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Bebop Spoken There

Aubrey Logan: "My relationship with the audience is the most fun I can legally have!" - (Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club January/February 2020)

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The Things They Say!

Hudson Music: Lance's "Bebop Spoken Here" is one of the heaviest and most influential jazz blogs in the UK.

Today Friday January 24

Afternoon

Jazz

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

Dean Masser Quartet @ Gala Theatre & Cinema, Millennium Place, Durham DH1 1WA. Tel: 03000 266 600. 1:00pm. £6.00. Masser (reeds), Dean Stockdale (piano), Ed Harrison (double bass), Gaz Hughes (drums). SOLD OUT!

Evening.

Dean Masser Quartet - Traveller's Rest, West Auckland Road, Darlington DL3 9ER. 8:00pm. (doors 7:30pm). £TBC. Opus 4 Jazz Club. Masser (reeds), Dean Stockdale (piano), Ed Harrison (double bass), Gaz Hughes (drums).

Blues/Funk/Soul etc.

Big Joe Louis + Michael Littlefield - Middlesbrough Town Hall, Albert Road, Middlesbrough TS1 2QJ. Tel: 01642 729729. 8:00pm. £12.50. Blues.

Long Tall Mama - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St., Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9:00pm. Free.

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

Friday, January 24, 2020

Preview: Joe McPhee Trio

(JNE Press release)
Sunday 2nd February 8.00pm (doors 7.30pm)
The Bridge Hotel - Newcastle
£10 / £8 Concessions

JOE MCPHEE TRIO
Joe McPhee (Reeds and Brass) / John Pope (Bass) / Paul Hession (Drums)

Multi-instrumentalist Joe McPhee is one of free jazz’s legends, a key participant in the musical revolution that swept out from New York in the 1970s. Now aged 80, he continues to tour worldwide, playing with undiminished fire and imagination, and displaying an insatiable appetite for throwing himself into new situations.

A great example of that came at the 2018 Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music, when he played a memorable concert alongside bassist John Pope and drummer Paul Hession. It was a brand new trio, with no opportunity for rehearsal, but there was instantaneous chemistry, with Joe switching between tenor sax and trumpet, and John and Paul in perfect synch with his every move. The results were so good that all three agreed they’d like to do it again.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Air4ce @ The Quakerhouse, Darlington - Jan 22

(Review by Russell)

BSH couldn't get along to Tuesday's performance in Newcastle making this Darlington gig all the more eagerly anticipated. The Cluny's stage isn't the biggest but in comparison to the Quakerhouse in Darlington it is of arena dimensions. The pub in Mechanics' Yard can accommodate a quartet, maybe a quintet, and that makes it something of a squeeze. As Air4ce took to the stage the main man, Tom Atkinson, suggested a round of applause was due for cramming nine musicians onto its postage stamp stage!

Tom Rainey Trio @ The Bridge Hotel, Newcastle - Jan. 22

Tom Rainey (drums); Ingrid Laubrock (alto sax/soprano sax); Mary Halvorson (guitar).
(Review by Lance/Photos courtesy of Ken Drew - link).

I occasionally dispense with the safety net and check out what's happening at the pointy end. One set is usually enough before I head to the hills or, to be more precise, the nearest bar bemoaning what these infidels have done to the music that I have loved for so long.

I feared last night might well turn out to be more of the same and I'm pleased to say I was totally wrong and in complete agreement with the crowded upper room at Newcastle's Bridge Hotel who gave this transatlantic trio a resounding roar of approval after the opening improvisation.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Julija Jacenaite & Alexys de Alfaro @ Jazz Cafe Mezzanine - January 22

(Review and photo of Irene Birkett & James Birkett by Russell/Photos of Julija Jacenaite & Alexys de Alfaro courtesy of Mike Tilley)

Julija Jacenaite (vocals, piano); Alexys de Alfaro (guitar, vocals) + Irene Birkett (vocals); James Birkett (guitar)

It was to be an afternoon of four quarters. Vocalist Julija Jacenaite opened on piano with original material from her days back home in Lithuania. Part classical, part playful composition, this unexpected selection revealed another side to JJ. 

