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Bebop Spoken There

Piers Paul Read: "Bruce Reynolds and Biggs shared an interest in Sex, Jazz and Hemingway." - (The Train Robbers by Piers Paul Read, Coronet Books 1979.)

George Shearing: "Speaking about Johann Sebastian Bach I think he'd be a real jazzer if he were alive today. I mean any man who has two wives, twenty kids, gets kicked out of the church for being too harmonically radical and drinks beer can't be all wrong can he?" - (Crescendo March 1984.)

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.
Lance

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Today Thursday July 19

Afternoon

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

Evening

Maine St. Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Holywell Lane, Sunniside, Gateshead NE16 5NJ. 8:30pm. Free.

Alexys de Alfaro: Guitar Dreams with Coco Vega - Prohibition Bar, Arch 3, Brandling Street, Gateshead NE8 2BA. Doors 7:00pm. A ‘jar on the bar’ gig. Guitar & percussion.

Alter Ego - St James’ & St Basil’s Church, Fenham Hall Drive, Newcastle NE4 9EJ. 7:30pm. £10.00.

Jesse Bannister Quartet - Jazz Café, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. Tel: 0191 222 9882. 8:00pm. £10.00. (£8.00. concs.). JNE.

Northern Monkey Brass Band - Jubilee Park, Spennymoor DL16. 6:00-9:00pm. Free. Big BRASS Bash (Durham Brass Festival).

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

Tees Hot Club w. Donna Hewitt (alto); Josh Bentham (tenor); Dave Archbaid (keys) - Dormans Club, Oxford Road, Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. Tel: 01642 823813. 9pm. Free.

Jazz Jam - Fire Station, High Street West, Sunderland SR1 3DT. Tel: 0191 594 7241. 8pm. Free.

Billy's Buskers: Plug in and Play - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 7:00pm. Free.

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

Monday, September 19, 2016

Jeremy McMurray-Mark Toomey Quintet @ Blaydon Jazz Club. September 19

Jeremy McMurray (piano), Mark Toomey (alto saxophone), Paul Donnelly (guitar), Peter Ayton (bass) & Paul Smith (drums)
(Review by Russell/Photos courtesy of Roly Veitch)
Jeremy McMurray and Mark Toomey made a return visit to the Black Bull with former Djangology guitarist Paul Donnelly a welcome addition to the line-up. The Teessiders are seasoned performers - one of bassist Peter ‘Tubby’ Ayton’s claims to fame is a gig with Spike Milligan and Paul Smith (drums) boasts a you-name-them-I’ve-played-with-them  CV - and this Blaydon Jazz Club date was all about Bird.  

All about Bird? Well, Mark Toomey plays authoritative Charlie Parker-inspired alto, and there is no getting away from it…thankfully. A man of few on-stage words, Toomey took turns with pianist McMurray to announce the tunes. Kicking off with Au Privave, they hit the ground running, taking off into Birdland, a round of solos introducing the band to the select Blaydon audience. A broader offering unfolded with Latin-infused selections and a standard or two. Lover Man up-tempo, There Will Never Be Another You (Toomey unable to resist a Bah bah you/ewe quote), and the altoist firing on What’s New?

Guest Paul Donnelly upped the ante leading off on Four Brothers. A Djangologist turned bebopper, the harmonic language fully assimilated, this was great guitar playing. To close the first set Toomey dipped into his soul jazz bag, pulling out Work Song. Paul Donnelly shone once again, Wes Montgomery would have been impressed!

An out of town party arrived, baulked at the extortionate door charge, retiring garrulously to the adjoining bar to continue their conversation. Jazz fans? Not really, ‘out on the hoy’ is the expression. Toomey began the second set with Ornithology prompting the note: He knows his way around the alto! Similarly, Donnelly found his way around the fret board with consummate ease on Joy Spring and again on A Day in the Life/Black Orpheus. The man at the keys, Mr Jeremy McMurray, is familiar with the 88s and a sense of enjoyment is evident in his playing. On this Blaydon date he peppered solos with fleeting quotes. No time to stop and think: That was… just go with the flow. If one tune is heard at the Black Bull more than any other it could well be Stella by Starlight. The McMurray-Toomey set list just happened to include the tune and met with audience approval. One of the all time great numbers. The quintet closed the evening on Wee. Mark Toomey’s gigs on Tyneside are few and far between. Next time, get along to hear some first rate alto playing.

Next month sees the return of Vasilis Xenopoulos. The London-based Greek saxophonist is one of his generation’s finest exponents of swinging, mainstream tenor saxophone. His friendship with pianist Paul Edis brings Vasi ‘up north’ on an annual basis. Last year they played a memorable gig at the Black Bull. The place was understandably packed out. There is every prospect of October’s visit (Sunday 23) resulting in another full house at Blaydon Jazz Club. Xenopoulos and Edis will once again be working with Andy Champion (bass) and drummer Russ Morgan. Four top class musicians, this promises to be one of the gigs of the year. The first set starts at 8:00pm. Admission a mere £7.00., pay at the door. You haven’t been to a jazz gig in years but you regularly read this blog? Right, here’s the plan …switch off the television (and PC), all roads lead to Blaydon. No excuses!

Russell.          

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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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