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Bebop Spoken There

Sean Jones: "There were like three people in church who couldn't sing or play an instrument. We thought there was something wrong with them." (DownBeat July 2022)

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:"Lance writes pull quotes like no one else!"

Postage

14375 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 14 years ago. 594 of them this year alone and, so far, 94 this month (June 26).

From This Moment On ...

July

Fri 01: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 01: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 01: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 01: Swing Manouche @ The Vault, Hexham. 7:30pm (doors). £20.00.
Fri 01: 1920s Speakeasy w Niffi Osiyemi Trio @ The Exchange, North Shields. 8:00pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Fri 01: Struggle Buggy @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. Blind Pig Blues Club. 8:00pm.

Sat 02: Hot Fingers @ St Augustine’s Parish Centre, Darlington. 12:30pm. £10.00.
Sat 02: Play Jazz! workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. Tutor Steve Glendinning: Latin jazz. £25.00. Enrol at: www.jazz.coop.
Sat 02: Talk: Storytelling & jazz as an expression of urban life @ The Exchange, North Shields. 1:45pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Sat 02: The Commandments + On Parole @ The Exchange, North Shields. 2:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event. Rhythm & blues.
Sat 02: Geordie Jazz Man @ The Exchange, North Shields. 5:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event. Screening of Abi Lewis’ documentary film about Keith Crombie & the Jazz Café.
Sat 02: The Delta Prophets Trio @ The Exchange, North Shields. 6:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event. Rhythm & blues.
Sat 02: Swing Manouche @ Claypath Deli, Durham. 7:00pm.
Sat 02: Swung Eight & King Bees @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event. Swing dance + ace Chicago blues band.
Sat 02: Tyne Valley Big Band @ Greenside Community Centre, Ryton. 7:30pm.
Sat 02: Patrick Cromb @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Sun 03 Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 03: Smokin’ Spitfires @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 12:45pm.
Sun 03: Ruth Lambert & Martin Craggs @ The Exchange, North Shields. 2:00pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Sun 03: Abbie Finn Trio @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Sun 03: Wild Women of Wylam @ The Exchange, North Shields. 4:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Sun 03: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 5:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Sun 03: Jazz Jam @ The Exchange, North Shields. 6:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Sun 03: Jeffrey Hewer Quartet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 04: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Wed 06: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 06: Michael Bublé @ Durham County Cricket Club, Chester le Street. Doors: 5:00pm.
Wed 06: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 06: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 06: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 07: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 07: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library. 3:00-5:00pm. £1.00. All welcome.
Thu 07: Lara Jones + Echo Juliet @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 7:00pm.
Thu 07: Thursday Night Prayer Meeting @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free admission (donations).
Thu 07: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead. 8:30pm.
Thu 07: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Thursday, December 30, 2021

Post Number 1500

Well here it is - post number 1500. It's been a long journey and to attempt to award the post of the year wasn't actually quite as difficult as it may have seemed. 

Given that most of the BSH posts relate to gig/album reviews as well as previews and press releases which are, of course, what we're all about i.e giving you unbiased information on what's happening at a gig near you. We try not to play God - we are mere disciples - but our aim is, as always, to spread the jazz word irrespective of genre.

Album review: Eric Goletz - A New Light

A second album from one of NYC's first call slidemen - Eric Goletz - has the virtuoso trombonist leading a band within a band - an octet backed by a horn section and a string quartet that produce some fine, contemporary, big band sounds.

Goletz gets a lovely sound and has a technical ability that enables him to hit notes some trumpet players could only dream about albeit not the trumpet player in this band. Randy Brecker isn't heavily featured but when he is he displays the fire that reminds the listener that there were two Brecker brothers and Randy is still a killer. On Don't Gimme That Randy and Eric go toe to toe each complementing the other.

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Live at Jack's Place with a special guest - Dec. 29

Adrian Cox (clarinet, vocals); Andrej Baranek (keyboards); Tim Williams (double bass); Jack Cotterill (drums)

# 38 in Jack Cotterill's weekly live stream series. As luck would have it, Adrian Cox was up in drummer Cotterill's neck of the woods and readily agreed to drop by to play a set with Mr C, pianist Andrej Baranek and bassist Tim Williams. Herlin Riley's Trombone Joe for starters, Cotterill's hi-hat would be in overdrive for much of the set. During the course of the set Cox would sing a few numbers, the first of them I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm. Warm? Cotterill said the heating wasn't working and he had brought in a couple of oil heaters...now it was too hot! Off came the woollens, window opened, t-shirt order. 

