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Bebop Spoken There

Oscar Peterson: "I find most pianists use too many notes in a chord. They double up an awful lot" - (Crescendo May 1963).

Benny Green (British): "...there was a whole race of men who used to stand in front of their bands, waving their arms, pretending to conduct ... Many of the bandleaders we had worked for had been either crooks or imposters ... " - (Crescendo March 1963).

Today Friday September 21

Afternoon

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

Zoë Gilby Trio - Bishop Auckland Town Hall, Market Place, Bishop Auckland DL14 7NP. Tel: 03000 269 524. 1:00pm. £5.00.

Ladies of Midnight Blue - Seven Stories, National Centre for Children's Books, Lime Street, Newcastle NE1 2PQ. Tel: 03000 3301095. 11:00am. £5.00.

Paul Edis - The Lit & Phil, Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SE. Tel: 0191 232 0192. 1:00pm. £5.00. Edis, solo piano.

Evening

Ronnie Scott's All Stars - Middlesbrough Theatre, The Avenue, Linthorpe, Middlesbrough TS5 6SA. Tel: 01642 815181. 8:00pm. £22.50.

Groove-a-matics - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9:00pm. Free.

George Shovlin & the Radars + Broken Levee - The Peacock, High St West, Sunderland SR1 3ES. Tel: 0191 511 1451. 7:00pm. £10.00. (+ £1.00. b/f). New blues venue.

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

Friday, September 21, 2018

Paul Edis @ The Lit & Phil - September 21

Paul Edis (piano, vocals)
(Review by Russell/Photo 1 courtesy of  Jerry E. Photo 2 Brian E) 
Anything Durham's Gala Theatre can do...yes, there was a full house today at the Lit and Phil for a solo piano concert by Paul Edis. Is one o'clock weekdays the new late night jazz gig? Folk certainly turn out for a one-hour lunchtime set, a cup of tea or coffee, perhaps a glass of wine and, of course, the music.

It's Only a Paper MoonFrom Nothing to Nowhere (comp. Edis) and Hypnotized (comp. Edis), so that's a Gasbook classic (with vocals!) and two numbers by today's performer, pianist/promoter/producer/educator/juggler Paul Edis, the second of which received its public premiere a couple of weeks ago up the road in Hexham at the Fox Inn during a Triptych (Edis, Paul Susans, Rob Walker) gig. 

Springwell celebrates 20 years of New Orleans jazz.

This coming Wednesday, September 26, marks the 20th anniversary of jazz  at Springwell Community Venue, Springwell Village, Gateshead, Tyne & Wear, NE9 7RP
The very first session here was on Monday, September 28, 1998. (The Rae Brothers New Orleans Jazz Band)
Pictured in the photo, taken in 2000, are (l-r): Clem Avery;  Mac Rae; Jim Blenkin; John Robinson; Gordon Petet and Dave Rae.
For this special occasion, the session has been extended to run from 8.15pm - 11pm (doors open at 7.30pm).  
Thanks to Dave Rae for the update.
Lance.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

CD Review (retro): Shirley Horn - I Love You, Paris.

Shirley Horn (piano/vocal); Charles Ables (bass); Steve Williams (drums).
As Simon Spillett said in his observations on Bebop Spoken Here, this isn't a retro-site. We try to concentrate on the present without ignoring the future or forgetting the past.
However, when I popped into my local charity shop seeking shelter from the storm and saw a CD by Shirley Horn alongside discs by Harry James, Bix, Sinatra, Astrid and Sting, it was as if I was the drowning man seeing his life flash past - well it was raining heavily - so I thought I'd best have a 50p pop on Shirley and Astrid before it was too late. 
Fortunately, the storm eased and I lived to listen another day. 
I've yet to sample Astrid's offering but Shirley's 1992 live recording in Paris should be on everyone's bucket list. 

CD Review: Mike Freeman ZonaVibe - Venetian Blinds

Mike Freeman (vibes/coro); Guido Gonzalez (trumpet/coro); Ian Stewart (bass); Roberto Quintereo (perc.); Joel Mateo (drums).
(Review by Lance).
I'm not normally drawn to Latin albums - they tend to sail too close to the easy listening area. This one does head in that direction but, fortunately, stays far enough away to avoid boredom or ennui.
This is mainly due to the trumpet of Gonzalez who avoids the bravura of the bullfight preferring instead the cool clear sound of say Arturo Sandoval without overdoing the pyrotechnics.
Freeman's vibes bring to mind Cal Tjader with a dash of Milt and blends effectively over the turbulence of the fluctuating South American rhythms.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

CD Review: NYSQ - Heaven Steps to Seven

Tim Armacost (tenor/soprano); David Berkman (piano); Ugonna Okegwo (bass); Gene Jackson (drums).
(Review by Lance).
Apart from the paraphrased title which, unless I've missed something, doesn't seem to bear any relevance to the music - a rose by any other name, a book by its cover etc., this is an absolute gem for anyone who likes to have a hook to the improvisations. 
The NYSQ - New York Standards Quartet - know this and deliver the goods in just such a way as to pull in the passer-by.
Don't get me wrong, this isn't smooth jazz or easy listening jazz, this is music that approaches the cutting edge but does it in such a way that nobody loses their fingertips.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Alan Law Trio w James Birkett @ Blaydon Jazz Club - September 16

Alan Law (piano); James Birkett (guitar); Paul Grainger (bass); Russ Morgan (drums).
(Review by Russell/photos courtesy of Roly V).

