Total Pageviews

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 Wednesday November 26.

Afternoon
VIEUX CARRE JAZZMEN - Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 3OS. 1pm. Free.
New Orleans Jazz. Raffles and a jolly afternoon.
-----
JAZZ ESQUIRES - Porthole, North Shields' Ferry Landing. 1pm. Free.
Laurie Brown is now on tenor and clarinet with Peter Ninnim taking over the drum chair.
Ferry from South Shields quarter to and quarter past. On the hour and half hour coming back.
-----
Evening.
TAKE IT TO THE BRIDGE JAZZ WORKSHOP - The Chillingham, Chillingham Rd., Heaton. 8:30pm. £1.
Sitters in welcome.

-----
CAROLINE BAGLEY w. JAMES HARRISON TRIO - The Cherry Tree Restaurant Osborne Road, Jesmond, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 2AE. Tel: 0191 2399924. Free.
Now on Wednesdays with unbeatable food and a welcome appearance by ace sax player/vocalist Caroline and co.
-----
BUSKERS NIGHT HOSTED BY RUTH LAMBERT - The Avalon, 26 South Parade, Whitley Bay. 9pm. Free.
All welcome. Keyboards, free buffet, drinks tokens for performers, real ale, real music.
-----

LEVEE RAMBLERS NEW ORLEANS JAZZ BAND - Springwell Village Hall, Fell Rd., Gateshead NE9 7RP. 0191 4162630. 9pm. £2.
New Orleans style.
-----
JAZZ AT THE BAY- Cleveland Bay pub, 718 Yarm Rd., Eaglescliffe, TS16 0JE 01642 780275. 9pm.
The Teesside Hot Club swinging at the Bay.
Fortnightly - Back on Dec. 3.
-----
ASHINGTON JAZZ CLUB - The Elephant, Newbiggin Rd., Ashington. NE63 0SZ. 8pm. £5.
Monthly - back on Dec. 3.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

R.I.P. Margaret Falcus - a great voice.

In my younger days I served time blowing alto and tenor in clubs and dance bands (we call them function bands these days). It was when I was playing at the Lighthouse Club on Feathers' Caravan Site in Whitley Bay that I first met Margaret Falcus.
The bandleader asked the audience if anyone "wanted to do a turn". Margaret, ushered reluctantly towards the stage by her friends, was one of them.
"I only sing jazz" she said which got a smile from me and a frown from our leader. Nevertheless, she got up and sang All of Me. Kay Starr at her jazziest! I was impressed and she became a regular guest. Frankie and Johnny a la George Melly was another knockout number and I couldn't help but notice how her confidence increased with each performance.
When the residency folded, I formed my own 'function band' - the Bill Montgomery Quartet with Margo - and, thanks to Margaret (she hated the Margo tag!), the gigs rolled in.
It was a great time both musically and socially - every gig seemed to end up at a party - and Margaret was invariably the life and soul.
Initially the band comprised myself on tenor, Derek Hunter on piano, Graham Schofield on drums and Ray Johnson on bass guitar.
Graham and Derek left to be replaced by the late Marshall Walker and Brian Chester. Ironically, it was Brian who broke the news to me of her death on Monday.
Although I hadn't heard her sing for maybe 30 years I felt sad that now I never would.
RIP Margaret and condolences to Husband Bob and daughter Shaaron.
Lance.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

CD Review: Viktoria Tolstoy - Letters to Herbie.

Viktoria Tolstoy (vcl); Jakob Karlzon (pno/keys); Krister Jonsson (gtrs); Matthias Svensson (bs); Rasmus Kihlberg (dms).
Special guests: Nils Landgren (tmb/vcl); Magnus Lindgren (woodwind).
A celebration of the music of Herbie Hancock lyricised and sung by Swedish singer Viktoria Tolstoy.
A challenge for both singer and listener as Ms Tolstoy has avoided the familiar numbers such as Watermelon Man and Canteloupe Island in favour of lesser known ones including Trust Me, Chan's Song, Butterfly, Chemical Residue and others.
Despite her attractive voice this isn't a disc that is likely to knock you for six from the opening bars. Rather it sort of creeps up on you and, as familiarity grows, so does it appeal.
Paradoxically, my personal favourite is the title track - Letter to Herbie - which wasn't written by Hancock at all but by Nils Landgren who produced the album as well as playing trombone and singing with Tolstoy.
The disc is released on Sept 5.
Viktoria Tolstoy - Letters to Herbie. ACT 9519-2.
Lance.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Jazz in the Afternoon at the Crescent Club, Cullercoats.

Mike Durham (tpt/vcl); Barry Soulsby (clt/vcl/gtr); Brian Chester (tmb); Roly Veitch (bjo!); John Carstairs Hallam (tuba/bs); Jim McKeown (dms). + Don Armstrong (alt); Laurence McBriarty (tmb); Teresa Armstrong (vcl); John ? (vcl).
As befits a club in a seaside town on a Bank Holiday Monday, the Crescent Club was standing room only.
This is always a fun session made all the more enjoyable today by seeing Roly Veitch on banjo - Barney Kessel must be turning in his grave! In fairness, it has be said that Roly plays the infernal thing pretty damn good - just don't make a habit of it Roly - Blame It On My Youth won't sound quite the same!
Other quirky moments were Barry Soulsby playing guitar and singing Putting on the Style, Roy playing Black and White Rag on the venerable upright piano, Chester and McBriarty duetting on Indiana, Teresa singing Mean to Me and, last but not least, Don Armstrong blowing Rosetta.
Don, a pivotal figure of the 1950's Newcastle jazz scene, is over here from down under and taking the opportunity for a blow whenever the occasion arises. Nice middle period alto.
On trumpet and occasional vocal Mike Durham provides a strong lead whilst Jim McK and JC hold it all together. The latter allowed me a blow on the hot fountain pen he has just acquired - I told you it was a quirky day!
The day was also one of sadness for me but I may mention that later. Photos.
Lance.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

New Kids on the Block at Jazz Café

Pete Gilligan (pno/bs/dms); Sarah Travena (sop); Ray Truskett (bs); Colm Rooney (pno); Arjen Jongschaap (alt); Christian Prior (pno) and others.
I arrived to the music of Chuck Berry and Tina Turner - they were strutting it on screen. It was a few struts later before things got moving off screen but - when it did - it was worth waiting for.
In the words of The Duke, Suddenly it Jumped. Not just on stage but audience too.
The room was full and Sarah blew Perdido setting a benchmark for those who dared.
there were so many new faces today I couldn't keep track. The guitarist's name I failed to capture but he's a class act so it will no doubt be revealed with the passage of time.
Arjen Jongschaap, a young Dutch alto player (pictured above), had some delicious moments - one to note. His buddy Christian also played good piano. A trumpet player, a couple of drummers, gave an indication that the new intake may well add a vibrancy to the Newcastle jazz scene.
The room was packed and Herr Crombie was doing such good business he even smiled.
Lance.

Another One Bites The Dust

The regular Wednesday lunchtime session at the Lambton Arms, Eighton Banks, Gateshead has now ceased.
The Maine Street Jazzmen have played at the pub for a couple of years but a change of management meant a change of policy and the gig is now terminated.
The band still play West Jesmond's Royal British Legion Club on Tuesday evenings, Rosie Malone's, South Shields, on Thursday afternoons and the Marquis of Granby at Sunniside on Thursday evenings.
For more gig info go to the band's website.
Lance.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Starter For Ten by David Nicholls

This is one of the funniest books I've read since Keith Waterhouse's Billy Liar and, in truth, the anti-hero of this, Nicholls' first novel, does share some of young Liar's sexual frustrations as he gropes his way through, in this case, life at uni.
Nicholls has recently achieved celebrity status with his latest novel, One Day, which, apart from selling several million copies, has just been filmed starring Ann Hathaway (The one without the cottage).
What has all this got to do with Jazz? I hear you ask.
Nothing 'cept a leading character in Starter for Ten has two dogs - Mingus and Coltrane.
This got me to wonder about other jazz inspired fictional names.
John Connolly's stories feature a private eye called Charlie Parker and I seem to recall reading/reading of a novel where all of the characters were named after jazz musicians.
Any more?
Lance.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Bank Holiday Blues Bonanza at Star and Shadow Cinema

The Star and Shadow has an all day film screening of various titles on Monday 29th August. Two documentary films with a jazz interest are:
 12 noon  Rock 'n' Roll Revue (Dir.Joseph Kohn.1956. 40 mins). Featuring Ellington, Nat Cole and others.
 2:00 pm Rhythm and Blues Revue (Dir. Joseph Kohn & Leonard Reed. 1955. 71 mins). Featuring Lionel Hampton, Sarah Vaughan, Count Basie, Big Joe Turner, Nat Cole and others.
 Admission free all day.
Russell.

