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Bebop Spoken There

Raymond Chandler: “ I was walking the floor and listening to Khatchaturian working in a tractor factory. He called it a violin concerto. I called it a loose fan belt and the hell with it ". The Long Goodbye, Penguin 1959.

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.


16350 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 230 of them this year alone and, so far, 27 this month (April 11).

From This Moment On ...


Fri 19: Cia Tomasso @ The Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. ‘Cia Tomasso sings Billie Holiday’. SOLD OUT!
Fri 19: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 19: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 19: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 19: Tweed River Jazz Band @ The Radio Rooms, Berwick. 7:00pm (doors). £5.00.
Fri 19: Lindsay Hannon: Tom Waits for No Man @ Seventeen Nineteen, Hendon, Sunderland. 7:30pm.
Fri 19: Levitation Orchestra + Nauta @ Cluny 2, Newcastle. 7:30pm (doors). £11.00.
Fri 19: Strictly Smokin’ Big Band @ The Witham, Barnard Castle. 8:00pm. ‘Ella & Ellington’.

Sat 20: Record Store Day…at a store near you!
Sat 20: Bright Street Band @ Washington Arts Centre. 6:30pm. Swing dance taster session (6:30pm) followed by Bright Street Big Band (7:30pm). £12.00.
Sat 20: Michael Woods @ Victoria Tunnel, Ouseburn, Newcastle. 7:00pm. Acoustic blues.
Sat 20: Rendezvous Jazz @ St Andrew’s Church, Monkseaton. 7:30pm. £10.00. (inc. a drink on arrival).

Sun 21: Jamie Toms Quartet @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. 3:00pm.
Sun 21: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay Metro Station. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 21: Lindsay Hannon: Tom Waits for No Man @ Holy Grale, Durham. 5:00pm.
Sun 21: The Jazz Defenders @ Cluny 2. Doors 6:00pm. £15.00.
Sun 21: Edgar Rubenis @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 7:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig. Blues & ragtime guitar.
Sun 21: Tweed River Jazz Band @ Barrels Ale House, Berwick. 7:00pm. Free.
Sun 21: Art Themen with the Dean Stockdale Trio @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £10.00. +bf. JNE. SOLD OUT!

Mon 22: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.

Tue 23: Vieux Carre Hot 4 @ Victoria & Albert Inn, Seaton Delaval. 12:30-3:30pm. £12.00. ‘St George’s Day Afternoon Tea’. Gig with ‘Lashings of Victoria Sponge Cake, along with sandwiches & scones’.
Tue 23: Jalen Ngonda @ Newcastle University Students’ Union. POSTPONED!

Wed 24: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 24: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 24: Sinatra: Raw @ Darlington Hippodrome. 7:30pm. Richard Shelton.
Wed 24: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.
Wed 24: Death Trap @ Theatre Royal, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Rambert Dance Co. Two pieces inc. Goat (inspired by the music of Nina Simone) with on-stage musicians.

Thu 25: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 25: Jim Jams @ King’s Hall, Newcastle University. 1:15pm. Jim Jams’ funk collective.
Thu 25: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library, Gateshead. 2:30pm.
Thu 25: Death Trap @ Theatre Royal, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Rambert Dance Co. Two pieces inc. Goat (inspired by the music of Nina Simone) with on-stage musicians.
Thu 25: Jeremy McMurray & the Pocket Jazz Orchestra @ Arc, Stockton. 8:00pm.
Thu 25: Kate O’Neill, Alan Law & Paul Grainger @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 25: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests: Richie Emmerson (tenor sax); Neil Brodie (trumpet); Adrian Beadnell (bass); Garry Hadfield (keys).

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Anita Wardell fundraiser following stroke.

Singer Anita Wardell, 62, has suffered a devastating stroke and a fundraiser has been set up HERE.

As one who knows, following the recent loss of my wife, how life-changing a stroke can be I urge those who have loved her singing and her teaching to rally round via the above link.

The photo is from 2016 when Anita hosted a vocal course at the Globe with an excellent concert in the evening. The band that evening were: Anita Wardell (vocals); Robin Aspland (piano); Paul Grainger (bass); Tristan Maillot (drums)

Please show your support for this much loved singer. Lance

This weeks Late Night Chicago Radio with Denny Farrell (Thursday April 18 - Wednesday April 24).

