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Bebop Spoken There

Don Rendell: "It was about the time that the organ-type piano attachment - the clavioline - was invented. And the poster billing at one place where we played up north announced proudly, but erroneously: "The Johnny Dankworth Seven, featuring Frank Holder and the cleolaine" " - (www.jazzprofessional.com, December 2001).

Mary Lou Williams: “...it was discovered I possessed perfect pitch. Rumour of this oddity spread throughout the school, and pupils would drop pots and pans and other loud objects, asking 'What note, Mary?' (Melody Maker, 1954).

Today Friday May 25

Afternoon

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

Swing Manouche - Bishop Auckland Town Hall, Market Place, Bishop Auckland DL14 7NP. Tel: 03000 269 524. 1:00pm. £5.00.

Evening

Jerron ‘Blind Boy’ Paxton - Sage Gateshead. 7:45pm. £15.30. NRFH. Solo blues, multi-instrumentalist, influences include Fats Waller & Blind Lemon Jefferson.

Shatner’s Bassoon - Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8:00pm. £8 (£6 in advance).

Hand to Mouth (Lindsay Hannon & Bradley Johnston) - Vicolo: Live in the Lane, Tyneside Cinema, Pilgrim Street, Newcastle NE1 6QG. 8:00pm. Free.

Baghdaddies - Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay NE26 1BG. 6:00pm. Online booking: £10.00. + £1.37 booking fee. The Whitley Bay Carnival ‘Big Ball’ featuring debut of the Baghdaddies’ big band line-up.

Nick Pride & the Pimptones - Cumberland Arms, James Place Street, Byker, Newcastle NE6 1LD. Tel: 0191 265 6151. 6:00pm. Free.

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

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

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

Sunday, December 31, 2017

The New Year Gongs

Well, the lists are in from most of our contributors and I have come to the conclusion that, based upon appearances in the various listings of top gigs and CDs, the NEW STAR of 2017 is Leo Richardson.
A fantastic album - The Chase - and a knockout gig at Darlo's Opus 4 clinched it.
Paul Edis is one of those musicians who defy classification - pianist, composer, arranger, bandleader - you name it and he does it. Maybe, one day he'll succumb to the lure of the fleshpots of London, New York or Grimsby (not so far to travel) but please hang around for a while longer.
Paul has been astonishing (along with James Birkett and Sage Gateshead) in bringing jazz talent to the fore via Jambone and the other Sage supported bands. There are suggestions that this support is soon to be withdrawn...

Steve H's Ten of the Best - 2017

=1. Led Bib @ The Bridge 5th May (Photo by Ken Drew)
Steve H.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

The "Real" J Hendricks

(By Frank Griffith)
With all due respect to Jimi Hendrix, an equally important and innovative icon of 20th-century American popular music, I would like to share my work with singer/lyricist Jon Hendricks in the wake of his recent passing.

As a saxophonist/arranger, resident in NYC from 1980-96 I first met Jon in December 1993 when an arranger colleague of mine, Mark Lopeman, asked me to assist him with some last minute orchestrations for Jon in anticipation of some gigs around Christmas of that year. Jon had been writing lyrics to several of Miles Davis’ solos from Gil Evans’ arrangements from their 1957 "Miles Ahead" LP on Columbia. These included "My Ship", "I Don't Wanna Be Kissed", "New Rhumba" and "The Maids of Cadiz". These were also performed the following year for Jon’s Christmas week-long engagement at NYC's Blue Note club. The band included such luminaries as Wynton Marsalis, Red Holloway, Benny Golson and Al Grey.

Strictly Smokin' Big Band @ Hoochie Coochie - December 29.

I'd missed the last few SSBB gigs dotted around the area so it was with much more than eager anticipation that I looked forward to this one and I wasn't disappointed.
For once, I didn't have an advance setlist which, in retrospect, wasn't such a bad thing. A setlist takes away the 'sound of surprise' and can result in the ensuing review reading more like a shopping list. So instead, I've just reflected randomly.
I don't think I've heard Alice in better voice. The gowns she'd had painted on didn't restrict her diaphragmatic breathing although it did mine. Her version of You Make me Feel so Young was the best vocal/big band number I'd heard since Sarah Vaughan appeared at Newcastle City Hall with Count Basie's band. I never thought I'd hear Sinatra's It Was a Very Good Year sung uptempo by a woman. I did last night and it worked a treat. These were just a couple from Ms. Grace's knock 'em dead repertoire. Time After Time, Jeepers Creepers, Get Happy and a quirky 1920s take on Don't Think Twice were just some of the other showstoppers.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Joe Garner

The death was announced in the Evening Chronicle of a Joe Garner who passed away on December 17. Can anyone confirm/or otherwise as to whether this was the same Joe Garner who played bass with the Panama Jazzmen in the 1950s?
The age, 85, and the address in the Howdon area of North Tyneside point towards it being one and the same.
Information would be appreciated.
Chronicle obituary.