Live from Emmet's Place (Vol. 80) - Dec. 27

Emmet Cohen (piano); Russell Hall (double bass); Kyle Poole (drums) w. Brianna Thomas (vocals)

Throughout lockdown Emmet Cohen has presented a series of world class concerts from Emmet's Place, that's pianist Cohen's NYC apartment. More or less every Monday evening Cohen's trio (invariably Russell Hall and Kyle Poole) working with one or two special guests confounds expectations. How can these guys be so darn good?!!!

Dave Sayer’s Best of 2021

According to many commentators it has been a ‘funny old year.’  Usually my best of the year’s CDs list includes many that I had bought after gigs, still flush with the excitement of the preceding couple of hours. Not so this year. And, if it hadn’t been for a mad rush around the Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music, I would hardly have seen any live jazz at all. Thankfully, what I did see was very good and, in one case at least, exceptional.

Jazz Gig of the Year - 2021

There were several gigs this year that really impressed …blew me away…as they say…

Micheal Feinstein at Sage Gateshead.

Paul Booth’s appearance at the jam session in The Central Bar in Gateshead

Francis Tulip’s appearance at The Newcastle Jazz Festival with his leg in plaster

The Alison Rayner Quintet gig at The Globe…..to name only four of dozens.

Along with several happy and sociable afternoons and nights at The Exchange and Cullercoats Crescent Club, these gigs show that jazz is still commanding an audience…sometimes more “select” than others… but nevertheless….

National Youth Jazz Collective (NYJC) News

Footage is out from the end of week concert from the 2021 National Youth Jazz Collective (NYJC) Summer Schools, with some NE representation amongst the country's aspiring next generation of players, many on their way to conservatoires. This well established stepping stone for young jazz musicians is held annually after (free) auditions (April 12 2022 at the Lit and Phil) for a week long Summer School as well as a short course.  There is excellent support from a friendly roster of top jazz players and educators  (including our own Paul Edis on the short course) as well as means tested bursaries: jazzers aged 14-18 should have a look at next year's arrangements (link). 

My Dream Team – Ann Alex

I've had such fun thinking about this!

I'm not all that familiar with the musicians of the past so I'm mostly sticking to local people. We are very lucky to have loads of talented musicians right on our doorsteps.

The team is:

Brad Leali – alto saxophonist

When members of Harry Connick Jr’s band came for a ‘sit in’ at what was then the Jazz Cafe, Pink Lane, (now the Prohibition Bar) back in June 1993, I think the entire saxophone section turned up along with other band members before Harry himself arrived. At the time my impression was that the driving force behind getting the musicians to come along and jam may have been the alto player who introduced himself as Brad Leali. He was a great player, bop styled – Bird, Adderley, etc.  A nice guy and so enthusiastic about the music and playing. I think he may have been the band’s MD too.

Phil Kelly funeral details

The funeral of Phil Kelly will take place at the West Rd. Crematorium, Newcastle NE5 2JL on Tuesday January 11 at 12:30pm followed by a wake at The Hotspur.

Thanks to Jude Murphy for this update - Lance

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Rossano Sportiello: #59 Live at the Flat in Greenwich Village - Dec. 28

Like stride piano? Then this 'ere is the place! Listen to I've Got my Love to Keep me Warm. Rossano Sportiello at his best. This is a Lovely Way to Spend an Evening and My Heart Stood Still kept the magic flowing. It's Easy to Remember another gem - one of the most melodic songs in the entire GASbook. To finish we heard one of the greatest tunes in the jazz repertoire - Tadd Dameron's Lady Bird - back next Tuesday.

A beautiful livestream by an amazing NYC based Italian pianist - promise I'll catch it from the start next week!. Lance

Jazz on the Tyne – Review of 2021

From Thursday 30th December, you can listen to Jazz on the Tyne’s review of the past year.

Presenter Colin Muirhead has selected extracts from interviews with guests who appeared on the programme during 2021, plus music by the John Pope Quintet, Paul Taylor, Andy Champion & Graeme Wilson, Matt Carmichael, Zoe Gilby, Not Now Charlie, Archipelago, the Strictly Smokin’ Big Band, the Dean Stockdale Trio, Ceitidh Mac, Emma Johnson’s Gravy Boat and the Fergus McCreadie Trio.

