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Bebop Spoken There

Greg Osby: “I have my own style, my own attitude, my own opinions about things. I'm not a follower". DownBeat, February, 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.


16221 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 103 of them this year alone and, so far, 47 this month (Feb. 18).

From This Moment On ...

February 2024

Wed 21: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 21: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 21: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

Thu 22: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 22: Student Performances @ King’s Hall, Newcastle University. 4:00pm. Free. Inc. Remi Coulthard-Boardman (voice).
Thu 22: Crooners @ Darlington Hippodrome. 7:30pm. £30.00., £27.00., £24.00., £18.00.
Thu 22: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Ragtime piano. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 22: Soznak @ The Schooner, South Shore Road, Gateshead. 8:00pm.
Thu 22: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests Kevin Eland (trumpet); Josh Bentham (sax); Garry Hadfield (keys); Ron Smith (bass).

Fri 23: Mark Williams Trio @ The Gala, Durham. 1:00pm. £8.00.
Fri 23: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 23: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 23: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 23: Salty Dog Trio @ The Greenhouse, Tynemouth. 7:00pm. £8.00. (£6.00. adv.).
Fri 23: Crooners @ The Maltings, Berwick upon Tweed. 7:30pm. £30.00., £28.00.
Fri 23: Strictly Smokin' Big Band w Dennis Rollins @ Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.

Sat 24: NUJO Jazz Jam @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 7:00pm (doors). Free (donations). A Newcastle University Jazz Orchestra event, all welcome.
Sat 24: Bradley Creswick’s Western Swingfonia @ Hexham Abbey, Hexham. 7:30pm. £15.00. A fundraiser for Hexham Abbey.
Sat 24: Papa G’s Troves @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Sun 25: Musicians Unlimited @ The Park Inn, Hartlepool. 1:00pm. Free.
Sun 25: More Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:30pm. Free.
Sun 25: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay Metro Station. 2:30pm. Free.
Sun 25: Lindsay Hannon: Tom Waits for No Man + Lee Maddison @ Laurels, Whitley Bay. 4:00pm (3:30pm doors). £11.00., £8.80. inc. bf. SOLD OUT!
Sun 25: Bex Burch + Rachel Musson @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £11.00. Two solo performances. JNE.
Sun 25: Jazz Jam @ Fabio's, Saddler St., Durham. 8:00pm. Free. A Durham University Jazz Society event. All welcome.

Mon 26: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.

Tue 27: Ruth Lambert Quartet @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 8:00pm (7:00pm doors). £12.00., £10.00. (adv.).

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning

This has long been one of my favourite Frank Sinatra tracks and never more so than tonight after what as been an emotional day.

Tomorrow it will be back to the 'day job' of listening to the new jazz releases and getting on with my life but, until then, I'll share my grief with Frank and apologise to him for not being included on the playlist at the Crem. He can, however, rest assured that he will be on mine... Lance 

Monday, February 19, 2024

Info wanted on Max Shaw

Can anyone help out Rachel Cuthbert re her late father Max/Mack Shaw who played bass/bass guitar with Hank Marvin and Bruce Welch and later with the Panama Jazzmen and the Alan Price Set.

He also played with a group led by drummer Pete Chester, son of comedian Charlie Chester, who charted with Ten Swingin' Bottles.

The photo shows him on the far right of that group. Rachel would love it if any of our readers could help out with more photos and memories of her dad. Lance

Andrzej Baranek Quartet @ the Railway, Stockport - Feb. 18

(© Jeff Pritchard)
Andrzej Baranek (keys); Tony Ormisher (guitar); Ed Harrison (bass); Eryl Roberts (drums).

Another great night of hard-driving bebop at the Railway and even before the band had played a note the room was standing room only which was good to see. Andrzej had brought along that fine guitarist Tony Ormisher who I believe is based in Liverpool but it’s a while since I recall seeing him at this venue. He was given plenty of solo space and had no problem playing the ten numbers that Andrzej had selected, a mixture of bop tunes, standards, and some Latin flavoured themes. There was one tune I had not heard before, Beautiful Moons Ago which was a ballad that Andrzej first heard on an album that the great pianist Bennie Green recorded at the Village Vanguard with bassist Christian McBride. This was written by Nat King Cole and recorded by his trio.

