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Bebop Spoken There

Guy Barker: "You have to play it [the trumpet] every day or you just won't be match-fit." - (Jazz Rag, Winter 2019.)

Archive

Today Thursday December 12

Afternoon

Jazz

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 12:00pm. Free.

Note earlier time for this week only!

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Evening

Jazz

Hot Club du Nord - Lubetkin Theatre, East Durham College, Willerby Drive, Peterlee SR8 2RN. Tel: 0191 518 2000. 7:00pm. £10.00. (£5.00. under 18s). 'Jazz at the Lubetkin'.

Gala Big Band - Gala Theatre & Cinema, Millennium Place, Durham DH1 1WA. Tel: 03000 266 600. 7:30pm. £10.00. (£8.00. concs.). ‘Gala Big Band Does Christmas’.

Durham University Big Band - Dunelm House, New Elvet, Durham DH1 3AN. Tel: 0191 334 1777. Free. 7:30pm. ‘Jazzy Christmas’.

Indigo Jazz Voices - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £5.00. (£2.00. student).

Maine Street Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Hollywell Lane, Sunniside, Gateshead NE16 5NJ. Tel: 0191 488 7347. 8:30pm. Free.

Tees Hot Club w. Gus Smith (vocals); Dave Stansfield (tenor sax); Ted Pearce (keys) - Dorman’s Club, Oxford Road, Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. Tel: 01642 823813. 8:30pm. Free.

New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band - Oxbridge, Oxbridge Lane, Stockton on Tees TS18 4AW. 8:30pm. £2.50.

Blues/Soul/Funk/Etc.

?????

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

Thursday, October 31, 2019

CD Review: Buster Bailey - Memphis Blues


(Review by Russell)

Retrospective, a division of Nimbus Records, has released a corker of an album featuring no fewer than forty seven tracks spanning thirty four years featuring the work of Buster Bailey. In the history books as a formidable technician, constantly in demand during a long career - from WC Handy to Armstrong's All Stars - yet considered by some to have an inferior sound to some of his peers, not least the truly famous Benny Goodman, Memphis Blues will, perhaps, spark a reappraisal of Bailey's place in the clarinet pantheon.

CD Review: Søren Siegumfeldt String Swing - This is Meschiya Lake

(Review by Lance)

Back in 1973 I was knocked out by an LP by a Danish Group – Fessor’s Big City Band. I still have the record and periodically give it a spin. Well that same Fessor – Ole Fessor Lindgreen - turns up on this delightful album although the undoubted star is Meschiya Lake.

If you live in the northeast think: The House of the Black Gardenia, if you’re a Londoner then think Kansas Smitty’s House Band or, internationally, Davina and the Vagabonds. This will give you an idea where this outfit lies stylistically if not centrally.

8:30 am...it's jazz time!

Thursday, half past eight in the morning. An international cast of musicians assembles in the Village Hotel's ballroom to begin an intensive, all day rehearsal session ahead of tomorrow's first day of three at Mike Durham's International Classic Jazz Party. From noon Friday (November 1) non-stop through to a silly o'clock early hours Monday morning jam session, the North Tyneside hotel is, to all intents and purposes, the jazz capital of the world. For last minute tickets visit: whitleybayjazzfest.com 
Russell

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Elliot Galvin Trio @ Sage Gateshead - October 27

Elliot Galvin (piano); Tom McCredie (bass); Corrie Dick (drums)  
(Review by Steve H)

The first time I saw the Elliot Galvin Trio was just over 4 years ago at The Lit and Phil. Then, the audience was pitifully small and, on entering the Sage’s Hall 2 I had a worrying feeling of déjà vu.  However, all good things come to those who wait and by the time the trio emerged on stage a healthy crowd had built up. Unlike the previous occasion when a variety of different instrument were employed (toy piano, homemade melodeon, glockenspiels etc.) the evening’s performance featured just the classic piano, double bass, drums trio format providing a purely acoustic set.

Jam Session @ The Black Swan - Oct. 29


(Review by Lance)

It began as a very low-key affair. Where was everyone? Had they broomsticked home for Halloween? Who knows? 

The trio set the scene with Airegin, I Love You and Chick Corea’s Windows which provided Grainger with the opportunity to crack that “the latter tune was dedicated to Lance’s former workplace (J.G. Windows Ltd., Central Arcade Newcastle)” – Don’t give up the day job Paul.



