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Bebop Spoken There

Piers Paul Read: "Bruce Reynolds and Biggs shared an interest in Sex, Jazz and Hemingway." - (The Train Robbers by Piers Paul Read, Coronet Books 1979.)

George Shearing: "Speaking about Johann Sebastian Bach I think he'd be a real jazzer if he were alive today. I mean any man who has two wives, twenty kids, gets kicked out of the church for being too harmonically radical and drinks beer can't be all wrong can he?" - (Crescendo March 1984.)

Submissions for review

Whilst we appreciate the many emails, texts, messages and other communications we receive requesting album/gig reviews on BSH, regrettably, we are unable to reply to all of them other than those we are able to answer with a positive response.
Similarly, CDs received by post will only be considered if accompanied by sufficient background material.
Finally, bear in mind that this is a jazz-based site when submitting your album.
Lance

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Today Thursday July 19

Afternoon

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone NE27 0DA. Tel: 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

Maine St. Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Holywell Lane, Sunniside, Gateshead NE16 5NJ. 8:30pm. Free.

Alexys de Alfaro: Guitar Dreams with Coco Vega - Prohibition Bar, Arch 3, Brandling Street, Gateshead NE8 2BA. Doors 7:00pm. A ‘jar on the bar’ gig. Guitar & percussion.

Alter Ego - St James’ & St Basil’s Church, Fenham Hall Drive, Newcastle NE4 9EJ. 7:30pm. £10.00.

Jesse Bannister Quartet - Jazz Café, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. Tel: 0191 222 9882. 8:00pm. £10.00. (£8.00. concs.). JNE.

Northern Monkey Brass Band - Jubilee Park, Spennymoor DL16. 6:00-9:00pm. Free. Big BRASS Bash (Durham Brass Festival).

New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band - Oxbridge, Oxbridge Lane, Stockton on Tees TS18 4AW. 8:30pm.

Tees Hot Club w. Donna Hewitt (alto); Josh Bentham (tenor); Dave Archbaid (keys) - Dormans Club, Oxford Road, Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. Tel: 01642 823813. 9pm. Free.

Jazz Jam - Fire Station, High Street West, Sunderland SR1 3DT. Tel: 0191 594 7241. 8pm. Free.

Billy's Buskers: Plug in and Play - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 7:00pm. Free.

To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Mark Toomey Quartet @ The Black Bull, Blaydon. May 17

Mark Toomey (alto saxophone), Jeremy McMurray (piano), Peter Ayton (bass & vocals) & Paul Smith (drums).
(Review by Russell)
Last heard leading the late-night jam session at last month’s Darlington Jazz Festival, alto saxophonist Mark Toomey made the journey up the A19 to play a gig at the Black Bull in Blaydon. Two sets featuring the music of Charlie Parker attracted the regulars to Blaydon Jazz Club’s monthly session. The region’s sax players were conspicuous by their absence - they missed a treat.
Parker disciple Mark Toomey likes nothing better than to play the music of the genius we know as ‘Yardbird’. Tunes, interspersed with a potted history of the ill-fated saxophonist, broadly in chronological order, made for an informative and entertaining presentation. An up tempo start with Cherokee almost went pear-shaped as Peter Ayton’s bass amp played up. As jacks and inputs were checked over, pianist Jeremy McMurray’s left hand worked overtime. Instrument and amp restored to rude health, Ayton delved way back to Parker’s days with Jay McShann singing Hootie Blues – great stuff!
Dizzy’s Groovin’ High, All the Things You Are…the realisation that every number was in the ‘classic’ category. Sit back and enjoy! Dial and Savoy sides (the often imperfect sides – lo-fi quality – somehow add to the legendary status accorded Parker) caught Toomey’s  ear, some transcribed by the Teesside-based altoist, such is the man’s devotion. A Night in Tunisia fizzed along (drummer Paul Smith’s rhythmic patterns spot-on) with the club’s former house pianist Jeremy McMurray laying down one of several fully-formed solos.
Now’s the Time (more from McMurray), Loverman as a samba (Smith again ‘on it’ and Ayton soloing effectively), the tunes flowed one after another. The test piece as Toomey rightly described it – Donna Lee – brought out the best in the quartet. Listening to Mark Toomey is a damn good approximation of Parker on record – ‘uncanny’ is the word. Out of Nowhere featured Smith’s first-rate brushes and an inventive McMurray solo complete with a stride pattern woven into the fabric of it. Parker’s Mood with its aching intro just about brought the evening to a close save for a brisk take on Love for Sale. A good night at Blaydon. Next month’s session (a Blaydon Festival special on Sunday, June 21) sees the return of the Sue Ferris Quintet. The diminutive Ferris is an accomplished musician (tenor and baritone saxes, flute), well respected on the local scene. Heard recently at the Great North Big Band Jazz Festival, Ferris was in stupendous form. If she breezes into the Black Bull firing on all cylinders it is sure to be a storming gig. Don’t miss it!                    
Russell.

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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.)
Contact: lanceliddle@gmail.com I look forward to hearing from you.

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