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Bebop Spoken There

Monty Alexander: "I was playing what I liked. It was an era [1980s] when jazz still had that 'street corner' vitality to it." - (DownBeat March 2021)

Archive quotes.

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'"

Postage

12,535 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 254 of them this year alone and, so far, 105 this month (Feb. 24).

Saturday, February 27, 2021

RIP Christian Brewer

Sadly, in the course of my many trips to London over the years, I never got to hear saxist Christian Brewer who, it is reported, died in the early hours of this morning. 

However, such are the accolades that have poured in by those I have heard play and respect such as Alex Garnett, the musicians Christian played with such as Leon Greening and the venues where he was frequently booked such as Ronnie's and all the other London/south coast hot spots, paint such a vivid picture that I can almost hear him without hearing him if that makes sense.

The news was broken by LJN earlier today.

More information as and when.
May he Rest In Peace.
Lance

KSTV: Playback session - Introducing...Rubén González. Feb. 27

Alex Ridout (trumpet); Will Barry (piano); Will Sach (bass); Jas Kayser (drums/percussion); João Caetano (percussion). 

(Screenshot by Ken Drew - collage to follow).

An evening of Cuban music celebrating a legendary album. I say "legendary" as that's what came up when I Googled although, in truth, I was unfamiliar with it although I did know of the Buena Vista Social Club of which Rubén González was once a part of.

Joe Webb plays the music of Hank Jones - Feb. 27

Joe Webb (piano)

Bird, Ella, Nancy Wilson, Hank Jones worked with some of the best in the business. This afternoon Joe Webb played some of the best of Hank Jones, taking a look at the American's 1956 album Have You Met Hank Jones*. A fabulous selection of GASbook numbers, together with a couple of Jones' original compositions, beginning with It Had to be You. But...before our host got under way there was an issue with the live stream camera set up. Webb appeared sideways on until his online audience alerted him to the issue. Sellotape or gaffer tape put matters right. Webb is prone to humming along to his masterful piano playing. If it was good enough for Oscar P... 

Julian Joseph celebrates Chick Corea - Feb. 27

On today's edition of J to Z (Radio 3, 5:00pm) musician and broadcaster Julian Joseph pays tribute to Chick Corea who died earlier this month. Music from the late pianist's days with Stan Getz through to Miles Davis and beyond will illustrate the depth of Corea's contribution to jazz as a composer, sideman and bandleader.   
Russell

Aycliffe Radio Playlist - Sunday Feb. 28

Bessie Smith x2;
Richie Emmerson of Darlington Big Band choices:
Maynard Ferguson; Dexter Gordon; Richie Cole; Jeff Beck; Grover Washington Jr. Benny Goodman Orchestra with Peggy Lee.
New Release: Matt Carmichael.
Jimmy Giuffre; Jas Kayser; Zoë Gilby Quintet; Abe Lyman & His California Orchestra; Django Reinhardt; Wynton Marsalis JATLC; Dizzy Gillespie, Junior Mance.

All request gratefully received and played, hopefully with some reasons/narrative.
Mike

The United States vs Billie Holiday - all week!

Lee Daniels' new film based on Johann Hari's book Chasing the Scream focuses on the American government's pursuit of Billie Holiday. Starring Andra Day, The United States vs Billie Holiday made its UK premiere earlier today (Saturday) on Sky Cinema*. The good news is the biopic is available all week at these times: 

Sat: 8:00pm; Sun: 6:40pm; Mon: 5:40pm; Tues: 7:35am, 6:40pm; Wed: 9:35am, 5:55pm; Thurs: 7:40pm; Fri: 9:45pm. 
Russell

Friday, February 26, 2021

KSTV: Playback session - Ben & Sweets (1962)

Pete Horsfall (trumpet); Alec Harper (tenor sax); Noah Stoneman (piano); Will Sach (bass); Shane Forbes (drums)

(Screenshots by Ken Drew)

This was nice, it was comfortable and I'm not using those terms in any  context other than appreciatively. There was plenty of fire, albeit nowhere near a pet shop. We used to call it swing or mainstream - like Eddie Condon's gang, I call it music.

