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Bebop Spoken There

Buddy Rich: "I'm very tired of sixteen year old kids who think they know all about electronics and tell you how to play. They don't tell me how to play, because I tell 'em what they can do!" - (Crescendo March 1982).

Kermit Ruffins: “I’ll make 50 this year, and I don’t want to record nothing that’s real hot because when I get older I’m not gonna be able to play it.” – (Jazz Times October 2014).

Bebop Spoken There Archives.

Today Friday October 24.

Afternoon.
RENDEZVOUS JAZZ - Black Horse, Monkseaton. 1pm. Free.
Classic jazz.
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Evening.
EYESHUTIGHT - Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8pm. £5 (£3 before 8.30pm.)
Contemporary Leeds based trio
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RAY HARRIS -Hoochie Coochie 54 Pilgrim St., Newcastle NE1 6SF. 8pm. Free. Popular funk/soul singer.
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ELKIE BROOKS - Middlesbrough Town Hall. £23.50. 8pm.
They don't come any better than Elkie.
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NEW CENTURY RAGTIME ORCHESTRA - The Millstone, Haddricks Mill Rd., South Gosforth, NE3 1QL. 7.30pm. 0191 2853429. £5.
Get there early - it's a big band in a small room!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Imposters @ The Magnesia Bank. Monday August 30th.

F'reez (vocals & percussion), Edd Carr (guitar & vocals), Graham Sinclair (electric bass) & Adam Sinclair (drums & vocals)
Clubland's beers at the Crescent Club encouraged your reviewer to seek refuge in the Maggie Bank. A four o'clock kick-off featured The Imposters - jazz they aren't but, but, but what a band! Two of the region's young jazz turks (guitarist Edd Carr and drummer Adam Sinclair) in tandem with bassist Graham Sinclair and sweet soul singer F'reez are The Imposters.
A pint of Handrian and Border.s Gladiator in hand, it was two sets of top class funk and soul with a bit of reggae to spice things up. Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder (Superstition), the Zuton's Valerie, Sting's Message in a Bottle (with Adam showing Stewart Copeland how a reggae rhythm should be played) and some Bob Marley together with Further On Up the Road (think Freddie King think Edd Carr) added up to a great afternoon of great tunes performed with consummate ease. Adam and Edd provided the backing vocals for Cool Dude F'reez. Graham kept things funkin', the crowd bayed for more. Great band. Check 'em out.
Russell.

Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crecent Club. Monday 30th August.

Brian Chester (keyboards & trombone), Iain McAulay (trombone, trumpet & vocals), Derek Fleck (clarinet & tenor saxophone), John Hallam (double bass & sousaphone) & Ollie Rillands (drums & vocals) + Teresa McMullen (?) (vocals), Roy Gibson (keyboards), Doris Fenn (banjolele), Laurence McBriarty (trombone) & Miles Watson (vocals)
Holiday Monday and the joint was jumpin'. So full was it that extra seats were brought through from the bar. From the Crescent Club's sea view windows, white horses were dancing to the North Sea horizon. Inside feets weren't failin' us with C Jam Blues as the opener, booted along by some meaty tenor fom Derek Fleck. A varied set list included Just a Little While to Stay Here to Dr.Jazz with Miles Watson dispensing the prescription to Monk's Straight No Chaser. There was some good three 'bone ensemble work courtesy of Chester, McAulay and McBriarty, John Hallam enjoyed it all and Ollie Rillands, excellent drummer that he is, treated one and all to a Jerry Lee Lewis vocal medley. A canny afternoon.
Russell.

The Cultured Ms Gilby.

Check out this month's Journal Culture Magazine - out today - there's a feature on Zoe Gilby. Haven't read it yet but will do shortly.
Lance
PS: Excellent 2-page spread plus cover photo.

Tomorrow Night @ Live Theatre - A Funny Valentine

If you like the music of Chet Baker or were simply fascinated by his harrowing life the only game in Toon tomorrow night is at Live Theatre down on Broad Chare in the Newcastle Quayside area.
A Funny Valentine unfolds Chet's tragic tale with authentic trumpet sounds from Colin Steele:
The Story & Music of Chet Baker It’s 1961 and Chet Baker, voted best jazz trumpeter in the world, is in an Italian jail sharing his cell with a storyteller. 28 years later, on the night he died, Chet shared a hotel room in Amsterdam with the storyteller. Only the storyteller knows what really happened - and now he’s telling it. ‘One of the many appealing things about this show is the fact that you don’t have to be a jazz aficionado to enjoy it.’ The Stage.
Tickets are £12/£10 (concessions) from 0191 2321232 or from the theatre at www.live.org.uk.
It's an unmissable experience!
Lance.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Verona Chard w. Paul Edis Trio @ The Cherry Tree Restaurant, Jesmond.

Verona Chard (vcl), Paul Edis (pno), Mick Shoulder (bs), Rob Walker (dms).
Another evening of vocal delights at the Cherry Tree - this time by London songstress Verona Chard on her way home from Edinburgh.
Tonight, Verona was ably supported by the Paul Edis Trio who got things moving with a spirited version of Gone With The Wind. The lady herself came on and Got A Kick Out Of You whilst my fix was Rabbit and Smoked Ham Croquettes with Apple Sauce.
My Funny Valentine followed. This was a dramatic rendition with lots of unexpected spaces and coloratura leaps which, impressive as they were, I felt came a little too soon in the programme to be fully appreciated by the diners who were, in my case, allowing the taste buds to luxuriate in the Pork Chop with Spring Cabbage and Smoked Bacon, rather than give their undivided attention to such a compelling vocal.
Verona's amazing range was well in evidence on Fly Me To The Moon - in places she almost re-wrote the melody!
Angel Eyes - moody, climbing inside the lyric, probing - like a latchkey trying to find a keyhole after a night out.
All of Me was bouncy with an extended piano intro leading into the vocal. Despite her range I think our girl could have benefited with a lower key.
The set finished with Summertime and I finished with Iced Coffee Mousse with Amaretto Sabayan - I don't know what Amaretto Sabayan is but it tasted delicious.
Summertime wasn't bad either.
A bottle of Black Sheep Bitter and a quick chat with VC and JC (BSH contributor) then VC was back on for Killing Me Softly With His Song, Autumn Leaves and Sondheim's Fear No More.
An emotive Embraceable You, Where Flamingoes Fly and Night and Day rounded off another enjoyable evening at the Cherry Tree.
Paul Edis, needless to say was on form as was Mick Shoulder who had his fair share of solo space. On drums, Rob Walker kept things moving in his understated way. The groove was there.
Lance.

