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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.


16611 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 1504 of them this year alone and, so far, 50 this month (July 23).

From This Moment On ...


Thu 25: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. Ragtime piano. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 25: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests: Garry Hadfield (keys); Noel Dennis (tpt); Richie Emmerson (tenor sax); Adrian Beadnell (bass).
Thu 25: Milne-Glendinning Band @ Cafédral, Owengate, Durham. 9:00pm. £9.00. & £6.00. A Durham Fringe Festival event.

Fri 26: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 26: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 26: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 26: Bailiwick + Sleep Suppressor + Christie/Chan @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm (doors 6:30pm). ‘Experimental evening of jazz, punk and jazz-punk’.
Fri 26: Nomade Swing Trio @ Repas7 by Night, Berwick. 7:30pm. Free.
Fri 26: Stuart Turner @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Fri 26: Milne-Glendinning Band @ Cafédral, Owengate, Durham. 9:00pm. £9.00. & £6.00. A Durham Fringe Festival event.
Fri 26: Bold Big Band @ Old Coal Yard, Byker, Newcastle. 9:30pm. A Newcastle Fringe Festival event.

Sat 27: BBC Proms: BBC Introducing stage @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 12 noon. Free. Line-up inc. Nu Groove (2:00pm); Abbie Finn Trio (2:50pm); Dilutey Juice (3:50pm); SwanNek (5:00pm); Rivkala (6:00pm).
Sat 27: Nomade Swing Trio @ Billy Bootlegger’s, Ouseburn, Newcastle. 2:00pm. Free.
Sat 27: Mississippi Dreamboats @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sat 27: Milne-Glendinning Band @ Cafédral, Owengate, Durham. 9:00pm. £9.00. & £6.00. A Durham Fringe Festival event.
Sat 27: Theon Cross + Knats @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 10:00pm. £22.00. BBC Proms: BBC Introducing Stage (Sage Two). A late night gig.

Sun 28: Musicians Unlimited @ Jackson’s Wharf, Hartlepool. 1:00pm. Free.
Sun 28: Paul Skerritt @ Hibou Blanc, Newcastle. 2:00pm.
Sun 28: Miss Jean & the Ragtime Rewind Swing Band @ Fonteyn Ballroom, Dunelm House (Durham Students’ Union), Durham. 2:00pm. £9.00. & £6.00. A Durham Fringe Festival event.
Sun 28: More Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 2:00pm. Free.
Sun 28: Ruth Lambert Trio @ The Juke Shed, Union Quay, North Shields. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 28: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 28: Nomade Swing Trio @ Red Lion, Alnmouth. 4:00pm. Free.
Sun 28: Jazz Jam Sandwich! @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 7:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Sun 28: Jeffrey Hewer Collective @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 28: Milne Glendinning Band @ Cafédral, Owengate, Durham. 9:00pm. £9.00. & £6.00. A Durham Fringe Festival event.

Mon 29: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.

Tue 30: ???

Wed 31: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 31: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 31: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Album review: Phil Bancroft Quartet - Headlong (

Phil Bancroft (tenor sax); Mike Walker (guitar); Reid Anderson (bass); Thomas Strønen (drums)

The CD arrived in a cardboard envelope along with another similarly packaged disc with no other information to guide me as to wherever it led. This was back in May and, not surprisingly, they were quickly buried under the daily avalanche of albums that are close to breaking the postwoman's back. She rarely closes the gate as she's probably thinking 'what's the point? I'll be back tomorrow unless I've got a slipped disc.'

Brian Ebbatson funeral details.

© Malcolm Sinclair
The funeral of Brian Ebbatson who passed away on July 19 will take place on Tuesday August 6 at Saltwell Crematorium, Gateshead, NE9 6DT at 11:15am.

Further details will be announced when known.

More about Brian, a highly respected figure on the north east jazz scene, can be found HERE.

To reiterate the words and thoughts of all who knew him, may he REST IN PEACE. He will be sadly missed. Lance

John Mayall RIP

In the mid-sixties John Mayall (guitar, harmonica, keyboards) emerged as a central figure in the British 'blues boom'. The Blues Breakers championed the music of American blues greats, touring with John Lee Hooker and others. The Marquee Club was home to Mayall and like-minded musicians dedicated to playing the blues. Many guitarists were employed by Mayall, notably Eric Clapton, Peter Green, Mick Taylor and Coco Montoya. Born in Macclesfield, Mayall made California his home, where he died on July 22nd at the age of 90. Russell  

(Editor's note: 2011 John Mayall review HERE.)

Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Duke Ellington and Malcolm Mitchell

Amazing what turns up on that YouTube thing! Maurice Summerfield sent me this clip of Duke Ellington and Malcolm Mitchell playing Take the A Train on, of all places, a Hughie Green TV show. No, it wasn't Opportunity Knocks, I think opportunity had successfully knocked for them long ago.

This was from a 1959 show Atlantic Showboat filmed on board the liner Empress of Britain. Other stars taking part included Shirley Bassey, David Whitfield and George Formby - I wonder if Duke and George did some jamming?

Monday, July 22, 2024

British Jazz Hall of Fame/Living Legends 2024

Last month BSH invited a number of its contributors, broadcasters, musicians, promoters and other jazz notables to nominate up to ten musicians in no particular order or genre to form the basis of a by invitation annual poll. Forty-five invitations were issued and thirty-five responded* with 92 names being nominated in the British Jazz Hall of Fame section (those jazz musicians who have passed)  and 105 in the Living Legends. Not everyone picked ten (some wanted more) and not everyone submitted nominations in both categories. Musicians who achieved their greatest recognition in America such as George Shearing and Marian McPartland were deemed ineligible although borderline cases such as Feldman, Holland and Temperley were considered acceptable. Below are the top ten placings. Lance

Sunday night @ the Globe: Ben Crosland Quartet - July 21

Ben Crosland (semi-accoustic bass guitar); Rod Mason (soprano/tenor/alto saxes): Dean Stockdale (piano); Dave Tyas (drums)

This year's Newcastle Jazz Festival may have been knocked back until next year but, judging by the gigs across the region these past few days, you wouldn't have thought so. 

Thursday, the choice was between American alto player Brad Linde at the Globe or his fellow countryman trumpet player Theo Croker at the Glasshouse. Two American names in Newcastle on the same night!

On Friday, another great altoist, Spain's Luis Verde, played a lunchtime gig at the Lit & Phil then hightailed it down the A1(M) to Darlington for an evening gig at Opus 4. Alternatively, you could have taken the road less travelled to Sunderland where the  Zoë Gilby Trio were spreading their message at the Seventeen Nineteen (1719).

Saturday night if you'd just got paid you could have ripped it up with Snake Davis and Helen Watson at Chopwell Community Centre then, to round off the 'festival', Sunday night at the Globe beckoned...did it not!

Sunday, July 21, 2024

The Darlington Big Band @ Dorman’s Jazz Club Middlesbrough - July 18

Richie Emmerson (MD), Alan Thompson, Andy Devine, Barbara Fagan, Norman Scriven, (saxes); Bill Watson, Kevin Eland, Dave Harrison, Colin Moore, (trumpets); Dave Brocklesby, Neville Hartley, Thomas McDonald, Al Brown, (trombones); Dave Archbold (keys), Karen McCleave (bass), Ed Maughan (guitar); Abbie Finn (drums)

Once again this band of 17 top class musicians led by saxophonist Richie Emmerson gave a good sized and knowledgeable audience a night of varied and professionally arranged big band compositions.

In true Stan Kenton style they opened with the Lennie Niehaus arrangement of On the Street Where You Live with its full big band sound, giving the night a great start. This was followed by the Count Basie number Moten Swing with a nice tenor solo from Richie and trumpet from Bill Watson.

Press release: Tonight @ the Globe - Ben Crosland Quartet

Founded in 2006, the Quartet features Ben Crosland (bass), Rod Mason (saxophones), Dean Stockdale (piano) and Dave Tyas (drums), all leading figures on the northern jazz scene. Each member of the band is a leader in his own right and this relaxed joining of kindred spirits produces an open, mature and energetic performance in which there are no conflicting egos, only a desire to enjoy each other’s company, play good music and entertain.

The band will feature material by contemporary composers including Jaco Pastorius, Bob Mintzer, Mike Mainieri and Don Grolnick as well as originals penned by Crosland, together with the occasional standard freshly realised.

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

Playlist 21/07/24 (repeated Tuesday 23/07/24)

Summer Vibes: Modern Jazz Quartet, John Settle, Gary Burton.

Requests from the John Settle gig: Eddie Condon, Oscar Peterson Trio, Oliver Nelson.

