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Bebop Spoken There

Fergus McCreadie: "I think a lot of the best music is very political, and there are so many things going on in the world that I'm constantly angry at. But for me making music is not the space for that" (Jazzwise July 2022)

The Things They Say!

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

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

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

The Strictly Smokin' Big Band included Be Bop Spoken Here (sic) in their 5 Favourite Jazz Blogs.
Ann Braithwaite (Braithwaite & Katz Communications) You’re the BEST! -- Holly Cooper:"Lance writes pull quotes like no one else!"

Postage

14336 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 14 years ago. 555 of them this year alone and, so far, 55 this month (June 19).

From This Moment On ...

June

Sun 26 Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 26: Musicians Unlimited @ Jackson’s Wharf, Hartlepool. 1:00pm. Outdoor (indoor if inclement weather).
Sun 26: Mississippi Dreamboats @ Springwell Village Community Venue, Gateshead. 2:30pm. A ‘1940s’ Weekend’ event (from 1:00pm).
Sun 26: More Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 26: Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 26: Los Chichanos @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £10.00 adv., £12.00. door.

Mon 27: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Tue 28: Jam session @ Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. House trio: Dean Stockdale, Paul Grainger, Sid White.

Wed 29: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 29: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 29: Four @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 29: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 30: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 30: 58 Jazz Collective @ Hops & Cheese, Hartlepool. 7:30pm.
Thu 30: Lights Out By Nine @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. 8:30pm. Free.
Thu 30: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead. 8:30pm.
Thu 30: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

July

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

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

Thursday, March 31, 2022

Charles Mingus Sextet: Mingus, The Lost Album From Ronnie Scott's (disc 2 of a 3 disc CD)

Charles Mingus (bass); Jon Faddis (trumpet); Charles McPherson (alto sax); Bobby Jones (tenor sax, clarinet); John Foster (piano);  Roy Brooks  (drums).

Well, I've just read the de-luxe CD sized glossy 61 page booklet and it's a worthy companion to the music. What you get is an interview with Mingus and McPherson by Brian Priestley, himself the author of a Mingus biography, regarded by many as definitive. A separate interview with McPherson on Mingus, an assessment by Christian McBride on Mingus as a bass player, and much more, much much more.  

Charles Mingus Sextet: Mingus, The Lost Album From Ronnie Scott's (disc 1 of a 3 disc CD)

Charles Mingus (bass); Jon Faddis (trumpet); Charles McPherson (alto sax); Bobby Jones (tenor sax, clarinet); John Foster (piano, vocals);  Roy Brooks  (drums, musical saw).

In August 1972, the Charles Mingus Sextet played at Ronnie Scott's for two weeks recording this live album over the  final two nights  (August 14, 15). I was fortunate in being present for one of the sessions of the run although probably not at the ones recorded here. Nevertheless, almost 50 years on the memories of that memorable night are rekindled with this 3 x CD set.

Ronnie Scott introduces the band and, for once, he doesn't tell any jokes. Perhaps, knowing the Mingus  reputation, he didn't want to chance his luck!

Sax Appeal!

(Press release)

Where's the sax? So far there are no saxes booked for our Play Jazz! workshop this Saturday at The Globe. This has never happened before! Come on saxes (and trumpets,
trombones, clarinets, flutes) book here
https://theglobenewcastle.bar/play-jazz-workshop-april/ Improve your jazz improvisational skills with inspirational tutor Stephen Glendinning.

Preview: La La Land - BBC 4, tonight (Thursday 31)

Damien Chazelle's 2016 romantic musical bagged six Oscars. Set in Los Angeles, Ryan Gosling plays struggling but determined jazz pianist Sebastian, Emma Stone plays Mia, similarly struggling to get a break as an actor. They meet, fall in love, it's the usual Hollywood schmaltz. Justin Hurwitz composed the score (several jazz 'names' contributed to the soundtrack). Look out for John Legend as Keith, and JK Simmons (the sadistic drum tutor in Whiplash) as Bill. Take a seat in time for the nine o'clock start, it's worth watching. Russell

Live from Emmet's Place with Lucy Yeghiazaryan - March 28

Lucy Yeghiazarayan (vocals); Emmet Cohen (piano); Mark Lewandowski (double bass); Joe Farnsworth (drums) + Benny Benack III (trumpet)

Wow! Wow! Wow! Emmet Cohen's latest stream from Emmet's Place presented vocalist Lucy Yeghiazaryan. Pianist Cohen's regular bass and drums - Russell Hall and Kyle Poole - were given the night off as our host was joined by Nottingham-born, NYC-resident Mark Lewandowski and first call drummer Joe Farnsworth. The trio would play a couple of numbers before being joined by Ms Yeghiazaryan.

