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Bebop Spoken There

Bill Reglein (JJ Babbitt m/pieces): "We made this mouthpiece for Eddie Harris. He played tenor sax and trumpet. He played in some pretty rough bars. The story goes that he was afraid he'd get in a fight and get his teeth knocked out. He figured that if even that happened he could still play tenor. So, the request came in, 'Can I get a reed mouthpiece for my trumpet?' the company made exactly one." - (DownBeat October 2019).

Archive

Daily: July 6 - October 27

Precarity John Akomfrah’s film (2017, 46 mins) about Buddy Bolden - Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead Quays, South Shore Road, Gateshead NE8 3BA. Tel: 0191 478 1810. Screenings at intervals during the day. Part of Akomfrah's exhibition Ballasts of Memory. Exhibition (daily) July 6 - October 27. 10:00am-6:00pm. Free.

Today Sunday September 22

Afternoon

Jazz

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blues/Funk/Soul

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

Evening

Jazz

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

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

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

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

Sunday, March 31, 2019

JRR & J to Z @ Free Thinking Festival, Sage Gateshead - March 30

(Review & sign picture by RussellMusician PHOTOS courtesy of Malcolm Sinclair)

It was an opportunity to think, freely, for free. For those who couldn't be bothered to think others were on hand to do it for them, for free. The eggheads came in all shapes and sizes...the traditional egghead, the jolly, the cool and then there was the audience...the egghead, the jolly, the vacant and, for two and a half hours at least, the cool, 'cool' because it was jazz time here at Sage Gateshead.

BBC Radio 3's annual pilgrimage north of the Watford Gap conjures an image of a deserted Broadcasting House as presenters, producers, assistants and assistants to assistants enjoy a 'jolly', sorry, work extremely hard, shining a Free Thinking light on the banks of the Tyne. Saturday afternoon offered two jazz programmes, back-to-back, broadcast live from Sage Gateshead to Radio 3's nationwide audience. 

CD Review: Kate Williams' Four Plus Three meets Georgia Mancio - Finding Home

Kate Williams (piano); Georgia Mancio (voice); John Garner, Maria Schreer (violins); Francis Gallagher (viola); Sergio Serra (cello); Oli Hayhurst (bass)); David Ingarmells (drums) + John Williams (guitar on 2 tracks).
(Review by Lance).

A cracking album - I've come to expect nothing less from Georgia. A lunchtime gig at Cadogan Hall some years back planted the seed which bore fruit when I heard her on disc,  and later live with Alan Broadbent at GIJF. Since then I've checked her out and regretted I haven't been able to get down to Pizza Express for her justly acclaimed ReVoice sessions.
Finding Home fills that gap. The voice is as smooth as silk. Kate Williams' Four Plus Three - a successful merger of piano trio and string quartet - provide the perfect accompaniment to the mix of standards and originals. On the originals, with the exception of  Alan Broadbent's Tell the River, Kate Williams composed the music and Georgia the lyrics. From the title track - I find a way forward and now I know my way back.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

CD Review: Tom Culver - Duke's Place

Tom Culver (vocals); Josh Nelson, Rich Eames (piano - 6 tks each); Larry Koonse, Pat Kelley (guitar - 6 & 5 tks each); Ricky Woodward (sax); Nolan Shaheed (trumpet); Gabe Davis (bass); Kevin Winard (drums); Mark Winkler (vocal - 1 tk.)
(Review by Lance)

What can I say? This is a great album but, where are the buyers other than at his sell-out gigs in prestigious east/west coast venues? 12 of the best of Duke's songs is the immediate attraction and he does them to perfection but the casual buyer is going to say, "Hang on, I've got these songs by either, Sinatra, Tormé, Bennett, Ella as well as at least a 101 others".

Friday, March 29, 2019

Jade @ The Globe Jazz Bar, Newcastle - March 7

Nick Malcolm (Trumpet); Jake McMurchie (Tenor Sax); Will Harris (Bass); Ric Yarborough (Drums)
(Review by Elliot Marlow-Stevens/PHOTOS courtesy of Ken Drew).

Led by trumpeter Nick Malcolm, Jade are a contemporary jazz quartet from Bristol, and their show at The Globe was the penultimate date of their Real Isn’t Real tour, which has been taking them across the country for the past month. Having been together for two years, they perform re-workings of tracks from Malcolm’s previous releases, and this includes his most recent album, Real Isn’t Real, which was released on Malcolm’s own Green Eyes Records in February this year.
Jade is comprised of trumpet, tenor saxophone, double bass, and drums, and they create an excellent modern twist on the free-jazz format. They blend expressive solos with driving melodies, with the brass often switching between duelling and unison, and each member commands their instrument superbly. 

