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Bebop Spoken There

Clare Teal: "If you're brought up in a working-class family, you haven't got money for records so everything you get hold of, you treasure, learn to love, and I loved those Ella tapes." - (Radio Times 23-29 January 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".

Postage

12,393 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 112 of them this year alone and, so far, 112 this month (Jan. 23).

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Album reviews: Gemma Sherry - Let's Get Serious & The Songs I Love

Let's Get Serious: Gemma Sherry (vocal); Rick Germanson (piano); Paul Bollenback (guitar); Eric Wheeler (bass); Joseph Doubleday (vibes); George Coleman Jnr. (drums).

The Songs I Love: Gemma Sherry (vocal); Billy Woodman (piano); Mike Waite (bass); Patsy Gamble (tenor sax).

Gemma Sherry, a New York based Aussie singer began her musical career as an alto saxophonist. Her first idol was Art Pepper and, maybe it's with the advantage of hindsight, but her voice, for me, evokes the fragrant feeling of Art's early recordings. I hope she takes that as a compliment!

KSTV: Live Playback. Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers "Buhaina's Delight" - Jan. 23


James Copus (trumpet); Daniel Higham (trombone ); Alec Harper (tenor sax); Will Barry (piano); Ferg Ireland (bass); Will Cleasby (drums)
.

(Screenshots by Ken Drew)

As on the Blue Note album, Backstage Sally  got the ball rolling (I wonder what became of Sally?) with the horns kicking ass from the off. Barry likewise and Cleasby adding a touch of Blakey's percussive power.

Not surprisingly, Wayne Shorter's ballad Contemplation featured Alec Harper who was in his usual fine form. Amazing how, over the course of these live streams, he's so comfortably stepped into the shoes of, among others, Stan Getz, John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins and, tonight, Wayne Shorter.

Aycliffe Radio Playlist for tomorrow (Jan. 24 @ 6:30pm)

(Press release)

Nina Simone Why?; Tees Valley Jazzmen.

Tom Stevens pick: J.J. Johnson & company; Buddy Rich Big Band; Syd Lawrence.

George Gershwin, Ella Fitzgerald; Louis Armstrong; Ben Webster; John Pope Quintet;  Al Jolson; Art Blakey + Terence Blanchard; Benny Green; Tees Valley Jazzmen - Ace In The Hole.

Tribute to USA and inauguration of the new President: American Patrol; Sydney Bechet; Wynton Marsalis Talking Democracy; JALC (Jazz at the Lincoln Center) with Wynton Marsalis; JALC + Wynton Marsalis.

Mike Dixon

There'll be some (radio) changes made (starting Sunday 24)

In its wisdom the Beeb decided to part company with Clare Teal. The presenter's Sunday evening jazz and big band programme on Radio 2 had already been halved from two hours to one and when her contract wasn't renewed it didn't take long for jazz singer Teal to be snapped up by the opposition. Starting this weekend, The Clare Teal Show will be broadcast on Jazz FM every Sunday at 7:00pm. 

Meanwhile, Newton Aycliffe's community radio station's Jazz Time is moving to a new time start time. In this year of the pandemic Aycliffe Radio presenter Mike Dixon has been online every Sunday at six o'clock. It can't be easy putting together a programme from home with the studio out of bounds, let's hope the new start time - 6:30pm - brings better fortune. Log on to: 
www.ayclifferadio.co.uk
Russell

Friday, January 22, 2021

The Summertime of my discontent

Despite what my friends and foes may think - I love George and Ira Gershwin's Summertime even though it may seem otherwise. My problem isn't with the song but the singers who have mauled it incessantly over the years. It's a song from a folk opera - Porgy and Bess - and is best heard in that context. I know there are many show tunes that have a life outside of their Broadway beginnings but I don't think Summertime is one of them. Instrumentally yes, vocally no.

Album review: Tricotism - Nostalgia

Craig Milverton (piano); Nigel Price (guitar); Sandy Suchodolski (bass).

