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Bebop Spoken There

Ahmad Jamal: "[On commercial success] If Leopold Stokowski couldn't have afforded a baton, I don't think he would have enjoyed his career as much" - Crescendo, February 1982.

Avishai Cohen: “For me, Billie Holiday is the ultimate example of singing nothing but the truth.” – (Jazz Times October 2014).

Bebop Spoken There Archives.

Today Friday October 31.

Afternoon.
RENDEZVOUS JAZZ - Black Horse, Monkseaton. 1pm. Free.
Classic jazz.
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Evening.
PHILIP CLOUTS QUARTET - Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8pm. £5 (£3 before 8.30pm.)
Nice trumpet playing, good band.
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NIGEL PRICE ORGAN TRIO - Ushaw College, Durham DH7 9RH. 7.30pm. 0191 3738501.
Price (gtr); Pete Whittaker (B3); Matt Home (dms).
Sticks to the Sticks. It may be out of town but well worth setting the Satnav.
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LADIES OF MIDNIGHT BLUE - Live Theatre, Quayside, Newcastle. 8pm. £5.
You've heard the girls? Then come on down and shake your butt with 'em!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Memories of Martin Drew (Wembley’s most famous drummer) by Adrian Tilbrook

I first met Martin Drew in the late '60s at The Mandrake in Soho. It was the place to head for after your gig finished so you could check out the great Phil Seaman who was the on-off (more off than on!) drummer with resident pianist Joe Burns' Trio.
Martin and I would be invited to sit in by Phil so that he could hold court at the bar. I was working at the Palladium with Val Doonican at the time and Martin was carving out a career as a jazz musician, poles apart as they say. But life has many twists and turns and only a few years later I bumped into Martin at Ronnie Scott's. By now he was the ‘House drummer' and I was playing at the club with the headlining band Back Door. It was during this time that we became good friends and mutual drum anoraks!
Martin would bring in a different cymbal almost every other night and would want to know how it sounded during a particular tune or was it better or worse than the one he had used the previous night! He would also sit watching you play and would give you a hard time if your performance wasn’t up to the previous night's (all in good humour). We would also meet during the day to have marathon drum sessions at the club, really annoying manager Pete King trying to work in the back office. Martin used to give him hell and call him ‘Shylock’.
We would all end up in the Greek restaurant across the road, Jimmy’s, for a £5.00 all you can eat dinner (Martin always got his £5’s worth!).
Over the ensuing years I would often see Martin playing with the Ronnie Scott Quintet and, as ever, he would be playing with great taste and enthusiasm and above all else great musicianship. He was still enthusiastic about the art of drumming and always talking about the new breed of ‘Super’ drummer that emerged during the mid 80s, in particular he was a great fan of US drummer Dave Weckle. Martin even adopted the double bass drum pedal that Weckle used. I always thought this to be an unusual piece of hardware for a straight ahead drummer but Martin, as always, wanted to keep up to speed (literally!) and would call it his secret weapon, “it help the punters to know when the drum solo is finishing” bubada-bubada-bubada-bubada...
Since the tragic news of Martin's death I have been looking at the many video clips of him playing (YouTube) and one thing strikes you about him as a drummer/musician, and that’s his 100% concentration, have a look yourself, he is totally immersed in the music, always listening and responding in a musical and restrained way.
I don’t have to go into the list of world class musicians who have benefitted from Martin's musicality as that information is well documented, but I would like to say that Martin always had a smile and a joke (usually very corny) the latest gossip, a new cymbal for you to hear.
Last time I saw Martin was at the Corner House gig with Mornington Lockett and Laurence Cottle, and as usual he was enthusing about some new young players and how great his new band was and how he was hoping to try out a new range of Sabian cymbals etc, etc, etc....
I will remember with affection spending many a happy hour talking shop and watching him play and that will be my lasting memory of a giant amongst the jazz and drumming community.
Hi Adrian .. Martin Drew here the most famous drummer in Wembley - Ha Ha only joking, any chance of a gig for my amazing new band its ...
Adrian Tilbrook.

Another Blockbuster Sunday coming up.

After last week's afternoon blast at the Corner House Remembering Chris concert we have another Grand Slam at Stockton - see sidebar for details.
And this one is FREE!
Lance.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Rendezvous Jazz @ The Porthole, North Shields

Maureen Hall (vcl), Iain MacAulay (tpt/tmb/vcl), Barry Soulsby (clt/vcl), Roy Gibson (pno), Jim McKeown (dms). + Teresa Armstrong (vcl), Doris Fenn (bjo).
It's all very sedate at the Porthole on a Friday - and nothing wrong with that! However, for me the mood is more late night than early afternoon. It is so laid back the band don't even stand up for solos!
Having said that, the room was full and everyone enjoyed Maureen's All Of Me, Dream, Someday Sweetheart plus a few other good old good ones - Maureen was in good voice. Iain MacAulay - apologies if I've spelt your name wrong - played melodic trombone as well as some nice middle of the range trumpet. All this despite having toothache! Iain also sang All I Do Is Dream Of You with his own special lyrics. Barry blew smooth clarinet and also laid claim to the title of The King of the Swingers - presumably Ronnie Young abdicated long ago. (In-joke for local jazzers of a certain age!).
The rhythm section chugged nicely along aided by Doris Fenn on the b-a-n-j-o and some good work from Roy Gibson on piano.
During the interval, the evergreen girl, Teresa delighted us with The Nearness Of You.
It was a good afternoon with Draught Bass having the edge at the pumps.
Lance.
PS: Pleasant company included Andy Lee and J.C.Hallam.

MARTIN DREW DIES.

Sad to report the death of Martin Drew after a heart attack yesterday afternoon.
As late as May this year I heard him at the Kings Head in Crouch End with Simon Spillett, John Critchinson and Andy Cleyndert. He was playing as great as ever and also chatted about the LCD gig at the Corner House with Mornington Lockett and Laurence Cottle. Martin did me the honour of posting my review of that gig on his website.
Previously I'd seen him at York's Early Music Centre with Spillett and Co for another memorable gig (see photo).
But of course my memories of Martin go much further back - the Ronnie Scott Quintet with Dick Pierce, Critch and Ron Mathewson and of course the Peterson years.
Whatever band he played with that band swung like no other. A Grandmaster of his craft.
May he Rest In Peace - sadly missed.
Martin was 66 years old.
Two great drummers within days of each other...
All are invited to add their memories of Martin and Chris.
Lance
Simon Spillett remembers Chris Dagley and Martin Drew.

News From Neds

Hi All,
No doubt most of you are now having your summer holidays, and it is hot and humid here in Hong Kong. This is just to let you know that Ned Kelly's Last Stand now has a Ned Kelly's Official Fan Page on Facebook, so if you are on Facebook please join and leave a comment, upload some pictures from Neds or video clips, at the moment we have some stuff on there from 1980...
Also don't forget to check out the video clips on our Youtube page here is the link http://www.youtube.com/user/CCJazzmen
Xiǎngshòu
Colin Aitchison
Lance says: Check out the YouTube clip of Love Is Here To Stay on the above link - it is a gas!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Alan Glen Trio & Take it to the Bridge @ The Chillingham. July 28th.

