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Bebop Spoken There

Marc Myers: " If the original group with Baker was Dover sole, the group with Brookmeyer was beef stew." - (JazzWax, December 7, 2019).

Archive

Today Monday December 9

Afternoon

Jazz

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

Evening

St Cuth’s Big Band - St Cuthbert’s Society, 12 South Bailey, Durham DH1 3EE. 8:00pm. Free (donations). St Cuth’s Big Band ‘Christmas Concert’. Concert in dining hall, licensed bar

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

Sunday, December 08, 2019

Ben Gilbert Trio @ The Globe - Dec 7


Ben Gilbert (piano); Elliot Roffe (double bass); John Arnesen (drums)
(Review by Russell)

The Blofeld Experiment, Extreme Measures, that was more than a decade ago, since when Ben Gilbert relocated to London and more recently set up home in Leeds. Earlier in the day our pianist conducted a successful Jazz Co-op workshop at Sage Gateshead before meeting up with Elliot Roffe and John Arnesen to play a debut trio gig at Jazz Co-op HQ on Railway Street in Newcastle. 

Station to Station - Dec 7


Monument, Newcastle, Saturday morning, Soznak. Jude on bass, Showtime elsewhere. Song for My Father. Meanwhile, down the road at Central Station the usual all-but-inaudible tannoy announcements were drowned out by a rousing 1938 Carnegie Hall-style Sing, Sing, Sing during a fundraising concert by the mammoth Prudhoe Community Band. Dave Hignett, suited and booted, waved his baton around as generous commuters filled collection buckets - a perfect example of community music in action!  
Russell

Saturday, December 07, 2019

Kyriaki (Kyra) Pantelidou & Bradley Johnston Duo - Viatores (travellers) @ Gala Theatre, Durham – Dec. 6

Kyriaki (Kyra) Pantelidou (voice); Bradley Johnston (guitars).
(Review by Roly Veitch/Photos courtesy of Malcolm Sinclair)

Have you ever gone to a concert to hear someone you’ve not heard before, wondering what it would be like and then come away at the end thinking “I’m so glad I went to that”? This was one of those magical moments.

Kyra graduated from the Sage B Mus. course last year and returned to her home in Cyprus. Paul Edis, who organises the Gala lunchtime concerts, invited her back especially for this recital, her only performance on this short visit. I don’t doubt she will be back and probably touring. She deserves to be as this, the music, was of the highest calibre. 

Steve Hackett Encore @ Newcastle City Hall 12/11/20

Following his triumphant gig at Sage Gateshead last month, the former Genesis guitarist has announced dates for next year, including - surprise surprise - Newcastle.

This time he's playing Seconds Out; his final album with the band, though he'd left by the time of its release. It's a double (vinyl) album which should be considered one of the greatest live rock albums ever, despite some seriously dodgy singing from Phil on seven tracks from the Gabriel era (including three from Selling England and the twenty three minute Supper's Ready) plus five from the two studio albums since he'd left, including one instrumental.  

Seconds Out featured Bill Bruford on drums (Yes, King Crimson, UK, Bruford, Earthworks) so Hackett's drummer is going to have his work cut out on the mammoth drum duels between two of rocks finest jazz influenced drummers, on the instrumental section of Cinema Show and Los Endos.

Anybody planning on going - and I strongly recommend you should - there are no decent seats left and soon there won't be any.
Steve T.

CD Review: Kit Downes - Dreamlife of Debris

Kit Downes (piano/organ); Tom Challenger  (tenor sax); Stian
Westerhus   (guitar);  Lucy Railton (cello); Sebastian Rochford (drums) 
(Review by Chris K)

The last of three piano led albums marking ECM's 50th birthday, the latest evolution of Kit Downes' modernity sees him travelling towards the final frontier in space - it's jazz, Lance, but not as you know it!  More precisely, the Debris of the title refers to The Rings of Saturn, obliquely inspired by W.G. Sebald's 1995 book of that name - actually a meditative account of a walking tour of Suffolk. Make no mistake, this and Downes' previous works are cerebral and nuanced - the Bublé fan club beware!

