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Bebop Spoken There

Steve Race: "The personnel is different, notably in the inclusion of Ben Webster, always, to my mind, a rather half-hearted tenor player"

The Things They Say!

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

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

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

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

Postage

13,490 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 908 of them this year alone and, so far, 72 this month (July 23).

From This Moment On

Wed 28: Ragtime Rewind Swing Band @ Assembly Rooms, 40 North Bailey, Durham DH1 3ET. 9:20pm. £8.00. A Durham Fringe Festival event (www.durhamfringe.co.uk).

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

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

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

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

August

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

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

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Jeffrey Hewer Quartet @ The Globe on Sunday (August 1)

The Jeffrey Hewer Quartet is an exciting and dynamic jazz band that performs original music and interpretations of jazz classics in a contemporary style.

Expect tunes by legends such as John Coltrane, Miles Davis and Joe Henderson as well as original music and arrangements inspired by the giants of jazz.

Led by guitarist Jeffrey Hewer, the quartet of guitar, bass, drums and saxophone brings an intense and lyrical sound as they explore musical soundscapes, bringing a joyful excitement and interplay to their music.

Details/tickets

Recipients Announced For 2021 Parliamentary Jazz Awards

(Press release)

The recipients of the 2021 Parliamentary Jazz Awards were announced on Monday 26th July at 19:00

The Parliamentary Jazz Awards are organised by the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group (APPJAG) with the support of PizzaExpress Live. The Awards celebrate and recognise the vibrancy, diversity, talent and breadth of the jazz scene throughout the United Kingdom.

The award categories reflect the ever-increasing scope of talent from within the UK’s jazz scene: Jazz Vocalist of the Year; Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year; Jazz Album of the Year; Jazz Ensemble of the Year; Jazz Newcomer of the Year; Jazz Venue of the Year; Jazz Media Award; Jazz Education Award; the Services to Jazz Award and the Lockdown Innovation Award.

Monday, July 26, 2021

Munch Manship Quartet @ the Railway, Stockport - July 25

Munch Manship (tenor sax); Andrzej Baranek (keys); Grant Russell (bass); Dave Tyas (drums).*

I watched a news item on Sunday concerning an unexploded World War 2 bomb found in a building site in Goole, Yorkshire. The Army came in and blew it up, which was a quite spectacular event.

Another explosive event occurred at the Railway on Sunday evening when saxman Munch Manship together with a first-rate backing trio arrived ready to cook up a storm, and they did!

The Globe Wins! 2021 APPJAG Awards

Winners in bold type.

Lockdown Innovation Award

Liam Noble  - Saturday Lockdown Live Sessions 

Joe Stilgoe's 'Stilgoe in the Shed' 100 shows 

Adrian Cox's Sunday Service 

The Globe Newcastle upon Tyne


Jazz Vocalist of the Year

Claire Martin

Brigitte Beraha 

Georgia Mancio


Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year

Tony Kofi

Adrian Cox

Nubya Garcia

Nishla Smith Quintet & The Tenement Jazz Band @ The Globe Summer Festival - July 25

(Screenshot by Ken Drew)
Nishla Smith (vocals); Aaron Wood (trumpet); Richard Jones (piano);  Joshua Cavanagh-Brierley (bass); Johnny Hunter (drums).

It was almost three years to the day - give or take a couple of weeks - when I first heard Nishla. It was in the old Jazz Café, now the Prohibition Bar, at one of the legendary Tuesday night jams.

Since then, apart from an occasional return to the area, Nishla is now firmly established on the Manchester jazz scene and the choice of her quintet proved to be a fitting finale to The Globe/Jazz Co-op's innovative Summer Festival that crossed the genres and set down the ground-lines for what, hopefully, next year will be even better - tough call!

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Review: Blue Notes, Cold Nights (July 25)

From time to time there is something worth tuning into on BBC Radio 4 Extra. This afternoon (Sunday) a repeat of a programme first broadcast in December 2011 looked at African-American musicians who chose to base themselves in Scandinavia. In Blue Notes, Cold Nights blues musician Eric Bibb, himself acquainted with life on this side of the Atlantic, surveyed how the scene was way back and now. 

