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Bebop Spoken There

Mark Walker: "A drummer in a big band is always happy. It's like driving a big bus." - (Downbeat, August 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 Tuesday July 23

Afternoon

Jazz

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

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

Evening

Jazz

Jam Session - Black Swan Bar, Newcastle Arts Centre, Westgate Rd., Newcastle NE1 1SG. Tel. 0191 222 9882. 8:00pm. House trio: Stu Collingwood; Paul Grainger; Matt MacKellar.

Archipelago & J Frisco + Mark Williams Trio - Sage Gateshead, St Mary’s Square, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead NE8 2JR. Tel: 0191 443 4661. 8:00pm. £9.90.

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

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Zoe Rahman & Laura MacDonald @ The Lit and Phil - July 16

Zoe Rahman (piano);  Laura MacDonald (alto sax)
(Review by Steve H/Photos courtesy of Ken Drew)

I have seen Zoe Rahman on several occasions and always enjoyed her performances immensely. I had not previously seen Laura MacDonald  but her CV was very impressive. So I was really looking forward to this sell out joint promotion by JNE & GemArts Masala Festival  at the Lit and Phil. 

Although the evening was pleasant enough I felt that the sum of the parts seemed greater than that of the whole. Apart from one occasion where Rahman played second fiddle to Courtney Pine’s ego at Sage Gateshead a couple of years ago I  had not previously seen her in duo format.

CD Review: Wendy Kirkland - The Music's On Me

Wendy Kirkland (piano & voice); Pat Sprakes (guitar); Paul Jefferies (bass/bass guitar); Steve Wyndham (drums) + Roger Beaujolais  (vibes); Tommaso Starace (saxes)
(Review by Lance)

The much anticipated second
album from Kirkland has arrived and it doesn't disappoint! How could it? A voice to dream about, sparkling piano solos, a swinging band and a mix of originals, jazz standards and some not yet overdone gassers make this an album deserved of repeated playing.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Paul Edis/John Garner Duo/Nathan Lawson @ Blaydon Jazz Club – July 21

Paul Edis (piano); John Garner (violin)
(Review/photos by Roly)

We all know that  Paul Edis is a Bill Evans devotee but here, he was joined by kindred spirit John Garner, a cross genre virtuoso violinist equally at home with the classical world (Royal Northern Sinfonia, Guastalla Quartet) and contemporary jazz. They played two fine acoustic sets, no need to turn up the volume here. Quiet, lyrical beauty doesn’t need mega decibels. The tunes, a mix of Evans’ compositions and Edis/Garner originals with an Evans’ flavour. This duo, I’m told, is the beginning of a new project – watch this space!

RIP Arno Marsh (1928 - 2019)

Most big band fans remember Woody Herman's tenor players such as Flip Phillips, Stan Getz, Zoot Sims, Al Cohn, Herbie Steward and, in later years, Sal Nistico. A less familiar name is Arno Marsh who was a stellar member of the Third Herd alongside Bill Perkins and Dick Hafer. This was one of the lesser known herds but could still swing as hard any of them.

Ben and Bruce

On April 28, 1967 legendary tenor saxist Ben Webster played at Connaught Hall, in Newcastle. This was one of the earliest concerts promoted by Jazz North East. I was there and remember it well although not well enough to remember the Pat Smythe Trio.

According to Chris Yates' memoir Blue Horizons the concert is listed as being with Bruce Turner's Jump Band which begs the question: did the the Jump Band play a separate set and, if so, why weren't they billed? or did they come in as a last minute replacement?

Interested to hear from others who were there whose memory may have lasted longer than mine!
Lance
PS: Picture of poster kindly sent by Russell & Patti.

Book Review: Jim Simpson (w. Ron Simpson): Don't Worry 'Bout the Bear

(Review by Lance)

Black Sabbath, Humph, a host of American bluesmen and the UK's Billie Holiday a.k.a Val Wiseman - what do they all have in common?

Birmingham - and I don't mean Alabama!

