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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 ...


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.

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.

Monday, October 31, 2022

No Halloween treat for me this year!

I have to hang my head in shame. I'd been looking forward to this livestream from the 606 featuring guitarists Peter Bernstein and Jim Mullen ever since it was announced and what did I do? I missed it! 

In my defence, I was working feverishly to bring the monthly posts up to the 100 mark which involved digging out CDs to review as well as lacing sweets with arsenic for any kids who weren't from my immediate neighbourhood who knocked on my door with veiled threats of what would happen should I fail to meet the extortionate demands they made under the guise of Trick or Treat. 

Fortunately, or unfortunately the situation didn't arise and I was left to reflect upon the guitarists' livestream from last year which I also cocked up! Lance

Tomorrow night @ the Black Swan

Don't forget tomorrow night (Nov. 1) at the Black Swan on Newcastle's Westgate Rd. It's jam session night. There's always the sound of surprise at the fortnightly jams when gig hardened veterans mix it with the newer kids on the block - each learning something from the other. The top notch trio (Alan Law on keys, Paul Grainger on bass and Abbie Finn on drums) are guaranteed to inspire the sitters-in to even greater levels.

Instrumentalists, singers and other jazz related performers are welcome to drop by and strut there stuff. 

7:30pm - 10:30pm. It's free, there's a bar, who could ask for anything more? Lance

Album review: Roberta Donnay - Blossom-ing

Roberta Donnay (vocals); Mike Greensill (piano); Ruth Davies (bass); Mark Lee (drums); Jose Neto (guitar) + David Sturdevant ( harmonica tk 11); MB Gordy (perc. tk 4)

Blossom Dearie had such a unique and original voice that to attempt to duplicate it would have been like asking Sinatra to sing Elvis or vice versa. Donnay is savvy enough to realise that so, rather than attempt the impossible, she takes the material associated with Blossom and puts her own stamp on it without taking the listener away from the ball park she's working in.

Album review: Ahmad Jamal - Emerald City Nights. Live at the Penthouse 1965-1966

CD 1: Ahmad Jamal (piano); Jamil Nasser (bass); Chuck Lampkin (drums).

CD 2; As above with Vernel Fournier (drums on tks 1&2); Frank Gant (drums on tks 3-5).

The second volume of Jamal's sessions at the Penthouse Club in Seattle. A two x two album from 1965 and 1966 following comfortably on from the first volume that covered 1963 and 1964.

Both sets are required listening for anyone who likes modern jazz piano. Although all tracks on all four discs are indispensable, the uptempo blast on the final Whisper Not is something else. I wonder what composer Benny Golson thought of this take on his dark, melancholy ballad? To me it worked. If the tune is good enough it should stand up to whatever interpretation it's faced with and Whisper Not does just that. When you come to think about it, the title itself is a contradiction!

Sunday Night @ The Globe: Pete Tanton sings Chet Baker - Oct. 30

Pete Tanton (trumpet, vocals); Alan Law (piano); Mick Shoulder (double bass); John Bradford (drums)

Pete Tanton said it felt like the end of a tour. And in some ways it was with three or four gigs in recent times just about constituting a tour. Tanton's Chet Baker Sings set arose from a one-off gig as a Central Bar Quintet session, its success was such that other gigs followed, culminating in this Jazz Co-op engagement which was streamed across the globe. 

Ex-pat American trumpeter and vocalist Tanton opened the first of two sets with But Not for Me. From here on in the standards flowed, one after another, many of them from Baker's 1954/56 Pacific Jazz Records' debut album Chet Baker Sings. Alan Law accompanied at the piano with bassist Mick Shoulder and drummer John Bradford offering sterling support. One number after another, Tanton pulled the lyrics from the ether, seamlessly blowing 'West Coast' cool school trumpet a la Baker. 

Bill Frisell to release new album "Four" on Blue Note (Nov. 11).

