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Bebop Spoken There

Giovanni Guidi: "So many jazz albums today are all original compositions, and five minutes after the record is finished, you can't remember a single song. I think it's a problem." - (JazzTimes Oct. 2019).

Archive

Daily: July 6 - October 27

Precarity John Akomfrah’s film (2017, 46 mins) about Buddy Bolden - Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead Quays, South Shore Road, Gateshead NE8 3BA. Tel: 0191 478 1810. Screenings at intervals during the day. Part of Akomfrah's exhibition Ballasts of Memory. Exhibition (daily) July 6 - October 27. 10:00am-6:00pm. Free.

Today Friday October 18

Afternoon

Jazz

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

Classic Swing - Jesmond Royal British Legion Club, West Jesmond Avenue, Jesmond, Newcastle NE2 3EX. Tel: 0191 281 0736. 1:00pm. Free.

Rendezvous Jazz - Monkseaton Arms, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. Tel: 0191 251 3928. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening.

Ella Fitzgerald: Just One of Those Things - Forum Cinema, Market Place, Hexham NE46 1XF. Tel: 01434 601144. 7:00pm. £8.30. - £5.80. Film (2019, 89 mins) directed by Leslie Woodhead. Swing Bridge Trio in Café Bar following screening.

Dave O’Higgins & Colin Oxley - Great Broughton Village Hall, Ingleby Road, Great Broughton TS9 7ER. 7:30pm. £20.00. ‘O’Higgins & Oxley Play Monk & ‘Trane’. Oxley replaces Rob Luft.

Paul Taylor - Ushaw College, Durham DH7 7DW. Tel: 0191 334 5119. 7:30pm. Free (donations). An Ushaw Piano Festival event.

Jazz Lads - Saltburn Cricket Club, Marske Mill Lane, Saltburn TS12 1HJ. Tel: 01287 622761. 8:00pm. £5.00.

Guisborough Big Band - Saltburn Golf Club, Guisborough Road, Saltburn TS12 1NJ. Tel: 01287 622812. Time TBC.

Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool - Tyneside Cinema, Pilgrim Street, Newcastle NE1 6QG. Tel: 0191 227 5500. Time 8:30pm. Screening of Stanley Nelson's documentary film (2019, cert. 15, 1hr 55mins).

Blues/Soul etc.

Ray Stubbs R & B All Stars - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.

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

Friday, October 18, 2019

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.

CD Review: Brenda Earle Stokes - Solo Sessions Volume 1

Brenda Earle Stokes (piano/voice).
(Review by Lance)

An interesting mix of standards, contemporary songs and originals by a Canadian singer/pianist now based in NYC. Stokes is very much her own (wo)man and stamps her individuality on both her singing and her piano playing. If anyone springs to mind vocally, or as a composer, it is Carole King although, obviously, Brenda is jazzier.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

CD Review: Scott Kinsey - We Speak Luniwaz: The Music of Joe Zawinul

(Review by Russell)

Scott Kinsey is a fully paid up Luniwazian. Pianist, composer, producer, Kinsey continues to promote the music of the late Joe Zawinul (the Zawinul Estate endorses his activities) with concert performances and now a debut album on Whirlwind Recordings. We Speak Luniwaz features musicians who share Kinsey's enthusiasm for his subject, the legendary co-leader of Weather Report.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Jam Session @ the Black Swan - October 15

(Review by Lance/Photo link)

Anyone for tenors? There's no shortage of them tonight. They buck the trend and outnumber the girl singers 4 to 1.
Harry Keeble's the first to put up with a somewhat reflective opener that seems to meander a bit. However, Tadd Dameron's Ladybird dispenses with the meandering and Harry unleashes the torrent of notes we expect from him and the now crowded room roars its approval.

Tusk Festival: Magma @ Sage Gateshead – October 13

(Review by Steve T/Photos courtesy of Ken Drew)

I was on the verge of embarrassment for the second time in a fortnight over low turnout for the two most stupendously stunning gigs in the region so far this year, when the hordes gradually began to stream in.

I say hordes, but somebody confirmed ticket sales of around three hundred, which isn't bad for such complex, difficult, challenging and genre resistant music, sung by French singers in a made-up inter-galactic language.

Pete Tanton's Riviera Quartet @ Gala Theatre, Durham - October 11

Pete Tanton (trumpet, flugelhorn); Mark Williams (guitar); Andy Champion (bass); Russ Morgan (drums).

