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Bebop Spoken There

Nate Smith: "Record labels, booking agents, management, still can't imagine the drummer as bandleader" - (DownBeat January 2019).

Today Saturday December 15

Afternoon

Newcastle University Jazz Orchestra - Hatton Gallery, King's Road, Newcastle University NE1 7RU. Tel: 0191 277 8877. 12 noon. Free.

Jazz Attack - Sage Gateshead, St Mary's Square, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead NE8 2JR. Tel: 0191 443 4661. 2:50pm. Young Musicians Live! YMP Winter Festival. Concourse, free.

Jambone + Folkestra - Sage Gateshead, St Mary's Square, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead NE8 2JR. Tel: 0191 443 4661. 4:00pm. Young Musicians Live! YMP Winter Festival. Sage Two, free but ticketed.

Evening

Strictly Smokin’ Big Band - Gosforth Civic Theatre, Regents Farm Road, Gosforth, Newcastle NE3 3HD. Tel: 0191 284 3700. 8:00pm. £12.00. + bf. Second night of two

Boys of Brass - George Washington Hotel, Stone Cellar Road, High Usworth, Washington NE37 1PH. Tel: 0191 402 9988. 7:00pm. Xmas party night.

Big Band Theory - Traveller's Rest, West Auckland Road, Darlington DL3 9ER. Tel: 01325 468177. 6:30pm. £5.00.

Phil Davids & the Good Times Band - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9:00pm. Free.

Horace Silverman & the White Gardenias - The Corner House, Heaton, Newcastle NE6 5RP. Tel: 0191 265 9602. 7:30pm. £7.50.

Baghdaddies - Cobalt Studios, Boyd St., Newcastle NE2 1AP. 8:30pm. £12.00. + £1.38. bf.

Strictly Speakeasy - St Mary’s Heritage Centre, Oakwellgate, Gateshead NE8 2AU. Tel: 0191 433 4699. 7:00pm. £20.00. Lindy jazz ‘Snow Ball.

Cozyjo - Washington Arts Centre, Biddick Lane, Washington NE38 8AB. Tel: 0191 561 3455. 7:00pm. £6.00. (£4.00. concs.). City of Sunderland Youth Jazz Orchestra (Cozyjo) Christmas Cracker.

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

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Preview: Glenn Miller Orchestra (UK) @ Sage Gateshead - Monday Dec 17

(Preview by Russell)
Today (Saturday 15) marks seventy-four years to the day since Glenn Miller disappeared over the English Channel. Several uncorroborated sightings of the legendary AAF bandleader down the local chip shop aside, no one has clapped eyes on the all-American icon until now...

At Sage Gateshead on Monday (Dec 17) the Miller orchestra will revisit the days when a night spent in the local air-raid shelter was a communal bonding exercise and a banana was considered a luxury. Ah, those were the days! On parade on Monday - 19:30 hrs sharp! - will be Major Miller and his famous band. Of course, the role of Glenn Miller will be played by Ray McVay. His band on duty in Gateshead comprises fearless troupers (troopers?), the sort who've seen action in the trenches of many a provincial theatre as well as occasional sorties abroad. 

Friday, December 14, 2018

Archipelago and Guests @ Bridge Hotel - Dec. 9

Christian Alderson (drums  & percussion); Faye MacCalman (sax & clarinet); John Pope (bass guitar)  + Fran Bundey  (iPads and  TC Helicon VoiceLive Touch); Lisette Auton (poet, spoken word artist).
(Review & photos by Ken Drew).  

One year ago, Jazz North East's end-of-year performance comprised two bands - ARTICLE XI and FAVOURITE ANIMALS for an end of year blast. This year's final blast of the year was 'Archipelago + Guests' hotfoot from their mini-residencies as part of their 'Between Waves' project where the trio worked with a different guest for each of their four performances at Cobalt Studios in October. Tonight, they were reunited with two of their guests to perform some of that work and to launch a digital EP of their ‘Between Waves’ collaboration.

Birthday Party @ The Black Swan w. the Mo Scott Band.

Mo Scott (vocals); Gary Dunn (guitar); Neil Harland (bass guitar); Lloyd Howell (drums) + John Wilson (guitar).
(Review by Lance).

It was a fun night which is what birthday bashes should be. Sylvia, tonight's birthday girl, her partner and Black Swan owner Mike, put on a shindig that did her proud and was much appreciated by their assembled friends.

Music was provided by the Mo Scott Band and the northeast's number one blues mama was in good voice. This wasn't an arts venue in Newcastle, for one night only, it was a cellar blues bar in Chicago.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Christmas Party Night @ Dormans Jazz Club Middlesbrough - Dec.6

(Review by Ron H)
The Middlesbrough Jazz and Blues Orchestra, a 20+ piece band led by Kevin Eland, held their Christmas party at Dormans Club playing to an enthusiastic capacity audience drawn from all age groups.

