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Bebop Spoken There

Charles McPherson: “Jazz is best heard in intimate places”. (DownBeat, July, 2024).

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".

'606' Club: "A toast to Lance Liddle of the terrific jazz blog 'Bebop Spoken Here'"

The Strictly Smokin' Big Band included Be Bop Spoken Here (sic) in their 5 Favourite Jazz Blogs.

Ann Braithwaite (Braithwaite & Katz Communications) You’re the BEST!

Holly Cooper, Mouthpiece Music: "Lance writes pull quotes like no one else!"

Simon Spillett: A lovely review from the dean of jazz bloggers, Lance Liddle...

Josh Weir: I love the writing on bebop spoken here... I think the work you are doing is amazing.


16542 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 422 of them this year alone and, so far, 29 this month (June 17).

From This Moment On ...


Sun 23: Paul Skerritt @ Hibou Blanc, Newcastle. 2:00pm.
Sun 23: More Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00pm. Free.
Sun 23: Matt Carmichael @ St Mary’s Church, Wooler. 3:00pm. Carmichael (saxophone), Fergus McCreadie (piano), Charlie Stewart (fiddle). ‘Scottish jazz, folk-roots & landscape’ Wooler Arts: Summer Concerts.
Sun 23: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 23: Tweed River Jazz Band @ Barrels Ale House, Berwick. 7:00pm. Free.
Sun 23: Bede Trio @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 23: Leeway @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Sun 23: Jazz Jam @ Fabio’s Bar, Saddler St., Durham. 8:00pm. Free. A Durham University Jazz Society event. All welcome.

Mon 24: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Mon 24: Remy CB @ The Hoppings, Newcastle Town Moor NE2 3NH. 5:00-7:00pm.

Tue 25: Louise Dodds & Elchin Shirinov @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Wed 26: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 26: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 26: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

Thu 27: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 27: Jeremy McMurray & the Pocket Jazz Orchestra @ Arc, Stockton. 8:00pm.
Thu 27: The Joni Project @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Joni Mitchell.
Thu 27: Lindsay Hannon’s Tom Waits for No Man @ Harbour View, Roker, Sunderland. 8:00pm.
Thu 27: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. Ragtime piano. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 27: Loco House Band @ Bar Loco, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free.
Thu 27: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests: Richie Emmerson (tenor sax); Neil Brodie (trumpet); Garry Hadfield (keys); Adrian Beadnell (bass)

Fri 28: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 28: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 28: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 28: Pete Tanton’s Chet Set @ Warkworth War Memorial Hall. 7:30pm. £10.00.
Fri 28: Paul Edis Trio @ St Cuthbert’s Centre, Crook. 7:30pm.
Fri 28: Ant Law, Alex Hitchcock, Jasper Høiby & Sun-Mi Hong @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm. £15.40., £13.20.

Sat 29: Spat’s Langham’s Hot Fingers @ St Augustine's Parish Centre, Darlington. 12:30pm. Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club.
Sat 29: Vermont Big Band @ Seahorse Pub, Whitley Bay Football Club. 7:30pm. £10.00. (inc. hot buffet).
Sat 29: Papa G’s Troves @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Sun 30: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 30: Ruth Lambert Trio @ The Juke Shed, Union Quay, North Shields. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 30: Jazz Jam Sandwich! @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 7:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Sun 30: Charlotte Keeffe @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. JNE.
Sun 30: Jazz Jam @ Fabio’s Bar, Saddler St., Durham. 8:00pm. Free. A Durham University Jazz Society event. All welcome.

Friday, September 30, 2011

RIP Denys Harris

When Bebop Spoken Here went on-line back in 2008 - one of the first to post a comment was Elizabeth Harris  better known to us simply as 'Liz'.
Liz and her husband Denys have been friends of ours for some years now - not only because of their enthusiasm for quality music but as a nice easy to get along with couple.
Therefore it is with much sadness that I have to announce that Denys passed away on Sept. 28 in a hospice near York where they lived.
Both were originally from the North-East and had an everlasting affinity with the area. In the photo, taken at last year's Scarborough Jazz Festival, Denys is on the left and I'm the guy on the right.
Our condolences and deepest sympathy go out to Liz.
RIP Denys - I never did get to hear you sing but you brought some great crime writers to my attention - thank you.
Autumn in New York / Body and Soul. (see comments)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Pete Gilligan Trio @ Hoochie Coochie

Pete Gilligan (pno); Ray Truscott (bs); Ian Forbes (dms); Julija Jacanaite Jolie (vcl)
Pete Gilligan is a local jazz treasure full stop! However, possibly because of his playboy image, he is perhaps not as well known by the jazz mainstream as he should be.
Tonight he hit the ground running with a set of swinging jazz standards that was well received by a decent sized Hoochie audience.
On drums, Ian Forbes, the Grand Old Man of North East rhythm sections demonstrated that age has not withered nor custom staled his infinite variety with some stick and brushwork that went well beyond mere timekeeping. Ray Truscott, another veteran of a thousand one night stands (gigs that is), added the depth needed on six string bass guitar as well as offering contrasting solos.
Pieces included Waltz For Debbie, Billie's Bounce, A Foggy Day, All Blues a rather beautiful version of Whisper Not, the rarely heard Bill Evans' tune Time Remembered, Darn That Dream and a few tunes the title of which escaped me.
And as if this wasn't enough we had the bonus of a couple of songs from Julija Jacanaite Jolie - quite a girl!
These Thursday sessions seem to be building up a following. Next week it's the Mark Toomey Quartet but before then, this Sunday (October 2) it's Nick Pride and the Pimptones with their brand of Jazz/Funk.

Tonight at Hoochie Coochie - Pete Gilligan Trio

I'm looking forward to hearing Pete Gilligan at Hoochie tonight - he's an exciting player and always good for a swinging set.
Trio kicks off around 8:00pm and it's free - hey wait for me!

Maine Street Jazzmen @ Rosie Malones

Olive Rudd (vcl); Iain MacAulay (tmb/vcl); Jim McBriarty (clt/alt/vcl); George Richardson (pno); Alan Rudd (bs); Mike Humble (dms).
With Herbie still away talking Turkey Iain MacAulay again provided the trombonology as well as a vocal or two - Sweet Georgia Brown being one of them. Young McBriarty also crooned a few tunes as well as playing clarinet and alto - Tin Roof Blues  being one of them. Nice vocal (inc. verse) and mellifluous alto - Rabbit Lives is no doubt been scrawled all over South Shields (Rabbit = Johnny Hodges). 
However, today' top accolade went to Olive for her rendition of I Wished On The Moon - thank you Olive.
The word down on the waterfront is that the Maine Street Jazzmen are returning to the Porthole, North Shields as of Monday October 17 for a regular lunchtime set.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

CD Review - Kate Peters Septet.

