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Bebop Spoken There

John McDonough (reviewing Bright Red Dog’s In Vivo): “When you improvise on nothing, that’s what you get”. - DownBeat August 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.

Postage

13,508 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 926 of them this year alone and, so far, 90 this month (July 27).

From This Moment On

Thu 29: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone North Tyneside. 1:00pm.

Thu 29: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead. 8:30pm.

Sat 31: Lindsay Hannon @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Lindsay previews new, original material.

Sat 31: jakTar + Johnny Richards @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 8:00pm. JNE promotion.

August

Sun 01: Vieux Carre Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.

Sun 01: Jeffrey Hewer Quartet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Leeds College of Music graduate guitarist (Masters, Jazz Performance & Composition).

Monday, May 31, 2021

Sunday Jazz in the Radio Rooms

If you're within spitting distance of Berwick upon Tweed on a Sunday it could be worth while checking out the Radio Rooms on Main Street. A weekly jazz session running from two o'clock 'til five is on offer. Later in the year Gordon Campbell (BBC Big Band, lead trombone) is scheduled to perform at the venue and give a pre-concert talk. Russell  

Album review: Miguel Muziq - An Angel's Healing

Miguel Muziq (Michael Panteli) seems to draw from an innumerable amount of ideas, influences and styles, in creating An Angel's Healing; a sensitive, personal, inspired and inspiring work of art. He goes on a musical journey; exploring a variety of feelings linked to loss, acceptance and reconciliation. 

From its gentle, considered intro, rather like a lament, the music engages with some exquisite guitar playing, as well as emotive trumpet phases. The drums and percussion drive the music along at different beats; varying between slower to medium to more up-tempo.

An Aladdin's Cave - May 31

What to do on a glorious early summer's day? Let's go for a wander. An hour or so later, stumbling across Fern Avenue Antiques Centre in suburban Newcastle, what a delight! A decommissioned post box on the forecourt, terracotta plant pots, wrought iron this, wrought iron that. Inside, a veritable Aladdin's Cave. You name it, it was in there - vintage toys, vintage typewriters, vintage street signs, posters, pottery, stuffed animals, an endless list of the collectible and not so collectible. 

R.I.P Colin Haikney

(Archive photo)
Rarely a day goes by without a hero, a legend or just a fine musician leaving us.

Pianist Colin Haikney, who sadly passed away last night, was all of that and more. When someone dies it's, seemingly, obligatory to say what a great musician he was, his dry sense of humour, a true gentleman - in fact  everything but the truth!

Fortunately however, in Colin's case all those attributes are very much true and if there was ever a poll to find a musician who ticked all of those boxes then Colin Haikney would be up there in the frame.

The Stage Door presents Dean Stockdale & Mick Shoulder - May 30

Dean Stockdale (piano); Mick Shoulder (double bass)

A new venue in Darlington. The Stage Door in Buckton's Yard is keen to try out jazz and on the evidence of this first gig featuring Dean Stockdale and Mick Shoulder there is the makings of a regular session. 

Pianist Dean and bassist Mick are key figures on the north east jazz scene and they delivered two sets of choice standards to an appreciative full house. From Have You Met Miss Jones? to Dean's wistful Another Time to a set-closing encore Somewhere Over the Rainbow, this proved to be a winning occasion. Our duo knew how to pitch the material to their audience - stay true to the melody, improvise as the mood takes, restate the theme, job done. 

Sunday Night @ The Globe: Josephine Davies' Satori Trio - May 30

(Screenshot by Ken Drew)
Josephine Davies (tenor sax); Steve Berry (bass); Nick Smalley (drums).

(Jazz North East/Jazz Co-op promotion)

Normally, a tenor, bass and drums trio would have me less than enthusiastic about what lay ahead - Sonny Rollins and Joshua Redman being notable exceptions. However, having reviewed Josephine Davies' recent album  How Can we Wake? I knew what to expect - or so I thought! 

That album was very much Indian related and perhaps the thinking was that even a jazz Indian variant might deter the punters or, more likely, it was due to the fact that bass and drums were different to the players on the album. 