Alan Glen Trio: Alan Glen (piano), John Pope (double bass), David Carnegie (drums).
Take it to the Bridge: Dave Weisser (trumpet & vocals), Barrie Ascroft (keyboards), Ivan Scutt (electric bass), Ray Walker (drums), Paul Gowland (tenor saxophone), Andy Lee (alto saxophone & flute).
What is it with the Chilli? An upstairs function room where you can hear modern jazz without distraction, a bandstand full of faces old and new and a guarantee of the best beer for miles around all for a measly quid - yet an audience in double figures is something of an achievment. This week's guests - the Alan Glen Trio - play the GAS Book to bop and back again as good as anyone. The trio played to a capacity audience at the Corner House four days earlier (opening proceedings at the historic all-dayer in memory of Chris Yates) receiving rapturous applause. Why were those people at the Corner House not at the Chilli?
MC Dave Weisser has, with little or no recognition, sustained a weekly modern jazz gig (all-comers are usually warmly welcomed - both musicans wishing to sit in and listeners simply wishing to sit and listen) simply for the love of it.
Dave's guests this week included an old hand, drummer Ray Walker, making his debut at the Chilli and the excelllent young buck bassist Ivan Scutt. Tenor player Paul Gowland invariably tears it up (this week was no exception) and it was good to hear Andy Lee. Monk, Bird and Glen were on the menu. Do north east modern jazz a favour, make the effort and get to the Chilli. The MU's mantra holds good - KEEP MUSIC LIVE! Help keep jazz alive at the Chilli.
Russell

Maine Street Jazzmen @ Rosie's (Rosie Malone's, South Shields.) - Episode 65.

Olive Rudd (vcl), Herbie Hudson (tmb/hca/vcl), Jim McBriarty (clt), Malcolm Armstrong (pno), Alan Rudd (bs), Mike Humble (dms).
There are times - when Herbie blows harp - that these boys are just about as good a Blues Band as they are a Dixieland outfit. Such a time was on See See Rider when Herbie stretched his Hohner 270 to the limits. On the same number, he did similar things to his vocal chords backed up by Mr Barrel-house himself Malcolm Armstrong. Jim blew some gutsy clarinet but this was one number where he should have had his tenor sax in the back pocket.
Olive Shimmied like her Sister Kate and it wasn't wishful thinking. But Jeepers Creepers! She's Locked Her Heart and Threw Away the Key again. You've got the picture - another good day at the office.
Lance.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Pics Are Here!

The first batch of pics from Pam Young's roving camera - taken at Sunday's Remembering Chris (Yates) concert at the Corner House are here.
These are just the tip of the iceberg with this superb shot of Steve Waterman a taste of things to come. Pam has promised to send the remainder when she returns from hols.
Photos (many more to come.)
Lance.

Chris Dagley

One of the swingingest drummers around, Chris Dagley, died in a motorcycle accident returning from a gig at Ronnie's in the early hours.
A regular with Clare Teal I recall seeing him at Customs House, South Shields and Gala Theatre, Durham over the past couple of years.
A former NYJO percussionist he also enlivened many a session at Ronnie Scott's.
LondonJazz had the unfortunate task of breaking the news to a stunned Jazz World.
He was 38 years old.
Rest In Peace.
Lance.

More Sad News

At the book launch of the late Chris Yates' book Blue Horizons, held on Friday at the Lit and Phil, the advertised speaker, Alan Twelftree, was unable to attend due to family illness. Now the sad news received is that Alan's wife died on Sunday evening after suffering a massive stroke earlier in the week.
Our thoughts are with Alan and his family at this sad time.
Lance

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Leah Gough-Cooper's HUMAN EQUIVALENT Schmazz @ the Cluny

Leah Gough-Cooper (alt), David Preston (gtr), Alan Benzie (keys), Kevin Glasgow (6 string bs gtr), John Lowrie (dms).
I have been known to leave Cluny gigs before the end, often just relieved to be breathing-in the delightful silence of the night.
Tonight was different - tonight I wanted to stay till the end of time and I don't mean time as in 'Gentlemen Please' but time as in a trillium years from now such was the kick I got from tonight. However, buses and Metros don't run till the end of time so, reluctantly, I left before the coda but on a high with what I'd heard.
I picked up on Leah when she appeared here with Patrick Kunka last year. With her newly formed Human Equivalent the girl proved that that was not just a one off.
Leah's alto playing is as contemporary as they come and she does it without squawks and duck calls. Leah plays saxophone as saxophone should be played whatever the idiom.
Admitedly it was, in the main, funk but it was funkin' good funk and her fellow travellers ensured that the groove was maintained.
Hey! about those travellers - John Lowrie proved there's more than one drum demon around in Scotland - he can hold his sticks up high alongside any of them (even though I'm told he's English). On piano, Alan Benzie is another phenomenon and guitarist David Preston is no slouch either. Benzie and Preston had a smash and grab blast at each other in the opening number of the second set that really burned.
Kevin Glasgow played six string electric bass which meant chords and de-muddied (clean) lines that added another dimension to the mix.
All pieces were by Leah and the band, and herself, did them proud.
Lance.

Our Maine News Tonight...

When the Maine Street Jazzmen took over at the Royal British Legion Club West Jesmond it began as a fortnightly - let's see how it goes - gig. Well the good news is that it has went so well that it has become, as of Tuesday, August 3, weekly. Yes, it has moved from Thursday to Tuesday with only 7 days between each visit.
Stomp off is at 8:30 pm and £3 will get you in.
Earlier on a Tuesday, at 1:00 pm, the Maine Streeters can be observed strutting their stuff at the Porthole, North Shields.
The Wednesday afternoon spots at the Lambton Arms, Eighton Banks, continue as do the Thursday afternoons at Rosie Malone's in South Shields' Market Place.
Lance.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Jon Cleary & The Dirty Dozen Brass Band @ The Sage. July 25th

Jon Cleary (piano & vocals), James Singleton (double bass) & Doug Belote (drums). British born Jon Cleary hadn't appeared on Tyneside for quite some time and this Gateshead date, the closing event of this year's Summer Tyne Americana Festival, with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band seemed like a good opportunity to hear him in such exalted company.
Cleary, a crowd pleaser, pounded out good-time rhythm and blues from his electronic keyboard with rock solid support from bassist Singleton and drummer Belote.
New Orleans' finest, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, themselves visiting Tyneside for the first time in years, certainly know how to put on a show. The current line-up - Julius McKee (sousaphone), Terence Higgins (drums), Roger Lewis (baritone saxophone), Kevin Harris (tenor saxophone), Gregory Davis (trumpet), Efrem Towne (trumpet) & Jake Eckert (guitar) + Jon Cleary (piano & vocals) - had everyone, well almost everyone, up on their feet from the first number. Everyone, well, almost everyone, appeared to be 'havin' a good time'. You know how it works - a member of the band enquires ' Are you havin' a good time, Newcastle?' 'Yeah' says the crowd. Then, just to make sure... 'Are you havin' a good time, Newcastle? 'Yeah' says the crowd. And so it went on. Of course we were in Gateshead but why spoil the fun?
Fun? It was of the compulsory kind, if you know what I mean. Those expecting the likes of John the Revelator, Just a Closer Walk With Thee and Jesus on the Mainline would have left disappointed. It was party time in Newcastle or was it Gateshead or was it...?
Who cares?
The support gig down on the Concourse featured Graham Hardy's Horn Dogs. I arrived just in time to see the band pack away their gear (I'd been to the Remembering Chris memorial concert - see Lance's review). So, not having heard the performance, I perhaps shouldn't comment. However, take it from me, it was great. Don't believe me? Then go hear them next time. Next time is on Sunday 1st August at the Georgian Theatre in Stockton when the band takes part in the annual Jazz Action Milestones Fringe Festival. It is a marathon event running from 12 noon 'til 9:00 pm. Horn Dogs will be prowling the stage at 4:00 pm. Free admission - what more could you want?
Russell.
The above photo is of Horn Dogs and was sent by John Taylor. The band included deps Phil Rutherford and Graeme Wilson. Wilson and Graham Hardy had themselves been playing at the Remembering Chris concert.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Remembering Chris - Corner House, Newcastle

