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Bebop Spoken There

Willie Jones lll: "I often wondered what it would be like to play with Clifford Brown or Lee Morgan. For me, Roy Hargrove was the closest thing to that." - (JazzTimes, November 2021)

The Things They Say!

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

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

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

The Strictly Smokin' Big Band included Be Bop Spoken Here (sic) in their 5 Favourite Jazz Blogs.
Ann Braithwaite (Braithwaite & Katz Communications) You’re the BEST! --

Postage

13683 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 1402 of them this year alone and, so far, 18 this month (Dec.5).

From This Moment On ...

December

Wed 08: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 08: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 8:00pm. Concert performance. Free admission.
Wed 08: Four @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00-9:30pm. In the bar.
Wed 08: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Wed 08: Durham Uni Big Band + Durham Uni Jazz Soc Big Band @ Durham University Students' Union. 8:00pm.

Thu 09: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon. £22.00. Xmas lunch. Tel: 0191 691 7090.
Thu 09: Hot Club du Nord, Lubetkin Theatre, East Durham College, Peterlee. 7:00pm (doors). £10.00. + bf.
Thu 09: TBC + Knats @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 7:00pm. £7.00. (£10.00. inc food).
Thu 09: Indigo Jazz Voices @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Thu 09: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead. 8:30pm.
Thu 09: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman's Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 10: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon. £22.00. Xmas lunch. Tel: 0191 691 7090.
Fri 10: Zoë Gilby Trio @ Bishop Auckland Town Hall. 1:00pm.
Fri 10: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 10: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm.
Fri 10: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 10: Secret Night Gang @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Fri 10: Jack Logan (replacement for Alter Ego) @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Sat 11: Paul Skerritt @ Newcastle Central Station. 11:00am. On the concourse.
Sat 11: Life Drawing & Live Jazz @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 2:00-4:00pm. Lindsay Hannon & Martin Douglas. Book via: www.cobaltstudios.co.uk.
Sat 11: Boys of Brass @ Branding Villa, South Gosforth, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Sun 12 Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 12: Musicians Unlimited @ South Durham Social Club, Hartlepool. 1:00pm.
Sun 12: Hot Club du Nord @ Hurworth Grange. 2:30pm. Festive Special! SOLD OUT!
Sun 12: Glenn Miller Orchestra UK @ Stockton Globe. 3:00pm. Ray McVay & co.
Sun 12: Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 12: Am Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 3:00pm.
Sun 12: Sue Ferris Quintet (Musicians Unlimited’s Xmas Party) @ South Durham Social Club, Hartlepool. 4:00pm. Tickets: £6.00.
Sun 12: Jason Isaacs Big Band @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. 5:00pm.
Sun 12: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 7:00pm.
Sun 12: Larry’s Brass Band @ The Vigilant Inn, South Shields. 7:00pm. Free. Brass band playing Xmas tunes!
Sun 12: corto.alto @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 12: Under the Surface @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £10.00 adv., £12.00. door.

Mon 13: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Mon 13: 6th Street Swing w Calvert & the Old Fools @ St Thomas Aquinas’ Church, Darlington. 7:00pm. £5.00. Swing dance (‘social dancing’) night.
Mon 13: Stuart Fowler Quintet plays Art Blakey’s album Moanin’ + jam session @ Central Bar, Gateshead. 7:30pm. £5.00.

Tue 14: Harry Keeble & Friends @ Forum Music Centre, Darlington. 7:30pm. Keeble (tenor sax); Dean Stockdale (keyboards); Paul Grainger (bass); John Bradford (drums).

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Red Rodney @ the Corner House - 1983

Another blast from the past featuring an American trumpet player with a local band at the Corner House. The visitor - on this occasion - was Red Rodney blowing alongside Sid Warren  (tenor); Mike Gilby (trumpet/flugel); Derek Dixon (bass guitar); Billy Harper (piano) and, hidden, Dennis Healey (drums).

This was in 1983 and I think it may have been in December!

