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Bebop Spoken There

Steve Fishwick: “I can’t get behind the attitude that new is always somehow better than old”. (Jazz Journal, April 15, 2019).

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.


16542 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 422 of them this year alone and, so far, 29 this month (June 17).

From This Moment On ...


Fri 21: Alan Barnes with Dean Stockdale Trio @ The Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. SOLD OUT!
Fri 21: Joe Steels’ Borealis @ The Gala, Durham. 1:00pm. £8.00.
Fri 21: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 21: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 21: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 21: Soznak @ The Bike Garden, Nunsmoor, Newcastle NE4 5NU. 5:00-9:00pm. Free.
Fri 21: Errol Linton + Michael Littlefield & Scott Taylor (King Bees) @ Gosforth Civic Theatre, Newcastle. 7:30pm. £20.00. Blues double bill.
Fri 21: Alan Barnes with the Dean Stockdale Trio @ Seventeen Nineteen, Sunderland. 7:30pm.
Fri 21: Strictly Smokin’ Big Band @ Alnwick Playhouse. 8:00pm. ‘Ella & Ellington’.
Fri 21: Mark Toomey Quartet @ Traveller’s Rest, Darlington. 8:00pm. Opus 4 Jazz Club.

Sat 22: Jason Isaacs @ Stack, Seaburn SR6 8AA. 12:30-2:30pm. Free.
Sat 22: Abbie Finn Trio @ The Vault, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free.
Sat 22: Hejira: Celebrating Joni Mitchell @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 7:30pm (doors). £22.50.
Sat 22: Rockin’ Turner Bros. @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Sun 23: Paul Skerritt @ Hibou Blanc, Newcastle. 2:00pm.
Sun 23: More Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00pm. Free.
Sun 23: Matt Carmichael @ St Mary’s Church, Wooler. 3:00pm. Carmichael (saxophone), Fergus McCreadie (piano), Charlie Stewart (fiddle). ‘Scottish jazz, folk-roots & landscape’ Wooler Arts: Summer Concerts.
Sun 23: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 23: Tweed River Jazz Band @ Barrels Ale House, Berwick. 7:00pm. Free.
Sun 23: Bede Trio @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 23: Leeway @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Sun 23: Jazz Jam @ Fabio’s Bar, Saddler St., Durham. 8:00pm. Free. A Durham University Jazz Society event. All welcome.

Mon 24: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Mon 24: Remy CB @ The Hoppings, Newcastle Town Moor NE2 3NH. 5:00-7:00pm.

Tue 25: Louise Dodds & Elchin Shirinov @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Wed 26: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 26: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 26: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

Thu 27: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 27: Jeremy McMurray & the Pocket Jazz Orchestra @ Arc, Stockton. 8:00pm.
Thu 27: The Joni Project @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Joni Mitchell.
Thu 27: Lindsay Hannon’s Tom Waits for No Man @ Harbour View, Roker, Sunderland. 8:00pm.
Thu 27: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. Ragtime piano. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 27: Loco House Band @ Bar Loco, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free.
Thu 27: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests: Richie Emmerson (tenor sax); Neil Brodie (trumpet); Garry Hadfield (keys); Adrian Beadnell (bass)

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Album review: Youyoun Cho - A Tadd of Fat Birds

Youyoun Cho (guitar/arranger); Brandon Mark (tenor sax); Aron Caceres (bass); Maxwell Filipak (drums).

It's wintry outside but up here in the BSH operational centre (my bedroom) suddenly it's spring!

At last, an album has come along that represents what I envisaged when I first set up this site all  those years ago. 

A Jazzy Christmas is a coming!

