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Bebop Spoken There

Stan Kenton: "Bands with guts will play what they like; a tonal picture of the American way of life...everyday sounds put to music. In two years time no one will remember what "Home on the Range" was like." - (Down Beat November 19, 1947).

Bobby Sanabria: “Many young players today are technically brilliant but lack historical perspective.” – (Jazz Times November 2014).

Bebop Spoken There Archives.

Today Thursday November 27.

Afternoon.
VIEUX CARRE JAZZMEN - The Millstone, Haddricks Mill Rd., South Gosforth, NE3 1QL. 1:00pm. 0191 2853429. FREE.
New Orleans in nice pub with 4 real ales, good food and a banjo!
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DOMINIC J.MARSHALL TRIO - King's Hall, Newcastle Uni. 1.10pm.
Marshall (pno); Sam Vicary (bs); Sam Gardner (dms).
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AN IMPROVISATION COURSE FOR MUSICIANS - Unitarian church, Ellison Place, Newcastle NE1 8XG. 1pm-3pm. 7 week course £40.
Steve Glendinning is the Guru in this inspiring enterprise. Week 5.
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JAZZ APPRECIATION - Unitarian church, Ellison Place, Newcastle NE1 8XG. 3pm - 5pm. 7 week course £40.
Steve Glendinning is again at the helm lecturing on the music we love and much more. Week 5.
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Evening
MAINE STREET JAZZMEN - Potters Wheel, Sunniside, NE16 5EE. 8.30pm. Free.
Good Time jazz with vocals by Olive.
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POCKET JAZZ ORCHESTRA - Ship, Church Lane, Redmarshall, Stockton TS21 1EP. 8pm.
Jeremy McMurray, Peter Ayton, Paul Smith and guests.
Monthly - Tonight's the night!
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STRICTLY SMOKIN' BIG BAND - The Millstone, Haddricks Mill Rd., South Gosforth, NE3 1QL. 7pm. Free.
Monthly - Tonight's the night!
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THE TEES HOT CLUB - Dorman's, Oxford Rd., Linthorpe, Middlesborough, TS5 5DT. 01642 823813. 9pm. Free admission.
Gypsy jazz with guests Ray Dales (alt); Kevin Eland (tpt).
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THE PILGRIM ST. SET - Hoochie Coochie, 54 Pilgrim St.,Newcastle NE1 6SF. 8pm Free. Cocktails 2 for 1 till 10pm.
Monthly Groove with Paul Edis, Richard Burns, Gary Turner, Paul Susans and Rob Walker. Back Dec. 18? Because of proximity to Xmas best check first.
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TBA - St. Joseph's CMS Club, Birtley. 8.15pm. £3/£2.50.
Monthly - Back Dec. 4.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Tonight @ The Cherry Tree

Tonight's star attraction at the Cherry Tree Restaurant - apart from the superb cuisine - is trumpet/flugel player Graham Hardy and the Paul Edis Trio. Look forward to an evening of cool ballads and blistering bebop. Lance.

HAQ @ Splinter @ The Bridge. February 28

Sam Andreae (tenor saxophone), Anton Hunter (guitar), Finlay Panter (drums) & Eero Tikkanen (double bass). Manchester based HAQ arrived at the Bridge Hotel in the middle of a Jazz Services' sponsored tour. The four piece opened with myriad influences bouncing round the upstairs jazz room: Acoustic Ladyland, Trio VD, John Zorn, noise, punk, thrash and more.
Composed tunes with much space to blow, the first set was over and done in a trice with Walking Walking Falling the stand out number. All four musicians contributed charts with one or two tunes requiring the dots to be laid out in front of them such was the on the road writing activity of the band.
The second set was a longer affair with a variety of tunes heard. Sam Andreae's tenor playing has elements of post Coltrane intensity and nu punk attitude. There was also a lyrical side to his playing with knowing, playful references to cool lounge jazz material although this didn't last long before he returned to full on thrash mode.
Drummer Finlay Panter played it loud (hear that crack on the snare!), he played it loud with mallets and was tempted to try the same using brushes! Tenor and drums made the noise, bass and guitar less so. Finnish bassist Eero Tikkanen struggled to be heard, particularly in the first set and guitarist Anton Panter was from the quiet, undemonstrative end of the spectrum populated by the likes of Bill Frisell and Joe Morris.
A humourous punky tango number with brief Getzian tenor, a Panter composition (White), a Hunter tune (Pope) and one of the highlights of the night - Kappale Kaksi - rounded off a great set. Russell.

Alex Welsh photo details wanted.

Alan Rudd sent me this photo of the Alex Welsh Band taken, he thinks in the early '70s, at a local (north east) venue. Alan isn't sure of the complete line-up and would like some help as to trombone, banjo, date and location. Trombone - ? Bass - Harvey Weston Cornet - Alex Welsh Drums - Lennie Hastings Saxes - Al Gay ? Banjo - ? Piano - Fred Hunt. Can anyone help? Lance.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Didn't HAQ it tonight - HAQ @ The Bridge

Sam Andreae (ten), Anton Hunter (gtr), Finlay Panter (dms), Eero Tikkanen (bs).
Had an early bath.
Lance.

Jammin' @ The Jazz Café

The Jazz Café Jam continues with its cast of 1000's strolling in and out. Today there were some precious moments. Claire Kelly singing 'Round Midnight was so emotive you could have heard a pin drop - or Keith's colourful comments on the world or whatever! Claire's duet with Mark Williams on guitar on I've Grown Accustomed to his Face was also pretty grabbing. The line His highs, his lows, his ups, his downs are second nature to me now came across perfectly - it is one of the great lyrics and the girl did it proud ably abetted by Mark whose accompaniment was both sympathetic and inspirational. Earlier she'd opened the vocal batting with I've got The World On a String and later did Whisper Not. On the instrumental front Solar impressed with Pete Gilligan, Paul Grainger, Mark Williams and Ian Forbes getting a nice easy groove going. Claire was back in the saddle for Song For My Father and with, true grit, she overcame the augmented support.
As afternoon segued into evening the audience increased and before long the usual suspects were waiting to join the line-up. I left to the sounds of Harlem Nocturne - it wasn't the best HN I'd ever heard but compared to what was to follow it was PDG!
Lance.

THOSE PORTHOLE BLUES AGAIN by Keith Armstrong.

It’s Tuesday again and the sun in the Stella is shining. Yellow dust fills the dappled Porthole with a Golden Fleece and the jazz, hot jazz, belts out raging from this pulsating lounge. The saints and ghosts of ancient seamen go marching in. Let the liquid trumpet pour out, my legs slide to the floor with the trombone lilt. Cry me this river, lurch for the ferry. I will ping the dart of a blue note through your soul. I am only a poet, a saxophone with words, an improvising shantyman thanking the landlord for still serving me: despite all this poetry slurping, this lovely drivel dribbling from my wicked Geordie tongue. Keith Armstrong. (See also - http://greatbritishartdebate.tate.org.uk/keith-armstrong-under-the-fantastic-sky/)

Ossie Riani by Peter Riani

My dad was a strange animal indeed. In the late 90’s I put my beloved Fender Rhodes up for sale in the yellow ads paper for £800 and a guy called Sam rang me to make an offer on it but when he found out I was a Riani, such was notoriety of my dad, he asked if I was related to ‘The’ Ossie Riani. I said that I was and he told me the following tale about Desi Lumsden and my dad. It was probably in all likleyhood down at the Shoreline in South Shields (I'm guessing). Anyway, Ossie is playing organ and a bombastic boastful amateur saxophone act turns up to play popular tunes of the day along with the easyplay solo arrangement. Ossie amd Desi offer to do an improvised backing because they both happen to have their MK VI’s with them. Ossie says when I give you the nod you do a solo and when your done lean back and give us a wink and then we’ll give it a go. The guy agrees and imagines how good this will make him look with his own backing musicians on stage. The number starts and Ossie and Desi provide flawless backing as the guy plays the lead and when he gets the nod from Ossie he drops into his basic impro routine. Thinking that he’s pulled a scorcher he winks at the two pros magnanimously and they respond rather unkindly by blasting him off stage with some phenomenal musicianship and corking bebop. The guy starts dismantling his sax on stage while they are still riffing off of each other and has it packed away and is off the stage before the number is up. That story put me off selling the Rhodes, but I still can’t (nor will ever) be able to play it like my dad. Another tale I remember was when he was playing at the Southwick Social Club in Sunderland in the early 70’s. He told us that they had had a belter of a gig and really blasted the Hammond. So much so that it over heated and as is wont to do when so much dust and detritus covers the valves' transformers as it heats up, ignites. There were large flames licking and pouring out the back and my dad played on oblivious because he was reading a score. Bobby Carr noticed first and they ripped the back off the Hammond and were hitting it with beer towels which was making it worse. Ossie played on until someone unplugged the organ. The audience cheered thinking that this was all part of the act. The fire was put out eventually. I can’t remember whether the Hammond was salvageable or not but I do remember my dad saying that someone (probably Joe Greener) was going to throw my dads pint over the flames. Ossie was indignant, not because of the damage it would have done to the Hammond, but because it would have been “a waste of a perfectly good pint”!
Yes saying he was a character is a kind of understatement. I remember Ray playing Laura at his funeral. It was a well cool moment and very touching thanks Ray.
(Original post). Peter Riani.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