It was a cracking sessions and the local boys held their own. Lance

The King Bees - Friday (Dec.3)

There's only one place to be on Friday evening (December 3) and that's the Hotspur on Percy Street, Newcastle when the incomparable King Bees will be holding court. Chicago blues at its finest. Eight o'clock start. Russell  

Clark Tracey @ the Globe on Saturday (Dec. 4)

(Press release)

This Saturday 4 December, The Globe will be hosting a very special performance of Stan Tracey’s ‘Under Milk Wood’ suite, the most famous composition by the man known as ‘The Godfather of British Jazz’.

The music will be performed by an exceptional quartet of musicians very familiar with Stan Tracey’s music: Simon Allen (saxes), Bruce Boardman (piano), Andrew Cleyndert (bass), Stan's son, Clark Tracey (drums) and Stan’s grandson, Ben Tracey, will be the narrator.
Stan Tracey wrote this jazz suite in 1965 while he was working as the house pianist at the original Ronnie Scott’s club. It was inspired by BBC radio play Under Milk Wood, written by the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas. It has often been cited as one of the best jazz recordings made in the United Kingdom and has been reissued six times.

Album review: Georgia Cécile - Only the Lover Sings

Only the Lover Sings is Georgia Cécile's stunning debut album. Ten tracks composed with songwriting partner Euan Stevenson, the recording features her stellar trio - pianist Stevenson, bassist Mario Caribé and drummer Max Popp - augmented by four SNJO stalwarts - Ryan Quigley (trumpet), Konrad Wiszniewski (tenor sax), Michael Owers and Chris Grieve (trombones) - and an ace string quartet led by violinist Seonaid Aitken featuring Kirsty Orton (second violin), Patsy Reid (viola) and Alice Allen (cello). 

Adrian Cox's Sunday Service with Joe Webb - Jan 28

Adrian Cox (clarinet, vocals); Joe Webb (piano)

Adrian Cox and Joe Webb are two of the busiest musicians on the scene yet they still find time to present a live steam. Clarinet maestro Adrian Cox has been preaching from his Sunday Service pulpit for months on end, rarely missing a week. During the darkest of lockdown days his devoted congregation frequently exceeded one hundred. Now, as live gigs begin to return to something like normal, it's testament to his popularity that Cox continues to attract a sizeable flock. This week
in excess of eighty followers were online for the one o'clock sermon. 

Tom Ollendorff gig - IMPORTANT INFO!

If you're planning to go to Tom Ollendorff's gig in Durham tomorrow (Wednesday Dec 1) read on. The Music Durham website states: Please ensure you bring evidence of a negative LFT taken within 48 hours of the performance to show on the door - students must use a DU testing site, and non-students must show a home test properly registered on the NHS app. - Russell

The Spotlight Sessions featuring Matt Holborn @ The Jazz Bar, Edinburgh - Nov. 27

Matt Holborn (violin); Fraser Urquhart (piano); Dougie Urquhart (guitar); Ed Kelly (double bass); Keith Haldane (drums)

Storm Arwen did its worst. All day Saturday there was no way in or out of Edinburgh - trains, planes nor automobiles. What to do? There was no alternative but to book another night's hotel accommodation. One establishment indicated the room rate would be £455. Laughing/crying all the way out onto the freezing, windswept streets, the prospect of dossing down in a bus shelter loomed large. Then, as luck would have it, a next door establishment had one vacant room, perhaps the last available room for miles around. Room booking secured (at a much more reasonable rate), the (freezing) night was young. There's always something on at the Jazz Bar, isn't there? 

Monday, November 29, 2021

Carole Williams & Helen Pillinger Quintet @ the Railway, Stockport - Nov. 28)

Carole Williams (trombone/keys); Helen Pillinger (tenor sax); Paul Hartley (guitar); Peter Hartley (bass guitar); Eryl Roberts (drums)

The thing I liked most about this gig was that although I have seen this unit before at the Railway and other local venues, they always play interesting tunes some of which I am not familiar with. One example of this is a number called Three Views of a Secret written by the late great bass guitarist Jaco Pastorius. Another was Oz penned by steel pan drummer Andy Narell.  We also heard two Mingus compositions, a Gigi Gryce original,  one by Wes Montgomery, a Carole Williams tune, a Jobin bossa and more making a grand total of fourteen tunes played during the 9:00pm-11:00pm time slot. This could be a record for numbers played at the Railway.

