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Bebop Spoken There

Ferg Ireland: “I was very ignorant about early jazz - it's bizarrely skirted over in jazz education." - (Jazzwise, September 2021)

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".

'606' Club: "A toast to Lance Liddle of the terrific jazz blog 'Bebop Spoken Here'"

The Strictly Smokin' Big Band included Be Bop Spoken Here (sic) in their 5 Favourite Jazz Blogs.
Ann Braithwaite (Braithwaite & Katz Communications) You’re the BEST! --

Postage

13,698 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 1115 of them this year alone and, so far, 59 this month (Sept. 17).

From This Moment On ...

September

Wed 22: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 22: Darlington Big Band @ Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public)
Wed 22: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 6:45pm. Celebrating TITTB's 20th anniversary & Dave Weisser's forthcoming birthday! Limited gig tickets (£1.00.). Free live stream. www.jazz.coop.

Thu 23: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 23: Jeremy McMurray & the Jazz Pocket Orchestra @ Middlesbrough Town Hall 8:00pm. .
Thu 23: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Sunniside, Gateshead. 8:30pm. .

Fri 24: Perdido Street Jazzmen (with Frank Brooker reeds, Eugene Farrar trombone, Brian Bennett banjo & Phil Rutherford sousaphone) @ Darlington Market Square, Darlington. 11:00am.
Fri 24: Sue Ferris Quintet @ Gala Theatre, Durham. 1:00pm.
Fri 24: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 24: Rendezvous Jazz @ Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 24: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band, Stockton. 1:00pm.
Fri 24: FILM: Jazz on a Summer's Day + Swing Bridge Trio (in the bar) @ Forum Cinema, Hexham. 7:00pm.

Sat 25: Silent Music Seeing Sound + Spinningwork @ Newcastle Arts Centre. 6:30pm. Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music (NFOJIM).
Sat 25: Knats @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Sun 26: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon. .
Sun 26: Musicians Unlimited @ South Durham Social Club, Hartlepool. 1:00pm. .
Sun 26: Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ The Exchange, North Shields. 4:00pm. .
Sun 26: Sax Appeal @ The Blue Bell, Hill Street, Corbridge NE45 5AA. 4:30pm. Free. .
Sun 26: David Gray Flextet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. .
Sun 26: Nubiyan Twist @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 27: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Album review: Dave Brubeck - Lullabies

Dave Brubeck (piano)

In these turbulent times, when the whole world is in disarray, and everyone and their dog have the answer, it's when music becomes, if not the vaccine, at least the sticking plaster or the painkiller and this solo album by pianist Brubeck provides both of those.

Back in the day, jazzwise, Brubeck was as controversial as any of today's "world leaders" and yet, listening to this, his final studio recording, I can only say that there was much more to the man than what you heard on albums such as Time Out.

Christmas may be coming ...

If Christmas isn't cancelled this year then this could be worth dropping a few hints in to the ear of your socially distanced nearest and dearest.
Lance

Friday, October 30, 2020

Rico Tomasso's Whitley Bay Special live stream - Oct. 30

At the time of writing - nine o'clock in the evening - we should be nicely sozzled, some nine hours into the first day of Mike Durham's International Classic Jazz Party. However, like most everything else, the world renowned festival celebrating the pioneers of the music has opted to take a year out, skirting the pandemic, with the intention of returning next year bigger and better than ever. 

During lockdown, Classic Jazz Party regular Rico Tomasso has been live streaming week after week to a hugely appreicative worldwide audience and he wasn't about to pass up the opportunity to reunite, albeit virtually, with some of his fellow CJP mainstays. Rico opened a bottle of Abbot Ale (a tipple not unfamiliar to BSH Editor-in-Chief LL), your reviewer did a 'dip-do', choosing a bottle of Landlord, the first of five different bottled beers waiting to be consumed. 

Album review: Joshua Jaswon Octet - Silent Sea

Anna Serierse (vocals); Joshua Jaswon (alto/soprano sax); Marc Doffey (tenor/soprano sax); Miguel Gorodi (trumpet/flugel); Jan Landowski (trombone); Johannes Mann (elec. guitar); Sidney Werner (bass); Aaron Castrillo (drums).

I viewed the notes with a degree of skepticism. "Each composition is based on the text of a contemporary British poem by writers Jackie Kay, Maura Dooley and Rachael Boast and deals with the issues surrounding climate change and Brexit."

Kay, who is Scotland's Makar (Poet Laureate) said that the jazz music fitted her poem (Extinction) like a hand to a glove, and that the rhythms and tempos capture the heightened sense of time running out, of seizing the moment.

