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Bebop Spoken There

Steve Fishwick: “I can’t get behind the attitude that new is always somehow better than old”. (Jazz Journal, April 15, 2019).

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.


16527 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 407 of them this year alone and, so far, 29 this month (June 12).

From This Moment On ...


Sun 16: Jason Isaacs @ Stack, Seaburn SR6 8AA. 1:00-2:45pm. Free.
Sun 16: Paul Skerritt @ Hibou Blanc, Newcastle. 2:00pm.
Sun 16: Gaz Hughes Trio @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. 3:00pm. £10.00.
Sun 16: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 16: Gaz Hughes Trio @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 16: Jazz Jam @ Fabio’s Bar, Saddler St., Durham. 8:00pm. Free. A Durham University Jazz Society event. All welcome.

Mon 17: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Mon 17: ‘Tower of Power’ @ The Library Bar, Saddler St., Durham . 7:30pm.Free. A Durham University Jazz Society event. All welcome.

Tue 18: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Victoria & Albert Inn, Seaton Delaval. 12:30pm. £13.00. ‘Jazz, Sausage ‘n’ Mash’…’with Onion Gravy’!
Tue 18: Jam Session @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free. House trio: Stu Collingwood, Paul Grainger, Tim Johnston.
Tue 18: Libby Goodridge & Ben Davies @ The Lost Wanderer, Leazes Park Road, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £6.00. Triple bill, inc. Goodridge & Davies (jazz).

Wed 19: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 19: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 19: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

Thu 20: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 20 Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Brunswick Methodist Church, Newcastle. 2:00pm. £4.00. Note new venue!
Thu 20: Karine Polwart & Dave Milligan @ The Fire Station, Sunderland. 7:30pm. £29.00., £23.00. Folk/jazz duo.
Thu 20: Richard Herdman & Ray Burns @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 20: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests: Josh Bentham (tenor sax); Donna Hewitt (alto sax); Dave Archbold (keys); Dave Harrison (trumpet); Ron Smith (bass).

Fri 21: Alan Barnes with Dean Stockdale Trio @ The Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. SOLD OUT!
Fri 21: Joe Steels’ Borealis @ The Gala, Durham. 1:00pm. £8.00.
Fri 21: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 21: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 21: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 21: Soznak @ The Bike Garden, Nunsmoor, Newcastle NE4 5NU. 5:00-9:00pm. Free.
Fri 21: Errol Linton + Michael Littlefield & Scott Taylor (King Bees) @ Gosforth Civic Theatre, Newcastle. 7:30pm. £20.00. Blues double bill.
Fri 21: Alan Barnes with the Dean Stockdale Trio @ Seventeen Nineteen, Sunderland. 7:30pm.
Fri 21: Strictly Smokin’ Big Band @ Alnwick Playhouse. 8:00pm. ‘Ella & Ellington’.
Fri 21: Mark Toomey Quartet @ Traveller’s Rest, Darlington. 8:00pm. Opus 4 Jazz Club.

Sat 22: Jason Isaacs @ Stack, Seaburn SR6 8AA. 12:30-2:30pm. Free.
Sat 22: Abbie Finn Trio @ The Vault, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free.
Sat 22: Hejira: Celebrating Joni Mitchell @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 7:30pm (doors). £22.50.
Sat 22: Rockin’ Turner Bros. @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Remembering Colin Haikney with Classic Swing on June 9

It was a year ago yesterday that pianist Colin Haikney left us. Colin's playing enhanced many bands including Classic Swing with whom he spent his final years playing with at The Ship in Monkseaton.

As such it was nothing less than fitting that his family would elect to celebrate Colin's life at the same place with the same band.

The event will take place on Thursday June 9 from 2:00pm and all who knew and loved Colin are welcome - Lance 

Alice Grace Quartet: “Weavers of Dreams” @ the Gala Theatre, Durham - May 27

(© Malcolm Sinclair)

Alice Grace (voice); Mark Williams (guitar); Paul Grainger (double bass); Abbie Finn (drums)

Posters for Ballet Cymru’s forthcoming adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream dominated the foyer at the Gala. But different dreams were on the menu for the midday May Gala audience – summoned up by the enthralling Alice Grace Quartet.

