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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: 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.

Monday, July 31, 2023

YolanDa Brown TokYo Sunset

A taster of what you might expect at Sage Gateshead on November 24. Lance

Tomorrow night at the Black Swan Strutter's Ball

(Press release): Join us for the Tuesday jam session, described by BSH as "the best free show in town". This time ( August 1), the jam is led by a house trio with the fantastic Ben Phillips on keys, the ever supportive Mark Robertson on drums, and Paul Grainger on bass. Sitters-in are always welcome so bring your horn, voice, guitar, comb and paper, spoons and join the trio, or come to listen and be part of the most supportive audience in town.


(© Iza Korsak)
(Press release): Registration opens for the UK/Ireland’s only jazz-specific conference and showcase event on July 31. With a conference title inspired by the 1962 album by trumpeter Freddie Hubbard - Here to Stay-  the Jazz Promotion Network (JPN) celebrates the resilience of jazz in all its forms. A must- see event for anyone involved in the promotion of jazz in its widest sense, the conference will explore how jazz promoters, agents, educators, producers, labels, venues, and musicians can work to maintain and grow the artform across the UK, Ireland and beyond. For 2023 the event is co-hosted by two of the major cultural organisations in Birmingham - B:Music (aka Symphony Hall) and Birmingham City University (BCU) which also contains the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.

Suzanne Fonseca Quartet @ the Railway, Stockport - July 30

(© Jeff Pritchard)
Suzanne Fonseca (trombone); Jim Faulkner (guitar); Dave Tompkins (bass); Danny Ward (drums)

Lots of great tunes were played tonight and it was hard to select any high spots as all the numbers sounded fine to me. Suzanne knows how to pick musicians that are conducive to her brand of jazz and tonight’s line-up benefited by the inclusion of Dave Tompkins, a bass player who I would describe as being outstanding, along with Danny Ward who is a drummer who always gets things swinging.

Jazz on the Tyne – 100th edition!

In this special edition of the podcast, presenter Colin Muirhead features listeners’ requests, with tunes by the Pat Metheny Trio, Bill Evans, Bix Beiderbecke, Billie Holiday, John Donegan, the Colin Steele Quartet, the Fergus McCreadie Trio, Jóel Pálsson & the Reykjavik Big Band, Amy Thatcher & Francesca Knowles, Jo Harrop & Paul Edis, and Tony Bennett.

You can listen to the show anytime from noon on Tuesday August 1 by heading to

Plus, you can request tunes for future programmes by emailing Colin at or heading to

Dee Dee on 3 & 4 (Aug 1 & 4)

Tomorrow (Tuesday 1 August) Dee Dee Bridgewater is the late night BBC Promenade attraction on BBC Radio 3. The American vocalist will be performing a set of jazz standards alongside Carnegie Hall's National Youth Jazz Orchestra. Tune in at 10:15pm. Three days later (Friday 4 August) Bridgewater's Kensington Gore appearance will be shown on BBC Four at seven o'clock. Russell       

Sunday Night @ the Globe: the David Gray Flextet - July 30

David 'Showtime' Gray (trombone, vocals, ocarina); Adam Sams (guitar, vocals, bass clarinet); Alan Law (keys); Paul Grainger (bass); Michael Mather (drums)

As the name implies, the David Gray Flextet are indeed very flexible in both numbers and material. Tonight they numbered five and the material was as varied as the leader's wardrobe.

'Showtime' was at his most effervescent blowing a trombone fuelled by an array of effects pedals, singing, dancing, shaking and scraping things and getting some cool sounds out of an ocarina. He's a sort of jazzy Michael Jackson.

This was definitely a game of two halves. The opening set included For the Elders; Silver Orcas; You Got a Friend in me (DG vocal); Cat Bells (bass clarinet solo); Some Time Ago (vocal) and It's Possible.

Sunday, July 30, 2023

John Coltrane with Eric Dolphy – Evenings at the Village Gate (Impulse!)

John Coltrane (tenor/soprano sax); Eric Dolphy (flute/bass clarinet/alto sax); McCoy Tyner (piano); Reggie Workman (bass); Art Davis (bass); Elvin Jones (drums).