Alan Glen (pno), John Pope (bs), David Carnegie (dms). It was just on 1:00pm when Alan went into Love For Sale and already the room was close to capacity. How Deep Is The Ocean followed by, as one has come to expect from Alan, a further selection of choice tunes. An immaculate set by the swingiest, boppiest trio around. This was worth the entry on its own.
If you missed them or want to here them again they play the Chilli on Chillingham Road, Heaton, next Wednesday (July28).
Paul Edis (pno), Graham Hardy (tpt/flg), Graeme Wilson (ten), Chris Hibbard (tmb), Mick Shoulder (bs), Adam Sinclair (dms). It took a sextet to follow the previous trio! Led by another piano ace, Paul Edis, who also doubled as sound engineer, the group opened up with a rather moody, but harmonically strong, original; Dorian Gray, followed by a beautifully charted In A Sentimental Mood before rocking out on Angular. A well contrasted set with impressive solos all-round. Graham Hardy blew his socks off - clearly not over-awed by the act to follow.
Steve Waterman (tpt/flg), Roly Veitch (gtr), Neil Harland (bs), Adam Sinclair (dms). From the opening Stella By Starlight the now standing room only bar knew Steve was playing for keeps. He had moments of Freddy Hubbard on Invitation and screamed in the upper on Line For Lyons sounding nothing like Chet although Steve and Roly did indulge in some Mulligan Quartet type interplay. Roly's clean-cut solos the perfect foil for Steve's virtuosity. A memorable gem.
Alan Barnes (alt), Graeme Wilson (ten), Graham Hardy (tpt/flg), Paul Edis (pno), Mick Shoulder (bs), David Carnegie (dms). By this time the walls were bursting at the seams as the audience numbers continued to grow. Chris Yates couldn't have had a finer tribute paid to him than by the quality of the music or by the turn out. It's You Or No One kicked from bar one with Alan Barnes unleashing soul-searing choruses and both Graham and Graeme staying with him. The final Blues Walk raised the bar even higher.
Graeme Wilson (ten), Roly Veitch (gtr), Neil Harland (bs), Scotty Adair (dms). Where will it end? Just so much good music surely this is the gig of the decade.
Roly puts in the polished performance we have come to expect from him with Graeme blowing nice smooth middle period tenor - can this be the same guy who sometimes singes the rooftops?
We don't often see Scotty on a jazz gig these days but he's still got it - he still swings.
Tim Garland (ten/sop), Andy Champion (bs), Adrian Tilbrook (dms). Suddenly we're in a different game. Tim Garland went snarling into Killer Joe and battered KJ into submission. It was an awesome performance - even Chris may have struggled to find the right adjective for this one - backed up to the hilt by Andy and Adrian who handled everything Tim, who was hot this afternoon, slung at them. Throughout the set castles crumbled, Gibralter tumbled but these boys were here to stay for the final set where they were thrown back into the fray reinforced by Paul Edis (pno), Alan Barnes (alt), Steve Waterman (tpt).
This was the finale to end all finales. Blasting off on What Is This Thing Called Love, they really went for the jugular on the final Anthropology. This was Jazz At The Phil revisited. A million choruses by Alan Barnes on alto, a trip to Mars and beyond by Steve and a kickass tenor surge by Tim - this guy should be walkin' the bar in New Orleans he can blow that kind of tenor.
Naturally the crowd ovated standing so the boys gave us How Deep Is The Ocean which brought us the full circle from Alan Glen's opening set.
What a gig! I'm still up where the air is rarefied and all these guys gave of their services free - such was the respect the late Chris Yates was held in.
Lance.
PS: Pam Young photos to follow.

Harley Johnson Live.

Stan Goes to Brazil
Couple of nice tracks from Harley and co.
Thanks to John Taylor for drawing them to my attention.
Lance.

Successful Book Launch. Blue Horizons - Take 2

As Roly pointed out, what Lance has been too modest to tell you about the book launch at the Lit & Phil is that he was the understudy for Alan Twelftree, and what an excellent job he did, even though his throat was not 100% well. Lance had taken the trouble to type up the piece from Alan’s writing so that it could be read out more easily. He read well with a few humorous additions of his own.
Margaret capably read out excerpts from the book and Russell was the sound man, providing musical illustrations as appropriate.
The music was good but you’ll have to ask more knowledgeable people than myself what the tracks were. They covered a wide range of jazz, from standard instrumentals to very recent items. Twenty copies of the book were sold, so Margaret and the lads must have done something right.
I was really glad to get my mitts on a copy of the book at last, and after having a quick scan, I’m really looking forward to reading it properly. There’s even a glossary of jazz terms, and some excellent photos, so that’s my bedtime reading sorted for a while.
The launch was also a pleasant social occasion, as a few of us from Chris’s Jazz Appreciation classes met each other again, and there was a chance to meet Chris’s wife Laura and the family, and also three of the five grandchildren.
Roll on Sunday, for all that excellent company and music!
Ann Alex.

Memories of Chris by Ann Alex

I just have to tell blog readers about one of my favourite memories of Chris Yates. I was a student of his Jazz Appreciation classes at the Centre for Lifelong Learning, from about 2008. He was an absolutely great tutor and a lovely man, as I’m sure many blog readers already know. He was very patient with me, as a beginner in Jazz. Anyway, one day he was talking to us about the Great American Songbook (GASBOOK, as Lance calls it!). I was somewhat puzzled about this, so I asked Chris, with an innocent smile on my little face,
‘Chris, can I get the Great American Songbook out of the library?’
He must have wanted to laugh out loud, but good tutors can’t do that, especially not with adult students. He gently explained what the term really meant, that it was a concept rather than an actual book, although the components of the GASBOOK must be contained in many books, on sheet music and on CD and even on old fashioned tapes and cylinders.
Which leads me to speculate about what is to be included In the Great American Songbook. This blog is meant to be for real live discussions, so I’d love to start a debate about what the GASBOOK really is. Everyone knows about the jazz standards which are part of the GASBOOK, but could you perhaps include more recent compositions, say the songs of Bob Dylan; Randy Newman; or Burt Bacharach, and if not, then why not?
Ann Alex

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Tonight on KRML - Jimmy Rowles

When I'm too idle to slot a CD into the machine I click on to KRML and I'm rarely disappointed.
Take tonight - a program on Jimmy Rowles, that most unsung of piano men.
Just heard a lovely version of Sunday, Monday or Always . Not only was Jimmy a fine pianist but he also had an appealing 60 a day voice that does full justice to the Burke-Van Heusen tune.
Save Your Love For Me with Michael Hashim on alto followed then it was Zoot and Jimmy on The Jeep Is Jumping followed by Restless.
I don't know this tune but it is a beauty - Zoot blows with a Websteresque romanticism whilst Jimmy lays the chords down like a feather bed before somnambulating on his own through a familiar chord sequence that I should recognise.
Zoot stays on for Blue Prelude - done up tempo it demonstrates just what a fine tenor player he was. No histrionic, demoniacal, harmonics just pure melodic development of Gordon Jenkins' fine tune.
This was great stuff until the DJ brought in Cousins by Woody's band with Jimmy on piano, of course, Al Cohn and Stan Getz also help out.
Do you know a better big band record? Of course you do but I bet you don't know many!
Life's a Take a nice trio number then the long overdue vocal emerged again - My Buddy from Stan Getz's The Peacocks. This is as majestic an album as the title decrees it should be an they do it justice.
Cottontail featured Jimmy in duo and, in the tradition of the tune, he built it up into a powerful work-out.
This was worth tuning into KRML.
Lance.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Successful Book Launch @ The Lit & Phil

A packed Lit & Phil remembered Chris Yates at the posthumous launch of his book - Blue Horizons.
The book, which relates the author's love affair with jazz in both his native Hull and his adopted Newcastle, is a nice easy read for anyone interested in jazz from provincial to world level.
Despite having his words read by an understudy, Alan Twelftree - unable to be present because of family illness - did the book and the author justice.
Lance.
PS: Further tributes to Chris Yates will be paid at Sunday Afternoon's Remembering Chris concert at the Corner House, Heaton.

