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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 Friday July 21

Afternoon
Rendezvous Jazz - The Black Horse, Front St., Monkseaton, Whitley Bay NE25 8DP. 1pm. Free.
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SummerTyne Americana Festival 2017 - Sage Gateshead. Day 0ne of three. Details. From 12 noon all day.
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Ruth Lambert Quartet - The Lit & Phil, 23 Westgate Rd., Newcastle NE1 1SE. 1pm. £5.
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Alice Grace Trio - Town Hall, Market Place, Bishop Auckland DL14 7NP. 1pm. £5.
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Evening
Belinda Voshtina & James Harrison - Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 9pm. Free.
Washboard Resonators - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St., Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.
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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.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Key Moments...

Bassist and occasional contributor to these pages, David Brownlow, has been thinking back to some of the key jazz moments that impacted on him over the years both as a listener and a player. He mentions some of them here and hopes that other readers will follow suit with their thoughts. 
The 60s to the Noughties saw many visiting stars in concert - Diz, Stitt, Hawk, Eldridge, Peterson, Ray Brown, Kessel, Brubeck, MJQ, Ellington, Hi-Los, Ella, Gil Evans, Miles, Trane, Dolphy, Elvin Jones, Ronnie Scott, Stan  Tracey, Mick Mulligan/George Melly, Keith Jarrett & 'Standards Trio' and others not-quite so memorable !
Circa 1970s    Met Red Rodney [pictured left with Bill Harper] at the Corner House.    Rodney played with Bird !!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Wire Salon: An Audience with Val Wilmer (Café Oto)

(Text & blackboard image © AJ Dehany); (Images of Val Wilmer © Fabio Lugaro)*
Val Wilmer has given us some of the twentieth century’s most distinctive images of jazz musicians. With a journalistic commitment to the truth of her subjects and an artist’s eye for a memorable picture, her photographs portray the stars of the music as both working players and living people. Since the early 1960s the writer and photographer has interviewed and photographed everyone from Louis Armstrong to Sun Ra in a colourful and fascinating life.
We could have devoted an evening just to her activity in the women’s movement; in 1983 she started Format, the first all-women photographic agency. At Café Oto, in conversation with Tony Herrington, publisher of The Wire magazine, the talk mostly concerned her involvement with the avant-garde jazz scene of the sixties in London and New York, and her travels around the blues heartlands in the U.S. Deep South. She selected just seventeen images to project up. “It’s worse than Desert Island Discs — what do you show?”    

Jam session @ The Jazz Café - July 18

(Review by Russell)
A jam session debut for Stuart Collingwood. Been there, done that, has Stuart, so this jam session held no fears. Ain’t Misbehavin’ (true, he wasn’t), A Foggy Day (anything but), Come Rain or Come Shine, proper piano playing, likewise bass and drums courtesy of Paul Grainger and Russ Morgan.   The evening’s ‘guests’ as Collingwood called them – the sitters-in – were rather thin on the ground, at least initially.
One such sitter-in who clocked-on early was Newton Aycliffe-based drummer Abbie Finn. On hearing the news that Ms Finn was in the house, one of the house rhythm section said: Oh, good! Finn played a few numbers, stood down, to return later. First Russ Morgan then Abbie Finn, a frighteningly high standard had been set. A glance around the room…Where had all this lot come from? Suddenly a thinly populated Jazz Café was now heaving. Why settle for two fabulous drummers when you can have four? The Matts had arrived.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

CD Review: Katie Thiroux – Off Beat.

Katie Thiroux (double bass/ vocals); Ken Peplowski (clarinet/tenor); Roger Neumann (tenor/ soprano); Justin Kauflin (piano); Matt Witek (drums.)
(Review by Dave Brownlow)
Katie Thiroux, a young bassist/vocalist already has an impressive musical background. On her CV is a degree from Berklee College of Music and a master's from California State University. Since then, she has worked with such fine musicians as Billy Taylor, Branford Marsalis, Bill Cunliffe, Geri Allen, Charles McPherson, Ken Peplowski, Mundell Lowe, Teri Lynne Carrington, Lewis Nash, Jeff Hamilton and many others. This is a follow-up album to her debut CD (Introducing Katie Thiroux 2015) and is thoroughly enjoyable, entertaining, swinging, uncomplicated yet sophisticated, full of variety and the essence of jazz “the sound of surprise.”

