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Bebop Spoken There

Tineke Postma: “ I had a huge crush on him [Sting] when I was a teenager ". Jazzwise, June 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.


16519 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 399 of them this year alone and, so far, 21 this month (June 8).

From This Moment On ...


Wed 12: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 12: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 12: The Tannery Jam Session @ The Tannery, Gilesgate, Hexham. 7:00-9:00pm. Free. A ‘second Wednesday in the month’ jam session.
Wed 12: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

Thu 13: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 13: Indigo Jazz Voices @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:45pm. £5.00. Upstairs.
Thu 13: Musicians Unlimited @ Dorman’s, Middlesbrough. 8:00pm.
Thu 13: Jazz Guys @ Tynedale Beer & Cider Festival, Corbridge. 8:00pm.
Thu 13: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. Ragtime piano. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 13: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm.

Fri 14: Mark Williams Trio @ The Old Library, Auckland Castle, Bishop Auckland. 1:00pm. £8.00.
Fri 14: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 14: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 14: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 14: Strictly Smokin’ Big Band @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. ‘Ella & Ellington’. 7:30pm. £18.00.
Fri 14: Customs House Big Band @ Customs House, South Shields. 7:30pm. Donations (online, min. £3.00.).

Sat 15: Keith Barrett & Andrew Porritt @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 12 noon. Free. A Cullercoats Festival event.
Sat 15: NUJO Jazz Jam @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 7:00pm.
Sat 15: James Birkett & Emma Fisk @ Sunderland Minster. 7:30pm. £15.00., £8.00. (u16s free). ‘The Great American Songbook’. A Bishopwearmouth Choral Society event, conductor David Murray.
Sat 15: Jude Murphy & Dan Stanley @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Sun 16: Jason Isaacs @ Stack, Seaburn SR6 8AA. 1:00-2:45pm. Free.
Sun 16: Paul Skerritt @ Hibou Blanc, Newcastle. 2:00pm.
Sun 16: Gaz Hughes Trio @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. 3:00pm. £10.00.
Sun 16: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 16: Gaz Hughes Trio @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 16: Jazz Jam @ Fabio’s Bar, Saddler St., Durham. 8:00pm. Free. A Durham University Jazz Society event. All welcome.

Mon 17: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.

Tue 18: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Victoria & Albert Inn, Seaton Delaval. 12:30pm. £13.00. ‘Jazz, Sausage ‘n’ Mash’…’with Onion Gravy’!
Tue 18: Jam Session @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free. House trio: Stu Collingwood, Paul Grainger, Tim Johnston.
Tue 18: Libby Goodridge & Ben Davies @ The Lost Wanderer, Leazes Park Road, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £6.00. Triple bill, inc. Goodridge & Davies (jazz).

Saturday, September 30, 2023

A music shop for sale - but not just any old music shop ...

The news that J.G. Windows music store is up for sale due to the owner's retirement has given me a feeling of deep emotion, not least because I spent the last 32 years of my working life there.

I made many friends during that time, both staff and customers, and many of those friendships continue to this day.

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

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


Playlist 01/10/23. (Repeated Tuesday 03/10/23)


Celebrating 8 Goals: Octets: Duke Ellington Octet, The Dizzy Gillespie Octet, Dave Brubeck Octet.

Requests: Barney Kessel, Kenny Burrell, Phil Harris, Trance Map, Bessie Smith, Fats Waller.

Birthday Memories: Art Tatum Lionel Hampton Buddy Rich, Kenny Barron & Dave Holland, Oscar Pettiford.

What’s on in the NE: Emma Fisk's Hot Club du Nord, Dean Stockdale.

Requests: Peggy Lee Quincy Jones, Clare Teal.

More Octets: Milt Jackson Octet.

Seasonal: Anita Wardell.

Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music: The Edith Adamson Carillon – Performance 2 of 3 @ Newcastle Civic Centre. Sept. 29

(© Ken Drew)
Paul Taylor (composer); Jon Bradley (carillonneur)

Following the opening performance of this year's Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music last week, in which the debut recital of a specially commissioned piece by Paul Taylor was played by Jon Bradley on the Civic Centre's  carillon, as noted last week for Part II I arrived in the quadrangle just before kick-off at 3:00pm. 