(Press release)

Bill Frisell follows-up his acclaimed 2020 trio album Valentine with the November 11 release of Four, a stunning 13-track meditation on loss, renewal, and friendships. The guitarist and composer’s 3rd album for Blue Note Records since signing with the label in 2019 proffers new interpretations of previously recorded Frisell originals as well as nine new tunes. Produced by Lee Townsend, the session brings together a new line-up of musical friends, independent spirits, and like minds: Blue Note stablemates Gerald Clayton on piano and Johnathan Blake on drums, and longtime collaborator Greg Tardy on saxophone, clarinet, and bass clarinet. Listen to “Waltz for Hal Willner,” a heartfelt tribute to Frisell’s dear friend.

More info HERE.

Sunday, October 30, 2022

More on Richie Kamuka

Following on from my post of a couple of weeks ago - Ten Albums by Richie Kanuka - fellow fan Roly Veitch thought readers may be interested to read the original album sleeve notes written by Richie for The Richie Kamuka Quartet.

On a non-musical note, this comment by Lee Konitz when Lee and Richie were both in Kenton's sax section never fails to raise a smile: 

"Rosemary Clooney was sitting near the front and I was sure she had her eye on me - then I realised she had her eye on Richie (Kamuca) who was a very handsome Filipino guy. 40 years later I was told that Rosemary had came in with Johnnie Ray and they'd both had their eyes on Richie!" - (Bands, Booze and Broads - Sheila Tracy. Mainstream Publishing 1995.) Lance

Album review: Simon Belelty - Pee Wee

Simon Belelty (guitar); Kirk Lightsey (piano); Asaf Yuria (sop/tenor sax); Josh Evans (trumpet); Jason Brown (drums - John Betsch on tks 3,4); Giles Naturel (bass - Darryl Hall on tks 3,4).

I said we had another Kirk Lightsey album coming up and, yes, this it albeit not under his name. That accolade goes to guitarist Belelty who has put together a superb band that plays in the post hard bop style that I love. Apart from Lightsey the others are new names to me but ones I'll certainly be keeping an eye open for and not least because of the leader himself who has the mellow sound I love to hear from a jazz guitar. No distortion, wah-wahs or fuzz boxes just that lovely, mainly single string approach.

Tonight @ the Globe

A week gone Friday, the Pete Tanton Quartet played a knockout set at the Lit and Phil whereby trumpet ace Pete, in the company of Alan Law (piano), Andy Champion (bass) and John Bradford (drums), played and sang numbers from the legendary album Chet Baker Sings.

Tonight at the Globe, with Mick Shoulder on bass, that theme is continued but, as this session will be longer, chances are we will get the whole nine yards or to be more precise, all twenty tracks - a mouth watering prospect.

As a further bonus, if you're under 25 there's a discount (now where did I put that anti-aging cream...?) Lance


Nardis Jazz Club London Pop-Up

Turquazz are a London based culture platform which promotes Anatolian music, cinema and culinary. On 18-19 November, they are organising an event called "Nardis Jazz Club London Pop-Up" which is being held as part of the EFG London Jazz Festival. This event will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the famous Nardis Jazz Club based in Istanbul, and will play host to many well-known jazz artists from Turkey.

For full details click HERELance

Saturday, October 29, 2022

Film review: Louis Armstrong's Black & Blues

Newcastle's Tyneside Cinema is one of relatively few movie houses showing Sacha Jenkin's new documentary film on the life and times of Louis Armstrong. The story is largely familiar: the legendary jazz musician performing across the globe, his fame global, one of the few jazz 'names' to transcend the jazz world. 

Album review: Kirk Lightsey - Live at Smalls Jazz Club

Kirk Lightsey (piano); Mark Whitfield (guitar); Santi Debriano (bass); Victor Lewis (drums).

What a month this has been for albums by pianists! Not just any pianists but by the crème de la crème - legends all.

Monty Alexander, Ahmad Jamal and now Kirk Lightsey. By coincidence, all are live performances and the ambience between band and audience on all three recordings is there for all to hear.

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

Playlist 30/10/23. (Repeated Tuesday 01/11/22)

Requests and Celebrating Cleo Laine’s 95th birthday: Cleo Laine.

