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Bebop Spoken There

Pat Metheny: "The best guitar player I've heard in maybe my entire life is floating around now, Pasquale Grasso." - (Vintage Guitar Magazine February 2016)

Archive quotes.

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.

Postage

13,359 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 777 of them this year alone and, so far, 51 this month (June 13).

From This Moment On

JUNE

Wed 16: Washboard Resonators @ Punchbowl Hotel, Jesmond, Newcastle (8:00pm). SOLD OUT!

Thu 17: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside (1:00pm).

Thu 17: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead (8:30pm).

Fri 18: Jazz Jamaica @ Sage Gateshead (8:00pm).

Sat 19: Jude Murphy @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle (8:00pm).

Sun 20 Knats @ The Globe, Newcastle (8:00pm). Advance booking essential: www.jazz.coop. SOLD OUT. But livestream still available.

Mon 21: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club (1:00pm). CANCELLED TFN.

Wed 23: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club (1:00pm). CANCELLED TFN.

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Film review: The United States vs Billie Holiday

Andra Day stars as Billie Holiday, that's the headline, there's no getting away from it. Day is on screen in just about every scene of the film's 125 minutes, all other characters, Lester Young (Tyler James Williams) included, are there in supporting roles. On stage scenes in a biopic can look anything but convincing, Day, as a singer-turned-actor, is more than convincing. 

Holiday's well-documented drug use is a recurring theme, the violence she met with isn't overlooked, and, central to The United States vs Billie Holiday is the Feds relentless pursuit of Holiday. Of course the pursuit was motivated and prosecuted by the virulent racists in the corridors of power. 

How to watch a live stream in one easy lesson. John Pope Quintet @ The Globe - Feb. 28

John Pope (double bass); Jamie Stockbridge (alto sax); Faye MacCalman (tenor sax/clarinet); Graham Hardy (trumpet/pocket trumpet); Johnny Hunter (drums)

(Screenshot by Debra Milne)

This isn't an actual review of tonight's gig at The Globe by the John Pope Quintet, I think JNE, who co-promoted the live stream with the Jazz Co-op, may be sending something from their own reviewer but, I couldn't allow this screenshot from Debra not to be shared - it's the only way to watch!

Album review: Marek Dorčík's Špercasa - About Time

George Crowley (tenor sax); Miguel Gorodi (trumpet, flugelhorn); Tom Hewson (piano); Mick Coady (double bass); Marek Dorčík (drums)

Slovakian born drummer Marek Dorčík arrived in Britain in 2006 since when he has worked across the spectrum, from the likes of the Brownfield-Byrne Quintet's New Orleans to swing style outfit to the contemporary sounds of Matthew Halsall and Alice Zawadzki. Špercasa is a play on words, 'Šperk' meaning 'jewel' and 'Percasa' similar to 'percussion'. Appropriately, the opening track - Špercasa Intro - is very much percussion driven by Dorčík himself and pianist Tom Hewson, with what sounds like the keys being dampened to produce a hammered-on effect. 

Recording finds trio in their prime

(Press release)


Edinburgh guitarist Kevin Mackenzie releases the first recording with his latest group this Friday, March 5.

 

Prime Trio features Mackenzie with the former Young Scottish Jazz Musician of the Year, Peter Johnstone on organ and first-call drummer Doug Hough, and Mackenzie is excited by both the instrumentation and the personnel involved.

 

“The great thing for me about an organ trio is that it’s really a very compact unit and yet there are so many possibilities in terms of harmony. You can get a very full sound,” says Mackenzie, whose previous groups have included Trio AAB, with the Bancroft twins, Tom and Phil, the jazz-funk styled Swirler and the folk-jazz fusion ensemble Vital Signs.

Adrian Cox live streaming 'My favourite clarinettist' - Feb. 28

Adrian Cox (clarinet, vocals) 

Adrian Cox is currently basking in early spring sunshine at a hotel spa complex in Sandanski in the south of Bulgaria. Ostensibly, our man is there to record some new material and play a few gigs. Nice work if you can get it! The hotel proprietor is more than happy for our clarinetist to continue with his weekly Sunday Service live streams, so, here we are again, one o'clock Sunday, this week direct from a Bulgarian holiday resort. 

