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Bebop Spoken There

Pharoah Sanders: "My profession is music, so it's my business to be able to play any kind of music." - (Down Beat May 16 1968).

Pat Metheny: “ I wish I could play better and write better and be a better musician.”– (Down Beat December 2013).

Bebop Spoken There Archives.

Today Wednesday August 27

Afternoon
VIEUX CARRE JAZZMEN - Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 3OS. 1pm. Free.
New Orleans Jazz. Raffles and a jolly afternoon.
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JAZZ ESQUIRES - Porthole, North Shields' Ferry Landing. 1pm. Free.
Ferry from South Shields quarter to and quarter past. On the hour and half hour coming back.
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MAINE STREET JAZZMEN - Tynemouth Station. 1pm. Free. More stomping at the station by a band whose fame has reached Rochdale, Barnsley and the back of beyond.
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ROLY VEITCH & NEIL HARLAND - Pavilion Café, Alnwick Gardens, Alnwick. Lunchtime.
Possibly the most idyllic setting to listen to jazz in all of Northumberland.
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Evening.
TAKE IT TO THE BRIDGE JAZZ WORKSHOP - The Chillingham, Chillingham Rd., Heaton. 8:30pm. £1.
Regular workshop - sitters in welcome.
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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.
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MISSISSIPPI DREAMBOATS - Springwell Village Hall, Fell Rd., Gateshead NE9 7RP. 0191 4162630. 9pm. £2.
New Orleans style.
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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 Sept. 3
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- Elephant, Newbiggin Rd., Ashington. 8pm. £5.
Monthly. Back on Sept. 3.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Bright Lights and Promises - Fulfilled. Janis Ian @ The Sage.

Janis Ian (gtr/vcl).
Back in the late '70s. I worked in a record store which was where I first heard a disc of Janis Ian singing  Bright Lights and Promises. I flipped, bought the lp, and the guys in the band I was playing in at the time flipped too!
Time moved on and Janis gradually faded from our radar.
UNTIL TONIGHT!
Tonight the lady inspired a double encore from a  packed house who, including myself and keyboard player from that distant band Brian Chester, gave her a standing ovation!
Richly deserved, I hasten to add. 
This was folk music at its most melodic. The voice and the words so crystal clear, Janis' guitar accompaniment perfect and, if that wasn't enough, her stories in between the tunes kept us both laughing and near crying. The audience were intent - if someone had dropped a pin the bomb squad would have been alerted.
An absolutely wonderful session. The black curls may have been replaced by a lighter shade of grey, the husband ditched for a wife, but what counted was the voice.
Janis, we'll take Tea and Sympathy with you anytime.
Luvya.
Lance.
PS: The queue for CDs and autographs at the end of the show was the longest I've ever known at The Sage...        Janis plays the ARC Stockton on Tuesday night.
Link from Hil.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Matt Anderson Quartet @ The Bridge Hotel

Matt Anderson – Tenor, Aubin Vanns – Guitar, John Marley – Bass, Sam Gardner – Drums.
Opening up with I Remember You it soon became apparent that this band was original even when playing non originals! The standard was played with an oblique almost Tristano-like ethereal approach and, in truth, Anderson's dry sound did, at this stage, have a hint of Warne Marsh to it.
A series of original originals followed most of which I'd heard either at Scarborough or on downloads so the pieces had a degree of familiarity about them. Cold Spell, despite the title, saw the tenor sound become distinctly warmer and the ideas seemed to flow effortlessly from both sax and guitar. My Ideal was given a more lyrical interpretation than the previous standard and was none the worse for that. The set closed with Free Into Edinburgh a somewhat ambiguous title from guitarist Vanns that built up in intensity to a frenzied climax. A good first set.
A pint of The Bridge's own brew (Castle Brown - not to be confused with...) went down well before it was back up the stairs - in this case it was in fact a Stairway To The Stars which followed Jamil Sherif's Contentment. 
The final number, inspired by the Island of Skye, did not 'speed like a bird on the wing' instead it began as a doom laden affair that seemed to take about 3 weeks to build up into a compelling opus. It was worth the wait! All four players contributed with a special mention of Gardner's drumming which was rock solid in both solos and time. On bass, Marley did the necessary without flamboyance.
Afterwards met Kate Peters who informed me her band play Hoochie Coochie in February - one to look out for.
Next week Splinter present Gary Boyle and Chameleon.  
Lance.

Flashmob to reassemble in Sheffield.

The Flashmob gig scheduled for Jazz Café on Nov. 9 has been cancelled. The band will now appear in Sheffield on that date.
Lance.

Tonight @ The Bridge

Tonight, Splinter present a tasty offering at The Bridge in the form of the Matt Anderson Quartet. This Leeds based group won friends at the Scarborough Jazz Festival this year and play accessible contemporary jazz.
Check out Matt Anderson's website for more info and audio/video clips.
8:00pm Bridge Hotel (in the shadow of the Castle Keep at the Newcastle end of the High Level Bridge). £5.
Lance.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Bill Wyman and the Rhythm Kings @ The Sage

Bill Wyman (bs/vcl); Albert Lee (gtr/keys/vcl); Terry Taylor (gtr/vcl); Georgie Fame (org)/vcl); Graham Broad (dms); Beverley Skeete (vcl); Frank Mead, Nick Payn (saxes/hca/vcl); Geraint Watkins (keys); Mary Wilson (vcl).
Bill Wyman may not play a lot of bass these days but he sure knows how to put a band together!
With a programme of about 30 numbers space precludes a listing - suffice to say we had jazz 'n' blues, rock 'n' roll, soul, funk and doowop and probably a few less definable moments such as Georgie Fame singing Just For a Thrill. A wonderful tune, worthy of Tin Pan Alley's finest tune-smiths, it was actually written in the 1920s by Hot Five pianist Lil Armstrong. Georgie stayed 'sweet' for an impressive duo with guest Mary Wilson on Stormy Weather. The former Supreme sang a few hits, had 3 changes of costume and had the audience Dancing in the Street (in the aisles to be precise).
Albert Lee, kicked ass on guitar as did Terry Taylor and both had vocal moments. Talking vocals, Mary Wilson didn't have the monopoly Beverley Skeete too scorched a few songs.
The two sax players strutted and blew all the riffs - Mead played blues harp a la Little Walter and threw in a  "Chuck Walk".
I could go on and on - it was a night to remember as the full Hall One would surely testify.
Lance.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Bell and Bucket News.

Ruth Lambert posted this on Facebook so I thought I'd share it with our non-facebookers!
Stonkingly good night last night at the Bell and Bucket! Special thanks to Julie Storey, Janey Bee, Dennis Dillon, David Coe, Eddie Karlsen, Arlene Rose, Tim Clancey, Michael Kennedy, JD O'Neill, Jamie, Andy, Tony Lambert, Roley the banjo player, Ken, Edd, Micky Darren and, of course, the lovely Eleanor xxx My voice is in tatters today but by gum it was worth it! - Ruth.
Lance.
PS: Is this "Roley the banjo player" THE Roly the banjo player?

