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Bebop Spoken There

Grant Green Jr.: "One thing that most people--especially jazz cats--don't realise is that all of your jazz standards were once pop standards" - DownBeat July 2018).

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Bobby Sanabria: "Tito Puente was not a very tall man, but when he played the timbales he was a giant among men." - DownBeat July 2018).

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Today Saturday June 23

Afternoon

?????

Evening

Get in the Band - 1) Great North Museum (Hancock Museum), 2) Central Station & 3) Sage Gateshead. Times TBC. Free but ticketed. For details visit: www.sagegateshead.com

Eric Burdon & the Animals + Hilton Valentine’s Skiffledogs - Newcastle City Hall, Northumberland Road, Newcastle NE1 8SF. Tel: 08448 112121. 7:30pm. £86.00., £66.00., £46.00.

Teresa Watson Band - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9:00pm. Free.

Dean Stockdale - Zeffirellis, Compston Rd., Ambleside, Cumbria LA22 9AD. 01539 433845. 8:30pm. Free.

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

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Things to come...

Not a lot to do with jazz but, as many of the jazz community also follow football, I couldn't resist snapping this possibly prophetic poster outside a Hebburn Pub!
Lance

The Ushaw Ensemble @ The Lit & Phil - June 22

Paul Edis (MD, composer, piano); Graham Hardy (trumpet, flugelhorn); Graeme Wilson (tenor saxophone, bass clarinet, flute); Emma Fisk (violin); Andy May (Northumbrian pipes); Paul Susans (double bass); Rob Walker (drums, percussion)
(Review by Russell/photo from GIJF).
The Ushaw Ensemble came into being to perform a commissioned work by Paul Edis celebrating the life and work of St Cuthbert. Such was the success of the project that, following performances at Ushaw College and Durham Cathedral, the septet continued as a working unit playing concerts throughout the north east of England, including a rapturously received performance at this year’s Gateshead International Jazz Festival.

Great Exhibition Of The North Opening Night @ Sage Gateshead - June 22

(Report by Ann Alex)
Lance and I had tickets for this. So did (hundreds?) of other people, all crowded into Sage Gateshead, sporting pink armbands. We had access to screens showing crowds and events on the Newcastle quayside, a free film in Sage Two, two bands in Sage One, food stalls selling (1) delicious cod goujons and chips, stall (2) selling roasted meats (3) real ale. From the concourse came the tones of the Soundscape, Mark Fell’s Protomusic # 1, ‘sonic structures, based on real sounds of the North’ it says, in other words, trains, bridge sounds, industrial sounds, and also sounds from musical instruments, drums and the voice of one Ann Alexander, (see poster) though you wouldn’t know it, as when I recorded this, I simply had to make strange sounds, not singing. (No cheeky comments please!) We saw few people from either folkie or jazzy circles, and lots of young people were present, which was heartening.

Jazz Jam @ The Court Inn, Durham.

Jazz Jam is back this Sunday at a new location: The Court Inn! Playing in the house band - Matthew MacKellar on Drums, Francis Tulip on Guitar, Daniel Garel on saxophone and Angus MacNaughton on Bass. If you want to play please come along to show off your skills or simply sit back and enjoy the vibe! ***Make sure you arrive early to avoid disappointment!!*** vocalists and instrumentalists are welcome to sit in with the house band.

Friday, June 22, 2018

CD Review: Bob Mintzer Big Band/New York Voices - Meeting of Minds

(Review by Lance).
What a combination! Arguably, the world's best big band and, quite probably, the best vocal ensemble on the planet dining on some of the tastiest tunes and lyrics served up by master musical chefs such as Johnny Mercer; Cole Porter; Vincent Youmans; Hoagy Carmichael; Jerome Kern; Dorothy Fields; Yip Harburg; Fred Coots; Burton Lane and Gene DePaul. 
Vocal harmonies that give you goosebumps and instrumental solos that had me applauding even though I was in 'The Den' listening alone! all made possible thanks to the vocal arrangements of Darmon Meader and the band charts, as arranged, by Bob Mintzer. Meader also combined with Eldridge to arrange the emotive I Get Along Without You Very Well where Eldridge took the vocal lead.

Jam Session @ The Fire Station, Sunderland - June 21.

Stu Collingwood (piano); Andy Champion (bass); Matt MacKellar (drums) + Alan Marshall (alto); Zöe Gilby (vocal).
(Review by Lance/Alan Marshall photo by Russell).
The weekly jam at the Sunderland hostelry hasn't quite caught fire yet (pun intended) in terms of  sitters-in or sitters-out but, going by the quality of the house trio it is surely only a matter of time before the word gets around and, like at the Jazz Café, the line forms on the right.
Horace Silver's Opus de Funk set the mood with MacKellar driving from the backseat whilst Collingwood and Champion negotiated the circuit like the Formula One players that they are.
You and the Night and the Music was calmer but no less cool.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

