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Bebop Spoken There

Buddy Rich: "You either swing a band or you don't swing a band - (Metronome April 1956).

Sinclair Traill: “Well I don't think he (Chet Baker) can sing either.” – (Jazz Journal August 1956).

Fred Rowe Funeral Arrangements

The funeral of well-respected and much-loved trumpet player Fred Rowe will take place on Wednesday, December 13 at 14:00 hrs: Lytham Crematorium (Regent Ave, Lytham Saint Annes FY8 4AB). Afterwards - All warmly welcome for refreshments at 2 Chapel Close, Wesham, Preston PR4 3HB.
No flowers by request donations to Parkinson's UK. Should you wish to donate to Parkinson’s research, please contact the Funeral Directors (J & A Porter Funeral Services, Windsor Court, Windsor Road, Ansdell, Lytham St Annes, Lancashire FY8 1AH. Tel: 01253735423) or place in a collection box that will be provided at the end of the service.
"Please do come along, we would love to see as many of Fred’s friends as possible" - Joan Rowe and family.

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 Tuesday December 12

Afternoon
Classic Swing - The Ship, Front St., Monkseaton NE25 8DP. 1pm. Free. New weekly mainstream session. 2 mins from Monkseaton metro.

Interim Recitals (Final Year Music Students) - Band Room, Music Studios, Assembly Lane, Newcastle University NE1 7RU. Inc. Charlie Philp (guitar) 3:55pm. Free.

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Evening

Ian Bosworth - Dormans, Oxford Rd., Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. 01642 832813. 9pm. Free.

Charles Gordon - Vermont Hotel, Castle Garth, Newcastle NE1 1RQ. 0191 233 1010. 10:00pm. Free.

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

Saturday, September 23, 2017

RIP Mike Carr

It was with great sadness that I learned of the death of organist Mike Carr. Mike, born in South Shields, was considered by many to be one of the world’s greatest jazz organists although, when I first encountered him he was playing piano and vibes with northeast band the Emcee Five. I spent quite a few heady evenings listening to the band at the old Down Beat Club in Newcastle. It was a stellar line-up with Mike’s brother Ian on trumpet and flugel, Gary Cox on tenor, Malcolm Cecil on bass and Ronnie Stephenson on drums.
Playing mainly originals in a style based on the Jazz Messengers there have been few better bands to have emerged from the northeast than the Emcee Five – as, according to legend, some members of the Basie Band found out when they dropped by after a City Hall concert.
After the band broke up, Mike switched to organ and, with drummer Tony Crombie, recorded Hammond Under Pressure; one of the very best jazz organ albums of the era and this was in an era when there was an organ trio on every block. Except this wasn’t a trio – you didn’t need a bass player when Mike was dancing on the pedals!
He later did play in organ trios with Ronnie Scott – anyone remember that fantastic session at the County Hotel opposite Newcastle Central Station?
In more recent years he formed the short-lived, but exciting, Mike Carr’s Blue Note Band. They played several numbers from the Emcee Five pad so the wheel had turned the full circle.
Last I heard he was in ill-health and only playing occasional restaurant gigs.
Oscar Peterson was quoted as saying that Mike Carr was one of the best Hammondists he’d heard – praise indeed but, if you belonged Tyneside we knew that already!
Another segment of my youth has gone and with it, one of my idols.
Mike Carr was 79. May he Rest In Peace, he will be sadly missed.
LondonJazzBlog Obituary.
Peter Vacher Jazzwise Obituary.
Lance.
PS: The music of Mike Carr and the Emcee Five is currently being kept alive by local band the Safe Sextet.

13 comments :

Russell said...

Mike Carr's Blue Note Band played a cracking gig at Newcastle's Corner House Hotel in 2003. If memory serves, the (then young) Fishwick twins were in the band. In their own way the Fishwicks have kept Carr's flame burning.

Steve Andrews (on F/b) said...

Sad news, Lance. I saw Mike Carr backing Coleman Hawkins at the Connaught Hall in Blackett Street in 1967 when I was 14 - a seminal night in my life as a jazz musician, as you can imagine. He and Tony Crombie played the first set as an organ and drums duo, then Mike switched to piano to back Hawk, with Dave Green added on string bass. Almost 50 years ago now, but I still remember it clearly. A great musician.