Gateshead International Jazz Festival 2012

The programme for the Gateshead International Jazz Festival 2012 has been announced today and has some mouthwatering concerts to appeal to all but the narrowest of tastes.
Included are Curtis Stigers, The Peter King Quartet, Parkchop and Peewee Ellis, Marcus Roberts, Ambrose Akimusire, Andy Sheppard with Trio Libero, Courtney Pine, Gwyneth Herbert's A Portrait of Peggy Lee, Zoe Rahman, Neil Cowley and a string quartet and much more...
Check The Sage website for more details. www.thesagegateshead.org.
It looks good to me.
The Gateshead International Jazz Festival 2012 will be held at The Sage, Gateshead from Friday March 23 to Sunday March 25.
Lance.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Debra Milne Ensemble @ Hoochie Coochie

Debra Milne (vcl); Judith Thompson (vln); Matt Office (gtr); Rob Bates (dms); John Pope (bs).
First time I've heard Debra Milne's new band since Budvivar was decanted.
It's an impressive line-up with Bates and Pope John providing a sound basement to the leader's distinctive upper story vocals. Fiddler Thompson's Halloween-like presence cast a musical spell as she wove here intricate linear patterns around familiar and much loved songs. On guitar,  the Office Boy demonstrated just how well his skills have been honed since I first heard him back at The Chilli in what now seems like a previous existence!  
It was a session that swung along nicely - even inspiring some Terpsichorean activity amongst the audience - with stand out numbers being Bernie's Tune, Four, Lullaby of Birdland, Killer Joe and There Will Never Be Another You.
Lance.

A "So Rare" visit from Mike Bird - Maine Street Jazzmen @ Rosie Malone's.

Olive Rudd (vcl); Herbie Hudson (tmb/hca/vcl); Mike Bird (clt); George Richardson (pno); Alan rudd (bs); Mike Humble (dms).
Mike Bird, the Buddy de Francophile from Wakefield, arrived for one of his all too few visits via, he tells me,  Lands End - Don't ask me!
Appropriately he was featured on the old Jimmy Dorsey hit So Rare. Given that it isn't a number Herbie does too often, I can only say that Mr Hudson excelled on both 'bone and harp. Of course it was Mike's baby and he too did the number justice.
Olive gave us a couple of dreams - Wrap Your Troubles in them and Meet Me Tonight in their own land. Doctor Jazz and All of Me were also given the Olive Oil.
George played some delightful piano throughout and excellent digital vibes. He also played some banjo and brass sounds. As I said, he played some delightful piano throughout and excellent digital vibes! A few bass solos from Alan kept the lower end alive whilst Mike Humble's work on the most minimalist of kits brings to mind the parable of the five loaves and two fishes.
Lance.
PS: Look out for Mike Bird and family Xmas week.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

"Emily Remembered" - On The Road Again.

About 3 years back some of the most vibrant music on Tyneside was played at the Side Café - a sort of forerunner of Splinter @ The Bridge. It also coincided with the start of Bebop Spoken Here. One of the highlights of those halcyon days of yore was the session by guitarists Deirdre Cartwright and Kathy Dyson and their "Remembering Emily"  programme - a tribute to the late Emily Remler. Here is a link to that review.
Earlier this year I reviewed their CD Emily Remembered which stayed on my player for quite a while.
Now, thanks to Jazz Services, the duo are taking the show back on the road.
That's the good news! The bad news is that Newcastle isn't on the agenda. Leeds' Seven Arts Centre on Nov. 6 is the nearest it gets to us. This is a Sunday afternoon gig - 1pm - so it is accessible for guitar buffs - or music lovers in general.
Check out the other dates on DC's website.
Lance.

CD Review: Phil Robson - The Immeasurable Code.

Phil Robson (gtr); Mark Turner (ten/sop); Gareth Lochrane (flutes/picc);  Michael Janisch (bs); Ernesto Simpson (dms).
Recorded live during their inaugural tour in January this year, Phil Robson - The Immeasurable Code is a vibrant, outstanding, record of that tour. So the press release says and, although I didn't catch them on the tour, listening to the CD it is hard to disagree.
Five musicians at the top of their game playing interesting originals by the leader is a recipe to suit all but the most jaded palate. The one non-original is Happy Talk from South Pacific. It works - I guess great musicians have the ability to produce the goods from anything, even this most unlikely jazz vehicle!
As a guitarist Phil Robson can hold his head high in any company - Dave Liebman, Joe Lovano, Sir John D and Cleo, just a few of those he has worked with. Add his composing ability and it is no surprise he was awarded the 2009 Parliamentary Jazz Award as Best Jazz Musician of the Year..
Mark Turner - he cites Warne Marsh and John Coltrane as influences and, in places, it shows. The NY based saxist leans towards the former on tenor and the latter on soprano but only slightly - he is very much his own man.
Sharing the front-line, Gareth Lochrane more than holds his own with some sparkling flute work going through the whole range from bass to piccolo via alto and concert flute.
Michael Janisch - he pops up everywhere - I'm pleased to say!
Cuban drummer Ernesto Simpson is a new name to me but he has form - Herbie Hancock, Dizzy, George Benson and others. He does the business.
This is the music of today - it swings, it explores, it looks over the edge, but comes back unscathed.
Sample.
Lance.
Phil Robson - The Immeasurable Code. Whirlwind WR4620. Release date Nov. 7 2011. 
Launch Nov 15, 2011 London Jazz Festival, Purcell Room, South Bank.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

CD Review: Kristian Borring Quartet - Nausicaa.


Kristian Borring (gtr); Arthur Lea (pno/Rhodes); Spencer Brown (bs); Jon Scott (dms);Will Vinson (alt - on 3 tracks).
This is a little gem that repeated listening only serves to make it grow on me more.
Contemporary Bebop, based on the legend of the beautiful princess Nausicaa who, it would seem, helped Odysseus on his journey in Homer's Odyssey. Well, when a beautiful princess is so helpful she deserves to be remembered musically and Danish guitarist Borring does just that. Listening to Invisible Lady, Nausicaa's beauty is conveyed by Borring's soulful portrait. Lithe and radiant is how it has been described and it certainly is. Superbly supported by Arthur Lea's sensitive piano-work the disc is a delight to be heard. On three tracks, New York based London altoist Will Vinson augments the quartet and his post-bop sound and phrasing is a welcome edition - he swings in the manner of Pepper. Criss, Morgan.
The band do a mini tour in November starting at Dempsey's in Cardiff (Nov 2) where you can get in for a fiver! Four quid if you're of a certain age! Matt and Phred's Jazz Club in Manchester (Nov 3); Spice of Life, London (Nov11) then the actual CD launch on Nov 16 as part of the London Jazz Festival at the Green Man, Camden.
Highly recommended for lovers of jazz that's contemporary and accessible.
Lance.
PS: Bass and drums were PDG too!