(Review by Brian Ebbatson/Photos courtesy of Malcolm Sinclair).

It’s not often that a band arrives with a mission statement, but that is the case with the Riviera Quartet, who arrived to play the Gala Studio Friday lunchtime set, but found themselves transferred to the main theatre with its spacious stage, sophisticated lighting and ample room for the 100+ audience. And they spread the magic of their music in accordance with their mission. Which - in case you missed it - is “to bring the combined energy of bossa nova, blues and bebop to new listeners and to build a broad audience. Imagine driving along the highway from Nice to Monaco, or even Los Angeles to Monterey, in a convertible – this is the music you would listen to.”

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Richard Bona & Alfredo Rodriguez @ Sage Gateshead - October 14

Richard Bona (bass guitar, vocals); Alfredo Rodriguez (piano, vocals)

They arrived over the weekend to conduct a workshop in Sage Gateshead's Music Education Centre. A number of well-known faces signed-up for the event and minutes before the start of last night's concert one workshop participant spoke to BSH saying the day had been a wonderful experience. Yes, Richard Bona and Alfredo Rodriguez were in town and Sage Two's ground floor was at capacity as the duo took to the stage. 

CD Review: Jim Rattigan's Pavillon - The Freedom of Movement

(Review by Lance).

Apart from being one of the relatively few jazz French hornists in the UK, Rattigan is also an imaginative and forward looking arranger and composer. On French horn he produces the lovely dry sound associated with the instrument - like an ice-cold beer on a summer's day - and one wonders why it is such a rarity, the sound is so compelling.

Monday, October 14, 2019

RIP Turk Mauro

Belatedly discovered the sad news in the November issue of DownBeat that Turk Mauro died on August 15.

It brought back wonderful memories of, back in 1980,  hearing Turk blowing some of the best bari sax I'd ever heard at the Bull's Head in Barnes - or anywhere. With Tommy Whittle on tenor and the Tony Lee Trio behind them they blew up such a storm that, had it not been a musical one, they'd have battened down all the hatches.

Preview: Claire Martin @ Hoochie Coochie

They've done it again! This Sunday (Oct. 20) Strictly Smokin' Big Band in conjunction with Hoochie Coochie have once more come up with the goods!

"The goods" in this case being super star jazz singer Claire Martin, OBE. Regarded both here and abroad as one of the finest living jazz voices - with a string of superb albums to prove it - this promises to be the best Sunday afternoon jazz concert yet at the iconic Newcastle venue.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Preview: Ella & Miles go to the movies

(Preview by Russell)

You wait an age then two, no, three come along at once. Just as the no. 38 bus comes into view you can be sure another one isn't far behind followed by another. As John Akomfrah's arthouse film Precarity nears the end of its run at Baltic, two jazz documentary films open in Bebop Spoken Here's heartland (aka the north east of England). As Buddy Bolden (Precarity) departs (Oct 27), Ella and Miles arrive this Friday (Oct 18).

Precarity imagines Buddy Bolden. Jazz historians take the view that film footage of the legendary figure simply doesn't exist. This is far from the case with Ella Fitzgerald and Miles Davis. Two documentary films - Ella Fitzgerald: Just One of Those Things and Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool - released this year draw upon the moving image to illustrate the story, the legend, of Ella and Miles. Familiar names offer insights and, of course, there is the music.

Keeping it local with JRR


Today's edition of Jazz Record Requests had something of a regional flavour to it. Topping and tailing the programme were tracks featuring the Kenny Clarke-Francy Boland Big Band and Duke Heitger. The roaring Clarke-Boland outfit included in its ranks County Durham-born Derek Humble. The alto saxophonist had recently joined the band at the time the early sixties' album Jazz is Universal was recorded. The requested track - Box 703 (Washington D.C.) could best be described as a 'cooker'!

All Because Of Love: Seyed Ali Jaberi and the Hamdel Ensemble @ Sage Gateshead – September 19

(Review by Melanie Grundy/Photo supplied)

This fascinating project takes its inspiration from the works of Sufi poet Rumi, a link that is explained in an introductory talk by the ensemble’s producer before the performance. Rumi was a Persian poet, Islamic scholar and Sufi mystic, who spent most of his life in Konya in Central Turkey. Rumi was teaching at the madrassa here when he met Shams-e-Tabrizi and his life as a poet and ascetic truly began; after four years of Shams’ teaching and companionship, he suddenly disappeared. The rest of Rumi’s life was spent searching for Shams and mourning his loss in lyrical verse. It is some of these verses that become the inspiration for the compositions the ensemble presents.