Ten Art Pepper Moments

There's a current trend prevalent on jazz blogs and magazines for "Ten Best" posts so, never having been one to ignore the dictates of fashion - over the years I've crushed my toes in winkle-pickers, wore Slim-Jim ties and when long hair was in I wore my hair long (the latter a fashion that, by necessity, is returning) -  I've opted to pick out my Ten Art Pepper Moments - not all on record.

1. Stan Kenton - How High the Moon. A feature for June Christy who was as cool as ever on this 1947 track.  There's solos by trombone and trumpet but it's the short but illuminating solo by Art that makes the record and what set me off on a lifetime of appreciation.

Joe Farnsworth Trio live streaming from Mezzrow's, NYC - Feb. 27

Kenny Barron (piano); Peter Washington (double bass); Joe Farnsworth (drums) 

A first virtual visit for BSH to Mezzrow's, NYC. The Greenwich Village partner venue to Small's is next door on West 10th Street and by the look of things it's smaller than Small's, and that's saying something! Witchcraft opened the show. Swinging, relaxed as you like, bassist Peter Washington the first in the soloist's spotlight, fours with Farnsworth following on, Barron the man! The decor, stripped back to the brick, portraits of Mezz Mezzrow and...is that James P Johnson? Answers/corrections to the Editor, BSH.

Saturday, February 27, 2021

RIP Christian Brewer

Sadly, in the course of my many trips to London over the years, I never got to hear saxist Christian Brewer who, it is reported, died in the early hours of this morning. 

However, such are the accolades that have poured in by those I have heard play and respect such as Alex Garnett, the musicians Christian played with such as Leon Greening and the venues where he was frequently booked such as Ronnie's and all the other London/south coast hot spots, paint such a vivid picture that I can almost hear him without hearing him if that makes sense.

The news was broken by LJN earlier today.

More information as and when.
May he Rest In Peace.
Lance

KSTV: Playback session - Introducing...Rubén González. Feb. 27

Alex Ridout (trumpet); Will Barry (piano); Will Sach (bass); Jas Kayser (drums/percussion); João Caetano (percussion). 

(Screenshots by Ken Drew).

An evening of Cuban music celebrating a legendary album. I say "legendary" as that's what came up when I Googled although, in truth, I was unfamiliar with it although I did know of the Buena Vista Social Club of which Rubén González was once a part of.

Joe Webb plays the music of Hank Jones - Feb. 27

Joe Webb (piano)

Bird, Ella, Nancy Wilson, Hank Jones worked with some of the best in the business. This afternoon Joe Webb played some of the best of Hank Jones, taking a look at the American's 1956 album Have You Met Hank Jones*. A fabulous selection of GASbook numbers, together with a couple of Jones' original compositions, beginning with It Had to be You. But...before our host got under way there was an issue with the live stream camera set up. Webb appeared sideways on until his online audience alerted him to the issue. Sellotape or gaffer tape put matters right. Webb is prone to humming along to his masterful piano playing. If it was good enough for Oscar P... 

Julian Joseph celebrates Chick Corea - Feb. 27

On today's edition of J to Z (Radio 3, 5:00pm) musician and broadcaster Julian Joseph pays tribute to Chick Corea who died earlier this month. Music from the late pianist's days with Stan Getz through to Miles Davis and beyond will illustrate the depth of Corea's contribution to jazz as a composer, sideman and bandleader.   
Russell

Aycliffe Radio Playlist - Sunday Feb. 28

Bessie Smith x2;
Richie Emmerson of Darlington Big Band choices:
Maynard Ferguson; Dexter Gordon; Richie Cole; Jeff Beck; Grover Washington Jr. Benny Goodman Orchestra with Peggy Lee.
New Release: Matt Carmichael.
Jimmy Giuffre; Jas Kayser; Zoë Gilby Quintet; Abe Lyman & His California Orchestra; Django Reinhardt; Wynton Marsalis JATLC; Dizzy Gillespie, Junior Mance.

All request gratefully received and played, hopefully with some reasons/narrative.
Mike

The United States vs Billie Holiday - all week!

