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Bebop Spoken There

Barry Harris (in 1981): "There is not one place in the world that you can find more jazz musicians from than Detroit." - (DownBeat, September 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 Monday August 19

Afternoon

Jazz

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

Jazz in the Afternoon - Cullercoats Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 4QS. Tel: 0191 253 0242. 1:00pm. Free admission.

Evening

?????

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

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Newcastle Jazz Festival @ Tyne Bank Brewery - August 17

(Review by Lance/Photos courtesy of Malcolm Sinclair to follow).

A Newcastle Jazz Festival - what's not to like? I'm fortunate, or maybe unfortunate, to be old enough to remember the fantastic festivals organised by my dear friend Andy Hudson where Art Pepper, George Melly, Barney Kessel and many others graced the then University Theatre. Those were indeed halcyon days but, to compare today's festival with those that took place  back then - as has been done elsewhere - defeats the object entirely.

Although without the clout of previous big name sponsors it could, nevertheless,  be argued that on a pound for pound basis this matched any festival - either side of the river.

Friday, August 16, 2019

CD Review: Pigfoot - Pigfoot Shuffle

Chris Batchelor (trumpet/cornet); James Allsopp (baritone sax/bass clarinet); Liam Noble (piano/keys); Paul Clarvis (drums)
(Review by Lance).

Well! This one came out of left field. I put it on blindfold and what did I hear? Bubber Miley blowing Heartbreak Hotel! Of course it wasn't actually Bubber - dead many a long year - but his spirit had certainly taken over Batchelor's mindset. The trumpet (or was it cornet?) growled like as though that infamous rooming house had moved from Lonely St. to Duke's Place or maybe a joint in New Orleans where Allsopp was 'walkin' the bar' blowing bari for the strippers. This was 'bump and grind' music - so much so, I could only type in time to the rhythm!

Dan Garel Quartet @ Holy GrAle, Durham - August 15


Dan Garel (alto sax); Mark Williams (guitar); John Pope (bass guitar); Russ Morgan (drums)
(Review by Russell)

It was billed as the 'Daniel Garel Quartet' but as it was a Thursday not a Sunday the 'Dan Garel Quartet' seemed like a better fit. Twelve months on from graduating Dan returned to Durham to meet up with old buddies Mark Williams, John Pope and Russ Morgan to play two sets in Holy GrAle on Crossgate.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Dave Rae's Levee Ramblers New Orleans Jazz Band with Ian Wynne @ Springwell Village Community Venue - August 14


Dave Rae (banjo, vocals); Mick Hill (cornet, vocals); Liz Bacon (clarinet); Jim Blenkin (trombone, vocals); Ian Wynne (piano); John Robinson (double bass); Paul Bacon (drums)
(Review by Russell)

All the Girls Go Crazy - don't know 'bout that but in its own way Wednesday's New Orleans jazz session in Springwell Village stirred more than a few with an all-too-rare appearance by Ian Wynne. Sitting at the upright our unassuming pianist opted for being one of the guys rather than hog the limelight as Dave Rae sang the opening number. 

In addition to leading the frontline, Mick Hill sang two or three numbers - Put on Your Old Grey BonnetBasin Street Blues and When You and I Were Young, Maggie - as well as playing some half decent N'awlins' cornet. Fellow brass man Jim Blenkin knew the melodies inside out and chipped in with a vocal or two, Harry Warren's Crying for the Carolines particularly effective. From time to time, clarinetist Liz Bacon glanced over her left shoulder to acknowledge pianist Wynne's sterling contribution.

Body and Soul @ Dormans Jazz Club,Middlesbrough - August 1

Richie Emmerson (tenor sax); Kevin Eland (trumpet/flugelhorn);Rick Laughlin (keys/synthesizer);  Keith Peberdy (bass); Stuie Ellerton (drums).
(Review by Ron H)

A good sized and enthusiastic audience turned out for this month’s guest band Body and Soul - a band with a reputation for playing exciting jazz.

Cantaloupe Island set the standard followed by a swinging Speak Low with impressive solos all round.

Tadd Dameron's Good Bait had a relaxed feel with Rick, Kevin and Richie in top form.

