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Bebop Spoken There

Dave Newton: "Having got my Grade 8 pretty early, it was only then that the piano was taking over. But this was happening outside of school really, as the music teacher at this particular school didn't like me or the kind of music I liked." (Jazzwise February 2019).

Archive

Today Tuesday January 22

Afternoon

Jazz

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

Evening

Jam session - Black Swan Bar, Newcastle Arts Centre, Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SG. Tel: 0191 222 9882. 8:00pm. House trio: Mark Williams, Paul Grainger, Russ Morgan.

Alter Ego - 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, January 22, 2019

House of the Black Gardenia (second house) @ Prohibition Bar - Jan 19

Bobbi Charleston (vocals, washboard); Michael Lamb (trumpet); Keiran Parnaby (trombone); Keith Robinson (saxophones, clarinet); Katja Roberts (violin); Marcus Tham (piano); Michael Littlefield (guitar, banjo, vocals); Neil Hopper (double bass, sousaphone); Giles Holt (drums)
(Review by Russell)

The grand opening of Mitch Mitchell's relocated Prohibition Bar from the railway arches on the Gateshead side of the river to nos. 25-27 Pink Lane, Newcastle attracted so much interest that a second late show was announced and, in a trice, it sold out just as the first performance had done. 

Monday, January 21, 2019

CD Review: Tommaso Starace - Harmony Less Quartet - NARROW ESCAPE

Tommaso Starace (alto sax); Dave O'Higgins (tenor sax); Davide Liberti (bass); Ruben Bellavia (drums).
(Review by Lance).

I first encountered Starace in 2011. It was a JNE gig that fluctuated between dates and venues before ending up, at the shortest of notices, at The Chilli. It was worth the confusion and the uncertainty as, when it did eventually happen, it was one of the best gigs of that year!

Since then, several CDs by the Italian saxman have passed through the BSH portals and all absolutely ace.

Sounds from The Underground in The Victoria Tunnel – January 19

Zoë Gilby(vocals) & Andy Champion (double bass)
(Review by Steve H/photos courtesy of Ken Drew)

There are not many gigs that one goes to where you have to don a hard hat on entering the auditorium. It may be understandable for heavy metal or hard rock but for an improvised double bass and vocal performance what could possibly be going on? The answer was completely logical as the duo in question were performing in Newcastle’s Victoria Tunnel.

The tunnel, built in the 19th Century, runs from the Town Moor to the Quayside which enabled coal from the Leazes Main Colliery in Spital Tongues to be delivered to ships waiting on the banks of the Tyne.

Overture to a jam session

Paul Grainger drew our attention to these words of wisdom from Chick Corea perhaps, in the process, hinting that participants at tomorrow night's Black Swan jam session may wish to read and put into practice...

Sunday, January 20, 2019

The House of the Black Gardenia @ the New Prohibition Cabaret Bar - Jan. 19.

Bobbi Charleston (vocals/washboard); Michael Lamb (trumpet); Keiran Parnaby (trombone); Keith Robinson (soprano/alto/tenor saxes/ clarinet); Katja Roberts (violin); Marcus Tham (keys); Michael Littlefield (guitar/banjo/vocals); Neil Hopper (bass/sousaphone); Giles Holt (drums).
(Review by Lance)
PHOTOS

They were all there, lined up against the wall. "Legs" Diamond, "Machine Gun" Kelly, "Baby Face" Nelson, John Dillinger, Bonnie and Clyde and a few hoods, torpedoes and their molls from across the river.  This wasn't the St. Valentine's Day Massacre - it was still only January - it was the grand opening of the new Prohibition Cabaret Bar that, until a few weeks ago, had been the Jazz Café. Entrepreneur Mitch has moved his operation lock, stock and barrel from a railway arch on the south side to the Pink Lane venue conveniently sited near Newcastle Central Station for those who might need to make a quick getaway.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Adrian Cox: Profoundly Blue @ The Watchtower Gallery, Berwick - January 18

Adrian Cox (clarinet); Joe Webb (piano); Simon Read (double bass); Gethin Jones (drums) 
(Review by Russell)

A first visit to Berwick's Watchtower Gallery, the purpose, to hear Adrian Cox perform his Profoundly Blue concert. A capacity audience repeatedly thundered its applause during a thrilling, high octane gig that comes along once in a (profoundly) blue moon. 

