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Bebop Spoken There

Ethan Iverson: "I asked Bertha [Hope] if she ever used the word "contrafact" to describe the process of writing new tunes over old changes, and she replied, "Of course not. The only people who used that word went to a university to learn about jazz."" - (Jazz Times March 2020).

Archive.

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".

COFID- 19

In the current climate we are doing our best to keep everyone up to date. All gigs, as we all know, are off.

However, good old YouTube has plenty to offer both old and new to help us survive whilst housebound. Plus now is a good time to stock up on your CDs.

Also, keep an eye out for live streaming sessions.

Alternatively, you could do as they do in Italy and sing from your balcony.

Today

As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Friday, January 31, 2020

“My Delight” – a triple bill @ Micklegate Social, York - January 29.

(Review by Jerry)

York is a bit off BSH readers’ normal turf but it’s worth flagging up a new venue and recommending that you check it out if you are ever in the city. Micklegate Social is one of the first buildings inside the wall at Micklegate: the staff are friendly, the beer is good and the jazz is downstairs in an atmospheric cellar-room.

Organiser of tonight’s gig, Faye Thompson, IS well-known to BSH readers from Earlybird , Jambone and more recently, Jazzy Christmas. Her enterprise as a youthful impresario also deserves to be acknowledged.  In fact, “youthful” was a key word tonight with Paul Edis looking positively avuncular when the gig morphed into a jam session after his solo set. And if the musicians were young, the audience seemed even more fresh-faced – to the extent that Paul prefaced his usual mid-set sales pitch with the anxious question: “Do any of you still buy CD’s?” It is reassuring to see jazz performed by talented youngsters and applauded by friends and fellow students: it has a future!

Strictly Smokin' Big Band @ The Bridge Hotel, Newcastle - Jan 30

(Review by Russell)

A first public rehearsal/concert performance of 2020 by the mighty Strictly Smokin' Big Band. All reported for duty with the exception of long serving baritone saxophonist Laurie Rangecroft who was, perhaps, on a mid-winter sunshine break and his dep on the big beast of the reeds stepped out of the Newcastle University Jazz Orchestra, a more than able sub, welcome Brian Wicks.

Your correspondent's first scribbled note...BANG! Straight out of the (Buddy Rich) traps with Big Swing Face. This evening Michael Lamb's outfit certainly lived up to its name...Smokin'! No time to lose on a session like this, welcome back Alice Grace to sing All the Things You Are

Abbie Finn Trio @ The Globe Jazz Bar - January 30

Abbie Finn (drums); Harry Keeble (tenor sax); Paul Grainger (double bass).
(Review/band photo by Minnie Fraser. Individual photos by Russell).

There was a select audience in the Jazz Bar at the Globe to hear this new trio although the faces were familiar, particularly to those who attended the Black Swan on Tuesday.  Many of the tunes they played were also familiar, but the arrangements were new and exciting.  They started with Janine by Duke Pearson a post-bop swing, a great start with Abbie showcasing the drums with the call and return of fours.  Next up was Windows by Chick Corea, followed by Love for Sale which started as a slow and sultry bossa but the tempo picked up and after some excellent improvisation by Harry, Abbie gave a great solo focusing on the toms.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Scarborough Jazz festival 2020 The Grand Hall | Scarborough Spa.

(Press release)

The 2020 Scarborough Jazz Festival will take place across the weekend of 25-27 September 2020 at Scarborough Spa.

Earlybird Weekend Tickets are now on sale!

Our 2020 Line Up!
Alan Barnes Octet plays Jazz Portraits
Alan returns alongside his long established octet, as usual, the music is swinging and accessible as well as serious and is always presented with humour, peppered with anecdotes. Visit Artist Website.

Dave O’Higgins & Rob Luft Quartet
Young 'firebrand' Rob Luft teams up with an established giant of the UK Jazz scene as their Quartet perform Thelonious Monk compositions and tunes played by John Coltrane. Visit Artist Website

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Jam Session @ the Black Swan - January 28

(Review by Lance/Photo link ).

Descending into the depths of the Black Swan's Jazz Café is rather like entering the Parisian jazz club La Caveau de la Huchette. I was reminded of the film Paris Blues and, although we didn't have Joanne Woodward or Diahann Carroll, we did have Debra and Minnie. Wild Man Moore arrived later.

To call last night's event a jam session is like calling Beethoven's Fifth a symphony. This was the jam session to end all jam sessions!

It began all peaceful and serene with some tasteful playing from the house trio although, had the occasion demanded it, Mark could easily have adopted the role of Wild Man. Along Came Betty followed by Could it Be You? then, along came Harry - Keeble that is.

The young tenor ace sight read the head to Wayne Shorter's Fee Fi Fo Fum before heading off into the mystical world of chord progressions. The evening was warming up! 

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

CD Review: Don Vappie & Jazz Créole - The Blue Book of Storyville

(Review by Russell)

Don Vappie (banjo, vocals); David Horniblow (clarinet); Dave Kelbie (guitar); Sébastien Girardot (double bass)

Don Vappie has amassed an impressive back catalogue of recordings as a bandleader and sideman. The Blue Book of Storyville on Dave Kelbie's Lejazzetal Records is the banjoist's latest as leader and he is in good company working with David Horniblow, clarinet, Lejazzetal label boss Dave Kelbie, guitar and Sébastien Girardot, double bass. 