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Louise Gibbs @ Seven Arts, Leeds - May 30,


Louise Gibbs (vocal); Richard Wetherall (piano); Frank Griffith (clarinet/alto sax/tenor sax).

Another delightful afternoon at Seven Arts in Leeds albeit, in my case I was watching from afar it nevertheless, still made for compelling viewing.

The programme was based around the music of Ellington and Strayhorn and I doubt if there's a singer alive today who can interpret the music better than Louise Gibbs who poured heart and soul into the lyrics, sometimes updating them and often slotting a scat chorus in. 

Adrian Cox plays King Oliver - May 30

Adrian Cox (clarinet, vocals)

Preacher Cox expressed his thanks for so many parishioners logging on when they could have skipped today's Sunday Service in favour of a trip to the seaside or where ever. Our man is once again out in Bulgaria but that doesn't stop him playing his weekly Facebook gig. Today's subject King Oliver, tunes composed by the man and others, including Fats Waller. Snake Rag for openers, Cox as casually fluent as ever. Our man referred to his notes to impart some facts about Joe 'King' Oliver - his days in New Orleans, moving on to Chicago and employing Louis Armstrong as second cornet. 

The Hooch, Charts and now the Hard Rock Cafe - May 30

A blue sky Sunday morning, Newcastle's Quayside market all a bustle. First port of call, Warren Thompson's new-ish gaff on the corner of Quayside and Broad Chare. The Hooch was doing steady business, no sign of Warren, more of a nite-owl is our Hoochie Coochie proprietor. An Americano, a hot chocolate and two mature cheddar and ham warm croissants. We look forward to more fantastic gigs up on Pilgrim Street. 

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Christian Garrick: The livestream set from the 606 - May 29

Christian Garrick (violin); David Gordon (piano/melodica); Alec Dankworth (bass); Tom Hooper (drums).

Now that the combination of live gigs and livestreams are becoming the norm it is ever more likely that this is going to be the way forward. Let's face it, if you've splashed the cash on all this hi-tech stuff to enable you to reach the distant corners of the jazz empire you're hardly going to pack it away in the cupboard until the next lockdown are you?

KSTV: Ellington's Unknown Session - May 29

(Screenshot by Ken Drew)
Giacomo Smith (alto sax); Pete Horsfall (trumpet); Dan Higham (trombone); Alex Garnett (baritone sax); Joe Webb (piano); Ferg Ireland (double bass); Shane Forbes (drums).

This one had 'all-star' written all over it. All-star on the 1960 Ellington 'Unknown Session' album, all-star here at Kansas Smitty's, fully six decades on. Giacomo Smith put together this evening's set list, playing something like eight of the twelve numbers from the original recording plus a good old good one. 

Album review: Scatman Crothers - Groovin with ... Scatman

The name of Scatman Crothers probably means nothing to our younger readers and maybe the same applies to some of our older ones too. In truth, the name had also been off my radar for many years which, as he died in 1986 aged 76 is perhaps excusable except that, after listening to these tracks from 1976, I should have being singing/scatting his praises from the top of the Empire State!

He appeared in 46 movies, countless radio and TV shows and was eventually honoured with a star on the famed Hollywood Blvd. Walk of Fame.

Joe Webb plays Fats Waller - May 29

(Screenshot by Russell)
Joe Webb (piano); Pete Horsfall (trumpet); Will Sach (double bass)

Whisper it...could it be summer has finally arrived? The hordes were in pub beer gardens, some chose to be indoors, particularly at two o'clock this afternoon logging on to Joe Webb's weekly live stream set. Today, pianist Joe invited trumpeter Pete Horsfall to join him to play a Fats Waller set in the company of American bassist Will Sach. 

Jazz Time Aycliffe Radio Playlist - Sunday May 30

Celebrating the 100th anniversary of Humphrey Lyttleton's Birth:

Humphrey Lyttelton;

Benny Carter Quintet; Tees Hot Club; 

Richie Emerson's pick: Tubby Hayes; Gene Ammons Sonny Stitt; Sonny Stitt; Buddy Rich; Bill Evans with Stan Getz; 

Esperanza Spalding;

New Releases: Lucien Johnson; Sarah Moule; 

Radio 3 composer of the week - Mary Lou Williams; 

Guitarists: Charlie Christian; Django Reinhardt -
Benny Carter; Barney Kessel.


