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Bebop Spoken There

Charles McPherson: “Jazz is best heard in intimate places”. (DownBeat, July, 2024).

The Things They Say!

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

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

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

The Strictly Smokin' Big Band included Be Bop Spoken Here (sic) in their 5 Favourite Jazz Blogs.

Ann Braithwaite (Braithwaite & Katz Communications) You’re the BEST!

Holly Cooper, Mouthpiece Music: "Lance writes pull quotes like no one else!"

Simon Spillett: A lovely review from the dean of jazz bloggers, Lance Liddle...

Josh Weir: I love the writing on bebop spoken here... I think the work you are doing is amazing.


16590 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 483 of them this year alone and, so far, 29 this month (July 14).

From This Moment On ...


Sun 21: Paul Skerritt @ Hibou Blanc, Newcastle. 2:00pm.
Sun 21: Salty Dog @ The Globe, Newcastle. 3:00pm.
Sun 21: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Free. Sun 21: The Big Easy @ The White Room, Stanley. 5:00pm.
Sun 21: Ben Crosland Quartet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 22: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.

Tue 23: Nomade Swing Trio @ Newcastle House Hotel, Rothbury. 7:30pm. £10.00. Tickets from Tully’s of Rothbury or at the door (cash only). A Coquetdale Jazz event.

Wed 24: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 24: Nomade Swing Trio @ Café Needles Eye, Newbiggin-by-the-Sea. 6:00pm. Reservations: 01670 641224.
Wed 24: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 24: The Ronnie Scott’s Story @ The Fire Station, Sunderland. 7:30pm.
Wed 24: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.
Wed 24: Milne-Glendinning Band @ Cafédral, Owengate, Durham. 9:00pm. £9.00. & £6.00. A Durham Fringe Festival event.

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

Fri 26: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 26: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 26: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 26: Bailiwick + Sleep Suppressor + Christie/Chan @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm (doors 6:30pm). ‘Experimental evening of jazz, punk and jazz-punk’.
Fri 26: Nomade Swing Trio @ Repas7 by Night, Berwick. 7:30pm. Free.
Fri 26: Stuart Turner @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Fri 26: Milne-Glendinning Band @ Cafédral, Owengate, Durham. 9:00pm. £9.00. & £6.00. A Durham Fringe Festival event.
Fri 26: Bold Big Band @ Old Coal Yard, Byker, Newcastle. 9:30pm. A Newcastle Fringe Festival event.

Sat 27: BBC Proms: BBC Introducing stage @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 12 noon. Free. Line-up inc. Abbie Finn Trio (2:50pm); Dilutey Juice (3:50pm); SwanNek (5:00pm); Rivkala (6:00pm).
Sat 27: Nomade Swing Trio @ Billy Bootlegger’s, Ouseburn, Newcastle. 2:00pm. Free.
Sat 27: Mississippi Dreamboats @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sat 27: Milne-Glendinning Band @ Cafédral, Owengate, Durham. 9:00pm. £9.00. & £6.00. A Durham Fringe Festival event.
Sat 27: Theon Cross + Knats @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 10:00pm. £22.00. BBC Proms: BBC Introducing Stage (Sage Two). A late night gig.

Sunday, December 31, 2023

We made it!

Eleven posts in one day! Now if we had just eleven readers who could manage one post a day then my work would be done! Lance 

What Are You Doing New Year's Eve? - Postmodern Jukebox ft. Rayvon Owen ...

Love it and PMJ are on at the Glasshouse on April 28.

Songs for Swingin' Airmen

It was a quarter to three (pm) no one in the billet except Jack Jackson (radio DJ) and me and what did I hear? It was Frank Sinatra singing How About You? from his latest Capital album Songs For Swingin' Lovers.

I had to have this. I jumped on my bike, I was a pretty fast guy on two wheels back then although not as fast as Barry Hoban who I once raced against. He went on to win eight stages of Le Tour and married Tommy Simpson's widow. My greatest achievement was in coming third out of five in a local (Lincolnshire) time trial and not marrying any widows.

New Year's Resolutions

I know that new year resolutions are made to be broken and that few reach February. However, here's a few to consider:

  • Attend as many jazz gigs as you're able to such as The Globe, Black Swan, Blaydon Jazz Club, Lit  & Phil, Crescent Club, Hoochie Coochie, the Glasshouse, Central Bar, Prohibition Bar, the Vault, Dorman's, Park Inn, the Gala, and any others where the J word is mentioned.
  • Also drink as much beer, wine or whatever your favourite tipple is as this ensures that the venue realises that the music is pulling in the customers. Of course, if you're driving ...
  • Don't get typecast as a purist - music is for everyone and if you don't try it ...

