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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.


16542 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 422 of them this year alone and, so far, 29 this month (June 17).

From This Moment On ...


Sun 23: Paul Skerritt @ Hibou Blanc, Newcastle. 2:00pm.
Sun 23: More Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00pm. Free.
Sun 23: Matt Carmichael @ St Mary’s Church, Wooler. 3:00pm. Carmichael (saxophone), Fergus McCreadie (piano), Charlie Stewart (fiddle). ‘Scottish jazz, folk-roots & landscape’ Wooler Arts: Summer Concerts.
Sun 23: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 23: Tweed River Jazz Band @ Barrels Ale House, Berwick. 7:00pm. Free.
Sun 23: Bede Trio @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 23: Leeway @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Sun 23: Jazz Jam @ Fabio’s Bar, Saddler St., Durham. 8:00pm. Free. A Durham University Jazz Society event. All welcome.

Mon 24: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Mon 24: Remy CB @ The Hoppings, Newcastle Town Moor NE2 3NH. 5:00-7:00pm.

Tue 25: Louise Dodds & Elchin Shirinov @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Wed 26: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 26: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 26: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

Thu 27: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 27: Jeremy McMurray & the Pocket Jazz Orchestra @ Arc, Stockton. 8:00pm.
Thu 27: The Joni Project @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Joni Mitchell.
Thu 27: Lindsay Hannon’s Tom Waits for No Man @ Harbour View, Roker, Sunderland. 8:00pm.
Thu 27: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. Ragtime piano. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 27: Loco House Band @ Bar Loco, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free.
Thu 27: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests: Richie Emmerson (tenor sax); Neil Brodie (trumpet); Garry Hadfield (keys); Adrian Beadnell (bass)

Fri 28: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 28: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 28: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 28: Pete Tanton’s Chet Set @ Warkworth War Memorial Hall. 7:30pm. £10.00.
Fri 28: Paul Edis Trio @ St Cuthbert’s Centre, Crook. 7:30pm.
Fri 28: Ant Law, Alex Hitchcock, Jasper Høiby & Sun-Mi Hong @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm. £15.40., £13.20.

Sat 29: Spat’s Langham’s Hot Fingers @ St Augustine's Parish Centre, Darlington. 12:30pm. Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club.
Sat 29: Vermont Big Band @ Seahorse Pub, Whitley Bay Football Club. 7:30pm. £10.00. (inc. hot buffet).
Sat 29: Papa G’s Troves @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Sun 30: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 30: Ruth Lambert Trio @ The Juke Shed, Union Quay, North Shields. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 30: Jazz Jam Sandwich! @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 7:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Sun 30: Charlotte Keeffe @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. JNE.
Sun 30: Jazz Jam @ Fabio’s Bar, Saddler St., Durham. 8:00pm. Free. A Durham University Jazz Society event. All welcome.

Friday, September 30, 2022

Peter Morgan Trio. "All Blues". At Dorman's - Sept. 29

A very relaxing and enjoyable night of top quality music from The Peter Morgan Trio They played a wide variety of standards pieces, with a few of Peter's own compositions thrown in, for good measure.

Don't forget, it is a much better experience when you are personally up close.

The Dorman's Jazz Club is at Oxford Road, Middlesbrough. TS5 5DT. Jazz night is Thursday at 9pm to 11pm. The club serves a good range of beers, lagers, wines, spirits and hot and cold Snacks at affordable prices. John Nesbitt

Blue Note Re:imagined II released today.

(Press release)

The second instalment of the Blue Note Re:imagined series, featuring reworked and newly recorded Blue Note classics from an array of rising UK stars, is released today (Friday September 30).

A prime example of the eight-decade-plus power of Blue Note’s jazz to endure and inspire future generations to keep creating anew, the Re:Imagined series taps into the burgeoning UK jazz scene that has found global popularity over the last decade. Volume two sees the likes of fast-emerging vocalists Cherise, Ego Ella May, Maya Delilah and Kay Young, 9-piece afro-jazz outfit Nubiyan Twist and an array of trailblazing instrumentalists including Binker Golding, Yazz Ahmed, Daniel Casimir, Theon Cross and Reuben James reimagining tracks from Blue Note’s most legendary alumni including Donald Byrd, Wayne Shorter, Chick Corea, Marlena Shaw and Cassandra Wilson.

Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music 2022 CZAJKA & PUCHACZ + Mark Solbgorg + Anthropology @ The Newcastle Literary & Philosophical Society - Sept. 29

(© Ken Drew)
Having previewed in Jesmond  last weekend it was now time for the festival to return  to its spiritual home - The Newcastle Literary & Philosophical Society on Westgate Road. A triple bill ranging from quirky improvised modern installation art work through solo guitar and culminating with an anarchic dystopian octet. 

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

Playlist 02/10/22. (Repeated Tuesday 04/10/22)

Anita Wardell.

RIP: Pharoah Sanders.

Birthday Memories: Oscar Pettiford, Art Tatum/ Lionel Hampton/ Buddy Rich, Dave Holland, Django Bates.

Requests: Hank Mobley, Gordon Goodwin Big Phat Band.

What’s On In the NE: Paul Skerritt & The Danny Miller Big Band, Dean Stockdale, Chip Wickham.

New Release: Henry Godfrey Jazz Orchestra.

Ike Quebec, Cannonball Adderley Sextet, Chet Baker/ Paul Desmond

Album review: Brian Lynch & Spheres of Influence – Songbook Vol. 2: Dance The Way U Want To (Hollistic MusicWorks)

Brian Lynch (trumpet); Aldo Salvent, Chris Thompson-Taylor (tenor sax); Kemuel Roig, Alex Brown (piano); Rodner Pedilla (electric bass); Hilario Bell (drums); Murphy Aucamp (percussion).

Latin Jazz, Afro-Caribbean rhythms; they say the hips don’t lie but mine have been known to tell a few fibs in their time. What should go left goes right and vice-versa and I have an ASBO prohibiting me from twerking by court order. But two minutes of this and things are moving, maybe going with the flow and letting your legs, unconsciously, do their thing is the answer and your arse will follow.

Released today: Slowlight Quartet - Full Beam, Alan

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Album review: Fleur Stevenson & Pete Billington For All we Know

Fleur Stevenson (vocals); Pete Billington (piano/guitar/bass/viola)

Don't do what I did which was to sigh and say, "Not another chick singing standards that every wannabe from time immemorial has done and that's without mentioning the Ellas Peggys and Billies".

That was before I actually got around to listening to what is actually a very fine album. 

Stevenson has one of those gentle voices, the kind that creeps up on you rather than one that hits you in the face. Peggy Lee and Blossom Dearie had that quality - Daryl Sherman still does and Fleur is close to that league.

The Ushaw Ensemble @ King's Hall, Newcastle University - Sept. 29

(© Ken Drew)
Paul Edis (piano/composer/MD); Graham Hardy (trumpet); Graeme Wilson (tenor sax/ bass clarinet/flute); Emma Fisk (violin); Andy May (Northumbrian pipes); Paul Susans (bass); Rob Walker (drums).

Magnificent! Or possibly St. Cuthbert would have preferred Magnificat, whatever, this did what it said on the tin or, to be more precise, in the programme notes.

Normally, most of the pre-gig notes (if any) merely consist of brief biographies and quotes from such august publications as DownBeat, Jazzwise and even (on rare occasions) Bebop Spoken Here!

However, this afternoon on Newcastle Uni's headed notepaper we had the life and times of St. Cuthbert documented up to his death in 687AD. And, possibly of greater interest to the assembled throng other than the students of Divinity, details of the soloists which enabled us to keep track of where we were in the holy man's inspirational journey throughout the then Northumbria.

Preview: Lenny Henry's Got the Blues - Sky Arts (Thursday)

On Sky Arts this evening (Thursday) the third and final part of Lenny Henry's look at the British blues scene finds the actor, comedian, singer and writer on stage with Lulu, Laura Mvula, Mica Paris and others. Henry has come a long way since his days as a stand-up comic, co-founding Comic Relief to treading the boards in Shakespeare's Othello. Tune in at eight o'clock for Lenny Henry's Got the BluesRussell 

Laura Jurd's Big Friendly Album Tour @ Sage Gateshead - Sept. 28

Laura Jurd (cornet, piano); Martin Lee Thompson (euphonium); Danielle Price (tuba); Alex Haines (guitar); Ruth Goller (bass); Corrie Dick (drums)  

The best laid schemes of mice and men do indeed oft gang awry and tonight was no exception. Laura Jurd 8:00pm - 10:00pm book a taxi for 10:10pm what could possibly gang aft agley?

