Total Pageviews

Bebop Spoken There

Peter Ind: "Rightly or wrongly, I didn't value his [Miles Davis] contribution that much." - (Jazzwise October 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".

Postage

11,783 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 1023 of them this year alone and, so far, 50 this month (Sept. 17).

Coming soon ...

SEPTEMBER

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

THURSDAY 24

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

Abbie Finn Trio - Gosforth Civic Theatre, Regent Farm Road, Gosforth, Newcastle NE3 3HD. Tel: 0191 284 3700. 7:30pm. Donations on the night. To book a table (max four people from one household/support bubble) visit: www.gosforthcivictheatre.co.uk.

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

FRIDAY 25

SouLutions Sistas - Hoochie Coochie, Pilgrim St., Newcastle NE1 6SF. Tel: 0191 222 0130. 8:30pm (7:00pm doors). £10.00. SOLD OUT!

SATURDAY 26

Boys of Brass - Tyne Bank Brewery, Walker Road, Newcastle NE6 2AB. Tel: 0191 265 2828. 7:00pm. £10.00. + £1.37 bf for table for two. Other packages available. See www.tynebankbrewery.co.uk.

SUNDAY 27

Vieux Carre Hot 4 - Spanish City, Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay NE26 1BG. 12 noon. Tel: 0191 691 7090. Free.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Album review: Tenement Jazz Band - Tenement Jazz Band Goes South

Chuck Deerness (trumpet); Paddy Darley (trombone); Steven Feast (reeds); John Youngs (banjo, guitar); Doug Kemp (double bass)


The Tenement Jazz Band came out of nowhere. It was at the beginning of 2018 when the band first registered on BSH's radar. A matter of weeks later the Edinburgh based outfit made a first visit to Tyneside. On that occasion Prohibition Bar was crowded and subsequent appearances on Tyneside and a sold out concert at Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club enhanced a rapidly growing, word-of-mouth reputation.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Album review: Eddie Daniels - Night Kisses. A Tribute to Ivan Lins

Eddie Daniels (clarinet/flute/tenor sax); Josh Nelson,
Kuno Schmid, Dave Grusin, Bob James (piano various tracks.); Kevin Axt (bass); Maurice Zottarelli (drums) + Harlem Quartet (strings).  

Brazilian singer/composer Ivan Lins may not be a well known name this side of the Atlantic and, despite having had his songs recorded by such as Barbra Streisand and Sarah Vaughan probably not as big a household name in the United States as he should be either although I could be - and I hope I am - wrong. His compositions tell the world that there is more to his native land than the bossa nova.

In Eddie Daniels he has the perfect exponent and the multi-instrumentalist does him justice.

Paul Edis Plays Thelonious Monk. Live stream - Sept. 22

Paul Edis (piano)

Once again Paul Edis pops up on YouTube for another satisfying exploration  into the works of one of his heroes. Last week Bill Evans, this week Thelonious Monk. Two unique pianists diametrically opposed but both equally creative in their individual approach to composition and improvisation.

Evans is probably the more accessible player for anyone coming to the
music of either for the first time. Indeed it took me many years before I accepted Monk's piano playing for the stroke of genius that it was. Edis' comparision with Picasso I found very apt. I have many CDs and LPs by Monk all bought because they featured Coltrane, Rollins, Johnny Griffin or, particularly, Charlie Rouse so that when I did finally cotton on to Monk it was like hearing them as if it was the first time.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Steve Andrews remembers one of those special nights


Just read your piece re Simon Spillett and the comment therein from Bill Shaw, which I 
absolutely agree with. I enclose a little piece I wrote a few years ago after a particularly happy night at the little Roundhouse Theatre in Staveley, near Windermere. At just short of 60 I was the baby of the band - Tim Belford was 90 and blind by then - but everything seemed to fall into place that night, so when I got home, still buzzing, I poured a refreshing glass of Scottish fluid and sat down and wrote this to try and capture the feeling on paper before it dissipated. 

I can't say it was the best night I ever had, but it was certainly one of them, and I'm glad I made a record (although, sadly, not a recording!) to remember it by. Steve Andrews.

Monday, September 21, 2020

How was it for you?

