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Bebop Spoken There

Piers Paul Read: "Bruce Reynolds and Biggs shared an interest in Sex, Jazz and Hemingway." - (The Train Robbers by Piers Paul Read, Coronet Books 1979.)

George Shearing: "Speaking about Johann Sebastian Bach I think he'd be a real jazzer if he were alive today. I mean any man who has two wives, twenty kids, gets kicked out of the church for being too harmonically radical and drinks beer can't be all wrong can he?" - (Crescendo March 1984.)

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 all of them 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

Posting a comment

If you experience any problems posting a comment, as I understand some readers are, then email it to me direct, stating which post your comment relates to - lanceliddle@gmail.com. Alternatively, try the Anonymous button but please sign your name!
Apologies for any inconvenience, this is due to circumstances beyond my control.

Today Friday July 20

Happy Birthdays to - Brian Chester, Paul Grainger, Emma Frampton.
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Afternoon

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

Greg Abate with Paul Edis (duo set) - Gala Theatre, Millennium Place, Durham DH1 1WA. Tel: 03000 266 600. 1:00pm. £5.00.

Little Mo Trio - SummerTyne Americana Festival, Sage Gateshead NE8 2JR. 3:00pm. Free. Jumpin’ Hot Club Stage (outdoor, Performance Square). Full Americana program.

Evening

Greg Abate with Paul Edis Trio - Jazz Café, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. Tel: 0191 222 9882. 8:00pm. £10.00. & £8.00. JNE.

Zoë Gilby & Alan Law: Beatles Bossa and Beyond - National Glass Centre, Liberty Way, Sunderland SR6 0GL. Tel: 0191 568 9700. 7:30pm. £27.50. (welcome drink, 3-course meal, booking essential).

Northern Monkey Brass Band - Town Park, Burn Lane, Newton Aycliffe DL5 4NP. 6:00-9:00pm. Free. Big BRASS Bash (Durham Brass Festival).

Big BRASS Bash - Town Park, Aycliffe. 6:00-9:00pm. Free. Durham Brass Festival.

Somethin’ Blue - Houndgate Townhouse, 11 Houndgate, Darlington DL1 5RF. 7:30pm. Matt Case (saxophone) & Mike Hepple (guitar). First Friday in month residency.

Lounge Lizards - St. Mary & St. Patrick's Church, Lambley (nr. Haltwhistle), Northumberland CA8 7LQ. 7:30pm. £5.

Stax Brothers - 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.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Preview: Davina & the Vagabonds return to Sage Gateshead!

Quick! Tickets are flying out the door for Davina and the Vagabonds' late night SummerTyne Americana show. It's exactly four years to the day (July 20, 2014) that Davina Sowers (now Davina Lozier) played a killer set on the Jumpin' Hot Club outdoor stage. On that occasion Davina made a huge impression, a lasting memory is of the Twin Cities' musician belting out I'd Rather Go Blind

The following year Davina returned to Sage Gateshead to play Gateshead International Jazz Festival. Bebop Spoken Here's Editor in Chief was there and was suitably impressed! Now, three albums later - 2011's Black Cloud, 2014's Sunshine and the 2016 live album Nicolette and Tenth (I'd Rather Go Blind is on it!) - Davina is to play a late night show (10:30) tomorrow evening (Saturday) in Sage Two. 

A red hot band, N'Awlins' street savvie, a Memphis dirty blues feel, first rate musicianship and...Davina. Presence, star quality, great voice, this is one gig that you simply must not miss! To bag one of the last few tickets call Sage Gateshead's ticket office on 0191 443 4666.    
Russell   

WHAT MAKES GROOVE GROOVE?

Swing, Latin, Afro-Cuban – learn how to get in the groove at the Jazz.Coop Summer Weekend Workshop on 4-5 August 2018 at the Globe. It is a whole weekend of listening and playing in the company of others who want to learn and improve jazz skills.

Building on the success of the last three years, Jazz Coop is running another weekend workshop, this time with Jamil Sheriff and Caroline Boaden who are both tutors at Leeds College of Music.

With just two weeks to go there are still a few places available for horns and other melody instruments, so if you are interested and available please book now.

Full details and booking form here:

China Coast to Cullercoats - July 18

(Review by Russell).
If it's mid-July then as sure as night follows day a paddle steamer full of Kowloon jazz fanatics sets sail for the northeast coast of England. Alright, they fly in, get along to every New Orleans/Dixieland session going then head home, 'home' is the Far East for Colin Aitchison, Franco Valussi and Neville Sarony together with family and friends. On this session at Cullercoats Crescent Club, the China Coast Jazzmen were joined by Don Armstrong, another ex-pat making a long journey, all the way from Oz. 

Wednesdays at Cullercoats is, of course, the Vieux Carré Jazzmen's regular gig. A bumper crowd turned out to listen to Brian Bennett's popular six-piece band and a dizzying number of guests. Way Down Yonder in New OrleansA Smo-o-o-oth OneBye Bye Blues - three tunes to get things started, Fred Thompson taking the vocal on the first of them. 