Durham Brass: Duke Ellington/Harry Carney, Leo P - Brasshouse.

Requests: Charlie Parker & Coleman Hawkins, Randy Brecker, Eric Marienthal, Lester Young.

Saturday, July 20, 2024

Album review: Antonio Adolfo - Love Cole Porter (AAM Music)

Antonio Adolfo (piano, arrangements,); Lula Galvao (guitar); Jorge Helder (bass); Rafael Barata (drums); Dada Costa (perc.); Jessé Sadoc (trumpet, flugel); Danilo Sinna (alto sax); Marcelo Martins (tenor/soprano sax, flute); Rafael Rocha (trombone) 

Adolfo has had a career lasting 60 years during which time he has released 25 albums one of which reached the BSH Building back in 2021 and was reviewed HERE.

On this album we have a cleverly arranged fusion of jazz and various Brazilian rhythms on well known Cole Porter songs. As Adolfo points out, there is more to Brazilian jazz than samba and bossa. This I discovered as I found myself constantly referring to the notes to identify the different rhythms. 

Luis Verde @ Opus 4 Jazz Club - July 19

© Trevor Finn
Luis Verde (alto sax); Dean Stockdale (piano); Mick Shoulder (double bass); Abbie Finn (drums) + Harry Keeble (tenor sax)

Earlier in the day up the road in Newcastle, alto saxophonist Luis Verde wowed a full house at the Lit and Phil. Here at the Traveller's Rest in Cockerton, Darlington, the upstairs room on West Auckland Road filled up nicely, the majority of those taking their seats would be hearing the Tyneside based Spaniard for the first time. Looking around the room, Señor Verde pronounced himself happy with his surroundings, not least the portraits of some of the jazz greats adorning the walls.

Friday, July 19, 2024

Luis Verde with the Dean Stockdale Trio @ the Lit & Phil, Newcastle - July 19

© Ken Drew
Luis Verde (alto sax); Dean Stockdale (piano); Mick Shoulder (bass); Abbie Finn (drums).

The Spaniards who blighted our lives last Sunday have now been consigned to the history books. One Spaniard who hasn't blighted our lives is Luis Verde who, at the Lit & Phil's monthly lunchtime concert this afternoon, gave a superb recital that showed just why he is so highly regarded.

The concept was the music of Wayne Shorter and the hour just flew by as we sat and listened in jaw-dropping awe of his technique. However, this was more than a fleet-fingered saxophonist running through the changes almost at the speed of light, this was and is a player who knows exactly what he's putting down even if the idea only came a split-second earlier. Couple this with a full tone and you have the real deal.

Brian Ebbatson RIP

Brian Ebbatson died today (Friday 19 July). Brian was a keen supporter of the regional jazz scene, helping out at various venues and events. A member of the Lit & Phil in Newcastle, Brian and his wife Linda, could often be found serving teas and coffees, arranging seating, writing programme notes for the monthly lunchtime jazz concert series and much more. 

Theo Croker @ the Glasshouse, Gateshead - July 18

Theo Croker (trumpet, vocals, electronics);  Mike King (keys/piano); Eric Wheeler (bass); Jaylen Petinaud (drums)

It was with a sense of trepidation that I approached the entrance to Sage Two at the Glasshouse. The prophets of doom had warned me that it would be beyond my comprehension. 

Age-wise it was a more varied audience than usually turns up at a jazz gig and my antiquity showed when I presented a paper ticket as opposed to my phone. The word Luddite sprung to mind as I sheepishly made my way in.

The audience knew what they were here for and whooped and hollered before a note had been blown in anger. I, Luddite that I am, allowed myself a polite hand-clap.

Brad Linde's Continentals @ The Globe, Newcastle - July 18

© Ken Drew
Brad Linde (alto sax); Eli Thayer (guitar); Duncan Kremer (double bass); Nemo Ganguli (drums)

Brad Linde was making a first visit to Britain. This Newcastle Jazz Co-op gig, sandwiched between a week long run of dates in Scotland and a London appearance, attracted  a fair few regulars and a party all the way from North Carolina. The 'international' audience knew its Konitz from its Coleman, Frisell and co. 

The trio (Linde biding his time at the bar) opened without fanfare. An unannounced first number, very Frisellian, showcased the guitar playing of Linde's fellow countryman Eli Thayer. Currently based in Glasgow, Thayer's approach to his instrument placed him firmly in the improviser's camp, so much so he could have stepped out of the ranks of the Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra. 

