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Bebop Spoken There

Camille Thurman: "Their [Tia Fuller & Mimi Jones] advice? If you're going to sing and play, be great at both or don't bother." - (DownBeat November 2018).

Greg Fishman: "I've loved playing music since I was 12, practising 8 hours a day, because I loved doing it every minute." - (DownBeat November 2018.)

Today Monday October 15

Afternoon.

Jazz in the Afternoon - Cullercoats Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 4QS. Tel: 0191 253 0242. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

?????

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

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Dom Famularo Drum Clinic - this Friday October 19.

Dom Famularo is a drum legend. As an educator, which in old money equates to teacher/lecturer, he is renowned. His drum clinics have inspired many and they don't come cheap. A New York clinic, for example, would cost the student the equivalent of £60.
However, this Friday, October 19, ToneAlly, in cooperation with Sage Gateshead, invite drummers of all standards to learn from the master for only £30!
Check out the poster for more details or visit www.toneally.co.uk.
Lance.

Vermont Big Band @ Cullercoats Crescent Club - October 13

(Review by Russell)   
Six and two, 62, all the threes, 33, top of the shop, blind 90, legs, 11…house!  There isn’t anything quite like a game of bingo down the club especially if you’re waiting on one number. Oh, well, better luck next time. In between the flyer and the main house, the sounds of a big band broke out in the upstairs concert room of the Crescent Club in Cullercoats.

The Vermont Big Band made a return visit to Cullercoats having played a successful concert during the summer months. The band’s MD, Chris Kaberry, must have been a happy man when he surveyed the scene – Saturday evening, a full house, who said the big band era was of yesteryear? No fewer than six saxophones, a regulation four strong trumpet section, a mere three trombones, piano, bass and drums, and a band vocalist. Two swinging sets of forties’ big band tunes, the popular hits of the day with one or two 24 carat selections from the jazz canon.

David Lyttle Trio @ The Globe Jazz Bar - Oct. 13

Steve Hamilton (piano); Michael Janisch (bass); David Lyttle (drums).
(Review by Lance).
This 3-way promotion (see previous post) was an undoubted success in terms of both audience numbers and artistic endeavour.
The crowded room applauded vociferously at the end of each original number (although less so after solos which isn't necessarily a bad thing) and deservedly so.
Janisch, we've heard in many settings over the years. The American bassist and London resident has long been a major player on the UK scene both live and on discs issued by his own Whirlwind label.
Hamilton I knew of but had yet to hear - I wasn't disappointed. His angular solos, drawing on both contemporary and traditional piano sources, kept my attention throughout.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Tonight @ The Globe - the David Lyttle Trio

For those who aren't Lindyhopping at the Coast, may I suggest Globetrotting at the Jazz Coop HQ situated, of course, at The Globe, Newcastle? 
Ireland's top drummer David Lyttle, along with Steve Hamilton on piano and Michael Janisch, bass all top men in their respective countries - Ireland, Scotland, USA look set to provide an unforgettable evening. 
A co-promotion by JNE, Jazz Coop and the Tyneside Irish Festival suggests that it will be well-attended.
Tickets are £12/£10. The gig is advertised by the Globe as kicking off at 7:30pm but I suspect this could just be doors but don't take a chance and, if it is at the more likely 8:00pm as JNE claim, you'll have all the more time for a Guinness or two.
Lance.

Preview: From Vermont to Cullercoats!

Tonight at Cullercoats Crescent Club you can have a pint or three, a game of bingo, anticipate the box draw and perhaps get lucky on the club’s own lotto. Oh, yes, how could one forget? From seven o’clock, in the upstairs concert room, Chris Kaberry’s Vermont Big Band will be in concert playing a 40s swing pad!


Band MD Kaberry has been on the jazz scene for many a year and the Vermont Big Band’s sections contain a familiar face or two. What better way to spend a Saturday evening? Beer, bingo and…big band jazz! Doors 6:30, entertainment from 7:00, pay on the door (a paltry three quid), Metro home, sorted!  
Russell.