It's become something of a tradition. A Jazzy Christmas is an annual treat. Bah humbug! Is that you? If it is, make an exception and book your seats for Paul Edis' all-star Christmas show. Joining the award-winning, Santa hat-wearing, MD and pianist Paul, will be the award-winning Jo Harrop (vocals and Santa hat), Matt Anderson (saxophones and Santa hat), Emma Fisk (violin and Santa hat), Graham Hardy (trumpet, flugelhorn and Santa hat), Jason Holcomb (trombone and Santa hat), Faye Thompson (alto sax, clarinet and Santa hat), Megan Robinson (flute, piccolo and Santa hat), Michael Dunlop (double bass and Santa hat) and Matt MacKellar (drums and Santa hat).

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Pete Tanton's Chet Set @ Newcastle Arts Centre - Nov. 28

 (© Mike Tilley)
Pete Tanton (trumpet, flugelhorn, vocals); Alan Law (keyboards); Mick Shoulder (double bass); John Bradford (drums)

There would be sleet, there would be snow, 'tis the season, but not before the Chet Set. On a freezing midweek evening November's jazz concert at Newcastle Arts Centre attracted an encouragingly large audience. The Black Swan jam sessions are the stuff of legend, such is the popularity of the twice monthly jam night it's not unheard of for a 'one in, one out' policy to be in operation. This evening the adjoining performance space opened its doors to accommodate an expectant audience.

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

(Press release) Kenny Barron garners a GRAMMY nomination.

New York, NY - Renowned jazz pianist Kenny Barron has garnered a GRAMMY® nomination in the Best Jazz Instrumental Album for his recently released solo album The Source (Artwork Records/ [PIAS]). The 66th GRAMMY® Awards will take place on February 4, 2024.

“Being nominated for a GRAMMY® is, of course, a great honor and maybe the thirteenth time will be my lucky charm. But win or not, I will be forever grateful,” Barron shared in a statement.

Social Call - Art Farmer & Gigi Gryce

Whilst Social Call is remembered by most for its lyrical story-line as recorded by Jon Hendricks as well as often being featured by Alice Grace with the Strictly Smokin' Big Band, this instrumental version by composer Gryce and Art Farmer proves that, if the melody is good enough it, can be a song without words.

When I had my first saxophone lesson from the late Jackie Laing,  Gryce, who was born this day in 1927, was one of Jackie's listening suggestions. It was a good suggestion.

Gigi Gryce died  on March 14, 1983. Lance

Monday, November 27, 2023

The Lewis Watson Quartet @ The Globe, Newcastle - Nov. 26

(© Sheila Herrick)
Lewis Watson (tenor sax); Mark Williams (guitar); Andy Champion (double bass); John Bradford (drums)

The Globe's usual cabaret-style arrangement of tables and chairs was augmented by several rows of seats set out close to the stage, a sure sign advance sales had been rather good! The regular faces took their seats, joined by more than a few long-time fans of the evening's star attraction. At a little after eight the quartet tore into Wayne Shorter's Yes and No

(© Pam)
The 'quartet'? The Lewis Watson Quartet, no less! One sensed our tenor saxophonist was in the mood. Glorious playing from the off. Watson's quartet - Mark Williams, guitar, Andy Champion, bass and drummer John Bradford - couldn't be bettered. All four musicians on the same wave length, transport them to London or NYC and they wouldn't be out of place.

(© Pam)
Times Past, Watson's Song for Keith (for Keith Morris), this was Watson in total command. To close an engrossing first set, No Light, No Tunnel (the phrase 'wonky blues' sprung to mind) featured the Main Man and stellar solos from Williams and Champion (Bradford would feature later in the evening). 

Sunday, November 26, 2023

Tonight @ the Globe ...

(© Roly Veitch)
Tonight promises to be one of THE gigs of the year at the Globe - the Lewis Watson Quartet.

I've been a fan of Lewis, or Lew as he was back then, when he emerged from music college as a member of SNECK who played a regular Tuesday night gig at the Corner House which, back then, was the centre of the north east jazz universe.

R.I.P. Steve Voce (1933-2023)

Jazz journalist and writer Steve Voce passed away on Nov. 23 at the age of 89.