CD Review: Tenement Jazz Band - New Orleans Wiggle

Charles Dearness (trumpet); Paddy Darley (trombone); Tom Pickles (clarinet); John Youngs (guitar); Mike Kearney (banjo, vocals); Simon Toner (double bass)
(Review by Russell) 

Put this one in the CD player, put it on repeat play and it'll be there for days on end. The Tenement Jazz Band's debut recording is, without question, CD of the month and a serious contender for CD of the year! The Edinburgh-based six-piece band formed about fifteen months ago and a matter of months later recorded this - New Orleans Wiggle - their first album.  

Eight tracks with a total running time of just short of half an hour make the 'product' more EP than CD but don't be deterred, the ensemble playing and arrangements are top drawer. The collective sound is one of a group of friends improvising to their hearts' content - it must have been like this in the Crescent City a century ago! 

The Pasadena Roof Orchestra @ The Customs House, South Shields - March 28

(Review by Lance).
I'm not in the Customs House, South Shields, I'm at the Cotton Club in New York or maybe it's The Monseigneur in Mayfair and Brexit is light years away. That's the aura that pervades when the Pasadena Roof Orchestra is in town.

The band has been going for 50 years but their repertoire dates back to an even earlier age. An age when Roy Fox, Lew Stone, Jack Hylton and Ambrose ruled the roost. In the cinema, Fred Astaire was box office, Puttin' on the Ritz and jigging about in his Top Hat, White Tie and Tails - a couple of numbers sung by frontman Duncan Galloway (pictured) who, on the latter tune displayed some fancy footwork himself. I wager there were a few in the audience who'd also have liked to roll back the carpet (and the years!)

Thursday, March 28, 2019

RIP Eddie Piper (1934-2019)


I've just learned of the death of bass player Eddie Piper. Eddie was a founder member of the Pheonix Jazzband, playing double bass and tuba, and was present when the band went on a three-week tour of Poland in 1968. 

He was a fine musician with a great sense of humour, and apart from the Pheonix he had spells with the Vieux Carre Jazzmen and was also a member of the Stanley Civic Orchestra which specialised in playing the works of Gilbert & Sullivan! 

Eddie left the area some years ago to work in Pontefract but returned on his retirement. The funeral is at Mountsett Crematorium on Wednesday 10th April, 2pm.
Gordon Solomon.

A legendary moment - Remembering the Newcastle Big Band in the car park - 1973

(By Barry Hill)

I played in Crookhall Brass Band early 1970s, one of the gigs was a contest at the University Theatre, Involving a number of northeast brass bands. The band were all heads off apart from the younger members who were enthralled by the entertainment going on outside. We were all mesmerised at how high a trumpet could reach.

Hey Jude was the number. Na na na na na na na na na na etc. went on for a fortnight, the local plod tried to intervene with little success. I remember the police sergeant getting more irate with the conductor to stop the band from playing with little success. Our first taste of rock and roll. It was soon short lived when our bandmaster shouted that we were on the stage in five minutes time, howay!

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Hand to Mouth @ Jazz Cafe Mezzanine - March 27

Lindsay Hannon (vocals); Bradley Johnston (guitar)
(Review by Russell)

The second in a new fortnightly Wednesday afternoon session at Jazz Cafe Mezzanine attracted another good crowd eager to hear Hand to Mouth. The duo comprises the legendary Ella Fitzgerald and Joe Pass or rather the pairing of Lindsay Hannon and Bradley Johnston. 

Legendary status isn't forged let alone conferred in an afternoon and here on the first floor at Newcastle Arts Centre vocalist Lindsay and guitarist Bradley were about to write another chapter on their way to international stardom...The Very Thought of YouDindiI Wish I Were in Love Again, it had been a good start to the first set. 

Preview: Pasadena Roof Orchestra at the Customs House tomorrow night (March 28)

Tomorrow night (March 28) at the Customs House, South Shields, sees the return of the Pasadena Roof Orchestra. These musical historians, like our own New Century Ragtime Orchestra, never fail to put on a great show. That the music is pre-1940 doesn't matter. Music is music, it's timeless and this band includes some of the best players in the idiom which is, of course, jazz but, also, entertainment.

Don't miss it, your only disappointment will be that space precludes you getting up to Charleston or shake your Black Bottom.

Last time I heard them was in 2016 - review.

I'll be there - vo-do-deo-do - that's all!
Lance

The Bold Big Band @ the Dun Cow, Jesmond - March 26

(Review/PHOTOS by Lance),

Wow! This is a band!! It's just over 12 months to the day since last I heard them during which time, as with any predominantly student based outfits, there have been changes. However, as in all walks of life, nobody's indispensable and the new ensemble delivered with style and grace.