St. Cuthbert's Suite @ Sage Gateshead - July 24

Sat 24: Youth Ensembles present St Cuthbert Suite @ Sage Gateshead. 7:30pm. Composer Paul Edis conducts Folkestra, Jambone, Quay Voices & Young Sinfonia in a new arrangement of his St Cuthbert Suite. AVAILABLE ONLY AS A PRE-RECORDED STREAM ON YOUTUBE AT 7:30PM 

The above item appeared in yesterday's gig listing and no doubt many were kicking themselves for being otherwise engaged and missing out.

Well all is not lost. It can still be viewed on YouTube and is totally unmissable for anyone who appreciates a range of music across the genres.

Adrian Cox's Sunday Service with Joe Webb - July 25

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

Minutes into this afternoon's Sunday Service, Adrian Cox's online congregation hit one hundred! Clearly clarinetist Cox is a hugely popular figure on the scene and, what's more, this week there was the added attraction of Joe Webb playing some rollicking good piano! 

The King Bees @ The Globe's Summer Festival - July 24

Michael Littlefield (guitar, vocals); Scott Taylor (harmonica, vocals); Dominic Hornsby (piano, vocals); Simon Hedley (double bass); Giles Holt (drums)

The Globe's Summer Festival was in full swing with the Sour Mash Trio approaching the end of their late afternoon set playing to an appreciative, largely standing, audience. Wrist bands issued at the door, ground floor and first floor bars open, yes, we were in festival mode. The 'new normal' is weird...punters standing at the bar. It'll never catch on! We were on Railway Street in Newcastle to hear some electric, electrifying blues. If anyone thinks 1950s South Side Chicago blues is a thing of the past, think again. 

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Alex Garnett Quartet @ the 606 Club - July 24

Alex Garnett (tenor sax); Deschanel Gordon (piano); Simon Read (bass); Matt Home (drums).

The last time I heard Alex Garnett was at the 606. That night he blew the subterranean roof off on alto, tonight he did it again on tenor. Quite a player!

This was one of those nights where sitting, watching, listening on the pc isn't quite the same. If my neighbours had had a  707 in their back garden I'd have asked them to fly me down to the 606 in time to catch the second (unstreamed) set but ... neighbours these days...

Nevertheless, on that first set the band hit the ground running with Junior Mance's Jubilation that told me everything I needed to know - this was going to be a cracker. If they ever bring back the good old free for all jam sessions I wouldn't bet against Garnett being the last man standing!

Aycliffe Radio: Playlist July 25 (6:30pm)

Billie Holiday; JATP Oscar Peterson, Ella Fitzgerald Roy Eldridge. 

David Bonner's choice: Sant Andreu Jazz Band (Jesse Davis & Wycliffe Gordon); Michael Philip Mossman feat. by WDR Big Band; Utrechtse Studenten Bigband ft. Adam Rapa & Tom Beek; James Morrison auditioning for The Big Phat Band trumpet section.

The New Golden Age.

There was a time, from the 1950s onwards, when it seemed as though the UK was overrun with top class sax players. Tubby Hayes, Ronnie Scott, Don Rendell, Tommy Whittle, Jimmy Skidmore, Keith Bird, Art Ellefson, Kathy Stobart, Barbara Thompson, Bogey Gaynair, Danny Moss, Don Weller, Bobby Wellins, Pete King, Joe Harriott, Johnny Dankworth, Harry Klein, Ronnie Ross and John Surman to mention but a few.

Then, one by one, most of them died and we began, once again, looking to America but, over there too, most of the masters were, figuratively speaking, six foot under.

Why Aye, it's Soznak! - July 24

(Photo by Russell)
If it's Saturday it must be Soznak at Monument. Well, that used to be the case, come rain, come shine. Then along came the pandemic and the band didn't venture into Newcastle city centre in yonks. Now, they're back! The photo shows Jude (on the left) belting out Good Times and Let's Dance with bandleader Paul (on the right of the picture in canary yellow t-shirt) bagging a seat on a hot summer's day. Russell

Review: The Road to Rock 'n' Roll

Bobby Rush turns eighty eight this year. In a programme broadcast on the BBC World Service at lunchtime today (July 24), the veteran blues musician gave us a guided tour of the chitlin' circuit, interviewing many of its now legendary performers. Black American musicians cut their teeth on the tough gig-to-gig, town-to-town days and nights on the road in segregated America. 

