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Bebop Spoken There

Sting: "I wrote that song [Roxanne], it was originally a bossa nova". - (Stewart Copeland's Adventures in Music BBC 4, 17 January 2020)

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The Things They Say!

Hudson Music: Lance's "Bebop Spoken Here" is one of the heaviest and most influential jazz blogs in the UK.

Today Monday January 20

Afternoon

Jazz

Jazz in the Afternoon - Cullercoats Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 4QS. Tel: 0191 253 0242. 1:00pm. Free admission.

Evening

?????

To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Sunday Jazz @ Middlesbrough Town Hall - January 19

(Review by Russell)

A jazz gig in Newcastle beckoned on Sunday evening but first there was the small matter of four bands from north of the border performing at an afternoon showcase event on Teesside. Sunday Jazz is a monthly session featuring three bands drawn from across the north of England and further afield. January's edition presented no fewer than four bands, all of them from Scotland.

Top of the bill - and last on stage - was Tom Bancroft's In Common. Drummer/percussionist Bancroft was introduced as belonging to one of Scotland's musical clans. Gina Rae represented the Raes (Tom and Gina are a couple, on and off stage). Bandleader Bancroft spoke in glowing terms of the younger generation(s) of fine jazz musicians emerging on the Scottish scene, many of them award winning musicians. In Common comprises six experienced practitioners from the worlds of folk, jazz and Indian classical music; Bancroft, guitarist Graham Stephen (no stranger to north east audiences), Gina Rae (voice), Sophie Bancroft (voice) and two friends from India - Sharat Chandra Srivastava (violin) and Gyan Singh (tabla). 

RIP Jimmy Heath

As reported in my previous post, it was announced that tenor sax legend Jimmy Heath passed away earlier that day (Jan. 19). JazzMain played Heath's composition For Minors Only in memory of the great man. That piece was just one of the many tunes he wrote. The Chet Baker/Art Pepper album, Playboy's seven tracks include five by Jimmy Heath, For Minors Only being one of them.

On the J.J. Johnson album pictured above he more than holds his own with big hitters like J.J. and Brownie.

JazzMain @ the Globe - Jan. 19

Nick Gould (tenor sax); Steve Grossart (piano); Iain Harkness (double bass); Kevin Dorrian (drums) 
(Review by Lance)

At last! The mystery has been solved! The answer to the eternal question that has bugged musos for over 50 years. 

Why was it that Billie Joe McCallister jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge? We got the answer tonight - he'd heard Nick Gould blowing the tune (Ode to Billie Joe) and that was it, Billie Joe threw his saxophone into the muddy waters beneath the bridge and forgot to unhook the sling! In Billie Joe's defence, if I'd had my sax with me I might have done the same.

Prior to Billie Joe's ode, Horace Silver's Hippest Cat in Hollywood set out the JazzMain stall. Nick Gould can hold his own with anyone and his fellow groovers from yon side of Hadrian's fence are with him all the way.

CD Review: Brian Scanlon - Brain Scan

(Review by Lance).

Brian Scanlon, a first call studio musician for over 32 years, is perhaps better known as first tenor sax in Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band and in particular for his tenor solo on The Jazz Police a chart that has pride of place in just about every big band's pad.

Amazingly, with such a pedigree, this is his first album as leader and he makes the most of it. As a soloist we already knew his standing but here he adds his skills as a composer, arranger and producer to his bag of tricks.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Transfer news

Paul Edis posted the following message on Facebook today:

"In March I’m going to be moving to London.
I studied and lived in London previously, moving back to the North East in 2006 after college. Since then I’ve had so many amazing experiences and opportunities living in the area and working with an amazing array of people, but it’s time for a change.

I’ll still be back to Newcastle for various gigs and things I have in the diary, so Northerners - you ain’t seen the back of me yet.
Londoners - looking forward to meeting you and hopefully becoming part of the scene!"
----- 

This will be a devastating loss to the northeast music scene  -  albeit a long overdue one - and we at BSH wish him every success. Next stop New York City?
Lance
(Photo courtesy of Ken Drew)

Preview: DJam 2020!

(Preview by Russell)

DJam Swing Dance Festival 2020 is almost here! Next weekend over three days (Friday 24-Sunday 26January) Lindy Hop comes to Durham. Dancers from all four corners will descend on historic Durham City to participate in a bewildering array of events. Taster sessions include 'Classic Charleston' and 'Double Time Shag', you can practice your 'Fancy Footwork' and 'Rhythm Variations' and there will be social dance events, a welcome dance, a Masquerade Ball, a farewell dance and an after party. It's going to be non-stop!  

RIP Geoff Castle

LondonJazzNews reports the death of former Nucleus keyboardist Geoff Castle on January 15.