Reading Simon Spillett’s self-doubts on Facebook I thought, what wouldn’t I give to have those self-doubts? Thinking about it made me realise that music, and jazz in particular is, like chess, Lord Lucan and Shergar  the ultimate impossible quest. If it wasn’t then we’d all still be playing last year’s greatest hit.

I recall a conversation with the late Bill Shaw, drummer, cartoonist and observer of life saying to me, “If, during the course of your life, you play one gig where, in your mind, it all happened then that makes it all worthwhile”. He went on to say that you may play night after night, get paid and rebooked but only you know if or when you’d hit that special moment.

Bearing in mind that we were both at the bottom end of the totem pole it may seem irrelevant but it would be interesting to hear from other musicians. Is every gig a day at the office or, if not, what makes for that special moment?

Free booze, permissive company or a big fat fee (if only!) don’t count.

So what made your special gig special?

Lance

Living in Shadows to release Sending Electricity, second single from upcoming album

(Press release)

Photography by Adam Kennedy.


Hot on the heels of their debut release in late July, Living in Shadows, the award-winning Zoë Gilby and multi-instrumentalist Andy Champion release their second single, Sending Electricity, available late September.

Where For the Day portrayed the concept of motion, Sending Electricity reveals the affairs of the heart and the concept of love, no matter the distance.

Initially penned by Zoë whilst Andy was away touring, the All Parliamentary Jazz Awards Jazz Vocalist of the Year provided insight into the new track, saying: “I wrote the lyrics and melody to Sending Electricity whilst Andy was away on tour.

The Riviera Quartet, live and online @ The Globe Jazz Bar, Newcastle - Sept. 20

Pete Tanton (flugelhorn, trumpet, vocals, shakers); Mark Williams (guitar); Andy Champion (bass); Russ Morgan (drums).


It was a great feeling to be at a live, indoor gig in an actual jazz club. The ever forward thinking Jazz Co-op have kept the jazz flame burning in the northeast with a regular programme of live streams featuring both local and national names since lockdown began. However, this was the first actual jazz gig at the venue where a small, socially distanced, credit card wielding audience of bottled beer drinkers and wine connoisseurs ventured forth into the redecorated, refurnished, refurbished and more spacious ground floor bar. 

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Sunday Service: Adrian Cox & Joe Webb live streaming from Toulouse Lautrec, London - Sept. 20

Adrian Cox (clarinet, vocals); Joe Webb (piano) 
Adrian Cox has been live streaming weekly for much of the lockdown period and today stated his intention to continue indefinitely with his self-styled, online 'Sunday Service' sessions. The majority of the clarinetist's streams have been from his London home, exceptions being a session from Gun Hill Studios in Sussex (Dave Newton was on piano) and a virtual NYC set under the auspices of Lincoln Center's Dizzy's Club. Today Cox, in the company of pianist Joe Webb, came direct from Toulouse Lautrec Jazz Club, Kennington, London.  

Album review: Diana Krall - This Dream of You

There are singers and there are singers and then there is Diana Krall.

Anyone doubting her class need only listen to any 11 of the 12 tracks on this Verve album. An album as emotional as any late-nighter issued since Sinatra laid down the bench mark way back In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning. The phrasing, the feeling, the relaxation that only comes when the lights are dimmed, are all here. Sometimes it's a satisfied contentment at the start of a new romance, other times it's the sadness when love goes wrong. Krall handles both extremes as well as the ones in between, usually accompanied by her distinctive piano playing.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Film preview: Chicago (Freeview, 5 Star, Saturday 19)

The film of the stage musical Chicago is on 5 Star (Freeview channel 30) tonight (Saturday) at 9:00pm. Set in twenties' Chicago, Renée Zellweger stars as Roxie Hart and Catherine Zeta-Jones as Velma Kelly in Rob Marshall's 2002 box office smash. Roxie and Velma land up in prison but that doesn't stop them dreaming of showbusiness stardom. 

The jazz interest is in the soundtrack which features a host of top British jazz musicians. Some of the household names are: Alan Barnes, Pete Beachill, Dave Bishop, Stuart Brooks, Chris Garrick, Mike Lovatt, Paul Morgan, Mark Nightingale, Stan Sulzmann, Jamie Talbot and Derek Watkins.

