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Bebop Spoken There

Howlin' Wolf: “He [Charlie Patton] was a nice guy, but he just loved the bottle--like all the rest of the musicians. He was a great drinker.” – (DownBeat December 16, 1967).

Frank Zappa: “Those kids [US students] wouldn't know music if it came up and bit 'em on the ass.” – (DownBeat October 3, 1969).

Today Thursday April 26

Afternoon

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone NE27 0DA. Tel: 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.

Tees Valley Jazzmen - No.1 Market Place, Bishop Auckland DL12 7NJ. Tel: 01388 665533. 12:30pm. Free admission.

Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society - Gateshead Central Library, Prince Consort Road, Gateshead NE8 4LN. 5:00pm. Fortnightly meetings, all welcome.

Evening

Strictly Smokin’ Big Band - Millstone, Haddrick’s Mill Road, South Gosforth, Newcastle NE3 1QL. 0191 2853229. 7pm.

Maine St. Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Holywell Lane, Sunniside, Gateshead NE16 5NJ. 8:30pm. Free.

Bearpark Trio - Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8pm. £3 (£2 student/MU.).

New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band - Oxbridge, Oxbridge Lane, Stockton on Tees TS18 4AW. 8:30pm.

Tees Hot Club w. Kevin Eland (tpt); Donna Hewitt (sax); Graham Thompson (keys) - Dorman’s Club, Oxford Road, Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. Tel: 01642 823813. 9pm. Free.

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

Friday, April 27, 2018

CD Review: Daryl Sherman - Lost in a Crowded Place

Daryl Sherman (piano/vocal); Jon-Erik Kellso (trumpet); Don Vappie (guitar, banjo, vocal duet on You Go To My Head); Jesse Boyd (bass); Boots Malleson (bass on Rainbow Hill).
(Review by Lance).
Readers may be forgiven for thinking this is Daryl Sherman Week on BSH. Well, maybe it is!
This is a delightful album displaying Daryl's distinctive, often winsome, voice bringing to mind Shirley Horn and Blossom Dearie without actually sounding like either.
The absence of a drummer gives it an intimate feel, almost as if it was taking place in your living room. Kellso’s lyricism recalls Bobby Hackett which adds to the ambiance whilst bass and guitar blend in perfectly with the piano.
And the songs! What a selection:

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Tales of the Unexpected: Dun Cow Jam Session - April 25

Whitney Balliett famously called jazz The Sound of Surprise which indeed it often is and not just by the music but also by the unexpected appearance of a jazz legend in a neighbourhood club or bar.
Back in the 1960s, members of the Basie Band paid an unexpected visit to Newcastle’s, now long gone, Downbeat Club after a City Hall concert and jammed with the Emcee Five. Harry Connick Jr. sat in at the old Jazz Café and, on another occasion, Wynton Marsalis called in.
Eric Delaney visited Rosie’s and the New Crown in South Shields and sat in (on snare drum) at the Porthole in North Shields. George Wein was impressed by what he heard at Blaydon Jazz Club (Paul Edis Trio) and Sting made an unexpected visit to Hoochie Coochie just last year; an event that made the Nationals for all the wrong reasons!

A Triple Treat with the Paul Donnelly Trio @ Dormans Club Middlesbrough April 19.

 Paul Donnelly (guitar); Stuart Collingwood (keys/bass pedal); and Paul Smith (drums).
Continuing with the guest band nights at Dormans, a most successful session was held with the newly formed "Paul Donnelly Trio" playing to a full house. 
The three highly regarded musicians impressed the audience from the start with Monk's Straight No Chaser, followed by Work Song and the inimitable Paul Smith playing a fine solo. A mixed repertoire included This Masquerade, St.Thomas, Pat Metheny's James, Take Five, West Coast Blues with nice Wes style octave work from Paul and an interesting version of Leaving On a Jet Plane. On Jimmy Smith's The Cat Stuart played a great organ solo with fine bass pedal work. After several more numbers, the night was finished with Wes Montgomery's Jingles and an encore of Seven Come Eleven. It was satisfying to see such a good turn out which included many local musicians. 
Ron H.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Press Release: DJAZZ - The Durham City Jazz Festival

Various venues
Durham City
June 1st - 3rd
Tickets: £10 available from buytickets.at/djazz

A festival is bringing together an eclectic mix of musicians and ensembles to challenge perceptions and blur the lines of jazz as we know it!
DJAZZ - The Durham City Jazz Festival started in 2017 to celebrates the genre in all of its forms. After attracting more than 2000 people in its first year with a mix of ticketed and free events the festival returns to excite, intrigue and entertain in equal measure.