The Watchtower Gallery, built in 1848 to house a Presbyterian church, stands on West End on the north bank of the Tweed and, for a number of years, has functioned as an art gallery, principally to exhibit the work of the late Ian Stephenson. Large abstract canvases formed a backdrop to clarinetist Cox, fellow Kansas Smitty's member, pianist Joe Webb, bassist Simon Read and drummer Gethin Jones. 

Early Bird Band @ Lit & Phil - Jan. 19

Paul Edis (MD, piano, clarinet, alto sax); Lucien Guest (trumpet); Haaruun Miller (soprano sax); Tom Henery (guitar); Alex Shipsey (bass guitar); Dylan Thompson (drums)
(Review by Russell) 

They'd been workshopping for a couple of hours prior to the doors opening to the public. MD Paul Edis put the Early Birders through their paces as they looked at four new tunes. Today's quintet opened with Our Love is Here to Stay. Guitarist Tom Henerey stepped forward, as did pocket dynamo trumpeter Lucien Guest with a round of fours thrown in to see if Dylan Thompson was awake this Saturday morning...he was.

Lament for Lamont - Soul Legend Cancels

Lamont Dozier has cancelled his historic British tour, including the scheduled gig at Sage 2 on Feb. 21 The tour was rearranged from last summer when he postponed it on medical advice. 

As one-third of Holland Dozier Holland, he wrote more hits than Elvis, the Beatles, Beach Boys and Stones had between them, most notably for the Supremes and the Four Tops. To more hardened Soul Fans, he recorded nine albums in the seventies and early eighties which rank with the greatest bodies of work in Soul Music.
When I was running the Soul Rooms at Weekenders in Fleetwood, Morecambe and Southport, he was the top of our list, but one of the few artists we never managed to get, so this was something of a second chance.

However, it doesn't come as a surprise to anyone, which is good, since for some of us this would have been a major 'life' event, and it now seems impossible that we will ever get to see him and show him how much he's meant to us.   
Steve T

R-E-S-P-E-C-T! Hand to Mouth @ Bishop Auckland Town Hall: Jan. 18

Bradley Johnston (guitar); Lindsay Hannon ( vocals).
(Review by Jerry)

The headline sums up my reaction to two musicians who can so ably perform great standards with their amazing tunes and even better words! It also links in to my only gripe about this otherwise excellent lunchtime gig which I’ll get out of the way up front. Lindsay Hannon, while introducing Gee, Baby Ain’t I Good to You, recalled her anxiety at a past gig when performing Aretha’s trademark song: would she get the spelling right when it came to the R-E-S-P-E-C-T bit? It was a good intro but it was almost the only one – leaving the less clued-up audience members (mainly me!) to work out titles etc. for themselves. Lindsay has an engaging personality and clearly a good sense of humour: I’m sure even clued-up audiences would appreciate seeing more of both. Gripe over!

Friday, January 18, 2019

Mark Williams & Joel Byrne-McCullough @ The Globe - January 17

Mark Williams (guitar); Joel Byrne-McCullough (guitar) 
(Review by Russell) 

Friends from their days in Northern Ireland, students together in Newcastle, upon graduation Mark stayed on, Joel made for Manchester. Years later Joel returned to Tyneside and the two guitarists picked up where they left off.

Mark Williams and Joel Byrne-McCullough play jazz guitar and here at the Jazz Co-op's Railway Street HQ the duo entertained a wonderfully attentive audience playing a selection of GASbook to contemporary classics. 

Big Band Library available

(By Chris Bailey)
Following a previous announcement about 18 months ago I am instructed to offer for disposal the extensive arrangement ‘pad’, sheet music archive and tuition-volume collection of the late Derek Bridge. I must apologise to those who previously showed interest in this collection by responding. Derek’s wife Wendy, at that time, felt that there was more material stored at their home and it was whilst waiting to retrieve this that the subsequent unfortunate delay occurred.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

CD Review: Howard McCrary - Moments Like This.