Friday, May 28, 2021

Album review: Fapy Lafertin New Quartet - Atlântico

Fapy Lafertin (guitar/guitarra Portuguaise); Alexandre Tripodi (violin); Cédric Raymond (bass); Renaud Dardenne (guitar).

I first heard Lafertin at the Breda Oude Stijl Jazz Festival back in 1981 where he was playing with Waso, a Belgium gypsy hot club ensemble. I was knocked out! Although I knew the music from the Django/Grappelli records this was the first time I'd witnessed that style live and I've been a fan ever since.

Press release: The All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group Announces A Review Of Jazz In England

The All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group Announces A Review Of Jazz In England

Following an enforced delay due to the global pandemic and a year of unprecedented change, challenges, and specific hardships for working musicians, the All Party Jazz Appreciation Group (APPJAG) has commissioned a Review of Jazz in England.  The Review will be undertaken by APPJAG’s Secretary, Chris Hodgkins, and an expert advisory panel, chaired by musician and jazz educator Dr Kathy Dyson.

John Spellar MP and Lord Mann (Co-Chairs of APPJAG), and Alison Thewless MP and Chi Onwurah MP (Co-Vice Chairs of APPJAG), detail some of the review's objectives:

Album review: Judy Wexler – Back To The Garden

Judy Wexler's sixth album sees her put aside jazz standards in favour of jazz/pop versions of iconic songs of the 1960s which have relevant social and political messages for us today.

Ms Wexler hails from Los Angeles and is a mainstay on the Californian jazz scene. She also performs at major venues across the USA, including Birdland and the Blue Note in New York City, and she has sung in clubs and festivals overseas, such as the Montreal Jazz Festival and the Jazz Festivals in Tel Aviv and also in Dubai.

Archipelago - Freeness, JRR & GCT

(Photo by Russell)
Faye MacCalman, John Pope and Christian Alderson, familiar names on Tyneside, work together as Archipelago. This weekend the trio will crop up on Radio 3 not once but twice. Tomorrow (Saturday 29, midnight) Corey Mwamba plans to include the band's music on his Freeness programme and on Sunday afternoon Alyn Shipton will play an Archipelago track on Jazz Record Requests. Tune in at four o'clock to find out who the requester is! 

Tickets for Archipelago's Echoes to the Sky album launch gig (Faith Brackenbury will play a guest support set) at GCT in Newcastle on June 25 (see photo of a poster in the venue advertising the GCT-Jazz North East co-promotion) are on sale now from: 

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Adrian Cox & Friends Runnin' Wild at Toulouse Lautrec - May 27

Adrian Cox (clarinet, vocals); Dave Archer (guitar); Will Barry (piano); Will Sach (double bass)

Looking forward to playing in front of a live audience, Adrian Cox on Facebook exclaimed: Whoop! Whoop! As Toulouse Lautrec is operating at half capacity until at least June 21, it came as no surprise to learn that this evening's gig was a sellout. In addition, an online, paying audience boosted the coffers. A choice set list, beginning with Ellington's Do Nothing till You Hear from Me, found charismatic frontman Cox in fine form. In equally good form were Kansas Smitty's regulars Will Barry, piano, Dave Archer, guitar and bassist Will Sach. At the conclusion of a swifter than swift Runnin' Wild Cox joked: Er, we're gonna pick up the tempo now! 

Ian Shaw, Iain Ballamy & Jamie Safir @ Seven Arts, Leeds - May 27.

(Collage by Lance)
Ian Shaw (vocals); Iain Ballamy (tenor sax); Jamie Safir (piano).

A delightful gem that never allowed my my mind to wander, instead it tended to wonder! The sound of surprise was a constant which is the way all good art should be and this was an exercise in musical artistry.

Ballamy and Safir doodled around in a slightly free format offering tantalisingly fleeting glimpses of a tune that wasn't totally revealed until Shaw emerged from the wings to burst into What's New? What's new? well this certainly was. Shaw has an amazing range that, coupled with his ability to move from ppp to fff within a single beat, makes him just about unique.

