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Bebop Spoken There

Dave Newton: "Somebody once said, 'If you're going to steal, steal from the best'. That's what I try to do." - (Jazz Rag, Winter 2018).

Monday December 10

Jazz in the Afternoon - Cullercoats Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 4QS. Tel: 0191 253 0242. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

Dean Stockdale Trio – Beaumont Hotel, Beaumont St., Hexham NE45 3LT. 01434 602331. 7pm-9pm.

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Gibside, nr Rowlands Gill, Burnopfield NE16 6BG, Tel: 01207 514827. 7:00pm. ‘Jazzy Christmas Songs & Carols in the Chapel’.

Chris Farlowe and the Norman Beaker Band + Teresa Watson Band - Newcastle Labour Club, Leazes Park Road, Newcastle NE1 4PF. Tel: 0191 261 8646. Doors 7:45pm. £22.00. (£17.00. adv.).

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

Monday, April 30, 2018

April Love


CDs of the Month.
Paul Moran - Smokin' B3 Volume 2 (6/4/18).
Jungsu Choi Tiny Orkester - Tschuss Jazz Era (29/4/18).
Daryl Sherman - Lost in a Crowded Place (27/4/18).

Gigs of the Month.
GIJF Day 3 (8/4/18)
Sheila Jordan w. Pete Churchill.
House of the Black Gardenia.
Georgie Fame w. Guy Barker Big Band. 
----- 
International Jazz Day @ The Globe (30/4/18).
Lance.

Preview: Crossings: Newcastle Poetry Festival @ Sage Gateshead - May 4

This Sage Gateshead event in Sage Two on Thursday evening promises to be a fascinating cross-cultural, interdisciplinary experience for a broad, open-minded audience. Presented by Newcastle University, this double bill of flamenco and poetry and the British new wave duo Binker and Moses joining forces with Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Tyehimba Jess, will come into its own in the intimate surroundings of the three-tiered hall.

Preview: The Remi Harris Trio @ The Jazz Café - Wednesday May 2

(Preview by Russell)
This Wednesday (May 2nd) there is a long overdue appearance on Tyneside by the astonishingly talented guitarist Remi Harris. Largely self-taught, Worcestershire based Harris is just about at the halfway point of a lengthy tour of Britain and Ireland. The ‘Gypsy jazz’ or ‘Hot Club’ label is all too easy to append to Harris but there is more to him than that. Harris is indeed a fine exponent of all things ‘Hot Club’ and he’s got the ‘been there, done that’ t-shirt from Samois sur Seine. Countless concerts throughout Britain, a spot at the Montreal Jazz Festival, a long haul trip to Australia, CDs, radio and television appearances, Remi Harris has an impressive CV, all this before turning thirty!

Roly Veitch and the Paul Edis Trio @ St Cuthberts Church Hall, Crook, April 27.

Roly Veitch (guitar, vocal), Paul Edis (piano, flute, clarinet, vocal), Andy Champion (double bass), Adam Sinclair (drums).
(Review by Steve T/Photo courtesy of Paul Edis)
Three cuts in, Master Eales asked if I was reviewing it and I responded that somebody would have to. 
Astonishingly, this was the first time I've ever seen Roly Veitch, who I've been aware of since I arrived on the North East Jazz Scene a few years back. It's no secret that I normally like Jazz guitarists to rock it up, but there was no suggestion of that here, and I wasn't at all disappointed. He's a fine player: clean, uncluttered, little flash, plenty of space and totally unselfish; with musicians of this calibre, why would you be?!

Sunday, April 29, 2018

CD Review: Jungsu Choi Tiny Orkester - Tschuss Jazz Era

Jungsu Choi (vocals (2) composer/arranger); Eunmi Kim (flute); MinkYu Cha (alto); Sungil Bae (tenor); Yejung Kim (trumpet); Junyeon Lee (trombone); Sehwa Kang (cello); Sungyun Hong (guitar); Jungmin Lee (piano); Joseph Han (bass); Hyunsu Lee (drums) + Jinho Pyo, Sehyun Baik (vocals)
(Review by Lance)
Jungsu Choi: “In whatever direction jazz might develop, I am ready to welcome the new jazz, bye-bye jazz era! My music is meant to free jazz from jazz, without any labels
Michael Gibbs: “Wow! This is top-class, modern big band jazz, with solidly and very well made, unique arrangements – energetic, orchestral, demanding, skilfully written…Jungsu Choi’s music introduces us to his fascinating feel and his talent. ”

The Jazz Repertory Company: 'Midnight in Mayfair' @ Cadogan Hall, London - April 28

I already knew this was going to be a superb concert from the lineup of musicians, many of whom are regulars at the Whitley Bay Classic Jazz Party. Musical Director Keith Nichols and company did not disappoint. A grand total of 26 songs and two encores celebrating the best of British popular music from the 1920s and 1930s. 

Of particular note was an outstanding rendition of Breakaway, showcasing the full might of Jack Hylton’s Orchestra in 1929, a gorgeous trumpet solo by Enrico Tomasso with Georgia on my Mind, and a wonderful transcription of Jack Payne’s classic, Choo Choo. In between, the walking anecdote book that is Keith Nichols kept us entertained with various stories about the bandleaders and these beautifully melodic songs from years gone by. 

