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Bebop Spoken There

Jeremy Pelt: "I'm so much into melodies and into sound, and the presence of sound, that I don't necessarily want to try to play in between the cracks of a note." - (DownBeat November 2020)

The Things They Say!

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

Rupert Burley (Dynamic Agency): "BSH just goes from strength to strength".

Postage

11,999 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 1139 of them this year alone and, so far, 86 this month (Oct. 26).

Coming soon ...

IT IS ADVISABLE TO CHECK IN ADVANCE WITH THE VENUE THAT THE GIG IS ON.

OCTOBER

THURSDAY 29

Vieux Carre Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.

Abbie Finn Trio - Prohibition Bar, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8:00pm. Free (donations). Limited capacity (upstairs). It’s Abbie’s birthday!

Maine St Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Sunniside Road, Sunniside NE16 5NA. Tel: 0191 488 7347. 8:00-10:00pm. Free. Note earlier start/finish.

FRIDAY 30

Neil William & Ben Holland - Prohibition Bar, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8:00pm-10:00pm. Free (donations). Limited capacity. Jazz standards from the 1920s & 30s.

SATURDAY 31

Alice Grace & Pawel Jedrzejewski - Prohibition Bar, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8:00pm-10:00pm. £10.00. Online booking (to book a table). Limited capacity. Alice & Pav join a multi-bill of entertainers (magician etc) to celebrate Prohibition Bar’s fifth anniversary. SOLD OUT!

Monday, October 26, 2020

12,000 not out and still bopping...


Wow! We've now reached 12,000 posts since BSH began in 2008. What began with very modest aims has now had almost four and a half million page views from all over the world.

Although our main emphasis has been covering jazz in all its many forms in the north east our writers also travel to the London Jazz Festival, Ronnie Scott's, Pizza Express, Spice of Life and other clubs in the capital. 

Festivals in Cheltenham, Edinburgh, Scarborough and elsewhere are covered along with occasional reports from our continental ops, as well as visits to Wisconsin for the annual Bix Fest and, of course, Hong Kong, where our good friend, broadcaster and bandleader Colin Aitchison, makes our presence known via interviews with myself and other local musicians.

David Gray Flextet Live (and online) @ The Globe - Oct. 25

David "Showtime" Gray (trombone/vocal); Adam Sams (guitar/vocal); Alan Law (piano); Paul Grainger (bass); Michael Mather (drums).

He dances like Fred Astaire, plays trombone like Fred Wesley and sings like Fred the Plumber. "Showtime" is well named. As a mover he outshines the previous area champion James Harrison and displays a sartorial elegance that Ray Burns and even the late George Melly would have been envious of!

However, that is merely the packaging, the prime cut of sirloin is the blistering, battering ram a.k.a. the trombone. If our man had been on the Jericho gig, the trumpet section would have had the day off.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

An Ellington Big Band Special - Sunday at seven

Tony Eales, a long-standing friend of BSH, got in touch to remind us that the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra can be heard this evening playing Duke Ellington on BBC Radio 2. The Beeb's much missed Big Band Special recorded the show way back in 2005. This evening, as part of October's Black History Month celebrations, Sunday Night is Music Night will once again broadcast the event billed Black, Brown & Beige: The Music of Duke Ellington. Pianist Wayne Marshall conducts the orchestra with singer Kim Cresswell taking a starring role. Tune in at seven o'clock. 

Russell 

Retro album review: Alan Clare Trio - Jazz Around the Clock & The Alan Clare Trio w. Bob Burns

Alan Clare (piano); Kenny Napper (bass); Eddie Taylor/Bobby Kevin (drums) + Don Rendell (tenor sax); Ray Premru (bass trumpet); Bob Efford (tenor sax); Bob Burns (alto sax) - 1 track each.

Jazz Around the Clock features Alan Clare - surely one of the all-time British piano greats - in trio format as well as with the above guests, It's an absolute gem. How long it's been lying dormant among my CDs  I don't know but, as it was released in 2005, I guess for at least 10 years. How could I have been so negligent? I certainly intend to make up for it.

Paper Moon Duo @ Prohibition Bar - Oct. 24

John Wilson (guitar); Jude Murphy (bass guitar, flute, vocals) + Dave Weisser (vocals)

And then there were three. The advertised Paper Moon Trio turned out to be the duo of multi-instrumentalist Jude Murphy and the venerable John Wilson. Later, our duo would be joined on one number only by a very special guest. Prohibition Bar was, as usual, on top of the social distancing thing. Mitch and co continue to lead the way...

