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Bebop Spoken There

David Binney: "In this age, we musicians need to do anything we can to make a living, and ninety-nine percent of us will have to do a wide variety of things." - (Jazz Times May 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.

Until July 21

Today Tuesday July 16

Afternoon

Jazz

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

Classic Swing - The Ship Inn, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. 0191 251 3677. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

Jazz

Gala Big Band w. ALAN BARNES: Strictly Come BRASSing - Gala Theatre, Millennium Place, Durham DH1 1WA. Tel: 03000 266 600. 7:30pm. £15.00. (£12.00. concs.). A Durham Brass Festival event.

River City Jazzmen - Block & Tackle, Blackthorn Way, Ashington NE63 8NW. Tel: 01670 813983 (info). 8:00pm. £5.00. (inc. raffle). RCJ with Don Armstrong (clarinet, saxophone, penny whistle, vocals).

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SOLD OUT!

Zoe Rahman & Laura MacDonald - Lit & Phil, Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SE. Tel: 0191 232 0192.. 8:00pm. £12.00. (£10.00. concs.). JNE.

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Northern Monkey Brass Band - Fox Inn, West End Terrace, Hexham NE46 3DB.Tel: 01434 603681. 8:30pm. Free (donations).

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

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Bradley Johnston Quartet @ The Lit & Phil – July 12.

Keith Robinson (reeds); Bradley Johnston (guitar); Paul Grainger (bass); Russ Morgan (drums),
(Review/photos courtesy of Brian Ebbatson)

Publicity for this gig from guitarist Bradley Johnston promised “a musical journey that explores guitar playing over the last 100 years”, but it was a much more personal selection of pieces, mainly by Bradley himself – four out of six of the tunes featured were from his pen – although there was certainly a strong element of paying tribute to his influences.

Bradley opened solo with his arrangement of John Lennon’s In My Life, a dreamy interpretation very reminiscent of Bill Frisell – indeed it features on Frisell’s 2011 album All We Are Saying. Bradley wove his way with synth-like chords through and around the George Harrison intro and the Lennon melody. Maybe it was a 70’s Beatles number but this was definitely a second-decade C21 interpretation.

(Preview): Marie Curie Fundraiser - A Concert For Margaret Barnes


(Info supplied by JNE)

Saturday 20th July @ The Literary and Philosophical Society, 23 Westgate Road,
Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 1SE
£10 Afternoon or Evening Session Ticket / £12 Full Day Ticket

Afternoon Session (Doors: 1.00pm
)

1.30pm: Debra Milne and Steve Glendinning
2.20pm: Paul Edis with Graham Hardy
3.25pm: Hand To Mouth
4.15pm: Thomas Dixon Band


Evening Session (Doors: 5.45pm)

6.00pm: Paul Taylor + The Long Lonesome Go
7.05pm: Bradley Johnston Trio trio with Roly Veitch
8.10pm: Duo FCT
9.00pm: Zoe Gilby Quartet

Monday, July 15, 2019

Looking Back to the Future - River City Jazzmen @ Carlisle Jazz Club


Some of the more mature of us may remember the original River City Jazzmen when it first started in the 1950s. Unlike other bands, the River City featured a tuba which gave it a distinctive sound. 

Fast forward to 2019 and, as trad fans probably know, the band has re-formed after a gap of eleven years and now features a sousaphone played by the redoubtable Phil Rutherford. The band recently played at Carlisle Jazz Club and in the audience was someone who used to follow the original River City in those early days at venues such as the New Orleans Club and the Downbeat Club.

Apparently he was transported back in time and swears the sound of the present band is identical to the original. He kindly recorded the band playing Royal Garden Blues and has sent this link.
Back to the future!
Gordon Solomon.

Bob Wade (trumpet/clarinet); Gordon Solomon (trombone); Steve Andrews (clarinet/baritone sax?); Keith Stephen (banjo); Phil Rutherford (sousa); Tommy Graham (drums).

