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Bebop Spoken There

Jeremy Pelt: "In my experience, the hottest player on the scene is almost always the most annoying motherfucker on the scene because they know that they're hot." - (DownBeat June 2019).

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2019 Parliamentary Jazz Awards

The voting is open between now and May 31 to enable site visitors to nominate their choices in the various categories of this year's APPJAG awards which can be done here.
BSH was very proud to be nominated and to win the 2018 Media Award and hope we can have your support again this year.

Today Sunday May 19

Afternoon

Jazz

Anth Purdy: Swing Jazz Guitar - Blyth Battery, The Links, Blyth NE24 3PQ. 10:00am-4:00pm. Free. 'Blyth Battery Goes to War Weekend'.

Vieux Carré Hot 4 - Spanish City, Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay NE26 1BG. 12 noon. Free.

Musicians Unlimited - Park Inn, Park Road, Hartlepool TS26 9HU. Tel: 01429 233126. 1:00pm (doors 12 noon). Free.

Alice Grace & Ben Helm - Bonbar, Fenkle St., Newcastle NE1 5XU. Tel: 0191 232 8695. 1:30pm.

Jazz Social - Charts, Quayside, Newcastle NE1 3DX. Tel: 0191 338 7989. 4:00pm. Free. Jam session with house trio (James Harrison, piano).

Blues

Memphis Cruisers - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St., Newcastle NE1 5AN. 3:00pm. Free.

Archie Brown & the Young Bucks - The Schooner, South Shore Road, Gateshead NE8 3AF. 5:00pm. Free.

Evening

Jazz

Sue Ferris Quintet - Black Bull, Bridge St., Blaydon NE21 4JJ. Tel: 0191 414 2846. 7:30pm. £7.00. Blaydon Jazz Club.

Philip Clouts Quartet - The Globe, Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £10.00 (£7.00 student).

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

Monday, March 14, 2016

BSH Talks to Alex Webb about Café Society Swing.

The show, Café Society Swing, reappears at London's Pizza Express this Thursday, March 17, and if you live within the sound of Bow Bells, this is the only game in town. I saw the show a couple of years back and I'm delighted to see that, apart from Pizza, it's also heading north for the GIJF (Sage Gateshead April 17, 2pm.). YouTube clip. 


I spoke to Alex Webb, the creator of the show,
BSH: Alex, last time we spoke was actually at Sage Gateshead when Alexander Stewart was the support for Dionne Warwick.

Yes, that was a great tour and I can't believe it was more than three years ago!  It's rare for a British jazz group to get to play big halls with Steinway pianos night after night ... Alexander and I aren't working together live anymore but we're good mates and, in fact, we collaborated on a recording recently.

BSH: Alexander was also in Café Society Swing when I saw the show in London, in a small theatre just off Leicester Square back in 2012/13.

Yes, Alex and China Moses (Dee Dee Bridgewater's daughter) were in the original line-up. The show has evolved since then, in terms of script, arrangements and staging, eventually becoming quite a high-production theatre piece - but now it's back down to a touring concert show. Both formats work well in their own way.

BSH: Alex isn’t with you this time, in fact, although some of the band remain, the vocal team has changed several times since then. Would you like to tell us about the members of your current cast and have there been any changes in the actual show?

When China couldn't make the 2014 run in London I had a real headache - those are big shoes to fill!  Then someone tipped me off about a singer who was working with guitarist John Etheridge - and I knew anyone working with John would have to be good.  We hit it off and in fact I struck gold - Vimala Rowe isn't just a great singer, she's an utterly dynamic presence on stage.
Ciyo Brown is a multi-talented guy who works on the reggae and jazz scene and can play mean jazz guitar as well as sing this quite varied material convincingly.
The band  moves around a bit according to availability but it's a great team - in Gateshead we'll have Denys Baptiste, Nathaniel Facey, Sue Richardson and Winston Rollins in the front line and Miles Danso and Shaney Forbes in the engine room.  We've got half of Empirical on stage, in a way!

BSH: You’ve also taken the show to New York – How did that go? In a perfect world they should be taking the show to us! 

New York was a gas - I was working with a really hot crew of NY jazz musicians and the vocalists were Charenee Wade, Cyrille Aimee and Allan Harris, who recently won the DownBeat Rising Star award.  Sachal Vasandani and Dee Dee Bridgewater came down to check it out, and we got rave reviews, including the New York Times.  Tough though - 8 shows a week for three weeks - gets your chops together.
New Yorkers loved the story, as they should, and various descendants of club owner Barney Josephson came along and they loved it too.

BSH: There’s also a new project you’re involved in – A Tribute to Torch Song.

There's a great singer in London called Jo Harrop and she's got this delicious, creamy voice and a real feeling for the standards - so we've created an atmospheric words-and-music show which talks about the great Torch Songs and who sang them - and, of course, we get a chance to play them!

BSH: Yes we know Jo – she’s from Chester-le-Street.
Of course!

BSH: When I reviewed Café Society Swing after the London show I suggested it as being ideal for Sage Gateshead and now here it is!

Perhaps you planted the seed!  If anyone reading this can't get along, please think about buying my album 'Call Me Lucky' coming out on June 3 on Splash Point Records. It has eleven different jazz vocalists on it - including Liane Carroll, Allan Harris, China Moses, Vimala Rowe and my old partner in crime Alexander Stewart.  For updates go to alexwebbsongwriter.com 

BSH: Good to talk and I’m looking forward to seeing the show again.
Lance.

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