Halloween: Ella Fitzgerald, Marla-lewis, Vic Dickenson Septet, Count Basie/Rosemary Clooney, Peggy Lee, Glenn Miller/Skip Nelson & Modernaires, Nina Simone, Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers, Mica Paris and Jools Holland, Louis Armstrong.

What’s On: EFG London Jazz Festival 2022, Andrew Oliver.

Birthday memories: Count Basie Orchestra/Neal Hefti. Illinois Jacquet, Quincy Jones Zoot Sims Whisper Not .mp3

Seasonal: Carl Saunders. 

Friday, October 28, 2022

Album review: Ahmad Jamal - Emerald City Nights. Live at the Penthouse 1963-1964

CD 1: Ahmad Jamal (piano); Richard Evans (bass); Chuck Lampkin (drums).

CD 2: James Masser replaces Evans.

When reviewing the Monty Alexander sessions from Montreux I made reference to his early idols. First and foremost amongst those idols was Ahmad Jamal and, lo and behold, the next day two double CD albums by Jamal landed in the passage and this is the first of the two.

Alexander's early idolatry is well founded he'd be 19 when the first of these two albums were recorded live at the Penthouse Club in Seattle and it certainly provided the benchmark for any aspiring jazz pianist.

Film preview: Louis Armstrong's Black & Blues (Tyneside Cinema)

It's out now! Louis Armstrong's Black & Blues, directed by Sacha Jenkins, has been eagerly awaited by fans of Armstrong, now, the wait is over. The great trumpeter takes centre stage in a cast of seemingly thousands. Some appear on screen, some heard, but not seen: Basie, Barney Bigard, Miles, Dizzy and Humph for starters. Then there's the voice of Jelly Roll Morton and archive footage of Enrico Tomasso (Rico will be one of many world class musicians performing at next week's Classic Jazz Party on North Tyneside Nov. 4 - 6). 

Book at:

Last night at Hoochie...

(© Russell)
William Cosgrove once wrote that music hath charms to sooth a savaged breast. Obviously Cosgrove wasn't at Hoochie last night. Last night it was Decibel City as the DJ cranked up the volume to such a level that any savaged breasts remained well and truly savaged and conversation was only possible by text.

Nor did the volume subside for Swannek (pictured) and after a couple of numbers, fearful for my hearing, I exited stage right. This was a shame as Mollie Birmingham has a great voice and there were some tantalising blasts from Graham Easthope on tenor and soprano but the relative tranquility of the traffic on Pilgrim St was too much to resist. No one else in the crowded room seemed bothered, it must be an age thing but I wager they'll be deaf before I am - speak up will you...

So, as such, I didn't get to hear the latest edition of  Knats which, going by Russell's review, would have been worth the audio asphyxiation. Lance

Knats - Actual Proof @ Hoochie Coochie - Oct. 27

Ferg Kilsby (trumpet); Jacob Wilson (tenor saxophone); Chris Outhwaite (keyboards); Stan Woodward (bass); King David Ike-Elechi (drums)

The Headhunters toured the world in the seventies filling concert halls from Newcastle to New York. It was around the time of Actual Proof, one of Herbie Hancock's jazz-funk hits (in the world of chart music it was a 'hit' of sorts). Fast forward half a century to Hoochie Coochie on Pilgrim Street in Newcastle for the return of a reshaped, reinvigorated Knats. It's only a matter of weeks since Stan, King and the now departed (to musical pastures new) Josh went off to the 'bright lights, big city' of London. The word was out and a large crowd turned out.

All About Cleo - BBC 4 (Friday Oct. 28)

This evening (Friday) BBC 4 devotes the best part of three hours to Cleo Laine. On Dame Cleo's 95th birthday there is a 'look back at the singer's finest moments on the BBC'. Starting at 9:00pm with Cleo Laine at the BBC there is a series of duets with the likes of John Williams, Dudley Moore, Tony Bennett and her late husband, John 'Johnny' Dankworth. At ten, Show of the Week: Cleo Laine features the Dankworths in a 1974 concert from London's Collegiate Theatre and, at five to eleven, Sir John Dankworth at the BBC focuses upon the bandleader/composer/saxophonist from the late fifties (Dankworth with Duke Ellington!) through to appearing on Later...with Jools Holland in 2007. Russell     

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Mike Nock Trio @ the Jazz Lab, Melbourne, Australia - Oct 17

Mike Nock (piano); Jacques Emery (bass); Chloe Kim (drums).