Shappiness is just a thing called Daryl

‘Shappiness’ is frequently defined as - a good shit, a  good shag, a clean shave, a shampoo, or an expensive sherry. However, if you happen to be at Pizza Express' The Pheasantry in London tomorrow and Wednesday (15/16) then you most surely will add the name of Sherman to those ‘Shapps’.

Daryl Sherman is, undoubtedly, an outstanding purveyor of the GASbook. We've heard her at festivals, in concert halls, - even at a low profile jam session in Jesmond (see photo) - and the girl always delivers both vocally and pianistically! Sadly, I won't be able to get down to The Pheasantry - my gossamer wings are in the repair shop - but, nevertheless, it promises to be a couple of memorable evenings with Daryl paying tribute to the vocal style of no less an icon than Satchmo himself and, in the company of some of our finest jazzmen.
Sir Lancelot 
(Warning!: Only Daryl is allowed to call me that!)

Vieux Carré Hot 4 using their loaf

David Binney: "In this age, we musicians need to do anything we can to make a living, and ninety-nine percent of us will have to do a wide variety of things." - (Jazz Times May 2019). True words from David Binney.

 
This ‘gig’ was a ‘promotional video/publicity shoot for the new Greggs outlet on Sandy Lane, Newcastle, which required an early 7.00am start when it’s comparatively quiet ahead of the rush hour. It was a good gig, tho! 
Pete Wright, trumpet; Jim McBriarty, soprano sax; Brian Bennett, banjo; Phil Rutherford, sousaphone.
Brian Bennett.

(Editor): This must have been one of your 'higher profile' gigs judging by the bandwagon - love the car registration!

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Jambone & Young Sinfonia @ Sage Gateshead – July 13


(Review by Chris)

A rare outing for the combined forces of the Sage Young Musicians Programme jazz orchestra Jambone, and conventional orchestra, Young Sinfonia, filling the stage of Sage One.  This was part of the culmination of the YMP year – their summer festival - and marked the latest milestone in the remarkable development of Jambone’s director, the composer and arranger extraordinaire, Paul Edis.   With two orchestras (12 strong Jambone, 27 for Sinfonia) packed with talent at his disposal,  Admiral Edis had written or arranged three contrasting pieces to send the fleet on manouevres for an hour or so. Was this to be jazz deluxe, or was it modern orchestral repertoire spiced with “improvisatory” elements, as the Sinfonia’s distinguished conductor, Karin Hendrickson warned the audience?  

Denmark Street Big Band with Jo Harrop @ The Dean Street Pizza Express, Soho, London - July 13

(Review by Russell)

This was something of a treat. A day trip to London to hear Paul Burch's cracking big band working with star vocalist Jo Harrop. The Gene Krupa Story is the Denmark Street Big Band's latest project and on a warm summer's day the orchestra assembled for a lunchtime engagement at the Dean Street Pizza Express.

Soho bustled as it always does; traders, tourists, locals, some looking cool, some trying to look cool, others not so cool. The Pizza Express' basement venue offered some relief from the on-street rising mercury. Members of the orchestra arrived in ones and twos as Ms Harrop sound-checked alongside pianist Ben Croft.  

Burton Agnes Jazz and Blues Festival - July 13 (afternoon)

(Review by Sheila Herrick/photos to follow)

Saturday brought The Mark Williams Trio to the stage at 12.30pm a lovely start to the day and the audience appreciated the fine playing and skilled musicianship of Mark on guitar, Andy Champion on bass guitar and Russ Morgan on drums. (Paul Susans unable to make this gig). The set had a well-balanced range from the clear and bell-like, Weird Waltz, to the meditative Good Answer and on to Near Enough,  revved up by Russ and taken on by the flying fingers of Mark and the power of Andy's bass. "The set went well, Andy played a blinder and there was something for everyone", said Mark. 

Saturday, July 13, 2019

CD Review: Rich Willey's Boptism Big Band - Down & Dirty


(Review by Lance).