Preview: St James, St Basil and the SSBB

At the junction of Fenham Hall Drive and Moorside North stands St James’ and St Basil’s Church. The imposing building on a busy road running through the Newcastle suburb of Fenham is home to a new series of jazz concerts. Pianist Paul Edis, the ever-popular Alan Barnes and Hot Club du Nord have already been and gone and next up  - on Thursday 18th - it’s one of the north east’s premier big bands, the mighty Strictly Smokin’ Big Band, which will be providing the evening’s entertainment.

Following a recent prestigious engagement at Wigan Jazz Club and another knock out show at Hoochie Coochie with Polly Gibbons, the Strictly Smokin’ will be ready, raring to go next Thursday, 7:30pm, £10 (pay on the door). There is a licensed bar, on-street parking and, conveniently, St James’ and St Basil’s is on the route of the no. 63 bus from/to Newcastle city centre (Blackett Street for Monument Metro).   
Russell            

Sweet Thursday - The Choice is Yours

Next Thursday (Oct. 18) offers an embarrassment of riches - it's the 3 bus syndrome once again.
SSBB at J's and B's in Fenham. A new venue for this amazing big band and one that deserves the support of all big band fans - I mean just the idea of listening to a big band and drinking beer in a church brings out my irreverent side.

However, for those who think it's sacrilege, there's a 'Fresher's Jam' at Bar Loco on Leazes Park Rd. with members of NUJO. Those who heard the young students at the Dun Cow on Wednesday will tell you that the standard is high.



If you lean towards the more contemporary end of the spectrum then JNE present the Olie Brice Quintet at the Jazz Café. Mike Fletcher (alto sax); George Crowley (tenor sax); Alex Bonney (cornet); Olie Brice (bass); Jeff Williams (drums).


Lance.

Noel Dennis Quartet @ Gala Theatre, Durham - Oct. 12


Noel Dennis (trumpet/flugel); Paul Edis (piano); Andy Champion (bass); Russ Morgan (drums).
(Review by Jerry/Photos courtesy of Malcolm Sinclair).

Regular readers will be unsurprised to learn that, before this gig, I thought I knew nothing about Miles Davis despite his iconic status. To avoid disappointment, I did my homework – Wikipedia and YouTube (scholarly and thorough, as always!) – and was surprised: familiar (to me) musicians were referenced, notably Bill Evans and Herbie Hancock and recognised titles emerged such as Freddy Freeloader and So What? I knew these tunes and liked them.

My unconscious familiarity with Davis is perhaps a measure of the man’s influence? I found, too, that his was a musical journey from bebop to “modal” jazz to jazz-fusion with two landmark albums, Kind of Blue and Bitches Brew, on the way. Noel Dennis drew attention to this journey in his connecting comments between numbers at the gig which featured selections from both those albums. The themed gig, the connecting commentary and, above all, the quartet’s superb playing made for a happy blend of stuff I didn’t know I knew and stuff I didn’t know I liked so much. Not bad for a rainy lunchtime in Durham!

CD Review: Ayn Inserto Jazz Orchestra - Down a Rabbit Hole

(Review by Dave Brownlow) 
Ayn Inserto, a brilliant composer/arranger who’s reputation has gradually increased since lodging her first ensemble in 2001. Her innovative writing is fresh, imaginative, inspired, full of surprises and unlike anyone else in the current scene. Once a pupil of the late Bob Brookmeyer, I can detect his influence here and there, but her own unique style is now fully formed with an abundance of ideas.

Three and Me: Features the three main soloists - Jones, Fedchock and Garzone in a typically complex piece. The strong rhythm section holds down an aurally-different base as themes and counter-melodies emerge and depart amongst organised “disorder.”