Last chance to catch Bona & Rodriguez!


Last week they were in London to play a Union Chapel gig then hopped across the Channel to play a sold out gig in Nimes on their European travels. Tomorrow (Monday 14) they're returning to these shores to perform in Gateshead before leaving Britain behind them as they continue their globetrotting ways. You could catch up with them in Costa Rica but with Sage Gateshead on the doorstep it makes sense to book now to see Richard Bona and Alfredo Rodriguez. 

Virtuoso bassist and vocalist Bona and astounding young pianist Alfredo Rodriguez (he turned 34 last week) will be on stage in Sage Two at eight o'clock. Book
online: www.sagegateshead.com or call the box office on  0191 443 4661.     
Russell

Saturday, October 12, 2019

The party continues...


Last night they were partying into the early hours. Today (Saturday), on little or no sleep, Jude Murphy and David Gray were out and about bright and early gigging with Soznak. Dave Weisser's birthday celebrations on Friday evening featured an array of the region's jazz musicians, many, if not most, of them graduates of the American ex-pat's weekly 'jazz workshop' which is currently based at the Jazz Co-op's Railway Street premises.

 Pictured are the bright-eyed and bushy-tailed Jude (bass guitar) and David (trombone) doing their funky thing at Monument in Newcastle city centre. Soznak are there most Saturdays, come rain, come shine. 
Russell

Dave Weisser's 80th Birthday Bash @ The Globe - October 11.

(Review by Lance/photo of Dave & Jude by Russell)
Photo Album

To call this the Gig of the Year would be to do a disservice to the many fine sessions that have taken place at the Jazz Coop headquarters and elsewhere in the region. However, to not call this the Gig of the Year would be to do an even greater disservice to a man who has (relatively speaking) probably done more to encourage emerging jazz talent than any school or college this side of Berklee, Mass.

I refer, of course, to Dave Weisser who celebrated his 80th birthday at the Globe with the help of the Railway St. regulars and a few of the local big hitters.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Beverley Knight sings Stevie Wonder @ Sage Gateshead - October 9

A jazz gig? No, but the music of Stevie Wonder all but guarantees some interest, not least in the arrangements for the horn section. A successful BBC Radio 2 Friday Night is Music Night Live broadcast concert performance encouraged all concerned to do it again. And so it came about that Sage Gateshead found itself on a ten date British tour itinerary.

The star of the show, Beverley Knight, clad in a figure-hugging jumpsuit a la Diana Ross, bounded onto Sage One's stage to tumultuous acclaim and from there on in it was an exhausting, non-stop revue of all things Stevie Wonder plus a choice selection from Knight's 25 year back catalogue of hits.

Preview: Richard Bona & Alfredo Rodriguez @ Sage Gateshead - October 14

On Monday (October 14) a touch of Afro-Cuban jazz comes to Sage Gateshead when viruoso bassist Richard Bona teams up with piano sensation Alfredo Rodriguez. Bona, born in Cameroon, made his way via Europe to NYC's jazz hothouse having started out as a young boy making his own instruments which would later see him gracing the world's greatest concert halls. Rodriguez studied in Havana before making a name for himself at prestigious international jazz festivals - Montreux, Newport, North Sea - where he was spotted by Quincy Jones. Both musicians juggle numerous projects and it is only now that their schedules allow them to tour across Europe as a duo.

CD Review: Roger Kellaway - The Many Open Minds of Roger Kellaway

Roger Kellaway (piano); Bruce Forman (guitar); Dan Lutz (bass).
(Review by Lance).

So far this week I've received 24 CDs for review. This is on top of maybe another 30 looking hopefully up at me like hungry kittens waiting to be fed. How does one make a choice from such a plethora of (maybe) riches? It is difficult. However, if included in the mix is an album by Roger Kellaway then all bets are off!

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music: Alexander Hawkins Solo + Parker, Hawkins Pope, Hession Quartet @ The Lit and Phil – Oct 6

Alexander Hawkins (piano)
Evan Parker (saxophone); Alexander Hawkins (piano); John Pope (bass); Paul Hession (drums)
(Review by Steve H)

The final session of what had so far been a spellbinding festival concluded, not as advertised with The Julie Kjaer Trio - who sadly had to cancel through illness - but with a newly formed quartet featuring national jazz treasure Evan Parker, Alexander Hawkins, Paul Hession and, making his third appearance of the festival, Newcastle’s very own John Pope. What a fitting finale this proved to be and this pick up band picked up immediately and produced a marvellous if not somewhat short set of improvised jazz.