So, I seized the moment before time ran out and I'm rather pleased I did.

Remembering The Connaught Hall, Newcastle.



Those of us for whom the "sand in the glass" is well past the halfway mark may, I hope, be excused for indulging ourselves in the occasional look back at the way things were "when we were young (ish)" In particular, I'm thinking about those early JNE gigs at The Connaught Hall, which, if memory serves me right, was part of the YMCA.

It is, of course, long gone. Demolished to make way for the Eldon Square Shopping Centre. However, back then, I attended seven concerts featuring seven jazz legends, accompanied by a few British jazz legends.

Margaret Aitchison

Just a sad reminder that the funeral of Margaret Aitchison - widow of trumpet player Hughie Aitchison and mother of Barrie and Colin - is scheduled for Wednesday Nov. 4 at Tynemouth Crem at 2:15 pm.

Barrie hopes that all who knew her and Hughie will be able to attend.

May she Rest In Peace and be reunited with Hughie.

Lance

Abbie Finn Trio: Northern Perspective album launch @ Prohibition Bar - Oct. 29

Abbie Finn (drums); Harry Keeble (tenor sax); Paul Grainger (double bass)

In the middle of a pandemic what do you do? Stay at home, switch off the light and persuade yourself the end of the world is nigh? How about if you play an album launch gig with a socially distanced audience? Enterprising? Crazy? Enterprising drummer and bandleader Abbie Finn isn't crazy (as far as we know) and, and with the willing participation of Harry Keeble and Paul Grainger, proceeded to play two sets to a full house at Prohibition Bar in Newcastle.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Joe Webb live stream @ Kansas Smitty's - "Ahmad Jamal Live at the Pershing" - Oct. 29

Joe Webb (piano); Ferg Ireland (bass); Jason Brown (drums).

Ronnie's or Smitty's? It was a tough call. The Omar Puente Sextet v The Joe Webb Trio. I put my head around the virtual door on Frith St. then hightailed it over to 63-65 Broadway Market where the trio were paying tribute to Ahmad Jamal's legendary Live at the Pershing album recorded at the Pershing Lounge, Chicago, in 1958.

It only took one number to know I'd be staying! 

Album review: Ben Wendel - High Heart

Ben Wendel (tenor sax); Michael Mayo (vocals); Shai Maestro, Gerald Clayton (piano, Fender Rhodes); Joe Sanders (double bass); Nate Wood (drums) 

A high octane fifth album for Ben Wendel, the Canadian tenor maestro based in New York, here with a sextet drawn from that city’s current elite. The album is a showcase not only for Wendel’s prodigious and muscular post-bop technique, but also for his compositions, executed brilliantly and sensitively by a band so much more than the sum of its stellar parts.

Q & A w. Alan Glen

Alan Glen is one of the most loved and respected pianists  in the North East and beyond. BSH was delighted to catch up with him,

BSH: When did it all begin? Were you from a musical family?

Alan: Yes I was. I was born in London, my father was a pro violinist and my mother was a good amateur pianist. When I was three the war started so they decided to leave London and return to the North East (Boldon Colliery) and there I was!

BSH: You are known for saying very little, if anything, on a gig. Is this simply due to being the shy type? 

Alan: Actually, I thought I was ok on the mic!  I crack a few gags occasionally and get a laugh out of the audience. I don't announce the tunes - but that's in the great jazz tradition. Miles, Garner, Evans and Jarrett never said a word between them! 

BSH: In 1969 you led a big band at the Newcastle Festival (a few years later the first Newcastle Jazz Festival would come into being). What was the name of the band?  What sort of band was it? Were you writing original music at the time or arranging classic big band charts?

Alan: I remember the first festival before it became a Jazz Festival. Goodness knows where the money came from, but I can remember Ray Charles, Yehudi Menuhin, the Woody Herman band & Shirley Bassey and Elizabeth Schwarzkopf - how's that for a couple of divas?  I had a big band and I wrote a suite in three movements based on the blues sequence, I think I called it Aspects.  Dankworth said the only reason for his big band was to play his own music & it's the same with me.

Thomas "Spats" Langham - Whitley Bay memories

This would - in normal times - be the weekend of Mike Durham's Classic Jazz Party. Unfortunately, like so many others, it had to be cancelled! However, young Jonathan Holmes has organised a live stream featuring interviews with 5 of the regular musicians via YouTube concerts.
More links:

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

There's a "Time and a Place" for Paul Edis at EFG on Nov. 20

Jerry sent me this link which, should you 'appen to be in 'ampstead during the EFG London Jazz Festival, looks good but don't 'ang about - book now.