Inspired by the early piano, guitar, bass trios of Oscar Peterson, Tricotism is much more than a mere cloning exercise, it's more a development of the format. Just as Peterson built on Nat Cole's pioneering efforts, so Tricotism have added their own take. The big difference being that this is a trio of equals rather than a leader and two sidemen. Interestingly, Peterson did revert to a more balanced trio with Joe Pass on guitar and Ray Brown on bass before returning to the piano, bass, drums set up.

Deschanel Gordon live streaming from Kansas Smitty's - Jan. 22

Deschanel Gordon (piano); Will Sach (double bass); Will Cleasby (drums)
(Screenshots by Ken Drew)

Another Friday night at Kansas Smitty's, this week featuring the 2020 BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year, pianist Deschanel Gordon. Sammy Fain's That Old Feeling for starters. Was that the piano sounding a bit worse for wear? A tremendous second number, For the Hopeful, hints of a boppish Herbie Hancock, the composer D. Gordon, no less! Supporting our impressive award-winner this evening two of the many Kansas Smitty's Wills - W Sach, bass, and W Cleasby, drums. It Isn't compulsory to be named Will to get a gig at Kansas Smitty's but it sure ain't a disadvantage!

Rico's Popup Louis with Nick Dawson - Jan. 22

Rico Tomasso (trumpet, flugelhorn, vocals); Nick Dawson (piano, bass synth, vocals)

I really don't know what to say said Rico Tomasso. Our host was, of course, talking about the death, yesterday, of musician and friend, Keith Nichols. Somewhat lost for words, Rico said he would pay fulsome tribute to Keith next week. Who Walked in When I Walked Out? as recorded by Ella and Louis opened this week's Popup Louis. Accompanying Rico and making a welcome return, pianist Nick Dawson. By way of a dedication to Keith, this evening's duo played (Rico singing) I Can't Give You Anything but Love, taking it at a slower tempo than usual, something Louis Armstrong did back in the 50s, said Rico.

Jason Moran: James Reese Europe - The Harlem Hellfighters: The Absence of Ruin.

(Screenshots by Ken Drew)

An emotional meditation by Jason Moran on James Reese Europe and the Harlem Hellfighters. The black American army unit attached to the French army in WWI. The band credited with introducing jazz to France and, ultimately beyond.

Moran cleverly integrated songs associated with the band and compositions of his own. The pianist made it work brilliantly not least with his own stride cum ragtime cum Cecil Taylor type playing. It was an eyeopener,

Despite the fact that most of the songs were over 100 years old - they had to be as Europe was murdered by one of his own band members in 1919 - the solos were very much of today and occasionally tomorrow.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Rachael & Alex playback Paul & Gerry. Two of a Mind @ Kansas Smitty's - Jan. 21

Rachael Cohen (alto sax); Alex Garnett (baritone sax); Will Sach (bass); Jas Kayser (drums).

(Screenshots by Ken Drew)

Another of KSTV's playback sessions. This time, recreating a recording made by Paul Desmond and Gerry Mulligan in 1962 with Alex as Gerry and Rachael as Paul.

A minor gem helped along, not least, by the two sax players' verbal interplay between tunes and the musical interaction when the chips were down. They bounced everything off each  other both in words and in music but when they got down to business it was the real deal.

Luca Manning live streaming from Ronnie's: a Tribute to the Iconic Jazz Divas - Jan. 21

Luca Manning (vocals); Matt Carter (piano); Seth Tackaberry (double bass, bass guitar); Tom Potter (drums)

(Screenshot of Luca by Russell. Full band shot by Ken Drew)

2020 APPJAG Jazz Newcomer of the Year award winner Luca Manning opened this evening's Iconic Jazz Divas show with Love for Sale. Manning's ace young band - Matt Carter, piano, Seth Tackenberry, bass, and award-winning drummer Tom Potter - swung like veterans. 

