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Bebop Spoken There

Hugh Masekela: “I advise every kid to check out their past because without a past you are in limbo.” (Songlines December 2017)

Leo Richardson: “I think your image is really important. You look at those old Blue Note recordings and you look at the liner note, the booklet and they’re in the studio and they’re wearing shirt and ties. They used to wear suits all the time.” – (Jazzwise December 2017/January 2018)

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 them all other than those we are able to answer with a positive response.
Similarly, CDs received by post will only be considered if accompanied by sufficient background material.
Finally, bear in mind that this is a jazz-based site when submitting your album.
Lance

Today Friday December 15

Afternoon

Rendezvous Jazz - Monkseaton Arms, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. Tel: 0191 251 3928. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

Jazz Café Christmas Party - Jazz Café. 8:00pm. Julija Jacenaite & Alan Law (8:00pm), Mo Scott Band (9:00pm). £10.00. (£8.00. advance).

Strictly Smokin’ Big Band - Gosforth Civic Theatre, Regent Farm Road, Gosforth NE3 3HD. Tel: 0191 258 4111. 7:30pm. First night of two. A guaranteed sellout.

Kentucky Cowtippers - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9:00pm. Free.

Ray Dales - Traveller’s Rest, West Auckland Road, Cockerton, Darlington DL3 9ER. 8:30pm. £8.00.

The Standards - Bar Loco, Leazes Park Road, Newcastle NE1 4PG. 7:00pm. Free. South American band playing a Greenpeace benefit.

CoSYJO - Washington Arts Centre, Biddick Lane, Fatfield, Washington NE38 8AB. Tel: 0191 561 3455. 7:00pm. £6.00. (£4.00. concs.). CoSYJO (City of Sunderland Youth Jazz Orchestra).

Smokin’ Spitfires - Platform 1, Station Street, Bedlington NE22 7JW. Tel: 01670 828808. 7:00pm. £5.50. Enhanced line-up (The Mighty Smokin’ Spitfires) with David Blakey (trumpet) & Lloyd Howell (drums).

Steve Bone - Al Forno, 81 Skinnergate, Darlington DL3 7LX. 7pm.

Sophie Armstrong: Jazz at Christmas - Maltings Theatre & Cinema, Eastern Lane, Berwick upon Tweed TD15 1AJ. Tel: 01289 330999. 7:30pm. £13.00.

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

Monday, May 04, 2015

Book Review: Music is Forever - Dizzy Gillespie, the Jazz Legend and Me by Dave Usher w. Bert Falbaum

Jazz tomes these days are becoming increasingly more accessible, by which I mean that they tell a story the non-dedicated jazz person can relate to.
Edward Allan Faine's The Best Gig in Town gave us an insight into the various artists who appeared at the White House during the Nixon administration and Music is Forever also pays a few visits to the White House.
Music is Forever  is a fascinating recollection by Dave Usher of his association and deep friendship with Dizzy Gillespie - a friendship that began when Usher was 14 year-old and gave Dizzy and his wife a lift from a concert hall to their hotel. During the war years age restrictions on driving were lifted thus enabling young Usher to meet his idol and be of service.
This isn't a book riddled with "..and then Dizzy recorded 8 sides for RCA" or a technical analysis of solos accompanied by pages of musical notation. No, this is a personal recollection by a guy who was maybe Dizzy's closest friend. We get inside info on many of the trumpet star's state sponsored trips abroad. Like the South American jaunt where fellow trumpet player Joe Gordon complained he wasn't getting any solos. Dizzy said, "You can play Night in Tunisia on the next gig" The next gig happened to be in Quito, Ecuador, the highest capital city in the world where the air was extremely rarified - it almost killed the poor guy!
But the warmth that comes through in this book is incredible - these were two guys who had a bond forged through jazz. Dizzy, a black musician, Dave, a white, Jewish non musician, found. as I'd like to think all BSH readers do, that jazz transcends race, religion, politics - it certainly did with Diz (although he did run for President in 1964 against Johnson and Goldwater - imagine if he'd made it!) His manifesto included Charles Mingus as Minister of Peace he'll take a piece of your head faster than anyone I know! and Jon Hendricks as Poet Laureate.
Diz didn't make the final cut but he did play the White House in 1972 under Carter and 1978 when George H.W. Bush was top man.
Apart from Diz, Usher also has his own story to tell.
The family business was re-cycling oil and, before he became president of the company, he'd developed pioneering techniques and methods for cleaning up oil spills etc. He also, after meeting Dizzy, formed the Dee Gee label. Remember The Champ? that was on Dee Gee - I wonder why it has slipped out of the current bop bands' repertoires? 
Dave Usher was also involved with Chess Records via their Argo label recording artists such as Sonny Stitt and Ahmad Jamal.
Co-writer Berl Falbaum, who got in on the ground floor of the Usher/Gillespie association, realised there was a story to be told. It took him 20 years to get the project off the ground but I'm pretty damn sure it was worth waiting for. Can you wait for Christmas?
Lance.

1 comment :

Hilary S said...

Mike and I were newly wed and living in Glasgow. In 1972-3 our dear late beautiful friend Ruby Carter who was the vocalist in the Locarno band which Mike worked in, had been invited to a party that a local business man was giving in a large marquee. Lots of live music (even a pipe band) I can't now recall some of the other bands names.
In one corner Ruby saw Dizzy and trio setting up with the one and only Carmen McRae. We stood in awe listening to their set. Mike, being a trumpet player, was a huge fan of Dizzy. We were invited back to their hotel for drinks.
Being newly married to a musician I wasn't aware that one had to remain cool at all times in the presence of the great and good. Mike and I had just acquired a kitten and named him Dizzy. I started to tell the great man this, when I was aware of a certain pressure on my arm from Mike (trying to shut me up) However as Dizzy had this wonderful beaming smile on his face, I continued. Everyone relaxed and started to laugh as Dizzy said, “Gee you guy's called a little kitty cat after me?" Carmen then said laughingly, “I always knew you were an old dog John, I never knew you were a kitty cat".
Many years later when Zoe and I met the lovely Jeanie Bryson, Dizzy’s daughter, in New York, I told her the story...she also laughed.

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About this blog - contact details.

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

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