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Bebop Spoken There

Cedar Walton: "To call him [Milt Jackson] a lyrical player is an understatement." - (Crescendo February 1976).

Dave Douglas: “To me, Horace Silver, Lee Morgan and Blue Mitchell were the epitome of hip. And hipness was the whole point.” – (Jazz Times October 2014).

Bebop Spoken There Archives.

Today Wednesday October 22

Afternoon
VIEUX CARRE JAZZMEN - Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 3OS. 1pm. Free.
New Orleans Jazz. Raffles and a jolly afternoon.
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JAZZ ESQUIRES - Porthole, North Shields' Ferry Landing. 1pm. Free.
Laurie Brown is now on tenor and clarinet with Peter Ninnim taking over the drum chair.
Ferry from South Shields quarter to and quarter past. On the hour and half hour coming back.
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Evening.
TAKE IT TO THE BRIDGE JAZZ WORKSHOP - The Chillingham, Chillingham Rd., Heaton. 8:30pm. £1.
Sitters in welcome.
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GRAHAM HARDY w. PAUL EDIS TRIO - The Cherry Tree Restaurant Osborne Road, Jesmond, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 2AE. Tel: 0191 2399924. Free.
Now on Wednesdays with unbeatable food and first rate music.
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BUSKERS NIGHT HOSTED BY RUTH LAMBERT - The Avalon, 26 South Parade, Whitley Bay. 9pm. Free.
All welcome. Keyboards, free buffet, drinks tokens for performers, real ale, real music.
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LEVEE RAMBLERS NEW ORLEANS JAZZ BAND - Springwell Village Hall, Fell Rd., Gateshead NE9 7RP. 0191 4162630. 9pm. £2.
New Orleans style.
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JAZZ AT THE BAY- Cleveland Bay pub, 718 Yarm Rd., Eaglescliffe, TS16 0JE 01642 780275. 9pm.
The Teesside Hot Club swinging at the Bay.
Back on November 5.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Willie Payne - a Guitarist's Guitarist .

Roly made reference to Willie Payne trading choruses with Tal Farlow back in the 1980s and seeks more information on the West Indian guitarist who so enlivened the local scene 30 years ago.
I recall many Corner House sessions where Willie left an impression on both audience and musicians yet info on him is so sparse as to be almost non existent.
His name is missing from the jazz guitar tomes and, to the best of my knowledge, recordings probably only exist in privately recorded tapes and cassettes.
If anyone can add any memories or info on Willie we'd love to share them.
Lance.

9 comments :

  1. Yes, it was a real treat to have him playing on Tyneside.
    I remember bassist Derek Dixon raving about how he could imply chord cycles, with total control, in his improvisations - he had a very advanced sense of harmony and his Wes styled playing was quite something. I remember his playing from the Syd Warren Quintet's Tuesday Corner House residency.
    I do remember he was an Ibanez endorser - there were occasional large b/w photos of Willie advertising Ibanez guitars in Crescendo Magazine. I heard he came over from West Indies as an accompanist with pianist Winifred Atwell and settled in London then came up to Newcastle.
    I have very happy memories of those times and had great admiration for his playing.
    Roly

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  2. Scott (Adair) first met Willie in Trinidad. Scott's parents lived there and he went on holiday, where he met Willie who was playing at the Hilton Hotel. This was c.1959-60.
    In 1962 we were walking down Northumberland St and guess who was walking towards us - Willie carrying his guitar case!
    He was working with Winnie Atwell for a while (they both came from Trinidad) but I believe it was when he sat in with the EMCEE 5 that his career took off.
    He played with the Sid Warren Quintet and did loads of work at the Corner House.
    His playing was awesome, he admired Wes Montgomery and the like, although he was short on reading. Willie was the most gentle guy I ever knew.
    He set up home with vocalist Peggy Shaw and their life became 'the days of wine and roses' if you catch my drift! Peggy was a sweet person and adored him.
    Before that he came to live with Scott and myself for a while - he had lost his driving licence and could no longer do gigs so we 'adopted' him.
    He eventually got the dreaded day job at the Ministry, Longbenton, and hated it. Willie's playing became very erratic due to a drink problem and it was difficult to book him then Peggy died suddenly and Willie was on his own.
    I had a business in Jesmond and one of my customers let slip that she was keeping an eye on this chap from Trinidad who was ill and not eating - yes it was Willie. She put him on a plane to go home to Trinidad and his family and not long after I heard he had died. This was 1994.
    Willie was the only man I cut my nails for - he was teaching me guitar!!
    Anne