Francis Tulip Quartet @The Fox Inn, Hexham - July 17

Francis Tulip (guitar); Joel Brown (piano); Michael Dunlop (bass); Matthew MacKellar (drums)
(Review by Russell)
Thumbs up to the Edinburgh-Newcastle rail service. It was on time - why shouldn't it be? - thus enabling your correspondent to dash up to Hexham to catch the Francis Tulip Quartet's return visit to Hexham Jazz Club. 
The Fox Inn was busy. Francis Tulip & co were sitting outside making the most of the summer weather before the start of their first set at eight thirty. A Deuchar's the choice, 'hello' to Tom, Ines and Jamie, a seat, 'hello' to Mike and Pauline - they had come from all parts.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Bratislava Hot Serenaders & the Serenaders Sisters @ Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival - July 17

(Review by Russell)
Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival was in full swing as the Bratislava Hot Serenaders took to the stage for the first of three concert performances. Later in the day the twenty piece orchestra would play in the the George Square Spiegeltent and the following evening conclude their visit in the Festival Theatre but this Tuesday lunchtime engagement focused upon the 'Dance Band Days' with a set list comprising the best of the British and American bands of the 20s and 30s. 
The Gothic style Teviot Row is the world's oldest purpose built student union building and up on the third floor, accessed via a spiralling stone staircase, the Bratislavans assembled on stage in front of a capacity audience. Ellington to start - Cotton Club Stomp - then 'S Wonderful as played by Ambrose. Band leader Juraj Bartos outlined the format; the best of the dance bands, many from this side of the Atlantic with some numbers from the Americans, all played entirely acoustically with the exception of one vocal mic and a condenser mic above the strings.  

Durham Brass Festival Preview: Jambone with Laura Jurd. Saturday 21 July – Gala Theatre – 12 noon

This has got to be the best brass bargain bar none and it's FREE! - Lance.
(Press release)
Based at the Sage in Gateshead and directed by Paul Edis, Jambone is a youth jazz ensemble. Performing in high profile concerts and events with some of the great jazz artists.  Packed full of talented young musicians, in recent years members of the band have taken part in the BBC Young Jazz Musicians of the Year and have featured as part of the BBC Introducing Scheme with a performance on Radio 3. Jambone makes regular performances at festivals including the Gateshead International Jazz Festival, London Jazz Festival, Manchester Jazz Festival and Skye Jazz and Swing Festival and at the Parliamentary Jazz Awards.

Durham Brass Festival: Shake 'Em Up Jazz Band @ Chester-le- St. - July 18

Marla Dixon (trumpet/vocal); Haruka Kikuchi (trombone); Chloe Feoranza (clarinet/vocal); Molly Reeves (guitar/vocal); Dizzy Incirlioglu (washboard); Julie Schexnayder (bass).
(Review by Lance).
This year's Durham Brass Festival has been an eyeopener for me. In previous years, I concentrated on the big hitters - the names - blissfully ignoring what was happening on the street. I may have done the same this year if I hadn't arrived early for Friday night's Chrissy Lee/Gunhild Carling concert and heard the Shake 'Em Up Jazz Band playing a short set outside of the Gala Theatre.
I couldn't quite believe what I was hearing. Six girls blowing like as though Jelly Roll Morton's Red Hot Peppers lived. Russell confirmed that the piquancy of the music came over with equal potency at Seaburn the following day and the two sets at Chester-le-Street last night sent me home, not on the number 21 Angel of the North bus, but on the Lucky 7 Cloud - destination Storyville.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

CD Review: Bansangu Orchestra

(Review by Lance).
Bansangu's name derives from Brazillian percussionist Airto Moreira's habit of saying "Ban san gu' when paying his musicians. Translated it means 'Band Sounds Good!'
It was back in 2014 that ace tenor player Paul Booth got together with Giorgio Serci and Kevin Robinson to formulate the idea of a traditional big band playing music from a diverse range of cultures such as African, Brazillian, Caribbean, Celtic, Cuban, Indian and Middle Eastern. This they do without losing the overall jazz feeling but, at the same time, adding a different dimension.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Two special gigs on Friday.

(Preview by Brian Ebbatson)
On Friday this week (July 20) we again have an international flavour for our Gala Lunchtime concert as we welcome back US saxophonist/flautist, Greg Abate, together with our own Paul Edis. Greg and Paul's previous appearances in the Gala Lunchtime concert series, in July 2016 and November 2017 were enthusiastically received, so I know many of you will be looking forward to their return.
For those who don't know Greg Abate, his main instrument is alto sax, considering Charlie Parker, Paul Desmond and Phil Woods among his most important influences. He also plays tenor, flute, and soprano, and has an international recording career dating back to the 1980s, including a double CD with Phil Woods, and tributes to the music of both Woods and Dave Brubeck. In his earlier years, he played in the Ray Charles Orchestra (replacing David 'Fathead' Newman in 1973) and later in the Artie Shaw band. He has been a regular visitor to the North East since 2011, building a genuine partnership of equals with Paul Edis on piano.
Gala Theatre, Millennium Pl., Durham DH1 1WA. 1:00pm. £5.
----- 
(Preview by Lance)
On the evening of that very same Friday (July 20), Greg and Paul appear at the Jazz Café along with Andy Champion on bass and Russ Morgan on drums.
Promoted by JNE, this will serve as the main course after the lunchtime appetizer. Having heard Greg several times going back to 2011 at the Corner House I've never failed to be impressed by his playing, especially with Paul Edis. The addition of Russ and Andy promises to make this a night to remember.
Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 7:45pm. £10 (£8 concessions).