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Lest we forget - as if!

I got to thinking the other day - or was it last year? - about some of the characters that have been part of the northeast jazz scene during the course of my lifetime. I've only picked out those who are no longer with us to avoid a libel action or getting filled in.

They weren't always the best or the worst on their instrument but they all had one thing in common - they were individuals. They were what jazz musicians were when jazz musicians were, shall we say, jazz musicians. Their sounds were as identifiable as their speech. They didn't learn to play the blues or blow bop or Dixieland at college but instead it was in the clubs and bars with like-minded wannabees. So, working on a one per instrument, here are my choices:

That 'must have' is now a 'have got'!

It's Record Store Day. You've got to support your local record shop, haven't you? Anything by Thelonious Monk is a 'must' and the much heralded Palo Alto recording fell into that category. There it was on display in JG Windows, all 180g vinyl of it. Don't say: Well, You Needn't and Don't Blame Me, the Impulse! album now takes pride of place in the collection.

Russell

Vinyl here, vinyl there...

Today (Saturday 24) is Record Store Day. What?! Hasn't there already been a Record Store Day this year? Come to think of it, hasn't there been not one but two Record Store Days? Yes, and today is the third of them. The pandemic scuppered the original date back in April so, determined not to be defeated, independent record shops have bounced back, time and again. Doors open early today with many goodies on offer. 

On Air Abbie - Saturday

Today (Saturday) at noon be sure to tune in to Colin Muirhead's Jazz on the Tyne programme. Drummer Abbie Finn talks to Colin about her new album Northern Perspective and other matters. CAPNE's Hive Radio station is based in BSH's heartland, Jarrow, South Tyneside. To listen visit: wwwcapne.org or see Abbie's Facebook page. 

Russell

Kellock kicks off label's UK Launch


(Press release)

Award-winning Scottish pianist Brian Kellock spearheads the UK launch on 30th October of New Zealand-based Thick Records, with two of the label’s three initial releases featuring the Edinburgh-born, Glasgow-based Kellock’s talents.

The launch is built around Think About It! - the long overdue follow-up to Kellock and his trio’s 2002 BBC Jazz Award-winning album, Live at Henry’s – and includes two albums by label owner and drummer, John Rae.

Friday, October 23, 2020

Film review: Ronnie's @ Everyman Cinema - Oct. 23

Friday evening, the Everyman Cinema, Newcastle. The first night of the nationwide release of Oliver Murray's documentary film Ronnie's. Screen One, albeit with a socially distanced audience, was surprisingly full. Nursing a five quid plus bottle of beer, the 106 minutes which followed were largely familiar to the jazz fan and, for the non-jazz fan, perhaps something of an eye-opener. 

The beginnings, the desire to somehow replicate 52nd Street's club scene back home in London, the Soho gangsters (surprisingly on side with the post war  jazz musicians), the arrival of Zoot Sims with many more Americans to follow, this was the story of a rag to rags jazz club. The to-be-expected talking heads were absent from the screen, instead we heard their voices as stills and the moving image sketched the story of Ronnie Scott. 

Album Review: Keith Jarrett – Budapest Concert

Keith Jarrett has Hungarian roots and a love of Bartók – both predisposed him towards this performance at the Béla Bartók Hall in Budapest in July 2016, which he considered akin to a homecoming.  The concert was recorded live and is presented in twelve “Parts” over two discs.  The Parts are numbered sequentially I – XII, I-IV on disc one and V-XII on disc two. 

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Nigel Price Organ Trio w. Vasilis Xenopoulos - Live stream @ Ronnie Scott's - Oct. 22

Nigel Price (guitar); Vasilis Xenopoulos (tenor sax); Ross Stanley (Hammond B3); Joel Barford (drums).

(Photos courtesy of Ken Drew)

What is there left for me to say? I said it all after hearing the band at The Globe on Sunday night!* It was a great session then and it's a great session now. Hopefully, anyone who missed that session - or any of the other gigs on the tour - will be catching up and realising they are in the virtual presence of greatness.

Keith Jarrett

Keith Jarrett, it seems has had two strokes over the past couple of years and it looks as though his performing days are over.

Details here in this Guardian report.

