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Bebop Spoken There

Chris Potter: "When we were going to get on an aeroplane, he [Red Rodney] would always pretend to have a limp so we could get on first." (Jazzwise March 2019).

Archive

Today Thursday February 21

Afternoon

Jazz

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Rd., Holystone NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

Jazz

Society Trio - Revolucion de Cuba, 1 Cloth Market, Newcastle NE1 1EE. 6pm. Free,

Musicians Unlimited - Tees Hot Club, Dorman’s Club, Oxford Road, Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. Tel: 01642 823813. 8:30pm. Free. Guest band night.

Maine Street Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Hollywell Lane, Sunniside, Gateshead NE16 5NJ. Tel: 0191 488 7347. 8:30pm. Free.

New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band - Oxbridge, Oxbridge Lane, Stockton on Tees TS18 4AW. 8:30pm.

Daniel John Martin w Swing Manouche - Black Swan, Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SG. Tel: 0191 261 5618. 8:00pm. £6.00. (£5.00. concs.).

Stu Collingwood (solo piano) - The Rabbit Hole, 17 Hallgarth St., Durham DH1 3AT. Tel: 0191 386 5556. 7pm. Book in advance.

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

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Preview: The Lazy River Jazz Band @ The Exchange, North Shields - Feb 27

(Preview by Russell)

In North Shields on Wednesday (Feb 27) there is a one-off opportunity to attend a Dixieland jazz band's rehearsal session. The long-established Lazy River Jazz Band is shortly to entertain locals and tourists alike on the Costa Del Sol and North Shields' Exchange cafe/bar is the place to catch them in action before they set-off. 

Chris Perrin founded the band in 1983 and from its north west of England base the eight-piece - as it is likely to be on Wednesday - has played countless gigs, some of them with stellar guest names such as Rico Tomasso. Perrin (reeds) fronts the band alongside Veronica Perrin (trumpet, vocals). Chris has worked with Brian Carrick (Algiers Stompers), as has trombonist John Crisp (Carrick's Heritage Hall Stompers) who will be in North Shields on the night. 

Ned Kelly Rides Again

Nice to have a visit to Neds [Ned Kelly's Last Stand] of Pug Wilber vocalist wife of Bob Wilber plus Mark Hodgson jazz trio bandleader on the Queen Mary, and trombonist Bradley Schmidt who is joining the Queen Mary  — with Bradley Schmidt.
Colin Aitchison (on F/b).

Andy Rides Again


Escaping into music has always been a boon to me. Sitting down and playing a bit of Mozart, Gershwin or Ragtime - doesn't really matter which. Other parts of the brain come into play and the inanities of (even at a distance) Brexit watching evaporate.

Playing in a band adds further dimensions, and our new band (of vintage players) will hit the bars and stages of Singapore in the near future.
Playing Rock 'n' Roll standards and enjoying the repartee of the guys who have trodden the boards for many years - some of us were actually there in the '60s. Great fun - Loving it.

Andy Hudson (on F/b).

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Black Swan Jam Session - Feb. 19

(Review by Lance).

Just another night at the Black Swan jam session, or so it seemed. The house trio of Brad, Paul and Russ got things going with an original by Brad, For Joe, dedicated to Joe Pass. A super swinging version of 'S Wonderful and a nod towards Django with Nuages. Easthope blew tenor on what sounded like a Messengers' tune, newcomer Brito made an impressive debut with Doxy and Blue Bossa before the earth moved when Dulcie May Moreno - all the way from Kent - sang Louis Jordan's Trouble Ain't no Satisfaction and Pennies From Heaven. A class act indeed!

Martin Waugh - all the way from Edinburgh - played My Little Suede Shoes and Doc Summers popped up wielding a baritone sax. As the evening progressed his horns grew smaller, unlike Ray Burns who started out playing harmonica - it eventually morphed into an accordion. They did a job on September in the Rain.