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Album review: Tina May 52nd Street (and other tales) - Tina May sings the songs of Duncan Lamont

Tina May (vocals); James Pearson (piano); Sam Burgess (bass); Chris Higginbottom (drums) + Mark Nightingale (trombone); Phil Hopkins (perc.); Karen Street (accordion).

To be objective about this, Tina May's last recording only days after she so sadly left us, is impossible.  I'll try to imagine I'm hearing it just after it was recorded last year but even that is difficult. The voice remains as beautiful as ever. Do I detect anguish? Maybe, maybe not. Tina could, like Billie Holiday, inject emotion into a lyric to the extent that it became impossible to separate her total immersion in the words with her own feelings. Sinatra and Billie did it, Bennett and Ella didn't. That I'm able to include Tina unapologetically with the above 'greats' speaks volumes about the company in which she belongs.

Album review: The Pucciarelli Group - Uplift

Giuseppe Pucciarelli (guitar); Ergio Valente (piano, synth); Aldo Capasso (double bass, electric bass); Marco Gagliano (drums)

Giuseppe Pucciarelli arrived in London to study at the Guildhall, subsequently staying on to work at London's many jazz venues. Uplift is his latest recording with his established all-Italian quartet. The chordal instruments - Pucciarelli's guitar and Ergio Valente's piano (and synth) - share the solos and bassist Aldo Capasso (upright and electric) lays down one or two of his own. Band leader Pucciarelli has been at pains to point out that this new album is 'The Pucciarelli Group' rather than 'Pucciarelli with sidemen'. As with many composers, Pucciarelli has written the material with his band mates in mind. 

Paul Hartley Quartet @ the Railway, Stockport - March 29

(© Jeff Pritchard)
Paul Hartley  (guitar); Phil Nicholas (trumpet); Ben Wiltshire (bass); Eryl Roberts (drums).

 Recently we have heard at the Railway quite a few saxophonists as featured guests but tonight Paul was joined by young trumpeter Phil Nicholas who some readers may have seen playing in the UK tribute band Nearly Dan. He has a big brassy sound and right away got things going in a Latin jazz mode with that classic Mongo Santamaria composition Afro-Blue. The second number was Stella By Starlight , a tune I’m not too keen on as it does get played too often in my opinion. However Nicholas did a great job and he continued to impress me throughout the night. 

Frank Griffith remembers Tina May on My Kinda Music tomorrow (March 31)

My next jazz show on My Kinda Music 24, THE JAZZ CAVERN will be a tribute to the late Tina May - British vocalist who tragically died on 26 March 2022 due to complications from cancer. She was 60.

A great singer, lyricist and performer, Tina recorded over 20 CDs and worked with everyone from Ray Bryant, Scott Hamilton, Stan Tracey, Humphrey Lyttelton, Tony Coe and Nikki Iles and so many others.

May she rest in peace. Frank Griffith

The Down on Their Luck Orchestra live streaming from New Orleans - March 29

A two o'clock (New Orleans time) live stream from the Balcony Courtyard. That's eight o'clock in the evening over here in BSH land. One set, a mere three quarters of an hour, nevertheless well worth checking out. The one name known to your correspondent, the Shake 'Em Up Jazz Band's trombonist Haruka Kikuchi

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Book review: Mick Carlon - Riding on Duke's Train

Mick Carlon's novella of a nine year old orphan, Danny, innocently boarding a train in Georgia (USA) takes an unexpected and jolly turn. This train happens to transport the Duke Ellington Orchestra and, for the next two years, young Danny's adventure wraps itself around a realistic historical framework. It shares the world that Ellington and his band survived in including the racial segregation in the USA countered by the open minded reception of many of its European audiences.

