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Bebop Spoken There

Roseanna Vitro: "Have you ever tried singing a bridge to a Charlie Parker song? It just looks like the craziest thing in the world to me.'" - (DownBeat, January 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! --


13848 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 67 of them this year alone and, so far, 67 this month (Jan. 20).

From This Moment On ...

January 2022

Sat 22: East Coast Swing Band @ East Bedlington Community Centre. 7:30pm. £5.00.
Sat 22: MGB @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. The Milne-Glendinning Band.
Sat 22: Ian Millar & Dominic Spencer @ Hamsteels Community Centre, Esh Winning. 8:00pm. £10.00.

Sun 23 Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 23: Musicians Unlimited @ South Durham Social Club, Hartlepool. 1:00pm.
Sun 23: Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 23: More Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 3:00pm.
Sun 23: Anth Purdy: Swing Jazz Guitar @ Blues & Bourbon, Newcastle. 3:00pm.
Sun 23: Svarc Hanley Longhawn @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £10.00 adv., £12.00. door.

Mon 24: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Mon 24: Vels Trio + Knats @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 8:00pm. POSTPONED!

Tue 25: East Coast Swing Band @ East Bedlington Community Centre. 10:00am - 12 noon. Rehearsal session (open to the public) .
Tue 25: Jam session @ Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. House trio: Murray Wankling, Paul Grainger, King David Ike-Elechi.

Wed 26: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 26: Classic Swing @ Venue, Cramlington NE23 6UT. 1:00pm.
Wed 26: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 26: Four @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm .
Wed 26: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 27: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 27: Tobias Sarra & John Garner @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 7:00pm .
Thu 27: 58 Jazz Collective @ Hops & Cheese, Hartlepool. 7:30pm.
Thu 27: Knats’ Night: Knats + Swannek @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. 8:30pm. Free.
Thu 27: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead. 8:30pm. CANCELLED! .
Thu 27: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman's Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 28: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 28: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm.
Fri 28: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 28: Ian Millar & Dominic Spencer @ Bishop Middleham Village Hall, Ferryhill. 8:00pm. £10.00.
Fri 28: Struggle Buggy @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Blues band.

Sat 29: Lindsay Hannon & Martin Douglas @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 2:00pm. Life Drawing & Live Music. Enrol at:

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Jazz Time Aycliffe Radio

Playlist for Sunday Jan. 23. 6:30pm - 8:00pm (repeated Tuesdays 8.00pm - 9.30pm).

MLK, Nina Simone.

Burns nightBenny Goodman Orchestra.

From the archives: Ella Fitzgerald.

Dean Stockdale makes his selection: Gene Harris Quartet; Fred Hersch; Oscar Peterson; Sonny Stitt with Oscar Peterson; Bill Charlap Trio; Jeff Hamilton Trio.

Burns Night continued: Scottish National Jazz Orchestra; Brian Molley; Matt Carmichael.

Dean Stockdale Quartet @ Opus 4 Jazz Club - Jan 21

Dean Stockdale (piano); Mark Williams (guitar); Mick Shoulder (double bass); John Bradford (drums)

An all Oscar Peterson programme at the first Opus 4 Jazz Club meeting of the year. All things considered - Covid 'n' all that - the Traveller's Rest in the Darlington suburb of Cockerton drew a sizeable crowd keen to hear pianist Dean Stockdale 'play Oscar'. Joining local lad Stockdale, three established musicians on the scene: guitarist Mark Williams, bassist Mick Shoulder, and drummer John Bradford. The quartet opened with OP's Blues Etude. Solos all round topped off by a solid fours, a great start to the evening. 

Album review: Ikumi Koyama - The Things of Life

Ikumi Koyama (piano/vocals); Alban Claret (guitar); Tom Mason (double/electric bass); Kuba Miazga (drums).

Ikumi Koyama, a jazz singer/pianist from Japan, studied jazz piano in Japan and New York and is currently gigging in the London area. This recording features a mixture of well-known and lesser known standards plus two of her own compositions.

She has a most attractive voice and a piano style which should find her ideally suited to some of the upmarket venues in the capital that have good pianos. Ronnie Scott’s, Pizza Express, 606 etc.