Another PG (the third one’s in Thailand), Paul Gowland, took to the stage armed with a Conn underslung alto and gave us his impression of how Ornette Coleman may have played Take Five – incredible! There is no Greater Love referred to by PG II as The Cheese Song – greater/grater – get it? This could enter into the Jazz Bumper Fun Book alongside The Sheep Song – You/Ewe – any more folks?


Straight down the middle swinging alto followed by straight down the middle swinging tenor from Graham Easthope on Blue Train.

Kurt Elling - Man About Town


On Friday afternoon the great American singer Kurt Elling is a guest on In Tune (Radio 3, 5:00pm). Mr Elling is in town to help celebrate a birthday. Tonight (Wednesday) he will join a glittering cast list at the Albert Hall in A Night at Ronnie Scott's: 60th Anniversary Gala. If you're thinking: I'm in striking distance of west London, I fancy going to that - don't bother, it's been sold out for months. And four of Elling's five concerts with the Guy Barker Quintet at Ronnie's on Frith Street are sold out. A few tickets remain on sale for Friday's late show.  

Saturday's edition of J to Z (Radio 3, 5:00pm) is a repeat of a programme first broadcast earlier this year. Claire Martin (star performer at Hoochie Coochie earlier this month with the Strictly Smokin' Big Band) can be heard with her trio. At midnight, again on Radio 3, there is the first in a new series presented by vibraphonist Corey Mwamba. Freeness will focus upon the freer end of the jazz spectrum and this inaugural edition includes performances by Cath Roberts' Sloth Racket and J Frisco (soon to be heard in Newcastle). 

And finally, this all Radio 3 report brings news of another landmark birthday. Jazz Record Requests (Sunday, 4:00pm) presented by Alyn Shipton celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of ECM Records. Listeners' selections include Lester Bowie.
Russell   

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music 2019 - The ones that got away


A photo-review from Charts (Sunday Oct. 6) where 'Jazz Social' ran for 3 hours with the backing of The Stuart Collingwood Trio providing support for several jam session attendees.  Sadly, no photos received for Richard Michael's 'History of Jazz Piano' on Saturday night.

In parallel with the musical performances, there were daily Workshop sessions hosted by Andy Hamilton (Durham University) which comprised short lectures and performances/demonstrations under the title of "Aesthetics of Imperfection". These included many guest speakers & performers, and were very well attended throughout. 
Ken Drew.

Monday, October 28, 2019

CD Review: Carolyn Lee Jones – Close Your Eyes

(Review by Ann Alex)  

Carolyn Lee Jones entered the jazz scene in November 2008, which is about the same time as I became interested in jazz, and this is her fourth studio album. (Where have I been all these years?) A fine well-sung CD on the theme of the many facets of love, produced with her musical partners Williams, Pamies and Pierce, and various other musicians on various tracks. Ms Jones (a great name for a jazz singer!) began singing full-time after a long career as a retail buyer. Entertaining regularly with a jazz ensemble in Dallas and, 2017, honoured as Cabaret Artist of The Year by the Sammons Center For The Arts in Dallas.

Sunday Jazz @ Middlesbrough Town Hall, evening session: Scottish National Jazz Orchestra - October 27

(Review by Lance)

Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Fats Waller. Three iconic names whose music is still played in one form or another today and, I would suggest, rarely played better than by SNJO.

The first set began with the Ellington segment of the programme. Black and Tan Fantasy/Creole Love Call recreated the early days of Bubber and Tricky Sam plungered and growling via Tom MacNiven and Kevin Garrity.

Hall of the Mountain King from the Peer Gynt Suite swung along in typical Ellington fashion – Ellington’s brand of swing was totally different from anyone else’s.

Sunday Jazz @ Middlesbrough Town Hall, early evening session - October 27

Hand to Mouth: Lindsay Hannon (vocal); Bradley Johnston (guitar)
(Review by Lance)

In between the concerts in the Main Hall, we had two very satisfying sets in the Fire Station.

Hand to Mouth celebrates the recordings made back in the 1970’s by Ella Fitzgerald and Joe Pass and, in Bradley and Lindsay, they could have no better duo to bring that music back to life.

