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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 Saturday December 15

Afternoon

Newcastle University Jazz Orchestra - Hatton Gallery, King's Road, Newcastle University NE1 7RU. Tel: 0191 277 8877. 12 noon. Free.

Jazz Attack - Sage Gateshead, St Mary's Square, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead NE8 2JR. Tel: 0191 443 4661. 2:50pm. Young Musicians Live! YMP Winter Festival. Concourse, free.

Jambone + Folkestra - Sage Gateshead, St Mary's Square, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead NE8 2JR. Tel: 0191 443 4661. 4:00pm. Young Musicians Live! YMP Winter Festival. Sage Two, free but ticketed.

Evening

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

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

Big Band Theory - Traveller's Rest, West Auckland Road, Darlington DL3 9ER. Tel: 01325 468177. 6:30pm. £5.00.

Phil Davids & the Good Times Band - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9:00pm. Free.

Horace Silverman & the White Gardenias - The Corner House, Heaton, Newcastle NE6 5RP. Tel: 0191 265 9602. 7:30pm. £7.50.

Baghdaddies - Cobalt Studios, Boyd St., Newcastle NE2 1AP. 8:30pm. £12.00. + £1.38. bf.

Strictly Speakeasy - St Mary’s Heritage Centre, Oakwellgate, Gateshead NE8 2AU. Tel: 0191 433 4699. 7:00pm. £20.00. Lindy jazz ‘Snow Ball.

Cozyjo - Washington Arts Centre, Biddick Lane, Washington NE38 8AB. Tel: 0191 561 3455. 7:00pm. £6.00. (£4.00. concs.). City of Sunderland Youth Jazz Orchestra (Cozyjo) Christmas Cracker.

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

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Preview: Kansas Smitty's House Band @ Sage Gateshead - November 9

(Preview by Russell)
Who or what is Kansas Smitty's? It's a band, it's a venue, it's a business venture. Founding member Giacomo Smith, Italian born, raised in New York, relocated to London to take up a day job and play jazz in the evenings. It didn't take long for the enterprising reedsman to make jazz his full-time occupation. With like-minded souls Kansas Smitty's was born - first the band, then the need for a permanent base led to the twenty-somethings opening up their own venue, and along the way finding time to hit the recording studio. 

Ashington Jazz Club - new venue to be revealed...

Just like the Jazz Café in Newcastle,  in December, we are moving to a new venue, a new day and new times.
Details of the new venue/dates/times etc. will be given out at the last gig at the Elephant next Wednesday (November 7).
Gordon Solomon (who ran our original band the River City Jazzmen) is back playing again. He will be a special guest with our resident band  Classic Swing next Wednesday, ending a relationship Ashington Jazz Club has had with the Elephant that goes back 33 years
All of those musicians who have played/sung at the Elephant over the years are welcome to come along for a jam session in the second set. Meet up with all your old friends and help us go out with a Bang!
JT.

CD Review: Don Byron & Aruan Ortiz - Random Dances And (A)Tonalities

Don Byron (clarinet & tenor sax); Aruan Ortiz (piano)
(Review by Dave Brownlow)

This is a most intriguing and unusual album – the intellectual meeting of minds of the two ‘protagonists’ who are highly skilled musicians in both jazz and classical genres and whose music ranges from the blues to Ellington to free and J.S Bach to Schoenberg with everything in between. Don Byron has an ice-cold tone on clarinet reminiscent of that of John La Porta, whereas on tenor, his sound is warm and utterly his own. Aruan Ortiz on piano has the technique of a Conservatory-trained musician who has moved seamlessly within the worlds of chamber music, Jewish, soul, rock and jazz and through studies with George Russell and the influence of Tete Montoliu.

Jam Session @ the Black Swan - October 30.

Mark Williams (guitar); Paul Grainger (bass); Russ Morgan (drums) + Pete Tanton (trumpet/vocal); Nick Gould (tenor); Jeremy McMurray (keys); Michael Lamb (trumpet); Steve Summers (tenor); Kate O'Neill (vocal); Jamie Toms (tenor); David 'Showtime' Gray (trombone); Ian White (tenor).
(Review by Lance).
A brand new dawn - if 8pm can be classed as dawn - for the former Jazz Café Jam which has upped sticks and moved to the nearby Black Swan Bar and Arts Venue. The move is a masterstroke and, at last, we have a jazz joint that isn't 'a joint'.
The Jazz Café served its purpose but, somehow, despite or perhaps because of the sanitisation, it lacked the charisma of the old Crombie days. Maybe I'm an old sentimentalist but the past is past and the future lies at 59 Westgate Rd.

Previously, we've had singers unlimited, an alto summit and, on occasion, more drummers than the band of the Royal Scots Guards. However, tonight it was a case of "Anyone for tenors?" with four of the finest jousting for the crown.

