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Bebop Spoken There

Steve Kuhn: "There's one advantage to playing in clubs, you know. You don't often come away feeling the evening has been too short." - (Down Beat February 8, 1968).

Christian McBride: “In jazz – particularly over the last 35 years or so – infectiousness and swing have become almost a detriment to be looked down upon.” – (Down Beat September 2014).

Bebop Spoken There Archives.

Today Friday September 19.

Afternoon.
RENDEZVOUS JAZZ - Black Horse, Monkseaton. 1pm. Free.
Classic jazz.
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ALAN BARNES/PAUL EDIS - Gala Theatre, Millennium Place, Durham DH1 1WA. £4. 1pm.
This really is a dynamic duo set book early!
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Evening.
ALAN BARNES w. PAUL EDIS TRIO - Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8pm. £8. Tickets from the Craft Shop, Newcastle Arts Centre.
And you thought the afternoon session was good...!
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LICKETY SPLIT - Opus 4 Jazz Club, Traveller's Rest, West Auckland Rd., Cockerton, Darlington DL3 9ER. £6.
Swingin' octet always worth a listen.
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MISSISSIPPI DREAMBOATS - Wallsend Baptist Church, Milfield Ave., Wallsend NE28 9JG 7pm.
Classic New Orleans style jazz.

Monday, June 30, 2008

La Bonne Vie


Ex-pats Bill Harper and Ann de Vere enjoying un apéritif in deepest Brittany.
Photo courtesy of Hilary Gilby.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Jazz On A Summer's Day - NEJC End of Season Festival


Eight bands. In order of appearance: Alter Ego, Zoe Gilby, Saxaphonics, Extreme Measures (pictured left), Splinter Group, Andy Champion + Graeme Wilson, TASQ and Ruth Lambert.
Unfortunately, I missed the first three but everyone I spoke to said they all played exciting sets.
Pointless to make comparisions amongst the ones I did hear, all did their own thing brilliantly and I wondered when, if ever, apart from that 'Great Day in Harlem', so much jazz talent per square yard had been assembled under one roof, on one day, anywhere in the world!
Many thanks to Paul and his team. Roll on next season

Saturday, June 28, 2008

RIP Danny Moss - RIP Campbell Burnap

I learned today of the deaths of two well known British musicians. DANNY MOSS (pictured left) was an outstanding tenor player with a big sound reminiscent of Ike Quebec. I first heard him with the Dankworth Band of the early 60s at Newcastle City Hall and his tone stood out against the paper thin sound of some of his contemporaries. He spent a period with Humph and later received an MBE although probably not for playing in Humph's band.
In 1964 he married singer Jeannie Lambe and I recall seeing them at a memorable Corner House session in 1981. The couple later moved to Austrailia where he died 0n 29 May 2008 aged 80.
I thought I'd never actually heard CAMPBELL BURNAP live until Chris Yates reminded me that the trombone player had been at the Corner House with Pat Halcox (see photo right) in the 1980s depping for Roy Williams. His playing graced many other traditional bands including Alan Elsdon, Alex Welsh, Acker Bilk and the Midnite Follies Orchestra. I remember him most for his work as a broadcaster; particularly on THEJAZZ. Indeed, his Sunday evening program was one of the highlights of that late lamented station. His choice of music was impeccable and for me at least; very listenable.
Pancreatic Cancer got him on 30 May 2008 aged 68.


May they both rest in peace

Stickology

"If you get lost; play a roll." Art Blakey on some advice he received from Big Sid Catlett.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The King is Dead - Long Live the King. Alan Barnes and the Liquorice Stick All-Sorts.