The festival brings a fresh perspective to the world of jazz, celebrating it’s vast and varied nature. The focus is to bring together a number of different musical styles, groups, networks and audiences in the small but perfectly formed city of Durham. At only £10 for a full weekend ticket, festival-goers gain access to over 30 events ranging from intimate sets in hidden locations to big names in big venues! Think cafes, bookshops and barber shops to bars, venues and stunning historic buildings. This not only has the effect of pairing up acts with a unique environment but is part of the festival’s ambition to reach new audiences and get music lovers to try something new!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Bob Dorough (Dec. 12, 1923 - April 23, 2018)

I came to Bob Dorough some way behind the pack. In fact, it was only when I received a review copy of Eulalia back in 2014 that I realised he was more than just (just!) the composer of Devil May Care and other songs. Listening again to Eulalia I'm impressed by the quality of his quirky lyrics and tunes. Not the world's greatest singer but I don't think anyone else could sing them like he did. Dave Frishberg? Maybe, begging the chicken and the egg question...
As Bob Dorough was 94 when he passed away yesterday (April 23) I think the question is answered. Digging into Frishberg's autobiography*, he sums Bob Dorough up thus: 

CD Review: Karen Lane - Passarim

Karen Lane (vocals); Andrea Trillo (drums, vocals tracks 7,10); Rob Luft (guitar); Steve Watts (bass); Graham Harvey (piano, Rhodes); Gareth Lockrane (flutes); also Aneselmo Netto (perc tracks 2,6,7); Ricardo Dos Santos (bass tracks 5,12); Saskia Horton (violin track 5); Simon McCorry (cello track 5)
(Review by Ann Alex)
By happy coincidence, I was in a Latin Jazz mood when reviewing this CD, brought on by watching the excellent documentary film about The Buena Vista Social Club (Friday evening television), with its lively street scenes of Cuba, biographies of the musicians, and of course the music itself. This CD features the music of Brazil, different country you say, but still with the Latin rhythms and songs of love shot through with images of sea, sand, trees and flowers.  

CD Review: Andrew Gould - First Things First

Andrew Gould (alto/soprano/FX pedals); Steven Feifke (piano); Marco Panascia (bass); Jake Goldras (drums) + Scott Wendholt (trumpet on 2 tracks); Ioana Vintu (vocals on 1 track).
(Review by Lance).
Such is the mountain of CDs awaiting review that it is no longer feasible for me to listen to even one track off each. Instead, I play a few bars of the opening track and if it doesn't grab me right away it is shuffled down to the bottom of the pile where it will spend the rest of its days weeping and yearning for what might have been. I realise that by doing it this way I probably miss a few gems but, by the same token, nobody is going to put their least impressive track first so I probably, subjectively, don't miss much.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Alice in (Hoochie Coochie) Wonderland @ Hoochie Coochie - April 22

 (Review by Russell)
On a beautiful spring Sunday afternoon they tumbled expectantly into the fantasy world of Hoochie Coochie to hear the story of Alice. Our adopted Geordie superstar would soon be singing her heart out to ecstatic applause. Proprietor WT had taken care of business - prime seats reserved for BSH right in front of the band. And what a band! The Strictly Smokin’ had departed the HC stage, sound check done. One figure sat alone studying the charts in front of him. Bassist Michael Whent wasn’t available on the day and depping for him was one N. Harland. Oh, that’ll do nicely!

Mad Hatters and March Hares, a Cheshire Cat, they were out in their glad rags drinking cocktails, a bottle of London Pride. At the appointed time MD Michael Lamb opened the pad at #16D – Ol’ Man River. Blistering, absolutely blistering, cue huge applause at this Hoochie Coochie Mad Hatter’s tea party. This the first tune of the first of three sets…Alice would soon be joining the party.

Teduloca @ The Globe - April 22

Sam Dunn (guitar); Nadim Teimoori (tenor); Martin Longhawn (organ); Tim Carter (drums).
(Review by Lance)
I wasn't sure what to expect. A youngish band, Leeds graduates, a boring evening of 'originals'? The name gave no clues, it could have meant anything. As it turned out, it was the first 2 letters of their surname stuck together.
Still, what's in a name? In for a penny, in for a pound, or to be more precise - £10.
It was worth it! Four excellent musicians laying down a groove that may have had its origins in hard-bop but was now in the 21st century.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Groove-a-matics @ The Magnesia Bank - April 21

Mick Cantwell (tenor saxophone, harmonica, vocals), Johnny Whitehill (guitar), Gordon Hall (keyboards); John Morgan (bass) & Barry Race (drums)
(Review by Russell) 
It was back in September 2012 that a blues band from the north east of England flew across the Atlantic to scoop the coveted ‘New Brunswick Battle of the Blues’ award. Then a four-piece, they returned home to continue to gig in pubs and clubs and at prestigious blues festivals. It’s what is expected of a blues band, fame and riches weren’t about to come their way, so Groove-a-matics kept on keepin’ on.
Last night at the Maggie Bank (Magnesia Bank) in North Shields, Groove-a-matics kept on keepin’ on. The now five-piece band – with the addition of keyboards – soundchecked to a loyal following, otherwise, the well-known Camden Street hostelry was very quiet. Bar staff said Saturdays, of late, had been unusually quiet. A ‘lively’ pint of Three Kings’ ‘Billy Mill’ (4%) brewed just along the road, seats were ‘take-your-pick’ with so few in as the best blues band around was ready to go.