Walkin' The Dog.

I was walking my dog through Saltwell Park on Sunday afternoon when I heard music in the air. Ida Sweet as Apple Cider was floating through the trees. As I approached the bandstand I could see the Tyne Valley Stompers finishing their song. I took a couple of snaps but I was hampered by the dog who for some strange reason is not a Jazz fan and was more interested in chasing squirrels. It would have been pleasant to sit and listen to the band on a balmy Sunday afternoon but it was not to be and I was dragged off in search of furry creatures. I would love to have done a review but for that damned Philistine dog.
Alf

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Steve Fishwick Quartet @ Hoochie Coochie

Steve Fishwick (tpt); Ross Stanley (keys); Tim Thornton (bs); Matt Fishwick (dms).
This was a good gig make no mistake about it. A driving set that, if there was to be any criticism, it would be that it had just too much excitement!
Steve is one of the more forceful modern trumpet players and he eschews Chet and Miles in favour of Clifford, Lee and Freddie.
They blew bop - of course they did - but with Ross Stanley on keys (a regular visitor to the area) it was never going to be a nostalgia thing and at times it approached the edge with some avant garde playing that Charlie Parker would have struggled to accept even on his own Passport which drew the first set to a close.
A bottle or two of London Pride, chat with Paul Edis and Don Forbes, then it was back to 52nd St - 2011.
How Deep Is The Ocean? Lullaby, a Woody Shaw piece and Steve's own Howling brought things to a, wait for it, Howlin' close. The audience wanted more and they got it with a blues that had the room roaring its approval. Brother Matt, on drums, showed that there is more than one way to skin a kit with an extended drum solo that scored.
Hoochie Coochie is a good venue yet tonight there were few of the regular jazz audience in (if there is such a thing and I'm beginning to wonder...) Perhaps they took heed of the dammed with faint praise Steve Fishwick had been subjected to elsewhere. Fortunately, there were  enough people with open minds who just came to enjoy the music.
They were rewarded with an evening that may have changed their lives (well we do live in hope!)
Ross Stanley is back in the region at The Cluny on September 27.
Photos
Lance.

Maine Street Jazzmen @ Rosie's.

Olive Rudd (vcl); Herbie Hudson (tmb/hca/vcl); Jim McBriarty (clt/vcl); George Richardson (keys); Alan Rudd (bs); Mike Humble (dms).
A typical Thursday in the life of a barfly at Rosie Malone's. The Maine Street Jazzmen played their delightful brand of Dixieland, Olive sang Singin' The Blues and Fine and Dandy and a certain blogger whom modesty prevents me from naming won a bottle of Rosé in the raffle.
I couldn't stay for the second set as tonight's visit to the Hoochie Coochie to hear Steve Fishwick meant I must keep a clear head.
Nevertheless, it had been an enjoyable afternoon as the band - trumpetless but not Rudderless - kept things swinging along nicely.
Lance.

Guardian Music 6 Hour Spotify Jazz Playlist

Spotify and The Guardian are two organisations popular with Jazzophiles so I guess it was inevitable that the two should get together during The Guardian's Music Loves Summer feature and produce a 6 hour Ultimate Jazz Playlist which can be found and listened to on Spotify - 6 hour Jazz playlist.
Now even though the 6 hours start with Scott Joplin's The Enertainer and end with Ambrose Akinmusire's Confessions To My Unknown Daughter there are some startling omissions in between.
No Bix, Condon or Teagarden. Apart from Benny Goodman and Duke the big band era is completely overlooked. No modern Basie. Dizzy shares a track with Bird but the Gillespie big band is prominent by its absence.No Peterson, Cannonball, Art Pepper...
Humph's Bad Penny Blues makes the cut as does Getz' Girl From Ipanema and, of course, Take Five.
Still, despite all that it is a good representation of the history of jazz and worth checking out if you are on Spotify - if you're not then this is an opportunity to sign up free.
Lance.

Tonight at the Hoochie Coochie

 Tonight (August 25) the Hoochie Coochie - 54 Pilgrim St., Newcastle, NE1 6SF - is the place to be if you like hard swinging modern jazz with more than a hint of bebop about it.
The STEVE FISHWICK QUARTET - Steve Fishwick (trumpet); Ross Stanley (keyboards); Tim Thornton (bass); Matt Fishwick (drums) - favour the hard bop style associated with the Blue Note label and such players as Lee Morgan, Freddy Hubbard, Kenny Dorham etc. With brother Matt driving things along and Ross Stanley (presumably on piano - hence the presence of bassist Tim Thornton) this promises to be an unmissable occasion.
Doors open 7:00pm with music 8:00pm. £14.00. Note that although advertised as free after 10.30pm the live music will presumably have finished by then! The Hoochie Coochie, which opened its doors to the public last weekend is probably the most luxurious jazz venue the city has known and, despite the opulance, the drink prices are reasonable.
Good music, good ale and comfortable surrounds - what more can we ask? Further information.
Steve Fishwick Soundbite.
Lance.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Warners' Original Album Series.

One of the better CD deals at the moment is Warner Brothers' Original Album series. These are 5 x CD packages comprising classic albums from Atlantic/Warners dating back to the 1950s.
The latest batch comprises:
John Coltrane - Giant Steps; Coltrane Jazz; My Favourite Things; Coltrane Plays The Blues; Coltrane's Sound.
-----
Ornette Coleman - The Shape of Jazz to Come; Change of the Century; This is Our Music; Free Jazz; Ornette!
 -----
Herbie Mann - At The Village Gate; Do The Bossa Nova With Herbie Mann; Nirvana (w. Bill Evans' Trio); Muscle Shoals Nitty Gritty; Hold on, I'm Comin'.
-----
Al Jarreau - We Got By; Glow; All Fly Home; This Time; Breakin' Away.
-----
Antonio Carlos Jobim - The Wonderful World of ACJ; Love, Strings and Jobim; A Certain Mr. Jobim; Urubu; Terra Brasilis.
-----
What can I say? The equivalent of 25 classic LPs that, give or take a couple, should be in every collection. Personally I was delighted to get my hands on Coltrane Plays the Blues. It's long been on my wish list and here it is.
Amazing that all these years later Ornette Coleman sounds almost mainstream - almost!
Al Jarreau, Jobim, Herbie Mann - unbeatable at their craft.
I've left the best till last - you can pick them up on Amazon for £6 - £12 each.
Maybe even cheaper elsewhere!
Lance.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Mo Scott w. Stuart Collingwood Trio @ The Cherry Tree.

Mo Scott (vcl); Stuart Collingwood (pno); Neil Harland (bs); Paul Smith (dms).
A good crowd showed their appreciation of the trio's version of C Jam Blues. a good indication that tonight was one of the hipper audiences!
Mo decided she was Taking A Chance On Love whilst I elected to take a chance on Salmon Fishcakes, Tartare Sauce and Garden Leaves.
We both picked a winner!
Mo effortlessly tailored the melody and the lyric to suit her interpretation of the Vernon Duke tune and I found my tastebuds marvelling at what can be done with a fishcake in the hands of an expert!
Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby? is a question Mo frequently poses. Embraceable You, a divine piece of Gershwinery sung soulfully and with feeling.
Bye Bye Blackbird - or in my case - bye bye Bavette Steak, Marmite Butter, Fries (a mountain of them!) and more Garden Leaves.
The standards flowed effortlessly as did my bottle of Black Sheep Bitter and by intermission time, as Mo wailed the blues, a couple danced causing the waitresses too to display some nimble footwork to avoid dousing the diners with a bowl of Roast Tomato and Pepper Soup!
I didn't stay to the (Black Sheep?) Bitter end despite Mo and the band swinging like crazy - yesterday's Jazzathon was taking its toll so, after my Honey and Vanilla Semifreddo, Toffee Apple and Toasted Pine Nuts which perfectly matched the Trio's version of All The Things You Are, I opted for an early night.
Lance.