Through Danny's view, the reader gets to know Duke's sidemen like Sam Nanton, Rex Stewart, Cootie Williams, Harry Carney, Sonny Greer and a young (but ailing) Jimmy Blanton. Not to forget the beautiful and intoxicating vocalist, Ivie Anderson. One  who spoke her mind while taking Danny under her wing and was an unforgiving force at the poker games, to boot.

They're Back! VCJ resume service at Cullercoats tomorrow (March 30)

Brian Bennett, banjo playing leader of the Vieux Carré Jazzmen, has announced that, after last week’s Covid-related cancellation, he's delighted to say that they’re back in action at the Cullercoats Crescent Club tomorrow afternoon (Wed. March 30 - 1:00pm) with the following formidable line-up: Mick Hill (trumpet); John Farragher (clarinet); David Gray & Lawrence McBriarty (trombones); Adam Sams (bass guitar); Brian Bennett (banjo)

There will also be,  I'm sure, some vocals, a raffle, a choice of real ales and a reasonably priced menu. Take a train, a bus or a ferry to hear the truth(ish). Lance

Preview: When Courtney Met Chris - Radio 4 Extra, Tuesday 29 March

First broadcast in 2009, When Courtney Met Chris is a conversation between Courtney Pine and the late Chris Barber. Andy Fairweather-Low and Van Morrison contribute stories about the 'trad boom' trombone star and band leader and there is an archive interview with Ottilie Patterson in which she recalls meeting some of the giants of American blues. Tune to BBC Radio 4 Extra tonight at nine o'clock.  Russell     

Monday, March 28, 2022

Tina May - 2

I have a host of CDs, livestreams, downloads etc. awaiting review but, after receiving the devastating news of Tina May's death they've all gone onto the backburner. 

To my eternal shame I've only got three of her albums but they are all crackers and they've been on the player all day and I'm loving every minute albeit not without the difficulty of (unsuccessfully) trying to hold back a tear. What a loss but, like Sinatra, Ella, Billie and all of the other greats, Tina left a legacy that must surely never be forgotten.

Trefor Owen Quartet @ the Railway, Stockport - March 27

(© Jeff Pritchard)
Trefor Owen  (guitar); Glen Cartledge (guitar); Liam Byrne (tenor sax); Dave Luckhurst (bass)

Once again Covid has had an effect on the line-ups of bands here at the Railway and this time it was Andy Hulme who was unable to make the gig. His replacement was veteran guitarist Glen Cartledge who did a great job in handling Trefor’s interesting list of tunes. Bass player Dave Luckhurst played on a triangular 5-string instrument made by N. Steinbecker, a Czech manufacturer. He was last here in January when he was part of Paul Hartley and Brian Pendleton’s Shearing Sound.

R.I.P. Tina May (March 30, 1961 - March 26, 2022)

I think it is no exaggeration to say that the jazz world is in shock and extremely saddened to learn that top vocalist Tina May died on Saturday (March 26), ironically after watching a livestream of a tribute concert to her by many of the UK's top jazz musicians at Soho's Pizza Express.

Tina will be remembered by many in the north east for her appearance at Durham Cathedral in the early 1990s with her then father-in-law Stan Tracey's Big Band in a performance of Duke Ellington's Sacred Suite.

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Musicians Unlimited @ The Park Inn, Hartlepool - March 27

Mick Donnelly (MD); Alan Catherall, Dave Harrison, Kevin Eland, Bill Watson (trumpets); John Day, Kieran Parnaby, ?, Peter Morgan (trombones); Mark Toomey (alto sax, clarinet); Kim Skerritt (alto sax); Josh Bentham (tenor sax); Sue Ferris (tenor sax, flute); Jill Nelson (baritone sax); Dave Archibold piano); Gary Hadfield (bass guitar); John Bradford (drums); Ernie Jackson (percussion); Jan Spencelayh (vocals)

Mick Donnelly thought he'd never again say: Welcome to the Park Inn. Pre-lockdown days Musicians Unlimited's weekly gig on Park Road attracted a loyal following. Now, in these supposedly post-pandemic times, following a short residency at South Durham Social Club, Hartlepool's ace big band made a one-off return as part of a year-long 'grand tour' of several Hartlepool venues.