Durham Brass Festival: James Morrison Quartet @ Gala Theatre - January 16.

James Morrison (trumpet/trombone/flugel/piano); William Morrison (guitar); Harry Morrison (bass); Patrick Danao (drums).
(Review by Lance).
Another knockout Durham Brass Festival concert. This time by the amazingly gifted Australian multi-instrumentalist James Morrison.
Morrison, accompanied by sons William and Harry along with super drummer Danao blew trumpet à la Dizzy, trombone with the rapid technique of JJ and, on piano, just about outran Peterson.
A Beautiful Friendship began soft and gentle,  treating the ballad with the respect it deserves. A nice solo from his number 2 son William on guitar before James exploded reaching Dizzy heights and beyond. We also got a taster of Danao's drums.
In the Silence of the Night, a composition by William featured his pop on a most unusual instrument.
Difficult to make out from where I was sitting. It could be a rotary valved flugelhorn or some kind of bass trumpet. It had the mellifluous sound of a flugel but maybe it was a hybrid James himself had designed.

Monday, July 16, 2018

The Reunion @ Blaydon Jazz Club - July 15

Colin Aitchison (trumpet, teapot, vocals); Franco Valussi (clarinet, vocals); Steve Andrews (tenor, baritone, clarinet); Roly Veitch (guitar, vocals); Roy Cansdale (double bass) + Neville Sarony (vocals)
(Review by Russell).
The Reunion is an annual event, it's a band, a gathering of friends playing a few jazz numbers in the lounge of the Black Bull public house in Blaydon. If no one turned up it wouldn't matter too much as the musicians on the stand would play for their own pleasure. 

They come from all parts...Cumbria, Worcestershire, far away Hong Kong and downtown Winlaton - that's the band. In the main, Blaydon Jazz Club's audience is drawn from the Tyneside area, however, for this annual get together a large contingent of fans make the trip all the way from Hong Kong! Trumpeter Colin Aitchison, born in North Shields, long-since resident in Hong Kong, returns to Tyneside year after year and a planeload of supporters exchange Ned Kelly's, Kowloon's famous jazz venue, for the equally famous Blaydon Jazz Club. The band's classy Italian clarinettist Franco Valussi, another Hong Kong-based musician, looks forward to renewing acquaintance with fellow reedsman Steve Andrews and the rhythm section boys, eschewing the spotlight - Roly Veitch, guitar, and bassist Roy Cansdale - purr like contented cats.

Summer Streets Festival @ Tall Ships, Sunderland - July 14

(Review by Russell).
For one year only, Sunderland's Summer Streets Festival relocated from Southwick to Seaburn Recreation Park. The little matter of the Tall Ships setting sail from the Wear during the afternoon to race across the North Sea to Scandinavia influenced the thinking of the organisers, it was, quite simply, too good an opportunity to turn down. 

All week perfect weather greeted an estimated one million plus visitors to Wearside and Saturday afternoon's entertainment in Seaburn Recreation Park saw a large crowd basking in soaring temperatures. Three stages, several smaller tented facilities, numerous portaloos, food and drink concessions...visitors could be forgiven for thinking Seaburn was like this all the time! 

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Mavis Staples @ The Boiler Shop, Newcastle - July 13

Mavis Staples (vocals); Rick Holmstrom (guitar, vocals); Jeff Turmes (bass guitar); Stephen Hodges (drums); Vicki Randle (vocals); Donny Gerrard (vocals) + Benjamin Booker (vocals) 
(Review by Russell)
The Boiler Shop on South Street, the historic site of Stephenson's Works, the workshop in which George and Robert Stephenson built the first locomotives - Locomotion and Rocket - has been lovingly restored to its former glory.  


On a sweltering Friday evening, Sage Gateshead's concert promotion across the Tyne in Newcastle attracted a near capacity crowd to hear a set of blues, gospel and r 'n' b by one of the enduring figures in popular music. 

The Staples Singers first came to public attention in 1949 and since then the family, for many years guided by Pops Staples, has continued to preach the gospel, the book of good music. Mavis Staples, seventy-nine years young last Tuesday, took to the stage to a heroic reception from an adoring crowd. Backed by her long-serving trio - Rick Holmstrom, guitar, Jeff Turmes, bass and drummer Stephen Hodges - and friends Vicki Randle and Donny Gerrard supplying sublime backing vocals, Staples worked the crowd for seventy-five minutes, later returning to the stage to deliver a fifteen-minute encore. 

CD Review: The John Bailey Quintet - In Real Time

John Bailey (trumpet/flugel; Stacy Dillard (tenor/soprano); John Hart (guitar); Cameron Brown (bass); Victor Lewis (drums) + Janet Axelrod (flute) & Leo Grinhauz (cello) on 1 track.
(Review by Dave Brownlow)
The first album for trumpet player, arranger and  composer John Bailey, who, having spent more than thirty years in the music business “paying his dues” as an in-demand sideman, emerges from the shadows as the leader/arranger of a technically accomplished quintet. The group’s instrumentation provides excellent variation throughout – guitar instead of piano in the rhythm section, with trumpet or flugelhorn and soprano or tenor sax. Flute and cello are added to good effect on Morro Velho.

