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Bebop Spoken There

Maurice J. Summerfield: "Over dinner one night Barney [Kessel] told me about his seminar The Effective Guitarist, and in 1972 my company presented the first of twelve annual UK seminars in Newcastle upon Tyne." - (Just Jazz Guitar, September 1997)

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!"

Postage

15087 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 15 years ago. 106 of them this year alone and, so far, 4 this month (Feb. 1).

From This Moment On ...

February

Wed 01: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 01: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 01: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 01: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Wed 01: Moonlight Serenade Orchestra UK: Glenn Miller & Big Band Spectacular @ Darlington Hippodrome. 7:30pm.

Thu 02: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 02: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library. 2:30-4:30pm. £1.00. All welcome.
Thu 02: Paul Skerritt Duo @ Tomahawk Steakhouse, High St., Yarm. 8:00pm.
Thu 02: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman's Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm. Guests: Dave Archbold (keys); Josh Bentham (tenor sax); Donna Hewwitt (alto sax); Adrian Beadnell (bass).

Fri 03: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 03: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 03: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 03: Abbie Finn Trio @ Saltburn Community Hall. 7:30pm.
Fri 03: Dilutey Juice @ Bobik's, Punch Bowl, Newcastle. 7:30pm.
Fri 03: Smoove & Turrell @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. 7:30pm (doors). £25.00.
Fri 03: Struggle Buggy @ Prohibiton Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Blind Pig Blues Club.

Sat 04: Alligator Gumbo @ St Augustine's Parish Centre, Darlington. 12:30pm.
Sat 04: Play Jazz! workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. Tutor: John Pope - Up Your Rhythm Game. £25.00. Enrol at: www.jazz.coop.
Sat 04: King Bees @ Grainger Market, Newcastle. 6:30pm (doors). Live music, comedy, DJs, food stalls. £10.00. advance, £15.00. on the door. Blues band King Bees on stage 9:45-11:15pm. A Great Market Caper event.
Sat 04: Jives Aces @ The Witham, Barnard Castle. 7:30pm.
Sat 04: Renegade Brass Band @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 7:30pm (doors).
Sat 04: Rendezvous Jazz @ Red Lion, Earsdon. 8:00pm. £3.00.

Sun 05 Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 05: Rivkala @ Cumberland Arms, Newcastle. 6:00pm.
Sun 05: Jive Aces @ Fire Station, Sunderland. 7:30pm.
Sun 05: Dale Storr @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Sun 05: Jam No.13 @ Fabio's, Saddler St., Durham. Free. Durham University Jazz Society jam session. All welcome (students & non-students alike).

Mon 06: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Tue 07: Jam session @ Black Swan, Newcastle Arts Centre. 7:30pm. House trio: Alan Law (piano); Paul Grainger (double bass); Rob Walker (drums). Jam session reverts to a first & third Tuesday in the month schedule.

Wednesday, February 01, 2023

Album Review: Louis Stewart - Out On His Own

Louis Stewart (guitar).

The Irish jazz bass player, Ronan Guilfoyle who played with Louis Stewart on a regular basis during the early 1980s, has written about the first time he ever saw him and heard him play in 1972. Aged 14, his father took him to a jazz party and said that Stewart was the 'greatest jazz musician Ireland had ever produced' and even at that young age Guilfoyle recognised the guitarist was something special and that night is indelibly inscribed in his memory.

New Century Ragtime Orchestra

(Press release)

After two years' enforced absence due to the pandemic, I'm delighted to let you know that the New Century Ragtime Orchestra will be performing their annual Tyneside concert, once again featuring Caroline Stephen on vocals on Saturday 11 February, this time at a brand-new venue!

We'll be playing our usual mix of classic ragtime,1920s hot dance music and early 1930s swing numbers at the King's Hall, Armstrong Building, Newcastle University NE1 7RU. The Armstrong Building is immediately opposite the Royal Victoria Infirmary on Queen Victoria Road, and the nearest car parks are at the bottom of Claremont Road or the Eldon Square multi-storey. The nearest metro station is Haymarket, a five-minute walk away.

Leeds Jazz Festival

(Press release) Leeds Jazz Festival returns for its second year from 25 - 30 May 2023, following the inaugural festival between 1st and 12th June 2022. The event aims to unite and celebrate the musicians, venues, promoters, audiences and organisations who are part of the Leeds Jazz tapestry - whilst showcasing the best of local, national and international music.

