Total Pageviews

Bebop Spoken There

Jim Keltner: “I was snatched right out of the jazz world. I shouldn't say snatched, I went willingly, I ran. From $85 a week to $250 a week, that gets your attention." - (JazzTimes, 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

13,726 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 1143 of them this year alone and, so far, 87 this month (Sept. 24).

From This Moment On ...

September

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: More Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 3:00pm. .
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.

Wed 29: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 29: Darlington Big Band @ Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 29: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Thu 30: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 30: Mainly Two @ Newcastle University. 1:15pm. ONLINE ONLY (YouTube).
Thu 30: '58 Jazz Collective @ Hops and Cheese, 9-11 Tower St., Hartlepool, TS24 7HH. Tel 0770 4160417. 7:30pm.
Thu 30: Shiver + Run Logan Run @ Gosforth Civic Theatre, Newcastle. 8:00pm. NFOJIM.
Thu 30: Jeremy McMurray & the Jazz Pocket Orchestra @ Arc, Stockton. 8:00pm.
Thu 30: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead. 8:30pm.

Fri 01: Robert Mitchell @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. NFOJIM.
Fri 01: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 01: Rendezvous Jazz @ Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 01: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm.
Fri 01: Warmer Than Blood + Kit Downes + Ceitidh Mac @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 7:30pm. NFOJIM.
Fri 1: Knats + Hand to Mouth @ Gosforth Civic Theatre, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free but ticketed.

Sat 02: Paul Edis @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. NFOJIM.
Sat 02: Play Jazz! workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. Stuart Fowler: Learning Jazz Standards. £25.00. To enrol email: learning@jazz.coop.
Sat 02: Zoë Gilby & Andy Champion @ Newcastle Arts Centre. 2:00pm. NFOJIM.
Sat 02: John Pope Quintet @ Newcastle Arts Centre. 3:30pm.
Sat 02: Jamie Cullum @ Sage Gateshead. 7:30pm.
Sat 02: Green Tangerines @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. NFOJIM.
Sat 02: Alina Bzhezhinska HipHarp Quartet + Pat Thomas. 8:00pm. NFOJIM.
Sat 02: Rendezvous Jazz @ Red Lion, Earsdon. 8:00pm.

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Joe Williams-What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?


Thought I'd post this as an alternative to Ella's great version. Joe's version has Ellis Larkins on piano who, incidentally, was Ella's accompanist back in the 1950s.
Lance
PS: It was Raoul and Jesse of the duo Blue Standard who put me on to this version by Joe Williams. You can hear their own fine version here.

Kansas Smitty's Supersize Band (part 2) - Dec. 31

(Screenshots courtesy of Ken Drew)

I missed part 1 but, on Russell's recommendation, I checked out part 2 and it was okay. Not quite what I was expecting but it was interesting if a little esoteric at times. 

Jas Kayser set out her stall on the her own Ku Variation soloing whilst Giacomo blew a riff on bass clarinet.

Will Cleasby joined her and the two drummers didn't get in each other's way - their duet on Passion Dance would have had the fans on the second balcony jumping had this been at The Apollo up in Harlem. Kit Downes on B3 also did the business on this one.

BSH New Year's Honours list

I looked in vain for the jazzers in the 2021 New Year's Honours list and I couldn't find any - there's usually one. However, to be rewarded you  first have to be nominated and, I guess, this year even the most dedicated of jazz fans - bearing in mind the lack of live gigs - have had other priorities on their mind.

So it is only right and proper that those in the front line are rewarded for their services although a few extra quid in the back pocket would probably be more appreciated.

Happy New Year to LJN from BSH

Earlier this week, LondonJazz News posted its 10,000th post. We offer our best wishes to Sebastian Scotney and his team who have always been supportive of BSH as well as providing up to date info on jazz in the capital.

Congratulations.
Lance

Kansas Smitty's Supersize Band (part 1) - Dec. 30

This was part one, part two is tonight at eight o'clock, don't miss it! To begin a review of a live stream by plugging another one speaks volumes. The Kansas Smitty's crew pulled out all the stops for this year ending double header. The usual suspects were present - Giacomo, Dave, Joe, Ferg, Will (that's drummer Will) - alongside Dylan Jones, Alec Harper, Camilla George and Kit Downes. 

