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Bebop Spoken There

David Binney: "In this age, we musicians need to do anything we can to make a living, and ninety-nine percent of us will have to do a wide variety of things." - (Jazz Times May 2019)

Archive

Daily: July 6 - October 27

Precarity John Akomfrah’s film (2017, 46 mins) about Buddy Bolden - Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead Quays, South Shore Road, Gateshead NE8 3BA. Tel: 0191 478 1810. Screenings at intervals during the day. part of Akomfrah's exhibition Ballasts of Memory. Exhibition (daily) July 6 - October 27. 10:00am-6:00pm. Free.

Until July 21

Today Monday July 15

Afternoon

Jazz

Precarity John Akomfrah’s film (2017, 46 mins) about Buddy Bolden (See above).

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

Evening

Mnozil Brass: Cirque - Gala Theatre, Millennium Place, Durham DH1 1WA. Tel: 0300 266 600. 7:30pm. £23.00. (£19.00. concs.). A Durham Brass Festival event.

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

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Frank Sparrow - THE MAN - by John Taylor. UPDATED.

Anyone remember Frank Sparrow the saxophone repairer? He overhauled my alto. When I was 40 my Mam was 80. She gave me £40 for my birthday My lifelong friend Terry Fenwick (tenor) arranged for Frank to do some work on my Selmer Console clarinet and Buescher alto sax. Frank wanted £30 for a weeks work - I gave him the £40. Frank had a 3 piece band that played around Bedlington. They always wore dinner jackets and Frank showed me a picture of him in the 1920's - same dinner jacket! He had 14 saxes and a Mk7 he never played . He just took it out of the case and looked at it!! A character.
When Ashington Jazz Club started 26 years ago there were two punters we always looked out for. One was a local councillor called Craig Brown - he got Labour Party funding for the club. He was an Armstrong fanatic and he called his first son Louis Armstrong Brown. The other was Frank Sparrow. It may have been that Frank was a conscientious objector as he was a first aider during the war (not sure which war!) After the war he became a full time first aider at Woodhorn Colliery where our dads worked. As there was a lot of spare time (not many accidents ) he did his saxophone mechanic-ing at work. The ambulance room was in the pit baths and they say that every day you could hear Frank blowing an instrument in. He still found time to run his 3 pc band and work in Max Shares on a Saturday! His first wife left him because of his addiction to the sax. His second wife loved music and he loved her. I used to hear his 3 pc at a local club and he said to me - hand on heart - that when he met her -"It gets you there, not in your trousers". Another famous quote was "I bought a new jazz record by (I think it was Bix) and played it straight away. I said to myself, 'BLOW ME FRANKIE YOU HAVE BEEN PLAYING LIKE THAT FOR YEARS." Frank came to Ashington Jazz club by push bike from Bedlington. Six bottles of brown ale later he set off home - no doubt picking up some repair work from the band (and possibly giving some to the local bike repairer)! When Frank worked in Max Shares music shop I went there to buy sheet music and I thought he was Max Share.
John Taylor

2 comments :

Lance said...

Bix and Frankie Trumbauer were his idols. He wasn't impressed when I mentioned Charlie Parker to him.

John Sparrow said...

What a surprise to come across this short story about my Grandad !!

My Dad, Maurice, was wondering if Ashington Jazz Club still exists ?

He has been clearing the loft and has come across some Dixieland Jazz Lp's....Would they be of interest to anyone ?

Yet another coincidence in this story is that I grew up with Louis son Mark Brown and still see Louis regularly at Ashington Football Club...small world.

If anyone is interested in the Lp's you can contact me at
spug1@live.co.uk

John

Blog Archive

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.

Submissions for review

Whilst we appreciate the many emails, texts, messages and other communications we receive requesting album/gig reviews on BSH, regrettably, we are unable to reply to all of them other than those we are able to answer with a positive response.
Similarly, CDs received by post will only be considered if accompanied by sufficient background material.
Finally, bear in mind that this is a jazz-based site when submitting your album.
Lance