Georgia Cécile: Only the Lover Sings @ Queen's Hall, Edinburgh - Nov. 26

Storm Arwen wasn't going to put a stop to Georgia Cécile's Only the Lover Sings album launch, although last month an American superstar did bring about a postponement of the original date. October 16 should have been Georgia Cécile's big day but, when Gregory Porter came calling, it proved impossible to say: No. And so a profusely apologetic Georgia begged forgiveness from her many fans for rescheduling the concert saying it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to open the show for Mr P, at the Royal Albert Hall, no less. 

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Sunday night @ the Globe: Emma Johnson's Gravy Boat

(Photo by Lance)
Emma Johnson (tenor sax); Richard Jones (piano); Fergus Vickers (guitar); Angus Milne (bass); Steve Hanley (drums)

Based around, but not exclusively, Gravy Boat's latest album - Worry Not. The theme of the album  is based on stress and worry and overcoming them which, for many  myself included, is a much needed therapy (don't ask!) after this stormy weekend's devastation and with another hidden enemy on the horizon.

Well it certainly worked for me. Emma's lovely tenor sound complemented beautifully by the other four. The tone, the phrasing, the ideas, I found suggestive of early Blue Note but air-lifted in to the 21st century.

Doc Cheatham with the River City Jazzmen

Back in the early 1980's trumpet legend Doc Cheatham guested with the River City Jazzmen at the Corner House in Heaton which was, at the time, the epicentre of jazz in the north east.

Tidying up in the loft after the chaos of the recent storm  I came across this photo of the gig which shows Stan Martin on tenor and Gordon Solomon on trombone  flanking the great man.

This second photo shows Gordon and Doc trading choruses - as I remember, it was quite a night - Lance

Discs to Die For is reincarnated!

Back in the early days of BSH we requested readers to suggest their Discs to Die For and the results can be seen here.

The stipulation was to avoid duplication - don't vote for something that's already been chosen and the results were posted anonymously.

Now that was maybe 12/13 years ago and a lot of music has passed under, maybe even bypassed, the bridge so this is an invitation to add to the list whether from days of yore or from more contemporary offerings but, don't forget, to check out the link in the first paragraph to avoid duplication... Lance

Saturday, November 27, 2021

YouTube preview of Kevin Figes: Wallpaper Music


Kevin Figes (saxes, flutes, voice, compositions); Brigitte Beraha (voice); Jim Blomfield (keys); Ashley John Long (bass); Mark Whitlam (percussion) 

An intriguing album with some unusual twists and turns that make for compelling listening. Not one for the casual listener but one that the more adventurous may want to check out at the Vortex launch on Friday Dec. 3. Lance

More Equal Than Others; Danse Macabre; Game of Chance; Half  Sunk, a Shattered Visage Lies...; Fear of Failure (a); Alt. View; Fear of Failure (b); Song, Meaning.

RIP Stephen Sondheim

The greatest composer/lyricist of  contemporary stage and film musicals - he reinvented the genre - Stephen Sondheim died yesterday (Nov. 26) aged 91.

Sadly missed. 

Lance.

Find out more.

Album Review: Sara Colman – Ink On A Pin – A Celebration Of Joni Mitchell

Sara Colman (vocals); Rebecca Nash (piano); Steve Banks (guitars); Ben Markland (bass); Jonathan Silk (drums); Percy Pursglove (flugelhorn); Beth Bellis (violin 1, vocals); Ning-Ning Li (violin 2, vocals); Natalie Mason (viola, vocals); Katy Nagle (cello, vocals)

This CD is so delightful that I played it twice straight off! Joni Mitchell songs lend themselves easily to jazz but Ms Colman's versions are very much her own, with added influences of folk and Americana. The voice is a strong alto with a pleasing nasal quality, very unlike Mitchell's rather sweeter tones, which helps towards the different interpretations.

