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Bebop Spoken There

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11,740 (and counting) posts since we started blogging just over 12 years ago. 880 of them this year alone and, so far, 17 this month (August 4).

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Thursday 6: Vieux Carre Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone, North Tyneside NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free. OUTDOOR gig.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Byker Bop

Once upon a time, back in the year 10BCD when records were vinyl and CDs had yet to be invented, I uncovered a privately recorded Mortonsound LP by the Jeff Hedley Group. It was languishing in a Byker second hand shop; the passers by blissfully unaware that they had history within their grasp.
The personnel, Fred MacBeth (alto), Jeff Hedley (ten), George Chisholm jnr. (pno), Dave Murphy (bs) and Jackie Denton (dms), was in effect the Mighty Joe Young Band without Joe Young. Mighty Joe's band were regulars at Newcastle's New Orleans Club at the time and this disc is proof that the Emcee Five weren't the only hard bop band around in the early sixties. It is an excellent, albeit somewhat time ravaged, disc although, talking to George Chisholm jnr. many years later - he'd emigrated to New Zealand in the meantime - he wasn't happy that the record had surfaced! George, better known as a trumpet player, had no need to feel ashamed; he solos and comps well behind MacBeth and Hedley, both fine modern soloists who have disappeared from the scene completely; where are they now I wonder? Jackie Denton, of course, is still around and arguably as good as, if not better than, he was then. I don't know if Dave Murphy is still active, can anyone tell me?
Nevertheless, if nothing else, it serves as a timely reminder of those heady days at the Down Beat or the New Orleans or upstairs at the Rex Whitley Bay.
Perhaps someone, somewhere, has a photo of the band?

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