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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.


16611 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 1504 of them this year alone and, so far, 50 this month (July 23).

From This Moment On ...


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. Nu Groove (2:00pm); 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.

Sun 28: Musicians Unlimited @ Jackson’s Wharf, Hartlepool. 1:00pm. Free.
Sun 28: Paul Skerritt @ Hibou Blanc, Newcastle. 2:00pm.
Sun 28: Miss Jean & the Ragtime Rewind Swing Band @ Fonteyn Ballroom, Dunelm House (Durham Students’ Union), Durham. 2:00pm. £9.00. & £6.00. A Durham Fringe Festival event.
Sun 28: More Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00pm. Free.
Sun 28: Ruth Lambert Trio @ The Juke Shed, Union Quay, North Shields. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 28: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 28: Nomade Swing Trio @ Red Lion, Alnmouth. 4:00pm. Free.
Sun 28: Jazz Jam Sandwich! @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 7:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Sun 28: Jeffrey Hewer Collective @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 28: Milne Glendinning Band @ Cafédral, Owengate, Durham. 9:00pm. £9.00. & £6.00. A Durham Fringe Festival event.

Mon 29: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.

Tue 30: ???

Wed 31: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 31: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 31: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

Sunday, April 30, 2023

Jazz Archaeology

There's a whole gang of jazz blogs and websites around and here's a one that has a lot of jazz history within its virtual portals - check it out HERE. It's good to have a site that recognises where the young guns of today came from even if some of them don't know themselves! There's quite a few typos but they don't detract from the content. Lance

Thoughts on International Jazz Day and the media

Well here it is International Jazz Day. It comes around every year on April 30. Now whereas many venues (see previous post) and the jazz media give it their full support it is inevitably ignored by the national press. Has anyone found a reference to it in their Sunday paper? I haven't but, then again, you don't don't get much culture in the Sunday Sport (you don't get much sport either!). 

Tomorrow (May 1) is International Labour Day which may well be recognised by the nationals and, as such, by neglect of the previous 'International Day', possibly infers that musicians aren't workers when in actual fact most musicians work much harder than your average nine to fiver. When they're not gigging they're practising, composing, arranging or teaching. Lance

An International Jazz Day More Jam @ The Globe - April 30

If it's International Jazz Day you can bet on Newcastle Jazz Co-op marking the occasion. The fact that April 30 is the day the Co-op acquired the Globe just happens to be something of a neat coincidence. This afternoon's More Jam session is a staple of the year round jazz on offer and there was a good turn out of participants and listeners. 

Jazz and the Cool Cats

It's International Jazz Day - check out that cat next door. You never know... Lance

Saturday, April 29, 2023

Jeff Barnhart's Mr Men & Ms Woman @ Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club - April 29

Jeff Barnhart (piano, vocals); Anne Barnhart (flute, vocals); Keith Stephen (banjo, guitar); Bruce Rollo (double bass, vocals)

John Hallam was indisposed, thankfully a more than capable dep was on hand, one Anne Barnhart, the 'Ms Woman' member of today's quartet. A large turn out at St Augustine's enjoyed two sets of classic jazz numbers dating from the early decades of the twentieth century. As ever, Jeff Barnhart was in fine form; dazzling piano player, vocalist, raconteur and historian of the music. Whenever Mr B is in town - that's at least once a year - he teams up with his 'Mr Men', Messrs Keith Stephen, banjo and guitar, and Bruce Rollo, string bass maestro and, on this occasion, vocalist. 

Album review: Dave Bass - The Trio Vol. 3

Dave Bass (piano); Kerry Kashiwagi (bass); Scott Gordon (drums) + Barry Finnerty (guitar)*.

One of those albums that land in the mailbox and become forgotten. Then, by some quirk of fate, I slip it into the machine and hey! The charity shop ain't gonna get their paws on this one!

Over the years I've been fortunate to hear  many of jazz's great piano trios live. Teddy Wilson, Oscar Peterson, Errol Garner, Marian McPartland, Mary Lou Williams and Bill Evans to mention but a few as well as many more on disc and I can say, with hand on heart, that Dave Bass is worthy of being included in that illustrious company.