You can listen to the show anytime from noon on Thursday by heading to www.mixcloud.com/hive_radio.

To request tunes for future programmes, please email Colin at jazz.tyne.hive@gmail.com.

Words needed - your words!

I have to confess - we're on a mission. We're looking to hit 1500 posts this year. It's an awesome challenge but, we're getting close. However, it's going to the wire. So, if anyone out there would like to contribute something - a review, a piece reflecting you're feelings on jazz, even on BSH - it would ensure that you were on next year's Xmas card list or, at least, the year after.

You listen to the music so you must have some thoughts about it! Lance

Xmas Competition update.

The deadline is approaching for the winners of our Christmas competition to identify the musicians in the photo. To encouragement others to participate, we've extended the date for a further few days to enable the draw to take place at a prestigious jazz venue yet to be disclosed.

And, if that isn't enough, we're also adding Ivo Neame's Glimpse of Truth, alongside Pat Metheny's Road to Freedom  as an additional incentive to take part. So, let's make this more than a ten horse race - Lance

Monday, December 27, 2021

Claire Martin @ the 606 (re-stream) - Dec. 27

Claire Martin (vocals); Nikki Iles (piano); Steve Watts (bass); Matt Home (drums)

A very enjoyable re-stream of an EFG London Jazz Festival gig from the 606 featuring the never less than tremendous Claire Martin. With the always wonderful Nikki Iles on piano and the solid support of Watts and Home the programme concentrated on the work of Bill Evans and Tony Bennett which is always a fertile pasture to plough.

Preview: Miki's Mood, online (Dec 29)

The holiday season continues to offer more online goodies. Tomorrow (Wednesday) from New York City, 6:00pm EST (that's 11:00pm GMT) pianist Miki Yamanaka will be live streaming her 'Miki's Mood' gig presenting the music of Clifford Brown. Miki will be joined for a one hour set by Bruce Harris (trumpet), Dylan Shamat (bass) and Jimmy Macbride (drums). In addition to a busy touring schedule, Miki is a regular at Smalls, NYC (her performances are available in Smalls online archive). Check out Miki's Facebook page. Russell   

Attachments area

Drybroughs Dixieland Jazz Jamboree @ Newcastle - Sept. 4 - 6, 1983

Jazz Festivals come and go. Some last forever others less so whilst others flicker, burn brightly only to disappear as quickly as a candle on a table after the punters have left.

Such an event was the The First (and last) Drybroughs Dixieland  Jazz Jamboree that took place in, and around, Newcastle in Sept. 1983.

The Edinburgh brewery sponsored the Edinburgh Jazz Festival that year and it seemed a good idea to give the American bands the opportunity to pick up some extra bucks across the border.

Re-streams from 606

London's 606 Club maybe closed over the holiday season but they have scheduled a series of re-streams starting tonight with Claire Martin and Nikki Iles exploring the Tony Bennett/Bill Evans collaboration.

All streams begin at 8:00pm with the exception of NYE which kicks off at 11:00pm. Full detailsLance

Anything Goes: live from the Barbican - Dec. 26

A cracking show on BBC2 live from the Barbican. Words and Music by Cole Porter what more could one ask for?

Not all of the songs were from the original 1934 production - It's De-Lovely was from the 1936 show Red, Hot and Blue and only incorporated into Anything Goes twenty years later. However, You're the Top, I Get a Kick Out of You, Blow, Gabriel Blow and (obviously) the title track were from the original and Nicole-Lily Baisden did manage the middle eight without taking a breath!

Sunday, December 26, 2021

Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City - Boxing Day

Jim McBriarty (clarinet, alto sax, vocals); David Gray (trombone, vocals); Brian Bennett (banjo); Paul Grainger (string bass)

A wet 'n' wild Boxing Day afternoon, seahorses rearing their heads out on the North Sea, St Mary's Lighthouse barely visible in the distance, just the kind of day to call into Spanish City to catch the Vieux Carré Hot 4, on parade as usual on a Sunday. A warming Americano, an English Breakfast Tea, a slice of coffee and walnut cake, the first of three sets opened with Jim McBriarty (clarinet, alto sax, vocals) singing I Can't Give You Anything But Love, Baby

Boxing Day on the Box


TV's been good today with more to come. We've all seen and loved Singin' in the Rain many times but it never fails to delight and, how many jazzers have quoted the doody dum do doody doody dum do intro in their solos on a gig where it's pissing down outside?