Tonight @ The Cluny

A year ago I reviewed Where Eagles Dare by Partikel. Now, 12 months on, the trio are appearing at The Cluny and, on the strength of the CD, I think they will be a band worth hearing live. You can read my review here and, if that isn't sufficient incentive, tonight, Schmazz are offering a bring a friend free deal.
Partikel comprises Duncan Eagles - a tenor/soprano player who is flying high - Max Luthart on bass and Eric Ford, drums.
Partikel, The Cluny, 36 Lime St., Newcastle NE1 2PQ. 8:30pm. (£7/£5/£3) ÷ 2 if you bring a friend.
Lance.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Mo Scott with Stuart Collingwood Trio @ The Cherry Tree

Mo Scott (vcl); Stu Collingwood (pno); Neil Harland (bs); Paul Smith (dms).
Is You Is or Is You Ain't my Baby? was the question posed by Mo in her opening number. My starter, however, was more complex with no less than 5 choices! I decided to go for the Wellington of Boudin Noir, Apple Compote with HP Dressing which turned out to be black puddin'! Nevertheless, it was a goodun'.
Mo was now singing in that husky, blues tinged voice of hers Gee Baby Ain't I Good to You - you and The Chef babe!
Both Mo and the Chef coincided on the next one too - Imagination. Mo's Imagination "Makes a cloudy day sunny, Makes a bee think of honey..." The Chef's imaginative creation was Cassoulet Provencale which comprised Braised Haricot Beans, Toulouse Sausage, Smoked Pork Belly and, to stop it sounding like an all-day breakfast, Duck Confit.
Love Me or Leave Me sang Mo - I didn't leave any! Fever and Sticky Toffee Pudding, a bottle of Black Sheep and When Sunny Gets Blue. Love this song which had a sensitive bass solo from Neil. The set finished with some blues (surprise! surprise!)
It had been a good set and I wished I'd been able to stay for the second set but my nose started running (fortunately after I'd finished my sticky toffee pudding) and I think I too had Fever.
Still it had been enjoyable with Mo, the boys, the chef and the staff at the top of their game.
Lance.

Roller Trio @ The Bridge. October 23.

James Mainwaring (tenor saxophone), Luke Wynter (guitar) & Luke Reddin-Williams (drums)
Splinter @ The Bridge booked a young trio from Leeds yet few of the Splinter regulars showed-up. Other gigs in town clearly drew a few of them away but it was a disappointing turn-out. Roller Trio, perhaps best described as a ''power trio'' with influences ranging from trio VD, John Zorn, Mats Gustafsson (a recent visitor to the venue) to Sean Noonan. Tunes were tight, brief work-outs with some quirky titles - The Nail That Stood Up, Where's My Whip? and A Dark Place to Think. Tenor player James Mainwaring produced a harsh sound - consistently harsh - and that is most certainly a complimentary description given the group dynamic. Guitarist Luke Wynter produced fleet-fingered solos, often with a melodic element amidst the noise. Luke Reddin-Williams proved to be another immensely talented young drummer on the scene. Is there no end to the production line of gifted young musicians? Virtuoso stuff not for the faint-hearted. The Gateshead International Jazz Festival next March.will showcase the band on the afternoon of Saturday 24th March. A gig for the fearless.
Russell.

Flashmob to play Jazz Café

Flashmob - paradoxically a quartet - are to appear at Newcastle's Jazz Café on Wednesday Nov. 9.
This is part of a Jazz Services sponsored tour and the Newcastle gig came up after a date elsewhere fell through.
The band comprises Ryan Williams (guitar); Rory Simmons (trumpet); Will Collier (bass) and Nick Smalley (drums).
Williams, in the forefront of the picture is a Guildhall graduate, and he described the bands music to me as 'straight ahead jazz with some rock and contemporary elements also in the mix.'
Listen to Chetniks. Chetniks, I'm led to understand were a Serbian paramilitary movement however, listening to Simmons' lyrical trumpet leads me to believe another Chet may have been a bigger influence!
As of yet times and door price have yet to be announced - watch this space.
Lance.

Sarah Ellen Hughes @ The Customs House, South Shields. October 21

Sarah Ellen Hughes (vcl); Rick Simpson (pno); Paul Susans (bs); Darren Altman (dms).

Sarah Ellen Hughes soared and swooped over a wide vocal range with supple high notes and beguiling lower tones. Yes, this singer is really the business – she even sang some bits unaccompanied and included verse parts that you don’t often hear, such as the verse to Fascinating Rhythm. Don’t know about the rest of the people, but I have fun trying to guess which song the verse belongs to. And such a friendly lively personality, thanking us for being there and giving us insights into why she wrote those songs which had come from her own pen. She added to the proceedings by looking pleasing in a short brown and white dress with a rose pattern on the skirt, a red rose in her hair and red shoes. And to be fair and feminist, I’ll tell you that the men of the band were wearing smart suits and ties, except for Paul, who was all black in jumper and trousers, perhaps a code to show that he was not a regular member of the band. So they gave us a sense of occasion, and the occasion was partly to promote the new album The Story So Far, which is OUT NOW.

Numbers played included a soaring version of My Favourite Things; Ms Hughes original song Darning The Dream (about coming to terms with the death of her mother); a sexy version of Love For Sale (with some raunchy words added to it, from the pen of Sting); a lively Brazilian medley; and One Note Samba (an adventurous arrangement with some unaccompanied clapping from the whole band). My favourite of the original songs was Busy Bee, about working hard. The performance ended with Lady be Good, and the lady was good, as she once more treated us to her solo voice, the drummer did a stomping solo, and our singer and the bass swopped fours as if there was no tomorrow. I should have mentioned the band before – they did their stuff really well with lots of interesting solos. For instance, for the song Close To You, the piano introduction portrayed flying birds, then the song began by referring to these same birds.

The Community Room at the theatre was just about half full, but this performance deserved a much bigger audience. I wonder why? Is it the recession, or do jazz fans go elsewhere on Fridays? Anyone who likes skilled singing would have enjoyed this, not just jazz fans, so where were you?

Ann Alex.

Head of Steam and Hoochie Coochie.


Paul Taylor played solo piano as he'd done the previous Sunday at the Head of Steam (see his comments). Probing, explorative, improvisations that deserved a wider audience. I had hoped to hang around for the NUJO jam but Hoochie Coochie beckoned.
I'm not an authority on HipHop so I'm not the person to pass judgement on Cantaloop however, they were lively, energetic and got a good sound and drew a reasonable sized crowd including a few Pimptones.
Lance.

Jazz Café Sunday Oct 23.