BSH Editor-in-Chief LL has seen Chicago on stage and screen and suggests that if you're yet to catch up with it tune in tonight as it's well worth watching.  
Russell

Friday, September 18, 2020

Album review: Artemis.

Renee Rosnes (piano); Ingrid Jensen (trumpet); Melissa Aldana (tenor sax); Anat Cohen (clarinet); Norika Ueda (bass); Allison Miller (drums); Cecilé McLorin Salvant (voice).

Artemis graced the cover of this month's DownBeat and only the very best achieve that accolade. The article/interview whetted my appetite. I had to hear this band and, not long after, a CD dropped through the letterbox. I forgot about the microwave and my Chicken à la King, Le Tour on the telly - I even, almost, forgot to feed the cat! Almost - cats don't allow such distractions! However, once the Sheba Perfect Portions had been dished out, the player was cranked up and the music flowed.

Album review: Judith & Dave O'Higgins - His 'n' Hers

Judith and Dave O’Higgins (tenor saxes); Graham Harvey (piano); Jeremy Brown (bass); Josh Morrison (drums).

Musical partnerships that are also romantic ones are not unusual. Rarer, are ones where the lovebirds play the  same instrument. My parents were both talented pianists and although my mother was by far the more accomplished player it was never an issue between them – who’s washing the dishes? was likely to be a more important matter than who  did what when playing a Bach or Beethoven Sonata.

Likewise, I’m sure the O’Higgins have found soulmates in each other and, although the blurb describes it as a swinging tough tenors face-off it is more of a mutual admiration society with both horns complementing (and complimenting) each other though I doubt if either of them are holding anything back – there’s no need to as both are up for it.

Earlier start at Sunniside

Following government guidelines, next Thursday's session by the Maine Street Jazzmen at Sunniside Social Club will stomp off at the earlier time of 8:00pm finishing at 10:00pm. See the above listings for full details.

Lance

Thursday, September 17, 2020

At Last - well maybe not quite yet

I first heard At Last as the B-side of Glenn Miller's I've Got a Girl in Kalamazoo. Despite being written by all-time greats Mack Gordon and Harry Warren and featured in the film Sun Valley Serenade (or was it Orchestra Wives?), it never registered with me.

Kalamazoo had Tex Beneke and The Modernaires whereas At Last had Ray Eberle - the worst of all the big band vocalists - no wonder Sinatra took his chance!

Preview: Ken Burns' Jazz (PBS America)

Tomorrow (Friday) the first part of Ken Burns' monumental series Jazz is being shown on PBS America (UK). First screened in January 2001, documentary film maker Burns' ten-part epic runs to something like nineteen hours with Keith David narrating. Contributors are many including Stanley Crouch (sadly Mr Crouch died yesterday, September 16), Gary Giddins and Wynton Marsalis. And, of course, there is the jazz, lots of jazz. Part 1 - Gumbo (9:45pm).

Stanley Crouch (1945 - 2020)


Controversial and perceptive jazz critic Stanley Crouch died yesterday (Sept.16) at the surprisingly young age of 74. I say "surprisingly" as he seemed to have been around as long as I can remember giving the impression of greater longevity.

The NY Times obituary below paints a greater picture than I hope to do so I won't attempt to rehash what more knowledgeable people than I have done except to say that his acclaimed biography of the early life of Charlie Parker, Kansas City Lightning, is one of the jewels in the crown of jazz literature.

He will be sadly missed, may he Rest In Peace.

Lance

New York Times obituary

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Liane Carroll & Roger Carey live stream - Sept. 16

Liane Carroll (piano/vocals); Roger Carey (bass guitar). 

As ever, I turned up late and only caught the final three numbers. Needless to say, they were absolute crackers - even Over the Rainbow which I normally file alongside Summertime as a must to avoid. Not tonight though, tonight Liane did Harold Arlen proud.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Preview: The Jazz Show with Jamie Cullum - tonight!