Lance.

See also

News from Peter Jones

(Press release)

HELLO! Quite a lot going on in the run-up to Christmas, as you can see.

First of all, my band Zoöphyte will be releasing an EP of 4 fabulous new pop-jazz tracks in early November. Keep an eye on our Bandcamp page to listen.

Then a couple of weeks later, on Wednesday 18th November, I'll be chairing a panel discussion on music journalism and authorship, beginning with the all-important question: how DO you write about music? It's part of the EFG London Jazz Festival and also the Richmond Literature Festival, and features Radio 3 broadcaster and author Alyn Shipton, chronicler of London's happening young jazz scene Emma Warren, and biographer and drummer Clark Tracey.

The Great Life of Monk

Tomorrow (Thursday) there will be another airing of an edition of the radio documentary series Great Lives. First broadcast on Radio 4 in 2015, some five years on you'll find it over on Radio 4 Extra at 6:30pm - Great Lives: Hannah Rothschild on Thelonious Monk. Richard Williams offers expert insight. Several repeats quickly follow at various times: in the early hours of Friday (half-past midnight) then Saturday at 7:30am and 5:30pm, and 5:30am Sunday.

Russell      

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Jazz FM 2020 Awards Announced

This year's Jazz FM Awards were announced via live stream from Ronnie Scott's (who missed out to The Vortex in the Venue of the Year category).

Xhosa Cole picked up The Breakthrough Act Award. 

Yazz Ahmed grabbed a couple which should stand her in good stead for her forthcoming gig at Sage Gateshead.

Binker Golding scored as did Judi Jackson. For the full list of winners click here.

Congratulations to all.

Lance

Sing it Loud: Black and Proud - Channel 4

On Channel 4 tomorrow night (Wednesday 28, 11:10pm) there is a Black History Month documentary looking at young musicians blazing a trail on the British jazz scene. From Ronnie Scott's, Maya Jama presents a selection of performers including Zara McFarlane and Ashley Henry (pictured). 

Russell

Album review: Patrick Cornelius' Arcadia - Way of the Cairns

Patrick Cornelius (alto sax); Michael Janisch (bass); Kristjan Randalu (piano); Paul Wiltgen (drums).

Arcadia were, it seems, previously known as TransAtlantic Collective under which heading they performed close to 100 concerts in 8 different countries from 2006 - 2009.

They have come together again to take the listener on a journey through a set of, quote,  "inspiring scenes".

These scenes include a description of an ascent of Great Head Mountain (Way of the Cairns), a beachside stargazing party - as one does - (Star Party) and other explorations through the "untamed wilderness" of Arcadia, an American National Park up there in the northeastern corner of Maine.

SAGE GATESHEAD ANNOUNCES LATEST PROGRAMME LINE-UP FOR SAGE LIVE 2020 (Includes Yazz Ahmed & Archipelago)

(Press release)

Following its first live performances since March 2020 last weekend, Sage Gateshead announces the latest line-up for Sage Live 2020, a series of live performances running from October until December.

The full series is also live streamed, opening up performances beyond the 300 capacity the venue is able to accommodate due to social distancing.

This announcement follows the news that Sage Gateshead has been awarded £1.8 million from the government’s Cultural Recovery Fund. This support, along with the ongoing £3 million fundraising campaign, will help the organisation through to March 2021.

Abigail Pogson, Managing Director of Sage Gateshead said:

Monday, October 26, 2020

12,000 not out and still bopping...


Wow! We've now reached 12,000 posts since BSH began in 2008. What began with very modest aims has now had almost four and a half million page views from all over the world.

Although our main emphasis has been covering jazz in all its many forms in the north east our writers also travel to the London Jazz Festival, Ronnie Scott's, Pizza Express, Spice of Life and other clubs in the capital. 

Festivals in Cheltenham, Edinburgh, Scarborough and elsewhere are covered along with occasional reports from our continental ops, as well as visits to Wisconsin for the annual Bix Fest and, of course, Hong Kong, where our good friend, broadcaster and bandleader Colin Aitchison, makes our presence known via interviews with myself and other local musicians.

David Gray Flextet Live (and online) @ The Globe - Oct. 25

David "Showtime" Gray (trombone/vocal); Adam Sams (guitar/vocal); Alan Law (piano); Paul Grainger (bass); Michael Mather (drums).