Jazz just over the Border

(© Benjamin Ealovega)

(Press releaseHeart of Hawick has announced two jazz concerts that might appeal to Bebop Spoken Here readers.

Saxophonist Helena Kay’s KIM Trio with Peter Johnstone celebrate the recent release of their album Golden Sands, on Friday 31st March. The group, led by the former Young Scottish Jazz Musician of the Year and the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra’s resident alto player (here on tenor), features bassist Calum Gourlay and drummer Dave Ingamells alongside Peter Johnstone.

Golden Sands has been described by Jazzwise as “subtly enchanting” and “impressive" by Bebop Spoken Here’s own Lance Liddle, who also described Kay’s group as “A-list”.

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Book review: Sam Emony (Neil Hughes) - The Old Familiar Places.

It's been said that the great jazz novel, like the great jazz movie, has yet to be written/made and that is probably true. However, The Old Familiar Places comes pretty close in the former category and would be a deserving contender in the latter if some movie maker picked up on it. It certainly equals, maybe surpasses, anything from this side of the Atlantic.

The story of Sonny Jackson, a Manchester based teenage pianist who meets and gets taken under the wing (and elsewhere!) of the rich widow of a trumpet playing one hit wonder songwriter, is one of those compelling can't put down books.

Julian Siegel Jazz Orchestra tour dates

The Julian Siegel Jazz Orchestra embarks upon a mini tour next month which takes them as far south as Southampton and as far 'north' as Sheffield so anyone from further  north will have to travel.

However, it could well be worth it as it's a star studded line-up celebrating their album Tales From the Jacquard reviewed HERE in 2021 (see also BANDCAMP).
Lance

Venues are listed below:

Preview: Get In Tune with the David Gordon Trio (February 1)

On Wednesday's edition of In Tune presenter Katie Derham will be joined in the studio by the David Gordon Trio. Pianist Gordon's trio will be playing music from his latest album Pachyderm. Tune to BBC Radio 3 at five o'clock. Russell

Monday, January 30, 2023

Munch Manship Quartet @ the Railway, Stockport - Jan. 29

(© Jeff Pritchard)
Munch Manship (tenor sax/flute); Paul Kilvington (piano); Dave Lynane (bass); Dave Hassell (drums).

For a Sunday night, the audience was well below normal especially as Munch usually draws a packed house. Some of the regulars too were absent but they missed a great show as the quartet were in excellent form. 


The tunes played covered a wide range of composers, Jerome Kern, Kurt Weill, Benny Golson, Benny Carter, Duke Jordan, Charlie Parker, Johnny Griffin etc, something to suit all tastes. 

Sunday night @ the Globe: ORIGIN - Jan. 29

         (© S. Herrick)
Francis 'Frank' Tulip (guitar); Will Markham (piano); Trevor Boxall (bass guitar); Glenn Charles (drums)

It's difficult to credit that this was only the quartet's second gig and their first with the current line-up.

The musicianship was high which was only to be expected given their Birmingham Conservatoire pedigree. Tulip, because of his local roots, we have seen develop from his emergence as a promising product of Sage Gateshead's once ambitious music programme to the monster player he now is and he's not finished yet as I'm sure there's more to come. 

I was less familiar with the other three although they were, without doubt, also of the highest calibre both as players and as composers.

Dikeman, Edwards, Noble and Thomas @ The Literary and Philosophical Society, Newcastle - Jan. 27

(© Ken Drew)
John Dikeman (tenor sax); John Edwards (bass); Steve Noble (drums) ; Pat Thomas (piano)

The Toon on a Friday night, even in midwinter, is a fairly volatile place. One has to brave the gauntlet of traffic jams of both the human and motor variety when venturing into the city centre. However, amongst this maelstrom of frantic activity the Lit and Phil stands out as an oasis of peace and tranquillity and on Friday night a free jazz super group  graced its unique ambience. 

Sunday, January 29, 2023

ORIGINal music tonight @ the Globe

(Press release) ORIGIN is a new contemporary quartet of original music based in the UK. This project is comprised of some of the most in-demand musicians within the UK, who have been making major impressions as part of the new generation of UK jazz.