Some Like it Hot - a great film - and Marilyn singing Matty Malneck's I'm Through With Love never fails to set my pulse racing.

There's a new version of  Cole Porter's Anything Goes on at 6:40pm. The title song also provides a challenge for vocalists. Try singing the middle eight - The world has gone mad today and good's bad today and black's white today and day's night today when most guys today that women prize today are just silly gigolos - without taking a breath. Sinatra could do it, Ella couldn't.

At the watershed hour of 9:00pm we can watch A Very British Scandal recalling a 1960's cause celebre. The Duchess of Argyll may not have been a jazzer but she certainly lived the era's lifestyle! Lance

Georgia makes JRR!

Thanks to listeners' requests, today's Boxing Day edition of Jazz Record Requests has something of a seasonal feel to it. Basie, Ellington, Billie and Oscar are represented alongside a number of recently released albums (including Yellow by Emma-Jean Thackray who'll be at Sage Gateshead in March next year). A singer whose star is firmly in the ascendant, the wonderful Georgia Cécile, will be delighted to know a JRR listener has asked presenter Alyn Shipton to play a track from her stunning debut album Only the Lover SingsTune to BBC Radio 3 at five o'clock (one hour later than usual). To request a favourite track email: jazz.record.requests.bbc.co.ukRussell         

Saturday, December 25, 2021

Dream teams

This is not a competition - we're still waiting for more replies to the previous one - but, what would be your dream band line-up?

No ground rules. It could be anything from the early days in New Orleans up to the present and, speculatively, the future.

You can mix the past with the present, the local with the legends e.g. John Coltrane playing with, say, The King Bees. Jo Harrop backed by the Nelson Riddle Orchestra singing  the Beatles Song Book (Oh no!) Give it a go. Lance

Christmas competition - win a Pat Metheny CD

You think you know someone and then, suddenly you don't! You think they play this but find out that they also play that. Just as Benny Carter played alto, he also played trumpet and several musicians also "sing" however, we won't hold that against them - well, not much.

Back in the day when Crombie's Jazz Café hosted the Sunday afternoon jams there were quite often surprises and in the above picture the musicians shown aren't playing the instruments they are normally associated with (the shot of the flautist was actually taken at the Side Café - another charismatic venue that, jazz wise, is sadly, no longer with us).

Smalls NYC streaming louder and clearer, 24/7

As the festive season brings about a temporary reduction in the number of live jazz gigs the live stream once again comes into its own. Foremost in the online gig arena is Smalls* on West 10th Street, New York City. Spike Wilner's compact venue has been streaming gigs since 2007, way ahead of the Johnny Come Lately lockdown opposition. Smalls partner venue Mezzrow is also in on the streaming business. Throughout much of lockdown two factors conspired to deter the listener/viewer this side of the Atlantic logging on - the time difference and, 'til now, poor quality audio/visual presentation.       

Album review: Alex Webb w. Jo Harrop, Carroll Thompson, Luca Manning & Tony Momrelle - British Standard Time

Jo Harrop, Carroll Thompson, Luca Manning, Tony Momrelle (vocals); Alex Webb (piano, organ, arr. MD); Tony Kofi (soprano, alto, baritone sax); Leo Richardson (tenor sax, flute); Andy Davies (trumpet, flugel); Nat Cross (trombone); Ciyo Brown/Jamie McCredie (guitar); Flo Moore (bass); Sophie Alloway (drums).

The title is magical - it says it all. British Standard Time. Time to listen to some British standards sung impeccably by four of the best interpreters of classic songs irrespective of which side of the Atlantic they were conceived.

In this case the material covers several decades ranging from Harry Woods' Try a Little Tenderness (1932), Noel Coward's Mad About the Boy from the same year and Ray Noble's The Very Thought of You (1934) to numbers associated with Paul Weller, Amy Winehouse and others. Thompson mainly handles the older standards, Harrop the more contemporary ones with Manning and Momrelle also leaning in the latter direction although Momrelle's take on The Very Thought of You is comparable with many of the classic versions from way back.

Adrian Cox: Christmas Eve Service

Adrian Cox (clarinet, vocals)

A shorter stream this afternoon, fifty minutes rather than the usual full hour. Adrian Cox said he didn't want to detain people too long the day before the big day. As usual, clarinet maestro Cox had been gigging here, there and everywhere, now he was at home for a couple of days before hitting the road again. Preacher Cox addressed his online flock (numbering more than sixty) in his inimitable, engaging manner. Playing clarinet, singing and responding almost instantaneously to a continuous stream of online comment, Cox is the real deal. 