Kathryn Tickell and Superfolkus @ Lindisfarne Village Hall – July 16.

Kathryn Tickell (Northumberland pipes, fiddle), Sophie (fiddle, guitar), Scott (guitar, piano, mandolin), Michael (accordion), Will (percussion, mandolin).
Guests: Abby, Mike Tickell (voice), Rory (piano). 
(Review by Steve T.)
When the tide comes in Holy Island is another country, they do things different there. One lady told us that the pubs stay open late in summer but close early in the middle of July. I hoped the Wicker Man would be on the box to really spook Mrs T. Whether summer or mid-July, headline acts play in the afternoon so the queer folk who cross the causeway don't get stuck.  
Bebop Spoken Here is a North East Jazz site and many will claim Ms. Tickell has nothing to do with Jazz and I wouldn't totally disagree, despite her exploratory nature, her experimenting with unusual (for folk) instruments, room for improvisation in the frequent jigs and no small amount of virtuosity.
She has also written, recorded and performed with British jazz sax ace Andy Sheppard which remains in her set, whether Superfolkus or the Side.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Ruth calls in the deputies!

Ruth Lambert's lunchtime gig on Friday at the Lit and Phil will feature a couple of deps. Top class pianist Dean Stockdale steps in, replacing guitarist Mark Williams, and former Jambone bassist Michael Dunlop, currently studying at the Guildhall, will be in town to work with Ms Lambert. It's a one o'clock start, £5.00 on the door. Arrive early, it's sure to be busy.
Russell
 Stockdale photo courtesy of Ken Drew/ Dunlop photo from archives.

Duke Ellington’s Sacred Concert: Jambone & Quay Voices with Zoë Gilby, Matt Anderson & Colette Serrechia @ Sage Gateshead - July 16

(Review by Russell)
This Young Musicians’ Programme concert, the second of two performances, presented the music of Duke Ellington’s Sacred Concerts in Sage One, Sage Gateshead’s magnificent, 1700 seats, state of the art concert hall. The project had been long in the making with frequent rehearsals over many months. A successful first performance took place on Saturday afternoon at Ushaw, Durham (photo by Kate Edis), in the splendour of the former seminary’s chapel, and this Sunday evening concert concluded a weekend of music making under the aegis of the Young Musicians’ Programme (YMP).
Paul Edis and Matt Beckingham tutored respectively Jambone and Quay Voices (Jambone is Sage Gateshead’s youth jazz orchestra, Quay Voices the youth choir) throughout the 2016-17 academic year, culminating in this weekend of memorable public performances. Featured guests worked with Edis and Beckingham throughout the year and their participation in the project should, perhaps, be viewed as a contribution of equal, rather than superior, value to orchestra and choir.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Colin Aitchison & Friends @ Blaydon Jazz Club - July 15

Colin Aitchison (trumpet & vocals); Franco Valussi (clarinet & vocals); Steve Andrews (clarinet, tenor saxophone & baritone saxophone); Roly Veitch (guitar) & Alan Rudd (double bass) + Olive Rudd (vocals) & Neville Sarony (vocals)
(Review by Russell)
A Zez Confrey tune to open proceedings; Stumbling written in 1922 (with thanks to Steve Andrews’ encyclopedic knowledge of the composers and musicians of the era!). This Blaydon Jazz Club gig, at the Black Bull as usual, was something of a departure in being a first ever lunchtime promotion. The unavailability of the room on the preferred Sunday evening necessitated the change, and fears of a low turn out were soon allayed as regulars rolled up bolstered by a large contingent from Hong Kong.

Mia Webb & Roy Willis @ New Ship Inn, Cleadon – July 14













Mia Webb (vocals); Roy Willis (guitar); Colin Aitchison (muted trumpet, vocals); Franco Valussi (clarinet); Neville Sarony (vocals)
(Review by Ann Alex)
I’d finally made it to this gig which takes place quite near to my home in South Shields and I wasn’t disappointed. And there was the added bonus of meeting Lance’s friend Colin, over from Hong Kong, who is a BSH legend. Ms Webb is a very talented and experienced vocalist, Roy Willis was superb on guitar, then there was the added pleasure of a smooth, liquid clarinet, Colin’s rich, lively trumpet and also a song or two from Neville Sarony, (also visiting from the Orient) who has a fine tenor voice. I was a bit puzzled by the use of a backing tape of piano bass and drums, which the band could well do without, as they have enough skill without any assistance, but the tape didn’t detract too much from the enjoyment.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

CD Review: Brent Laidler - No Matter Where Noir.