More on Tina Turner

Enjoyed the piece about the Tina Turner concert with John Miles. I saw her in concert at Gateshead Stadium - absolutely brilliant! 

The picture is from a gig I did with Brian Bennett and John Miles was in the audience along with quite a few other celebs. Brian Chester

Happy New Year to...

... Russell, Patti, Sylvia, Ann, Dave, JC, Jerry, Steve, Mike, Ken, Malcolm, Maurice, Sheila, Debra, Hugh, Colin A, Colin M, Roly and all the others who have shown their support with posts, photos and comments. Nor can we forget all the wonderful musicians without whom we'd have nothing to write about! Thank you. Lance.

Ps: And a special mention of those who won't be around next year as recorded HERE.

Tina Turner: One Last Time Live in Concert

When faced with the choice of having to decide between the awful, the more awful and the most awful on terrestrial TV it's not a bad idea to have a punt on the Sky Arts channel. Like sticking a pin in the runners and riders in the 3:30 at Wincanton you sometimes hit lucky.

Today was just such a day. Tina Turner - simply the best in her chosen genre - live in concert at Wembley Stadium.

Filmed in 2000, the diva strutted her stuff like no one else could. The hits were rolled out, the costumes by Ms Turner and her backing singers were, shall we say, a sight to behold.

Album Review: London Brew – London Brew (Concord Jazz) (2023)

Nubya Garcia, (tenor sax,  flute); Shabaka Hutchings, (tenor sax, woodwinds); Tom Skinner (drums, perc.); Benji B,  (decks, sonic recycling); Theon Cross, (tuba); Raven Bush (violin, electronics); Tom Herbert (electric/double bass); Nikolaj Torp Larsen (synthsmelodica); Nick Ramm (piano, synths); Dan See (drums, perc.); Dave Okumu (guitar)

This was nearly a one that got away as it has been floating around the man cave for a few months since its release at the end of March this year. I keep taking it off the shelf and giving it a spin in the house or the car. There was a bit of fuss when it first came out but it has been under the radar ever since and deserves an end of year nod.

Album review: Rob Cope - Gemini

Rob Cope (bass clarinet, soprano sax); Andy Scott (tenor sax); Paul Clarvis (drums); Liam Noble (piano).

There is some marvellous music on this album and there is also some bass clarinet. It does feel like an album of sketches and, at 38 minutes it is far too short. I would imagine that a live setting would put some extra air under the tunes and allow for extended versions that could really work out the real strengths of what’s on offer on the album. Some tracks (such as Together and the title piece, Gemini) feel like they have just started to settle into their flow when the curtain comes down.

Album Review: Don Thompson/Rob Piltch – Bells…Now And Then

Don Thompson (piano, bass, vibes); Rob Piltch (guitars).

Topped and tailed by two new songs, this is an album that was originally recorded and released in Canada in 1982 and has now been remixed and remastered for re-release. Forty years on it sounds fresh as new paint, with added interest provided by the various voices Thompson provides depending on which instrument he is playing on the track. (In fact, it is the bass/guitar tracks that work best IMHO, especially the calypso jaunt of Caribe with its dancing guitar and rich full bodied bass underneath).

Having said that, Thompson is/was a wonderful pianist, a slightly less melancholic Bill Evans, indeed I suspect that the inspiration for this album back in 1981 and 1982 lay in the two Bill Evans/Jim Hall albums Undercurrent and Intermodulation they recorded in the 60s.

Saturday, December 30, 2023

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

Aycliffe Radio is now available on DAB in County Durham & Darlington Area.

Playlist 31/12/23. (Repeated Tuesday 02/1/23)

We continue the Christmas & New Year theme.

Requests: Ella Fitzgerald, Quincy Jones, Spike Jones, Pee Wee Hunt.

New Year: Chet Baker, Emma Fisk, Bing Crosby, Tommy Smith Quartet, Scottish National Jazz Orchestra, Tim Boniface Quartet, 3d Jazz Trio, Eddie Condon & His All-Stars, Fats Waller, Norah Jones, Sammy Rimington, Bunk Johnson, Milt Jackson & Benny Golson & Art Farmer, Stan Tracey-Tubby Hayes.