Jimmy Jefford, the previous MD, got the best out of the band leading from the front and throwing in some killer solos. Simon Hirst, the current MD is less flamboyant but equally effective and, if you wanted killer solos then Jordan Alfonso, James Cuxson and Tom Alcorn were the foremost assassins, although most of the others weren't far behind.

Apart from the soloists, the sections were tight with no noticeable jagged edges. Every modern big band these days has a wadge of Gordon Goodwin arrangements in the pad and the Bold Big Band is no exception. His Count Bubba had some precision playing by the individual sections as well as a sizzler of a solo from Alfonso. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

DJAZZ 2019 Update and launch details

After last year's highly successful DJAZZ - Durham City Jazz Festival - details of this year's event will be revealed at a launch evening in the Courtyard Café featuring Hand to Mouth (Lindsay Hannon - voice & Bradley Johnston - guitar).
For further information and early bird tickets click here.
Lance.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Maja Bugge 'Sounds of the Underground' @ Victoria Tunnel, Newcastle - March 16

(Review by Iain Kitt/photo courtesy of Ken Drew)

The Victoria Tunnel in Newcastle’s Ouseburn is fast establishing itself as one of the City’s most unusual and exciting music venues. The latest in its ‘Sounds from the Underground’ series featured two sell-out performances by the Norwegian cellist Maja Bugge.

Maja is no stranger to playing in unusual venues. Previous ones have included a disused oil tank and a canal tunnel under the Pennines. She is particularly interested in the interplay between her chosen instrument and the space in which she performs.

The cello is often described as possessing a uniquely soulful sound and certainly it was ideally suited both to the rather constricted space inside the tunnel and the unusual acoustic that it produces. With the audience sat in rows of just two people and, for the first set at least, in virtually total darkness, the music became completely absorbing.

Jason Isaacs @ Hoochie Coochie - March 24











(Review/PHOTOS by Lance).

Hoochie was sold out - it usually is when Jason brings his band into town - the audience loves him,  and what's not to love? Sinatra, Dean, Elvis you name it he covers it and, with a 9 piece band behind him it's just fantastic.

She gets too hungry for dinner at eight. Rodgers and Hart in a Sunday afternoon disco bar! What's more, it was as if two of the most prolific songwriters of the pre-crap era had never been away. Lady is a Tramp. Bad, Bad, Leroy Brown put the boot in and we were dancing, shaking, doing things that they don't do on Broadway. Let There be Love, J boy reminded us it was Nat Cole's centenary making reference to the original Shearing recording, reminding the Toon Army that Shearing and Shearer were two different artists. 
One was blind who never failed to score (Lullaby of Birdland etc.) The other wasn't blind and sometimes did fail to score...

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Boys of Brass @ Tyne Bank Brewery - March 23

Ben Thornley (vocals, guitar); Robert McBurnie (trumpet); Steven Symonds (trumpet); Chris Bentham (trombone); John Philip Rudkin (mellophonium); Phil Rosier (tuba); Ian Wynd (drums)
(Review by Russell) 

Tyne Bank Brewery's self-proclamation that its Walker Road brewery and tap room is 'nowt special' is slightly tongue in cheek. An old industrial building not far from the Tyne has been transformed from a state of slow decline into a thriving micro pub with gleaming new brewing plant attached (see photo). Music is an integral part of the business and on a mild, late March Saturday evening the Boys of Brass were in town.

Q3, ETA 7:15, A-OK. Yes, the Quaylink bus from the city centre stops, rather conveniently, right outside the Tyne Bank's spacious HQ. Up a flight of steps, through the door and...it was busy, busy, busy. Side-stepping a friendly table tennis match (its that kind of hip place), looking for a seat (some occupied by canines and their well-behaved owners), a trip to the bar (Silver Dollar the choice), the Boys of Brass would soon be pumping-up the volume.

Daniel Herskedal, Paul Taylor @ Sage Gateshead - March 23.

Daniel Herskedal (tuba/bass trumpet); Bergmund Waal Skaslien (viola); Eyolf Dale (piano); Helge Andreas Norbakken (percussion). 
(Review by Lance/PHOTOS courtesy of Ken Drew).

I'd missed Herskedal's previous appearances at Sage Gateshead although the near capacity, Sage Two, Level One, audience obviously hadn't. Across the great divide in Sage One, The Rumours of Fleetwood Mac 50th Anniversary Tour was also packing them in - in even greater numbers!

As a once owner of the original Rumours LP I'd have probably gone myself for nostalgic reasons but, duty called...

Saturday, March 23, 2019

CD Review: Ben Crosland Quintet- The Ray Davies Songbook Volume II

Ben Crosland (bass); Dave O'Higgins (tenor/soprano saxes); John Etheridge (guitar); Steve Lodder (piano/keys); Sebastiaan de Krom (drums).
(Review by Lance).