Friday, December 06, 2019

CD Review: Strictly Smokin' Big Band - Christmas Live Gosforth Civic Theatre

(Review by Russell)

Live albums are a particular love of your reviewer. Studio perfection is cast aside in favour of capturing the 'one take' moment in front of an audience. The Strictly Smokin' Big Band (from here on 'SSBB') is a band to hear in concert, preferably close up, so close a slide trombone could knock you off your perch. Christmas Live Gosforth Civic Theatre was recorded in December 2018 and its release on the eve of the SSBB's sold out 2019 two-nighter in Gosforth is timely, to say the least. 

This new CD features the first team with a couple of top quality deps drafted in for the occasion. MD Michael Lamb leads from the front on a Sammy Nestico arrangement of Jingle Bells. The standard set, the SSBB, collectively and individually, steps up to the mark and, for those who were there on the night(s), this recording will bring it all flooding back. We thought it was good last year, hearing it on CD confirms it, it was fantastic! 

CD Review: Shake Stew – Gris Gris.

(Review by Steve T)

The notes tell us ' Austrian band Shake Stew has become something of a phenomenon.' I can hear why, this is terrific stuff, precisely where I think jazz should be at this moment in time; of its time and forward thinking, unlike anything from jazz's rich history but with total respect for where it's come from.    

Having heard it a couple of times before reading the notes, I was totally surprised by the configuration of instruments: comprising two drummers, two bass players and three horns, though the heavy percussion barrage is hard to miss and always a winner for me.

The notes also tell us they're due in the UK next year at a festival as yet unannounced - no doubt to increase anticipation - and I hope it's one of the ones I get to and it will be interesting to see how they're presented. 

The Xhosa Cole Quartet @ the Lescar, Sheffield, - Dec. 4

Xhosa Cole (tenor sax), Jay Phelps (trumpet), James Owston (bass), Jim Bashford (drums).
(Review by Steve T)

When we arrived the queue was already out the door. Had it got round that, not only is he the BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year, but now also confirmed as Best Newcomer at the Parliamentary Jazz Awards? It's so nice for them do something that improves our lives for a change.

Fresh from the ceremony the previous evening, he arrived with a crack chord-less quartet for a night of classic, cutting edge jazz.

His stall was set out straight off, his horn honking and squeaking, though wonderfully fluid and controlled; raw and real and it was clear any script was left at the door. Trane and Sonny Rollins were the first names to spring to mind.

Thursday, December 05, 2019

CD Review: Accent - Christmas All the way

If you have a soft spot for the Four Freshman, the Hi-Los and the other close harmony groups of  the pre Beatles' era (harmony? wtf is that?) then this is as good as anything you're going to get to usher in your guests on Christmas Day.

The harmonies are superb and Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band provides the backing on a couple of tracks, Arturo Sandoval lends his mighty chops to Let It Snow and there are others who contribute to make this as good as any of the seasonal offerings we are already being bombarded with.

I've warned the neighbourhood kids that, if they come-a-carolling at my door on Christmas Eve I want more than the first line of Good King Wenceslas before I cross their palms with copper.

However, if Accent were to knock on my door I'd mortgage the house (well maybe the east wing aka the shed) to hear them.

Without doubt, this year's Christmas cracker.
Lance

Jam session @ The Dun Cow - Dec 4

(Review by Russell)

MC Paul Grainger had a big bucks (if only!) gig elsewhere and was quite content to leave this month's Dun Cow jam session in the more than capable hands of Giles Strong. Assisting our Tyne Valley master guitarist on a cold but dry evening were two of the very best - bassist Mick Shoulder and drummer Abbie Finn. 

The usual faces plus a few students turned out to listen and, almost without exception, sat with coats on - it was rather cold! Alone TogetherDays of Wine and Roses and Love for Sale warmed up the trio and the hardy audience. Young tenor saxophonist Harry Keeble couldn't wait to get going, first with St Thomas (Mick Shoulder's slap bass solo something of a rarity at a jam session) following up with Nica's Dream. HK would return.