Jonah Jones - Tin Roof Blues.
Don Elliott - Imagination.
Sam Cooke - Lookin' For my Baby.
JATP - Will You Still be Mine?
Diana Ross - I Can't Get Started.
Gerry Mulligan/Monk - Sweet and Lovely.
Tito Puente - Oye Cómo Va.
Louis Bellson - The Hawk Talks.
Buddy DeFranco/Terry Gibbs - Serenade in Blue.
Rosemary Clooney/Duke Ellington - It Don't Mean a Thing.
Harry Carney  - Frustration.

What do you do during the day Mr Farlow?

Jazz musicians lead lives so busy that they find it difficult to do anything other than practice, compose, arrange, travel, perform, travel and then start all over again. This leaves little time for any diversions from their dedication to the art.

Nevertheless, there have been some who have used their creative talents in different ways either before, after or concurrent with their musical activities. Here are a few:

Press release: PX Records celebrate first anniversary

The tables have turned on traditional first anniversary gifts, with PizzaExpress choosing to mark the one-year milestone of their successful record label, PX Records, with vinyl – launching record stores in three London locations. 

PizzaExpress Live (PizzaExpress’ live music venues) have always been known for bringing music fans closer to the artists they love – and last year, the brand took that one step further, launching its own record label, live recording the performances and distributing them via PX Records. In celebration of its first anniversary, the label is launching its own record stores located within the brand’s live music venues in Soho, Holborn and Chelsea. 


Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Album review: Osian Roberts - Bop Viveur (Hard Bop Records)

Osian Roberts (tenor sax); Rob Barron (piano); Jeremy Brown (bass); Matt Fishwick (drums)

The album title and the record label give the game away. It does everything it says on tin and more - much more.

Thad Jones' Zec sets off at a rollicking tempo and doesn't falter. The sound of Rollins, the drive of Dexter and the speed of Johnny Griffin heading for the bar across the street all surface during this first track. I love the quote that Roberts rounds  his solo off with and which Barron picks up at the start of his. It will keep me awake until I put a title to it!

Bailey Rudd (drum kit): Minor Creative Project @ Music Studios, Newcastle University - April 17

Postgraduate music student Bailey Rudd presented his Drum Kit, Minor Creative Project recital performance at an unlikely time of day, 11:45am to be precise. Considering Bailey and five of his bandmates working alongside him this morning were out late last night at a jam session, there was a spring in their collective step. 

Bailey's programme notes outlined his dissertation (researching how local, traditional and contemporary jazz scenes survive). Bailey wrote of his recital: This will be a history of the musics that influence the British contemporary jazz scene today. Joining Bailey in his endeavours were no fewer than nine fellow graduates/undergraduates. 

Another jam packed Black Swan jam session - April 16

It starts at seven thirty, doors at seven, it's going to be busy, let's get there for half past six. Turning into Newcastle Arts Centre's courtyard the queue was beginning to form. One whole hour before the down beat, what's going on? The Black Swan jam session is what you could call a success! 

This evening's house trio comprised guitar virtuoso Mr Bradley Johnston, jam session MC, Mr Paul Grainger and post-grad student drummer, Mr Bailey Rudd. Three numbers to set the ball rolling - Bird's Little Suede Shoes, Johnny Green's Body and Soul and Frank Loesser's I've Never Been in Love Before. Nicely warmed up, MC Grainger opened the floor. First up, Jan Spencelayh. Accompanied by John Rowland's tenor sax, Jan sang a classic - You Turned the Tables on Me. Excellent. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Double album review: Mal Waldron, Steve Lacy - The Mighty Warriors

Steve Lacy (soprano sax); Mal Waldron (piano); Reggie Workman (bass); Andrew Cyrille (drums) 

Another Record Store Day (April 20) release of a previously unreleased live album discovered and produced by Zev Feldman. 

Four forward thinkers of the time who, although stretching boundaries never totally turned their backs on the power of melody thus we have a couple of  pieces by Monk along with Waldron's own compositions and one each from Lacy and Workman.

Four Freshmen and 5 Trombones in Jarrow.

Another find! This time in Jarrow's 'Sally Army' shop. A 10" (22.54cm) vinyl LP by, arguably, the finest and the jazziest close harmony group of the 1950s. What memories I have of hearing this album for the first time in a Wiltshire RAF camp.

The Freshmen are: Ross Barbour, Bob Flanigan, Ken Errair, & Don Barbour whilst the 'bones are five of the west coast's finest - Frank Rosolino, Harry Betts Jr., Milt Bernhart, Tommy Pederson & George Roberts. Backed up by Claude Williamson (piano), Barney Kessel (guitar), Joe Mondragon (bass) & Shelly Manne (drums) this is as delightful as they come.

