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Bebop Spoken There

Anat Cohen: "With the tenor, it's so iconic with jazz. With the clarinet, I can improvise, but it doesn't have to be called jazz." - (DownBeat July 2019)

Archive

Today Tuesday June 18

Afternoon

Jazz

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

Evening

Lickety Split - Fox Inn, West End Terrace, Hexham NE46 3DB.Tel: 01434 603681. 8:30pm. Free (donations).

River City Jazzmen - Block & Tackle, Blackthorn Way, Ashington NE63 8NW. Tel: 01670 813983 (info). 8:00pm. £5.00. (inc raffle). Line-up inc special guest Don Fairley (trombone).

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

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

One more, one more time with the Tenement Jazz Band - June 18

Following their storming Monday evening gig at Prohibition Bar the Tenement Jazz Band guys were up and about early busking on Northumberland Street. Under a bright sun the Edinburgh based outfit attracted quite a lot of interest from Newcastle's lunchtime shopping hordes. The photo shows (left to right) John, Doug, Paddy, Charles and Tom reprising a few numbers from their Pink Lane set (see LL's review) including Meat on the Table and Bogalusa Strut. The Tenements didn't hang around as they have a long drive ahead of them - they're in Cambridge tonight at the University Social Club. If you're within a Buddy Bolden shout of the venue make the effort to get along, they're the business!    
Russell    

CD Review/Interview: Daniel Elms with Manchester Collective & Jubilee Quartet - Islandia (New Amsterdam NWAM114)


(By A.J. Dehany)

An urgent evocation of the primal spirit of islands suffuses the dramatic textures of composer, arranger and guitarist Daniel Elms' debut album Islandia. Recorded at Abbey Road with chamber orchestra, electric guitar and synths, and a concluding track recorded live at Hull Minster, the five pieces assert the ineffable universalities of post-genre music, using elements drawn from classical, jazz, electronic and world music.

Daniel Elms’ influences include the sharp-edged and “glassy” orchestral palette of American composer Jacob Druckman, and the parallelism and geometric constructs of Béla Bartók, and the album uses material from folk songs and even techniques inspired by serialism. In his approach to crafting music, he cites Debussy’s Jeux as a formative influence; it’s important to him, that melody, harmony and instrumentation be conceived simultaneously as inseparable conceptions. “Instrumental and timbral choice,” he says, “have always been an intrinsic part of my writing - even a line sketched on the piano will be marked with its suggested instrumentation and timbral character. There’s so much “emotional” content conveyed by instrument and timbre - they are incredibly deep compositional tools, not just ones of arrangement.”

Tenement Jazz Band @ the Prohibition Bar, Newcastle - June 17











John Youngs (guitar/banjo/vocal); Charles Dearness (trumpet); Paddy Darley (trombone); Tom Pickles (soprano & alto sax); Doug Kemp (bass).
(Review by Lance).

For a brief moment, I was back in time at The Cavern. No, not that Cavern but the Beverly Cavern in Los Angeles where, in the late 1940s/early '50s, Kid Ory was the resident band and I was listening to Savoy Blues (the Mutt Carey version). No, I'd got it wrong, it was much earlier and I'd just graduated Summa Cum Laude from Austin High School and, along with my buddies Frank (Teschemacher) and Bud (Freeman), we were listening to Bix and His Gang - our pulses racing with Since My Best Gal Turned Me Down. This was when I awoke and discovered I'd been dreaming and was actually in Newcastle's version of Jimmy Ryan's, the Prohibition Bar, listening to the Tenement Jazz Band from Edinburgh.

Terri Shaltiel Band @ Hoochie Coochie - June 14

(Review by Nathan)

One of Newcastle's best kept secrets is the great live bands that appear at Hoochie Coochie. The club's owner (Warren) is a great connoisseur of soul music and he indulges himself by hiring some amazing bands that wouldn't otherwise come to Newcastle. Live bands that appear there are always worth checking out.

