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Bebop Spoken There

Nate Smith: "Record labels, booking agents, management, still can't imagine the drummer as bandleader" - (DownBeat January 2019).

Today Saturday December 15

Afternoon

Newcastle University Jazz Orchestra - Hatton Gallery, King's Road, Newcastle University NE1 7RU. Tel: 0191 277 8877. 12 noon. Free.

Jazz Attack - Sage Gateshead, St Mary's Square, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead NE8 2JR. Tel: 0191 443 4661. 2:50pm. Young Musicians Live! YMP Winter Festival. Concourse, free.

Jambone + Folkestra - Sage Gateshead, St Mary's Square, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead NE8 2JR. Tel: 0191 443 4661. 4:00pm. Young Musicians Live! YMP Winter Festival. Sage Two, free but ticketed.

Evening

Strictly Smokin’ Big Band - Gosforth Civic Theatre, Regents Farm Road, Gosforth, Newcastle NE3 3HD. Tel: 0191 284 3700. 8:00pm. £12.00. + bf. Second night of two

Boys of Brass - George Washington Hotel, Stone Cellar Road, High Usworth, Washington NE37 1PH. Tel: 0191 402 9988. 7:00pm. Xmas party night.

Big Band Theory - Traveller's Rest, West Auckland Road, Darlington DL3 9ER. Tel: 01325 468177. 6:30pm. £5.00.

Phil Davids & the Good Times Band - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9:00pm. Free.

Horace Silverman & the White Gardenias - The Corner House, Heaton, Newcastle NE6 5RP. Tel: 0191 265 9602. 7:30pm. £7.50.

Baghdaddies - Cobalt Studios, Boyd St., Newcastle NE2 1AP. 8:30pm. £12.00. + £1.38. bf.

Strictly Speakeasy - St Mary’s Heritage Centre, Oakwellgate, Gateshead NE8 2AU. Tel: 0191 433 4699. 7:00pm. £20.00. Lindy jazz ‘Snow Ball.

Cozyjo - Washington Arts Centre, Biddick Lane, Washington NE38 8AB. Tel: 0191 561 3455. 7:00pm. £6.00. (£4.00. concs.). City of Sunderland Youth Jazz Orchestra (Cozyjo) Christmas Cracker.

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

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Farewell Humph

Jazzman, raconteur, writer, historian what can I say that won't be said more eloquently elsewhere? Nothing, except to thank Humphrey Lyttleton for the pleasure he has given me over the years with his music, his books and his sense of humour.
Musically, the band he lead in the 1950s with Tony Coe, Jimmy Skidmore and Joe Temperley, was the one I remember most fondly; I heard them many times at the 100 Club on Oxford Street. I also had the priviledge of playing in the support band at a dance at one of the Durham Colleges. Humph gave me ten bob and asked me to pick Bruce Turner up from Durham railway station and give him a lift to the gig which I did - possibly my greatest contribution to British Jazz.
His autobiography 'I Play As I Please' and subsequent tomes are entertaining, often essential, reading for students of jazz.
Sadly missed.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Made In England

Courtney Pine was perhaps an unusual choice to feature in a BBC program about Holy Island and, by his own admission, the pace of life as an inner city North London jazz musician was far removed from the tranquility of Holy Island (pop. 171). Nevertheless, his plaintive, almost melancholy, soprano sax succeeded in capturing the island's ambience and there was nothing ambiguous about the pairing.
Northumbrian piper Kathryn Tickell had a more obvious affinity with 'the home of christianity' and, strangely, the pipes didn't sound too far removed from Courtney's soprano. Surely a compliment to two musicians who are both masters of their craft.
I look forward to hearing Courtney's take on Sydney Bechet at this year's Scarborough Jazz Festival.
An amusing footnote. One of the islanders professed a liking for the 'Blue Danube Waltz'. Later, Courtney played his version of the tune. The lady remarked, 'I heard a bit of the Blue Danube in there.'
Not so much a mighty river more a gentle stream!