Cool and laid back, they dealt up exquisite versions of The Very Thought of You; ‘Tis Autumn; I Ain’t Got Nothing But the Blues; One Note Samba with an amazing voice/ guitar take on the middle 8; In My Solitude; I Love Being Here With You and Some Other Time – I hope so!
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Sunday Jazz @ Middlesbrough Town Hall, afternoon session - October 27.

Tommy Smith (tenor sax); Brian Kellock (piano).
(Review by Lance).

The sat-nav wasn't navving so, even though the Town Hall's tower was in sight, it may as well have been in Redcar. By the time I'd given up the idea of on-street parking and found my way into the 24-hour lot above the shopping mall, I'd missed the duo set by APPJAG nominated vocalist Zoë Gilby and Andy Champion. However, I did make it in time for a humdinger of a set from Smith and Kellock.

They opened up with a solo from Smith on a steaming version of Without a Song that, had we been on the planet Mercury, would have lasted three days but in Earth time a mere ten minutes or so. If, back in the day, Tommy  had been blowing first pikestaff for William Wallace at Falkirk it would be HRH Nicola the First today. As it is, the present resident at Buck House remains on the throne although more on that later, in the evening.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Vasilis Xenopoulos with the Paul Edis Trio @ The Black Bull, Blaydon - October 27

Vasilis Xenopoulos (tenor & soprano saxophones); Paul Edis (piano); Ken Marley (double bass); Russ Morgan (drums)  
(Review by Russell/Photos courtesy of Roly Veitch).

A third gig in as many days for the man from west London as Vasilis Xenopoulos concluded his north east mini tour with an afternoon concert at Blaydon Jazz Club. The Black Bull's south facing lounge attracts the sun and on this Sunday afternoon curtains were drawn to block out a blinding light. Our welcome visitor has a new album - Dexterity - to promote and chose to open the set with the CD's sole Xenopoulos composition. 

Dexterology in concert is best described as one part Dexter Gordon, one part Vasilis Xenopoulos, one part sackful of quotes. A quick-witted member of the audience could, perhaps, attempt to write down the titles but the torrent of oh-so-fleeting quotes all but overwhelms the listener - better to sit back and enjoy the brilliance, one could say, the dexterity of it all. It was quite a start.

Vasilis Xenopoulos with the Paul Edis Trio @ St Cuthbert's Centre, Crook - October 26

Vasilis Xenopoulos (tenor & soprano saxophones); Paul Edis (piano); Ken Marley (double bass); Russ Morgan (drums) 
(Review by Russell)

The twists and turns of County Durham's back roads led to Church Hill as the second installment of Vasilis Xenopoulos' three date mini tour called in at St Cuthbert's Centre, Crook. Tables set with nibbles, a choice of bottled beers (the award winning McEwan's Champion at a premium 7.3% abv the selection), tonight's performance started fifteen minutes early! It must have been something to do with the end of BST.

CD Review: McAlmont & Webb - The Last Bohemians

(Review by Lance).

McAlmont, I’m ashamed to admit, is a new name to me. However, discovering that The Independent described him as "British pop's best kept secret" gave me the consolation of not being alone in my ignorance and, on the strength of what's laid down here I'll do my best to ensure McAlmont's no secret any more.

An intriguing voice, higher pitched than your average jazzman's vocal chords - at first hearing I was gender confused and the fact that he recently did a live interpretation of Billie Holiday's songs muddied the waters even further. However, listening again all doubts were banished and I realised I was listening to one of the more original (and pleasing) male voices of recent years. Where has he been hiding?

News of a new weekly jazz evening in central London.

(Press release)

The Boulevard Theatre is London’s newest theatre, based in the heart of Soho, and one element of our programming is a late night programme running Wednesday to Saturday from 10.30pm, after our main theatre show. This consists of West End cabaret, burlesque, improv comedy, mixed bill comedy and of course, jazz curated by Alex Webb (pictured). You can find out more about our lates here.  

For our inaugural jazz evening on Wednesday 6 November, we have vocal jazz extraordinaire David McAlmont with special guest, saxophonist Tony Kofi, supported by our house band, Alex Webb on piano, Pete Hill on drums and Andy Champion on double bass. It’s a very really exciting way to begin the series and we’re obviously keen for the event to be as well attended as possible. Confirmed vocalists for the rest of the series include China Moses, Jo Harrop, Vimala Rowe and Anna Ross.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

CD Review: New York All-Stars - Live Encounter


Eric Alexander, Seamus Blake (tenor sax); Mike LeDonne (piano/organ); Eric Söderland (guitar); Aldo Zunino (bass); Bernd Reiter (drums) + Ian Shaw (vocal on Still)
(Review by Lance).

