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Bebop Spoken There

James Carter: "We played around with 'Nuages' and FUNKED it up, basically." - (DownBeat, September 2019).

Archive

Daily: July 6 - October 27

Precarity John Akomfrah’s film (2017, 46 mins) about Buddy Bolden - Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead Quays, South Shore Road, Gateshead NE8 3BA. Tel: 0191 478 1810. Screenings at intervals during the day. Part of Akomfrah's exhibition Ballasts of Memory. Exhibition (daily) July 6 - October 27. 10:00am-6:00pm. Free.

Today Tuesday August 20

Afternoon

Jazz

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

Will Earl - Band Room, Music Studios, Newcastle University NE1 7RU. 12 noon. Free. Earl (drums) Postgraduate Recital. ‘Solo and groove: innovation in contemporary drumming practices’.

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Classic Swing - The Ship Inn, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. 0191 251 3677. 12:00pm - 2:00pm. Free.

NOTE EARLIER TIME THIS WEEK ONLY.

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Joe Reid - Band Room, Music Studios, Newcastle University NE1 7RU. 1:40pm. Free. Reid (drums) Postgraduate Recital. ‘Progressive Drumming & Polyrhythms of the Modern Drummer’.

Evening

Jazz

Jam session - Black Swan Bar, Newcastle Arts Centre, 59 Westgate Rd., Newcastle NE1 7RU. Tel: 0191 222 9882. 8:00pm. Free. House trio: Giles Strong (guitar), Paul Grainger (double bass), Paul Wight (drums).

River City Jazzmen - Block & Tackle, Blackthorn Way, Ashington NE63 8NW. Tel: 01670 819845. 8:30pm. £4.00.

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

Monday, December 31, 2018

Jazz in the Afternoon - Crescent Club, Cullercoates - Dec. 31

(Review by Lance/ PHOTOS).

If the band last night were pushing the frontiers, this afternoon's combo was reeling them in! There's room in the world for both!

Surprisingly, despite, or perhaps because, it was New Year's Eve, both band and audience were slightly depleted. This didn't lessen the enjoyment and some of those who were able-bodied enough to do so shook it around a bit on the dancefloor.

I Will Walk Through the Streets of the City sang Herbie. Bye Bye Blackbird had more Herbie before John Brumwell threatened to Sit Right Down and Write Himself a Letter aided and abetted by our frontman, this time on harmonica. John continued with Sway. First time I'd heard him but he'd obviously been around the block a few times and had a touch of class.

Francis Tulip Quartet @ The Globe Jazz Bar - Dec. 30

Francis Tulip (guitar); Ben Lawrence (piano); Michael Dunlop (bass guitar); Matthew MacKellar (drums).
(Review by Lance/PHOTOS).

I blinked! The downstairs bar of the Jazz Coop HQ was packed wall to wall with bodies eagerly awaiting the opener from the FTQ. I was reminded of photos I'd seen of air raid shelters during WWII and, as the music began, I could have been forgiven for thinking the Luftwaffe had returned. Fortunately, the bombs dropping weren't from Berlin but from Berklee, Mass. Matt MacKellar was back in town!

The young man's technique becomes more and more prodigious with each visit home - by comparision, Art Blakey was a shrinking violet! An extended drum solo on the opening Solar was possibly too much too soon but, nevertheless, the stall was set out.
Or was it? There couldn't have been a greater contrast than with Stars Fell on Alabama. MacKellar on brushes and some juicy chords from Tulip, thoughtful keyboard reflections from Lawrence and a rare bass solo from Dunlop. Tastefully played and yet, somehow, it seemed out of place with this band.

CD Review: Simone Kopmajer - Spotlight On Jazz

Simone Kopmajer (vocals); Terry Myers (tenor sax, clarinet);  Paul Urbanek (piano); Martin Spitzer (guitar);  Karl Sayer (bass);  Reinhardt Winkler (drums)
(Review by Ann Alex).

Simone Kopmajer hails from Schladming in Austria. She sang regularly with her father’s band from the age of 12 and later went on to gain a Masters degree. She has studied with the likes of Sheila Jordan and Mark Murphy, and has performed in Europe, USA and South East Asia. This is the 13th album on which she is featured as a leader, and a fine album it is too, giving us 7 band originals which sound as if they could be songs from the 1940s and 50s, as well as 6 standards. I noticed especially the unusual endings to some tracks, such as sudden stops, or simply ending the song at an ‘A’ section as on Mood Indigo, a pleasant change from the more usual repetition of the last line.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Christmas Celebration @ Coventry Cathedral - A Concert of Sacred Music by Duke Ellington - Dec. 29

(Review by Cormac Loane).
As a resident of the West Midlands for over 30 years, I have often visited the beautiful and inspiring Coventry Cathedral. And, each time I have done so, I have recalled a photograph I saw in Jazz Journal during the mid-1960s of the Duke Ellington Orchestra performing there. So when I found out recently that ITV footage of that 1966 concert was to be shown at the Cathedral on December 29 (last night!) this year, this was too good an opportunity to miss. 