It seems as though we are in for a summer of Goodmania with this Corner House session perhaps a taster for next month's re-creation of the King of Swing's 1938 Carnegie Hall concert at the Sage.
Over the years, clarinet players have come and gone yet none, not even my own fav. Artie Shaw, have remained as enduringly popular as BG.
Alan Barnes, whilst better known for his fiery modern alto playing, has absorbed rather than imitated the Goodman style resulting in a suggestion of how Benny may have sounded had he been receptive to the changing times which of course he wasn't.
Apart from his musicianship, since Humph, George Melly and Ronnie Scott went to Birdland, Alan is now the undisputed Jazz Court Jester thus guaranteeing the audience an entertaining evening irrespective of the music!
On vibes, Jim Hart was the perfect foil; his four mallet technique on a par with the past masters of his instrument. Paul Clarvis on drums completed the line-up.
Ask me for a favourite number and I would opt for "My Inspiration" which, paradoxically, didn't emulate from Goodman but from another good man on clarinet; Irving Fazola.
An excellent gig although I think it could have have been even better with a bass even if it meant dispensing with drums.
Meanwhile, down at South Shields, Tina May was paying tribute to Edith Piaf but, in opting for Barnes and Benny, I had No Regrets.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Bebop Spoken There - The Chilli Arms

Fresh from last night's gig at the Cluny with TASQ, Adam Hastings turned up at the Chilli playing bass guitar alongside another surprise guest in fellow guitar hero Mark Williams. With two such formidable frettists in the rhythm section the initial lack of another front line horn player was barely noticeable. Bop was definitely on the menu tonight with numbers such as "Anthropology" and "Well You Needn't" two of the 52nd St anthems played. The former had Dave (Weisser) scatting in unison with Mark whilst the latter featured Adam, now on guitar, and his dad, George Hastings on bass - a talented family.
A young guy, Matthew, sat in on alto for the Bird version of "All The Things You Are" whilst Deborah had a vocal blast on "Song for My Father" by which time David C was on drums. Talking drums, Eric had a new kit tonight and they sounded good.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

SCHMAZZ @ the Cluny

I've waited a lifetime to hear a Turkish jazz musician then two come along at once - in a band led by a Swiss no less! The Swiss was Nicolas Meier who, wisely, didn't yodel but instead laid down some awesome guitar playing touching on many different styles and using, in the main, a nylon strung semi acoustic; truly incredible. The Turkish Delights came from Gilad Atzmon on alto and Asaf Sirkis, drums.
Atzmon is a wonderfully accomplished alto player who manages to incorporate elaborated Charlie Parker based phrases into a form of Turkish modality that could have come straight from the Casbah (or its Turkish equivalent!). This strange melange produced some exciting, and at times humourous, solos that had the room stomping its approval. Fellow Turk Sirkis kept the Ay Yildiz flying in the engine room whilst the lone Englishman, Tom Morris on bass who must have felt like an asylum seeker, kept it all together.
A frantic couple of sets. I guess I'll be rooting for Turkey in the European football championships from now on.
Mention of football brings me nicely into the support band TASQ aka The Alan Shearer Quartet until they are done on the trade descriptions act.
I'd heard them earlier in the year at the Side so I knew what to expect and I wasn't disappointed. Adam Hastings (gtr), Russ Henderson (alt), Sam Vicary (bs) and Dan Hayman (dms) are all excellent musicians and more than justified being on the same bill as the Meier Group. In a few years time the positions could be reversed!
One thought about TASQ; do they get many gigs in Sunderland?

Many a true word...

What's the difference between a pizza and a jazz musician? A pizza can feed a family. Thank you Paul Edis.

Live at the Side

Those of us who enjoyed the May 5th session by the Paul Edis Trio and Athenian tenorman Vasilis Xenopolous will be delighted to know that the session has been preserved for posterity on a CD available from Paul Edis's MySpace site.
It's a well recorded disc that captures perfectly what was for many the best night of the season, which makes it of a very high standard indeed. From the opening "Surrey With The Fringe On Top" to the closing "I Can't Get Started" which segués into "Autumn Leaves" this was pure class. The Greek tenor player swings like Rollins (Sonny) on "St.Thomas" and rhapsodises like Coleman (Hawkins) on "Body and Soul". Paul Edis, piano; Mick Shoulder, bass; and Adam Sinclair, drums; who also produced the album, provide the foundation for Xeno's flights of fancy.
A couple of minor crits; it is "Surrey with THE fringe on top" not "A fringe on top" and packaging it in a slimline case spoils the presentation. I'd also have liked a bit background info about the players. However, it's the music that counts and, on that score, well worth the ten bar asking price.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Mick Shoulder Quintet at the Side Cafe

