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Bebop Spoken There

Bill Reglein (JJ Babbitt m/pieces): "We made this mouthpiece for Eddie Harris. He played tenor sax and trumpet. He played in some pretty rough bars. The story goes that he was afraid he'd get in a fight and get his teeth knocked out. He figured that if even that happened he could still play tenor. So, the request came in, 'Can I get a reed mouthpiece for my trumpet?' the company made exactly one." - (DownBeat October 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 Sunday September 22

Afternoon

Jazz

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

Vieux Carré Hot 4 - Spanish City, Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay NE26 1BG. 12 noon.

Musicians Unlimited - Park Inn, Park Road, Hartlepool TS26 9HU. Tel: 01429 233126. 1:00pm. Free.

Sunday Jazz in the Crypt - Middlesbrough Town Hall, Albert Road, Middlesbrough TS1 2QJ. Tel: 01642 729729. 2:00-6:00pm. £12.00. + bf. Line-up: Noel Dennis Trio + Emma Johnson’s Gravy Boat + Anthony Strong.

More Jam - The Globe, Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 3:00pm. Free.

Jazz Social - Charts, Quayside, Newcastle NE1 3DX. Tel: 0191 338 7989. 4:00pm. Free.

Somethin' Blue Trio - The Pennyweight, Bakehouse Hill, Darlington DL1 5QA. Tel: 01325 468411. 5:00-7:00pm. Free.

Blues/Funk/Soul

Memphis Cruisers - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 3:00pm. Free.

Evening

Jazz

Alexys de Alfaro - Revoluçion de Cuba, Cloth Market, Newcastle NE1 1EE. Tel: 0191 917 7076. 6:00pm. Free.

Paper Moon Trio - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. Free.

Fabled - Bridge Hotel, Castle Garth, Newcastle NE1 1RQ. Tel: 0191 232 6400. 8:00pm. £8.00. & £6.00. JNE.

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

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Strictly Smokin' Sessions II @ The Black Swan - Sept. 17

Strictly Smokin' returned for a second year under commission from Jazz North East to create new music composed by four members of the Strictly Smokin’ Big Band - hence the four sets with a varying combination of musicians performing in each one. 

This year Graham Don (Piano), Steve Summers (reeds),  Michael Whent (bass guitar),  and Alice Grace (voice) created compositions performed (and conducted by) by the composers themselves with other members of the Big Band, including Michael Lamb, Jamie Toms, Pete Tanton, Kieran Parnaby, Pawel Jedrzejewski and Guy Swinton in support.
Ken Drew.
More photos.

Barnhart goes to the movies @ St Augustine's, Darlington - September 21

(Review by Russell)

This time last year at Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club Jeff Barnhart presented his Silent Comedy Film Festival - Reel 1. St Augustine's audience loved it and the popular American promised to return with more classic material from cinema's pioneering years. True to his word our piano master returned with 'Reel 2' under his arm. 

Buster Keaton is a hero for Barnhart and always features in his silent film presentations. Reel 2 included The Bell Boy (Keaton, co-star and director, 25 mins) from 1918. As Barnhart observed, Keaton's on-screen performance alongside Fatty Arbuckle received favourable reviews and as his co-star would soon be engulfed in scandal this was, in some ways, a pivotal moment. 

The Sumner Suite @ The Gosforth Hotel

(By Russell)
A rare visit to the Gosforth Hotel to watch the Newcastle v Brighton Premier League match on tv. A pint from the Cullercoats Brewery first half, a pint from the Whitley Bay Brewing Company second half (keeping it local) then at full time (0-0) a trip to the gents. On the wall at the bottom of the stairs was a sign 'The Sumner Suite'. 

Ah, the memories came flooding back! Way back when, every Wednesday night, 40p on the door to see a local band called Last Exit. Terry Ellis, guitar, Gerry Richardson, keyboards, Ronnie Pearson, drums and one Gordon Sumner, bass guitar. Yes Gordon Sumner, or Sting, as he was already known, was soon to hit the big time. Jazz, jazz funk, original material, Last Exit was one of those once in a generation outfits. 

Saturday, September 21, 2019

CD Review: Hendrik Meurkens - Cobb's Pocket

Hendrik Meurkens (harmonica); Peter Bernstein (guitar); Mike LeDonne (organ); Jimmy Cobb (drums)
(Review by Lance).