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Liane Carroll live stream - Dec. 30

Liane Carroll (piano/vocal); Roger Carey (bass guitar/vocal)

It had been a while since I peeped through the curtains at Liane's so I decided to have another look and a listen. 

Blue Skies kicked things off, no piano on this opener, just voice and bass - a good start. Next up, what I'd describe as a railroad blues. Cincinnati Fatback had both Roger and Liane singing like they were Ohio born and bred.

That was the year that wasn't

As 2020 draws to a close I don't need to remind anyone what a terrible year it has been. It's difficult trying to be optimistic in face of the ever increasing complications of the virus that are sweeping the world but there have been some bright spots.

The advent of the live stream has made virtual access to many venues available to those who otherwise wouldn't have been able to attend in person. On our doorstep in Newcastle, The Jazz Co-op via The Globe has presented top quality music from many genres featuring both local and national bands and artists. The Sunday night jazz gigs epitomise what that organisation is all about and there are more to come in the new year.

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Nick Hempton Band live streaming from GB's Juke Joint, NYC - Dec. 28

Nick Hempton (alto/tenor sax); Peter Bernstein (guitar); Kyle Koehler (Hammond B3); Fukushi Tainaka (drums)
.
(Screenshots by Russell)

An absolute gem of a session. GB's Juke Joint isn't, as the name might imply, a neighbourhood bar populated by low-lifes and ne'er-do-wells but a New York recording studio where Nick Hempton recorded Night Owl - reviewed here last year -  and which provided some of the material played  tonight.

The opener, Back on the Dole Again, got things moving with a nice groove. All four guys at the top of their game. Interestingly, I always thought that being "on the dole" was a purely British expression. Whatever, certainly an appropriate title for today.

Monday, December 28, 2020

A Cool Yule @ Ronnie's - Dec. 28

Iain Mackenzie (vocal); Alex Garnett (tenor sax); James Pearson (piano); Sam Burgess (bass); Chris Higginbottom (drums).

(Screenshot Ken Drew)

One of the things that I miss about the current situation is not being able to hear the Jason Isaacs Big Band at Hoochie Coochie or Paul Skerritt with James Harrison and Co at various gigs but, at least, this more or less made up for it.

Mackenzie, with Alex Garnett  and the house trio behind him, put on a good show playing some great standards. Garnett's tenor solos where outstanding as were those from the other guys. This was, in many ways, an ideal way to merge the quiet celebrations of Christmas and the riotous rave-ups that will take place in Tier 0. 

I'm not going to list all the tunes other than to say that What Are You Doing New Years' Eve? absolutely nailed it!

Lance

A collection of collages from Ken

This collage of screenshots by ace camera man Ken Drew of Kansas Smitty's Boxing Day live stream arrived too late for the review but it's worth seeing anyway along with some of Ken's other recent collages which can be seen here.

Lance

Live stream tonight (in NYC) or tomorrow (UK) - Nick Hempton Band w. Peter Bernstein

For those with an ear for the sound of a tenor sax/B3/guitar/drums quartet then head over to GB's Juke Joint on Long Island at 7:00pm ET or midnight GMT tonight (December 28) where the Nick Hempton Band with Peter Bernstein will be live streaming.

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Glenn Crytzer live streaming from NYC - Dec. 27, 1927

Mike Davis (trumpet); Ricky Alexander (clarinet); Glenn Crytzer (guitar); Andrew Hall (double bass)

December 27th, the year is 1927. What to do? Take in a ball game? Take in a Broadway show? No, go online to catch Glenn Crytzer's weekly show from Manhattan, NYC. Well, if the internet had existed back in the day this would have been the option. Each week Crytzer's shtick is to play tunes from a given year. This week 1927 was in the spotlight. Aiding our host were ever-present Mike Davis (trumpet), Ricky Alexander (clarinet) and string bass man Andrew Hall.

Art Pepper, Blue Wisp Big Band, Tabasco Pete Webb.

Anyone out there remember Tabasco Pete Webb? Pete ran the Art Pepper 
Society which may have been when he added the Tabasco moniker to his name. As an avid Art Pepper fan myself I joined and, during this period (1987/9) I was bold, or maybe foolhardy enough to give a talk on Art to the Gateshead Jazz Society. 

Remembering Jerome Richardson

On Christmas Day Jerome Richardson would have been 100 years old had he not died on June 23, 2000. Although the multi-reeds player only made 5 albums as a leader he appeared on at least 136 as a sideman (probably many more) with some of the biggest names in the business.