He dances like Fred Astaire, plays trombone like Fred Wesley and sings like Fred the Plumber. "Showtime" is well named. As a mover he outshines the previous area champion James Harrison and displays a sartorial elegance that Ray Burns and even the late George Melly would have been envious of!

However, that is merely the packaging, the prime cut of sirloin is the blistering, battering ram a.k.a. the trombone. If our man had been on the Jericho gig, the trumpet section would have had the day off.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

An Ellington Big Band Special - Sunday at seven

Tony Eales, a long-standing friend of BSH, got in touch to remind us that the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra can be heard this evening playing Duke Ellington on BBC Radio 2. The Beeb's much missed Big Band Special recorded the show way back in 2005. This evening, as part of October's Black History Month celebrations, Sunday Night is Music Night will once again broadcast the event billed Black, Brown & Beige: The Music of Duke Ellington. Pianist Wayne Marshall conducts the orchestra with singer Kim Cresswell taking a starring role. Tune in at seven o'clock. 

Russell 

Retro album review: Alan Clare Trio - Jazz Around the Clock & The Alan Clare Trio w. Bob Burns

Alan Clare (piano); Kenny Napper (bass); Eddie Taylor/Bobby Kevin (drums) + Don Rendell (tenor sax); Ray Premru (bass trumpet); Bob Efford (tenor sax); Bob Burns (alto sax) - 1 track each.

Jazz Around the Clock features Alan Clare - surely one of the all-time British piano greats - in trio format as well as with the above guests, It's an absolute gem. How long it's been lying dormant among my CDs  I don't know but, as it was released in 2005, I guess for at least 10 years. How could I have been so negligent? I certainly intend to make up for it.

Paper Moon Duo @ Prohibition Bar - Oct. 24

John Wilson (guitar); Jude Murphy (bass guitar, flute, vocals) + Dave Weisser (vocals)

And then there were three. The advertised Paper Moon Trio turned out to be the duo of multi-instrumentalist Jude Murphy and the venerable John Wilson. Later, our duo would be joined on one number only by a very special guest. Prohibition Bar was, as usual, on top of the social distancing thing. Mitch and co continue to lead the way...

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Lest we forget - as if!

I got to thinking the other day - or was it last year? - about some of the characters that have been part of the northeast jazz scene during the course of my lifetime. I've only picked out those who are no longer with us to avoid a libel action or getting filled in.

They weren't always the best or the worst on their instrument but they all had one thing in common - they were individuals. They were what jazz musicians were when jazz musicians were, shall we say, jazz musicians. Their sounds were as identifiable as their speech. They didn't learn to play the blues or blow bop or Dixieland at college but instead it was in the clubs and bars with like-minded wannabees. So, working on a one per instrument, here are my choices:

That 'must have' is now a 'have got'!

It's Record Store Day. You've got to support your local record shop, haven't you? Anything by Thelonious Monk is a 'must' and the much heralded Palo Alto recording fell into that category. There it was on display in JG Windows, all 180g vinyl of it. Don't say: Well, You Needn't and Don't Blame Me, the Impulse! album now takes pride of place in the collection.

Russell

Vinyl here, vinyl there...

Today (Saturday 24) is Record Store Day. What?! Hasn't there already been a Record Store Day this year? Come to think of it, hasn't there been not one but two Record Store Days? Yes, and today is the third of them. The pandemic scuppered the original date back in April so, determined not to be defeated, independent record shops have bounced back, time and again. Doors open early today with many goodies on offer. 

On Air Abbie - Saturday

Today (Saturday) at noon be sure to tune in to Colin Muirhead's Jazz on the Tyne programme. Drummer Abbie Finn talks to Colin about her new album Northern Perspective and other matters. CAPNE's Hive Radio station is based in BSH's heartland, Jarrow, South Tyneside. To listen visit: wwwcapne.org or see Abbie's Facebook page. 

Russell

Kellock kicks off label's UK Launch


(Press release)

Award-winning Scottish pianist Brian Kellock spearheads the UK launch on 30th October of New Zealand-based Thick Records, with two of the label’s three initial releases featuring the Edinburgh-born, Glasgow-based Kellock’s talents.

The launch is built around Think About It! - the long overdue follow-up to Kellock and his trio’s 2002 BBC Jazz Award-winning album, Live at Henry’s – and includes two albums by label owner and drummer, John Rae.

