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Bebop Spoken There

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

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

Bebop Spoken There Archives.

Today Thursday October 30

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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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.
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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.
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ELLA EL-SALAHI (voice) - Kings Hall, Newcastle University. 4pm. Free.
An hour long performance. The vocalist with the Newcastle Uni Jazz Orch. is one of several students taking part
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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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GREGORY PORTER - Sage Gateshead, St Mary's Square, Gateshead, NE8 2JR. 0191 4434661. 7.30pm. £35/£30.
The Messiah cometh! But check first - it may be sold out!
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THE TEES HOT CLUB - Dormans, Oxford Rd., Linthorpe, Middlesborough, TS5 5DT. 01642 823813. 9pm. Free admission.
Gypsy jazz with guests Josh Bentham (alto); Kevin Eland (tpt).
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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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LEVEE RAMBLERS NOJB - St. Joseph's CMS Club, Birtley. 8.15pm. £3/£2.50.
Monthly - back Nov. 6.
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THE COLLECTIVE - Hoochie Coochie, 54 Pilgrim St.,Newcastle NE1 6SF. 8pm Free. Cocktails 2 for 1 till 10pm.
Best young talent around. Monthly - Back Nov. 13
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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. Monthly Back Nov. 20.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

What a Swell Party This Was - celebrating Lily Veitch's 90th @ Blaydon Jazz Club.

Ruth Lambert (vcl); Paul Edis (pno); Mick Shoulder (bs); John Hirst (dms); Roly Veitch & Jim Birkett (gtrs); Steve Andrews (ten). There can't be too many 90 year olds among the jazz fraternity although there are quite a few who look as if they're but a few years short of the century. However, Lily Veitch isn't one of them. Lily carries her years well and never more so than tonight at the family and friends celebration at Blaydon Jazz Club. Perhaps it was a legacy of her earlier years when she performed in a dance troupe (3rd from left in b&w photo) that drew Lily to the music. Coupled with her son's jazz life as a guitarist and singer possibly it was ineveitable. Whatever, tonight; fans, friends, family, and her son's fellow musicians paid tribute in a most enjoyable evening. The Edis Trio set the standard with The Touch of Your Lips and Joyspring. Classic piano trio work that set things up for Ruth Lambert and Falling In Love With Love, A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square, No Moon At All and Devil May Care. The trio also played a couple of originals dedicated to Bird and Bach. This brought us up to buffet time and what a sunptuous spread was laid before us! There was much chat among fans and musicians who not only came to pay their respects to Lily but also to show their support for Roly and his endeavours to keep jazz afloat in Blaydon. Many residents don't realise the unique gem they have in their midst - just wish we had the like in Jarrow and Hebburn. After the cutting of the cake, Roly and Jim Birkett played a mini duo set comprising John Lewis' Skating in Central Park and All The Things You Are. Absolutely delightful is the interplay between these two master craftsmen.
Next up was Steve Andrews. Sadly we only had time for a chorus of Honeysuckle Rose before the number 11 bus beckoned - apologies Steve it wasn't a reflection - what I heard sounded good. So a grand night was had by all. Photos from Jerry Edis. Lance.
Party Postscript...
...after Honeysuckle Rose, which featured a bowed bass solo, it was all aboard for Skylark, described by Steve Andrews as “one of Hoagy Carmichael’s better tunes – and who were we to disagree? After Steve’s stately dismount from the stage drew a second round of applause, it was back to Ruth and the trio for My Romance and How High the Moon. Fine vocals and typically good solos in the encore, West Coast Blues, brought this wonderful evening to a close: congrats Lily, and thanks, Roly (and all at Blaydon Jazz Club).
Jerry.

Joan Marron

Syd Watson is interested in obtaining information on Joan Marron who played tenor with Ivy Benson's Band circa 1940s/'50s. Joan, who belonged Heaton tragically died young. Can anyone help? Lance.

Martin Taylor News.

Just wanted to let you know that Martin will be playing live on Chris Evans' BBC Radio 2 show tomorrow morning (1st June) from 6.30am-9.30am. Jeff Beck said to Chris Evans about having Martin on the show because he was the 'best guitarist in the world'. If you go to the Martin Taylor Facebook page you can suggest a tune for Martin to play on the show. You can also listen to the show at http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio2/shows/chris-evans/ You can also catch Martin playing live in the UK over the next two weeks at: Arts Centre - Alnwick. Wed Jun 01 11 07:00 PM.
Ropery Hall, The Ropewalk - Barton upon Humber - solo. Thu Jun 02 11 07:30 PM.
The Lemon Tree - Aberdeen - Martin Taylor & Alison Burns. Fri Jun 03 11 07:30 PM
THE GALA THEATRE - Durham, - Martin Taylor Solo.Thu Jun 09 11 07:30 PM.
The Forge at The Anvil - Basingstoke, - Martin Taylor Solo Fri Jun 10 11 07:30 PM.
Wiltshire Jazz Festival - Martin Taylor's Spirit of Django Sat Jun 11 11 07:30 PM. Thanks The team at http://www.martintaylor.com/

Mikolaj Trzaska Trio @ The Bridge Hotel.May 29th

Mikolaj Trzaska (alto saxophone & bass clarinet), Olie Brice (double bass) & Mark Sanders (drums)
Jazz North East's On the Outside programme, in a joint promotion with Splinter @ The Bridge, presented Polish reeds player Mikolaj Trzaska in trio format with two British exponents of free jazz - bassist Olie Brice and drummer Mark Sanders. Trzaska was making a fleeting visit to England and Jazz North East jumped at the chance to book him.
On arrival, Trzaska's first words were ''nice room'' as he looked around the upstairs room of the Bridge Hotel.
The trio chose to play acoustically. This was a good decision as the Pole produced a big sound and drummer Mark Sanders regularly plays it loud. Trsaska's robust alto work was at its best in the up tempo sections with all three musicians flying along. His bass clarinet playing allowed bassist Olie Brice to be heard to best effect and the small but appreciative audience revelled in this new trio working it out in public on stage. Sanders is an easy fit in any context, so too bassist Olie Brice and the mutual respect shown by all three musicians suggests a long term association is a distinct possiblility.
Sustained applause won an encore, CD sales were plentiful, Trzasksa liked us and we liked him. The next On the Outside gig is across the High Level Bridge at the Central Bar, Tuesday 7th June, featuring French trio Q. The band is led by drummer Sylvain Darrifourcq who visited Gateshead last year with Emile Parisien and for some was the star attraction on the night.. Russell

Birthday Bash at Blaydon Tonight

Lily Veitch - Roly's mum's 90th birthday is coming up and the family have organised a get together tonight at Blaydon Social Club, Garden St., Blaydon with RUTH LAMBERT and the PAUL EDIS TRIO. It'a a free gig with I'm sure a few surprises. So please come along (but keep it a secret!) - she's a very special lady.
Buses 10/10a/11 to Blaydon Bus Station from Eldon Square or Central Station.
Lance.