Seventeen tracks stretching over the best part of seventy minutes are band arrangements of familiar, some less familiar, numbers with a particular emphasis on Vappie's Créole heritage. The vocals - in English and in French - are Vappie's and his sunny disposition comes shining through. The Blue Book of Storyville (comp. D. Vappie) is an early highlight swiftly followed by Jelly Roll Morton's Buddy Bolden's Blues.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Book review: Bobby Morris - My Las Vegas

(Review by Lance)

For those drummers who read - I'm talking words as well as music - then Hudson Music is the place to be. They have an incredible range of drum tutors both in book form as well as on CD and DVD along with instructional items for other instruments.

As well as the educational stuff they also have a couple of biographical (one autobiographical) books. Both books, in their own way, will help the novice to find direction and the experienced pro to, maybe, relate to the lives of the drummers in question - Buddy Rich and Bobby Morris - maybe ...

Sunday, January 26, 2020

The Shirt Tail Stompers @ DJam 2020, Durham Town Hall - Jan. 25

(Review/photos by Russell)

DJam is one of the north east's hidden gems. The long weekend Lindy Hop event in Durham City attracted dancers from far and wide. Classes, workshops, dances...there was something for everyone. Bebop Spoken Here stumbled across the event researching the tour itineraries of one or two high profile musicians. What's this? A gig for such and such somewhere in Durham? A dance event of some kind? Further research confirmed Steve Coombe's Shirt Tail Stompers would be part of DJam 2020 Lindy Hop Festival in the historic setting of Durham Town Hall. This was an event that could not be missed! 

Saturday, January 25, 2020

The Dean Masser Quartet @ The Gala Theatre, Durham - Jan 24

Dean Masser (tenor sax); Dean Stockdale (piano); Ed Harrison (double bass); Gaz Hughes (drums)
(Review by Russell/ Photos courtesy of Malcolm Sinclair - link.

Print and online publicity for Friday's two gigs in a day featuring an all-star quartet - a lunchtime concert at Durham's Gala Theatre followed by an evening engagement at Opus 4 Jazz Club in Darlington - ranged from Dean Masser Quartet to Dean Masser-Dean Stockdale Quartet to Dean Masser with the Dean Stockdale Trio to Dean Stockdale Trio with Dean Masser...what's in a name? Especially as the Gala Theatre concert was, as usual, an advance sell out and the Traveller's Rest invariably pulls a good crowd.

Community Radio Waves! The Makar, Power Commandos, Darlington NOJB & Clifford Brown

(The Russell Report)

At five o'clock today (Saturday, Jan 25) the first of several radio programmes to be broadcast over the next seven days should be of interest to jazz fans. J to Z on BBC Radio 3 includes a performance by Calum Gourlay's quartet. At midnight, also on Radio 3, Corey Mwamba's Freeness features the music of Taupe, Tyneside's self-styled 'power-jazz commandos'. Tomorrow (Sunday) James Morrison presents the final part of his Radio 2 series Top Brass (9:00pm) which includes music from Louis Armstrong and Brass Funkeys (heard recently in Newcastle) followed at 10:00pm by The Swing and Big Band Show with Clare Teal.   

Blaydon Dates

March 15th
FINNTET - a new quintet led by a brilliant young drummer Abbie Finn, with Harry Keeble tenor sax. More info to follow.
Music from 7.30pm. Admission £7 - pay on entry.

April 19th
JAMES BIRKETT/BRADLEY JOHNSTON GUITAR DUO - an eclectic selection from right across jazz guitar repertoire and styles.
Music from 7:30pm. Admission £7 - pay on entry.

Remembering George Evans

Our historian in Hong Kong, Colin, came up with an interesting article and photo of the George Evans Orchestra which was resident at the Oxford Galleries, Newcastle, from 1951 to 1958. 

Quite a few well known names in the band such as Malcolm Mitchell and Eric Jupp who went on to form their own big bands and Freddy Syer and Don Rendell - both national jazz names. Rendell toured with Stan Kenton as well as giving a legendary concert with the Newcastle Big Band.

Evans, after a period of retirement returned to playing in the northeast and was a regular guest at Blaydon Jazz Club. 

Ten saxes!

Friday, January 24, 2020

EP Review: Mette Juul: New York - Copenhagen

Mette Juul (vocal); Mike Moreno (guitar tracks 1, 2 & 5), Ulf Wakenius (guitar track 3); Per Mallehøj (guitar track 4); Lars Danielsson (bass tracks 3 & 4).
(Review by Lance)

Mette's fifth album and the third to be reviewed by BSH*. It may be her best yet - the voice is beguiling, captivating, the person you feel you've waited all your life to meet despite the fact that, in my case, she wasn't born for most of it!

The Copenhagen based Danish singer's aim is to try and capture the difference between the pulsating, vibrant energy of New York and the Nordic simplicity and warmth of her youth.

Frog and Henry @ Carlisle Jazz Club - January 23

(Review by Russell)

Frog and Henry's current British tour included a return visit to Carlisle Jazz Club. An idea sprung to mind...let's take a scenic Tyne Valley train journey to Cumbria's county town to hear the band for the third time in twelve months. Gigs in Darlington and Newcastle had been a great success and this unseasonably mild mid-winter date promised to live up to expectations. 

Carlisle Jazz Club meets on a weekly basis at Carlisle Rugby Club. As the band took to the stage club organisers confessed that musicians of this quality dont't come round every week! The Louisiana-Oxfordshire based five piece features two Canadians, one German, one American and one Brit - the in-demand Ewan Bleach who bases himself this side of the Atlantic with a busy schedule on the London scene and beyond. 

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. 

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!

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