CD Review: Quentin Collins - Road Warrior

Quentin Collins (trumpet/flugelhorn); Meilana Gillard (alto sax); Leo Richardson (tenor sax); Dan Nimmer (piano/Rhodes on track 4); Joe Sanders (bass); Willie Jones III (drums) + Jean Toussaint (tenor sax - 2 tracks).
(Review by Lance).

They don't come any better than this! It's Jazz Messenger territory but these jazz posties aren't walkin' the streets they're running, they're flying - this isn't snail mail it's superfast broadband and what a band!

I've only just recovered from hearing Leo Richardson live at Pizza last week and here he is again but who's complaining? Not me that's for sure.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Yorkshire village takes on traditional jazz clubs at national awards

(Press release)

A West Yorkshire village will take on traditional jazz clubs for the title of ‘venue of the year’ at a national jazz awards ceremony later this year.

Marsden Jazz Festival has made it through to the final of the prestigious Parliamentary Jazz Awards in London and has been shortlisted in the venue of the year category alongside jazz clubs in Bristol, Dorking and Brighton.

Preview: Dan the Man is in town!

(Preview by Russell)

In recent times jam sessions in Newcastle, Durham and elsewhere in the region have offered a platform to some immensely talented musicians. One of the joys of going to a session is not knowing who'll turn up. Vocalists, trumpeters, saxophonists, drummers, all of us have our favourites. For two or three years one universally popular figure lit up the scene with, no pun intended, a series of incendiary performances. 

Francis Tulip Quartet @ The Fox, Hexham - August 13


Francis Tulip (guitar); Ben Lawrence (piano); Michael Dunlop (bass guitar); Matt MacKellar (drums)
(Review by Russell)

The train pulled into Hexham. What's this? The Platform Bar was open for business! Three years and more in the planning, ten days ago Matfen Brewery's micro pub opened its doors for the first time. Several Tyne Valley commuters had called in for a swift half, the temptation to join them was there but the Fox on West End Terrace beckoned. 

Trains, planes and automobiles, they arrived from all four quarters - Birmingham, Durham, London (UK), Boston (Massachusetts, USA) - to meet up with family and friends and play a few gigs (and jam sessions) together. Two days on from a Jazz Co-op date the Francis Tulip Quartet stopped off at Hexham Jazz Club to play a final gig on the band's 2019 'summer vacation' tour.

Eales Grooving to Grover


County Durham correspondent Tony Eales reports a good turn-out for Grover Washington Jr at Darlington’s Forum Music Centre. The soul-jazz saxophonist is long gone (the New Yorker died almost twenty years ago) but not forgotten, not least by five of the region’s finest - reeds men Richie Emmerson and Alan Thompson, pianist Rick Laughlin and bass and drums pairing Keith Peberdy and Ian Halford. On Tuesday evening the quintet entertained a crowd which, according to Eales, is keen to support more jazz at the Borough Road venue. The next installment on Tuesday September  17 features Acoustic Infusion augmented by the Mighty Horns.          
Russell

Paul Taylor on Bandcamp.

Paul Taylor has kindly sent me this link to his digital discography including music performed at his Sage Gateshead concert on March 23 this year where he shared billing with Daniel Herskedal.
Lance

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

2019 APPJAG Nominations


Last year, Bebop Spoken Here won the APPJAG* Jazz Media Award and, although not nominated this year, we're pleased to announce that the northeast is once again represented with Zoë Gilby (photo courtesy of Ken Drew) being nominated in the Jazz Vocalist of the Year category - we wish her well.

All nominations:
Jazz Vocalist of the Year
Claire Martin
Georgia Mancio
Cherise Adams-Burnett
Zoë Gilby

Latest on jazz @ the Block & Tackle


The management of the Block and Tackle, Ashington, wish to confirm that the monthly jazz night featuring the River City Jazzmen is definitely continuing on the third Tuesday of the month. 

Please note that this has no connection with the now defunct Ashington Jazz Club, the previous organisers of the event. 

The next session is on Tuesday August 20 and includes as guest players Australian reed man, Don Armstrong and Brian Chester on keyboards. Starting time is 8.30pm and entrance fee is £4.00, with the option of buying raffle tickets. 

