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Bebop Spoken There

Tineke Postma: “ I had a huge crush on him [Sting] when I was a teenager ". Jazzwise, June 2024.

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Ann Braithwaite (Braithwaite & Katz Communications) You’re the BEST!

Holly Cooper, Mouthpiece Music: "Lance writes pull quotes like no one else!"

Simon Spillett: A lovely review from the dean of jazz bloggers, Lance Liddle...

Josh Weir: I love the writing on bebop spoken here... I think the work you are doing is amazing.

Postage

16476 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 356 of them this year alone and, so far, 68 this month (May 24).

From This Moment On ...

May

Tue 28: Bold Big Band @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Wed 29: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 29: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 29: Jazz Night @ The Tannery, Hexham. 7:00-9:00pm. Free. The first night of a new jam session!
Wed 29: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

Thu 30: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 30: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Ragtime piano. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 30: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests Josh Bentham (sax); Neil Brodie (trumpet); Garry Hadfield (keys); Adrian Beadnell (bass);

Fri 31: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 31: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 31: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 31: Castillo Nuevo Trio @ Revoluçion de Cuba, Newcastle. 5:30pm. Free.
Fri 31: Borealis @ The Witham, Barnard Castle. 7:30pm. CANCELLED!
Fri 31: Redwell @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

June

Sat 01: Enrico Tomasso’s Swing Company @ St Augustine's Parish Centre, Darlington. 12:30pm. Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club.
Sat 01: Play More Jazz! workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. Tutor: Steve Glendinning.
Sat 01: Hop, Skiffle & Jump: The Story of Skiffle @ 1719, Hendon, Sunderland. 6:00-9:00pm.
Sat 01: Lindsay Hannon’s Tom Waits for No Man @ Dry Water Arts, Amble. 7:00pm. £15.00.
Sat 01: John Garner & John Pope @ Victoria Tunnel, Ouseburn, Newcastle. 7:00pm.
Sat 01: Milne-Glendinning Band @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Sun 02: Musicians Unlimited @ West Hartlepool RFC, Hartlepool. 12 noon. Two sets (12 noon-1:00pm & 2:00-3:00pm). ‘Sunday Big Band Blast meets WHRFC’s Classic Car Show’.
Sun 02: Smokin’ Spitfires @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 12:45pm. £7.50.
Sun 02: Mark Williams Trio @ Central Bar, Gateshead. 2:00pm. £10.00.
Sun 02: Sax Choir @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00pm.
Sun 02: New Century Ragtime Orchestra @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 2:30pm. Free. A 'Jar on the Bar' gig. A 'pint sized' NCRO gig/rehearsal session feat. Dave Hignett, Jim McBriarty, Gavin Lee, Keith Stephen, Phil Rutherford with special guest drummer Nick Ward.
Sun 02: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 02: Anth Purdy @ The Quakerhouse, Darlington. 6:30pm. Free. ‘Swing Jazz Guitar’.
Sun 02: MSK @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 03: John Garner & John Pope @ Yamaha Music School, Blyth. 1:00pm. £8.00.
Mon 03: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.

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 evening's 'Masquerade Ball' in the Great Hall (stained glass windows, wood panelling, walk-in fireplace) featured swing dance DJs (PerdidoIt's Tight Like That and more), a screening of Bruce Ricker's 1979 documentary film about the Kansas City jazz scene The Last of the Blue Devils, three sets from the Shirt Tail Stompers and, of course, the DJam dancers. Early arrivals practiced their steps, some sat on the sidelines chatting, observing the scene. Some embraced the spirit of the occasion donning masks - after all this was a masquerade ball! 

As the floor filled with dancers the Shirt Tail Stompers took to the stage. Bandleader Steve Coombe led the fashion stakes sporting a pair of gold coloured shoes! The trumpeter's bandmates weren't far behind, suited and booted for the occasion. Lindy hop or swing dancers seemingly favour a particular tempo and Coombe's London septet happily obliged. The band - three frontline horns, guitar, piano, bass and drums - couldn't have been more professional playing to, and for, DJam's many patrons. 

Exactly Like You sang Coombe, Ain't She Sweet? a clarinet feature for Michael McQuaid then, switching to tenor sax, the amiable Aussie followed up on If I Had You. It was a pleasure to sit on the sidelines listening to an ace band and an education observing the many expert dancers doing their thing. All ages and abilities (beginners to advanced) took to the floor in what was clearly a non-competitive atmosphere. So, this was the world of Lindy Hop... 

BSH's readers will recognise some, perhaps all, of the names in the band. To Steve Coombe's left, trombonist Chris Lowe (Alex Mendham Orchestra), to his right, Michael McQuaid, reeds (The Vitality Five) and the boys in the engine room - the impressive Jake Gill (guitar) who performed at the Saville Exchange a little over a decade ago with Nick Gill's Byzantines, pianist Tom Kincaid (Alan Barnes, Scott Hamilton) who'll be in the region next weekend working with Denise Gordon at Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club, superb Belgian bassist Alex  Gilson (Joachim Caffonnotte) and 1920's 'Jazz Age' percussion maestro Nick Ball (The Vitality Five). Over three sets the septet ticked all the boxes; the non-dancing jazz fan dug the music, the dancer appreciated the music and the tempo, and the Town Hall's catering staff were seen to be shimmering, not unlike Kate, between tables. 

In an attempt to encapsulate the musical essence of DJam 2020 think small group Kansas City Basie - on screen in Ricker's film and brought to life by the Shirt Tail Stompers (Jive at Five). DJam 2020 Lindy Hop Festival was a truly memorable occasion. Given the opportunity Bebop Spoken Here would willingly attend DJam in the future! 
                   
The Shirt Tail Stompers: Steve Coombe (trumpet, whistle, vocals); Michael McQuaid (tenor sax, clarinet); Chris Lowe (trombone); Jake Gill (guitar); Tom Kincaid (piano); Alexandre Gilson (double bass); Nicholas Ball (drums).
 Russell.

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