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Bebop Spoken There

John McDonough (reviewing Bright Red Dog’s In Vivo): “When you improvise on nothing, that’s what you get”. - DownBeat August 2021

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.

Postage

13,508 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 926 of them this year alone and, so far, 90 this month (July 27).

From This Moment On

Wed 28: Ragtime Rewind Swing Band @ Assembly Rooms, 40 North Bailey, Durham DH1 3ET. 9:20pm. £8.00. A Durham Fringe Festival event (www.durhamfringe.co.uk).

Thu 29: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone North Tyneside. 1:00pm.

Thu 29: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead. 8:30pm.

Sat 31: Lindsay Hannon @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Lindsay previews new, original material.

Sat 31: jaktar + Johnny Richards @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 8:00pm. JNE promotion.

August

Sun 01: Vieux Carre Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.

Sun 01: Jeffrey Hewer Quartet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Leeds College of Music graduate guitarist (Masters, Jazz Performance & Composition).

Monday, February 12, 2018

Preview: A Sage Sunday Postmodern Jukebox

This Sunday, February 18, Sage One is going to be full to the rafters for the return visit of Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox. A viral internet sensation, Bradlee’s skillful use of social media platforms to promote his arrangements of present-day pop tunes, often in a ragtime or twenties’ jazz age style, has won him literally millions of fans. YouTube hits can be counted in their many tens of millions as the New Jersey-raised pianist and arranger tours the world playing to capacity audiences entranced by his shows which are presented, and viewed, through a sepia-tinted lens.

Funeral arrangements for George Laing

The funeral arrangements for pianist George Laing are as follows:
Wednesday, February 28 at 12:30pm at South Shields Crematorium, John Reid Rd., South Shields NE34 9DT.
Afterwards at Grey Horse, East Boldon.
Original post.

Preview: Crooners - Whitley Bay Playhouse - February 16

Judging by the press release below, this is one helluva show. Following the links and watching the trailers has only served to whet my appetite. Whitley Bay Playhouse on Friday, February 16 and Billingham Forum the following Friday are the local venues and I can't wait. This is more than just another Rat Pack show. It's a happening! - Lance.
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Sunday, February 11, 2018

Jive Aces w. Amy Baker @ Customs House, South Shields - February 10.

Ian Clarkson (trumpet/vocal/ukulele); John Fordham (tenor/clarinet); Alex Douglas (trombone); Vince Hurley (piano); Ken Smith (bass); Mark Warburton (drums); Grazia Bevilacqua (accordion) + Amy Baker (vocal).
(Review by Lance).
The Jive Aces were back! The rip-roaring, rock 'n' rollin' sextet once again laid siege to the Customs House with their Keely Smith/Louis Prima/Louis Jordan brand of rhythm 'n' blues and jazz.
Yes, there was jazz and swing in abundance. How could there not be with John Fordham, who doesn't write for The Guardian, blowing tenor as if he was Sam Butera walkin' the bar in New Orleans? He also paid homage to Illinois Jacquet on Flying Home.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Jam session @ The Jazz Café - Feb 6

(Review by Russell)
Lots of new faces at the Jazz Café’s bi-monthly jam session and one or two first time sitters-in. The Pink Lane venue was as busy as ever as pianist James Harrison got things underway with A Train ably abetted by mainstay bassist Paul Grainger and drummer Russ Morgan. Harrison likes to enjoy himself as he plays and his infectious enthusiasm energised musicians and listeners alike ensuring the evening flew by. I’ll Remember April then the floor was open to all-comers.
Drummer Hazem ‘Mo’ Mohammad couldn’t wait to get started and he was joined by George Sykes on tenor to play Blue Monk, a swift Beautiful Love, and a quote-laden There Will Never be Another You. Flautist Josie Bennington – ‘That’s Josie from Haltwhistle’ said JB – joined the party on I Wish I Knew How it Would Feel to be Free and it wasn’t long before Alan Law stepped up, thus allowing house pianist Harrison to take a breather. 