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Kansas Smitty's Boxing Day Special: Nat Cole's After Midnight - Dec. 26

Jalen N'Gonda (vocals); Joe Webb (piano); Dave Archer (guitar); Ferg Ireland (bass).

(Screenshots by Russell)

This most certainly didn't comply with what it said on the tin! Nevertheless, it was an enjoyable way to spend Boxing Day.

The original had trumpet, alto, violin, trombone and drums augmenting the trio and there were a few songs  left on the shelf. Still, these days, we have to be thankful for small mercies and, in that respect, it has to be said that Smitty's has excelled itself over this past year.

N'Gonda, as he did when taking on Johnny Hartman, wisely made no attempt to sound like Nat 'King' Cole instead applying his own distinctive voice to the material.

Pete Deuchar with Dick Charlesworth's City Gents - did anyone tape 1961 BBC Jazz Club broadcast?

Tyneside legend Big Pete Deuchar (banjo) was in Dick Charlesworth's Gents for roughly the first six months of 1961, in between running his own band on a Hamburg residency (two doors down from the Beatles) for six months and then, weirdly, joining Doug Richford's London Jazzmen and Bob Wallis' Confederates, at exactly the same time! After one single and a 'Melody Maker' front page splash with the Confederates - which one imagines Doug Richford looking at and thinking 'What the hell's going on?! I thought he was in my band!' - Pete threw in his lot with Richford and stayed for 18 months and two singles.

Aycliffe Radio Jazz Time update

PLEASE NOTE we have had to change the host server because of difficulties - for the moment Aycliffe Radio is now running on a new host server. 

It may take up to 48 hours for the new stream to propagate on the various apps (such as TuneIn). At the moment the link is only available through the website www.ayclifferadio.co.uk click the listen live link. Alternatively you can access via this link.
Mike Dixon

Programme is live on Sunday evenings from 6:00pm - 7:30pm.

After Midnight at Eight with Nat 'King' Cole - Boxing Day

It's 1957, Nat 'King' Cole is in the Capitol recording studios with his guitar, bass and drums trio. Several big-hitters are in on the session (Harry Edison, Stuff Smith, Willie Smith, Juan Tizol), the resultant album, After Midnight, provides the basis of this evening's live stream from Kansas Smitty's. 

Friday, December 25, 2020

The Nutcracker Suite live streamed from Kansas Smitty's - Dec. 25

(Screenshot by Russell)

I know a live stream isn't perfect but, unlike one of those live gigs our parents used to go to, at least if you were held up in traffic, or were just held up (take my wallet but don't take my ticket for Duke's concert - he's doing the Nutcracker - oh, you too are into nutcracking? Ouch!) at least you can start from the beginning - or can you?

Tonight's music began before any of tonight's players were born, before, even Duke Ellington himself was born. 

It's a La La Land Christmas on BBC 2

Hot on the heals of 2014's Whiplash, director Damien Chazelle followed up with La La Land. Ryan Gosling (lounge jazz pianist with big ideas Sebastian) and Emma Stone (aspiring film star Mia) star in this retro Hollywood musical about two dreamers who, predictably, fall in love along the way. Chazelle (Best Film), Stone (Best Actress) and Justin Hurwitz (Best Original Score and Best Original Song for City of Stars) took home Oscars for their efforts. 

Duke Ellington's Christmas Nutcracker

Tonight at eight o'clock Kansas Smitty's presents Duke Ellington's Nutcracker Suite. Throughout a lockdown/tiered 2020 Kansas Smitty's has been a shining beacon with one superb online gig after another. From duo to big band, the Kansas Smitty's guys have covered a wide spectrum. 

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Kansas Smitty's Xmas Eve Miracle on 34th Street

It's something of a miracle that we've been treated to so many excellent live streams in this oh-so-strange year. This Christmas Eve, at eight o'clock, the Kansas Smitty's crew have come up with something a little bit different. Before heading home to the USA for the festive break, co-composer Giacomo Smith recorded a score for George Seaton's 1947 film Miracle on 34th Street

Kansas Smitty's regulars Ferg Ireland and Will Cleasby are involved, as is co-composer Kit Downes. Knowing Kansas Smitty's, the score will do justice to the Oscar-winning movie starring Maureen O'Hara and John Payne. 
Russell   

A Peggy for my thoughts

The December issue of JazzTimes features an in depth article on Peggy Lee's iconic Album Black Coffee also pointing out that, had she still been with us, May 26 would have marked her 100th birthday - a fact that seems to have bypassed most of the jazz media, BSH included.