Terri Shaltiel, a singer/guitarist/songwriter from Leeds, has made a name for herself with an eclectic mix of soul, blues and reggae, across a series of concerts and festivals. It was great to hear her at Hoochie Coochie on Friday. From the first moment, we knew we were in for an incredible night - she absolutely "tore the hair off my head" with an amazing performance.

CD/LP Review: Scott Hamilton Quartet - Danish Ballads & More

Scott Hamilton (tenor sax); Jan Lundgren (piano); Hans Backenroth (bass); Kristian Leth (drums).
(Review by Lance).

In many ways, Scott Hamilton is everything a jazz musician should be and, in 2019, shouldn't be. Today, jazz musicians have graduated from colleges with degrees and diplomas, become educators at the very institutions they graduated from and play only their own compositions.

Hamilton is a throwback inasmuch as his formal tuition comprised some childhood clarinet lessons and little else. The rest was up to him and a pair of lugs (ears) that quickly attuned themselves to a melodic phrase or a pleasing chord progression. I've been fortunate to hear him live on several occasions and he's never disappointed me and nor does he fall short here.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Preview: Tonight, Prohibition Bar Gig of the Year, again!

(Preview by Russell)

If you missed a leading contender for Gig of the Year in March at Newcastle's Prohibition Bar then tonight (Monday) presents a chance to redeem yourself with a most welcome, quick return by Edinburgh's Tenement Jazz Band. From N'Awlins to Chicago and back again these guys are the business. Stunning ensemble work a la New Orleans' Shake 'Em Up Jazz Band, the Tenements will be playing for dancers and listeners alike. 

Francis Tulip Quartet @ Blaydon Jazz Club - June 16


Francis Tulip (guitar); Ben Lawrence (piano); John Pope (double bass); Matt MacKellar (drums)
(Review by Russell) 

Tyneside's jazz calendar continues to present difficult choices with Sunday evening a case in point; Gerry Richardson playing a Jazz Co-op gig would ordinarily be a 'must', the Customs House Big Band's twentieth-anniversary concert at its Mill Dam HQ in South Shields similarly unmissable, and upriver at Blaydon on Tyne, the 'new wave' set out to show what is happening in the many and varied hothouses across the country and, indeed, overseas.

The Black Bull in Blaydon won the day with your correspondent (BSH Editor-in-Chief rightly opting to review the 'big do' at the Customs House). The Francis Tulip Quartet comprises bandleader, guitarist Francis Tulip (Birmingham Conservatoire), pianist Ben Lawrence (Durham University, mathematics!), drummer Matt MacKellar (on vacation from Berklee, USA) and, on this gig, a more than able dep on bass, John Pope. JP graduated from Newcastle University a while ago so this jobbing gig held few fears. 

CD Review: Areni Agbabian - Bloom


Areni Agbabian (voice, piano); Nicolas Stocker (percussion).
(Review by Ann Alex).

The beautiful music on this CD is definitely not jazz, nor does it claim to be. It's closer to contemporary folk. The album comprises mostly original compositions around the theme of blooming and the natural world, including an Armenian sacred hymn, an Armenian folk legend of metamorphosis, a folk melody transcription, and a song based on a quote from the Biblical Song of Solomon.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Customs House Big Band @ the Customs House, South Shields - June 16

 (Review by Lance).

A gala occasion - 20 years old. Yes, the CHBB has been going now for two decades. It was fitting that two of the original creators of the band were in the audience. Tommy Moran and Joe Peterson, both must be very proud to note how their brainchild has grown into what it is today.

Peter Morgan led from the front introducing each number in his own inimitable manner although this time he handed over the bass trombone pad to Chris Hibbard. Peter did, however, play a couple of choruses on piano which was probably a first.

The majority of solos were taken by Mick Hill, Eddie Bellis, Alan Marshall, Jim McBriarty, John Stephenson and Bradley Johnston who provided the most emotional moment of the evening when, after Peter had paid tribute to the late Rick Taylor, Bradley added a musical tribute to his former mentor with an unaccompanied extended introduction to Body and Soul. Sheer magic and played from the heart.