Bradley Johnston @ The Fire Station, Sunderland - Feb 4

Bradley Johnston (guitar)
(Review by Russell)
Metro on time, weather fine, a stroll up the road to the Fire Station, a now familiar early Sunday evening routine. The Fire Station stands on High Street West, the heart of Sunderland’s rapidly developing ‘cultural quarter’ boasting site-specific artworks, the imposing Empire Theatre, nice pubs, restaurants and a hotel. And there is more to come. The Auditorium, a 450 capacity new build venue scheduled to open next year, will offer a state of the art performance space – good news for musicians! One top class musician is ahead of the game as guitarist Bradley Johnston recently commenced a weekly residency at the impressive, recently renovated Fire Station. 

Ada Francis & the Italic Quartet @ North Terrace, Newcastle - Feb 3

Ada Francis (vocals); Jimmy Jefford (tenor saxophone); Ben Richardson (piano), Luke Gaul (bass) & Harry Still (drums)
(Review by Russell) 
North Terrace in Spital Tongues is within walking distance of Newcastle city centre and on the doorstep for hundreds of students. Recently reopened following a makeover the pub is once more keen to offer musicians a platform. Upon arrival, the upstairs room was already busy with animated, loud chatter filling the air. They – predominately students – were there to hear Ada Francis.

CD Review: Dan Pugach Nonet - Plus One

(Review by Dave Brownlow)
Let’s get one thing quite clear from the start – this is an excellent album of modern/contemporary jazz played by a Nonet plus One of first-rate musicians who are not only terrific soloists but fine readers capable of playing and interpreting Dan Pugach’s complex charts. Dan is the bandleader/drummer/arranger/composer/ who’s been working at a high level in the jazz business since completing his Batchelor’s and Master’s degrees at Berklee and The City College of New York. As a composer/arranger, Dan brings such a freshness and imagination to the music rarely found today and as a drummer, he’s full of energy, driving the band, inspiring his soloists and occasionally soloing fiercely himself.

Friday, February 09, 2018

CD Review: Walter Smith III - TWIO

Walter Smith III (tenor); Harish Raghavan & Christian McBride (bass - 4 tracks each); Eric Harland  (drums) + Joshua Redman (tenor - 2 tracks).
(Review by Lance)
Since I heard Walter Smith III at Sage Gateshead back in 2013 I've been a fan. So much so that when I opened up the mail that had accumulated since I'd been away, this one jumped out in front leaving the other albums to fill the minor places in the race to the CD player.
My enthusiasm wasn't misplaced - it's a winner!

Musicians Unlimited @ Dormans Club, Middlesbrough - February 1

The award-winning 18 piece Big Band from Hartlepool played as Guest Band at the Tees Hot Club Jazz Night Dormans Club Middlesbrough on 1st.Feb.
The band, led by Mick Donnelly, started the night with a beautiful Doc Severinson arrangement of In The Mood. Among the many other tunes played were tracks from Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band, Jazz Police and Count Bubba.
Vocalist Paul Skerritt did a splendid job on several numbers including Misty and Georgia much to the delight of the audience with both his singing and youthful exuberance.
The night was a huge success with this great band playing to a packed room and an enthusiastic audience, finishing the night off with a fine swinging arrangement of Sweet Georgia Brown.
Ron Hampton.

King Bees @ Billy Bootleggers - Feb 2

Michael Littlefield (guitar & vocals); Scott Taylor (vocals, harmonica & guitar); Dominic Hornsby (piano, guitar & vocals); Simon Hedley (double bass) & Giles Holt (drums)
(Review by Russell).
The fact that a contributor to the jazz blog Bebop Spoken Here is prepared to forsake jazz gigs elsewhere in town is an indication of just how good this blues night is. First Friday in the month King Bees take centre stage at the Nelson Street juke joint, invariably the place is crammed and tonight was no different.