Kate Peters (vcls); Ian Chalk (tpt); Matt Anderson (ten); Aubin Vanns (gtr); Zezo Olimpio (pno); John Marley (bs); Sam Gardner (dms).
Matt Anderson seems to be here there and everywhere! His henchmen Vanns, Marley and Gardner were with him on a recently reviewed CD by The Matt Anderson Quartet; the trio (sans Vanns) were part of the Matt Anderson Quintet's Songs of The Ridings set at Scarborough Jazz Festival and the quartet have even got a Splinter gig at The Bridge in Newcastle coming up (Oct. 30).
Their latest manifestation is as part of the Kate Peters Septet on a recently released CD.
Peters is yet another perfectly packaged chanteuse rolling off the endless conveyor belt of girl jazz singers - where do they all come from? She's good, intermingling a few soul/folk inflections into the jazz. On Moanin' the girl scats with the intensity of a Lee Morgan solo over a Blakey style rhythm section - impressive. The Way You Look Tonight over a shuffle rhythm and with a well constructed tenor solo by Anderson also works.
However, having said that, in an overpopulated market place, I don't think she has yet realised her full potential sufficiently enough to stand out from the crowd. I think she will.
Ian Chalk was a new name to me but he had some cracking solos that hit the spot.
All in all a band to look out for at a gig near you.
Visit for more details.
PS: More Ian Chalk here.

Mark McKnight Quartet @ The Cluny. September 27.

Mark McKnight (guitar), Seamus Blake (tenor saxophone), Ross Stanley (organ) & James Maddren (drums).
Schmazz @ The Cluny and Jazz North East pooled resources to secure the Newcastle booking of Mark McKnight's band during an extensive tour of the UK. Irishman McKnight made a considerable impression last year at the Corner House in the company of alto star Paul Towndrow. The Cluny date was keenly anticipated and a large turn-out greeted the quartet with much enthusiasm. The guitarist's latest CD - Do or Die - is most accomplished and hearing the material live proved to be a real treat. 
The tunes strong, musicianship of the highest order, it all seemed so effortless. McKnight the composer is one to watch and all four musicians developed extended solos; Nightcap, a new tune - Ballad of Lee Murgatroyd - and the one non-original number - Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered - were quite exceptional. McKnight's fluency was something to behold, Seamus Blake's tenor the perfectly pitched foil, organist Ross Stanley the master of his instrument and young drummer James Maddren had it all at his fingertips. The first set concluded with Overnight the eponymous number from McKnight's acclaimed debut recording as a bandleader. The consensus of the interval chatter gave a unanimous thumbs up to a great first set. 
Another pint of Harviestoun's IPA was called for as future gigs were discussed...Ray Chester, Charles Gayle, Enrico Tomasso (the Tyneside audience is nothing if not catholic in taste) and before we knew it we were served a second helping of McKnight & co.. Pieces, with perhaps a hint of Mingus' Goodbye Pork Pie Hat and McLaughlin's Extrapolation periodfeatured Maddren's languid yet tight drumming with McKnight's bell-like tones ringing out across the Cluny. Do or Die had to feature and it did. It sounds good on CD and it sounded rather good live!  McKnight's very first composition - Contemplate - a ballad at that, proved to be a highlight with Blake playing some assured old school tenor. The closing number (We'll) Just Disappear upped the ante featuring outrageously good solos all round with Seamus Blake's tenor playing catching everyone by surprise as he rattled-off phrase after sanctifying phrase. Was this a prayer meeting? Thrilling stuff! A contender for gig of the year.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Many Happy Returns Ruth

I'd like to take this opportunity on behalf of Bebop Spoken Here to wish Ruth Lambert a very happy birthday today. I hope it has been a good one. Lance.

Drum Tuition

Well known drummer Adrian Tilbrook has recently launched a new website - Just Drumming. For anyone interested in drums it is well worth a visit and no more so than if you wish to avail yourself of the skills Adrian has acquired in almost 50 years of professional playing in many different genre.
Adrian has decided to pass on his skills to serious players on a one to one basis. For more information and contact details visit

Unwrap the Secrets to a Successful, Effective and Fun Bass practice schedule

"Unwrap the Secrets to a Successful, Effective and Fun Bass practice schedule'' with award winning bassist and author Tony Grey is a Masterclass in bass guitar from the internationally acclaimed virtuoso which will teach you to master your practice time and reach your potential through this unique and unbelievably effective method. 
Get more focus. Play more musically and melodically, whilst developing a strong technique. 
Gain mastery and awareness of the fingerboard, improve your ears and how you hear melodies, play through non-related chord changes and much more! 
Includes a session on walking bass, and a session to keep you in peak physical condition while you practice, delivered by Antonia Pellegrino BSC KFRP: Strength coach and registered Kinesiology practioner. 

Practice for less time with greater focus and achievement - you won't believe the results. 12th and 13th November. Click here for more details and to book.
Chris Minnis.

And it's all happening in Pelaw, Gateshead!

Monday, September 26, 2011

CD Review: Pierrick Pédron - Cheerleaders

Pierriik Pédron / alto saxophone
Chris De Pauw / guitar
Laurent Coq / piano, keyboards
Vincent Artaud / bass
Franck Agulhon &; Fabrice Moreau / drums plus others

Pédron is an excellent alto player immersed, but not rooted, in Bird and Cannonball. However, on the strength of this unusual album, it may be as a conceptual artist that he will make his mark.
Cheerleaders is described as 'an opulent suite' that draws upon many different aspects of diverse genre.
You want Stravinsky, Pink Floyd? You got 'em. Fancy a French brass band? You got one too!
In fact one of the lasting memories of this disc are the 'oompah' sections that permeate the jazz, the neo-classical and the heavy metal that the Frenchman has skilfully woven into a fascinating tapestry of sound. Anyone who saw the film An American in Paris and remembers the ballet sequence will equate with this.
At times I'm reminded of some of the early Mike Westbrook albums - it has that same sound of surprise. Haden's Liberation Orchestra also comes to mind.
Pedron tells a story as he crafts a suite of nine sequential pieces recounting one night in the life of this woman - The Cheerleader. Nightmares, fantasies and memories, they are dreamy, they are violent, they are tender. 
Create your own images from the music is the invitation the composer extends to the listener - my imagination is already running wild!
A near masterpiece.
Patrick Pédron - Cheerleaders. ACT 9511-2. Released October 3.

Rahe - Rescue

Inspired by the classic 1940s jazz film "Jammin' the Blues", Rahe delivers a beautiful rendition of "Rescue" from her debut album "Out of the Box", filmed by director John Sears.
More on Rahe...