Jazz with Your Coffee?

BSH is a jazz blog, I know, but I like to recommend coffee shops where you can hear jazz played. I’ve mentioned the good selection of recorded music to be heard in Nero’s Caffe in King Street at South Shields, both jazz and other interesting music, such as Joni Mitchell tracks.
I discovered another such venue just yesterday – Chai Coffee House, next to the Chichester Metro station at South Shields (Chai, Chi, get it?) An abundance of swing music, Ella I think, to accompany a delicious selection of food, toasted bagels, smoothies, etc . And what’s more, this is run mainly by volunteers, for Hospitality & Hope, an organisation which supports people who are homeless or at risk. Everything you spend goes to the charity. I’ll be there again soon!
Ann Alex  

CD Review: Kate Reid - The Heart Already Knows

Kate Reid (vocals, most arrangements); Paul Meyers (guitar 1, 7); Larry Koonse (it’s that man again! Guitar 2,4); Fred Hersch (piano 3,9,11); Romero Lubambo (guitar 5, 10); Taylor Eigsti (piano 6,8); Peter Eldridge (producer)
(Review by Ann Alex).
Chances are that you’ve heard the pleasing, sultry voice of Ms Reid before, on films such as Star Trek into Darkness and Men in Black III. She hails from Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, plays piano (though not on this CD) and is a very accomplished lady with a Doctorate of Music Arts from the University of Miami. Our singer has appeared with her quartet in the Los Angeles area, and worked with many great jazz musicians, not least the stellar selection on this album, which is her third CD. The tunes are a well thought out mixture of jazz standards, modern jazz, and pop tunes, some of which were new to me. All tracks are duos, giving a different take on many of the songs, which, listed by track, are:

Saturday, July 14, 2018

The Unmissable James Morrison approaches

There is just so much going on in this year's Durham Brass Festival both indoors and outdoors including many free ones that it's easy to overlook one and regret it for the rest of your life which is what would have happened  to me had I missed last night's performance by 'Swedish blonde bombshell' the multi-instrumentalist Gunhild Carling.
There's another 'must see' event on Monday at the Gala Theatre - The James Morrison Quartet. The Australian, like Gunhild, is primarily a trumpet player who also just - just! - happens to be a virtuoso on a multitude of other instruments. For those doubting his jazz credentials, Morrison was first choice to portray Dizzy Gillespie at last summer's BBC Prom's tribute.
Bassist Ray Brown called him "The Genius" and Wynton Marsalis, himself no slouch as a trumpet player, said "Man, James Morrison can play".
What more is there to say except he's at The Gala Theatre this Monday (July 16). Like Gunhild Carling, James Morrison's a once in a lifetime person.
Not to be missed whether you're a trumpet player, a trombonist, pianist, bassist, saxophonist or a misc. instrumentalist you'll want to hear him and, if you're none of those, after hearing him you'll want to be one - take your pick.
Lance.

Breaking News! RIP Nancy Sinatra Sr.

Just heard that Frank Sinatra's first wife Nancy has died aged 101.
More later.
Details.
Lance

Women in Brass; The Carling Family Band; The Chrissy Lee Big Band etc. @ Gala theatre, Durham - July 13.

Gunhild Carling (trumpet/trombone/recorder/bagpipes/bass/piano/vocals/tap dance); Max Carling (clarinet/juggling); Aina Carling (banjo/bass); Ulf Carling (drums/vocals); Linnea Carling (bass/banjo/vocals); Nanna Carling (soprano/alto/piano/drums/vocals); Petronella Carling (trombone/vocals); ? (piano); Junior Carling (vocals/dancing).
(Review by Lance/photo, from Gunhild Carling's website, shows the band arriving at Durham Station).
It's a couple of hours later and I'm still getting my breath back. I've never witnessed anything quite like this - who said vaudeville was dead! This was absolutely incredible - no wonder this Swedish Family band sold-out Birdland. Every one of them an entertainer, a multi-instrumentalist and a brilliant jazz player.
Gunhild is the sun in a galaxy of stars on stage. When she's not playing 3 trumpets at once or playing double bass at the same time as she's blowing trumpet with no hands, she's blowing great jazz trumpet or trombone or singing like a Chicago blues mama without any gimmicks apart from looking absolutely stunning.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Graham Wilson & Friends

Tonight saxophonist Graham Wilson makes the journey from Edinburgh to Darlington to play a gig at the Traveller's Rest. Expect a programme of original material and perhaps classic numbers by Coltrane and others. 
Russell

Durham Brass Festival - Remembering Ivy Benson.

(Press release)
Opening the Festivals’ women and brass celebration we pay tribute to the legendary bandleader Ivy Benson. Her all-female band overcame scepticism and prejudice to become one of the most popular and famous dance bands during the war years and beyond. Original Ivy Benson band member Chrissy Lee brings her dynamic all-female big band featuring many of the UK’s leading female jazz stars to salute Ivy’s pioneering spirit. Our celebration will also include internet sensation and Swedish Jazz trumpet star Gunhild Carling (pictured) whose high energy performances and remarkable multi-instrument videos have been viewed millions of times on YouTube.