Lance

Big screen, small screen Friday (Oct. 23)

Tomorrow (Friday) Newcastle's Everyman Cinema is to screen a documentary about one of the most famous jazz clubs on the planet. Oliver Murray's Ronnie's looks at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club - Gerrard Street (the old place) and Frith Street. A running time of 106 mins should allow for plenty of archive footage - name the names and almost all will have graced the stage - and numerous talking heads. 6:00pm start for a Covid-secure screening. Telephone booking at: 0872 436 9060. *

Album review: Abbie Finn Trio - Northern Perspective

Abbie Finn (drums); Harry Keeble (tenor saxophone); Paul Grainger (double bass)

In the midst of a once-in-a-lifetime global pandemic which has all but stopped the world spinning on its axis it's a brave move to release an album. In these less than conducive circumstances that's precisely what Abbie Finn has done. Drummer Abbie's trio recorded material at Blank Studios in Newcastle and previewed it at a recent gig at Gosforth Civic Theatre. Next week there will be an album launch gig at Prohibition Bar. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Album review: House of the Black Gardenia - The New Lowdown

The albums arrive from far and wide. Across the seven seas and most of the oceans. However, when a locally produced disc shows up, it jumps the queue and, in this case, deservedly so.

HOTBG have built up a following over the past few years drawing in fans from all sides of the jazz divide. Thus we have swing/bop hornmen gelling with a blues mama and a blues papa producing the kind of music that we thought was lost forever.

Most of the numbers were written by Hopper, although Haigh, Rana and Littlefield also chip in. But, here's the beauty, they sound original - and indeed they are - yet they have captured the idiom better than many of the composers who were working that side of the street back in the day!

Leeds' Latest

(Press release)

Here is our autumn line up – all at Seven Arts in Chapel Allerton. There will be two (distanced and therefore limited numbers) concerts for each – one starting at 7:00pm and one at 8:45pm, lasting 75 mins each. We are also offering a recorded version of the concerts for those people in our audience who are not able to attend an inside concert

Thursday: 29 Oct Fergus Mcreadie Trio

Thursday: 12 Nov Ian Shaw, Ian Ballamy, Jamie Safir “What’s New”

Thursday: 26 Nov Josephine Davis “Satori”

Thursday: 3 Dec Nigel Price and “Wes Reimagined”

Thursday: 17 Dec Adrian Knowles and “Sound of 59”

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Album review: Fred Hersch - Songs From Home

Fred Hersch (solo piano)

At the beginning of ‘lockdown’ in March, jazz pianist extraordinaire Fred Hersch embarked on a series of solo performances known as his “Tune of the Day”.

Each afternoon for sixty days, Fred checked in with one song which was broadcast live from his home on Facebook. This effort became very important for many people around the world struggling with their daily structure within a Pandemic which was restricting everyone’s life.

Songs From Home collates eleven of these selections which are ‘covers’ of songs which are meaningful for Fred as he surveys his personal history now that he has reached sixty-five years, in a nostalgic way with warmth and personality. He felt that in order for him to be able to continue to play, he had to find a new way of connecting which would for the time being be a different ‘normal’ and a way of making a partial “living” from his music – as many other musicians are now doing.

René Thomas

Further to Roly's post re guitarist René Thomas and the comment from Maurice Summerfield, Maurice has sent me this copy of a letter he received from René's widow acknowledging her appreciation of Maurice's inclusion of her husband in his definitive work - The Jazz Guitar.


Merci Maurice, adieu René

Lance

Album Review: Sophie Bancroft and Tom Lyne – Monday Nights


Sophie Bancroft (vocals, guitar); Tom Lyne (acoustic and electric bass)

This couple coped with lockdown in the way that many jazz musicians did, by live-streaming gigs from their Scottish home each Monday evening, hence the title of the album that has come out of those gigs. The songs are a mixture of re-imagined standards, four originals written by Ms Bancroft, one offering from Tom Lyne, and a final track from the pen of Tom Waits.

The music set me wondering why on earth I hadn't heard of these two superb musicians before: what have I missed from the past? 'Brave, bright and engaging' said Jazz Journal, and I have to agree. The re-imagined standards really are that, with a fresh uncluttered feel to them

Q & A w. Dave Weisser & Jude Murphy - Part 3 of 3.