Lee Daniels' new film based on Johann Hari's book Chasing the Scream focuses on the American government's pursuit of Billie Holiday. Starring Andra Day, The United States vs Billie Holiday made its UK premiere earlier today (Saturday) on Sky Cinema*. The good news is the biopic is available all week at these times: 

Sat: 8:00pm; Sun: 6:40pm; Mon: 5:40pm; Tues: 7:35am, 6:40pm; Wed: 9:35am, 5:55pm; Thurs: 7:40pm; Fri: 9:45pm. 
Russell

Friday, February 26, 2021

KSTV: Playback session - Ben & Sweets (1962)

Pete Horsfall (trumpet); Alec Harper (tenor sax); Noah Stoneman (piano); Will Sach (bass); Shane Forbes (drums)

(Screenshots by Ken Drew)

This was nice, it was comfortable and I'm not using those terms in any  context other than appreciatively. There was plenty of fire, albeit nowhere near a pet shop. We used to call it swing or mainstream - like Eddie Condon's gang, I call it music.

The fact that, apart from bassist Sach, all were sitting may have suggested this would indeed be a cosy evening in. However, anyone who knew the players present and the historical mentors they were celebrating wouldn't have entertained such thoughts and, if they did, they were literally blown away on the opening Better Go.

Paul Edis & Vasilis Xenopoulos live streaming the music of Jerome Kern - Feb. 26

Paul Edis (piano); Vasilis Xenopoulos (tenor sax)

Download PDF said the link. Er? At the last minute the penny dropped - open file! And there they were, Paul and Vasilis sitting in London's Rokit Studio. All the Things You Are opened the set, an all Jerome Kern special. Excellent! Online comments - 'critics' joked Paul - advised the studio piano was too low in the mix. Vasilis adjusted the sound. Good. However, our tenor sax star then forgot to talk into a mic! Such are the hazards of the live stream...

Rico & Nils present a(nother) Popup Louis - Feb. 26

Rico Tomasso (trumpet, flugelhorn, vocals); Nils Solberg (guitar, vocal) 

Always from a late forties radio broadcast featuring Louis Armstrong began this evening's Popup Louis. Rico's guest this week, guitarist Nils Solberg, accompanied our host who sang a verse in addition to blowing his Armstrong 33. Shine on Harvest Moon is a familiar tune to Rico having played it as an uptempo swing number on a regular gig at the 100 Club on Oxford Street but having recently discovered a verse to the song he liked the idea of taking it at an easier tempo. 

Later tonight with Moses Boyd (Friday 26)

At ten o'clock tonight one half of Binker and Moses will be joining one time piano player with SqueezeMr Jools Holland, on Later...with Jools Holland (BBC 2). Drummer Moses Boyd and saxophonist Binker Golding enjoyed what seemed like overnnight success with the release of their 2015 album Dem Ones. Last year's solo album Dark Matter enhanced Boyd's profile and tonight he joins Jools for a chat.   
Russell

THE UNITED STATES VS BILLIE HOLIDAY Trailer (2021) Andra Day, Drama Movie


Tomorrow on Sky Cinema Premiere 9:25am.
Lance

Midweek at Small's (Feb. 22-25)

Ari Hoenig Trio - Feb. 22

Gadi Lehavi (piano); Matt Penman (double bass); Ari Hoenig (drums)

Ari Hoenig is something of a legend in these parts and a three figure online audience (plus a handful allowed onto the premises) enjoyed the first of two one hour sets from the drummer's trio. Lines of Oppression generated much animated discussion and praise, similarly Chick Corea's Steps. Pianist Gadi Lehavi and busy bassist Matt Penman (also to been heard later in the week) were on the case, not least in an excellent take on Yardbird Suite.   

Album review: Georgia Mancio & Alan Broadbent - Quiet is the Star

Georgia Mancio (voice); Alan Broadbent (piano).

After their 2017 recording - Songbook - and a concert at Sage Gateshead that followed soon after I couldn't wait to hear more from this perfectly matched songwriting team and, at last, my patience has been handsomely rewarded.