Hard bop originals reminiscent of those early Blue Note sessions by Lee Morgan and Art Blakey, interspersed with freer, Return To Forever type material, made this a fitting finale to the NEJC's first season of Monday nights at the Side (back again in September).
In the frontline, the two Graemes; actually one Graeme (Wilson) and one Graham (Hardy) blew some blistering solos and read the tricky unison theme of Horace Silver's "Swingin The Samba" without mishap. Leader Mick was as solid as ever whilst Adrian Tilbrook drummed up a storm that may have been, on occasion, at odds with Billy Higgins' dictum! (see earlier posting).
Paul Edis was his usual unflapable self - how can anyone be that cool? Paul played what was, for me, the solo of the night on his own,"The Boss".
All I can say is; "Come September" but don't forget there is also Sunday's all-dayer (bring a cushion) to look forward to.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Q2

Factual necessity decreed that, given the position he now occupied in the wider musical spectrum, part two of the Quincy Jones saga would be less jazz orientated than part one.
Nevertheless, it was still good viewing. The insight into his work with Michael Jackson including the record breaking (no pun intended) album, "Thriller", gave me a greater appreciation of the much maligned young Michael's work albeit, it must be said, without making me want to rush out and buy the CD.
One moment to treasure was the surprise Quincy expressed when he discovered that Rod Templeton, the guy who was to work with him on many Jackson record dates wasn't, in Q's words, "a brother" but a white guy from Cleethorpes--I ask you, Cleethorpes!
Even so, the partnership must have worked well as they collaborated on many successful albums and soundtracks.
Let's hope this BBC4 program is the forerunner of many more in a similar vein.
I'm not holding my breath.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Bedtime for Drums

"You're not supposed to rape the drums; you make love to them." Billy Higgins.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Musical Definitions

OPERA - words sung that should be spoken. RAP - words spoken that should be sung. Thank you Dave Weisser. Please add your own favourites.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Good Vibes at the Chilli

I set out for the Tyneside Irish Centre at Gallowgate and ended up at the Chilli Arms in Heaton--sounds like the opening lines to a blues song!
My intention was to hear Melanie O'Reilly who reportedly sings Celtic Jazz. However, for reasons too complicated to explain, although I got to within sight of its pearly gates, I had a last minute change of mind and so ended up at the Chilli.
This turned out to be a wise (weisser?) move as, unlike last week when frontliners were prominent by their absence, tonight as well as Dave W on trumpet, flugel and vox humana, we also had John Rowland on tenor, Darren Grainger on alto and Laurie Brown on vibes.
They were swinging like a well-oiled gate on "Jumping with Symphony Sid" when I arrived, and "Taking the A Train" when I left. Numbers in between included, a nice "Yardbird Suite", "Blue Skies", "Au Privave" and "Autumn Leaves".
As well as vibing, Laurie also took over the drum chair for a couple of numbers.
The penultimate number, "Moonglow" was perhaps the only let down being dragged out for a little too long; "Moonglow" was no "Picnic".
Apart from that an excellent night.


In Town Tonight

Our girl Zoe is on at the Spice of Life tonight (Wednesday 18th) supporting Sue Hawker so, if you're in the vicinity of Charing Cross Road/Shaftesbury Ave. the pub is on the edge of Cambridge Circus.
Last night, West Hampstead; Friday the Hat Factory, Luton; tomorrow the world; the day after North Shields.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Lunch = The Roly Veitch Trio + Sausage Sarnies

Went along to the lunchtime session with the Roly Veitch Trio at the Central Square on Monday. It's in a cafe for the office workers but, as the photo shows, some old ladies seem to turn up for this gig.