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  3. Willie and I played together in the 60s and much later on, at that time he was an outstanding Player very much in the Wes Montgomary style and he worked with me at La Dolce Vita in Newcastle and had he stayed off the booze he could have been a great player. The last time he played was on a tour with me and Kenny Clarke on drums and he didn't play so well as he had a secret Whisky problem. Maurice Summerfield I think gave him a guitar for the gig, I can't be sure if it was a free gift. He also did some European gigs in Germany and Belgium I think with my trio and also worked with me at Ronnie Scott's Club with Irene Reid the New York vocalist who was Count Basie's singer in the early '60s.
    He worked in Newcastle at the large pensions department for possibly 20 years and when he left to return to his roots in the West Indies, I heard a rumour that he passed on but I can not tell you the date.
    He was Winifred Atwell's guitarist probably in the '50s touring Australia and also working with her here.It was this time that I met him.
    That's the best that I can tell you right now.
    Mike

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  4. I worked with Willie very early in my career...& one of the gigs was a defining moment..... It was a trio gig Organ, Guitar (Willie) & drums (The late Ron Studholme)
    It was a ballad, not sure what, but I played a solo & it was the first time I felt a true jazz connection with the piece... Afterwards Willie leant over & said " Great solo man " I felt on top of the world.. I was about 17....Someone as good as Willie thought I played good....He still is one of the best guitarist I have ever heard or played with.... the essence of what Jazz is or should be..... Sad to hear he passed away.... Mal Maddock

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  5. I have fond memories of hearing Wilie play with Sid Warren and other great players, like Bill Harper. Actually, when the Willie Payne Quintet played support for Slim Gaillard at the Corner House in Heaton (12 December 1982), I was doing the sound mixing for the gig and Willie graciously invited me to join them on trumpet, and we played "Games" by Nat Adderley. Earlier the quintet had played Jimmy Heath's "The Voice Of The Saxophone", and unfortunately these two are the only ones I have recordings of. The Slim gig was recorded in its entirety. Dave The Rave

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  6. I would like to exchange links with your site www.blogger.com
    Is this possible?

    ReplyDelete
  7. In 1967 I played guitar (badly) with the resident band in the infamous BirdCage Club in Stowell Street. Willy Payne used to come in late on & would sometimes listen to us from the bar. I first recognised him from his appearances on Tyne-Tees TV where they would put in a local musician as a continuity filler around the news time.

    I did have pretensions to playing a jazz guitar style & Willy kindly offered to take me under his wing for tuition. By then, however, I had decided that I really wanted to go to university & declined his offer. Eventually, I spent most of my working life in Academia but often wonder what might have happened, had I accepted Willy's offer of help?

    Really sorry to learn of his decline, he was quite a nice guy to talk to. I had long wondered what became of him before I chanced upon this thread.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'm pleased to see that Willie Payne is so well respected and remebered.
    I first watched Willie on TTT where he used to sit in the canteen with his guitar until an announcement said “willie to Studio?”
    He would go to the studio and play solo jazz as long as needed. This was in the days of unedited TV.
    The saddest thing I heard him say was, when he was in the resident band at the Sands Club, Whitley Bay he was thinking of swopping his jazz guitar for “one of those electric things” so he could fit into the band better. Hope he never did.
    My other local hero was Charlie Smith. I took over studio guitar after Charlie [with Ken Maddison}]
    Charlie told me he was a banjo player but got a gig on guitar so he pawned his banjo and tuned the guitar like his banjo. He thought afterwards, there must be more to the guitar than this and a long term love started.

    ReplyDelete

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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.)
PS:I don't care what your political views are - you can love or hate Cameron, Clegg, Milliband, Farage, Genghis Khan or Julius Caesar - just don't air them here!
Contact: lanceliddle@gmail.com I look forward to hearing from you.

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