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Bebop Spoken There

Diana Krall: "It was daunting to play in front of her [Joni Mitchell] but it was also wonderful." - (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 Friday September 20

Afternoon

Jazz

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

Rendezvous Jazz - Monkseaton Arms, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. Tel: 0191 251 3928. 1:00pm. Free.

Classic Swing - Jesmond Royal British Legion Club, West Jesmond Avenue, Jesmond, Newcastle NE2 3EX. Tel: 0191 281 0736. 1:00pm. Free.

Mark Williams Trio - The Merry Monk, 30 Market Place, Bishop Auckland DL14 7NP. 1:00pm. £5.00. Pub adjacent to Bishop Auckland Town Hall.

Evening.

Alexito & Loco Machine - Revoluçion de Cuba, Cloth Market, Newcastle NE1 1EE. Tel: 0191 917 7076. 6:00pm. Free.

Jazz Lads - Saltburn Cricket Club, Marske Mill Lane, Saltburn TS12 1HJ. Tel: 01287 622761. 8:00pm. £5.00.

Zoë Gilby: Watching Sideways - Victoria Tunnel, Ouse Street, Newcastle NE1 2BE. Tel: 0191 230 4210. 8:00pm. £10.00.

Mark Williams & Pete Tanton - The Golden Lion, Market Place, Allendale NE47 9BD. Tel: 01434 683225. 9:00pm. Free.

Blues/Soul etc.

No Time For Jive - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.

Nick Pride & the Pimptones - Hoochie Coochie, Pilgrim Street, Newcastle NE1 6SF. Tel: 0191 222 0130. 9:00pm. Free.

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

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

CD Review: Adam Baldych Quartet - Sacrum Profanum

Adam Baldych (violin & renaissance violin; Krzysztof Dys (piano,  prepared upright piano & toy piano); Michal Barański (double bass); Dawid Fortuna (drums, crotales & gran cassa).   
(Review by Chris)

A landmark album from one of jazz’s first rank of new masters - the 33-year-old Polish violin virtuoso’s fifth release as leader on ACT records. His virtuosity has not been in question since he burst on the scene: "Without doubt the greatest living master of violin in jazz. His potential knows no bounds" said the FAZ after the 2011 Jazzfest Berlin. I’d say his potential is realized here with authority, confidence and genius to spare.

International Jazz Day

Well, here we are - INTERNATIONAL JAZZ DAY! No doubt it will be celebrated throughout the jazz community but, will it be even noticed elsewhere? I have my doubts. Last month we had Wear a Hat Day, as well as International Pie Day and goodness, knows how many other bizarre celebrations. To us at BSH, every day is a 'jazz day'!

I can't recall seeing any of those wannabee comedians who present our early morning breakfast shows either wearing hats or eating pies so I'm not anticipating them to eulogise unduly over Binker and/or Moses. 

The Eales' Report: BATH, Opus 4, Old Elvet and more...

BSH's Deep South (County Durham) correspondent Tony Eales got out to five gigs over the weekend (only five? ...TE mustn't have been feeling too well) and got on the blower to offer a blow-by-blow account. 

First up, Friday lunchtime (April 26) at Bishop Auckland Town Hall (BATH) a fair number turned up to hear Noel Dennis. Trumpet and flugelhorn, Dennis entertained the cafe crowd in the company of friends Paul Edis, piano and Mick Shoulder, bass. A quick bite to eat and TE was on the road again to catch Sue Ferris at Opus 4. Playing tenor and flute, our man reports Ferris was in fine form working with a couple of deps; Pete Tanton made the journey south to the Traveller's Rest depping for Graham Hardy and Durham undegraduate Ben Lawrence sat in a very hot seat, the chair usually occupied by Paul Edis. TE reckons young Ben did just fine.

Saturday found TE in Durham attending Mike Lovatt's masterful performance as guest soloist with Fishburn Brass Band. Early next day the motor way pointed in the direction of Hartlepool for Eales' regular appointment with Musicians Unlimited at the Park Inn. It's always a good session, always busy. Finally, back to the Traveller's Rest for the debut gig by Rick Laughlin's Electet. TE and the select audience thoroughly enjoyed it and the odds are the outfit will be seen and heard again. Stay tuned for news as to where and when.       
Russell

Monday, April 29, 2019

Joe Reid: Postgraduate Recital @ Newcastle University - April 29


Joe Reid (drums)
(Review by Russell)

Postgraduate student Joe Reid (heard recently with the Bold Big Band at the Dun Cow) presented his recital in the purpose-built basement Band Room in Newcastle University's Music Studios. The title of his recital probably gained Reid one mark: Shining a spotlight on the unique relationship between Indian and progressive music. How many marks would be awarded for his performance?