The Danny Allan Band @ Dormans Jazz Club Middlesbrough - June 7

Danny Allan (alto sax); James Harrison (keys); Anthony Ord (bass); Jon Elliott (guitar); and Tom Chapman (drums).
The June guest band, comprising of five young, highly talented, well-known local musicians provided the enthusiastic audience with a varied repertoire.
Starting the night off with an Indie style song, appropriately titled Intro, they clearly demonstrated their musical ability. A favourite of mine, Taking a Chance on Love, followed. It was played with great feeling.
Anthony was featured on Herbie Hancock's Chameleon and Jon on Affirmation.  The first set closed with Misty featuring the band’s leader, Danny.
A fast and swinging version of Sam Jones Del Sasser, which opened up the second set, was followed by a melodic version of Anita Jones’ Sweet Love. Steps to Heaven put Tom in the spotlight to which he responded with an impressive drum solo.  An interesting arrangement of Spain saw both Danny and James taking great solos as well as playing Congas!
After several more numbers, the session drew to a close with a fine version of Pick up the Pieces. 
The monthly guest band nights have proved to be highly successful hopefully ensuring the future of Dormans’ Jazz Club which, this summer, will have been running weekly for 8 years. 
Ron H

Emma Fisk's Hot Club du Nord @ Sage Gateshead - June 20.

Emma Fisk (violin); James Birkett (guitar); Dave Harris (guitar); Bruce Rollo (bass).
(Review by Lance/Photo courtesy of Billy Nicholson).
Second set and Venuti/Lang have morphed into Grappelli/Reinhardt. The year is now 1934, Eddie Lang has died tragically young and Fisk has replaced the short, flowing dress with a svelte,  champagne coloured, figure-hugging satin dress evocative of a pre-war Parisian nightclub hostess in Pigalle. For his part, Birkett has augmented his apparel with red socks; apparently a Django fashion faux pas in the eyes of Grappelli but hey! this is 1934, the year that Cole Porter wrote Anything Goes

Emma Fisk & James Birkett Play Venuti & Lang @ Sage Gateshead - June 20.

Emma Fisk (violin); James Birkett (guitar).
(Review by Lance).
A duo set by Birkett and Fisk celebrating the music of Joe Venuti and Eddie Lang followed by a Hot Club set by les tout ensemble better known as Emma Fisk's Hot Club du Nord.
Just as Venuti and Lang found a musical rapport in the 1920s, Birkett and Fisk have done likewise some 80/90 years later. Last night's performance showed just how timeless good jazz of any vintage is.
James and Emma may not be the trailblazers that Joe and Eddie were but it required their virtuoso talents to present it in an acceptable way to a present-day audience and the audience present yesterday showed their appreciation with prolonged applause at the end of the set.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Jazz Café Jam Session - June 19

(Review by Lance),
Jam sessions are unpredictable events. Some nights nobody turns up whilst other nights just about everyone shows. Invariably, the instrumental balance is rarely an even one. The other week we had alto saxes growing out of our ears whereas this week there was ne'er an Eb horn in sight although tenors were brandished freely. On this occasion, however, it was the piano that prevailed. Not one of your plug in and wind up keyboards but the good old house Hyundai upright which, defronted and hammers bared, laid down the invitation to "play me" and many did.
Stu Collingwood, with MacKellar and Grainger fuelling the engine - it was to be a long night for Paul, not another bass player in sight - paid tribute to the weather with A Foggy Day and Here's That Rainy Day before bequeathing the piano chair to Ben Richardson who added Misty to the weather report before taking off with How High the Moon?
Kate O'Neill stepped up to the plate for a rendition of  Summertime delivered with a voice that exudes raw emotion. Charismatic, a true original. The Very Thought of You had some growly tenor from John Rowlands and more earthy singing from Kate. She doesn't just sing but seems to act the words as she brings her musical drama to a traumatic close. Next stop Covent Garden!  
End of Act One.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

CD Review: Nick Costley-White. Detour Ahead

Nick Costley-White (guitar); Matt Robinson (piano); Conor Chaplin (bass); Dave Hamblett (drums): Sam Rapley (bass clarinet).
(Review by Lance).
It may be June but it seems to be jazz that is bursting out all over going by the endless stream of albums and young musicians that are arriving on the scene almost daily. Not just in London, but wherever there are seats of musical learning that incorporate jazz into the curriculum such as Birmingham, Leeds and, of course, Durham, Newcastle and Sage Gateshead. Whereas in the past an aspiring bass player would turn up at a jam session with an instrument still showing the chalk marks on the fingerboard hoping to sit in and thus further his knowledge from the gnarled veterans on the stand, these days, it's the gnarled veterans learning from the youngsters whose minds are crammed full of pentatonic scales, Lydian or Dorian modes along with polytonal themes.

Monday, June 18, 2018

CD Review: Alchemy Sound Project - Adventures in Time and Space

Samantha Boshnack (trumpet/flugel); Erica Lindsay (tenor); Salim Washington (tenor/flute/bass clarinet); Michael Spearman (trombone), Sumi Tonooka (piano), David Arend (double bass), Johnathan Blake (drums/perc)
(Review by Dave Brownlow)
Adventures in Time and Space, the second album by the group Alchemy Sound Project, displays its further development since 2016. The five core members, all talented players and composers, have  contributed charts to the project which aims to combine “chamber jazz, symphonic music, modern jazz and big band.” Trombonist Michael Spearman and drummer Johnathan Blake complete the band for this release. There is much to like about this CD – imaginative themes, ‘far-out’ but logical contemporary solos, wide-ranging tonal palettes, a terrific rhythm section built on some ‘foundational’ bass playing from Arend (who plays bass like it should be played – not like a guitar !) and ‘chivvying’ drums from Blake.