The band started the night with a great arrangement of St Louis Blues, giving the audience a taste of what was in store. This was followed by Sugar Valley with a nice intro from Dave Archbold on keyboards.

Let’s Take it Nice and Easy sang Django followed by a nice and easy big band arrangement of Winter Wonderland.

Vicki Jackson sang a rousing version of Route 66 with fine solos from Dave on keys, Dave Bell on sax and Neil Brodie on trumpet. Further numbers included Chameleon, Lonely St. Cute, featuring Shaun, and Miles of Milestones.

Jam Session @ The Dun Cow, Jesmond - Dec. 12

Mark Williams (guitar); Andy Champion (bass); Russ Morgan (drums) + Matthew Fairhurst (drums); John Rowlands (tenor sax); Ray Burns (accordion); David Olatunji (trumpet); Jordan Alfonso (alto).
(Review by Lance).
A relatively low key evening with audience numbers low and sitters-in sitting out - apart from the select few.

A comfortable start by the exquisite trio of Williams, Champion and Morgan. It Could Happen to You; Jobim's If You Never Come to me and a belting The Song is You. Mark Williams must have been transmitting some sonic signals during his dextrous dash through the changes of this latter tune as, during the course of a F#m7(b5) inversion, some Christmas decorations descended from above and had a member of the audience down for an 8 count. As the earlier song said - It could happen to you!

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

CD Review: The Gil Evans Orchestra - Hidden Treasures Volume 1, Monday Nights

(Review by David Brownlow).

Every now and again a CD emerges which causes one to react and take a deep breath – this is such a moment – the first release of new music from the Gil Evans Orchestra in over forty years, albeit without the maestro himself at the helm! This is a project by Gil’s sons, Miles and Noah, to produce a trilogy of CDs, of which this is the first, featuring different eras of Gil’s music recreating compositions originally played by the famous ‘Monday Night At The Sweet Basil, Greenwich Village’ during the ‘80s and ‘90s.

There are five compositions by various members of the group and two from Gil himself; the musicians involved are a nucleus of the original regulars plus a whole host of impressive players from the current scene like Gary Smulyan and Jon Faddis. From this amalgam, a magnificent orchestra has emerged where the discipline is much tighter, exuberance is high, the music is astonishing in places and is a wonderful tribute to the man who over several decades influenced much of today’s cool, modal, free and fusion genres.

Jam Session @ The Black Swan - Dec. 11

Paul Grainger (bass); Steve Glendinning (guitar); Russ Morgan (drums) + Neville Hartley (trombone); James Cuxson, M.G. Smith (guitars); Ray Burns (harmonica/vocals); John Pope (bass); Patrick Freyne (drums); Faye Thompson (alto sax).
(Review by Lance).

Whilst this may not have been one of those 'never to be forgotten nights' there was, nevertheless, still much to enjoy from the offerings on display - not least Ron's homemade mince pies!

The house trio for the evening hit the deck with Stella By Starlight; All Blues and Have You Met Miss Jones? Steve Glendinning in good form setting the standard for the guitarists waiting in the wings.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Gigs/CDs of the Year coming shortly...

It's that time of year again when we ask you to send your favourite gigs and CDs of 2018.
Look forward to your lists. Either add them as a comment or email me.
Lance.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Jazz North’s northern line

(Press release)
Since its launch in 2013, Jazz North’s northern line has supported 67 jazz artists and ensembles from across the north with over 700 gigs. This month, applications open for Round Seven of the scheme giving more artists the chance to develop their profession.

RIP BMus @ Sage Gateshead.

Paul Edis has reminded me that tomorrow, and Wednesday, there are performances by (very sadly) the final ever cohort of the BMus students at Sage, Gateshead.

The BMus course has been around, Paul reminds me, since before he was born, and many of the musicians featured on BSH were schooled by Birkett/Sinclair/Richardson or have some connection to it. 

As well as jazz, over the next two days, there are all sorts of musical interests and disciplines on display reflecting the diversity of the students. Also, in amongst the student bands, there are cameos from Paul Grainger, Bradley Johnston and Thomas Dixon amongst others... 

CD Review: Emma Fisk's Hot Club du Nord - Hot Club du Nord

Emma Fisk (violin); James Birkett (guitar); Dave Harris (guitar); Bruce Rollo (double bass)
(Review by Russell).
Hot Club du Nord hit the ground running. Emma Fisk and Dave Harris worked together in Djangology and James Birkett and Bruce Rollo were well-versed in the Hot Club idiom. In a matter of weeks, the quartet began to play to full houses in jazz clubs and theatres. Hot Club du Nord is the band's recently released debut CD and already it's selling like hot cakes.

