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Bebop Spoken There

Charles McPherson: “Jazz is best heard in intimate places”. (DownBeat, July, 2024).

The Things They Say!

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

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

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

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

Ann Braithwaite (Braithwaite & Katz Communications) You’re the BEST!

Holly Cooper, Mouthpiece Music: "Lance writes pull quotes like no one else!"

Simon Spillett: A lovely review from the dean of jazz bloggers, Lance Liddle...

Josh Weir: I love the writing on bebop spoken here... I think the work you are doing is amazing.


16590 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 483 of them this year alone and, so far, 29 this month (July 14).

From This Moment On ...


Wed 17: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 17: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 17: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.
Wed 17: John Pope & John Garner + Nisha Ramayya @ Cluny 2, Newcastle. 7:30pm (doors). £15.00. (£12.00. adv.). A Gem Arts Masala Festival event.

Thu 18 Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Brunswick Methodist Church, Newcastle NE1 7BJ. 2:30pm. £4.00.
Thu 18: Theo Croker @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.
Thu 18: Brad Linde’s Continentals @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Thu 18: Eva Fox & the Jazz Guys @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 18: Ray Stubbs R&B All Stars @ The Mill Tavern, Hebburn. 8:00pm. Rhythm & blues.
Thu 18: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guest band: Darlington Big Band.

Fri 19: Luis Verde with the Dean Stockdale Trio @ The Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. SOLD OUT!
Fri 19: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 19: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 19: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 19: Luis Verde with the Dean Stockdale Trio @ Traveller’s Rest, Darlington. 8:00pm. Opus 4 Jazz Club.
Fri 19: Zoë Gilby Trio @ Seventeen Nineteen, Hendon, Sunderland. 7:30pm.

Sat 20: Snake Davis & Helen Watson Duo @ Chopwell Community Centre NE17 7HZ. 7:30pm. £17.50.

Sun 21: Paul Skerritt @ Hibou Blanc, Newcastle. 2:00pm.
Sun 21: Salty Dog @ The Globe, Newcastle. 3:00pm.
Sun 21: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Free. Sun 21: The Big Easy @ The White Room, Stanley. 5:00pm.
Sun 21: Ben Crosland Quartet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 22: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.

Tue 23: Nomade Swing Trio @ Newcastle House Hotel, Rothbury. 7:30pm. £10.00. Tickets from Tully’s of Rothbury or at the door (cash only). A Coquetdale Jazz event.

Monday, January 31, 2022

Album review: Gábor Bolla - On The Move

Gábor Bolla (tenor/sop sax); Robert Lakotas (piano); Daniel Franck (bass); Billy Drummond (drums)

Just as Sweden was in the early part of the 1950s, in later years the epicentre of Scandinavian jazz swung, and I use the word advisedly, to Denmark and, in particular, Copenhagen.

The Jazzhuis Montmartre was for many years continental Europe's counterpart to Birdland or Ronnie Scott's and provided regular gigs for expat American jazzmen such as Dexter Gordon, Stan Getz, Ben Webster, Brew Moore, Bud Powell and many more.

Grant Russell Quartet @ the Railway, Stockport - Jan. 30

Grant Russell (bass); Kyran Matthews (tenor sax); Paul Kilvington (keys); Luke Flowers (drums).

A graduate of the Royal Northern College of Music Manchester, 35 year old Grant Russell is a very versatile bass player, well known in the north west and beyond for his formidable technique.    

It’s been a while since Grant has been to the Railway. I think it may have been during the pre-covid days as a sideman but tonight he was fronting his own quartet and he could not have picked  a better group of musicians with whom to share the bandstand.

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Sunday Night Jazz @ the Globe: Emma Fisk's Hot Club du Nord - Jan. 30

Emma Fisk (violin); James Birkett, Dave Harris (guitars); Bruce Rollo (bass)

Because of Storm Malik - I had a somewhat violent conversation with some flying gates and lost* - I viewed tonight's eagerly awaited gig via livestream as, indeed,  we once all did, with great anticipation  and I wasn't disappointed.

I love all the various incantations of the Hot Club de France but what I love most about Hot Club du Nord is their use of two guitars instead of the traditional three plus, with James Birkett on a semi-acoustic jazz guitar, it offers a contrast to Dave Harris' Macca which is of course the norm for this style making the rhythm less clunky and, dare I say it? much more swinging.

Michael Connelly: A Darkness More than Night and Art Pepper Meets the Rhythm Section

Another great crime novel by Connelly (pub. 2000 - Orion Books) and, as always,  LA cop Harry Bosch, listens to some jazz in between seeking justice and in the process - on this occasion - finding himself in the hot seat. 