Aycliffe Radio: Jazz Time

Sundays 6.30pm - 8.00pm (Repeat Tuesdays 8.00pm -9 .30pm)

https://www.ayclifferadio.co.uk/listen/

Playlist 27.03.22

Mother’s Day:

Clarence Williams & His Orchestra, Earl Hines, Etta James, Jean Goldkette & his Orchestra, Gregory Porter, Gerry Mulligan Lee Konitz Art Farmer, MJQ + Freddie Hubbard.

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

Nina Simone, Wynton Marsalis JLCO, John Clayton.

Album review: Bill Evans - Inner Spirit.

Bill Evans (piano); Marc Johnson (bass); Joe LaBarbera (drums).

The 1979 concert referred to in the previous post prompts me to reiterate what I posted then. I was about to go into greater depth until, after being suddenly hit by a bolt of lightning or maybe it was the sound of the great amen, I came to the conclusion that for me, who struggles to play Chopsticks (my parents are turning in their urns) could be so presumptuous as to pass judgement on Bill Evans, would be akin to me offering an alternative to Einstein's Theory of Relativity.

Album review: Bill Evans - Morning Glory

Bill Evans (piano); Eddie Gomez (bass); Marty Morrell (drums) 

It seems as though this is the piano season - or so it would seem! Following on from the six disc set by Lennie Tristano, the wonderful Stan Tracey Trio's 1959 album, the Mingus/Hampton Hawes' Trio album and the live doubler from Cecil Taylor I now have four live CDs by Bill Evans that were recorded in Buenos Aires in 1973 and 1979 - talk about an embarrassment of riches!

This is the earlier concert recorded at the Teatro Gran Rex on June 24, 1973 and, despite the social unrest in the city - Peron and all that - there is a warmth inside the hall from both the pianist and the audience that transcends what is happening in the streets outside.

Album review: Malcolm Earle Smith - Vocal Intent

Malcolm Earle Smith (vocals); Leo Richardson (tenor/baritone sax); Chris Eldred (piano); Conor Chaplin (bass); Douglas Marriner (drums).

Malcolm Earle Smith, a jazz educator at Trinity Laban Conservatoire since 2005, is perhaps better known as a trombonist having worked with many top British jazz names past and present. This, however, is a purely vocal adventure.

Supported by four of his former students who have themselves gone on to make their mark on the current scene the end product is an enjoyable romp through a world where such legends as Jon Hendricks and Mark Murphy once reigned supreme. I'm not suggesting that Smith has dethroned the masters but he's chipping away.

Jambone @ Sage Gateshead - March 26

The pandemic played its part in severely curtailing Sage Gateshead's many music education programmes. At this late afternoon public performance on the concourse, MD Jason Holcomb was keen to stress Jambone is a work in progress as he seeks to rebuild the youth jazz ensemble's numbers. Depleted sections can't make it easy to achieve a full big band sound, it'll take time to fill the vacant chairs. Undeterred, our amiable American exhibited great enthusiasm as he encouraged and cajoled a performance out of his young charges. 

Saturday, March 26, 2022

Summertime in the city - March 26

Last week of March and it feels like summer. Come rain or come shine, Soznak can be heard most Saturdays around the Monument area of Newcastle. Jude Murphy and Adam Sams, two well known faces on the local jazz scene, were on parade today, the band belting out Summertime with the assistance of a bold-as-brass vocalist. Russell

Down for the Count Swing Orchestra @ Whitley Bay Playhouse - March 25

Mike Paul-Smith (MD, piano); Max Fagandini (trumpet, trombone, vocals); Tim Rabbitt (trumpet); Alex Western-King (tenor sax, clarinet); Damon Oliver (alto sax); Sam Irvine (tenor sax, baritone sax); David Bowden (double bass); James Smith (drums); Hannah Castleman (vocals); Lydia Bell (vocals)

A run of three concerts in Scotland and one at Whitley Bay Playhouse constituted something of an 'up north' tour for the Down for the Count Swing Orchestra. MD Mike Paul-Smith said this was the first time the band had visited Tyneside, adding he hoped it would be the first of many. The Down for the Count outfit tours with various line-ups, this Playhouse 'Legends of Swing' concert presented its mini big band playing a wide selection of swing numbers. Suited and booted, the gentlemen of the orchestra wearing suits 'kindly provided by Marc Darcy', the ladies wearing 'evening gowns', by whom, who knows?

