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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).

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Book review: Saxophone Colossus - A Portrait of Sonny Rollins

A bit late to review a book that was published in 2009 and which I picked up from one of those bargain bookshops (now probably long gone) near King's Cross a few years later. 

To say that this is the best ever photo-biography of a jazz giant is putting it mildly. The photos by John Abbott are stunning and the text by John Blumenthal is as perceptive as anything I've read about Rollins.

The words are music, the sounds ring out from the page. Even if you've never heard a note played by the great tenor saxist you can visualise the sound from the words and the pictures.

If there is something good to have come out of this period of our lives then it is the space we have been given to pull down that book from the shelf or that album from the rack and enjoy.

Whilst the jazz mags promote all the new kids on the block - one of whom may become the Sonny Rollins of their generation - it's good to have musicians like Sonny, even though he's now retired, to remind them and us where the goal posts are.

The quotes are many such as Coltrane on the fours in Tenor Madness: "Ah man you were just playing with me!" this was after Rollins had picked up on one of Trane's licks and played it backwards!

I've often wondered who the musicians are that I regretted most about not hearing live. A difficult choice, I acknowledge that many of them were dead before I was born and some, such as Bird, Django  and Wardell Gray, died just as I was on the cusp of discovering jazz leaving Sonny Rollins at the top of my "I Wish" list.

However, I digress, this maybe a coffee table book but, to do it justice the table must be at least Chippendale and the coffee Blue Mountain ($3.72 an ounce).
Lance
Saxophone Colossus - A Portrait of Sonny Rollins by John Abbott and Bob Blumenthal. Published by Abrams' Books, New York.*

Available on Amazon for under a tenner including postage.

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