Ray Davies, in my opinion, was every bit the songwriting genius that Lennon and Macca were. Even without the lyrics, the music stands on its own two feet which is more than you can say for many of the Beatles' numbers.

I discovered this after listening to Volume 1 of Ben Crosland's take on the Ray Davies Songbook and, almost three years on, Volume II has reinforced that opinion.

O'Higgins is at his finest on both Bb horns, Etheridge reinforces his position in the top echelon of jazz guitarists goosed along by a rhythm section that's just Dandy! Not all of the tracks are numbers that hit the top twenty, several were B-sides which, in retrospect, had they been given the  same amount of airplay that the A-sides received back in the day when pop fans studied the MM/NME charts as avidly as stockbrokers consulted the Financial Times then some of these gems would have had the recognition they deserved.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Andy Lawrenson Trio @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle - March 21

Andy Lawrenson (violin, vocals); Simon O'Byrne (guitar, vocals); Paul Grainger (double bass)
(Review by Russell) 

Andy Lawrenson described those taking their seats in Prohibition Bar as being part of a 'select' audience. On such occasions there seems to be a closer bond between musician and audience - the musician is there to play and the audience, such as it was, was there to listen.

The Andy Lawrenson Trio knows Prohibition Bar well having performed there last year although there was one major difference - Mitch Mitchell's gaff has since packed up lock, stock and barrel and crossed the Tyne from Brandling Street, Gateshead to Pink Lane, Newcastle. Otherwise, the place is much the same and, what's more, the late Keith Crombie would surely have approved of the changes made to what was once his gaff - that's the old Jazz Café - minus the clutter!  

‘Trad Jazz & Barbecue’ - Coach Trip to The Buck Inn, Thornton Watlass

Proprietors, Vicki & Tony Jowett, are celebrating their 5th Anniversary managing the Buck Inn, Thornton Watlass, with a splendid 'Jazz Barbecue Afternoon' and the Vieux Carré Jazzmen will perform in the beer garden at the rear of the pub.* 

The BBQ is a bargain £5 and will comprise Homemade Burgers in buns with fried onions and cheese (if wanted), Local Butcher's Sausages in bread rolls, salads and coleslaw - tickets will be sold at the bar to exchange for the BBQ - sandwiches and simple lunches such as Fish 'n' Chips will also be available between 12.00—2.00pm. 
*weather permitting - alternatively, we'll be in the function room.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

CD Review: Laurence Hopgood - tesseterra .

Laurence Hopgood (piano); Matthew Clohesy (bass); Jared Schonig (drums).
ETHEL: Ralph Farris (viola); Kip Jones (violin); Dorothy Lawson (cello); Corin Lee (violin).
(Review by Lance).

Described by pianist Hopgood as "third stream nouveau" - do we really need another genre? - tessaterra, a word of Hopgood's invention that roughly translates as "the sonic fabric of the world", features the former arranger, and associate of Kurt Elling, with his trio and a string quartet in support. 

With such profundity and the improbably named string quartet - ETHEL - in attendance, I anticipated seven original compositions with bizarre titles such as Lucretia Borgia's Farewell Toast.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

CD Review: Roger Beaujolais Italian Trio - Barba Lunga

Roger Beaujolais (vibes); Alessandro Pivi (drums); Giacomo Dominici (acoustic/electric bass).
(Review by Lance.)

One of those fondly remembered bands of yesteryear was the Red Norvo Trio: Norvo (vibes); Tal Farlow (guitar); Charles Mingus (bass). Even without a drummer, they out-swung MJQ by a country freeway.

Step forward 60/70 years and we have the Roger Beaujolais Italian Trio. They're walking the same side of the street as Norvo did but with drums as opposed to guitar and a contemporary approach that loses nothing in the way of swing.

I first heard Beaujolais at The Cluny a good few years back, I think a callow youth called Russell was also there...

Black Swan Jam Session (in the Mezzanine Café) - March 19

Jeremy McMurray (piano); John Pope (drums); Dave McKeague (drums) + Steve Summers (alto/tenor saxes); Graham Easthope (soprano/tenor saxes); Jordan Alfonso (alto sax); Elliott Todd (trumpet); David 'Showtime' Gray (trombone); Paddy ? (clarinet).
(Review/PHOTOS by Lance).

Three cracking gigs in a row and if I'd been able to slot in Blaydon, Bishop Auckland and the Lit & Phil it would have been six!

