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Bebop Spoken There

George "Big Nick" Nicholas: "This band [George Adams-Don Pullen Quartet] is a bitch on roller skates, baby. They'll run you over if you ain't ready" (JazzTimes April, 2022)

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

14264 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 14 years ago. 483 of them this year alone and, so far, 83 this month (May 26).

From This Moment On ...

May.

Thu 26: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 26: Deep Pope + Garner & Pope @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 7:00pm. £7.00.
Thu 26: 58 Jazz Collective @ Hops & Cheese, Hartlepool. 7:30pm.
Thu 26: Knats @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Thu 26: Jeremy McMurray & the Pocket Orchestra @ Arc, Stockton. 8:00pm.
Thu 26: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead. 8:30pm.
Thu 26: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 27: Alice Grace Quartet @ The Gala, Durham. 1:00pm.
Fri 27: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 27: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm.
Fri 27: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 27: Fergus McCreadie Trio @ The Witham, Barnard Castle. 7:30pm.

Sat 28: Whitley Bay Carnival: Northern Monkey Brass Band (1:00-1:45pm & 4:00-4:45pm); Baghdaddies (2:00-2:45pm & 5:00-5:45pm) @ Spanish City Plaza Arena, Whitley Bay. Northern Monkey Brass Band (2:30-2:45pm) @ Rainbow Corner (Marine Ave.), Whitley Bay.
Sat 28: Jack Logan & the Swing Section @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Sun 29 Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 29: Musicians Unlimited @ Hartlepool United Supporters’ Club, Hartlepool. 1:00pm.
Sun 29: Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 29: Groovetrain @ Tyne Bar, Newcastle. 4:00pm. Free.
Sun 29: Zoë Gilby Quartet @ Allendale Village Hall, Northumberland. 7:30pm.
Sun 29: Two of a Mind: Sue Ferris-Steve Summers Quartet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £10.00 adv., £12.00. door.
Sun 29: Jam session @ Fabio's Bar, Durham. 8:00pm. A Durham Uni Jazz Soc event. All welcome.
Sun 29: Cedric Burnside @ Cluny, Newcastle. Superb Mississippi hill country blues!

Mon 30: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Tue 31: Jam session @ Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. House trio: Stu Collingwood, Paul Grainger, Rob Walker.

June

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: Four @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 01: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

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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