Leroy Hutson @ Jazz Café, Camden, December 27.

(Review by Steve T)
Leroy Hutson is most famous as the man Curtis Mayfield hand-picked to replace him in The Impressions when he went solo. After a few years singing Curtis stuff live and an unremarkable album, mostly written by Curtis, he embarked on his own solo career but remained on Mayfield's Curtom label. He had a run of albums which became highly sought after by soul fans, particularly in the UK, though to these ears none of them are particularly great, though each has one or two mind-bogglingly good tracks.
The last time I saw him was a Personal Appearance (PA) at a Soul Weekender in Fleetwood I was heavily involved in almost thirty years ago. At the time a PA meant a singer singing over backing tracks and this was the second best I ever heard, with a knee-buckling moment when he went into Lucky Fellow. In fairness to him, Sam Dees set the bar impossibly high but I spotted how incredible he could be with a band, so this has been a priority ever since. I've had tickets to see him twice since but both events ended up being cancelled so this threatened to be an emotional affair. 

Ella, Dizzy and the Strictly Smokin’ Big Band

In the unlikely event that you’re not at a gig tonight (all roads lead to 54 Pilgrim Street, Newcastle) there is, as the BBC would say, ‘another chance to hear’ the Ella Fitzgerald/Dizzy Gillespie Prom, first broadcast earlier this year on Radio 3. American singer Dianne Reeves and Australian multi-instrumentalist James Morrison are joined by the BBC Concert Orchestra in a programme of Duke Ellington, Thelonius Monk, Gershwin and many others. Tune to Radio 3 at 7:30. 
Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow, tonight’s Strictly Smokin’ Big Band’s gig at Hoochie Coochie is the place to be. Doors at Warren’s gaff open at seven o’clock with Michael Lamb’s super-charged big band hitting the stage at 8:30. The MU’s enduring mantra – Keep Music Live – applies this evening, record the Ella/Dizzy Prom and head to Hoochie Coochie, it’s the only game in town!      
Russell           

Gregory Porter on Sky Arts.

11:45 am this morning Gregory Porter performs live in concert in Berlin on the Sky Arts Channel.

Twelve Nights of 2017 by Steve T.

Fabien Mary Quartet @ Southport Jazz Festival, 4th Feb.

(Iain) Dixon, (Malcolm) Edmonstone, (Mike) Walker Quintet @ Southport Jazz Festival, 5th Feb.

Alan Barnes and Friends @ Travellers Rest, Darlington, 10th Feb.

Miles Mosely @ Sage Gateshead International Jazz Festival, 1st April.

Denys Baptiste plays the Late Trane @ Cheltenham Jazz Festival, 1st May.

Remembering Keith Crombie Five years on.

As was pointed out at the last Jazz Café jam session of 2017 today, December 29, marks the 5th anniversary of the death of Keith Crombie, the former majordomo of the Jazz Café. 
Crombie, hardly anyone called him Keith, was one of the last true characters that I've ever met. His reputation had long gone before him and I was not a little nervous when I did eventually meet him. 
Surprisingly, he was nothing like what I'd expected and we hit it off immediately and, although he could lose me off on many subjects - the wartime defence system on the River Tyne being one of them - we had common ground when it came to music and jazz in particular.
We discovered we'd even had the same girlfriend at different times!

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Tees Valley Jazzmen @ No.1 Market Place, Bishop Auckland - Dec 28

Gavin Lee (soprano sax), Don Fairley (trombone), Keith Belton (piano & vocals), Gavin Belton (banjo), Tom Derbyshire (double bass) & Mike Humble (drums) + Alf Langthorne (piano), Brian Wilkins (banjo), Kate Bulman (vocals) & Jimmy Robinson (vocals)
(Review by Russell).
Lunchtime, last Thursday of the month, the Tees Valley Jazzmen set up in the window of No.1 Market Place in Bishop Auckland to play some Dixieland tunes. Part coffee shop, part bar, its close proximity to Auckland Castle (presently closed for major redevelopment works), the Town Hall (closed until January!) and the Stanley Jefferson (a Wetherspoon's public house named in honour of Stan Laurel - the great man went to school nearby), attracts plenty of passers-by, a few stop in their tracks...yes, that is a jazz band playing to a full house!

