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Bebop Spoken There

Bill Reglein (JJ Babbitt m/pieces): "We made this mouthpiece for Eddie Harris. He played tenor sax and trumpet. He played in some pretty rough bars. The story goes that he was afraid he'd get in a fight and get his teeth knocked out. He figured that if even that happened he could still play tenor. So, the request came in, 'Can I get a reed mouthpiece for my trumpet?' the company made exactly one." - (DownBeat October 2019).

Archive

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 Saturday September 21

Afternoon

Jazz

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

Solitude - St John's Church, Grainger St., Newcastle NE1 5JG. 11:00am & 2:00pm. Free. Gabriele Heller’s audio play (40mins).

Jeff Barnhart’s Silent Film Festival: Reel 2 - St Augustine's Parish Centre, Larchfield Street, Darlington DL3 7TG. 12:30pm. £10.00. (under 16s free). Barnhart’s piano accompaniment to classic silent films.

Vieux Carré Jazzmen: River Tyne Jazz Cruise - Quayside, Newcastle NE1 3DX. Departing 1:00pm (boarding from 12:30pm) from o/s Pitcher & Piano, returning 4:00pm. Tickets: £25.00. (info 0191 252 9429/07710 528413). On board buffet & Tyne Bank Brewery bar.

Evening

Ronnie Scott's All Stars - Middlesbrough Theatre, The Avenue, Middlesbrough TS5 6SA. Tel: 01642 815181. 8:00pm. £22.50. (inc bf). Ronnie Scott's Story: 60th Anniversary Concert.

Nikki Iles, Karen Sharp & Friends - Queen's Hall Library, Queen's Hall Arts Centre, Beaumont Street, Hexham NE46 3LS. Tel: 01434 652477. 9:30pm. £15.00. A Hexham Abbey Festival of Music & Arts event.

Blues/Funk/Soul

Bullfrog Blues Band - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9:00pm. Free.

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

Thursday, February 08, 2018

RIP Bill Brooks.

During my recent hospital stay I received the following sad news from Gordon Solomon:

Just a bit of sad news. Bill Brooks passed away last night (February 2). I can only describe Bill as a Gentleman of Jazz, he never spoke ill of anyone, regardless of the situation he found himself in. He was a fine bass player and possessed that much sought after quality - the ability to swing. He was also a good guitar player, indeed he started playing jazz as a guitarist before switching to bass when he was offered the position with the Vieux Carre Jazzmen in 1961. He joined the River City band in 1978 and played with them until a few years ago when his increasing problems with dementia forced him to retire. Bill spent his last years in a nursing home. He was a good friend and will be sadly missed.
Gordon.
True words, Gordon, Bill was indeed a fine fellow and an excellent bassist. In the photo, he is playing at the Breda Jazz Festival in Holland circa 1980/1.
Sadly missed by all who knew him.
The funeral is on Tuesday, February 20 at Mountsett Crematorium, Dipton, nr. Stanley.

5 comments :

Brian Bennett said...

It hadn't occurred to me before, but it's true that Bill "never spoke ill of anyone". Also, I can't recall him ever using a profanity. Noble qualities which few of us live up to. Bill Brooks - a great guy and a terrific string bass player - it was a privilege to know him and play alongside him. RIP.

Anonymous said...

Very sad to hear of the passing of Bill Brooks. A real gent and a very fine player of the double bass. R.I.P
Raymond Newton Double Bass player

Steve Andrews said...

I was very sorry to hear of Bill's death. He and I played together in different bands - mostly the Vieux Carre - right through the '70's. He was a cheerful, funny man, and a great bass-player for that time, especially after he took lessons from Albert Collins to improve his (self-taught?) technique. I got to know him quite well when we both played in a rather good "hybrid" band called the Gateway/Panama Jazzband in 1974/75, in Hexham at the Beaumont Hotel and other gigs from Haltwhistle to Carlisle (including a memorable night with George Chisholm, who turned out to be a superb pianist!). Gordon Solomon was on trombone and Joe McMullon on Cornet - I took over the gig from Stan Martin - with Micky Potts on piano and Albert Holliday on drums. Bill had an Escort van, full of his work gear, and the neck of his bass used to come through the middle of the two front seats. One night, coming back from Carlisle or somewhere, on the military road just coming down the hill towards Chollerford, Bill fell asleep at the wheel, just before a corner. I shouted and he frantically turned left and hit the brakes and the neck of the bass shot sideways and forwards straight through the steering wheel so he couldn't steer the van! Thank God we stopped before hitting anything or going off the road. He stayed awake after that! He was a fully qualified explosives expert, too - but that's another story........

Anonymous said...

Sad to hear of Bill's passing. He was a lovely person who was a solid bass player with great time and drive. Rhythm sections with Bill on bass were always very good rhythm sections. As has been mentioned he was a great guitar enthusiast, very keen on Django style playing. He told me too about his work at the pit (I think Greenside) where he had responsibility for the use of explosives.
Roly

CCJAZZMEN said...

I was so sad to hear the news about Bill, great musician and a lovely person, an saw Bill & Dad many times at the Corner House and with various bands over the years. The big surprise for me was when Bill and I think his sister, Heather ?? came out to Hong Kong to see me at Ned Kelly's back in 2004. What a surprise and such a wonderful memory to hold. RIP.

Colin Aitchison
Hong Kong


Blog Archive

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.

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