The Jazz Show with Jamie Cullum does what it says on the tin. Tonight's edition of the long-running weekly programme includes a feature on Kansas Smitty's  bandleader Giacomo Smith who discusses his introduction to jazz, influences (clarinetists, no doubt) and the band's latest album. Tune to Radio 2 at 9:00pm.  
Russell 

Album Review: Ninna Milner – Treasures of the Heart


Ninna Milner (vocals, percussion); Lars Emil Riis (piano, keyboard); Thomas Raae (bass, cello, guitar, various tracks); Lis Wessberg (trombone 3 tracks)

Ninna Milner lives with her family in Osterbro, Copenhagen, where her husband owns the Drumstick shop. She has taken lessons with Rhiannon in Hawaii and with Bobby McFerrin in New York, performed at the Beijing Jazz Festival with a Chinese trio in 2007 and sings regularly at Cafe Intime in Copenhagen. In fact Ms Milner has taken part in many concerts since the mid-1980s. This is her fifth solo album, which has influences from spirituality and World Music.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Simon Spillett

Simon Spillett's latest Facebook post is just about as revealing a post as any musician, jazz or otherwise has ever posted. That it comes from one of the finest tenor players on the scene says a lot, not just about the man or the current scene, as it surely relates to anyone in an artistic environment who depends on a live performance, not just for the money although, naturally, that is of paramount importance, but the satisfaction gained from the give and take that only comes when performing in front of an actual live audience.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Haruka Kikuchi - Live Stream from New Orleans - Sept. 13

Haruka Kikuchi (trombone); Z2 Tsuji (piano); Nobu Ozaki (bass).

It may have been warm enough to bask out in the sun at Newcastle but over in New Orleans it mustn't have been so conducive to gig outdoors as this week's Sunday session from the Kikuchi household took place indoors.

The trio were in top form rattling through a selection of good old good ones "aided and abetted" by Shouta who made more noise with his rattles and shakers than your average Latin percussionist.

Zoë Gilby Trio @ St James' & St Basil's Church, Newcastle - Sept. 13

Zoë Gilby (vocals); Mark Williams (guitar); Andy Champion (double bass)

Mid September, 20°, clear blue sky, sun shining. It was as if someone had placed an order for an idyllic early autumn day. A capacity, socially distanced audience arrived at St James' and St Basil's Church in Fenham, Newcastle to hear the Zoë Gilby Trio live, in concert for the first time in something like six months. Zoë and the boys - Mark Williams and Andy Champion - played two sets of familiar material, familiar to those who know their standards and APPJAG award-winning vocalist Zoë's original material, much of it written in conjunction with bassist Andy Champion.

Facebook to block music live streams!

The word is out that, as of October 1, music live streams will no longer be permitted on Facebook.

Nice one!
More details.
Lance

Smokin' Spitfires @ Route 72 Cafe, Newcastle - Sept. 12

Neil Hunter (vocals); Alan Thompson (tenor sax); Terry O'Hern (trombone); Mike Hepple (organ, vocals); Bob Garrington (guitar); Ian Rigby (bass guitar, vocals); Gary Cain (drums)

Sustrans develops and maintains the National Cycle Network. Routes criss cross the country. Route 72 runs from Kendal, winding its way via the west coast of England over to Northumberland and down onto Tyneside, a journey of some one hundred and seventy something miles. Cyclists, some clad in lycra, stop off at intervals to refuel with water, tea, coffee, cake. Some refuel with a pint or three.

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Album review: Horizons Jazz Orchestra - The Brite Side

I initially confused this band with the South Florida Jazz Orchestra which, given that both bands are based in South Florida and both have Mike Brignola in the sax section, may be excusable and, hopefully, exonerate me from the wrath of Mouthpiece Music's Holly Cooper!

Just as SFJO's album is dedicated to the music of Rick Margitza,  the HJO pay tribute to  Lee Harris.

The late Harris, composer/arranger/baritone saxist, sadly passed away before the project he instigated was completed but the music is a worthy tribute to his skills as both a composer and arranger.

If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It ...

Blogger, Facebook, Flickr and goodness knows how many others have decided to "improve" things which, as most of us all know, usually means exactly the opposite.

So, if things don't run as speedily as we/you would like them to, don't blame it on me or the bossa nova, just put it down to "progress".
Lance.