BSH: (to both) Who are your favourite musicians? Do you ever have musical disagreements, do you criticise each other? And finally, who does the cooking? I remember Dave bringing his homemade apple cake to the Chilli one night and it was delicious!

Favourite musicians:

Dave:  Miles and Coltrane, of course, goes without saying. Cannonball Adderley. Nat Adderley on cornet.  Keith Jarrett, Michael and Randy Brecker (another sax and horn sibling combo), Al Jarreau and George Benson, and I love the Yellowjackets.

Jude: Literally every single one on Dave’s list, plus Kenny Garrett. And everyone knows I have a real thing for Marcus Miller. I also adore Brazilian music, particularly Milton Nascimento and Elis Regina. And then there’s Billie Holiday, Cassandra Wilson, Madeleine Peyroux. Nile Rogers.  Steely Dan. Too many to mention really.

Monday, October 19, 2020

Oscar Lives! James Pearson and Dave Newton remember Oscar Peterson by way of a live stream from Ronnie Scott's - Oct. 19

James Pearson, Dave Newton (pianos); Sam Burgess (bass); Matt Skelton (drums).

(Photo courtesy of Ken Drew)

Not a lot you can say about this week's Monday night offering from Ronnie's other than fantastic although sensational would also cover it. However, being a down to earth sort of chap I'll just say it was bloody great.

I had initial reservations, two pianos? they'll get in each others way. I should have known better, we weren't talking about just any two old piano players but, arguably, two of the best, if not the best, jazz pianists in the country. Well they had to be hadn't they? If you're not you're going to fall short paying tribute to Oscar Peterson, probably the greatest of them all.

Paul Edis: Music Box live stream from Sage Gateshead - Oct. 19

Paul Edis (piano, keyboards, clarinet, flute, music box, vocals); Matt Anderson (tenor sax, soprano sax ); Andy May (Northumbrian pipes, keyboards); Francis Tulip (guitar); Ben Lawrence (keyboards) + Francis Tulip (guitar); Ben Lawrence (piano) 

(Photos courtesy of Ken Drew-see album.)

Paul Edis conceived the Music Box some time ago. A performance was scheduled for May at Sage Gateshead but the small matter of a pandemic intervened. A new date of October 7 came too early to permit an audience to be present so, next best thing, a pre-recorded live stream. Tonight was the night.

Composer, arranger, pianist, Paul Edis made the journey north from his London home to meet up with friends Matt Anderson, Andy May, Francis Tulip and Ben Lawrence. Their socially distanced meeting in the Northern Rock Foundation Hall produced a live stream set of some forty five minutes. Numbers from Edis' association with Ushaw College featured prominently: Edis with Northumbrian piper Andy May playing Shepherd from Melrose from the composer's St Cuthbert Suite for the Ushaw Ensemble and the haunting Sound of Achill

Roly Veitch remembers René Thomas (1927 – 1975)

Many years back I bought a vinyl album ‘The Bobby Jaspar Quartet’ at Ronnie Scott’s recorded in 1962. It was on the Mole Jazz label and issued in 1986. Alongside Thomas were: Bobby Jaspar (tenor sax/flute); Benoit Quersin (bass) and Daniel Humair (drums)

At that time I regularly bought jazz albums, usually at good old JG Windows, and I guess I just took a chance on this one as I had other Mole albums - the wonderful Art Pepper & Milcho Leviev LPs. Well, it turned out to be a very good choice, an exciting live session with great players and a guitarist who absolutely stood out as someone up there with the best.

Thomas had a very fluent, freewheeling, adventurous approach to soloing – melodic yet exciting. Great solo building in a quite modern, boppish style and a very distinct woody tone, a sound that had warmth yet bite and attack. Rather different from the classic warm toned, full bodied, mellow sound of many archtop guitar players of the day.

Nigel Price Organ Trio w. Vasilis Xenopoulos @ The Globe - October 18

Nigel Price (guitar); Vasilis Xenopoulos (tenor sax); Ross Stanley (Hammond B3); Joel Barford (drums).

The groove was in the moment they hit Wet and Dry - rock solid cement. They soloed at length before going into 4's or was it 8's or was it 1024's? It didn't matter - they were digging deep and the socially distanced audience were also digging deep - and this was just the opener! Come rain or come shine it couldn't get any better than this - could it?

It could!