Friday, March 25, 2022

Why Bunny Berigan couldn't get started.

Listening to Jim McBriarty singing I Can't Get Started this afternoon at the Crescent Club got me to thinking about the lyrics. Don't get me wrong, It's one of Vernon Duke's  greatest tunes and Jim sang it well. I even have a couple of 78 rpm versions of it by Bunny Berigan. One of the all time classic recordings but, Ira Gershwin's lyric!

Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club - March 25

Olive Rudd (vocals); Alan Marshall (tenor sax/sop sax/clarinet); Jim McBriarty (alto sax/sop sax/clarinet/vocals); Graham Don (keys); Alan Rudd (bass); Tommy Graham (drums)

It was hot on the coast and cool (musicwise) in the club. The appeal of a stroll along the prom and an ice cream seemingly held a stronger attraction than four real ales, an inexpensive menu and the best small swing band north of Kansa Smitty's. Which means that the normally crowded room wasn't.

The Dean Stockdale Trio @ The Gala Theatre, Durham - March 25

(© Malcolm Sinclair)
Dean Stockdale (piano); Mick Shoulder (double bass); John Bradford (drums)

On a beautiful summer-like spring day Tony Eales introduced Dean Stockdale's concert in the Gala Theatre's main auditorium rather than in the second floor studio space. A mid-afternoon event in the studio meant it was easier to accommodate Stockdale's piano trio on the main stage rather than hastily rearrange the room. Strangely, the venue's grand piano wasn't available, seemingly in storage. Undeterred, our Darlington based pianist would make full use of his keyboard. 

Album review: Avishai Cohen - Naked Truth

Avishai Cohen   (trumpet), Yonathan Avishai  (piano), Barak Mori (double bass), Ziv Ravitz   (drums)

The latest in a varied and notable series on ECM from Cohen, surely one of the world’s leading trumpeters, with a stellar band originating with him from Tel Aviv and now split between there, New York and France. This outing recoils from his most recent rock-leaning Big Vicious towards the poignant 2016 Into the Silence which was an epitaph for his father.  

But Naked Truth goes further, aiming to strip back both the notes and the prepared ideas, as it was conceived and recorded as a set of eight short improvised pieces.

Upstairs, Downstairs @ The Globe - March 24

The Globe on Railway Street was doing good business - downstairs a triple bill, upstairs a jam session, and, for a while, quite a few people who were on their way to the Arena (Stereophonics) called in for a pint. Arriving shortly after seven, band of the moment, Knats, were blasting out Footprints. What?! It was advertised as doors at seven o'clock. The place was busy, very busy. Ah, but wait, the Wayne Shorter number was merely an extended soundcheck. Knats would be on stage at nine. 

Natalie Williams @ the 606 (livestream) March 24

Natalie Williams (vocals); Phil Peskett (piano); Al Cherry (guitar); Conor Chaplin (bass guitar); Martyn Kaine (drums).

Having heard Ms Williams many times over the years at venues as diverse as Cadogan Hall in Chelsea, Hoochie Coochie and Sage Gateshead I knew I wouldn't be disappointed by this one hour plus livestream from the 606 and I wasn't. 

Thursday, March 24, 2022

The House Trio live steaming from Jack's Place, #47 - March 23

Andrzej Baranek (piano); Ed Harrison (double bass); Jack Cotterill (drums)

Week 47 live streaming from Jack's Place. The Jack in question...drummer Jack Cotterill. This evening's online session reunited the house trio, Messrs Cotterill, pianist Andrej Baranek and bassist Ed Harrison. Cotterill said it had been a busy old time with gigs just about every night. This streamed gig reacquainted our host with his faithful online followers. Baranek's AB's Blues opened the hour long set.    