Will Markham – Piano, is joined by Frank Tulip – Guitar, Trevor Boxall – Bass and Glenn Charles – Drums.

 

ORIGIN draws on the influences of Chick Corea, Donny Macaslin, Brad Melhdau, James Farm and Brian Blade to create music that develops and pushes the idiom.

More details.

Entartete Musik @ The Globe, Newcastle - Jan. 28

(© Pam)
Graham Hardy (trumpet); Faye MacCalman (tenor sax, clarinet); Jason Holcomb (trombone); Emma Fisk (violin); Jamie McCredie (guitar); Andy Champion (double bass); Abbie Finn (drums)

This Brundíbar Arts Festival presentation was something of a departure, this being the first jazz concert to feature in the festival's programming. In his opening remarks, MC Jason Holcomb acknowledged the heavyweight subject matter at the core of the evening's concert, adding that he hoped the swinging charts would be a fitting commemoration of the extraordinary musicians incarcerated during WWII at Terezin and other concentration camps. 

Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle - Jan. 27

Merlin Roxby (piano)

Following his public performance debut in November, Merlin Roxby returned to Prohibition Bar to play a further selection of ragtime numbers. In his twenties, Merlin is one of very few young pianists exploring the form. Sitting at the the recently tuned house upright, Merlin began to play. Over the course of two one hour sets, Merlin didn't say a word. We have a shy, retiring type in our midst! 

Zoë Gilby Quartet @ The Gala, Durham - Jan. 27

(© B. Ebbatson)
Zoë Gilby (vocals); Mark Williams (guitar); Andy Champion (double bass); John Bradford (drums)

The first lunchtime jazz concert of the year attracted a full house. The Gala's studio space has hosted many performances featuring Zoë Gilby and this afternoon's concert sold out some time ago. The concert programme listed nine selections: four standards, three re-titled Tom Harrell numbers with lyrics by Zoë, and a brace of Zoë Gilby-Andy Champion compositions. The quartet - Mark Williams, guitar, Andy Champion, bass, and drummer John Bradford - opened with Travelin' Blues.

Album review: Markus Rutz - Storybook

Markus Rutz (trumpet); Sharel Cassity (sax); Adrian Ruiz (piano); Kurt Schweitz/Samuel Peters (bass); Kyle Swan (drums); Kyle Asche (guitar on 3 tks).

An interesting concept album by a fine Chicago based trumpet player and composer who, on this his sixth album, charts his musical journey from the past to the present in the form of original compositions along with his arrangements of some modern jazz standards which have punctuated Rutz's journey.

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Mark Toomey Quartet @ Dorman’s Jazz Club, Middlesbrough - Jan. 26

Mark Toomey (alto sax); Jeremy McMurray (piano); Peter Ayton (bass guitar); Paul Smith (drums).

Expectations were high for a night of first class jazz from our first guest band of the year - a quartet comprising some of the best jazz musicians in the area.

Mark's up tempo composition, Riff Raff, set the style for the night with solos all round and showing just how well these experienced musicians play together. After the well-known Just Friends, the mood was changed with another composition of Mark's, a beautifully played ballad One Fine Day. Tasteful sax and piano solos from Mark and Jeremy. 

Adrian Cox Quintet @ Crazy Coqs, London - Jan. 26

Adrian Cox (clarinet, vocals); Denny Ilett (guitar); Joe Webb (piano); Tom Farmer (double bass); Shaney Forbes (drums)

A second night at Piccadilly's Crazy Coqs. The 'house full' signs went up several weeks ago and little wonder given that the evening was to feature showman par excellence, Adrian Cox's Wonderful World of Clarinet concert presentation. Taking to the stage with his A-list band - Messrs Denny Ilett, Joe Webb, Tom Farmer and Shane (Shaney) Forbes - our man was afforded a returning hero's reception. Cox's rapport with his audience is something to behold, it's as if he knows everyone in the room and that's probably not far from the truth! 

Album review: The Fresh Sound Ensemble – Common Threads

Sam Braysher (alto sax); Ronan Perrett (alto sax, clarinet); Alex Merritt, Adele Sauros (tenor sax); Alex Hitchcock (tenor sax, soprano sax); Michael Chillingworth (tenor sax, bass clarinet); Steve Fishwick (trumpet); Tom Ollendorff (guitar); John Turville (piano); Conor Chaplin (bass); Jay Davis (drums).