World Service Project & Synkoke @ Star & Shadow Cinema. 21st Septermber

WSP: Dave Morecroft (keyboards), Conor Chaplin (electric bass), Neil Blandford (drums), Tim Ower (saxophones) & Raphael Clarkson (trombone)
Synkoke: Kristian Harnes (keyboards), Ellen Andrea Wang (electric bass), Kurt Andre Aase (drums), Erik Nerheim (soprano saxophone), Ole Adland (guitar)
Pianist Dave Morecroft's World Service Project impressed at Splinter @ The Bridge last year and this return visit to Newcastle at the Star & Shadow Cinema was as a double bill with Norway's Synkoke. A motorway accident en route to Newcastle resulted in band members hastily booking a hire car and making Newcastle in time for a slightly delayed start. Musicians and instruments were unscathed, the vehicle...that was another matter. Synkoke struck a pose and determinedly stuck to it. A groove, at times trance-like, with sledge hammer drumming and soprano sax (a similar approach to that of Polar Bear's Mark Lockheart) dominated the performance. WSP offered leftfield tunes with a humourous streak running through them. Trombonist Raphael Clarkson caught the ear with some inventive lines and a big sound to boot. The evening concluded with a two-band mash-up; ten musicians blowing for all they were worth, smiles all round. 

Scarborough Jazz Festival Sunday Evening

Tommy Evans Orchestra - The Green Seagull -Evans (cond/comp); Kari Bleivik, Ruby Wood, Anna Stott(vcl); Matt Roberts, Simon Beddoe (tpt/flug); Russell Henderson, Simon Kaylor, Rob Mitchell (reeds); Nick Tyson (gtr); Jamil Sheriff (pno); Dave Kane (bs); Kris Wright (dms).
The programme notes described this as "A suite inspired by the life of the composer's uncle, David Partridge. Commissioned by the Marsden Jazz Festival, this 90-minute piece conjures up Partridge's passion, humour, eccentricity and hope..."
Performed in two 45 minute sets this musical Tour de Force explored every nook and cranny of the jazz canon. At times explorative and brooding whilst painting a picture of Loss or Homelessness whilst at other times dramatically re-creating a Car Crash in Seatbelt. In full flight, the orchestra is awesome, the choir wordlessly blending with the horns. Powerful solos by the saxes and trumpets - Simon Kaylor wild beyond belief on tenor. Russell Henderson, not unknown in the north-east, pushing his alto into the great unknown and returning unscathed, Rob Mitchell doing similar things and the trumpets both going for it and getting it.
The whole caboodle composed and directed by the nodding dog like figure of Evans - his baton a bottle of Bud!
This wasn't the music of tomorrow, it was the music of the day after that and further - Wowability factor high!
Time for more Festival Bitter!
Alan Barnes and William Ellis On Stage. Barnes (alt/ten/talking); Ellis (talking); Bruce Adams (tpt); Dave Newton (pno); Andy Cleyndert (bs); Steve Brown (dms).
As compere and musician Alan Barnes popped up here, there and everywhere - I even shared a cliff lift descent with him! - but tonight was different. Not only was he playing with his peers but also chatting with jazz photographer William Ellis on Ellis' photos before the band took off a piece related to the photo.
So, we had All Blues (Miles); Woody 'n' You (Dizzy); Quicksilver (Horace Silver); Robbin's Nest (Sir Charles Thompson); Speak No Evil (Wayne Shorter); A Pint of Bitter (Clark Terry).
It was entertaining, the music was great and the perfect end to the Ninth Scarborough Jazz Festival.
Next year's 3 day Festival starts on Sept 28, 2012. I've got it in my diary already!

Scarborough Jazz Festival - Sunday Afternoon

The Matt Anderson Quintet - Songs of The Ridings. Anderson (ten); Jamil Sheriff (pno); John Marley (bs); Sam Gardner (dms); Kate Bleivik (vcl).
Commissioned by Creative North Yorkshire and Scarborough Jazz Festival this was a bold and ambitious work composed and arranged by leader Anderson. His compositional ideas are good and his tenor sound warm although on Cold Spell it was appropriately - cool! Kari Bleivik's vocal lines added a Winstonian feel to the ensembles.
On bass John Marley delivered a strong harmonic foundation propelled along by Gardner's drums whilst, on piano, Sheriff, proved, as he has done at previous Scarborough Festival, what an inventive player he is.
A fine set and yet...
...on a descriptive suite such as this I felt that the leader should have spoken more about the background or, if time was prohibitive, to have provided programme notes such as Tommy Evans did in the evening.
That aside, it was musically sound.
Andreas Varady Quartet. Andreas Varady (lead gtr); Bandy Varady (rhythm gtr); Mike Janisch (bs); David Lyttle (dms).
The latest wunderkind on der block came with much hype and we posed the question - could he live up to it?
The answer - a resounding YES!
14 year-old, he simply dazzled and delighted with a mix of standards and originals (yes he composes too!). A Day in New York, Body and Soul, Giant Steps, Blues For Everard(?), In a Sentimental Mood - I'd love to play one of those numbers for a panel of guitarists in a Blindfold Test!
Drums and bass stepped down to allow Andreas do a couple of Django duets with his dad. To put things into perspective - Varady senior wasn't even around in Django's day!
The sound balance could have been better but if you've got the ears you hear it as it should be. By the end I felt elated - this was like getting in on the ground floor of a talent that will surely mature into greatness.
Christine Tobin Quartet - Tobin (vcls); Phil Robson (gtr); Dave Whitford (bs); Gene Caldarazzo (dms).
It fell to Phil Robson to pick up the guitar plectrum and I couldn't help thinking of the old show biz adage - never follow a kid or a dog act! However, Phil has been around long enough to know that he need fear no one on guitar and he provided just the right cushion for Tobin's vocals. Christine has a strong earthy voice that scored heavily on You Go To My Head, Peyroux's Dance Me To The End of Love, Fight No More (sung in Portuguese with a clever Ipanema tag on the end.) 
Caldarazzo and Whitford were the ideal rhythm section with Phil Robson soloing fluently.
So far it had been a great festival with an exciting evening ahead.

Scarborough Jazz Festival - Saturday Evening.

