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Bebop Spoken There

Cedar Walton: "To call him [Milt Jackson] a lyrical player is an understatement." - (Crescendo February 1976).

Dave Douglas: “To me, Horace Silver, Lee Morgan and Blue Mitchell were the epitome of hip. And hipness was the whole point.” – (Jazz Times October 2014).

Bebop Spoken There Archives.

Today Wednesday October 22

Afternoon
VIEUX CARRE JAZZMEN - Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 3OS. 1pm. Free.
New Orleans Jazz. Raffles and a jolly afternoon.
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JAZZ ESQUIRES - Porthole, North Shields' Ferry Landing. 1pm. Free.
Laurie Brown is now on tenor and clarinet with Peter Ninnim taking over the drum chair.
Ferry from South Shields quarter to and quarter past. On the hour and half hour coming back.
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Evening.
TAKE IT TO THE BRIDGE JAZZ WORKSHOP - The Chillingham, Chillingham Rd., Heaton. 8:30pm. £1.
Sitters in welcome.
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GRAHAM HARDY w. PAUL EDIS TRIO - The Cherry Tree Restaurant Osborne Road, Jesmond, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 2AE. Tel: 0191 2399924. Free.
Now on Wednesdays with unbeatable food and first rate music.
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BUSKERS NIGHT HOSTED BY RUTH LAMBERT - The Avalon, 26 South Parade, Whitley Bay. 9pm. Free.
All welcome. Keyboards, free buffet, drinks tokens for performers, real ale, real music.
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LEVEE RAMBLERS NEW ORLEANS JAZZ BAND - Springwell Village Hall, Fell Rd., Gateshead NE9 7RP. 0191 4162630. 9pm. £2.
New Orleans style.
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JAZZ AT THE BAY- Cleveland Bay pub, 718 Yarm Rd., Eaglescliffe, TS16 0JE 01642 780275. 9pm.
The Teesside Hot Club swinging at the Bay.
Back on November 5.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Swing Guitars - Jim Birkett & Roly Veitch at Blaydon

Jim Birkett & Roly Veitch (gtrs.) -----
The club lounge provided an intimate setting for two of the most tasteful guitarists around to play some tasty tunes.
Who can criticise "Darn That Dream", Will Hudson's immortal "Moonglow", "Nancy", Edgar Sampson's "Stomping At The Savoy", "Wave", "Bernie's Tune", Roly's own pieces, or the delightful "Skating in the Park" from the pen of John Lewis?
These were just some of the numbers the duo, who could be musical twins, performed absolutely exquisitely. Personally, I would have liked a little more volume and perhaps more uptempo numbers. However, it's difficult for me to be objective - I'm still on a roll from Tim Garland and co this afternoon and will be for days!
In many respects, tonight's recital was the perfect antidote, allowing me to come down gently.
Lance.

Miles Kington by Germaine Stanger

Nigel and Miles (Kington) met when studying at Oxford in the early 1960s. Miles was reading French and Nigel English, but their friendship came about because of jazz. Miles had learnt to play the double bass whilst at Oxford, because there were very few bass players around at the time, so he thought he'd get a few gigs. Nigel was already something of a star playing piano and alto. It was there too that they met alto/tenor player Pat Crumly. Pat was to become a significant part of the London jazz scene and occasionally came north to play with the Newcastle Big Band; which he did in 2006 when the remnants of that band played the Sting gig at the Baltic. Pat and Miles both died in 2008. Miles and Nigel shared an enduring bond of university, music, humour and the memory of an idyllic holiday spent playing near Algeciras in Spain. Nigel played piano, Miles bass, with a chap called Mike Hollis on drums. They played in a small club throughout the summer of 1962. Miles has written a lot about that holiday and perhaps, many years later, it had something to do with the formation of 'Instant Sunshine.'
When the East Side Torpedoes were recording for the BBC, at the Paris studios in Lower Regent St., we met Miles and the other members of 'Instant Sunshine' who had stayed behind to have a drink with us following their earlier recording. Miles was very supportive of any London gigs we had during the seventies and early eighties; many of which had links to Andy Hudson. Miles Kington was a lovely man, handsome, unassuming, wonderfully witty and a good friend. He is missed by people who knew him, and the many who felt they knew him through Punch, The Independent, his many books* radio and television appearances. He filed his last article for the Independent, on the day he died. Miles never lost his love of jazz. His double bass took centre stage at his private funeral, along with piles of proofs, manuscripts, magazines and newspapers. When introducing the radio serialization of Miles's book, about his cancer, (entitled 'How shall I tell the dog,') his wife Caroline said Miles had written it because Nigel had telephoned some months before his death but had failed to mention his cancer, or that it might be the last time Miles and he spoke. Miles felt denied the chance to say good bye to Nigel, so when his own cancer proved terminal he decided to write about it. In fact Nigel didn't think he was going to go to that other Algeciras in the sky quite so quickly and made very little fuss about his cancer; it wasn't funny and somehow curbed the flow of the conversation. Come to think of it Lance, I should have included Miles in Nigel's Beadnell band; Miles Kington on Double Bass, Chas Chandler on Bass guitar, Pat Crumley on Tenor sax. and Charles De Gaulle on accordion -"Really wild, General," I hope you remember the Bonzo Dog Do Dah Band?
Germaine
*One of Miles' books was "The Jazz Anthology".

Galaxy Class Performance by Tim Garland's Lighthouse Trio. Newcastle Uni.

Tim Garland (ten/sop/bs.clt.), Gwilym Simcock (pno), Asaf Sirkis (perc.) Hannah Jones (vcl). -----
This wasn't a gig it was a happening. As Johnny Mercer might say it was simply just "Too Marvelous For Words." I can't recall a recent gig where I've came away quite so breathless and elated apart from, possibly, the Voice of the North Jazz Orchestra at Stockton last year.
In truth, this was on a par with any gig I've been to - ever!
The music was free, as was the admission, it was as modern as 2020 yet, beneath the soaring flights and the strange foreign rhythms from Sirkis' frame drum kit and other pieces of exotica, there remained an underlying format that ensured the music didn't leave the building for too long.
To single out one player would be pointless; three talents of Galactic class united as one mega force.
For the finale we were treated to Hannah Jones and a soulful version of "At Last" followed by a rocking version of Bob Dylan's "Blowing In The Wind."
I hadn't encountered Hannah until this afternoon - I look forward to hearing her again.
I'm musically intoxicated and even the discovery after I'd got home that there'd been a case of Swine Flu at Newcastle University didn't dampen my enthusiasm!
Lance.

March/April Deaths

Zeke Zarchy: Big band Trumpet player. 12 April 2009. Johnny Roadhouse: Manchester based alto player, music shop owner, ex NDO. 11 April 2009. Charlie Kennedy: Gene Krupa alto sax. 3 April 2009. Bud Shank: West Coast Alto sax & fluteplayer. 2 April 2009. Mel Brown: blues guitarist. 19 March 2009 Jack Lawrence: Composer, lyricist (Tenderly). 18 March 2009. Eddie Bo: Bluesman. 18 March 2009 Lars Erstrand: Swedish vibes player. Recorded with Rebecca Kilgore. 11 March 2009. Willie King: Bluesman. 8 March 2009. John Cephas: Piedmont blues guitarist. 4 March 2009.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Viva Budvivar - Boppin' at the Chilli.