Howard McCrary (piano/vocals); Mike Burney (saxes); Josh McCalla (guitar); Roger Innis (bass); Tim Jones (drums).
(Review by Lance).

If, like this reviewer, Howard McCrary has bypassed your radar then you can update yourself on him and this session here.

Recorded live at the Birmingham branch of Ronnie's back in 1993, Moments Like This remained in the vaults, unissued until now, which, after listening, you may consider criminal. McCrary was, and hopefully still is (he now lives in Hong Kong*), an incredible talent both as pianist and singer. He can shout the blues and caress a ballad with the best - sometimes he caresses the blues and shouts the ballads. Over the Rainbow is totally over the top although his sensitive piano intro via another Arlen tune from the Wiz of Oz - If I Only Had a Brain - maintains the balance.

A Blizzard of Notes

Today's snowstorm didn't deter one of Newcastle's more robust, all-weather buskers. A familiar face around town, our trumpeter has a penchant for playing one-handed. 

As if to demonstrate, here he is with coffee cup in hand...oh, yes, playing Herbie Hancock's 
Chameleon into the bargain. 

Russell.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

River City Ride Again - as a quartet!

The word on the jazz grapevine is of a new monthly, Monday evening, jazz session starting on Monday, February 4, at the newly refurbished Beresford Arms in the picturesque village of Whalton, near Morpeth, in Northumberland.

The band will initially be a four-piece comprising Phil Rutherford on sousaphone, Keith Stephen on guitar/banjo, Bob Wade on trumpet and Gordon Solomon on trombone.
Initially. The repertoire will concentrate on pieces from the 1920s and 1930s, but the aim is to build up a program featuring Jelly Roll Morton compositions, as well as numbers from the recordings of the Original Dixieland Jazz Band.
The big advantage for the band is that they all live about 20 minutes from Whalton! And, since Gordon Solomon, Keith Stephen and occasionally Phil Rutherford have all been past members of the now (sadly) defunct River City Jazzmen, they have decided to name the band the River City Hot Four. Sessions will be on the first Monday of the month, starting at 8.30pm, and admission is free. The Beresford Arms has an excellent menu, real ales and a large car park. 
Lance.

PS: Not sure about public transport for those who don't live about 20 minutes from Whalton… but by car, 26 mins from Newcastle on the A696.

CD Review: Quinsin Nachoff’s Flux - Path of Totality.

(Review by Dave Brownlow.)

A double CD featuring the work of a musician whose compositions and playing lie in the spaces between genres and styles, where jazz and classical music ‘meld’ together in the avant-garde. Take as the starting point - say from classical, Stockhausen, John Cage or Philip Glass and from jazz, Sun Ra, Cecil Taylor or Derek Bailey and then go forward from there! The Band, “FLUX” comprises two saxes, one keyboard, two drummers/percussionists but no bass or bass guitar. Nine other players are involved among the recordings where they use conventional instruments or the vast array of vintage electro-acoustic instruments provided by Canada's National Music Centre’s extensive keyboard collection to provide constantly surprising musical environments. There are six tracks, all of which require aural stamina as they range from 6, 13, 14, and 19 minutes in length!

CD Review: Chris Ingham Quartet - Stan

Chris Ingham (piano); Mark Crooks (tenor sax); Arnie Somogyi (bass); George Double (drums).
(Review by Lance).

Yet another superb album. January is dealing them out so fast I can't keep up! Imagine lying on a recliner and having a scantily-clad person of your preferred gender* feeding you grapes and some exotic elixir de l'amour which is what this CD is - a musical love potion.

Stan Getz may be gone but not, nor ever, forgotten. Certainly, he plays a big part in saxist Crooks' musical make-up. Coltrane, Rollins and the Blue Note tenor players may have had the edge on aggression but no one could match Getz for lyricism and Crooks, miraculously, has absorbed that lyricism and incorporated it, via his own take, into this beautiful tribute.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Hey, wanna buy a guitar?

Legendary bluesman Bukka White struck up a transatlantic friendship with Newcastle photographer Keith Perry after Perry met and photographed him at a City Hall concert some 40 odd years ago. Just before Bukka died, he gifted the photographer his 1933 National Duolian Resonator guitar known as Hard Rock.