Russ Morgan Quartet @ Blaydon Jazz Club - Apr. 15

(© Pam)
Harry Keeble (tenor sax); Mark Williams (guitar); Andy Champion (double bass); Russ Morgan (drums)

Blaydon Jazz Club's 40th anniversary concert series is shaping up nicely. This evening's concert featured the debut performance of the Russ Morgan Quartet. Other than a recent appearance at Darlington's Opus 4 Jazz Club working in the company of Paul Edis and Vasilis Xenopoulos, it had been a while since drummer Russ Morgan graced the regional jazz scene. His return to the stage here at the Black Bull on Bridge Street was eagerly anticipated and at a little after eight o'clock Pat Metheny's John McKee opened the show.

Monday, April 15, 2024

Jazz at the Engine Room update

The Engine Room in Sunderland have announced forthcoming dates by the Michael Young Trio.

April 29: A celebration of the music of Horace Silver. Michael Young (piano); Paul Grainger (bass); Mark Robertson (drums).

May 20:  Details to be announced. Michael Young (piano); Paul Grainger (bass); Abbie Finn (drums).

July 1:    Details to be announced. Michael Young (piano); Paul Grainger (bass); Abbie Finn (drums). Lance

Dave Newton @ Yamaha Music School, Blyth - April 15

Dave Newton (piano)

Blyth's Yamaha Music School's weekly lunchtime concert programme is going from strength to strength. This afternoon's concert featured the doyen of British jazz pianists, the great Dave Newton. Driving for more than six hours from his home in the south west of England, Newton arrived on Seaforth Street in good time to chat with well wishers and grab a coffee before the scheduled one o'clock start. 

Sunday night @ the Globe: JazzMain - April 14

(© Pam)
Nick Gould (tenor sax); Steve Grossart (keys); Iain Harkness (bass guitar); Kevin Dorrian (drums)

Last week was sold out. Next week is sold out so the smart money would have been down for a similar scenario this week. However, to misquote and degenderize Guiseppi Verdi - 'La donna (lee?) è mobile' - in other the words the jazz community is fickle and, this week, audience numbers were less than anticipated. Where, I wondered, were all the shareholders? Maybe they were at Rigoletto's!

Album Review: Cliff Beach – You Showed Me The Way

Cliff Beach (vocals); Munenori 'Moon' Kishi (keyboards); Evan Mackey (lead trombone, music director); Ruben Salinas (baritone sax); Sam Williams (tenor sax); Luis Cardena-Casillas, Joe Ferruzzo (trumpet); Satoshi Kirisawa (drums); Andy Moresi (guitar); Leah Concialdi (baritone/alto saxes)

I could do worse than simply quote from the publicity sheet to describe what type of singer this guy is. 'This 'funky, soulful. swinging singer, pianist and composer sounds like he could be the love child of Ella Fitzgerald and Stevie Wonder'.

Radio 4 'Soul Music' discusses Someone To Watch Over Me

Readers of BSH may be in the habit of listening to Soul Music on Radio 4, which talks about the effects of certain pieces of music and song in the personal lives of the contributors.  All types of music are explored and last Saturday, April 13, the standard Someone to Watch Over Me was featured. The Gershwins wrote the song originally for the musical Oh Kay!, and one of the best known versions is by Ella Fitzgerald.  

Those talking about the song included a woman who was brought closer to her father by playing the song, a man struggling with the fact that he was gay who found the song helpful, and a woman singer who somehow found herself performing the song at Birdland NYC unexpectedly.

Well worth a listen (LINK) and you can get this on BBC Sounds where the recording is available for about a year. Ann Alex

Sunday, April 14, 2024

As the Globe turns 10, JRR marks the occasion

This afternoon's edition (April 14) of Jazz Record Requests noted a significant upcoming anniversary. The Globe's Dave Parker requested Jimmy Deuchar's Suddenly Last Tuesday as played by the Clark Tracey Quintet, an apt choice considering Tracey's all-star outfit will be in concert at the Globe (Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD) on International Jazz Day (Tuesday April 30), coinciding with the 10th anniversary of Newcastle Jazz Co-op's acquisition of the premises which would become the award-winning venue it is today. Support your local jazz venue - tonight it's JazzMain. See you there! Russell

(Editor: Read review of the Clark Tracey album HERE. Programme link HERE -  Tracey track circa 31 minutes in.)

Album review: Brandon Goldberg Trio - live at dizzy's

Brandon Goldberg  (piano; Ben Wolfe (bass); Aaron Kimmel (drums)

An 18-year-old pianist very much inspired by the jazz piano tradition of such past giants as Ahmad Jamal,  Oscar  Peterson, Red Garland and Sonny Clark, Goldberg pays respect to the past whilst modernising it for today's listeners, or so the blurb says. Personally, I find it closer to the former than the latter and I'm not complaining one itsy-bitsy bit. Good music is timeless.

