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Bebop Spoken There

John Medeski: "Like Mingus or Ellington, he [John Zorn] pulls people out of their zones and encourages them to do more than they would do on their own." - (DownBeat, December 2018).

Today Tuesday November 20

Afternoon

Classic Swing - The Ship, Front St., Monkseaton NE25 8DP. 1pm. Free.

Evening

?????

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

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Classic Swing @ The Ship, Monkseaton - Nov. 20

Olive Rudd (vocals);  Paul Gowland (tenor); Bob Wade (trumpet/flugel);  Neville Hartley (trombone);  Paul Smith (drums); Alan Rudd (bass); Colin Haikney (piano).
(Review by John T)

Sad news that Don Fairley could not make it as he is recovering from another fall. We wish him well and hope he will have a quick recovery

With three key players on holiday the “deps” all fitted in seamlessly. Paul Gowland made a fantastic job of soloing on  Desafinado - Stan Getz would have been proud! Bob also did a stylish solo with Willow Weep for Me on Flugel.

Giles Strong & Roly Veitch @ The Beaumont Hotel, Hexham - Nov 19

Giles Strong (guitar) & Roly Veitch (guitar)
(Review by Russell)

This was the second of two little publicised gigs at the Beaumont Hotel in Hexham. Local resident and fine jazz guitarist Giles Strong opted for an under-the-radar start to a new series of Monday evening jazz gigs, the series proper beginning next week (November 26). 

Light rain began to fall as Strong played the first number of the evening in the company of friend and fellow guitarist Roly Veitch. The duo sat unobtrusively in a corner adjacent to the hotel's reception desk. The Days of Wine and Roses greeted guests - some checking in, some checking out - and a busy dining room comprising residents and locals enjoying a Monday evening meal.

Monday, November 19, 2018

The Velvet Revolution + Charlie Collins and Friends @ The Cumberland Arms - Nov. 16

The Velvet Revolution: Daniel Erdmann (saxes); Théo Ceccaldi (violin); Jim Hart (vibes).

Charlie Collins and Friends: Charlie Collins (percussion); Eun-Jung Kim (komungo); Derek Saw (trumpet); Faye MacCalman (clarinet).
(Review by Steve H/photos to follow)

At about 11 o’clock on Friday night, a bearded figure carrying a grey suitcase entered the upstairs room of the Cumberland Arms to a round of applause. French violinist Theo Ceccaldi had just arrived straight from Newcastle Airport after a tortuous journey from Toulouse. Like a real trooper and with no time to lose Theo joined the other 2 members of The Velvet Revolution to complete a stunning evening of music.

Due to his late arrival, we were treated to a duo set from Erdmann and Hart. Some of the tunes were even world premieres as the very dry-witted Erdman explained. Their set was an unscheduled bonus which also included updates of Ceccalidi’s arrival time (the plane actually landed at 22.05 and luckily in these pre-Brexit times there were no immigration hold-ups).

Quintet of the Year (2018): Mick Shoulder Quintet @ the Black Bull, Blaydon - Nov. 18.

Graham Hardy (trumpet/flugelhorn); Lewis Watson (tenor sax); Dean Stockdale (piano); Mick Shoulder (bass); Russ Morgan (drums).
(Review/photos by Lance. Photo of Graham Hardy courtesy of Roly Veitch).
The original Quintet of the Year comprised Dizzy, Bird, Bud Powell, Mingus and Max Roach. The concert took place in Toronto in 1953 and featured five of the greatest modern jazz musicians ever. Since then, there have been other bands worthy of the title including Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, the Horace Silver Quintet and the UK's own version - The Jazz Couriers.

All three groups were referenced at Blaydon Jazz Club last night in a well-attended session by a band that must surely qualify for this year's title and I don't mean just on Tyneside but as far afield as you care to mention.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

CD Review: Greg Yasinitsky - Yazz Band.

Greg Yasinitsky is a new name to me but, better late than never. This fine saxist, composer, arranger and educator has been around for many years - 40 years plus in education as well as studio and live sessions with a diversity of talent that includes Stan Getz, Randy Brecker and Ray Charles. This and a wide assortment of music awards make him a voice to be reckoned with.

His many skills are well-displayed here. All nine titles were composed and arranged by Yasinitsky who also solos on alto or tenor on most of them and filled out the pared-down sax section on baritone. On the ballad Missing You his melodic side comes to the fore although not without a midway blast! The closing cadenza and the final few bars by the sax section are truly beautiful.

