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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 Friday December 14

Afternoon

Rendezvous Jazz - Monkseaton Arms, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. Tel: 0191 251 3928. 1:00pm. Free. Xmas party with Gavin Lee added to line-up.

Swing Manouche - Bishop Auckland Town Hall, Market Place, Bishop Auckland DL14 7NP. Tel: 03000 269 524. 1:00pm. £5.00.

Evening

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

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

Danny Reed - Customs House, Mill Dam, South Shields NE33 1ES. Tel: 0191 454 1234. 7:00pm. £19.95. Xmas swing with Danny Reed.

Classic Swing - Gateshead Fell Cricket Club, Eastwood Gardens, Low Fell NE9 5UB. Tel: 0191 420 0160. 8:00pm. £5.00.

Mike Sanchez & the Portions + Groove-a-matics - The Forum Music Centre, Borough Road, Darlington DL1 1SG. Tel: 01325 363135. 7:30pm. £18.00.

Will Howard Trio - Traveller’s Rest, West Auckland Road, Cockerton, Darlington DL3 9ER. Tel: 01642 468177. 8:30pm. £10.00.

Swamp Hoppers - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.

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

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Harry Greene Quartet @ Hexham Abbey Festival of Music and Arts 2018. Late Night Jazz – Sept. 29.

Harry Greene (tenor); Matt Carter (keys); Seth Tackaberry (bass); Joel Barford (Drums).
(Review by Hugh)
After last year’s inaugural Late Night Jazz session in the Great Hall featuring Nikki Iles and Stan Sulzmann, the question was, how to follow that up this year?  At the recommendation of Nikki Iles, the Harry Greene Quartet was invited.  These four fresh-faced college lads (all trained on the Jazz Course at The Royal Academy of Music) were smartly suited and booted for the occasion.  Harry Greene brought together a new quartet for what was to be their first gig – with a specially curated programme to celebrate the music and musicians of the Blue Note label - focussing on the output of the 1950s and 60s.

CD Review: In Common: Walter Smith lll & Matthew Stevens

Walter Smith lll (tenor); Matthew Stevens (guitar); Joel Ross (vibes); Harish Raghavan (bass); Marcus Gilmore (drums)
(Review by Lance).
Another Whirlwind winner. Subtle, cool and laid back, this bucks the trend for the frenetic, atonal (to be polite about it) offerings that sometimes land on the doormat. Walter Smith is one of the more restrained of the current crop of contemporary tenor players. His dry, yet not unemotional sound, brings to mind Warne Marsh. Gentle explorations executed without bravura but with no lack of technique.
In Matthew Stevens, Smith has the perfect running mate - it's no accident that they adopted the moniker In Common such is the empathy displayed

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Journeys: Zoe Gilby Quartet @ St. Cuthbert’s Parish Hall, Crook – Sept. 28

Zöe Gilby (vocals); Andy Champion (bass); Mark Williams (guitar); Richard Brown (drums).
(Review by Jerry).
Zöe Gilby, on the sleeve-notes of her latest CD (which I bought and which I would recommend), urges the listener to “enjoy the journey”. The same applies to her live gigs where, thanks to her eclectic tastes and her commendable reluctance to play safe, it is always destination unknown.
Journeys were a bit of a theme tonight with blues (Travellin’ and West Coast), nostalgia for Dublin, adventures - Byker to the Metropolis and, via Caravan, to Marrakesh (Red City) – before re-entering Crook.

Daniel Karlsson Trio @ Jazz Café, Newcastle - Sept. 28

Daniel Karlsson (keys); Christian Spering (bass); Fredrik Rundqvist (drums).
(Review by Lance/Photos courtesy of Ken Drew).
JNE and I don't always work the same side of the street, although BSH usually has one or more of the team in attendance - rather like the St. John's Ambulance Brigade at soccer matches. Tonight I was that team player and I feel very fortunate that I was!
The standing room only scenario suggested something special was going to happen and it did.
Not surprisingly, there was a Nordic air about the room and there were some Scandinavians in the audience as well as on stage.

An Ode to BSH by Ann Alex

Music goes where words can’t go
And jazz goes even further.
BSH goes everywhere
Nothing is a bother.

By car, cab or metro-train,
In lightning, thunder or in rain,
We’re the gig invaders
Our chariot, the 27 Crusader.

I’m told to go and hear a band
No matter what else I have planned
And if they’re bad I daren’t say
Bad is what’s meant when we say it’s okay.

A work in progress they can be
Which means they may get better
Or, in their own inimitable way,
Which means they won’t get better.