Still Awake: Teresa Danby & Bert Louissen @ Prohibition Bar - Sept. 11

Teresa Danby (vocals); Bert Louissen (piano, guitar, vocals)

Bert Louissen first came onto BSH's radar at Newcastle Jazz Co-op's Railway Street HQ. On that occasion the Dutchman was singing Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder. Tonight at Prohibition Bar Bert was in the company of singer Teresa Danby. The duo, calling themselves Still Awake, would play three relaxed sets of popular pop numbers.

Friday, September 11, 2020

In Tune with Zoe Rahman - Sept 11

Early evening today (Friday) Zoe Rahman played a home session specially recorded for BBC Radio 3's In Tune programme (5:00-7:00pm). Two companion piece numbers back to back - Zantastic (fantastic boogie-woogie left hand) and Epicentre - preceded a telephone conversation with Sean Rafferty, concluding with a track (Conversation with Nellie) from Rahman's album Kindred Spirits. Ms Rahman's spot comes at about 90 mins in. Listen again at: www.bbc.co.uk
Russell

Preview: Jazz Japan on Radio 3 - Friday 11


Tonight at ten o'clock on Radio 3 there is another chance to hear a programme first broadcast in the Sunday Feature documentary strand in March 2019. Musician and journalist Katherine Whatley investigates the history of jazz in Japan. Based in Tokyo, Whatley spent much of her childhood in the country and has an interest in free jazz and improvised music and in Jazz Japan she explores the music described during WWII as 'enemy music' which would go on to become a much-loved, post-war art form.      
Russell

Storyville to South Shields

There's a new pub/micro brewery opening in Portberry St., South Shields tomorrow (Saturday Sept. 12).
It's called One More Than Two.

Initially, they're producing 5 brews all with long names. For example a 3.8% blonde beer is called (not entirely an original name) I Am A Brewer But If Mummy Asks I Am A Pianist In A Brothel.

I wonder  if the bartender would know what I was talking about if I asked for a pint of Jelly Roll Morton?
Lance
PS: Open to the public Friday, Saturday, Sunday.
Monday to Thursday takeaway only.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Leo Richardson Quartet - Live stream from Ronnie Scott's - Sept. 10

Leo Richardson (tenor sax); Rick Simpson (piano); Tim Thornton (bass); Ed Richardson (drums).

Never has the expression hitting the deck running been more apt than tonight at Ronnie's.  The band powered in with such force that they must surely have cut a rut across the stage. Well, maybe not a rut but certainly a groove and this was just the opener!

It was a breathtaking start and one which didn't let up from start to finish apart from a couple of delightful ballads one of which, Elisha's Song, dedicated to Leo's niece almost brought tears to my eyes, such was the emotions conveyed.

Lawrence McBriarty & the Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone - September 10

Jim McBriarty (clarinet, sop sax, vocals); Lawrence McBriarty (trombone, vocals); Brian Bennett (banjo, guitar); Bill Colledge (bass guitar); Fred Thompson (drums, vocals) + John Broddle (vocals)

Traditional and Dixieland said Brian Bennett. Yes, this would be the Vieux Carré Jazzmen's usual Thursday afternoon set of accessible, good time jazz. And so it was, with a few new, or rarely played, numbers thrown in for good measure. The Holystone residency is now very much back indoors with social distancing in place. A pint of London Pride and a jacket potato ordered, the VCJ opened with Fred Thompson singing Float Me Down the River to New Orleans

Preview: TUSK Virtual Festival

TUSK Festival's tenth edition is almost upon us. A key difference this year is the virtual character of the event. Its regular home for some years, Sage Gateshead, is currently closed with the ongoing pandemic putting paid to any notion of 'business as usual'. The festival will run from Monday 28 September through to Sunday 11 October. 

Album review: Thelonious Monk Quartet - MONK: Palo Alto - New date for release!

Charlie Rouse (tenor sax); Thelonious Monk (piano); Larry Gales (bass); Ben Riley (drums).

Last year saw some previously unreleased Coltrane albums surface, this year it's Monk's turn.

All the great jazz musicians from Louis to Bird to Trane to Ornette and beyond had periods when, rightly or wrongly, it was defined as being their classic line-up. Although Monk recorded with Bird, Diz, Trane and Rollins among others it was his long association with Rouse where it all seemed to come together and this live recording from October 1968 is proof if indeed further proof should be needed.