Danny Jonokuchi with Strictly Smokin’ Big Band @ Flat Caps Coffee, Carliol Square, Newcastle-upon-Tyne

(Press release)

Friday 13th March | 8pm

Famed New York and LA band leader, trumpet player, vocalist and arranger, DANNY JONOKUCHI, visits the North East for a one-off gig with STRICTLY SMOKIN’ BIG BAND. We’ve featured Danny’s arrangements at SSBB for a few years now, and are very excited to hook up for this gig.

Danny Jonokuchi has been called a world class performer and the “sound of this era” (Nextbop).

This music swings from start to finish – Danny’s arrangements are fresh but hold true to the New York big band tradition – think Birdland, Village Vanguard and Blue Note.

We’ll be featuring Danny on trumpet and vocals, as well as our own Alice Grace and members of Strictly Smokin’.

JAZZ NORTH EXPANDS JAZZ CAMP FOR GIRLS GIVING MORE GIRLS THE OPPORTUNITY TO FLOURISH UNDER FEMALE ROLE MODELS


(Press release)


Following the success of 2019’s Jazz Camp for Girls, Jazz North has made the camp bigger for 2020 and is taking it to more places across the north of England including Sage Gateshead and The Northern Jazz Centre in Doncaster.

Overall, six weekend workshops will take place in February and March in Gateshead, Greater Manchester, Huddersfield, Cumbria, Lancaster and Doncaster aiming to offer an unforgettable first experience for girls aged between 9 and 15 years. They will have the opportunity to flourish under the mentorship of female role models, discover improvisation and playing in a band, and to develop their confidence. Now, instead of just one day, the camp will run for a weekend, and instead of just one weekend, the camp will take place on three weekends across the north, giving more girls the opportunity to take part.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

A Humble stumble

Back in  September 2012 we posted a photo of the Ronnie Scott Band with the late Derek Humble on alto sax mentioning that one Steve Owen was looking for photos of Humble who was born in Wheatley Hill, Co. Durham.

Now, 7 years on, Harry Monty stumbled over the post and sent me these cracking photos of Derek Humble with the Clarke-Boland Band taken at Hammersmith Odeon during Jazz Expo 69.

The band photo shows Jimmy Woode (bass); Tony Coe, Johnny Griffin (tenor saxes); Derek Humble (alto sax); Ronnie Scott (tenor sax); Sahib Shihab (bari sax). In the background can be (just) seen Kenny Clarke, Kenny Clare (drums) and Nat Peck (trombone).
Many thanks Harry, I'll see if I can contact Steve to bring these excellent pics to his attention.
Lance

Monday, January 20, 2020

Sunday Jazz @ Middlesbrough Town Hall - January 19

(Review by Russell)

A jazz gig in Newcastle beckoned on Sunday evening but first there was the small matter of four bands from north of the border performing at an afternoon showcase event on Teesside. Sunday Jazz is a monthly session featuring three bands drawn from across the north of England and further afield. January's edition presented no fewer than four bands, all of them from Scotland.

Top of the bill - and last on stage - was Tom Bancroft's In Common. Drummer/percussionist Bancroft was introduced as belonging to one of Scotland's musical clans. Gina Rae represented the Raes (Tom and Gina are a couple, on and off stage). Bandleader Bancroft spoke in glowing terms of the younger generation(s) of fine jazz musicians emerging on the Scottish scene, many of them award winning musicians. In Common comprises six experienced practitioners from the worlds of folk, jazz and Indian classical music; Bancroft, guitarist Graham Stephen (no stranger to north east audiences), Gina Rae (voice), Sophie Bancroft (voice) and two friends from India - Sharat Chandra Srivastava (violin) and Gyan Singh (tabla). 

RIP Jimmy Heath

As reported in my previous post, it was announced that tenor sax legend Jimmy Heath passed away earlier that day (Jan. 19). JazzMain played Heath's composition For Minors Only in memory of the great man. That piece was just one of the many tunes he wrote. The Chet Baker/Art Pepper album, Playboy's seven tracks include five by Jimmy Heath, For Minors Only being one of them.

On the J.J. Johnson album pictured above he more than holds his own with big hitters like J.J. and Brownie.

JazzMain @ the Globe - Jan. 19

Nick Gould (tenor sax); Steve Grossart (piano); Iain Harkness (double bass); Kevin Dorrian (drums) 
(Review by Lance)

At last! The mystery has been solved! The answer to the eternal question that has bugged musos for over 50 years. 