Best known for his monthly column in the print version of Jazz Journal his writing provided a breath of fresh air in comparision to many of his contemporaries. He didn't suffer fools gladly, nor any over-pretentiousness in the music he loved.

Like himself, his sense of humour will be sadly missed even by those such as myself only knew him from the written word.

R.I.P. Lance

Saturday, November 25, 2023

Dexter Gordon: The Savoy Sessions

After re-reading Maxine Dexter's biographical/autobiographical book about Dexter Gordon, her eventual, husband, - Sophisticated Giant - I had the understandable urge to listen to the great man again.

However, rather than go for the legendary Blue Note albums which, in truth, I've almost worn out - let's face it, they are the modern jazz equivalent of the Armstrong Hot Fives, the 1940 Ellingtons or the Beethoven Symphonies - so, I went back to his earlier Savoy recordings.

Jazz on the Tyne - What's On & What's New, December 2023

Jazz on the Tyne presents the best in jazz from North East England and beyond. In this edition, I preview upcoming gigs, with tunes by Zoë Gilby, Paul Edis, the Milne Glendinning Band, and the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra. I also showcase new releases by Knats, John Donegan and uroboro, and play music by Shirley Smart & Robert Mitchell, Norma Winstone & Will Bartlett, and James Brady. You can request tunes for future shows, pass on news, or leave feedback by heading to 

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 26/11/23. (Repeated Tuesday 28/11/23)

Birthday Memory: Teddy Wilson/Billie Holiday/Lester Young. 

Check out Nigel Price’s Charity :

Friday, November 24, 2023

Book review: Mezz Mezzrow - Really the Blues (1946)

It’s many years ago since I first read this book but I was recently reminded of it during a discussion around what happens during the final part. I wouldn’t want to give a spoiler, but the book takes an extraordinary turn towards the end, which is explained in an appendix that you may or may not wish to read first. I didn’t and was totally caught unawares, wondering what on earth was going on.

Jazz on the Tyne – What’s On & What’s New, December 2023

In the latest edition of the podcast, presenter Colin Muirhead previews gigs taking place in December, with tunes by Zoë Gilby, Paul Edis, the Milne/Glendinning Band and the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra.  He also showcases new releases by Knats, John Donegan and uroboro, and plays music by Shirley Smart & Robert Mitchell, Norma Winstone & Will Bartlett, and James Brady.

You can listen to the show anytime from noon on Saturday Nov. 25 HERE.

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

Thursday, November 23, 2023

Album review: John Wojciechowski - Swing of the Pendulum

John Wojciechowski (tenor sax/alto flute); Xavier Davis (piano); Clark Sommers (bass); Dana Hall (drums)

The pendulum does indeed swing albeit not without some tender moments particularly when Wojciechowski leaves his tenor on the stand and blows alto flute. He's a star on both horns which is why he is so highly rated in Chicago and it surely can't be long before he is equally acclaimed in Europe and the UK.

His sound on tenor is as big as Dexter Gordon was tall with an angular agility that was common to both men. On flute his tone is round and mellow - a thing of rare beauty.

Film review: Kansas City (1996)

The last time I saw a Robert Altman film was at the Tyneside Cinema, and I think it was pretty good, but I'd forgotten to bring my packed lunch. This is considerably shorter and is quite the best ‘jazz’ film I’ve ever seen: better than 'Round Midnight, better than Bird.

It’s a crime story with all the links and sub-plots interspersed with scenes from a jam session, ostensibly featuring Lester Young, but the actual cast of musicians includes Joshua Redman, Nicholas Payton, David Murray, Geri Allen and others.

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

How I came to interview Darius Brubeck

In the early days of BSH I was very naive so that when the opportunity arrived to do a live interview with Darius Brubeck ahead of the Brubeck brothers concert at, as it was then, Sage Gateshead I jumped in head first.

Firstly, I decided I needed a phone bug. It was raining proverbially, if not literally, cats and dogs - my cat had the sense to stay indoors - whereas I went down the mean streets.