If I Knew Then, à la Sarah Vaughan, superb, followed by Underneath the Apple Tree, first known to our vocalist listening to Carmen McRae, pianist Carter excelling as soloist and accompanist. Manning loves Nancy Wilson and always includes Never Will I Marry - not a bad idea! 

Keith Nichols (1945-2021)

Pianist Keith Nichols died today (Jan. 21). A noted authority on ragtime and early piano styles, Nichols was born in Ilford, Essex in 1945. As a young child he played piano and accordion, becoming a national junior champion on the latter instrument. From running bands at school to becoming a world-renowned performer and scholar of 'classic' jazz, Nichols did it all with panache and a great sense of humour. 

To list Nichols' achievements would run to several pages, in summary: student years at the Guildhall, performing with and/or arranging for Digby Fairweather, Harry Gold, the Midnite Follies Orchestra, a first visit to America working with Dick Sudhalter (playing Carnegie Hall), and, one to dine out on, recording an album with Bing Crosby. 

Malcolm Griffiths (1941 - 2021)

More sad news as we report the passing of trombonist Malcolm Griffiths one of the great all-rounders of British jazz indeed, given his connections with Gil Evans and Buddy Rich, his talent was recognised well beyond these shores.

I remember vividly the first time I heard that unique trombone sound. Mike Westbrook's Release. An amazing 1968 album that seamlessly integrated avant-garde, bebop and big band swing. It was on Flying Home that Malcolm burst from the ensemble with as gutsy a sound as ever came out of New Orleans. Kid Ory with the technique of J.J. Johnson. In his  Jazz Journal review, Steve Voce wrote, "...Flying Home, for instance, is played with an intensity that makes the Hampton versions sound like teatime with Donald Peers."

JASON MORAN – THE HARLEM HELLFIGHTERS - Free Stream – premiere 22 January (5pm GMT)

(Press release)

Serious have partnered with the Kennedy Center in Washington to bring streaming of the ground-breaking event that we co-commissioned in 2018, at no cost, from 5pm GMT on Friday 22 January, running through until the end of February.   

Jason Moran creates an original response to the extraordinary story of James Reese Europe and the Harlem Hellfighters - bravery, race issues, and the explosive arrival of jazz in war-torn Europe. 


‘We won France by playing music which was ours and not a pale imitation of others, and if we are to develop in America we must develop along our own lines.’ 

(James Reese Europe1919).

John Russell (1954 - 2021)

Improvising guitarist John Russell passed away on January 19 after a long debilitating illness. A much-loved and well-respected forward-looking musician he will be sadly missed by all who knew him.

As I never experienced his playing first hand it would be unfair of me to comment instead I'll direct you to an emotional tribute from his friend and former colleague saxophonist Evan Parker, posted on LondonJazz News and a BSH review of a MoPoMoSo gig at Summerhill Bowling Club that featured both Parker and John Russell.

Lance

Evan Parker on LondonJazz News.

2013 review of MoPoMoSo on BSH,

Album review: Jeff Benedict Big Big Band - The Weather is Here, Wish You Were Beautiful

If I only heard 
Cheek to Cheek I'd want this album! The sax section on the Berlin classic is absolutely phenomenal. They whiz through the complexities of the parts only slightly slower than the speed of light and twice as fast as any big name band's sax section I've ever heard.

Having said that, the rest of the album isn't half bad either. How could it not be with Ellwood and Benedict, when not training for the saxophone Olympics, blowing killer solos? 

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Kansas Smitty's play Hoodoo Man Blues and more - Jan. 20

Jalen N'Gonda (guitar, piano, vocals); Dave Archer (guitar); Will Sach (double bass); Jas Kayser (drums)  

(Screenshots by Ken Drew)

What a turn up for the books...Jalen N'Gonda singing and playing guitar and piano, no harmonica! Snatch it back and hold it, yes, this was Junior Wells, followed by Ships on the Ocean, the opening two tracks from Junior Wells' album Hoodoo Man Blues. Fabulous vocals, decent rhythm guitar, JN leaving the lead stuff to Buddy Guy, sorry, Dave Archer. 

