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Bebop Spoken There

Charles McPherson: “Jazz is best heard in intimate places”. (DownBeat, July, 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.

Postage

16590 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 483 of them this year alone and, so far, 29 this month (July 14).

From This Moment On ...

July

Fri 19: Luis Verde with the Dean Stockdale Trio @ The Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. SOLD OUT!
Fri 19: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 19: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 19: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 19: Luis Verde with the Dean Stockdale Trio @ Traveller’s Rest, Darlington. 8:00pm. Opus 4 Jazz Club.
Fri 19: Zoë Gilby Trio @ Seventeen Nineteen, Hendon, Sunderland. 7:30pm.

Sat 20: Snake Davis & Helen Watson Duo @ Chopwell Community Centre NE17 7HZ. 7:30pm. £17.50.

Sun 21: Paul Skerritt @ Hibou Blanc, Newcastle. 2:00pm.
Sun 21: Salty Dog @ The Globe, Newcastle. 3:00pm.
Sun 21: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Free. Sun 21: The Big Easy @ The White Room, Stanley. 5:00pm.
Sun 21: Ben Crosland Quartet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 22: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.

Tue 23: Nomade Swing Trio @ Newcastle House Hotel, Rothbury. 7:30pm. £10.00. Tickets from Tully’s of Rothbury or at the door (cash only). A Coquetdale Jazz event.

Wed 24: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 24: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 24: The Ronnie Scott’s Story @ The Fire Station, Sunderland. 7:30pm.
Wed 24: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.
Wed 24: Milne-Glendinning Band @ Cafédral, Owengate, Durham. 9:00pm. £9.00. & £6.00. A Durham Fringe Festival event.

Thu 25: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. Ragtime piano. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 25: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests: Garry Hadfield (keys); Noel Dennis (tpt); Richie Emmerson (tenor sax); Adrian Beadnell (bass).
Thu 25: Milne-Glendinning Band @ Cafédral, Owengate, Durham. 9:00pm. £9.00. & £6.00. A Durham Fringe Festival event.

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Book Review: Paul Sexton – Charlie’s Good Tonight

The title comes from a throwaway line from Mick Jagger recorded for posterity on the 1969 Rolling Stones live album Get Your Ya-Yas Out which is a as good a place as any to start with the band’s best line up of Jagger, Richards, Taylor, Wyman and Watts. But, don’t take my word for it, that appraisal of the late sixties, early seventies line-up as the best is according to Charlie Watts, and, as the one sat at the back looking at Mick Jagger’s jiving arse for nearly sixty years, he should know.

This is a very affectionate portrait of Charlie Watts from a journalist who was close to the band during its later decades. The chronology of albums and tours is only lightly touched upon allowing the main focus to fall on Watts’ personality, his music and personal loves, (he married Shirley in the early days of the Stones and they stayed together until he died in 2021), his horses, homes, collections and clothes. It is as far from a tale of rock’n’roll excess as could be imagined. This is a man who would spend nights on tour drawing things in his hotel rooms after making sure that his clothing was properly put away, socks perfectly matched and folded. He would, anonymously, wander the cities they played in in the early mornings, impeccably attired and well-shod.

This week’s definitive story of the fight between Jagger and Watts following Mick’s introduction of Charlie as his drummer is included as is his mid-life crisis when he took to drink and drugs in a way he never had before. A fall down the cellar stairs and a broken ankle a few months before an engagement at Scott’s led to an end to that lifestyle and a return to normality.

The interest for readers of BSH will fall on the sections that deal with Charlie Watts’ favourite music. The Stones are very much ‘the day job’ but his first and endearing love is jazz. His lifelong friendship with bassist Dave Green is one of the mainstays of his life. They grew up in neighbouring post-war prefabs and played together, originally with a tea chest bass and a banjo body as a drum, later in pick up bands and, together, in pubs as part of the Joe Jones Seven and All Stars before Watts joined Alexis Korner. When his finances were such that he could indulge his love fully he put together the Orchestra which hoovered up every British jazz name of the time and released the wonderful Live at Fulham Town Hall(Watts allegedly put in £1000 for each of the 35 band members for the week). There is also coverage of the From One Charlie To Another album and book using pictures from Watts’ pre-fame days, the other Tribute to Charlie Parker album and the albums of standards with Bernard Fowler’s vocal contributions, of which I would recommend Long Ago & Far Away, and the Watts at Scott’s album by Charlie Watts and the Tentet.

His love of jazz drumming led him to collect drum kits of the not so rich but famous so he had a kit that had belonged to Kenny Clarke by way of Max Roach, one that once belonged to Duke Ellington’s drummer Sonny Greer and another that belonged to 1930/40s drummer Sid Catlett. There are also references to drummers he admired, most notably Elvin Jones. (On the subject of British jazz Sexton does, however, make the schoolboy error of conflating the sax playing Peter King with the other Peter King who helped run Ronnie Scott’s Club).

I found this a very enjoyable, easy read and, as ever when reading any musician’s biography, part of the enjoyment is what you listen to whilst doing it.

My choices were: Get Your Ya-Yas Out, Sticky Fingers, Forty Licks by the Rolling Stones and Watts At Scott’s by Charlie Watts and the Tentet. Dave Sayer

Published by Mudlark, ISBN-10 : ‎ 0008546339

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