Francis Tulip Quartet – Tour Dates!

(Preview by Russell)
They’re back, fresh from a first summer get together at the hugely successful Durham DJazz Festival at the beginning of June, the Francis Tulip Quartet will be playing three gigs during July and August with a return to Hexham’s Fox Inn, a first concert performance at the Literary and Philosophical Society, and a return date at Newcastle Jazz Co-op’s Globe headquarters.

Four young men from the north east of England; guitarist Francis Tulip, home for the summer from his studies in Birmingham, Whitley Bay resident, pianist Joel Brown, now out of school and taking time out, and Berklee, Boston music student, drummer Matt MacKellar, over here as his American friends would say, ‘on vacation.’ 

Russ Morgan Quartet @The Jazz Café - July 12

Mark Williams (guitar); Paul Edis (piano); Andy Champion (double bass); Russ Morgan (drums)
(Review and photo by Russell)
Russ Morgan revisiting charts he played when working in the south east...a tasty prospect! Relocating to the northeast drummer Morgan quickly established himself as a first call musician. This debut gig leading his own quartet came up trumps...as if it was ever in doubt!

Morgan made that 'first call' to Messrs Williams, Edis and Champion, they were up for it, the Jazz Café the obvious place to perform the material in front of an audience, and an audience there was.

Andy Lawrenson Trio @ GCT Jazz Club - July 12.

Andy Lawrenson (violin/vocals); Simon O'Byrne (guitar/vocals); Paul Grainger (double bass).
(Review by Lance).
Sadly, the English World Cup dream was over and we didn't face a confrontation with France on Sunday which made the Andy Lawrenson Trio's presentation Le Café Parisien less controversial although, such was the strength of performance by the trio that I may have almost been persuaded to change allegiances - almost!
This was one of those mini gems that spring up on you unexpectedly. On the face of it, it looked likely to be yet another Hot Club outing - I think there are now more hot-clubbers around than there are traddies - and a large part of the ALT repertoire does stem from Django & Stephane. However, it doesn't end there, if anything it starts there before weaving its way around the arrondissements of Paris.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Jazz North Artists Attract Capacity Crowds At Manchester Jazz Festival

     (Press release
A showcase day of Jazz North’s northern line artists will take place in front of capacity crowds at manchester jazz festival this month. On Monday 23rd July, nine bands from across the north will take to the stage in the Salon Perdu Spiegeltent in Festival Square from 12pm to 10.30pm to delight audiences with their take on contemporary jazz.


Hand-picked by an independent panel of jazz musicians and promoters, including Dennis Rollins, Amy Pearce, Wesley Stephenson, Jilly Jarman, Barney Stevenson and Juliet Kelly, the artists on Jazz North’s northern line programme are from the best in the north, as Lucy Woolley from Jazz North explains: “Our ambition is to highlight both the quality and variety of jazz being composed and performed by artists in the north. This year’s roster is no exception, reflecting the diverse talent living and working in the region. We can’t wait to showcase these fantastic artists in Manchester.”

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music 2018

(Press release)
Following the success of last years inaugural festival, it's a great pleasure to announce the second edition of the 'Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music' which takes place in October 2018. This year sees a fantastic increase in partners to create a four-day event that promises to deliver some really exceptional workshops and performances.
Above right: JoeMcPhee (Photo © Žiga Koritnik)
Below: Full Blast (Photo © Joao Kehl)

A major part of the festival revolves around the nature of improvisation, and amongst a number of workshops, we welcome two days of performances, talks and interviews associated with Durham University’s 'Aesthetics of Imperfection’ project. From Edinburgh the improvisational Music and Dance troupe 'Something Smashing' join us to collaborate with regional artists, whilst the interdisciplinary styles continue to fuse with a performance of 'Enchanted Tales’, featuring silent black and white fairytale films of the 20's and 30's with a live soundtrack performed by Lizabett Russo and Graeme Stephen. 

The Darlington Big Band @ Dormans' Jazz Club, Middlesbrough - July 5

(Review by Ron H)
The first of this year’s "Guest Big Band" nights at Dormans featured the Darlington Big Band, led by Tenor Saxophonist Richie Emmerson.
The band, composed of 16 top class musicians, several of whom are regular guests on the Tees Hot Club nights, gave the packed audience a truly special night.
Many of the numbers were Sammy Nestico arrangements starting with Basie’s Straight Ahead and including A Warm Breeze; Strike up the Band; Stardust and Slaughter on Tenth Avenue.
The ability of the band to play with great feeling and dynamics was clearly demonstrated by I'm Beginning to See the Light with fine solos from Ray Dales (alto) and Bill Watson (flugel).

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Classic Swing @ The Ship, Monkseaton - July 10

(Review by Russell)
The Ship Inn on Front Street is home to Classic Swing. For a couple of years or so the band has maintained a Tuesday afternoon residency at the pub, one of three Monkseaton hostelries, each one no more than a stone's throw away from the others, offering regular jazz sessions. 