I consider myself a lucky man to have heard so many of these obscure numbers played so well. A true delight. 
Jonathan Holmes

Preview: Darlington Jazz Festival 2018: Bringing Jazz to the Town Centre

(Preview by Russell)
The northeast of England is fortunate in having several first-class jazz festivals during the year; Chester le Street, Gateshead, Darlington, Durham, Ushaw, Newcastle, Whitley Bay and at least one other, as yet, unannounced event in the autumn. This week it’s the turn of Darlington to take centre stage. Festival organisers proudly proclaim: Bringing Jazz to the Town Centre. And that is exactly what they do at this friendliest of jazz festivals.

The 2018 Darlington Jazz Festival is in its eighth year, growing at a sustainable rate year on year. The big names are in town but it is the local aspect that makes the Darlington event what it is. As important as established performers are in attracting people to Darlington, the promotion of local, talented musicians is central to the festival’s ethos or raison d’etre, call it what you will. Arriving at any one of the festival’s numerous town centre venues you will, likely as not, be greeted by young, smiling volunteers. And what’s more, there is every chance that you’ll see these young faces again somewhere in town performing at the festival!

Swing Bridge @ The Globe Jazz Bar, Newcastle - April 28

Dan Martin (piano); Dave Parker (bass); Peter Ninnim (drums).
(Review by Lance).
What’s in a name? Last week, at The Globe, we had a band called Tedulca – a name which did nothing to attract as it gave no indication what they were about. As it turned out, they were brilliant but only those who were curious enough found out.
Last night’s band, Swing Bridge was more obviously named - music that swung combined with local colour by appropriating the name of one of the crossings of the River Tyne. The fact that that bridge only swings open 3 or 4 times a week could also have acted as a deterrent.  Fortunately, I’m pleased to say, this trio swings out more frequently.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

CD Review: Shake Stew - Rise and Rise Again

(Review by Russell)
Rise and Rise Again is the second album by Austrian band Shake Stew. Comprising of six tracks with a total running time of just shy of forty-three minutes, bandleader Lukas Kranzelbinder wrote all of the music heard on this Traumton label release. The unusual instrumentation of three horns, two bass players and two drummers produces a distinctive, frequently overwhelming sound. The opening track – Dancing in the Cage of a Soul – goes for the jugular with its insistent percussive rhythmic pulse. Saxophonists Clemens Salesny and Johannes Schleiermacher join the noisy fray until ceding to a two-drum coda.

CD Review: Dave Manington’s Riff Raff - Challenger Deep

Brigitte Beraha (vocals); Tomas Challenger (tenor saxophone); Ivo Neame (Fender Rhodes, mellotron, Hammond organ); Rob Updegraff (guitar); Dave Manington (double bass); Tim Giles (drums, percussion)
(Review by Russell)
Challenger Deep is Dave Manington’s third album as a bandleader and the second from his Riff Raff sextet. The line-up has remained remarkably stable and perhaps this is a key element in the consistently high-quality music heard on this Loop Collective album. All six musicians are busy in other bands, touring and recording yet make time to sustain Riff Raff’s creative momentum.

The Jazz Ambassadors - Film on BBC4

Next Friday, May 4, at 9pm BBC4 is showing The Jazz Ambassadors, a film describing how America sent jazz musicians to Africa and Asia as a cultural tool in the Cold War. Check out Sebastian Scotney’s interview with director Hugo Berkeley on LondonJazzNews.
Lance.
PS: Over to you Mr. Trump.

Friday, April 27, 2018

CD Review: Erin McDougald - Outside the Soiree

Erin McDougald (Voice & Bandleader), Dave Liebman (soprano & tenor sax), Tom Harrell (trumpet & flugelhorn), Mark Sherman (vibes/perc), Rodney Green (drums), Chembo Corniel (perc), Rob Block (piano and guitar), Dan Block (alto, flute & clarinet), Cliff Schmitt (bass)
(Review by Dave Brownlow.)
A refreshing album from vocalist/leader Erin McDougald who drew her material from a wide range of sources, arranging eleven of the thirteen songs with accompanist Rob Block, and leading an accomplished small band featuring two more well-known soloists, Tom Harrell and Dave Liebman . Erin is highly thought-of in the music business and has drawn praise from many shrewd critics including the late Verve Records producer/arranger Buddy Bregman who states “Erin has a very deep soulful connection to the songs she chooses. Her pitch and phrasing are superb and she has something about her – she has ‘it’.”

SSBB back to business @ The Millstone - April 26

(Review by Russell). 
Following Sunday’s fantastic Alice in Wonderland gig at Hoochie Coochie it was back to business at the Millstone. The Strictly Smokin’ Big Band’s monthly public rehearsal night took its usual form of running through a few charts (playing one of them twice) and, during a short interval, running to the bar to refill a glass. Three deps in and one short in the trumpet section, it was definitely a case of back to business.