But if the band is up for the gig
Here in the northeast
I’ll write, ’of thee I dig’
And on the music I will feast.
-----

Friday, September 28, 2018

Strictly Smokin' Big Band @ The Millstone - September 27

(Review by Russell)
A final rehearsal session before the band's big day in Greater Manchester. It doesn't come much more prestigious than a Sunday lunchtime engagement at Wigan Jazz Club, a club renowned for its promotion of classic big band jazz. 

This Strictly Smokin' Millstone set was played as if in concert mode, a bit like a Premier League footballer training during the week at match day intensity. The first team, with the exception of a couple of absentees (Alice Grace was on the treatment table), ripped through several of the numbers that will hit Wigan. 

Hong Kong Calling...

Colin, our man in Hong Kong, has sent us some advance info re this Sunday's edition of his popular Vintage Chart Toppers show on RTHK Radio 3 which includes a track by the River City Jazzmen and an interview with a well-known northeast trombone player.
The show goes out at 08:30am (HKT) which converts to 01:30am in the UK.
Check here for previous editions and on Sunday for the latest.
Lance.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Saltburn Blues

It seems as though the Jazz Lads' gig at Saltburn Golf Club on Sunday, October 7, will be the last one.
This, it would appear, is due to a change in the club's opening hours.
Help the 'Lads' go out with a '3 under' round and, if you have any ideas for a new venue, get in touch - sorry Gleneagles, too far unless you are prepared to pay the petrol. 
Lance.
PS: Cracking line-up!

CD Review: Petra van Nuis & Dennis Luxion - Because We're Night People

Petra van Nuis (vocals); Dennis Luxion (piano).
(Review by Lance).
Amid the hocus-pocus of the many CDs now being marketed as jazz, this album, recorded live at Chicago's PianoForte, is refreshingly sans hocus or pocus. What it does have is focus - focus on a good tune, a good lyric and, an interpretation by two of Chi's finest on some choice material.

I've known of Petra since I raved over a previous album with guitarist and hubby, Andy Brown and this is of the same high standard - like is 11 out of 10 high enough?

Jazz at the Village Hall 20th Anniversary @ Springwell Village Community Venue - September 26

Twenty years at one venue. The principals - Dave and Mac Rae - have presented jazz in Springwell during good times and not so good times. Last night was one of the good times. A full house with extra seating requisitioned from an adjoining hall, the house band, led by Dave Rae, played not one, not two, but three sets, the latter featuring several guests 'sitting-in'. 

Down the years, Dave and Mac have kept the New Orleans' flag flying when others, elsewhere, raised the white flag against seemingly insurmountable odds. If you want to hear Crescent City jazz, spirituals and perhaps a blues, then Springwell Village Community Venue, Wednesdays, is the place to be. The Bacons - that's Liz (clarinet) and drummer Paul - are key members of the band, as is tailgater Jim Blenkin. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Remember when Chris Barber played for Middlesbrough? - he still does!

Things are looking up for 'The 'Boro'. Joint leader of The Championship and through to the next round of the League Cup. Middlesbrough is a football town and yet, they've never quite achieved their potential. Remember that season back in the days of Juninho and Ravanelli when they reached two cup finals, losing both - one after a replay - and were relegated? How heartbreaking must that have been for 'Boro fans of which I was one?
A few years earlier, there literally was a great triumph. The 1978 weekend at Ayresome Park where promoters Andy Hudson and George Wein brought the Newport Jazz Festival to Cleveland. Not Cleveland, Ohio, but Cleveland UK!
The memories of that weekend will live forever in the memories of those who were young enough, at the time, to be there. 
It was a very good year and I was young enough.

Jazz Café Jam Session - Sept. 25

(Review by Lance).
It was the second set before the jam really came alight although the first set had begun explosively - how could it not with 'Jack-in-the-box' James Harrison at the keyboard? 200% and counting!

Charlie Gordon was tasteful, Kate O'Neill put her heart and her soul into Solitude and I Only Have Eyes For You and Martin Waugh, himself no mean pianist, had the unenviable task of following James - the last time he was here he had to follow Paul Edis! However, whilst he might bemoan that Everything Happens to Me he had an ace up his sleeve, of which more later. After a somewhat lifeless bossa nova, Andy Lawrence joined in and fiddled his way through Someday my Prince Will Come.*
So far so good although the earth had yet to move.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Mark Toomey Quartet @ Dormans Jazz Club, Middlesbrough - Sept.13

Mark Toomey (alto sax); Jeremy McMurray (piano); Pete Ayton (bass); and Paul Smith (drums).
(Review by Ron H)

With the emphasis on bebop, these four highly regarded local musicians provided the audience with an evening of first-class jazz with leader Mark skilfully demonstrating his knowledge of Parker influenced sax playing, 


The opening number, an up-tempo blues written by Mark and titled Do You Have the Time? was followed by Brooks Bowman's East of the Sun (West of the Moon)
A Night in Tunisia showcased the ability of the band to play exciting bebop.  A repertoire to suit all tastes included Gershwin's Embraceable You; Miles Davis' Half Nelsona beautiful version of All The Things You Are and, finishing the first set, a great rendition of Charlie Parker's Ornithology with fine solos by all. 