A recital under examination conditions must be a nerve-wracking affair. As Reid readied himself behind his extensive Tama kit his bandmates - Neil Graham (guitar, vocals) and Josh Fascia (bass) - took to the stage in a show of support. Three pieces were to be examined. The first piece - Ergonomic Pepper - proved to be an extended six-part power-prog-thrash workout with guitarist Graham shredding for all he was worth. The headbanging Band Room audience whooped in delight.

Preview: Darlington Jazz Festival (May 3-5)


(Preview by Russell)

This year's Darlington Jazz Festival, the eighth, promises to be the best yet. Established venues will continue to play host to top-flight jazz and a new initiative will see major concert performances presented in a town centre marquee. And, for night owls, there will be a late night jam session. From parish centre to church to cafe bar to ancient hostelry jazz will spill out onto the streets enticing the unsuspecting passer-by...Is this jazz? Yes, come on in!

Sunday, April 28, 2019

CD Reviews: Dinah Washington - Blues For a Day & Sarah Vaughan - Lover Man


(Review by Lance)

Another couple from the fantastic Dreyfus Jazz catalogue by two of the most charismatic singers of the era.

Dinah Washington came up through the Lionel Hampton big band and emerged as, arguably, the greatest female blues singer since Bessie Smith. The lyrics are, in the main, raunchy and of the 'my man done gone an' done me wrong' variety and, when Dinah sings the blues, you feel blue with her! 

However, all her eggs weren't in on one basket, she also took a crack at the charts challenging a young Tony Bennett with Cold Cold Heart, helping Sinatra forget about Ava with her version of the song credited to Frank - I'm a Fool to Want You as well as throwing the gauntlet down at Kay Starr with Wheel of Fortune - fortunately, not on this album.

Pepperland @ Newcastle Theatre Royal - April 27

(Review by Russell)

The Mark Morris Dance Group concluded its 2019 British tour with a two-nighter at Newcastle's historic Theatre Royal before stopping off in Dublin on the way home to New York. Three elements combined to make Pepperland an unmissable experience; Mark Morris' acclaimed dance company, the Fab Four's Sgt Pepper as subject matter, and, piquing Bebop Spoken Here's interest, an all-star, jazz-infused NYC octet. 

This Saturday evening performance, the second of two nights, attracted a near capacity house. It seems likely that the greater part of the audience comprised dance aficionados and Beatles' fanatics with a smattering of jazz fans drawn to the Grey Street venue by the participation of Ethan Iverson.  

John McLaughlin and the 4th Dimension @ the Barbican, London – April 23.

John McLaughlin (guitar, vocals); Gary Husband (keyboards, drums, vocals); Etienne M'bappe (bass, vocals); Ranjit Barot (drums, vocals).
(Review by Steve T)

The person who introduced the show observed that you can punctuate your life via the different phases of John McLaughlin. My own experience of the uber guitarist has been more intermittent, with my first in ‘73, two in the mid-nineties and three in the last four years.

I thought we might get some more Mahavishnu Orchestra and they opened with Trilogy, the long piece from Between Nothingness and Eternity (1973), with some added konnakol singing from Ranjit Barot, variously described as Indian scat singing and Indian drum language.

Thereafter, the set was drawn from across his long career, including Love and Understanding from Electric Dreams (1979) and Pharoah Saunder's The Creator Has a Masterplan, which he originally covered on the album he shared with Carlos Santana (also ‘73).

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Jambone @ Sage Gateshead - April 26

(Review by Russell/Photos courtesy of Chris K)

Sage Gateshead's youth jazz orchestra assembled on the concourse prior to the much-anticipated celebration of Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club in a sold out Sage Two (see LL's review). MD Paul Edis prepared a challenging programme of modal-era jazz confident that Jambone's current crop of musicians would acquit themselves with distinction.  

Jamboners are in their teens but that doesn't deter them from tackling material that many a seasoned musician would think twice about. It would appear MD Edis believes they can do it and, in front of scores of Sage patrons, the ensemble set about proving him right.

The Ronnie Scott's Story: 60th Anniversary Concert @ Sage Gateshead - April 26

James Pearson (piano); Alex Garnett (tenor sax/vocals); Sam Burgess (bass); Chris Draper (drums); Natalie Williams (vocals).
(Review by Lance).