When Harold Mabern, who died on Thursday (Sept.19), had to pull out of a UK visit last August his place was taken by Mike LeDonne. LeDonne, featured in the October issue of DownBeat, turns up in top level company here and makes his presence felt along with guitarist Bernstein, jazz legend Jimmy Cobb and harmonica ace Meurkens.

Described in the blurb as the most important voice on the instrument since Toots Thielemans, Meurkens lives up to the billing. His dexterity on harmonica is equal to just about any sax player and, like Thielemans before him, banishes any misgivings as to the credibility of the instrument.

Nick Pride & the Pimptones @ Hoochie Coochie September 20

Nick Pride (guitar, vocals); Alex Saxon (alto sax, flute, vocals); Keith Nicholson (trumpet, vocals); Jimmy Brown (bass);  Peter Lawson (drums); Eliza Lawson (vocals) 
(Review by Russell)

Proprietor Mr T told a packed Hoochie Coochie that when he first opened the doors on Pilgrim Street Nick Pride was the first soul man to ask if he and the Pimptones could play a gig. It's only taken nine and a half years to get them back! said WT. And with that the sharp-suited Pimptones launched into a Northern (Tyneside) Soul-to-funk set which kept the punters on the floor from start to finish.

Come and Get It bellowed the Pimptones and that's precisely what the band's legion of fans did right up close and personal in front of the six piece. The rhythm section - bassist Jimmy Brown and drummer Peter Lawson - absolutely nailed it to the floor as Eliza Lawson bounced and stomped across the stage with boundless energy and killer, high octane vocals. 

Friday, September 20, 2019

Mark Williams Trio @ The Merry Monk, Bishop Auckland - September 20

Mark Williams (guitar); Paul Susans (double bass); Russ Morgan (drums) 
(Review by Russell)

An impossibly sunny day in Bishop Auckland. Stan Laurel couldn't believe it, scratching his head, as was/is his wont. Sadly Mr Laurel couldn't make it to the Merry Monk, fortunately a hardy band of Town Hall regulars made it in time for the one o'clock start. Same format - a one hour set, a fiver on the door. 

The Town Hall's temporary closure necessitated a move to the adjacent Merry Monk pub. September's monthly Friday jazz concert promotion presented the Mark Williams Trio. It was to be a set of standards given a Williams' twist, so inventive is the master guitarist. I Should Care opened the set, a tune popularised back in the day by the big bands and here in twenty-first century County Durham we were treated to a guitar-led trio version. Irishman Williams constructs solos like no one else. It is as if his fully formed solos are predetermined, what is for certain is he has, and continues to, put in the hard yards and on a gig such as this it pays off handsomely.  

RIP Harold Mabern

Just heard the sad news that legendary post-bop pianist Harold Mabern (pictured with Martin Hummel)died yesterday (Sept. 19) although, after pulling out of a UK tour through ill health last August, I suppose the advance warnings were there.

It is to my eternal regret that I never heard him live - only on record. The record I'm thinking of is Harold with Eric Alexander - Burnin' in London by the New York All Stars. When Alyn Shipton asked for Record of the Year selections on Jazz Record Requests this was my automatic choice.
In earlier years he was almost a house pianist at Blue Note playing on albums with Hank Mobley (Dippin'), Lee Morgan (The Gigolo) and Freddie Hubbard (Night of the Cookers) among others.

Harold Mabern was 83 - he will be sadly missed.
Lance

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Dave Rae's Levee Ramblers New Orleans Jazz Band @ Springwell Village Community Venue - September 18

Dave Rae (banjo, vocals); Bob Wade (trumpet, clarinet); Jim McBriarty (clarinet, vocals); Jim Blenkin (trombone); John Robinson (double bass)
(Review by Russell)

Dave Rae's Springwell session is one of the region's enduring residencies. Wednesday evening, week in, week out, the Levee Ramblers bring a touch of New Orleans to the Borough of Gateshead. From time to time the core band is augmented by the presence of a guest star or, as was the case this week, in the the absence of three of its members (the Bacons, Liz and Paul, and Mick Hill) top class guests/deps made welcome appearances.

