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Bebop Spoken There

Dave Gelly: "I honestly think that Danish singer Sinne Eeg must be one of the best jazz vocalists alive today, although I confess I haven't heard them all." - (Observer, 28.11.21)

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

14743 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 1362 of them this year alone and, so far, 78 this month (Nov. 24).

From This Moment On ...

November

Mon 29: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

December

Wed 01: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 01: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 01: Jools Holland’s R & B Orchestra @ Newcastle City Hall. Doors: 6:30pm. 1st night.
Wed 01: Four @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00-9:30pm. In the bar.
Wed 01: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Wed 01: Tom Ollendorff @ Café Cathedral, Owengate, Durham. 8:00pm. £5.00. A Durham Jazz Soc. event.

Thu 02: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon. £22.00. Xmas lunch. Tel: 0191 691 7090.
Thu 02: Jools Holland’s R & B Orchestra @ Newcastle City Hall. Doors: 6:30pm. 2nd night.
Thu 02: Jeremy McMurray & the Pocket Orchestra @ Billingham Catholic Club. 7:30pm. Fundraiser for SVP. Tickets: £5.00. from 07757 062798.
Thu 02: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead. 8:30pm.
Thu 02: Tees Hot Club, Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 03: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon. £22.00. Xmas lunch. Tel: 0191 691 7090.
Fri 03: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 03: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm.
Fri 03: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 03: Classic Swing @ Saltburn Community Theatre. 7:30pm.

Sat 04: Play Jazz! Workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. Tutor: Clark Tracey. £25.00., book at: www.jazz.coop. .
Sat 04: Hot Club du Nord @ St Cuthbert’s, Hebron, nr. Morpeth. 7:30pm. Festive Special! SOLD OUT!.
Sat 04: Tyne Valley Big Band @ Greenside Community Centre, Ryton. 7:30pm. £5.00..
Sat 04: Clark Tracey Quartet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £15.00. .
Sat 04: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Red Lion, Earsdon, North Tyneside. 8:00pm. £3.00. Xmas party.

Sun 05 Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 05: Smokin’ Spitfires @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 12:45pm.
Sun 05: Musicians Unlimited @ South Durham Social Club, Hartlepool. 1:00pm.
Sun 05: Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 05: Glenn Miller Orchestra UK @ Stockton Globe. 3:00pm. Ray McVay & co.
Sun 05: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 7:00pm.
Sun 05: Knats @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 06: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

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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