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Bebop Spoken There

Art Hirahara: "Playing with people is the most important thing to me, and not playing with people is torture." - (DownBeat August, 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.

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

Postage

11,772 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 912 of them this year alone and, so far, 49 this month (August 13).

Coming soon ...

August

Saturday 15: Anth Purdy - Prohibition Bar, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8:00pm. Free (donations). Purdy’s solo ‘Swing Jazz Guitar’ show. Limited capacity.

Thursday 20: Vieux Carre Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone, North Tyneside NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.

Maine St. Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, 27 Sunniside Rd., Gateshead NE16 5NA. 8:30pm.

Friday 21: Lindsay Hannon - Prohibition Bar, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 9:00pm. Free (donations). Limited capacity.

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Eric Burdon: Rock and Roll - Animal


Watching last night's Eric Burdon programme on BBC4 reminded me of the evening of Sept. 6, 2016, at the old Jazz Café (now the Prohibition Bar) when Burdon's band sans Eric turned up at the jam session. It was quite a night and it was good to see the very same guys on film.

Pictured l-r they are: Ruben Salinas; Davey Allen; Justin Andres; Johnzo West; Dustin Koester; Evan Mackey.

CD Review: Houben & Son - 7/7

Steve Houben (alto sax/flute/vocal); Greg Houben (trumpet/vocal); Pascal Mohy (piano); Cédric Raymond (bass); James Williams (drums).
(Review by Lance)

I hold up my hand and confess that I don't know everything about everything of every great jazz musician in the world. Truth is that there are those  of whom I dispute their greatness - no names, no pack drill - and there are others that I should know everything about - from breakfast to supper and beyond - and whom I don't! Steve Houben is just such a musician. He slipped under my radar but no way will he do it again after hearing this pièce de résistance!

Dave Rae Funeral Details

John Robinson has kindly (and sadly) informed me that Dave Rae's funeral will be on Tuesday, 10th March at 12.15pm at St Oswald's Catholic Church in Wrekenton followed by Saltwell Crematorium, Gateshead at 1.00pm and afterwards at Springwell Village Hall. For anyone wishing to, please make donations to Macmillan Nurses.
Lance

Great North Big Band Jazz Festival 2020: Musicians Unlimited & Festival Big Band (Day 1) - Feb 28

(Review by Russell)

Festival director Bill Watson introduced the opening evening of the seventeenth edition of the Great North Big Band Jazz Festival. The seventeenth?! Where has the time gone? The years have flown by! For most of that time the GNBBJF took place in Sunderland due to its links with the University of Sunderland although in recent times Park View Community Centre in Chester le Street has been home to one of the great events in the jazz calendar. 

Friday evening featured a concert performance with the competition element taking place across Saturday and Sunday. Mick Donnelly's renowned Musicians Unlimited launched into Doc Severinson's punchy arrangment of In the Mood. Forget saccharine Miller - with Sue Ferris (tenor sax), Mark Toomey (alto sax) and trumpeters Kevin Eland and GNBBJF director Bill Watson blowing hard things were well and truly under way.

Pasadena Roof Orchestra @ Alnwick Playhouse - February 28.

Wonderful nostalgic evening in this magnificent theatre.The skill and presentation by the band is such a pleasure to see and hear. Morover, Mally Baxter offered a magniicent trumpet solo on Beau Koo Jack whilst being a near perfect lookalike of our own Lance Liddle. Remarkable!

George Watt. 

Here a band, there a band, everywhere a big band!

Big band enthusiasts are spoilt for choice this weekend which is, in many ways, a good thing albeit not such a good thing for those who would have liked to have caught them all.

The weekend's bonanza began last night as the Great North Big Band Jazz Festival opened up in Chester-le-Street. It continues today from Noon (not 11:00am as previously announced) - see right hand column for more details.

John Garner & Paul Edis: The Music of Bill Evans @ The Gala Theatre, Durham - Feb 28

John Garner (violin); Paul Edis (piano)
(Review by Russell/photos courtesy of Malcolm Sinclair)

A sell out weeks in advance is surely some indication of what was in store. The Gala's audience knows a good thing when it sees/hears one and today's lunchtime concert focussing on the music of Bill Evans more than lived up to expectations. Today's musicians - John Garner and Paul Edis - share an enthusiasm for the American pianist's compositions and with the addition of a number of other selections the capacity audience hung on every note.