The Symphonic Music of Wayne Shorter @ Royal Festival Hall (EFG LJF 2023) - Nov 19

Philharmonia conducted by Clark Rundell with Ravi Coltrane (saxophone); esperanza spalding (voice); Danilo Pérez (piano); John Patitucci (double bass); Terri Lyne Carrington (drums) 

One of the most daunting and impressive highlights of the 2023 London Jazz festival was this two-hour programme of “symphonic music” by Wayne Shorter, who died in March 2023 while writing and planning this music for a concert that would have celebrated his ninetieth birthday this year.

(Press release): On-song SNJO go for the authentic Ellington sound on tour

(© Derek Clark)

The Scottish National Jazz Orchestra tours a new programme of jazz master Duke Ellington’s music, In an Ellington Mood to Glasgow, St Andrews and Edinburgh from 8th to 10th December.

The music of Ellington and his co-writer, Billy Strayhorn has become one of the SNJO’s specialisms and has earned the ensemble recognition internationally for faithful interpretations such as its enthusiastically received in-concert recording from 2012, In the Spirit of Duke.

In a break from the orchestra’s previous Ellington concerts, this latest celebration of Ellington’s genius will see the orchestra joined for part of each concert by the exceptional young vocalist Lucy-Anne Daniels.

The Black Swan jam session @ Newcastle Arts Centre - Nov. 21

The Black Swan, first and third Tuesday in the month, join the queue. Queuing to get into a jam session?! Yep, such is the interest down on Westgate Road punters are turning up earlier and earlier. Other than the house trio it's anyone's guess who'll turn up. This evening would be an ever-accelerating merry-go-round of experienced heads and keen-as-mustard newbies.

Stu Collingwood, Paul Grainger and Tim Johnston are 'been there, done that' types but they cannot be other than encouraged, if not impressed, by the emerging talent on the Tyneside jazz scene. A couple of numbers to warm up and the floor was open to the first of the sitters-in. The Ruddicks - that's Baghdaddian alto sax wizard Paul Ruddick and trumpeter Shivan (son of P. Ruddick) - led the way. 

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Album review: Lucas Pino - Covers

Lucas Pino (tenor sax); Alex Goodman (guitar); Rick Rosato (bass); Allan Mednard drums)

A debut quartet album by Pino who certainly knows his way around the horn. His technique is such that were his solo on Fred Hersch's Phantom of the Bopera transcribed and included as an anonymous exercise in the advanced section of a saxophone tutor he himself would struggle to play it whereas mere mortals would either sell their saxophones and buy a ukulele or spend the rest of their life practising.

The Finntet @ Blaydon Jazz Club - Nov. 20

 (© Roly Veitch)
Graham Hardy (trumpet, flugelhorn); Harry Keeble (tenor sax); Dean Stockdale (piano); Paul Grainger (double bass); Abbie Finn (drums)

The Finntet is Abbie Finn's hard bop-inspired quintet. Comprising first call musicians - Graham Hardy, Harry Keeble, Dean Stockdale and Paul Grainger - the Finntet hit the ground running with Hank Mobley's This I Dig of You. Blaydon Jazz Club's regulars - and newcomers - certainly dug the band, you dig? Gershwin's They Can't Take That Away from Me, as arranged, rather masterfully, by pianist Dean Stockdale, worked well, as did Finn's original composition Big Old Spice Cabinet. Paul Grainger's Umlazi Morning, first heard as an Abbie Finn Trio number, adapted for the Finntet quintet, followed by Victor Young's Delilah (think Clifford Brown - Max Roach), the set list offered contrast within a hard bop framework.

(Press release): Jazz North seeks northern artists for its live touring support programme, Northern Line

The artist opportunity offers bursaries up to £3000, showcase at manchester jazz festival and dedicated 1:1 support

Northern Line is open for applications until Monday 18th December 

Jazz North, development agency for northern jazz, has been supporting artists to take the next step in their live careers since its inception in 2012 through its programme, Northern Line. 