NYJO - National Youth Jazz Orchestra.
What a cracking straight down the middle set of big band jazz. Superb arrangements and tremendous soloists - jazz lives as long as these guys (and gals) are around. Tenor player Nadim Tiemoori had a great ride on Hush by Nikki Iles; Callum Au impressed with his trombone solo on Bill - a swingy Mark Nightingale arrangement and Reuben Fowler drew deeply into the emotional bag with Kenny Wheeler's take on Embraceable You.
These were but a few of the highlights with vocalist Emma Smith adding a few more on That Old Black Magic, That Old Devil Moon and If I Had You.
A band that can hold its head high in any company.
Mina Agossi Trio - Mina Agossi (vcl); Stephane Guery (gtr); Eric Jacot (bs) + special guest Sue Richardson (tpt).
Another, mainly, French importation showcasing the incredible Mina who simply exudes orgasmic vitality as she bounces around the stage. I never thought I'd hear the old Jimmy Dorsey, Bob Eberly, Helen O'Connell number Green Eyes sung quite like this - and in French! The Waters of March - compelling, head-banging jazz was how a neighbour described it.
Sanity was resumed for a while when Sue Richardson joined the trio to blow some cool trumpet on There's a Lull in my Life.
Sue hung around and, after a blistering blues they went into The Saints! These were no ordinary Saints Marching in - they were the Devil Incarnate as it erupted into a near Free Form finale.
I needed a pint of Festival Bitter after that!
David Rees-Williams Trio - Rees-Williams (pno/org); Phil Laslett (dms); Neil Francis (bs).
This was to have been Jacques Louissier but the Frenchman isn't in good health so David Rees-Williams stepped in and proved to be a worthy replacement.
Handel, Purcell, Wesley, Ravel and, of course, Bach were given the respectful treatment they deserved before being gently ushered into improvisational mode. Somewhere along the way Autumn Leaves appeared and all in all it was a good set.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Scarborough Jazz Festival - Saturday Afternoon.

Kate Williams Quartet featuring Gareth Lochrane. (Williams (pno); Lochrane (fl.); ? (bs); Tristan Maillot (dms).
Mating Call was title of Kate's original tune that opened the set launching Lochrane into an orbit of a million choruses! This was a mating call that worked and, like the original Pied Piper, the fans responded in hypnotic surrender and this was just his first solo! The composer too let her hair down proving she too had the chops for it. I didn't catch the name of the bassist who replaced Jeremy Brown but he was in there every bar of the way likewise drummer Maillot. While We're Young (Alec Wilder?) made for a pleasant change in what had so far been a Festival of mainly originals and all four (Lochrane on alto flute) treat it with respect in a probing, introspective and rather beautiful manner.
Alan Barnes joined in on alto for Cole Porter's All Through the Night and Lochrane switched to piccolo - he can swing that too!
The afternoon was looking good.
Mark Nightingale Quintet. (Nightingale (tmb); Nigel Hitchcock (alt); Graham Harvey (Rhodes); Lawrence Cottle (bs); Alyn Cosker (dms).
The trombonist described his new project as 'basically bebop played over different rhythms" which summed it up fairly accurately partiicularly Unlucky Foursome which was played in 13/8 time. Needless to say Cosker handled the unusual time signature with ease!
Hitchcock blew some paintstripping alto on Auto  Eight Inch Clock which just happened to be an anagram of his name!
As for the leader what can be said other than he is a master of his instrument. The final Groove was as explosive as they come and appropriatly entitled unlike the second number - Closure!
Gilad Atzmon and the Orient House Ensemble. (Atzmon alt/sop); Frank Harrison (pno); Yaron Stavi (bs); Eddie Hick (dms).
Three outstanding alto players in a row! In a photo finish I don't know which one I'd bet on - it would be close.
One thing you can depend on with Gilad is a show whether it be music, comedy or a political rant and, needless to say we got all three. However, it was the music that shone through and captured the crowd. His seemingly effortless flights of fantasy the stuff that dreams are made of (well sax player's dreams!)
On piano Harrison proved equal to the task of keeping pace with the enigmatic leader and he soloed impressively Stavi and Hicks too were 100% solid but it was Gilad who captivated by his ability to incorporate tunes like Roll Out The Barrel, Mack The Knife and Salt Peanuts into his solo and retain credibilty!
The final Cherokee was the blast to end all blasts - Phew!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Scarborough Jazz Festival - Friday Evening.

Mike Gordon reckoned 549 and counting weekend passes had been sold for this, the ninth Scarborough Jazz Festival held in the newly refurbished Spa Complex. The centre of the hall now had theatre seating flanked by cabaret style tables. Personally, I preferred it when it was all tables but, logistically, I suppose this way more concertgoers can be accommodated and there were few - if any - empty seats. Likewise the old, long, bar has gone to be replaced by a smaller, more impersonal bar in the foyer/reception area. However, we can't stand in the way of progress!
The Hadouk Trio. Didier Malherbe (duduk, flutes, ocarian, soprano); Loy Ehrlich (hajou, gumbass, keyboards); Prabhu Eduoard (tabla).
The Festival commenced with an unusual French trio playing equally unusual instruments. They produced strange, ethereal sounds - moody and atmospheric - gradually building to a climax. All players par excellence - the tabla player taking it beyond excellence! This was interesting, possibly unique and certainly different.
Liz Fletcher sings 'Liz' and a tribute to Alan Plater. Liz Fletcher (vcl); Alan Barnes (alt/ten/clt); Gareth Williams (pno); Geoff Gascoyne (bs); Steve Brown (dms).
Sandwiched in between the French Bread was some English Mustard in the form of Liz Fletcher. We were now back on more familiar, easier accessible, territory. Liz who, after some of her own songs, was joined on stage by Festival compere and reedsman extraordinaire (which doesn't mean 'extra ordinary') Alan Barnes, was in good voice. Willow Weep For Me sang Liz whilst, behind her Barnesy and the trio blew Things Ain't What They Used to be! It worked.
The rest of the set was, in the main, devoted to the lyrics of Alan Plater and what lyrics! A superb session with good vocals and a driving rhythm section (when you look at the names could it be any other?) and, of course, the inimitable Mr Barnes cooking on clarinet, alto and tenor.
Orchestre National de Jazz. 'Shut Up And Dance'. The second French band of the evening brought the  first day to a close with an explosive performance of pieces written by New York drummer/composer John Hellenbeck. This was powerful stuff - Mingus meets Wagner in the City of Glass. Orchestrated dissonance, animals running wild was how someone sitting next to me described it. She also said that French is the language of romance I'd like to know more about her lovelife if this was her idea of romance!
Each of the ten young players were given a feature and all were magniifique.