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Customs House Big Band with Ruth Lambert @ All Saints' Church, Cleadon - Dec 3

(Review by Russell)

If it's the first Tuesday in December (it was) you can be sure Peter Morgan's sleigh will be parked up outside All Saints' Parish Hall (it was). Inside, not one but two, Christmas trees decorated the stage leaving room for the Customs House Big Band's rhythm section and little else. The horns (all thirteen of them) assembled on the floor. Band vocalist Ruth Lambert sat to one side waiting to be called to sing a selection of songs which, due to the time of year, would likely as not include some Yuletide favourites. 

Minutes before the advertised 7:30pm started someone noticed that there wasn't a licensed bar. What?! Whoosh! A mass exodus of punters made for Cleadon's nearest corner shop. Minutes later folk staggered in carrying bottles of plonk, bottles of beer, nibbles, the works...this was more like it!

O Come All Ye Jazz Fans: ‘A Jazzy Christmas’ Comes to Middlesbrough This December

(Press release)

Sunday Jazz at Middlesbrough Town Hall is back. This time for a special Christmas-themed concert which will launch the venue’s eclectic winter live music programme.

Following sold out shows at Sage Gateshead in 2017 and 2018, nationally renowned jazz composer and performer, Paul Edis will bring his celebrated arrangements of festive favourites to Teesside on Sunday 15th December.

Audiences can expect to hear imaginative renditions of traditional Christmas carols including O Come All Ye Faithful and Silent Night, as well as reinventions of classic festive pop and jazz tunes, such as Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree and Let it Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow.

Congratulations to Zoë Gilby on APPJAG Award

(Report by Lance/Photo from Zoë Gilby's Facebook page)

As announced in the previous post  Zoë Gilby aced the Jazz Vocal category in this year's All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group (APPJAG) 2019 awards.

At the ceremony, held in the Pizza Express Jazz Club, Holborn, London, Zoë held off strong competion to win the prestigious award. This was a fitting milestone in her still developing career who knows what the future holds in store for her?

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

News Flash! - APPJAG Winners Announced

Well done Zoë Gilby! Winner of the Jazz Vocal category in this year's APPJAG's.
Full results here.
More tomorrow - I'm off to open the champagne (actually. a bottle of Pedigree).
Lance

CD Review: Julia Hülsmann Quartet - Not Far From Here

Julia Hülsman (piano), Uli Kempendorff   (tenor sax), Marc Muellbauer  (double bass),  Heinrich Köbberling   (drums)
(Review by Chris K)

The second of three piano led albums marking ECM's 50th birthday.  Hülsmann is a leading contemporary composer and performer in her native Germany, and although not as well known to UK audiences as Jarrett (companion release reviewed on BSH herethis latest of her six ECM ventures as leader is well worth the effort of getting to know. Already acclaimed by John Fordham as his pick of the month, I decided to put some time in - what a good investment!

Bublé Encore!

You've read BSH Editor-in-Chief LL's enthusiastic review of Michael Bublé's triumphant appearance at Newcastle's Utilita Arena. Wish you'd been there? Well, here's the good news...Canada's global superstar is to perform an open air concert at Durham County Cricket Club's Emirates Riverside HQ on Saturday 1 August next year.

Imagine...a warm summer's evening down by the Chester-le-Street riverside (doors open at 6:00pm) with Mr B on stage at 7:45. Tickets go on sale at 9:00am this Friday (Dec 6) at www.aegpresents.co.uk
Russell

Interview w. David 'Showtime' Gray

One of the better players to grace the northeast jazz scene in recent years is trombonist David Gray. BSH put a few questions to him asking him to say “a few words” about his career to date …

An obvious first question...why trombone?! 

An obvious first question with a slightly weird answer.  Okay, it’s probably not so weird that the trombone was an incidental/accidental thing.  I'd like to rattle off a little story about this.

I already had an inclination to try a flute or a saxophone.  My middle school (the late Lemington Middle School, formerly known as Claremont) didn’t have any saxes, but right at the start of year 5, I was falling asleep during a science class and noticed people putting their hands up.  Realising the chance to skip class, I also put my hand up and we ended up going downstairs to queue outside of the music room.