Cross Border Culture: Jeffery Hewer Quartet @ Zeffirelli's, Ambleside - Feb. 16

Jeffrey Hewer (guitar); Sam Quintana (bass); Alec Robinson (piano); Steve Hanley (drums).
(Review by Hugh C)

The Abbot Hall Art Gallery in Kendal has a track record of staging interesting and thought-provoking exhibitions.  Refuge: The Art of Belonging tells the story of artists who entered Britain as a result of Nazi occupation and does not disappoint (***** Recommended).  An email from a hotel in Ambleside with an inviting low season offer encouraged our first visit to Cumbria this year, over the Pennines on the A686, perhaps England’s most scenic road, stopping in Kendal on the way.

What to do on Saturday evening?  A quick consultation of the Zeffirellis website offered the chance of a FREE (as in gratuite) jazz gig at 8.30pm -  The Jeffrey Hewer Quartet were in the jazz bar, and a table for two was available one-quarter of an hour before.  We arrived a little early and were offered a choice of tables, we selected to sit near the band for a good view, just next to the fine Wendl and Lung baby grand piano installed in the venue.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

CD Review: Doug MacDonald Quartet - Organisms

Doug MacDonald (guitar); Carey Frank (B3); Bob Sheppard (tenor sax); Ben Scholz (drums).
(Review by Lance).

It seemed for a while that, with the passing of B3 legends such as McDuff, McGriff, Holmes and Smith, the organ had already gotten one foot out of the groove and into the grave. Fortunately, judging by the CDs I've been receiving recently, the venerable Hammond B3 is well and truly back in business. 

In a week's time (Feb. 26) Booker T is at Sage Gateshead clashing with local hero Gerry Richardson who's up-river at The Fox in Hexham on the same night. Brian Auger is still pedalling at home and abroad, whilst Joey DeFrancesco continues to dominate the polls in America and Ross Stanley and James Taylor keep the UK flag flying.

Jam Today, Jam Tomorrow, Jam the day after

Below is an update on the current jam session scene in and around Tyne and Wear. Sitters-in are invited and encouraged. However, because of the unpredictability of jam sessions, it's best to get there early and make yourself known or else you may be overlooked. It's also advisable, because of the ephemeral nature of jams to ring first if you are planning a long trip (some travel from Edinburgh, Birmingham, Leeds, London and Boston, Mass as well as Australia!) For listeners, remember that jams are like Tom Hanks' famous quote in the film Forrest Gump: “My mom always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.”  It's the same sense of the unknown that attracts so many of us to a jam session.

Sundays
Jazz Social - Charts, Quayside, Newcastle NE1 3DX. Tel: 0191 338 7989. 4:00pm. Free. Weekly (apart from last Sunday in the month?)

DU Jazz Soc jam session - Fabio’s Bar, Saddler St, Durham DH13NP. Tel: 0191 383 9290. 7:30pm. Free. Weekly during term time.

Am Jam - The Globe, 11 Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 3:00pm. Free.
Second Sunday in the month.

East Coast Jazz - Exchange, Howard Street, North Shields NE30 1SE.
Tel: 0191 258 4111. 6:00pm. Free. Monthly jam session (third Sunday).

Sunday Jazz Social - Fire Station, High St West, Sunderland SR1 3DT. Tel: 0191 594 7241.  3:00-5:00pm. Last Sunday in the month jam session.

More Jam - The Globe, 11 Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 3:00pm. Free.
Fourth Sunday in the month.

Dean Stockdale Trio @ The Beaumont Hotel, Hexham - Feb 18

Dean Stockdale (piano); Giles Strong (guitar); Mick Shoulder (double bass)

A Monday evening jazz gig at Hexham's Beaumont Hotel featuring an ace piano trio attracted a good number of diners and a few discerning listeners nursing a solitary drink. 

Pianist Dean Stockdale met up with guitarist Giles Strong and bassist Mick Shoulder to play a selection of GASbook numbers in laid back style. Gershwin, of course, Richard Rodgers, Billy Taylor (I Wish I Knew), Monk (deserving of GASbook status), all played with the sensitivity one has come to expect of Messrs Stockdale, Strong and Shoulder. 