Friday, November 26, 2021

Aycliffe Radio : Jazz Time - Playlist for Sunday Nov. 28 (6:30pm)

Chris Barber/ Sonny Terry/Brownie McGhee. 

Request: Count Basie.

Patti Durham makes her selection and talks about the Mike Durham Classic Jazz Party.

Dean Stockdale; Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong; The Fat Babies; John Lewis & Sacha Distel; Count Basie.

New Release: Paul Edis.

DownBeat Reader's Poll: Branford Marsalis Quartet; Chick Corea.

Kathy Lyon; Anita O'Day.

Repeated Tuesday 8:00pm.

Zakir Hussain concert brings a fitting and triumphant finale to the 2021 EFG London Jazz Festival @ Royal Festival Hall - Nov. 21

(Photo © Emile Holba)
Zakir Hussain (tabla); Sabir Khan (sarangi); Marcus Gilmore (drums); Abbos Kosimov (percussion).

The first half of his set saw Hussain, the critically-acclaimed Indian tabla master, collaborate with sarangi player Sabir Khan, wowing his audience at the RFH. 

They explored tabla repertoire passed down to Hussain by his father and guru, Ustad Allarakha Qureshi (1919-2000), popularly known as Alla Rakha. Rakha specialised in Hindustani classical music and was the accompanist of choice for sitar guru Ravi Shankar. Rakha greatly helped to popularise the tabla with audiences outside of the Indian sub-continent.

 

Hussain and Khan tackled the four movements of an absorbing raga which encompassed several spirited improvised passages. The four movements comprised Peshkar; an improvisation on established Kaida themes; a combination of ChhandChalan Gut and Parans (the latter two being 300 year-old traditional compositions); and a combination of Rau and Relas.

Knats @ Hoochie Coochie - Nov. 25

Ferg Kilsby (trumpet); Josh Mitchell-Rayner (keyboards); Stan Woodward (bass); King David Ike-Elechi (drums).

How can I describe this? Muscular Jazz - the capitals are intentional - was the description that came to mind. This was powerful, hit 'em hard, hit 'em often and don't spare the volume, music. There was subtlety - if you looked hard enough!

No poncey flugelhorns or drum brushes for these guys. Trumpet used effects pedals more than he used his solitary mute which lay forlornly on the floor of the stage for most of the gig.

A mix of originals interspersed with numbers by Monk, Donald Byrd, Roots and Radiohead as well as a take on My Favorite Things that placed Coltrane's version closer to that of Julie Andrews than to what was happening on stage at Hoochie.

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Album Review: Wild Blue Herons – You & 1

Darlene Cooper (vocals); Bill Sample (piano, keyboards)

An album which was made during lockdown by this Vancouver-based husband and wife in their home studio. We get nine jazz standards, Stevie Wonder's song You and I, plus two originals, Don't Know How To Love You and Impossible Love. And a fascinating CD cover showing not herons as expected, but a couple of spotted beasts. The artwork is by Vancouver artist Joe Average and is entitled 'Unconditional Love'.

Four @ The Exchange, North Shields - Nov. 24

Bernie Ranson (tenor, alto sax, vocals); David Herbert (piano); Harry Husaini (5 string electric bass); Alan Wann (drums)

Four Play Blues is the title of one of the original compositions by four musicians who call themselves “Four” and who are currently playing regularly at The Exchange in North Shields….As well as this original we were treated to a selection of standards by four musicians who are gaining quite a following at this converted police station in Bedford Street.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Preview: Tomorrow (Thursday Nov. 25) @ Hoochie Coochie - Knats

(From the Hoochie F/book page)

THIS THURSDAY - A young quartet from Newcastle Upon-Tyne spreading the sound of modern, creative improvised music in the North East.

"Taking influence from contrasting genres, we have shaped our sound through studying jazz greats like Charles Mingus, John Coltrane, composers of the Romantic and Baroque eras such as Chopin and Bach, all the way to the British electronic music of Drum and Bass and House."

Entry is absolutely FREE, come & support this amazing young quartet! Take a chance.

Doors 7pm.

(Lance): No need to take a chance, this is a dead cert!