The programme promised “toe-tapping medium swing and stirring ballads” and we were not to be disappointed. After the gently swinging Nat King Cole ballad opener A Weaver of Dreams treated the audience to both her remarkable voice and the superb interplay of her band, Alice invited the audience to join in with voice and feet to the opening riff of the upbeat Horace Silver classic Sister Sadie. This had the audience engaged in every sense, although Sadie’s encounter with Alphonso Brown seems hardly the stuff of dreams. Both songs gave Alice the opportunity to feature her scat singing and Mark his solo dexterity.

Monday, May 30, 2022

Dean Masser Quartet @ the Railway, Stockport - May 29

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

The room was full of jazz fans looking forward to the long awaited return of the hugely popular Dean Masser who has been absent through illness but has bounced back and seems to have made a full recovery. Dean has always had a big sound on tenor sax but tonight it seemed even bigger than usual especially in the lower register.

Cedric Burnside @ The Cluny - May 29

Cedric Burnside (vocals, guitars); Artemas LeSueur (drums)

Cedric Burnside first appeared in Newcastle in February 2019, since when the world has changed somewhat with lives being put on hold, waiting out an unimagined pandemic. Now, post-lockdown, if not post-pandemic, Burnside, born in Tennessee, raised in Mississippi, is back on the road touring his latest album, I Be Trying. The Cluny gave Burnside and award-winning drummer Artemas LeSueur a warm welcome, Burnside beginning the set with several fretless six-string acoustic guitar/vocal numbers, in due course he would be joined on stage by his fellow American.

Sunday Night @ the Globe: "Two of a Mind" - May 29

Sue Ferris (baritone sax); Steve Summers (alto sax); Paul Susans (bass); Rob Walker (drums).

Recreating classic albums from the past has always been a crowd puller. The audience know what to expect and the musicians have a target to aim for.  That they don't always hit that target is the chance they and the audience take. Fortunately, last night's recreation of the 1962 Paul Desmond and Gerry Mulligan album Two of a Mind was, without a shadow of a doubt, spot on.

Sunday, May 29, 2022

Jazz Venues of The Past

Long before my proper jazz days, I remember a jazz club on Monday evenings at the Turks Head pub in South Shields. The pub is long gone and houses stand there now. This must have been many years ago when I was aged about 30, because I seem to remember that the club was full of ‘old’ men and there were many expensive cars, such as Mercedes, outside. Who on earth were these rich jazz people, or did I dream it all?

I knew about the jazz because there was a folk club in the same pub on Friday nights, so I thought I'd try the jazz, which I realised was good music but which didn't quite chime with me in those days.

Album Review: Radha Botofasina – Carry On – The Spirituals Vol 2

Main musicians on various tracks: Radha Botofasina (lead vocals, harp); John Lehman (piano); Gemi Taylor (guitar); Cecil McBee Jr (electric bass); Munyungo Jackson (percussion); Surya Botofasina (synth organ); John Barnes (synth/rhythms); (Aankha Neal, Isabel Beyoso, Arianna Gouvela, Shyam, Tony Reyes; Kristen Barnes, McCrary Sisters (backing vocals, handclaps, footsteps). Also brass and strings on some tracks

This album is gospel and soul music rather than jazz, although I did detect lots of improvisation, notably in the lively choruses with backing singers which round off some tracks. Ms Botofasina is a rousing lead singer rather than a soloist and the whole album shines with commitment and enthusiasm. I was unsure if I liked what I'd heard after listening to the first track but after that I wanted to join in with the singers!

Two of a Mind: The Music of Desmond and Mulligan - Tonight @ the Globe

A special performance by 2 of the region’s leading horn players, who will pay homage to the classic 1962 album “Two of a Mind”. This featured a pianoless quartet of Gerry Mulligan and Paul Desmond, freeing the 2 saxes to show their subtlety of tone and interaction.

Multi-instrumentalists Sue Ferris and Steve Summers look forward to taking on this harmonic challenge on alto and baritone sax in the first set, followed by a second set featuring their own choices of instrument.

Sue Ferris (baritone sax); Steve Summers (alto sax); Neil Harland (bass); Rob Walker (drums)

Preview: Cedric Burnside - tonite (Sunday) at the Cluny!

This evening, son of blues drummer Calvin Jackson, grandson of RL Burnside, Cedric Burnside returns to Tyneside to play some more Mississippi hill country blues. In February 2019 drummer/guitarist/vocalist Burnside played a storming Jumpin' Hot Cub gig down in Cluny 2. This time the Grammy award-winning bluesman will be in the Ouseburn Valley venue's main room working in the company of drummer Artemas LeSueur. Burnside's recently released album I Be Trying (Single Lock Records) won 'Best Traditional Blues Album' at the 64th Grammy awards. 