The Fresh Sounds New Talent label has been going for 30 years now and, in celebration, label head honcho Jordi Pujol decided to record a commemorative album using, mainly, London based musicians, many of whom are familiar to north east audiences from leading or taking part in various bands over the years.

Two dates, in August and October 2022 were organised and this varied 68 minutes is the result.

Tcha Limberger @ Crazy Coqs, London - Jan. 25

Tcha Limberger (violin, vocals); Dave Kelbie (guitar); Sebastien Girardot (double bass) & guest John Kelly (guitar)

In 2016 Tcha Limberger graced the stage at Sage Gateshead. On that occasion the Belgian violinist performed alongside his Budapest Gypsy Orchestra. Virtuosic, huge ovation, quite memorable. Six years on, the Manouche violinist made a flying visit to London, this time in the company of Lejazzetal's mastermind, Dave Kelbie (rhythm guitar) together with John Kelly (guitar) and bassist Sebastien Girardot. The venue? Crazy Coqs...

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

https://www.ayclifferadio.co.uk/listen/

Playlist 29/01/23. (Repeated Tuesday 31/01/23)


Request: Fats Waller.

In memory of Terry Coates (RIP) of Opus 4: Oscar Peterson.

Requests from Opus 4 gig with the Dean Stockdale Quartet. 

Gaz Hughes, Cannonball Adderley/Louis Hayes, Ahmad Jamal, Ray Brown, The Dudley Moore Trio, Joe Venuti & Eddie Lang, Count Basie Orchestra, Django Reinhardt & Freddy Taylor.

New Release: Abbie Finn.

Robbie Burns memory: Scottish National Jazz Orchestra, Tommy Smith Youth Jazz Orchestra, Matt Carmichael.

Requests: Joshua Redman, Chris Barber with Ottilie Patterson.

New Release: Mary Halvorson.

The London Django Collective @ The Piano Bar, Soho, London - Jan. 25

Kourosh Kanani (guitar); Kit Massey (violin); Ducato Petrowski (guitar); Marcus Penrose (double bass)

A first visit for BSH to the the Piano Bar in Soho. Located just off Dean Street, a discreet door to a townhouse, press the bell (no.16) and wait. Once ushered inside, show proof of a reservation and you're escorted to a table. Dimly lit, table service, London prices, the 'first house' would consist of two half hour sets.

New Website Showcases Jazz from North East England and Beyond

(Press releasejazzonthetyne.org, the new Jazz on the Tyne website gives audiences everywhere the chance to listen to and interact with the radio show dedicated to jazz in North East England.

Since 2019, Colin Muirhead has presented Jazz on the Tyne on Hive Radio.  A new, dedicated website provides a simple way of accessing all episodes of the programme, and getting in touch with the show.

https://vimeo.com/776723679

Friday, January 27, 2023

The printed word

I buy all of the jazz mags that appear on the shelves of WHS. DownBeat, JazzTimes, Jazzwise and any of the other mavericks who shine briefly before disappearing into the never never land of Planet Online. They draw coins from my purse that would otherwise have been wasted on luxuries such as food and clothes. Now, this may sound like I'm shooting myself in the foot but, with all respect to blogs - even BSH - nothing beats the printed word or, for that matter, to digress, the CD or the LP.

Slowlight Quartet announce the release of their second single “Lullaby (for the end of the world)” with guest vocals by YVA on the 27th Jan 2023.

(Press release) After a seven year extended hiatus Slowlight Quartet are back with the release of their  second new single “Lullaby (for the end of the world)” on Jazz Sound Records. Featuring a new drummer, the vocal talents of YVA and additional guitar from Smoove and Turrell’s Ath Cassidy, the band’s latest offering is a smooth and tender offering filled with a vocal induced tenderness that explodes into a sax and drum driven explosion of sound. It’s a finely crafted and beautifully produced track that sees the band, who were on hiatus since 2015, return with a bang. 

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Album review: Dave Brubeck Quartet - Debut in The Netherlands 1958

Dave Brubeck (piano); Paul Desmond (alto sax); Eugene Wright (bass); Joe Morello (drums).