Allendale Brewery's Golden Plover is an ever-present on the bar (very much a local beer in these parts) and on the night it pipped Mordue's Workie Ticket. The trio fed and watered, the music resumed with three fine solos on Don't Get Around Much Anymore. A further round of first-rate solos followed on a swift Lady be Good and the evening's entertainment concluded with Witchcraft. Next week's jazz offering is the fine guitar duo of Giles Strong and Roly Veitch, seven 'til nine. 
Russell

Monday, February 18, 2019

Ragtime Pete @ Central Station - Feb 18

Waiting for the train to Hexham for tonight's Beaumont Hotel jazz gig your correspondent heard Pete from Bromsgrove playing Maple Leaf Rag on Newcastle Central Station's 'have-a-go' piano. A fine pianist is Pete! 
Russell

East Coast Jazz Jam @ The Exchange, North Shields - Feb 17

Keith Barrett (guitar); 
Bernie Ranson (tenor sax, keyboards); Andrew Porritt (double bass); Sam Young (drums) + Jude Murphy (alto sax, flute, vocals); Dave Weisser (cornet, vocals); Johannes Dalhuijsen (tenor sax, soprano sax)
(Review by Russell)

The East Coast Jazz Jam is a monthly, early evening jam session 'down at the coast'. The Exchange in North Shields stages a wide range of events (theatre, music, cinema) including a couple of jam sessions - one jazz, one blues. Last night, the third Sunday in the month, it was the turn of the former, the jazz jam.

Frog and Henry @ St Augustine's Parish Centre, Darlington - Feb 16

Ewan Bleach (soprano sax, baritone sax, bass sax, clarinet, vocals); Laurin Hebart (alto sax, tenor sax, clarinet); FH Henry (guitar, banjo, vocals); Kerman Arken (violin, vocals); Dave Neigh (tuba machine, banjo)
(Review by Russell) 

Frog and Henry are in the vanguard of a younger generation of musicians seeking something other than being considered 'hip' or 'cool'. Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club's faith in the music paid off handsomely with a large turnout at St Augustine's on Larchfield Street. 

Frontman Ewan Bleach introduced the numbers and, along the way, introduced his bandmates - two of them hailing from Canada, one from Germany and an American from the state of Tennessee. Bleach, from the Deep South (Oxford, to be precise) played no fewer than four reeds - soprano, baritone and bass saxophones and clarinet - and, sitting to his right, Laurin Hebart played alto and tenor saxophones and clarinet, the pair of them just about covering all the reeds. 

Going for a Burton? - Latest update

(Press release)
Burton Agnes Jazz and Blues Festival are delighted to announce more artists have been confirmed and added to the line-up of their thirteenth summer festival.

Bringing a jazz-rock element are the some of the North's most creatively diverse young musicians who form the band Artephis – a favourite of Jamie Cullum and a new band for Burton Agnes.

The Mark Williams Trio, a Jazz, blues, rock, fusion outfit are also new to Burton Agnes although not to festivals to which they have played many, both national and international.

More 2019 artists and headliners will be announced over the coming weeks - to keep up to date please visit: https://www.burtonagnes.com/Jazz_Festival/Line_Up.html

Sunday, February 17, 2019

CD Review: Mats Eilertsen - And Then Comes The Night

Harmen Fraanje (piano); Mats Eilertsen (bass); Thomas Strønen (drums).
(Review by Lance).

I usually manage to 'delegate' the ECM CDs that I receive - invariably they bear little relation to jazz as I know it - and pass them on to more receptive ears. However, this one prompted me to bite the bullet. A jazz piano trio - I've heard the best! Peterson, Garner, Evans, Jarrett, Corea - could this European group compare?
No!