This apparent indifference may be due to Ms Lee, like Sinatra, Nat Cole, Lena Horne and others straddling the ever narrowing line that separates jazz singer from entertainer as if it's not possible to be both. For my money it's essential.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

A Tale of Two Pianos

Actually, a tale of three pianists - Paul Edis, Kit Downes and Bill Evans.

Paul Edis was doing his annual Jazzy Christmas, this year on YouTube without his other nine accomplices. Also, on Kansas Smitty's F/b page, Giacomo Smith was talking to pianist Kit Downes about the late Bill Evans - a pianist dear to both Paul and Kit's hearts.

A Jazzy Christmas - Paul Edis (and no friends!)


Tonight (Dec. 23) at 8:00pm.

A Shot of Sammy from Simon

In an earlier post I mentioned sax player Sammy Walker who enlivened the London scene in the 1950s playing with the bands of Tony Crombie and Dizzy Reece, This prompted Simon Spillett to send me this cutting showing Sammy on baritone at The Birdland Club in Gerrard St.

The Birdland Club later achieved fame as the place where Hendrix met Noel Redding in 1966 although, by then the club seems to have moved to Duke of York St.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Album review: Grasso-Ravita Jazz Ensemble - Jagged Spaces

Skip Grasso (guitar); Phil Ravita (double bass/6 string elec. bass); Benny Russell (tenor/soprano saxes); Greg Small (piano); Nuc Vega (drums).

Here in the UK we probably think that great modern American jazz only happens in NYC or LA just as, back in the day, it was thought that the best UK jazz only happened in London. Newcastle's Emcee 5 put paid to that theory and five gigsters, active in the Baltimore/Washington DC area, do likewise "over there". 

Album review: Simone Kopmajer - Christmas

Simone Kopmajer (vocals); John di Martino (piano); Boris Kozlov (bass); Reinhardt Winkler (drums) + various other musicians on saxes, trumpets, Hammond B3, bassoon, dulcimer, background vocals

This is the latest album from Austrian singer Simone Kopmajer, who has been singing since she was a child. Her musical training was in Gratz, where she encountered performers such as Mark Murphy and Sheila Jordan. The album, recorded in the USA, consists of Christmas songs which are generally known, songs in German which I guess will be familiar in Austria, and at least one original written by Ms Kopmajer The Most Wonderful Time.

Monday, December 21, 2020

James Pearson Trio live streaming "A Swinging Christmas" from Ronnie's - Dec. 21

James Pearson (piano); Sam Burgess (bass); Chris Higginbottom (drums).

(Screenshot courtesy of Ken Drew)

All good festive fun down at Tier 4 inside Ronnie's. The three musicians did their bit to get us into the Christmas spirit and, at least for 75 minutes they succeeded.

No need for chapter and verse, the three wise musicians came in bearing candles - honestly! you just can't get incense, frankincense or myrr anywhere at this time of year! Behind them angelic voices sang Hark the Herald Angels Sing and Burgess took up the theme playing beautifully toned arco bass before the Almighty - Pearson picked it up.

Dulcie May Quintet live streaming a Wintry Jazz and Blues Session on the eve of Christmas Eve

(Press release)

Seasons greetings my good friends! You are invited to my first ever ticketed online event.
I will be singing a 1 hour set on the eve of Christmas Eve (Wednesday Dec. 23) at 6:00pm.
I've greatly missed performing and I hope that I can entertain you and bring some festive cheer to your evening.
Much love and hope to see you there. D xXx
Suggested donation £5 via www.paypal.me/dulciemay 

Christmas may come early if you collect vinyl!

What do you expect to find when tidying up your vinyl collection?   Well,  Ken Drew recently tidied up some recent additions to his vinyl collection, and found two LPs which he doesn’t remember buying, despite being worthy of adding to his collection.  They’re in a carrier bag brandishing the seller's name, and are both shrink-wrapped so are brand-spanking-new!  The photo shows  the bag and a leaflet – but what are the contents ? 