Not Just a Date (comp Ole Frimer) sang Alice Grace with a rare baritone saxophone solo by Laurie Rangecroft, and our superstar vocalist, heard to great effect this evening (the PA, for once, helping not hindering the band’s vocalists), stayed on her feet to sing Jeepers Creepers accompanied by a fired-up Graham Don. Mr D had forgotten his sustain pedal and his sterling efforts impressed fellow bandmates…praise indeed!

F’reez was in the building. Back from wherever our man got down to business singing two numbers either side of an instrumental arrangement of Beautiful Love…take one. Being a rehearsal night the idea of a second take isn’t that unusual. This first run through featured the trombone of Mark Ferris. F’reez’s second number – Oasis’ Wonderwall – closed the first set. Many big bands play the chart-topping number and the SSBB isn’t any different.

BSH Interviews Jo Harrop

Bebop Spoken Here tries to keep an eye on – or should that be an ear to – the London jazz scene. You seem to juggle several projects – Alex Webb’s Copasetics, your Peggy Lee show and singing Anita O’Day to name but three. Does any one gig take priority or do you love all of them? 

Each project is very different & so I love them all because each has different material to explore and different lineups to work with – having a project is a good canvas to work from, as you can build a story around it and give it direction which makes it interesting for the audience too.

Alex Webb is frequently involved with the various projects you’re involved in. Having seen his Café Society Swing, unfortunately not with you in it, I’ve always been impressed by his attention to detail – this must be something you’ve witnessed at close quarters?

CD Review: Daryl Sherman - Lost in a Crowded Place

Daryl Sherman (piano/vocal); Jon-Erik Kellso (trumpet); Don Vappie (guitar, banjo, vocal duet on You Go To My Head); Jesse Boyd (bass); Boots Malleson (bass on Rainbow Hill).
(Review by Lance).
Readers may be forgiven for thinking this is Daryl Sherman Week on BSH. Well, maybe it is!
This is a delightful album displaying Daryl's distinctive, often winsome, voice bringing to mind Shirley Horn and Blossom Dearie without actually sounding like either.
The absence of a drummer gives it an intimate feel, almost as if it was taking place in your living room. Kellso’s lyricism recalls Bobby Hackett which adds to the ambiance whilst bass and guitar blend in perfectly with the piano.
And the songs! What a selection:

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Tales of the Unexpected: Dun Cow Jam Session - April 25

Whitney Balliett famously called jazz The Sound of Surprise which indeed it often is and not just by the music but also by the unexpected appearance of a jazz legend in a neighbourhood club or bar.
Back in the 1960s, members of the Basie Band paid an unexpected visit to Newcastle’s, now long gone, Downbeat Club after a City Hall concert and jammed with the Emcee Five. Harry Connick Jr. sat in at the old Jazz Café and, on another occasion, Wynton Marsalis called in.
Eric Delaney visited Rosie’s and the New Crown in South Shields and sat in (on snare drum) at the Porthole in North Shields. George Wein was impressed by what he heard at Blaydon Jazz Club (Paul Edis Trio) and Sting made an unexpected visit to Hoochie Coochie just last year; an event that made the Nationals for all the wrong reasons!

A Triple Treat with the Paul Donnelly Trio @ Dormans Club Middlesbrough April 19.

 Paul Donnelly (guitar); Stuart Collingwood (keys/bass pedal); and Paul Smith (drums).
Continuing with the guest band nights at Dormans, a most successful session was held with the newly formed "Paul Donnelly Trio" playing to a full house. 
The three highly regarded musicians impressed the audience from the start with Monk's Straight No Chaser, followed by Work Song and the inimitable Paul Smith playing a fine solo. A mixed repertoire included This Masquerade, St.Thomas, Pat Metheny's James, Take Five, West Coast Blues with nice Wes style octave work from Paul and an interesting version of Leaving On a Jet Plane. On Jimmy Smith's The Cat Stuart played a great organ solo with fine bass pedal work. After several more numbers, the night was finished with Wes Montgomery's Jingles and an encore of Seven Come Eleven. It was satisfying to see such a good turn out which included many local musicians. 
Ron H.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Press Release: DJAZZ - The Durham City Jazz Festival

Various venues
Durham City
June 1st - 3rd
Tickets: £10 available from buytickets.at/djazz

A festival is bringing together an eclectic mix of musicians and ensembles to challenge perceptions and blur the lines of jazz as we know it!
DJAZZ - The Durham City Jazz Festival started in 2017 to celebrates the genre in all of its forms. After attracting more than 2000 people in its first year with a mix of ticketed and free events the festival returns to excite, intrigue and entertain in equal measure.

