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Bebop Spoken There

Hugh Masekela: “I advise every kid to check out their past because without a past you are in limbo.” (Songlines December 2017)

Leo Richardson: “I think your image is really important. You look at those old Blue Note recordings and you look at the liner note, the booklet and they’re in the studio and they’re wearing shirt and ties. They used to wear suits all the time.” – (Jazzwise December 2017/January 2018)

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 them all 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

Today Friday December 15

Afternoon

Rendezvous Jazz - Monkseaton Arms, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. Tel: 0191 251 3928. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

Jazz Café Christmas Party - Jazz Café. 8:00pm. Julija Jacenaite & Alan Law (8:00pm), Mo Scott Band (9:00pm). £10.00. (£8.00. advance).

Strictly Smokin’ Big Band - Gosforth Civic Theatre, Regent Farm Road, Gosforth NE3 3HD. Tel: 0191 258 4111. 7:30pm. First night of two. A guaranteed sellout.

Kentucky Cowtippers - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9:00pm. Free.

Ray Dales - Traveller’s Rest, West Auckland Road, Cockerton, Darlington DL3 9ER. 8:30pm. £8.00.

The Standards - Bar Loco, Leazes Park Road, Newcastle NE1 4PG. 7:00pm. Free. South American band playing a Greenpeace benefit.

CoSYJO - Washington Arts Centre, Biddick Lane, Fatfield, Washington NE38 8AB. Tel: 0191 561 3455. 7:00pm. £6.00. (£4.00. concs.). CoSYJO (City of Sunderland Youth Jazz Orchestra).

Smokin’ Spitfires - Platform 1, Station Street, Bedlington NE22 7JW. Tel: 01670 828808. 7:00pm. £5.50. Enhanced line-up (The Mighty Smokin’ Spitfires) with David Blakey (trumpet) & Lloyd Howell (drums).

Steve Bone - Al Forno, 81 Skinnergate, Darlington DL3 7LX. 7pm.

Sophie Armstrong: Jazz at Christmas - Maltings Theatre & Cinema, Eastern Lane, Berwick upon Tweed TD15 1AJ. Tel: 01289 330999. 7:30pm. £13.00.

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

Sunday, July 31, 2016

NEW VIDEO: Matt Anderson Quartet – The Ayes Have It (St. Mark’s Series 4/4)

This new video of my group the Matt Anderson Quartet finds us playing an original composition called ‘The Ayes Have It’. It’s the fourth and final video in the series I’ve been releasing weekly over the past month called the ‘St. Mark’s Series,’ and is filmed ‘live in the studio’ at the St. Mark’s Church, Marylebone, where we did a session with the Royal Academy of Music recording team.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Paul Edis Sextet @ Ushaw College - July 29

Paul Edis (Piano); Graham Hardy (Trumpet, Flugel); Graeme Wilson (Tenor, Flute, Baritone); Chris Hibbard (Trombone); Mick Shoulder (Bass); Adam Sinclair (Drums).
(Review by Steve T).
My mission, which I chose to accept, is to complete this review without the need to Read More.
Tangle Foot (four bottles), the splendour of Ushaw College, Lord Paul, another five of the hottest musicians from Edinburgh to Darlo and a little over thirty keen Jazz souls spread across all tables, which isn't half bad for mid-summer.
The Timothys to the delight of the four Early Birds there, Adam clattering his kit like I don't think I've heard him before. 
Cluster Fluster and I hear Duke and Mingus but its writer hears Gil Evans. For formal composition, are there three better in the Jazz idiom?

Friday, July 29, 2016

Paul Edis @ The Lit & Phil. July 29

Paul Edis (piano)
(Review by Russell/photo from BSH archives)
Summer holidays made no difference, the audience turned up as usual for the monthly Lit & Phil lunchtime jazz concert. Solo piano today, Paul Edis the performer. Nine selections of which four were composed by Edis. Indeed the first two tunes were Edis’. Pulse then a Murmuration (ask an ornithologist). First class piano playing and our pianist rightly made reference to the Lit & Phil’s fine Kawai piano.

