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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.

Postage

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 ...

June

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)

Fri 28: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 28: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 28: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 28: Pete Tanton’s Chet Set @ Warkworth War Memorial Hall. 7:30pm. £10.00.
Fri 28: Paul Edis Trio @ St Cuthbert’s Centre, Crook. 7:30pm.
Fri 28: Ant Law, Alex Hitchcock, Jasper Høiby & Sun-Mi Hong @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm. £15.40., £13.20.

Sat 29: Spat’s Langham’s Hot Fingers @ St Augustine's Parish Centre, Darlington. 12:30pm. Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club.
Sat 29: Vermont Big Band @ Seahorse Pub, Whitley Bay Football Club. 7:30pm. £10.00. (inc. hot buffet).
Sat 29: Papa G’s Troves @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Sun 30: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 30: Ruth Lambert Trio @ The Juke Shed, Union Quay, North Shields. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 30: Jazz Jam Sandwich! @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 7:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Sun 30: Charlotte Keeffe @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. JNE.
Sun 30: Jazz Jam @ Fabio’s Bar, Saddler St., Durham. 8:00pm. Free. A Durham University Jazz Society event. All welcome.

Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Joe Webb Trio @ Le Duc des Lombards, Paris - Jan 25

Joe Webb (piano), Will Sach (contrebasse), Sam Jesson (batterie)

For jazz fans, including myself, the absence of live gigs during the pandemic was a huge miss (though many musicians came up with all kinds of creative ways to fill the gap). Even when restrictions started to ease there was still some reluctance to mingle with groups. During this period there was one gig I was particularly disappointed to miss and that was the world premiere performance by the Joe Webb trio of the music of Art Tatum at the Lit and Phil in Newcastle. 

I regretted it even more when I read the fantastic reviews on BSH.

Art Tatum is a jazz icon for me, taking me back to my youth sitting in my friend’s back room listening to Tiger Rag, Tea for Two and the humour of his 90-second Irish sign-off piece The Kerry Dances and marvelling at how many musical ideas could be put into one short tune.

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Album review: Martin Sjöstedt & Stockholm Jazz Orchestra – Horizon

Martin Sjöstedt (piano); Niklas Fernqvist (bass); Adam Ross (drums); Fredrik Kronkvist, Johan Christoffersson (alto saxophone, flute);  Karl Olandersson, Nils Janson, Magnus Broo, Karl Olandersson (trumpet, flugelhorn); Karl-Martin Almqvist (tenor saxophone, clarinet); Andreas Gidlund (tenor saxophone, clarinet, flute); Fredrik Lindborg (baritone saxophone, bass clarinet); Peter Dahlgren, Karn Hammer, Hannes Junestav (trombone); Anders Viborg (bass trombone);

I do love a modern big band (me). It takes me back to the swing music my father loved, but I love the way that a modern band can take those roots and stride forcefully into the present or even the future. It’s a great pity that last year saw the loss of Carla Bley (who also scored points for coming to Newcastle in the '90s) but we still have the mighty Maria Schneider and others such as Katherine Windfeld to carry the banner forward. I haven’t previously been aware of Sjöstedt in a big band setting before, though I have a Claire Martin album (Believin’ It) which has him and Fernqvist as part of her backing trio.

Monday, January 29, 2024

Kaleidoscope Big Band @ Broken Cross Club , Macclesfield. Part 2 (setlist and line-up) - Jan 26

Phil Shotton (bandleader, soprano sax); Jane Smith, Charlotte Monument (alto sax); Mary Kirkpatrick, Terry Butler (tenor sax); Andy Tyler (baritone sax);Simon Lodge, Simon Greasby, Steve Moore (trombones); Andy Godfrey (bass trombone); Jane Smith, Joe Cockx, Alan Sennett, Phil Young  (trumpets);  Ian Warrington (piano); Graham Fosh (bass); Alan Stander (guitar); Rob Turner (drums); Marilyn Royal (vocals).

Mary Kirkpatrick runs a great music shop in Macclesfield, Margin Music where I buy my reeds .

Simon Lodge you may know from his work with the band Beats and Pieces. Alan Sennett is another musician I have seen frequently over the years and during an end of gig chat he told me he too lives in Macclesfield.

