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Bebop Spoken There

Tineke Postma: “ I had a huge crush on him [Sting] when I was a teenager ". Jazzwise, June 2024.

The Things They Say!

Hudson Music: Lance's "Bebop Spoken Here" is one of the heaviest and most influential jazz blogs in the UK.

Rupert Burley (Dynamic Agency): "BSH just goes from strength to strength".

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

The Strictly Smokin' Big Band included Be Bop Spoken Here (sic) in their 5 Favourite Jazz Blogs.

Ann Braithwaite (Braithwaite & Katz Communications) You’re the BEST!

Holly Cooper, Mouthpiece Music: "Lance writes pull quotes like no one else!"

Simon Spillett: A lovely review from the dean of jazz bloggers, Lance Liddle...

Josh Weir: I love the writing on bebop spoken here... I think the work you are doing is amazing.


16476 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 356 of them this year alone and, so far, 68 this month (May 24).

From This Moment On ...


Sun 26: Tyne Valley Youth Big Band @ The Sele, Hexham. 12:30pm. Free. A Northumberland Jazz Festival event.
Sun 26: Bellavana @ Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay. 1:00pm. Whitley Bay Carnival (outdoor stage).
Sun 26: Musicians Unlimited @ Jackson’s Wharf, Hartlepool. 1:00pm. Free.
Sun 26: Alice Grace @ The Sele, Hexham. 1:30pm. Free. Alice Grace w. Joe Steels, Paul Susans & John Hirst.
Sun 26: Bryony Jarman-Pinto @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. 3:00pm. A Northumberland Jazz Festival event.
Sun 26: Ruth Lambert Trio @ The Juke Shed, North Shields. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 26: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 26: Clark Tracey Quintet @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. 6:00pm. A Northumberland Jazz Festival event.
Sun 26: Saltburn Big Band @ Saltburn Community Hall. 7:30pm.
Sun 26: Ruth Lambert Quartet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 26: SARÃB @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.

Mon 27: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.

Tue 28: Bold Big Band @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Wed 29: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 29: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 29: Jazz Night @ The Tannery, Hexham. 7:00-9:00pm. Free. The first night of a new jam session!
Wed 29: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

Thu 30: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 30: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Ragtime piano. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 30: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests Josh Bentham (sax); Neil Brodie (trumpet); Garry Hadfield (keys); Adrian Beadnell (bass);

Fri 31: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 31: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 31: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 31: Castillo Nuevo Trio @ Revoluçion de Cuba, Newcastle. 5:30pm. Free.
Fri 31: Borealis @ The Witham, Barnard Castle. 7:30pm. CANCELLED!
Fri 31: Redwell @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.


Sat 01: Enrico Tomasso’s Swing Company @ St Augustine's Parish Centre, Darlington. 12:30pm. Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club.
Sat 01: Play More Jazz! workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. Tutor: Steve Glendinning.
Sat 01: Hop, Skiffle & Jump: The Story of Skiffle @ 1719, Hendon, Sunderland. 6:00-9:00pm.
Sat 01: Lindsay Hannon’s Tom Waits for No Man @ Dry Water Arts, Amble. 7:00pm. £15.00.
Sat 01: John Garner & John Pope @ Victoria Tunnel, Ouseburn, Newcastle. 7:00pm.
Sat 01: Milne-Glendinning Band @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Sunday, October 31, 2021

Album review: Nick Hempton - Slick

Nick Hempton (tenor sax); Peter Bernstein (guitar); Kyle Koehler (Hammond B3); Fukushi Tainaka (drums)

Nick Hempton will be a familiar name to regular readers of BSH (reviews, both CD and live stream). An Aussie based in NYC, Hempton blows old school swinging tenor sax, occasional alto sax, and he does so in the company of  A-listers. On this new Tripled Distilled Records' release, Hempton is heard working with what can be considered his established quartet. Ten tracks, half of them written by the bandleader, were recorded direct to tape at GB's Juke Joint in January last year, a matter of weeks before the world closed down for what we now know would be a prolonged period. 

Album review: Greg Abate Quartet - Time for Dave: A tribute to Dave Brubeck.