Friday, October 23, 2020

Film review: Ronnie's @ Everyman Cinema - Oct. 23

Friday evening, the Everyman Cinema, Newcastle. The first night of the nationwide release of Oliver Murray's documentary film Ronnie's. Screen One, albeit with a socially distanced audience, was surprisingly full. Nursing a five quid plus bottle of beer, the 106 minutes which followed were largely familiar to the jazz fan and, for the non-jazz fan, perhaps something of an eye-opener. 

The beginnings, the desire to somehow replicate 52nd Street's club scene back home in London, the Soho gangsters (surprisingly on side with the post war  jazz musicians), the arrival of Zoot Sims with many more Americans to follow, this was the story of a rag to rags jazz club. The to-be-expected talking heads were absent from the screen, instead we heard their voices as stills and the moving image sketched the story of Ronnie Scott. 

Album Review: Keith Jarrett – Budapest Concert

Keith Jarrett has Hungarian roots and a love of Bartók – both predisposed him towards this performance at the Béla Bartók Hall in Budapest in July 2016, which he considered akin to a homecoming.  The concert was recorded live and is presented in twelve “Parts” over two discs.  The Parts are numbered sequentially I – XII, I-IV on disc one and V-XII on disc two. 

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Nigel Price Organ Trio w. Vasilis Xenopoulos - Live stream @ Ronnie Scott's - Oct. 22

Nigel Price (guitar); Vasilis Xenopoulos (tenor sax); Ross Stanley (Hammond B3); Joel Barford (drums).

(Photos courtesy of Ken Drew)

What is there left for me to say? I said it all after hearing the band at The Globe on Sunday night!* It was a great session then and it's a great session now. Hopefully, anyone who missed that session - or any of the other gigs on the tour - will be catching up and realising they are in the virtual presence of greatness.

Keith Jarrett

Keith Jarrett, it seems has had two strokes over the past couple of years and it looks as though his performing days are over.

Details here in this Guardian report.

Lance

Big screen, small screen Friday (Oct. 23)

Tomorrow (Friday) Newcastle's Everyman Cinema is to screen a documentary about one of the most famous jazz clubs on the planet. Oliver Murray's Ronnie's looks at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club - Gerrard Street (the old place) and Frith Street. A running time of 106 mins should allow for plenty of archive footage - name the names and almost all will have graced the stage - and numerous talking heads. 6:00pm start for a Covid-secure screening. Telephone booking at: 0872 436 9060. *

Album review: Abbie Finn Trio - Northern Perspective

Abbie Finn (drums); Harry Keeble (tenor saxophone); Paul Grainger (double bass)

In the midst of a once-in-a-lifetime global pandemic which has all but stopped the world spinning on its axis it's a brave move to release an album. In these less than conducive circumstances that's precisely what Abbie Finn has done. Drummer Abbie's trio recorded material at Blank Studios in Newcastle and previewed it at a recent gig at Gosforth Civic Theatre. Next week there will be an album launch gig at Prohibition Bar. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Album review: House of the Black Gardenia - The New Lowdown

The albums arrive from far and wide. Across the seven seas and most of the oceans. However, when a locally produced disc shows up, it jumps the queue and, in this case, deservedly so.

HOTBG have built up a following over the past few years drawing in fans from all sides of the jazz divide. Thus we have swing/bop hornmen gelling with a blues mama and a blues papa producing the kind of music that we thought was lost forever.

Most of the numbers were written by Hopper, although Haigh, Rana and Littlefield also chip in. But, here's the beauty, they sound original - and indeed they are - yet they have captured the idiom better than many of the composers who were working that side of the street back in the day!

Leeds' Latest

(Press release)

Here is our autumn line up – all at Seven Arts in Chapel Allerton. There will be two (distanced and therefore limited numbers) concerts for each – one starting at 7:00pm and one at 8:45pm, lasting 75 mins each. We are also offering a recorded version of the concerts for those people in our audience who are not able to attend an inside concert

Thursday: 29 Oct Fergus Mcreadie Trio

Thursday: 12 Nov Ian Shaw, Ian Ballamy, Jamie Safir “What’s New”

Thursday: 26 Nov Josephine Davis “Satori”

Thursday: 3 Dec Nigel Price and “Wes Reimagined”

Thursday: 17 Dec Adrian Knowles and “Sound of 59”

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Album review: Fred Hersch - Songs From Home

Fred Hersch (solo piano)

At the beginning of ‘lockdown’ in March, jazz pianist extraordinaire Fred Hersch embarked on a series of solo performances known as his “Tune of the Day”.