THANK YOU, RUTH, I WON YOUR CD AT THE JAZZATHON!

Ruth Lambert (vcl); Graeme Wilson (ten); Paul Edis (pno) Mick Shoulder (bs); Tim Johnson (dms). Yes, there were loads of prizes to choose from in the raffle, including CDs, booze, posters and tee shirts. I’m told surplus prizes are being held over for future jazz events, so watch out for those, folks.
Not only do I now have a Ruth Lambert CD to enjoy, (Easy Street) but I was also able to see the real thing live, The Ruth Lambert Quintet, who did a really enjoyable set.
They began with No Moon At All, with Paul Edis rippling on the piano to Ruth’s sensitive interpretation for the first chorus. The band continued with I’m Glad There is You, then Ruth had fun with Love Me Like A Man. Other songs included Agua de Beber, then Devil May Care, full of sly smiles and vocal curls. The set was very well balanced, as the next number was an emotional Angel Eyes, every word beautifully clear, and a sax solo to add to the lonely feel.
Ruth pointed out that everything so far had been in a minor key, so she concluded with an upbeat Secret Love with lots of vocal improvisation. This gave rise to a discussion at our table about whether Doris Day was actually still alive – sorry Doris if you’re reading this, but the man on my right had you dead and buried! The musicians, sax, piano, bass and drums, did their stuff admirably too. As Lance says, the whole day was good and it’s not really appropriate to pick anyone in particular out for praise, but I thought I’d mention Ruth as she gave me a free CD, even though she didn’t realise it at the time! Ann Alex

Tonight @ The Cherry Tree Resturant, 9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond.)

Another vocal treat tonight for Discerning Diners when Mo Scott sheds, at least partially, her blues drenched personna in favour of the Gasbook. I say partially as, even if she was singing the Jewel Song from Faust it would have a bluesy tinge to it.
With Mo tonight are Stuart Collingwood on piano, Neil Harland (bass) and Paul Smith (drums).
Lance.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Jumpin' Jazzathon!

I'm not sure what the august figures whose portraits adorn the hallowed halls of the Literary and Philosophical Society would have thought on this August afternoon as the 2011 Jazzathon kicked off it's 12 hours of music in aid of the crisis in East Africa. They would surely have approved of the end result which raised over £1000 thanks to the generosity of fans and of course the bands who gave of their services free. As will be noted from the previous preview posting it was a rich and varied program with too many highlights to list and it would be both difficult and unfair for me to single out any one band or individual with the possible exception of Paul Edis who not only played in several different bands but also organised the whole shebang! On top of that he's just got married.
When I arrived, the Noel Dennis Quartet and ACV had already played sets that the durable Russell, who was there from the birth to the death, tells me were excellent. Armed with a bottle of Wylam Brewery's Angel Bitter I settled back and enjoyed the Sue Ferris Quintet who were in a very boppy mood on the opening Opus de Funk. Alongside Sue (pictured on tenor) was Graham Hardy. This was quite a poignant moment as Graham was playing the late Mike Gilby's flugel horn passed on to his former pupil - he did his mentor proud.
Next band up was Legohead described to me by someone sitting close by as McLaughlin meets Cobham meets Pastorius it was an apt description of this driving jazz/rock trio.
We'd had Mike Gilby's flugel horn now we had his daughter.
What is there left for me to say about Zoe Gilby that hasn't been said 1000 times on this blog? Well, nothing except I thought this was the best I'd ever heard her! Ditto Noel Dennis on trumpet and flugel. The Dry Cleaner From Des Moines, I'm Always Drunk in San Fransisco just two of the many gems.
The only way any one could follow this set was by complete contrast and that's just what we got from the James Birkett/Roly Veitch Duo with the added bonus of new guitar hero on the horizon Bradley Johnson. Cool and laid back this was gentle chamber jazz that was as cool and refreshing as a Mint Julep on a hot day in Manhattan.
More boppy arrangements in a well chosen set by the Mick Shoulder Quintet before an awesome nonstop one tune set by the Lewis Watson Trio.
This was a new Lew - I guess he'd taken a sabatical practising late at night on the Millennium Bridge - a sheer tour de force a la Sonny Rollins, Joshua and Dewey, David Murray. I was left as breathless as he should have been but wasn't! The moods varied from a Debussy like pastoral tranquility to the Ride of the Valkyries on Speed. This was a tone poem created in a thunderstorm! And so it continued...
Mick Donnelly blew some nice straight down the middle tenor that never stopped swinging. The Paul Edis Sextet kept the flag flying even though the audience were flagging!
The bar was kept busy - and so it should at a mere £2.50 a bottle - sandwiches were acquired from Subway and the numbers multiplied for Ruth Lambert (see seperate post later.)
Finally, the evening drew to a close with Ex Extreme (pictured right) the band formerly known as Extreme Measures before the departure of leader David Carnegie to Barbados. Indeed a piece was dedicated to David appropriately entitled Barbados!
A day of unmitigated delight.
Lance

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Jazzathon 2011 - Lit and Phil East African Appeal.

Many of the Northeast's top jazz groups and musicians are donating their services in an attempt to raise money for the DEC East Africa Crisis appeal with a twelve hour "Jazzathon".
This Sunday, at the Literary and Philosophical Society, 23 Westgate Rd., Newcastle, there will be jazz from 11:00am to 11:00pm.
-----
The running order is:
11:00: The Noel Dennis Quartet.
12:00: AVC.
13:00: Sue Ferris & Paul Edis.
14:00: Legohead.
15:00: Zoe Gilby.
16:00: Roly Veitch/James Birkett guitar duo.
17:00: Mick Shoulder Quintet.
18:00: Lewis Watson.
19:00: Mick Donnelly Band.
20:00: Ruth Lambert Band.
21:00: Paul Edis Sextet.
22:00: EX EXTREMIS.
-----
The above may be subject to change (I vaguely recall Paul Edis announcing something on Facebook re Sue Ferris' set) however, without official notification, I go with the leaflet.
Lance.

CD Review: The Moon, The Stars and You - Nils Landgren

Nils Landgren (tmb/vcl); Michael Wollney (pno); Lars Dannielsson (bs); Rasmus Kihlberg (dms).
Special guests - Joe Sample (pno); Joao Bosco (gtr/vcl); Richard Galliano (acc); Steve Gadd (dms); Caecillie Norby (vcl); NDR Big Band; Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra.
I knew of Landgren as an ace trombone player, of his association with Joe Sample's Jazz Crusaders and his own Funk Unit but somehow his talents as a ballad singer had passed me by which is why I welcome this new release.
To dedicate an album to the moon isn't totally original Frank gave us Moonlight Sinatra and Mel Tormé did Swingin' on the Moon. Landgren however, includes the stars too in the equation which gives him even more scope and room for originality.
The voice is pleasing - rather like Sting in his jazzier moments - with a husky edge to it ideally suited for standards such as Oh You Crazy Moon, Lost in the Stars and Till There Was You. I'm not quite sure how this latter title qualifies apart from the line There were birds in the sky. Please tell me if I'm missing something here! That aside, it's a great vocal track.
Instrumentally, Moon River has some nice slightly edgy trombone and Galliano's accordian brings almost a blue harp feel to it. Joe Sample and Steve Gadd push Nils along a bit on Joe's Moonblues.
Langdren himself wrote The Moon, the Stars and You, Moonshadow is a Cat Stevens tune, Jimmy Webb provided The Moon is a Harsh Mistress whilst Joao Bosco sang and played guitar on Holofotes.
There are many more delights to be found on this CD which is due for release on Sept. 5.
Lance.
The Moon, the Stars and You - Nils Landgren. ACT9505-2 - LC 07644.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Bill Croft Tracked Down!