CD Review: Wolfgang Muthspiel – Where The River Goes

Wolfgang Muthspiel (guitar); Ambrose Akinmusire (trumpet); Brad Mehldau (piano); Larry Grenadier (double bass); Eric Harland (drums).
(Review by Hugh C).                                                         
Where The River Goes is a natural progression from Wolfgang Muthspiel’s Rising Grace recording of 2016 (reviewed on BSH), reuniting the Austrian guitarist with Brad Mehldau, Ambrose Akinmusire and Larry Grenadier, and bringing in Eric Harland on drums;  these musicians all heavy hitters in their own right.  The compositions, with two exceptions, are all by Muthspiel.
The title track, Where The River Goes opens with Muthspiel’s solo guitar.  Brad Meldhau picks up the fluvial theme then Larry Grenadier joins as the stream widens, finally Eric Harland and Ambrose Akinmusire complete the quintet on their journey downstream.  Atmospheric (almost flugel-like) trumpet from Akinmusire and intricate guitar work from Muthspiel are the highlights in this piece.  

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Preview: Curtis Stigers @ Sage Gateshead - Nov 5

(Preview by Russell).
Pop star turned jazz singer Curtis Stigers is touring his 2017 Concord album One More for the Road and Sage Gateshead is on his itinerary. Early 90s chart success - I Wonder Why - to new century jazz festival engagements, the man from Boise, Idaho works with some of the jazz world's very best practitioners. 

CD Review: Keith Jarrett – La Fenice

Keith Jarrett – piano.
(Review by Hugh C)
La Fenice continues what now appears to be a series of releases of past concert performances by Keith Jarrett, following the release of A Multitude of Angels in 2016 (also reviewed on BSH).  This is a recording of a solo performance by Jarrett in Gran Teatro La Fenice in Venice in 2006. Release of ‘La Fenice’ is timely: The 62nd International Festival of Contemporary Music of the ‘Biennale di Venezia’ has honoured Keith Jarrett with its Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement - the first time that a jazz musician has received this award.

Three dudes blowin' on a riff

As Fenwick's window is currently hidden from view with its Christmas display taking shape, yesterday three dudes (see photo) set out their stall on Northumberland Street. No tunes as such, more blowin' on a riff. Will they turn up at tonight's Black Swan jam session?
Russell.

Tonight at the Black Swan - 8 pm.

The famous Jazz Café Tuesday Jam Session moves to its new home at the Black Swan on Westgate Road, just around the corner from the entrance to the Caff. The house trio for this session includes the always inventive Mark Williams on guitar, Paul Grainger on bass and the supremely talented Russ Morgan on drums. Sitters-in are always welcome so bring your horn, voice, guitar, spoons and join the trio, or come to listen and be part of the most supportive audience in town.
And it's free!

Monday, October 29, 2018

Preview: Mike Durham's Classic Jazz Party @ The Village Hotel, North Tyneside November 2-4

(Preview by Russell).
Over many years trumpet player Mike Durham established the Whitley Bay Jazz Festival as the pre-eminent 'classic jazz' era festival this side of the Atlantic. In his memory, Mike Durham's Classic Jazz Party continues to lead the way with a galaxy of American, British and European jazz musicians descending annually on North Tyneside. This year's festival begins at noon on Friday (Nov 2) at the Village Hotel and runs non-stop through to late on Sunday. 

DU Jazz Soc @ Fabio's Bar - October 28

(Review by Russell)
DU Jazz Soc = Durham University Jazz Society. Organised by and for students there is a range of activities across the city of Durham with, perhaps, a weekly jam session the most prominent event. 

This academic year jam sessions are being promoted in Fabio's Bar, a third-floor space on Saddler Street. It's the sort of place where you might expect Bogie or Alan Ladd to push past you, looking behind them as they flee the scene of some noirish felony. Stairs dimly lit, wrought iron balustrades, a dizzying ascent (no elevator). Listen, that's a horn player. 

Sunday, October 28, 2018

CD Review: Evelyn Laurie - A Little Bit of Me.

Evelyn Laurie (vocals); Euan Stevenson (piano); Tom Gordon (perc.); Frank Bolam (guitar); Konrad Wiszniewski (tenor); Mario Caribe (bass).
(Review by Lance).
Yet another female singer - am I allowed to say that now that 'man-sized tissues' have been declared non-pc? There are moments on this emotive disc where tissues of any dimension and gender would be useful to have at hand.

Laurie gets into the lyrics and brings out whatever poignancy is contained within. When she sings Sandy Denny's Who Knows Where the Time Goes? you pose the same question to yourself and, in I Fall in Love Too Love Easily you will believe her just as much as I did when Chet [Baker] sang it all those years ago. 