CD Review: Patchwork Jazz Orchestra - The Adventures of Mr Pottercakes

(Review by Lance)

There are big band albums and there are BIG BAND ALBUMS! this one comes into the latter category although don't expect to find Glenn Miller emerging from the English Channel covered in seaweed! No, this is very much a large ensemble meeting the standard of today's contemporary players. However, don't get me wrong, this is no pet shop fire group and yet, nor is it a swing band. It's a band that swings to today's rhythm, the pulse of life whether it be to the office or the job centre is totally encapsulated.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

CD Review: Wadada Leo Smith, Rosa Parks - Pure Love

(Review by Ann Alex)

The insert tells us that this music is an oratorio for the iconic American civil rights activist, Rosa Parks(1913-2005), who refused to give up her seat to a white passenger, whilst on a bus in segregated Alabama. This proved to be an important move in the fight against oppression of African American people in the USA. The musicians involved are stellar performers with good track records. For instance, Smith is connected to ‘creative’ musicians form Chicago, and has issued a 4-Cd collection which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Music (2013). He has received awards for Jazz Artist of the Year(2017) and many other honours.

Cedric Burnside + Michael Littlefield & Scott Taylor @ Cluny 2 - Feb 15

Cedric Burnside (guitar, drums, vocals); Brian Jay (guitar, drums, vocals)
(Review by Russell/PHOTOS courtesy of Ken Drew)

Track two on Cedric Burnside's new album is titled Get Your Groove On. Last night in Cluny 2 a full house got its groove on from the get-go. As the lights went down Burnside strolled out onto stage, picked up an acoustic guitar, sat down and played. Hill Country blues from northern Mississippi; hypnotic, irregular meter, cast iron vocals, as Burnside said: We got some hill country blues for ya. The Jumpin' Hot Club crowd replied: Wye Aye.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Svarc, Hanley, Longhawn @ Bishop Auckland Town Hall - Feb 15

Nik Svarc (guitar); Steve Hanley (drums); Martin Longhawn (organ)
(Review by Russell)

It was a warm, blue sky Friday in County Durham with Bishop Auckland looking at its best. The Town Hall's café/bar performance space accommodated a near-capacity lunchtime audience for the visit of Svarc, Hanley and Longhawn. 

The Leeds-based trio of Nik Svarc, guitar, Steve Hanley, drums, and Martin Longhawn, organ, arrived in good time, pulling up outside Bishop Auckland Town Hall, off-loading and setting up with the minimum of fuss - true pros are SHL. There Will Never be Another You opened the one hour programme. A familiar tune, for sure, but in the hands of SHL they're apt to take a good look at it, take it apart and skillfully put it back together again.

The Rabbit Hole Jazz Supper Club - update

Popular vocalist Anna Reay has kindly sent me an update on Durham's latest jazz venue - The Rabbit Hole, 17 Hallgarth St., Durham DH1 3AT. Tel 0191 386 5556.

15th Feb Anna Reay and Deon Krishnan.

16th Feb Neil Harland and Dean Stockdale. 

21st Feb Stu Collingwood solo piano. 
22nd Feb Swing Manouche w. Daniel John Martin (pictured).
23rd Feb Zoe Gilby and Mark Williams. 

28th Feb Steve Whitfield solo.

NUJO: ❤❤❤❤ Make jazz not love ❤❤❤❤ @ Bar Loco - Feb 14

(Review by Russell)

Happy Valentine's Day! Newcastle's student hangout on Leazes Park Road couldn't have been busier. If anyone was looking for a valentine this was the place although it could be that they would have to settle for a sardine so packed was it.

Through the doors then up the stairs - on the way nodding to NUJO (Newcastle University Jazz Orchestra) President Tom McDonald - to the unmistakable sounds of TS Monk. The jam session was well underway...MAKE JAZZ NOT ❤❤❤❤!!!

A TrainWatermelon ManIt Don't Mean a Thing - performed by an ever-changing, quite bewildering number of NUJO sitters-in. What's this? Alto saxophonist Matt Green behind the traps...where's Archie Williamson? Southpaw guitarist James Cuxson was there, he's an ever-present cog in the NUJO set-up. Horn players galore, percussionists by the dozen, it was noisy, raucous, make jazz not ❤❤❤❤!!!