The concert was the European premiere of Duke Ellington’s first Concert of Sacred Music, and it reportedly came about because Ellington, having heard about the opening of the new Coventry Cathedral in 1962, contacted the Cathedral authorities to ask if they would be interested in hosting the event. A film of the concert, shown on ITV television at the time, was thought to have been lost long ago. However, it was recently rediscovered, and through the work of Ghost Town, an archive television project, working in collaboration with other local organisations, the film has now been digitally restored in preparation for this, the first public viewing in over 50 years.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Preview: Francis Tulip Quartet @ The Globe - December 30

If you haven't, as of yet, made your mind up as to the Gig of the Year you may want to let it run to the wire as tomorrow night (Sunday, Dec. 30) at the Globe - HQ of the Jazz Coop - you may well find a band coming up on the rails to pip the favourites.

The Francis Tulip Quartet, young only in years, have made lasting impressions at their occasional gigs. Gigs that are only occasional because of distance meaning that, when the oracle decrees that their paths will cross, one and all should grab the opportunity and savour the moment for, like a total eclipse of the sun, it doesn't happen every day.

New Year Honour for Tommy Smith

(Press release)
Scottish saxophonist Tommy Smith has been awarded an OBE for services to jazz in the 2019 New Year honours list.
Edinburgh-born Smith has been a presence on the international jazz scene and a champion of jazz in Scotland since he emerged as a precocious talent in his teens during the 1980s. Following studies at Berklee School of Music in Boston he toured the world with vibes virtuoso Gary Burton and subsequently recorded for major jazz labels Blue Note and ECM before forming his own record company, Spartacus in 2000.

Friday, December 28, 2018

RIP Nipper

The sad news is that HMV is once again going into administration and, sadly, this time it looks as if Nipper, like HMV's 2000 plus employees, will no longer be the musical face of the High Street.

This, in an era when, smaller, independent record shops are appearing on every street corner, seems to be an anachronism. People are downloading rather than buying CDs yet are still shelling out for vinyl at grossly inflated prices. 

The debate on the merits of the two formats goes on. 

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Modern Vintage CDs of the Year

Birkett & Fisk play Venuti & Lang.
Pleasure Mad - Live recordings from Mike Durham's International Classic Jazz Party 2017. 
Shake 'em up Jazz Band - A Woman's Place.
Bratislava Hot Serenaders - I Like That.
Lenore Raphael, Wayne Wilkinson & Chris Hodgkins at Pizza Express Live.

Possibly because of the blog name - Bebop Spoken Here - we don't get too many CDs for review that are from or based around, the music of the pre-1940s which is a shame as regular site visitors will know our tastes encompass all forms of jazz, blues, soul and whatever else flies under the above banners whether ancient or modern.

Don't forget, still time to add your memories of 2018 whether of CD, gig, concert or festival - you know where we are.
Lance.

Mainstream/modern CDs of the Year

International
Walter Smith III - TWIO.
Burak Bedikyan - New Beginning.
Jorge Nila - Tenor Time.
NYSQ - Heaven Steps to Seven.

National
Paul Moran - Smokin' B3. Vol 2: Still Smokin'.
Dan Banks Quintet - Simulated Cities.
Jean Toussaint Allstar 6tet - Brother Raymond.
Dave O'Higgins Trio - Tenors of Our Time.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Just in case you missed THE Xmas party...

Gregory Porter hosted a seasonal cocktail of music with a festive flavour on BBC2 last night. Gregory was joined by special guests: singer-songwriter Corinne Bailey Rae; 24-year-old musical phenomenon Jacob Collier; legendary British saxophonist Courtney Pine; and one of the UK’s best-loved jazz singers Clare Teal. Featuring standards from the Great American Songbook, together with a carol or two, and some of Gregory’s personal favourites, performances include Merry Christmas Baby, Silent Night, Take me to the Alley and The Christmas Song

Filmed in an intimate ‘jazz club’ setting in Cardiff Bay, Merry Christmas Baby has all the ingredients of a joyful winter warmer - the perfect offering for a mellow Christmas night.
John Taylor

Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ The Spanish City - Dec 26

Brian Bennett (banjo); Jim McBriarty (clarinet, vocals); Phil Smith (double bass); Fred Thompson (drums, vocals) + John Broddle (vocals)
(Review by Russell)

Boxing Day, the day after the Big Day. Time to get out and about. A bright, sunny day, Metro running, let's go down to the coast. The North Sea resembled a mill pond, promenaders were eating ice cream - yes, ice cream! - on this very mild winter's day.

The Spanish City is an oddity. The Alhambra it ain't but nevertheless, the north east coastal landmark pulls 'em in, not least since a long overdue multi-million pounds' refurbishment. An added Boxing Day attraction (for some) was a festive appearance by the Vieux Carré Hot 4. 

Brian Bennett's portable quartet - the bandleader could pick 'em up, put 'em in his waistcoat pocket and roam around Whitley Bay's iconic building - popped up first in Valerie's Tea Room before moving into the adjacent Trencher's Restaurant. The Champagne Bar up on the first floor would be the Vieux Carré's third and final stop on a Pied Piper tour of the Dome (aka Spanish City).

Some outstanding, previously unreleased, vintage albums released this year.

Thelonious Monk: MØNK.
Jazz City UK Volume 2: The Jam Sessions.
Chet Baker: Live in London Volume II.
John Coltrane: The Lost Album.
Jazz City UK: Volume 1.