Each afternoon for sixty days, Fred checked in with one song which was broadcast live from his home on Facebook. This effort became very important for many people around the world struggling with their daily structure within a Pandemic which was restricting everyone’s life.

Songs From Home collates eleven of these selections which are ‘covers’ of songs which are meaningful for Fred as he surveys his personal history now that he has reached sixty-five years, in a nostalgic way with warmth and personality. He felt that in order for him to be able to continue to play, he had to find a new way of connecting which would for the time being be a different ‘normal’ and a way of making a partial “living” from his music – as many other musicians are now doing.

René Thomas

Further to Roly's post re guitarist René Thomas and the comment from Maurice Summerfield, Maurice has sent me this copy of a letter he received from René's widow acknowledging her appreciation of Maurice's inclusion of her husband in his definitive work - The Jazz Guitar.


Merci Maurice, adieu René

Lance

Album Review: Sophie Bancroft and Tom Lyne – Monday Nights


Sophie Bancroft (vocals, guitar); Tom Lyne (acoustic and electric bass)

This couple coped with lockdown in the way that many jazz musicians did, by live-streaming gigs from their Scottish home each Monday evening, hence the title of the album that has come out of those gigs. The songs are a mixture of re-imagined standards, four originals written by Ms Bancroft, one offering from Tom Lyne, and a final track from the pen of Tom Waits.

The music set me wondering why on earth I hadn't heard of these two superb musicians before: what have I missed from the past? 'Brave, bright and engaging' said Jazz Journal, and I have to agree. The re-imagined standards really are that, with a fresh uncluttered feel to them

Q & A w. Dave Weisser & Jude Murphy - Part 3 of 3.

BSH: (to both) Who are your favourite musicians? Do you ever have musical disagreements, do you criticise each other? And finally, who does the cooking? I remember Dave bringing his homemade apple cake to the Chilli one night and it was delicious!

Favourite musicians:

Dave:  Miles and Coltrane, of course, goes without saying. Cannonball Adderley. Nat Adderley on cornet.  Keith Jarrett, Michael and Randy Brecker (another sax and horn sibling combo), Al Jarreau and George Benson, and I love the Yellowjackets.

Jude: Literally every single one on Dave’s list, plus Kenny Garrett. And everyone knows I have a real thing for Marcus Miller. I also adore Brazilian music, particularly Milton Nascimento and Elis Regina. And then there’s Billie Holiday, Cassandra Wilson, Madeleine Peyroux. Nile Rogers.  Steely Dan. Too many to mention really.

Monday, October 19, 2020

Oscar Lives! James Pearson and Dave Newton remember Oscar Peterson by way of a live stream from Ronnie Scott's - Oct. 19

James Pearson, Dave Newton (pianos); Sam Burgess (bass); Matt Skelton (drums).

(Photo courtesy of Ken Drew)

Not a lot you can say about this week's Monday night offering from Ronnie's other than fantastic although sensational would also cover it. However, being a down to earth sort of chap I'll just say it was bloody great.

I had initial reservations, two pianos? they'll get in each others way. I should have known better, we weren't talking about just any two old piano players but, arguably, two of the best, if not the best, jazz pianists in the country. Well they had to be hadn't they? If you're not you're going to fall short paying tribute to Oscar Peterson, probably the greatest of them all.

Paul Edis: Music Box live stream from Sage Gateshead - Oct. 19

Paul Edis (piano, keyboards, clarinet, flute, music box, vocals); Matt Anderson (tenor sax, soprano sax ); Andy May (Northumbrian pipes, keyboards); Francis Tulip (guitar); Ben Lawrence (keyboards) + Francis Tulip (guitar); Ben Lawrence (piano) 

(Photos courtesy of Ken Drew-see album.)

Paul Edis conceived the Music Box some time ago. A performance was scheduled for May at Sage Gateshead but the small matter of a pandemic intervened. A new date of October 7 came too early to permit an audience to be present so, next best thing, a pre-recorded live stream. Tonight was the night.