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

Playlist 30/04/23. (Repeated Tuesday 02/05/23)

Requests: Benny Goodman, Scott Joplin, Nina Simone.

Who was Arthur Briggs?:  Arthur Briggs.

RIP: Ahmad Jamal, in memory of Burt Bacharach: Sam Smith/Cynthia Erivo/Gladys Knight/Dionne Warwick/Kenny G/Michael J Moritz. Tina May.

Requests: Dave Brubeck Quartet, John Coltrane, Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers.

What’s on in the NE:  Ronnie Scott's All Stars, Andrea Vicari, Edison Herbert.

April: Billie Holiday, Clifford Brown/Max Roach.

Clark Tracey Quintet @ Crookes Social Club, Sheffield - April 28

(© Jeff Pritchard)
Clark Tracey (drums); Mark Armstrong (trumpet/flugel); Alan Barnes (alto/bari sax); Tim Lapthorn (piano); Arnie Somogyi (bass).

This was one gig that Jeff and I just had to attend mainly because Mark Armstrong had been so impressive when we heard him on previous occasions in Llandudno and Swanage. He certainly was in great form tonight and his feature during the second set, Hoagy Carmichael’s  Stardust, was outstanding and was one of many high spots of the evening. 

The Strictly Smokin' Big Band: Harlem '58 @ The Witham, Barnard Castle - April 28

The Witham on Horse Market isn't a noted jazz venue but thanks to the popularity of the Strictly Smokin' Big Band a capacity audience turned out for this first concert performance of a north of England Harlem '58 tour. Still images of many legendary American jazz musicians were projected onto a screen high above the stage as Michael Lamb's magnificent big band set about telling the story of Art Kane's iconic photograph. Basie Straight Ahead opened the show, and a what a show it would prove to be.  

CD Review: Joanie Pallatto – Accidental Melody featuring Fareed Haque

Joanie Pallatto (vocals); Fareed Haque (classical, electric, steel string guitars); John Christensen (acoustic bass); Eric Hines, Juan Pastor (percussion); Bradley Parker-Sparrow (piano tracks 6,10)

This CD provides a feast of Latin jazz, original songs sung in a pleasing delicately-toned voice, to skilled accompaniment, including of course the typical Latin percussion. The music and lyrics are mostly the work of our singer with some input from her husband Bradley Parker-Sparrow and also Fareed Haque. The lyrics are philosophical, romantic and quite clever.

For instance the opening track Surrender is all about going with the flow, a relaxed song with some spoken lines, some wordless singing and superb guitar; Accidental Melody is a salsa; Apart comments on the pandemic and is slower and reflective; A Shooting Star has a tango feel, with high speed guitar and a bass solo.

Friday, April 28, 2023

Jazz on the Tyne previews the Hexham Jazz Festival 2023 with Jo Harrop

Vocalist and songwriter Jo Harrop is the special guest on the latest edition of Jazz on the Tyne.  She’ll be talking with presenter Colin Muirhead about the upcoming Hexham Jazz Festival (taking place on May 12 - 14), her album with Paul Edis “When Winter Turns to Spring”, and more.

The show will feature tracks by Jo and Paul, along with the Ushaw Ensemble, Rachel Sutton, Freddie Benedict and Claire Martin, who’ll also be appearing at the festival.  Plus, there’ll be music by Andy Davies.

Album review: Sharp Little Bones with Tony Kofi

Tony Kofi (alto sax); Simon Paterson (basses); Paul Deats (keyboards); Andrew Wood (drums). 

(Press release) The core trio of Sharp Little Bones are joined by MOBO-nominated, multi-BBC Jazz and Parliamentary Jazz Awards winner Tony Kofi. Together, they perform brand-new compositions that are tight, energetic, catchy, and melodic. Their sound has fresh, contemporary appeal: live acoustic forces rooted in bebop and blues, embellished with tasteful electronics and warm, analogue synth textures.

Steve Horowitz Funeral Details

Sandra has confirmed the funeral details for Steve as follows: Thursday, May 11, 1:30pm in the East Chapel at the West Road Crematorium and Cemetery, West Rd., Newcastle, NE5  2JL.