There is an unusual affliction abroad in these times, evident only at the offices of Impulse! Records. The symptoms are broken thumb nails and splinter bedecked fingers brought on by scraping any available barrel in the hope of discovering another hour or two of hitherto unknown John Coltrane recordings. Over the years this deep barrel mining has brought forth the excellent One Down, One Up live album, the very good Both Directions At Once, Blue Moon (which I haven’t heard) and the Holy Grail of A Love Supreme: Live in Seattle. I suspect that, for Impulse!, the efforts are worth it because new Coltrane material sells better than anything else they have released in recent years.

(Press release) Tonight @ the Globe - the David Gray Flextet

Finally, the Flextet has come back to the Globe!

After a run of successful gigs last year, the David Gray Flextet returns to bring you another whirlwind tour of jazz styles, popular music and original music. Be prepared for anything and everything, as this variable lineup draws upon a rich breadth of musical habits and experiences.
David Gray (trombone, vocals, ocarina); Adam Sams (guitar, vocals, bass clarinet); Alan Law (keys); Paul Grainger (bass); Michael Mather (drums)

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

Playlist 30/07/23. (Repeated Tuesday 01/08/23)

Blossom Dearie.

Requests (Including Darlington New Orleans Club gig with the Tenement Jazz Band): Chet Baker Sextet.

RIP Tony Bennett: Tony Bennett/Amy Winehouse.

Requests Cont. Perez Prado, Trombone Red and His Blue Six, Jimmy Sax, Shotgun Jazz Band, Muggsy Spanier & Sidney Bechet, Sammy Rimington, Donald Byrd, Stan Getz & the Oscar Peterson Trio, Emma-Jean Thackray, Andrea Motis/Joan Chamorro/Rita Payés, Woody Herman.

Birthday Memories: Charlie Christian.

Saturday, July 29, 2023

The Mark Toomey Quartet @ Dorman's Jazz Club, Middlesbrough- July 27

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

It is always a pleasure to have this quartet, comprising, as it does some of the best jazz musicians in the Teesside area and thus guaranteeing the audience a night of interesting and exciting jazz. This also gave Mark the opportunity to demonstrate his skills as a talented composer with a number of his own  compositions.

Starting the first set with an original composition of Mark's Do You Have The Time?, a nice swinging blues with a fine  alto intro with improvised solos all round setting the style for the evening, clearly showing the quartet's high standard of musicianship.

John Pope Quintet @ a 'Music by the Marina' event - July 29

(© Russell)
Graham Hardy (trumpet); Faye MacCalman (tenor sax); Jamie Stockbridge (alto/bari sax); Steve Hanley (drums); John Pope (bass/leader)

With John Pope, the element of surprise is never far away. Sometimes it can be straight ahead whilst, at other times, it can be way beyond the boundaries of convention.

The music on this open-air gig in the idyllic setting of the quayside, overlooking the Tyne, Sage Gateshead and the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, fell comfortably in between the  two extremes and showcased five musicians who worked as one without shedding their individuality.

Steven Tulip's N'Warlins Jazz and Heritage Festival Special

Steve's prelude to a trip to the States. A fantastic build up to the New Orleans Jazz Festival 2023.


Friday, July 28, 2023

Jazz - PBS & Sky Arts (Friday)

This evening on PBS the legendary bassist Ron Carter is profiled in Ron Carter: Finding the Right Notes (8:50 - 10:55pm). At ten o'clock, over on Sky Arts (clashing with Ron Carter) Gregory Porter features in a recording of one of the American singer's London concerts, performing numbers from his GRAMMY-winning album Liquid Spirit. Russell 

Two Good Men...

Is the King of Swing no longer flavour of the month? As Jimmy Anderson has been having a hard time of it, let's remember happier times. Just a few short years ago Marston's Brewery bottled a limited edition Jimmy Anderson's King of Swing, a 'refreshing pale ale', 3.8% ABV. Badged as 'Official Beer of England Cricket' perhaps the 40 year old should 'refresh the parts...'. Russell

Meanwhile, back at the Oval

Yesterday, watching the fifth test, the commentator referred to England fast bowler Jimmy Anderson as the King of Swing. However, after Anderson had failed to take a wicket the commentator then remarked that he seemed to have lost his rhythm. Not a 'good man' anymore? Lance

Thursday, July 27, 2023

Album review: Eunmi Lee - Introspection

Lee, a South Korean composer, pianist, educator, now living in NYC, makes her recording debut with this delightful album. It's gentle and appropriately titled, aiming at the heart and the mind rather than going all-out for the jugular and, with the help of co-producer Ferber, succeeds quite magnificently.