Thursday, February 14, 2019

John Scofield @ Howard Assembly Room, Leeds - Feb. 13

John Scofield (guitar).
(Review by Steve T)

Should have seen him at the Sage a year or two back, with a band. I wasn't that bothered at the time but I like his current album and it's probably wise to start mopping up as many Miles Davis alumni as one can gather.

Recently I thought I'd lost some tickets so I ransacked the house. Came across a John McLaughlin ticket for Newcastle Playhouse from ninety-four (while I was still in West Yorkshire) which can only have been Joey DeFrancesco. I also saw Mike Stern intrude upon a master-class with Martin Taylor in one of the classrooms at Sage Gateshead, resulting in an impromptu jam, so I'm putting a tick next to him too.

Leeds is a maximum three hour round trip for us so an opportunity to play up to six albums, though we only managed four.  Mrs T is generally up for guitarists though not long in I got the 'never again' I normally get when tabla players start routine maintenance on stage.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Preview: From the Mississippi Delta to the Ouseburn Delta

On Friday (Feb 15) the Mississippi blues will be heard down on the Ouseburn Delta. In the subterranean depths of Cluny 2 Cedric Burnside's stripped-back guitar/vocals and drums duo gig is likely to draw a large crowd of aficionados keen to hear a new century take on Mississippi's 'Hill Country' blues.

Cedric Burnside started out playing drums, later switching to guitar, following in the footsteps of his grandfather RL Burnside. Now, at the age of 40, Burnside's raw, energetic blues is coming to Newcastle thanks to Jumpin' Hot Club's co-promotion with host venue Cluny. Burnside's insistent, rhythmic guitar and vocals will be complemented by Brian Jay's drumming as the duo play cuts from the new album Benton County Relic. Think White Stripes with a rhythm and blues edge and you'll get the idea. 

And, what a bonus, King Bees' frontmen - Michael Littlefield, guitar and vocals, and Scott Taylor, harmonica and vocals - will play a support set! Doors open at eight, tickets £12.50. Telephone the Cluny on 0191 230 4474 to secure your ticket, it's gonna be a good 'un.      
Russell

Alina Bzhezhinska Quartet @ Gosforth Civic Theatre - February 9

Alina Bzhezhinska (harp); Toni Kofi (soprano/tenor sax); Larry Bartley (bass); Joel Prime (drums/percussion)
(Review/photos by Ken Drew

 Given the recent reviews of the quartet’s current national tour, expectation was high for this, the first co-promotion between Jazz North East and Gosforth Civic Theatre. Originally from Ukraine/Poland and now based in London, Alina Bzhezhinska is an internationally renowned harpist and her critically acclaimed Quartet was formed two years ago to celebrate Alice Coltrane's 80th Birthday, performing at the EFG London Jazz Festival 2017 with 'A Concert for Alice and John'. 

It was great to see this quartet on the road.   A decent sized audience provided a good start to help fill the theatre space and hence a good atmosphere with the band performing on stage, although it would have been equally acceptable for them to perform on the main floor as is sometimes the case at GCT. Still, the sound was clear and well balanced, providing a good space for the performers.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Ruth Lambert Trio @ The Beaumont Hotel, Hexham - Feb 11

Ruth Lambert (vocals); Giles Strong (guitar); Paul Susans (double bass)
(Review by Russell)

The Beaumont Hotel is under new ownership and the first signs of change are now apparent. A ground floor corridor has become an off-limits building site with, no doubt, further renovations in the pipeline. What hasn't changed is the Monday evening jazz gig.

This week Ruth Lambert made a welcome return visit. Guitarist Giles Strong and bassist Paul Susans once again joined the Tyneside based vocalist to play a selection of GASbook numbers. Secret LoveDindiMy RomanceDetour Ahead...who could ask for anything more? Ms. Lambert's innate sense of swing gives her a distinct advantage over the many pretenders to her crown. At one point your correspondent mused: Ruth could swing the phonebook.

2019 Jazz FM Award Nominations Announced.

The nominations have been announced for this year's Jazz FM awards and voting is now open. To place your bet - sorry vote - follow the link. Click on Vote and the runners and riders will be there for you to stick a virtual pin in.