I know I never stop moaning (or should that be Moanin'?) about the number of CDs I'm presented with for review. When I first started BSH I'd eagerly await the postman in anticipation of what goodies he may have in store for me - I was a kid in a sweetie factory! However, with the passage of time, it became reminiscent of the old joke about the musician who goes to Hell and finds himself playing in the Basie Band. 

Burton Agnes Jazz and Blues Festival - July 12

(Review/photo courtesy of Sheila Herrick)

First on the main stage was the Manchester Jazz Collective - 3 saxes, 2 trumpets, 2 trombones, keyboard, double bass and drums. A 10 strong ensemble of northern musicians and composers who created a full and wide-ranging sound. From brassy big band and South American flavoured numbers to lyrical pieces on sax and with welcome attention to dynamics which enhanced the set and the audience appreciation. Great playing and well-written pieces clearly enjoyed by players and audience alike.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Ahead Of Summertyne Americana Festival, Eve Selis Opens Up About How Tragedy Has Shaped Her Music


(Media Release)

Last time award-winning Americana singer Eve Selis performed at Sage Gateshead was in 2016. But when a series of tragedies struck not long after her return home, she became incapable of listening to music never mind singing.

Thankfully, with determination and positivity, Eve will be joining a special line-up at this year’s SummerTyne Americana Festival and will once again be entertaining some of her greatest fans.

The Festival runs from Friday 19 to Sunday 21 July and is in its 14th year. k.d. lang is the headline opening act for the Friday whilst Strictly Country featuring Eve Selis, The Wandering Hearts, Lauren Alaina and Catherine McGrath will headline the Saturday night. Kiefer Sutherland will close the weekend on Sunday night.

John Pope Quintet @ the Bridge Hotel - July 7


Faye MacCalman (tenor saxophone, clarinet); Jamie Stockbridge (alto saxophone); Graham Hardy (trumpet); John Pope (double bass;) Johnny Hunter (drums)
(Review by Steve H)

This band played its inaugural gig at this very same venue  3 years ago. I said in my review at the time how much I hoped that this would not just be a one-off gig. The band is geographically split between Newcastle and Manchester although even the non-Geordie residents have Newcastle connections. Pope, MacCalman and Hardy are well known local favourites. Jamie Stockbridge although now resident in Manchester formed his regular band Taupe in Newcastle and Johnny Hunter appears so many times in Newcastle I suspect he may have a season ticket for United. Thankfully having being selected as one of this year’s Jazz North’s Northern Line bands they have been able to come together more often and Sunday night saw the culmination of a 4 gig Northern Powerhouse tour (Manchester, Leeds, and Sheffield).

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Don't throw CDs at me

Just as some of the charity shops say "Sorry no books" I'm in a similar position where I'm having to say that, for the time being, I can no longer accept CDs for review unless I've specifically requested them. I just can't cope with the deluge, some of which I know will be fantastic, but time and space mean that only a very small percentage will even get out of the packaging. I know that I may be missing out on the next Kind of Blue but that's a chance I'll have to take.

I've got wall to wall CDs, LPs, EPs, tapes, 78s - even mini-discs and, maybe in the loft some reel to reel stuff. Then there are the DVDs, the videos, the books I've yet to read, the books I've yet to write, the cost of moving to a larger house to accommodate the daily influx so, folks, for the moment, if you're planning on sending me your latest masterpiece, do nothing till you hear from me.

Live gig reviews and previews will, of course, remain our number one priority.
Lance

Brian Jackson @ Hoochie Coochie - July 12

Don't miss tomorrow night at Hoochie. The good news is that the legendary interpreter of the music of Gil Scott-Heron, Brian Jackson, will be delivering his sermon at 9:30pm at The Church.
Details.
Lance

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Gavin Belton Funeral Times

The funeral of Gavin Belton, banjoist w. the Tees Valley Jazzmen will take place on Monday, July 15 at 1:00pm at Cockton Hill Methodist Church, Cockton Hill Road, Bishop Auckland, County Durham, DL14 6EN.