Remembering Chris

This weekend sees two events of major importance for local jazz enthusiasts.
On Sunday afternoon (1:00pm - 6:00pm) at the Corner House, Heaton, the long awaited tribute to the late Chris Yates - Remembering Chris - takes place.
No need to remind you of Chris' importance on the local jazz scene - as Secretary of Jazz North East for almost 40 years Chris was a familiar figure to both audience and player.
That life is being celebrated with a concert featuring a host of names both local and international. The musicians are giving there services free with the proceeds going to charities of Chris' choice - Amnesty International, UNICEF and the National Jazz Archive.
Details of the afternoon are as follows:
1.00pm: ALAN GLEN TRIO.
1.40pm: PAUL EDIS SEXTET.
2.20pm: STEVE WATERMAN, NEIL HARLAND,
ADAM SINCLAIR, ROLY VEITCH.
3.00pm: ALAN BARNES, GRAHAM HARDY, PAUL EDIS,
MICK SHOULDER, DAVID CARNEGIE.
3.40pm: GRAEME WILSON, ROLY VEITCH, NEIL HARLAND, SCOTT ADAIR.
4.20pm: TIM GARLAND, ANDY CHAMPION, ADRIAN TILBROOK.
5.00pm: ALAN BARNES, TIM GARLAND, STEVE WATERMAN,
PAUL EDIS, ANDY CHAMPION, ADRIAN TILBROOK.
Tickets £10.00 from J G Windows | 0191 232 1356 | or from the Corner House during pub hours.
Truly a musical gourmet's menu.
Today, Friday July 23, at the Literary & Philosophical Society, 23 Westgate Rd., Newcastle, the official book launch of Chris Yates' memoirs - Blue Horizons - takes place.
The event is free and takes the form of a talk by former Jazz North East committee member Alan Twelftree.
Alan had a long association with Jazz North East and the Newcastle Jazz Festivals in the 1970s. He also broadcast on Radio Newcastle and Metro Radio. His own memories should provide a fitting companion to Blue Horizons.
Lance.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Out of Nowhere - Maine Street Jazzmen CD Review

Ray Harley (tpt), Herbie Hudson (tmb/hca/vcl), Jim McBriarty (sax/clt), Malcolm Armstrong/Colin Haikney (pno), Alan Rudd (bs), Ian Hetherington/Mike Humble (dms), Olive Rudd (vcls).
They don't come much better than the Maine Street Gang particularly when Ray Harley's on trumpet. This, their latest CD, is a typical example of their boisterous, straight down the middle and on to the Fairway, brand of Dixieland.
Ray's bright round tone gives us an idea of how Harry James would have sounded had he been a Dixielander! He drives the ensembles along and solos with panache and imagination delving into Bixieland for Davenport Blues. Herbie does everything but sweep the floor as he flits from trombone to harmonica to vox humana whilst Jimmy Mack solos in his impeccable slightly distant manner - a pedigree cat amongst a colony of ferals - jazz bands need both breeds.
The rhythm sections function and fire on all cylinders with Malcolm Armstrong playing like he wore a derby hat, braces and smoked a big cigar.
Olive evokes Billie Holiday on I Wished on the Moon, Dreamland and Keeping Out of Mischief now.
A good keepsake for anyone who listens to the band at the various venues these tracks were recorded at.
Full details on the band's website.
Lance.

Maine Street Jazzmen @ Rosie's (Rosie Malone's, South Shields.)

Olive Rudd (vocals and varifocals), Herbie Hudson (tmb/hca/vcl), Jim McBriarty (clt/vcl), Malcolm Armstrong (pno), Alan Rudd (bs), Mike Humble (dms).
Another rip-roaring afternoon in Rosie's with Mrs Rudd - looking stylish in new designer frames that matched her striking noiré et blanc outfit cheekily shrouded by a grey cardi - strutting her stuff on I Thought About You, Lock My Heart and Throw Away the Key, You Can Depend on Me...
Herbie played Sweet Georgia Brown on harmonica and really impressed. He also brought Turk Murphy to mind on Peoria and Jack Teagarden on A Hundred Years From Today - great tune. Jim took Who's Sorry Now on a vocal trip garnishing it with some liquorice along the way. Piano bass and drums did what piano bass and drums are supposed to do and they did it good.
Lance.
PS: Review of the band's latest CD will be posted soon.

Harold Beckett 1935-2010

LondonJazz has announced the death of trumpet player Harry Beckett. A regular visitor to the North East over the years he was a much loved figure. He died today after a stroke on Tuesday. Truly a pivotal player in contemporary UK jazz.
In the picture on the left Harry was with Dudu Pukwana at a Corner House gig back in the 1980's. Other nights included concerts with Barbara Thompson and other forward thinkers of the time. Even as recently as this year there was talk of a Tyneside gig.
Sadly, not to be.
RIP Harold Beckett.
Lance.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Apex Jazzmen

An earlier post referred to the 1955 Jazz Band Contest held at the Oxford Galleries. There was some conjecture about the personnel of the Apex Jazzmen. Thanks to one of the participants - clarinetist Gerry Routledge - I can confirm the line-up as follows: Les Nixon (pno/leader), Tony ? (tpt), Gerry Routledge (clt), Bill Anderson (tmb), Alan Jones (gtr), Bill Brotherton (dms).
Gerry cannot recall trumpet player Tony's surname but he went on to play with George Evans at the Oxford so that may jog someone's memory.
Also, the band weren't from Darlington - most of the band came from Gateshead with the exception of Gerry and Bill Brotherton who were from Monkseaton.
In the actual contest Pete Drysdale was the drummer. Pete also assisted in obtaining the above info from Gerry.
Lance.
PS: Was Tony the guy who later had a music shop in Hexham?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Video of local Improv @ Cluny and Cumberland Arms.