The weather was much brighter and drier - typical 'spring' weather (such is the British weather this year!) with just a few passing white clouds against an alluring blue sky. I found the five flying swans, an artwork frozen in time above the rectangular lake (pond?).  A moment after 3:00pm two things happened. The bells of the carillon struck up, and a cyclist quickly parked up, dismounted and lay in anticipation of another relaxing hour of unique and spellbinding music unfolding.  

Friday, September 29, 2023

Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music: Zoe Rahman Octet @ Jesmond United Reformed Church, Jesmond - Sept. 28

(© Ken Drew)
Zoe Rahman (piano); Rowland Sutherland (flutes); Camilla George (alto sax); Tori Freestone (tenor, soprano saxes); Mark Armstrong (trumpet); Rosie Turton (trombone); Alec Dankworth (bass); Gene Calderazzo (drums)

The octet featured most of those who had appeared on Colour of Sound album which came out earlier this year, however, Tori Freestone and Camilla George had been called off the bench for the tour. This was not the sort of second team you put out for the League Cup! In fact it was the first gig that featured Camilla George; her and Tori Freestone are the sort of quality players that would grace any team, both having impressive reputations, live and on disc.

(Press release) JPN CONFERENCE 2023

Speakers and artists announced for JAZZ PROMOTION NETWORK CONFERENCE AND SHOWCASES – OCT 31-NOV 2.  B:MUSIC and Birmingham City University.

THE JAZZ PROMOTION NETWORK is proud to announce some of the speakers and showcase and special guest performers for the JPN 2023 CONFERENCE in Birmingham.


Not the Black Swan jam session (Oct. 3)!

The legendary Black Swan jam session won't be happening this coming Tuesday (Oct. 3). Newcastle Arts Centre's first and third Tuesdays in the month jam session has become a fixture on the Tyneside jazz scene. However, due to unforeseen circumstances, next week's session has been cancelled. Thankfully, normal service will be resumed on Tuesday October 17.Join the house trio - Alan Law, Paul Grainger and Mark Robertson - for a 7:30pm start. It's the best free show in town! For the record, the Black Swan jam session is held on the first and third Tuesdays in the month. Russell     

Thursday, September 28, 2023

To each his own

You'll have to excuse me as I'm getting old and senile but this Newcastle Jazz and Improvised Music Festival has me confused. When I was playing with the Storyville Stompers' reserve team a few hundred years ago I thought that jazz was improvised music. Now it seems it isn't. Roll over King Oliver, tell Louis the news. Bix (pseudonym)

Alice Grace Quartet @ King's Hall, Newcastle - Sept. 28

(© Ken Drew)
Alice Grace (vocals); Pawel Jedrzejewski (guitar); Paul Grainger; Abbie Finn (drums)

I'd approached the uni from a different direction and found myself lost. I asked a student as to the whereabouts of King's Hall. He didn't know. I found out it was in the building he'd just left. The future could be in his hands...

However, once inside, all that was forgotten as the Alice Grace Quartet delivered a masterclass of jazz singing/playing to a packed auditorium.

Devil May Care opened up with just voice and percussion for the first chorus before Paul and Pav joined the party. Abbie took a drum solo and the show was well and truly on the road.

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

(Press release): Matthew Halsall - An Ever Changing View

Manchester-based trumpeter, bandleader and composer Matthew Halsall has announced his new studio album An Ever Changing View, an expansive, immaculately conceived project which presents Halsall’s signature blend of jazz, electronica, global and spiritual jazz influences and affirms his status as one of instrumental music’s most vital voices. An Ever Changing View will be released on September 8 on Gondwana Records (the label Halsall founded 15 years ago) ahead of a landmark show at The Royal Albert Hall in London on September 21.

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Album review: Johnny Griffin - Live at Ronnie Scott's

Johnny Griffin (tenor sax); Stan Tracey (piano); Malcolm Cecil (bass); Jackie Dougan (drums)

Another 'find' from the seemingly infinite archives of record companies and private individuals - there's hope for that Buddy Bolden cylinder yet!