Following the funeral the family will have a private burial. Friends are invited afterwards to the Globe at 2:30pm to remember a much-loved member of the jazz community. Lance

Thursday, April 27, 2023

International Jazz Day @ the Globe

(Press release) Here at The Globe, we celebrate International Jazz Day every year for two reasons.  One being the fact that The Globe is owned by Jazz.Coop, so we obviously love jazz music, but also because it marks the anniversary of Jazz.Coop owning The Globe!  This year marks 9 years!

Here are the proceedings for the day…

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Chelsea 0 Brentford 2

A fitting epitaph to devoted Brentford fan and BSH reviewer Steve Horowitz who sadly left us on Monday. Your team did you proud tonight as you have done them - and BSH - over the years with your support. Lance

Paul Hartley Quartet @ the Railway, Stockport - April 25

(© Jeff Pritchard)
Paul Hartley (guitar); John Hulme (trumpet/flugel); Ken Marley (bass); Eryl Roberts (drums).

I’ve been a big fan of the flugelhorn ever since I bought a Riverside LP In Orbit by Clark Terry which has Clark playing flugel exclusively alongside Thelonious Monk, Sam Jones and Philly Joe Jones. In my opinion, it’s one of the greatest albums ever made  and if you haven’t got it, try and get it. It’s been reissued on the Original Jazz Classics label as a CD which contains one bonus track Flugelin’ the Blues.

Bold Big Band @ the Black Swan - April 25

(© Mike Tilley)
Jacob Lightfoot, Pippa Morgan, Crissi Booth, Lucy McCartan, Brian Wicks (reeds); Alex Utting, Bertie Marks, Charis Bailey, Conor Emery (trombones); Billy Bradshaw, Joe Hey, Lucy McKinlay, Thomas Howarth (trumpets); Ben Davies (guitar); Alex Ngeyu (keys); Ifede Osiyemi (bass guitar); Dan Arenstein (drums); Conor Polley (vocals).

The Bold Big Band, not to be confused with the Newcastle University Jazz Orchestra who presumably operate from the same campus, are the best looking big band I've seen in years. They're also the youngest - no shiny pates or grizzly grey beards in this outfit.

They're a well rehearsed band with tight section work all round. The phrasing of the unaccompanied saxes on Cruisin' Bluesin' was absolutely spot on and behind Polley's excellent vocals they achieved an authentic 1930s' sound.

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Album Review: Fred Farell – Seasons' Journey

Fred Farell (voice); Roberta Piket (piano, musical director); Ratzo Harris (acoustic bass)

This selection of songs is varied and interesting, ranging from the joy of Bill Evans Waltz For Debbie, the Latin beat of Jobim's Dindi, to the jazz standard Skylark and the melancholy of Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most. I wish I could say that I enjoyed the singing as much as the songs, but I can't. Fred Farell seemed to be straining to sing the higher notes and was not quite on key for some of the others. Mr Farell has been singing for five decades and will have done lots of good work in the past, but he doesn't seem to do himself justice on this CD.

Harry Belafonte RIP

Harry Belafonte died today (April 25) at the age of 96. From his early days as a singer (backed by Charlie Parker and co), appearing at the Village Vanguard, Vegas' Sands Hotel and countless other venues, to Hollywood fame to fearless participation in the civil rights movement, Belafonte did it all. 

In 1998 Mr Belafonte received an honorary Doctorate of Civil Law from Newcastle University. His acceptance speech was quite something, we were in the presence of a dignified, graceful human being. A life well lived. Russell   

APPJAG Awards - Correction

It has been pointed out to me that on the voting forms for the above awards the closing date is shown as April 14. This is incorrect.

The closing date is this Friday APRIL 28 so if you have yet to vote DO IT NOW and, what's more, photo ID isn't required!