As one of the nominating panel, I note that I have had as much success here with my selections as I usually do with my annual flutter on the Grand National. 
Lance

LP Review: Steve Fishwick/Alex Garnett Quartet - Marshian Time Slip

Steve Fishwick (trumpet/flugelhorn); Alex Garnett (alto sax); Michael Karn (bass); Matt Fishwick (drums).
(Review by Lance).

There's something about 21st-century vinyl that, somehow, feels like a piece of precious porcelain, even before you've actually heard the content you know you are holding a treasure. Fortunately, it's not fragile - no one's going to make a lampshade out of today's "long players"! Nor will the sleeves end up torn and disheveled after a night out on the Dansette! 

Unlike those historic albums that we still love and treasure, where we used to devour the sleeve notes as if they were the new New Testament and which, nowadays,  when reproduced on CD booklets, are unreadable - unless you live in Cape Canaveral that is,  the sleeve notes here provide us with only the bare insight to the background. However, this is one of those albums where the music speaks for itself. Like Fats, or was it Louis?, apocryphally said: "If you have to ask, don't mess with it".

CD Review: Deborah Shulman - The Shakespeare Project

Debrah Shulman (vocals); Jeff Colella (piano); Larry Koonse (guitar); Abraham Laboriel/Chris Colangelo (bass); Bob Sheppard (reeds); Bob McChesney (trombone); Kendall Kay/ Joe LaBarbera (drums).
(Review by Lance)

Shakespeare has long provided inspiration for jazz musicians and filmmakers. The latter, in the film All Night Long, incorporated the saga of Othello in a modern setting incorporating Tubby Hayes, Dave Brubeck, Mingus and other jazz luminaries of the 1960s. In retrospect, Mingus would have been the perfect Othello. As it was, the music proved better than the film!

Monday, February 11, 2019

CD Review: Around Again – The Music of Carla Bley

Iro Haarla (piano); Ulf Krokfors (double bass); Barry Altschul (drums).
(Review by Hugh C)

Finnish musicians Haarla and Krokfors have been musical collaborators for two decades and, in their formative years, listened to Carla Bley’s music, in particular, earlier interpretations of her compositions for the Paul Bley Trio.  Around Again features, on drums, Altschul, who played and recorded many of the featured compositions with Paul Bley and a variety of different bass players in the 1960s.

The Jazz Police @ Monument, Newcastle - Feb 11

There he was, sitting in the sunshine, minding his own business, blowing alto, improvising to his heart's content when the local constabulary sped past, horns blaring DO DAH DO DAH DO DAH DO DAH. Paul Ruddick didn't miss a beat, seamlessly incorporating a DO DAH DO DAH DO DAH DO DAH phrase into the number he was blowing on. Priceless, honest guv'nor. 
Russell

CD Review: John Turville - Head First

John Turville (piano); Julian Argüelles (tenor/soprano sax); Robbie Robson (trumpet); Dave Whitford (bass); James Maddren (drums).
(Review by Lance).

Way back in the day, the jazz constabulary of Jazz Journal, Jazz Monthly and other mags would dismiss sessions on Blue Note, Prestige, Contemporary etc. by musicians such as Hank Mobley, Jackie McLean, Zoot Sims, Phil Woods and others as "Just another blowing session". In retrospect, those 'blowing sessions' are now regarded as part of the Holy Grail of modern jazz. 

Had those same jazz cops still been patrolling the beat they certainly wouldn't have accused the Turville Gang of the same crime!

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Preview: Indigo Jazz Voices @ The Globe: February 14

Jen Errington; Miriam McCormick; David Edgar; Jenny Lingham; Sue Straker; Carrie McCullock (individual vocals); Alan Law (piano)

Here is a great chance to enjoy Valentine’s evening with your partner! Get yourselves along to the Globe to hear romantic jazz songs, sung by the talented vocalists of Indigo Jazz Voices. And they are accompanied by the superb playing of Alan Law on piano. Songs to suit the most romantic night of the year include Let There Be Love; Can’t Help Lovin’ That Man Of Mine; I’ve Got You Under My Skin; Isn’t It Romantic; Our Love Is Here To Stay; and of course, the song that has to be sung, My Funny Valentine.