Bogie, Bergman, Mr Benedetto & Sting

Once you've watched Casablanca (BBC2, 11:10am), pulled a cracker and opened the first of several bottles, it'll be time to listen to J to Z (Radio 3, 5:00pm). At 7:15, tune to This Cultural Life (Radio 4) to hear Sting in conversation with John Wilson. And to end the day, why not join Anthony Dominick Benedetto at nine o'clock on Sky Arts? That's the great Tony Bennett, Cheek to Cheek, with Lady Gaga. Don't forget to put the empty bottles in the blue bin. Russell

Friday, December 24, 2021

Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms - Xmas Eve

Maureen Hall (vocals); Gavin Lee (clarinet); Don Fairley (trombone); Brian Chester (keyboards); Tom Darbyshire (double bass, vocals); George Davidson (drums, vocals) + John Broddle (vocals)

Christmas Eve, the Monkseaton Arms, Rendezvous Jazz, full house. Maureen Hall's long-established outfit continues to pull in the punters, here in Monkseaton, over at the Red Lion in Earsdon, and on occasional forays further afield, often taking a bus load of supporters for a weekend away.This afternoon Maureen had the A-team out. To her left, Gavin Lee, clarinet, to her right, trombonist Don Fairley. The rhythm section - pianist Brian Chester, string bassist Tom Darbyshire, drummer George Davidson - reported for duty, ready and willing to don Santa/silly hats. 

Live from Emmet's Place (Vol. 79) - Dec 20

Emmet Cohen (piano); Tyler Mitchell (double bass); Evan Sherman (drums); Vujo Sotashe (vocals); Grant Stewart (tenor sax)

Emmet Cohen continues to stream gigs from his New York City apartment despite resuming a touring schedule either side of the Atlantic. Monday evening chalked up volume 79 in the pianist's ongoing series. Joining Cohen this evening, bassist Tyler Mitchell (Sun Ra, Spike Wilner) and drummer Evan Sherman (established on the NYC scene and he's not yet thirty years of age). Two guests would join the trio - tenor saxophonist Grant Stewart, and vocalist Vujo Sotashe. 

Aycliffe Radio: Jazz Time - Playlist for Sunday 26th - (6.30pm - 8.00pm repeated Tuesday 8.00pm - 9.30pm)

Listeners Christmas Requests: MJQ, Mahalia Jackson, Etta James, Norah Jones, Tony Bennett, Shirley Horn, Dexter Gordon, Tim Boniface, Bing Crosby, Chris Barber, Quincy Jones, Emma Fisk, Tommy Smith Quartet, Greg Porter w. Wynton Marsalis, Oscar Peterson, John Coltrane.

A Happy Christmas to all our listeners and a Peaceful and Healthy New Year.

Bublé to knock 'em for six

Michael Bublé is coming to Chester le Street. The Canadian superstar crooner is set to occupy the crease at Durham County Cricket Club's Riverside ground on Wednesday 6 July next year. The multiple award-winning performer (Billboard, Grammy etc) has released ten albums (selling more than 75 million copies), touring worldwide, playing to sell out audiences wherever he goes. BSH took in his November 2019 Newcastle Utilita Arena performance and is likely to be represented next year down by the River Wear. As a primer, tune in this afternoon (Xmas Eve, 2:20pm) to ITV's Michael Buble's Christmas in the City.
Russell

Thursday, December 23, 2021

More tenor players

The review of the cut price Avid label's 2 CD release of four albums by Wardell Gray prompted me to dig out the other 16 vinyl albums I have  of the great man. I love them all - Wardell was perhaps the most underrated of the lot.

Nevertheless, as I listened to him playing Blue Lou along with Erroll Garner it occured to me that not only was this the most relaxed tenor playing I'd ever heard but that it also made me realise that, wonderful as Hawkins, Lester, Rollins and Trane are/were there were others that I listened to more - sometimes as much for their lifestyles as for their music although the latter quality had, of course, to cut it too. Here are some reminiscences...

