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Bebop Spoken There

Frank Sinatra: "Who is the worst living American? Jake LaMotta. He dumped the fight against Billy Fox, and never told his father, who bet his life savings on Jake. Lower than whale shit." - (John Brady: Frank & Ava In Love and War - Thomas Dunne Books 2015). A 1970 quote from a Pete Hamill interview.

Dave Rempis:Ten years from now, I can see musicians streaming concerts in real time and charging a minimal amount for people to watch.” - (DownBeat September 2013)

Archive.

The Things They Say!

Hudson Music: Lance's "Bebop Spoken Here" is one of the heaviest and most influential jazz blogs in the UK.

Rupert Burley (Dynamic Agency): "BSH just goes from strength to strength".

Postage

11,644 (and counting) posts since we started blogging just over 12 years ago. 779 of them this year alone and, so far, 43 this month (July 11).

Today

As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

CD Review: John Bailey - Can You Imagine?

John Bailey (trumpet/flugelhorn); Stacy Dillard (tenor sax/soprano sax); Stafford Hunter (trombone); Edsel Gomez (piano); Mike Karn (bass); Victor Lewis (drums) + Janet Axelrod (flutes); Earl McIntyre (bass trombone/tuba).
(Review by Lance)

A themed album that is timely scheduled for release on an appropriate date (January 20 - Inaugration Day).

However, before I disclose the theme of the album, let me first say that this a cracker of a disc that doesn't need a theme to help it. Simply the best post bop album since the days of King Dizzy which brings me to the theme of the album...

Liane Carroll @ Ronnie Scott's - December 26

(Review by Dave Clarke)

I’ll spare you a review of a really excellent Christmas Eve performance of Hackney Empire’s ‘Dick Whittington’ despite loads of fun for all ages and original music by one S. Edis. Could this be Tyneside’s Paul Edis under another first name with a finger in yet another pie we wondered?

I can’t say we devoted much if any of a beautifully sunny Christmas Day to the Edis conundrum and even when Boxing Day dawned 7wet and windy our thoughts were firmly on our adult Christmas treat to come that night at Ronnie’s in Soho.

“House Full” said the sign on the door when we alighted outside number 47 Frith Street, and full and festive the house most certainly was. On the walls on each side of the stage were two large, red, electronic wreaths, one above the other. From all over the club came warm red glows from dozens of small table lamps and moving around the club the serving staff in black with scarlet braces carried the festive atmosphere with them.

CD Review: Andy Scott + Group S - Ruby & All Things Purple

(Review by Frank Griffiths)


Saxophonist and composer Andy Scott, based in the Manchester area formed his first saxophone ensemble, Sax Assault, in 1994. He is also a charter member of The Apollo Saxophone Quartet as well as having received a BASCA award for his tenor saxophone concerto performed by Branford Marsalis with The Scottish Chamber Orchestra in 2012. The name of his current ensemble, Group S came about when performing alongside veteran, iconic saxophonist and composer Wayne Shorter. Andy asked Wayne "what do you call a group of saxophonists?" Wayne paused and gazed, looked up, and said, "Group S!" This was in 2016, with Andy, a member of the sax section in the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and later that year, Group S recorded this CD.

Monday, December 30, 2019

Probably the last jam session of the year @ The Globe - December 29

(Review/Photos by Lance).

The longest, established, floating jam session in Newcastle has been moored at The Globe for some years now usually on a Wednesday where it is given the more respectful title of a "Jazz Worskshop". The vagaries of the festive season meant that this year it moved to last night (Sunday) which, as the list of jammers indicates was a popular move. The audience too showed up in numbers and a jolly time was had by all.

With so much toing and froing it was impossible to list an orderly programme of events suffice to say everyone was having fun and it was good to meet up with friends and acquaintances old and new.

Sunday, December 29, 2019

George Shovlin & the Radars + Groove-a-matics + Archie Brown & the Young Bucks @ The Peacock, Sunderland - Dec 27

(Review by Russell)

It was an end of year, sold out triple bill featuring an array of the region's finest bluesmen. The Peacock's first floor room has been transformed into a first rate performance venue and blues fans responded in style with advance ticket sales tickets going off the scale. 