Thursday, July 18, 2024

Greg Abate @ the Lescar, Sheffield - July 17

© Jeff Pritchard
Greg Abate (alto sax); Nick Mantz (keys); James Owston (bass); Euan Palmer (drums) 

I have visited the Lescar on at least one other occasion which was to see US guitar legend Mundell Lowe who appeared alongside my friend Trefor Owen. However, this was a long time ago and I have a feeling the Lescar may have been situated at a different location to its present one. 

When I had a car, my last day driving was returning from a Clark Tracey gig at the Meadows in Sheffield. I well remember it was a hairy drive home along the unlit Snake Pass. Sheffield, like its close neighbour Leeds, has long been a great jazz town but, on this occasion, getting there proved to be extremely diificult due to many factors but it involved  things like non-existent hotel bookings, getting in and out of taxis, having to change coaches at Leeds, the list goes on but I won’t bore you with further details.

Album review: Pat Metheny - MoonDial (BMG)

Pat Metheny (nylon strung Linda Manzer baritone guitar)

This isn't the first time that Metheny has recorded on a baritone guitar crafted by luthier Linda Manzer. Previous albums, One Quiet Night (2003) and What's it All About? (2011) featured the instrument. However, the guitar on this one is different owing to the use of a new kind of nylon string made in Argentina enabling him to use a tuning system he has previously only been able to set up using steel strings.

Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Album review: Norma Winstone & Kit Downes - Outpost of Dreams (ECM)

Norma Winstone (voice); Kit Downes (piano)

Although there are only two performers on this thought-provoking ECM album there is so much going on that it is nigh on impossible to fully comprehend the meaningful music being created.

That Norma Winstone has the purist toned voice of any singer on today's jazz scene is a fact, a done deal. Despite having been active as a vocalist/lyricist for circa 60 years, unlike many singers, the voice has never lost its signature purity or the pitch-perfect delivery that is rarely heard outside of the Royal Opera House whilst her lyrics are poetry of the highest order.

The Just Friends Black Swan jam session - July 16

Alan Law (piano); Paul Grainger (double bass); Abbie Finn (drums) + Harry Keeble (tenor sax); Conor Emery (trombone); Kate O'Niell (vocals); Edgar Bell (cornet); Dan Potter (drums); Liam Oliver (guitar); John Rowland (tenor sax); Daisy (vocals); Esther Coombes (clarinet, alto sax); Lisa (vocals); Theo Nolan (drums); Ian Drever (vocals); Patrick (guitar); Ian White (tenor sax); David Gray (trombone, trumpet); Remy Coulthard Boardman (vocals) 

The rain hammered down. What's new? Turning into the courtyard of Newcastle Arts Centre, pools of water stood everywhere. Splish! Splash! No one but no one would venture out tonight, would they? Mine host, Kay, took pity on the bedraggled, opening the doors half an hour before the advertised time. 

Album review: Louis Stewart & Jim Hall (Livia Records LRCD 2402*)

Jim Hall, Louis Stewart (guitars)

I posted the press release to this album on July 12 so, to save me dishing up a mish-mash of the background to this 1982 Dublin concert go HERE.

Every word that the folk at Livia put out is true. This is more than an excellent guitar album, although it is most certainly that, it's also an album that can stand alongside any jazz recording irrespective of instrumentation or performer.

Stella by Starlight has both guitarists feeding off each other: solos and supportive chords, interchanging roles, dual lines crisscrossing like on a Bach fugue or a piece by the Modern Jazz Quartet.

Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Album review: Veronica Thomas - They Say It's Wonderful (Nica Carrington Productions)

Veronica Thomas (vocals); John Proux (piano, vocal on tk 12); Mike Gurrola (bass); Kevin van den Elzen (drums); Bob Sheppard (flute, soprano/tenor saxes).

Thomas' debut album. Well, er, actually it's her second except that for her previous album, Times Like These (reviewed HERE) her moniker was Nica Carrington. Confused? Me too. However, the name of the record label offers a clue (see heading) and if you skip down to the lower graphic all will be revealed.

Still Veronica or Nica, Thomas or Carrington, what's in a name? At the end of the day she could be called Fanlight Fanny and it wouldn't detract from the voice which is absolutely delightful and there's the rub. NYC where she now lives and LA where the album was recorded is awash with vocalists who have voices that are absolutely delightful. Other parts of the world too.