CD Review: Sarah Reich - New Change.

Tap dancing is generally regarded as 80%visual and 20% aural maybe less. Tap dancing, like drum solos, is one of those things that bring the house down on the night but, in the cold light of morning, when heard on record, often loses the excitement. As indeed do so many things, come the dawn...
Seeing a drummer hitting everything in sight at a phenomenal speed is terrific. the sticks a blur, the body language, it's one of those things - nobody ever left a Buddy Rich concert raving about the trumpets or the saxes, good as they were.
Likewise with tap dancers. They execute with their feet what drummers do with their sticks. Again, it's not the same on record - or is it?
Enter Sarah Reich.

Monday, September 24, 2018

TJ Johnson Band @ The Globe in Morning Lane, Hackney, London - September 23

TJ Johnson (piano, vocals); Al Nicholls (tenor sax); Tony Pitt (guitar, banjo); Tim Fairhall (double bass); Wesley Gibbons (drums) + Goff Dubber (alto sax); Fred? (vocals)
(Review by Russell).
The Globe in Morning Lane is the place to be on a Sunday lunchtime. A 'proper' pub in Hackney, jazz has been on the menu for the best part of twenty years. The regulars know it, they arrive well before noon, and in next to no time, the place is standing room only. 

On Sunday TJ Johnson made a return visit to the hostelry. The regulars like him and with good reason, he's a real entertainer with a top class band playing unpretentious, good time jazz. And they like the beer and there is a raffle and, on this occasion, a lavish spread was laid on by Mine Host, Steve, to celebrate a birthday...his own! 

Jazz in New York: The 1930s @ Cadogan Hall, London - September 22

(Review by Russell)
Earlier in the month, BSH's Editor-in-Chief reviewed Pete Long's Echoes of Ellington Orchestra at Cadogan Hall. On Saturday evening Richard Pite's Jazz Repertory Company once again pulled them in at the Sloane Terrace venue. 

The latest in Pite's successful concert series focussed upon late 1930s' New York. On a rain-lashed evening, Cadogan Hall was all-but-damn-it full to the rafters. Concertgoers travelled from all four corners of the globe to go back in time, a time of financial ruin for many yet a time of release from the miserable years of prohibition. From the opening Benny Goodman Quartet in Hotel Pennsylavnia (1937), to Eddie Condon at Nick's Tavern (1937), through to Fats, Hamp, Billie and Duke's small group RCA Victor sides (1937-1939), and finally Louis' 1938 WNEW radio station jam sessions, Pite's all-star band reimagined historic performances by some of the all-time greats.

Book Reviews: Andrew Cartmel - The Run-Out Groove & Victory Disc.

I discovered The Vinyl Detective earlier this year* although Andrew Cartmel's creation had begun gumshoeing down the mean streets of London and beyond since 2016 in search of rare vinyl records.
I was so delighted with the story and the character(s) that I set off down those same mean streets myself in search of the two follow-up novels. This proved to be considerably easier than searching for a wartime V Disc or the child of a legendary rock singer who committed suicide years ago which are two of the challenges facing our musical sleuth in these latest adventures.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

APPJAG Latest.

So, as the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group's award ceremony* approaches, I've been taking stock and marvelling at just how we've managed to keep this blog going for over ten years and culminating with this, our first nomination for an award in the Jazz Media category of one of the major UK jazz awards!
My small, but much-loved and appreciated, coterie of contributors are as much to do with this as I am and, without them, it wouldn't have the appeal that the page view numbers seem to suggest that it has.
Nevertheless, like a band, a sports team or a Friday night get together, we're always on the lookout for new faces. 

Saturday, September 22, 2018

CD Review: John Scofield and Combo 66.

John Scofield (guitar); Gerald Clayton (piano,/organ); Vicente Archer (bass); Bill Stewart (drums). 
(Review by Steve T).
Given that there's probably more guitar players than every other instrument put together - such is the scale of the rock and roll mythology - it should come as no surprise that there appears to be no shortage of emerging guitarists, including in jazz.
My friends in the guitar community assure me it all comes down to whether they got an Oasis or a Take That, though I suspect the best didn't care much for either.  
I often think jazz guitarists have an advantage over other jazz musicians because they appeal to the vast guitar community as well as jazz enthusiasts.
McLaughlin and Metheny have legions of fans and sell in quantities most jazz musicians can only dream of. Another two with a loyal following are Mike Stern and John Scofield, both of whom (like McLaughlin) benefit from having played with Miles and selling to those people  which most rock guitarists could only dream of.