Friday, October 12, 2018

Paul Skerritt & James Harrison @ The Jazz Café - October 11

Paul Skerritt (vocals) & James Harrison (piano, keyboards, accordion)
(Review by Russell)
Jazz Café favourites Paul Skerritt and James Harrison made a return visit to Newcastle's Pink Lane venue following their successful appearance during the long hot days of summer. The duo has established a simple, winning formula - Skerritt chooses a favourite tune, then Harrison makes a selection - and they stick to it. 

Witty repartee is part of the act with the duo having a laugh, poking fun at one another, laughing at themselves and, importantly, interacting with the audience. The latter quality isn't a universal trait and perhaps some other gigging musicians could take a leaf out of their book. 

Barrie Ascroft funeral arrangements.

The funeral of pianist Barrie Ascroft has been announced - Wednesday, October 17 at the West Road Crematorium, Newcastle. 10:15am then 11:00am at the Denton Hotel.
May he rest in peace.
Lance.

Lisa Anderson remembers her dad, Billy Nicholson

Lisa Anderson passed on the sad news to me that her dad, trumpet player Billy Nicholson passed away last month (September?). Billy, an excellent trumpet player was also a larger than life character as this memory from Lisa reminds us.

My dad, Billy Nicholson, a trumpet player and such a character, sadly passed away last month...
Paul Wappat made a cd which was recorded live for BBC Radio Newcastle for his dad Frank Wappat, the Radio Station's most well-known disc-jockey who was also a pastor.
Knowing my dad I know for a fact he deliberately got lyrics wrong on purpose as he was very anti-religious. He was meant to sing... "Look up, look up and meet your maker". My dad and pianist Eddie Farrow (both drunks!) sang " Look down, look down and meet your maker"! This was live on air! Poor Frank Wappatt nearly got sacked!
Lisa.
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Tiptoe @ Gosforth Civic Theatre - October 11

Alice Higgins (vocals); Will Blackstone (trumpet/snare drum); Conall Mulvenna (guitar/backing vocals); Roz MacDonald (double bass). 
(Review by Lance).
It was one of those nights that you wanted to share with the world. But unfortunately, tonight was a rare night when our immediate world i.e. Newcastle/Gateshead was spoilt for choice when it came to quality singers.
Caro Emerald at Sage Gateshead, Paul Skerritt at the Jazz Café and of course the Indigo Jazz Voices down in Globeland.
Oh yes, and then there was Alice Higgins at Gosforth Jazz Club - was there not!
Remember that name and remember the name of the band - Tiptoe.
An appropriate name, for the four musicians do indeed tread softly which, given that the quartet includes trumpet and Fender Strat, two instruments rarely given to delicacy, is an achievement in itself.
The band got together at Leeds and have since received support via the Jazz Northern Line touring scheme and deservedly so (not always the case!)
Alice handles the vocals stylishly and with much musical acumen. Pitching and phrasing are impeccable.

Taupe @ King’s Hall, Newcastle University - October 11

Jamie Stockbridge (alto saxophone); Mike Parr-Burman (guitar); Adam Stapleford (drums).
(Review by Russell)
The scatter-skronk-noise-jazz commando team…so began the ICMuS blurb. What? Scatter? Skronk? ICMuS? Don’t be deterred, you ain’t as dumb as you look. As has been noted elsewhere…the rest is noise, or, if you like, it’s only noise. Please, don’t be afraid of the dark (there’s a song title in there, somewhere).

Taupe returned to Newcastle University, their seat of learning some three, perhaps four years ago. Today they walked into King’s Hall as alumni rather than three most promising undergraduates. Alto saxophonist Jamie Stockbridge did the talking. The PA was less than adequate rendering announcements all but inaudible.  To his left, guitarist Mike Parr-Burman, and, side-on to the audience, Adam Stapleford behind the traps. Was that a second snare? Stapleford peered through, and over, an array of shimmering cymbals, maintaining eye contact with his fellow alumni.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Jam Session @ the Dun Cow, Jesmond - October 10