I'd seen the show a couple of times previously but this didn't detract from an enjoyable evening. When all the old jokes were rolled out I groaned but, they were seemingly new to many of the audience in the three-tiers full Sage Two so I laughed along with them and, truth to tell, I never tire of hearing them again. 

Pearson (pictured left) and Garnett did most of the narration helped by the projected backdrop and some words from the late, great, man himself. I never made it to the Club 11 or the first Ronnie Scott's in Gerrard St. although there was a period when I was a regular at the Flamingo Club, also in Soho, where Ronnie Scott often appeared whilst this coming Wednesday (May 1) I shall be at the Frith St. club where Alan Barnes is playing. Paradoxically, many would say that Barnes has inherited the role of Jazz Court Jester that once was Ronnie's.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Preview: The Ronnie Scott’s Story @ Sage Gateshead - grab a return, if one is going spare!

(Preview by Russell)

Tonight (Friday) at Sage Gateshead, there will be a full house to celebrate sixty years of one of the world’s – and certainly Britain’s – most famous jazz clubs. Sage Two tickets sold like hot cakes for the appearance of Ronnie Scott’s house band led by pianist James Pearson. Joining the 60th-anniversary show will be Frith Street regular Alex Garnett doing justice to tenor saxophonist and club owner Ronnie Scott and, likely as not/hopefully, trumpeter Freddie Gavita. From Gerrard Street to Frith Street tonight at Sage Gateshead has all the makings of a memorable evening.

Preview: Pepperland @ Newcastle Theatre Royal - April 26 & 27

(Preview by Russell)

American choreographer Mark Morris brings his acclaimed Dance Group to Newcastle this weekend. For two nights only - Friday and Saturday - the NYC-based company will perform Pepperland at the Theatre Royal and, what's more, there is a jazz connection of sorts which should be of interest to BSH readers.

Pepperland was created to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the classic Beatles' album Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band receiving its premiere performance in - where else? - Liverpool in May 2017. Since then Morris' work has garnered five star reviews and this Tyneside two-nighter is the final opportunity for a British dance audience to catch it before the company stops-off in Dublin on its way home to Brooklyn to prepare for a coast-to-coast American tour.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Dean Stockdale & Mick Shoulder @ Jazz Cafe Mezzanine - April 24


Dean Stockdale (piano), Mick Shoulder (double bass)
(Review by Russell)

Not so many in this week - post-Easter blues? Who knows? Those who did get along enjoyed two sets of standards and a couple of pianist Dean Stockdale's compositions performed by an experienced duo exuding class. 

My RomanceThey Can't Take That Away From Me and The Nearness of You, three classic numbers, the County Durham duo of Stockdale and double bassist Mick Shoulder au fait with the material, the Mezzanine audience listened with a cuppa in hand. 

Jarra Jazz

I wanted to let everyone know about a new series of jazz programmes on a local community radio station.  Hive Radio is operated by Community Arts Project North East, based in Jarrow, and can be accessed via www.capne.org/hive-radio.  I'll be presenting an hour-long programme (called "Jazz on the Tyne") every fortnight, with the first transmission this coming Saturday at 12 noon, repeated the following Wednesday at 9 pm (see attached flyer).  Subsequently, the programmes will be available from Mixcloud as podcasts.

I would really appreciate it if you were able to mention this show on "Bebop Spoken Here".  If there were any events or acts that you would particularly wish to receive a mention on the show, please feel free to contact me! As I'll be saying on the radio, it's possible to contact the show via www.capne.org/contact.
Colin Muirhead

Archipelago plus Paul Taylor @ the Lit and Phil - April 18


Archipelago: Faye MacCalman (clarinet/tenor sax/vocals); John Pope (electric bass/vocals); Christian Alderson (drums) + Paul Taylor (piano).
(Review by Steve H/Photos courtesy of Ken Drew)

Archipelago seem to be going from strength to strength gaining national recognition along the way. A packed Lit and Phil on Thursday night confirmed the local heroes’ popularity. They are now a really solid tight outfit although I fondly remember their early performances which were less controlled and quite raw yet had an infectious anarchic feel to them.  

The music varies from free-improv jazz and funky grooves to driving rock. It is the high tempo numbers that really gets the feet tapping and I would love to see them in a more club-like environment where the audience could get up and move about a bit.

Bebop Parlé Ici - Bienvenue à Raphaël Perez

Apart from our wordsmiths, BSH is very honoured to have some great photographers on board. Ken Drew, Malcolm Sinclair are two ace northeast snappers and, in London, the occasional pics from Mochles Simawi are always welcome.

Now we look forward to receiving pictures from Raphaël Perez, who is very active as a photographer on the Parisian jazz scene.