Jazzwise in June

As ever, June's issue of Jazzwise - it's out now - is  compelling reading even if it does mean going to Specsavers to fully savour the contents. Great articles, and interviews with guitarist Julian Lage and vocalist Veronica Swift - check out her new album The Bitter Earth. As has oft been mentioned on BSH, Ms Swift is maybe the highest flier on the US jazz vocal scene.

There's also an excellent article by Alyn Shipton on Louis Armstrong. For my money, Shipton is the number one jazz writer/broadcaster around and, apart from being a fine bass player, his judgements are, to my way of thinking, a tablet of stone.

Nicolas Meier pottering around in his shed with Joe Henderson - May 27

(Screenshot by Russell)
Nicolas Meier (guitar); Kelvin Christian (tenor sax); Marianne Windham (double bass)

Switzerland's Nicolas Meier, long-since resident in England, has been live streaming from his garden shed on a regular basis. This afternoon at two o'clock, Meier played the first of two sets in the company of tenor saxophonist Kelvin Christian and bassist Marianne Windham. As the sun streamed in through the window, Meier's ad hoc trio kicked off a Joe Henderson set with Isotope

Preview: Sunday Night Jazz at the Globe

This coming Sunday (May 30) Jazz at the Globe looks to be very good indeed - particularly if you like your jazz to have an Eastern flavour. A Jazz Co-op/Jazz North East promotion, it features Josephine Davies' Satori Trio - a band whose albums have been enthusiastically  praised on BSH.

If you plan to be there then advance booking is essential (see link below). Lance.


Satori (2017).

How Can We Wake? (2020).

Details/tickets. 

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Ten from Miles on his birthday

Miles Davis would have been 95 today  so as ten is such a popular number, albeit maybe not in Downing St., and as I have ten vinyl albums by Miles I thought I'd list them. No comments, most readers will know them anyway, all from his pre-Bitches Brew period which was when our paths became diverted...

Saxophone quartet to take viewers on “extraordinary adventure” with Journey to the Impossible premiere

(Press release)

Groundbreaking ensemble the Apollo Saxophone Quartet is to premiere Journey to the Impossible, its unique set mixing music with “crazy and wonderful” films from the early years of the silent movie era.

Established in 1985 at the Royal Northern College of Music, the ensemble has made the largest single contribution to the saxophone quartet repertoire in the UK, commissioning and premiering over 100 works.

Journey to the Impossible, originally commissioned in 1998 by the Phoenix Arts Theatre in Leicester and one of the quartet’s most popular works, is now set to be streamed online for the first time via stream.theatre.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Album review: Ben Crosland Quintet – Solway Stories

Ben Crosland (bass); Steve Waterman  (trumpet/flugel); Chris Allard (guitar); Steve Lodder (piano/keys); Dylan Howe (drums)

I’ve seen Ben Crosland perform in various groups over the years and would sum him up as ‘genial’ maybe human. He played with Waterman and Lodder in the trio Threeway, as the lynchpin of John Etheridge’s Trio North, leading an Octet for his Echoes in the Valley project from 2000 and many others. He fits this activity around the running of his Jazzcat record label and a career as a barrister in the courts of West Yorkshire. That’s barrister not barista - you’d want Crosland in your corner if you were trying to get off a life sentence.

Star UK Acts Confirmed For Return Of Cheltenham Jazz Festival Live Concerts In July (Press release)

*The renowned jazz festival returns with a series of live in-person concerts featuring Nubya Garcia, Nitin Sawhney, Penguin Café, Emma-Jean Thackray, Poppy Ajudha, Matthew Halsall and more*

 

 

Following the success of their digital event at the beginning of May, Cheltenham Jazz Festival is set to make a much-welcome return to its Gloucestershire home in July with a series of ticketed in-person concerts at Cheltenham Town Hall (government guidance permitting). 

 

Monday, May 24, 2021

Album review: Jack Brandfield - I'll Never be the Same

Jack Brandfield (tenor sax); Randy Napoleon (guitar); Rodney Whitaker (bass).