I WENT TO CHURCH ON FRIDAY – TO HEAR THE JAZZ RASCALS

Jazz fans who weren’t at the Unitarian Church in Newcastle on Friday evening to hear Elaine Binney and the Jazz Rascals have missed an absolute treat. I wasn’t sure whether to pray or hum a tune as I entered the elegant early 20th century church (a listed building), but, along with about 80 other fans, I soon forgot about all that as this live album recording kicked off with Take 5. Guitar, drums and bass played rhythmically, punctuated by strong cuts across from Elaine’s violin to start this number. Elaine explained that this band was different; they relied more on melody rather than improvisation. All I can say is that what they did was really good to listen to, and exciting, with more improvisation than Elaine had suggested. Classically trained Elaine, very much the leader of the band, looked smart in black trousers and waistcoat, white blouse, and black and white trailing belt. The violin wore a matching long black and white streamer, very cool. Elaine gave us lively chat between numbers, mostly to exhort us to pre-order the album! Peter on guitar sang wonderfully freely on 4 of the pieces; the original Swan Like; Autumn Leaves; Stormy Weather (this version had effectively simplified words); and a very tender version of You Are So Beautiful. The band’s other original numbers were Jokers and Kings; Treaty of Trianon and January Blue. There was a very strong melodic feel, but with enough improvisation to add interest, four very capable musicians, led by the violin which was luscious, or tricky or jagged as necessary. Other standard items were Summertime; and Work Song; which was dedicated to all the nine to five workers.
After the actual recording ended, the band decided that we should have some relaxing fun, which we did with a lively upbeat version of Ain’t Misbehavin, with lovely call and response between the violin and the rest of the band. If I had a complaint it would be that I’d have liked numbers to last longer with longer solos, but I suppose this was due to the constraints of recording. There is to be a full concert when the album is released later in the year – I can’t wait! Ann Alex.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Elaine Binney & The Jazz Rascals @ Durant Hall

Elaine Binney (vln), Peter Skeen (gtr/vcl), Keith Mills (bs), Jae Brooks (dms).
Remember the name - The Jazz Rascals. Rascals they may be but they have the potential to be the hottest band around.
This was their first ever gig and they used it to make a live recording which should be out in April.
I'm not going to elaborate too much - Ann Alex was observed making copious notes which I am sure will appear here shortly - instead I'll just say that Elaine and her Rascals are wonderful.
If you couldn't make it then you may have missed out on an event that could become part of North-East Jazz folklore.
And Bebop Spoken Here was there...
Lance.

HAQ

HAQ appear at London's Forge Arts Venue on Tuesday March 1 however, on Sunday Feb 27, the four piece are this week's Splinter offering at the Bridge Hotel, Newcastle. To have a foretaste of what's to come listen to this podcast from the Forge website. HAQ, Sam Andreae - sax, Anton Hunter - guitar, Finlay Panter - drums, Eero Tikkanen - bass, are on about 4:40 into the recording. Lance.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

New Century Ragtime Orchestra update from Phil

I thought you might be interested to know we have two shows planned on Tyneside next month.
On Saturday 12 March we’re at the Trinity Centre, High Street, Gosforth NE3 4AG, starting at 8.00pm. Tickets are £10 on the door, on 0191 285 6130 or www.trinitygosforth.org.
Then two weeks later, on Saturday 26 March, we’re at the Customs House, South Shields NE33 1ES at 7.30pm. Tickets at £13 and £11 from the box office on 0191 454 1234 or www.customshouse.co.uk.
I do hope you can join us for one of these concerts. Looking a little further ahead, we’re at the Keswick Jazz Festival on Sunday 15 May, and at the Kirkcudbright Jazz Festival on Saturday and Sunday, 18 & 19 June.
Phil Rutherford
The New Century Ragtime Orchestra.

If You Gotta Get a Dep Get the Best

Olive Rudd (vcl); Ray Harley (tpt); Herbie Hudson (tmb/vcl/hca); Jim McBriarty (clt/sop/vcl); George Richardson (pno); Alan Rudd (bs); Mike Humble (dms).
One thing about regular gigs is that you go there expecting the expected and, sometimes, you get the unexpected!
For the last couple of weeks trumpet ace Ray Harley has been awol. Today, however, Ray was back and blowing with an 'Armageddon's coming let me get there first' intensity. Malcolm wasn't at the keys this week but George Richardson was!
George is a superb player who buried himself for years in the Gosforth Park Hotel and it was a delight to hear him with the Maine Street boys.
To draw a comparision, it was akin to when Joe Bushkin replaced George Zack with the Spanier Ragtimers. Both great players just totally different styles.
Olive sang Blue Skies, Keeping Out of Mischief Now, Some of These Days.
The band impressed on Clarinet Marmalade, Jim sang Nobody's Sweetheart and Herbie sang everything else including Blueberry Hill which segued into Bucket's Got a Hole in it. This may or may not have been an indirect reference to events on the northside where the Bell and Bucket pub have begun a Thursday afternoon affair with the Brothers Rae+2.
The rhythm section at Rosie's were lighter than usual and there was a comfortable cool feel behind the dixie frontline.
It was a good session and George I think is back next week.
Lance.

Bixieland

This bar towel caught my eye today at Rosie's - I think it was for J2O Orange - needless to say that Huds and his Gang did just that! Lance.

Jazz Rascals to record live session.

Elaine Binney a talented local violinist has come up with what she describes as a new alternative, a violin-led jazz band called 'Elaine Binney and the Jazz Rascals'. They are recording their first album live, in front of an audience, tomorrow - Friday 25th February - 7.30pm at the Durant Hall, Ellison Place, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE16 8XG. The concert is FREE! Says, Elaine, "It's a truly unique event which is going to be very special and we'd love to get as many people as possible involved."
So let's all go along and give her and the band our support - what's there to lose?
Lance.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Dearly Beloved

Thanks to Derrick Cogger for forwarding this gem.
Lance.

First Gig of a new residency for the Maine Street Jazzmen.

The most popular band at the Elephant is back.
On Wednesday, 2nd March, the Maine Street Jazzmen become the resident band for the Elephant's monthly sessions.
Ashington Jazz Club is now in its 26th year. The resident band in the early days of the club was the River City Jazzmen. The River City band made their final appearance at the Elephant in July 1999. Unfortunately they are now disbanded.
Members of the Maine Street band include former River City men Herbie Hudson (Leader/tromb./harmonica/vocals), Ray Harley (tpt), Malcolm Armstrong (piano), and latterly Jim McBriaty (reeds).
In trying to recreate the halcyon days of the club James Birkett (gtr) has been booked to play. He guests with the band for the second gig of their residency on Wednesday 6th April. One of James’s first appearances on the North East jazz scene was in November 1989 when he sat in with the River City Jazzmen at the Elephant.
John Taylor.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

You can buy just about anything on eBay

Tenor Saxophone for Sale - £30,000. Plays Body and Soul. Details. Dominic's link. Lance.

SHE’S GOT SWING! Cherry Tree Restaurant

Emma Fisk (violin), Paul Edis (piano), Mick Shoulder (bass) and Adam Sinclair (drums). The boys kicked off a magical evening with Witchcraft then Emma joined them for Don’t Come Better Than That – a sentiment with which the audience agreed! How subtly different everything is with a violin up front: its plangent tones make slower numbers more mellow and wistful yet it can be quirky and skittish with swing! And the next two numbers swung – Ain’t Misbehavin’ and It Had to Be You. Ol’ Jack Horner was welcome to his plum: smoked salmon, sourdough, shallots and capers all round for us! Next it was full-on wistful/dreamy with Django’s Nuages – no storm cloud this, surely, more billowy white against an azure sky? Rodgers and Hart then delivered This Can’t Be Love while the waitress delivered my posh fish and chips – deep fried red gurnard with lemon and tartare sauce, no less. Both the food and the song were exquisite!
This title lead seamlessly into the next, via the lyric – "without your love….". but this version of Paper Moon was no honky-tonk parade, starting as it did, with an intricate, subtle piano intro from Paul. The first half swung out (as it had swung in) appropriately with It Don’t Mean a Thing If it Ain’t Got…. Chocolate and coffee crème brulée with biscotti filled out the interval and rounded off another lovely Cherry Tree meal. Compliments to the staff! The boys then got cooking again with Yesterdays and Paul and Adam enjoyed trading fours without anything being over-egged! It was then full-swing-ahead with Lady be Good, contrasted next by the slower Alice in Wonderland, then we were Walkin’ My Baby Back Home. Is it just me, or is there a bit of that which sounds like Mary Wells with My Guy? Anyway, Someone to Watch Over Me took us back to wistful/yearning etc. as did Autumn Leaves during which Paul got his first (deserved) applause for a solo. There were lots of good solos all round – it just wasn’t a solo-applauding audience! But it was an appreciative one as the penultimate number – I’ve Got Rhythm – elicited an Oliver-style request for "more" which was met with the beautifully played and melodic If I Had You. Lots more good stuff coming up at this venue – watch this space! Jerry

Monday, February 21, 2011

More Edis tonight at the Cherry Tree

Now that Valentine's Day has been and gone Jazz at the Cherry Tree Restaurant returns to Monday nights.
This week - tonight - the Paul Edis Trio is augmented by the delightful addition of swing fiddle player Emma Fisk. Emma wowed the audience at the Bridge with Djangologie and I am sure she will weave her magic over the diners equally well.
Next Monday, Feb 28, trumpet players Graham Hardy is with the trio and that too should be well worth catching. Coupled with the cuisine these are two dates for the diary.
Lance.

