Total Pageviews

Bebop Spoken There

Art Blakey: "You [Bobby Watson] don't want to play too long, because you don't know they're clapping because they're glad you finished!" - (JazzTimes, Nov. 2019)..

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!"


15848 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 15 years ago. 855 of them this year alone and, so far, 53 this month (Sept. 18).

From This Moment On ...


Thu 21: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 21: La Malbec Orchestra @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Thu 21: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Ragtime piano. A 'Jar on the Bar' gig.
Thu 21: Linsday Hannon: Tom Waits for No Man @ Harbour View, Sunderland. 8:00pm. Free.
Thu 21: Ray Stubbs R & B All Stars @ The Schooner, Gateshead. 8:30pm. Free.
Thu 21: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman's Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 22: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 22: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 22: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 22: Brief Encounter @ Bardon Mill Village Hall, Northumberland. 7:00pm. Tickets: £10.00. adv from 07885 303166; £12.00. on the door. Chris & Veronica Perrin improvising to a screening of the 1929 'Jazz Age' silent film Piccadilly (Dir. Ewald André Dupont).
Fri 22: Paul Edis & Graeme Wilson + Three Tsuru Origami @ Jesmond United Reformed Church, Newcastle. 7:30pm. A Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music event.
Fri 22: Crooners @ Tyne Theatre, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Fri 22: Abbie Finn's Finntet @ Traveller's Rest, Darlington. 8:00pm. Opus 4 Jazz Club.

Sat 23: Tyne Valley Big Band @ Tanfield Railway, Gateshead. 2:00-4:00pm. Free. A '1940s Weekend' event.
Sat 23: Jason Isaacs @ Stack, Seaburn. 3:30-5:30pm. Free.
Sat 23: Andrew Porritt & Keith Barrett @ Cullercoats Watch House, Front St., Cullercoats NE30 4QB. 7:00pm.
Sat 23: Michael Woods @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A 'Jar on the Bar' gig. Country blues.

Sun 24: Musicians Unlimited @ Park Inn, Hartlepool. 1:00pm. Free.
Sun 24: More Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00pm. Free.

Mon 25: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Mon 25: Michael Young Trio @ The Engine Room, Sunderland. 7:00pm.

Tue 26: Paul Skerritt @ The Rabbit Hole, Hallgarth St., Durham DH1 3AT. 7:00pm. Paul Skerritt's (solo) weekly residency.

Wed 27: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 27: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 27: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Album Review: Cleveland Watkiss – The Great Jamaican Songbook Vol. 1

Cleveland Watkiss (lead vocals, backing vocals, synth, arrangements); Orphy Robinson (keys, vibes); Phil Ramocon (keys); Alan Nolan Weekes (guitars); Delroy Murray (bass); Carl Robinson (drums); Ava Joseph (backing vocals, ad libs, 1,2,5,6) + horn section (all tracks except 3, 5) Ray Carless (tenor sax); Byron Wallen (trumpet); James Wade-Sired (trombone)

This album is part of an Arts Council funded project concerning Jamaican music and Volume 1 suggests there is more to come, which will be very welcome if this CD is anything to go by. 

I'm not really sure if the music is appropriate for a jazz blog as the main 'feel' of the music is the entrancing 12, 12 12 of the ska beat from drum and bass, rather than the 1234 swing of jazz. However Watkiss is a co-founder of the Jazz Warriors and his musical credentials are wide, including pop, reggae and funk as well as enumerable mentions in these pages including guest appearances with Sheila Jordan at Sage Gateshead in 2009. And there are many jazz-like elements included in the music, such as short instrumental solos, and what sounds like improvised singing over fascinating instrumentation.

The songs were not familiar to me, but they apparently show the origins and development of Jamaican music and culture, concerning the life and times of the island's most inspirational figures. I would have loved more guidance about the meanings behind the lyrics. Many were love songs such as If I Don't Have You; Curly Locks is an amusing song about lovers who have different hairstyles, curly and dreadlocks; Night Nurse is a rather naughty saucy song asking the nurse's help, with the trombone sounding sexy, then playing a laughing sort of tone.

The final track, Red, Gold & Green, is a powerful song which appears to be celebrating Jamaica and the song is rounded off with the horns moving off into the Caribbean sunset. I'm not familiar with the names of the songwriters, Gregory Isaacs, Bobby Melody, Delroy Wilson and others. The instrumentation is skilled, all played over the ska/reggae beat, and I especially enjoyed the lively horns. The musicians assembled by Watkiss for this album are all celebrated UK jazz, pop, reggae and funk legends, such as multi-instrumentalist Orphy Robinson MBE, revered trumpeter Byron Wallen  (recently at Gosforth Civic Theatre) and Jamaican saxophonist Ray Carless.

Cleveland Watkiss MBE is a winner of the 2021 Ivors Composer Award for Innovation. His impact and legacy covers a broad spectrum of musical genres and he performs regularly at leading venues in the UK and internationally. He is a drum and bass vocalist and MC who has residencies at some of the world's biggest and best dance music events. He has worked with many other musical organisations, including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Dusseldorf Symphony Orchestra, the Northern Sinfonia, Wynton Marsalis, Bob Dylan, Stevie Wonder and many more. There is an important UK tour associated with this CD which begins on March 26 this year with the album launch at Canary Wharf, but unfortunately there are no events up north. See

If I Don't Have You; Curly Locks; Joy In The Morning; What Is Man; Cool Operator; Babylon Too Rough; Only A Smile; Humanity; Night Nurse; Red, Gold & Green

Ann Alex

No comments :

Blog Archive