(Review by Lance).
Want to make a fast buck? Sure you do. My advice is to get down to the bookies and back (each-way) the Newcastle University Jazz Orchestra in the 2019 Sunderland Big Band Festival. I make this forecast despite never having heard the current edition of the band but, going by the quality of those that sat in at last night's jam session, if the others are as good then a top 3 placing is, at the very least, almost guaranteed.
Remember you heard it here first.
The session had been chugging along nicely, the house trio excelling on Long Ago and Far Away; Emily and Doxy (was Johnny Mandel's Emily, Sonny Rollins' doxy or were they just friends?)
Kay Usher fiddled her way through Don't Get Around Much Anymore; Blue Bossa and Nuages. Graham Hardy blew with fire in his belly on In Walked Bud and romance in his heart with Body and Soul.

Body and Soul @ Dormans Jazz Club, Middlesbrough - October 4

Richie Emmerson (tenor sax); Kevin Eland (trumpet/flugel); Rick Laughlin (keys/ synthesizer);  Keith Peberdy (bass); Stuie Ellerton (drums).
(Review by Ron H)
It was a pleasure to have a top-class Teesside quintet as this month's guest band.
Cantaloupe Island gave the audience a taste of what was in store. A driving version of Bobby Timmons' Moanin' followed and then a particular favourite of mine, an up-tempo South of the Soho Border with great interaction and solos all-round.
One of Miles Davis's most famous tunes - Milestones - was played with style and precision followed by two more Miles related numbers, So What and Four. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music: Full Blast w. Peter Brötzmann @ the Lit & Phil - Oct. 6

Peter Brötzmann (reeds); Mario Pliakas (electric bass); Michael Wertümller (drums).
(Review by Steve T/Photos courtesy of Ken Drew)
Brötzmann is a big deal in European free jazz, maybe in jazz, and I suspect and hope he was, the reason this night was a sell-out.

Full blast it was, right from the off. Had Trane survived to use a bass guitar, he'd probably have done something like this. The bass player thumping his instrument percussively, relentlessly; the drummer clattering away like the proverbial bull; Brötzmann - like the guitarist and pianist before him - using his instrument to create sound; a noisy, raw, unbridled cacophony of unashamed power. 

Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music: Pak Yan Lau and Chris Corsano and Candlesnuffer @ Lit and Phil - Oct 6.

(Review by Steve T)
I wasn't sure I'd like this, the two support acts to the main event (Full Blast), but I was sure that the current Mrs T wouldn't, so a seat at the back for discreet nodding off, diversional therapy or a fuss-free escape route seemed the best option. This also meant that half of the time we couldn't see what was going on, so we knew how the judges on The Voice must feel. I thought it would sell out and it did, with lots of faces I didn't recognise from the usual haunts.

Candlesnuffer (prepared guitar).
Dave Brown was playing guitar - that much I knew - but not in any traditional sense. I could see some sort of device he was using, which looked a little like a fan. The sounds were at times akin to a sci-fi film, some eastern percussion sounds, some electronica, bird noises…
Is it Jazz? Is it music? Does it matter? As somebody who hates melodies that go on, go on, go on, go on, go on the radio, isn't there something in between? And does that make me a liberal?

CD Review: trio WoRK

Ken Wild (bass); Tom Rizzo (guitar); Susan Krebs (vocal).
(Review by Lance).
A delightful vignette, so laid back that Krebs' vocals make Julie London sound like Big Mama Thornton. The voice, almost a whisper, winds its way around your emotions. Soft and sensuous with each word as meaningful as the lyricist's intent - maybe more so given Kreb's reading of the words. Words and phrases with an effective emphasis on spaces.
It's an album for late nights in - with a drink or a partner or both. In time, it may well be filed alongside Wee Small Hours, Black Coffee and other post-midnight classics. In the meantime, congratulate yourself on having got in on the ground floor.