Dulcie May Moreno @ The Yamaha Music School, Blyth - Feb. 19

Dulcie May Moreno (vocals); Mark Williams (guitar); Mick Shoulder (double bass); John Bradford (drums)

The Yamaha Music School on Seaforth Street in Blyth is a welcome new addition to the region's thriving music scene. Nine Monday lunchtime concerts (predominately classical) were announced earlier this year, this afternoon's concert presented jazz singer Dulcie May Moreno. A fourth concert in five days - Durham, Newcastle, Hexham and today, Blyth - concluded Moreno's 'up north' tour. A jazz gig in south east Northumberland is a rarity, the Blyth venue an unknown quantity, the good news is an audience turned out!

Sunday, February 18, 2024

Lewis Watson Quartet @ Queen's Hall, Hexham - Feb. 18

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

Where to begin? At the beginning. Queen's Hall sold out. They came from far and wide, begging the question: Why? Answer: Lewis Watson. Over the last couple of years or so tenor saxophonist Lewis Watson has returned to live performance. Wherever he appears it's a full house, most recently in Scarborough. This afternoon, Hexham.

Jazz Time Aycliffe Radio - Sundays 6.30-8.00pm (repeat Tuesdays 8.00-9.30p.m.)

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

Playlist 18/02/24 (repeat Tuesday 20/2/24)

Valentine's continued: Jazz Messengers, Duke Ellington, Frank Sinatra, Count Basie & Carmen McRae, Miles Davis.

Birthday Memories: Art Tatum / Buddy DeFranco.

Black History Month:  Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington & Johnny Hodges, Nina Simone, Thelonious Monk, Charles Mingus, Louis Armstrong/King Oliver.

Tony Eales' Choice: Michael Treni.

What’s On in the NE: The Mark Williams Trio, Strictly Smokin' Big Band.

Bobby Timmons.


Dulcie May Moreno @ The Vault, Hexham - Feb. 17

Dulcie May Moreno (vocals); Mark Williams (guitar); Mick Shoulder (double bass); John Bradford (drums)

Another full house. First Durham, then Newcastle and this evening in Hexham. The Vault is what you might call 'snug', some might say uncomfortably so. An ancient, stone built, former brewhouse standing on Hallgate, long before the down beat all advance purchase ticket holders had taken their seats. The Allendale Brewery's bottled beers are favourites along the Tyne Valley and a first bottle of Black Grouse duly arrived courtesy of the venue's efficient table service. 

You and the Night and the Music opened the first of two sets. The Schwartz/Dietz standard currently finds a place in Dulcie May Moreno's set and her 'Northern Jazz Cats' (Messrs Williams, Shoulder and Bradford) purred nicely. This evening's concert, the third of four northern tour dates, featured a couple of our vocalist's original songs. One of them, Take Me to New York, is proving particularly effective, a 'jazz' song her audience can relate to, either in their dreams or recalling personal memories of the Big Apple and its many jazz greats.

Saturday, February 17, 2024

Album review: Betty Bryant - Lotta Livin'

Betty Bryant (piano, vocals); Robert Kyle (tenor sax, flute, harmonica); Richard Simon (bass); Kenny Elliott (drums); Kleber Jorge (guitar) + Tony Guerrero (trumpet tks 7, 9); Hussain Jiffrey (elec. bass tk 8); Yu "Big Poppa" Ooka (guitar tk 7); Kevin Winard (perc.) 

Bryant is 94 years young and this is her 14th album. Singer, pianist, composer, arranger she's the real deal. 

Back in 1987, a Betty Bryant Day was declared in Kansas  City - a place that, over the years, has never been short of jazz icons and this album provides justification for the honour.

Blues, ballads and originals roll easily from both her tongue and her fingers. Caressing the words, suggesting meanings that maybe even the composers themselves didn't know were there. Part blues, part cabaret but all jazz. Think Lena Horne or Pearl Bailey and you're getting close. Blues to Get Started, an instrumental track, was possibly inspired by her mentor, another Kansas City piano legend, Jay McShann.

The Giles Strong Quartet @ The Old Black Cat Jazz Club, Sunderland - Feb. 16

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

Seventeen Nineteen is at the heart of 'Old Sunderland'. Standing on the south bank of the Wear in Hendon, the recently renovated listed building is home to a wide range of events and this evening saw the launch of the Old Black Cat Jazz Club. The first in a series of monthly concerts featured the Giles Strong Quartet. 