Babelfish @ The Jazz Café, Newcastle – Sept. 20

Brigitte Beraha (vocals); Barry Green (piano); Chris Laurence (bass); Paul Clarvis (drums)
(Review by Steve H/Photos courtesy of Ken Drew). 
A rainy night in Newcastle was brightened up considerably by my attendance at this rather charming gig. Brigitte Beraha is a very versatile singer with a wide range of styles ranging from free improvisation to more conventional straight-ahead singing.
The Babelfish project casts her more in the latter genre but there was still plenty of room left to improvise and use her voice as an additional instrument rather just a reproducer of lyrics. Being multilingual we were also treated to songs in both Italian and Spanish.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Paul Edis @ The Lit & Phil - September 21

Paul Edis (piano, vocals)
(Review by Russell/Photo 1 courtesy of  Jerry E. Photo 2 Brian E) 
Anything Durham's Gala Theatre can do...yes, there was a full house today at the Lit and Phil for a solo piano concert by Paul Edis. Is one o'clock weekdays the new late night jazz gig? Folk certainly turn out for a one-hour lunchtime set, a cup of tea or coffee, perhaps a glass of wine and, of course, the music.

It's Only a Paper MoonFrom Nothing to Nowhere (comp. Edis) and Hypnotized (comp. Edis), so that's a Gasbook classic (with vocals!) and two numbers by today's performer, pianist/promoter/producer/educator/juggler Paul Edis, the second of which received its public premiere a couple of weeks ago up the road in Hexham at the Fox Inn during a Triptych (Edis, Paul Susans, Rob Walker) gig. 

Springwell celebrates 20 years of New Orleans jazz.

This coming Wednesday, September 26, marks the 20th anniversary of jazz  at Springwell Community Venue, Springwell Village, Gateshead, Tyne & Wear, NE9 7RP
The very first session here was on Monday, September 28, 1998. (The Rae Brothers New Orleans Jazz Band)
Pictured in the photo, taken in 2000, are (l-r): Clem Avery;  Mac Rae; Jim Blenkin; John Robinson; Gordon Petet and Dave Rae.
For this special occasion, the session has been extended to run from 8.15pm - 11pm (doors open at 7.30pm).  
Thanks to Dave Rae for the update.
Lance.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

CD Review (retro): Shirley Horn - I Love You, Paris.

Shirley Horn (piano/vocal); Charles Ables (bass); Steve Williams (drums).
As Simon Spillett said in his observations on Bebop Spoken Here, this isn't a retro-site. We try to concentrate on the present without ignoring the future or forgetting the past.
However, when I popped into my local charity shop seeking shelter from the storm and saw a CD by Shirley Horn alongside discs by Harry James, Bix, Sinatra, Astrid and Sting, it was as if I was the drowning man seeing his life flash past - well it was raining heavily - so I thought I'd best have a 50p pop on Shirley and Astrid before it was too late. 
Fortunately, the storm eased and I lived to listen another day. 
I've yet to sample Astrid's offering but Shirley's 1992 live recording in Paris should be on everyone's bucket list. 

CD Review: Mike Freeman ZonaVibe - Venetian Blinds

Mike Freeman (vibes/coro); Guido Gonzalez (trumpet/coro); Ian Stewart (bass); Roberto Quintereo (perc.); Joel Mateo (drums).
(Review by Lance).
I'm not normally drawn to Latin albums - they tend to sail too close to the easy listening area. This one does head in that direction but, fortunately, stays far enough away to avoid boredom or ennui.
This is mainly due to the trumpet of Gonzalez who avoids the bravura of the bullfight preferring instead the cool clear sound of say Arturo Sandoval without overdoing the pyrotechnics.
Freeman's vibes bring to mind Cal Tjader with a dash of Milt and blends effectively over the turbulence of the fluctuating South American rhythms.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

CD Review: NYSQ - Heaven Steps to Seven

Tim Armacost (tenor/soprano); David Berkman (piano); Ugonna Okegwo (bass); Gene Jackson (drums).
(Review by Lance).
Apart from the paraphrased title which, unless I've missed something, doesn't seem to bear any relevance to the music - a rose by any other name, a book by its cover etc., this is an absolute gem for anyone who likes to have a hook to the improvisations. 
The NYSQ - New York Standards Quartet - know this and deliver the goods in just such a way as to pull in the passer-by.
Don't get me wrong, this isn't smooth jazz or easy listening jazz, this is music that approaches the cutting edge but does it in such a way that nobody loses their fingertips.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Alan Law Trio w James Birkett @ Blaydon Jazz Club - September 16

Alan Law (piano); James Birkett (guitar); Paul Grainger (bass); Russ Morgan (drums).
(Review by Russell/photos courtesy of Roly V).