RIP Freddie Jones

Just a brief announcement reporting that character actor Freddie Jones died yesterday aged 91. Why am I mentioning this beloved actor on a jazz blog? Well, back in the early '70s when the Newcastle Big Band was pulling the crowds into their lunchtime sessions at what was then the University Playhouse (now Northern Stage) one of their most fervent supporters when he was in town - usually playing the Theatre Royal - was Freddie Jones.

He was always keen to chat - he loved the band - and, in return, I always looked out for him when he was on tele.
Fond memories,
Lance.

The Electet @ The Forum, Darlington - July 9

BSH's County Durham correspondent Tony Eales reports a healthy turn out at last night's now regular jazz gig at the Forum, Darlington. Pianist Rick Laughlin working alongside saxophonist Alan Thompson (Durham Alumni Big Band) is mixing and matching the line-up month to month and TE filed his report praising Harry Keeble (tenor sax) sharing the stand, and holding his own, with musicians many years his senior. August's session is scheduled for Tuesday 13th, watch this space.   
Russell

Preview: Alan Barnes' Gala Appearance - July 16

The indefatigable Alan Barnes is seemingly on the road seven days a week. At the weekend you'll find him at the Wigan Jazz Festival touring his Alan Barnes + 11 60th birthday album, a week tonight he'll be in London working on a classy gig (Daryl Sherman with Dave Green) and the following night the multi-instrumentalist will be at St James' & St Basil's Church, Newcastle working alongside Sue Ferris with the Paul Edis Trio. Why not take a night off, Alan? 

No chance! This year's Durham Brass Festival sees the Gala Big Band in action on Tuesday (July 16) and our award-winning jazz superstar just fancied joining his friend, pianist Paul Edis, for some Strictly Come BRASSing at the Gala Theatre. MD Edis has moulded the community orchestra into an impressive outfit and this festival engagement will be a salsa, swing, ballroom extravaganza featuring a 'plethora of dancers' in 'a colourful celebration of dancing and big band music'. Add Barnes to the mix together with Edis' top class bass and drums team of Andy Champion and Russ Morgan and you've got the makings of a great night out. The fun begins at 7:30, tickets £15 (£12 concs), call the box office on 03000 266 600.    
Russell

Jam session @ The Black Swan, Newcastle - July 9


(Review by Russell)

It was a rainy night in Geor...sorry, wrong town, it was a rainy night in Newcastle. Perhaps the weather would deter both sitters-in and listeners alike. At eight o'clock in a sparsely populated Black Swan the house trio made a start with They Can't Take that Away from Me.  

Triste (João Gilberto recorded Jobim's number) played out to the hardcore before the trio lit the blue touchpaper with a scorching take on Billie's Bounce. Messrs Stockdale, Grainger and Walker went for it, not least jam session kingpin Mr G fuelled by who knows what...spinach? It was time to invite the first (the only?!) sitter-in to join the trio. All the way from Cleveland, Jan Spencelayh! The Nearness of You for starters, Devil May Care with pianist Stockdale suggesting 'last four' as he helped chart our most welcome guest through Bob Dorough's timeless composition. Similarly, Stockdale suggested 'last twelve' on Almost Like Being in Love. We'll be hearing more from Spencelayh, that's for sure.

Well, look who's in town...Andrea Pattison, no less! AP's contribution was brief- What a Difference a Day Makes - and then she was gone, not from the premises, you understand, but to take her seat in a, by now, slowly but surely filling Black Swan.

Tuesday, July 09, 2019

Getting the Festival Vibe @ Love Supreme

(Report/photos by Debra M)

I am not a camper. I was put off many years ago by my family’s first and last camping holiday near Craster on the Northumberland coast, undertaken with 3 small children and not enough kit. It was a beautiful spot, but all I remember is feeling tired and cold.  However, times have moved on, and we were lured by Love Supreme and the prospect of a weekend full of jazz in the lush Sussex countryside, and by glamping.