The evening was about Wes - Montgomery that is - and I'd like to think that the late great guitarist would have been pleased with the rearrangement of his tunes. They certainly worked for me.

Q & A with Dave Weisser & Jude Murphy - Part 2 of 3.

BSH: Dave, you are probably best known these days for the Take it to the Bridge sessions which, prior to these strange times, ran for many years at a variety of venues before becoming established at The Globe.

Dave: Yes, it started off when we came back from working abroad.  Terry Ellis and Bazz Ascroft were also at loose ends at the time, and I got them together at the Beamish Mary pub in No Place, County Durham.  That ran as a very popular jam session for several years before a change of pub management meant we were looking for other venues.  A short stint at the Bridge led to a really long residency at Jesmond’s Bluebell, then we moved on to the Egypt Cottage, the Tyne Bar, and eventually, The Chillingham Arms in Heaton.  Only when the Chilli was refurbishing did we find our way to the Globe, where we’re very happy.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Q & A with Dave Weisser & Jude Murphy - Part 1 of 3

BSH: Dave, you and I (Lance) go back a long way. Early 1970s I think it was when you first showed up in J.G. Windows’ music shop. It wasn’t long after that that you began working there. How did you get to be in Newcastle and, after living in America for so long, was the North East somewhat of a culture shock?

Dave: I married a Geordie lass in the States, and when she wanted to come home to the UK I came with her.  I started at Newcastle University, studying Psychology and in the same year I also started working part-time at Windows. 

It was a bit of a culture shock to be in the NE of England after California, but remember America was in a crisis of its own in the early 1970s.

Jude: Lance, not sure if you remember, I also did a short stint of working at J.G. Windows in the mid-1980s.  It’s a rite of passage for musicians, isn’t it?

BSH: Certainly is a rite of passage. That in itself may well be worth pursuing at some later date! Before we get around to the present, tell us about your life in the States, were you from a musical family? Did you meet up with any big name musicians? I recall you mentioning Doris Day and John Coltrane!

More Obituaries

You may have already been aware of these deaths recently. George Galway died  4 Oct age 79. Played flute, tenor sax. Clarinet around the Manchester area. He was the brother of James Galway the well-known flute player. Also Ira Sullivan another great musician died in Miami aged 89.I saw him a few times in Europe with Red Rodney - he was incredible on anything that had a mouthpiece! A real be-bop legend. I heard yesterday that tenorman Eric Traub had died - sometime last year I believe.

Michael Farmer.

Lance: Thanks Michael for the update - difficult keeping track of them all. May they Rest In Peace.


Adrian Cox: South of the Border - Oct. 18

Adrian Cox (clarinet, vocals); Simon Picton (guitar, banjo, vocals)

Preacher Adrian Cox took his Sunday Service on the road today, assisted in his missionary work by the Reverend Simon Picton. Our duo headed south, it would be quite a journey. Toulouse Lautrec their base, Cox entrusted Picton to come up with a set list and offer guidance on pronunciation. A mere nine tunes today as Cox more or less finished on time, 'time' being two o'clock. 

Paul Edis Trio @ Gosforth Civic Theatre - Oct. 17

Paul Edis (piano); Andy Champion (double bass); Russ Morgan (drums)

(Photos courtesy of Jerry E)

A full house, an album launch, the return of the Paul Edis Trio. Each element is something to shout about, but to achieve these things in the midst of a pandemic is a major achievement. Gosforth Civic Theatre's Covid-secure premises is another example of how things can - and should - be done. As the house lights dimmed it struck your reviewer that it had been something like nine months, perhaps more, since we had heard pianist Paul Edis for real, in person, performing in front of a real, live audience. 

Saturday, October 17, 2020

The Charts

1: Frank Sinatra - The Things We Didn't do This Summer.

2: Jon Hendricks - Socially Distanced Call.

3: Louis Armstrong - Not a Wonderful World.

4: Sting - Don't Stand so Close to me.

5: Tony Bennett - I Left my Mask in San Francisco.

6: Ella Fitzgerald - Every Time we Text Goodbye.

7: Peggy Lee - (You give me) Covid.

8: Duke Ellington - I Got it Bad and That Ain't Good.

9: Thelonious Monk - Mask Me Now.

10:Various - Teach me Tonight (online).

The Hooch, it's the business!