Here at Seventeen Nineteen it was heartening to see a good turn out for this inaugural jazz event. The former Georgian church is an impressive space and the 'chamber jazz' of the Giles Strong Quartet made best use of the acoustics. A virtuoso guitarist, Giles Strong is a firm favourite on the regional jazz scene and beyond. Joining Giles were trumpeter Pete Tanton, bassist Ian Paterson and drummer John Bradford, three of the most empathetic musicians one could wish to hear. 

Friday, February 16, 2024

Dulcie May Moreno @ the Lit & Phil, Newcastle - Feb. 16

(© Pam)
Dulcie May Moreno (vocals); Mark Williams (guitar); Mick Shoulder (double bass); John Bradford (drums)

After last night's gig in Durham, Dulcie's whistle-stop, mini tour of the north east continued with a lunchtime stop off at the Lit & Phil.

As always, the monthly concerts at this historic building (dating back to 1825) were  sold out in advance and those perceptive punters who'd booked early weren't disappointed.

Dulcie's rich tones, her acute sense of pitch and a cute smile captured the eyes and ears of the listeners.

Dulcie May Moreno @ Claypath Deli, Durham - Feb. 15

Dulcie May Moreno (vocals); Mark Williams (guitar); Mick Shoulder (double bass)

Walk half way up Claypath and you'll find Claypath Deli. Locally sourced produce, sourdoughs, real coffee, the small space offers a regular programme of live music. This evening Dulcie May Moreno was in town. Joining Dulcie to play two sets of standards, original compositions and a pop song or two were guitarist Mark Williams and bassist Mick Shoulder.

Originally from Tyneside, Dulcie resides in Kent. From time to time she returns to the region, invariably to play two or three concerts. You and the Night and the Music opened the set, Mark and Mick more than comfortable with the material. It's one of the wonders of a jazz gig that musicians who see one another only occasionally can pick up where they left off, adapting to any given circumstance. Claypath Deli's snug space saw Dulcie and the boys positioned in front of the window. Passers by would cast a glance and walk on by, perhaps wondering who could be singing in their local deli.

Thursday, February 15, 2024

Album review: Corey Weeds - Home Cookin'

Corey Weeds, James Danderfer (tenor sax); Steve Kaldestad (alto sax); Dave Say (baritone sax); Brad Turner, Chris Davis (trumpet); Brian Harding, Jim Hopson (trombone); Chris Gestrin (piano); John Lee (bass); Jesse Cahill (drums). Jill Townsend (MD).

This gem has been in my in-tray since November 2023 and, for some inexplicable reason, never quite made it to the top of the pile. Possibly because some young upstarts sneaked in and jumped the queue.

Well it's finally made it and not a month too soon. Bebop for today, tomorrow and forever more. Eleven of Vancouver's finest blowing on charts by Townsend and Bill Coon.

The Music Auction - Anderson & Garland (Feb. 28)

This epic auction, which takes place just three times a year, is legendary to those in the know. Featuring high-quality musical instruments, rare and collectable vintage vinyl, and unique, one-off pieces of music memorabilia, it's not an auction to be missed!

Highlights of this sale include a rare 1961 Golder Hofner jazz guitar, a Gibson custom shop 355, a Gibson custom Les Paul ‘Gold Top’, a Linn Sondek LP12 turntable, a Muramatsu ST model open-holed flute, and much more.

Preview: The Giles Strong Quartet - The Old Black Cat Jazz Club, Sunderland (Fri. 17)

Tomorrow (Friday 17 February) sees the launch of the Old Black Cat Jazz Club! Wearside could do with a regular session promoting jazz to the Sunderland public and and this is it. Seventeen Nineteen is the place, a beautifully restored Georgian church in Hendon, Sunderland. Why 'Seventeen Nineteen'? you ask. Well, the now listed building opened in 1719, hence the name.

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Album review: Paul Higgs and Pavane - Summer Lullaby

Paul Higgs (trumpet); Natalie Rozario (cello); Chris Ingham (piano); Andy Watson (guitar); Jerome Davies (bass); George Double (drums); Graham Cuttill (percussion)

If you were looking for this in a 'proper' record shop you'd be wondering where to start. Jazz? Classical? Easy Listening?  It could be in any one of those browsers and wouldn't be out of place.