On Thursday Oct.28 I was hoping to attend Greg Abate’s first gig of his extensive UK tour at the Davenham Theatre, Cheshire and was looking forward to doing a review of the concert for Bebop Spoken Here. However, due to circumstances beyond my control, mainly terrible monsoon-like weather and dangerous road conditions I had to reluctantly abort my journey.

Fortunately Greg and the members of his backing trio made it to the theatre and the show went ahead as planned. See photo sent to me by Greg.

Album review: Jon Gordon - Stranger Than Fiction

Jon Gordon (alto sax); Derrick Garner (trumpet); Alan Ferber (trombone); Reginald Lewis or Tristan Martinuson (tenor sax); John Ellis or Anna Blackmore (bass clarinet); Jocelyn Gould (guitar, voice); Larry Roy (guitar); Orrin Evans or Will Bonness (piano); Julian Bradford (bass); Fabio Ragnelli (drums).

A nonet album drawn from the collective personnel listed above featuring, in the main, the leader both as composer, arranger and stunning soloist although the others also have outstanding moments.

Adrian Cox's Sunday Service: Ken Colyer's Club Session - Oct. 31

Adrian Cox (clarinet, vocals)

Ken Colyer today, featuring some of the tunes on the cornetist's 1956 Club Session recording. Preacher Adrian Cox thought it apt that he was in Lowestoft not that far from Colyer's birth place, Great Yarmouth. Our host wove a potted history of his subject's life and career at the forefront of the British revivalist movement between playing numbers from Club Session

Tees Hot Club session cancelled

(Photo by Russell)
The Tees Hot Club session scheduled for Thursday Nov. 4 at Dormans Club, Stockton Rd., Middlesbrough has been cancelled.

However, the session by Musicians Unlimited on Nov. 5 (see right hand column) will go ahead as planned.

The Hot Club will return on Nov. 11 featuring guest band "58 Jazz Collective" with the following line-up: Kevin Eland (trumpet/flugel); Donna Hewett (sax/flute); Dave Archbold (keys); Ron Smith (bass); Django (trombone/vocals); Mark Hawkins (drums) and special guest vocalist Kate Bulman. Playing mainly west coast Jazz.

 Dormans Club Oxford Rd Middlesbrough start 9pm free entry. Ron Hampton

Preview: ARQ - Alison Rayner Quintet @ the Globe. Oct. 31

(Photo © Ken Drew)
The last time ARQ visited the Globe they were on a high - the quintet having picked up a coveted APPJAG award as Jazz Ensemble of the Year (2018). That it was a well deserved honour was proven by the stunning performance they gave on their visit to Railway St.

Earlier this year they were equally impressive when they played a session livestreamed from Kings Hall so the portents are good for this evening's concert which is a co-promotion between the Jazz Co-op and Jazz North East. Lance

More details/tickets.

Aycliffe Radio Jazz Time: Playlist - Oct. 31

Sundays 6:30pm - 8:00pm

Request: Erroll Garner. 

Black History Month: Ma Rainey; Louis Armstrong - Berlin Concert 1965.

New Releases: Marla-lewis; Paul Edis.

What's On: Yussef Dayes ft. Rocco Palladino & Charlie Stacey; Ben Crosland Quartet; Smokin' Spitfires.

Preview: BBC Big Band in concert on the Beeb

Like most bands, the BBC Big Band has been off the road for a while. So, the next best thing is to listen to the band on the radio. This evening at seven o'clock on BBC Radio 2's Sunday Night is Music Night there is  a repeat broadcast of the BBC Big Band's Big Band Special performance at Birmingham Town Hall way back in 2011. The featured artist was Patti Austin singing songs from her Avant Gershwin album featuring, of course, numbers written by George and Ira. The show is presented by Claire Martin Russell 

Saturday, October 30, 2021

Billie Holiday - You're a Lucky Guy (Vocalion Records 1939)

I first heard this Saul Chaplin/Sammy Cahn song about 70 years after it was first recorded. Where had I been all these years?

The Damascus moment came via Roly Veitch at the Side Café - remember those wonderful Monday evening sessions?

Since then, apart from Billie's (and Roly's) versions I've heard it by Louis, Daryl Sherman, Rebecca Kilgore, Artie Shaw and Dave Frishberg as well as instrumental versions by Ruby Braff and Clifford Brown.