It was compelling, it was mindblowing at times mournful, at times jolly like a back street French cabaret. All the soloists were impressiive but particularly outstanding was Eve Risser who delivered the most amazing piano solo. Percussive chords, virtuoso runs, Eve attacked the keyboard with a vengeance her shape as angular as the lines she was playing - a delight to see and hear.
And so ended day one. Mike Gordon must be pleased and deservedly so.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Safe Sextet @ Hoochie Coochie

Don Forbes (tpt); Paul Gowland (alt); John Rowland (ten); Alan Law (pno); Paul Grainger (bs); Eric Stutt (dms).
The band did a storming set and they’ll have the film to prove it, as a documentary about jazz in Newcastle was being made, and the cameras were rolling as they played a tune called Suspended Disbelief. We were told the tune was based on suspended fourth chords. I’ve no idea what these creatures are, but the piece was great to listen to, full of brassy dissonance.
The set had begun with the brass, soon joined by the others, on Horace Silver’s Nutville (?), with solos from the brass and piano. Then came Sunny Rollins Alfie's Theme, (not the song Alfie, by Cilla Black,) but a wonderfully strong tune, with references to These Boots Were Made For Walking by the double bass. There followed a tune by Victor Feldman, who may have been the brother of Marty Feldman (remember him?), as the trumpeter announcing tunes pointed out quietly, throwing us deliberate red herrings! Other tunes included Abdul; which was not as eastern as the title suggests; a slinky blues in three four time called The Fat Man; dedicated to someone on the local jazz scene; Society Red (Dexter Gordon); and Moanin’, with an especially adventurous alto sax solo. The final tune which was demanded as an encore from an enthusiastic audience, was Softly as in a Morning Sunrise.
There were frequent solos, all great to listen to, so it would be unfair to single out anyone for special mention. The brass sometimes had a New Orleans feel, and also produced rich beautiful harmonies. I was intrigued and amused by the drummer’s ship’s bell, at least that’s what it sounded like to me. Yes, a band well worth seeing and hearing.
Ann Alex

Scarborough Jazz Festival - Preview 7: Andreas Varady Quartet

Sunday Sept., 25, 2.15pm: Andreas Varady Quartet

Top American bass player Mike Janisch emailed Festival programmer Mike Gordon: 'There is a young 13 year old guitarist from Ireland, originally from Slovakia.  His name is Andreas Varady, and he's a complete prodigy.  Martin Taylor was floored by him and wants to do a duet recording with him. They flew me over to play on his debut album, and I was completely freaked out at how good he was.  He's playing better than most professional guitarists all over the world, and has more natural talent than any young person I've ever seen.'
'The CD arrived,' said Mike, 'and after one listen I made the booking!'
With Andreas are Bandy Varady (guitar), David Lyttle (drums) and Mike Janisch.
In March Andreas became the youngest musician to headline at London's legendary Ronnie Scott's.
Isn't this just going to be something else? Lance.

Tonight @ "The Hooch"

The Safe Sextet who are usually a quintet comprise Don Forbes (tpt); John Rowland (ten), Alan Law (pno); Paul Grainger (bs) and Eric Stutt (dms). Friday night residents of the Jazz Café they make one of their rare pilgrimages across town to Hoochie Coochie (54 Pilgrim St., Newcastle opp. the old fire station.) where I'm sure their brand of bebop will be much appreciated. As is every Thursday night, entry is free. doors open at 7:00pm, band at 8:00pm and disco from 10:30pm till 'yon time'.
See you there.
PS: Paul Gowland on alto restored them to sextet status!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Ashington Jazz Club in the Mainstream Press.

The Journal EXTRA - a Northumbrian free paper - highlighted a couple of forthcoming jazz concerts in its latest edition. The gigs are being held to celebrate Ashington Jazz Club's 27th anniversary and include a free concert - made possible by a grant from UK Coal - by The New Century Ragtime Orchestra at Ashington Leisure Centre on Friday Sept. 30. This is followed with an appearance by Hot Club specialists Djangologie at the club's home base, The Elephant on Oct. 5.
Thanks to John Taylor for forwarding the info.

Scarborough Jazz Festival Preview Five - Saturday Evening.

Saturday Sept., 24.
7:00pm: NYJO (National Youth Jazz Orchestra.)
8:45pm: Mina Agossi Trio.
10:30pm: David Rees-Williams Trio.
Visit website for further artist information and bookings.
Another evening of exquisite jazz in store.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Book Review: Nica's Dream - The Life and Legend of the Jazz Baroness by David Kastin.

Brought up in fairy-tale splendour, Kathleen Annie Pannonica Rothschild de Koenigswarter (known as "Nica") piloted her own plane across the English Channel, married a French baron, fought in the Resistance and had five children - but then she heard a recording of Thelonious Monk's "'Round Midnight". Beguiled by the beauty and liberating spirit of jazz, she moved to Manhattan, where she began hosting jam sessions, socialising with Beat poets and driving her silver Rolls Royce to the Five Spot and other fabled jazz venues. The tabloids first splashed her name across the headlines after Charlie Parker died in her hotel suite but through her ministrations to Monk and other musicians she became a legend. Based on interviews with musicians, family members, historians and artists, this, the first biography of Nica, unwraps this enigmatic figure and evokes New York during the birth of bebop and the advent of abstract expressionism.
The above is from the publisher's blurb but the book itself is so so much more than the biography of one of jazz's more enigmatic fringe figures. 
Because of her association with Bird, Monk and the many other bebop musicians she came in contact with this is as much their story as it is hers. With each page you are on 52nd St., or listening to Monk at the Five Spot Café, driving with him through Delaware where a couple of cops beat him up or digging the jams in her various hotel rooms (she usually got evicted!)
Nica literally poured her soul and her money into helping and supporting modern jazz musicians and Monk in particular. Often pilloried and misunderstood by the media her enthusiasm never wavered - a truly remarkable woman.
And this is a remarkable book of the I couldn't put it down variety.
Author David Kaston, a music historian and educator living in Brooklyn is the author of I Hear America Singing. His work has appeared in Down Beat, The Village Voice and Da Capa Best Music Writing series.
David Kastin: Nica's Dream - The Life and Legend of the Jazz Baroness. Published by W.W.Norton & Company. ISBN 978-0-393-06940-2. 

Later Live...with Jules Holland - tonight.

Tonight's Later Live...with Jools Holland (BBC 2, 10:00 pm) features Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Roly Veitch and Friends @ The Cherry Tree