For reasons known only to the distributors, we don't get many vintage albums for review other than downloads which I very rarely load down. If someone is prepared to put a CD/LP in an envelope, stick a stamp on, stand in a queue at the post office and fork out the required revenue then they will always get first call and that applies even if it's a download of the legendary Buddy Bolden cylinder they've rescued from the bottom of Lake Pontchartrain and lovingly restored in a stereo-enhanced quadrophonic mp3 format.

The above 5 are all previously unreleased albums and essential to any collection. 
Lance

How it all began (for me) by Ann Alex

When I first became interested in jazz in about 2007, a friend with very wide tastes in music compiled a CD for me as an introduction to jazz. So I thought I’d outline the tracks as a suggestion of what to play for someone new to jazz. It certainly worked for me.

1/ Blue Ortani -  Herbie Hancock  
A tune new to me, lots of flowing piano, but with a strong melody which never gets lost among the improvisation. My idea of ideal jazz.

2/ Stormy Weather -  Billie Holiday
Heartfelt singing, a lesson for all singers, it’s all been said already.

3/ Summertime - Booker T & The MGs (note to Lance, NOT SUNG) Featuring guitar, bass and B3 (I think) very effective, strong turnarounds at the end of each section. Great stuff.

4/ Autumn Leaves  - Stan Getz  Pleasing straightforward tenor sax.

CD Review: Dan Banks Quintet

Dan Banks (piano); Paul Higgs (trumpet); Roberto Manzin (tenor sax); Jose Canha (bass); Josh Law (drums).
(Review by Lance).

Maybe not the CD of the Year but it's certainly high on the list. Five fine musicians combining post-bebop with more contemporary influences in a manner that varies from compelling lyricism - deep and thoughtful - to hard-swinging unison heads reminiscent of Blue Note artists such as Art Blakey, Hank Mobley and those New York bands that built upon the Bird/Diz legacy.

Based in Kent, this is, I gather, their second album of original compositions - all by leader Banks - and it's well worth seeking out. Banks is a complex, probing, classically trained, experimentalist who can swing with the best of them when the groove is in.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Born This Day

Kid Ory (b. 1886), Cab Calloway (1907), Pete Rugolo (1915), Bob James (1939), Don Pullen (1941). 

My Gigs of the Year

Best Gig
National.
APPJAG Awards @ Pizza Express (Holborn)!
Mingus Big Band/Leo Richardson Quintet @ Ronnie's.
Georgie Fame w. Guy Barker @ Ronnie's.
Echoes of Ellington @ Cadogan Hall.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Preview: Friday's a Wonderful Night for a Moondance

Kathryn Frances Atack (piano/MD); Tony Chapman (vocals); Dave Beston (guitar); Nick Polito (drums); Steve Fardoe (sax/clarinet); Allan Peat (double bass).
(Info supplied by Allan Peat).

Moondance, named after the Van Morrison classic, is a six-piece swing band featuring the players listed above. Their repertoire includes such popular standards as The Lady is a Tramp, Fly me to the Moon, All of Me, Strangers in the Night, Autumn Leaves, Summertime, Mack the Knife, My Way, King of The Swingers etc.

Jingle All the Way…

Dashing through town early Christmas Eve, rounding onto Northumberland Street, shoppers, fair rides and…the strains of All of Me. Yes, three wise monkeys - Faye, Dylan and Tom - were entertaining the hordes with a few seasonal numbers and, as Faye told Bebop Spoken Here, Marks and Simons’ jazz standard was the first non-Christmas tune of their day. In regulation Santa hats, our three wise monkeys had amassed a tidy sum and this was just gone ten. By about noon they’d be heading towards their first squillion.  Oh, Jingle Bells…   

Russell

Strictly Smokin' Big Band @ Hoochie Coochie - Dec.23

(Review by Lance)
PHOTOS.

If you want to party then Hoochie is the place. If you want a big band then SSBB are top of the list. Put the two together and you have a night to remember! Last night was just such a night. 

It was a little over a week ago that I'd last heard the band doing more or less the same programme at Gosforth Civic Theatre and some may be forgiven for thinking, what's the point of doing it again? The point is that this band swings so much that if they played but one note for 12 or 16 bars you wouldn't feel cheated. And tonight, even with a few ringers in the line-up, the feeling was still there.

The dance floor was crowded as the band took off on a Sleigh Ride. Ding Dong Merrily on High with solos from PJ on guitar and Jamie Toms on tenor. The rhythm was as fascinating as the singer, no less than Alice Grace, who sang Fascinating Rhythm. Her male counterpart, F'reez, posed the question Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby? Leader Lamb's trumpet obligato setting the 1930's scenario although his subsequent solo moved up a decade or so. In the absence of Pete Tanton, ML bore the brunt of the trumpet solo-work which, as expected, he did admirably. Keith Robinson blew clarinet and the dancers danced.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

A Jazzy Christmas @ Ushaw - Dec. 20

(Review by Steve T/PHOTOS courtesy of Ken Drew) 


Thursday - the day after the Christmas party - found us in Co. Durham’s largest town during a rush-hour bomb scare which left half the town in lockdown and the other half in gridlock. Since the car was in the lockdown zone we took a bus through the gridlock zone for a crazy, hour-long, stop-start bus journey which left me talking into a bag by the time we hit the mean streets of Bishop Auckland.

