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Bebop Spoken There

Vadim Neselovskyi, Professor of Jazz Piano, Berklee College of Music: “Every pianist has to deal with a very complex left-hand part at some point. This is the essential pianistic experience – to split your brain into two halves and execute two very different tasks at the same time.” – (Down Beat September 2017).

Roscoe Mitchell: “To me, improvisation is trying to improve your skills so you can make these on-point compositional decisions. That takes practice.” – (Down Beat September 2017)

Archives

Today Tuesday September 26

Afternoon
Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Black Bull, 98 Front St., East Boldon NE36 0SG. 1pm. Free. 0191 5365127. New residency 2 mins from East Boldon metro.
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Evening
Maine Street Jazzmen - Royal British Legion, West Jesmond Ave., Newcastle NE2 3EX. 8:30pm. £5.
Charles Gordon (solo piano) - Redwood Bar, Vermont Hotel, Newcastle. 10pm - midnight. Free.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Maurice Summerfield remembers Mike Carr

(Tribute by Maurice Summerfield).
I  was very sad to hear that Mike Carr had died.  My friendship and musical association with Mike go back almost 60 years. 
I believe we first met through our mutual friend bassist Alan Collins. Alan and I were playing in various small jazz groups in the Newcastle area.  In 1958 Mike was offered a regular Monday night jazz spot at the High Point Hotel in Whitley Bay.  He put together the Mike Carr Quintet to play there with himself on vibraphone, the late Bernie Thorp on piano, Alan Collins on bass, Ian Forbes on drums and myself on guitar.  This became a regular jazz night for the quintet for around two years.  During that time Bernie, Alan and I also played Tuesday and Thursday evenings as the ‘Bernie Thorp Trio’ in the Marimba Coffee Bar on High Bridge .  (The 1959 photo shows Mike Carr (vibes) , Alan Collins (bass) , Maurice Summerfield (guitar)  and Len Gatoff (drums).  Bernie Thorp (piano) not on photo.)

Late Night Jazz – Hexham Abbey Festival of Music and Arts, September 23: The Nikki Iles/Stan Sulzmann Quartet.

Nikki Iles – piano; Stan Sulzmann  - Tenor Saxophone; Pete Turner – Bass; Luke Flowers - Drums
(Review by Hugh C).
It was with strains of Gabriel Fauré's  In Paradisum from the evening's performance of his Requiem by the Festival Chorus and Orchestra that I ascended from the Abbey itself via the Late Night Stairs to the Great Hall in an adjoining building.  Comfortable chairs were set out in neat rows with a few early bird punters already seated prior to the official opening time of 10pm.  Members of the festival chorus and orchestra, bow ties loosened or removed headed, justifiably, to the well-stocked bar.  The gig was scheduled for a 10.30 start.  In the absence of a convenient green room Nikki Iles and Stan Sulzmann were seated patiently to one side, adjacent to the piano, talking; Pete Turner was checking his bass and amplification system and Luke Flowers using the drum stool as a silent practise pad.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Sean Noonan’s Memorable Sticks @ The Jazz Cafe September 22

Sean Noonan (drums,vocals), Johnny Richards(keyboards), Mick Bardon (bass)
(Review by Steve H).
Brooklyn’s Sean Noonan took to the stage wearing his customary gold boxing gown. On reaching the drum kit, he disrobed revealing his prize-fighting outfit. Noonan is a one-off maverick who entertains and enthrals in equal measures. This particular trio seemed to feature every style of music imaginable: punk, rock, pop, vaudeville, cabaret, hard bop, bebop etc etc. A mesmerising cornucopia of styles and genres, yet amazingly enough it works brilliantly. It’s the equivalent of being on a jazz fairground waltzer as one is thrown around at a great and dizzying pace. 

Saturday, September 23, 2017

CD Review: The Mark Williams Trio - Last Bus to Bensham

Mark Williams (guitar), Paul Susans (bass) & Russ Morgan (drums)
(Review by Russell)
From Belfast to Gateshead, Mark Williams has made his home on Tyneside. A Newcastle College graduate, the Irishman has made a considerable contribution to the north of England’s jazz scene over the best part of two decades. A ‘first call’ sideman, Williams isn’t the type to shout the odds – more a self-deprecating, dry wit. Last Bus to Bensham is Williams’ second album as leader which comprises eight compositions written by the master guitarist.

Mike had a sense of humour!

The passing of Mike Carr (seen here with guitarist Willie Payne) reminded me of some emails we exchanged a few years ago. His friend Adrian had collated a lot of quotes which Mike hoped would make me laugh as much as they did him.
Well Mike, they certainly did - and still do. Thank You.
Lance.

"Never look at the trombones, it only encourages them." Richard Strauss.
"One of the perks of being an unemployed musician is that you get to play much less bad music." Jack Daney.
"After silence that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music." Aldous Huxley.
"Music is, by its very nature, essentially powerless to express anything at all. Music expresses itself. “Igor Stravinsky.

