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Bebop Spoken There

Buddy Guy: "I've never made a record I liked." - (The New Yorker March, 2019)

Archive

Today Wednesday March 20

Afternoon

Jazz

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

Evening

Take it to the Bridge - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 8:00pm. £1.00.

Lieko Quintet + purpleshirt - Bar Loco, Leazes Park Road, Newcastle NE1 4PG. Tel: 0191 232 5871. 7:30pm. Free.

Blues

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

The Exchange Blues - The Exchange, Howard St., North Shields NE30 1SE. Tel: 0191 258 4111. 8:00pm. Free. Fortnightly blues jam session.

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

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

CD Review: Jacob Zimmerman & His Pals - More of That

Jacob Zimmerman (alto saxophone, clarinet); Christian Pincock (trombone); Josh Roberts (guitar); Cole Schuster (guitar); Ray Skjelbred (piano); Matt Weiner (bass); D'Vonne Lewis (drums); Meredith Axelrod (vocals, guitar)
(Review by Russell)

More of That is a small group swing recording by Seattle based Jacob Zimmerman. The bandleader's 'pals' are seven strong; guitarist Josh Roberts and bassist Matt Weiner working alongside like-minded musicians (trombone, guitar, piano, drums and vocals) on twelve numbers with a total playing time of forty-one minutes.

Wigan Early Bird about to fly!

This year's Wigan International Jazz Festival 'early bird' rover ticket offer expires tomorrow (Thursday, Jan 31). Tickets are available at a bargain £115...if you book now! From Friday (February 1) they'll cost you £125. A tasty looking line-up over four days in July (Thursday 11-Sunday 14 inc.) includes Pete Long's Jazz Planets, Salena Jones, festival favourite Alan Barnes and Louis Dowdeswell's Big Band. Further details at: www.wiganjazzfest.co.uk. To book your bargain early bird rover ticket visit: justaddtickets.co.uk.  

Russell/Tony Eales.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Preview JazzMain @ The Globe Jazz Bar

Something special on at Jazz Coop H.Q. this coming Sunday (February 3). Top tenor sax Nick Gould brings JazzMain down from Edinburgh for a gig that can only be described as 'unmissable'.  

Regulars at the Black Swan and the Jazz Café jam sessions who are familiar with Nick's blistering, straight down the middle and no cheating, tenor playing may think he's shown his hand - wrong! With JazzMain you'll discover that he's still got a few aces up his sleeve not least in the form of his Edinburgh cohorts -  Steve Grossart (keys); Iain Harkness (bass); Kevin Dorrian (drums) - who will blow up the storm they did a couple of years back at the Jazz Café  and on a couple of CDs it has been my privilege to review.
I'm excited about this one - it's the real deal!
Lance.
JazzMain - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm*. £10 (£7 student).
*Probably doors but worth getting there by then anyway to grab a good seat and a beer!

Tony Irving & Massimo Magee @ The Globe - Jan 28

Tony Irving (drums); Massimo Magee (soprano & tenor sax)
(Review by Russell) 

It was billed on the Jazz Co-op's website as 'Tony Irving & Massimo Magee & Guests...seven o'clock'. In the event, the 'guests' failed to materialise and for a while your correspondent was the only bod on the premises, save for Jazz Co-op mover and shaker, Debra M. 

At quarter past eight, as Irving and Magee were about to begin (yep, an hour and a quarter after the advertised seven o'clock start - or should that have been 'doors'?) some of the usual suspects (they're rarely seen at 'jazz' gigs) had arrived, no doubt ready for some 'no-genre' music. Saxophonist Magee spoke briefly: drummer Irving would open the first set with a solo piece, Magee would follow with a solo piece of his own, then there would be a duo second set. For the remainder of the evening, neither Magee nor Irving said another word. Cool.

Jazz in Jesmond and Japan

The February edition of DownBeat gives the rundown on 25 of the world's top jazz cities. Not surprisingly, New York is top with London the only UK city mentioned. Amazingly, Tokyo offers more than 100 jazz gigs nightly!

One of the 'unique offerings' of The Shinjuku Pit Inn is afternoon sets for a post-lunch crowd that hungers for live jazz.

Ah, so!

Monday, January 28, 2019

CD Review: Ran Blake & Claire Ritter - Eclipse Orange

Claire Ritter, Ran Blake (pianos), Kent O’Doherty (tenor sax).
(Review by Dave Brownlow.)