The Globe Summer Festival 29-31 July

(Press release)

We are delighted to present our second three-day, multi-genre festival, after the success of last year’s debut event!

We have put together a programme of Blues, Americana, Folk-Rock, and Jazz, featuring superb performers from North East England and beyond!

Saturday, May 28, 2022

Aycliffe Radio Jazz Time playlist

Playlist 29.05.22 (31.05.22)

Requests from Opus 4: Billie Holiday, Lester Young, Teddy Wilson, Coleman Hawkins, Esperanza Spalding, Stan Getz, Chick Corea, Miles Davis, Dorothy Ashby, Paul Chambers, Horace Silver.

New Releases: Brian Molley Q.

What’s on in the NE: Sam Braysher. Ruth Lambert, Alligator Gumbo, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble.

Music to relax you: Peggy Lee, Frank Sinatra.

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

Whitley Bay Carnival - May 28

It's back! First lockdown postponement, then curtailment, the Whitley Bay Carnival returned in style, basking in bright and breezy conditions on Whitley Bay seafront. Hundreds, make that thousands, of happy folk enjoyed the free - yes, free! -entertainment on offer. Music, street theatre, fairground rides, food, drink, sunshine, yep, a canny day was had by all. Top of the bill, as far as this reviewer was concerned, the Northern Monkey Brass Band!

Northern Monkey Brass Band: Michael Lamb (trumpet); Alastair Lord (trumpet); David Gray (trombone); Mark Ferris (trombone); Jamie Toms (tenor sax); Phil Rosier (tuba); Adam Sinclair (snare drum); Brendan Murphy (bass drum)

Where or When did it happen for you?

Being of an age where the future is likely to be - at least in my case - inversely proportionate to the past (or should that be vice versa?), I got to thinking (always a dangerous thing to do) about the many north east jazz venues that have, over the years, upped and offed leaving behind a worn out clarinet reed that had died after too many unsuccessful attempts to replicate the obligatory solo on  High Society, a few empty glasses, some broken dreams and a lot of memories.

Jo Harrop on JRR! (Sunday 29)

Tomorrow (Sunday 29) Jo Harrop features on Jazz Record Requests (Radio 3). And she's in good company, or rather this lot - Basie, Stan Kenton, Bobby Wellins, Stan Tracey and Ella - are in the good company of County Durham's pride and joy, Ms. Jo Harrop! Tune in at four o'clock to find out which track from one of Jo's albums has been selected for JRR airplay. 

Friday, May 27, 2022

Album review: Emma Smith - MESHUGA BABY

Emma Smith (vocals); Jamie Safir (piano); Conor Chaplin (bass); Luke Tomlinson (drums)

Emma Smith may be a part of the UK's best ever swing vocal group - The Puppini Sisters - but, she is also a knockout performer in her own right, as this rather wonderful album proves.

Given the amount of top class singers on the current scene it would be foolish to even attempt to draw comparisions between the contenders. 

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Album review: Seth McFarlane - Blue Skies

Seth MacFarlane (vocals); Andrew Cottee (arranger) + orchestra including Chuck Berghofer (bass); Peter Erskine (drums); Larry Koonse (guitar); Dan Higgins (alto sax); Tom Ranier (piano).

Sinatra and Tormé have gone. Bennett's in retirement. Who's left in the crooner clique? Well there's Bublé and Connick Jr. and there's this Family Guy - Seth MacFarlane.

I've yet to watch Family Guy but I've heard several albums by the show's main man and when it comes to singing and swinging a standard Seth's the star.

He's not as hip or as cool as Sinatra and Tormé were, but swings more than Bennett ever did and beats Bublé and Connick Jr. at their own game. In short, as Ol' Blue Eyes would say, "He's a gasser!"

Album review: Asaf Harris: Walk of the Ducks

Asaf Harris (tenor/soprano sax); Nitzan Bar (guitar); Guy Moskovich (piano); Omri Hadani (double bass); David Sirkis (drums)

The first of two new albums on my to do list from BSH Editor in Chief, both from Israeli artists, offering an opportunity to reflect on the phenomenal jazz talent emerging from Tel Aviv and often achieving breakthrough in NYC and Europe.  The case in point here is the young sax player Asaf Harris making his debut on Ubuntu, with a band full of yet more talented Israeli players previously unknown to me.