Some favourite gigs of 2023

Tcha Limberger @ Crazy Coqs, London (January 25)

Nigel Price-Vasilis Xenopoulos Quartet @ Spice of Life, London (March 6)

Ed Richardson Big Band: Atomic Basie & more @ Ronnie Scott's, London (March 6)

Lewis Watson Quartet @ Bishop Auckland Town Hall (March 31)

Tenement Jazz Band @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle (June 23)

Wynton Marsalis @ Buxton Opera House (July 10, see photo)

Friday, December 29, 2023

A Jazz Remembrance Day...

It was eleven years ago to this very day that Keith Crombie left us. In the north east jazz community it was a day of great sadness for those who still hold him dear in their heart. Not just when they pass the old Jazz Café, now the Prohibition Bar, but when they think of the many musicians who played there. It was a rite of passage that led many of them on to greater things.

He was a man whom you could love or, sometimes, not love, but not in equal measure. The former was way ahead of the latter by a country kilometre or ten.

He was one of a kind. Lance


Tonight on BBC 4

Friday night is Sinatra night on BBC 4. From 7:50pm  through to the early hours it's Sinatra all the way. DETAILS. Pour yourself a shot of JD then sit back and enjoy. Lance

Ridiculous Christmas bargain of the year

I was in sunny Rothbury on the Thursday before Christmas proceeding along the northern side of the High Street in an easterly direction when my attention was caught by the display in the RSPCA charity shop window. A couple of CDs had caught my eye in amongst the tinsel and tat. I went inside and approached the assistance, enquiring about the CDs. She exhumed them from the display and brought them to the counter. “There’s no prices on them,” she said, “so that’ll be 20p each” I was embarrassed enough to pay for the CDs and chuck in an extra couple of quid as a donation.

Thursday, December 28, 2023

Jazz on the Tyne - Review of 2023

On the final podcast of the year, presenter Colin Muirhead looks back at 2023, with tracks by:

Abbie Finn Trio, Ezra Collective, Samara Joy, Jo Harrop & Paul Edis, Artchipel Orchestra with Jonathan Coe, Graham Costello's STRATA, Amy Thatcher & Francesca Knowles, Dave Weisser, Graham Hardy & Stu Collingwood, John Pope Quintet, and Zoe Rahman.

You can listen to the show anytime HERE.

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Middlesbrough Jazz and Blues Orchestra @ Dorman's - Dec. 21

Playing to a packed audience, (in fact we had to send out for more tables and chairs) the Middlesbrough Jazz and Blues Orchestra under the direction of Christine Britland treated the crowd to an excellent selection of traditional and modern big band arrangements. From the opening bars of Strike up the Band to their last number White Christmas, the band kept the audience entertained throughout the evening. This was the final show of the year at the jazz club and the band put on a great finish.

Tuesday, December 26, 2023


Just a reminder to all of our readers that there's still time to send in your best of 2023 lists.

Albums, gigs, venues, big bands, small bands, raffles, whatever... You don't, necessarily have to rate them in order - that's your prerogative - just list those that have hit the spot over the past year. Lance

Tony Oxley (June 15, 1938 - Dec. 26, 2023)

British free form drummer Tony Oxley died earlier today at the age of 85 after a long illness.

Although I can't recall hearing him live, and I'm sure I'd remember if I had, his reputation as an innovative, forward thinking drummer is enough to ensure that his name will forever be remembered within the realms of British contemporary jazz and much further afield. May he Rest In Peace. Lance

Ken Burns' Jazz on PBS America (Boxing Day & all week)

The first two parts of Ken Burns' mammoth documentary series Jazz will be shown again today (Boxing Day) on PBS America. The first part will be broadcast at 9:20am (repeated at 1:00pm), followed by part two. Over the next seven days the other eight parts will be shown at various times of the day and night (check the PBS America schedules) which will encompass the music's many developments from the 1890s through to the end of the twentieth century. Russell

Monday, December 25, 2023

Welcome To Mr. Kelly's

For those who only remember Buddy Greco as a singer listen here. Lance

An American in Paris on stage

Trolling the channels on TV last night I landed on Sky Arts where An American in Paris was being shown. Not the classic 1951 musical with Gene Kelly but a filmed performance of the 2018 Broadway stage show which picked up four TONY  awards during long runs in New York and London's West End.

Jazz on PBS America this Xmas Day

Had your fill of turkey? Couldn't face another mince pie? Films galore you've seen before, pub closed, what to do? At 8:15 tonight tune to PBS America. Louis Armstrong's Little Satchmo explores another side to the Satchmo story. And at 9:35pm it's Ron Carter: Finding the Right Notes, an appraisal of the career to date of the Grammy award-winning bassist. Russell   

Sunday, December 24, 2023

In memory of the late Bill Shaw ...