Roly Veitch (gtr/vcl); Noel Dennis (tpt/flug); Neil Harland (bs).
On a Roly Veitch gig what you see is what you get. No hidden agendas, no pushing for new frontiers, just a choice selection of tunes that, by and large, haven't been done to death - rather like the menu at the Cherry Tree.
As I was deliberating over the Bacon and Sweetcorn Chowder and the Pork Rillette, Toast and Garden Leaves (the latter dish got the nod) Roly was crooning I've Got a Date With an Angel.- what a great song. It was enhanced by Noel Dennis' exquisite trumpet accompaniment and subsequent solo. A few Chetian characteristics in their respective singing and playing.
There Is No Greater Love - another gem - and the perfect side dish for my pork starter. Noel went onto flugel for Nature Boy which, I have to confess, is not a song I particularly like yet Roly sang it well and again Noel played with lots of feeling so maybe they're converting me - something Nat King Cole didn't manage!
It was as I was midway through my succulent Fillet of Pork, Black Pudding and Caramelised Apples that, for me, came the musical the highlight of the evening - 'Tis Autumn. Loved this song since I heard George Evans sing it with Geraldo and, subsequently, a beautiful version by Stan Getz kept it on my radar. A relaxed vocal from Roly, more flugel horn from Noel with the whole lot underpinned by Neil Harland. It's hard to equate the laid back double bassist Neil with the wild bass guitarist Neil with Mo Scott's band - tonight he was the King of Cool. In fact all three are straight from the fridge (and that's a compliment by the way guys!) a good name for the band would be The King Cool Trio!
I've Never Been In Love Before - another classic performance - as was the Chocolate and Praline Brownie, Brandy Chantilly and Raspberries.
Too many good tunes to list them all although It Could Happen To You couldn't be allowed to go by without a mention - great song, great rendition.
As an interesting sideline Proprietor Peter introduced me to a couple - 'Doc' Foster and his wife. Doc was a member of the legendary Mighty Joe Young Band back in the 1950s and we shared a few reminiscences of luminaries now departed such as Ronnie McLean, Clem Avery, John Saxelby and others from bygone days.
As a matter of further interest, for those who like their music to be melodic - an article by Branford Marsalis in the Seattle Weekly (brought to my attention by LondonJazz) will be manna.

Swingin' On The Gate - Humphrey Lyttelton & His Band

This is from a flexi disc that was a free give away with Summer County Margarine in the early to mid 1960's, in the UK, and at the time as a kid I thought this was a great free gift, and if it happened today I would think the same thing.

Tonight at the Cherry Tree.

Tonight is rather special at the Cherry Tree Restaurant. Apart from the cuisine which is of the triple "mwa" rating on stage are three more in the form of Roly Veitch, whose tasteful guitar playing and gentle vocals simply ooze with class, Noel Dennis, whose tasteful trumpet and flugel horn playing simply oozes with class and Neil Harland whose tasteful double bass playing... you've got the picture!
Start around 7:30pm at Cherry Tree Restaurant, 9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond. Tel 0191 2399924. No cover charge.
Other upcoming gigs include:
Sept. 26: Stuart Collingwood Trio w. vocalist Sue Mitchell.
Oct. 3 Claire Kelly w. Mark Williams (gtr); Andy Champion (bs); Stuart Findon (ten).

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Lindsay Hannon Plus - Splinter @ The Bridge.

Lindsay Hannon (vcl); Alan Law (pno); John Pope (bs); Mark Robertson (dms).
The old adage was that 'if you can't do it' you teach! Well Lindsay disproved that tonight at The Bridge. Earlier, at the Jazz Café, one of the star pupils of her Jazz Vocal Class at The Sage Gabby Heller had delighted the room with her version of Skylark and now the master (or should that be mistress?) herself gave a stunning performance of songs both classic and contemporary that may have re-shuffled the local vocal standings.
These included a couple of Joni Mitchell's, Jim Morrison's I am a Spy, Night in Tunisia - with an incredible bass introduction - Lullaby of Birdland, Stomping at the Savoy and Why Try to Change me Now? This last number was particularly outstanding. I first encountered it as the B side of Sinatra's 1953 recording of Birth of the Blues. Birth of the Blues was possibly the transitional moment when Sinatra moved from crooner to swinger whereas Why Try to Change me Now was definitely from his crooner era. Lindsay managed to incorporate the two moods in the one tune brilliantly! An upbeat tempo with a contrasting, slowed down, middle eight worked perfectly. Up there, I'm sure Mr Sinatra is saying "Why didn't I think of that?!"
John Pope (is that a surname or a title?) was his rock solid self gelling perfectly with Alan Law who played wonderful piano and the ever swinging Mark Robertson on drums.
This was a great, well attended, gig and all I can say is, "When are you going to put this all down on CD Lindsay?"

Saturday, September 17, 2011

EP Review. Anthony Strong - Delovely

A new name to me, Anthony Strong, but he comes with the endorsement of Jamie Cullum - "Great singer, great pianist" - Rod Stewart - "Amazing" and Sir Michael Parkinson - "He's got a great deal of talent." As such I felt it my duty to listen to this young man and I'm rather glad I did.
The five tracks reveal Strong to be everything the above suggest. He has a cool voice with just a shade of Tormé, a touch of Joe Mooney (if you don't know Mooney check him out!) and a little Harry Connick jnr.
The boy plays good piano too.
Tea For Two, Cheek To Cheek, For Once in my Life and the title song plus the bonus track - an original, Going Nowhere, make listening to this a delightful experience.
The disc is launched at Pizza Express on Sept. 27 followed by some dates in the home counties with a sortie up to Birmingham and over to Manchester.
For more details go to

Tony Bennett on Radio 2

Tomorrow night (Sunday 18th) on Radio 2 at seven o'clock there is the first of four programmes - Tony Bennett Presents the Great American Songbook - exploring the songs of Broadway, Hollywood and Tin Pan Alley. In the first programme expect to hear Autumn in New York and It's Only a Paper Moon.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Lorez Alexander

During the bands break at the Hoochie Coochie last night the DJ played some really cool sounds.
 When I heard this it really made me sit up and listen....the arrangement of "Send in the Clowns"  totally had my interest. OK the experts will perhaps say its rather dated and maybe been done before...but I just loved it.
 The superb lady vocalist I had never heard of before, was Lorez Alexandria, she died 10 yrs ago...


CD Review: Mark McKnight Organ Quartet - Do or Die

Mark McKnight (guitar), Seamus Blake (saxophone), Ross Stanley (organ) & James Maddren (drums) Mark McKnight's second CD Do or Die features a UK-based organ band. The tunes are McKnight's - the exception being Rodgers and Hart's Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered - and his hand-picked band has honed the material to perfection. 
The ubiquitous Ross Stanley plays Hammond with restraint never seeking to dominate. Drummer James Maddren - a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music - bristles with technique yet he too plays with commendable reserve. Band leader McKnight is a supremely gifted guitarist and New Yorker Seamus Blake's tenor complements and completes the group sound on this most satisfying new release from Whirlwind Recordings. 
The opening track, the eponymous Do or Die, sets the standard and features some post-Coltrane tenor intensity. Pieces is a relaxed piece exemplifying the CD as a whole. Nightcap goes with a lyrical, '60's Modern jazz feel; McKnight languorously fluent, Blake likewise, Stanley stabbing and swirling, Maddren wonderfully loose throughout. Bewitched is an inspired inclusion on this recording. A classic number, it is approached with due reverence and the result is stunning. It will be a long time before this take is bettered and hearing it live on the band's forthcoming UK tour will be an eagerly anticipated occasion. 
McKnight can do contemporary and Tease demonstrates the point. A drum 'n' bass vibe underpins McKnight's scaling of the heights and Blake joins in the fun with some blistering tenor work. On Contemplate Hammond maestro Stanley conjures an ethereal church organ sound upon which McKnight constructs a considered solo followed by superb tenor from Blake. The CD's closing number (We'll) Just Disappear is a fitting finale with Blake once again in the spotlight with more taut, intense playing of the highest order. 
The CD is officially released on 26th September. The band is about to embark on an extensive tour of the UK - the first date (the first of 14 gigs in 13 days!) is in Bristol this Sunday (18th). Hopefully the CD will be available at venues during the band's travels throughout the land. 
Check out Mark McKnight's website - - for details of where you can catch the band live. Do 0r Die (Whirlwind Recordings WR461)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Paul Edis Trio @ Hoochie Coochie