It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry

Thanks to Mr Anonymous for sending this clip of Bob Dylan with Wynton Marsalis..
Lance

Album review: Josephine Davies - Satori: How Can We Wake?

Josephine Davies (tenor/soprano saxes); Dave Whitford (bass); James Maddren (drums)

For once, there was no  accompanying blurb apart from the somewhat limited album notes which included a reference to one Patanjali so,  before I listened, I decided I needed to know more about Patanjali. I googled him and discovered lots of facts and myths and herbal remedies dating back to round about 400/500BCE (BC). He must have been quite a guy inventing Yoga Sutra as he reputably did.

Wednesday, September 09, 2020

APPJAG winner Zoë goes to church

On Sunday (September 13) award-winning vocalist Zoë Gilby will entertain a socially distanced audience in the spacious grounds of St James' and St Basil's Church in Fenham, Newcastle. Zoë won her prestigious 'gong' at the 2019 All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group's year end awards ceremony at the Holborn Pizza Express in London. 

Album review: Allegra Levy Sings John McNeil – Lose My Number

Allegra Levy (vocal); Carmen Staaf (piano); Carmen Rothwell (bass); Colleen Clark (drums) + John McNeil (trumpet 3 tracks) Pierre Dorge (ukulele 1 track)

I hadn't heard of John McNeil before but I'm sure most other BSH readers have. He first hit the N Y jazz scene in the mid '70s, playing with the Horace Silver Quintet, Gerry Mulligan and others. This album features his tunes with lyrics by Allegra Levy. I approach original material with wariness as it sometimes takes a while to get used to new songs, but I needn't have worried.

Paul Edis: Music of Bill Evans - Sept. 8

Paul Edis (piano)

Pianist Paul Edis is a fan of Bill Evans and it often shows in his playing. Tonight's live stream focussed upon the compositions of the revered American pianist. Most, if not all, of the tunes in this one hour plus set have been performed by  Edis at some point down the years and hearing them again served to illustrate that our man from County Durham, currently exiled in London, continues to find something new in Evans' work.

Tuesday, September 08, 2020

Gary Peacock (1935 - 2020)

Gary Peacock left us 4 days ago on September 4.

Regarded as being one of the most outstanding bassists in modern times his recordings with Bill Evans, Keith Jarrett and Paul Bley and many others, particularly on the ECM label are legendary. Most of them are listed here on Wikipedia.

I never caught him live although his legacy is guaranteed by his extensive discography.

Gary Peacock was 85.
May he Rest In Peace.
Lance

Monday, September 07, 2020

Paul Edis in September

Welcome to September.

For the time being Paul Edis is taking a bit more time for reflection and not continuing his lunchtime concerts. However he has announced two Tuesday evening performances, both of about one hour, celebrating the music of Bill Evans and Thelonious Monk.

Paul has always acknowledged his admiration for these two (very different) musicians, and the inspiration they have given him in both his playing and his composing. Indeed, if you attended the last lunchtime concert at the Gala in Durham, this was a duet with John Garner devoted to Bill Evans' music. So we can expect the same high quality of music we experienced live then.

Here are the two links:

Remembering Ginger Baker

(Press release)

Two gigs in October featuring quite a few well known North East musicians, paying tribute to the one and only Ginger Baker - music from Cream, Blind Faith, Air Force, Billy Preston, and more of Ginger's solo work and collaborations. Saturday 17th October at Redcar Blues Club, and Saturday 24th October at Platform 1, Bedlington - both fantastic venues who are doing everything possible to promote great live music in these 'strange times'. 

Album review: Rob Barron Trio - From This Moment On.

Rob Barron (piano); Jeremy Brown (bass); Josh Morrison (drums).

Way back when, if the label read Blue Note, Prestige or Contemporary, American jazz record buyers knew they were getting the best. Over here, Vogue, Esquire and Tempo ensured British listeners didn't miss out either.

Fast forward to today and one of the labels carrying the baton and threatening to lap the field is Ubuntu Music who have produced  many outstanding albums of which this is one of the best.

Sunday, September 06, 2020

Jordon Alfonso w. The Alan Law Trio: Live Stream @ The Globe, Newcastle - Sept. 6

Jordan Alfonso (alto); Alan Law (piano); Paul Grainger (bass); Rob Walker (drums).