Raphaël (pictured), who reckons to visit 3 to 10 gigs a month, has an outstanding collection of stunning photos and videos on Flikr and Instagram including concerts by, among many others, John Scofield, George Benson, Madeleine Peyroux, Lucky Peterson, and Nicole Mitchell.
Lance

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Anth Purdy's Swing & Jazz Guitar @ Dormans Jazz Festival, Middlesbrough - April 18

(Review by Ron H)

The festival at Dormans took a different turn to the norm in that we had Anth Purdy with his Solo Swing Jazz Guitar Show, which was well received by the audience who clearly enjoyed his style of playing.

After talking about the multi-track recording technique he uses, Anth played Surfing in Tacoma followed by a tribute to Les Paul with a nice arrangement of Mockingbird Swing.
Anth showed considerable knowledge of the history of swing guitar and talked about his influences which included Django Reinhardt, Charlie Christian, Merle Travis, and Hank Garland among many others.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Ubuntu Music Signs Tenor Sax Titan Paul Booth

This is great news indeed! Ignoring the fact that most jazz folk in the northeast consider Paul to be the number one tenor saxophonist in the UK, if not further afield, the fact that a jazz committed label such as Ubuntu has the same vision offers comfort to us who wonder why he isn't up there as a contender. Truth is, touring the world with Stevie Winwood and company pays the mortgage but, perhaps takes him out of the jazz limelight.

Now, at last, we're going to hear Paul in the setting where his heart lies - a small group such as he worked with when he first burst upon the Newcastle scene as a precocious teenager blowing a tenor sax that I sold him - little thinking that, in years to come, my status could be compared to the guy who sold Trane his first sax!* 

CD Review: Steve Lipman - Hats Off


(Review by Ann Alex)

I was fascinated to read that this singer works as a dentist. What is it about jazz that attracts the medical profession? Quite a few local musicians are doctors – is it the fact that jazz is maybe a more numerate and scientific type of music that encourages clinicians to play?  In fact, our singer is quoted as saying ‘The creativity demanded by a fluid jazz arrangement is no less than what is required for the art of dentistry.’ Interesting!  I must persuade my dentist to take up the saxophone. I digress, but maybe this is a talking point for BSH. Anyway, our singer performs throughout Connecticut and Massachusetts and this is his third album since 2011. The album is a collection of Gasbook standards, mixed with a couple of more modern songs and two songs of American patriotism.

CD Review: Lauren White - Life in the Modern World

Lauren White (vocals); Quinn Johnson (piano); Kevin Axt (bass); Marvin "Smitty" Smith/Chris Wabich/Kevin Winard (drums/perc); Grant Geissman (guitar); Alex Budman (horns); Tatum Greenblatt/Michael Stever (trumpet/flugel); Francisco Torres (trombone); David Mann (flute) + Mark Winkler (vocal 2 tks/ producer.)
(Review by Lance.)

"You just have to whistle. You know how to whistle don't you? You just put your lips together and blow". Lauren Bacall famously delivered that line to Bogie in the noir film To Have and Have Not. Bacall also 'sang' How Little We Know in the film although Andy Williams was rumoured to have ghosted Lauren's voice! This Lauren doesn't need no ghosts to sing the Hoagy/Mercer song and if she did it certainly wouldn't be Andy Williams! 

Monday, April 22, 2019

A Starry Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club - Easter Monday (April 22)


(Review by Russell)

Easter Parade - what else? - for starters. Nobody's Sweetheart Now - frontman Herbie Hudson singing, a typical Monday at Cullercoats Crescent Club's long-running, weekly Jazz in the Afternoon session. Well, it was a regulation start alright, but, on this glorious afternoon on the Costa del Culler, we were soon to be in the presence of several superstars - on and off the stand.

Our first superstar, Cullercoats' number one songstress Teresa Armstrong, not only sang beautifully - Almost Like Being in LoveOnce in a WhileAfter You've Gone - she arrived with a soon-to-be star of the silver screen.

The Old Potting Shed's Cheeky Beaky was but one of four tempting hand pulls on the bar - a tip-top choice! The house band did what it usually does in letting drummer Ollie Rillands off the leash to rattle through a quick-fire rock 'n' roll medley. Every time, it never fails, Ollie had 'em up dancing. Doris Fenn, everyone's favourite banjo player, brought along daughter Anne Shackleton to sing Dream a Little Dream of Me. Doris playing ukulele, Anne singing splendidly, this an early highlight of what would turn out to be an afternoon of highlights.  