Music by Broadbent, lyrics by Mancio may sound like something from the credits of a Broadway show or a Hollywood musical but this a much deeper collaboration than that.  Not composed for whoever plays the lead in a stage or film production but an emotional lament/tribute to real people. Exploring the ties we weave in life: sisterly, maternal, romantic, universal. One voice, one piano, one dialogue is how the blurb describes it and that pretty much nails it.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

KSTV: Playback session - Mingus Ah Um

Nathaniel Facey (alto sax); Alec Harper (tenor sax/clarinet); Daniel Higham (trombone); Deschanel Gordon (piano); Ferg Ireland (bass); Will Cleasby (drums).

(Screenshots by Ken Drew)

1959 was, according to many, the year when more great jazz albums were released than in any other year before or since. It's a debatable point but certainly the evidence leans strongly towards that conclusion. Miles Davis: A Kind of Blue; Dave Brubeck: Time Out; Art Pepper + Eleven. 

There were many more classic recordings and one that more than held its own was Charles Mingus: Mingus Ah Um. It was the first Mingus album I bought - the first of many - and was the subject of tonight's playback session at Kansas Smitty's.

Don't miss tonight at Kansas Smitty's!

Truth is you shouldn't miss any night at Smitty's but tonight's live stream looks to be extra special - a recreation of one of the greatest jazz albums ever - Mingus Ah Um.

The advertised line-up is now: Nat Facey (alto sax); Alec Harper (tenor sax); Daniel Higham (trombone); Deschanel Gordon (piano); Ferg Ireland (bass); Will Cleasby (drums).

A dream team!

Tune in at 8:00pm

Lance

Free Online Singing Event - Singing It Out

Sunday Feb. 28 @ 2:00pm utc – 3:00pm utc

(Press release)

'Singing It Out' provides online singalong sessions to help combat loneliness and improve mental wellbeing through song.

Having been developed with funding from Leeds Inspired, a small grant from Live Well Leeds is enabling you to attend this session FOR FREE!

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

KSTV: Will Arnold-Foster Quartet - Feb.24

Will Arnold-Foster (guitar); Kit Downes (piano); Ferg Ireland (bass); Jas Kayser (drums).

(Screenshots by Ken Drew).

I think tonight was a co-operative effort with no designated leader so, as Will was doing the announcing I'll give him the credit.

This was one of those delightful vignettes that neither sends you to sleep nor keeps you wide awake but has you hovering in that never-never land in between the two extremes which tonight was a good place to be.

Kit Downes is often seen as a boundary-pushing avant-gardist but tonight, as he has done on previous occasions, he showed his compatibility with the more mainstream side of the genre. 

Album review: The Jazz Worms - Squirmin'

Ron Miles (cornet); Keith Oxman (tenor sax); Andy Wehl (piano); Mark Simon (bass); Paul Romaine (drums)

Denver Colorado has been in the news recently due to exploding aircraft parts but it is also home to The Jazz Worms, a very fine quintet well known to patrons of the Denver jazz club Dazzles.      

Their first Capri album, Crawlin’ Out, recorded way back in 1987 created much interest among local jazz fans.  Their latest release is also on Capri Records and contains eight original tunes by various members of the group. 

Ron Miles is the one that I’m most familiar with through his work with Bill Frisell, but his band-mates deserve a higher profile in the jazz world. 

Bagpipe swing with Gunhild Carling in Central Park NY


Neil C sent me this YouTube clip of Gunhild Carling blowing bagpipes in Central Park bringing back memories of an incredible evening at Durham's Gala Theatre back in 2018.

An amazing musician!
Lance

Album review: Alban Claret & Evan Clegg - The Collection

Evan Clegg (trumpet); Alban Claret (guitar); Duncan Eagles (tenor sax); Luke Fowler (bass); Kuba Miazga (drums).

French guitarist Alban Claret has teamed up with Yorkshire trumpeter Evan Clegg to produce a really outstanding album of seven original compositions. Also involved are Duncan Eagles on tenor sax, Luke Fowler double bass and Kuba Miazga on drums.       

I would like to hear more of Eagles he gets a great sound from top to bottom of his instrument. 