Outside of London... Manchester, Leeds, Edinburgh, Glasgow and (natch), Newcastle, can all lay claims to be jazz UK's second city but it has to be said that Jim Simpson makes out a strong case for Brum. A case that isn't laid out intentionally but one which the readers, no matter how regionally-biased will make for themselves after reading this fascinating memoir by Jim Simpson.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Marie Curie Fundraiser: A concert For Margaret Barnes @ The Lit and Phil July 20

The Zoë Gilby Quartet: Zoë Gilby (vocals); Mark Williams (guitar); Andy Champion (bass); Russ Morgan (drums).
(Review by Ann Alex/Photos by Pam Young)

Unlike the previous set (reviewed below) there were no problems hearing Zoë's well-thought-out lyrics and excellent introductions to the songs - full marks to Zoë for audience communication. An entertaining well-rounded performance brilliantly supported by Mark: adventurous, cleverly echoing Zoë's scat. Andy:  doing, well what basses do, and Russ giving the performance that we expect, on sticks, brushes and hands.

Marie Curie Fundraiser: A Concert for Margaret Barnes @ The Lit & Phil, Newcastle - July 20

(Review by Russell)

The Lit & Phil's evening session included a second appearance of the day by Bradley Johnston. Earlier, the Wearside-based guitarist had given a masterclass as one half of Hand to Mouth, his Joe Pass-Ella Fitzgerald duo partnership with Lindsay Hannon. This evening set presented Johnston working alongside bassist Andy Champion and drummer Russ Morgan. 

Bradley Johnston Trio: Bradley Johnston (guitar); Andy Champion (double bass); Russ Morgan (drums) 
Brad noted this was a first occasion working with Andy (let's hope it'll be the first of many). Russ, drummer of choice for many, had gigged a few times with BJ which all but guaranteed a trio masterclass. Our guitarist included a couple of his own compositions and chose to open the set with For Joe. The Joe in question...Joe Pass, of course.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Marie Curie Fundraiser - A Concert For Margaret Barnes @ the Lit & Phil, Newcastle - July 20

(Review by Lance/photos courtesy of Pam Young)

A lot of familiar faces turned up at the Lit & Phil for JNE's Marie Curie Fundraiser in memory of Margaret Barnes. A wonderful person whose devotion to jazz made her known and loved by many whether local musician or international name. To steal a hackneyed and yet very apt saying - to know her was to love her and so it was that this Saturday afternoon concert (there's an evening one to follow) came about.

Clare Teal @ York Opera House - July 19


Clare Teal (vocals); Jason Rebello (piano); Simon Little (bass); Ben Reynolds (drums) + Giacomo Smith (alto sax/clarinet); Pete Horsfall (trumpet/vocals); Dave Archer (guitar)
(Review by Liz)

Sorry I didn't manage a proper review, I was so enthralled with Clare's performance, it just slipped by, with me applauding & whooping etc...I was totally fired up - writing would have been a distraction. As the pics show we did get to chat with her, she remembered Kevin as he sends comments to her on her Radio Show which he listens to in the USA every week...straight away she asked him if he was the guy from Detroit! She was so lovely to me, warm & friendly.

New Orleans Swamp Donkeys @ Cobalt Studios & Ernest, Newcastle - July 19


James Williams (trumpet, trombone, vocals); Bryce Eastwood (clarinet, soprano sax, vocals); JP Brion (trombone); Sam Fribush (piano, vocals); Gary Washington (string bass); Tim Rachbach (drums)
(Review by Russell)

One band, two gigs, two venues a stone's throw a part, the Swamp Donkeys were in town! The Ouseburn Delta had rarely seen anything like it. All the way from New Orleans via Leeds and London, James Williams strolled into Ernest, sat down, and began to play. 

Ernest on Boyd Street welcomed its regulars and an influx of expectant jazz fans there to listen (and dance) to the 'real deal' from New Orleans. This, the first of two performances, served as a promo for a gig later in the evening a few doors down at Cobalt Studios. No PA, no amplification, the Swamp Donkeys played it entirely acoustically, just as the music's pioneers did way back when. 

