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Number 22 in World Jazz Blog Rankings

Number 22 in World Jazz Blog Rankings

Bebop Spoken There

Alan Luff: “The general view is that Ella’s songbook recordings are the supreme exemplars of sophistication, fine diction and creative voice in the wide field of popular music.” – (Jazz Journal May 2017).

Steve Voce: “Most of us have been crashed into by cretins who walk along the road absorbed in the screens of their mobile phones.” – (Jazz Journal May 2017).

Today Tuesday May 23

Evening
Davina & the Vagabonds - Sage Gateshead. 8pm. £18.
Charles Gordon (solo piano) - Redwood Bar, Vermont Hotel, Newcastle. 10pm - midnight. Free.
Zoe Gilby: Pannonica - The Fox Inn, West End Tce., Hexham NE46 3DB. Free. 9pm.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

CD Review: New Simplicity Trio - Common Spaces

Bruno Heinen (piano), Henrik Jensen (double bass) & Antonio Fusco (drums)
(Review by Russell).
Common Spaces opens with the angular Groovy. A rhythmic pulse surges through Antonio Fusco’s composition with Bruno Heinen’s robust piano playing and the composer’s commanding drumming suggesting that this New Simplicity Trio album is going to be a swinging, hard driving affair. Making assumptions about what will follow should be resisted for fear of being proved wrong! A further nine tracks - three from Fusco, four from Heinen, one from bassist Henrik Jensen and one standard - go on to disprove any such notion.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

RIP Mickey Roker

Mickey Roker died yesterday (May 22). A drum legend, often cited by Dizzy Gillespie as his all-time favourite, recorded and toured with many of the hardbop stars of the 1950s onwards including Duke Pearson, Herbie Hancock, Lee Morgan and many others including Sonny Rollins. As I type I'm listening to Sonny Rollins on Impulse! where Roker spurs the tenorist on on the up tempo numbers and provides a cushion on the ballads.
Sadly, I never got to hear him live.
He was 84. Rest In Peace
Lance.

Maine Street Jazzmen @ Seaton Sluice Social Club - May 21

This gig took me back to the good old days of live jazz when even national bands would play in social clubs
It reminded me of a night in the 1980’s when I’d gone to Seaton Terrace Club in Seaton Delaval to hear Humphrey Lyttleton’s band with South Shields born Kathy Stobart on reeds. (The crap support act was a guy who was a star from New Faces who did impressions of aircraft taking off by blowing into the mic.) It was at this gig that Humph and Kathy did the two clarinet thing, which I thought was a one off and I’ve never seen it done again.

Dulcie May Moreno @ The Globe, May 21

Dulcie May Moreno (vocals); Stephen Bridgland (guitar); Paul Grainger (bass)
(Review by Ann Alex) 
I must say that it’s lovely to be wearing my reviewer’s reins, after recovering from an awful
stomach bug which left me exhausted for about 2 weeks. And this gig was just the job to cheer
me up. The singer and guitarist usually work together as a duo, and they’d just had an hour or so with Paul before the gig. Ms Moreno said she had a frog in her throat, (didn’t show), but none of this hindered the band from giving us a thoroughly enjoyable evening, which was also part of the Late Show events.

Monday, May 22, 2017

London Vocal Project - Jon Hendricks’s Miles Ahead (Kings Place, London N1), Sunday May 21

(Review/Photo by Peter Jones)
The room was swarming with family, friends and admirers, but most of all, singers on Sunday night in the acoustically perfect Hall 1 at London’s Kings Place. Yes, there were more singers than you could shake a tuning fork at. And it seemed as if they all personally knew choirmaster extraordinaire Pete Churchill and his wife Nikki Iles, or had at the very least participated in a vocal workshop at some time with the dynamic, charismatic Churchill. It was, in short, a musical love-fest.
The pianist, composer and arranger has been immersed for seven years in rendering the Gil Evans/Miles Davis Miles Ahead album into vocalese, and performing it with the 23-strong London Vocal Project. In order to achieve this Churchill has crossed the Atlantic a number of times to collaborate with the legend that is Jon Hendricks, helping to add the great man’s lyrics to the themes and solos on that epoch-busting album. Way back in 1957, Hendricks, Dave Lambert and Annie Ross prepared the ground with their Sing a Song of Basie album, an early exercise in multi-tracking, on which all Basie’s instrumental parts were sung rather than played.

CD Review: VEIN - The Chamber Music Effect

Michael Arbenz (piano), Thomas Lähns (bass) & Florian Arbenz (drums & tabla)
(Review by Russell).
VEIN’s new album traverses the history of the jazz piano trio from Bill Evans to the present with a nonchalance that is the preserve of the supremely gifted. An all-original album of eight tracks with  writing credits shared between the musicians (primarily the Arbenz brothers) The Chamber Music Effect  pays homage to the jazz piano trio format and seeks to explore and extend possibilities as jazz moves into its second century.