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Jazz at the Lescar, Sheffield: The Josh Schofield Quartet – Oct. 24

Josh Schofield (alto); Olly Chalk (piano); Sam Ingvarsen (bass); Billy Weir (drums).
(Review by Steve T)
The venue is a backroom in a bar, just like many backrooms in many bars across the country; In the summer, we went to another one just like it in Sheffield to see a Zappa tribute band.

But this backroom in this bar is the site of the 2018 Parliamentary Jazz Awards venue of the year, and we at Bebop Spoken Here know a thing or two about the Parliamentary Jazz Awards, or at least we know a man who does.

Jazz at the Lescar is the brainchild of Jez Matthews, who's all over this night and I've no doubt the charisma and enthusiasm he exudes wouldn't have gone unnoticed by our Right Honourable jazz friends who hand out the awards. His hospitality is of the above and beyond variety too.

Friday, October 26, 2018

CD Review: Judith - The Second time Around

Judith Lorick (vocal); Eric Reed (piano); Jeremy Pelt (trumpet); McClenty Hunter (drums); Kiyoshi Kitagawa (bass); Chris Lewis (tenor).
(Review by Lance).
Another album that's as good as any in the current rush of jazz vocal albums, mainly female, that are flooding the market like cut-price booze in a supermarket.
Lorick has a distinctive sound - she's not blatantly cloning anyone - the songs are sound and the band is ace. But, like I said in a previous review (Mike Bogle Trio), it's difficult to be over enthusiastic when the distant divas are still available on disc or download and, even if they weren't, there are so many great singers vying to get their vocal chords in front of the pack that it's difficult to single one out.

Remembering Clem Avery

November 2 marks the tenth anniversary of the passing of Clem Avery. A fine trumpet player, bassist and an ambassador for all that was, and is, good in the music we all love and try to share.
Clem did his fair share of sharing in the form of his playing with bands ranging in style from New Orleans to mid-period mainstream.
When Clem died, BSH was fortunate (if that's the right word) to have his great friend and fellow musician Roly Veitch share his memories which can be re-read here.
A further, more detailed link (from the original Blaydon Jazz Club website) gives yet more insight into Clem Avery.
Gone, but not forgotten.
Lance.

Blues & Beyond with Cerys Matthews & Val Wilmer - Tonight, 8pm. BBC4

The above programme is previewed in the i newspaper as a 'Critic's Choice'. The subject centres around the many American blues legends who enjoyed touring (and living in) Britain and Europe in the 1950s and early 1960s.
Clips from shows such as Ready Steady Go featuring John Lee Hooker and Champion Jack Dupree along with Muddy Waters, Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Peggy Lee (Peggy Lee?) are some of the delights in store for enthusiasts of the blues.
The i's critic also refers to Wilmer telling of the time he [Ms. Wilmer!] had to rescue Jimi Hendrix from over-eager fans.
Lance

Thursday, October 25, 2018

CD Review: Mike Bogle Trio - Dr. B!

Mike Bogle (Hammond B3/vocals); Rich McLure (guitar); Ivan Torres (drums).
(Review by Lance).
Super album, great B3 sounds from Bogle; McLure perfect in this setting and Torres drives it along swingingly and yet, I'll probably never play it again even though it could be high up on the list.
Why?

Blowing in from South Tyneside

Students from Whitburn Comprehensive School were found blowing up a storm in Newcastle earlier today. As your correspondent sauntered down Northumberland Street, members of South Tyneside Music Service’s Wind Band Ensemble played Pharrell Williams’ Happy. Adjusting their clothes pegs (it had been rather windy of late) they launched into Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now. Music education in action!!! And to think it’s half term! The photo shows a Wind Band Ensemble quartet. Good stuff, perhaps these guys will check out Bebop Spoken Here. They would be most welcome at any of the jam sessions around town. Bring your horns!!!        
Russell

Jam Session at the Dun Cow, Jesmond - October 24.

Paul Grainger (bass); Alan Law (piano); Rob Walker (drums) + John Rowland (tenor); Ben Richardson (piano); Roly Veitch (guitar); Jordan Alfonso (alto); Archie Williamson (drums).
(Review by Lance).
They weren't queuing up to jam this week but quality beats quantity every time and this one had plenty of the former.
The trio set the standard with It Could Happen to You; There is no Greater Love and How High the Moon. Grainger took the lead on  Moon and Walker backed him up with some hand-drumming that made me wonder why he bothers with sticks, that's how effective it was.
Autumn Leaves brought John Rowland on to the pitch for a strangely delicate version of one of the jammers' favourites.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

CD Review: Gabrielle Ducomble – Across The Bridge

Gabrielle Ducomble (composer, vocals, piano, melodica; Nicolas Meier (guitars); Richard Jones (violin, viola); Nick Kacal (bass); Saleem Raman (drums) with special guests Fausto Beccalossi (accordion); Bill Mudge (keyboard).
(Review by Ann Alex)
I was so charmed by the opening track that I played it twice straight off. A lovely clear-toned voice with an enticing French accent, a well-written song about a young child’s afternoon spent exploring the forest and pretending to be a knight. The bass moves the tune forward in the forest, the tune rises when the moon is mentioned, and the viola provides an effective middle section. And so the music continues on the other tracks, songs with elements of jazz, French chansons, tango and Latin rhythms. The lyrics are skilled, concerning nature, art, justice and ideas. The instrumentation is superb, with cleverly interwoven solos from violin, viola, guitar and accordion, and the ensemble playing is rich and satisfying.