Well, someone in their wisdom decided that a half hour spot from a non-jazz singer/songwriter would whet the jazz audience's appetite and, in doing so,  put my schedule out of sync - time, tides and taxis wait for no one.

So, although I missed the last 30 minutes of the band's 90 minutes set what I did hear was brilliantly executed. It was exciting, inventive, mega original and fun.

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

A blue plaque for Club A'Gogo

On a recent visit to London it was fun to play the tourist game 'spot the blue plaque'. Wandering through Camden into Bloomsbury (calling in at Judd Books) blue plaques were everywhere (on some streets there are several plaques stating 'such and such lived here'). Artists, literary figures, politicians, scientists, some famous, some less so (less so, as far as the wandering tourist was concerned). And onto Soho ...

Paul Hartley Quartet featuring Bryan Pendleton play the music of Rodgers and Hart @ the Railway, Stockport - Sept 30

(© Jeff Pritchard)
Bryan Pendleton (piano); Paul Hartley (guitar); John Sandham (bass); Eryl Roberts (drums).

The last time Bryan Pendleton headlined at the Railway was on April 26 when he fronted a quintet playing the music of George Shearing. For last night's show Bryan delved into the vast amount of songs composed by the prolific partnership of Rodgers and Hart whose output between 1919-1943 totaled over 500 numbers. They collaborated on 28 Stage musicals, many films featured their songs and it must have been a hard task for Bryan to choose 15 tunes from such a wealth of material.

Album review: Jim Witzel Trio & Quartet - Feelin' It

Jim Witzel (guitar); Brian Ho (B3); Jason Lewis (drums) + Dann Zinn (tenor sax on 3 tks). 

Some good old down home bluesy funkified soul as typified by 1960s Blue Note artists such as Jimmy Smith, McDuff and McGriff mixed in with some standards and The Beatles' Norwegian Wood which I suppose these days can also be classed as a standard.

Five trio tracks - the standards - and three quartet work outs on Witzel originals. It's music to listen to, to dance to, to imagine you're in a bar, not necessarily a jazz joint, back then in any big American city, although probably not Nashville.

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Lewis Watson Quartet @ Blaydon Jazz Club - Sept. 26

(© Roly Veitch)
Lewis Watson (tenor sax, soprano sax); Mark Williams (guitar); Mick Shoulder (double bass); John Bradford (drums)

A while ago Lewis Watson emerged from a long period of (musical) hibernation. The man hadn't been heard on a jazz stage for many a moon until he popped up at Newcastle's Lit & Phil. The word got out and, as quick as you like, all seats were snapped up. Prior to the down beat, BSH Editor-in-Chief LL wondered if King Lewis could retain his crown. The opening bars of the first number dispelled any such doubts, the man was back! Fast forward a few months to an autumnal Monday evening, the nights drawing in, the temptation of England v Germany on the telly, would anyone make the effort to get along to Blaydon Jazz Club to hear King Lewis? 

Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music 2022: Skylla + Pete Wareham, Ruth Goller, Will Glaser @ Bobiks,The Punch Bowl, Jesmond - Sept. 25

(© Ken Drew)
Skylla - Ruth Goller(bass, vocals); Lauren Kinsella, Alice Grant (vocals).

Pete Wareham (sax, flute, electronics); Ruth Goller(bass, vocals); Will Glaser (drums)

The festival's second night at Bobiks was a very serious affair. Deeply heavy improvised music with little or no chat from anyone on stage. However, since this was The Guardians of the Underworld maybe it was time for acute listening rather than two way communication.

(© Ken Drew)
The evening began with Ruth Goller’s Skylla - the title of her first solo album. The name Skylla is referenced  from the Scylla a mythical 6 headed female sea monster which guards  a narrow strait with fellow monster Charybdis hence the expression ‘between Scylla and Charybdis’ means ‘the lesser of two evils’ or  ‘between a banjo and a sousaphone’ for  this festival’s attendees.


Fingers crossed, those pesky gremlins have been sent packing and we're back in business!

Internet down

 Normal service ASAP. Apologies  Lance 

Monday, September 26, 2022

Buy your ticket to the 30th Marsden Jazz Festival and help secure its future.