A merry Christmas and a happy new year to all our readers.

None more so than to those who knew my dear friend cartoonist and drummer Bill Shaw. Long may he reign in our thoughts. Lance

My favourite gigs of 2023

I've listed them in chronological order. What else can you do? To say that one is better than the other puts jazz on a level with the various 'talent(ish)' shows. I'm aware that I've missed so many gigs due to bus strikes and age related issues but of the gigs I've been to, these are the ones that did it for me.

I'll also add that the Black Swan Jam on April 4 was the first time Luis Verde made his mark on the scene. The Dave Weisser Memorial Fundraiser was special inasmuch as, apart from paying tribute to a legend it also featured, among others, Alan Glen and Lewis Watson -  legends in their own right.

Another legend, Greg Abate, thrilled a packed Globe with his boppy alto playing and as the links below show, there's lots of quality jazz going on at a lot of venues. Lance

R.I.P. 2023

Some of the north east jazz community that we so sadly lost this year . My apologies to the friends and family of anyone I've inadvertently overlooked. Please update me. Lance

Steve Horowitz (April 24)

Jack Goodwin (May 13).

Laura Yates (June).

Tommy Graham (June 29).

Dave Weisser (July 16).

Saturday, December 23, 2023

Album review: Inger Marie - Five Minutes

Inger Marie Gundersen (vocals); Espen Lind (guitar, keys, backing vocals); Torjus Vierli (piano, organ, keys); Tom Frode Tvelta  (bass); Martin Windstad (drums, perc.); Kristian Frostad (guitars); Erlend Viken (fiddle); Tore Johansen  (trumpet)

An intriguing album by a Norwegian singer covering an assortment of numbers associated with or composed by artists such as Rod Stewart, Paul McCartney, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Jagger and Richards, Mark Knopfler, Krall and Costello ...

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

Aycliffe Radio is now available on DAB in County Durham & Darlington Area.

Playlist 24/12/23. (Repeated Tuesday 26/12/23)

Surprise! Surprise! it’s a Christmas Theme.

Modern Jazz Quartet, Sauter - Finegan Orchestra, Tony Bennett, Mahalia Jackson, Charlie Parker, Chris Barber, Michael Bublé, Bing Crosby, Duke Ellington, Fats Waller, Charles Brown, Tim Boniface, Etta James, Sammy Rimington, Stan Getz/Chet Baker, Gregory Porter, Melody Gardot, Wynton Marsalis.

Toshiko Akiyoshi’s  94th birthday.

Album Review; Dianne Fraser – You And I - The Words and Music of Leslie Bricusse

Dianne Fraser (vocals); Todd Schroeder (piano, arrangements); Adam Cohen (bass); Denise Fraser (drums); Damon Kirsche (duetting on track 7); various others

This is Ms Fraser's debut album, featuring the songs of Leslie Bricusse, composer of music for film and theatre. Bricusse has received many honours, including two Academy Awards and has written many iconic songs including Pure Imagination and Feeling Good. I don't consider this to be a jazz album as such because the style of singing is closer to that of musical theatre, but nevertheless, the album is good of its type.

Friday, December 22, 2023

Classic Swing's Christmas party @ the Crescent Club - Dec. 22

Olive Rudd (vocals); Jim McBriarty  (alto sax, clarinet, vocals); Alan Marshall (tenor sax); Neville Hartley (trombone, vocals); Jeremy McMurray (piano; Alan Rudd (bass guitar); Ian Hetherington (drums).

It was party time down at the coast with Classic Swing living up to the band's name - swinging classically. Indeed their eponymous opener did just that.

Jim McBriarty chanted the words to As Long as I Live and there were excellent solos all round. It was late December so it came as no surprise when Olive opted to sing Winter Wonderland for her opening aria. This was followed by When the (That?) Midnight Choo-Choo Leaves For Alabam'. Jeremy who, when not quoting Jingle Bells in his solos had earlier slipped in an A-Train quote which lead to another train inspired number in the form of Basie's 9:20 Special.

Thursday, December 21, 2023

Nabuko 'Cobi' Narita (March 3, 1926 - Nov. 8, 2023)

Born in Los Angeles, Nabuko 'Cobi' Narita volunteered at Memory Lane jazz club in Los Angeles. Moving to New York in 1969, in the early seventies Narita was appointed executive director at Jazz Interactions, facilitating music education programmes and concerts. 

