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Bebop Spoken There

Steve Fishwick: “I can’t get behind the attitude that new is always somehow better than old”. (Jazz Journal, April 15, 2019).

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.


16542 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 422 of them this year alone and, so far, 29 this month (June 17).

From This Moment On ...


Mon 17: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Mon 17: ‘Tower of Power’ @ The Library Bar, Saddler St., Durham . 7:30pm.Free. A Durham University Jazz Society event. All welcome.

Tue 18: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Victoria & Albert Inn, Seaton Delaval. 12:30pm. £13.00. ‘Jazz, Sausage ‘n’ Mash’…’with Onion Gravy’!
Tue 18: Jam Session @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free. House trio: Stu Collingwood, Paul Grainger, Tim Johnston.
Tue 18: Libby Goodridge & Ben Davies @ The Lost Wanderer, Leazes Park Road, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £6.00. Triple bill, inc. Goodridge & Davies (jazz).

Wed 19: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 19: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 19: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

Thu 20: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 20 Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Brunswick Methodist Church, Newcastle. 2:00pm. £4.00. Note new venue!
Thu 20: Karine Polwart & Dave Milligan @ The Fire Station, Sunderland. 7:30pm. £29.00., £23.00. Folk/jazz duo.
Thu 20: Richard Herdman & Ray Burns @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 20: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests: Josh Bentham (tenor sax); Donna Hewitt (alto sax); Dave Archbold (keys); Dave Harrison (trumpet); Ron Smith (bass).

Fri 21: Alan Barnes with Dean Stockdale Trio @ The Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. SOLD OUT!
Fri 21: Joe Steels’ Borealis @ The Gala, Durham. 1:00pm. £8.00.
Fri 21: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 21: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 21: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 21: Soznak @ The Bike Garden, Nunsmoor, Newcastle NE4 5NU. 5:00-9:00pm. Free.
Fri 21: Errol Linton + Michael Littlefield & Scott Taylor (King Bees) @ Gosforth Civic Theatre, Newcastle. 7:30pm. £20.00. Blues double bill.
Fri 21: Alan Barnes with the Dean Stockdale Trio @ Seventeen Nineteen, Sunderland. 7:30pm.
Fri 21: Strictly Smokin’ Big Band @ Alnwick Playhouse. 8:00pm. ‘Ella & Ellington’.
Fri 21: Mark Toomey Quartet @ Traveller’s Rest, Darlington. 8:00pm. Opus 4 Jazz Club.

Sat 22: Jason Isaacs @ Stack, Seaburn SR6 8AA. 12:30-2:30pm. Free.
Sat 22: Abbie Finn Trio @ The Vault, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free.
Sat 22: Hejira: Celebrating Joni Mitchell @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 7:30pm (doors). £22.50.
Sat 22: Rockin’ Turner Bros. @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Sun 23: Paul Skerritt @ Hibou Blanc, Newcastle. 2:00pm.
Sun 23: More Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00pm. Free.
Sun 23: Matt Carmichael @ St Mary’s Church, Wooler. 3:00pm. Carmichael (saxophone), Fergus McCreadie (piano), Charlie Stewart (fiddle). ‘Scottish jazz, folk-roots & landscape’ Wooler Arts: Summer Concerts.
Sun 23: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 23: Tweed River Jazz Band @ Barrels Ale House, Berwick. 7:00pm. Free.
Sun 23: Bede Trio @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 23: Leeway @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Sun 23: Jazz Jam @ Fabio’s Bar, Saddler St., Durham. 8:00pm. Free. A Durham University Jazz Society event. All welcome.

Monday, April 29, 2024

Andrew McCormack Trio featuring Kyle Eastwood @ the Glasshouse, Gateshead - April 28

(© Pam)

Andrew McCormack (piano); Kyle Eastwood (bass); Rod Youngs (drums)

The signs in the Glasshouse on Sunday night directed all those in pork pie hats, roll neck jumpers, posh frocks and co-respondents shoes to the left and the big room for the Postmodern Jukebox whilst those of us more modestly attired to sit in the dark turned right to Sage 2 in search of more contemporary sounds.