A second set only review. An advance ticket purchase dictated your correspondent's early evening whereabouts - Polly Gibbon's gig with the Strictly Smokin' Big Band at Hoochie Coochie - resulting in a late arrival at the Black Bull. 

Blaydon Jazz Club's September concert presented the Alan Law Trio working with a much-loved friend of Blaydon, master guitarist James Birkett. Arriving in time to hear the final number of the first set - Lady Be Good - it was good to see a good number of folk had made the effort and, encouragingly, a few new faces. Hey, Lady be Good, a cookin' rhythm section with Birkett flying, a pretty good way to tune out of roaring big band mode and adjust to a small combo. 

The interval: a Deuchars, please. A raffle ticket, the usual outcome...

Monday, September 17, 2018

Early Birds @ Lit and Phil, Newcastle - Sept. 15.

Paul Edis (alto, MD), James Metcalf (trumpet), Alex Thompson (tenor), Ben Lawrence (piano), Alex Shipsey (bass), Dylan Thompson (drums).
(Review by Steve T)
Didn't want this tiny slice of history, tucked away from the glare, to pass off entirely unnoticed. It was the final performance of long-term Early-Bird stalwarts James Metcalf and Alex Thompson, together with the last remaining original member Ben Lawrence, who started out on trumpet - what must seem to them like - all those years ago.

RIP Big Jay McNeely

The LA Weekly has announced the death of Big Jay McNeely. The 'King of the Honkers' passed away yesterday (Sept. 16). He was 91.
The saxophonist set the pattern for R'n'B and later R'n'R tenor playing although beneath it all he was still a good jazzman - you just had to strip away the veneer.
A legend!
Obituary.
Lance.

Polly Gibbons w. Strictly Smokin' Big Band at Hoochie Coochie - Sept. 16

(Review by Lance).
When Hoochie's head honcho Warren says that Polly Gibbons is in the top ten acts he's heard since he opened the Pilgrim St. venue x years ago it means something considering that amongst that roster is Gregory Porter, Chaka Khan, Mica Paris, Lonnie Smith, Roy Ayers, Joe Stilgoe, Hailey Tuck as well as several hundred others!
Yes, Ms. Gibbons is the real deal.

Two stomping sets that combined jazz and soul, and a few things in between, had the joint jumping and the swing dancers swing dancing.
No holds barred singing. 
Let the Good Times Roll: I heard this hoary old R'n'B classic a couple of weeks back sung by Georgie Fame and Zoot Money at Ronnie's and this version lost nothing by comparision. 

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Barnhart goes to the movies @ St Augustine's, Darlington - September 15

Jeff Barnhart (piano, vocals); Buster Keaton (star of the silent screen)
(Review by Russell) 
Jeff Barnhart made a quick return to St Augustine's to present his Silent Comedy Film Festival show. The American's introductory remarks made it abundantly clear that not only is the American piano virtuoso a fan of the silent movie era comedic greats - Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd, Laurel and Hardy, Buster Keaton et al - he is something of an authority on the subject.

Barnhart's sole piano-vocal number Take your girl to the movies if you can't make love at home (comp. Bert Kalmar/Edgar Leslie, 1919) opened proceedings in the Larchfield Street Parish Centre to yet another large, enthusiastic crowd. The American insisted that from this point he would adopt a subservient role, the on-screen action, principally Buster Keaton's filmmaking genius, taking centre stage. 

Swing Manouche @ Dormans Jazz Club, Middlesbrough - Sept. 6.

Mick Shoulder (Guitar); Giles Strong (guitar); Paul Grainger (double bass); Gavin Lee (clarinet).
(Review by Ron H)

It was a pleasure to have Swing Manouche as this month’s guest band and to witness a fine performance of Hot Club Style Jazz.
The night began with a nice version of Lulu Swing followed by Douce Ambiance with the four musicians clearly showing the passion they held for the genre and their ability to play so well together.
Gavin played a fine melody to Mick's composition My Quiet Place (Mon Endroit Tranquille). Valse à Gonzo, a lovely Jazz Waltz, was another piece composed by Mick inspired after a face to face meeting with Giles’ dog.

TODAY! Polly Gibbons with Strictly Smokin’ Big Band @ Hoochie Coochie Sunday Sept. 16

(Press release).
Strictly Smokin’ have done it again – Anthony Strong, Hailey Tuck, Joe Stilgoe and, in September, the wonderful POLLY GIBBONS will feature with the band at Newcastle’s Hoochie Coochie.
Hot off the back of Jazz FM’s ‘Vocalist of the Year’ nomination, gigs at Montreal Jazz Festival, London’s 606 Club, and a string of dates at New York’s renowned Birdland this month, Polly makes her way north  with her own blend of jazz, blues, and soul to feature with SSBB at Hoochie Coochie.