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club - May 25

Brian Bennett (banjo); John Faragher (clarinet/vocals); David Gray (trombone/vocals); Lawrence McBriarty (trombone/vocals); Dave Eckhard (bass guitar) + Neville Sarony, John Broddle, Fred Thompson (vocals)

The Vieux Carré Jazzmen stomped off their regular Wednesday spot at the Crescent Club with George Lewis' Move the Body Over Here. Lewis disciple Faragher took the vocal on this one setting a pattern for what was to follow - vocals, vocals, vocals!

Lawrence McBriarty stepped up to the plate and sang Dallas Blues. He reminded me of Eric Burdon before Eric became an Animal.

Paul Hartley Quartet w. John Hulme @ the Railway, Stockport - May 24

(© John Pritchard)
John Hulme (trumpet/flugelhorn); Paul Hartley (guitar); Matt Owen (bass); Phil Bennett (drums).

John Hulme is a familiar figure on the Greater Manchester jazz scene and for those who go to gigs by big bands, you may have seen him sitting in the brass section.

Like a lot of trumpeters he also likes to play flugelhorn - an instrument I took a liking to ever since I first heard it played by Clark Terry on his Riverside album In Orbit.  I don’t think I’ve heard any musician in recent times get as mellow a sound on the larger horn than Terry, with the possible exception of Tom Harrell who impressed me when I saw him at the Malta Jazz Festival a few years ago. John is an admirer of Harrell’s and tonight he played flugel on Harrell’s composition Moon Alley.

Jazz at The Black Swan: reignite. Pat Boynes talks to Alice Grace

Jazz at The Black Swan, featuring some of the Northeast’s favourite jazz musicians, swings into action next month, with an exciting new programme that reignites the spirit of the former Newcastle Jazz Cafe. Showcasing a range of styles from brass ensembles to intimate duos, gypsy jazz and much more, these events will take place mostly on the third Thursday of the month, complementing the popular jam sessions that already take place on alternative Tuesdays.

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Album Review: Gary Brumburgh – Full Circle

Gary Brumburgh (vocals); Jamieson Trotter (piano); Gabe Davis (bass); Christian Euman (drums); Larry Koonse (guitar); Danny Janklow (saxes); Scott Whitfield (trombone); Ross Garen (harmonica); Leo Costa (percussion)

A refreshingly different CD, a pleasant change to hear a male singer, with a light toned voice and every word of the lyrics clear (modern pop singers please note!). A different selection of songs, versions of musical theatre numbers from shows such as Cabaret; Fiddler on the Roof; Oklahoma.

Add to the mix such fine musicians as Larry Koonse on guitar, who pops up on these review albums so often that I think I know him personally! Then we have a lovely melancholy harmonica solo from Ross Garen on Far From the Home I Love and cool Latin percussion from Leo Costa on Soon It's Gonna Rain. And not forgetting the rest of the band, all performing well.

Monday, May 23, 2022

Weird scenes for Knats with Soho Radio "On the Road" ...

1. Live recording and interview from  Sage Gateshead on Thursday May 19 HERE. Interview at 1:00:22, with live numbers before/after Every Sun is a Red Moon at 1:28:30.

2. Secret gig (!)  (in Camperdown industrial estate rave venue) on Saturday May 21  for select 30 audience (lucky winners of online competition) picked up on double decker bus and delivered to the venue for free bar, DJ sets and three bands.  Sam Fender's sax man (Johnny Blue Hat Davis) in attendance enjoyed it! A YouTube video feature to come. Chris K

Al Wood Quartet @ the Railway, Stockport - May 22

(© Jeff Pritchard)
Al Wood (alto sax); Derrick Harris (guitar); Dave Lynane (bass); Dave Hassell (drums) + Richard Iles (flugel).

Al Wood opened up with Irving Berlin’s composition Cheek to Cheek. It made me think of a time, many years ago, when I lent a friend an LP Phil Woods live at the Showboat and never got it back. There was a fantastic version of this tune by Phil Woods and for some reason that album is very hard to find.  The second number was one that you do not hear very often; Hank Mobley’s Funk In A Deep Freeze. This is a tune Chet Baker liked to play and there is also a great version on John Zorn’s album News For Lulu.

Sunday Night @ the Globe: Panharmonia - May 22

(© S. Herrick)
Keith Barrett (guitar, vocal, perc); Fiona Finden (soprano sax, vocal, perc); Stu Finden (baritone sax, perc); Andrew Porritt (bass, perc); John Bradford (drums, perc).