Kaleidoscope Big Band @ Broken Cross Club , Macclesfield - Jan 26

(© Jeff Pritchard)

As I now can no longer drive, I was very fortunate to obtain a ride to this event from my good friend Alan Stander who plays guitar in the band and who I must also thank for giving me some help in naming the musicians, a few I knew but most I’d not seen before. 


A word about the venue. It was very impressive and if I was an architect and had to design the perfect building to hold big band concerts , it would look like this room. There was a long bar with a staff of 3 and the acoustics were first rate, definitely as good as those of my usual jazzspot the Railway Stockport.

Brundibár Arts Festival: jazz from the Warsaw Ghetto @ The Globe - Jan. 26

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

Brundibár is Tyneside's annual showcase of music associated with the Holocaust years. Music composed and or performed before, during and after the period would feature across two sets at an expectant Globe on Railway Street in Newcastle. Trombonist Jason Holcomb researched the material and on the evening adopted the role of MC. In deference to those present with a greater knowledge of the subject, Holcomb would frequently check that his pronunciation of names and place names was somewhere near the mark. 

Sunday, January 28, 2024

Press release: New album reflects home thought from abroad

New Zealand-based Scottish drummer John Rae and his partner in music and business, pianist Ben Wilcock have released a new album, Splendid Isolation on their Thick Records (NZ) label.

Featuring fifteen tracks that reflect their respective histories in melodic jazz, free expression and the blues, the album includes contributions from Scotland and Ireland.  

Dundee-based guitarist Kevin Murray plays on three tracks. Former Black Seeds saxophonist Jabin Ward added his parts from his new home in Cork, with bassist Patrick Bleakley, from Rae's NZ band The Troubles, and saxophonist Daniel Yeabsley joining Rae and Wilcock in New Zealand.

Nicola Farnon Trio: a Perfect Loverly Day @ The Gala, Durham - Jan 26

© Russell)
Nicola Farnon (double bass, vocals); Richard Wetherall (piano); Phil Johnson (drums)

After a break of a couple of months or so, the Gala Theatre's monthly lunchtime concert series resumed with the welcome return of Nicola Farnon. Last heard in Durham pre-pandemic (April 2017) working in a scratch trio with Paul Edis and Russ Morgan, it came as little surprise Ms Farnon would once again play to a full house. 

For this January 2024 engagement, Farnon brought along her established trio of Richard Wetherall and Phil Johnson, pianist Wetherall making the trip across the Pennines, bassist and vocalist Farnon travelling 'up north' with drummer Phil Johnson from their Yorkshire base. Opening with Vernon Duke's Taking a Chance on Love, in an instant Farnon's trio won over the capacity audience. Straight ahead, swinging jazz, just what Dr Jazz ordered to blow away those mid-winter blues. 

Album review: Marshall Gilkes and the WDR Big Band - LifeSongs

LifeSongs is Marshall Gilke's third collaboration as leader with the acclaimed WDR Big Band. The trombonist is no stranger to Germany having spent four years in Cologne working in the ranks of the band. Composer-arranger-conductor-soloist Gilkes reunites once more with his former bandmates to present an album spanning some seventy four minutes. Nine tracks*, seven composed and arranged by Gilkes, alongside All the Pretty Little Horses (traditional) and This Nearly Was Mine (Rodgers and Hammerstein II).

As the album came together Gilkes made the observation: I realized that a lot of the themes for these pieces relate directly to life and what's going on in the world these days. The listener could be forgiven in anticipating a doom-laden exercise. Surprisingly, LifeSongs opens in upbeat fashion with Fresh Start (perhaps referencing a post-lockdown sense of optimism). Gilkes' classy trombone playing sets the tone and for the best part of an hour and a quarter the album bristles with top class ensemble work and a plethora of stunning solo contributions from within the WDR's ranks.

Saturday, January 27, 2024

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

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

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

Playlist 28/01/24. (Repeated Tuesday 30/1/24)

 

Requests Cecil Scott & his Washboard Band, Brubeck plays Brubeck w Dave O’Higgins, Fats Navarro.

Birthday memories: Acker Bilk, Clifford Brown Max Roach, James P Johnson.

Burns Night links: Fergus McCreadie.

New Release: John Rae and Ben Wilcock.

Vintage: Jelly Roll Morton.

Tony Eales' pick of bands you may never have heard of Red Beats.