Preview: Indigo Jazz Voices – Dec. 13 @ The Globe

Jen Errington; Carrie McCullock; Jenny Lingham; Miriam McCormick; Barry KeatingsDavid Edgar (all individual vocals); Alan Law (piano); Paul Grainger (bass); Rob Walker (drums)

Get yourself along to hear these talented singers next Thursday (December 13). They’ll be accompanied by the stellar trio listed above. Lucky singers – I’d give away an arm or a leg to sing with this trio (only joking, I think!) There are some Christmas songs such as Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas and Winter Wonderland and standards such as Unforgettable and No Moon At All.
And you also get nibbles to eat, including mince pies and chocolate truffles. Yumm!

It all starts a 7.30pm and admission is £5, a bargain.
Be there!

Ann Alex

House of the Black Gardenia @ Hoochie Coochie - Dec. 9

(Review by Lance).
Hoochie was heaving. The Lindys were hopping and the Shaggers* were er dancing. The sound system belted out gems from Basie, Ella, Frank, Billie and Der Bingle. Had I died and gone to heaven? No, this was just the pre-nuptials before the House of the Black Gardenia eventually hit the stage.

The Mooche got the live show underway and it soon became apparent that we were in for a treat. Newcomer Tham slotted in effortlessly as anyone who'd heard him at the jam sessions around town already knew he would. Robinson, a black gardenia in his lapel, impressed on liquorice stick as he also did, during the course of the evening, on various saxophones. Michael Lamb proved he can blow swing style as well as he blows bebop and Showtime was, well, Showtime. Add a stomping rhythm section to die for plus the effervescence on the dancefloor and it was little surprise that, to coin a phrase, the joint was jumpin'! 

Sunday, December 09, 2018

Time Change at Hoochie.

The previously advertised time for today's gig at Hoochie by The House of the Black Gardenia is now doors at 6pm indicating a much later start to accommodate the band's soundcheck and the advertised 10pm finish.
It's still free and still the place to be!
Lance.

Saturday, December 08, 2018

JB's Cats @ Sage Gateshead - Dec 8

Bradley Johnston (MD); Lucien Guest (trumpet, flugelhorn); Nathan Lawson (guitar); Tom Henery (guitar); Alex Shipsey (bass guitar); Gemma Watson (drums)
(Review by Russell)

As the saying goes: When the boss is away the cats will play...or something like that. JB, that's James Birkett, was elsewhere fulfilling a long-standing concert engagement so Bradley Johnston stepped in to keep an eye on things. 

JB's Cats comprises members of Sage Gateshead's Centre for Advanced Training. This evening's short concert set consisted of five numbers performed by an accomplished teenage quintet. One or two of the cats are veterans - sixth formers! - of prestigious jazz festivals and high-quality jam sessions, the others no slouches when it comes to playing jazz. 

CD Review: Various Artists - Jazz City UK (Volume 1).

(Review by Lance).
Whilst few albums this year (or any other year within recent memory) will match JCUK Volume 2: The Jam Sessions, this compilation runs it close. A choice selection from some of the Big Bear label's back catalogue, it serves its purpose well inasmuch as you will be wanting some, if not all, of the source material.

Thus we have tracks from the following albums: Bruce Adams (One Foot in the Gutter); Bruce Adams/Alan Barnes Quintet (Side-Steppin' & Let's Face the Music); Alan Barnes All Stars (The Marbella Jazz Suite); Lady Sings the Blues (Laughing at Life); King Pleasure & the Biscuit Boys (Live at Last & Hey Puerto Rico); Nomy Rosenberg Trio (Nomy Rosenberg Trio); Tipitina (I Wish I Was in New Orleans & Taking Care of Business) and The Whiskey Brothers (Bottle Up & Go).

The above listing is semi-alphabetical and not in order of merit.

King Bees @ Billy Bootleggers - Dec 7

Michael Littlefield (guitar, vocals); Scott Taylor (vocals, harmonica); Dominic Hornsby (piano, guitar, vocals); Simon Hedley (double bass); Giles Holt (drums)
(Review by Russell)

Half an hour before the nine o'clock start the joint was jumpin'. Moonshine ordered by the bucket load, you'd be forgiven for thinking prohibition was about to come into force at midnight. 

The opening bars to Got My Mojo Working brought the packed house on to the dance floor then, after one chorus, the band called time. Billy Bootleggers went wild, deafening applause, hootin' and a-hollerin'...this had been King Bees' last-minute soundcheck!

Friday, December 07, 2018

Super Sunday's Dilemma

Sunday has more goodies on offer than you're ever likely to find under any Christmas tree.
Impossible to mention them all - they're listed above - and to even select one is to do an injustice to the others (I have, I hasten to add, no vested interest in any of the gigs) so, when I say I'm looking forward to the Hoochie Coochie gig by the House of the Black Gardenia it's simply because I just love this band and the atmosphere they create which is truly amazing. However, if the BGs weren't in town, I'd be down the road to Bishop Auckland to catch Steve Waterman with Durham Alumni Big Band. 
Fortunately, because of the advertised 18:00 HCT any athletic/fast-walking/motorised fan may well be able to catch at least one gig either side of the Hoochie Hoot.
Lance.