Alan Glen's 80th Birthday @ The Globe - July 28

Alan Glen (pno); John Pope (bs); Paul Wight (dms).
(Review by Lance).
I think it was Joan Collins who, many years ago, said that 60 is the new 40. Conveniently, I think she was  60-year-old at the time. However, moving forward, last night at the Globe Alan Glen rearranged those numbers and now 80 is the new 40 - maybe even 20 or 30! Such is the man's timeless quality that age becomes irrelevant.
However, age was the reason why we were there, as if an excuse was needed! It was the pianist's 80th birthday bash (give or take a few days) and, as ever, he proved that he is still the undefeated champion with a knockout performance.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

R.I.P Grahame Shepherd

Colin Aitchison has sent me the sad news that sax player and clarinettist Grahame Shepherd has died in Spain.
Grahame, who studied at Newcastle's College of Arts and Technology in the 1970s played baritone with the Newcastle Big Band as well as clarinet with the Phoenix Jazzmen. He and Colin also played summer seasons with the Steve Stephenson Show Band. There's also a YouTube clip of him playing in more recent years with a Pink Floyd tribute band.
I don't know much more at present so will be grateful for any further information.
A fine player who will be sadly missed by all who knew him.
Lance

CD Review: Tommy Smith w. BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra - Modern Jacobite

Tommy Smith (tenor sax/orchestrations) w. BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra conducted by Clark Rundell.
(Review by Lance)
Going back to Paul Whiteman, then, through the years, to Alec Templeton, John Dankworth, Gunther Schuller and many others, jazz musicians and composers have tried to fuse the two idioms – jazz and European classical music. The results have varied from the abysmal to the near sublime. This, I’m pleased to say, is closer to the latter category. Smith succeeds where most have failed by making the saxophone a solo instrument as compatible with a symphony orchestra as a violin, cello or clarinet and possibly more so  than an oboe or a bassoon.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Lit and Phil Latest

The last Lunchtime Jazz concert of the summer at the Lit & Phil in Newcastle is on Friday this week, July 29. 1.00pm to 2.00pm, and it is a fitting closing concert with a solo performance by the series organiser and pianist Paul Edis.
Paul is a familiar player in many line-ups, whether it's as leader in his piano trio, his sextet or Triptych, or as keyboard or clarinet player or accompanist is so many other line-ups. But his piano solo playing (which featured on BBC Radio 3's Jazz Record Requests from last year's the Gateshead Jazz Festival) is something special. 
For those of you who missed the launch of Paul's Solo Double CD "Not Like Me / Just Like Me" at the Lit and Phil last November, this is a chance to catch up with some of the new (and familiar) numbers on it; for those who were there it a chance to sample again part of that excellent presentation.

CD Review: Elliot Galvin Trio – Punch

Elliot Galvin (piano, kalimba, melodicas, accordion, cassette player & stylophone), Tom McCredie (double bass) & Simon Roth (drums, percussion & glockenspiel)
(Review by Russell).
Elliot Galvin’s mother: Elliot! Elliot!
Elliot Galvin: Yes?
Elliot Galvin’s mother: Stop that noise!
Elliot Galvin: What noise?
I don’t know what that boy is getting up to, it sounds like a Punch and Judy show! said Galvin’s mother to herself.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Preview: Alan Glen Trio @ the Globe - July 28

80 not out - in jazz terms a Joe Root innings! Who are we talking about? Who else but Alan Glen, the doyen of north-east jazz pianists. Over the years Alan has moved from Angry Young Man, pushing boundary after boundary back in the latter years of the previous century whilst today, he's still pushing back boundary's but using more accessible material as his launching pad. No one can play  a standard or a bebop classic with  more panache than Alan whilst, at the same time, making it sound like the first time.

Lucky Peterson @ Sage Gateshead Summertyne Americana Festival 2016 - July 23

Lucky Peterson (vocal, guitar, Hammond, keys); Shawn Kellerman (guitar); Tim Waits (bass); Raul Valdes (drums).
(Review by Steve T/Photos courtesy of David Rodgers)
If there's a better night in Tyneside this year the shock to the system will likely precipitate musical paralysis. Never quite understood what that meant but, hopefully, I have your attention.
It goes on, nights like this must be well spaced apart lest civilisation breaks down and anarchy spills on to the streets.
It actually comes from a review of a gig in London (not Tyneside) from 1982 by Maze who, for the next decade, could guarantee a bi-annual ten night residency at Hammersmith Odeon.
Back on Tyneside and it's Saturday neet at the Sage Gateshead Americana Festival.

James Taylor Quartet @ Hull Jazz Festival - July 23

(Review by Annie O'Donnell).
It was hot enough to cook scrambled eggs in Hull Truck Theatre by the time the James Taylor Quartet ...plus Two had finished raising the temperature with their Hot Hammond Jazz Horse rider Mr T leading his posse of Jazzboys featuring the exquisitely tall. lean and keen Mr Andrew Mc Kinney  on bass guitar, Mr Pat Illingworth who orchestrated drums better than Gordon Ramsay in the kitchen...and no swear words. Mr Mark Cox who had so much and jazzgirl Miss Yvonne Yanney's  deep smoky vocals richer than an Islay Malt. 