The material on this 1964 live set from Ronnie's was recorded by that well known jazz writer, the late Les Tomkins, and subsequently mastered by Casper Sutton-Jones and Darrel Sheiman at Gearbox Records.

Monday, September 25, 2023

Book review: Burgin Mathews - Magic Town. 'How the Birmingham Jazz Tradition Shaped the Sound of America'

New Orleans, Chicago, New York, Kansas City - cities that are well represented in the annuls of jazz history. Los Angeles, Detroit, Philadelphia and other cities also play peripheral roles in the music's spread across America and all are documented to a greater or lesser degree in jazz literature.

Until now, apart from the tune Tuxedo Junction, Birmingham, Alabama has been overlooked as one of  jazz's melting pots.

Of course the whole world is familiar with Birmingham and for all the wrong reasons. Children being killed in church bombings and  harassed by police on a civil rights march. Segregation persisting even after a law had been passed making it illegal. Nat King Cole attacked on stage and so many more acts of racial violence that, even now, make me shudder just reading about them.

Mike Hall Quartet + Jim Collins @ the Railway, Stockport - Sept. 24

(© Jeff Pritchard)
Mike Hall (tenor sax); Richard Weatherall (piano); Ben Wilshire (bass); Eryl Roberts (drums) + Jim Collins (tenor sax - first set only)

I must admit I like watching a two tenor sax workout and that is what the audience were treated to here on Sunday night. Unfortunately, although Jim Collins could only stay for the first set he certainly made a big impact during the time he was here. Jim is no stranger to the Railway having been an important member of bands such as the Freddie Garner Quartet playing most of the reed instruments to a very high standard.

Sunday, September 24, 2023

An Evening with Porritt & Barrett @ Cullercoats Watch House - Sept. 23

Andrew Porritt (double bass); Keith Barrett (guitar) 

This fundraising gig attracted a good number of Cullercoats' folk and some from further afield. Andrew Porritt and Keith Barrett can be seen and heard on the local jazz scene, often 'down the coast', occasionally elsewhere. Billed An evening with Porritt & Barrett: Let Music Engulf Your Senses, the recent pairing of bassist Porritt and guitarist Barrett as a duo set about entertaining the jazz fan and, perhaps, the non-jazz fan. 

The Watch House, now in the care of trustees whose declared aim is to raise significant sums to secure the future of the seafront building, received a shot in the arm with a goodly sum of money deposited in the collection box. Opening with All of Me, Porritt and Barrett did their thing - relaxed, enjoying one another's company, and, importantly, the company of a supportive audience. Across two sets, the tunes were very much of the GASbook variety. East of the Sun (and West of the Moon)Blue Bossa to Blue Monk, an appropriate Autumn LeavesBeautiful Love, no surprises but all the better for it.

Wailing on the West Coast: Conte Candoli & Lou Levy - West Coast Wailers

Conte Candoli (trumpet); Bill Holman (tenor sax); Lou Levy (piano); Leroy Vinnegar (bass); Lawrence Marable (drums)

West coast jazz has, with the passage of time, become somewhat unfairly labelled as bland and, by inference, considered to be inferior to what was happening on America's east coast or, to be more precise, in NYC during the 1950s.

It wasn't a racial thing as has been suggested - musicians such as Wardell Gray, Dexter Gordon, Sonny Criss and Hampton Hawes were active in L.A. jamming and recording with their white counterparts. And it certainly wasn't a musical thing as musicians such as Art Pepper, Gerry Mulligan and the musicians on this album prove.

Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music:The Edith Adamson Carillon – Performance 1 of 3

(© Ken Drew)
Paul Taylor (composer); Jon Bradley (Carillonneur)

A (mostly) photo review of the opening performance of this year's Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music in which the debut recital of a specially commissioned piece by Paul Taylor was played by Jonathan Bradley at the 'keyboard' of the carillon within the lofty heights of the Civic Centre's Carillon Tower, high above the city’s Council Chamber. Given that the performance was aimed at the audience in a public space, with the player hidden inside a tower which is topped by a set of carillon bells,  this is a tricky one to depict!