Nice sausage sarnies!

The acoustics are a little difficult so I did not hear the announcements. I think the line up is as you last reviewed - a great combo, very mellow. Like having two Chet Bakers - one singing and one playing.

Friends in Jazz - John Taylor

Monday, June 16, 2008

Mark Williams Trio at the Side Cafe


This was music that, although demanding at times, was well worth making the effort to get inside. Mark Williams, one of the seemingly endless tribe of guitar virtuosi who climb the Side stairs on Monday nights, proved that you don't need to hang your hat on familiar tunes to hold an audience although, when playing with Zoe he can do just that better than most. Tonight however, he gave them non stop originals that incorporated just about every aspect of contemporary music varying from sensitive melodic exploration to wild pulsating thrashes that verged on the anvillic (heavy metal). Alongside, Paul Sousands (bs) and the inevitable David Carnegie (dms) kept it all together both in solo and ensemble.


A stirring night. Only one complaint Mark; I'd like to have been able to put names to the pieces; in particular the one that began with an almost military-like opening.

NEWS FLASH

Sad news tonight:Esbjorn Svensson of the contemporary Swedish trio EST died this weekend in a diving accident off the coast of Stockholm. Aged 44, Esbjorn Svensson was seen by many as a pianist comparable with Keith Jarrett and had made his mark both in Europe and the United States. He was perhaps best known locally from a concert EST gave at The Sage. I wasn't at that gig but perhaps those site visitors who were, or are familiar with his work, would like to add their comments? RIP

Q

Watched the first part of a two-parter on Quincy Jones that was originally broadcast on BBC4 last Friday. What a CV this guy has! From trumpet player with Lionel Hampton to arranger, composer and record producer for everyone from Frank Sinatra to Michael Jackson and beyond Q, as Sinatra christened him, stands alongside the greats, not just in jazz, but in music full stop.
The second part is on this coming Friday (20 June) again on BBC4. Don't miss it.
If you do miss it, pick up his autobiography entitled, surprise, surprise; "Q".

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Way to Go

"When I die I want them to play the Black and Crazy Blues, I want to be cremated, put in a bag of pot and I want beautiful people to smoke me and hope they get something out of it." Roland Kirk from the sleeve notes of "The Inflated Tear" (1966/7).

Friday, June 13, 2008

Telling It Like It Is

Asked how often his new band played together, American trombonist Herb Gardner answered, "About every five bars."

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Everything Happens To Me - It Could Happen to You

Just two of the numbers featured on this month's visit to the Chillingham Arms by the ALAN GLEN TRIO. A tremendous session that saw the leader in scintillating form ably backed by Laurie Blackadder on bass and David Carnegie on drums. Even the amplification problems on the opening "I'll Remember April" failed to detract from the performance and all three swung as one. This was one session that really went the distance; Alan's final chord on Monk's "Blue Monk" was one that the composer himself would have been proud of.

Earlier, the Bridgetakers were somewhat depleted with only Dave Weisser in the frontline. However, for the final set, they were augmented by Nicola on alto which added contrast both aurally and visually. Eric Stutt (apologies for previous mispelling) on drums, Alex Hall (gtr), John Pope (bs) and Barry Ashcroft (pno) completed the line-up.

Jazz On A Summer's Day


Derek and Gillian Stitt (no relation to Sonny) kindly sent me this shot of a combo playing in Central Park taken during a recent visit to New York.
Gives a new slant to saying you heard some jazz in "Birdland."