Birthday Memories: JATP Swing Set - Jo Jones, Ray Brown, Herb Ellis, Oscar Peterson Roy Eldridge Flip Phillips, Illinois Jacquet.

What’s on in the NE: Alan Barnes.

Memories: Tubby Hayes.

New Release: Abbie Finn Trio - Pirates Not Princesses.

Press release: John Garner - Making it up.

I’m delighted to share the first in a series of three performances, each with a different duo partner, exploring improvised music in all its richness. In collaboration with Cobalt Studios, each ‘Making It Up’ evening will kick off with an improvised set, followed by an open discussion between the performers in which the audience are invited (and encouraged) to participate. Through this process, we hope to create an environment in which to consider spontaneous creation from multiple perspectives in a spirit of collective curiosity and challenge. 

Album Review: Mark Winkler – The Rules Don't Apply

Mark Winkler (vocals)+ (collective): John Beasley, Rich Eames, Greg Gordon-Smith, Jamieson Trotter (piano); Gabe Davis, Dan Lutz (bass); Clayton Cameron, Dan Schnell (drums); Kevin Winard (percussion); George Doering, Grant Geissman (guitar); Katisse Buckingham (tenor sax, flute); Danny Janklow (tenor/alto sax, flute); Bob Sheppard (clarinet); Scott Mayo (baritone sax); Errol Rhoden (tuba); Brian Swartz (trumpet); Scott Whitfield (trombone)

Vocalist and songwriter Mark Winkler is a mainstay on the Los Angeles jazz scene with a devoted fan base. He's also a prolific performer and recording artist with 20 previous albums to his name. 'Mark Winkler is an unsung hero of West Coast Jazz' said DownBeat Magazine.

And he's well named, as this album seems to me to be delivered with a musical wink, songs sung with a sense of fun, but serious when needed, and all with a terrific swinging style, and a talent for writing effective lyrics. For instance, on In Love in New York, he tells us that 'even the trash on the sidewalk's sweet'. Winkler's songs have been recorded by many well known singers, including Claire Martin.

Friday, January 26, 2024

Preview: Saltburn Big Band @ St Peter & St Paul's Church, Stokesly - Feb. 9

Ahead of Saltburn Big Band's concert on February 9 we have posted this publicity shot of the band. All we need now are the names. Can someone help? Lance 
 

Thursday, January 25, 2024

Sam Lightwing Quartet @ the Railway, Stockport - Jan. 21

Our man in the north west, Mike Farmer, was grappling with cancelled trains and buses that didn't turn up (been there, got the tee-shirt) and subsequently didn't make it to the Railway for the Sam Lightwing Quartet  (see previous post).

However, his photographer and sidekick Jeff Pritchard did make it and sent the above photo of the band which comprised: Sam Lightwing (tenor sax); Calum Montgomery  (drums); Gavin Barras (bass); Max Rosen (piano) so at least we do have a pictorial record of the gig. Thanks Jeff. Lance

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Paul Hartley Quartet featuring Rod Mason @ the Railway Stockport - Jan. 23

(© Jeff Pritchard)
Paul Hartley (guitar); Rod Mason (saxes); Peter Hartley (bass); Dave Walsh (drums)

After having to abort my usual Sunday journey to Stockport due to the trains not running and the replacement bus not showing up I was pleased that on Tuesday the train was on time and although the wind was at gale force I got to the Railway without getting blown into the street on my 20 minute walk from the station to the pub. It must have been a  hairy drive across the Pennines for Rod Mason but he was the first of the musicians to arrive at around 8:00pm well in advance of the 9:00pm start. Rod is a frequent guest at this venue and always attracts a good turnout but for some reason more people arrived in the second half than the first.

Marlena Shaw (Sept 22, 1941-Jan 19, 2024)


Jazz, soul singer Marlena Shaw passed away last Friday at the age of 81.

Soul fans will relate to her string of  soul classics such as 'California Soul' and 'Woman of the Ghetto' but for Tyneside jazzers of a certain age the memorable moment was her 1968 appearance at the City Hall with the Count Basie Orchestra. 