BSH readers familiar with Hoochie Coochie up on Pilgrim Street should get themselves down to Newcastle Quayside to check out Warren Thompson's new place on the corner of Broad Chare and Quayside. The Hooch occupies a prime site across the road from the Law Courts with panoramic views across the Tyne to Sage Gateshead and Baltic.

TERRY DAY ARCHIVES COMPOSITIONS, IMPROVISATIONS, SONGS, LYRICS & POETRY

(Press release)

‘Aside from music, you are improvising everyday in your life... When you paint a picture, after a while the picture starts to create itself. 


It was the same when I came to improvise... I never to this day discussed, put any parameter in the music I make with another musician... When you are improvising you are creating, you are throwing all the structures out.’ (Terry Day)

For Terry’s 80th birthday today, the 17th of October 2020, Unpredictable Series and Cafe Oto are releasing 20 albums of Terry Day’s Archives on Otoroku. The celebration also includes six of Terry’s solo albums, which will be available on Bandcamp.

Diehl, Harriott & Hutchings on the airwaves (Saturday, Oct. 17)

Cécile McLorin Salvant's one-time pianist Aaron Diehl plays a set on today's edition of J to Z (Radio 3, 5:00pm), over on Radio 4 at 6:15 cover star of November's issue of Jazzwise magazine Shabaka Hutchings is a guest on Loose Ends and, back on Radio 3 at midnight, Corey Mwamba's Freeness includes an archive tape of Joe Harriott

Russell

Friday, October 16, 2020

Album review: Julia Wereup - The Thrill of Loving You

Julia Wereup (vocals); Sven-Erik Lundeqvist (piano); Johnny Åman (bass); Thomas Blachman (drums)

Swedish-born, Danish-based Wereup is a Scandinavian songbird with an original, hard to define style that is so laid-back you could go away and make a cup of tea in between phrases without missing a syllable.

Gloomy Sunday is exactly that. Once known as "The Suicide Song" it is not misnamed, she makes the Billie Holiday version sound like Happy Birthday!

John Garner live streaming from the Lit & Phil - Oct. 16

John Garner (violin)

Today's Lit and Phil live stream concert wasn't jazz but it was John Garner. Violinist Garner turned up one night at the old Jazz Cafe looking to sit-in at the fortnightly jam session. That was two or three years ago and what a revelation it proved to be! Since then the softly spoken Garner has gone on to work with Paul Edis (Ushaw Ensemble and in a duo with the pianist) and form his own small jazz combo with the wonderful moniker Charkie Parlour. 

But The Band Plays On - Birmingham, Sandwell & Westside Jazz Festival Set To Go Ahead

(Press release)

With live music currently caught between the pincers of a global pandemic and an economic recession, the outlook for independent promoters and venues has never been worse. But one festival in Birmingham decided to take a stand rather than simply accept its fate.

That’s why, from the 16th-25th October, the Birmingham, Sandwell & Westside Jazz Festival is set to go ahead with a special Covid-safe edition. Normally staged during July, for the 36th consecutive year the festival will bring its nearly entirely free programme of live jazz and blues to the bars, squares, shopping centres and libraries of Birmingham and Sandwell.

Top keyboardist reveals what lies Between the Lines

(Press release)

Scottish pianist and keyboards player Steve Hamilton has used the enforced inactivity of lockdown to record his first solo album, Between the Lines, with friends including guitar virtuoso, Martin Taylor MBE dropping by to guest on selected tracks.

The album’s release coincides with a period of recuperation for Hamilton following surgery to remove his right kidney after a tumour was found during a CT scan for another problem that has since cleared up.

“I went into hospital on September 25th and had the kidney removed along with the tumour and hopefully any traces of it from my body,” he says. “It seems we found it early enough to hope for a clear outcome moving forward.”

Soweto Kinch live streaming from Ronnie Scott's - Oct. 15

Soweto Kinch (alto sax, tenor sax, Apple Mac, iPad); Nick Jurd (double bass) 

Is it premature to call Soweto Kinch a 'national treasure'? Of course it is! Hopefully SK would recoil at the very prospect of such a moniker, now or at any time in the future. One thing is for certain, Soweto is a superb musician in addition to knowing where it's at. Tonight, in the company of regular bassist Nick Jurd, alto and  tenor  saxophonist Kinch put on a tremendous display. 

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Preview: Clare Teal Trio @ Petworth Festival - October 29

Clare Teal (vocals); Jason Rebello (piano); Simon Little (bass); Ben Reynolds (drums).