Apparently it was 2014 when McCormack was last here (as the photo on THIS PAGE attests) and 2011 when Eastwood brought a group to that year’s Jazz Festival. Tonight’s gig was mainly in support of McCormack’s fine 2022 album, Terra Firma and nearly all the music was from that.

Opener Brooklyn Memoir, was a pastoral blues with a slightly sinister edge; McCormack’s solo is full of '60s snap and zest, Eastwood plays a swinging funky bass and Youngs drives powerfully from the back, (musically, if not geographically).

Confirmation is a Charlie Parker tune with swinging flurries in McCormack’s dancing, witty, Peterson-esque solo that sounds as if it had been transposed from one of Parker’s own solos. Eastwood carries that joy and swing into his solo. Local lad Sting gets the writers credit for Fragile, the next piece. McCormack and Eastwood share the melody with the bass shadowing the piano and completing the lines. It’s lush, romantic and, yes, fragile, Eastwood developing melodies of his own, climbing and surrounding McCormack’s piano lines. An intricate knotty piano solo builds to a climactic pounding before a return to the delicacy of the opening line of the song. 

McCormack described Somebody Else’s Song as both his greatest hit on streaming services and one that he was sure someone else had also written. It’s a pastoral folk tune, relaxed and delicate, full of nostalgia for simpler times; the piano is supported by waves of cymbals conjured up by Youngs’ brush work. 

Fake News raises the temperature from its opening skittering drums and cymbals and driving bass with McCormack throwing out musical shapes and shards. It’s all angles with Youngs dropping bombs to power it along behind McCormack’s percussive solo. Youngs assembles a solo from spare snatches into rolling thunder and lightning strikes of cymbals before a series of short delicate runs from McCormack bring it home. 

Clementine Dream is an elegant waltz, perhaps the second cousin of Someday My Prince Will Come, and sounds like a show tune. McCormack’s playing is dense, packed with flurries of notes; Youngs playing is so closely in step with him. Better to Have Loved is an elegy for those lost in the pandemic. Eastwood opens with a long solo before he leaves the floor to McCormack whose dense, rich solo is laden with tragedy. Youngs eschews the sticks and plays the kit with his hands. It sounds like it belongs in the classical repertoire and, whilst a jazz mood begins to dominate, it is still stark and spare with a funereal closing passage. 

(© Pam)
A change of mood for I Can’t Believe That You’re In Love With Me which closes the main set. It’s bright and romantic; what April is supposed to sound like. A classic piece of bebop, it’s pulled out of shape by McCormack’s angular playing and Youngs’ off-kilter percussion with Eastwood at the centre holding it all together as the drummer revels in the freedom to roam. A bit of Monk as an encore to much applause and its coats on and out of the Glasshouse and into a cold, penetrating easterly breeze blowing from the Baltic.

Before the main event we had a short, unaccompanied set from local saxophonist Thomas Dixon. He elicited collective ‘ohs’ and ‘oohs’ when he came on stage and cracked his knuckles before he started. Opening on tenor with a series of low pitched rumbles, he uses the keys of the instrument as his percussive accompaniment as the tune unfurls like leaves in Spring. He climbs up the scales to a series of piercing staccato flurries of notes, short phrases that wouldn’t sound so stark and radical as part of a band.

At one point he removes the neck from the instrument and plays a mournful solo into the cupped palm of his hand. His second piece is on alto. A dancing Mexican-tinged piece opening with quick fire shots in the dark, it also incorporates some fine blues wailing. Third and last sees him back on tenor and sees him transition from a swinging opening, through some intense scrappling flurries to building up to a closing wail. Dave Sayer

1 comment :

Pam said...

Great review of a tremendous gig and nice to finally meet the prolific Dave Sayer, always enjoy your words.
Pam x

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