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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.


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).

Saturday, July 03, 2021

Album launch @ the 606 Club: Alex Western-King - Sideslip. July 1

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

I'd heard of the 606 Club - who hasn't? - it is legendary - and, of course, I've been reviewing their Saturday night livestreams for the past few months.

This was another album launch which had been reviewed on BSH by Dave Sayer and the first set more or less had me concurring with what he had to say. The music was every bit as good as he said it was but, nor was the artwork as bad - in fact I quite liked it! So check it out on Dave's review (HERE).

So, rather than reiterating Dave's words in my grammatically incorrect manner, I'm going to enthuse over the second set where Western-King said that they were going to party - and party they did!

(Photos by Martin Hummel)
The quartet, joined by James Copus, who'd played on one of the album's tracks, and Alex Garnett who is the Special Guest - Do they ever have any guests who aren't special? - the party began ... hard bop at its hardest.

Hoedown sets the pace and Garnett is the first to show. I've admired him as a tenor player for many years but this is the first time I've heard him play alto. WOW! is barely sufficient although that is the audience's reaction and it's mine too. After a solo like that the other two horns have to put up or shut up - they don't fold - they up the ante. Copus is the hottest modern trumpet player around. The lineage of Dizzy, Fats, Clifford, Lee etc. now includes James.

Leader Western-King, although seemingly gaping in awe at the other two nevertheless, injects his own impetus - particularly on Trane's I Want to Talk About You.

Cannonball's Del Sasser is different, the horns exchange fours at the start rather than at the end treating us to a jazz brawl at the weigh-in before the bout begins.

(Photo by Martin Hummel)
There's so much happening my scribbled notes no longer make sense as I wallow in the sound. 52nd St., Central Ave., Frith St., Dean St., Lots Rd., Heaven - I'm in all of those places at once so apologies for missing some of the titles before the inevitable encore - Moment's Notice.

Moment's Notice leaves the station like the Bullet Train rather than the Blue Train (the album from which it first appeared). Kicked along by Davis' fiery drumming, the impeccable, often humorous bass playing of Wickham and the amazing piano solos of Sam Leak. Indeed, during the course of the evening there have been times when the horns have had to settle for the minor places after a piano solo. But jazz isn't about who is better than who, at least not tonight. Tonight, everyone's a winner.

Apart from the music, it's also a social (distanced of course) event for me starting at the door where I'm greeted by Esther Bennett whose livestream launch I reviewed recently. "He's a journalist" she explains. 

I enter as blogger and leave as a journalist! I also receive a "Hi" by proxy via Esther from Beverley Beirne. "Hi Beverley".

Later I meet up with Martin Hummel of Ubuntu Records who kindly supplies the photos and, after our usual joshing, introduces me to Alec Garnett who proves to be as entertaining off the stand as he is on it.

It's been quite a night - even my number 14 bus is on time.

In the words of General MacArthur - "We will be back!" Lance

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