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Bebop Spoken There

Poncho Sanchez: "When I perform it's my life story." - (DownBeat October 2019).


Daily: July 6 - October 27

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

Today Thursday September 19



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

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.



Alexito & Loco Machine - Revoluçion de Cuba, Cloth Market, Newcastle NE1 1EE. Tel: 0191 917 7076. 6:00pm. Free.

Jeremy McMurray & the Pocket Jazz Orchestra - Arc, Dovecot St., Stockton on Tees TS18 1LL. Tel: 01642 525199. 7:00pm. £12.00. + £0.10. bf. ‘Jazz & Tapas’ (booking essential). Guest: Alice Grace.

Bradley Johnston Quartet - St James' & St Basil's Church, Fenham Hall Drive, Fenham, Newcastle NE4 9EJ. 7:30pm. £8.00. (£4.00. student).

Sudden Jazz Quintet - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. Free (donations).

Eclectic - Tees Hot Club, Dorman’s Club, Oxford Road, Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. Tel: 01642 823813. 9:00pm. Free. Rick Laughlin (keys); Alan Thompson, Dan Johnson, Sue Ferris, Josh Bentham (saxes); Ian Halford (drums).

Maine Street Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Hollywell Lane, Sunniside, Gateshead NE16 5NA. Tel: 0191 488 7347. 8:30pm. Free.

New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band - Oxbridge, Oxbridge Lane, Stockton on Tees TS18 4AW. 8:30pm. £2.50.



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

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Sandi Russell @ The Lit & Phil. October 12

Sandi Russell (vocals) with Paul Edis (piano) & Mick Shoulder (double bass)
(Review by Russell).
 The Lit & Phil’s commitment to presenting jazz gigs shows no signs of abating. Twenty four hours after Swiss pianist Christoph Stiefel wowed the audience in the Loftus Room it was the turn of Durham resident Paul Edis to occupy the piano stool as accompanist to Durham resident jazz singer Sandi Russell. Edis opened the show in the company of regular bassist Mick Shoulder with a rich interpretation of A Foggy Day in London Town.
New Yorker Ms Russell, long-time resident in the Land of the Prince Bishops, works regularly with Edis in the north east and beyond. This Newcastle performance illustrated the confidence Ms Russell has in Edis, freeing the vocalist to exercise her improvising skills on timeless tunes written by Juan Tizol, Antonio Carlos Jobim and Thelonious Monk among others. Caravan and No More Blues held no fears for the American and the duo of Edis and bassist Mick Shoulder willingly went along for the ride. Ms Russell spoke engagingly of the time she visited the Five Spot in New York to hear Monk. Imagine…hearing the man in person at the Five Spot! 
Pork Pie Edis offered sensitive support on Ruby My Dear then dazzled on In Walked Bud. Imagine the time, the era…the chance that Bud Powell might well walk in! Ms Russell aimed for the stars on How High the Moon? and the trio hit the celestial heights on All Blues. 
Sandi Russell’s next engagement in the region - Wednesday 21st November – is in the palatial surroundings of the Mansion House in Newcastle. Edis and Shoulder will once more accompany the vocalist and there is the added attraction of the immaculate (musically and sartorially) Adam Sinclair on drums.


Sue Walker said...

What an outstanding voice - Sandi Russell's performance was stunning!
Having heard of Ms. Russell's upcoming performance at the Lit and Phil I was very keen to attend and I was not disappointed. Whilst piano and bass provided sensitive accompaniment it was the richly controlled voice and the enlivening presence of Ms. Russell which dominated the evening.
I can't wait to hear her again - soon! It would be fantastic to hear her with a broader more flexible sound in support - then we might really get to hear her cut loose and display the full range of her prodigious vocal talents!

Anonymous said...

I agree with Sue's comments and am more than a little surprised (and disappointed)that the Lance Liddle review focused more on the efforts of the ACCOMPANIST, Paul Edis, rather than on the MAIN ATTRACTION, which was Sandi Russell. I have had the good fortunate to attend many of Sandi's concerts over the years. During that time, she has been accompanied by various artists BUT it is and always has been Sandi's voice that stands out, over and above whomever tinkles away in the background.

Lance said...

Actually the review was by Russell, one of our regular reviewers, not myself. However, although I wasn't there it sounded a fair review and to dismiss Paul Edis - one of our finest pianists and accompanists - as someone tinkling in the background does an injustice both to the pianist and to Sandi for whom he is currently her first call accompanist.

Anonymous said...

SANDI RUSSELL’s performance at the Lit & Phil on 12 October was astounding! No-one would have guessed it from the completely unbalanced review that appeared on this blog site the next day. It seems that, throughout a dramatic two-hour display of virtuoso vocal range and inventiveness, your reviewer only had ears for the piano accompanist and his bassist.

Perhaps the writer is ignorant of the great tradition of jazz divas which Sandi Russell represents? No less a musician than Humphrey Lyttelton placed her with Billie Holiday; she reminds Time Out of Carmen MacRae, and has been compared by Lance Liddell on this very blog site with Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan.