CD Review: Suzanne Dean – Come To Paradise

Suzanne Dean (composer, background vocals, ukulele); Nicole Zuraitis (lead vocalist); Rich Ruttenberg (keys); Trey Henry (bass); Dean Parks (guitar); John Daversa (trumpet); Bob Sheppard (sop sax); Casey Scheuerell (drums); Scott Breadman (perc)
(Review by Ann Alex)
Suzanne Dean is not the lead vocalist, she’s the composer and lyricist of six original songs influenced by her interest in acoustic folk music of the 60s and 70s prior to her later immersion in jazz. Experienced in playing keyboards, guitar and arranging, Dean is also a music educator at Berklee.  Come to Paradise is the third album that she’s been involved in, and she is aided by seasoned LA session musicians.

Monday, July 25, 2016

The Jazz Man Documentary to Premiere in Long Beach

The dream is becoming a reality for Abi Lewis. Her documentary of Keith Crombie and the original Jazz Café is to be featured in the Long Beach Indie (2016) Film Festival. Hopefully, the rest of the film world will follow! Crombie, an enigmatic character, created a unique part of Newcastle's nightlife of which jazz was very much a part.
Those of us who knew Keith remember him with both affection and, well let's just leave it with affection!
Lance.

Little Victor @ Summertyne Americana - Sage Gateshead July 24

Little Victor (guitar, harmonica & vocals)
(Review by Russell)
Gateshead swamp blues boogie on the banks of the Tyne. Sweltering Louisiana swamp temperatures, Little Victor no doubt felt at home. A down home hound dog, playing on the Jumpin’ Hot Club stage, the rain clouds gathered. Little Victor played solo – guitar, harmonica, vocals and footboard.
The outdoor setting didn’t do any favours to the seated solo performer, woefully under-amplified, the footboard high in the mix. The immediacy of Hound Dog Taylor, Elmore James’ pulsating slide, Little Victor played stripped-down, back porch blues. Miz Mary, Trouble in Mind (RL Burnside introduced LV to the tune), endearing irregular rhythms, the American’s primitivism a tangible link to John Lee Hooker and Jimmy Reed.

Blue Jazz Sextet @ The Globe Jazz Bar, Newcastle – July 23

Karen Rann (soprano sax); Jeff Smith (tenor sax}; Keith Barrett (guitar); George Anyfantis (piano); Dave Parker (bass); Peter Ninnim (drums).
(Review by Steve T/photos by Debra M)
It would have been better if I could have written this up before what happened next, cos it now seems an awful lot has happened since.
It was a happy accident I was there at all, bluesman Lucky Peterson was at Sage Gateshead but not until 10.30 so a sextet at the Globe, HQ of the Jazz Coop, was a welcome stroke of luck. I arrived at 9.00 thinking I would get the first set and knowing I would have to leave around 10.00 only to be told it had started at 8.30.

CD Review: Engelbert Wrobel's Swing Society - 20 Years.

Engelbert Wrobel (clt/ten/sop);  Dan Barrett (tmb/tpt); Chris Hopkins (pno); Rolf Marx (gtr); Ingmar Heller (bs); Oliver Mewes (dms). + string quartet.
(Review by Lance).
Colin Aitchison kindly passed on this disc to me for review - unfortunately, he didn't give me the magnifying glass (unless Ann Alex has nicked it!)  If CD booklets were printed in black and white we'd have a chance but, in the name of art, they're invariably in two shades so close that even if the letters were 24pt capitals it would still be difficult to read without your bifocals!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Chapeau Chris Froome


Well, Le Tour de France is over for another year - such is my obsession with this race that I even gave Summertyne Americana at Sage Gateshead a miss today (I had more serious reasons for missing the previous 2 days).
Le tour is music on wheels. It's, at times, a pastoral symphony, grand opera, rock 'n' roll, a frantic jam session - the greatest sporting event in the world.
And, once again, we have a British winner in Chris Froome.
Bravo Chris and may the yellow jersey sit on your shoulders as proudly as it did on mine when I won the sprint to the bar at the Porthole in North Shields a few years back ahead of Derek Fleck (left) and Brian Chester!
Lance.

Gregory Porter at the Tiny Desk.

NPR Music posted this mini  session by Gregory Porter in their Tiny Desk Concert  series. Three great numbers accompanied by Chip Crawford on piano.
Listen.
Lance.