Exam Board Reinstates Jazz on Curriculum

Jazz is back on the A-level curriculum and Courtney Pine has been reinstated after the powers that be did one of the U-turns that are so fashionable these days although, on this occasion, it's a turn for the better!

However, as our correspondent Chris K points out, it's still no good if schools don't teach A-level music in the first place. 

Lance

Harmonica Stories

(Press release)

We are now half way through my 4 Zoom lectures taking place on Sunday afternoons throughout January, called Harmonica Stories.
 
I've had incredible feedback and attendance each week so far. Come and join me this Sunday for the next one!

Next up: Toots Thielemans - Sunday 24th Jan 3:00pm GMT

Album review: Sam Newbould Quintet - Bogus Notus

Sam Newbould (alto sax/compositions); Bernard van Rossum (tenor sax); Youngwoo Lee (piano); Daniel Nagel (bass); Guy Salamon (drums/perc) + Beth Aggett (voice); Ian Cleaver (trumpet); Billy Marrows (guitar); Frederico Calcagno (bass clarinet).

Back in the good old days (pre-2020) apart from the regular big bands with their relatively stable, and often interchangeable, personnel there was also the university based bands with their yearly turnover of musicians who came up through the ranks and then graduated. Frequently, not to pursue a career in music, but to become rising stars in the city. Doctors lawyers, architects or arch-villains. Their musical achievements put on the back-burner maybe never to be rekindled.

Preview: Junior Wells at Kansas Smitty's (Jan. 20)

In September 1965, Delmark Records' boss Bob Koester invited Junior Wells to record an album with musicians of his choosing. A couple of months later the Chicago based label released Hoodoo Man Blues by the Junior Wells' Chicago Blues Band. It would prove to be one of the label's biggest selling albums. 

Chicago's classic 50s' South Side blues scene - Wille Dixon, Little Walter, Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf - continued to exert influence throughout the sixties with the emergence of the likes of Paul Butterfield and Charlie Musselwhite. On Wells' mid-sixties recording he adopted the classic, spine-tingling harmonica-through-the-PA set up. Sharing the vocals with guitarist Buddy Guy (cementing a life-long musical partnership), Wells recruited bassist Jack Myers and drummer Bill Warren to complete the studio line-up. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

KSTV: Alec Harper Trio playback Sonny Rollins Trio - Jan. 19

Alec Harper (tenor sax); Will Sach (bass); Will Cleasby (drums).

(Screenshots by Ken Drew)

These guys had some big boots to fill and any lesser musicians would have filled their boots at the prospect! Fortunately, Smitty's don't have any lesser musicians on their roster and tonight's session was tops.

Selecting their repertoire from Rollins' groundbreaking album, A Night at the Village Vanguard, the three musicians put their own individual stamp on the tunes recreating the mood of that night back in 1957 without loss of face. In fact, bearing in mind that Sonny was playing to an actual audience at the Greenwich Village club as opposed to tonight's virtual viewers, it speaks volumes that they could create such a splendid session.

R.I.P. Alan Smith (trumpet)

Just had more sad news. Trumpet ace Alan Smith died this morning. He hadn't been in the best of health for some time. Will post again after more information is received. In the photo Alan can be seen on trumpet playing with the Maine St. Jazzmen at Hebburn's Iona Club in 2008.

Sadly missed.

Lance 

R.I.P. Junior Mance (1928 - 2021)

It wasn't until 2003 that I first heard Junior Mance live. It was in fact the first and only time and it was in Gateshead at that town's Caedmon Hall where the event took place in a concert organised by Jazz North East.

If I hadn't heard him live prior to that memorable concert (and I'm sure I must have done somewhere down the line) then I more than made up for it on record.

Monday, January 18, 2021

Ivo Neame: Live stream from Ronnie Scott's - Jan. 18

Ivo Neame (piano); George Crowley (tenor sax); Tom Farmer (bass); James Maddren (drums).

(Screenshots by Ken Drew).