The Eales' Report from BATH & Opus 4

BSH's southern (that's County Durham) correspondent Tony Eales filed an enthusiastic report of Friday's events way down south. A lunchtime session in the first-floor cafe at Bishop Auckland Town Hall went down well with a sizeable crowd there to hear super saxist/flautist Sue Ferris* working in trio format with sidekicks Paul Edis, piano, and ace bassman Neil Harland. 

CD Review: Square One featuring Andy Middleton - Double Bind.

Joe Williamson (guitar); Peter Johnstone (piano); David Bowden (double bass); Stephen Henderson (drums/percussion); Andy Middleton (tenor/soprano saxophones).
(Review by Steve T)
I remember interviewing this band at the Ushaw Festival, enjoying their set, and their debut album. However, this album marks an exponential growth and development from a promising band you'll turn out to see when they come round, buy the album and play it a couple of times, to a maturity many comparable bands never attain.

Nor do I put this down to the presence of the special guest, who wrote five of the nine originals, with the individual band members contributing one each. I only checked this after two listens and was surprised since you really can't hear a join, so complete is his assimilation into the band.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Preview: Mick Shoulder Quintet @ the Black Bull, Blaydon - Nov. 18

Tomorrow (Sunday) all roads lead to the Black Bull, Blaydon (NE21 4JJ postcode for Sat Nav users) as bassist Mick Shoulder brings in his first-rate quintet to play two sets of rip-roaring bebop. 

Earlier this year Bebop Spoken Here caught the band in Bishop Auckland. What a set that was! The frontline of Graham Hardy (trumpet and flugelhorn) and tenor sax master Lewis Watson tore the place apart. The rhythm section - Shoulder, pianist Dean Stockdale and drummer Russ Morgan - is a pay-your-money gig in itself, put the five of them together and you've got yourself a contender for Gig of the Year. 

Boys of Brass @ Hoochie Coochie - Nov. 16

(Review by Lance).
Pop and soul and rock 'n' roll a-plenty with soul being the dominating force from a band that had the floor awash with more gyrating bodies than you'd find at a Dervish convention.

Despite the powerful horn section few, if any, of the brassmen had more than a 4 bar break concentrating instead on providing the easily identifiable ensemble backing to Thornley's cover vocals.

Friday, November 16, 2018

New Jazz Voices @ Newcastle University - Nov 15.

Late afternoon Thursday in King's Hall is allocated to 'Student Performances'. Today's session included a couple of jazz (or jazz related) sets alongside other performers (Bach violin pieces, interpretations of songs by Birdy and Snow Patrol, and a soprano singing Bellini and Pergolesi).

Guitarist Dylan Lemon, a new name to Bebop Spoken Here, played two numbers - Thelonious Monk to begin with, followed by Dave Brubeck's Take Five. Short and sweet, little in the way of improvisation, Lemon was accompanied on the latter number by a student friend playing rhythm guitar. It would be good to hear the two guitarists sitting-in around town.  
   
Ellen Harris performed two pieces (one of them by flavour of the month, and friend of Kamasi Washington, Thundercat) backed by a more than useful trio which included two graduates known to BSH - Luke Gaul, on this occasion playing guitar, and drummer Harry Still. As with guitarist Lemon, let's hear Harris mixing it at one of the many regional jam sessions. 

Russell.

Hexham Jazz News.

The Beaumont Hotel, Hexham, is to present a weekly series of early evening jazz gigs on Mondays commencing on November 26. Guitarist Giles Strong describes the sessions as being informal gigs aimed at drinkers, residents and diners as well as local jazz fans. 

The initial programme is as follows:

Nov. 26: Ruth Lambert Trio
(Lambert – vocals; Giles Strong – guitar; Paul Susans – bass)

Dec. 3: Paul Edis – piano; Graham Hardy – trumpet.

Dec. 10: Dean Stockdale Trio
(Stockdale – piano; Strong – guitar; Mick Shoulder - bass)

Dec. 17: Ruth Lambert Trio
(Lambert – vocals; Strong – guitar; Ian Paterson - Bass)

All will run from 7:00pm to 9:00pm.

Beaumont Hotel,
Beaumont St,
Hexham,
NE46 3LT.

01434 602331.

Alan Glen Trio @ The Globe Jazz Bar - Nov. 15

Alan Glen (piano); John Pope (bass); Paul Wight (drums).
(Review by Lance).
The choice lay between Alan Glen at the Globe or James Harrison and Paul Skerritt at the Black Swan. The undefeated champion or his number one contender?
It was a tough call but, having heard James the previous night at Jesmond, I opted to catch one of the all too rare appearances by the old master.