Paul Edis Sextet @ The Bridge. Sunday 20th February

Paul Edis (keyboards), Mick Shoulder (double bass), Adam Sinclair (drums), Graeme Wilson (tenor saxophone), Graham Hardy (trumpet & flugelhorn) & Chris Hibbard (trombone). The opening bars of Put a Lid On It were pure TS Monk.
This was going to be one of those nights.
Softly, As In a Morning Sunrise (arr.M.Shoulder) featured mature solos from Graeme Wilson and bassist (and arranger) Mick Shoulder. Folk Tune and Sharp 9/8 highlighted the front line's beautiful harmonic interplay (of brass band standard and that's a compliment). A Paul Edis composition - Administrate This - had a shuffle quality similar to R.Veitch's Job Shufflebottom with trumpeter Graham Hardy blowing the roof off leaving 'bone man Chris Hibbard to repair the damage.
Band leader Edis took the honours on Dorian Gray and was that possibly a fleeting reference in the coda to A Love Supreme? A favourite composer of Edis is Donald Brown so Being With You was given an outing as was Bud Powell's Un Poco Loco (arr.G.Wilson). An ambitious suite, nominally titled Three Piece Suite, from the pen of Edis, was given its premiere at Splinter @ The Bridge last year. A year on and we heard part three of the work now known as Elegy. Edis said it has an elegiac quality. Quite so, with excellent flugel from Hardy.
The last number of the night was another Edis tune - Blues For Dad - full of bop phrases, solos from Edis, Wilson, a round of fours with the highly inventive Adam Sinclair and Hardy on trumpet seeing it home. Cue vociferous applause Encore won, we got Graham Wilson's Up Late. This was a great jazz gig; great writing, great playing, great band.

Off The Leash Take It To The Bridge and Elsewhere

Guitarist Doug Kennard sent me this info on his band which make their Take It To The Bridge debut at The Chilli, Chillingham Road, Heaton on Wednesday Feb 23 - Lance. Off the Leash Formed in summer 2010 from the nucleus of the local fusion band Different Worlds, Off The Leash is adding its own particular blend of modern jazz to the North East scene. Fusing influences like Herbie Hancock, Michael Brecker and Stanley Clark, this exciting five-piece comprises Paul Beck on keys, John Steele on sax, Doug Kennard on guitar, Stan Praszczalek on drums and Katy Trigger bringing in the bass. Combining emerging talent and experienced players, Off the Leash delivers a dynamic mix of original compositions and interpretations of classic pieces. Where next? Upstairs at the Chillingham, Chillingham Rd., Heaton at 9pm on Wednesday 23 February 2011 Durham Jazz Festival on Saturday March 5 2011 at St Chad's College, Durham University at 4pm Website: http://www.myspace.com/off-the-leash (ammended).
Doug.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Penguin Café & Portico Quartet @ The Sage

Penguin Café: Arthur Jeffes (pno/uke/harmonium); Des Murphy (uke); Andy Waterworth (bs); Rebecca Waterworth (cello); Darren Berry (vln); Vince Greene (vla); Neil Codling (pno/uke/cuatro/gtr); Tom Chichester-Clark (harm/uke); Cass Browne, Pete Radcliffe (perc.) + Kathyrn Tickell (vln/North. pipes).
Penguin Cafe are quite an amazing band - impossible to categorise but a lot of fun. It is folk but from very divers sources - Irish, Scottish even Nashville. Throw a suggestion of Hawaiian into the mix, add a touch of czardas and you've just about got it.
Okay so it ain't jazz but it is scintillating and very infectious music played by a talented crew. And as if that weren't enough we had the icing on the cake in the form of Kathryn Tickell who joined Berry and Greene for a frantic number called Swinging The Cat! The two fiddles and viola swung this cat way beyond RSPCA guidelines.
Kathryn stayed with it and later played her beloved Northumbrian Pipes on a delightful piece - Organa. This had some lovely changes.
Most of the tunes were written by Arthur Jeffes' father Simon and his son did him proud.
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Portico Quartet: Duncan Bellamy (dms/elect); Jack Wyllie (ten/sax/elect/pno); Milo Fitzpatrick (bs/elect); Nick Mulvey (hang drums).
The Portico Quartet opened the concert with a doom laden set from the darker side of jazz. Intense, brooding, probing it had a sinister beauty to it that occasionally erupted into moments of freneticism. Saxist Wyllie played tenor and curved soprano. His tone light - almost Getzian - until the tension mounted whereupon he unleashed a ferocity that took him to the edge of sanity. Beneath it all various electronic loops that I won't attempt to explain circulated around them adding to the esoteric nature of the music.
Lance.

Jazz Café Jam

Pete Gilligan (pno), Paul Grainger (bs), Claire Kelly (vcl) + (in approx. order of appearance) David Gray (tmb), Omad Ramik (dms), Rob Bates (dms), Alan Law (pno), Don Forbes (tpt), Ivan Scutt (bs), Stuart Findon (ten), Fiona Littlewood (ten), Lindsay Hannon (vcl) etc.
The session began low key with the two PG's giving tips to Claire who - Glory Hallelujah! - sang Love Me Or Leave Me in the way that it should be sang i.e. slow and laid back. Anita O'Day has a lot to answer for!
Pete and Paul did some nice things to Early Autumn and Dave the trombone slid his way around Speak Low. Don Forbes blew a tender Tenderly as well as having a blast on Anthropology. David featured on Caravan by which time Stuart and Fiona had unwrapped tenors and were working out on Four.
Sadly it was now time to leave - The Sage beckoned...
Lance.

Matt Monro - We`re Gonna Change The World

Just love this old Matt Monro singleLance.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Paul Gamblin Memorial

Mal Maddocks has sent me this News flash!
"Just a late quickie Lance.... Gig in memory of Paul Gamblin tomorrow Sunday 19th ... At the 606 club ... Anyone who knew him or heard him play.... It would be great to see you !!!!!"
The gig is from 13:00pm - 16:00pm.
If you're in town or doing nothing elsewhere try and get down. Paul was a great guitarist, a lovely guy, and a perfect ambassador for North East Jazz.
Lance.

Don't Miss Out on This One!

Sun Feb 20 PENGUIN CAFE plus PORTICO QUARTET The Sage, Gateshead. A Music Beyond Mainstream Tour. 7:30pm Hall One. £16.50 Brian Eno said of Penguin Café: "They continue to occupy a unique place in music: nothing else has ever sounded quite like it." I just cannot miss this experience! Lance.

Where are the George Shearing tributes?

I have been keeping an eye open for some sort of tribute programme to the late, great, Sir George Shearing. I do find it so sad that more coverage has not yet come to light.
Jazz greats such as Sir John Dankworth and Humph were quickly brought to recognition in TV and radio as a mark of respect and quite rightly so.
Even my own local newspaper which has a "Jazz notes" column every week failed to mention his passing.
Why? There must be huge footage of his lifelong work in concert and with all the greats that he worked with, so it's not as though this would take much preparation.
Anyway, such programmes need to be aired soon after the event, otherwise they simply lose their impetus.
Liz.

Hank Mobley on Jazz Library Today

Whilst in London earlier this week I was delighted to hear some jazz being played in restaurant next door to my favourite London pub - The Chandos (Sam Smith's Old Brewery Bitter £2.03 a pint) - just off Charing Cross Road South. I noted a sign in the window of the restaurant Jazz CD's in basement.
I made my way down to the basement and came back up clutching a double CD of Hank Mobley comprising the tracks from 3 of his lesser known - but no less brilliant - Blue Note LPS. £4!
So, being very much in a Hank Mobley frame of mind - despite the fact that Humph once referred to him as 'Frank Wobley' - I was delighted to note that Mobley is the subject of this week's Jazz Library. Alyn Shipton's guest is Dave Gelly who is well qualified to talk about his fellow tenorman.
Details of program (16-17:00hrs Radio 3.)
Well worth a listen.
Lance.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Alister Spence Trio w. Raymond MacDonald @ The Lit and Phil, Newcastle.