Budvivar: Stuart Findon, Fiona Littlewood (ten), Chris Finch (pno), Eddie Nickson (gtr), Jim Crinson (bs), Eric Stutt (dms), Debra Milne (vcls). ----- Take It To The Bridge: Dave Weisser (tpt/vcls), Darren Grainger (ten), Barry Ashcroft (pno), Jim Crinson (bs), Mathew ? (gtr), Eric Stutt or Ian Forbes (dms). -----
Budvivar served up another potent mix tonight. Bebop anthems; "Tunisia", "Round Midnight", "Well You Needn't". Standards; "Love Me Or Leave Me", "Beautiful Love", "There Will Never Be Another You". Blues; "Fine and Mellow" and a few more.
"Mellow" began with an atmospheric guitar blast from Eddie that said 'You want misery and pain? you got it!' This launched Debra into the role of a mistreated woman as portrayed by Billie Holiday. Meanwhile, Chris - not to be outdone - delivered some classic blues piano.
"All The Things You Are" showed the two tenors off to perfection with Stuart, who'd earlier sat in on a couple of numbers with TITTB, blowing like Dexter and Fiona staying with him â la Wardell - the girl gets better each time round. They, Budvivar, should be heard more often.
The night began with Dave and co augmented by Stuart and Mathew, a young guitarist making his Chilli debut. Mathew, I think, is one of Mark Williams' proteges and he certainly showed promise despite being armed only with an unamplified steel strung acoustic. One to watch.
Dave demonstrated 'The Stockade Shuffle" - a movement he presumably learned as a G.I. Blowingwise, he hit the spot on Bill Evans' "Perry's Scope"
Later Ian Forbes sat in for a knockout version of a Barry Ashcroft original - "Mr Rascal."
Incidentally, Jim Crinson played all three sets.
Another good one.
Lance.

Jazz Journal Lives!

The news has been broken on the LondonJazz Blog that Jazz journal International which died in February has risen like the Phoenix Jazzmen to fly again. It is to incorporate/be incorporated with Jazz Review; first issue due May. For more details click here. Whilst you're there you'll enjoy catching up on things Metropolitan. I'm grateful to 'our friends in the south' for this information. Lance.

Apologies

Apologies if Emails weren't answered or comments posted yesterday. This was due to a local area cable fault. The fault has been rectified but Virgin is, surely, now incorrectly named. Lance.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Cuba at the Cluny - Loz Speyer's Time Zone

Loz Speyer (tpt/flug), Martin Hathaway (alt/bs clt), Jez Franks (gtr), Davide Mantovani (bs), Simon Pearson (dms), Satin Singh(conga). A good session of authentic Cuban music by Time Zone; a band well steeped in the idiom. I say ‘authentic’ although possibly the nearest they get to actual authenticity is the fact that leader and trumpet/flugel hornist Speyers’ wife is Cuban. Never mind, his compositions capture the feel of Cuba in the way that Dizzy and Machito did 60 years ago. Plus there is the added bonus of a contemporary approach to harmonies and rhythms which conspire to make the music even more infectious and compelling. Cuban bands lean heavily on their trumpet players and Loz has the ideal tone and technique to slot into the genre. Equally adept on both horns, he eschewed the plaintive wail of most flugellers in favour of a powerful, well rounded, attack that gelled well with the Eric Dolphylike bass clarinet and alto of Hathaway.
On guitar, Jez kept this weeks festival of fretters alive with some gut grabbing guitar solos that almost had the pot boiling over although perhaps the most kick-ass guy on stage was Satin Singh on congas who, depping for Alejandro Martinez, played like he had three hands and counting.
Drummer Simon added a few more hands whilst Mantovani on bass only needed four strings to shimmer.
Great Grooving Gig.
Lance.

Monday, April 27, 2009

"Remembering Emily" - Kathy Dyson & Deirdre Cartwright @ the Side Café.

Kathy Dyson & Deirdre Cartwright (gtrs.)
Until tonight, I could count the number of top class women jazz guitarists I've heard on two fingers and both only on record.
Mary Osborne's solo on Coleman Hawkins' "Spotlite" - recorded back in the 1940s - struck a chord, if you'll pardon the pun, then some years later Emily Remler caught my ear on a tribute to Wes Montgomery CD.
Tonight, not only was that number doubled, but Ms. Remler was also brought back to life by two of her devotees.
Kathy Dyson and Deirdre Cartwright are both superb players albeit with contrasting styles that, nevertheless, compliment each other perfectly.
Kathy wordlessly 'sing's the lines she is playing to great effect. When playing chords it creates the illusion of a 12 string whilst her solo flights sound like horn and guitar in unison - very effective.
Deirdre, despite using the unusual fourths (E-A-D-G-C-F?) tuning, played more in the tradition of Barney Kessel and Herb Ellis and was equally effective. Wes' "West Coast Blues" had her moving into Montgomeryland.
Most of the tunes were associated with Emily Remler apart from a piece written by Kathy and dedicated to one of Sunday night's virtuosos - Jim Birkett. This was an intricately woven tapestry that required wall to wall manuscripting - it did Jim proud.
"All The Things You Are" reminded me of MJQ. The interplay between the guitars could have been created by Milt Jackson & John Lewis - that's how good it was.
I could wax eloquent forever but instead I'll quote Roly who summed it up to a T - "Delightful".
'nuff said!
Lance.
PS: More guitar tomorrow at The Cluny with Jez Franks as part of Loz Speyer's Time Zone - should be quite a contrast.

Jazzy Film Title Tracks by John T.

As well as being an excellent film, Get Carter had some great music by Roy Budd playing over the credits. What's your favourite? John T. ----- Like picking fave CD's this is equally impossible although Duke does okay on Anatomy of a Murder and the graphics are brilliant. Lance. (Email your video clips to mailto:lanceliddle@gmail.com .)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Virtuoso Trio at the Highfield Hotel.

Jim Birkett (gtr), George McDonald (clt), Pete Stuart (bs).
An exquisite vignette - chamber jazz at its best. This was an evening of Benny Goodman that proved the 'King of Swing's' legacy is in safe hands with George McDonald who displayed a facility befitting of a monarch. No mind-blowing, ear-bending experimentation, just straight down the middle swing with a couple of 'sexy' (George's description) bossa novas thrown into the mix.
"Airmail Special", "Flying Home", "Memories of You", "Somebody Loves Me", "In a Mellow Tone", "Margie", "My Blue Heaven", "Wave", "One Note Samba" and the appropriately named "It Don't Mean a Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing", were just some of the delights.
On guitar, Jim Birkett played an updated Charlie Christian role to perfection despite being hampered (hampered? It didn't show) by a recent injury to his fingers.
Pete Stuart, quiet, unobtrusive and melodic had some deft interplay with George in, I think, "Georgia on my Mind".
Pleased to note a few extra faces from Tyneside which just goes to show that it is possible to get to East Rainton without a guide and a team of native bearers.
Lance.

Win Some - Lose Some.

As many of you know, I worked in a local music store for many years and, not surprisingly, a few incidents have stuck in my mind.
This one has nothing to do with jazz and it's questionable if it has anything to do with music either but it is the kind of story that, I think, might appeal to the jazz sense of humour.
Rolf Harris was appearing at the City Hall and he sent one of his roadies along to ask if he could borrow a Didgeridoo (I did say the musical content was questionable). I agreed on the condition that Rolf autographed the 'instrument'. This he duly did and the instrument was returned.
Some weeks later a young lady came into the store and asked if we had any Didgeridoos.
I told her that not only did we have Digi's but that we had one autographed by none other than Rolf Harris.
The young lady thought for a moment then said, "Do you have any that aren't autographed by Rolf Harris?"
Lance.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Ten Guitars (and counting)

After Tom Dibb, Adam Hastings & Roly Veitch at the Highfield Hotel, East Rainton, this week it's the Virtuoso Trio featuring Jim Birkett on guitar alongside Clarinet King George McDonald and Basso Supremo Pete Stuart. Three 'Goodmen' and true. More guitars on Monday at the resurrected, for one night only, Side Café with the Deidrie Cartwright and Kathy Dyson Duo paying tribute to the late Emily Remler - unmissable!
Another 12 strings on Thursday at Blaydon. The ubiquitous duo of Jim and Roly are in "Swing Guitar" mode so put on your foottapping shoes. It happens in the intimate setting of the club lounge.
The day before, Mark Williams could be at the Chilli and a week later (May 6) Jim Birkett takes his Virtuosos to Ashington Jazz Club.
There's a whole lot of plucking going on but don't fret, just take your pick - it's all good stuff - and where better to start than tomorrow night at East Rainton?
Lance.