Tonight @ the Cherry Tree Restaurant

Monday 30th August - Verona Chard - direct from the Edinburgh Festival after performing at the award winning Jazz Bar - singing with the Paul Edis Trio. Verona works extensively on the London jazz scene and has made broadcast appearances on BBC2, HTV and UK Jazz Radio. Her Jazz influences include Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone and, surprisingly, Barbara Streisand.
Show starts at 7:45 pm. Restaurant open from 6:00pm.
Enjoy an evening of good food and good jazz.
Quote: "I think it’s worth saying that the Cherry Tree has now become the place to go for jazz on a Monday night – it’s like Pizza Express in London, except with much better food - JC (Bebop Spoken Here)" - unquote.
Lance.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Jam Session @ The Jazz Café - Pink Lane Jumps.

Sarah Trevena (ten), Pete Gilligan (pno/dms), Mark Williams (gtr), Paul Grainger (bs), Alan Laws (pno/ten), David Carnegie (pno/dms), Ryan ? (dms), Ian Forbes (dms), Omid Ramak (dms), Ray Burns (hca).
If you want to have the best Sunday afternoon/evening of your life - jazz wise that is - pop into the Jazz Café on Newcastle's Pink Lane for the jam session. Acting on Russell's report from last week I did just that and it was a knock-out to rival Sonny Liston's 'icing' of Floyd Patterson back in the early '60s.
The above listing is just the musicians I heard - there may have been others before I arrived and probably others later. This is what jazz is all about - musicians jamming in a small room, letting it all hang out and enjoying themselves. Too many highlights to list but Sarah's tenor playing found some pleasing phrases, Pete kicked seven shades out of the keyboard and swung like Armageddon was round the corner and maybe it is!
What can you say about Mark Williams - the token Irishman? Let me hear a better guitar man.
Alan Laws played a few standards and, along with Sarah, had a good tenor ride on Mercy Mercy Mercy. Ian Forbes hit some skin on Mercy.
David Carnegie played piano on There Is No Greater Love before moving over to the kit.
A young guy, Graham, I think, also played some amazing drumnastics with Pete whilst Ray 'Rocky' Burns did In A Sentimental Mood on harmonica despite being disadvantaged by the lack of a mic. Paul Grainger was an unfamiliar name to me but he kept the rhythmic pulse going and had a few swingy solos.
Another nice thing, a relatively young and enthusiastic audience and a band that was low on bus passes.
There are a few negatives - no draught beer - just cans and the Gents toilet is two flights up.
Then there's the proprietor - Keith Crombie. Much maligned over the years, I think his heart is in the right place and he is not afraid to tilt a few windmills. Click here to hear the man himself expounding his views on jazz and choosing a few records. If you are interested in local jazz history this is compelling listening!
We have one thing in common - It Don't Mean A Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing!
Next week see's Splinter @ The Bridge returning - tell you what, I'll be coming here first!
Lance.

Remembering Chris Connor

One year since Chris Connor passed on. Here's a track to remember her with.
Lance.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Jamie Cullum @ The Proms

Just in case you missed it or like me forgot about it you can catch Jamie's Prom Concert from last night at the Albert Hall.
Thanks to Russell for initially drawing it to my attention, Liz for reminding me and John T for providing the link to catch up.
I know it's fashionable not to like Jamie - Dave Brubeck suffered the same cold shoulder. Their crime was being successful in reaching an audience beyond the boundaries of the pub back room.
Check Jamie out here - he has a surprise guest late on.
Lance.

The Railway Canteen - Newcastle

Anyone remember the Railway Canteen behind the Central Station and not far from the New Orleans Club? In the 1960s it used to be a hangout for musicians after gigs as well as drunks and down and outs - often the three categories were interchangeable!. The food was good and it was cheap although if you wanted a knife and fork you had to pay a deposit.
I heard a story once that a drunk was causing trouble and refused to leave as he'd paid for his soup. The manager agreed and poured the soup into the drunk's pocket before evicting him!
However, it was a good meeting point for gigsters aprés gig.
Of course if you'd had a good paying gig then Bowers' All-Night Restaurant on the corner of Pink Lane was preferred although it didn't have quite the earthy ambiance of the Railway Canteen.
Happy days!
Lance.

Friday, August 27, 2010

No SAVILL at the SAVILLE - Mike Lovell's Six In A Bar + 1 - 1 + 1!

Mike Lovell (tmb), Andy Henderson (tpt), Willie Entwhistle (alt/clt/vln), Chris Howes (tenor gtr/bjo/vcl), Colin Turner (bs sax), Pete Edowes (dms), Rosie Harrison (vcl/sop/alt/clt).
I'd never seen Dave Savill since 1972 in San Sebastian when he was part of the Newcastle Big Band. Knowing he played trumpet with Mike Lovell's Six In A Bar + 1 both Ian Heslop and I made the pilgrimage to North Shields to turn back the clock whilst bearing gifts and greetings from Dave Brown, Phil and Ursula Doggett as well as our good selves.
Dave wasn't there! A dep had made the Trans-Pennine crossing! - just as well we only brought the greetings. The Frankincense and Myrrh will have to keep for the next 38 years!
Nevertheless, even without Dave they were a workmanlike band along the lines of say Harry Gold and His Pieces of Eight.
Both Ian and I found it strange that everything was charted but this was as much hot dance music as out and out Dixieland and, as such, judged on it's own merits, very well done.
Rosie Harrison is a delightful asset to the band both visually, vocally and instrumentally. I enjoyed the way she handled the vocal on Hang Out The Stars in Indiana. Lovell claimed it to be by Ray Noble but in fact the credits on their own CD cites Harry Woods which, in fact, seems to be more logical. Rosie also blew a nice sop sax chorus on The Fish Seller although her skyscraper heels, vanishing hemline and 'Come up and see me some time' hair-do was unlike any Fish Seller I've ever met!
It was all good fun and the band-jackets were perfect period pieces but I didn't hang around for the second half.
Lance.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

RIP Billy Calboutin

I've just received this sad news - Billy Calboutin. (drums) passed away peacefully aged 73 years on the 22-08-2010. Requiem mass at St Bernadette`s on Tuesday 31-08-2010 at10.00am followed by cremation at Tynemouth crematorium.
I only played a couple of gigs with Billy but he was a good drummer. We talked on the way back about Boxing as much as about music! Billy, apparently, had 'done a bit', He had that stocky build often common to drummers and boxers.Heard him on Sunday evenings at the Corner House with the Panama Jazzmen - see photo.
Yet another drummer!
RIP.
Lance.