Three Deaths - RIP Nathan, Stan and Maurice

Sadly, I overlooked these three deaths. Each one an iconic figure in their own way.
The links below will make you realise just why they were so highly thought of. Not just as musicians, but as human beings. May they all Rest In Peace, they were cornerstones of our music.
Lance.
Nathan Davis - American saxist and Jazz Educator - 81 (April 8).
Stan Reynolds - British trumpet player and bandleader - 92 (April14).
Maurice Reedus Jr. aka 'The Sax Man' - Legendary street performer in Cleveland, Ohio - 65 (April 16).

CD Review: McLenty Hunter Jr. - The Groove Hunter

(Review by Lance)
A well-titled album for  Hunter does indeed set down some good grooves on this post hard-bop disc. 
The drummer, who studied with the late Grady Tate and went on to earn his Masters at Julliard under Carl Allen, spent three years as a member of the Kenny Garrett Quintet as well as performing with such heavies as Lou Donaldson, Curtis Fuller, Javon Jackson and Eric Reed. 
Pianist Reed is on the album and plays magnificently. The opening track, Blue Chopsticks, composed by Herbie Nichols has Reed paying tribute to Nichols, who died of Leukemia in 1963. Like so many great artists in whatever field, Nichols' true status was only acknowledged after his death and even now, I don't think he's had a mention in the DownBeat Hall of Fame. On Reed's showing here, he [Reed] might get there first.
There's also some nice piano on 3 tracks by Sanders.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Emma Fisk/James Birkett Duo @ Gala Theatre, Durham - April 20. A 3000 word review!

At BSH we are fortunate in, not only having writers and reviewers with perception and insight, but also some ace photographers such as Ken Drew, Mike Tilley and Malcolm Sinclair. The latter snapper is responsible for these excellent shots of the Emma Fisk/James Birkett concert held yesterday at the Gala Theatre, Durham. Although the concert was sold out, no one has yet provided any words so, working on the premise that a picture paints a 1000 words, here are 3000 of them.
Lance.
PS: I read somewhere recently that, although the Gala's capacity is 120, they only provide seating for 100. My correspondent (I'm not sure who it was as I've lost the original message) suggested that, as the lunchtime sessions are invariably sold out, it would make financial sense for the theatre to buy another 20 chairs. Sounds a good idea to me!

CD Review: Fergus McCreadie Trio - Turas.

Fergus McCreadie (piano/compositions); David Bowden (bass); Stephen Henderson (drums).
(Review by Lance). 
Our reviewer from north of the border recently reported on a live gig by the Fergus McCreadie Trio at the Eyemouth Hippodrome and was very impressed as you will gather from Kay's review. Less than a week later, they were playing on the concourse at GIJF. Unfortunately, such is the nature of multi-stage festivals, I was committed elsewhere and missed what I'm sure was a very lively set.
This disc allows me to play catch-up as the material played at the gigs will, I'm sure, equate to what they play here on this, their debut album.

Friday, April 20, 2018

CD Review: Sundae + Mr Goessl - When You’re Smiling

Kate Voss (vocals, melodica, bells); Jason Goessl (guitars, chimes); Adrian Van Batenburg (drums, tracks 1 4 7 8 10 12 14); Sam Esecson (drums, perc, tracks 2 5) Robb Davidson, Jason Goessl (backup vocal track 12)
(Review by Ann Alex)
Although there are lots of jazzy characteristics, in a record store (remember them?) this CD would probably be in the rack marked ‘Easy Listening’ which is really what it is. 
Ms. Voss (aka Sundae) has a suggestion of Billie Holiday in her voice and she was actually voted Seattle Jazz Vocalist of the Year in 2017.
Despite this accolade, I found the jazz content to be quite low which begs the question as to what is jazz and what isn't? Particularly when it comes to singers.

Paul Edis Trio @ St James’ & St Basil’s - April 19

Paul Edis (piano); Andy Champion (double bass); Adam Sinclair (drums)
(Review & photo of hymn board by Russell/band photos courtesy of Jerry.) 
On a beautiful spring evening, St James’ and St Basil’s Church in the Newcastle suburb of Fenham presented the first in a new series of jazz concerts – ‘Jazz at J’s & B’s’ – featuring the brilliant Paul Edis Trio. The church recently acquired a superb Kawai piano and the concert series’ promoter did what anyone with ears would do…engage the services of pianist Paul Edis. This inaugural concert – let’s call it a ‘gig’ – attracted promising numbers; some familiar jazz gig-goers, some parishioners and perhaps one or two curious locals. The curious local and/or the non-jazz fan could be forgiven if they thought the church service hymn numbers attached to a stone pillar would form the basis of the evening’s proceedings (see photo)!     

The Strictly Smokin' Sessions @ The Jazz Café - April 19

Keith Robinson (tenor); Steve Summers (alto, baritone, clarinet); Jamie Toms (tenor, alto, flute); Matt Forster (bass clarinet); Michael Lamb (trumpet); Pete Tanton (trumpet, flugel); David Barnes (trombone); Graham Don (piano); Pawel Jedrzejewski (guitar); Michael Whent (bass guitar); Guy Swinton (drums); Alice Grace, F'reez (vocal).
(Review by Lance - photos courtesy of  Ken Drew).
Afterwards, Michael Lamb said to me, "That was different". Steve Summers said, "That was interesting". Two succinct comments that practically wrote the review for me. The above musicians, drawn from the 19 piece Strictly Smokin' Big Band, appeared in a variety of permutations to play various original compositions by Pete Tanton, Jamie Toms. Pawel Jedrzejewski - some worked better than others. Alice Grace and F'reez had but one number each and, sad to say, the balance didn't do either of them any favours.