The scheme is a transformational artist development programme, offering dedicated 1:1 support across an artists’ career alongside a live touring bursary up to £3000.

The Dean Stockdale Quartet: Celebrating Oscar @ The Globe, Newcastle - Nov. 19

(© Sheila Herrick)
Dean Stockdale (piano); Jamie Taylor (guitar); Andy Champion (double bass); Gaz Hughes (drums)

Dean Stockdale's 'Celebrating Oscar' set has been touring the length and breadth of Britain, Ireland, London, Paris and beyond. This evening the quartet returned to the region to play two sets of first class, swinging jazz. Busy gig diaries brought about two changes to the usual line-up - guitarist Jamie Taylor drove up from Sheffield to not only play the gig but meet bandleader Stockdale for the first time (!) and local hero Andy Champion stepped in on bass. As deps go, none finer.

Monday, November 20, 2023

Mark Herdman Quartet @ the Railway, Stockport - Nov. 19

(© Jeff Pritchard)
Mark Herdman (drums); Neil Yates (trumpet/flugel); Reuben Ard (keys); Tom Remon (guitar).

A welcome return to the Railway by Neil Yates who had with him the same London based band that he brought along last time he was here. I remember being impressed by their approach then and they sounded even better tonight with Neil concentrating on playing flugelhorn and getting a great sound from what looked like a vintage instrument. 

Book review: Peter Jones' Nightfly: The Life of Steely Dan’s Donald Fagen

Jazz singer and acclaimed author of bios on Mark Murphy and Jon Hendricks, Peter Jones has scored a hat trick with Nightfly: The Life of Steely Dan’s Donald Fagen. Despite lacking the assistance of his subject, Jones’ 368 page tome is insightful, heavily researched and spares no detail. It picks up the Steely Dan tale post 1994 when Brian Sweeting’s Reelin' in the Years was published. This includes new and valuable coverage of Fagen's solo albums Morph the Cat (2006) and Sunken Condos (2012) which are welcome and important additions to Fagen’s oeuvre.

Sunday, November 19, 2023

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

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

Playlist 19/11/23. (Repeated Tuesday 21/11/23)

Birthday Memory: Ella Fitzgerald (Johnny Mercer).

Request: Woody Herman.

Paul Skerritt.

JRR and the north east of England connection (Nov. 19)

This afternoon's edition of Jazz Record Requests (Radio 3, 4:00pm) includes a listener's request for a track by two stars hailing from this neck of the woods (that's north east England). Who's that?, you ask. That would be telling! To find out who our superstars are, tune in at four o'clock. Russell  

Saturday, November 18, 2023

Charles Lloyd Ocean Trio @ Barbican (EFG London Jazz Festival) - Nov. 17

Inevitably, tonight's gig exemplified the Art of the Trio. Charles Lloyd and the many iterations of his Ocean Trio have accrued a number of albums and concerts that show this master at his best.

(© Ash Knotek)
Opening for him was a contrasting but complementary trio, that of Norway's
Henriette, a more austere but no less engaging tenorist, accompanied by Johan Lindvall on piano and Judith Hamann on cello. Henriette's compositions (mainly drawn this evening from her latest album Drifting) are framed by gentle choral figures from Lindvall - I don't think I've ever heard a piano played so softly - and often playing in unison with Hamann's exquisite cello.

Greg Abate Quartet @ Severn Arts, Chapel Allerton - Nov. 16

(© Jeff Pritchard)
Greg Abate (alto sax/flute); Martin Longhawn (piano); John Marley (bass); Tim Carter (drums).

Due to mobility problems I hadn't managed to attend any of the previous gigs on Greg's 2023 UK tour but this was one that I did not want to miss even though it meant an overnight stay in Leeds and some travel by train, coach, and local bus to reach the venue. I have been to some great concerts at the Seven Arts all organised by the multi-tasking bassist Steve Crocker who is also involved in all sorts of jazz-related activity in this location and others including jam sessions and workshops.