Zoë Gilby Quartet @ The Lit & Phil - Dec 7

Zoë Gilby (vocals); Mark Williams (guitar); Andy Champion (double bass); Russ Morgan(drums)
(Review by Russell)

A cold but dry Friday afternoon with Christmas just around the corner didn't deter the Lit and Phil's regulars from turning out for their monthly lunchtime jazz fix. 

An unforgiving parking meter (time up at one minute past two for one of the musicians) necessitated a prompt one o'clock start. From Take Five to Caravan, vocalist Gilby presented an entertaining hour of standards, left field popular numbers and a swinging take on Monk's Think of One.  

RIP Peter Boizot.

Anyone who has visited a Pizza Express jazz venue owes a debt of gratitude to Peter Boizot who died on Wednesday, December 5, aged 89.
A lover of Italian food and jazz he managed to combine the two, particularly at his Dean St., Soho, restaurant where many jazz names from both home and abroad appeared. He literally 'put his money where his mouth was'!
I have fond memories of Dean St having heard, among others, Lee Konitz, Scott Hamilton and Barry Harris whilst enjoying a house pizza washed down with a bottle (or two) of Peroni.
I have even fonder memories of the Holborn Pizza Express...
Let's raise a glass to his memory and the food and the music which lives on.
Rest In Peace.
Lance.

Thursday, December 06, 2018

Update on the 2019 Mike Durham's International Classic Jazz Party.

The Alka Seltzers and the 40 cups of black coffee had only just completed their medicinal therapy when the news of the 2019 jazz orgy aka Mike Durham's Classic Jazz Party broke.

Fortunately, the survivors of this year's bash have close on 11 months and a bit to get in training for next year's classic jazz extravaganza to be held, once again, at the Village Hotel over the weekend of November 1-3.  I'm sorry Mr. Fawkes (Guy, not Wally) but we're letting our fireworks off a few days before yours.

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

CD Review: Burak Bedikyan - New Beginning

Burak Bedikyan (piano); Jay Anderson (bass); Adam Nussbaum (drums).
(Review by Lance).

It's five years since I reviewed Burak Bedikyan's Circle of Life. I was impressed by the young (35 is young to me) Turkish pianist. Since then, he's moved to New York, picked up a couple of A-list sidemen and produced an album of impressive originals plus one standard - Stella By Starlight (every jazzman must have a recording of Stella on his CV, it's a rite of passage!) Bedikyan, however, gives the lady a workout in 3/4 time. Needless to say, he does her proud as he does the originals.

NUJO Small Combo @ The Hatton Gallery, Newcastle University - Dec 5

Matt Green (alto sax); Tom Alcorn (trumpet); Tom McDonald (trombone); James Cuxson (guitar); Jack Deere-Jones (bass guitar); Archie Williamson (drums)
(Review by Russell)

Exploding Collage is a series of three exhibitions inspired by Kurt Schwitters' Merzbarn*. Three contemporary artists are currently exploring the twentieth-century avant-garde response to the collage art form. Today's musical happenings in the Hatton Gallery were, supposedly, an attempt to create an immersive, improvised response to the gallery's artworks.  

Let's forget the premise and get to the jazz. The lunchtime concert began a little late...they are students, you know! The six-piece combo, drawn from the ranks of Newcastle University Jazz Orchestra, was about to get things underway when its MD, guitarist James Cuxson, went in search of an amp. The ready-to-go quintet decided to play Autumn Leaves

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

CD Review: Julian Haugland - Julian Haugland

Julian Haugland (bass); Seamus Blake (tenor sax); Bjorn Vidor Solli (guitar); Jon Wikan (drums).
(Review by Lance).

I've got no background info on this untitled, other than the name of the leader, CD although Google did direct me to his Facebook page so I'm semi 'winging' this one!

Not that it needs much 'winging'. Seamus Blake is a well-established London/New York tenor player and he blows my kind of tenor. Solli on guitar impresses as did his musical ancestors - Kessel, Ellis and Farlow. 

Monday, December 03, 2018

Classic Swing @ the Block & Tackle, Ashington - December 3

Bob Wade (trumpet/flugelhorn): Jim McBriarty (tenor sax/clarinet/vocals); Don Fairley (trombone); Colin Haikney (piano); Alan Rudd (bass); Ian Hetherington (drums); Olive Rudd (vocals) + Gordon Solomon (trombone).
(Review by Lance).

After a long and tedious X22 bus journey Jim McBriarty seemed to be commiserating with travellers when he sang Sent For You Yesterday (and here you come today). 