At various times there are suggestions of early Miles, Chris Botti, even Herb Alpert. Higgs' plaintive sound evokes aural images of all three.

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Album review: The Clark Tracey Quintet - Introducing Emily Masser

Clark Tracey (drums, backing vocals); Emily Masser (vocals); Alex Clarke (tenor/alto sax, flute); Graham Harvey (piano, Rhodes); James Owston (bass).

A Bitta Bittadose: Bobby Watson's composition is introduced by a few bars from Owston's bass which, I was lying in bed at the time, threatened to fast forward me to the Land of Nod. This is no criticism of James but it was so dreamily melodic I was moving into a world where happy little bluebirds sing then - KAPOW! Masser and Clarke come in all guns blazing! Masser scatting like as though she'd invented the genre and Clarke in unison before blowing tenor like well, er, like Alex Clarke and that's a whole lot of tenor playing!

Album review: Stella Bass – Look For The Silver Lining

Stella Bass (vocals); Johnny Taylor (piano); Barry Donohue (double bass); Dominic Mullan (drums); also on some tracks Michael Buckley (sax); Ronan Dooney (flugelhorn)

This second album from Irish singer Stella Bass began life during the Covid lockdown. Ms Bass wanted to create something hopeful and positive and the choice of songs reflect that. They include long-time favourites, songs to honour friends whose lives had changed, and songs written both with collaborators and on her own. The album includes jazz standards, songs from musical theatre and a couple of originals, All the Colours of my Love and Still.

Cheltenham Jazz Festival 2024

The line-up of events for this year's Cheltenham Jazz Festival has been announced.

To find out more about the festival which runs from May 1 to May 6 covering a wide variety of genres and venues go HERE. Lance

Monday, February 12, 2024

Preview: The Family Band + Abbie Finn Trio (Bobik's - Sat. 17 Feb.)

Saturday (Feb 17) sees the latest Jazz North East presentation at Bobik's in Jesmond. Tom Rivière's Family Band will join forces with the Abbie Finn Trio to present an enticing double bill of contemporary jazz. The Family Band is no stranger to the region having played pre-pandemic gigs in Durham (at the now demolished TESTT Space) and Newcastle (at the Jazz Café, now Prohibition Bar). Its family members have performed in various other line-ups across County Durham and Tyneside. Tenor saxophonist Riley Stone-Lonergan and trumpeter Kim Macari are powerhouse players well worth catching. The bass and drums pairing of Tom Riviére and the ubiquitous Steve Hanley ensure the quartet is one happy family. 

Munch Manship Quartet @ the Railway, Stockport - Feb. 11

(© Jeff Pritchard)
Munch Manship (flute/tenor sax); Richard Wetherall  (keyboards); Dave Lynane  (bass); Dave Hassell (drums).

Always a sure-fire room filler, Munch started the concert before a packed house with a lively rendition of that much played standard Softly as in a Morning Sunrise. ably assisted by a superb rhythm section of the two Daves plus Richard Wetherall who for this gig brought with him a full-size 88 note Nord Grand keyboard. Most regulars at this venue are used to hearing Richard on the house upright piano but tonight the volume level was up a notch as was the energy vibe.  

(Press release) SNJO concert tour showcases top young Scots

The Scottish National Jazz Orchestra’s Nu-Age Sounds marks a major celebration of Scotland’s vibrantly exciting young jazz scene with performances in Dundee, Glasgow and Edinburgh from Friday 1st to Sunday 3rd March.

Conceived and produced by the orchestra’s artistic director, saxophonist Tommy Smith, the project brings together a cast of trailblazing musicians, each of them multiple award winners, with the internationally acclaimed SNJO and visual producer Dillon Barrie. 

Scottish Album of the Year 2022 winner and Mercury Music Prize nominee, pianist Fergus McCreadie, BBC Young Jazz Musician 2022, bassist Ewan Hastie, singer kitti, saxophonists Helena Kay and Matt Carmichael and trombonists Noushy and Liam Shortall, who has earned acclaim under the name corto.alto, are all contributing new music to the project. Smith has also orchestrated music by his band KARMA, whose debut album won the Album of the Year title at the Scottish Jazz Awards.