A second set only review. An advance ticket purchase dictated your correspondent's early evening whereabouts - Polly Gibbon's gig with the Strictly Smokin' Big Band at Hoochie Coochie - resulting in a late arrival at the Black Bull. 

Blaydon Jazz Club's September concert presented the Alan Law Trio working with a much-loved friend of Blaydon, master guitarist James Birkett. Arriving in time to hear the final number of the first set - Lady Be Good - it was good to see a good number of folk had made the effort and, encouragingly, a few new faces. Hey, Lady be Good, a cookin' rhythm section with Birkett flying, a pretty good way to tune out of roaring big band mode and adjust to a small combo. 

The interval: a Deuchars, please. A raffle ticket, the usual outcome...

Monday, September 17, 2018

Simon Says

In the teen years of the 21st Century, a hundred years since jazz exploded into international prominence, attempting to capture the music's sprawling, constantly expanding reaches - more diverse now than ever - is a little like attempting to contain an ocean in a sieve. However, there is one blog that, in my opinion, undertakes this daunting task far better than any other: Bebop Spoken Here. Don't be misled by the title: although it flags up where its founder Lance Liddle's musical heart is at, this is by no means some retro-focused chronicle of faded glories. In fact, BSH puts an unmistakable capital C into comprehensive, so wide is its artistic vision. 

Early Birds @ Lit and Phil, Newcastle - Sept. 15.

Paul Edis (alto, MD), James Metcalf (trumpet), Alex Thompson (tenor), Ben Lawrence (piano), Alex Shipsey (bass), Dylan Thompson (drums).
(Review by Steve T)
Didn't want this tiny slice of history, tucked away from the glare, to pass off entirely unnoticed. It was the final performance of long-term Early-Bird stalwarts James Metcalf and Alex Thompson, together with the last remaining original member Ben Lawrence, who started out on trumpet - what must seem to them like - all those years ago.

RIP Big Jay McNeely

The LA Weekly has announced the death of Big Jay McNeely. The 'King of the Honkers' passed away yesterday (Sept. 16). He was 91.
The saxophonist set the pattern for R'n'B and later R'n'R tenor playing although beneath it all he was still a good jazzman - you just had to strip away the veneer.
A legend!
Obituary.
Lance.

Polly Gibbons w. Strictly Smokin' Big Band at Hoochie Coochie - Sept. 16

(Review by Lance).
When Hoochie's head honcho Warren says that Polly Gibbons is in the top ten acts he's heard since he opened the Pilgrim St. venue x years ago it means something considering that amongst that roster is Gregory Porter, Chaka Khan, Mica Paris, Lonnie Smith, Roy Ayers, Joe Stilgoe, Hailey Tuck as well as several hundred others!
Yes, Ms. Gibbons is the real deal.

Two stomping sets that combined jazz and soul, and a few things in between, had the joint jumping and the swing dancers swing dancing.
No holds barred singing. 
Let the Good Times Roll: I heard this hoary old R'n'B classic a couple of weeks back sung by Georgie Fame and Zoot Money at Ronnie's and this version lost nothing by comparision. 

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Barnhart goes to the movies @ St Augustine's, Darlington - September 15

Jeff Barnhart (piano, vocals); Buster Keaton (star of the silent screen)
(Review by Russell) 
Jeff Barnhart made a quick return to St Augustine's to present his Silent Comedy Film Festival show. The American's introductory remarks made it abundantly clear that not only is the American piano virtuoso a fan of the silent movie era comedic greats - Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd, Laurel and Hardy, Buster Keaton et al - he is something of an authority on the subject.

Barnhart's sole piano-vocal number Take your girl to the movies if you can't make love at home (comp. Bert Kalmar/Edgar Leslie, 1919) opened proceedings in the Larchfield Street Parish Centre to yet another large, enthusiastic crowd. The American insisted that from this point he would adopt a subservient role, the on-screen action, principally Buster Keaton's filmmaking genius, taking centre stage. 

Swing Manouche @ Dormans Jazz Club, Middlesbrough - Sept. 6.

Mick Shoulder (Guitar); Giles Strong (guitar); Paul Grainger (double bass); Gavin Lee (clarinet).
(Review by Ron H)

It was a pleasure to have Swing Manouche as this month’s guest band and to witness a fine performance of Hot Club Style Jazz.
The night began with a nice version of Lulu Swing followed by Douce Ambiance with the four musicians clearly showing the passion they held for the genre and their ability to play so well together.
Gavin played a fine melody to Mick's composition My Quiet Place (Mon Endroit Tranquille). Valse à Gonzo, a lovely Jazz Waltz, was another piece composed by Mick inspired after a face to face meeting with Giles’ dog.