Fortunately, despite the devious route, it was all worthwhile. Ashington Jazz Club's new venue looks good and the room was packed, all enjoying the music and the free buffet. Whether the buffet is a one-off or a regular feature, only time will tell. What's for sure is that if you like your music north of Bourbon St. and south of 52nd St. then this isn't a bad place to be.

The band live up to their name of Classic Swing - they could have the dead lindy-hopping in their graves.

Royal Northern College of Music plays Frank Zappa: Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance @ Union, Metropolitan University, Manchester, Nov. 30

(Review by Steve T)

Five tickets left at the start of the week but I had to wait until Wednesday to find out if I could drive. Worth the risk? Worth spending four times longer in the car than the time the band were on the stage? Hell yes!

A medley from the Make a Jazz Noise Here album, though it goes back even further, to the Ahead of Their Time album recorded in ‘68, and the whole bunch of them are cross-fertilising rock with classical music, infused in a baroque style and the whole thing underpinned with a jazz sensibility.

The segue from Oh No to Son of Orange County (on Weazels Ripped my Flesh and  Ahead) is one of the most resounding tension resolutions in the whole of Zappa, but loses something on this version where the latter is taken at a syncopated, almost novelty pace. Furthermore, this version of the medley leads into a jingly jangly, country and western(ish) style version of  Lumpy Gravy, which plays to the view of Zappa as a comedy, novelty act.*

Headhunters @ Sage Gateshead - December 2

Donald Harrison (alto/vocal); Bill Summers (perc/vocal); Jerry Z (keys); Mike Clark (drums).
(Review by Lance/photos courtesy of Russell).

I'm going to use that well-known cop-out - a Curates Egg. There were many highs and no lows but, there were also a few in-betweens that verged on the boring.

The highs, and they were very high indeed, included Harrison's alto solos which were as good as, if not even better, than when I first heard him with Blakey's Jazz Messengers a thousand years ago (actually about 30 years ago!). A spiky player to rate alongside anyone you care to mention.

Mike Clark is a phenomenal drummer. However, these days, it seems as though just about every drummer from the grassroots upwards has an amazing technique so why does Clark stand above the rest? Feeling, the ability to listen and to drop his bombs on target and not in the middle of the ocean.

Sunday, December 02, 2018

Jambone @ St James' & St Basil's Church, Newcastle - Dec 1

(Review by Russell)

A Jambone concert is always worth getting along to. It's a chance to gauge the development of the band and spot potential star performers of tomorrow. The weather had been rather unkind all day yet a good number made the effort to support Sage Gateshead's youth jazz orchestra.

Seven pieces were in the programme; five compositions by Jambone's MD Paul Edis and the MD's arrangements of two well-known tunes. Edis' Sunny Blues - a world premiere, said Edis - introduced a number of soloists to the J's & B's audience; Jack Pearce, alto sax, Ferg Kilsby, trumpet, Sue Ferris*, baritone sax, Graham Hardy*, trumpet, and drummer Maeve Thorpe. 

The World is Never Still thought Edis, so, he wrote a tune about the matter. Vocalist Emily McDermott led off (think Norma Winstone) closely followed by Zak Parlby's tenor solo, flautist Megan Robinson (a senior member of the orchestra these days!) and fearless young trumpeter Ferg Kilsby. 

Saturday, December 01, 2018

More vin (extra) ordinaire - Hot Club du Nord @ St Augustine's Parish Centre, Darlington - Dec 1

Emma Fisk (violin); James Birkett (guitar); Dave Harris (guitar); Bruce Rollo (double bass) 
(Review by Russell)

A rain-lashed Darlington didn't dissuade a full house from turning out for Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club's year-ending concert promotion. 

Honeysuckle Rose for starters. The first solo of the day conjured by James Birkett won applause and that set the pattern for Hot Club du Nord's lunchtime performance at St Augustine's - one stellar solo after another from Dr Birkett, co-six stringer Dave Harris, bassist Bruce Rollo and, of course, bandleader, Emma Fisk. 

Oriental ShuffleBellevilleNuages, familiar numbers but never less than expertly played, this the expected standard of one of the hottest - Hot Club or otherwise - bands on the circuit. 

Hot Club du Nord @ St. Cuthbert’s Parish Hall, Crook, - Nov. 30.

Emma Fisk (violin); James Birkett, Dave Harris  (guitars); Bruce Rollo (bass).
(Review/rhyme/pics by Jerry E).

Saint Cuthbert’s Hall was heaving,
Most of Crook was there.
Emma stepped in wearing blue suede shoes
And tossing her jet-black hair.

The opening tune was introduced
It was Honeysuckle Rose
James Birkett’s heels were tapping then
And so were Emma’s toes!