Friday, February 28, 2020

The Slim Bees @ The Hotspur, Newcastle - Feb 27

Michael Littlefield (guitar, vocals); Scott Taylor (harmonica, vocals) 
(Review by Russell)

The Slim Bees play country blues, they drink beer. For two hours straight they sat in a corner of their one room country shack and entertained themselves playing a selection of numbers by a who's who of American blues greats. Moonlighting from their regular gig - the Chicago blues band King Bees - Michael Littlefield and Scott Taylor found themselves an audience in the Hotspur here on Percy Street, Newcastle.

The boys like Little Walter, Big Bill Broonzy, Mississippi John Hurt, Jimmy Reed, Sonny Boy Williamson (I and II), T-Bone Walker, Jimmy Rogers,  Elmore James, John Brim and a host of others. Two hours of this stuff with a beer - it doesn't get any better than this! 

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Vieux Carre Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside - Feb 27

(Review by Russell)

it was a beautiful blue sky day. At the Holystone pub the Vieux Carre Jazzmen remembered Dave Rae. The band's weekly residency opened with the spiritual Just a Little While to Stay Here, a number played countless times by Dave who sadly died a few days ago. 

As tradition has it, the show must go on and Brian Bennett and the lads continued with Jim McBriarty singing Jealousy. The VCJ's other band singer, Fred Thompson, sang an old favourite in Way Down Yonder in New Orleans. The five piece, all seated (they're getting on, you know!), came up with a wide variety of material including Jim McBriarty singing Willie Nelson's Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain (there was a marked similarity in vocal style with Ryan Baer of New Orleans based Frog and Henry). Drummer Thompson sang Alice Blue Gown then, in good old crooner fashion, East of the Sun (and West of the Moon)

What the Papers Say

 Four jazz mags on display at WH Smith's! Must be a record and, in the case of Jazzwise it is - a 10 track CD for free!
Lance



Preview: The Great North Big Band Jazz Festival (Feb 28-Mar 1)

(Preview by Russell)

This weekend the GNBBJF returns to Park View Community Centre. GNBBJF? That's the Great North Big Band Jazz Festival being staged once again in Chester le Street from Friday 28 February to Sunday 1 March. A huge event, a mammoth undertaking, the GNBBJF is one of the most important weekends in the big band jazz calendar. Orchestras from across the country will be converging on Church Chare just off Front Street in Chester-le-Street to battle it out hoping to take home some silverware.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Jam session @ The Black Swan - Feb 25

(Review by Russell)

It Could Happen to You (Jimmy Van Heusen/Johnny Burke), Georgia on my Mind (pianist Dean Stockdale putting his stamp on it) and Beautiful Love (with a sparkling round of fours) set the standard. MC Paul Grainger welcomed one and all - regulars and new faces - with an invitation to musicians known and unknown to make themselves available, ready to go. 

Ray Johnson, this evening on flugelhorn, couldn't wait to get going and a fluent reading of Sam Rivers' Beatrice threw down the gauntlet to the, by now, large contingent of fellow musicians waiting in the shadows. The first of the evening's three tenor saxophonists pitched up. George Sykes sporting a hip haircut blew on a couple of numbers, notably When Sonny Gets Blue, before giving way to the second of our tenor men, Harry Keeble. Dean Stockdale's choice chordal accompaniment on Out of Nowhere underpinned HK's excellent tenor work which, it transpired, was an hors d'oeurve to a blistering Keeble take on Night and Day with Messrs Stockdale, Grainger and Walker flaunting their A-list credentials. It had been an excellent first set.

Hello Dolly Peel

This photo appeared in today's Shields Gazette. Fred Rowe is on long model cornet with Harry on banjo. The venue is the Dolly Peel on Commercial Road. Can anyone recall Harry's surname?  Sadly, both Fred and Harry are long gone.
Lance.
PS: The pub was, and possibly still is, one of the best real alers in South Shields.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

RIP Dave Rae - Death of a legend

It is with great sadness that I write to tell you that Dave Rae passed away at approximately 8.30 this morning (Feb. 25).