Why was it that Billie Joe McCallister jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge? We got the answer tonight - he'd heard Nick Gould blowing the tune (Ode to Billie Joe) and that was it, Billie Joe threw his saxophone into the muddy waters beneath the bridge and forgot to unhook the sling! In Billie Joe's defence, if I'd had my sax with me I might have done the same.

Prior to Billie Joe's ode, Horace Silver's Hippest Cat in Hollywood set out the JazzMain stall. Nick Gould can hold his own with anyone and his fellow groovers from yon side of Hadrian's fence are with him all the way.

CD Review: Brian Scanlon - Brain Scan

(Review by Lance).

Brian Scanlon, a first call studio musician for over 32 years, is perhaps better known as first tenor sax in Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band and in particular for his tenor solo on The Jazz Police a chart that has pride of place in just about every big band's pad.

Amazingly, with such a pedigree, this is his first album as leader and he makes the most of it. As a soloist we already knew his standing but here he adds his skills as a composer, arranger and producer to his bag of tricks.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Transfer news

Paul Edis posted the following message on Facebook today:

"In March I’m going to be moving to London.
I studied and lived in London previously, moving back to the North East in 2006 after college. Since then I’ve had so many amazing experiences and opportunities living in the area and working with an amazing array of people, but it’s time for a change.

I’ll still be back to Newcastle for various gigs and things I have in the diary, so Northerners - you ain’t seen the back of me yet.
Londoners - looking forward to meeting you and hopefully becoming part of the scene!"
----- 

This will be a devastating loss to the northeast music scene  -  albeit a long overdue one - and we at BSH wish him every success. Next stop New York City?
Lance
(Photo courtesy of Ken Drew)

Preview: DJam 2020!

(Preview by Russell)

DJam Swing Dance Festival 2020 is almost here! Next weekend over three days (Friday 24-Sunday 26January) Lindy Hop comes to Durham. Dancers from all four corners will descend on historic Durham City to participate in a bewildering array of events. Taster sessions include 'Classic Charleston' and 'Double Time Shag', you can practice your 'Fancy Footwork' and 'Rhythm Variations' and there will be social dance events, a welcome dance, a Masquerade Ball, a farewell dance and an after party. It's going to be non-stop!  

RIP Geoff Castle

LondonJazzNews reports the death of former Nucleus keyboardist Geoff Castle on January 15.

Nucleus played Newcastle Jazz Festival on several occasions as well as other gigs in the area. I don't recall if Castle was with the band although, given that his tenure with Nucleus is listed as 1974 - 1982 and, according to my festival programmes, Nucleus' NJF gigs were later, maybe he didn't.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Soznak (a band for all seasons) @ Monument, Newcastle - January 18

Paul Miskin's street band pitches up lunchtime most Saturdays at Monument, come rain, come shine. Today was no exception. Bright, sunny, a tad cold, the sort of gig where gloves come in useful. As ever one or two familiar faces from the regional jazz scene were helping out Mr Miskin - Jude Murphy was heard singing (and playing flute) on A-Ha's Take on Me. Playing bass guitar was occasional jam session participant Adam Sams (usually heard playing guitar). That was early afternoon. Your correspondent wandered off on a mission (there was a book sale on in town). Late afternoon, wandering by  again, Miskin and co were still at it belting out David Bowie's Let's Dance. Don't these guys feel the cold?! 
Russell     

The Early Birds' Next Generation @ The Lit & Phil - January 18

Haaruun Miller (alto sax, soprano sax); Ferg Kilsby (trumpet); George Ivanov (guitar); Alex Shipsey (bass guitar); Dylan Thompson (drums); Paul Edis (MD, flute, piano)
(Review by Russell)

The term 'production line' makes it seem rather regimented, widgets by the dozen. The Early Bird hothouse is anything but impersonal, anything but uninspiring. On the contrary, the Early Bird set-up and many other similar projects across the region - Jambone, Jazz Attack, JB's Cats, the Gala Big Band, the Tyne Valley Big Band stable to name but a few - succeed because of the work put in by dedicated tutors. Today's workshop format at the Lit & Phil, culminating in a short public performance, offered further evidence of the student-tutor relationship yielding positive results.