In March, the guitar is up for auction with estimates ranging from £80k to £120k. In an interview on Radio Newcastle, this afternoon between 4:00pm & 5:00pm, Keith Perry talks about the guitar and its history. The interview comes in at 35:56 mins.
Lance

Monday, January 14, 2019

CD Review: Jack Kilby & the Front Line - Love is a Song Anyone Can sing

(Review by Lance).

If, as has been suggested, my reviews are 'schmoozers' then let me put you in the picture. If I don't like an album it doesn't get reviewed it's as simple as that.  Some of the rejects end up as coasters others, well you don't want to know what happens to them! In fact, 9 out of 10 albums are left on the cutting room floor.

This is a ten percent survivor!

It's arrived via timemobile from 1950's Birdland/Bop City/Blue Note Records to Charlottesville, Va, 2018. Art Blakey lives! Hank Mobley too and all the strung out cats who laid down some of the greatest modern jazz ever. Kilby and his cohorts carry on that tradition in a healthier fashion over two halves of an album that makes Charleyville the jazz capital of the world for at least an hour or so.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Snake Davis @ Charts - January 13

Snake Davis (alto/tenor sax/flutes/vocal); Stu Collingwood (keys); Andy Champion (bass guitar); Paul Smith (drums).
(Review by Lance)

Charts was fuller than ever. It was as if the Tall Ships were moored outside! All 3 levels were occupied and food and drink were being downed as if it was going out of fashion. What wasn't going out of fashion was the music - no sir. 

Jazz never goes out of fashion, it just moves its borders in a multitude of directions - inside, outside, east coast, west coast, trad, modern, swing, bop, blues, new wave, olde style, smooth, fusion - confusion!

CD Review: Justin Morell - Concerto for Guitar and Jazz Orchestra

(Review by Max Goodall)
Justin Morell writes, describing his reasons for composing Concerto for Guitar and Jazz Orchestra, that ‘Jazz is an art form that allows musicians to draw upon an endless array of stylistic and cultural traditions. While a number of jazz artists have incorporated the sophisticated forms of classical music in their writing and performances, there are few concerti works for a jazz orchestra and fewer still composed for guitar.’ Morell has for many years been exploring the possibilities of jazz’s capacity to absorb, accommodate and be moulded by disparate influences, in both his well-received jazz CDs as a leader, and his wide-ranging compositions and commissions, as well as in his work as Assistant Professor of Composition and Theory at Lebanon Valley College in Pennsylvania.

CD Review: Betty Bryant - Project 88

(Review by Ann Alex)

It’s definitely older performer’s week here at BSH. Betty Bryant turned 88 last year before proceeding to issue her ninth CD - Project 88 after her age, and the number of keys on a piano.

Ms Bryant, who does a lot more than singing, and playing the piano well, composed 5 of the songs and arranged 7 of the 10 tracks. Her voice sounds like that of a much younger woman, and why wouldn’t it? as she obviously knows her stuff. Listening, I was lost in admiration.

A native of Kansas City, who now plays to packed houses in the Los Angeles area, has also performed internationally in places such as Tokyo, Brazil, Panama and the Middle East as well as hosting the annual ‘Betty Bryant Birthday Bash’ in Hollywood.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Preview: Quilliam Bros in La La Land

If you're yet to see Damien Chazelle's Oscar-winning film La La Land and just happen to be at a loose end in Newcastle on Tuesday (Jan 15) there is an opportunity to attend a free-admission screening at Quilliam Bros.' Teahouse. 

The ever-popular, all-things-tea emporium at Barras Bridge regularly screens films that you wish you'd seen first time round or simply would like to see again. Earlier this month Chazelle's Whiplash was on the menu, now, at eight o'clock, Tuesday in Quilliam's basement cinema it's La La Land. Starring Ryan Gosling as a wannabe jazz pianist and Emma Stone as Mia, this romantic, feel-good movie is worth catching for the soundtrack alone. Justin Hurwitz' Academy Award-winning score is a real 'ear-worm' - it'll be in your head 'til summer. 