Patti's Gigs of the Year

Here are the standout gigs that I've been at this year ....... in chronological order, rather than wow rating........ All tops for me!





Ken Drew's Gig of the Year Choices.

Some of the standout groups of 2017 who gave the 'Wow' Factor + element of surprise ...


Ken.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Lance's Gigs of the Year

The Globe
Alan Glen Trio - January 12 & April 13.
Bruce Adams & SSBB - February 19.
Brian Molley Quartet - April 22.
Sammy Eagles' Spirit - June 13.



Sage Gateshead.
Georgia Mancio/Alan Broadbent @ GIJF - April 2.
Ronnie Scott's All Stars @ GIJF - April 1.
Clare Teal & her Hollywood Orchestra @ GIJF - March 31.
A Jazzy Christmas w. Paul Edis etc. - December 22.

圣诞节快乐 From Our Man in Hong Kong

Last night Boxing Day the band from Ned Kelly's was re-broadcast at 9pm (HK time) on RHK Radio 3.
Here is the link in case you missed the first one or would like to have another listen.

Also Vintage Chart Toppers is doing well and will now continue each Sunday without a break.
Here is the link for the Christmas Eve show...

Once again many thanks for all your support in 2017 and let's look forward now to 2018.
Best Wishes
Colin

Monday, December 25, 2017

CD Review: Amy London - Bridges

(Review by Lance).
More recently, Amy London's main project was, and probably still is, a Lambert, Hendricks, Ross style vocal group - the Royal Bopsters - with whom she recorded an impressive album in 2015. Downbeat gave it four and a half stars. 
Bridges is her fourth solo album although in actual fact, as the material is being released retrospectively, from a discographical point of view it is her first. I'm not sure as to why it took so long for it to be made public. It would surely have been criminal to allow these performances to fester in the vaults any longer. 
Fortunately, they were unearthed and, thanks to the restoration and remixing by Alan Douches and David Kowalski respectively, the music was saved and, with 2017 ticking away, arrived just in time to find a place on my CDs of the Year listing even though it was recorded  ± 30 years ago!

More Lists by Lance

CDs that caught my ear - in chronological order:
Mark Lewandowski - Waller (April).
The Dime Notes -  Dime Notes (August).
Dave O'Higgins - It's Always 9.30 in Zog (July).
Leo Richardson - The Chase (August).
Gareth Lochrane - Fistfight at the Barndance (September).
Nat Steele - Portrait of the Modern Jazz Quartet (September).
Andy Brown Quartet - Direct Call (October).
Delfeayo Marsalis - Kalamazoo (October).
Brandon Allen - The Gene Ammons Project (October).
Dom Pipkin - Smokin' Boogie (October).

Composer of the Week

Christmas Day sees the start of a re-run of Composer of the Week: Cole Porter.
Today's first programme, the first of five to be broadcast this week on Radio 3 at noon, includes recordings of Judy Garland and Gene Kelly.
Russell

Santa Claus has been to town.

Greetings from Lapland! Well, I've had a busy old night dashing around the world on my sleigh. In the early hours as I approached the Land of Bebop Spoken Here I noticed your hit counter stood at 3,099,999. So, I thought I'd take the opportunity to be visitor no. 3,100,000! 

I must say your brandy was rather good. I've had a tiring old night and Rudolph is already fast asleep, good night jazz fans and Merry Christmas!
Santa Claus. 

Sunday, December 24, 2017

No More Tees Hot Club @ Cleveland Bay

Ron Hampton, guitarist and general factotum of the Tees Hot Club, sent me this item of news: 
It is with regret that Tees Hot Club have to announce a halt to their fortnightly appearances at the Cleveland Bay. Unfortunately, attendances have deteriorated over the last six months, proving it to be impossible to continue. 
We wish to thank all of our regulars for their attendance over the last few years and look forward to seeing you at Dormans Club where Tees Hot Club will continue to play and any further THC shows in the future.
We're sad to hear that Ron, but I know you'll keep us updated on any future changes and I hope next Thursday's jam at Dorman's goes well.
Lance

Russell's Top Five Albums 2017.

1) Leo Richardson - The Chase
2) Jaco Pastorius - Truth, Liberty & Soul
3) Sarah Vaughan - Swingin' Easy + At Mister Kelly's (reissue)
4) John Beasley - MONK'estra vol.2
5) Mark Williams Trio - Last Bus to Bensham
Russell.