CD Review: Sheila Jordan with The Brian Kellock Trio and The Tori String Quartet - Live In London

Sheila Jordan (vocals); Brian Kellock (piano); Calum Gourlay (bass); Stu Ritchie (drums)
Guillem Calvo (1st violin); Helena Massip ( 2nd violin); David Frankel (viola); Hannah Marshall (cello)
(Review by Ann Alex)
Here I am having this CD signed by Sheila Jordan at GIJF 2018. Sheila signed it ‘Love & Jazz, Keep Singing’, which I intend to do, let Lance and Russell pretend (?) to wince as much as they like. The CD is similar in many ways to the GIJF performance (with different instrumentalists), but listening to a CD is a different experience, with no distractions such as stage lights and so on. It was recorded live in 2010 at the Pizza Express Jazz Club, Soho, and issued again as a limited edition for GIJF 2018. Sheila’s amusing chat is included in an edited form.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Chicago Radio DJ Tunes in to South Shields

It's not often the Shields Gazette posts a photo of Duke Ellington and his Orchestra - in fact, the photo that appeared in Monday's edition may well have been the first picture of Duke in the 169 years of its existence! So what prompted this near full page spread? Well, Chicago based DJ and big band/jazz fan, Denny Farrell hosts a long-running late night radio show in the windy city - the sort of station where I could imagine a caller ringing up in the early hours and saying "Play Misty for me".
The Gazette connection came about via Farrell's friendship with the late Frank Wappat who was a well-known disc jockey on Radio Newcastle and was born in Hebburn. He died in 2014.
I've been listening to his [Denny Farrell] latest broadcast on LNCR and his taste is impeccable - Mary-Lou Williams, Dave Brubeck, Dinah Washington, Joe Pass, Duke and Rosie [Clooney], Art Tatum and Cozy Cole to mention but a few. All introduced by Farrell in his deep, resonant, bass voice - they don't come any cooler than this! 
Well worth bookmarking:
Lance

Community Hall New Orleans Band @ Springwell Village Community Venue - April 18

Mick Hill (trumpet, vocals); Liz Bacon (clarinet); Jim Blenkin (trombone, vocals); Ian Wynne (piano, vocals); Dave Rae (guitar, banjo, vocals); John Robinson (double bass); Paul Bacon (drums) + Mac Rae (trumpet, vocals) third set
(Review by Russell)
Recent Arctic weather has, unsurprisingly, affected audience numbers across the region. Resident bands have played to fewer listeners - Springwell Village Community Venue’s Wednesday evening session being one example of winter’s chill wind decimating numbers. Springwell’s Community Hall New Orleans Band, resident for many a year, in many guises – the Rae Brothers NOJB, then Dave Rae’s Levee Ramblers – kept on going, flying the Crescent City flag. The band’s perseverance was rewarded last night with a capacity audience there to welcome home local hero Ian Wynne.

Bass-less fears! The Gala Big Band @ The Gala Theatre, Durham – April 17

(Personnel to follow - maybe)
(Review by Jerry)
The annual big-bash for this estimable community band was late getting started – the bass guitar “had imploded” (?) just before curtain-up so the stressed guitarist rushed off home (?) to repair/replace the offending instrument. Problems for the MD who likened the bass in a band to the goalie in football – you hardly notice them when things are going well but when things go wrong you realise how important they are!
After a delay, and still bass-less, they launched into Strike Up the Band and Bye Bye Blackbird featuring a piano solo by Ben Lawrence. There were no own-goals conceded before the bassist appeared, stage left and panting, and order was almost restored in the rhythm section in time for Alex Kennedy to step up from the drums and give us the vocals on Almost Like Being in Love.

Julija Jacenaite & Alan Law at The Dun Cow, Jesmond - April 18

Julija Jacenaite (vocals/piano); Alan Law (piano) + George Sykes (tenor).
(Review by Lance).
I've heard Julija several times at jam sessions and never failed to be impressed. However, a couple of numbers at a jam is far removed from the responsibility of sustaining that momentum over a two-set gig and I was curious to see if she could cut it. 
Any doubts I may have had vanished with the opening bars of Misty - this, I told myself was going to be good and it was good - maybe as good as it gets except, as the night unfolded it got even better!
An original, Mood 3, The Girl From Ipanema, introduced in English, sung in Portuguese by a lady from Lithuania and much appreciated by a couple at my table who were from Norway!
Jazz - the international language.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

CD Review: Hailey Tuck - Junk

Hailey Tuck (vocals) + accompaniment.
(Review by Lance).
Those of us who saw Hailey Tuck with SSBB at Hoochie Coochie back in September 2016 will have fond memories of the bubbly, Parisian based, American singer and are sure to welcome this CD.
It's unmistakeably Hailey although it must be said that, in a blindfold test, the listener, unfamiliar with Ms Tuck, could be forgiven for thinking it was Madeleine Peyroux or Melody Gardot. Two singers, incidentally, that Hailey is quoted as saying that she loves.
Like so many singers, whether at local, national or international level, the repertoire here comprises mainly jazz influenced versions of contemporary pop songs which, let's face it was what Sinatra, Billie and Ella were singing in their early days. They did it well back then and Hailey does likewise here.