The last time this band played at the Globe they were known as the East Coast Quintet which seemed to be quite a cool name. However, that was then (November 2021) and this is now and, as threatened back then, these days they strut their stuff as Panharmonia.

With the change of name came, to my ears, a gutsier, more fiery sound. Everyone was microphonically enhanced including the drums which in a small room like the Globe bar meant that the opening What is This Thing Called Love? sounded louder than the rock band who were playing in the performance space at the Centre For Life a few blocks away. Presumably the amplification was linked to the settings for the livestream.

Sunday, May 22, 2022

'58 Jazz Collective @ Dorman's, Middlesbrough - May 19

Kevin Eland (trumpet/flugel); Donna Hewitt (tenor/clarinet); Django (trombone/vocals); Ron Smith (bass); Dave Archbold (keys); Mark Hawkins (drums); Kate Bulman (vocals).

When a band that has been together for more than two years under the leadership of Kevin Eland is booked as the guest band at Dorman's, then an excellent night of music is to be expected and we were not disappointed.
Starting the night in fine style, Blues Walk gave the whole band the chance to show how well they all played together. Straighten Up and Fly Right, with vocals from Django was followed by Cute, featuring Mark on drums and Kate on vocals.

Aycliffe Radio Jazz Time playlist


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

Playlist 22.05.22 (14.05.22)

Congratulations to Abbie and Harry: Strictly Smokin’ Big Band w Alice Grace.

Requests: Oscar Peterson/Lester Young.

Tees Valley Jazzmen.

Matt Monro Story: One Voice @ The Customs House - May 21

Sinatra rated him, he was known as 'the singer's singer', enjoying international success, for a while living the life out in California, now, more than thirty seven years after his death, his legacy lives on, the name...Matt Monro. The Matt Monro Story: One Voice is Matt Monro Jnr's lovingly crafted tribute to his famous father. The show is on tour and yesterday (Saturday) it stopped off in South Shields.

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Andrea Vicari Trio @ Opus 4 Jazz Club - May 20

Andrea Vicari (piano); Andy Champion (double bass, bass guitar); Abbie Finn (drums) + Harry Keeble (tenor sax)

Earlier in the day Andrea Vicari played to a capacity audience at the Lit & Phil up the road in Newcastle. Here at the Traveller's Rest in Darlington, Vicari, Andy Champion and Abbie Finn were greeted by an enthusiastic Opus 4 Jazz Club crowd. The lack of a piano at the venue - upright or grand - pressed into action Vicari's well-travelled keyboard. Bassist Champion brought along his electric as well as his trusty double bass. From Think of One to Blues on the Spot, the set list would mirror that of Newcastle plus a whole lot more.

Friday, May 20, 2022

Jazz on the Tyne welcomes Fergus McCreadie and “Forest Floor”

Ahead of his trio gig in Barnard Castle on May 27, award-winning pianist and composer Fergus McCreadie is the special guest on the latest edition of Jazz on the Tyne.  He’ll be talking with presenter Colin Muirhead about his chart-topping new album “Forest Floor” and more.

Andrea Vicari Trio @ the Lit & Phil - May 20

Andrea Vicari (piano); Andy Champion (bass); Abbie Finn (drums)

A stunning one hour set by a trio that gelled as if they'd spent a lifetime playing together which was far from the truth. Their paths had all intertwined over the years but, until this afternoon, never as a tight unit with all three working as one.

I first heard Andrea at Scarborough in 2010 at that year's jazz festival. She referred to that gig today although she didn't mention me - how remiss! - however, she did mention a Croatian guitarist called Elvis.

Thursday, May 19, 2022

mjf news - festival starts tomorrow

mjf (manchester jazz festival) kicks off tomorrow (May 20) - all ten days of it and there's some mouthwatering stuff. Too much indeed for me to go into chapter and verse. For that you need to visit the mjf website which you can access right HERE.

Lots of major players including the northeast's ABBIE FINN TRIO who are planning to motor west getting their kicks on the A66.

I counted about 50 gigs and many are free (+ booking fee which seems to be somewhat contradictory!) So, if you're at a loose end over the next ten days, Manchester (or manchester) is the place to be - Lance

Book review: John Altman - Hidden Man: My Many Musical Lives.

Hidden Man, huh? Well, no longer will this be the case as the remarkably versatile and talented John Altman outlines a potted history of jazz and popular music as well as film scores from 1970 to the present day. In both the UK and USA he was there as a saxophonist, arranger, composer, conductor and producer. His prodigious memory and healthy photo archive provide the reader with an entertaining and fascinating collection of anecdotes of the behind the scenes' antics therein.