Noel Dennis. Richie Emmerson. Tees Hot Club. Days of Wine and Roses. Dormans Club - July 18

k.d.lang Ingénue Redux 25th Anniversary Tour @ Sage Gateshead.

k.d.lang (vocals/guitar); Daniel Clarke (keys/accordion); David Piltch (bass guitar/double bass); Grecco Burrato (guitars); Rich Hinman (pedal steel/guitar); Andrew Borgen (drums); Tahira Memory (vocals); Moorea Masa (vocals/guitar).
(Review by Lance).

What to expect? Not jazz for a start although, in all modern music, be it pop/rock/country/soul/funk/contemporary classical or improv., the jazz element is there. It may be submerged - you just have to look (and listen) for it.

k,d,lang isn't by any stretch of the imagination a jazz singer and yet, given k.d.'s vocal range and power, could certainly help out when they (the jazzers) are busy.

Where last night's jazz crept in was in the solos from pedal steelist Hinman (a vinyl collector who's latest acquisition, he told us, was an Ornette Coleman album - a name that meant little to the audience), Keyboarder Clarke who switched seamlessly from B3 to Steinway(?) to accordion and bass boss Piltch - all topnotchers.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Dulcie May Quintet @ The Globe Jazz Bar - July 18

Dulcie May Moreno (vocals); Stephen Bridgland (guitar); Steve Summers (tenor/soprano saxes); Paul Grainger (bass); Rob Walker (drums)
(Review/PHOTOS by Lance)

I missed this super songstress' last concert in Newcastle but remembered her performance at a Black Swan jam session so that even though there was the intriguing prospect of Alan Barnes with Sue Ferris and the Paul Edis Trio up the road my decision was made and, despite the vagaries of our so-called rapid transport system I made it to the Jazz Coop's upper room just in time for Comes Love.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Radio Scarborough "Lazy River" Jazz Show.

Charlie S Shaw presents a weekly radio show on Radio Scarborough. 
The Lazy River Jazz Show can be heard at the following times:
18:00 - 20:00 on Mondays (live).
23:00 - 01:00 on Tuesdays (rpt).
0300: - 05:00 on Thursdays (rpt).

The programme can be heard at the appropriate time here.

However, on Charlie's Facebook page (links below) you can listen to various interviews and videos he has had with various name musicians much more than a stone's throw from Scarborough.
Well worth checking out.


Lance

News Flash!

Guitarist Roly Veitch regretfully informs me that he's had to pull out of his advertised duo set with fellow guitarist Bradley Johnston at Saturday's Marie Curie Fundraiser concert in memory of Margaret Barnes at the Lit & Phil. This is due to that guitarists' nightmare - tendonitis. It is thought that Bradley may do it as a solo set.
Lance

Free Jazz @ the Gala Theatre, Durham Tomorrow night!

Paul Gudgin, Artistic Director of the Durham International Jazz Festival, sent me this special offer to all our readers: "I am giving away plenty of freebies for a concert at the Gala Theatre tomorrow night.  We have Haftor Medbøe and the Will of the People Quartet http://www.haftormedboe.com/projects/  who will be performing a gig in the Gala Theatre with Norwegian Trumpet Player Gunnar Halle playing with them Live from Oslo! https://www.gunnarhalle.com/  Jazz meets technology!
Here is a link to the event on our website.  https://www.brassfestival.co.uk/brasspost/global-jam-session/

I am very happy for you to pass on the following code which will give people free tickets for the event.  If they click on the Brass Festival link above and when prompted use the code  JamFree they will get a freebie!"
Paul Gudgin.

RIP Dave Wickins

Drummer Dave Wickins passed away a week today (July 11). Well respected as a drummer and educator I have to be honest that, I knew little of him in recent years. However, It was pointed out to me that I heard him with the Liam Noble Trio doing a Brubeck tribute back in 2010 at Gateshead Old Town Hall (see photo). Referring back to that March evening's review I note that I compared him with Joe Morello and he lost nothing by the comparision.

I also heard him in my pre-blog years at a concert with Kirk Lightsey at Caedmon Hall - also in Gateshead.

The respect he was held in is shown by this obituary on London Jazz News.Sadly missed.
Lance

Eddie Walker and Frank Porter Guitar Duo @ Dormans Jazz Club Middlesbrough - July 4

(Review by Ian Bosworth)

A new act for Dormans featured two stalwarts of the folk scene now turning their talents to jazz, Eddie Walker and Frank Porter.

