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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 ...


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.

Thu 28: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 28: Alice Grace Quartet @ King's Hall, Newcastle University. 1:15pm. Free.
Thu 28: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library, Gateshead. 2:30pm. All welcome.
Thu 28: Faye MacCalman + Snape/Sankey @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 7:00pm.
Thu 28: Zoe Rahman @ Jesmond United Reformed Church, Jesmond, Newcastle. 7:30pm. A Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music event.
Thu 28: '58 Jazz Collective @ Hops & Cheese, Hartlepool. 7:30pm.
Thu 28: Speakeasy @ Queen's Hall, Hexham. 7:30pm. £15.00. A Southpaw Dance Company presentation. Dance, audio-visuals, Count Basie, Benny Goodman, swing dancers etc.
Thu 28: Mick Cantwell Band @ Harbour View, Sunderland. 8:00pm. Free. Ace blues band.
Thu 28: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman's Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 29: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 29: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 29: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.

Sunday, June 04, 2023

Central Bar Quartet featuring Lewis Watson @ Central Bar, Gateshead: 'Saxophone Colossus' - June 4

(© Russell)
Lewis Watson (tenor sax); Alan Law (piano); Mick Shoulder (bass); John Bradford (drums).

There were two saxophone colossuses in the Central Bar today. Sonny Rollins in spirit and Lewis Watson in person. Both lived up to expectation.

Even though it was 2:00pm there was an early hours atmosphere about the gig and, let's face it, for a jazz musician two o'clock in the afternoon is the early hours!

It didn't matter that it was upstairs and, outside the sun was shining, in the darkened room - guide dogs should have been provided - it felt like we were descending into the Stygian depths of a 52nd Street club back in the day. All that was missing was the cigarette smoke.

(© Ken Drew)
The Central Bar Quartet's match-winning formula is that they include a special guest to recreate a classic jazz album. Tonight the album elect was Sonny Rollins' 1956 Prestige album Saxophone Colossus and, in the absence of the great man himself, who better to don the mantle but Lewis Watson?

And 'don the mantle' he did paying tribute in his own special way on St. Thomas; You Don't Know What Love is; Strode Rode; Moritat and Blue 7.

It couldn't get any better than this - or could it?

It could!

On the second set, freed from his Rollinsian role, he really was on a roll!

The Mark VI revealed its secrets from bottom Bb up to top F# and beyond - way beyond. Without naming names, I've heard many American legends who'd have struggled to hold their own with Lewis when he's motoring like this. Quite a few British tenor players too!

Has he recorded? If not, why not? Has he played at Ronnie Scott's? If not, why not?

(© Ken Drew)

Opening the second set with Four he followed on with In a Sentimental Mood, Blue Bossa (solo of the session) then segued unannounced into Softly as in a Morning Sunrise confusing the band who, nevertheless, pros that they are, soon picked up the thread which is a cue for me to say how brilliant they were.

When faced with someone like Lewis Watson up front you either sink or you swim - they swam - Olympic gold medal standard!

The set closed with Wee (Allen's Alley) and we floated off into the sunshine happy in the knowledge that we'd witnessed something special. Lance

1 comment :

Bruce Bax (on F/b) said...

That was something else. So pleased to have witnessed that.

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