TODAY! Polly Gibbons with Strictly Smokin’ Big Band @ Hoochie Coochie Sunday Sept. 16

(Press release).
Strictly Smokin’ have done it again – Anthony Strong, Hailey Tuck, Joe Stilgoe and, in September, the wonderful POLLY GIBBONS will feature with the band at Newcastle’s Hoochie Coochie.
Hot off the back of Jazz FM’s ‘Vocalist of the Year’ nomination, gigs at Montreal Jazz Festival, London’s 606 Club, and a string of dates at New York’s renowned Birdland this month, Polly makes her way north  with her own blend of jazz, blues, and soul to feature with SSBB at Hoochie Coochie.

There’s always this element of surprise from people who haven’t seen her perform,” says James Pearson, Polly’s long-time songwriting collaborator and artistic director at Ronnie Scotts. “She astounds me, too. She’s unpredictable.”
This is certainly another SSBB special guest that is not to be missed.

CD (LP) Review: Camilla George - The People Could Fly

Camilla George (alto); Sarah Tandy (piano/Rhodes); Daniel Casimir (bass); Winston Clifford (drums) + guests - Femi Koleoso (drums);  Omar Lye-Fook, Cherise Adams-Burnett (vocals); Shirley Tetteh (guitar); Quentin Collins (trumpet).
(Review by Lance).
Nigerian born George's second album is described as a hypnotising blend of Afrofuturism, hip-hop and jazz and is named after a book of African folktales that her grandmother read to her when she was a child.
The stories must have had a lasting effect on the young Camilla judging by the original themes she composed for this album. Her 'less is more' approach to saxophone playing combined with a rich, full sound could be seen as an object lesson that some of the current gunslingers could learn from. Not that George's playing is pedantic, when the situation calls for her to unleash flurries of notes she unleashes flurries of meaningful notes.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Juliet Kelly and Paul Edis @ Gala Theatre, Durham - Sept. 14

Prior to last night's concert at Gosforth Civic Theatre, Juliet Kelly and Paul Edis played a  lunchtime gig to a capacity crowd at Durham's Gala Theatre. Malcolm Sinclair was in attendance and kindly sent some stunning images.
Photos.
Thank you, Malcolm.
Lance.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Juliet Kelly and Paul Edis @ Gosforth Civic Theatre - September 14

Juliet Kelly (vocal); Paul Edis (piano).
(Review by Lance/Photos courtesy of Russell).
Some gigs go on too long, some gigs you just can't get enough of, but this early evening shot at GCT got it just right.
The duo had played a sell-out lunchtime gig at the Gala, Durham, and it wasn't being unduly optimistic to think that the Tyneside cats would do the same.
They didn't although, it has to be said that those who could get off their litter tray thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
The opening I Put a Spell on You did just that to the audience. The unaccompanied first chorus held everyone, dare I say it? Spellbound!
Pitch perfect, this was a voice that could do what it wanted to with a lyric without any histrionics! The theme of the evening was on divas and family although, in truth, the two children present weren't spellbound.
We were!

Triptych @ The Fox, Hexham – Sept. 11

Paul Susans ( bass); Rob Walker (drums); Paul Edis (piano/clarinet). (Review/photos by Jerry E)

On the one hand, you never know what to expect form Triptych: self-proclaimed “genre-busters”, you may be cosy with Bacharach and David one minute (arranged for jazz, of course) and on the 12th Moon of Venus the next. On the other hand, you know exactly what to expect from Triptych: three top musicians, each capable of scintillating solos and composers in their own right, who visibly enjoy gigging live together and will always deliver a show where you may not know where it is going, but you know it will be great!

Before I go into more detail, a few words about the venue. I had never been to The Fox for a jazz gig before and, on entering, wondered how it could work. It’s basically open-plan, with a pool-table round the corner and, on the night, an England match on the TV. Seemed like a lot of competition for live jazz! In the event, the TV’s were switched off, the pool-players left and all was well. The pub has friendly staff, a nice atmosphere, 3 ales on in the front bar and (my missus loved this) fresh flowers in the bar and in the ladies loo (she informed me)! Comfortable!

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Top of the Bops? 2018 All Party Parliamentary Jazz Awards Nominations Announced

(The All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group have announced their 2018 nominations and Bebop Spoken Here is nominated in the Media category - WOO HOO!)
Press release

The nominations have today been announced for the 2018 Parliamentary Jazz Awards, Britain’s premier awards for the jazz loving public and fans of the music from both Houses of Parliament.
The nominees include a broad array of jazz talent from the UK jazz scene.