The two tenor front line is a long established format in jazz dating back to Dexter Gordon/Wardell Gray; Gene Ammons/Sonny Stitt; Al Cohn/Zoot Sims and, of course, closer to home - The Jazz Couriers with Ronnie Scott and Tubby Hayes.

Alexander and Blake remain true to the tradition albeit with a more contemporary edge to their playing and this session, recorded live last year at Pizza Express, bears comparison with any tenor battle I've heard - on or off record. 

Vasilis Xenopoulos with the Paul Edis Trio @ The Traveller's Rest, Darlington - October 25


Vasilis Xenopoulos (tenor & soprano saxophones); Paul Edis (piano); Ken Marley (double bass); Russ Morgan (drums)
 (Review by Russell)

Once a year one of the great tenor saxophonists makes it his business to play a return engagement at Opus 4 Jazz Club. The Traveller's Rest on West Auckland Road is home to Darlington's premier modern jazz club and if it's a Friday in late October you're sure to find Vasilis Xenopoulos linking up once more with his friend Paul Edis to entertain a discerning audience there to listen to an evening of imperious tenor saxophone playing.

Vasilis Xenopoulos made the trip north from his west London home to play three gigs in as many days across the north east of England. On the way the Greek born, London resident saxophonist stopped off in Garforth near Leeds to pick up a soprano saxophone. Later in the day he would put it to good use.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Echoes of New Orleans with Colin Hancock

(Preview by Russell)

One week today (Friday November 1) in a brief ceremony at the Village Hotel a young musician will be presented with a Young Talent Award. The 2019 edition of Mike Durham's International Classic Jazz Party will, for the first time, present an award to an emerging, young musician dedicated to performing and promoting the music of the 'classic jazz' era. 

CD Review: When We Were Young – Kelley Suttenfield


Kelley Suttenfield (vocals); Tosh Sheridan (guitars, backng vocals, arrangement, production); Matthew Fries (piano, Fender Rhodes); Phil Palombi (bass); Eric Halvorson (drums, percussion); Derek Ratzenboeck (violin); Vincent Lionti (viola); David Calhoun (cello).
(Review by Ann Alex).

Yet another woman singer doing something out of the ordinary, bravely reimagining the songs of Neil Young as jazz. A regular on the New York jazz scene and around the East Coast, Suttenfield has performed at the Iridium and  Jazz at Kitano, at Ronnie Scott's in London and also toured Europe. This is her third album and her band includes Tosh Sheridan, guitarist and graduate of Berklee College of Music and the rhythm trio 718. I found the bass player of this outfit particularly good. The line-up is completed by the Memling Ensemble String Trio on 5 of the 11 tracks.

Film review: Miles Davis: The Birth of the Cool @ Tyneside Cinema - October 24


(Review by Russell) 

There can be few, if any, jazz musicians who could generate such interest well over a quarter of a century after their death than Miles Dewey Davis. The final screening of a week-long run of Stanley Nelson's documentary film was a sell out just as several other screenings were earlier in the week. Miles Davis: The Birth of the Cool attracted considerable interest and as your correspondent made his way up to the third floor screen met one acquaintance who had seen the film the previous evening and two others who were about to take their seats in the auditorium. 

CD Review: Carmen Souza - The Silver Messengers


Carmen Souza (guitar/piano/vocals); Benjamin Burrell (piano); Theo Pascal (bass/bass guitar); Elias Kacomanolis (drums/perc) + Zoe Pascal (drums); Jonathan Idiagbonya (piano); Sebastian Sheriff  (perc).
(Review by Lance).

A perky tribute to Horace Silver by a London based Cape Verdean singer. Although it is anything but reverential in approach, the end product is  probably worth the somewhat different take on Silver's music that Souza embarks on.

Silver also had a Cape Verdean heritage so perhaps he would approve of this fusion of jazz and Cape Verdean rhythms and influences. It's quite hypnotic with a kind of Latinish disco feel and certainly danceable as well as being ok on the ear too.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

The return of Vasilis the Great!