It was Ferber who chose the musicians - all first call players in the jazz capital of the world and they handle Lee's compositions effectively expressing the thoughts that inspired each one (follow the Bandcamp link below to pick up on those thoughts as well as to check out the music).

DownBeat Critics Poll

The August issue of DownBeat is dominated by the Annual Critics Poll and, of course, there are many well-deserved winners not to mention some unexpected losers.

However, as always, there were surprises.

At the Corner House on January 19, 1981 I enjoyed a concert by tenor sax legend Al Cohn.

With Al that night was his son Joe Cohn who, on guitar, impressed the audience as much as his dad did.  Now, 42 years on Joe has landed 17th spot in the Rising Star Guitar section. Hardly a shooting star but, then again, shooting stars can burn out quickly so maybe Joe is on course to make his mark in the greater galaxy next year? Lance 

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Album review: Joe Steels' Borealis - Borealis

Joe Steels (guitar); Asha Nicholson (voice); Ferg Kilsby (trumpet); Dan Brown (piano); Paul Susans (double bass); John Hirst (drums)

Guitarist Joe Steels couldn't have anticipated a pandemic. If lockdown scuppered his plans to record and release an album, perhaps the enforced isolation offered the recent (2019) Birmingham Royal Conservatoire graduate the opportunity to write, reflect, perhaps rewrite. Whatever his circumstances were, Steels has emerged from the dark days of pandemic Britain to produce a fine debut recording. 

Album review: World Citizen Band - Antares

Uri Gurvich (alto/sop saxes); Ramiro Olaciregui (guitar); Marcos Merino (piano); Kenneth Dahl Knudsen (bass); Rudolpho Zunniga (drums)

The World Citizen Band (WCB) isn't as large an ensemble as the band name suggests in fact it's only a quintet but, what a quintet!

Formed in Berlin in 2013 it is indeed truly an international affair. The five musicians are from or based in Israel, Argentina, Spain, Denmark and Costa Rico albeit with NYC, LA and Berlin stamps on their passports. If anyone were to query that music, and jazz in particular, is an international language the proof is here.

Album Review: Nicole Zuraitis – How Love Begins

Nicole Zuraitis (vocals, piano, Rhodes 8); Christian McBride (bass); Gilad Hekselman (guitar); Maya Kronfeld (organ, Wurlitzer, Rhodes); Dan Pugach (drums) +   special guests; David Cook (piano); Billy Kilson (drums); Sonica: Thana Alexa, Julia Adamy (vocals tk 2)

Yet another superb woman singer with a rich, expressive, wide-ranging, voice, singing mostly her own compositions to sumptuous music. The only set of non-original lyrics are on Travel, which is a fine poem about trains, written by Edna St Vincent Millay (1892-1950). The music on this track manages to convey forward movement, with a guitar solo and backing singers.

Lancaster Jazz Festival programme revealed

Lancaster Jazz Festival (Sept. 6-10) has released the line-up of events for this year's event. It's a varied programme comprising both new and familiar names including some very familiar names from both sides of the Pennines. 

 The official launch is tonight (July 26) - DETAILS.


Jazz sets the Edinburgh Fringe swinging

(© Benjamin Ealovega)

(Press release): Scottish jazz features prominently in a new pop-up venue on the Edinburgh Fringe during August.

Saxophonists Tommy Smith and Helena Kay (pictured left), pianists Fergus McCreadie and Brian Kellock, guitarist Graeme Stephen, drummer Tom Bancroft and singer Georgia Cécile are among the leading names included in the programme at the Rose Theatre in Edinburgh’s colourful Rose Street from Friday 4th to Monday August 28.

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Album review: Johnathan Blake's Pentad - Passage

Johnathan Blake (drums); Immanuel Wilkins (alto sax); Joel Ross (vibes); David Virelles (piano);  Dezron Douglas (bass)

Drummer/composer Blake's Pentad follow up their previous Blue Note album, Homeward Bound, with Passage, an album dedicated to the life and legacy of Johnathan Blake's father, jazz violinist John Blake Jr.

An album of well-constructed heads played by five musicians working as one. 

Wilkins, who has just hit the top spot in the alto sax section of the DB Critics Poll*, wails in the best  contemporary Blue Note tradition. Fast-fingered flights of fantasy contrasting with melancholic emotion on slower numbers such as Tears I Cannot Hide, a tune composed by drummer Ralph Peterson Jr. Blake's mentor.