Supported by PizzaExpress Live  the award categories reflect the ever-increasing scope of talent from within the UK’s jazz scene: Jazz Vocalist of the Year; Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year; Jazz Album of the Year; Jazz Ensemble of the Year; Jazz Newcomer of the Year; Jazz Venue of the Year; Jazz Media Award; Jazz Education Award; and the Services to Jazz Award.

Following the online public vote for the Awards, the shortlist was then voted upon by a selection panel, who represent a broad cross-section of backgrounds united in their passion and knowledge of jazz. The winners, chosen by judging members of the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group (APPJAG), will be announced at the awards ceremony at PizzaExpress Live, Holborn, London on Tuesday 16th October.

Jam Session @ the Dun Cow, Jesmond - Sept. 12

Giles Strong (guitar); Mick Shoulder (bass); Russ Morgan (drums) + Ingo Torbahn, John Rowland (tenor); Kate O'Neill, Alice Grace (vocal); Marek Podstowek (melodica/drums/perc.); Charlie Gordon (guitar).
(Review by Lance).
Another day, another jam. Is it the Jazz Café or is it the Globe? Maybe it's Charts or perhaps the Dun Cow? It can't be the Fire Station because that's tomorrow which means that, as today is Wednesday, the choice is between the Globe and the Dun Cow.
Such is the dilemma one faces - too much jam and not enough bread. Another evening of SummertimeStella By Starlight, Autumn Leaves, All the Things You Are, Green Dolphin St. and There Will Never be Another You to spice the jaded palate.

ELT + Fairhall & Ward @ The Bridge Hotel September 9

ELT: Ingebjørg Loe Bjørnstad (vocals); Tom Challenger (saxophones); Kit Downes (harmonium/cello).
Fairhall & Ward: Tom Ward (reeds); Adam Fairhall (keyboards).
(Review by Steve H/Photos courtesy of Ken Drew) 
On entering the upstairs room at The Bridge on Sunday I was somewhat discombobulated as the performance space had been turned through 90 degrees so that the musicians were set up in front of the bay window(I shouldn’t have been that surprised, the last time Downes and Challenger played here they turned things through 180 degrees with the audience facing the back of the room). To wet the appetite even further on the makeshift stage was a whole cornucopia of fascinating looking keyboards.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Jazz Café Jam Session - Sept. 11

(Review by Lance).
The fortnightly Jazz Café jam returned and with it, jammers old and new. As per the norm, the house trio got the ball rolling. Alan Law, this week's pianist, set the bar with a solo on Bye Bye Blackbird that was just sensational. If I'd have left there and then I'd have still had a good evening. As it was, although nothing quite topped that, there were several who came close.
It was a pleasant surprise to have a return visit from Polish Australian (or is it Australian Pole?) Podstowek. The genial, multi-instrumentalist was last here in November 2015 when, as well as playing drums and blowing melodica, he also sang - quite a character.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

CD Review: Rachel Caswell - We’re All In The Dance

Rachel Caswell (vocals); Sara Caswell (violin tracks 1,3,5); Dave Stryker (guitar, arrangements); Fabian Almazan (piano, Fender Rhodes); Linda May Han Oh (bass); Johnathan Blake (drums).
(Review by Ann Alex)

Rachel Caswell comes from a musical Indiana family. At 13, she had begun to play jazz piano and cello, and, encouraged by a family friend, to sing scat and bebop. In 2015, she gave up her day job to concentrate on music, and this is her second album. We’re All In The Dance consists of re-imagined standards plus Sting’s Fragile. This is a very enjoyable CD which includes stellar instrumental playing with lots of solos.

CD Review: Milne Glendinning Band - MGB

Debra Milne (voice/lyricist/composer); Steve Glendinning (guitar/composer); Katy Trigger (bass guitar); Nik Alevroyannis (drums).
(Review by Lance)
Difficult for me to be objective on this one! Apart from being an occasional reviewer on BSH and a fellow Jazz Coop member and friend, Debra's career has run, almost parallel, to that of BSH. 
I first heard Debra at Dave Weisser's session at The Chillingham where she sat in and sang Stomping at the Savoy. Her carefully enunciated vocal suggested that the Savoy she was stomping at was in London rather than Harlem.
Fortunately, as her jazz chops developed, the vocals became looser and she began to take on the GASbook. A very crowded area, even on Tyneside, but, nevertheless, upwards and onwards and the standards gradually gave way to boppers such as Billie's Bounce and Senor Blues before, after a few Latin diversions, original material began to take over, which is what we get on this charming EP.

CD Review: One O'Clock Lab Band - Lab 2018: The Rhythm of the Road.

The North Texas One O 'Clock Lab Band was perhaps the first American college big band to make a worldwide impact on the jazz scene. Although the University of North Texas' music department can be traced back to the 1920's, maybe even earlier, it was in 1940, at the height of the big band era, that it first came to the notice of a wider public other than friends, parents and fellow students. Just as most American Universities cossetted their track and field stars, North Texas, I guess, nurtured their instrumental students. I recall hearing the band on Willis Conover's VOA shows some years later and being knocked out thinking this was maybe Kenton or Herman.
Fast forward to today and blindfold test someone with a Kenton or a Herman record and they'd probably say, "North Texas One O'Clock Lab Band".