Julian Costello Quartet @ The Globe October 21

Julian Costello (ten, sop saxes); Maciek Pysz (guitar); Michele Tacchi (bass guitar); Adam Teixeira (drums). (Canada).
(Review by Steve H/Photo by Debra M) 
Normally, this isn’t the sort of gig I would attend; my preferred option being for a more improvised, freer, kind of jazz. Fortunately, I decided to put my music prejudices aside, took a punt and made my way to The Globe on Sunday night. I was more than rewarded for my gay abandon as this splendid international quartet delivered a highly enjoyable and thoroughly entertaining performance.

For the first set, the band featured their latest album Transitions. As the title suggests, this consisted of one uninterrupted piece with each tune segueing seamlessly into the next. The second set consisted of several tunes including a song named after a cheese although this was not of the blues variety but rather the Greek (Halloumi).

Preview: “Remembering Blossom Dearie” - Eyemouth

(Press release)
Singer Zoe Francis and guitarist Jim Mullen bring their Remembering Blossom Dearie tribute show to Eyemouth Hippodrome on Wednesday, November 7.
Blossom Dearie, who died in 2009, was an American singer and pianist who gained popularity in Paris and London during the 1950s and 1960s for her singing of songs including Peel Me a Grape and I’m Hip. She was also known for her deadpan, often spontaneous wit.
Ronnie Scott, who booked Dearie into his Soho club many times, often said that if she’d chosen to be a comedienne instead of a musician she would have been a great success.
“I got to see Blossom when I was living in New York,” says Francis, a former dancer and actress who began singing jazz after she went to New York for a holiday and ended up staying for nine years. “She was playing in Danny’s Skylight Room, one of her favourite venues, and she made everyone laugh.”
However, It was Dearie’s singing and her choice of songs that particularly appealed to Francis. 

CD Review: Sarah Eden - Ailleurs

Sarah Eden (vocal); Yaniv Taubenhouse (piano); Rick Rosato (bass); Jerad Lippi (drums).
(Review by Lance).
As far back as March, I suggested there would be few vocal albums to match Sarah Eden's Bleu Nuits. There have been a few, but not many. However, here's another one that puts the distinctive voice of Mam'selle Eden back in the frame.
It's smoky and sensuous, melancholy and moving. You don't need O Level French to get the gist of la chanson. The timbre of the voice says it all.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Middlesbrough Jazz Weekender 2018: Saturday afternoon in the Fire Station

(Review by Russell)
As with all good festivals, the Middlesbrough Jazz Weekender utilised more than one stage to establish a sense of occasion - step out of one hall and there, in an adjacent room, another session was underway. Saturday, the middle day of three, presented two top class performances in the old fire station, now beautifully restored thanks to oodles of cash being thrown at it. 

A box office banker of a duo - James Birkett and Emma Fisk - entertained a full to overflowing Fire Station crowd. Dinah (no, there isn't anyone finer), the Venuti-Lang Hot Four's Kicking the Cat and Birkett's paean to fellow guitarist Eddie Lang, this was world class stuff. Ain't Misbehavin'Cheese and Crackers and an exquisite reading of I'm Confessin'  - Town Hall patrons could have listened to Birkett and Fisk all night but all good things come to an end, on this occasion, just in time for the audience to make its way to the main hall to hear Chris Barber. Violinist Emma Fisk, playing with her usual elan, and master guitarist James Birkett on top form sent us on our way with a swift take on Lady Be Good.  

Middlesbrough Jazz Weekender 2018: Big Chris Barber Band @ Middlesbrough Town Hall - October 20

Big Chris Barber Band: Chris Barber (trombone, vocals); Bob Hunt (trombone, trumpet, arrangements); Mike Henry (trumpet, cornet); Pete Rudeforth (trumpet, vocals); Nick White (saxophones, clarinet); Ian Killoran (saxophones, clarinet); Bert Brandsma (saxophones); Joe Farler (banjo, guitar); John Day (double bass); John Watson (drums)
(Review by Russell) 


The man was there at 'Newport' Middlesbrough. That was back in 1978. Down the years the trombone-playing band leader has given concerts in the town but this 'Jazz Weekender' engagement acknowledged that historic occasion forty years ago and signalled the prospect, the possibility, of an annual Middlesbrough jazz festival for the twenty-first century. 