Mark Williams & Joel Byrne-McCullough @ Blaydon Jazz Club - June 17

Mark Williams (guitar) & Joel Byrne-McCullough (guitar)
(Review by Russell/Photos courtesy of Roly). 
A select audience, as they say, comprised of Blaydon Jazz Club diehards and the jazz guitar fan. It so happened Brazil (versus Switzerland) entertained a global television audience as Mark Williams and Joel Byrne McCullough took to the stage in the lounge of the Black Bull. All thoughts of football were banished to the back of the mind to focus attention on two fine guitarists at work.

The Jazz Lads with James Harrison @ Saltburn Golf Club - June 3

James Harrison (keys); Ray Dales (alto); Ian Bosworth (guitar); Adrian Beadnell (bass); and Mark Hawkins (drums)
A record audience at the Golf Club were given a special treat when James Harrison guested with the band for the first time.
The evening’s programme was a mix of popular Jazz standards starting with Coming Home Baby and Sonny Rollins Doxy. It soon became clear to the members of the audience that James was an exceptional keyboard  player particularly after he was featured in a rousing rendition of Caravan. 
Ian was then featured in George Benson's version of Affirmation followed by Ray with Since I Fell For You. Further numbers included Misty and Work Song,
When Sunny Gets Blue, the funky Jazz style of The Chicken then finishing the night off with There Will Never Be Another You.
The monthly Jazz night at Saltburn Golf Club now seems to be firmly established.

 Ron H

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Preview: Indigo Jazz Voices @ The Globe - June 21

Five talented individual singers performing 15 or maybe 20 songs between them, accompanied by the wonderfully talented Alan law on piano – what’s not to like? The songs will include It’s Alright With Me; Willow Weep For Me; The Touch Of Your Lips; and Just One of Those Things. And the singers are Jenny Lingham, Jen Errington, Carrie McCullock, Barry Keatings and David Edgar.

The music begins at 7.30pm and there is a charge of £5, cheap at the price.
Be there next Thursday, or miss a good evening of jazz!

Ann Alex

Tonight! Great Guitars @ Blaydon Jazz Club

At the end of the twentieth century, two Belfast lads travelled to Newcastle to study jazz guitar with James Birkett. Dr Birkett had developed the pioneering BMus (Hons) degree programmes in Jazz, Popular and Commercial Music and the Irishmen were to prove to be two of many success stories down the years. This evening (Sunday, June 17) the Belfast lads make a first visit to Blaydon Jazz Club to play a concert as an accomplished jazz guitar duo.

Following graduation Mark Williams and Joel Byrne-McCullough went their separate ways; Mark decided to make his home here on Tyneside with Joel moving to Manchester where he became an in demand session musician. Recently, Joel returned to the northeast and they resumed their jazz guitar duo partnership. A gig at their old haunt (then Keith Crombie’s Jazz Café) confirmed that the boys were playing better than ever. An appearance at Ushaw Jazz Festival quickly followed and as and when they have a free date in their busy schedules they’ll happily play a duo set together.

Tonight at the Black Bull on Bridge Street in Blaydon Mark and Joel will play some of their favourite numbers. Perhaps some Jim Hall, perhaps Bill Frisell, John Scofield. Whatever they choose to play it’ll be masterful stuff. Get along in time for an eight o’clock start, it’s a mere fiver on the door. Jazz guitar at its very best.
Russell
(Photo courtesy of Mike Tilley)          

CD Review: Lenore Raphael, Wayne Wilkinson & Chris Hodgkins @ Pizza Express Live, Dean Street, London

Chris Hodgkins (trumpet); Lenore Raphael (piano); Wayne Wilkinson (guitar).
(Review by Lance)
Think back to Sweets at The Haig or Jonah Jones at The Embers or Ruby Braff at the Guildhall complaining of the smell from the river. You've got all of that here and more (apart from the smell). For those, such as myself, who think of Chris Hodgkins only as a former director of Jazz Services the revelation that he plays such swinging, lyrical trumpet is a very pleasant surprise indeed.
Twelve choice standards and a blues credited to the trio serve to remind me what jazz used to be like.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

The Early Birds @ The Lit & Phil - June 16

James Metcalf (trumpet); Alex Thompson (tenor saxophone); Ben Lawrence (piano); Alex Shipsey (bass); Dylan Thompson (drums) + Paul Edis (MD, alto saxophone)
(Review by Russell). 
Saturday morning, eleven o’clock, the Lit and Phil, it’s the Early Bird Band. The guys had been on the premises from nine in the morning working on one or two charts and at the appointed time the doors opened to the public. And there is a public for this workshopping band, such is the interest generated by the new wave of musicians making a name for themselves. MD Paul Edis said there would be three and a half, perhaps four numbers in the set.

Martin Speake @ Opus 4 Jazz Club, Darlington - June 15

Martin Speake (alto saxophone); Paul Edis (piano); Andy Champion (double bass); Russ Morgan (drums)
(Review by Russell) 
Ingerlund! Ingerlund! Ingerlund! Yes, it’s that time of year, England expects…not very much. The quadrennial global festival of football is underway. In the lounge of the Traveller’s Rest the World Cup match in progress – Portugal v Spain, Even-Stephen at 2-2 – was being watched by the few, with the majority more concerned with getting the beers in and then climbing the stairs to claim a seat in readiness for the appearance of Martin Speake.