This one has been hanging around my in-tray for a couple of months whilst I tried to decide which of my team of reviewers it would  appeal to. The fact that there were no banjos involved widened the scope. However, as there were no originals - only standards - and guitarist Napoleon didn't go down Metheny Road or sport an Afro hairstyle and set his guitar on fire the field narrowed dramatically until it came to me that the only person who could do it justice was, in fact, Nobody Else But Me which, by coincidence, just happened to be the name of the first tune!

Album review: Ari Erev - Close to Home.

Ari Erev (piano); Assaf Hakimi (bass); Gasper Bertonceli (drums); Gilad Dobrecky (perc.); Yuval Cohen (sax); Hadar Noiberg (flute)

With the help and support of fellow musicians, Erev has produced a beautiful album. Ari's compositional strengths and abilities seem to draw from an extensive knowledge of classical and jazz structures and forms; his playing showing an exquisite deft touch, bringing verve, vitality, sensitivity and sensibility to the music.

The album’s themes are concerned with personal feelings of love and affection for a place; be it shop, neighbourhood, community or country and people; be it family or friends. Memories and reflections are recalled with a great depth of feeling exemplified in the rich vibrancy of melody and harmony.

R.I.P. Roy Gibson

It is with sadness that I have to report of the passing of pianist Roy Gibson. 

One of the less flamboyant players, Roy, who was in his 80s, will be best remembered in jazz circles for his work with the Jazz Esquires at the Porthole in North Shields and later at the Jazz in the Afternoon sessions at the Crescent Club in Cullercoats, often as an accompanist to singer Theresa Armstrong.

In the picture, taken at the Crescent Club, Roy is pictured in between slide-rulers Brian Chester and Herbie Hudson.

A quiet unassuming musician he will be missed by all who knew him.
Lance

Dean Stockdale Trio live @ the Globe - May 23

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

The first live jazz gig at the Globe this year was a well-deserved sell out. However, it was noted that the online viewers were down so it could be a win some you lose some situation. Not your usual one hour livestream but 2 x 45 minute sets that maybe overran.

Not that I'm complaining although it did present me with a problem - a bus to catch, a cat to feed and a review to write. This meant I missed the last couple of numbers although, no doubt they will be made known to me by my worthy constituent Russell before the night is o'er. 

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Tessa Smith Band @ Seven Arts, Leeds - May 23

Tessa Smith (vocals); Anna Chandler (alto sax); Jason Scott (piano); Sam Jackson (bass); John Arneson (drums)

The livestreams and the live gigs seem to be working well together. Last night we had the 606 and Kansas Smitty's and, today, this afternoon, a JazzLeeds promo at Seven Arts kept the ball rolling, a ball that will continue to keep on rollin' tonight at the Globe in Newcastle, a place not too far removed from where today's star was born.

Adrian Cox's Sunday Service from Toulouse Lautrec - May 23

(Screenshot by Russell)
Adrian Cox (clarinet, vocals); Will Sach (double bass)

Another Sunday Service, the last one from London for a while as Adrian Cox is heading out once again to Bulgaria for another working holiday. Lucky for some! Our man fully intends to stream as usual from his Continental base. Today's session, the first of two this week from Toulouse Lautrec, south London, found clarinetist Cox in the company of London-based American bassist Will Sach. On with the show...Chlo-e (Song of the Swamp) and straight into Caravan with Cox and Sach in the groove from the off. 

Sam Young - Alfie’s Theme (Live)


International Jazz Day at the Globe (and throughout the world) is held annually on April 30. For Jazz Co-op the date is doubly significant as it was also the date when the first ever jazz cooperative was formed in the UK back in 2014.

Normally the occasion would be an all-day breakfast of jazz, jam and just about anyone who knew which end to blow through. However, this year, due to the pandemic, April arrived too soon and the spotlight was on a livestream from the Globe by Scottish band the  Matt Carmichael Quartet which was duly covered by BSH.

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Mornington Lockett Quartet with Henry Lowther livestreaming from the 606 - May 22

(Screenshot by Lance)
Mornington Lockett (tenor sax); Henry Lowther (trumpet/flugel); Mike Gorman (piano); Geoff Gascoyne (bass); Mark Fletcher (drums).