(Press release): One of the longest-running jazz festivals in the UK needs your support to bring word class live music to rural Yorkshire and ensure its survival. September 2022

Marsden Jazz Festival returns for its 30th year on 6th-9th October 2022 with an electrifying lineup of award-winning, international acts, including Gary Crosby, Emma Rawicz, Arun Ghosh, Ruby Wood and Robert Mitchell. 

Frank Griffith Quartet @ the Railway, Stockport - Sept. 25

(© Jeff Pritchard)
Frank Griffith (tenor sax/clarinet); Richard Wetherall(piano); Ed Harrison (bass); Victor Lundberg (drums)

Here at the Railway I arrived early in order to grab a good seat in front of the bandstand and the room was already starting to fill up with the usual Sunday night regulars. Ed Harrison was the first of the band to arrive but by the time 9pm rolled around there were no other musicians to be seen. This was weird as I’ve always found that bass players are normally the last to arrive at gigs but, on further investigation, it appeared that  both Frank and Victor were on their way and had got delayed for traffic reasons. The next to arrive was Richard Wetherall and you could almost hear a sigh of relief from the assembled jazz fans.

This Sunday @ the Prohibition Bar - Celebrating the Life and Music of Pharoah Sanders

The death of free form legend Pharoah Sanders on Sept. 24 sent shock waves through the jazz fraternity with many reacting in their own individual way.

The Sun Ra Arkestra, with whom Sanders played in the 1960s tweeted: Pharoah Sanders Sun Ra Arkestra alumnus has departed this planet.

Closer to home, guitarist Tom Atkinson has assembled a band of disciples to pay tribute to one of the founders of Spiritual Jazz this Sunday (Oct. 2) at the Prohibition Bar on Pink Lane. See poster for details - Lance

Laura Jurd on the radio, Laura Jurd on tour

Last week Laura Jurd was at Ronnie Scott's playing cornet with Giacomo Smith's Hot Five. This afternoon (Monday 26) Jurd's trio will be performing live on BBC Radio 3. Tune to In Tune from five o'clock. And tomorrow Jurd sets off on a nationwide tour with her six piece band playing music from her latest album The Big Friendly Album, calling in at Sage Gateshead on Wednesday (8:00pm).   Russell

Sue Mingus (April 2, 1930 - Sept. 24, 2022)

Behind every great man there's a woman or - so the legend would have it. In the case of the great American bassist/composer/bandleader Charles Mingus that was most certainly true which makes the passing of Sue Mingus all the more heartfelt.

Her relationship with Charles Mingus, particularly during his latter years, are told without gloss in her book Tonight At Noon - A Love Story.

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Harry Keeble Quartet @ The Gala Theatre, Durham - Sept. 23

(© B. Ebbatson)
Harry Keeble (tenor sax); Mark Williams (guitar); Andy Champion (bass); Abbie Finn (drums)

By way of a preview of the music to be heard on a forthcoming album, the Harry Keeble Quartet presented a 'play-through' to the Gala Theatre's lunchtime audience. Keeble indicated he would prefer to let the music speak for itself and keep the talking to a minimum. And with that Keeble counted them in. Mark Williams sported a Telecaster, Andy Champion a five-string bass, Abbie Finn her familiar custom-made kit. 

Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music 2022 Archipelago + Bartholomew + Taupe @ Bobiks, The Punch Bowl, Jesmond - Sept. 24

(© Ken Drew)
Archipelago - Faye MacCalman (tenor sax, clarinet, synths, electronics); John Pope (bass); Christian Alderson (drums)

Bartholomew – Electronics

Taupe - Jamie Stockbridge (alto sax, electronics); Mile Parr-Burnham (guitar, objects, synths); Adam Stapleford (drums)

A full house at Bobiks  created a great atmosphere for the first of the two weekend gigs in the upstairs venue within the Jesmond hostelry. First up saw local favourite Archipelago turn in a superb performance despite having to contend with a somewhat iffy sound system. A mellow start soon burst into a skronking high energy blast to send the room rocking. It was all high energy stuff. There were a couple of vocals from Faye MacCalman  and an eastern themed piece with Faye MacCalman on clarinet which featured a great John Pope bass solo.  A song full of loops with a highland twist saw Christian  Alderson on drums excel and bring the set to a splendid conclusion.

