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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 ...


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.

Wed 24: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 24: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 24: The Ronnie Scott’s Story @ The Fire Station, Sunderland. 7:30pm.
Wed 24: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.
Wed 24: Milne-Glendinning Band @ Cafédral, Owengate, Durham. 9:00pm. £9.00. & £6.00. A Durham Fringe Festival event.

Thu 25: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. Ragtime piano. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 25: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests: Garry Hadfield (keys); Noel Dennis (tpt); Richie Emmerson (tenor sax); Adrian Beadnell (bass).
Thu 25: Milne-Glendinning Band @ Cafédral, Owengate, Durham. 9:00pm. £9.00. & £6.00. A Durham Fringe Festival event.

Saturday, April 30, 2022

Aycliffe Radio Jazz Time - playlist

Jazz Time Sundays 6.30pm - 8.00pm (repeat Tuesdays 8.00pm - 9.30 p.m.)


Playlist 01.05.22 (03.05.22)



Lewis Watson: Chu Berry, Sonny Rollins Quartet.

Lit & Phil: Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis. 

Scofield Trio.

Gordon Webster, Henry Allen/Dixiecats.

Hot Club du Nord: Pat Metheny, Charlie Christian, Gunnar Larsen.

What’s on in the North East. Jeff Barnhart (Fats Waller), 
Ben Haskins.

CHBB @ the Customs House, South Shields - April 29

Peter Morgan (MD, bass trombone); Bill Watson, Ken DeVere, Stephen Cracket, Alan Catherall (trumpets); Eddie Bellis, Kieran Parnaby, Mike Fletcher (trombones); Kim Skerritt, Sue Hurrell (alto sax); Alan Marshall, Joanne Adams (tenor sax); Chris Kaberry (bari sax); John Stephenson (piano); Bradley Johnston (guitar); Vilda Kuby (bass, bass guitar); Paul Smith (drums); Ruth Lambert (vocals).

Despite the economic logistics, big bands are still around. I doubt if there is any city or town in the UK that hasn't got a large ensemble within earshot beavering away on anything from Glenn Miller to Sammy Nestico or Gordon Goodwin maybe even earlier or later - such is the diversity offered by the potential of 16 ± musicians swinging. 

The Riviera Effect @ The Gala, Durham - April 29

(© M. Sinclair)
Pete Tanton (trumpet, flugelhorn, vocals); Lloyd Wright (guitar); John Bradford (drums)

From the Riviera Quartet to the Riviera Effect, Pete Tanton's love of the bossa nova shone through during this Gala Theatre lunchtime concert. A capacity audience listened intently, it was one of those gigs where applauding solos would somehow disturb the collective concentration. The applause, the appreciation, was reserved for the conclusion of each song. And songs they were, in the main drawn from the fertile imagination of ex-pat American trumpeter and lyricist, bandleader Tanton.

Cheltenham Jazz Festival: Zoe Rahman Quintet @ Parabola Arts Centre - April 29

Zoe Rahman (piano, compositions); Byron Wallen (trumpet); Rowland Sutherland (flute); Flo Moore (bass); Cheryl Alleyne (drums).

The last time I saw Zoe Rahman was at the Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music where she delivered a terrific solo set.  I've also seen her in the past in duos and trios – but this was the first time I have seen her leading a quintet – and a very fine quintet indeed.

This was also the first time this band had appeared anywhere, and as Zoe said – the first time she had heard the music for real, although she wrote it all. The whole event had a playful atmosphere of friends just coming together to make music.

Friday, April 29, 2022

Joel Frahm Trio @ the Seven Arts, Leeds - April 28

(© Jeff Pritchard)
Joel Frahm (tenor sax); Dan Loomis  (bass); Ernesto Cervini  (drums).