The festival site included an outdoor Main Stage and two large marquees - The Big Top & The Arena, as well as several smaller performance spaces, hosting a wide selection of live jazz and soul, as well as DJ sets, spoken word & dance events.  Early on Friday evening, our first stop was the Jazz Lounge to watch Abi Lewis’s Geordie Jazz Man.  It is a beautifully constructed narrative that captures the essence of Keith Crombie  and entwines his story with evocative shots of Newcastle from the 1960s onwards. The audience included a handful of Tynesiders who had known him personally, 1 or 2 of whom were brought to tears.

Better than Paracetamol - two great albums

It's Tuesday, the jam is on, but it's not my good news day. I woke up this morning, yes I woke up this morning and my nostrils were a flood, seems like I caught a cold, yes, I got it bad and that ain't good.

So, not wishing to spread the germs around, what could I do but cuddle up to the CD player and ease my troubled mind?

This also seemed to be the ideal moment to dispose of a couple more of the Dreyfus albums - there's still 3 more to go after this. I'm not going to include any of the 14 CDs/LPs in my 'Discs of the Year' listings - how could I? They're simply unbeatable.

Madeleine Peyroux & Emily Barker @ Sage Gateshead - July 8

Madeleine Peyroux (vocal/guitar); Andy Ezrin (keys); Jon Herington (guitar); Paul Frazier (bass guitar); Graham Hawthorne (drums).
(Review by Lance/Photo courtesy of Raphaël Perez © 2019 *)

The barflies arrived in time (just) for the main event making Level One of Sage One maybe 90% full. They should have got there earlier...

However, they were in time for the big deal which was a very big deal indeed. M'amselle Peyroux - ok I know she was born in Georgia and lived in Brooklyn but I always think of her as French and she did sing a number in that most musical of languages that could have been created on the boulevards of Paris - was in good voice. 

Jake Walker Orchestra @ The Black Swan, Newcastle - July 8


Jake Walker Orchestra: Cedric De Lat (trumpet); Tobias Storme (trombone); Warre Van de Putte (tenor saxophone); Ruben Van Bost (clarinet, tenor sax, soprano sax); Wouter 'Wally' Van den Broeck (piano); Pieter Mortier (string bass); Wannes 'Wannie' Cornelis (drums).
(Review by Russell)

Gig of the year, as simple as that. Jake Walker or, to give the band its full name, the Jake Walker Orchestra, arrived on Tyneside midway through a first British tour. On the evidence of this Newcastle performance, it'll be the first of many.  

Jake Walker's tour itinerary found the band with a blank date - Sunday in Edinburgh, Tuesday in Edinburgh, what to do on Monday? In stepped Newcastle Arts Centre to offer the Belgian swing septet a gig in the Black Swan venue on Westgate Road. Those concerned should be congratulated on taking a punt, it paid off handsomely. 

Monday, July 08, 2019

Strictly Smokin' stripped down in the hills


(Press release)

An opportunity to hear Strictly Smokin’ stripped down to a quartet with Alice Grace (voice), Michael Lamb (trumpet), Pawel Jedrzejewski (Guitar), Michael Whent (Bass) – featuring music from  Alice and Pawel’s new Album ‘A Timeless Place’.

In the heart of the Northumbrian countryside, Dennis Kilgallon Gallery showcases artistic
talent in a location so spectacular and remote it is referred to as ‘The Gallery in the Hills’- despite being only 10 minutes drive from the A69. Near to Hadrian’s Wall, Vindolanda, Houseteads and Allen Banks: make a day of visiting throughout the year exhibition changes every two months. If you don’t trust your SatNav, simply follow the yellow and black signs for ‘Art Gallery’ which will take you to the front door of his converted barn and gallery home.

Gallery open to browse.
Booking.

CD Review: Larry Fuller - Overjoyed


Larry Fuller (piano), Hassan Shakur (bass), Lewis Nash (drums).
(Review by Dave Brownlow).

What a pleasure it is to come across an album such as this which incorporates many of the best qualities of jazz music – swing, the blues, chops, flair, humour, drive, surprise, good taste, invention, and sheer joy. Larry Fuller has worked with many notable musicians - Ray Brown, Ernestine Anderson, Harry Edison, Phil Woods, Clark Terry, John Pizzarelli - and he brings the experience gained to the piano keyboard in his own soulful style on this CD.