It's always a delight when undiscovered gems emerge from the vaults. This is doubly so, nay doubly doubly so, when it is the classic Brubeck Quartet in concert.

Recorded at Amsterdam's Concertgetbouw in November 1958 it captures the group at the first major pinnacle of their jazz journey preceding the worldwide acclaim of the best selling album Time Out (Take Five etc) and, maybe I'm out on a limb here, but this remains, for me,  the pinnacle.

More on Carol Sloane ...

Club44 Records is saddened to share that beloved jazz singer Carol Sloane died January 23 at a senior care center in Stoneham, Massachusetts. She was 85. The cause was complications from a stroke two years ago, said her stepdaughter, Sandra de Novellis. 

Carol’s death comes just nine months after the release of her final album, Live at Birdland. Her long-time friend, attorney and co-producer of her final album, Mark Sendroff, offers this remembrance of his friend, “I was first told about Carol by a jazz club owner in New York City who referred to her as ‘the white Ella.’ Of course I had to hear what he meant and came to realise that he was referring to her musicality and ability to tell the story while incorporating just enough scat to tastefully enhance the melody, rather than show off. We have now lost one of the remaining few authentic bridges to the Golden Age of Jazz, whose popularity and stature will surely grow ‘as time goes by."

Jazz on the Tyne salutes independent labels

On the latest edition of the podcast, presenter Colin Muirhead showcases recent releases by independent labels, focusing on New Jazz and Improvised Music Recordings, Discus Music, and British Progressive Jazz.  You’ll hear music by Archipelago, the Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra, Pat Thomas, Shiver & Matthew Bourne, Army of Briars, Ron Caines/Martin Archer Axis, the Keith Tippett Group, Graham Collier and the Elton Dean Quartet, plus (from an AUM Fidelity release) William Parker.

You can listen to the show anytime from noon on Saturday 28th January by heading to www.mixcloud.com/hive_radio.

Plus, you can request tunes for future programmes by emailing Colin at jazz.tyne.hive@gmail.com.

Singer Georgia Cécile joins the SNJO on Scottish tour

(©Jordan Hare)

(Press release) Double Jazz FM Award-winning vocalist Georgia Cécile joins the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra on a four-date tour of Scotland towards the end of February.

Glasgow-born Cécile, who won UK Jazz Act of the Year and Vocalist of the Year at the awards last October, released her debut album, Only the Lover Sings, in 2021. She has already appeared at prestigious venues including the Royal Albert Hall, where she opened four sold-out nights for Gregory Porter, and has headlined her own concerts at Ronnie Scott’s jazz club.

4B @ The Exchange North Shields - Jan. 25

(Archive photo)
Bernie Ranson (tenor sax, vocals); Steve Chambers (keys); Harry Hussaini (electric bass); Jamie ? (guitar).

4B played their regular Wednesday night gig at The Exchange last night with a new face on keyboards. Steve Chambers stood in for the night and was happy to be back playing in his home town of North Shields after many years out of the area. He may have been new to The Exchange but straight away he set out his stall and had the Wednesday night crowd applauding his first solo as the band performed My One and Only Love. Thereafter followed an evening that passed by far too quickly.

Album Review: Mary Foster Conklin – These Precious Days

Mary Foster Conklin (vocals); John Di Martino (piano, arrangements); Sara Caswell(violin); Ed Howard (bass); Vince Cherico (drums); Guilherme Monteiro (guitar); Samuel Torres (percussion)

These Precious Days is the latest album by New York-based jazz vocalist and radio host Mary Foster Conklin. The CD has the distinctive feature of comprising lesser-known jazz and pop songs which have been mostly written by women, and the mix is so interesting that I've listed the song writers beside the song names (see below).

Ms Conklin had been playing music by women writers on her radio show since 2016. In 2021, Along with Martino and Caswell, Ms Conklin performed a set of new songs at the Soapbox Gallery in Brooklyn, which was later developed into material for this CD, with extra musicians.

Carol Sloane - My One and Only Love. (March 5, 1937 - Jan. 23, 2023)


One of the truly great jazz singers, such perfect pitch. may she Rest In Peace Lance

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Album review: Christopher Lucas Wilson Trio: Solemn Moments

Christopher Lucas Wilson (piano); Noah Jackson (bass); Jesse Kramer (drums).

