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Bebop Spoken There

Jackie Paris: "A singer's got to be able to tell a story. Frank Sinatra and Nat Cole are best at that; Mel Tormé too. I like to take a lyric that means something and sing it right to the person it was meant for." - (DownBeat October 11, 1962).

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 Sunday September 15

Afternoon

Jazz

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

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Whitley Bay Classic Car Show, The Links, Whitley Bay NE26 1QQ. 11:00am. Free.

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

Musicians Unlimited - Park Inn, Park Road, Hartlepool TS26 9HU. Tel: 01429 233126. 1:00pm. Free.

Darlington Rhythm & Blues Festival - various town centre venues, see preview. 12:30-10:15pm. Free.

Alice Grace & Pav Jedrzejewski - Bonbar, Fenkle Street, Newcastle NE1 5XU.Tel: 0191 232 8695. 1:30pm.

Earl Grey Saxophones: At the Movies - Maltings Theatre & Cinema, Eastern Lane, Berwick TD15 1AJ. Tel: 01289 330999. 2:00pm. £12.00. Featuring members of the Borders Big Band.

Hot Club du Nord - BAAFest 2019, Brownrigg Lodges, Bellingham NE48 2HR. Tel: 01434 220646 (ticket office). Afternoon tickets: £15.00. (adult), £7.50. (child 12-17), free (under 12s). 3:00pm.

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

Somethin' Blue Trio - The Pennyweight, Bakehouse Hill, Darlington DL1 5QA. Tel: 01325 468411. 5:00-7:00pm. Free.

Blues/Funk/Soul

Beefy La Slap Trio - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 3:00pm. Free.

Evening

Jazz

East Coast Jazz Jam - The Exchange, Howard Street, North Shields NE30 1SE. Tel: 0191 258 4111. 6:00pm. Free.

Bruce Adams with Paul Edis Trio - Black Bull, Bridge St., Blaydon NE21 4JJ. Tel: 0191 414 2846. 7:30pm. £10.00. Blaydon Jazz Club’s 35th anniversary gig!

Debra Milne & Steve Glendinning - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE$ 7AD. 8:00pm (doors 7:30pm). £6.00. (£3.00. student).

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

Monday, March 19, 2018

Book review: Peter Jones: This Is Hip - The Life of Mark Murphy.

"This book needed to be written for a number of reasons, the first being that Mark Murphy deserves greater recognition than he achieved in his lifetime. He mastered the art of jazz singing to an extraordinary degree, taking it to levels appreciated only by those few who knew about him and understood what he was doing."
So reads the opening paragraph by his biographer Peter Jones.
Jones is an established singer himself with several highly rated albums to his name and, no slouch with the pen either making him the ideal person to write this study of the enigmatic Murphy.
Murphy is credited with around 40 albums. Each one looked at with varying degrees of scrutiny by Jones.

Despite his admiration for the singer, Jones eschews the use of rose-coloured glasses giving his opinions as he sees and hears them. Which is how it should be.
In between, or rather intermingled with, the music we learn much about Murphy's early days, his attempts to 'make it as a singer (those attempts often foiled by his own uncompromising mission to do it 'his way'). His big love affair and the grief that followed the early death of his partner. After this tragedy, he found, in Sheila Jordan*, a tower of strength whose friendship helped him through the darkest days. 
I wasn't expecting it to be but this was a totally unputdownable book. In fact, the few times when I did put it down, apart from eating and sleeping, was to seek out and listen to a particular track singled out by the author. This led me to listen again to Rah, released by Riverside in 1961, which is according to Jones, a favourite with his fans which makes me a fan too. It's a great album.
It was actually 1985 when I became an out and out fan which was when I heard him  for the one and only time live. This was at one of the popular Newcastle jazz venues of the time - the Corner House in Heaton.
It was also where I met Whitley Bay resident Norbert Warner who published a fanzine, Mark's Time, which ran for almost 20 years and only ceased publication when Murphy and Warner fell out. This too is covered in This is Hip.
The sadness of his last years are painful to read and yet, in November 2012, he was able to record a vinyl EP for Gearbox: A Beautiful Friendship - Remembering Shirley Horn. Debra M reviewed the album in 2013 and waxed eloquent: 
This is an outstanding tribute, capturing the essence of Shirley Horn, and an absolute masterclass of vocal and piano trio.
Mark Murphy died on October 21, 2015, aged 83. It is wonderful that his memory lives on, not just with his music but with this, written from the heart, biography which also has a comprehensive, session by session, discography.
Lance
Peter Jones: This Is Hip - The Life of Mark Murphy. Equinox Publishing Ltd. ISBN 978-1-78179-473-9. © Peter Jones.
* Sheila Jordan appears at this year's Gateshead International Jazz Festival April 6-8.

1 comment :

Derek Lambert said...

Mark was playing Greys Club, Newcastle in the mid 70’s, he came to stay with me over a weekend. A quite strange person till you got to kniw him. My young children were unsure about him at first but then decided he must be an American gangster.....
I watched him on stage for a week solid and enjoyed every minute.

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