Durham University Big Band @ The Jazz Café - June 15

(Review by Lance/Photos courtesy of Ken Drew.)
If I thought the Bold Big Band were loud at the Dun Cow on Tuesday, DUBB, in the Jazz Café's upper room, made them seem like a string quartet. This is no reflection on either band but on the dimensions of the room. The Dun Cow had more space for the sound to travel and the chat level of some of the infidels in the audience also absorbed the band's decibels with a few decibels of their own. At the Caff, the sound was trapped and the audience a more attentive one. The main thing about both gigs was the sight of so many young musicians playing, so brilliantly, the music we love.
There was also an aura of sadness at both gigs as, being the end of term, several of the key players are departing for pastures new.
Tonight saw final appearances from alto/soprano saxist Dan Garel and drummer Tristan Bacon. Star players both, their departure akin to that of a Newcastle United Number 9 (Jackie Milburn, Super Mac, Alan Shearer etc.) leaving/retiring.

CD Review: Gary Brumburgh - Moonlight

(Review by Ann Alex)
Gary Brumburgh is a trained actor and it shows in his authentic interpretation of these songs. I’d like to suggest that all jazz singers should study some acting. Brumburgh comes from Buffalo, New York. He has acted in theatre, films and television, but in 2003 he decided to focus on music, and he performed in jazz clubs around Los Angeles. This was interrupted by serious illness from 2012, but he was able to return to singing in 2016. He had issued a CD in 2008, and Moonlight is his second CD.  

Friday, June 15, 2018

CD Review: Rick Simpson - Klammer.

(Review by Mark Robertson).
Even a casual look at Klammer by keyboard player Rick Simpson makes clear that this will not be the usual collection of Usain Bolt paced practice routines applied to “The Great American Songbook”. With titles like Beware of Gabriel Garrick imitators and Unsubstainabubble it’s clear we’re venturing into an area of quintessentially English jazz inhabited by the likes of Ballamy, Bates, and Jenkins. 

With Simpson playing a variety of keyboards, it’s obvious that he has outgrown his narrower early influences. Like Django Bates, credited in the sleeve notes, Simpson’s undoubted musicianship takes second place to the ideas he wishes to convey. Never more so than on the mercurial How Deep is Your Disrespect?  

Mark Williams & John Pope @ The Globe Jazz Bar - June 14

Mark Williams (guitar); John Pope (bass)
(Review by Steve H/Photo courtesy of Dave Parker). 
A recent article posted on these pages was so negative as to be almost offensive. Personally, if I  don’t like a gig I don’t feel the necessity to broadcast the fact on social media, after all what do I know? Luckily Thursday night's gig was one that I felt very comfortable reporting about.
Mark and John seem to be in more bands and combinations then there are books in the bible both old and new combined though whether they’ve been in a quartet with Matthew and Luke I can’t confirm. 

Alan Law and Julija Jacenaite @ The Jazz Café - June 14

Alan Law (piano); Julija Jacenaite (vocals).
(Review by Lance).
If I'd had such a thing as a three-sided coin I'd have spun it - such were the choices I faced. Jam Session at the Fire Station in Sunderland? Mark Williams & John Pope at the Globe? Ruth Lambert at the Jazz Café?
Tough calls. However, when I heard that Ruth's gig was cancelled due to her continuing eye problems and that Alan Law and Julija were replacing her at the Caff I felt morally obliged to show some support. 

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Preview: Hot Club du Nord @ Sage Gateshead - June 20

(Preview/photo by Russell)
The Rye introduced Emma Fisk to the joys and rigours of touring up and down the land in a transit van. After a few years on the road the County Durham based violinist decided the time was right to go to university – Newcastle University, as it happens – with her sights set on becoming a BA, then an MA. Mission accomplished, Fisk accepted an invitation to join Djangology and in no time the Hot Club outfit established itself as one of the best-loved bands on the northeast jazz scene.

Djangology, later to become Djangologie, recorded albums, chalking up countless gigs, then, as is often the way, decided to call it a day, the four musicians keen to work on new projects. And this is where Hot Club du Nord came into the picture. 

Dun Cow Jam Session - June 13.

(Review by Lance).
It had been reported in previous dispatches that Paul Edis had taken up singing and we discovered, in the very first number, that this was true when he delivered a vocal chorus on It's Only a Paper Moon that did no harm at all. Think Mel Tormé without the tricky bits and you've got the picture.
That was the only trio track as, no sooner had Paul's dulcet tones faded than first time visitor - all the way from Germany - Ingo Torbohm, armed with tenor sax, jumped into the arena.
It's always a daunting task for anyone to be first to show at a pub jam session. The audience, still sober, are more attentive to the performer than they are later when, in some cases, conversation takes preference.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

CD Review: Mishka Adams & Beto Caletti - Puentes Invisibles

Mishka Adams (vocals); Beto Caletti (vocals, guitars, bass, keys, arr.); Diego Alejandro (drums); Nuria Martinez (flutes on Mil Vezes); Pedro Carneiro Silva (piano on Puso Mo).
(Review by Lance).
Given the South American music contained here I mistakingly, albeit understandably, assumed this would be a tribute to the late Tito Puentes. I was wrong, that Puentes is, indeed, invisible here.
Or is he?
Very little South American music hasn't been influenced by Tito and vice-versa. However, here, puentes translates to bridges and the bridges are invisible as the duo journey through South America - different countries, different languages, different rhythms all blending beautifully and, even though the foreign tongues sing words that I no entiendo the charming sound of the voices more than compensate for my multilingual shortcomings.