In 1976 Narita founded the Universal Jazz Coalition, three years later she established the New York Women's Jazz Festival. 


Oh dear! with only ten days to go until we 'welcome' the new year in the posts are way way down. C'mon let's have some more posts. Albums, books, gigs  or just general thoughts on jazz in the north east or in the world. Is their jazz on Mars or in Hetton-le-Hole? Did Robert Johnson really sell his soul to the devil or was it some other Johnson? (best not answer that one...)

So please, keep the bebop boat afloat with your postings north east jazz history is important and, as long we're around your memories need to be heard and recorded for posterity. Lance

Album review: The Palomar Trio - The Song in Our Soul

Dan Levinson (clarinet, tenor sax); Mark Shane (piano); Kevin Dorn  (drums)

In 1933 these would probably have been among my records of the year had I or the musicians been born back then. Fast forward ninety years, records have become albums or those other Johnny-cum-lately things and bands rarely record without a bassist in their midst.

Nevertheless, if you are thinking of calling this dated you are, even unintentionally, putting musicians such as Bud Freeman, Benny Goodman, Teddy Wilson into the same bag.

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Mike Jamieson - Last of the National Servicemen

Back in the day when we all read newspapers and telephones were in the hall as opposed to the hip pocket we got our local jazz news from the Newcastle Journal or the Evening Chronicle. The late Brian Fisher (Hartness) had a weekly column in the former and Mike Jamieson in the latter.

Mike, who despite not being as actively mobile as he once was, still turns up at the occasional gig and has recently begun a weekly memoir of his days as a national serviceman in Germany on the online newspaper (link) North East Bylines.

A Festive Black Swan Jam session @ The Black Swan, Newcastle - Dec. 19

Alan Law (piano); Paul Grainger (double bass); Michael Mather (drums) + Shivan Ruddick (trumpet), Paul Ruddick (alto sax), Hugh ? (drums), Paul Gowland (alto sax, piano), Esther Coombes (alto sax, clarinet), Alex Shipsey (bass), Kate O'Niell (vocals), Edgar Bell (cornet), Ian Drever (vocals), Becky Tuck (vocals), David Gray (trombone), Molly Birmingham (vocals), Owen Jones (double bass), Bailey Rudd (drums), ? (vocals), Freddie Richards (drums) + possibly more... 

Brevity is the watchword...of necessity. The final Black Swan jam session of the year and your correspondent inexplicably (hic!) mislaid/lost scribbled notes. Hunted high and low, they're nowhere to be seen. So, what happened? Who turned up? Don't ask me!

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Memories of the Kelly Pub.

The Kelly, on Hedgeley Road in Hebburn is now up for sale (£295k). Named after the Hebburn built WWll destroyer that was immortalised in the film In Which we Serve it was never a jazz pub although I do recall Ray Brown's Tyne Valley Stompers playing there - once!

However, back in the 1980s it was very much a 'jazz pub'. Not because of the music but because of the assortment of jazz/jazz related musicians who would congregate there on Wednesday afternoons and attempt to drink the bar dry.

A Jazzy Xmas @ The Fire Station, Sunderland - Dec. 18

Paul Edis (MD, piano); Jo Harrop (vocals); Emma Fisk (violin); Matt Anderson (tenor sax, soprano sax); Faye Thompson (alto sax, clarinet); Graham Hardy (trumpet, flugelhorn); Jason Holcomb (trombone); Megan Robinson (flute, piccolo); Michael Dunlop (double bass); Matt MacKellar (drums)

The Fire Stationglowed brightly, the foyer and adjoining Engine Room pub a hive of activity. We were here for the fifth and final performance of Paul Edis' north of England tour of A Jazzy Christmas. The stalls packed, as the lights dimmed Matt MacKellar set up a New Orleans vibe to Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow! And, of course, the wonderful Jo Harrop sang the timeless number. As Christmas shows go, A Jazzy Christmas takes some beating.

Monday, December 18, 2023

R.I.P Anne DeVere

Sad to announce that Anne DeVere has passed away. It was only last month (HERE) that I revealed her deteriorating health issues. An obituary will be posted shortly, in the meantime may she rest in peace safe in the knowledge that she was loved by everyone who knew her. Not just as a singer but as a person... Our sympathies go out to Bill, they were a great couple. 