The Budtones @The Jazz Cafe - Saturday 28th May

Stu Finden - tenor sax ; Fiona Littlewood - vocals, tenor sax ; Tim Knowles - guitar ; Jim Crinson - double & 5 string bass ; Omid Ramak - drums (standing in for Eric Stutt) A jazz rock solid debut for the reinvented Budvivar - Fiona launched her jazz vocal career tonight with such panache we'll all be queuing outside Zoe's new Low Fell door for singing lessons! Such a joyful mellow voice for jazz standards she danced confidently through the verbal prestidigitation of Love Me or Leave Me and Get it Straight (...no Chaser) occasionally recharging her vocal chords with a blast on the tenor in several instrumental numbers, including Stu's own Stoo's Blues - a lively piece with some great tenor solo work from both Stu and Fiona. In fact Stu Finden is the solid backbone to this band with his understated but well-crafted solos really drawing you in - the perfect side man for Fiona's lively vocals, which we expect to grow in strength and maybe, in a couple of numbers, in pitch, to keep the band in their place. This was the first time I'd stepped into the classic ambience of the Jazz Cafe, no, seriously! There's a nostalgic heady vapour like the leather and petrol of an old American car - the ones with the flying rear wings and huge rear lights. To give the band a chance to set up, we watched them and the enigmatic Keith Crombie - flashes of the film Cabaret still playing on his face - through the windows of The Forth opposite: reflections of a silent movie like two Edward Hopper paintings on opposite walls playing tricks in bar mirrors! And so with Keith's determined yet friendly pessimism still ringing in my ears - "Jazz is dead in Newcastle!" - Fiona launched into the second set with the acid nostalgic funk of Dexter Gordon's Psychedelic Sally as Omid jumped up to the plate with a passion and the place started to fill up with punters. An engaged couple danced an improv tango as Keith rearranged the furniture like a kindly uncle, so we could all join in. Jazz not dead then, just occasionally poorly! Some steady well-executed Wes Montgomery-esque guitar work from Tim as he dealt with the lively West Coast Blues. Then later, a friendly gesture to Mark Williams, who's admiration of Tim's lovely Ibanez 175 won him an impromptu place in the band while Tim took five in the still-expanding late shift in the audience pit. Mark really took off with the inspiration of the Ibanez seeming to forget that he was only passing through - no complaints! Although Omid was only standing in for Eric Stutt he made an impressive impact and paired up well rhythmically with the confident versatility of Jim Crinson on sometimes double, sometimes 5 string electric bass. Overall a great night, in for me, a fantastic venue. Other numbers we remembered: You Go to My Head and But Beautiful. If we're allowed to quote lyrics? Love is funny, or it's sad, Or it's quiet, Or it's mad. It's a good thing, Or it's bad, But beautiful... George M Photos Chiaroscuro - i.e. impossible to make out what's there! But Beautiful You Go To My Head
Stoo's Bloos - Orignal by Stu
Love Me or Leave me
Straight No Chaser
Well You Needn't

Monday, May 30, 2011

Scottish Jazz Awards

It's time for the Scottish Jazz Awards - I don't know if you have to be actually resident in Scotland - I don't suppose you do - so I've ticked a few boxes.
Brass Jaw, is a front runner and you could do worse than to listen to this free download of their Branded CD. before casting your vote.
Lance.

Bard Lives.

A piece of vinyl that I treasure and return to periodically over the years is Cleo Laine's And All That Jazz. As did Duke with Such Sweet Thunder and The Bob Crosby Bobcats with their interpretation of Arthur Young's Shakespearean settings, Cleo merges the genres beautifully. Dunsiname Blues is, I quote, Bloody Bold and Resolute!
However, another piece of Shakespearean whimsy that I love is the noble Dame's rendition of The Complete Works in under 2 minutes!
Lance.

Melody Maker 1926

Our man in Hong Kong, Colin Aitchison, who as well as being the trumpet/trombone playing bandleader at Ned Kelly's Bar in Kowloom, is also an avid jazz historian and he has just added a very rare edition to his on-line collection of Melody Makers.
This latest one, all 58 pages, dates back to June 1926 when it was sub-titled The British Metronome. Click here to read lots of fascinating detail of jazz and dance music in that momentous year.
Lance.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Django Bates' Beloved Bird @ The Sage, Gateshead.

Django Bates (pno); Petter Eldh (bs); Peter Bruun (dms).
This was never going to be a straight down the middle re-working of '40s bebop. Far from it. Bates took the compositions, the feeling, the spirit and converted them very much into the jazz of today.
There were hints of Bud Powell - which jazz pianist hasn't absorbed Bud's legacy into his playing? Touches of Cecil Taylor and maybe a hint of Keith Jarrett. A soupcon of Chopin and Franz Liszt added further flavorings. That's all they were - mere textural suggestions. The end product was very much Django Bates
The Scandinavian rhythm section - floating fjords (thank you Doug Fielder for that description) each taking their own route to the ultimate destination.
It was a tribute to Charlie Parker and Hot House, Scrapple, Little Suede Shoes etc. left us in no doubt as to which deity's feet the laurel wreathes were to be laid.
Yet for me, I enjoyed Bates' Wedges and Iain Bellamy's My World - dedicated to Paul Gamblin - as much as any of the more familiar titles. That latter tune and the dedication was a gesture much appreciated by those in Hall Two who knew the late guitarist.
Lance.

Skywalkin' @ The Central Bar, Gateshead.

Byron Baddoo (vcls), Kenny Kirsopp (ten/alt), Steve Coady (gtr), Keith Nicholson (bs), Dave Morton(dms).
Another kickass session from The Skywalkers to a packed Central Bar made for a rockin' rollin' blues filled afternoon.
Louis Jordan meets Status Quo with some (did I say "some"!) stand-up from Baddoo. Someone called out that he had no hormones. He responded with "Maybe not but I've made a few whores moan" - clever.
There're a crazy band with some wild harmonic screaming on tenor by Kenny K and marginally more restrained blowing on alto. Coady may not look like a madman but some of his guitar blasts took the band to the edge of insanity and maybe beyond! Bass and drums added to the mayhem with forceful playing whilst the Bad Lord Byron - a Poet Laureate of the blues - howled like a wolf with a delivery as sleek as his patent leather shoes.
Lance

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Tommorrow - an Evening of Contrast

If you like your Jazz to be On The Outside then tomorrow night you will be heading for the Bridge Hotel where the Mikolaj Trzaska Trio are presented in concert by the OTO Wing of Jazz North East in conjunction with Splinter @ the Bridge.
Polish saxophonist Trzaska is backed by Olie Brice (bs) and Mark Sanders (dms). 8:00pm £7/£5.
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However, if your tastes are more On The Inside then The Sage is the place to be for Django Bates' Beloved Bird project.
Pianist Django, along with Peter Eldh (bs) and Peter Bruun (dms), pays tribute to the immortal Charlie Parker with his re-working of such bebop classics as Hot House, Billie's Bounce, My Little Suede Shoes etc. - this is the one!
8:00pm. Hall Two. £16.50/£7.50.
Lance.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Next Friday at the Saville Exchange.

The CUSTOMS HOUSE BIG BAND with vocalist RUTH LAMBERT can be heard in concert this Friday (June 3) at the Saville Exchange, Saville St., North Shields. A truly professional outfit led by Peter Morgan this most swinging of big bands never fail to please. Add the voice of Ruth Lambert and you have the recipe for a memorable evening of big band swing and quality vocals.
Start time is 7:30pm and tickets (£10/£8/£7) can be obtained from the venue, by phone 0191 6437093 or on the night at the door.
Lance.

The Wigan International Jazz Festival

The Wigan International Jazz Festival is in its 25th year and is to be held this year on the 14th-17th July. The subtitle - Big Bands and Beyond - tells you where the emphasis lies and it is doubtful if any other festival has quite so many musicians crammed into the relatively short timespan. Too many in fact to list here so, instead, go to the Festival website for details.
It looks good and I'm sure will sound even better!
Lance.

Strictly Smokin' Big Band @ The Punchbowl,Jesmond.May 26th

Last Thursday in the month is a date for the jazz diary as Michael Lamb's Strictly Smokin' Big Band assembles in the lounge of The Punchbowl to run through a few charts in a relaxed public rehearsal. A pint of Black Sheep in hand, propping up the bar listening to a big band was a pleasant way to spend an hour or two.
Rodgers and Hart, Cahn and Van Heusen, George Gershwin, Bricusse and Newley were present... well, in spirit they were, as band vocalist James Hedley sang The Lady is a Tramp, Come Fly with Me, Lady Be Good and Feeling Good. The interpretation of the latter number was clearly influenced by the cracking version recorded by rock band Muse. Sections were drilled by MD and trumpeter Michael Lamb, his fellow trumpeters rode the high Cs and the other horns blew mightily. This was a good night and the next one, note the date, is June 30th (7.00.start). Russell

Thursday, May 26, 2011

If you happen to be in Barbados - David Carnegie update.

David Carnegie - late of these shores posted the following on Facebook...
Caribbean, contemporary and straight ahead jazz performed for your listening pleasure as you have a drink and sit in a cooling sea breeze.
The trio features Stefan Walcott on keys, Richard 'Bill' Evans on Bass and David Carnegie on Drums.
The bar is situated across the road from Dover playing field.
Good to know things are working out for David he's sadly missed over here. Reading the above it sounds just like Whitley Bay (not!)
Lance.