Turned up at Ushaw just in the nick of time, after Mrs T had to stop (her crazy stop-start driving) at the bottom of the drive, with another stop - in Spennymoor - during the homeward journey.

It took a full two days to recover fully allowing the battery-powered, roadside recoverer, anonymous alcololic, the lovely Ann Alex (did anyone see what I did there?) to get her review in for the following night ahead of me, making my task somewhat easier: what she said.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

A Jazzy Christmas: Paul Edis and Friends @ Sage Gateshead – Dec. 21

Paul Edis (piano, vocals); Jo Harrop (vocals); Andy Champion (bass); Russ Morgan (drums);
Matt Anderson (tenor & soprano sax); Francis Tulip (guitar); Emma Fisk (violin) Graham Hardy (trumpet, flugel); Jason Holcomb (trombone); Faye Thompson (alto sax, clarinet); Megan Robinson (flute)
(Review by Ann Alex/PHOTOS courtesy of Jerry E)

Sage Two was all set for Christmas, fairy lights adorning the mic stand, double bass and elsewhere. Lighted stars onstage along with our star jazz musicians, and a full auditorium - even up on level 3. This was the second jazzy Christmas concert and, by the end of the concert, there were calls for more of the same next year. A concert suitable for both die-hard jazz fans and people not so familiar with the genre.

As Paul pointed out, the concert began with a tribute to Greggs/Fenwick’s window (the enterprising bakery chain which has a shop opposite Fenwicks has cunningly reversed their sign so that the Greggs’ logo is correctly reflected in the department store’s popular Christmas window!) with Walking in the Air from The Snowman, straight in with solos from tenor sax and guitar.

Nu Bossa Band @ Sage Gateshead - Dec 21

Inês Gonçalves (piano, vocals); Thomas Dixon (tenor sax); José Gonçalves (bass guitar); Ben Fitzgerald (percussion)
(Review by Russell)

A new band, its roots in Portugal and Gateshead, Sage Gateshead specifically. Nu Bossa lays claim to authenticity. Inês Gonçalves born in Portugal sings in her native tongue, father José thinks in Portuguese keeping his thoughts to himself surrounded as he is by Tyneside's predominately English (and incomprehensible Geordie) speakers. Saxophonist Thomas Dixon speaks English with, perhaps, a smattering of words from the Iberian Peninsula, and djembe-playing percussionist Ben Fitzgerald speaks English and who knows what else? 

King Bee @ Hoochie Coochie - Dec. 21.

Dave Wilde (tenor & baritone sax/flute/vocal); Chris Jelly (vibes/malletKat); Richard Burns (trumpet); Dan Brady (bass guitar); Steve Glendinning (guitar); Martin Douglas (drums); Brendan Murphy (percussion).
(Review by Lance)

It was a tough call. My favourite singer, Jo Harrop, with an all-star band at Sage Gateshead versus my favourite vibes player, Chris Jelly, with the equally all-star band, King Bee (not to be confused with the plural version), at Hoochie Coochie.

9pm said the Hoochie website. Naively, I took this to be 9pm GMT when in fact it was 9pm HCT which, in real money means 9:45 pm. So, in consequence, I could have heard, at least the first set at Sage 2 as opposed to the enjoyable 25 minutes of the delectable Ms. Harrop.

Fortunately, Team Bebop had all the bases covered with at least 4 of our scribes and photographers present so the event will be covered in its entirety - watch this space.

Over at Hoochie, it was House Full (as at Sage) and 248 of the 250 present were having a ball as the band, clad in the ecclesiastical uniform of white surplice, black cassock and dog collar preached to the converted. Just my luck to be sitting next to the only couple in the room who weren't being 'sent to heaven'.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Bach in Central Arcade - Dec 21

Today in Central Arcade (home to musical instrument shop JG Windows Ltd.), Newcastle, a superb cellist played, from memory, JS Bach's Cello Suites. The graduate from the RNCM is presently based in Germany working towards a Master's. Your correspondent has often thought Bach would be a brilliant twenty-first century (jazz) improviser. 
Russell

EXCLUSIVE! - Jimmy McPartland – Chicago Hot Cornet By Scott Black. Part 1

(Photos from Scott Black's private collection and are © Scott Black).
James Dugald McPartland was known as Dugald to his family and close friends. Born in Chicago, his father was a music teacher among other things. From all accounts, especially from Jimmy…he was one tough bastard. Jimmy said many times that his father wasn’t the greatest guy in the world. He said “My father made sure his sons could do two things, fight and play music.” Dugald did both well, in fact he used to spar with his brother-in-law in the late 1920’s. You may have heard of him…Jack Dempsey. At the time Jimmy was married to Dorothy Williams who had a singing act with her sister Hannah, who also happened to be married at the time to Dempsey. A few years later, both were divorced from the sisters but the friendship continued until Jack died in 1983.