The fact that, apart from bassist Sach, all were sitting may have suggested this would indeed be a cosy evening in. However, anyone who knew the players present and the historical mentors they were celebrating wouldn't have entertained such thoughts and, if they did, they were literally blown away on the opening Better Go.

Paul Edis & Vasilis Xenopoulos live streaming the music of Jerome Kern - Feb. 26

Paul Edis (piano); Vasilis Xenopoulos (tenor sax)

Download PDF said the link. Er? At the last minute the penny dropped - open file! And there they were, Paul and Vasilis sitting in London's Rokit Studio. All the Things You Are opened the set, an all Jerome Kern special. Excellent! Online comments - 'critics' joked Paul - advised the studio piano was too low in the mix. Vasilis adjusted the sound. Good. However, our tenor sax star then forgot to talk into a mic! Such are the hazards of the live stream...

Rico & Nils present a(nother) Popup Louis - Feb. 26

Rico Tomasso (trumpet, flugelhorn, vocals); Nils Solberg (guitar, vocal) 

Always from a late forties radio broadcast featuring Louis Armstrong began this evening's Popup Louis. Rico's guest this week, guitarist Nils Solberg, accompanied our host who sang a verse in addition to blowing his Armstrong 33. Shine on Harvest Moon is a familiar tune to Rico having played it as an uptempo swing number on a regular gig at the 100 Club on Oxford Street but having recently discovered a verse to the song he liked the idea of taking it at an easier tempo. 

Later tonight with Moses Boyd (Friday 26)

At ten o'clock tonight one half of Binker and Moses will be joining one time piano player with SqueezeMr Jools Holland, on Later...with Jools Holland (BBC 2). Drummer Moses Boyd and saxophonist Binker Golding enjoyed what seemed like overnnight success with the release of their 2015 album Dem Ones. Last year's solo album Dark Matter enhanced Boyd's profile and tonight he joins Jools for a chat.   
Russell

THE UNITED STATES VS BILLIE HOLIDAY Trailer (2021) Andra Day, Drama Movie


Tomorrow on Sky Cinema Premiere 9:25am.
Lance

Midweek at Small's (Feb. 22-25)

Ari Hoenig Trio - Feb. 22

Gadi Lehavi (piano); Matt Penman (double bass); Ari Hoenig (drums)

Ari Hoenig is something of a legend in these parts and a three figure online audience (plus a handful allowed onto the premises) enjoyed the first of two one hour sets from the drummer's trio. Lines of Oppression generated much animated discussion and praise, similarly Chick Corea's Steps. Pianist Gadi Lehavi and busy bassist Matt Penman (also to been heard later in the week) were on the case, not least in an excellent take on Yardbird Suite.   

Album review: Georgia Mancio & Alan Broadbent - Quiet is the Star

Georgia Mancio (voice); Alan Broadbent (piano).

After their 2017 recording - Songbook - and a concert at Sage Gateshead that followed soon after I couldn't wait to hear more from this perfectly matched songwriting team and, at last, my patience has been handsomely rewarded.

Music by Broadbent, lyrics by Mancio may sound like something from the credits of a Broadway show or a Hollywood musical but this a much deeper collaboration than that.  Not composed for whoever plays the lead in a stage or film production but an emotional lament/tribute to real people. Exploring the ties we weave in life: sisterly, maternal, romantic, universal. One voice, one piano, one dialogue is how the blurb describes it and that pretty much nails it.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

KSTV: Playback session - Mingus Ah Um

Nathaniel Facey (alto sax); Alec Harper (tenor sax/clarinet); Daniel Higham (trombone); Deschanel Gordon (piano); Ferg Ireland (bass); Will Cleasby (drums).

(Screenshots by Ken Drew)

1959 was, according to many, the year when more great jazz albums were released than in any other year before or since. It's a debatable point but certainly the evidence leans strongly towards that conclusion. Miles Davis: A Kind of Blue; Dave Brubeck: Time Out; Art Pepper + Eleven. 

There were many more classic recordings and one that more than held its own was Charles Mingus: Mingus Ah Um. It was the first Mingus album I bought - the first of many - and was the subject of tonight's playback session at Kansas Smitty's.

Don't miss tonight at Kansas Smitty's!