The Nathan Lawson Trio @ Blaydon Jazz Club - July 15

© Roly Veitch
Nathan Lawson (guitar); James Birkett (guitar); Neil Harland (double bass)

The Black Bull, Monday evening. For once the weather played fair, perhaps tempting any waverers to head to Bridge Street, Blaydon. At eight o'clock Nathan Lawson took to the stage with former mentor James Birkett and bassist Neil Harland. For the jazz guitar buff there was only one place to be and that was right here at the Black Bull.

Just Friends opened the programme. How appropriate! The Black Bull's welcoming lounge accommodated a healthy turn out, there to listen to some fine guitar playing. Faces old and new (the latter an encouraging sign) were as one, listening intently to not one but two marvellous guitarists with the bonus of having Neil Harland on the gig. Jimmy Van Heusen's I Thought About You, Jobim's bossa classic Wave, choice material, Nathan, James and Neil at the top of their collective game. Dream a Little Dream of MeHow High the Moon, non-stop musical excellence.

Monday, July 15, 2024

Press release: Sentient Beings – Truth is Not the Enemy (Discus Music)

Faith Brackenbury (violin, viola); John O’Gallagher (alto sax); John Pope (bass); Tony Bianco (drums)

A set of  high intensity free jazz interactions captured live at The Vortex, London in early 2024. Brackenbury and Bianco have worked together as a duo for a number of years and this is their third Discus Music release, following their opening fire music statement Rising Up (112CD) and the mystical Hildegard von Bingen + Coltrane inspired Wayward Mystic (140CD). 
The addition of Pope and O’Gallagher expands the duo into a formidable improvising quartet.

Sunday, July 14, 2024

Album Review: Lakecia Benjamin – Phoenix Reimagined (Live) (ropeadope)

Lakecia Benjamin (alto sax, voice); Zaccai Curtis (piano); Elias Bailey (bass) EJ Strickland (drums); John Scofield (guitar track 2); Kat Dyson (guitar track 3); Randy Brecker (trumpet Track 2); Jeff Tain Watts (drums track 2); Richie Goods (bass Track 3 & 4); Ray Angry (piano track 3); Melodie Ray (vocals track 3 & 4)

Ms Benjamin stares out of the cover of this album with her trademark defiance. If you’re looking at your audience like that, you better have something to back you up. In the absence of an army, she has joy and energy, attitude and talent to spare. This is a live-in-the-studio recording in front of a small audience at Bunker Studios in Brooklyn. I believe that anyone attending who failed to confirm loudly that they were feeling ‘ALRIGHT!’ was advised to pack a bag and move to New Jersey. Five of the nine tracks are revisits of pieces from her 2023 album, Phoenix, and two (Trane and My Favorite Things) are her tributes to, and acknowledgements of the influence on her music of, John and Alice Coltrane.

King Bees @ Tyne Bar - July 14

Michael Littlefield (guitar, vocals); Scott Taylor (harmonica, vocals); Dom Hornsby (piano, guitar, vocals); Ted Harbot (double bass); Giles Holt (drums)

It's been thirty years. Thirty years since the Tyne Bar changed hands. From day one rhythm and blues has been a key element of the weekly entertainment down in the Ouseburn. It's been raining cats and dogs for days, if not weeks, on end. Would the Wimbledon Men's Singles Final and the looming Euro 24 finale on tv deter the Tyne Bar regulars? Not a chance! The place was jam-packed. They were there to listen to the Lounge Lizards (the first band to play the pub way back when) and, first up, King Bees.

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

Playlist 14//07/24 (repeated Tuesday 16/07/24)

Summer: Sarah Vaughan.

Summer: Chet Baker Quartet.

Requests from the Lonnie Donegan Story at Darlington New Orleans Club: Big Bill Broonzy, Woody Guthrie, Beryl Bryden, Cannonball Adderley, Ella Fitzgerald, Luis Russell and His Orchestra (Papa Jo Jones), Coleman Hawkins Quintet, Baby Jools & the Jazzaholics.

Request in memory of Richard: David Sanborn.