Two Bands - Max and Min Afternoon. John T covers the waterfront.

A seven piece line up at the at the Trojan Rooms brought the V.C.'s run there to an end. Hopefully back in Sept. The Humph style line-up with the extra reed man (FRANK BROOKER) went down well.
Caught the second half of Maureen's gig at the Porthole. A nice drummer I had not heard before. Roy on piano did the bass pedal thing but no tpt. 4 + Maureen - very laid back as against the V.C.'s hard driving band.
John T.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Scotty Beamed Up

Web site is great, congratulations! My heart strings are pulling after seeing so many of the talented people I was privileged to work with over the years. The sad part is I have lost a lot of great musician pals who are bebopping up there somewhere! MALCOLM SAUL, SID WARREN, NIGEL STANGER, ARTHUR MOWAT, DEREK DIXON, RONNIE PEARSON, and so many more. But, looking on the bright side, none of these will ever be overlooked because of the wonderful chronicle you have put together. FANTASTIC and once again, TOP MAN!
The great news for me is there are a lot of talented players and singers around to support and listen to and to play with if I ever get the chance. Thanks once again, Lance, for the mention in last night's blog.
BIT SPOOKY ABOUT THE JAMES MOODY BIT THOUGH! (Click here).
KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK.
Scott Adair. (Photo shows Scott with Ian Henry (pno), Peter Aitkin (bs), James Moody (ten). May 9, 1984.)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Things They Said About Don Ellis

The only number they play in 4/4 is "Take Five"..... Unknown critic on the Don Ellis Band. ----- Don Ellis had some bizarre ideas e.g: At a rehearsal he told the band to do everything opposite to what he, as the conductor, asked for. So, when he indicated pianissimo they played forté and vice versa. Rallentandos became accelerando etc. etc. It all went well with some interesting results. Where it fell down however was when Don directed the band to the coda -- some of them ain't reached it yet! ---- At a gig in Sweden in 1963, at the end of his solo, the pianist leapt up and poured salt into the piano. On another night;"We 'played' a tune called 'The Death,' said Don. "Nothing happened, we stood in silence around the piano for six minutes and listened to the audience." Down Beat report June 20, 1963. -----

Stephenson's Rocket - Mike Carr's Blue Note Band.

Back in 1968 or was it 1969? I heard (on LP) "Hammond Under Pressure". Mike Carr (organ) and Tony Crombie (dms) were the 'pressurisers'; no bass player. This was, quite simply, the best organ disc I'd ever heard. It had always been a source of puzzlement to me why the Jimmy Smiths, the McGriffs and the McDuffs used a bass player rather than the instrument's pedalboard; after all, your average club or church organist manages the pedals with varying degrees of success, why not the so-called 'world's greatest'? After a few plays, it occurred to me that Mike Carr was doing a helluva lot more than his much vaunted contemporaries - and he was putting down better basslines with the pedals than their bassists were doing!
In consequence, I registered my vote for Mike in the annual Down Beat Poll of 1969. Needless to say, Jimmy Smith, who'd been winning organ polls seemingly since Bach retired, won with 2945 votes. I don't know how many Mike scored as they didn't list those names who amassed less than 30. Maybe he only got my vote.
Nevertheless, I remain convinced that Mike was, and indeed still is, the world's finest jazz organist and I was delighted to see my opinions vindicated by Wally Houser in the August 2002 edition of JARS - the Ronnie Scott Club house magazine - and reproduced in the sleeve notes of this CD.
The Blue Note Band brings together the Brothers Fishwick - Steve (tpt) and Matt (dms) - alongside Steve Kaldestad (ten) and of course Mike Carr - not a bass player in sight! Robert Ahwai (gtr) & Simon Morton (perc) are added on some tracks.
However, this is not just about Mike the Organ Giant but Mike the composer and arranger - and vibist/pianist.
The tunes are all in the hard bop style associated with Blue Note Records and several are dedicated to such luminaries as Dizzy, Bird and Milt as well as his former colleague in the Emcee 5 - the late Ronnie Stephenson. With the two Steves attuned to the idiom and driven along by Matt on drums this disc can walk tall alongside anything from Rudy Van Gelder's New Jersey studio - and I am an avid collector of Blue Note's.
I'd like to see the band booked by Jazz North East - did I hear a whisper somewhere that it was in the pipeline?
Lance

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Tasty Chilli Jam Tonight.

Dave Weisser (tpt/vcl), Darren Grainger (ten), Nicola Weaver (alt), Judith ? (vln), Mark Williams (gtr), Barry Ashcroft (bs), Eric Stutt (dms) + Scotty Adair (dms).
Magic in the air tonight! Don't ask me why I'm playing a cassette of James Moody, recorded at some long gone Newcastle Jazz Festival, on the car stereo. Pure chance.
Okay; so maybe my car isn't cool enough to play CDs but nor is it old enough to pass Go and claim £2000. Anyhow, I'm driving along in my automobile - no baby beside me at the wheel (Chuck Berry lyric) and listening to this tape which, as well as Moody, has our boy Scotty Adair on drums. A fine drummer - never seen him for years.
Guess who walks into the Chilli tonight? Bingo! Scott Adair!
After giving him time to almost taste his pint, Scott's whisked to the stage for a blast on "Anthropology" - he's still got it.
Other moments tonight include Judith, a swing fiddler, who gives "Love For Sale" a work out as well as "Stella By Starlight" and "Stolen Moments" (from Oliver Nelson's "Blues and the Abstract Truth") the last and possibly the best number of the night.
Dave's in scintillating form over the mic - blowing good too.
Truth is, everyone's wailing well tonight. Darren; some powerful tenor, Nicola; elegant on alto and Eric; ever ready to go along with the strange twists and turns the numbers occasionally take. On guitar, Mark compensates for the lack of a keyboard - Barry is on bass hence no piano - with solid chordwork as well as, naturally, some mindblowing solos. Barry too does the biz on bass. Next week, it's BUDVIVAR shooting for the Moon and Tim, artist in residence, has eyes to screen a slide show of his musically inspired creations on the backwall behind Dave and the gang as they perform their own artistry. Get there early folks - it could be an audio/visual experience you'll want to tell to your grandchildren ...
Lance.