We look forward to keeping the jazz flag flying in the area, and will be pleased to welcome all followers of jazz.

Gordon Solomon.

Monday, August 12, 2019

A brief history of the Newcastle Jazz Festival


(By Russell)

Once upon a time a big band MD came up with the idea of organising a jazz festival. Will it work? enquired some, It'll never work! declared others. Undaunted, the idea took root and in no time the event envisaged by Newcastle Big Band MD Andy Hudson began to take shape. Jazz North East's Honourary Secretary Chris Yates was enlisted to lend his expertise and went on to write the festival programme notes as well as assisting in the organisation for something like two decades. It was 1974 and the Newcastle Jazz Festival was born.

The Guildhall on Newcastle's Quayside staged ten nights of jazz; Chris Barber, Humphrey Lyttleton, Ronnie Scott, Back Door, SOS (John Surman-Mike Osborne-Alan Skidmore), Henry Lowther, Pete King, Graham Collier (a Tynemouth lad) alongside film screenings, lectures and a riverboat shuffle. In addition, a satellite venue hosted a programme of free jazz and free improvisation. Andy Hudson (MD, Newcastle Big Band) had seen his dream of a jazz festival on Tyneside come true to the extent that by the following year it had outgrown the Guildhall and moved on to the University Theatre, which became Newcastle Playhouse (now Northern Stage) and which remained its base for the following 20 years.

Francis Tulip Quartet @ The Globe Jazz Bar - August 11

Francis Tulip (guitars); Ben Lawrence (keys); Michael Dunlop (bass guitar); Matt MacKellar (drums).
(Review by Lance)

It was a rainy night in Georgetoon, but that didn't stop friends, family and fans of the fab four filling out the ground floor bar for the Jazz Coop's increasingly popular Sunday night sessions. And it  was worth getting soaked both internally and externally for.

Having said that, it wasn't the best I've heard them although, as the set progressed and the sound levels evened out, it became increasingly obvious we were listening to four potentially prodigious musicians whose technique both individually and as a group moves up a notch with each hearing.

As a band their true forté seems to be covering past masters such as Coltrane and Shorter - Trane's Like Sonny (Rollins) stood head and shoulders above the rest which makes it a very tall item item indeed.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

SSBB News.

Watching the John Wilson Prom celebrating the film music that came out of the Warner Brothers studios from the 1930s onwards I couldn't fail to be impressed by the trumpet playing of Mike Lovatt and my first reaction was to think we need to hear more of this ace player.

Then, guess what? Alice Grace posts on Facebook announcing that this very same Mike Lovatt is appearing with the Strictly Smokin' Big Band at Sage Gateshead on February 29 next year. Put it in your diary now - last year's concert with Mark Nightingale was a sell-out and this one will be too - bank on it.

Incidentally, the John Wilson Prom was brilliant which will be of some comfort to those disappointed that he won't be making his annual visit to the Gateshead venue this year - listen here.
Lance

Mad about Mad About You

Having lived on this planet for a fair while I figured that, by now, I knew all of the great GASbook gems that languish within its infinite pages. 

How wrong can you be?

Today, I came across an instrumental by tenor saxist Ike Quebec of a tune titled Mad About You. Recorded on Blue Note in 1944 on a 12" 78rpm I was completely knocked out by this beautiful ballad and I immediately thought that someone most have added words to this - it would have been a natural for the young Sinatra. I Googled and, sure enough, there it was - Mad About You by Frank Sinatra!

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Ushaw Update!

Alyn Shipton has been in touch to point out that yesterday’s Ushaw Jazz Festival preview should have listed Robert Fowler on alto sax with Matthias Seuffert on tenor sax (not the other way round) in the Buck Clayton Legacy Band line-up.* 

In addition, Mr Shipton informed BSH of one change of personnel. Bobby Worth can’t make the gig on Sunday August 25 and will be replaced by Clark Tracey on drums** - that’s what I call a decent dep! To book your tickets check out Ushaw’s website: www.ushaw.org      
Russell
*(Editor: Now corrected)
**(Cropped photo courtesy of Ken Drew).

