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Bebop Spoken There

Tineke Postma: “ I had a huge crush on him [Sting] when I was a teenager ". Jazzwise, June 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.


16476 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 356 of them this year alone and, so far, 68 this month (May 24).

From This Moment On ...


Sun 26: Tyne Valley Youth Big Band @ The Sele, Hexham. 12:30pm. Free. A Northumberland Jazz Festival event.
Sun 26: Bellavana @ Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay. 1:00pm. Whitley Bay Carnival (outdoor stage).
Sun 26: Musicians Unlimited @ Jackson’s Wharf, Hartlepool. 1:00pm. Free.
Sun 26: Alice Grace @ The Sele, Hexham. 1:30pm. Free. Alice Grace w. Joe Steels, Paul Susans & John Hirst.
Sun 26: Bryony Jarman-Pinto @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. 3:00pm. A Northumberland Jazz Festival event.
Sun 26: Ruth Lambert Trio @ The Juke Shed, North Shields. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 26: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 26: Clark Tracey Quintet @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. 6:00pm. A Northumberland Jazz Festival event.
Sun 26: Saltburn Big Band @ Saltburn Community Hall. 7:30pm.
Sun 26: Ruth Lambert Quartet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 26: SARÃB @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.

Mon 27: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.

Tue 28: Bold Big Band @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Wed 29: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 29: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 29: Jazz Night @ The Tannery, Hexham. 7:00-9:00pm. Free. The first night of a new jam session!
Wed 29: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

Thu 30: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 30: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Ragtime piano. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 30: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests Josh Bentham (sax); Neil Brodie (trumpet); Garry Hadfield (keys); Adrian Beadnell (bass);

Fri 31: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 31: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 31: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 31: Castillo Nuevo Trio @ Revoluçion de Cuba, Newcastle. 5:30pm. Free.
Fri 31: Borealis @ The Witham, Barnard Castle. 7:30pm. CANCELLED!
Fri 31: Redwell @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.


Sat 01: Enrico Tomasso’s Swing Company @ St Augustine's Parish Centre, Darlington. 12:30pm. Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club.
Sat 01: Play More Jazz! workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. Tutor: Steve Glendinning.
Sat 01: Hop, Skiffle & Jump: The Story of Skiffle @ 1719, Hendon, Sunderland. 6:00-9:00pm.
Sat 01: Lindsay Hannon’s Tom Waits for No Man @ Dry Water Arts, Amble. 7:00pm. £15.00.
Sat 01: John Garner & John Pope @ Victoria Tunnel, Ouseburn, Newcastle. 7:00pm.
Sat 01: Milne-Glendinning Band @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

New Brunswick Battle of the Blues Finalists.

During January four regional ‘heats’ for the New Brunswick Battle of the Blues, a UK-wide search to find Britain’s best unsigned and original blues talent, have been taking place.  The competition now has 4 regional winners to go head to head at the Garage, Highbury, London final on 27 March. There will also be a public vote for the best runner up and they too will join the final line-up. 
Chris James from Carlisle (winner of the North West heat), Paint It Blue from Bournemouth(winners of the South West heat), Little Devils from London (winners of the South East heat), The Groove-A-Matics from Gateshead (winners of the North East heat). Plus  The nation’s favourite runner up. 
To vote for the runner up spot go to
The winner will get an all-expenses paid trip to the beautiful maritime province of New Brunswick to perform on one of the main stages at the Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival in the provinces’ capital Fredericton in September

Monday, January 30, 2012

Play it "Again" Doris, Mel, Nat...

This is such a great song that it amazes me that no one does it these days. From the 1940's film Roadhouse where Ida Lupino didn't mime it to Peg La Centra's vocal as she did in The Man I Love but actually sang it herself (it's on YouTube.) The melody and the lyric (The music was written by Lionel Newman, the words by Dorcas Cochran)  are so powerful that, to me, it's close to perfection in a song.
We'll have this moment forever - but never, never, again.
Mel Tormé and Nat Cole also did the song justice in fact it was the Tormé version that first hipped me to it.
A pianist friend from way back - one Derek Hunter - used to play a Shearing version and the chordal fill-ins were magic (50% George and 50% Derek).
Zoe, Ruth, Claire, Lindsay let's hear it!
PS: Olive, you could make this your own!

Tonight @ The Cherry Tree

Tonight's featured band at the Cherry Tree Restaurant (9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond tel 0191 2399924) is saxist Ray Dales with Jeremy McMurray (pno); Tubby Ayton (bs) and Mark Robinson (dms).
Anticipate an evening of unmitigated pleasure....

Local band The Groove-A-Matics (featuring Johnny Whitehill) from Gateshead one step nearer to performing in New Brunswick, Canada - New Brunswick Battle of the Blues announces North East heat winner and runners-up

Six blues acts went head to head at the North East heat of New Brunswick Battle of the Blues at St Peter’s Social Club, Walker Rd, Newcastle on 27 January - part of a UK-wide search to find Britain’s best Blues talent.  The judging panel voted The Groove-A-Matics from Gateshead as the winners and they’ll now prepare for the London final, where they will compete against acts from the other 3 regional heats. Runners up from the North East heat were How Askew from Newcastle and Lee Bates & Billy Newton, from Gateshead.  They also have a chance of going through to the London final due to a public vote for the favourite runner up. So with the heat in Newcastle and winners and runners up coming from the area it was a great night for Newcastle and Gateshead musical talent! 
 The Canadian Province of New Brunswick has been looking to the UK to provide new performers for its world-renowned Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival, which celebrates its 21st Anniversary in 2012.  Says competition organiser, Lee George; “The competition at this heat was fierce. Six excellent acts provided a great evening of live entertainment. But there had to be just one overall winner and The Groove-A-Matics  was chosen.
 After winning The Groove-A-Matics said; "It was a brilliant experience to perform live with 5 other really talented blues acts. We’re really excited and can’t wait to play in the final in London.  I’d like to thank Tourism New Brunswick for providing this great opportunity and for taking us one step closer towards Canada…..’
 But the story doesn’t end there.  There is also going to be a public vote so from 1st February you can go to the website ( to hear 2 runners-up acts from each of the 4 heats – and choose your favourite. The 'winning' runner up will then join the finalists from the heats at the final in London. The final is taking place at The Garage, Highbury in London, on 27 March.
 The winner will get an all-expenses paid trip to the beautiful maritime province of New Brunswick to perform on one of the main stages at the Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival in the provinces’ capital Fredericton in September. They will also be given the chance to look around – last year’s winners went whale watching and sampled the very best of the province’s hospitality!
 Lee George again; “New Brunswick is not only a wonderful part of Canada, but it has a musical heartbeat like nowhere else in the world.  Travelling to the Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival could be a life-changing opportunity to perform amongst the very best and to sample ‘the jewel of Atlantic Canada’ and all that the Province has to offer.”
 The line-up at the North East heat was: Half Deaf Clatch from Hull, Greg Wilson and the Big Caffeine Fix from Carlisle, Stephen Murphy from Washington, Sunderland, Groove-A-Matics from Gateshead,
Lee Bates and Billy Newton from Gateshead, and How Askew from NewcastleFor more information about the competition and the province of New Brunswick, visit