CD Review: Looking Glass - Zoe Gilby

Zoe Gilby (vcl), Andy Champion (bs), Mark Williams (gtr), Noel Dennis (tpt), Richard Brown (dms)
Zoe's second CD showcases the way her voice and her approach have matured over the past couple of years. Zoe's previous disc and her early gigs showed the attractive song-stylist to be a singer of impeccable taste, an interpreter of the gasbook - one of the best jazz girls around the north-east spots. With Looking Glass the bar is raised. Forget local this is a disc that, given the exposure, can compete on the world stage .
A mix of standards Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me, Time After Time, Only Have Eyes For You, I'm Beginning To See The Light/When Lights Are Low, That Old Black Magic. Some not quite so well known pieces - Tom Waits, Leon Russell, Nancy Wilson, Leiber and Stoller - and originals by Zoe and her co-pilot Andy Champion. Oh yes - there's also BSH contributor George Milburn's Take It Easy - an esoteric piece of nonsense over an attractive tune.
Apart from Zoe's compelling vocals there is some wonderful work going on behind her from Mark Williams and Noel Dennis. Richard Brown and husband to be Andy Champion provide the perfect foundation. Andy also produced the session.
The CD is officially launched at The Cluny, Lime Street, Ouseburn, Newcastle, on Sept. 7. 8:00pm for 8:30 start.
Only one negative. Minute white printing on a light green background make the booklet difficult to read.
No problem with the music though - nice one Zoe!
Lance.
Looking Glass - Zoe Gilby. Jazz Action JA18

Rosie Malone's The Maine Street Jazzmen.

Olive Rudd (vcl), Ray Harley (tpt), Jim McBriarty (clt/vcl), Malcolm Armstrong (pno), Alan Rudd (bs), Mike Humble (dms).
I'm giving prime space this week to Katherine - barmaid par excellence. She serves pints of real ale and other brews with a welcoming smile that doesn't even falter when she says, "Two pounds eighty five please."
They have a good team behind the pumps at Rosie's.
Music-wise, Herbie was absent from the trenches. Sick leave to enable him to recover in time to return to the fray to defend their recently won far flung outpost of their empire at Sunniside tonight.
In his absence Ray Harley had some extended solos and Jim shared the vocal chores with Olive.
Out on the floor, Alan Glen and May dropped by as did Ian Parkinson of Cool Breeze.
Olive sang Blue Skies, Jim sang Avalon and Ray blew as hot as they come. The audience danced. It was one of those days that felt good all round and isn't that what jazz or indeed any music is all about?
Lance.

Blasts from the Past

Maurice Summerfield sent me this photo from the late fifties/early sixties. It shows Maurice on guitar with Mike Carr on vibes, Al Collins, bass, and Len Gatoff, drums. The unseen pianist was Bernie Thorpe.
There is another photo from Maurice in our Local 802 Gallery. Which contains many more vintage shots of local musicians over the years.
Lance.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Long Goodbye - Farewell to Jacky Denton

It seemed a long time before Jacky finally left us. The complications of dying abroad and the ensuing documentation meant that it wasn't until today that JD was finally laid to rest.
It was done in style - I wouldn't have expected any other. An assembled crew of musicians played at the Crem. Iain MacAulay and Mike Durham on trumpet; Lawrence McBriarty and Brian Chester, trombone: Derek Fleck, clarinet; J.C.Hallam on sousaphone and Dave Rea and John Hedley on banjo. That's right - rock guitarist John Hedley on banjo! (click here for proof!)
It was a good Humanist service that gave us all a picture of, not only Jacky the jazzman, but also the family man. Appropriately, As the coffin was committed, a recording of Mike Carr, John McLaughlin, Gary Cox and Jacky - Bell's Blues - was played. It was in 3/4 and the solid Denton drum punch drove it along.
The boys played us out with The Saints.
Afterwards it was over to Holly Hill Club where many musicians and family gathered round to chat and reminisce and enjoy the splendid spread provided. Andy Hudson gave a power-point slide show of the many aspects of Jacky's life some of which appear here.
I went into the adjoining bar. A local asked the barmaid what was going on.
"Funeral", she replied. "Jacky Denton - he was a drummer".
The lady had hit the nail on the head.
It was a fitting epitaph.
Jacky Denton - he was a drummer (add your own superlatives.)
Lance.

Aprés Funeral Quiz.

As a diversion at the wake in Holly Hill Sports and Social Club, Andy Hudson has sent these three pictures and posed the following questions;
1. What is Jackie Thinking 2. What advice is Jackie Offering Sting 3. What are Jackie's words of wisdom
Answers on a beermat please.
Lance.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Jacky Denton Funeral Music

To give Jacky Denton the send off this great drummer deserves musicians who knew Jacky are invited to bring their instruments to Saltwell Road South Crematorium and join Brian Chester and Co to give Jacky a traditional New Orleans send off.
Afterwards, at Holly Hill Sports and Social Club, Felling, there will also be music so guys (and gals) bring your horns and/or your voices to make this an afternoon that Jacky would have been proud of.
12 noon at The Crem - 13:00pm at the club.
Lance.

Jacky Denton - Funeral Announcement

Jacky Denton's Funeral takes place at Gateshead Crematorium Saltwell Road South on Wednesday August 25 at 12 Noon*. The crem is accessible by bus or car from Durham Road, Low Fell. The 28a from Eldon Square or Gateshead Metro** passes the Crem gates as does the 29 from Gateshead although the 29 is a longer journey. The Humanist service will be followed by drinks and food at Holly Hill Sports and Social Club, Benson Tce., Felling. Please pass on the information to Jacky's friends and fellow musicians.
Pat has asked if any musicians would like to play at the Crem she'd be delighted and also back at the club at 1300.
Let's make this sad occasion the joyous one Jacky would have wished.
Lance.
* Not 10:30 as originally announced.
** The 28a is once an hour from Eldon Square Bus Station at 20 minutes past the hour and from Gateshead Metro at 32 minutes past.
Photo by Jim McBriarty (2005 at Boston Spa).
PS: I've begun compiling an album of photos of Jacky. It is in the early stages and additions are welcomed. Lance.

Monday, August 23, 2010

JC says...

Having just come back from holiday, I want to add some comments on three gigs I saw before I went away as they were all memorable in different ways. Each was presenting different styles of jazz, in three different venues, organised by three different groups and they were all great.
Firstly, the Ayanna gig was sensational and well done to Schmazz for taking a chance on putting it on in August. The combination of her voice (which seemed to me more Cassandra Wilson / Mahalia Jackson than Joni Mitchell) and the constantly interesting variety of the musical accompaniment created something that was unique. I don’t think I’ve heard a mixture of uileann pipes, low whistle and plucked cello in a jazz context before. Her songs were wonderfully constructed and presented. I could have happily sat through another whole show. You can find the beast in many places, but such beauty is rare.
Another was the Jo Harrop session at the Cherry Tree restaurant, which was a wonderful presentation of the jazz singer’s art (with a great band as well). Did she sing ‘Give me a pigfoot and a bottle of beer’, Lance, or was that the menu? I think it’s worth saying that the Cherry Tree has now become the place to go for jazz on a Monday night – it’s like Pizza Express in London, except with much better food.
The third was, of course, the tribute to Chris Yates in the Corner House, which was an incredible collection of jazz musicians. As you have described, the place was packed and buzzing. The last group was particularly electrifying and when they were urging each other further and further in the choruses of Anthropology, it was a bit like the scenes Jack Kerouac described in his books of the atmosphere in New York jazz clubs when Bird and Dizzy were playing:
‘...hearing a wild tenorman bawling horn across the way, going ‘EE-YAH! EE-YAH! EE-YAH!’ and hands clapping to the beat and folks yelling ‘Go, go, go!’....the tenorman was blowing at the peak of a wonderfully satisfactory free idea, a rising and falling riff that went from ‘ee-yah!’ to a crazier ‘ee-de-lee-yah!’ and blasted along to the rolling crash of butt-scarred drums...
“On the Road".’
All fantastic stuff!
JC