Newcastle University Summer Music Festival - Battle of the Bands @ The Dun Cow, Jesmond - June 12

Jimmy Jefford (tenor/MD); Mercedes Phillips (alto/soprano); David Johnson (alto); Ben Chinery, Danny Wilson, Elliott Todd (trumpet/flugel); Simon Hirst, Bertie Marks, Alex Utting (trombones); Ben Richardson (piano); Luke Gaul (guitar); Hugh ? (bass guitar); Harry Still (drums).
(Review by Lance/Photos by Russell).
Bloody, Bold and Resolute -The Bold Big Band are well-named. Not for them the Li'l Darlin's and Moonlight Serenades that some larger ensembles offer by way of contrast. The BBB's idea of contrast is to play ff instead of fff. No satin slippers, they put the boot in with a vengeance which makes them, even in a slightly diluted form (only 3 saxes), a force to be reckoned with.
A rhythm section to die for and soloists who could hold their own anywhere. Couple this with a contemporary repertoire from such as Pat Metheny, Gordon Goodwin, Chuck Mangione, Herbie Hancock and Horace Silver and you have the recipe for a well-cooked meal.

Another Man Done Gone - An appraisal by Ann Alex.

I wrote in a previous post of a blues song that I heard performed by one of the students at the Final Recitals of the Folk and Traditional Course which were held at Sage Gateshead.  After some research, I was amazed to discover that many singers, such as Johnny Cash and John Mayall, had recorded it, yet I’d never heard it before. The song was first collected by the famous folk and blues researcher, Alan Lomax, in the 19C. I simply just had to do one of my song appraisals, so here goes:-

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

RIP Jon Hiseman (1944-2018)

Earlier today (June 12), the news broke that drummer, Jon Hiseman, had passed away due to brain cancer. Best known in jazz circles for his work with his wife, saxophonist Barbara Thompson, in two versions of Colosseum and Thompson's Paraphernalia with whom I was thrilled to see him in concert at the Peoples Theatre in Newcastle in 1985. Unfortunately, from where I was sitting, the surreptitious photo I took came out with Jon's head obscured by a cymbal. It was also the most amazing drumkit I'd seen up to that time - apart from Eric Delaney with his kettle drums that is.
He was a phenomenal player and on a par with any of the players on either side of the jazz-rock divide.
Jon Hiseman was 73. He will be sadly missed.
Obituary.
Lance.

That Was the Week That Was by Ann Alex

My Week Of Music: May 30 - June 3 (not quite a week).
This week was one of my favourite weeks of the year and I felt as if I’d been on holiday without ever leaving the area. It was the week of final recitals from the students of the Folk and Traditional Music Degree, which take place at Sage Gateshead. And this year, my week was rounded off by the Djazz Durham Jazz Festival at the weekend, the icing on the cake.
Obviously, I’m not about to give a blow by blow account of the folk music (‘thank goodness’ says Lance), and I’ve accounted for myself at the Djazz already. However, jazz fans will be interested to know of some jazz influences which cropped up at the Sage performances.
I gather that the students on this degree are encouraged to have flexible ideas about their music, so we saw a fiddler who played some gypsy style jazz and a singer who used loops and various electronic devices, and performed a traditional folk song to beat-boxing sounds.

I like to savvy what the band is playing...

I went with a mate to the Bridge Hotel on Sunday night.
We thought the 'music' was awful and left after the first set. I hadn't realised that it was billed as improvised music. I don't mind songs that have some improvisation but the stuff last night had no melody, no rhythm, no harmony, and, in my opinion, no individual instrumental skills on display. There is a view that the interest in jazz generally is falling and I feel that this sort of stuff is giving jazz a bad reputation and doing it no favours at all.
We left after the first set.
Peter W.

The Julija Jacenaite Trio @ The Globe - June 10

Julija Jacenaite (vocals, shakers); Steve Glendinning (guitar); Paul Grainger (bass)
(Review by Ann Alex/photo from stock)
Once again, another great performance from this trio, to a small but appreciative audience in this Jazz Coop gig at the Globe. Many of the songs began with the whole song sung slowly, then a gradual build up of solos, scat and skilled interpretation. Wave began as a gentle sea, quiet voice and shakers, smooth scat, bass solo (early on), then with an extended ending, very rhythmical. Alice in Wonderland began with voice and guitar only. The A Train was running faster, with bass and guitar on the tracks together, then slower at the end, when it speaks of possibly missing the train or decreasing speed as it approaches the station.
There were some original songs from Julija’s recent CD: Moon Moods, Down By The River, and Lyja, which is about rain, ending with ‘I love you’ - sung in Lithuanian - and a song about a Facebook profile.

RIP Clarence Fountain

Clarence Fountain, lead singer with the Blind Boys of Alabama passed away in Baton Rouge on June 3. He was 88.
I saw the gospel group at Sage Gateshead in May 2014 although I'm not sure if Fountain, one of the group's founders members, was with them as although he had officially retired he still made occasional appearances and tours although it had been reported, prior to the tour, that he was in ill health even back then. 
He will be sadly missed by the group's many fans.
Lance.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Crombie Rides Again!