CD Review: Lauren Henderson - Alma Oscura

(Review by Ann Alex)

A CD of original songs that turned out to be a sheer joy to listen to! Songs with hooks both lyrical and musical, even on the three tracks which were in Spanish, which I cannot speak! I'm so enthusiastic that I'll begin with a rundown of the tracks, which were very Latin influenced, yet jazzy as well, sung in a pleasing, soft, smoky voice.

From The Inside Out (Sidran and Alex Cuba): A sensual song with a Latin beat, about the connections between lovers,  sung in both Spanish and English by Henderson and Sidran, with strings added to the mix to enhance the romance.

CD Review: Blind Lemon Jazz - After Hours, the songs of James Byfield

Blind Lemon Pledge aka James Byfield (guitar/vocals); Ben Flint (keys); Peter Grenell (bass); Joe Kelner (drums) Marisa Malvino (vocals)
(Review by Lance).

Blind Lemon Pledge, probably isn't blind, but James Byfield - to give him his correct name - is as fine a blues/swing composer/arranger as anyone who never hung out on 12th St. & Vine or slept in a hollow log. 13 original numbers played by an excellent quartet, that bring to mind a Harlem club back in the '30s/'40s. Yes, it's after hours uptown, the sweet smell of weed, cheap liquor, a piano plays, a cigarette dangles from the pianist's mouth. A woman leans against the piano, split skirt, some cleavage and lots of lipstick - maybe even a gardenia in her hair - she  sings the blues and she means it even though it isn't all blues.

Friday, August 09, 2019

Preview: Ushaw Jazz Festival 2019

(Preview by Russell)
Photo credits where known: 
Buck Clayton Legacy Band - Alan Ainsworth
John Pope Quintet - Ken Drew
Tony Kofi Geoff Davies. 


This year's Ushaw Jazz Festival gets under way two weeks today (Friday August 23). Ushaw College,set in sprawling grounds a couple of miles from Durham, is an idyllic location to celebrate the best of jazz. From six o'clock on Friday to early Sunday evening’s concert finale there is much to look forward to with something for everyone over the bank holiday weekend.

Friday (23rd) begins with a performance by an expanded Early Bird outfit. Paul Edis' teenage hothouse development project has produced several undergraduate music students and more are sure to emerge in the future. The Early Bird Big Band at 6:00pm in the Francis Thompson Room will knock the audience for six and, what's more, it's free admission. At eight o'clock in Ushaw's Exhibition Hall there should be a large turnout for Emma Fisk's Hot Club du Nord. Virtuoso violinist Fisk will be joined by fellow virtuosi James Birkett and Dave Harris, guitars, and everybody's favourite, king of the swinging slap bass, Bruce Rollo, to present an entertaining and informative programme inspired by the legendary Quintette du Hot Club de France, famously led by Stéphane Grappelli and Django Reinhardt.  

Jam session @ The Dun Cow - August 7

(Review by Russell)

On Tuesday evening, for no good reason, it was the 'Old Peculier' jam session. This evening's monthly Dun Cow jam session could be called the 'Rivet Catcher' session if, for no other reason, to draw attention to the pub's new real ale loyalty card scheme - the discount card is no more, in its place is a stamper card. As the card was being stamped, the house trio opened with Lady Be Good

Basie, bossa, the trio - the ebullient Mr James Harrison, the man who has a beer named after him, Mr Paul Grainger, and the quiet man behind the traps, Mr Tom Chapman - laid down the foundations for a cracking first Wednesday in the month session in Brandling Village. Mr PG invited the first of the brass men to join the trio on a couple of numbers. Ray Johnson suggested Dizzy's Tour de Force. Our trumpeter played it his own sweet way, switching to flugelhorn for a terrific take on Oliver Nelson's masterpiece Stolen Moments. The breathing alone on this one looks difficult yet RJ expertly negotiated his way through the tune's many twists and turns. 

CD Review: Jelena Jovovic - Heartbeat

(Review by Ann Alex)

Jelena Jovovic comes from Serbia and has studied at universities in Belgrade and Austria. A vocal clinician and lecturer who has sung with Mark Murphy and Sheila Jordan, as well as appearing at festivals and touring with her own quintet. Heartbeat, her first album as leader, comprises six original songs and four tracks of existing tunes to which Ms Jovovic has written lyrics.