A concert by pianist, composer, educator Claire Ritter, recorded live at Queens University of Charlotte, North Carolina, given to honour Thelonious Monk’s centennial. Twenty short tracks – in nine, Ritter is joined by her mentor Ran Blake in two-piano duets and, in five, by Australian tenor saxophonist Kent O’ Doherty. The pianists also have solo outings – five for Blake and one for Ritter - making for a special album of delightful miniatures (six of which are just one & a half minutes long) played before an appreciative, receptive audience, where the players show mutual respect for, and enjoyment of, each other’s abilities.

JAZZ NORTH’S JAZZ CAMP FOR GIRLS PROVIDES A SPACE FOR GIRLS TO FLOURISH UNDER FEMALE ROLE MODELS

(Press Release)

Jazz North’s Jazz Camp for Girls promises to be an unforgettable first experience for girls to discover improvisation and playing in a band, enabling them to develop their confidence and musical curiosity.

On Sunday 10th February 10am – 3pm four one-day workshops are taking place across the north of England in Rotherham, Greater Manchester, Lancaster and Huddersfield. The aim is to enable girls aged between 9 and 15 years old to flourish under the mentorship of female role models.

Musicians Unlimited @ The Park Inn, Hartlepool - Jan 27

(Review by Russell).

A bitterly cold wind blew through Hartlepool this afternoon. Head down, bent double, Scott of the Antarctic surely didn't encounter conditions such as these. The Park Inn came into view, a welcome sight if ever there was one. 

Mick Donnelly's Musicians Unlimited were busy setting up as the regulars arrived to claim their usual seats. A pint of Marston's 61 Deep Pale Ale (3.8) looked the pick and so it proved...
Frank Loesser's Brotherhood of Man opened the programme with ace trumpeters Kevin Eland and Bill Watson laying down early markers. Teesside's premier big band had a number of big hitters in the ranks with all sections sounding just fine as several featured soloists stepped up to the plate. It had been a while since Bebop Spoken Here had caught up with Mick Donnelly's outfit and on this Sunday afternoon a new name - new to BSH - made a big impression. Vocalist Jan Spencelayh sang Don't Know Why. A lower register, measured delivery, Jan is one to hear again, that's for sure! 

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Tigran Hamasyan and The Voices of Hope @ Sage Gateshead – Jan. 26

Tigran Hamasyan (piano, synthesizer); Voices of Hope (vocals)
(Review by Ann Alex)
I didn’t know what to expect from this original music, which was billed as music with various elements and a choir. It began with the artist referred to simply as ‘Tigran’, smartly dressed in white shirt and grey waistcoat, playing what sounded like a piano sonata, but then jazz-like chords popped up, yet the basic motif of the melody wasn’t lost. So it continued, each piece of music lasting about 5 minutes. The first piece had classical elements, the second was jazzier and the third was based on a folk-like melody, rather eastern in sound, with Tigran humming to parts of the tune. I’d guess that this was music played freely without bar lines.  By about the fourth piece, the synthesizer was involved, with layers of sounds, beats, hums, airy noise, whistles, giving a pleasing cascade. Perhaps this was what Beethoven would have sounded like if he’d had 21st-century technology.

Musings...

Part of the BSH team opted for the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Band's gig at Sage Gateshead last night. I was down the road in Armenia but, if I'd realised they were 'doing' Tchaikovsky's Fifth, I think I'd also have been heading for St. Pete's.

It's my favourite symphony and I'm surprised that neither Ellington, nor any of the other trans-genre composer/arrangers never picked up on it. One person who did was Mack David who, who along with Mack Davis and Andre Kostelanetz penned a lyric to the andante cantabile theme in the second movement and called it Moon Love - and what a song!

Saturday, January 26, 2019

CD Review: The Ebony Hillbillies - 5 Miles From Town

(Review by Ann Alex).

A different sort of CD to review. This one is noted as ‘Roots Music/Americana but there are jazz elements as well. Think of Sage Gateshead’s Americana Festival in July and you have the atmosphere. The band is seven black musicians, as in ‘ebony’, who started out on the streets of Manhattan, advanced to performing in Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Center, appeared on the BBC and NBC, and do international festivals and workshops. This is their fifth CD.