Tommy Henderson on Eddie Farrow

I was pleasantly surprised to hear some recordings of my late friend EDDIE FARROW, a brilliant pianist who worked for me for three years in my 'sixties band', on the Frank Wappat radio show a while ago.
Eddie worked on the Queen Mary and the QE2 with Nat Gonella's band and Nat once told me a little story about Eddie - He saw Eddie waving to them from the quayside as the ship left harbour (he should have been on board with them ) but he did like a drink or three. They had to fly him to the next venue.
Eddie joined my Latin American group, playing in EMERSON'S Newcastle after my Greek pianist Spiros was unfortunately inducted into the Greek army while on a quick visit home. After EMERSON'S we moved as a resident group to the CLUB A GOGO in Percy Street,where we played for a listening audience in the jazz lounge before moving into the main hall playing Latin American music.
We later moved to Sunderland for the opening of WETHERELLS club where we accompanied the cabarets.
Eddie worked with me until sadly his wife died and he retired for a while returning later to the cruise ships where as well as working with the orchestra he played in the piano lounge and also accompanied the Church services.
Whenever he was on leave he would look me up to say hello and sit in with the boys. It would be nice to hear more memories and stories of Eddie Farrow who sadly passed away in 1977.
Tommy Henderson.

Jazz Café Jam Session @ Jazz Café, Newcastle. Sunday 22nd August.

Proprietor Keith Crombie has recently opened the doors of his famed establishment on a Sunday afternoon to anyone wishing to turn up and have a blow. The advertised start of 2:00 pm makes Dave Weisser's workshop session look like a tightly run ship - things got under way at about 4:30 pm! Such was the late start I was able to call into the Bodega, sup a couple of pints of Big Lamp Prince Bishop and watch the match - Newcastle United 6 Aston Villa 0 (the poorest six nil thrashing of a game I've ever seen).
Pianist Pete Gilligan, sometime accompanist to Zoe Gilby, Lindsay Hannon and Ruth Lambert, is the mainstay of the house band. Members of Budvivar (resident alternate Saturdays at the Jazz Café) turned out in force the afternoon after the night before. Pianist Chris Finch played trumpet and, as ever, Stuart Findon played tenor, Jim Crinson played bass and Eric Stutt swung it from the drum stool (Eric showed brilliant logisitcal planning in leaving his kit overnight at the venue) as Fiona Littlewood sang Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise.
Juke joint veteran Round Eyes Ray played harmonica on Nuages with accompaniment from piano, violin and guitar (Matthew Office). Piano player Alan Law turned up and sat in on Beautiful Love and there was a cracking version of Rhythm-a-ning and, to quote Keith Crombie, ''Mark Williams is the best guitarist in the north east''. Agreed Monsieur Crombie!
Mein Host was his usual self; gruff, uttering expletives and at intervals lobbing empty bottles into a bin with expert bad timing - Softly, As in a CRASH!!!. You couldn't make it up. After a while, with many more musicians queuing up to play, I left to place an order at my local Indian takeaway and fully intended to return to the Jazz Cafe. I didn't quite make it. I assume the music went on 'til Crombie time.
Russell.

Django's Autograph.

On my recent trip to London I overheard an American enquiring after Django Reinhardt autographs in one of those theatrical memorabilia shops off Charing Cross Road. His name was Doug and a former member of Jimmy Page's road crew. I said I would keep my eyes open.
Well my eyes were well and truly opened when I googled the item on the left - a snip at a mere $30,000. Of course there was also a copy going on ebay for $5.
Lance.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Swing Fever @ The Maggi Bank, North Shields.

Jackie (vcls), Tom (pno), Phil (bs), Peter (dms).
I had pre-conceived ideas of a tea shop quartet tipping their toes ever so slightly into the banks of, say, the Ohio.
I was wrong - boy was I wrong! As the anonymous Tom pounded the piano into near submission at twice the volume of the whole Ray Stubbs Band the anonymous Jackie came in on Summertime. This wasn't no Summertime where the livin' is easy - this was summertime in Helmand Province where the shot and shell were flying - or maybe it was just Geordie Gershwin shufflin' around in his grave.
Whatever, it kick-started a no holds barred, shoot the prisoners gig, that rocked and occasionally swung like crazy.
Jackie has the tonsils, the larynx to bring down the government - any government not to mention the walls of Jericho! I'm Beginning To See The Light, It Don't Mean A Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing - it didn't but it did have a momentum of its own. Georgia suggested a hint of mellowness and King of the Road reminded me that that was one of the better pop songs of the sixties. Get Happy made us feel just that!
There were problems with the system - piano too loud - but maybe that was because of my proximity to the stage. When we retreated to the bar the balance was better.
As well as standards a couple of my favourite sixties tunes were in there - The Kinks' Sunny Afternoon - surely worthy of an entry in the British version of the Gasbook and Feliciano's Light My Fire. Over The Rainbow was Judy G on a triple doze of uppers.
There was also Dylan and Queen along the way.
Bass player kept it together and Peter the drum played drums the way Premier drums should be played - with precision-like accuracy.
Ignore the negatives I loved it!
Lance.

SPACE IS THE PLACE - Jazz Night @ the City Arts & Music Project

Bebop Spoken Here doesn't often venture south of the Yorkshire Ouse however, we do have a number of site regulars from sunnier climes so that when one of them contacts us we do like to show willing.
Aya, a mystical figure from EC1, waxes eloquently about a London venue - a café, bar, arts & music space @ 70 - 74 City Rd, London, EC1Y 2BJ.
It's a Wednesday gig and Aya has the following events lined up.
AUGUST
25 Rick Simpson Quartet Leading UK pianist plays contemporary standards and his own originals.
Gigs are free and - I'm led to believe 8PM until Midnight.
Worth making a note of if you live in the capital or are planning a trip down - might see you there sometime.
Lance.