Russell's Top Ten Gigs

10) Jam session @ Jazz Cafe (various 
dates).
Russell

Hand to Mouth @ Ernest - Dec 24

Lindsay Hannon (vocal); Bradley Johnston (guitar).
(Review by Russell).
Sunday brunch at Ernest down in the Ouseburn. Chiristmas eve, brunchers and staff alike wearing seasonal jumpers. The band - the duo Hand to Mouth - made no concessions to the dominant dress code save for Bradley Johnston's Christmassy tie. 
All tables were reserved, variously 11:00am, noon and one o'clock. Arriving sometime after eleven, Joe Pass, aka B. Johnston, sat on a bar stool tucked away in the corner alongside shelves groaning under the weight of board games. Ella, otherwise known as Lindsay Hannon, would soon join Bradley to sing a few seasonal songs.  

A Jazzy Christmas: The Paul Edis Trio, Jo Harrop & Guests @ Sage Gateshead – December 22

Paul Edis (piano); Andy Champion (bass); Russ Morgan (drums); Jo Harrop (vocals); Matt Anderson (ten, sop sax); Graeme Hardy (trumpet, flugelhorn); Emma Fisk (violin); Alex Thompson (alto sax, clarinet); Kate Garnett (trombone); Megan Robinson (flute, piccolo)
(Review by Ann Alex/Photos by Jerry and main photo by Sarah Williams)
What a grand start to Christmas! A different take on many Christmas favourites to get us in the right mood. Different from the first tune, which was an unusually rhythmed  Jingle Bells, in tricky 5/4 time from the trio with Matt Anderson on tenor sax. The piano lid, bass, bass drum and mic stand were adorned with fairy lights and Paul read out Christmas cracker jokes at various times during the evening. Enter Jo wearing a glamorous short, black, sparkly dress, to sing Let It Snow, and the mood was well set for the audience in hall 2, which was full, including many seats taken on level 3.

Top Ten Vocal Albums of 2017

In alphabetical order:
Cecile McLorin Salvant - Dreams and Daggers.
Claudia Morris - Here's to Life.
Diana Krall - Turn Up the Quiet.
Georgia Mancio/Alan Broadbent - Songbook.
Peter Horsfall - Nighthawks.
Peter Jones - Under the Setting Sun.
Petra Van Nuis/Andy Brown - Lessons Lyrical.
Seth MacFarlane - In Full Swing.
Sherri Roberts - Anybody's Spring.
Wendy Kirkland - Piano Divas.
Lance.
More lists to follow. Please send us yours. Make your own category. Best gigs/albums/solos/venues/pies whatever...

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Top Ten Albums of 2017 - As heard by Steve T.

In alphabetical order:
Yazz Ahmed - La Saboteuse.
Archipelago - Weightless.
Binker and Moses - Journey to the Mountain of Forever.
Dinosaur - Together as One.
Rhiannon Giddens - Freedom Highway.
Cameron Graves - Planetary Prince.
Led Bib - Umbrella Weather.
Christian McBride Big Band - Bringin' It.
Miles Mosley - Uprising.
Mark Williams - Last Bus to Bensham.
Steve T

Francis Tulip Quartet @ The Jazz Café - Dec 22

Francis Tulip (guitar), Joel Brown (keyboards), Michael Dunlop (bass) & Matt MacKellar (drums)
(Review by Russell)
Cut and paste Wednesday’s Durham Empty Shop gig, job done. All too easy, the Francis Tulip Quartet is a developing project and considering the four musicians meet up infrequently it is all the more remarkable that they are able to produce a performance as good as this. Wednesday was good, this Friday evening Jazz Café gig was better still. And there is more to come…
 The setlist was much the same in much the same order and no bad thing as it offered a simple opportunity to compare and contrast. The quartet – Francis, Joel, Michael and Matt – got down to business long before the audience arrived, running through their set list, topping and tailing a few tunes, making sure everything was sorted in advance of the advertised start time.

Overture to A Jazzy Christmas @ Sage Gateshead - December 22

Whilst awaiting Ann's review of last night's 'A Jazzy Christmas' at Sage Gateshead I'd like to make a few observations on the event.
1) Paul Edis' arrangements were superb, breathing new life into some old chestnuts.
2) A lot of those 'old chestnuts' are jolly good tunes irrespective of the season. How could they not be with master craftsmen such as Irving Berlin and Mel Tormé at the helm?
3) A good jazz musician can make many a silk purse out of a sow's ear. Tonight's band, no doubt, have a drawer full of them.
4) Jingle Bells is, melodically speaking, more interesting than C Jam Blues.
5) This year's backline horns (drawn from Jambone) may well be next year's frontliners.
Lance
Photo by Jerry - more to follow with the official review!