Alister Spence (pno), Joe Williamson (pno), Raymond MacDonald (alt/sop), Chris Cantilo (dms).
I hold my hand up and confess - not for me. I'm in the minority - the audience applauds vociferously, CD's are bought and the Lit and Phil is surely delighted that this, their first concert collaboration with Jazz North East, meets with such a good response.
However, the music values that I hold dear are absent and, although there are moments that grab me, all too soon they disinteregate and disappeared off into jazz's hinterlands.
So, as the parade has passed me by, on this occasion I'll invite Russell, George M, Wes, or whoever cares to, to give a more reasoned, knowing, view on the gig.
This isn't a reflection on the music - it's self-criticism.
Lance.
NB: Do like the new JNE banner.

Rendezvous Jazz @ The Porthole.

Maureen Hall (vocals), Barry Soulsby (clarinet & vocals), Roy Gibson (keyboards) & Jim McKeown (drums) + Teresa Armstrong (vcl), Doris Fenn (bjo). The Porthole, next to North Shields Ferry Landing, hosts a relaxed session every Friday afternoon featuring vocalist Maureen Hall and her band of merry men. Today's offering was no exception. Tunes ranged from popular songs of the time, a novelty number or two through to, of course, some jazz.
It Had to Be You, It's a Sin to Tell a Lie and I Can't Give You Anything But Love were just some of the numbers in the first set. A particular highlight, given the composer's recent death, was George Shearing's Lullaby of Birdland.
The second set began with evergreen Teresa Armstrong singing Misty and That Old Feeling accompanied by Roy Gibson and Jim McKeown.
Banjo player Doris Fenn sat in as numbers were rattled off in style - Buena Sera, Buttom Up Your Overcoat and a weaving together of Bourbon Street and Bill Bailey with Hall and Soulsby alternating the lyrics and changing keys back and forth with ease.
Rendezvous Jazz' next date is on Saturday 26th February in St.Andrew's Church in Monkseaton (tickets are selling fast). Russell

Snippets of Jazz on Women's Hour

If you are at home in the mornings, it’s worth keeping an ear open for Woman’s Hour (10 to 11am, Radio 4). They have short excerpts of women musicians about once a week.
On Thursday this week, just as I was cleaning my teeth (you really wanted to know that, didn’t you?), I heard a neat version of I Got Rhythm, complete with scat, from a 17 year old Canadian singer called Nikki. I didn’t catch the surname, (Yanofsky - ed.) but she’s one to watch.
She then performed a self-penned song to guitar accompaniment, For Another Day, which I’d classify as contemporary folk, so she’s versatile.
And what struck me was how different her speaking voice was from her singing voice. The latter was deeper and harder than her quite quiet chat. Have other people noticed this phenomenon with other singers?
Ann Alex.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Ernie Jackson on Tony Scott

Hiya Lance. Been looking on your website and out came a blast from the past. Larry Allan!
I worked with Larry Allan in Hong Kong in the 1960s. He did solo piano in the KIT KAT bar on Nathan Rd. at that time I was doing concerts in The City Hall with Tony Scott the clarinetist and Larry was on piano. As you will know Tony did an awful lot with Bill Evans. When I first met Tony he had just come back from Thailand - he had been teaching the King of Thailand clarinet. He went to Italy and sadly died there.
He, Tony Scott, was a brilliant musician - a bit of a nutter, but a great muso.
Its a pity nobody ever mentions Tony, that man worked with everybody in jazz. Ellington, Bill Evans, too many to mention. I once asked an alto player about some clarinet stuff and mentioned Tony and he said Tony who!
He wrote some great and weird music and loved playing with the top Filipino musicians. When he came into the "BACKROOM" he always brought his clarinet. THE BACKROOM was the only jazz only room in Hong Kong and I was fortunate to be in the great Luis Francisco Trio with Ernie Dizon on bass, Luis was the man in HK then and it was a dream playing with a player of his calibre.
The filipino musicians were incredible Vestre Roxas, Bading Tuason, Angel Pena.
Check out these names and you`ll find some famous filipinos such as Danny Barcelona and Bobby Enriques - he played for Richie Cole.
Ernie Jackson

Bell & Bucket Jazz Band @ The Bell & Bucket, Norfolk Street, North Shields. February 17th.

Paul Bacon (drums), Mac Rae (clarinet, trumpet & vocals), Dave Rae (banjo) & Ian Heslop (double bass).
North Shields has a new New Orleans session. Led by drummer Paul Bacon at the Bell & Bucket pub (formerly a fire station) this makes it the fourth week day jazz venue down at the coast. Mondays catch Brian Chester & co at Cullercoats Crescent Club, Wednesdays at the same watering hole the Vieux Carre are in attendance, along the road at The Porthole are the Jazz Esquires and every Friday Maureen Hall can also be heard there.
The Bell & Bucket get together is a dedicated New Orleans affair. Veterans all, Bacon deploys a minimalist technique, Mac Rae, of gruff visage, plays measured clarinet, brother Dave keeps it simple and Ian Heslop is one of those 'been there done that' types.
Mac Rae can sing a blues - and he did just that. Little Gypsy Sweetheart, Avalon and Bob Wills' San Antonio Rose were appreciated by a small, select crowd. I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter was a good one (perhaps Maureen will sing this one tomorrow), likewise Ces't Magnifique.
Interval sitters-in were of the five-star variety; Roy Gibson (keyboards) played some Ellington and was joined on clarinet by Derek Fleck. trumpeter Mike Durham got up to sit down and have a blow (sitting down is the new standing up) and Ian Heslop was the last man standing.
A second set highlight saw a seated John Hallam augmenting the quartet for a bass trombone blast on Rosetta. There was a nod to Ken Colyer and a foot tappin' Down in Honky Tonk Town. All in all an enjoyable afternoon. Russell

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Not a Vintage Spice

There's nowhere better I like to visit when I'm in London on a Wednesday night than the Spice of Life.
The crowd was smaller than usual - possibly because Arsenal were in European action. Paul Pace got the ball rolling with You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To and Cristina Rubio impressed with Sometimes I'm Happy, Imagination, The Masquerade is Over and a couple of pieces by McCoy Tyner and Chick Corea.
So far so good.
Next up was the headliner - The Aimua Eghobamien Quartet.
This was a tribute to Louis Armstrong.
Aimua is a great singer but not, to my ears, a jazz singer - whatever that is!
Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed his set but it was nearer Johnny Mathis than Louis Armstrong.
The open mic set saw the the conveyer belt roll out Maxine, Wendy, Myrna, Amanda, Sian, Clive Raven, Jean - a Frenchman who sang an original of his entitled (I think) L'arme chaud - and Jo. All sang well but nothing hit me the way they usually do.
The exception was the trio of Rick Simpson (pno), Jerome Davies (bs) and Rod Jones (dms).
They swung!
Photos. Lance.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Gillespiana @ King's Head, Crouch End

Pete Long (ldr/alt); Steve Fishwick, George Hogg, Gabriel!?, Nathan Bray (tpts); Alastair White, ? (tmb); Sammy Maine, ? (alt); David Lewis, Richard Shepherd (ten); ? (bar); Simon Wallace (pno); Alan Graham (vbs); Jim Richardson (bs); ? (dms); Roberto Da Plu? (timb/bongoes); Satin Singh (conga).
Apologies for the names I missed.
This is the tribute band to end all tribute bands. Forget the original records this is how Dizzy's big band may have sounded on location in a small club.
It began with Leader Long blowing chorus after chorus on Anthropology - his only alto blast of the evening but what a blast with just the rhythm section. The two trombones then had an extended joust before the full power of the band was unleashed on Ow! Steve Fishwick needless to say was at his boppiest.
I was breathless and this was just the opener!
In the confines of the compact basement it was positively quadrophonic!
Algo Bueno equally powerful with trumpet player George Hogg outstanding as indeed he was all evening - a guy to watch out for he's a comer.
Emanon featured the rhythm section before tenorist Shepherd and a third trumpet talent the improbably, albeit appropriately, named Gabriel took it to the cleaners.
Dave Lewis blew a long soul-like tenor solo before the band took off on Good Bait with George Hogg once more rubber stamping his credentials.
The set finished with One Bass Hit and some fine bass hitting by one Jim Richardson.
By now I was on Cloud 9 and still rising - this is an amazing band - a must for any Jazz Festival.
Manteca kicked off part two - a truly original take on the original in the form of a suite with emphasis on the rhythm section and another great solo by Hogg.
Sammy Main played an emotionally packed I Got It Bad and That Ain't Good 'cept it was bloody good!
Night in Tunisia then Our Delight to round off what had indeed been a delight!
Lance.