Clarinetist Jim McBriarty depped for Liz B, trumpeter Bob Wade for Mick Hill and, interestingly, the Ramblers chose not to draft in a dep for drummer Paul B. So, it would be a three-horn front line supported by a two-string rhythm section of Dave Rae, banjo, and string bass man John Robinson. The set list comprised the tried and tested and that is no bad thing as the Levee Ramblers play it better than most - 'it' being the music of the pioneering musicians of the twenties and thirties. 

CD/LP Review: Doc Bowling & his Blues Professors - Cosmopolitan Soul

(Review by Lance)

Regarded by many as London's top contemporary blues band which, some may argue, means the UK's number 1, Doc Bowling and his Professors do nothing to change that view with this vinyl offering (also available on CD and download).

This isn't one of those "Well I woke up this mornin' bands" although they obviously did. The material, however, is more in tune with today with the overall feel being an appeal for racial integration.

The Rockin' Turner Brothers

Come rain or come shine buskers doggedly do their thing. Today (Tuesday), as the sun shone down on Northumberland Street the Turner brothers pitched-up outside Fenwick's to play some rockabilly, Western swing, blues and jazz. As your correspondent walked by the boys were playing I'll See You in My Dreams - a jazz standard with a rockabilly edge. The Rockin' Turner Brothers gig with a drummer and early next year they'll be at Billy Bootleggers. Go hear them.   
Russell   

CD Review: Mark Sherman - My Other Voice.

Mark Sherman (piano); Vincent Herring(alto saxophone); Ray Drummond/Dan Chmielinski (bass); Nana Sakamoto (trombone); Carl Allen (drums).
(Review by James H)

Mark Sherman is best known as a percussionist and vibraphone player, having played vibes as a sideman to Peggy Lee and other big jazz names of the late 20th century, as well as classical percussion in orchestras conducted by Bernstein, Solti and the like.  He describes piano as “his other voice” hence the title of this new CD.  Piano may be Sherman’s other voice, but it is a bold and articulate voice in this eclectic collection of jazz standards, less well known tunes and his own compositions.   Mark teaches at The Juilliard School in New York and, on this album, he works with other established players on the New York scene as well as newcomers Nana Sakamoto on trombone and bassist Dan Chmielinski.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

CD Review: Moy Eng, Wayne Wallace – The Blue Hour


(Review by Ann Alex)

A collection of originals, with Ms Eng supplying vocals and lyrics and Wallace doing the tunes and the arrangements. Of Chinese-American descent and working in arts administration and grant-making organisations, Eng, who has been recognised in this field with honours from the California Arts Council and the World Affairs Council, currently works for a non-profit body developing affordable workspaces for the arts. This is her debut CD.

Trombonist, composer, producer and educator Wallace, from San Francisco, and a four-time Grammy nominee, has been involved in pop, soul, Latin and Afro-Caribbean music working with the likes of Count Basie, Aretha Franklin, Sonny Rollins and Carlos Santana.

Barnhart goes to the movies!

(Preview by Russell)

Jeff Barnhart is something of a silent film buff. So much so the American pianist will be applying his virtuosic keyboard skills as accompanist to screenings of several silent cinema era shorts at St Augustine's Parish Centre in Darlington.
 
At half past twelve on Saturday (Sep 21) the lights will go down for a matinee treat. Popcorn at the ready, well, more likely a cuppa or a pint, settle down for a laugh-a-minute afternoon as some of the great Hollywood names grace the Larchfield Street silver screen...Harold Lloyd, Bebe Daniels, Fatty Arbuckle, Buster Keaton, household names all. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Newcastle Jazz Festival - Past and Present

(By Dave Clarke)
Bebop’s review of the one-day showcase of six regional bands at the Tyne Bank Brewery in August referred back to the festival from which it took its name – Newcastle Jazz Festival 1974 to 1995 -which, it told us, featured Art Pepper, George Melly and Barney Kessel. “Those were indeed halcyon days” said the review “but to compare today’s festival with those that took place back then – as has been done elsewhere – defeats the object entirely.”  Well does it? What exactly is the object that is being defeated by making the comparison? As far as I could see the review didn’t provide the answer.
I have no objection at all to an event showcasing the best of the regional bands. After all I’m pretty sure I booked all of the bands featured but for the Big Band when I was working at the Jazz Cafe – and that includes Alexander Bone. But Newcastle Jazz Festival ran for a full week, featured major national and international names, filled the 5 or 600-seat Newcastle Playhouse from 1975 on and for its last half dozen years also had a second venue at Live Theatre. It was, in short, one of the city’s major annual cultural events.
So I just can’t see the justification in calling the event at Tyne Bank Brewery the “Newcastle Jazz Festival.”  Tyne Bank Jazz Festival, yes.  Ouseburn Jazz Festival, fine. Or East End Jazz Festival.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Bruce Adams with the Paul Edis Trio @ Blaydon Jazz Club - September 15

