Total Pageviews

Bebop Spoken There

Joey Calderazzo: "Playing the standard repertoire is a pretty good barometer of where one is as a jazz musician" - (DownBeat January 2019).

Today Wednesday December 19

Afternoon

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Cullercoats Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 4QS. Tel: 0191 253 0242. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

Take it to the Bridge - The Globe, 11 Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £1.00.

Jools Holland’s R&B Orchestra - Newcastle City Hall, Northumberland Road, Newcastle NE1 8SF. Tel: 0844 811 2121. 7:30pm. £45.50. & £34.00. First night of two.

Community Hall New Orleans Band - Springwell Village Community Venue, Fell Road, Springwell, Gateshead NE9 7RP. 8:15pm £3.00.

Moonshine Sessions - Billy Bootleggers, 28 Nelson Street, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 8:30pm. Free.

George Shovlin & The Radars - Charts, Quayside, Newcastle NE1 3DX. Tel: 0191 338 7989. 8:00pm. Free.

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

Saturday, June 30, 2018

That’s Life - The Frank Sinatra Story @ Whitley Bay Playhouse - June 29

Frank Cognoscenti  as Frank Sinatra; Stuart Collingwood (MD, piano); ? (trumpet); Jamie Toms (reeds); ? (trombone); Neil Harland (double bass); ? (drums).
(Review by Russell)
The early years, the Capitol years, Live at the Sands, the later years, the story of Francis Albert Sinatra. This multi-media theatre show is the creation of Sinatra fan Frank Cognoscenti. Working with an array of talented musicians (several of the north east’s finest answered Cognoscenti's call to join him on stage at Whitley Bay Playhouse), the show’s creator endeavours to recreate something of the magic associated with one of the iconic figures of the twentieth century.

Friday, June 29, 2018

RIP Big Bill Bissonnette

John Taylor has relayed the sad news to me that the legendary New Orleans trombonist/drummer passed away on June 26.
He was 81. May he Rest In Peace.
Obituary.
Lance

Football? What football? The SSBB @ The Millstone - June 28


(Review by Russell)
Air conditioning? What air conditioning? Football? Is there a match on? Manager Southgate made eight changes to the Ingerlund eleven, SSBB MD Lamb made no more than half a dozen changes to the 17. Yes, just the seventeen tonight at the Millstone, band vocalists Alice and F’reez were given the night off so that they could watch the football.
At this regular public rehearsal session, MD Michael Lamb rang the changes. Would the substitutes do enough to impress the gaffer? Those off the bench included Matt Forster playing alto and Boys of Brass drummer Dave Mckeague. A varied pad, including early pacesetters Point of Departure and Herman’s Apple Honey set the standard, would the pace slacken? Splanky just splendid, a big band arrangement of Lady be Good added colour and, closing out a stamina-sapping first forty-five, Johnny Richards’ Two Cultures.  

CD Review: John Coltrane - Both Directions at Once. The Lost Album

John Coltrane (soprano/tenor); McCoy Tyner (piano); Jimmy Garrison (bass); Elvin Jones (drums).
(Reviewed by Lance).
Released today (June 29)*
There's been so much hype about this - even Sonny Rollins got in on the act saying "This is like finding a new room in the Great Pyramid" - I was almost afraid to play it, knowing that it couldn't be that wonderful and I felt I was setting myself up for the great letdown.
I was wrong!

A few words, possibly from the recording engineer Rudy Van Gelder, an unaccompanied phrase on soprano, and we're off to the races with all my worries left on the doorstep. Trane was on fire and only occasionally popped into the pet shop. 

Thursday, June 28, 2018

JazzLeeds Festival - July 19-24.

Allan Friswell talked to Steve Crocker about the much expanded 2018 LeedsJazz Festival posted here by the kind permission of Steve Crocker.
----- 
Steve Crocker has been a mainspring of Leeds jazz for many years. A highly experienced jazz double bass player who worked with Harry Edison, Kenny Davern, Bob Wilbur, Jimmy Witherspoon and Art Farmer amongst others, he’s also a respected radio presenter, promoter and organiser of jazz, and has worked tirelessly to encourage this music at venues throughout Leeds. He talks here about this year’s ambitious JazzLeeds Festival (July 19 – 24).
Given that there are already several major jazz festivals in the north, why do you feel Leeds needs to provide another?

Jam Session @ The Dun Cow, Jesmond - June 27.