I have lost a musical partner of many years but also the best friend one could hope for.

The North East Jazz scene has lost a major player and standard bearer for true New Orleans music, but mostly a gentleman in every sense of the word.

I would be grateful if you could relay this sad information to the wider Jazz public via your blog.
John Robinson.

Strangers on a Train

Last Thursday, returning by Metro from Gosforth Civic Theatre after the Gaz Hughes Sextet concert, I got into conversation with a fellow fan, Martin, who hails from Carlisle. He was familiar with Bebop Spoken Here and showed interest when I asked him if he would like to do some CD reviewing. Unfortunately, I failed to get his email address before he left the train. So Martin, if you read this, please get in touch.
Lance

Monday, February 24, 2020

Vortex Conference

On 11 and 12 March, as part of an EU project with which we are involved at the Vortex, there will be a conference/showcase/workshop etc. at the club. In particular, there will be a public session about the state of the media as it now is. It is an opportunity to take into account the consolidation of the internet impact, as it complements and frequently is an essential replacement of the traditional media, such as BBC and newspapers.

The above, from Oliver Weindling of London’s Vortex, raises many important issues – not just about jazz but about life in general.

As a committed blogger – some say I should be committed – I’ve got an obvious interest. Without doubt the Internet has made information more readily available but, how reliable is that information? Years ago, the stock phrase used to be, “Don’t believe everything you read in the papers”. Today you can substitute online for in the papers.

Gypsy Jazz Festival coming up - in London!

A long awaited Festival of Gypsy Jazz is due to take place in London. For those who love the sound of Le Hot Club then this looks to be a tremendous weekend. The downside is that neither of our northeast bands who perform in, maybe even extend, the idiom are present although Daniel John Martin who impressed northeast audiences with Swing Manouche this past weekend has made the cut.
Lance

Preview: The Pasadena Roof Orchestra @ Whitley Bay Playhouse

The Pasadena Roof Orchestra are no strangers to the northeast appearing at the Playhouse in Alnwick and the Customs House in South Shields at periodic intervals.

As proof of their popularity, this year's Alnwick gig is sold out already! And, although South Shields is off  their current tour schedule all is not lost as the Whitley Bay Playhouse, just across the river, hosts the band on Sunday (March 1) and the good news is that there are still a few tickets available.

The evening of hot dance music from the 1920s and '30s stomps off at 7:30pm.
Lance

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Daniel John Martin w Swing Manouche @ Core Music, Hexham - Feb 22

Daniel John Martin (violin, vocals); Mick Shoulder (guitar); Giles Strong (guitar); Ian Paterson (double bass) 
(Review by Russell)

Daniel John Martin, or DJM as he is known, made a flying visit to the north east of England to play three gigs in as many days and conduct a workshop into the bargain. DJM's friendship with Mick Shoulder enables the Paris-based violinist to tour across the region on a regular basis. County Durham-based Shoulder acts as fixer and the gypsy jazz aficionados enjoy playing a wide variety of material together, invariably in the company of guitarist Giles Strong and, on this occasion, bassist Ian Paterson.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

CD Review: Henrik Jensen's Followed By Thirteen - Affinity

Rory Simmons (trumpet); Esben Tjaive (piano); Henrik Jensen (bass); Pete Ibbetson (drums).
(Review by Lance)

Bass player Henrik Jensen is no stranger to these pages. The Dane appeared several times at the Jazz Café with his Followed By Thirteen quartet. He has also shown up with Joy Ellis on several occasions at The Globe and elsewhere and, as an indication of his in-demand status, has appeared at Sage Gateshead with the Puppini Sisters - perhaps he will be with them when they return on April 25.

We've also covered several of his CDs which led to my anticipation of this, his latest, and I wasn't disappointed!

Newcastle University Jazz @ Culture Lab, Newcastle - Feb 21

(Review by Russell)

On a rainy, windblown Friday evening just off Barras Bridge, Culture Lab's discreet door stood ajar ready to welcome those who were interested in hearing a newly formed band's debut performance. Jason Holcomb has been busy assembling a big band to take its place alongside the region's many fine jazz orchestras. Newcastle University Jazz is the name, a name which could easily cause confusion given that the long-established, on-campus student band is known as Newcastle University Jazz Orchestra! 