Duncan Winfield @ the Railway, Stockport - Nov. 23

Duncan Winfield (trombone); Paul Hartley (guitar);  Ken Marley (bass); Andy Bold  (drums)

You will most likely have seen tonight's guest performer sitting in the trombone section  of some of the many big bands that are to be heard in the North West area. I recall seeing him in the Ron Hayes Band, the Shades Jazz Orchestra and Swingtime - to name but three. It has been a while since I heard him playing in a smaller unit and I  was curious to learn what tunes he had selected for his performance.  They were in the main, standards plus a number written by Sonny Rollins - Alfie’s Theme  for the film Alfie which was a big hit for Michael Caine.

Jam Session @ the Black Swan - Nov. 23

Mark Williams (guitar); Paul Grainger (bass); Tim Johnston (drums) + Paul Gowland, Steve Summers (tenor sax); Esther Coombes (alto sax); David Gray (trombone); Alex Ngeyu, Alex ? (piano); John Pope, George ? (bass); Andy Lawrenson (violin); Tim Paradine, Chris ? (drums); Joe Steels, Jacob Egglestone (guitar); Niffi Osiyemi, Kit Giroux (vocals) 

And there were others whose names I didn't catch but no doubt will next time round - my apologies.

It all began quite sedately with the trio playing tasteful versions of I'll be Seeing You, I Love You and Prelude to a Kiss. Given the song titles it occurred to me afterwards that if they'd been played in reverse order it could have been the story of a one night stand!

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Album review: Rodney Jordan & Christian Fabian - Conversations

Rodney Jordan, Christian Fabian (double basses)

I've heard many duo recordings over the years but this is the first time I've been confronted with a double bass duet. And, if that weren't enough, the two players have opted to tune their instruments to A432 as opposed to the current standard pitch of A440.

A432 was in general use until Mozart's time and there was a general belief, I kid you not, that A432 had a healing effect on the listener's body. Perhaps if Mozart had stuck with the old tuning he'd have lived longer.

Preview: Yazz Ahmed & the BBC Concert Orchestra (BBC Radio, Nov. 23)

Recorded on Sunday, the Yazz Ahmed Quintet can be heard in concert from the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London in tonight's edition of Radio 3 in Concert (7:30pm). Trumpeter/composer Ahmed's band - Ralph Wyld (vibes), Dave Manington (bass), Corrina Silvester (perc) and Martin France (drums) - links up with the BBC Concert Orchestra at this year's EFG London Jazz Festival to perform a programme largely comprised of Ahmed's compositions - Russell   

Preview: Billie Holiday's Soul Music (BBC Radio, Nov. 23)

This evening there is another opportunity to hear the 2013 edition of Soul Music which looks at Abel Meeropol's song Strange Fruit, a song for ever associated with Billie Holiday. Tune to BBC Radio 4 Extra at half past six.  Russell

Monday, November 22, 2021

Steve Pimlott @ the Railway, Stockport - Nov. 21

Steve Pimlott (tenor sax); Dean Stockdale (keys); Ed Harrison (bass); Phil Bennett (drums)

Steve Pimlott made a welcome return visit to the Railway last night with a fine backing trio that included Dean Stockdale on keyboards, a name that will be familiar to BSH readers in the north east,  Ed Harrison, always a major asset, on bass and Phil Bennett who is one of the best drummers in this region and beyond.

Grand Ole Opry @ The Globe: Bradley Creswick's Western Swingfonia - Nov. 21

Bradley Creswick, Kyra Humphreys (fiddles); Pat Rafferty (accordion, lap steel guitar, vocals); Brian Hume (guitar, vocals); Irene Hume (vocals, shakers); Dave Harris (guitar); Archie Brown (snare drum, guitar, vocals); Ian Thompson (bass).

Question: What do the Royal Northern Sinfonia, the Young Bucks, Prelude, Lindisfarne and Emma Fisk's Hot Club du Nord have in common?

Answer: They all have members, past and present, represented in tonight's band.*

This was a new departure for the Globe's Sunday night sessions. Buddy Rich may have been turning in his grave after the recurrence of his much publicised allergy but none of the living were complaining - certainly not those who'd been sardined into the room - it would have required a shoehorn to get any more in!