George Shovlin & the Radars: George Shovlin (guitar, vocals); George Lamb (guitar, vocals); Stu Burlison (bass guitar); Kev Scott (drums) + Archie Brown (tenor sax, vocals); Pat Rafferty (organ, piano, vocals)

Top of the bill local heroes George Shovlin and the Radars followed sets by Groove-a-matics and Archie Brown and the Young Bucks. Shovlin bossed matters front of stage; seated, acoustic guitar in his lap, the voice, with echoes of Howlin' Wolf, commanding the room. Opening with Hoochie Coochie Man, Shovlin and the Radars put on a five star show aided and abetted by set-long guests Archie Brown blowing tenor sax and Pat Rafferty alternating between barrelhouse blues piano and smokin' organ.

Gigs of the Year - James Metcalf


 1.           Ingrid and Christine Jensen with the Whirlwind Recordings  Orchestra at  the Bonningdon Theatre, Nottingham (14th of November) My favourite living trumpet  player, one of the best alto players and composers working today, a truly all-star big band  of top tier British and American musicians and £5 student tickets. Nice. 

      2.        Tom Harrell Quartet at Ronnie Scotts, London (7th of October) One of the true players' players and another personal idol, fronting what is in my opinion the most slept on band in New York featuring Danny Grissett, Ugonna Okegwo, Johnathan Blake and (unfortunately absent from this gig) Wayne Escoffery. The last ten years may well have been the most fruitful period yet for Harrell's compositions and he shows no sign of slowing as he approaches 74. If Escoffery or regular collaborator Charles Altura had managed to put in an appearance this would have been gig of the year no question.

Gigs of the Year - Francis Tulip

1. Dick Oatts - East Side Jazz Club Birmingham
2. Joshua Redman Trio - Cheltenham Jazz Festival
3. Dan Weiss Starebaby - Cheltenham Jazz Festival
4. Jochen Reuckert Quartet - Malta jazz festival
5. Kenny Garrett - Malta Jazz Festival*
6. Omar Hakim Osmosys ft. Kurt Rosenwinkel - Malta Jazz Festival
7. Terrace Blanchard and the E Collective - CBSO Centre Birmingham
8. Tom Harrell Quartet - Ronnie Scott’s 
9. Ben Van Gelder / Reneir Baas - Spotted Dog Birmingham
10. Aku! - DJazz
Francis
* Picture shows Kenny Garrett (l), James Metcalf (r) I'm in the centre.

RIP Paul Munnery

Word has just come through of the death of trombonist Paul Mummery. A fine trad/mainstream player who was a regular performer at many of the Whitley Bay Jazz Festivals/Jazz Parties as well as at other UK and European events frequently with Spats Langham and, on one memorable occasion at Whitley Bay, with Cécile McLorin Salvant.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Nexus Symphony Opus 27

(By Lance)


Those of us old enough to remember the Marx Brothers’ film The Big Store will recall Tony Martin singing the Tenement Symphony.

Schubert wrote a symphony, too bad he didn’t finish it. Gershwin took a chord in G and proceeded to diminish it... And from this confusion I dreamed up this grand illusion of my Tenement Symphony (in four flats - get it?)”.

It was a funny picture and the song was a great musical portrait of life in, what we would now call a multi-story block.

Ellington too painted a similar picture, indeed an even greater picture - a picture without words – in his Harlem Airshaft.

CDs of the Year (Big Band) - Lance


Buddy Rich - Just in Time: The Final Recording.

Diva Jazz Orchestra - DIVA + the Boys.
Eyal Vilner - Swing Out!
Jim Rattigan -The Freedom of Movement.
Pete McGuinness Jazz Orchestra - Along For the Ride (missing from collage).
Rich Willey's Boptism Big Band - Down and Dirty.
Strictly Smokin' Big Band - Christmas Live at Gosforth Civic Theatre.*
Lance
* I haven't actually heard this CD but, as I was present at the gig where it was recorded I think I'm justified in including it.
Lance

Down by the Riverside

(Lance) Reminiscing, as one does at this time of year, I got to remembering one of the forgotten venues of Tyneside jazz. Maybe it was the fact that the band ‘boasted’ two banjos that caused this lapse of memory! I emailed Brian Bennett who sent me this reply:

"It was The Ferryboat Brass ‘n’ Banjo Band. 
The vessel was the old South Shields’ Ferry, The Northumbrian (replaced by the ill-fated Freda Cunningham).