Sunday, February 11, 2024

Calvert and the Old Fools @ Dorman's Jazz Club, Middlesbrough - Feb. 8

Sam Calvert (drums); Richie Emmerson (tenor sax); Andrew Meadowcroft (vocals/keys); Tony Wood (double bass).

Going by previous guest band appearances, the audience was fully expecting a night of well played, entertaining, mainly jazz standards and were certainly not disappointed. Andrew's fine vocals featured on all of the numbers striking just the right balance between vocals and instrumental work.

A Foggy Day showed from the start how tight an ensemble they were, Andrew's vocal and fine piano solo, Richie's vibrant sax along with great backing from Tony and Sam set the format for the night.

Saturday, February 10, 2024

Jazz on the Tyne – Valentine’s Special 2024

In this special edition of the podcast, presenter Colin Muirhead plays requests, previews upcoming gigs and highlights new music, with tracks by the Strictly Smokin’ Big Band, Tubby Hayes, Dulcie May Moreno, the Riviera Quartet, Ruth Lambert, Georgia Cécile, Louise Dodds & Elchin Shirinov, Mark Williams, säje feat. Jacob Collier, Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong, Chet Baker, and Frank Sinatra with Quincy Jones & his Orchestra.

You can listen to the show anytime HERE.

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

Jazz Time Aycliffe Radio - Sundays 6.30-8.00pm (repeated Tuesdays 8.00-9.30 p.m.) 

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

Playlist 11/02/24 (repeated Tuesday 13/2/24) 

Racial Justice: Nina Simone.

St. Valentine’s: Chet Baker, Ella Fitzgerald.

Alan Barnes/Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club - requests Mardi Gras: Emmet Cohen w  Evan Christopher, Harry Connick Jr., Wynton Marsalis QuintetPreservation Hall Jazz BandChris Barber.


More Valentines: Jeff Barnhart, John Hallam, Tina May, Anita O'Day, The Jazz Messengers.

Preview: Dulcie May Moreno (The Vault, Hexham)

The Vault in Hexham presents Dulcie May Moreno! On Saturday 17th February, vocalist Dulcie May Moreno makes a welcome return to the intimate stone built cellar venue on Hallgate. Originally from Newcastle, now based in Kent, Dulcie will be in concert with a top notch trio comprising Mark Williams (guitar), Mick Shoulder (double bass) and John Bradford (drums).

Expect two sets of jazz standards, a selection of popular songs, perhaps some Julie London and Chet Baker and one or two original compositions. Doors open at half past seven, book in advance, no admission on the night. Note...ONLY TWELVE TICKETS LEFT! Book now or they'll be gone, gone, gone! Russell  

Friday, February 09, 2024

The Jazz Groove

With so much jazz on the online stations this one is worth checking out. It's currently playing Scott Hamilton with Bucky Pizzarelli - Lost in the Middle of a Kiss.

There's various choices as to your preferred jazz genre but all of them are 'the goods' and it's 24 hours non-stop. I've hit on the 'Dreams' link which may or not send me to sleep but, either way, I won't be complaining! - unless I was missing out on royalties!* LINK. Lance

*A post coming up shortly.

Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club - Feb. 9

Olive Rudd (vocals); Jim McBriarty (alto sax, soprano sax, clarinet, vocals); Alan Marshall (tenor sax, clarinet); Neville Hartley (trombone, vocals); Jeremy McMurray (keyboards); Alan Rudd (double bass); Ian Stocks (drums)

As white horses rushed in, Cullercoats Bay stood deserted, not a mad dog nor an Englishman. The club on the crescent, Cullercoats Crescent Club, offered refuge from the elements. Once inside, the pick of the tables, an order placed at the bar, we were all set for another Friday lunchtime Classic Swing session.

As always, Tommy Moran's Classic Swing got things going. A fine number, the boys in the band did Tommy proud. A Jim McBriarty vocal on Honeysuckle Rose maintained a swinging start to the afternoon. A Neville Hartley feature, I Wish You Love, was rudely interrupted by an urgent announcement from the management: a VW parked right outside a fire exit had just picked up a parking ticket, what's more, thirty seconds later, another vehicle dunched into said VW! The culprit wasn't one of the jazz regulars, perhaps it was someone in the upstairs lounge. Happy days!