Monday, June 09, 2008

Song of Roland. Roly Veitch Trio at the Side Café


Jazz for The Drawing Room could have been the sub-title for tonight's session by the Roly Veitch Trio. This description is by no means intended to be derogatory; MJQ, the George Shearing Quintet, the Gerry Mulligan Quartet and the Red Norvo Trio could all, on occasion, be similarly categorised and Roly's Rascals wear the mantle well. The comparision with Mulligan is particularly apt; not just because Roly leans towards Chet Baker in the voice dept. and Noel Dennis' trumpet playing has Chetian overtones but because of the fugue-like interplay by the trio - Neil Harland was on bass - on "But Not for Me" and "There Will Never Be Another You." Bach wasn't turning over in his grave--he was sitting up; applauding!
As ever on a Roly gig, the choice of material was first rate; "Alone Together", Willard Robinson's "Old Folks", "I'm Old Fashioned" and a particular favourite of mine, "I Wished On The Moon" - I'm still humming that one!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Remembering Keith and Joe

There is nothing I can write about Keith Morris and Joe Scurfield that hasn't been said more eloquently elsewhere. Click on the Schmazz at the Cluny link and the true genius of these two men, Keith in particular from a jazz point of view, will be revealed making their loss all the harder to bear. My primary contact with them was through working in Windows Music Shop serving Joe with his Pirastro Eudoxa violin strings and Keith with everything from a nose flute to a foot pedal and various other items in between. Both were gentlemen and a treat to deal with.
Today, being the third anniversary of their tragic deaths, a session was being held in their memory at the Cumberland Arms, Byker. I dropped by but such was the activity on the warmest day of the year that accessing the bar was nigh impossible so, after exchanging pleasantries with Keith's old oppo Lewis Watson, my body didn't hang around too long.
My head and my heart remained though.

Brian Fisher - One More One Time by Bill Harper

Hi Lance,
Thanks for your message about the death of Brian as I hadn't heard the news. I will be delighted to add to your blog. Brian was one my oldest friends from the jazz scene, dating back to 1957 when he & I joined the new Mighty Joe Young band & it's sad to think that the only surviving members, apart from myself are Joe, Jackie Denton & possibly Leo Harwood who I met at the Swanage Festival in 1999--- he was living in Bournemouth & in good health at that time. Brian Clark, Hughie Aitchison, Ronnie McLean,Trevor Johnson & J.B. Walters have all since been long gone.Brian, at that time, was a very enthusiastic bassist who was a cut above the trad. "slappers" that I had previously worked with & he was also very knowledgeable about obscure tunes & chord changes. He also played some minimal piano, being the only pianist that I know who played with 8 fingers ON the keys & both thumbs UNDER the keyboard. He had no piano technique but was unique.But his greatest contribution to the band was the fact that he was in the motor car business & he was always able to provide transport for the band for "away" gigs. As an ex RAF pilot, he never flew the band anywhere, but he once drove me down to Sutton Bank & took me up in a glider, an experience that I will never forget.He was, of course, responsible for looking after the late Peter Jacobson, in his early career & they remained in contact right up to Peter's death. Brian used to ring Anne & I regularly,keeping us informed of his health & Peter's musical progress & occasionally boring us silly with news of Ellington & Strayhorn recordings, who were the love of his life, almost to the exclusion of all other jazz music.Just before we came to France, it was obvious that his health was failing -- he had had several "blackouts" & he was becoming very deaf, to the point where it was difficult to hold a two way conversation with him. Brian was a genuine "character" who didn't need to work at it He was always a kind & generous man & good friend to me & he will be remembered with affection by all those who were part of that very vibrant period of jazz in Newcastle.Kind regards ----- Bill Harper
PS: This post had been added to the main body (See Archive 25/5/08)

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Zoot Sims Once Said...

"They've put a man on the Moon and I'm still playing Indiana."

Friday, June 06, 2008

On The Outside

Just a reminder that "On The Outside" - the international festival of improvised music - takes place over this weekend at Gateshead Old Town Hall and not, as originally advertised, at The Round.
It promises to be arguably the best ever festival of uncategorised totally improvised music.
Further details from either Paul Bream or Jazz North East (see links).