Zoë Gilby Quartet live streaming from The Globe - Dec. 20

Zoë Gilby (vocals); Mark Williams (guitar); Andy Champion (bass); Russ Morgan (drums).

(Photos courtesy of Dave Parker)

What a great way to spend a Sunday evening, attending an online gig played by a first class jazz outfit! Thirty or so households did just that, so if you weren't among them, you missed a treat.

The set included songs from the soon-to-be-released  CD of the Tom Harrell project; songs from Living In Shadows, another band with which Zoë is connected, and of course some songs from the GASbook.  Zoë sang in her unique style with some very lively scat; the songs ranged from the heartfelt love song for her husband (Andy on bass) Sending Electricity; the saloon song I'm Always Drunk In San Francisco; to an account of an intensely terrifying woman, Angela. And it's worth noting that at least 4 of the songs performed were originals with lyrics by Zoë to Andy's music.

Prologue to Zoë Gilby Quartet live streaming from The Globe - Dec. 20

As I await for Ann Alex's review of last night's excellent Jazz Co-op live stream from The Globe some photos, taken by Paul Murray Media, arrive brilliantly conveying the mood of the evening. More photos from Paul Murray Media
Lance
Zoë Gilby (voice); Mark Williams (guitars); Andy Champion  (bass); Russ Morgan (drums). 

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Album review: Hazar - Reincarnated

Hazar (guitar); Piotr Torunski (bass clarinet); Mike Roelofs (piano); Mehmet Katay (perc.); Al Di Meola (guitar/cajon)

Apologies for the delay - the album was released in August - but I was confused. There were two discs leading me to conclude that it was a double album.

Turned out it wasn't. The additional disc is some mystical creation that involves Blue-ray, Dolby Atmos and Auro-3D which "immerses the listener in a cocoon of life-like sound". Wonderful except my humble CD player can't handle anything so complex and I filed it away for if and when ... 

In the end I opted for the second disc even though it mean't doing without the "Height" channel configuration.

Greg Hatza ORGANisation live streaming from Keystone Korner - Dec. 19 (through Christmas)

Greg Hatza (organ); Brian Kooken (guitar); Benny Russell (tenor sax); Robert Shahid (drums) 

Keystone Korner in San Francisco hosted performances by some of the all time greats, releasing countless celebrated 'live' albums along the way (Art Blakey, Dexter Gordon, Roland Kirk, Sonny Stitt et al). Over in Baltimore, Maryland its less illustrious namesake isn't doing too badly with a schedule of top class performers stretching into next year. 

A Christmas Sunday Service with Adrian Cox & Nils Solberg - Dec. 20

Adrian Cox (clarinet, vocals); Nils Solberg (guitar, vocals)

The last one of the year. Plans to live stream from Gun Hill Studios with Liane Carroll were shelved some days ago. Stepping into the breach, Adrian Cox's old sparring partner, Mr. Nils Solberg. Cox and Solberg have worked together many times over the the last decade, including several lockdown Sunday Service sermons. The pair engaged in some convivial conversation before beginning today's set. Much hilarity as neither could remember the title of the first number! Eventually, with much snapping of fingers...You Took Advantage of Me, Adrian singing. Anything Adrian could do...Nils sang Walking My Baby Back Home

Album review: Justin Rothberg Group - Hurricane Mouse

Justin Rothberg (guitar/mandolin); Todd Groves (saxes/flute/melodica); Jon Price (bass); Hiroyuki Matsuura (drums); Andy O'Neill (perc.)

Rothberg, a Bachelor of Music graduate of City College New York, is a new name to me although he has been active Stateside for the past 15 years in a variety of settings across the genres encompassing Broadway shows and touring with Petula Clark.

Saturday, December 19, 2020

SSBB live streaming from Gosforth Civic Theatre - Dec. 19

Instead of being at GCT for SSBB's annual Xmas bash I'm at home although still having a ball imagining I am there with the rest of the BSH team - it could have been our Xmas Party!

First up is Joy to the World followed by Hark the Herald Angels Sing with trumpet ace Pete Tanton doing the heralding if not the singing.

"That's got Christmas out of the way, at least for the time being" says bandleader Michael Lamb as the band swings into Basieland with Way Out Basie featuring solos by Graham Don (piano), Keith Robinson (alto sax) and leader Mike himself on trumpet.

Album review: Bruce Brown - Death of Expertise.