A tribute to Charlie Parker - four fine musicians putting their own take on Bird's music - made for an enjoyable 75 minutes.

No surprises in the repertoire, how could there be? The music is well known to most jazz fans although, spotting Jordan's tenor lying in waiting I thought maybe Half Nelson, one of the few numbers Parker recorded on the larger horn, may have been on the menu. It remained untouched. 

Yardbird Suite got things rolling along laying down the benchmark for a set that just seemed to get better and better as the players began to gel after their long layoff. Confirmation, Night in Tunisia and then Parker's Mood. Alan Law had been doing his job perfectly up to this point but here he improved upon perfection (if that is possible!) and played as sensitive a solo as anything I've heard from him. Not to be out done Jordan also peaked.

Vieux Carre Hot 4 @ Spanish City - September 6

Jim McBriarty (clarinet, soprano sax, vocals); Brian Bennett (banjo); Paul Grainger (double bass); Fred Thompson (drums, vocals) 

The Vieux Carre Hot 4 returned to Spanish City almost exactly six months to the day before lockdown brought about an abrupt halt to live performance. A becalmed North Sea encouraged locals and visitors alike to promenade along the front, stopping off at one of numerous ice cream parlours or calling in at Spanish City to sit with a coffee or something a little stronger to listen to Brian Bennett's outfit.

Album review: Rez Abbasi - Django-shift

Rez Abbasi (guitars); Neil Alexander (organ/electronics/synths); Michael Sarin (drums).

The first time I played this I recoiled in horror!  How could they do this to the memory of Europe's most legendary jazz musician? This was the equivalent of hanging your dirty washing on somebody else's line!

Sacrilege! 

Football Fever

My apologies for straying away from music but in my home town the excitement is all about football ...

Hebburn Town at Wembley (Consett are going too!) What a fantastic final this year's FA Vase will be and, whichever team wins or loses, they've both done the northeast proud. 

Over to you Newcastle, Sunderland and Boro ... the ball's in your opponent's net (we hope!) 
Lance
PS: Maybe a chance to catch a live gig after the match.

Livestream from The Globe: Not Now Norman – September 5

Taylor Mitchell (vocals); Zander Brown (guitar); Jimmy Manningham (bass guitar); Bodhi Turnbull (drums)

This isn't a 'proper' full review as the music was most certainly not jazz. No, I'm writing this because I consider that The Globe is to be congratulated for putting on such a wide range of music. I thoroughly enjoyed this offering, which I'd decided to watch out of curiosity and also out of an urge to try all sorts of music.

Saturday, September 05, 2020

Preview: Vintage Chart Toppers on RTHK

Tomorrow (Sunday Sept. 6) Colin Aitchison presents his weekly Vintage Chart Toppers Show on RTHK: Radio 3.

On the programme, Tyneside expatriate bandleader Colin, who has led the China Coast Jazzmen at Kowloon night club Ned Kelly's Last Stand for many years, spins discs from the distant past with the occasional guest dropping virtually by for a chat.

Preview: VCH4 Spanish City Sundays

Coffee and cake? Tea and cake? Fish and chips? Champagne? VCH4? Tomorrow (Sunday) why not treat yourself to one or more of the above? The Spanish City on Whitley Bay seafront is a local landmark which reopened nearly two years ago following major refurbishment. Restored to its former glory, the Grade II listed building has attracted countless visitors lured by its architectural splendour, stunning views and a menu offering something for everyone.      

King Bees @ Prohibition Bar - September 4

Michael Littlefield (guitar, vocals); Scott Taylor (harmonica, vocals); Dominic Hornsby (piano, vocals) 

Six months! We hadn't heard these guys in six long months. King Bees hold down a residency here at Prohibition Bar and with the easing of lockdown restrictions it was time to get the best blues band in town back on stage. Social distancing guidelines determined only three fifths of the band could appear in semi-acoustic form. Audience numbers are currently limited to seventeen people, all seated, no standing at the bar. Seats bagged, a first bottle of Prohibition Bar's Pale Ale ordered (a good few more would follow), the boys would take to the stage in about ninety minutes.

Friday, September 04, 2020

Album review: Susan Tobocman - Touch & Go.