The Fantastic Fantastics @ Hoochie Coochie. Sunday Jan. 29

Greg Boramon (org/key); Pete Collison (gtr); Raydn Hunter (bs); Mark Norton (ten/fl/perc); James Smith (dms); ? (perc); Suleen Fleming (vcl).
Was it Jazz? Was it Funk? Was it Soul? Was it R 'n' B? Was it Rock 'n Roll?
The answer is Yes on all counts! Add a touch of Latin and maybe some Fusion and the result is the aptly named band The Fantastics.
This was quite a night as they roared off in a funky groove that was rock solid. The drive was incredible. Saxman Norton took to the floor and marched round the room his semi-suburban exterior concealing a musical madness that erupted with each solo he blew. He could walk the bar in New Orleans - or Newcastle. The Hammond sound of Boramon - a tiger calling for his mate - increased the tension and then, just as it seemed they could get no higher Suleen exploded onto the stage and the six became seven - a Magnificent Seven!
"If you don't dance it means you're dead and nobody told you" said Boramon and soon the floor was full of gyrating lads, lasses and bar owners as Suleen strutted her stuff like Tina Turner. Singing, shouting, screaming, and shaking it. This was some night AND IT WAS FREE!
PS: Oh yes and Norton also played flute and wailed a mean blues harp. Collinson put down some riveting solos as well as playing jazzy riffs with Norton. Bass, drums and unidentified percussionist knocked out hypnotic rhythms, latin beats, funky grooves - they gave it the punch.

Debrett recognises GIJF

Sebastian of  LondonJazz has kindly forwarded me this link to Debrett and the Gateshead International Jazz Festival. Seems as though GIJF is being recognised in high places - perhaps we can now envisage them making Roz a dame (there's nothing like one!)  Dame Roz Rigby - it would be well deserved.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

New Century Ragtime Orchestra @ Gateshead Old Town Hall Sat. Jan.. 28

Steve Andrews (alt/ten/clt); Alan Hastings (alt/ten/clt); Jim McBriarty (clt/alt/bar/vcl); Tom Cook (cor); Caroline Irwin (cor/vcl); Ed Cross (vln); Neville Hartley (tmb); Keith Nichols (pno/vcl); Keith Stephen (gtr/bjo); Phil Rutherford (sousa); Steve Doyle (dms).
This gig took me back to childhood days.  I remembered watching television programmes such as The Roaring Twenties or The Temperance Seven with my parents.  The  orchestra created a fun atmosphere,  what with sousaphone,  violin,  banjo and  piano (besides the  usual brass and reed instruments and drums), and the lovely singing of Caroline Irwin who was clad appropriately in a black dress with silver trim and  headband with a flower, matching the smart black and white suits of the rest of the band.  Almost every seat in  the hall was  taken, which  was a  credit to the band.
We had a feast of Scott Joplin, Cole Porter, Blues of the happier variety, lots of Duke Ellington and many more.  Songs ranged from the more serious I’m Through With Love to delightfully silly songs such as My Sweet Tooth Says I Wanna But My Wisdom Tooth Says No; and Washing Dishes With My Sweetie.  Jim McBriarty lent his vocal chords to the latter number and there were two special feature spots from guest pianist Keith Nichols, when Keith and the drummer had the stage to themselves, and the rest of the band went for a brandy, so the sax playing master of ceremonies, Steve Andrews told us.  Keith treated us to tunes from 1929, for instance Old Man Sunshine and I’ll Get By.  For his second set he played Duke Ellington numbers; Solitude; Sophisticated Lady; and a tune which has no name, from the Creole Suite.  To say that this man plays well is an understatement, and the playing was tastefully complemented by the gently brushed drums of Steve Doyle.  
During ensemble playing there were many skilled solos from various other band members.  Steve Andrews was featured on tenor with just piano and drums for support on I Guess I'll Have To Change My Plan. Throughout the evening the master of ceremonies held it all together well, right through to the encore Prince of Wails.
What a lovely way to spend a Saturday evening.
Ann Alex   

CD Review: Animation Agemo

Miles Davis’ electric period masterpiece Bitches Brew won the legendary trumpeter a new, predominately younger audience. It did, however, signal the desertion of many a   life-long fan of the Prince of Darkness. The fusing of the amplified power of rock and   the modal jazz improvisations of Davis’ heavyweight band stimulates debate to today some forty years on from its release. 
Rare Noise Records contributes to the on-going discussion with the issue of Animation’s Agemo. A double CD release, the emphasis is on the technology of today changing, if not transforming, the sound of  the original work. Indeed it is a re-working of Asiento, the band’s earlier take on Bitches Brew.     
‘To be listened to with headphones’ suggests the promotional literature. 
A virtue, apparently, is the ‘3D60 mix’. Track one: Pharoah’s Dance (3D60 Headphones Mix) is a twenty first century re-working of  Pharoah’s Dance. Track two: Bitches Brew (3D60 Headphones Mix), track three: John McLaughlin (3D60 Headphones Mix). 
The track listing goes on. The musicianship is exemplary and to be expected with the presence of saxophonist Bob Belden (a noted musician/producer and key to this release, a dedicated interpreter of the music of Miles Davis), Tim Hagans (trumpet) and bassist Matt Garrison to name but three. Long before the end of disc one there was the temptation to crank-up the turntable and listen to the vinyl album. 
Temptation resisted, it was on to disc two. Track one: Pharoah’s Dance (Bill Laswell Son of Panthalassa Remix). Track two…Miles’ voice sampled and was that a siren New York cop car (thanks to DJ Logic’s Remix)? Imagine that Miles Davis never went into the studio to record Bitches Brew. Imagine that this new release was the first time you had heard anything like this. It could be that it would feature in your list of the best CDs of the year. 
Well, of course Miles did record one of the seminal albums of his long career and the rest, as they say, is history. Agemo is of interest and if it does one thing it will encourage the listener to check out the source. Animation’s Agemo Rare Noise Records (RNR08).  