The Ronnie McLean Story

Colin Aitchison has sent me this clipping relating the saga of the late Ronnie McLean's tooth which parted company with Ronnie's mouth whilst he was eating a corned beef sandwich. At the time ('70s) the event received publicity on a par with the end of the war in Vietnam.
Also attached is this mp3 of a Radio Newcastle interview with the trombonist conducted by Richard Pigg. The tooth also features in this one.
Lance.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

High Point Jazzmen

Colin Aitchison sent me this YouTube clip of his dad, Hughie, with Bill Smith, Gordon Solomon, Eric Gamblin, Ian Heslop and Ian Forbes playing Shine at the High Point Hotel, Whitley Bay back in the 1980s.
Lance.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Take it to the Bridge @ The Chilli. August 18

Dave Weisser (trumpet & flugelhorn), Paul Gowland (tenor saxophone), Andy Lee (alto saxophone & wooden flute), Alan Laws (tenor saxophone), Dougie Fielder (tenor saxophone), Jim Crinson (double bass), Barrie Ascroft (keyboards), Rob Bates (drums)
It was another enjoyable evening at the Chilli. Paid my £1 in and was part of a 3 strong audience which swelled to about 10 after half time. Horn players in the band were out in force though. Tunes included Night in Tunisia, Soon (by Gershwin), Peri’s Scope, Shadow of your Smile and Au Privave. Paul Gowland was in good form, Alan Laws was playing some nice growling sax, Dougie Fielder was back on tenor after impressing on Soprano the previous week, Andy Lee played some sweet wooden flute, and Dave the Rave played some mellow flugel. The rhythm section kept the large horn line together well.
There is no Take it to the Bridge this Wednesday (August 25) due to Dave’s vacationing commitments.
Chris Finch.

Brief and to the point - Maine Street Jazzmen @ Rosie's Thursday August 19.

Olive Rudd (vcl), Herbie Hudson (tmb/hca/vcl), Jim McBriarty (clt), Steve Whitfield (pno), Alan Rudd (bs), Mike Humble (dms).
It was a swinging gig.
Charles A. Fan

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Eilleena @ The Spice of Life.

Eilleena, Rachel Reilly, Paul Pace, David Eisin, (vcls), Geoff Eales (pno), Rik Rickinbok (spelling?) (bs), Simon Pearson (dms), Abram Wilson (tpt).
Eilleena was a name new to me - as was the owner - a bubbly, black, British born, American based, Citizen of the World.
From the opening bars of Perdido the room relaxed and we knew a treat was in store. Next up was Victor Young's Beautiful Love, a moving Nearness of You, an absolutely amazing But Not For Me, Devil May Care, a Ruby My Dear that simmered with emotion, What a Little Moonlight Can Do, Lush Life and Centerpiece.
Eilleena is a total jazz singer who improvises and re-shapes the melody without resorting to scat.
Check her out if you get the chance.
Earlier, Rachel Riley (Reilly?) took us through My Baby Just Cares For me a la Nina, Dinji, God Bless The Child and I Thought About You. She did them good.
Previously, Club Supremo and Compere Paul Pace had opened up the show with a swinging This Can't Be Love. Paul also kicked off the final set this time with You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To that featured a surprise guest - trumpet player Abram Wilson. Both of them swung.
A couple came up from the floor. David Eison dedicated That's All to Eilleena who scuttled down front and sat looking suitably dewy-eyed.
Another girl whose name I didn't catch sang an unaccompanied original (I think) before the lady who had captivated us all returned for a quick blast on Bye Bye Blackbird (with a little help from Abram) before the bell tolled.
Throughout the evening the Geoff Eales Trio provided solid backing. Geoff is an ebullient player, an extrovert, albeit with a leaning to the theatrical at times with his liberal use of quotes - I counted at least four Old Man Rivers! Nevertheless, when he's serious he can really play.
I was glad it was a good evening as I felt more than a little guilty about not supporting Sarah Ellen Hughes down at the Bull's Head - a place full of memories for me.
Likewise, I had to turn down an invitation from Aya at Space Is The Place. It had been a hectic three days and, by this time, the Liddle limbs had become laboured and lethargic.
Deffo next time.
Lance.

Billy Harper on Jacky Denton

So desperately sad to hear of the death of one of my oldest & respected colleagues, a fellow Francophile who spent all his holidays in France in his caravan which was permanently garaged in France during the winter. Before Anne & I left for France, we talked about the possibility of him & his wife Margaret dropping in to visit us "en-route" but this proved to be almost impossible because of the distances involved & sadly we never caught up with each other. I first worked with Jack in 1957 whilst I was doing my National Service in the RAF. I was posted to Acklington which allowed me to do gigs in Newcastle & I took the piano chair in the reformed Mighty Joe Young Band -- Jack was the drummer & the others were Hughie Aitchison ,Brian Clarke, Trevor Johnson, Ronnie Maclean, Brian Fisher & Joe himself.
Jack had something that can't be taught -- a natural driving swing that kicked the band along beautifully (just reminding myself that Joe & myself are the only surviving members) .Jack didn't stay long as he was called for National Service & was replaced by Ian Forbes. Having done his 2 years in the Army, he reclaimed his drum chair in the band & stayed for some time until he joined forces with Mike Carr & John McLoughlan for a season at Ronnie Scott's in London where he was highly thought of by the top guys. But he told me that he was unhappy about the drug scene down there & was not prepared to settlewith his family & eventually he returned to Gateshead. At this point I had left the Mighty Joe Young Band and formed a trio with Jack & Brian Fisher at the Five Bridges Hotel which eventually folded. Although I was by now heavily involved in commercial music (10 years in the Mayfair Ballroom) & Jack had serious medical problems, we still managed to do the odd gig together from time to time & in 1998/9 we had a great time (musically!!!!) in the Jazz Cafe with Jack, Roly Veitch & Ian Heslop. I gave Jack "free rein" & he proved what I had always known -- his drumming had lost nothing over the years. From 1999 to 2004 my trio was employed ay the Bude Jazz Fest. in Cornwell as the House band for the week,supporting the "bigboys" from Town & in 2004 my normal drummer Nigel Cretney from Buxton, was taken seriously ill at the last minute & a dep was urgently required. My first call was Jack & without knowing what the money was like, he immediately agreed to do the gigs. We travelled together to Bude & shared an appartment close to the venues & had an absolute ball. Jack played out of his skull! Our first gig was with Alan Barnes with whom I have worked with many times & who does not "take prisoners". At the end of the first number Alan came up to me, with a huge smile on his face & said "Wow! Where have you been hiding this guy?" Mark Nightingale gave an almost identical response & several of the older musicians remembered him from his short stay in London. I overheard conversations at other gigs people suggesting to their friends that they must go & see this great drummer with the trio. In fact Jack was the star of the week & deservedly so. Many people who didn't know him very well thought that he was a noisy, insensitive, rough diamond but nothing could be further from the truth. Underneath that brash exterior was a nice man who didn't tolerate fools gladly but was warm & thoughtful with a lovely sense of humour--- I am proud to have known him as a friend & colleague -- he will be greatly missed. Bill Harper p.s. Jack made great bread!
Photo was supplied by Peter Sanderson.