Chris Barber, eighty-eight years young, took to the stage with his ten-piece band to play the music he's been playing for something like seven decades. The line-up has changed, likewise the programme with a significant element of Ellington and small group swing numbers. One thing hasn't changed - Chris Barber's obvious love of the music. 

Middlesbrough Jazz Weekender 2018: The Ushaw Ensemble - St. Cuthbert's Suite. Oct. 21

Ushaw Ensemble: Paul Edis (MD/piano); Graham Hardy (trumpet/flugel); Graeme Wilson (tenor/bass clarinet/flute); John Garner (violin); Andy May (Northumbrian pipes); Rob Walker (drums/percussion); Paul Susans (bass).
(Review by Lance).
The St. Cuthbert's Suite, composed by Paul Edis and commissioned by Ushaw College, paints a musical soundscape of the life and death of Cuthbert (633-687AD). It's a fascinating story that is beyond the remit of BSH but can be found on Wikipedia.
Musically, the various segments are portrayed by all the players with improvisations that are sometimes soft and mellow and sometimes wildly atmospheric. The writing for the ensemble, at times, verges on the near classical sometimes with Ellington overtones.

Guitar Lessons: James Birkett & Bradley Johnston @ Blaydon Jazz Club – Oct. 21

Bradley Johnson, James Birkett (guitars); Irene (vocal)
(Review by Jerry)

My last gig chipped away at my general ignorance of jazz trumpet: this time out it was jazz guitar and who better to enlighten me than Messrs. JB & BJ? James Birkett promised us a selection of guitar tunes from different decades and, with a set-list from Eddie Lang to Pat Metheny, every decade from the 20’s to the present was covered. As Lang pretty much invented jazz guitar (the banjo was the instrument of choice before him) I guess you could say that’s the entire history? The selection included one which was, according to Birkett, “a little corker” and another which was “a gas to play”. For the listeners they were all “corkers” and “a gas” to listen to: as history lessons go, it sure was lively!

Monday, October 22, 2018

Middlesbrough Jazz Weekender 2018: Sunday afternoon in the Crypt - Printmakers.

Printmakers: Nikki Iles (piano); Norma Winstone (voice); Mark Lockheart (tenor); Mike Walker (guitar); Steve Watts (bass); James Maddren (drums).
(Review by Lance/ Photo of Nikki & Norma courtesy of Russell).
To think I almost missed this one! Printmakers? mmm, Printmakers! OMG (or words to that effect) Nikki Iles, Norma Winstone and co. I'm going senile - I'd ticked it under Nikki, or was it Norma, or was it both? Printmakers, I thought, was, well, maybe about printmaking?
Fortunately, my senior moment passed and I enjoyed this set as much as anything other than the MBB.

Middlesbrough Jazz Weekender 2018: Sunday afternoon in the Crypt - Aurora.

Aurora: Zöe Gilby (voice); Noel Dennis (trumpet/flugel); Mark Williams (bass); Andy Champion (bass); Russ Morgan (drums).
(Review by Lance).
The last time I heard Aurora (the premiere at the Jazz Café) I was as far back from the band as it was possible to be. This time, I couldn't have been closer if we'd have been married!
Sitting at a front table, I could hear the announcements and, of course, appreciate the music without the distraction of the bar-banter.
Although the afternoon featured three singers, each one was so individualistic that comparisions were pointless.

Middlesbrough Jazz Weekender 2018: Sunday afternoon in the Crypt - Hailey Tuck Band - Oct. 21

Hailey Tuck Band: Hailey Tuck (vocal); Rick Simpson (piano/keys); Alex Haines (guitar); Chris Hyson (bass); Lloyd Haines (drums).
(Review by Lance).
After the event organiser had introduced the APPJAG Jazz Media award winner to the audience, the important stuff got underway. 
It was to be an afternoon where singers predominated and who better to set the ball rolling than Hailey Tuck from Austin, Texas, and now based in Europe.
I'd heard Hailey a couple of year's back at Hoochie with SSBB so I knew a scintillating set was in store.
At Hoochie, Rick Simpson provided the accompaniment and, having heard Rick earlier in the week at Ronnie's as part of the Leo Richardson Quartet when he told me he was on this gig, I knew it was going to be a double whammy!