Maine St. Jazzmen @ Rosie's.

Ray Harley (tpt); Iain MacAulay (tmb); Jim McBriarty (clt/vcl); George Richardson (pno); Alan Rudd (bs); Mike Humble (dms); Olive Rudd (vcl).
Herbie is still in Istanbul or Constantinople or whichever part of Turkey he finds delightful.
Here, in showery South Shields, Iain MacAulay continued depping and blew some nice trombone this week. Rumour has it that Iain is practising harmonica (that should get Herbie back to work!)
The rest of the guys (and gal) kept the ship afloat in Der Fuhrer's absence with Jim sharing the vocals and his deadpan crooning came across effectively on If I Could Be With You One Hour Tonight. Olive had her moments on Melancholy Baby and The Frim Fram Sauce among others. Alan Rudd did a few extra solos this week and did them well. Laid back and relaxed he displayed taste and invention without any party tricks!
Mike Humble played a drum break so fantastic it brought the whole band to a halt (well that's my interpretation of what happened!)
As for George and Ray - are there two better exponents of their instrument?
A jolly afternoon in good company.
Lance.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Tale of Two Venues - Tommaso Starace Quartet @ (eventually) The Chilli

Tommaso Starace (alt/sop); Michele di Toro (keys); Will Collier (bs); Chris Nickolls (dms).
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...
First it was Thursday, then it was Wednesday. It was at The Corner House, then it was at The Chilli.
This Jazz North East promoted gig had had so many ups and downs it was amazing that it ever got off the ground but it did - and how! Arguably, the North-east Gig of the Year (so far) it wasn't surprising that even after it was all over there were still a few twists and turns...
The Best of Times: What a magnificent performance this was! Tommaso, soaring like the post Cannonball/Bird player that he is, impressed the crowd, and it was a decent sized crowd, with his sheer virtuosity. Every note was on the money - no aimless meandering, no honks and screeches - straight down the middle modern jazz.
On keys, Michele di Toro matched and complemented his pisano every step of the way - the unison passages were quite incredible and his solos something else. Woosh! this was some playing. The tunes - mainly originals - too were beautiful. The ballads were played on soprano tugging at the heartstrings whilst the grooves got the feet activated. Not surprisingly, my personal favourite was Simply Bebop - straight from 52nd St., via Milano - it dazzled and beguiled. As one friend remarked "Three letters - W-O-W!"
Summed up the whole gig.
Bass and drums did the necessary with Collier - depping for Lawrence Cottle - slotting easily into the role of both anchorman and occasional soloist. Nickolls had an extended solo early on punctuated with an infectious riff from alto and keyboard that helped set the tone for an evening that swung. As an added bonus I had the priviledge of hearing them rehearse and do a soundcheck. If there was a downside, it took a while to get the keyboard sound/balance spot on but, as the evening progressed it just got better and better.
The Worst of Times: After the mix-up of dates and venues there had to be a sting in the tail!
Walking down the path to Chilli Road Station I was met by a fellow Star(ace)gazer who told me the westbound platform was closed and that we had to cross over and get an eastbound to Walkergate then cross back over and head west once more. This meant missing the train and, ultimately, my South Shields bound train from Monument. Boarding instead one which terminated at Pelaw - 3 miles from home.
Fortunately, a fellow traveller was in a similar situation so a taxi was the answer with us sharing the fare. After a gig like tonight, I'd have happily walked home from anywhere and never noticed the miles.
Photos. Lance.

Emma Wilson Broadcast this Sunday

Emma Wilson sent me the following info on her next online broadcast where she interviews Tim Whitehead. Tim, of course, brings his , I quote, Awesome Colour Beginnings to The Sage, Gateshead, on July 12. This gives you an opportunity to find out more.
Lance. Sunday Speakeasy (Online Radio Show Hosted by Emma Wilson) Show: 8pm this Sunday 29th May. Interview:TIM WHITEHEAD Saxophonist, Composer,Artist in Residence at the Tate Gallery has recieved many awards yet he arrived for the interview on a bike & began his story, it's aweso me, from being in a school band with Sir Simon Rattle, playing with Graham Collier's influential Loose Tubes to composing the awesome "Colour Beginnings" Album inspired by the sketches of JWB Turner.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Erin Dickins Interviewed - A Bebop Spoken Here Exclusive!


1: Great album and such a great mix of tunes - standards like Can’t We Be Friends - how did you know that is my favourite song! Who shared the vocal?
Songs come from all kinds of sources…..I just adore that song! I was doing a regular gig at a fantastic little Italian restaurant called Scossa, in my hometown. A member of the staff, my friend Greg Rohman, had a jazz mix up while we were loading in one night. I told him how much I liked his taste and he burned me a disc of that mix. Well, I first heard this song (done by Ella and Louis Armstrong) while I was in the car and I had to pull over. It just knocked me out!
From the first listen, I knew exactly whom I wanted for the duet – my producer, Jesse Frederick. Jesse and I have been great friends and singing partners for many years and we are totally inside each other’s heads. I knew the key would be perfect for him, so I took a big leap of faith and tracked it.  He kept saying, “No, you should get a well-known jazz-er to do it.”  So, I actually talked to Jon Hendricks about the solo. But before I took it to him up to New York, Jesse recorded a reference vocal of the male part so Jon could hear the duet. It was perfection. Jon loved the recording, but was doing some touring at the time, so we couldn’t get him in the studio soon enough to lay the vocal.  I was secretly glad, because I really, really wanted Jesse to sing it!  And guess what? Jesse’s original reference vocal, which he sang in one take, is the final that you hear on the CD. He is an absolutely amazing singer, and I am a very happy artist!! I would LOVE to have Jon on something soon, and I’ll work on that!
 2: Can I be honest and say I don’t recall you with Man Tran? I remember Janet and Laurel so maybe you were there before them? If that was the case, going by your photo today you must have been 6 years old!
Totally! I was young enough that my mother had to sign my deal with Capitol Records!!! I was a founder of the original group with Timmy, Pat Rosalia, and Marty Nelson. Laurel and I used to do a lot of studio work together back then and Janis and I were friends, but didn’t work too much together. They started in maybe 1973 I am thinking? I attribute all my years of clean living for my youthful looks and my great memory! LOL!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Important Announcement - Tommasso Starace Quartet - Change of Venue.

Please note the concert by the Tommaso Starace Quartet initially scheduled for the Corner House on Wednesday May 25 will now take place at The Chillingham, 89-91 Chillingham Road, Heaton NE6 5XL
The venue, usually referred to as simply "The Chilli" is well known to fans of Dave Weisser's Take It To The Bridge Jazz Workshops and Jazz North East is grateful to Dave for allowing them to use the room at such short notice.
It would be appreciated if the word could be spread around to avoid anyone going to the wrong pub!
As a matter of peripheral interest, "The Chilli" does a cracking pint of Black Sheep Bitter.
More importantly, Tommaso Starace is a superb modern alto saxist who shouldn't be missed!
Lance.  

Marianne Faithfull @ The Sage, Gateshead.

Marianne Faithfull (vcl); acc. by Kate St.John (keys, alt, cor anglais, acc. etc); Rory McFarlane (bs); Martin Bark? (dms); Don Pedigo (gtr); Wayne Kramer (gtr).
I wasn't sure what to expect - I knew there wouldn't be any jazz although, paradoxically, the background music in between sets was Creole Love Call and Prelude To A Kiss.
A lot of the material was from Marianne's latest CD - Horses and High Heels and she did indeed open with the title track.
She's entertaining and the half filled Level One, Hall One, loved her as, with complete disregard to today's PC culture she bonded with them by having a cigarette on stage!
The band were, not surprisingly, honed in Stones/'60s blasts with Ms Faithfull doing things to Johnn Lennon's Working Class Man, Dusty Springfield's Goin' Back, Back in my Baby's Arms Again. The voice may have sunk deeper and the range somewhat narrow but, nevertheless, Marianne seems to be in her comfort zone with the material. It was an impressive performance.
Earlier, support act, Gabby Young (pictured with ?) displayed no range limitations - her comfort zone is of operatic proportions! Billed as Gabby Young and Other Animals it was somewhat disturbing that she brought only 1 other animal - a guitarist (pictured left) whose name I missed. Presumably the other animals were in quarantine. This was a shame as I was looking forward to hearing the eight piece which includes trumpet, trombone and clarinet. Nevertheless Gabby gave a polished performance of original material and I look forward to hearing her again with the full band.
Lance.