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Preview: Tiptoe @ Gosforth Civic Theatre - Oct. 11

Alice Higgins vocals / Will Blackstone trumpet / Conall Mulvenna guitar / Roz MacDonald double bass. 
If you haven't got tickets for Caro Emerald at Sage Gateshead then look no further than Gosforth Civic Theatre on Thursday. It looks good.
Tiptoe, one of the latest round of Jazz Northern Line supported acts promise to be one of the more accessible bands on the rota if, going by their YouTube samples, is a fair assessment of what they're all about.
I'm sure it is. Great voice, melodic trumpet, a guitarist who hasn't overdosed on Metheny and a bass player who can Dance with Dolphins. 
The varied repertoire covers material from Ella F to Michael J as well as some original material of their own.
See you there.
Lance.
Tiptoe - Gosforth Civic Theatre, Regent Farm Road, Gosforth, Newcastle NE3 3HD. Tel: 0191 284 3700. 7:30pm. £7.00. Gosforth Jazz Club. 

Monday, October 08, 2018

Preview: Indigo Jazz Voices @ The Globe - October 11

Jen Errington; Jenny Lingham; Miriam McCormick; Carrie McCullock; Barry Keatings (individual vocals); Alan Law (piano)
Fancy a trip to the moon next Thursday? Well, get yourself along to the Globe because that’s one of the songs you’ll be able to enjoy, sung by one of the above vocalists. Which one? You won’t find out unless you go.  Other songs that you can listen to, as well as Fly Me to the Moon, include I Thought About You; Teach Me Tonight; That Ole Devil Called Love, about twenty songs in all. All accompanied by the tremendously talented Alan Law on keys.

These singers all met originally at Lindsay Hannon’s Blue Jazz Voices class at Sage Gateshead and decided to form a vocal project among themselves, so you can enjoy the results of their work at 7.30pm this coming Thursday, £5 admission, which is very good value.
Be there!
Ann Alex

Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music @ The Bridge Hotel: Joe McPhee & Chris Corsano Duo - Oct. 7

Joe McPhee (tenor/trumpet); Chris Corsano (drums/objects).
(Review by Lance/Photos courtesy of Ken Drew).
To be truthful, I came to this, the closing gig of the festival, partly as a show of support for organiser Wes Stephenson who has done such a magnificent job of organising the multi-venue/multi-genre event and partly to check out Joe McPhee who, at the start of the festival, had created such a buzz and yet was only second banana in the billing at The Bridge.
Jazz, as in most art forms, is forever pursuing new directions. That quest for change invariably wins a few and loses a few. Last night's sell-out concert by sheer force of numbers came down on the side of the forward-looking element.
I arrived convinced I was going to hate it. But in music, as in life, hate can turn to love and vice-versa.

Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music @ The Black Swan Bar & Venue: Something Smashing - an Evening of Improvised Music and Dance. Oct. 4

Graeme Wilson (reeds); Mike Parr-Burman (guitar); Ana Almeida (voice, shoes); Christian Alderson (drums, percussion); Russell Wimbush (double bass); Alma Lindenhovius, Holly Irving, Tess Letham, Emma Snellgrove, Skye Reynolds, Adam Russell (dancers).  
(Review by Steve T/photos to follow)   
Dance is not really my thing (as anybody who has seen me will attest) but I'm always interested in anything cultural, particularly in seeing how people respond. 
A rough headcount at the start revealed almost thirty willing souls, but I think it may have grown during the course of three separate performances. Our preference was to split it up with a bite in the middle, so we only got the first and last; often a good idea I've found at things you're not entirely sure about. Once over I would stringently sit through long, boring drum solos and solo piano pieces before realising a short sojourn to the bar could make the whole evening far more enjoyable.

Sunday, October 07, 2018

No Time for Jive @ Billy Bootleggers - October 6

Brian Lynham (harmonica, vocals); Pete Redhead (guitar, vocals); Keith Forsyth (double bass, vocals); Nat McLeave (drums) 
(Review by Russell)
Scotswood Slim (aka Brian Lynham) has been preaching the blues for longer than he would care to remember. No Time for Jive's current line-up stretches way back and one thing is for sure, the band's fan base keeps on coming back for more. 

