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Bebop Spoken There

Bobby Watson: “He [Charles McPherson] did some of the stuff on Clint Eastwood's movie [Bird] and no one knew the difference– (Jazz Times March 1996).

JJ Johnson: “They [jazz listeners] can't be fooled. They're broad-minded enough to want to hear innovation. At the same time, they're too hip to be taken in by false prophets (Down Beat May 28, 1970.

Burton Agnes Jazz & Blues Festival Competition

Win a Family Weekend Pass to the UK's most idyllic Jazz festival.
1) In which county is Burton Agnes Hall situated?
2) Which artist appearing at the Festival was described by Christine Tobin as having ‘a wild musical spirit’?
3) Who will close this year’s Burton Agnes Jazz and Blues Festival?
Email your answers to lanceliddle@gmail.com
Competition closes on May 27 so send your entry now.

International Jazz Day Saturday April 30

Afternoon

Paul Skerritt Band - Ashington Market. 10am-3pm. Free.

Miles Ahead (film) - Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle. Times.

Evening

Scottish National Jazz Orchestra - Sage Gateshead. 7;30pm. £24.50 (£5 under 25s). Talk at 6:45. Dave Brubeck tribute w. Bill Dobbins (pno); John Nugent (alt).

Bradley Johnston (solo guitar) - Cherry Tree Restaurant, 9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond, Newcastle. 7:30pm. No cover charge.

Graeme Wilson/Mark Williams - Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane NE1 5DW. 9pm. Free.

Belinda Voshtina/James Harrison - Redwood Bar, Vermont Hotel, Castle Garth, Newcastle NE1 1RQ. Free 7.pm 0191 2331010.

Glasgow Preston Lowe - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. £10. 8pm.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

John Bailey Quintet @ The Jazz Café. April 29

John Bailey (guitar), Tim France (tenor saxophone), Richard Iles (flugelhorn), Garry Jackson (double bass) & Steve Hanley (drums)
(Review by Russell/Photos courtesy of Mike Tilley.)
Godin Guitars endorsee John Bailey has a nice line in self deprecation. The truth behind song titles – and their meaning, if any – has been exposed by the amiable Leeds College of Music graduate: Google ‘Song Name Generator’, said Bailey. The home page asks an important question: Feeling lazy? Fill entire form with random data. The end result? An entirely random (meaningless) song title!     

Paul Skerritt Band @ Ashington earlier today.

The local musos were surprised to see two members of the band had their gloves on! This was probably good forward thinking as there was a severe hail storm just before the end of the gig!
JT.

CD Review: Chris Ziemba - Manhattan Lullaby

Chris Ziemba (pno); Hans Glawischnig (bs); Jimmy McBride (dms); Michael Thomas (alt/bs clt).
(Review by Lance).
I can't understand why it took me so long to get around to this album - it's so much more accessible than most of the pretentious outpouring of tortured souls on the discs that I receive for review. I don't suppose they [no names no pack drill] really are tortured souls - perhaps they should be!
Ziemba's soul certainly isn't tortured, How could it be? This is Manhattan, a cradle of metropolitan culture, of which he's painting a musical picture!

It's not jazz, it's American music every Tuesday

Alf Symington sent me some info on the band Mosaic Jazz, who play at the Bell & Bucket in North Shields every Tuesday afternoon, between 13:00 - 15:00. Despite the band’s name, Alf says that their motto is “it’s not jazz!! It's a celebration of American music". The line-up is: Marilyn Hunter, Vocals. Dick Straughan, Piano. Gordon Brown, Alto Sax/Clarinet. John Cass, Tenor Sax, Dave Percy, Bass. Alf Symington, Drums (occasionally Piano).
Worth checking out.
Lance.

International Jazz Day

Today is International Jazz Day! Isn't that fantastic? Every venue will be packed, the FM stations will be playing nothing but jazz from Jelly Roll onwards. Every village will be stomping and the BBC will show the complete 625 series well into the night!
In a perfect world!
Truth is that only [some of] the fans and aficionados will have a clue that today is, for jazz people, the equivalent of  St Patrick's/George's/Andrew's/David's day or, on a global scale, the Fourth of July and Bastille Day.

Friday, April 29, 2016

CD Review: Vimala Rowe/John Etheridge - Out of the Sky.

Vimala Rowe (vcl); John Etheridge (gtr); Dudley Phillips (bs).
(Review by Lance).
Those who attended the Café Society Swing show at GIJF 2016 came away with their head in the clouds. This was one outstanding event - for me the highlight! It was maybe the first time most of us had encountered Vimala Rowe and, just as we'd been hit for six when we first heard Cecile McLorin Salvant at Whitley Bay a few years back, Vimala Rowe also hit a few that didn't touch the ground!