Friday, January 27, 2012

Where is Al Gay?

Terry wants info on tenor saxist Al Gay (see NEW COMMENTS - OLD POSTS - left hand. column.). Can anyone oblige? Is he still alive?. Googling only brings up items related to his surname.
Someone out there has the answer - hopefully Al himself.

Thank you from Hilary Gilby.

Jazz North East thank you so much for the cheque for £676-00 that arrived today. I'm certain that the Cullercoats RNLI will be very grateful for the contribution. I will get a acknowledgment from them in due course to give to you. Once again thank you for your support and help.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Pete Gilligan/Mark Williams @ Hoochie Coochie.

Pete Gilligan (pno); Mark Williams (gtr)
This was superb even though I didn't always recognize the tunes - neither Mark nor Pete are given to on-stage verbosity and there were moments when I guessed wrongly!
Nevertheless, it was a stormer with both players hitting one hundred and eighty particularly on the bebop numbers such as Bud's Bubble and Pete's signature dish - Anthropology. The unison passages between guitar and piano as well as the interplay and the inevitable fours made the old Dizzy Gillespie number the highlight of the night.
Not far behind were Chick Corea's Spain, Jarrett's Memories of Tomorrow and a couple of Metheny's as well as Herbie Hancock's Cantaloup Island.
Pete's back again next Thursday hosting a jam session in place of the previously advertised Frith Street.
This Sunday (Jan. 29) it's The Fantastics - an exciting jazz/funk/soul mix - and it's free!
Photos by Kaveh Emami.

Variety isn't always the spice of life. Jo Wallfisch Band @ the Spice of Life

Jo Wallfisch (vcl); Jim Hart (vbs); Masa Kamaguchi (bs); Rob Garcia (dms).
I love "The Spice" as is well known. However, last night wasn't the best of nights at the Cambridge Circus jazz cellar.
Normally, Pal Joey (Paul Pace) sets the ball rolling followed by a set from the second banana, then the "wannabees" take over finishing with the headline act.
Not tonight.
Don't get me wrong, Jo Wallfisch has a good voice and she uses it well her scat singing is particularly effective and,  backed by the above musicians, she couldn't go wrong. The lady is also a talented songwriter as her 90% self-penned material proved but, good as they were I longed for something a little more familiar to hang my hat on.
Having said that, Jo was still impressive, Jim Hart, for me, is the worlds number one vibist, Noah Preminger blew fine post Gertzian tenor and bassist Masa Kamaguchi excelled throughout - never less than in the bass/vocal duo number I Could Tell You. Rob Garcia too was a force to be reckoned with on drums.
An excellent evening that didn't quite cut it for me.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Martin Wheatley and the Boisdale Blue Rhythm Band - Boisdale, Canary Wharf.

Ollie Wilby (ten); Martin Wheatley (gtr); Martin Litton (pno); Pete Morgan (bs).
I was ushered to a front row table, as requested, and delighted to hear some fine pre-Bud piano. As the pianist had his back to me I didn't recognise him although later, in conversation, he identified himself as Martin Litton - a pianist I'd heard several times under the auspices of Mike Durham. Martin told me he is doing a Mary Lou Williams tribute at Whitley Bay later this year.
Tonight, in his solo spot, to the total indifference of everyone but me, he delighted with, among others, In A Mist, Prelude to a Kiss and a blistering ragtime number that began with a classical fanfare - was it Chopin's Revolutionary?
Whilst the band were preparing I admired the decor of the Whisky Bar and Restaurant (I was drinking beer - Youngs Bitter). The walls were adorned with paintings and photos of jazz legends such as Louis, Bessie, Billie and a host of blusmen. Incongruously amid it all was Chairman Mao - who was renowned for his thoughts! In the Gents there was a picture of Che Guevara (or was it Fidel Castro?) - so maybe it was the Revolutionary that Martin played...
Les tout ensemble opened up with Hoagy's New Orleans - a lovely melancholy tune that saw all four solo with feeling.
Tenorist Wilby - a new name to me - has a lovely sound which I can best describe as North of Pres, South of Bean. Martin Wheatley, last heard a The Sage in a Goodman Sextet recreation was in Eddie Lang, Carl Kress mode with lots of chordal passages in his solos. Bassist Morgan, not to be confused with several other Pete Morgans, swung whether playing pizzicato or arco.
I applauded loudly which managed to persuade others to do the same - or maybe they thought they were clapping the chef!
I sometimes think the jazz/dining places are in a difficult niche trying to please both the diners and listeners.
Nevertheless, to their credit, the band didn't let it phase them - after all, they were getting paid, the diners were paying!
A choice selection of standards included, Somebody Loves Me, Dancing in the Dark, Gone With The Wind, All God's Chillun' Got Rhythm, Topsy, It Could Happen To You, Just You Just Me (with the Spotlite riff), In a Sentimental Mood and Blue and Sentimental - a request from yours truly.
It was a magnificent example of middle period chamber jazz that should have been heard by many more.

Tonight @ Boisdale

Well here I am in London once more readying myself for a visit to Boisdale in Canary Wharf. Been an eventful day so far - bumped into Tasha Seale at Central Station but unfortunately we were travelling on different trains. Tasha gave a stunning performance at the Cherry Tree last night.
Booked into my hotel and they've given me Room 101 - I knew I'd end up there sometime!
However, I digress, tonight at Boisdale features guitarist Martin Wheatley in the company of the Boisdale Blue Rhythm Band recreating, it says, 52nd St.
That'll do for me.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Tasha Seale @ The Cherry Tree.