The festival brings a fresh perspective to the world of jazz, celebrating it’s vast and varied nature. The focus is to bring together a number of different musical styles, groups, networks and audiences in the small but perfectly formed city of Durham. At only £10 for a full weekend ticket, festival-goers gain access to over 30 events ranging from intimate sets in hidden locations to big names in big venues! Think cafes, bookshops and barber shops to bars, venues and stunning historic buildings. This not only has the effect of pairing up acts with a unique environment but is part of the festival’s ambition to reach new audiences and get music lovers to try something new!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Bob Dorough (Dec. 12, 1923 - April 23, 2018)

I came to Bob Dorough some way behind the pack. In fact, it was only when I received a review copy of Eulalia back in 2014 that I realised he was more than just (just!) the composer of Devil May Care and other songs. Listening again to Eulalia I'm impressed by the quality of his quirky lyrics and tunes. Not the world's greatest singer but I don't think anyone else could sing them like he did. Dave Frishberg? Maybe, begging the chicken and the egg question...
As Bob Dorough was 94 when he passed away yesterday (April 23) I think the question is answered. Digging into Frishberg's autobiography*, he sums Bob Dorough up thus: 

CD Review: Karen Lane - Passarim

Karen Lane (vocals); Andrea Trillo (drums, vocals tracks 7,10); Rob Luft (guitar); Steve Watts (bass); Graham Harvey (piano, Rhodes); Gareth Lockrane (flutes); also Aneselmo Netto (perc tracks 2,6,7); Ricardo Dos Santos (bass tracks 5,12); Saskia Horton (violin track 5); Simon McCorry (cello track 5)
(Review by Ann Alex)
By happy coincidence, I was in a Latin Jazz mood when reviewing this CD, brought on by watching the excellent documentary film about The Buena Vista Social Club (Friday evening television), with its lively street scenes of Cuba, biographies of the musicians, and of course the music itself. This CD features the music of Brazil, different country you say, but still with the Latin rhythms and songs of love shot through with images of sea, sand, trees and flowers.  

CD Review: Andrew Gould - First Things First

Andrew Gould (alto/soprano/FX pedals); Steven Feifke (piano); Marco Panascia (bass); Jake Goldras (drums) + Scott Wendholt (trumpet on 2 tracks); Ioana Vintu (vocals on 1 track).
(Review by Lance).
Such is the mountain of CDs awaiting review that it is no longer feasible for me to listen to even one track off each. Instead, I play a few bars of the opening track and if it doesn't grab me right away it is shuffled down to the bottom of the pile where it will spend the rest of its days weeping and yearning for what might have been. I realise that by doing it this way I probably miss a few gems but, by the same token, nobody is going to put their least impressive track first so I probably, subjectively, don't miss much.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Alice in (Hoochie Coochie) Wonderland @ Hoochie Coochie - April 22

 (Review by Russell)
On a beautiful spring Sunday afternoon they tumbled expectantly into the fantasy world of Hoochie Coochie to hear the story of Alice. Our adopted Geordie superstar would soon be singing her heart out to ecstatic applause. Proprietor WT had taken care of business - prime seats reserved for BSH right in front of the band. And what a band! The Strictly Smokin’ had departed the HC stage, sound check done. One figure sat alone studying the charts in front of him. Bassist Michael Whent wasn’t available on the day and depping for him was one N. Harland. Oh, that’ll do nicely!

Mad Hatters and March Hares, a Cheshire Cat, they were out in their glad rags drinking cocktails, a bottle of London Pride. At the appointed time MD Michael Lamb opened the pad at #16D – Ol’ Man River. Blistering, absolutely blistering, cue huge applause at this Hoochie Coochie Mad Hatter’s tea party. This the first tune of the first of three sets…Alice would soon be joining the party.

Teduloca @ The Globe - April 22

Sam Dunn (guitar); Nadim Teimoori (tenor); Martin Longhawn (organ); Tim Carter (drums).
(Review by Lance)
I wasn't sure what to expect. A youngish band, Leeds graduates, a boring evening of 'originals'? The name gave no clues, it could have meant anything. As it turned out, it was the first 2 letters of their surname stuck together.
Still, what's in a name? In for a penny, in for a pound, or to be more precise - £10.
It was worth it! Four excellent musicians laying down a groove that may have had its origins in hard-bop but was now in the 21st century.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Groove-a-matics @ The Magnesia Bank - April 21

Mick Cantwell (tenor saxophone, harmonica, vocals), Johnny Whitehill (guitar), Gordon Hall (keyboards); John Morgan (bass) & Barry Race (drums)
(Review by Russell) 
It was back in September 2012 that a blues band from the north east of England flew across the Atlantic to scoop the coveted ‘New Brunswick Battle of the Blues’ award. Then a four-piece, they returned home to continue to gig in pubs and clubs and at prestigious blues festivals. It’s what is expected of a blues band, fame and riches weren’t about to come their way, so Groove-a-matics kept on keepin’ on.
Last night at the Maggie Bank (Magnesia Bank) in North Shields, Groove-a-matics kept on keepin’ on. The now five-piece band – with the addition of keyboards – soundchecked to a loyal following, otherwise, the well-known Camden Street hostelry was very quiet. Bar staff said Saturdays, of late, had been unusually quiet. A ‘lively’ pint of Three Kings’ ‘Billy Mill’ (4%) brewed just along the road, seats were ‘take-your-pick’ with so few in as the best blues band around was ready to go.