(Review by Lance)
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Intro and dialogue.
(Telephone rings)
"Miami - 1959"
"Hello?"
"Oh Good, You're still there!"
Her voice was well modulated but somewhat breathless with an accent I couldn't place.
"So what can I do for you?"
"Your ad in the phone book says you specialize in missing persons, are you any good at it?"
"I'd like to think so. So who's missing and how long have they been gone?"
"Me. I mean... I don't know."
Most 'Persons' cases start out pretty simple. This didn't seem to be one of them.

Matthew's Farewell Jazz Party @ the Jazz Café (Upstairs & Downstairs) - July 13

(Further thoughts by Steve T)
The day began a little earlier for me, the ongoing search for an amp FDT is wholly happy with and arrangements for a first and last-minute run through for a band who've never played together. In fact, Michael and Joel have never played with each other at all and it continues to amaze me that Jazz musicians, even so young, can do this.
Ben Lawrence has been exploring the possibilities of the classic Fender Rhodes sound, which is exciting for a self-confessed piano trio philistine like me, reared on seventies Jazz-funk when it was so prevalent but, here restricted to the downstairs upright acoustic piano, he gave for me the best performance yet of this combo to watch, his original standing up with a classic and a current big-name American.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Benny Benack III - A guy worth checking out.

(After reading this press release of Benny Benack III, I was curious to discover more - and I'm pleased that I did. Singing or blowing trumpet this young man proves that all of the young talents don't come out of Newcastle. Some even come from across the pond in New York. Check him out here. - Lance.)
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(Press release)
Benny Benack III, a young and multi-talented Pittsburgh native and denizen of the New York jazz scene. He is never one to limit himself. He is both an affable and expressive jazz singer and a formidable, modern-minded trumpeter, and these elements of his musical self are deeply and effortlessly intertwined. On One of a Kind, his debut release, Benack also reveals himself to be a wry and expressive songwriter and lyricist, bringing his boundless musical gifts together in a program that’s steeped in tradition but every bit as restlessly individual as his album title suggests.

Matthew MacKellar’s Farewell Jazz Party @ the Jazz Café - July 13 (Upstairs)

(Review by Russell)
At the conclusion of the opening downstairs’ set (see BSH Editor-in-Chief’s review), fed with crisps and sausage rolls and watered (the bottled variety), your correspondent dashed upstairs to catch a set by the Early Bird Band (BSH Editor-in-Chief’s entourage arrived in the their own time). Dr Edis brought along a liquorice stick and took his place alongside the Earlier Birders as they opened with Four. The regular line-up (more or less) made the gig…James Metcalf (trumpet); Ben Lawrence (trumpet); Matthew Downey (guitar); Phillip Grobe (keyboards), Alex Shipsey (bass) & Dylan Thompson (drums). Matthew Downey featured playing his Gibson on Nature Boy and Blues Walk capped a short, sharp set with the young man of the moment – Matthew MacKellar – replacing the impressive Dylan Thompson for one last blast with the Early Bird Band.

Matthew MacKellar's Farewell Jazz Party @ the Jazz Café - July 13 (Downstairs)


Matthew MacKellar's farewell do was quite a lavish affair with crisps, sausage rolls and other party nibbles adorning the tables plus, naturally, plenty music to sooth the savaged breast.
Both floors of the popular Pink Lane bopperie were utilised as friends, family, and the various bands the young drummer has enhanced, wished him well on his voyage into the unknown or, to be more precise, Berklee College of Music.
As the happenings were on two levels it was decided that I should cover the lower deck and my worthy constituent Russell the flight deck.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

CD Review: Liane Carroll - The Right To Love

Liane Carroll (vocals/piano); Mark Edwards, Malcolm Edmonstone (piano); Mark James (guitars); Kirk Whalum (sax); Loz Garratt, Roger Carey (bass); Ralph Salmins, Russell Field (drums)  Which tracks each musician played on is not stated.
(Review by Ann Alex).
Blogmaster Lance handed me this CD for review, casually declaring that I’d have few problems in dealing with it, but he failed to mention that it was a real gem. He gets so many of these CDs, poor lamb. I reckon that the 27 bus should do the next review.  But less of this nonsense.  Liane Carroll, a resident of Hastings, is a stellar singer and pianist (classically trained from the age of 3), whose vocals are ‘deeply soulful, wonderfully honest’, as quoted by The Times newspaper. The Right to Love is Ms. Carroll’s tenth CD, and it was produced and recorded by James McMillan in his studio in Hastings.

