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Bebop Spoken There

Lakecia Benjamin: "From my early days with Clark Terry, he told me 'they see you before they hear you'... I'm just not from that school of thought where I'm gonna wear my jeans and T-shirt on stage and that's going to be respectable." - (Jazzwise, February 2023)

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!"

Postage

15056 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 15 years ago. 75 of them this year alone and, so far, 75 this month (Jan. 25).

From This Moment On ...

January

Fri 27: Zoë Gilby Quartet @ Gala Theatre, Durham. 1:00pm. SOLDOUT!
Fri 27: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 27: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 27: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 27: Hip Hop Hooray @ Bar 52, Newcastle. 7:00pm.
Fri 27: John Dikeman, Pat Thomas, John Edwards, Steve Noble @ Lit & Phil. 7:30pm. £10.00.
Fri 27: Rob Heron & the Tea Pad Orchestra @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. 7:30pm. £10.00. on the door. A Swung Eight event.
Fri 27: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. Ragtime & stride piano. 8:00pm.

Sat 28: Tyneside Improvisers Workshop @ Ye Olde Cross, Ryton. 2:00-4:00pm. All welcome.
Sat 28: Secular Sounds in a Sacred Place @ Holy Cross Church, Ryton. 4:30-7:00pm. £10.00. Continuous performance featuring: Christian Alderson, Faye MacCalman, Sally Pilkington, John Pope. Event preceded by a Tyneside Improvisers Workshop (2:00pm, see above).
Sat 28: Entartete Musik @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. A Brundibár Arts Festival event.

Sun 29: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 29: Musicians Unlimited @ Park Inn, Hartlepool. 1:00pm.
Sun 29: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 29: Hypnotic Brass Band @ Cluny, Newcastle. 7:00pm (doors). £20.00.
Sun 29: Jam No.12 @ Fabio's, Saddler St., Durham. 8:00pm. Free. Durham University Jazz Society jam session. All welcome (students & non-students).
Sun 29: Origin @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 30: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Tue 31: ???

February

Wed 01: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 01: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 01: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 01: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Wed 01: Moonlight Serenade Orchestra UK: Glenn Miller & Big Band Spectacular @ Darlington Hippodrome. 7:30pm.

Thu 02: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 02: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library. 2:30-4:30pm. £1.00. All welcome.
Thu 02: Paul Skerritt Duo @ Tomahawk Steakhouse, High St., Yarm. 8:00pm.
Thu 02: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman's Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

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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