Claret reminds me of the legendary Jimmy Raney when he worked with Stan Getz.  

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

What's It All About Sonny?

Fantastic and perceptive post by Simon Spillett on his blog whereby he takes a look back at  the so called "Swinging Sixties" and, in particular, Sonny Rollins and the film Alfie. 

Myths are explored and exploded, and we discover what Sonny himself really thought about the film.

It has fewer words than War and Peace (I think) but is a much better read.

A classic piece of jazz literature.

Read Simon's blog here.

Lance

KSTV: Playback session - Ralph Towner & Gary Burton's "Matchbox" by Nick Costley-White & David Mrakpor - Feb. 23

Nick Costley-White (guitars); David Mrakpor (vibes)

(Screenshots by Ken Drew).

Calming, Chilled, Relaxing, Beautiful, Magical, were just some of the comments on YouTube and they pretty much summed things up tonight in what could have been, but wasn't, a boring session. Quite the opposite in fact.

Admittedly, the tempos on the numbers from the album were a bit on the andante side but this was compensated for by rich harmonies from the vibes and Costley-White's switching from acoustic to electric for more variation.

As I wasn't familiar with the original Towner/Burton album I had no basis for comparision which, in a playback session, is often the best way enabling one to listen without any preconceived ideas.

Szczecin Jazz presents the first European jazz festival of 2021

(Press release)

Launching 25 February and running through to the 4th of March, Szczecin Jazz will host Europe’s first hybrid festival of the year. Over the course of 7 days, each night one act will grace a stage in Szczecin, Northwestern Poland's largest city, performing in front of an online and in-person audience. 

Leading up to the festival, Szczecin Jazz and Jazz in Europe are partnering to offer an exclusive behind the scenes look with a series of vlogs and interviews hosted by Dutch jazz promoter and media director Arlette Hovinga. In five episodes, airing on Jazz in Europe’s website each night at 20:00 CET, Arlette will explore the dynamics of show production, and of course, the excitement of an upcoming set. The series kicks off on Monday, February 22. 

Monday, February 22, 2021

Shri & Dennis Rollins live stream from Ronnie's - Feb. 22

Shri (bass guitar/keyless flute/electronics); Dennis Rollins (trombone/electronics)

(Screenshots by Ken Drew)

When it comes to reviewing it's a case of horses for courses or, to use another adage, one man's meat is another man's poison. So, with due respect to the artists, I'll refrain from making any observations that run contrary to the comments on YouTube and just say that the parade has passed me by on this one.
Lance

PS: I still rate Dennis as the funkiest UK trombone player!

Jazz North’s Jazz Camp For Girls Makes An Online Return With A Broader Offer For Girls Aged 10-15 Years


(Press release)

Jazz North has teamed up with a range of partners to deliver a broader programme for this year’s Jazz Camp for Girls. The ‘Online Musical Adventures Day’ will give girls aged 10-15 years old the chance to discover computer coding to make music, graphic scores, improvising using nature, interpreting jazz standards, and can enjoy an introduction to music journalism, photography, and podcasting in the jazz world. 

Jazz Camp for Girls will take place on Saturday 6th March from 10am until 4.30pm and costs just £10. There will be morning and afternoon sessions giving the girls the chance to have a better and deeper experience of the topics delivered by Women in Jazz Media, Conductive Music, J Frisco, Creative Heights, and BlueJam Arts. All sessions are open to girls of mixed abilities. 

Jazz Items On Radio 4 Today

Highly recommended: Scottish Poet Laureate Jacky Kay reading from her book about Bessie Smith, as mentioned by Russell, broadcast each morning at 9.45am this week on Radio 4.

I left the radio on, so caught jazz drummer Jas Kayser on Woman's Hour, talking about the situation of women musicians on the jazz scene, following on from research done by academic Sarah Raine at the Cheltenham Jazz Festival. Jas explained that it was sometimes assumed that she was a singer, as if a woman couldn't possibly be an instrumentalist, especially not a drummer, as drummers have to be tough and strong (do they actually?)