Tonight @ the Globe.

(© Debra Milne)
Don't miss tonight's return visit by Edinburgh based hard bop band JazzMain.  Fronted by tenor titan Nick Gould the quartet have recaptured the magic of those albums that laid down the benchmark for modern jazz. Building on the foundations laid down by Bird, Dizzy and Monk they set out the stall for future generations of musicians to work from and build on. JazzMain are probably among the UK's finest exponents of the style.

Doors at 7:00pm on stage at 8:00pm. Lance

Saturday, April 13, 2024

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

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

Playlist 14/04/24 (repeated Tuesday 16/04/24)

Requests: Stan Kenton, Jake Leg Jug Band.

Requests from Darlington New Orleans Club: Gus Cannon, Red Nichols, Scott Hamilton & Warren Vaché, New Orleans Heat, Kenny Ball/Lonnie Donegan, Miles Davis.

Other Requests: Cannonball Adderley, Tiny Grimes/Charlie Parker, Glen Grey and the Casa Loma Orchestra

Memories: Shorty Rogers.

What’s on in the NE: Alan Barnes & Dave Newton, Strictly Smokin' Big Band.

English jazz of the 50s/60s: Johnny Dankworth

Double Album Review: Sun Ra – At the Showcase: Live in Chicago 1976-1977

Sun Ra (piano, organ, leader); John Gilmore (tenor sax); Marshall Allen (alto sax, flute, Kora); Danny Davis (alto sax, flute); Elo Omoe (alto/bass clarinet); Danny Thompson (baritone sax, flute); Michael Ray (trumpet); Ahmed Abdullah (trumpet); Emmett McDonald (bass trumpet); Vincent Chancey (French horn); Dale Williams (guitar on 1976 Recording Only); Richard William (bass); Luqman Ali (drums); Eddie Thomas (drums, vocals); James Jackson (ancient infinity drum, oboe); Atakatune (congas); June Tyson (vocals); Cheryl Banks-Smith (vocal); Wisteria El Moondew (Judith Holton) (vocal).

Back in the 1990s men were, apparently, from Mars and women from Venus. However, one famous interloper came from the sixth rock from the sun decades before the book. Herman Blount changed his name to Sun Ra and the Arkestra was born. Amazingly the Arkestra sailed on and we were fortunate enough to have seen it in full flight in Gateshead back in pre-covid days when the then Sage still had a Jazz Festival. It was a wail(!) of a time. Big frocks and bright tunes! 

Double album review: Yusef Lateef - Atlantis Lullaby. The Concert Fom Avignon

Yusef Lateef (soprano/tenor sax, flute); Kenny Barron (piano); Bob Cunningham (bass); Albert "Tootie" Heath (drums). 

Another Record Store Day double album that has never previously been heard unless you were at the concert in Avignon, France on July 19, 1972. Maybe some of our readers were there but for those who weren't this will give you an idea of what you missed.

Kenny Barron's Inside Atlantis gets the show on the road with an extended tenor workout from the leader that doesn't take any prisoners - not even Trane and Rollins! Barron and Cunningham throw in their two-pennyworth (plus!) and Tootie Heath reminds us what a great loss to jazz it was when he passed just nine days ago.

Friday, April 12, 2024

Press release: New Jo Harrop single out today.

Lateralize Records are proud to announce the release of award-winning singer songwriter Jo Harrop’s stunning new single, Traveling Light, on 12th April 2024.

Written by Leonard Cohen, Traveling Light is the second single from her hugely anticipated new studio album, The Path Of A Tear, which was produced by the legendary Larry Klein (best-known for his groundbreaking work with a host of iconic artists including Joni Mitchell, Madeleine Peyroux and Herbie Hancock).

Recorded in September 2023 at The Village Studios in Los Angeles, The Path Of A Tear is due for release on June 7, 2024 and features some of the finest jazz musicians in the world including guitarist Anthony Wilson (Diana Krall, Madeleine Peyroux), drummer Victor Indrizzo (Willie Nelson, Alanis Morissette) and pianist and Hammond B-3 organist Jim Cox (Leonard Cohen, B.B King) alongside Larry Klein on bass.

Album Review: Lizz Wright – Shadow (Blues & Greens Records)

When I think of Lizz Wright’s singing I think of a voice steeped in the melancholy of the blues, a voice so smoky she should move to Craster and produce kippers. It is a rich, deep voice, capable of a caress and a shout, one for the small hours and for the streets. She seems to sit outside the canon of the greats of jazz singing in a lineage that would include Nina Simone, Dee Dee Bridgewater and Cassandra Williams.