An interesting mixture of country, pop, bluegrass, folk and jazz, mostly acoustic. 11 tracks, a mixture of songs and instrumentals, all traditional material except 4 tracks which include Smokey Robinson’s Fork In The Road and the Prince song Cream. The general feel is gritty, funky, sometimes romantic, and with a social conscience, as shown by an updated version of the blues, Another Man Done Gone. I sing this song in folk clubs, about a man in a chain gang being unlawfully killed e.g. ‘He had a long chain on’ but this version is cleverly updated to ‘He had a hoodie on’. An interesting aspect of the music is the use of ‘folky’ percussion, such as bones and spoons, which gives an unusual light bouncy effect. Mind, I have no idea what ‘cowboy percussion’, listed below,  is unless it’s juggling 10-gallon hats!

RIP Michel Legrand

French composer and jazz pianist Michel Legrand died in Paris earlier today aged 86. A multi-Oscar winner for his film soundtracks and theme songs he was also an expert pianist frequently performing in this country and in America. His music was adapted by many jazz artists including Stan Getz and Miles Davis.
Sadly, I never heard him live.
Repose En Paix.
Lance,

Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms - January 25

Maureen Hall (vocals); Jim McBriarty (clarinet, vocals); Don Fairley (trombone); Malcolm Armstrong (keyboards); George Davidson (drums, vocals) + Doris Fenn (banjolele)
(Review by Russell)

Jazz Street that's Monkseaton's Front Street. The Ship Inn, lunchtime Tuesday, there is jazz, it is hoped a monthly Sunday session will soon resume at the Black Horse, and every Friday,  come hail or come bright winter sunshine, Maureen Hall's Rendezvous Jazz can be found at the Monkseaton Arms.
 
As usual, all seats were occupied as singer Maureen Hall called the boys over from the bar for the band's regular one o'clock start. Give Me Your Telephone Number for starters. Hall followed up with a vocal number - You Belong to Me - assisted by excellent support from the band; Jim McBriarty, clarinet, playing his final gig with the band before heading off to pastures new, trombonist Don Fairley playing as well as ever, Malcolm Armstrong on top of it all playing keyboards, and the man at the back, singing drummer George Davidson.

Friday, January 25, 2019

CD Review: Duncan Eagles - Citizen.

Duncan Eagles (tenor/soprano sax); David Preston (guitar); Matt Robinson (piano); Max Luthert (bass); Dave Hamblett (drums).
(Review by Lance).

Duncan Eagles seems to have been around forever so it came as a surprise to me to discover that this was, technically, the first album released under his own name. 

This is, of course, because of his commitment to Partikel, the band he has provided so much input to over the past few years. Freed from, I won't say shackles as Partikel was anything but restrictive, Eagles flows loosely whilst still maintaining the sense of tempered urgency that hallmarks the great players. Hard hitting but with a soft melodic centre.

Burton Agnes Jazz and Blues Festival 2019 - Breaking news

(Press release).

Burton Agnes Jazz and Blues Festival are delighted to announce their first artist confirmed for 2019 – King for a Day: The Nat King Cole Story.
Featuring the world-class live music and vocals of Atila, this unique concert celebrates the centenary of the birth of one of the greatest vocalists and entertainers of the Twentieth Century: Nat King Cole.
 
‘King for a Day: The Nat King Cole Story’
Centenary Concert
Saturday 13th July: Main Stage 6.30pm-8pm
Featuring acclaimed vocalist Atila, alongside a world-class group of musicians, this thoughtful and entertaining new show takes a fresh look at the life and work of the timeless Nat King Cole, whose vocal styling in songs such as Nature BoyUnforgettable and When I Fall in Love defined a golden era of music and earned him a place in the history of American music as one of the most iconic vocalists of all time.

CD Review: Ran Blake & Jeanne Lee - The Newest Sound You Never Heard

Ran Blake (piano); Jeanne Lee (vocal)
(Review by Lance).

It's argued that the GASbook has run its course. That just about every song from the masters that was worthwhile has been played, backward, forwards and just about every which way but loose by the good, the bad and the ugly and the only thing left is for original compositions by today's young Turks. 

Not something I personally go along with, there is life in the old book yet. However, I can understand today's breed of jazz musician not being totally au fait with the grand tradition why should they? "Who's this Kern fellow? He died before I was born. I wrote my next number sitting on the bus..."

I can understand both points but, an original number is not going to draw older people in just as a number by Carmichael, H, isn't going to mean a lot to the younger audience.

There is an in-between area where both extremes can meet.
Pop music!