The last time I saw Evan Parker was when he played solo at the GIJF a couple of years ago but I enjoyed his playing in this ensemble far more. Hession’s drumming was excellent and festival stalwart Pope seemed to fit in perfectly. Who would have thought this band had never played together before?

Dulcie May Moreno & Stephen Bridgland @ The Jazz Cafe - October 9

Dulcie May Moreno (vocals); Stephen Bridgland (guitar) 
(Review by Russell)

We've heard her sing at jam sessions, a couple of Jazz Co-op gigs too. Today she made the long trip north from her Garden of England base to play an afternoon duo engagement on the first floor Jazz Cafe Mezzanine in Newcastle Arts Centre. She's from these parts, don't you know? Newcastle born, long-since resident down south, Dulcie May Moreno is her name.  

Those who had heard Dulcie sing were of the opinion she was good, this Jazz Cafe gig would more than reaffirm that view.  Two sets, largely comprising GASbook numbers with a couple of modern jazz standards for good measure, our ex-pat Geordie and guitarist Stephen Bridgland held the audience spellbound.               

The Scottish National Jazz Orchestra (SNJO) presents The Artistry of Jazzmeia Horn


(Press release)

The SNJO is delighted to welcome the outstanding American vocalist Jazzmeia Horn on her first visit to Scotland for three nights of spellbinding vocal artistry and enthralling orchestral jazz. In this concert series, a big band meets a big voice, but both will be bringing mind, body and soul to the art of performance.

Jazzmeia Horn is the foremost jazz singer of her generation and very much a voice for our times. Musically, she has journeyed through jazz history from its earliest beginnings, absorbing every nuance, influence and inflection along the way. It is an approach that has made her one of the most articulate and relevant voices in improvisational music.

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

CD Review: The Lee-Wynne Quartet - Hats Off

Gavin Lee (clarinet, alto sax, soprano sax); Ian Wynne (piano); Dave Rae (tenor guitar, banjo); John Robinson (bass)
(Review by Russell)

The north east of England's jazz scene continues to be documented by its many practitioners via a steady stream of new recordings. From Hot Club to swing, big band to contemporary, the broad spectrum of the music is well represented. Now, not before time, the music of New Orleans takes its place in the region's CD collection.

Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music: Charkie Parlour + Alembic @ the Lit & Phil – Oct. 4


(Review by Dave Clarke).

In introducing the second concert of this year’s festival, producer Wes Stevenson explained that his goal was to help to raise the profile of Newcastle’s existing jazz venues and attract new audiences to them. He thanked Paul Edis and the Lit and Phil for helping to make today’s show a sell-out.

Charkie Parlour: John Garner (violin); Mark Williams (guitar); John Pope (double bass/bass guitar); Russ Morgan (drums).

Charkie Parlour, was formed in 2017 as a vessel for exploring new music but having only played one gig in the North East at The Globe (and one in Edinburgh) they might as well be regarded as brand new as far as public reputation is concerned. However, performance-wise one would think they’d been regularly gigging together for years. We are of course talking about three of the region’s finest jazz musicians in Mark Williams, Russ Morgan and John Pope. I say three because, until today, violinist and bandleader John Garner was an unknown quantity to me. After today, make that four.  In our region the violin in jazz has, up until now, been confined to the earlier styles of the music though that’s not the case elsewhere in the world.

CD Review: John Yao's Triceratops - How We Do

John Yao (trombone); Billy Drewes (soprano/alto saxes); Jon Irabagon (tenor sax); Peter Brendler (bass); Mark Ferber (drums).
(Review by Lance)

Quite an intriguing concept - 3 horns, bass and drums no chordal support - also a challenging one for trombonist, composer, arranger Yao. Although named after a three-horned dinosaur this is certainly anything but prehistoric there's a crisp sound of today about it. The harmonies are cleverly handled, the interplay between the frontliners is impressive and no one trips anyone up.