It was mentioned that the huge contribution of women to jazz in the past had been brushed to one side. (Not true on BSH or in Jackie Kay's writing). Jas agreed that things were gradually improving, which I think they are. Anyway, whatever your opinion is, you can catch this on BBC Sounds – well worth a listen.

Ann Alex

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Ronnie Scott's Jazz Orchestra live streaming from Frith St. - Feb. 21

MD Pete Long was wisecracking before the down beat. Appropriately, Ronnie Scott's Jazz Orchestra opened with Chick Corea's Got a Match? No more to be said, RSJO launched into Freddy Gavita's arrangement of Chameleon, on which Dave O'Higgins blew the roof off!  A fast moving show brought on the first of the evening's vocalists, Mr Iain Mackenzie, to sing I Love Paris (arr. P. Long). Callum Au's arrangement of It's Alright with Me kept Mackenzie on stage, although he was in danger of being blown away by Sammy Mayne's coruscating alto sax solo!

Sunday Night @ The Globe: Hand to Mouth - Feb. 21

Lindsay Hannon (vocals); Bradley Johnston (guitars)

(Screenshot by Russell)

Another masterclass in the art of jazz voice and jazz guitar from Lindsay and Brad. Two of the most musically compatible performers on the scene.

No major surprises apart from Brad's decision to switch back and forth between classical and electric guitars (I won't mention his red socks apart from to say that if red socks were good enough for Django then every guitarist should be wearing red socks).

Not that Django was on the menu tonight. Tonight's inspiration was Joe Pass.

Album review: Pat Metheny - Road to the Sun

Four Paths of Light: Jason Vieaux (solo guitar); Pat Metheny (composer).

Road to the Sun: The Los Angeles Guitar Quartet - John Dearman (7-string guitar); Matthew Greif, William Kanengiser, Scott Tennant (guitars) + Pat Metheny (composer all tracks & guitar tracks 2 & 4).

Für Alina: Pat Metheny (42-string guitar).

A  one for guitar buffs and Metheny fans in particular. Although the universally regarded number one guitarist is only featured exclusively on the bonus track he did compose all of the music which is presented in the form of two suites. 

Four Paths of Light, not surprisingly, consists of four parts played on classical guitar by Jason Vieaux one of the composer's favourite guitarists - a feeling that I'm sure is mutual.

The Sunday Service: the Music of Jelly Roll Morton - Feb. 21

Adrian Cox (clarinet, vocals)

Last night's session at Kansas Smitty's featured Adrian Cox playing the music of Baby Dodds, this afternoon our clarinetist turned his attention to Jelly Roll Morton. Once again, Cox took the opportunity to live stream from Toulouse Lautrec. 

The Philip Harper Quintet live streaming from Small's, NYC - Feb. 20

Philip Harper (trumpet, vocals); Jon Beshay (tenor sax, soprano sax, flute); Miki Yamanaka (piano); Dishan Harper (double bass); Curtis Nowosad (drums) 

There was a sense that this could be something special. During the eighties Philip Harper occupied the trumpet chair in Art Blakey's justly famous Jazz Messengers. Logging on to Small's website, it looked like a near full house (a second house was a sellout) was there to hear a man who, in his mid fifties, should/would be in his prime.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

KSTV: Playback session - Baby Dodds Trio playing Jazz á la Creole - Feb. 20

Adrian Cox (clarinet, vocals); Dave Archer guitar); Deschanel Gordon (piano); Ferg Ireland (double bass); Will Cleasby (drums)

(Screenshots by Ken Drew)

The Wolverine Blues got things underway with New Orleans specialist Adrian Cox leading the pack. A Baby Dodds' Jazz á la Creole hour with none other than Evan Christopher listening in online from NOLA! First thoughts, pianist Deschanel 'Desch' Gordon (aka Don Ewell) comfortable in the idiom, likewise drummer Will 'Baby Dodds' Cleasby. 

Brandon Allen Quartet Live streaming from the 606 Club - Feb. 20

Brandon Allen (tenor sax); Will Barry (keys); Joe Downard (bass/bass guitar); Dave Ingamells (drums).

When it comes to blowing tenor, Brandon Allen plays hardball. The ultimate groover, he should be walkin' the bar in a downtown joint in Philly or Detroit not live streaming to an invisible audience in Chelsea.