Dawn wasn't far off when I decided to head for bed last night - a bit like the old days really. After a marathon Google session I'd finally picked up Bill's trail and with a few more hours this morning more details came to light.
Bill is in Brisbane, he's still playing and has extended his expertise from clarinet and alto to include tenor sax. I picked up four references to him which provide a sketchy outline of his musical life over the last twenty years.
From 1993 to 2001 he played in Brisbane's Caxton Street Jazz Band and it's "Jazztette" - a smaller "band within the band" presumably designed for smaller venues and to give the trumpet and trombone players a rest. There are an awful lot of Bill Crofts in the world and the Caxton Steet Jazztette photo here was the breakthrough that proved I was tracking the right man. He's unmistakable.
In 2006 he was playing Sunday nights at Maggie Black's, a jazz restaurant, with the Bill Croft Five Stars (shades of the Blue Star Band). Incidentally Maggie seems to have had a fascinating life following her twin passions of cooking and jazz around the world via just about every continent and including Whitley Bay! Look up her "My weekly blog - travels and jazz" on Google - it's an eye opener.
In 2011 Bill was reported playing in the Brisbane Jazz Club with "Mike Ross and Friends", which seems to be an occasional scratch band, and two months ago in the June issue of the Noosa Heads Jazz Club "Musletter" (great title that) there's a piece advertising a forthcoming event featuring "Jo's Boys" with a photo that includes Bill on clarinet & sax. In the event Bill didn't make the gig, the July Musletter did a review of it and the clarinet player was Paul Williams. Let's hope that whatever prevented Bill being there didn't keep him away long.
Jef Robinson.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Maine Street Jazzmen and Chips @ Rosie's!

Olive Rudd (vcl); Herbie Hudson (tmb/hca/vcl); Jim McBriarty (clt/alt/vcl); George Richardson (keys); Alan Rudd (bs); Mike Humble (dms).
It was almost back to normal today at Rosie's with Jim on reeds and George on keys - only absentee being Ray Harley. Nevertheless, even without a driving horn, the two frontliners more than cope.
"Whispering Jim McBriarty" delighted us with his crooning on Nobody's Sweetheart - in a previous lifetime he'd have been a matinee idol causing the ladies to reach for their smelling salts! In today's less temperate society who knows what they'd have reached for! Jim also spread the word on clarinet and alto.
Herbie, not as suave or as sophisticated as Jim, told it like it is both vocally, trombone-wise and with a mindblowing harmonica blast that somehow segued into Hey-Ba-Ba-Re-Bop. The good times rolled.
George Richardson injected a little sanity into the procedings with his ever tasteful - yet always swinging - solos.
Olive set the benchmark with I Thought About You - great song sung beautifully. The rhythm section as ever gelled and the afternoon was one of many delights.
Talking of those delights - alongside the traditional array of cheese, black pudding, pickled onions, crackers (biscuits), sausages bowls of chips were added. A culinary feast!
Lance.

Wilbur's Fate @ The Head of Steam, Newcastle. August 17th

Jordi Cooke (guitar), Matthew Forster (tenor saxophone & bass clarinet), JohnPope (double bass) & David Francis (drums)'
The Head of Steam's basement performance space was the ideal setting for the debut of Wilbur's Fate. A good crowd of well-wishers turned out to hear the quartet. Bassist John Pope has been gigging for a numbers of years, so too the ubiquitous David Francis (an accomplished drummer in any idiom). Pope and Francis are of the younger generation of jazz players in the north east yet the other half of the quartet made them look like veterans. Guitarist Jordi Cooke and reedsman Matthew Forster first appeared on Bebop Spoken Here's radar at the short-lived Boiler Room sessions just down the road at the Bridge Hotel. Cooke, contributor of much of the material heard, has developed an on-stage presence and is at ease talking to the audience. He is a distinctive stylist in the making; contemporary yet ''retro Modern''.
The Downbeat and the New Orleans Jazz Club are legendary jazz haunts of Newcastle, sadly long gone. Modern jazz combos, were, I'm sure, playing just about every night of the week in those places. Listening to Wilbur's Fate had this listener imagining that these latter day Modernists would have found a niche back in the day. Tenor player Forster looked the part and he too has adopted the sound of the Modernists. The opening number - Twisted Tales - was a punchy, brief affair. A Cooke ballad - Poem - revealed a lyrical side before a return to up-tempo material - Praying Mantis and All Bets Are Off - defined an excellent first set.
A varied beer selection occupied the thoughts of the barflies during the interval and there was much chatter amongst a who's who of the local jazz scene in town to check out Wilbur's Fate.
The audience decided to hang around for the second set to hear Absolute Destination, the ballad After Everything featuring a tenor solo from Forster and other tunes. A tune with no name became The Man with No Name with Forster forging a powerful solo on bass clarinet!
The senior members of the band - Messrs. Pope and Francis - were on top form and contributed typically effective solos. The band certainly knew how to swing and from time to time did just that.
Wilbur's Fate should be heard live. It is a new project of course but on this first hearing there is much more to come. The band's next gig is but a stone's throw across the railway tracks at the Telegraph pub on Orchard Street, Friday 23rd September. Recommended.
Photos. Russell.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Birdflight.

Just wondering if readers know about a website run by Phil Schaap the American jazz historian and obsessive world-wide authority on the life & music of Charlie Parker? Phil broadcasts a programme each week-day called "Birdflight" on US radio station WKCR dedicated to playing & studying all of Bird's recordings from all sources in chronological order.
Each show lasts about 1hr 20mins and some of them can be heard online on www.philschaapjazz.com (go into the Radio Archives). You will need stamina because Phil can talk (and talk and talk)! He often uses an entire broadcast to disect a tiny detail of Birdlore!
David Brownlow.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Carmen McRae Guess Who I Saw Today

There's a lot of great versions of this number - I first heard it by Eydie Gormé but there's also recordings by Julie London, Janis Siegel - an amazing live one by Nancy Wilson - even Twiggy got in the act! However, Carmen McRae's take is, for me, the number one. Love to hear some of our contemporary croonbirds do it...
Lance.