Album review: James Hudson - Moonray

James Hudson (vocals); Tom Smith (saxes, bass clarinet, arranger);  Tom Walsh (trumpet, flugel); Joe Hill (piano); Ralph Wyld (vibes); Nick Fitch (guitar); Jack  Tustin (bass); Luke Tomlinson  (drums); Dan Oates, Rosie Judge (violins); Jordan Sian (viola); Susie Blankfield, Bryony Moody (cello)

James Hudson's second album builds on his first album, Tomorrow, which was enthusiastically reviewed on BSH

By his own admission, Hudson admits to being inspired by Marty Paich's arrangements for Mel Tormé as typified by Sing For Your Supper. He also nods towards the sound of the Shearing Quintet, the vibes of  Wyld helping out in that endeavour.

Thursday, February 08, 2024

Tara Minton & John Williamson @ King's Hall, Newcastle University - Feb. 8

Tara Minton (harp & voice); John Williamson (double bass)

Sleet was in the air with snow forecast. It takes more than a cold snap to deter the King's Hall audience. If it's quarter past one on a term time Thursday afternoon they turn out whatever the weather. This afternoon's concert presented the unusual duo combination of harp and double bass.

Australian-born harpist Tara Minton is active on the London jazz scene, likewise Saltburn-born double bass player John Williamson. In a highly accessible programme of seven compositions plus an encore, Minton did the talking, harping and singing. Williamson is capable of speaking but didn't, preferring to concentrate on his bass playing. Dave Holland's Dream of the Elders, with lyrics by Norma Winstone, opened the performance, a performance warmly received by another sizeable crowd in Armstrong Building. 

Hello from the New Century Ragtime Orchestra!

Our next concert will be on Saturday evening,  March 23 at Gosforth Civic Theatre, Regent Farm Road, Newcastle NE3 3HD, another new venue for us, very near to Regent Centre metro and bus station on the Great North Road through Gosforth.

As ever, we'll be featuring Caroline on vocals and we'll be joined by Martin Litton on piano. Martin is an internationally renowned pianist, arranger and bandleader, specialising in all classic jazz styles from ragtime to swing, so he's a perfect fit for us! He's equally effective as a soloist, accompanist or band pianist, as evidenced by his theatre show Swinging at the Cotton Club and in previous years with the Piccadilly Dance Orchestra. And of course the show will be compered once again by our saxophonist extraordinaire, Mr Steve Andrews.

Scott Adair pays tribute to Dave Murphy

Dave moved to Whitley Bay from Birmingham with his mother and father in 1955. We got together in 1956, as he played piano and had a double bass, and we both loved the same style of modern jazz. We managed to practice in Dave’s church hall every Sunday with Dave on piano, myself on drums, Sam Padmore playing Dave’s bass and, would you believe? John McLaughlin on guitar. We were all 14, 15 and 16 yrs old respectively and all still at school in Whitley Bay. As time went on John went off to London then to America to become a world-famous guitar player and Sam went off to university.

Musicians’ Company Jazz Tina May Young Jazz Musician of the Year Competi...

The future is in safe hands and I personally would find it impossible to pick a winner.* By comparision backing the winner of the Grand National would be easier! 

The video was shared with me by Maurice J. Summerfield a liveryman of the Musicians Company in the City of London for around 25 years. Maurice was Master of the Company in 2009/2010. 

Tina was an active member of the company and would have been a new Master for one year if she had not died so young.

Only fitting that the annual competition was renamed in her memory. Lance

*Who won? You'll have to wait until the end to find out and no fast-forwarding. That's cheating and you'll have missed out  on some  great music.

Wednesday, February 07, 2024

The Easily Confused Black Swan jam session @ Newcastle Arts Centre - Feb. 6

Alan Law (piano); Paul Grainger (double bass, drums); Abbie Finn (drums) + Harry Keeble (tenor sax, piano); Shivan Ruddick (trumpet); Paul Ruddick (alto sax); Ian Drever (vocals); Alec Gamble (guitar); Alex Shipsey (bass guitar, drums); John Rowland (tenor sax); Miriam McCormick (vocals); James Palmer (trumpet); Johannes Dalhuitsen (bass clarinet, tenor sax); Owen Jones (double bass); Kate O'Neill (vocals); Lily ? (vocals);  David Gray (trombone, vocals); Edgar Bell (trumpet); Esther Coombes (clarinet, alto sax); Eva Fox (vocals) 

A typical Black Swan jam session sees the house trio playing a few tunes to warm up before the first of many sitters-in get up to do their thing. This evening there was the temptation to describe the occasion as 'the the easily confused jam session'! If you took your eye off the ball for a moment (ie went to the bar, wc etc.) you could be forgiven for not knowing who came off the bench for who, particularly as more than one musician opted to play an instrument other than their usual instrument of choice.    