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Saddest Possible Day. Farewell Sir George

The death of George Shearing earlier today is a truly sad occasion - arguably the UK's greatest jazz musician - I have, apart from the records, two very happy memories of hearing George live.
The first was in 1962 when, on my honeymoon, we heard him at Finsbury Park Empire sharing the bill with singer Joe Williams and Junior Mance.
The second time was in the 1980s at the Royal Festival Hall with Mel Tormé. On both occasions his playing knocked me out. Hearing Shearing, if you'll pardon the rhyme, was more than listening to those famous block chords - although I could listen to them forever - it was hearing a master jazz craftsman, a true artiste who ranked with the best of them.
George was 91 and we knew he wouldn't last forever but, in our hearts, we hoped he would.
RIP George, you will be sadly missed but up there, flying high in Birdland, you will be welcomed.
I'm going to play those quintet records and wallow amongst those rich harmonies.
YouTube link from Hil.
Lance.

Fundraising at Newbiggin w. Keith Stephen Trio & Caroline

Caroline Stephen (vcl), Keith Stephen (gtr/bjo), Roly Veitch (gtr), Bruce Rollo (bs).
Ashington Rotary Club and Ashington Jazz Club engaged Keith Stephen and his Trio plus Caroline to entertain at a Charity Fund Raising event in aid of Motor Neurone at the White House Club on Friday evening.
The event attracted an audience of 170+ in the function room where the musicians treated the supporters to a lively and exciting evening.
Keith, Roly Veitch and Bruce Rollo performed, as always, an interesting programme while the Newbiggin Nightingale, as Caroline was described, gave an energetic and lively show, much apprectiated by the men and the ladies who joined her in some of the vocals, evidence of her appeal, attraction and personality.
At the final number an encore was demanded which the group willingly provided.
As the evening came to a close it was revealed that after expenses £900 had been achieved for the charity and applauded by all those whose families and friends were affected by the condition.
We thank the White House and staff for cooperation and use of facilities and of course all members of the band who who played their part and must have been exhausted after a successful evening.
Peter S.
Ashington Jazz Club.

Some Reporters Have Priority Issues - Grammy Awards

You'd think they'd write more than 21 positive words about Esperanza Spalding. The loser makes up the headlining paragraph; the Guardian article features a shot of the loser in the clip; she even shares the limelight with the annoying little chap in the link! Where's her platform?! A case of the serious musician versus the music industry's favourite puppet.
Spleen vented. Well done to jazz!
Sarah R

Tonight at the Cherry Tree

It's a night for lovers tonight at the Cherry Tree as St Valentine's Day is celebrated with some romantic love music played by the imaculately tuxedoed pianist Charles Gordon. To book call 0191 2399924. The Monday evening jazz is on Wednesday this week with the Alan Glen Trio. Lance.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Legohead @ The Bridge

Lloyd Wright (gtr), David Francis (dms), Jon Proud (bs. gtr).
After the rock 'n' blues thrash of Pete Readhead with No Time For Jive it may seem a long journey to the jazz/rock of Legoland but it wasn't that far - a mere walk across the bridge to The Bridge and more guitar virtuosity.
Lloyd Wright is an incredible player for one so young - or even old - he can do it all. He swings, he rocks, he improvs and it's all done with taste and panache not to mention technique to spare.
David Francis drives the band along like the Formula One drummer that he is whilst Jon Proud on five string is the perfect foundation for Lloyd as well as contributing some telling solos of his own.
The fact I left early was no reflection on the gig - it had been a long day...
Lance.

No Time For Jive @ Central Bar - Gateshead.

Brian Lineham (hca/vcl), Pete Readhead (gtr), Keith Forsyth (bs/vcl), Nat McLeave (dms).
I don't think Brian Lineham will argue about the first set - it was crap! Having said that the band played great versions of Work Song and It Must Be Jelly (Cos Jam Don't Shake Like That!)
Problem was that the soundman didn't make it and, as Brian said, "I phoned up this mornin' - yes I phoned up this mornin' man said sound man done gone packed up his bags and gone, yes I phoned up..."
However, come the second set, the balance was sorted and the band were up and running. Great guitar, powerful rhythm, and harp-playing that didn't bend it like Beckham - but bent it like John Sebastion on the Spoonful's Night Owl Blues only even better! This was something else - a sockeroo kickass blues blast to tell your kids about.
Brilliant band - they even went South of the Border!
The try out on Bad Stud Blues didn't quite work out as Brian intended but the audience loved it so when the cracks are papered over it is going to be something else!
Caldonia? After Woody Herman and Louis Jordan this has got to be next!
Catch them when you can.
Lance.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

No Jitterbugging Allowed

Love this photo of the Howard Baker Band from John Carstairs Hallam's collection of old dance band photos. If anyone can add any info regarding the band John would love to hear from you - note the 'No Jitterbugging Sign which would date it as 1940s as, in '40s, '50s it would have read 'No Jiving' or 'No Bopping!'
John has been collecting photos of north-east Dance & Jazz Bands, and issuing postcards to keep their memories alive. He's also interested in bands who played Summer or Winter seasons or had big gigs in the area.
Names such as: Arthur Jacobson, Tommy Bell, Andy Hodgkiss, Billy Taylor, Elizalde, Lew Stone, Ralph Barron, Charlie Mann, George Evans, Arthur Mowat, Albert's Hot Six, Teddy Foster, Arthur Luke, Hubert Tune, Ivy Barnes (just a random selection !) and maybe the Dance Halls themselves.
The time window is up to 1970's and a Jazz / Big Band series could happen if there is sufficient interest or material. Ideally, identification of players and information about the bands and their venues would be a bonus. John plays bass & tuba and collects pre-WW2 orchestrations, which, he says, should demonstrate that he's mad........
As a retired museum curator John knows how to take care of historically valuable material. He intends to lodge copies with suitable Archive/Library records and interested Societies. So if you have any photos or interesting material, or are in contact with any musicians/people who might be able to help, He would be grateful to hear from you.
Contact John Carstairs at hallamjohn@sky.com
Lance.

Jazz is Where You Find It

I'm heading for the South Shields Metro when I hear, in the distance, an alto sax that sounds rather like Charlie Holmes - he of the old Luis Russell band. Intrigued I source the source - I know it won't be coming from the HMV store - jazz doesn't rate on their menu it is filed under 'Easy Listening' and thus you get Vera Lynn rubbing shoulders with Diana Krall and, not being Xmas, it won't be Derek Fleck and the Brians Chester and Bennett.
I boogie up King Street towards the Market Place, the volume increases and I hear a stompy version of Sweet Georgia Brown that could have held its own in a Harlem after hours joint back in the 1930s.
Six guys of a foreign persuasion are swinging along in front of the old Woolworth's store with some pleasant soloing from alto and cornet.
Woolworth's was always good for a bargain and I'm happy to hear an extended version of Sweet Georgia and a rollicking Saints for my 50p!
Lance

Maine Street Jazzmen @ Jazz at the Fell @ the Legion. February 11th

Ray Harley (trumpet), Herbie Hudson (trombone, harmonica & vocals), Jim McBriarty (clarinet, alto sax & vocals), Malcolm Armstrong (piano), Alan Rudd (double bass), Ernie Jackson (drums) & Olive Rudd (vocals) Jazz at the Fell was recently bowled a bouncer by Gateshead Fell Cricket Club resulting in stumps and bails flying this way and that. Undeterred, Ron Pollard & co. have pitched up at the British Legion Club and with luck will occupy the crease for years to come.
The Legion's concert room has a large dance floor, ample seating, a car park and remarkably cheap beer. Book a top jazz band and you're onto a winner.
The ever busy Maine Street Jazzmen had the honour of playing the opening night. A good crowd turned out (some of them late comers - 'I couldn't find it', 'I went straight past it' were comments at the door).
The first number of the night was Just a Little While to Stay Here. A great gospel tune played with due reverence. How to follow that? With a rag - Panama Rag - and two bars in the dance floor was packed. Jim McBriarty sang If I Could Be With You (One Hour Tonight) and band vocalist Olive Rudd got up to tell us It Had To Be You. New Orleans came to the Legion in glorious style with a Bugle Boy March brolly parade and to quote Herbie Hudson... 'fantastic'. Vocalist Rudd returned to the stage to see out the final over before the interval and she really did Swing That Music.
The interval score: The Maine Street 100 not out, Gateshead Cricket Club all out for 0.
A raffle, a natter, a refill and the second set was under way. Jeepers Creepers, Black and Blue (excellent vocals from Hudson) and Varsity Drag (McBriarty's sober vocal style and excellent alto) came thick and fast. We heard Buddy's Habits and all went home happy parading down Bourbon Street.
The night was a resounding success; Jazz at the Fell @ the Legion and the Maine Street were still at the crease at the end of the night with an unbeaten 1000 not out. The non-jazz cricketing opposition? Nowhere to be seen.
In the coming weeks and months look our for Sammy Rimington, the Hot Antic Jazz Band and many more. Next week (Friday 18th) get along to the Legion (Coatsworth Road, Gateshead) to hear the Rae Brothers. Russell

Friday, February 11, 2011

Let's Fall In Love

Adrian Tilbrook supplied this lovely photo of newly-weds Zoe Gilby and Andy Champion.