Paul Edis (keys); Mick Shoulder (bs); Adam Sinclair (dms).
Okay, so I'm a simple soul. The machinations of the minds of others only serve to confuse me more - like tonight!
In my naivety, I figured that the opportunity to hear Paul Edis in trio format, in luxurious surroundings and for free would have had every jazzbo east of the sun and west of the Byker Bridge fighting to be in.
It wasn't like that! The local jazz hierarchy was absent in its entirety and, apart from Brian Chester, Claire Kelly, Hil and a couple of others there were few musos either.
The point I'm making is that this has the potential to be a good town centre gig that is open to local musicians. Is it not too much to ask that fans and players get out and support each other?
Having got that off my chest, it was a great couple of sets by Paul who, freed from the confines of his other commitments, was able to fly like I've never heard him fly before! The final Indiana was second only to the Bud Powell version or was it the other way around?
This was the culmination of two superb sets enjoyed by the appreciative audience.
Earlier we'd had Watermelon Man, My Funny Valentine Waltz For Debby to name but a few - oh yes and an Edis original entitled Dedicated to Duke and not Dedicated to a Duck as it appeared in a previous review on this site! 
Mick and Adam were also in full flight throughout.

Maine Street Jazzmen @ Rosie Malone's, South Shields.

Olive Rudd (vcl); Jim McBriarty (alt/clt/vcl); Iain MacAullay (tmb/vcl); George Richardson (keys); Alan Rudd (bs); Mike Humble (dms).
Herbie has, once again, hibernated to Turkey calling in as a replacement Iain of the unspellable first and second names - hopefully I've got it right!
The dep was in good form sliding his way around Somebody Loves Me both vocally and instrumentally. This is one of Gershwin's great songs  although the line that goes, "To every girl that passes me I shout hey maybe, you would like to be my loving baby?" makes me wonder what was the percentage success rate and did he ever get arrested for soliciting?
Olive too took advantage of Herbie's absence and rendered cracking versions of The Frim Fram Sauce and Tuxedo Junction.
Possibly the best instrumental number was Mambo Inn that made for a pleasant change - keep it in the pad.
Another good afternoon aided and abetted by Marston's Pedigree.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Tomorrow night at Hoochie Coochie

Hoochie Coochie is a new venue at 54 Pilgrim St, Newcastle (formerly Jumping Jacks) whose owner has a sympathetic ear towards Modern Jazz and, as such, is starting a regular Thursday night featuring the best of local bands. The first of these FREE events (and I refer to the price rather than the style of the music) features the PAUL EDIS TRIO - Paul on keys, Mick Shoulder on bass and Adam Sinclair on kit.
As this is a new venture it is to be hoped fans will show their support for a great venue and a great trio.
Doors open 7 and music starts at 8:00pm.
See you there!

CD Review: Soul Rebels Brass Band - Unlock Your Mind.

Erion Williams (saxophone); Paul Robertson, Corey Payton (trombone); Julian Gosin, Marcus Hubbard (trumpet); Edward Lee JR (sousaphone); Derrick Moss(bass drum); Lumar Leblanc (snare drum).
If you caught the Soul Rebels at The Sage, or elsewhere on their recent tour, you will know what to expect from this CD. If this is your first time of hearing their funky sounds then make sure you have your dancing shoes on. Prepare some Jambalaya and a Crawfish Pie - maybe a Fillet Gumbo, fill up a jug with Louisiana Liquor and invite the neighbours round because, from the opening bars of 504, you're gonna want to party!
It's that kind of disc.
If there are any typos it's because my fingers are doing the Funky Chicken as I type.
Funk and soul and rock'n'roll, jazz and blues and hip-hop too.
It's happy music that was born out of tragedy. After Katrina hit New Orleans the Soul Rebels came together with renewed purpose. "Music has been the number one vehicle for Katrina recovery" said Lumar Leblanc, and since then the band has served as an international ambassador of the current New Orleans sound.
The vocals are shared round both solowise and collectively and there are some pithy solos from the horns that would do credit to any pure jazz album.
But forget about genre - just enjoy! - and you can do that for free by visiting their website -  and downloading an EP containing 3 of the tracks from the album
Soul Rebels Brass Band: Unlock Your Mind. Release date NOW OCT 10, 2011.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


I would have missed this broadcast, had it not been advertised by Lance on the blog, so thanks are due for that.  Monday’s broadcast in the ‘Strong and Sassy’ series was presented by Moira Stewart with the help of Clare Teal, and included loads of songs from Ms O’Day, and comments from musicians that she’d worked with, as well as recordings of her talking about her life and work.  She came across as a warm, spirited person, with not a trace of self-pity, despite having what was probably a lonely life, and problems with drugs, drink and relationships.  She’s one of my favourite jazz singers, so it was great to hear the lady herself speaking.  I came to jazz too late to catch Ms O’Day during her lifetime.
 She apparently underwent a tonsillectomy which was bungled and part of her uvula was removed, so, as she explained, ever after that she had to shake her head in order to get a vibrato sound!  Well she certainly didn’t let that stop her singing and scatting with great rhythm and speed, as one band leader pointed out.   The songs we heard included Have You Met Miss Jones; Georgia on my Mind; What Is This Thing Called Love (with loads of unusual improvisation); Honeysuckle Rose (accompanied mainly by a marvelous line on the double bass).  Then listeners  were wonderfully surprised by a change of mood, with sensitively sung items such as God Bless the Child and A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square.
The lady laughingly described what she (and many others) considered to be the high point of her career, when she performed at the Newport Jazz Festival, (as seen in the film Jazz on a Summer’s Day).  She quickly went out and bought a long dress and a hat ‘with ostrich feathers’ ready for the performance, and was pleased to be featured in ‘Time’ magazine afterwards.
Catch all this and lots more on the BBC iplayer this week.
Ann Alex.