I find it comforting when I hit upon an album that isn't into 'the new thing' - whatever that is! An album that respects the jazz tradition as personified by so many of the past jazz masters such as Peterson and Evans - the genre's equivalent of Bach and Chopin - the latter of whom we'll get back to later.

This is just such a delightful discovery. Wilson, a Detroit born resident of Chicago via L.A has all of the attributes of his illustrious predecessors which are neatly morphed into his own musical DNA.

Rossano Sportiello: Live at the Flat, # 87 - Jan. 24

Rossano Sportiello (piano)

Tuesday, ten in the evening GMT, five o'clock in New York City, Rossano Sportiello's popular weekly streamed concert is a product of lockdown. Holed up in his Greenwich Village apartment, Italian born, NYC resident Sportiello took to playing an online weekly concert. Post lockdown, this most elegant of piano players continues to connect with his worldwide fan club. 

BSH, top of the Hits Parade!

BSH editor-in-chief LL (pictured) started this malarkey way back when. The 'malarkey' being Bebop Spoken Here. Along the way, the blog has picked up a gong (other Tynesiders have since followed suit) and shows few signs of slowing down. Contributors have filed copy from far and wide: Jarrow's Albion Gin & Ale House (much BSH business is conducted from the establishment), venues across Tyneside and the wider region - Gateshead to Durham via Chester-le-Street, Shields (North and South) and other coastal spots - Edinburgh, London, Stockport, America, France, Italy, Australia, Hong Kong. It's taken fifteen years to clock up the five and a half millionth 'hit'. Now for the six million... Russell

Meanwhile, back at the 100 Club ...

Last night (Jan. 24) as part of its January Blues Festival the 100 Club presented a triple bill of rhythm 'n' blues legends.

The bands featured were: The Animals with drummer John Steel, Geno Washington  & the Ram Jam Band and Zoot Money.

It was sold out!

In the photo, John Steel is on the right alongside another legend, Andy Hudson the former leader of the Newcastle Big Band and promoter of jazz festivals in Newcastle, Middlesbrough and London.

Sounds like it was a rockin' good night. Lance

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

AUNTIE JOY - SECULAR SOUND IN A SACRED SPACE (Press release)

Auntie Joy is organised by local enthusiasts NofC (of Coalburns) and TQ (of Ovington). The gents met many years ago in a professional capacity when working together in a health & social care setting. Years later a friendship was struck when their paths crossed at several local music events, and in 2019 they began discussing the notion of organising multi-media events with the primary focus being on music of various genres.

The primary locations for these events are two iconic sites in the Old Village part of Ryton; the Holy Cross Church, and the Function Room of its near neighbour, the community owned Ye Olde Cross public house.

Review: My Funny Valentine (Radio 4)

The first in a three part Radio 4 series, In Time to the Music, focused upon My Funny Valentine looking at how Rodgers and Hart's song has been performed and interpreted over the years. First heard in the 1937 Broadway musical Babes in Arms, the number would become Chet Baker's signature song (many others have performed and recorded the song). Contributors to the programme include American writer Will Friedwald, pianist Gareth Williams and singer and pianist Ian Shaw. Today's broadcast is available on iPlayer for the next month. Next week's programme couldn't be more different and in two week's time the song under the microscope has a distinct Tyneside connection. Tune in Tuesdays at 11:30am. Russell     

Monday, January 23, 2023

Bill Bryson

I'm into my second Bill Bryson book, Notes From a Big Country. I was so impressed by Notes From a Small Island that it became  my quest to read everything he wrote whether it be his hilariously funny, and yet accurately perceptive, travel books or a note to the milkman.

He served time as Chancellor of Durham University and it is to my eternal shame that, because of my ignorance, I didn't nip down the A1 and invite him out for a beer or two.

What's all this got to do with jazz? I hear you ask. Well, in a sense, a little and a lot!

Neil Yates Quartet @ the Railway, Stockport - Jan. 22

(© Jeff Pritchard)
Neil Yates (trumpet/tenor sax); Tony Remon (guitar); James Owston (bass);  Jim Bashford (drums)

Neil brought a really fine group of musicians with him for this gig and he gave them plenty of solo space. The bass player James Owston and the drummer Jim Bashford are from the Birmingham area while Tony Remon is from London.  Neil, although he was born in Stockport, now resides in North Wales after spending time in London where he was in great demand for recordings and concerts.