CD Review: Aimee Nolte - Looking For The Answers

Aimee Nolte (vocals, piano, organ, synth bass); John Clayton (bass track 7); Bruce Lett (bass 1, 2 3, 5, 10); James Yoshizawa (drums); Mike Scott (guitar 2,3,5,10); Jason Neubauer (guitar1); Doug Webb (woodwinds 1); John Reilly (woodwinds 6)
(Review by Ann Alex).

Ms Nolte, based in Los Angeles, has been successful on YouTube with over 140,000 subscribers, where she does both music and educational videos. This has led to her appearing as a guest at jazz festivals around the USA. A very modern way to become known, which I guess will become ever more usual. This, her third album, consists of 8 originals and 3 re-imagined standards. She also arranged and produced the album.

At the age of 3, we’re told, she surprised her parents by spontaneously playing Silent Night. She went on to study classical piano and gained a degree in jazz piano in 1998. Despite being the mother of four, Nolte’s voice has retained her fresh sounding youthful voice. On this CD she is joined by stellar musicians from Southern California.

Swing Manouche @ Blaydon Jazz Club - Easter Day (April 21)

Mick Shoulder (guitar); Giles Strong (guitar); Paul Grainger (double bass); Gavin Lee (clarinet)
(Review by Russell)

Easter Day, Blaydon on Tyne basking in near heatwave conditions, it's always like this on the Costa del Tyneside...not! Go to the gig or to stay in the pub beer garden, that was the dilemma facing  Blaydon Jazz Club's faithful. 

It seems the beer garden - and the weather - won. That said, those who made the effort to get along to the Black Bull were rewarded with an evening of top quality music courtesy of Mick Shoulder's Swing Manouche. Mick and Giles Strong played as if in WWII Paris, their guitars leading the cultural resistance alongside the advancing Allied Forces. Bassist Paul Grainger stood defiant, shoulder to (Mick) shoulder with his comrades. And then there was County Durham's answer to Hubert Rostaing, the suave, the sophisticated, the one and only Monsieur Gavin Lee.   

Sunday, April 21, 2019

The Cookers, Cécile & the blues...all night long

(Preview by Russell)

There's a good helping of jazz 'n' blues on TV and radio this week. Tonight at ten o'clock on ITV there is a one hour programme - Bublé - featuring the said Micky Bubbles backed by a 36-piece orchestra. Of particular interest to regular BSH readers is a promised duet with Cécile McLorin Salvant (singing La Vie en Rose). The show will be repeated next Friday (April 26) at 10:45pm. Best to watch it this evening because on Friday over on BBC 4 you'll have the blues all night long...

From nine o'clock on Friday it's blues all the way. John Lee Hooker: the Boogie Man is an 'in-his-own-words' documentary about the legendary Mississippi bluesman. Some of the usual talking heads contribute including Van the Man, Keef and Bonnie Raitt. Talking of Mr Richards, at 10:00pm The Rolling Stones at the BBC is a repeat of a 2012 programme which, at the time, included previously unseen footage from Top of the Pops

North East Jazz Record Requests!

Easter Saturday's edition of Jazz Record Requests featured no fewer than three records with links to Bebop Spoken Here's home turf. Following Alyn Shipton's recent live broadcast from Sage Gateshead, one of today's requesters asked to hear Friction Motor from Graham Wilson's latest CD - Abscondit. Friend of BSH, Tony Roberts, chose Johnny Richards' Nipigon and Mr Shipton selected Shim-Me-Sha-Wabble featuring drummer Nick Ward from Pleasure Mad, the double CD recorded live at the 2017 Mike Durham Classic Jazz Party. 
Russell
Link.

A Great Day in Harlem: Strictly Smokin' Big Band @ Gosforth Civic Theatre - April 20

(Review/PHOTOS by Lance)

This was quite an occasion, indeed a unique one, not to mention a historic one! 

A Great Day in Harlem we've seen the photo, read about the background to it in books and magazines (anyone got a copy of the 1959 Esquire magazine the photo first appeared in?), there have been tv programmes and recordings and now a live tribute to Art Kane and the guys and girls (all 3 of them) that he herded together on that amazing morning on 126th St., NYC.
The concept was well thought out. The photo projected onto a screen behind the band with the images changing according to the iconic figure being acknowledged.  Each band member would say a few words about the artists i.e. Dizzy, Basie, Mary Lou, Rollins, Blakey, Hawkins, Lester, Jo Jones, Monk etc. before paying their own tribute on a number associated with their chosen legend.

CD Review: Nat King Cole - For Sentimental Reasons.