Monday, September 10, 2018

3,500,000 and counting!

We should have a party - The Arena, The Globe, Jazz Café, a phone booth?

Ambleside Days – A Contemporary Jazz Festival - August 30 - September 2

(Review by Hugh C.)
WOW!  Another very special festival.  Derek Hook and his team triumphed again, bringing together a lyrical constellation of musicians, plucked from the jazz firmament, for this, the second Ambleside Days Festival.  The festival ran over four successive days, with the same arrangements as last year:  a one hour concert at 7.30pm followed (after a half-hour interval) by a 90-minute performance by a different ensemble.  Many of the musicians were involved in more than one of the performances over the duration of the festival.  Gwilym Simcock (piano) and Mike Walker (guitar) popped up in many different ensembles and were also heavily involved in organisational aspects of the festival. 

Latest from ECM.


Six ECM releases to review is a little too much to take in one go so, rather than spread them out over several days/weeks/months, I've taken the coward's way out and added this link to the ECM website where all and more can be revealed about these and other of the label's releases.
Lance.

Jazz at the Chronicle - 1962

I was doodling around or was it googling around looking for information on my cousin Dick Errington when I found this cutting from the Evening Chronicle of 26th. October 1962. It was just before I discovered jazz and shortly after that Dick, or Richard as the family called him, went on tour with Geraldo, I think. He came back later and joined the Screaming Lord Sutch Band and several others. There are other familiar names mentioned in the article including Brian Fisher and Joe Young who I knew.  
Who was E. D. Ward? 
Alfred Stone.

The Niffi Osiyemi Trio @ The Globe – September 8

Nifemi Osiyemi (vocals); Alan Law (piano); Paul Grainger (drums)
(Review by Ann Alex/Photo courtesy of Sheila Herrick)
I’d wanted to hear Niffi ever since I recently caught the tail end of one of her songs at a Jazz Cafe jam session, where she’d gone down a storm. Saturday night was my chance, and thank goodness I was there, as this gig was a real humdinger. Niffi’s voice is rich and sultry, the delivery skilled and enthusiastic, and her friendly personality shone throughout. The material included some numbers that you don’t hear very often nowadays, such as Darktown Strutters’ Ball.
But no drummer?
No problem! This gave lots more space for soloing on piano, and especially for the bass to really show what he could do. Paul had long, rich, solos, fooling the audience (and possibly Niffi and Alan!) with pretend endings, encouraging and clapping along for some tunes, unusual variations, and even knocking on the instrument’s belly during Hallelujah I Love Him So to illustrate the boy next door calling on his girlfriend. And the audience, mostly younger people, was with the band all the way.

Sunday, September 09, 2018

Jeff Barnhart & Tom 'Spats' Langham @ St Augustine's, Darlington - September 8

Jeff Barnhart (piano, vocals); Tom 'Spats' Langham (banjo, guitar, vocals)
(Review by Russell)
Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club is on a roll. A return visit by American piano virtuoso Jeff Barnhart working with Tom 'Spats' Langham attracted a record attendance to St Augustine's. 

The affable Barnhart thought it appropriate that their first number should be All Alone... all alone in a standing-room-only hall of more than one hundred jazz fans! The equally affable and virtuosic Spats Langham entertained the audience with tales of prodigious drinking sessions working with Tommy Burton in the days of Pebble Mill at One - somehow the band always came up with the goods in front of the watching millions!

Echoes of Ellington Orchestra: "The Classical Duke Ellington" @ Cadogan Hall, London - September 8

(Review by Lance).
When I heard that Pete Long (pictured) and the Echoes of Ellington Orchestra were, thanks to Long's musical imagination, visualising how Ellington/Billy Strayhorn may have scored Gustav Holst's the Planets Suite in the manner that they did with Peer Gynt and the Nutcracker Suite, I had to be there. After all, wasn't a segment of Jupiter - The Bringer of Jollity my old school hymn? Not that it brought much jollity to Form 4T back in the day. However, in the hands of maestro Long and baritone genius Craig, there was much jollity indeed.
The whole suite was, without doubt, a triumph for both the arranger and the star-studded band of instrumentalists and, of course, The Jazz Repertory Company.

King Bees @ Billy Bootleggers - September 7

King Bees: Michael Littlefield (guitar, vocals); Scott Taylor (harmonica, guitar, vocals); Dominic Hornsby (piano, guitar, vocals); Simon Hedley (double bass); Giles Holt (drums)
(Review by Russell) 
The joint was jumpin' ahead of the band taking to the stage. The sound was terrible, particularly during the first set. This was Billy Bootleggers and somehow it works. King Bees are resident first Friday in the month and don't folk know it?!