It nearly didn't happen, apart from aggravating a pulled hamstring as I ran for the bus, all was not well with the Yamaha piano at the Jazz Coop HQ. A note that, without warning, trebled in volume gave our pianist cause for concern - just as well Keith Jarrett wasn't doing the gig.  Nevertheless, trooper that he is, the keyboard king bravely soldiered on to give an outstanding performance that thrilled the gathered worshippers.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Shoeshop Quartet @ King's Hall, Newcastle University - Nov. 15

Ruth Lambert; Laurie Shepherd; Hannah Taylor; Meghann Clancy

Mr SandmanDiamonds Are a Girl's Best FriendCheek to Cheek - a shoe shopper's delight. 'Les Girls' - Ruth, a seated Laurie (baby bump showing!), Hannah and Meghann - took a break from Christmas shoe-shopping to call into King's Hall to sing a few songs.

Dressed for the occasion in retro chic outfits, the female barbershop quartet performed acoustically to a near full house. Ms Ruth Lambert, singing the bass lines, commandeered the tuning harp as the faux fur-wearing quartet presented a GASbook to late twentieth century popular song set.      

King's Hall's French-built, recently installed pipe organ stood silent as our jazz-infused quartet enjoyed singing a few quirky numbers including Lady Gaga's Bad Romance and the Jackson 5's dance floor filler I Want You Back

At the scheduled two o'clock finish an audience of Friends of King's Hall Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy types and three line-whipped music students erupted into huge applause. 
Russell

The Jazz Lads @ Saltburn Cricket Club - Nov. 9


Ian Bosworth (guitar); Richie Emmerson (tenor sax); Dave Archbold (keys); John Daniel (bass); and Mark Hawkins (drums).
(Review by Ron H)
A pleasing start to the new venue was made with a near capacity audience.
The night started well with Stanley Turrentine's Sugar which, although a strong tenor feature, also showcased John Daniels’ excellent bass playing.

After numbers including Out Of Nowhere, Blue Bossa and an up-tempo version of Have You Met Miss Jones? with fine solos all-round, the audience were treated to My Funny Valentine featuring Richie on tenor and showing him to be, in my opinion, one of the finest saxophonists in the area. The first set concluded with the perennial Ellington classic, Take the A Train. 

Jam Session @ The Dun Cow - Nov. 14

James Harrison (keys); Paul Grainger (bass); Russ Morgan (drums) + Roly Veitch (guitar); John Rowland (tenor); Ray Burns (harmonica/vocal); Dawn Furness (vocal).
(Review by Lance).
Another night, another jam, another fun-packed evening? Well er, yes... How could it not be with the effervescent James Harrison at the keyboard? Add Messrs Grainger and Harrison and you have the foundation to build a multi-storey and there was a multitude of musical stories to tell from tonight's players.

A rhapsodic Oh Lady Be Good followed by a fiery Latin piece called, I think, Obsession got the ball rolling and all three were up for it. I'd already lost count of the quotes James had pulled out of the air. Things Ain't What They Used to be; Moanin' and Stompin' at the Savoy, just some of the ephemeral moments that flashed by - American Patrol and Ornithology also figured in some later numbers.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Jam Session @ The Black Swan - Nov. 13

(Review by Lance).

Such is the nature of jam sessions that the standard of performance is variable and if I say that this week didn't quite have the pizzazz of two weeks ago there was still plenty to savour, not least the house rhythm section who ensured that everyone got the best of support.

Showtime (David Gray) arrived wearing a hat that became a mute or was it vice versa? Whatever, he didn't pale by comparision with the trombone players I'd already heard that day on CD.

Elliott Todd, from Manchester, and George Sykes from, musically speaking, Vermont appeared to struggle early on but, once the instruments were warmed up, got into their stride later on.
The vocalists tended to be under amplified and Poppy's fluting would have benefitted from closer proximity to the mic.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

CD Review: John Fedchock Quartet - Reminiscence

John Fedchock (trombone); John Toomey (piano); Jimmy Masters (bass); Dave Ratajczak (drums); Billy Williams (drums on 1 track).
(Review by Lance).
Another fine trombone album - two in one day!
Fedchock, who came in at No. 17 in the recent DownBeat Poll (should have been placed much higher), has also had a couple of Grammy nominations for Best  Instrumental Arrangement and has to his credit five big band recordings. However, it is his trombone playing that is to the fore revealing a sound with the mellowness of Dorsey and the attack and rapidity of JJ. In fact, if Peter Lin and John Fedchock got together it would be a case of Jay and Kai ride again!