CD Review: Sundae + Mr. Goessl - Makes my Heart Sway

Kate Voss (vcls/melodica); Mr. Goessl (gtr).
(Review by Lance).
Sundae is actually Kate Voss and Mr. Goessl is, simply, Mr. Goessl. Sundae, as well as being Kate Voss, is also Mrs Goessl and currently holds the prestigious title of Seattle's Vocal Jazz Princess - a crown she also picked up in 2014. As well as singing, Sundae-Kate throws in a melodica solo or two - no doubt she also makes a fine cheese soufflé.
Mr. Goessl earns his corn as one of Seattle's top guitarists across the genres and his guitar playing is right on the money. Choice chords, swingy solos perfect backing for any vocalist.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Jazz Beat info required

(Colin Harper) am at the very early stages of working on a book around the progressive end of jazz in Britain (well, the London-centric aspect of it, I'm afraid!) in the mid to late 60s and I came across one copy (Feb 1966) of a British magazine from the period called 'Jazz Beat', which contained several useful nuggets.
I'd love to acquire more copies (I believe it started in 1964, no idea when it ended) but it's very rare - none presently on ebay, the British Library doesn't have any...
I’d be very grateful if you could mention this on Bebop Spoken Here - I'm very happy to pay for copies, of course! I can be contacted at: admin@colin-harper.com
Colin Harper

Mike and Ruthy Band - Summertyne Americana Festival 2016 @ Sage Gateshead: July 22

(Review by Ann Alex)
After Windborne, it was up to the Summertyne Lounge aka the Northern Rock Foundation Hall, for the Mike And Ruthy Band, but the only details I caught were:
Ruthy (vocals, fiddle, banjo, ukelele banjo, guitar); Mike (vocals, guitar, banjo); Rob (pedal steel guitar); Jacob (bass guitar); Conrad (drums).  Also on some songs 3 Scottish musicians on trumpet, tenor sax, trombone, names not given.
Entirely a matter of taste, this was a really good band, superb musicians doing original songs besides those of Woody Guthrie and Richard Thompson, folkie in a rocky sort of style, and very much appreciated by the full to capacity audience, but I preferred the quieter approach of Windborne.

Windborne - Summertyne Americana Festival 2016 @ Sage Gateshead Friday July 22

(Review by Ann Alex)
Lance was unexpectedly absent from this event on Friday, so I was the only representative of BSH present, apart from Russell who, apparently was there earlier, perhaps disguised as a cowboy.  And there were quite a few of those, and cowgirls too, wearing the appropriate hats which were for sale on a stall, rather expensive at £35-£40, which was also the price of some guitar-like instruments also on sale.  These had box-shaped bodies, 3 strings and were electric, and they sounded ok as people tried them out, the sound adding to the atmosphere.

Summertyne Americana July 22

 (Review by Russell)
For once the sun shone and Summertyne Americana lived up to its name. The revolving East Door at Sage Gateshead was just that – ever-revolving with ten gallon Stetsons and gaudy Hawaiian shirts parading their sartorial elegance. The Jumpin’ Hot Club open-air stage pitched on Performance Square hosted one turn after another – alt country, blues, hokum, in essence all things Americana.
Two stand-out sets were circled in the diary months ago and they lived up to expectation and more. First up, the veteran Hokum Hotshots followed by blues singer Teresa Watson.

Friday, July 22, 2016

CD Review: Jazz-Philosophy Fusion - Continuum Of Selves

Jessica Radcliffe (vocals); Sonja Morgenstern (conceptual vocals); James Tartaglia (composer, tenor sax); Gareth Fowler (guitar); Steve Tromans (piano); David Hilton (electric bass);
Tymoteusz Jozwiak (drums)
(Review by Ann Alex)
First, an appeal to Mr Blogmaster to supply each of us humble (?) reviewers with a large magnifying glass: both CD’s I’m covering this week have inserts with microscopic print. At least in former vinyl days we had record sleeves with large print, even if the sound wasn’t so good. I’m always somewhat wary of ‘fusions’ with other disciplines, as jazz stands up well on its own, and the fusion in this case sort of works ok and is entertaining, but the jazz is indeed good enough on its own, and as I’ve said the print was a bit too small to read much about the ideas behind the CD anyway.

Fly me to Roker…

On Friday evening the ‘Rat Pack Boys’ – Tommy Warren and Jonny Gray – will be up there, where the Roker air is rarified, singing Tony Bennett, Nat Cole and Frank Sinatra to hundreds of thousands of visitors on the seafront from Roker to Seaburn and beyond.
The 2016 Sunderland International Airshow opens on Friday and flies until Sunday.  Messrs Warren and Gray will be backed by the seventeen piece Denmark Street Big Band. Come fly with me…   
Russell.