In the meantime read this interview with Anne we did in 2013. Arguably, the best interview we've ever done. Lance

Album review: Gemma Sherry - Gazing at Stars

Gemma Sherry (vocals); Kenny Barron (piano); Ron Carter (bass on 5 tks); Paul Bollenback (guitar on 4 tks); George Coleman (drums on 3 tks)

This is the fourth album of Gemma Sherry's that I've reviewed for BSH which gives an indication of how high I rate her. Indeed if it had arrived a couple of weeks earlier it may have made my 2023 top ten vocal albums - maybe, it would have been close given this year's contenders.

Tubby Hayes - Guys And Dolls (Live)

This afternoon, watching one of my favourite movies, Guys and Dolls, it brought to my mind this fantastic version of the theme by the greatest ever British modern jazz group - the Jazz Couriers.

Tubbs was at his most ebullient best with the ideas seemingly flowing endlessly and Ronnie Scott wasn't far behind.  

Recorded live in concert, this was British jazz at its finest and certainly held its own with any of the two tenor outfits operating across the pond. Dexter/Wardell, Al/Zoot, Johnny/Lockjaw Tubby and Ronnie were way up in that league and I feel privileged to have heard them live. Lance

Preview: A Jazzy Xmas in Sunderland! (Mon. 18)

Tonight (Monday) at Sunderland's Fire Station it's the fifth and final date on the northern leg of Paul Edis & Friends' A Jazzy Christmas tour. A magnificent band (Jo Harrop, Emma Fisk, Matt Anderson, Graham Hardy, Faye Thompson, Megan Robinson, Jason Holcomb, Michael Dunlop and Matt MacKellar), superb arrangements of Christmas classics old and new, the jazz aficionado and casual fan alike shouldn't miss this one. Very few tickets remain available for the performance starting at 7:30pm. Book now at: Russell

Party night @ the Globe - Dec. 17

(© Sheila Herrick)
David 'Showtime' Gray (vocals/trombone/trumpet/ocarina); Adam Sams (guitar); Alan Law (piano); Paul Grainger (bass); Michael Mather  (drums) + Jim Easton  (congas); Karen Rann (soprano sax); Edgar Bell (cornet).

Over the years 'Showtime' has evolved from a trombonist who played trumpet who also sang. At last night's 'party' he added ocarina to his box of tricks. Is this the full circle or is there more to come? I suspect there is - lock up your Alpine horns.

(© Sheila Herrick)
He played all of the above although the singing appears to be taking over. Still that's no bad thing although I think the trombone is his true forte.

Sunday, December 17, 2023

Jazz Attack @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead - Dec. 17

Jazz Attack: Hugo (violin); Luke (guitar); Dan, Peter, Bernard (percussion) + Graham Hardy (MD, bass guitar)

The 2023-24 edition of Jazz Attack gave a short performance on the concourse at the Glasshouse (formerly Sage Gateshead) in front of an appreciative audience of family, friends and supporters. MD Graham Hardy has been tutoring his young charges (ranging in age from 9 - 15 years) for something like three months and this Sunday afternoon was an opportunity to hear what they've been up to. 

Press release: Jazz party @ the Globe tonight!

Come and celebrate the festive season with us at this FREE ENTRY gig! Jazz.Coop, the cooperative that owns The Globe, will be hosting a party, and everyone is welcome! Jam session afterwards!

Bluegrass Slow Jam – 7.15- 7.45pm
Eva Fox Duo – 8.00-8.30pm
David Gray’s Flextet – 8.45-9.45pm
Jazz Jam session – 10.00pm onwards
David Gray Flextet

Strictly Smokin' Big Band @ Gosforth Civic Theatre - Dec. 16

Strictly Smokin' Big Band: Michael Lamb (MD), Pete Tanton, Dick Stacey, Gordon Marshall (trumpets); Jamie Toms, Matt Forster, Keith Robinson, Steve Summers, Sue Ferris (reeds); Mark Ferris, Kieran Parnaby, Chris Kurgi-Smith, John Flood (trombones); Pawel Jedrzejewski (guitar); Graham Don (piano); Michael Whent (bass guitar); Guy Swinton (drums); Alice Grace (vocals)

It's Christmas! Well, almost. It's become a tradition, the Strictly Smokin' Big band's two nights at Gosforth Civic Theatre on the outskirts of Newcastle. And they always sell out. This year wasn't any different, Friday evening sold out (job done) and this evening's performance would follow suit. As Michael Lamb's magnificent big band took to the stage Santa hats weren't in evidence, at least for now...