Kevin Elliott (on F/b) said...

You and me both, Steve.

Lance said...

I too remember the concert well. Hawkins looked very frail but blew almost nonstop even for piano and bass solos. It was in the early days of JNE and in what seemed a very short space of time we saw Earl Hines, Hawkins, Ben Webster, Ed Hall, Bill Coleman, Rex Stewart, Johnny Griffin and all at the Connaught... we didn't know how privileged we were!

Mal Maddock (on F/b) said...

I saw him when I was about 16 at a club in Ashington with Ronnie Scott & a fantastic drummer called Bobby Gean.... It was a storming gig !... An absolute legend ! RIP

Jude Murphy (on F/b) said...

Oh no! was just talking about him yesterday

Don Armstrong said...

Mike was the swingingest piano player I ever had the honour and pleasure to play with when arrived aged 15/16 from Redcar and adn joined the King's College Modern Jazz group with his brother Ian. I was greatly saddened by the news of his passing. He will certainly not be forgotten.

George Gray (on F/b) said...

I got to know Mike in the 70's,and went to his gigs around Newcastle, Gosforth,etc, Alnwick jazz club with Ronnie Scott, I always ended up helping to carry the Hammond in and out of the venue but did not mind, He was without doubt my no 1 organist,and a nice guy So sad to hear this news.

George Gray (on F/b) said...

I remember sitting having a drink in the Gosforth hotel with Mike, Bobby, and Gary Cox who was standing in at short notice for Ronnie Scott,and they were trying to sort out a set list for the gig at Gosforth Civic hall they kept changing their minds, about what to play, but boy when they went on it was stunning!!, what a show!!.

Laurie Brown (on F/b) said...

Very saddened to read of the death of Mike. Back in the 1950s I used to take a snare drum to his (parents) house on Gosforth high street for a"knock", It was there one evening that Ian arrived having just bought a trumpet ! RIP Mike one of the greats !

Cormac Loane said...

Very sad news. Yes Lance, I too (as a teenager!) was at that amazing gig at the County Hotel in 1973 or 74 - the Ronnie Scott Trio augmented by Gary Cox. I remember having a drink in the downstairs bar before the gig with North-East bass player Dave Murphy (can't remember whether he was playing in Ronnie's band or in the support group) and the amazing drummer, Bobby Gein. I remember Ronnie Scott introducing Bobby to the audience as "coming from South Africa, which is a very good place to come from!" I was also lucky to be at the gig in the Ashington jazz club, mentioned by Mal, above. I was driven there by my old friend and mentor, the late Nigel Stanger, following a Sunday lunchtime session with the Newcastle Big Band. And I recall another gig by the same trio, round the same time, at the University Theatre. They were obviously a very busy touring band in the 70s and Mike Carr's amazing playing made it all swing incredibly!

John Taylor said...

The gig was in the 60s/70s? Ashington Jazz Club stalwarts recall it was at the Cellar Club (Still in existence as Bubbles) The line up was Mike Carr, Ronnie Scott and we all think Martin Drew on drums

Adrian said...

There were few, if any, Hammond players who could swing like Mike and offer a completely natural musical experience without any attempts to be flash or clever. He felt the music as it was and played it from the heart. Both Oscar Peterson and Milt Jackson said that they thought he was "one of the best". Mikes ability on pedals was unsurpassed even by the likes of Jimmy Smith. In addition to the Hammond, Mike was one of the premier Vibes Players in jazz. Again a natural player who played with sensibility and feeling. He deserved much more recognition for his playing but his modesty meant he never really pushed it. He wrote an enormous number of compositions which he often ran by me singing the lyrics himself. He had a really good voice but never sang in public usually hiring vocalists to sing in his place. I feel, to this day, like so many of his great contemporaries, he deserved better recognition.
Mike never lost his love for 'Tyneside' and his connections to so many of his early sidemen there, before coming south to further his career.
Mike was generous to a tee, often much more than he should have been. Despite the difficulties of bringing up two youngsters on his own, they always came first before work, his bubbly happy personality came out. Mike often, quietly, played gigs without taking money when he felt the fee was too low for the other guys in the band.
A really great, unsung musician, father and all round 'human being'.

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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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