Preview: Hitler's Jazz Band, Charlie Watts & Frank Zappa

On Sky Arts this evening (Tuesday) there is another opportunity to watch two recently broadcast programmes. At five minutes to midnight there is the bizarre story of Hitler's Jazz Band. A WWII Nazis concentration camp would appear to be an unlikely setting for a swinging jazz band, yet, thanks to Karl Schweidler jazz was heard loud and clear in Third Reich Germany. At 12:55am it's the Charlie Watts Orchestra telling the story of the Rolling Stone's love of jazz captured on film at Fulham Town Hall. And earlier (4:30pm) over on Radio 4 comedian John Robins makes the case for Frank Zappa in an edition of Great Lives. Russell   

Preview: Strictly Smokin' on tour!

Tyneside's magnificent Strictly Smokin' Big Band is about to go out on tour. The band's Harlem '58 show went down a storm in Newcastle and on Friday (April 28) Barnard Castle is the first stop on a north of England itinerary. The Witham on Horse Market hosts the SSBB and, at the time of posting, tickets are scarce. Taking inspiration from Art Kane's iconic photograph on the steps of a NYC brownstone, Michael Lamb's band will be playing numbers written and/or performed by a who's who of American jazz royalty. If classic big band charts are your thing then this Barnard Castle concert is unmissable. To grab one of the few remaining tickets see: 

Preview: Ronnie Scott's is coming to Sunderland's Fire Station (May 4)!!!

James Pearson is returning to Sunderland to present The Ronnie Scott's All Stars: Soho Songbook. Artistic Director and house pianist at 47 Frith Street, Pearson will direct and narrate the story of one of the world's most famous jazz clubs. From the early days in Gerrard Street to its present home on Frith Street, the story is told in the form of classic numbers performed by Pearson, bassist Sam Burgess and drummer Chris Higginbottom with special guests to be confirmed, all against a backdrop of projected still and moving images from the Ronnie Scott's archives. The Fire Station on High Street West is the venue for this unmissable show. You will love the show and, if you're yet to visit the venue, you'll love the place. Tickets are selling fast, book online at: Russell      

Monday, April 24, 2023

Breaking news - R.I.P. Steve Horowitz

It is with the deepest sadness that I have to report that Steve Horowitz passed away today after a long battle with cancer.

Steve, known to BSH readers as Steve H, contributed many album and gig reviews which were always perceptive and frequently with a humorous sting in the tail.

We shared a love of jazz, not always in total agreement, football, never in total agreement and real ale, always in total agreement!

Robin Sunflower Quartet @ the Railway, Stockport - April 23

(© Jeff Pritchard)
Robin Sunflower (harmonicas); Richard Wetherall (piano); Matt Owen (bass); Danny Ward (drums)

Unlike his last appearance at this venue on March 24, Robin Sunflower’s line-up for this gig included piano, double bass and drums. There were no vocals tonight and the total tunes played added up to an amazing seventeen.

We heard lots of great compositions by Toots Thielemans, a musician who I never saw live, as well as tunes by other writers such as Charlie Chaplin, Wayne Shorter, and Jimi Hendrix. Richard Wetherall was an important part of this group and he always gets a great sound out of the house upright piano. Matt Owen and Danny Ward on bass and drums did a great job of keeping the tempos spot on.

Preview: Michael Bublé @ Utilita Arena, Newcastle - May 1 & 2

It was December 2019 when I first heard Michael Bublé at the Utilita Arena, Newcastle - me and 21,999 other people spread over two nights - and it was a memorable experience that will be repeated next Monday and Tuesday (May 1 & 2).

The complete entertainer, a legend in his own lifetime, you name it, the Canadian-born singer is both and more, transcending genres and appealing to all age groups.

Backed by a band, or shall we say orchestra? prepare yourself for a memorable evening but don't procrastinate - tickets are going fast. Lance


Sunday night @ the Globe: JazzMain - April 23

(© Sheila Herrick)
Nick Gould (tenor sax); Steve Grossart (keys); Iain Harkness ( 5-string  bass guitar); Kevin Dorrian (drums).

What a day this has been, what a rare mood I'm in why it's almost like Newcastle beating Spurs (was it 6-1? I lost count) and Sunderland moving into the play-off places against West Brom - a team from the midlands - via a 2-1 victory.