Friday, December 22, 2017

King Bee @ Hoochie Coochie - December 21


(Review by Lance)
If you ain't been to a King Bee Xmas Party then you ain't been to a party. And if you ain't been to a King Bee party at Hoochie Coochie then reflect upon the sheltered life you've led. Trumpet man Richard threw a Yorkshire pudding into the audience. Rich is from Australia so maybe that's what they do down under when they're not playing cricket. He didn't mention The Ashes. I don't know who caught the pudding or whether they ate it, framed it or had it autographed.
Whilst the Yorkie was flying, the band were blowing up a storm that never subsided.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Francis Tulip Quartet @ Empty Shop - Dec 20

Francis Tulip (guitar), Joel Brown (keyboards), Michael Dunlop (bass) & Matt MacKellar (drums)
(Review by Russell) 
Four globe-trotting young musicians hooked-up once again to play the first of four gigs in the region over the festive break. By way of London, Birmingham, Boston (Mass. USA) and downtown Whitley Bay, Francis, Joel, Michael and Matt were playing their first gig together in six months since leaving to further their jazz studies. Durham’s Empty Shop was anything but – empty, that is. Most seats in the first-floor performance space were occupied, this despite the mass exodus of Durham’s student population over the holiday period.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Xmas Jam @ the Jazz Café - December 19

(Review by Lance).
Quite a night! Having been off the scene for a few months, I couldn't have wished for a better gig to write about. Or could I? Come closing time  I'd simply ran out of superlatives. The perfect Christmas party. No mince pies, Santa Claus outfits or carols (although Paul Gowland did throw in a few bars of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen during a blistering exchange of fours). So much happening that to list everything would be pointless. It was all so good.
With Matt MacKellar home for Xmas from Berklee in Boston, Mass, the emphasis was naturally on drums. Matt's final solo of the evening was quite breathtaking. Not that this was the only percussive highlight. Dylan Thompson belied his tender years to indicate that he too is a contender. Tommy Claydon, part of the orchestra in one of the local pantomimes, sat in and proved that he is another outstanding skinman. Then there was Abbie Finn. Abbie would have been justified in saying that any one of the other three played pretty good for a man. The girl was inspired, particularly when driving tenorman Harry Keeble to a great solo on Autumn Leaves. My sources tell me they are an item which must prove something or other. Simply great.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Touring now! The Francis Tulip Quartet

(Preview by Russell)
Pre and post-Christmas there is an opportunity to catch up on the latest developments concerning four young men who are most definitely going places. In fact, they’ve been and gone, returning for the festive break before once again setting off on their amazing musical adventures.
The Francis Tulip Quartet will be playing three gigs (two in the week before Christmas, and a third and final gig in early January) across the north east of England. Earlier this year the quartet made a big impact playing a gig at Newcastle’s Jazz Co-op. Thelonius Monk, Wayne Shorter and others were on the set list then, it remains to be seen what the boys will choose to play on their short tour over the festive period. Guitarist Francis Tulip is home from his jazz degree studies at Birmingham Conservatoire, similarly, bassist Michael Dunlop is home from London’s Guildhall, and all the way from Berklee, Boston, USA is drummer Matthew MacKellar. Closer to home, pianist Joel Brown is on holiday from his sixth form studies at Whitley Bay High School!

Lickety Split @ The Globe. The Jazz Coop Christmas Party, December 17

Eddie Bellis (trombone, introductions); Kevin Eland (trumpet, flugelhorn); Paul Gowland (tenor sax); Alan Marshall (alto sax); Jeremy McMurray (keys); Bradley Johnston (guitar); John Pope (bass); Sid Wight (drums).
(Review by Ann Alex) 
And here was I thinking that Lickety Split was an ice lolly! It was the first time I’d seen this band and I certainly wasn’t disappointed. They gave an excellent performance, a lively, skilled front line with the precision of a big band, and the engine room behind giving their all. Not just the main tune then solos all round, but much more interesting arrangements with instruments chipping in variously. What tunes did they play? My notes are lacking in this department as I was selling raffle tickets and counting money as well, so I asked the band for a set list. This is jazz folks, so guess what, the list didn’t quite tally with what I heard, but the show was too good to be worrying about such trivialities.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Black Music in Europe: A Hidden History