After seeing Joel Frahm many times leading various groups at New York venues such as Smalls and Mezzrow online I knew this was a gig I didn’t want to miss. The Seven Arts is a great venue situated at 31 Harrogate Road, Chapel Allerton LS7 3PD and if you need any information regarding jazz events their web site is The last time I went there was to hear the Al Wood Big Band and that was a concert that I will always remember.

International Jazz Day (April 30) - concerts, gigs, tv & radio

Tomorrow (Saturday 30) it's International Jazz Day! Concerts, gigs, television and radio, it'll be hard to miss. In BSH's heartland there is every opportunity to take in a real, live performance. From noon 'til late you can hear the music of Miles Davis, Chet Baker, Bradley Creswick and Arun Ghosh. First up, Matt Roberts will be playing the music of Miles Davis at Number One Bar in Darlington (from noon). Roberts' all-star quintet will be focusing on Davis' first great quintet (the 50s' Prestige recordings). Emerging talent Patrick Cromb will be singing Chet Baker at Newcastle Jazz Co-op's all-day International Jazz Day celebrations (4:00pm). Later (8:00pm) on Railway Street, Arun Ghosh will close out the day. Alternatively, a trip to the coast to hear Bradley Creswick's Western Swingfonia could be an idea. St Mary's Church in Monkseaton (7:30pm) is where you'll find the recently retired Leader of the Northern Sinfonia swinging it with like-minded friends.

Strictly Smokin' Big Band @ the Bridge Hotel, Newcastle - April 28

The upper room of the Bridge Hotel was packed with wall to wall bodies. Social distancing a thing of the past. The SSBB were back with a bang!

Gordon Goodwin's Hunting Wabbits featuring Summers on curved soprano and Parnaby on 'bone got things moving. It's an odd number with some unusual twists and turns not unlike some of those George Handy arrangements for the great Boyd Raeburn Orchestra and there's no greater compliment than that for Goodwin and, ultimately, SSBB.

Ms Grace stepped up to sing Something's Gotta Give and Willow Weep For me. Alice was in good voice.

Knats jammin' @ Hoochie Coochie - April 28

Ferg Kilsby (trumpet); Josh Mitchell-Rayner (piano); Stan Woodward (bass); King David Ike-Elechi (drums)

Knats with a difference. For a while now Ferg, Josh, Stan and King have been opening a few eyes - and ears - laying down killer grooves at various venues across Tyneside. A one-off Hoochie Coochie gig became a monthly residency and, for a change, April's gig on Pilgrim Street took the form of a jam session. 

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Album review: Dave Green Trio/Evan Parker - Raise Four

Dave Green  (double bass); Iain Dixon  (tenor, clarinet, bass clarinet), Gene Calderazzo (drums); Evan Parker (tenor, soprano)

A special 80th birthday CD release for the versatile British doyen of bass, Dave Green, drawn from a one-off 2004 BBC session. BSH Editor-in-Chief landed me in it with this review, perhaps thinking I need to broaden my horizons, as it’s a double challenge for me! (1) – the album is very much at the free end of the business (2) three of the “tunes” are Monk – who apart from the well-known and accessible “bangers” - is still a bit of a work in progress for me.

Album review: Tomas Fujiwara’s Triple Double – March (Firehouse 12 Records)

Tomas Fujiwara (drums, vibraphone; Gerald Cleaver (drums); Mary Halvorson (guitar); Brandon Seabrook (guitar); Ralph Alessi (trumpet); Taylor Ho Bynum  (cornet).

All things being equal, it’s neither six nor two threes but a triple double at play here with the idea being that the baton is passed from one player on an instrument to a colleague playing something similar, so it’s pairings that matter, rather than two trios playing against each other. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Album review: Strictly Smokin' Big Band - Sings Ella with Alice Grace

The Strictly Smokin' Big Band's new album (the second in a planned series of three) was recorded in rural Northumberland in July 2021. This Jazz Sounds Records' recording features vocalist Alice Grace, the band and a no-expense-spared string section. Ten tracks, thirty six minutes, the recording quality second to none (take a bow Liam Gaughan), the SSBB at the top of its game, is this the big band album of the year? 
Ella is, without question, a serious contender. 