Both playing guitar with Eddie doing most of the vocals the duo played a number of Fred Astaire songs, beginning with "Isn't This a Lovely Day to be Caught in the Rain?" and including "The Continental", "Top Hat, White Tie, and Tails", and "Puttin' on the Ritz".

As well as the jazz influenced tunes this talented duo included some of the early blues and ragtime songs," Key to the Highway", "Diddy Wha Diddy", "West Coast Blues", "Calliope Rag", and "Baby it Must be Love" penned  by the great Blind Willie McTell.

Music stars get behind new Sage Gateshead development

New era for Sage Gateshead announced ahead of this weekend’s 14th SummerTyne Americana Festival
(Press release)

“I'm delighted to hear that Sage Gateshead has been successful in this bid. Sage One is a special room to play and I have some wonderful memories performing there. This new project should provide an even more dynamic live experience for both the artist and audience." - Sting 

A bespoke seating system, which will enable the quick removal of seats to create space for a part standing audience, has been given the go-ahead at renowned music venue Sage Gateshead.
The major project has been made possible thanks to £1.2 million from National Lottery funding through Arts Council England’s capital programme. This has been matched by generous donations of £800,000 from individuals and trusts from the North East and across the country.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Kenny Garrett Quintet & Chris Potter Trio @ San Francisco Jazz Center- June 21

Kenny Garrett Quintet: Garrett (alto sax/flute); Vernell Brown (piano); Corcoran Holt (bass); Samuel Laviso (drums); Rudy Bird (percussion).
(Review by Dave Clarke/photo courtesy of Pam)

Prior to attending this late-June San Francisco Jazz Festival concert I had never seen either Kenny Garrett or Chris Potter in live performance and nor was I familiar with their recordings. If I hadn’t read an interview with Potter in the March issue of Jazzwise magazine my ignorance would have probably led me to think that they were an odd mix for a double bill: Garrett, with a tendency towards the funky, and Potter, a critically acclaimed ECM recording artist.

My initial reaction to leader Garrett’s shiny suit and the band’s high energy soul-jazz was “Lance, you should have sent Steve T on this gig!.”    

The Ray Dales Quartet @ Dormans Jazz Club Middlesbrough - July 11

Ray Dales (alto sax) Jeremy McMurray (piano) Keith Peberdy (bass) Paul Smith (drums)
(Review by Ron H)

When four well-known local jazz musicians of this calibre play together, the audience can expect a night of both interesting and exciting interpretations of jazz classics.

They weren’t disappointed!

The first set opened with one of Ray's favourites complete with a blistering sax intro to an up-tempo version of  Secret Love. Equally impressive solos followed setting the standard for the night.

Wigan then Durham, no rest for (the wicked) Tony Eales


(Review by Russell/Eales)

Does the bloke never stop? BSH's County Durham correspondent Tony Eales spent four days at the Wigan Jazz Festival then, within hours of arriving home, made a b-line for the Durham Brass Festival. 

TE has attended the Wigan event for more years than he cares to remember yet, with real enthusiasm, filed a report suggesting Wigan 2019 was as good a year as any. A new venue, stick with the same tried-and-tested formula - book some of the best bands around, both big bands (it's what Wigan is all about) alongside some top quality small combos - and reap the rewards in the shape of many near-capacity and several sell-out shows.   

River City Revival continues @ Block & Tackle

Because of a new arrangement between the management and the River City Jazzmen I'm pleased to confirm that the monthly jazz night will continue to run at the Block and Tackle on the third Tuesday of the month. 

The band, with guest reed man Don Armstrong from Oz, enjoyed a successful session last night with a really appreciative audience. The next session will be on Tuesday 20th August, again with Don on clarinet /saxes.
Gordon Solomon.

Preview: New Orleans Swamp Donkeys - Friday!