RIP Mike Carr

It was with great sadness that I learned of the death of organist Mike Carr. Mike, born in South Shields, was considered by many to be one of the world’s greatest jazz organists although, when I first encountered him he was playing piano and vibes with northeast band the Emcee Five. I spent quite a few heady evenings listening to the band at the old Down Beat Club in Newcastle. It was a stellar line-up with Mike’s brother Ian on trumpet and flugel, Gary Cox on tenor, Malcolm Cecil on bass and Ronnie Stephenson on drums.
Playing mainly originals in a style based on the Jazz Messengers there have been few better bands to have emerged from the northeast than the Emcee Five – as, according to legend, some members of the Basie Band found out when they dropped by after a City Hall concert.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Review: Rudresh Mahanthappa's Indo-Pak Coalition - Agrima

Rudresh Mahanthappa (alto/comp/electronics); Rez Abbasi (guitar); Dan Weiss (kit/tabla).
(Review by Lance)
I don't claim to know a lot about Asian music - jazz or otherwise - however, I know good sax playing when I hear it and Mahanthappa blows good sax. Even when spiced up with a variety of devices that were once the exclusive property of guitarists he still delivers. At times it sounds almost like bebop bagpipes and I can detect an occasional suggestion of a highland fling. Mainly though, it's east Asian folk/jazz and none the worse for that. 

Courtney Pine: Black Notes from the Deep @ Sage Gateshead - September 21

Courtney Pine (tenor saxophone, bass flute & EWI), Robert Mitchell (piano & organ), Vidal Montgomery (double bass), Robert Fordjour (drums) & Omar (vocals)
(Review by Russell)
Courtney Pine made the journey north ahead of the release of his new album. Sage Gateshead’s jazz and soul fans turned out to hear what he and Omar have been getting up to in the studio.The former Jazz Warrior is currently playing tenor saxophone for the first time in ten years. Would this re-engage some of his long-time fans who were, perhaps, growing tired of his preoccupation with bass clarinet? A half hour delay to the advertised start time encouraged ticket holders to hang in the bar and have another one.

Digital Review: Ella Fitzgerald - Ella with the London Symphony Orchestra

Gregory Porter duetting with Ella Fitzgerald? It's true! Well, it's virtual truth thanks to modern technological sorcery. This being her centennial year, someone had the brilliant idea of taking some of Ella's late Decca/early Verve recordings and adding skilfully charted orchestral scores* played by the London Symphony Orchestra. 
It's all done seamlessly and inoffensively and whilst the originals sound jazzier (even though the vocal is the same!) I can live with both.
Porter teams up with Ella on People Will Say We're in Love and it is a match made in heaven (in Ella's case, literally). A duo album in real time would have been something! Originally it was just Ella with Ellis Larkins on piano.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

RIP Jake LaMotta

Former world middleweight champion Jake LaMotta passed away on Tuesday (Sept. 19) age 95. LaMotta, who was champ from 1949-51, fought in an era when the 160lb division contained some of the toughest fighters ever. LaMotta, Sugar Ray Robinson, Tony Zale, Marcel Cerdan, Rocky Graziano just some of the names that held the title. LaMotta achieved even greater recognition after he'd retired due to the award-winning film of his colourful life - Raging. Bull - with Robert De Niro as LaMotta.
"What's this got to do with jazz?" I hear you ask.
Well, er, actually, nothing...
...apart from this quote:
He and Robinson became the perfect foils for each other,” boxing historian Larry Merchant said. “The fact they fought six times says something about their styles as well as their abilities. One guy was a jazz pianist and the other was a drummer.”
Lance.

The Peter Fielding Story (continued)

The interest in former bandleader Peter Fielding continues via his grandson Miki Volpe. Miki, ex-Guildhall violin student and later a detective with The Met, sent us these two photos.
One is of his father, Mike Fielding, drummer and bandleader in his own right whilst the other is of Peter Fielding himself. Miki, from his home in Spain where he and his wife now live after they both retired from The Met, tells me he inherited and still has, the Gibson mandolin that his grandfather is pictured with.
If instruments could only talk, what fascinating tales they would tell...
Lance.

World Peace Day - Today!

Petroc Trelawny announced on Radio3's Breakfast programme this morning that today is World Peace Day (while not having any great hopes of this being acknowledged where it needs to be), and played Bill Evans Peace Piece. 6.45 minutes of brilliant, uplifting musicianship! For those (few?) who don't know the piece, here it is: Bill Evans "Peace Piece"
Brian Ebbatson.

Blog Archive

About this blog - contact details.

Bebop Spoken Here -- Here, being the north-east of England -- centred in the blues heartland of Newcastle and reaching down to the Tees Delta and looking upwards to the Land of the Kilt.
Not a very original title, I know; not even an accurate one as my taste, whilst centred around the music of Bird and Diz, extends in many directions and I listen to everything from King Oliver to Chick Corea and beyond. Not forgetting the Great American Songbook the contents of which has provided the inspiration for much great jazz and quality popular singing for round about a century.
The idea of this blog is for you to share your thoughts and pass on your comments on discs, gigs, jazz - music in general. If you've been to a gig/concert or heard a CD that knocked you sideways please share your views with us. Tell us about your favourites, your memories, your dislikes.
Lance (Who wishes it to be known that he is not responsible for postings other than his own and that he's not always responsible for them.)
Contact: lanceliddle@gmail.com I look forward to hearing from you.

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