Review: Wardell Gray - Four Classic Albums Plus

Wardell Gray died at the age of 34. To this day there is speculation as to how, exactly, he met his end. What we have here is the legacy of an undoubtedly great tenor saxophonist. From Pasadena in 1947 (Way Out Wardell) to Los Angeles 1950 and 1953 (Memorial Album Volume 1) we hear the ill-fated Gray working with some of the great names of the period.

The '47 Pasadena session included fellow tenor man Vido Musso, Benny Carter on alto sax and the trumpeters Howard McGhee and Ernie Royal. Some five years on Frank Morgan was playing alto sax, Al Haig, Phil Hill and Sonny Clark shared piano duties, Tommy Potter was on bass, and the sole surviving participant from these recordings, Roy Haynes (now 96) occupying the drum chair. 

White Christmas, Jazz guitar


Thank you Maurice S for sharing this seasonal greeting beautifully played by Hirofumi Asaba - Lance

A Jazzy Christmas @ Sage Gateshead - Dec 22

It's become something of a tradition. Paul Edis invites a group of friends over to play some seasonal songs. The venue just happens to be Sage Two, that's Sage Gateshead's intimate cockpit-like space, and, here's the thing, several hundred people turn up to listen. All three tiers sold out some time ago, and with Covid-secure measures in place, everyone set about enjoying themselves. 

Thank you everyone

Well, it's that time of year when we look back and reflect. I'm not going to dwell on the awful events that we've suffered and nor am I going to snipe at the good, the bad and the ugly - I'll leave that to those Facebook pundits who have a panacea for everything from banjos to Bojos.

No, this is to thank those who have contributed words and photos and, in general, supported BSH over the past (almost) 14 years.

Merry Christmas! An open letter to our Editor-in-Chief.

My grateful thanks to Lance for not sending me a CD of Christmas songs to review. It's the first year since I started reviewing that I  haven't had such a CD to deal with.

Such CDs are, should I say, a very mixed blessing. They are sometimes too sentimental or self-indulgent, not at all appropriate for jazz. Or just plain boring.

We get enough Christmas music from the radio etc without it making an appearance on BSH.

Thank you again Lance. But I pray that you won't drop a last minute Christmas CD through my letterbox tomorrow, Please, No …. Ann Alex

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Derrick Harris Trio @ The Railway, Stockport - Dec. 21

Derrick Harris (guitar); Dean Stockdale(keys); Paul Smith (drums).

This month has been great for jazz guitar fans with no less than four guitar-led acts being booked to play the Railway. Tonight, on what was the last jazz night of this year, we heard the Derrick Harris Trio featuring Dean Stockdale on a Nord Stage 2 keyboard giving the group a sound which reminded me of a Wes Montgomery LP that he made for Riverside in 1959 with Melvin Rhyne on organ and Paul Parker on drums.

Black Swan Jam - Dec. 21

Stu Collingwood (piano); Paul Grainger (bass); Sid White (drums)

The house trio kicked things off on what was expected to be a relatively quiet night with I Will Wait For You and How About You? We didn't have to wait too long before Mr Bassman Grainger was saying to an ever-increasing influx of instrument cases "How about you?"

The line was forming on the right.

First up was bass guitarist Richie Richardson who spelled Paul for some Jaco with Mercy, Mercy, Mercy and The Chicken.

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Album review: Adrianne Duncan - Gemini

Adrianne Duncan (piano, vocals); Nick Mancini (vibes); Dan Lutz (bass);  Jimmy Branly (drums); John Tegmeyer (clarinet); Katisse Buckingham (flute, tenor sax)

Duncan, who describes herself on Instagram as: pianist, singer, composer, songwriter, producer, arranger, aunt, godmother, animal lover and laurel canyon dweller (sic), has produced an album of four extended originals and a reworking of Roxanne (by you know who) that make for an interesting, often compelling set. 

Christmas - a time of good will ...

A cartoon with a seasonal touch by drummer, artist and dear friend the late Bill Shaw who died in 2016 - Lance

Parlor Entertainment Harlem - Sundays

Happenstance can be a fine thing. Facebook can infuriate, enrage, etc etc. Occasionally something pops up on the platform and you go: Wow! Sunday evening, Jazz Co-op Xmas party cancelled, Facebook suggested Marjorie Eliot's weekly Parlor Entertainment Harlem live stream could be worth watching. Logging on, Rudel Drears was holding court in Ms Eliot's parlor (parlour). Playing piano, singing (tenor to quavering baritone voice), who is this guy? 