EXCLUSIVE! Coming shortly (later today) Scott Black's memories of Jimmy McPartland

Many of our readers will be familiar with the writings on Facebook of  Scott Black, an American trumpet/cornet player now living in Hong Kong and a regular at Ned Kelly's Last Stand as well as being a friend of Colin Aitchison. 

Scott's 2016 report on Franco Valussi's birthday is without a doubt the most humourous article ever to appear on BSH.

Reading Paul de Barros' biography of Marion McPartland - Shall We Play That One Together? - Scott's name came up as a friend of her husband Jimmy. Jimmy McPartland, the legendary Chicago cornet player that is. I immediately messaged Scott on Facebook humbly suggesting he may care to send me his memories of Jimmy.

CD Review: Jorge Nila - Tenor Time

Jorge Nila (tenor); Dave Stryker (guitar); Mitch Towne (organ); Dana Murray (drums).
(Review by Lance).
A gem but...
A relatively unknown tenor player, at least in the UK, paying tribute to Gordon, Mobley, Rollins, Shorter, Stitt, Henderson and others may seem to be an unlikely buy for anyone living outside of Nila's native Omaha. However, this would be to do a grave injustice to a fine saxman and a sound trio who dig in in the best tenor/organ tradition. 

Thursday, December 20, 2018

CD Review: Dave O'Higgins Trio + Max Ionata - Tenors Of Our time.

Dave O'Higgins (tenor sax); Ross Stanley (organ); Luca Santaniello (drums) + Max Ionata (tenor sax).
(Review by Lance).

Tenor sax duos aren't new. Over the years, Dex and Wardell did battle, likewise Gene Ammons and Sonny Stitt, Illinois and Flip with JATP, Lockjaw and Johnny Griffin. These were, ostensibly, no holds barred encounters with each one going for the jugular.

Over here, in the Jazz Couriers, Ronnie Scott and Tubbs also blew devastating tenor the difference being that this wasn't a championship bout but rather two musical associates working together to create rather than to conquer - drawing from, and inspiring, each other.

Sparks! Light up Newcastle's Night Sky - Dec 20

Earlier at Bonbar (see Alice Grace & Ben Helm review) Alice Grace mentioned that one of her 'day job' projects would soon be entertaining Northumberland Street's throng of festive shoppers. As darkness fell on Newcastle city centre a costumed drumming troupe illuminated the early evening scene. 
 
Sparks! play it loud, their faces those of the menacing clown. The beat of the drum (www.worldbeatersmusic.com) stopped shoppers in their tracks, the very youngest, captivated by the scary figures in their midst, were invited to nudge one of the troupe thus creating a rippling comic domino effect, the drumming quintet, as one, making as if to fall. Cabaret, circus, street theatre, Sparks! certainly lived up to the name!
Russell

Alice Grace & Ben Helm: A Festive Afternoon Tea @ Bonbar - Dec 20

(Review by Russell)
It's that time of year, you can't escape it. Seasonal goodwill and bonhomie...don't you just love it? Bah humbug! But wait, if compelled, what better way to participate in the festivities than to take afternoon tea listening to Alice Grace singing a selection of Christmas songs accompanied by guitarist Ben Helm? 

Bonbar in Newcastle city centre offered a glass of fizz, a selection of sandwiches, scones and tea or coffee. And, as a bonus, the chance to pull a festive cracker! Santa, Baby, Alice resplendent in seasonal Santa red, Last Christmas, Ben decorating the one-time chart topper with a light dusting of Jingle Bells, perfect. 

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Christmas Update.

Wednesday 26 December (Boxing Day) - no jazz at Cullercoats Crescent Club due to wall-to-wall Premiership football in the club that day. Instead, we will be performing in The Spanish City from 12.00 - 3.00pm (Valerie's Tea Room 12.00-12.35; Trenchers Restaurant 12.50 - 1.30pm) with guest musicians and vocalists joining the band in The Champagne Bar from 2.00 - 3.00pm

Thursday 27 December - The Holystone 1.00 - 3.00pm 

Sunday 30 December - Spanish City from 12.00 - 3.00pm (Valerie's Tea Room 12.00-12.35; Trenchers Restaurant 12.50 - 1.30pm) with guest musicians and vocalists joining the band in The Champagne Bar from 2.00 - 3.00pm

Tuesday 1 January (New Year's Day) - Spanish City from 12.00 - 3.00pm (Valerie's Tea Room 12.00-12.35; Trenchers Restaurant 12.50 - 1.30pm) with guest musicians and vocalists joining the band in The Champagne Bar from 2.00 - 3.00pm

Wednesday 2 January - Cullercoats Crescent Club 1.00 - 3.00pm 

Thursday 3 January - The Holystone 1.00 - 3.00pm 

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Preview: A Jazzy Christmas - not once but twice!

(Preview by Russell/photo courtesy of Jerry E from last year's event).

Last year's A Jazzy Christmas at Sage Gateshead sold out and this year's tinsel-strewn event looks like putting up the 'house full' signs once again. Friday's concert (December 21st, 8:00pm*) in Sage Two includes arrangements of perennial favourites performed by pianist Paul Edis and an all-star cast. 

County Durham's world-class singer Jo Harrop will make the journey north from her London home as will Yorkshire born saxophonist Matt Anderson to join MD Edis, Emma Fisk, violin and the unbeatable bass and drums partnership of Andy Champion and Russ Morgan. 