I suspect there maybe be something in the lyric that I'm missing - not sure - but it is a great song that seems to have bypassed a lot of the current crop of both singers and instrumentalists. Still, thanks to Roly, I feel I'm the lucky guy - Lance

PS: Olive Rudd could do a job on it - are you listening Olive?

Turning back the clock ...

Tonight, or to be more precise, in the wee small hours of tomorrow morning we turn back the clocks. With that somewhat debatable exercise in mind, I decided to look back at some of the BSH posts from previous daylight saving time moments. There were quite a few memories, yes,  quite a few memories - Lance 

Jazz on the Beeb, today (Saturday 30)

The BBC's radio and television schedules for today (Saturday) offer something for all tastes. At five o'clock on Radio 3, J to Z includes an interview with John McLaughlin and, in the wake of his London Jazz Festival cancellation, a set by pianist Joey Alexander. Over on Radio 4, Julia Biel (pictured) is one of Clive Anderson's guests on Loose Ends (6:15pm). At midnight, Corey Mwamba's Freeness (Radio 3) includes a contribution from Amina Claudine Myers. Meanwhile, on the box, Later...with Jools Holland (BBC 2, 9:55pm) features the award-winning saxophonist Nubya Garcia and local-lad-made-good, Gordon Sumner, aka Sting. Russell

Friday, October 29, 2021

James Birkett & Bradley Johnston @ Gala Theatre, Durham - Oct. 29

James Birkett (guitar); Bradley Johnston (guitar)

Thank you for coming down to the Blue Note this evening. Wasn't that just awesome?! Once again, a big hand for James Birkett and Bradley Johnston! Awesome guys, awesome! If, one day, James Birkett and Bradley Johnston appear at the Blue Note in New York - and why not? - they're sure to go down a storm. As guitarists go, they're a match for anyone and everyone. Easy going, engaging, immaculate musicianship, their set never fails to delight. 

Preview: Nishla Smith Quintet @ Bobik's - Nov. 5

(Pic © Ken Drew)
Nishla Smith, who, back when she was involved with Sage Gateshead's educational programme, first impressed me when she sat in at one of the local jam sessions and proceeded to knock everyone out with her sensitive interpretation of Don't Explain

Since then, Nishla's made several return trips to the region. The last one was as recently as July this year when she shared billing with the Tenement Jazz Band at The Globe and, suffice to say, she once again knocked everyone out.

Her band at Bobik's (7:30pm start) will comprise the same musicians as on her previous north east visit - Nishla Smith (vocals); Aaron Wood (trumpet); Richard Jones (piano);  Joshua Cavanagh-Brierley (bass); Johnny Hunter (drums). Lance

RIP Ginny Mancini

Ginny Mancini (nee O' Connor), widow of composer, pianist, arranger Henry Mancini died on October 25 aged 97. The couple met when Ginny (bottom left of picture) was singing and Henry (Hank) playing piano with the Tex Beneke Band in 1946. They remained married until her husband's death in 1994.

Her own career began as a member of the Mel-Tones vocal group led by Mel Tormé and part of the Artie Shaw Band.

Many regard the Mel-Tones as the best ever vocal group and, after listening to their version of What is This Thing Called Love?, it is hard to disagree.

Ginny later went on to become a backing singer in many films and tv shows. 


 ObituaryJazzWax interview.

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Jazz FM Awards 2021 (Livestream) - Oct. 28

This year's Jazz FM Awards took place at Under the Bridge in Chelsea and, for those of us unable to get it was live-streamed.

The winners are highlighted in bold:

JAZZ FM AWARDS 2021 with PPL and PRS for Music: NOMINEES

The UK’s only jazz industry conference confirms heavyweight list of expert speakers for November event in London

(Press release)

‘A New Perspective’ is set to take place online and in-person at the SouCelebrated musician and educator Orphy Robinson MBE, award-winning journalist Kevin Le Gendre, music industry changemaker Paulette Long OBE and Europe Jazz Network president Wim Wabbes to appear at the 2021 JPN Conferencethbank Centre in London

The Jazz Promotion Network (JPN), the only UK and Ireland-wide network of jazz industry professionals has confirmed that the former Blue Note artist and award-winning educator Orphy Robinson MBE, journalist and author Kevin Le Gendre and Europe Jazz Network president Wim Wabbes will appear at its annual conference this November. 

Jazz FM Awards 2021 with PPL and PRS for Music - Livestream

Tonight @ 7:30pm.