CD Review: Anton Hunter - Article XI

(Review by Steve H)
Having seen and thoroughly enjoyed this band live last December I was very much looking forward to listening to the CD and I certainly wasn’t disappointed. Although the album is just about to be released (February 9*) It was actually recorded live in London and Manchester in 2014!  
The opening number, Retaken, is a fairly straight-ahead piece dominated from the outset by an almost mariachi-style trumpet and a bass solo that really slows things down a bit before the ensemble joins in for an uplifting finale. 

RIP George Laing

More sad news hit me whilst I was incarcerated - the passing of pianist George Laing on February 7. 
Back in the day, South Shields abounded with piano-led trios and there were none finer than the one fronted by George. I first heard him in the Cyprus pub where he knocked me out with a version of Woody Herman's Applehoney that, to my ears, has yet to bettered apart from by George himself (it became a staple part of his repertoire). 
When the CIU clubs began to expand he added the obligatory Hammond and Leslie technique to his armoury and became resident organist in various such establishments.

Thursday, February 08, 2018

RIP Bill Brooks.

During my recent hospital stay I received the following sad news from Gordon Solomon:

Just a bit of sad news. Bill Brooks passed away last night (February 2). I can only describe Bill as a Gentleman of Jazz, he never spoke ill of anyone, regardless of the situation he found himself in. He was a fine bass player and possessed that much sought after quality - the ability to swing. He was also a good guitar player, indeed he started playing jazz as a guitarist before switching to bass when he was offered the position with the Vieux Carre Jazzmen in 1961. He joined the River City band in 1978 and played with them until a few years ago when his increasing problems with dementia forced him to retire. Bill spent his last years in a nursing home. He was a good friend and will be sadly missed.
Gordon.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Classic Swing @ The Ship, Monkseaton - January 30

Bob Wade (trumpet & flugelhorn); Jim McBriarty (tenor saxophone, clarinet & vocals); Gordon Solomon (trombone); Colin Haikney (piano); Bill Colledge (bass) & Tommy Graham (drums)
(Review by Russell) 
A combination of holiday commitments, the ravages of flu and the returning Jim McBriarty brought about one or two changes to the line-up at this week’s Classic Swing session in Monkseaton. The Ship on Front Street continues to do good business on a Tuesday lunchtime and it isn’t surprising given the quality of musician assembled by trumpeter Bob Wade.

Monday, January 29, 2018

CD Review: Matthew Read Trio - Anecdotes II

Benedict Wood (guitar), Matthew Read (double bass) & Arthur Newell (drums)
(Review by Russell) 
Three recent Guildhall graduates, the Matthew Read Trio is shortly to release a second album, a second volume, titled Anecdotes II. All bar one of the eleven tracks were written by bassist Read with one other contributed by guitarist Benedict Wood. Drummer Arthur Newell doesn’t contribute a
composition to the album but his sensitive playing is first-rate from start to finish.           

Paul Booth – Going! Going! Gone!

Globetrotting reeds superstar Paul Booth’s gig with the Strictly Smokin’ Big Band next month at Alphabetti Theatre in Newcastle has sold out the best part of three weeks in advance (Feb 17). Booth left the region many years ago to pursue a life in jazz and his gig with the superb Strictly Smokin’ Big Band, led by trumpeter Michael Lamb, is an all-too-rare appearance on home turf.
Russell.

Annie Ross

More memories from Bill Harper's Near Enough For Jazz. This time it's Annie Ross.
Lance

Best of the month - January

Best CD (Joint)
Birkett and Fisk Play Venuti and Lang.
Kate McGarry: The Subject is Love.
Best Gig.
Incognito @ Hoochie Coochie January 19.
These are just my personal choices no doubt others will have their own ideas - Lance

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Women Play Jazz! Workshops @ The Globe, Saturdays - January 6 -27

Four workshops led by Cumbrian Jilly Jarman -  composer, singer, arts organiser - resulted in several of us having a great time, playing and learning, rounded off with a gathering where we performed for each other and had a feast of food to indulge in. I suppose about 20 women, in all. were involved, though not everyone was able to attend every session. And what a good- humoured lot we were – there were certainly plenty of laughs.

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