The Jazz Lab is situated at 27 Leslie Street, Brunswick, Victoria and replaced the well known Bennetts Lane Jazz Club which was subject to a compulsory purchase order. When in Melbourne I used to like going to a jazz spot called Dizzy's in Richmond but that is no longer in operation so it seemed that the best bet to hear some jazz would be the Jazz Lab, a venue that I had never previously visited but which holds jazz events seven days a week.

Album review: Pat Thomas - Pat Thomas Plays The Duke

Pat Thomas (piano)

This is the NEWJAiM label's 13th    offering  and is a live recording taken from its parent event The Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music 2021.   

I was lucky enough to be in the actual audience for this concert (SEE REVIEW) and  I remember thoroughly enjoying the gig at the time and this CD is a wonderful reminder of that great evening, but even for those not present at the  Lit and Phil just over a year ago this recording still provides a worthwhile and highly enjoyable listen.  

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Album review: Monty Alexander: the Montreux Years

Two vinyl albums from four sessions spread over thirty-three years by Monty Alexander at the Montreux Jazz Festival although it was back in 1976 when he first played there.

These previously unreleased tracks serve as a reminder as to just what a great pianist he was and indeed still is. He swings like nobody's business with a technique comparable to his early idols. On top of that, his Jamaican heritage - he was born there in 1944 before moving to Florida and then New York twenty years later - is never too far away making a seamless fusion between the two cultures. He is to jazz what Bob Marley was to reggae. The final track, A Nod to Bob, played over a reggae rhythm acknowledges his fellow Jamaican. 

Sunday Night @ the Globe: Aonghus McEvoy Group - Oct. 23

(© Ken Drew)
Aonghus McEvoy (guitar);  Ailbhe Nic Oireachtaigh (viola); Sean Maynard Smith (double bass);  David Lacey (drums)

Whilst co-promoted by Jazz North East and the Tyneside Irish Festival, this concert didn’t attract a sizeable audience, which is a shame not least because they had travelled some distance to perform, and it turned out to be an excellent night, albeit surprising in many ways.

I must admit I thought I was ready for something ‘different’ after reading Paul Bream’s Jazz Alert: The music of the Aonghus McEvoy Group sits at several removes from either ‘conventional’ jazz or Irish folk traditions, although there are hints of both……. listening to tracks from the group’s album ‘Under & Cracked’ is a thoroughly gripping experience, with the very fact that the music evolves in unexpected directions commanding and rewarding close listening and so was highly recommended. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Album review: O'Higgins & Luft - Pluto

Dave O'Higgins (tenor sax); Rob Luft (guitar); Ross Stanley (piano); Misha Mullov-Abbado (bass); Rod Youngs (drums).

For those of you who were knocked out by O'Higgins' gig with SSBB at Hoochie last Sunday - and who wasn't?  you will want this. If, however, you didn't make it then this is your opportunity to attone and hear the great man, albeit in a less overpowering setting which is not to take anything away from Sunday's gig.

Album review: Espen Berg - The Trondheim Concert

Espen Berg (solo piano)

Confronted with a double album of solo improvised piano pieces it is impossible not to think immediately of what’s his name and the inevitable questions (Is it as good as Keith Jarrett? Is it different enough to make the exercise worthwhile or is it another copyist? Have we found the next one in the line that runs from Art Tatum, through Bud Powell and Bill Evans?) will follow. Keith Jarrett is always the elephant in the room for solo piano recordings.

 This one is a snapshot from a single night in Trondheim in November 2019 and I’m grateful that it has now reached the public after 3 years of interesting times. The musicianship on a recording like this is a given but to make it work the music must challenge both the player and the audience. It is a balancing act on a tightrope that can go from high wire to haywire in a moment. It has to be strong and intense; it must draw the listener in to the point where they are submerged in the music. It should be a full sensurround experience. Berg has managed this.

