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Bebop Spoken There

Julian Lage: "Charlie Christian's the greatest ever, in my opinion." - (DownBeat, 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

15103 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 15 years ago. 122 of them this year alone and, so far, 20 this month (Feb. 6).

From This Moment On ...

February

Tue 07: Jam session @ Black Swan, Newcastle Arts Centre. 7:30pm. House trio: Alan Law (piano); Paul Grainger (double bass); Rob Walker (drums). Jam session reverts to a first & third Tuesday in the month schedule.

Wed 08: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 08: Jam session @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 1:00pm. Free. TBC.
Wed 08: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 08: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 08: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 09: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 4:00pm (this week only). Free.
Thu 09: Indigo Jazz Voices @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:45pm. £5.00.
Thu 09: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman's Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm. Guest band: Just Friends: Ian Bosworth (guitar); Richie Emmerson (sax); Dave Archbold (keys); Ron Smith (bass); Mark Hawkins (drums).

Fri 10: Alan Barnes w Dean Stockdale Trio @ Bishop Auckland Town Hall. 1:00pm. £7.00. SOLD OUT!
Fri 10: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 10: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 10: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 10: Alan Barnes w Dean Stockdale Trio @ Traveller's Rest, Darlington. 8:00pm. £12.00.

Sat 11: Slowlight Quartet @ The Rooms @ Immediate Audio, Unit 24, Morley's Yard South, Albion Row, Byker, Newcastle NE6 1PQ. 2:30pm. Tickets: www.wegottickets.com.
First gig of four (1/4). The Slowlights feat. YVA. SOLD OUT!
Sat 11: New Century Ragtime Orchestra @ King's Hall, Newcastle University. 7:00pm. £15.00. on the door.
Sat 11: Slowlight Quartet @ The Rooms @ Immediate Audio, Unit 24, Morley's Yard South, Albion Row, Byker, Newcastle NE6 1PQ. 7:30pm. Tickets: www.wegottickets.com. Second gig of four (2/4). The Slowlights feat. YVA. SOLD OUT!
Sat 11: Vermont Big Band & the Coast Connection @ The Seahorse, Whitley Bay FC. 7:30pm. £10.00. (inc. hot buffet), raffle. SOLD OUT!
Sat 11: The Rebelators @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Sun 12: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon. LAST SESSION!
Sun 12: Slowlight Quartet @ The Rooms @ Immediate Audio, Unit 24, Morley's Yard South, Albion Row, Byker, Newcastle NE6 1PQ. 2:30pm. Tickets: www.wegottickets.com. Third gig of four (3/4). The Slowlights feat. YVA. SOLD OUT!
Sun 12: Am Jam @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 3:00pm. Free. Jam session, all welcome.
Sun 12: Jive Aces @ Queen's Hall, Hexham. 7:30pm.
Sun 12: Slowlight Quartet @ The Rooms @ Immediate Audio, Unit 24, Morley's Yard South, Albion Row, Byker, Newcastle NE6 1PQ. 7:30pm. Tickets: www.wegottickets.com. Fourth gig of four (4/4). The Slowlights feat. YVA.
Sun 12: Sylvain Darrifourcq-Manuel Hermia-Valentin Ceccaldi @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. JNE promotion (upstairs).

Mon 13: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Mon 13: Central Bar Quintet @ Central Bar, Gateshead. 7:30pm. £5.00. First set: The Central Bar Quintet plays Horace Silver's The Tokyo Blues (featuring Pete Tanton). Second set: standards & more (no jam session).

Tue 14: ???

Friday, August 13, 2021

Mark Williams and Paul Susans– Hexham Bandstand Sessions - August 12

Jazz in the Park – Northumberland style! This concert was number seven in a new series of Bandstand Sessions in the Sele Park in Hexham, and the first jazz gig amongst a very varied line up of blue grass, folk, pop, rock and singer-songwriters. The new venture is funded by a Hexham Town Council rejuvenated by the local elections back in May, and promoted/stage managed by the town’s fabulous Core Music, the social enterprise responsible for much of the area’s music teaching, performing and enabling.

The person responsible for the promotion and organization of this series and on hand tonight was none other than Berklee-educated jazz supremo John Hirst, who will be well known to readers from his drumming and band-leading some years back (reported here).  I bet he was itching to join the night’s two stars on stage!

The Bandstand Sessions run on Sunday afternoons and Thursday evenings, and this one kicked off at 6:00pm (though normal start time is 5:00pm) programmed for 45 mins or so, attracting over a hundred in the audience, probably mostly unfamiliar with jazz, but all very appreciative of the opportunity to hear first rate music near to home in such pleasant surroundings. The diverse crowd were comfortably seated in the sunshine, many with drinks and snacks,  on a variety of Hexham Town Council branded deckchairs, benches, camping chairs, picnic rugs and even some folk from a nearby care home in wheel chairs!  The bandstand sits on a network of paths, so a constant stream of passers-by and dogwalkers get the benefit of a quick taster, and we even had the dubious pleasure of a young man pulling a wheelie on his bike on a full circuit of the stage!

Anyway, back to the music – Paul Susans at the mic explained this was the first time the pair had played together for two years or so – apart from a few days ago! No sign of rustiness or lack of rapport though as they treated us to a very tastefully arranged selection of standards and a couple of their originals, played immaculately as you would expect.  My concerns that their subtle and mellow style would be inaudible were quickly allayed as a decent PA system resonated around the park, only briefly disrupted by a raucous flock of crows heading for their roost!

Paul Susans’ powerful and resonant playing was the perfect foil for Mark’s trademark cascading waterfalls of notes and shimmering chords, and the audience were soon foot-tapping and engrossed. The foot-tapping was a little confused during a lovely rendition of All the Things You Are as the maestros indulged in some cheeky interludes in 7.  Paul then explained he had spent some months in lockdown working on his bowing technique, and this was unveiled in a powerful and effective contrasting intro section – practice time well spent!

A couple of Metheny numbers were introduced by way of Paul’s assumption that Mark was a fan, only to be told he’d rather gone off him! You could have fooled me though, as a subtle and intricate Soul Cowboy led into a stirring rendition of the classic crowd pleaser Song for Bilbao. Next up was a gorgeously melodic Williams original, Finally, that turned out to be mis-named as an enthusiastic crowd called for more, and the duo were pleased to deliver Booze Blues to much applause.

Hats off to Mark and Paul for an enthralling set of subtlety and grace, with variety and impact well beyond the confines of an acoustic duo. Hats off too to Hexham Town Council and Core Music for setting this up and making such good use of a lovely public space, and providing a platform for outstanding musicians to reach out to new audiences. The second half of the Bandstand Sessions programme will be released soon – so look out for more outdoor jazz and other genres in Hexham through to mid-September! Chris K

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