Sunday, July 07, 2019

Preview: The Gene Krupa Story @ The Pizza Express, Soho - July 13


Krupa, O'Day, Denmark Street - it has all the makings of a big band super gig. At lunchtime on Saturday (July 13) at the Dean Street (Soho) Pizza Express the Demark Street Big Band will be telling the story of one of the great jazz drummers, Mr Gene Krupa.

The Denmark Street Big Band, assembled and directed by Paul Burch, comprises London-based A-listers (subject to availability, these guys are so busy - West End shows, studio recording sessions, jazz gigs in and out of town!) taking on a range of projects. The latest is The Gene Krupa Story. The set list is likely to include Leave Us LeapDrum Boogie and Drummin' Man. And, what's more, the fabulous Jo Harrop will be singing Anita O'Day with the band - Bolero at the SavoyBoogie BluesLet Me Off Uptown...can't wait! MD Burch promises a Goodman-Krupa dust-up, it should be fun! Will Ms Harrop be wearing a sensational hat, a la Ms O'Day? Either way, our girl (our County Durham born girl!) is the tops. 
Russell
Doors at 12:15, first set 1:15. Tickets (£15) from 020 7437 9595.    

Ray Harris @ Hoochie Coochie, - July 5


Ray Harris (keys/vocals); Euan Malloch (guitar/vocals); Marcus Cordock (bass guitar/vocals); Signy Jakobsdottir (percussion); Gary Montgomery (drums) + Hannabiell Saunders (percussion).
(Review by Nathan Allonby).

What do you get if you mix five outstanding musicians, who have played together for years and know each other well? Six albums and a rip-roaring night at Hoochie Coochie!


Many of us have heard Ray Harris at Hoochie Coochie before, so we knew this would be a "Don't miss" event - they didn't let us down.

Although billed under the leader's name, it's a bit like the Duke Ellington Orchestra, a band where every member should be a star in their own right. This is very much a close collaboration where every member contributes equally. Several of the titles from their new album were written collectively. It's really exciting to hear such a tight band.

Preview: Jake Walker Orchestra @ The Black Swan - July 8


New Orleans, Dixieland, swing, it's the new thing, you know. Recent visits to BSH's heartland by the likes of America's Frog and Henry, the Shake 'Em Up Jazz Band and Taylor Smith and the Roamin' Jasmine (performing to large crowds) and gigs by homegrown talent - Adrian Cox's Profoundly Blue, the Tenement Jazz Band, the Red Hot Rhythm Makers, the Northern Monkey Brass Band, House of the Black Gardenia - tell the story...swing (and all things New Orleans) is the thing! 

Tomorrow night (Monday) in the Black Swan (Newcastle Arts Centre) Swing Tyne devotees (and anyone else who fancies it) will be dancing the night away to the sounds of Jake Walker*. Jake who? you ask. No, no, not 'he', 'they'. The Jake Walker Orchestra, all the way from Ghent, Belgium, will be setting the tempo from eight o'clock. 

RIP João Gilberto

Just heard the sad news that Brazilian guitar legend and creator of the bossa nova genre died yesterday (July 6).

Best remembered by jazz fans for his groundbreaking albums with Stan Getz and the hit single The Girl From Ipanema sung by his then wife, Astrid Gilberto, Gilberto was a renowned performer in his own right and an inspiration to many.

Time to dig out the albums.
João Gilberto was 88.
Sadly missed.
Lance
Obituary.

Preview: Madeleine Peyroux @ Sage Gateshead - July 8

(Preview by Lance/Photo courtesy of Raphaël Perez © 2019 *).
Madeleine Peyroux is one of those singers that every aspiring vocalist should see at least once in their lifetime - once a day would be even better! Monday night at Sage Gateshead will be my third time and if this one's as good as the other two then I'm in for a grand evening.

These days, Peyroux is more of a cross-genre performer rather than an out and out jazzer but the jazz is never far away, mingling seamlessly with the folk, blues and country elements that define where she is today - or is she? On past performances, don't be surprised if the enigmatic singer has added a new string to her guitar. 