Album preview: Raynald Colom - A Million Dreams.

(Press release)

Trumpeter Raynald Colom immediately captivates with the hauntingly beautiful dream-like opening notes of his new live recording, A Million Dreams. Colom demands the listener’s attention throughout the cohesive eight-track outing, alongside pianist Tony Tixier, Joe Sanderson double bass and Francesco Ciniglioon drums. French-born and Barcelona-based, Colom is a seasoned musician inspired by many genres and artforms, but with firm roots in flamenco.

Jazz Festival Memories 7: Alan Barnes and Scarborough Jazz Festival

Mention Scarborough and, after the Candy Floss and the Kiss Me Quick (or a more contemporary phrase) hats, the first thing I think of is the Scarborough Jazz Festival and, by association, Alan Barnes who has compered the festival, since it began in 2003, longer than most of our 'beloved' Prime Ministers have held office.

Over the years (2007 - 2012) I made many friends (Hi Annie, hello Will and Liz Smith) and was amazed at Alan Barnes' versatility. Alto, tenor, baritone or clarinet it didn't seem to matter - he just slotted into the action.

A few of those moments:


You may be aware that Nigel Price has been in a debate with the Government, lobbying to get money for grass roots jazz clubs (particularly clubs that don't own their venues). He's been unsuccessful in getting the Government to listen. He's launched a fundraiser - seeking to get £1 million to distribute directly to the grassroots clubs that form 95% of the UK jazz scene.

To donate or to learn more, HERE IS THE LINK.

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Trefor Owen Quartet @ the Railway, Stockport - May 17


Trefor Owen (guitar); Andy Hulme (guitar); Ed Harrison (bass); Liam Byrne (tenor/soprano sax).

(© Jeff Pritchard)
Most of the tunes played will be familiar to  jazz fans and if you like to hear guitars then you will be well satisfied with what this group has to offer. Tonight the numbers were mainly taken from the Great American Songbook and were familiar items to those of us who have heard Trefor’s band during their frequent appearances at this venue.

Liam Byrne has a major role in Trefor’s quartet and tonight he played mostly tenor sax although he brought his curved soprano into play on East of the Sun and his solo made me want to hear more from Liam on the smaller horn.

Jammin' @ the Black Swan - May 17

A fortnight ago, I bemoaned the absence of the horn players (Where have all the blowers gone?). This time it was Where have all the guitars gone? and, apart from Esther who was impressive on clarinet and David Gray who blew the room apart with his cutting edge solos and a croony vocal on Just Friends this was indeed predominantly a singers session - almost a jazz Go As You Please at the Wheeltappers and Shunters!

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Sunday Night @ The Globe: Trish Clowes - My Iris. May 15

(© Ken Drew)
Trish Clowes (tenor sax); Ross Stanley (Hammond); Chris Montague (guitar); James Maddren (drums)

A room refreshingly packed with the unusual suspects (I only recognised 3 people out of around a crowd 50) greeted My Iris last Sunday at the The Globe. 

The band, led by Trish Clowes on tenor saxophone, who also composed all but one of the tunes performed on the night, showcased their latest album A View With a Room and it was indeed this rather groovy number which kicked the evening off.  

The entire session was a joy - something for everyone - plenty of melody and harmony for those  that way inclined but also bags of improvisation. Each individual musician was marvellous and hearing a proper Hammond organ instead of having to listen to the fake manufactured sound produced by the latest electronic whizz bang keyboard was worth it’s weight in quavers. 

Swing Manouche @ Blaydon Jazz Club - May 16

(© Roly Veitch)
Mick Shoulder (guitar); Dave Smith (rhythm guitar); Martin Winning (clarinet); Paul Grainger (string bass) 

Hugely enjoyable. There's no better way to describe this Blaydon Jazz Club concert. Mick Shoulder's Swing Manouche is a cracking outfit playing Django (typically Django sans Stéphane), Hot Club, Manouche, musette and more. Known to many as a first class double bass player, Mick's Swing Manouche sees him out front, centre stage playing guitar. Spotlight solo excursions were shared largely between Mick and Martin Winning (clarinet). Mick's choice of material presented the audience with some lesser known numbers, and that's to his credit as all too often the more familiar tunes have, well, been heard time and again.

More Jazz in Hexham on the horizon

June sees the start of a regular monthly jazz promotion at The Vault in Hexham - a perfect venue for a jazz club.  There will be a live jazz event on the first Friday of each month, with a great line-up of music planned for the coming months.