See also interview with Nubya Garcia in today's i newspaper.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Album review: Mark Lewandowski - Under One Sky

Mark Lewandowski (bass); Addison Frei (piano); Kush Abadey (drums).

The last album I heard by Lewandowski was a tribute to Fats Waller. By contrast, the bassist's latest release comprises eleven of his own compositions which, although not related to times gone by, contains enough melodic content to suggest that had Fats been of a later generation his compositional skills may well have been not too far removed from Lewandowski's.

Paul Hartley Quartet featuring John Hulme @ The Railway, Stockport - Oct. 24

John Hulme (trumpet/flugel); Paul Hartley (guitar); Pete Hartley (bass guitar); Eryl Roberts (drums).

John Hulme, a very fine musician who, in pre-lockdown times, was often seen in the brass section of many of the big bands operating in the Greater Manchester/Lancs area also likes playing in smaller units and I remember him leading a quintet paying tribute to Tom Harrell - a gig that I enjoyed immensely. 

EFG Concert Cancellation

Due to visa problems, the Joey Alexander concert scheduled for Nov. 17 at Cadogan Hall as part of the EFG London Jazz Festival will not now take place - Lance

Complete programme.

Black Swan Jam Session - Oct. 26

Stuart Collingwood (piano); Paul Grainger (bass); Rob Walker (drums) + Martin Waugh (piano); Michael Mather (drums); Jan Spencelayh, Kit Giroux (vocals); Steve Summers, Ian White, Paul Gowland, Nick Gould (tenor saxes); Andy Lawrenson (violin); David Gray (trombone); Charles & Laurence Harrison, David Midas & Jimmy ? (guitars). There was also Chris and Will and somebody else on drums and maybe a hundred others that I've forgotten to mention.

Suffice to say that the fortnightly jam is back and with a bang!

This jam didn't carry no passengers so I'm not going to signal out any individual performance. Each and everyone, apart from the noisy gossipers behind me, will have their own choices as to who hit the spot. 

It was the best of times - it was the worst of times - but, that latter remark only applies to the Tyne & Wear Metro. Still - that's life! Lance.

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

The Jam is back @ Newcastle Arts Centre.

No, Paul Weller isn't likely to turn up at the Jazz Café, situated in the depths of Newcastle Arts Centre (69 Westgate Rd. NE1 1SG), although you never know - that's the beauty of jam sessions there's always a moment of surprise - sometimes pleasant, sometimes not although, in fairness, you have to admire anyone who jumps in at the deep end and doesn't drown.

Monday, October 25, 2021

Bim Williams Trio @ The Railway, Stockport - Oct. 24

Bim Williams (guitar); Asaph Tal  (bass); George Grundy (drums). 

Bim Williams, a Manchester-based guitarist, plays in a post Wes Montgomery style. He has an incisive edge to his sound and, if I played guitar, I would seek this guy out for advice or lessons as his facility on his instrument is amazing. 

I loved his choice of tunes tonight, especially La Rosita, a tune composed by Paul Dupont and Alan Stuart. Coincidently, on Sunday afternoon I was listening via Spotify to Coleman Hawkins and Ben Webster playing their version of this Latin-flavoured number taken from the Verve LP Blue Saxophones.

Halloween Hit Parade

(Image by the late Bill Shaw)
C'mon you DJs - let's have a wake.

The Ghoul From Ipanema; I Want a Little Ghoul; Ghoul of my Dreams; These Ghoulish Things; I Dismember You; Have You Met Miss Bones?; Voodoo Something to me; A Broom With a View; Halloween Can Really Hang You up the Most; Bats -a - Plenty.

Ann Alex came up with: If I were in Hell, Take The Ghost Train, I'll Take Séance, Don't Haunt Around Much Anymore, Dingy (Dindi).

And here's a further five:

Send me your suggestions via

Gordon Solomon has suggested: 
Up jumped the Devil (Ken Colyer).

Kurt Elling reunites with the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra for Apparition Bridge

(© Derek Clark Photography)
(Press release)

Concerts in Edinburgh, Perth, Glasgow and Aberdeen

One of the world’s leading jazz singers, Kurt Elling joins internationally acclaimed saxophonist Tommy Smith and the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra (SNJO) for a four-date tour of Scotland from Thursday 18 to Sunday 21 November.