(Preview by Russell)

It's a growing list. Either side of the Atlantic young musicians are finding something of interest in the foundations of the music - the sounds of twenties' New Orleans jazz and the fledgling swing bands of the Cotton Club years. The Stateside contingent includes Tuba Skinny, the all-female Shake 'Em Up Jazz Band, the Shotgun Jazz Band, Frog and Henry (the Big Easy their base) and Vince Giordano with his Nighthawks an established figure up in NYC. European counterparts count among their number Edinburgh's Tenement Jazz Band, the Basin Street Brawlers, Adrian Cox with his Edmond Hall project and Belgium's swing dance outfit the Jake Walker Orchestra.  

In Newcastle on Friday there is an opportunity to hear another first rate American band when the New Orleans Swamp Donkeys play a late afternoon on-street warm-up gig ahead of an evening concert down in the Ouseburn Delta. Direct from N'Awlins, James Williams leads an ace ensemble outside Ernest (that's the cafe/bar behind the Biscuit Factory on Stoddart Street) at five o'clock before moving on downstream to Cobalt Studios on Boyd Street (near to the Tyne Bar).

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Burton Agnes Jazz and Blues Festival - July 14

(Reviews by Sheila)

The Lemon Monkeys: Matt Smith and Carlos Olmos (guitars). German-Bolivian,
Sunday morning was underway at 11 on the main stage with a jazz guitar duo - a Londoner and a German-Bolivian.  "Guten Dias", and it was a good day. 
Lovely interpretations of jazz standards, swinging and intricate, with a gypsy jazz feel at times. All well received and appreciated by the audience who were enjoying the brighter weather. 

Emma Johnson's Gravy Boat: Emma Johnson sax, Fergus Vickers, guitar, Angus Milne, double bass and Steve Hanley drums. 
On stage Sunday lunchtime (Gravy Boat - get it?!) 
A relaxed, melodic and distinctive style of contemporary jazz, from composer Emma Johnson and the band.  "We had a great time performing at Burton Agnes for the first time and it was amazing to play our music to such a friendly and interested audience" said, Emma. There was a strong rapport both within the band and with the audience, accessible and very popular with the knowledgeable listeners who queued for CDs on sale at the end of the set. 

Catch them at The Globe on 16th November. 

Burton Agnes Jazz and Blues Festival - July 13

Atila: King for a Day. 
Atila (vocals); Colin Oxley (guitar); Gabriel Latchin (keys); Tom Farmer (double bass/vocals/MD); Steve Brown( drums).
(Reviews by Sheila).

This set was an hour and a half of superb singing and playing in tribute to Nat King Cole celebrating the centenary year of his birth. (1919-1965). 

Not a pastiche, but a warm and suave delivery of Nat King Cole's well-known, romantic ballads and an interesting insight into the career and development of this well-loved singer. 

Atila sang with obvious enjoyment, his beautiful phrasing and care towards these classic songs was much appreciated by an audience who knew the originals by heart. Always a difficult situation requiring the vocalist to own the material and interpret it afresh, in this set, he did it successfully. 

The inclusion of brief recordings of Nat himself and some of the orchestrations of his Capitol Records' releases were, l thought, less successful in the story-telling. 

The instrumentalists on stage were a joy to hear, the solos were excellent as were the arrangements. 

Jazz Leeds Festival 2019


Thursday to Sunday,  if you're down in the Leeds' area, then there is much jazz to be heard. Check out the goodies on offer here - Andy Sheppard, the Electric Lady Big Band paying tribute to Jimi Hendrix (!) and much much more... The logo tells you of the diversity on offer. A diversity that includes such northeast talents as John Pope, Faye MacCalman and James Birkett. Full line-up.

Lance

Bradley Johnston Quartet @ The Lit & Phil – July 12.

Keith Robinson (reeds); Bradley Johnston (guitar); Paul Grainger (bass); Russ Morgan (drums),
(Review/photos courtesy of Brian Ebbatson)

Publicity for this gig from guitarist Bradley Johnston promised “a musical journey that explores guitar playing over the last 100 years”, but it was a much more personal selection of pieces, mainly by Bradley himself – four out of six of the tunes featured were from his pen – although there was certainly a strong element of paying tribute to his influences.

Bradley opened solo with his arrangement of John Lennon’s In My Life, a dreamy interpretation very reminiscent of Bill Frisell – indeed it features on Frisell’s 2011 album All We Are Saying. Bradley wove his way with synth-like chords through and around the George Harrison intro and the Lennon melody. Maybe it was a 70’s Beatles number but this was definitely a second-decade C21 interpretation.