Tonight at The Sage.

Distinctive British music icon, acclaimed torch-singer and richly emotive song-writer Marianne Faithfull showcases music from her upcoming Hal Willner produced album release ‘Horses and High Heels’. Haunting arrangements spanning soul, blues, folk, country, jazz-pop and beguiling guitar rock are underpinned by striking vocals as Faithfull re-interprets old classics and showcases wonderful new songs.
Hall One 7:30pm. £27/£24.50.
Lance.
PS: Support band is Gabby Young and Other Animals which may prove to be well worth leaving the bar for.

Singers Night - Sheer Delight - Splinter @ The Bridge, Newcastle. Sunday May 22.

...and you thought the previous session by these four was good? Tonight they raised the bar a notch or two! Each girl is totally different but as all have an ability to engage the audience there were no winners or losers.
Zoe Gilby: Travellin' Blues, Way Down in the Hole, In the Warm Room, Waters of March. Letting Zoe open the show is is in effect saying "Follow that!" In particular her opening blues was a mega performance that got the evening off to loud applause.
Claire Kelly: Rhode Island is Famous For You, Mr Ugly, Let's Slip Away, At Long Last Love. Claire picked up the gauntlet unhesitatingly. She's taken Giant Steps since I first heard her at the Jazz Café - not least in stage presence. Gowned, as was Zoe, Claire looked good and sounded good - her version of Rhode Island was brilliant and it isn't an easy song to sing. I recall hearing Blossom Dearie do it on YouTube. Same relaxed feel to it.
Lindsay Hannon: Nature Boy, Blue Motel, Why Try to Change me Now?, But Beautiful. Vocal coach Lindsay disproves the old theory that those who can do and those who can't teach! Joni Mitchell's Blue Motel came across as a poignant lament whilst Why Try to Change me Now? was laid back yet with an infectious lilt to it. Fashion-wise Lindsay opted for minimilism.
Ruth Lambert: If You Don't Go, Love Me Like a Man, Wild is the Wind, Good Bait. Ruth began low key - almost as casual as the jeans she wore - building up to an awesome finale on Good Bait. Tremendous performance. Ruth, incidentally, can be heard again tonight (Monday May 23) at The Cherry Tree Restaurant, Jesmond.
It goes without saying that the rhythm section of Stu Collingwood (pno); Andy Champion (bs); Richard Brown (dms) gave the singers superb backing as well as soloing well in their own right. Suggestion for next time - and there surely must be a next time - a four girl finale say Four Brothers a la Man Tran re-titled Four Sisters?
Photos.
Lance.
PS: Marianne Faithfull is going to have it all to do at The Sage tonight!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Tonight at The Bridge Hotel, Newcastle

Four of our most charming chanteuse are at The Bridge tonight. Claire Kelly, Lindsay Hannon, Ruth Lambert and Zoe Gilby will be strutting their stuff from 8:00pm. This is a return appearance by the girls - by popular demand, I'm told. The last time around opinion was divided 4 ways as to who came out best and I'm sure it will be the same tonight.
However, this isn't a jazz X Factor thing (thank goodness) but an opportunity to hear four class acts putting their own stamp on some not so well known songs (I doubt if you'll get Over The Rainbow!)
It's unlikely you'll ever hear such singing again in The Bridge unless Adrian books Diana Krall or Ella, Billie, Peggy and Anita are reincarnated!
Don't miss it - the best fiver you'll ever spend.
Lance.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The End of The World is Nigh.

I've just heard that The World is due to end at midnight tonight - bloody short notice don't you think?
I've got to act fast and play all my favourite discs and read all my books and drink those cans in the fridge. Sorry Duke but Newport '56 is out - your Mr Gonsalves just went on too long. I've started with Cannonball and the Poll-Winners, poured a can of Abbot and opened Vic Ash's autobiog. The Atomic Mr Basie next - Li'l Darlin's too slow I'll play it at 45 rpm and open a bottle of Bud. I'll read W.R. Burnett's The Asphalt Jungle with one hand and Chandler's The Big Sleep with the other to the accompaniment of Sonny Criss and a glass of Chardonnay.
You've got the idea - I'm working through the alphabet.
Daryl Sherman singing Johnny Mercer - what a way to go! Listening to Daryl singing Mercer's words is enough so I'll pass on Charlie Dickins and have a Dubonnet.
Harry Edison at The Haig - always loved that 10" LP - times running out I'll have to move up to 78 rpm, drink shorts and read concise versions of War and Peace and Encyclopedia Brittanica.
There's a knock at the door - is it the Grim Reaper himself calling to deal with me personally?
No, it's my next door but two neighbour who assures me the World isn't going to end for at least another week. Well this guy knows everything so maybe I will get to The Jazz Café and The Bridge tomorrow night as well as Marianne Faithfull at The Sage on Monday - you win some you lose some!
Lance.

Tommaso Starace - amended details.

The Gremlins have struck! I inadvertently put the details for the forthcoming Tommaso Starace Quartet concert at the Corner House down for Thursday when in fact it is actually WEDNESDAY MAY 25 - please don't turn up on Thursday!
My apologies for any inconvenience!
The truth is below - come and hear it!
Wednesday May 25, 2011. TOMMASO STARACE QUARTET (Tommaso Starace (alto/sop); Michele di Toro (keys); Will Collier (bs); Chris Nickolls (dms)) - Corner House Hotel, Heaton Rd., Newcastle. 8:00pm. £10/£7 (conc.)/ £4 (students.) 0191 2659602 A Jazz North East promotion.
Seriously though, don't miss this one if you like hard swinging post bop a la Cannonball. Since I acquired his current CD - Blood and Champagne - it has been on the car stereo constantly
Lance.

Friday, May 20, 2011

R.I.P. Kathy Kirby

Not a jazz singer by the widest stretch of the imagination but Kathy Kirby was, nevertheless, one of those charismatic personalities that were around the scene in the 1960s. Plus her association with the Machiavellian Ambrose helped create an aura that interested those of us who viewed the era through our spare pair of non-jazz glasses whilst listening to Radio Caroline.
The girl could sing there was no doubt about that, I'm sure that, had she had the inclination or the opportunity to dip her er toes into the jazz stream after the glory days were over, and the tragedy of her existance unfolded, Kathy had enough real life material to sing the blues as heartfelt as any mama from downtown Kansas City.
There is something macabre and fascinating about our attraction to reading about falling stars - when I say "our" I don't, of course, mean "you and I" but "them".
So it's goodbye Kathy - I wasn't your 'Secret Love' (I remained true to Doris) but I liked you a lot.
Kathy Kirby died May 19, 2011 aged 72.
Lance.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Impossible Gentlemen

Gwilym Simcock (pno); Mike Walker (gtr); Steve Swallow (bs); Adam Nussbaum (bs). Basho Records SRCD 36-2.
These gentlemen are impossible to typecast. The opening Laugh Lines - a Mike Walker composition - has contrapuntal lines weaving in and around each other with an almost Bach-like lucidity but with a contemporary feel. Imagine if the Modern Jazz Quartet had discarded their funereal garb and reformed in 2011 wearing sweatshirts, jeans and trainers - the result may have been along these lines.
Simcock has an awesome technique blending yet contrasting with the tasteful guitar directions of Mike Walker. I can't believe I've never heard Walker before this compelling CD. Not only does he solo appealingly but he also wrote 4 of the 8 original compositions. Simcock chipped in with 3 and Nussbaum the final Sure Would Baby.
Steve Swallow and Nussbaum - the transatlantic half of the quartet provide much more than rhythmic support adding their own voices to the ensembles and solos with depth and originality.
The CD is due for general release on June 6 and will also serve as an appetiser for their forthcoming tour which opens at The Sage, Gateshead on June 10.
For more info go to www.impossiblegentlemen.com
Lance.