It Don't Mean a Thing sang Olive Rudd. Classic Swing's setlist embraces the New Orleans/Dixieland era through to 1930s small group swing. Give Me the Simple LifeI Can't Give You Anything But Love, Baby, the band's vocalist was in good voice and 'S Wonderful made it four vocal numbers in a row.

CD Review: Trialogue - First Flight

Chris McMurran (piano); Arvin Vaghela (bass); Andrew Blackwell (drums).
(Review by Lance).
This one's been hanging around since April but, such is the nature of the game that, just as I'm ready to give it a listen, something else drops through the mailbox, First Flight is rescheduled, and so it goes on. However, I've belatedly got around to playing it and, already, I'm changing my Gareth Southgate waistcoat for a suit of sackcloth and ashes whilst hanging my head in shame.
My initial misgivings were brought upon by the knowledge that the three musicians were also Cambridge scientists. McMurran's a neuroscientist, Vaghela's a physicist and Blackwell cuts it as a biologist. 

Monday, July 09, 2018

Jazz in the Afternoon @ the Crescent Club, Cullercoats - July 9

Herbie Hudson (trombone/vocal/harmonica); Harry Stephenson (clarinet); Neville Hartley (trombone); John Carstairs Hallam (bass); Ollie Rillands (drums); Brian Chester (trombone); Roy Gibson (piano); Teresa Armstrong (vocals); Ann Wilson (vocals) + Colin Aitchison (trumpet/vocals); Neville Sarony (vocals).
(Review by Lance).
Our man in Hong Kong, Colin, made his annual pilgrimage back home. His flight probably took only slightly longer than my Metro/bus/shank's pony trek from Hebburn to Cullercoats a complete contrast to yesterday's journey on the same route - more of my misfortunes later.
Appropriately enough, when I did arrive, the oldest swinger in town - Teresa Armstrong - was singing What a Difference a Day Made - it sure did! The First Lady of Cullercoats also sang of Red Sails in the Sunset and Mean to Me. That great line - Why should you be mean to me when you know what you mean to me? Herbie Hudson blew an equally mean harmonica solo.

Michael Littlefield @ The Cumberland Arms - July 8

Michael Littlefield (guitar, vocals)
(Review by Russell).
A third gig in three days for Michael Littlefield and Bebop Spoken Here took in all three...Friday evening's residency at Billy Bootleggers for the hottest blues band around, King Bees, Saturday afternoon's House of the Black Gardenia gig in Tynemouth, and this, a Sunday afternoon solo country blues set down in the Ouseburn Delta. 
Outdoor events abound at this time of year. Not one but two festivals utilised every available music venue in the Ouseburn as the sun continued to shine. The hilltop Cumberland Arms has got outdoor gigs down to a fine art... gig-goers turn up in time for the advertised start (3pm), the first set starts at four (that's an hour's worth of drinking time before a note has been played!) and several hours later the pie-eyed wander off home. 

House of the Black Gardenia @ The Mouth of the Tyne Festival - July 7

(Review by Russell).
On the first day of two at this year's Mouth of the Tyne Festival, the sun shone on the jazz stage. From noon 'til six with not a cloud in the sky, a large crowd of sun worshippers sat baking, frequently quenching a thirst. 
Arriving late afternoon hot foot from Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club the fourth and final band of the day was in the process of holding punters spellbound. House of the Black Gardenia is a rare treat, gigs are few and far between and when the eight-piece takes to the stage it pays to be there.

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Spats Langham's Hot Fingers with Emily Campbell @ Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club - July 7

Spats Langham (guitar, banjo, ukulele, vocals); Danny Blyth (guitar, mandolin, clarinet, bass clarinet, harmonica); Malcolm Sked (double bass, sousaphone); Emily Campbell (vocals) 
(Review by Russell)
Darlington, first Saturday in the month, you're in St Augustine's and on this blue sky day there is not one but two games in town. First up, the ever popular Spats Langham playing a lunchtime concert at the long-running Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club followed by the little matter of England v Sweden.
A 12:30 kick off for Langham's Hot Fingers, three o'clock in Russia. Hmm...it would be wise for Spats to take a shorter interval, thus the second set would finish a few minutes before the quarter-final showdown. And so it was...

The Mouth of the Tyne Festival - Day 2. July 8.

The Mouth of the Tyne Festival maybe isn't Glastonbury, Newport, Gateshead or wherever but, on a hot summer's day in Tynemouth, it's unbeatable. No big jazz names although there were big hitters from other genres over in the ruins of Tynemouth Castle but, we didn't care, we were here for the jazz and we got it! I missed Alter Ego but, I'm told, they blew up a storm. I only caught part of the set by Classic Swing but they too were on form.
We've got a lot of great jazz singers in the northeast and yet, Olive Rudd isn't always on the list. She is now!
I caught Tin Roof Blues, 'S Wonderful and Tuxedo Junction. If you know anyone who can sing them better let me know, bearing in mind that Ella Fitzgerald is no longer with us.