Update on Mike Carr

An update on former Emcee 5 keyboarder Mikr Carr and his current happenings.
Mike tells me of a one hour Radio Show, "The Doodlin' Lounge" , in San Francisco by Pete Fallico. Fallico has done 12 Podcasts including Horace Silver and Jimmy Smith as well as a one hour show by Mike.
Mike says that when you see 'Radio' double click on it. Well I did that but had to take a raincheck on Mike. Nevertheless, there is still some great organ jazz from players such as Joey De Francesco and Charles Kynard among others.
Mike's own website is at http://www.mikecarr.co.uk/
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"The Emcee 5 CD," said Mike, "comprises world class players; Ronnie Stephenson (drums), Gary Cox (tenor), my brother Ian (trumpet) who was also a great writer - he wrote the marvellous Miles Davis Book as well as the Keith Jarrett one. On bass there was Spike Heatley, Malcolm Cecil, Midge Ure or John O'Carroll. Jackie Denton and Johnny Butts were also on Drums. The disc has been issued twice in Japan, the first time to Eugene Music in 1998 and the second time to Celeste Records in Tokyo, in 2002. Celeste have it out right now on CD."
(Lance says: If there are any deprived persons who haven't got the Emcee 5 disc, either on CD or vinyl they can remedy it by going to Mike's site - he's got them for a tenner plus postage.)
"If you go to my web site," continued Mike, "you will see some of my other CDs including 'Cargo' which features Dave Collins vocals, Victor Feldman vibes, Jim Mullen guitar, Dick Morrissey and Don Weller tenor. Also, Ronnie Scott, Tim Cansfield guitar and Robert Ahwai as well as Peter King alto.
My current band is the Blue Note Band - see website.
As you probably know, I lived in Gosforth but worked with the Emcee Five in the Marimba Coffee House, the Downbeat Club and another club in Percy Street - I don't remember the name (Club A' Go Go?)." - Mike Carr."
(As a matter of further interest - Mike has Jim Cormack's standard fake book "JC Changes" available. Not only does it have melody and changes for a zillion standards but the changes are the real McCoy and as modern as tomorrow. £33 from Mike.)
Lance.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Discs to Die For. New Posts.

Paul Edis, that eternal optimist and piano wiz, suggested we submit lists of our favourite albums. I'm not sure what criteria he had in mind; perhaps "Kind of Blue" should be excluded to give the rest a chance.
However, Paul wasn't thinking in terms of a popularity poll, rather a few recomendations from other people.
Discs that have already been chosen are excluded, a maximum of five per person and stipulate that only one disc per artist is on each list.
So far we have 80 discs - it would be nice to make it 100 which means four more lists. Go for it! This is the latest posting - From Chris Yates.
Jelly Roll Morton Red Hot Peppers (1926 sessions - in many formats).
Duke Ellington: 'The Webster-Blanton Band' (3 CD set on Bluebird).
Louis Armstrong Plays W.C.Handy.
Charles Mingus, 'The Black Saint and The Sinner Lady.
Horace Silver, 'Song for My Father'.
-----
Lance

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Roly Veitch Trio at the Highfield Hotel

Roly Veitch (gtr/vcl), Neil Harland (bs), Graeme Wilson (ten).
The one thing I can guarantee about a Roly gig is that there will be some great, and not unduly overplayed, standards on the set list.
Feast your eyes on this Liz - and other lovers of the Gasbook -
"I Wished on the Moon", "There Will Never Be Another You", "Blame It On My Youth", "It's Always You", "Besame Mucho", *But Not For Me", "I'm Old Fashioned", "Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams", "My Shining Hour", "The Touch of Your Lips", "Have You Met Miss Jones?", "I'll Remember April" - this last tune was written by Don Raye and Gene di Paul (who also take the blame for "Star Eyes", "You Don't Know What Love Is" and "Mr Five By Five" among others).
Most were delivered vocally by Cool Hand Roly in his laid back mode with instrumental interludes all round.
The Chet Baker-like horn of Noel Dennis was missing tonight although I have it on good authority that he hasn't been busted and nor is he languishing in an Italian prison.
Graeme Wilson, fortunately, was able to step in at relatively short notice and he played some nice melodic lines. Neil, as ever, held it all together.
Two criticisms - One major and one minor. The minor one is that I'd like to occasionally hear Roly sing the verse as well as the refrain.
The major one? Where have all the North-east jazz "fans" hibernated to?
Lance.

Let's Get Lost - Last Night BBC 4/Don't Get Lost - Tonight @ East Rainton.

A harrowing, at times confusing and often very sad, 1987 autobiopic of the iconic tragedian that was Chet Baker. Amidst all the trauma and chaos, the beautiful trumpet sound and the strangely appealing voice shine through. "Blame it on my Youth" and the title song are just two of the gems. But there are many others. "Almost Blue," recorded in the very twilight of his 58 years, has a poignancy few singers achieve at their peak. I wonder why so many super-talents have such flawed lives? -----YouTube Clip. The trumpet playing and the vocals will be hinted at tonight at the Highfield Hotel, East Rainton by the ROLY VEITCH TRIO whose lives, they tell me, are totally flawless. Free Admission. Start 8.00 pm. Lance.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

More on Nigel Stanger

I'm currently reading "The Jazz Anthology" by the late Miles Kington - an occasional writer on things jazzy for Punch and other publications.
He talks of his days at Oxford and a summer spent playing bass in a trio in a Spanish bar.
...The other two were also students, Nigel Stanger on piano and Mike Hollis on drums, and we played in a small bar belonging to Jesus Tamborero, a very charming property developer who persuaded English people to buy villas he had built which fell down three days after the contracts had been signed, and who took them to this bar to soften them up for the purchase...
Kington goes on to say, (in 1992) that Nigel was (and is) a very good pianist and our fame spread narrowly... I wonder if Mike Hollis was any relation to Andy Hollis who played trumpet and flute alongside Nigel in the Newcastle Big Band?
Lance.

The Jazz Baroness - BBC4

The long awaited documentary on the relationship between Monk and the Baroness Pannonica de Koengiswarter (nee Rothschild) provided fascinating viewing yet, at the end of the day, are we any the wiser? We know a little more about the lady, a little less about Mrs Monk, the shadowy figure of Nellie who seemingly accepted her husband's relationship with the Baroness. Was it as purely platonic as has been suggested? These are questions that will probably be never answered and, in my opinion, not important. What is important is the patronage she gave to Monk and other musicians without which a lot of great music may have never been created. We could do with someone like her today - particulary on Tyneside. Lance. PS: I've yet to watch the Jazz 625 Monk and Blakey programmes. Tonight there's Bird, Trane and Chet. Why can't they spread it out? You can get too much of a good thing.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Phil Mason's New Orleans All Stars @ Saville Exchange

Phil Mason (cnt), Mickey Potts (tmb), Roger Myerscough(bar/clt), Tony Pitt (bjo), Trevor Williams (bs), Laurie Chescoe (dms/wbd), Christine Tyrell (vcl). This was a culture shock! It had been a long time since I'd heard an out and out New Orleans style band - I usually avoid post 1960 trad bands like the plague - and as the strident, unrelenting plonk of the banjo in the opening number cut through me, I began planning my escape route.
However, as my ears became accustomed to the polyphonic sound of the frontline, I accused myself of being a musical snob and said, "Lance - enjoy it!"
I DID enjoy it - it was fun. Nothing mindbending, just good old fashioned foot-tapping fun. Trombone and Baritone were featured on "Sentimental Journey" - both had a big round tone that had the effect of muting the banjo - reminded me of Barnes and Williams albeit not quite Mulligan and Brookmeyer. Having remarked on the banjo, I have to admit that Tony Pitt is no slouch on the damn thing and he had some good solos throughout the gig.
Christine Tyrell sang a few Spiritual type numbers "Thank The Lord" got the hands clapping. "Ma Curly Headed Baby" was a rare choice and later, a suggestion of Country with "Crazy" before finishing off with "Big Butter and Egg Man."
Drummer Chescoe, apart from drumming, played tambourine, danced, thimbled washboard ... all with amazing dexterity.
For me though, the highlight was bassist Williams, playing and singing, "I Would Do Anything For You". Written, I believe, by Claude Hopkins and sung on record by Billy Banks back in the 20's/30's. It is a lovely piece - it made my night. If you don't know the tune - check it out on Spotify; Braff and Sutton is recommended.
Lance.

QUADRATA CAFE OFF MENU - ALL GIGS CANCELLED FOR THE FORCEABLE FUTURE

Sad news for those lovers of a lyrical lunch but the Quadrata Cafe's Monday lunchtime gigs have come to an abrupt end. Financial dificulties have been cited as the reason. The next scheduled gig was this coming Monday with Ruth Lambert's Trio (pictured) this will not now take place. Thanks to Paul B for this information.
Lance.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Frank Brooker & the Jeremy McMurray Quartet. Blaydon Jazz Club.