Schmazz @ The Cluny's recent gig featuring the double bill of Troyka and Corey Mwamba Trio and Jazz North East's improv strand On the Outside at the Cumberland Arms presenting Alexander Hawkins' Ensemble can be viewed at www.musicfilmbroth.com Russell.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Jo Harrup and the Paul Edis Trio @ The Cherry Tree

Jo Harrup (vcl), Paul Edis (pno), Mick Shoulder (bs), Rob Walker (dms) + J.C. Caddy (dms).
Another evening of sheer class - and I don't just mean the Dandelion and Bacon salad with the Crispy Hen's Egg, succulent as it was.
No, I refer to the musical offerings by the Paul Edis Trio and the lass from Chester-le-St via Chelsea - Jo Harrup.
Paul set the tone of things with a swinging Secret Love that told the golden daffodils as well as the Cherry Tree Faithful - of whom there were many - that Jo Harrup was going to attempt to get on stage whilst perched dangerously high on heels only marginally lower than the Empire State.
Jo succeeded and, wearing a shift with a hem far above sea-level, she opened up with They Can't Take That Away From Me. An inconspicuous start as the protagonists sounded each other out like two prizefighters in the opening round of a title bout.
My Romance saw it all fall into place and Bewitched did just that to the audience - it was game on.
Cheek To Cheek swung, Masquerade cajoled, All The Things You Are sighed and Just One of Those Things was anything but. In fact 'Things' with its a capella introduction was the highlight of a very high first set.
To give you an idea of how classy the Cherry Tree is - you don't get chips you get frites and you don't get Lloyd Webber you get Rodgers and Hart with Cole Porter on the side. That is class!
The frites went down well with my Bavette steak and R and H, who had already been well represented in the first set (My Romance, Bewitched), gave Jo the ammunition for as fine a version of It Never Entered My Mind - this side of Peggy Lee.
Jo's hubby, J.C. Caddy, sat in for a couple on drums and Cole Porter had his moment when Jo sang Too Darn Hot. Just as well there was ice cream on the menu!
Lullaby of Birdland swung and the encore - Every Time We Say Goodbye - was an idyllic moment that silenced the room - until the rapturous applause that is.
Throughout, Paul played superb piano ably supported by Mick and Rob.
Another fine Monday evening at the Cherry Tree - long may it continue - jazz fans are welcome!
Lance.

Jools Holland @ Alnwick Castle

John Taylor kindly sent me this photo of Jools Holland and his Orchestra taken in the grounds of Alnwick Castle on Saturday evening.
He says it was an impressive event with 1000s in attendance. The evening culminated in a fireworks display.
Lance.

Dish of the Day @ The Cherry Tree Tonight

Dish of the Day at the Cherry Tree (9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond - 0191 2399924) tonight is vocalist Jo Harrup, attractively served with the medium rare trio of Paul Edis, Mick Shoulder and Adam Sinclair.
Those who sampled the banquet of delights of her previous a la carte menu will already have their taste-buds salivating. If this is your first time then a truly tempting treat awaits you.
Lance.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Mike Durham Rides Again (hopefully)

Entrepreneur trumpet player Mike Durham has outlined his plans for a JAZZ PARTY in 2011 to replace the loss of the much loved Whitley Bay International Jazz Festival.
Not quite sure what the difference is - same venue and many of the same musicians - however, his vision of the future is outlined on that splendid jazz site Jazz Lives where, no doubt, all will be revealed...
Lance.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Oriental Jazz Band @ Jazz at the Fell, Gateshead.

Bram van Tongeren (trumpet), Harm Hillegers (clarinet, alto-saxophone), Barry Woestenburg (trombone, vocals), Robert Botman (banjo), Lauryan Feijen (bass, vocals), Bob Leijen (drums, vocals), Carmen Vos (piano).
In the UK I sometimes have the impression that, to play New Orleans Jazz, the main essentials are to have a senior citizen's bus pass and a first edition of A Hundred Hot Licks for Bb Instruments (pub. Herman Darewski).
In Holland, and indeed mainland Europe and The World, these rules don't seem to apply as the Whitley Bay Jazz Festival proved last weekend and as the oddly named Oriental Jazz Band did tonight at Gateshead Fell.
The young Dutchmen (and woman) with an average age I would guess of around 25 played a rocking set that had the dance floor in business from the second number onwards.
It reminded me in places of the old Dutch Swing College Band and it was good to know that there are young musicians fanning the flames of early jazz. Jazz/music shouldn't be a victim of ageism a player should feel free to play the music he wants to play whether it be New Orleans, Bebop or Hebridean folk songs on the bagpipes.
The Oriental Jazz Band combine the wonderful ability to be both musicians and entertainers and, despite their youth, performed with maturity and professionalism.
Impossible to list all the highlights but Georgia On My Mind with a vocal by drummer Bob Leijen and some magnificent blues inspired piano choruses from pianist Vos was one. Another was Hillegers' Charlie Holmes-like alto on Girl of my Dreams. There'll Be Some Changes Made saw the ensemble release it's power in a polyphonic explosion whilst Someday You'll Be Sorry featured the round-toned trumpet of Van Tongeren.
Vocals were ably handled by drummer Leijan and trombonist Woestenburg with solid support from bass and banjo.
A splendid gig with a good appreciative crowd.
Catch the band at Boston Spa tomorrow (Saturday July 17).
Lance

Evan Christopher 'Django a la Creole' @ The Sage, Gateshead. July 15th

Evan Christopher (clarinet), Dave Blekhorn (guitar), Dave Kelbie (guitar) & Sebastien Girardot (double bass)
The Sage, Gateshead, presented the second of three concerts with a distinct New Orleans connection with the appearance of Evan Christopher's Django a la Creole in a well attended Hall Two (two weeks earlier N'Orlinian Wynton Marsalis gave a memorable performance - in Hall One - with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and later this month Jon Cleary will be in the company of the Crescent City's Dirty Dozen Brass Band).
Clarinetist Christopher formed his European quartet Django a la Creole to explore Django Reinhardt's association with American jazz and a myriad of cultural influences from Latin America and the Caribbean. Two CDs - Django a la Creole and Finesse - have been recorded thus far and concert appearances have taken the band across Europe and to New Orleans itself. Sidney Bechet, Barney Bigard, Jimmy Noone (and Duke, of course), Hubert Rostaing, Jelly Roll Morton - all, together with Django, were at the heart of Christopher's loving presentation of the music. Manoir de mes Reves, Dinette, I Know That You Know (a first set highlight), Passport to Paradise and others demonstrated the clarinetist's credentials as a player and a man of taste. The accomplished Dave Blenkhorn had many opportunities to solo, French bassist Sebastien Girardot took his turn in the spotlight and the 'engine room' as Christopher described him, Dave Kelbie, was (and is) a Hot Club-style rhythm guitarist par excellence.
Bigard featured again in the second set with Christopher to the fore on Solid Old Man. Other tunes such as Mood Indigo, Tropical Moon and a dashing Riverboat Shuffle (all of which can be found on the the new CD Finesse) were choice cuts as were Douce Ambience and Low Cotton from the debut CD Django a la Creole.
Evan Christopher played unamplified. He complimented the venue, declaring it to be a 'wonderful space' and the minimal use of amplification by his colleagues was, he said, not for volume but clarity. Christopher is a fine musician and a fine ambassador for the city of New Orleans.
Russell.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Rosie's Just Keeps Getting Rosier when those Maine Street Jazzmen and Women strut their stuff.

Olive Rudd (vcl), Herbie Hudson (tmb), Jim McBriarty (clt/vcl), Malcolm Armstrong (pno), Alan Rudd (bs), Mike Humble (dms).
Another storming session at Rosie's with the band driving along on lots of good old good ones. Mike Humble on drums keeps things solid and Alan Rudd excelled with his bass solo on Sunny Side of the Street. Herbie crooned and growled Makin' Whoopee whilst Jim did the vocal business on - OMG remind me someone! Sorry Jim an intermediate moment.
As for Olive she Met Me Tonight In Dreamland, Back In Your Own Backyard, wearing Shiny Stockings to mention but some of her vocal activities.
Another fine afternoon at Rosie's.
Lance.