Abbie Takes Gold in Finn Class

(Report by Russell)
Durham County Youth Big Band to Leeds College of Music to NYJO Academy Big Band to Trinity Laban, drummer Abbie Finn first emerged as a contender at the wonderful Great North Big Band Jazz Festival. A few short years later Abbie has recently graduated from Leeds College of Music with a 1st Class Honours Degree. A teenage award winner at the GNBBJF in Sunderland, Abbie went on to form college bands (gigging on home turf in Darlington, most recently with a quartet at this year’s Darlington Jazz Festival), working with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra’s Academy Big Band, and now, as a graduate, is to embark upon further study at London’s prestigious Trinity Laban.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Vieux Carré Jazzmen & Guests @ Crescent Club, Cullercoats

Bob Wade (trumpet); Jim McBriarty (clarinet/tenor/vocal); Laurence McBriarty (trombone); Brian Bennett (banjo/vocal); Ollie Rillands (drums/vocals); Bill Colledge (bass guitar) + Neville Sarony (vocal); Miles Watson (vocal); Colin Aitchison (trumpet/vocal); Franco Valussi (clarinet).
(Review by Lance/photo courtesy of Colin Aitchison).
The annual visit by 'Our Man in Hong Kong' - ex-pat Colin Aitchison - and his Ned Kelly's escapees never fails to liven up the local scene. This afternoon, at the Crescent Club, Colin, Franco and Neville slotted into the Vieux Carré Jazzmen's line-up with ease making for a very enjoyable lunchtime session.
The VCJ set the scene with I'm Beginning to See the Light, McBriarty, the younger, taking the vocal and blowing fine tenor. Bourbon Street Parade reminded me of the Breda Jazz Festival back in the 1980s when it seemed to be practically the Dutch national anthem. Bob Wade and McBriarty, the elder. shone. 

Tom Rivière Family Band @ TESTT Space, Durham - July 11

Kim Macari (trumpet), Riley Stone-Lonergan (tenor saxophone), Tom Rivière (double bass) & Steve Hanley (drums)
(Review by Russell)
The Empty Shop’s satellite venue on North Road, Durham is a temporary affair as the bus station building is to be demolished in another major redevelopment in the city. Visual artists are tenants alongside other ‘creatives’ until such time as they’re given notice to quit. A makeshift performance space on the second floor (no stage, blacked-out windows) with a bottle bar and a warm welcome from Durham Brass Festival/Empty Shop staff, this the venue for Cutting Edge Brass.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Skeltr & Skwid Ink @ The Bridge Hotel - July 9

(Review by Steve H/Photos courtesy of Ken Drew). 
After a matter of seconds of the opening number, I knew that this was going to be one of those extra special gigs. Ace BSH snapper Ken Drew confirmed my initial enthusiasm at the conclusion of the first number. This was Skeltr’s inaugural gig in this country (their only previous gig being at a festival in Rotterdam) maybe their freshness contributed to the raw power and excitement of this dynamic duo. Further tension was created each time a new piece was triggered on the various electronic devices as no one knew what the exact outcome would be. Luckily everything seemed to work perfectly and the audience was treated to as an exhilarating and uplifting performance as I can remember. 

Duke Ellington's Sacred Concert Resurrected

There will be two performances this weekend of Duke Ellington’s Sacred Concert by Sage Gateshead's youth ensembles Jambone and Quay Voices. For some of you, this may be a chance to recall the magnificent performances of this work by the late Stan Tracey and his Orchestra at Durham Cathedral in the early nineties. If you weren't able to be there then this is a rare occasion to hear this music revisited.
If you were there, I'm sure you'll be interested in hearing it again.
On Saturday afternoon at 1.00pm Jambone and Quay Voices will be performing this Concert under the leadership of Paul Edis, alongside solo vocalist Zoe Gilby and saxophonist Matt Anderson in the beautiful surroundings of Ushaw College. They will also perform this concert in Sage One on Sunday 16th July at 7pm.
Brian E.
Tickets for the Ushaw concert are £5 and available from: 
The Sage One concert is free but ticketed. Booking details can be found at: 