Susan Tobocman (voice); Joel Frahm (tenor/soprano sax); Dave Eggar (cello); Pete McCann (guitars); Henry Hey (piano/Rhodes); Matt Pavolka (bass); Michael Sarin (drums).

I remarked on Wichita Lineman being an unusual choice for Joe Stilgoe on last night's live stream from Ronnie's. Well, what do you know? here it is again and, not only that but it was also on the recent album by Bob Mintzer with the WDR Big Band. Further investigation and it seems to have been on more albums than Summertime - well, perhaps not quite as many but it certainly appears to have been doing the rounds.

Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club to finally reopen on 19 September 2020


(Press release)
 On August 1st  the world-famous Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club was to throw open its doors for the first time in 137 days having been closed due the global Corona Virus pandemic.  The government had announced that indoor live music venues could re-open, but then, just a day before the first act was to take to the stage, it was to postpone its decision and the club remained closed.

Parker rarity!

You may (or may not) know that I'm a Charlie Parker "completist" so I was pleasantly surprised to hear of a 'previously unknown' session involving Charlie. So just to let you know out of interest - these are the details: The source is 'The Louis Armstrong Tapes' - apparently Louis had a large collection of cassette tapes which he had carefully listed and collated.

Thursday, September 03, 2020

Joe Stilgoe Trio - Live stream @ Ronnie Scott's - Sept. 3

Joe Stilgoe (piano/vocals); Tom Farmer (bass); Ben Reynolds (drums)

Circumstances decreed I only managed a small part of this set by that fine singer, songwriter, vocalist Joe Stilgoe but I thoroughly enjoyed what I heard. Maybe this wasn't such a bad thing as, unlike actual gigs where the enthusiasm of the crowd sweeps you along in its wake to the extent that you could stay there forever wallowing in the prevailing mood, a live stream isn't quite like that unless you're having a house party.

As Sage Gateshead looks to the future Norman Foster announces his retirement

Sage Gateshead opened in December 2004 since when the Tyneside venue has firmly established its reputation as a world class performance venue. Long in the planning, Northern Sinfonia and Folkworks joined forces to help turn a dream into a reality. Unstinting support from Gateshead Borough Council guaranteed the first spade in the ground on the south bank of the Tyne and over many months Tynesiders watched as the iconic building began to take shape. This week, at the age of 85, the project's architect, Norman Foster, announced his retirement. 

Not Your Daddy's Jazz Band - Tiger Rag (feat. Harvey Wainapel)


I don’t think I’ve ever encountered a record such as this since, say, The Billy Cotton Band Show! Maybe even before. On the plus side, fans of Spike Jones and his City Slickers, Sid Millward and his Nitwits, Dr. Crock and his Crackpots or Peewee Hunt will perhaps see this as the Second Coming oblivious to the fact that, on the minus side, among all the whistles and motor horns, the other noises are of Nick LaRocca, Leon Roppolo, Kid Ory and King Oliver - maybe even Acker Bilk - turning over in their graves! 

Further Definitions in Jazz

A student saxophonist - A Tranee.
A student female trumpet player - A Dizzy dame.
A bisexual jazz singer - Fella Fitzgerald.
A pianist who practices religiously - Monk.
The Covid Big Band - Formerly known as a trio.
Lance
PS: Lets have your (original) suggestions.

As one door shuts another one closes ...

Copenhagen's legendary Jazzhus Montmartre has permanently closed its doors due to the Corona-virus bringing to an end an era that saw many famous jazz superstars appear at the venue, whose commitment to jazz goes back to 1959, including Dexter Gordon, Stan Getz, Ben Webster and many others.

The sad details can be found on the Ronnie Scott's Club Facebook page - link.
Lance

Wednesday, September 02, 2020

Charlie Parker Stole my Bank Holiday Weekend!

This is not a review, but merely a few recommended links to highlight some Charlie Parker music around what was his 100th Birthday celebrations.

On Thursday, August 27, at Ronnie Scott’s, Gilad Atzmon led a quartet accompanied by strings, as a tribute to CP on what would have been his 100th Birthday (2 days early!). Many of the tunes played come from the album Charlie Parker with Strings and is a superb rendition of these, plus a few more besides.  A great performance despite the lockdown conditions. Link (music starts at  1:40)

Blog Archive