Album review: David Larsen - G2 and You

David Larsen (bari sax); Danny McCollim (keys); Josh Skinner (bass); Brendan McMurphy (drums)

I've got so many CDs waiting for a review that I have reached the stage where it's just pot luck whether or not I listen to them, pass them on, or just add them to the other 400 headed for the skip. With this one I hit lucky - its survival is secured.

In actual fact, this isn't exactly a CD (well it is because I've got it right here in front of me) but, in reality, it's two EPs who have mated and this is the offspring! You're confused? I'm confused! However, the gist of the matter is that the first four tracks were let loose as G2 and You whilst the last four originally saw the light of day as Bright Days.

Read on ...

Bryan Pendleton's Shearing Sound @ the Railway, Stockport - April 26

(© Jeff Pritchard)
Bryan Pendleton (piano); Dave Luckhurst (vibes);  Simone MacGregor (vocals); Paul Hartley (guitar); Ed Harrison (bass); Eryl Roberts (drums).

This band took me back to those days when I first got interested in jazz when I was about fourteen years old and all you could buy were 78 rpm records.  There were certain musicians who were popular with the fans of popular music but also held the interest of jazz fans. I’m thinking of Stan Getz, Dave Brubeck, Ramsey Lewis, Louis Armstrong and of course the subject of tonight’s show, George Shearing who became a big name on both sides of the pond with his unusual sound of pairing piano with vibraphone.

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Preview: The return of the Strictly Smokin' (April 28)!

On Thursday Michael Lamb's fantastic Strictly Smokin' Big Band makes its long-awaited return to the Bridge Hotel. The SSBB's pre-pandemic monthly open rehearsal night has, post-pandemic, morphed into a fully fledged concert performance. As the band releases its 'Ella' album expect the upstairs room to be bursting at the seams to hear Wor Alice - that's adopted Geordie, the fabulous Alice Grace - singing Ella. Down beat at seven. Russell 

Album review: CeCe Gable - Next Year's Song

CeCe Gable (vocals); Alan Broadbent (piano); Harvie S (bass); Roni Ben-Hur (guitar); Matt Wilson (drums)

CeCe Gable - a new name to me although, prior to this one, she has five albums to her credit.

A captivating voice that entwines the lyrics in the way that Blossom Dearie once did and Daryl Sherman still does. Some fine piano by Alan Broadbent and solid bass by Harvie S, who also wrote the arrangements. Ben-Hur's guitar playing lives up to the historic precedent of his name (well maybe subtler and more sensitive) and Wilson who, to quote from the blurb, is second to none.

Monday, April 25, 2022

Preview: Darlington Jazz Festival (April 29-30)

After an absence of two years and more the Darlington Jazz Festival is Back in the Swing this weekend. It's a leaner event than in the past, however, there is no compromise on quality. Beginning on Friday evening (April 29) in the Dolphin Centre's Central Hall, the mighty Durham Alumni Big Band will be Back in the Swing of things, sharing the evening with the Durham Music Service Big Band

Folk stars join jazz orchestra to share Tales of the Tribe

(Press release)

Top traditional musicians Phil Cunningham, Julie Fowlis, Megan Henderson, and Michael McGoldrick join the internationally acclaimed Scottish National Jazz Orchestra in an exciting new adventure bringing Scotland’s myths and legends to vibrant musical life.

Dragons, mermaids, fairy queens, ghosts, giants, goblins and sorcerers roam the Scottish soil and seas to a soundtrack composed by the orchestra’s director, saxophonist Tommy Smith and drawing on Scotland’s rich musical traditions.

Robin Sunflower Quartet @ the Railway, Stockport - April 24

(© Jeff Pritchard)
Robin Sunflower (harmonica); Robin Dewhurst (piano); Matt Owen (bass); Rick Weedon (drums)

The last time Robin Sunflower played the Railway he had a different line-up with no drummer but, for tonight's gig he did have a drummer one whom I had not seen before, Rick Weedon. 