Thursday, January 24, 2019

CD Review: Joe Lovano – Trio Tapestry

Joe Lovano (tenor saxophone, tárogató*, gongs); Marilyn Crispell (piano); Carmen Castaldi (drums, percussion).
(Review by Hugh C)

I would wager that, in the manner of the esteemed organ on which this review is presented, Joe Lovano has collected a few gongs during the course of his distinguished career.  He brings them out to play with on this recording.  Trio Tapestry is Lovano’s first release as a leader on ECM and introduces a new group, although the individual members are well known to each other.

Lovano launches the CD with a series of these gongs at the outset.  What follows is a more a forty-eight-minute sequence of crafted sonic explorations in twelve tones rather than a series of tunes.  Although the CD is banded, the gaps between the tracks are barely perceptible.  The result is, in Lovano’s words in the CD booklet:  “...a melodic, harmonic, rhythmic musical tapestry throughout...”   Each of the trio members contribute to the whole, in equal measure.

CD Review: Yonathan Avishai Trio – Joys and Solitudes

Yonathan Avishai (piano); Yoni Zelnik (double bass); Donald Kontomanou (drums).
(Review by Hugh C)

Of Israeli origin, Yonathan Avishai has been resident in France since 2000.  Initially in the Dordogne, he moved nearer to Paris, where he met Yoni Zelnik and Donald Kontomanou, with whom he has been working for the last five years.  The trio (sometimes known as the Modern Times Trio) “re-examines shifting meanings of modernity in the course of its work”.

Joys and Solitudes opens with the trio’s rendition of the thoroughly modern model of a modern composition, Mood Indigo. The track commences with a metronomic beat from Kontomanou, from which the melody is gradually built by piano and bass.  Avishai states that he “saw at some point that he became more expressive with less notes” - this certainly comes through in his expansive interpretation of this well-known Ellington/Bigard composition.  

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Zoë Gilby and the Noel Dennis Quartet – Aurora @ The Gala Studio, Durham - Jan.4

Zoë Gilby (voice), Noel Dennis (flugelhorn, trumpet), Andy Champion (double bass) Mark Williams (guitar), Russ Morgan (drums).
(Review by Brian Ebbatson/PHOTOS courtesy of Malcolm Sinclair).

The Gala Lunchtime Concert Series opened the New Year with a fourth outing for Zoë Gilby and Noel Dennis’s exciting Aurora project, exploring the lyrical possibilities of favourite Tom Harrell compositions.  

Rarely does one of Noel’s concerts go by without at least one Harrell tune. So it’s not a surprise that he grabs the chance to explore the possibilities of Harrell’s music further through using lyrics inspired by their titles and the addition of the human voice to the ensemble. Hence Aurora.

The titles of so many Harrell compositions invite the listener to imagine his musical inspirations. So it’s not surprising that Zoë Gilby welcomed the challenge. Zoë writes: “It was initially Andy’s idea that I write lyrics for Harrell’s compositions. He recognised how lyrical and melodic they are. They are just ‘singable’.” She adds:”I wrote the lyrics based purely on the titles of the tunes and how the melodies sounded, what they conjured up in my mind”.  Noel added: “The lyrics are so good. Each time we hear them we get to know them better, and this then gives further stimulation to our playing”.

Jam Session @ The Black Swan - Jan. 22

Mark Williams (guitar); Paul Grainger (bass); Russ Morgan (drums) + Elliott Todd (flugel); Graham Easthope, Ian White (tenor sax); Steve Summers (soprano sax); Jordan Alfonso, Faye Thompson (alto); Abbie Finn (drums); Poppy (flute/vocal); Minnie Fraser, Rob (from Derbyshire (vocals); John Pope (bass).
(Review by Lance).
View PHOTOS.
Like many a jam, this one began low key with only a spirited version of April in Paris to keep the customers from nodding off. Mark Williams in fine form and Russ Morgan having a burn whilst Paul Grainger bass-fiddled. 

The mellow mood continued as Elliott Todd, toting a newly acquired flugelhorn, waxed lyrical on Misty. Graham Easthope, who looks nothing like Michael Caine, upped the ante with Alfie's Tune before the gender balance was evened out when Abbie took over on drums and Minnie sang Lullaby of Birdland and Stardust complete with verse. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

House of the Black Gardenia (second house) @ Prohibition Bar - Jan 19

Bobbi Charleston (vocals, washboard); Michael Lamb (trumpet); Keiran Parnaby (trombone); Keith Robinson (saxophones, clarinet); Katja Roberts (violin); Marcus Tham (piano); Michael Littlefield (guitar, banjo, vocals); Neil Hopper (double bass, sousaphone); Giles Holt (drums)
(Review by Russell)

The grand opening of Mitch Mitchell's relocated Prohibition Bar from the railway arches on the Gateshead side of the river to nos. 25-27 Pink Lane, Newcastle attracted so much interest that a second late show was announced and, in a trice, it sold out just as the first performance had done. 