Kirk Lightsey Quartet @ Ronnie Scott's - Sept. 22

Kirk Lightsey (piano); Alex Hitchcock (tenor sax); Steve Watts (double bass); Sangoma Everett (drums) 

The great Kirk Lightsey last appeared on Tyneside something like fifteen years ago. This engagement at Ronnie Scott's presented an opportunity to hear the now octogenarian pianist once more. One of the few bebop pianists of his generation still performing, Lightsey graciously billed his quartet's appearance as 'featuring Alex Hitchcock', a quartet including his long-time bassist Steve Watts and drummer Sangoma Everett. 

Sugarfoot Strut @ The Morden Arms, Greenwich - Sept. 22

A first visit to the Morden Arms in Greenwich to catch Sarah Spencer's Sugarfoot Strut. Listed in CAMRA's Good Beer Guide as 'Unpretentious, without an external pub sign or even name', the Morden Arms is just that, a proper old boozer. Walking through the door fifteen minutes before the one o'clock start, the regulars didn't look round and the piano player didn't stop playing (actually, there wasn't one - pianist or piano!). A pint of the local Brockley Brewery's Pale Ale, a vacant bar stool to sit on, we were ready to go. 

Emma Smith's Meshuga Baby @ Ronnie Scott's - Sept. 21

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

An advance sell out, no surprise at all. Emma Smith's recently released album Meshuga Baby garnered rave reviews and this 'second house' performance on Frith Street (earlier in the evening we'd been listening to the other Smith, Giacomo Smith and his Hot Five) couldn't fail to deliver the goods. As per the album, Ms Smith was in the company of pianist Jamie Safir (Smith's co-arranger), bassist Conor Chaplin and drummer Luke Tomlinson. 

Pendulums: Music for Bellringers, Improvisers and Electronics @ St. Georges Church, Jesmond - Sept. 23

(© Ken Drew)
The opening performance for the Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music 2022 

Andrew Woodhead (compositions, conduction, keyboards, electronics); Charlotte Keeffe, Sam Wooster (trumpet); Sam Andreae, Lee Griffiths (alto sax); Alicia Gardener-Trejo, Helen Papaioannou (baritone sax); Sarah Farmer (live visuals) + 8 Bellringers from the Newcastle Diocesan Association of Church Ringers led by Kristopher King.

Album review: Keith Jarrett - Bordeaux Concert

Keith Jarrett (piano)

Recorded live in 2016 at Auditorium, Opéra National, Bordeaux, Jarrett plays a suite consisting of some 13 movements numbered Bordeaux I - XIII. That Jarrett is a master pianist is beyond question. Likewise as an innovator, he has taken contemporary jazz piano into previously unexplored territory even further than legends such as Evans, Corea or Hancock.

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Giacomo Smith's Hot Five @ Ronnie Scott's - Sept. 21

Giacomo Smith (clarinet); Laura Jurd (cornet); Dan Higham (trombone); Joe Webb (piano); Dave Archer (guitar, banjo)

The early show on Frith Street. Kansas Smitty's Giacomo Smith rolled up with his Hot Five. These guys have maintained a residency across town for something like eighteen months but this was a first time appearance at Ronnie's. Given the calibre of musician on stage it came as little surprise to find the room was all but standing room only. If Kansas Smitty's is a brand, bandleader Giacomo Smith did little to discourage the idea. 

TJ Johnson @ Jamboree, London - Sept. 21

TJ Johnson (piano, vocals) + Brian Everington (tenor sax)

Weekday lunchtime/afternoon sessions abound across Tyneside and County Durham. A recent trip to London presented an opportunity to see how they do things daytime in the capital city. Tucked away in an alley off Gray's Inn Road (more or less behind the site of the much-missed Mole Jazz Records), Jamboree is but two minutes' walk from King's Cross Railway Station. Three o'clock Wednesdays, TJ Johnson holds court. On this occasion, prior to playing the first of two sets, pianist and vocalist Johnson chatted amiably with the audience. Casual, relaxed, no intro, TJ sat at the house upright and began to play.

