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Bebop Spoken There

Howard Riley: “When I started out playing jazz back in the late 50s, early 60s, if you wanted a gig you had to learn some standards.” – (Jazz Journal April 2017)

Eric Harland: “I love swing and I’m always going to swing but I also know that you can take a hip-hop groove and improvise with that just like you would with a swing pattern.” – (Jazz Journal April 2017)

Today Wednesday April 26

Afternoon.
Vieux Carre Jazzmen - Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 3OS. 1pm. Free.
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Evening.
Take it to the Bridge - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. £1. 8pm.
Levee Ramblers NOJB - Springwell Village Community Venue, Fell Road, Springwell, Gateshead NE9 7RP. 8:30pm. £3.00.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Followed by Thirteen @ Jazz Café. February 25

Henrik Jensen (double bass), Esben Tjalve (piano) & Pete Ibbetson (drums)
(Review by Russell)
After some thirteen years at the Cluny, Schmazz has relocated to a city centre venue. The monthly session was the brainchild of the late Keith Morris, the remit admirably simple – offer musicians (many of them in the ‘emerging’ category), a platform to perform original material. Down the years this has largely been the way of it. The occasional standard sneaked in (invariably reworked) and a handful of gigs took place away from the promoters’ Ouseburn base. The Jazz Café is the new home to Schmazz. Ideally situated near Central Station (rail and Metro) and with any number of bus services operating in the vicinity. Would the Schmazz regulars follow, give up on the old place and embrace the new (the recently re-opened and impressively refurbished ‘Caff’)? They did.

Take it to the Bridge @ The Chillingham. February 26

Dave Weisser (trumpet, flugel & vocals), Don Forbes (trumpet), Rachel Richman (alto saxophone), Barrie Ascroft (keyboards), Paul Grainger (double bass) & Ian Forbes (drums)
(Review by Russell)
Having heard the great guitars of James Birkett and Bradley Johnston at the Lit and Phil there was still time to dash to the Chilli and catch some of Dave Weisser’s weekly workshop. In the downstairs bar canned music blared out. A pint of Rivet Catcher (Jarrow Brewery). Ascending the stairs the workshop’s second half was under way. Trumpeter Don Forbes blew, no sign of Dave Weisser. However DW was in the building – the give-away being his Miles t-shirt draped, as ever, over the back of a chair. Weisser reappeared (he’d been to the ‘john’, as his fellow Americans would say).

James Birkett & Bradley Johnston @ The Lit & Phil. February 26

(Review by Russell)
The Lit & Phil’s imposing upstairs library accommodated a ‘select’ audience seated between the books stacks (Northern Primitive Methodism to one side, weighty tomes of Ezra Pound the other). A bottle of Wylam’s Rocket an apposite choice given the library’s historic association with the pioneering engineering Stephensons (George and Robert). James Birkett and Bradley Johnston play jazz guitar – Birkett the master musician, Johnston the immensely talented student. Birkett has played at the highest level for many years, Johnston practices for many hours every day and one day soon he too will be up there.

EP Review: Jamie Smith - Kinesis

Edinburgh jazz pianist Jamie Smith has made a very listenable solo jazz piano EP available from March 3. Modern, contemporary, the four tracks demonstrate various facets of his style. Perhaps he'll cross the border one day and share his talents with us in the north east and beyond.
For more info check this link.
Lance.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

CD Review: Matt Newton Trio - Within Reach

Matt Newton (pno); Dan Fortin (bs); Ethan Ardelli (dms) + Felicity Williams (vcl); Harley Card (gtr).
Long gone are the days of the traditional trio where the piano was the predominant instrument and bass and drums merely supportive players. And let's not knock it - the trios of, for example, Oscar Peterson, Bud Powell, Teddy Wilson, Erroll Garner and others laid down some of the finest examples of jazz piano the world has known. However, there were others arriving on the scene looking to advance and develop the trio format, allowing more freedom to the bassists and drummers. EST and Brad Meldhau were two at the forefront of this keyboard revolution - a revolution carried forward by the Canadian trio of Matt Newton.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

RIP Franny Beecher and Paco De Lucia.