However, great as all this was, even Jacob Murphy's long range strike couldn't compare with what JazzMain were putting down at the Globe.

This is a band who have got it just right. It swings, but not in a retro fashion. It's hard-bop but, again, not in a retro fashion.

This is my kind of music.

Sunday, April 23, 2023

The Edison Herbert Trio @ The Vault, Darlington - April 22

Edison Herbert (guitar); Sam Jackson (double bass); ? (drums)

The Vault on East Row in Darlington's Covered Market continues to present early Saturday evening gigs to a diverse crowd of Darlington's denizens on a night out and a few discerning listeners cocking an ear in attempt to hear the on-stage musicians. Whenever BSH has been in attendance the place has never been less than packed - two or three deep at the bar, almost all seats occupied, some/many standing. 

Preview: Cleo, Nina, Louis & Miles - Sky Arts (Sunday 23)

On the day of the 2023 London Marathon, this evening Sky Arts presents a marathon of its own. Starting at eight o'clock there is Cleo Laine: the Unseen Home Movies (it's not the first time it's been screened but well worth watching again). At 9:00pm there is a documentary about a previously unknown album by Nina Simone in Nina Simone: the Lost Album, followed at half past ten by concert footage of Louis Armstrong at the 1970 Newport Jazz Festival in Louis Armstrong: Good Evening Ev'rybody. And as the jazz marathon enters its final kilometre (at a quarter to midnight) there is Miles Davis' all-star band in concert at the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival - Miles Davis - a Different Kind of Blue. Russell  

Saturday, April 22, 2023

Sunday Night @ the Globe

On Sunday night there is only one place to be in Newcastle and that's the Globe. Even if you've been to 'The Match' the game will have been over long before the start enabling you to celebrate or drown your sorrows to the hip-bop (intentional) sounds of JazzMain.

Led by Nick Gould, the greatest Scottish tenor saxist since the late Bobby Wellins, an evening of driving modern jazz awaits you.

This is as close as you are going to get to Birdland without having a passport.


All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group - Voting now open until April 28

Don't forget to vote for your jazz faves of this year. The north east has had several past successes in this event and, because of its apolitical nature, it is important that you vote. It's a show of strength to the people in power of how important the jazz community is to both the economy and the nation's cultural status.

Go HERE to cast your vote in the various categories which include: Media, Venue, Vocalist, Instrumentalist etc. Lance 

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

 Playlist 23/04/23. (Repeated Tuesday 25/04/23)


April: Art Blakey.

Requests: Chu Berry/Lionel Hampton & His Orchestra, Dixiecats/Henry Allen, Benny Goodman/Charlie Christian, Errol Garner, Dexter Gordon, Ben Webster Webster, Jeff Barnhart and His Hot Rhythm, Louis Armstrong/Ella Fitzgerald, Morton Gunnar Larsen.

What’s on in the NE:

Abbie Finn. James Birkett/Emma Fisk.

Requests: Ben Haskins, Pat Metheny, Sonny Rollins Quartet, Glenn Miller, Matt Scofield.

It's Record Store Day - Sat April 22

Today (Saturday) is Record Store Day. It's the day the 'independents', that's the small, specialist shop near you selling all things CD and vinyl, books, posters, t-shirts and more, come into their own. The shop owner behind the counter will know their Albert Ayler from their Francis Albert Sinatra. If you're looking for that hard-to-find Jo Stafford vinyl album you might come across something by Jo Harrop. If you do, buy it, you won't regret it. Today is the day to support your local record store! Russell

Friday, April 21, 2023

Zoë Gilby @ the Lit & Phil - April 21

Zoë Gilby (voice); Mark Williams (guitar); Ken Marley (bass); John Bradford (drums).

What do American trumpet player Tom Harrell and the great British novelist, the late Patrick Hamilton have in common?

Answer: They've both had their work lyricised by Zoë Gilby.

In the case of the latter, arguably the greatest British novelist/playwright, Zoë put words to Andy Champion's music both of which were inspired by Hamilton's novel The Midnight Bell.

The words convey the atmosphere of a rundown London pub back in the late 1920s/early '30s. Zoë's words bring to life the sad story of the losers whose life centres around the hours between opening and closing time. They could be equally applied today.

Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar - April 20

Merlin Roxby (piano)

Prohibition Bar's resident ragtime pianist rocked up once more to play a selection of tunes from his slowly-but-surely expanding repertoire. Unassuming, no announcements, Merlin simply sits at the house upright and knocks out one number after another. The masters are in his set list (Joplin, James P et al) as are unlikely selections from the video gaming world. 

Album Review – Richard Glassby – Travels

Richard Glassby (drums); Matthew Kilner (tenor sax); Ewan Hastie (bass); Pete Johnstone (piano).

Well, this is a canny band. Drummer Glassby has crowd-funded the creation of this album, for which he has written all the music. Also on board is last year’s Young Jazz Musician winner, Ewan Hastie on bass. No lesser an authority than Tommy Smith said of him, “Ewan Hastie is the best bass soloist I’ve heard at his age … ever!” Pete Johnstone has worked as a duo with Tommy Smith and in his Coltrane tribute quartet and Kilner hails from Aberdeen by way of Birmingham and gets points for this performance of The Peacocks on YouTube.

Thursday, April 20, 2023

Martin Speake and Alcyona Mick @ Sage Gateshead - April 20

A difficult one to comment on. Two virtuoso instrumentalists - Speake has a tone and a technique to die for and Mick certainly knows her way around the 88s but, somehow, whilst admiring their artistry, it left me just a little bit cold.

I'd have warmed up if there had been bass and drums in the mix but that wasn't what it was all about.

It would also have helped if Speake had used a mic for his introduction to the pieces, which were mainly originals but, I guess the on stage mic was purely for recording purposes.

Tonight @ Sage Gateshead.

There is a rare treat in store tonight (April 20) at Sage Gateshead in the form of saxophonist Martin Speake and pianist Alcyona Mick who will give a duo recital in Sage Two starting at 8:00pm.

The hall will be set out cabaret style making for a nice relaxed atmosphere to enjoy the music from these two outstanding performers. Lance

Further information.

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Adeus Ivan “Mamão” Conti

Hoochie Coochie has presented a whole lot of outstanding jazz/soul acts such as Chaka Khan, Gregory Porter, and Incognito to mention but a few. One of the greatest of them all was/is Azymuth who played the venue at least a couple of times in 2013 and 2015. Their funky Brazilian groove transported dancers and listeners back to Rio.

That pulsating Brazilian beat was, in the main, due to percussionist  Ivan “Mamão” Conti who, sadly, died just two days ago (April 17) aged 76.

Black Swan Jam @ Newcastle Arts Centre - April 18

Paul Grainger (bass); Michael Young (piano); Tim Johnston (drums) + Edgar Bell (trumpet); David Gray (trombone/vocals); Esther Coombes (clarinet/alto sax); Luis Verde (alto sax); Ray Burns (harmonica/vocals); Kris Finney (drums); Sid White (drums/vocals); Niffi Osiyemi, Ian Drever, Jan Spencelayh (vocals).

The jammers were fewer than usual and the audience relatively sparse compared to the norm. However, the quality, in the main, far exceeded the quantity.

On piano, Michael Young proved to be a welcome addition to the pool of players from which the house trio is drawn and it was good to see Tim Johnston on drums who impressed with his brushwork early on.

Amazingly for a jam session there were no guitarists or tenor players in attendance - surely a first!

Time to vote for your favourites

Voting is now open for the 2023 Parliamentary Jazz Awards. Entries are open to anyone with the final deadline set for midnight on Friday 28th April 2023. The Parliamentary Awards celebrate and recognise the vibrancy, diversity, talent and breadth of the jazz scene throughout the United Kingdom. 

There is a new award category this year: The PizzaExpress Live Jazz Photographer of the Year Award’

"These awards are a great opportunity to celebrate the talents and energies of the great musicians, educators, promoters, record labels, jazz organisations, blogs, jazz magazines and journalists who keep jazz flourishing, in spite of the challenges they faced in the last couple of years”. John Spellar MP, Lord Mann, Co-chairs of APPJG, Alison Thewless MP and Chi Onwurah MP, Vice Chairs.