This looks interesting. Clarke Peters presents a three-part series looking at the emergence of black musicians in Europe, beginning tomorrow morning on Radio 4. Expect certain preconceptions to be challenged; who, where and when? Each programme in the series will examine a decade in time – the first, starting 9:00am Tuesday 19th, focuses upon 1900-1910, Boxing Day moves on ten years to 1910-1920, and the final programme, covering 1920-1930, will be broadcast on January 9th. The programmes will be repeated at 9:30pm on the day of the broadcast. In addition to the series, tune to Late Junction (Radio 3, 11:00pm, Tuesday 19) as presenter Verity Sharp offers her thoughts on the documentary series.       
Russell

George MacDonald & James Birkett with the Roly Veitch Trio @ Blaydon Jazz Club - Dec 17

George MacDonald (clarinet), James Birkett (guitar), Roly Veitch (guitar), Paul Grainger (double bass) & David Francis (drums)
(Review by Russell/photos courtesy of Ken Rodham). 
As Humph would have said, Blaydon Jazz Club has been promoting ‘the very best in jazz’ for well over thirty years and the Christmas party’s legendary DIY buffet has long since assumed mythical status. This year’s festive feast more than lived up to expectations and the interval raffle assumed gigantic proportions with numerous prizes on offer. The icing on the Christmas cake was the jazz. It’s the reason fans turn up from one month to the next and the evening’s invited guests – George MacDonald and James Birkett – were making a welcome return visit.

Strictly Smokin’ Big Band with Scarlet Street @ Gosforth Civic Theatre - December 16

(Review by Russell)
Many years ago Gosforth Civic Hall hosted big-name jazz concerts including appearances by Jay McShann, Red Norvo and other visiting Americans. Now, in the twenty-first century, the leafy NE3 venue is known as Gosforth Civic Theatre and a regular series of jazz gigs forms part of a packed schedule of events. In recent years with Christmas on the horizon Tyneside’s Strictly Smokin’ Big Band has established a tradition of playing two sell-out concerts and 2017 wasn’t going to be any different. Yes, a new venue, but with the same result – Friday and Saturday nights…SOLD OUT!

RIP Keely Smith

It's not just because our birthdays coincide that I feel sad at the passing of Keely Smith inasmuch as the knowledge that yet another purveyor of the GASBook has gone. Fortunately, Keely left behind a recorded legacy of the highest standard that bears  comparision with any of her peers past and present.
I first heard her on TV with the wild trumpet player Louis Prima whom she later married. Capital albums with Nelson Riddle and Billy May kept the flame in my heart burning. That flame was reignited this morning when I heard the sad news and again as I listen to Spotlight on Keely Smith part of Capital's Great Ladies of Song series.
Keely died on Saturday (December 16) at the age of 89 although some sources say 85.
Sadly missed.
Lance.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Digital Download Review: Ella Fitzgerald - Ella @ Zardi's.

Ella Fitzgerald (vocal); Don Abney (piano); Vernon Alley (bass); Frank Capp (drums).
(Review by Lance).
It's been well recorded on Bebop Spoken Here the effect that hearing Ella Fitzgerald live, for the very first time, at Newcastle City Hall in March 1955 had on me and, although I heard her many more times over the ensuing years, great as they were, nothing ever topped that first impression and, I was convinced that nothing ever would.
Until today that is when I listened to Ella at Zardi's.
Just under a year after that magical night in Newcastle, Ella recorded this session at Zardi's - a Hollywood nightspot.
Norman Granz had taken over her representation and this was intended to be the initial album under his supervision. However, The first of the great Verve Songbook albums - Cole Porter - was released and quickly became so successful that other songbooks followed and Zardi's was filed away and forgotten.
Until now.

Christmas Jethro Tull @ Durham Cathedral - December 14

Ian Anderson (flute, 'voice', acoustic travel guitar and mandolin), Florian Opahle (electric guitar), John O'Hara (piano, organ, accordion), David Goodier (bass guitar), Scott Hammond (drums).
Durham Senior Choristers Choir, Jason Lowe (cathedral organ), Lloyd Grossman ('guitar', 'voice').
(Review by Steve T)
Some people don't think prog-rock qualifies for a Jazz blog and Ian Anderson defines Tull as progressive with a small p. Many think a more contemporary interpretation of Jazz is music which breaks the rules, takes chances and is more challenging, for musician and listener. 
I've seen them a number of times, at Bury, Newcastle, Lancaster, Sheffield and Gateshead, so we're all but Tulled out, but the lure of this most Christmassy of rock bands at the worlds greatest building was too great to resist.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Don’t Miss The Indigo Voices December Gig At The Globe