One of the good old good ones from the Joe Henderson pad, a number beloved of jammers and hard-boppers - Recorda Me got things moving. Lockett doesn't go along with the theory that less is more he's a firm adherent of the school that says more is more and, in his case it's true. He played it every which way including, most importantly, the right way. The crowd actually present showed their appreciation, after some encouragement, by applauding the solos. I'd begun to think they'd forgotten how to do so the doors having been closed for so long.

KSTV: The MJQ - May 22

(Screenshot by Ken Drew)
David Mrakpor (vibes); Giacomo Smith (clarinet); Noah Stoneman (piano); Daisy George (double bass); Will Cleasby (drums); Gabriella Swallow (cello)

Bach's Cello Suite No.3 played to a real, live audience! No, you're in the right placethis was cellist Gabi (Gabriella) Swallow introducing this evening's Kansas Smitty's MJQ session, moving from the baroque into John Lewis' Delauney's Dilemma. At its conclusion, raucous applause! Live music is back! 

Sunday night @ The Globe - Dean Stockdale Trio: preview

Sunday night's jazz gig will be really special.... not only will the music be exceptional, but there will be a live audience back at The Globe! There are still a few venue tickets left, but if you can't make it, get livestream tickets to watch the gig live or at any time after. Tickets.

Debra

Album Review: Dara Tucker – Dreams Of Waking, Music For A Better World

Dara Tucker (vocals); On  various  tracks: Cyrus Chestnut,  Sullivan  Fortner (piano); Dezron Douglas, Vicente Archer (bass); Johnathan Blake, Joe Dyson (drums); Giveton Gelin (trumpet); John Ellis (saxophone)

The worst thing about reviewing this album was finding biographical details – I had to resort to Wikipedia. The best thing was everything else, especially Ms Tucker's warm, expressive, voice, and her obvious genuine belief in what she was singing about.

Mary Lou Williams is Composer of the Week

Beginning Monday (May 24) Mary Lou Williams is Radio 3's Composer of the Week. Born in Atlanta in 1910, Williams taught herself to play piano. A professional musician in her mid-teens, arranging for Dorsey and Goodman and working with Andy Kirk, Williams would later be an inspiration to the bebop generation (Dizzy Gillespie attended her funeral). Monday to Friday at noon, presenter Donald Macleod sketches an extraordinary career with numerous recorded examples of her work, performed by Williams herself and a who's who of the jazz world. 
Russell

Ten albums by bass players. Part four.

8. Esperanza Spalding – Radio Music Society (2012)

By the time that this album, Spalding's fourth, came out she was really starting to make a name for herself. This one mixes several black music genres and she was probably reported to the Jazz Police on the back of it. In defence of the album you only have to look at the cast list which includes Jack DeJohnette, Joe Lovano, Terry Lynn Carrington, Gretchen Parlato, Leo Genovese and Lionel Loueke amongst others. Indeed I saw her sat on a stool (her not me, she’s quite short for an acoustic bass player) in a group with DeJohnette, Lovano and Genovese at one of the Sage Gateshead jazz festivals. Radio Music Society is music from that place where soul meets jazz, reminiscent of Stevie Wonder with Spalding’s vocals and popping bass.

Friday, May 21, 2021

Billie Holiday - P.S. I Love You (Verve Records 1954)


Denny Farrell played this on his Late Night Chicago Radio show. What a great lyric by Johnny Mercer. The grandmaster of lyric writing and, what a great rendition by Billie - the song and the voice will be in my head forever.
Lance.
PS: Thanks for the name check Denny.
Listen here for those cool Chicago sounds.

Lancaster Jazz events

(Press release)

First up: holding hands - a new octet with some fantastic improvisers who you'll remember from the Lancaster Jazz Festival.

When // Sat 29 May 2021 7:30pm
Where // More Music, Morecambe

Tickets // £10 

More Lancaster Jazz Festival favourites  Nishla Smith Quintet and John Pope Quintet - part of the Jazz North Back to Live project.