Exhibition review: John Akomfrah's 'Ballasts of Memory' @ Baltic, Gateshead


(Review by Russell/Image © Smoking Dogs Films courtesy of Lisson Gallery)

For the best part of four decades John Akomfrah has been a key creative figure in the world of film and video art. A founding member of the Black Audio Film Collective, Akomfrah's practice includes a continuing interest in the culture and representation of the black diaspora. At Baltic (Centre for Contemporary Art) in Gateshead an exhibition opened today (July 6) focussing on three of the artist's films. 

Saturday, July 06, 2019

Blind Pig Blues Club: Struggle Buggy @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle - July 5


Struggle Buggy: Lee Bates (guitar, kazoo, vocals); Billy Newton (harmonica, vocals); Paul Summerson (bass guitar); Keith Smith (drums)
(Review by Russell)

The most authentic blues in town! That's the Blind Pig Blues Club's forthright claim and at the end of an evening featuring Struggle Buggy supported by Michael Littlefield's solo set those who were present would readily endorse it! 

Lee Bates and Billy Newton have worked together as a duo for a good few years and Struggle Buggy is their four-piece band comprising bassist Paul Summerson and drummer Keith Smith. The set list ranged from Blind Boy Fuller (I'm a Rattlesnakin' Daddy and Flyin' Airplane Blues) to Memphis Minnie (Kissing in the Dark) to Washboard Sam (I'm Gonna Keep My Hair Parted in the Middle). Bates, playing a National Steel, took the majority of the vocals with Newton singing Sonny Boy's Early in the Morning

Duncan Lamont and The Young Person's Guide to the Jazz Orchestra


The death of Duncan Lamont brought to mind a radio broadcast he made for the BBC  entitled The Young Person's Guide to the Jazz Orchestra. This was some years ago but I was immediately hooked and managed to record it to cassette. Listened to it a few times then, as one does, gradually forgot about it and it's unfortunate that it took his death to remind me of it. In fact, there were three iconic figures involved...

Henry Purcell (1659-1695) who composed the original theme.
Benjamin Britten (1913-1976) who adapted it for his work The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra.
Duncan Lamont (1931-2019) who inserted the word 'Jazz' into Britten's title.

Friday, July 05, 2019

Ruth Lambert Quartet @ The Gala Theatre, Durham - July 5

Ruth Lambert (vocals); Paul Edis (piano); Neil Harland (double bass); Russ Morgan (drums)
(Review/photo by Russell/Collage & Quartet photo courtesy of Brian Ebbatson)

Ruth Lambert has few if any pretenders to her crown as the supreme interpreter of the Great American Songbook. The Cullercoats-based singer works with the best of them and this Gala Theatre engagement found her in A-list company. Pianist Paul Edis, fresh from gigging in Glasgow the previous evening, short-notice dep bassist Neil Harland and sought-after drummer Russ Morgan were on duty for a one hour, lunchtime masterclass. 

RIP Gavin Belton


Ray Harley has informed me that Gavin Belton, banjoist with the Tees Valley Jazzmen passed away yesterday in hospital aged 71. Along with his brother Keith, Gavin was a founder member of the band which has been going for circa 50 years mainly, as the name implies, in and around Teesside.

We'd love to hear from anyone who could tell us more about Gavin's playing career.
May he rest in peace.
Lance (Photo courtesy of Brian Bennett)

Meditatin’ with Trane in San Francisco


(Report by Dave/Photos courtesy of Pam)

It took a trip to California and to a church dedicated to John Coltrane to get Pam and myself into a place of worship and meditation.
The church in question, the St. John Coltrane African Orthodox Church on Turk Street, San Francisco, was founded half a century ago by Marina and Franzo King following a visit on their first wedding anniversary to the city’s Jazz Workshop to hear Coltrane play A Love Supreme. They underwent a religious experience not dissimilar to Coltrane’s in 1957 and were inspired to launch a jazz-based church under a succession of names including the Yardbird Temple (they viewed Charlie Parker as John the Baptist to John Coltrane) in a succession of different locations mostly close to Fillmore Street, known in the ‘40s and ‘50s as the Harlem of the West for its dozens of jazz clubs.