Gerry Richardson's Big Idea @ Hoochie Coochie - October 21

(Review/photo by JT)
I can’t believe that it’s a year since Gerry Richardson’s Big Idea was at Hoochie (that memorable gig with STING.) The band's performance there yesterday was their third annual visit but unfortunately no special guest this time. Warren informs me that Gerry’s trio also gets an annual outing, but I must have missed that.
                                                                                                                               
The first set began with three instrumentals - Stone Church, Blues for Red followed by Ska Odyssey. Big Jazz Club in the Sky was next - a vocal for Gerry. African Sunset,  Turnaround Shuffle came next. The set finished with my favourite vocal from Gerry, Lady Day and John Coltrane.

Middlesbrough Jazz Weekender 2018: Sunday afternoon in the Fire Station

Chronotic Brass:  Zach Fox (alto sax, vocals); Matthew Bartlett (tenor sax); Alex Flanders (trumpet); Louis Clayden (trumpet); Tommy Wise (trombone); Bill Duberly (trombone); Jon Whittaker (baritone sax); Jack Dobson (drums). 
Led by alto saxist Fox, who also sang, they gave a jazzy slant to contemporary pop songs that worked well. Impressive too was trumpet player Alex Flanders and tenorist Matthew Bartlett. 
The music was great with the baritone sax acting in a bass capacity, excellent soloists and, at times, a township feel to it.
They all were or are part of the Durham Uni jazz scene.

Middlesbrough Jazz Weekender 2018: Mingus Big Band @ Middlesbrough Town Hall - Oct. 21.

(Review by Lance)
To hear the Mingus Big Band, not once, but twice, within the space of days may, to some, seem like overkill!
Not so.
The atmosphere at Ronnie's on Thursday and Middlesbrough last night was one and the same - unbridled enthusiasm. And, surprisingly, there weren't many overlaps between the two programmes and those that did were well-worth hearing again.
The last time I attended a concert in the pre-renovated Town Hall was back in the mid-seventies when the Stan Kenton Orchestra played there. In all honesty, I think the MBB is the best big band I've heard since - maybe even before then. 
It was simply sensational.

CD Review: Lionel Loueke - The Journey.

(Review by Max Goodall)
Benin-born guitarist Lionel Loueke is a composer and performer of fierce originality and individuality. For The Journey, his first release on French label Aparté, Loueke has reached deep into his rich pool of influences and musical interests, drawing out a really engaging album full of deep understated musicality.

Having performed with a who’s who of jazz throughout his career, the guitarist features an impressive roll call of high calibre musicians. The influence of Brazilian percussionist Cyro Baptista is particularly present, especially on tracks such as Bawo. The album, however, also features bassist Pino Palladino, Patrick Messina (solo clarinet of the Orchestre National de France), cellist Vincent Ségal and violinist Mark Feldman.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Olie Brice Quintet @ Jazz Café - Oct. 18

Olie Brice (bass); Mike Fletcher (Alto); George Crowley (Tenor/Bass Clarinet); Alex Bonney (Cornet); Jeff Williams (Drums).
 (Review/photos courtesy of Ken Drew)

The same line-up also appeared here 2 years ago. It went down well then, so would it be equally as enjoyable?  Not exactly - it was way more energetic, the pieces seemed to have an extra energy and vibrancy. Overall the quintet produced much more than the sum of the parts (i.e. the original compositions plus 5 players).  The compositions were influenced by musical and literary heroes of Olie's, and were wonderfully executed by each player’s musical freedom producing an exciting energetic sound which had everyone enthralled.  Such a tight, well-honed band, yet very adventurous both in the compositions and their delivery.  The music explores that wonderful space between the composed and the improvised, and succeeds!

Middlesbrough Jazz Weekender 2018: NYJO + Tees Valley Youth Jazz Collective @ Middlesbrough Town Hall - October 20

(Review by Russell). 
NYJO is an institution. Bill Ashton formed the band in the mid-sixties. In 1978 it was an established part of the jazz landscape, it was the year NYJO took part in the Newport Jazz Festival in Middlesbrough. In the line-up forty years ago was a promising trumpeter...one Gerard Presencer. Many young musicians of the highest calibre - before and since - have held chairs in the nation's big band. Recent success stories include Sam Glaser (alto) and the Jam Experiment boys, Jonathan (Jonny) Mansfield (vibes/percussion) and Rory Ingham (trombone). 

NYJO returned to Middlesbrough this weekend to play a concert in the recently renovated Town Hall. Invariably the band's personnel comprises students (graduate and undergraduate) drawn from prestigious institutions (Guildhall, Royal Academy, Trinity, Chethams) with a busy gigging schedule (Ronnie's, Pizza Express Jazz Club, Halls Albert and Festival, European festivals, NYC engagements). 

Saturday, October 20, 2018

There'll be Some Changes Made @ The Caff

Following 5 success filled years running live music at the Jazz Café, Newcastle Arts Centre has decided to change the layout and make better use of the 3 venues housed there.
The Jazz Café with its comprehensive bar and food service will move from the current location to larger more accessible space within the Arts Centre itself.  Our Black Swan Venue will continue to run the Jazz Café music programme which will have the benefit of a much greater capacity, lift access and a more extensive bar offering.