Little Walter into I Don't Know, the whole thing was driving Michael Littlefield CuckooMy BabeWalkin' by Myself, Littlefield again in the driving seat, in his Automatic. Feedback, howling, swirling, annoying, the first set plagued, the second set would surely be better, surely? No matter, Billy Bootleggers' patrons were on the dance floor from the off and that's where they stayed 'til silly o'clock. 

Saturday, September 08, 2018

Georgie Fame w. Guy Barker Big Band @ Ronnie Scott's - September 7

Georgie Fame (vocals); Guy Barker (trumpet/MD); Nathan Bray, Tom Rees-Roberts, Pat White (trumpets); Alistair White, Barnaby Dickinson, Nichol Thomson, Mark Frost (trombones); Sammy Mayne, Ben Castle (altos); Graeme Blevins, Paul Booth (tenors); Colin Skinner (baritone); Jim Watson (piano); Chris Hill (bass); Jim Mullen (guitar); James Powell (drums) + Zoot Money.
(Review by Lance).
I'd heard Georgie Fame with the Guy Barker Big Band at GIJF back in March at Sage Gateshead and was knocked out. Hearing him again last night in the more intimate setting of Ronnie's was something else again! Wow, by comparision it was like having the session in your living room!
The programme was virtually the same but in this setting it seemed totally different.
After a Basie/Ellington style number with some growl trumpet from Guy Barker, Georgie Fame, with the help of a walking stick, took centre stage to much applause and anticipation - could he still cut it?
He could!
Kicking off with Tubby Hayes' arrangement of Yeh Yeh complete with tenor blast from Paul Booth it was a nonstop roller-coaster ride. Jim Mullen impressed on Blues At the Bull as well as doing some Freddie Greene comping on other numbers.
At 75, Fame's body may be frail but his voice is as potent as ever handling the often complex Jon Hendricks' tongue-twisting lyrics with apparent ease. 
An added bonus was  a couple of vocal duets with Zoot Money - he of the Big Roll Band - and Let the Good Times Roll certainly did roll as did Papa's Got a Brand New Bag which also had Booth and Blevins battling it out on tenor. This really was like being back at the Flamingo in the 1960's.
Solos abounded. Castle, Mayne (I think there's a lager joke in their somewhere!) soared on alto; the ever consistent Dickinson, a master 'bone surgeon and plenty top Cs and beyond from the trumpets.
Surprisingly, possibly because of the confined space on stage, Fame didn't play piano or Hammond but, with Jim Watson to hand, it didn't matter - Watson, Mullen, Powell and Chris Hill were cooking with gas.
Tremendous set that fully deserved the standing ovation.
----- 
Gareth Williams (piano/vocal); Lawrence Cottle (bass guitar); Ian Thomas (drums).
Earlier, the Gareth Williams Power Trio played a short set  that  set the mood for the evening. Williams is an imaginative pianist although, on a session where Georgie Fame was the headliner, he was somewhat brave in throwing in a couple of vocals. Nevertheless, they went down okay and set things up nicely for the main event.
Lance.
PS: Bumped into Cormac Loane on Newcastle's Central Station. He asked me to pass on his best regards to Guy Barker which I duly did. Guy asked me to convey the same back to Cormac. They were both members of NYJO many years back.

Friday, September 07, 2018

CD Review: Jeff Rupert & Richard Drexler - R&D.

Jeff Rupert (tenor); Richard Drexler (piano).
(Review by Lance).
Yet another 6 CDs landed on the doormat - I'm shopping for a new doormat - and, as usual, they were awash with original compositions. However, this one wasn't. I never wanted to hear Gershwin play jazz which he couldn't and, likewise, I prefer my jazz musicians to do their 'composing' in the form of improvised solos rather than original songs without a hook!

Thursday, September 06, 2018

Preview: The Tulip/Metcalf Quintet @ Roobarb and Custard, Seaham. Sept. 8 (9pm)

This special, one-off group has come together as part of a preview evening for an 'Art Exhibition of paintings and sculptures inspired by the Heritage Coast.' 
Local artist Ken Lockwood saw the Francis Tulip Quartet at the Empty Shop and Ushaw and was blown away.
With Michael and Matthew heading back to the capitals of the UK and Massachusetts respectively, Francis asked James Metcalf - Early Bird and Jambone alumni, with a roving/exploratory ear for Jazz - to assemble the cream of the young guns from around the North East for an evening of standards, cutting-edge jazz, funk and maybe an original or two.
Steve T.

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Paul Edis @ The Lubetkin Theatre - September 5

County Durham correspondent Tony Eales reports encouraging numbers turned out for today's inaugural lunchtime concert at East Durham College. 
From the stage of the Lubetkin Theatre (named after Berthold Lubetkin, the man responsible for the original post-war master-plan for the new town of Peterlee) Emma Fisk introduced pianist Paul Edis who played a one-hour solo piano set. 
Eales noted one or two of Edis' compositions, a few standards and, this is becoming a habit (and a welcome one at that), Dr Edis sang a couple of songs including It's Only a Paper Moon. More, please, Dr Edis! 
There will be more 'Jazz at the Lubetkin' on Wednesday, October 3 at one o'clock when violinist Fisk herself will play the music of Joe Venuti & Eddie Lang in a duo with master guitarist James Birkett.
Russell.    