Gillespiana @ The King's Head, Crouch End. Tues Aug 17.

Pete Long (alt/ldr). Tony Fisher, Steve Fishwick, Mark Armstrong, Nathan Bray, ? (tpts). Andy Rodgers, Keith Hutton (tmbs). Lisa Gordon, Sammy Main (alt), Tommy Lawrence, Richard Shepherd (ten), ? (bar). Matthew Regan (pno), Alan Grahm (vbs), Roberto de Pla (timb), Satin Singh (conga), Dave Chamberlain (bs), Mark Fletcher (dms).
Is there a better big band than Gillespiana? The 100 plus who squeezed into the tiny basement of Crouch End's King's Head would give an emphatic 'no' and I would agree with them. In such a small room it was absolutely incredible.
I imagine this was what the original Gillespie big band sounded like on location. Imagine a trumpet section of 5 Dizzy's with each one a great soloist in his own right. Add some hard-blowing saxes, a couple of trombones and an MJQ rhythm section with congas and timbales and your beginning to get the picture. Oh yes and there is Pete Long. Alto player extraordinaire, wit and raconteur, Pete has put together a band that simply swings like crazy and, although they are playing material familiar to the Bop Generation the solos are very much of today.
Manteca, Our Delight, Woody'n' You, Oop Bop Sh'Bam (naturally!) Guarachi Guara etc.
Anthropology had a wild solo by Pete that lead to a 5 trumpet battle with the saxes blowing a Little Brown Jug riff which later segued into The Champ behind them. By this time my heart was beating like Dave Chamberlain's bass - could I survive without a cardiac arrest? The final Things To Come meant there was no way I'd be running for the bus - I was flying!
Phew!
Lance.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Pizza Jazz Awards Pizza Express, London.

Barry Green (pno), Mark Hodgson (bs), Eddie Hick (dms) + Cleveland Watkiss, Norma Winstone, John Turville, Asif Sirkis, Nia Lynn, Derek Nash, Gary Husband, Perry Louis...
This was one of those nights you dream about and feel privileged to be there. The Pizza Jazz Awards attracted a host of influential jazz people - plus myself! Bebop Spoken Here was in town.
Although everyone appeared to know one another I nevertheless felt immediately at home when a voice, full of passion and wanting, (okay, I exaggerate she said 'Hi Lance') called out to me - Sarah Ellen Hughes, on review duty for LondonJazz.
The evening was to decree the vocalist worthy of the award - Norma Winstone and Cleveland Watkiss shared that particular kudos - and which instrumentalist got the nod? - pianist John Turville.
The two vocal winners duetted on Blue Monk.
There were also some poetry awards but, fortunately, the two idioms didn't intermingle on the stand.
Earlier (or was it later?), Cleve had sung No Moon At All and Norma did the business better than anyone on Joyspring. It crossed my mind that any of the lyricists of any of the songs would have swept the board in the poetry awards!
Barry Green played fine piano ably supported by Mark Hodgson and Eddie Hick - I'll Remember April, Green Dolphin Street were but two. Asif Sircus sat in on drums - a proper kit! whilst Perry Louis did some hoofin'. A great dancer but on a carpet? Nia Lynn sang It Could Happen To You. Can't remember all the highlights - too much hospitality - but one number hit the spot. Fini Bearman (not Norma!) singing I've Never Been In Love Before. Terrific! Derek Nash blew an alto solo that surely would be in running for the most melodic solo of the year - and the swingiest! The bar had been well and truly raised!
John Turville, as befitting his newly crowned status, played some good standard fare and there were other moments but - by this time I was ready to dissolve - it had been a long day but - nice to meet Yots and Simon Hipkins who sent me some superb photos, including the above one of Derek Nash, after my own machine finally gave up its life of elastic bands and blue tack.
To find out more about the multi-talented Simon visit http://www.simonhipkins.com/
Totally wasted I returned to the sanctity of Room 504 - I kid you not - why doesn't anyone sing that song anymore?.
More photos courtesy of Simon Hipkins. - and more...
Lance

Jazz Café Jam

Passing by the Jazz Café on Newcastle's Pink Lane en route to Central Station I noticed a sign saying Sunday Afternoon Jam Session - jazz musicians welcome - 2:00pm - ? Anyone got more info? Lance.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

So Long Jacky Denton - they broke the mould.

The sad news that Jacky Denton - at his peak, arguably, the north-east's greatest drummer - has died is sad news indeed. Few Tyneside fans or musicians of a certain age have not appreciated and been thrilled by his drive and ultimate swing. With Jacky behind it, a lead pendulum would've swung like the Basie Band.
I was privileged to play in the Newcastle Big Band with Jacky in the driving seat - he made you play - no prisoners were taken. It didn't matter whether it was New Orleans or Hard Bop Jacky gave any band the impetus they needed.
With the Big Band, in San Sebastian, the local Basque population took him to their hearts - he was that kind of character.
It is perhaps fitting that he should die in France. When the Big Band played in Pau Jackie fell in love with the place and he had visited it on a regular basis ever since.
Over the past couple of weeks, when drummers have been leaving us with a depressing regularity, this, to me personally, is the saddest of them all.
RIP Jacky you had no equal.
Jacky Denton died in France last Sunday (August 8) age 73.
Lance.
NB: In the above photo Jackie (holding cup) is with another drummer dear to me the late Marshall Walker.

R.I.P. Herman Leonard

Are there two better photos of jazz musicians than these of Dexter Gordon (l) and Duke (r)? If there are they too were probably taken by Herman Leonard who died yesterday (August 14). His black and white images captured the late night feel of jazz that few others managed. In his 87 years he photographed all the greats including more recent entrants such as Melody Gardot.
Unique, his legacy is everywhere in the jazz world - just check out your old LP covers.
The city of Angels is just that today.
Lance.
Debra Milne sent me this obituary. John Taylor sent this link to some of Harlan Leonard's photos.

Reese to play Peggy in movie

Reese Witherspoon, according to the Independent on Sunday is set to star and produce a biopic of Peggy Lee at some undefined date in the future.
Lance.

Robert Mitchell's Panacea The Cusp Tour.

That brilliant and inventive pianist Robert Mitchell's new band - Robert Mitchell's Panacea - take of on a nationwide tour to promote their new CD The Cusp.
It promises to be an exciting event but, although Robert has been a regular visitor to this region over the past couple of years, sadly for north-easterners, he misses out on our neck of the woods. So I guess we'll just have to beg, borrow, burgle or buy the CD
For details of the disc and the tour dates visit Robert's MySpace pages.
Robert also appeared at the Cluny last week with Ayanna and a video of that gig can be seen via this link.
Lance.