King Bees @ Billy Bootleggers - July 6

Michael Littlefield (guitar, vocals); Scott Taylor (harmonica, guitar, vocals); Dominic Hornsby (piano, guitar, vocals); Simon Hedley (double bass); Giles Holt (drums) 
(Review by Russell) 
Newcastle's number one dive bar was quiet, at least it was some forty five minutes before the scheduled nine o'clock start. Yes, of course, punters were elsewhere watching eleven not-so-famous Belgians knock out the samba boys. At ten past nine with Billy Bootleggers rapidly filling up King Bees went to work. 

I Don't Know protested Scott Taylor, but dive bar regulars knew different, yet again King Bees were on it from the start. Front line co-star Michael Littlefield claimed he was going Cuckoo, what wasn't in doubt was the audience going cuckoo for the best rhythm and blues band in town. 

Gero Schipmann UK Sextet (all 5 of them!) @ The Globe Jazz Bar, Newcastle - July 7

Gero Schipmann (guitar); Duncan Eagles (tenor/soprano); Sam Leak (piano); Jack Garside (bass); Jordan Dinsdale (drums).
(Review by Lance).
Firstly, I'm completely unapologetic about my references to England and the World Cup. I'm patriotic to the core even though I'm not a Brexiteer but England is edging closer to realising the dream. On Newcastle's Central Station two fans who'd perhaps celebrated, not wisely but well, were lying on the ground recreating the antics of Brazilian 'superstar' Neymar in an earlier game. The police presence looked on with tolerant amusement, they too understood the mood. It was impressive and 'The Neymar Roll' could become the next dance craze although it doesn't have the elegance of  'The Ali Shuffle'.
Bypassing the Russia vs Croatia game being televised in Times Square, I reached the Globe Jazz Bar, where I was pleased to note a goodly crowd had also walked on by and opted for an evening of well-played jazz.

Saturday, July 07, 2018

Tonight @ The Globe

After the euphoria of England's demolition of the Swedes, let's keep the adrenalin flowing at the Globe tonight where German guitarist Gero Schipmann (whatever you do, don't mention the World Cup) in company with the Harry Kane of the tenor saxophone, Duncan Eagles, Sam Leak on piano, Jack Garside on bass and Jordan (yes, another great Jordan) Dinsdale on drums.
This will be one game where you hope it does go into extra time!
8pm. £10.
Lance

A brief and belated note from Vancouver International Jazz Festival June 22 - July 1

GoGo Penguin @ Performance Works June 22.
Chris Illingworth (piano); Nick Blacka (bass);  Bob Turner (drums)
(Review by Kay.)
GoGo Penguin kicked up a perfect storm on the opening night of the Vancouver International Jazz Festival. The Mancunian Trio have established a strong following in Vancouver (this their third visit) and tickets sold out early with both the venue and surrounding garden area packed to capacity. Billed with a very complex description in the Vancouver programme, for me Phil Barnes definition of ‘a beautiful blend of elements of jazz and improvised music with clear nods to modern classical, electronica and old school house music’ comes close to the mark. Including tracks from their latest CD, A Humdrum Star (reviewed by Phil Barnes) interspersed with tracks from previous albums, Illingworth, Blacka and Turner’s performance held their audience spellbound throughout.  With tracks affording glimpses of each of their compelling talent, the seamless, intense connection between this outstanding trio brought a unique quality to their performance and the concert ended with a well- deserved standing ovation.  

Friday, July 06, 2018

Portraits @ Pizza Express, Holborn - June 15

Georgia Turnbull (vocal/keys); Adam Cornell (bass); Ben Fitzgerald (drums); Thomas Dixon (sax); Jamie Mackay (guitar).
(Review by James M).
Buoyed by feedback from recent shows in the North East and supportive reviews in BSH, Portraits headed south for a gig at the Holborn outlet of the respected Pizza Express Live Jazz Club where an enthusiastic audience was treated to 2 x 45-minute sets of original music plus a fresh cover of a well-known jazz standard.
In the audience were a couple who described themselves as ‘New York’s Greenwich Village regulars on vacation.’ They said that Portraits sounded great. I guess they’ve heard plenty of music to compare with at home so their comments weren’t to be taken lightly!

A few reminiscences of the 1978 Cleveland International Jazz Festival

(By Andy Hudson – Co-Promoter)
This was my first really big gig as a producer/promoter,  although, at the time, I was also at the helm of the Newcastle Festival. The happiest experience for me was meeting and getting to know George Wein. After Middlesbro',  we went on to run many events together for nearly 15 years and remain good friends to this day.

The event as a concept was born in late '77 when Cleveland County Council was looking for a high profile event. As a producer living just to the North, I was approached and, along with George, created an event which also brought in the artistes of George's great rival Norman Granz (Manager then of Ella and Oscar). That year it was the strongest single billing in the world for Jazz events (...AND it was in Middlesbrough!) It made National TV with a young, then  BBC, reporter Jeremy Thompson interviewing a completely mystified Ella Fitzgerald in the back alley of some terraced houses just behind the football ground.

