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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.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

William Bell and the state of soul music. The SummerTyne Americana Festival, Sage Gateshead, July 22.

(Review by Steve T)
Without checking, this was much the same set as I reviewed at the Barbican last November. While that was at the London Jazz Festival, under the umbrella of Black Music, this was the SummerTyne Americana Festival, under the umbrella of American Roots Music, reflecting the changing times.
I'm old enough to remember the time when most people agreed with Muddy Waters, that the blues had a baby and called it rock and roll. Nowadays rockabilly is considered the most prominent strand of rock and roll and came from country and western.
Soul music emerged primarily from blues and gospel, but more recently the country element has become greatly exaggerated with the discovery, by the BBC, Mojo and writers like Guralnick, that many of the musicians, songwriters and producers were southern whites, even though virtually all of the artists, including all of the greats were black. 
White artists have done much better in Jazz than in any other serious Black Music: Gil Evans, Gerry Mulligan, Lee Konitz, Zawinul, John McLaughlin and Chick Corea to mention a few, but it's important to keep in mind that Louis Armstrong, Duke, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Bird, Diz, Monk, Miles, Mingus, Dexter Gordon, Sonny Rollins, Trane, Ornette and the vast majority were black.
Just seventeen years into the new millennium and it's already considered racist to refer to the C20th as the century of Black Music.
When Beatles T shirt in front of me sang along to the support band I'm a Soul Man, I responded in true gospel/soul fashion, No You’re Not!
At least he turned up. A few days out, I thought a team may come down from Scotland, a crew might travel up from Yorkshire, and surely a posse will make the journey across the Pennies from the North West heartland. Ah well, Teesside will be with us, Darlo, Bish, Chester-le-Street, Gatesheed, Toon, Northern Soul stronghold Aycliffe… William Bell ticks the northern soul, modern soul, rare groove, deep soul and club classic boxes, but maybe they all had more important vinyl festivals to go to.
At least Durham was there; well me, big bro, our mate Fen and my old rock mate Tony, who spread his wings to blues, soul, reggae and Jazz; and of course our much better halves.
If the soul people don't want him, the country and western people will have him. I keep having stabs at C & W and, while I don't think I'm allergic, they seem to need a name like Womack to come up with anything great. When I go to see Marty Stuart at Sage Gateshead in October, I promise not to sing I'm a C & W man, though I may wear an inappropriate T shirt.
By now our fearless editor will no doubt be pulling out hair in chunks, so about the concert.
Again, without checking, I think it was a slightly smaller band and certainly the real live Hammond organ was a miss. At nearly eighty, the quality of Bell’s voice is quite extraordinary, and without simply surrendering to the grain like some of his contemporaries; and he has fantastic microphone technique.
Standouts are inevitably the duet Private Number and blues classic Born Under a Bad Sign, but I also love the deep soul ballads, down to the bare bones of his voice, and this is what separates artists like Bell from singers like Ray Charles, Solomon Burke, Otis Redding and Wilson Pickett. While they have the grain covered, people like Bell are loaded with pain, but it's an optimistic, joyous jouissance that comes from gospel.
Knowing the set gave me an opportunity for a comfort/ bar break during a medley of Stand By me and Cupid that follows Trying to Love Two, another high pointbut an unexpected encore of one of Otis Redding’s better hits worked surprisingly well, even though I'd far rather listen to William Bell (and he presumably prefers to be alive than have a media myth based on a premature death), and unsurprisingly it went down a storm.
Artists like William Bell don't always make the news so we don't always know about them, but there can't be many of these giants left walking the earth, while cartoon repeats continue to dominate the waves.
Steve T.

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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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