I'm going to buck protocol and relive last night by starting at the finish. All the major players are on stage - this could have been JATP at Hartford, Connecticut back in the 1950s except it was 2019 in Newcastle. The fortnightly Jam at the Black Swan Arts Centre taking place, for this week only, in the Mezzanine Café. Accessible via a series of signposted twists and turns - by comparision the maze at Hampton Court pales into insignificance - the question debated by the contenders is as to whether the grand finale should be Cherokee or Caravan

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Miriam Ast and Victor Gutiérrez, Secret Songs European Tour @ Lit and Phil – March 15.

Miriam Ast (voice); Victor Gutiérrez (piano).
(Review/photos 
by Brian E)


German songstress Miriam Ast and Madrileño piano virtuoso Victor Gutiérrez certainly didn’t take the ‘A’ train for this leg of their Secret Songs European tour. Having previously taken in Prague, Mainz, Cologne and Leeds, the next stops are to be Hampstead in London, Freinsheim in the Rhineland, then Madrid and Palencia in Spain.  

After their train broke down between Retford and Doncaster, they eventually reached York just in time to catch an (also delayed) TransPennine Express to get to Central Station 10 minutes after their concert was due to start. Fortunately, Paul Edis was not just host but a first-rate stand-in and entertained the patient audience with Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Surrey with a Fringe on Top and (yes) Billy Strayhorn’s famous Harlem number.

Durham City Jazz Festival tickets now on sale.

Details.

Tenement Jazz Band @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle - March 18

Patrick 'Paddy' Darley (trombone); Charles 'Chuck' Dearness (trumpet); Lachlan Fotheringham (clarinet/soprano); Simon Toner (bass); John Youngs (banjo/vocals).
(Review by Lance).

Sunday night I was truckin' on down 5th Avenue - or was it Central Avenue? Last night the action had moved to Basin St. or was it State St., that great street? No, it was Pink Lane, the new home of the Prohibition Bar and the setting for some great Dixieland/New Orleans - call it what you will - jazz by the Edinburgh based Tenement Jazz Band. If you think that the music of yesteryear and the year before that is only played by doddery old men with wavering vibratos then think again. Like our local equivalent, The House of the Black Gardenia, this is a relatively young band who've certainly picked up the essence of the old masters of jazz.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Blaydon Jazz Club Fundraiser - March 17

Noel Dennis Quartet: Noel Dennis (trumpet, flugelhorn); Paul Edis (piano); Andy Champion (bass); Russ Morgan (drums)
(Review by Russell/PHOTOS courtesy of Jerry E)

Thirty-five years of countless memorable jazz nights at Blaydon Jazz Club and Sunday evening's triple bill has to be right up there with the best of them. A full house comprising hardcore regulars and many new faces suggested it was going to be something special, Three bands - the future stars of the Early Bird Band, Alice Grace wowing the Black Bull audience and the amazing Noel Dennis up from Teesside - gave full value for money performances.

Topping the bill was one of the underrated trumpet players of his generation. Noel Dennis chose to pursue a career in academe yet had he elected to make a go of it on the London scene he would have established himself as one of the great 'names' on the national stage. Working with Dennis on this fundraising evening were three fellow musicians who can only be described as 'first call' calibre - pianist Paul Edis, bassist Andy Champion and drummer Russ Morgan. Beautiful Love with Dennis on flugelhorn opened the set. The Teessider is a Geneva Instruments' artist and his sound and performance at the Black Bull were a wonderful endorsement of the company's fine brass instruments. Love for Sale illustrated our trumpeter's quicksilver lyricism with immaculate support from his bandmates. Miles Davis is a hero of our trumpeter and the transition from late fifties Blue in Green to Pharaoh's Dance from Bitches Brew a decade later confirmed Dennis as a master performer. It had been a wonderful hour or so of jazz and the quartet went out on a killer blues in F. 

Calling All Guitars


Guitar aficionado Maurice Summerfield has drawn my attention to this Vancouver based jazz guitar blog which he feels will be of interest to all jazz guitar enthusiasts - particularly as this latest issue has a feature on Barney Kessel.

Lance.
jazzguitarTODAY.

Lickety Split @ The Globe Jazz Bar, Newcastle - March 17

Eddie Bellis (trombone); Callum Mellis (trumpet/flugel); Alan Marshall (alto sax); Jeremy McMurray (piano); Alan Rudd (bass guitar); Bradley Johnston (guitar); Paul Wight (drums).
(Review/PHOTOS by Lance)

It was fortunate in one sense that Paul Gowland was absent from the line-up as, otherwise, the band would have outnumbered the audience. Understandable as a three-band fundraiser up the road at Blaydon proved to be too strong an alternative attraction.