Sadly missed REST IN PEACE. Lance 

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Sunday night @ the Globe: MGB dep for Liane Carroll - Jan. 21

(© S. Herrick)
Debra Milne and Steve Glendinning pictured vocally duetting during MGB's gig @ the Globe. MGB were depping for Liane Carroll who had to pull out from her sold out gig at the last minute. Fortunately, MGB were on hand to step in at short notice. Lance

Snake Davis, Don Richardson & Alistair Anderson @ Helmsley Arts Centre – Jan. 20

Snake Davis (soprano. tenor sax, flute, penny whistle, vocals); Don Richardson (double bass); Alistair Anderson (English concertina (Northumbrian pipes)

It was the presence of the name Alistair Anderson – renowned Northumbrian Pipe and English Concertina player on a flyer in the Helmsley Arts Centre that attracted my eye. Snake Davis (then unknown to me) also sounded intriguing. 

Snake Davis is a saxophonist and a respected touring artist and session musician. He has had a long collaboration with bassist Don Richardson, also highly respected in his field. Both have musical associations with many of the great and good of both the jazz and rock spheres.

Harrop & Edis in the Big Apple!

Tomorrow (Wednesday 24 JanuaryJo Harrop and Paul Edis are set to take New York City by storm (again!). A successful first appearance last week in the Big Apple followed by a trip to the West Coast to gig in San Francisco, then Los Angeles, our local heroes are returning to NYC, soon to perform at Lincoln Center!!!

Album review: Johnny Hunter Quartet – A Consequence in Three Parts

Mark Hanslip (tenor saxophone); Graham South (trumpet); Seth Bennett (double bass); Johnny Hunter (drums)

Johnny Hunter was the drummer on three of my favourite albums of last year (John Pope’s Citrinitas, From Wolves To Water by Beck Hunters and the Moore, Pope, Hunter album Something Happened) so A Consequence…. was one to look forward to in our house. Unlike the other three albums, Hunter has written all the music for this one. It’s been out since October last year but was languishing in the vaults for over four years since its recording in January 2019 and we’ve all passed a lot of water under various bridges since then.

Monday, January 22, 2024

Matthew Forster Quartet @ the Lit & Phil - Jan. 19

(© Pam)
Matthew Forster (tenor sax); Ben Lawrence (piano); John Pope (double bass); Adam Stapleford  (drums).

The Lit & Phil was the place to be on a cold Friday lunchtime in Newcastle! We were eagerly anticipating  a sold out gig by the Matthew Forster Quartet.

This was a fabulous concert of mainly original compositions with only a couple of standards included to make a diverse and hugely engaging set.

Sunday, January 21, 2024

The Teesside Swingers @ Dorman's Jazz Club Middlesbrough - Jan.18

Jeremy McMurray (piano); Mark Toomey (alto sax); Josh Bentham Tenor/soprano sax); Kevin Eland (trumpet/flugelhorn); Peter Ayton (bass); Mark Robertson (drums).

This aptly named band consisting of some of the best jazz musicians from Teesside and the surrounding area, lived up to their name and really did swing with a well thought out programme of audience pleasers.

Setting the mood of the night with Clifford Brown's Blues Walk, a full band intro. gave a  deep sound before three great front line solos from Mark alto, Kevin trumpet and Josh tenor followed by Jeremy's fine piano work and backing from Mark and Peter on drums and bass respectively, made for an impressive start.

The Latin rhythm for the popular Blue Bossa, played with great effect as a samba, included Josh on soprano sax.

Saturday, January 20, 2024

Jazz on the Tyne – What’s On & What’s New, late January 2024

In his first podcast of the year, presenter Colin Muirhead looks ahead to local gigs featuring Emma Fisk, the Milne Glendinning Band, the Vieux Carré Jazzmen, and Nicola Farnon.  He also showcases new releases by the Abbie Finn Trio, Paul Taylor, Chris Potter, Nikki Iles & the NDR Big Band, and John Rae & Ben Wilcock, as well as paying tribute to Les McCann.

You can listen to the show anytime after midday on Saturday January 20 HERE.

Plus, you can request tunes for future programmes, or pass on news or feedback by emailing Colin at jazz.tyne.hive@gmail.com or by heading to www.jazzonthetyne.org.

Apologies

Apologies for any delay in updating posts and diary due to personal domestic issues. Lance

Friday, January 19, 2024

Sebastian Rochford & Kit Downes @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead - January 18

Sebastian Rochford (drums and compositions); Kit Downes (piano).