Half an hour before Saturday night's first set Billy Bootleggers wasn't so busy, perhaps the Magpies’ loyal support was elsewhere drowning its sorrows following an early evening reverse at Old Trafford. As the band took to the stage the hordes duly arrived. West Coast, jump jive, a Windy City blast, No Time for Jive's tried and tested formula wasn't about to change. 

Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music @ the Globe Jazz Bar: Swing Manouche - Oct. 6

Mick Shoulder, Giles Strong (guitars); Paul Grainger (bass).
(Review by Lance).
Clarinetist, Gavin Lee had put in a sick note so, unable to find a suitable replacement, the quartet became a trio. All credit to Porthos, Aramis and Athos, the absence of D'Artagnan didn't prevent them from putting on an excellent show that was much appreciated by the well-attended upper room audience.

Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music @ the Jazz Café: Zöe Gilby Quartet - Oct. 6

Zöe Gilby (vocals); Noel Dennis (trumpet/flugel); Mark Williams (guitar); Andy Champion (bass); Russ Morgan (drums).
(Review by Lance).
The Caff was crammed, the seats were all taken and your reviewer was relegated (eventually) to a tall stool next to the door which opened and closed frequently the cold air offering a contrast to the cool sounds emulating from the performance end of the room.
Down there, at the cutting edge, a noble effort to pay tribute to the music of American trumpet player and composer Tom Harrell was taking place with words put to many of his compositions. Words, I gather, that were written by Andy Champion.
I say 'I gather' as, at my end of the room visibility, even on a high stool, was virtually non-existent, chatter very much existent, and PA announcements unintelligible.
Despite all that, the music was magnificent.

Saturday, October 06, 2018

George Sykes & Friends @ Prohibition Bar - October 5

George Sykes Quartet: George Sykes (tenor saxophone); Alan Law (piano); Paul Grainger (double bass, bass guitar); Joe Shaw (drums) + Julija Jacenaite (vocals); Jason Holcomb (trombone); Holly Sykes (trumpet); Craig Irving (guitar)
(Review by Russell)
George Sykes and Friends…exactly as anticipated a ‘friendly’ gathering of friends, acquaintances old and new. Tenor saxophonist George Sykes has made quite an impact on the local scene sitting-in around town, standing toe-to-toe with the north east’s big hitters. A ready smile, appreciative of his fellow musicians, a nice bloke, that’s Newcastle University student Sykes.    

‘Spillett tempo’, the first scribbled note. No messing around, straight in with a super-fast Devil May Care. We got the Harry Warren chart, Johnny Burke’s lyrics were for another time. Matching Sykes all the way were pianist Alan Law, double bass man Paul Grainger and a new face, Joe Shaw, drums. Sykes and Shaw go back to their days on the Leicestershire proving ground of the youth big band scene. Shaw is yet another medic (there’s something about medicine and music, ostensibly an unlikely meeting of arts and sciences) more than capable of playing jazz to a high standard.

Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music @ The Lit and Phil: Stan Sulzmann and Nikki Iles – Oct. 5

Stan Sulzmann (tenor); Nikki Iles (piano)
(Review by Ann Alex/Photo courtesy of Ken Drew).
By 12.45 the Lit and Phil concert room was almost full. I took a side seat (I like to be near the action), but this meant that I was behind our pianist, not ideal for hearing the names of the tunes, so excuse me for any titles I’ve omitted. Wes Stephenson introduced the proceedings, sporting a shaggy beard, which goes well with the concept of improvised music.

I really am at quite a loss to describe the music as it was so, so good, as proved by the hearty applause. I wish I knew more about jazz technically, in order to do full justice to the playing. But Who Can I Turn To? which was the first tune. Flowing piano, and a slower, contrasting sax, alternating solos. This was very danceable music and I’d have been on my feet if I’d been listening at home. The next piece was from Porgy and Bess, beginning with long, slow sax notes, and now I wanted to sing.

Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music: Graeme Wilson Quartet CD launch @ Jazz Café - Oct. 5

Graeme Wilson (tenor/baritone/flute/ bs. clarinet/compositions); Paul Edis (keys/flute); Andy Champion (bass/ bs. guitar, flute); Adam Sinclair (drums).
(Review by Lance/photos courtesy of Malcolm Sinclair).
Graeme's a Scotsman. Even if he hadn't spoken a word, his music would have told you he wasn't born within the sound of Bow Bells or even south of the River Tweed. No, the intro to the opener well and truly marked his card.
Of course, most of us remembered Graeme for the near decade he spent in Newcastle playing at the Side Café, with the VOTNJO, and their offspring band Splinter and we knew that the skirl of the pipes would soon give way to the sheets of sound as purveyed by John, not Robbie, Coltrane.
A prodigious tenor player and an even more prodigious baritone saxophonist. We live in a world of gunslinging, fast on the draw, tenor players but there aren't many Billy the Kids who can shoot from the hip on baritone as fast as Graeme did last night. At one point, he produced a note on baritone that piccolo players could only dream of!

Friday, October 05, 2018

CD Review: Tony Bennett & Diana Krall - Our Love is Here to Stay

Tony Bennett & Diana Krall (vocals); Bill Charlap (piano); Peter Washington (bass); Kenny Washington (drums).
(Review by Lance).
The opening track says it all - 'S Wonderful!
How could it not be? Bennett may be 92 but, to my ears, he's jazzier now than he was when he was 32! Gone is the bel canto of his early years, now it's more of a Rod Stewart croak which, incidentally, is probably the greatest compliment I'll ever pay Rod Stewart. The 2018 voice has a quality that comes across as being more emotionally involved with the lyrics than it once was. Back then, it always sounded to me as if he wasn't so much singing to the audience but, rather, counting them.

Abbie Finn plays Pinter

Durham County Youth Big Band, Durham Alumni Big Band, Leeds College of Music, Trinity Laban and now...Harold Pinter. 

Masters graduate Abbie Finn is well known to jazz audiences from Tyneside down to Teesside and beyond. A finals' recital behind her, drummer Finn is about to tread the boards in Harold Pinter's Night School. The Pinter Theatre (formerly the Comedy Theatre) on Panton Street in London's West End, is hosting a Pinter at the Pinter season. Award-winning drummer Abbie has been cast in the playwright's early '60s work which is to be directed by Ed Stambollouian.

CD Review: Felipe Salles Interconnections Ensemble – The Lullaby Project.

(Review by Dave Brownlow).
I begin by quoting from the CD notes of this album which clearly states its objectives far better than any re-write of my own:
“The LULLABY PROJECT is an extended work in five movements for jazz orchestra. This is the debut recording of the Felipe Salles Interconnections Ensemble, an 18 piece jazz orchestra that combines Brazilian, Latin-American, and classical influences. It is a suite of pieces which are all ‘through-composed’ and feature jazz solos from different member of the various sections.”

Thursday, October 04, 2018

Milne-Glendinning Band EP launch @ Charts, Newcastle - October 3

Debra Milne (vocals); Steve Glendinning (guitar, vocals); Katy Trigger (bass, vocals); Paul Wight (drums)
(Review/photo of Charts by Russell/Band photos courtesy of  Ken Drew)

Vocalist Debra Milne and guitarist Steve Glendinning's recently formed quartet serves as a performance vehicle for their songwriting collaborations. A recording session produced material worthy of release and this gig at Charts on Newcastle Quayside marked the official launch of their MGB EP. 

Charts, part of the Pub Culture business venture, has been a supporter of jazz from the day it first opened its doors earlier this year. An established weekly jazz jam session, a new blues jam session in the offing, the swish riverfront hostelry proved to be the ideal choice of venue for the occasion.

