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Bebop Spoken There

John Scofield: "I like architecture that lends itself to improvisation." - (Jazzwise November, 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.
Ann Braithwaite (Braithwaite & Katz Communications) You’re the BEST! --

Postage

13,837 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 1254 of them this year alone and, so far, 66 this month (Oct. 23).

From This Moment On ...

October

Tue 26: Classic Swing @ Ship inn, Monkseaton. 1:00pm. The post-lockdown resumption of the band’s weekly residency will be fortnightly until further notice.
Tue 26: Jam session @ Black Swan, Newcastle Arts Centre. 8:00pm. The post-lockdown resumption of the Black Swan’s fortnightly jam session.

Wed 27: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 27: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 27: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 28: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 28: J Frisco @ Newcastle University. 1:15pm. ONLINE ONLY (YouTube).
Thu 28: ’58 Jazz Collective @ Hops & Cheese, Hartlepool. 7:30pm.
Thu 28: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead. 8:30pm.
Thu 28: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman's Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 29: James Birkett & Bradley Johnston @ Gala Theatre, Durham. 1:00pm..
Fri 29: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm..
Fri 29: Rendezvous Jazz @ Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm..
Fri 29: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm.

Sun 31 Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon..
Sun 31: Musicians Unlimited @ South Durham Social Club, Hartlepool. 1:00pm. .
Sun 31: More Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 3:00pm. Jam session..
Sun 31: Alison Rayner Quintet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

November

Mon 01: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Album review: Alex Western-King - Sideslip

Alex Western King (tenor sax); James Copus (trumpet); Sam Leak (piano); Jonny Wickham (bass); Jay Davis (drums).

This is an album of two personalities. One is a bop balladeer from the ‘50s and the other is much more modern and challenging giving a suggestion of where Western-King might go on his next album.

The first two tracks exemplify this dichotomy; Make Way is relaxed with laid back piano and sax solos whilst Disorder Reordered does what it says on the tin. The latter has a disjointed, angular opening from bass and drums with Leak providing ‘Monk-ish’ interjections from somewhere behind them. The sax doesn’t come in until near the end as Western-King squalls over heavy riffing. This is lively stuff.

Dark Space starts as more Sunday morning music, though it is redeemed by a sax solo that builds towards plaintive wailings at the end that draws the listener in. It’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Inner Eye has a lovely ‘Bill Evans-y’ piano solo which leads into a duet with the bass. At the end of that passage I expected to hear polite night club applause and was almost surprised it wasn’t there, the tune is that well-mannered.

The title track opens like a hard bop reading of Well You Never and is built off Wickham’s rolling and tumbling, stabbing drums. Whilst he only solos, briefly, towards the end of the track his is the dominant force throughout. Copus adds some energy and attack on trumpet and provides a foil for Western-King, the two of them provide the highlights of the albums solos, sounding like a modernised Blakey front line.

The closer, The Long Road could have come from the soundtrack of a ‘50s noir thriller, especially one that featured a night-time car chase through twisting, mountainous country roads or a chase through dark alleys with the bad guy, the hero and a percussive pianist in hot pursuit of each other. Western-King lets himself go on a disrupted, fractured solo, surfing on the nose of a precarious rhythm section wave that feels like it could all come tumbling down at any second if it weren’t for the listener willing him on. Both Jay Davis on the drums Alex W-K, himself, are on top of their game, revelling in the space left as the others drop out.

Listeners hearing this album without having the sleeve notes to hand may suspect that it was recorded on two separate occasions with two sets of backing musicians which is not the case. So, there you have it; Alex Western-Kings ballad album and his progressive jazz album on one disc. It’ll be interesting to see where he goes next.

Mention should be made of the cover which shows Western-King in various poses in a concrete underpass wearing his dad’s old parka and looking as cheerful as a UK Eurovision entrant after all the points have been awarded. Ubuntu haven’t really provided the best covers for many of their albums but this one is poor, even by their standards.

Sideslip is released on June 25 and will be available through the usual outlets.

Alex’s website can be found HERE. Dave Sayer

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