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Bebop Spoken There

Greg Osby: “I have my own style, my own attitude, my own opinions about things. I'm not a follower". DownBeat, February, 2024.

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!"

Simon Spillett: A lovely review from the dean of jazz bloggers, Lance Liddle...

Josh Weir: I love the writing on bebop spoken here... I think the work you are doing is amazing.


16221 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 103 of them this year alone and, so far, 47 this month (Feb. 18).

From This Moment On ...

February 2024

Wed 21: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 21: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 21: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

Thu 22: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 22: Student Performances @ King’s Hall, Newcastle University. 4:00pm. Free. Inc. Remi Coulthard-Boardman (voice).
Thu 22: Crooners @ Darlington Hippodrome. 7:30pm. £30.00., £27.00., £24.00., £18.00.
Thu 22: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar,
Newcastle. 8:00pm. Ragtime piano. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 22: Soznak @ The Schooner, South Shore Road, Gateshead. 8:00pm.
Thu 22: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests Kevin Eland (trumpet); Josh Bentham (sax); Garry Hadfield (keys); Ron Smith (bass).
Thu 22: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Carlisle Jazz Club (Carlisle Rugby Club), Warwick Road, Carlisle CA1 1LW. 8.30pm. £10.

Fri 23: Mark Williams Trio @ The Gala, Durham. 1:00pm. £8.00.
Fri 23: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 23: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 23: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 23: Salty Dog Trio @ The Greenhouse, Tynemouth. 7:00pm. £8.00. (£6.00. adv.). CANCELLED!
Fri 23: Crooners @ The Maltings, Berwick upon Tweed. 7:30pm. £30.00., £28.00.
Fri 23: Strictly Smokin' Big Band w Dennis Rollins @ Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.

Sat 24: NUJO Jazz Jam @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 7:00pm (doors). Free (donations). A Newcastle University Jazz Orchestra event, all welcome.
Sat 24: Bradley Creswick’s Western Swingfonia @ Hexham Abbey, Hexham. 7:30pm. £15.00. A fundraiser for Hexham Abbey.
Sat 24: Papa G’s Troves @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Sun 25: Musicians Unlimited @ The Park Inn, Hartlepool. 1:00pm. Free.
Sun 25: More Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:30pm. Free.
Sun 25: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay Metro Station. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 25: Lindsay Hannon: Tom Waits for No Man + Lee Maddison @ Laurels, Whitley Bay. 4:00pm (3:30pm doors). £11.00., £8.80. inc. bf. SOLD OUT!
Sun 25: Bex Burch + Rachel Musson @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £11.00. Two solo performances. JNE.
Sun 25: Jazz Jam @ Fabio's, Saddler St., Durham. 8:00pm. Free. A Durham University Jazz Society event. All welcome.

Mon 26: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.

Tue 27: Ruth Lambert Quartet @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 8:00pm (7:00pm doors). £12.00., £10.00. (adv.).

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

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