“This “short diary (of loss)”, as drummer Sebastian Rochford calls it, is offered as “a sonic memory, created with love, out of need for comfort.”” (ECM Website)

This performance felt like an intrusion on private grief. When I told Seb later that I couldn’t believe he could play this music night after night he replied that it was cathartic.

This is not how most reviews of live jazz begin but here Rochford and Downes presented Rochford’s diary of loss that emerged following the death of his father, Gerard. As he explained at one point during the concert that after the death, he kept hearing music when he didn’t want to, but sitting and playing it on the piano in his father’s house found that it matched what he was feeling at that time.

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

The first jam session of 2024 @ The Black Swan, Newcastle - Jan. 16

Stu Collingwood (piano); Paul Grainger (double bass); Bailey Rudd (drums) + Paul 'Birthday Boy' Gowland (alto sax); Kate O'Neill (vocals); Alex Shipsey (bass guitar); Joe Steels (guitar); Josh Weir (drums); John Rowland (tenor sax); Becky Tuck (vocals); Jacob Egglestone (guitar); Owen Jones (double bass); Eva Fox (vocals); David Gray (trombone, piano, vocals); Katrina Miller (vocals); ? (vocals); Edgar Bell (cornet); Hugh ? (drums); Jamie Watkins (bass guitar); Joe ? (drums); Molly Birmingham (vocals); Remi Coulthard-Boardman (vocals); Conor Emery (trombone); Esther Coombes (clarinet, alto sax)

Overnight Tuesday/Wednesday, Newcastle Airport recorded a temperature of minus 7°. This Tuesday evening Newcastle Arts Centre's basement Black Swan venue couldn't have been far behind, 'cold' isn't the word. Did it deter the regulars? Did it deter a multitude of sitters-in? Nope! They turned out in numbers, many new faces too. 

Suzanne Fonseca Quartet @ the Railway, Stockport - Jan. 14

(© Jeff Pritchard)

Suzanne Fonseca (trombone); Richard Wetherall (piano); Gavin Barras (bass); Danny Ward (drums)

Seemingly our man in Stockport is still offline or in jail. However, his running mate Jeff Pritchard has bailed him out with this pic.

I haven't heard Suzanne* but, going by previous reviews, I think it's about time for her to slide her bones across the Pennines (notice how cleverly I combined slide and bones) and spread her talent around. Lance

*Just discovered this YouTube clip.

Four pivotal moments when jazz in the north east set the pace.

1964: The New Orleans Club moves from its previous premises in Melbourne St. to what is now an Indian restaurant at the top of Forth Banks. It ran for 16 years and was the first jazz club in the UK to have a liquor licence as well as presenting jazz seven nights a week.

1966: Jazz North East is formed and becomes the first grant supported jazz promoting organisation.

1974: The Newcastle Jazz Festival sets the ball rolling for jazz festivals across the country.

2014: The Jazz Coop becomes the UK's first community owned music venue. Based at the Globe it is but a short walk from the former site of the New Orleans Club.

Suggestions welcomed for other north east jazz moments that the rest of the UK jazz fraternity followed ... Lance 

The Abbie Finn Trio: Stotties for Three album launch @ The Soho Pizza Express - Jan. 15

Harry Keeble (tenor sax); Paul Grainger (double bass); Abbie Finn (drums)

Stotties for Three. Northerners get it, indeed consume them, stotties, that is. Southerners, on the other hand, that's another matter. The Abbie Finn Trio arrived on Dean Street in Soho determined to educate, inform and, most importantly, entertain. Would the current cold snap deter some 'southern softies' from venturing out? Would they stay home, opting to watch Coronation Street instead? Your northern correspondent is happy to report the Pizza Express attracted a sizeable crowd, there to to listen to Abbie Finn, Harry Keeble and Paul Grainger. 

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

TJ Johnson @ Cafe Boheme, London - Jan 15

TJ Johnson (piano, vocals)

Little more than a stone's throw from the Spice of Life stands Cafe Boheme. A corner site on Old Compton Street, the place exudes cool. Quite what your correspondent was doing there is anyone's guess! Actually, half an hour after the Gators' gig on Moor Street, none other than pianist TJ Johnson was knocking out tunes at 'Boheme' to an appreciative audience of dyed-in-the-wool jazz fans, cool looking types and even cooler looking staff. 