(Preview): Marie Curie Fundraiser - A Concert For Margaret Barnes


(Info supplied by JNE)

Saturday 20th July @ The Literary and Philosophical Society, 23 Westgate Road,
Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 1SE
£10 Afternoon or Evening Session Ticket / £12 Full Day Ticket

Afternoon Session (Doors: 1.00pm
)

1.30pm: Debra Milne and Steve Glendinning
2.20pm: Paul Edis with Graham Hardy
3.25pm: Hand To Mouth
4.15pm: Thomas Dixon Band


Evening Session (Doors: 5.45pm)

6.00pm: Paul Taylor + The Long Lonesome Go
7.05pm: Bradley Johnston Trio trio with Roly Veitch
8.10pm: Duo FCT
9.00pm: Zoe Gilby Quartet

Monday, July 15, 2019

Shappiness is just a thing called Daryl

‘Shappiness’ is frequently defined as - a good shit, a  good shag, a clean shave, a shampoo, or an expensive sherry. However, if you happen to be at Pizza Express' The Pheasantry in London tomorrow and Wednesday (15/16) then you most surely will add the name of Sherman to those ‘Shapps’.

Daryl Sherman is, undoubtedly, an outstanding purveyor of the GASbook. We've heard her at festivals, in concert halls, - even at a low profile jam session in Jesmond (see photo) - and the girl always delivers both vocally and pianistically! Sadly, I won't be able to get down to The Pheasantry - my gossamer wings are in the repair shop - but, nevertheless, it promises to be a couple of memorable evenings with Daryl paying tribute to the vocal style of no less an icon than Satchmo himself and, in the company of some of our finest jazzmen.
Sir Lancelot 
(Warning!: Only Daryl is allowed to call me that!)

Vieux Carré Hot 4 using their loaf

David Binney: "In this age, we musicians need to do anything we can to make a living, and ninety-nine percent of us will have to do a wide variety of things." - (Jazz Times May 2019). True words from David Binney.

 
This ‘gig’ was a ‘promotional video/publicity shoot for the new Greggs outlet on Sandy Lane, Newcastle, which required an early 7.00am start when it’s comparatively quiet ahead of the rush hour. It was a good gig, tho! 
Pete Wright, trumpet; Jim McBriarty, soprano sax; Brian Bennett, banjo; Phil Rutherford, sousaphone.
Brian Bennett.

(Editor): This must have been one of your 'higher profile' gigs judging by the bandwagon - love the car registration!

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Jambone & Young Sinfonia @ Sage Gateshead – July 13


(Review by Chris)

A rare outing for the combined forces of the Sage Young Musicians Programme jazz orchestra Jambone, and conventional orchestra, Young Sinfonia, filling the stage of Sage One.  This was part of the culmination of the YMP year – their summer festival - and marked the latest milestone in the remarkable development of Jambone’s director, the composer and arranger extraordinaire, Paul Edis.   With two orchestras (12 strong Jambone, 27 for Sinfonia) packed with talent at his disposal,  Admiral Edis had written or arranged three contrasting pieces to send the fleet on manouevres for an hour or so. Was this to be jazz deluxe, or was it modern orchestral repertoire spiced with “improvisatory” elements, as the Sinfonia’s distinguished conductor, Karin Hendrickson warned the audience?  

Denmark Street Big Band with Jo Harrop @ The Dean Street Pizza Express, Soho, London - July 13

(Review by Russell)

This was something of a treat. A day trip to London to hear Paul Burch's cracking big band working with star vocalist Jo Harrop. The Gene Krupa Story is the Denmark Street Big Band's latest project and on a warm summer's day the orchestra assembled for a lunchtime engagement at the Dean Street Pizza Express.

Soho bustled as it always does; traders, tourists, locals, some looking cool, some trying to look cool, others not so cool. The Pizza Express' basement venue offered some relief from the on-street rising mercury. Members of the orchestra arrived in ones and twos as Ms Harrop sound-checked alongside pianist Ben Croft.  