Composer, arranger, pianist, Paul Edis made the journey north from his London home to meet up with friends Matt Anderson, Andy May, Francis Tulip and Ben Lawrence. Their socially distanced meeting in the Northern Rock Foundation Hall produced a live stream set of some forty five minutes. Numbers from Edis' association with Ushaw College featured prominently: Edis with Northumbrian piper Andy May playing Shepherd from Melrose from the composer's St Cuthbert Suite for the Ushaw Ensemble and the haunting Sound of Achill

Roly Veitch remembers René Thomas (1927 – 1975)

Many years back I bought a vinyl album ‘The Bobby Jaspar Quartet’ at Ronnie Scott’s recorded in 1962. It was on the Mole Jazz label and issued in 1986. Alongside Thomas were: Bobby Jaspar (tenor sax/flute); Benoit Quersin (bass) and Daniel Humair (drums)

At that time I regularly bought jazz albums, usually at good old JG Windows, and I guess I just took a chance on this one as I had other Mole albums - the wonderful Art Pepper & Milcho Leviev LPs. Well, it turned out to be a very good choice, an exciting live session with great players and a guitarist who absolutely stood out as someone up there with the best.

Thomas had a very fluent, freewheeling, adventurous approach to soloing – melodic yet exciting. Great solo building in a quite modern, boppish style and a very distinct woody tone, a sound that had warmth yet bite and attack. Rather different from the classic warm toned, full bodied, mellow sound of many archtop guitar players of the day.

Nigel Price Organ Trio w. Vasilis Xenopoulos @ The Globe - October 18

Nigel Price (guitar); Vasilis Xenopoulos (tenor sax); Ross Stanley (Hammond B3); Joel Barford (drums).

The groove was in the moment they hit Wet and Dry - rock solid cement. They soloed at length before going into 4's or was it 8's or was it 1024's? It didn't matter - they were digging deep and the socially distanced audience were also digging deep - and this was just the opener! Come rain or come shine it couldn't get any better than this - could it?

It could!

The evening was about Wes - Montgomery that is - and I'd like to think that the late great guitarist would have been pleased with the rearrangement of his tunes. They certainly worked for me.

Q & A with Dave Weisser & Jude Murphy - Part 2 of 3.

BSH: Dave, you are probably best known these days for the Take it to the Bridge sessions which, prior to these strange times, ran for many years at a variety of venues before becoming established at The Globe.

Dave: Yes, it started off when we came back from working abroad.  Terry Ellis and Bazz Ascroft were also at loose ends at the time, and I got them together at the Beamish Mary pub in No Place, County Durham.  That ran as a very popular jam session for several years before a change of pub management meant we were looking for other venues.  A short stint at the Bridge led to a really long residency at Jesmond’s Bluebell, then we moved on to the Egypt Cottage, the Tyne Bar, and eventually, The Chillingham Arms in Heaton.  Only when the Chilli was refurbishing did we find our way to the Globe, where we’re very happy.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Q & A with Dave Weisser & Jude Murphy - Part 1 of 3

BSH: Dave, you and I (Lance) go back a long way. Early 1970s I think it was when you first showed up in J.G. Windows’ music shop. It wasn’t long after that that you began working there. How did you get to be in Newcastle and, after living in America for so long, was the North East somewhat of a culture shock?

Dave: I married a Geordie lass in the States, and when she wanted to come home to the UK I came with her.  I started at Newcastle University, studying Psychology and in the same year I also started working part-time at Windows. 

It was a bit of a culture shock to be in the NE of England after California, but remember America was in a crisis of its own in the early 1970s.

Jude: Lance, not sure if you remember, I also did a short stint of working at J.G. Windows in the mid-1980s.  It’s a rite of passage for musicians, isn’t it?

BSH: Certainly is a rite of passage. That in itself may well be worth pursuing at some later date! Before we get around to the present, tell us about your life in the States, were you from a musical family? Did you meet up with any big name musicians? I recall you mentioning Doris Day and John Coltrane!

More Obituaries

You may have already been aware of these deaths recently. George Galway died  4 Oct age 79. Played flute, tenor sax. Clarinet around the Manchester area. He was the brother of James Galway the well-known flute player. Also Ira Sullivan another great musician died in Miami aged 89.I saw him a few times in Europe with Red Rodney - he was incredible on anything that had a mouthpiece! A real be-bop legend. I heard yesterday that tenorman Eric Traub had died - sometime last year I believe.

Michael Farmer.

Lance: Thanks Michael for the update - difficult keeping track of them all. May they Rest In Peace.


Adrian Cox: South of the Border - Oct. 18

Adrian Cox (clarinet, vocals); Simon Picton (guitar, banjo, vocals)

Preacher Adrian Cox took his Sunday Service on the road today, assisted in his missionary work by the Reverend Simon Picton. Our duo headed south, it would be quite a journey. Toulouse Lautrec their base, Cox entrusted Picton to come up with a set list and offer guidance on pronunciation. A mere nine tunes today as Cox more or less finished on time, 'time' being two o'clock. 