Or maybe this reviewer is unfamiliar with the repertoire of jazz vocals so generously presented by Ms Russell on that exciting evening? Mention is made of her anecdote about Thelonius Monk, but not her superb rendering of ‘Ruby, My Dear’, or her brilliantly funky ‘In Walked Bud’, in which Sandi Russell’s pyrotechnic scatting makes up for the horns and other instruments not present.

Strange that, on a blog site called ‘Be Bop Spoken Here’, the reviewer had nothing to say about Sandi Russell’s wonderfully entertaining version of the Betty Carter song ‘Please Do Something’. Nothing either about the beautifully melodic standards she has made her own, such as ‘Forget Me’ and ‘The Nearness of You’, confirming John Fordham’s comment in the Guardian that ‘expat American Russell breathes new life into the most familiar materials’.

The capacity audience in the warm ambience of Newcastle’s historic venue certainly recognised that they were in the enchanting presence of a ‘unique vocalist’ (Jazz Improv, New York), offering ‘top notch jazz’ (The Musician, London). Their enthusiasm and prolonged applause – not least for Ms Russell’s stunning rendition of Abby Lincoln’s ‘Throw it Away’ – made up for the shortcomings of your reviewer.

If you missed this outstanding event and want to judge for yourself, go to SANDI RUSSELL’s website ( and come to her next Newcastle performance on Wednesday 21 November at the Mansion House, Fenwood Road, Jesmond, NE2 1TS (

Lance said...

Sir/Madam, live reviews can never be objective. Jazz in particular always has been and always will be a subjective area. That our reviewer chose to record his appreciation of the accompanists - as I'm sure Sandi herself did during the concert - in no way implies he didn't appreciate her efforts.
Both our reviewer and yourself refer to Sandi's up and coming gig at the Mansion House on November 21. Perhaps you would care to submit a review on that one?

Anonymous said...

Dear Lance,
Good to hear from you, but why doesn't Bill Russell speak for himself (and use his full name to avoid confusion)? He can of course say what he likes, but that won't make his reviews either fair, balanced, informed or even appropriate.
Bill's decision to ERASE the singer (i.e. the principal musician)from his account of this exceptional performance was outrageous, as other comments testify.
Think, for a moment, what such erasure means to an African American immersed in the culture and history of jazz, who is also an outstanding interpreter of it!
We like Paul Edis too, but he can be heard regularly in the North. Sandi Russell more often performs in London or New York with international musicians, so it's a rare delight to hear her in Newcastle.
It's kind of you to suggest that I review Sandi's upcoming performance on 21 November, but it would be much more appropriate for you to do so yourself!

Lance said...

Russell is our reviewer's first name and to the best of my knowledge has never been known as Bill. Come to that, why are you "anonymous" you sound as if you know me?
As regards reviewing, our reviewers have carte blanche to express their opinion as indeed do those who comment.

Anonymous said...

The injustice, sir, was to Sandi Russell with that 'non-review'. Obviously, after seeing the other comments below, I can assume that I am not the only one who felt that way. Oh and by the way, I, for one, only used anon because your blog rejected my name & email address. Sincerely, Antoinette Freeman

Anonymous said...

Having not been able to get to the Sandi Russell I was pleased to to read the brief review on BSH which seemed to give a positive sense of a very good gig and of the singer and the musicians. I look forward to seeing her next gig at the Mansion House. In the meantime, I have to say that the comments are providing some interesting, if slightly surreal, entertainment. Populated by as diverse a selection of characters to be found this side of Desolation Row, with an assortment of Russells, including Sandi, Russell and the mysterious 'Bill', Lance Liddle and his alter ego, Lance Liddell and the Machiavellian reviewer with his tendency towards post-structuralist Derridean reviews written 'under erasure'. Then there is the alternative Long John
Silver inspired jazz website 'Be Bop Spoken Here? Arrh, to be sure, Matey'. It's going to be a fascinating crowd at the Mansion House gig....
JC (nee Russell)

Lance said...

J.C - you are in the frame to review that gig!

Blog Archive

About this blog - contact details.

Bebop Spoken Here -- Here, being the north-east of England -- centred in the blues heartland of Newcastle and reaching down to the Tees Delta and looking upwards to the Land of the Kilt.
Not a very original title, I know; not even an accurate one as my taste, whilst centred around the music of Bird and Diz, extends in many directions and I listen to everything from King Oliver to Chick Corea and beyond. Not forgetting the Great American Songbook the contents of which has provided the inspiration for much great jazz and quality popular singing for round about a century.
The idea of this blog is for you to share your thoughts and pass on your comments on discs, gigs, jazz - music in general. If you've been to a gig/concert or heard a CD that knocked you sideways please share your views with us. Tell us about your favourites, your memories, your dislikes.
Lance (Who wishes it to be known that he is not responsible for postings other than his own and that he's not always responsible for them.)
Contact: I look forward to hearing from you.

Submissions for review

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