Three Deaths - RIP Nathan, Stan and Maurice

Sadly, I overlooked these three deaths. Each one an iconic figure in their own way.
The links below will make you realise just why they were so highly thought of. Not just as musicians, but as human beings. May they all Rest In Peace, they were cornerstones of our music.
Lance.
Nathan Davis - American saxist and Jazz Educator - 81 (April 8).
Stan Reynolds - British trumpet player and bandleader - 92 (April14).
Maurice Reedus Jr. aka 'The Sax Man' - Legendary street performer in Cleveland, Ohio - 65 (April 16).

CD Review: McLenty Hunter Jr. - The Groove Hunter

(Review by Lance)
A well-titled album for  Hunter does indeed set down some good grooves on this post hard-bop disc. 
The drummer, who studied with the late Grady Tate and went on to earn his Masters at Julliard under Carl Allen, spent three years as a member of the Kenny Garrett Quintet as well as performing with such heavies as Lou Donaldson, Curtis Fuller, Javon Jackson and Eric Reed. 
Pianist Reed is on the album and plays magnificently. The opening track, Blue Chopsticks, composed by Herbie Nichols has Reed paying tribute to Nichols, who died of Leukemia in 1963. Like so many great artists in whatever field, Nichols' true status was only acknowledged after his death and even now, I don't think he's had a mention in the DownBeat Hall of Fame. On Reed's showing here, he [Reed] might get there first.
There's also some nice piano on 3 tracks by Sanders.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Emma Fisk/James Birkett Duo @ Gala Theatre, Durham - April 20. A 3000 word review!

At BSH we are fortunate in, not only having writers and reviewers with perception and insight, but also some ace photographers such as Ken Drew, Mike Tilley and Malcolm Sinclair. The latter snapper is responsible for these excellent shots of the Emma Fisk/James Birkett concert held yesterday at the Gala Theatre, Durham. Although the concert was sold out, no one has yet provided any words so, working on the premise that a picture paints a 1000 words, here are 3000 of them.
Lance.
PS: I read somewhere recently that, although the Gala's capacity is 120, they only provide seating for 100. My correspondent (I'm not sure who it was as I've lost the original message) suggested that, as the lunchtime sessions are invariably sold out, it would make financial sense for the theatre to buy another 20 chairs. Sounds a good idea to me!

CD Review: Fergus McCreadie Trio - Turas.

Fergus McCreadie (piano/compositions); David Bowden (bass); Stephen Henderson (drums).
(Review by Lance). 
Our reviewer from north of the border recently reported on a live gig by the Fergus McCreadie Trio at the Eyemouth Hippodrome and was very impressed as you will gather from Kay's review. Less than a week later, they were playing on the concourse at GIJF. Unfortunately, such is the nature of multi-stage festivals, I was committed elsewhere and missed what I'm sure was a very lively set.
This disc allows me to play catch-up as the material played at the gigs will, I'm sure, equate to what they play here on this, their debut album.

Friday, April 20, 2018

CD Review: Sundae + Mr Goessl - When You’re Smiling

Kate Voss (vocals, melodica, bells); Jason Goessl (guitars, chimes); Adrian Van Batenburg (drums, tracks 1 4 7 8 10 12 14); Sam Esecson (drums, perc, tracks 2 5) Robb Davidson, Jason Goessl (backup vocal track 12)
(Review by Ann Alex)
Although there are lots of jazzy characteristics, in a record store (remember them?) this CD would probably be in the rack marked ‘Easy Listening’ which is really what it is. 
Ms. Voss (aka Sundae) has a suggestion of Billie Holiday in her voice and she was actually voted Seattle Jazz Vocalist of the Year in 2017.
Despite this accolade, I found the jazz content to be quite low which begs the question as to what is jazz and what isn't? Particularly when it comes to singers.

Paul Edis Trio @ St James’ & St Basil’s - April 19

Paul Edis (piano); Andy Champion (double bass); Adam Sinclair (drums)
(Review & photo of hymn board by Russell/band photos courtesy of Jerry.) 
On a beautiful spring evening, St James’ and St Basil’s Church in the Newcastle suburb of Fenham presented the first in a new series of jazz concerts – ‘Jazz at J’s & B’s’ – featuring the brilliant Paul Edis Trio. The church recently acquired a superb Kawai piano and the concert series’ promoter did what anyone with ears would do…engage the services of pianist Paul Edis. This inaugural concert – let’s call it a ‘gig’ – attracted promising numbers; some familiar jazz gig-goers, some parishioners and perhaps one or two curious locals. The curious local and/or the non-jazz fan could be forgiven if they thought the church service hymn numbers attached to a stone pillar would form the basis of the evening’s proceedings (see photo)!     