The big news is that the long-awaited documentary, The Geordie Jazzman - Abi Lewis' affectionate portrait, warts and all, of the late Keith Crombie - is to be given a public showing, not only at Newcastle's Tyneside Cinema but also at Home as part of the Manchester Jazz Festival.
A private viewing back in 2016 impressed the majority of those invited and filmmaker Abi Lewis has kept us informed as to
what has happened in the meantime ...

New Funding To Support Young Jazz Artists

(Media release: 11 June 2018)

Aspiring young jazz musicians will benefit from a £5,000 grant awarded to Sage Gateshead from Ronnie Scott’s Charitable Foundation.
The fund, together with a grant from the Esmeé Fairbairn Foundation, will enable the international music centre to encourage more young people to take part and progress in jazz music. 

Sage Gateshead runs two jazz ensembles as part of its Young Musicians Programme (YMP): Jazz Attack for 11 to 16-year-olds and Jambone (for more advanced players) for 13 to 19-year-olds.

Emily McDermott, 16, from Sunderland, is an aspiring jazz singer who joined Jambone last year. She found out about Sage Gateshead’s Young Musicians Programme through her singing teacher and then discovered Jambone through a joint residential with Quay Voices (the YMP Youth Choir she had joined).
She said: “Over this year I have gained a huge amount of confidence, especially in my performance thanks to Jambone. I have grown as a musician and made new friends with the same interests. Jambone has opened up new opportunities for me and it has definitely influenced my career choices.”

DJazz reflections...

(...by Steve H)
Just a brief note on the bands from the Djazz festival that I saw but haven’t had a previous mention on BSH.
On Friday night, the Empty Shop hosted 2 bands from out of town.
First up was Manchester’s Early Nite. I had enjoyed seeing them about a year ago at The Bridge and once again they produced a very enjoyable set. The band play short sharp improvised pieces with a high degree of energy. They also like to add a touch of humour to their performances which is fine in small doses but, on this occasion, they possibly overdid the jokes to the detriment of an otherwise very fine performance.
Belfast outfit Robocobra Quartet concluded the proceedings for day one of the festival.  

Zbigniew Namyslowski Quintet

Back in 1964, Zbigniew Namyslowski set Newcastle on fire after a memorable session at the New Orleans Club. I wasn't actually there but the number of people 'of a certain age' who have, over the years, waxed eloquent about it (substitute 'waxed eloquent' with raved) makes me think I had been there!. Listening to the album, Lola, recorded around that time makes me realise I was there, albeit in spirit rather than in person.
Let's move forward some 54 years to the July, 2018, issue of DownBeat where we discover a mention, if not a review, of the aforementioned alto player who actually released a newly recorded album last year - Polish Jazz--Yes! Warner Music is the company that released the disc and, if it is half as good as Lola then seek it out. Who knows, it might even be better! 
Lance.

CD Review: David Ferris Septet - Alphabets.

David Ferris (piano/comp/arr); Hugh Pascall (trumpet); Richard Foote (trombone); Chris Young (alto/soprano); Vittorio Mura (tenor/baritone); Nick Jurd ((bass); Euan Palmer (drums) + guest vocalist - Maria Väli.
(Review by Lance).
Poetry and jazz have never been my idea of compatible bedfellows. In fact poetry, with or without anything, has rarely been my preferred reading/listening. This may have been due to being blitzed with Shakespeare during my misspent schooldays.
However, since then, Cleo Laine gave Shakespeare a reprieve with the release of her album Shakespeare and all that Jazz and I subsequently read The Complete Works over a relatively short period of time. I also met up with Dr Keith Armstrong, an internationally renowned, locally based, poet who, over the years, has kindly provided BSH with the occasional jazz-based poem and, in the process, caused me to soften my feelings.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

And the MD Danced ! The Customs House Big Band with Paul Edis and Emily McDermott @ St. Cuthberts Parish Centre, Crook - June 8.

(Review & Photos by Jerry.)
A beautiful evening saw the welcome return of the Customs House Big Band to Crook for some great pizza, even better music and still no raffle prize for yours truly! I’ll keep trying! Ruth Lambert could not be there – best wishes from all us fans, Ruth – but Paul Edis and Emily McDermott were, to provide some vocals and some variety.
Bang on time (I love that!) the band launched us into a tune with a nice, clean finish (I love that, too) which I thought Peter Morgan announced as Recorda Me, but which I couldn’t find on Google when trying to check. I found the mic. a problem all night and missed many of the intros, which was irritating, and struggled to hear Emily McDermott’s vocals, which was criminal! Anyway, Paul Edis then took centre stage to conduct while the band played some of his own arrangements and compositions.

First up was Bright Mississippi, a Thelonius Monk contrafact (yes, I’ve been Googling again!) based on Sweet Georgia Brown, some bits of which I was still able to recognise. Loved it, as I do the original. Among other solos here we had the first of many from another Jambone graduate, Bradley Johnston. Great stuff! Another clean-picked solo followed on The Coast, a Jobim influenced Edis original where flute and piano (sorry, can’t name the soloists) were also prominent.