An afternoon/early evening of surprises with some rare, probably never to be repeated moments like the opening number.
This had Pete Gilligan on piano and Andy Champion on bass and hi-hat simultaneously culminating in an exchange of fours between piano and hi-hat!
Ray Burns (pictured) grabbed some of the action on Bouncing With Bud before Mrs Champion (Zoe Gilby) chipped in with Wave and Makin' Whoopee by which time Ray had switched to accordion, Mark Williams had appeared and Andy went onto drums!
The Champion clan left for The Bridge to be replaced by Lindsay Hannon - fresh from her successful gig at The Sage - who opened up with How Long Has This Been Going On before going into a beautiful version of These Foolish Things with simpatico piano from Pete. Night in Tunisia, My Funny Valentine had Sarah Travena on soprano and, as I left for The Head of Steam, Alan Law arrived and Lindsay was in Bessie Smith mode for Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out.
Lance.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Lindsay Hannon Plus @ The Sage. October 23

Lindsay Hannon (vocals), Alan Law (keyboards), John Pope (double bass) & Mark Robertson (drums).
The Sage's vast Concourse area on a Sunday lunchtime can be an unforgiving place to perform. The acoustics don't encourage the intimate ballad, the sound can get lost in the ether and diners aren't always there to listen. Throw in unsuspecting visitors (on this occasion a Gerrman concert band on route to an engagement in Whitley Bay) and the prospect of a successful gig isn't great.
The appearance of Lindsay Hannon and her trio dispelled any such reservations. Hannon chose numbers from a wide and varied repetoire and was more than ably supported by three of the north east's most experienced musicians. Cy Coleman's Why Try to Change Me Now? featured sensitive accompaniment form pianist Alan Law and on the Harry Warren/Mack Gordon standard There Will Never Ever Be Another You, Law, bassist John Pope and drummer Mark Robertson really did swing it. George Shearing's Lullaby of Birdland offered solo opportunities to Pope and Law as Hannon handled the lyric with panache. A John Pope intro signalled a rollicking good take on A Night in Tunisia and vocalist Hannon concluded the hour-long set singing So Long, Big Time! A good set and, by and large, the audience listened and showed their appreciation. The Lindsay Hannon Plus can be heard across the Tyne in the Jazz Cafe next Saturday (October 29).
Russell .

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Beautiful Sunday

Tomorrow looks good - Lindsay Hannon Plus give a free recital on the Concourse at The Sage starting at noon. The action then swings or more probably, meanders over to the Jazz Café where sax player Sarah Travena plays her last UK gig before going off to blow in India. Them snakes sure will be charmed by her soprano playing (well I usually am!)
So, with luck,the caff should have an earlier start this week - let's all cross our fingers but not hold our breath.
Over at The Bridge, Splinter present the Roller Trio from Leeds whilst at Hoochie Cantaloop dish out the funk.
Lance.
PS: Whilst you are at The Sage you could nip over to see the Turner Prize Ex at The Baltic - maybe not.

The John Potts Story

Further to the previous post re former River City trumpet player John Potts, Peter S of Ashington Jazz Club has been in contact with the Figleaf Jazz Band and received this reply from the man himself!
It is a lengthy epistle but well worth reading for those with an interest in the North-east's jazz heritage. It's also a good laugh!
Lance.

R.I.P Edmundo Ros O.B.E

Former band-leader Edmundo Ros died yesterday, Oct 21, at the ripe old age of 100. Ros, a flamboyant Trinidadian would hardly be considered a jazzman but he did record with Fats Waller and his Latin American dance bands were an intrinsic part of the UK scene for many years.
Edmundo Ros died in Spain where he lived.
Rest In Peace.
Lance.

Julian Siegel Quartet @ Gateshead Old Town Hall. October 20th

Julian Siegel (tenor sax, soprano sax, clarinet & bass clarinet), Liam Noble (piano & synthesiser), Gene Calderazzo (drums) & Oli Hayhurst (double bass)
Julian Siegel's accomplished quartet stopped-off at Gateshead Old Town Hall during the Urban Theme Park CD tour. Bandleader Siegel frequently switched instruments - clarinet, tenor sax, bass clarinet then soprano sax. He was perhaps most potent on saxophones and the rhythm section was much more than a rhythmic anchor. Pianist Liam Noble could headline a gig in his own right, Oli Hayhurst is much in demand and American Gene Calderazzo is a first-call drummer for many. The American proved to be a focal point developing patterns around which the others worked their collective magic. Siegel's impressive tenor playing was heard to best effect during the up-tempo numbers; Calderazzo took things at a lick, Noble imposed his own voice and Hayhurst pulled this way then that. A good gig in a sparsely attended Old Town Hall.
Russell.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Sarah Ellen Hughes @ The Customs House

Sarah Ellen Hughes came, sang and conquered the intimate Community Room of The Customs House, South Shields. In the space of the year or so since I last heard her her technique has developed immensely. The pitching is spot on, the long vocal lines never falter and her breath control a joy to behold.
Great concert.
Lance.
(An in depth review of the session will be posted on Monday.)

Friday Girls

Friday Night is Music Night and in fact Pink Martini are on the Radio 2 program of the same name on Friday. However, closer to home, two top vocalists are in the region.
At Gateshead British Legion, Jazz at the Fell at the Legion present RUTH LAMBERT (pic. right) with the CUSTOMS HOUSE BIG BAND whilst at the Customs House itself in South Shields London based vocalist SARAH ELLEN HUGHES (pic. left) appears with her quartet.
It's a tough call.
Lance.

Cherry Tree Postscript

Would like to endorse all that “JC” said. Loved the gig and meant to send a review (but still haunted by builders)!

Titles were: Meditation / A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square / Stella by Starlight / Blueswalk / I Can’t give You Anything But Love / One-note Samba / Skating in Central Park / Moonlight in Vermont / Joyspring / On the Sunny Side of the Street / All the Things You Are.

Jerry.

Photos.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Jim Birkett with the Paul Edis Trio at the Cherrytree. October 17.

James Birkett (gtr); Paul Edis (pno/fl/clt); Mick Shoulder (bs); Adam Sinclair (dms).
Responding to the exhortations of local jazz bloggers, over the last few months I've been trying to get to as many gigs as possible. I have to say it's been a very positive experience and during this time I've been struck by the diversity of venues, the quantity of good jazz that is on offer and the quality of the musicians and singers. What is also striking is the versatility of these musicians and their ability to adapt to a variety of different musical styles and band formats. This was again demonstrated by the session at the Cherry Tree on Monday night.
The opening of the Cherry Tree as a jazz venue a few years ago was a particular bonus as not only was it just up the road from our house but to be able to have a nice glass of wine and a good meal while listening to quality jazz (in the midst of a cultural wasteland based on vertical drinking) seemed too good to be true. So, we have been quite regular visitors.
Last Monday night's session with Jim Birkett and the Paul Edis Trio was a real pleasure. I last heard Paul play an incredible 40 minute improvised piece with Lewis Watson at the Jazzathon at the Lit and Phil and before that heard the trio match visiting US saxophonist Greg Abate solo for solo at the Corner House. Now here, in front of what is best described as a select audience (Paul as MC described it as an 'intimate' evening'), the group played beautifully balanced sets of constantly musically interesting standards, and, if I heard correctly, at least one original composition. Paul was in 'consecutive' Roland Kirk mode, playing clarinet and flute, as well as piano, which I hadn't heard him do before and this matched very well with Jim's fine guitar playing. One flute and guitar tune drew shouts of appreciation from the audience. Now if Paul ever gets to play all three instruments together, that's going to be pretty impressive.
As usual, I could whistle the tunes after I heard the first four bars but could only identify a few titles. However, the rendition of Stella by Starlight was very nice and led to some discussion about other possible song titles involving Latin names and types of light. We came up with Luna by Moonlight and Aqua by Floodlight, but just couldn't think of any name to go with Flashlight....
A good night's jazz in a very nice setting.
JC.