After a long wait, most had departed, but I ended up greeted by Gareth Weaver—no doubt a familiar name to you and many readers for his role in the Customs House Big Band.  I had a choice between trumpet, Eb horn and trombone.  Trombone looked more fun.  I struggled to pick the thing up, but somehow I took to it and surprisingly, my fellow schoolkids never really gave me grief for playing it.  In fact, it was pretty cool and I got a decent amount of praise for my assembly performances.

Monday, December 02, 2019

2019 British Jazz Awards - Results

Big Bear has announced the winners of this year's British Jazz Awards and, as usual they're fairly predictable. However,  they  weren't all shoo-ins, Alan Barnes was pipped by Julian Marc-Stringle in the Clarinet Stakes and Sara Dowling edged Claire Martin in the Singer's Sprint.

Michael Bublé @ The Utilita Arena, Newcastle - Dec. 1

(Review by Lance)

Put simply, this was possibly the most entertaining evening of my life so far! 21, 999 other folk probably agreed with me. Yes, you read me correctly, 22,000 paid big bucks over two nights to see, arguably, the greatest living entertainer on the planet.

From the opening Brand New Day to the final goodbye – You Were Always on my Mind – the unbroken two hour show simply flew by. He had us in the palm of his hand with no two numbers the same. We shouted, we screamed, we sang along, we stood up and danced.

CD Review: Calum Gourlay Quartet - New Ears

Calum Gourlay (bass); Helena Kay (tenor sax); Kieran McLeod (trombone); James Maddren (Drums).
(Review by James Henry).

As a sort of a Scot, and a card carrying Fifer, my own old ears picked up on receipt of this CD. With a name like Calum Gourlay, this chap had to be one of the brothers, and possibly even a fellow Fifer. A little bit of research established that Calum is originally from Glasgow (well, I might forgive him that) but was brought up in Fife, even playing in the Fife Youth Jazz Orchestra (total redemption). And, two of his quartet also come from the proper North: Helena Kay (tenor saxophone) hails from Perth, and Kieran McLeod (trombone) is from Aberdeen. Like me, these three live in exile in England, committed to missionary work and waiting for the call from the blessed Nicola*. I pity the poor drummer in this quartet: coming from Sussex, James Maddren may rely on translators.

Sunday, December 01, 2019

Xmas Strictly Limited! Book now!


The Strictly Smokin' Big Band's two nights at Gosforth Civic Theatre are all but sold out. Four tickets remain on sale for Friday 13 December and three for Saturday 14. You read it here, book now or miss out! Visit: www.strictly-smokin.co.uk 
Russell

Bublé's in Town!

Abbie Finn went along to the first of Michael Buble's two nights at Newcastle's Utilita Arena (Nov 30). Judging by these photos taken by Abbie, those lucky enough to have tickets for tonight's concert are in for a great time! A limited number of tickets remain on sale - book now! And don't forget drummer Abbie will be at the Dun Cow jam session on Wednesday (8:00pm). 
Russell

BBC Radio 3: Jazz All Night

(Report by Hugh C).

I seem to be permanently in arrears, listening arrears that is, these days.  I have just been catching up with Jazz AllNight, broadcast overnight (funnily enough!) during the early morning of 16th November, at the start of the EFG London Jazz Festival.

Luckily for me, BBC Sounds has offered me a short-term loan (the same offer is available to everyone) originally available for 30 days, but still available for just over two weeks.  

Saturday, November 30, 2019

CD Review: Classic Swing - Stepping Out with a Memory


Olive Rudd (vocals); Jim McBriarty (alto sax, clarinet, vocals); Tommy Moran (tenor sax); Neville Hartley (trombone); Colin Haikney (piano); Alan Rudd (double bass); Tommy Graham (drums)
(Review by Russell)
 
Formed less than two years ago Classic Swing is a band comprising experienced musicians who have been there, done that and continue to do it. Stepping Out with a Memory was recorded earlier this year at Ayr Jazz Club and the CD is a fine example of the band in action. No fewer than thirteen tracks across a generous seventy eight minutes' playing time feature all seven musicians. 