Book Review: Geoff Leonard & Pete Walker - Hit and Miss: The Story of the John Barry Seven

The John Barry 7 could by no means be classified as a jazz group although most of their members, including John Barry Prendergast himself, were certainly jazz orientated. JBP studied 'Composition and Orchestration', via a correspondence course, with Stan Kenton arranger Bill Russo and it may come as a surprise to find that the seven's pianist Les Reed, who later penned Engelbert Humperdink's hit recording of The Last Waltz, was considered a first-rate jazz musician.

The book covers the career of the group from Barry's early days at the Rialto in York, the dropping of his surname, the musical partnership with Adam Faith, the Radio and TV shows such as Saturday Club, Oh Boy and Drumbeat and the endless one-night stands up and down the land.

RIP John Williams

Sad to learn of the death of American jazz pianist John Williams - not to be confused with the film composer or the classical guitarist of the same name - who recorded with Stan Getz and Brookmeyer amongst others back in the '50s and '60s. I discovered him on a Stan Getz album, Interpretations, but, sadly, heard little else of him over the years.
Marc Myers, writing in his Jazz Wax (the world's number one) blog, reveals he made several impressive solo albums of which samples can be heard in his obituary of the pianist.
John Williams left us on December 15 aged 89.
Rest In Peace.
Lance.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

CDs of the Year - Big Bands.

1-Gil Evans Orchestra - Hidden Treasures.
2-Bobby Sanabria - West Side Story Reimagined. 
3-Bansangu Orchestra.
4-Bob Mintzer Big Band/New York Voices - Meeting of Minds.
5-One O'Clock Lab Band - The Rhythm of the Road.
6-Greg Yasinitsky - Yazz Band.
Lance.

Glenn Miller Orchestra @ Sage Gateshead - Dec 17

(Review by Russell)

In 1988 Ray McVay visited New York to meet with David Mackay Jr., President, Glenn Miller Productions. McVay's dream was to establish a British based band dedicated to performing the music of the famous American bandleader. McVay's trip was successful, not only could he use the Miller name, he returned with licenses, a trunk full of charts and all the help he needed. 

Thirty years on, here at Sage Gateshead, McVay's Glenn Miller Orchestra gave the audience what it wanted. From Little Brown Jug to St Louis Blues to Minnie the Moocher memories were stirred. With a book comprising in excess of two hundred tunes would the favourites be performed one more time? Of course they would! Assisting MD McVay was a well-drilled band (the collective CV boasting ex BBC Big Band sessions, theatre, recording studio, television and radio engagements, countless jazz club gigs and more), star vocalists Catherine Sykes and Mark Porter, the Uptown Hall Gang, the Moonlight Serenaders and the ever-energetic Swing Time Jivers.

Better Late Than Never...

Our local rag, the Shields Gazette has finally acknowledged BSH's APPJAG award with a half-page article in last night's edition (Dec. 17). In true journalistic tradition, the ceremony is referred to as taking place at Pizza Hut and not Pizza Express where the event was held.
Also, in their Facebook copy, I'm referred to as Lance Little and Daryl Sherman becomes Daryl Sharman! Still, no publicity is bad publicity...
Lance.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Chetham's takes to the streets of Newcastle - Dec 17

Today BSH heard Harry Toulson playing some scintillating bop alto sax on the streets of Newcastle. Harry, originally from County Durham, has been studying at Chetham's School of Music in Manchester and this morning, busking on Northumberland Street, flew, Bird-like, through the changes before taking it down with an assured reading of My Funny Valentine. An uplifting start to the week!  
Russell.

Paul Edis Trio: Blaydon Jazz Club's Christmas Party @ The Black Bull - Dec 16

Paul Edis (piano, vocals); Andy Champion (double bass); Russ Morgan (drums) + Roly Veitch (guitar, vocals); Graham Hardy (trumpet, flugelhorn); James Birkett (guitar); Zoë Gilby (vocals)
(Review by Russell/PHOTOS courtesy of Jerry.)



The annual Blaydon Jazz Club Christmas Party, specifically the DIY buffet, long ago acquired mythical status. Down the decades - yes, Blaydon Jazz Club is well into its fourth decade! - the December concert has become a much-loved affair. This year's festive musical offering came in the form of the Paul Edis Trio...and guests. 

Santa Claus is coming to (Blaydon) Town with Monkish bop overtones opened the party. Every time your scribe hears the trio he concludes that they - Edis, Andy Champion and Russ Morgan - would more than hold their own at any of NYC's famous jazz clubs. Last night's performance at the Black Bull did nothing to dispel this view. 

Budtet @ The Globe + Jam Session. Jazz Coop Xmas Party - Dec. 16.

Stu Finden (baritone sax/vocal); Fiona Finden (tenor sax/vocals); Dave Weisser (cornet/vocals); Jude Murphy (alto sax/flute/vocals); Jim Crinson (guitar); Andrew Porritt (bass); Eric Stutt (drums).
(Review by Lance).

The party season is now in full swing. Down south in Hartlepool, Musicians Unlimited and Alice Grace were serving up the musical mince pies, way out west, in Blaydon, it was the Paul Edis Trio and guests pulling the crackers whilst here in town, at the Globe, it was Budtet who carved the bird.