Monday, December 20, 2021

Trefor Owen Quartet @ the Railway, Stockport - Dec. 19

Trefor Owen, Andy Hulme (guitars); Liam Byrne (tenor, sop sax); Ed Harrison (bass).

The journey from my home to the Railway is pretty straight forward and usually takes about fifteen minutes but due to very foggy conditions I got lost a couple of times and missed a turning but eventually got there.


This no doubt deterred some of the regulars from attending as the turnout was well down on what it usually is on a Sunday night. However, the band had arrived early and the gig started on time at 9pm.

R.I.P. Phil Kelly - Death of a stalwart

We are devastated to have lost an absolute stalwart of Take it to the Bridge. For many years, Phil Kelly was a regular audience member who often sat on the door (with good friend Norman Redhead) as the smiling guardian of our £1 subs and raffle tickets. 

Apparently on a night out with friends, he had a fall. He went home and was found dead by neighbours next day. It’s unclear at present whether an injury from the accident proved fatal or something underlying had caused him to fall in the first place. Presumably we will hear more in the next few days. 

STOP PRESS!!! Blaydon Jazz Club tonight (Dec 20) CANCELLED!!!

As the Omicron variant becomes ever more prevalent, Blaydon Jazz Club has taken the decision to cancel this evening's concert featuring Mick Shoulder's Swing Manouche. Rest assured, the concert will be rescheduled. Watch this space and stay safe. Russell 
Attachme

Preview: Gregory Porter's Merry Xmas (Mon. 20)

Gregory Porter will be touring Britain next year (www.gregoryporter.com). To whet the appetite, why not tune to BBC 2 this evening (11:50) to catch a repeat of the 2018 Christmas Day broadcast of Merry Christmas Baby: with Gregory Porter and Friends. Some of those friends joining Porter include Jacob Collier (at Sage Gateshead in June next year), Courtney Pine and Clare Teal. Russell   

VCT Ep 51 - S7 - Ain't this Music Sweet

Our Man in Hong Kong, Colin Aitchison, is still holding the fort at Ned Kelly's Last Stand - the hottest spot for music in Kowloon. As well as blowing trumpet, trombone and singing, Colin continues to broadcast his weekly radio show - Vintage Chart Toppers on RTHK. Now in its seventh series Colin tells us about the latest edition which went on air yesterday - I can't wait to hear some crackerjack banjo playing! - Lance.

"And here is link for the show that went out yesterday, Sunday,19th, December with music from the 1920s to the1950s by Gene Krupa, David Seville, Harry Reser, Jack Teagarden and much more.

So sit back for 30 mins, with your favourite cuppa for 30 mins and have a listen to some of these hits from the past here on RTHK Radio 3, Hong Kong. The Link." Colin

Sunday, December 19, 2021

Hamish Stuart Band livestreaming from the 606 - Dec. 19

Hamish Stuart (vocals, guitar); Adam Phillips (guitar); Steve Pearce (bass guitar); Ian Thomas (drums); Ross Stanley, Jim Watson (keys).

Stuart, a former member of the Average White Band as well as various collaborations with Chaka Khan and others made a welcome return to the 606 for an evening of Scottish soul with, maybe a hint of jazz in the mix. The first set was livestreamed.

In truth it wasn't entirely my scene although I did appreciate the solos and with Ross Stanley, semi hidden in a corner on 'lecky' keyboard and Jim Watson getting B3 sounds out of another keyboard the groove was definitely in.

Jambone, JB's Cats & the CAT Percussion Ensemble @ Sage Gateshead - Dec 18

Sage Gateshead's Young Musicians' Programme Winter Festival went ahead with strict measures in place. Proof of vaccination at the door, face coverings to be worn at all times, welcome to the never-ending weird year of 2021 and 2022 and...An audience comprising family, friends and supporters, this annual showcase for some of the very best talent in the region would take the form of three sets, each led by experienced tutors, in a wholly supportive environment.

Strictly Smokin' Big Band @ GCT - Dec. 18

Michael Lamb (MD), Pete Tanton, Billy Bradshaw, Dick Stacey (trumpets); Jamie Toms, Dave Kerridge, Keith Robinson, Steve Summers, Sue Ferris (reeds); Mark Ferris, Keiran Parnaby, Chris Kurgi-Smith, John Flood (trombones); Pawel Jedrzejewski (guitar); Graham Don (piano, keyboards); Michael Whent (bass guitar); Guy Swinton (drums); Alice Grace (vocals)

A second sold-out session by SSBB at GCT more than compensated for last year's disappointment although, in fairness, the livestreams did serve to whet my appetite until the real thing came along which, in actual fact it did courtesy of Alice.