Tomorrow night (Friday, October 25) sees the return of Vasilis Xenopoulos to Opus 4 Jazz Club in Darlington. The Traveller's Rest gig is the first of three in the region for the Greek born, London resident tenor saxophonist. Year after year the 'house full' signs go up at the Cockerton roadhouse pub and it'll be no different this weekend. Expect a set of standards with the focus on Xenopoulos' new Dexter Gordon-inspired album Dexterity.   

Rob Heron & the Tea Pad Orchestra @ King's Hall, Newcastle University - October 24

Rob Heron (vocals, guitar); Tim Bloomer (guitar); Tom Cronin (mandolin, harmonica, vocals); Colin Nicholson (accordion, vocals); Ted Harbot (double bass)
(Review by Russell)

A standing-room-only King's Hall welcomed the return of Newcastle University alumni Rob Heron and the Tea Pad Orchestra. So full was Armstrong Building's concert hall some sat on the floor in front of the stage. Ten numbers, all written by Heron, (Drinking Coffee Rag co-written with Tom Cronin),  plus an unusual encore, the lunchtime set flew by. 

Bandleader Rob Heron doesn't care what label is attached to the Tea Pad Orchestra - Western swing, blues, country, rock 'n' roll - as long as you understand that they're '100% sincere and 100% immersed in it all'. For three quarters of an hour a capacity audience immersed itself in the music. 

CD Review: Lyn Stanley - London With a Twist, Live at Bernie’s

Lyn Stanley (vocals); Otmaro Ruiz/Mike Lang (piano); Chuck Berghofer (bass); John Chiodini (guitar); Aaron Serfaty (drums); Luis Conte (percussion).
(Review by James Henry)

Lyn Stanley rose without a trace in 2011: after a successful academic and business career she began singing live with piano legend Paul Smith (best known for his association with Ella Fitzgerald),  recording her first album in 2013. She has had a prolific career since this late start, and “London with a Twist” is her seventh album, and  her second tribute to the work of the late Julie London, an actor and singer at her peak in the 1950s and 60s.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Peter Wright funeral arrangements announced


The running order for the funeral of trumpeter Peter Wright which will take place on Friday 1 November is as follows: 

2.00pm: Service at All Saints, South Avenue, Redcar TS10 5LL 

3.00pm: Cremation (not private) at Kirkleatham Crematorium, Fishponds Road, Yearby, North Yorks TS11 8HH 

Wake (to be confirmed) at Corus Sports & Social Centre (British Steel Club), 33 South Avenue, Redcar TS10 5LZ 

Peter's funeral (before, during and after) will be accompanied by jazz musicians in the tradition of New Orleans. Musicians who would like to take part, please contact: 
Liz Bacon on 07584 304205 

Lance.
(Details supplied with sadness by Brian Bennett)

Book Review: Ronnie Scott's 1959-69. Photographs by Freddy Warren

(Review by Lance)

Jazz and photography have had a long and mutual love affair with each other. Nothing captures the memory of a gig better than that of a photo of a saxophone player in full flight, each bead of perspiration caught by the camera, or that of a trumpet player, eyes closed, cheeks extended, heading for the moon. Somehow, a hambone video taken by someone in the audience and posted on YouTube rarely does credit to the performance or the performer. 

With a photo, particularly if you were present, it brings it all back and even if you weren't there it helps you to visualise it.

CD Review: Cathy Segal-Garcia - Straight Ahead to the U.K.

(Review by Lance).

A prolific recording artist, this is Segal-Garcia's 13th album - an album that was actually recorded in London 2011 - with an assortment of (anything but motley!) British musicians including her close friend the late Andy Mackintosh. 

Sermonette has a fantastic churchy feel to it. Gardner, Morgan and Frank's B3 all contribute but it's 'Sister' Cathy who does the preachin'!

I Get Along Without You Very Well has more mellow trumpet as well as an emotive vocal from Cathy.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Exhibition review: Roy Lichtenstein


The Hatton Gallery is currently showing sixteen screen prints and a ceramic sculpture by one of the twentieth century's most influential artists. Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997), alongside key figures such as Andy Warhol and Jasper Johns, made 'pop art' cool. Influenced by comic strip art the NYC born artist is perhaps best known for Whaam! A visit to Newcastle University's main campus art gallery revealed another aspect to the man.

The Grafton alto sax



Laurie Rangecroft, anchor man of the SSBB sax section, sent me this brief clip of Alan Barnes having a blast on Laurie's Grafton alto sax at a jazz course over in the Lake District.