Bruce Brown (vocals); Steve Crum (trumpet); Glen Berger (saxes and alto flute); John Harkins (piano); Steve Brien (guitar); Brendan Clarke (bass); Andrew Dickeson (drums).

Along with the I Like Isaac album reviewed the other day there was another gem from The Antipodes (New Zealand this time) in the package - this vocal masterpiece!

If you dig Dave Frishberg then hang around because Bruce Brown, born in LA, is now down under and NZ's answer to Frish. There's also a suggestion of Michael Franks, Bob Dorough maybe even Joe Mooney in Brown's relaxed, laid back performance.

Film review: Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

George C. Wolfe's film adaptation of August Wilson's Pittsburgh Cycle play Ma Rainey's Black Bottom is available now on Netflix. Starring Viola Davis as Ma Rainey and Chadwick Boseman as Levee, the action, such as it is, is largely confined to a Chicago recording studio. It's 1927 in stifling mid-summer heat, tensions rising as blues singer Rainey, knowing her worth, isn't going to be exploited by white record company bosses or her manager. 

Happy Holidays: Haruka Kikuchi live streaming from Tokyo - Dec. 19

Haruka Kikuchi (trombone) + 2 clarinets; tenor sax; piano; bass; drums.

Good to hear Haruka again. Her Sunday sessions way down yonder in New Orleans were always a delight. Today, however, she was vacationing in Tokyo and jamming with half a dozen Japanese jazz musicians. The drummer did all the announcements in his native tongue, although he did sing I Want a Little Girl in English, so I have no idea of each individual's names.

Jambone performing their version of the Walking in the Air


Thanks to Chris K for drawing this to my attention. Well done to Sage Gateshead for making it possible and to Paul Edis for the arrangement.
Lance

R.I.P. Jeff Clayton and Stanley Cowell

Sad to report a couple of jazz deaths.

Alto saxist Jeff Clayton: Dec. 16 aged 65.

Pianist Stanley Cowell: Dec. 17 aged 79.

Both sadly missed, May they rest in peace.

Click on the above links for JazzTimes obituary.

Lance

Rico's Xmas Popup Louis - Dec. 18

Rico Tomasso (cornet, trumpet, vocals, Santa Hat); Tom 'Spats' Langham (guitar, banjo, vocals, photoshopped Santa hat)

Well, it's that time of year, isn't it? Rico Tomasso's final Popup Louis of 2020, the last one before next week's 'big day', time to dig out the Santa hats. Since the world changed (March 2020) trumpeter Rico Tomasso has scarcely missed a week in his long-running Popup Louis Friday evening date with his many online fans. The one or two he has missed were due to our host having an actual gig - remember them? 

Friday, December 18, 2020

How I Became Addicted to Jazz. Miles Watson reflects ...

How did I get into jazz? I didn’t, it somehow got into me. Growing up in the '40s and '50s in a house where the wireless (radio) was always on, the popular music of the day was infiltrating my brain with the dance bands and record request programmes. I first heard Muggsy Spanier, Bunny Berigan and Fats Waller on Forces Requests, the word jazz was never mentioned it was all part of the pop culture.

Playback session @ Smitty's - John Coltrane & Johnny Hartman

Jalen N'Gonda (vocals); Alec Harper (tenor sax); Deschanel Gordon (piano); Ferg Ireland (bass); Will Cleasby (drums).

(Screenshot courtesy of Ken Drew)

John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman - one of the great jazz vocal albums of all time. File it alongside your Sinatra's, Tormé's, Ella's and any other singer you care to name, it's up there with them and not as an also ran. No, that album is the tops.

This, as is the case with all Playback sessions, puts the reviewer and the listener in a predicament. How do you judge it? How do you compare?

One O'Clock Jump - Danny Jonokuchi & The Revisionists

As we hovered on the brink of the first lockdown we looked forward to a performance by  American trumpet player and bandleader Danny Jonokuchi with SSBB at Flat Caps Coffee in Newcastle. Unfortunately Danny didn't make it across the pond but did send a video message to the band and the fans.

Now, 9 months later comes the news that Danny Jonokuchi and the Revisionists have won the inaugural Count Basie Great American Swing Contest - see video.