Monday, October 07, 2019

Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music: Francine Luce Sings with Andy Champion @ The Black Swan - Oct. 5

(Review by Dave Clarke/Photos courtesy of Ken Drew)
Eighteenth months of preparation went into this performance which will be repeated at Marsden Festival on Saturday October 12, so if you missed it here, and you’re heading for the festival I do recommend that you take a look at this new Northern duo, formed as a result of Francine Luce’s move from London to North Yorkshire.
The duo is new but they both bring a wealth of experience to the partnership. Andy is of course well known in the North East and beyond, not least for his oh-so-sensitive accompaniment of his brilliant vocalist wife Zoë  Gilby in their globe-trotting duo gigs.

Preview: Indigo Jazz Voices @ The Globe: October 10

Barry Keatings, Carrie McCullock, David Edgar, Jenny Lingham, Jen Errington (individual vocals); Alan Law (piano).

I Only Have Eyes For You. Yes, this is just one of the well-chosen songs to be sung next Thursday at the latest gig to be performed by the Indigo Jazz Voices. You'll only have eyes (and ears) for these skilled singers, who will be doing at least 4 songs each, not just a couple of songs, as some listings will tell you.

And what's more, the singers are to be accompanied by one of the best keysmen around, Alan Law. Other songs on the progamme include You Go To My Head; La Vie En Rose; Bring It On Home To Me.

 So why not get yourself along to the Globe for 7.30pm? all welcome, £5 admission, such good value.
Ann Alex

Sunday, October 06, 2019

Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music: @ The Lit and Phil - October 5


Raymond MacDonald (alto & soprano saxophones); Jer Reid (guitar)
Massimo Pupillo (bass & electronics); Tony Buck (drums & electronics).
(Review by Steve H)

The Saturday night gig of the Newcastle Jazz and Improvised Festival is normally the most challenging and this year’s offering kept to the formula. Three very different styles of international improvised music meant the evening was fresh throughout and made sure the audience were always kept on their musical toes.

First up were two musicians who play together in the Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra. Ray Macdonald is a welcome and frequent visitor to Tyneside however this was the first time I had come across guitarist Jer Reid. The duo got into their stride straight away Reid has an almost guttural thrash metal style but thus juxtaposed splendidly with Macdonald’s strident and lyrical saxophone. Some of the harmonies the pair seemed to achieve were miraculous and there was such a Scottish feel to the proceedings that I thought I could hear the sounds of the bagpipes. A good solid start to the evening.

Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music: Sue Ferris Quintet & Mark Williams @ the Black Swan Mezzanine - October 6

Sue Ferris (tenor sax/flute); Graham Hardy
(trumpet/flugelhorn); Paul Edis (keys); Paul Susans (bass); Rob Walker (drums).
(Review by Lance)

Back in the mists of time, Wingy Manone used to bill his shows as Come on in and hear the truth! Although the music played by the Sue Ferris Quintet bore no resemblance to the classic 1930's swing of Wingy, that phrase crossed my mind as soon as  the opening bars of Opus de Funk threatened to lift the roof off the packed Mezzanine. 

Ginger Baker dies at 80

(Report by Russell)

Ginger Baker died today (October 8) at the age of eighty. Forever known as co-founder of Cream, Baker's early career included stints working with Diz Disley and Terry Lightfoot. Alexis Korner came calling, similarly Graham Bond but it was the formation of super-group Cream in 1966 with Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce which would later see the Londoner inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. 

CD Review: Ray Blue - Work


Ray Blue (tenor sax); Sharp Radway (piano); Jeff Barone (guitar) Essiet Okone Essiet (bass); Steve Johns (drums) + Kirk Lightsey or Benito Gonzalez (piano); Ron Wilkins (trombone); Belden Bullock (bass); Neil Clark (percussion).
(Review by James Henry)

Once in a while, from out of nowhere, comes a CD that is just about perfect and restores one’s faith in jazz, the universe and just about everything else. Ray Blue’s Work is just such a gem. This is a carefully curated mix of the old and the new, played in a swinging old school style, but with enough freshness and surprise to keep us on our toes, and enough depth to reward a careful listening.

Ray Blue is a New York based saxophonist with an impressive CV as a sideman, and a few solo credits. He has worked extensively in the USA, mainland Europe and China, but sadly doesn’t appear to have played in the UK. His tenor playing is sweet and mellow and at its very best in the lower register.