Younger readers may not remember the Grafton which was made of acrylic plastic and was in circulation in the 1950s.

Monday, October 21, 2019

The Darlington Big Band @ Dorman's Jazz Club Middlesbrough - October 17

(Review by Ron H)

18 top class musicians with a wealth of experience and led by tenor saxophonist Richie Emmerson played a wonderful selection of big band jazz standards to a packed and attentive audience making for a highly successful night.

A fine intro by Ted Pearce on keys and Alan Smith on bass  was made to a swinging Sammy Nestico arrangement of  Straight Ahead from the Basie album of the same name.

This was followed by Fun Time  from the same album setting the standard for the night.

Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club - October 21


It's a Sin to Tell a Lie, so said Herbie Hudson as he ushered in this week's Jazz in the Afternoon session. Sitters-in were in early waiting to be called, not least Doris Fenn and Brian Lynham. Ain't Misbehavin' sang HH before the first of them, Mr Lynham, harp in hand, sang Sonny Boy's Mighty Long Time to Dave Percy's bass accompaniment. Messrs Brian Chester and Ollie Rillands joined the party on an instrumental Stormy Weather. Lynham would return later in the afternoon.

HH shimmied like his sister - what's her name? - before paddling lazily up a river to rendezvous with a certain Sweet Georgia Brown. Right, time for Mr J Broddle. From Sweet Georgia Brown to a swinging Sweet Sue JB charmed the birds from on high. 

Interval - a trip to the bar for a second pint of Toon Broon (Blaydon's Firebrick Brewery). Raffle tickets at the ready...

Middlesbrough Town Hall Confirms the New and Improved Return of its National Jazz programme

(Press release)

Following the success of its inaugural launch last year, the popular Sunday Jazz Weekender is set for a welcome Teesside return, bringing with it this time a 6-month long programme of critically acclaimed live music to Middlesbrough Town Hall.

Kickstarting with a Sunday Jazz Special on Sunday 27th October and programmed by the founder of Gateshead International Jazz Festival at Sage Gateshead, and Europe Jazz Network's Ros Rigby (OBE), this year's festival will showcase the best talent from the North East of England and across the UK, from soloists like pianist Gwilym Simcock to large scale heavyweight line-ups such as the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra.

Claire Martin w. Strictly Smokin' Big Band @ Hoochie Coochie - Oct. 20

(Review by Lance).

I've stopped using plaudits like 'Gig of the Month', 'Gig of the Year' etc. There are just too many to realistically even shortlist them. However, if I had still been going down that road then last night would certainly have been a front runner. 

Yesterday afternoon/early evening, at a full to overflowing Hoochie Coochie, Claire Martin did the business with a performance that ticked all the boxes and maybe created a few more into the bargain. I'd came in on a high having listened to her recent album with guitarist Jim Mullen (Bumpin') and here she was with 17 of the most swinging blowers in town keeping the adrenaline flowing.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

CD Review: Fleur Seule – Standards And Sweet Things

(Review by Ann Alex)

Yes I thought after hearing the first 2 tracks, yet another sweetish-voiced woman singer, clear diction, competent musicians, good but not unusual, then I sat up for track 3, I Only Have Eyes For You, done as a very slow ballad with the piano commenting after each line, a bass solo, and sung in a manner I can only describe as 'lovingly'. The slowness of this version would have daunted many singers and made listeners yawn, but Ms Briggs carries it off well.

Soweto Kinch on Radio 4 - October 26

This time I've beaten Russell to it in giving up and coming news of jazz items on the radio!

Next Saturday morning Saturday Live (9 to 10.30pm, Radio 4) will feature ace sax player Soweto Kinch as one of the studio guests. He'll probably tell us about his appearance at the London Jazz Festival in November and maybe about how he was turned away from a London restaurant in August.

Tune in to find out. It will be well worth hearing.
Ann Alex

Saturday, October 19, 2019

RIP Milcho Leviev.

Peter Bevan has gently reminded me that pianist Milcho Leviev passed away on October 12. How could I have allowed this to go unrecorded when the Bulgarian pianist was an integral part of one of the most compelling gigs I'd ever attended?