This was an unfortunate clash of dates as Lickety Split are a band well worth hearing. Their take on the West Coast jazz of the 1950s mixed with a less clinical approach results in a fine swinging ensemble.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

King Bees @ Bar Loco, Newcastle - Mar 16

Michael Littlefield (guitar, vocals); Scott Taylor (harmonica, guitar, vocals); Dominic Hornsby (piano, guitar, vocals); Simon Hedley (double bass); Giles Holt ((drums) 
(Review by Russell)

Wherever King Bees go their audience follows. Having recently ended a successful monthly residency at Billy Bootleggers the Newcastle based blues band is shortly to begin an exciting new residency elsewhere in town.This Saturday evening saw a return to the uber cool Bar Loco located no more than a Frank Brennan no-nonsense clearance over the old East Stand at St James' Park (Frank who? Ask your dad!).

Juke for openers, a kind of ritual instrumental loosener for King Bees. Ace harp frontman Scott Taylor shared the vocals with Michael Littlefield and, occasionally, pianist Dom Hornsby;  variously I Don't Know (Taylor), Cuckoo (Littlefield), Just a Feeling and Heart Hearted Woman (Taylor) with Hornsby insisting I'm in Love with you, baby. A typical night with the best blues band in town. Hearing the same material time and again doesn't dull the appetite, on the contrary, it's a compare and contrast exercise - these guys really are upholding Tyneside's rich history of rhythm and blues.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Preview: Lickety Split @ The Globe - March 17

(Preview by Lance/ photo from 2018 Mouth of the Tyne Festival)

Tomorrow is the all too familiar example of waiting for one and three coming along or, in this case, two. 
My heart tells me I should be going to Blaydon to show solidarity for the club's fundraising gig - so eloquently put by Russell in the previous post. However, closer to home, Lickety Split (not to be confused with the deejay session at Hoochie next Friday) are playing a gig for the Jazz Coop at The Globe and my loyalties are divided. The Blaydon gig looks to be drawing a crowd so my suggestion is for those who don't want to motor (or bus) west they could do a lot worse than to get their kicks at 11 Railway St. (NE4 7AD).

Preview: Blaydon Jazz Club Fundraiser @ The Black Bull - March 17

(Preview by Russell.)

Blaydon Jazz Club is fast approaching its thirty-fifth anniversary year. Jazz clubs come and go, Blaydon Jazz Club just keeps on going. Fads, fashions, they come and go, what doesn't change is quality jazz and that is what has always been on offer in Blaydon on Tyne. Tomorrow - Sunday 17 - at the Black Bull pub on Bridge Street there is a fundraising triple bill concert to help ease Roly Veitch's dream-come-true into its next thirty-five years.

1984, jazz at the Black Bull, Blaydon...2019, jazz at the Black Bull, Blaydon. Between times the club migrated, setting up home at one or two other nearby venues, they were good times but recently Blaydon Jazz Club returned to its spiritual home. Tomorrow there is a major fundraising drive designed to raise sufficient funds to help secure the club's short to medium term future. 

Radio 3 Jazz News

Hugh C has brought to my attention some changes that are afoot at the BBC including the loss, or rather 'resting' to use the jargon, of two established jazz programmes - Jazz Now and Geoffrey Smith's Jazz.
Details of these changes can be found here.
Lance.
PS: Classical music coverage appears to be going to be increased - surprise, surprise.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Mick Shoulder Quintet @ Bishop Auckland Town Hall - March 15

Lewis Watson (tenor saxophone); Graham Hardy (trumpet); Dean Stockdale (piano); Mick Shoulder (double bass); Russ Morgan (drums)
(Review by Russell/Photos courtesy of Jerry E).

In April last year, Bishop Auckland Town Hall's monthly lunchtime concert drew a healthy crowd. Today the same first-floor cafe/bar accommodated a larger audience there to hear the same line-up. And little surprise given that word-of-mouth recommendation clearly persuaded more people to turn out to hear Mick Shoulder's A-list bop quintet. 

CD Review: Gabriel Latchin Trio - The Moon and I

Gabriel Latchin (piano); Dario Di Lecce (bass); John Morrison (drums).
(Review by Lance).

Call me irresponsible - ok, me and Frank - call me impatient that's your call but, I just couldn't wait until April 5 to tell the world about this one.

Latchin's second CD more than lives up to its predecessor - Introducing Gabriel Latchin which I raved about in 2017.

Straight down the middle piano jazz. No pregnant pauses, no using the piano as a harp substitute. Just honest, what you see is what you get, music! And what you get is a pianist who swings in the grand tradition of, to quote Jazzwise, Hank Jones or Tommy Flanagan.

A choice mix of standards and originals by Latchin, whose C.V. stretches from the Guildhall School of Music to mega masters such as Aaron Goldberg, Peter Martin and Peter Bernstein, demonstrating just how well he has assimilated their teaching whilst, at the same time, absorbing this knowledge to form part of his own individual approach. The result is a complete musician very much to be reckoned with.