As on his previous visit, and playing the house piano, was Robin Dewhurst who reminds me a lot of the late Junior Mance. The bass man, Matt Owen, I have previously seen in various bands although I don’t recall seeing him at this venue. The sound balance was excellent and the quartet were all positioned close together on the small bandstand.

The Tenement Jazz Band @ Prohibition Bar - April 24

Charles Dearness (trumpet); Paddy Darley (trombone); Steven Feast (tenor sax, clarinet); John Youngs (banjo, vocals); Rory Clark (sousaphone)

John Youngs joked that the Tenements play Prohibition Bar more often than they play gigs in their home town of Edinburgh. The band's latest cross border raid (as far south as Dove Holes in Derbyshire) included an impromptu Sunday lunchtime street performance on Framwellgate Bridge in Durham prior to this early evening gig in Newcastle (finishing early enough to see them home by midnight).

Sunday Night @ the Globe: John Edwards, Steve Noble, Binker Golding - April 24

John Edwards (bass); Steve Noble (drums); Binker Golding (tenor sax).

Three amazing musicians! Arguably, technically as proficient and on a par with any three improv musicians  who have played at the Globe. 

The first set consisted of one untitled dollop of free improv that had the audience spellbound although probably did nothing for the bar sales. Admittedly there were fleeting moments - a couple of notes here, a few bars there - that bore some resemblance to the music I love but not enough to hurt the sensitivities of the pro-improv audience.

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Tonight @ the Globe

(Press release)


Binker Golding (Tenor and Soprano Saxophones)
John Edwards (Double Bass)
Steve Noble (Drums and Percussion)
A product of the Tomorrow’s Warriors organisation London born saxophonist Binker Golding is one of the leading figures on the capital’s contemporary jazz scene, part of the young crop of musicians behind the latest jazz ‘revival’ that has seen the music reaching out to appeal to a younger, more diverse demographic.
For this appearance in Newcastle, Golding is joined by John Edwards and Steve Noble, two heavyweight veterans of the London improvisational jazz scene, and regular performers at the infamous Cafe OTO.

Aycliffe Radio: Jazz Time Playlist - April 24

Jazz Time Sundays 6.30pm - 8.00pm (Repeat Tuesdays 8.00pm - 9.30 p.m.)



Requests: Art Farmer/Jim Hall, Grant Green.

Request from Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society in memoriam: Dave Brubeck Quartet.

The Doris Day Story @ The Customs House, South Shields - April 23

This Theatre Productions Europe show finally arrived on South Tyneside following pandemic-enforced postponement. Que Sera Sera, as the song goes. Curtain up on an early evening start - six o'clock - caught out few, if any, in the near-capacity auditorium. The Doris Day Story is touring provincial theatres with the publicity tag: With video production, a swinging jazz band and impeccable vocals...*

Postmodern Jukebox @ Sage Gateshead - April 23

(Speculative) Annie Goodchild, Aly |Ryan, Annie Bosko (vocals); Casey Abrams (vocals, bass, melodica); ? (male vocalist); Demi Remick (dancer); Adam Kubota (bass, bass guitar); J.P. Floyd (trombone); Jack Amblin (drums, washboard); ? (tenor sax, clarinet); ? (guitar, banjo); Richard ? (keys).

We said 8pm but the Sage Gateshead website and the tickets said  7:30pm so we guaged our alcohol consumption for the latter time. However, come 7:30 the queue at the bar seemed to stretch across the Swing Bridge almost to the Haymarket so it turned out we were right the first time! Yes it was busy and deservedly so. Although not totally sold out, all three levels were well occupied for what was a rip-roaring sock it to 'em show.

This was a happening, an experience, a never to be forgotten event.