Monday, July 10, 2017

Jo Harrop's Headin' North

Press release:
Fever: Jo Harrop sings Peggy Lee makes its Paris debut at the Sunside jazz club, rue des Lombards, Paris on Thursday 26th October. This remarkable show celebrates the sultriest songstress of them all, with special guest Tony Kofi (alto sax) and the show's creator Alex Webb (piano/MD) providing support for the vocalist that bebop spoken here described as ‘a singing sensation!'.
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We say thank you for that but, for those of you living in the NE postcode area, before setting off to Paris you can hear Jo at several venues closer to home.
July 26: Cherry Tree Restaurant, Jesmond – 7:30pm. No cover charge.
July 27: Jazz Cafe, Newcastle - 8pm. £8 (£6 in advance).
July 28: Gala Theatre, Durham – 1pm. £5. (SOLD OUT!)
July 28: Ushaw College, nr. Durham - 7:30 pm. £7.
Lance.

The Scottish Swing Orchestra & Brass Broadway Chorus with Kate Graham & Matt Corner @ The Gala Theatre - July 9

(Review by Russell)
This Gala concert, one of the set piece events of this year’s Durham Brass Festival, attracted a full house on a sultry summer’s evening. All seats in the stalls and circle were occupied as the seventy-five or so performers filed onto the stage. The Brass Broadway Chorus (approximately sixty strong) assumed their predetermined positions, some nudging into the wings with the fifteen-piece Scottish Swing Orchestra assembling out front.
A fast moving Broadway revue featured most of the performers most of the time. Moving on and off stage wasn’t practicable (the show’s vocal stars the exception) and it appeared to be as hot as mid-summer in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen. 

Sotavento Big Band @ The Globe - July 9

Across the road, at the Metro Arena, the American punk rock band Blink 182 had attracted a host of fans, many of whom were having pre-concert drinks at The Globe. On stage at the Jazz Coop HQ, the Argentinian jazz tango group known as the Sotavento Big Band were ready to unleash their unique brand of swing.
The SBB replaces the conventional trombone section with three tenor saxes and the trumpet section with one tenor sax and two clarinets. It sounded strange hearing Basie's Splanky without the brass but by the time Jumping at the Woodside had been and gone our ears were accustomed to it.

Sunday, July 09, 2017

CD Review: Tara Minton - The Tides Of Love

(Review by Ann Alex)
This is a collection of 10 original songs by Australian Ms Minton, featuring jazz played on the harp (as in Wales, not as in harmonica) and I was amazed by what a great jazz instrument this harp turned out to be. A whole new perspective on instrumentation! Ms Minton says [the CD] ‘is a musical memoir of my London journey, both as a musician and as a person.’ The songs celebrate the city of London, tell of the low and high points of various relationships, and the final song rejoices in love fulfilled with the husband she met at a gig in London. Not all the songs are jazz-like as there are elements of folk and soul too, with lots of space for improvisation. A very enjoyable CD, with good lyrics and plenty of hooks for the listener to latch on to.

Saturday, July 08, 2017

Book review: Dave Frishberg - My Dear Departed Past

Dave Frishberg admits he's a nostalgia buff. Come to think of it, aren't we all? The musicians, the sportsmen, the movies, the books we love are much better than today's crop. Not always true, of course, it's just that we haven't had time to grow and love the present compared to the years we've dwelt upon our past memories and, anyway tomorrow, today becomes the past.
At 84, Dave Frishberg has a lot of memories yet, despite his fondness for the past, as a pianist, singer, songwriter, composer, he can still hold his head high today.
My Dear Departed Past contains a host of memories such as learning boogie-woogie from his brother, reading Mezzrow's Really the Blues, the gradual progression from playing with high school dance bands to bigger names. To playing with Al Cohn and Zoot Sims, and Count Basie. Difficulties with Anita O'Day and Benny Goodman and much more.
The book is studded with anecdotes. Some sad, some revealing and a lot which are very funny indeed.