Double Dynamite updated

Double Dynamite may go down in history as one of Frank Sinatra's lesser films but the plot of this 1951 movie has  a familiar twist at the end. Sinatra plays the part of a bank teller who wins a lot of money on the horses. At the same time there is a discrepancy in his books at the bank and of course he is suspected of embezzlement. However, to cut a long, no longer nonsensical, story short, it turns out his comptometer (adding machine) is faulty... 

Now if the whiz-kids at the post office had seen this film ... Lance 

Gator Dogs Brass Band @ The Spice of Life, London - Jan 15

Louise Balkwill (guitar, vocals); Mike Henry (trumpet); Graham Hughes (trombone, vocals); Tom Briers (sousaphone); Richard Pite (drums)

Arriving at Cambridge Circus before noon, the Spice of Life was already busy, begging the question: What time do they open the doors? Coffees, teas and pints on tables, coats on seats (the latter a familiar practice deployed by 'regulars' at jazz haunts throughout the land), a seat over on the far side of the room appeared to the best/only option.  

Originally billed as the George Simmonds - Louise Balkwill Quintet, the absence of co-leader Simmonds necessitated a shuffling of the pack. Step forward/get out of bed...trombonist Graham Hughes. At half past the hour MC Richard Pite introduced the afternoon's entertainment, the snappily-named Gator Dogs Brass Band.

Monday, January 15, 2024

R.I.P Ted Pearce.

Ted  Pearce, who died recently, was an accomplished pianist, a true gentleman and someone who had a good word for everyone. All who knew him liked him and held him in high esteem.

He played trumpet in the army but later switched to piano with great effect. Ted graced the rhythm section of most of the leading big bands in the Teesside area including Musicians Unlimited, Darlington Big Band, the Alf Hines Band and many others.

Two trombones Rendezvous at Monkseaton this Friday

There’s a slight change in the lineup this Friday at the Monkseaton Arms lunchtime session. Reed man Gavin Lee will be down in Weston super Mare playing at the jazz weekend at Pontins, so there will be a two trombone front line with Herbie Hudson stepping in for the session. Herbie will also be featured on harmonica and vocals too, so it should be a good afternoon. Gordon Solomon.

Roly Veitch recalls his early inspirations: Spencer Davies Group (with Steve Winwood) - Georgia on my mind (1967) - v...


Here’s how I became a jazz lover. I was born in 1946 so my teenage/young adult years were across the ‘swinging sixties’. I had liked The Shadows (learned some of their material on guitar) also Everly Brothers and Buddy Holly. But when the Stones emerged I was drawn to their earthy R&B based early album songs. This led me to the original artists they were influenced by, such as Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley.

Sunday, January 14, 2024

Where are You?

Our regular readers, of which there are hundreds may have noticed a decrease in the number of posts over recent months. This is quite disturbing as, although the site traffic remains high few of those itinerant visitors rarely choose to do other than post the occasional comment.

What  I'm appealing for here is for posts from those jazz fans with something to say about the music, irrespective of style, that we all love. Not just reviews of gigs or albums but about jazz in general and their own involvement whether as a player, a fan or a jazz club organiser.

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

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

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

Playlist 14/01/24. (Repeated Tuesday 16/1/24)

 

Birthday Memory: Kenny Davern.

 

Bridget Metcalfe talks with Noel Robinson of Darlington’s Opus 4:

Miles Davis, Johnny Dankworth, Stan Kenton, Alan Barnes.

 

Requests: Kenny G, Lena Horne.

 

Birthday Memory: Gene Krupa (Benny Goodman)

 

New Release: John Rae and Ben Wilcock.

 

Congratulations to Bill Watson & what’s on in the NE. Sunderland Uni Big Band, Rob McConnell with the Boss Brass, Giles Strong Quartet, Glenn Miller Orchestra.

 

Birthday memories: Kenny Wheeler.

Saturday, January 13, 2024

Press release re cancellation of Liane Carroll gig @ the Globe

We are very sorry to announce that the upcoming Liane Carroll gig at The Globe on January 21st has been postponed, as she has had to pull out for health reasons.  We all wish Lianne a speedy recovery, and  hope to re-schedule her  gig  and  weekend vocal workshop later in the year.

In the meantime, the Globe’s  outstanding jazz  and multi-genre programme continues  - please check out our website  HERE, and  we are pleased to announce that the Milne Glendinning Band  have stepped in  & will be performing  on January 21, tickets available HERE 

Dean Stockdale Trio @ the Railway, Stockport - Jan. 7

 (© Jeff Pritchard)
 Dean Stockdale (keys); Gavin Barras (bass); Gaz Hughes (drums).