Steve Tulip's Rock Show for Music Lovers

Steve describes this as 'Some sensible rock and lots of jazzy sounds'. We shall see. Lance


Monday, July 24, 2023

A (belated) book review. David Hadju - Lush Life

Many years ago, pianist, bassist, journalist, the late Brian Fisher-Hartness gave me a copy of Lush Life, David Hadju's 1996 biography of Billy Strayhorn. I thanked him and put it on the bookshelf where it remained unread, gathering dust, for the next 25 years.

Last week, at a loss for something to read and feeling more than a little guilty about not reading what had been a gift from a very good friend, I eventually got around to it and, you know what? I couldn't put it down!

It is not just the definitive work on Strayhorn but, in some ways, it's Ellington's too.

Ben Crosland Quartet @ the Railway, Stockport - July 23

(© Jeff Pritchard)
Ben Crosland (bass); Rod Mason (alto/sop/tenor sax); Dean Stockdale (keys); Dave Tyas (drums)

It was a rainy night in Stockport but the Sunday night jazz fans were all there and things got off to a good start with Wayne Shorter’s great tune One By One, Rod Mason sounding good on alto and tenor. Crosland likes to include some tunes written by the Kinks and tonight he played three of their compositions but also we heard some interesting tunes by Jaco Pastorius, Bob Mintzer, Derek Nash and a few of Crosland's own numbers.

The hunt for the city's best street pianist is over! manchester jazz festival uncovers singer-songwriter Zoe Mulford in their piano trail competition

(Press release): Originally from Pennsylvania, but making her home in Manchester, transatlantic folk singer Zoe Mulford took to the streets of Manchester to fill the town with her original work entitled “Purple Piano". Before sharing a tender moment with another Manchester resident asking to play Hoagy Carmichael’s classic ‘Heart and Soul’, to which Zoe gladly obliged, encapsulating the community spirit at the heart of the trail. 

The Martin Speake Quartet @ The Globe - July 23

(© Sheila Herrick)
Martin Speake (alto sax); Francis Tulip (guitar); Tommy Fuller (double bass); Steve Hanley (drums)

The fourth and final engagement of Martin Speake's tour of north east venues. First Bishop Auckland, then Darlington, followed by Hexham and onto this evening's gig at Newcastle Jazz Co-op HQ. The Globe's advance bookings indicated a good number of folk would be making their way to Railway Street. As the rain finally relented the hordes (it's all relative) descended.

(© Sheila Herrick)
Four familiar faces - bandleader, alto saxophonist Martin Speake, local hero, guitarist Francis Tulip, Switzerland based bassist Tommy Fuller and Leeds based drummer Steve Hanley - took to the stage without fanfare. 

Album Review: John Allee – Past Imperfect

John Allee (vocals, piano, harmony vocals); Adam Bravo (piano); Mike Schnoebelen (bass); John Harvey (drums); Javier Vergara (tenor sax); Jeff Kaye (trumpet, flugelhorn); Jane Lui, Cortes Alexander (harmony vocals)

I could do worse than simply quote from the publicity sent with this CD: 'In his forty plus years as an actor, singer and songwriter, John Allee has met no shortage of interesting characters with unlikely stories to tell.'

This is Mr Allee's 4th studio album, brimful of entertaining people, romantics, strivers, gamblers, hucksters, cheaters, all described with witty, wry and yet caring lyrics. I hope this singer goes on to produce another four such albums as I enjoyed this one so much. A look at the set list below suggests the sort of people referred to, such as Get a Real Job and Where's the Door?

Sunday, July 23, 2023

A (confused) guide to buying a sax.

So, you want to buy a sax (or any instrument)? Well, back in that real world we once lived in, all you had to do was go in to your local music store where knowledgeable staff would demonstrate several instruments, explain differences, offer HP/trial schemes and that was that except that, as the internet emerged from its murky waters, after wasting your time, they would then order online only to find the instrument, upon arrival, had been either damaged in transit or needed some tweaking which you, Joe Muggins, was expected to do.

However, that is by the by, the trick is to decide what instrument, in this case saxophone, you want in the first place.

Lee Gibson - Where are you?

Listening to a couple of albums by that great British singer Lee Gibson (where is she now?) brought to mind a tremendous gig she did at Darlington Arts Centre on Feb. 18, 2005 with Alan Barnes, John Horler, Arnie Somoygi and Bobby Worth.