CD Review: Johannes Berauer’s Hourglass

Johannes Berauer (composer); Thomas Gould (violin); Mike Walker (guitar); Gwilym Simcock ( piano); Martin Berauer (electric bass); Bernhard Schimpelsberger (drums, percussion).
(Review by Hugh C)
Johannes Berauer is an Austrian composer who incorporates many musical styles in his works, including classical avant-garde, jazz and world music.  For this recording of Hourglass, a quintet has been assembled comprising some of the most accomplished and versatile musicians on the scene.  Hourglass is Berauer’s first composition for jazz combo, as he normally composes in more large-scale forms.  The composition incorporates many influences including “Bach’s counterpoint, Messian’s sense for harmony, Indian rhythm language and M.C. Escher’s paradox views of reality”. 

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

What a Wonderful World - not!

Yesterday I got a very exciting email from the Highest Point Festival in the UK offering to fly my whole band to Lancaster, England and pay us 5,000 Pounds (plus hotel & airline tickets)! 
It is a scam, of course. The festival, for starters, is a rock festival. Fellow musicians, please watch out for this kind of thing. 
Thanks to Lance Liddle, my friendly local jazz source (http://lance-bebopspokenhere.blogspot.com/), for helping me ferret out the truth. I finally called the festival organizers to check it out and they said they'd received other calls and it's false. Too bad... I would have loved to have done the gig if there had of been a gig!
Eileen Howard.

Press Release - Middlesbrough Jazz Weekender (October 19-21)

The official press release for the forthcoming 'Middlesbrough Jazz Weekender", is posted below. The event celebrates the 40th anniversary of the now legendary Cleveland International Jazz Festival when Ayresome Park, then the home of Middlesbrough Football Club, figuratively changed the name of the stadium to Awesome Park - such was the array of star names that were featured on that memorable weekend in July 1978.
Sadly, the big bands of Lionel Hampton and Buddy Rich are no longer with us but NYJO still is. And, although George Melly, Ella Fitzgerald and Marian Montgomery have also passed on - along with Art Blakey, Oscar Peterson, Dizzy Gillespie, Bill Evans and Freddy Hubbard - Chris Barber is still around and will be featured on Saturday evening (October 20) with, for many, the highlight of the festival being the finale by the Mingus Big Band (pictured left). The full program is listed below in the official press release.
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CD Review: Jo Harrop & Her Trio - Songs For The Late Hours

Jo Harrop (voice); Harry Sankey (guitar); Will Barry (piano); Joe Downard (bass)
(Review by Ann Alex)
As I’ve said before, we never rest at BSH. I was that person who leaped up to dance at Hoochie Coochie last week, and who was too tired after the Jazz Co-op workshop last Saturday. It was I who missed Ushaw whilst reviewing CDs, but folks, I now have my reward, this super CD from local woman made good, Jo Harrop and her trio. And the CD comes with album notes from one, Lance Liddle, who knows one or two things about jazz. Lance commends Ms Harrop’s ‘sultry, smoky voice, and points out that this singer is the ‘real deal’. I agree wholeheartedly.

Book review: Peter Jones: This is Hip - The Life of Mark Murphy.

(Although I reviewed This is Hip back in March, when Frank Griffith sent me his take on Peter Jones' portrayal of the late, charismatic, vocalist I decided to post it anyway on the grounds that anything that helps to keep Mark Murphy's memory alive is worth doing - Lance) 
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The iconic and innovative jazz vocalist Mark Murphy’s life is documented excellently by writer (and jazz vocalist) Peter Jones in “This is Hip”. The reader really gets to know Murphy as an individual and musician in this well-researched and poignant portrayal of a unique artist. 

Monday, September 03, 2018

CD Review: Chris Monson - Seldom in the Well.

Kelly Jefferson (tenor), Kevin Turcotte (trumpet, flugelhorn), Anthony Panacci (piano), Chris Monson (guitar), Artie Roth (bass), Tom Rasky (drums).
(Review by Steve T)
Available on iTunes, CD Baby and other major platforms from Sept. 7 (this Friday). A fine album which should persuade anybody who hears it to seek out a live performance and, no doubt, sell well amongst those who are lucky enough to catch them live -  Toronto would be a good place to start.
Monson's a guitarist, but that shouldn't put non guitar enthusiasts off, and apparently a prog-rock guitarist by day, which needn't put prog-rock non-believers off either. His playing is unassuming and sparse and one could be forgiven for thinking that the album must be by the sax, trumpet or even the piano player, except he wrote all nine tracks.

