vocal line. Costello matches her for lyricism when his tenor arrives. 

The title track comes next and is a game of two halves. We open with a long blowing section from Costello full of Dexter-esque force before the band stops on a sixpence and a brief, ominous, bass solo leads into a passage with Turville out front and centre all heavy chording and angular runs.

The smaller horn is unpacked for The Octopus, a track that sounds more avian than sub-aquatic. While the sax lines float, Turville, again, does much of the heavy lifting behind with more dense, elegant runs. With the bass pushed into the background, Costello and Turville’s instruments fly freely, closely intertwined, rising and falling together.

Gecko is a slab of jazz of the highest quality with the band romping away joyously for much of the track. It opens with a punchy riff on tenor, picked up by the rest of the band. It seems more introspective than the previous tracks, with Costello initially subdued but building from this softer opening, the other pushing him on as he spirals upwards into a wail. As Costello drops out, the rhythm section show just how tight they are. Hooper is rolling in the background, sometimes stuttering as if he is almost losing his step, but never doing so, solid bass fills in the gaps as Turville’s solo leads us back to the opening riff.

Mancio is back for Sunflowers, which features her voice in a perfect segway with Costello’s sax as his horn picks up her intonation and phrasing and carries it into his solo. She’s part of the team, passing the baton on. Turville’s solo is light and elegant, Costello returns and shares the lead line with Mancio again. It’s a joy to listen to.

Hooper is unleashed for the opening salvos of London is Blue before a punchy probing solo from Costello, still in full voice on the tenor. Turville’s solo is dense and knotty, but always with a narrative drive behind it. He’s matched in complexity by Hooper’s drums which could have been higher in the mix to really make them crack.

Song For Anna is a lazy, late-night ballad for those occasions when you wear a bow tie and let it hang loose in a dimly lit night club, smoke (from a vape?) rising from the ash tray. There are further echoes of long tall Dexter in Costello’s languid solo. 

The (surely) ironically named There’s Always One Track You Fast Forward is a departure in that it is all angles and is a clear left turn from the ballad that preceded it. Costello sounds like he’s playing round corners and the drums and piano are the walls he’s trying to get round, both match each other for the percussive weight of their playing while Costello swoops and dives on soprano. After that angular interlude we are back in the Club for No Dinosaurs Here with Costello on full fat tenor and Turville’s crystalline solo elegant and intricate enough to distract Rick Blaine from Ilsa Lund. I suspect that Costello and friends were getting a bit demob happy in their titling as the closer follows thematically on from No Dinosaurs. Dippy the Diplodicus takes the pace up slightly from the cellar bar but drops back into relaxed indolence, punctuated by high pitched wails as Costello essays his closing comments on tenor.

All The Birds Were Set Free is out now. You can get a taster on Julian Costello’s website, on the Homepage of which there is a video of the band performing the title song from the album. Dave Sayer

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