The Strictly Smokin' Sessions @ The Jazz Café - April 19

Keith Robinson (tenor); Steve Summers (alto, baritone, clarinet); Jamie Toms (tenor, alto, flute); Matt Forster (bass clarinet); Michael Lamb (trumpet); Pete Tanton (trumpet, flugel); David Barnes (trombone); Graham Don (piano); Pawel Jedrzejewski (guitar); Michael Whent (bass guitar); Guy Swinton (drums); Alice Grace, F'reez (vocal).
(Review by Lance - photos courtesy of  Ken Drew).
Afterwards, Michael Lamb said to me, "That was different". Steve Summers said, "That was interesting". Two succinct comments that practically wrote the review for me. The above musicians, drawn from the 19 piece Strictly Smokin' Big Band, appeared in a variety of permutations to play various original compositions by Pete Tanton, Jamie Toms. Pawel Jedrzejewski - some worked better than others. Alice Grace and F'reez had but one number each and, sad to say, the balance didn't do either of them any favours.

CD Review: Sheila Jordan with The Brian Kellock Trio and The Tori String Quartet - Live In London

Sheila Jordan (vocals); Brian Kellock (piano); Calum Gourlay (bass); Stu Ritchie (drums)
Guillem Calvo (1st violin); Helena Massip ( 2nd violin); David Frankel (viola); Hannah Marshall (cello)
(Review by Ann Alex)
Here I am having this CD signed by Sheila Jordan at GIJF 2018. Sheila signed it ‘Love & Jazz, Keep Singing’, which I intend to do, let Lance and Russell pretend (?) to wince as much as they like. The CD is similar in many ways to the GIJF performance (with different instrumentalists), but listening to a CD is a different experience, with no distractions such as stage lights and so on. It was recorded live in 2010 at the Pizza Express Jazz Club, Soho, and issued again as a limited edition for GIJF 2018. Sheila’s amusing chat is included in an edited form.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Chicago Radio DJ Tunes in to South Shields

It's not often the Shields Gazette posts a photo of Duke Ellington and his Orchestra - in fact, the photo that appeared in Monday's edition may well have been the first picture of Duke in the 169 years of its existence! So what prompted this near full page spread? Well, Chicago based DJ and big band/jazz fan, Denny Farrell hosts a long-running late night radio show in the windy city - the sort of station where I could imagine a caller ringing up in the early hours and saying "Play Misty for me".
The Gazette connection came about via Farrell's friendship with the late Frank Wappat who was a well-known disc jockey on Radio Newcastle and was born in Hebburn. He died in 2014.
I've been listening to his [Denny Farrell] latest broadcast on LNCR and his taste is impeccable - Mary-Lou Williams, Dave Brubeck, Dinah Washington, Joe Pass, Duke and Rosie [Clooney], Art Tatum and Cozy Cole to mention but a few. All introduced by Farrell in his deep, resonant, bass voice - they don't come any cooler than this! 
Well worth bookmarking:
Lance

Community Hall New Orleans Band @ Springwell Village Community Venue - April 18

Mick Hill (trumpet, vocals); Liz Bacon (clarinet); Jim Blenkin (trombone, vocals); Ian Wynne (piano, vocals); Dave Rae (guitar, banjo, vocals); John Robinson (double bass); Paul Bacon (drums) + Mac Rae (trumpet, vocals) third set
(Review by Russell)
Recent Arctic weather has, unsurprisingly, affected audience numbers across the region. Resident bands have played to fewer listeners - Springwell Village Community Venue’s Wednesday evening session being one example of winter’s chill wind decimating numbers. Springwell’s Community Hall New Orleans Band, resident for many a year, in many guises – the Rae Brothers NOJB, then Dave Rae’s Levee Ramblers – kept on going, flying the Crescent City flag. The band’s perseverance was rewarded last night with a capacity audience there to welcome home local hero Ian Wynne.

Bass-less fears! The Gala Big Band @ The Gala Theatre, Durham – April 17

(Personnel to follow - maybe)
(Review by Jerry)
The annual big-bash for this estimable community band was late getting started – the bass guitar “had imploded” (?) just before curtain-up so the stressed guitarist rushed off home (?) to repair/replace the offending instrument. Problems for the MD who likened the bass in a band to the goalie in football – you hardly notice them when things are going well but when things go wrong you realise how important they are!
After a delay, and still bass-less, they launched into Strike Up the Band and Bye Bye Blackbird featuring a piano solo by Ben Lawrence. There were no own-goals conceded before the bassist appeared, stage left and panting, and order was almost restored in the rhythm section in time for Alex Kennedy to step up from the drums and give us the vocals on Almost Like Being in Love.

Julija Jacenaite & Alan Law at The Dun Cow, Jesmond - April 18

Julija Jacenaite (vocals/piano); Alan Law (piano) + George Sykes (tenor).
(Review by Lance).
I've heard Julija several times at jam sessions and never failed to be impressed. However, a couple of numbers at a jam is far removed from the responsibility of sustaining that momentum over a two-set gig and I was curious to see if she could cut it. 
Any doubts I may have had vanished with the opening bars of Misty - this, I told myself was going to be good and it was good - maybe as good as it gets except, as the night unfolded it got even better!
An original, Mood 3, The Girl From Ipanema, introduced in English, sung in Portuguese by a lady from Lithuania and much appreciated by a couple at my table who were from Norway!
Jazz - the international language.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

CD Review: Hailey Tuck - Junk

Hailey Tuck (vocals) + accompaniment.
(Review by Lance).
Those of us who saw Hailey Tuck with SSBB at Hoochie Coochie back in September 2016 will have fond memories of the bubbly, Parisian based, American singer and are sure to welcome this CD.
It's unmistakeably Hailey although it must be said that, in a blindfold test, the listener, unfamiliar with Ms Tuck, could be forgiven for thinking it was Madeleine Peyroux or Melody Gardot. Two singers, incidentally, that Hailey is quoted as saying that she loves.
Like so many singers, whether at local, national or international level, the repertoire here comprises mainly jazz influenced versions of contemporary pop songs which, let's face it was what Sinatra, Billie and Ella were singing in their early days. They did it well back then and Hailey does likewise here.