Radio Richardson, Live Lovatt

Today's edition of J to Z on Radio 3 at five o'clock is well worth catching. It's a repeat of a programme first broadcast last year featuring a storming session by the Leo Richardson Quartet. The set includes material from tenor saxophonist Richardson's latest album Move. On Tuesday's In Tune (Radio 3, 5:00pm) Mike Lovatt will be one of Sean Rafferty's guests. Trumpeter Lovatt will be at Sage Gateshead with the Strictly Smokin' Big Band on Saturday 29 February. Tickets are going like hot cakes, book now on 0191 443 4661
Russell

Book review: Pelle Bergland - Buddy Rich One of a Kind.

Pelle Bergland, a Swedish writer and occasional percussionist, spent 8 years researching and interviewing significant musicians and contacts of Buddy Rich. The highs and the lows of the egocentric drummer are recorded and, where possible, explained.

For some it may be a nostalgic trip, for others it may be a voyage of discovery, but for those, such as myself, who saw him live so many times it is a reminder that he really was as great as they remembered him. Even now, 50 years on, I still recall the thrill I got hearing him that first time at Ronnie's. A thrill that had already been rekindled when I heard the recently released, newly discovered, final album.

Friday, January 17, 2020

CD Review: Jason Yeager - New songs of Resistance

(Review by Dave Brownlow)

New Songs Of Resistance is Professor of Piano at Berklee  College of Music Jason Yeager’s latest mix of protest, jazz, classical and Latin American folk music. It is his attempt to draw more attention to the anger and confusion felt by the peoples of Latin America and the United States in their current situation. Jason attempts to speak truth through the power of music in the form of resistance as previously achieved by such jazz masters as John Coltrane, Charles Mingus and Max Roach in the not-too-distant past.

Mike Farris @ Live Theatre, Newcastle - Jan 16

Mike Farris (vocals, guitar); Mike Outram (guitar, vocals); Steve ? (organ, vocals); ? (bass guitar, vocals); Ron Johnson ? (drums).
(Review by Russell)

Mike Farris is in the middle of a sold out British tour and Live Theatre, just off Newcastle Quayside, greeted the man from Tennessee as if a returning hero. And, in some ways, that is what the American was having previously performed in Ashington in Northumberland. A contingent of avid fans led the cheerleading and from first note to last Farris held the sold out audience in the palm of his hand.

Farris' band on this Newcastle date included ace jazz guitarist Mike Outram in blues-soul mode and a short notice dep drummer who slotted in as if a long-time sideman. Cuts from Farris' new album Silver & Stone and a selection from an extensive back catalogue together with one or two surprise choices were delivered in a more hard-hitting style than anticipated. A lack of horns and dedicated backing vocalists perhaps dictated affairs; the gospel-infused vocals were in evidence but a rockier vibe hit the audience for six. 

Matt MacKellar Band @ The Black Swan - Jan. 16

Matt MacKellar (drums); Andy Champion (bass/bass guitar); Ben Lawrence (keys); Zoë Gilby (voice).
(Review by Lance/Photos courtesy of Mike Tilley)

The bar was crowded. So much so that had a person arrived of more than average girth the whole shebang would have had to be moved to the lower basement auditorium. Such was the drawing power of the performers.

Leader Matt drove the band with some powerhouse drumming. By coincidence, I'm currently reading the latest biography of Buddy Rich (review imminent) and, listening to Matt it struck me that he was creating the same sense of awe that Buddy caused back in the 1930s! Even though his solos were fewer, and in many ways more restrained than in the past, there was no mistaking the star quality of the boy from Boston Mass.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Hong Kong on Tyne

Colin Aitchison, our man in Hong Kong, sent me the following decoded message re this Sunday's Vintage Chart Toppers radio show which he presents on RTHK Radio 3 every Sunday morning.
Lance
----- 
Just a heads up to let you know that the VCT's show about the local Tyneside dance and jazz scene is on this Sunday at 8-30am (HK time) it is from a good few shows back but they felt it was worth putting it on air again. Here is the write up by the producer and poster by him.
Colin

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Jam session @ The Black Swan, Newcastle - Jan 14

(Review by Russell)

Weather warnings were issued, flood defence measures were in place down on the Tyne and there was a match on at St James' Park. The likelihood was the first jam session of the year would be down on numbers - both participants and listeners. Well, perhaps the determination of all was somewhat underestimated. As the house trio opened with Dear Old Stockholm the Black Swan was filling up nicely and by the end of the night there would be the glorious sight and sound of a ten-strong ensemble blowing on a Bobby Timmons' favourite.  