When // Sun 6 June 2021 

Where // More Music, Morecambe
Tickets // £5

Sarah Moule: Stormy Emotions. Album launch, June 30 at Pizza Express Jazz Club, Soho

(Press release) 

‘A near perfect vocal-jazz album’ ★★★★✰ John Eyles, AllAboutJazz 

‘I reviewed this back in February and it has been on my car stereo ever since and it has been a long  time since any CD has lasted that long – that’s how good it is! Words, music and voice are just so  compelling…This is an equilateral triangle that is perfectly balanced – words, music, voice.’ Lance  Liddle, Bebop Spoken Here  

‘Moule captures every nuance of the late great lyricist’s words…touchingly…candidly and  always unerringly…beautifully set by Simon Wallace’ ★★★★ Dave Gelly, The Observer  

‘A terrific central performance by Moule, who sings throughout with complete conviction and  technical command, not to mention freshness and insight’ ★★★★ Peter Quinn, Jazzwise  

‘A quietly authoritative jazz singer with no time for fake sentiment. Moule is the perfect  storyteller’ Clive Davis, The Sunday Times 

Ten albums by bass players - Part three

6. Dave Holland – Extensions (1990)

Having had the opportunity to listen to ‘Another Land’ Holland’s imminent release on Edition Records I dug this out as it also features Kevin Eubanks on guitar with the quartet being rounded out by Steve Coleman (alto sax) and Marvin ‘Smitty’ Smith (drums). Listening to it, it’s hard to believe that this was another short term project assembled for an album or tour as the band sounds as if they have spent years in each other’s company; the interplay between the sax and guitar is almost telepathic as they play with, between and around each other and when they drop back it’s apparent that Holland has been a rock solid foundation all along; Smith adds colour and fills and revels in the freedom he’s allowed. And that’s just the first track. Whilst the pace may vary across the rest of the album the quality never drops.

Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club - May 20

(Photo by Russell)
Herbie Hudson (trombone, harmonica, vocals); Ray Harley (trumpet); Jim McBriarty (alto sax, soprano sax, clarinet, vocals); Jimmy Cassidy (piano); John Hedley (bass); Ian Hetherington (drums)

Earlier in the day Jim McBriarty said: It's either feast or famine. A lunchtime gig with the Vieux Carré Jazzmen on North Tyneside, then, this evening, across the Tyne in a not-so-sunny Sunniside, a session with the Maine Street Jazzmen. In an all but gig-less year, McBriarty had the luxury of two sessions in a day. One question remained...would anyone turn up in not-so-sunny Sunniside? 

Thursday, May 20, 2021

And the next event is a tenor saxophone contest between ...

Bring back the jam sessions - I mean the real, no-holds-barred battle royals of yore. They're a part of jazz folklore. Hawkins blowing all night and early morning trying to cut the cats in Kansas City. Flip, Illinois and others making a name for themselves and some dough for Norman Granz on the JATP tours. Dexter and Wardell smashing the place up blowing The Chase

I remember the disappointment when I first heard JATP  at Newcastle City Hall back in May 1958. This was going to be something, I thought, and it was. How could it not be with Stan Getz, Sonny Stitt, Coleman Hawkins, Dizzy and Roy Eldridge on the bill?

Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone - May 20

(Photo by Russell)
Jim McBriarty (alto sax, soprano sax, clarinet, vocals); Lawrence McBriarty (trombone, vocals); Brian Bennett (banjo); Paul Grainger (double bass); Fred Thompson (drums) + John Broddle (vocals)

The Vieux Carré Jazzmen were first out of the traps with a socially-distanced indoor gig. The band's loyal followers - jabbed or not - turned out in good number. What's the odds of the first four numbers featuring four different vocalists? On this VCJ gig that's what we got. First up, guest John Broddle singing Honeysuckle Rose

Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music 2021

 


(
Press release)

Thursday 30th September - Sunday 3rd October
(Exhibition Preview and Warm Up: Saturday 25th September)

A multicultural mélange celebrating the rich tapestry of improvised music from the UK Jazz scene. 

In 1995 the original Newcastle Jazz Festival closed it’s doors, leaving a void in the city, until Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music was launched for the first edition in 2017.