(Review by Lance/Photos.).
Another 'other' Wednesday at the Dun Cow which meant that even though there was World Cup football on TV (Brazil 2 Croatia 0) the jam session went ahead in front of perhaps the biggest audience yet and why not? The football was live in Russia whereas this was live in Jesmond.
A special bonus this week was the presence of the effervescent James Harrison on piano whose jack-in-the-box, hyper-charged style suggests he's cornered the market in co2.
St. Thomas, being in the Virgin Islands, may seem to be a somewhat tenuous link to Brazil but, played over a samba rhythm, they got away with it - close enough for jazz, as the saying goes and Harrison did manage to insert a quote from the Match of the Day theme. Geographic issues aside, it was a rousing start that continued with In a Mellow Tone and James finding space to Take the A Train.
Thus ended the overture, time to serve the jam.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Sunderland-bound acid jazz wizards have Toto’s backing

(Press release).
Amsterdam-based acid jazz troupe Tristan, who play on Sunderland’s Tall Ships stage on Friday, July 13, come enthusiastically recommended by a celebrity fan.
Steve Lukather, guitarist with multi-million selling Californian rock giants Toto, has been following the band for some time and describes them as bringing the best of the 1970s into the current decade. 
“Our drummer, Sebastiaan Cornelissen was a big Toto fan when he was young,” says Tristan’s keyboards player Coen Molenaar ahead of a UK tour for the Going Dutch project which is bringing top musicians from the Netherlands to the UK and Ireland over the next eighteen months.
“Sebastiaan got in contact with their drummer, Jeff Porcaro, who thought Sebastiaan was very talented and was going to give him some lessons, but unfortunately Jeff died before this could happen. This was a big blow but since then, Sebastiaan has sent Steve Lukather all the music he has recorded and when Steve heard Tristan he was so enthusiastic. He wrote Sebastiaan a long e-mail, saying how much he liked what we’re doing. It was a major boost, as you can imagine.”

CD Review: Scottish National Jazz Orchestra – Sweet Sister Suite

(Review by Russell).
The Scottish National Jazz Orchestra’s director Tommy Smith commissioned the late Kenny Wheeler to write a suite which, some twenty years on, has been recorded by the seventeen-piece big band. Joining the all-star line-up on this Spartacus Records’ album is Laura Jurd (trumpet) and Irini Arabatzi (voice).
During a long career Wheeler often worked with vocalists and the use of the term ‘voice’ best describes Irini Arabatzi’s instrument alongside the trumpet and flugelhorn work of Laura Jurd. The suite comprises eight parts and throughout the fifty-seven or so minutes of the recording there is a fine balance between the two guest instrumentalists and the regular band. Such is the quality of Scotland’s premier orchestra that the collective contribution is never less than magnificent.  

66th Annual DownBeat Critics Poll.

The digital version of the August edition of DownBeat arrived on my virtual doormat yesterday (June 26) - if only the horse racing papers could publish this far in advance or the bookies take bets on the 66th Annual DownBeat Critics Poll.
The forthcoming publication lists the results in detail with a few of the favourites coming in and some (in my eyes) rank outsiders.
Benny Golson made it to The Hall of Fame with John McLaughlin finishing fast in fourth place ahead of such thoroughbreds as Jon Hendricks, Shirley Horn and Pharoah Sanders with Mel Tormé bringing up the rear. Marian McPartland got in via the back door or, to be more precise, The Veterans Committee.
Cécile McLorin Salvant picked up the Jazz Album of the Year for Dreams and Daggers as well as being numero uno in the Female Vocalist Stakes where, incidentally, Sheila Jordan finished strongly in third place, the two being separated by Lizz Wright.  As expected, the Male Vocalist was fought out between Kurt Elling and Gregory Porter with the former finishing 57 votes ahead. Jamie Cullum, the only British artist among the crooners managed 29 votes. Tony Bennett scored 65 with Curtis Stigers unplaced.

CD Review: Bobby Sanabria Multiverse Big Band - West Side Story Reimagined

(Review by Lance).
 By comparision, Buddy Rich's acclaimed and much-loved recording of West Side Story is the concise version compared to this latest epic. 
Two CDs, with a total running time of 1:19:38, present the whole 9 yards of the Bernstein/Sondheim musical 'reimagined' and given the Latin treatment which, I guess, fits in with the Puerto Rican aspect and makes it even more exciting. 
It would take me from here to breakfast time next week to do this fantastic live album justice suffice to say that if you'd combined the Buddy Rich Band with that of Tito Puentes and maybe threw in the bands of Chucho Valdes and Stan Kenton for good measure then, possibly, you're coming close to what went on in Dizzy's Coca-Cola Club in NYC on November 19 last year (2017).
I did say 'close'!
Each track is individually introduced before the band and the soloists run amock. This is the Jets v Sharks musical Superbowl and no prisoners taken.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

CD Review: Miriam Ast & Victor Gutierrez feat. Stan Sulzmann - Secret Songs

Miriam Ast (vocals); Victor Gutierrez (piano); Stan Sulzmann (tenor sax, tracks3,8,9)
(Review by Ann Alex). 
A delight from the surprising first track, Gutierrez's Don’t Get Too Cocky. Jazzy piano, wordless vocals, sweet voice, I waited for the actual lyrics, which never came. Then I realised that the scat was the cockiness, the singer trying not to be too cocky, or warning someone else not to be so. Very inventive. Track two, very different, Monk’s 'Round Midnight, voice and sparse piano, then the piano flows, and the voice has a pleasant, sad nasal tone. Track 3, composed by Ms Ast, Song For Stan, featured the man himself, reflecting the singer’s tune, before it reverses to the voice commenting on the sax, and a sudden ending. Love Song, written by Ms Ast, was just that, an honest love song, with slow scat.