CD Review: Lucas Pino’s ‘No Net Nonet’ - That’s A Computer

Lucas Pino (tenor sax/bass clarinet), Alex LoRe (alto), Mat Jodrell (trumpet), Nick Finzer (trombone), Andrew Gutauskas (baritone), Rafal Sarnecki (guitar), Glenn Zaleski (piano), Desmond White(bass), Jimmy Macbride(drums), Camila Meza (voice). 
(Review by Dave Brownlow).

“That’s a computer” was the unkind, dismissive comment made by one of Lucas Pino’s professors at Juilliard Music School upon hearing the young saxophonist/composer/arranger’s work. “No Net Nonet” is the perfect riposte from Pino and his nine-piece ensemble and we can share their responses in the seven performances on this enjoyable, swinging and energetic CD.

Alex LoRe’s attractive Antiquity features the soaring, fleet-fingered altoist, amidst a pleasant-on-the-ear arrangement full of interest, changes of pace and carefully thought-out section work.

CD Review: Peter Lin - With Respect

Peter Lin (trombone); Anthony Nelson Jr. (tenor/soprano/flute); Benjamin Kovacs (tenor); Anthony Ware (alto); James Zollar (trumpet); Oscar Williams II (piano); Charles Sigler (guitar); Ben Rubens (bass); Nic Cacioppo/ Winard Harper (drums).
(Review by Lance).
Straight down the middle jazz with a contemporary touch although not enough to do any harm. Partly reminiscent of the west coast jazz of the 1950s, the recording took place in New Jersey earlier this year. But, if you're thinking east as opposed to west you're only half right as several of the numbers are songs from the Chinese and Taiwanese popular songbooks and you can't get much further east than that. 

Monday, November 12, 2018

Jessica Radcliffe - Remembrance - Press release

Steve Crocker kindly observed that we at BSH do reviews rather than cutting and pasting press releases which, 99% of the time, is correct. 
However, on this occasion because the subject matter is so emotive and on all the front pages, rather than express my own feelings on the album I’ll leave it to the Ubuntu PR Dept. to describe the November 30 release (followed by an album launch at Pizza Express, Soho, on December 2)
Lance.

(Press release).

The Sun on Danby Gardens by Dr. Keith Armstrong

The sun on Danby Gardens
smells of roast beef,
tastes of my youth.
The flying cinders of a steam train
spark in my dreams.
Across the old field,
a miner breaks his back
and lovers roll in the ditches,
off beaten tracks.
Off Bigges Main,
my grandad taps his stick,
reaches for the braille of long-dead strikes.

Lorraine Baker's Eden - Album Launch Tour @ the Bridge Hotel, Newcastle - Nov. 11

Lorraine Baker (drums); Binker Golding (tenor); John Turville (piano); Paul Michael (bass guitar).
(Review by Lance/ photo courtesy of Ken Drew).
I'd heard/reviewed the CD and knew what to expect. John Turville had replaced Liam Noble for the tour of which this JNE gig was about midway. The keyboarder dug in and ensured that nothing was lost in the exchange. Binker was, well Binker! With or without Moses he's a tenor contender. On bass guitar, Michael laid it down, soloing and supporting effectively.
Baker paid dutiful tribute to her inspiration, Ed Blackwell, and most of the numbers played related to Blackwell and are on the CD. Thus we heard compositions by Ornette Coleman, Don Cherry, Charlie Haden, Karl Berger, Mark Helias plus John Coltrane's Central Park West which I don't think is on the album (the artwork is confusing) but was quite beautiful with Golding in lyrical mode.
The first set was ok but didn't really come totally to life until the final number, Coleman's Blues Connotation, that had our tenor player in full, no holds barred, flight.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Mike Durham's Classic Jazz Party 2018 @ Village Hotel, Newcastle - Nov 4 (evening)

(Review by Russell/Photos courtesy (and ©) of DJC de la Haye)

The final session of this year's Classic Jazz Party opened at seven thirty with the third of three
piano 'professors' - Morten Gunnar Larsen - playing to another packed main hall. As the evening's programme unfurled - Richard Pite's small group Gene Krupa Band session with Matthias Seuffert, reeds, Martin Litton, piano and string bassist Graham Hughes; the trumpets of Tomasso and Heitger working with an all European rhythm section on New Orleans hits the Big Apple; and Spats' Band giving Tom Langham free reign to showcase ragtime banjo, Al Bowlly vocals and more - thoughts turned to the set-piece finale, The Nichols-Duffee Chick Webb Orchestra