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

2022 APPJAG Awards - vote now

(Press release)

Voting is now open for the 2022 Parliamentary Jazz Awards. Entries are open to anyone with the final deadline set for midnight on Sunday 27th March 2022. The Parliamentary Awards celebrate and recognise the vibrancy, diversity, talent and breadth of the jazz scene throughout the United Kingdom.

"These awards are a great opportunity to celebrate the talents and energies of the great musicians, educators, promoters, record labels, jazz organisations, blogs, jazz magazines and journalists who keep jazz flourishing, in spite of the challenges they faced in the last couple of years”. John Spellar MP, Lord Mann, Co-chairs of APPJAG, Alison Thewless MP and Chi Onwurah MP, Vice Chairs.

To vote please go to: https://www.pizzaexpresslive.com/parliamentary-jazz-awards

Please note the criteria for the different categories:

Preview: Upstairs, Downstairs at the Jazz Co-op (Thursday March 24)

On Thursday evening Newcastle Jazz Co-op's Railway Street premises will be reverberating to the sounds of a ground floor triple bill and a much delayed first After Hours Student Jam Session in the upstairs room. Ground floor and first floor, the action gets underway at eight o'clock. Downstairs, neo-soul singer Frankie Jobling will be joined by band of the moment, Knats and five piece jazz/hip-hop/neo-soul student outfit Local Sounds. Meanwhile, upstairs Jason Holcomb leads the long-awaited Newcastle University student jam session. See the attached set list, it'll be a big help to students intending to sit-in. Into the woodshed...  Russell        

Ukraine fundraiser Thursday March 24

Links below.

Tickets: ‐coconut‐presents‐little‐buildings‐tickets/11886125




Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Black Swan Jam - March 22


Alan Law (piano); Paul Grainger (bass); John Bradford (drums) + Jan Spencelayh, Fionnuala Bradbury, Will Reece, David Gray (vocals); Edgar Bell (cornet); David Gray (trombone); Isaac Wilson, Murray Wankling (piano); Jacob Egglestone, Charles Harrison, Laurence Harrison (guitar); John Pope (bass); Keith Tulip (elec. bass); Michael Mather, Wilf  Pease, Mark ? (drums). (Clockwise l-r: Law, Bell, Gray, Wankling, Wilson, Spencelayh, Bradbury) 
Jam sessions are ephemeral - a time to experiment. A time to try something new. It may work, it may not and if it doesn't there's always a next time. Tonight was a mix of the usual suspects and the new kids on the block - I use the word kids advisedly.

Album review: Keith Oxman - This One's For Joey

Keith Oxman (tenor sax); Jeff Jenkins (piano); Mark Simon (bass); Todd Reid (drums) + Joey Pearlman (bass) & Stevie Pearlman (drums)
replace Simon and Reid on John Paul Jones.

An out and out swinger reminiscent of the Blue Note albums of the 1950s and early 1960s with Oxman digging in like Dexter without the quotes. This is tenor playing the way I like it. Hard-blowing and full-toned yet lyrical on the ballads such as In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning, Blame it on my Youth, the deeply emotional  Waltz For Joey and, of course, the title track.

Album Review: Cleveland Watkiss – The Great Jamaican Songbook Vol. 1

Cleveland Watkiss (lead vocals, backing vocals, synth, arrangements); Orphy Robinson (keys, vibes); Phil Ramocon (keys); Alan Nolan Weekes (guitars); Delroy Murray (bass); Carl Robinson (drums); Ava Joseph (backing vocals, ad libs, 1,2,5,6) + horn section (all tracks except 3, 5) Ray Carless (tenor sax); Byron Wallen (trumpet); James Wade-Sired (trombone)

This album is part of an Arts Council funded project concerning Jamaican music and Volume 1 suggests there is more to come, which will be very welcome if this CD is anything to go by. 