Who played at the Skiff Inn?

I was reminiscing with an old friend last night about Sunday nights in the Skiff Inn at Derwenthaugh in the early 1960s. 

We all made our own way there by various routes. Mine was by bus to Scotswood and then a walk across the Chain Bridge trying not to look down at the river through the gaps in the wooden planks of the walkway. 

We usually got a lift home with Johnny the drummer in his Hillman Husky and I always seemed to end up nursing his drum kit in the back. Briefly, after Alan Price left the Animals, he used to join us at the Skiff. 

To get to the point neither of us can remember whose band we went to see. I wonder if you or your followers can help?
Alf Stone.

The Savannah Syncopators by Steve Andrews

45 years ago today a group of musicians got together in a Tyneside pub to form and rehearse a big band. Not however, your normal big band playing Glenn Miller or Count Basie stock arrangements but a one dedicated to the big band music of the 1920s and early '30s - a unique concept on Tyneside and most other places at the time. The masterminds behind the project were Dave Kerr and Steve Andrews who later formed the New Century Ragtime Orchestra*. Steve recalls the history of the Syncopators below in his inimitable manner - Lance

Friday, February 21, 2020

CD Review: Gaz Hughes Sextet Plays Art Blakey

Alan Barnes (alto/baritone sax); Bruce Adams  (trumpet); Dean Masser (tenor sax); Andrzej Baranek (piano); Ed Harrison (bass); Gareth Hughes (drums).
(Review by Lance).


As I posted earlier, last night's JNE promotion at Gosforth Civic Theatre was a tremendous gig and this recording, from two years previous sounds even better - possibly because I didn't have the distraction of trying to actually see the guys playing from my seat way back in the seventh row!

Hughes comes across in Blakey mode much more than he did at the concert whilst the horns come at it with such power that Lee Morgan and co would have known they'd been in a battle had such a mythical encounter taken place.

Classic Swing @ Jesmond British Legion - February 21

Olive Rudd (vocals); Tommy Moran (tenor sax); Jim McBriarty (alto sax, soprano sax, clarinet, vocals); Neville Hartley (trombone); Bill Brittain (piano); Alan Rudd (double bass); Tommy Graham (drums)
(Review by Russell)

Third Friday in the month is Classic Swing time. Conveniently located next to West Jesmond Metro Station this is just about as near to a Newcastle city centre residency as you'll find. Tommy Moran's aptly titled Classic Swing opened today's show at West Jesmond British Legion.   

Band vocalist Olive Rudd leapt to her feet to sing Give Me the Simple Life (more Olive Rudd than Tony Bennett) and hung around to tell us she Can't Help Loving That Man of Mine (that's Mr A Rudd) with Tommy Moran laying down a fine tenor sax solo. Sweet Sue sang Jim McBriarty (just the one verse) in between juggling alto and soprano saxes and clarinet and in singing Sent for You Yesterday wisely didn't attempt to mimic Jimmy Rushing. 

Daniel John Martin With Swing Manouche @ The Globe – February 20

Daniel John Martin (violin, vocals); Mick Shoulder (guitar); Giles Strong (guitar); Paul Susans (bass)
(Review by Ann Alex)

How many sounds can you get from a violin? I think we heard them all last night from the talented Mr Martin and a few more. Besides the melodious alto and soprano sounds that we expect, we had sweet whimpers, vocal sounds, clicks from the dusty end (if a violin has a dusty end), pizzicato with whistling from the player, and breathy notes, with a classical-like cadenza to round off the third tune of the night, just for good measure.

Zoë Gilby & Mark Williams @ Jazz Café Mezzanine Set 2 - Feb. 19

(Review/photos by Pam Young)

The second set started with another dip into the Aurora Project with Little Dancer by Tom Harrell, followed by an absolutely gorgeous rendition of Monk’s ‘Round Midnight. Zoë's voice and Mark's guitar had me spellbound.

What do you do after that? Well why not You're Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone by Bob Dylan from the Blood on the Tracks album – fantastic!