Sand, sea, sun and…jazz @ Cullercoats Crescent Club - June 25

(Review by Russell)
Jazz in the Afternoon is what it says on the tin and that is exactly what you get at one o’clock week in week out on a Monday afternoon at the seafront Cullercoats Crescent Club. Something you don’t get too often is Mediterranean weather, but on this occasion, a heatwave enveloped the northeast coast; surfers, sun worshippers, swimmers...where do they all come from?
The Crescent Club’s bar was jam-packed. Cask beers, keg beers (boo!), wine, soft drinks, a cheese toastie, oh, and a real treat, a pint of Guinness. The band of regulars - Messrs H Hudson, B Chester,    J Carstairs Hallam and O Rillands - was in attendance, joined this week by trumpeter Ray Harley. In due course, the sitters-in would materialise but to start proceedings the Jazz in the Afternoon quintet pleaded Please Don’t Talk About Me When I’m Gone. No time for talking as JITA front man Herbie Hudson cautioned us about Careless Love.

Monday, June 25, 2018

RIP Bob Bain (1924-2018)

Maurice Summerfield sadly sent me this link about guitar legend Bob Bain who passed away last week. An unsung hero hidden away in the Hollywood studios for many decades Bob Bain's achievements were monumental. Many a well-known recording or film soundtrack had Bob Bain in the rhythm section. The link above tells his story in fascinating detail.
Bob Bain was 94.
Rest In Peace.
Lance

A Farewell to Dan - Court Inn, Durham - June 24.

(Review by Russell)
It could be said that comparisons are invidious. Perhaps, but in this instance well made, serving to illustrate a great talent that, over the last four years, lit up the northeast jazz scene and is, sadly, about to leave us. BSH readers of a certain vintage will, no doubt, fondly recall the wonderful alto saxophonist Nigel Stanger (Newcastle Big Band). Last night at Durham’s Court Inn a jam session featuring some of the best up-and-coming talents bade farewell to Durham University music student Daniel Garel.
Dan plays alto sax, he’s been a key figure in the Durham University Jazz Society (DU Jazz Soc), performed and recorded with the award-winning Durham University Big Band (DUBB) and DJazz (Durham Jazz Festival) wouldn’t have been half the success story it has become without his not considerable efforts. And so to last night. Why not organise a final jam session? Dan being Dan, that’s precisely what he did. A house rhythm section to die for – Angus MacNaughton, bass, and Matt MacKellar, drums, augmented by the prodigiously talented guitarist Francis Tulip – this had all the makings of a storming session…and that’s exactly what we got!

Book Review: Andrew Cartmel - Written in Dead Wax

A pre-reading browse told me I was going to like this book. As early as page 11 (p. 3 of the actual story) magical names such as Max Roach, Red Mitchell, George Wallington and the Gil Melle Sextet (on Blue Note) are mentioned in passing. Obviously, an author who knows his vinyl.
Like all good detective stories, there are so many twists and turns as to make a synopsis almost impossible except to say that the Vinyl Detective collects, buys and sells vinyl. Sometimes for great profit, sometimes against great odds.
Modern jazz is his specialty and if you're looking for the rarest record ever, the Vinyl Detective's your man.
To this aim, he scours charity shops, car boot sales, in fact anywhere where an elusive LP may be found. Sometimes faced with violence and, sometimes, even getting shot at.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

CD Reviews: Hendrik Meurkens w. Roger Davidson Quartet/Bill Cunliffe.

Roger Davidson (piano); Hendrik Meurkens (harmonica/vibes); Eduardo Belo (bass); Adriano Santos (drums).
----- 
Hendrik Meurkens (harmonica); Bill Cunliffe (piano).
(Review by Lance).
I'd heard of Meurkens but never actually heard him until suddenly my sadly neglected education was rectified in the form of not one but two albums featuring the German harmonica player who also, on one of them, plays vibes rather well.
However, as the delightful album by the Roger Davidson Quartet - Music From the Heart - isn't released until September 4, I'll go with the duo album for the time being although, in the meantime, I will be playing the quartet recording many times. It's beautiful and so so so romantic. Put this on your car stereo and your success rate will multiply! I'll report back in August.

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.  

Blog Archive

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.

Subscribe!

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