Chicago-born Elling, who has won two Grammy awards and been nominated a further fifteen times, has been described by the New York Times as “the stand-out male singer of our time.” He has also topped the prestigious Downbeat magazine critics and readers polls for fourteen consecutive years.

Sunday Night @ the Globe: The Milne Glendinning Band - Oct. 24

Sunday night is jazz night at the Globe and this week it was the Milne Glendinning Band featuring Jazz Co-op guitar tutor Steve Glendinning and singer, songwriter, lyricist, gig organiser and occasional bar person Debra Milne along with Mike Clark on bass guitar. 

Apart from her own originals, Debra added lyrics to a couple of compositions by Alan Glen as well as collaborations with Bradley Johnston.

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Musicians Unlimited @ Steelies, Hartlepool - Oct. 24

Steelies, aka South Durham Social Club, is onto a winner. Sunday lunchtime, concert room, full house, bar sales, and it's all down to Teesside's big band Musicians Unlimited taking up residency once a week on Westbourne Road. Mick Donnelly's outfit goes about it's business without fuss, smiles radiating across the sections. Today's session would feature vocalists Jan Spencelayh and Paul Skerritt with Bill Watson contributing several fine trumpet/flugelhorn solos. 

Album review: Shane Allessio - Everything and Nothing

Shane Allessio (bass); Bill Jones (tenor sax); Christopher M. Jones (guitar); Thomas Arey (drums)

New Yorker Allessio is one of the newer breed of bassists with a penchant for arco playing, particularly when soloing prompting the question as to why don't more bassists use the bow when in the spotlight? In the hands of a skilled performer, arco playing offers more harmonic and tonal variation than the single note pizzicato mode favoured by most.

Allessio is certainly a skilled performer in both styles achieving an almost cello like sonority at times - in contrast to his fleet-fingered dexterity when discarding the bow.

Tonight @ the Globe - The Milne Glendinning Band (8:00pm)

(Press release)

Jazz vocalist Debra Milne and guitar maestro Steve Glendinning are long established in the North East jazz scene. However their most recent project, the Milne Glendinning Band, is something special. Inspired by the breadth of the 20th century jazz canon, as well as by great popular song-writers, this is original contemporary music with smart lyrics & jazz infused melodic grooves. Prior to the pandemic induced lockdown, they were starting to make an impression in the North East music scene, with tracks from their EP featured on BBC Introducing North East. This long awaited gig marks their return.

Aycliffe Radio playlist

Sundays 6:30pm-8:00pm (Repeat Tuesdays 8:00pm -9:30pm)


Request: Gene Ammons & Sonny Stitt.

Black History Month : Duke Ellington & Johnny Hodges; Nina Simone; Cleo Laine and John Dankworth.

Tony Eales Picks: Gil Evans; Gerry Mulligan; The Danish Radio Big Band; Bob Mintzer Big Band; James Morrison.

What's on in the NE: ARQ (Alison Rayner Quintet); James Birkett and Bradley Johnston.

New Releases: Paul Edis (and playing in the NE); Kathy Lyon.

Nat King Cole; Ray Charles.

Listen on: Aycliffe Radio (At advertised times).

Saturday, October 23, 2021

NUJO jam session @ Bar Loco - Oct. 21

In the shadow of the old East Stand at St James' Park (it's probably got a sponsor's name emblazoned on it, but who cares?) is Bar Loco. It's a discreet cafe bar hosting all manner of events. This evening the venue's regular folk night occupied the ground floor space, upstairs it was the return of the NUJO (Newcastle University Jazz Orchestra) jam session. Organised by students, for students, NUJO welcomes anyone and everyone, not just students, who fancies sitting-in. 

Michael Feinstein @ Sage Gateshead - Oct. 22

Michael Feinstein (vocals, piano); Kennedy Aitchison (piano); Don Richardson (bass); James Powell (drums).

What a day this has been, what a rare mood I'm in - so sang Michael Feinstein at Sage Gateshead in what must rank as possibly the most enjoyable vocal concert I've been to since I saw Ella back in 1956.

It had been quite a day for me also as my previous two posts will attest to. 

Feinstein is one of those performers who grab you from the first note and never let go. The voice control, the swing, the piano playing and, not least, the anecdotes relating to the songs and their composers.