Preview: Jazz comes to Fenham!

Tomorrow evening (Thursday, April 19) a new series of jazz concerts begin at St James’ & St Basil’s Church in Fenham, Newcastle. The church recently acquired a new piano and it just so happens that one of Britain’s finest jazz pianists will be performing at the inaugural concert. As piano trios go, the line-up takes some beating…Paul Edis, piano, Andy Champion, double bass and drummer Adam Sinclair.

Expect to hear a classic jazz piano trio performance, one could say a ‘history of jazz piano’ with, perhaps, two or three original compositions by Dr Edis. Accompanying him on the gig are Andy Champion, (‘first call’ and ‘prodigious technique’ spring to mind), and Adam Sinclair, described once upon a time by Simon Spillett as the ‘sartorial’ Adam Sinclair (Adam was wearing a tie!).

Jazz Café Jam Session - April 17

Alan Law (piano); Paul Grainger (bass); Rob Walker (drums) + Paul Gowland (alto); Ben Richardson, Joel Brown (piano); John Pope (bass); Charlie Gordon (guitar); Matt Lack, John Bradford(drums); Kate O'Neill, Weiting Huang; James Shouten, Chloe Watson, ?? (vocals).
(Review by Lance)
Tonight's jam had a plethora of pianists, a drove of drummers, a swarm of singers, even a brace of bassists (a very rare occurrence ) but only a solitary saxophonist. Fortunately, the saxophonist was Paul Gowland who is worth ten men whether you want ten men or not - tonight we did. His Autumn in New York, Cottontail and Someday My Prince Will Come were simply superb.
Accompanied by young Joel Brown the pairing worked well (not forgetting the trojan work put in by Paul Grainger and Rob Walker's drum solo on Cottontail).

The Jazz Lads @ Saltburn Golf Club – April 8

Gus Smith (vocals); Richie Emmerson (tenor); Ian Bosworth (guitar); Jeremy McMurray (keys); Adrian Beadnell (bass); and Mark Hawkins (drums); + Steve Walker (trumpet); and Ashley Walker (bass).
After a year of monthly gigs at Saltburn Golf Club the Jazz Lads celebrated in style. With Gus Smith providing vocals, the night started with a lively version of There Will Never Be Another You and a beautiful rendition of Buddy Johnson's Since I Fell For You.
After a couple of instrumentals Sugar and Killer Joe, Steve Walker joined in along with Gus for When Sunny Gets Blue. Steve demonstrated what a fine horn player he is with a moving solo. The night continued with many numbers including In a Mellow Tone, I Can't Get Started, Take the A Train and finishing with Steve's son Ashley playing bass on Watermelon Man.
Saltburn Golf Club is an excellent venue, good acoustics and plenty of car parking.  It was a pleasure to be in the plush surroundings, listening to such fine musicians play to an enthusiastic audience which has built up over the year ensuring its continuation.

Ron H.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

CD Review: In Other Words - In Other Words

In Other Words: Alex Thompson (alto saxophone, clarinet); Nathan Lawson (guitar); Dylan Thompson (drums)
(Review by Russell) 
Twelve tracks, all of them more than familiar. The trio of Alex Thompson, reeds, Nathan Lawson, guitar, and Dylan Thompson, drums, will need little introduction to those who follow the Tyneside jazz scene. They’ve been gigging as a trio and in several other bands for a couple of years or so. In Other Words is the name of their band and in December of last year they spent a day at Blast Recording Studios in the Ouseburn, Newcastle laying down the tracks that make up this album.  

Miles Davis - A Great Life

This afternoon on Radio 4 at 4:30 Great Lives debates/celebrates the life of iconic trumpeter Miles Davis. In the long-running series talking heads make the case for the subject in question. Today’s guest Adrian Uttley of Radiohead states the case for Miles Davis’ life being a ‘great life’ and author and jazz fan Richard Williams (The Blue Moment: Miles Davis’s Kind of Blue and the Remaking of Modern Music) joins him to discuss the American’s career. The half-hour programme can be heard again on Friday evening at 11:00pm.
Russell      

Gavin Barras Quartet - The Family Tree @ The Jazz Cafe April 13

 Gavin Barras Bass, Jeff Guntren Sax, Jim Faulkner Guitar, Dave Walsh Drums.
(Review by Steve H)
It is not often that a non-performer steals the headlines at a jazz gig but I think that most people in the audience on Friday night would agree that the real star of the show was the double bass and its creator- band leader Gavin Barras’ father. The beautiful instrument had been lovingly built over a course of 15 years. Parts of it were even made from the eaves of Barras’s childhood home.  Still I guess Barras needed a new one as his previous instrument was over 200 years old. In honour to his father, family and double bass, the quartet’s latest album is called Family Tree. A selection from this album, along with some standards, provided the material for this highly enjoyable evening.

