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Bebop Spoken There

Brian Carrick: "I contacted Max Jones of Melody Maker and offered to be his correspondent in the States, but I should have done what Ken Colyer had done, get a job on a ship and then jump ship in the States. So I didn't make it [to New Orleans] till 1973." - (Just Jazz May 1999)


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".


In the current climate we are doing our best to keep everyone up to date. All gigs, as we all know, are off.

However, good old YouTube has plenty to offer both old and new to help us survive whilst housebound. Plus now is a good time to stock up on your CDs.

Also, keep an eye out for live streaming sessions.

Alternatively, you could do as they do in Italy and sing from your balcony.


As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Friday, April 10, 2020

New York New York

Times are EST. To convert to BST add 5 hours.

April 10:


Mayo Performing Art Center feat Acute Inflections
The Jazz Gallery feat Caroline Davis
Jazz Forum @ Home vol. 4: Ted Rosenthal Live!
Lattice concert with Elsa Nilsson and Cody Rahn
Flushing Town Hall at Home feat The Brubeck Brother

Hang @ Home with Christian McBride + Melissa Walker feat Jeff "Tain" Watts, Mark Whitfield & Rick Carlisle.

Steve C's Watch Party.

Steve Crocker kicked off his watch party with Chick Corea playing Recorda Me - nice one Steve.

Thursday, April 09, 2020

Tonight's Blue Note: Sheila Jordan - Portrait of Sheila

Sheila Jordan (vocal); Barry Galbraith (guitar); Steve Swallow (bass); Denzil Best (drums)
(By Lance Liddle)

Blue Note didn't record many vocalists back in the day but when, in 1962, they recorded Sheila Jordan the picked a pippin!

Sheila, now at an age when women boast about their age (92) rather than hide it,  has been a strong influence on all who heard her whenever she appeared at the Gateshead International Jazz festival as it was then.

Breaking News - RIP Don Fairley

Ray Harley has just passed on the sad news that ace trombone player Don  Fairley died yesterday.
More details when known.
In the photo taken by Russell Don is nearest camera.

Review: Andrew Oliver - April 8

(By Russell)

Live solo piano! - that's how Andrew Oliver billed his first foray into the live stream gig world. Ensconced in his London home the American pianist played for an hour or so without recourse to sheet music as he selected numbers from a hand written list.

Ragtime, stride, a blues of sorts, Oliver played with consummate skill, in between chatting about the compositions, their composers, the performers and his own many current projects including recent and forthcoming recording sessions (watch out for a Rivermont release), a regular podcast featuring the likes of Lil Hardin, Earl Hines and a virtual get together with classic jazz era percussionist Nick Ball.

Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Tonight's Blue Note: George Braith - Two Souls in One

George Braith (soprano sax & stritch); Grant Green (guitar); Billy Gardner (organ); Donald Bailey (drums).
(Review by Lance).

When one thinks of playing two reed instruments at once Roland Kirk is the name that springs to mind. Closer to home, Dick Heckstall-Smith also picked up the trick and, even closer to home, Nigel Stanger was known to stick both an alto and a tenor sax mouthpiece into his gob and blow some down home blues through the attached instruments.

Liane Carroll

Liane Carroll doing A Foggy Day and many more.

Preview: Shelly's Soundtrack (Saturday 11)

(By Russell)

West Coast cool drummer Shelly Manne had another bow to his drum stick. When he wasn't lording it at Shelly's Manne-Hole he could be found in the Hollywood film studios composing and arranging many a film soundtack. One of Manne's silver screen assignments was scoring Burt Kennnedy's Young Billy Young

The 1969 release casts a lumbering Robert Mitchum in Burt Kennedy's western as a town sheriff taking Robert Walker under his wing. Angie Dickinson and David Carradine are among other on-screen notables. Tune to Paramount Network (Freeview) on Saturday at 5:20pm. The soundtrack was released on vinyl by United Artists.

SSBB - Live on Facebook

Another socially distanced stream from Strictly Smokin' Big Band featuring Alice Grace on A-Tisket, A-Tasket.

All clever stuff!

Fred Hersch

Everybody's Song But My Own - Fred Hersch solo piano earlier today.


My name is Serena Cobb. I am raising funds for my father, legendary jazz drummer, Jimmy Cobb in his time of need.  He requires 24 hour home care.  Thanks to all of you that have already contributed

My father started playing professionally at 18 years old. He recorded the highest selling jazz record in history "Kind of Blue" at age 30, and as we celebrated his 91st birthday in January, he has recently released two records and is still doing everything he can to give himself to the music. He's dedicated the last 70 years of his life to the art of jazz, and although there's nothing he'd rather do than continue to support himself and his family while doing what he loves, it has become far too difficult of a task. He's no longer able to perform at the rate he used to, and at his age, one would expect that. But until recently, that hasn't been the case at all.

Tonight on Facebook

In lieu of my regular Wednesday solo gig at Dishoom, I'll be playing some stomps, blueses (sic) and stride for everyone 6:30-7:30 (London time) tonight!
Andrew Oliver.
Facebook link.