Monday, January 21, 2019

CD Review: Tommaso Starace - Harmony Less Quartet - NARROW ESCAPE

Tommaso Starace (alto sax); Dave O'Higgins (tenor sax); Davide Liberti (bass); Ruben Bellavia (drums).
(Review by Lance).

I first encountered Starace in 2011. It was a JNE gig that fluctuated between dates and venues before ending up, at the shortest of notices, at The Chilli. It was worth the confusion and the uncertainty as, when it did eventually happen, it was one of the best gigs of that year!

Since then, several CDs by the Italian saxman have passed through the BSH portals and all absolutely ace.

Sounds from The Underground in The Victoria Tunnel – January 19

Zoë Gilby(vocals) & Andy Champion (double bass)
(Review by Steve H/photos courtesy of Ken Drew)

There are not many gigs that one goes to where you have to don a hard hat on entering the auditorium. It may be understandable for heavy metal or hard rock but for an improvised double bass and vocal performance what could possibly be going on? The answer was completely logical as the duo in question were performing in Newcastle’s Victoria Tunnel.

The tunnel, built in the 19th Century, runs from the Town Moor to the Quayside which enabled coal from the Leazes Main Colliery in Spital Tongues to be delivered to ships waiting on the banks of the Tyne.

Overture to a jam session

Paul Grainger drew our attention to these words of wisdom from Chick Corea perhaps, in the process, hinting that participants at tomorrow night's Black Swan jam session may wish to read and put into practice...

Sunday, January 20, 2019

The House of the Black Gardenia @ the New Prohibition Cabaret Bar - Jan. 19.

Bobbi Charleston (vocals/washboard); Michael Lamb (trumpet); Keiran Parnaby (trombone); Keith Robinson (soprano/alto/tenor saxes/ clarinet); Katja Roberts (violin); Marcus Tham (keys); Michael Littlefield (guitar/banjo/vocals); Neil Hopper (bass/sousaphone); Giles Holt (drums).
(Review by Lance)
PHOTOS

They were all there, lined up against the wall. "Legs" Diamond, "Machine Gun" Kelly, "Baby Face" Nelson, John Dillinger, Bonnie and Clyde and a few hoods, torpedoes and their molls from across the river.  This wasn't the St. Valentine's Day Massacre - it was still only January - it was the grand opening of the new Prohibition Cabaret Bar that, until a few weeks ago, had been the Jazz Café. Entrepreneur Mitch has moved his operation lock, stock and barrel from a railway arch on the south side to the Pink Lane venue conveniently sited near Newcastle Central Station for those who might need to make a quick getaway.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Adrian Cox: Profoundly Blue @ The Watchtower Gallery, Berwick - January 18

Adrian Cox (clarinet); Joe Webb (piano); Simon Read (double bass); Gethin Jones (drums) 
(Review by Russell)

A first visit to Berwick's Watchtower Gallery, the purpose, to hear Adrian Cox perform his Profoundly Blue concert. A capacity audience repeatedly thundered its applause during a thrilling, high octane gig that comes along once in a (profoundly) blue moon. 

The Watchtower Gallery, built in 1848 to house a Presbyterian church, stands on West End on the north bank of the Tweed and, for a number of years, has functioned as an art gallery, principally to exhibit the work of the late Ian Stephenson. Large abstract canvases formed a backdrop to clarinetist Cox, fellow Kansas Smitty's member, pianist Joe Webb, bassist Simon Read and drummer Gethin Jones. 

Early Bird Band @ Lit & Phil - Jan. 19

Paul Edis (MD, piano, clarinet, alto sax); Lucien Guest (trumpet); Haaruun Miller (soprano sax); Tom Henery (guitar); Alex Shipsey (bass guitar); Dylan Thompson (drums)
(Review by Russell) 

They'd been workshopping for a couple of hours prior to the doors opening to the public. MD Paul Edis put the Early Birders through their paces as they looked at four new tunes. Today's quintet opened with Our Love is Here to Stay. Guitarist Tom Henerey stepped forward, as did pocket dynamo trumpeter Lucien Guest with a round of fours thrown in to see if Dylan Thompson was awake this Saturday morning...he was.