Gaddafi dies in Rosie Malone's and the band play on! - Maine Street Jazzmen.

Herbie Hudson (tmb/hca/vcl); Jim McBriarty (alt/clt/vcl); George Richardson (pno/ "bjo"); Alan Rudd (bs0; Mike Humble (dms); Olive Rudd (vcl).
The TV subtitles screamed (silently!) GADDAFI IS DEAD! But in Rosie's, the fate of the Libyan dictator was of slight interest compared to Olive singing Fine and Dandy. The steak and kidney pies and sausages on the bar top may also have detracted interest from events in Tripoli!
Lonesome Road, with vocal, hot horn and harp from Herbie brought a new dimension into the band's music - dynamics! Jimmy Mac sang Avalon and stung like a bee on clarinet whilst floating like a butterfly on alto.
As ever George R was full of fun hitting the banjo button for Swannee River. Olive became My Melancholy Baby but, after the raffle, it was my turn to be melancholy too.
A Pedigree afternoon.
Lance.

Lickety Split & Take it to the Bridge @ The Chillingham. October 19

Dave Weisser invited trombonist Eddie Bellis to bring in his new ensemble to play a few tunes in the welcoming environment of the weekly workshop session Take it to the Bridge at the Chillingham. As the eight piece band arrived in ones and twos Weisser's regular outfit warmed-up with tunes by Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock. Keyboards man Barrie Ascroft switched to bass guitar duties to accommodate Steve Whitfield, tenor man Dougie Fielder was in attendance as ever, Mark on guitar, drummer Paul Wight put in a long stint and Main Man Weisser blew lots of good flugel. The late set featured vocalist Stacey Swanson on Cry Me a River and Misty with Daniel Tyson offering some tasteful support on guitar, likewise Weisser on flugel.
Lickety Split is a new band assembled by the self-effacing Eddie Bellis to play tunes he and his band-mates have a liking for. What a good idea! Get this lot - Well You Needn't, Mamacita, I'm Beginning to See the Light (the band's signature tune according to Bellis), You Stepped Out of a Dream, Four, Another Three Putt, the list goes on. First class material, from swing to bop, played by a first class outfit. The rhythm section, some of them on loan from the Customs House Big Band, played it relaxed, Basie-style. Veteran pianist Bill Brittain, guitarist Roy Willis, the redoubtable Alan Rudd on electric bass for the occasion and the hard-working Paul Wight behind the kit provided the foundation for the frontline to trade one impeccable solo after another. John Hudson (tenor sax) and Alan Marshall (alto sax) crafted beautiful solos, Bellis too, yet trumpeter Kevin Eland topped the lot with some stratospheric playing in the small upstairs room of the Chilli. The highlight of the evening proved to be so good that on arriving home 'round midnight I took from the shelves the CD Blues and the Abstract Truth to listen once again to Stolen Moments
A couple of hours earlier Lickety Split had given Oliver Nelson's classic tune the most reverential, indeed sublime reading imaginable. Calls for an encore resulted in a round of solos on Horace Silver's Sister Sadie. A great gig from a great band. I can think of a number of venues around the north east who could do worse than book Lickety Split. You're next chance to hear the band is on Wednesday 26th October at the Sage. Six o'clock start, admission free. I for one can't wait.
Russell.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Sweet Thursday

There's a lot happening tomorrow in and beyond the region.
Thursday night at Gateshead Old Town Hall is a JNE presentation of the Julian Siegel Quartet. This is a line-up of first call musicians with Siegel on tenor, Gene Calderazzo on drums, Oli Hayhurst on bass and Liam Noble on piano.
Down the road apiece at The Sage is the Christian Wallumrod Ensemble, whilst over the bridge - at Hoochie Coochie - local favourites Legohead are on stage.
Looking further afield, to Leeds, the Tony Faulkner Yorkshire Jazz Orchestra makes its debut at Seven Arts (31 Harrogate Rd., Chapel Allerton, Leeds LS7 3PD.) It's an impressive line-up of some of Yorkshire's finest.
Rod Mason (alt/sop/fl); Dave Hogan (alt/clt/fl); Ben Lowman (ten/sop); Katie Hawcutt (ten/clt);Tony Harper (bar/bs clt/); Dale Gibson, Mark Chandler, Greg Nicholas, Ian Chalk and Kim Macari (tpts); Lee Hallam, Brian Archer, Chris Burge (tmb); Tony Smith (bs tmb); Derrick Harris (gtr); Graham Hearn (pno); Garry Jackson (bs);Peter Fairclough (dms); Louise Gibbs (voice); Tony Faulkner (director).
Rod Mason, of course, is well known in our locale for his work with VOTNJO and Louise Gibbs appears at Durham Jazz Festival on November 11.
Lance.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Arthur Jeffes - Sundog. The Sage, Gateshead.

Arthur Jeffes (Dulcetone/piano); Oli Langford (vln).
One of those musical vignettes that The Sage throw at us from time to time. They creep up and take you totally by surprise.
This wasn't a jazz gig yet there was enough to appeal to jazz people in a fringy sort of way.
The blurb described Jeffes' playing as "minimalist" and we had minimalism in abundance!
He introduced the pieces with an explanation of the title and various intricacies about the piece i.e. time signatures etc. As well as piano he also played the Dulcetone which he described as a Victorian version of the Fender Rhodes - and he was right inasmuch as it did sound not unalike a Rhodes in places.
On violin, Oli Langford read his parts but I longed for him to break out and maybe Jeffes also. But, to me, the whole thing was just a little too repetitive and although I may sound negative I did actually find it interesting and the well attended Hall Two enjoyed it so maybe I came looking for the wrong things in the wrong place.

River City Jazzmen - John Potts info wanted.

I have been searching the Internet for information on the early days of the band, and found your website. Long, long ago I was friendly with John Potts, who was a founder member of the band, and its trumpet player.
In those days I lived in Heaton and was a keen jazz listener in and around Newcastle but, sadly, I never learned to play an instrument, despite the opportunities I had. John and I first met when we attended Heaton Grammar School in the fifties. The school had a fine array of musicians and jazz fans among its pupils who became close friends.I left Tyneside in 1962 and lost touch with my former school pals. Do you know where John is now? Any information that you have about him post-1962 would be of interest. Thanks
George Simpson.