Spontaneous saxophone music and live art combine in St Giles’ Cathedral

 (© Derek Clark)

(Press release)

Saxophonist Tommy Smith and Edinburgh-based Russian artist Maria Rud unite to present Luminescence in St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh on Friday 18th November.

A new project bringing together aural and visual improvisation, Luminescence will be created spontaneously in front of the audience as Smith and Rud respond to each other’s ideas and interact with the architecture and acoustics of the twelfth century cathedral.

“Images come to me with music,” says Rud, who has collaborated in the past with percussion virtuoso Evelyn Glennie and the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra. “It is not a single image or a collection of images, but a live "storyboard" in which music plays the role of a script.”

Monday, October 24, 2022

Dave O'Higgins w. Strictly Smokin' Big Band @ Hoochie Coochie - Oct. 23

Dave O'Higgins (tenor sax) + Michael Lamb (MD), Pete Tanton, Gordon Marshall, Dick Stacey (trumpets); Jamie Toms, Dave Kerridge, Keith Robinson, Steve Summers, Sue Ferris (reeds); Mark Ferris, Keiran Parnaby, Chris Gurgi-Smith, John Flood (trombones); Pawel Jedrzejewski (guitar); Graham Don (piano, keyboards); Michael Whent (bass guitar); Guy Swinton (drums); Alice Grace (vocals)

This was, to quote from Larry Hart's lyric in Thou Swell, "a sweet lollapalooza" or as Cole Porter once wrote "What a swell party this is" - and it was!

A 20th birthday party to be precise. Yes its hard to believe that the SSBB has been going for twenty years. Apart from leader Lamb, I wonder if any of the current crop were part of the original line-up or have they gone on to greater or lesser things? On tonight's performance I would suggest the latter. Many past members were present in support.

To mark the auspicious occasion, ace tenor saxophonist Dave O'Higgins was the invited guest and he provided the icing on this cordon bleu cake.

Sunday, October 23, 2022

Album review: Joanna Eden - Love Quiet

Joanna Eden (vocals, piano, various keyboards) + various instrumentalists, backing vocalists (see listings at foot of post).

I usually groan when confronted with yet another album by a singer/songwriter. Sometimes they can sing but can't write. Sometimes they can write but can't sing and sometimes they can do neither.

Fortunately, Joanna Eden doesn't fall into any of the above categories. Her voice can be full-on, wild and raucous (but not jarringly so) or soft and sensitive (but not sugary) according to the demands of the composition. She also plays effective piano that adds to the appeal.

Saturday, October 22, 2022

Album review: Steve Gadd, Eddie Gomez, Ronnie Cuber, WDR Big Band - Center Stage

I posted a YouTube clip previewing the recording of this album earlier this week (see link above) which certainly whetted my appetite to hear more. Not least because this is probably one of the last recordings of baritone star Ronnie Cuber who died on October 7 - just 8 months after this was recorded.

Cuber is featured throughout and his playing is absolutely superb. He solos on all nine tracks driven along by fellow legends Steve Gadd and Eddie Gomez. Underpinning everything is the powerhouse WDR Big Band - surely Europe's most outstanding contemporary large ensemble.

Friday, October 21, 2022

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

Playlist 23/10/22. (Repeated Tuesday 25/10/22)

Requests : Harry James,  Hank Mobley Quintet.

Patti Durham previews the Whitley Bay Classic Jazz Party: Mauro Porro, Andy Schumm, Caroline Irwin, Cécile Mclorin Salvant, Luis Russell Orchestra.

Russell Corbett makes his picks: Clifford Brown, Georgia Cécile, The Alexander Bryson Trio,  Samara Joy, Benny Carter & Oscar Peterson.

Durham University Jazz Soc. requests: Bill Evans Trio, Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane.

Vasilis Xenopoulos request: Dexter Gordon.