2023 Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Competition

Tomorrow, Sunday Nov. 19, is judgement day for the 2023 Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Competition.

Past winners of the prestigious composition include Samara Joy and Jazzmeia Horn which gives an indication of the quality required to lift this coveted prize.

Album review: The Hamar Concert

Espen Berg (piano).

If not hot then certainly warm on the heels of his first solo piano outing, The Trondheim Concert, which came out in October last year, Berg now releases another album of solo improvisations. Trondheim made it into my personal top two of 2022 and I suspect that The Hamar Concert will finish up near the top of my list this year. Whilst Trondheim had taken 3 years to make it from recording to release, this set took about 370 days as it was recorded around the time that Trondheim was released, though I see from his website that there has been a Nidaros Concert release in between.

Cécile McLorin Salvant @ Queen Elizabeth Hall (EFG LJF 2023) - Nov 15

Cécile McLorin Salvant (voice); Sullivan Fortner (piano); Yasushi Nakamura (bass); Weedie Braimah (percussion); Savannah Harris (drums)

Cécile McLorin Salvant is a storyteller in song with a wide-ranging songbook that gives voice to her appeal as a luminous communicator. The Miami-born American singer is a child of Haitian and French diasporas, and sings with an immaculate bel canto in English, French and even Occitan. A passion for language and a crisp articulation combine with eclectic musical influences and make for a rising reputation in this three-time Grammy-winning singer’s magnetic performances. It was no lesser than Wynton Marsalis who said, "You get a singer like this once in a generation or two.”

Friday, November 17, 2023

Nigel Price Organ Trio @ Jazz at the Lit & Phil - Nov. 17

Nigel Price (guitar);  Peter Johnstone (organ);  Joel Barford (drums).

On the 16th (yesterday), a colleague on this blog  comprehensively reviewed the trio’s Nov 12, sell out, appearance at Queen’s Hall Hexham. They also played yet another sell out gig at the Globe last night. Today’s lunchtime concert at the Lit and Phil had been sold out weeks in advance too.   Nothing really left for me to say except wow! and double wow!

The Nigel Price Organ Trio @ The Globe, Newcastle - Nov. 16

Nigel Price (guitar); Peter Johnstone (organ); Joel Barford (drums)

A full house (including several top class local musicians), an encore. Wow! The Nigel Price Organ Trio almost blew the roof off the place - metaphorically, of course! The trio's new album - That's It, Right There - featured heavily, Nigel Price's compositions more than standing up to comparison with the standard organ trio repertoire. Wet & DryHey, Shirley, Price, Johnstone and Barford were cookin', big time. 

Daniel John Martin with Swing Manouche @ The Old Library, Auckland Castle - Nov. 10

Daniel John Martin (violin, vocals, whistling); Mick Shoulder (guitar); Dave Smith (rhythm guitar); Paul Grainger (double bass)

The Old Library in Auckland Castle is an historic setting - the Land of the Prince Bishops etc - and long before the one o'clock start the room was all but at capacity. Mick Shoulder's Swing Manouche outfit is an attraction in and of its self, add Daniel John Martin to the bill and you've got yourself an unmissable occasion. 'DJM', as Martin is known, opened with I Love You. Brilliant, simply brilliant.

Thursday, November 16, 2023

Cavern Jazz/Pure Jazz Radio update.

This week's show will be broadcast on the week starting Saturday, November 18. It will include recent releases from the likes of Charles Mingus, The Simon Spillett Big Band, Enrico Pieranunzi and guitarists, George Freeman, Dave Stryker and Mike Denny.

Nigel Price Organ Trio @ Queen's Hall, Hexham - Nov. 12

Nigel Price (guitar); Peter Johnstone (organ); Joel Barford (drums)

Nigel Price is midway through an extensive tour of Britain. This Queen's Hall, Hexham concert marked the debut of organist Peter Johnstone, depping at short notice for Ross Stanley. Johnstone met Price and drummer Joel Barford for the first time shortly before they went on stage. A quick run through of some of the material and they were ready to go. How Johnstone, Scottish Jazz Musician of the Year way back in 2010, got his head around the charts is one of the wonders of the jazz world. 