FAREWELL TO A LEGEND by Eddie Sammons

It was a busy Friday afternoon on the 29th July at “The Ship” at Mortlake. Beer was supped, sandwiches munched; friends reunited, new friendships made; memories were rekindled, stories were swapped. A host of Delaneys – Donna, Tony, Hannah, Kindah and various grandchildren – mingled with visitors as did Eileen, Eric Delaney’s partner of many years.
I spotted Eric’s pal, Alex Jackson, “alleged comedian” (his own words!) Danny Downing and a host of musicians, many from the Coda Club. The sole surviving musician from Eric’s big band was there – pianist Don Innes – as were a number of British jazz/swing stalwarts – Stan Roderick, Ronnie Hughes, Bill Geldard, Ray Wordsworth, and Bobby Orr. From Eric’s “little big band days” came Bernadette Wilde, Andy Mudd, Michael “Munch” Manship, Micky Greenwood and, of course, Tony Fisher.
An explosive display of percussive pyrotechnics by 2009’s Young Drummer of the Year, Richard Rayner, told us it was time to listen. Though it was force of circumstance that put Richard on first, it was appropriate. Eric’s support for young players was always there and a sort of bond had developed between the “young blood” and the “old maestro”. Tony Fisher then led a jam session with Don Innes on keyboard and Guy Walsh on drums. Many regretted not having brought instruments with them. So trombones and trumpets led the way. Tony proved that he still “had the chops” but I think even his eyes lit up when Georgina Jackson played and she showed why Eric had hired her when she was just eighteen! Eric would have loved it – the music, all his old and not-so-old pals, and the music.
He would have loved, too, the place where we had said our formal farewells. Mortlake Crematorium has beautiful settings and Eric was always fond of green areas, flowers and trees. The humanist ceremony was opened by Kevin Miles, in full uniform, from the R.A.F. Central Band thus representing “The Squadronaires” with whom Eric played in recent years and acknowledging Eric’s service with the R.A.F. Celebrant Pippa Wilcox took us through a potted history of Eric’s life and character which was often hilarious. Interspersed were tributes and stories from Tony Fisher, Arthur Casson from Blackpool, Stephen Henderson from the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and Eric’s long-time pal, Alex “Big Al” Jackson, and, to end, a piece by Dr. Ian Darrington, MBE, read (beautifully so) by broadcaster Sheila Tracy. A reflective, diverse selection of contibutors whose words were supported by equally diverse music. Eric would have loved it. “Bring Me Sunshine” by Morecambe and Wise, the anvil bit from Wagner’s “Gotterdammerung”, “Little Drummer Boy” (Eric was not really very tall, was he?) played by his great friend the late Louie Bellson. To end? What else but Eric’s own recording of “Manhattan Spiritual”. I am told that about 250 people attended. Certainly the chapel was packed. Other than those already mentioned, I noted a few people I recognised and they included Kenny Ball, drummers Lloyd Ryan and Peter Cater and I expect there were more. Nigel Bates (ex-Chief Percussion, ROH) was there. So, too, was Ken Chaisty who organised many Delaney events. It was good to see Alan Skidmore there in a sort of a dual role – in his own right and in the spirit of his father, Jimmy, for whom Eric had the greatest respect. Both father and son had played in Eric’s bands. Eric was used to seeing large audiences and it was fitting that he should depart with a full house. Goodbye, Eric, there’ll never be another like you.
Eddie Sammons.
-----
Re-posted with permission from Eddie Sammons author of "The Magnificent Eric Delaney."
Originally posted on Mike Dolbear DRUMS - the definitive drummers website.
Lance.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Guardian - Eric Delaney Obituary.

Yesterday's Guardian had this splendid - albeit belated - Eric Delaney obituary by Peter Vacher. Link. Thanks to Eileen for drawing this to my notice.
Lance.

Wilbur's Fate - a New Project.

Wilbur's Fate has a very distinctive musical sound, combining jazz with elements of folk, ambient and rock. The talented four piece are: Jordie Cooke - guitar, Matthew Forster - tenor sax/bass clarinet, David Francis - drums and John Pope on upright bass.
The group was formed by guitarist Jordie who currently resides in the Lake District. "I try and write music that's a combination of everything I like to listen to. Compositions which incorporate storylines, drama, emotion and always strong melodies.
Our musical influences range from Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, Jeff Buckley to Radiohead."
At the moment Wilbur's Fate are working toward producing their first album together.
Their debut performance will be at the Head of Steam, on Wednesday the 17th of August, showcasing all of their new compositions.
Head of SteamWednesday 17th August 2011. Doors: 7:30pm. £4.50.
The band’s demo can be heard at: http://wilbursfate1.bandcamp.com/album/wilburs-fate-ep.
David F.
Editor: I re-posted this as, after listening to the demo tracks, I'm really impressed and suggest that you too give them a listen and then get along on Wednesday to the Head of Steam.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Jazz Café Jam Session

Sarah Travena (sop); Doug Fielder (ten); Ray Burns (hca/acc); Pete Gilligan (pno); Ray Truskett (bs); Omid Ramak (dms).
The Jazz Café, began life as a coachman's residence and later became a bakery and then a jazz venue. the building dates back to 1760, in many ways so does Keith Crombie, the proprieter, a man with firm opinions on present day values. An intensely proud person, Keith has run the Jazz Café without outside funding for 20 years and is no stranger to tilting at windmills! Nor is he averse to giving praise where praise is due and today he was full of praise for the Sunday "afternoon" jammers.
Deservedly so, Sarah is continuingly developing on soprano and now that Pete is back to his two-handed best they make a great team.
On tenor Doug offers an interesting contrast whilst Ray Burns (pictured) played great harmonica as well as picking up the sartorial kudos. Ray Truskett and Omid helped drive things along and all in all it was an enjoyable session.
As a sort of an intermission three young guys - two guitars one conga drum - joined Pete and Ray Truskett for Take A Walk On The Wild Side. Without a mic it was difficult for the vocal to cut through so will reserve judgement.
Lance.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

You Ain't Nuttin' but a Horndog!

John Taylor posted this shot on Facebook of Horndogs playing al fresco in Morpeth this afternoon. Don Fairley, David Gray (tmbs); Graham Hardy, Alistair Lord (tpts). Sax, Kit, Tuba? Thanks John. Lance.

CD Review: Jacqui Dankworth "It Happens Quietly" - Officially released on Monday August 15.

Any lingering suggestions that Jacqui Dankworth was trading on her parents celebrated status are completely blown out of the water on this, her most recent CD. Admittedly there are a few nuances that hint at a maternal influence - there are few British singers who haven't absorbed something from Dame Cleo - but they aren't many of them here most of the time what you hear is pure Jacqui.
This is an album that mixes lush strings with emotive vocals and sympathetic solos from such as Karen Sharp on tenor sax and bass clarinet, Tim Garland, soprano, Jimmy Hastings, flute and bass clarinet. Even the late Sir John Dankworth has an alto solo on The Man - an original composed by father and daughter some years previous - grafted into this version.
Sir John's last recorded solo and a worthy epithet.
Most of the arrangements are by Sir John and/or Ken Gibson and they provide the perfect setting for the voice.
In his liner notes, Rod Argent writes "...Jacqui's is a voice made to sing standards...clear as a bell, with perfect intonation."
And what standards!
A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square; In the Still of the Night; I'm Glad There is You; A Love Like Ours; My Foolish Heart; Make Someone Happy; Blame it on my Youth; Ill Wind; At Last; Folks Who Live on the Hill plus the title track and The Man - the former written by Sir John and Buddy Kaye.
An album of sheer delight and well worth seeking out.
Lance.
Jacqui Dankworth "It Happens Quietly" Due for release on August 15, 2011

Friday, August 12, 2011

Hoochie Coochie hits the ground running with Zoe Gilby Band

Zoe Gilby (vcl); Caroline Bagley (alt); Stuart Collingwood (pno); Nick Pride (gtr); Andy Champion (bs); Richard Brown (dms).
Newcastle's newest hot spot - The Hoochie Coochie on Pilgrim Street - staged a pre-opening night to an invited audience who enjoyed the hospitality and the ambience of the 200 seater room.
Owner Warren's aim is to provide a showcase for modern jazz, soul and funk in a compatible setting. To quote from the publicity "...a cool, clean, luxury bar designed exclusively for all lovers of soul, funk and jazz music." We wish him well.
Tonight's bash saw Zoe front a specially chosen group with Caroline Bagley on Alto, Stuart Collingwood, on keys and guitarist Nick Pride augmenting regular cohorts Andy Champion (bass) and Richard Brown (drums).
Despite a generally indifferent crowd who were more interested in the booze than the blooze Zoe gave a polished performance from her gasbook rather than her more contemporary cookbook.
The opening set - Just Squeeze Me, One Note Samba, Time After Time, Darn That Dream, I Thought About You, and West Coast Blues was vintage Zoe and should have been given rapt attention.
Nevertheless, for those who did listen it was a superb set with, apart from Zoe, great solos all-round. Caroline Bagley, of whom Russell raved over at Stockton, blew fiery alto and Stuart and Nick also had moments to savour as did Andy and Richard.
The second set moved up a gear with an uppish Lullaby of Birdland, followed by Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me, You Turned the Tables on Me, Peel Me a Grape, Caravan and Centerpiece.
A good night was had by all.
The bar opens to the public tomorrow (Saturday August 13) with Kenny Thomas.
Lance.

R.I.P. Richard Turner.