Saturday, June 09, 2018

Java Jive

Our man Russell, ever with his ear to the ground, supplied this photo of Soznak busking in Newcastle city centre today. He reports a rousing session featuring, among others: Jude Murphy, David Gray, Graham Robinson (?) and Paul Miskin. Our eagle-eyed observer also took a shot of the empty, soon to be opened, Eden Juice Bars on Nelson St, who, when up and percolating, are promising coffee and jazz music - watch this space...
Lance





Kickin' the Gong Around

The 2018 Queen's Birthday honours List has three jazz names heading for the Palace and one or two non-jazz names who should, perhaps, be heading for the Tower
The jazzers are: Julian Joseph who clicks for an OBE, Orphy Robinson who scores for an MBE as does Dennis Rollins (pictured at Scarborough Jazz Festival, 2007.)
Joseph, apart from being a fine pianist and composer, is also a jazz broadcaster and, if he ever quits music, maybe he could become Head of Northern Rail. Vibesman Robinson has appeared in the northeast several times going back to 2000, maybe even earlier, whilst Dennis Rollins was here in April this year blowing 'bone with Maceo Parker at GIJF. On that performance alone, "They should have made Mister Rollins a Lord."
And, talking about honours, The All Party Parliamentary Jazz Awards are once again upon us.
Who knows but that this may be the year when BSH gets nominated in the Media Category - Well I can dream, can't I?
To cast your vote go to the group website. You've got until July 4...
Lance

King Bees @ The Magnesia Bank, North Shields - June 8

Michael Littlefield (guitar & vocals); Scott Taylor (vocals, harmonica & guitar); Dominic Hornsby (piano, guitar & vocals); Simon Hedley (double bass) & Giles Holt (drums)
(Review by Russell)
If Friday at the Magnesia Bank isn’t busy then we really are struggling. In time, the punters arrived, the band on stage, back in time Chicago 19 and 55. The King Bees reign supreme playing a brand of South Side Chicago blues you expect to find only in your heavenly dreams. Down the Metro line in town a singer-songwriter inexplicably held 50,000 in his thrall, ready to do it again tonight, then a third time tomorrow night. Make no mistake, the Maggie Bank is where it was at.

Sonny Boy, Jimmy Rogers, Little Walter, Magic Sam…these are the guys to go hear. Yeah, they’re long gone but their music lives on thanks to many a two-bit bar room blues band. Find yourself the best blues band around and it puts things into perspective – King Bees are in a class of their own.

Friday, June 08, 2018

RIP Ray Tones

Sad to learn of the death, on May 26, of another South Tyneside pianist/organist Ramon (Ray) Tones. Although better known on the CIU Club circuit than the jazz scene Ray was, nevertheless, a fine jazz pianist heavily influenced by Erroll Garner and his famed Concert by the Sea album. Resident for many years at The Shack in Boldon and later at the Alberta in Jarrow. Ray was well-respected for his all-round ability irrespective of the genre.

DJazz: The Durham City Jazz Festival: DU Jazz Soc Septet - June 3

Dan Garel (alto sax); Zach Fox (tenor sax); Michael Williams (trumpet); Patrick Morris  (trombone); Tom Burgess (guitar); Harry Lewendon-Evans (bass);  Will Elias (drums)
(Review by Russell). 
Listening to the Du Jazz Soc Septet in Empty Shop the thought occurred that the Durham student jazz scene boasts many talented musicians. Some are music students, others are science boffins, the common denominator is their love of jazz. The 2017-18 student big band is as good as you’re likely to find and at jam sessions, you’ll hear some cracking soloists. This Empty Shop gig held particular significance in that it was the venue’s final event before closure. Empty Shop’s supremo Carlo assured one and all that Empty Shop MKII will re-emerge, in some form, in due course.

Jam Session at the Fire Station, Sunderland - June 7.

Stu Collingwood (piano); Andy Champion (bass); Russ Morgan (drums) + Kate O'Neill (vocal); Matt MacKellar (drums); Gordon Brown (alto); Adam Cornell (bass guitar).
(Review by Lance).
The third week of the Fire Station jams and, I'm pleased to report that in addition to the house trio there were four more jammers than there were on the first week (I missed the second week). Four totally different players and approaches.
The trio kicked off with Come Rain or Come Shine setting the mood for the evening which I'm told was the hottest of the year so far, temperature-wise. I'm not quite sure where this was recorded but it certainly wasn't in Sunderland. In fact, as Kate O'Neill sang, It Might as Well be Spring. Prior to this, like all girl singers do, she'd sang Cry me a River and, the not so overworked, Crazy he Calls me. All three delivered in her own distinctive manner.
The ubiquitous Matt took over on drums for Caravan which saw us through to intermission time.

Thursday, June 07, 2018

DJazz: The Durham City Jazz Festival: Haircut, Wash & Dry - June 3

(Review by Russell)
One of the attractions of DJazz is the use of quirky Durham City locations as festival venues. The unexpected and unusual spark interest; Durham Castle, for example, Empty Shop is anything but empty and disused, and then there is a barber’s shop and a launderette. Sunday’s schedule at the festival hub in Fowler’s Yard ran from noon ’til late with some choosing to base themselves there for the duration. Others, including your BSH correspondent, attempted to catch performances, or part performances, at other venues. This meant departing midway through Niffi Osiyemi’s set with the firm intention of returning to catch some of Stu Collingwood’s set (see Fowler’s Yard review).