Les Jazz Rebels @ Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival - July 13

Jacques Boulan (trumpet, vocals); Jacques Montebruno (clarinet); Jean-Marc Ternois (trombone); Jean-Pierre Dubois (banjo); ? (double bass); ? (drums)

St Bride's Centre, tucked away in a residential side street, is but one venue pressed into action to accommodate some of the many concerts at the annual Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival. The 2024 edition of the international extravaganza included appearances (plural) by Les Jazz Rebels. The French outfit, inspired by Claude Luter, Sidney Bechet, Chris Barber and others, enjoyed playing to a sold out Friday crowd at the Jazz and Jive Club. A matter of hours later the six-piece band took to the Saturday lunchtime outdoor stage at Grassmarket before heading to St Bride's.

Saturday, July 13, 2024

Album review: Sean Hong Wei & Jeremy Monteiro - The New Jersey Sessions (Jazz Note)

Sean Hong Wei (tenor sax); Jeremy Monteiro (piano); Jay Anderson (bass); Evan Sherman (drums) + Alex Sipiagin (trumpet tks 1 & 8); Houston Person (tenor sax on tks 5 & 7).

I'm a bit behind on this one, it came out on May 31 and marks Monteiro's 48th album in a career that has seen him teamed up with a host of jazz luminaries including James Moody, Benny Golson, Michael Brecker and Ernie Watts which suggests he has a particular affinity with saxophone players, an affinity testified to by this particular album.

He originally teamed up with Hong Wei in their native Singapore and, after the tenor player settled in NYC, frequently met up  and eventually recorded The New Jersey Sessions in ex Dizzy Gillespie bassist John Lee's Alleycat studio.

Friday, July 12, 2024

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

In the latest edition of the podcast, presenter Colin Muirhead plays new music by the Milne Glendinning Band, Paul Taylor and Fraser Fifield, and he previews gigs by Luis Verde, Theo Croker, the Vieux Carré Jazzmen, Archipelago, Helena Kay and Zoë Gilby.  There’s also a request for a tune by Dizzy Gillespie.

You can listen to the show anytime HERE. Plus, you can request music for future programmes, or pass on news or feedback by emailing Colin at: or by heading to

Threeway on 3, then 4 at the Globe

Ten days from now (Sunday July 21) the Ben Crosland Quartet (Rod Mason, Dean Stockdale, Ben Crosland and Dave Tyas) will be at the Globe, Newcastle. 

By way of a taster, albeit featuring a different line-up, Ben Crosland's Threeway (bassist Crosland with Steve Waterman, trumpet and Steve Lodder, piano) will be performing live in BBC Radio 3's In Tune studio this Friday afternoon at five o'clock. Russell

Preview: Les Jazz Rebels @ Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival (Saturday July 13)

Les Jazz Rebels are in Edinburgh this weekend to present two concerts at this year's Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival. The first of them, this evening at Edinburgh Jazz and Jive Club, is a sellout. The band's second engagement is a late Saturday afternoon concert at St Bride's Centre (5:30pm). Les Jazz Rebels emerged phoenix-like from the ashes of the renowned Hot Antics Jazz Band, recruiting ace musicians along the way from other French outfits including Haricots Rouges and Jazz à Bichon. Tickets (£15.00.) for the St Bride's gig are going fast, don't hesitate, book now: Russell   

Press release: Duo with Jim Hall leads Livia's latest Louis Stewart releases

© Gerald Davis
A previously unreleased live guitar duo recording with Jim Hall leads Dublin-based Livia Records’ latest set of albums featuring Irish virtuoso, Louis Stewart.

The Dublin Concert was recorded in 1982 after Hall got in touch with Stewart to say he was in Ireland on holiday and asked if they could play a gig. The recording lay in the Livia vaults until two years ago, when Dermot Rogers, a Dublin radio presenter and Stewart devotee, acquired permission to reactivate the label. Livia had been founded in 1977 specifically to release Stewart’s recordings and had been inactive since the death of its founder, Gerald Davis, in 2005.

Rogers has overseen three releases since relaunching Livia – Stewart’s debut as a leader, Louis the First, the solo album Out on His Own and a hitherto unknown duo album by Stewart and pianist Noel Kelehan, Some Other Blues.

Thursday, July 11, 2024

Album Review: Karen Mack – Catch & Keep (Bandcamp)

Karen Mack (vocals); Peter Eldridge  (piano, organ); Jesse Lewis (guitars); Matt Aronoff (bass); Jared Schonig (drums, percussion); Ben Wittman (percussion); Darmon Meader (saxes tracks 3,4,6,8); Nadje Noordhuis (trumpet track 1, flugel track10); Elliot Roth (piano, vocal, arrangements bonus track 12)

A delightful debut album by Ms Mack, a sweet-voiced singer with wonderfully distinct diction (pop singers please note!) who gives us a selection of lesser known songs together with a couple of originals. I liked the selection so much that I'll list each track in turn, and mention the songwriters themselves.