A History of Jazz in Newcastle by John Pearce.

Alan Rudd sent me this article by the late John Pearce detailing Jazz in Newcastle up to about 1962. It's from The Journal Weekend Magazine.
A History of Jazz in Newcastle by John Pearce. 
Newcastle in the flapper era was like any other large city. The cloche hat, the Oxford bags, the Charleston, were rampant, and all were symptoms of a country attempting to throw off the mantle of wartime austerity and gloom. When the Original Dixieland Jazz Band appeared in London in 1921, they were a symbol of the Gay Twenties. The O.D.J.B. travelled North for a month's stay at the Oxford Galleries, and so jazz came to Newcastle. The year 1934 is important in New­castle's jazz history. Dick Kelly and a friend, students at King's College, per­suaded the management of the Oxford Galleries to let them hire a room. Thus was founded the Newcastle Rhythm Club, official number 57. After the war, the N.R.C. took up the reins again in premises in Ridley Place. The N.R.C. had several meeting places., the Bridge End Hotel; the Roma Cafe, in the Bigg Market (1949), where Stan Wilde and his Wildcats were resident; and the Crow's Nest Hotel (1952). Stan Wilde's band split up, and the Panama Jazzmen were formed by pianist Norman Rudd. He recruited Stan Martin (clarinet) and Ronnie MacLean (trombone) from the Wildcats, and added Joe McMullen (cornet) and Teddy Hutchinson (drums). At the same time, Hughie Aitchison formed his Benecia Jazz Band, which later became the Cellarmen. Early 1954 saw the opening of two new jazz clubs, the Alexandra, in Heaton, with the Clem Avery Jazzmen in residence, and the Pelican Club, in the News Theatre. In 1954, the N.R.C. moved first into King's Restaurant, in Northumberland Street, then to the Mahogany Hall, in the Royal Arcade. where it also changed its name to the Newcastle Jazz Club. The featured bands were the Panama, the Cellarmen, and the Clem Avery Jazzmen. When Clem left the band, it was taken over by the banjoist John Young, who, at the same time, assumed the name "Mighty Joe." It was about this time that King's College made its mark on the Newcastle jazz scene. In 1955, some good modern jazz was being played by a college group which included Don Armstrong (clarinet and tenor) and the Carr brothers, Mike and Ian (of whom more later). The next year saw the formation of the Quaysiders by clarinetist Peter Smailes; in 1957, the College Kings were launched by P e t e r McLoughlin (clarinet) and in 1958, Bill Croft formed his Blue Star Jazzmen. Later, the Wednesday night was opened by the Clem Avery Jazzmen, and eventually a third night, Thursday, was taken up by the College Kings. The College Kings evolved into the Commodore Jazzmen, led by myself (trumpet), with John Crone at the piano. In early 1955, banjoist Peter Deuchar formed the Vieux Carre Jazzmen, with Peter Gascoigne (trumpet), John Saxelby (clarinet), and Jim Stewart (drums). They were resident at the Club Martinique, also in the Royal Arcade. After about 18 months, the club moved to premises in St. James Street, and eventually to Melbourne Street, where it was renamed the New Orleans Club, with the Vieux Carre Jazzmen resident on Fridays and Sundays. The Mighty Joe Young Jazzmen, who later changed from New Orleans to Mainstream, started a Saturday night residency at the club. Gradually, every night of the week was taken up by different bands. For once, the vagaries of Services' postings benefited jazz. In 1959, L.A.C. Malcolm Cecil was posted to the North­-East, where he met Mike Carr. With Mike Jeffrey and two associates, they opened the Downbeat Jazz Club, where the now famous EmCee 5 first played. Early 1960 found the River City Jazz­men playing Saturday nights at the Downbeat. This band included Jack "Dad" Potts (trumpet) and Ray Shenton (tuba). Later that year, Bill Croft's Blue Star Jazzmen, with John Walters (trumpet) and Jeff Robinson (drums), began the Thursday night session, changing later to Friday night, to share the bill with the Kansas City 5, with Eric Burdon. John Pearce circa 1960.

First Newcastle JATP Concert.

Syd Watson has asked me about the first JATP concert to be held in Newcastle. Well Syd, I still have the program so here goes. May 7 1958 - City Hall Newcastle. Dill Jones Trio w. Dave Shepherd (clt). Lady Be Good. ----- Coleman Hawkins (ten), Sonny Stitt (alt/ten), Roy Eldridge (tpt), Lou Levy (pno), Herb Ellis (gtr), Max Bennett (bs), Gus Johnson (dms). Indian Summer, Talk of the Town. ----- Dizzy Gillespie (tpt), Stan Getz (ten), Lou Levy (pno), Ray Brown (bs), Gus Johnson (dms). Lover Come Back To Me, Laura. ----- Oscar Peterson (pno), Ray Brown (bs), Herb Ellis (gtr). C Jam Blues, Golden Striker. ----- Ella Fitzgerald (vcl) acc. Lou Levy, Herb Ellis, Ray Brown, Gus Johnson. Too Close For Comfort, Midnight Sun, Lady is a Tramp, Just One of Those Things, St Louis Blues, Caravan. ----- There were also some instrumentals by the Eldridge, Gillespie, Peterson groups that my youthful ears didn't recognise. My abiding memory was that Stan Getz played a lot of squeaks and that Sonny Stitt was more impressive than either Getz or Hawkins. Hope that brings it all back for you Syd. Lance.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

RIP Don Ferrara

Just a note to mention that trumpeter Don Ferrara died 18th. January aged 82. He’s been living near San Diego, California. He was a student of Lennie Tristano’s and was instrumental (sorry) in introducing Warne Marsh to Lennie when both Don and Warne were together in the US army in 1947. Jack Goodwin.

Musicon Durham Jazz Festival

This, the first Jazz Festival to be held in Durham, is an exciting prospect. A great singer, some superb musicians and an opportunity for local musicians to have a jam.
Friday (March 4) sees Harlem expat. now based in Durham, Sandi Russell singing with Alan Barnes and the John Horler Trio. This isn't just class it is world class!
Saturday (March 5) is free and runs from 4pm- 11pm. The afternoon set includes workshops and showcases college bands including Off The Leash. Off The Leash has John Steele blowing sax with Paul Beck (pno), Doug Kennard (gtr), Katy Trigger (bs) and Stan Praszczalek (dms) - don't ask me to pronounce the name - I just know him as Stan!
In the evening there is more 'name dropping' with the Paul Edis Trio and that superb tenor player Vasilis Xenopoulos. I've heard the Grecian blower several times and he is an ace.
If Stan Praszczalek and Vasilis Xenopoulos get together on the same stage - it could present problems for the MC!
There's a jam session afterwards so maybe Stan and Vasy will!
Sunday (March 6) John Etheridge plays a solo set starting at 4pm. I caught John doing solo at the Royal Albert Hall as part of the London Jazz Festival and you can take my word for it he does it good - and then some!
There is a downside. The weekend coincides with the Sunderland Big Band Festival held only a handful of miles away. Perhaps the organisers should address this for future events.
Lance.

Hamlet without the Prince of Denmark is stiil a good Play. The MAINE STREET JAZZMEN @ Rosie's.