Bruce Adams (trumpet, flugelhorn); Paul Edis (piano); Andy Champion (double bass); Russ Morgan (drums) 
(Review & right hand close-up by Russell/Band photos by Roly)

Blaydon Jazz Club, like most jazz clubs, has had its share of ups and downs...the halcyon days, the big names, the full houses, and, of course, the leaner times. Thirty five years almost to the day (September 14, 1984 to be exact) Blaydon Jazz Club booked a big name to work with the finest jazz piano trio around and, good on 'em, the regulars rallied round making the evening of September 15, 2019 one to remember.

Andy Hudson Recalls the First Soho Jazz Festival.

Andy Hudson has had many jazz associations over the years - Pianist, bandleader (Newcastle Big Band), Newcastle Jazz Festival, Cleveland Jazz Festival, JVC Jazz Festival and, the first Soho Jazz Festival.

Andy, in one of his leisure moments (he claims to have them!) has put together a few video clips of that first Soho Jazz Festival on Facebook along with his memories of the occasion which are well worth checking out - link.

As I still have the programme for the event I thought it might be worth linking the two.

CD Review: Dave Miller Trio - Just Imagine

Dave Miller (piano); Chuck Bennett (bass); Bill Belasco (drums)
(Review by Lance).

Miller makes no apologies - George Shearing is his inspiration. However, before you groan and mutter, 'not another  Lullaby of Birdland' you'll be pleased to know that Birdland remains high in the sky - at least on this CD.

Shearing may be his idol but Miller is still very much his own man although not averse to the block hand style Shearing favoured (as did Nat Cole and Milt Buckner before him) which he also uses equally effectively. So no, this isn't a parade of hits but songs that Shearing played along the way without being indelibly associated with them.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

CD Review: Patrick Barnitt – Sway

(Review by Ann Alex)

Patrick Barnitt grew up among his musical family in New Jersey USA where he played sax, bass, piano and also sang. He became an actor and then began singing in jazz clubs around LA. He has sung at the Dresden Hollywood night club for the last 25 years, whilst also playing many roles as an actor in films and TV, including appearances in Star Trek. Barnitt had always wanted to do a big band CD, and this is it.

We Are Soznak Family @ Monument, Newcastle - September 15

As light rain began to fall Toon shoppers' favourite busking street band Soznak launched into We Are Family. Supplying the killer bass line - and vocals - was none other than Jude 'Paper Moon Trio' Murphy fresh from her late night Saturday gig at Prohibition Bar. BSH favourite David Gray was in the middle of it all although, as the photo indicates,  Showtime was hidden away, swapping trombone for keyboards on the Sister Sledge classic. 
Russell      

Tonite (Sunday15)! Blaydon's Big Birthday Bash!

(Preview by Russell)

The Black Bull in Blaydon is a good place to be tonight. Blaydon Jazz Club is celebrating its 35th anniversary presenting the very best of jazz. Down the years some of the finest musicians on the British jazz scene have graced the stage at the welcoming community pub (and, for a few years, at other nearby venues). The roll call is a long one, here's just a few of them...Bruce Turner, John (Johnny) Barnes, Roy Williams, Vasilis Xenopoulos, and then there is the home-grown local talent...Billy Harper, Paul Booth and Bradley Johnston. 

World class trumpeter Bruce Adams is this evening's guest star and the genial, frequently side-splittingly funny, Scotsman will be working with three familiar names - the brilliant Paul Edis, piano, the equally brilliant Andy Champion, bass, and ace drummer Russ Morgan

Paper Moon Trio @ Prohibition Bar - September 14

Bernie Ranson (tenor sax); Dan Stanley (guitar); Jude Murphy (bass guitar, vocals)
(Review by Russell)

The Paper Moon Trio...with a name like that the trio couldn't start with anything other than It's Only a Paper Moon. Prohibition Bar's bijou stage accommodated our trio as Harold Arlen's much-loved, much-covered tune suggested this Saturday evening gig would be comprised of standards and so it proved.