I'd convinced myself I wasn't going to like this latest live stream from Ronnie's so I approached it with a degree of trepidation.

I hold my hand up and admit that I was wrong to have doubts!

I should have known better. Neame is a fine pianist, composer and raconteur.

Album review: Will Glaser - Climbing in Circles

Will Glaser (drums); Matthew Herd (saxophones); Liam Noble (piano).

An intimate and subtle third album of this name, led by young London-based drummer Glaser, the culmination as a trio after 2 duo albums: Part 1 with young saxophonist Herd and Part 2 with widely-praised and versatile pianist Noble.  All three comprise a mix of standards and covers with some looser group improvisations, this recording with four originals and five   covers.

Album review: Wayne Alpern w. The Dorian Wind Quintet - Jukebox

Gretchen Pusch (flute); Gerard Reuter (oboe); Benjanim Fingland (clarinet); Karl Kramer-Johansen (horn); Adrian Morejon (bassoon); Wayne Alpern (producer/arranger).

Never judge a CD by its cover otherwise you may be duped into thinking that this was going to be a romping, stomping, dancing, prancing, hepcats' ball.

It isn't although there is a lot of quirky fun in Alpern's arrangements.

The notes describe the album thus: "Here are familiar tunes, neighborhood friends from our own musical backyards. What is new is how they are handled, elevating the everyday into the extraordinary. The Dorians are musical magicians, snake-charming the cherished from the commonplace. These are  gems extracted from nearby soil, glittering specks of sound culled from the canyon of our collective imagination.

R.I.P. Sammy Nestico

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Dean Stockdale Trio live streaming from The Globe - Jan. 17

Dean Stockdale (piano); Mick Shoulder (bass); Abbie Finn (drums).

(Photo courtesy of Debra Milne).

Kansas Smitty's, Ronnie Scott's, The Globe, Newcastle, - what do they all have in common? Answer is that, come hell and high water, not to mention pandemics, they're continuing to present live-streaming jazz to a virtual audience starved of the live music they love.

Tonight's Sunday night special from the Jazz Co-op's home base featured the Dean Stockdale Trio who stepped in at the last moment after the Leeds' band originally booked wisely pulled out. If the Covid-19 Cops (sounds like an American TV show) had pulled them over, The Globe could have become the jazz equivalent of Barnard Castle.

A Sunday Service for Pete Fountain - Jan. 17

Adrian Cox (clarinet, vocals)

This week, Pete Fountain. Adrian Cox' s clarinet teacher Jack Gilbert was a big fan of the clarinetist so it was about time the man from New Orleans got a Sunday Service to himself. The World is Waiting for a Sunrise, for starters. Very apt said our host, live streaming all on his lonesome from Toulouse Lautrec, London. Fountain's album with Al Hirt, New Orleans, proved a source of inspiration for this week's masterclass in jazz clarinet. 

Chris Ingham - Hoagy's Children: The Pianist-Singer-Songwriters

(Press release)

Friday Jan. 29. 7:30pm - 9:00pm

The ticket price is £10 for the internet link with a discretionary £5 donation option for extra viewers, or general benefaction.

The concert is 2 x 45 minute sets, with a short interval and will be available to re-view or watch at a time convenient to you for a week following the livestream.

Prestigious Award for Maurice Summerfield

NAMM has confirmed Maurice Summerfield will be a recipient of their 2021 'Believe In Music Award'.  This award is to be given to Maurice in recognition of his many contributions over 50 years to the music products industry including several key NAMM programmes such as their Oral History interview project and the NAMM annual Tribute.

Album review: Mike Scott - Collecting Things

Mike Scott (guitar); Joe Bagg (piano/organ); Darek "Oles" Oleszkiewicz (bass); Jake Reed (drums).

A reviewer for the L.A. Weekly said of the album "... the music won't hit you over the head with precocious braggadocio or mind-numbing complexity". 

A fair description. Precocious braggadocio and mind-numbing complexity is fine in small doses but too much of it can lead to the listener seeking out liquid solace (any excuse!). 