Truth is you shouldn't miss any night at Smitty's but tonight's live stream looks to be extra special - a recreation of one of the greatest jazz albums ever - Mingus Ah Um.

The advertised line-up is now: Nat Facey (alto sax); Alec Harper (tenor sax); Daniel Higham (trombone); Deschanel Gordon (piano); Ferg Ireland (bass); Will Cleasby (drums).

A dream team!

Tune in at 8:00pm

Lance

Free Online Singing Event - Singing It Out

Sunday Feb. 28 @ 2:00pm utc – 3:00pm utc

(Press release)

'Singing It Out' provides online singalong sessions to help combat loneliness and improve mental wellbeing through song.

Having been developed with funding from Leeds Inspired, a small grant from Live Well Leeds is enabling you to attend this session FOR FREE!

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

KSTV: Will Arnold-Foster Quartet - Feb.24

Will Arnold-Foster (guitar); Kit Downes (piano); Ferg Ireland (bass); Jas Kayser (drums).

(Screenshots by Ken Drew).

I think tonight was a co-operative effort with no designated leader so, as Will was doing the announcing I'll give him the credit.

This was one of those delightful vignettes that neither sends you to sleep nor keeps you wide awake but has you hovering in that never-never land in between the two extremes which tonight was a good place to be.

Kit Downes is often seen as a boundary-pushing avant-gardist but tonight, as he has done on previous occasions, he showed his compatibility with the more mainstream side of the genre. 

Album review: The Jazz Worms - Squirmin'

Ron Miles (cornet); Keith Oxman (tenor sax); Andy Wehl (piano); Mark Simon (bass); Paul Romaine (drums)

Denver Colorado has been in the news recently due to exploding aircraft parts but it is also home to The Jazz Worms, a very fine quintet well known to patrons of the Denver jazz club Dazzles.      

Their first Capri album, Crawlin’ Out, recorded way back in 1987 created much interest among local jazz fans.  Their latest release is also on Capri Records and contains eight original tunes by various members of the group. 

Ron Miles is the one that I’m most familiar with through his work with Bill Frisell, but his band-mates deserve a higher profile in the jazz world. 

Bagpipe swing with Gunhild Carling in Central Park NY


Neil C sent me this YouTube clip of Gunhild Carling blowing bagpipes in Central Park bringing back memories of an incredible evening at Durham's Gala Theatre back in 2018.

An amazing musician!
Lance

Album review: Alban Claret & Evan Clegg - The Collection

Evan Clegg (trumpet); Alban Claret (guitar); Duncan Eagles (tenor sax); Luke Fowler (bass); Kuba Miazga (drums).

French guitarist Alban Claret has teamed up with Yorkshire trumpeter Evan Clegg to produce a really outstanding album of seven original compositions. Also involved are Duncan Eagles on tenor sax, Luke Fowler double bass and Kuba Miazga on drums.       

I would like to hear more of Eagles he gets a great sound from top to bottom of his instrument. 

Claret reminds me of the legendary Jimmy Raney when he worked with Stan Getz.  

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

What's It All About Sonny?

Fantastic and perceptive post by Simon Spillett on his blog whereby he takes a look back at  the so called "Swinging Sixties" and, in particular, Sonny Rollins and the film Alfie. 

Myths are explored and exploded, and we discover what Sonny himself really thought about the film.

It has fewer words than War and Peace (I think) but is a much better read.

A classic piece of jazz literature.

Read Simon's blog here.

Lance

KSTV: Playback session - Ralph Towner & Gary Burton's "Matchbox" by Nick Costley-White & David Mrakpor - Feb. 23

Nick Costley-White (guitars); David Mrakpor (vibes)

(Screenshots by Ken Drew).

Calming, Chilled, Relaxing, Beautiful, Magical, were just some of the comments on YouTube and they pretty much summed things up tonight in what could have been, but wasn't, a boring session. Quite the opposite in fact.

Admittedly, the tempos on the numbers from the album were a bit on the andante side but this was compensated for by rich harmonies from the vibes and Costley-White's switching from acoustic to electric for more variation.

As I wasn't familiar with the original Towner/Burton album I had no basis for comparision which, in a playback session, is often the best way enabling one to listen without any preconceived ideas.