Friday, January 21, 2022

Album revies: Mathis Picard - Live at the Museum

Mathis Picard (piano) + Savannah Harris (drums on one tk.)

A debut solo piano album recorded live at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem by an interesting pianist who appears to have developed his own take on jazz piano.

The opening track, John Lewis' The Creation of the World, is polished off in 3:45 which compares favourably with what 'him upstairs' took six days to accomplish before having to have a lie down on the seventh.

Charlie Gabriel - I'm Confessin' (Official Video)

(Press release)
Charlie Gabriel has signed to Sub Pop to release his debut album 89. The album, which features the highlights “I’m Confessin’ (That I Love You)” and ”The Darker It Gets,” will be available on DSPs February 25th, 2022, followed by CD/LP/CS July 1st, 2022 worldwide from Sub Pop.

“I’ve been playing since I was 11 years old,” says Charlie, the most senior member of the legendary Preservation Hall Band, “I never did anything in my life but play music. I’ve been blessed with that gift that God gave me, and I’ve tried to nurse it the best way I knew how.”

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Album review: Scott Burns, John Wojciechowski, Geof Bradfield - Tenor Time

Scott Burns, John Wojciechowski, Geof Bradfield (tenor saxes); Richard D. Johnson (piano/Rhodes); Clark Sommers (bass); Greg Artry (drums)

What a belter! The opening track brings to mind a legendary recording from the past - Tenor Conclave - that threw John Coltrane, Al Cohn, Zoot Sims and Hank Mobley into the studio to produce some memorable music.

This session only has three horns out front but they hit the same high level - a level that is closer to the moon than it is to even the top of the Empire State or whichever is the highest building in Carpentersville, Illinois where it was recorded last July!

Montez Coleman (July 23, 1973 - Jan. 14, 2022)

...with Coleman driving them relentlessly forward as well as soloing with an amazing display of swing and dexterity.

The above was written  after I'd heard Montez  Coleman with Roy Hargrove at a memorable concert in the Union Chapel, Highbury back in June 2011. Hard to believe that they both left us at an early age. Hargrove died in 2018 aged 49 and Coleman last Friday (Jan. 14) aged 48.

Preview: A Love Supreme: 50 Years On (Thursday 20)

John Coltrane's A Love Supreme was released fifty five years ago in February 1965. In a programme first broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2015, Courtney Pine marks what was then fifty years since the release of the seminal album. Joining Pine on BBC Radio 4 Extra at 2:30 this afternoon (Thursday 20) to discuss the recording in historical context are Nat Birchall, Finn Peters and Jason Yarde. Russell 

Live at Jack's Place #40 - Jan 19

Jamie Brownfield (trumpet); Mike Smith (tenor sax); Dean Stockdale (piano); Ed Harrison (double bass); Jack Cotterill (drums)

Covid strikes again! As regular pianist Andrzej Baranek is currently in isolation host Jack Cotterill invited Dean Stockdale to head down to the Potteries from his County Durham home*. BSH readers will be more than familiar with Stockdale who maintains a busy schedule across the north east of England and, indeed, further afield. This evening's quintet opened with How High the Moon.

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Classic Swing @ Venue, Cramlington - Jan 19

Tommy Moran (tenor sax); Jim McBriarty (alto sax, clarinet, vocal); Jeremy McMurray (piano); Alan Rudd (double bass); Tommy Graham (drums); Olive Rudd (vocals)

A new weekly residency in south east Northumberland! Classic Swing, Wednesdays, 1:00pm at Venue. Yes, 'Venue' is the name of the venue! Located in Manor Walks Shopping Centre, the proprietor has gone for a seventies' retro look - mirrors, smoked glass, flowers (plastic) and...a piano!  The band set up on the upper level of the split level room, audience and/or diners seated on the lower level, it would be the usual format of two sets with a finish by three o'clock. 

Book review: Michael Connelly - The Dark Hours

A Michael Connelly novel featuring LA cop Harry Bosch invariably has a few jazz references. However, in The Dark Hours Bosch is now retired  and his character is definitely that of second banana to Detective Renée Ballard who, just as Bosch did when he was a serving officer, isn't afraid to buck the system in the cause of justice.