This album has protest songs, celebrations of love and joy and, in her cover of Sandy Denny’s Who Knows Where the Time Goes, reflections on a life passed by. It is one of a few covers that include folk songs, modern gospel and country. Her voice is front and centre with the arrangements supportive, rarely allowing the instruments to come forth. Even the richest arrangement, on No More Will I Run seem to wrap up her voice in a blanket that lifts it higher so she is always riding above the band.

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Late Night Chicago Radio (April 11 -- April 17)

(© Denny Farrell)
Late Night Chicago Radio hosted by Denny Farrell, pictured centre with Sonny Payne  (l) and Mel Conca (r) after a 1978 Harry James concert, broadcasts from the Windy City with the programme changing every Thursday.

His choice of records is never less than impeccable as this week's selection proves:

Salute Benny Goodman (Eros)

Mahlon Clark (clarinet); Heinie Beau, Les Robinson   (alto sax); Babe Russin, Dave Harris (tenor sax); Irving Goodman, Zeke Zarchy, Mickey Mangano, Don Fagerquest  (trumpets); Murray McEacherm, Hoyt Bohannon, Tommy Pederson (trombones); Jess Stacy, Jimmy Rowles (piano); Allan Reuss, Al Hendrickson (guitar); Sid Weiss, Curtis Counce (bass); Nick Fatool, Ralph Collier (drums); Red Norvo (vibes). 

What, I hear you ask, am I doing giving space to a Benny Goodman album that doesn't have Benny Goodman?

A good question. It was hidden amongst the Jim Reeves and Max Bygraves' LPs huddled up to a Jacques Loussier album (which I already had) in a Hebburn charity shop. I felt that it was my duty to rescue it - I'd have done the same for a kitten.

Good news and bad news from Edinburgh

(© Russell)
The good news is that Edinburgh based band JazzMain cross the border to play on Sunday night at the Globe in Newcastle (see previous post). 

The bad news is the announcement of the closure of Edinburgh's legendary Jazz Bar.

A blow, not just for Scottish jazz fans but also to those touring bands and musicians who are dependent on an extra gig to make a trip north financially viable.

I don't know the full story other than the statement issued HERE last night but it will be a great loss, not just to the city but it will also effect the wider picture of UK jazz. Lance

Album review (gig preview): JazzMain - Blue Note Nights

Nick Gould (tenor sax); Steve Grossart (keys); Iain Harkness (bass guitar); Kevin Dorrian (drums).

Out of all the specialist jazz record labels that have come and gone over the years, none has had the longevity or produced music of such high quality as Blue Note. In the 1950s and 1960s, albums by legends Horace Silver, Dexter Gordon, Hank Mobley, Jimmy Heath - to name but a few - laid down a body of work that provided a wealth of inspiration for the the next wave of modern jazz musicians. A bit like giving a writer the complete works of Shakespeare and saying 'pick the bones out of that'. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Mike Hope w. the Paul Hartley Trio @ the Railway, Stockport - April 9

(© Jeff Pritchard)
Mike Hope (tenor sax); Paul Hartley (guitars); Ken Marley (bass); Dave Walsh (drums).

With the exception of the opening Ornette Coleman blues Turnaround and the second tune Sonny Rollins’ Pent-Up House plus Oleo the remaining numbers evoked the spirit of the late tenor sax genius Stan Getz and on certain tunes like Desifinado Mike’s sound was heavily influenced by Getz’s version. 

Tuesday, April 09, 2024

Double album review: Brother Jack McDuff - Ain't No Sunshine (Reel to Real)

Jack McDuff (Hammond B3); Lee Johnson (tenor sax, flute, clarinet); Dave Young  (tenor/soprano sax); Vinnie Corrao (guitar); Ron Davis (drums) + unknown trumpet (tks 6-10) 

Yet another Record Store Day release (LP April 20, CD/digital May 17) this time a double CD/LP by Brother Jack McDuff one of the undisputed  legends of the B3 recorded live in Seattle at The Gallery on Sept. 16, 1972.

Ten tracks featuring, apart from Brother Jack, two tenor saxists and an unidentified trumpet player on five of the ten tracks. 

It's lusty, walkin' the bar, juke joint music that's guaranteed to get you shakin' it all over.

Remembering Shorty Rogers

(© Lance)
This Sunday, April 14, marks the hundredth anniversary of the birth of trumpet player, composer and arranger Shorty Rogers. 