I've just learned from LondonJazz of the death of young trumpet star Richard Turner. Although I never actually heard him play I knew of him and the company he moved in - Julian Siegel, Gwilym Simcock, Kit Downes to name but three. His reputation was growing rapidly and he looked to be destined for great things.
Very sad.
Lance.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Maine Street Jazzmen @ Rosies

Herbie Hudson (tmb.vcl/hca); Gavin Lee (clt); Brian Chester (pno); Alan Rudd (bs); Mike Humble (dms); Olive Rudd (vcl).
I've heard Gavin Lee several times yet today it was like hearing him for the first time!
Today he blew loosely and soared effortlessy above the ensemble - albeit with some harmless show-boating along the way that was well received by the crowd. In the continuing absence of Ray Harley Gavin adds that little bit of extra personality to the front-line.
On keys, Brian Chester slotted in admirably his two-handed style perfectly suited to the idiom. Olive passed her finals with honours and graduated as Doctor Jazz whilst her version of Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen raised La Belle Dame to consultancy level.
It was an enjoyable afternoon.
Lance.

Vive la difference! (Holiday Jazz)

Saxophone quartet: baritone, Juan Carlos; tenor, Julio; alto, Benotti; soprano, Claudio. Don’t know where they got the Spanish names from as they were all local lads, but the group’s name should strike a chord with many North-East musicians: “sans gain” = without profit! Shame if it’s true ‘cos they were great!
I always enjoy reviewing Cherry Tree gigs: great music and fantastic food. So tonight’s offering at the camp-site – “Soirée Jazz et Sardines Grillées” was a must! We were not disappointed.
When the saxophone quartet launched into their first number (something ragtime, I think – nothing was announced, nothing was mic’d) the sardines, fresh from a fishmonger’s van, were sizzling on the grills and potatoes were frying with garlic and parsley. Simple, fresh food, in the open air, with local wine flowing and an enthusiastic crowd…..what an atmosphere!
OK, it wasn’t all jazz – they did a great Blues Brothers’ “Everybody…” and “Rawhide” popped up somewhere in a medley and then there was the one which sounded a bit like “When I’m 64” (but wasn’t!). They also did (in no particular order) a few Joplin-esque numbers and “Sentimental Journey” and “Ain’t She Sweet?” and “Minnie the Moocher” (with everyone singing along) and a stomping version of “Take Five”. Formidable! (Merci bien, guys si vous lisez ceci!!)
The French really love their live music: this is a small, inland site and we have live jazz! And when it came to disco time, after the eating was done, the crowd demanded (and got) more from the live musicians and the DJ was left twiddling his thumbs for ten minutes before the band stepped down to loud applause. Interestingly, the demand was “un autre, un autre!”, as opposed to “encore!” Vive la difference! Jerry E.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Jazz Action @ The Stockton Weekender. August 7. Part three.

A day of highlights, the following, oh so contrasting set, was, as Ornette Coleman once said, Something Else!!!!
A very rare outing for Spelk is an occasion, an experience and not for the faint-hearted. Messrs. Sharkey, Champion and Tilbrook took to the stage and without discussion, without a safety net and with only a fire extinguisher at hand, let fly. Wow! So powerful, so loud, so intense. Chris Sharkey, an extraordinary guitar player, Andy Champion (the hardest working bloke in Stockton) and drummer Adian Tilbrook tore the place apart. There is nothing left to say except, if they ever get together again, to quote John Zorn...Check 'Em Out!
Two trios followed. Mark Williams with Richard Brown (drums) and yes, you've guessed it, Andy Champion on electric bass. Williams, himself a first rate player, provided the perfect antidote to Spelk. Dazzling fret work, tune after tune including Cow Pat (an homage to Metheny) and Minor Detail were major highlights.
Legohead (great name) is a vehicle for guitarist Lloyd Wright to dazzle (dazzling guitarists were everywhere) in the company of the versatile David Francis (drums) and Jon Proud (five string electric bass). Clocks (perhaps owing a debt to St.Thomas), Avon, Standby and others have become readily identifiable tunes; excellent construction and great hooks. The band will soon record a CD. Upon its release buy it.
The closing set, by now a tradition, featured the one and only Funk Regulators. This year it was a scaled down version - a septet - from the orchestra-like numbers of previous years. Fear not, this remains one funkin' good band. Driven along by Richard Brown's impressive drumming and fronted by brother Steven on guitar and vocals this was Soul with a Capital S.
The Stockton Weekender was an unqualified success. Thanks go to Noel Dennis, Adrian Tilbrook (Jazz Action), Tees Music Alliance and many others for making it all happen.
Russell.
THE END
(Or at least until next year).

Revolver - SoundCloud - Jazz! by Keith Armstrong

Poetry and Charlie Parker - Listen here. Dr. Keith Armstrong.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Jazz Action @ The Stockton Weekender, August 7 - Part two.

The centre piece of the day presented four of the region's very best singers. Ruth Lambert, well known to regular readers of Bebop Spoken Here, gave a polished performance supported by a hard-working rhythm section comprising Stuart Collingwood (keyboards), the indefatigable Andy Champion (double bass) and drummer David Francis together with the supreme tenor saxophonist, Graeme Wilson.
Bonnie Raitt's Love Me Like a Man proved to be perfect material for Lambert. Suzanne Vega's Caramel was given a lazy, bossa treatment and the GAS Book wasn't forgotten with a classy version of No Moon at All.
The rhythm section's services were retained as Lindsay Hannon stepped up to sing a wide-ranging programme. Stompin' at the Savoy was bold, sung with verve, Tom Waits was in the pad and I Can't Escape From You was a highlight.
Claire Kelly is a real find. The Tyneside based singer has emerged as a serious voice and backed by the same top class house band she delivered an interesting set list. Rhode Island Is Famous For You and John Dankworth's Let's Slip Away were but two numbers to impress. West Coast Blues, a number recorded by Lambert and Zoe Gilby, no less, stood comparison and that was no mean feat. Perhaps the highlight of Kelly's set was Mad About the Boy. Stuart Collingwood offered excellent support on this one. Hey, Dinah, watch out!
The singers' session concluded with an appearance by the wonderful Zoe Gilby. If anyone could follow Ms. Lambert, Ms.Hannon and Ms. Kelly it had to be Gilby and she didn't disappoint. Waters of March, Jobim's lyrics tongue-twister, was word perfect with perfect diction. The Gilby-Champion duet has become a firm favourite and a Kate Bush number and Monk's classic Well You Needn't were a great success. Gilby, with Graeme Wilson on tenor, went out with Dave Brubeck's Travelin' Blues. Great stuff.
Great set.
Russell.
To be continued...

CD Review: Loud City - Vasilis Xenopoulos & The Xtet.

Vasilis Xenopoulos (ten/alt); Nigel Price (gtr); Sam Gambarini (Hammond); Chris Nickolls (dms).
A major event! Those of us who have enjoyed "Vasi's" occasional forays to Blaydon, Durham, Saltburn, Jesmond and Newcastle will be delighted with this - his debut CD as a leader.
Eight original pieces composed and arranged by Xenopolous and played with the Grecian elegance we have come to associate with this fine sax player.
The moods very from Mobleyesque hard bop (West Side Groove), pure bebop (The X Changes), funky grooves (Loud City, Elis Can Dance), to ballads (And Now What?), relaxed swing (For All Those Lazy Sundays.)
Vasilis sails through the changes every note counting - no pointless displays of technique to cover up a paucity of ideas here although when the solo demands it the dexterity is there.
The Nigel Price Trio - big hitters in their own right - provide the perfect support. Price is the ideal foil playing some superb guitar solos to complement the tenor/alto work. Sam Gambarini resists the temptation to dominate the others with the power at his right foot (despite the title it's not a triple forte album) and is tasteful and sympathetic throughout. On drums Chris Nikolls provides the perfect foundation to suit the varied rhythms.
When I list my Recordings of the Year this one is going to be pretty high on the list.
More details and soundbites from www.vasilisx.com.
Lance.
Vasilis Xenopoulos - Loud City. 33jazz224

Monday, August 08, 2011

Jazz Action @ The Stockton Weekender. August 7th - Part one.