Admission is free so the least you could do is sit with a cuppa. Quilliam Bros.' Teahouse is the building at the bottom of Claremont Road opposite Great North Museum: Hancock. La La Land is a 12A certificate film.  
Russell

Birthday Party @ Cullercoats Crescent Club with the Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Jan 11

Jim McBriarty (soprano sax, clarinet, vocals); Lawrence McBriarty (trombone); Brian Bennett (banjo); Bill Colledge (bass); Feed Thompson (drums, vocals) + John Brumwell (vocals) + Harmonica Kings: Dan Burrows & Mike Jamieson (harmonica, vocals) 
(Review by Russell)

An invitation to Dan's birthday party was readily accepted. The likelihood of a buffet was an attraction as was the prospect of a band being booked for the occasion. On learning that the band would be none other than the Vieux Carré Jazzmen it fell to your correspondent to pen a review.

Cullercoats Crescent Club's ground floor, sea view lounge filled up nicely - family, friends, liggers - as bar staff laid out a sumptuous buffet. Yes, a good decision to get along to wish Dan well then tuck in. But wait...first a beer. The Old Potting Shed's Legally Blonde from High Spen the pick, a glance at the buffet - YUM! - then to the jazz. 

CD Review: Theon Cross - FYAH

Theon Cross (tuba); Nubya Garcia (tenor sax); Moses Boyd (drums) + Wayne Francis (tenor sax - 2 tks); Artie Zaitz (guitar  -2 tks); Tim Doyle (perc. - 1 tk); Nathaniel Cross (trombone - 1 tk).
(Review by Lance).

If there's anything worse than having to listen to a banjo record, bagpipes excluded, it's a tuba record! As such, I viewed this, albeit highly acclaimed album, with suspicion. Still, it is creating waves in the jazz media and the tubaist, Theon Cross, won the 2016 APPJAG gong for the Best Jazz Newcomer and those folks know a good one when they see one - believe me!

So I played it and, whilst it wasn't 10 on the Richter Scale, it did make enough ripples to, say, demolish a small village such as Snods Edge in Co. Durham. Not that we would wish such a fate on that lovely community.

It works well, tuba, sax and sticks come at it trilaterally with each member throwing ingredients into the pot resulting in a meal that is both hotter than a Vindaloo and cooler than vanilla ice cream.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Matt MacKellar Band @ the Black Swan - Jan. 10

Ben Lawrence (keyboards); Andy Champion (double bass); Matt MacKellar (drums); Niffi Osiyemi (vocals) 
(Review and individual pics are by Russell/group photo on the left is courtesy of Mike Tilley).

A new band, a first gig, would anyone turn up? You bet! The Black Swan did good business long before the advertised start and when the Matt MacKellar Band took to the stage it was standing room only.

Drummer Matt, home on leave from Berklee, handled the announcements with no little confidence. Enlisting pianist Ben Lawrence, himself taking a break from undergraduate studies at Durham University, was a good move and securing the on-loan services of bass supremo Andy Champion proved to be a shrewd piece of business in the January jazz transfer window. Student medic Niffi Osiyemi traded stethoscope for retro-chic microphone to add a touch of neo-soul vocal pzazz. 

CD Review: Ernie Watts Quartet - Home Light

Ernie Watts (tenor sax); Christof Saenger (piano); Rudi Engel (bass); Heinrich Koebberling (drums).
(Review by Lance).

I first heard Ernie Watts playing alto on Buddy Rich's famed big band album, Big Swing Face. Impressed was I.

In 2012 I was even more impressed when I heard him live, with the above musicians, at Ronnie's. Without a shadow of a doubt, Ernie Watts is the real deal as is this, his latest recording.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Jeremy McMurray with the Pocket Jazz Orchestra @ Dormans Jazz Club, Middlesbrough - Jan.3

Jeremy McMurray (piano); Mark Toomey (alto sax); Paul Donnelly (guitar); Peter Ayton (bass); Richard Brown (drums).
(Review by Ron H).

Jazz at Dormans got off to a fine start with our first guest band of 2019 - the Pocket Jazz Orchestra, led by pianist Jeremy McMurray. 

The night began in great style with the Miles Davis composition Four followed by a swinging version of Jimmy Van Heusen’s It Could Happen to You.

A melodic East of the Sun (and West of The Moon) showed how tight the ‘orchestra’ was as a unit and how strong the individuals’ soloing abilities are.