Django Lives - in Newbiggin-by-the-Sea

A weekend of Django inspired jazz at Newbiggin next weekend.
Sat 21st Keith Stephen's Hot Club Trio
8:30 @ The Old Ship Newbiggin £4:00 ( formerly the Black Pearl and previous to that the Old Ship) Not to be confused with the New Ship which is at the West end of the town.
Sunday 22nd Gypsy Moon on the Newbiggin bandstand, next to the Coble pub ( round the corner from the Old Ship)
@ 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30 pm. Free.
John T.
Keith Stephen's Hot Club Trio also appear at The Pheasantry on London's Kings Road tonight (Sunday August 15) further details in listings opposite.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Ray Stubbs' R 'n' B All Stars @ The Magnesia Bank, North Shields.

Ray Stubbs (vcl/blues harp), John Hedley (gtr), Max Whitehouse (bs/gtr), Ray Snowdon (keys), Brian Ferry (dms).
Wow! this is kick the door down and massacre the eardrums! The R 'n' B All Stars blast off with an eruption verging on the heaviest of metals! Even Ray's screaming harp struggles to be heard above the thrash.
However, after questioning the wisdom of sitting so close to the P.A., gradually our eardrums adjust to the decibels fruggin' inside our heads and the music takes over.
It's blues from the south-side of Chicago - they don't tell no tales of happy ever after - Ray Stubbs, an earthy poet of doom, hollers the blues like the newsie on the corner of Twelfth St and Vine peddling the Kansas City Chronicle. He intersperses his tales of woe with blues harp blasts that come across like a five piece horn section. The hair may be greyer and the paunch acquired since I last saw him but the raw emotion remains - no bluesman does it better.
On Fender Strat John Hedley tells his own story. He takes his twelve bars on crazy roller-coaster rides and the Strat becomes a Hot Rod as he races down Highway 51. Leo Fender says 'I didn't know my guitar could do that!'
On bass, Max Whitehouse goes with him - adds a sartorial touch to the trip. Ray Snowdon plays a whole lot of keyboards and Brian Ferry's solid as a rock which is what he does good - rock.
The Maggy Bank is heaving, but we're leaving, gotta board a southbound ferry cross those muddy waters... (actually got a lift) it's been one helluva good groove.
Lance.

Nick Pride and Laurie Shepherd on Blyth Quayside

Nick Pride (gtr), Laurie Shepherd (vcl).
A very polished one hour performance and they did pack lots of numbers in. It was non-stop entertainment in front of a small audience which was moving around the harbour. Smashing sound stage (see pics) for various bands use throughout the day.
Numbers included: Blue Moon, My Baby Just Cares For me, Ain't No Sunshine, What's Going On, Is You is or is you Ain't My Baby, Superstition, Twisted, Fever, Dock of the Bay, Love Me or Leave Me, Lets Stay Together, Straighten Up and Fly Right, Masquerade, Sway, Summertime, I Wanna be Like You and Georgia on my Mind. All sung and played brilliantly.
John T.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Another Scoop for the Cherry Tree

Exciting new vocalist Verona Chard has added the Cherry Tree Restaurant, Jesmond to her CD launch tour. Verona plays the popular eaterie on Monday August 30 after a couple of days at Edinburgh's award winning Jazz Bar. Should be another good evening at the 'Tree. In the meantime, this Monday, August 16, The Alan Glen Trio pay a return visit to the venue.
Lance.

6e Fest-Jazz de Châteauneuf-du-Faou - August 1, 2010

Hi Lance, We returned from Brittany last Friday and during our time there we spent an afternoon and evening at the jazz festival at Chateauneuf-du-Faou. This is about twenty miles past Quimper and we really enjoyed the festival. There were many English people there and one of the bands, Blue Magnolia, were from Liverpool. But our favourites and a great favourite with the audience was Malo Mazurie (A brilliant young trumpet player) and The Westalk Quartet. This band played in the style of Gerry Mulligan. Their website is http://www.myspace.com/malomazurie
Here are some photographs of the bands and we shall enjoy talking about them next time we meet.
Website is www.fest-jazz.com.
Derek and Gillian.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

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

Olive Rudd (vcl), Ray Harley (tpt), Herbie Hudson (everything), Derek Fleck (clt), Bill Brittain (pno), Alan Rudd (bs), Mike Humble (dms).
Another stomper from Der Maine Street Storm-troopers who consolidated their hold on Ms Malone's popular watering hole.
Derek Fleck was depping on clarinet and he breezed through the numbers with ease. Likewise Bill Brittain - once custodian of the key(board)s at the Companions Club in down town Shields. Today he stood in for Malcolm Armstrong providing a touch of finesse to the rhythm section.
Sweet Georgia Brown was particularly outstanding among the instrumentals as indeed was Rockabye Your Baby.
Olive strutted her stuff good today singing, among others, Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams, Just Friends, Pennies From Heaven, I Double Dare You.
It's a great afternoon - good band, real ale, helpful bar staff and no shortage of characters in the audience.
Lance.

Alexander Stewart @ The Hideaway.

Alexander Stewart makes his debut at this exciting new jazz haunt south of the river (Thames) - The Hideaway.
Sunday 12 September, 9pm at Hideaway: 2 Empire Mews Stanthorpe Road Streatham London SW16 2ED, just behind Streatham High Road and only 1 minute from Streatham main line station. More information and directions here: http://www.hideawaylive.co.uk/node
Alexander has sung live on BBC Radio 2’s Friday Night Is Music Night from the Cheltenham Jazz Festival – alongside Buddy Greco and Curtis Stigers, - and opened a new late-night jazz series at the Royal Albert Hall's Elgar Room.
At Hideaway, Stewart will perform with his pianist and musical director Alex Webb, acclaimed bassist Gary Crosby - recently made an OBE for services to jazz in the UK - and Andy Chapman on drums plus special guest Nathaniel Facey on alto sax.
Hear Alexander Stewart on: www.myspace.com/alexanderstewartmusic
See Alexander Stewart on: www.youtube.com/webby1961tube.
Okay so it's London? I like the guy's style!
Lance.

More on Jack Parnell

Reading Jack's obituary in The Scotsman - the best of the obits I've encountered so far - I found it interesting that Jack, although born in Paddington, was, like Martin Drew, raised in Wembley.
Must be something in the Wembley air that provides drummers with that extra para-diddle.
As a matter of interest, chatting to pianist Robert Mitchell prior to his Cluny gig on Tuesday we got around to talking about drummers and he made the observation that drummers, more than any other group of instrumentalists are the most closely knit community. Upon reflection I agree with him what do others think?
Lance.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Ayanna - Schmazz @ The Cluny.