Rush offered to demonstrate how to play and sing the blues, the Homer, Louisiana born survivor singing the line: She left me for the garbage man

Preview: The Chitlin' Circuit & Dexter in Denmark

Two programmes worth catching this weekend on BBC Radio. At noon today (Saturday) on the World Service The Road to Rock 'n' Roll looks at the touring circuit in the States and the many stars who honed their skills gigging from town to town. Tomorrow (Sunday 25), over on Radio 4 Extra at half past three, Eric Bibb presents Blue Notes, Cold Nights,(first broadcast in December 2011) telling the story of Don Cherry and Dexter Gordon who lived and worked for many years in Denmark.  Russell

Billy Taylor remembered

Billy Taylor was born one hundred years ago today (July 24). A professional career beginning with a job working with Ben Webster would see the one-time Birdland house pianist share a stage with a 'who's who' of the jazz world - Bird, Dizzy, Miles et al. Tomorrow's edition of Jazz Record Requests (BBC Radio 3, 4:00pm) pays tribute to the great man.
Russell

Friday, July 23, 2021

Rico's Popup Louis - July 23

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

A last Popup Louis before the summer break found our host Rico Tomasso once again working with 'the wonderful Will Barry at the piano'. This evening's streamed session from Rico's kitchen featured a return visit by 'the wonderful' Will Barry, our duo would play everything from Earl Hines to Nat Cole (Oscar Moore). Perhaps it was the summer heat but the audio didn't sync with the picture. In this year and more of the live stream we've become accustomed to technical glitches to such an extent that they're easily dismissed from the mind, it goes with the territory. 

Hot Club du Nord @ The Gala, Durham - July 23

Emma Fisk (violin); James Birkett (guitar); Dave Harris (guitar); Bruce Rollo (double bass)

As Emma Fisk reminded us, it had been eighteen months. Eighteen months since the regular Hot Club du Nord line-up last took to the concert platform. On another sweltering day, when people could have been sunning themselves in a pub beer garden, it was gratifying to see close to one hundred socially distanced fans filling the Gala Theatre's main auditorium. 

Mercury Awards Nominations - Jazz

The nominations have been announced today for the latest Mercury Awards - whatever they are!

The jazz joust appears to pit Floating Sounds, Pharoah Sanders and the London Symphony Orchestra's Promises against Nubya Garcia's Source.

The former is described as A collaboration between Sam Shepherd, musicians with a neuroscience doctorate, jazz legend Pharoah Sanders and an orchestra that produces an elevated suite of electronica and ambient sounds. By contrast, Garcia tells the story of her Afro-Caribbean heritage via a joyous stew of reggae, dub, calypso and soco.

I can understand why the Vieux Carré Jazzmen didn't make make it - they flunked their neuroscience doctorate! Lance

Album review: Trineice Robinson – All or Nothing

Rejoice! Another fine singer doing jazz and soul with a lovely alto tone and expressive presentation.     

This is Ms Robinson's debut album, issued after already making her mark as an educator, researcher, author and scholar. She hails from Oakland, California, sang in church, then gained qualifications in jazz studies and education. She has taught and developed resources for singing in jazz, gospel, pop and other styles, as well as keeping up her own schedule as a singer. She is especially interested in finding ways to express the experience of black American people through song.

The Harry Keeble Quartet @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle - July 22

(Photo by Russell)
Harry Keeble (tenor sax); Mark Williams (guitar); Andy Champion (bass); Abbie Finn (drums)

Harry Keeble graduated from Leeds College of Music (now 'Conservatoire') a couple of years ago. The amiable tenor saxophonist has been making his mark on the jazz scene sitting in at jam sessions, gigging with drummer Abbie Finn and now, fronting his own quartet, there is a recently recorded digital download EP to enjoy. To celebrate the release of The Beacon, the HKQ played a launch gig at Prohibition Bar.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Album review: Dave Miller Trio - The Mask-erade is Over.

Dave Miller (piano); Andrew Higgins (bass); Bill Belasco (drums).

Well, I hope the title of this album turns out to be accurate and life gets back to a degree of normality. However, although I've got my fingers crossed and sent a prayer to him down there, time alone will tell.

Should the unthinkable happen and we're once more sentenced to a life of lockdowns, quarantines, self-isolation and all the rest then, at least, this album will provide some comfort. In fact, even if everything was hunky dory listening to the Dave Miller Trio would make it even hunkier and dorier. 