Tasha Seale (vcl); Stuart Collingwood (pno); Neil Harland (bs); Malcolm Dick (dms).
After a tentative Stella, Tasha swung out on Bye Bye Blackbird followed by Love Me Or Leave Me and God Bless the Child.
Despite her association with a smash hit musical, the double M words weren't mentioned instead Ms Seale concentrated, at least for the first set, on gasbook material such as the above, Lady is a Tramp and My Favourite Things. Well Rodgers and Hammerstein might include brown paper packages tied up with string amongst their favourite things but mine would start with Confit Pork, Blue Cheese and Walnut Rillette, Apple Puree and Pickled Shallots.
Tasha went into Makin' Whoopee which is what I was doing in anticipation of my Bavette Steak with Frites, Garlic and Parsley Butter. 
All of Me why not take all of me sang Tasha - I did just that with my Bavette steak!.
Billy Joel's New York State of Mind (clever title) signified a move towards more contemporary material such as I Will Survive and My Cherie Amour.
Peel Me A Grape - a number as sensuous as my Sticky Toffee Pudding with Salt Butter Caramel - saw the band fall into a nice, relaxed groove behind the singer.
Stu provided sound backing as well as great solos. The trio's feature, I Got Rhythm, went at tempo de lick and nobody abandoned ship.
A good session.

Maine Street Jazzmen @ The Porthole.

George Richardson (pno); Olive Rudd (vcl); Herbie Hudson (tmb/hca/vcl); Ray Harley (tpt); Jim McBriarty (clt/alt/vcl); Alan Rudd (bs); ?? (dms).
Now that Rosie Malone's and the MSJ have gone to Reno I thought I'd pay a flying (or rather a floating) visit to their Monday lunchtime slot at The Porthole, North Shields.
A bracing trip on the cross Tyne ferry, making note of where the lifebelts were just in case, allowed me to arrive as the band struck up with Swannee. 
I opted for a pint of Fog on the Tyne. Not a wise choice - bottom of the barrel. I exchanged it for a pint of Silver Dollar which the manager explained was a cloudy beer. Mmmm...It tasted okay but cloudy beers are off-putting no matter what the taste. I also ordered a cheese and onion toastie.
Back to the music. Olive sang Someday Sweetheart and I Can't Give You Anything But Love Baby - replacing Woolworth's with Fenwick's whilst Jim McBriarty gave us Avalon and the band played Riverboat Shuffle and When It's Sleepy Time Down South and then my toastie arrived.
I don't know about you but when I order a sandwich, toasted or otherwise, I expect two slices of bread with the chosen filling in between the slices. What I don't want is the plate filled with rabbit food!
Good to hear the band with Ray Harley but I missed Old George from Rosie's shouting for Hello Dolly and Back in Your Own Backyard!
Although I couldn't stay long - Cherry Tree tonight, London tomorrow - it was, nevertheless, an enjoyable hour.

Tonight @ The Cherry Tree

Tonight sees Tasha Seale's second visit to Jesmond's Cherry Tree Restaurant (actually her third as, on her initial visit as a diner to the Osborne Rd., eaterie, she got up and gave an impromptu rendition of Love For Sale proving she had more to offer than her starring role in Mama Mia the stage musical).
As on her previous visit Tasha will be accompanied by the Stuart Collingwood Trio which means the backing - like the food - will be of the highest quality.
Don't miss her.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Mark Williams Trio @ The Bridge Hotel, Newcastle..

Mark Williams (gtr); Paul Susans (bs); Richard Brown (dms)
No argument! Mark Williams is an incredible player. His opening number - a piece by John Schofield - set a very high benchmark even for Mark to match. However, by the final number of the first set - Booze Blues (Bloos?) he'd raised the bar again as well as a glass to acknowledge the title.
This latter number featured Richard Brown on drums in a lengthy solo that was an impressive display of taste and technique. 
On bass, Paul Susans provided an original composition the name of which I didn't catch - or maybe it wasn't thrown! Whatever, it was a good tune with a descending phrase that reminded me of an old MJQ number - don't ask me which! Paul, naturally, had one of his many excellent solos on this one - you don't invent a game to get beat on it!
Come the second set, which unfortunately I only heard part of before departing for the good old number 27 bus, Mark moved up the gears once more. The tune was Masquerade but there was no disguising the guitarist's technique as he tore this ballad to shreds with a wildly exciting thrash. 
The number 27 bus had reached Sunderland Road before my pulse rate returned to normal! 
Three great musicians at the top of their game.
Catch Mark at Hoochie Coochie on Thursday.

CD Review - Bruno Heinen's Dialogues Trio with Julian Siegel Twinkle Twinkle

Bruno Heinen is a classically trained pianist and on this, his debut CD, it shows. Twinkle Twinkle is, unsurprisingly, inspired by Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Recite the words in your head...'Twinkle, twinkle' etc and the melody you hear is the foundation for a series of explorations, gentle in nature, of the cadences of Carroll's much-loved work. All four musicians on the recording show great restraint to realise Heinen's musical vision. Perhaps best described as a chamber jazz project (the CD's publicity material suggests Bill Evans as an influence), the ten tracks demand a disciplined approach to remain within a framework of pastoral, reflective writing. Heinen as composer of five tunes establishes the tempo and tone of the album. Bassist Andrea Di Biase contributes a tune - Thick Thin - and the remaining four numbers are band compositions. The opening three tracks - Waltz for Rossie, Spins Wins and Nocturne - flow from the pen of Heinen and the first band composition - Brigante - develops an off-centre, fractured rhythm exploited to good effect by drummer Jon Scott and guest musician on this recording Julian Siegel. The leader's Jumping Rocks has a distinct Latin vibe evident in the bass line and Siegel's tenor work. The reedsman's bass clarinet is prominent on East and Rising and the closing number - Night Hue - concludes a one hour-plus journey through the foothills of a European landscape sketched in homage to Lewis Carroll.
Twinkle Twinkle (Babel BDV 1192) is released on Monday 5th March.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

PG3 @ The Jazz Café

Pete Gilligan (pno); Paul Grainger (bs); Dan Reed (dms).
I arrived in The Toon, oblivious to the black and white shirts sobbing in their beer - Newcastle United having just lost 5-2 to Fulham - and took refuge in the Jazz Café. Ian Forbes was setting up the drums. 
I exchanged pleasantries with Ian and returned to the bar where Dan Reed had appeared. More pleasantries then Dan said that he was playing drums tonight. I thought - "Uh huh!"
A double booking resulting in Ian taking his cymbals and vanishing into the night. It may be a little while before he returns...
The gig began and the room filled up.
Pete is quite an incredible player, if you catch him at just the right moment you realise he's up there with some of our more illustrious names. (Pete's at Hoochie Coochie on Thursday with Mark Williams - there should be a bit of adrenalin flowing that night.)
Tonight we heard, among others, In Walked Bud, Straight No Chaser, Whisper Not, A Foggy Day and a rather beautiful Waltz For Debbie with Pete taking us on a merry chase around the infinite variations the song and he are capable of.
On bass, Paul Grainger excelled and young Dan Reed began tentatively gradually becoming more assertive as he became hip to the quirks and whims of pianist and bass.
This was a most enjoyable evening.