R.I.P. Claude Williamson (1926 - 2016)


Sad to report the death of pianist Claude Williamson on July 16.
Williamson, a fixture on the west coast scene from the 1950s onwards played with all the great names of that era - Art Pepper, Chet Baker, Bud Shank, Barney Kessel, Maynard Ferguson, Shorty Rogers and many others.
One of my favorite memories is his 1956 album 'Round Midnight. With Red Mitchell on bass and Mel Lewis on drums, this can stand, head held high, alongside any piano trio album. Check out Polka Dots and Moonbeams - just piano and bass on this one.
Claude Williamson was 89.
Sadly missed.
Lance

Thursday, July 21, 2016

CD Review: Lefteris Kordis – Mediterrana (Goddess of Light)

Lefteris Kordis (pno & Korg Analogue Synth), Petros Klampanis (bass), Ziv Ravitz (dms),Roni Eytan (harmonica),Vasilis Kostas (laouto),Harris Lambrakis (ney), Alec Spiegelman (clar & bs clar),with John Lockwood (bass) & Sergio Diaz(cajon & claps) on track 3 only.
(Review by Dave Brownlow)
A captivating CD by pianist Lefteris Kordis grabbed my attention from the first few bars. Greek born, now based in Boston, Kordis has lived in the U.S. for twenty years and Mediterrana is actually his fifth album A fluent player with a lovely “touch” who combines that facility with a vivid imagination, drive and originality. Here, he employs a piano-led jazz trio and, interestingly; incorporates several ‘Greek’ instruments to provide a unique and unconventional sound which blends perfectly with the ‘Western’ jazz idiom - Sound of Surprise indeed!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Tweed River Jazz Band @ Maguire's, Berwick upon Tweed - July 17.

(Review/photo by Peter Ninnim.)
As Brenda and I were in Berwick we were pleased to hear from Brian Martin, of the Music Gallery, that The Tweed River Jazz Band was playing at Maguire’s Bar which is set in nearby Ord Country Park.
Maguire’s is a large venue, with a cross section of ages listening and dancing. Nice to see children being exposed to live music, and jazz at that.

Jazz Café Jam Session. July 19

Peter Gilligan (pno); Paul Grainger (bs); Abbie Finn (dms) + Johnny 'Blue Hat' Davis (ten); Joel Brown (pno); Claire Kelly (vcl); Paul Gowland (sop); Omad Ramik (dms); Minnie Fraser (vcl); ? (pno/vcl); I - Sister (Lisa/Andrea Harrison/Penny/Jerry).
(Review by Lance).
 No shortages of surprises at The Caff's fortnightly jam session which is, of course, how it should be with a good jam and this one's as good as they come!
Outside, it had been the hottest day of the year whilst inside, an open door, an electric fan and some cool beers coupled with the cool sounds on stage ensured we were in for an enjoyable air-conditioned ride.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

NEW VIDEO: Matt Anderson Quartet – Iris (St. Mark’s Series 3/4)

This new video of my group the Matt Anderson Quartet finds us playing an arrangement of the beautiful Wayne Shorter composition ‘Iris.’ It’s the third in a series of four videos I’m calling the ‘St. Mark’s Series’ which I’ll be releasing weekly over the coming month, and is filmed ‘live in the studio’ at the St. Mark’s Church, Marylebone, where we did a session with the Royal Academy of Music recording team.

Rahsaan, Soft Machine and Mr Alan Glen

Alan Glenn [sic] was active with a big band in the first (1969) Newcastle Festival and other previous experience includes working in a Doncaster nightclub with leading British drummer Tony Oxley.
Chris Yates’ programme notes written for the Newcastle International Jazz Festival in 1976 summarised Alan Glen’s recent activities on the north east jazz scene. Forty years on, the doyen of modern jazz pianists is set to play a trio gig at Newcastle Jazz Co-op’s Globe headquarters.
On the evening of Friday 29th October 1976 at the University Theatre the Alan Glen Complex played a free admission set in the foyer bar at eight thirty. Earlier at seven o’clock in the auditorium, Soft Machine (Alan Wakeman, reeds, Karl Jenkins, reeds and keyboards, Roy Babbington, bass and John Marshall, drums) performed a one-set concert with the extortionate ticket price – £1.50! – failing to deter a full house.

CD Review: Anthony E. Nelson - Swift to Hear, Slow to Speak.