Friday, November 29, 2019

CD Review: Anne Phillips – Live At The Jazz Bakery


Anne Phillips (vocals); Roger Kellaway (piano); Bob Kindred (tenor sax); Chuck Berghoffer (bass).
(Review by Ann Alex).

Anne Phillips issued a promising debut album, Born To Be Blue, back in 1959 but, surprisingly, didn't do a follow-up until 2000. In between she was singing behind the scenes in commercial music and writing songs for shows and adverts. Then lately, she appeared at LA's famed Jazz Bakery, doing this live recording of standards and some of her own songs and giving an entertaining spoken account of her life and times.

Donkeys, Jazz and Mince Pies @ The Garden Centre

Saturday 30 November 2019: Christmas Shopping Event with The Vieux Carré Jazzmen, 12.00 - 2.00pm.
There’s lots to see and do at Plantsplus Garden Centre this festive season. Listen to live 20’s jazz music and Christmas songs and enjoy a FREE homemade mince pie. Bring the kids along to see our donkeys from the Scottish Borders Sanctuary; choose your fresh cut Christmas tree. You’ll also find a large range of indoor and outdoor Christmas lighting, artificial Christmas trees, decorations and unique gifts.

Tuesday 3rd December 2019: Afternoon Tea with The Vieux Carré Jazzmen, 3.00 - 5.00pm. 
Includes glass of prosecco or mulled wine on arrival with a small canape.
Mini afternoon tea served with a glass of prosecco. 
Tea or filter coffee.

Tickets £20, £5 deposit upon booking. 

Plantsplus Garden Centre, Berwick Hill Road, Seaton Burn, Newcastle NE13 6BU.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Revisiting a super CD.

I was mulling through the albums I'd reviewed thinking in terms of best of... This one came out in January and, although I raved over it then, it somehow slipped off my radar - I played it again (Sam) and realised what I've been missing! So I've brought it back into the fray to remind readers of just how good it is.

At the time I actually had a spare copy which I passed on to The Jazz Coop for one of their raffles. I wonder who won it and if he thinks it is as fantastic as I do? Or maybe it's lying, hidden amidst a pile of unraffled CDs, the JC team unaware of the gem that lies within their reach...

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

CD Review: The Darius Brubeck Quartet – Live in Poland


Darius Brubeck (piano); Dave O’Higgins (tenor sax); Matt Ridley (bass); Wesley Gibbens (drums).
(Review by Lance).

Darius Brubeck dispensed with his siblings some twelve years ago, hooking up with Ridley and Gibbens. A move that some might see as the equivalent of Brubeck père bringing in Gene Wright and Joe Morello. Tenor man Dave O’Higgins remains on the team which is a wise move – which alto player could replace Paul Desmond?

Apart from a couple of dad’s breadwinners – In Your Own Sweet Way, Desmond’s Take Five and Hugh Masekela’s Nomali – the remaining tracks on this delightful album are  all composed by Darius. Of course the influence of Papa Dave seeps into Darius’ playing but it is only a slight infusion. It would be abnormal if some of his old man’s greatness didn’t rub off.

Ingrid & Christine Jensen with the Whirlwind Recordings Jazz Orchestra @ the Purcell Room, EFG London Jazz Festival, Nov. 23.

(Review by Patrick Hadfield/photo courtesy of Michael Lamb)

This concert was a treat on so many levels. I'm a sucker for a big band, and this one, made up of musicians on the Whirlwind Recordings label, was a special delight.

Lead by Canadian sisters Ingrid and Christine Jensen,much of the music was featured on their recent Whirlwind album, "Infinitude", arranged for the big band by Christine, as well as compositions by Kenny Wheeler, saxophonist Josephine Davies, and Carla Bley. The arrangements were full of rich textures and brought to mind the work of Maria Schneider. There were moments of quiet space as well as sonorous depth. Ingrid and Christine took turns in  directing the orchestra.