When The Northumbrian was decommissioned In the early 70’s it was bought by a local business syndicate which included a Captain James McNulty who I believe had a boatyard on the river and Bill Collwell who owned a post office/general dealers at The Nook in South Shields. They converted the ferry into a bar/restaurant and berthed it on the Tyne at Friars Goose adjacent to Gateshead International Stadium. 

Friday, December 27, 2019

Hodgson Sings Sting!

An end of year  pint in town with BSH Editor-in-Chief LL then a short walk up to Monument Metro Station. You don't have to sell your body to the night. Wow! Who's that? Hidden away amongst Monument's Christmas market stalls at Après Ski Bar stood a singer-guitarist singing his heart out on Roxanne

Recalling Sting's memorable solo performance at the 1981 Secret Policeman's Other Ball, Josh Hodgson stopped people in their tracks. Superb voice, unbridled passion, this guy could sing! As your correspondent wandered home Hodgson Hit the Road Jack. Check out Josh Hodgson on Facebook and go hear him at Charts on Feb 1. 
Russell

Gigs/CDs of the Year - Tony Eales

Gigs.
Tommy Smith & SNJO - Middlesbrough Town Hall.
Alan Barnes + Eleven - Wigan Jazz Festival.

Great North Big Band Festival - Chester-Le-Street.

Louis Dowdeswell  Big Band – Wigan Jazz Festival.
Moses Boyd Exodus - Durham Jazz Festival.
Selena Jones Quintet- Wigan Jazz Festival.
Paul Edis & Vasilisi Xenopoulos - Opus 4, Traveller’s Rest, Darlington.
Zack Fox (tenor sax) - Durham Uni, Final Exam.
Andrea Vicari Trio - Lit & Phil.
Tony Kofi - Ushaw Jazz Festival.

CDs 
Louis Dowdeswell Big Band - High Score.
Scottish National Jazz Orcheastra - Sweet Sister Suites.
Alan Barnes-  + Eleven.
Fred Hersch - Begin Again.

Tony.
(Photo courtesy of Malcolm Sinclair).

CDs of the Year 2019 – Chris K

My frequent play list in 2019 includes the following, reflecting the continued contribution of ECM, but also ACT and other new labels.

Daniel Herskedal Voyage (Edition  Records)
Avishai Cohen / Yonathan Avishai - Playing The Room (ECM)
Adam Baldych - Sacrum Profanum (ACT)
Enrico Rava, Joe Lovano - Roma (ECM)
Brad Mehldau - Finding Gabriel (Nonesuch)
Chris Kilsby

Gigs of the Year 2019 - Chris K

I'll keep this to a top seven, reflecting the limited number of gigs I get to compared with fellow correspondents.  But what a wealth of first rate jazz even within a Tees - Tyne - Lake District triangle!   

Leaving aside fabulous performances by Paul Edis / Sage YMP's Jambone and Dave Hignett's brilliant Tyne Valley Youth Big Band of course (I'm biased), my pick of the year looks like this:

CDs of the Year (International) - Lance

Burak Bedikyan - Istanbul Junction.
Carmen Souza - The Silver Messengers.
Darius Brubeck Quartet - Live in Poland.
Dave Miller Trio - Just Imagine (not in collage).
Doug MacDonald - California Quartet.
Joachim Caffonnette Trio - Vers L'azur Noir.
John Yao's Triceratops - How We Do.
Jordan Dixon - On.
Scott Robinson - Tenormore.
Troy Roberts - Days Like These.
Lance

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Vieux Carre Hot 4 @ The Spanish City - Dec 26

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

On Boxing Day last year the Vieux Carre Hot 4 entertained the holiday throng at Spanish City. Exactly one year on the Vieux Carre Hot 4 did precisely the same thing. Valerie's Tearoom couldn't have been busier - all tables taken, pots of tea, coffee and walnut cake the typical post Christmas Day fayre.