Szczecin Jazz presents the first European jazz festival of 2021

(Press release)

Launching 25 February and running through to the 4th of March, Szczecin Jazz will host Europe’s first hybrid festival of the year. Over the course of 7 days, each night one act will grace a stage in Szczecin, Northwestern Poland's largest city, performing in front of an online and in-person audience. 

Leading up to the festival, Szczecin Jazz and Jazz in Europe are partnering to offer an exclusive behind the scenes look with a series of vlogs and interviews hosted by Dutch jazz promoter and media director Arlette Hovinga. In five episodes, airing on Jazz in Europe’s website each night at 20:00 CET, Arlette will explore the dynamics of show production, and of course, the excitement of an upcoming set. The series kicks off on Monday, February 22. 

Monday, February 22, 2021

Shri & Dennis Rollins live stream from Ronnie's - Feb. 22

Shri (bass guitar/keyless flute/electronics); Dennis Rollins (trombone/electronics)

(Screenshots by Ken Drew)

When it comes to reviewing it's a case of horses for courses or, to use another adage, one man's meat is another man's poison. So, with due respect to the artists, I'll refrain from making any observations that run contrary to the comments on YouTube and just say that the parade has passed me by on this one.
Lance

PS: I still rate Dennis as the funkiest UK trombone player!

Jazz North’s Jazz Camp For Girls Makes An Online Return With A Broader Offer For Girls Aged 10-15 Years


(Press release)

Jazz North has teamed up with a range of partners to deliver a broader programme for this year’s Jazz Camp for Girls. The ‘Online Musical Adventures Day’ will give girls aged 10-15 years old the chance to discover computer coding to make music, graphic scores, improvising using nature, interpreting jazz standards, and can enjoy an introduction to music journalism, photography, and podcasting in the jazz world. 

Jazz Camp for Girls will take place on Saturday 6th March from 10am until 4.30pm and costs just £10. There will be morning and afternoon sessions giving the girls the chance to have a better and deeper experience of the topics delivered by Women in Jazz Media, Conductive Music, J Frisco, Creative Heights, and BlueJam Arts. All sessions are open to girls of mixed abilities. 

Jazz Items On Radio 4 Today

Highly recommended: Scottish Poet Laureate Jacky Kay reading from her book about Bessie Smith, as mentioned by Russell, broadcast each morning at 9.45am this week on Radio 4.

I left the radio on, so caught jazz drummer Jas Kayser on Woman's Hour, talking about the situation of women musicians on the jazz scene, following on from research done by academic Sarah Raine at the Cheltenham Jazz Festival. Jas explained that it was sometimes assumed that she was a singer, as if a woman couldn't possibly be an instrumentalist, especially not a drummer, as drummers have to be tough and strong (do they actually?)

It was mentioned that the huge contribution of women to jazz in the past had been brushed to one side. (Not true on BSH or in Jackie Kay's writing). Jas agreed that things were gradually improving, which I think they are. Anyway, whatever your opinion is, you can catch this on BBC Sounds – well worth a listen.

Ann Alex

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Ronnie Scott's Jazz Orchestra live streaming from Frith St. - Feb. 21

MD Pete Long was wisecracking before the down beat. Appropriately, Ronnie Scott's Jazz Orchestra opened with Chick Corea's Got a Match? No more to be said, RSJO launched into Freddy Gavita's arrangement of Chameleon, on which Dave O'Higgins blew the roof off!  A fast moving show brought on the first of the evening's vocalists, Mr Iain Mackenzie, to sing I Love Paris (arr. P. Long). Callum Au's arrangement of It's Alright with Me kept Mackenzie on stage, although he was in danger of being blown away by Sammy Mayne's coruscating alto sax solo!

Sunday Night @ The Globe: Hand to Mouth - Feb. 21

Lindsay Hannon (vocals); Bradley Johnston (guitars)

(Screenshot by Russell)

Another masterclass in the art of jazz voice and jazz guitar from Lindsay and Brad. Two of the most musically compatible performers on the scene.

No major surprises apart from Brad's decision to switch back and forth between classical and electric guitars (I won't mention his red socks apart from to say that if red socks were good enough for Django then every guitarist should be wearing red socks).