RIP Slide Hampton

The word is out that American trombonist passed away on Saturday (Nov.20),

Sad news indeed as I have fond memories of hearing play on several occasions: With the Maynard Ferguson Big Band at Newcastle City Hall in 1968, with Dizzy Gillespie at the North Sea Jazz Festival in 1984 (see photo) and with local stars Willie Payne and Syd Warren at the Corner House, Heaton also in 1984. 

One of the all-time great modern jazz trombonists he will be sadly missed.

YouTube.

Slide Hampton was 89 - Lance

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Preview: Murder, Inc with Sassy (Talking Pictures tonite!)

This evening (Sunday) on Talking Pictures TV there is a screening of Murder, Inc starring Stuart Whitman. Based on a true story, it tells of the hoodlums and gangsters operating in 1930s' Brooklyn. The film, from 1960, was Peter Falk's first major role. 'Columbo', as he later became known for, was nominated for an Oscar. Of interest to the jazz fan is Sarah Vaughan playing the part of a night club singer. Talking Pictures TV, 10:05pm. Russell     

Sunday Service: Some of my favourites - Nov. 21

Adrian Cox (clarinet, vocals)

Preacher Cox never stops. Fresh - perhaps not so fresh! - from a recent working visit to Mexico, our man was straight out on the road again and this Sunday lunchtime pulpit session found Adrian Cox opting to play 'some of my favourites'. As live gigs return with a vengeance it's quite remarkable that our clarinet star continues to attract a large online congregation week to week. Facebook's predilection for mucking about the platform's many users meant today's stream presented Adrian the wrong way round, back to front, call it what you will. Oh, well, it's all about the music...

A Salute to Humphrey Lyttelton @ Black Swan Arts Centre, Newcastle - Nov. 20

(Photo © Mike Tilley)
Chris Hodgkins (trumpet); Henry Lowther (trumpet, flugel); Mark Bassey (trombone); Diane McLoughlin, Alex Clarke, Charlotte Glasson (reeds); Jinjoo Yoo (piano); Wayne Wilkinson (guitar); Alison Rayner (bass); Buster Birch (drums).

I've waited all year to hear a band like this! Maybe waited all my life or at least since I first heard the Lyttelton band in Camden Town Hall - the one that had Coe, Skidmore, Temperley and Pickard alongside Humph in the front line.

(Photo © Mike Tilley)
This band exuded the same amount of class - the ensembles were something else!

What a sound!

The arrangements, mainly from within the band were adapted from the originals by Harry South, Buck Clayton, Frank Griffith and Humph himself.

Saturday, November 20, 2021

John Pope Quintet @ EFG London Jazz Festival - Nov. 20

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

First on stage in a triple bill at the Purcell Room, the John Pope Quintet made a big impression with the London Jazz Festival audience. Conscious that he and his bandmates - Tyneside based Faye MacCalman and Graham Hardy, and Manchester's Jamie Stockbridge and Johnny Hunter - Pope had only a short time to make an impact. 

John Pope Quintet streaming from the EFG LJF at 3:00pm today (Saturday)!

The John Pope Quintet will be streaming online from the London Jazz Festival this afternoon at three o'clock. JP's quintet will be part of a Take Five presents: Improvisational Soundscapes triple bill - J Frisco, Samuel Eagles - at the Purcell Room (Southbank Centre). The stream is free to access at: www.efglondonjazzfestival.org.uk. Russell

Aycliffe Radio: Jazz Time playlist - Sunday 6:30pm-8:00pm

Sunday 21st  Nov. - Playlist (repeated Tuesday 8.00pm- 9.30pm).

Request: Bill Evans.

Humphrey Lyttelton.

RIP Dr Lonnie Smith.

Russell Corbett selects: Louis Armstrong; Jo Harrop & Jamie McCredie; Andrew Oliver; Paul Edis Sextet; House of the Black Gardenia. 

Friday, November 19, 2021

Ben Lawrence Trio @ The Lit & Phil - Nov. 19

(Pics by Pam)
Ben Lawrence (piano); Mick Shoulder (bass); Dave McKeague (drums).