Preview: Tonight! Harry Keeble Quartet EP launch

This evening (Thursday 22) at Prohibition Bar in Newcastle, tenor saxophonist Harry Keeble launches his recently recorded EP. The Beacon features original compositions performed by Harry's A-list band; guitarist Mark Williams, bassist Andy Champion and drummer Abbie Finn. Harry and Abbie met at Leeds College of Music and since graduating they've continued to make a big impression on the regional jazz scene and beyond. Mark and Andy, themselves graduates of Newcastle College, run their own bands and are in great demand locally and nationally. 

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Johnny Hunter Quartet @ Creative Space, Manchester - July 20

Johnny Hunter (drums); Kyran Matthews (tenor, soprano sax); Joshua Cavanagh-Brierley  (double bass) Adam Fairhall (keys).

It was a hot sunny evening when I arrived at the Slug and Lettuce to hear the music of the late great pianist Mulgrew Miller performed by the Johnny Hunter Quartet.

Although it was only 8:20pm, already, there was a good crowd in the upstairs room,  maybe due to the Creative Space being inactive for the past 16 months. The doors to the balcony were open which cooled things down a bit and the band started at 8:45pm with the first of two sets finishing at 11:00pm.

Zoë Gilby & Paul Edis @ Ronnie Scott's - July 20

Zoë Gilby (vocals); Paul Edis (piano)

Mid-summer, temperatures nudging 30°, the capital city appeared to be as busy as ever. An early morning Azuma - first stop King's Cross - arrived bang on time, not to the minute, rather, to the second. A good start to the day. Things couldn't get any better, certainly not worse, could they? 

The plan...hit the art galleries, browse - and almost certainly buy something from - the bookshops, go to the pub then on to Ronnie's. The masterplan was to take in two gigs at Ronnie's, the early evening show 'Upstairs @ Ronnie's' and, later in the evening, the second house in the main room. The latter event featuring pianist Emmet Cohen's NYC trio hit the buffers when uncertainty over travel/quarantine regulations forced a postponement.* The former event, an edition of the weekly Braziliance session Upstairs @ Ronnie's, presented two north east of England born and bred stars of the British jazz scene. APPJAG award-winning vocalist Zoë Gilby travelled down from her Tyneside home to meet up with her London based friend and master pianist, Paul Edis. 

Rick Laird dies at 80

Born in Dublin in 1941, in his teens Rick Laird went to live in New Zealand with his father, before moving on to Australia where he began gigging around town. Harbouring ambitions to move to America, Laird was persuaded to try London. A period of study at the Guildhall led to the plum job of house bassist at Ronnie Scott's. Unsurprisingly, in next to no time, he compiled an impressive cv - Sonny Rollins*, Sonny Stitt, Ben Webster, all the guys who had engagements on Frith Street. 

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

If Gabriel ever needs a UK dep ...


It's too darn hot to post anything of substance so I thought I'd draw up a top ten list of British trumpet players that I've heard over the years and across the genres. To avoid controversy I've listed them in alphabetical order.

Bruce Adams. I've heard Bruce in small group settings with Alan Barnes - the way they bounce things off each other both musically and verbally is pure magic. Likewise, on gigs with SSBB and CHBB, he never fails to bring something extra to the table. The last time I heard him with Strictly Smokin' at the Globe it wasn't his first solo or even his first chorus - it was his first note! Good job they'd battened down the hatches! 

Preview: Zoë, Paul & Ronnie (July 20)

(Photo by Malcolm Sinclair)
Thinking about it, Ronnie Scott would more likely than not be amazed by the sheer number of talented British musicians currently plying their trade the length and breadth of the country. Yes, the American 'names' continue to be a big draw, but there is little doubt that many home-grown stars are more than capable of holding their own with all and sundry. Next week two such stars will be holding court at Ronnie Scott's.

Monday, July 19, 2021

Trefor Owen Quartet @ The Railway, Stockport - July 18

Trefor Owen (guitar); Andy Hulme (guitar); Dave Luckhurst (bass); Liam Byrne (tenor & soprano sax) + Mike Farmer (soprano sax)

Trefor Owen was born in Anglesey Wales and is a familiar name to many guitar enthusiasts throughout the UK and USA. He is a first-rate educator as well as being an excellent musician who has appeared alongside many notable guitar legends including Mundell Lowe, Jimmy Gourley, Howard Alden and Louis Stewart. He also ran the highly acclaimed North Wales International Guitar Festival.

The band played a selection of well-known standards plus two written by Wes Montgomery and a new one (to me) by Henry Mancini – Dreamsville.