Saturday, September 23, 2023

Dorman's All Stars @ Dorman's Jazz Club Middlesbrough Sept. 21

Jeremy McMurray (piano); Richie Emmerson (tenor sax); Kevin Eland (trumpet/flugel); Ron Smith (bass); Mark Hawkins (drums).

Due to holiday arrangements this was the second guest band of the month. However, this led to the formation of some of the best jazz musicians who have regularly played here.

An excellent choice of materiel played with great enthusiasm and skill to an appreciative audience with an age range from 16 (James) to 92 (Frank) made for a first class night of jazz.

Starting the night with an impressive version of  the Nat Adderley classic Work Song with full band intro before a fine trumpet solo from Kevin, sax from Richie and piano from Jeremy backed by driving drums and bass from Mark and Ron set the style and the standard for the night.

Album review: Logan Kane - Floor Plans

Logan Kane (upright/electric basses, synth, guitar, comps);David Binney (alto sax); Benjamin Ring (drums) + John Escreet (piano on 4 tks); Paul Cornish (piano on 5 tks); Mark Turner (tenor sax on 2 tks); Jon Hatamya (trombone on 1 tk).

Kane, a 26-year-old Los Angeles bassist, is undoubtedly a young man of great talent irrespective of which instrument. The blurb tells us he has already surpassed all ambition on his instrument of choice. I'm not quite sure what that means. Has he no further ambition? 

Three Tsuru Origami + Paul Edis & Graeme Wilson @ Jesmond United Reformed Church, Newcastle (NFOJAIM) - Sept. 22

(© Ken Drew)
This year's Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music (NFOJIM) opened at three in the afternoon with a 'performance' of Newcastle Civic Centre's Edith Adamson Carillon (Jon Bradley, carillon, Paul Taylor, compositions & recording). Two further performances are scheduled for Friday 29 September and Friday 6 October.  

Three Tsuru Origami: Gabriele Mitelli (trumpet, sopranino, electronics, voice); John Edwards (double bass); Mark Sanders (drums, percussion)

In the evening at Jesmond United Reformed Church, NFOJAIM presented a double bill featuring a debut Tyneside appearance by Gabriele Mitelli working alongside two stalwarts of the British improvised music fraternity, John Edwards and Mark Sanders and the church organ-tenor saxophone duo comprising London based pianist Paul Edis and, from Edinburgh, saxophonist Graeme Wilson.

Jo Harrop, Paul Booth & Paul Edis @ Hampstead Jazz Club - Sept. 21

Jo Harrop (vocals); Paul Booth (tenor sax, soprano sax, flute); Paul Edis (piano)

Hampstead Jazz Club is home-from-home to Jo Harrop. Paul Edis is no stranger to the New End venue, on the other hand, the other Paul, Paul Booth, is rarely seen or heard in the leafy London suburb. Here's a thing, Jo and the two Pauls hail from the Chester-le-Street area in County Durham. It wasn't until all three independently relocated to the south east of England that they would meet up on the London jazz scene. This evening they would, unsurprisingly, play to a full house.

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

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


Playlist 24/09/23. (Repeated Tuesday 26/09/23)


What’s on: SNJO

Autumn:,  Stringspace, Kenny Dorham.

In the NE: Alice Grace, Dulcie May Moreno,

Memories: Wynton Marsalis.

Request: Chris Tyle's Silver Leaf Jazz Band of New Orleans.

Paul Skerritt The Danny Miller Band, Gregory Porter, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Harry Connick Jr. Matt Monro, Bobby Darin.

Requests: Ramsey Lewis Trio, Duke Ellington.

Friday, September 22, 2023

Album review: Masumi Ormandy - Beyond the Sea.

Masumi Ormandy (vocals); Dean Johnson (bass); Tim Horner (drums); Allen Farnham (piano, synth., arrangements) + (collective on various tks)  Sara Caswell (violin); Jody Redhage Ferber (cello); Bria Skonberg (trumpet); John Allred (trombone); Danny Bacher (soprano sax, vocal); Houston Person, Tim Ries (tenor sax); Mino Cinelu (perc.); Chieli Minucci, Paul Meyers (guitar); Anders Bostrom (flute) Roseanna Vitro (vocal).