Jam Session @ The Black Swan - Nov. 26

(Review by Lance).

One of the more sedate jams that was, nevertheless, not without its merits and quite often less is more and so tonight proved.

The house trio of Stu, Paul and Rob set the tone with Lover, A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square and Take the A Train. Played with their customary precision and aplomb, it told any newcomers, and there were a few, that they would be in safe hands should they take the plunge.

Steve Summers is no newcomer and he set out his stall with compelling versions of Wave and Well You Needn’t. His booting tenor as tough as they come.

R.I.P. Roy Willox.

The news that saxophonist Roy Willox passed away on Monday (Nov. 25) at the age of 90 fills me with sadness and brought back many memories of listening to the Ted Heath Band at Newcastle City Hall back in the early 1950s. This was my introduction to the exciting world of big bands and the Heath orchestra was the finest one around as witnessed by the Melody Maker polls of the time.

Although the big attraction for many were the singers, Lita Rosa, Dickie Valentine and Dennis Lotis or the hot shot soloists such as trumpet players Bobby Pratt and Bert Ezzard, trombonist Don Lusher and clarinettist Henry McKenzie, Roy Willox more than held his own on alto and soprano. Since then he played on many albums as a session man, often anonymously, - a true legend.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Pope to visit Leeds

December in Leeds may not have quite the same ring to it as April in Paris or Autumn in New York but, nevertheless, there are some interesting chestnuts about to blossom in that fair city.

Of particular local interest, is a duo concert by the ubiquitous John Pope. The Tyneside bassist has teamed up with trumpet player Kim Macari for what is described as an ”improv/spoken word/electronic performance”

Full details of this and other concerts can be found here.
Thanks to Steve Crocker for the info.
Lance.

CD Review: Keith Jarrett – Munich 2016

Keith Jarrett   (Piano)
(Review by Chris K)

Amid the slew of releases marking the ECM label's 50th birthday, a Keith Jarrett solo concert, recorded in the label's Munich home. The piano god goes back a long way with ECM, with the solo Facing You (1971) recorded in the studio, followed by multiple incarnations in trio and quartet form as well as his trademark completely improvised solo slots on piano and organ.  It was his solo Köln Concert (1975) which opened the door to jazz for a generation of new listeners and established ECM financially, as it became the all-time best-selling solo jazz album (and all-time best-selling piano album) with over 3.5 million copies.

Jarrett is a divisive figure, famously ranting at audiences for coughing during his creative moments, while often indulging himself with (distracting and ludicrous) vocal accompaniments ranging from grunting to tuneless singing.  His perceived high-handedness has inspired stories such as the jazzer who gets to heaven and hears some beautiful music. He asks St. Peter who's playing:  "Oh, that's God. He thinks he's Keith Jarrett".

The Eales' Report: Opus 4 Jazz Club - Nov 22

On Friday 22nd Tony Eales attended Opus 4 Jazz Club's November concert presentation. The Traveller's Rest's first floor room in Cockerton, Darlington drew a good crowd to listen to the Mick Shoulder Quintet. Bassist Shoulder (pictured earlier in the day working with Sue Ferris at the Merry Monk in Bishop Auckland) called in a couple of deps and, according to TE, they did more than alright. 

Monday, November 25, 2019

Jazz Social @ Charts - Nov 24


Rick Laughlin (piano, keyboards); Paul Grainger (double bass); Abbie Finn (drums) + Harry Keeble (tenor sax); MJ (guitar)
(Review by Russell)

Charts' weekly jazz social continues to engage top class trios to entertain Quayside diners and drinkers. For 'jazz social' read 'jam session'. Sunday's late afternoon session welcomed Rick Laughlin, up from County Durham, to play three leisurely sets in the company of Paul Grainger and Abbie Finn.

New Gateshead Jazz line-up announced

(Press release)

Sage Gateshead has today announced the artists joining Gateshead Jazz headliner Jamie Cullum at next year’s festival.

