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Bebop Spoken There

Lew Shaw (Syncopated Times' columnist): "My interest [at 95] is in classic jazz. The numbers aren't what they were 40 years ago, but I'm encouraged by the number of young musicians playing that style and the young audiences they attract." - (The Syncopated Times January 2021)

The Things They Say!

Hudson Music: Lance's "Bebop Spoken Here" is one of the heaviest and most influential jazz blogs in the UK.

Rupert Burley (Dynamic Agency): "BSH just goes from strength to strength".


12,369 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 88 of them this year alone and, so far, 88 this month (Jan. 18).

Tuesday January 19


Monday, July 16, 2018

Summer Streets Festival @ Tall Ships, Sunderland - July 14

(Review by Russell).
For one year only, Sunderland's Summer Streets Festival relocated from Southwick to Seaburn Recreation Park. The little matter of the Tall Ships setting sail from the Wear during the afternoon to race across the North Sea to Scandinavia influenced the thinking of the organisers, it was, quite simply, too good an opportunity to turn down. 

All week perfect weather greeted an estimated one million plus visitors to Wearside and Saturday afternoon's entertainment in Seaburn Recreation Park saw a large crowd basking in soaring temperatures. Three stages, several smaller tented facilities, numerous portaloos, food and drink concessions...visitors could be forgiven for thinking Seaburn was like this all the time! 
The big attraction for jazz fans was an appearance by the Shake 'Em Up Jazz Band from New Orleans. An all-female six piece street brass band allocated a mere twenty-five minutes to show what the Crescent City had to offer, the Shake 'Em Up hit the ground running with Savoy Blues. The front line - Marla Dixon, trumpet and vocals, Chloe Feoranzo, clarinet and vocals, and trombonist Haruka Kikuchi - punched out solos as if to say 'this is who we are'! Say 'Si Si' with ex-pat Canadian Dixon taking a vocal, things were going well and the trumpeter's revelation that her grandfather came from Sunderland scored extra Brownie points! Feoranzo sang Sugar Blues, playing some tasty clarinet into the bargain and, with time against them, guitarist Molly Reeves sang On Coconut Island accompanied by Defne ' Dizzy' Incirlioglu's rock steady washboard rhythm and string bass player Julie Schexnayder. An excellent set, the Shake 'Em Up Jazz Band can be heard across County Durham in the coming days as part of this year's Durham Brass Festival.  

Opposite the Main Stage (lots of deck chairs!) on stage 2 were three familiar figures. Riff sounded equally familiar, these were the Archipelago guys - Faye MacCalman, tenor sax, John Pope, double bass, and drummer Christian Alderson. A Don Cherry tune then it was time to return to a Main Stage deck chair to catch Smoove and Turrell. Touring their new album Mount Pleasant the six-piece funksters - favourites at Hoochie Coochie - drew a huge crowd as the first of the Tall Ships made their way out into open water. Killer riffs from 2007's I Can't Give You Up to the new single Mr Hyde, S&T - John Turrell, vocals, Smoove, percussion, vocals, Lloyd Wright, guitar, vocals, Mike Porter, organ, keyboards, Tim McVicar, bass, and Lloyd Croft, drums - had 'em up dancing from the off. 

Summer Streets Festival is nothing if not varied. From Smoove and Turrell to the Royal Northern Sinfonia! The stage 2 crowd couldn't have been more attentive listening to the region's renowned chamber orchestra. Kyra Humphreys, violin, led the casual, shirt sleeve order musicians in a programme of Elgar, Holst, Peter Warlock (Capriol Suite) and JS Bach's Air on a G String.  

Before your correspondent departed the scene there was time to catch Big Red and the Grinners. A local legend is Big Red. Think Appalachian hillbilly, big red beard, that's Big Red! The Grinners, as with the main man, dressed to impress in dinner jackets. Wait a minute...shouldn't the RNS have been in evening wear? Oh, well, go with it! Big Red was at pains to credit Granpappy Red for writing so many great songs and, without seeking financial reward, giving these gems to other bands, tunes that have been heard by millions, perhaps billions, around the world - Word Up! (Cameo), Walk This Way (Run DMC), Pump Up the Jam (Technotronic), Country Roads (John Denver), yes, Granpappy Red was a generous soul. Of course, it was all a load of hogwash, but what hogwash! And make no mistake, these guys can play - guitar (and banjo), accordion, string bass and drums. Great entertainment, Big Red and the Grinners gig around the area, go see 'em. Yeeehaaaw!, as Big Red is fond of saying.          

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