The Old Peculier jam session @ The Black Swan - August 6

(Review by Russell)

August, holidays, likely as not particpiants and and listeners would be thin on the ground. O ye, of little faith! Of course they turned out, sitters-in and the regular 'first name terms' crowd. The Black Swan jam session rarely, if ever, fails to deliver. As the evening's entertainment was about to begin a bottle of Old Peculier couldn't be resisted. Cheers!   

First up, BSH's Ann Alex. Bubbling with enthusiasm, AA engaged with the house trio to sing two numbers opening with the Harold Arlen/Johnny Mercer classic Come Rain or Come Shine. And that was it, no more vocals, from here on in it would be a top flight instrumental showcase. 

What We Did At the Jazz Course @ The Globe: August 3 and 4


What We Did At the Jazz Course @ The Globe: August 3 and 4
(By Ann Alex)

First we drank tea as 9.30am counts as early rising for 15 jazzers. The aim of the course was to develop our playing and technique further under the wise guidance of tutors James Birkett (usually playing guitar) and Faye MacCalman (usually blowing sax). The group exercise to get us going saw us each doing one of 3 things, singing a short riff, singing a rhythm, or doing body percussion, which I found can actually hurt if you slap your leg too hard.

Thursday, August 08, 2019

Blowin' at the Beeb

Ten days from now (Saturday August 17) Tyne Bank Brewery will reverberate to the sounds of the 2019 Newcastle Jazz Festival. Tyneside's jazz fans know all about it but every last bit of publicity is to be welcomed and promoter Michael Lamb (pictured) wasn't going to look a gift horse in the mouth when BBC Newcastle offered him the chance to talk about the event live on air.

Stolen sax

Prior to last night's gig at Pizza Express I spotted this poster on a lamppost in Oxford St. I think the missing digit in the phone number is 6.

The question senior police officers are asking is, what was an unaccompanied tenor saxophone doing on Oxford St. in the early hours of June 30?
Lance

Ann Hampton Callaway: Jazz Meets Broadway @ Pizza Express, Soho - August 7

Ann Hampton Callaway (piano/vocals)
(Review by Lance/Photo courtesy of Sebastian Scotney)

In this day and age it is a brave initiative to book a solo artist for 5 consecutive nights (2 at the Pheasantry and 3 at Dean St.) but, judging by last night, it paid off with many who had been at the Chelsea gigs following up here for a second helping and, I'm told, a totally different programme.

This was the final gig of my two day trip to our capital city and what a gig it was! The title "Jazz Meets Broadway" summed up the evening perfectly. This was jazz, cabaret style, in a manner that detracted from neither worlds. 

Martin Wates/Steve Fishwick Quintet @ The Spice of Life - August 7

Martin Wates (alto sax); Steve Fishwick (trumpet); Leon Greening (piano); Julian Berry (bass); Matt Fishwick (drums).
(Review by Lance).

A visit to London without calling in at the Spice of Life is, for me, like going to Paris and not visiting The Louvre and my latest visit did indeed produce some masterpieces. Hard bop certainly lives in London.

Although nothing could compare with the previous evening's session at Pizza this one came within a whisker - to be sure it did. 

The affable Irishman, Wates, blew breathtaking alto - Cannonball lives! - ably partnered by fiery trumpet man Fishwick, driven along by Fishwick the drum and held well together by bassist Berry. However, the star for me was pianist Greening. It had been some years since I last heard him which, I think, was at Scarborough Jazz Festival. He stole the show then and did so once more going by the reaction of the crowded room.

Leo Richardson Quartet: Album Launch @ Pizza Express, Soho - August 6

Leo Richardson (tenor sax); Rick Simpson (piano); Conor Chaplin (bass); Ed Richardson (drums) + Eric Alexander (tenor sax).
(Review by Lance/photo courtesy of Martin Hummel).

Having reviewed Move and The Chase I knew this gig was going to be special and it was. I may have been to better gigs although, off the top of my head I can't remember when. This was driving hard bop with Leo blowing like there was no tomorrow and his rhythm section kicking it all the way. Rick Simpson, Conor Chaplin and Ed, no relation, Richardson on drums making sure the leader didn't flag - as if!