Preview: Tonight! Nigel Price Organ Trio @ the Globe

Up in Scotland, the natives tell me that last night the Nigel Price Organ Trio played a knockout set at Edinburgh's Jazz Bar. A couple of days earlier he did the same at Hexham. This isn't surprising as, earlier this year, they did likewise at the Newcastle Jazz Festival. That was one of the best ever sets I've heard this year and it's going to be repeated tonight at the Globe -  maybe even moved up a gear!

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

The Classic Jazz Party @ The Village Hotel, North Tyneside - Nov. 5 (evening)

The final session of this year's Classic Jazz Party began with the second of two solo piano spots. This being Guy Fawkes it was fitting pianist Andrew Oliver was on hand to set sparks flying in a set comprising a few rarities from Willie 'The Lion' Smith, James P Johnson and others. Our man from Portland, Oregon well and truly lit the blue touch paper and it was over to Jazz Party debutant Jan Kaiser to keep the flame burning in a set directed by Claus Jacobi. Trumpeter Kaiser shared the stage with pianist A .Oliver, Michael McQuaid and Jacobi (reeds), Martin Wheatley (banjo and guitar) and Jazz Party favourite Malcolm Sked playing tuba.

Album review: Ray Gallon, Ron Carter, Lewis Nash - Grand Company

Ray Gallon (piano); Ron Carter (bass); Lewis Nash (drums)

During the pandemic when livestreams were, out of necessity, all the rage Ray Gallon played one at Small's in NYC that Russell raved over HERE. This was the precursor to his first trio recording Make Your Move. That one had David Wong on bass and Kenny Washington on drums. Now, two years later, he makes a second trio album this time with legends Ron Carter and Lewis Nash.

On this recording history was being made before he even struck a note! No Nords, Rolands or any of the other new keyboards on the block but an actual Steinway Model B Grand and, not just any old Model B but the one that featured on so many classic albums recorded in Rudy Van Gelder's New Jersey studio where this album was also recorded.

Press release: Christine Tobin makes overdue return to Scotland

(©David Woodfall)
Award-winning Irish singer Christine Tobin pays her first visit to Scotland in almost ten years when she and her partner, guitarist Phil Robson play duo concerts in Greenock, Linlithgow and Perth from November 30 to  December 2.

One of the most distinctive voices on the European jazz scene and both a strikingly inventive composer and a notably imaginative interpreter of other writers’ work, Tobin comes to Scotland for the first time since 2014, having launched her latest album, Returning Weather at London Jazz Festival this month.

Gair Carson Quartet @ the Railway, Stockport

(© Jeff Pritchard)
Gair Carson (alto/tenor sax/flute/alto flute); Paul Hartley (guitars); Ken Marley (bass); Eryl Roberts (drums).

Gair Carson is a familiar face in saxophone sections throughout the north west having played in numerous big bands and in smaller outfits where his multi instrumental skills have been much in demand. I am always interested in hearing a flute played well and Mr Carson did some nice work on alto flute during a Keith Jarrett tune entitled  Koln Concert Part 2.  

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Album review: Samara Joy - A Joyful Holiday

Well it's that time of year when Santa arrives with a sackful of CDs to get you into the Christmas spirit although, personally, I'd prefer a glass of mulled wine and I'm not that fond of mulled wine.

However, this EP by one of my favourite singers goes someway to dispelling my apathy.

At least for the first four tracks it does! 