Not that Django was on the menu tonight. Tonight's inspiration was Joe Pass.

Album review: Pat Metheny - Road to the Sun

Four Paths of Light: Jason Vieaux (solo guitar); Pat Metheny (composer).

Road to the Sun: The Los Angeles Guitar Quartet - John Dearman (7-string guitar); Matthew Greif, William Kanengiser, Scott Tennant (guitars) + Pat Metheny (composer all tracks & guitar tracks 2 & 4).

Für Alina: Pat Metheny (42-string guitar).

A  one for guitar buffs and Metheny fans in particular. Although the universally regarded number one guitarist is only featured exclusively on the bonus track he did compose all of the music which is presented in the form of two suites. 

Four Paths of Light, not surprisingly, consists of four parts played on classical guitar by Jason Vieaux one of the composer's favourite guitarists - a feeling that I'm sure is mutual.

The Sunday Service: the Music of Jelly Roll Morton - Feb. 21

Adrian Cox (clarinet, vocals)

Last night's session at Kansas Smitty's featured Adrian Cox playing the music of Baby Dodds, this afternoon our clarinetist turned his attention to Jelly Roll Morton. Once again, Cox took the opportunity to live stream from Toulouse Lautrec. 

The Philip Harper Quintet live streaming from Small's, NYC - Feb. 20

Philip Harper (trumpet, vocals); Jon Beshay (tenor sax, soprano sax, flute); Miki Yamanaka (piano); Dishan Harper (double bass); Curtis Nowosad (drums) 

There was a sense that this could be something special. During the eighties Philip Harper occupied the trumpet chair in Art Blakey's justly famous Jazz Messengers. Logging on to Small's website, it looked like a near full house (a second house was a sellout) was there to hear a man who, in his mid fifties, should/would be in his prime.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

KSTV: Playback session - Baby Dodds Trio playing Jazz á la Creole - Feb. 20

Adrian Cox (clarinet, vocals); Dave Archer guitar); Deschanel Gordon (piano); Ferg Ireland (double bass); Will Cleasby (drums)

(Screenshots by Ken Drew)

The Wolverine Blues got things underway with New Orleans specialist Adrian Cox leading the pack. A Baby Dodds' Jazz á la Creole hour with none other than Evan Christopher listening in online from NOLA! First thoughts, pianist Deschanel 'Desch' Gordon (aka Don Ewell) comfortable in the idiom, likewise drummer Will 'Baby Dodds' Cleasby. 

Brandon Allen Quartet Live streaming from the 606 Club - Feb. 20

Brandon Allen (tenor sax); Will Barry (keys); Joe Downard (bass/bass guitar); Dave Ingamells (drums).

When it comes to blowing tenor, Brandon Allen plays hardball. The ultimate groover, he should be walkin' the bar in a downtown joint in Philly or Detroit not live streaming to an invisible audience in Chelsea.

But, such are the times we live in that we have to be thankful for small mercies or, like tonight, very large mercies!

When it comes to playing blues, soul or funk saxophone few do, or rather did, it better than the late Stanley Turrentine so it was only natural that Australian sax man, now domiciled in London,  Brandon Allen, who is equally at home in the above genres, should opt to pay tribute to him.

A Great Trumpet Day in London Town

During this week's Popup Louis, Rico Tomasso showed us a photograph of the occasion when more than a few trumpeters assembled in London. They were there to be photographed by the late Ray Bolden. Rico reeled-off most of the names, although, off the top of his head, one or two names escaped him. He suggested his live stream audience could help put a name to a face. Perhaps BSH readers could assist in identifying the musicians. We will be more than happy to receive any suggestions/guesses which will be forwarded to Rico.
Russell 

Album review: Ashton Smith Octet - Further Afield

Ashton Smith (trumpet, flugelhorn, compositions); James Romaine (alto sax); Michael Anning (tenor sax); David Sear (trombone); Francis Tulip (guitar); Will Markham (piano); James Owston (bass); Nathan Jones (drums).

The quality that emerges from Birmingham Conservatoire was very much in evidence last night at Kansas Smitty's when former student and BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year Xhosa Cole blew up a Force 9 on both flute and tenor.