Burton Agnes Jazz and Blues Festival - July 13 (afternoon)

(Review by Sheila Herrick/photos to follow)

Saturday brought The Mark Williams Trio to the stage at 12.30pm a lovely start to the day and the audience appreciated the fine playing and skilled musicianship of Mark on guitar, Andy Champion on bass guitar and Russ Morgan on drums. (Paul Susans unable to make this gig). The set had a well-balanced range from the clear and bell-like, Weird Waltz, to the meditative Good Answer and on to Near Enough,  revved up by Russ and taken on by the flying fingers of Mark and the power of Andy's bass. "The set went well, Andy played a blinder and there was something for everyone", said Mark. 

Saturday, July 13, 2019

CD Review: Rich Willey's Boptism Big Band - Down & Dirty


(Review by Lance).

I know I never stop moaning (or should that be Moanin'?) about the number of CDs I'm presented with for review. When I first started BSH I'd eagerly await the postman in anticipation of what goodies he may have in store for me - I was a kid in a sweetie factory! However, with the passage of time, it became reminiscent of the old joke about the musician who goes to Hell and finds himself playing in the Basie Band. 

Burton Agnes Jazz and Blues Festival - July 12

(Review/photo courtesy of Sheila Herrick)

First on the main stage was the Manchester Jazz Collective - 3 saxes, 2 trumpets, 2 trombones, keyboard, double bass and drums. A 10 strong ensemble of northern musicians and composers who created a full and wide-ranging sound. From brassy big band and South American flavoured numbers to lyrical pieces on sax and with welcome attention to dynamics which enhanced the set and the audience appreciation. Great playing and well-written pieces clearly enjoyed by players and audience alike.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Ahead Of Summertyne Americana Festival, Eve Selis Opens Up About How Tragedy Has Shaped Her Music


(Media Release)

Last time award-winning Americana singer Eve Selis performed at Sage Gateshead was in 2016. But when a series of tragedies struck not long after her return home, she became incapable of listening to music never mind singing.

Thankfully, with determination and positivity, Eve will be joining a special line-up at this year’s SummerTyne Americana Festival and will once again be entertaining some of her greatest fans.

The Festival runs from Friday 19 to Sunday 21 July and is in its 14th year. k.d. lang is the headline opening act for the Friday whilst Strictly Country featuring Eve Selis, The Wandering Hearts, Lauren Alaina and Catherine McGrath will headline the Saturday night. Kiefer Sutherland will close the weekend on Sunday night.

John Pope Quintet @ the Bridge Hotel - July 7


Faye MacCalman (tenor saxophone, clarinet); Jamie Stockbridge (alto saxophone); Graham Hardy (trumpet); John Pope (double bass;) Johnny Hunter (drums)
(Review by Steve H)

This band played its inaugural gig at this very same venue  3 years ago. I said in my review at the time how much I hoped that this would not just be a one-off gig. The band is geographically split between Newcastle and Manchester although even the non-Geordie residents have Newcastle connections. Pope, MacCalman and Hardy are well known local favourites. Jamie Stockbridge although now resident in Manchester formed his regular band Taupe in Newcastle and Johnny Hunter appears so many times in Newcastle I suspect he may have a season ticket for United. Thankfully having being selected as one of this year’s Jazz North’s Northern Line bands they have been able to come together more often and Sunday night saw the culmination of a 4 gig Northern Powerhouse tour (Manchester, Leeds, and Sheffield).

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Don't throw CDs at me

Just as some of the charity shops say "Sorry no books" I'm in a similar position where I'm having to say that, for the time being, I can no longer accept CDs for review unless I've specifically requested them. I just can't cope with the deluge, some of which I know will be fantastic, but time and space mean that only a very small percentage will even get out of the packaging. I know that I may be missing out on the next Kind of Blue but that's a chance I'll have to take.

I've got wall to wall CDs, LPs, EPs, tapes, 78s - even mini-discs and, maybe in the loft some reel to reel stuff. Then there are the DVDs, the videos, the books I've yet to read, the books I've yet to write, the cost of moving to a larger house to accommodate the daily influx so, folks, for the moment, if you're planning on sending me your latest masterpiece, do nothing till you hear from me.

