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Bebop Spoken There

Neil Hopper, House of the Black Gardenia: "We had the idea when we first started that we would be like Tuba Skinny or something, but that didn't really suit us." - (NARC November 2020)

The Things They Say!

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

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

Postage

12,000 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 1140 of them this year alone and, so far, 87 this month (Oct. 27).

Coming soon ...

IT IS ADVISABLE TO CHECK IN ADVANCE WITH THE VENUE THAT THE GIG IS ON.

OCTOBER

FRIDAY 30

Neil William & Ben Holland - Prohibition Bar, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8:00pm-10:00pm. Free (donations). Limited capacity. Jazz standards from the 1920s & 30s.

SATURDAY 31

Alice Grace & Pawel Jedrzejewski - Prohibition Bar, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8:00pm-10:00pm. £10.00. Online booking (to book a table). Limited capacity. Alice & Pav join a multi-bill of entertainers (magician etc) to celebrate Prohibition Bar’s fifth anniversary. SOLD OUT!

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. 


There will be the return of the North East Super Jam, Durham Uni Jazz Soc Jam promises much, Matt Mackellar flies in from Berklee, the Nu Bossa Band will be on the Riverwalk free stage, Drs Edis and Wilson will be improvising in the nave of Durham Cathedral (Edis the pianist becoming Edis the organist!), Arun Ghosh opens at Redhills on the Friday evening and twenty-four hours later at the same venue, DJazz 2019 presents the headliner...Moses Boyd's Exodus! Yes, drummer extraordinaire Moses Boyd (of Binker and Moses fame) is sure to sell out the Pitman's Parliament. 

There is so much to look forward to - for further details visit: djazzfestival.co.uk - and in the coming weeks, BSH will post a detailed preview of DJazz 2019. That's to come, here at the DJazz launch there was some jazz to listen to as Hand to Mouth (being a jazz musician provides a precarious living!) played two sets of music associated with the great Ella Fitzgerald-Joe Pass partnership.

Vocalist Lindsay Hannon and guitarist Bradley Johnston have got a thing goin' East coast to West coast - whenever and wherever they perform the 'Ella and Joe' connection is an absolute winner. The jazz icons - that's Ella and Joe - appeared in the region; Ella at Newcastle City Hall and, memorably, at the Newport Jazz Festival when George Wein flew in the greats of jazz to perform at Ayresome Park (formerly home to Middlesbrough FC) and Joe at Gosforth Park Hotel. This evening Lindsay and Brad gave another five-star performance. From The Very Thought of You to DindiIn My Solitude to My Funny Valentine the Courtyard Cafe's audience gave its full attention to this intimate recital of, as Humph would have said, the very best in jazz. 

Another bottle of Magus (Cheers, vicar), the chocolate brownie once again resisted, Lindsay/Ella and Brad/Joe resumed with Lush Life - you could hear a pin drop. One Note featured Brad playing zillions of them, Take Love Easy (perhaps Hand to Mouth's signature number), Some Other Time (Lindsay referencing Bill Evans), yes, this chance partnership really does have a gig goin'. 

For the record, Brad confirmed that in addition to his own transcriptions many of the tunes heard tonight were transcribed by his mentor James Birkett way back in the late seventies. Brad kindly showed BSH Dr Birkett's handwritten charts. These living, breathing documents - were they written on parchment?! - sure do beat the soul-less, albeit convenient, iPad!    
Russell

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