Tonight at the Sage: Arthur Jeffes - Sundog

An intriguing evening of solo piano at the Sage, Gateshead, tonight in the form of a recital by Penguin Café's Arthur Jeffes. I'm not quite sure what to expect except that it will be interesting with a lot of deep romantic and warm melodic substance to the music as well as some unexpected detours along the way.
Hall Two - 8:00pm. £15/£13. 0191 4434661. More details here...
Lance.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Goodbye Pete Rugolo.

Pete Rugolo, whose arrangements helped to define the early Stan Kenton Band, died yesterday (Oct 16) aged 95.
An outstanding arranger, he later achieved success in the studios. It is no coincidence that Kiss Me Kate is my favourite Hollywood musical - Rugolo did the scores. Listen to the From This Moment On dance sequence - could anyone else have done it quite so effectively? You want cool? This was cool. In fact Pete Rugolo produced the famous Miles Davis Birth of the Cool sessions as well as Capital dates for Mel and Nat.
Rest In Piece Pete you gave us some great music.
Lance.
PS: That band - those arrangements!

Zoe's gig, 'Ode to Billie Joe' and favourite song titles

As you say a very nice gig with Zoe and the band with great choice of material. As well as the songs you mentioned, I particularly liked the Donald Duck style scat interplay between the trumpet and voice in 'Centrepiece'.
Interesting that you especially mention 'Ode to Billie Joe' as I was planning to ask Zoe to sing it last night but arrived late and didn't want to start shouting out requests. So I was very pleased that Zoe sang it anyway and introduced it as 'a story, a chance to act a part'.
The reason I was going to request the song was that I've just read Greil Marcus's book 'Invisible Republic' which is a meditation on American folk music taking as a jumping off point Dylan's 'Basement Tapes'. In it he talks about 'Ode to BJ' being in the archetypal tradition of folk songs where themes like loss and memory unfold in a distancing, matter of fact way. I guess like most people I thought the question was 'what was thrown off the bridge?' but, of course, that's not the point at all. The girl/young woman telling the story knows what was thrown off but nobody asks her. The family talk about the suicide with the same interest as they have in black-eyed peas and biscuits, while Billie-Joe's girlfriend is sitting there as part of the same family. Apparently Gentry herself described the song as a 'study in unconscious cruelty'. Reading that makes me hear the song completely differently.
Marcus says that one of the Basement Tapes tracks 'Clothes Line Sage' was originally entitled "Answer to 'Ode' ", and in fact applies the language and tone of 'Ode to BJ' to a whole nation. The song revolves around the essential activity of putting out and taking in the washing from the line and towards the end a neighbour walks by and says 'Have you heard the news. The vice-president's gone mad'  and the mother says 'Gee, that's too bad' to which the reply is 'Well, there's nothing we can do about it'. Then the washing is taken in again. And this was written in the social ferment that was early 1970s America.
Just on the question of favourite song titles, how about 'God must be a Boogie Man' and 'the Wolf that lives in Lindsey' (no, I don't think its that Lindsay), which are also from the Joni Mitchell 'Mingus' album where 'Dry Cleaner' comes from. And then there is the poignant 'Goodbye Pork Pie Hat' from the same album (maybe that's a track for Zoe and the band?).
JC

CD Review - Buddy Greco Live at The Sands. MANY HAPPY RETURNS BUDDY!

Tony Bennett may be a bigger household name but Buddy Greco, celebrating his 85th birthday today, has been around almost as long (I think he's 2 months younger than Tony) with a much jazzier feel to his singing and, of course, he is a fine pianist too. I've heard Buddy live several times over the last few years and despite the passage of time the voice is still there.
This previously unreleased album however, is a totally different ball game. Recorded live in 1967 at The Sands Hotel, Las Vegas, Buddy Greco was at his absolute peak. As Francis Albert says in the notes - "Buddy can make anything swing - nobody comes close in that department." and Frank knows a thing or two about swinging at The Sands and he had Count Basie to help him along!
This is an album to rank alongside Live at Mr Kelly's - it would seem as though live performances bring out the very best in BG - with the added bonus of a big band punching things along.
I Didn't Know What Time it Was, Satin Doll, The Very Thought of You and the inevitable, Lady is a Tramp just some of the vocal gems with Tenderly (shades of Oscar) a delightful piano feature.
The album is due for release today (October 17) to coincide with his 85th birthday. Without doubt this is the definitive Buddy Greco live experience.
Lance.
Buddy Greco - Live at The Sands. BNL records -www.buddygreco.com 

Tonight at the Cherry Tree.

Guitarist Jim Birkett is tonight's featured artist at the Cherry Tree (9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond. 0191 2399924). James has Paul Edis on piano, Mick Shoulder on bass and Adam Sinclait at the drums. Should be an enjoyable evening.
Other things happening at the popular restaurant include the following: 

Monday 24th October:    Leading jazz and blues singer Mo Scott  and her trio Stuart Collingwood  piano, Neil Harland bass and Paul Smith drums.
Monday 31st October:   Debut appearance of the popular band 'Livewire - Unplugged'  with Karen Harding vocalist, Andrew Garner piano and vocals, Richard Dudley guitar, and Stuart Davies bass.
Monday 7th November:   International singing star Tasha Seale alternate Leading Lady in the  world tour smash hit Mamma Mia. One night only accompanied by Stuart Collingwood piano, Neil Harland bass and Paul Smith drums. Advanced bookings now being taken.
Lance.

The Head of Steam. Sunday Oct. 16

The Bridge on a Sunday is a well established jazz gig - see LL's review of Zoe G's latest appearance  - and it was brought to my attention by LL himself that there was some late-night jazz going on down in the Head of Steam's basement bar. Well, having left the Bridge sometime after eleven, walking past the place I couldn't help but have a look in. Pianist Paul Taylor had long gone (see LL's piece) and the boys from NUJO were on the stand. 
NUJO? Newcastle University Jazz Orchestra - not the full band but plenty of them. They were cool twen-teen somethings. They all had beards except the piano player - she most certainly did not. Cool. Standing at the bar I ordered a pint. What was that tune? Ah, it sounded a bit like Tito Puente's Oye Como Va. The trumpet player (bearded) sat this one out. He sat on and in one of those deep, deep sofas you can only find in a cool place like this. He was cool, oblivious to all around him, fingering the valves and laying down the greatest solo of all time - in his head. I sat down next to him. I sat down, he sprung up. Cool. 
Jaco's The Chicken, in the pad of any self-respecting student band, caught my attention. The bass player kept it together as all around him grabbed a solo - alto, soprano, guitar, keys (no beard), trumpet. Cool. Soprano sax played My Favourite Things. Trane would have nodded his approval. Cool. 
The quality quotient rose considerably as Lindsay Hannon sat in. She called on guitar maestro Mark Williams (bearded) to join her on Georgia. Cool. Really cool. A bop work-out followed with everyone looking cool. Hannon gave way to Claire Kelly who told us she was Born on a Friday. A true statement? I know not. She was, however, most certainly cool. 
As I wandered off home sometime in the early hours I asked a student if this would be a regular gig. Maybe, he said. Cool.
Russell.   