The programme consisted of mainly standards with the exception of the opener, Benny Golson’s Whisper Not and Sonny Rollins' Pent Up House. This latter tune is a real finger-buster to play on saxophone and no easier I would think on trumpet but Neil’s rendition was spot on.  

Jazz North East at The Literary and Philosophical Society presents… John Dikeman, Pat Thomas, John Edwards & Steve Noble

(Press release). John Dikeman (saxophone); Pat Thomas (piano); John Edwards (double bass); Steve Noble (drums, percussion) 

Supergroups are not a riskless endeavour - but when they’re made up of longtime friends and master improvisers, they tend to work.  

Highly established young American saxophonist John Dikeman is accompanied by a group of UK based music masters and all four musicians are regular performers at the internationally  acclaimed Cafe OTO in London.  

Sunday Night @ the Globe: the Gerry Richardson Quartet - Jan. 22

Gerry Richardson (organ, vocals); Garry Linsley (alto sax); Rod Sinclair (guitar); Paul Smith (drums)

The room was crowded, lots of unfamiliar faces, all enjoying the mix of jazz, funk, blues, soul and seventeenth century poetry. Yes, a protest poem from the seventeenth century that is no less meaningful today. Take the opening lines: The law locks up the man or woman who steals the goose from off the common but leaves the greater felon loose who steals the common from the goose

Gerry took those words, presumably now out of copyright, composed a melody added some harmony to provide something new to his familiar programme. The title, also came from one of the lines of the poem - Same Old Story.

The band were in overdrive throughout. Close your eyes and you were in Detroit, Philly, downtown Baltimore or the east side of Chicago as opposed to the west side of Newcastle.

Strictly Smokin' Big Band to hit the road.

Back in the day, American big bands such as Basie, Ellington, Kenton and Herman, along with British bands such as Dankworth, Heath, Parnell and Delaney would tour the length and breadth of the land.

Rock and roll, the pundits would tell you, did away with all that. Four teenagers and a row of Marshall stacks could provide ten times the volume at half the price, at least initially. Nowadays the volume and the price are on a par.

Nevertheless, despite the economic fluctuations of this fair(ish) isle big bands have never truly vanished.

Sunday, January 22, 2023

Review: The Betty Boop Concert @ Zwijndrecht, nr. Rotterdam - Jan. 22

A WorldJam Live event, twenty three musicians from across five countries, for the most part the introductions in Dutch, some in French and English, possibly other languages, the principal venue seemingly in Zwijndrecht, near Rotterdam. More brassy rhythm 'n' blues than jazz, nevertheless, worth catching for the online 'community' aspect. 

Preview: Sunday night @ the Globe - The Gerry Richardson Quartet

Tonight at the Globe looks good. With Gerry Richardson, whether it's his Big Idea or tonight's quartet you can expect a mix of jazz, funk, rock, soul and blues performed by Gerry on organ and vocals, Garry Linsley on alto sax, Rod Sinclair on guitar and Paul Smith on drums.

Four masters of their craft who, because of their many commitments, don't appear as a unit as often as they should making this a not to be missed occasion. Lance

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Dean Stockdale Quartet: Celebrating Oscar @ Opus 4 Jazz Club - Jan. 20

Dean Stockdale (piano); Tim Williams (guitar); Gavin Barras (double bass ); Gaz Hughes (drums)

The middle of January, freezing cold, stay home, watch the telly. Not likely! Opus 4 Jazz Club's regulars and not so regulars turned out in force to listen to the Dean Stockdale Quartet. And what a quartet! Pianist Dean hails from these here parts (Darlington), his band mates making the trip from west of the Pennines to perform two sets of music written by the legendary Oscar Peterson. Last year, up the road in Newcastle, Dean's quartet played to a full house, this evening the Traveller's Rest was as busy as it's been in a while. 

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

 https://www.ayclifferadio.co.uk/listen/

Playlist 22/01/23. (Repeated Tuesday 24/01/23)

Requests: Anita O' Day, Buddy Rich, Bix Beiderbecke.

New release: Abbie Finn/Harry Keeble.

Dorsey Bros Orchestra.

What’s on in the NE: Zoë Gilby, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, Nick Manz/Josh Vadiveloo.