Newcastle Big Band Reunion @ The Collingwood, Jesmond - Oct. 22

Way back when most of us had too much hair a big band was formed at Newcastle University - a tradition that has carried on to this very day. Founder members of that original band included Andy Hudson and Laurie Rangecroft. Laurie provided a unique link between the Newcastle Big Band and, until recently, the current keeper of the flame - the Strictly Smokin' Big Band.

Just about everyone, myself included, who had a degree of competency passed through the Newcastle Big Band. The Sunday lunchtime sessions that were held in what was then The University Theatre, have become a part of Newcastle's jazz folklore.

Friday, October 22, 2021

The Mick Shoulder Quartet featuring Alex Clarke @ The Lit & Phil - Oct. 22

Alex Clarke (alto/tenor sax); Dean Stockdale (piano); Mick Shoulder (bass); John Bradford (drums)

Wearing an outfit that Amanda Staveley would have been proud of Ms Clarke was on the money from the get go. However, unlike Mandy, Alex had a strong team to help her deliver the goods and deliver them they did.

Alternating between tenor and alto, the BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year 2020 nominee took us through a choice selection of standards ably supported by three north east stalwarts. Stockdale, Shoulder and Bradford, stars in their own right, ensured the show ran smoothly.

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Ten of the best from the pre-rock era - 1: Humphrey Lyttleton

Russell's post on what must surely have been a fantastic session at the 100 Club brought back a few memories of those days when I'd be hanging out at the 100 or, round the corner at, was it the Blue Posts? It was a long time ago and, as, back then, none of the London jazz clubs sold liquor, it meant that, come interval time it was forget your soft drink and hope to arrive at the pub before the band did. It was on just such an occasion that I copped for Buck Clayton's autograph! - I still have it somewhere among my souvenirs.

The Simon Spillett Big Band plays the music of Tubby Hayes @ The 100 Club, London - Oct 20

An orderly queue formed outside the 100 Club. Some had travelled a distance, Scottish accents were detected, Geordie too. Descending a flight of stairs leading to the legendary basement venue, the gentle hubbub of conversation, accompanied by Snowboy's DJ set, heightened what was already an eagerly awaited occasion, the sense of anticipation was palpable. We were on Oxford Street to listen to the big band charts of one of the great figures in British modern jazz. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

EFG Preview.

The EFG London Jazz Festival approaches and, all indications are that it is going to be, thanks to Serious, bigger and better than ever. Because of logistical problems (cash flow!) BSH won't be around to cover all events but, hopefully, our friends in the south will help out.

This preview on F/b gives an indication of the enormity of the event and you may also recognise a face or two from down the road apiece - Lance

Book: Michael Connelly - Void Moon.

Although not part of the Harry Bosch series of novels, Void Moon still has a jazz feel to it. It's a casino heist caper set in Las Vegas that certainly has the edge on the various reincarnations of Ocean's Eleven although, given the setting, Sinatra is often mentioned and the only jazz reference is somebody wearing a hat and trying to look like Art Pepper. When a guy was being shot and buried in the desert, I did think about Wardell Gray.

But Connelly's jazz isn't in the name-dropping, it's in the writing. You sense it in the dialogue, the structured plotting - as complex as a Gil Evans orchestration - the characters as individual as the various Ellington soloists.

Ronnie Bottomley Trio @ The Railway, Stockport - Oct. 19

 Ronnie Bottomley (drums); Jason Scott (piano); Adrian Knowles (bass).

Based in Wakefield, Ronnie Bottomley has been involved in the music business for over sixty years working in the UK and abroad as a drummer or MD for countless artists in theatres, night clubs and jazz venues. He is also well known for leading an excellent eighteen piece big band which contains some of the Norths’ finest musicians.

Preview: The Mick Shoulder Quartet feat. Alex Clarke @ The Lit & Phil (Oct. 22)

Friday's lunchtime concert at the Lit & Phil is all but sold out. The Mick Shoulder Quartet, featuring Alex Clarke (reeds), will be in action from one o'clock 'til 2:00pm. Mick (bass), Dean Stockdale (piano), John Bradford (drums) and the brilliant Alex Clarke! Book now or risk being turned away. Call 0191 232 0192Russell 

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Emma Johnson’s Gravy Boat seek your Newcastle recommendations ahead of tour.