So, given Bosch's supportive role, the only jazz mention is a fleeting reference to an Eddie Harris and Les McCann number, Compared to What?, played on this occasion by John Legend and The Roots prompting Ballard to quip that she didn't think he listened to anything recorded this century! 

Nevertheless, it is still a cracking tale with Ballard involved in two cases involving murder and rape in which she not only has to watch her back from the villains but also her own colleagues and superiors who don't take kindly to Bosch's involvement or anything that may tarnish the system.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Album review: The Mattan Klein Quartet - The Long Run

Mattan Klein (flute); Toki Stern (Fender Rhodes); Yoni Ben Ari (bass); Joca Perpignan (perc.) + Nitzan Bar (guitar).

Israeli flautist Klein is indisputably a fine player. Whether or not as the blurb claims, his virtuoso improvisation lifts jazz flute playing to new heights is questionable. That he is a fine player is without dispute although his failure to show in the 2021 DownBeat Readers Poll suggests that the jury is still out. Maybe this release will sway them for next year's poll.

Nevertheless, it's well played, the tunes have a decidedly catchy feel to them and, given his background, there are distinct ethnic overtones which all add to the overall experience.

To learn more about Mattan Klein and the album go here - Lance

Available on Ubuntu Music UBU0092.

Tribute to Amy Winehouse’s legacy heads to Sunderland a decade after the pop icon’s tragic death

(Press release)

Sunderland’s new live entertainment venue, The Fire Station is set to host a special celebration of the life and music of Amy Winehouse, with some of the country’s most talented young jazz musicians joining forces for an unmissable showcase of the legendary singer’s music.

Amy Winehouse is undoubtedly one of the greatest musical talents to come out of the UK, with her unmistakable character, vocal dexterity and masterful songwriting making her a pop icon.

The National Youth Jazz Orchestra (NYJO) will head to The Fire Station on Thursday 10th February to perform a selection of arrangements from the singer’s iconic discography along with a number of her favourite tunes that she once performed as the featured female vocalist for NYJO over twenty years ago.

Robin Sunflower Quartet @ the Railway, Stockport - Jan. 16

Robin Sunflower (harmonica, vocals); Robin Dewhurst (piano); Adrian Ingram (guitar); Steve Lunn (bass guitar)

This turned out to be another drummerless line-up with the house piano once again being played by a very fine musician, Robin Dewhurst who was last here in Suzanne Fonseca’s band.  On guitar was a man well known to guitarists here and abroad, Adrian Ingram, who was heavily featured throughout the evening.

Ingram seemed very much at home in Sunflower’s band which certainly covers a wide range of music from  tunes made famous in the Dixieland era such as Darktown Strutters’ Ball to the Latin classic Sway.

Monday, January 17, 2022

Album review: Stan Tracey Trio - The 1959 Sessions

Stan Tracey (piano/vibes); Kenny Napper (bass); Tony Crombie/Phil Seaman (drums)

You hear the familiar sound of a CD sized package dropping through the mailbox and you groan. The package is from Proper Music who know a thing or two about music which is all right and proper and you decide it's worth opening and maybe even listening to the contents.

Your fears turn to joy when you discover it's a 1959 Stan Tracey Trio recording!

Earlier today I'd splashed out a tenner for a Panasonic mini CD system in our local Sally Army charity shop. I praised the Lord and now the ammunition had been passed on for me to check it out.

Preview: Great North Big Band Jazz Festival 2022

Friday 4 March, put the date in your diary. It's the return of the Great North Big Band Jazz Festival (GNBBJF). Last year's festival was cancelled due to you know what. Twelve months on, organisers are hopeful the three day extravaganza will go ahead without interruption. As usual, Park View Community Centre, just off Front Street in Chester le Street, is the place to be from eight o'clock Friday evening to listen to Mick Donnelly's Musicians Unlimited. Then it's into competition mode on Saturday and Sunday. 

Sunday Night Jazz @ the Globe: John Garner & John Pope - Jan. 16

John Garner (violin/perc.); John Pope (double bass/perc.)