RIP Randy Weston

Legendary jazz pianist Randy Weston died on Saturday (Sept. 1) aged 92.
Noted for his study of jazz's African influences his life and achievements are well-documented in this New York Times obituary.
Sadly missed.
Lance

Bruce Adams w. Al Wood Quartet @ St Augustine's Parish Centre, Darlington - September 2

Al Wood (alto/baritone); Bruce Adams (trumpet/flugel); Martin Longhawn (piano); Garry Jackson (bass); Tim Carter (drums).
(Review by Lance).
A most enjoyable early evening gig when this blog really did deliver what was on the tin. Bebop was most certainly spoken here in the form of Al Wood and Bruce Adams who played as if they'd been born and bred on 52nd St or, in the case of Wood, The Haig on Wilshire Boulevard. 
The Haig was the small club in LA where the original Gerry Mulligan Quartet first became known. I doubt if it was as big as Darlington's St. Augustine Parish Centre, the temporary home for Darlington Jazz Club, but for a couple of hours last night, the two venues were interchangeable.

Sunday, September 02, 2018

CD Review: Peter Nelson - Ash, Dust and the Chalkboard Cinema:

Peter Nelson (trombone); Alexa Barchini (voice); Nikara Warren (vibes); Josh Lawrence (trumpet); Hailey Niswanger (alto); Yuma Uesaka (bass clarinet); Willerm Delisfort (piano); Raviv Markovitz (bass); Itay Morchi (drums).
(Review by Dave Brownlow).
This intriguingly entitled album by trombonist Peter Nelson features him in three different settings – a delicate trio of vibes, wordless female vocal and trombone, a quartet of trombone, piano, bass and drums and a septet of trumpet, trombone, alto sax, bass clarinet and three rhythm.

Sirkis-Bialas International Quartet @ The Globe

Silwia Bialas (voice/bowed 'thingy'); Asaf Sirkis (drums); Frank Harrison (keys); Kevin Glasgow (bass guitar).
(Review by Lance/Photos courtesy of Ken Drew).
A crowded upstairs Jazz Bar.
Wylam Brewery's Golden Ale on tap.
An incredible drummer.
A melodic bass guitarist.
An impressive keyboard player.
A voice that encompassed a range most contraltos can only dream about.
Melody, Harmony and Rhythm ever present in varying degrees.
It was compulsive.
It was intense.
Even the wordless vocals had a poetic quality about them.
So, having ticked all the above boxes, why didn't I stay for the second set?
I don't know.

Saturday, September 01, 2018

Preview: Bruce Adams @ St Augustine’s – September 2

(Preview by Russell)
Darlington Jazz Club resumes business tomorrow (Sunday 2) following a short summer break. And the first concert of the autumn season is a biggie. Trumpet powerhouse Bruce Adams will be in town to gig with multi-reeds virtuoso Al Wood. Anticipating a large crowd Darlington Jazz Club decided to secure a bigger venue for the occasion foregoing its usual Quakerhouse venue in favour of St Augustine’s along the road on Larchfield Street. What’s more, the start time will be thirty minutes later than usual at 6:30, admission on the door a bargain £6.00.

Remembering Art Pepper

Art Pepper would have been 93 today (Sept. 1). Sadly, as we all know, he died in 1982. Many will remember hearing Art at Newcastle's, then, University Theatre back in 1981. Surely one of the most memorable concerts to take place in what is now Northern Stage.
I never saw Charlie Parker live but I have seen Paul Desmond, Lee Konitz, Sonny Stitt, Charles McPherson, Charlie Mariano, Eric Dolphy, Joe Harriott, Benny Carter, Johnny Hodges, Bud Shank and many more great alto players and yet, that concert by Art Pepper remains the most poignant performance I have ever witnessed. 

CD Review: Lucia Jackson - You And The Night And The Music

Lucia Jackson (vocals); Ron Jackson (guitars, arrangements); Yago Vasquez (piano); Matt Clohesy (bass); Corey Rawls (drums) + Yaacov Mayman (ten sax track 5); Javier Sanchez (bandoneon track 6); Frederika Krier (violin track 6); Dan Garcia (guitars track 7); Samuel Torres (perc track 7).
(Review by Ann Alex).
We never rest at BSH. While some were enjoying themselves at Ushaw, I was at home reviewing CDs. To be truthful, I couldn’t face the journey by public transport, but I’ll walk from Durham City next year if I have to.*
To business.

August Highs

Gigs
Francis Tulip Quartet @ The Globe - August 5.
Jazz Café Jam Session - August 7.
Fever: Jo Harrop Sings Peggy Lee @ Ushaw Jazz Festival 2018 - August 25.
CDs
Thelonious Monk - MØNK (LP).
New York All-Stars - Burnin' in London.
Stephane Spira - New Playground.
Sara Dowling - The Two Sides of Sara.
These, of course, are my personal choices - tell me about your August [jazz] orgasms.
Lance.

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.

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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