Milano Happy Jazz Festival @ Spirit de Milan - Sunday Sept. 18

Festival mastermind Mauro Porro couldn't have been other than delighted with how things went on the first three days of the inaugural Milano Happy Jazz Fest. On a blue sky Sunday morning our amiable multi-instrumentalist was on site bright and early to attend to last minute matters before taking to the stage himself leading his Dixie Blue Blowers 6tet

Porro's hot Dixie six, Italy's Chicago Stompers (more Porro!), an International Hot Stars Band (from 'Europa', as stated in the festival's printed programme), the the top class New York Classic Jazz 4 and an all-star festival finale featuring the Blue Devils (a tribute to the late, great Keith Nichols), it promised to be a memorable day.

Pharoah Sanders (Oct. 13, 1940 - Sept. 24, 2022)

The death has been announced of saxophonist Pharoah Sanders - may he Rest In Peace. OBITUARY - Lance

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

Playlist 25/09/22. (Repeated Tuesday 27/09/22)

RIP: Ramsey Lewis, Joey DeFrancesco.

Requests from the Jeff Barnhart session: Eubie Blake, Ella Fitzgerald, Vienna Art Orchestra.

Requests: Count Basie, Fletcher Henderson, Frank Sinatra, Gordon Goodwin arrangement.

What’s on in Scotland: Matt Carmichael, Scottish National Jazz Orchestra.

Joe Pass, Ella Fitzgerald, Coleman Hawkins.

Birthdays: John Coltrane.

SeasonalBenny Carter. George Shearing, Cannonball Adderley/Miles Davis.

Friday, September 23, 2022

Album review: Raph Clarkson's Dissolute Society - This is How we Grow.

I've taken the easy way out and posted the press release. The easy way out? Yes. A cop out? Most certainly not. Truth is, I couldn't improve on the PR. It may be a sales pitch, as all press releases are, but after listening to the album that is released early next month (Oct. 7), it deserves all the kind words in the huckster's spiel. The merging of the children's voices with the seasoned musicians works so beautifully well and the solos are so attuned to the mood. Incidentally, talking of soloists, Laura Jurd, who plays so brilliantly here, can also be heard at Sage Gateshead this coming Wednesday (Sept. 28).

Warm Up Events for Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music 2022 start tonight with a very special performance at St.Georges Church in Jesmond.

The performance features Andrew Woodhead performing with Keyboards and Electronics alongside a 6 piece horn section in the Church and 8 Bellringers situated in the Bell Tower. 

Doors: 7.30pm. Music: 7.45pm - 9.00pm

This event is BYOB we will not be running a bar in the Church but you are welcome to bring some refreshments along. 

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Book review: Francesco Balena - The Scale Omnibus

Remember those first music lessons? Whether it was, piano, violin, guitar or recorder they all began nice and simple. Nursery rhymes, hymns, folk tunes. This was easy you thought - next stop Carnegie, the Royal Albert Hall - you were going to be a star! But then, suddenly your kindly, genteel teacher turned into a witch, an ogre, a sadistic torturer who ordered you to start practising scales.

There were twelve major ones and another twenty four minor ones (twelve each, harmonic and melodic). It was usually at this point that the wheat was sorted from chaff. The latter became politicians, truck drivers, window cleaners or played the banjo.

Madeleine Peyroux & Ni Maxine @ Sage Gateshead - Sept. 21

Madeleine Peyroux (vocals, guitar); Andy Ezrin (piano, keys); Graham Hawthorne (drums); Ted from Baltimore? (bass)

This, I think, was the fourth time that I've heard Madeleine at the soon to be renamed Sage Gateshead and, upon reflection, the best of the lot!

Promoted as the Careless Love Forever World Tour - named after her iconic 2004 album now reissued in a deluxe package - from the get go it reminded me how wonderful that album was and that the singer had lost none of her original qualities 18 years later.

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Freddie Garner Quartet @ the Railway, Stockport - Sept. 20

(© Jeff Pritchard)
Freddie Garner (keys); Jim Collins (tenor/alto sax); James Adolpho (bass); Phil Bennett (drums)

Lots of interesting tunes were played tonight by the Freddie Garner Quartet including compositions by Sonny Rollins, Mulgrew Miller, Kenny Barron, Kenny Garrett, Horace Silver, Tadd Dameron and Jay Jay Johnson. Jim Collins who sounds  great on both alto and tenor sax was in top form tonight and his rendition of Jay Jay Johnson’s Lament was one of the many highlights. This was the only ballad played tonight and strange to say there were no twelve bar blues performed in either of the two sets.