It has to be said that the Jazz Coop are never complacent when it comes to programming their Sunday night jazz at the Globe sessions and last night was no exception.

An improv/free jazz event by two master practitioners of the genre. Drawing from the work of such legendary performers as Don Cherry, Ornette Coleman, Jimmy Garrison, Jeanne Lee, and Misha Mengelberg and, of course, adding their own input made for some compelling moments.

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Musicians Unlimited @ Steelies, Hartlepool - Jan 16

Musicians Unlimited will once again be opening the annual Great North Big Band Jazz Festival (March 4 - 6) and today's weekly session signalled the countdown to the event with just another six Sundays before the big day. Mark Toomey took his place in the reeds, Kieran Parnaby depped in the 'bones and, in the absence of Mick Shoulder, Jeremy McMurray occupied the piano stool to enable Gary Hadfield to cover bass guitar duties. Other than that, it was pretty much the regular squad on duty. 

Tonight @ the Globe

(Press release)

This Sunday evening, Garner Pope Duo...

... the powerful Tyneside bassist John Pope and mercurial virtuoso violinist John Garner return to The Globe for an evening of celebratory, no holds barred music-making.
The duo have immersed themselves in the singular repertoire of composers including Don Cherry, Ornette Coleman, Jimmy Garrison, Jeanne Lee, Mary Lou Williams, and Misha Mengelberg, channeling these titanic spirits through the lens of their contemporary experience in myriad musical traditions.

Jazz Time Aycliffe Radio Sunday 6.30pm - 8.00pm (Repeated Tuesdays 8.00pm - 9.30pm)

(This week has been recorded from home due to my testing Positive, and Dean Stockdale will be heard next week the 23rd - Mike).

Playlist: Requests: Tuba Skinny; Duke Ellington & Louis Armstrong.

RIP 2021: Howard Johnson & Gravity; Keith Belton & Tees Valley Jazzmen;  Slide Hampton.

What's on in the NE: Dean Stockdale; Anth Purdy.

New(ish) Release: Wilbur de Paris.

Anniversary Memories of Jan 21: Benny Goodman Orchestra with Peggy Lee; George Gershwin; Anita O'Day; Stan Getz.

Abbie Finn.

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Joe Mooney - a forgotten genius

Mention the name Joe Mooney and chances are you'll get a blank stare or a "who?" Which is rather sad as Joe Mooney was not only a fine singer but a great jazz organist and one of the few who could give the accordion a degree of jazz respectability.

I first heard him singing Nina Never Knew on record with the Sauter Finnegan Orchestra. I think that was his only recording with the band although Bill Finnegan's wife subsequently became his manager.

Janet the Sax busking it - Jan 15

A few weeks ago BSH came across an alto saxophonist busking on Northumberland Street in Newcastle. Stopping to listen, then to have a brief chat, your correspondent suggested she - that's Janet the Sax - should get along to the fortnightly Black Swan jam session. At first expressing real self-doubts about her capabilities (Janet is an alto sax player looking to get into improvisation and hone her jazz skills), we left it at that.

Ruth Lambert Quartet @ The Gala, Durham - Jan 14

(© Malcolm Sinclair)
Ruth Lambert (vocals); Alan Law (piano); Paul Grainger (double bass); Tim Johnston (drums)

A first lunchtime concert of the year with Ruth Lambert attracting a near full house to the Gala Theatre. As the one hour set approached its end it became evident that some in the audience - your correspondent included - were regulars all of twenty yeas ago listening to Lambert, as a member of the resident Jazz Girl outfit, singing in the Gala's cafe bar. Over the years little has changed, except for one thing, the then superb vocalist is now better than superb! 

Friday, January 14, 2022

Remembering Buddy Greco

Five years ago this month (Jan. 10) the jazz world lost one of its greatest singers - Buddy Greco. 

Apart from being a fine, bop based, pianist, Greco stamped his individuality on GASbook classics as good, and sometimes even better than, Frank, Tony, Nat, Mel and the other crooner contenders.