Multi-instrumentalist Jude Murphy perched on a high stool to play oh-so-subtle bass guitar accompaniment to her always winning vocals. To her left, Bernie Ranson blowing relaxed, breathy tenor sax and, to his left, impressive guitarist Dan Stanley playing every jazz chord imaginable. Three friends, seemingly comfortable in one another's company, played to a select, attentive crowd which ebbed and flowed with 'Saturday night out' types dropping by for a drink then moving on to the next watering hole.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Paul Edis Trio @ The Lit & Phil, Newcastle - September 13

Paul Edis (piano, vocals); Andy Champion (double bass); Russ Morgan (drums)
(Review by Russell/Photos courtesy of Brian Ebbatson)

Heritage Open Days is a nationwide scheme granting access to buildings, or parts of buildings, usually off limits to the public. Newcastle's Lit and Phil participates on an annual basis and parties of the curious wander from top to bottom, up a spiral staircase, down a dimly lit corridor, turning a corner determinedly looking into every nook and cranny. One such party entered by a little used side door to be met by a rapidly filling Loftus Room. Did the curious wonder: What's going on here? They didn't hang around to find out and had they done so there wouldn't have been a seat available as today's lunchtime jazz concert drew a near capacity full house. 

Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music 2019

(Press release by Wesley Stephenson)

It's with great pleasure that we announce this year's Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music.

Welcome to the third edition where once again what a stunning range of events we have lined up highlighting the great diversity that Jazz and Improvisation have to offer.

As ever the Festival brings to the fore a range of exceptional Northern musicians alongside artists from the UK and many corners of the Globe.

Brodie West and Evan Cartwright join us from Toronto for a debut performance of their 'Ways' project featuring pianist Achim Kauffman from Germany, whilst 'ZU' bassist Massimo Pupillo drops in from Italy to join 'The Necks' percussionist Tony Buck from Australia. One of Denmark’s finest Julie Kjær presents her UK trio with John Edwards and Steve Noble alongside Alexander Hawkins playing solo, this double bill bringing representatives from two of the most progressive Jazz record labels Clean Feed and Intakt*. And of course 'the high priestess of psychedelic Arabic jazz’ British Bahraini brass player Yazz Ahmed is coming to Gosforth Civic Theatre.

Preview: The Vinyl Revival (JG Windows, Newcastle)

Many pubs have closed (pub company closures and takeovers) yet, at the same time, micro pubs have flourished opening up in all manner of premises. Over in the world of recorded music some big chain stores have gone into receivership or gone the journey but, as with beer, some hardy souls refuse to go quietly. Vinyl is back!


Pip Piper's film The Vinyl Revival (43 mins) is currently on a nationwide tour and on Monday evening (Sep 23) it will be screened at JG Windows,  Central Arcade, Newcastle. Graham Jones, author of The Vinyl Revival and the Shops That Made it Happen and Last Shop Standing, will be present to take part in a post-film Q&A. 

Admission is £5.00. 7:00pm start. Tickets from Eventbrite or contact JG Windows at:
www.info@jgwindows.com (tel: 0191 232 1356).  
Russell

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Solitude


Saturday 14th Sept, The Anker’s House Museum Chester-le-Street, County Durham, DH3 3QB
Listen individually via headphones between 10am-3pm
Free entry and booking not required

Built into the walls of a church, the anchorites choice was a life of self-inflicted seclusion. Inspired by this history the audio play follows the arc of solitude through a life, from birth to death contrasting modern experiences of solitude and loneliness with those from the past.

CD Review: Binker Golding - Abstractions of Reality Past and Incredible Feathers


Binker Golding (tenor sax); Joe Armon-Jones (piano); Daniel Casimir (double bass); Sam Jones (drums)
(Review by Russell)

Binker Golding continues to carry all before him. The saxophonist's partnership with Moses Boyd has elevated the Londoner to, at least in the jazz world, stratospheric heights. If Kamasi Washington is the current big noise in the States, Golding is making one hell of a racket this side of the Atlantic. 