Nat King Cole (piano/vocals); Irving Ashby/Oscar Moore (guitar); Johnny Miller/Joe Comfort (bass); Jack Costanzo (bongos) + Billy May/Stan Kenton Orchestras - 1 track each).
(Review by Lance).

A master class, not only in singing but in jazz piano. This is what begat Oscar Peterson and provided the groundwork for the Shearing Quintet. Apart from that, the smoothest voice you'll ever hear. Strangely, Sinatra moved from fairly straight ballad singing to the most swinging cat on the block whereas Cole moved in the opposite direction.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Showtime with Soznak @ Northumberland St., Newcastle - Easter Saturday (April 20)

Come rain, come shine, Paul Miskin's multi-national street band of skanksters can be found most Saturdays around Monument or on Northumberland Street belting out their danceable brand of ska, funk and pop. Today Soznak basked in unseasonal, wall-to-wall sunshine as they entertained the shopping hordes. No Jude Murphy today, however, on the plus side, jazz 'bone man David Grey took his place in the skanking frontline. Showtime was seen sporting a natty line in summer shorts - yep, the sun has definitely got its hat on! 

Later today Soznak will be part of a St George's Day party at Scotswood Sports Centre (see today's listings for details).        
Russell.

Preview: Swing Manouche @ Blaydon Jazz Club - Easter Day (April 21)

(Preview by Russell)

Following last month's hugely successful fundraising concert at the Black Bull it's back to business on Sunday (Easter Day) as Blaydon Jazz Club presents a treat for Djangologists - and jazz fans in general - with an appearance by Swing Manouche. 

Djangologist Mick Shoulder first came to prominence on the gypsy jazz scene as leader of Djangology (latterly known as Djangologie). Sold out concerts, an acclaimed album, bassist Shoulder could have rested on his laurels yet he chose to go in another direction, a direction not unfamiliar to Django Reinhardt.

Classic Swing @ Jesmond British Legion - Good Friday (April 19)

Olive Rudd (vocals); Mick Hill (trumpet); Paul Gowland (tenor sax, soprano sax); Neville Hartley (trombone, vocals); Colin Haikney (keyboards); Alan Rudd (double bass); Tommy Graham (drums).
(Review by Russell)

Good Friday, the sun shone as if on a midsummer's day. The Lonsdale looked a picture with its predominately student clientele basking in the sun in the pub's outdoor seating area. Turning into West Jesmond Avenue the British Legion Club's symbolic lone Tommy dutifully stood guard under a relentless sun. 

Inside, the split-level lounge was well populated with jazz-a-holics eschewing the sunshine in favour of their twice-monthly West Jesmond jazz fix courtesy of Classic Swing.    

3.75 million!

Ten years ago Bebop Spoken Here's Editor in Chief couldn't have imagined that several thousand posts later the Tyneside-based jazz blog would win a national 'industry' award - Jazz Media category, 2018 All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group - at a swanky 'do' in London. That was then, history, BSH has put it in a box, jazz moves on and so has BSH's hit counter, today clocking up three and three quarter million hits. The four million is on the horizon!    
Russell

CD Review: Tom Cawley - Catenaccio

Tom Cawley (keys); Gareth Lockrane (flutes); Fini Bearman (voice); Robin Mullarkey (bass); Chris Higginbottom (drums).
(Review by Lance).

One of those albums that kind of grows on you. I personally can live without synthesizers - like coffee creams they are ok in moderation - but a box/album full of them can be too much. However, despite the heavy electronica, there is still much to like. Lockrane's superb fluting's proof that, in the western world, he reigns supreme. The voice sounds of Bearman meld in well. By some mystical Hogwartian means, the singer is also a choir!

Cawley expertly manipulates the dials and the thingamajigs but the best moments for me are when he plays piano unplugged to the light bulb.

Friday, April 19, 2019

DJazz Festival Launch - Courtyard Cafe, Durham - April 18


(Review by Russell)

DJazz: Durham City Jazz Festival is three! Its inaugural weekend in June 2017 was an unqualified success, its second year equally so and there is no reason to think this year's event will be anything other than a runaway success.  DJazz 2019 (June 7-9) organised a launch event in the Courtyard Cafe housed within Palace Green Library, Durham University.

The Courtyard Cafe boasts views of the adjacent Durham Cathedral. There can't be many jazz venues situated next to a UNESCO World Heritage Site! DJazz masterminds Carlo, Heather and Nick were on hand to meet and greet and, crucially, orchestrate the 'big reveal' - this year's headline act.