Messrs Law, Grainger and Walker were in fine form. Pianist Alan Law just couldn't help swinging it...just what Dr Jazz ordered! A rare jam session appearance by Faye MacCalman (tenor sax), an equally rare sighting of vocalist Miriam McCormick and a debut performance by Sheila Herrick spiced-up what was already shaping up to be quite a night.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

RIP Pauline Carmichael

Very saddened to read in tonight's Shields' Gazette of  the death of Pauline Carmichael, widow of the late Charlie Carmichael. Charlie, a member of the Newcastle Big Band and an ever present sax/clarinet player at local jam sessions, was a dear friend and, as the late Brian Fisher once commented, "The only guy in the northeast who could blow bebop on clarinet". This was true although he could fit in with most styles.

Pauline, his third wife, was a lovely person who supported Charlie's musical adventures wholeheartedly and they were a great couple. Sad that she too has left us. The Gazette notices simply say that she died suddenly on New Years Day.

Pauline was 75 and the funeral will be held at the South Shields Crem next Tuesday.
RIP - fond remembrances.
Lance

Book Review: Joseph Jarman - Black Case Volume I & II: Return from Exile

(Review by Russell)

Joseph Jarman first compiled a spiral-bound version of Black Case Volume I & II in 1974. Three years later an expanded edition was published by Art Ensemble of Chicago Publishing Co.. Now, some twelve months after the death of the Art Ensemble of Chicago's saxophonist, composer, poet and member of the AACM, a reprint, with a new preface by Thulani Davis and an introduction by Brent Hayes Edwards, has been made available by Blank Forms Editions and After : Still.   

Poetry, prose and photographs from 1960 through to the mid-seventies chart Jarman's global travels and development as an artist. Principally known as a member of the feted Art Ensemble of Chicago, Black Case Volume I & II is a welcome addition to the literature of the Black Arts Movement. Multi-instrumentalist Jarman offers an insight to his childhood years on Chicago's South Side; racism, urban alienation and fishing trips with his father.  

EP Review: Ellen Edwards – A New York Session

Ellen Edwards (vocals); Randy Brecker (trumpet track 2); Robbie Kondor (piano); Will Lee (bass); Jeff Mironov (guitar); Gene Lake (drums); Richie Morales (percussion); Jason Miles (B3, vibes, synthesizers).
(Review by Ann Alex)

I played this EP with some trepidation as the 5 tracks are all original songs, so there is the problem of not being familiar with the material which means that it is difficult to judge fairly after one play through. I read all the lyrics in the insert and they seemed sort of ok, but once I heard those lyrics sung, accompanied by, I quote, 'top New York studio and jazz musicians' I was hooked, the songs came alive.

Monday, January 13, 2020

More Burns Night Jazz

(Preview by Lance)

It seems as though, officially, Burnsy's Night is on Saturday January 18. A night when, traditionally, tam o' shanters will be worn, haggis will be consumed and vast quantities of Scotch will be downed. Kilts will be de rigeur and, when things go awry, cabers will be thrown.

However, we jazzanachs celebrate it differently. We move it on a day to January 19 and, instead of the infernal bagpipes we have saxophones and other more civilised instruments.

Down at Middlebrough Town Hall, on Sunday afternoon some of Scotland's finest will storm the battlements of that august emporium and they will surely be given the freedom of the 'boro or at least a plate of haggis and chips.

Full details of this Jock jamboree can be found in an earlier post and all for £15 (booking fee and haggis not included).

New Century Ragtime Orchestra News.

(Press release)

Advance notice that our annual concert at Gateshead's Caedmon Hall is on Saturday 29 February at 7.30 pm, once again featuring Keith Nichols on piano, Nick Ward on drums, Caroline on vocals and presented by Steve Andrews (reeds).

Tyneside’s premier exponents of ragtime, hot dance music and classic jazz return to the Caedmon Hall for their annual concert, assisted by Mr Keith Nichols, master of ragtime and stride piano styles. Over the past 20 years, New Century Ragtime Orchestra has developed a reputation for musical authenticity and presentational mayhem from larger-than-life reed man and local hero, Steve Andrews. If you like ragtime, 1920s jazz and 1930s swing, this is a night not to miss!

Renowned Scottish Jazz Artists to Celebrate Burns Night with Special Concert at Middlesbrough Town Hall

(Press release)

Ahead of Burns Night, Middlesbrough Town Hall is kicking off 2020 with an afternoon of live music, celebrating the unique energy of Scotland’s vibrant jazz scene.