There’s always this element of surprise from people who haven’t seen her perform,” says James Pearson, Polly’s long-time songwriting collaborator and artistic director at Ronnie Scotts. “She astounds me, too. She’s unpredictable.”
This is certainly another SSBB special guest that is not to be missed.

CD (LP) Review: Camilla George - The People Could Fly

Camilla George (alto); Sarah Tandy (piano/Rhodes); Daniel Casimir (bass); Winston Clifford (drums) + guests - Femi Koleoso (drums);  Omar Lye-Fook, Cherise Adams-Burnett (vocals); Shirley Tetteh (guitar); Quentin Collins (trumpet).
(Review by Lance).
Nigerian born George's second album is described as a hypnotising blend of Afrofuturism, hip-hop and jazz and is named after a book of African folktales that her grandmother read to her when she was a child.
The stories must have had a lasting effect on the young Camilla judging by the original themes she composed for this album. Her 'less is more' approach to saxophone playing combined with a rich, full sound could be seen as an object lesson that some of the current gunslingers could learn from. Not that George's playing is pedantic, when the situation calls for her to unleash flurries of notes she unleashes flurries of meaningful notes.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Juliet Kelly and Paul Edis @ Gala Theatre, Durham - Sept. 14

Prior to last night's concert at Gosforth Civic Theatre, Juliet Kelly and Paul Edis played a  lunchtime gig to a capacity crowd at Durham's Gala Theatre. Malcolm Sinclair was in attendance and kindly sent some stunning images.
Photos.
Thank you, Malcolm.
Lance.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Juliet Kelly and Paul Edis @ Gosforth Civic Theatre - September 14

Juliet Kelly (vocal); Paul Edis (piano).
(Review by Lance/Photos courtesy of Russell).
Some gigs go on too long, some gigs you just can't get enough of, but this early evening shot at GCT got it just right.
The duo had played a sell-out lunchtime gig at the Gala, Durham, and it wasn't being unduly optimistic to think that the Tyneside cats would do the same.
They didn't although, it has to be said that those who could get off their litter tray thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
The opening I Put a Spell on You did just that to the audience. The unaccompanied first chorus held everyone, dare I say it? Spellbound!
Pitch perfect, this was a voice that could do what it wanted to with a lyric without any histrionics! The theme of the evening was on divas and family although, in truth, the two children present weren't spellbound.
We were!

Triptych @ The Fox, Hexham – Sept. 11

Paul Susans ( bass); Rob Walker (drums); Paul Edis (piano/clarinet). (Review/photos by Jerry E)

On the one hand, you never know what to expect form Triptych: self-proclaimed “genre-busters”, you may be cosy with Bacharach and David one minute (arranged for jazz, of course) and on the 12th Moon of Venus the next. On the other hand, you know exactly what to expect from Triptych: three top musicians, each capable of scintillating solos and composers in their own right, who visibly enjoy gigging live together and will always deliver a show where you may not know where it is going, but you know it will be great!

Before I go into more detail, a few words about the venue. I had never been to The Fox for a jazz gig before and, on entering, wondered how it could work. It’s basically open-plan, with a pool-table round the corner and, on the night, an England match on the TV. Seemed like a lot of competition for live jazz! In the event, the TV’s were switched off, the pool-players left and all was well. The pub has friendly staff, a nice atmosphere, 3 ales on in the front bar and (my missus loved this) fresh flowers in the bar and in the ladies loo (she informed me)! Comfortable!

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Top of the Bops? 2018 All Party Parliamentary Jazz Awards Nominations Announced

(The All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group have announced their 2018 nominations and Bebop Spoken Here is nominated in the Media category - WOO HOO!)
Press release

The nominations have today been announced for the 2018 Parliamentary Jazz Awards, Britain’s premier awards for the jazz loving public and fans of the music from both Houses of Parliament.
The nominees include a broad array of jazz talent from the UK jazz scene.

Supported by PizzaExpress Live  the award categories reflect the ever-increasing scope of talent from within the UK’s jazz scene: Jazz Vocalist of the Year; Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year; Jazz Album of the Year; Jazz Ensemble of the Year; Jazz Newcomer of the Year; Jazz Venue of the Year; Jazz Media Award; Jazz Education Award; and the Services to Jazz Award.

Following the online public vote for the Awards, the shortlist was then voted upon by a selection panel, who represent a broad cross-section of backgrounds united in their passion and knowledge of jazz. The winners, chosen by judging members of the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group (APPJAG), will be announced at the awards ceremony at PizzaExpress Live, Holborn, London on Tuesday 16th October.