Japanese vocalist Ormandy moved to New York, via Tokyo and Frisco, to fulfil her dream of becoming a singer studying with Roseanna Vitro who appears on the final track.

Beyond the Sea is Ormandy's second album. She recorded the previous one when she was a mere seventy-seven years old. Now, seven years later (do the maths) the voice is still younger than springtime yet, paradoxically, with a maturity that defies time.

Dean Stockdale Quartet: Celebrating Oscar @ Hampstead Jazz Club - Sept. 20

Dean Stockdale (piano); Tim Williams (guitar); Asaf Tal (double bass); Gaz Hughes (drums)

Dean Stockdale is currently touring his 'Celebrating Oscar' concert set. Sold out dates in Belfast, Dublin and St Ives won standing ovations. Now it was time to hit London. On a rainy night in leafy Hampstead, pianist Stockdale arrived at the Duke of Hamilton in good time to chill out ahead of an eight o'clock start. 

In due course Stockdale's sidemen arrived (all four had driven from St Ives) and, like the top pros they are, set up without any fuss. Stockdale was able to travel without a keyboard - twenty four hours earlier St Ives' piano served him well, this evening the house Kawai was at his disposal. 

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Album review: Mike Davis - The New Wonders

Mike Davis (cornet, vocals); Ricky Alexander (clarinet, alto sax, vocals); Joe McDonough (trombone); Jared Engel (banjo); Dalton Ridenhour (piano); Jay Rattman (bass sax, vocals); Jay Lepley (drums, vocals)

Described as fresh, delightful interpretations of trad jazz gems, this posed a few questions for me such as, how fresh is fresh? 

Plus, bearing in mind the term 'trad' didn't become part of the jazz parlance until the late '50s/early '60s, whereas these gems - and gems they are - were all originally from the 1920s and '30s, where it most likely would have been described as 'hot dance music' as played by, say, the California Ramblers, Red Nichols or Jean Goldkette.

TJ Johnson @ Jamboree, King's Cross - Sept. 20

TJ Johnson (piano, vocals)

When in London, if it's a Wednesday afternoon, St Chad's Place, King's Cross is the place to be. It's three o'clock and a relaxed TJ Johnson ambles onto Jamboree's bijou stage. Piano and vocals, TJ knows how to entertain - engaging his audience, no airs and graces, the kind of bloke you could chat to down at the Dog and Duck.

I Get the Blues When it Rains sang TJ. How apt as the first of the day's rain began to fall. Later in the day Noah's Arc would be pressed into action. June Night - a rare TJ instrumental - mourned the passing of summer, Lonesome Cities (as recorded by Sinatra), I Get a Kick Out of You (a finger-snapping TJ) to BB King's Paying the Cost to be the Boss (TJ smiling as he referenced his ex-wife!). 

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Album review: John Donegan - The Irish Sextet, Light Streams

John Donegan (piano/comp); Michael Buckley (alto/soprano sax, flute); Richie Buckley (tenor sax); Linley Hamilton (trumpet, flugel); Dan Bodwell (bass); John Daly (drums).

Recorded in April at Camden Studios, Dublin, this is probably as good as anything currently being recorded in Ireland. North or south of the border, either side of the Irish Sea, maybe even either side of the Atlantic - it's that good!

Album review: Dennis Lotis - Night and Day

Dennis Lotis (vocals); Stan Butcher (arrangements).

I'd been at the RVI for a routine eye check and, afterwards, as I passed the Oxfam shop, I thought I'd do a spot of 'Spilletting'.

Simon has golden fingers when he is on the case, me never. Nonetheless, I browsed through the vinyl.

The Oxfam gang have their fingers on the pulse when it comes to pricing so, although I was reluctant to fork out £7.99 for a Glenn Miller album I already had and which cost less than that when I bought it in mint condition! I continued browsing and all wasn't entirely lost and, although it was hardly like discovering the BB cylinder, it wasn't too bad spending £1.99 on a Dennis Lotis LP considering that not only was it autographed by  Dennis but was also autographed by Lita Roza.