This move links all aspects of the Centre together with a social space at its heart. This is a big step forward providing both a social and cultural hub only 100 metres from the Central Station.
The Pink Lane site will close its doors at the end of October for a refit and will operate under new management as Prohibition Cabaret Bar to open in January 2019. All in all, an exciting and positive New Year for both organisations.
(Press release).

Middlesbrough Jazz Weekender 2018: Beats & Pieces @ Middlesbrough Town Hall - October 19

(Review by Lance).
After hearing the Mingus Big Band at Ronnie's on Wednesday, I hope I can be forgiven for feeling that nothing could follow that until this coming Sunday when the American ensemble brings the MJW to a close.
However, it is fair to say that the Manchester-based outfit, Beats & Pieces who opened the weekend, produced a scintillating performance that set the benchmark for all the bands who follow.

Ben Cottrell has, over the years, whipped up a crew that holds a candle to no one. His arrangements and compositions are as imaginative as those by any of his contemporaries. 

Friday, October 19, 2018

Newcastle University Jazz Orchestra Jam Session @ Bar Loco - October 18

NUJO's first jam session of the new academic year and the place was crammed. A battalion of bright young things drinking like there was no tomorrow, sorry, studying hard (see photo of a study desk inexplicably littered with empties), this was a 'social' as much as a jazz gig.  

President Tom McDonald has knocked the NUJO boys and girls into some kind of shape so that they broadly resemble a big band. 

Enthusiasm by the bucket load, trombonist Tom and bandmate Matt Green whipped up Bar Loco's partying crowd and counted in the ever-changing band line-up. 

Lullaby of Birdland, former Jamboner Kate Garnett bold as a shiny brass trombone on My Funny Valentine, a debuting vocalist emboldened by a bottle of house white singing Billy Taylor's I Wish I Knew, NUJO blew for fun in a fun, party atmosphere.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

CD Review: Sara Colman - What We're Made of.

(Review by Ann Alex).
I’m so pleased about our award, lots of credit to Lance our Leader, but BSH must go on, so here goes, I’m behind with CDs. And the reason for tardiness is because of the particular problems with albums of original material, such as this one, which gives us 9 new songs and 2 well-known ones. Joni Mitchell’s All I Want has a lively guitar, with Rhodes and guitar solos, and effective scat singing towards a fade out. Paul Simon’s Still Crazy After All These Years is a fitting final track, with voice, piano and backing vocals.

Review: Women in Jazz: A Celebration of the Past, Present and Future @ The Barbican, London

On the day that BSH editor-in-chief LL attended this year's All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group's annual shindig in London, it was too good an opportunity to pass up on visiting the Barbican to view an exhibition of material drawn from the National Jazz Archive. 

As the exhibition title suggests the focus is on the role of women in jazz. Rare photographs are displayed alongside posters (guessing their vintage is part of the fun), magazines, audio-visual material, a t-shirt and a 'must have' badge

CD Review: Caroline Scott - Khoalesce

Caroline Scott (drums); John Turville (piano); Kevin Glasgow (bass); Duncan Eagles (tenor).
(Review by Lance).
I think the moment has arrived when, if we have to genderise drummers, the exclamation marks are to be reserved for male percussionists, such are the numbers of women - not just making music, but doing it behind a drum kit.
This is the last time I'll refer to sex (as in gender) on this blog. Caroline Scott is and, like all musicians, an artist first and foremost. This is proven by the drive she provides behind three of the UK's top jazzers.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Mingus Big Band + Leo Richardson Quartet @ Ronnie Scott's - October 17

Mingus Big Band: Alex Sipiagin, Philip Harper, Alex Norris (trumpets); Andy Hunter, Conrad Herwig (trombones); Earl  McIntyre (bass trombone); Abraham Burton (tenor sax), Wayne Escoffrey (tenor sax); Alex Terrier (alto sax), Brandon Wright (alto sax); Lauren Sevian (baritone sax); Helen Sung (piano); Boris Kozlov (double bass); Donald Edwards (drums)
(Review by Lance)
If I was on a high last night after the APPJAG awards ("Not that again" I hear you say!) well tonight, I was on an even bigger high after hearing the Mingus Big Band - they were nothing less than sensational. However, as they play another few nights at Ronnie's and are at the Middlesbrough Jazz Weekender on Sunday I'm not going to do a 'spoiler' and give you a blow by blow account. Instead, I'll merely say, miss it at your peril
Afterward, I floated down Frith St., not even contemplating the delights of a Thai Massage or the neon sign that said, simply, Girls, Girls, Girls. No, tonight really was the business and, if you've ever heard a better big band session it must have been hearing Mingus himself at New York Town Hall way back when.
This Sunday, change New York Town Hall to Middlesbrough Town Hall - You will certainly not regret it. Book now!
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Jam Session @ the Jazz Café - Oct. 16

(Review  by Ron A)
What can I say about last night? no not the jam session, but BSH receiving that well deserved Parliamentary Award is a fantastic achievement.
When the news of it was told by Paul, the whole of the Jazz Café gave a thundering round of applause. Brilliant!!!!!