Jam Session @ the Dun Cow, Jesmond - Sept. 12

Giles Strong (guitar); Mick Shoulder (bass); Russ Morgan (drums) + Ingo Torbahn, John Rowland (tenor); Kate O'Neill, Alice Grace (vocal); Marek Podstowek (melodica/drums/perc.); Charlie Gordon (guitar).
(Review by Lance).
Another day, another jam. Is it the Jazz Café or is it the Globe? Maybe it's Charts or perhaps the Dun Cow? It can't be the Fire Station because that's tomorrow which means that, as today is Wednesday, the choice is between the Globe and the Dun Cow.
Such is the dilemma one faces - too much jam and not enough bread. Another evening of SummertimeStella By Starlight, Autumn Leaves, All the Things You Are, Green Dolphin St. and There Will Never be Another You to spice the jaded palate.

ELT + Fairhall & Ward @ The Bridge Hotel September 9

ELT: Ingebjørg Loe Bjørnstad (vocals); Tom Challenger (saxophones); Kit Downes (harmonium/cello).
Fairhall & Ward: Tom Ward (reeds); Adam Fairhall (keyboards).
(Review by Steve H/Photos courtesy of Ken Drew) 
On entering the upstairs room at The Bridge on Sunday I was somewhat discombobulated as the performance space had been turned through 90 degrees so that the musicians were set up in front of the bay window(I shouldn’t have been that surprised, the last time Downes and Challenger played here they turned things through 180 degrees with the audience facing the back of the room). To wet the appetite even further on the makeshift stage was a whole cornucopia of fascinating looking keyboards.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Jazz Café Jam Session - Sept. 11

(Review by Lance).
The fortnightly Jazz Café jam returned and with it, jammers old and new. As per the norm, the house trio got the ball rolling. Alan Law, this week's pianist, set the bar with a solo on Bye Bye Blackbird that was just sensational. If I'd have left there and then I'd have still had a good evening. As it was, although nothing quite topped that, there were several who came close.
It was a pleasant surprise to have a return visit from Polish Australian (or is it Australian Pole?) Podstowek. The genial, multi-instrumentalist was last here in November 2015 when, as well as playing drums and blowing melodica, he also sang - quite a character.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

CD Review: Rachel Caswell - We’re All In The Dance

Rachel Caswell (vocals); Sara Caswell (violin tracks 1,3,5); Dave Stryker (guitar, arrangements); Fabian Almazan (piano, Fender Rhodes); Linda May Han Oh (bass); Johnathan Blake (drums).
(Review by Ann Alex)

Rachel Caswell comes from a musical Indiana family. At 13, she had begun to play jazz piano and cello, and, encouraged by a family friend, to sing scat and bebop. In 2015, she gave up her day job to concentrate on music, and this is her second album. We’re All In The Dance consists of re-imagined standards plus Sting’s Fragile. This is a very enjoyable CD which includes stellar instrumental playing with lots of solos.

CD Review: Milne Glendinning Band - MGB

Debra Milne (voice/lyricist/composer); Steve Glendinning (guitar/composer); Katy Trigger (bass guitar); Nik Alevroyannis (drums).
(Review by Lance)
Difficult for me to be objective on this one! Apart from being an occasional reviewer on BSH and a fellow Jazz Coop member and friend, Debra's career has run, almost parallel, to that of BSH. 
I first heard Debra at Dave Weisser's session at The Chillingham where she sat in and sang Stomping at the Savoy. Her carefully enunciated vocal suggested that the Savoy she was stomping at was in London rather than Harlem.
Fortunately, as her jazz chops developed, the vocals became looser and she began to take on the GASbook. A very crowded area, even on Tyneside, but, nevertheless, upwards and onwards and the standards gradually gave way to boppers such as Billie's Bounce and Senor Blues before, after a few Latin diversions, original material began to take over, which is what we get on this charming EP.

CD Review: One O'Clock Lab Band - Lab 2018: The Rhythm of the Road.

The North Texas One O 'Clock Lab Band was perhaps the first American college big band to make a worldwide impact on the jazz scene. Although the University of North Texas' music department can be traced back to the 1920's, maybe even earlier, it was in 1940, at the height of the big band era, that it first came to the notice of a wider public other than friends, parents and fellow students. Just as most American Universities cossetted their track and field stars, North Texas, I guess, nurtured their instrumental students. I recall hearing the band on Willis Conover's VOA shows some years later and being knocked out thinking this was maybe Kenton or Herman.
Fast forward to today and blindfold test someone with a Kenton or a Herman record and they'd probably say, "North Texas One O'Clock Lab Band".

Monday, September 10, 2018

3,500,000 and counting!

We should have a party - The Arena, The Globe, Jazz Café, a phone booth?