I was privileged to hear him at Ronnie's, at Newcastle City Hall and Durham's Gala Theatre (photo with wife number 5 - Lezley Anders). What a singer! What a pianist! What an entertainer!

Matt MacKellar Trio @ The Globe - Jan 13.

Matt MacKellar (drums); Ben Lawrence (keyboards, piano); Andy Champion (bass)

Matt MacKellar's festive flying visit home is nearing its end, however, thanks to Newcastle Jazz Co-op, the final year Stateside music student took the opportunity this week to play a trio gig with friends Ben Lawrence and Andy Champion. The Globe on Railway Street drew a good sized audience there to hear drummer Matt play a set of, well, jazz-funk, soul jazz, jazz with soul, jazz with an edge etc.

Album review: Nicholas Bridgman - Blue Horizon

Nicholas Bridgman (piano); Craig Hall (guitar); Dan Koloski (bass); Jim O'Sullivan (drums).

Necessity is the mother of invention they say or, in this case, Covid is the mother of invention otherwise it would be unlikely that the above four musicians based, respectively, in California, Montana, Maine and Texas would have recorded this fine album - the air fares alone would probably have  been prohibitive. 

However, modern technology requires no boarding pass, you don't even need to step out of your hometown which is how this virtual recording took place. And, in case you're wondering about the sound quality, let me tell you that Rudy Van Gelder couldn't have done it better!

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Album review: Alex Merritt/Steve Fishwick Quintet - Mind-Ear-Ladder

Alex Merritt (tenor sax); Steve Fishwick (trumpet); John Turville (piano); Mick Coady (bass); Matt Fishwick (drums).

A lovely example of contemporary British modern jazz by five of the UK's best. It may not be pushing any boundaries over the brink but there are moments on the album when they come close - very close!

However, forward thinking as it is, the music lies somewhere north of yesterday and marginally south of tomorrow.

Steve Fishwick has long been one of my favourite British trumpet players bringing to mind what Lee Morgan may have sounded like today had the gun on that fateful night not been loaded. 

Calum Gourlay Big Band live streaming from the Vortex - Jan 12

Two one hour sets, actually two separate houses, available to the online armchair viewer for the princely sum of £5.35., Calum Gourlay reconvened his Vortex big band to play a mix of new material and tried and tested charts. The bassist's ensemble comprising household names across the sections suggested we were in for a treat. 

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

John Hallam Quartet @ the Railway, Stockport - Jan. 11

John Hallam (baritone/tenor sax/clarinet); Paul Hartley (guitar); Ken Marley (bass); Phil Bennett (drums)

I must admit to a liking for the baritone sax although I have never played one but I  do enjoy listening to people  like Gerry Mulligan, Pepper Adams, Nick Brignola and anyone else who can get around the larger horn. I was very pleased to see John Hallam had brought along a baritone sax tonight together with tenor sax and clarinet.. He chose an interesting selection of tunes which included some Ellingtonia, a Mingus number, one by Basie and some lesser known standards making a total of twelve for the two sets.

Preview: Calum Gourlay Big Band (Wednesday 12)

This evening (Wednesday 12) the Calum Gourlay Big Band will be live streaming two sets from the Vortex. If you're unable to be there in person it's a bargain £5.35 to view two one hour sets! Streaming at 7:30pm and again at 9:30pm., Gourlay, a long time member of the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra, is sure to have an A-list line-up on stage at the north London venue. To book your online seat see:

Black Swan Jam - Jan. 11

Alan Law (piano); John Pope (bass) Matt MacKellar (drums) + "Janet the Sax" (alto sax); Faye MacCalman (tenor sax); Murray Wankling (piano); Charles & Laurence Harrison (guitars); Fernando Torres, Steve Picking (elec. bass); Michael Mather, Mark Taylor (drums); Sid Stobart (vocal/blues harp); Becky Tuck (vocal).

The thing about jam sessions is that they are always different but never boring. The repertoire may show little variation but the interpretations invariably do.

Last night, the house trio of Law, Pope and MacKellar got things off to a swinging start. MacKellar, on parole from a well-known music college in Boston, Mass, drove There is no Greater Love effectively along with Pope, depping for the quarantined Paul Grainger, giving excellent support and soloing imaginatively to complement Law on piano. 