This event is on Tuesday 19th December at 7.30pm. Admission is £5 and there are nibbles to eat.
I know these singers well, and I can tell you that the gig is well worth the admission price.
The singers are accompanied by the superb Alan Law trio, who are:-
Alan Law (piano); Katy Trigger (bass); and Nik Alevroyiannis (drums).
The singers are: Barry Keatings, David Edgar, Carrie McCullock, Jenny Lingham, Miriam McCormick and Jen Errington. You’ll hear a varied selection of songs with a hint of Christmas, including  Misty; Don’t Go To Strangers; Bewitched; I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm; Winter Wonderland and All My Tomorrows.   
Be there! Don’t miss yet another good night at the Globe.

Ann Alex

Mo Scott – She’s Our Pride and Joy @ The Jazz Café - Dec 15

Mo Scott (vocals), Dave Dryden (guitar), Neil Harland (bass) & Paul Smith (drums)
(Review by Russell) 
Christmas party time at the Jazz Café! The promise of ‘free festive nibbles’ attracted the interest of Bebop Spoken Here, and, if our luck was in, there was the prospect of pulling a cracker. The sweet little angel atop the Christmas tree, Mo Scott, assembled her A-Team line-up, and, without fanfare, ripped into T-Bone Shuffle and Hound Dog.
Tyneside’s Empress of the Blues and her men in black played a blinder from the off; guitarist Dave Dryden is one hell of a musician. It struck your reviewer that Scott doesn’t countenance working on a gig with other than the very best of blues guitarists. Dryden, Gary Dunn, and for many years, Rod Sinclair, to name but three, all top drawer. Bassist Neil Harland is a busy working musician, and, as and when he’s available, Mo readily secures his services. Teesside-based drummer Paul Smith is equally busy and his presence in the engine room ensured a memorable night of rhythm and blues, Tex-Mex and more was in store.

Friday, December 15, 2017

RIP John Critchinson (December 24, 1934 - December 15, 2017.)

Just picked up on a tweet from Ian Shaw telling the sad news that pianist John Critchinson died today. I knew that 'Critch' had been ill for some time and benefit concerts were being arranged but I didn't know how serious it was. One of the best modern pianists around, I first heard him in concert at Caedmon Hall in Gateshead with Ronnie Scott in, maybe 1979/80. I was impressed. 
Some 30 years later he was with Simon Spillett at the Early Music Centre in York - the magic was still there - and the following year at a pub gig in Crouch End, again with Spillett, he slotted in alongside Martin Drew and Andy Cleyndert for another memorable evening. This was in 2010 and, regrettably, was the last opportunity I had to hear him live. 
However, all was not lost. A 2013 recording with Simon Spillet kept him on my radar and, as I type, I'm listening to that album (Square One). Yesterday I Heard the Rain is a masterclass in saxophone ballad playing and the piano solo maintains the mood to perfection.

Perfection! A good word to end on when paying tribute to John Critchinson who passed away today - 9 days short of his 83rd birthday.
Sadly missed.
Rest In Peace.
Lance.
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Thursday, December 14, 2017

CD Review: The Lindsay Hannon Plus - Make Dark Heaven Light

Lindsay Hannon (vocals), Mark Williams (guitar), John Pope (bass) & Russ Morgan (drums)
(Review by Russell) 
An intriguing running order of ten tracks – the first three compositions are by Lindsay Hannon and Mark Williams followed by four jazz standards then three numbers from contemporary composers. Happenstance? Unlikely, because band leaders are, or should be, meticulous in the presentation of their music to an audience. It would appear Hannon thought long and hard about this. Precisely why the tracks are in the order they are is altogether a different matter. Ask Hannon about it when you purchase a copy of the CD at the band’s next gig!  

Chris Biscoe; Roger Turner ; John Pope. A Jazz North East 'On the Outside' performance @ The Bridge Hotel, Newcastle - December 3

Chris Biscoe - tenor and alto sax, alto clarinet; Roger Turner - drums; John Pope – bass.  
(Review/photo courtesy of Ken Drew.)
Chris Biscoe & Roger Turner played their first duo gig in 1967 and this tour of five cities around the UK sees them working with local musicians, making each performance a unique event due to the differing range of instruments.  Biscoe and Turner, "The Collaborators" were joined tonight by John Pope with the aim of having open minds in the spirit of pure improvisation. This tremendous improvising threesome first came together four years ago after internationally acclaimed percussionist Roger Turner heard Newcastle bassist John Pope as part of a band, and was so impressed he suggested that they should play together. The brilliant reeds player Chris Biscoe was recruited to form a trio which made its debut at Sage Gateshead as part of a double bill with the Anglo-French quartet Sonsale.   And now, four years later, they share the stage again.