Bringin' the bins in

(By Russell)

The morning after the night before. It's 9:00am, a slice of toast with a hangover black coffee at hand. More CDs to listen to, reviews to write. it's a beautiful, peaceful, sunny lockdown day, birds twittering in the trees. And then...

The 'essential services' crew braved the hazards of back lane suburbia...they're dedicated public servants these guys, as their familiar bin lorry pulled up outside. It was a reassuring sight. Our heroes heaved heavy-laden blue ('doing our bit') recycling bins from kerbside to lorry, chatting casually, as is their wont. An imagined conversation...

Jazz Ahead!

(By Russell)


The following selective gig list is somewhat speculative but, sooner or later, gig-going will resume. Fingers crossed that some/most/all of the gigs listed will go ahead. Two concerts in May are yet to be cancelled, postponed or rearranged. Contact the venue to confirm the gig is on! 

MAY 2020

MON 4 Shabaka & the Ancestors - Sage Gateshead. CANCELLED.

THU 7 Minnie Fraser Quartet - Gosforth Civic Theatre, Gosforth.

THU 14 Gregory Porter - Utilita Arena, Newcastle. 

THU 14 Martin Taylor & Martin Simpson - Gosforth Civic Theatre, Newcastle. RESCHEDULED (see MARCH 18, 2021).  

SAT 30 Paul Edis + Francis Tulip & Ben Lawrence - Sage Gateshead. POSTPONED. 

Black Music In Europe: A Hidden History: BBC Radio 4: April 7

(By Ann Alex)

See Russell's preview below, which gives a foretaste of a programme well worth listening to, which I caught on the 9.30pm repeat. It's the first of a series of 3, all about post-colonialism in Europe, and the music to which it gave rise. Many countries felt impelled to 'reward' their colonies for services rendered during WW2, so they granted  Independence and encouraged  immigration to Europe from places such as the Congo, Algeria, Jamaica and Trinidad.

The narrator, Clarke Peters, outlines how during the 1960's these immigrants brought African jazz from the former Belgian Congo, including a form of cha-cha with politically influenced lyrics. Algerian people came into France, bringing music to the cafes and news from the homeland, songs of exile with strongly eastern melodies. There was much optimism about the future of Africa so music from that continent reached European capitals, along with architecture and fashion.

Puttin' the bins out

(By Russell)

In these lockdown times what else is there to do but drink (more) beer? CDs, LPs, scant jazz pickings on TV, not much better on the wireless, a book (jazz biog, history, fiction), keep up to date devouring a multitude of magazines - Jazzwise, DownBeat, The Jazz Rag, Jazz Times, Just Jazz, Syncopated Times, back issues of all of the above - and the novelty of the new kid on the block, the live stream gig. 

The jazz life is 24/7, bottles of beer are part and parcel. Who goes to a jazz gig teetotal? Who leaves a jazz gig pie-eyed? Come on, hands up?! In these lockdown times supermarkets must be making a killing on 'essential purchases only' shopping. In recent days these 'essential  purchases only' have been, well, purchased (some in multiples) and, naturally, consumed. The following list is far from exhaustive...London Pride (the jazz critic's beer of choice, cheers, Warren!), Black Sheep, Fursty Ferret (cheers, Kay!), Old Peculier (cheers, Kay!), Champion Ale (it could have been named after your favourite bass player), a first time beer from Ireland (name forgotten, hic!) and udders, hic, sorry, others, many others. 

Tuesday, April 07, 2020

Wendy Kirkland

Wendy Kirkland playing some nice piano jazz here - she really is fantastic and that's apart from when she sings - can't believe that no one in the northeast has picked her up for a gig. When this is all over they'll be kicking themselves! No wonder we sometimes lag behind the rest of the country!
Simply the best!

Tonight's Blue Note: Clifford Brown - Memorial Album.

(By Lance).

Originally released on 4 x 10" LPs from two sessions and subsequently  condensed onto a 12 incher these represent a fitting memorial to one who, along with Fats Navarro and Dizzy, defined bebop trumpet playing. Miles was still in the embryo stage and who knows that, but for the tragic automobile accident that took his young life, he wouldn't have been the greatest of them all?

Conjecture, I know, but these 1953 sessions present a strong case.

The supporting cast were all - or about to become - superstars in their own right. Donaldson's rendition of You Go To My Head is pure lyricism and Brownie's solo on the same tune isn't bad either although it's his feature on Easy Living where his balladic playing really comes to the fore. 

Preview: Black Music in Europe: A Hidden History - BBC Radio 4

Following on from the documentary series looking at the role played by African-American musicians in Europe during the first half of the twentieth century, Clarke Peters presents another three part series, this time looking at the influence of a post-war generation of musicians living and working in Europe. The first programme will be broadcast today (Tuesday 7) at 9:00am on Radio 4 (repeated at 9:30pm). 

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