Take It To The Bridge

I'm never quite certain whether Dave Weisser is a trumpet player who sings or a singer who plays trumpet. Whatever, he does both with enthusiasm and dedication and a degree of restraint. Restraint isn't part of tenorist Ian Trewella's make-up; he goes for the jugular every time. When it gels they make a good frontline; when it doesn't...
It gelled tonight at the Chillingham Arms on "Straight No Chaser", "Airegin" and an original by pianist Barry Ascroft called, I think, "Sam Marguil" inspiration, we're told, from a Caribbean cruise and, perhaps, a bottle or two of San Miguel.
It didn't quite get there on "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy" not least because Ian's sax had taken note of the title and surrendered unconditionally. Superglue and elastic bands were called upon to make it better.
As well as the residents there were the usual plethora of sitters-in including Deborah who scatted and Stomped at the Savoy, another tenor player, and a fine triumverate of guitarists in the form of Alex, who also scatted - on a waltz no less - David, and Daniel.
All in all, the best quidsworth in town!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Zoë Gilby Band

Another fine session from Zoë who gave her usual polished performance. 'When Lights Are Low' may have been being 'premiered' but it didn't detract from her rendition and I look forward to it becoming a staple part of her repertoire. 'I'm Beginning to See the Light' and 'Angel Eyes' were two other numbers that hit the spot as indeed did the rest of her program. Noel Dennis (tpt/Flug), Mark Williams (gtr), and Andy Champion (bs) were also on form whilst on drums David Carnegie was his usual solid self. Pleased to see her dad in the audience - he must be very proud.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Quote

When asked how come he could play so well when he was stoned out of his mind, tenor saxist Johnny Griffin replied, "Because I was stoned when I learnt to play!"

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Curtis Stigers

I'm not quite sure where Curtis Stigers stands in the jazz hierarchy these days. Buying a Stigers CD is like buying a lottery ticket; a waste of money, a modest return or BINGO! 'Baby Plays Around' is without doubt in the 5 numbers and the bonus ball class; not least for the classy material the disc contains. Such classics as 'Billie's Bounce', Parker's Mood' and 'Centrepiece', the latter featuring his fine tenor playing, sit nicely alongside some tasty standards including; 'Let's Get Lost', 'Everything Happens To Me', 'I Keep Going Back To Joe's' and 'You Are Too Beautiful'. Beautiful is up there with the Coltrane/Johnny Hartman version and Joe's points the direction from which the recent Ian Shaw version came. What do you think of Stigers?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I'll Remember April

I will remember this particular night in April thanks to a fine set by the ALAN GLEN TRIO at the Chillingham Arms. Nothing too far out, just beautifully executed standards such as 'I Thought About You', 'East of the Sun' and Clifford Brown's 'Sandu'. David Carnegie (dms) and Laurence Blackadder (bs) provided solid backing as well as soloing impressively. It had been a long time since I'd heard Alan and I'd almost forgotten the subtle nuances he brings to every tune. Truly delightful. Prior, Dave Weisser, Ian Trewella and the resident band of men stamped their brand on Horace Silver. Later, a blind guy called Martin also played some swinging piano - 'Making Whoopee' in a blues vein no less!

Quote

"Joshua didn't knock down the walls of Jericho with a saxophone". Wynton Marsalis on the long history of trumpet playing.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Jazz

Right there with Liz on this one. The Jazz, whilst it had the unenviable task of attempting to be all things to all men (and women), nevertheless managed to hit that happy medium of covering most persuasions. It was a rare hour that I didn't find at least 45 minutes of excellence. At present it continues on cable and on-line but without any presenters. There is nothing more annoying than to hear a track you like and not know who it is by. What we need is someone to hijack a boat and set up a jazz pirate radio station. What upsets me is that only days before, they were announcing their large listening audience; obviously the bosses at Capital Radio weren't among the listeners and nor, it would seem, were the potential advertisers. How sad that music such as ours is in the hands of the men (and women) in suits.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Gateshead Festival

A free - as in priceless - afternoon at The Sage with most of the 'usual suspects' from The Side Café strutting their stuff. Unfair to single anyone out although Zoë Gilby and Emma Fisk proved that jazz isn't a totally masculine domain; both were brilliant.Splashed out on a Clifford Brown box set; not least because one of the tunes was, you've guessed it, 'You're a Lucky Guy'. Took a lot of photos; They're in the gallery.

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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