(Press release)

Peter Whittingham Award winners Emma Johnson’s Gravy Boat are setting sail this Autumn on their first national tour, performing music from their debut album Worry Not which was released to great acclaim in July of this year.

Supported by funding from Arts Councils England, the tour will see the cinematic jazz quintet return to cities including Newcastle and Wakefield, and branch out to London, Birmingham, Sheffield and more, to perform their blend of melodic, accessible jazz influenced by film scores, hard bop and contemporary European jazz.

Album review: John Coltrane – A Love Supreme: Live in Seattle

John Coltrane; (tenor sax, percussion); McCoy Tyner (piano); Jimmy Garrison (bass); Elvin Jones (drums); Pharoah Sanders (tenor sax, percussion); Carlos Ward (alto sax); Donald Rafael Garrett (bass).

I was driving back from the Nikki Iles gig at the Sage, listening to the recently released Charles Mingus live album when one of the saxophonists quoted the 4 note riff from A Love Supreme in his solo. When the disc finished I flicked to Jazz FM and the second or third track they played was Will Downing’s vocal version of the same tune. ‘Blimey,’ I thought, ’A Love Supreme is all around us.’

Zoë Gilby Quartet @ Blaydon Jazz Club - Oct. 18

(Photo © R. Veitch)
Zoë Gilby (vocals); Mark Williams (guitar); Andy Champion (double bass); Richard Brown (drums)

It was probably December 2019 when Blaydon Jazz Club last met at the Black Bull. December 2019...was it really that long ago? Fast forward to mid-October 2021, a Monday night, and here we were once again in the Black Bull. Familiar faces occupied their seats of choice, some things never change. On stage at eight o'clock, the fabulous Zoë Gilby! 

Monday, October 18, 2021

Album review: Monocled Man - Ex Voto

Rory Simmons (trumpet, keys, producer); Chris Montague (guitar); Jon Scott (drums) 

Eddie Condon called his wonderful autobiography We Called it Music. In a later book: Eddie Condon's Treasury of Jazz he titled a chapter on the more modern styles of his day as They Called it Music.

This album definitely falls into the latter category! 

Robin Sunflower @ The Railway, Stockport - Oct. 17

Robin Sunflower (harmonica); Adrian Ingram, Aiden Mintz (guitars); Nick ? (bass guitar)

Robin Sunflower started playing Harmonica during the 80’s with the legendary bluesman Victor Brox and his Blues Train, later forming his own groups one of which was the Woodbank Street Band which appeared at the Edinburgh Festival six years running, four years at Marlborough Jazz Festival and other festivals in Ireland and France.. He also does gigs with the Jamaican-influenced band Baked A La Ska, a unit that contains many of Manchester's top musicians.

Vula Viel @ The Globe – Oct. 17

Bex Burch (gyil); Ruth Goller (bass); Jim Hart (drums)

Touring the UK and then onwards to dates in Denmark, Vula Viel’s German-registered tour van had arrived at their northernmost destination, the Globe. The arriving full house, though, was caught up in the deflated efflux from Newcastle United’s eventful but unsuccessful first renaissance attempt, up the road at the soon to be re-branded St James' Park.   As well as their continental connections, with Jim Hart based in France, and Ruth Goller hailing from the Süd Tirol, the band’s name (meaning “Good is Good”) and musical DNA are from even further afield than NUFC’s controversial sponsor, namely Ghana.

Tonite! Zoë Gilby is coming to Blaydon!

This evening (Monday) award-winning vocalist Zoë Gilby will be at the Black Bull on Bridge Street in Blaydon. Zoë, along with Mark Williams, guitar, Andy Champion, bass, and drummer Richard Brown, will be helping to celebrate Blaydon Jazz Club's emergence from the long, dark days of the pandemic. It's an eight o'clock start, £7 at the door (actually, see Blaydon Jazz Club supremo Roly Veitch at the bar!). There has been jazz in Blaydon for nigh on forty years, do try to get along (buses and trains run up and down the Tyne Valley and on into Newcastle). The plan is to be done and dusted by ten o'clock or shortly after. Support your local jazz club! Russell

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Jumpin Jive - Cab Calloway and the Nicholas Brothers

A clip from the 1930's film Stormy Weather featuring the Nicholas Brothers dancing with the Cab Calloway Orchestra - sure got the edge on Strictly!