Given the unforeseen absence of saxist/leader Matt Forster this could have been filed as a good under the circumstances gig which it undoubtedly was and more - much much more!

Ben Lawrence walked on to the stage as a promoted sideman and left as a star - Hollywood could use that line!

The room was crowded but no one demanded a refund and why should they?

The Globe awarded third grant from Culture Recovery Fund

(Press release)

  • The Globe to receive £25,000 from the third round of the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund.
  • The Globe is among 925 recipients to benefit from the latest round of awards from the Culture Recovery Fund.
  • This award will help The Globe to continue its busy programme of live music gigs, courses and workshops.
More than £100 million has been awarded to hundreds of cultural organisations across the country in the latest round of support from the Culture Recovery Fund, the Culture Secretary announced today (19 November 2021). The third round of funding will support organisations as they deal with ongoing reopening challenges, ensuring they can thrive in better times ahead.

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Preview: A Salute to Humphrey Lyttelton - Black Swan Arts Centre (and elsewhere)

British jazz legend Humphrey Lyttelton would have been 100 this year had he not left us on April 25, 2008 so it is only fitting that his centenary be celebrated with a 17 dates (in 18 days) UK concert tour.

Although Humph began his career as an out and out musician dedicated to the jazz of New Orleans, over the years he progressed into more mainstream areas with an ear for all styles as became evident in his role as the presenter of various radio and television programmes as well as in the many books he wrote.

Trumpet player Chris Hodgkins has put together an all-star line-up for the tour and there are several names who have played on Tyneside recently.

Book review: Ry Cooder - Los Angeles Stories

Literature, like music, is timeless. Be it Shakespeare, Dickens, Steinbeck, Chandler or Mickey Spillane, if the quality is there you will read it irrespective of when it was written.

Ry Cooder's Los Angeles Stories was published ten years ago but only came to my notice a few days ago when passing time in a charity shop. It reads like it was written yesterday or maybe sixty/seventy years ago which is the setting for these unputdownable gems.

Cooder's descriptive narrative is the equal of any of the above. Phrases such as, I got the feeling you get when a sax player takes a solo in the wrong key.

NEW CEO FOR JAZZ NORTH

(Press release)

Jazz North has announced the appointment of a new Chief Executive to lead its next phase of development, growing opportunities for artists, audiences, promoters and young people across the north. 

 

Chris Bye will join the organisation at a key moment as the sector navigates a new landscape for live music, whilst exploring the global opportunities of digital music and culture. 

 

Chris said: 

He was hip! Dave Frishberg (March 23, 1933 - November 17, 2021)

Singer, pianist, composer, lyricist, author - Dave Frishberg, who passed away yesterday, was all of those things and probably more. That he did them all so well makes it nigh on impossible to single out any one of them - they can all be found in detail on Wikipedia or in the obituaries such as this one by the New York Times.

However, for me, it is his amazing lyrics that will stick with me.

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Album review: Jeff Hamilton Trio - Merry and Bright

Jeff Hamilton (drums); Tamir Hendelman (piano); Jon Hamar (bass).

Here it is, my Xmas No. One! No, I don't mean that this album is going to challenge Abba, Elton, Cliff or whoever else is contention for the seasonal top spot - it's too good for that. No, it's just the first of what I'm sure will soon be an avalanche of Yulies and, if they're half as good as this then you won't hear any Bah Humbugs from me!

Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone - Update

The Vieux Carré Jazzmen have announced the following changes to performance times and dates for their sessions at The Holystone Pub & Restaurant: 

Thursday 25 November will be an earlier start/finish 12.00pm - 2.00pm 

All sessions in DECEMBER will switch from Thursday afternoons to SUNDAY EVENINGS: 
Sunday 5 December, 7.00 - 9.00pm
Sunday 12 December, 7.00 - 9.00pm
Sunday 19 December, 7.00 - 9.00pm 

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Shane Forbes Quintet @ the 606 - Exploring the Music of Blossom Dearie - Nov.16

Ruben Fox (tenor sax); Joe Webb (piano); Artie Zaitz (guitar); Tom Farmer (bass); Shane Forbes (drums).