Hard-hitting electronic trio GoGo Penguin, Mercury-nominated SEED Ensemble, dancefloor fillers Ibibio Sound Machine and House Gospel Choir, rising star Judi Jackson and many more will all be performing at Gateshead Jazz on Friday 20 March to Sunday 22 March 2020.

Upholding the venue’s long-standing commitment to Jazz, the festival (which is the UK’s biggest jazz festival under one roof) shifts into a new era with a fresh name; ‘Gateshead Jazz’.  Its focus is on attracting new audiences with cutting-edge artists joining established names, reflecting the current fervor for the genre and platforming talent from across the North.

Steve Hackett @ Sage Gateshead – Nov. 23

Steve Hackett (guitar); Roger King (keys); Rob Townsend (sax/flute/keys); Jonas Reingold (bass guitar); Nad Sylvan (vocals) (Craig Blundell (drums).
(Review by Steve T)

This was sold out months ago but we still managed to secure a ticket on the day for Mrs T and, after twenty five years, she's finally accepted that Peter Gabriel is a giant and Phil Collins a d!ck, at least when he's not behind a drum-kit.

I never had any intention of reviewing it for Bebop Spoken Here, but it turned out to be such a huge event, and seems to me to have been so important, it doesn't seem right for it to go totally unnoticed.

We arrived just after six and already the place was bustling and buzzing with a palpable atmosphere of anticipation.

EFG London Jazz Festival - Rhiannon Giddens/ Francesco Turrisi @ Royal Festival Hall – Nov. 22


(Review by Peter Slavid)

I should declare up front that I've been a fan of Rhiannon Giddens for some years.  I first saw her as part of the Carolina Chocolate Drops – the radical trio that recast the history of American Country music to finally recognise the part played by African Americans.  I've seen her play with her own band with a mix of pop, folk and country, I saw her became the first American to receive the BBC's folk singer of the year award. Then I saw her blow away a room full of Scotland's finest musicians when she totally stole the show at the Transatlantic Sessions.

So is this another example of a jazz festival booking someone from a different genre just to fill seats?  Well, yes – if you believe that the history of African-American music and jazz are completely unrelated.  But of course they aren't.

Sorathy Korwar @ Sage Gateshead (Sage 2) – Nov. 19

(Review by Steve T)

It's becoming increasingly futile to second-guess what to expect at gigs, but there was never any doubt in my mind I'd be going to this one.

His My East is Your West is one of the finest albums I've ever reviewed for Bebop Spoken Here, but it came with scant information (actually none if I remember correctly).

I was expecting a tabla player so wasn't sure whether Sorathy was the drummer or the person rapping at the front of the stage: when Trilok Gurtu played the Sage with Paulo Fresu and Omar Sosa, he had various Indian percussion instruments incorporated within his standard kit.

CD Review: Kelley Johnson - Something Good

Kelley Johnson (vocals); John Hensen (piano); Michael Glynn (bass); Kendrick Scott (drums) + Jay Thomas (sop sax/tenor sax/trumpet: tks 4,5,8).
(Review by Lance).

Kelley Johnson's yet another singer mining the GASbook and she seems to have struck gold going by DownBeat's assessment "...wisps of Carmen McRae's ginger snap, Betty Carter's yawning reach, Anita O'Day's feline purr and Nancy Wilson's crystaline enunciation.

Wow! unlike DB I'm lost for words - crystaline enunciation - I'll file that one for future reference!

Sunday, November 24, 2019

CD Review: Joachim Caffonnette Trio - Vers L'Azur Noir

Joachim Caffonnette (piano); Alex Gilson (bass); Jean-Baptiste Pinet (drums)
(Review by Lance)

Sadly, non-jazz pressures caused me to delay my review of this very enjoyable album by Belgium pianist Caffonnette and his two French confrères. Doubly sad as it meant not being able to draw attention to their recent UK tour which, although it bypassed Newcastle, given the number of mainland Europe bands that do turn up on Tyneside, was something of a surprise. However, the tour did include Glasgow, Edinburgh, Manchester, Nottingham, Luton, Hove and, of course, London at no less a place than Kansas Smitty’s.