To vote please go to: ParliamentaryJazz Awards 2023

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Jazz North announces the new roster of artists for its touring support scheme, Northern Line

(Press release) Jazz North, development agency for northern jazz, supports the most dynamic and energetic live artists in the region, under the banner of its live-touring support scheme, Northern Line.

Today, the organisation announces the latest roster of artists selected by a panel of esteemed industry experts: Aaron Casserly Stewart (Vice Chair of Leeds Conservatoire, GRAMMY award-winning artist, Jazz North Chair), Mariam Rezaei (TUSK, Award-winning turntablist), Glenn Boulter (Octopus, Full of Noises), Eva Davies (Come Play with Me), Geni Lamb (PARR Jazz, saxophonist) and Claire Umney (Jazz FM, Artist Manager, Jazz North board). 

Hailing from their respective scenes in Manchester, Liverpool and Todmorden The KTNA, Maruja, Amique & the Ecstasy, Nat Sharp presents Marra! and DAYZY are the five bands awarded a place on the artist touring programme.

Monday, April 17, 2023

Album review: Mamas Gun - At Pizzza Express Live in London

Andy Platts (lead vocals/guitar); Terry Lewis (guitar/vocals); Dave Oliver (keys/vocals); Chris Best (drums/vocals); Cameron Dawson (bass/vocals).

After Pizza Express' initial Scott Hamilton release on their new PX label this comes as a great big letdown. In truth it doesn't belong on a jazz blog in fact I'm not quite sure where it belongs (don't tempt me!) The sleeve writer compares it to albums by Donny Hathaway and maybe she's right.

Swing, strings and keys at Heart of Hawick

(© Douglas Robertson)

(Press release) Violinist Tim Kliphuis’ trio, guitar duo Graeme Stephen & Don Paterson and saxophone-piano pairing Brian Molley & Tom Gibbs form the jazz element of the upcoming music programme at the Heart of Hawick venue just over the Border on the A7.

Hailed as 'the Dutch Grappelli' and 'a modern-day improvising Paganini,' Kliphuis has taken his music across the world and fronts a group that features Scottish guitarist Nigel Clark and bassist Roy Percy. They bring their tribute to swing master Django Reinhardt to Heart of Hawick on Saturday 27th May.

Munch Manship Quartet @ the Railway, Stockport - April 16

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

There are two musicians who are sure-fire room fillers here at the Railway. Dean Masser who was  recently here on April 9 is one and the other is Munch Manship who like Dean is a virtuoso on the tenor saxophone. Munch is also a first rate flautist but his flute was only brought into play during the second set when he gave us his take on Luis Bonfá’s great composition Samba de Orfeu.

An interesting member of this fine quartet was keyboard maestro Paul Kilvington who knows how to build his solos and his high energy approach went down well with the Sunday night audience. I always like to see local bassman Dave Lynane on the bandstand and together with Dave Hassell on drums they completed a first rate rhythm section. 

Ahmad Jamal (July 2, 1930 - April 16, 2023)

To merely describe pianist Ahmad Jamal who left us yesterday (April 16) as an all-time great is to sell him short as, in the eyes of many - myself included - he was the all-time greatest and one of my greatest regrets was not hearing him live.

However, I do have a few of his many albums to keep his memory alive. Two of these are the recently unearthed - Emerald City Nights. Four discs in total recorded live at the Penthouse Club in Seattle over  1963-64 and 1965-66 they show a player who eschewed the flash of Peterson and Tatum in favour of sensitivity and musicality sticking to the ethos that it's as much what you don't play as what you do play. He got the balance just right.

Sunday, April 16, 2023

Dean Stockdale Quartet: Celebrating Oscar @ Queen's Hall, Hexham - April 16

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

To launch a new monthly Sunday afternoon concert series in Hexham pianist Dean Stockdale presented his 'Celebrating Oscar' - that's Oscar Peterson - set to a capacity audience in the library of Queen's Hall Arts Centre. Joining Stockdale were his regular quartet bandmates from west of the Pennines, guitarist Tim Williams, bassist Gavin Barras and drummer Gaz Hughes. 