Bobby Wellins Quartet @ Darlington Arts Centre. January 20

Bobby Wellins (tenor saxophone), Andrea Pozza (piano), Andy Cleyndert (double bass) & Mark Taylor (drums)
The best part of three decades of modern jazz at Darlington Arts Centre has come to an end. Con-Demned by those who know the price of everything and the value of nothing, Darlington's cultural hub has heard the last of truly great jazz artists. The Arts Centre is to close, be sold off and then what? I could vent my spleen but I'll leave that to others.
The last ever guests of Peter Bevan and his dedicated team could have been hand-picked...and of course they were! Bevan knows his jazz and booked the best for this celebration - it was a celebration, defiantly so - of the best the music has to offer.
Veteran tenor player Bobby Wellins made a welcome return (and farewell) to 'Darlo' in the stellar company of bassist Andy Cleyndert, drummer Mark Taylor and Italian pianist Andrea Pozza. Wellins played with undiminished vigour, eager to share his enthusiasm for the music and generous in support of the musicians working with him on this poignant occasion. Ellington (In a Sentimental Mood), Jobim (No More Blues and If You Never Come to Me) and Leroy Anderson's Serenata were but some of the first-set gems. Wellins referred to Andy Cleyndert as one of the finest bass players of his generation. I thought that was about right but there again he could be the finest. Drummer Mark Taylor - British born, New York resident (seventeen years and counting) - is, perhaps, the heir to Martin Drew.
Throughout 2011 the north east has heard some astounding drummers and here we are in January 2012 and Taylor continued the trend. If I formed a band (It won't be any time soon!) he'd be my first call, ditto Cleyndert. To Pozza...young, supremely gifted and a Steinway to play with. This boy has got it all. Wellins loved his playing. Accompanist, soloist, he would appear to have at his fingertips the entire history of jazz piano. A Modernist gig it was, yet Pozza dug deeper into the tradition. He was on a short visit to Britain to work and record for the first time with Wellins. Upon his return to these shores make sure you check him out. Our tenor man paid tribute to a native of these parts with Angel of the North - the Scot had a long association with the late Peter Jacobsen and it was rather apt to include it in the set list at this gig in the north of England. The curtain came down with Bye Bye Blackbird. Bye Bye Darlington.

Radio 5 (see comments).

Thank You

Thank you for bringing Mike's memorial gig to so many people's attention. Also a big thank you for your kind words of support for the family.

On behalf of the Gilby family I would like to thank Jazz North East and all the musicians who took part in this wonderful tribute to Mike. A special big thank you to Zoe and Andy whose tireless efforts made the whole event possible. 
Keep the flame alight. 


Which band is this?

Bill Gallon sent me this photo taken some years ago at the Corner House, Newcastle.
The musicians I recognise are Bill Smith (ten); Alan Smith (tpt); Trevor Johnson (alt) and Marshall Walker (dms) but who is the pianist and who is the bassist and can anyone give me the name of the band and a possible date when the photo was taken?

RIP Johnny Otis

Drummer and bandleader Johnny Otis died January 17 aged 90. Although remembered mainly for Rock amd Roll hits such as Willie and the Hand Jive his roots were in jazz as this version of Harlem Nocturne indicates.
Otis gave gave Etta James her big break and, ironically, Etta died yesterday.
Rest in peace.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Farewell Etta James

In November I reviewed Etta's final CD - The Dreamer. In December it was announced that the singer was terminally ill. Today she died - 5 days short of her 74th birthday.
A punchy, earthy, blues, rock, jazz singer who knew no stylistic boundaries Etta James lived her rock and roll, rhythm 'n' blues lifestyle to the full and it filtered through in her music. When Etta sang - people listened, and so they should. It came from the heart, it came from the soul.
Very sadly missed.

A Tribute to Mike Gilby (take 2) Corner House, Newcastle.

ZOE GILBY TRIO: Zoe Gilby (vocals); Mark Williams (guitar); Andy Champion (bass).
JAZZ SPIRIT REVISITED: Graeme Wilson (saxes); Graham Hardy (trumpet & flugel horn); Stu Collingwood (keyboards); Andy Champion (bass); Scotty Adair (drums).
CUSTOMS HOUSE BIG BAND: Leader Peter Morgan.
Tonight was an outstanding tribute to Mike Gilby - a horn player I now feel that I really knew ; because there he was, on an easel, his trumpet playing portrait - see photo - giving us the feeling that Mike was in the line-up with each band, taking solos and still inspiring his fellow players to great heights of jazz improvisation. 
After assuring us that her dad ironically hated jazz singers, especially those who scat, Zoe opened with the beautifully timed, My Heart Belongs to Daddy and left us with Mike's absolute life's-for-living philosophy, suggesting in the words and music of Dave Frischberg that if you get too hung up on over-cautious health regimes, you may's well Forget about Living (you might as well be dead). She also reminded us that her dad was a prolific band arranger with his heavily stacked Rhomboid table of beautifully penned scores, but the hankies really came out for the song she sang by her daddy's dying bedside, a soft and smoky One for my Baby - what a way to go!  
Meanwhile Jazz Spirit Revisited didn't disappoint, with all ears and eyes especially on Graham Hardy's haunting solos on Mike's flugel horn given to him by Hilary (Gilby) - Mike was his teacher and mentor. Graeme Wilson's tenor gave us the bold spirit of Sid Warren, who's wife Frances was known to have quipped, "I hate these tunes that go on for a fortnight - listen, they've forgotten what they were playing!" 
Stu Collingwood and Andy C seemed even more inspired than usual in the jazz spirits of Tommy Weatherly and Bob Nixon - some stunning solo work, and of course the one surviving member, Mike's old friend Scotty Adair, gave the drum performance of a lifetime to hold it all together. Not sure about that story about Zoe sitting naked on his knee mind!
And so the Customs House Big Band moved the furniture for the finale and placed Mike behind the trombones - well he wouldn't want to be in front! We were told that Mike had joined the band 13 years ago bringing both his great musicianship and 'withering wit'. They opened with just such a witty Mike Gilby arrangement with his slightly adjusted title, Monkey Suckle Rose, which allegedly has connotations beyond my ken!? Further witty and clever Gilby arrangements of Stardust and My Foolish Heart followed with a perfectly rousing encore - High Maintenance. This was an uplifting performance with a special mention for solos from Jill Brett on alto sax. 
Then as the crowd - the place was absolutely packed - faded away, all but for the voice of the man in the pink jacket, Jazz North East with Paul Bream as MC, could feel proud of their putting together such a warm and well organised tribute to such a celebrated horn player and arranger. All musicians played for free and the money raised goes to R.N.L.I. (Royal National Lifeboat Institution).
George M    


100 years of jazz in 90 minutes - Saturday night at the Customs House.