Monday, March 21, 2022

The Chicago Cellar Boys @ The Honky Tonk BBQ, Chicago - March 20

Live streaming from Chicago's Honky Tonk BBQ out on West 18th Street, Andy Schuum's Cellar Boys ran through a dozen or more numbers during an early evening first set. 6:00pm in the Windy City, 11:00pm here on Tyneside, Schuum and the guys (the 'guys' include recent, pre-pandemic recruit Natalie Scharf) wasted little time with two sets to fit in before the bar's ten o'clock closing time. 

The Sound of Science @ Gosforth Civic Theatre: Johnny Hunter - Pale Blue Dot. March 19

(© Ken Drew)

Johnny Hunter (drums); Graham South (trumpet); Seth Bennett  (bass); Gemma Bass (violin); Michael Bardon (cello); Aby Vulliamy (viola)

I reviewed the album Pale Blue Dot here almost 2 years ago and my final comment in the review pale was how great it would be to experience this music performed live. On Saturday night my wish was fulfilled courtesy the remarkably innovative Sound of Science Festival.

Alan Barnes w. Paul Hartley Trio + Al Wood @ the Railway, Stockport -March 20


Alan Barnes (alto sax/clarinet); Paul Hartley (guitar); Ken Marley (bass); Dave Hassell (drums) + Al Wood (alto sax).

Having arrived early to make sure of getting a good seat I was surprised to find the room already half full and by the time 9:00pm came along it was standing room only. I noticed a change in the original line-up with, on drums, Dave Hassell as a replacement for Eryl Roberts. Dave is well known as a drummer, educator and Latin percussionist who also leads his own band called Apitos.

Preview: Down for the Count Swing Orchestra - Whitley Bay Playhouse (Friday 25 March)

It's been awhile but this week the Playhouse in Whitley Bay presents an evening of big band jazz. The Down for the Count Swing Orchestra will be in town on Friday evening with its Legends of Swing show. Led by Mike Paul-Smith, the mini big band has a run of four consecutive dates 'up north' - Musselburgh on Thursday, Playhouse, Whitley Bay on Friday, then north of the border once again for a weekend in Giffnock near Glasgow (Saturday) and Dundee (Sunday).

Sunday, March 20, 2022

Mo Pleasure Band livestreaming from the 606 - March 19

Mo Pleasure (vocal, bass guitar); Gerry Brown (guitar); Jamie Michael Harrison (tenor sax, EWI);  Jasper Keys (keys!); ? (drums) + Dan Reinstein (sop sax); Kedma (vocals).

A funkin' good soul, ska what have you session that had the 606 enjoying what, for me, was just the first set. It could only get better and, personally, I wouldn't have complained if it hadn't. They got a good groove and stuck with it.

Leader Pleasure kept the underlying pulse going without faltering. He also delivered a unison scat/bass solo that didn't do any harm at all. Gerry Brown thrashed away effectively and, band newcomer, Keys switched effortlessly from keyboard (elec) to keyboard (grand) and back again.

Adrian Cox's Sunday Service - March 20

Adrian Cox (clarinet, vocals); Simon Picton (banjo, guitar, vocals)

This weekend happens to be the Danny Barker Banjo & Guitar Festival. Adrian Cox thought it rather neat today's live stream Sunday Service (the first one in three weeks) coincided with the celebrations over in the Big Easy. Joining our host this afternoon, banjo and guitar maestro, Mr Simon Picton. In excess of fifty fans were online for a one 'clock start...

Album review: Richard Shelton - An Englishman in Love in LA

Richard Shelton (vocals). Band includes Wayne Bergeron (trumpet); Eric Marienthal (sop sax, alto sax, flute); Brian Scanlon (tenor sax, flute); Jordan Siegel/Michael Lang (piano); Alex Finck/Chuck Berghoefer (bass); Ryan Shaw/Gregg Field (drums) and others.

Back in 2016 I posted a video of the title track in anticipation of this album. It took rather rather longer than expected for the actual album to appear.

It's fringe jazz in the way that Bennett and Sinatra are and British born Shelton has much in common with the latter having appeared in several theatrical productions based around Ol' Blue Eyes - Rat Pack Confidential, Sinatra & Me and Sinatra RAW.