Frank Brooker (ten/clt), Jeremy McMurray (pno), Roly Veitch (gtr), Neil Harland (bs), David Carnegie (dms).
The new season at the new venue got off to a booting start with Frank Brooker fronting the house rhythm section which tonight included Neil Harland and David Carnegie alongside Roly and Jeremy - they gelled.
Frank Brooker may not be the first name that springs to mind when it comes to tenor sax (or clarinet) players but he must surely rank amongst the most stylistically versatile.
Basically a swing player Frank, nevertheless, successfully flirts with bebop and beyond; tonight playing material from Hank Mobley ("Of Thee I Dig" and "Soul Station"), Zoot Sims ("Red Door"), Parker ("Anthropology") and Rollins ("Calypso Blues") as well as Benny Goodman ("Stomping at the Savoy").
"Body and Soul" had a Samba rhythm that was different whilst "Nightingale Sang", played with the sensitivity it demands, captured my mood to perfection.
Throughout the evening, Jeremy, Roly, Neil and David provided the perfect cushion for the guest as well as standing tall in their own right.
The long drive home meant I left before the end although, when I heard the strains of "Black Butterfly", filtering through, I lingered, longer, in the foyer; savouring the liquidity of the clarinet - it was a gem.
A good start for the new venue.
Lance.

Maine Street Jazzmen @ Rosie Malone's South Shields.

Herbie Hudson (tmb/hca/vcl), Derek Fleck (clt), Malcolm Armstrong (pno), Alan Rudd (bs), Ian Forbes (dms), Olive Rudd (vcl).
Well, now I know why Ian Forbes didn't hang around at the Chilli - he obviously wanted to have a good night's sleep ahead of today's demanding session at Rosie Malone's - not.
Like the Northumberland Tennis Club, this too is a new jazz venue albeit they are poles apart and I don't mean in distance. Having said that, I did notice a couple of characters hanging around outside who looked as though they may have been involved with the rackets. Closer inspection revealed them to be Traffic Wardens. They were rubbing their hands with glee at a Transit parked on a double yellow.
Back to the music. The Mainestreeters proved one thing - you don't need a trumpet to play traditional (ish) jazz. The two man frontline alternated melody and soloed with no lack of vigour.
Herbie, frequently favouring a plunger mute, and Derek, facile and inventive.
Herbie also had the 'Hohner 270' in action; his wailing on "See See Rider" could have come straight from an oldtime Chicago bluesman.
Behind the horns, Malcolm Armstrong played his own brand of Stride and Barrelhouse, Ian proved that his early night was worth it whilst Alan Rudd showed that there is more than one "Bass Ace" on the scene.
Olive Rudd's vocals kept things lively scoring Dix Point with "I Double Dare You", "Smiling (When You're,)" and "All of Me" among others.
An enjoyable afternoon that would have been enhanced by a few more jazzers in the audience; after all, it's only a ferryboat ride from the Porthole.
Lance.

Paul Edis Sextet & Northumberland Tennis Club. Report by Russell.

Paul Edis (keyboards), Mick Shoulder (double bass), Dave Francis (drums), Graham Hardy (trumpet), Chris Hibbard (trombone), Graeme Wilson (tenor saxophone). Northumberland Tennis Club is the latest venue on the local jazz circuit. A well-appointed sports club with a jazz-loving chairman, it could well prove to be a long-term success.
At last night's gig (April 15)The Paul Edis Sextet served up a series of aces.
Clifford Brown's ''Joy Spring'' set the tone for the evening; relaxed, impeccable ensemble work. ''Not Like Me'', a Paul Edis original composition, was next on the set-list. The feel of it, at times, was that of the Jazz Crusaders. Chris Hibbard's measured approach was heard to great effect on ''Black Orpheus''. This was a sensitive reading of a beautiful tune. A Graeme Wilson composition ''Up Late'' was, perhaps, the highlight of the first set. Wilson's solos are always thoughtful and inventive and on this occasion the arrangement incorporated superb harmonies from his frontline partners Hardy & Hibbard. The first set having been wrapped up, the players eschewed the traditional tennis players' refreshment of Robinson's Barley Water in favour of Theakston's Best Bitter (it is a little known fact that Theakston's has isotonic properties essential for the gigging jazz athlete). The second set began with the band maintaining its form, despatching winners from every angle. Juan Tizol's ''Caravan'' was the perfect vehicle for trumpet ace Graham Hardy to deliver a volley of winning notes. Edis introduced a Donald Brown tune and in so doing gently chided the proprietor of this blog (Mr.L.Liddle) for not permitting any further entries into the Discs to Die For library of the classic ''Kind of Blue'' . Mr.Liddle was, I believe, across town at that other modernist's hangout; Take It To The Bridge @ The Chillingham. The proceedings drew to a close with another Edis tune ''Angular''. Having heard this number in trio format as a blistering workout, tonight's offering was a less driven effort, but no less effective. Game, set and match to the Paul Edis Sextet.
Russell.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Choices

Alan Glen (pno), Lawrence Blackadder (bs), David Carnegie (dms).
Dave Weisser (tpt/vcl), Mark Williams (gtr), Barry Ashcroft (pno), Jim Crinson (bs), Eric Stutt (dms). + Nicola Weaver (alt), Darren Grainger (ten), James ? (gtr), Jamie McCredie (bs).
Subs (not used) Stu Collingwood, Chris Finch.
----- Down on Teeside, it was either Jeremy McMurray's Quartet in Hartlepool or Noel Dennis' Quartet in Middlesbrough. Up here, on Tyneside, the hipsters were torn between Paul Edis' Sextet at the Tennis Club or Alan Glen's Trio at The Chilli.
I spun a double-headed coin and called tails which meant I went to the Chilli which turned out to be a good call.
The Alan Glen Trio were in overdrive tonight and swinging like there was no tomorrow. In particular, George Shearing's "Conception" ticked all the boxes as did "Green Dolphin" and "All The Things". In a more seductive mood, that rarely played ballad, "For Heaven's Sake" simply oozed sensuousness. It was a good set.
Prior to the trio's performance, the Take It To The Bridge gang, reinforced by Mark Williams, kicked things along - is there a better guitarist around than Mark? You tell me. Darren, on tenor this week, had some lusty choruses as did Barry setting the bench mark for Alan.
For the final jam, Jamie McCredie played double bass, honest! Take it from me, the ace guitarist is no mug on the bull fiddle either. Young James sat in on guitar and Nicola blew alto on "Tenor Madness". There was so much going on tonight such luminaries as Stu Collingwood and Chris Finch didn't make it to the stage. Ian Forbes, for some unfathomable reason, barely made it through the door!
A reasonable sized audience too. Photos.
Oh! I almost forget but a young artist of the Percussionardo Expressionist School (my description) arrived with a portfolio of paintings, drawings, and sketches that he'd created instantly on the backs of rectangular canvases not unlike those adverts one sees on the Metro trains. These were his unique reactions to the music played at bygone sessions and captured graphically as it happened and in time to the music. The visual and the aural interacting - fascinating. Perhaps he will donate one of his works to this site...
Lance.