But, such are the times we live in that we have to be thankful for small mercies or, like tonight, very large mercies!

When it comes to playing blues, soul or funk saxophone few do, or rather did, it better than the late Stanley Turrentine so it was only natural that Australian sax man, now domiciled in London,  Brandon Allen, who is equally at home in the above genres, should opt to pay tribute to him.

A Great Trumpet Day in London Town

During this week's Popup Louis, Rico Tomasso showed us a photograph of the occasion when more than a few trumpeters assembled in London. They were there to be photographed by the late Ray Bolden. Rico reeled-off most of the names, although, off the top of his head, one or two names escaped him. He suggested his live stream audience could help put a name to a face. Perhaps BSH readers could assist in identifying the musicians. We will be more than happy to receive any suggestions/guesses which will be forwarded to Rico.
Russell 

Album review: Ashton Smith Octet - Further Afield

Ashton Smith (trumpet, flugelhorn, compositions); James Romaine (alto sax); Michael Anning (tenor sax); David Sear (trombone); Francis Tulip (guitar); Will Markham (piano); James Owston (bass); Nathan Jones (drums).

The quality that emerges from Birmingham Conservatoire was very much in evidence last night at Kansas Smitty's when former student and BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year Xhosa Cole blew up a Force 9 on both flute and tenor.

That the high standard has been maintained is evident in this download by the Ashton Smith Octet. Francis Tulip is well known in the northeast and Will Markham has also played gigs up here. The rest are relatively unknown quantities - until now that is!

Aycliffe Radio Playlist for Sunday Feb. 21

Chick Corea; Mound City Blue Blowers; Ella Fitzgerald Louis Armstrong.

Tony Eales' selection: Duke Ellington; Vienna Art Orchestra; Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band; Igor Butman; Scottish National Jazz Orchestra;

Glenn Miller & His Orchestra; Etta James; Paul Chambers; New Orleans Rhythm Kings; Art Tatum Lionel Hampton Buddy Rich; Chris Barber's Jazz Band; Ottilie Patterson Chris Barber; Clifford Brown & Max Roach; Chick Corea.

Mike Dixon

The Mike Clark Trio live streaming from Small's, NYC - Feb. 19

Jon Davis (piano); Leon Lee Dorsey (double bass); Mike Clark (drums)

There is a seemingly inexhaustible supply of top class musicians living and working in New York City. Invariably their cvs are second to none: study at a prestigious music school, teaching at a prestigious music school, recording and touring with some of the biggest names in the business. Tonight's trio live streaming from Small's ticked all of the above boxes. 

Mike Clark will forever be associated with Herbie Hancock's excursion into the seventies' jazz/rock/funk scene. Joining the one-time Headhunters' drummer this evening, pianist Jon Davis (Stan Getz, Jaco Pastorius, Phil Woods) and bassist Leon Lee Dorsey (Dizzy, Hamp, Art Blakey).

Preview: Start the Week with Radio 4's Book of the Week (Feb. 22)

Described as 'a highly personal portrait', Jackie Kay's unconventional biography of blues singer Bessie Smith had long been out of print (Absolute Press, 1997) until Faber & Faber offered to republish the book with a new introduction by the author. From Monday (Feb. 22) Jackie Kay's book  will be serialised Monday to Friday at 9:45am (repeated daily at half past midnight) as the network's Book of the Week.

Russell

Bessie Smith by Jackie Kay is published in paperback by Faber & Faber.  

Preview: Edis & Xenopoulos live streaming Jerome Kern (Feb. 26)

Master pianist Paul Edis and tenor saxophone great Vasilis Xenopoulos are planning to play the music of Jerome Kern. Their set on Friday 26th February will be a live stream affair from London's Rokit Studio. Friends for many years, Paul and Vasilis have worked together on numerous occasions. Their gigs 'up north' in Bebop Spoken Here's heartland are eagerly anticipated events and it'll be great to see them again when we're back to something like normal. In the meantime, be sure to check out Paul's website for details of how to sign up for Friday's live stream (www.pauledis.co.uk). It's a bargain at £8.00 for an eight o'clock start. 