Duke Ellington.

Birthday Memories: Espen Eriksen Trio featuring Andy Sheppard, JJ Johnson, Django Reinhardt, Milt Jackson & Benny Golson & Art Farmer.

Requests: Joshua Redman, New Orleans Rhythm Kings + Jelly Roll Morton, Mary Halvorson.

Album review: Gaz Hughes Trio - Beboptical Illusion

Gaz Hughes (drums); Andrzej Baranek (piano); Ed Harrison (bass)

Jazz fans who prefer the format of the piano trio should find this latest album from drummer Gaz Hughes very much to their liking. It’s very well recorded and all the tracks with the exception of Duke Ellington’s  Sophisticated Lady have been composed and arranged by Gaz Hughes. To join him on this project he has  once again enlisted two of the most talented and experienced musicians on the UK jazz scene, piano man Andrzej Baranek and bass player Ed Harrison. The opening number lives up to its title being an uptempo 32 bar groover called Beboptical Illusion.

Friday, January 20, 2023

Album review: Christopher McBride - Ramon

Christopher McBride (alto sax); J.S. Williams (trumpet);  Jonathan Edward Thomas (piano); Noah Jackson (bass); Cedric Easton (drums); +  Morgan Burrs, Bobby Broom (guitar); J. Hoard (vocal); Kenny Bentley (tuba); Luke Carlos O'Reiley (keys, organ); Corey A. Wallace (trombone).

Another gem from NYC! A core quintet with guests on individual tracks that really sizzle. McBride and Williams blow like as if there's no tomorrow. This is Jazz Messengers for today and more - much more. Bebop, hard bop, post hard bop, timeless bop.

Lady D: Written for McBride's mother. This is no maudlin piece of sentimentality but a swinging uptempo blast. "She's a very hip lady" explains McBride.

JATLP: Emma Fisk & James Birkett @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle - Jan. 20

Emma Fisk (violin); James Birkett (guitar).

Music is timeless. Be it Bach or Beethoven, Gilbert and Sullivan, Lennon and McCartney, Eddie Lang and Joe Venuti. If it delivered the goods then, then, as sure as Cox made Orange Pippins, it's a fair bet the appeal won't have diminished.

It was the latter duo who took centre stage at this increasingly popular monthly lunchtime venue. In the more than capable hands of Emma Fisk and James Birkett  the duo recreated the music of Lang and Venuti who were, in my opinion, the undisputed first great jazz stringsters and, today, Fisk and Birkett are surely comparable with any other duo working the same side of the street.

Album review: Lakecia Benjamin – Phoenix

Just look at the cover. This is an outfit beyond glam, beyond the stars, even beyond the Sun Ra Arkestra. It makes the Rio carnival dancers look like Liz Truss in a tank. The perfect introduction, you would think to some poppy, smooth jazz and my first response with a fear that it would be like Kenny G, but with the rough bits smoothed off, was “Please let it be good. She can wear what she likes, but let it be good. It’s on Whirlwind so it must be good.” And it’s not good, it’s a whole lot better than that for this is Afro –Futurism, this is protest music with drive and flair that grabs you by the ears makes you sit down and listen. Benjamin’s previous tributes to both John and Alice Coltrane attest to her love of their music but influences can also be detected from the wider Coltrane musical ‘family’ of Pharaoh Sanders and Eric Dolphy and there is also more than a nod to the Emperor of Afro-Futurism himself, Sun Ra, and his current leading acolyte Kamasi Washington.

Tom Atkinson & co. celebrating the music of Pharoah Sanders @ The Globe - Jan. 19

Sue Ferris (tenor sax, flute); Josh Bentham (tenor sax, soprano sax); Tom Atkinson (guitar, vocals); Jude Murphy (double bass, vocals); Jeff Armstrong (drums)

A few months ago Tom Atkinson got together with a few mates to play the music of Pharoah Sanders. This evening they did it all again and despite the wintry weather a good crowd turned out to listen. The Globe's downstairs radiator was turned up to 11, to coin a phrase...'to hell with poverty'! And so to the music, ninety minutes, no interval, straight through. Twenty minutes in, it had been a slow start, low key introductory solos from Atkinson, Sue Ferris (flute) and arco bass from the double bass playing Jude Murphy. 

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