Blaydon Races

The new season - new venue - of Blaydon Jazz Club commences this Thursday (April 16) at the Blaydon & District Club & Institute (CIU), Garden Street, Blaydon (Tel 0191-4142335) which is just next to the old place. Swinging Saxist, FRANK BROOKER is the guest with the JEREMY McMURRAY QUARTET (Jeremy, piano, Roly Veitch, guitar, Pete Stuart, bass and Bill Shield, drums.) Should be a great evening so start 'Gannin' Along The Scotswood Road' in time for an 8.30 pm count-in. Click here for an update on all things Blaydonic.
-----
The above quote from the 'National Anthem' coupled with the previous post brought to my mind a long gone, Blaydon jazz venue - "The Blaydon Races".
This was a pub, near Stella, if memory serves me right, that featured the Jimmy Miller Trio. Jimmy Miller, a bucolic Scotsman, was arguably as good a pianoman as there was in those days - the mid '60s - and with Ray Jobling on bass, the drummer's name escapes me (Roly's uncle?) they made a fine trio.
I have the feeling Dave Hedley may have sang with the trio - I recall a guy, who could have been Dave, giving out with a great version of "Tangerine". He was built like Jimmy Rushing and sang like Joe Williams. Although only a pub, it had a jazz club/night club ambiance not least because of the music and the, then, novel idea of Chicken in a Basket meals.
There was also a Sunday lunchtime session for awhile.
Lance.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Zeke Zarchy Movie - RIP Zeke.

Zeke, who died April12, 2009, tells his fascinating story. Lance.

Gavin Lee with Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Corner House by Russell

Brian Bennett (banjo & vocals), Lawrence McBriarty (trombone), Peter Wright (trumpet), Barry Soulsby (clarinet, alto sax & vocals), Brian Sibbald (double bass), Bill Shaw (drums) & guest Gavin Lee (clarinet & alto sax). The Vieux Carre's regular Monday night session was enhanced by the welcome presence of young clarinetist Gavin Lee and it was Lee who took the first feature on his other instrument - alto saxophone - on a swinging version of JC Higginbotham's ''Give Me Your Telephone Number'.
Defying the rain gods, the band continued with ''April Showers'' - an opportunity for Barry Soulsby to shine with his Al Jolson - like vocals. One of the great New Orleans spirituals ''Just a Closer Walk with Thee'' was played with due reverence and no little authenticity. A Fletcher Henderson number ''Far Away Blues'' followed. The set-closer ''Willie the Weeper '' saw Barry take the vocals. The interval raffle took second place to the legendary Vieux Carre free buffet. It proved to be excellent, indeed the best yet. Compliments to the Corner House staff. The raffle prizes having found homes other than this correspondent's, another pint of Guinness in hand, the second set commenced with the, standing room only, audience singing along to the oft - requested, ''When the Saints Go Marching In ''. Barry Soulsby's alto featured on '' The Girls Go Crazy By The Way I Walk ''. Soulsby was joined by Gavin Lee for a two-clarinet serving of '' Clarinet Marmalade''. The second spiritual of the evening ''Down by the Riverside '' drew good applause as did ''Apex Blues ''. Brian Bennett called time in the traditional manner - telling the audience it should be ''Goin' Home ''.
Russell.

Hotter Than That - Fiddles on Fire by 'The Doc'.

I guess few mainstreams jazzers will have given much attention to the Fiddles on Fire Festival at the Sage over the weekend, given the massive emphasis on folk genres it would seem an unlikely hunting ground.
A pity, because for those interested in gypsy jazz the event boasted a splendid gig featuring Tim Kliphuis and James Birkett. Tim is enjoying an exponential rise as possibly the most fluent and genuine practitioner of Grappelli syle fiddling around (with all due respect to Chris Garrick, Mike Piggott and others).
The Sunday afternoon concert was a gem featuring Hot Club material such as "How About You", "Nuages" and "Sweet Georgia Brown", mixed in with swing versions of the "Skye Boat Song", "Devil Among the Tailors" and even the Pachelbel "Canon". Delivered with startling virtuosity, they were very well received.
Tim takes some pride in venturing into folk and classical genres, but not all moldy figs will give this an unreserved welcome. These are dangerous areas for the swing violin player. I recall, for instance, the late Johnny Frigo's rendition of 'How Are Things in Glocca Morra' with very mixed feelings.
But I digress. Both Tim and James Birkett delivered a superb performance. If you missed it Google up Tim's website for the next time he's anywhere near. It will well repay the effort.
In addition to the concert Tim conducted two workshops for aspiring swing fiddlers, enthusiastically attended in almost unmanageable numbers. Tim is a superb instrumental teacher as his teaching publications and DVD's confirm. Nigel Kennedy has said 'The sound of Stephane Grappelli is safe with Tim Kliphuis' . It sure is, but Tim is way more that an imitator and his own personality shines through both in his playing and through his great rapport with the audience. Just wait until those telly people find out about him.
"The Doc."

If You Happen To Be In Hong Kong This Sunday...

The first Ned Kelly's Big Band session for 2009! We may have a guest Japanese Band to play a set. Details as follows: Date: Sunday, 19 April 2009 Time: 6pm - 9pm Venue: Ned Kelly's Last Stand, 11-A Ashley Road, TST All of us look forward to seeing you for another swinging session. Best regards Colin

Monday, April 13, 2009

Thanks for The Memory

A section of memorabilia - Posters, Programmes, etc. has been expanded with material from Miles W, Colin A and myself added to items already supplied by Roly and Roy W.
It's fascinating stuff ranging from Dickie Valentine in panto to some mysterious 'Modernists From Blaydon Rhythm Club' (see picture). Perhaps Roly may be able to shed light on this latter group even though he was probably only about 5 at the time!
Lance

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Tough Task For TASQ at East Rainton.

Russell Henderson (ten/alt), Adam Hastings (gtr), Sam Vickery (bs), Dan Hayman (dms).
TASQ are an imaginative jazz/funk unit that can really get the adrenalin going - those professors down at Leeds, like their counterparts in Newcastle, have certainly got the curriculum finely tuned and all four are worthy of a Summa Cum Laude badge as Eddie Condon, or was it Bud Freeman? might have said.
Russell Henderson, as ever, impressed me on both alto and tenor. Adam also had his moments tonight although, by his standards, he seemed slightly subdued - perhaps it was the venue.
Don't get me wrong - The Highfield is an excellent venue but it isn't an out and out jazz joint. In other words, without a majority of card carrying jazzers in the audience, a more varied approach may be worth considering.
That said, for this card-carrier, TASQ's original compositions were indeed original - not least the one inspired by the "Super Mario" game; it almost got me into Nintendo!
"Bouncing With Bud" and Kenny Burrell's "Chitlin Con Carne" were, I think, the only non-original pieces - both got a good groove.
Lance.

Tonight at the Highfield - TASQ

Take a bus, take a train, hitch a ride, hop a freight but hightail it down to the Highfield Hotel, East Rainton tonight for TASQ - start 8.00 pm. You'll hear some super sax from Russ Henderson, great guitar from Adam Hastings, dynamic drumming from Dan Hayman and booting bass from Sam Vickery. And it's free! So what's your excuse? Lance.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Jazz 625 - Stan Getz Quartet

Stan Getz (ten), Gary Burton (vibes), Steve Swallow (bs), Roy Haynes (dms).
In retrospect, this 1966 recording was probably a landmark event bringing together as it did the old and the new.
Roy Haynes, a near founder figure of the bebop movement in the late forties, Getz 'the king of cool' in the fifties and two forward thinkers of the sixties in Burton and Swallow all together at the London School of Economics. At least the student audience showed a modicum of enthusiasm compared to the embalmed bodies in search of a coffin from previous shows.
And well they should! Getz, riding high on his bossa-nova success "Desafinado" played with the sound that had been his trademark for many years and if he didn't break any new ground - that period was still on the horizon - what he did was fine by this listener.
Gary Burton, looked amazingly young and naive - in a couple of years his hair would be rockstar length and his music tailored accordingly but tonight he kept within the bounds of convention. Likewise Steve Swallow on double bass - he was positively Brooks Brothers tonight.
On drums, Roy Haynes kept it all swinging and had a well applauded solo - I wonder, has there ever been a drum solo that wasn't well applauded?
Tunes? There was "Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square" - Getz at his most languorous. "Silver Bells (or Belles)" composed and performed by Gary. A stomping "Ornithology", the inevitable "Desifinado" taken faster than on record - maybe he wanted it over and done with.
Stan also blew a wistful "When The World Was Young" and Steve worked-out on a Jobim thing.
Someone tell me - is the Bossa-Nova an actual dance like the Rhumba and Samba etc? And, if so, does anyone know how to do it?
Lance.