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Zoe Gilby Quintet - Splinter @ The Bridge and elsewhere.

Zoe Gilby (vcl); Mark Williams (gtr); Andy Champion (bs); Noel Dennis (tpt/flg); Richard Browns (dms).
Zoe never fails to delight even though the material is becoming a little familiar. In this case, familiarity didn't breed contempt! Rather it saw the performance grow and the compositions expand. with new variations.
The Windmills of Your Mind seguing into The Waters of March was a typical example. of the current Z book.
I'm Always Drunk in San Francisco, emotively put over by Zoe, had a Dennis solo on flugel horn that was as cool as a 3 day refrigerated cucumber.
Joni Mitchell's The Dry Cleaner From Des Moines is fast becoming staple fare in the repertoire and I must confess it is arguably my all time favourite title of any song!
In The Warm Room - a Kate Bush tune done as a voice/guitar duo with Mark - was breathtakingly beautiful. Mark was still on the creative roll from Thursday and Richard Brown too stayed on for the ride. As for Andy Champion...
Can't list 'em all but Ode To Billie Jo has to be included. I've loved this song and it's lyric since I first heard Bobbie Gentry do it. Tallahatchie Bridge and Choctaw Ridge - man I want to be up there looking down into the muddy waters! Instrumental versions by Mike Carr/Tony Crombie as well as the Buddy Rich Band sustained me over the years but it took Zoe to bring it all together. (Does anyone know what went on there up on Choctaw Ridge?)
So much more but, you've got the picture, make sure you catch Zoe's Band next time.round.
Earlier, I'd looked in at Jazz Café but nothing much was happening apart from a delightful Carol Kidd clip on screen. so I headed to The Bridge only to be be sucked into a jazz session at the Head of Steam in the form of solo piano by Paul Taylor. Paul, a young man of undisputed talent, meandered through an original composition that was going when I arrived and still going when I left 20 minutes later!
There was a jam session to follow by members of NUJO at 9:00pm. Watch this space.
Photos.
Lance.

Handle's Jazz

Although Johnny Handle is a well known figure in the Folk world - his band, the High Level Ranters, are legends - in his early days he played with several local trad bands. Some interesting photos from those days are on his website.
Thanks to John Taylor for drawing this to my notice.
Lance.

Final Take - Paul Edis Sextet recording for Jazz Action at Blast Studios, Ouseburn.

Traveller's Rest? Ruth Lambert at Opus 4, Darlington, Friday 14th October 2011.

Ruth Lambert (vocals), Paul Edis (keyboards), Graeme Wilson (tenor sax), Mick Shoulder (bass) and Tim Johnston (drums).
There was a travel theme to much of tonight’s programme.
After You and the Night and the Music, Ruth’s opener, we were on The Road to Rio with But Beautiful (I Googled to check that it WAS Rio!). We swung along in Devil May Care fashion before bossa nova-ing to the wistful and evocative Dindi on Copacabana Beach.
I Googled Dindi too, and learnt the sad side of the song: Jobim wrote it for singer, Sylvia Telles, (nickname Dindi) who was killed in a road accident in Rio, shortly after recording it in 1966.
Love replaced travel with I Should Care, Falling in Love with Love, Monk’s moody ‘Round Midnight and a stonking Love Me Like a Man. Even here we were reminded of life on the move as wailing sirens (eerily on beat and in key!) graced the ending of Falling in Love…  “Keep that ending in,” said a man, “that’s good!”
As for the blues which closed the set - is Darlington on the delta? There was chopping piano and real rasping sax from Graeme whose solos were great all night. Exit, to much applause.
Our journey resumed under Blue Skies – in Brooklyn, presumably, as Mick announced the composer as “Oyving Boylin”! He then paid homage with a fabulous bass solo.After Beautiful Love we took a Caravan – driven energetically by Tim Johnston’s drums which had featured prominently earlier, on I Get Along Without You Very Well. Excellent stuff!
More travel – all those come-what-may places – followed, on Lush Life, where Paul was in the limelight while the other guys got a breather. Ruth, who I haven’t really mentioned yet, was in fine form (apart from being, by her own admission, a bit huskier than normal because of a cold. “Makes it even jazzier,” she said, and she was right!)
Next was You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To (was this a hint from the band?) featuring more sirens! “Here’s your backing-group, again”, said the man. “More!!!” said the assembled company, and were rewarded with an encore, (S’wonderful)  which took us to paradise (awful nice!) and back to reality again.
After the night and the music it was the A167 for Chester-le-Street (via Kimblesworth)! Oh, well…..
Photos.
Jerry.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Preview: Sarah Ellen Hughes at the Customs House

The Shields Gazette printed this article re Sarah Ellen Hughes' forthcoming appearance at the Customs House next Friday (Oct 21.)
Having heard Sarah at the Cherry Tree and various London venues this is one gig not to be missed.
Note that start time is 8:00pm (it was erroneously stated elsewhere as 8:30pm) and that the Customs House is in South Shields and not Newcastle as shown on the flyers!
With Teesside born pianist Rick Simpson on board the backing should be pretty good too!
See you there.
Lance.

Tomorrow Night @ The Bridge.

This week's Sunday Splinter Session features leading songstress Zoe Gilby and Quintet. Zoe, who is now a force to be reckoned with on the national scene, never fails to delight local audiences with her original takes on material both familiar and otherwise.
Expect the line-up to be Mark Williams (gtr); Andy Champion (bs); Richard Brown (dms); and Noel Dennis (tpt/flg). Doors 7:30pm, concert 8:00pm.
Lance.

Friday, October 14, 2011

R.I.P. Piet Noordijk.

Very saddened to learn of the death of Dutch alto player Piet Noordijk
Relatively little known outside of Holland, I had the pleasure of hearing him a couple of times at the North Sea Jazz Festival in Den Haag back in 1983.
He played baritone with The Ramblers accompanying Benny Carter but it was as a bebop altoist that he really shone. I'd gone to the festival with the late Charlie Carmichael and, although there were many top Americans there - Dizzy, David Murray, Archie Shepp, Charles Lloyd, Herbie Hancock, Shelly Manne and many more - it was Noordijk who left the lasting impression with us. His alto playing, infused as it was with the teachings of Bird, soared above everything else and to this day I cannot understand why his name never crops up. Listen to Groovin' High on the YouTube clip and you'll get an idea of what I'm talking about.
Piet Noordijk died on October 9 age 79.
YouTube clip.
Obituary.
Lance.

Well done Simon Spillett.