CD Review: Andrew Bain - Embodied Hope.

Andrew Bain (drums); George Colligan (piano); John Irabagon (tenor); Michael Janisch (bass).
(Review by Lance).
Sometimes, reading the blurb of an album can fill you full of enthusiasm for the disc, which of course is the whole idea, only to find yourself disappointed after you've cranked up the machine. Conversely, reading the notes can also act as a deterrent. For me, such was the case here.  A concept which seeks to link improvisation with the increasingly topical issues of human rights didn't get me over excited and it was only after one of those nice chaps at Whirlwind suggested I might actually like it that, with some trepidation,  I duly listened. That trepidation was soon cast aside as the record began spinning.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

CD Review: Hugh Masekela – Sixty/Black to the Future/Notes of Life

(Review by Russell)
This three-CD release features Hugh Masekela’s music recorded during the mid to late 1990s. The anti-apartheid movement’s success in securing the release of Nelson Mandela encouraged a three decades’ exiled Masekela to return to South Africa and these albums on Floating World Records, a London-based specialist reissue label, represent an upbeat, celebratory period in a long recording career.
Trumpet, flugelhorn and vocals, composer Hugh Masekela has experienced chart-topping success, the highs of festival and stadium concert performances and a determined life-long political activism. Sixty comprises thirteen tracks; Fela is dedicated to the late Fela Kuti, musician, and fellow political activist. Township and Afrobeat are the life-affirming sounds permeating this and the majority of the thirty-six tracks across the three albums. It would appear that Masekela plays flugelhorn exclusively with the trumpet parts on Black to the Future played by Prince Lengosa – Chileshe and Excuse Me Baby feature Lengosa, Khaya Mahlangu, tenor saxophone, and Jasper Cook, trombone, alongside Masekela’s flugelhorn and vocals.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Favourite Animals and Article XI @ The Bridge Hotel, Newcastle - December 10

(Review by Steve H/Photos courtesy of Ken Drew)
What a great end to the JNE year as a dectet and an undectet literally filled the stage on Sunday night at The Bridge Hotel.  A Venn diagram of the 2 bands would have shown 7 musicians in the intersection of the two groups. So in total, there were 14 different players rather than the 21 any keen mathematician might have calculated. Many of the 14 were familiar faces having visited Tyneside many times in one guise or another in recent years. In fact, I think I have seen Johnny Hunter on drums more than any other musician in Tyneside which is certainly no bad thing given his aff/ability. The idea of the 2 ensembles touring together came out of a crazy conversation between respective bandleaders Cath Roberts and Anton Hunter and Sunday night saw the culmination of the 4 date mini-tour. Don’t you just love it when a plan comes together?

Sinatra Birthday Bash in Red Bank

Had he still been with us Frank Sinatra would have been 102 today and, although he's now long gone, his memory lingers on. His Rat Pack buddy, Dean Martin, would have been 100 this year. My dear friend, Lydia Diel now lives in New Jersey but, way back when, we both attended Jarrow Central School albeit at different times.
Today, I received, not only a Christmas card from Lydia but also a report, program and ticket stub from the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank of a concert by Dean's daughter Deana whereby she pays tribute in song to her father and her 'Uncle Frank'.
This is how Lydia heard it:

Matt Anderson Quartet Kickstarter campaign


Saxophonist Matt Anderson has launched a kickstarter campaign to raise sufficient capital to fund his latest quartet album - Rambling. Cut off date is December 22 so, although well supported, it still needs a bit more.
For further details and to help Matt cover that final mile click on  this link.
Lance.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Guidelines for applications to northern line round 6 touring period.

About the scheme
northern line is an open application scheme to support northern jazz musicians to tour across the North. The scheme aims to strengthen artists’ offer, enabling them to engage new and existing promoters and develop jazz audiences across the sector.
We’re now recruiting our 6th round of northern line artists. Since 2013 Jazz North’s northern line has supported 58 ambassador artists, developed a network of 150 promoters, festivals and arts organisations and partnered on over 500 subsidised performances across the north and beyond.

Blog Archive

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

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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