The Georgian Theatre in Stockton once again hosted the Jazz Action showcase running from noon 'til late.
Teesside trumpeter Noel Dennis blew the first note of the day to signal a set of top class Blue Note inspired jazz. Trombone ace Chris Hibbard, the advertised attraction with Dennis' band, wasn't available yet his absence didn't detract from the performance. Tunes by Wayne Shorter, Tom Harrell and Woody Shaw were given due respect and solos flowed from Dennis, guitarist Mark Williams and Andy Champion (double bass).
A quick turnaround and Saxophonics took to the stage. Given that there wasn't much of a hiatus the quartet started, rather ironically, with Mike Mower's Hiatus. Tenor player Graeme Wilson brought a couple of tunes to the table and we feasted (and supped) on Street of Furs and Stranded at the Wine Bar. Wilson and fellow reedsmen Niall Armstrong (baritone sax), Steve Summers (tenor & alto saxes) and Keith Robinson (alto & soprano saxes) executed immaculate close harmony ensemble work throughout and were a joy to listen to.
Jazz Action workshops are a feature of the Stockton music scene and following months of hard work aspiring musicians are given the chance to perform to an attentive public each year at the Stockton Weekender. This year the talented students - collectively known as Milestones - the Next Step - faced the challenge of original material thrown at them by tutors Graham Hardy (trumpet) and Andy Champion (double bass). Hardy's Blue Dragon opened with a free-ish section and featured a mature, measured contribution from a very young looking and talented guitarist. Caroline Bagley, once a student of these sessions and now very much a role model tutor herself played some killer alto and her frontline partners, two altoists, got stuck in to the material. Bass and percussion did the business with kit player Tom Chapman destined to go far. Bassist Andy Champion was commissioned to write a suite for the occasion and the ensemble passed with flying colours. (See comments for full personnel).
Russell.
There will be more postings from Russell on this mammoth occasion over the next few days.

Ruth Lambert w. Stuart Collingwood Trio @ The Cherry Tree.

Ruth Lambert (vcl); Stuart Collingwood (pno); Neil Harland (bs); Paul Smith (dms).
The Trio opened up with I Got Rhythm and I got Confit Chicken and Black Pudding Terrine, Sauce Gribiche. Both offerings were nicely cooked.
Ruth took to the stage Like Someone In Love and soon she was In The Mood For Love (very Julie Londonish) although she finished the love trilogy by posing the question What Is This Thing Called Love? For me the question was answered in the form of a Bavette Steak (medium rare), Garden Leaves, Frites, Garlic Butter.
Ruth herself delved into the songbook for some of the medium rarely performed (by her) numbers such as I Should Care, I Get Along Without You Very Well, Blue Skies and Lush Life. The latter number complemented my Champagne Jelly, Strawberry and Watermelon dessert perfectly.
Our girl was in good voice tonight whilst Stuart, Neil and Paul gave her backing to die for.
The second set had Watch What Happens, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes - this Ruth told us was her mother's favourite - Moonglow, The Way You Look Tonight, a bluesy Willow Weep For Me, One Note Samba and, saving the very best for last, One For My Baby.
If you have yet to visit this fine jazz dinerie then Now's The Time as there is a summer special menu with 20% off! Two courses for £13.60 and three for £15.60 - plus the jazz which next week is Trumpet player Graham Hardy with the Paul Edis Trio.
Lance.

Elaine Binney and the Jazz Rascals at Blyth Beach Bandstand Sunday August 6 2011

Elaine Binney (violin), Keith Mills (bass), Eliza Lawson (vocals) Jae Brooks (drums) What a refreshing change to hear this exciting new young band. Afternoon weather conditions at Blyth Bandstand resulted in the concert being moved to a room in the nearby Marine Centre.
Elaine built up a great rapport with the audience and at one stage during the Michael Jackson number Smooth Criminal, a little girl did a spot of impromptu Irish dancing for us!
Weather conditions also featured in Autumn Leaves, Stormy Weather and Over The Rainbow.
Great tempos from the rhythm section followed with Work Song, Unsquare Dance and Take Five. Also of note were the pleasing arrangements of Summertime, All Blues and Watermelon Man. The bands two original numbers Swan Like and Jokers and Kings were performed with a commitment which was amazing to behold. I recommend this band to anyone wanting to listen to a fresh new approach to jazz. One thing is certain Elaine is no Django/Grappelli copyist – she has a wonderful style of her own!! Photos.
John Taylor.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Jazz Café Moments.

I couldn't make it on Saturday night but those who did tell me that Debra Milne's new band - Debra (vcl); Judith Thompson (vln); Matt Office (gtr); Ivan Scutt (bs); Rob Bates (dms) - gave an audience pleasing performance. Even old grumps proprieter Keith conceded the band a nod of approval!
Today was a rather lower profile session as many of the key players were on Splinter duty down in deepest Stockton.
However, the aforementioned Matt Office along with, Ray Truskett (bass), Stuart Findon (piano), Fiona Littlewood (vcl/ten), Doug Fielder (ten) were on hand to goose Fi's vocal along.
Doxy, You Don't Know What Love Is and Now's The Time a.k.a. Hucklebuck were a few of the tunes that lingered longer with me as I rode the 27 bus home.
Lance.
PS: Fi also blew some tasty tenor.
Above photo is of Stuart and Fiona by Kaveh Emami. more photos here.

Maine Street Jazzmen @ Ashington Jazz Club August 3, 2011

The attendance at our August meeting was sadly reduced by members on Summer vacations who missed a pleasant evening of excellent swing music which included the unexpected appearance of two surprise guests.
In the absence of Jim McBriarty the talented Steve Andrews depped on clarinets and sax while John Taylor, the active member of our Club, joined the band on alto for the opening number, Just a little while to stay here which for John was his brief appearance of the evening, and he did not disgrace himself. Steve always brings his humour to his performances and he blends in beautifully with this ensemble. There are insufficient adjectives or superlatives to applaud this group on the frequent visits made to Ashington. Suffice to say that a variable programme is always presented in exciting and colourful performances with all members making a positive contribution to the arrangements.
Herbie (Hudson) is multi-talented and you can always expect quality in his vocals, trombone and harmonica while the popular Olive (Rudd) delivers with energy but we would always wish to hear more from her. She gave us her versions of Blue Skies, Meet Me Tonight in Dreamland, and It Had to be You as well as a final chorus with Herbie on Bourbon Street Parade. A request for Masquerade was beautifully performed with Harmonica and keyboard as one. Steve excelled with his rendition of Clarinet Marmalade during which he introduced two clarinets, and throughout the gig his tenor saxophone was always strong, bold and rounded.
The front line musicians led with style most ably supported and driven forward by the superb rhythm section. This once again was an excellent evening of Jazz with its variable moods and forms. It was a pity that we were thin on the ground but hopefully attendance will improve as the year moves on.
Peter S.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

On the Road to Ruth.

Those with an insatiable appetite for the vocal charms of Ruth Lambert - or indeed those with just an insatiable appetite - then the next 3 days are for you!
Tonight (Saturday Aug 6), Ruth will be serenading the diners in what is described as "A Jazz Supper" at Dalton's Restaurant, The Customs House, South Shields. Three courses and the Ruth Lambert Trio for £19.50 - 7:00pm.
-----
Tomorrow afternoon Ruth joins up with Zoe Gilby, Lindsay Hannon and Claire Kelly for a couple of vocal sets at the Georgian Theatre, Stockton. This is an all day event with the girls on around 3:00pm. I'm not sure if there is any food on at the gig but Stockton is noted for it's café (50 million flies can't be wrong!*) and the admission to the concert is free.
-----
Monday night and Ruth is at the Cherry Tree Restaurant in Jesmond - always a good combination of music and food. 7:30pm. Lance.
-----
*Not true but I couldn't resist pinching this old Humph joke (or was it Ronnie Scott?)

Friday, August 05, 2011

Scarborough lose Loussier - Gain Rees-Williams.