Gaz Hughes Sextet @ Gosforth Civic Theatre - Feb. 20 - "The Best Gig I Never Seen!"

(Review by Lance/Black and white photos courtesy of Malcolm Sinclair - link.)

When I was a child my dad used to take me to Roker Park or St. James' Park on alternative Saturdays. Back then we had no tribal affiliations we just wanted to watch a game of football played by guys who weren't millionaires. To get to the front and see the game, us kids were hoisted shoulder high and passed overhead until we were at the front and able to watch the game.

That flashbacked into my mind last night at Gosforth Civic Theatre as, whilst I enjoyed the music, I wasn't so keen on the burly bodies sitting in front of me.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

After Hours #4: The Music of Stéphane Grappelli @ Cafédral Durham - Feb 19

(Review by Russell)

DUJS is an active organisation. Student run Durham University Jazz Society promotes jazz events across Durham City and most of them are open to the public. One such occasion is 'After Hours', a regular series focussing on a particular subject. This latest get together in Cafédral Durham on Owengate looked at the work of Stéphane Grappelli. 

Sonia Rae, a second year music student, is principally a student of classical violin with a love of jazz. Stéphane Grappelli was an obvious, but no less appealing, choice for an After Hours' gig at Cafédral Durham, a quirky, first floor student haunt just off Palace Green. The core band for the evening featured Rae with a Hot Club-style, all-strings line-up of two guitars and double bass.    

Zoë Gilby & Mark Williams @ Jazz Café Mezzanine - Feb 19

Zoë Gilby (vocals); Mark Williams (guitar)
(Review by Russell/Photo courtesy of Mike Tilley)

The 'house full' signs went up at Newcastle Arts Centre's mezzanine space and little wonder given that award winning vocalist Zoë Gilby was in town. Accompanying our APPJAG star this afternoon was a man who should be - and possibly is - in the frame year in, year out, for an APPJAG gong, guitarist Mark Williams.   

Dave Brubeck's Travelin' Blues opened the show in front of a standing room only crowd. Invariably the Gilby-Williams' set  looks at a wide variety of material, much of it non-jazz, and this Wednesday afternoon performance did just that. John Martyn's Over the Hill found Gilby in fine voice exploring the late composer's lyrical turn of phrase. Rodgers and Hart's It Never Entered My Mind followed by Joni Mitchell's all-star 'Mingus' album recording of Dry Cleaner from Des Moines further enhanced the duo's eclectic set list. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

The Abbie Finn Trio @ The Fox Inn, Hexham - Feb 18

Abbie Finn (drums); Harry Keeble (tenor sax, soprano sax); Paul Grainger (double bass) 
(Review by Russell)

Duke Pearson, Chick Corea, Cole Porter, John Coltrane, Paul Grainger - these the first tranche of composers on the Abbie Finn Trio's set list. Hexham Jazz Club was up and running once more with a first gig of the year at the Fox Inn on West End Terrace.  

Drummer Abbie was making a first visit to the Northumberland market town with her trio - Harry Keeble (tenor sax) and Paul Grainger (bass). An amiable, no nonsense trio, Abbie and the boys set up without fuss, chatting to all and sundry as gig-goers walked through the door. Jeannine (D Pearson) for openers played to an attentive crowd, many of whom were hearing Abbie and Harry for the first time. Windows (C Corea) a 'contemporary' selection then a GASbook choice, the perennial favourite Love for Sale. Three numbers, more than enough for Hexham Jazz Club's regulars to conclude that these guys could play. John Coltrane no longer frightens the horses and our Tyne valley residents took it all in their collective stride as Keeble stretched out on Moment's Notice

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

CD Review: Jason Palmer - The Concert, 12 Musings for Isabella

Jason Palmer (trumpet); Mark Turner (tenor sax); Joel Ross (vibes); Edward Perez (bass); Kendrick  Scott (drums).
(Review by Lance).

I can think of few, if any, albums that have had such an inspiration as this one. Musically, it is superb but the background to it is equally fascinating!

On March 18, 1990, a couple of low lifes disguised as cops entered Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and walked out with 13 works of art by such A-listers as Rembrandt, Degas, Manet and others. The heist was valued at 500 million bucks and, despite the efforts of the FBI, Mike Hammer and Hercule Poirot, the crime remains unsolved to this day.