Saturday, October 05, 2019

Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music: Yazz Ahmed’s Electric Dreams @ Gosforth Civic Theatre - October 4

Yazz Ahmed (trumpet/flugelhorn); Jason Singh (voice/electronics); Samuel Hällkvist (guitar); Rod Youngs (drums)
(Review by Steve H)

Gosforth Civic Theatre was virtually full for the visit of the British Bahraini artist’s band Electric Dreams. As Ahmed explained, the band produces spontaneous improvisations so it was going to be interesting to see what sort of journey we would be taken on.

It got off to a very rocky start - more Pink Floyd than Blue Mitchell - as guitar and drums tended to dominate on the opening two numbers. The third piece seemed to change tack completely and almost had a western (in the John Wayne sense) type feel to it. 

Friday, October 04, 2019

Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music: Somersaults and Liber Musika @ The Black Swan Bar - October 3

Somersaults: Toby Delius (reeds); Olie Brice (bass); Mark Sanders (drums)
(Review by Steve H/Photos courtesy of Ken Drew).

The third Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music (NFJIM) got off to an absolute flyer! Two contrasting bands linked by their ability to improvise and create spontaneous and stimulating music.

Somersaults, I assume, are so named because that is musically what they perform. Free jazz acrobats performing on the high wire of improvisation with no safety net in sight. Breath-taking stuff from the off - pile driving, exhilarating, bursting with innovation. You could almost see the ideas bounce off the trio as they interacted with one another.

CD Review: Jean Toussaint Allstar 6tet - Live at the Jazz Cafe 091218

Jean Toussaint (tenor sax); Byron Wallen (trumpet); Dennis Rollins (trombone); Andrew McCormack (piano); Daniel Casimir (bass); Shaney Forbes (drums); Williams Cumberbache Perez (percussion)
(Review by Lance).

No, not our Jazz Café but the other one down Camden Town way - this is one gig I'd love to have been at. However, all is not lost, we've got over an hour and a half of it on this double CD due to be released on October 11 - the centenary of Art Blakey's birth. There'll be no shortage of centennials but, this one may be unique as not many of them, unless Courtney jumps on the bandwagon, will contain an actual Jazz Messenger in the personnel. Jean Toussaint's been there, done it and got the shades to prove it.

Thursday, October 03, 2019

Jam Session @ The Dun Cow - October 2

(Review by Russell)

Paul Edis (piano, vocals); Paul Grainger (double bass); Rob Walker (drums) + George Sykes (tenor sax); Joel Shaw (drums) 

The house trio set up in good time and as the session got under way a few hardy souls occupied the front row seats waiting for the sitters-in to arrive. It would be a long wait. For a while it looked as though it could be a piano trio gig! Edis, Grainger and Walker happily played for their own amusement and, of course, for the punters who had made the effort. 

Wednesday, October 02, 2019

CD Review: Troy Roberts - Days Like These

Troy Roberts (tenor sax); Joey DeFrancesco (organ x 3); Emmet Cohen (organ x 5); Jeff 'Tain' Watts (drums).
(Review by Lance).

The Aussie tenorman's 11th album, the 4th to grace these pages, and it's another belter! How could it not be with these guys? Roberts is undoubtedly suited to the organ trio set-up and B3 superman DeFrancesco spurs him on with that big fat sound he conjures from the beast and, on the tracks where Cohen is at the keyboards, Emmet does likewise.

On the up numbers such as Sly Old Dog Roberts goes for the jugular taking the tenor to the limit - soaring off the edge of the world - can a saxophone get rabies? Fortunately, just before the man in the white coat arrives, sly old dog that he is, Roberts takes it down to a mellow ending.

Nishla Smith & Tom Harris @ The Lubetkin Theatre, Peterlee - October 2

Nishla Smith (vocals); Tom Harris (piano)
(Review by Russell)

In August 2018 Nishla Smith sang at the old Jazz Café jam session. As BSH's editor-in-chief LL recorded at the time, the Australian-born, Manchester-resident vocalist silenced the room as she gave a spellbinding reading of Don't Explain. A gig in the Black Swan earlier this year followed and today Smith made the trip across the Pennines to perform at the Lubetkin Theatre in Peterlee.

Jazz at the Lubetkin is a monthly, Wednesday lunchtime, concert series promoted by musician/educator Emma Fisk at East Durham College. An audience of jazz diehards and college students gathered for a one o'clock start. Smith walked onto stage with pianist Tom Harris to present a one hour set of original compositions and a few jazz standards. 

Jam Session @ The Black Swan - October 1

(Review by Russell)

The first jam session since the student freshers' week and few, if any, showed. Perhaps their heads were buried in course text books. They'll catch on, this is the one night they shouldn't miss! Most of the regulars were there, usual seats, ready for some action.