I had to ask Peter Bevan to refresh my memory as to the exact date and personnel which he promptly did. Thank you.

A double date for Martin Speake

Alto ace Martin Speake plays Queen's Hall, Hexham this afternoon (3:00pm) then hotfoots it down the A69 to the Globe for an 8:00pm start.

On both gigs the quartet comprises Francis Tulip (guitar); Tommy Fuller (bass); Steve Hanley (drums) and, of course, Martin Speake on alto sax.

It should be worth braving the weather for. Lance

DETAILS (Globe).

Saturday, July 22, 2023

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

Playlist 23/07/23. (Repeated Tuesday 25/07/23)


Quincy Jones.

Requests from Durham Brass Festival: - Cannonball Adderley, Georgia Cécile, Charles Mingus, Theon Cross, Clifford Brown/Sonny Rollins Quintet, Johnny Hodges, No BS! Brass Band, Paul Motian Trio, Sarah Vaughan/Dizzy Gillespie Quintet.


‘When Winter Turns To Spring’- Winner of the Album of the Year at the 2023 Parliamentary Jazz Awards: Paul Edis and Jo Harrop.

Hugh Masekela/ Marcus Miller/ Lee Ritenour.

Tony Eales selection: bands you may never have heard of! Kenichi Tsunoda.


What’s on in the NE: Milne Glendinning Band, Giles Strong Quartet. Stacey Kent.

Strictly Smokin' Big Band: Ella & Ellington @ The Fire Station, Sunderland - July 21

Ella & Ellington, Strictly Smokin', full house. It's becoming a common occurrence, Michael Lamb's Strictly Smokin' Big Band playing to capacity audiences, likewise Sunderland's Fire Station is consistently drawing large crowds to a wide range of events. Sunderland's 'Cultural Quarter' is booming, cranes on the skyline telling a story of a city-wide programme of regeneration works. 

The adjoining Engine Room pub was buzzing, during the interval the SSBB's 'merch' stall in the foyer would become a hive of activity with band members greeting fans old and new. The 'new' appeared to be many. This evening Wearsiders were latching onto the SSBB bandwagon.

Bold Big Band @ the Old Coal Yard, Byker - July 21

(© Lewis Palmer)
Jacob Lightfoot, Max Storey, Crissi Booth, Lucy McCartan, Brian Wicks (saxes); Alex Utting, Bertie Marks, David Gray, Conor Polley (trombones); Billy Bradshaw, Thomas Howarth, Sam Armstrong, Andrew Marshall (trumpets); Ben Davies (guitar); Alex Ngeyu (keys); Ifede Osiyemi (bass); Caleb Carver (drums); Conor Polley (vocals)

A youthful (ish), mainly student based, audience got what they came for - did they not!

This band don't know the meaning of  pp. Their pp is my ff  by which I mean they are loud and, judging by the whooping and the hollering, the whistling and the traditional hand-clapping and stamping of feet (later, stomping of feet on the cobbled floor), this is what the night was all about.

Friday, July 21, 2023

Tenement Jazz Band @ the Lit & Phil - July 21

(© Patti D)

Charles Dearness (trumpet); Stephen Feast (clarinet, tárogató, tenor sax); Paddy Darley (trombone); John Youngs (banjo, vocals); Rory Clark (sousaphone)

Fresh from the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival where they played to a sell out crowd (see a comprehensive review of that gig earlier this week), the Tenement Jazz Band entertained another sell out, albeit smaller crowd, at Jazz at the Lit and Phil. If you like your jazz New Orleans style played by five virtuoso musicians steeped in the genre, then this was the gig for you.

Tony Bennett (August 3, 1926 - July 21, 2023)

The news that Tony Bennett died today came as a shock if not a surprise as he was only two weeks short of his 97th birthday.

His illustrious career covered many genres but, for jazz fans, the two albums he recorded with Bill Evans as well as the album he recorded with Count Basie are probably the highlights although I must confess to getting pleasure listening to his recordings of Cheek to Cheek with Lady Gaga and Body and Soul with Amy Winehouse - both from his Duets II album.

One of my biggest regrets was not seeing Bennett performing live.

A legend - R.I.P. Lance


A Feast or a famine...

As the old saying goes it's either a feast or a famine and today it is definitely the former with a dozen jazz or jazz related items spread across the area.