CD Review: Beverley Church Hogan - Can't Get Out of This Mood

Beverley Church Hogan (vocals); John Proulx (piano); Ron Stout (trumpet/flugel); Graham Dechter (guitar); Doug Webb (flute/tenor sax); Lyman Medeiros (bass); Clayton Cameron (drums); Kevin Winard (perc.)
(Review by Lance).

Singers seem to go on forever. Some, like vintage wine, improve with age. Others work on well past their sell-by date. Few, however, begin their recording career aged 83!

Bev Hogan did just that! After spending her early/mid-teens gigging around Montreal she relocated to Los Angelos where a recording contract with Capitol Records was up for grabs. Unfortunately, this would have also involved an intensive touring schedule and she was now married with a one-year-old child...

So, motherhood and family building took over and music was relegated to, if not a back seat, a non-performing one for the next 40 years.

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Jam Session @ the Black Swan - January 8.

(Review by Lance/PHOTOS.) 

Sixteen swingers at the first jam of 2019 and it set the bar high for the rest of the year not least when the house trio opened up with You'd be so Nice to Come Home to and You Don't Know What Love is. A couple of numbers that told the awaiting jammers that, if they fell on their ass it wouldn't be because of any shortcomings in the backing.

Nobody fell!

Ray Johnson was first up with Tangerine and Softly as in a Morning Sunrise. Alan Law introduced the former tune as "A Xmas song"!

Nick Gould, all the way from Edinburgh, made the trip worthwhile with There is no Greater Love and Body and Soul.

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

CD Review: Alan Pasqua - Soliloquy

Alan Pasqua (piano).
(Review by Lance)

Alan Pasqua comes to the Hamburg Steinway in his Santa Monica studio with a c.v. so impressive that to describe him as a legend is surely no more than he deserves.

A former member of Tony Williams' New Lifetime appearing on the albums Believe it and Million Dollar Legs, Pasqua has also worked with Jack DeJohnette, Paul Motian, Dave Holland, the Brecker Brothers, Joe Henderson, Stanley Clarke, Gary Burton, James Moody, Jones/Lewis Jazz Orchestra and many others. Away from Jazz (but not too far away), he has also recorded with Bob Dylan and Carlos Santana.

Monday, January 07, 2019

CD: Wandering Monster

Latest Ubuntu Music CD to hit the passage doormat is this one by the strangely named Wandering Monster. It's ok and you can judge for yourself by listening here. It ticks all the boxes required by the young contemporary collegiate jazz person of today.

However, what confuses me is not the music - which is fine - but the gig listings. Most of the better known out of town venues are on the tour: Zeffirelli's (Jan. 12); Jazz Bar, Edinburgh (Jan. 17); Sela  Bar, Leeds - album launch - Jan. 20); Spotted Dog, Birmingham (Jan. 22) and many more. And, for once, Newcastle is included, mark Jan.15 in your diary. However, here's the rub, where does the gig take place? Sofar Sounds, it seems, is the place to be but, pardon my French, wtf is Sofar sounds?

A Gala Performance, a Darlington Opus

PHOTOS (courtesy of Malcolm Sinclair).

County Durham correspondent Tony Eales filed a report on recent events in Durham and Darlington. On Friday lunchtime TE attended Durham's Gala Theatre to hear trumpeter Noel Dennis reprise his Tom Harrell project. 'Aurora' played to yet another full houseas Teesside-based Dennis (trumpet/flugelhorn) performed music associated with the revered American in the A-list company of Mark Williams, guitar, Andy Champion, bass, and drummer Russ Morgan. Zoë Gilby's voice and lyrics formed an integral part of the one hour set.

CD Review: Blue Standard - A Good Thing

Raoul Bhaneja (vocals, harmonica); Jesse Whiteley (piano)
(Review by Ann Alex)

This CD does what it says on the tin and does it well. The proverbial tin says that this is a debut album which was recorded ‘live off the floor with no overdubs’ at Canterbury Music Company in Toronto. Twelve standards, some unfamiliar, chosen because  Blue Standard felt inspired by takes of these songs done by famous names such as Nat King Cole and Chet Baker. Raoul Bhaneja is an actor who sings blues, as well as jazz and Jesse Whiteley, is well known on the Canadian music scene as he comes from a family of musicians involved in roots music, and he has performed with the likes of Clark Terry and Cleo Laine.