Album review: Towner Galaher Organ Trio - Live

Towner Galaher (drums); Lonnie Gasperini (B3); Marvin Horne (guitar).

A second jazz organ group to pop up with an album. Just like the Vince Ector album reviewed yesterday this one is also drummer-led and was also recorded in Connecticut. Another live recording, this time at Daddy Jacks in New London and, although DJs is/was in a city four times the size of  Old Lyme at under 28,000, unlike the smaller town, it no longer has a jazz venue still, neither do many UK towns and cities of similar size or less so, stand up Blaydon Jazz Club and take a bow!

Tonight @ the Globe - Swinging modern jazz with a distinctive guest vocalist

Karen Rann (soprano sax), Mark Squires (piano), Dave Parker (double bass), Michael Howard (drums) + guest vocalist Rivkala

The musicians in Blue Jazz Quartet have been playing together for many years and are immersed in mainstream modern jazz. Rivkala is a new singer-songwriter who has quickly established a reputation in Newcastle as ‘the one to watch’.
After a run of successful gigs with Rivkala in late 2022, the band has been working on new material, including tunes by current jazz artists and some original compositions, as well as reworking some Great American Songbook standards. This gig at The Globe will feature both instrumentals and vocal numbers.
“The two numbers by Rivkala were nothing less than sensational” - Bebop Spoken Here (February 2023)
“Blue Jazz Quartet don’t go for the soft option” - Bebop Spoken Here (November 2021)

Remembering the Mighty Joe Young Band

When it comes to modern jazz on Tyneside the name that springs to every one's minds is the Emcee 5. With a line-up that included legends such as the brothers Mike and Ian Carr, drum legend Ronnie Stephenson, tenor saxist Gary Cox and bassist Malcolm Cecil who later went on to become a significant and innovative figure in electronic/synthesised sounds (nobody's perfect) they made waves both here and abroad.

However, there were others. The Peter Jacobson Quartet held down a regular spot at the Five Bridges Hotel in Gateshead as well as at the New Orleans Club in Newcastle.

Saturday, April 15, 2023

Album review: Vince Ector Organatomy Trio+ - Live @ the side door

Vince Ector (drums); Justin Jones (alto sax); Paul Bollenbeck (guitar); Pat Bianchi (organ).

Organ trios and quartets appear to be back in vogue. We've got at least two on Tyneside and no doubt most other cities in the western world have their share not least Philly where Ector was raised before moving to NY C.

Recorded live at The Side Door Jazz Club in Old Lyme, Connecticut - a town with a population of only 7,628 which can, nevertheless, support a jazz club recognised by DownBeat as "one of the world's 106 great jazz venues" - it's an out and swinger.

Four of the nine tracks are Ector originals the other five are by Don Patterson, Dizzy, Benny Carter, Bacharach and Vinnie Barrett/Bobby Eli. The Organatomy Trio+ do them all justice.

The Pasadena Roof Orchestra @ The Fire Station, Sunderland - April 14

The Empire Theatre was doing good business with patrons queuing in the rain (The Lion King the big draw), the Dun Cow was doing a roaring trade and, not to be outdone, Sunderland's Fire Station and adjoining Engine Room pub were more than busy thanks to a first visit by the Pasadena Roof Orchestra. The PRO is on a three date flying visit 'up north' - Sunderland, Pitlochry and Alnwick. This Friday evening first leg couldn't have gone better, the band on top form, the audience loving every minute of two fast-paced sets.

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

Playlist 16/04/23. (Repeated Tuesday 18/04/23)


April: Chris Barber.

Requests: Grant Green, Louise Dodds, Dave Brubeck. Milt Jackson, Benny Golson & Art Farmer, Kenny Dorham, Fergus McCreadie, New Orleans Rhythm Kings.

What’s on in the NE: Jeremy McMurray & The Pocket Jazz Orchestra. Zoë Gilby.

Requests: Miles Davis, Euan Stevenson, Ola Onabule with SWR Big Band, Sonny Rollins, Tenement Jazz Band,

Doris Day.

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