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Bebop Spoken There

Terri Lyne Carrington: "We will continue to educate with gender justice and racial justice as guiding principles." - (DownBeat August, 2020)

Teddy Wilson: "Mildred Bailey was a much better singer than Billie [Holiday]." - (DownBeat August, 2020)


The Things They Say!

Hudson Music: Lance's "Bebop Spoken Here" is one of the heaviest and most influential jazz blogs in the UK.

Rupert Burley (Dynamic Agency): "BSH just goes from strength to strength".


11,733 (and counting) posts since we started blogging just over 12 years ago. 873 of them this year alone and, so far, 10 this month (August 3).

Coming soon ...



Monday, August 03, 2020

Album review: Pepa Niebla – Renaissance

Pepa Niebla (vocals, compositions); Toni Mora (guitar, compositions); Maxime Moyaerts ( piano); Alex Gilson (double bass); Daniel Jonkers (drums)

An enjoyable CD that 'reflects a New York contemporary jazz influence' (I quote from the notes) which I wish I had the technical know-how to explain better. It sounds like someone walking along a Street in NYC, an apparently simple tune on voice, guitar and piano, with unobtrusive backing from the rest, lots of singing with the main melody notes accompanied, and a definite forward thrust to the sound, much repetition of phrases, and a generally very rich, satisfying feel.

I knew a programme when a programme was a programme

The nearest I got to seeing Frank Sinatra - apart from in movies and on TV - was when W.H.Smith relocated from Eldon Square to Northumberland St, both in Newcastle. To make the move easier they had a massive sale that seemingly went on forever and I bought many books and records at knockdown prices. One of the items I purchased (for £1.95) was a programme from Sinatra's 1980 concerts at the Royal Festival Hall and the Royal Albert Hall.

Just when you thought it was safe to go into a jazz club... find it isn't!

The long awaited reopening of Ronnie Scott's had been scheduled to be reopened to the socially distanced public this past weekend with some eye-catching concerts but alas, like most venues worldwide, The powers that be decreed otherwise. Better to be safe than to be sorry seems to be the motto and who  are we to argue?

One of the events that wouldn't have needed the chuckers out chucking them in was scheduled for tonight in the form of a tribute to what many consider to have been the UK's greatest ever modern jazz group - The Jazz Couriers.

Sunday, August 02, 2020

Album Review: Bob Dylan - Rough and Rowdy Ways

Bob Dylan (vocals, guitar); Charlie Sexton (guitar); Bob Britt (guitar); Donnie Herron (steel guitar, violin, accordion); Tony Garnier (bass); Matt Chamberlain (drums).

When a 19-year old Bob Dylan arrived in New York in the freezing January of 1961, he headed straight for the coffee houses in Greenwich Village where anyone could play some songs and collect a few dollars by passing a hat around at the end of their set.  However, he quickly graduated to the more organised folk clubs like The Gaslight and Gerde's Folk City as performers were booked in advance and paid a fee.

At the time Greenwich Village was awash with clubs of all kinds, some specialising in folk or blues or jazz but many happy to present all kinds of music, as well as poetry and comedy entertainers. As Dylan was leading a somewhat bohemian life at the time, crashing on the floors of patient friends' apartments, he spent the days and nights visiting most of these clubs at one time or another and immersing himself in all kinds of music. 

Farewell my Lovely - R.I.P Jeanie Lambe

1979, I'd met this girl at a party, she claimed to like jazz. I mentioned that I was going to a gig at the Corner House the following night and did she fancy going? She did.

It was Jeanie Lambe, singing and looking beautiful alongside husband Danny Moss blowing tenor who my friend also thought looked beautiful - well maybe handsome! When we kissed goodnight, I guess we weren't kissing each other!

Sunday Service: Adrian Cox & Simon Picton - New Orleans Tradition - August 2

Adrian Cox (clarinet, vocals); Simon Picton (banjo, guitar, vocals)

A Sunday Service with a difference. This week Adrian Cox went over to Twickenham to meet up with Simon Picton to play a duo set focussing on some of the great exponents of New Orleans' clarinet. As usual Adrian attracted a sizeable online audience and before the off comments scrolled up the screen at a rate of knots.

George Lewis, Emile Barnes and Raymond Burke were but three of Cox's subjects and Simon Picton expressed admiration for Danny Barker. Banjoist/guitarist Picton noted that Barker recorded with both Jelly Roll Morton and Charlie Parker, the only musician to do so. 

Preview: Sinatra @ Sage Gateshead

Tonight at Sage Gateshead there will be a rare, indeed unexpected, appearance by none other than the Chairman of the Board, Mr Francis Albert Sinatra. Well, not quite, but go with it...It was back in 2015 that the BBC Big Band took to the stage in Sage One, Sage Gateshead's world class 1700 seater concert hall to perform a centenary tribute to the man, Frank Sinatra. 