Preview: Jazz comes to Fenham!

Tomorrow evening (Thursday, April 19) a new series of jazz concerts begin at St James’ & St Basil’s Church in Fenham, Newcastle. The church recently acquired a new piano and it just so happens that one of Britain’s finest jazz pianists will be performing at the inaugural concert. As piano trios go, the line-up takes some beating…Paul Edis, piano, Andy Champion, double bass and drummer Adam Sinclair.

Expect to hear a classic jazz piano trio performance, one could say a ‘history of jazz piano’ with, perhaps, two or three original compositions by Dr Edis. Accompanying him on the gig are Andy Champion, (‘first call’ and ‘prodigious technique’ spring to mind), and Adam Sinclair, described once upon a time by Simon Spillett as the ‘sartorial’ Adam Sinclair (Adam was wearing a tie!).

Jazz Café Jam Session - April 17

Alan Law (piano); Paul Grainger (bass); Rob Walker (drums) + Paul Gowland (alto); Ben Richardson, Joel Brown (piano); John Pope (bass); Charlie Gordon (guitar); Matt Lack, John Bradford(drums); Kate O'Neill, Weiting Huang; James Shouten, Chloe Watson, ?? (vocals).
(Review by Lance)
Tonight's jam had a plethora of pianists, a drove of drummers, a swarm of singers, even a brace of bassists (a very rare occurrence ) but only a solitary saxophonist. Fortunately, the saxophonist was Paul Gowland who is worth ten men whether you want ten men or not - tonight we did. His Autumn in New York, Cottontail and Someday My Prince Will Come were simply superb.
Accompanied by young Joel Brown the pairing worked well (not forgetting the trojan work put in by Paul Grainger and Rob Walker's drum solo on Cottontail).

The Jazz Lads @ Saltburn Golf Club – April 8

Gus Smith (vocals); Richie Emmerson (tenor); Ian Bosworth (guitar); Jeremy McMurray (keys); Adrian Beadnell (bass); and Mark Hawkins (drums); + Steve Walker (trumpet); and Ashley Walker (bass).
After a year of monthly gigs at Saltburn Golf Club the Jazz Lads celebrated in style. With Gus Smith providing vocals, the night started with a lively version of There Will Never Be Another You and a beautiful rendition of Buddy Johnson's Since I Fell For You.
After a couple of instrumentals Sugar and Killer Joe, Steve Walker joined in along with Gus for When Sunny Gets Blue. Steve demonstrated what a fine horn player he is with a moving solo. The night continued with many numbers including In a Mellow Tone, I Can't Get Started, Take the A Train and finishing with Steve's son Ashley playing bass on Watermelon Man.
Saltburn Golf Club is an excellent venue, good acoustics and plenty of car parking.  It was a pleasure to be in the plush surroundings, listening to such fine musicians play to an enthusiastic audience which has built up over the year ensuring its continuation.

Ron H.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

CD Review: In Other Words - In Other Words

In Other Words: Alex Thompson (alto saxophone, clarinet); Nathan Lawson (guitar); Dylan Thompson (drums)
(Review by Russell) 
Twelve tracks, all of them more than familiar. The trio of Alex Thompson, reeds, Nathan Lawson, guitar, and Dylan Thompson, drums, will need little introduction to those who follow the Tyneside jazz scene. They’ve been gigging as a trio and in several other bands for a couple of years or so. In Other Words is the name of their band and in December of last year they spent a day at Blast Recording Studios in the Ouseburn, Newcastle laying down the tracks that make up this album.  

Miles Davis - A Great Life

This afternoon on Radio 4 at 4:30 Great Lives debates/celebrates the life of iconic trumpeter Miles Davis. In the long-running series talking heads make the case for the subject in question. Today’s guest Adrian Uttley of Radiohead states the case for Miles Davis’ life being a ‘great life’ and author and jazz fan Richard Williams (The Blue Moment: Miles Davis’s Kind of Blue and the Remaking of Modern Music) joins him to discuss the American’s career. The half-hour programme can be heard again on Friday evening at 11:00pm.
Russell      

Gavin Barras Quartet - The Family Tree @ The Jazz Cafe April 13

 Gavin Barras Bass, Jeff Guntren Sax, Jim Faulkner Guitar, Dave Walsh Drums.
(Review by Steve H)
It is not often that a non-performer steals the headlines at a jazz gig but I think that most people in the audience on Friday night would agree that the real star of the show was the double bass and its creator- band leader Gavin Barras’ father. The beautiful instrument had been lovingly built over a course of 15 years. Parts of it were even made from the eaves of Barras’s childhood home.  Still I guess Barras needed a new one as his previous instrument was over 200 years old. In honour to his father, family and double bass, the quartet’s latest album is called Family Tree. A selection from this album, along with some standards, provided the material for this highly enjoyable evening.