Good-Time Jazz on Good Friday - Russell.

Vieux Carre Jazzmen @ The Avalon Hotel, Whitley Bay.
Brian Bennett (banjo & vocals), Fred Rowe (trumpet & vocals), Lawrence McBriarty (trombone), Fred Thompson (drums & vocals), Jim McBriarty (tenor & clarinet).
The first set started as a quintet - Jim McBriarty was caught in an 'Artie Shaw' (Traffic Jam) near the Tyne Tunnel - with familiar tunes from the band's burgeoning pad.; ''I Can't Give You Anything But Love'' followed by ''Darktown Strutters' Ball" with vocal duties shared by Thompson and Rowe.
McBriety Minor arrived as ''Yellow Dog Blues'' proved once again to be a particularly good vehicle for the ensemble, topped off by an object lesson in economical soloing by Fred Rowe.
I had just purchased a pint of Mordue's ''Avalon'' when MC Mr. Bennett announced to the appreciative audience that the next number was to be ''Avalon.'' I thought, I'll drink to that, and duly did! The first set drew to a close with the rouser that is ''Alexander's Ragtime Band."
The busy north east coast jazz scene meant a swift exit and a Metro along the Tyne Riviera to North Shields...
Rendezvous Quintet @ The Porthole, North Shields.
Maureen Hall (vocals), Brian Chester (trombone), Barry Soulsby (clarinet & vocals), Roy Gibson (keyboards), Paul Bacon (drums).
I arrived in time for the second set of Maureen's regular Friday residency and, a pint of Allendale's ''Curlew's Return'' in hand, I had the dubious pleasure of being 'entertained' by a jazz Easter bonnet parade! Pretty bonnets, pretty women marching in time around the Porthole to the sounds of Barry Soulsby's clarinet. A disconcerting moment was a male participant wandering around with a ''hankie on his heed'' telling me as he passed by ''divin't say nowt''. A translation from the Geordie is available upon request. The jazz resumed, thankfully, with ''It Had To Be You'' and a Maureen Hall favourite, ''It's a Sin to Tell a Lie''.
Well, it was Good Friday, so I guess I'll forgive the fun and frolics. Next week - jazz !
Russell.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Alan Plater's Mysterioso

I have an affinity with Alan Plater - we were born within streets of each other although he had departed for more southerly climes before I was conceived. Nevertheless, I identify with him, not just because we may, and I stress the word may, have shared midwives but because we most definitely shared a love of jazz.
That love comes through in his writing - "The Beiderbecke Affair" and the ditto "Tapes", "Doggin' Around", "Blonde Bombshells of 1943" and "Mysterioso."
I've just watched this latter work, published as a novel in 1987 and dramatised for tv in 1991, on DVD.
Although far from being as enigmatic as the Thelonious Monk inspired title would suggest, it is, nevertheless, an engaging tale of a young girl's search for her father - who turns out to be a Ronnie Scott caricuture - and in the process discovers herself.
There are few twists and turns and no seemingly insurmountable brick walls in Rachel's quest to find if her heart belongs to daddy. Nor are there any out and out baddies - only a boring suburban architect and some once anti-semetic grandparents.
However, far from being bland, it is a tale that kept me glued to the screen, helped along by the off-screen tenor playing of Stan Sultzman.
Thoroughly enjoyable.
As a matter of further interest. The latest jazz inspired work by Alan Plater is "Looking For Buddy". Newcastle's Live Theatre are presenting it from May 7 - June 13.
Lance.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

"Quiet Nights" at the Chilli.

Dave Weisser (tpt/vcl), Barry Ashcroft (pno), Jim Crinson (bs), Eric Stutt (dms). Plus; Mark Williams (gtr), Darren Grainger (alt).
Last weeks momentous session was always going to be a tough act to follow but, nevertheless, despite a minimal audience - perhaps they've taken an early Easter vacation - there were moments to treasure. Dave, with just piano, bass and drums, got things moving on a, by Dave's standards, relatively straight vocal on "Falling In Love With Love" as well as one of his trademark tightly muted trumpet solo's. My personal preference is for Dave blowing in the quartet format - a bit like early Miles.
Things began to jump a little in the second set with the arrival of Darren and Mark both of whom scored bonus points on "Bluesette" that most endearing of jazz waltzes. The small audience made for an intimate atmosphere with much repartee passed between musician and listener.
"Masquerade" bore little resemblance to the famous version by The Carpenters. A vocal from Dave, some blistering alto from Darren as well as solid bass from Jim and a few from Barry, set the scene for Mark to unleash the mother of all invention as he soared into orbit.
Not such a bad night after all!
Lance.

Barney Kessel - A Guitar Legend. New book by Maurice Summerfield.

For jazz guitar fans... Newcastle resident Maurice J. Summerfield has written and published what may well be the definitive biography of his long-time friend the late, legendary guitarist, Barney Kessel. "Barney Kessel - A Jazz Legend'', with a foreword by Howard Alden, is published by Maurice's company, Ashley Mark Publishing.
His earlier tome -'' The Jazz Guitar. Its Evolution and its Players,'' has, since its publication in 1978, become the reference book for jazz guitar historians. It is also published by Ashley Mark.
Ashley Mark Publishing, incidentally, are based in Blaydon - that popular pickers' paradise.
Russell

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Highfield Hotel News - TONY KOFI - no less!

Paul Edis is pleased to announce the wedding of his trio to Tony Kofi in a one night stand at the Highfield Hotel, East Rainton, on Sunday May 3rd.
Admission is free - you gotta believe it - and the musical nuptials take place from 8.00 PM.
This must surely be the social event of the season, Tony Kofi is rated mega high in the jazz world and is a first class alto/soprano player.
However, to ensure the continuing presence of such super stars it is imperative that support is shown to the local bands who appear in between the 'big ones'.
Next Sunday (12th April) it is TASQ, aka 'The Alan Shearer Quartet," - I would keep that quiet in Sunderland - featuring guitar legend to be, Adam Hastings.
On the 19th, it is Roly Veitch's Trio with Noel Dennis (tpt), Neil Harland (bs) and guitar/vocal legend that already is, Roly Veitch.
On the 26th, more guitar wizardry; this time in the form of Jim Birkett as part of the Virtuoso Trio. The other two virtuosi being, of course, George McDonald (clt) and Peter Stuart (bs).
A program as mouthwatering as the menu (optional) at the Hotel.
Lance.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Unsung Heroes

In an earlier post I pointed out that Bud Shank played flute on "California Dreaming" by the Mamas and the Papas. This led me to ponder upon other Pop/Jazz combinations.
Phil Woods, I know, blew the great alto solo on Billy Joel's "Just The Way You Are" and Ronnie Scott did the tenor work on The Beatles' "Lady Madonna". Harry Edison stamped his identity on stuff by Ella and Frank and Eddie Lang played guitar on a lot of Bing Crosby sides; any other unsung, more recent, heroes?
Lance.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

The Building Was on Fire But The Band Played On. Tom Dibb Trio and Lauren Housley at the Highfield Hotel.