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Lewis Watson Quartet @ Opus 4 Jazz Club, Darlington - April 22

Lewis Watson (tenor sax); Mark Williams (guitar); Mick Shoulder (double bass); John Bradford (drums)

A second appearance of the day by Lewis Watson. Earlier, in reviewing tenor saxophonist Watson's lunchtime concert in Newcastle, BSH Editor-in-Chief LL opted to mix sporting metaphors - citing heavyweight boxing champ Sonny Liston and footballer Cristiano Ronaldo - to describe/review the rarely-spotted Watson's performance. Forget Ronaldo, this was George Best. The Manchester United legend retired at the age of 26 (tennis legend Bjorn Borg did the same thing). We hadn't seen or heard from Lewis Watson for quite some time (pre-pandemic) and this double-header of a day marked something of a comeback.

Friday, April 22, 2022

Jazz on the Tyne welcomes Alice Grace & SSBB Sings Ella

(Press release)

Vocalist Alice Grace is the special guest on the latest edition of Jazz on the Tyne.  She’ll be talking about the new album by the Strictly Smokin’ Big Band, celebrating the music of Ella Fitzgerald.

As well as tracks from this album, presenter Colin Muirhead will feature tracks by House of the Black Gardenia, Arun Ghosh, Louise Dodds, Matt Carmichael, the Ben Haskins Quartet, Charles Mingus and the Riviera Quartet.


Tomorrow night's eagerly awaited concert at Sage Gateshead by Post Modern Jukebox stomps off at 7:30pm not, as previously listed, 8:00pm!

Lewis Watson Quartet @ the Lit & Phil - April 22.

Lewis Watson (tenor sax); Mark Williams (guitar); Mick Shoulder (bass); John Bradford (drums).

A rare appearance by Lewis Watson (duplicated tonight at Opus 4) saw the fans queuing outside in eager anticipation of what promised to be a great gig. The room soon filled to capacity and the potential was looking good.

However, it had been a long time since I'd heard Lewis in a jazz capacity - his Rat Pack jaunts with Jason don't count - and I wondered: Would he be ring rusty? Would he be living on past glories like his favourite football team?

The answer to both questions was an emphatic no! He came out, not like a greyhound in the slips but more like Liston when he took Patterson out in the first round.

Album review: Trish Clowes - A View With A Room

Trish Clowes  (soprano/tenor sax}; Chris Montague (guitar); Ross Stanley (piano/Rhodes/B3); James Maddren (drums).

The more perceptive amongst you will have worked out from the title that this is a pandemic lockdown album and I am advised that 7 of the 8 tracks were composed for online livestreams during various lockdowns. 

Trish Clowes is one of an ever expanding bunch of still fairly young composers and performers who are doing things in the UK that keeps jazz interesting and evolving. I feel that much of this music has left behind most of what is coming from the American colonies that doesn’t sound too far removed from the sounds of the 1960s. Within the financial constraints of the British jazz scene she has been a regular recorder and her tours have usually included a date in the north east. I fondly recall a date in the Northern Rock Hall at the Sage when she was touring one of her albums, probably In The Night-Time She Is There or Pocket Compass.

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Album review: EEE - Eubanks-Evans-Experience

Kevin Eubanks (guitar); Orrin Evans (guitar)

Ok, so I'm often being accused of being a Luddite, a mouldy fig or, even worse, a dirty bopper (me and Bruce Turner) when it comes to much of today's 'jazz'. Duke famously said that it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing and his fellow aristocrat, Count Basie, laid down his ground rules - four beats to the bar and no cheatin'

Well, there are a lot of things being pushed out these days in the name of jazz that are somewhat removed from those once essential elements and this is one of them - I'm pleased to say!

Roly Veitch remembers John Barnes

So sad to hear that John has passed away.  I have such lovely memories of his frequent visits to Blaydon.