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Preview: The House That Jazz Built (Today - Jan 11 - Radio 4 Extra)

Way back in December 2009 Paul Merton narrated a Radio 4 documentary about Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club. This afternoon (Tuesday, 2:30pm) BBC Radio 4 Extra airs a repeat of the programme which features contributions from Salena Jones, Jay Phelps and Ronnie's MD, pianist James Pearson. The House That Jazz Built should be worth listening to. Frith Street 2009, Frith Street 2022, let's see if it's changed much, if at all.  Russell

Monday, January 10, 2022

Frank Griffith Quartet @ the Railway, Stockport - Jan. 9

Frank Griffith (tenor sax, clarinet); Misha Gray (piano); Gavin Barras (bass); Gaz Hughes (drums).

Tonight we had a welcome return visit from reeds man Frank Griffith. Originally from Oregon, USA, but now resident in the Liverpool area after many years playing and teaching around London. 

The band tonight included Misha Gray, a fine pianist who I can recall hearing only once on Frank's first visit to this venue. He can be added to the list of pianists that prefer to use the house upright rather than bring their own to the gig. Misha displayed a high energy style and his solos made me want to hear more of him.

Preview: Durham Uni Jazz Soc (Jan 12)

Durham's students are returning to the Land of the Prince Bishops to resume their studies. Overworked and under pressure as they are, one shouldn't begrudge them a little 'down time'. The Jazz Society (Jazz Soc) is an opportunity for them to switch off for a couple of hours as they congregate in the shadow of Durham Cathedral at Cafedral Durham on Owengate to listen to and play some jazz. On Wednesday (Jan 12) it's an evening of standards. A fiver in advance or at the door (four quid Music Durham members). Russell   

Dormans Jazz Club January listings

(Press release)

Thursday 13: Tees Hot Club with guests  Donna Hewitt (alto sax); Richie Emmerson (tenor sax); Gus Smith (vocals); Dave Archbold (keys).

Thursday 20: THC with guests Mark Toomey (alto sax); Dave Archbold (keys); Kevin Eland (trumpet).

Thursday 27: THC with guests Dan Johnson (tenor sax) Josh Bentham (alto sax); Gary Hadfield (keys).

Dormans Club, Oxford Rd., Middlesbrough TS5 5DT start 9:00pm free entry.

Sunday Night Jazz @ the Globe: The Sam Toulson Quartet - Jan. 9

Sam Toulson (alto sax); Edgar Ho (piano); Oscar Ho (bass); Ansel Bayly (drums).

The players, like our policemen, are getting younger and, in the case of the former, getting better and attracting a younger audience so it was good to have a full house comprising of a mixed age group ranging from the very young to the very old (me!).

This was the first Sunday night jazz session of 2022 and believe you me the Sam Toulson Quartet have set the bar at a very high level for the bands that follow.

Some may observe that they didn't play any original material of their own but I'm fine with that and why should they? Until a musician can compose better music than Duke Ellington, Hank Mobley, John Coltrane, Keith Jarrett, Joe Henderson, Steve Swallow and John Scofield, which comprised much of tonight's repertoire, why risk shooting yourself in the foot? It will come.

Sunday, January 09, 2022

Preview: James Morrison plays Top Brass (Sunday evening)

For those who can't get along to the Jazz Co-op tonight to hear Sam Toulson, and for some reason are unable to watch the live stream, Tony Eales, friend of BSH, points us in the direction of BBC Radio 2 at nine o'clock. Multi-brass virtuoso James Morrison presents the first of four Top Brass programmes looking at the full spectrum of brass music. Tonight's programme features recordings by Oompah Brass, Snarky Puppy and Howard Johnson. Future editions will include Dickie Wells, Marshall Gilkes, Laura Jurd and Mike Lovatt. Russell

Lennie Tristano - Personal Recordings 1946 - 1970 (disc 6/6)

Lee Konitz (alto sax); Warne Marsh (tenor sax); Lennie Tristano (piano); Billy Bauer (guitar). 1948. Home recording.