CD Review: Rino van Hooijdonk Quintette - The Bijlmer Sessions

Rino van Hooijdonk (guitar, bass track 16); Daniel Weltlinger (violin); Joanna Gardner (violin, viola); Nick Sansome (rhythm guitar) & Niels Tausk (bass, trumpet track 16)
(Review by Russell) 
The Bijlmer Sessions was recorded in the living room of two of the musicians on guitarist Rino van Hooijdonk’s new album. Furthermore, the quintet used an old school Grundig TK 120 Deluxe reel-to-reel tape machine to try to capture the warmth of the once common analogue recording process. ‘Gypsy’ or ‘Hot Club’ jazz are terms usually applied to van Hooijdonk’s material, not least because of his love of Django Reinhardt’s famed Hot Club sound. Six of the album’s seventeen tracks were written by Reinhardt, Duke Ellington’s Black and Tan Fantasy adds lustre, and the unusual pairing of violin and viola in the band’s instrumentation introduces an extra dimension to familiar Hot Club tunes. 

Monday, April 16, 2018

Another Cuban Crisis

Spring was in the air which means only one thing (I'm no longer a young man so my fancy doesn't turn to love or maybe it did in this case) - time to Spring clean.
Where to start? I know, I'll move my treasured collection of 78rpms to a different room. Guess what happens - you're probably ahead of me - one of the shelves gives way and all the items from Ambrose's Cotten Pickers Congregation to Billy May's Mayhem hits the deck. Mayhem indeed, or so I thought. Miraculously, all but one appear to have survived.

The Scottish National Jazz Orchestra (SNJO) directed by Tommy Smith Presents Kenny Wheeler’s ‘Sweet Sister Suite’ featuring soloists Laura Jurd (trumpet) and Irini Arabatzi (voice) And The Music of Mary Lou Williams featuring Brian Kellock (piano)

(Press release)
Jump into Spring with the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra and their special guests Laura Jurd, Irini Arabatzi and Brian Kellock for a celebration of jazz genius. Together they will explore a rarely performed work by master composer, the late Kenny Wheeler, and the repertoire of pianist, composer and arranger Mary Lou Williams.
Kenny Wheeler was a Canadian-born jazz trumpet player who became a stalwart of British modern jazz and who participated in many adventurous configurations as a leader, composer and sideman. He is especially remembered for his long association with Sir John Dankworth, and for a string of successful solo albums for ECM, which featured collaborations with Keith Jarrett, Mike Brecker and Jan Garbarek. He was also noted for iconoclastic projects such as the Spontaneous Music Ensemble, and the exploratory Azimuth with John Taylor and Norma Winstone and was still making wonderful music in his final years. His last album, Songs for Quintet was recorded in 2013 for ECM at the Abbey Road studios in London.

Giles Strong Quartet @ Blaydon Jazz Club - April 15












Giles Strong, Roly Veitch (guitars); Ian Paterson (double bass); Russ Morgan (drums)
(Review by Russell) 
This evening’s concert at the Black Bull on Bridge Street exemplified what Blaydon Jazz Club is all about…a select list of tunes drawn from the Great American Songbook performed impeccably to a discerning audience. Giles Strong and fellow guitarist Roly Veitch put their heads together to come up with a set list and invited bassist Ian Paterson and drummer Russ Morgan to join them to play a  few numbers for the love of it, and, if anyone should drop by to listen, so much the better.

And drop by they did. Familiar faces took their regular seats and, without fanfare, Giles Strong and friends began with Out of Nowhere (comp Johnny Green), each musician introducing themselves in solo spots. A simple format, if it ain’t broke…Alone Together (comp Arthur Schwartz, lyrics Howard Dietz) continued the formula with first Giles then Roly introducing a tune and taking the time to talk about the composer (and lyricist) in much the same way as Frank Sinatra did so fastidiously during a long career dedicated to singing the very best songs of the popular composers of the day. 

Preview: Indigo Jazz voices @ The Globe - April 19

All the members of Indigo Jazz Voices will be singing at the next performance this coming Thursday, April 19. The gig starts at 7.30pm, and is good value at £5 admission. You’ll hear Barry Keatings, Carrie McCullock, David Edgar, Jenny Lingham, Miriam McCormick and Jen Errington. There’ll be an interesting selection of songs, including Love me or Leave me, The Very Thought Of You, Embraceable You, I Only Have Eyes For You and the very appropriate April In Paris.
The songs will be accompanied by the trio of Alan Law (piano); Katy Trigger (bass guitar); and Nic Alevroyiannis on drums.  So get yourself along to the Globe – What’s not to like?
Ann Alex

Sunday, April 15, 2018

The Postmodernaires @ Hoochie Coochie - April 15.