Martin Speake is at Bishop Auckland Town Hall this afternoon then, in the evening, moves down the road to Opus 4 at Darlington. Fans of more traditional fare have the choice of lunchtime goodies with the the New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band at Stockton, Classic Swing at Cullercoates, Rendezvous Jazz at Monkseaton and, if you were quick off the mark, the now sold out gig by the Tenement Jazz Band at the Lit and Phil.

Thursday, July 20, 2023

Barry Martyn (1941 - 2023)

New Orleans style drummer, bandleader and early jazz historian Barry Martyn has died at the age of 82. Actual date of his death hasn't been made public but I understand the funeral will take place in New Orleans on August 1. DETAILS. Lance

Dave Weisser funeral arrangements.

Jude has released the info re Dave’s funeral which will be at 2:30 pm on Wednesday August 2nd at Saltwell Park Crematorium, Gateshead. Afterwards, all are invited to continue to celebrate his life at the Jazz Coop HQ at the Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle, for the full afternoon and evening. Bring instruments, bring memories, bring yourselves. Family flowers only - donations are invited to the NATIONAL JAZZ ARCHIVE. Lance

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Retro post - On this day (BSH July 19, 2008)

William Bone-Hardy wasn't, as far as I know, a musician and in recent years he didn't get to many concerts or gigs, nevertheless, his enthusiasm for the music of Duke Ellington was on a par with those other two great Ellington devotees - Hughie Aitchison and Brian Fisher - themselves gone to that Cotton Club up there.

Album review: Allan Harris - Live at Blue LLama Jazz Club

Allan Harris (vocals/guitar); Acoiris Sandoval (piano/keys); Irwin Hall (sax/flute); Marty Kenney (bass); Norman Edwards (drums/cajon).

Known stateside as the Jazz Vocal King of New York, Harris has stunned  audiences for over four decades. I can't recall him making a similar impact this side of the pond which, upon listening to this album, seems quite incredible. Harris should be rated alongside  Lambert, Hendricks, Ross, Chet, Murphy, Witherspoon and the other jazz singers who pepper the pages of  jazz vocal literature - Harris is in that league.

The Tenement Jazz Band with Morten Gunnar Larsen @ The Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival - July 18

Charles Dearness (trumpet); Stephen Feast (clarinet, tárogató, tenor sax); Paddy Darley (trombone); John Youngs (banjo, vocals); Rory Clark (sousaphone) with Morten Gunnar Larsen (piano)

This year's Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival is attracting full houses and little wonder given the calibre of musician participating during ten days of non-stop jazz and blues. The Jazz Bar Big Band gig on Monday evening was one of the hotter-than-hot tickets (Bruce Adams the star guest), similarly, early Tuesday evening, an hour before curtain up, they were queuing in George Square to bag a prime seat in the world famous Spiegeltent* to listen to the Tenement Jazz Band with special guest, pianist Morten Gunnar Larsen.

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

The James Birkett Trio @ Blaydon Jazz Club - July 17

(© Roly Veitch)
James Birkett (guitar); Jeremy McMurray (keyboards); Andy Champion (double bass)

The Black Bull on Bridge Street is under new management. A lick of paint, new flooring, hanging baskets, yes, things they are a-changing. One thing that hasn't changed is Blaydon Jazz Club's presentation of top quality jazz. For nigh on four decades musicians from near and far have made their way to the welcoming hostelry overlooking the Tyne. This evening three musicians - one from Tyneside, one from Northumberland and one from the Tees Delta - would entertain a full house.

Monday, July 17, 2023

Jazz on the Tyne – birth of a jazz podcast

Five years ago, I could never have imagined that I would find myself presenting a radio show or podcast, let alone one that’s about to hit 100 (editions, not years!).  As with so many things, it was largely a matter of chance.

At the start of 2019, I was looking for volunteering opportunities, having just self-published a book based on my 13 visits to the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. I had heard about the Volunteer Centre Newcastle and I looked through the extensive list of opportunities on their website. Two in particular caught my eye: one was for a maths tutor; the other was for a presenter on Hive Radio, an internet station operated by Community Arts Project North East (CAPNE). 

Alan Glen remembers Dave Weisser

Really saddened to hear about the demise of my old friend Dave. I've been trying to work out how long I've know him, and I think it must be about 50 years!

He was a natural musician and I doubt very much if he knew what a scale  or a C7th was - he did it all by ear which is a very rare gift indeed. 