Jazz Social @ Charts - June 16


Stu Collingwood (piano, vocals); Paul Grainger (double bass); Paul Smith (drums)
(Review by Russell)

Father's Day, an occasion for daddies the world over to be treated by their appreciative children. Charts on Newcastle Quayside would surely prove the ideal riverfront location - a meal, a pint, waited on hand and foot. The event coincided with the pub's weekly Jazz Social, the place would be busy.

Stu Collingwood sat at the venue's recently acquired Steck piano working in the company of the Pauls - P Grainger, bass and P Smith, drums. A couple from Gershwin - Our Love is Here to Stay (Collingwood singing) and Nice Work if You Can Get It - either side of Mean to Me and Jobim's Wave, choice GASbook material. 

Preview: Francis Tulip on Bloomsday

(Preview by Russell)

Sunday, June 16 is Bloomsday. Every year on this day Dubliners and others around the world celebrate the life of James Joyce. A 'day in the life' (June 16) of Leopold Bloom, the central character in Ulysses, is the literary device Joyce deployed in his famous - if little read! - novel. Tonight at Blaydon Jazz Club (7:30 prompt) Birmingham Conservatoire guitar student Francis Tulip will attempt to play every note he's ever played then, for good measure, play them all again during two unmissable sets in the lounge of the Black Bull pub.     

Tyne Valley Big Band @ Tynedale Beer and Cider Festival, Corbridge - June 15

Here are a few pictures I took whilst attending the Tynedale Beer and Cider Festival at Corbridge on Saturday afternoon.  The Tyne Valley Big Band were in fine form under the direction of unsung local hero Dave Hignett.  The quality of the music was exemplary and the MD himself took the occasional solo on trumpet from the rostrum.

I'm afraid I do not have a record of what they played*, but it was an eclectic mix of standards, show tunes and covers - exactly what was needed for the occasion.
As you will note, in some pictures there are two enthusiastic dancers at the front.

Hugh C
*Two excuses:  no notebook, it was a beer festival!

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Showtime with Soznak

Last night with House of the Black Gardenia outside the Cumberland Arms David Gray put the boot in on that Big Big Man (hooray!). This afternoon, 'Showtime' as he's affectionately known, was snapped giving Soznak a hand at the band's regular Saturday pitch at Monument, Newcastle. Gone was the 'bone man's natty Friday evening attire in favour of a more casual street look. Pictured with Showtime is Jude Murphy (red hat) playing bass guitar on Hendrix's All Along the Watchtower. Soznak can count on the passer-by to contribute to the band's 'hardship fund' with Showtime taking care of the folding stuff - yes, they're that popular!  
Russell

Remembering Rick by Keith Armstrong


 I am so sad to hear about the tragic loss of my good friend Rick Taylor.

The best tribute I can pay him is to remember my collaborative work with him back in the late eighties, starting with the 'Dreaming North' jazz and poetry performance and recording project in 1986 which led to a national tour and an album recorded together in 10cc's studio in Stockport and then a music theatre touring show with Northumberland Theatre Company and 'Dreaming North', based on the life of Northumbrian piper Jamie Allan, which toured nationally for a whole month in 1988.

Dutch trio surfaces in Newcastle double bill


(Press release)
Adventurous voice, guitar and percussion trio Under the Surface join the Dutch-Scottish sextet LoLanders in a double bill at the Bridge Hotel in Newcastle on Sunday, June 23 for a concert that continues Jazz North East’s association with the Dutch jazz scene.
Under the Surface was formed in 2016 when the group’s vocalist, Sanne Rambags was selected by the Dutch organisation Beaux Jazz to be part of its Next Generation strand.

House of the Black Gardenia @ Cumberland Arms, Ouseburn, Newcastle - June 14

(Review by Lance)

It wasn't everyone's idea of a summer's evening but at least it wasn't raining! And even if it had been it wouldn't have put a damper on things - I'm told there was a Plan B to cover all contingencies. Fortunately, it wasn't needed. The fans and their families relaxed with some choice ales as well as occasionally tripping the light fantastic. Their dogs were less energetic (see photo by Russell), This is par for the course at a Gardenia gig. The band has fun even if some of the songs are less than cheerful such as Graveyard Shift and Dead Man Calypso. This latter tune is about a woman who strangles her estranged man so they will eventually be together again!