Preview: Paul Skerritt w. Danny Miller Big Band - Oct. 8

Make a note of the date - October 8 - and head for South Shields for what promises to be the most swinging, most ring-a-ding-dinging night of the year.

The venue is the Westovian Theatre down near the sea front and the show starts at 7:30pm.

It's a big band/vocal concert not to be missed with top north east singer Paul Skerritt and top north west big band the Danny Miller Big Band putting on a show that is guaranteed to have your feet tapping - close your eyes and you'll be in Vegas at The Sands or Caesars Palace. But no, don't close your eyes because Skerritt is a mover as well as a singer and you can't get Colmans fish and chips in Vegas. Lance


Jam Session @ the Black Swan - Sept. 20

Alan Law (piano); Paul Grainger (bass); Rob Walker (drums) + Haaruun Miller (alto/sop sax); Esther Coombes (alto sax); Edgar  Bell (Cornet); Nigel Greenwood (flugel); David Gray (trombone/trumpet/vocals); Jacob Egglestone (guitar); Alon Dagon (piano); Kris Finney, Felix Parkin-Christie (drums); Ian Drever, Sheila Herrick (vocals).

The house trio got the show on the road with a bluesy number followed by I Only Have Eyes For You and All the Things You Are both with delightful out of tempo intros by Alan Law.

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Brigitte Beraha’s Lucid Dreamers @ The Globe September 18

(© Ken Drew)
Brigitte Beraha (voice, electronics); George Crowley (reeds. electronics); Alcyona Mick (piano, synths); Tim Giles (drums, electronics)

Showcasing the band’s second album  Blink - which couldn’t be a more appropriate name as the hallucinatory soundscape Lucid Dreamers   produced certainly induced a blissful dreamlike state into many of the audience.

Brigitte Beraha’s coupling of superb  voice with electronic activity board created a wonderful and absorbing tapestry aided and abetted by a seriously good band. George Crowley is currently one of the country’s leading saxophone players and everything he touched on Sunday turned to gold.

Milano Happy Jazz Fest @ Spirit de Milan - Saturday Sept. 17

As the Original Prague Syncopated Orchestra took to the stage at Spirit de Milan on Thursday evening, musician Mauro Porro realised his dream of presenting the first Milano Happy Jazz Fest. Friday's programme featured musicians from France (Jazz à Bichon), Germany (Jungle Jazz Band), Holland (Roaring Jazz Cats) and, from the host nation, the Hot Gravel Eskimos. A daily masterclass, swing dance DJ sets, and, of course, Italian cuisine throughout the weekend made for a wonderful festive occasion. Your correspondent arrived in Milan late Friday evening, Saturday couldn't come soon enough...

Monday, September 19, 2022

Album review: Samara Joy - Linger Awhile

Samara Joy (vocals); Pasquale Grasso (guitar); Ben Paterson (piano); David Wong (bass); Kenny Washington (drums) + Terell Stafford (trumpet); Donavan Austin (trombone); Kendrick McCallister (tenor sax)

The hottest/coolest jazz vocalist on the planet is, with this new release, even hotter and cooler than ever. She's more adventurous, more her own person. The Sassy feel is still there but no longer dominant, just a suggestion of her early inspiration. That she's also absorbed the teachings of Ella and Billie hover in the distance but, for me, more than any of those gals, it's Jon Hendricks who I hear the most in her phrasing, particularly when she does a few bars here and there of vocalese.

Good Queen Bess

Let me say first of all that I am the number one fan of our late Queen Elizabeth II  and may she rest in peace. As such, the following post, although satirical is in no way intended to be disrespectful - at least not to that dear lady.

The streets were deserted, the buses empty and so was my local pub which had opened earlier out of respect or maybe in the hope of pulling in a few more punters. As it turned out there was only me with a jug of ale, a book of verse and a thou (barmaid).

I watched the funeral procession which was like Wagner's Ring Circle and seemed to last twice as long albeit with lots of soldiers, sailors and airmen in their colourful uniforms - a bit like a light operetta in slow motion. 

Suzanne Fonseca Quartet @ the Railway, Stockport - Sept. 18

(© Jeff Pritchard)
Suzanne Fonseca (trombone); Robin Dewhurst (piano);  Gavin Barras (bass); Danny Ward (drums).