A bottle of Durham Brewery's Magus (with its sober 'ecclesiastical' label design), a tempting chocolate brownie resisted, the full house listened with bated breath as the DJazz team said a few words about this year's festival. By design, new venues would be utilised - ranging from the wonderfully named, intimate HolyGrAle beer bottle shop to the majesty of Durham Cathedral - and new names (new names to DJazz) would be added to the bill. A big plus this year is the re-siting of the DJazz Festival Hub from Fowler's Yard to the recently redeveloped Riverwalk site with its profusion of eateries and liquid refreshment establishments. 

Joseph Carville Trio @ Bar Loco, Newcastle - April 18

Joseph Carville (piano); Allan Peat (bass); Mark Rayner (drums) +  David "Showtime" Gray (trombone).
(Review by Nathan Allonby).

This excellent young pianist is little known in the local jazz scene, having played relatively few public gigs, but hopefully will start to receive the attention he deserves. The gig was scarcely publicised, held at a venue that hosts few (but often very good) jazz performances.

The audience consisted mostly of a solid core of followers of the band.

How do we judge jazz performers?
By the originality of what they play, by doing something different; by technical brilliance; by sensitive harmonies, by emotion; by surprising us.

The JR Trio @ the Globe Jazz Bar

James Romaine (alto sax); Asaph Tal (double bass); Kai Chareunsy (drums).
(Review/PHOTOS by Lance).

There was no shortage of choice with gigs on Tyne, Tees and Wear - Newcastle alone had three tempting sessions - so BSH's resources were fully stretched. After much deliberation, I opted for the JR Trio from that hotbed of jazz the Birmingham Conservatoire.

I suspected that this pianoless/guitarless trio of young musicians would unleash a sack of 'originals' of the "I wrote this one on the top deck of a bus after I'd split up with my girlfriend" variety.
I couldn't have been more wrong!

CD Review: Gwen & Tiana - African Time

(Review by Ann Alex)

I would classify this music as soul-influenced, so perhaps it should have been reviewed by Steve T, whose long discussions with Lance about CDs and ‘vinyls’ I’ve enjoyed immensely. (I’m with you Steve, CD’s are the best invention since music itself*). This is happy party-style music, wise lyrics reflecting on life, with clapping, duets, short, snappy solos, fine playing. Right through from the start African Time, (a clever double meaning to introduce African-influenced songs), many with what I believe to be a ‘township’ feel. All the songs are original except for Yesterday.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Blank Taped - April 17


Triptych: Paul Edis (piano, keyboards, clarinet, flute); Paul Susans (double bass, bass guitar); Rob Walker (drums, percussion, keyboards) + Lisa Delarny (visuals)
(Review by Russell)

Triptych booked two nights at Blank Studios to record material for a forthcoming CD release and, what's more, thought it a good idea to do so in front of an audience. This second evening on Warwick Street just east of Newcastle city centre drew a supportive crowd there to listen to the trio and, as a bonus, observe artist Lisa Delarny as she responded to the music creating real-time visuals projected onto a screen. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

The word is that ace drummer and occasional actress Abbie Finn has joined local hard bop band Alter Ego replacing David Francis who is to concentrate on his free-lance connections, teaching and extra-music activities. The band is currently open for gigs.
Lance.

CD Review: Oscar Peterson - Get Happy

Oscar Peterson (piano); Ray Brown or Major Holley (bass)
(Review by Lance).

I'm in deep trouble - I have a pile of current releases awaiting review but how, in all honesty, can I give them preference over this? 

Oscar Peterson is my undisputed jazz keyboard king. Art Tatum was great but, wonderful as he was, he didn't quite swing the way Oscar did - ask any drummer who played with him! Nor did Tatum explore harmony the way Peterson did. Admittedly, in later years, he [Peterson] became a predictable machine but when these recordings were made (1949/50) he was close to his peak even though it was early days.

Jam Session @ the Black Swan - April 16

Ben Gilbert (keys); Paul Grainger (bass); Russ Morgan (drums) + Harry Keeble (tenor sax); Lachlan Fotheringham (soprano sax); John Pope, Dave Parker (bass); Walter Feeney (trumpet); Abbie Finn, Matt Fairhurst (drums); Debra Milne (vocals); Poppy Pagan (vocals/flute).
(Review/PHOTOS by Lance).

Some 11 years ago, when BSH was first launched into cyberspace, much of the action took place down on Newcastle's quayside at the Side Café. One of the many emerging talents from that era was pianist Ben Gilbert whose flame flickered brightly and briefly before disappearing and turning to [the] Smoke. Now based in Leeds, he heeded the call to Graingertown for the highly esteemed Black Swan jam session where he displayed the maturity we all knew would blossom.  