The Jazz Esquires Ride Again

To paraphrase Mark Twain, it would appear that the report of the death of the Jazz Esquires is greatly exaggerated!
Peter Ninnim tells me the band, although no longer in a residency, is still together in a revamped line-up and available for gigs playing in a mainstream/early Basie style. The photo shows:
Tenor  Sax: Tony Winder; Trombone: Terry Dalton: Trumpet/vocal: Miles Watson; Piano: Roy Gibson; Guitar: Robin Douthwaite: Drums: Pete Ninnim: Bass: Ray Newton
Lance

Gerry Richardson Soul Quartet @ Hoochie Coochie - April 28

Gerry Richardson (Hammond/vcl); Garry Linsley (alt); Rod Sinclair (gtr); Paul Smiith (dms).
(Review by Lance).
Woo Hoo! cried the crowd after each number - it was that sort of crowd - and it wasn't long before I was woo-hooing with them! It's that sort of band, mere clapping isn't enough. Tonight, despite there being competition from the east (SSBB), the south (Gala BB) and a Cuban threat from the west (Descarga!) the hoochies and the coochies kept the faith.

The Gala Big Band, @ The Gala Theatre, Durham - April 28

(Review by Jerry)
At the end of a dismal day, weather-wise, this rapidly improving big band (even bigger when augmented with a percussionist) gave a packed Gala audience a musical treat to cheer and warm. It was great fun!
The opener was one of the band’s favourites – Flight of the Foo Birds – and was followed by Miller’s Little Brown Jug featuring an excellent tenor sax solo. My apologies for being unable to name individuals – even the MD, Paul Edis, struggled with that in a name-check towards the end of the evening. My excuse (and his) was that it is a VERY big band.

The Partikel Quartet @ The Jazz Café April 26

Duncan Eagles (saxophone); Max Luthert (bass); Eric Ford (drums); Benet McLean (violin)
(Review by Steve H/Photo courtesy of Ken Drew)
Five minutes before the gig had started the band outnumbered the audience by a factor of 2 to 1. Fortunately, by the end of a very entertaining evening, the numbers had swelled to, whilst not quite a capacity crowd, it was, nevertheless, a respectable sized one. 

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Miles Ahead for the jazz junkie

(Review by Russell)
Of course you’ve heard of this rock star but you don’t really know his music. You’re persuaded to go on a date to the cinema to see the new biopic based upon the life and times of this legendary figure. The lead actor looks like him, doesn’t he? He played a trombone, no, a trumpet, didn’t he? The sets look like they are out of a seventies’ cop series with hip dude dialogue. Lots of motherf***** this and motherf***** that. The journalist character is chasing a story. The rock star isn’t keen to play ball. A Jimmy Cagney car chase, Batman and Robin fisticuffs (split lips, not good for a trombonist).

CD Review: Lady Sings the Blues - Laughing at Life.

Val Wiseman (vcl); Digby Fairweather (tpt); Roy Williams (tmb); Julian Marc Stringle (clt/ten); Brian Dee (pno); Len Skeat (bs); Eric Ford (dms).
(Review by Lance)
One of the highlights of 2015 was the concert by Val Wiseman and her Lady Sings the Blues entourage at Durham's Gala Theatre. I say 2015, but as the show has been on the road since 1987, it could, and probably was, a highlight of any of the years in between!
Recorded live, that same year (2015), at Birmingham Jazz and Blues Festival, this is as good a Billie tribute as you're going to get. 
If you were at Durham or Birmingham or wherever this is the perfect souvenir. If you weren't at one of the live gigs then this becomes an essential!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Leash @ Jazz Café, Newcastle – April 22

Mark Williams (gtr); Andy Champion (bs gtr); Adrian Tilbrook (dms).
(Review by Stephen Tulip/Photo courtesy of Vincent Chang)
Effects pedals seem to have been the order of the day in Newcastle on Friday with Andy Champion and Mark Williams measuring up against each other at the Jazz Café.
It's the first time I've heard Andy on electric bass and, if anything, he's even more impressive, drawing on both Jaco Pastorius and Stanley Clarke, but doesn't everybody?  increasingly dominating the soloing, particularly in part 2, though the Weather Report mantra - we never solo, we always solo - also seems appropriate to this band. One person suggested the guitar and bass had swapped roles.
I know Mark’s playing quite well by now and a relative of mine had hoped to get his hat-trick playing with his local guitar heroes at the jam session, but the axe was hung up by the time we got there; another time perhaps.

Tomorrow night (April 28) @ Hoochie Coochie - The Gerry Richardson Soul Quartet

'The Gerry Richardson Quartet is a dynamic Hammond organ based band exploring the jazz organ genre to the max!  Soul, Gospel, Funk, Swing and Samba are all part of the mix. Add to that some kicking original tunes, many written as tributes to the legendary jazz and soul musicians who have inspired Gerry throughout his career and you get an unbeatable format for a great gig.
The band also cover songs by Mose Allison, Donald Fagen, Van Morrison, John Martin, Sting, Gil Scott Heron, Rufus Thomas and Stevie Wonder. A funky April Thursday night is guaranteed!