Greetings From Manhattan

Dear Lance,
Hope this finds you well and enjoying the summer. I remembered that Mike Durham's jazz festival was going on this past weekend. To be certain, I managed to access your blog and sure enough, got to read all about it. Not as good as actually being there but you made it come alive for this reader. Would have especially enjoyed hearing/seeing Keith Nichols.
Newcastle was a special highlight of my 'nooks and crannies' tour. You folks are hip, hospitable and fun.
Take good care and let's all keep going straight ahead swinging.
warm regards,
Daryl (Sherman).
-----
It's a wonderful world and I'm just walking on air...
Lance.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Tomorrow night EVAN CHRISTOPHER Django a la Creole - The Sage

A rather low profile gig but with high profile potential at The Sage, Gateshead tomorrow night (Thursday July 15).
New Orleans style clarinetist Evan Christopher with Djangophilites David Blenkhorn, Dave Kelbie and Sebastien Girard get together to forge a melange of gypsy swing and earthy New Orleans root music.
The end result is one very tasty Creole dish.
Check them out on YouTube here.
Lance.

The Nicholas Brothers - greatest dance duo ever.

I just loved the Nicholas Brothers' clips from those movies in the 1940s - YouTube is full of them - but here's an even earlier one from the 1930s. They sure could hoof!
Even as late as 1964!
Lance.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Last Word (maybe) on Whitley Bay Jazz Festival

Last session at Whitley Bay, Sunday with The Hot Antic JB + their original reed man, J F Bonnel. Good to see that they are still pals after going their separate ways.
Also a thank you to Mike Durham for his organisational skills over the years. WBJFest will be a miss.
Derrick Cogger

Alexander Hawkins' Ensemble @ The Cumberland. July 9th.

Alexander Hawkins (keyboards), Dom Lash (double bass), Javier Carmona (drums), Otto Fischer (guitar), Hannah Marshall (cello) & Corey Mwamba (vibes)
High up in the Lower Ouseburn Valley stands the legendary Cumberland Arms. Stunning views of the valley's 19th century industrial heritage, the hostelry offers superb beer and lots of people, al fresco, were drinking lots of it. Two thirds of the band were stuck in traffic on the M1. A duo set was, perhaps, the answer. Time for some more beer. Then the other band members arrived, late and apologetic.
Perhaps because things were running late, the gig started in low-key fashion. Not much happened in a first set book-ended by a Wadada Leo Smith composition and three pieces by Anthony Braxton. During the interval one observer suggested the music demanded 'closer listening'. It was time for some more beer.
I decided to listen more closely. Wow! This was a game of two halves - a defensive first forty five minutes then a tactical change was made at the start of the second set. It was to be all-out attack. This was stunning stuff. Javier Carmona kicked it, Dom Lash flew, Corey Mwamba enhanced his growing reputation but the Man of the Match award went to bandleader Alexander Hawkins. He played everyone off the park with a blistering performance on Emoic.
Russell.

A Great Day In Whitley Bay

The photo, courtesy of Jim Murray and the Whitley Bay Jazz Festival, recreates the famous 1950s photo A Great Day In Harlem in the localised setting of the Whitley Bay Jazz Festival. If you are on the photo or can identify those who are please let me know at lanceliddle@gmail.com to enable your name to be added.
Lance.
1:Alice Fleck. 2: Derek Fleck. 3: Enrico Tomasso. 4: Mike Durham. 8: Jean-Christophe Minati. 9: Laurence Bridard. 10: Paul Asaro. 15: Keith Nichols. 17: Jacob Ullsberger. 18: Martin Wheatley. 20: Cecile McLorin Salvant. 21: Jean-François Bonnel. 32: John C. Hallam. 39: Patti Durham. 45: Jim McKeown 46: Brian Chester. 47: Gérard Gervois. 48: Jean-Pierre Morel. 51 : Pierre Reboud. 52 : Bernard Thévin.
Merci Jean-Pierre Morel for additional names added.

Vieux Carré Jazzmen with Colin Aitchison @ Corner House. July 12th

Brian Bennett (banjo & vocals), Peter Wright (trumpet), Lawrence McBriarty (trombone), Barry Soulsby (clarinet & vocals), Brian Sibbald (double bass), Fred Thompson (drums & vocals) + Colin Aitchison (trumpet & vocals).
The word was that Geordie ex-pat trumpeter - A.K.A. 'Our man in Hong Kong' - Colin Aitchison was to sit in with the Vieux Carré at the Corner House.
I was busy elsewhere until quite late. Should I go and catch the second set? Well, if Aitchison could make the effort all the way from Kowloon I really had little excuse - after all I was just up the road. So, second set under way, raffle done and a few scraps left over from the buffet (I helped myself) the band blazed through Basin Street Blues, Black and Blue with Fred Thompson singing both numbers. Aitchison was invited to join the band on Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen (the Andrews Sisters' big hit) with Thompson once again taking the vocal. Aitchison was featured on Hello Dolly. His Louis' vocal was quite remarkable - more Louis than Louis! His trumpet playing was bold yet measured - it was good to hear him.
All too soon it was time that we were Goin' Home. The regular front liners were on form - Wright, McBriarty and Soulsby - and the rhythm section as ever had it down - Messrs. Bennett, Sibbald and Thompson. I'm pleased I went along.
Russell.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Whitley Bay Jazz Fringe Festival @ Trojan Rooms. July 11th

ACV: Andy Champion (bs), Adrian Tilbrook (dms), Paul Edis (pno), Mark Williams (gtr), Graeme Wilson (ten).
Claude Werner Quartet: Claude Werner (ten), Lloyd Wright (gtr), Laurence Blackadder (bs), David Carnegie (dms).
Legohead: David Francis (dms), Lloyd Wright (gtr), Jon Proud (bs).
All but all jazzed out, I hot-footed it from the Whitley Bay Jazz Festival to the Whitley Bay Fringe Festival to hear something completely different.
The Trojan Rooms, in the heart of Stag Do B&B Land, hosted ACV, the Claude Werner Quartet and Legohead. Splinter @ The Bridge regulars will know all about this lot.
Andy Champion's five piece band just gets better and better. A new tune Never Ever (dedicated to the England football team!) was good to hear and a band favourite (and mine) Without Bones (its the jazz chops number on the CD Fail In Wood) were but two tunes in a fast paced set. Claude Werner delivered again playing with great authority (Claude was a visitor to the Whitley Bay Festival proper earlier in the weekend). Guitarist Lloyd Wright has settled in well and I can't wait for their next gig.
Rounding off the night was the 'tight as' trio Legohead. Lloyd Wright is in this band too (!) with Jon Proud (electric bass) and David Francis (drums). Francis really drove the trio, at times creating a drum 'n' bass feel seized upon by Wright to do his stuff. A good crowd. A good end to a busy few days.
Russell

Cecile McLorin Salvant - Set List

Further to the previous post here is Cecile's set list. a most interesting program. If dreams come true The mood that I'm in Dream of life 24 Hours a day Miss Brown to you He's funny that way Forget if you can A sailboat in the moonlight I can't believe that your in love with me Yankee Doodle never went to town I wonder where our love has gone. Roly