News just in is that Simon Spillett has won the tenor sax category in the 2011 British Jazz Awards.
An article by Simon can be read in the current Jazz UK magazine.
Let's hope this encourages local promoters to book Simon - it's about time his talents were heard in Newcastle.
Lance.
PS: All the winners are listed on LondonJazz.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Mark Williams Trio @ Hoochie Coochie

Mark Williams (gtr); Paul Susans (bs); Richard Brown (dms).
My heart said Blaydon and Ray's Big Band but logistics in the form of one bus as opposed to bus/metro and early departure decreed that Hoochie Coochie it was. Sorry Roly but it really was a tough call I hope it went well for you.
Mark Williams is, and I'm sure Roly will agree, a phenomenal guitarist who should be rated alongside any guitarist in the world. Someone tell me the difference between Mark and Scofield or whoever!
Tonight the amiable Irishman demonstrated that technique in no small measure tearing off chorus after chorus on a variety of, mainly original, tunes. Alongside Mark, Paul Susans - on bass guitar tonight -, provided the perfect foundation for the leader's fanciful flights as well as chipping in with his own. On drums, Richard Brown soloed with much aplomb and a well-attended Hooch showed their appreciation.
This is the place to be on a Thursday.
Next week Legohead.
Photos courtesy of Kaveh Emami.
Lance.

Some days you just can't lose! Maine Street Jazzmen @ Rosie's.

Olive Rudd (vcl); Herbie Hudson (tmb); Jim McBriarty (alt/clt); George Richardson (pno); Alan Rudd (bs); Mike Humble (dms);
George Rico played Misty - the string synth producing a Jackie Gleason effect, Herbie added some soulful harmonica and the couple pictured danced...
A nice end to an afternoon that began with Herbie, safely home after being held hostage by his family in Turkey, got the show on the road with Rose Room. Herbie, who favours that plumber's nightmare the Bb/F trombone, handled the beast with his normal efficiency growling to great effect in a manner not unlike the MGM lion.
He's a fine player.
Olive, at various points during the afternoon, warbled I'm Crazy 'Bout my Baby, You Can Depend on me, The Best Things in Life Are Free - and maybe they are as I won a bottle of Chardonnay in the raffle! - and Jeepers Creepers.
Herbie chipped in with I Can't Believe That You're in Love With me and some wag said, "Neither can I!"
Jimmy Mack sang Smiles as well as blowing alto a la the great '30s saxman Charlie Holmes.
It was a good afternoon that included bowls of chips among the bar snacks.
Prior to the session I'd called in to South Shields' Library where the book sale in the music dept included a host of jazz books. I opted for Oscar's A Jazz Odyssey although, given that the selection included items on/by Bill Evans, Billie Holiday, Miles Davis, Frank, Humph, Benny Green, Nat Hentoff, Ronnie Scott and the original Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD, to mention but a few, it wasn't an easy choice - and all at 80p each (hardback)!
A book of verse, a jug of wine and chips - this had been a good day!
Lance.
PS: The music and the company wasn't bad either!

Jakub Zahradník - koncert Betlémská kaple part 06


Tyneside poet Dr Keith Armstrong penned the lyric to this tune performed by Jakub Zahradnik and Zuza Durdinova.
Click here for more.
Lance.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

My Buddies

Lovely interview with Buddy Greco and Kathryn Tickell - about 20 minutes in. Thanks to John Taylor for this.
Lance.

Drumming Mentor Freddie Gruber Passes

Okay so I hadn't heard Freddie Gruber play but I knew of his reputation as a drum guru (teacher/tutor somehow seems inadequate) and going by the various on-line tributes he was quite a guy. Modern Drummer says it all here - Drumming Mentor Freddie Gruber Passes - but I love this YouTube clip.
Freddie was 84. RIP.
Lance.

Match & Fuse no. 2. World Service Project & Schulbus

WSP: Dave Morecroft (keyboards), Conor Chaplin (electric bass), Neil Blandford (drums), Tim Ower (saxophones) & Raphael Clarkson (trombone).
Schulbus: Hannes Buder (guitar); Robert Menzel (tenor); Hannes Lingens (drums).
A sampler CD promoting the second Match & Fuse tour which, unlike M & F tour no. 1, doesn't touch down in the North. In fact, as I see it, the only two British gigs are at Corpus Christi College, Oxford on Nov. 26 and London's Vortex Club on Nov. 27 although a German tour is scheduled for Feb. 2012.
Each band is allotted 3 tracks each and it is interesting to compare them. The German Schulbus, open up the proceedings with Untitled #5, a frantic almost punklike intro that leads into a savage improv burst before mellowing  into some introspective lyricism. WSP run with the lyricism on There's Always One, an imaginative flow of sympathetic cohesion between the two horns gradually building the tension before chilling out. Schulbus return for Winter Dance a slow seduction of the senses that pulls the listener in with its hypnotic rhythm and loping tenor. sax.
Back to WSP for Bye Bye - which isn't their final track - and some probing, searching keywork from Moorcroft. Shades of Evans/Jarrett at their melodic best. 
Time once more to board the Schulbus for Soziophob. A meander through the Black Forest perhaps before hitting the Autobahn at rush hour. WSP round things off with Relentless which is just that as it drives for home. Jazzwise got it in one with this band - "The Led Bib you can dance to."
Lance.

Thelonious Monk's Advice, Archived By Steve Lacy


Just because you’re not a drummer, doesn’t mean you don’t have to keep time.
Pat your foot and sing the melody in your head, when you play.
Stop playing all those weird notes (that bullshit), play the melody!
Make the drummer sound good.
Discrimination is important.
You’ve got to dig it to dig it, you dig?
ALL REET!
Always know….(MONK)
It must be always night, otherwise they wouldn’t need the lights.
Let’s lift the band stand!!
I want to avoid the hecklers.
Don’t play the piano part, I’m playing that. 
Don’t listen to me. I’m supposed to be accompanying you!
The inside of the tune (the bridge) is the part that makes the outside sound good.
Don’t play everything (or every time); let some things go by. 
Some music just imagined. 
What you don’t play can be more important that what you do.
A note can be small as a pin or as big as the world, it depends on your imagination.
Stay in shape! Sometimes a musician waits for a gig, and when it comes, he’s out of shape and can’t make it.
When you’re swinging, swing some more.
(What should we wear tonight? Sharp as possible!)
You’ve got it! If you don’t want to play, tell a joke or dance, but in any case, you got it! (To a drummer who didn’t want to solo)
Always leave them wanting more.
Don’t sound anybody for a gig, just be on the scene. 
These pieces were written so as to have something to play and get cats interested enough to come to rehearsal.
Whatever you think can’t be done, somebody will come along and do it. 
A genius is the one most like himself.
They tried to get me to hate white people, but someone would always come along and spoil it.
----- 
I'm grateful to Alan Law for drawing the above to my attention. Click here for more on this document from Steve Lacy's Archive.
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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