Saturday, March 19, 2022

Aycliffe Radio Jazz Time Playlist 20.03.22

Sundays 6.30pm - 8.00pm (repeat Tuesdays 8.00pm - 9.30pm) 

https://www.ayclifferadio.co.uk/listen/

Request: Quincy Jones, Freddie Hubbard.

Spring: Billie Holiday.

St. Patrick: Paul Joseph & Edgar Mills; Ben Webster; Eric Miyashiro.

What's on in the NE. Dean Stockdale; Miles Davis.

Benny Goodman. Miche/Bill Dobbins/Danny Ziemann, Yasuaki Shimizu & Saxophonettes, Mingus Big Band, Coleman Hawkins, Red Allen's All Stars.

New Release. Fergus McCreadie.

Binker Golding Quintet @ Sage Gateshead - March 18

Binker Golding (tenor sax); Deschanel Gordon (piano); Billy Adamson (guitar); Max Luthert (double bass); Jamie Murray (drums) 

Binker Golding asked the audience if anyone had booked tickets two years ago and held on to them. A forest of hands went up. Tenor saxophonist, and one half of the the much vaunted duo Binker and Moses, Binker Golding had been scheduled to play Sage Gateshead in March 2020. In those far off pre-pandemic days the Londoner was due to be on Tyneside with his quartet to play a concert at the then recently revamped Gateshead International Jazz Festival. Sadly, the rebranded 2020 'Gateshead Jazz' event never happened. It had been a long wait, but at last we were about to hear Golding and his quintet.

Barbara Morrison (Sept. 10,1949 - March 16, 2022)

Singer Barbara Morrison grew up in Detroit before moving to Los Angeles in the early seventies where she worked with Eddie 'Cleanhead' Vinson. Morrison recorded several albums with Johnny Otis and can be heard on many other recordings, both her own and on others, including albums by Kenny Burrell, Jimmy Smith and Doc Severinsen. Her career encompassed Carnegie Hall, the North Sea Jazz Festival and a European tour with Ray Charles. Russell

Jessica Williams (March 17, 1948 - March 12, 2022)

When I received the sad news that pianist Jessica Williams had died on March 12 it was quite an emotional moment. Although I didn't know her personally I remember vividly the concerts promoted by JNE that she gave at Corner House, Newcastle and Caedmon Hall, Gateshead. Two of the four concerts were with a trio and two were solo piano.

Friday, March 18, 2022

JATLP: Hand to Mouth @ the Lit & Phil, Newcastle - March 18

Lindsay Hannon (vocal); Bradley Johnston (guitar).

What can I say that myself and others haven't already said about Lindsay and Brad, a.k.a Hand to Mouth? Their take on the legendary albums by Ella Fitzgerald and Joe Pass would surely have won approval from the two greats themselves.

The numbers vary very little. Reshuffled, occasionally an additional nuance but, in the main, the duo have discovered a winning formula which would most surely disappoint their followers if they changed it.

The Sound of Science @ Gosforth Civic Theatre: Rebecca Nash Quintet - Redefining Element 78. March 17

(© Ken Drew)
Rebecca Nash (pano, keys); Dee Byrne (saxophone); Nick Malcolm (trumpet); Paul Michael (bass); Matt Fisher (drums)

The first musical performance of the highly innovative Sound of Science festival saw the performance of the Element 78 suite. For those non periodic table experts, 78 is the number in the periodic for platinum. The set consisted of 6 continuous pieces all named after an element in the Platinum group in order of atomic weight these are ruthenium, rhodium, palladium, osmium, iridium and platinum.

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Album review: Marco Tranchina/Smät Five - More Than Ever

Marco Tranchina (piano); Alan Short (alto sax, flute); Andrea Solarino (guitar); Mikele Montolli (double bass); Filippo Galli (drums) 

Pianist-composer Marco Tranchina has been working on the London jazz scene for more than fifteen years. This new album, a debut recording for Ubuntu Music, features long-term collaborator, bassist Mikele Montolli and two newer associates, guitarist Andrea Solarino and drummer Filippo Galli. The quintet is completed by alto saxophonist Alan Short. The album is a product of Tranchina's lockdown experience, coupled with a personal health issue, performing his writing of the album's eight tracks spanning some fifty six minutes' playing time. 

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