Anthony E. Nelson (ten/sop); Josh Edwards (tpt); Bruce Williams (alt); Brandon McCune (pno); Kenny Davis (bs); Chris Beck (dms).
(Review by Lance).
This album placed me in the horns of a dilemma. I'm not a devout Christian, nor am I an out and out atheist which I guess makes me an agnostic - the guy who sits on the fence watching the other religious factions kill each other.
However, this site is renowned for its determination to avoid controversy on matters relating to religion, politics or the price of fish so, after glancing at the blurb, I listened to it before reading the full S.P.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Gerry Richardson's Big Idea @ Hoochie Coochie - July 17

Gerry Richardson (Hammond SK2/vcl); Rod Sinclair (gtr); Garry Linsley (alt); Jamie Toms (ten/sop); Sue Ferris (bar/fl); Dave Hignett (tpt/flug); Mark Webb (tpt); Chris Hibbard (tmb); Paul Smith (dms).
(Review by Lance).
Steve T reported that Friday's lunchtime gig at the Gala in Durham by Gerry's Quartet had a less than capacity audience and I have to report that such was the case at Hoochie on Sunday. To entice the punters off the sun-drenched streets of Newcastle into the air conditioned luxury of Hoochie Coochie, owner Warren dropped the advertised fiver and made it free entry.
It helped although why a fiver would make a difference between going and not going to see a band of this calibre is beyond me!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

CD Review:Lauren Bush - All My Treasures.

Lauren Bush (vcl); Liam Dunachie (pno/arr); Andrew Robb (bs); David Ingamells (dms) + Brandon Allen (ten); Miguel Gorodi (tpt); Kieran McLeod (tmb); (Ian Shaw (producer & background vcl on 1 track).
(Review by Lance)
Lauren Bush, a new name to me, I guess she's a Home Counties girl. This debut album could change all that!
The title of the album, All My Treasures, encompasses 12 songs that have had an impact on her career. Let's take a look at them.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Early Bird Band & Gala Big Band @ St. Cuthbert's Crook - July 15.

Early Bird Band: Paul Edis (flute/alto MD); Ben Lawrence (trumpet); Francis D Tulip (guitar); Dr. Phil (piano); Dan Lawrence (bass); Matthew Mackellar (drums).
(Review by Steve T/Photos courtesy of Allison Fenton).
This must have been the toughest choice in North East Jazz since I became an observer, with potentially brilliant nights at the Globe, Hoochie and in Darlo, so I was fortunate the decision was made for me.
The Early Birds played an almost identical set to the one at the other St Cuthbert's in Shadforth last week, with added Blue Bossa, but Crook found the hard-core Early Birds, the ones who turn up every time, possibly the best I've ever heard them.

Gerry Richardson Quartet @ Gala Theatre, Durham - July 15

Gerry Richardson (organ/vocal); Rod Sinclair (guitar); Paul Smith (drums); Garry Linsley (alto).
(Review by Steve T/Photo courtesy of Paul Edis).
For the first time in ages, empty seats at the Gala, down to about seventy. Nothing whatsoever to do with the band but on-going traffic chaos in Durham and the holiday season with nothing on in August.
I turned up at the end of the second piece Everybody's Cryin' Mercy   having missed Mel Tormé’s Comin’ Home Baby, a big hit on the acid/Jazz dance scene championed by DJ Giles Peterson in the eighties and nineties.

CD Review: Sound Underground - Quiet Spaces

Alec Aldred (tpt/flug); David Leon (alt); James Udall (gtr).
(Review by Lance).
This is what the blurb says:
On Quiet Spaces, Sound Underground pauses to look closer at the world around us, revealing the intricate beauty of details that pass by unnoticed. The trio turns these moments inside out, leaping through a wide range of textures and sounds on a journey full of surprises.

Zhenya Strigalev Trio @ The Globe Jazz Bar, Newcastle - July 15.

Zhenya Strigalev (alto/electronics); Michael Janisch (bs. gtr/electronics); Marc Ayza (dms).
(Review by Lance).
All the tables were occupied, and so they should be, for this cosmopolitan power trio (Russian, American, Spanish respectively) gave a blistering performance that went straight for the jugular almost at once. I say almost as the opening few bars of Moonlight Serenade caused an eyebrow or two to be raised. Moonlight Serenade quickly gave way to that other Glenn Miller favourite - In the Mood. This was an In the Mood the like of which you've never heard before! Frantic, wild - if Miller had played it like this the Luftwaffe would have headed for home and the safety of Beethoven and Brahms without a bomb being dropped - at least not by them!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Tonight (Friday July 15) @ The Globe Jazz Bar, Newcastle.