That the high standard has been maintained is evident in this download by the Ashton Smith Octet. Francis Tulip is well known in the northeast and Will Markham has also played gigs up here. The rest are relatively unknown quantities - until now that is!

Aycliffe Radio Playlist for Sunday Feb. 21

Chick Corea; Mound City Blue Blowers; Ella Fitzgerald Louis Armstrong.

Tony Eales' selection: Duke Ellington; Vienna Art Orchestra; Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band; Igor Butman; Scottish National Jazz Orchestra;

Glenn Miller & His Orchestra; Etta James; Paul Chambers; New Orleans Rhythm Kings; Art Tatum Lionel Hampton Buddy Rich; Chris Barber's Jazz Band; Ottilie Patterson Chris Barber; Clifford Brown & Max Roach; Chick Corea.

Mike Dixon

The Mike Clark Trio live streaming from Small's, NYC - Feb. 19

Jon Davis (piano); Leon Lee Dorsey (double bass); Mike Clark (drums)

There is a seemingly inexhaustible supply of top class musicians living and working in New York City. Invariably their cvs are second to none: study at a prestigious music school, teaching at a prestigious music school, recording and touring with some of the biggest names in the business. Tonight's trio live streaming from Small's ticked all of the above boxes. 

Mike Clark will forever be associated with Herbie Hancock's excursion into the seventies' jazz/rock/funk scene. Joining the one-time Headhunters' drummer this evening, pianist Jon Davis (Stan Getz, Jaco Pastorius, Phil Woods) and bassist Leon Lee Dorsey (Dizzy, Hamp, Art Blakey).

Preview: Start the Week with Radio 4's Book of the Week (Feb. 22)

Described as 'a highly personal portrait', Jackie Kay's unconventional biography of blues singer Bessie Smith had long been out of print (Absolute Press, 1997) until Faber & Faber offered to republish the book with a new introduction by the author. From Monday (Feb. 22) Jackie Kay's book  will be serialised Monday to Friday at 9:45am (repeated daily at half past midnight) as the network's Book of the Week.

Russell

Bessie Smith by Jackie Kay is published in paperback by Faber & Faber.  

Preview: Edis & Xenopoulos live streaming Jerome Kern (Feb. 26)

Master pianist Paul Edis and tenor saxophone great Vasilis Xenopoulos are planning to play the music of Jerome Kern. Their set on Friday 26th February will be a live stream affair from London's Rokit Studio. Friends for many years, Paul and Vasilis have worked together on numerous occasions. Their gigs 'up north' in Bebop Spoken Here's heartland are eagerly anticipated events and it'll be great to see them again when we're back to something like normal. In the meantime, be sure to check out Paul's website for details of how to sign up for Friday's live stream (www.pauledis.co.uk). It's a bargain at £8.00 for an eight o'clock start. 

Russell

Friday, February 19, 2021

KSTV: Playback session, Charles Lloyd "Live in Copenhagen" - Feb. 19

Xhosa Cole (tenor sax/flute); Will Barry (piano); Will Sach (bass); Jas Kayser (drums).

(Screenshots by Ken Drew)

A Night in Copenhagen, to give the album its correct title, was recorded in 1983 and featured Charles Lloyd, Michel Petrucciani on piano, Palle Danielsson on bass and Woody Theus on drums. There were also a couple of Bobby McFerrin vocals on the album but, as presumably Jalen N'Gonda wasn't available, tonight was strictly instrumental.

Rico's Popup Louis - Feb. 19

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

This week's Popup Louis featured our host Rico with pianist Will Barry. The duo worked together on a gig at Kansas Smitty's back in the autumn of last year and Rico thought it a good idea to invite Will to play a Friday evening set. The odds were a good number of Rico's many faithful fans hadn't heard of Will. Online comments were most complimentary about the Kansas Smitty's mainstay but, as is the way with 'I know what I like' types, it's unlikely they'll be logging on to Smitty's live streams. 