Friday, June 14, 2019

Durham University Big Band's Big Summer Gig @ Durham Students' Union - June 13


(Review by Russell)

Advertised as an eight o'clock start it seemed reasonable to arrive sometime around half past seven to go to the bar, take a seat and listen to a last minute soundcheck. Walking into Ove Arup's 1960s Durham city landmark building the Riverside Bar was just about full to capacity, the place rammed with students...no surprise given that tonight's venue for the end of year gig by the Durham University Big Band was Durham Students' Union. What was a surprise was the gig started at 7:30...bloody students! 

Hawaiian shirts and on stage drinks aplenty gave the game away - the Durham University Big Band guys were demob happy. Led by Zach Fox, who a week earlier received a standing ovation at his Final Recital, DUBB presented two sets of typically mixed fayre; classic swing numbers sitting alongside contemporary charts from the likes of Jacob Mann and Gerard Presencer. 

Tori Freestone Trio @ The Black Swan Arts Centre - June 13

Tori Freestone (tenor sax/violin/voice); Dave Manington (bass); Tim Giles (drums).
(Review by Lance/ Photos courtesy of Ken Drew).

When respected jazz writers such as John Fordham (Guardian) and Chris Kilsby (BSH) wax eloquent about a band/artist then it goes without saying they (band/artist) must be checked out in person, such was my task for today (yesterday). Not an unpleasant task, I hasten to add, although at times it touched on the outer limits of my comfort zone which is no bad thing - doesn't do to become too complacent!

CD Review: David Stryker - Eight Track III


David Stryker (guitar); Stefon Harris (vibraphone); Jared Gold (organ); McLenty Hunter (drums); Mayra Casales (congas and percussion).
(Review by Hugh C).

David Stryker is an in-demand guitarist and educator based in NYC.  His two previous “Eight Track” releases were in 2013 and 2016.  Stefon Harris reminded Stryker that they needed to complete the Trilogy, an idea he could only say yes to.  The concept of all three albums was to take “classic melodies from the 70s” and “put my own stamp on them through the arrangements and playing”. 

Thursday, June 13, 2019

RICK TAYLOR. (January 31, 1957 - June 7, 2019)

(Remembered by Ros Rigby. Photo of Rick Taylor with Phil Bancroft and Kevin MacKenzie © Rik Walton. Colour photo © The Scotsman.)

The tributes to Rick that have flooded in since his death less than a week ago reveal how positively he touched so many peoples’ lives - particularly musicians he worked with - in the North East, in London, and in Scotland. This is how he touched mine -  and my family’s life.

I first met Rick in the early 1980’s when I became Arts Development Officer for Gateshead Council and was looking at including jazz in the programme at Caedmon Hall. I had brought in my friend John Cumming to work with me and he suggested checking out the band Full Circle - the band led by Rick with pianist Paul Flush, drummer Adrian Tilbrook and bass player Keith Peberdy.  I saw them play at the Corner House and later in collaborations at the Newcastle Jazz Festival with Paul Clarvis and the Van den Driessche brothers- Johan and Peter - and I was impressed.

CD Review: Jeff Williams – Bloom


Jeff Williams (drums); Carmen Staaf (piano); Michael Formanek (double bass).
(Review by Hugh C)

Drummer Jeff Williams has played with some of the big names in jazz over the years.  Lately, he has been playing in saxophonist Dan Blake’s quartet with pianist Leo Genovese and bassist Dmitry Ishenko.  One time when Genovese was unavailable, Carmen Staaf stepped in.  Williams felt an immediate connection with her playing and they talked about the possibility of a trio.  He then ran into Formanek, with whom he had gigged in their early days in New York in the ‘70s.  The idea of this trio was formed and bloomed from thereon in – hence the album title.