This time he's listening to Art Pepper Meets the Rhythm Section which also just happens to be one of my favourite albums too. Bosch digresses over a couple of pages on the legendary album Pepper made for Contemporary with Miles' sidemen.

Album Review: Louise Dodds – The Story Needs an Ending

Louise Dodds (vocals, songwriter, arranger); Tom Gibbs (piano); Andrew Robb (bass); Alyn Cosker (drums)

All the songs on this fine album were written and arranged by Ms Dodds, and they are well sung in collaboration with the above first call Scottish musicians whose names are not unknown to BSH readers. Ms Dodds is a highly respected singer from Edinburgh who has been performing in the UK and abroad since 2005, which includes headline gigs at London and Edinburgh Jazz Festivals, opening for Norma Winstone MBE, and collaborating with top names in UK jazz, such as guitarist Ant Law.

Saturday, January 29, 2022

Jazz Time Aycliffe Radio

Playlist for Jazz Time Aycliffe Radio - Sunday Jan. 30 @ 6.30pm - 8.00pm: (Repeat Tuesdays 8.00 pm - 9.30pm)

Requests Chick Corea & Gary Burton; Tommy Dorsey.

Ray Sams of Darlington New Orleans club makes his choices re bands that will be coming to the club in 2022: Tenement Jazz Band, TJ Johnson, New Century Ragtime Orchestra, Jeff Barnhart, Savannah Jazz Band.

Tonite! Pete's blowing into the Brandling (Jan 29)

This evening (Sat 29) Pete Tanton will be blowing up a storm at the Brandling Villa, South Gosforth, Newcastle. Ace trumpeter Pete will be 'having a blow' with Ed Stephenson's Revolutionaires. All-action front man Ed blows a mean blues harp, it's going to be a fun night despite Storm Malik doing its worst. Tyne & Wear Metro isn't currently operating system-wide and the pub's car park is out of commission (see photo), so, if you're heading down to Haddricks Mill Road, it's bike, bus or walk. Nine o'clock start, free admission. Russell     

Beegie Adair 11 Dec 1937 - 23 Jan 2022

Beegie Adair began taking piano lessons at the age of five, later studying music at university. In her mid twenties Adair relocated to Nashville, Tennessee. Country music territory didn't deter Adair who went on to work with some of the greats of the genre (Chet Atkins, Dolly Parton), all the while working as a jazz musician, accompanying Peggy Lee and Dinah Shore to name but two stellar jazz names. Adair can be heard on more than one hundred recordings, many of which are Beegie Adair Trio albums. In October 2020 BSH reviewed Clifford Davis' Never Can Say Goodbye featuring Adair's trio. Beegie Adair died Jan 23rd. Russell

Friday, January 28, 2022

Jazz on the Tyne – January 2022

(Press release)

From Saturday, January 29, you can listen to this year’s first edition of Jazz on the Tyne.

Presenter Colin Muirhead will be playing new music by Wendy Kirkland, Shirley Smart & Robert Mitchell, and Pat Metheny.  He will also look ahead to some upcoming gigs in the North East, with tracks by Emma Fisk’s Hot Club du Nord, Rafe’s Dilemma, Paul Taylor, and the National Youth Jazz Orchestra.  Plus, there’s a listener’s request for a classic tune, performed by Yusef Lateef.

You can listen to the show anytime here from noon on Saturday or to request tunes for future programmes, please email Colin at

Preview: The Velvet Fog meets Shirley Bassey (tonight, Friday)

(Pic by Lance)
The Shirley Bassey Show on BBC 4 this evening (7:10pm) should be worth watching. Mel Tormé appears, as does Clive Westlake, songwriter for many famous names, including Elvis, Cilla Black, Vera Lynn, Tom Jones and Ms Bassey. For a while in the fifties, Westlake worked as a music teacher at a school in Ryhope, near Sunderland. Russell

Knats featuring Holly Flo Lightly / Swannek @ Hoochie Coochie - Jan. 27

(Pic by Russell)
Holly Flo Lightly (voice); Josh Mitchell-Rayner (keys); Stan Woodward (elec. bass); King David Ike-Elechi (drums).

The first of Knats' "last Thursday in the month" jazz gigs at Hoochie was different - no surprise there! Every time I've seen the band they were different. However, the difference tonight was even more pronounced due to the absence of outstanding trumpet prodigy Ferg Kilsby. So what did they do - find another horn player? Nah! Instead they co-opted the vocal talents of rapper Holly Flo Lightly.