The house trio - Stu Collingwood, Paul Grainger and Tim Johnston - got things under way with On Green Dolphin Street. It didn't take long for the first of the sitters-in to join the party. Harry Keeble blew tenor on a couple including In a Sentimental Mood. Commanding tenor saxophone, the house trio offering sterling support, the recently graduated Keeble is a star in the making. 

Mark Toomey presents a tribute to Cannonball Adderley @ Domans Jazz Club Middlesbrough - September 26

Mark Toomey (alto sax); Jeremy McMurray (piano); Jud Downs (trumpet); Peter Ayton (bass) Paul Smith (drums).
(Review by Ron H)

The Mark Toomey Quartet, enhanced by the addition of Jud Downs, became a quintet for this tribute to Julian ‘Cannonball’ Adderley.

The late alto saxist has long been a favourite of Mark’s as was evidenced on the opening number the well-known Work Song. Written by Cannonball’s brother Nat, it showed the audience just how tight a unit this was. The great trumpet solo from Jud set the standard for the night. 

Sack O' Woe by Cannonball opened with a heavy drum & piano intro before going into  a swinging blues with impressive solos all round.

CD Review: Miki Purnell - Midnight Bloom

Miki Purnell (vocal); Tamir Hendelman (piano); Alex Frank (bass);  Dean Koba (drums) + Bob Sheppard (sax/clarinet/flute x 5); Pat Kelley (guitar x 3); Tommy Aros (percussion x 4).
(Review by Lance).

Miki Purnell's second album is an appealing collection of songs loosely related to experiencing the wonders of nature at night which isn't a bad place to start.

Born and raised in Japan, after dipping her toes into the waters of jazz, Miki became a doctor in Hawaii and her career was professionally put on the backburner albeit whilst still singing after work for the residents of a nursing home. Sounds familiar? Miki wouldn't be the first doctor to combine the two.

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

CD Review: Paulo Dias Duarte Overground Collective - Super Mario

(Review by Steve H)

Many of the participants of this collective will be familiar to Tyneside jazz audiences*. In fact you could split the orchestra into two teams of nine:-  one team consisting of those musicians I have seen and the other team those that I haven’t. Included in this second nine would be bandleader and composer London-based Portuguese guitarist Paulo Dias Duarte.

Following a short intro, the album comprises 7 tunes, logically named Parts 1 to VII.   

Preview: Mike Durham's International Classic Jazz Party @ The Village Hotel (Nov 1-3)

(Preview by Russell)

One month from today (October 1st) the 2019 edition of Mike Durham's International Classic Jazz Party will be under way on North Tyneside. Musicians from around the globe will gather for three days of non-stop jazz beginning at noon on Friday, November 1st. 

There is a truly international element to the festival established in 1990 by the late Mike Durham which, in those days, was known as the Whitley Bay Jazz Festival. In recent years both format and venue have changed; the convention of programming a series of bands has been replaced by a series of concert-themed performances drawing upon the expertise of more than thirty musicians resident across the weekend. 

CD Review: ARQ - Short Stories

Diane McLoughlin (tenor/saxes); Steve Lodder (piano); Deirdre Cartwright (guitar); Alison Rayner (bass); Buster Birch (drums).
(Review by Lance).

ARQ [Alison Rayner Quintet] played a knockout gig at the Globe Jazz Bar, in Newcastle last year (Nov. 22) - as they would riding high, as they were, upon their triumph at the Parliamentary Jazz Awards earlier. I marked that one down as one of my Gigs of the Year and this, their latest album, I'm pleased to report is as exciting as their two previous albums - maybe more so.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club - September 30

(Review by Russell)

A quintet today with Don Armstrong playing a final gig with the band before heading back to Oz. The Crescent Club's bar was doing good business on a sunny Monday lunchtime as Herbie Hudson and the boys got things under way with When You Wore a Tulip.

Lots of vocals and vocalists today (reedsman Armstrong sharing duties with HH on the opener), Ollie Rillands drumming and singing on Green Door (HH harmonica) and the first of Jazz in the Afternoon's guests - harmonica ace Brian Lynham - singing and blowing harp on Cleanhead Vinson's Kidney Stew Blues. Our No Time for Jive* frontman stayed on to form a harmonica duo with Hudson on Makin' Whoopee

Mercury nominees, big band legends and UK debuts: Full lineup announced for Marsden Jazz Festival

(Press release - Image © David Preston)

The full lineup has been announced for one of the jazz circuit’s best-loved festivals and, as ever, it’s a heady mix of classic and cutting edge, world-class and family friendly (often all at the same time).