Abstractions of Reality Past and Incredible Feathers is Golding's latest recording and it comes courtesy of the Binker Golding Quartet or, as the bandleader appears to favour, the Binker Golding band. Regular sparring partner Boyd isn't involved, the quartet's drummer is Sam Jones, Joe Armon-Jones plays piano and Daniel Casimir is Golding's double bass anchor.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

CD Review: Ricardo Peixoto - Scary Beautiful

(Review by Steve T)

Back in the days of jazz-funk, I was really into acoustic guitarist Earl Klugh though - in hindsight - as a disciple of George Benson and his association with Bob James they were always going to condemn him to the scorn that would subsequently be heaped on smooth jazz.

On first hearing this, I was immediately reminded of Mr Klugh, though those who summarily dismiss smooth jazz need not be put off. Like everything else, the boundaries of what constitutes smooth jazz is not a fixed point but is fluid amongst listeners and many who generally hate the sub-genre may find lots to enjoy.

Although his native Brazil permeates everything here, he's classically trained and also studied at Berklee alongside Pat Metheny and Gary Burton and has played and recorded with Airto, Flora Purim, Dom Um Romao and others.

CD Review: Mette Juul - Change

Mette Juul (vocals, guitar); Ulf Wakenius, Gilad Hekselman, Per Mollehoj (guitars); Lars Danielsson (bass, cello, cymbals); Heine Hansen (piano, Rhodes, celeste, harmonica).
(Review by Ann Alex)

Mette Juul, a native Scandinavian songwriter, guitarist and jazz singer releases her fourth CD. And what a delightful listening experience it is! 

Five original songs and eight standards based on the theme of 'change'. The music was recorded in Juul's own home and also in New York and Sweden in an informal fashion, though anchored by Juul's voice and guitar. There are just 2 or 3 musicians on each track, giving the music an intimate 'feel' with genuine emotion. Ms Juul's voice is a pleasing expressive alto and every word is clear.

CD Review:O'Higgins & Luft Play Monk & Trane

Dave O'Higgins (tenor sax); Rob Luft (guitar); Scott Flanigan (organ); Rod Youngs (drums).
(Review by Lance).

If you're going to make a tribute album then Monk and Trane are as good a choice as any - providing you've got the chops to see it through. These guys have got the chops!

Despite the tenor, guitar, organ, drums set-up this isn't a walkin' the bar juke jam. The material, like the musicians, is on a much more cerebral level although this doesn't mean it's too hi-falutin'! Far from it, it swings like crazy - if that expression isn't passé and, even if it is you know what I mean.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Preview: A late night in Hexham (September 21)

(Preview by Russell)

This year's Hexham Abbey Festival of Music and Arts (September 19-22) includes a late night jazz concert in Queen's Hall Library. Late Night Jazz with Nikki Iles, Karen Sharp & Friends begins at 9:30pm on Saturday 21st. Pianist Iles and saxophonist Sharp share similarly impressive pedigrees having worked with many of the great names of British post-war jazz. Their 'friends' on this gig will be bassist Andrew Robb and drummer David Ingamells.

Jackie Paris

Just watched 'Tis Autumn: The Search for Jackie Paris a fantastic documentary about, to quote from the film, "The greatest voice you've never heard".

Well, I'd heard of him - he was a legend - but never actually heard him. However, thanks to Marc Myers and Jazz Wax I'm now a much wiser man and one who wishes he'd chased down those elusive recordings all those years ago.

Fortunately, there are some tracks available on Spotify and YouTube but me, I'm going down those mean streets like the Vinyl Detective in search of the real thing although I don't suppose I'll have much luck in Jarrow.
Lance

Monday, September 09, 2019

CD Review: Lynne Arriale Trio - Give Us These Days

Lynne Arriale (piano); Jasper Somsen (bass); Jasper Van Hulten (drums) + Kate McGarry (vocal on Take it With Me).
(Review by Lance)

I don't think I've ever encountered a piano trio where two thirds of the players were called Jasper. In fact, I'd probably be hard pushed to find a trio where even one of them had been christened Jasper. Jasper! parents eh?

Still what's in a name? Both Jaspers know their way around and provide Lynne Arriale with the support and drive to make this just about as good as it gets.