CDs of the Year (UK) - Lance

BATL Quartet - Live.
Chris Ingham Quartet - Stan.
Kim Cypher - Love Kim x.
Leo Richardson Quartet - Move.
O'Higgins & Luft - Play Monk & Trane.
Paul Booth - Travel Sketches.
Quentin Collins Sextet - Road Warrior.
Stan Sulzmann/Nikki Iles - Lush Life.
Tommaso Starace Harmony Less Quartet -Narrow Escape (cover not in collage).
Vasilis Xenopoulos - Dexterity.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Gigs of the Year - Steve T

The Blues and Soul review of the Malta Jazz Festival began with a dictionary definition of 'no brainer', so I've excluded the two gigs that would have made one and two on the basis they had an unfair advantage.

For a similar reason I've excluded Paul Edis' Jazzy Christmas gigs.

I've also excluded two exceptional gigs which generally go under the heading of progressive, even though the term jazz now seems to have the same connotations as progressive music had in the early/mid-seventies.  

It doesn't appeal to everyone, particularly those who didn't make it to Sage Gateshead, though one was Steve Hackett, Genesis' guitarist in the early/mid-seventies and you can catch him at City Hall in the Toon next Nov. and you might see where I'm coming from.

CDs of the Year (Legends) – Lance

These are recordings by musicians who have made their mark on jazz history. Some are still with us, others are with us only in the legacy of the music they left behind but whose spirit lives on.

Of all the CDs that have caused my postman his  spinal traction, these are the ones I'll treasure and play over and over again - until the postman's family sue me! I'll pay them off in CDs but it won't be with any of these.

CDs of the Year (vocal) – Lance

(In first name alphabetical order).

Because of the vast number of CDs I receive - not to mention LPs, downloads and other 21st century devious devices - I've had to split my choices into genres and even then I know some deserving cases will miss the cut...

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

CDs of the Year - Russell

Tenement Jazz Band - New Orleans Wiggle

Graeme Wilson Quartet - Abscondit

Tubby Hayes Quartet - Grits, Beans and Greens: The Lost Fontana Sessions

Binker Golding - Abstractions of Reality Past and Incredible Feathers

Gigs of the Year - Russell


JAN - Adrian Cox Quartet @ Watchtower Gallery, Berwick.

FEB - Frog & Henry @ Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club.

MAR - Mick Shoulder Quintet @ Bishop Auckland Town Hall.

APR - Strictly Smokin' Big Band: Great Day in Harlem @ Gosforth Civic Theatre, Newcastle.

MAY - Matt Roberts Sextet @ Darlington Jazz Festival.

JUN - Brownfield-Byrne Six @ Saltburn Jazz Club. 

JUL - Jake Walker Orchestra @ Black Swan, Newcastle/Dan Garel Quartet @ Holy GrAle, Durham. 

Gigs of the Year - Lance

(Lance): Well, seeing as no one else has got around to it - TV is so compelling this time of year - here are my favourite moments of 2019.

Michael Bublé may not have ticked everyone's boxes - particularly those who didn't make it to The Utilita Arena - but it was an absolutely fab show. Catch him at Durham Cricket Club's Riverside next August and you might see where I'm coming from.

Staying on the vocal front, Claire Martin's gig with the Strictly Smokin' Big Band at Hoochie Coochie was one of those afternoons that will live beyond time in my memory.

It has been a great year for vocalists - Zoë Gilby's APPJAG award told the world that jazz doesn't begin and end in London whilst Jo Harrop's frequent appearances in her native northeast proved that she too ranks way up there. The guys also impressed. Jason Isaacs blew up his usual, albeit predictable, storm at Hoochie whilst the slightly more laid back Paul Skerritt and his far from laid back pianist James Harrison ignited venues across the northeast.

The Francis Tulip Quartet @ the Globe Jazz Bar - Dec. 22


Francis Tulip (guitar); Ben Lawrence (keys); Michael Dunlop (bass guitar); Matthew MacKellar (drums)
(Review by Ann Alex)

These musicians were on top form, no doubt about it. And the Jazz Coop promoted gig had nothing to do with Christmas apart from a quick reference to We Three Kings during the encore, so that made a nice break from the festivities. Thoroughly enjoyable, even though I was hampered by deafness in one ear (wax, you don't want to know) so Francis kindly supplied details of the tunes at half time, when he should have been resting after all that guitaring.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Strictly Smokin' Big Band @ Hoochie Coochie - Dec. 22

(Review/Photos by Lance)

The SSBB at Hoochie Coochie are as much a part of Christmas as roasting your chestnuts on an open fire and much less painful. Just as Paul Edis'  A Jazzy Christmas has become part of Sage Gateshead's seasonal celebrations so has the Strictly Smokin' outfit's Hoochie party become an integral part of their festive season.