Saturday, January 16, 2021

KSTV: NCW plays Bright Size Life - Jan. 16

Nick Costley-White (guitar); Ferg Ireland (bass); Will Cleasby (drums) + Ivo Neame (piano)

(Screenshots by Ken Drew)

In December 1975 a twenty one year old guitarist recorded a debut album. Early 1976 Bright Size Life was released on Manfred Eicher's ECM label. The guitarist was Pat Metheny, the rest is history. Helping the American wonderkind make history that day some forty five years ago was one Jaco Pastorius, bass guitar icon, and drummer Bob Moses. Here at Kansas Smitty's 2021, Nick Costley-White took up the challenge of playing the album. 

Meanwhile, Back at Carnegie Hall ...

On this day back in 1938 Carnegie Hall was the place to be as Benny Goodman and his Orchestra took to the stage for what is generally regarded as the first ever jazz concert to be held in a venue normally associated with classical music.

It took 12 years before recordings of the event surfaced in 1950 and they were immediately snapped up making it one of the first jazz albums to hit the million mark. Today, 83 years on, the music from that magical night still excites me.

Sound of Cinema with Terence Blanchard - Jan. 16

In this afternoon's Sound of Cinema Matthew Sweet is in conversation with Terence Blanchard. Perhaps best known for his time with Art Blakey, trumpeter Blanchard is an established composer of many film scores, notably his enduring association with director Spike Lee. The recent release of Regina King's One Night in Miami - and Blanchard's involvement in the movie - will feature in today's conversation on Radio 3 (3:00pm). Pictured is Eli Horee as Cassius Clay. 
Russell

A Wake-up Call for Bop Van Winkle

Jazz? Love it man! I really dig the jive. Now that I’ve woken up after my big sleep, boy that Brown Ale sure has a kick, I can’t wait to have a shave and get down to the New Orleans Club and hear Ronnie McLean and the Panama Jazzmen. That guy sure plays a mean trombone.

You’re telling me Ronnie’s gone – Gone where? Touring again with Disley and Hastings? Up there? Man, it just shows you that only the good die young although I guess they made an exception in Ronnie’s case. And now you’re telling me the club’s been turned into an Indian Restaurant. Is nothing sacred?

Well, I haven’t got eyes for a Vindaloo so I’ll head across town to The Downbeat for the all-nighter. My old buddy Crombie will be on the door, he’ll let me in. That Emcee Five plays my kind of bebop – Hey-ba-ba-re-bop!

Album Review: Lorenz Grey – Liberty Hotel

Lorenz Grey (piano, vocals) +  on some tracks Chris Moschberger (trumpet); Axel Muller (sax); and other musicians on bass, drums  etc. (not listed); string orchestra (some tracks).

This debut album is described as coming from the tradition of piano players who entertain in bars in Germany, and if they play and sing as on this collection, it sounds like fun. The songs would be suitable for your next party, with just enough more serious songs to keep up your interest. The Liberty Hotel actually used to be a state prison which has now become a well-designed hotel.

Friday, January 15, 2021

Film review: One Night in Miami

Available from today (Friday 15) on Amazon Prime, Regina King's One Night in Miami imagines a meeting of four high profile African Americans in 60s' America. It's the night of Cassius Clay's defeat of Sonny Liston. The new heavyweight champion arrives at a Miami hotel in party mood, anticipating booze and girls. What materialises is a meeting with Malcolm X (Kingsley Ben-Adir), NFL star Jim Brown (Aldis Hodge) and Sam Cooke (Leslie Odom Jr). 

Tonight's KSTV Livestream - Jan. 15


Will Arnold-Foster (guitar); Deschanel Gordon (piano); Daisy George (bass); Luca Caruso (drums).

(Screenshots by Ken Drew)

Four masked musicians - not a horn-player or a singer in sight - is this more restrictions or just the way it worked out? Whatever, it was another cracking set. Amazing how, so soon after his BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year Award, Deschanel Gordon seems as though he's been part of the scene forever. 