As has been said, he was a close friend of devout jazz fan Randolph Heads and as Blaydon got established in the 1980s, Randy was instrumental in getting John to the jazz club. He then came many times and it was always a privilege and delight. Sometimes he stayed over with Randy, sometimes with Marion and myself. 

R I P Johnny Barnes (May 15, 1932 - April 18, 2022)

I've just received confirmation of the sad news of the death of saxophonist Johnny Barnes. Barnes, who died on April 18, was a former mainstay of the bands of Alex Welsh and Humphrey Lyttelton playing many times in the north east and was a close friend of JNE founder members Randy Heads and Margaret Barnes.

His gutsy playing, particularly on baritone sax, enabled him to be considered by many as the doyen of British mainstream practitioners of that instrument. The news of his passing has come just under a month of what would have been his ninetieth birthday. The above September 1981 photo was taken on one of his many appearances at the Corner House, Heaton. Sadly missed - Lance

Preview: Lewis Watson in Newcastle & Darlington, tomorrow (Friday 22)!

Friday marks the return to action of Lewis Watson. And what a return it promises to be as Lewis will be playing two gigs in a day! Lewis is one of the leading tenor saxophonists of his generation. Bop, post bop, modern jazz, contemporary jazz, Lewis has long since been a commanding figure on the regional jazz scene. Over many years Lewis has done it all: band leader (trio, quartet), occupying the tenor chair in the much-missed Voice of the North Jazz Orchestra, working alongside many established names (including Keith Morris, Steve Waterman, Don Weller and Jason Yarde), Free Spirits, the trio Watson Walker Edis, Mick Shoulder's superb hard bop quintet, whatever the context or occasion, Lewis has long since been the 'first call' tenor saxophonist.    

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Album review: Ben Markley Big Band with Ari Hoenig - Ari's Fun-House

Gigging in and around Denver, Colorado, composer, arranger, pianist, band leader, side man and tutor, Ben Markley is a busy man. One of his projects has recently come to fruition. Following a first gig working alongside Ari Hoenig, Markley asked the New York-based drummer if he could arrange some of his compositions for big band. Hoenig liked the idea and, post lockdown, the finished article is Markley's new album Ari's Fun-House.

Government response to Nigel Price's letter to Rt Hon Nadine Dorries MP

Earlier, we posted Nigel Price's letter to  Rt Hon Nadine Dorries MP, Secretary of State @ Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport which we, at BSH and the rest of the jazz community, wholeheartedly endorsed.

The correspondence that followed probably muddied the waters further although there may be small glimmers of hope(ful thinking):

Album review: Mark Turner – Return from the Stars

Mark Turner (tenor sax); Jason Palmer (trumpet); Joe Martin (double bass); Jonathan Pinson (drums)

I was down in that Big Fancy London a couple of weeks ago and paid my usual visit to Ray’s Jazz in Foyles on Charing Cross Road. The new shop is all bright and light and separated by a floor or two from the new café. I always preferred the old space in the shop next door at number 84. You could order your coffee and cake and then carry out a bit of crate digging, leaving an unattended briefcase full of top military secrets to bagsy a window seat from which you could later watch the buses go by. (Sometimes, you had to take the top secret files out to fit the LPs in.) They do, however, still have an excellent selection of new and second-hand CDs and they can still lay an aural trap to snare the unwary punter, unused to the big city ways.

Jam Session @ the Black Swan - April 19

Mark Williams (guitar); Paul Grainger (bass); Tim Johnston (drums) + Harry Keeble, Alan Marshall, Johannes Dalhuijsen (tenor sax); Esther Coombes (alto sax/clarinet); David Gray (trombone/vocals); Edgar Bell (cornet); Jacob Ruusan-Pritchett (piano); Joe Steels, Jimi Savage (guitar); Michael Mather (drums); Jan Spencelayh, Niffi Osiyemi, Kit Giroux, David Gray, Conor ? (vocals)

Another whiz-bang jam with players, often flying by the seat of their pants as is the norm at jam sessions, popping up with such regularity and in various combinations that it was nigh impossible to keep track of who played what with whom!