A stroll over Framwellgate Bridge, up North Road, turn into Neville Street and a few doors up the festival’s smallest venue was open for business. The Barber of Neville offers a haircut, of course,   art on the walls (printmaker Anja Percival), and a bar. During DJazz there is jazz at the Barber of Neville. It isn’t the biggest space – a duo, trio at best – and on the final day of this year’s sold out festival John Pope and Faye MacCalman set up in the shop window to play two short sets.

DJazz: The Durham City Jazz Festival: Fowler’s Yard Sunday - June 3

(Review by Russell)
Following Saturday’s frustrating washout, Sunday in Fowler’s Yard went ahead as scheduled. The DJazz free stage programme attracted a crowd despite the rather cool conditions. Fowler’s Yard’s Hill Island Brewery was open for business and a pint of Brubeck brewed especially for the festival was the obvious choice (see photo)!

Durham University student band WTFunk? opened the afternoon’s entertainment. An enthusiastic outfit, WTFunk? delivered an upbeat set as the audience grew minute by minute. Anyone strolling across Framwellgate Bridge couldn’t fail to hear the jazz emanating from below and doubtless the curious wandered down to see what was going on. 

DJazz: The Durham City Jazz Festival: The Riviera Quartet - June 2

Pete Tanton (trumpet, flugelhorn, vocals); Mark Williams (guitar); Andy Champion (double bass); Russ Morgan (drums)
(Review by Russell)
Pete Tanton’s Riviera Quartet made a return visit to Empty Shop to play a gig at this year’s DJazz weekend. Bassist John Pope wasn’t available on the night so Tanton gave Andy Champion a call. You could say that was a good move. 35c Framwellgate Bridge was full to overflowing to hear the amiable American play trumpet, lots of flugelhorn, and sing. Yes, Pete Tanton sings! The Rivieras offer something different, serious chops, yes, but, more than that, a distinctive sound, all the more distinctive with the recent addition of Tanton’s sweet vocals.

Out of the Red and into the Black for Vieux Carré Jazzmen.

After 5 years at The Red House Farm, the Vieux Carré Jazzmen are starting a new ‘1st-Sunday-of-the-month’ session at The Black Horse, Monkseaton, commencing Sunday 1 July, 8.00 - 10.00pm.  
Pete Wright, trumpet; Jim McBriarty, clarinet; Lawrence McBriarty, trombone; Brian Bennett, banjo; Bill Colledge, string bass and Fred Thompson, drums. 
Lance

CD Review: Pete Lee - The Velvet Rage.

Pete Lee (piano/Rhodes/synth); Josh Arcoleo (sax); Alex Munk (guitar); Huw Foster (bass); Ali Thynne (drums) + The Amika Strings = Laura Senior (violin 1); Rich Jones (violin 2 & jazz); Lucy Nolan (viola); Peggy Nolan (cello). 
Simmy Singh (violin on Stavanger).
(Review by Lance).
A graduate of Leeds College of Music and the Royal Academy of Music  (2012), Lee, on the strength of this, his debut album, must have been an attentive student judging by the seven original compositions composed and arranged by himself. Add his virtuosic piano playing and you have a very well rounded musician.

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Jazz Café Jam Session - June 5.

Bradley Johnston (guitar); Paul Grainger (bass); Tim Johnston (drums) + Ray Johnson (trumpet); Marcus Tham  (piano); Ian Forbes (drums); Julija Jacenaite (vocals); Matthew MacKellar (drums); Chira ? (vocals); John Pope (bass); Joe Davies (trumpet); Michael X (alto); Hazem Mohammed (drums); Chris ? (drums); Ifede Osiyemi (vocal); Pete Gilligan (piano).
(Review by Lance).
As has become the norm, the Jazz Café jams (first and third Tuesday of the month) never fail to deliver the contrast and variety associated with such impromptu performances. Last night was no exception. From the relatively sedate beginning by Grainger and the unrelated Johnstons to the wild, no holds barred, finale by all those still standing it was yet another evening to remember.
Bradley had left his Metheny hat at home. Tonight, at least for the overture - Satin Doll; Giant Steps and Old Folks. Joe Pass held sway, Tim Johnston brushed and Paul Grainger's face took on that of a benign bishop surrounded by believers.

Blog Archive

Submissions for review

Whilst we appreciate the many emails, texts, messages and other communications we receive requesting album/gig reviews on BSH, regrettably, we are unable to reply to them all other than those we are able to answer with a positive response.
Similarly, CDs received by post will only be considered if accompanied by sufficient background material.
Finally, bear in mind that this is a jazz-based site when submitting your album.
Lance

About this blog - contact details.

Bebop Spoken Here -- Here, being the north-east of England -- centred in the blues heartland of Newcastle and reaching down to the Tees Delta and looking upwards to the Land of the Kilt.
Not a very original title, I know; not even an accurate one as my taste, whilst centred around the music of Bird and Diz, extends in many directions and I listen to everything from King Oliver to Chick Corea and beyond. Not forgetting the Great American Songbook the contents of which has provided the inspiration for much great jazz and quality popular singing for round about a century.
The idea of this blog is for you to share your thoughts and pass on your comments on discs, gigs, jazz - music in general. If you've been to a gig/concert or heard a CD that knocked you sideways please share your views with us. Tell us about your favourites, your memories, your dislikes.
Lance (Who wishes it to be known that he is not responsible for postings other than his own and that he's not always responsible for them.)
Contact: lanceliddle@gmail.com I look forward to hearing from you.

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