The Black Swan jam session - Sept. 19

The Black Swan jam session is the one you dare not miss. The familiar faces sat in, it wouldn't be the same without them, but, here's the thing, the coming generation has well and truly arrived. This evening's session would be bookended by two teenage trumpeters and a couple of function band veterans.

At short notice, in the absence of Abbie Finn, the Vice President of the Percussive Arts Society (UK & Ireland) stepped into the breach. The VP is none other than Michael Mather, cue a spontaneous round of applause! The house trio - Stu Collingwood, MC Paul Grainger and VP Mather - got things under way courtesy of Michel Legrand. From here on in the merry-go-round didn't stop all night.

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Album review: Alison Crockett - My Father's Record Collection Vol. 1. Echoes of an Era Redux

Alison Crockett (vocals); Thad Wilson (trumpet); Paul Carr (tenor sax); Todd Williams (piano); Elliot Seppa (bass); Dana Hawkins (drums)

Recorded live at Washington's Blues Alley, Echoes of Era Redux features Crockett recreating songs from Chaka Khan's legendary 1982 album Echoes of Era. This was an album where Chaka dipped her toes into the jazz tub and didn't get scalded. As Alison, who was knocked out by the album says of Chaka, 'She didn't sound like a jazz singer but nor did she sound like a funk singer either. She sounded like herself. That's what I tried to do.' 

I think she does exactly that.

Her other inspiration was her father's record collection which was large and eclectic and Echoes of Era was one that she pulled out at random and the project was born.

(Press release): Quotes from the public hearing to stop the landlord destroying the Leadmill.

April 1st 2022

Dominic Madden:

“Judge us by what we do and our track record”

September 18th 2023

Sheffield Licensing Committee:

“The benefits of the Leadmill go far beyond its presence just as a music venue. Do any of your other venues run this model where they are a community space that provides an asset beyond being a music space to the community?”

Dominic Madden:

"Well Brixton sort of does. Errm there are certain elements which programming which are more you know in terms of we work partner with some community groups and erm so yes I would say yes.” (what groups, why were none mentioned by name?)

Giles Strong Quartet @ Blaydon Jazz Club - Sept. 18

(© Roly Veitch)
Giles Strong (guitar); Pete Tanton (trumpet, flugelhorn); Ian Paterson (double bass); John Bradford (drums)

Giles Strong's recently formed quartet comprises hand-picked, seasoned musicians perfectly at ease interpreting his original charts, not to mention being au fait with a selection of jazz standards. Here at the Black Bull guitarist Strong was joined by Pete Tanton, trumpet and flugelhorn, bassist Ian Paterson and the ubiquitous John Bradford, drums. Blaydon Jazz Club's loyal following duly turned up at the newly refurbished Black Bull, and, for the next couple of hours, hung on to every note - a 'listening audience' if ever there was one.

Monday, September 18, 2023

Sunday night @ the Globe: MSK - Oct. 17

(Publicity shot)
Martin Douglas (drums); Steve Glendinning (guitar); Katy Trigger (elec. bass)

MSK - Who are they I wondered? A gang of platers or welders? No.They turned out to be Martin, Steve, and Katy - aka Douglas, Glendinning and Trigger, the clue is in their first names. A trio, born a few months ago in an Ouseburn rehearsal room, and now fully fledged.

And how they did  fly! Urged on by perfectly matched musical companions, guitarist Steve Glendinning created beautiful flowing lines over the group's attractive and unusual compositions. On other pieces he startled us with the drama and savagery of his playing over darker chord progressions and more jagged rhythms. Steve's ease with the guitar and skill in exploiting its sonic possibilities reminded me of Jeff Beck. The level of melodic invention was staggering and was sustained  throughout the set.

Album review: Audrey Silver - Oklahoma

Audrey Silver (vocals, Native American flute on tk 1); Bruce Barth (piano, arranger); Peter Bernstein (guitar) + Adam Kolker (alto flute, bass clarinet on 3 tks); Kahlil Kwame Bell (perc. on 2 tks); Sarah Zun, Adda Kridler); Kaya Bryla (viola); Maria Jeffers (cello). The string quartet are on 3 tks.