Rogers, born on the above date in 1924 died on November 7, 1994. In between he played in the trumpet sections of Woody Herman and Stan Kenton contributing several charts to the libraries of both bands.

Monday, April 08, 2024

Press release: Jazz North East update

Click on the various LINKS for tickets and more info.

Sunday 21st April - The Globe: Art Themen with the Dean Stockdale Trio(Art Themen - saxophone, Dean Stockdale - piano, Mick Shoulder - double bass, Abbie Finn - drums). SOLD OUT!

Sunday 28th April - The Glasshouse: The Andrew McCormack Trio with special guest Kyle Eastwood (International Jazz Day Warm Up). (Andrew McCormack - piano, Kyle Eastwood - double bass, Rod Youngs - drums). LINK.

Sunday 12th May - The Globe: Eddie Prévost, Tom Wheatley, Silvan Schmid Trio 
(Eddie Prévost - drums, Tom Wheatley - bass, Silvan Schmid - trumpet).
Signe Emmeluth - (Signe Emmeluth - solo saxophone). LINK.

Dean Masser Quartet @ the Railway, Stockport - April 7

(© Jeff Pritchard)
Dean Masser (tenor sax); Richard Wetherall (piano); Gavin Barras (bass); Gaz Hughes (drums).

The last visit I made to the Railway was a week ago to hear the Mike Hall Quartet and there were some similarities that are worthy of mention. Once again Richard Wetherall was seated at the house upright piano and the tune that Dean chose to start the show with was the same tune that Mike Hall picked to close his show with which was I Hear A Rhapsody. Another tune that was played on both gigs was Lover Man which Dean played at a slower tempo than Mike’s uptempo version. This weekend I heard vocalist Vanessa Rubin do this tune when I tuned into the live podcast from Mezzrow's and this was also an interesting version.

Sunday Night @ the Globe: Lewis Watson Quartet - April 7

(© Ken Drew)
Lewis Watson (tenor sax); Mark Williams (guitar); Andy Champion (bass); John Bradford (drums).

After some years in the musical wilderness Lewis Watson is well and truly back and it's as if he'd never been away. Since he emerged from his self-imposed semi-retirement a couple of years back he has played at most jazz strongholds in the area and all to very well attended and attentive audiences.

The all-star quartet has, over the course of those gigs, morphed from four first class individualists into a unit that thinks and acts as one although Watson, of course, remains the guiding light.

Press release: It's a first as orchestras combine in Rhapsody

(© Yow Kobayashi)
The Scottish National Jazz Orchestra reunites with Japanese piano virtuoso Makoto Ozone for concerts in the Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall and Aberdeen Music Hall from Friday May 3 to Sunday May 5.

For the Edinburgh and Glasgow concerts the SNJO and Ozone will join forces with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra to play George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue in a new, extended orchestration by SNJO artistic director, saxophonist Tommy Smith.

“This is a milestone in the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra’s near thirty-year career,” says Smith, who also re-orchestrated the SNJO’s successful 2009 recording of Rhapsody in Blue. “To be invited to perform in collaboration with the internationally respected RSNO is an honour and a thrill. We’re very excited at the prospect of working with such an esteemed ensemble.”

Ruth Lambert sings Michel Legrand @ Central Bar, Gateshead - April 7

Ruth Lambert (vocals, guitar); Alan Law (piano); Paul Grainger (double bass); Tim Johnston (drums)

Central Bar's April session featured Ruth Lambert singing Michel Legrand. As our vocalist observed, Michel Legrand isn't exactly the Great American Songbook. All the more reason to get along to Half Moon Lane to see what Lambert, pianist Alan Law, bassist Paul Grainger and drummer Tim Johnston would make of it. 

Ruth Lambert strumming a guitar isn't unheard of, although it did come as something of a surprise when the boys in the band sat out the first number, listening with the rest of us, to Lambert singing Legrand's 'big hit', The Windmills of Your Mind. An unusual opening but no harm done, after which the 'boys' - Law, Grainger and Johnston - assumed their usual positions to accompany Lambert in making the case for Legrand's compositions being considered worthy of GASbook status.

Sunday, April 07, 2024

Double album review: Shelly Manne & His Men - Jazz From the Pacific Northwest (Reel to Real)

(Disc one) Shelly Manne (drums); Monty Budwig (bass); Russ Freeman (piano); Herb Geller (alto sax); Stu Williamson (trumpet). Monterey Jazz Festival Oct. 4, 1958

(Disc two) Shelly Manne (drums); Monty Budwig (bass); Hampton Hawes  (piano); Frank Strozier (flute, alto sax); Conte Candoli (trumpet) + Ruth Price (vocal on 2 tks.). The Penthouse, Seattle Sept. 7/15, 1966.

