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Bebop Spoken There

Brian Carrick: "I contacted Max Jones of Melody Maker and offered to be his correspondent in the States, but I should have done what Ken Colyer had done, get a job on a ship and then jump ship in the States. So I didn't make it [to New Orleans] till 1973." - (Just Jazz May 1999)

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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".

COVID-19

In the current climate we are doing our best to keep everyone up to date. All gigs, as we all know, are off.

However, good old YouTube has plenty to offer both old and new to help us survive whilst housebound. Plus now is a good time to stock up on your CDs.

Also, keep an eye out for live streaming sessions.

Alternatively, you could do as they do in Italy and sing from your balcony.

Today

As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Friday, August 09, 2019

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. 

The trio - master guitarist Mark Willams, jam session lynchpin bassist Paul Grainger and ace drummer Russ Morgan - could hold the attention of an audience anywhere, anytime but this evening was all about the sitters-in dotted around the room waiting patiently to be called by Mr PG. Harry Keeble got the nod, played a couple of tunes including a magical reading of 'Round Midnight. One sensed HK had been in the woodshed for this one, trying out a few things - whatever, it worked! Our tenor saxophonist is soon to head to London, if he pops up at another session before he departs, treasure his contribution because Harry is one helluva tenor player.  

Guitarist Adam Sams puts in an occasional Black Swan appearance and his welcome presence enabled fellow six stringer Williams to go to the bar. Someday My Prince Will Come waltzed along nicely. Good on Sams for following on from Mr MW. At this juncture, in typical jam session style, it was a case of 'all hands on deck' with an array of talent reporting for duty. Sams stayed exactly where he was, Russ Morgan went to the bar as the fabulous Abbie Finn took a spell, John Rowland meant business (taking off his jacket to blow some robust tenor!) with Teesside's finest, Mr Jeremy McMurray, occupying the piano stool. Monk's Bright Mississippi the tune, a definite highlight. Due to an absence of depping bass players MC Grainger, citing the EU Working Time Directive, declared the session would 'take five'...everybody out!

And they kept on coming...David Gray is affectionately known as 'Showtime' thanks to our trombonist never failing to provide 'good value' but that shouldn't obscure the fact he is a superb musician and to illustrate the point he played a sublime version of Corcovado. As if things couldn't get any better 'the boys' joined the party. Three supremely talented young men, currently 'on vacation' from their respective universities - Ben Lawrence (Durham), Francis Tulip (Birmingham), Matt MacKellar (Berklee) - took centre stage for a couple of numbers (including a TS Monk jam session staple) alongside the horns of Keeble and Rowland. The standard beggared belief. Millennials with bags of talent, pianist Ben has developed exponentially, guitarist Francis has the chops, the language, literally at his fingertips, and Matt is as fine a drummer you could wish to hear. How lucky is the Tyneside jazz scene to be able to boast three A-list drummers hanging at one session? We are going through a golden period, no question about it. 

Four (Rowland blowing tenor), the Millennials dazzling, FT taking a look at Bye Bye Blackbird, a lock-in wouldn't have gone amiss but, as the eleven o'clock curfew approached, it was all aboard the milk train (Ray Burns jumping on with no time to spare!). Yes, it had been a canny night, alright. The next session is on Tuesday 20th. Who knows who'll turn up. One way to find out...be there!
Russell
                           
Mark Williams (guitar); Paul Grainger (double bass); Russ Morgan (drums) + Ann Alex (vocals); Harry Keeble (tenor sax); Adam Sams (guitar); John Rowland (tenor sax); Jeremy McMurray (piano); Abbie Finn (drums); David Gray (trombone); Francis Tulip (guitar); Ben Lawrence (piano); Matt MacKellar (drums); Ray Burns (harmonica)   

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