Album review: Enrico Pieranunzi & Bert Joris - Afterglow

Enrico Pieranunzi  (piano),  Bert Joris (trumpet, flugelhorn) 

Veteran Italian pianist Pieranunzi has recorded prolifically, in many settings since the mid-1970s, and he teams up here with the experienced Belgian Bert Joris on trumpet and flugel for an intimate and relaxed session of originals. Despite their considerable output, I have to say neither player had made much impression on me until hearing this new album. I guess that although jazz audiences on the mainland are famously large, much continental jazz goes under the radar in the UK, swamped by homegrown and transatlantic produce, and not helped by the infrequency of touring here. On the evidence of this Italian-Belgian product, we need to salvage some European jazz alongside the threatened loss of Chianti and Trappist beer!  

Low Friar Street Cabaret, 60s style

On Wednesday February 6, 1963 a swanky new night club opened in Newcastle. La Dolce Vita was the place to be seen. The Kaye Sisters were the opening night's 'turn'. Subsequently the likes of Matt Monro, Tom Jones, Mel Tormé and Billy Eckstine were the cabaret stars. The Beatles visited, no doubt given VIP treatment, similarly Ella Fitzgerald, looking to relax after appearing at the City Hall. Legend has it the Krays paid a visit but were sent packing. The story of the Low Friar Street venue is told in today's Chronicle newspaper. The photo shows Bob Monkhouse on stage. The question is...can you identify the musicians on stage with the comedian? Is the pianist Billy Harper? Information welcome.    

Russell

Album review: The David Anģel Jazz Ensemble - Out on the Coast

I'm not going to lay down chapter and verse on this one - it's a triple CD for goodness sake! 

Suffice to say that, if over the years, your tastes have leaned towards Miles' 1949 nonet, Gil Evans, Marty Paich or the Gerry Mulligan Concert Band then this is very much for you. The arrangements are as cool as a Pfizer vaccine on the rocks - neither shaken nor stirred. 

Thursday, February 18, 2021

James Beckworth live stream from Ronnie Scott's - Feb. 18

We were at Smitty's tonight so didn't make it to Ronnie's for the James Beckworth live stream. However, our ace camera man Ken managed to be in two places at once and sent me this great screenshot.

So all I need now is a few words to go with the pic. If you watched it and would care to comment briefly or, preferably, at length then please do.
Lance

KSTV: Playback session - The Jo Jones Trio. Feb. 18

Jason Brown (drums); Deschanel Gordon (piano); Will Sach (bass).

(Screenshots by Ken Drew).

Permutations of trios at Smitty's come and go but tonight was tops in that every one seemed to have lifted his game that one notch higher. I'm not going to name my Man of the Match as everyone who watched it will have their own choice. Music is a shared thing, or at least it should be - it was tonight. 

So, let's do away with the A was better than B but not as good as C scenario and agree that they each hit the jackpot and that Papa Jo Jones would have been proud of them.

606 Club This Saturday: BRANDON ALLEN – STANLEY TURRENTINE PROJECT. Sat 20 Feb. 8:00pm

(Press release)

Brandon Allen is an expat Australian saxophonist who has made quite an impression on the scene since taking up residence in London. To give you a sense of just how good he is, he has performed with the likes of Eric Clapton, Mica Paris, Jools Holland, BBC Big Band and Omar among many other high-profile artists, and is a member of the Kyle Eastwood Band. 

How to keep your head in lockdown

Under the above heading in today's i newspaper was this gem from Ellie Martin "Life was monotonous - so I learned the banjo. I think if you're struggling you should find the silliest hobby and throw yourself into it. You need to laugh at yourself."
Lance

Jaleel Shaw Trio live streaming from Bar Bayeux, NYC - Feb. 17/18

Jaleel Shaw (alto sax, soprano sax); Matt Brewer (double bass); Joe Dyson (drums) 

Another New York venue live streaming to the world. Bar Bayeux in Brooklyn presents jazz on a weekly basis and this online gig happened thanks to the generosity of those contributing from all around the globe with support from Keyed Up! and Arts Center at Duck Creek. Jaleel Shaw isn't unknown to BSH's Tyneside audience having appeared at Sage Gateshead in 2015. The Cookers were in town, on that occasion Shaw, the young gun, kept a relatively low profile. Not so this evening. Similarly, Matt Brewer was in John Escreet's band when it called in at Gateshead in 2010. Here at Bar Bayeux they were joined by drummer Joe Dyson. Boy! Can he play?! 