Preview: Headhunters Funk-Up Sage Gateshead

(Preview by Russell/Photos of Harrison & Clark courtesy of Mochles Sa)

Tomorrow (Sunday) Sage Gateshead welcomes one of the enduring jazz funk outfits on the planet. In the mid-seventies, Headhunters' original line-up, which included Herbie Hancock and Bennie Maupin, played a sold-out concert at Newcastle City Hall and it would be a long wait until the band returned to the city. That belated return came within the last year. 

CD Review: Laura Dickinson - Auld Lang Syne

Laura Dickinson (vocals/arrangements) + big band including Steve Trapani (bass trombone); Kye Palmer (trumpet); Andrew Synowiec (guitar) with other arrangements by James A. Mcmillen, Johnny Mandel, Brent Fischer, Larry Blank, Bill Liston, Alan Steinberger, Andrew Synowiec.
(Review by Lance)

Normally, Ann Alex would have been delegated for this Yuletide offering but Ann's already had one seasonal album so, as I don't think this is Russell's glass of mulled wine, I'll decide for myself as to whether it's a turkey or not.

Firstly, I do like Christmas, despite the false bonhomie and the dreadful sweaters, it's a time when you can get drunk without being treat as a social outcast and eat as much as you like without counting the calories. And, of course, there are the CDs such as this one...

Friday, November 30, 2018

New Spring Season of Jazz Announced @ Sage Gateshead

(Press release)
A Spring season of top acts and emerging artists from the jazz, soul and funk world has been announced by Sage Gateshead today.

The Comet is Coming, Booker T. Jones and Ronnie Scott’s All Stars are among the highlights for Spring 2019.

Sage Gateshead’s New Year New Artist Festival in January will showcase some exciting, new generation artists including Vels Trio and the math rock and electronic sounds of Slow Loris and Purple Shirt. April 1 will see the first North East visit for Mercury Prize nominated, cosmic-psychedelic jazz trio The Comet is Coming. And in May the pioneering Gondwana records label (home to GoGo Penguin and Portico Quartet) celebrates 10 years with a special one-nighter featuring first visits by Mammal Hands, Matthew Halsall & The Gondwana Orchestra, Noya Rayo and more.

Best of the November CDs & Gigs










Gigs of the Month.

1=Alison Rayner Quintet @ The Globe (22)
1=Mick Shoulder Quintet @ Blaydon Jazz Club (18)
3=Alan Glen Trio @ The Globe (15)
3=The Manfreds w. Georgie Fame @ Sage Gateshead (28)
5: Kansas Smitty's House Band @ Sage Gateshead (9)

CDS of the Month.
1: Jazz City UK Vol. 2 - The Jam Sessions.
2: Christopher Hollyday - Telepathy.
3: Mike Durham's Classic Jazz Party - Pleasure Mad.
4=Peter Lin - With Respect.
4=Helen Kay - Moon Palace.

As always, these are my personal preferences so, let's have yours.
Lance.
PS: Not forgetting my Book of the Month: Maxine Gordon - Sophisticated Giant. 

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Bradley Johnston Trio w. Keith Robinson @ King's Hall, Newcastle University - Nov 29

Bradley Johnston (guitar); Paul Grainger (double bass); Russ Morgan (drums); Keith Robinson (tenor sax, clarinet)
(Review by Russell)

In My Life began this afternoon's King's Hall concert. Bradley Johnston's arrangement for solo guitar of the Lennon and McCartney song took as its inspiration Pat Metheny's recordings for solo guitar. The Wearside based guitarist, forging a career as a gigging musician and tutor, switched between one of three guitars during a set of fifty minutes and more. Assisting BJ were regular collaborators Paul Grainger, bass, and drummer Russ Morgan, alongside the welcome figure of Keith Robinson playing tenor sax and, on one number, clarinet.

The remainder of the programme comprised no fewer than seven of Johnston's compositions. For Joe unsurprisingly paid homage to the great Joe Pass (many years ago the American memorably gave a solo recital at the Gosforth Park Hotel). BJ knows his Joe Pass...Ella, Oscar et al and this blues in G surely had the great man applauding from up there in the jazz club in the sky. 

Jam session @ The Dun Cow - Nov 28

(Review by Russell)

Not one but two singing pianists, two guitarists, two bass players (yes, for once Mr PG got the opportunity to go to the bar!), four drummers (two of them Archies), a tenor player, a chromatic harmonica player and a partridge...oops, wrong story, and a chart-topping soul singer - just yer average jam session down at the Dun Cow.

The house trio got things underway with Paul Edis singing I'm Old Fashioned. Don't know about that, but Dr Edis is one hell of an old school (ie great) piano player. Time After TimeAll the Things You Are - the latter featuring Edis' stupendous piano playing - two-handed stuff, Bach-like things going on etc. Quite some start.