New venue for Ashington Jazz Club

Ashington Jazz Club has moved! 
After several years at the Elephant pub, December 3 sees the first concert staged by the long-running jazz club at their new home,  Block and Tackle on Blackthorn Way.
Not only a change of venue but also a change of day and, following the pattern set by the other jazz hostelries specialising in older style jazz, they've moved from Wednesday evening to Monday lunchtime.
The opening gig features Classic Swing.
Details of the new set-up can be found on the Ashington Jazz Club website.
We wish John Taylor and his team every success.
Lance.

Farewell Blues

The December issue of DownBeat as well as listing the 2018 Reader's Poll Winners (they don't have a Jazz Media category!) also draws attention to a few deaths we inadvertently overlooked.
These include baritone sax giant and 8 times DB Critics Poll winner Hamiet Bluiett; bassist Max Bennett, a frequent member of Ella's accompanying trio at Newcastle City Hall, and drummer John Von Ohlen who appeared at the same venue with Woody Herman as well as playing with and helping to form the great and vastly underrated Blue Wisp Big Band out in Cincinnati (must dig out the tapes).
Click on the links for individual obituaries.
All sadly missed.
Lance.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

CD Review: Lorraine Baker's - Eden

Lorraine Baker (drums); Binker Golding (tenor); Liam Noble (piano); Paul Michael (bass).
(Review by Lance).
Not another singer? Correct! This is not another singer, but a drummer. Why do I sound surprised? I shouldn't do as drummers of the fairer sex are no longer a rare species. Top draw drummers such as Abbie Finn, Caroline Scott, Sophie Alloway and Katie Patterson. make a mockery of any imaginary gender divides in jazz. Lester Young famously gave up playing drums, he said that as by the time he'd dismantled the kit all the available chicks had left with the saxophone players. If he'd been a girl it might have been different - "May I carry your bass drum Miss Young?"

Brandee Younger – Live @ Church of Sound, London - October 14

Ace cameraman Mochles Sa sent me some photos of harpist Brandee Younger taken in concert at The Church of Sound (Brandee for the parson?) in Clapton, London. There's also an intense review of the gig on AAA MUSIC by Craig Doporto here.
Lance.
More photos by Mochles Sa.

Kansas Smitty's House Band @ Sage Gateshead - November 9

Pete Horsfall (trumpet, vocals); Giacomo Smith (alto/clarinet); Adrian Cox (clarinet/vocals); David Archer (guitar); Joe Webb (piano); Ferg Ireland (double bass); Will Cleasby (drums).
(Review by Lance).
A cracking gig by a band that more or less lived up to its status as 'Best Small Group' in the recent British Jazz Awards. I use the qualifier as this is a very danceable group and, had we been at their home base, Kansas Smitty's in London, the floor would have been awash with dancers. As it was, the rows of seats in Sage Two limited such activity. 

Nevertheless, the band played a storming and varied programme ranging from Jelly Roll Morton style rags and stomps to Louis Jordan influenced rhythm 'n' blues via small group Ellington. 

Friday, November 09, 2018

RIP Sonny Fortune.

Dave Brownlow has drawn my attention to the death of saxophonist Sonny Fortune who passed away on October 25. I never actually heard him live although recordings indicate that, although he was at the forefront of contemporary playing, he was also at home in straight ahead sessions.
There's a comprehensive obituary in the New York Times.
He was 79.
RIP.
Lance.

An Afternoon in Paris with Kevin Holbrough @ The Lit & Phil, Newcastle - Nov. 9

Kevin Holbrough (trombone); Paul Edis (piano); Andy Champion (double bass); Russ Morgan (drums) 
(Review/photos courtesy of Russell).
The Lit & Phil, lunchtime, jazz, a large turn out, what's new? Leeds College of Music Senior Lecturer Kevin Holbrough made the short journey to Tyneside to play a lunchtime gig with the Paul Edis Trio. For this one-off occasion, the concert was billed as the Kevin Holbrough Quartet. 

John Lewis' Afternoon in Paris* eased the Lit & Phil's audience into the one hour set. Trombonist Holbrough had worked as a dep in Edis' ace sextet but this was, likely as not, his first encounter with bassist Andy Champion and drummer Russ Morgan. First impressions? He couldn't have been other than impressed! 