Mike Hall Quartet @ the Railway, Stockport - July 16

(© Jeff Pritchard)
Mike Hall (tenor sax); Richard Wetherall (piano); Ben Wilshire (bass); Eryl Roberts (drums)

The last time Mike Hall played at the Railway was on June 18 and he was a replacement for Dean Masser who was unable to make it due to flooding issues. On this occasion he brought along another first rate rhythm section and they were given a great selection of tunes to play including the opener which I was unfamiliar with, Cole Porter’s Everything I Love.

Sunday night @ the Globe: the Gerry Richardson Quartet - July 16

Gerry Richardson (Crumar Mojo); Garry Linsley (alto sax); Rod Sinclair (guitar); Paul Smith (drums)

The Globe was crammed, or to use the current buzzword, rammed. Seats were at a premium and so they should be - this was the real deal.

I've heard the GRQ on many occasions and never been disappointed although I must confess there have been times when familiarity, if not breeding contempt, did convey a degree of complacency.

Not so tonight though, the influx of some new numbers into the set not only rekindled the spark but gave a new lease of life to the tried and the tested. In short, this was the best I'd ever heard them.

Sunday, July 16, 2023

Press release: Tonight @ the Globe - the Gerry Richardson Quartet

The Gerry Richardson Quartet is a dynamic Hammond organ based band exploring the jazz organ genre to the max! Soul, Gospel, Funk, Swing and Samba are all part of the mix. Add to that some kicking original tunes, many written as tributes to the legendary jazz and soul musicians who have inspired Gerry throughout his career and you get an unbeatable format for a great gig.

The band also covers songs by Mose Allison, Donald Fagen, Van Morrison, John Martin, Sting, Gil Scott Heron, Rufus Thomas and Stevie Wonder.

Brian Bennett remembers Dave Weisser

Garden Party at Christ Church, Great Lumley, July 2011. (L to r): Fred Rowe, Dave, Brian Bennett and Fred Thompson.

Back in the 1980s the Mississippi Dreamboats had a weekly gig at the Cumberland Arms in Byker and Dave would often call in and have a sit-in with the band (in spite of me being on banjo, ha ha!). 

In more recent times, the Vieux Carré Jazzmen were performing for a garden party at Christ Church in Great Lumley.  Dave was passing by and heard the band playing - he didn’t have his trumpet with him but he sang a few numbers with the band including All of MeGreat trumpeter, great vocalist and a genuine, lovely man. 

Sadly missed by all his fellow jazz brethren. Rest in peace, Dave. Brian Bennett

R.I.P. Dave Weisser (Oct. 11, 1939 - July 16, 2023)

Sad to receive the news that Dave Weisser passed peacefully away this morning (July 16) after a long battle with Parkinson's disease. 

My memories of Dave go back to when he arrived in England from the USA and worked part time alongside me in J.G.Windows Ltd, Newcastle's premier music shop.

That was just the beginning of the massive influence he had and, indeed, still had until relatively recently on the northeast music scene.

Saturday, July 15, 2023

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

Playlist 16/07/23. (Repeated Tuesday 18/07/23)

Sidney Bechet, Leroy Vinnegar, Shelly Manne.

‘When Winter Turns To Spring’- Winner of the Album of the Year at the 2023 Parliamentary Jazz Awards: Paul Edis and Jo Harrop.

Elaine Delmar.

Requests: Count Basie/Billy Eckstine, John Coltrane, Benny Benack III & Emmet Cohen.

Durham Brass Festival n the Market Place - today (Saturday 15)

A week of sold out shows at the Gala Theatre, brass bands galore performing across County Durham, today (Saturday) the Market Place will be Brass Band Central. Take a look at the line-up! Russell.


Friday, July 14, 2023

Album review: The 14 Jazz Orchestra - Islands

A cracking big band album recorded remotely and sounding as good as, maybe even better than, if they'd all been in the same room. Did all this chicanery begin with lockdown  or did Covid just escalate the practice? I mean why pay a musician to fly down from New York when you can email him/her a chart and get them to blow a few notes into their phone? 

I know I'm oversimplifying things but, nevertheless, if the end justifies the means then so be it (I think).

The 14 Jazz Orchestra is led by composer and arranger Dan Bonsanti  who, along with pianist Mike Levine, arranged several compositions by modern masters in what the blurb describes as 'swinging, contemporary jazz arrangements'. Levine was also responsible for the digital alchemy that produced the end product as well as composing several numbers including the cleverly titled Part of Me.

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