Maine Street Jazzmen @ Rosie Malone's

Olive Rudd (vcls); Ray Harley (tpt); Jim McBriarty (clt/alt/vcl); Iain MacAulay (tmb); George Richardson (pno); Alan Rudd (bs); Mike Humble (dms).
Another afternoon at 'Eddie Condon's' - okay I exagerate and there ain't no guitar. There rarely was at Condons either! What I'm saying is that you'll never find another bar in South Shields that replicates the Condon brand of Dixie so authentically.
Ray Harley was back on trumpet and it has to be said he makes every note count in his solos. Likewise Jimmy Mack who, not only announced, sang, played clarinet and alto but, also smiled (he may deny it!). Iain was high in the smiles dept and he blew some nice trombone. George Richardson played a lovely intro that was perhaps worthy of more than Big Butter and Egg Man. Alan Rudd and Mike Humble did the biz whilst Olive exercised her vocal chords beautifully on the old Bix/Trumbaeur number Singin' The Blues. Olive was in a swinging mood imploring the band to Swing That Music which they dutifully did!
Lance.
PS: Mike Humble tells me his own band Sax Cymbals are at Rosie's on Saturday June 4. 60's pop and funk with keys, sax, gtr, bs, dms..

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Erin Dickins Nice Girls Don't Stay for Breakfast

Love the song, the singer - not so sure about the sentiments! More tracks here. Lance.

Sandi to play Birmingham.

Durham based American vocalist Sandi Russell will be performing in the Birmingham International Jazz Festival on Friday evening, 8 July and Saturday afternoon, 9 July (venues and exact times to be announced).
Lance.

Ashington News

Keith Stephen's Hot Club Trio returns to Ashington Jazz Club on June 1st. The band was formed in 2003 and consists of two guitarists, Keith Stephen and Roly Veitch along with Bruce Rollo on double bass. Vocalist Caroline Irwin also plays ukulele as well as a number of other instruments. This popular group last performed at the club in November 2010 without Caroline who did not appear then due to illness. They play a wide variety of music based initially on the style of Django Reinhardt and the Hot Club of France, but also encompassing a large repertoire of jazz standards, several gypsy waltzes and some more modern 1950s pop tunes. The combination of instruments creates a sound that is nostalgic and totally enjoyable. The concert starts at 8:30 pm in the upstairs function room at the Elephant public house in North Seaton Road Ashington.
John Taylor

Extra Special Concert @ Blaydon

My sister Christine and I have organised an extra concert at Blaydon Social Club (Garden St., Blaydon) in an advance celebration of our mother's, pending 90th birthday (8th Jun). Anyone who'd like to come along and wish Lily a happy birthday is welcome. The concert is on Tuesday May 31 (as opposed to our usual Thursday) and will start at 8 oclock. Admission is free.
Featured will be the Paul Edis Trio with guest Ruth Lambert.
A mix of instrumentals and vocals.
Roly.
PS: No gifts please.

Parliament Gets It Right.

Paul Towndrow has announced on Facebook that Brass Jaw (pictured left at the 2010 Gateshead Jazz Festival) has won the Jazz Ensemble Crown at the 2011 Parliamentary Jazz Awards.
Well done guys - you got my vote.
The good news for those of us up here in the North East is that the quartet play The Sage, Gateshead, on July 9, the Durham Brass Festival on July 16/17 and the Lit and Phil, Newcastle on November 3.
It's not often I agree with Parliamentary decisions (from either side of The House) but they got this one right - now about the NHS...
For a full list of winners go to the Jazz Breakfast Blog.
Thanks to Sebastion of LondonJazz for making the results known so quickly. Also congrats to Seb for making the cut and condoms (sorry condolences) for just missing out - at least you got nominated!
Lance.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Paul Edis Trio at The Cherry Tree, Monday 16th. May 2011

Paul Edis (piano/ flute), Mick Shoulder (bass) and Roly Veitch (guitar/ vocals).
We arrived at The Cherry Tree ravenous and caught only hints and fragments of the first two numbers from the bar area while being tormented by delicious hints and fragrances from the kitchen opposite. These “soundbites” whetted the appetite for jazz and food alike.
           Tonight’s unusual line-up (Crook revisited!) saw Roly Veitch’s guitar and vocals replacing drums at short notice (and very ably indeed).
We were at table and up to speed by Nature Boy with Roly’s vocals as smooth as the tarragon and truffle oil which garnished my Gratin of asparagus and salsify – wonderful! After Paul gave the flute its first outing of the evening (sorry, I missed more titles than I heard!) we had Darn that Dream and a dreamy Crab linguine with chilli, garlic and lemon – a Cherry Tree favourite. Chef on victuals, Roly on vocals: what can I say? The boy's darn good!
Then it was Montego Bay to Osborne Road (via Crook) with Calypso Jim – a Roly Veitch gem – with infectiously sunny solos on both flute and guitar, swiftly followed by All the Things You Are which, accompanied by Crème brulée with rhubarb compote and vanilla shortbread (All the Things You Like?) took us to the break.
The restaurant was gradually filling, now, having been quieter yet, thanks to one couple (utterly oblivious to the musicians), noisier than usual! This pair apart, everyone was visibly enjoying the food and the music.
Set two opened with a lively, rhythmical number (sorry, missed that title, too!) followed by more vocals from Roly on 100 Years from Today. The next “untitled” featured melodic flute, a fine bass solo (with flute “long-notes” thrown in) and flute/guitar fours too!. In this number and throughout the evening, Mick Shoulder’s steady bass was the band’s pulse.
At this point Roly got vocally romantic with My Romance but, unfortunately, “Dumb and Dumber” on a nearby table (and on their third bottle of red in double-quick time!) got Loud and Louder! In which company the Chopin-inspired How Insensitive, seemed remarkably appropriate!
Things quietened then as Roly did a beautiful version of In the Wee Small Hours and another young couple (God bless them for restoring my faith!) showed how to react to romantic music by doing a spontaneous two minutes of “Strictly Ballroom” on the landing above, seemingly unaware that they could be seen from below!
The set ended with a choo-choo-boogie blues (not the title – another train I missed!) featuring some great picking and piano, a bowed-bass solo and a whimsical flute flourish at the close. That sounds a bit like tasting notes for a flavoursome wine: this was a vintage performance full of subtlety and variety – and that goes for the food, too!
Jerry.

River City Jazzmen Query

Do the River City Jazzmen still play at the royal legion club on a tuesday night?
Catherine Martin.

Monday, May 16, 2011

RIP Bob Flanigan

I've always had a penchant for vocal groups - The Boswells, the Andrews Sisters, The Inkspots, The Mills Brothers, The Hi-Los, The Beach Boys and so on. However, the male group I love  is The Four Freshmen.
From the moment I heard the Four Freshmen and Five Trombones playing Day By Day I was hooked. The harmonies were so cool and just perfect for those heady days of Kenton and Christy and Mulligan and Shelly.
Bob Flanigan played bass and trombone and sang the top-line admitting they were just beyond his range - maybe - they still sound good to me.
This is an interview that adds an insight into the group, and Bob, who died today.
Lance.

Tonight

The Paul Edis Trio are tonight's attraction at the Cherry Tree Restaurant (9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond tel 0191 2399924). This means that a musical treat as well as a gastronomic one is in store for the discerning diner. Food from 6:00pm, Music circa 7:30pm.
However, if your tastes are more eclectic, down the road apiece at the Corner House, Heaton, the Vieux Carré Jazzmen strut their stuff from around a quarter to nine. 
Lance.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Hannabiell and Midnight Blue @ The Bridge

After the success of Hannabiell and Midnight Blue at this years Jazz Festival at The Sage, coupled with their competition win earlier at the same venue it was anticipated the walls would be bulging for what is such an exciting band.
The walls didn't bulge although at times my heartbeat went over the top and I'm sure the few members of the audience who bothered to turn up experienced similar cardiacal palpitations.
The hardcore of regulars opted to miss this one. I hope you've got a good excuse - you missed a good one! It began with Hannabiell giving the hand drums a work out. She pounded them into near submission! To complement her opening zillion choruses, Suriel joined her, then Barfoot and so on until les tout ensemble was on stage flailing and wailing. A French couple danced - there was space - and it was hard not to trip the light as what was happening on stage was fantastic.
Stu Collingwood, depping with the band, did the biz but this band isn't about soloists even though the leader blows a wild blistering trombone that could almost be heard back in her native New Jersey. It's about the power of the people, the group, the cohesive coming together of like minded souls. Can't wait to hear them again.
Lance

Jazz Café Jumps.