Another gem released on double vinyl for Record Store Day (April 20) and on CD  & digital on May 20.

Back in the day, jazz from the west coast of America was often written off as cold, bland and emotionless. Listening to these two discs nothing could be further from the truth. As there are still jazz fans and critics around who continue to perpetuate that myth I hope they get around to listening to either or both of these albums and that the veil will be lifted although those detractors will probably point out that, apart from the leader, the other four on disc one are all east coast imports!

Tonight @ the Globe - the Lewis Watson Quartet

   (© Sheila Knox)
A return visit to the Globe by the Lewis Watson Quartet. Debra Milne (on Facebook) sums it up perfectly: Tonight at The Globe.....Fantastic musicians, fantastic quartet!

With Lewis on tenor, Mark Williams (guitar), Andy Champion (bass) and John Bradford (drums) how could it not be a night to remember?

It stomps off at 8:00pm so even if you've been to t'other place there's still plenty of time. Lance

Preview: Ruth Lambert sings Michel Legrand (Central Bar, this afternoon - April 7)

Ruth Lambert sings the GASbook better than most. This afternoon (Sunday) at Central Bar in Gateshead, Ruth turns her hand to the music of Michel Legrand. The French composer/pianist died in 2019 but his legacy lives on. Ruth will be joined by her regular bandmates - pianist Alan Law, bassist Paul Grainger and drummer Tim Johnston. It's more than likely you'll hear The Windmills of Your Mind, You Must Believe in Spring, perhaps Ode to Billy Joe and more. It's a two o'clock start, £10 at the door. Russell  

Saturday, April 06, 2024

Album review: Strictly Smokin' Big Band - Strictly Smokin' & Friends (Jazz Sound Records JSR 0019)

SSBB can hold their own with just about any big band past, present and, probably, future. A bold statement I know but, if you've heard the band live in recent years, I don't think many of you will argue. However, there have been occasions when they've surpassed even themselves as this album proves.

A couple of times a year they bring in a 'hired gun' from out of the area - trombonist Dennis Rollins was the most recent one - to be featured with the band. Rollins' concert came after the recording was made so he isn't on the album. 

The ones who did make the cut are listed below and each of the nine musicians are showcased individually although some of the home team players also have short solos.

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

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

Playlist 07/04/24 (repeated Tuesday 09/04/24)

Seasonal: Chris Barber, Ella and Louis, Abe Lyman & His California Orchestra, Stan Tracey, Louis Jordan, Annie Lennox, Ron Carter.

Memories: Cannonball Adderley, Victor Feldman, Count Basie & Carmen McRae, Gerry Mulligan, Billie Holiday, Shorty Rogers.

New Release: Charlie Pyne.

What’s happening in the NE: The Jake Leg Jug Band, Pete Tanton, Giles Strong.

Easter: John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins.


Preview: Indigo Jazz Voices @ the Globe, Thursday April 11

Carrie McCullock, David Edgar, Miriam McCormick, Paul Close, Jen Errington (individual singers) +  Alan Law (piano); Paul Grainger (bass); Rob Walker (drums)

It's been six long months since we had a chance to hear the Indigo Jazz Voices, so these talented singers are not to be missed. Then we have the added bonus of Alan Law on piano, the fine Paul Grainger on bass and Rob Walker wielding the sticks with great skill on drums.

 I can reveal the titles of some of the songs but you'll have to go along to the Globe to find out what else is on the musical menu. Love Me Or Leave Me; How High The Moon?; Night Life; Pennies From Heaven and You Go To My Head will be sung, but what else?

Be there for a 7.45pm start, £5 cash on the door, ENJOY. Ann Alex

Friday, April 05, 2024

Album review: Espen Berg – Water Fabric (Odin Records)

Espen Berg (piano); Hayden Powell (trumpet, flugelhorn); Harpreet Bansal (violin); Ellie Mäkelä (viola); Joakim Munkner, (cello); Per Oddvar Johansen (drums).

There seems to be a lot of albums around at the moment where the usual midfield of a bass has been replaced with a string section and here comes another addition to that particular stream. Whatever your concerns about that may be the album is worth having for Berg’s piano playing alone. It’s hard not to think of this as a typical ECM recording in that we have unusual voicings, a trumpeter/flugelhorn player with Kenny Wheeler-ish tones and a Jarrett-esque pianist. But it is a bit livelier than that. Whilst some pieces are ‘moods’ others are more sprightly, perhaps dealing with folklore of trolls and other Norwegian mythical creatures. I may, however, be dealing in stereotypes here.