Jeff Pritchard kindly sent this picture from last Sunday's session at the Railway in Stockport. As his co-pilot/reviewer Mike Farmer is having computer problems so, on this occasion, we'll have to let the picture paint a 1000 words. Lance

Friday, January 12, 2024

Allen Eager Quartet - This Time The Dream's On Me


One of those 'Lestorian' tenors now long forgotten by all but those of us with long memories (i.e. old timers).

I was fortunate to see him live on a couple of occasions. Once at the North Sea Jazz Festival in the early '80s when he was part of a sextet led by Shelly Manne which also had Curtis Fuller on trombone and Mose Allison on piano. A bizarre combination that worked.

Thursday, January 11, 2024

Album review: Peter Hand - Blue Topaz

Peter Hand (guitar); Eddie Allen (trumpet/flugel); Don Braden (tenor/soprano sax, flute); James Weidman/David Janeway (piano); Harvie S (bass); Steve Johns  (drums) + Houston Person (tenor sax on 2 tks)

A delightful album of originals by Hand alongside  his arrangements of Freddie Hubbard's Little Sunflower, the late night saloon classic One For my Baby and Stevie Wonder's Lately. The latter two feature special guest 89-year-old Houston Person.

Leader Hand solos exquisitely as indeed do the others driven along by Steve Johns.

Allen is another name to reckon with even in NYC, a city that probably has more brass players than Hamelin had rodents. Likewise, Braden is up there on all of his three instruments. Needless to say, Harvie S lays down a solid harmonic foundation as well as chipping in with a few tasty solos. Both pianists impress, Janeway on the Person tracks, Weidman on the others  (apart from Little Sunflower where he sits out).

Album review: Louis Hayes - Exactly Right

Louis Hayes ( drums); Abraham Burton  (tenor sax); David Hazeltine  (piano); Steve Nelson  (vibes); Dezron Douglas  (bass )

Drummer Louis Hayes’ music is full of life and humanity- sometimes light, sometimes dark but always provocative and consistently engaging. Listening to Exactly Right, his latest CD on the Savant label one steps into a living, breathing art form that expresses a musical continuum where past and present are on equal footing.

Born in Detroit in 1937, Hayes, like most aspiring jazzers at the time moved to NYC to launch a career that would include stints with John Coltrane, Horace Silver and a six year membership with the Cannonball Adderly Quintet. He also recorded several albums apiece with Freddie Hubbard and Cedar Walton.

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

The Whale performed by Vertigo and composed by Julian Costello.


Catch Julian Costello at the Globe on Feb. 18 - it promises to be quite something! Lance

Tuesday, January 09, 2024

Hugh untied!

Came across this letter in today's i newspaper. Could this be the Hugh Cochrane who, before he moved on to pastures new, posted many a perceptive review/comment on BSH? This letter has all the characteristic and perceptive humour that was ever prevalent in his jazz writing. And, although, speaking as an inveterate member of the yet to be formed tie preservation society will defend to the death (although not by strangulation) his right to say it. Lance


Monday, January 08, 2024

Sunday night @ the Globe - January 7

(© Sheila Herrick)
Unfortunately, circumstances decreed that I was unable to make it to the Globe last night for what  I'm sure was a beautiful solo guitar recital by local boy, now London based, Jamie McCredie.

The room seemingly was rammed which can be verified by the rows of heads in the photo that Sheila Herrick kindly sent me.  Jamie made a big impression when he lived up here and jazz fans clearly have good memories.

I won't miss his next visit! Lance

Sunday, January 07, 2024

Alan Glen remembers Tony Oxley

I was really saddened to hear that Tony Oxley had died, we were very good friends. In the late 1960s I was working in a club in Doncaster and he used to come in. When we got talking he said to me 'You play good for a person with only one Bill Evans' record.'  All he talked about was Bill Evans. He used to come over to the flat Sue and I had, and he would saturate me with everything Evans had made up to that time. Later, after he became well known, if he was working in the north east he would stay at our place in Low Fell. I could hardly believe it when he told me that Bill Evans had offered him the job and he had declined the offer!