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

CD of the Year - 14 discs forecast to tie for first place! - Part one

The arrival of 14 CDs in one drop would normally have me phoning all and sundry of my reviewers begging them to share the load. However, this Magnificent Seven x 2 aren't new kids on the block who couldn't swing if they were dangling by a rope from a lampost, these are singers and instrumentalists who were the front-runners of their day which, in this case, was pre-1960.

The material isn't new and most seasoned collectors will have some if not all of the tracks in one form or another. I have several on 78, some of them on 45rpm EP, quite a few on LP which was what we called them before they were even referred to as vinyl let alone vinyls and, of course, on CD and tape cassette. Nevertheless, I still welcome their arrival as they've been lovingly restored by the late Francis Dreyfus and the sound is superb.

Approximately 20 tracks per CD (presumably the LPs are double albums) these 14, along with the previous 14 that were released last year, could arguably be said to be all you need to have a comprehensive collection of jazz as it was in the years before Ornette.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Blaydon Gig this Sunday

Next one at Blaydon is this coming [Easter] Sunday. Mick Shoulder's gypsy jazz quartet 'Swing Manouche'.  Mick is a fine exponent of 'Django style' guitar. We highly recommend checking out the website for soundbites and more info. With Mick are Giles Strong guitar, Gavin Lee clarinet and Paul Grainger double bass.
Roly

Meraki + The Early Bird Band @ the Lit and Phil – April 12

Jacky Naylor (piano); Nick Jurd  (bass);  Jonathan Silk (drums).  
(Review by Steve H/PHOTOS courtesy of Ken Drew)

There is probably nothing that quite encapsulates the beauty of jazz than an accomplished piano trio. This was emphasised in spades as this marvellous outfit captivated a packed Lit and Phil on Friday night.  All the music played were Naylor originals and were extremely complex even if he said so himself. He also said how hard it is to get musicians to plays one’s own music. He certainly lucked out with this band; not only did they perform brilliantly but they did so without any written music having taken the trouble to learn it all.

The interplay between the three of them was clearly evident interacting perfectly with each other. The music had that gorgeous flowing feel that the best piano trios seem to manage to evoke - the musical equivalent of surfing on a wave. The tunes intricate and fascinating kept one engrossed at all times. Naylor is a fantastic player and did more than justice to the venue’s wonderful grand piano, Jurd on bass and Silk on drums weren’t far behind. The band fully deserved the encore that the audience demanded. A great evening and I can’t wait to see this band again as soon as is practically possible.   

Preview: A Great Day in Gosforth with the SSBB - Easter Saturday (April 20)

(Preview by Russell)

The Strictly Smokin' Big Band will present something just a little bit different on Saturday evening (April 20) at Gosforth Civic Theatre. Michael Lamb's magnificent big band will take you on a sepia-tinted journey back in time when New York was - it still is! - the jazz capital of the world. 

One morning in August 1958 dozens of jazz musicians - many of them household names - assembled on the steps of a Harlem brownstone to be immortalised in a photograph taken by budding freelancer Art Kane. Some prominent names would have been out of town touring, unable to make the shoot, perhaps some were still sleeping after a NYC gig the night before. Red Allen, Buck Clayton, Art Farmer, Johnny Griffin, Gigi Gryce, Hank Jones, Marian McPartland, legendary names all, they made it, as did Roy Eldridge, Dizzy Gillespie and Charles Mingus and many others.   

Marie Curie Fundraiser

Jazz North East is planning a Fundraiser for Marie Curie on Saturday 20th July at The Lit and Phil, we've already got a great set of musicians lined up but I reckon we could squeeze a couple more in if anyone would be keen to support the charity. Local Jazz / Crossover artists mail us at info@jazznortheast.com with the subject 'Marie Curie' if you're interested and we'll send further details. Many thanks!
Wes

Preview: Triptych CD recording sessions

This is your invitation to attend a CD recording session at Blank Studios in Shieldfield, Newcastle. Over two nights - tomorrow and Wednesday - Triptych will be recording material with a view to releasing an album and you can be there as a member of the studio audience!

Triptych - Paul Edis (piano, keyboards), Paul Susans (bass) and Rob Walker (drums, percussion) - is an occasional performance vehicle for three of the north east's most respected musicians and now you have the opportunity to observe the music making and recording process. Blank Studios are just along from the recently relocated Star and Shadow Cinema on Warwick Street in Shieldfield (if you're a 'creative' bearded hipster, that's the Ouseburn).

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