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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.

Saturday, June 08, 2024

Album review: Glasshopper – I’m Not Telling You Anything (Clonmell Jazz Social)

Jonathan Chung (tenor sax, effects); James Kitchman (electric guitar, effects); Corrie Dick (drums).

This is another of those ‘Wot no bass player?’ groups that seem to be popping up all over at the moment. Jonathan Chung is the lead man in this outfit but Corrie Dick has a record of playing with all the right people in recent years and James Kitchman was a solid addition to the Rob Luft and Elina Duni performance I saw a few months back. He’s also a local lad, hailing from the wilds of Hexham.*

And so, here they are, back for Glasshopper’s second album after 2020’s Fortune Rules. Immediately, what I like about I’m Not Telling You Anything is that it’s just the right amount of weird, just the right amount of fun, just the right amount of loud. It’s the Baby Bear’s album of the year in that, just at the moment, it’s just right.

It opens with the high impact A New Thing. A bubbling dance groove is the foundation for some swingeing guitar chops and honking sax before it heads into a spiral of close company soloing as tightly woven as you’re ever likely to encounter before it chugs to a more stately, and increasingly delicate, whispering close. That closing relaxed vibe flows on into Major Hit wherein all the action is in Chung’s fore fronted horn while steady subdued strumming from Kitchman and Corrie Dick’s metronomic rim shots provide regular backing. Everyone steps up to the front line for When You Find, a fine tutorial in how to play nicely with others. Intricate knotty lines from Kitchman and Chung wind around each other with, at first, only occasional notes escaping the net. This builds into a more prominent solo by Chung which builds and builds before a fade, only to rebuild as an ensemble work.

Take Out the Sun is a complete change of direction. Even without the title, it makes you think of weather. Guitar glissandos wave over wind driven rolling drums played with mallets before Chung brings in something more stormy. It is loose, unstructured and melancholic by comparison with the earlier tunes and takes advantage of the space created by the absence of a bass player. Grunge, as you might imagine takes us out of the low mood. It’s probably too clean for what the title suggests, for example the drums thud when they should really crack, but it captures the loud/quiet ethos well and for a trio, there’s a lot of music going on, mainly provided by Kitchman, whose support to Chung’s solo, when it arrives is very close, driving him on and up.

Music Stands is mellow and easy rolling, almost an end of the evening last turn around the floor with a country tinge which Chung punches a solo through before an equally vociferous passage of close quarters work with Kitchman with Dick thumping asome punctuation into the mix. Closer, I Go to Bed at 10, is a full blooded restatement of the best that has gone before with guitarist and sax driving on over some percussive fury from Corrie Dick. Whilst the foundation may be heavy rock and roll the front line is pure jazz though Kitchman charges into rock mode between his solos to provide a level of energy that demands more and more of the same from Chung. I had to put this one straight back on when it finished, but louder.

I’m Not Telling You Anything is released on June 28 and is available on all formats from the Glasshopper Bandcamp Page along with their other releases to date. Dave Sayer

*Incidentally, James is described in the notes accompanying the album as ‘hailing from the forsaken realm of Northumberland.’ I can only assume that these notes were written by somebody in that overpriced shit hole on the Thames.

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