Northern Monkey Brass Band @ Gala Studio, Durham City – Sept. 6

Graham Hardy, Alastair Lord (trumpets); Sue Ferris (tenor sax); David Gray, Kieran Parnaby (trombones); Graham Wilson (tuba); Adam Sinclair (snare drum); Brendan Murphy (bass drum).
(Review/photos by Brian Ebbatson)

Graham Hardy’s NMBB’s return to Durham’s Gala kicked off this autumn’s Lunchtime Jazz series with their customary energy and pzazz.  The band entered the Studio from all corners with the familiar trumpet calls, punchy trombone blasts, sax and tuba echoes, before the snare and bass drums signalled the switch into their signature opener Loose in the Banana Patch, itself rolling straight into The A-Team theme.

For some in the audience this was perhaps, at first thought, not their usual music, but the infectious energy, the driving rhythms, and the pure musicianship of all the players soon had the audience responding with enthusiasm not just to each number but to every solo.

Preview: Bruce Adams @ Blaydon Jazz Club

This coming Sunday (Sept. 15) marks the 35th anniversary of Blaydon Jazz Club and will be celebrated with a session by world-class trumpet player Bruce Adams. 

That this landmark has been achieved is due to the belief and perseverance, tempered with the occasional disappointment, of one man - guitarist Roly Veitch.

Self-effacing Roly will refute this statement and, whilst it's true that along the way he's had support, he alone has been the one constant that's kept it going despite venues closing, funds running short and the constant battle to keep audience levels viable.

Sunday, September 08, 2019

Preview: Darlington Rhythm & Blues Festival (Sunday 15)

Jazz shares much in common with the blues in terms of the music and its practitioners. Sunday's Darlington Rhythm and Blues Festival is an all-day, free admission festival of the music centred round the town's Market Square stage and its many welcoming pubs.

From early afternoon 'til late there is something for everyone ranging from headline act John Coghlan's Quo to vocalist Emma Wilson, the Hokum Hotshots celebrating fifty years in the business to a rare appearance by Blue Horizon record label co-founder Mike Vernon and the Mighty Combo. Details at: 
Russell

Artephis @ The Globe Jazz Bar, Newcastle – September 7. A joint venture by Jazz North East and the Jazz Co-op in connection with Jazz North 'Northern Line'

Aaron Wood (trumpet, flugelhorn, electronics); James Girling (guitar); Ali Roocroft (keyboard); Alasdair Simpson (bass guitar); Matt Brown (drums)
(Review by Ann Alex/ Photos courtesy of Ken Drew).
Well, what a brilliant evening of music is all I can say, and I'm sure the full house Globe audience would agree! This was listed as 'contemporary progressive jazz' so I was unsure if I'd latch onto it, but by the second piece I was hooked. See the quotation currently shown in the Bebop Spoken There box above, something about harming musicians by categorising them, how true in this case. This was simply (but not simple) great music, describe it how you will.

Showtime keeps on runnin' on Great North Run Day!

(Report by Russell/cartoon adapted from an original by the late Bill Shaw).

Early Sunday morning some sixty thousand people gathered in Newcastle for the start of this year's Great North Run. Crowds lined the route dotted with mile markers and feeding stations down to the finish on South Shields' sea front. At three miles (near Gateshead International Stadium) the sounds of New Orleans jazz spurred on Olympians, club runners and an assortment of chickens, hippos and super hero characters. Tyneside's finest - the Northern Monkey Brass Band - played a selection of big, bold, brassy numbers to help the runners on their way. 

Saturday, September 07, 2019

Jeff Barnhart & John Hallam @ Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club - September 7


Jeff Barnhart (piano, vocals); John Hallam (tenor sax, baritone sax, clarinet); Keith Stephen (guitar, banjo); Bruce Rollo (double bass)  
(Review by Russell)

The Mr Men returned one year on from their last get together at Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club. As usual St Augustine's on Larchfield Street catered to a large crowd of dyed-in-the-wool classic jazz era enthusiasts. Today's lunchtime session led by principals Jeff Barnhart and John Hallam would stray into early swing territory without testing the resolve of the faithful. 