Paul Edis Trio @ Gosforth Civic Theatre - Oct. 17

Paul Edis (piano); Andy Champion (double bass); Russ Morgan (drums)

(Photos courtesy of Jerry E)

A full house, an album launch, the return of the Paul Edis Trio. Each element is something to shout about, but to achieve these things in the midst of a pandemic is a major achievement. Gosforth Civic Theatre's Covid-secure premises is another example of how things can - and should - be done. As the house lights dimmed it struck your reviewer that it had been something like nine months, perhaps more, since we had heard pianist Paul Edis for real, in person, performing in front of a real, live audience. 

Saturday, October 17, 2020

The Charts

1: Frank Sinatra - The Things We Didn't do This Summer.

2: Jon Hendricks - Socially Distanced Call.

3: Louis Armstrong - Not a Wonderful World.

4: Sting - Don't Stand so Close to me.

5: Tony Bennett - I Left my Mask in San Francisco.

6: Ella Fitzgerald - Every Time we Text Goodbye.

7: Peggy Lee - (You give me) Covid.

8: Duke Ellington - I Got it Bad and That Ain't Good.

9: Thelonious Monk - Mask Me Now.

10:Various - Teach me Tonight (online).

The Hooch, it's the business!

BSH readers familiar with Hoochie Coochie up on Pilgrim Street should get themselves down to Newcastle Quayside to check out Warren Thompson's new place on the corner of Broad Chare and Quayside. The Hooch occupies a prime site across the road from the Law Courts with panoramic views across the Tyne to Sage Gateshead and Baltic.

TERRY DAY ARCHIVES COMPOSITIONS, IMPROVISATIONS, SONGS, LYRICS & POETRY

(Press release)

‘Aside from music, you are improvising everyday in your life... When you paint a picture, after a while the picture starts to create itself. 


It was the same when I came to improvise... I never to this day discussed, put any parameter in the music I make with another musician... When you are improvising you are creating, you are throwing all the structures out.’ (Terry Day)

For Terry’s 80th birthday today, the 17th of October 2020, Unpredictable Series and Cafe Oto are releasing 20 albums of Terry Day’s Archives on Otoroku. The celebration also includes six of Terry’s solo albums, which will be available on Bandcamp.

Diehl, Harriott & Hutchings on the airwaves (Saturday, Oct. 17)

Cécile McLorin Salvant's one-time pianist Aaron Diehl plays a set on today's edition of J to Z (Radio 3, 5:00pm), over on Radio 4 at 6:15 cover star of November's issue of Jazzwise magazine Shabaka Hutchings is a guest on Loose Ends and, back on Radio 3 at midnight, Corey Mwamba's Freeness includes an archive tape of Joe Harriott

Russell

Friday, October 16, 2020

Album review: Julia Wereup - The Thrill of Loving You

Julia Wereup (vocals); Sven-Erik Lundeqvist (piano); Johnny Åman (bass); Thomas Blachman (drums)

Swedish-born, Danish-based Wereup is a Scandinavian songbird with an original, hard to define style that is so laid-back you could go away and make a cup of tea in between phrases without missing a syllable.

Gloomy Sunday is exactly that. Once known as "The Suicide Song" it is not misnamed, she makes the Billie Holiday version sound like Happy Birthday!

John Garner live streaming from the Lit & Phil - Oct. 16

John Garner (violin)

Today's Lit and Phil live stream concert wasn't jazz but it was John Garner. Violinist Garner turned up one night at the old Jazz Cafe looking to sit-in at the fortnightly jam session. That was two or three years ago and what a revelation it proved to be! Since then the softly spoken Garner has gone on to work with Paul Edis (Ushaw Ensemble and in a duo with the pianist) and form his own small jazz combo with the wonderful moniker Charkie Parlour. 

But The Band Plays On - Birmingham, Sandwell & Westside Jazz Festival Set To Go Ahead

(Press release)

With live music currently caught between the pincers of a global pandemic and an economic recession, the outlook for independent promoters and venues has never been worse. But one festival in Birmingham decided to take a stand rather than simply accept its fate.

That’s why, from the 16th-25th October, the Birmingham, Sandwell & Westside Jazz Festival is set to go ahead with a special Covid-safe edition. Normally staged during July, for the 36th consecutive year the festival will bring its nearly entirely free programme of live jazz and blues to the bars, squares, shopping centres and libraries of Birmingham and Sandwell.

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