More vintage 1930's jazz here. Lance

Sunday Service: Adrian Cox & Nils Solberg with Kate Daniels - Oct. 17

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

Another in Adrian Cox's ongoing series of Sunday live streams. This afternoon our man was joined by Nils Solberg and Kate Daniels. The early part of today's sermon fell victim to the frailties of the internet - frozen screen etc. After a while things settle down - for a while! - enabling our clarinetist's large online following to enjoy an hour or so of top class jazz. Cox and Solberg shared vocal duties. Mid point in the set vocalist Kate Daniels joined the boys to sing a couple of numbers. Ms Daniels sat between the two principals to sing What a Little Moonlight Can Do and They Can't Take That Away from Me. What we heard sounded just fine, although Daniels would have been heard to better effect on a mic. 

Jo Harrop's the tops...again!

Hurry, dash out to the newsagent! The Observer (Sunday 17 Oct.) is essential reading. In today's edition jazz writer Dave Gelly gives the thumbs up to Jo Harrop's new album The Heart Wants. Mr Gelly concludes his review thus: Sheer perfectionRussell  

Triptych @ Sage Gateshead - Oct. 16

(Photo by Russell)
Paul Edis (piano, keyboards, clarinet, flute); Paul Susans (double bass, bass guitar); Rob Walker (drums, percussion, keyboards); Lisa Delarny (live visuals)

Some ticket holders in Sage Two booked for this Triptych concert more than eighteen months ago. It is said patience is a virtue. Post-lockdown the two Pauls - Edis and Susans - took to the stage with Rob Walker to play three long form compositions without a break over the course of ninety minutes. Visual artist Lisa Delarny worked unobtrusively from the back of the hall to create real-time artworks projected onto a screen high above the on-stage musicians. 

RIP Willie Garnett

The death has been announced of saxophonist and big band leader Willie Garnett. Father of Alex Garnett - himself a top saxophonist who did duo gigs with his dad - Willie was a legend of the London jazz scene running his own big band and as part of Rocket 88 which featured Charlie Watts. He is best remembered by myself as part of the Charlie Watts Big Band that practically blew the roof off Fulham Town Hall. The ten saxes that that swung Flying Home like it had never been swung before or indeed since had Willie as one of the three altos - Pete King and Ray Warleigh were the other two - fast company!

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Michael Connelly - The Concrete Blonde (book)

The Concrete Blonde is the third in Michael Connelly's series involving Los Angeles cop Harry Bosch. This one came out in 1994 and is, in the main a courtroom drama where Bosch is accused of shooting an unnamed man suspected of being The Dollmaker - a serial killer who tarts up the corpses of his female victims with lipstick, mascara etc.

It's a compelling read with all sorts of twists and turns before truth will out.

Friday, October 15, 2021

Tony Bennett, Lady Gaga - Love For Sale (Official Music Video)

Lady G and Tony B? don't mock - this is the real deal. Their previous collaboration - Cheek to Cheek - pointed the way and this is the fruition. I look forward to hearing the complete album. A jazz great and, Tony isn't bad either! - Lance

Preview: Sunday @ The Globe

(Press release)

Jazz North East are bringing Vula Viel to The Globe on Sunday! Vula Viel are a jazz group from London, playing music based on the sound of the gyil, a wooden xylophone from West Africa, fused with elements of electronica and minimal music.

Tickets are available on our (Globe) website - link.

Excuse me...are you a musician?

Strolling along Euston Road the other day, a voice from behind said: Are you a musician? Looking over my shoulder, a woman wearing a face mask was walking briskly by. No, I replied. Why do you ask? Pointing at my t-shirt she said: Oh, I thought you might be a musician. Ah, my Danish Radio Big Band t-shirt, picked up many moons ago at the band's concert at Whitley Bay Playhouse. On that memorable occasion the band's special guest was none other than valve trombonist Bob Brookmeyer!

The woman behind the mask? Jacqui Dankworth! We stood and chatted for a couple of minutes recalling Jacqui's concert appearances 'up north' at Durham's Gala Theatre and Sage Gateshead, my memories of Wavendon. And off Jacqui went, an early morning rehearsal ahead of her.  Russell

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