Get The Blessing + Ceitidh Mac @ Gosforth Civic Theatre – Feb. 7 (Take 2)


(Review by Tom Dixon/Photos courtesy of Ken Drew)

Get The Blessing: Jim Barr (bass guitar); Clive Deamer (drums); Jake McMurchie (sax and electronics); Pete Judge (trumpet and electronics).

Great melodies and a driving intensity, Get The Blessing did not disappoint. They maintained the energy and groove of their trip-counterparts (Portishead) without sacrificing on the integrity of the improvised sections. I've seen 'fusion' acts experiment with this type of approach before and fall on the wrong side of repetitive for me, but this performance was full of spontaneity and intrigue.

Clive Dreamer has a fairly busy drumming style which gave the soloists plenty to work with, but still kept the time really nailed down and, with Jim Barr, really pushed the band forward through every piece. The creative use of backings and effects pedals from the sax and trumpet more than made up for the lack of a traditional harmony instrument and continuously took the music in surprising directions. I really liked the weaving horn ad-libs which were scattered through the night.

Tonight! Finn at the Fox (Feb 18)

Hexham Jazz Club's first gig of the year features the Abbie Finn Trio. Drummer Abbie will be in the company of saxophonist Harry Keeble and bassist Paul Grainger playing two sets of modern jazz standards by the likes of Joe Henderson and Wayne Shorter with, perhaps, one or two original numbers.  

Monday, February 17, 2020

CD Review: Jeff Rupert & George Garzone - The Ripple.

Jeff Rupert, George Garzone (tenor sax); Richard Drexler (piano); Jeremy Allen (bass); Marty Morell (drums).
(Review by Lance).

The two tenor line-up has long been a favourite of mine. How could it not be when you think of such legendary pairings as Wardell Gray & Dexter Gordon; Gene Ammons & Sonny Stitt; Sonny Stitt & Red Holloway - so amply demonstrated back at Newcastle's Corner House in the 1980s - Lockjaw and Johnny Griffin; Al and Zoot and, of course, the best of them all (said with nationalistic pride) The Jazz Couriers. Tubbs and Ronnie took the format to a new level and, if this  Stateside offering doesn't topple the champions they come within the tip of a Rico number 2 reed of doing it!

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’.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

John Petters Remembers Louis Lince (1942 - 2020)

(This obituary was originally posted on Facebook and is reposted courtesy of the author. Thanks to Patti Durham for making this possible - Lance.)
louis linceIt is with great sorrow that the jazz scene heard of the passing of Banjo / Guitarist, Bass Drummer, Parade Marshall, Band Leader, Reviewer, Jazz Historian and Publisher Louis Lince, following a rapidly growing brain tumour, diagnosed just after Christmas.

(photo - Ray & Jenny Knight)
Louis (John Louis James Lince) came into the world on 22 July 1942 in St. Helens, Lancashire.
Like many of his generation, he started out in a Skiffle Group – the Red Devils.
Louis came south to London in 1958, working with several bands before leaving music in 1963 to concentrate on a career in Marketing.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Get the Blessing and Ceitidh Mac @ Gosforth Civic Theatre - Feb. 7


In the absence of any reviews from this JNE concert I have opted for these two picture collages by Ken Drew and his own one-liner review which probably paints a better picture than a 1000 word review - "It was a belter!"
Lance
Get The Blessing: Jim Barr (bass guitar); Clive Deamer (drums); Jake McMurchie (sax/electronics); Pete Judge (trumpet/electronics).

Ceitdh Mac: Ceitidh Mac (voice/cello)

Clare Teal @ the Gala Theatre, Durham - Feb. 14

Clare Teal (vocal); Jason Rebello (piano); Tim Thornton (bass); Ben Reynolds (drums).
(Review by Lance)

After the final do-wa-do-wa-do-wa brought the classic Ellington number - and the show -  to a close the capacity audience at Durham's Gala Theatre stood up as one and ovated in appreciation. Deservedly so, Clare Teal had just wowed them as she invariably does with her warm and, often funny, show.