Whitley Bay International Jazz Festival Day 3 - Afternoon

Barrelhouse & Boogie: Jeff Barnhart & Paul Asaro.
Fidgety Fingers: Tom 'Spats' Langam, Martin Wheatley, Keith Stephen, Roly Veitch, Philippe Guignier (guitars).
The last in the one hour piano concerts featured Americans Jeff Barnhart and Paul Asaro playing barrelhouse and boogie. From first note to last this was a treat. Our pianists are great communicators offering incisive comment on the players and styles developed one hundred years ago and more. Barnhart, a big man, played Eubie Blake's Charleston Rag (dating from 1899), a masterful version of High Society (!), Chattanooga Choo Choo and others. At the conclusion of each piece there was thunderous, well deserved applause.
Paul Asaro, the other half of the recital, is a young man of prodigious talent. At one point he claimed to 'dabble' in certain aspects of the music. Well, if that's the case, I bet the audience wished they could turn their hand to whatever took their fancy. Asaro can play, no two ways about it. Blind Pig Blues, Alligator Crawl and Juan Tizol's Caravan were executed quite brilliantly. Barnhart and Asaro rattled off any number of tunes (James P Johnson's Riffs and Meade Lux Lewis' Honky Tonk Train Blues were highlights) and as a finale they went out with St.Louis Blues as a four-hander.
On leaving the One-Cent Club the word was out that a 'must see' was Cecile McLorin Salvant. Arriving at Kelly's Stables it was impossible to get into the joint. It was packed to the rafters. Fortunately the door was kept open (it was rather warm!). I, together with thirty or forty others, stood in the corridor, faces pressed up against the glass. The sensation that is Cecile performed a programme comprising tunes associated with Billie Holiday. Phrasing, interpretation of the lyric, everything about the perfromance was flawless.
The band, led by Jean-Francois Bonnel, was hand picked for the occasion. All were stars but none more so than Cecile McLorin Salvant.
Meanwhile, back in the One-Cent, the afternoon was winding down with four then five ace guitarists on the stand. An all acoustic show, Langham, Wheatley, Stephen and Veitch played a wonderful set - each guitarist taking the spotlight in turn and appreciating the skills of the others. It wasn't competitive, just relaxed, no egos here.
Riverboat Shuffle, I Saw Stars (Veitch taking the vocal) and Stompin' at the Savoy were a joy, then the boys were joined by the Hot Antic's Philippe Guignier. He called Come to Me My Melancholy Baby and so we had it - just like that, no problem. Then Sweet Sue Just You (another relaxed vocal by Veitch). A finale, with an astral theme, saw each take a two-chorus solo and so we got, variously, Stardust, Moonglow, Blue Moon, Stella By Starlight etc. Perfect.
Russell.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Whitley Bay International Jazz Festival Day 3 - Evening

La Retaguardia Jazz Band (Chile) - pictured above.
Matthias Seuffert Sextet and Cecile McLorin Salvant (International) - pictured left.
Matthias Seuffert (ten), Jean-Francoise Bonnel (tpt/ten), Martin Litton (pno), Martin Wheatley (gtr), Malcolm Sked (bs), Nick Ward (dms), AND Cecile McLorin Salvant.
For me, if there has to be one defining moment of this happy festival (happy yet sad that there will be no more) it was the set I caught by Matthias and that wonderful singer Cecile McLoen Salvant.
I missed her previous sessions which were tributes to Billie and Bessie but I praised the Lord for passing me the ammunition to catch this one.
Okay so I only heard three numbers by her but I loved every one. Everything I Have Is Yours, Anything Goes (including the verse) I even forgave her for taking a breath in the middle eight! (it's not easy - try it) and a gorgeous rendition of Born To Be Blue.
This was superb songstering - sheer poetry. Needless to say I hurried back for the second set but the word was out and Kelly's Stables was full.
In the photo above the audience appear to be looking elsewhere, - this was due to the fact I had to take the picture via a mirror.
I'll repeat the name Cécile McLorin Salvant - YouTube her here. On this particlular clip Jean-Francoise Bonnell plays piano. Tonight he played tenor and cornet truly an amazing player!
Matthias blew good tenor on what was ostensibly a tribute to Don Byas. I wondered if this was the first time a Tadd Dameron tune - Good Bait - had been played at Whitley Bay?
This was good middle of the road stuff. Matthias said, and I quote, "We're usually considered too modern for the classic jazz festivals and not modern enough for the modern jazz festivals."
He'll do for me!
The other band I caught tonight was La Retaguardia Jazz Band from Chile.
Hard to believe that, only a few miles away, another Chilean, saxist Claude Werner, was playing at The Trojan Rooms, Whitley Bay, as part of a fringe festival.
La Retaguardia opened up with spirited versions of Wang Wang Blues and Stevedore Stomp delighting the large audience and proving that this really was an international festival. Excellent interpreters of classic jazz, they are based in Santiago and appear regularly on Chilean TV - take note BBC and ITV. I wanted to stay longer but the appeal of Cecile was too strong and I left to return to Kelly's Stables but, alas, there was no room at the inn.
Nevertheless, this effected me the opportunity to chat with Colin Aitchison, Our Man In Hong Kong, over here on a flying visit. No doubt Colin will be dropping in somewhere for a jam. With him was his nephew who is also a BSH visitor.
That's the beauty of Festivals and concerts - you always meet someone unexpected - and vice versa!
There was more Jazzfall this past weekend in and around the Coast than you get in the average month.
Lance.
PS:All may not be lost for the future. Organiser Mike Durham, providing he gets enough interest, has outlined plans for a JAZZ PARTY at the same venue on the 4-6 of November 2011. I'll be posting more details shortly.

CUT SHORT AT THE FRINGE! PAUL EDIS SEXTET/ZOE GILBY at the Boardwalk, Whitley Bay

I arrived late, having failed to spot the venue from the road and found traffic wardens menacing all the musicians’ cars outside. Welcome to Whitley Bay! Sadly, Paul had been ticketed before I could get the keys and move his car and I missed more of the set before catching the last few bars of Black Orpheus. I enjoyed all of Waltz and Three Funked Mice as well as Part Three of Paul’s suite entitled It’s Behind You. An impromptu burst of Happy Birthday To You (for the trombonist, Chris Hibberd) got such generous applause that Paul is planning to include it at all future gigs! The set concluded with the barnstorming Big Jug Blues, to more generous applause from an appreciative audience.
Next up was Zoe Gilby who took us through several well-known numbers such as I'm Beginning to See the Light and I Only Have Eyes For You, with arrangements and delivery which made them fresh and interesting, as well as originals from the Gilby/Champion songbook (soon to be Champion/Champion!) such as Your Words. Zoe also treated us to a sung “thank you…and don’t forget to come to the evening gig, after the football” which was both ingenious and tuneful.
All were eclipsed by a sizzling Peggy Lee number, Some Cats Know, where the “knowledge” in question was clearly more carnal than academic! After which, sadly, I had to leave for fear that the jobsworths would get me for overstaying in the car-park.
Welcome to Whitley Bay!
Jerry E.

Rocket Science and Jambone @ The Sage, Gateshead.

