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12,535 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 254 of them this year alone and, so far, 105 this month (Feb. 24).

Thursday, January 14, 2021

The London Supersax Project livestreaming from Ronnie Scott's - Jan. 14

(Screenshots by Ken Drew).

This was, in effect, what Kansas Smitty's would call a Playback Session with the front man giving the audience the background to how it all happened. Explaining how Med Flory, Warne Marsh and others transcribed famous Charlie Parker solos for five saxes which were then released as Supersax.

At Ronnie's no mention was made of the original Supersax although Charlie Parker's connection to the tunes, most of which he composed, was detailed - cutting out the middle man one might say. The lesser informed may have thought this was something new.

However, all that aside, this was a stonking set with the five saxes reading the parts with such accuracy that it was incredible to speculate on how much or how little rehearsal time they'd had.

Surprisingly, given that this was a sax orientated session, most of the solos went to trumpeter Steve Fishwick who took on the role of Conte Candoli and did it well. Upon reflection, as the saxes were playing Charlie Parker solos as a section, how were they, the saxes, going to improve on what Bird had laid down?

When they were let loose, boy did they go to town! On Moose the Mooche, Garnett, Mayne and Richardson hit pay-dirt with their solos. The Adrenalin flow was upped with the exchanges which progressed in ever decreasing measures ultimately ending up with one bar individual salvos. It was a close thing but I think Richardson shaded it by a demi-semi-quaver.

At the other end of the line, Barford and Allen went toe to toe on Koko. The jury's still out. Skelton also parradiddled on this one.

As ever, Pearson did the piano part to perfection and Conor Chaplin's bass solo impressed on Parker's Mood

Other numbers were Cool Blues; Just Friends; Groovin' High; Star Eyes and A Night in Tunisia with the saxes playing what came to be known as "The famous alto break".

The finale was Salt Peanuts. I'd got a packet of crisps for my supper but it didn't stop me shouting "Salt Peanuts" at the appropriate moments.

Excellent!
Lance

Alex Garnett, Sammy Mayne (alto sax); Tom Barford, Brandon Allen (tenor sax), Leo Richardson (baritone sax); Steve Fishwick (trumpet); James Pearson (piano); Conor Chapman (bass); Matt Skelton (drums).

1 comment :

Russell said...

A great session, exemplary section work from the all-star saxophones.

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