Both manage to convey the spirit of Christmas without overdoing the sentimentality. 

Edis has Jo Harrop - a singer almost beyond compare. SSBB have Alice Grace - a singer of equal stature and maybe, one year, both singers will swap bands and no one will lose out!

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Paul Edis & Friends: A Jazzy Christmas @ Sage Gateshead - Dec. 21 (evening performance)

(Review by Russell)

A Jazzy Christmas played to enthusiastic full houses across the region during December culminating in an evening performance in front of another capacity audience in Sage Two. Project director Paul Edis arranged all of the material for an A-list ensemble which, it should be said, seemed to enjoy the occasion every bit as much as the festive (Santa hats were in evidence!) audience. 

Winter WonderlandAll I Want for Christmas is YouRockin' Around the Christmas Tree - the opening three numbers, just as they were on the other tour dates. Edis' regular bass and drums pals - Andy Champion and Russ Morgan -  are at the top of their profession which is, no doubt, reassuring to a bandleader writing parts for the horns, a horn section featuring Matt Anderson on tenor and soprano saxophones. The presence of virtuoso violinist Emma Fisk and star vocalist Jo Harrop simply put an iced cherry on top of Edis' Jazzy Christmas cake. 

Reminder

As the year draws to a close don't forget to send us your choices of gigs/CDs of the year - any number up to ten.
Lance

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Paul Edis & Friends: A Jazzy Christmas @ Sage Gateshead - Dec. 21 (afternoon performance)

 (Review by Lance/Photos courtesy of Malcolm Sinclair)

Well what can I say? Steve's review of last night's gig at Ushaw summed it up perfectly so, rather than act as an echo, I'll merely mention a couple of things that he didn't.

Firstly, I'm told that the Ushaw gig pulled in even more punters than Alan Barnes did on his last gig at the venue. To outdraw Alan Barnes anywhere is surely worthy of a place in the jazz equivelant of the Guinness Book of Records!

Given that the Sage Gateshead gig I'm reviewing was an afternoon event it enabled Paul to draw a couple of delightful children on stage to shake jingle bells along with the band. The two girls loved it and so did the audience.

Paul Edis and Friends: A Jazzy Christmas @ Ushaw College – Dec. 20

(Review by Steve T/ Photos courtesy of Jerry E).

Tonight promised some changes from the set at Middlesbrough Town Hall the previous Sunday, presumably for us die-hards taking in more than one of the four shows this year.

The first came with the full ensemble on stage for the opening Winter Wonderland. Solos from trumpet, sax and violin; piano and guitar switching comping duties, as they would throughout the set; more exchanges between sax and violin during the extended fade.

Rockin' Robin You Sexy Thing

It's Christmas time with the city centre's prime Monument location taken over for the duration by a multitude of street traders elbowing one of Newcastle's long established street bands onto Nelson Street. Across the way in Central Arcade a plethora of saxophonists blew in unison as shoppers and tourists alike grabbed a photo opportunity.

Paul Miskin's Soznak did what the band usually does, stopping shoppers in their tracks with Jude Murphy on bass and vocals and the ubiquitous David Gray, trombone (minus the lederhosen - see LL's revview of King Bee), sexing up Hot Chocolate's You Sexy Thing. Meanwhile, a dozen or more reeds, collectively known as Sax on the Tyne, made full use of the acoustics in Central Arcade outside JG Windows as they tackled familiar numbers including the Jackson 5's Rockin' Robin. All together now...Rockin' Robin, rock, rock... 
Russell

Friday, December 20, 2019

Classic Swing @ Jesmond British Legion - Dec 20

Tommy Moran (tenor sax); Jim McBriarty (alto sax, soprano sax, clarinet); Kieran Parnaby (trombone); Norman Brown (piano); Alan Rudd (double bass); Tommy Graham (drums); Olive Rudd (vocals)
(Review by Russell)

it's almost Christmas, isn't it? Things tend to be a bit rushed, don’t they? And, of course, every jazz gig during December seems to be an excuse for a party and/or buffet with a few beers. All this is a preamble to your reviewer confessing he forgot to take photographs at today's Classic Swing gig! 