Ed Kainyek Quartet @ the Railway, Stockport - Feb. 6

(© Jeff Pritchard)
Ed Kainyek (sop/tenor sax); Liam Butler-Webb (keys); Gavin Barras (bass guitar); Tim Franks (drums).

It’s always good to see new musicians at the Railway and I was pleased to learn that the man behind the Yamaha keyboard was from a place I'd recently returned from, Melbourne, Australia. Liam told me he met Ed at one of the monthly jam sessions at Matt and Phred's in Manchester and Ed needed a last-minute replacement for the expected player.  We had an interesting chat before the show about the Melbourne jazz scene and learnt that his favourite jazz spot there is the Paris Cat, a place I never got to visit.

Tuesday, February 06, 2024

Press release: Sheffield Jazz – a brief history over 50 years

Sheffield Jazz first started as Hurlfield Jazz, founded by Fred Brown of Hurlfield Community School with a group of local musicians and a grant from Yorkshire Arts. They booked regular working bands and visiting US musicians touring with UK rhythm sections, including Ronnie Scott, Don Rendell, Sam Rivers, Dexter Gordon, Carla Bley and Barney Kessel. At this time The Arts Council subsidised tours for larger ensembles which would otherwise have been uneconomic. A Jazz Development Officer for the North made it feasible to run a Jazz Festival in Sheffield, which ran for 5 years, initially at The Crucible then at the recently opened Leadmill. Featured bands included Art Ensemble of Chicago, Loose Tubes, John Scofield, Jan Garbarek, Johnny Griffin and Archie Shepp,

Preview: The Black Swan jam session (Tuesday)

Tonight (Tuesday 6th) it's the Black Swan jam session! Newcastle Arts Centre's basement venue is once again likely to be very busy. This evening's house trio comprises pianist Alan Law, jam session MC, bassist Paul Grainger and star drummer Abbie Finn. As a trio gig it would more than worthwhile getting along, add the key ingredient of any jam session, the sitter-in, and it's got the makings of yet another memorable night.   

It's anyone's guess who'll turn up - big hitters, first timers - that's the beauty of it. If you're yet to get down to the Westgate Road jam session, here's a top tip...arrive early for a seven thirty start. Russell  

Ruth Lambert Trio @ the Great Hall, Sutherland Building, Northumbria University - Feb. 6

Ruth Lambert (vocals); Alan Law (piano); Paul Grainger (double bass)

The Great Hall in Sutherland Building, Northumbria University. You've never heard of it, you're not the only one! This afternoon in the 'Great Hall' Ruth Lambert gave a masterclass in the art of jazz singing. A lunchtime engagement of forty minutes, no more, Lambert was accompanied by pianist Alan Law and bassist Paul Grainger.

Monday, February 05, 2024

Conor Emery and His 'Bones Band @ The Globe, Newcastle - Feb. 4

Conor Emery (bass trombone); David Gray (trombone); Alex Utting (trombone);  Kieran Parnaby (trombone); Alix Shepherd (piano); George Griffith (bass); Jack Littlewood (drums)

Newcastle University student Conor Emery assembled a fine four-strong trombone frontline to play a debut gig at the Globe. Would anyone turn up? You bet! As bass trombonist Conor took to the stage the Newcastle Jazz Co-op's premises were stretched to capacity and beyond. Conor, bass trombone, stood alongside David Gray, Kieran Parnaby and Alex Utting. Now there's a 'bone section and a half! 

Swing Manouche play Django Reinhardt @ Central Bar, Gateshead - Feb. 4

Jim McBriarty (clarinet); Mick Shoulder (guitar); Dave Smith (guitar); Paul Grainger (double bass)

We were in a cellar bar just off the Seine, smoke from Gauloises hanging heavily in the air. The big attraction? Django Reinhardt. Sold out a couple of weeks ago, the best option was to arrive early to secure one of a handful of on-the-door tickets. Non! Non! We were, of course, in Le Gatesheed (that's 'heed'!). Central Bar's monthly Sunday afternoon jazz session is on a roll with one sold out concert after another. The spirit of Django was most definitely in the air. Djangologists Swing Manouche chose to commemorate Django, whose birth date is 23rd January, by taking a look at the activities of the legendary guitarist during the late 1930s/early '40s, the wartime years without the London-exiled Stéphane Grappelli.

