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Bebop Spoken There

Orrin Evans: “I’d like to see a younger audience and an audience that looks more like me at the clubs.” – (Down Beat November 2014).

Kevin Flanagan: "Besides, I'd got sick of playing jazz to people who looked like my father." - (Straight No Chaser Issue 0ne Summer 1988.)

Archives

Today Friday August 18

Afternoon
Rendezvous Jazz - The Black Horse, Front St., Monkseaton, Whitley Bay NE25 8DP. 1pm. Free.
Levee Ramblers New Orleans Quartet - Tynemouth Metro Station, Station Tce., Tynemouth NE30 4RE. 1pm. Free.
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Evening
Kentucky Cowtippers - Billy Bootleggers, 28 Nelson St., Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.
Ray Johnson & Richard Herdman - Prohibition Bar, Arch 3, Brandling St., Gateshead NE8 2BA. 8pm.
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Steve Bone - Al Forno, 81 Skinnergate, Darlington DL3 7LX. 7pm.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Echoes Magazine Celebrates its 40th Anniversary

Russell posed the following questions to magazine editor Chris Wells:
Q: If our [Bebop Spoken Here] memory serves, Echoes started out as a tabloid-sized newspaper with the reader ending up with messy fingers from the news print!
Tell me about it! I bought the very first copy as a spotty teenager [and soul fan] up in York, and have had filthy fingers ever since. Actually, I’ve been up in the loft this past month… er, I mean, sifting through the extensive Echoes archive, and the memories [of grubby finger-ends] came flooding back. But we’ve been a glossy monthly since 2000 and, of course, we have a lovely website: echoesmagazine.co.uk, now. Very modern. 
Q: What was your initial motivation forty years ago? 
Money. Well, it was for the guys who started it – two magazine publishers who spotted a hole in the market for a kind of ‘NME of black music’. They were not fans of the music, even though the writers were. Soul, funk and reggae were all over the pop charts back then and they thought a weekly paper would be more instant than any of the competitors, which were then fortnightly and monthly.
That’s not why I got involved back in ’84 however – I gave up a career in the law to have some fun and let my hobby become my job. Haven’t worked a day since. 
Q: Then, the paper had an underground street feel to it. When it changed to a glossier, ‘professional’ publication did the readership demographic change? 
Not much, no.  We still have a load of readers from the eighties and nineties – they write us letters about how it used to be green fields round here, all the time. The difference between then and now as a publication is that, then it was instant, newsy and a fish & chip wrapper within days, whereas, since it’s been a mag, I’ve gone for us being a more grown-up, intelligent [I hope] take on black music across a wider spread [we were here when hip-hop was born, for example]. It’s actually loosely based on the old Black Music magazine that IPC used to put out in the mid-seventies, which was by far my favourite mag as a young ‘un.
Q: Echoes has always promoted soul music and other related genres. Jazz and its various hyphenated offshoots – jazz-funk, acid-jazz etc – feature regularly. In editorial meetings does it (jazz) have to fight for space in each issue?
Everything has to fight for its space. We only have a limited number of pages and we split the coverage roughly equally between soul, R&B, reggae, hip-hop and jazz [with news at the front, reviews at the back, plus a bit of Northern soul]. I’m actually a massive jazz fan myself [old and new], although I let our main jazz guy [and Dep Ed] Kevin Le Gendre do most of the big features, simply because I can’t do everything, and, of course, he’s a great writer on the subject. 
Q: A cursory glance at recent front covers shows that, from time to time. major jazz artists take pride of place – Cécile McLorin Salvant (Aug 2015), David Sanborn (Apr 2015), Gregory Porter (Sep 2013). Do circulation figures hold up when the great jazz names appear on the front cover? Is it a risk?
Doesn’t seem to make any difference, really. Our readership is incredibly loyal – never goes down, hardly ever goes up. We need to change that last bit. Must make a note.
Q: Forty years! Michael Jackson, the stellar name. Any names – jazz or otherwise – Bebop Spoken Here should be checking out in future?
Well, bearing in mind who’s asking, we currently love Jarrod Lawson, Kamasi Washington and Laura Perrudin. Oh, and over in sort-of souly world, a trio called King. But there are new, mostly indie artists popping the whole time. It keeps us very happy. 
Q: Talking of the future – Print or Online or both?
Both. Our print model still works – just us and Private Eye, then! But we do plan to expand the website and do a lot more there this year. Being old farts – old farts with a mag that still pays its bills, mind – we weren’t the quickest or the most enthusiastic to embrace social media, but we’re getting there. So we’ll be doing that too. Honestly.
Chris Wells.
Editor Echoes Magazine.

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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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