Mike Durham's Classic Jazz Party 2018 @ Village Hotel, Newcastle - Nov 3 (evening)

(Review by Russell)
Saturday evening's opening piano set made something of a departure from the usual format with 'Professor' David Boeddinghaus being joined for the occasion by Dan Levinson playing clarinet and tenor saxophone. Fats Waller's My Very Good Friend the Milkman, Levinson blowing cool tenor on Deep Night, then Wake Up, Chillun, Wake Up found the duo in relaxed form before being joined by their countrymen Andy Schumm on clarinet and Mike Davis, trumpet, to play Every Evening.

Chicago Clarinets did what it said on the tin. A formidable quartet of Windy City clarinetists - Johnny Dodds, Jimmie Noone, Omer Simeon and Pee Wee Russell - challenged the Classic Jazz Party's liquorice stickers to put up or shut up. Andy Schumm, usually heard playing cornet, threw his hat in the ring, Ewan Bleach didn't need any encouragement and Matthias Seuffert oozed class, safe in the knowledge that he was a match for anyone, past or present. A short set - all of thirty minutes - found the trio wailing for all they were worth from Chicago down the Mississippi to N'Awlins and back again. More, please, next year!

Thursday, November 08, 2018

CD Review: Jazz City UK Volume 2: The Jam Sessions

(Review by Lance).
Newcastle seems to have more jam sessions going on than Kansas City did in the 1930s! There appears to be a jam on every corner which is great for young musicians dipping their feet into the water but isn't so good for gigging pro/semi-pro musicians. Most of the jams are free so that some punters tend to shy away from gigs with a ticket price (+ booking fee). You could of course charge for the jams but then the fickle fans would, maybe, spend their dosh on a band they know rather than be on the ground floor of burgeoning talent.

However, that's a digression, as I've just been listening to a jam that I'd have mortgaged the house for - such is the standard of the music.
Recorded in Birmingham in 1984 and 1987 this is probably as close as we'll ever get to matching the legendary Buck Clayton Jam Sessions and possibly better than many of the JATP concerts recorded by Norman Granz.
Strong words I know but, look at the musicians involved and you'll see where I'm coming from.

Preview: Trombone treat at the Lit & Phil

Tomorrow (Friday 9) at the Lit & Phil in Newcastle there is the opportunity to hear Leeds College of Music Senior Lecturer Kevin Holbrough play trombone as he leads a quality quartet. A cv boasting gigs with the Mingus Big Band, Gordon Goodwin and many other major jazz names together with touring theatre engagements and numerous recording sessions, Holbrough is definitely one to catch. At one o'clock on Friday Holbrough will link up once again with pianist Paul Edis (Holbrough has depped for Chris Hibbard in Edis' sextet). Joining them in a one hour lunchtime concert will be Andy Champion, bass, and drummer Russ Morgan. £5 on the door, be sure to arrive in good time, it could be a full house! 
Russell.

CD Review: Kandace Springs - Indigo.

(Review by Steve T).
Saw her at the London Jazz Festival a couple of years ago and no doubt some Bebop Spoken Here readers will have seen her support Gregory Porter at Sage Gateshead the time before last. 
She's great: charismatic, beautiful (her band-mates are handsome), good singer, good pianist, and her debut was solid, with a fine original in Novocaine Heart and a strong version of the War classic The World is a Ghetto, (though it isn't as good as either of their versions or Benson's definitive take on it), so her follow-up is a big disappointment.

Mike Durham's Classic Jazz Party 2018 @ Village Hotel, Newcastle - Nov 3 (afternoon)

(Review by Russell)
The morning after the night before the book and CD stall was open for business at 10:00am. Friday night's jam session attendees couldn't have had much sleep - five hours max - before they were up and about for breakfast ahead of making a further purchase of reading material (books, magazines, sheet music) and audio-visual 'must-haves' (CDs, DVDs, vinyl). 

Noon, Saturday. Michael McQuaid's New Orleans Owls welcomed the early birds - just about everyone - to day two. Aussie McQuaid in the role of Benjie White (clarinet, alto sax) led yet another fine ensemble. Mike Davis in penguin suit attire (he doesn't do other on the stand), Ewan Bleach, pianist Morten Gunnar Larsen, Martin Wheatley, banjo, the busy Malcolm Sked finding just enough headroom for his tuba and, just like his fellow countryman trumpeter Mike Davis, drummer Josh Duffee resplendent in a tux. White's band recorded 18 sides for Columbia between 1925-27 giving McQuaid sufficient material to work with. 