Saturday, January 06, 2024

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

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

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

Playlist 07/01/24. (Repeated Tuesday 09/1/24)

Christmas/ Epiphany: Barbara Dennerlein; Ramsey Lewis Trio, Eartha Kitt.

Requests: Wilbur de Paris, Cannonball Adderley.

Birthday Memory: Lee Ritenour.

Tony Eales’s ‘Bands you may never have heard of’: Resonance Big Band.

Oscar Peterson, Amy Winehouse, Tim Boniface.

Birthday Memories: Milt Jackson/Thelonious Monk, Clifford Brown & Max Roach, Red Allen, The Kenny Clarke & Francy Boland Big Band.

New Release: Abbie Finn Trio.

Peggy Lee Quincy Jones, Miles Davis /Kenny Garrett.

Friday, January 05, 2024

Savoy Ballroom Benny Goodman vs Chick Webb


Well the talk here on Tyneside is all about tomorrow's derby game between Sunderland and Newcastle United. However, back in 1937 another 'derby' took place at the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem.

This was between the bands of the reigning 'King of Swing' Benny Goodman and the local contender Chick Webb.

Goodman could afford all the big names of the time, Harry James, Gene Krupa and, of course, himself.

Webb's team were not as well known and their salaries were much less but, they were playing at the Savoy - their home ground. Sounds familiar? Tune in tomorrow ... Lance

Album review: Geri Allen/Kurt Rosenwinkel - A Lovesome Thing

Geri Allen (piano); Kurt Rosenwinkel (guitar)

This one was released in late November last year but somehow got overlooked during the festivities which is unfortunate as it is quite compulsive listening.

Recorded live in 2012 at the Philharmonie de Paris, it is a beautiful example of two musicians, one sadly no longer with us, in total harmony. Geri, who passed in 2017, displays her prodigious technique effectively but never flamboyantly. The duo are compatible, each one respecting the other without any chordal clashes which are often a potential pitfall when piano and guitar meet.

Thursday, January 04, 2024

Album review: Lawrence Fields - To the Surface

Lawrence Fields (piano); Yasushi Nakamura (bass); Corey Fonville  (drums)

Fields, a native of St Louis, now based in NYC, impresses on this his debut album. His palmarès include stints with, among others, Joe Lovano, Chris Potter, Dave Douglas and Terri Lyne Carrington. He's also been a contender in the Rising Star category in DownBeat's Annual Critics Poll for the past five years

He brings the piano trio format into the present without ignoring the past displaying the dexterity of Peterson and the introspection of Evans as well as his own individual approach. He also composed nine of the ten tunes and there isn't a lemon among them. 

Wednesday, January 03, 2024

Album review: Gerald Cannon - Live at Dizzy's Club: the music of Elvin Jones & McCoy Tyner

Gerald Cannon (bass); Eddie Henderson  (trumpet); Steve Turre  (trombone); Sherman Irby (alto sax); Joe Lovano (tenor sax); Dave Kikoski (piano); Lenny White (drums)

It's only January 3 and already I have a contender for Album of the Year! Judging by the applause from the crowd at that most iconic of NYC venues, Dizzy's Club*, I guess they would also agree.

Dedicated to two legendary jazz giants, Elvin Jones and McCoy Tyner, with whom bassist/leader Cannon played alongside for some 14 years, this is twenty-first century hard bop played by living legends.

Press release: Orchestra of top young talents celebrates 21st anniversary

 (© Derek Clark)

The Tommy Smith Youth Jazz Orchestra completes its twenty-first year with concerts in Lanark and Cumbernauld this month.

A band whose past members include some of the biggest talents in Scottish jazz today, TSYJO has nurtured musicians including Scottish Album of the Year Award 2022 winner and Mercury Music Prize nominee, pianist Fergus McCreadie. 

BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year 2022, bassist Ewan Hastie, and Scottish Jazz Awards 2023 winners, saxophonist Matt Carmichael and trombonist Liam Shortall, who works under the name of corto.alto, are also TSYJO alumni.

Tuesday, January 02, 2024

Les McCann (1935 - Dec. 29, 2023)

Les McCann, one of the funkiest, most soulful, pianists passed away on December 29 at the age of 88.

He had a colourful career recording many albums as described HERE. I particularly liked the albums with Eddie Harris - this was jazz/funk at its finest. YouTube.

May he Rest In Peace. Lance

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