CD Review:Zoe Francis - Blue Town

Zoe Francis (vocals); Ross Stanley (Hammond B3); Jim Mullen (guitar).
(Review by Lance).

Impeccably sung and played. An emerging talent combines with two British jazz legends for this collection of familiar and not quite so familiar standards. The result is flawless - perfection in fact.  Francis has a winsome voice that is well-suited to the bittersweet lyrics. Singing of lost love, heartbreak and other related emotions the listener shares her grief, feels the pain as her laid back voice gently weeps. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Folk-Jazz Interweaving: Elina Duni / Trio FCT @ The Black Swan – May 23


Elina Duni  (voice/acoustic guitar/keyboard).
(Review by Melanie Grundy/Photos courtesy of Ken Drew)

This night of jazz-folk interweaving began with a solo set from acclaimed Albanian-Swiss singer Elina Duni. Accompanying herself on guitar, she opened with Meu Amor, a song made famous by Queen of Fado, Amalia Rodriguez. Despite the Portuguese lyrics, the heartbreak and longing conveyed by her intonation held the audience rapt from the first syllable. Moving seamlessly into a more upbeat Albanian folk-song, which contrary to its feel, expressed the longing of the migrant for home. Elina then paused to explain the motivation for her solo project Partir - the fact that we are all bound to depart, becoming potential exiles or immigrants in one way or another, separated from home, family, love and even ourselves, longing to find our way back.

Jam Session @ The Black Swan - June 11

(Review by Lance).

Last week at the Dun Cow Jam, singers and drummers were the dominant force. This week, at the Black Swan, the drummers were still queuing up but, with one notable exception, the singers were absent and it was the horns who took centre stage.

The vocal exception was the tornado that is Julija. Dynamic! Dramatic! Theatrical! JJ doesn't just sing the song she lives it! You'd be so Nice to Come Home to and Summertime. This latter piece bore a vague resemblance to the George Gershwin tune of the same name. If Gershwin had been a soul/funk/Motown man it may have come out like this - the room erupted. Showtime and Gould added to the mayhem.

Jeremy McMurray and the Pocket Orchestra @ Dormans Jazz Club, Middlesbrough - June 6


Jeremy McMurray (piano); Mark Toomey (alto sax); Paul Donnelly (guitar) Peter Ayton (bass); Richard Brown (drums).
(Review by Ron H)

It’s always a pleasure to have the Pocket Orchestra led by Jeremy McMurray as our guest band, delighting the audience with a selection of beautifully played jazz classics and original compositions.

The first set began with a swinging version of Out Of Nowhere and, after an impressive Parker style alto solo from Mark, Jeremy on piano and Paul on guitar gave equally exciting solos. Backed by excellent support from Pete and Richard, it gave the audience high expectations for the rest of the evening.

Paul Edis & Graeme Wilson @ DJazz 2019 (Part two)

Our man on the ground, Ken Drew, captured some stunning post-concert photos of Paul Edis and Graeme Wilson at the duo's DJazz performance in Durham Cathedral - see the previous post - now Malcolm Sinclair has sent us some close-ups from the organ loft of the sacred building.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Paul Edis and Graeme Wilson @ DJazz 2019 (Part one)

Collage courtesy of Ken Drew.
More photos.

Move over Liz Taylor, Lana Turner & Liberace make way for Beyoncé, Michelle Obama and Rihanna - CD Review: Eyal Vilner Big Band - Swing Out!

(Review by Lance)

Recently I was bemoaning the fact that, whilst I love Nina Simone's version of My Baby Just Cares For Me, it was time for today's vocalists to update the lyrics. Well, on this superb big band album, vocalist Brianna Thomas has done just that and so we get Beyoncé for Liz Taylor, Michelle Obama for Lana Turner and, Rihanna for Liberace. It works, not least because Vilner has also scored Nina's iconic piano solo for the whole band - this is like WOW!

What a gem! A big band with a difference, a band that brings the past pretty close to the present!

DJazz Day One. Friday, June 7 - Arun Ghosh @ Durham Miners Hall (Redhills).