Album review: Big Joe Williams - Four Classic Albums

Big Joe Williams (vocals, guitar); J.D. Short (vocals, harmonica); Mary Williams (vocals); Ransom Knowling (double bass)

Jazz and blues are inextricably linked, musically and socially. Bluesman Big Joe Williams, not to be confused with Count Basie's vocalist Joe Williams, travelled the same road as many jazz musicians, migrating north from Mississippi, seeking work and recording opportunities. A new release from Avid presents a wonderful package of Williams' recordings from the late fifties and early sixties. 

Tom Dempsey-Tim Ferguson Quartet live streaming from Small's, NYC - Feb. 17

Tom Dempsey (guitar); Peter Brainin (tenor sax, soprano sax); Tim Ferguson (double bass); McClenty Hunter (drums) 

A co-led quartet, guitarist Tom Dempsey and bassist Tim Ferguson have recorded albums together, they've played Small's on several occasions. This evening's gig found them working in the company of saxophonist Peter Brainin and the splendidly named McClenty Hunter on drums. A sparsely attended performance, the music excellent, the live stream's audio-visual quality not the best*

There is no Greater Love opened the set, Isfahan followed, Dempsey a fan of Jim Hall, suitably restrained, Ferguson's great sound. Brainin, a new name, blowing tenor sax then some soprano on Hocus Pocus from their aptly titled Beautiful Friendship album, this then, is the NYC jazz scene.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

KSTV: Live stream - Feb. 17

Noah Stoneman (piano); Will Sach (bass); Will Cleasby (drums).

(Screenshots by Ken Drew)

What can I say that hasn't already been said? Smitty's has a pool of great musicians. Perm any three from n and you are guaranteed an enjoyable evening's jazz.

Tonight was no exception, the walls didn't come tumbling down and, I guess, the regulars wouldn't want it any other way - I certainly didn't - but it beat listening on the radio to Sunderland going to Wembley although, naturally, I'm glad they did!

Live streaming from Jack's Place #4 - Feb. 17

Jamie Brownfield (trumpet); Andrzej Baranek (keyboards); Ed Harrison (double bass); Jack Cotterill (drums)

Indiana for starters, bright and breezy, Jamie Brownfield on a hiding to nothing taking the role of Louis Armstrong. Jack Cotterill's focus this evening was on Armstrong's Ambassador Satch album recorded during a mid-fifties European tour. Brownfield did as well as any trumpeter taking on West end BluesUndecided was decidedly swift, Cotterill on the ride cymbal, kicking it along as Louis, sorry, Jamie, blew hotter than hot, Andrzej Baranek, keyboards and bassist Ed Harrison admirably keeping up. 

Frank Lacy's Tromboniverse live streamimg from Small's, NYC - Feb. 16

Frank Lacy's Tromboniverse is an amazing spectacle. Eight, possibly nine, trombonists blowing in Small's bijou space is quite something. Oh, to have been there! In a one hour set of of orginal compositions and a couple of standards, Lacy's 'bone men and women were augmented by piano, bass and drums. 

For much of the hour Lacy stood to one side of the stage, out of shot. Rashaan Salaam acting as Lacy's assistant, directed the ensemble with some vigour. An arrangement of Stevie Wonder's Too High received its premiere, and the one ballad of the evening, JJ Johnson's Lament, revealed the many colours in the trombonists' gig bag. 

Frank Lacy is a long-serving member of the Mingus Big Band. Tromboniverse is his own project. If the opportunity arises to hear either band, take it.      
Russell

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

KSTV: Live stream - Feb. 16

Riley Stone-Lonergan (tenor sax); Harry Diplock, Kourosh Kanani (guitars); Ferg Ireland (bass).

(Screenshot by Ken Drew)


A little out of the norm for KS but, nevertheless, quite interesting. They'd only convened that day, although the guitarists knew each other from various European gypsy jazz events, but this their first meeting with the tenor saxist and Diplock struggled with his name, "Ronnie Lonnegon?" It sounded almost like Lonnie Donegan!

Fortunately, once they'd hit the deck with Charlie Parker's Segment, it became obvious we would be unlikely to hear  My Old Man's a Dustman.

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