Rocket Science: Josephine Turner (tpt/keys), Josh James (tpt), David Grey (tmb), Charlotte McGinn (alt), Matthew Foster (ten), Chris Brown (bar0, Colm Rooney (pno) Ivan Scutt (bs), Charles Harrison (solos), Robert Griffiths (gtrs), Syd Wright (dms). Jim Birkett (MD).
Jambone: Matthew Spence (gtr), Ivan Scutt (Bs), Sid Wright (Dms) Harley Johnson (Pno/Keys), Christine Clark, Stuart Clarke, Joe Lunec (alt), Loretta Tosson, Oscar Knights (ten), Joe Woods (bar), Jo Turner, Simon Dennis, Jack Courtney, George Burdon, Thomas Hill (tpts), Rob Stroud, Graham Thorpe, Jimmy Ingram, Isaac Harrison-Louth (tmbs). Shaune Eland, Dave Hignett (M.D.)
Rocket Science, led by Jim Birkett, applied big band techniques to contemporary jazz/rock/funk numbers in a set that worked well.
It would be unfair to single out individuals although guest tenor player Matthew Foster was particularly impressive and the ease with which Josephine Turner moved from trumpet soloist to funky keyboard player also ticked the boxes. Later, Jo segued across to Jambone changing her outfit in the process!
However, whether soloing or playing in section these 16/17 year-olds know the score.
Excellent band.
Several of the Rocket Scientists, apart from Ms Turner, made the transition to Jambone - the Sage's Youth Jazz Orchestra - Terrific young drummer Syd Wright, bassist Ivan Scutt amongst them.
With Shaune Eland and Dave Hignett alternating MD duties the band played numbers from NYJO, Buddy Rich, Stan Kenton and others.
Caravan - taken from a version by The Airmen of Note - saw some fine blowing by Loretta. That girl never fails to impress me. She's on her way to study at Leeds so who knows how she will emerge from that prime seat of musical knowledge. The whole arrangement was one of complexity and imagination and they handled it without missing a beat. Great solos all round.
On Buddy's Basically Blues Harley had an extended introduction that launched the rest into orbit.
The final piece from the Kenton pad was Live and Let Die featuring a band within a band as an additional front line! - it worked wonderfully.
I had to miss the encore as Whitley Bay beckoned but I couldn't help wondering about the band's future with so many of them moving on to more verdant musical pastures - in theory at any rate! Then I remembered the set by Rocket Science and relaxed in the knowledge that there was talent a plenty waiting in the wings.
Lance.

Whitley Bay International Jazz Festival Day Two - Afternoon

Bohem Ragtime Jazz Band (Hungary)
Andy Schumm's Bixologists (USA/UK)
Keith Stephen's Hot Club Trio with Caroline Irwin (UK)
Keith Nichols & Martin Litton - Ragtime Piano Summit (UK)
Day two of the festival saw many a bleary eye (mine included) around noon at the Village Hotel. Nice weather once again, it was a bit of a shame to head indoors to hear the jazz in the Sunset Cafe. Hungarian outfit, the Bohem Ragtime Jazz Band, held court to another sizeable audience. Led by pianist/violinist Tamas Itzes the band moved effortlessly through a wide ranging repertoire including Jelly Roll Morton.
A swift exit was necessary to get to Kelly's Stables to catch Andy Schumm's Bixologists. American cornetist Schumm is a Bix devotee. He was in the company of his fellow Americans Josh Duffee and Paul Asaro. Drummer Duffee looks the part - slicked-back hair and all - and Asaro is a student of early jazz piano styles. On this gig they were joined by the UK's Norman Field (reeds) and Paul Munnery (trombone) together with guitarist/banjoist Jacob Ulberger. Andy Schumm's cornet, to my ears, sounded remarkably like his idol. Good to listen to, make sure you catch them next time.
Down at the One-Cent Club it was standing room only to hear the north east's superb Keith Stephen's Hot Club Trio with Caroline Irwin. Hot Club-style certainly but with many more strings to their bow (or should that be ukulele?). Guitarist, banjo player, ukulele man and occcasional, indeed I suspect reluctant, vocalist, Keith Stephen is a master of early jazz guitar styles. He is much in demand in other ensembles as is rhythm guitarist and vocalist Roly Veitch. Veitch in partnership with jovial double bassist Bruce Rollo supplied a cast-iron rhythmic foundation for Stephen to do his dazzling stuff (principally on guitar).
Enter Caroline Irwin. Petite, yet big on personality, she is quite captivating, performing all sorts - What a Wonderful World to Somewhere Over... FIRE! PLEASE LEAVE THE BUILDING. FIRE! PLEASE LEAVE THE BUILDING. The hotel's fire alarm system activated just as our Ukulele Girl was taking on Judy Garland. Undaunted, the band reassembled outside in the carpark and as the saying goes 'The Show Must Go On' and it did. An impromptu couple of numbers including Stupid Cupid was met with roars of approval. Worryingly there was no sign of the fire brigade. Fortunately it was a false alarm.
We returned to the One-Cent and took up where we left off...Somewhere Over the Rainbow - fantastic! Not exactly jazz? Who cares? This was great stuff. Hear them next time they play anywhere near you and you won't be disappointed.
Staying on in the One-Cent the closing performance of the afternoon was a Ragtime Piano Summit meeting of the great Keith Nichols and the equally great Martin Litton. This was a most entertaining history of ragtime piano. Nichols and Litton are top class exponents of the form, taking time to place composer and tune in context and their playing, from Twelfth Street Rag to Maple Leaf Rag, was that of virtuosi. This was an afternoon of varied, top class jazz. More to come.
Russell.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Courtney Pine: Transition in Tradition - Homage to Sidney Bechet. The Sage, Gateshead.

Courtney Pine (sop/fl/bs clt), Omar Puente (vln), Zoe Rahman (pno), Darren Taylor (bs), Cameron Pierre (gtr), Robert Fordjour (dms).
Omar Puente (vln), Zoe Rahman (pno), Darren Taylor (bs), Cameron Pierre (gtr), Robert Fordjour (dms) + (congas).
I have yet to discover the tenuous thread that links tonight's concert to Sidney Bechet. None of the tunes were Bechet related and nor did Pine employ a Bechet vibrato yet, upon reflection, the connection was there. Back in Bechet's day it didn't matter who was in the band, Sidney took over the lead. His powerful sound swamping all but the mightiest and, likewise, Courtney isn't one to take a back seat either.
A sombre, almost dirge-like drone by Puente and Zoe was augmented by a series of off-stage cadenzas from Courtney - on bass clarinet. Eventually, he entered stage left, still playing. The tension increased and so did the volume then KERPLUNK!!!!!! he was away on the wildest, craziest, bass clarinet solo I'd ever heard - up to that point! He may have been playing bass clarinet but he was blowing harmonics up and above your normal Bb clarinet range.
Moving on to soprano he blew the blues inside out merging them with some rhythm changes in an amalgam of Lester Leaps In, 'Tain't What You Do and Symphony Syd. He even took on Puente in a soprano/violin battle.
Earlier, Omar Puente had played his own opening set without Courtney but with a conga player and it was a good merging of jazz/latin/rock.
On the Steinway, Zoe demonstrated why I fell in love with her (playing) at Gateshead Old Town Hall on her last visit and the flame still burns this time around.
Courtney played a ravishing version of In A Sentimental Mood on soprano and an affectionate tribute to the late Joe Harriott. There were also moments of beauty on Courtney's flute features.
When the band played Au Revoir one could be excused for thinking this was the last number followed, perhaps, by a brief encore. Delete the word 'brief' and you've got it in one.
For the encore, everyone soloed then were dismissed by Courtney who, left with just bass and drums, descended into the audience. He marched up and down the aisles and along the rows hi-fiving members of the audience whilst playing one handed and if he stood on somebody's toes I doubt if they minded If he'd stood on mine I'd never have polished my shoes again! It was stimulating and exciting although, because of the self-imposed limitations of one-handed playing, it was a bit like the Vuvuzela Concerto at times!
It was all good fun and the audience loved it.
Great show Courtney, nice set Omar, marry me Zoe.
Lance.

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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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Alternatively, email me - lanceliddle@gmail.com.

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