The Manfreds and Georgie Fame @ Sage Gateshead - Nov. 28

Paul Jones (vocals/harmonica); Mike D'Abo (keys/vocals); Tom McGuinness (guitar/vocals); Mike Hugg (piano/vocals/perc.); Marcus Cliffe (bass guitar/vocals); Rob Townsend (drums/vocals); Simon Currie (tenor sax/soprano sax/flute/vocals) + GEORGIE FAME (keys/vocals).
(Review by Lance).

I'd already seen Georgie Fame twice this year but those gigs were at the GIJF in the same hall and at Ronnie Scott's. Both sessions were with the Guy Barker Big Band so I assumed that last night, with the Manfreds, would be poppier and less jazzier.

Well, yes and no. Yes, he did concentrate more on his "this reached number one in 1964" songs but the treatment was longer and no less jazz/blues influenced. The same could be said for the Manfreds who also rolled out the hits but blew the jazz on the solos.

"It's 1962 and we're at the Marquee Club in London" proclaimed the voice from the unlit stage. Then the lights came on and the voice was that of Paul Jones who, with his fellow Manfreds, immediately launched into Smokestack Lightning. He sang the blues, wailed on harp before giving space to Currie, Hogg and McGuinness.

Book review: Guy Littler-Jones - Tal Farlow

(Review by Frank Griffith)
Bedford based guitarist Guy Littler-Jones' biography of innovative jazz guitarist Tal Farlow was first self-published in 2007. It can currently be accessed on www.lulu.com and boasts a plentiful array of discographical and musical/technical information that will delight and benefit any guitarist, regardless of level or stylistic proclivity.

Littler-Jones discusses the guitarist's life and music from his early years, through his mid-career when he was most noted for his lightning speed of execution, and into his later years when his playing, although still highly complex, entered a more lyrical phase.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

EFG London Jazz Festival: Antonio Sànchez @ The Jazz Café, Camden - Nov. 21

More from Camden cameraman Mochles Sa. This time it's shots of drummer Antonio Sànchez at London's Jazz Café as part of our capital city's EFG Jazz Festival. Mochles tells me the lighting was so ridiculous that he was unable to get any decent shots of the rest of the band.

Being a man who lets his camera do the talking his only observations were that Sànchez made a political speech against President Trump and spoke of the global crisis of migrants in Europe and USA as well as the reaction of politicians to the poverty of these countries. 
Lance
Mochles Sa PHOTOS.

Eliot Smith Dance: Triple Bill @ Sage Gateshead - Nov 27

(Review by Russell)

Bebop Spoken Here is up for most things and an evening of contemporary dance at Sage Gateshead held few fears. The main attraction for this jazz blog was the world premiere of Jason Holcomb's commissioned piece titled Sacrification for choreographer Eliot Smith's Poppy

The five-strong troupe - two female dancers and three male dancers including Smith - took to the stage in a darkened Sage Two daubed in the filth and mud of WWI trenches. Barefoot, the Eliot Smith dancers moved across a poppy-strewn field/stage as the first notes of Jason Holcomb's trombone rang out across the auditorium. Dressed in black and fitted with a radio mic, Holcomb moved around the hall, first one side then another, continuing to play as he exited one door, reappearing seconds later on an upper level, all the while the on-stage dancers reacting to the trombonist's composition. 

Terence Blanchard Feat. The E-Collective @ the Jazz Café, London - Nov. 11

Our roving photographer Mochles Sa sent us some stunning shots of trumpet player Terence Blanchard at the Jazz Café in Camden.

Mochles quoted the following words from the venue's website:
“Music and art have the power to change hearts and souls,” expresses composer and trumpeter Terence Blanchard — a belief brought to life through the music of Blanchard and his E-Collective.
This revolutionary ensemble thrives off the perfect mixture of Blanchard’s genius and the innovations of four young musical pioneers: guitarist Charles Altura, pianist Fabian Almazan, bassist David “DJ” Ginyard Jr., and drummer Oscar Seaton.

CD Review: Aimee Allen - Wings Uncaged

Aimee Allen (vocals); Francois Moutin (bass); Billy Test (piano, except track 10);
Kush Abadey (drums, except tracks 7, 9, 10, 11)
(Review by Ann Alex)

I knew I’d reviewed a CD from this fine singer before, as I remembered her biographical details. Ms Allen hails from Pittsburgh growing up in a musical household with a singing mother, guitarist brother, as well as playing flute and piano herself. After hearing all the classic jazz singers on the radio, she later sang in choirs and also professionally in duos. 
A member of the New York jazz community since 2002, recording her debut release in 2006, this, her fifth CD comprises 6 standards and 5 original songs.

Jam Session @ The Black Swan - Nov. 27

(Review by Lance).

James Birkett is rarely seen on the jam session circuit but, tonight, he was part of the house trio and much appreciated by a decent turnout despite the atrocious weather and a couple of competing events at Sage Gateshead and the Bridge Hotel. 