As Russell has already reviewed the Friday night show and, as last night was a repeat performance, I can but concur with his enthusiastic comments. So rather than say the same thing, albeit less eloquently, I'll content myself with filling in some of the spaces.    

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Aycliffe Radio: Jazz Time

Playlist for Sunday 19th December 6.30pm-8.00pm. (Repeated Tuesday 8.00pm-9:30pm)

Milt Jackson & Howard McGhee; 

Request :Helen Forrest w Benny Goodman;

Irene Serra & Tim Boniface;

Ian Mills Selection- Nina Simone, Louis Armstrong, Ilham al-Madfai, Bill Evans, Nina Simone,

Martin Taylor, Wynton Marsalis Quintet, featuring Mark O'Connor, Frank Vignola.

Jeff Barnhart & John Hallam; Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Lee Konitz &  Gerry Mulligan, Adrian Cox, Dave Brubeck Quartet. 

Preview: Mo' Better Blues - Sky Arts (Dec. 18)

Spike Lee directs and stars alongside Denzel Washington in Mo' Better Blues. Branford Marsalis features and you can play 'spot the on-screen jazz musician' during the course of the film's two hours plus duration. Sky Arts, 10:40pm, this evening (Saturday, Dec 18). Russell

Strictly Smokin' Big Band @ GCT - Dec.17

It's your annual treat, the Strictly Smokin' Big Band ushering in Christmas at Gosforth Civic Theatre. The first of two sold out nights (it's a sell out year after year*) made one realise just how much we've missed Michael Lamb's superb big band. The online stream is one thing, hearing the band up close is the real thing. The band assembled on the stage and on the floor, the evening's entertainment got under way with Max from the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra pad. What a rip-roaring start with Jamie Toms leading the way on tenor followed by Sue Ferris tearing it up on baritone! 

Friday, December 17, 2021

Digital release from Knats

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

Knats have been receiving quite a bit of coverage on BSH in recent weeks via gigs at Hoochie, The Globe and other venues around Newcastle. Deservedly so.

They're a band who may not yet have decided where they are going but you know that, wherever it is, they'll get there. Whether they get there together or as individuals remains to be seen. With music college places on the horizon their paths may diverge but, in the meantime they have laid down a couple of tracks (digitally) that tells us where they are at and hints at where or where not they may be going.

Paul Edis Trio @ the Lit & Phil - Dec. 17

Paul Edis (piano); Andy Champion (bass); John Bradford (drums)

Last month, Matt Forster didn't make it to the Lit & Phil. This month (today) Matt Anderson didn't make it either. However, necessity being the mother of invention and jazz being one of that family, it all came good - more than good!

Last month, Ben Lawrence found himself thrown in at the deep end and emerging a star.This afternoon, Ben's former mentor and tutor via Jambone at Sage Gateshead Paul Edis found himself in a similar situation and did the biz - and how!

Classic Swing Christmas party @ The Crescent Club – Dec. 17

Alan Marshall (alto sax); Dave Kerridge (tenor sax); Neville Hartley (trombone, vocal); Jeremy McMurray (piano); Alan Rudd (bass guitar); Tommy Graham (drums); Olive Rudd (vocals)

Christmas came early to Cullercoats when Classic Swing threw a party for their loyal Friday following at the Crescent Club. The regular crowd were expecting their Friday lunchtime fix of good music from the band, what they were not expecting was a Christmas party - or at least a Christmas party like this!

As well as serving up their regular feel-good music, Olive and the band provided a buffet that ensured no-one left hungry and, to top that, a raffle where everyone was a prize winner! In fact, Alan Rudd had to forgo his regular upright bass for a bass guitar as there was no room in the car, filled as it was with gifts for the faithful!

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Peter Bernstein & Jim Mullen @ the 606 - re-streamed Dec. 16

Peter Bernstein, Jim Mullen (guitar); Jeremy Brown (bass); Steve Brown (drums).

In my defence, I thought this re-stream started at 9:00pm as the live livestreams usually do. 

I was wrong! 

It actually started an hour earlier so I only caught the last 20 minutes after realising my error.

However, those 20 minutes were more precious than many a stream that was three times as long - and more ...

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