Some were regulars, some irregulars and some were showing their face for the first time.

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Sunday Night @ The Globe: James Mainwaring - Mycorrhiza April 17

(© Graham Hardy)
James Mainwaring (composition / saxophones / vocals / keyboards / flutes); Aby Vulliamy (viola / vocals); Mick Bardon (cello); Fergus Quill (double bass); Steve Hanley (drums); Glen Leach (piano). 

For the second week in a row Jazz North East at The Globe hosted a band with a heavy string presence. James Mainwaring’s Mycorrhiza, just like Sean Noonan with the Legeti Quartet the previous Sunday, boasted several stringed instrument in their ensemble.  A larger (and younger) than normal crowd  showed that they were prepared to give strings a chance and were well rewarded for their attendance with this fascinating, creative  and thought provoking, performance.   

Album review: Artie Zaitz & Mark Kavuma - Back to Back

Artie Zaitz (Hammond C3); Mark Kavuma (Wurlitzer electric piano, Steinway Grand, trumpet); Will Cleasby (drums)

What do you get when you  when you cross a guitarist with a trumpet player? An organ/piano combo of course!

At least that's what's happened here. Zaitz left his guitar in the boot of his car (hope it's still there) in favour of giving his 1961 C3 a work out.  Kavuma didn't take any such chances, as a precaution, he brought his horn into the studio. Will Cleasby set up his kit and they were off. Both guitarist and trumpet player seemingly equally at home on their respective doublers.

Ruth Lambert Quartet @ Blaydon Jazz Club - April 18

(© R. Veitch)
Ruth Lambert (vocals); Alan Law (piano); Paul Grainger (double bass); Tim Johnston (drums) + David Gray (trombone)

Easter Monday. Would the public holiday entice a few more gig-goers to venture out or would it have the opposite effect? In truth, the numbers were about the same as of late, perhaps one or two of the regulars didn't show, however, their absence was compensated for by the welcome presence of some new faces. Ruth Lambert is no stranger to Blaydon Jazz Club and this evening our GASbook singer par excellence arrived with her now settled line-up featuring pianist Alan Law, bassist Paul Grainger and drummer Tim Johnston. Later in the evening one of Tyneside's A-listers would join the quartet to help close out the second set. 

A message from Mike

I received this Facebook message from Mike Carton that I'm sure he won't mind me sharing.

The photo, taken by myself on June 6, 1982, at Jesmond Dene shows Mike on trombone along with Bill Smith (tenor sax); Peter Gascoigne (trumpet; Ray Brown (drums); Mike Gilby (bass guitar) and Roy Willis (guitar) - The Saratoga Jazzmen. Lance

Monday, April 18, 2022

Art Themen talks about Ronnie Scott's saxophone and juggling the day job with the jazz world

Earlier this year Art Themen purchased the late Ronnie Scott's tenor saxophone. BSH asked him how this came about. Art generously gave of his time to tell us the background to his acquisition and much more.

BSH: Art, what a fantastic story! Is it a Mk Vl?

Art: No, it is a Selmer Super Balanced Action, which immediately preceded the probably better-known Mark 6 and was manufactured in 1953.

BSH: Do you play a Selmer yourself and, if so, have you detected any differences between what you're blowing now and Ronnie's tenor?

Art: Yes. Apart from a brief flirtation with a Borgani saxophone I have always played a Selmer. I even started on an Adolphe - Adolphe Sax of course invented the saxophone and his firm was taken over by Selmer at the beginning of the 20th century.

Durham World Heritage (Jazz) Day - April 18

The sun shone, Easter tourists were out in force, Durham looking a picture on World Heritage Day. Up on Palace Green there was plenty of action. A free admission, self-guided tour of Durham Castle encouraged a queue to form and across the way in the shadow of Durham Cathedral, bands - jazz and non-jazz - were playing half hour sets to a large, receptive audience.