Bitches Brew @ The Bridge Hotel, Newcastle – Nov. 4

Emma Smith & Signy Jakobsdottir: 
Emma Smith (double bass); Signy Jakobsdottir (percussion).
-----
Clíona Cassidy & George Burt:
Cliona Cassidy (voice); George Burt (guitar).
-----
J Frisco: 
Lara Jones (soprano sax); Jemma Freese (keyboards, vocals)
(Review by Steve H.) 

Bitches Brew was set up by bass player Emma Smith to showcase female instrumentalists - a much unsung group of musicians. For several years now, Jazz North East has been delivering a very successful ‘Woman Make Music’  series of gigs (in conjunction with the PRS foundation) so it was a natural fit that these two positive forces should finally come together at The Bridge on Sunday night.

The opening set featured Cassidy on voice and Burt on guitar so this appears to immediately contradict both of the statements I made in my introduction about the ethos of Bitches Brew. Firstly, what was a man doing in the lineup and secondly what was a vocalist doing partnering said male? Fortunately, Smith explained all in her introductions. Firstly, it is not a gender-exclusive project and secondly, since Cassidy uses her voice in such an extraordinary manner it should be classed as a musical instrument rather than a deliverer of lyrics.  I couldn’t but endorse those sentiments as a marvellous innovative and creative set of music was delivered.

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Just Friends @ Dormans Jazz Club, Middlesbrough - Dec. 1

Ian Bosworth (guitar); Richie Emmerson (tenor sax); Alan Smith (bass); Dave Archbold (keys); and Mark Hawkins (drums).
(Review by Ron H)
Just Friends stepped in at short notice as guest band providing an evening of excellent Jazz.
A lively start was made with Nat Adderley's Work Song featuring Ian on guitar followed by Sonny Rollins' Doxy, 
A nice version of Have You Met Miss Jones? had great solos from Richie and Dave.
After playing the Benny Golson composition Killer Joe and Duke's In a Sentimental Mood, the first set was brought to a close with St.Thomas. Everyone soloed,  including fine contributions from Alan on bass and Mark on drums. 

Mike Durham's Classic Jazz Party 2018 @ Village Hotel, Newcastle - Nov 2 (evening)

(Review by Russell)
The Professor 1 began Friday's evening session. The opening half hour piano set is an established part of the programme (other 'professors' - nos. 2 and 3 - would perform on Saturday and Sunday evenings) and on this occasion, the floor was Martin Litton's. The elegant Litton's masterclass included one of his favourites - Willie 'The Lion' Smith's Keep Your Temper - and Ellington's Lady of the Lavender Mist.

Tony Kofi & The Organisation @ Posk Jazz Café, London - November 3

Tony Kofi (baritone); Pete Whittaker (Hammond); Simon Fernsby (guitar); Pete Cater (drums).
(Report/photos courtesy of Mochles Sa).
The occasion was the CD launch of Tony Kofi & The Organisation's new CD - Point Black.
London-based photographer Mochles Sa was present at the Posk Jazz Café event organised by Peter Kaczmarski and he kindly sent BSH several excellent shots of the musicians which we have collated in an album along with some previous shots of Eddie Henderson taken earlier this year. 
Going by the photos of the Kofi gig it must have been a great evening although tinged with sadness as the news of the death of Roy Hargrove had broken that day. As such, the evening was dedicated to the memory of the great trumpet player.

A Musical Gem On Radio 4: Julius Eastman – November 6

I caught this item by chance at 11.30am as I was washing dishes. Julius Eastman was an innovative classical musician who lived from 1940 to 1990. His music was partly minimalist and sounded much like free jazz, with wildly strange-sounding parts for singers, at least that was what the pieces played during the programme indicated. He has been overlooked as a composer, possibly because he was black and gay, at a time when black musicians were more likely to play jazz. (In fact, he had a brother who was a jazz musician.) So BSH readers may well want to catch this on the iPlayer, especially if they like free jazz. Highly recommended.
Ann Alex

Soft Machine @ Sage Gateshead - Nov. 6

John Etheridge (guitar); Theo Travis (tenor/soprano/flutes/keys & things); Roy Babbington (bass guitar); John Marshall (drums).
(Review by Lance/photos courtesy of Russell).
This wasn't Sage Gateshead. When we sashayed through those swing doors we were transported, Doctor Who-like, into a bygone era (albeit not price-wise). In Sage One they were back in the Golden Sixties. Were they golden? I don't remember.