This was an evening of great tunes, mainly standards and who better to interpret them than top trombonist Suzanne Fonseca and her team of outstanding musicians. Some of the numbers were done in bossa nova style but all maintained my interest and were well received by an audience of all age groups.

The opening number, Ellington’s  In A Mellotone was played at the maestro's original medium tempo and, straight away, I was impressed by the great sound Robin Dewhurst was producing on the house upright piano.

Preview: Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music - Sept. 29 - Oct. 2

(Press release) 

In 1995 the original Newcastle Jazz Festival closed its doors, leaving a void in the city, until Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music was launched for the first edition in 2017. Responding to the cities need for a contemporary grass roots jazz festival, the programme proudly presents an innovative and diverse international line up, celebrating and pushing boundaries that challenge perceptions of jazz and improvisation.

Sunday, September 18, 2022

Album review: Grant Geissman - BLOOZ

Grant Geissman (guitar) + various guests (see lower graphic).

The album title sums it up - BLOOZ. And blues it is indeed! Brilliantly played by a guitarist, now with 16 albums to his name. Geissman, composed all 12 tracks and each have at least one name guest to add to the occasion without in any way detracting from the leader. That these include Randy Brecker, Tom Scott and Joe Bonamassa speaks volumes.

Saturday, September 17, 2022

Album review: Wollesen/Ferm - Heart in Hand

Ned Ferm (tenor sax, clarinet, flute, violin, perc, Rhodes); Kenny Wollesen (drums, perc, piano, vibes); Rune Kjeldsen (guitar); Anders Christensen (bass).

An unusual and interesting album by Americans Ferm and Wollesen along with two highly regarded Danish musicians. It's probing, explorative and, if I'm truthful, not entirely to my taste although I could well be in the minority. The quality of the playing is impeccable. Ferm  in particular has a beautiful sound on tenor and the arrangements show the individuals in a favourable light. It's a  mix of Scandinavian folk and contemporary European jazz albeit not without a touch of New York.

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

Playlist 18/09/22. (Repeated Tuesday 20/08/22)

In Memoriam: Wynton Marsalis & Eric Clapton.*

Request: Chris Tyle's Silver Leaf Jazz Band of New Orleans.

Paul Skerritt with the Danny Miller Big Band,

Paul Skerrit makes his choices: Greg Porter, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Harry Connick Jr., Matt Monro, Bobby Darin. 

Request: Ramsey Lewis Trio.

What's on in the NE: Harry Keeble Quartet

Duke Ellington: The Queen's Suite.

* (Editor: Assuming that Marsalis and Clapton haven't died, presumably this is related to the death of Queen Elizabeth II.)

Friday, September 16, 2022

Album review: Judy Whitmore - Isn't it Romantic

Judy Whitmore (vocals); Tamir Hendelman (piano); Lori Bell (flute); Rickey Woodward (alto/tenor sax); Mike Rocha (trumpet); Mitchell Long (acc. guitar); Larry Koonse (elec. guitar); Alex Frank (bass); Dean Koba (drums); Brian Kilgore (perc.) + Peisha McPhee (vocal on Birth of the Blues)

The third release from a singer who I understand is also a best selling novelist, a commercial jet pilot, a marriage and family therapist and, among other things, rides horses and cans peaches - sounds like an updated version of I Can't Get Started!

Oh yes, another thing, she really can sing!

A choice selection of covers that have probably been done by everyone from Bing to Sting (well maybe not Sting but as it rhymes with Bing ...) and it has to be said Judy loses nothing by comparison although maybe Frank just edged her on Wee Small Hours.

Album review: Clark Summers Lens – Intertwine (Outside In Music)

Clark Sommers (bass); Geof Bradfield, (tenor/sop sax/ clarinet); Chris Madsen (tenor sax); Matt Gold, (guitar); Dana Hall; (drums).

This is an absolutely stonking group playing high energy jazz, dragging in influences from a variety of sources and trampling clichés in the dust. Sommers is the composer of all the music but this is a band album, though it’s hard to believe, after listening to the first track Also Tomorrow, that this isn’t a drummer led band. The front line ranges from wild to subtle but overwhelming it all is a man at the back driving in piles for a tower block or taking furniture apart with a large hammer. And it’s all rather joyful in many places.

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