Pete Tanton sings Chet Baker @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle - Oct. 21

Pete Tanton (trumpet/vocals); Alan Law (piano); Andy Champion (bass); John Bradford (drums).

There can be few musicians on the local scene who have a more pleasing and infectious personality than Pete Tanton. He engages easily with the audience making them and himself feel at home with each other.

Of course I can think of a few musicians who also have a pleasing personality - no names no pack drill - but little else.

Tanton is far removed from that bracket. The pleasing personality is backed up with laid-back singing and trumpet playing that emulates the subject of the concert without losing his own identity.

Mondo Trumpet @ The Black Swan, Newcastle - Oct. 20

(© Mike Tilley)
Graham Hardy (trumpet, flugelhorn); Pete Tanton (trumpet, flugelhorn, vocals); Ben Lawrence (piano); Andy Champion (double bass, bass guitar); John Bradford (drums)

At the Black Swan this evening trumpeters Graham Hardy and Pete Tanton took the audience on a world tour, transporting us to far flung places, from Portugal to New Orleans by way of Norway, Golders Green (?!?!) and Japan. Supporting our duo on their jaunt, three A-listers - all the way from exotic Cumbria, pianist Ben Lawrence, bassist extraordinaire Andy Champion and the ubiquitous John Bradford, drums. Hardy and Tanton weren't trying to knock spots of one another, that's not their style, this evening's concert was more mutual appreciation society than slugfest. 

Aaron Liddard @ Hoochie Coochie - Oct. 20

Aaron Liddard (tenor sax, keys); Isaac Asumadu (keys); Guilia Marelli (vocals); Michael Searl (bass guitar); Eric Young (drums).

Thursday night is music night in Newcastle - or so it sometimes seems! Last night there were four known gigs within walking distance or at least a short bus ride. There may have been more.

We opted for Hoochie, it was free, close to my bus stop (it was precipitating down) and a London based band featuring an amazing saxophone player made it a no-brainer, for me that is. Others may have had different priorities or maybe they used a different bus route but the room wasn't full.

Thursday, October 20, 2022

JAZZ FM AWARDS 2022 with PPL and PRS for Music (Press release)


IMPACT AWARD: Jools Holland

GOLD AWARD: Marcus Miller



SOUL ACT OF THE YEAR sponsored by Boisdale: Mica Millar

BLUES ACT OF THE YEAR sponsored by Imagine Cruising: Christone ‘Kingfish’ Ingram

VOCALIST OF THE YEAR sponsored by Hampstead Jazz Club and Lateralize Records: Georgia Cécile

Thank You From Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music 2022

(Press release)

A huge thank you to all of the musicians, partners, audiences, funders, staff and volunteers that supported this year’s Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music. 

We had a great edition and were absolutely delighted to be visited by BBC Radio 3 ‘Freeness’ with Corey Mwamba, you can hear excerpts of some live performances alongside interviews this coming Saturday 29th October at Midnight and also repeated through the streaming player.
Click Here For The Link

Tonight @ Hoochie - Aaron Liddard album launch. On stage 8:30pm.

Tonight at Hoochie Coochie, Aaron Liddard, supremely talented saxophonist, launches his debut album Nylon Man. Blues & Soul have called it “A must-hear album”. This event will be FREE so get yourselves down.

To give you an idea of the class act that he is just take a look at the musicians on the album:

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Jam packed @ The Black Swan - Oct. 18

Best intentions...detailed note taking, name that tune, detective work (What's your name?*), a return trip to the bar (supporting the jazz economy). The Black Swan's fortnightly (Tuesdays) jam session in the basement of Newcastle Arts Centre is such that you dare not miss it, you never know who might turn up. As this evening's session got underway the room was rather quiet. The house trio - Messrs Stu Collingwood, Paul Grainger and, direct from the Royal Albert Hall and a VIP trip to Ronnie Scott's, Michael Mather - set the standard before the first of what would turn out to be countless sitters-in took to the floor. 