Alter Ego @ Blaydon Jazz Club - May 21

Keith Robinson (alto saxophone), Niall Armstrong (tenor saxophone & flute), Dave Hignett (trumpet & flugelhorn), Andy Hawking (keyboards), Tony Abell (bass) & David Francis (drums)
(Review by Russell/Photos courtesy of Roly Veitch).
You can hang your pork pie hat on some bands - Alter Ego is one of them. An accomplished sextet with a pad of original compositions and smart arrangements of classic material, Alter Ego play gigs for the fun of it with a commendable no nonsense approach. Alto saxophonist Keith Robinson pulls together a set list confident that his band mates will be up to the job with some of them contributing one or two charts which proudly take their place alongside tried and tested numbers. This Blaydon Jazz Club date found the sextet in fine form.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Johnny Hunter Quartet @ the Jazz Café - May 19

Mark Hanslip (tenor sax); Graham South (trumpet); Seth Bennett (bass); Johnny Hunter (drums).
(Review/photos courtesy of Ken Drew). 
Friday night at the Caff with a co-promotion by Jazz North East & the Jazz Cafe - what to expect? Playing all original material by master percussionist Johnny Hunter was something to look forward to, particularly following the reviews from last year’s Manchester Jazz Festival.  Although some regular faces were absent the audience numbers were swelled by many new ones – great to see!  
All tunes felt quite accessible through their interesting compositions and delivery by the band. What a tight band (when needed), interspersed with much free playing, yet always collectively in sync. Most tunes had extended solos from 2 or 3 of the band each time, giving the opportunity to freely develop some space around each tune. I was surprised but pleased to see an extended drum solo in the second piece which provided a perfectly formed segue into the third. There were many fine solos yet no immediate applause for them.  Thankfully the applause at the end of each set showed the true measure of the audience's appreciation, bringing smiles of delight to the band.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

If Only the number 27 stopped on Park Avenue ...

Sorry Daryl, maybe next year! Still, in the meantime, a lot of CDs to listen to. Have a great gig.
Lance.
http://www.newyorker.com/goings-on-about-town/night-life/daryl-sherman-trio-2

Discover Your Alter Ego at Blaydon Jazz Club

The spirit of the Jazz Messengers will descent on the Black Bull, Blaydon tomorrow night (May 21). Blaydon Jazz Club will welcome the return of bop heroes Alter Ego on Sunday evening and it could well be a full house. The best advice is to arrive early to secure a seat. The first set starts at eight o’clock, seats will be snapped up by about seven thirty, so, make the effort to get along in good time. It is a pay on the door gig – a mere fiver – and the Black Bull pub on Bridge Street offers a well-kept pint for the discerning imbiber. On street parking is available adjacent to and opposite the pub, and the nearby Blaydon bus station provides reliable quick links to Newcastle, Gateshead, and west to the Tyne valley. You say your kind of jazz is swing or Dixieland, perhaps the GASbook. Be a devil, let your Alter Ego take you to bop paradise…Sunday 21 May, Black Bull, Blaydon, eight o’clock sharp.   
Russell.

Newcastle Grainger Market Late Shows - May 20

If last year’s Grainger Market Late Shows is anything to go by this year’s event promises to be breaking at its Victorian seams. Every alley was crowded with Late Show attendees shopping, eating pizzas and drinking coffee. Some listened to musicians performing on temporary stages dotted around the Grade I Listed building. This year’s line-up includes Brent and the Brads on Stage 1 playing two sets: 5:30-6:00 and again at 7:00-7:30. Jazz Riot (don’t worry they're not dangerous!) hold court at 7:45 for half an hour, and over on Stage 2 from 6:30-8:00 there is Lindy Jazz Swing Music. 
Russell. 

CD Review: Tom Syson Sextet - Green.

Tom Syson (trumpet); Vittorio Mura (tenor); Ben Lee (guitar); David Ferris (piano); Pete Hutchison (bass); Jonathan Silk (drums) + Lauren Kinsella (vocal on 1 track).
(Review by Lance).
Syson is quite an amazing young trumpet player. A product of the Birmingham Conservatoroire that is currently rolling them out by the dozen, Syson must surely be listed in the 'Most Likely to Succeed' category. 

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About this blog - contact details.

Bebop Spoken Here -- Here, being the north-east of England -- centred in the blues heartland of Newcastle and reaching down to the Tees Delta and looking upwards to the Land of the Kilt.
Not a very original title, I know; not even an accurate one as my taste, whilst centred around the music of Bird and Diz, extends in many directions and I listen to everything from King Oliver to Chick Corea and beyond. Not forgetting the Great American Songbook the contents of which has provided the inspiration for much great jazz and quality popular singing for round about a century.
The idea of this blog is for you to share your thoughts and pass on your comments on discs, gigs, jazz - music in general. If you've been to a gig/concert or heard a CD that knocked you sideways please share your views with us. Tell us about your favourites, your memories, your dislikes.
Lance (Who wishes it to be known that he is not responsible for postings other than his own and that he's not always responsible for them.)
Contact: lanceliddle@gmail.com I look forward to hearing from you.

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