As always, on these occasions there were highs and lows but, whatever, all taken in good spirit by players and listeners alike.

Stu Finden toted a gleaming baritone sax to great effect on Stella by Starlight and Yardbird Suite whilst Mrs Finden sang You Go to my Head with Mr Finden helping out on double bass. A little more volume on the mic would have helped the vocal. No such problems for Niffi who worked out on Do Nothin' Till You Hear From me and Let's Call the Whole Thing Off.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Ruth Lambert Trio @ The Beaumont Hotel, Hexham - Nov 26

Ruth Lambert (vocals); Giles Strong (guitar); Paul Susans (double bass)
(Review by Russell)

It had been a while. Ruth Lambert recently returned to performing with the Customs House Big Band but this trio gig was a first opportunity to hear Ms Lambert in an intimate setting, up close, singing to an attentive audience. 

Taking a Chance on Love (comp. Vernon Duke) for starters. Sure enough, Lambert was as good as ever, singing gems from the Great American Songbook. No Moon at AllHere's That Rainy Day (the first of two Van Heusen/Burke numbers), What is This Thing Called Love? - Lambert the supreme interpreter of timeless material. What's more, Lambert's musical associates - Giles Strong and Paul Susans - offered impeccable support during the evening. 

Monday, November 26, 2018

CD Review: Pleasure Mad - Live recordings from Mike Durham's International Classic Jazz Party 2017

(Review by Lance)
Bebop most certainly wasn't spoken at the Classic Jazz Party 2017 (nor this year or any of the previous years either!) However, that doesn't mean that the music, despite its antiquity, isn't worth checking out. Good jazz, like good classical music, is timeless and the CJP is living proof of that.

Each year the party has (plus or minus) the same core of musicians from America, Europe, and the UK corralled into various themes by Keith Nichols and his team.

Sue Ferris Quintet @ Gala Theatre, Durham - Nov. 23

Sue Ferris (tenor sax/flute); Graham Hardy (trumpet/flugelhorn); Paul Edis (piano); Paul Susans (bass); Rob Walker (drums).
(Review by Brian Ebbatson - PHOTOS courtesy of Malcolm Sinclair.)


There’s something about Lunchtime Jazz that’s really taken off since Paul Edis started the lunchtime concerts at the Lit and Phil some five and a half years ago, followed later in the year by the Durham Gala series. Now you can virtually find one on almost every week, with Bishop Auckland Town Hall Jazz, organised by Mick Shoulder and Jazz at the Lubetkin in Peterlee started this year by Emma Fisk. Whilst the Lit & Phil is often packed out – even to the extent of some discomfort – the Gala concerts win out for audience numbers, with punters now having to book 2 – 3 months in advance. 

The Gala Studio has recently been partially refurbished with new lighting that gives all of the audience a good view of the musicians and makes for a much clubbier atmosphere. From the beginning the musicians have always commented on the good acoustics, as well as the good response their music elicits from the appreciative audiences. It’s just a shame that the Gala management won’t buy another 20 seats, so the Studio fills to its 120 capacity, and people who turn up on the day aren’t left waiting for returns or worse turned away.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

CD Review: Helena Kay's KIM Trio - Moon Palace.

Helena Kay (tenor sax); Ferg Ireland  (bass); David Ingamells (drums).
(Review by Lance).


With tonight's BBC Young Jazz Awards on BBC4 this seems to be an appropriate time to introduce a CD by another young award winner - Helena Kay.

Helena, Young Scottish Jazz Musician of the Year in 2015 and winner of the Peter Whittingham Award two years later, makes an impressive showing with this, her debut album.

That she chooses a trio format sans guitar or piano to meet the world could be seen as brave, foolhardy or a display of confidence in her ability to pull it off - rather like an aerialist tightrope walker attempting to cross the Thames on his/her first gig.

Tonight on BBC4

If you're staying in tonight then BBC4 is the place to be.
They're showing the final of the 2018 BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year competition that was held at the South Bank Centre as part of the EFG London Jazz Festival.

The five finalists for this year's award were Xhosa Cole (saxophone), Reuben Goldmark (piano), Fergus McCreadie (piano), James Owston (bass) and Seth Tackaberry (bass).
May the best musician win.
The programme goes out at 21:00 hours.
----- 
Earlier, at 20:00 hours, Soweto Kinch takes us on his own journey through jazz in London, New Orleans and New York.
The programme is repeated at 02:30 hours.
Lance.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Fund Raising Event

I'm informed there are still some tickets left for a fundraising event in aid of Marske Brass Band on Saturday the 8th December at Marske Leisure Centre. Three fabulous bands are performing on the night. They are Guisborough Big BandThe Rhythm Co and, the musicians of tomorrow, Marske Junior Band.  Tickets can be ordered from 01642 510233.
Lance

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About this blog - contact details.

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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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