Pete Gilligan (pno/dms); Colm Rooney (pno); Paul Grainger (bs); Doug Fielder, Stu Finden (ten); Lindsay Hannon (vcl/bs. gtr.); Fiona Littlewood (ten/vcl); Mark Williams (gtr); Elaine Binney (dms) etc.
After a couple of numbers from Doug the two PGs gave tips on how a piano/bass duo should sound. Polka Dots and Moonbeams a particularly poignant rendering. Short of a drummer, Elaine Binney sat behind the kit for a restrained version of Waltz For Debbie. Mark Williams was on fire both PGs played drums, Lindsay did a shift on bass guitar as well as singing Why Try To Change Me Now - one of the more neglected standards - and an original take on Mean To Me. Fiona and Stu arrived as well as the audience and Fiona sang Autumn Leaves.
It was a good afternoon.
Lance.

Highlights Of The Victoria Jazz Band at Discovery Bay, Hong Kong

Here are the highlights of an open air jazz session on Discovery Bay, yes I've been Island hopping again, and I even had a sit in, the piano player Peter Lally, came to Hong Kong with Red Price with the Harry Bence Big Band in the early 70's...nice evening with a few beers and my pocket trumpet. Colin

Saturday, May 14, 2011

From the Jazz Band Ball to the Mambo Inn at Rosie's Thursday May 12.

Olive Rudd (vcl); Bill Watson (tpt); Iain MacAulay (tmb/vcl); Jim McBriarty (clt/alt/vcl); George Richardson (pno); Alan Rudd (bs); Mike Humble (dms).
More deps this week - it keeps the band and the audience on their toes wondering!
Iain MacAulay was bound over from last week on suspicion of playing a Roswell Rudd lick! However it was case dismissed when Iain proved he had better licks of his own. Iain also sang a few.
On trumpet this week was big band man Bill Watson who proved himself equally adept in a small group setting. Indeed he threw a few bop licks into his solos which gave a new look to Muscrat Ramble!
The band opened with At The Jazz Band Ball and finished with At The Mambo Inn hence the heading. McBriarty the younger played alto and clarinet as well as chanting a few in his inimitable style. However, when it comes to handing out the vocal kudos Olive's version of I Thought About You got the nod - I wonder if there will be anything of that quality song or singer on tonight's Eurovision Song Contest?
I know the answer! It's a two letter word beginning with N and ending with O!
Lance. PS: This post differs from the original due to the Bloggerami that occurred earlier this week and I had to be re-creative from memory!

For David Stephenson

David Stephenson was a deep friend,
I met him through books.
He came from Carlisle
with that intense and craggy look.
We studied life together,
smoked Full Strength and sipped Real Ale.
He liked his women big.
I learnt from him to visit pubs at lunchtimes
to end up pissed in lectures
but, most of all
to read the letters of Van Gogh,
the diaries of Franz Kafka,
to go inside the jazz
of Ornette Coleman and Cecil Taylor.
David told me that ‘Most people are thick’
and, as a socialist of a kind,
I sometimes think he had a point.
I wonder where he is today.
Back across country I surmise,
smoking and looking at the sunrise
with a fat woman kissing his neck,
listening to Mingus and the sky.
Keith Armstrong.

Hot Antics Pull The Punters @ The Legion.

Michel Bastide (cornet, vocal); Bernard Antherieu (clarinet, alto, banjo, vocal); Michel Bescont (tenor, clarinet, vocal); Martin Seck (piano, washboard, vocal); Jean-Pierre Dubois (banjo, clarinet, vocal); Christian Lefevre ( tuba, trombone, vocal) + Franz Sjostrom (bass sax).
The Gateshead British Legion Club was more like the French Foreign Legion Club as the Hot Antics wooed the regulars with their Gallic charm. The Antics are more than just a hot dance band - much more.
In Bescont they have a superb early Hawk/Chu tenor who raised the bar with his solo on My Blue Heaven. A lovely version of Looking Good But Feeling Bad got the dancers up and a nice solo from Bastide kept everyone happy.
The Antics play lots of tunes that I've never heard of but, now that I have, they won't be forgotten. Such a gem was Watching My Dreams Go By. Not only 2 clarinets but 2 banjos! Derek Cogger and I nodded but there wasn't a hitman in the house - where are these guys when you need them?! We jest, of course - don't we Derek?
Three Little Words inspired Dave Kerr to interpret as "Cheque's in post" but it was Bliffy (?) Blues that really got things in the groove. This was a piece from Red Allen's 1930's band and the Frenchmen captured the minor mood of so many of Allen's recordings from that period.
This band is infectious. It begins in a pleasant almost mundane way but gradually builds up to completely captivate the listener.
An appointment with a bus meant I only caught the opening number of the second set but, when I say that bass-saxophonist Franz Sjostrom joined the frontline you will know that the second set was going to be something else again!
Look forward to a review of second set from Derek C.
The Antics can be heard in Darlington and South Shields tomorrow.
Lance.

Friday, May 13, 2011

New Century News.

Hi – just to let you know we’re delighted to feature one of Britain’s most versatile trumpet stars, Enrico Tomasso, guesting with us this coming weekend at the Keswick Jazz Festival.
Enrico will be joining us for our show at the Theatre by the Lake on Sunday afternoon, 15 May, between 3 and 5.30pm.
Tickets and general information are available via the Festival website: http://www.theatrebythelake.co.uk/whatson_detail.asp?ID=123
 If you can’t make it there, Enrico will also be appearing with the band at the Kirkcudbright Jazz Festival on Saturday and Sunday, 18 and 19 June, at the Town Hall.
The Kirkcudbright Jazz Festival website is: http://www.kirkcudbrightjazzfestival.co.uk/
We hope you can join us for one of these sessions.
Phil Rutherford,
The New Century Ragtime Orchestra

SNAFU

The more observant of our site visitors may have noticed more recent posts have disappeared from the blog. This was due to Blogger doing a one hour maintenance task that  lasted about 50 + hours. Whether these posts will return I know not. I may have to physically track them down and re-post them we shall see.
This isn't a local issue but affected the whole Blogger network.
Apologies for any inconvenience.
Lance

HOT ANTIC JAZZ BAND Weekend starting tonight

The big event for classic jazz fans this weekend is three gigs by the French ensemble the Hot Antic Jazz Band who play tonight at Gateshead British Legion, Coatsworth Rd., Gateshead. 8:30pm.
Tomorrow lunchtime they are at Darlington Arts Centre, Vane Tce., Darlington. 12:30pm.
Saturday night they are at the Customs House, Mill Dam, South Shields. 8:00pm.
Whichever gig you choose an enjoyable time will be had by all - mais oui!
Lance.

R.I.P. Kevin Savin

I received the following sad news this morning:
"Hi Lance. You may have already heard but Kevin Savin died yesterday (May 12) in Spain. He moved there when he retired some years ago and had spent the last few weeks in a hospice. Kevin was a really good banjo player and played with the Bill Croft Jazzmen during the 1950's before having short spells with various other bands. Unfortunately his committments with his day-time job prevented him from playing on a regular basis, but he never lost interest in the music. He will be sadly missed by all his friends in the UK.
Gordon."