Hokum Hotshots 50 Not Out! @ Prohibition Bar - September 6

Hokum Hotshots: Peter Mason (guitar, tiple, vocals); Jim Murray (guitar, mandolin, vocals) + Rob Mason (harmonica, vocals) 
(Review by Russell)

Fifty not out! Peter Mason and Jim Murray were celebrating half a century working together as the Hokum Hotshots. The word was Prohibition Bar would be busy...it was! As the doors opened a mad rush ensued to bag a ringside seat. 

Hokum is blues with a smile on its face - that's the Hokum Hotshots' take on the tradition; jugs, blues and old timey as played by the pioneering, largely Mississippi Delta-based, musicians of some one hundred years ago. Hawaiian shirts de rigueur, Messrs Mason and Murray don't take themselves too seriously...maybe one day but don't count on it!   

CD Review: Dred Scott - Dred Scott Rides Alone

Dred Scott (piano, bass, drums, shaker).
(Review by Lance).

A one-man band! Albeit a digital one where, thanks to the wonders of overdubbing, Scott recorded each instrument separately to create the effect of a piano trio and, if I hadn't been wised up beforehand, I'd have sworn it was three very good musicians. He also composed seven of the eight numbers - well he would, wouldn't he?

Friday, September 06, 2019

CD Review: BATL Quartet - Live

Brandon Allen (tenor sax); Tim Lapthorn (piano); Arnie Somogyi (bass); Lloyd Haines (drums).
(Review by Lance)

Saxophone September! After Vasilis Xenopoulos' tribute to Dexter Gordon, along came some previously unreleased tracks from John Coltrane that set the bar so high any aspirants could only dream of coming close - or so I thought!

However, waiting in the wings were albums from Binker Golding, Joe Lovano, Mark Sherman, Dave O'Higgins, Kenny Polson and this one co-led by by Brandon Allen and pianist Tim Lapthorn ...

Test match commentary on Radio 5

Commentator 1: ... Burns 74, Root 66.
Commentator 2: That's the name of a song.
Commentator 1: What is?
Commentator 2: Root 66.
Lance.

Thursday, September 05, 2019

CD Review: John Coltrane - Blue World

John Coltrane (tenor/soprano sax); McCoy Tyner (piano); Jimmy Garrison (bass); Elvin Jones (drums).
(Review by Lance).

How many more previously undiscovered gems are there hidden in the vaults? Tubbs, Miles, Trane, there seems to be an untapped lode of riches buried deep. Trane fans hit paydirt last year with the 1963 recording Both Directions at once: The Lost Album which reached #21 on the Billboard 200 chart.

Unlike Both Directions which contained original compositions, Blue World, recorded a year later, comprises reworkings of previous Coltrane classics the intention being to use them as a soundtrack to a Canadian film Le chat dans le sac (trans. The cat in the bag). As it happened, only 10 minutes of the 37 minutes was actually used in the film.  

Ambleside Days by David Forman

Following on from his reviews of this year's Ambleside Days, Hugh C has kindly sent me a fine collection of photos taken by  David Forman.

To view album click here.
To learn more about David Forman click here.
Hugh C's Ambleside reviews:
August 30.
August 31.
Lance

Frog and Henry @ the Black Swan - Sept. 4

Ewan Bleach (clarinet, vocals); Ryan Baer (guitar, banjo, vocals); John Kelly (trombone, guitar); Jack Butler (tuba)
(Review by Lance)

Frog and Henry may sound like the name of a Quayside bar but it is, in fact, an international band dedicated to the early blues, rags and stomps of New Orleans. In some ways they are a bit like Postmodern Jukebox inasmuch as, with the exception of Ewan Bleach, there's no certainty as to who, how many, and what instruments will be in the band. It all depends on the size of the car explained clarinetist Bleach.

So, assuming it was a Mini, the shipwreck/lifeboat syndrome applied and one person had to go which turned out be the violin player as well various other instruments including bass saxophone which was a shame as there aren't many bass saxists on the northeast circuit and, disappointingly, the tuba machine was also AWOL.

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

Preview: Frog and Henry @ the Black Swan - Tonight!

Frog and Henry made a lasting impression earlier this year when the band performed at Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club. The New Orleans based five piece outfit returns to the region tonight (Wednesday Sept. 4) to entertain an expectant crowd of keen listeners and dancers at the Black Swan on Westgate Road in Newcastle. 

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