Mike Durham's International Classic Jazz Party 2021: CANCELLED!

It makes me so sad to announce this, for a second year! We really can't see a clear way through to planning this weekend event in November, given its international complexities, and the ongoing uncertainties with travel and quarantine - plus, the continuing upward numbers of Covid cases. 

We'd remained cautiously optimistic until fairly recently - so, due to print deadlines you may well see advertisements for the event in current and forthcoming issues of jazz magazines. This has been a decision that we've taken jointly, just in the last few days. Our musicians have now been informed - so they can plan their diaries. 

For Sand Dancers* Only - Jazzin' around South Shields

(Fred Rowe)
Possibly the first ever jazz club I visited was the Wouldhave Restaurant on the sea front at South Shields. With the night club boom of the 1960s it became the Beach Club and then the Shoreline Club. It was the kind of place where even Hell's Angels feared to tread! However, back then, in the early 1950s, on a Sunday night it was a jazz club featuring the Rivermouth Jazzmen with Fred Rowe on trumpet, Bill Harper on piano as well as others whose names now escape me. Unfortunately, it didn't have a liquor licence so it was necessary to tank up beforehand then sprint across the road to the Sea Hotel for further sustenance during the interval.

JAZZ SUPPER WITH JEREMY MCMURRAY & THE POCKET JAZZ ORCHESTRA FRI 23 JULY 2021 - FRI 20 AUGUST 2021

(Press release)

MUSIC

Featuring some of the North East’s top musicians, The jazz outfit features pianist Jeremy McMurray, bassist Peter Ayton, drummer Paul Smith, Paul Donnelly on jazz guitar and saxophonist Mark Toomey with a repertoire that incorporates a mixture of lyrical melodies and rich harmonies from the great American songbook, to the full passion and fire that is associated with the bebop idiom. This is an experience you don’t want to miss! 

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Sunday Night @ the Award-Winning Globe: Alter Ego - July 18

(Screenshot by Ken Drew)
Dave Hignett (trumpet, flugel); Keith Robinson (alto/soprano sax); Niall Armstrong (tenor sax, flute); Paul Donnelly (guitar); Tony Abel (bass guitar); Dave Johnson (drums).



Q: What's the difference between a live gig and a livestream?

A: The former is usually too short and the latter is usually too long!

To elaborate. On a live gig you're enjoying it in the, socially distanced, convivial company of like-minded enthusiasts. Come the interval, drinks are ordered, observations are made about the gig, even a chance to chat with the performers or, maybe, strike up a new acquaintance before the band return for an even better set - few bands show all their cards in the opening deal.

Tonite: Alter Ego @ The Globe

(Press release)

Alter Ego, based in Newcastle, is a sextet made up of talented, like-minded musicians all of whom have experience performing in a variety of musical styles. In order to develop an individual sound they have moved away from the standard jazz repertoire in favour of lesser known material originally performed by groups led by Art Blakey, Hank Mobley and Miles Davis while also introducing many new original numbers.

The Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ J's & B's - July 18

(Photo by Russell)
Jude Murphy (double bass, vocals); Judah Grunstein (guitar); Bernie Ransom (keyboards, tenor sax, vocals)

The Foundry Jazz Ensemble came into being from lockdown rehearsal sessions on the Foundry Lane Industrial Estate down in the Ouseburn. Now that restrictions are beginning to ease, Jude Murphy is keen to get a few gigs in the diary. This afternoon's performance in the grounds of St James' and St Basil's in Fenham, Newcastle was one of them.

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Mornington Lockett featuring Henry Lowther @ the 606 Club - July 17

(Collage by Lance)
Henry Lowther (trumpet/flugel); Mornington Lockett (tenor sax); Gareth Williams (piano); Geoff Gascoyne (bass); Mark Fletcher (drums).

Tonight at the 606 was extra special - it was  Henry Lowther's 80th birthday!

Welcome aboard Henry.
 
However, before Henry joined the quartet, Mornington gave us 20 minutes of Without a Song. Blistering tenor that was more akin to the Williamsburg Bridge in NYC rather than the somewhat closer - at least physically if not musically - Stamford Bridge. The Williamsburg Bridge, for the benefit of jazz neophytes, is where Sonny Rollins took his sabbatical, practising into the early hours with no worries about the neighbours knocking! Without a Song came from the album inspired by Rollins' nocturnal activity - The Bridge.