Taking place on Sunday 19th January, some of Glasgow’s finest jazz musicians are set to perform in The Crypt within the historical Middlesbrough Town Hall. 

As part of a successful series of monthly Sunday afternoon Jazz concerts, this Burns Night celebration will be headlined by Tom Bancroft’s ‘In Common’, a musical project fusing the common elements of jazz, electronica, Scottish folk and Indian classical music to create a unique sound centred around drones, grooves and improvisation.
Support comes from BBC Introducing’s ‘One to Watch’, Georgia Cecile; winner of The Young Scottish Jazz Musician of the Year, Joe Williamson, and Scottish Jazz Award winners, the Fergus McCreadie Trio. 

Preview: Tom Rainey Trio @ The Bridge Hotel, Newcastle – Jan. 22

Tom Rainey (Drums); Mary Halvorson (Guitar); Ingrid Laubrock (Saxophone)
(Press release/Photography by PETRA CVELBAR - www.petracvelbar.com)

While Rainey's evocative, time-morphing and occasionally implosive drumming plays a central role in the musical materiality here, his trio is very much an integrated ensemble. The commanding component parts are critical to the vibe and behavioural manner and conversational whole.

Laubrock is a saxophonist of unusual textural sensitivity and intellectual savvy, who can summon up proper deposits of abandon, knowing restraint and sly references to jazz' past in the midst of her purely improvisational explorations.

Halvorson, one of the important "avant-jazz" guitarists of her generation, takes the abstracting and deconstructionist influence of musicians like Derek Bailey into account, but has come up with her own way of melding that free-styling painterliness with shards of line and sonics including tasteful deployment of effects units, a well-placed vibrato effect, ring modulation or distortion blast adding to the range and contemporary relevance of what she does... together they make a refreshing and new kind of beautiful music.

Just Friends @ Dormans Jazz Club, Middlesbrough - January 9

Ian Bosworth (guitar); Josh Bentham (tenor/alto saxes); Alan Smith (bass); Dave Archbold (keys); Mark Hawkins (drums).
(Review by Ron H)

A pleasing start to the first Jazz night of the new year  was made by the guest band Just Friends led by Ian Bosworth playing popular standards to a good sized audience.

Stanley Turrentine's Sugar showed the attentive listeners that this was a tight band with great soloists.

After Out Of Nowhere, a favourite ballad of mine, Since I Fell For You had a relaxed feel and included a nice guitar solo from Ian.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Tyneside Talent

(Report by Russell) 

Today's edition (Sunday January 12) of Jazz Record Requests (Radio 3) featured a fine selection of numbers. From the opening Bei Mir Bist Du Schön (Benny Goodman) to It's About That Time (Bitches Brew-era Miles Davis) Alyn Shipton introduced classic material and lesser known compositions. Oliver Nelson (Stolen Moments) to Andy Sheppard and Espen Eriksen to Oscar Peterson to Johnny Dodds. And, thanks to a Darlington listener, proudly taking its place in the list...Paul Edis' Ushaw Ensemble (A Shepherd from Melrose)! Listen again via JRR's page on the Beeb's website.  

CD Review: Amber Weekes – Pure Imagination

(Review by Ann Alex)

Amber Weekes hails from Los Angeles. Her grandparents lived in Harlem and they ran a cafe which was frequented by the likes of Duke Ellington, Diahann Carroll, and Billy Strayhorn. She sang from being a child and went on to study voice (with no less a legend than Sue Rainey who also joins Amber on the title track) and has performed at many of Los Angeles's top clubs as well as at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas.

This fine album includes recognised jazz standards alongside songs by Anthony Newley, Barry Manilow, and Paul Simon but I was most delighted to discover songs by a writer who, I’m ashamed to admit, is new to me, Oscar Brown Jr.  Such great songs, why did I not know about these songs years ago?

Debra Milne-Steve Glendinning Trio @ The Globe Jazz Bar - Jan. 11

Debra Milne (vocal); Steve Glendinning (guitar); Mike Clark (bass guitar).
(Review by Lance).

This was a Tale of Two Trios. Two vocalists, two guitarists, two venues within walking distance of each other and, had our local Metro system being operating as efficiently as its Parisian equivalent, I may have managed a set at both - in a perfect world...