Deservedly so. Just One of Those Things, compared favourably  against most any version by anyone anywhere. I'll Never be the Same had a slightly tongue in cheek feel to it - sort of a mish-mash of earlier styles that segued into a hint of more contemporary styles (just a hint).  This guy didn't read the last chapter first!

Rico's Popup Louis - Jan. 15

Rico Tomasso (trumpet, flugelhorn, cornet, vocals); Martin Wheatley (guitar, banjo)

Armstrong and Beiderbecke this week, Messrs Enrico Tomasso and Martin Wheatley our duo. Dusky Stevedore (comp. JC Johnson & A. Razaf) for starters, Rico trumpet and vocals à la Armstrong, accompanied by Wheatley's banjo playing. As usual, online comments were many from Rico's loyal following. Rico offered a London weather update...snow tomorrow morning, his beer of the week...Black Sheep.   

Alec Harper live streaming from Kansas Smitty's - Jan. 14

Alec Harper (tenor sax); Dave Archer (guitar); Will Sach (double bass); Jas Kayser (drums)

(Screenshots by Ken Drew)


This evening's live stream from Kansas Smitty's found itself up against an all star session on Frith Street (see LL's Supersax review). One change in the advertised line-up with pianist Noah Stoneman making way for guitarist Dave Archer (this evening standing up playing a Telecaster), other than that, it was business as usual. Drummer Jas Kayser handled the introductions, kicking off with 
The End of a Love Affair. For the next hour or so the quartet played an impeccable selection of tunes. 

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Keith Crombie - Gone but not forgotten

And, as this day draws to a close, let's remember that it was seven years ago today that Keith Crombie was laid to rest in what was surely the most amazing funeral Newcastle has ever known.
Check out the film of that day on the Keith Crombie Memorial Page on Facebook.


May he continue to Rest In Peace although I think it's unlikely!
Lance.
PS: Thank you Bertie for reminding me - as if I could ever forget!

Lucia Cadotsch / Kit Downes / Ruth Goller Livestream from the basement Dekadenz Brixen - Jan. 14

(Ken Drew is a man of few words but, like Rudyard Kipling, he goes for the picture = 1000 words scenario.)

Playing originals and a few older songs too - quite a mix, and very enjoyable!

Ken

The London Supersax Project livestreaming from Ronnie Scott's - Jan. 14

(Screenshots by Ken Drew).

This was, in effect, what Kansas Smitty's would call a Playback Session with the front man giving the audience the background to how it all happened. Explaining how Med Flory, Warne Marsh and others transcribed famous Charlie Parker solos for five saxes which were then released as Supersax.

At Ronnie's no mention was made of the original Supersax although Charlie Parker's connection to the tunes, most of which he composed, was detailed - cutting out the middle man one might say. The lesser informed may have thought this was something new.

Preview: Tonite - Supersax!

Ronnie Scott's is the place to be tonight (Thursday). If only! The live stream option is the next best thing and whatever you do don't miss the eight o'clock start. The London Supersax Project is a 'who's-who' of the British jazz scene. Lead alto sax Alex Garnett (pictured playing tenor), will be joined by fellow alto saxophonist Sammy Mayne, the two tenors of Tom Barford and Brandon AllenSteve Fishwick, trumpet, with hard bop tenor sax man Leo Richardson anchoring the frontline on baritone sax! The rhythm section, led by Ronnie's MD, pianist James Pearson (Conor Chaplin, bass, Matt Skelton, drums) will be taking care of business as the horns out front lock horns. And to think that across town the Kansas Smitty's crew will be doing their thing at the same time!  
Russell

Daryl's going to jail!

(Press release)

Join us on Sunday, January 17 at 6:00pm ET* for a free jazz concert via Zoom presented by Music on the Inside, Inc. (MOTI) bringing music education and hope to individuals impacted by incarceration.  With Associate Producers Antoinette Montague and Richard Miller and Executive Producer Alina Bloomgarden, each Sunday concert features formerly incarcerated musicians alongside jazz and pop luminaries.