Ross Laing (trumpet/MD); David Gray (trombone); Johnny 'Blue Hat' Davis (tenor); Andrew Richardson (keys); Rev Parker (bass); Tom Shorten (drums); Gina Lou (vocals).
(Review by Lance).
This band don't take no prisoners - this band. They go for the jugular right from the off. and the Hoochie regulars weren't complaining - Palm Court orchestras not welcome here!
Sing, Sing, Sing somehow merged into Take Five and ended up as George Michael's Never Gonna Dance Again, This is what The Postmodernaires are all about, taking pop classics and transforming them into earlier settings which usually seem to end up as 1950s' rock and roll.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

King Bees @ Newcastle Beer & Cider Festival - April 13

Michael Littlefield (guitar, vocals); Scott Taylor (harmonica, vocals); Dominic Hornsby (piano, guitar, vocals); Simon Hedley (double bass); Giles Holt (drums) + lots of beer!
(Review by Russell)
The blues band of the moment, a Friday night out at the 42nd Newcastle Beer and Cider Festival, you can’t go wrong, can you? A raised corner stage, a modest PA system, the crowd drinking like there was no tomorrow and with WWIII likely to break out at any time what better way to go?! The King Bees took to the stage with commemorative festival beer glasses in hand (a drinking band – hurrah!) ready to play the best South Side Chicago blues east of, well, Chicago!

Mick Shoulder Quintet @ Bishop Auckland Town Hall - April 13

Lewis Watson (tenor saxophone); Graham Hardy (trumpet, flugelhorn); Dean Stockdale (piano); Mick Shoulder (double bass); Russ Morgan (drums)
(Review by Russell)
Auckland Castle is closed for major renovation works, the Zurbaráns are out on loan, Kynren is due to return, but all roads led to BATH (Bishop Auckland Town Hall) for a lunchtime gig. Mick Shoulder assembled a starry quintet to play the music of one of the great bands…the Jazz Messengers. The truth is, and Mick would readily acknowledge the fact, we were there to hear Lewis Watson. Where he’s been is anyone’s guess and one question remained to be answered…could he still cut it?

Preview: Sunday in Newcastle (and surrounding districts)

Another 'spoilt for choice' Sunday. Giles Strong/Roly Veitch at Blaydon; Steve Glendinning at the Globe and The Postmodernaires at Hoochie.
This latter gig is the most intriguing. Fuelled by the global success of the American Postmodern Jukebox, the Postmodernaires (remember the original Modernaires singing Jukebox Saturday Night?) follow a similar route to that taken by PMJ i.e. modern pop songs played 1920 style and going by their YouTube promo they do it well. I guess the swing dancers who were out for the House of the Black Gardenia at GIJF last weekend will be up for this one too. It's a 7 piece band so I'm not sure who the horns will be other than trumpet/MD Ross Laing; suffice to say they will do the job brilliantly!
It's a 6pm stomp off (doors 4pm) so making a mad dash to the Black Bull or the Globe may require an early departure or none at all.
This is a shame as the three guitarists at the other two venues (plus Bradley over at the Old Fire Station in Sunderland) are all masters of the six strings.
Perhaps the answer lies in Sleepy Jake Segrave who will be playing the blues from 9pm at Billy Bootleggers.
Lance

Friday, April 13, 2018

CD Review: Gene Jackson Trio NuYorx- The Power of Love

Gene Jackson (drums); Gabriel Guerrero (piano); Carlo De Rosa (bass).
(Review by Lance).
Recorded, like so many classic jazz recordings, in New Jersey - This time in The Tedesco Studios in Paramus, NJ - we could be witnessing the unveiling of another classic. Only time will tell. What is certain is that it's as good as most piano trios that are currently doing the rounds.
A mix of originals by all three plus a couple by Monk (Played Twice and Ugly Beauty) and one by Cole Porter (I Love You) - where would we be without Cole to fall back on!
Jackson comes to this, his first album as a leader, with an impressive CV that includes Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Dave Holland and Kevin Eubanks to mention but a few.

I Bought Some Blue Notes...

Another GIJF has been and gone and, as always, there were some wonderful moments and, as is the case at any festival of this magnitude, some not so wonderful moments. I won't go into the latter, suffice to say the good far outweighed the bad.
And, quite often, for those of impoverished means, the free concerts on the concourse often compared favorably with some of the top dollar ones. For many, I know that the concourse set by the House of the Black Gardenia was the highlight of the weekend and deservedly so.
I too found much delight on the concourse even away from the stage. No, I'm not referring to the engaging sales patter of the hucksters on the Jazz Co-op and Jazz North East stands or even the Cajun and Creole Pizza stall. I mean the CD stand.
Suddenly, I was a kid in the candy store again!
All those Blue Note CDs at 3 for a tenner!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

A Dun Cow Coda (jam session April 11)

(Review/photo by Russell)
As BSH’s Editor-in-Chief wandered off into the night, John Pope wandered into the Dun Cow. The house trio’s fixer and hard-working bassist Paul Grainger eyed JP’s arrival, and, in next to no time Grainger was at the bar as Pope gave him a spell. JP was joined on the stand by Newcastle Uni’s final year music students (the Dun Cow could be their local) Ben Richardson, piano, and drummer Harry Still.* These lads have impressed sitting in at the Jazz Café’s jam session and they seemed up for it here in Brandling Village. And whatever lies ahead for them, in years to come they’ll look back to the time they worked with vocalist Alice Grace! 