The Classic Jazz Party @ The Village Hotel, North Tyneside - Nov. 5 (afternoon)

(© Malcolm Sinclair)
The Charleston, Bob Crosby, Fats Waller, Stuff Smith, Sunday afternoon's schedule at the Classic Jazz Party promised riches and no little variety. The early birds were up and about early queuing to get into the festival's makeshift cinema to secure a seat for Doc Bastide's third and final film presentation. The jazz proper began at noon with Mike Davis leading the charge on The Charleston Chasers - New York Studio Gems. Davis was joined for the occasion by German trumpeter Jan Kaiser, the elegant Alistair Allan (trombone), Michael McQuaid (reeds), the elegant pianist Martin Litton, Spats Langham playing banjo and guitar, CJP favourite Malcolm Sked (tuba and string bass) and drummer Josh Duffee. 

Monday, November 13, 2023

Daniel John Martin @ Claypath Deli, Durham - Nov. 9

Daniel John Martin (violin, vocals, whistling) with Swing Manouche - Mick Shoulder (guitar); Dave Smith (rhythm guitar); Paul Grainger (double bass) + Giles Strong (guitar)

The return of 'DJM', as Daniel John Martin is known, is a cause for celebration. Twenty four hours earlier, DJM joined Mick Shoulder's Swing Manouche for a gig in Barnard Castle, this evening (Thursday) the second of three gigs in the region attracted a select audience to Claypath Deli in Durham. Continental beers (it ain't a real ale emporium), pizzas the size of dustbin lids, a chilled ambience, it had all the makings of a memorable night. 

The Classic Jazz Party @ The Village Hotel, North Tyneside - Nov. 4 (evening)

Saturday evening opened with the first of this year's Piano Professor setsAt the Kawai grand, Morten Gunnar Larsen. Most recently heard at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival as a guest of the all-conquering Tenement Jazz Band, Larsen presented a masterclass in rags, stomps and numbers from the Caribbean and South America. In a brief ceremony, the 2023 Classic Jazz Party Young Talent Award was presented to David Hermlin. Graciously accepting the honour, we would be hearing more from the Berlin based musician later in the evening. 

The Classic Jazz Party @ The Village Hotel, North Tyneside - Nov. 4 (afternoon)

Saturday's programme began earlier than in previous years. Friday's late night jam session didn't deter festival-goers from making an early Saturday morning trip to the 'flicks'. At 10:00am Doc Bastide presented the second of three film screenings and the 'cinema' (actually a small meeting room) was full to capacity to see - and hear - Louis Armstrong on screen.

At noon Martin Wheatley looked at Jack Hylton's output during 1921-23 in a set titled Jack Hylton - the Early Years . Assisted by yet another star-studded line-up, including Jan Kaiser and Torstein Kubban, trumpets, the elegant trombonist Alistair Allan, local heroes Emma Fisk, violin, and Phil Rutherford, tuba.

Phil Nicholas @ the Railway, Stockport - Nov. 12

(© Jeff Pritchard)
Phil Nicholas (trumpet/flugel); Robin Joyner (keys); Ed Harrison (bass); Eryl Roberts (drums).

On previous visits to the Railway Phil Nicholas has usually been featured as part of guitarist Paul Hartley’s quartet but for this Sunday night spot he brought his own rhythm section along and I was pleased to see Robin Joyner who I’ve not seen for a while playing a Nord2 keyboard and getting a great sound on it. Together with the great bassman Ed Harrison and drummer Eryl Roberts they got things cooking from the start with the Jerome Kern classic  All The Things You Are done at a medium tempo. The material covered by this excellent quartet included many well known standards and one tune I don’t recall hearing before Moon Alley written by Tom Harrell. He also played as an encore Mercy, Mercy, Mercy which I can’t remember anyone playing for quite a while, or at least not at this venue.

Beck Hunters with Laura Cole and John Pope – From Wolves To Water

Mick Beck (tenor sax, bassoon, whistles); Laura Cole (piano); Anton Hunter (guitar, effects); Johnny Hunter (drums, percussion); John Pope (double bass).

This is intense and demanding, (and frequently entertaining across its 35½ minutes) stuff. It was recorded at a performance at the Literary & Philosophical Society as part of last year’s Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music.

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