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Bebop Spoken There

More from Jazz Monthly:

Jack Cooke: "...neither Giuffre nor Jim Hall are even adequate jazz musicians, they are technically limited, and more importantly, seem unable to improvise logically" - (Review of a JATP concert. Jazz Monthly May 1960)

Michael James: "...if Ellis [Herb] has merits they are definitely not these [fantastic fire and drive]". - (Review of Herb Ellis Meets Jimmy Giuffre (LP). Jazz Monthly May 1960).

Archives

Today Tuesday October 17

Afternoon
Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Black Bull, 98 Front St., East Boldon NE36 0SG. 1pm. Free. 0191 5365127. 5th of 6 consecutive gigs. 2 mins from East Boldon metro.
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Evening
Charles Gordon (solo piano) - Redwood Bar, Vermont Hotel, Newcastle. 10pm - midnight. Free.
Jam Session - Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8pm. Free. James Harrison on piano.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Digital Review: Big Chief - Blues in Twos

Dick Heckstall-Smith (sop/ten); John Fry (ten/vcl); Mike Jacques (gtr); Adrian Paton (elec. pno); Tony Edwards (dms/vcls); Cliff Colins (vcl on Stormy Monday).
(Review by Lance).
Recorded in 1982 at the Pegasus pub in Stoke Newington these previously unreleased tracks are a timely reminder of one of the UK's best ever "Blues 'n Roll" bands. I don't think I ever visited the Pegasus - in fact. listening to this digi release, I know I didn't. I wouldn't forget blasts like this!
The atmosphere's there, maybe a distinctive aroma in the air, who knows? who cares? This is 1982 and Big Chief don't take no prisoners! Not with sax legend Dick Heckstall-Smith blowing like there's no tomorrow, John Fry adding his tenor and croaking the blues like he'd been born in Memphis and moved to Detroit via Chicago, and some more soulful blues by Cliff Collins on T-Bone's Stormy Monday.
This is like any blues club you've ever been to - only better.
And Big Chief is still going strong, 30 odd years on!
Lance.
Available from Dec. 15.
Link.
Album notes by John Fry.
Dick [Heckstall-Smith] was with Big Chief from its inception in 1976. The band played each week in Crouch End, North London. It was here that it took the name, Big Chief (taking its name from one of the songs in its repertoire and with more than a nod toward the Mardi Gras Indians of New Orleans).
At that time it was a five piece. We were the Monday night band at the Stapleton Hall Tavern, and though it may seem inconceivable in the current age of pub closure, we used to pack the place. We made a lot of friends in that time and stayed for about 18 months.
Eventually, we took a Saturday residency at the Pegasus in Green Lanes, Stoke Newington. Bass guitarist, Tony Desborough, was replaced by Tony Reeves who had, previously been with Dick in Jon Hiseman’s Colosseum. Shortly after Tony’s arrival, the band added Mike Jacques on guitar, formerly with Tony in Curved Air. This became the line up for the better part of six and a half wonderful years.
Big Chief was never Dick’s band. He was a team player and never wanted it any other way. Yet he never gave less than 100% of his energies. He once said that every band he’d played with had become a legend. And, although we didn’t attract much media attention, the word was out on the street; I remember one chap regularly came to hear the band all the way from Dublin.
With a couple of studio exceptions, Tony recorded these tracks at the Pegasus in 1982. Dick was particularly fond of his performance on the Bill Withers song, Use Me. Cliff Collins, a friend and occasional Saturday night guest, contributed the Bobby Bland blues, Stormy Monday.
Supported and encouraged by Stephen and George at Janus Sounds, these tracks, which have remained dormant for some thirty years, have been painstakingly restored and re-mixed by Tony Reeves, and will, we hope, add to the legacy and fond memory of the one we called “the Guv’nor”, the truly legendary Dick Heckstall-Smith.
John Fry. October 2014

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About this blog - contact details.

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

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