Saturday, December 16, 2023

Paul Edis and Friends: A Jazzy Christmas + Jambone @ the Glasshouse, Gateshead - Dec. 16

Paul Edis (piano); Jo Harrop (vocals); Matt Anderson (tenor/soprano sax); Faye Thompson (alto sax, clarinet); Megan Robinson (flute, piccolo); Graham Hardy (trumpet, flugel); Jason Holcomb (trombone); Emma Fisk (violin); Michael Dunlop (bass); Matt MacKellar (drums)

(© Jerry)
The one thing that you can depend upon at Christmas is that you will, overnight, find yourself with lots of socks, toiletries and, if you're really unlucky, a jumper that you will wear once (if that!) However, on the positive side, you will also get the opportunity to enjoy Paul Edis' Jazzy Christmas featuring a line-up of top musicians both local and national. And, on top of that, the incredible voice of Jo Harrop.

Album review: Gregory Porter - Christmas Wish (Blue Note)

Gregory Porter (voice); Chip Crawford (piano); Jamal Nichols (bass); Ondre Pivec (Hammond organ); Emmanuel Harold (drums); Gregoire Maret (harmonica); Tivon Pennicott (flute, tenor sax); Troy Miller (percussion); Samara Joy (vocals on What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?) plus the Kingdom Orchestra.

Everybody knows what to expect from a Gregory Porter album and I suspect that this Christmas offering is exactly what you would expect of a Gregory Porter Christmas album. Those hoping for a festive celebration of Ornette Coleman arranged for spoons and kazoo will have to look elsewhere. There’s a selection of classics (Christmas Waltz, Little Drummer Boy, What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?, Do You Hear What I Hear), a carol (Silent Night), and some new ones from Mr Porter himself (Everything’s Not Lost, Christmas Wish, Heart For Christmas) and at the heart of each song is That Voice.

Darlington Big Band @ Opus 4 Jazz Club - Dec. 15

Darlington Big Band: Richie Emmerson (MD, tenor sax); Barbara Fagan (tenor sax); Alan Thompson (alto sax, flute); Andy Devine (alto sax); Norman Scriven (baritone sax); Kevin Eland, Bill Watson, Alan Catherall, Peter Chester (trumpets); Terry O'Hern, Dave Brocklesby, Alastair White, Peter Chester; Edd Maughan (guitar); Dave Archibold (keyboards); Karen McLeave (bass guitar); Stephen Fletcher (drums)

The Darlington Big Band's weekly rehearsal sessions are punctuated with an occasional concert presentation. This evening Richie Emmerson's outfit made its way to the Traveller's Rest in Cockerton to play two sets of classic big band charts to an appreciative Opus 4 Jazz Club audience.

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

 Aycliffe Radio is now available on DAB in County Durham & Darlington Area.

Playlist 17/12/23. (Repeated Tuesday 19/12/23)

There is a Christmas  theme throughout this week’s playlist + birthday memories and what’s on in the NE.

Dave Brubeck, Maynard Ferguson, Peggy Lee, Lee Konitz & Gerry Mulligan, Art Farmer, Clark Terry & Bob Brookmeyer, Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, Oscar Peterson & Joe Pass, Jeff Barnhart & John Hallam, Michael Bublé, Tim Boniface, Jacques Loussier Trio, Paul Edis & Friends, Stan Kenton, Wynton Marsalis.

Jazz on the Tyne Christmas Special 2023

It’s time to get into the Christmas spirit with a special edition of Jazz on the Tyne!  On this podcast, presenter Colin Muirhead plays tracks by:

The Strictly Smokin’ Big Band, Jo Harrop & Paul Edis, Niffi Osiyemi, Dave Brubeck, Ramsey Lewis, Samara Joy, Sheila Jordan, Nils Landgren, Silje Nergaard, Fergus McCreadie, Carla Bley, Louis Armstrong, Dr John, and Paul Edis & Friends.

Friday, December 15, 2023

Paul Edis @ the Lit & Phil - Dec. 15

(© Patti)
Paul Edis (piano)

Solo piano recitals can be daunting and, invariably, I find myself longing for the comforting presence of bass and drums to fill out and offer contrast to the main man.

Not so this afternoon at the Lit and Phil's popular monthly sessions although the ponderous theme of the opening Dig Deep had my mind wandering in that direction.

Thursday, December 14, 2023

Some Like it Hot

If you decide to watch the above classic 1959 movie on BBC Four tonight (8:00pm) you may like to know who's actually playing - see the list below - there's some big names among them.

