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Bebop Spoken There

Curtis Stigers: “I’m a jazz singer. I’m not a saxophonist. When I stand in front of a band like the Danish Radio Big Band or Ronnie Scott’s, I usually tend to leave the instrument on the stand.” – (The Northern Echo 20 July 2017)

Tamsin Austin, Director of Performance Programme, Sage Gateshead: “SummerTyne is our largest festival and we absolutely love it!” – (The Northern Echo 20 July 2017)

Today Saturday July 22

Afternoon
SummerTyne Americana Festival 2017 - Sage Gateshead. Day two of three. Details. From 12 noon all day.
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Evening
Steve Glendinning (solo guitar) - Cherry Tree, 9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond, Newcastle NE2 2AE. 7:30pm. No cover charge.
The Hookahs - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St., Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.
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Big Chris Barber Band - Alnwick Playhouse. 7:30pm. £21.50/£20.50.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Remembering Louis Stewart (January 5, 1944 - August 20, 2016)

I was fortunate to meet Louis in the late 1970s as I had admired his jazz guitar artistry for many years.  Up to that time, with the exception of Pete Chilver and Dave Goldberg, the UK had not produced a jazz guitarist to match the leading USA jazz guitarists.  Louis, however, proved to be more than a match for the transatlantic masters.  He was a natural jazz musician and greatly admired by audiences all over the world. 
Louis was a quiet and modest person who unfortunately suffered a drink problem for periods of his career.  I remember seeing him play a Jazz North East Jazz concert at the Corner House Hotel in Heaton back in the 1980s.  I met him before the concert and he was already quite drunk.  I thought he would not be able to play.  However, he went on stage and gave a truly memorable performance.  He fortunately managed to get over this problem with alcohol and enjoyed an impressive 50+ year career as one of the world’s best jazz guitarists appearing in clubs and concert halls all over the world.  He made many recordings with his own combos and several with George Shearing, and some as a member of the Benny Goodman orchestra.
From the 1960s to the late 1980s my company was the UK distributor of the prestigious Ibanez guitar line.  I was pleased to be able to sign up an endorsement agreement for Louis with this leading Japanese company.  The attached photo (taken by Gordon Wright) shows Louis playing his Ibanez guitar during a concert at the St James Hotel in Edinburgh on13 February 1980.
Very sadly missed.
Maurice J. Summerfield.

5 comments :

  1. Nice homage, except that Louis was not from the UK, he was Irish and the quintessential Dublin man (even though born in Waterford), also it is unwarranted to say he had a "drink problem" as Louis drank no more than any other Dublin man of the time.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Just because you've left the EU doesn't mean you get free license to claim Irish people of outstanding achievement as products of the UK or otherwise to fix them up as stereotypes. You've attempted to do both here. If you can't post a better informed estimation of Louis' genius, then take this one down.

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  3. Sir, no one on this site is in any doubt as to the genius that was Louis Stewart. Nor has there been any intent to claim him as other than the finest, and one of the world's, greatest, Irish jazzmen. Maurice Summerfield who wrote the obituary was a dear friend of Louis and collaborated with Louis re his choice of guitars.
    If you feel this doesn't do Louis justice then please send us your own obituary (preferably under your own name).

    ReplyDelete
  4. As a footnote, unlike some jazz sites, we don't do politics. We leave that to the politicians. We just love and try to support the music.

    ReplyDelete
  5. As you rightly say Lance, Maurice was a good friend of Louis'.Louis mentioned him often, and introduced me to him a couple of months before illness hit him, when Maurice was in Dublin and came to Louis' gig.

    ReplyDelete

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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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