Russell

Friday, February 19, 2021

KSTV: Playback session, Charles Lloyd "Live in Copenhagen" - Feb. 19

Xhosa Cole (tenor sax/flute); Will Barry (piano); Will Sach (bass); Jas Kayser (drums).

(Screenshots by Ken Drew)

A Night in Copenhagen, to give the album its correct title, was recorded in 1983 and featured Charles Lloyd, Michel Petrucciani on piano, Palle Danielsson on bass and Woody Theus on drums. There were also a couple of Bobby McFerrin vocals on the album but, as presumably Jalen N'Gonda wasn't available, tonight was strictly instrumental.

Rico's Popup Louis - Feb. 19

Rico Tomasso (trumpet, flugelhorn, vocals); Will Barry (piano)

This week's Popup Louis featured our host Rico with pianist Will Barry. The duo worked together on a gig at Kansas Smitty's back in the autumn of last year and Rico thought it a good idea to invite Will to play a Friday evening set. The odds were a good number of Rico's many faithful fans hadn't heard of Will. Online comments were most complimentary about the Kansas Smitty's mainstay but, as is the way with 'I know what I like' types, it's unlikely they'll be logging on to Smitty's live streams. 

Album review: Enrico Pieranunzi & Bert Joris - Afterglow

Enrico Pieranunzi  (piano),  Bert Joris (trumpet, flugelhorn) 

Veteran Italian pianist Pieranunzi has recorded prolifically, in many settings since the mid-1970s, and he teams up here with the experienced Belgian Bert Joris on trumpet and flugel for an intimate and relaxed session of originals. Despite their considerable output, I have to say neither player had made much impression on me until hearing this new album. I guess that although jazz audiences on the mainland are famously large, much continental jazz goes under the radar in the UK, swamped by homegrown and transatlantic produce, and not helped by the infrequency of touring here. On the evidence of this Italian-Belgian product, we need to salvage some European jazz alongside the threatened loss of Chianti and Trappist beer!  

Low Friar Street Cabaret, 60s style

On Wednesday February 6, 1963 a swanky new night club opened in Newcastle. La Dolce Vita was the place to be seen. The Kaye Sisters were the opening night's 'turn'. Subsequently the likes of Matt Monro, Tom Jones, Mel Tormé and Billy Eckstine were the cabaret stars. The Beatles visited, no doubt given VIP treatment, similarly Ella Fitzgerald, looking to relax after appearing at the City Hall. Legend has it the Krays paid a visit but were sent packing. The story of the Low Friar Street venue is told in today's Chronicle newspaper. The photo shows Bob Monkhouse on stage. The question is...can you identify the musicians on stage with the comedian? Is the pianist Billy Harper? Information welcome.    

Russell

Album review: The David Anģel Jazz Ensemble - Out on the Coast

I'm not going to lay down chapter and verse on this one - it's a triple CD for goodness sake! 

Suffice to say that, if over the years, your tastes have leaned towards Miles' 1949 nonet, Gil Evans, Marty Paich or the Gerry Mulligan Concert Band then this is very much for you. The arrangements are as cool as a Pfizer vaccine on the rocks - neither shaken nor stirred. 

Thursday, February 18, 2021

James Beckworth live stream from Ronnie Scott's - Feb. 18

We were at Smitty's tonight so didn't make it to Ronnie's for the James Beckworth live stream. However, our ace camera man Ken managed to be in two places at once and sent me this great screenshot.

So all I need now is a few words to go with the pic. If you watched it and would care to comment briefly or, preferably, at length then please do.
Lance

KSTV: Playback session - The Jo Jones Trio. Feb. 18

Jason Brown (drums); Deschanel Gordon (piano); Will Sach (bass).

(Screenshots by Ken Drew).

Permutations of trios at Smitty's come and go but tonight was tops in that every one seemed to have lifted his game that one notch higher. I'm not going to name my Man of the Match as everyone who watched it will have their own choice. Music is a shared thing, or at least it should be - it was tonight. 

So, let's do away with the A was better than B but not as good as C scenario and agree that they each hit the jackpot and that Papa Jo Jones would have been proud of them.

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