Lance

Book review (sort of): Thulani Davis - Nothing But the Music

I'm not going to lie and lay claim to fully understanding the meaning of each line or stanza in this deep and thoughtful collection of poems by a writer who conveys in words what Trane, Monk, Miles and the brothers of the Arts Ensemble of Chicago conveyed with their music.

Davis paints a verbal picture of smoke filled nightclubs, places where sweat and substance mingle with sounds the 9 to 5 person rarely hears nor understands when he/she does.

Ricky Riccardi - Heartful of Rhythm

My dear friend Lydia out there in New Jersey "snailed" me a cutting from the Asbury Park Press whereby one Jim Beckerman had reviewed the above book. The author, Ricky Riccardi is also from NJ.

I'd emailed Beckerman asking him to send me a link to his review but he failed to reply so I decided against sending him a Christmas card.

However, Steve H came across a review in The Guardian so I'll link up with that one instead.

Lance

Time and Place @ the 606 - Dec. 17

Jerry E reckons the camera crew at London's 606 Club are second to none and this collage of screenshots he sent from last night's gig would seem to confirm his words. Jerry reckons the music was pretty good too and so it should be with Jo Harrop (vocal); Paul Edis (piano); Tony Kofi (alto sax); Geoff Gascoyne (bass); Pete Adam Hill (drums) playing Edis' Time and Place programme.

Lance

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Adrian Cox live streaming from Kansas Smitty's - Dec. 17


Adrian Cox (clarinet, vocals); Will Barry (piano); Ferg Ireland (double bass); Luca Caruso (drums).
(Screenshot courtesy of Ken Drew).

Night after night, Tuesday to Friday, Kansas Smitty's is the place to be, tier 3 virtual, if not in person. Tonight's session sprung from Adrian Cox's liking for Albert Nicholas. A late change in the line-up saw Luca Caruso coming off the subs' bench for the absent Dave Archer. Clarinetist Cox is a fine musician and an enthusiast into the bargain, his band mates doing him proud. 

Book review: Owen Martell - Intermission

On June 25, 1961, the Bill Evans Trio recorded the concerts that would become the albums Sunday Night at the Village Vanguard and Waltz for Debby, two of the defining albums in jazz piano history, both held in the same high regard as Jarrett’s The Köln Concert.

On the two albums the trio is a fully wedded, integrated unit, not a leader plus sidemen. All three musicians play in and around each other, fully entwined in each other’s performance.  Eleven days later bassist Scott LaFaro was killed in a car crash.

Album review: We Like Ike - 100th Birthday Tribute to Jazz Guitar Legend Ike Isaacs

The other day I received a compilation CD paying tribute to guitarist Ike Isaacs who passed away in 1996. The album was put together last year to mark what would have been his 100th birthday on Dec. 1, 2019 so we are a long way down the pecking order still, it did have to come from Australia which is where Ike spent his final years and where he amassed a huge fan base.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Jazz Rehearsed: Adrian Cox live streaming from Golden Gator Jazz Cub - Dec. 16

Adrian Cox (clarinet, vocals); Sven-Erik Lundeqvist (piano).
(Screenshots by Ken Drew). 

A new venture! Tonight's Jazz Rehearsed launched a new collaboration between Swedish and British jazz musicians. Londoner Adrian Cox flew to Malmö, or a nearby airport, to participate in a first Jazz Rehearsed live stream from the Golden Gator Jazz Club linking London and Malmö.

Alec Harper Quartet: Playback Sonny Rollins "The Bridge". Live stream from Kansas Smitty's - Dec. 16

Alec Harper (tenor sax); Will Arnold-Forster (guitar); Ferg Ireland (bass); Jas Kayser (drums)

(Screenshot/collage courtesy of Ken Drew)

Tonight's the real deal. Can't wait, this is going to be something - Sonny Rollins' The Bridge!

The actual Rollins' album kicks off with a rousing version of Without a Song followed by  a sumptuous take on Where Are You? Alec and co do likewise - they've read the script. Two out of two so far or should that be ten out of ten?

Book review: Peter Jones: This is Bop - Jon Hendricks and the Art of Vocal Jazz

As an accomplished jazz singer himself, I can think of few people better qualified  than Peter Jones to write this well-researched biography of the legendary Jon Hendricks. 

The research via magazine articles, interviews with Hendricks' family, friends and fellow musicians, with sources all indexed, has set a bar so high that it would be nigh impossible for any future biographers to surpass or even to come close.

Blog Archive