It seemed as though the whole world had turned out for the album launch and the pizzas and Peronis  were in great demand but, once the music started, food and drink took second place.

Tuesday, August 06, 2019

CD Review: Paul Booth - Travel Sketches

Paul Booth (tenor sax); Steve Hamilton (piano); Dave Whitford (bass); Andrew Bain (drums).
(Review by Lance)

Every so often a CD comes along that jumps the queue and this is just such a one. Booth, in his informative notes, describes the album as a conscious decision to go back to his roots as a tenor player. A decision he made whilst on various tours with Steve Winwood and others. These worldwide adventures brought him to many unusual and exotic places resulting in a series of musical portraits and landscapes.

Unlike so many original compositions where it takes a somewhat vivid stretch of the imagination to relate the tune to the title, here the two go together like Stanley and Livingstone or, better still, Stanley and Getz for Booth's sound has the lyricism of mid-period Getz when he recorded those albums with Eddie Sauter.

Monday, August 05, 2019

Dave Hignett & Friends @ the Globe Jazz Bar - August 4

Dave Hignett (trumpet/flugel); Niall Armstrong (tenor sax); Kevin Wright (keys); Conor Hignett (bass guitar); Dom Neeson (drums) + Barbara Hignett (vocals); Sophie Speed (alto sax).
(Review by Lance).

Swinging hard bop with a touch of funk and jazz rock. Blue Note is alive and well with an ace quintet plus 2.

The gaffa, and the term is appropriate, blew trumpet as if it were the eve of Armageddon with the thunder and lightning outside suggesting it might well be!  Yes, Gaffa Hignett had it, along with the wandering Roland pedal, taped.

Alongside him, Niall Armstrong whom I tend to associate more with baritone rather than tenor sax (catch him on the bigger instrument with Saxophonics) was an ideal frontline partner - think Hank Mobley or Benny Golson with the Jazz Messengers.

Preview: Indigo Jazz Voices @ The Globe – August 8


Barry Keatings, Carrie McCullock, David Edgar, Miriam McCormick, Jen Errington (individual vocals); Stuart Collingwood (piano); Paul Grainger (bass); Rob Walker (drums)

You must not miss out on a chance to hear the Indigo Jazz Voices this next Thursday. Skilled jazz vocalists doing their stuff. You'll be able to listen to at least 4 songs from each singer, including the delightful I Can't Give You Anything But Love; the puzzling (to me) lyrics of Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me; and also the classic songs What A Difference A Day Makes and All Of Me.

Add to the mix three top musicians accompanying the singers and you're in for a treat.

Admission is just £5 and it all kicks off at 7.30pm
Be There!
Ann Alex

Sunday, August 04, 2019

RIP Bob Wilber (1928-2019)

Colin Aitchison has passed on the sad news that soprano saxophonist and clarinet player Bob Wilber passed away either last night or early this morning. Bob was an occasional visitor to Ned Kelly's in Kowloon where he often sat in with the China Coast Jazzmen led by Colin. The two became good friends and Colin visited him at his home in Chipping Campden on several occasions where they enjoyed jamming together.

James Birkett & Bradley Johnston @ Gala Theatre, Durham - August 2












James Birkett, Bradley Johnston (guitars)
(Review by Russell/Photos courtesy of Malcolm Sinclair).

Another in the Gala Theatre's immensely successful monthly lunchtime jazz concert series presented the guitar duo of James Birkett and Bradley Johnston. BSH's County Durham correspondent Tony Eales reports that those turning up at midday in the hope of acquiring a ticket for the one o'clock start were to be disappointed as, yet again, the event was a sellout.

Birkett (pictured right) and Johnston wowed the audience with their expert survey of jazz guitar from its earliest beginnings some one hundred years ago through to contemporary developments. The duo love Djamgo Reinhardt and Pat Metheny in equal measure and their enthusiasm  for all things guitar ensured another successful day at Millennium Place.