Lament for Lamont - Soul Legend Cancels

Lamont Dozier has cancelled his historic British tour, including the scheduled gig at Sage 2 on Feb. 21 The tour was rearranged from last summer when he postponed it on medical advice. 

As one-third of Holland Dozier Holland, he wrote more hits than Elvis, the Beatles, Beach Boys and Stones had between them, most notably for the Supremes and the Four Tops. To more hardened Soul Fans, he recorded nine albums in the seventies and early eighties which rank with the greatest bodies of work in Soul Music.
When I was running the Soul Rooms at Weekenders in Fleetwood, Morecambe and Southport, he was the top of our list, but one of the few artists we never managed to get, so this was something of a second chance.

However, it doesn't come as a surprise to anyone, which is good, since for some of us this would have been a major 'life' event, and it now seems impossible that we will ever get to see him and show him how much he's meant to us.   
Steve T

R-E-S-P-E-C-T! Hand to Mouth @ Bishop Auckland Town Hall: Jan. 18

Bradley Johnston (guitar); Lindsay Hannon ( vocals).
(Review by Jerry)

The headline sums up my reaction to two musicians who can so ably perform great standards with their amazing tunes and even better words! It also links in to my only gripe about this otherwise excellent lunchtime gig which I’ll get out of the way up front. Lindsay Hannon, while introducing Gee, Baby Ain’t I Good to You, recalled her anxiety at a past gig when performing Aretha’s trademark song: would she get the spelling right when it came to the R-E-S-P-E-C-T bit? It was a good intro but it was almost the only one – leaving the less clued-up audience members (mainly me!) to work out titles etc. for themselves. Lindsay has an engaging personality and clearly a good sense of humour: I’m sure even clued-up audiences would appreciate seeing more of both. Gripe over!

Friday, January 18, 2019

Mark Williams & Joel Byrne-McCullough @ The Globe - January 17

Mark Williams (guitar); Joel Byrne-McCullough (guitar) 
(Review by Russell) 

Friends from their days in Northern Ireland, students together in Newcastle, upon graduation Mark stayed on, Joel made for Manchester. Years later Joel returned to Tyneside and the two guitarists picked up where they left off.

Mark Williams and Joel Byrne-McCullough play jazz guitar and here at the Jazz Co-op's Railway Street HQ the duo entertained a wonderfully attentive audience playing a selection of GASbook to contemporary classics. 

Big Band Library available

(By Chris Bailey)
Following a previous announcement about 18 months ago I am instructed to offer for disposal the extensive arrangement ‘pad’, sheet music archive and tuition-volume collection of the late Derek Bridge. I must apologise to those who previously showed interest in this collection by responding. Derek’s wife Wendy, at that time, felt that there was more material stored at their home and it was whilst waiting to retrieve this that the subsequent unfortunate delay occurred.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

CD Review: Howard McCrary - Moments Like This.

Howard McCrary (piano/vocals); Mike Burney (saxes); Josh McCalla (guitar); Roger Innis (bass); Tim Jones (drums).
(Review by Lance).

If, like this reviewer, Howard McCrary has bypassed your radar then you can update yourself on him and this session here.

Recorded live at the Birmingham branch of Ronnie's back in 1993, Moments Like This remained in the vaults, unissued until now, which, after listening, you may consider criminal. McCrary was, and hopefully still is (he now lives in Hong Kong*), an incredible talent both as pianist and singer. He can shout the blues and caress a ballad with the best - sometimes he caresses the blues and shouts the ballads. Over the Rainbow is totally over the top although his sensitive piano intro via another Arlen tune from the Wiz of Oz - If I Only Had a Brain - maintains the balance.

A Blizzard of Notes

Today's snowstorm didn't deter one of Newcastle's more robust, all-weather buskers. A familiar face around town, our trumpeter has a penchant for playing one-handed. 

As if to demonstrate, here he is with coffee cup in hand...oh, yes, playing Herbie Hancock's 
Chameleon into the bargain. 

Russell.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

River City Ride Again - as a quartet!

The word on the jazz grapevine is of a new monthly, Monday evening, jazz session starting on Monday, February 4, at the newly refurbished Beresford Arms in the picturesque village of Whalton, near Morpeth, in Northumberland.