Four on Friday

(Preview by Russell)

Lunchtime today offers an embarrassment of riches. The Lit & Phil in Newcastle is sure to pull its usual large crowd with a first visit by Miriam Ast and Victor Gutierrez. The vocals-piano duo's album - Secret Songs - was favourably reviewed by BSH's Ann Alex. 

Four stops on the Metro from Central Station to West Jesmond and you can hear (at the same time, one o'clock) Classic Swing at the Royal British Legion Club. One minute from the station, reasonably priced beers, good jazz, it's an option.

A few more stops on the Metro to Monkseaton and you can catch Maureen Hall's Rendezvous Jazz at the Monkseaton Arms. The Front Street pub is a popular watering hole with a high demand for its lunchtime grub to accompany Hall's happy band of Dixielanders. 

Thursday, March 14, 2019

CD Review: Seamus Blake - Guardians of the Heart Machine

Seamus Blake (tenor saxophone, vocals); Tony Tixier (piano); Florent Nisse (double bass); Gautier Garrigue (drums)
(Review by Russell)
In a career spanning the best part of a quarter of a century British born Seamus Blake has recorded several albums as leader or co-leader and contributed to dozens of other recordings. The tenor saxophonist's new release - Guardians of the Heart Machine - is set to take its place in the upper echelons of his body of work to date. 

Blake spent his childhood in Canada, studied at Berklee and relocated to New York to forge a career as a new voice in contemporary jazz. This new CD on Michael Janisch's London-based Whirlwind Recordings label finds the recently relocated tenor saxophonist working with three fine French musicians in his adopted home city of Paris. 

Manchester loses a stalwart - RIP Mart Rodger

I've just received the sad news via Patti Durham and Louis Lince of the passing of Mart Rodger, leader of Mart Rodger Manchester Jazz.

Sadly, I never heard the band live although I did have - probably still do - a VHS tape of the band from some years back. I've tried to find it but, alas, I either loaned it out to a 'friend' or it is buried beneath a host of other videotapes in a cellar, or an attic, or a garage. I'd hoped to find it to remind myself how well my more traditionally inclined associates rated the band.

Vocalist Mandy Kemp To Release Debut EP, Produced By Jazz Icon Jane Monheit Singer Igniting A Second Career With “Firecracker” Release

(Press release)
Los Angeles, California, March 13, 2019 – Emerging L.A. vocalist Mandy Kemp will make her recording debut later this month, with an album produced by Grammy-nominated jazz singer, Jane Monheit. Kemp’s 6-song EP will be available for streaming and download beginning March 29, 2019 on all major music sites, including iTunes, Apple Music, Amazon, Google Play, Spotify, and Bandcamp, as well as on her website, www.mandykemp.com. Pre-orders of the album can be placed through iTunes or Bandcamp beginning March 18, 2019.  

After generating funding for the album through a successful crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, Kemp recorded her album earlier this year at Big City Studios in Granada Hills, CA, with a band comprised of some of the best players in the L.A. jazz scene: pianist Andy Langham, bassist Jonathan Flaugher, guitarist Will Brahm, vibraphonist Nick Mancini, and drummer Rick Montalbano.

Nice pickings - Bukka White's guitar sold for £93,000

Bukka White's 1933 National Duolian Resonator guitar, as we reported back in January was scheduled to go up for auction yesterday. The guitar, which had been gifted to Newcastle photographer Keith Perry by Bukka White in 1976 was sold for £93,000 at an auction house in Corsham, Wiltshire to an unnamed buyer.
Lance.
Original post.
Auction.

Julija Jacenaite & Steve Glendinning @ Jazz Cafe Mezzanine - March 13

Julija Jacenaite (vocals) & Steve Glendinning (guitar)
(Review/photo by Russell)

Natural light flooded through the first-floor windows at Jazz Cafe Mezzanine as Newcastle Arts Centre's recently opened performance space presented the first in a new - fortnightly Wednesdays - afternoon gig series at Jazz Cafe Mezzanine. An all-seats-taken crowd materialised to listen to two sets by Julija Jacenaite and Steve Glendinning.

Wave found Julija Jacenaite in good spirits as our adopted Lithuanian Geordie sat alongside guitarist Steve Glendinning. Now, this was an interesting departure from JJ's usual 'stand and shoot from the lip' jam session approach. Full-on, dynamic delivery is what we've come to expect from Julija yet this casual, let's-remain-seated, gig revealed a more considered, reflective side to our vocalist. 