It was an impressive set with Stu Finden blowing his recently acquired baritone with a facility that reminded me of my favourite bari-player, the late Cecil Payne. Hank Mobley's This I Dig of You set the standard and it was high. Everyone soloed and there were no passengers tonight. Boplicity, Take the A Train and a familiar sounding funky feely number kept the mercury bubbling over. Dave scatted and Jude fluted - is there a better jazz flautist around? Not many.

SSBB - Christmas @ Gosforth Civic Theatre - Saturday, Dec. 15

(Review by Russell)

Storm Deirdre did its best/worst to disrupt the second of the Strictly Smokin' Big Band's two sold-out Christmas shows.  A couple of centimetres of snow is often sufficient to see Tyneside in a state of gridlock but the SSBB's followers weren't to be deterred.

Gosforth Civic Theatre buzzed with excitement as the eight o'clock start approached. First impressions...the venue has a new, recently acquired Yamaha upright piano - good! The stage was festooned with microphones (the concert performance was to be recorded - good!) and, as band singer Alice Grace sang the first of several numbers - Fascinating Rhythm - it was obvious that a first-rate mic/PA system was at her (and F'reez's) disposal - good! A superb vocalist, as Alice is, deserves to be heard properly in front of a big band. 

Jingle Bells the opener - well, it is nearly Christmas - set the festive tone and musical standard (A*). Evenin' sang F'reez. Yes, a grand evening was in store. April in Paris Basie-style...One more time, one more. This the SSBB - what a band! 

Sunday, December 16, 2018

CDs of the year - The singers

International
Diana Krall/Tony Bennett - Our Love is Here to Stay.
Cecile McLorin Salvant - Dreams & Daggers.
Petra Van Nuis & Dennis Luxion - Because We're Night People.
Daryl Sherman - Lost in a Crowded Place.
Sarah Eden - Bleu Nuits.
Sarah Eden - Ailleurs.
Allegra Levy - Looking at the Moon.

UK.
Jo Harrop - Songs For the Late Hours.
Sara Dowling - Two Sides of Sara.
Beverley Beirne - JJWTHF.

My choices in no particular order.
Lance
See previous post.

CD Review: Andrew Cyrille – Lebroba

Wadada Leo Smith (trumpet); Bill Frisell (guitar); Andrew Cyrille (drums).
(Review by Steve H).

This ECM release is a bit of a supergroup of ‘old masters’ and the skill, technique and interplay between the trio certainly doesn’t disappoint.

Worried Woman, delicious gentle opener by Bill Frisell, with trumpet dominating but also with great subtle embellishments from drums and guitar.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Bop While You Shop - Dec 15

(Review by Russell)
Emerging from the subterranean depths of Central Station Metro station late Saturday morning the sound of a big band could be heard on the concourse. A large ensemble, all togged-up, raising money for charity, it came as no surprise to see that the band's MD was none other than Dave Hignett. The band in question - Prudhoe Community Band - is one of many Tyne Valley outfits led by trumpeter Hignett. No doubt a tidy sum was raised on the day.

Meanwhile, up at Shop-a-holic Central, aka Northumberland Street, it couldn't have been busier; Fenwick's seasonal window attracted a queue a mile long, a helter skelter stood idle on this freezing day, shoppers skirting either side, buskers busked the length and breadth, and there at the junction with Blackett Street, the band for all weathers, Soznak, did its thing with the ever-enthusiastic Jude Murphy singing, dancing and at this juncture, breathing life into what was sure to be a near-frozen flute. Turn a corner and you're sure to find/hear music to feed the soul.        
Russell.

Swinging into Christmas with Classic Swing @ Gateshead Fell Cricket Club - Dec 14

Bob Wade (trumpet, flugelhorn); Jim McBriarty (tenor sax, clarinet, vocals); Gordon Solomon (trombone); Colin Haikney (piano); Alan Rudd (double bass); Tommy Graham (drums); Olive Rudd (vocals) + Don Fairley (trombone). 
(Review by Russell)
Temperatures hovered around zero some twenty-four hours before a forecast first snowfall of the winter. Turning into Evistones Road the welcoming sight of a brightly lit Gateshead Fell Cricket Club lifted the spirits.  

It Don't Mean a Thing sang Olive Rudd in a less than welcoming function room. Was the heating system on the blink? Perhaps. It didn't help matters that the fire door was ajar as bar staff, victims of the dreaded weed, huddled in midwinter darkness. A bar without a handpull, a bottle of Dog looked the pick. 

RIP Nancy Wilson

One of the all-time great vocalists Nancy Wilson passed away on Thursday (Dec. 13). Although I never caught her live, when she appeared at Stockton's Club Fiesta in June 1973 someone recorded it and, thanks to Adrian Tilbrook who played drums on the gig, I was able to listen to her performance - how I wish I'd been adventurous enough to go to Stockton back then! I'm sure Adrian recalled his memories of the gig in these pages but I can't find them!
As I remember, she castigated a section of the audience for being less than attentive perhaps Adrian will elaborate further?
A more conventional recording was the album she did with Cannonball Adderley - one of my favourite vocal recordings.
A great singer sadly missed.
Nancy Wilson was 81.
Lance.