I refer to  the appearance at the 1980 Newcastle Jazz Festival when Leviev performed as part of the Art Pepper Quartet. I subsequently bought a couple of the LPs he recorded with Art - Blues For the Fisherman and True Blues. Classics that are a timely reminder of what a great player he was.

Milcho Leviev was 81 - may he rest in peace.
Lance.

No Fox @ The Globe – Oct. 17

Sam Fox (tenor sax); Tom Alcorn (trumpet); Charlie Isaac (keyboards); Archie Williamson (drums); Jack Deere-Jones (Bass).

(Review by Debra M)

No Fox returned to The Globe on Thursday night, following on from their earlier visit in June.  Tenor player Sam Fox has graduated, but the rest of the band remain as students and members of Newcastle University Jazz Orchestra.   

The band took to the stage, and through the first set the bar filled up, over a 100 through the door.  With most of the songs underpinned by a grooving rhythm section, the floor in front of the stage was soon packed, the cheering audience urging on the soloists.   

Film review: Ella Fitzgerald: Just One of Those Things @ The Forum Cinema, Hexham - October 18

(Review by Russell)

Leslie Woodhead's documentary film about the life of Ella Fitzgerald was released in May but it is only now that it has reached the north east of England. Full marks to Hexham's Forum Cinema for including it in its autumn schedule and to Tyne Valley residents for turning out in good number to watch Ella Fitzgerald: Just One of Those Things.

CD Review: Voctave - Somewhere There's Music

Kate Lott, Tiffany Coburn, Ashley Espinoza, Sarah Whittemore, Chrystal Johnson, E. J.Cardona, Tony De Rosa, Kurt von Schmittou, Jacob C Fullerton, Karl Hudson (voices), Jamey Ray (voice/arrangements)
(Review by Lance)

I'll be honest and hold my hand up and admit that I wasn't in the mood for reviewing. I opted, instead, to relax with a game of computer chess (intermediate level). I decided some innocuous background noise would help my levels of concentration so I flipped this on to the player and went for a tried and tested Ruy Lopez opening. However, I hadn't got beyond P-K4 (e4 in algebraic notation) when Flash! Bang! Alakazam! chess was forgotten and I resigned before my robotic opponent had replied!

Friday, October 18, 2019

Farewell Peter Wright

(By Brian Bennett)

Sad news indeed. I think bass player, Phil Smith, said it all about Pete quite succinctly: 

"Very saddened to hear of the passing of the trumpeter Peter Wright. Peter was a cornerstone of the northeast New Orleans jazz scene for decades. Always encouraging, he did so much to make me feel welcome when I first began sitting in with bands. He was a sensitive player and carried hundreds of tunes in his head. I never heard him play the same thing twice. It was an education and a privilege to play with this man. RIP Peter". 

The Award Winning Colin Hancock

The winner of the Classic Jazz Party's inaugural Young Talent Award is coming to Whitley Bay! Two weeks today (Nov 1) cornetist Colin Hancock will be at the Village Hotel on North Tyneside to accept an award designed to promote an interest in and, importantly, encourage young musicians to perform the music of the early jazz masters. Hancock fits the bill perfectly. At the age of 23, the man from Buda, Texas has immersed himself in the music; cornet his instrument from the age of eight, performances with school bands, forming the Original Cornell Syncopators as an undergraduate at Cornell University (touring across America!), cutting sides for Rivermont Records, gigging with some of the superstars of the music (Wynton Marsalis, Dan Levinson, the Vitality Five, the Chicago Cellar Boys and others) - Hancock is a worthy recipient (from a high quality list of entrants) of this year's award. 

Gerry Richardson Jazz Quartet @ Hoochie Coochie - Oct. 17

Gerry Richardson (organ/vocal); Garry Linsley (alto sax); Rod Sinclair (guitar); Paul Smith (drums).
(Review by Lance/Photos courtesy of Malcolm Sinclair to follow).

So we'd heard most, if not all of the numbers before, who cares? does it matter? Truth is that, after they've played the head, it's like hearing them for the first time as all four come out with guns a-blazing.
Gerry, a.k.a Brother Jimmy "Groove" McSmith, has certainly got his Crumar Mojo working delivering forearm smashes like a latter day Jackie Pallo. Close your eyes and you'd swear this was the Steinway of jazz organs - the Hammond B3. Is there a better soul stylist in the UK than our man? Maybe, but I've yet to hear him. Gerry also sings.