Guitarist Steve Glendinning's proven abilities as accompanist were in evidence throughout the afternoon's performance. Love Me or Leave MeMood Indigo, a JJ original, Glendinning supplied the chords and rhythmic support taking an occasional solo along the way, winning applause for his tasteful work on The Girl from Ipanema.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Preview: Miriam Ast & Victor Gutierrez @ Lit & Phil

An exciting duo gig this Friday lunchtime (March 15) at the Lit & Phil features vocalist Miriam Ast and pianist Victor Gutierrez. It's part of a European tour with their Newcastle gig sitting nicely between Leeds and London. Prior to the Lit & Phil, they'll have played concerts in both the Czech Republic and Germany. After their UK stint, they return to Germany and follow it up with some dates in Spain.

Last year, BSH reviewed a CD by the duo with Stan Sulzmann and, I think that, even without the great saxman, this is going to be a very enjoyable lunch hour. 
Lance.
Miriam Ast & Victor Gutierrez - Lit & Phil, Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SE. Tel: 0191 232 0192. 1:00pm. £5.00.

IAJRC: The Final Chapter

(Report by Russell)

Dealers of rare records congregated at this year's Bix Fest in Wisconsin. A weekend record fayre presented collectors with an amazing opportunity to acquire sought after items, many of them on 78. Shellac, ten and twelve-inch vinyl, cassette tape, new-fangled compact disc format, sheet music, this was a kid-in-a-sweet-shop dream come true!

The International Association of Jazz Record Collectors maintained its usual presence at the event although on this occasion it was tinged with sadness. The voluntary association's long-established magazine - fifty-plus volumes! - is soon to close. The online social media revolution and falling membership numbers has led to the decision to cease publication. IAJRC trustee Sally Fee informed Bebop Spoken Here that one more quarterly edition will be published - a collector's item in itself! - thereafter the association will maintain an online web presence for the foreseeable future.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

CD Review: Snorre Kirk - Beat

Snorre Kirk (drums/compositions); Tobias Wiklund (cornet); Klas Lindquist (alto sax/clarinet); Jan Harbeck (tenor sax); Magnus Hjorth (piano); Lasse Mørk (bass).
(Review by Lance).

Reading the blurb that accompanies CDs for review can either whet your appetite or make you wonder if the writer is in the right job. Here, a reference is made to a composition by Duke Ellington's bassist - Juan Tizol!

Fortunately, the music makes up for this howler so I read no further, leaving the music to speak for itself.

Unlike so many Scandinavian albums (Kirk is Norwegian, Lindquist and Wiklund are Swedish, Harbeck and Mørk are Danish), Beat sits comfortably 'twixt swing and bop having the luxuriant feel of an Ellington small group whilst, at the same time, sounding as modern as a late breakfast. In other words, it swings without dragging.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Ian Bosworth Quartet with guests @ Dormans Jazz Club - March 7

Ian Bosworth (guitar); Ron Smith (bass); Peter Crinion (keys); Mark Hawkins (drums); + Donna Hewitt (sax) and Rod Millgate (keys/vocal).
(Review by Ron H)

Although newly formed, most of the players were known to the audience and they were duly appreciated as they kicked off the night in fine style with Cantaloupe Island which included a nice solo from Donna on alto. Ian’s feature, Affirmation, also went down well, the particularly tight ending impressed.

A favourite of mine, Buddy Johnson's Since I Fell For You, had great dynamics, thoughtful guitar and sax solos as well as a real blues feeling which went beyond the basic 12 bar changes.

Blog Archive

About this blog - contact details.

Bebop Spoken Here -- Here, being the north-east of England -- centred in the blues heartland of Newcastle and reaching down to the Tees Delta and looking upwards to the Land of the Kilt.
Not a very original title, I know; not even an accurate one as my taste, whilst centred around the music of Bird and Diz, extends in many directions and I listen to everything from King Oliver to Chick Corea and beyond. Not forgetting the Great American Songbook the contents of which has provided the inspiration for much great jazz and quality popular singing for round about a century.
The idea of this blog is for you to share your thoughts and pass on your comments on discs, gigs, jazz - music in general. If you've been to a gig/concert or heard a CD that knocked you sideways please share your views with us. Tell us about your favourites, your memories, your dislikes.
Lance (Who wishes it to be known that he is not responsible for postings other than his own and that he's not always responsible for them.)
Contact: lanceliddle@gmail.com I look forward to hearing from you.

Submissions for review

Whilst we appreciate the many emails, texts, messages and other communications we receive requesting album/gig reviews on BSH, regrettably, we are unable to reply to all of them other than those we are able to answer with a positive response.
Similarly, CDs received by post will only be considered if accompanied by sufficient background material.
Finally, bear in mind that this is a jazz-based site when submitting your album.
Lance