Tom Dibb (gtr), John Pope (bs), David Carnegie (dms), Lauren Housley (vcl).
A slight exagerration I know but the fire alarm did go off and the band did continue playing. However, this wasn't quite the same as the Glenn Miller Band playing whilst the Doodlebugs were raining down upon them. No, the reality was that the alarm had went off accidentally and the band thought it was microphone feedback anyway!
Prior to this, They'd almost arrived at the end of a gig that included a couple of Tom's originals and some good vocals from Lauren.
I thought that I'd heard enough of "Georgia on My Mind" to last me a lifetime but, it has to be said, tonight's version was pretty near the top for originality both in L's earthy vocal and in the instrumental thrashes going on around it.
Other moments to savour were Lauren's "Day's of Wine and Roses" accompanied only by Tom and "Angel Eyes" evocatively supported by John. "Cheek to Cheek" also kicked - so much so that John's bass guitar fell over and added some percussive effects which didn't sound out of place!
Tom really wailed in his solos - he had family present so he had no option - David set the place on fire long before the alarm went off whilst John moved further up the Premier League of Bassmen - he's now an approved PLOB.
On a sartorial note, none of the band wore hats.
Lance.

Red Rodney at the Corner House 13 Dec.1983

Colin Aitchison - "Our Man In Hong Kong" - has sent this YouTube audio clip of Red Rodney at Newcastle's Corner House back in 1983. With Red on this track are Syd Warren (ten), Bill Harper (pno), Willie Payne (gtr), Derek Dixon (bs), Dennis Healey (dms). The tune is "Days of Wine and Roses". Lance. Click here for more photos

Jazz 625 Oscar Peterson

Haven't had a chance to catch up on the other programmes yet but Oscar was his inimitable self acc. by Ray Brown and Ed Thigpen in 1964. Call him flashy call him what you will Oscar has the ideas and the technique to execute them. Likewise Ray Brown; as melodic a bass player as you could find back then.
Only one complaint - where did they get the audience from? I've see more life inside of a coffin.
One man gave a half-hearted attempt at the 'hand-jive' or maybe he was just scratching his elbow. I can't wait to observe their jollity in the next concert - the MJQ.
It's hard to believe the MJQ, with Kenny Clarke on drums, comprised the rhythm section of the Dizzy Gillespie Band - one of wildest big bands of the time! It was all very nice and sedate but I prefer to hear Milt Jackson in 'boppier' surroundings.
In between the two shows was Arena: Cool. A lot of the material here had been seen before on 625 but I loved it for the Paul Desmond quote: "I wanted to sound like a Dry Martini"!
I reckon he did too!
Lance.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Matana Roberts Quartet - Live Theatre

Matana Roberts (alto), Robert Mitchell (keys), Tom Mason (bs), Chris Vatalaro (dms).
This was something else! Not least the venue which made for a great atmosphere. Not too formal not too loose - just right. The same can be said about the music. It was free, without being out of sight, and formal inasmuch as the pieces were structured - more or less.
Chicago Girl, New York based, Matana blew some great alto; as contemporary as tomorrow yet with respect for tradition. An Ellington/Strayhorn piece saw her in Johnny Hodges mode before later, and earlier, doing some Braxton, Von Freeman. But Matana is no copyist - she is her own girl and proud of it.
The interplay and the theme statements with pianist Mitchell were almost telepathic as they connected every time.
Robert Mitchell also did incredible things soloing - imagine Cecil Taylor playing stride and you're getting close, throw in some Monkian chords and Keith Jarrett technique and you're there - well almost - the man is amazing!
Tom Mason and Chris Vatalaro were less up front but, nevertheless, did their job efficiently subtly anticipating what was going on around them.
In between tunes Matana talked at length on everything from the President of the United States to the difficulty she had getting shoes to fit. The girl is a natural orator!
We were very lucky to see her at Live Theatre - Matana's MySpace lists her as being at The Cluny! - come back soon.
Lance.

RIP Bud Shank

Heard him at a Newcastle Jazz Festival (pictured left) with Shorty Rogers back in the 1980s - also in Holland with Rogers, Bob Cooper, Bill Perkins and other west coasters. In the company of guitarist Laurindo Almeida, Harry Babasin (bs) and Roy Harte (dms) he recorded an album of Brazilian music long before the bossa nova came into fashion. One of the great flute and alto players he stood alongside Lee Konitz and Art Pepper in the L.A. alto hierarchy. Like Art, he attempted to move into freer areas but it is as one of the cool boys that I'll always remember him. Listen here. Aged 82, Bud died April 2, 2009. Obit. Lance.
PS: Only just discovered that it was Bud who did the evocative flute work on The Mamas And Papas' "California Dreaming" - one of the great instrumental 'interludes' of popular music.

Friday, April 03, 2009

The Boppenpoof Song by Louis - By Miles

Hi Lance your blog brought back a memory of my first jazz buy. As a callow youth (teenagers hadn't been invented) I spent about 6 bob in Jeavons, Pudding Chare, on 2 records both by Louis, Flee As A Bird (2 sided) and The Boppenpoof Song b/w Bye & Bye. Old man Jeavons tied them together with the paper string they used in those days and after nursing them home, standing all the way on the bus, as it was a match day, I pulled hard on the string and cracked both records. I couldn't afford to buy them again so played them for a long time with the crack as part of the background. By the time I had saved up my pennies the Boppenpoof song had been withdrawn from the catalogue due to complaints. I can still remember the words, the tune was the Whiffenpoof Song. From the tables up at Birdland to the place where Dizzy dwells
In their beards and the funny hats they love so well
See the boppers all assembled and when they get really high
They constitute a weird personnel.
The riffs these cats are playing are crazy, cool and gone,
Oobi doo scooby doo, oo boppy doppin' like that,
But let them beat there brains out till their flatted fifths are gone
And they'll pass and be forgotten like the rest. They are poor little cats who have gone astray,
ba ba ba,
They are little black sheep who have lost their way,
ba daba daba daba doow way. Dixieland music they condemn
But every wrong note they play sounds a gem,
Lord have mercy on such as them
Ba baba daba daba doo way.
Thank God times have changed, or have they?
Miles.

Joshua Redman Radio 3

Another Alyn Shipton interview from this year's Gateshead International Jazz Festival on Saturday (4th) at 4:00 PM. This time with Joshua Redman. Hear Joshua at Ronnie Scotts Also on BBC 4 tonight more Jazz 625 with Oscar Peterson and MJQ. Also an Arena program "Cool". Lance

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Take It To The Bridge - A Good One!

Dave Weisser (tpt), Darren Grainger (alt), John Rowland (ten), Stu Collingwood (kbd), Tom Dibb (gtr), Barry Ashcroft (bs), Laurie Brown (vib), Eric Stutt (dms). + David Carnegie (pno/dms), Chris Finch (pno).
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Some nice things happened at the Chilli tonight. Not surprising, given the line-up. Laurie Brown, bouncing down the path that lies between Hampton and Jackson, Stu Collingwood, a powerhouse on keyboards, Tom Dibb giving a foretaste of what to expect at the Highfield Hotel on Sunday night, likewise David C. (Don't forget they've got the lovely Lauren Housley on vocals at the Highfield - should be a great free admission gig.)
Back to tonight, both saxes on song; John's in Ben Webster mode and Darren's 'Bird'. Dave Weisser improvises a vocal blues that really is improvised, picks up his horn and remind us of Miles with some tightly muted wailing. Barry on bass guitar proves he can cut it on that instrument too. Eric has a few exchanges of fours and his fellow Budvivarite Chris Finch sits in on "Lester Left Town" for an okay solo - it's a nice one Chris. Takes guts to follow Stu.
With the closing of the Monday night sessions at the Side Café, the Chilli is one of the few venues for Modern Jazz left in town. Give it a try and find out what you're missing.
Lance

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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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