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Bebop Spoken There

Abdullah Ibrahim: "For me jazz is the highest form of music." - (DownBeat, September 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 Sunday August 25



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

Vieux Carré Hot 4 - Spanish City, Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay NE26 1BG. 12 noon. Free.

Alice Grace & Nick Pride @ Great North Feast, Bents Park, Sea Road, South Shields NE33 2LD. Time 12 noon-1:00pm. Free. A 'Proper Food & Drink Festivals' event - 10:00am-5:00pm.

Zoë Gilby Family All Stars - Ushaw College, Ushaw DH7 9RH. 1:00pm. £6.00. Ushaw Jazz Festival.

More Jam - The Globe, Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 3:00pm. Free.

John Pope Quintet - Ushaw College, Ushaw DH7 9RH. 4:00pm. £8.00. Ushaw Jazz Festival.

Jazz Social - Charts, Quayside, Newcastle NE1 3DX. Tel: 0191 338 7989. 4:00pm. Free.

Somethin' Blue - Vesuvio, Houndgate, Darlngton DL1 5RL. Tel: 01325 788564. 5:00-7:00pm. Free.


The Sour Mash Trio - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 2:00pm. Free.

The Palaminos - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 5:00pm. Free.



Buck Clayton Legacy Band - Ushaw College, Ushaw DH7 9RH. 7:00pm. £14.00. & £12.00. Line-up: Menno Daams, Ian Smith (trumpets), Robert Fowler (alto sax), Matthias Seuffert (tenor sax), Adrian Fry (trombone), Martin Litton (piano), Alyn Shipton (double bass), Clark Tracey (drums). Ushaw Jazz Festival.

Joseph Carville Trio - Devonport Hotel, 16-18 The Front, Middleton One Row, Darlington DL2 AS. Tel: 01325 332255. 7:30pm.

Francis Tulip Quintet - Bridge Hotel, Castle Garth, Newcastle NE1 1RQ. Tel: 0191 232 6400. 8:00pm. £8.00. & £6.00. Quintet feat Xhosa Cole (BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year 2018).

The Comet is Coming - Georgian Theatre, Green Dragon Yard, Stockton TS18 1AT. Tel: 01642 606525. 8:00pm. £14.00.

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

Thursday, May 04, 2017

International Jazz Day @ The Globe - April 30

(Review by Russell).
The Tyne and Wear Metro is an excellent public transport system…when it works. Due to technical issues on Sunday trains weren’t operating between Newcastle and South Shields. BSH’s Editor-in-Chief resides on sunny South Tyneside, consequently his absence from the Jazz Co-op’s big day proved unavoidable. Your reviewer stepped in at short notice in time to catch the six o’clock set by the Customs House Big Band. Ironically, the band’s spiritual home is the Customs House in South Shields – perhaps our Editor-in-Chief could have blagged a lift on the band bus acting as a roadie!

Six o’clock, the Jazz Co-op’s Railway Street premises full to capacity, Peter Morgan’s big band all but ready to go. Some last minute tweaking to the PA, then the Customs House Big Band began a short set – this was to be the pattern during the evening with so much to fit in – with the band’s top class singer waiting in the wings. Stolen Moments worked well with several soloists making a mark – Bradley Johnston, guitar, Kevin Eland, trumpet, Jim McBriarty, reeds, Chris Karberry, trombone, and the ever-impressive Alan Marshall on alto. Up stepped Ruth Lambert. You can’t go wrong, can you? As magnificent as always, and with the bonus of an excellent PA system, Ms Lambert hit the heights singing a selection of top tunes; Fever, Moonlight in Vermont (with lush orchestration), and, said Lambert, her favourite number – I’ve Got the World on a String. A top band with a slew of big hitters – Mick Hill and Gordon Marshall (trumpets), Bradley Johnston in Freddie Greene guise, Dave Brock sitting in the trombone section and the legendary Barry Black behind the traps – in the short time allotted to the band it made a big impression.