Hi everybody,: this great show is on at the Customs House, Mill Dam, South Shields (main theatre) on Saturday night, starting 8pm. The Jazz Repertory Company band (up from London) includes such jazz stars as Richard Pite on drums and Rico Tomasso on trumpet, and the fast-moving programme covers a lot of musical ground linked by entertaining chat from Mr Pite. Box Office is 0191 454 1234, or book online at
Very nice food in the Green Room bistro, and stunning views across the Tyne from this very pleasant riverfront arts centre, which deserves all the support it can get in these tough times.
Mike Durham.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Mike Gilby - they did you proud! - Corner House, Newcastle.

Where do I begin? Tonight was a mixture of music - great music - and memories. What memories! Never have I been face to face with so many from what now seems another world. Scott Adair, Ray Chester, Bill Nicholson (ah those sessions down at Feather's!), Tommy Weatherley, Germaine Stanger (those times in San Sebastian) and a host of other faces I knew but couldn't put a name to.
All present to pay tribute to Mike Gilby.
Mike's daughter Zoe kicked off the proceedings with, appropriately enough, My Heart Belongs To Daddy. I may have heard her sing it better but I sure can't remember when! West Coast Blues, One Note Samba and One For My Baby were interspersed with lots of anecdotal stories about her dad who was Zoe's big inspiration.
Alongside her, Andy Champion and Mark Williams laid down bass and guitar lines that were the neo-perfect accompaniment whilst on the last number, the quirky, slightly risqué Dave Frishberg's Let's Forget About Living, Scott Adair joined on drums to make the ensemble complete.
Scott stayed on stage for the reincarnation of Mike's Jazz Spirit.
With him were Graham Hardy on trumpet and flugel, Graeme Wilson on tenor, Stu Collingwood on keys and Andy Champion on bass.
It was a solid set that Mike would have loved. Killer Joe, Filthy McNasty (Stu took the gold on this one), Nica's Dream (love this tune and the changing moods) Graham blew some emotive flugel.. Sister Sadie and Big P finished the set Scott having a drum explosion on the latter - the boy's still got it!.
Needless to say that Scott, a long time buddy of Mike's had plenty Mike stories to tell (there were also a few that didn't reach the mic.!)
The Customs House Big Band finished the show with the polished performance we have come to expect of them and, good as they sound at the Customs House, in a small room like this they are awesome!
I haven't got space to list names, tunes, solos, but, take it from me they were on fire!
Full marks going to the Gilby family and to Jazz North East for putting together a night to remember.
PS: I wasn't in a position to take photos without being obtrusive but Mandy Lowther sent me the one above  of Customs House trombonist Mike Fletcher next to a portrait of Mike Gilby which seemed particularly suitable.
For more big band photos from the concert go to the band's website.

Corner House: Tonight - Tribute to Mike Gilby.

Tonight's a rather special night at the Corner House - a tribute concert to the late Mike Gilby (pictured left with Sid Warren and Harry Edison.)
Trumpet player, vibist, bassist, arranger - and probably a few more - Mike left a lasting impression on whichever band he played with and there were quite a few.
Tonight's concert which is really an incredible 3 band bonanza features, naturally, Mike's daughter Zoe Gilby. With Zoe is Andy Champion (bs) and Mark Williams (gtr). . Zoe, who now appears regularly at venues across the country can be expected to pull all the stops out in this tribute to her dad who was her great inspiration.
Jazz Spirit Re-visited is a recreation of one of Mike's best bands with Graham Hardy (tpt/flg) stepping into his former teacher's shoes. On tenor and soprano Lewis Watson* will no doubt create a few gale force nines so it is as well that all funds raised will go to the RNLI - a favourite charity of Mike's. Stuart Collingwood is on keys and Scott Adair is on drums. Scott and Lewis were members of the original band.
To finish the evening off the Customs House Big Band led by Peter Morgan will play several of Mike's arrangements. This will indeed be a treat as it's a great band and Mike wrote some great arrangements.
All this wonderful jazz for a mere £8 - sale of the century.
But the concert isn't just about money, in some ways it isn't even about music, it's about remembering a great musician, a character whose memory will live on in a host of stories and some great arrangements -  and of course raising funds for an important charity.
Thursday Jan. 19. Tribute to Mike Gilby, Corner House, Heaton Rd., Newcastle, NE6 5RP. Tel; 0191 2659602. £8. (In association with Jazz North East.) 7:30pm.
*:Lewis Watson replaced by Graeme Wilson (See comments)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

CD Review - Daryl Sherman Mississippi Belle:Cole Porter in the Quarter

Daryl Sherman (pno/vcl); Jesse Boyd (bs); Tom Fischer (clt/ten);  Banu Gibson (guest vcl).
Having spent 15 years playing Cole Porter's actual Steinway in the Cocktail Terrace of New York's Waldorf-Astoria there can be few of today's songbirds more suited to interpreting the music and lyrics of Cole Porter than Daryl Sherman.
And yet this isn't just another Songbook re-working of the fond and familiar. Recorded with New Orleans musicians in the Crescent City we get a happy mix of the known and the unknown and although Let's Do It falls into the former category the singers choice of some of the less hackneyed lines in this list song give it an unexpected freshness e.g. Penguins in flocks, on the rocks, do it/Even little cuckoos in their clocks, do it...
The unknowns (to me) include Ours, Tale of the Oyster, By The Mississinewah, Mississippi Belle each given Daryl's unique take both as vocalist and pianist. She has an engaging way of stretching a word, giving it an almost dialectic inflection that leaves the listener in no doubt as to whom they are hearing.
The piano playing allows space when space is needed and feeds the chords when the chords need feeding whilst her solos in between vocals on Get Out of Town, Where Have You Been?, Who Wants to be a Millionaire? and From This Moment On rubber stamp her instrumental credentials.
In the absence of a drummer much responsibility is placed on the shoulders of the bassist and Jesse Boyd comes through flying - check out the Night and Day voice/bass intro to You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To
Tom Fischer blows clarinet like BG on Rosalie, Mississippi Belle, Millionaire, Where Have You Been and has moments on tenor on, among others, Get Out of Town and Looking at You (first heard this by Lee Wiley). 
If you have been lucky enough to catch Daryl Sherman live then this CD will remind you of her class. If you haven't yet caught the lady live then the CD becomes a must!
DARYL SHERMAN Mississippi Belle:Cole Porter in the Quarter. Audiophile ACD - 342.