Next Month (September 6) the Northern Monkey Brass Band will be bringing a touch of Geordie N'Awlins jazz to the heart of Durham. Book now or miss out - 03000 266 600. 
Russell

Blaydon Update

August 18th
'Two Trios' - Bradley Johnston Trio / Giles Strong Trio
Music from 7:30pm, £7
Two guitar based trios playing a set each. Bradley Johnston has already carved out a reputation as one of the region's finest jazz guitarists. It's amazing just how far he has come since first sitting in at Blaydon as a young teenager. With Brad are Paul Grainger double bass and Russ Morgan drums.
The other trio is fronted by Giles Strong, a superb jazz guitarist with a love of the best of the 'Songbook' in the style of players such as Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass and Jim Hall. With Giles are Dean Stockdale (piano) and Ian Paterson on double bass.

September 15th - 35th Anniversary Concert (more info soon)
Bruce Adams with Paul Edis Trio
Music from 7:30pm, £10

October 27th (note - this is a Sunday afternoon concert - more info soon)
Vasilis Xenopoulos with Paul Edis Trio
Music from 1pm to 3.30, £10
Roly 

Sunday Jazz in Middlesbrough

(Press release)

Following the success of the Middlesbrough Jazz Weekender in October 2018 - the first major jazz event in the town for forty years - we are now proud to announce that the Town Hall will host a monthly Middlesbrough Sunday Jazz event - featuring multiple bands in one afternoon across different styles of jazz - but always with the emphasis on entertainment and variety.

The first concert on Sept. 22 features: Noel Dennis, Emma Johnson's Gravy Boat and Anthony Strong.

Full programme

Saturday, August 03, 2019

CD Review: Northern Monkey Brass Band - Northern Monkey Business


Northern Monkey Brass Band: Graham Hardy (trumpet); Alastair Lord (trumpet); Jamie Toms (tenor sax); Mark Ferris (trombone); David Gray (trombone); Phil Rosier (tuba); Adam Sinclair (snare drum); Brendan Murphy (bass drum) + George Welch (vocal)
(Review by Russell)

Graham Hardy's Northern Monkey Brass Band is one of Tyneside's most accomplished outfits coming up with the goods time and again on the local gig circuit. Northern Monkey Business is the eight piece band's second CD release. If there is such a thing as the 'difficult' second album then it definitely doesn't apply to this one. It's every bit as good as the first one (High on Life) and the tunes are, as some might say, 'bangers', in a street brass band sort of way!

CD Review: Richard Michael - Contemplation

Richard Michael (solo piano)
(Review by Lance)

With CDs dropping down like meteorites from a distant universe what I need like a hole in the head is a double CD. But, this is the cross I've chosen to bear, so I travel on which, in this case, isn't such an arduous task - in fact it's actually a most delightful walk in the park!

Richard Michael, a Scottish jazz legend both as a pianist and an influential educator, is that rare breed of musician blessed with the ability to move effortlessly between styles and genres. Here he pays homage to his favourite pianists/musicians offering his own interpretations rather than rattling off a transcription by, say, Art Tatum. No, the man from north of the border pays homage to Fats, Brubeck, Corea, Trane, Duke, Herbie, Bill Evans, Django and many more in his own sweet way.

Friday, August 02, 2019

CD Review: Gretje Angell - In Any Key


Gretje Angell (vocals); Dori Amarillo (guitar, production); Kevin Axt, Gabe Davis, Chuck Berghofer (bass on various tracks); Michael Hunter (trumpet); Steve Haas (drums); Kevin Winard (percussion); Orchestra – Budapest Scoring (track 4)
(Review by Ann Alex)

I'm rejoicing to hear yet another talented woman singer on her debut CD. Ms Angell hails from Akron, Ohio and her father and grandfather were both drummers. She played string bass and performed with her father at jam sessions. She studied classical music and is now part of the Los Angeles jazz scene, leading her own groups and singing with many other bands.

CD Review: Luke Gillespie - Moving Mists

(Review by Dave Brownlow)

Luke Gillespie, a master pianist in both jazz and classical music, a Professor of Jazz Piano at Indiana University (Jacob School of Music), an international performer and an inspiring teacher in situ and on YouTube, very cleverly applies classical textures to jazz pieces - in other words he re-harmonises and re-constructs or re-invents jazz standards in a most inventive and thrilling way.