Two jazz guitarists have passed on. Franny Beecher and Paco De Lucia..
Beecher, 92, died on February 24. Di Luca a day later aged 66.
Beecher, a member of the American Music Hall of Fame, was admitted to that august establishment on the strength of his work with Bill Haley and the Comets. Jazz folk recall him as a member of Benny Goodman's band in 1949. This was around the time Benny tipped his toe into the waters of bebop and promptly withdrew it, unable to match the young Turks such as Wardell Gray, Buddy Greco and Beecher. Beecher made 23 sides with Benny before going on to record with the other BG - Buddy Greco.
A few minor hits with Buddy before he went on to join Bill Haley and The Comets who became the biggest Rock n'Roll artists in the world before Presley arrived. After Haley's death Beecher kept the Comets in orbit for many years and, in retrospect, listening to those old classics you realise there was a lot of jazz guitar in there. Sadly missed.
De Lucia also crossed the genres, in his case Spanish Flamenco and contemporary jazz recording with John McLaughlin and Chick Corea to name but a couple of jazz artists with whom he found an affinity.
His heart may have been steeped in flamenco but he also had a lot of jazz in his soul.
RIP.
Obituary.
Lance.

CD Review: Nick Vayenas - Some Other Time.

Nick Vayenas (tmb/tpt/vcl); Patrick Cornelius (alt); Dick Kaufman (pno); Doug Wamble (gtr); Michael Janisch (bs); Rudy Royston (dms).+ Peter Slavov (bs) & Joe Saylor (dms) replace Janisch and Royston on track 2.
(Review by Lance)
On this, his third album, Vayenas makes a triple prong attack spreading his talents between gut wrenching trombone solos, powerhouse trumpet playing and laid back Bakeresque vocals. He does them all very well. Four vocals and, although his pitching isn't always on the money, it's close enough not to offend and indeed has that pleasant laid back feel about it which suggests you wouldn't have it any other way! You Must Believe in Spring, Some Other Time, So in Love and Blame it on my Youth are classic late night outpourings of the heart. Youth, a duo with Wamble on guitar, gets to the core of the song the emotions laid bare.

R.I.P. Mick Danby

Just got word that Mick Danby has passed away after eventually losing his battle with cancer. Bassist, piano tuner and occasional trumpet player, Mick will be remembered for all of those things but, most of all, as an all round good guy.
Sadly missed.
Lance.

Pink Lane Jazz Co-op Update on Globe Project

I expect you will have heard about our project to buy The Globe and create a co-operative live music venue and jazz education hub.
We are holding an event for potential investors to find out more about this exciting venture on Monday 3 March at the Lit & Phil, 23 Westgate Road NE1 1SE starting at 6pm – there will be a buffet and bubbly as well as talk and jazz.  Whether you have invested or not please come along and bring some friends.  (It would be helpful if you let me know if you’re coming so we can get some idea of how many to cater for.)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

EP Review/Gig Preview: Johnny Hunter Quartet - Appropriations.

Graham South (tpt); Ben Watte (ten); Stewart Wilson (bs); Johnny Hunter (dms).
(Review by Lance).
Imagine The Haig back in 1952, in L.A. Gerry Mulligan and Chet Baker suggest to the owner that he gets the piano tuned. The owner declines, "WTF you want it tuned for? I had it painted last week!" The musicians decide they'll do the gig without a piano.
Cool may have been born with Miles in 1949 but it matured with the pianoless quartet of Mulligan and Baker.
A few years later along came Ornette Coleman and Don Cherry. They too sought freedom, pushing back the boundaries of jazz and opening the door to what became the Free Form/Avant-Garde - call it what you may - revolution and the pianos in the clubs began to gather dust.
This EP by Johnny Hunter's Quartet adds a third dimension. Neither as extrovert as Ornette nor as laid back as Gerry/Chet, The trumpet/tenor frontline draws from the best of both worlds making this one of the most listenable discs around. It is cool, but it's also full of fire (well away from the Pet Shop) and the references to Sonny Rollins, Joe Henderson and even John Zorn in the notes aren't far off the mark.
It's a good disc, don't take my word for it, just get along to the Splinter session this Sunday at the Bridge Hotel, Newcastle.
Johnny Hunter Quartet - Appropriations is available on the exciting new Manchester based label Efpi records.
Lance.

