Total Pageviews

Bebop Spoken There

Neil Hopper, House of the Black Gardenia: "We had the idea when we first started that we would be like Tuba Skinny or something, but that didn't really suit us." - (NARC 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

12,000 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 1140 of them this year alone and, so far, 87 this month (Oct. 27).

Coming soon ...

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

OCTOBER

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!

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! 

To get up and blow with three of the area's best backing you and countless more of them sitting in the audience is a daunting task for any one - for a 14 year old first timer it must have been like being thrown in at the deep end. Well, I don't know what Ferg Kilsby is like as a swimmer but, as a trumpet player, he'll never drown.

Sure he was nervous, and so were we, but our fears were unfounded he kept his cool - think early Miles or Chet. If I Should Lose You was quite beautiful, no bravura runs that didn't come off or misguided pyrotechnics that stumbled at the last hurdle just a well thought out solo that worked. This young man will go far.

However, bedtime and school the next day precluded him hanging around for the grand finale so the grand finale was brought forward to suit.

Joining Ferg was Neville Hartley, Graham Easthope, Edgar Bell, Joel Brown and the first of the brothers Harrison (Laurence) for a blast on Caravan and Moanin'. Solos all round and our young debutant wasn't shot out of the back but kept pace with le peloton. See you next time Ferg.

Song For my Father sang Debra Milne aided and abetted by another one of the Harrison brothers (Charles), Mike Mather, Steve Summers (on tenor) and another newcomer - Ramtin Mehkaram - who plays piano when he's not doing neuroscience at which he's seemingly pretty good according to my research. He's not bad on the keyboard either able to adapt his style to suit the occasion.

In the old days a jam wasn't a jam without How High the Moon and tonight the tradition continued with Harry Keeble and Jordan Alfonso on tenor and alto respectively as well as Neville Hartley and the wild man himself - David "Showtime" Gray - on trombones.

Things couldn't get any hotter than this - or could they?

They could!

Alan Law joined the party for Bernie's Tune - the exchange of fours twixt Alan and Michael on drums, for once, made that usually pointless exercise worthwhile. 

The Jody Grind was another belter with Showtime at his wildest with some machine gun staccato blasts the like of which have never been heard since a certain St. Valentine's Day in a Chicago garage.

Sanity prevailed, for a while - as Minnie took the A Train before demanding that we Love her or Leave her. We loved her even if the words did leave her at one point. It didn't matter, her multi-coloured top made up for it.

On an evening when grand finales were the norm the grand finale had to be something special and it was. In fact it was so special I can't remember the tune - come back Minnie all is forgiven!

Trombones x 2, saxes x 2, full rhythm section, a fitting climax to a memorable night - a proper jam session and all because Ferg had to go to school the next day!
Lance

Paul Grainger (bass); Mark Williams (guitar); Abbie Finn (drums) + Harry Keeble, Graham Easthope (tenor sax); Steve Summers (tenor/soprano saxes); Jordan Alfonso (alto sax); Ferg Kilsby (trumpet); Edgar Bell (cornet); David Gray, Neville Hartley (trombone); Charles Harrison, Laurence Harrison (guitar); Joel Brown, Alan Law, Ramtin Mehraram (keys); Michael Mather (drums); Debra Milne, Minnie Fraser (vocals).

5 comments :

Anonymous said...

Great review of a great night Lance. It could not get any better than that as they say!
The young trumpeter is going to go place without question. Very Impressive playing by a 14 year old . 14 years old ??????? Wow
We are privledged in the north east to have such talent.

Ron Ainsborough

Russell said...

That was some jam session debut by Ferg. The 'old guard' - Abbie, Harry, Joel et al - had better watch out!

Unknown said...


A marvellous night made special by a 14 year old trumpet player called Ferg Kilsby whom on this evidence has a great future along with the future of north east jazz.

BRIAN SHINE

Patti said...

Yes indeed! Ferg was amazing - such a sweet tone, and some neat ideas. Very mature in style for a young lad. He did so well, and should feel really good about his first sit in.

Lance said...

Names are now added to all 22 photos of the gig. Click on the photo link in the main post for all of my photographic memories of a great gig.

Blog Archive