It worked amazingly well. She rapped the words with the rapidity of a speeded up Michael Brecker solo and when she moved out of the fast lane the voice was as mellow as a cello.

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Tonight @ Hoochie


Four @ The Exchange, North Shields - Jan. 26

Bernie Ranson  (saxes); Barbara Wilcox (keys); Harry Husaini (electric bass); Alan Wann (drums)

This wasn’t a night for tender ballads no But Beautiful (a personal favourite) nor, sadly, any vocals from Bernie Ranson this evening. Perhaps wisely he  did not try to compete with the crowd, noisier than usual and augmented by a  party of wild swimmers and  filmmakers celebrating their BBC documentary.

What we got instead was a selection of upbeat standards including  Autumn Leaves, Soultrane, There Will Never be Another You, Black Orpheus, Yardbird Suite …all matching the mood of the evening... and Wayne Shorter’s Footprints showing this quartet is not frightened of a challenge.

Album review: Soho Scene ’58 Jazz Goes Mod

A double CD package featuring British modernists and their American counterparts. The British, make that ‘Soho’, modernists of the time, including John Dankworth, Tubby Hayes, Don Rendell and Ronnie Scott, are represented in various combinations on disc one (15 tracks), the Americans are heard on disc two (14 tracks), Donald Byrd a notable exception, appearing on a London Blue Note recording session in August 1958.

The BSH reader will know all about Art Blakey, Kenny Burrell, Bill Evans and Horace Silver, with classic recordings in various formats sitting on shelves, perhaps gathering dust. Is the music heard on one disc better than the other? No. Is one disc more interesting than the other? Yes.

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

I'm Shooting High by Ann Richards

There have been many tragic jazz lives - Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, Lee Morgan, Clifford Brown, Charlie Parker. Sadly, the list is endless - the arts seems to have had more than its fair share of tortured souls who died too young.

Ann Richards' death never acquired the cult status of the above names and it's quite probable that many of our readers know little of her.

The Shearing Sound @ the Railway, Stockport - Jan. 25

Bryan Pendleton (piano); Paul Hartley (guitar); Dave Luckhurst (vibes); John Sandham (bass);  Eryl Roberts (drums); Simone McGregor vocals

I can’t remember the last time I saw a set of vibes at the Railway but if you are going to invoke the sounds of George Shearing, I suppose vibes will be an essential item. Also on board was a young singer who had a nice sounding voice.

Simone McGregor was featured on about a third of the numbers played doing a great version of September in the Rain - a hit for Shearing and, in my opinion, one of the greatest tunes ever written.  I should mention that singers are seldom seen at this venue as most of the acts that play here are usually instrumental quartets.

Jammin' @ the Black Swan - Jan. 25

Murray Wankling (piano); Paul Grainger (bass); King David Ike-Elechi (drums) + Jeremy McMurray (piano); Jacob Egglestone, Adam Sams, Joe Steels (guitar); Steve Picking, John Pope (bass); Stan Woodward (bass guitar); Michael Mather, Bailey Rudd (drums); Nick Gould (tenor sax); Esther Coombes (alto sax/clarinet); Jan Spencelayh, Kit Giroux, Patrick Cromb (vocals). 

For all we know there may have been others! The on stage permutations were so many and so varied I stopped keeping score. Suffice to see they all did their own thing and no one fell flat on their er, face.

They came down from Edinburgh, up from Yorkshire, across from Cullercoats - truly an international gathering.

Numbers played included Blue Bossa and I Wish I Knew How it Felt to be Free by the trio. 'S Wonderful (Jeremy); Black Coffee, Get Happy, At Last (Jan); Stella by Starlight, Tenor Madness, Body and Soul (Nick); That Old Feeling, Autumn Leaves (Patrick); It Don't Mean a Thing, Misty (Kit); Mr PC (Pope, Sams) and more - much more.

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

The Guardian interviews Sonny Rollins about playing on the Bridge

Most readers of BSH will be aware that from the summer of 1959 until autumn 1961, Sonny Rollins spent his time away from the limelight, playing saxophone, alone, come rain or come shine, on the Williamsburg Bridge in New York. Rollins comeback album, issued around January 1962, was called – you guessed it – The Bridge.

To find out more about why Rollins left the limelight behind for these two years there’s an account of an interview with Rollins in last Friday’s Guardian (Jan. 21). 

It’s a fascinating tale of an already great musician’s quest to discover his innermost musical self.

Read the interview here - Ann Alex

R. I.P Marilyn Bergman

The death has been announced of Marilyn Bergman who, along with her husband Alan, was part of one of the great lyric-writing teams in both Hollywood and on Broadway.