The band will initially be a four-piece comprising Phil Rutherford on sousaphone, Keith Stephen on guitar/banjo, Bob Wade on trumpet and Gordon Solomon on trombone.
Initially. The repertoire will concentrate on pieces from the 1920s and 1930s, but the aim is to build up a program featuring Jelly Roll Morton compositions, as well as numbers from the recordings of the Original Dixieland Jazz Band.
The big advantage for the band is that they all live about 20 minutes from Whalton! And, since Gordon Solomon, Keith Stephen and occasionally Phil Rutherford have all been past members of the now (sadly) defunct River City Jazzmen, they have decided to name the band the River City Hot Four. Sessions will be on the first Monday of the month, starting at 8.30pm, and admission is free. The Beresford Arms has an excellent menu, real ales and a large car park. 
Lance.

PS: Not sure about public transport for those who don't live about 20 minutes from Whalton… but by car, 26 mins from Newcastle on the A696.

CD Review: Quinsin Nachoff’s Flux - Path of Totality.

(Review by Dave Brownlow.)

A double CD featuring the work of a musician whose compositions and playing lie in the spaces between genres and styles, where jazz and classical music ‘meld’ together in the avant-garde. Take as the starting point - say from classical, Stockhausen, John Cage or Philip Glass and from jazz, Sun Ra, Cecil Taylor or Derek Bailey and then go forward from there! The Band, “FLUX” comprises two saxes, one keyboard, two drummers/percussionists but no bass or bass guitar. Nine other players are involved among the recordings where they use conventional instruments or the vast array of vintage electro-acoustic instruments provided by Canada's National Music Centre’s extensive keyboard collection to provide constantly surprising musical environments. There are six tracks, all of which require aural stamina as they range from 6, 13, 14, and 19 minutes in length!

CD Review: Chris Ingham Quartet - Stan

Chris Ingham (piano); Mark Crooks (tenor sax); Arnie Somogyi (bass); George Double (drums).
(Review by Lance).

Yet another superb album. January is dealing them out so fast I can't keep up! Imagine lying on a recliner and having a scantily-clad person of your preferred gender* feeding you grapes and some exotic elixir de l'amour which is what this CD is - a musical love potion.

Stan Getz may be gone but not, nor ever, forgotten. Certainly, he plays a big part in saxist Crooks' musical make-up. Coltrane, Rollins and the Blue Note tenor players may have had the edge on aggression but no one could match Getz for lyricism and Crooks, miraculously, has absorbed that lyricism and incorporated it, via his own take, into this beautiful tribute.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Hey, wanna buy a guitar?

Legendary bluesman Bukka White struck up a transatlantic friendship with Newcastle photographer Keith Perry after Perry met and photographed him at a City Hall concert some 40 odd years ago. Just before Bukka died, he gifted the photographer his 1933 National Duolian Resonator guitar known as Hard Rock.

In March, the guitar is up for auction with estimates ranging from £80k to £120k. In an interview on Radio Newcastle, this afternoon between 4:00pm & 5:00pm, Keith Perry talks about the guitar and its history. The interview comes in at 35:56 mins.
Lance

Monday, January 14, 2019

CD Review: Jack Kilby & the Front Line - Love is a Song Anyone Can sing

(Review by Lance).

If, as has been suggested, my reviews are 'schmoozers' then let me put you in the picture. If I don't like an album it doesn't get reviewed it's as simple as that.  Some of the rejects end up as coasters others, well you don't want to know what happens to them! In fact, 9 out of 10 albums are left on the cutting room floor.

This is a ten percent survivor!

It's arrived via timemobile from 1950's Birdland/Bop City/Blue Note Records to Charlottesville, Va, 2018. Art Blakey lives! Hank Mobley too and all the strung out cats who laid down some of the greatest modern jazz ever. Kilby and his cohorts carry on that tradition in a healthier fashion over two halves of an album that makes Charleyville the jazz capital of the world for at least an hour or so.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Snake Davis @ Charts - January 13

Snake Davis (alto/tenor sax/flutes/vocal); Stu Collingwood (keys); Andy Champion (bass guitar); Paul Smith (drums).
(Review by Lance)

Charts was fuller than ever. It was as if the Tall Ships were moored outside! All 3 levels were occupied and food and drink were being downed as if it was going out of fashion. What wasn't going out of fashion was the music - no sir. 

Jazz never goes out of fashion, it just moves its borders in a multitude of directions - inside, outside, east coast, west coast, trad, modern, swing, bop, blues, new wave, olde style, smooth, fusion - confusion!

