This weekâ€™s programme is another super special Crossroads programme. I recently contacted that great piano player, Diz Watson of Diz and the Doormen fame to a) let him know that his LP BLUECOAT MAN, continues to thrill 27 years after it was made, and b) to ask if he had any new music â€“ and guess what â€“ he has. TONKY HONK, a CD on the Ace label.
I suggested that Diz may like to come into the studio and chat, play some of his music and play some records by people he liked. To my amazement not only did I get a reply, but it arrived on a postcard from Ilkley. Diz was visiting his sister, who lives there and he came into the studio to record the programme â€“ joy of joys. During the interview it transpired that he lived in Bradford as a lad although he was born in South Africa. His music is a â€œpotent gumbo of Barrelhouse, Rhythm and Blues, Rock and Roll and Boogie Woogieâ€, although if you ask me that doesnâ€™t quite cover it. Itâ€™s full of energy and displays a musicianship that is outstanding. He makes it sound so easy but he claims he is still learning â€“ it takes 50 years to be really good at the piano. he said. It is clear he loves this music and this infectious enthusiasm shines through all his stories.
We talked about his influences, his life, his travels (particularly to New Orleans) and his music. He brought along records by New Orleans piano player Henry Butler, Rock and Roller Larry Williams â€“ who should have been as big as Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard â€“ and fellow South African, Abdullah Ibrahim, who has a lovely rolling Jazz piano style.
Check Diz out by getting both BLUECOAT MAN and Tonky Honk. A live experience in Hell (no the other one) with the great saxophone player Big Jay McNeeley (another Crossroads favourite) can be found here.Â He will also be playing live in Otley in the New Year – so look out for details of this not to be missed event.
Full tracks of this programme from Sunday 20th December are:
(By Diz and the inestimable Door Men unless otherwise noted)
What Have I Done To You (which is one of the greatest records ever made – no question)
Basin St Blues (by Henry Butler)
Miss Bombilla Brown
Big Chief (by Professor Longhair)
Cursed with a Thirst
Dizzy Miss Lizzy (by Larry Williams)
Roll â€˜Em Pete
Night Train (by Big Jay McNeeley)
African Street Parade (by Abdullah Ibrahim)
Sick and Tired
One More Song For You