I must confess, Oklahoma isn't my favourite musical - that honour goes to Kiss me Kate. Nevertheless, despite my reservations about the source material this album helps to redress the balance.

Silver's voice is much jazzier than Shirley Jones' or Gloria Graham's in the film and Barth's arrangements, along with his piano solos that occasionally bring Erroll Garner to mind, and Bernstein's impeccable guitar playing take it, musically, as far from Rodgers and Hammerstein's portrait of the 'Sooner State' as is imaginable. Maybe even to Kansas City where, as the song goes, everything is up to date.

Sunday, September 17, 2023

Rico Tomasso with the Derrick Harris Quartet @ Seven Arts, Leeds - Sept. 17

Rico Tomasso (trumpet, flugelhorn, vocals); Derrick Harris (guitar); Andrzej Baranek (piano); Steve Crocker (double bass); Paul Smith (drums)

Rico Tomasso is from round these here parts. As a kid it was his old stomping ground. Graduating from Leeds College of Music he made the move south, bright lights, big city 'n' all that. It had been six years since his last gig in the city. This afternoon he made a welcome return home. The SOLD OUT! notices must have gladdened the heart.  

Choosing to open on flugelhorn rather than his customary trumpet, Rico was in the very best of company: guitarist Derrick Harris (a name familiar to BSH readers thanks to Mike Farmer's regular gig reviews from the Railway in Stockport); the brilliant pianist Andrzej Baranek (often heard working with Gaz Hughes); Steve Crocker (bassist and a key figure working tirelessly on the local jazz scene) and drummer Paul Smith (not to be confused with his namesake up on Teesside).

Album review: Catrin Finch & Aoife Ni Bhriain – Double You

Catrin Finch (harp); Aoife Ni Bhriain (fiddle, violin, hardanger fiddle)

This album is not jazz but BSH couldn't resist reviewing it anyway. What is genre after all, and this CD has lots of apparent improvisation, repeated riffs, all the same chords as other music. But mostly it's just superb music beautifully performed. If the jazz police jammed a banjo into my back and forced a definition of the music, I'd have to admit it was closer to folk and classical.

Album review: Hannah Gill - Everybody Loves a Lover

Hannah Gill (vocals); Danny Jonokuchi (trumpet); Ryan Weisheit (reeds); Sam Chess (trombone); Greg Ruggerio (guitar); Gordon Webster (piano); Tal Ronen (bass); Ben Zweig (drums).

I first heard Hannah Gill when she was part of that phenomenal circus known as Post Modern Jukebox at Sage Gateshead, as it was back then in 2019. That, for me she was the star of a show that had more stars in its ranks than heaven (apologies to MGM for pinching that line!), says a lot.

Russell was also impressed when he heard Hannah on a livestream from NYC during the pandemic and she also showed on a recent album by Danny Jonokuchi.

What a choice selection of songs on this album and not a Summertime among them! Three numbers associated with Doris Day and not a Secret Love among them!

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

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


Playlist 17/09/23. (Repeated Tuesday 17/09/23)


Requests: Ella Fitzgerald, Django Reinhardt.

Seasonal: Billie Holiday, Cannonball Adderley Feat. Miles Davis, Carl Saunders


Big Band: Count Basie, Buddy Rich Big Band.

Request: Kenny Dorham. 1961 - Whistle Stop - 01 - Philly Twist.

Birthday Memories:   Charlie Byrd, Vi Redd.

What’s on in the NE :: Giles Strong Quartet, Paul Edis.

Ragtime Reprise: Dario Ronchi, Dixiecats, Henry Allen.

JATP Ella, Oscar Peterson, Stuff Smith...