Olive Rudd (vcl), Herbie Hudson (tmb/vcl/hca), Jim McBriarty (clt/vcl), Malcolm Armstrong (pno), Alan Rudd (bs), Mike Humble (dms).
I always give a downhearted sigh when I note Ray Harley isn't on the stand however, Herbie and Jim are more than capable of moving into the lead spot and, after a few numbers, the ambience is there.
Vocals were to the fore today with Jim excelling (again) on Gonna Get A Girl, Varsity Drag and Nobody's Sweetheart Now.
Herbie too sang at every opportunity as well as blowing slide trombone like Ory and muted like Tricky Sam. His harmonica playing also helped to fill the trumpet void.
Olive opened up with Fine and Dandy (Beano and Dandy said someone who may have been sitting at the keyboard) and reprised her splendid version of Home. When Your Smiling and Lock Away Your Heart were also done in her inimitable and crowd pleasing fashion.
Another good Thursday afternoon.
Lance.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

IKE ISAACS by Maurice Summerfield

Ike Isaacs (1919 –1996) was born in Rangoon, Burma. He started playing the guitar professionally while he was a chemistry student at university. In 1946 he moved to England, where he freelanced for many years; and played in the Leslie Douglas Orchestra, the BBC Show Band led by Cyril Stapleton and with the Ted Heath Orchestra for 12 years. He was also the resident guitarist with Chappie D’Amato’s orchestra at Hatchett’s in London in 1949 In the mid-1950s, at the age of 16, I was an aspiring jazz guitarist, and listened every week to BBC Radio ’s Guitar Club programme. Introduced by Ken Sykora, the programme featured many leading UK guitarists of the day, including Ivor Mairants and Ike Isaacs, in various small groups. I applied for audience tickets to the BBC for an upcoming broadcast and was delighted when these arrived. I travelled to London and attended a marvellous session. At the end I introduced myself to Ike, told him of my passion for the jazz guitar, and I was delighted to find he was very friendly and hospitable. He was very keen to help me in any way that he could – and within a few weeks I was a guest at his Wembley home for a fabulous curry dinner – prepared by his lovely wife Moira. We kept in touch and when I extended my family’s business to the distribution of musical instruments and accessories, in 1964. I began to see Ike quite frequently. Our friendship grew. I asked his advice on certain products and used him in demonstrations and to attend exhibitions. In the 1960s we distributed the Ike Isaacs string line made by British Music Strings Ltd. In the early 1970’s we published an Ike Isaacs guitar solo book as a promotion for Ibanez guitars and in the late 1970s we investigated the possibility of producing an Ibanez Ike Isaacs jazz guitar model. The attached photograph shows Ike and I in London shortly after I passed on a first sample of his Ibanez guitar. In the late 1970’s as a founder of the Guitar Appreciation Society of N.E. England I was pleased to have the opportunity to present in concert Ike with a very young Martin Taylor at the Peoples’ Theatre in Heaton. Martin of course initially studied with Ike and still quotes Ike as a major influence. I first met Barney Kessel in person at an evening with Ike. Barney lived in London for a year in the late 1960s early 1970s and lived in apartment rented from Ike. Barney told me many times that Ike’s knowledge of the guitar fingerboard was unsurpassed. Ike later recorded and played in concert with George Chisholm (1956) and Barney Kessel (1968). He was a busy studio guitarist and played on dozens of film scores. In 1975 he joined Stephane Grappelli and the Diz Disley Trio. In the late 1970’s and early 1980s Ike came to Newcastle several times and was a guest in my house. By that time he loved to call me his ‘brother’. He gave an in store demo for Ibanez at Jeavons of Percy Street in the late 1970’s Ike moved to Australia in the 1980s, where he taught at the Sydney Guitar School. We kept in regular contact until his death there, of cancer, in 1996.
Maurice S.

Love Is Here To Stay

In collaboration with http://www.priceminister.co.uk/nav/Music_Vinyl/f2/Jazz - Bebop Spoken Here is in Valentine's Day mood.
priceMinister have invited bloggers to post their 3 favourite jazzy romantic songs - in their words "The ones that float your boat."
We would like to find out what songs make music bloggers weak at the knees in 2011 by telling us your 3 favourite jazzy love tunes (any style or period as long as they do the trick for you).
I'm going to get things going with my 3.
I Only Have Eyes For You - Tomorrow, the north-east's Jazz Royalty, Zoe Gilby and Andy Champion, tie the knot so it is fitting that I choose a song from her repertoire. It's a good one anyway but this makes it special. Best wishes to the happy couple. The Way You Look Tonight - Irving Berlin's line -...Keep that breathless charm... is just so perfect and so descriptive..
I Fall in Love Too Easily - whether sung by Frank or Chet you feel it is coming from the heart - your heart!

I've done my bit - let's hear it from you romantics out there.

Lance.

Sarah Ellen Hughes links

Sentimental Reasons.

Touch of your Lips.

A Time For Love.

Durham Jazz Festival

The first Musicon Durham Jazz Festival takes place on March 4/5/6. Details here. Lance.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Bill Harper on Joe Young.

So sad to hear of Joe's problems although I was aware that he was starting to show signs of deterioration in 2004, just before Anne & I left for France,when he used to come to my gig at the Ninepins in Gateshead, accompanied by Jack Denton & Marshall Walker.
He was lacking his sparkle & sharp repartee & his memory was starting to fail.
I recall Joe from the mid 50's with his first band in the Arcade Jazz Club in Pilgrim St where he had good players like clarinetist Colin Beale,pianist Johnny Handel & trombonist Norman Healey-Creed in a very lively & popular outfit. I was halfway through my Nat. Service in the RAF (1958) & stationed at Acklington when I was contacted by Joe who told me he was breaking up his band to form a new one & would I like the piano chair?
When he told me the line up I could hardly refuse as these guys were the top players at the time - Hugh Aitchison (Tpt), Trevor Johnson & Brian Clarke (clt/sax),Ron McLean (trombone),Brian Fisher (bass) & Jack Denton (drums). Joe had been persuaded to ditch his banjo & bought a guitar (4 strings) tuned "banjo style" a la Eddie Condon,which gave the band a much smoother Dixieland feel than his previous rough & ready "trad"band.
Joe & I became good friends & in 1961, he was my best man at my marriage to the late Emily & has remained a friend ever since. He never pushed himself to the front musically, preferring to stay in the background but he could certainly handle the audiences with his good humour or sarcastic repartee & we were never short of gigs & residencies & who could forget those NY eve gigs at Carlisle Jazz Club organised by his friend the late Mick Potts who was a superb trumpeter & pianist.
Joe has never been averse to musical change & with the introduction of new blood in the personnel the band moved away from Dixieland format & became a highly successful Basie /Ellington mainstream "jump" band, actually opening the show at the City Hall for the Dave Brubeck Quartet.
This was a really exciting period with the emergence of Leo Harwood, Barry Robinson, Fred McBeth (saxes) & the influential John (JB) Walters on trumpet with his University colleagues Lou Townsen (bass) & a young drummer who's name escapes me for the moment. Also during this period we also had various top players in the band - bass players Dave Murphy & Al Collins - Drummers Ian Forbes & Jimmy Scaife & last but not least the indomitable Eric Burden whom Joe used on several occasions on concerts as guest vocalist although several members of the band were unhappy with his intonation but with his future success, the old saying "what did we know"?
About this time the band took on a major change of direction when JB Walters & the un-named drummer left to go on tour with the Alan Price Set & with the introduction of saxophonist Geoff Hedley the band began to experiment with "free form" & consisted of Bill Shield (Dms), Alan Collins (bass), myself on piano & Joe on guitar. To be honest I don't think any of us really knew what was going on but it was fun & allowed us to write our own material but I was never convinced that this was where my future lay & I left the band in the early 70's. I don't think Joe kept the band together for much longer & he eventually returned to his roots & first "love" N.Orleans jazz where he surfaced as a stalwart bassist.
I know that he experienced bad luck in his first marriage, terrible tragedy in his second but when I last spoke to him his life seemed to be quite settled & it's such a shame that he should see out his remaining years like this.
Joe is a lovely guy who was a major figure & contributor to the scene & I am proud to call him my friend. Our thoughts are with Joe & Diane, getting old is no fun if you are in poor health.
Bill Harper.

Monday, February 07, 2011

1939 DownBeat Readers Poll

DownBeat has put much of its archive on line including the Annual Readers/Critic Polls Below is a typical example from 1939...
Seems as though 1939 was a very good (man) year for Benny, the Dorseys and Woody.
Sweet Band: Tommy Dorsey - Swing Band: Benny Goodman - King of Corn: Clyde McCoy
Fave Soloist: Benny Goodman - Small Combinations: Benny Goodman's Sextet
Under-rated Band: Woody Herman - Under-rated Soloist: Woody Herman
Alto Saxophone: Jimmy Dorsey - Tenor Saxophone: Coleman Hawkins
Trumpet: Harry James - Trombone: Tommy Dorsey - Clarinet: Benny Goodman
Drums: Gene Krupa - Bass: Bob Haggart - Guitar: Charlie Christian - Piano: Jess Stacy Arranger: Fletcher Henderson - Male Singer: Bing Crosby - Fem Chirpers: Ella Fitzgerald Back to Index - the index includes the winners from 1936 to the present day and is a fascinating insight as to popular tastes in jazz in any particular year. Click on the index link to select a year There are also archival articles which are being added to constantly. Along with Colin's Melody Makers there is a lot of material available. Guitarists might like this Jim Hall article.
Lance.

Zoe Gilby Quartet @ Ashington Jazz Club Feb 2.