For those that did remember they had P.J. Proby, The Fortunes, The Searchers and several other of those 'whatever became of' acts who's sounds first hit the airwaves from somewhere offshore. Those pirates of the high seas who broadcast from outside of the three-mile limit didn't have a Blackbeard although they did have a Blackburn (Tony) helping to plunder the pockets of the record buying public.

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Mike Durham's Classic Jazz Party 2018 @ Village Hotel, Newcastle - Nov 2 (afternoon)

Friday, day one proper of the annual festival, got underway with the now familiar Tribute to Mike. Keith Nichols, one of Mike Durham's key allies over many years, led the session with the help of Enrico Tomasso (the trumpeter would be announced as winner of the trumpet category in this year's British Jazz Awards the day after the festival ended), genial American 'bone man Jim Fryer,  festival favourite Matthias Seuffert, reeds, Spats Langham playing guitar and banjo, Frenchman Henry Lemaire playing string bass, and one of the many vituoso percussionists at this 2018 gathering, Nick Ward. 

Riverboat Shuffle rooted this tribute in New Orleans. Up a Lazy River then Spats singing and playing guitar on the Elsie Carlisle-inspired You Got Me Crying Again and the closing number, The Song Has Ended But the Melody Lingers On

Observations on the 2018 British Jazz Awards

Well done to the winners and nominees. I was proud to be part of the nominating panel and pleased that some of my nominees won and others were ‘in the frame’. Also pleased that many of those who ‘made the cut’ (how many more clichés am I going to come up with?!) are familiar figures in the northeast be it past, present or future.

Good to see Emma Fisk’s high placing although it also begs the question as to the validity of a ‘Miscellaneous Instrument’ section. These days there are sufficient violinists, organists, soprano saxists, flautists and vibes players to be deserving of their own category. Perhaps in future, it should be reserved for pipers, nose-fluters, Aeolian harpists and other exotic species. As a further comment on Emma – those who heard her playing at the past weekend’s Classic Jazz Party will appreciate her high standing.
The CJP also saw some outstanding playing from trumpet winner Enrico Tomasso and the Jeff Barnhart/Spats Langham album - Thanks For the Melody - placed in the Best New Album category. They too gave ace performances at CJP.

2018 British Jazz Awards Results Announced

(Press release)
After receiving votes more than 5500 jazz fans across the length and breadth of the UK, we are pleased to announce the winners of the 2018 British Jazz Awards.

Now in their 32nd year, the British Jazz Awards were established to give the array of talented jazz musicians in this country they deserve by allowing the gig-going, record buying public on they thought the best performers, bands and releases were in the last 12 months, via post and an online survey.

The four nominations in each of the 16 categories were selected by a group of respected figures within the Jazz community, a list of whom is included below. In addition, voters had the chance to vote for any musicians not nominated who they considered worthy of a placing as a ‘write-in’ vote – the highest placed of these from each category are included in the final listings

Curtis Stigers @ Sage Gateshead - Nov. 5

Curtis Stigers (vocals/tenor); John 'Scrapper' Sneider (trumpet); Robin Aspland (piano); Cliff Schmitt (bass); Paul Wells (drums).
(Review by Lance/photo from BSH archives).
There are two views when it comes to a Stigers gig. Some say he offers variety whilst others claim he has too many hats and not enough heads!
The evidence suggests that both factions are right which may be why the latter opinionists stayed away for this wasn't the best attended of the 3 or 4 Stigers' concerts I've seen. I remember that at one of his earlier concerts a girl sitting next to me said to her boyfriend "I hope he isn't going to sing jazz all night." He didn't so, presumably, she went home satisfied.

Monday, November 05, 2018

CD Review: Sarathy Korwar and the UPAJ Collective - My East is Your West .

(Review by Steve T)
Bit of a blindfold test with no accompanying notes, so only scant info on the disc to go on, followed up with a good old google. 
Track listing includes The Creator Has a Master Plan and Journey in Satchidananda from Pharoah Sanders and Alice Coltrane respectively, so no surprises there, with both artists part of the Coltrane oeuvre, where eastern music, religion and philosophy were so prominent.
Mind Ecology was instantly recognisable and swiftly identified from the John McLaughlin/ Shakti masterpiece Natural Elements, so another piece in the puzzle, and always welcome to see the Mclaughlin star in the ascendancy.  

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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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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.
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Lance