The Filip Verneert and Enrique Simon Quartet @ the Eyemouth Hippodrome - April 10.

(Review by Kay C/Photos ©gillesmoulinphotography.com)
What a stroke of luck for the Eyemouth Hippodrome audience that Belgian Filip Verneert (guitar/composer), Spaniard Enrique Simon (piano/composer), French Gil Lachenal (bass) and Belgian Frederik Van den Berghe (drums) chose to begin their first Scottish tour just north of the border.
Filip and Enrique have been performing as a duo for four years and more recently as a quartet with Gil and Frederik. Their sometimes light-hearted, sometimes deeply moving explanations of the inspirations behind their compositions enriched an engaging, melodic and often surprising journey of jazz through Spain, Belgium, France, Italy, America, Japan and the Eden of Garden with each piece clearly evoking the sentiment and varied atmospheres that inspired them.

GIJF Day 2: The Electrio and Kokoroko - Sage Gateshead, April 7

(Review by Steve T/Photos courtesy of Ken Drew)
As we were herded out of Sage One, the whole of the building seemed immersed in this large sound coming from the band on the concourse. Roz had forewarned us of a Jazz-Funk band from Leeds by the name of The Electrio, which seemed entirely appropriate to follow funk maestro Maceo Parker at a Jazz Festival, but this was most definitely distinctly, specifically Azymuthesque.
It wasn't just the volume that was large - though it was - but the sound, like a big band or a big rock band, and I knew they'd find an audience on Tyneside. Like George Benson selling out Sage One in record time, after years of being Uncle George at Julies Night Club, the Boys from Brazil are in the water around the North East. Billy Walker was a major promoter in Stanley and Newcastle in the eighties, with a dance-floor free remit at the Hilltop and downstairs in Walkers, and never missed a chance to slip in some Azymuth. Paul Cook was one of the big club DJs across the region in the seventies and eighties, but liked nothing better than some smooth, funky Azymuth. Well maybe Marvin Gaye. They were the cause of my first trip to Hoochie and I believe they've been back since.

Jam Session @ the Dun Cow, Jesmond - April 11.

(Review by Lance)
As I walked down the not so mean streets of Jesmond I reflected upon past evenings of fine dining and equally fine music at the Cherry Tree Restaurant. Well, the Cherry Tree name is no longer and nor is it a jazz venue but, I'm pleased to report, Jesmond is not without jazz if the Wednesday sessions at the Dun Cow take off. Tonight was the inaugural one, a jam session that, appropriately featured several of the Cherry Tree's regular performers including tonight's house trio i.e. Messrs Edis, Grainger and Morgan who got things going with You'd be so Nice to Come Home to and Toots Thielemans' delightful jazz waltz, Bluesette.
Soon musical instrument cases began to arrive, slung across the broad backs and, sometimes, thick skins of jamming jazzers.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

GIJF 2018: Index/Link to reviews


Twenty reviews and counting - possibly our best ever coverage of GIJF and, of course, Ken Drew's fabulous photos (see link at the foot of this post.
Roll on next year!
Lance



Day 1

Tony Allen: A Tribute to Art Blakey/Zara McFarlane/Tiptoe.
Sun Ra Arkestra.
Big Chris Barber Band.

CD Review: Alyn Cosker - KPF

(Review by Lance).
A lot of disparate, often quite ethnic, elements in this album of compositions by Cosker. Serenity, for example, has Paul Towndrow wailing over a background of fiddle, mandolin, accordion, piano, bass and drums. A cacophony at times, but not an unpleasant one, in fact, more soothing to my ear than many of today's contemporary offerings.
Yatey Ate is dedicated to bandleader Tim Barella who came from Sunderland. Cosker recalls how he'd call out "Right lads, number Yatey Ate" which turned out to be no. 88 in the pad - McArthur Park. Davie Dunsmuir and Steve Hamilton are featured here. McArthur Park isn't.

Latest roster of Jazz North’s northern line jazz artists announced

(Press release)
Jazz North, the northern jazz development agency, today announces the 6th roster of Ambassador Artists to be selected for northern line - the innovative model for touring which gives promoters the opportunity to programme high quality artists with low financial risk.

Since its launch in 2013, northern line has featured 59 such ambassador artists who have performed 650 gigs to date with over 170 promoters partners across the north of England and beyond.

The northern line 6th Round roster is:

Artephis (Manchester)
Emma Johnson’s Gravy Boat (Leeds)
Manchester Jazz Collective (Manchester)
Mark Williams Trio (Newcastle)
Paul Taylor (Newcastle)
Ponyland (Cumbria)
Täpp (Manchester)
Treppenwitz (Leeds)
glowe_ (Manchester)

Derek Fleck Funeral Arrangements

The funeral for Derek Fleck will be held at Whitley Bay Crematorium on Friday 20 April, at 10.30 am.  Followed by a wake/knees up at the Briar Dene, 71 The Links, Whitley Bay NE26 1UE, from 11.30 am.  No flowers, and no need to wear black.  Donations can be made on the day to a nominated charity.  Please bring instruments if you wish, and we can celebrate Derek's life as he would have wished, with music.

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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