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Bebop Spoken There

Alan Luff: “The general view is that Ella’s songbook recordings are the supreme exemplars of sophistication, fine diction and creative voice in the wide field of popular music.” – (Jazz Journal May 2017).

Steve Voce: “Most of us have been crashed into by cretins who walk along the road absorbed in the screens of their mobile phones.” – (Jazz Journal May 2017).

Number 22!

Bebop Spoken Here is currently listed at number 22 in the WORLD JAZZ BLOG Rankings!

Today Friday May 26

Afternoon
Harambee Pasadia - See RH Column.
Rendezvous Jazz - The Black Horse, Front St., Monkseaton, Whitley Bay NE25 8DP. 1pm. Free.
Paul Wilkinson - St. Nicholas Cathedral, St. Nicholas Square, Newcastle NE1 1PF. 1:05pm. Retiring collection.
Mark Williams/Joel Byrne McCullough - Gala Theatre, Millennium Place, Durham DH1 1WA. 1pm. £5.
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Evening
Ruth Lambert Quartet - Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 9pm, £7 (£6 in advance.)
Hand to Mouth (Lindsay Hannon/Bradley Johnston) - High Friars Lane (Tyneside Cinema), Free, al fresco, 8pm. food and drink available.
?????????? - Billy Bootleggers - 28 Nelson St., Newcastle NE1 5AN. 8pm. Free.
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Imelda May - Sage Gateshead. 7pm. £38.20/£27.30 VIP Option £104.
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Strictly Smokin' Big Band - Ushaw College, nr. Durham. 7:30pm. £7.
Steve Bone - Al Forno, 81 Skinnergate, Darlington DL3 7LX. 7pm.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Mark Williams Trio @ The Jazz Café. April 12

Mark Williams (guitar), Paul Susans (bass) & Russ Morgan (drums)
(Review by Russell/Photos courtesy of Mike Tilley)
At dusk a mid-November mist descended over Newcastle. As it is the month of April the unseasonal gloom perhaps persuaded some to stay indoors. The streets quiet, the pubs no different, down on Pink Lane the Jazz Café’s doors defiantly remained open for business.
Half an hour before the first set was due to start three amigos sat at the bar; Geordie Jazz (the house bottled beer), a cider and a glass of wine in front of them. The ‘three’, the trio of Mark Williams, Paul Susans and Russ Morgan, were ready and waiting. Patience is a virtue and in due course the Caff filled up nicely and the boys made a start.

Guitarist Mark Williams wouldn’t be out of place leading a band at Ronnie Scott’s or one of the Big Apple’s premier jazz clubs such as the Blue Note or the Village Vanguard. The fact that the amiable Irishman chooses to ply his trade on Tyneside is one of the glories of the Geordie jazz scene. The set list comprised now familiar original tunes and one or two new numbers. Totally in command of his instrument, his current band mates Paul Susans and Russ Morgan are, perhaps, the ideal musicians to take the music to a wider audience. Dark, brooding, prowling riffs, Williams revelled in constantly shifting time signatures, a book of chords labelled ‘advanced’ and working with two similarly talented musicians.
Weird Waltz is a dystopian lullaby; lyrical, threatening, briefly swing time. Slow, slow, breaks off, go! Williams is a man of few words preferring to let his guitar do the talking. Self deprecation suits the Irishman: It’s just a blues said Williams of Booze Blues. Just a blues? And the rest! The arrival on the scene of Russ Morgan has been a real bonus. The thought occurred that he is the drummer for this band. Word of mouth, checkout Morgan and the gig was his. Scintillating playing from all three men. Last Bus to Bensham (Colin Dexter would approve of the title!) was one of Williams’ tunes. Is it really titled Last Bus to Bensham? Probably.
The ‘Tuesday Live at the Jazz Café’ audience really dug it. From the off everyone sat or stood at the bar listening intently. Bassist Susans has worked with Williams for years and it shows – total trust, freedom to express. Swing, blues, cranked-up riffs, leftfield waltz, a free-jazz element, a listener’s gig. List your favourite musicians. Williams isn’t on it? In that case, you haven’t heard him play.                           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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