£4.99 - the sale of the century! However, don't jump on the bus and ask for a return to Petworth - chances are the driver won't know where it is either! Fortunately, the combination of modern technology and Cov means you don't even have to step out of your front door to enjoy the vocal mastery of Ms. Teal.

JAZZFUEL INTERNATIONAL JAZZ MUSICIAN SURVEY

(Press release)

“55% of jazz musicians surveyed said they had no live performances scheduled for 2021”

A Jazzfuel survey of 266 professional jazz musicians around the world highlights the difficulties faced by this industry not just in 2020, but going forwards. 

Among other takeaways, the results highlighted the scale of lost concerts and income this year, as well as the knock-on effects of this on plans for releasing new music. 

With more than 20% of all shows involving cross-border travels, the situation shows no sign of improving in the short term, with overall optimism for the industry in the next 12 months down to 4.2 out of 10.

Big Band Bash - Oct. 14

Coastal Sound Radio's Big Band Bash programme attracts an international audience. Now in its second year, Steve Walker's weekly celebration of all things big band goes from strength to strength. Last night's edition included many familiar names and a few new ones. 

Big band leader and trumpeter Walker is certainly well-connected with frequent on-air plugs for his show from the likes of LA based Tom Garling, Gordon Goodwin and Andy Martin, John Fedchock in New York and, closer to home, Laurence Cottle. Walker wished Dusko Goykovic a happy 89th birthday and played the trumpeter's Haze on the Danube as performed with the NDR Radio Orchestra. 

Tune In to Sara's In Tune Home Session

Today's edition of In Tune features a Home Session by vocalist Sara Dowling. A review of Dowling's Two Sides of Sara featured in the 2018 pages of BSH with our Editor including it in his top three British vocal albums of that year, and last year the Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club regular won Best Vocalist in the British Jazz Awards. Tune to Radio 3 at five o'clock today (Thursday) to hear Sara perform a Home Session for the long-running In Tune drive-time programme. 

Russell

The Matt Mackellar Story - so far ... Part 3 of 3.

BSH: And so to Berklee. You set your sights on winning a place at the prestigious American institution. Tell us about the application process? Where did you audition - here in Britain or in the US?

Matt: The whole process actually only took place over a few months. I applied at the beginning of 2017 on the Berklee website, having wanted to apply for a few years before that. There were a few hoops to jump through in order to convert my school results into the American style grading system. After waiting for a couple of weeks from submitting my application, I was informed that I had been selected for an audition and interview. Berklee auditions occur all around the world, so luckily the farthest I had to travel was London. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

The new jazz clubbing scene

I've got this new chat up line for when I go to a jazz club - or any other club/pub. When the girl on the door says "Can I have your phone number?" quick as a flash I reply and say, "Sure, can I have yours?"

This gets varied responses: a) she gives me the number of the pub/club; b) she yawns - she's heard it all before; c) and this is the 100-1 outsider, she flutters her eyelids and says it's xxxxx xxx xxx.

Bingo! 

You enjoy the gig, these guys have never played better - you float home on a cloud.

The next day, you ring, you meet, and when you do meet, face to face, it mutually dawns that both of you were wearing masks when you first met!

"Must go, socially distancing you know (I'll try the Folk Club tomorrow)". 

"Yes me too, I've got some shopping to do".

Lance

Early...with Jools

It was early one mornin', walkin' through Central Arcade. Yes, it was early one mornin'...Popular entertainer Jools Holland is usually to be found late night on BBC 2 introducing a studio full of musicians. At the crack of dawn today, Mr H appeared outside JG Windows in Central Arcade, Newcastle. It was, of course, a 'virtual', old school cardboard cut-out of the man promoting a well-known make of keyboard. The real Jools Holland will return to Tyneside next year to fulfill two rescheduled concert appearances at Newcastle City Hall on December 1st and 2nd. 

Russell

The Matt Mackellar Story - so far... Part 2 of 3.

BSH: That's your recent history. What's the story of your earlier days? Why did you choose drums? Who were your tutors? 

Matt: I had always been exposed to good music thanks to my Dad. He was always interested in the more complex side of popular music, which led me to have an appreciation for the likes of everything from Steely Dan to Jamiroquai. The first instrument I actually picked up was the guitar. I had a little toy guitar and microphone that I would use to perform songs I had learned in my church when I was very young. At around the age of 5 or 6, I started to become fascinated by the drums in church. I would always go up to the kit at the end of the service and want to have a little play. 