Gaz Hughes Trio @ the Railway, Stockport - April 17

(© Jeff Pritchard)
Gaz Hughes (drums); Andrzej  Baranek (keys); Ed Harrison (bass).

On April 7 I reviewed Gaz Hughes’s latest album entitled Beboperation which was also the name of the opening track.  I referred to the tune as a Fats Navarro composition but I was incorrect as in fact it is an original number by Andrzej Baranek who Gaz chose to feature on the first number of tonight's session.  Talking to Gaz before the gig started he told me he was looking forward to taking this group on an extensive tour of the UK and Europe commencing March next year.  He has already secured fifteen dates and is hoping to fix a total of sixty engagements.

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Album review: Mark Winkler - Late Bloomin' Jazzman

Mark Winkler (vocals) + (collective): Bob Sheppard (saxes, flute); Brian Swartz (trumpet); Nolan Shaheed (flugel); David Benoit, Jamieson Trotter, Rich Eames, Jon Mayer (piano); John Clayton, Gabe Davis (bass); Grant Geissman (guitar); Christian Euman, Clayton Cameron (drums); Kevin Winard (perc)

Let's get the negatives out of the way. Sheppard blows some gutsy tenor on It Ain't Necessarily So but not if you believe the album notes. Likewise there's some blistering B3 by Benoit although, according to the notes he only plays piano.  Such lack of accuracy doesn't bode well for the actual content. However, despite all that, it turns out to be a very listenable album.

Aycliffe Radio Jazz Time Playlist

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


Easter Playlist 17.04.22

Sister Rosetta Tharpe, The Modern Jazz Quartet, Carla Motis & Sant Andreu Jazz Band, Wynton Marsalis/Eric Clapton/Taj Mahal, Oscar Peterson Trio, Duke Ellington featuring Cootie Williams, Mahalia Jackson.

Sunday Afternoon Jazz w Adrian Cox & Joe Webb streaming from Peggy's Skylight - Easter Sunday

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

Early morning Adrian Cox caught a flight from Inverness, Joe Webb boarded a flight from Paris. Their plan was to meet up in Nottingham in time to play a lunchtime gig at Peggy's Skylight. Over the last couple of years Cox's hugely popular 'Sunday Service' online gigs have invariably gone without a hitch, what could possibly go wrong with this Easter Day stream? Answer: Absolutely nothing!

A JRR Mingus special (Easter Sunday)

Today's edition of Jazz Record Requests (4:00pm) is a Mingus special. Friday (April 22) marks the centenary of the birth of Charles Mingus. Alyn Shipton wasn't about to let the milestone pass without acknowledgement and the BBC Radio 3 presenter decided to devote an entire programme to one of the pivotal figures of post-WWII jazz. Listeners have requested a wide-ranging selection from Mingus' career including tracks from Mingus Ah Um and the bassist's 'piano' album Mingus Plays Piano (pictured) and something from Joni Mitchell's all-star tribute to Charles Mingus (22 April 1922 - 5 January 1979).  Russell    

Jammin' @ J's & B's - April 16

An afternoon of jazz at St James' and St Basil's Church in Fenham raising funds for the Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal drew to a close with a short jam session. The house trio - Messrs Alan LawPaul Grainger and Tim Johnston - played a few numbers in the company of David GrayJim McBriartyCarrie McCullock and latterly Ruth Lambert.

Oh, Lady Be Good, with McBriarty on clarinet, sounded good. Sounding every bit as good, Showtime (that's David Gray, trombonist extraordinaire) singing It Had to be You. More, please. More vocals, this time from Jazz Co-op regular Carrie McCullock (pictured with pianist Alan Law) singing They Say It's Spring. Excellent, more please...Black Swan, Tuesday, Carrie? And to round off a full afternoon of jazz, the one and only Ruth Lambert singing CaravanRussell     

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