Duende Jazz Bar in Thessaloniki

(Report by Neil Chalmers).
I have just returned from Thessaloniki in Greece and had the privilege to spend a couple of nights at the Duende Jazz Bar on Kalapothaki Street just up from the promenade. It is an excellent little club and the music was first class provided on the first night by the house band so to speak, the Duende Jazz Orchestra, a very tight 5 piece with an absolutely first-rate Piano player.
The whole place was really appreciative of the numbers the guys played and no more so than the man tending bar and the young lady who seemed to be hosting the evening.

CD Review: Sam Leak and Dan Tepfer – Adrift (Suite for 2 Pianos)

Sam Leak, Dan Tepfer (pianos)
(Review by Hugh C)
Sam Leak is based in London and Dan Tepfer in New York City.  The two came together for the 2014 Steinway Piano Festival in London, for which Leak was asked to write a suite for the duo to play and improvise around. 
Adrift is the result, crafted in eight parts (Adrift: I to VIII), and presented on this CD back to back (although with individual track numbers).  The CD was recorded at the Yamaha Showroom in Manhattan, NY.  The quality of the pianism is beyond doubt and the tone exquisite. Though stated to be part through-composed and part open to improvisation, it is sometimes difficult to tell where one begins and the other ends. 

Take it to the Bridge - Remembering Barrie Ascroft @ The Globe - Oct. 3.

Dave Weisser (cornet/vocals); Nigel ? (flugel); Jude Murphy (alto/flute/vocals/piano); Rachel Richman, Cormac Loane, A.N. Other (altos); ?  (soprano); Bernie Ranson (tenor); Roy Stephenson (guitar); Alan Law (piano); Dave Parker (bass); John Bradford (drums).
(Review by Lance).
There was an empty feeling as the piano was ominously silent whilst the band set up. Dave Weisser shared photos and memories of Barrie Ascroft and more than a few hugs were shared as they prepared for the opener - appropriately titled Mr. Rascal. Composed by the late Barrie it's a catchy theme. Jude played piano (is there any instrument this lady doesn't play?) until Alan Law arrived and took over.

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

CD Review: Flying Machines – New Life

Alex Munk (guitar, vocals); Matt Robinson (piano, synths, Fender Rhodes); Conor Chaplin (electric bass); Dave Hamblett (drums).
(Review by Hugh C)
New Life is the second release from this London based band, their first, critically acclaimed, eponymous album having been issued in 2016.  New Life continues their trademark fusion of contemporary jazz with progressive rock.  This album continues their exploration with a mix of expansive through-composed material morphing into and out of group improvisation.

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Loss of a Legend RIP Barrie Ascroft

I've just received the sad news that pianist Barrie Ascroft died peacefully last night (October 1). Barry, a longtime associate of Dave Weisser, Jude Murphy and the Take it From the Bridge ensemble, was an outstanding, if somewhat eccentric and self-effacing pianist who nevertheless always delivered the goods.
His eccentricity, I know, came from an accident some years ago but never seemed to affect his playing.
The onstage banter between Dave and Barrie could appear to be cutting but, beneath it, there was genuine love and respect for each other.
The Take it to the Bridge gigs, spread across many venues over the years can, and hopefully still will, claim to be the longest running jam session/jazz workshop in the northeast.

Classic Swing + Guests @ The Ship, Monkseaton - Oct. 2

Olive Rudd (vocals); Bob Wade (trumpet/flugel); Jim McBriarty (tenor); Don Fairley (trombone); Colin Haikney (piano); Alan Rudd (bass); Tommy Graham (drums) + Gordon Solomon (trombone); Cormac Loane (alto saxophone).
(Review by John T) 
There are two things that attract me to The Ship on a Tuesday afternoon.
Firstly this quality band who always play a varied and interesting programme sending you home happy following an uplifting performance
Secondly, something surprising frequently happens.  

Simon Says - updated.


(With the Parliamentary Jazz Awards now only 2 weeks away I've flagged up this previous post by top tenor saxist Simon Spillett, himself a former APPJAG award winner, on the off chance that any of the MPs who have yet to cast their vote may not have read the post and the related comments - Lance)
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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. 

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About this blog - contact details.

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

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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