The sad news from next month's Scarborough Jazz Festival is that French pianist Jacques Loussier has had to pull out because of illness. Disappointing as this is the good news is that he is being replaced by the David Rees-Williams Trio.
Piano/organ virtuoso Rees-Williams has, in the opinion of many, taken the concept of classical pieces performed in a jazz context to an even higher level than that of Loussier who pioneered the format in the 1960s.
The prospect of hearing David at The Spa's Bosendorfer grand as well as at the Hammond is a mouth watering prospect indeed.
Radio Three's Jazz Line Up are recording the concert which is good but not as good as being there in person and hearing it live in the newly re-furbished Grand Hall of The Spa.
The Festival runs from Friday Sept. 23 to Sunday Sept. 25 with the Rees-Williams Trio concert closing the Saturday session at 10:30pm.
For further details go to http://www.scarboroughjazzfestival.co.uk/ or call 01723 367869.
Lance.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Maine Street Jazzmen @ Rosie's.

Herbie Hudson (tmb/vcl/hca); Steve Andrews (clt); George Richardson (pno); Alan Rudd (bs); Mike Humble (dms); Olive Rudd (vcl).
The Maine Street gang have a simple solution when they need a clarinet player - The Twentieth Century Ragtime Orchestra! Jimmy McBriarty, Gavin Lee and, this week, Steve Andrews.
Steve was in fine form and, although I missed his tenor playing the work on gobbo made up for it. I can't recall hearing a better clarinet solo on Hindustan!
Olive sang All of Me, I'm Crazy 'Bout My Baby, Fine and Dandy and a show-stopping Sister Kate. Strikes me that, in the absence of Ray Harley, Olive should be featured more often. She fills the gap perfectly.
George Richardson, as always, excelled his solos moving the band a little further up the timescale.
Rhythm on top of things it was another swinging afternoon.
Lance.

CD Review: Shizaru - The Naked Truth

Lorenzo Feliciati (bass guitars/keys), Pat Mastelotto (drums/percussion), Roy Powell (piano/Fender Rhodes/ Hammond/keys) & Cuong Vu (trumpet/electronics).
Italian bassist Lorenzo Feliciati has brought together like-minded friends to produce the CD Shizaru. Americans trumpeter Cuong Vu and Pat Mastelotto (drums) and British keyboards player Roy Powell empathise with Feliciati's musical vision.
A post Apocalypse soundscape emerges from a Bitches Brew of a cauldron. Feliciati's fretless bass centres the group sound, on occasion inhabiting Headhunters territory, around which Powell's Fender Rhodes stabs and pokes as Vu's trumpet work is heard, distorted and distant.
The trumpeter hails from New York's downtown scene and on this outing is clearly the free-jazz improvising voice of the quartet. Drummer Mastelotto lays down constantly shifting grooves and on the title track - Shizaru - he goes into nu-metal overdrive. This is very much the exception to the rule with much of the CD residing in a mid-tempo chill-out zone.
Russell.
The Naked Truth's Shizaru is available now on Rare Noise Records RNR019.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Hot and Cool with Ian Shaw and Clare Teal in Harrogate

I wasn't in Harrogate for the event, which was part of the Summer Festival, but the York Press was and, after giving Clare Teal a lukewarm review, Matt, their reviewer, gave a warmer one to Ian Shaw.
I wasn't there but I love both artists and it would be interesting to hear from those fans who were.
Thanks to Liz for drawing my attention to the review.
Lance.

Happy Birthday Tony - 85 today!

The Stars Really Will Fall on Stockton This Sunday!

Stockton Riverside Fringe Festival - ‘’Milestones – The Next Step’’ Georgian Theatre, Green Dragon Yard, Stockton on Tees. TS18 1AT. Tel: 01642 674115. Free!
  • 12:00 - 12:45 Noel Dennis Quartet featuring Chris Hibbard (tmb).
  • 13:00 - 13:45 Saxophonics.
  • 14:00 - 14:45 Milestones – The Next Step.
  • 15:00 - 16:30 Singers’ Day (Gilby, Lambert, Hannon, Kelly) Part One.
  • 16:45 - 17:30 Singers Day Part Two (as above).
  • 17:45 - 18:30 Spelk.
  • 18:45 - 19:30 Mark William Trio.
  • 19:45 - 20:30 Legohead.
  • 20:45 - 21:30 Funk Regulators.
  • I heard it on the grapevine the unconfirmed report that the Claude Werner Quartet has pulled out of the 16:45 spot hence the Part Two of Singers' Day replacement. Presented in conjunction with Jazz Action.
  • ...and there won't be a Shadow in sight. Lance.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Sarah Ellen Hughes Big Band

This delightful clip is of Anna and Sarah Ellen Hughes fronting the Ruislip Big Band. Sarah Ellen is one of the artists appearing at the Customs House, South Shields later in the year. Lance.

CD Review: Good Days at Schloss Elmau - Gwilym Simcock

Gwilym Simcock (solo piano).
When an album is nominated for the prestigious 2011 Barclaycard Mercury Prize - the only jazz album in contention - then it has to be something special and Good Days at Schloss Elmau is just that and more.
A collection of original works by Simcock that successfully walks the high wire between classical European music and contemporary jazz without compromise to either.
There are many influences and inspirations from both worlds. Bill Evans and Chopin, Keith Jarrett and Debussy, Bach and Peterson but most of all Simcock himself who has developed a technique as formidable as any pianist around today and a few who aren't enabling him to transmit his thoughts instantly to the keyboard to produce the magical moments on this CD.
Moments that are tender, sad or reflective. Others where his exuberance leaps at you full of vitality and excitement.
If I had to face the impossible task of choosing just one track from the CD I think it might be Northern Smiles where he plays homage to Jarrett's Southern Smiles.
There's a Scottish folkiness about the Welshman's composition that appeals to this Englishman!
Check it out.
Good Days at Schloss Elmau - Gwilym Simcock. ACT 9501-2 - LC 07644.
Lance.

Tonight's Shields Gazette

One of our local newspapers - the Shields Gazette - has devoted almost a full page spread, including a photo of Enrico Tomasso, to forthcoming jazz concerts at South Shields Customs House.
Well done the Gazette!
Lance.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Mendelssohn must do ok on royalties!

Whilst Zara and Mike were tying the knot up in Scotland, closer to home, a prince amongst pianists also got hitched.
Paul Edis and Kate became Mr and Mrs this Saturday.
Music was provided by Roly Veitch, Noel Dennis and Neil Harland with Andy Champion, Graham Hardy, Sue Ferris and a few of the usual suspects joining the groom for Watermelon Man.
We wish the couple every happiness.
Photo by Jerry Edis.
Lance.

Identity Parade!

Lance, I was looking up some information on Newcastle Jazz in the '50s and I came across a mention of the Newcastle Jazz Club in the Royal Arcade and a link to a photograph. I couldn't find the photograph but I contacted Steve Ellwood who owns the site http://www.steve-ellwood.org.uk/ and he kindly sent me a copy and gave me permission to use it. Steve tells me that this was sent to him a long time ago and he can't remember the source but it was named Royal Arcade - Newcastle Jazz Club and he thought the band was George Hornsby's. It looks a bit posh for a Jazz Club and I was told that George used to have a residency at the Milvain, could it be there? If you think any of your readers might have an input please feel free.
Alfred Stone.

Tonight @ The Cherry Tree.

Tonight at the Cherry Tree Restaurant (9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond tel 0191 2399924) sees super saxist and flautist Sue Ferris performing with her quartet. I'm not sure of tonight's line-up save it will be top class - like the leader.
Sue, whose image graces the latest edition of the Jazz UK bi-monthly mag is one of the most inventive players around and the perfect complement to the cuisine.
Doors 6:30pm, Music 7:30pm.
Lance.

Blog Archive

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.

Posting a Comment

Posting a comment.

1) Click on comments (at the foot of the posting.).

2) In the window that appears Click on...O Name/URL.

3) Type your name in the box (URL is optional).

4) Click on Publish your comment..

5) Type the jumbled word verification if asked.

Alternatively, email me - lanceliddle@gmail.com.

Subscribe!