Abbie Finn Trio: Jazz on a Summer's Day @ The Hammer & Pincers - August 1

Abbie Finn (drums); Harry Keeble (tenor sax); Paul Grainger (double bass)

Lockdown eased, lockdown not eased, the government's shambolic handling of the ongoing pandemic continues apace. Between times a couple of tremendous gigs by the Abbie Finn Trio have drawn large crowds in Newcastle and Preston le Skerne, one in the manicured grounds of a church, the other in the unlikely setting of a tipi. Drummer Abbie is from around these here parts and many of her Durham Music Service friends turned up to show their support.

Album review: Louis Armstrong - Live in Europe

We don't get many albums by jazz's first great figure so when one arrived featuring a couple of early editions of the All-Stars it was a moment to savour as well as one to ponder upon.

In a sense it was, to use that hackneyed old cliché, a game of two halves. On paper, the personnel  for the 1948 Paris concerts looked to be the stronger. Teagarden, Bigard, Hines and Big Sid + Pops out front, was surely one of Armstrong's strongest line-ups - wasn't it? 

Saturday, August 01, 2020

Remembering Carmen McRae

DownBeat's 68th Annual Critic's Poll, where the wise and the wonderful throw hats and toupees into the ring and vote for their favourites. As with all polls - jazz or otherwise - some you go along with and some you gasp at with amazement.

However, few would kick at the choice of Carmen McRae's entry into the hallowed portals of The Hall of Fame - albeit via the Veterans Committee Poll which, to me, seems a little bit like getting in by the back door. Les Paul, Machito and Mario Bauza ended up in the pack although Mildred Bailey,  also deservedly, made the cut.

Album (LP) review; Wolfgang Lackerschmid & Chet Baker - ballads for two

Chet Baker (trumpet); Wolfgang Lackerschmid (vibes).

Without being drawn into the merits of vinyl over CD (and vice versa) I always feel there is something special about a vinyl album, especially the present day output such as this one by Dot Time Records and mastered by Gearbox Records, UK.

Of course, the artwork, the sleeve notes, and the production come to naught if the artists don't deliver.

Chet and Wolfgang deliver!

Friday, July 31, 2020

Hexham Thursday Sessions FINALE : Elder People

Ferg on flugel for a premiere of his new piece "Elder People"
(named after the local sign attached).

We grew to quartet with Noah Lawson, a friend of Dom's on keys. 
We're taking a break, who knows what's next?
Chris K

SSBB Livestream w. Mike Lovatt - July 31

Check out trumpet ace Mike Lovatt blowing the St Louis Blues with the mighty Strictly Smokin' Big Band. F/book link.
Strictly Smokin' Big Band: Michael Lamb (MD); Pete Tanton; Gordon Marshall; Dick Stacey (trumpets); Kieran Parnaby; Chris Kurgi-Smith; Chris Gray: John Flood (trombones); Jamie Toms; Dave Kerridge: Steve Summers: Keith Robinson; Laurie Rangecroft (reeds); Pawel Jedrzejewski (guitar); Graham Don (keyboards); Michael Whent (bass guitar); Guy Swinton (drums) with special guest Mike Lovatt (trumpet)

Paul Edis Livestream #20 - July 31

Paul Edis (piano).

The twentieth and final - for the time being - Paul Edis Friday lunchtime set began with When Your Lover Has Gone which perhaps may have been more appropriate for the closer as, of course, we all do love these sessions madly.

A trip to Brazil for Summer Samba tied in nicely with the weather outside maybe summer is icumen in!

Breathing, a delightful waltz from Paul's  book of original compositions (published today - see earlier post) that more or less validates the praise I gave in my review.

I've Got A Feeling I'm Falling - Liza Pulman

(Press release)

The Summer is here and singer and comedienne, Liza Pulman has released another joyous new  song, I’ve Got A Feeling I'm Falling.

The song comes from her recently released EP, The Heart Of It and is written by the great Fats Waller. The wonderful orchestrations are by Joe Atkins and blowing his horn and making us smile is the one and only Steve Walker. As ever she is joined by her usual band of Tom Mark on bass, Danny Cummings on drums, Richard Pardy on sax and Andy Taylor-Vebel on guitar all, once again, brought together under the watchful ear of producer, Chris Porter and recorded at Real World Studios.

The "Real" Paul Edis - Songs and Tunes

When a performer says those party-pooping words: "This next number is one I wrote..." the audience sighs, if not audibly, at least inwardly. Not all great musicians are great composers and vice versa. Irving Berlin was a great songwriter yet, I'm told he could only play in one key. 

One of the problems with jazz musicians writing originals is that you hear them once and maybe won't hear the tune again until their next gig. Whereas pop tunes get played and plugged and covered by other performers so that in no time they're as familiar to younger fans as White Christmas is to an older generation, jazz musicians tend not to share their music around.

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