We're starting with the sensational Ruth Lambert, who has been described (by no less an authority than Bebop Spoken Here) as "the supreme interpreter of the Great American Songbook". She's joined by Alan Law on piano, Paul Grainger on bass, and Tim Johnston on drums.

Join us on Friday 3 June for a very special evening of classic jazz standards delivered by a truly great singer.

Tickets, only in advance from:HERE

Monday, May 16, 2022

Album review: John Scofield - John Scofield

John Scofield (guitar and looper)

Did I tell you I met John Scofield once, at the bar in what is now the Northern Playhouse after a gig at a Newcastle Jazz Festival, probably in the early nineties? My mate Ian pointed out, after we had both shaken hands with Scofield, that that hand had probably shaken hands with Miles Davis. Thus, was our tenuous link to jazz history established.

I didn’t realise how many John Scofield albums I had until I started rummaging. As well as a couple of his own in my collection I also have him on albums with Joe Lovano, Dave Holland and Al Foster (as ScoLoHoFo), Marc Johnson, The Allman Brothers Band, Pat Metheny, Medeski, Martin and Wood and a very good tribute to Tony Williams Lifetime with Larry Goldings and Jack DeJohnette. Of course his profile was raised enormously by being part of Miles Davis’ group in the mid-80s, though he had been recording prolifically for over 10 years before that. Safe to say he gets around. So much so that the last place I saw his albums up for sale was the Drift Café on Druridge Bay

Steve Pimlott Quartet @ the Railway, Stockport - May 15

(© Jeff Pritchard)
Steve Pimlott (tenor sax); Richard Wetherall (piano); Tom Collins (bass); Phil Bennett (drums).

The opening tune was an unusual choice for a quartet being the Neil Hefti composition Flight of the Foo Birds which was featured on The Atomic Mr Basie, an iconic recording which was a best seller for the Count Basie Big Band.  I think it worked well in a small group setting and I was immediately impressed by the powerful sound on bass of Tom Collins whom I've not come across before. Once again the house piano was being used and who better to find on this gig than Richard Wetherall who is always interesting to listen to. Add to the mix Phil Bennett on drums and the scene is set for a great night of modern jazz.

Hexham Jazz Festival: Day 3 (Sunday 15)

(© Malcolm Sinclair)
Northern Rail let the side down. Cancellations (staff shortages) up and down the Tyne Valley line would mean arriving late for the final evening of this year's Hexham Jazz Festival. Plan B, call into the Centurion Bar for a pint and mull over what to do. Decision made - catch the next an hour's time. On the pub's big screen tv Everton were losing, later going down to nine men. Could the Merseysiders go down? Sunderland find themselves in the third tier (for younger football fans that's the old Division 3), the same fate could await Everton. 

A farewell to John 'Johnny' Barnes - Monday 16

Today the jazz (and wider) community said goodbye to John Barnes. The funeral service was held at South West Middlesex Crematorium, streamed online for those unable to attend. At 11:00am we heard California Here I Come and the vicar conducting the service proved to be refreshingly down to earth, at one point saying he'd like to hear some of the more unrepeatable stories about John, adding, as he wasn't a Roman Catholic, he wouldn't be offended in the slightest! Two speakers - neighbour Danny and long-time band mate Andy Cooper - spoke warmly, and with no little humour, in sharing their memories of John. In due course (perhaps within 48 hours) today's service will be made available online once again. See LL's earlier post for the link. Russell       

Preview: Swing Manouche, Blaydon Jazz Club - tonite (Monday 16)

Djangologists unite! This evening Messieurs Mick Shoulder (guitar), Dave Smith (rhythm guitar), Martin Winning (clarinet) & Paul Grainger (string bass) will be at the Black Bull on Bridge Street, Blaydon. Dave (pictured in the engine room sitting between Martin and Mick) is Swing Manouche's new recruit. Danny (pictured to the right) won't be on the gig but string bass man Paul will, as always, be there. Rendezvous 8:00pm. £7.00. at the door. Support your local jazz club. Allez!

Info re John Barnes' funeral

The information below was provided by Alan Barnes on Facebook.