Ambleside Days – A Contemporary Jazz Festival - August 30 - September 2

(Review by Hugh C.)
WOW!  Another very special festival.  Derek Hook and his team triumphed again, bringing together a lyrical constellation of musicians, plucked from the jazz firmament, for this, the second Ambleside Days Festival.  The festival ran over four successive days, with the same arrangements as last year:  a one hour concert at 7.30pm followed (after a half-hour interval) by a 90-minute performance by a different ensemble.  Many of the musicians were involved in more than one of the performances over the duration of the festival.  Gwilym Simcock (piano) and Mike Walker (guitar) popped up in many different ensembles and were also heavily involved in organisational aspects of the festival. 

Latest from ECM.


Six ECM releases to review is a little too much to take in one go so, rather than spread them out over several days/weeks/months, I've taken the coward's way out and added this link to the ECM website where all and more can be revealed about these and other of the label's releases.
Lance.

Jazz at the Chronicle - 1962

I was doodling around or was it googling around looking for information on my cousin Dick Errington when I found this cutting from the Evening Chronicle of 26th. October 1962. It was just before I discovered jazz and shortly after that Dick, or Richard as the family called him, went on tour with Geraldo, I think. He came back later and joined the Screaming Lord Sutch Band and several others. There are other familiar names mentioned in the article including Brian Fisher and Joe Young who I knew.  
Who was E. D. Ward? 
Alfred Stone.

The Niffi Osiyemi Trio @ The Globe – September 8

Nifemi Osiyemi (vocals); Alan Law (piano); Paul Grainger (drums)
(Review by Ann Alex/Photo courtesy of Sheila Herrick)
I’d wanted to hear Niffi ever since I recently caught the tail end of one of her songs at a Jazz Cafe jam session, where she’d gone down a storm. Saturday night was my chance, and thank goodness I was there, as this gig was a real humdinger. Niffi’s voice is rich and sultry, the delivery skilled and enthusiastic, and her friendly personality shone throughout. The material included some numbers that you don’t hear very often nowadays, such as Darktown Strutters’ Ball.
But no drummer?
No problem! This gave lots more space for soloing on piano, and especially for the bass to really show what he could do. Paul had long, rich, solos, fooling the audience (and possibly Niffi and Alan!) with pretend endings, encouraging and clapping along for some tunes, unusual variations, and even knocking on the instrument’s belly during Hallelujah I Love Him So to illustrate the boy next door calling on his girlfriend. And the audience, mostly younger people, was with the band all the way.

Sunday, September 09, 2018

Jeff Barnhart & Tom 'Spats' Langham @ St Augustine's, Darlington - September 8

Jeff Barnhart (piano, vocals); Tom 'Spats' Langham (banjo, guitar, vocals)
(Review by Russell)
Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club is on a roll. A return visit by American piano virtuoso Jeff Barnhart working with Tom 'Spats' Langham attracted a record attendance to St Augustine's. 

The affable Barnhart thought it appropriate that their first number should be All Alone... all alone in a standing-room-only hall of more than one hundred jazz fans! The equally affable and virtuosic Spats Langham entertained the audience with tales of prodigious drinking sessions working with Tommy Burton in the days of Pebble Mill at One - somehow the band always came up with the goods in front of the watching millions!

Echoes of Ellington Orchestra: "The Classical Duke Ellington" @ Cadogan Hall, London - September 8

(Review by Lance).
When I heard that Pete Long (pictured) and the Echoes of Ellington Orchestra were, thanks to Long's musical imagination, visualising how Ellington/Billy Strayhorn may have scored Gustav Holst's the Planets Suite in the manner that they did with Peer Gynt and the Nutcracker Suite, I had to be there. After all, wasn't a segment of Jupiter - The Bringer of Jollity my old school hymn? Not that it brought much jollity to Form 4T back in the day. However, in the hands of maestro Long and baritone genius Craig, there was much jollity indeed.
The whole suite was, without doubt, a triumph for both the arranger and the star-studded band of instrumentalists and, of course, The Jazz Repertory Company.

King Bees @ Billy Bootleggers - September 7

King Bees: Michael Littlefield (guitar, vocals); Scott Taylor (harmonica, guitar, vocals); Dominic Hornsby (piano, guitar, vocals); Simon Hedley (double bass); Giles Holt (drums)
(Review by Russell) 
The joint was jumpin' ahead of the band taking to the stage. The sound was terrible, particularly during the first set. This was Billy Bootleggers and somehow it works. King Bees are resident first Friday in the month and don't folk know it?!

Little Walter into I Don't Know, the whole thing was driving Michael Littlefield CuckooMy BabeWalkin' by Myself, Littlefield again in the driving seat, in his Automatic. Feedback, howling, swirling, annoying, the first set plagued, the second set would surely be better, surely? No matter, Billy Bootleggers' patrons were on the dance floor from the off and that's where they stayed 'til silly o'clock. 

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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.
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