Five days before Christmas, the Metro system shutdown, would anyone turn out for Classic Swing's seasonal knees up? They certainly did, what's more, raffle prizes galore and a buffet weren't to be sniffed at. Two deps in today - pianist Norman Brown and, on loan from the Strictly Smokin', trombonist Kieran Parnaby. 

King Bee @ Hoochie Coochie - Dec. 19

Dave Wilde (tenor sax/baritone sax/flute/vocal); David Gray (trombone); Chris Jelly (vibes/Malletkat); Richard Burns (trumpet); Craig Stephenson (bass guitar); Steve Glendinning (guitar); Martin Douglas (drums); Brendan Murphy (percussion).
(Review by Lance)


King Bee, Hoochie Coochie & Christmas - the perfect ingredients for a party. Add a few bottles of London Pride, described in the house drinks' menu (paperback edition) as "a big favourite of jazz critics", and you're in Shangri-la.

Dressed as elves, the 8 funksters blew up their seasonal storm with a batch of  mainly originals, covers and, because it is Christmas, a carol. Every man jack of them has solid jazz credentials and it came out in the solos.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Preview: A Jazzy Christmas

This time last year at Sage Gateshead 'A Jazzy Christmas' sold out. On Saturday (Dec 21) there will be not one but two performances of the seasonal show in Sage Two at 2:00pm and 8:00pm and once again tickets have been flying out the door. All seats on Level One and Level Two have been snapped up with limited availability on Level Three. Composer, arranger and pianist Paul Edis devised the show a couple of years ago and with its all-star cast it has proven to be a big hit. Expect polished arrangements of Christmas classics, seasonal bonhomie and some terrible Christmas cracker jokes courtesy of P. Edis! Tickets from Sage Gateshead's box office 0191 443 4661

In addition to the Gateshead shows there will be a performance at Ushaw College, Durham tomorrow evening (Friday, Dec 20) at 7:30pm in the grand surroundings of Ushaw's Exhibition Hall. Tickets from 0191 334 5119. Please note - Sat Nav users travelling to Ushaw should use postcode DH7 7DW.    

Joining Edis on stage will be: Jo Harrop, vocals, Matt Anderson, tenor and soprano saxophones, Graham Hardy, trumpet and flugelhorn, Jason Holcomb, trombone, Emma Fisk, violin, Faye Thompson, alto saxophone and clarinet, Megan Robinson, flute and piccolo, Francis Tulip, guitar, Andy Champion, double bass and Russ Morgan, drums. 

Russell

Dance band days remembered

On the site of the old Mayfair Ballroomstands a nondescript entertainment complex. The Gate houses a multiplex cinema, countless eateries and a dimly lit 'Spoons. Today, standing outside the glass fronted building was one of Newcastle's better buskers (see photo). The tunes were familiar - a seasonal Jingle Bells segueing into Careless Whisper - but it was the alto saxophonist's improvisational skills which, not for the first time, caught the ear. 

The Mayfair Ballroom hosted its share of dance bands during the sixties and seventies including the renowned Don Smith band. A small plaque mounted high on an exterior wall commemorates the date Led Zeppelin performed in concert. Now, some half a century later, the Mayfair and that of another, nearby, legendary venue, are about to experience something of a revival of interest. Adjacent to the Gate on Newgate Street are two recently opened bar/restaurant ventures, one called 'The Mayfair', the other 'La Dolce Vita'.        
Russell

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

You show me yours and I'll show you mine!

Tell us about the big ones! Your favourite gigs and your most listened to CDs. Also, any special jazz moments that spring to mind - Zoë Gilby's APPJAG doesn't count as that is haut catégorie, as they say in cycling, - beyond classification! Zoé will look good in a jazz maillot jaune.

So, what we want are: Favourite gigs, CDs, musicians both local and international who have impressed you and those musicians you think will make an impact in 2020 or, indeed, your visions of 2020 (note that the only party name that will be allowed will be Mike Durham's Classic Jazz Party - sorry Boris and A.N. Other).
Lance
PS: I'll show you mine later!