Monday, September 12, 2011

RIP Graham Collier

Bassist Graham Collier died on September 10 age 74. Although a figure of international standing Collier was actually born in Tynemouth. He appeared at several Newcastle Jazz Festivals as well as less prestigious gigs in the area. I recall seeing him at an arts centre in Bensham.
Not only a Berklee trained musician but, as well as a double bassist, he was also an outstanding composer and jazz author. I have on my shelves his biography of the Dankworths which is an excellent and informative piece of writing.
His music was always searching and probing - seeking new boundaries but still accessible.
He left a great legacy on disc.

Women in Jazz Tonight on Radio 2.

This week's subject is Anita O'Day - 10:00pm, Radio 2.
Next week Adelaide Hall.

June Christy.

Being a huge fan of June, I've always wanted to hear more of her rare later appearances. Sadly, born too late, I wasn't able to make any of her appearances in the '80s. I don't really know why I have such a 'thing' for the Misty Miss Christy. I love Anita, Chet, Cleo, so many many more artists, and yet since discovering June's last album 'Impromptu' - I was so excited to hear the freedom the years seemed to have given her stylings. Her voice, very worn by that time, might not have been the prettiest instrument but coupled with Lou Levy's arrangement - the album haunts me - and I'm so interested in this period of June's career. 
I wonder if there are any private recordings from jazz events in the UK circulating between fans? I suppose my dream would be to find out that there was a recording of the North Sea Jazz festival, from the year June performed and your photographs were taken! 
Feel free to tell me to carry on dreaming! But I hope you'll understand the spirit this message is sent in, and won't mind the intrusion. Thank you for reading my little essay, and I send you my very best and continued success with your work.
Alp Haydar
(Are there any undiscovered June Christy tracks out there? - Lance.)

The Panama Jazzmen Story

The Story of the Newcastle based Panama Jazzmen, 1951-2000, billed as "The North's Leading Jazz Attraction" they achieved great success, especially in the 1950's & 60's, playing for dances, jazz clubs, concerts & festivals, where they played on the same bill as many top acts, such as Louis Armstrong, Kenny Ball, Ken Colyer, the Beatles, etc, etc. Includes Audio Tracks.
Alan Rudd.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Elaine Binney and the Jazz Rascals @ The Bridge

Elaine Binney (vln); Eliza Lawson (vcl); Steve Brown (keys); Keith Mills (bs); Jae Brooks (dms); Graham Robinson (ten).
The Bridge was filled to capacity, there was a vibrancy about the room and there were a lot of new faces in the crowd - and on stage.
The Rascals were in town!
Elaine's new line-up comprises her regular bass and drums plus guest singers and keyboardists which tonight were Steve Brown and Eliza Lawson.
The mini-skirted, trilby-hatted violinist has been a welcome addition to the local scene over the past year ploughing an individual furrow somewhere between Grappelli and Jean Luc-Ponty in a mixture of standards and originals. Her youthful vitality and enthusiasm is infectious as is her music. Eliza Lawson - a new name to me - is quite an explosive singer whose wordless improvisations were the perfect complement. Keyboard, pogo bass and drums drove things along nicely and things rocked along swingingly.
As a bonus tenorist Graham Robinson blew on a couple of numbers.
It wasn't all perfect! The sound balance could have been better - at times the violin couldn't be heard - but, that aside, it was a good gig and an enthusiastic crowd. Splinter is to be applauded for encouraging new bands with something to say.

Sustaining the Pedal @ The Jazz Café or just another manic Sunday.

On the back wall Frank and Ella were duetting on The Lady is a Tramp. In front of the screen sax player Doug was accompanying - on drums!
Pete had lost - or it had been stolen - his sustain pedal.
Keith told of his war with Newcastle Library.
A sustain pedal was found but it didn't work.
"The polarity needs reversing" said Pete, "Do you have a soldering iron?" he asked Keith.
"No - it got stolen!" replied mein genial host.
There was much discussion on how to successfully reverse the polarity without a soldering iron.
"My aluminium washing up bowl also got stolen" added Keith.
I checked to see my wallet was still there.
Eventually the polarity was reversed but the pedal still refused to sustain.
Enter a customer. "I'm an electronics engineer he announced - I build robots."
Ah! A man who builds robots could surely heal an ailing sustain pedal!
Alas this was no ordinary sustain pedal and the Robotic Engineer failed.
In came a former Sony Sound Engineer. A man noted for his consumption of Bud.
He too proved unequal to the task and retired to be consoled in the arms of Bacchus.
The Robot maker played some classical pieces without sustain and I left for The Bridge.
For all I know 'the experts. are still working on the pedal.

Whitley Bay Classic Jazz Party Update.

Day Tickets are now on sale for the Classic Jazz Party in November, so if you'd like to hear some of the world's best musicians but don't want to invest £100 for the whole three days, you can pop along and get a full days-worth (plus jazz movies and a late night jam session!) for as little as £35. Full details are at the website, where you can book online, but places are limited, especially for the Saturday, so don't delay too long. If you prefer to pay be cheque you can download the attached booking form.

Lindsay Hannon Plus @ Ashington Jazz Club Sept. 7

Lindsay Hannon (vocal); Alan Law (Keyboard); John Pope (Bass); Mark Robertson (Drums).
We are privileged that within the North East Jazz scene we have several accomplished Jazz Singers. Those of you who regularly read Bebop Spoken Here will know whom I am referring to. They are so very different in their styles and performances and offer followers such a delightful variety of vocal expression and excellence. It was a treat for our Club to welcome for the first time Lindsay Hannon Plus. A very good audience soon realised the traditions of lady vocalists is in good health in our region as Lindsay and her trio opened the first set with a selection of well known standards but which were delivered in a stylistic way with variations in mood, rhythm and emotion - each song painting another impression of familiar song book lyrics which were most refreshing.The Green Goddess (I apologise for this description] and her able trio were together throughout and obviously well rehearsed as they delivered each number with individual solos timed to perfection.After the interval we were once more offered an eclectic selection of great Jazz lyrics and members were pleasantly surprised by the programme and enthusiastically expressed their appreciation for a wonderful evening.
The programme, as I attempt to remember, included - Stompin' at the Savoy, Comes Love, I can't escape from you, Long ago and far away, The hissing of summer lawns, Nature Boy, Why try to change me now, Lullaby of Birdland, What if I can't stay, I've got the Blues, Our love is here to stay, When the sun sets, I wake up alone, Blue Motel. The supporting trio displayed great technique and skill while supporting Lindsay as she adjusted the lyrics and moods. Sometimes forceful, sometimes beautiful, emotional, gentle, fast, sympathetic etc. etc. Brilliant. I may not have remembered all or not even in the correct order but sometimes musicians are oftern accused of notes on a page not always presented as the composer wrote- but that's life. One more final comment. We may have lost Billy Harper and Anne de Vere to France but within this group we have worthy replacements.
Peter S.

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