Arun Ghosh (clarinet); Faye MacCalman (tenor sax); John Ellis (keyboard); Matt Owens (double bass); Dave Walsh (drums).
(Review by Steve T/ Photo courtesy of Ken Drew).

I'd seen Arun Ghosh three times previous and enjoyed it each time, but could never have foreseen he would give the Third Durham City Jazz Festival such a resounding opening. 

This is one of the finest spaces in a city loaded with fantastic spaces, including one of - and if you've lived in Durham - the finest buildings in the world, though I still can't quite believe those old pit-men didn't have the foresight to include a bar, but I quibble.

Ghosh entered the stage and immediately stamped his authority, his hair cropped since I last saw him, a white frock over jeans and ox-blood Docs laying out his multi-cultural credentials.

DJazz: Sunday - June 9

(Review by Russell)

What a difference a day makes! Blue skies overhead, Saturday's rain long gone, the DJazz outdoor stage was about to come into its own. First, a noon date with Kinesis in the pop-up space.

Drummer Abbie Finn and saxophonist Harry Keeble are Kinesis. Here at Durham's Riverwalk development the duo enlisted friend Paul Grainger to play the bass anchor role in a one hour set of classic numbers. Abbie, a postgraduate now picking up choice gigs as a professional musician (working with Simon Spillett is on the cv), works in partnership with soon-to-graduate Harry (Leeds College of Music) presenting a series of extended workouts ranging from Caravan to Cheese Cake. Bassist Grainger knows the pad inside and as an occasional trio, there is an obvious chemistry between the three musicians. The many early birds enjoyed a swinging set, probably the swinging set of the weekend. 

Monday, June 10, 2019

Preview: Don't Get Around Much Any More? Then Come To The Globe Next Thursday


...To listen to the Indigo Jazz Voices doing their stuff, June 13 at 7.30pm. Jen Errington, Jenny Lingham, David Edgar, Barry Keatings, and Carrie McCullock will be accompanied by masterful keysman Alan Law, with a goodly selection of standards, blues and bossa. Songs you'll hear, sung individually, will include I Thought About You; Baubles, Bangles and Beads; Something Stupid and yes, you've guessed it. Don't Get Around Much Any More.

Be there it’s only £5 on the door, to hear quality singing!  
Ann Alex

The Sky's the Limit!

Whilst having a coffee at Sage Gateshead this morning one of our roving reporters, Hugh C, snapped this amazing photo. He was unsure as to whether they were bringing a new slant to George Formby's When I'm Cleaning Windows or auditioning for a Spider-Man movie.
Lance.

Preview: Customs House Big Band 'Swing on a Summer's Evening' @ Customs House, South Shields - June 16.

Next Sunday, June 16, big band fans will be heading for South Shields where the Customs House Big Band will be presenting their 20th anniversary with a concert at - where else? - The Customs House in the Mill Dam area of the town.

As well as the precision ensemble work, the band also has a host of top-class soloists and, in vocalist Ruth Lambert, one of the finest singers on the scene.

It's an early start - 6:00pm - to capture a wider range of audience although I'd want to see this band even if it was a midnight matinee. 
For further details click on the image.
Lance

More DJazz 2019











Malcolm Sinclair took pics of Moses Boyd's Exodus and the Matt MacKellar Band -both gigs have been reported on elsewhere. If the music was half as good as the photos then it must have been a real blast! And I gather it was!

For more of Malcolm's photos visit here.
Lance.

What I Did at Durham City Jazz Festival (DJazz) - Saturday, June 8


(Review by Ann Alex/photos by Russell)

'Get scribing' was what Steve Tulip said to me as he kindly gave me a lift back to Durham station on Saturday evening. Russell and I had already decided what we'd cover and I'd guess that Steve will put in his tuppence which may be more like five shillings!  Anyway, it falls to my lot to begin with The Nu-Bossa Band, of whom I caught the last few songs at 3pm, a delayed finish in the DJazz Bar.