Saturday, September 16, 2023

RIP John Marshall (August 28, 1941 - September 16, 2023)

Drummer John Marshall died today (Saturday 16 September). A founding member of Nucleus, Marshall worked with a who's who of the contemporary jazz world. A first stint in the drum chair with Soft Machine in the mid-seventies, concert performances and/or recording sessions with Jack Bruce, Graham Collier, Mike Gibbs, guitarists Allan Holdsworth and John McLaughlin, Dick Morrissey, John Surman, Eberhard Weber and many others, in 2015 Marshall renewed acquaintance with Soft Machine, touring with the band until recently. In 2018 Marshall appeared with Soft Machine at Sage Gateshead.      

John Marshall was 82. Russell

Jeff Barnhart's Hot Five @ Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club - September 16

Jeff Barnhart (piano, vocals); Phil Lucas (trumpet, flugelhorn, vocals); John Hallam (tenor sax, clarinet); Ed Harrison (double bass); Graham Smith (drums) + Neville Dickie (piano), Anne Barnhart (flute)

Twenty four hours earlier the man from Mystic, Connecticut, Jeff Barnhart entertained a full house up the road in Newcastle with a spellbinding solo piano performance. This afternoon at St Augustine's Parish Centre our virtuoso pianist linked up once more with his Hot Five to present two swinging sets for Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club's loyal following. Barnhart's Tyneside engagement offered up a surprise or two and Darlington's jazz fans weren't about to be denied a similar experience.

RIP Charles Gayle (February 28, 1939 - September 7, 2023)

(© George Milburn)
Charles Gayle was a mercurial figure. Abandoning the security of an academic career, Gayle quit his day job and moved to New York. After a decade or so in the Big Apple Gayle opted to live on the streets, busking from one day to the next. The multi-instrumentalist estimated he spent something like fifteen years living a hand to mouth existence. 

By chance, a record company executive heard Gayle playing his tenor sax. Recording sessions followed and Gayle was no longer living as a homeless person.

Friday, September 15, 2023

Three pianos and a flute: Jeff Barnhart @ the Lit & Phil - Sept. 15

(© Patti D)
Jeff Barnhart (piano, vocals) + Neville Dickie, Merlin Roxby (piano); Anne Barnhart (flute, vocal)

I can't recall being in a room that was so full of love for the performers. Not least because of the surprises that were unleashed.

Even Russell was lost for words and that was before it all stomped off. Obviously he had inside information as to the treat we had lying in store.

We soon forgot about the weather outside!

The Lit and Phil crowd were out in force as befitted the appearance of America's foremost classic jazz pianist, Jeff Barnhart.

Album review: Paul Mottram - Seven Ages of Man

Tim Garland (tenor/soprano sax, bass clarinet); Jason Rebello (piano); Jonny Mansfield (vibes); Misha Mullov-Abaddo (bass); Ralph Salmins (drums) + the London Studio Orchestra - John Mills (leader); Paul Mottram (composer).

Inspired by Jacques' soliloquy  in Shakespeare's As You Like it and, despite my fears, the seven movement suite plus two introductory pieces turns out to be rather beautiful. The tranquillity of the orchestral settings brought the Forest of Arden to life maybe even more so than the words of the immortal bard himself. Strong words I know but, back then, Bill didn't have Tim and Jason to hand.

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Jazz on the Tyne previews the Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music 2023

On the latest edition of Jazz on the Tyne, Colin Muirhead will preview the upcoming Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music, in company with the festival’s artistic director and producer, Wesley Stephenson.  The show will feature tunes by Paul Edis & Graeme Wilson, Zoe Rahman, the John Pope Quintet, Alcyona Mick & Tori Freestone, balo, Rie Nakajima, Olivia Moore, the Samuel Blaser Trio, and Zoë Gilby.

You can listen to the show anytime from noon on Saturday Sept.16 by heading to

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

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

(Press release) Sage Gateshead becomes The Glasshouse International Centre for Music

Today this home for live music lovers reveals its new name and brand inspired by the idea that ‘Music lives and grows here’. 

People from across the North East of England shared their experiences of the charity and live music to shape its new identity.

The search for Sage Gateshead’s new name started when it was announced that an arena and conference centre would be built next door and would be called The Sage.


But whilst the region's biggest cultural charity has changed its name and look, its commitment to great live music for everyone remains at its heart. 

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