KSTV: Norah Jones' Come Away with Me - July 17

(Screenshot by Ken Drew)
Hattie Whitehead (vocals, guitar); Alex Haynes (guitar); Joe Webb (piano); Daisy George (double bass); Lloyd Haynes (drums) 

Signed to Blue Note, Norah Jones' debut studio album would go on to sell 27m copies worldwide making Come Away with Me one of the biggest selling records of all time, period. A Billboard 200 chart-topper, Grammy award-winning, who's to argue with its popularity? Jones' 2002 debut recording featured some stellar jazz names - guitarists Bill Frisell and Adam Rogers, violinist Jenny Scheinman and drummer Brian Blade. 

Album review: Matt Ridley - The Antidote

Matt Ridley (bass); Alex Hitchcock (saxes); Ant Law (guitar); Tom Hewson (piano/keys); Marc Michel (drums)

I don’t know why it was this album that set me off waxing philosophically on the nature of the jazz combo and its longevity. The basic bass/drums/keys rhythm section plus frontline looks to have been with us since the big band leaders sat down with their accountants and realised that the personnel budget needed a dose of austerity. That this template has been with us for over 70 years means that any musician who wishes to use it must do so in a way that keeps it fresh; that there’s bite in the old dog still.

Aycliffe Radio Jazz Time. Sunday July 18 Playlist


Jamaica Jazz; Quintette du Hot Club de France.

Dean Stockdale’s Picks: Oscar Peterson x 2; Hank Mobley; Bill Evans; Ray Brown Trio; Fred Hersch.


Charlie Mariano; Ben Wilcock; Jasmine Lovell-Smith; Brian Hudson; Peggy Lee/Quincy Jones; Gerry Mulligan Sextet.

Mike Dixon

More Manchester Music

Our way out west correspondent  - Mike Farmer - has sent us this update of the latest listings from The Railway, 74-76 Wellington Road North Stockport SK4 1HF Tel 0161 477 3680.

It's Record Store Day...again!

The music biz has taken a bit of a battering this past year and more, the retail sector included. Independent record shops have responded with a series of 'Record Store Day' events. Usually an annual event, it's a case of 'needs must'. So, the weather is set fair, why not head into town and bag a 'must have' if not a bargain? At or near the top of the new jazz releases just has to be the Roland Kirk album recorded at Ronnie Scott's in 1963. Stan Tracey, Malcolm Cecil and Ronnie Stephenson were on the date, regardless of the audio quality, this one could be considered 'essential'. Russell

Friday, July 16, 2021

Entries invited for Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition

My current favourite American singer is Samara Joy although I'm also a fan of Jazzmeia Horn. The two girls have something in common - they are both past winners of the Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition and worthy of the singer the competition was named in honour of.

Entries are now being accepted for this year's competition. It is a truly international event so whether you live in Washington DC or Washington T & W, if think that you're good enough, submit your entry.

Georgia Cécile & Fraser Urquhart @ The Lit & Phil - July 16

Georgia Cécile (vocals); Fraser Urquhart (piano)

It had been a while, fully sixteen months since the last of the Lit & Phil's monthly lunchtime jazz concerts in March 2020. In recent months, hopes of a return to something approaching 'normal times' have risen only to be dashed, risen again then dampened once more. Today's concert marked the latest chapter in a turbulent year. Driving down from a sunny Edinburgh, Georgia Cécile and Fraser Urquhart arrived in sunny Newcastle to perform a set of standards. 

LIVE JAZZ AND BLUES IS BACK – RIGHT NOW! - in Birmingham...

(Press release)

From Friday 16th July, every day until Sunday 1st August the Birmingham region will once again become the centre of jazz and blues interest with 136 performances, 129 of them free admission, featuring 203 musicians in 52 bands appearing in 63 venues throughout Birmingham, Sandwell, Sutton Coldfield and Solihull as well as shows in Dudley and Redditch.

The 37th Birmingham, Sandwell & Westside Jazz Festival features Dixieland, Bebop, Modern Jazz, Swing, Rhythm & Blues – and there’s more.

Creative Space in Manchester

Another important Manchester jazz venue is re-opening after being inactive for 16 months. 

Operating under the name Creative Space the music will take place on Tuesday evenings in the upstairs room of the Slug and Lettice, 651 Wilmslow Road, Didsbury, Manchester M20 60 OZ Tel: 0161 434 1011.