They are father-daughter duo Inês and José Gonçalves (vocals, keys. guitar); Ben Fitzgerald (percussion); Thomas Dixon (tenor sax). They bring us Latin and Afro-Cuban music composed by the likes of Antonio Carlos Jobim, new wave music which was originally a reaction to samba. This was a good way to becalm yourself after the excitement of Aku (see Russell's piece). Inês sang sweetly sad songs such as If You Never Come To Me and Dindi in Portuguese, and the hand drums were noticeably interesting, very rhythmically flowing and relaxing.

Sunday, June 09, 2019

The Alexander Bone Trio @ Swaledale Festival of Music, Arts and Walking – June 8


Alexander Bone (reeds); Tom Cawley (keys); Seth Tackaberry (bass)
(Review by Hugh C).

The final event of the festival took place in the sumptuous surroundings of the Garden Rooms venue associated with Tennants Auctioneers in Leyburn – apparently the largest auction saleroom in Europe.  The Cloister Suite (so named because it forms two sides of an enclosed, glass-roofed courtyard) provided a curious L-shaped space for this concert, with a small stage (just big enough for three) in the outer corner of the L.  The gig followed hard on the heels of Kathryn Tickell’s The Darkening, in a much larger hall, filled to capacity.  Local lad, Alexander Bone, was fresh up from the Big Smoke that day, having just completed his final examination at the Royal Academy of Music. He was pleased to be home, and his parents were in the well-sized audience.

DJazz: Saturday - June 8

(Review by Russell)

Newcastle, rain. Twelve minutes later (East Coast mainline train) Durham, rain. The organisers of this year's DJazz: The Durham City Jazz Festival implemented a simple plan to abandon its outdoor stage and move day two indoors. The recently completed Riverwalk complex offered the ideal solution with two vacant shop units functioning as pop-up alternatives, but first, a short walk up Saddler Street to keep an appointment at Durham Castle. 

The Norman chapel in Durham Castle is a simple, dimly lit, stone-built space. It would be difficult to make a dungeon less inviting! Cellist Maja Bugge sat in front of her congregation to perform a set of compositions/improvisations. The Norwegian musician prefers site-specific venues in which she can respond to and work with the acoustics. A set of some three-quarters of an hour engaged the crowded room - how many of them would later go in search of some jazz?

Saturday, June 08, 2019

Jazz in Jarrow - Just for the record














So there I was mooching around Jarrow's Viking Shopping Centre - the outlook was decidedly blue, what to do? what to do? what to do? Circumstances decreed I'd be unable to get to the DJAZZ Festival in Durham and the opening of the heavens decreed that mooching was no longer an option. As it has done on many more serious occasions, the Sally Army came to the rescue. I scuttled into their local charity shop seeking shelter and succour and what did I find?

A stand that's full of vinyl or what we older folks refer to as LPs. And there, amidst the usual dross of Jim Reeves, Max Bygraves and Mantovani were the two albums pictured!

DJAZZ Weather Report

Hello ticket holders! 

The festival went off to a roaring start yesterday with wonderful gigs by Arun Ghosh, LoLanders and the NORTH EAST SUPER JAM! 

If you're not heading up to the Norman Chapel the next event starts in the DJAZZ BAR at 1.30PM. 

We've made the decision to move all three bands from THE SQUARE into the DJAZZ Bar because of the wet weather! 

Jazz Soctet, The Nu-Bossa Band and Soul of St.Funkbert will all be indoors in our lovely pop-up bar at the same schedule as the programme. 

See you soon! 
Heather, Carlo & Nick 

Brownfield-Byrne Quintet @ Saltburn Jazz Club - June 7

Jamie Brownfield (trumpet); Liam Byrne (tenor sax); Andy Hulme (guitar); Ed Harrison (double bass); Gareth Hughes (drums)

(Review by Russell)

Friday night, five musicians in three cars (some of them driving from north Wales) en route to Saltburn were to be greeted by cats and dogs, yes, it was raining. The town's Community Halloffered shelter to jazz fans and anyone else who wanted to escape the worst of the weather. 