CD Review: Justin Morell - Concerto for Guitar and Jazz Orchestra

(Review by Max Goodall)
Justin Morell writes, describing his reasons for composing Concerto for Guitar and Jazz Orchestra, that ‘Jazz is an art form that allows musicians to draw upon an endless array of stylistic and cultural traditions. While a number of jazz artists have incorporated the sophisticated forms of classical music in their writing and performances, there are few concerti works for a jazz orchestra and fewer still composed for guitar.’ Morell has for many years been exploring the possibilities of jazz’s capacity to absorb, accommodate and be moulded by disparate influences, in both his well-received jazz CDs as a leader, and his wide-ranging compositions and commissions, as well as in his work as Assistant Professor of Composition and Theory at Lebanon Valley College in Pennsylvania.

CD Review: Betty Bryant - Project 88

(Review by Ann Alex)

It’s definitely older performer’s week here at BSH. Betty Bryant turned 88 last year before proceeding to issue her ninth CD - Project 88 after her age, and the number of keys on a piano.

Ms Bryant, who does a lot more than singing, and playing the piano well, composed 5 of the songs and arranged 7 of the 10 tracks. Her voice sounds like that of a much younger woman, and why wouldn’t it? as she obviously knows her stuff. Listening, I was lost in admiration.

A native of Kansas City, who now plays to packed houses in the Los Angeles area, has also performed internationally in places such as Tokyo, Brazil, Panama and the Middle East as well as hosting the annual ‘Betty Bryant Birthday Bash’ in Hollywood.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Preview: Quilliam Bros in La La Land

If you're yet to see Damien Chazelle's Oscar-winning film La La Land and just happen to be at a loose end in Newcastle on Tuesday (Jan 15) there is an opportunity to attend a free-admission screening at Quilliam Bros.' Teahouse. 

The ever-popular, all-things-tea emporium at Barras Bridge regularly screens films that you wish you'd seen first time round or simply would like to see again. Earlier this month Chazelle's Whiplash was on the menu, now, at eight o'clock, Tuesday in Quilliam's basement cinema it's La La Land. Starring Ryan Gosling as a wannabe jazz pianist and Emma Stone as Mia, this romantic, feel-good movie is worth catching for the soundtrack alone. Justin Hurwitz' Academy Award-winning score is a real 'ear-worm' - it'll be in your head 'til summer. 

Admission is free so the least you could do is sit with a cuppa. Quilliam Bros.' Teahouse is the building at the bottom of Claremont Road opposite Great North Museum: Hancock. La La Land is a 12A certificate film.  
Russell

Birthday Party @ Cullercoats Crescent Club with the Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Jan 11

Jim McBriarty (soprano sax, clarinet, vocals); Lawrence McBriarty (trombone); Brian Bennett (banjo); Bill Colledge (bass); Feed Thompson (drums, vocals) + John Brumwell (vocals) + Harmonica Kings: Dan Burrows & Mike Jamieson (harmonica, vocals) 
(Review by Russell)

An invitation to Dan's birthday party was readily accepted. The likelihood of a buffet was an attraction as was the prospect of a band being booked for the occasion. On learning that the band would be none other than the Vieux Carré Jazzmen it fell to your correspondent to pen a review.

Cullercoats Crescent Club's ground floor, sea view lounge filled up nicely - family, friends, liggers - as bar staff laid out a sumptuous buffet. Yes, a good decision to get along to wish Dan well then tuck in. But wait...first a beer. The Old Potting Shed's Legally Blonde from High Spen the pick, a glance at the buffet - YUM! - then to the jazz. 

CD Review: Theon Cross - FYAH

Theon Cross (tuba); Nubya Garcia (tenor sax); Moses Boyd (drums) + Wayne Francis (tenor sax - 2 tks); Artie Zaitz (guitar  -2 tks); Tim Doyle (perc. - 1 tk); Nathaniel Cross (trombone - 1 tk).
(Review by Lance).

If there's anything worse than having to listen to a banjo record, bagpipes excluded, it's a tuba record! As such, I viewed this, albeit highly acclaimed album, with suspicion. Still, it is creating waves in the jazz media and the tubaist, Theon Cross, won the 2016 APPJAG gong for the Best Jazz Newcomer and those folks know a good one when they see one - believe me!

So I played it and, whilst it wasn't 10 on the Richter Scale, it did make enough ripples to, say, demolish a small village such as Snods Edge in Co. Durham. Not that we would wish such a fate on that lovely community.

It works well, tuba, sax and sticks come at it trilaterally with each member throwing ingredients into the pot resulting in a meal that is both hotter than a Vindaloo and cooler than vanilla ice cream.

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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.
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