Tristano (piano); Sonny Dallas (bass); Nick Stabulas (drums); + (on one tk.) Konitz (alto sax); Zoot Sms (tenor sax). 1962. The Half Note NY C. 

Maynard Ferguson w Stan Kenton Blues In Burlesque Audio

You'll either love this or hate it! Shelly Manne takes the vocal.
I think it's hilarious! Lance

Tonight @ the Globe

An exciting new quartet is the featured band tonight at the Globe. Alto saxist Sam Toulson impressed listeners at the Black Swan jam a couple of Tuesdays ago as did the brothers Ho - Edgar and Oscar - on keys and bass respectively (see photo). 

Drummer Ansel Bayly is a new name to me but I have absolutely no doubt he will be of equal standing to his fellow musicians.

This promises to be a dynamic start to 2022's Sunday night season of presenting the best of jazz at the Globe. Lance

To book tickets.

Saturday, January 08, 2022

Lennie Tristano - Personal Recordings 1946 - 1970 (disc 5/6)

Lennie Tristano (piano); Sonny Dallas (bass);  Nick Stabulas (drums on 1 track).

They just get better! With one disc to go the man's magic just grows and grows. Why haven't I been shouting his name from the rooftops since I first heard him on record back when I was a callow youth? Possibly his music was ahead of me then. Well I've caught up with it since and, just as I spent all those years not reading Schopenhauer and listening to Terry Lightfoot instead, the truth has finally dawned and with it the injustice of anyone, myself included, who failed to recognise Lennie Tristano's true genius.

Jazz Time Aycliffe Radio - Sundays 6.30pm - 8.00pm - (Repeated Tuesdays 8.00pm - 9.30pm)

Playlist Sunday (Jan. 9)

3D Jazz Trio; Dave Brubeck; Dixiecats Henry 'Red' Allen; Esperanza Spalding.

RIP 2021: Chick Corea; Barry Harris; Chris Barber; Keith Nichols; George Mraz; Curtis Fuller.

What's on NE: Matthew MacKellar;  Infusion Trio. 

Alan Barnes Nikki Iles.

New Release:Brian Molley.

Silje Nergaard; Abbie Finn.


Preview: Scala Radio's Jazz Meets Classical (Jan 9)

Scala Radio is all about classical music. Broadcasting 24/7, the station launched in March 2019, no doubt aiming to poach listeners from BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM. Now, the first installment of a new six part series, Jazz Meets Classical, can be heard on DAB at eight o'clock on Sunday evening. Presenters Jack Pepper and China Moses discuss the overlapping worlds of classical and jazz music. Why not give it a whirl?! Russell

Preview: Terence Blanchard's Opera on 3 (Today)

In 2019 one-time Jazz Messenger Terence Blanchard premiered his opera Fire Shut Up in My Bones at the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Missouri. Black American composers had been overlooked by New York's Metropolitan Opera House until trumpeter Blanchard's work opened the institution's 2021-2022 season. Today (Saturday 8) Opera on 3 from the Met (Radio 3, 6:30pm) presents a repeat of a performance first broadcast from the Met in October 2021. The programme is typically Radio 3 in length - all three hours and twenty nine minutes of it! And why not?!  Russell 

Friday, January 07, 2022

Album review: Lennie Tristano - Personal Recordings 1946 - 1970 (disc 4/6)

Lennie Tristano (piano); Peter Ind (bass); Tim Wayburn/Al Levitt (drums).

 It just gets better and better and there's still another two discs to go. Undoubtedly the best acoustic wise and musically simply wonderful.

Lennie of course is nothing less than perfect (Thelonious who?) but Peter Ind is an absolute rock. The late Brit bass player not only provides the pianist with sympathetic support but also threatens to steal the limelight with his own solos! He doesn't of course - these are team players.

They don't come any better than this - or do they? I've still got two more discs to go! Lance

R.I.P Sidney Poitier

Sidney Poitier died today aged 94. As the first black American to receive an Oscar for his role in Lilies of the Field he became a first call Hollywood actor for roles that required a person of colour (to use today's terminology) in a leading part.