'A maverick at the heart of modern jazz' is how Ivan Hewett of The Daily Telegraph describes Zhenya Strigalev in his glowing review.
This extraordinary talent is bringing his trio to The Globe in Newcastle on Friday 15 July. This could be a contender for the North East's 'jazz gig of the year'.
Tickets are available online, and if you are quick you might get a promotional £12.50 ticket. Tickets will be available on the door for £15. Jazz.Coop members can buy two tickets for £25. 

Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Hughie Aitchison Story Continued....

Hughie Aitchison (tpt); Ronnie McLean (tmb); Brian Clark (alt/clt); Roy Willis (gtr); Dave Swan (bs); Marshall Walker (dms).
(Review by Lance).
We move on to 1979 and the Saratoga Jazzmen. This was a band led by Peter Gascoigne of Vieux Carré Jazzmen fame - presumably our man was depping that night. However, before going into I've Found a New Baby. Hughie gives a short interview talking about his influences - Spanier, naturally, but also of the Ellingtonian influence in the form of Cootie and Ray Nance. Indeed, Hughie went on to become a walking encyclopedia of things Ellington.

MANJULA : A Masala Festival gig @ The Black Swan, Newcastle

Vanessa Rani (vocals); Joe Harris (guitar); Simon Read (bass); Sam Bell (percussion)
(Review/photo by Ken Drew)
Typically Gem Arts’ Masala Festival is a mix of South Asian arts and culture, but this co-promotion with Jazz North East has widened the scope to include influences from further afield drawing on Portuguese, African and Latin Jazz influences. Leeds-based Manjula focusses on music from different cultures with Afro-Cuban rhythms being very much in evidence, as were the array of congas on stage!  The band is well supported by musicians bringing with them a breadth of experience in their own right - with percussionist Sam Bell, guitarist Joe Harris and bassist Simon Read all key members of the vibrant Leeds scene. 

CD Review: Alison Lewis - Seven

(Review by Ann Alex)
‘Seven’ is 5 tracks which are, in the singer’s words,‘re-imagined’ standard songs, plus 2 of Ms Lewis’s own songs.
 I started listening with some qualms, just another singer I thought, but I was soon converted by hearing Ms Lewis’s clear voice, excellent diction, wide vocal range, accompanied by well competent musicians. This is a debut CD and our singer moved from San Francisco to Los Angeles in 2009, having been involved in an a cappella group, community choirs, gospel choirs, cover bands, R & B, jazz ensembles, film and television.
Phew!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Wonderful, Wonderful Wigan!

(Surrogate review by Russell)
Bebop Spoken Here’s big band man at large Tony Eales reports on another successful Wigan International Jazz Festival. Georgie Fame impressed Eales. The ‘pop star’ jazz and blues veteran shared the stage with the all-star Guy Barker Big Band. Eales states that Fame has still got it – great voice, great entertainer and a great band in tow.
Eric Marienthal flew in from the States to play a funky set with the Wigan Youth Jazz Orchestra. The ex-Chick Corea sideman was the latest in a roll-call of superstar names down the years to gig with WYJO. Maynard Ferguson, James Morrison, Bobby Shew, and this year Marienthal.
The Swingtime Big Band impressed, as did special guest Andy Prior. The NATO Jazz Orchestra looked the part – starched uniforms and all – although in Eales’ opinion that vital spark was somehow missing. The New York Brass Band (York, England) made a big impression on BSH’s big band man. The band’s performance and two hundred plus schoolchildren doing the conga will live long in TE’s memory.
Work has already started on the 2017 Wigan International Jazz Festival. Breaking news on the big names will appear first right here on Bebop Spoken Here. Stay tuned.
Russell.          

The Hughie Aitchison Story on Record. Tracks 2-7 + memories of Ray Jobling and Jimmy Miller

Stan Wilde (pno); Hughie Aitchison (tpt); Ronnie McLean (tmb); Brian Clark/ Alan Shipley (clt); Alan Brown (gtr); Joe Ward (dms).
A year to the day after the previous tracks on June 25, 1951, Stan's Wildecats were recorded at Northern Sound Studios - was that the one at the bottom of Worswick St,? Probably was as there weren't too many recording studios around in those days.
Washington & Lee Swing and Lonesome Road.. Brian Clark and Alan Shipley on clarinets. I didn't know Alan Shipley but Brian was one of those gentle gentlemen of music and the northeast jazz scene was horrified when he was mugged on his way home from a gig in, I think, the 1970's.
Were the muggers ever caught? I can't remember - I hope so.