What can I say? Up to now this is the best EFG/LJF I've never been to! However, thanks to the 606 and the wonders of live-streaming I'm sitting in the front row and digging every minute - I'm feeling just so so hip!

I'm hip, there's a clue in there as to what tonight was all about. You've got it in one - the late singer, pianist Blossom Dearie.

Yes, Exploring the Music of Blossom Dearie was the name of the game and, not only that, these guys were doing it without a vocalist which is like tightrope walking without a safety net!

Album review: Michael Feinberg – Hard Times

Michael Feinberg (bass, electric bass); Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts (drums); Orrin Evans (piano); Godwin Louis (alto sax); Billy Buss (trumpet); Gabriel Globus-Hoenich (percussion); Noah Preminger (tenor sax); Randy Brecker (trumpet on Monkeys Never Cramp); Leo Genovese (keyboards - piano on Three Flowers).

The cover of the album carries the statement of intent “When the going got tough, the tough got swinging” and shows the band as a gang of wild-west tough guys, Feinberg, chewing on a small cigar, to the fore. This leads to the inevitable question ‘Just how tough is this music?’ and the answer is like an over-boiled curate’s egg, ‘Tough in places’. Indeed, on first hearing this album sounds like a very disparate collection but it coheres into a something more unified with further listens. It shows its roots in the cover versions but there’s energy in those tracks and the originals keep those levels up. It’s very much, a grower.

The Dean Stockdale Trio @ Blaydon Jazz Club - Nov.15

(Photo by Roly )
Dean Stockdale (piano); Andy Champion (double bass); John Bradford (drums)

In the face of the ongoing pandemic Blaydon Jazz Club continues to present the best in jazz. It's been a difficult time for all and trying to reconnect with a loyal audience isn't the easiest thing to achieve. It's evident some have chosen to stay home, to 'wait out' the worst of it. Most weeks there isn't an awful lot happening on a Monday evening, therefore it made sense to take advantage of the situation, hence jazz at the Black Bull presents the opportunity for one and all to get along once a month, third Monday in the month to be precise. This evening the prospect of listening to the Dean Stockdale Trio enticed some of the club's regulars to switch off the television and head to Bridge Street.

Monday, November 15, 2021

Greg Abate @ the Railway, Stockport - Nov. 14

Greg Abate (alto/tenor sax/flute); Paul Hartley (guitar); Ken Marley (bass); Eryl Roberts (drums).

For this concert Greg had the use of a Selmer tenor sax which had been provided by local musician Dave Luckhurst and he decided to feature it on the first set - apart from Footprints on which he used his Emerson flute. The alto sax he would save for the second set.


He chose as his opening number that popular Dexter Gordon composition Cheesecake and Greg gave it a spirited reading his facility on the borrowed horn being quite remarkable. He used his own metal Otto Link mouthpiece which gave him the hard edged sound that I like.

Mark Lockheart's Generation Band @ the 606 - Nov. 15

Mark Lockheart (tenor sax); Laura Jurd (trumpet); Will Barry (piano); Seve Watts (bass); Will Cleasby (drums)

A second EFG livestream from the 606. If you were unable to get there then this is about as good as it gets.

The Generation Band matches the Trades Description Act inasmuch as we have a cross-generational group of musicians providing an enjoyable set. I was familiar with most of the musicians having heard then in a variety of settings but this was the first time for me (and maybe for them also) to hear them as a unit - they gelled.

In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning...

Working on the Law of Probability, Ken Drew has deduced that BSH hit the 5 million mark in between the hours of 4:00am and 5:00am which was a pretty astute observation as the magic moment actually occurred at 4:33am which also coincided with a bathroom visit by yours truly - Lance

BSH FIVE MILLION NOT OUT!

Once upon a time, in the pre-pandemic era, photographs of jazz musicians in action were posted to the internet. One of the men responsible for this innocuous act could never have imagined what it would lead to. Sharing his enthusiasm for jazz, not least bebop, generated much interest out there in cyberspace.  

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