Everything ain't coming up Ros(i)es for Maine Street Jazzmen.

When the re-furbished Rosie Malone's finally re-opens it will be without the Maine Street Jazzmen. By mutual agreement band and management have called an end to the weekly session which has run for almost 3 years.
However, lunchtime drinkers and fans can catch the band on a Monday at The Porthole - a mere 7 minutes away by ferry.
Details: The Porthole, New Quay, North Shields (near ferry landing). Mondays 1:00pm - 3:00pm.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Jesse Fuller - but where?

When I was [a lot] younger my first job after leaving school was as a clerk for H. ROWE [pop company] they supplied most of the north east with a concoction called Hubbly Bubbly and on a Saturday afternoon [after work] I used to get dropped off in town. I can remember going to a club and it could be one of three places but it was definitely upstairs: MUSCLE INN, CLUB A GOGO or the one on Forth Banks and seeing Jesse Fuller, I was at the side of the stage where his 'footdella' was and got brief glimpses of him swaying back and forwards the music was great and I remember him playing San-Francisco Bay Blues about four times the place was packed out and at first I thought it had been a trio playing. I think it would have been 1963 ish any idea where this may have been? 
Ray Stubbs..
Can anyone help? Jesse Fuller recorded the album pictured above in London in 1965 so maybe he toured the UK that year.

Rosie's still getting a facelift - No jazz this week.

Rosie Malone's facelift is ongoing so for a second week running there will be no jazz in the South Shields Market Place. The Maine Street Jazzmen hopefully will be back next week
PS: I hope I'm wrong but I'm starting to get an uneasy feeling about this...

Monday, January 16, 2012

Will Haywood-Smith, a star in the making, and Lickety Split!

Whilst googling Haywood Smith, an American female author, I came across this site re Will Haywood-Smith - former drummer with The Sage's youth jazz orchestra Jambone.
Seems like the boy's doing good.
Getting back to Haywood Smith, the American writer, I'm currently reading her "The Red Hat Club" and one of the reviews quoted on the back cover describes the novel as "A lickety-split romp." Now, as one of our local bands is named Lickety Split and has its roots in The Sage it does seem a strange coincidence!

The Northern School of Jazz (Manchester).

For those starting out along the jazz road or for those already started who wish to speed up the learning process the Northern School of Jazz run by guitarist Kathy Dyson may be the answer. Check it out here.

Tonight @ The Cherry Tree

This evenings Bill of Fare at the Cherry Tree Restaurant (9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond Tel 0191 2399924) includes Djangologie served a la Hot Club by Emma Fisk (vln); Mick Shoulder (bs); James Birkett and Giles Strong (gtrs).
Having sampled this delicious dish on previous visits I can highly recommend it - French "cooking" at its very best.
The food's good too!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Noel Dennis Quintet @ The Bridge.

Noel Dennis (tpt); Graeme Wilson (ten/sop); Paul Edis (pno); Andy Champion (bs); Adrian Tilbrook (dms); Zoe Gilby (vcl).
Noel's farewell to Tyneside gig paid tribute to Miles in the form of a cross-section of his work ranging from the Birth of the Cool (Boplicity) to Bitches Brew and beyond.
The front-line perfectly captured the mood of Miles and Noel paid tribute to The Prince of Darkness without in anyway attempting to imitate. Noel's too much his own man. Likewise Graeme filled the Shorter/Coltrane role without loss of identity. Zoe sang My Ship with a nod towards Gil Evans and a superb Nothing Like You.
Paul, Andy and Adrian were right on the money throughout with Adrian having fun on, I think, You and I. Seven Steps to Heaven is a great tune and the band did it justice.
So a fitting farewell to Noel - our loss, Glasgow's gain - although no doubt he will return from time to time wearing a Tam O' Shanter and playing cool bagpipes.

Mo Scott Band @ The Central Bar Gateshead.

Mo Scott (vcl); Gary Dunn (gtr); Neil Harland (bs); Paul Smith (dms).
Another stonking set by La Petite Mo who rocked her way through a choice, albeit familiar, selection of blues belters.
T-bone Shuffle started things moving and new guitarist Gary Dunn soon showed he could handle the gig with a blistering solo.

B.B.King, Muddy Waters, Ray Charles were all in there along with Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby, Fever, Rockin' Chair and Mercy, Mercy, Mercy.
On bass guitar Daddy Cool, Neil Harland, laid down the perfect foundation. If Neil ever played a bum note it would be headlines in the media! Paul Smith on drums offered a physical contrast to previous drummer Lloyd but he did the business and did it good. There were times when guitar and drums displayed a degree of uncertainty which is to be understood and it didn't detract from the performance. Indeed as someone said to me, "A change of line-up leads to diversity."
As an added attraction a dancer called Marilyn enlivened things with a bump and grind routine in front of the stage - what a mover!
Splendid afternoon.

Tonight @ The Bridge and elsewhere.

Tonight promises to be a special and at the same time a rather sad night. Special inasmuch as we have Noel Dennis on trumpet and flugel alongside Graeme Wilson on tenor backed by Paul Edis (keys), Andy Champion (bass) and Adrian Tilbrook (drums).
The program is billed as a tribute to Miles Davis and hopefully will be centred around that glorious period from say 1953 - 1969 when Miles made some of most iconic recordings in jazz.
So where, I hear you ask, does the sadness come in?
Well Noel is leaving the north-east to take up a position in Scotland and, whilst we wish him all the best, his departure will leave a gap in the local brass scene.
Which prompts me to say lets all turn out and give him a party night to remember. (Bridge Hotel, Castle Garth, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £5.)
PS: Prior to the gig you could start off at the Central Bar at the other end of the High Level Bridge and catch the MO SCOTT BAND (4pm-6pm free.) Then leg it back over the bridge to the Jazz Café on Pink Lane for the jam session before going to the Bridge Hotel. That way your miles will be rewarded with Miles.
If however you're more into soul and funk then Hoochie Coochie offer the Teapad Orchestra for free!.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