Eva Fox and the Jazz Guys @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle - April 4

 (© Russell)
Eva Fox (vocals); Alan Law (piano); Paul Grainger (bass); Tim Johnston  (drums)

A small, but attentive, audience enjoyed two sets by one of the newer singers on the local scene. I first heard Eva Fox at the Globe's Christmas Party last December and I was impressed. In the meantime she's made sporadic appearances at the Black Swan jam sessions but this was the first time I'd heard her 'in the spotlight' for the entire evening.

Albert 'Tootie' Heath (May 31, 1935 – April 3, 2024)

Sad to report the passing of  legendary drummer Albert 'Tootie' Heath. The youngest of three jazz brothers, double bassist Percy Heath and tenor saxist Jimmy Heath, Tootie, who died on April 3, was the last of the three legends.

He recorded with just about anybody who was anybody on the hard bop scene including the band with the aforementioned brothers - the Heath Brothers.

Albert 'Tootie' Heath was 88. May he Rest In Peace. Lance

Thursday, April 04, 2024

Album review: Noah Haidu - Standards ll

Noah Haidu (piano); Buster Williams (bass); Billy Hart (drums)

An interesting take on standards both familiar and not so familiar but all with the common denominator as to be, in the hands of this trio, almost totally new. The opening Over the Rainbow certainly isn't in Kansas anymore - it's not even in Oz - but wherever it is I'm booking my seat on the next flight.

Someone to Watch Over me pays a little more respect to the tune with Haidu approaching the Gershwin melody with a delicate re-harmonisation bringing to mind Bill Evans who walked the same side of the street. Williams adds his own lines with a subdued Hart providing a third dimension. 

Wednesday, April 03, 2024

Northumberland Jazz Festival: (May 25 - May 26)

Details HERE.

An Easter Black Swan jam session - April 2

Dean Stockdale (piano); Paul Grainger (double bass); Abbie Finn (drums) + Harry Keeble (tenor sax); Lara Hopper (trumpet); Neil Hopper (double bass); Bailey Rudd (drums); John Rowland (tenor sax); Patrick ? (guitar); Jan Spencelayh (vocals); Jamie Watkins (bass guitar); Kate O'Niell (vocals); Ian Drever (vocals); Andrew Denison (guitar); Katrina Miller (vocals); Shadow ? (vocals); Cath Stephens (vocals) 

Easter, the students away for awhile, Newcastle's match versus Everton but a goal kick away up at Gallowgate and the small matter of the start of major renovation works on the Tyne Bridge(queues here, queues there), this evening's jam session was bound to be quiet. Arriving at the Black Swan fully fifty five minutes before the seven thirty down beat your correspondent assumed there couldn't possibly be a queue...

Tuesday, April 02, 2024

Sometimes you hit lucky ...

When Simon Spillett began doing the rounds of the various charity shops, during  the course of which he amassed an ever growing library of jazz vinyl, he also created an adjective that will surely, in time, be in the Oxford Dictionary. I refer to 'Spilletting'.

Today I did some spilletting of my own going down the mean streets of Jarrow to the Viking Shopping Centre - a complex named after those ravaging Nordic hordes whose main occupation was pillaging.

My previous sorties had yielded little fruit as obviously Simon or the Vikings had got their before me. However, today I got the jump on them discovering two big band albums.

Monday, April 01, 2024

Mike Hall Quartet @ the Railway, Stockport - March 31

(© Jeff Pritchard)
Mike Hall (alto/tenor sax); Richard Wetherall (piano); Ed Harrison (bass); Dave Walsh (drums).

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen Mike Hall bring an alto sax to a gig. However, after using it on the first two numbers he decided to play the remainder of the evening on tenor which, as he told the audience, was his preferred horn. Mike had picked an interesting selection of tunes, eleven in total, including two by Bob Mintzer and one each by Benny Golson, Randy Weston, Bob Berg and Clifford Brown plus a few standards to complete the programme.

Jazz on the Tyne - What's On & What's New, April 2024

Jazz on the Tyne presents the best in jazz from North East England and beyond. In this edition, I look ahead to local gigs featuring Lindsay Hannon, the Abbie Finn Trio, Andrew McCormack, Art Themen, David Newton, JazzMain, and Marta Del Grandi

I also showcase new releases by the Sue Ferris Quintet, John Pope and John Garner, Robert Mitchell, and the Pat Smythe Quartet. You can request tunes for future shows, pass on news or leave feedback by heading to 🎧. Colin Muirhead

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