I Remember You


Today, June 6, marks the 11th anniversary of the death of my dear friend Charlie Carmichael. Charlie blew up a storm on tenor, flute and clarinet. In fact, he was one of the very few modern clarinet players around locally and, after Vic Ash, there weren't many nationally either. He had total command of his instrument; a testament to the many practice hours he put in.
I sat alongside him in the Newcastle Big Band with whom we made two wild trips to the San Sebastion Jazz Festival back in the 1970s.
He also demonstrated his versatility by playing dixieland with the Ronnie Young Band and doing a single act around the working men's clubs.
Sadly missed.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Taking It to The Bridge One More time



Inconsistency is the only thing that is consistent at the Chilli Arms Wednesday night sessions. Sometimes the music is great, sometimes it's lousy; often during the same number. It's rarely indifferent. The one thing you can count on is variety. Tonight, wild man Ian Trewella was absent. He was said to be doing some gardening so, if you were overtaken by a speeding lawnmower on the A19, that was probably Ian. John Rowland depped on tenor and ensured a degree of sanity prevailed. Highlight of the first set was a nice arrangement of Victor Feldman's "Bloke's Blues." After the break there were more treats in the form of guitarist Daniel and his sister, Michelle (if either of you read this, please let me know your surnames.) Michelle, who was also celebrating her 18th birthday, sang delightfully on "Love Me Or Leave Me" and "Straighten Up And Fly Right," then moved up a gear with "Summertime" before, backed by most of the band, belting out Stevie Wonder's "Sir Duke". One to watch out for. Alex Hall, who'd played the first set on guitar, moved over to keyboards for this one.
Another one worth watching and listening to is David Carnegie, first on keyboards for a rocking "Killer Joe" that also had Daniel going into overdrive, then on drums for "Pent-up House".
John Pope (bs), Eric Studd (dms) and Barry Ashcroft (kbds) completed the line-up.
Whoops! I almost forgot Dave Weisser--talk about Hamlet without the Prince of Denmark or should I say Hamlet without the Jacques Lousseur Trio? Remember "Air on a G String?". That was one advert that almost started me smoking cigars. Pierre Michelot's bass line was really evocative.
Back to Dave; he scatted, lyricised and blew his brand of East Coast (Cullercoats) jazz with his usual nod towards Art Farmer, Nat Adderley etc.

Monday, June 02, 2008

GHQ at GHQ

It was advertised as the Noel Dennis Quartet but, for some reason or other, Noel couldn't make it so his front line partner in "Splinter", stepped in and it became the Graham Hardy Quartet with Paul Edis (pno), Andy Champion (who else? on bass) and Adrian Tilbrook (dms); in effect the house rhythm section. The opening "Bye Bye Blackbird" showed a slight leaning towards early Miles with Graham playing some dazzling runs and Paul matching him every step of the way. A Clark Terry number, "In Orbit", which had a fine bowed solo by Andy, rounded off a fine first set.
"In Walked Bud" opened the second set explosively and I guessed Adrian wouldn't be using brushes much more. This was bop in the best Art Blakey/Clifford Brown tradition and everyone dug in deeply. The music just got better and better although I have to say it did falter a little on Strayhorn's "Star-Crossed Lovers". It could have been the fault of the tune which would have been heard to greater advantage had it been played earlier in the session. Still a small quibble in a superb set and no fours! One of my pet hates are those bands who have to have a round of fours at the end of every number. no such complaint tonight. Excellent.

Brian Fisher - Coda

Brian's sister, Lynn, very kindly sent me a copy of the Service of Remembrance held on 27 May 2008. Jazz fans will be pleased to note that part of the Retiring Collection was donated to the Royal Institute of Blind People in memory of his friend and fellow musician Pete Jacobson who died from cancer, age 51, on 29 April 2002.

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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.)
PS:I don't care what your political views are - you can love or hate Cameron, Clegg, Milliband, Farage, Genghis Khan or Julius Caesar - just don't air them here!
Contact: lanceliddle@gmail.com I look forward to hearing from you.

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