No Redemption

Further to my review of Redemption's gig at Hoochie Coochie where I made reference to some confusion over an advertised Redemption Splinter gig at The Bridge on March 4, this is not going to happen and in fact it is James Mainwaring who will be playing at The Bridge on that date as stated on the Jazz Action website.
It is hoped an alternative date will be found at The Bridge for Redemption who are a great band.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Jazz Singing Class - A Poetical Account

At long last love
Here we are again
Helen and Heather and Colin and Ken
Andrea, Eve, myself and Jen
Jazz Singing

Night and day
We are the ones
Counting in times and deciding on keys
Splitting up tunes into A, B, or C
Jazz Singing

For all we know
It could be a ballad, a Latin or swing
We need to know which so we know how to sing
Lindsey will guide us, she knows everything
Jazz Singing

We don’t go to strangers
Alan on piano plays from our list
Of keys, which probably don’t exist
But he plays them all with a jazzy twist
Jazz Singing

It will be so nice
At the Jazz Cafe gig when the work is done
With the Blue jazz Quintet, we’ll have some fun
(and a challenge, ‘learn the words’)
Jazz Singing

Sorry, but I couldn’t fit in the names of all the class members.  No prizes for guessing the titles of the songs referred to!

Ann Alex

Congratulations Jo Harrop and J.C.Caddy.

Our belated congratulations to singer Jo Harrop and her husband/drummer J.C.Caddy.
The couple recently became the proud parents of a baby boy.
Both are well steeped in the jazz idiom as witnessed by several appearances at the Cherry Tree.
Go to Jo's MySpace page and hear her duo recording of Sophisticated Lady with Paul Edis on piano.
Given the way his mother handle's Duke's immortal classic and because Jo herself is one sophisticated lady it was quite apt to name him Ellington!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Redemption Jazz @ Hoochie Coochie - Hallelujah!

John Hall (ten); Jim Hall (keys); Keith Tulip (bs); Martin Wake (dms).
It's nice when you're travelling home from a gig and pondering on what to write only to find that someone has near enough done it for you!
I refer to Bob Porteous who'd posted a comment on the preview to this gig before my Metro train had even reached Gateshead Stadium - Steve Cram couldn't have done it faster!
Bob wrote: 
Hi BSH Just thought that I should say that Redemption at the Hoochie Coochie were absolutely excellent tonight. Great Coltrane and superb Corea - in particular Chameleon and a spellbinding multi tempo version of God Bless the Child. Great musicians - More please! Haven't enjoyed myself so much at a gig in Newcastle since medieval times in the New Orleans Jazz Club at Forth Banks. I would recommend anyone interested in BSH to go see them! 

Well Bob that sums up my feelings too and it just skims the surface. John Hall is a great tenor player - what a waste all those years building Metro Centres and buying and selling football teams - or was that his dad?
To digress, I remember, from my days in Windows Music Shop, the Sir John Hall did have a nephew who played tenor...  I bet he never played it like you did tonight!
Not that this was a one man show John's brother Jim (not the guitarist) played powerhouse piano and Keith on bass, whether six string or Fender Jazz (Precision?), kept it all together. Martin on drums swung it all along without going over the top.
The overall feel was Latin Funk but there was lots of hardbop in there too - Manteca, Dexter's Montmartre, Coltrane's Blue Train.
It's only the second week in January and it probably won't be my Gig of the Year but, at this moment in time it's the one they've all got to catch! And you can catch them at the Splinter @ The Bridge session on March 4 (According to the band's website, not according to Splinter's who list James Mainwaring? - clarification please.)

Tonight @ Hoochie Coochie

Redemption Jazz is a relatively new quartet formed by 4 guys with a varied musical pedigree going back to the 1960's - they are beginning to make waves. Comprising brothers Jim and John Hall on keys and sax respectively, Martin Wake, drums and Keith Tulip, bass, they received favourable feedback from last weeks gig at the Chilli and tonight will be an opportunity for BSH to check them out. I like the clips I've heard on their website - Monk, Coltrane and some originals - a post Blue Note sound well worth hearing live.
Hoochie Coochie, 54 Pilgrim St., Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Rosie's getting a facelift - No jazz this week.

Rosie Malone's, the Thursday lunchtime home of the Maine Street Jazzmen, will be closed this Thursday (Jan. 12) for re-decoration. In consequence there will be no jazz at the popular South Shields watering hole tomorrow.
The pub re-opens on Saturday Jan. 14 and the band will be back next Thursday (Jan. 19) in the opulent new setting.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

New Brunswick Battle of the Blues

The line-up for the 4 regional heats of New Brunswick Battle of the Blues has been announced and 24 unsigned and original acts will be battling it out for a place in the London final and ultimately, the chance to play on an international stage at the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival, New Brunswick, Canada.
The heat dates and venues are: 13th January, True Blues Club, Newton Le Willows, Merseyside, 18th January, The Thunderbolt, Bristol, 19th January, New Crawdaddy Blues Club, Billericay, Essex, 27th January, St Peter’s Social Club, Byker, Newcastle. The final will be held at The Garage, Highbury, North London, 27 March.  For more information about the heats, the competition and the province of New Brunswick, visit
The acts competing in the regional heats are:
At the North West heat in Newton-le-Willows 13/1: Tom Attah from Shipley, Alex McKown Band from Glossop, Chris James Blues from Scotby, Carlisle, Rythmn Zoo from Shrewsbury, Cliff Brown Band from Yelvertoft, James O’Hara from Gomersal
At the South West heat in Bristol 18/1: Matt Woosey from Bristol, Victoria Klewin and the True Tones from Bristol, Thomas Ford from Plymouth,
Paint It Blue from Burton, near Bournemouth, Dan Sowerby Band from Salisbury, Park Royal Blues from NW2 in London
 At the South East heat in Billericay 19/1: Smokin Hogs from Shotley Gate, Ipswich, Liam Tarpey Band from SE5, London, Little Devils from SE14, London, Lexie Green and Danny Moore from Whittlesey nr Peterborough,
Dove and Boweevil from Oulton Broad near Lowestoft and
Cylvian and Blues Affair from Haywards Heath
 At the North East heat in Newcastle 27/1: Half Deaf Clatch from Hull, Greg Wilson and the Big Caffeine Fix from Blencow, Carlisle, Sheik Your Mojo from Washington, Sunderland, Groove-A-matics from Gateshead, Lee Bates and Billy Newton from Gateshead, How Askew from Newcastle.

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