The big band’s guitarist, Bradley Johnston, sat where he was waiting for James Birkett to join him on stage to play an all-too-short guitar duo set. Birkett and Johnston got down to business – Jobim’s Wave, Dr Birkett’s Blues for BJ rightly won applause for BJ’s solo, Rollins’ Doxy and the show-stopper Spain. Much to your reviewer’s surprise the audience listened to the master musicians at work. Surprised? Well, a day-long event with the bar doing big business…but, listen they did. The applause spoke volumes.

La Milonga de Los Domingos. Qué? Newcastle’s Jazz Co-op embraces music other than jazz, and other art forms are offered a platform. A short demonstration of Milonga (Argentina’s Tango) by an impeccably turned-out couple (she in heels, he in Al Capone double breasted suit) danced in a way that would see them arrested on the spot if they demonstrated their ‘art’ down the Bigg Market. The Milonga is available to all at the Globe. Why not give it a try? Visit:

As bands go the Vieux Carré Jazzmen probably play more gigs than most. Two weekly residencies and a monthly session plus innumerable club, pub and function appearances keep Brian Bennett’s outfit more than busy, thank you. From the off the VCJ were in the running for ‘Best Dressed’ band, wearing as they do, a natty line in waistcoats. The band’s newest recruit, trumpeter Bob Wade, has given the band new impetus. The man looks the part (a hint of Bix - Bob's pictured above) and plays a good Crescent City trumpet with a swing thing in his locker. To Wade’s left, the welcome figure of Brian Chester on the gig as trombonist, to Wade’s right, Jim McBriarty on clarinet. Bourbon St Parade, Runnin’ Wild with Fred Thompson’s sweet vocals, McBriarty’s classy clarinet on Honeysuckle Rose – a typically good VCJ gig. Boss Man Bennett kept strict time, as did the seated four-stringer bass man Bill Colledge hidden in the shadows. Time to go with a less than seasonal Ice Cream, the tune with the profound lyrics (all together now): I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream.

Gabriele Heller has a stage persona: Berlin Kurt Weill cabaret chanteuse, Billie Holiday torch song singer, experimental electro interventionist. On International Jazz Day Heller opted for mainstream material with her trio Gabriele Mit Zwei (Steve Glendinning, guitar, and Jazz Co-op lynchpin Dave Parker, double bass). Another short set, Heller’s Germanic intonation impressed on All or Nothing at All.

Joel and Matt. If you’re yet to here these young men, check them out soon because before too long they’ll be gone. Mid teen veterans of the regular jam session along the road on Pink Lane, Joel, 16 (or has he turned seventeen?), plays piano like nobody’s business and Matt, all of 18, is a Berklee-bound star of the future. On this day of celebration – April 30 marks the third anniversary of the day the Jazz Co-op acquired the Globe – what better way to party than to invite two unassuming lads to be a part of it. Joel Brown and Matthew MacKellar played a few tunes in the company John Pope – a geriatric by comparison! A fabulous trio set.

JP stayed on the stand to be joined by Lindsay Hannon and pianist Alan Law. What a set! Material from Hannon’s CD The Spy and a clutch of favourites made this set more than enjoyable. Hearing vocalist Hannon working in the company of Alan Law made the set a highlight (one of many) on a special day at the Globe. A particular highlight? Comes Love.

Late night, time for the Safe Sextet. Veteran trumpeter Don Forbes has kept the band going for an awfully long time. Sextet, or occasionally quintet, Forbes’ standards to bop pad is the ideal material for a set several pints past the hour. John Rowland (tenor) is a long-standing member of the band. A fine player, we should hear more from him. Matt MacKellar played the set, veteran that he is. An excellent Hocus Pocus (Lee Morgan) had Matt all over it, accenting, uplifting, just the job!

When lights are low…it’s jam session time! Whoever was left standing ‘round midnight, it was a case of get up and jam. Matt wasn’t going anywhere, your correspondent certainly wasn’t, and out of the blue, Julija Jacenaite joined the party. Raucous, gin joint, round and round goings on. Good fun! At stupid o’clock (1:00am) the joint began to empty. Julija sat at the piano, a lone figure, of all tunes, she played and sang Spain. It had been quite a day.

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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: 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.