Alan Glen Trio @ The Globe - July 4

Alan Glen (piano); Paul Grainger (bass); Paul Wight (drums).
(Review by Lance)

Exclusively For My Friends was the name given to a series of albums by Oscar Peterson recorded in front of an invited audience back in the 1980s. The albums were universally acclaimed as featuring Peterson at his very best. Last night, at the Jazz Coop HQ, nestled in the shadow of the Arena, pianist Alan Glen was at his very best playing a gig that could also be described as Exclusively For My Friends except the Tyneside piano legend has, or should have, considerably more friends than turned out at the Globe - their loss.

Thursday, July 04, 2019

Marsden Jazz Festival £10k appeal for 2019


(Press release)

Award-winning Marsden Jazz Festival has launched a funding campaign and needs to raise £10,000 by 21 July to secure the festival for this October.

The 28th Marsden Jazz Festival will take place from Friday 11th - Sunday 13th October welcoming thousands of visitors to the iconic village of Marsden, set right at the edge of the picturesque Yorkshire Pennines.

One of the unique aspects of Marsden Jazz Festival is that three-quarters of the 90 or so events taking place on the festival weekend are completely free to attend, including the much-loved festival parade and street band battle.

To keep these events free, the festival, which is a registered charity, has to raise significant funds each year.

Jam Session @ the Dun Cow, Jesmond - July 3

Dean Stockdale (piano); Paul Grainger (bass); Matt MacKellar (drums) + Ray Johnson (trumpet/flugelhorn); Jordan Alfonso (tenor sax); Charles Harrison, Laurence Harrison (guitars); Jan Spencelayh, Mel Grundy (vocals).
(Review/photos by Lance).

For some time now the fortnightly jam sessions at the Black Swan have been unchallenged in terms of quality with the Dun Cow in Jesmond running a distant second. However, since opting to go monthly things at the latter venue have picked up and, on the strength of last night, jazzwise it could be said to have held its own.

Both sessions are organised by Paul Grainger and most of the same musicians are involved but, as is often the case there are always the unexpected visitors eager to display their talents (or lack of).

Stop Press! - Duncan Lamont dies

The sad news has just come in that the legendary tenor saxophonist, composer, arranger, songwriter, Duncan Lamont has just died. More later....
Lance

Wednesday, July 03, 2019

CD Review: Andrew Oliver & David Horniblow - The Complete Morton Project.

Andrew Oliver (piano); David Horniblow (clarinet/bass clarinet/bass sax).
(Review by Lance).

A delightful reminder that Jelly Roll was, perhaps, the first great jazz pianist as well as being the music's first great composer of any standing - if he'd been alive today he'd have told you so himself. The 15 tracks are selected from the duo's project to record all 93 of Morton's compositions - the complete works (all 93!) can be heard on YouTube - a labour of love that they completed in 2018. However, before you ignore the rest and go Tuberdiving  thinking you've pulled a fast one, I must point out that the YouTube tracks were recorded in the player's sitting room as opposed to the album which was recorded with a top of the range Steinway in one of the best studios in London and professionally mastered in Helsinki!

Tuesday, July 02, 2019

July Gigs @ the Globe - looking good!

Alan Glen Trio, Thursday 4 July.
The best classic jazz piano trio in Northern England, maybe in the UK.
Big Muddy, Sunday 14 July.
Seven-piece jazz & blues band, horns, vocals, happiness.
Dulcie May Quintet, Thursday 18 July.
Jazz singer/songwriter from Kent teams up with some of Tyneside's finest jazzers.
Sotavento Big Band, Sunday 28 July.
Swing and tango big band from Argentina on a world tour.
Our regular jam sessions continue with the monthly Am Jam and More Jam and the weekly Take It To The Bridge.
Photo by Lance.

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