You’ll get at least 4 songs from each singer, so there’ll be many more songs to enjoy, besides those I’ve mentioned. The gig begins at 7.30pm, admission £5, a very reasonable price.

Be there or you’ll miss out!

Ann Alex

In the Year of the Pig: Scotswood Slim

A bright, crisp, blue sky day as Newcastle's Chinese community put on a show to celebrate New Year, the 'Year of the Pig'. Local dignitaries waited patiently as crowds lined Gallowgate to watch the spectacle; a Chinese dragon leading the parade from Eldon Square to China Town, shimmering cymbals, beating drums. In anticipation of inordinately loud firecrackers, it was time to engage in some retail therapy.
 

The sounds of a wailing harp could be heard up there on Northumberland Street. Ah, Scotswood Slim, no less! Slim (aka Brian Lynham), No Time for Jive's long-time frontman, to guitar and vocal accompaniment, paid tribute to Muddy Waters' sideman Jimmy Rogers with a spot-on version of Walking by Myself. The full band line-up can be heard at Cullercoats Crescent Club on Friday 12 April. At four quid on the door that's a canny jump jive night out.
Russell 

Off Key Music - open rehearsal at St. Oswald's Church Hall, Hebburn - Feb.10

It had been over 4 years since I last heard Off Key. On that occasion, they gave a concert in the actual church. This morning it was in the adjoining church hall so, as it's on my doorstep and an open rehearsal I decided to drop in.

There have been changes-a-plenty during the intervening years. Whereas previously it was a more big band orientated set up they've now adapted to a brass/wind band format with cornets, Eb bass and tenor horn amongst the flutes, clarinets, saxes and trombone.

Saturday, February 09, 2019

Alice Grace, Jennifer Davies & Ben Helm @ Stack, Newcastle - Feb 9

Alice Grace (vocals); Jennifer Davies (vocals); Ben Helm (guitar)

Stack is a short term - three year - project before the developers move in. Located on the site of the now demolished Odeon Cinema, a plethora of bars and eateries continue to do a roaring trade post-Christmas/New Year. 

Entertainment is part of the offer and three well-known faces from the regional jazz scene played a return engagement entertaining a Saturday afternoon partying crowd. The absence of anything resembling jazz didn't matter a bean, this was popular entertainment, pure and simple. Our entertainers were none other than super singers Alice Grace and Jennifer Davies accompanied on acoustic guitar by Ben Helm. Tunes ranged far and wide including Ain't No Mountain High Enough, Somethin' Stupid and I Want to Hold Your Hand


From Stack, it was a short walk to the new place to be seen in the Cloth Market to catch Jason Holcomb's Society Trio. Read BSH Editor in Chief's thoughts on Newcastle's Cuban hideaway. 
Russell

Society Trio @ Revolucion de Cuba - Feb. 9

Jason Holcomb (trombone); Alix Shepherd (keys); ? (perc.)
(Review by Lance).

As it's unlikely I'll ever get to Havana the best alternative seemed to be to drop in at the recently opened Revolucion de Cuba. Situated at the south end of the Cloth Market (it's número uno) opposite the former Balmbra's Music Hall where folklore has it that, on June 9, 1862, some folk set off to attend a race meeting at Blaydon. 

The Paul Donnelly Organ Trio @ Dormans Jazz Club, Middlesbrough - Feb.7.

Paul Donnelly (guitar); Stuart Collingwood (organ/bass pedal); and Paul Smith (drums).
(Review by Ron H)

The second guest band of the year at Dormans proved to be another memorable night of Jazz from three highly talented musicians.

Starting with Clifford Brown's Joy Spring, and the classic Nature Boy, superb solos all round gave the audience a flavour of what was in store.