Nevertheless, my decision to opt for the Jazz Coop HQ wasn't a one I regretted. Debra Milne has to be given her due, not just for her individual vocal style but also for her songs and lyrics some of which are worthy of GASbook recognition (am I right in thinking that by some genealogical thing Debs is now an American?) Certainly, Don't Come Around Here Anymore is pure AABA - and I don't mean ABBA!

Saturday, January 11, 2020

CD Review: Delfeayo Marsalis Uptown Jazz Orchestra - Jazz Party


(Review by Lance)

Whilst the Marsalis family may not have quite as many varieties as Heinz, they aren't far short. Wynton, Branford, Ellis, Jason and Delfeayo are the known ones, are there any more at home like these?

I find out there is at least one, but more about that later...

The current dynasty has laid down some impressive moments some of which have been northeast related.

Wynton has played concerts at both the Newcastle City Hall and, across the river, at Sage Gateshead. He even said "hello" to Crombie at the old Jazz Café on Pink Lane and Branford played Newcastle with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers as well as being a regular sideman with Sting.

Delfeayo, to the best of my knowledge, has yet to appear up north but, on the strength of this album, he would be more than welcome.

Music Under Arrest!


Police Notice! Drummer and film soundtrack composer Stewart Copeland presents a three part series on music exploring the art form's power to unite people from different backgrounds and cultures. Along the way Copeland chats to former colleague Sting about the art of songwriting. 

The first part of Stewart Copeland's Adventures in Music will be broadcast at 9:30pm, Friday (Jan 17) on BBC Four. 
Russell

Friday, January 10, 2020

Preview: OFFGRID Presents The Unthanks + Thomas Dixon Trio @ Cobalt Studios CIC - Feb. 14

(Press release)
Sublime acoustic music, limited places, candlelight, lanterns, no power at all, cash only. No whirrs, whizzes or distractions – just distilled music in an intimate environment.

Following the success of our first OFFGRID we are delighted to let you know that The Unthanks have agreed to take to the candlelit stage and grace us with their crystal clear unaccompanied harmony and beautiful, magical and at times haunting stories.

Thursday, January 09, 2020

A Biscuit King!

Opening a festive box of biscuits there it was...Mr B.B. King! - Russell

Bird's Great Life

This week's edition of BBC Radio 4's Great Lives is well worth catching. If you missed Tuesday's programme presented by Matthew Parris there is a quick repeat tomorrow (Friday) at 11:00pm. Former Chancellor of the Exchequer Kenneth Clarke nominates Charlie Parker as a Great Life. Jazz writers Richard Williams and Val Wilmer help make the case and there is archive material featuring Dizzy Gillespie and Annie Ross.    
Russell  

Tuesday, January 07, 2020

CD Review: Stu Collingwood, featuring Paul Booth - Beep Bap Bop.

Stuart Collingwood (keys/composer); Paul Booth (tenor sax/flute); John Trotter (drums/percussion); Mark Austin (guitar); Neil Harland (bass on 3 tracks) + Ryan Quigley (trumpet); Trevor Mires (trombone).
(Review by Lance)

Last Sunday afternoon I dropped by Charts on the Newcastle Quayside. I was too late to browse the stalls that sell everything from a hairpin to the High Level Bridge (maybe throw in the Swing Bridge for cash) but I was in time to catch the Jazz Social (reported in a previous post)

Pianist Stu Collingwood is  highly rated in northeast jazz/music circles so that when he mentioned he'd made a CD of his own compositions and the album included some very big hitters I knew I had to hear it.

CD Review: Laura Noejovich - Laura Has New Standards

Laura Noejovich (voice); Takeshi Asai (piano)
(Review by James Henry)

Laura Has New Standards is a clever play on words, and in this debut album Laura Noejovich gives us a mixture of old standards in new ways, and other less familiar songs that might become new standards.

Laura Noejovich has an unusual background for an aspiring jazz singer. Originally trained as an opera singer, she then completed a degree in neurosciences in Skidmore College, NY, where she is currently a laboratory associate.  In this debut album Laura Noejovich is accompanied on piano by Takeshi Asai, originally from Japan but now based in New York, and an alumnus of Berklee College. Restricting the accompaniment to piano without a conventional rhythm section is a bold thing to do on a debut album, and Noejovich’s classical training and presence help her carry this off.