Of course they aren't seen on screen as it's an all-girls band.

One of my favourite movies. Lance

Dave Sayer’s Top 13 (?) of 2023

It’s not been a bad old year for jazz in my opinion. There’s been some good gigs, near and far, and a rich selection of new releases, some old stuff has been reissued, some has come out for the first time and some has escaped when it shouldn’t have, (Evenings At The Village Gate: John Coltrane with Eric Dolphy, I’m looking at you). Crate digging in charity shops has thrown up some real bargains again this year and there has been one jazz book which has stood head and shoulders above the others (the accompanying CD wasn’t half bad either). Enough with the preliminaries and on with the awards ...

The Bold Big Band @ Cluny 2 - Dec. 13

(© Russell)
Pippa Morgan, Max Storey, Crissi Booth, Lucy McCartan, Brian Wicks (reeds); Alex Utting, Bertie Marks, Fiona Duxbury, Conor Emery (trombones); Billy Bradshaw, Sam Armstrong, Abi Brierly, Andrew Marshall (trumpets); Ben Davies (guitar); Alex Ngeyu (keyboards); Ifede Osiyemi (bass); Dan Arenstein (drums); Conor Polley (vocals) + Jacob Lightfoot (alto sax)

The Bold Big Band has come a long way in a relatively short time. First heard pre-pandemic at the now closed Dun Cow pub in the Jesmond suburb of Newcastle, bandleader Brian Wicks is moulding the student/alumni outfit into a force to be reckoned with. Perhaps following the example of one or two local bandleaders of some renown, it was abundantly clear the band's baritone anchor wasn't about to leave anything to chance. Advertised as an eight o'clock start, Wicks' eighteen piece outfit was ready to go, bang on time.

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Album review: Benet McLean - Green Park

Benet McLean (violin); Duncan Eagles  (tenor sax); Liam Dunachie (piano/organ); Rio Kai (bass); Zoe Pascal (drums)

I reviewed McLean's previous album The Bopped and the Bopless in 2016 and, just as I was impressed then, I am equally taken with his latest offering.

In this pared down ensemble Benet once again excels. A technique and tone that covers the whole nine yards from Venuti and Grappelli to Jean-Luc Ponty, Jerry Goodman and beyond, he hits the spot with every masterful stroke of the bow.

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

MARIAN McPARTLAND Things Ain't What They Used To Be (June 1964)

Reading Paul de Barros' biography of Marian McPartland* (again!) prompted me to share her magic via this BBC 625 YouTube clip from 1964 which also got me to thinking that, with all due respect to George Shearing, Dill Jones, Derek Smith and Victor Feldman, Marian was probably the UK's greatest jazz piano export.  

Monday, December 11, 2023

Album review: Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas

Luddite that I am, I don't like these pesky download, streaming things, However, I do make the occasional exception particularly when it's Ella and she's spreading seasonal tidings of peace and joy, and goodwill, although, I do believe this one's also out on vinyl/CD 63 years after it first came out. 

Top ten vocal albums of 2023

2. Lauren Bush: Tide Rises (Mighty Quinn)

3. Chris Ingham: Hoagy II (Downhome Records)

4. Zoe Francis: Somewhere in the Night (Diving Duck Recordings)

5. Hannah Gill: Everybody Loves a Lover (Turtle Bay |Records)

Sunday, December 10, 2023

Just Friends @ Dorman's Jazz Club - Dec.7

Ian Bosworth (guitar); Richie Emmerson (tenor sax); Dave Archbold (keys); Ron Smith (bass); Mark Hawkins (drums).

Led by Ian Bosworth, Just Friends, a group of well known and respected local jazz musicians, have now been playing together for a number of years. As expected by the audience a night of interesting and entertaining jazz was forthcoming.

Starting the first set with the aptly titled Just Friends, a lively number showing how tight an ensemble they were, with excellent sax intro and solo from Richie followed by Ian and Dave coupled with great bass and drums backing from Ron and Mark respectively setting the style for the night.

Saturday, December 09, 2023

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

Aycliffe Radio is now available on DAB in County Durham & Darlington Area.

Playlist 10/12/23. (Repeated Tuesday 12/11/23)

Requests mainly from Darlington New Orleans Club: Chris Barber, Barney Bigard, Pilsner Jazz Band, Roy Williams & George Chisholm, Louis Armstrong & His Hot Five, Jelly Roll Morton, Urbie Green, Billie Holiday/Louis Armstrong, Stan Kenton.

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