You've got to have an ology...

Jazz has never been short of an 'ology' or two. Over the years we've had:

Bix Beiderbecke's Bixology (In a Mist)
Bud Freeman's Craze-o-logy
Tommy Dorsey's Trombonology
Django's Djangology
Charlie Parker's  Ornithology and Anthropology
The National Youth Jazz Orchestra's Gynaecology.Was this the 'Rebirth of the Cool?' Lance

Alan Barnes with Swing Manouche @ Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club - Feb. 3

Alan Barnes (clarinet, alto sax, baritone sax); Mick Shoulder (guitar); Dave Smith (guitar); Paul Grainger (double bass)

A little more than twelve hours after his annual gig at a full house Opus 4 Jazz Club, Alan Barnes arrived at St Augustine's Parish Centre to make a first ever Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club appearance. As the crow flies, the two venues - Traveller's Rest, West Auckland Road and St Augustine's on Larchfield Street - are, perhaps, not much more than a mile apart. The jazz on offer was a different matter altogether. Friday evening in the company of the Dean Stockdale Trio it was mainstream-to-bop, this Saturday afternoon session with Swing Manouche would take a more leisurely stroll through the early years of the music. 

Press release: Soulful sax and trumpet player wanted

We’re a newly-formed Soul band.

We have our first gig booked for 16th of March. We're a group of experienced and talented musicians 39 -70 who are desperately seeking a trumpeter and a sax player to provide tight horn parts in songs such as Superstition and I Wish, Soul Man, Uptown Funk, Rescue Me, Mustang Sally etc. 

We're intending to play 1-2 gigs per month once up and running (some of us are in other bands) and we rehearse at The Forum in Darlo, usually on a Wednesday 12.00-2.30pm.

We would love to hear from anyone interested. My phone number is 07704 507611.
Many thanks. Lin

Sunday, February 04, 2024

R.I.P. Dave Murphy

Scott Adair has sent me the sad news that north east bass legend Dave Murphy passed away on January 29. The funeral will be on Tuesday February 27, 10:30am at Whitley Bay Crematorium. 

In the photo Dave is on bass, Scott is on drums and the great Eddie Thompson on  piano.  The photo was taken at what was then the  Opus 3 Club in Darlington.

Scott is preparing an obituary of Dave which will be posted later. Lance

Alan Barnes with the Dean Stockdale Trio @ Opus 4 Jazz Club - Feb. 2

Alan Barnes (alto sax, baritone sax, clarinet); Dean Stockdale (piano); Mick Shoulder (double bass); Abbie Finn (drums)

It's an annual occasion. When Alan Barnes is in town, up go the 'house full' signs. The Traveller's Rest is your typical roadhouse pub upstairs room, the publican content to leave it to the promoter to get on with an admission-at-the door arrangement. If Opus 4 Jazz Club had opted to sell tickets in advance they would have been snapped up weeks before Mr B renewed acquaintance with the Dean Stockdale Trio and his sizeable Darlington audience.

Saturday, February 03, 2024

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

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

Playlist 04/02/24. (Repeated Tuesday 06/2/24)

Request: Jo Ann Kelly.

Requests from the Durham Gala gig with Nicola Farnon:  Nicola Farnon, Miles Davis, Thad Jones/Mel Lewis, Ella/Count Basie, Nicola Farnon.

Requests:: Herbie Hancock, MJQ.

(Suggestions from Francis Spufford’s latest novel) King Oliver/Louis Armstrong.

Birthday Memories:: Stan Getz, Sonny Stitt.

Tony Eales Bands we may never have heard of: High Brass.

Ramsey Lewis.


Friday, February 02, 2024

Album review: Abbie Finn Trio - Stotties for Three

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

Stotties for Three received a fanfare launch at Soho's Pizza Express. Southerners were present (many of them), a smattering of northerners, too. Stotties for three were on the menu (ie all eight tracks from the Abbie Finn Trio's new album). The album's compositions, all of which were recorded last year at Blank Studios in Newcastle, are by bandleader Finn.

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