Steve Gadd at WDR STUDIO 4 | WDR BIG BAND | CD Release September 23, '22

A short taster of an album to be reviewed shortly. In the mean time this clip should whet your appetite for a tremendous recording already released - Lance

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Livestream: Larry Goldings @ the 606 - Oct. 18

Larry Goldings (piano/keys).

A livestream from the 606. Solo piano by one of the top guys from across the pond - Larry Goldings. 

The 50 minutes set was interesting, albeit somewhat meandering, and it didn't totally grab me. One thing was for sure, there wouldn't be any stride piano played on this gig! Nevertheless, his voicings were individual, reflective and often put me into a 'guess the tune' situation, particularly the opening number which turned out to be Bacharach's Close to You. The Mountain added a touch of the South African high life and there was also some Duke in the form of Purple Gazelle which, I guess, captured the composer's intent.

Benny Waters in Jazzwise - November 2022

The November issue of Jazzwise, like its previous editions, probably includes more words per page than any other jazz mag since time began. Commendable as this is, before purchasing, a visit to Specsavers is essential for those of us who are below 20-20 vision.

The font size is only marginally bigger than the bottom lines of those charts that the opticians challenge you to read. As such, this is a magazine possibly aimed at the younger fan who has taken his mother's advice and hasn't gone blind (Pete Long joke!) which may be why I don't always recognise the names.

However, a name I most certainly recognised in the current issue was that of the legendary sax/clarinet pioneer Benny Waters.

Sue Ferris-Steve Summers Quartet: Two of a Mind @ Blaydon Jazz Club - Oct. 17

(© Roly Veitch)
Steve Summers (alto sax); Sue Ferris (baritone sax); Andy Champion (double bass); Rob Walker (drums)

Steve Summers had an idea. He thought a Gerry Mulligan-Paul Desmond set would go down well with audiences and for some months he gently nudged, if not badgered, Sue Ferris, suggesting they should step out of the Strictly Smokin' Big Band's reeds to front a piano-less quartet. A first outing at the Globe in Newcastle more than met expectations and further gigs would surely follow. Fast forward a few months to a Monday evening at the Black Bull, Blaydon and a renewal of their partnership.

Monday, October 17, 2022

Album review: corto.alto – Not For Now (Worm Discs, 2021)

Following his nomination for the 2022 Mercury Prize there is greater interest in the discography of Fergus McCreadie. Having already bought his three piano trio albums (Turas, Cairn, Forest Floor) my searches brought me to corto.alto a 25 minute EP whereon McCreadie’s talents are enrolled in the service of Liam Shortall’s compositions. As you will see from the cast list below, this is no stripped-back piano trio, in fact, at times, it’s a mini-big band, if that’s not a contradiction.

Vasilis Xenopoulos-Paul Edis Quartet @ the Globe, Newcastle - Oct. 16

(© Ken Drew)

Vasilis Xenopoulos (tenor sax, soprano sax, flute); Paul Edis (piano); Andy Champion (double bass); Steve Hanley (drums) + Ferg Kilsby (trumpet, flugel).

The fourth and final chapter of this ongoing north east saga drew to a close at the Globe where a goodly throng were witness to what most, indeed probably all, rated as the gig of the year so far.

Having read my worthy constituent's glowing reviews of the previous three gigs I felt complacent. This will be easy. I'll just steal a sentence or two here and there, shuffle them around a bit then job well done!

However, as in all good stories there's always an unexpected twist in the final chapter. We all know that the boy will get the girl and the killer will be unmasked but which boy and which villain did the dastardly deed? As they say in grand opera, it isn't over until the fat lady sings.

Tonite (Monday 17 Oct.)! The Sue Ferris-Steve Summers Quartet - 'Two of a Mind' @ Blaydon Jazz Club

The Black Bull on Bridge Street in Blaydon is the place to be this evening to hear some Gerry Mulligan and Paul Desmond. At a recent Newcastle Jazz Co-op concert Sue Ferris and Steve Summers received rave reviews when they got together to play the music of two of the towering figures in modern jazz. This evening they'll be joined by Andy Champion (double bass) and Rob Walker (drums). It's an eight o'clock start, £7.00. at the door. See you there! Russell  

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