I use the word funny as, should she - God forbid - ever give up music a  career in stand-up would pay the bills. Not that that is likely, after last night's performance. Her jazz chops are still the tops even though Barnsley's First Lady appears to be dipping her toes into more contemporary material.

Good on her! However, whatever she touches the jazz element is never far away.

What to Expect – Except Brilliant? Graeme Wilson and Paul Edis play the music of Monk @ The Lit & Phil, Newcastle – Feb. 14.

Graeme Wilson (tenor sax); Paul Edis (piano)
(Review by Jerry)

Fifteen years ago I knew the name, Thelonius Monk, but little else. I was intrigued by an early Edis composition, I Wish I Were a Monk, from which I learned that this is very distinctive music which never fails to elicit strong audience response. In my case, it always made me smile. When I first heard Paul playing ‘Round Midnight, I realised that I knew one of Monk’s tunes but could not have told you that. Zoë Gilby’s excellent show, Pannonica, progressed my learning curve somewhat but as of this morning (I checked!) I still only needed the fingers of one hand to list the Monk titles I could remember. None of my memorable five were on today’s programme so I had no idea what to expect – except that, having often seen these two musicians over the same fifteen-year period, it would be brilliantly played.

Friday, February 14, 2020

CD Review: Pete Whittaker, Art Themen, George Double - Thane & The Villeins

Art Themen (tenor sax); Pete Whittaker (organ); George Double (drums).
(Review by James Henry)

Just once in a while one chances upon a new album that is just perfect, and love at first listen.  Thane & The Villeins is one of those rare gems.  Organ trios are unusual, and can be a tad heavy, especially if the mighty Hammond is given full rein.  Thankfully, Themen, Whittaker and Double give us a light and playful synergy in this collection of quirky tunes, to be released today (February 14).

Review: The Strange Tale of Charlie Chaplin & Stan Laurel @ Northern Stage - Feb 13

(Review by Russell)

The house lights went down to the sound of King Oliver and the legendary call Oh, play that thing! The year is 1910, Fred Karno is soon to set sail for America. The impresario is to be joined on the Atlantic crossing by two characters who will find world-wide fame. For the next ninety minutes the Northern Stage audience would be taken on an anything-but-chronological, rollercoaster, not to mention scarcely truthful, ride telling the story of two of Hollywood's greatest ever stars. 

Thursday, February 13, 2020

CD Review: Noemi Nuti - Venus Eye

Noemi Nuti (vocals/Paraguayan harp/classical harp); Chris Eldred (keys); Tom Herbert (bass); Emiliano Caroselli (drums); Gareth Lochrane (flute) + Quentin Collins (trumpet).
(Review by Lance).

Music, and jazz in particular, is strange. Preconceptions of an album or a gig go out the window once the music starts.

With gigs you don't get a second chance, you judge them on your first impression. Recorded music is different, if it doesn't grab you the first time round you maybe pick up on it the second or third time. It isn't always love at first sight although, occasionally it is and this is just such an occasion.

Fats Waller plays Sunderland Empire!

(By Russell/Programme pics courtesy of Keith Belton)

It had been a great day for the people of Bishop Auckland. The town's football club won the FA Amateur Cup beating Willington 3-0 in the final. The County Durham non-league clubs battled for silverware in the final staged at Roker Park, Sunderland. 

The year was 1939, war was looming but for one day all eyes were on Roker Park. How many of those who were at Roker Park that day walked across Wearmouth Bridge to go to the Empire Theatre in the evening? Touring Britain at the time was Fats Waller and his itinerary included a concert performance in Sunderland!*

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Jam Session @ The Black Swan - Feb. 11

(Review/photos by Lance).

Another evening of infinite variety that had no shortage of big hitters. 

It all began rather low key, albeit with some tasteful playing by the house trio, with Bradley setting the bar for the other guitarists present to aim at. A Jobim bossa, Travels - a tribute to Lyle Mays who'd died the previous day - and a bouncy bop number set the scene for Harry Keeble who, after an extended intro by the trio, went into 'S Wonderful before being joined by the tightly muted Ed for Days of Wine and Roses. Interesting contrast, Harry leaves no note unplayed whilst Ed leaves quite a few of them untouched.

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