CD Review: Rino van Hooijdonk Quintette - The Bijlmer Sessions

Rino van Hooijdonk (guitar, bass track 16); Daniel Weltlinger (violin); Joanna Gardner (violin, viola); Nick Sansome (rhythm guitar) & Niels Tausk (bass, trumpet track 16)
(Review by Russell) 
The Bijlmer Sessions was recorded in the living room of two of the musicians on guitarist Rino van Hooijdonk’s new album. Furthermore, the quintet used an old school Grundig TK 120 Deluxe reel-to-reel tape machine to try to capture the warmth of the once common analogue recording process. ‘Gypsy’ or ‘Hot Club’ jazz are terms usually applied to van Hooijdonk’s material, not least because of his love of Django Reinhardt’s famed Hot Club sound. Six of the album’s seventeen tracks were written by Reinhardt, Duke Ellington’s Black and Tan Fantasy adds lustre, and the unusual pairing of violin and viola in the band’s instrumentation introduces an extra dimension to familiar Hot Club tunes. 

Monday, April 16, 2018

Another Cuban Crisis

Spring was in the air which means only one thing (I'm no longer a young man so my fancy doesn't turn to love or maybe it did in this case) - time to Spring clean.
Where to start? I know, I'll move my treasured collection of 78rpms to a different room. Guess what happens - you're probably ahead of me - one of the shelves gives way and all the items from Ambrose's Cotten Pickers Congregation to Billy May's Mayhem hits the deck. Mayhem indeed, or so I thought. Miraculously, all but one appear to have survived.

The Scottish National Jazz Orchestra (SNJO) directed by Tommy Smith Presents Kenny Wheeler’s ‘Sweet Sister Suite’ featuring soloists Laura Jurd (trumpet) and Irini Arabatzi (voice) And The Music of Mary Lou Williams featuring Brian Kellock (piano)

(Press release)
Jump into Spring with the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra and their special guests Laura Jurd, Irini Arabatzi and Brian Kellock for a celebration of jazz genius. Together they will explore a rarely performed work by master composer, the late Kenny Wheeler, and the repertoire of pianist, composer and arranger Mary Lou Williams.
Kenny Wheeler was a Canadian-born jazz trumpet player who became a stalwart of British modern jazz and who participated in many adventurous configurations as a leader, composer and sideman. He is especially remembered for his long association with Sir John Dankworth, and for a string of successful solo albums for ECM, which featured collaborations with Keith Jarrett, Mike Brecker and Jan Garbarek. He was also noted for iconoclastic projects such as the Spontaneous Music Ensemble, and the exploratory Azimuth with John Taylor and Norma Winstone and was still making wonderful music in his final years. His last album, Songs for Quintet was recorded in 2013 for ECM at the Abbey Road studios in London.

Giles Strong Quartet @ Blaydon Jazz Club - April 15












Giles Strong, Roly Veitch (guitars); Ian Paterson (double bass); Russ Morgan (drums)
(Review by Russell) 
This evening’s concert at the Black Bull on Bridge Street exemplified what Blaydon Jazz Club is all about…a select list of tunes drawn from the Great American Songbook performed impeccably to a discerning audience. Giles Strong and fellow guitarist Roly Veitch put their heads together to come up with a set list and invited bassist Ian Paterson and drummer Russ Morgan to join them to play a  few numbers for the love of it, and, if anyone should drop by to listen, so much the better.

And drop by they did. Familiar faces took their regular seats and, without fanfare, Giles Strong and friends began with Out of Nowhere (comp Johnny Green), each musician introducing themselves in solo spots. A simple format, if it ain’t broke…Alone Together (comp Arthur Schwartz, lyrics Howard Dietz) continued the formula with first Giles then Roly introducing a tune and taking the time to talk about the composer (and lyricist) in much the same way as Frank Sinatra did so fastidiously during a long career dedicated to singing the very best songs of the popular composers of the day. 

Preview: Indigo Jazz voices @ The Globe - April 19

All the members of Indigo Jazz Voices will be singing at the next performance this coming Thursday, April 19. The gig starts at 7.30pm, and is good value at £5 admission. You’ll hear Barry Keatings, Carrie McCullock, David Edgar, Jenny Lingham, Miriam McCormick and Jen Errington. There’ll be an interesting selection of songs, including Love me or Leave me, The Very Thought Of You, Embraceable You, I Only Have Eyes For You and the very appropriate April In Paris.
The songs will be accompanied by the trio of Alan Law (piano); Katy Trigger (bass guitar); and Nic Alevroyiannis on drums.  So get yourself along to the Globe – What’s not to like?
Ann Alex

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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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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.
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