This is indeed sad news. although I'd lost touch with Kevin over the years I have a vivid memory - no 'vivid' isn't the right word, substitute 'hazy' - travelling through France to Northern Spain in Kevin's Caravette destination the San Sebastian Jazz Festival. Kevin did the driving whilst Charlie Carmichael, Ronnie Young and I did the drinking. We'd stop off at French villages to replenish our stocks of food and wine (mainly wine). Although, because he was driving, Kevin was forced to abstain it nevertheless didn't stop him from sharing the laughs and joining in the fun we had along the way.
Lance.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Alan Wilkinson & the Bergen Connection @ Central Bar, Gateshead. May 11th

Alan Wilkinson (alto & baritone saxophones), Kim Johannesen (guitar), Ola Hoyer (double bass) & Dag Erik Knedal Anderson (drums)
Jazz North East's latest On the Outside promotion at Gateshead's Central Bar featured a return visit by UK firebrand Alan Wilkinson in the company of  three young Norwegians making a first time visit to the north east - guitarist Kim Johannesen (boasting a beautiful vintage Gibson), bassist Ola Hoyer and drummer/percussionist Dag Erik Knedal Anderson. Wilkinson is a familiar face with a familiar and formidable sound and it remained to be seen what the young pretenders would do. On alto or baritone Wilkinson always makes himself heard and those on the stand with him have it all to do to make their voices heard. Guitar and bass struggled to rise above the din (make that the glorious din). Wilkinson's alto playing was the more effective in that it engaged all four musicians (his baritone work made it a sax/drums workout) and at times the quartet really flew. Johannesen's approach was and is his own - scratching and scraping - with a nod to Joe Morris and a hint of Graeme Stephen. Ola Hoyer was robust throughout and the star performer was undoubtedly drummer Knedal Anderson. ''Busy'' would describe his style with technique to burn. His performance was a masterclass on its own yet he dovetailed seemlessly with Wilkinson's uncompromising style. He is destined to become a household name on the free jazz/improv circuit. The next On the Outside gig is a co-promotion with Splinter @ the Bridge in the upstairs room of the Bridge Hotel on Sunday 29th May marking the the Tyneside debut of Polish reeds player Mikolaj Trzaska.in trio format with bassist Olie Brice and drummer Mark Sanders.
Russell   

Frank Zappa - I'm a bandleader.

Click here it's hilarious.
Lance

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ St Nicks.

This Thursday (12th May) the Vieux Carre Jazzmen entertain the gathering (or should that be the congregation?) outside St.Nicholas' Cathedral at the official opening of the redesigned Cathedral Square in the presence of the Lord Mayor of Newcastle and the Bishop of Newcastle. Take your pew in time for six o'clock, banjo at the ready.
Russell

Jazz on 3 Wins Sony Award.

Radio 3's seven o'clock news bulletin this morning proudly announced that Jazz on 3 had won a Gold Award for Best Specialist Music Programme at last night's annual Sony Radio Awards ceremony. The judges said this of presenter Jez Nelson and his production team: ''A well-informed and engaging adventure into the sometimes esoteric world of contemporary jazz. Spiky,surprising, sensational event radio''. Next week's programme (Monday 16th May) features a performance by Tord Gustavsen at this year's Cheltenham Festival.
Russell

R.I.P. Alfie Hind

Michael Green has drawn my attention to the sad news that Alfie Hind died yesterday May 9. I didn't know him personally but knew of him as a big band leader and teacher in the Darlington area. Michael tells me he had been battling cancer for some time. Anyone who would care to tribute on these pages will be most welcome.
Condolences to family and friends.
Lance.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Frith St. @ The Cherry Tree Restaurant, Jesmond.

Zita Frith (vcl); Lloyd Wright (gtr); Phil Richardson (pno); Ian Paterson (bs); David Francis (dms). Despite the band being packed full of jazzmen the first set was more of  a cabaret performance - nothing wrong with that 'old chum' - life is a cabaret!
Ms Frith ran through a selection of gassers displaying her impeccable taste. Talking of taste, the Confit Chicken & Black Pudding Terrine with Sauce Gribiche was pretty impeccable too.
The Way You Look Tonight, The Candyman, Nice Work If You Can Get It (also applicable to the Rump of Lamb with Stewed Peppers & Grilled Black Olive Polenta) L-o-v-e and Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy From Company B were just some of the songs sung so well.
After a Cherry & Chocolate Tart with Toasted Almond Ice Cream that was a dessert to die for I settled back to enjoy a second set that began with The More I See You and saw the band losing their inhibitions a little.
Particularly outstanding was Louis Jordan's Choo Choo Ch' Boogie done slow and bluesy with an almost sensuous feel to it. Lloyd cut loose a little here and piano man Phil also got his licks in. Let's Do It and then Loverman. Drummer Dave played this in '3's and it worked beautifully.
Ian, on bass, was sound throughout and all in all a pleasant and enjoyable evening.
Lance.

CLARE TEAL ON WOMANS HOUR

Once again folks, I’ve been picking up snippets of jazz on day-time radio. This time it was Clare Teal, publicising her latest CD, Heigh Ho, which she described as songs from the Great British Song Book. She gave listeners a sample of this with a version of the Snow Patrol song Chasing Cars. The song which begins ‘If I lay here, would you lie with me?’ I must say that the bad grammar of this song irritates me immensely, but in Clare’s hands it all sounded really good.
Clare had begun the interview with a lively version of Love is the Sweetest Thing, and told us about her other activities, as a presenter, and also a columnist on the Yorkshire Post. She loves the songs of Cole Porter, whose wit she compared with that of Noel Coward. She showed quite a lot of wit and humour herself during the interview. Catch it on the internet, or you could even go to see her when she appears at this year’s Glastonbury music festival. Ann Alex.

The New Mastersounds

The New Mastersounds are a jazz/funk band from Leeds. How do I know that? My friend Lydia from Asbury Park sent me a clipping from The Coaster - a newspaper that details events down on the Jersey Shore.
It seems these Yorkshire guys are barnstorming around the USA doing gigs as far apart as Boston and New Orleans. A little different from Doncaster and Sheffield!
Curious to know more I checked out their website and, not only are they playing at  legendary New Orleans House of Blues but they've also recorded a CD in the USA.
They are a funky no nonsense organ,guitar, bass, drums quartet well worth catching if they are in a country near you.
Clip from Nick Pride (see comments).
Lance.

Special Night @ The Cherry Tree Tonight!

This week's Monday night jazz offering at the Cherry Tree Restaurant features FRITH STREET making it's debut apprearance. This is an exciting relatively new quintet comprising the very talented singer Zita Frith, guitarist Lloyd Wright, pianist Phil Richardson, bassist Ian Paterson and drummer David Francis.Zita is now based in the North East after several years appearing in musicals on Broadway and the West End where she played a lead role in 'Bad Girls'..
Coupled with the now legendary Cherry Tree menu it is the place to be tonight.
Cherry Tree Restaurant, 9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond, Newcastle. 0191 2399924.
Music from 7:45.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Splinter Super Subs @ The Bridge.

Zoe Gilby (vcl); Andy Champion (bs); Graeme Wilson (ten); Mark Williams (gtr); Adrian Tilbrook (dms).
Moon Unit had pulled out - perhaps they'd gone to find out what spring is like on Jupiter or Mars - and a collection of the usual suspects assembled under the name of The Splinter Subs gave a scintillating performance.
Although comprising four-fifths of ACV (Paul Edis was missing) this was swinging straight down the middle stuff comprising originals and lesser known jazz pieces. An example of the latter was Andy Champion's take on a Paul Chambers number. Two masters of the bowed bass.
Graeme Wilson played a sumptuous ballad that was his own composition and Mark Williams was pure and simply Mark Williams. Need one say more? To hear Rod Sinclair and Mark on the same day is being totally spoilt! Likewise Paul Smith and Adrian who drove things along with precisionlike technique and no lack of feeling either.
Then there was Zoe who, after Autumn Serenade, sang what may be the best version this century of Cole Porter's I Love You.
It was a good set but I'd had a long day and I reluctantly dragged myself away to catch the number 27.
Lance.

Little Mo Band @ Central Bar, Gateshead.

Mo Scott (vcl); Rod Sinclair (gtr); Neil Harland (bs); Paul Smith (dms).
An afternoon of waking up this morning, mean-treating men, Hound Dogs, Unchained Hearts and beat-up Pontiacs on dusty roads. It's unrequited love, it's cigarette smoke curling neath an unshaded lightbulb in a Memphis flophouse. It's all this and more.
This is The Blues and nobody does it better than Mo Scott and her cohorts. That one so slight can produce such a powerful sound from her slender frame is one of life's musical miracles.
On guitar, Rod Sinclair plays slide Strat pushing his axe to limit he switches on the Tele(caster) for Route 66 getting a jazzier sound from the single pick up guitar. On 5 string bass Neil lays down the line and dep drummer Paul Smith takes a solo that is an object lesson in dynamics.
Great gig.
Lance.