Jazz fans will probably relate more to him  via the 1961 film Paris Blues where he played a jazz tenor player blowing alongside Paul Newman's blistering trombone (both dubbed).

It was a good, if not a great, film but it did draw attention to the different racial values in Europe as opposed to America at the time. It could be said that, in that respect, nothing much has changed. 

Thursday, January 06, 2022

Album review: Lennie Tristano - Personal Recordings 1946-1970 (disc 3/6)

Lee Konitz (alto sax); Warne Marsh (tenor sax); Lennie Tristano (piano); Billy Bauer (guitar); Arnold Fishkin (bass - Joe Shulman 1 track); Jeff Morton (drums)

Classic Lennie with his main disciples - Konitz, Marsh, Bauer and Fishkin - who were among the relatively few, at this time (1949/50), to recognise the genius that the modern jazz world had in its midst. 

Miles' Birth of the Cool band and Gerry's sextet were close but Lennie's sextet managed to strike a freer mood. They showed the way ahead towards a freedom that could be done without dissonance whilst retaining their image at the pointy end of progression.

Lit & Phil postponement!

January's lunchtime concert (Friday 21) featuring Emma Fisk and James Birkett has been postponed. Emma, James and the Lit & Phil are in agreement that given the prevalence of the Omicron variant it is wise to postpone the event. Advance reservations/online sales indicated the concert would have attracted a capacity audience. Rest assured, Emma and James' hugely popular Joe Venuti-Eddie Lang concert will be rearranged. Watch this space
and stay safe!  Russell

Album review: Martin Wind Quartet - My Astorian Queen

Martin Wind (double bass); Scott Robinson (tenor sax, bass saxophone, clarinet, trumpet); Bill Mays (piano); Matt Wilson (drums, percussion)

Martin Wind arrived in New York twenty five years ago to study at New York University. The German bassist has been in the Big Apple ever since. Wind's cv includes performing or recording with a dizzying array of musicians ranging from the Brecker brothers, Pat Metheny, Ken Peplowski and Sting to the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra. 

Phil Seamen Story

Perhaps the greatest British drummer of all-time, Phil Seamen talks about his career as well as demonstrating his formidable technique. It's a hoot! We will probably never know his like again - Lance

Wednesday, January 05, 2022

Maria Schneider - official announcement

(Press release)

The Maria Schneider Orchestra’s Barbican performance, scheduled for 29 January 2022, is to be postponed. We are currently working on finalising the new date for this event, and we will be back in touch as soon as this is confirmed. 

Album review: Lennie Tristano - Personal Recordings 1946-1970 (disc 2/6)

Lennie Tristano (solo piano).

With four discs to go this is the benchmark for the rest! Anyone who doubts Tristano's deserved status in the upper echelons of the modern jazz piano pantheon need only to listen to this, album two of six, of what is a wonderful boxed set.

The fi here is definitely more hi than on the previous disc and, whilst still not perfect, it does gives the listener a clearer appreciation of the genius that was Lennie.

Steve Oakes Quintet @ the Railway, Stockport - Jan. 4

Steve Oakes (guitar); Jim Collins (tenor sax); Ed Kainyek (alto, soprano sax); Gavin Barras (bass); Tim Franks (drums).

Usually Steve has a quartet line-up but tonight he surprised us by fronting a two saxophone quintet and they proved ideal for Steve's brand of modern jazz. Tonight we heard a varied programme of standards, bop tunes and some interesting originals all played with a positive vibe that I like to hear when I go out to hear live jazz. 

At present the Railway is the only place in this area that has a Tuesday jazz night so let us hope the word gets around and more people get to experience the delights of this atmospheric venue.

Peter Ind - Frank Griffith features the iconic bassist on The Jazz Cavern

This week belongs to Lennie Tristano, possibly the most underrated jazz pianist of all time. I'm currently enjoying Mosaic/Dot Time Records' boxed six-CD set of previously unreleased privately recorded items, The first of which was reviewed yesterday and the second later today.

Tomorrow night Frank Griffith, tenor player/broadcaster, features Peter Ind - one of the most important members of Lennie's musical intimates - on his weekly radio show The Jazz Cavern of which the details are below.

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