Sunday, January 06, 2019

RIP Urbie Green

Just heard the sad news that trombonist Urbie Green died on December 31 at the age of 92. One of the true greats on his instrument I first encountered him as part of Woody Herman's New Third Herd. The previous herd featured the saxes on Four Brothers - this one showcased the 'bones on another Giuffre classic - Four Others. Metronome named him as one of the "Arrivals of the Year" in its 1953 yearbook and from then on he never looked back.

Other memories include him blowing on the Buck Clayton Jam Sessions as well as turning up at Eddie Condon's and slotting into the Dixieland idiom as easily as he did the swing/mainstream/modern genre.
A 3 LP live set at New York's Rainbow Rooms with Benny Goodman in a small group that, alongside Benny and Urbie also had Ruby Braff and Paul Quinichette. In his sleeve notes, Benny Green describes Urbie as being what Jack Teagarden might have been if he'd been born 20 years later!

CD Review: The 14 Jazz Orchestra - The Future Ain't What It Used To Be. Arranged by Dan Bonsanti

Another big band wizbang! This one doesn't need any narrative - just a band that swings and features some ace soloists. I can't/won't list the full personnel. Whoever designed the sleeve opted for dark grey text on dark black background - how do these guys get the job?
I can't name him as, no doubt, his name too is lost in the mire - let's just hope he doesn't get a gig doing road signs!

Fortunately, the music rises above such mundane matters and the soloists and guests* are named on the website. It's as swinging a contemporary big band as you are likely to find either side of the Atlantic.

Jazz Course Update - Jazz Coop

Jazz Coop begins its 2019 educational curriculum at The Globe (11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD) this coming Saturday (Jan 12) with Woman Play Jazz Workshop.
There are a number of other courses aimed at both beginner and advanced player including Play More Jazz (Tuesday, Jan. 15); Advanced Jazz Guitar (Tuesday, Jan. 15) and Play Jazz workshop: Colla Voce (Feb. 2 @ Sage Gateshead).
Full details here.

Saturday, January 05, 2019

King Bees @ Billy Bootleggers - Jan. 4

Michael Littlefield (guitar, vocals); Scott Taylor (harmonica, guitar, vocals); Dominic Hornsby (piano, guitar, vocals); Simon Hedley (double bass); Giles Holt (drums) + John ? (harmonica, vocals)
(Review by Russell)
First Friday in the month (first Friday of 2019!) and you're in Newcastle's self-proclaimed no.1 dive bar. But wait...a new pre/post gig city centre watering hole finally opened its doors this evening. Beeronomy on Hood Street is the award-winning Mordue Brewery's first pub. A mix of the industrial and the chandelier, the most striking thing was the absence on the bar of Radgie Gadgie and Workie Ticket. It soon dawned that the place wasn't attempting to be a 'proper' pub. Handpulls, yes, 'craft' beers (keg), a food menu and lots of employees asking: Is everything alright? Would you like to order now?...three times in twenty minutes. Billy Bootleggers never looked more inviting. 

Michael Littlefield thanked the patrons of Newcastle's no.1 dive bar for coming out on this first weekend of the new year.  Chicago it ain't but Billy Bootleggers will do, and the resident five-piece King Bees make this the place to be first Friday in the month* 

CD Review: Ingrid Jensen & Steve Treseler - Invisible Sounds for Kenny Wheeler

(Review by Lance).

I'd made up my mind I wouldn't like this before I'd even played it!  
Why? 
Kenny Wheeler!

The Canadian trumpet player/composer/arranger can be rated as tops in at least 3 if not 4 of the many strings to his bow. His Windmill Tilter with Dankworth is one of the all-time great jazz suites - I'm still vainly trying to find a copy after I, foolishly, loaned mine to 'a friend' who left with it for Venezuela (or it may have been Wales) shortly after.  Don Quixote notwithstanding, whilst I've appreciated his later work, despite the brilliance, it has always left me slightly cold compared to, say, Gil Evans or Mike Gibbs. I'm in a minority here - just as, at school, my fantasies evolved around Doris Day rather than Marilyn Monroe (no they didn't go to Jarrow Central!) - and Kenny, as a trumpet player always rested, for me, in between two other Kenny's - Baker and Ball.