Nothing Like You (Dorough/Landesman), sung fast with a trumpet solo to enhance this love song and a repeated riff on piano, bass and drums to round off the track.

Another one bites the dust. The Holystone, North Tyneside, to close.

© Russell
Brian Bennett has just informed me that the Holystone on North Tyneside closes its doors this weekend. 

The Vieux Carré Jazzmen (pictured), led by Brian on banjo, have held down a Thursday lunchtime residency at the bar and restaurant for almost ten years during which time they built up a good following.

Sad news. Lance

George Davidson RIP

Sad news to report. Drummer George Davidson died yesterday (Wednesday 10 July). Drummer - and occasional vocalist - with Maureen Hall's Rendezvous Jazz for no fewer than seventeen years, George had a ready smile and would always say 'hello'. George Davidson will be a much missed character on the local jazz scene. Russell         

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Album Review: Mike Westbrook – Band of Bands (Westbrook Records)

Kate Westbrook (voice); Chris Biscoe (alto and soprano saxophones); Pete Wyman (alto and soprano saxophones, clarinet); Karen Street (accordion, voice) Mike Westbrook (piano); Marcus Vergette (bass); Coach York (drums).

This is one of those little big bands, a seven piece that doesn’t believe it can’t also be an orchestra if it chooses to do so. There’s a limited range of voices on here (reeds plus accordion and piano in the main with no brass) and you would have thought that might lead to some restraint. But no. The ensemble moments are full blooded, such as on the opening romp, Glad Day, and the well supported solo passages insidiously worm their way into your attention and before you know it a stripped down backing behind the solo has marched to the front of the hall, metaphorically speaking, and it’s a full screen performance again. Blues For Terenzi does this to perfection, building up from an alto sax solo, by the end it’s a full voice march being directed around the parade ground to display the quality of Westbrook’s writing and arranging.

Tuesday, July 09, 2024

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

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

Summer: Sarah Vaughan.

Darlington New Orleans Club: Spats Langham and His Hot Combination, Whitley Bay Classic Jazz Party, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee, Chris Barber, Benny Goodman, James P. Johnson, Trombone Shorty, Bennie Moten's Kansas City Orchestra, Lionel Hampton Quartet.

Blue plaque for Adelaide Hall.

A blue plaque in honour of legendary American jazz singer, dancer and entertainer Adelaide Hall has been placed at at her former London address, 1 Collingham Rd., Kensington .

Her achievements in the world of jazz and show business are too many to list here but the Wikipedia link below is about as comprehensive as you will find.

An honour fully deserved. Lance


Jim Rotondi (August 28, 1962 - July 8, 2024)

Mike Farmer has drawn my attention to the passing of  trumpet player Jim Rotondi. Montana born, Mike recalls seeing him as part of the hard bop band One For All as well as in a duo setting with pianist Willie Pickins.

At the time of his death Jim Rotondi was Professor of Jazz Trumpet at the University of Music and Dramatic Arts in Graz, Austria where he'd moved to after twenty five years at the cusp of the NYC jazz scene. He was 61.

More HERE.

R.I.P. Lance

Monday, July 08, 2024

Album review: Sarah Hanahan - Among Giants (Blue Engine Records)

Sarah Hanahan (alto sax); Marc Cary (piano); Nat Reeves (bass); Jeff "Tain" Watts (drums); Bobby Allende (perc. tks 1,4,5,8)

A promising debut album from a graduate of the Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz at the University of Hartford's Hartt School of Music who has toured with names such as Dee Dee Bridgewater, Joe Farnsworth and the Mingus Big Band.

Among Giants is described as a passionate declaration of Hanahan's dedication to pushing the music forward while also honouring the past. Admirable intentions which I think she may well fulfil albeit these things do take time.

Certainly her technique is up to the task. Soaring up and beyond Adolph Sax's proscribed range for the alto saxophone, these days high f# seems to be the starting point and the piccolo players have taken to wearing safety helmets, Hanahan's solos sound as logical 'up there' as they do on terra-firma.