Ten albums by bass players - Part two

3. Charles Mingus – The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady (1963)

One of the great Impulse modern jazz albums. If you don’t have this in your collection you should go and stand in the corner of the room until you feel better. Despite not containing any of Mingus’ best known tunes this is a tremendously strong suite of compositions that stands up against anything else recorded before or since, the opening track alone includes enough themes and variations to fill the career of a lesser composer. This album throws up the question whether Mingus is a greater composer than he is a bass player. Difficult to answer when, at times a huge, wide, interactive frenzy is built on the support provided by Mingus’ bass. He gives us soul, wailing plantation blues, weeping gospel, urban torch song, a folk waltz, frantic Mexicali strumming and Gershwinesque grandeur and it all hangs together. It would be a breath taking ballet.

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

It's Not All That Jazz

Back in my cycling days, jazz was never far from my mind. In my very early days as a teenager, on club runs, we used to sprint for signs. As we went hell for leather to be the first into Morpeth I'd be pedalling to the tune of High Society. I always came, at best, second, maybe future track champion Vince Burns was hearing Scrapple From the Apple.

The reason for this, seemingly unlikely post, springs from a Twitter (Tweet?) by Paul Edis promising to deliver an article on the relationship between music and exercise - in Paul's case jogging - as well as a book by someone else on the relationship between jazz and cricket.

Ten albums by bass players - Part one

1. Paul Chambers – Bass on Top (1957).  

This is a joyous, tight, swinging collection of covers (with a Chambers original added for the CD reissue). Chambers is ably supported by a crack quartet of Kenny Burrell (guitar), Hank Jones (piano) and Art Taylor (drums). By this point Chambers was a member of Miles Davis’ group and, along with Red Garland and Philly Joe Jones, he made up The Rhythm Section who ‘met' Art Pepper the same year that Bass on Top was recorded. Chambers bows his bass through two tracks, the stately Yesterdays and the more upbeat The Theme (the Miles Davis tune). Throughout the album the bass is mixed so high and so far forward sometimes feels that Chambers could be behind you. There is no doubt about whose album this is.

On choosing an instrument

On today's edition (May 19) of Radio 4's Life Changing series, presenter Jane Garvey asked Tony Kofi: Is there any instrument you would have rejected? Banjo? Pausing a moment, saxophonist Kofi replied: Er...banjo!  Russell.

Link

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Just thinkin' ...

This quote from KT Reeder is interesting, controversial and must surely provoke some further comment"The idea of teaching somebody to improvise is just bloody ridiculous. In this country jazz has been appropriated by universities. They have jazz courses, and they churn out people who have a degree in jazz, which makes me feel very nauseous, the idea that you can be trained to do jazz." - (Giant Steps by David Burke).

This is something I, as one who struggled through various  teach yourself jazz tutors as well as gleaning 'knowledge' from semi-pros, regarded this as the way to go. I mean, did Louis or Bird go to Berklee or Julliard? No, they went to the School of Hard Knocks before graduating to the University of Life.

EFG London Jazz Festival: We are back and live from 12 –21 November

(Press release)

Following an exceptional digital edition last year, the 29th EFG London Jazz Festival returns to live audiences with a programme of highest quality live performances by an electrifying line up of global stars, special collaborations, new commissions and the finest and freshest music from the UK.  

We are back with the complete experience of living London to the fullest, with a city-wide selection of venues, clubs, partnerships as well as creative engagement projects, talks and free-stages, whilst retaining our commitment to our nationwide and global outreach through our digital work.   

Book review: David Burke - Giant Steps Diverse Journeys in British Jazz

David Burke has been writing about music since the mid-eighties. A contributor to Classic Pop and Vintage Rock magazines and the All About Jazz website, Burke is the author of books on subjects as diverse as Van Morrison, Bruce Springsteen and folk artists Maddy Prior, June Tabor and Linda Thompson. Giant Steps is a collection of portraits-cum-interviews with established and emerging British jazz musicians. The common denominator in Burke's book is the experience of 'Black British' artists, their heritage, experiences and the challenge of making a name for themselves in post-colonial Britain.

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