Maine Street Jazzmen @ Ashington Jazz Club May 4

The Band was without leader Herbie Hudson, who was basking in the Turkish sunshine, so we were pleased to welcome his replacement Iain MacAulay. The evening began with China Boy - Ray Harley leading the front line with Jim McBriarty and Iain ably supporting and the engine room of Alan Rudd, Colin Haikney and Ian Hetherington driving the rhythmn section  along we experienced a performance of excellent swinging Jazz and well balanced arrangements throughput the evening. "Baby wont you please come home" moved on a pace whereas "Weary Blues" was certainly not a tired renditon but had our feet tapping.
Jim gave us "Sleepy time Gal". During the song the venue lighting was extremely poor so Jim's vocals had the members relaxing in the gloom. Olive Rudd appeared on stage to the delight of all and began with "I've Got Rhythm" which said it all as this band has that. Olive appears to have a back catalogue of many songs as good singers do and it was obvious when she sang "Old Fashioned Love" with gentle overtones she reached into the memories of our mature audience. Colin gave a decorative keyboard accompaniment.
"Clarinet Marmalade" gave Jim the opportunity to show off his Clarinet skills - very quick and exhilarating, while all band members produced their own creative instrumental improvisation. "Melancholy Baby" completed the first set with a solid version from Olive.  
The Second Half began with "Bye Bye Blues" and that old favourite "Careless Love". After those exhausting items we were priviliged to hear a Keyboard solo of "A Foggy Day" with Colin in brilliant form. This is such a verstile group that it is good to hear the rear section of the band taking a more prominant role out front. The cymbals often hide the face of the drummer but we all know he's there. Following this Olive gave a sympathetic renditon of "It's you or no one for me" and I'm sure I saw a smile from Alan.
"Sunny side of the Street" gave Iain the chance to share his humour and vocal skills with us and put a smile on our faces. He always appears to enjoy his music when visiting Ashington. The Band ended the night with a great collection of favourites. Included in those was our Olive singing "Just Friends" which was a tribute to our members and the band  who have many friends in music in this Club. Thank you all for a great evening. We know you travel a  long way to entertain us and we do appreciate that.    
Peter S.

News From Neds - "The Kid" Retires.

Our trumpet player, Berry Yaneza at the age of 85 this year, has decided to retire, those of you who have seen and heard him, will understand what a great job he has done with the band since 1998, The management and all of us at Ned Kelly's wish him a wonderful retirement...
Thank You Berry
-----
A while ago by accident I deleted all of the Neds clips off Youtube, at present I have 58 clips back up with our guests etc, and also new clips, of course there is a lot of stuff from other people also on Youtube, but here is the official link on youtube and when you have a little time please take a look...
http://www.youtube.com/user/CCJazzmen
Thanks
Colin Aitchison.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

An Evening with the Barnharts and Friends. Trinity Church, Gosforth.

Anne Barnhart (fl); Jeff Barnhart (pno/vcl); Mike Durham (tpt/vcl); Keith Stephen (gtr/bjo); Derek Fleck (ten/clt); John Hallam Carstairs (bs); Ollie Rillens (dms).
Four Americans last night and another two tonight, made for a tremendous weekend of jazz albeit from different corners of the spectrum.
Anne Barnhart is probably not an out and out jazzer but she is a capable flautist who more than covered the bases in the first set. Jeff, of course, is Fats Waller reincarnated and he recreates the work of the master both pianistically and vocally as well as adding his own larger than life personality.
The second set saw the band augmented with Derek Fleck excelling on tenor and clarinet, Mike Durham - Humph reincarnated - playing a solid lead and throwing in a few vocals to boot.
Keith too had shining moments on both 4 strings and 6 strings with Carstairs and Ollie keeping it altogether.
Splendid!.
Lance.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Michael Janisch's Paradigm Quintet @ The Lit and Phil, Newcastle.

Michael Janisch (bs); Paul Booth (ten); Jason Palmer (tpt); Leo Genovese (pno); Colin Stranahan (dms).
This was one of those gigs that held you spellbound from start to finish - particularly the finish!
In my preview I'd suggested that, this being the last concert of the tour, there might be an end of term feel to it and there most certainly was! The players blew their proverbial socks off on the encored Blues. This wasn't 'end of term' it was the Eve of Destruction - the next gig is Armageddon!
Just when we thought it was all over Leo Genovese emerged from behind the piano blowing Archie Shepp style tenor whilst Paul proved he too knows his way around a piano keyboard! Michael performed some bass gymnastics and Jason played trumpet with the instrument upside down! Colin was the only person who appeared to be sane (ish!)
Prior to these shenanigans we'd had an evening that everyone in the world should have heard. A first set of originals by band members - if the Jazz Messengers had been around today they may have sounded like this. Paul Booth continues to develop his phenomenal technique - some of his solos leaving me breathless but not him! On trumpet Jason Palmer blew in a manner fashioned stylistically on 52nd Street and nurtured in a Greenwich Village loft. Jason's a natural successor to say Lee Morgan or Freddie Hubbard or any of todays heroes. Leo Genovese had a lot of moments to remember and one to forget when the grand piano and the electronic keyboard appeared to be in different keys! The more futuristically inclined members of the audience thought it was wonderful...
The second set comprised of a suite written by Janisch - The Paradigm Shift Suite. A masterpiece in it's own right it also reminded me of some of the things Mingus did as indeed did Michael's bass solos. Drummer Stranahan drove the others, kicked them, cajoled them transferring his energy to their's with propulsive accompaniments and searching solos.
It was awesome and if you weren't there - and there were some who weren't - then your life, I'm sorry to say, is now incomplete.
Lance.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Jazz and Jam @ Offshore 44.

This is a jazz club!
At least it was tonight and hopefully will be for the foreseeable future Thursdays. Omid is to be congratulated upon finding a place with such a jazzy ambiance - could have been Paris on the left bank or up in Montmartre but, instead, it was Newcastle's Quayside. Too many musicians and combos to name everyone but it goes without saying that, as the evening progressed and the dimly lit room filled up with musicians and fans, guest of honour, sadly soon to be leaving us, David Carnegie took his rightful place at the drum throne spurring the front line on to glory and beyond.
Omid had had a problem retrieving his drum kit from the Bridge so, until the kit finally arrived, Stuart Findon blew some lyrical tenor with Chris Finch on keys John Pope, bass, David Gray, trombone, and Fiona Littlewood on vocal. Harley Johnson and Peter Gilligan also played keys with Harley reprising his now legendary scat fours with Fiona! Ivan Scutt and Colm Rooney were also in their pitching on various numbers.
Lots of young musicians on the jazz scene at present.
Recorda Me featured flautist Sylvie Heath along with Dave Weisser on flugel, Paul Gowland, tenor, a guitarist whose name I didn't catch, John Pope and David Carnegie. Sylvie traded fours impressively with DC.
By the time I had to leave they were still preparing to jam - Claude Werner, Mark Williams, Lindsay Hannon and many more.
A great send off for David.
Hope they all return next week.
Photos
Lance.

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Bebop Spoken Here -- Here, being the north-east of England -- centred in the blues heartland of Newcastle and reaching down to the Tees Delta and looking upwards to the Land of the Kilt.
Not a very original title, I know; not even an accurate one as my taste, whilst centred around the music of Bird and Diz, extends in many directions and I listen to everything from King Oliver to Chick Corea and beyond. Not forgetting the Great American Songbook the contents of which has provided the inspiration for much great jazz and quality popular singing for round about a century.
The idea of this blog is for you to share your thoughts and pass on your comments on discs, gigs, jazz - music in general. If you've been to a gig/concert or heard a CD that knocked you sideways please share your views with us. Tell us about your favourites, your memories, your dislikes.
Lance (Who wishes it to be known that he is not responsible for postings other than his own and that he's not always responsible for them.)
PS:I don't care what your political views are - you can love or hate Cameron, Clegg, Milliband, Farage, Genghis Khan or Julius Caesar - just don't air them here!
Contact: lanceliddle@gmail.com I look forward to hearing from you.

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