The Brownfield-Byrne Quintet arrived in good time, set up with the minimum of fuss...would an audience turn out? Saltburn Jazz Club's loyal supporters did indeed make the effort. The BBQ hit the ground running with Better Go. Trumpeter Jamie Brownfield and co-leader Liam Byrne, playing tenor sax, spoke of their affection for the Ben Webster-Harry Edison sides and there would be further similar selections during an evening of top quality mainstream-to-bop numbers.  

RIP Rick Taylor.

Just heard the sad news that trombonist Rick Taylor passed away after suffering a heart attack at his home in Scotland.

Back in the 1980s (I think) Rick was often heard at The Corner House with various ensembles. He was also a much-respected educator a role that continued when he moved to Scotland where he worked across the genres in a variety of settings.

A further post will follow as more details become available.

Very sadly missed.
Lance

Friday, June 07, 2019

Vasilis Xenopoulos w. Paul Edis Trio @ Ushaw College - June 7

Vasilis Xenopoulos (tenor sax); Paul Edis (piano); Andy Champion (bass) Russ Morgan (drums).
(Review by Lance).

Three gigs in two days for Vasi and Paul. Each one different. The ambitious undertaking last night at Sage Gateshead, the informal duo set this afternoon at Durham's Gala Theatre and tonight's swinging session at Ushaw College. I don't know if anyone caught all three gigs but several at this one had been to two and all had been to one!

Vasilis Xenopoulos & Paul Edis @ The Gala Theatre, Durham - June 7

Vasilis Xenopoulos (tenor sax); Paul Edis (piano)

As usual the Gala Theatre's monthly lunchtime jazz concert was an advance sellout and, as usual, a printed programme indicated the day's set list. On this occasion, the proposed selection of numbers - standards and originals - was largely abandoned by the duo of Vasilis Xenopoulos and Paul Edis. Friends since their days working together in London, they decided to play a whole bunch of other tunes. 

As the concert was about to begin a member of the audience mentioned that she hadn't heard today's saxophonist adding that she was a big fan of Snake Davis. Your correspondent suggested she was in for a treat. Lerner and Loewe's On the Street Where We Live opened the programme - Snake Davis this wasn't! From this point, 'Vasi' (it saves typing out Vasilis Xenopoulos) chose to make the announcements and proceeded to turn It Ain't Necessarily So inside out. Superb, masterful tenor playing.

CD Review: Coniece Washington - Shades Of Shirley Horn


Coniece Washington (vocals); Vince Evans (piano, musical direction, engineer); Wes Biles (bass); JC Jefferson Jr. (drums); Kevin Kojo Prince (percussion); Thad Wilson (trumpet); Carl Carrington (flute); David P Cole (guitar); Seth Washington (poet).
(Review by Ann Alex)

A fine singer from Trenton NJ, whose vocal life began singing in her grandmother's church. She then joined the US army but continued performing in venues in the States and Europe. She is a trained vocalist who now performs all over Washington DC, Writes songs and produces. In 2018 Ms Washington was awarded the Montgomery County Employee's Black History Show contract.

Time & Place: Paul Edis Quartet, Jo Harrop, Vasilis Xenopoulos; Ed Cross String Quartet @ Sage Gateshead - June 6

(Review by Lance/Photos by Russell). 

Wallace and Gromit may have pulled in Sage One and, down the road, at the Stadium of Light, the Spice Girls attracted the hoi polloi but for the more discerning muso, Sage Two is the only game in town.

Time and Place, an intriguing concept conjured up by Paul Edis and executed by an A-list team that, in jazz terms, outstripped the competition from here to breakfast time.

The idea, semi-premiered at the 606 Club, involved Edis selecting a selection of songs both standard and self-penned that related to the theme so, what better way to start than with Time After Time. Jo Harrop, looking stunningly statuesque in a white creation that didn't come from Primark, took Sammy Cahn's lyrics and Jule Styne's tune and made it her own. The icing on the cake, a sensitive tenor solo by the Greek God of the tenor - Vasilis Xenopoulos.

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