Zoe Gilby (vcl), Mark Williams (gtr), Andy Champion (bs), Richard Brown (dms).
Zoe Gilby returned to Ashington for her second visit supported by an excellent trio - and what a superb combination they were.
It was no surprise to recognize the advancement and progression of Zoe's vocal talents since her previous appearance and the increasing range in her art. She and the trio performed standards and originals from her most recent C.D. all introduced with interesting information about the writers.
The most interesting feature I found of the presentation was that Zoe has acquired a very personal style. This gives her audience a unique image and fresh interpretation of well known songs and another way of enjoying these standards in a Jazz situation.
The majestic Trio supplied a variety of moods and rhythms giving each an opportunity to express themselves and their talents.
Obviously, singer and instruments were in complete harmony.
Zoe was at times moody, gentle, dramatic, bluesy, energetic, all styles you would expect from a young artiste but always individual.
Great.
Her audience listened respectfully and applauded enthusiastically. It is fair to say that during the evening Ashington Jazz Club allowed "Bebop Spoken Here"!
Programme:- No More Blues, I'm Beginning to See the Light/When Lights are Low, A Song For You, Take it Easy But Take It, Caravan , May I Come In?, Eleanor, Some Cats Know, Mummy, Just Squeeze me, Midnight Bell, Time After Time, I Only Have Eyes for You, That Old Black Magic.
I recommend to you the inimitable Zoe Gilby.
Peter S.

A chance to relive the Creole Choir of Cuba

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00dh0ff Sarah R

NEJC & Friends Beerdorado Tour - Saturday 5th Feb

Andy Champion (twin-bell trumpet) ; Matty Bell (band leader) ; Graham 'Deano' Patrick (5-chord guitar) ; Pete Bradshaw (limitless chord guitar) ; Richard Brown (various finger glasses) ; Adrian Tilbrook (shutter percussion) ; Mark Williams (pyrotechnic schplinger) ; Scott - 'Geordie Dad' - Gilby (rusty lager can) ; Michael Gilby (vocals) ; Robert Laing (sting bass) ; Mick Champion (jumbo fret bass) ; David 'Met' Maroniuk (vocals) ; George Milburn (pre-tensioned bows) ; Noel Dennis (flugelhorn). Andy Champion's best man Matty Bell should be congratulated for putting together this fantastic tour at such short notice - Beerdorados waiting for a train! This Saturday, 14 of the region's top musicians and vocalists played to packed houses in:Leeds, Dewsbury, Huddersfield, Stalybridge and York.
With a completely unrehearsed playlist, pulled out of the hat only by the constant attention of prestidigitator and bandleader Matty, this was so-called free improv jazz at its best.
With his early doors solo on the train to Leeds, Mark was already in fine form with his own composition, Where's the Beer Trolley?! with bursts of breathy brilliance into an empty Strongbow can - Schpling!!!! (for chord anoraks, that's the famous James Bond theme chord.) Taking up the can theme, like the sympathetic improviser that he is, Scott Gilby took the lead as his track, Geordie Dad, swayed off down the carriage aisle with that poignant lyric, "Y'aalreet pet!" getting the most out of a six-pack of rusty McEwan's Export cans - nice! Then, with brother Michael's cool rendering of He ain't Heavy, but He's Not MY Brother Either! the audience was already getting suitably agitated! Bass (not draught) backing from Robert Laing left us all amazed as his Sting Intro burst away from any constrictive mention of dots or staves - completely fretless in the Oddfellows Arms.
As the band reformed in a Leeds bar, it was an opportunity for the North Yorks contingent to blow their vapours into the ethereal fug. Graham/Deano set off with such an imaginative cocktail of chordal brilliance based on his now famous '5-chord' Method soon joined by Pete Bradshaw with the best deconstructed version of Pinball Wizard ever heard, also thanks to his very own 7sus4 Insistence - brilliant! Adrian's percussive Shutter Release was so subtly executed that he's already planning his own imminent lighter CAM'RA tour! Richard Brown's distinctive fingering (see photo) on half-full straight glass was the finest cameo roll on any drums I ever heard before. After Andy's brother's inspired bass solo on his Jumbo Frets, nobody was in any doubt of that strong family music gene - although Mick did seem to cast doubt on common fatherhood - read into that what you like! Meanwhile Dave Maronuik startled us all with his cool rendering of Bless Their Cotton Socks - Little Tinkers! and got us in the mood for the next stage - "You should all be on it!" they cried, and cried, and cried!! Ending up in York for an improv banquet fit for a lop, Andy led the band with his Da Vinci's Last Supper like a true messiah, reaching for various pre-tensioned bows from yours truly's bottomless quiver - or was it quivering bottom - we'll never know! That reminds me however of a Samurai Sword Tail , which is not a fish! Sadly Noel Dennis couldn't make it to this gig - lucky bugger! There's a saying in free-improv circles that nobody dares utter, in fear of being called repetitious/pretentious/predictable* (delete as appropriate) - I'll whisper it to you later! An 11 hour performance that beggars description - a prenuptial so restrained and yet charged with that Van der Graaf generational static which could spark anytime! We all wish that Z-A will find their continually blooming way in North Shields on Thursday.
Photos. George M

The Safe Sextet (all five of them) @ The Bridge

Don Forbes (tpt), John Rowland (ten), Alan Law (pno), John Hedley (bs), Steve Doyle (dms).
From the Jazz Café to the Bridge is but a short walk and, as I dodged the taxi cabs around the Central Station, I reflected that, having just heard Alan Law at the JC I was soon to be hearing him again.
This, the Safe Sextet, is a cracking band and their revival of Emcee 5 classics such as The One That Got Away and John O'Groats is to be commended.
Let's face it, The Emcee 5 were as good as, if not better than any modern band in Britain at the time (early '60.s) and quite a few in the world.
It was a good gig with Alan Law absolutely on top form - his warm-up session at the Jazz Café no doubt contributing. Having said that, it's a good band all round with Don Forbes playing some nicely formulated solos and John Rowland blowing some Gonsalvesian tenor.
The rhythm section cooked with surprise bassist John Hedley and Stevie Doyle keeping things tight.
A decent sized audience too.
Lance.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Jazz Café Jam

From the Central I boogied over to the Jazz Café Johnny B Goode still adding a spring to my step. Who, I wondered, would be in Keith's Kaff today?
Well there was Ian Forbes on drums, Alan Law at the piano and Paul Grainger clutching his bass as if it were his mistress. Stu Finden unwrapped his tenor and Fiona Littlewood - displaying Pink Lane chic in a rakish woolly hat got the show on the road with Bird's Now's The Time. Stu blew great tenor on this one. Close Your Eyes and Softly As In A Morning Sunrise followed - Fiona did good.
Next up was Tanya Fahey - a broth of a girl who also sings with the Newcastle University Big Band.
Tanya (pictured) did My Funny Valentine and Summertime producing some nice inflections that had a good jazz feel to them.
Fi returned for Love Me Or Leave Me. Why? I ask, does every girl singer these days do this tune so fast? The whole meaning of the lyric is lost.
It's a plaintive cry from the heart - not a Wham Bang Thank You Mam song!
However, Fiona redeemed herself with a brilliant There Is No Greater Love ably abetted by a guy called Paul who played some Djangolic guitar. Beautiful Love also scored heavily.
Gaby did All of Me and suddenly the hordes descended - Lindsay, Mark, Claire, Doug Fielder. I wanted to hear more but The Bridge beckoned so I bid farewell to Keith and wandered off into the night.
Lance.

Elvis Lives in Gateshead via Romania!


Archie Brown (gtr/ten), Eddie Popescu (vcls/gtr), Keith (bs/bs gtr), Graeme Ogle (dms).
They say you can get anything you want on Newcastle's Northumberland Street - even a Romanian busker who sings like Elvis!
When the Alley Cats needed a lead singer after Frankie left where else would they look!
In truth, Eddie is the business when it comes to Rock and Roll he's got Elvis, Haley, Vincent. Cochrane, Holly down to a T and this afternoon at the Central Bar in Gateshead he and The Cats went through a compendium of R 'n' R's back catalogue before finishing the set with Chuck's Johnny B Goode.
This was a solid, no holds barred, tribute to the genre.
Archie Brown did the lead guitar even to the extent of Chuck Berry-like back of the neck playing! His tenor sax stood waiting in the wings but in this set it didn't get any hot breath down its neck. Bass and drums were rock and roll solid and Eddie sang - Just Like Eddie (and the rest!)
It was a belter of a set and it was great to meet rock photographer Amanda who I hope will shortly provide some pics to complement my own - Amanda's Facebook link.
Lance.

The Chicken's Last Stand @ Ned Kelly's.

Hi Lance,
More visiting musicians at Neds, this time from the cruise ship Azamara Quest, the trombone player had a huge sound and could he blow, also used my trombone and mouthpiece, cleaned of course, his name is Dan Moran from Australia, the others Mark (Piano USA) Bass (USA) Drums (Russia) quite a mixed bag, but they had fun, the alto sax and flugel are from Hong Kong (Neds musicians), they have told me they will be back in a months time with trhe full band... the link. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=83MKAO53UZ4
Colin.

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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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