Pat Metheny's James, was followed by the beautiful bossa nova Black Orpheus, with impeccable rhythm set up by Paul on drums before featuring Stuart on Jimmy Smith's The Cat, with fine keyboard work and faultless bass pedal input.

Early Birds Flying High @ The Lit & Phil, Newcastle - Feb 9

The Early Bird Band: Paul Edis (MD, piano, tenor sax); Emily McDermott (vocals); Lucien Guest (trumpet); Haaruun Miller (alto sax, soprano sax); Tom Henery (guitar); Alex Shipsey (bass guitar); Dylan Thompson (drums)

It had been a late night for Dr Edis. Gigging 'til late at Opus 4 Jazz Club, pianist and educator Paul Edis was up and about bright and early to meet up with half a dozen Early Birders for an early Saturday morning workshop. 

The Lit and Phil's Loftus Room is the regular rehearsal/performance space for the Early Bird Band's rapidly developing young musicians. 9:15am start, set-up and go. Two hours' worth of study then the doors open to a curious public. 

Alan Barnes @ The Traveller's Rest, Darlington - Feb 8

Alan Barnes (alto sax, baritone sax, clarinet); Paul Edis (piano); Andy Champion (double bass); Russ Morgan (drums)
(Review by Russell)

Opus 4 Jazz Club's February concert attracted a full house. And little wonder, with Alan Barnes on the premises! The hugely popular reeds virtuoso enjoys his annual visit to the Traveller's Rest and this Friday evening engagement, working once again with pianist and good friend Paul Edis, would prove to be no different. 

As Barnes announced the first number - Joy Spring - long-time supporter Dennis arrived, waving regally to one and all. Our guest star is a master of side-splitting one-liners, add straight man Dennis to the equation and you've got the makings of a memorable night of superb jazz and hilarious repartee. From alto on Clifford Brown's well-loved number - with a cheering audience behind him all the way - to the first of several baritone features on Time After Time, the evening was shaping up as a Gig of the Year contender. 

!STOP PRESS! Ruth Lambert Turns "Flapper" with The New Century Ragtime Orchestra!

(Press release)
For one night only, at Caedmon Hall, Gateshead, on Saturday, 23rd February, the New Century Ragtime Orchestra are delighted to welcome as their special guest, fabulous vocaliste Ruth Lambert. Ruth is well known to audiences in the North as a superb jazz singer who is much prized for her interpretations of great songs both past and present. Her appearance with the NCRO will guarantee that her hard-won reputation is irretrievably ruined - after all, who can remember the band's previous vocalists: Ella Fitzpatrick, Billie Hollyhocks, and Doris Dray? Not to mention Dean Morton and Tony Burnett!

The NCRO - the band of whom Duke Ellington said, "Who?" - will once more be featuring our great friend Keith Nichols on piano and vocals, and performing a vast range of hot, sweet and swinging tunes from the golden age of Jazz, Ragtime and Swing between 1900 and 1940. We're told that Steve Andrews will, in addition to his duties as M.C. and quality controller for the band's whisky, be taking along his tenor saxophone and clarinet - in the profound hope that he won't actually play them! - and that he has a new joke (shurely shome mishtake? ed.).


We'd love to see you all there for another annual Festival of Fun and Frolic at Caedmon Hall. Tickets are available from Dave Kerr (see poster for details) and from Caedmon Hall itself - book early to avoid disappointment!

Friday, February 08, 2019

Ain’t No Sunshine in February – round off the shortest month with Booker T. Jones at Sage Gateshead

(Press release/Photo Credit Piper Ferguson)
Booker T Jones is a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, GRAMMY Lifetime Achievement Award recipient and arguably the most famous Hammond B3 player in history.

“Booker T. Jones is one of the legends of soul music.” – The New Yorker

The Memphis-born music prodigy has been part of the professional Roots set since the tender age of 16, and after more than six decades in the business, is considered to be one of the greatest in his field. 
As leader of the legendary Booker T and the MGs, this pillar of soul music collaborated with Otis Redding, Albert King, and more during his tenure at Stax Records.

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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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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.
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