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13,248 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 667 of them this year alone and, so far, 75 this month (May 16).

Coming soon ...



May 20: Vieux Carré Jazzmen at The Holystone (Indoors!)
May 20 Maine Street Jazzmen are back at Sunniside Social Club. 8:30pm start.
May 23: Vieux Carré Hot Four are back at The Spanish City.

June 21: Jazz in the Afternoon are back at Cullercoats Crescent Club. (Revised date).
June 23: Vieux Carré Jazzmen are back at Cullercoats Crescent Club. (Revised date).

Friday, June 12, 2015

Lickety Split @ the Jazz Café. June 11

Eddie Bellis (trombone), Paul Gowland (tenor saxophone), Alan Marshall (alto saxophone), Kevin Eland (trumpet & flugelhorn), Bradley Johnston (guitar), Roy Willis (guitar), Paul Grainger (double bass) & Paul Wight (drums)
(Review by Russell)
Eddie Bellis’ eight piece band gigs infrequently, band members are forever juggling other gigs. The Jazz Café offered a date well in advance and on a sultry summer evening Bellis and co played two sets to an enthusiastic gathering. Doors and windows open, the bar too, drummer Paul Wight brushed a path for a classy Blues Walk. No matter how often a well known tune is heard, if it’s played lovingly, with commitment, then you’re at a good gig.
Lickety Split are all about good gigs. The material is key, as are the musicians. A number of changes in personnel over the years, the current line-up is, perhaps, as good as anyone, not least bandleader Bellis, could wish for. One dep on the night – Paul Grainger in for a touring Alan Rudd – and one couldn’t see the joins. Bassist Grainger read the parts (most of them familiar numbers), the most reliable of deputies. An arrangement of Monk’s Well You Needn’t, then 88 Basin Street at a no-hurry Freddie Greene (Roy Willis) lick took the honours with Bellis leading a round of solos; Paul Gowland on tenor and frontline partner Alan Marshall (alto) and the seated six-string phenomenon Bradley Johnston.
Maynard Ferguson, aka Kevin Eland, kept himself in check, teasing out a cluster of notes on Doxy, before handing on the baton to a bopping Johnston. Great playing all round. The band grabbed an interval beer, the audience likewise. Good to note one or two new faces, younger faces at that. How did they find about the gig? They’ll be back.
This being summertime, drummer Paul Wight opted for a ‘tailored’ pair of shorts. No one said anything. Wight decided to get his retaliation in first drawing attention to his fashion statement. Bellis said: I hadn’t noticed, but as you’ve mentioned it…
The band’s bop to West Coast sound offers endless possibilities; Bags Groove was one of them with altoist Marshall, then a muted Eland knocking out cracking solos. Johnston got the nod from Bellis to take a solo. Well, this was meat and drink to BJ, he was all over it (owing something to a certain JB)! Bellis usually gravitates to cool school Miles and this Jazz Café set did just that. The Birth of the Cool interspersed with other choice cuts saw out the session; What’s New? Joyspring (Paul Grainger enjoying himself), All Blues (Gowland went off on one, touching down with a text book landing), Move, Rouge and Four. They thought they were done. Not so fast…Encore! Encore!
Lickety Split is a cracking band. Easy going guys…not so easy to pin down to a gig date! So, any promoter keen to offer them a gig, don’t hesitate. Email Bebop Spoken Here and we’ll put you in touch with the band. Lickety Split can be heard again at Bonbar (known to all as the Old Assembly Rooms) in Newcastle on Sunday 30 August.       
Russell.

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