*That's 11:00pm GMT.

Album review: Binker and Moses - Escape the Flames

Binker Golding (tenor sax); Moses Boyd (drums)
 

Escape the Flames enjoyed a limited vinyl release at the tail end of last year. Having effectively ended their regular duo partnership to concentrate on solo projects, Binker Golding and Moses Boyd are to release a digital download alternative format on Gearbox Records. The new album is a recording of the launch gig for 2017's Journey to the Mountain of Forever. The evening was a great success with the material too good to be put on the shelf and forgotten about, which has happened all-too-often in jazz history only for a recording to be 'rediscovered' decades later. It is, therefore, to Gearbox's credit that it will shortly be available as a mid-winter addition to the label's ever-growing catalogue. 

Film preview: One Night in Miami

Regina King's directorial debut One Night in Miami imagines a 1964 meeting between political activist Malcolm X, newly crowned heavyweight boxing champion of the world Cassius Clay, NFL star and budding actor Jim Brown, and soul singer Sam Cooke. 

The gathering is, ostensibly, to celebrate Clay's achievement, Malcolm X has other ideas. The soundtrack is by Jazz Messengers' alumnus Terence Blanchard. One Night in Miami is available from tomorrow (Friday 15) on Amazon Prime.
Russell

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

New Jazz and Improvised Music Recordings

Wes Stephenson, creator and organiser of  the Newcastle Jazz and Improvised Music Festival has provided details of the first four releases on his new independent label, New Jazz and Improvised Music Recordings, one of which, Paul Taylor's Via, has already been reviewed on BSH.

The other three are: Laura Toxværd/Jacob Anderskov/Maria Faust: Live from Winterjazz in Copenhagen 2020; Andy Champion & Graeme Wilson: Shoes For Losers; John Pope Quintet: Mixed With Glass.

For more details on these albums and other items related to the label check out the following links: 

FacebookBandcamp. Crowdfunder.

Lance

Playback session @ Kansas Smitty's. Will Barry Trio live stream Chick Corea - "Now He Sings, Now He Sobs". Jan. 13

Will Barry (piano); Ferg Ireland (bass); Will Cleasby (drums).

(Screenshot by Ken Drew)

Another one of their popular playback sessions. Tonight it was a reworking of Chick Corea's 1968 album Now He Sings, Now He Sobs.

I'd known of the album but never actually heard it. Now it's on my bucket list and, if tonight's trio ever put it on wax (how dated does that make me sound?!) then it will be on the bucket list too.

The opening Steps, which segued into What Was, set the stall out for the goodies that were to follow. Barry was simply amazing. If the Blüthner piano had been a cat it would have been purring. Cleasby sported a tee shirt emblazoned: Art& Max& Tony& Elvin& Philly Joe. I suggest he adds & Will.

Moses Boyd on Miles Davis' Nefertiti

(Press release)

World renowned listening concept series Classic Album Sundays is celebrating 10 years of hi-fidelity, immersive album experiences with the launch of free weekly live-streamed series, ‘My Classic Album’.  Funded by Arts Council England, the Sunday weekly show features an inspiring line-up of revered and cutting-edge guests including Kate Tempest, Goldie, Gary Crosby OBE, Black Midi, Nitin Sawhney with more to be announced.  The series will run alongside the platform’s  Patreon subscription service with monthly events, quizzes, webinars and sessions which have been joined by special guests like Giles Peterson, KT Tunstall, Joy Boyd and more.

Album review: Zoöphyte - Out of the Cave

Yesterday we posted a review of Peter Jones' biography of Jon Hendricks - This is Bop. Today I'm reviewing an album by Peter's band Zoöphyte and tomorrow? Who knows? it could be a vocalese take on The Dead Sea Scrolls. With Peter Jones anything's possible.

On this four track EP Peter is uncertain as to whether it should be classed as jazz-pop or pop-jazz. Not an issue with me. Instead, I'll quote Eddie Condon and say, we called it music.

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