RIP Billy Paul.

Although I can only recall hearing Billy Paul's massive hit Me and Mrs Jones that record alone had a profound effect on me and I remembered it well over the years and often wondered why I hadn't heard more of him. Many years later, with the emergence of Gregory Porter, I could see a similarity between the two jazz/soul icons and it didn't surprise me to discover his early infinity with such as Dinah Washington, Nat Cole and other jazz people. Paul also appeared with Charlie Parker at the Club Harlem in Philadelphia shortly before Bird's death saying "I was with him for a week and I learned more in that time than I would have in two years."
Billy Paul died April 24 at home in New Jersey aged 81.
A massive talent.
Lance.

CD Review: Tom Bancroft: Trio Red – Lucid Dreamers

Tom Bancroft (drums), Tom Cawley (piano) & Per Zanussi (bass)
(Review by Russell)
Lucid Dreamers is Trio Red’s follow up album to their 2012 debut recording First Hello to Last Goodbye. Drummer Tom Bancroft contributes two compositions (the opening and closing tracks), five tunes were written by the trio and three other numbers complete a ten track package.
Tom Bancroft and pianist Tom Cawley had previously worked together and their meeting bassist Per Zanussi for the first time in the recording studio created this enduring working relationship as Trio Red. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Darlington Jazz Festival: Dennis Rollins & Al Wood with the Durham Alumni Big Band & Durham County Youth Big Band. April 23.

(Review by Russell/Photos courtesy of Shaune Eland)
Darlington Jazz Festival’s evening concert in the grand surroundings of Central Hall in the Dolphin Centre attracted a sell-out crowd. Chandeliers, linen table cloths, the scene set, a frisson of anticipation in the air. Penguin suits and gowns the dress code, Durham Alumni assembled on stage ready to go. The orchestra’s guest MD for the evening, Al Wood, gave the command: Strike Up the Band. Mr Wood is an authority on big bands. Basie’s recording of I Left My Heart in San Francisco was on his set list, so too Emily and he invited star guest Dennis Rollins to join the band on this one.

Darlington Jazz Festival: From Clervaux to the Quakerhouse. April 23

(Review by Russell/Photos of Dean Stockdale courtesy of Shaune Eland. Photos of Ruth Lambert and Lindsay Hannon from BSH archives)).
Clervaux Artisan Bakery’s covered courtyard on Coniscliffe Road is the perfect place for an early start the morning after the night before. Jazz from 10:00am with a coffee, pastry or something more substantial kick-started Saturday’s long day of festival music (the late night jam session would wind down in the early hours of Sunday).
Jonny Dunn (trumpet) & Steve McGarvie (keyboards) played a half hour set at around eleven o’clock. Members of the Durham Alumni Big Band, the duo chose a tune, played it, suggested another one and played it. The audience comprised Clervaux’s regulars, the Saturday morning lycra-clad cyclists stopping by to refuel and the jazz diehards. All the Things You Are typified a tasteful set – Dunn the lyrical horn player, McGarvie the piano player perhaps better known as the Alumni’s alto/soprano saxophonist.         
Al Wood (baritone sax) & Dean Stockdale (keyboards)     

Al Wood’s cv is impressive – ex-Maynard Ferguson, Ken Mackintosh and countless gigs with a dizzying array of A-listers (Peter King, Danny Moss, Kenny Baker, Nat Adderley, Buddy Greco) and Dean Stockdale, the junior man of the partnership, has been schooled by the best in the business including Dave Newton and now playing GAS book gigs with the likes of Ruth Lambert and James Birkett and working with contemporary performers such as Johnny Hunter. 

CD Review: Noah Preminger – Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground

Noah Preminger (ten); Jason Palmer (tpt); Kim Cass (bs); Ian Froman (dms).
(Review by Steven Tulip)
This is Preminger’s second album of covers of Delta Blues from the twenties to the forties with the first in my basket awaiting payday.
We're more accustomed to jazzmen using the Great American Songbook as a springboard for innovation and improvisation but tenor sax player Noah Preminger and his quartet have gone back to the source, interpreting songs from some of the great Country Blues singers based on his obvious fascination and love of  ‘the captivating directness and soul-rattling expressiveness' of this music.

CD Review: Michael Blum Quartet - Chasin' Oscar

Michael Blum (gtr/vcl); Jim Stinnett (bs); Brad Smith (pno); Dom Moio (dms).
(Review by Lance).
A Tribute to Oscar Peterson - who's this latest young pianistic pretender to the throne? To get there, he's got to get past the number one contender, our own Dean Stockdale.
But, half a mo, this guy ain't a piano man he's a guitarist!
A young guitarist, 23 in May, Down Beat's Rising Star [guitar] last year, Blum has successfully captured Peterson's vibrancy and transferred it to guitar. He's even managed to re-create some of Oscar's piano solos note for note on guitar! This he did by ear rather than from transcriptions.

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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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