Janet Higgins who organises the events tells me she is planning on a five week trial period as follows:

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Album (4 CD set): Chris Barber - A Trailblazer's Legacy

Presentation wise, possibly one of the finest 4 CD sets ever issued, and it's not bad musicwise either.

To deal with the packaging first. A hard backed 90 page booklet crammed with photos, flyers, testimonials to Barber from many rock stars ranging, alphabetically, from Andy Fairweather Low to Van Morrison giving an indication of just how far reaching his influence was. A detailed appraisal of the 69 tracks by Alyn Shipton, who collaborated with Barber on the bandleader's autobiography Jazz me Blues, is equally compelling. To make things totally comprehensive there's also photos and text from his parallel universe - that of a motor racing driver. This will sit just as easily on your bookshelf as it will on your CD shelf after it eventually makes way on your coffee table for some inferior product like Wagner's Der Ring cycle.

They shall remain nameless...

You've been to a rock gig, a folk night, a classical music evening. You can't ever recall the event being labelled with a health warning. Well, a recent jazz gig was advertised on a venue's Facebook page as follows: We have plenty of outdoor and indoor seating on our lovely decking area; so if jazz isn't your thing you can sit away from the main room [where the jazz is]Russell

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Album review: Falkner Evans - Invisible Words

Falkner Evans (piano)

Some of the most emotional and heart-rending piano music  since Chopin's Nocturne in E flat major with some additional input from maybe Debussy, Dameron, Tristano and Bill Evans. Given the background to the recording it's hardly surprising.

Linda, Falkner Evans' wife of 22 years, took her own life in May, 2020. Despite having a happy marriage, Linda was prone to depression. This was something she'd struggled with throughout her life and the tragic ending, it's said, could have been exacerbated by the isolation induced by the pandemic.

More tickets released for Assembly Roxy

(Press release)

After the Scottish Government’s announcement yesterday, we are pleased to be able to put a limited number of tickets on sale for all our concerts from Monday 19 July onwards. 

The safety of our staff, musicians and audiences are of the utmost importance and therefore we have chosen to add only a limited number of tickets at this time. 

We also still have a couple of tickets left for some of our shows from 16 to 18 July - check out the links below.

Album review: Joshua Cavanagh-Brierley - Joy in Bewilderment. Take Two.

Joshua Cavanagh-Brierley wins points across the board for the boldness of his ambition across the 56 minutes and 7 seconds of Joy in Bewilderment. He works the eighteen musicians at his disposal through some tremendous arrangements, sweeping across the canvas from the opening title track by the string quartet, which evokes Terence Blanchard’s  A Tale of God’s Will ( a Requiem for Katrina) in its melancholy and solemnity. By the end of the album, on You Can’t Whistle a Haircut, we are the other end of a story arc in a world of furious, joyous, escapist free jazz as if all the confusions and contradictions have been resolved.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Last Call for Georgia Cécile at the Lit & Phil

The last few seats - you can count them on the fingers of one hand - for the appearance of Georgia Cécile at the Lit & Phil on Friday are up for grabs. Call the Lit & Phil on 0191 232 0192 to reserve your socially distanced seat. No advance payment, simply reserve a seat, then pay at the door (£7.00.) on the day (one o'clock start). The award-winning Georgia will be singing a selection of GASbook songs accompanied by the award-winning pianist Fraser Urquhart Russell

Globe update

(Press release) 

A quick note about the easing of restrictions next week ---

As you may be aware, the government has confirmed the lifting of restrictions from next monday. This is great news for music venues across the country. However, some amount of responsibility is now upon ourselves to maintain a safe environment for our customers and staff. So, for the next few months at least, we will be running the following system.

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Lance

Monday, July 12, 2021

Mike Hall Quartet Live @ the Railway, Stockport - July 11

(Mike Hall (tenor) 2016)

I hadn’t intended to go to the Railway last night as I assumed Mike would cancel due to the England-Italy game but I was wrong.  I got a phone call from my friend Jeff asking me where I was as Mike Hall was about to start his first set.

I jumped into my car and got there in record time due to hardly any traffic and only missed the first tune. The line-up was Mike Hall tenor sax and soprano sax; Ed Harrison double bass, Eryl Roberts drums and instead of the expected Richard Weatherall on piano, his replacement was the excellent Steve Buckley on guitar.

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