Ayanna (vcl/cello), Fraser Fitfield (sop/ various low whistles/pipes etc.) Robert Mitchell (pno).
An expressive, captivating voice, personality, stage presence, a voice that brings to mind Joni Mitchell - rich and vibrant - and a full sonorous sound on cello that's Ayanna.
Add piano wiz Robert Mitchell and piping, low whistling saxophonist Fitfield it is little wonder that The Cluny was exceptionally well attended - I detected but one empty seat!.
Some reflective piano from Robert led to an entrance by Fraser Fitfield playing the small pipes as he meandered through the hall to the stage - shades of the Rollins at Ronnie's legend!
Ayanna, attractive with an air of fragility, took centre stage with a series of originals that displayed her ability - not just as a singer and cellist but also as a composer. It was gorgeous but, by the end of the set, I was ready for a break - too much beauty and not enough beast.
Robert Mitchell played soulfully with only the slightest hint of the Kalishnikov-like bursts of rapid fire for which he is known. Tonight it was his melodic/explorative side to the fore.
Despite his earlier entry playing the pipes and some nice work on a curved soprano (sax!) it was on the un-keyed low whistle that Fraser really shone producing a sound as mellow as any concert flute.
The second set saw more of the same and the ensemble deserved the rapturous applause at the end.
For myself, perhaps a little more variety of tempo would have helped but hey! don't get me wrong I enjoyed every minute of it and, if I'd been going to New York in, I think Ayanna said, October I'd be up on the second balcony of Harlem's Apollo Theatre rooting for the girl!
Photos.
Lance.

Keith Stephen Hot Club Trio with Caroline Stephen (nee Irwin) headin' South.

This popular band steps out of its comfort zone on 15th August at The Pheasantry, Kings Road, London. This is an offshoot of Pizza Express, and they are quite excited about it and would like as many people to attend as possible. Hopefully some of our London site regulars will have a look in.
Line-up is Keith Stephen on guitar and banjo, Roly Veitch, rhythm guitar and vocal, Bruce Rollo, bass and Caroline on vocal and ukulele.
If our southern supporters have never heard this band they are in for a treat - it's Djangology plus and Caroline sings as good as she looks.
Lance.

Verona Chard

This enchanting performer kick-started her inaugural UK tour on Sunday with a bewitching set at Ronnie Scott's - you can watch a clip of her in action here.
Verona released her debut offering, Fever, to much acclaim last month and will return to the road for 15 more dates (including three shows in Edinburgh) - you can listen to an album sampler here.
Plus Monday August 30 - Cherry Tree Restaurant, Jesmond.
Lance.

MO SCOTT GIG TAKE 2 – A LEARNING EXPERIENCE

Well, Lindsay told us at the Sage jazz-singing class to listen to as many other singers as possible, so I took myself off to the Maggie Bank on Sunday for a lesson from Mo, and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, with drinks thrown in for good measure.
I loved Mo’s heartfelt version of God Bless the Child and her exciting Fever. Mo’s blues singing is superb as well, and I liked what she did with Hound Dog, much more interesting than the mundane Elvis version. Not quite sure I agree with Lance about Mo being a bit of a rock chick. She’s more interesting than that, but I know what he’s getting at. (Doesn’t pay to disagree with the blogmaster!)
I was advised to watch how she moved. New Jazz singers have been accused of fussy nervous movements onstage. Mo moves a lot but looks really cool whilst doing so. She constantly takes the mike from the stand and moves the stand around between songs. She uses wonderfully expressive hand movements to illustrate the lyrics, and reacts skilfully to the instrumental bits. She also introduces songs briefly with a minimum of fuss. Perhaps in 10 years time I’ll also look something like this on stage, perhaps...
During the break I asked Mo how she got started with her singing. She said simply ‘You sing the music that you love’. No-one could have expressed it better.
Ann ALex.

Monday, August 09, 2010

The Victory 'V' Jazzmen @ 15th Annual Great Whittington Jazz Picnic. Sunday 8th August.

Ray Shenton (keyboards & vocals), Peter Shenton (electric bass), Gavin Lee (clarinet & alto saxophone), John Cowan (trumpet), Herbie Hudson (trombone, harmonica & vocals), Fred Thompson (drums & vocals), Brian Bennett (banjo), Mark Shenton (guitar & keyboards), Joe Shenton (washboard) & Bessie Whittington (vocals).
The Fifteenth Great Whittington Jazz Picnic was held in the grounds of the village hall on a warm, dry, summer's afternoon. Picnic tables, hampers and umpteen bottles of vino made for a party atmosphere. The Victory V Jazzmen, a hand-picked ensemble featuring several generations of Shentons, started with a breezy Marching Through Georgia. Drummer Fred Thompson sang Shine as the sun broke through the clouds over an idyllic Northumbrian village scene; a simple, functional hall, dry-stone walls and gently rolling landscape stretching to the horizon. Mark Shenton joined the band to play some tasteful blues guitar alongside trumpeter John Cowan on St.James' Infirmary.
Harmonica ace Herbie Hudson blew some on Tishomingo Blues then took the vocal duties on When You're Smiling. All the while there was much brunching and imbibing. The classic Apex Blues was a good 'un and High Society was played as a request. Bessie Whittington was called to the stage to sing House of the Rising Sun. The girl did swell.
The legendary Joe Shenton, 81 years young, joined the band to rattle his washboard on Ace in the Hole with Ray Shenton handling the lyric. Joe stayed on for a storming Coney Island Washboard with Brian Bennett and Peter Shenton holding it together. The first set drew to a close with Fred Thompson prescribing the medicine on Dr Jazz.
The interval meant one thing - more brunching and imbibing. Oh, there was also the raffle, bottles of vino and champagne (Great Whittingtonians do things with style) were offered as prizes (I went home empty handed). The jazz resumed with another winner - Bourbon Street Parade - before Bessie took to the stage once more to reprise House of the Rising Sun. She was every bit as good as first time round. Hoagy Carmichael's Up a Lazy River saw Thompson sing it in his own sweet way as he did with I Get the Blues When It Rains with brilliant clarinetist Gavin Lee proving every bit as adept on alto saxophone. The afternoon concluded with Mama Don't Like No Jazz - another good 'un and in the case of the good people of Great Whittington they certainly did like their jazz.
Bessie Whittington aka Lizzie Scott (aged 6) is a star in the making. All proceeds from the event - approx. £500 - went to Tynedale Hospice at Home.
Russell.

Farewell Jack Parnell (1923 - 2010)

First there was Chris Dagley, then Martin Drew and now, sadly, Jack Parnell who died yesterday (Aug 8) aged 87. Three great drummers from three eras.
Jack came to prominence with the Vic Lewis/Jack Parnell Jazzmen before joining Ted Heath just after the war. After leaving Heath he formed his own big band. I recall hearing them many times back in those distant days when big bands roamed the land.
Drummer, singer and later frontman the Parnell Orchestra featured all the big band hits of the time - The Hawk Talks, Skindeep, The Champ, Night Train. There were also epic drum duets with Phil Seaman or Kenny Clare.
However, the media seen only interested in his role as band-leader on the Muppet Show - how sad is that?
Very much missed - think I'll listen to the CD pictured and wallow in memories.
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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