Marsden Jazz Festival, which earlier this year made it through to the final of the prestigious Parliamentary Jazz Awards, celebrates its 28th year and takes place on 11-13 October 2019 in the beautiful Pennine village of Marsden. 

The Things We Did Last Summer

I'm currently semi-housebound - don't ask! - and, as so often happens in these situations, a song gets lodged in your head and you can't shift it - not that I particularly want to shift this one as it's one of the best and it didn't come from the pen of Gershwin, Porter, Kern, Berlin, Rodgers, Mercer or Carmichael. No, the music was by  Jule Styne and the words by Sammy Cahn. 

This was in 1946 and  it charted for Jo Stafford who sneaked her version out ahead of Sinatra's who, seemingly, wasn't pleased.

Instrumentally, among others, Fats Navarro, Roy Hargrove, Freddie Hubbard, Richie Kamuka and Buddy de Franco made impressive recordings. However, I'm going to sneak into Ann Alex territory and concentrate on the lyric.

BBC playing the changes

Changes are afoot at the Beeb. Radio 3's Jazz Now has bitten the dust, Geoffrey Smith's Jazz is soon to experience a similar fate, Jazz Record Requests is moving from its familiar Saturday slot and the network is to enter into a content sharing arrangement with Jazz FM. 

Radio 3's long-running JRR presented by Alyn Shipton moves to 4:00pm Sunday starting this coming weekend (October 6th). From November 2nd Corey Mwamba presents Freeness (midnight Saturdays). 

BBC Two and BBC Four will see 'emerging artists' appearing on Later with Jools Holland and a documentary series slated for Four includes features on Miles Davis, Bluenote and Billie Holiday. 

Meanwhile Radio 3's In Tune (Monday-Friday, 5:00pm) continues with its occasional live studio jazz sessions, the next one being Tuesday (October 1st) with an appearance by the Hackney Colliery Band 
Russell

Sunday, September 29, 2019

CD Review: Enrico Rava, Joe Lovano - Roma

Enrico Rava (trumpet); Joe Lovano (tenor saxtarogato); Giovanni Guidi (piano); 
Dezron Douglas (bass); Gerald Cleaver (drums) 
(Review by Chris K)

The second of two outstanding ECM releases this month led by trumpeters (third if you count Tom Harrell with Ethan Iverson reviewed by Lance here). This time it’s Italian superstar Enrico Rava, powers undimmed aged 80 on the evidence of this live album recorded in Rome at the end of last year.  Rava shares the lead and compositions here with Joe Lovano,  another veteran of Italian ancestry via Berklee. The two cook up a lively hour’s worth of trading high energy lines, with a major, and calmer, contribution from another Italian – the rapidly emerging Giovanni Guidi. All driven along by a first-rate high-powered young US rhythm section of Dezron Douglas and Gerald Cleaver, particularly effective on some long jam sections reminiscent of 70s' Miles or Ian Carr’s Nucleus.  

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Bebop Spoken Here -- Here, being the north-east of England -- centred in the blues heartland of Newcastle and reaching down to the Tees Delta and looking upwards to the Land of the Kilt.
Not a very original title, I know; not even an accurate one as my taste, whilst centred around the music of Bird and Diz, extends in many directions and I listen to everything from King Oliver to Chick Corea and beyond. Not forgetting the Great American Songbook the contents of which has provided the inspiration for much great jazz and quality popular singing for round about a century.
The idea of this blog is for you to share your thoughts and pass on your comments on discs, gigs, jazz - music in general. If you've been to a gig/concert or heard a CD that knocked you sideways please share your views with us. Tell us about your favourites, your memories, your dislikes.
Lance (Who wishes it to be known that he is not responsible for postings other than his own and that he's not always responsible for them.)
Contact: lanceliddle@gmail.com I look forward to hearing from you.

Submissions for review

Whilst we appreciate the many emails, texts, messages and other communications we receive requesting album/gig reviews on BSH, regrettably, we are unable to reply to all of them other than those we are able to answer with a positive response.
Similarly, CDs received by post will only be considered if accompanied by sufficient background material.
Finally, bear in mind that this is a jazz-based site when submitting your album.
Lance