Live gig reviews and previews will, of course, remain our number one priority.
Lance

Brian Jackson @ Hoochie Coochie - July 12

Don't miss tomorrow night at Hoochie. The good news is that the legendary interpreter of the music of Gil Scott-Heron, Brian Jackson, will be delivering his sermon at 9:30pm at The Church.
Details.
Lance

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Gavin Belton Funeral Times

The funeral of Gavin Belton, banjoist w. the Tees Valley Jazzmen will take place on Monday, July 15 at 1:00pm at Cockton Hill Methodist Church, Cockton Hill Road, Bishop Auckland, County Durham, DL14 6EN.

RIP Freddie Jones

Just a brief announcement reporting that character actor Freddie Jones died yesterday aged 91. Why am I mentioning this beloved actor on a jazz blog? Well, back in the early '70s when the Newcastle Big Band was pulling the crowds into their lunchtime sessions at what was then the University Playhouse (now Northern Stage) one of their most fervent supporters when he was in town - usually playing the Theatre Royal - was Freddie Jones.

He was always keen to chat - he loved the band - and, in return, I always looked out for him when he was on tele.
Fond memories,
Lance.

The Electet @ The Forum, Darlington - July 9

BSH's County Durham correspondent Tony Eales reports a healthy turn out at last night's now regular jazz gig at the Forum, Darlington. Pianist Rick Laughlin working alongside saxophonist Alan Thompson (Durham Alumni Big Band) is mixing and matching the line-up month to month and TE filed his report praising Harry Keeble (tenor sax) sharing the stand, and holding his own, with musicians many years his senior. August's session is scheduled for Tuesday 13th, watch this space.   
Russell

Preview: Alan Barnes' Gala Appearance - July 16

The indefatigable Alan Barnes is seemingly on the road seven days a week. At the weekend you'll find him at the Wigan Jazz Festival touring his Alan Barnes + 11 60th birthday album, a week tonight he'll be in London working on a classy gig (Daryl Sherman with Dave Green) and the following night the multi-instrumentalist will be at St James' & St Basil's Church, Newcastle working alongside Sue Ferris with the Paul Edis Trio. Why not take a night off, Alan? 

No chance! This year's Durham Brass Festival sees the Gala Big Band in action on Tuesday (July 16) and our award-winning jazz superstar just fancied joining his friend, pianist Paul Edis, for some Strictly Come BRASSing at the Gala Theatre. MD Edis has moulded the community orchestra into an impressive outfit and this festival engagement will be a salsa, swing, ballroom extravaganza featuring a 'plethora of dancers' in 'a colourful celebration of dancing and big band music'. Add Barnes to the mix together with Edis' top class bass and drums team of Andy Champion and Russ Morgan and you've got the makings of a great night out. The fun begins at 7:30, tickets £15 (£12 concs), call the box office on 03000 266 600.    
Russell

Jam session @ The Black Swan, Newcastle - July 9


(Review by Russell)

It was a rainy night in Geor...sorry, wrong town, it was a rainy night in Newcastle. Perhaps the weather would deter both sitters-in and listeners alike. At eight o'clock in a sparsely populated Black Swan the house trio made a start with They Can't Take that Away from Me.  

Triste (João Gilberto recorded Jobim's number) played out to the hardcore before the trio lit the blue touchpaper with a scorching take on Billie's Bounce. Messrs Stockdale, Grainger and Walker went for it, not least jam session kingpin Mr G fuelled by who knows what...spinach? It was time to invite the first (the only?!) sitter-in to join the trio. All the way from Cleveland, Jan Spencelayh! The Nearness of You for starters, Devil May Care with pianist Stockdale suggesting 'last four' as he helped chart our most welcome guest through Bob Dorough's timeless composition. Similarly, Stockdale suggested 'last twelve' on Almost Like Being in Love. We'll be hearing more from Spencelayh, that's for sure.

Well, look who's in town...Andrea Pattison, no less! AP's contribution was brief- What a Difference a Day Makes - and then she was gone, not from the premises, you understand, but to take her seat in a, by now, slowly but surely filling Black Swan.

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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