Sunday night @ the Globe: Russ Morgan Quartet - July 7

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

They came to bury Caesar and bury him they did - with rapturous applause. Had this been Ancient Rome he would have entered encased  in a purple robe, carrying an ivory encrusted sceptre and wearing a laurel crown. However, as this was present day Newcastle he would have made his way along Railway Street, carrying a matching pair of finest hickory drumsticks, to the city's equivalent of London's Frith Street where he would be presented with the highest of  'the toon's' civic awards - a virtual number 9 shirt.

Yes, Russ Morgan was back.

Morgan had been off the scene for several years but now he was back with an unbeatable team ready to take on the world.

An out of town try-out at Blaydon Jazz Club in April (see HERE) served to whet the appetite for those who wanted more as well as those who hadn't been able to make the trip way out west. The packed room wasn't disappointed.

Sunday, July 07, 2024

4B @ the Ticket Office, Whitley Bay - July 7

Barbara Wilcox (piano, vocals); Bernie Ranson (tenor sax, vocals); Jude Murphy (bass, vocals); Alan Wann (drums).

Despite the weather and the ongoing construction at Whitley Bay metro station, the regulars turned out for two hours of music from a quartet who enjoy their time together every Sunday afternoon as much as we enjoy listening to them. 

Album review: Tim Armacost Chordless Quintet - Something About Believing (TMA Records)

Tim Armacost (tenor sax); Tom Harrell (trumpet); Gary Smulyan (baritone sax); John Patitucci (bass); Al Foster (drums).

Although recorded at The Bunker, Brooklyn, NY on April 6, 2022, this one arrived via Rivedoux-Plage, a small fishing port in southwestern France. There's no clue as to why it should have taken this 'scenic route' but I'm pleased that it did eventually get here via land, sea and air - maybe even by bus and rail - it's a gem!

Saturday, July 06, 2024

Newcastle Jazz Festival 2024 CANCELLED!

The festival, which was due to be held at various venues across the city from August 14 to August 18  culminating in two all-day events at Tyne Bank Brewery, has been cancelled.

Sad news indeed. The NJF is one of the highlights of the north east jazz calendar. Hopefully it will be back next year. Lance

Friday, July 05, 2024

Classic Swing @ the Crescent Club, Cullercoates - July 5

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

Classic Swing got the show on the road with their eponymous theme song and it was a good, nicely balanced sound. 

Without a trumpet in the frontline it can be difficult playing a Dixieland number such as Way Down Yonder in New Orleans but with McBriarty blowing a Bechet-like lead on soprano the problem was solved. He also threw in a vocal for good measure.

Thursday, July 04, 2024

Album review: Ken Peplowski - Live at Mezzrow (Cellar Music)

Ken Peplowski (clarinet, tenor sax); Ted Rosenthal (piano); Martin Wind (bass); Willie Jones III (drums)

An album by Ken Peplowski is always welcome and, after Peplowski's recent health issues, it is doubly welcome to realise he is playing as good as ever. 

Vignette, a lesser known tune by Hank Jones, gets the date off to swinging start. It sounded familiar but it wasn't until after I'd borrowed a telescope from Jodrell Bank that I discovered from the notes that it was a contrafact of Sweet Sue, Just You.  

Prisoner of Love I only knew from an old Perry Como 78rpm but this one, seemingly, was inspired by James Brown. Even without the words Peplowski's big sound brings out the pathos of the melody.

Preview: Russ Morgan Quartet @ the Globe on Sunday, July 7.

© Pam
It was, I think, about ten years ago when Russ Morgan arrived in Newcastle having already made a name for himself in London and East Anglia. After sitting in at the old Jazz Café (now the Prohibition Bar) on Pink Lane he quickly, and deservedly so, became the first call drummer on the local scene.

Unfortunately, health problems caused him to curtail his activities for a number of years much to the dismay of fans and fellow musicians.

However, Russ is gradually easing himself back and his recent gig at the Globe with Andrea Vicari and Andy Champion showed the magic is still there.

Wednesday, July 03, 2024

Album review: Gerald Cannon - Live at Dizzy's Club. The Music of Elvin and McCoy (Woodneck Records)

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

Recorded live at Dizzy's Club in NYC's iconic Jazz at Lincoln Center venue to pay tribute to McCoy Tyner and Elvin Jones and released on a double vinyl album, this is the real deal.

Cannon played alongside both for 14 and 9 years respectively and for this recording he chose musicians who had all, at one or another, shared the stage with the two late legends. The DownBeat reviewer gave it 4½ stars out of 5. He shortchanged them!

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