For those who are interested but might not yet know:John Barnes' funeral is today (May 16) Hanworth Crematorium 11am or watch:
Username fiku0260
Password 857769
(Login 5 minutes before the service at 10.55)
Looking forward to seeing some friends there - Alan Barnes

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Johnny Hawksworth

Watching a football game on tv earlier today I was reminded of when, back in the day, I'd see the Ted Heath Orchestra at Newcastle City Hall. The lovely Lita Rosa, the dynamic Denis Lotus and the debonaire Dickie Valentine on vocals. Don Lusher, Eddie Blair, Bobby Pratt and Bert Ezard among the brass men, Roy Willox on alto and all driven along by Ronnie Verrell on drums and Johnny Hawksworth on bass.

Ah yes, Johnny Hawksworth ... a fine bassist who topped the MM Polls for several years. He was also a  very funny man. I recall when, during the course of his bass solo, he stopped and said, "and now, my impression of a test pilot going into a dive" whereupon he rapped three times on the bass and said, "Joe sent me".  

So what's this got to do with football? The word dive might be a clue - Lance

Hexham Jazz Festival: Day 2 (Saturday 14, evening)

(© Malcolm Sinclair)
For some this was the pick of the 2022 Hexham Jazz Festival - Jo Harrop with her ace band plus strings, followed by a solo piano set by Dean Stockdale. The same set-up as on the opening evening, Harrop and co occupying centre ground (the 'crossing') looking down the nave past the cordoned-off crypt with the audience occupying the nave's pews and seated around tables in the north and south transepts. Forty eight hours earlier Harrop and her quartet were at Newcastle's temple to all things funk, soul and jazz, namely Hoochie Coochie, this evening it was the rather splendid setting of Hexham Abbey. 

Hexham Jazz Festival: Day 2 (Saturday 14, afternoon)

The reborn Hexham Jazz Festival had been long in the planning. Pre-pandemic, discussions were had, musicians sounded out, it was all ready to go, then, bang!, lockdown. Now, more than two years on, the weather gods saw to it that the sun shone, and shone, and shone on the Saturday afternoon outdoor stage. Divine intervention? Well, we were in the grounds of Hexham Abbey...

Aycliffe Radio: Jazz Time Sundays 6.30 - 8.00p.m. (Repeat Tuesdays 8.00 - 9.30 p.m.)

Playlist 15.05.22 (17.05.22)

Jeff Barnhart requests: Fats Waller, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman.

John Hallam request: Stan Getz, Gerry Mulligan.

Requests: Django Reinhardt, Grover Washington Jr, Tees Valley Jazzmen, Sidney Bechet.

What’s on in the North East: Andrea Vicari, Abbie Finn, Jools Holland.

Jelly Roll Morton's Red Hot Peppers, Mingus Big Band.

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Jazz Festival Memories 6: Daryl Sherman and Cécile McLorin Salvant @ Mike Durham's Classic Jazz Party 2013

A two singer gig featuring the reigning champ and the number one contender - Daryl Sherman and Cécile McLorin Salvant.

Daryl's career dated back to the last Artie Shaw Band whereas Cécile was the new kid on the block but already shooting high.

I'd first heard Daryl over a weekend in 2010 at the Saville (now the Exchange) in North Shields and the following night at Trinity Church, Gosforth. Digby Fairweather played trumpet on both sessions. I was captivated by her voice and her piano playing. There was just a touch of Blossom Dearie in there. Over the years we've had occasional contact online where she often displays her fascination with my name e.g. 'Lance - thanks a - lot' - priceless!

Hexham Jazz Festival: Day 1 (Friday 13)

(© Malcolm Sinclair)
On the approach to Hexham Abbey the streets were eerily quiet. Could there really be a major festival event about to begin in the Northumberland market town? There was and it's pleasing to report the first Hexham Jazz Festival in something like twenty years got off to a flying start as a capacity audience took its seats - in some cases pews! - to hear Hot Club du Nord and the improvisational duo of Paul Edis and Graeme Wilson.  

Hot Club du Nord: Emma Fisk (violin); James Birkett (guitar); Dave Harris (guitar); Bruce Rollo (double bass)

(© Malcolm Sinclair)
Emma Fisk's Hot Club du Nord is a 'banker bet'. Book the band and you're guaranteed  a full house. The festival organisers did just that and were duly rewarded. The acoustics in Hexham Abbey favoured Emma Fisk's virtuosic violin playing, the guitarists - James Birkett and Dave Harris - less so, although the master craftsmen overcame any potential difficulties playing the set with little or no amplification, likewise string bassist Bruce Rollo. This Can't Be Love opened the 2022 Hexham Jazz Festival and if it's possible to hear a pin drop in such a vast space we would have heard it, such was the attentive listening of the capacity crowd. 

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