Nucleus played Newcastle Jazz Festival on several occasions as well as other gigs in the area. I don't recall if Castle was with the band although, given that his tenure with Nucleus is listed as 1974 - 1982 and, according to my festival programmes, Nucleus' NJF gigs were later, maybe he didn't.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Soznak (a band for all seasons) @ Monument, Newcastle - January 18

Paul Miskin's street band pitches up lunchtime most Saturdays at Monument, come rain, come shine. Today was no exception. Bright, sunny, a tad cold, the sort of gig where gloves come in useful. As ever one or two familiar faces from the regional jazz scene were helping out Mr Miskin - Jude Murphy was heard singing (and playing flute) on A-Ha's Take on Me. Playing bass guitar was occasional jam session participant Adam Sams (usually heard playing guitar). That was early afternoon. Your correspondent wandered off on a mission (there was a book sale on in town). Late afternoon, wandering by  again, Miskin and co were still at it belting out David Bowie's Let's Dance. Don't these guys feel the cold?! 
Russell     

The Early Birds' Next Generation @ The Lit & Phil - January 18

Haaruun Miller (alto sax, soprano sax); Ferg Kilsby (trumpet); George Ivanov (guitar); Alex Shipsey (bass guitar); Dylan Thompson (drums); Paul Edis (MD, flute, piano)
(Review by Russell)

The term 'production line' makes it seem rather regimented, widgets by the dozen. The Early Bird hothouse is anything but impersonal, anything but uninspiring. On the contrary, the Early Bird set-up and many other similar projects across the region - Jambone, Jazz Attack, JB's Cats, the Gala Big Band, the Tyne Valley Big Band stable to name but a few - succeed because of the work put in by dedicated tutors. Today's workshop format at the Lit & Phil, culminating in a short public performance, offered further evidence of the student-tutor relationship yielding positive results.

Radio Richardson, Live Lovatt

Today's edition of J to Z on Radio 3 at five o'clock is well worth catching. It's a repeat of a programme first broadcast last year featuring a storming session by the Leo Richardson Quartet. The set includes material from tenor saxophonist Richardson's latest album Move. On Tuesday's In Tune (Radio 3, 5:00pm) Mike Lovatt will be one of Sean Rafferty's guests. Trumpeter Lovatt will be at Sage Gateshead with the Strictly Smokin' Big Band on Saturday 29 February. Tickets are going like hot cakes, book now on 0191 443 4661
Russell

Book review: Pelle Bergland - Buddy Rich One of a Kind.

Pelle Bergland, a Swedish writer and occasional percussionist, spent 8 years researching and interviewing significant musicians and contacts of Buddy Rich. The highs and the lows of the egocentric drummer are recorded and, where possible, explained.

For some it may be a nostalgic trip, for others it may be a voyage of discovery, but for those, such as myself, who saw him live so many times it is a reminder that he really was as great as they remembered him. Even now, 50 years on, I still recall the thrill I got hearing him that first time at Ronnie's. A thrill that had already been rekindled when I heard the recently released, newly discovered, final album.

Friday, January 17, 2020

CD Review: Jason Yeager - New songs of Resistance

(Review by Dave Brownlow)

New Songs Of Resistance is Professor of Piano at Berklee  College of Music Jason Yeager’s latest mix of protest, jazz, classical and Latin American folk music. It is his attempt to draw more attention to the anger and confusion felt by the peoples of Latin America and the United States in their current situation. Jason attempts to speak truth through the power of music in the form of resistance as previously achieved by such jazz masters as John Coltrane, Charles Mingus and Max Roach in the not-too-distant past.

Mike Farris @ Live Theatre, Newcastle - Jan 16

Mike Farris (vocals, guitar); Mike Outram (guitar, vocals); Steve ? (organ, vocals); ? (bass guitar, vocals); Ron Johnson ? (drums).
(Review by Russell)

Mike Farris is in the middle of a sold out British tour and Live Theatre, just off Newcastle Quayside, greeted the man from Tennessee as if a returning hero. And, in some ways, that is what the American was having previously performed in Ashington in Northumberland. A contingent of avid fans led the cheerleading and from first note to last Farris held the sold out audience in the palm of his hand.

Farris' band on this Newcastle date included ace jazz guitarist Mike Outram in blues-soul mode and a short notice dep drummer who slotted in as if a long-time sideman. Cuts from Farris' new album Silver & Stone and a selection from an extensive back catalogue together with one or two surprise choices were delivered in a more hard-hitting style than anticipated. A lack of horns and dedicated backing vocalists perhaps dictated affairs; the gospel-infused vocals were in evidence but a rockier vibe hit the audience for six. 

Matt MacKellar Band @ The Black Swan - Jan. 16

Matt MacKellar (drums); Andy Champion (bass/bass guitar); Ben Lawrence (keys); Zoë Gilby (voice).
(Review by Lance/Photos courtesy of Mike Tilley)

The bar was crowded. So much so that had a person arrived of more than average girth the whole shebang would have had to be moved to the lower basement auditorium. Such was the drawing power of the performers.

Leader Matt drove the band with some powerhouse drumming. By coincidence, I'm currently reading the latest biography of Buddy Rich (review imminent) and, listening to Matt it struck me that he was creating the same sense of awe that Buddy caused back in the 1930s! Even though his solos were fewer, and in many ways more restrained than in the past, there was no mistaking the star quality of the boy from Boston Mass.