SSBB - Christmas @ Gosforth Civic Theatre - Friday, Dec. 14.

(Review by Lance).
As becomes the season it was party time and bells were jingled all the way on the opener. Yes, Jingle Bells, like you've never heard it played before - at least not since last Christmas (when F'reez gave us his heart more of which later). When the saxes stood up as a section the partygoers behind us erupted as if it were The Beatles at Shea Stadium.

Pete and Mark exchanging choruses rather than Christmas cards on Cole Porter's I Love You produced more 'oohs' and 'ahs' from the revellers. Not as many, however, as Alice did when she emerged from the wings in a shimmering, glittery, sparkly, figure-hugging green dress to sing Fascinating Rhythm - fascinating indeed!

Preview: Glenn Miller Orchestra (UK) @ Sage Gateshead - Monday Dec 17

(Preview by Russell)
Today (Saturday 15) marks seventy-four years to the day since Glenn Miller disappeared over the English Channel. Several uncorroborated sightings of the legendary AAF bandleader down the local chip shop aside, no one has clapped eyes on the all-American icon until now...

At Sage Gateshead on Monday (Dec 17) the Miller orchestra will revisit the days when a night spent in the local air-raid shelter was a communal bonding exercise and a banana was considered a luxury. Ah, those were the days! On parade on Monday - 19:30 hrs sharp! - will be Major Miller and his famous band. Of course, the role of Glenn Miller will be played by Ray McVay. His band on duty in Gateshead comprises fearless troupers (troopers?), the sort who've seen action in the trenches of many a provincial theatre as well as occasional sorties abroad. 

Friday, December 14, 2018

Archipelago and Guests @ Bridge Hotel - Dec. 9

Christian Alderson (drums  & percussion); Faye MacCalman (sax & clarinet); John Pope (bass guitar)  + Fran Bundey  (iPads and  TC Helicon VoiceLive Touch); Lisette Auton (poet, spoken word artist).
(Review & photos by Ken Drew).  

One year ago, Jazz North East's end-of-year performance comprised two bands - ARTICLE XI and FAVOURITE ANIMALS for an end of year blast. This year's final blast of the year was 'Archipelago + Guests' hotfoot from their mini-residencies as part of their 'Between Waves' project where the trio worked with a different guest for each of their four performances at Cobalt Studios in October. Tonight, they were reunited with two of their guests to perform some of that work and to launch a digital EP of their ‘Between Waves’ collaboration.

Birthday Party @ The Black Swan w. the Mo Scott Band.

Mo Scott (vocals); Gary Dunn (guitar); Neil Harland (bass guitar); Lloyd Howell (drums) + John Wilson (guitar).
(Review by Lance).

It was a fun night which is what birthday bashes should be. Sylvia, tonight's birthday girl, her partner and Black Swan owner Mike, put on a shindig that did her proud and was much appreciated by their assembled friends.

Music was provided by the Mo Scott Band and the northeast's number one blues mama was in good voice. This wasn't an arts venue in Newcastle, for one night only, it was a cellar blues bar in Chicago.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Christmas Party Night @ Dormans Jazz Club Middlesbrough - Dec.6

(Review by Ron H)
The Middlesbrough Jazz and Blues Orchestra, a 20+ piece band led by Kevin Eland, held their Christmas party at Dormans Club playing to an enthusiastic capacity audience drawn from all age groups.

The band started the night with a great arrangement of St Louis Blues, giving the audience a taste of what was in store. This was followed by Sugar Valley with a nice intro from Dave Archbold on keyboards.

Let’s Take it Nice and Easy sang Django followed by a nice and easy big band arrangement of Winter Wonderland.

Vicki Jackson sang a rousing version of Route 66 with fine solos from Dave on keys, Dave Bell on sax and Neil Brodie on trumpet. Further numbers included Chameleon, Lonely St. Cute, featuring Shaun, and Miles of Milestones.

Blog Archive

About this blog - contact details.

Bebop Spoken Here -- Here, being the north-east of England -- centred in the blues heartland of Newcastle and reaching down to the Tees Delta and looking upwards to the Land of the Kilt.
Not a very original title, I know; not even an accurate one as my taste, whilst centred around the music of Bird and Diz, extends in many directions and I listen to everything from King Oliver to Chick Corea and beyond. Not forgetting the Great American Songbook the contents of which has provided the inspiration for much great jazz and quality popular singing for round about a century.
The idea of this blog is for you to share your thoughts and pass on your comments on discs, gigs, jazz - music in general. If you've been to a gig/concert or heard a CD that knocked you sideways please share your views with us. Tell us about your favourites, your memories, your dislikes.
Lance (Who wishes it to be known that he is not responsible for postings other than his own and that he's not always responsible for them.)
Contact: lanceliddle@gmail.com I look forward to hearing from you.

Submissions for review

Whilst we appreciate the many emails, texts, messages and other communications we receive requesting album/gig reviews on BSH, regrettably, we are unable to reply to all of them other than those we are able to answer with a positive response.
Similarly, CDs received by post will only be considered if accompanied by sufficient background material.
Finally, bear in mind that this is a jazz-based site when submitting your album.
Lance