Now for the Jam Session.

The session opened with the house trio of Bradley Johnson (guitar); Paul Grainger (bass), and Rob Walker (drums)  once again setting a very high bar with Polka Dots and Moonbeams, Love For Sale, and How Insensitive.
Bradley displaying once again that it doesn’t get much better than that. Absolutely wonderful guitar playing backed by a more than able Bass and Drums.

We Won! APPJAG Awards @ Pizza Express, Holborn - Oct. 16

When it was announced that BSH had won the Jazz Media category of the APPJAG awards I was lost for words although I did eventually manage some garbled phrases in my Peroni inspired speech of acceptance. I think it was videoed - watch this space. I was, and still am, overwhelmed by this most prestigious of UK jazz awards.  However, in reality,  this wasn't just for me but for, as Hugh C put it,  Team Bebop. When I saw the list of nominees in the various categories, the only name I didn't recognise was mine!
So thanks to all of you who made this marvellous evening possible.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

APPJAG - Tonight's the Night!

The All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group (APPJAG) present their 2018 awards tonight at Pizza Express (Holborn).
(Winners highlighted in red.)
The nominees are: 

Jazz Vocalist of the Year
Liane Carroll
Georgia Mancio
Zara McFarlane
Ian Shaw

Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year
Rob Luft
Arun Ghosh
Ross Stanley

Jazz Album of the Year
Arun Ghosh – But Where Are You Really From?
Denys Baptiste – The Late Train
Gareth Lockrane Big Band – Fistfight At The Barndance

Monday, October 15, 2018

Preview: The Middlesbrough Jazz Weekender – October 19-21

(Preview by Russell) 
Forty years ago something remarkable happened in the jazz world. George Wein’s world famous Newport Jazz Festival upped sticks, moving lock, stock and barrel to the unlikely location of Middlesbrough, England. Ayresome Park, then home to the town’s football club, welcomed the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie and the MJQ. In 1978 Andy Hudson was a key figure on the regional jazz scene and it was his crazy idea to invite some of the jazz greats to recreate Newport, Rhode Island, USA in the heart of Teesside’s industrial landscape. Hudson the entrepreneur met with the like-minded New York-based Wein and a deal was done. In summer 1978 Newport came to Middlesbrough!

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Dom Famularo Drum Clinic - this Friday October 19.

Dom Famularo is a drum legend. As an educator, which in old money equates to teacher/lecturer, he is renowned. His drum clinics have inspired many and they don't come cheap. A New York clinic, for example, would cost the student the equivalent of £60.
However, this Friday, October 19, ToneAlly, in cooperation with Sage Gateshead, invite drummers of all standards to learn from the master for only £30!
Check out the poster for more details or visit www.toneally.co.uk.
Lance.

Vermont Big Band @ Cullercoats Crescent Club - October 13

(Review by Russell)   
Six and two, 62, all the threes, 33, top of the shop, blind 90, legs, 11…house!  There isn’t anything quite like a game of bingo down the club especially if you’re waiting on one number. Oh, well, better luck next time. In between the flyer and the main house, the sounds of a big band broke out in the upstairs concert room of the Crescent Club in Cullercoats.

The Vermont Big Band made a return visit to Cullercoats having played a successful concert during the summer months. The band’s MD, Chris Kaberry, must have been a happy man when he surveyed the scene – Saturday evening, a full house, who said the big band era was of yesteryear? No fewer than six saxophones, a regulation four strong trumpet section, a mere three trombones, piano, bass and drums, and a band vocalist. Two swinging sets of forties’ big band tunes, the popular hits of the day with one or two 24 carat selections from the jazz canon.

David Lyttle Trio @ The Globe Jazz Bar - Oct. 13

Steve Hamilton (piano); Michael Janisch (bass); David Lyttle (drums).
(Review by Lance).
This 3-way promotion (see previous post) was an undoubted success in terms of both audience numbers and artistic endeavour.
The crowded room applauded vociferously at the end of each original number (although less so after solos which isn't necessarily a bad thing) and deservedly so.
Janisch, we've heard in many settings over the years. The American bassist and London resident has long been a major player on the UK scene both live and on discs issued by his own Whirlwind label.
Hamilton I knew of but had yet to hear - I wasn't disappointed. His angular solos, drawing on both contemporary and traditional piano sources, kept my attention throughout.

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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.

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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