A Forum for Richie Emmerson

Tony Eales reports a good turn out at last night's monthly session at the Forum Music Centre in Darlington. Saxophonist Richie Emmerson joined the regular 'house band' Acoustic Infusion to play a set of familiar numbers to an appreciative crowd. It seems audience numbers are holding up well and gigs are scheduled through to spring next year and hopefully beyond.    
Russell

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Jazz Apples, four bars in...

You know, you're just browsing in your local supermarket and, man, there they are...Jazz Apples! Yeah, sweet man, real sweet. Four bars in...three, four. 
Russell

Alice Grace Quartet @ Blaydon Jazz Club - Dec 15

Alice Grace (vocals); Mark Williams (guitar); Paul Grainger (double bass); Rob Walker (drums)
(Review by Russell/Photo courtesy of Roly V).

It was a Christmas party tinged with sadness. The Black Bull's publican in the 1980s, Pauline Haley, died earlier in the day and it was down to Roly Veitch to break the news to an audience there to enjoy a festive occasion. Blaydon Jazz Club accepted Pauline's offer to present concerts on a regular basis, that was 36 years ago and the jazz continues to this day. It was to be an evening of seasonal jazz and memories of Pauline who was there from the beginning.

Three numbers - Take the A TrainI've Got My Love to Keep Me WarmTeach Me Tonight - got things going. Down the years they've been heard many times in Blaydon and, with Alice Grace on stage singing them, the thought occurred that they will be heard many more times in the future.              

Sage YMP: Jambone, JB CATS, Jazz Attack and Percussion Ensemble @ Sage Gateshead - Dec.14

(Review by Chris K)

The first outing of the 2019-20 term for Sage Gateshead's jazz ensembles at the Winter Festival, and a chance to see the young talent as work in progress.   The ensembles range from 10-19 and benefit from superb tuition, leadership and facilities - so no pressure when they perform at their home venue!

First up were Jazz Attack  (aged 10-16) on the concourse, in fine form and numbers with keyboards and reeds  a plenty but short on brass and especially drums, drafting in leader Paul Edis - is there nothing this man can't  turn his hand to?  A stirring carol, followed by a very slinky rendition of old favourite Chameleon with some great showcases on clarinet, keys and of course bass.  A lively version of Fly Me To The Moon followed before I had to abandon the distant future of jazz to hear the nearer future, in the shape of the older ensembles (aged 14-19) in Hall 2.

Monday, December 16, 2019

Pauline Haley

(By Roly Veitch)

Last night, at Blaydon Jazz Club I received the sad news that Pauline had passed away.
Such a shock.
To those who didn’t know her, I’ll explain.

I knew Pauline from schooldays - we were in the same year. In 1984 I met her in Blaydon and she told me she had taken on the Black Bull which had become very run down. She wanted to put it at the heart of the community with live music (folk, jazz, etc.), a quiz night, a host of community driven activities. That’s exactly what she did and within two or three years she was getting CAMRA awards.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

CD Review: Stan Sulzmann & Nikki Iles - Lush Life

Stan Sulzmann (tenor sax); Nikki Iles (piano); Dave Holland (bass).
(Review by Lance)

A delightful workout by two of our most musically sympathetic players and, with bass legend Dave Holland providing the flexible adhesive to hold it together, we have an album that is as easy to listen to as any. However, don't confuse easy to listen to with easy listening - the two are poles apart!

It's music to listen to with a glass in your hand or a cat on your lap. Not whilst reading a book or washing the dishes.

From BATH to the Merry Monk and back again

Friday's lunchtime concert at the Merry Monk was the final one of the year and, indeed, Mick Shoulder's final promotion at the pub prior to a return to the adjacent Bishop Auckland Town Hall. Renovation work at BATH is nearing completion and it is hoped monthly sessions will resume in spring 2020. County Durham correspondent Tony Eales reports a large turn out, in fact there was a record attendance at the comfortable one room pub, there to hear pianist Dean Stockdale play a swinging set of Oscar Peterson inspired numbers in the company of Mick Shoulder, bass and drummer Russ Morgan. 
Russell

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