Deon Krishnan was really the one to first encourage me and see that I had some natural rhythm at a young age. I have an enduring memory of him teaching me my first beat on the kit and it sort of being a eureka moment. From then on my curiosity about the drums just kept growing. My parents took the decision to nurture this curiosity and invest in some lessons for me. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Album review: The Michael O'Neill Quartet - and then it rained.

Michael O'Neill (saxes/clarinet); Michael Bluestein (piano); Dan Feiszli (bass); Jason Lewis (drums).

Michael O'Neill seems to have spent most of his life hanging out in San Francisco's Bay Area spending 13 years at the Ritz Carlton in Half Moon Bay and another 7 at Centrella on the coast which, despite having released 4 previous albums, explains why he is relatively unknown up here in the North East of England. Having said that, no doubt our local big hitters aren't exactly household names on the Barbary Coast either. Perhaps, when the current pandemic returns to from whence it came the survivors could arrange an exchange system?

Should such an unlikely miracle occur then this band would deserve to be in the vanguard,

Jazz Violin Practice Class Review

Recently I have been thinking about how my passion for jazz started. I remember as a young child being entranced by the fabulous sounds of what I now know was the Count Basie Orchestra with Sinatra. The other lasting memory is of the marvellous Stephane Grappelli seemingly magically swinging his way through the Great American Songbook. 

The Matt Mackellar Story - so far ... Part 1 of 3

BSH: Hi Matt. We trust you are well in these strange times. For obvious reasons it's been a while since you've gigged on the Tyneside jazz scene or anywhere else for that matter! Where were you in March when lockdown was applied? Where are you now and what are you up to?   

Matt: Hi guys, thanks for reaching out and thank you to everyone who has been in touch to check up on me and ask about my situation. When lockdown was announced I was still in the US after completing the first half of my 6th semester. On the 13th of March it was announced that after the Spring Break scheduled for the following week, school would not resume in person and a transfer would be made to an online remote learning program. We were unsure at first what the best plan of action would be, but when the border closure started to be announced we decided the best move would be for me to return home as soon as I could, which I did. I arrived back in the UK the day after lockdown began and finished my semester online in the first week of May. Since then I’ve continued to practice, record projects with my colleagues from college, and discover as much new music as I can while I have the time. As well as working on my musical ventures, I’ve been trying to keep fit and active as well as spending time with family while I’m here.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Single review: Monocled Man - Bernabe Jurado

Rory Simmons (trumpet/keys/electronics & processing); Chris Montague (guitar); Jon Scott drums).

The 12" diameter piece of vinyl is becoming a more and more frequent visitor to my Dansette, much to the delight of some and the horror of others. A rarer specimen is the 7" 45rpm beast formerly known as an EP (extended play).

CDs with a short playing time are often referred to as an EP, but aren't actually the real deal - and nor is this one which is, in effect, a single like what we had back in the old days when Ronnie Scott was bailing out The Beatles on Lady Madonna.

An A side (Sero Max for Joan Vollmer) and a B side (The Raw, Mineral Blue).

Let's hear it for the girls!

As the saying goes, behind every man there's a woman - and vice versa but we won't go into that!

So many of the great modern jazz musicians had powerful women  keeping them on track and, helping then get back on the rails when they messed up.

Laurie Pepper's support of the great alto sax player Art Pepper is well documented in both Art's autobiography and Laurie's own memoir.

Financial help for North East theatres

A total of 58 theatres in the North East will receive help from the Government's Culture Recovery Fund.

The funding will help organisations to cope with the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic by creating work and performances, as well as a plan for reopening.

A total of £257m has been awarded across the country today, including North East venues such as ARC in Stockton and Newcastle Live Theatre and the city's Jazz Coop.

Well it's not all doom and gloom!

Lance

Sunday, October 11, 2020

From Bratislava to NYC and onto Chicago

Bratislava Hot Serenaders live streaming from Bratislava - Oct 11

A ticketed live stream from Bratislava presented one or two challenging pre-performance moments. Would there be a Facebook reminder? What was the time difference? What did UTC + 01 mean? Did BST come into the calculation? There would be much fiddling and searching for an all important access code...

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