Friday, January 04, 2019

CD Review: Florian Weber – Lucent Nights

Ralph Alessi (trumpet); Florian Weber (piano); Linda May Han Oh (double bass); Nasheet Waits (drums).
(Review by Steve H).

German-born Weber’s second release for ECM. A thoughtful contemplative piece of work, the classically trained pianist/composer has assembled a superb quartet where each member seems to fit in perfectly with the mood and pace of the leader's compositions.

Beginning with a haunting solo piano piece, Brilliant Waters, much of the playing has a dreamy floaty feel to it. However, towards the end of the album, things liven up a bit with Time Horizon and Fragile Cocoon. Just in case we were about to throw caution to the wind the album concludes with a Satie like piece Schimmelreiter. 

Veronica Swift Sings ...

Maurice Summerfield kindly sent me this YouTube clip from an excellent young singer - Veronica Swift doing a number he thought appropriate.
Thank you Maurice.
Lance.
More on Veronica Swift.

100 Years of Jazz Piano from the James Pearson Trio

(Press release)
The James Pearson Trio will play a fundraising concert ‘100 Years of Jazz Piano’ for the National Jazz Archive on Saturday 9 February, in Loughton, Essex.
Pianist James Pearson, with Sam Burgess on bass and Chris Higginbottom on drums, present a history of jazz piano, featuring Oscar Peterson, Fats Waller, Jelly Roll Morton, Erroll Garner, Bill Evans and many, many more.

James Pearson is a world-class pianist, composer and raconteur extraordinaire. He is the artistic director at Ronnie Scott’s Club where his trio are the house band. His fine piano playing and arrangements can be heard on over 50 albums. With collaborations ranging from Paul McCartney to Wynton Marsalis, James is one of the country’s most sought-after pianists.

Bass player Sam Burgess is a stalwart of the UK jazz scene. As well as playing on numerous film soundtracks, his driving bass lines can be heard accompanying bands of all styles.

CD Review: Scottish National Jazz Orchestra - Peter and the Wolf.

(Review by Lance)
There was a time when "Jazzin' the Classics" was regarded with a degree of scorn or at the very best, condescension. My late mother, herself an accomplished pianist with letters after her name would shudder when I played Art Tatum's version of Dvorak's Humoresque, albeit admiring his technique. 

Since then, attitudes have become more tolerant and I'm sure, were she alive today, she'd have appreciated the jazzified classical pieces that have entered the jazz canon such as The Nutcracker Suite, Peer Gynt and The Planets. 

What do they all have in common? - Ellington.

Thursday, January 03, 2019

Preview: Matt MacKellar Band - Jan 10

(Preview by Russell)
One week tonight (Thursday 10) there is only one place to be and that's the Black Swan Bar in Newcastle Arts Centre. The debut gig by the Matt MacKellar Band is set to be an 'I was there' occasion. 

Drummer Matt MacKellar is home on a short break from his studies at Berklee, Boston, Mass. Last week, as a key member of the Francis Tulip Quartet, Matt played a hugely successful gig at Newcastle Jazz Co-op's Railway Street premises. The Globe was heaving and next week a similarly large crowd is expected at the Westgate Road basement venue. 

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

False Alarm!

Contrary to rumours that the Block and Tackle is closed all day on Monday 7th January the jazz club is still on from 1pm till 3pm. The pub will close early (at 7pm) that day for the staff Xmas party!
John T.

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Hear Me Talkin To Ya!

Surely this year can't have been that bad! I thought it the best year ever (but, of course, I'm biased).
Sadly, very few of our regulars have found time to send us their faves whether it be gigs, CDs, venues, books or egg sandwiches.
So, I'm making a last appeal for you to send me your memorable (musical) moments of the past 12 months. Your support is essential to justify the time spent keeping you up to date on jazz happenings.
Lance.
PS: If you're unable to negotiate the blog's comment system then email me at lanceliddle@gmail.com

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.

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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