Lunchtime with Colin at the Black Bull (and elsewhere)

(Preview by Russell)
Colin Aitchison’s back in town. Bebop Spoken Here’s trumpet playing Hong Kong-based  Geordie ex-pat correspondent will be around for a week or so playing gigs here and there - see here, and as in recent years, Colin will be joined by fellow Hong Kong resident Franco Valussi. Colin is an authority on Louis Armstrong and his contemporaries, Franco is a virtuoso clarinetist, and on their gig at the Black Bull in Blaydon they will reunite with Cumbria-based reedsman Steve Andrews, Blaydon Jazz Club’s Roly Veitch playing guitar and, no doubt, singing one or two songs, and, on this session, the redoubtable bassist Alan Rudd.
It should be noted that this concert will be on a Saturday at one o’clock in the afternoon. The date? July 15. Colin’s schedule and the availability of the Black Bull’s in-demand music lounge dictates that July’s jazz concert will be something of a departure for Blaydon Jazz Club. Saturday afternoon could well appeal to many, we’ll see. Why not make a trip to the Black Bull? The pub is listed year in year out in Camra’s Good Beer Guide (Black Sheep and Deuchar’s are regulars on the bar), and there is ample parking just off Bridge Street. Alternatively, Blaydon Bus Station is but five minutes’ walk (frequent services to Gateshead, Newcastle and the Tyne Valley) and here’s a bonus if you’re travelling from Newcastle…why not take the train up the Tyne Valley line? Depart Newcastle 11:54, arrive Blaydon 12:06, returning 16:11, arriving Newcastle Central Station 16:27. Colin and the boys will be playing two sets, the first set starting at one o’clock. Admission on the door £5.00.                      

Russell.

The Northern Monkey Brass Band @ The Cumberland Arms - July 7













(Review by Russell)
The Cumberland Arms, built c1860, hasn’t had a lick of paint since…c1860. Fridays on the Terrace is something of an institution. If it’s summer (occasionally it is!) the hostelry’s patrons sit outside on the terrace, a terrace overlooking the lower Ouseburn’s post-industrial landscape. Folk like it here – don’t tell anyone otherwise any old Tom, Dick or Monkey will turn up.
 This particular Friday a cartload* of monkeys assembled to the side of the imbibers. This barrel* of monkeys was remarkably quiet…perhaps they had eaten one banana too many. They appeared to be attracted to, indeed fascinated with, gleaming, shining pieces of brass. At around six thirty – aka Northern Monkey Brass Band time – our troop* of tree dwellers piped up. Blowing bold as, Graham Hardy, Chief Monkey, appeared left field, meanwhile down below in a field (literally), Top C, Alistair Lord unleashed a volley on the unsuspecting imbibers. On cue, David Gray pumped up the volume standing on the roof of the Cumberland Arms. David! David! Come down now, before you fall down you silly boy! From all points, monkeys converged upon the Cumberland’s patrons. Surrounded, the Friday night crowd succumbed to the Northern Monkey Brass Band’s infectious brand of N’Awlins’ jazz.

Dean Stockdale & Noel Dennis @ the Jazz Café - July 7














Dean Stockdale (piano); Noel Dennis (trumpet/flugel).
(Review by Lance).
From Russell's review of the latest CD by the Dean Stockdale Trio (previous post) those, if any, who were unfamiliar with the pianist's work will surely have got the message that the man is a formidable player. Take away bass and drums but add the melodic horn playing of Noel Dennis and we have the makings of another sound Jazz Café duo set.
Amazingly, Stockdale hadn't brought any of his CDs to hawk which must surely be a first for any musician playing a gig!
The duo kicked off with Beautiful Love and it soon became apparent that we were in for a treat. A low-key one perhaps but nonetheless a treat.

Friday, July 07, 2017

CD Review: Dean Stockdale Trio - Origin

Dean Stockdale (piano), Gavin Barras (double bass) & Adam Dawson (drums)
(Review by Russell)
Pianist Dean Stockdale works out of Darlington, Manchester and a suitcase. Hailing from the Tees Delta, Stockdale would cite Oscar Peterson as an influence although his engagements extend way beyond the classic jazz piano trio format; big band pianist, classical accompanist, theatre work and touring with the Madchester-inspired Hacienda Classical show.