Among others, Gillespie’s voicings have echoes of Frederic Chopin, McCoy Tyner, Thelonious Monk and Cecil Taylor, whilst his harmonic choices are unusual and yet sound so ‘right’ in a jazz context.

Thursday, August 01, 2019

Preview: Newcastle Jazz Festival - August 17


(Preview by Russell)
 Organise not one, not two, but six concerts in a day and you've got the makings of a festival. What's more, stage the event in a micro brewery and you're looking at a full house! The Newcastle Jazz Festival is set for Saturday August 17 at the Tyne Bank Brewery

A disused industrial building redeveloped as a micro brewery hosting regular events (gigs, pop-up street food markets, vinyl collectors' fairs and more) makes no. 375 Walker Road the ideal venue for a one day gathering of jazz musicians and jazz fans alike. If on the day there is a blazing sun in the sky (long odds!) the Tyne Bank Brewery will provide welcome relief, if it's tipping down (shorter odds!) you'll be snug as a bug with beer on tap in the brewery's tap house.

The Fred Thompson All Stars @ Cullercoats Crescent Club - July 31

Jim McBriarty (tenor sax, soprano sax, vocals); Don Armstrong (clarinet, alto sax, sopranino sax, tin whistle); Brian Chester (keyboards); Bill Colledge (bass); Fred Thompson (drums, vocals) + Alan Armstrong (harmonica)
(Review by Russell)

Wot? No Vieux Carre? As the Big Cheese (Mr B Bennett) was away the Fred Thompson All Stars came out to play.  Jim McBriarty as acting MC, Don Armstrong in from Oz, J McB said today's gig would take the form of a saxophone quartet. This was lost on one or two of the Crescent Club's Wednesday crowd until J McB pointed out the obvious - on the stand were four reeds...tenor, soprano, clarinet and the little heard sopranino. Wot? Nee banjo? I'm gannin' yem! 

Dave Rae's Levee Ramblers New Orleans Jazz Band @ Springwell Village Community Venue - July 31

Dave Rae (guitar/banjo/vocal); Mick Hill (cornet/vocal); Jim McBriarty (clarinet/vocals); Gordon Solomon (trombone); John Robinson (bass); George Davidson (drums/vocal) + Ken ? (monologues)
(Review by Lance).

The Bacons (Liz & Paul) and Blenkin (Jim) were rambling elsewhere last night so leader Rae brought on Solomon, McBriarty, and Davidson off the subs bench and super-subs they were too. No surprises there! Solomon, a leader of various versions of the River City Jazzmen including the current edition, McBriarty, a key member of just about every other trad band north and south of the Tyne, and Davidson a distinctive New Orleans stylist. They combined well with the house team of Rae, Hill and Robinson.

Malta Jazz Festival 2019 - Nights July 20.

(Review by Steve T)

Once I'd discovered there's a jazz scene in Malta, I found an album by Dominic and Benedict Galea called Mnajdra Jazz Suite, which seemed to achieve a spot-on blend of tradition and the future. On my next visit I found one called Tribute, to the pioneers of jazz in Malta, also featuring Dominic prominently.

One of the daytime acts at this year’s festival was Francesca Galea and the Saturday night opening set - led by Dominic - featured guitarist Karl Galea. Bit of a dynasty going on I assumed until enquiries to Francesca by one of the coffee and Campari set confirmed that Galea is a bit like Smith in England.

Review: Claire Martin & Jim Mullen - Bumpin'

Claire Martin (vocal); Jim Mullen (guitar ); Mads Bærentzen (piano); Thomas Ovesen (bass); Kristian Leth (drums).
(Review by Lance).

Still the CDs arrive - the chances of an artist getting a review are now down to about 1% unless more reviewers come forth. I know I could just cut and paste the press releases which, to me, is the easy way out but not necessarily the ethical one.

However, because of this selectivity, when a CD does grace these pages you can guarantee that it's 5* and counting.

This is just such an album. I know the girls are on the march and I don't think the UK has ever had such a formidable distaffian army storming the jazz citadel. Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Manchester, Barnsley, Chesterfield, London, Canterbury and - in this case - Brighton, the jazz voice lives.

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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