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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.

Sunday, June 02, 2024

The Graham Hardy Eclectic Quartet @ Gala Theatre, Durham - April 26

© Malcolm Sinclair
(This review was drafted in April, but due to illness the reviewer was unable to complete it until now)

Graham Hardy (trumpet); Ben Lawrence (keys); Andy Champion (double bass); John Bradford (drums).

With the greening of spring evident and a surprisingly blue sky across the valley on the last Friday in April another capacity Gala audience were treated to a stunning debut by a new band on the north east scene (or rather a new line-up of mainly familiar faces). Clearly all the musicians knew each other’s playing well, having played together over the past year in both Mondo Trumpet and the Sue Ferris Quintet. And it was a welcome return to the Gala of one of the region’s rising stars, former Gala Big Band pianist Ben Lawrence.

© Malcolm Sinclair

The band opened at lively pace with Clark Terry’s Orbit. The set list was going to be a mix of pieces by Graham’s favourite players/composers and his own compositions. Graham’s trumpet led on most, more than ably supported by strong contributions from Ben, Andy and John. The pace slowed for Wayne Shorter’s Tom Thumb, from his 1967 sextet album, Schizophrenia.

Daahoud, a fast bop piece from Clifford Brown’s 1954 recording with Max Roach, maintained a relaxed mood with a hint of Middle Eastern/Arabic rhythms. Ben’s falling shower of piano phrases behind the trumpet showing he was in no way phased to be in Richie Powell’s chair.

A surprise next and from a Durham composer! Not Will Todd who penned a piece Sue Ferris performed earlier in this concert series, but from Witton Gilbert’s Paddy McAloon, a Prefab Sprout song, One of the Broken. I asked Graham if he had chosen it for the lyrics or the melody, his magical tone clearly reflecting the hymnic quality of the melody, almost with a feel of the coalfield brass band music celebrated here each year in the summer Durham Brass Festival. However, it was the song that attracted Graham – I leave it to the reader to look up the lyrics for more elucidation.

A selection of Graham’s compositions followed. First Shoe Tree - I didn’t catch the origin of the title – featured both Andy’s slowly walking bass intro and his resonating lyricism behind Graham’s theme and solo. Ben’s piano again featured, weaving extricate patters behind Andy and John’s tight bass and drums.

The Pounce – a piece previously featured here by Graham – was inspired by his rescue kitten, a gentle playful melody with intricately crafted interactions between the other members of the group.

The penultimate piece, Muskat Ramble, resisted confusion with Kid Ory’s Muskrat Ramble, the audience perhaps anticipating a return to Graham’s fondness for New Orleans street band music. It was however inspired by Graham’s ramble through the street markets of Muskat, capital city of Oman. Another Middle Eastern/ North African vibe, an opening trumpet call, each band member venturing their own exploration of the theme, Ben again magical, Andy’s driving bass recalling the feel of Zoe’s Red City piece about Marrakesh, and John at last given the space to feature solo on the sticks,  Graham’s solo reminiscent of the trumpet on Rabhi Abou-Khali’s The Cactus of Knowledge tracks like Ma Muse M’Amuse …….

The Gala staff gave the go-ahead for a closing piece, extending the concert beyond the scheduled hour, and Graham’s Gumbo Tree filled the space, completing the journey from bebop and post-bop USA, via the Middle East, Tyneside rescue cats, Langley Park, to a tree linked to a favourite Afro-American dish from Louisiana of purported West African origins. A bluesy feel, call and response from trumpet and piano, always a story behind the music. Brian

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