CD Review: Paul Skerritt Band

Paul Skerritt (vocals); James Harrison (piano/keys); Anthony Ord (bass); Thomas Chapman (drums) + (on various tracks) Danny Allan, Will Howard, Josh Bentham (sax); Michael Lamb (trumpet); David Gray (trombone)
(Review by Lance).
Paul Skerritt is a 100% vocalist. If a song's worth singing he sings it without cheating. Of course, those who've heard/seen him at gigs or jams know this already. He's Sinatra, Bennett and Bublé it's true, but he's also his own man and very much able to put his stamp on some more newer material. On this compactly packed album, he does just that with Taylor Swift's Shake it Off . It's a hoot, with Harrison playing stride/ragtime piano as if he'd been born in Harlem!

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Lisa Mills @ Burton Agnes Jazz and Blues Festival - July 2

(Review by Annie O' Donnell)
Lisa tells us she had 4 hours sleep and drove on the wrong side of road,
from where they drive in her Birth town in Mississippi and Mobile, Alabama where she now lives as a result of Hurricane Katrina.
She took us all to the church with her Gospel Country songs...
Sister Rosetta's The River is pure soul 
Sing Sing Sing Alleluia ...an Acapella delivery with her hand tapping on guitar as accompaniment
was something else...she stood alone on stage and belted out her God Given Voice. 
In these days of plastic retakes etc. She was 
MOVING TOUCHING. VULNERABLE POWERFUL
AND HAS THE YES YES FACTOR

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Jamie Brownfield Quartet @ Burton Agnes Jazz & Blues Festival - July 2

Jamie Brownfield; (trumpet); Tom Kincaid (piano); Ken Marley (double bass); Jack Cotterill (drums).
(Review by Annie O’Donnell)
Night Train opens set with a snazzy piano/bass intro.  They mean business / Jamie looks like a slick detective, in fact they all look like detectives...on a film set...
Literally, a Walking Bass Line as Ken walks with it to get comfy... 
he is strong and steady.
slaps out a happy bass melody in his solo
Ken's style reminds me of a Detective Sergeant I worked with. 
Jaggy jumpy piano.

Jazz Café Jam Session - July 4











(Review by Lance).
Harrison, Grainger and Walker kicked things off with Sister Sadie and I said, "Brother, it can't get any better than this!"
Maybe it did, maybe it didn't, whatever, the quality remained, but the quantity multiplied. After a Wonderful version of For Once in my Life the jammers began to emerge. First up was a fiddling friend from my music shop past life - Andy Lawrenson who felt his way around Nature Boy before launching into a stunning After You've Gone. Lawrenson and Harrison seemed to be on the same wavelength and the sparks flew.
Ben Helm joined the group for All of Me playing a nice chordal solo that brought the likes of Carl Cress and Dick McDonough to mind. The number culminated with a series of fours that became twos between Walker and Harrison.

Bonga, Burt & Champion @ The Bridge Hotel, Newcastle, - July 2

Ntshuks Bonga (alto & soprano sax); George Burt (guitar); Andy Champion (bass).
(Review by Steve H/Photos courtesy of Ken Drew) 
This was the first occasion that these 3 musicians had played together, by the end of the evening anyone in the enthralled audience unaware of this fact might have thought they had been playing together for years. The collective improvisation was a marvel each member of the trio seemed to be able to react and build upon what their partners had just been playing. 

Kaz Hawkins @ Burton Agnes Jazz & Blues Festival - July 1

How do you follow St Lucian Energy, and old style Swing? 
Allow me to introduce you to
ORIGINAL HIGH CELTIC ENERGY
UNDILUTED, RAW, POWERFUL, 
SO REAL & FOLLOWS NO BEAT
OTHER THAN HER OWN 
Miss KAZ HAWKINS
who grabs you into her heart
enveloping you with life songs
her saviour into which she pours
her life’s highs and lows
we all know these points
but it takes a brave soul
to tell them in song
and she does it 
no less than the great
writers Spirits in this world
A survivor who sings out her Praise
and Glory and Love for Her Family .

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Cancelled Gig.

The advertised concert by the Gala Big Band (pictured) and the Early Bird Band scheduled for July 14 at St. Mary's Church, Sherburn Village, nr. Durham has been cancelled.
I have no further information, save to say that Musical Director Paul Edis wasn't involved in the decision.
Lance.

2017 Sarah Vaughan Vocal Competition

This year's competition (also known as The Sassy Awards) is open to both female and male jazz singers and carries prizes of $5000 (inc. Concord record deal); $1500 and $500.
Closing date for entries is September 5.
Find out more from here.
The final is held in New Jersey and last year's winner, DeeLee Lubé came from London.