Taylor Smith & The Roamin' Jasmine @ Kommunity - July 5

Taylor Smith (double bass/vocals); Georgi Petrov (guitar); Darius Blanton (drums); Jose Holloway (trumpet); Peter Gustorfson (trombone).
(Review by Lance).
Here in Newcastle, we have got many New Orleans bands and none who are actually from the Crescent City itself. However, last night that all changed at Kommunity, a trendy Market St. bar and venue where the local dance group Swing Tyne welcomed, all the way from the Big Easy (via Scarborough), Taylor Smith and The Roamin' Jasmine.
Authentic, contemporary, sounds of yesterday played today. No squeaky liquor stick, raspy tailgate tram, washboard, tuba, slap bass or clunking banjo to send you back out into the night. Instead, it was bassist Smith leading from the front singing in a slightly nasal, but not unpleasant, voice, whilst playing bass alongside the full, round tones of the two horns, electric guitar that had maybe dropped by Nashville en route and some solid drumming from Blanton who had surely paraded along South Rampart St. in his time.

JAZZ WEEKENDER MARKS AYRESOME PARK FESTIVAL ANNIVERSARY

(Press release)
The newly re-opened Middlesbrough Town Hall will include an action-packed jazz weekend in its opening season running from Friday, October 19 to Sunday, October 21.

Programmed by Ros Rigby, who has produced the Gateshead International Jazz Festival over the last 14 years, the Middlesbrough Jazz Weekender will include a nod to the past, but also firmly look to the future.

The last time there was a major jazz festival in Middlesbrough was the ‘Newport Jazz Festival at Ayresome Park’ in July 1978, where large crowds of local jazz enthusiasts still remember seeing such jazz stars as Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, Lionel Hampton and more at the football ground.

Ros Rigby herself attended the event and thought it would be fun to involve at least a couple of the UK-based artists who appeared then and are still touring.

These include the indefatigable Chris Barber with his band and NYJO - the National Youth Jazz Orchestra, who will both feature in the weekend.

Mavis Staples to play Newcastle’s Boiler Shop!

(Preview by Russell)
Legendary gospel and rhythm and blues singer Mavis Staples will be in concert one week from today in a Sage Gateshead promotion at Boiler Shop on South Street, Newcastle. Born into a musical family led by ‘Pops’ Staples, the early years found Chicagoan Mavis Staples singing gospel material and later the popularity of rhythm and blues won the family recording deals with prestigious labels such as Columbia and Atlantic.

Thursday, July 05, 2018

Classic Swing @ Ashington Jazz Club - July 4

Bob Wade (trumpet & flugelhorn); Jim McBriarty (tenor saxophone, clarinet & vocals); Don Fairley (trombone); Colin Haikney (piano); Alan Rudd (bass); Tommy Graham (drums); Olive Rudd (vocals)
Last night saw the last of the current season of concerts at The Elephant (There now follows a two-month summer break – AJC will return in October.)
Featuring the regular line-up that plays at The Ship in Monkseaton every Tuesday lunchtime, we had a well-honed performance from everyone in the band. Special mention must go to drummer Tommy Graham on this, only his second visit to the Elephant. Tommy plays in a style that’s reminiscent of the great Jackie Denton. As a youngster, Tom had lessons from Jack. When Tom completed his training Jack was reported to have given Tom this compliment:“I like the way you play – you remind me of me!”
Tommy got rapturous applause for his drum solo on Caravan. Olive was featured to great effect on lots of numbers including It Don’t Mean a Thing. Jim Mc delivered a vocal on Rockin’ Chair.
For me the sign of a good jazz night is when both the audience and the band go home happy. This happened last night. Only one problem. Everyone was exhausted by the heat. The concert room at The Elephant has only one window that opens!
John T.

Festival-goers are vowing to drink less at events this summer

 (By Doug Shields)
The days of festival-goers drinking themselves into oblivion are on the wane – after a study found a third of music fans are vowing to drink less at events this summer.

Researchers who carried out a detailed study found enjoying the atmosphere and making the most of the whole experience are now more of a priority than necking booze.

It also emerged many will ditch social media, opt for healthier food choices and practice ‘mindfulness’ in order to be ‘in the moment’ and get more from their festival experiences.

Despite living in the digital age, filming acts on smartphones is a no-no for 23 percent of festival revellers, with 37 percent preferring to watch bands ‘live’ rather than through a lens.

A further 62 percent feel social media is a distraction that hinders their festival experience, whilst seven in 10 (71 percent) plan to indulge in a ‘digital detox’ and ditch their smartphones altogether.

CD Review: Marty Elkins - Fat Daddy.

Marty Elkins (vocals); Jon-Erik Kellso (trumpet); James Chirillo (guitar); Joel Diamond (piano/organ/alto); Steve Ash (piano); Lee Hudson (bass); Taro Okamoto (drums); Leopoldo Fleming (congas).
(Review by Lance).
Another singer, another wowser! Tuesday it was Allegra Levy, today it's Marty Elkins. Two girls successfully mining the GASbook, both able to convey the emotions expressed by the lyricists without over-emoting.
Unlike Levy, Elkins doesn't stray into more contemporary waters but stays well within the 'golden era' that stretched from the 1920s to the mid-1950s. This isn't a criticism of either. Both do what they do do, well.
Elkins got hooked on jazz when at college in Boston. She discovered a copy of Billie's Lady in Satin in a Woolworth's bargain bin. The gal was hooked!

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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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