CD Review: Joe Policastro Trio - POPS!

Joe Policastro (bs); Mikel Avery (dms); Dave Miller (gtr) + Andy Brown/Andy Pratt (gtr).
(Review by Dave Brownlow).
Pops! is a new CD by the Joe Policastro Trio – a guitar - led trio featuring the above musicians. (NOT, incidentally, Mick Avery, former drummer of the Kinks!) The two guest guitarists, Brown and Pratt feature on four of the eleven tracks.
Based in Chicago and resident at the Pops For Champagne nightclub in that city, this is a jazz trio who use pop songs from the ‘60s – ‘90s as their material incorporating compositions by artists such as Prince, Tom Waits, Neil Young, Bacharach/David, The Bee Gees, Pink Floyd, Stevie Wonder, Billy Paul and The Cars.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The Hughie Aitchison Story on Record. Tracks 1 and 1a

My favourite tipple, at the Jazz Café, is a bottle of Geordie Jazz. It's also the ideal brew to indulge in whilst listening to this brand of Geordie Jazz as it was when young men of the 1950s were stretching their musical legs. Hughie Aitchison and his longtime sidekick Ronnie McLean were two such preachers of Jazz Revivalism working with, and often against,  the beboppers. Both sides oblivious to the threat of Rock 'n' Roll.
This compilation by Hughie's son Colin has so many memories that I can only treat them track by track and, as such, totally unable to do it in one go so just pick up on my day to day ramblings of what is a historic document.

Hughie Aitchison – A Tyneside Jazz Trumpet Player

(Review by Russell)
This new CD release is essential listening for anyone with an interest in the history of the Tyneside jazz scene. In due course an informed commentary will, no doubt, be posted by the editor of Bebop Spoken Here. This posting simply serves to flag up the very existence of these recordings made between 1950 - 1983. The focus is on bandleader, trumpeter and trombonist Hughie Aitchison. A hugely respected figure on the scene, Mr Aitchison can be heard in a variety of combos: Stan Wilde and the Wild Cats recorded at Durham Jazz Club in 1950; a Northern Sound Services studio recording with the Bernicia Jazz Band; a 1979 Saratoga Jazzmen session from the Corner House; The High Point Hotel All Stars from 1983.

Hoochie Coochie This Sunday (July 17)


Hoochie Coochie is the place to be this coming Sunday with Gerry Richardson's Big Idea once again filling in the popular late afternoon/early evening slot (5pm)
The band has a big following which isn't surprising given the pedigree of the players - all pivotal figures across the genres with Gerry's Hammond grooves as good as anybody's in the UK and beyond.
Add Rod Sinclair's guitar, Sue Ferris, Garry Linsley and Jamie Toms on saxes, Chris Hibbard on trombone, a couple of trumpets (maybe Mark Webb and Dave Hignett) and Paul Smith on drums, a mix of originals and covers and you'll soon realise that Gerry's Big Idea makes it a very Good Idea to hear them at Hoochie Coochie!
Lance.
Sunday, July 17, Gerry Richardson's Big Idea - Hoochie Coochie, 54 Pilgrim St., Newcastle NE1 6SF. 5pm. £5.

JNE/Splinter @ The Bridge, Newcastle. - MoHaWi/Square One Quartet

MoHaWi
Graham Hardy (trumpet & flugelhorn); Mark Williams (guitar); Russ Morgan (drums)
(Review photos courtesy of Ken Drew)
This first outing for a new trio pulled together for Splinter by Graham Hardy.
First tune, settling quickly into a gentle rhythmic groove with subtle electronic treatments to Graham’s trumpet, reminiscent of Ingrid Jensen’s sound at her recent JNE gig.  A good workout for the trio to establish their space. A good number to open with – despite the slow fade and long pause (false ending) before launching back into the main theme at full pace. 

Monday, July 11, 2016

Jazz In The Afternoon - Crescent Club, Cullercoats. July 11

(Review by Lance).
July = Wimbledon, The Tour de France and the Hong Kong invasion. Murray's won Wimbledon, Froome's looking good in Le Tour and the Hong Kong/Italian axis have conquered north east England!
As you will have gathered from the previous post, Blaydon happily surrendered and, this afternoon, Cullercoats too welcomed the invaders, The audience, many of whom, I'm sure, served in the Home Guard or the Land Army in the second (or was it the first?) World War, loved it. It may well have been the First World War as everyone seemed to know the words to It's a Long Way to Tipperary and Pack up Your Troubles in Your Old Kitbag  when Sarony and Broddle did their Flanagan and Allen routine.

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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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