Claudia Edward @ Burton Agnes Jazz & Blues Festival July 1/2.

(Review [unexpurgated] by Annie O'Donnell)
The lawn is littered with seated, dancing. walking people, acrobatic children in a girl dance band rivalling Diversity...playing bat and ball in the gentle breeze in July summer sun.

Captivating Claudia Edward And Her Prize Catch Of Gem Studded Licks , Flicks, Plucks & Flying Sticks Tightly Pulled Together In A Band Of Jumping Jiving Jamming Soul Diving Music , & Vocals... Revving Up The Audience As If It Were In The London Arena, Albert Hall.
She is a rising star straight out of St Lucia. Her original songs sound like hits straight out of the oven.

CD Review: Geoff Simkins' Trio - In a Quiet Way

Geoff Simkins (alto); Nikki Iles (piano); Dave Green (bass).
(Review by Lance).
Make Someone Happy - the opening track - did indeed make someone happy (me!) It swung from the outset. Wot no drummer? The track was halfway through before I noticed. Maybe it was because I was tapping my foot so much that a drummer would have been surplus to requirements. Not that this is a wham, bang, thank you ma'am belter. Far from it. After the exuberance of the opener, Earl Zindars' Elsa takes us into a more, reflective 3/4 mode. Elsa brings to mind Art Pepper's Diane and Simkins' playing hints at Pepper, Desmond and, perhaps, most of all Lee Konitz. Kenny Wheeler's Old Ballad is another beauty reminding us, as if we needed to be reminded, of what a sensitive and sympathetic player Nikki Iles is. If you can't make it with backing like Nikki gives here then sell your horn and drive taxis. Simkins isn't going to be driving taxis! Nor is Dave Green.

Monday, July 03, 2017

George Benson @ Scarborough Open Air Theatre - July 1.












(Review by Steve T)
For years I've longed for someone worth the effort to play this open air theatre. I'd always thought, if anybody, it would be Santana, but when Benson was announced, it was that expression number one wife hates, a no brainer.
It doesn't feel like a six thousand capacity venue and there were plenty of empty seats but far more occupied. As at Sage Gateshead last year, there was a mix of those who think he arrived with the Breezin’ album and those who think it began with his collaboration with Quincy Jones et al, just four years later. The difference was at the Sage it was a 90/10 split, while here it was more 990/10.
A bold finger up then to open with Affirmation from Breezin’ but a joy for me, having all but missed it at the Sage trying unsuccessfully to obtain a decent photo for my review.

From Buenos Aires to Newcastle - The Sotavento Big Band

(Press release)
Sunday July 9. The Globe Jazz Bar, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 8pm. £10.
The orchestra shared the stage with numerous groups of high professional level of Argentina and Europe and became one of the most active Big Band at the Buenos Aires jazz scene. Between 14 and 31 August 2015 the orchestra made his first European Tour and in July 2017 the orchestra will make his second tour of Europe.
This Big Band has the distinction of having replaced the trombones and trumpets by saxophones, giving a very warm sound.

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Matt Anderson Quartet @ Ushaw College, June 30.

 Matt Anderson (tenor sax), Peter Lee (piano), Will Harris (double bass), Jay Davies (drums).
(Review by Steve T)
Matt claimed his reworking of Trane’s Countdown, renamed Count Up was the only bona fide Jazz piece they played, but later remembered Shorter’s Iris also counted. Last time he played Ushaw Matt was with a sextet dedicated to Shorter so we can guess that this is close to his heart, but that was when Jazz was temporarily reassigned to Ushaw’s own Jazz Caff whilst decorating went on in the Jazz Lounge.
I would argue this was all as jazz as it gets: tenor sax, piano, double bass and drums on a Friday night in my favourite north east venue, Matt’s originals and one by pianist Peter Lee (a good North East name) giving two master tenoristas a run. 

CD Review: Thelonious Monk Quintet - Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960.

Thelonious Monk (piano); Charlie Rouse, Barney Wilen (tenors); Sam Jones (bass); Art Taylor (drums).
(Review by Lance).
A previously unreleased double album by Monk is quite an event. Not that some of the music hasn't had previous exposure - 30 minutes of it provided the soundtrack for Roger Vadim's 1960 movie Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960. The remaining 45 minutes comprise alternate takes and extended versions of the ones used in the film. Familiar Monk tunes but, no less interesting because of that.

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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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