They collaborated with Bill Evans, Michel Legrand, Johnny Mandel, Sammy Fain, Quincy Jones, Marvin Hamlisch, Henry Mancini, Dave Grusin and many others providing lyrics to songs that were recorded by Frank Sinatra, Bill Evans, Sarah Vaughan, Barbra Streisand, Dean Martin, Michael Jackson and Neil Diamond to name but a few. 

Marilyn Bergman died on Jan. 8 aged 93.

Rest In Peace.

For a fuller account of the Bergmans' achievements read the many obituaries such as this one in the Guardian. Lance

Monday, January 24, 2022

Glen Cartledge Quartet @ the Railway, Stockport - Jan. 23

Glen Cartledge (guitar); Mike Hall (tenor sax); Ed Harrison (bass); Jack Cotterill (drums).

This line-up was an interesting one as Mike Hall had been called in at the last minute and Glen mentioned that it was the first time he had played with drummer Jack Cotterill although he recalled playing with Jack’s grandad Pete Cotterill at the Bakers Vaults a great jazz dive in Stockport that in its heyday used to feature some great bands.

Farewell Ivy Barnes - RIP

John Hallam sent me the sad news of the passing of Ivy Pace, nee Barnes, on  January 9 at the age of 99.

Ivy began as a vocalist with Freddie Stebbins' Band at the Heaton Assembly Rooms before joining the George Evans Orchestra at the Oxford Galleries. 

Although sought after by top bandleaders, she remained on Tyneside.

A tiny lady with a sweet voice and a big smile.

Sunday Night Jazz @ the Globe: Svarc Hanley Longhawn - Jan. 23

(Pic by Lance)
Nik Svarc (guitar); Martin Longhawn (keys); Steve Hanley (drums)

Once again the Jazz Coop, in conjunction with Jazz North East, presented a concert that appealed to all but the most conservative members of the audience attending this week's Sunday session at the Globe.

Three musicians at the top of their game brought the jazz-funk groove of yesteryear bang up to date in ultra-contemporary fashion.

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Preview: The Modernism of Louis and co (Jan 24 & week)

Tomorrow (Monday 24) Mathew Sweet begins a ten-part series on BBC Radio 4 titled 1922: the Birth of Now. Sweet looks at 1922, a crucial year for modernism. Later in the series (Friday 28 Jan) it's all about one of the great modernists of the era, Louis Armstrong. Tune in on Friday at 1:45pm to catch Louis Armstrong Leaves New Orleans for Chicago. And as a primer to the  series, Kirsty Wark's guests on Start the Week (Monday 24, 9:00am) discuss the subject of modernism. Soweto Kinch is one of the contributors to the programme. Sounds interesting.  Russell

A Saturday Sunday Service with Adrian Cox - Jan 22.

Adrian Cox (clarinet, vocals); Nils Solberg (guitar, vocals); Mez Clough (percussion)

Preacher Cox in the pulpit on a Saturday? Ah, well, an upcoming Bad Manners gig in Mexico necessitated a change of routine due to the fact that at the time of today's usual one o'clock live stream spot Adrian Cox will be at 30,000 feet flying to Central America via Spain. In wishing him bon voyage, our man was joined by guitarist Nils Solberg and percussionist Mez Clough. The limitations of the AV format meant Solberg and Clough would be largely out of shot for much of the session. The trio couldn't have been more relaxed, Cox chatting between numbers with his online flock (in excess of sixty parishioners), kicking off with Somebody Loves Me.

Tonight @ the Globe

(Press release)

Tonight's jazz gig! In association with Jazz North East, we bring you Svarc Hanley Longhawn.
Jazzwise said "Leeds Guitarist Nik Svarc, Drummer-Percussionist Steve Hanley and Keyboardist Martin Longhawn join the dots between Jazz-Rock and Hammond funk…an interesting angle for an old-school sound mixed with some hyper-catchy hooks and grooves"
Tickets and info on the Globe/Jazz Coop website.

East Coast Swing Band @ East Bedlington Community Centre - Jan 22

The East Coast Swing Band rehearses 10:00am sharp every Tuesday. Occasionally the band will present an in concert performance (the weekend of Storm Arwen the band played to a capacity audience at the Exchange in North Shields) and this evening East Bedlington Community Centre's rehearsal space welcomed a real live audience to hear MD Peter Morgan's outfit play two sets of swinging big band charts alongside one or two non-jazz numbers, described by the band's tenor-playing MC as 'rock numbers'. Tickets obtained at the door stated: East Coast Swing Band presents An Evening of Light Jazz and Swing ...

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 review: 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!

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