Expect the Unexpected – Jam Session @ Salsa Cafe, Sunday February 23

Stuart Mckie (Guitar); Paul Grainger (bass); Michael Howard (Drums)
(Review Ann Alex)
You never quite know what will happen at jam sessions, do you? It was a quiet start with the players as above and only myself to clap alone as audience, but by the end of the session we’d had an extra drummer (Jeff Armstrong); Chris Finch (keyboard) who brought a friend, Jessica, with him to help as a sort of roadie; Ray Burns with his voice and guitar but minus mouth organ; and to cap it all, a flamenco Guitarist who remained Anonymous. Plus, as usual, people enjoying meals and a couple of extra jazz fans.  I wonder where all the sax players were?

Monday, February 24, 2014

Kurt Elling & Scottish National Jazz Orchestra - Syntopicon @ Queen's Hall Edinburgh February 22.

(Review by Debra Milne).
This musical project was inspired by the ‘Syntopicon’, a cross referencing index for ‘Great Books of the Western World’ published by Encyclopaedia Britannica in 1952. SNJO director Tommy Smith bought the entire 54 volumes in 1990, and in Kurt Elling he has found the ideal collaborator to explore some of the key themes in the context of jazz. The programme included ideas of knowledge & wisdom, language, good & evil, love & beauty, life and death, with re-workings of pieces from composers including Wayne Shorter, Thelonius Monk, Leonard Bernstein and traditional Scottish music.

Continuing the Beguine - Latest from Our Man in Hong Kong


Had a very interesting couple of Nights with Sarah Hayes (right) who is the vocalist with the current Artie Shaw Orchestra and trombonist Dave Ashley (pictured on the right of the photo with myself) who was with the [Glenn] Miller Orchestra under Larry O'Brien, it 's good to know that these Ghost Bands are still on the road, the Miller Orchestra is flat out 11 months of the year, and the Shaw band not far behind, Sarah also did a month with the Ellington ghost band in Russia. These are the things that radio and the media in general do not give you these days, more interested in rap etc, but a couple of great nights at Ned’s [Ned Kelly’s, Kowloon, Hong Kong], and what an entertainer she is. One of Dave Ashley's favourite trombone players is Abe Lincoln, how’s about that for a youngish musician!
Hong Kong Pics.
Colin A.

Let Spin @ Bridge Hotel, Newcastle February 23.

Moss Freed (gtr); Ruth Goller (bs gtr);  Chris Williams (alt); Finlay Panter (dms).
When they were good they were very good. When they were bad they were awesome!
I realise I need to qualify that statement. Let Spin are a very good band with lots of well crafted originals and exciting solos. However, when they move towards the "bad" area - ie Improv - an area where I'm told I usually view the instruments as weapons of darkness, to paraphrase a recent comment, the excitement generated transcends boundaries and genres. This was no incendiary device detonated in a pet shop but an emotional explosion. Sure there was freedom, but not to the extent that musical values were cast aside for sheer effect.
Four players at the top of their game sent the fans in the crowded room home very happy after a highly successful JNE/Splinter promotion.
I recently reviewed their début album so, rather than repeat myself, as all but one of the compositions are on the CD, I'll simply ask you to check it out again. What I wrote stands, indeed hearing them live probably more so!
Photo link.
Lance.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Latest Releases From Babel

Nick Smart's Trogon - Tower Casa. 
Dominic Lash Quartet Opabinia
Alexander Hawkins Ensemble Step Wide, Step Deep
Alexander Hawkins Song Singular
Raymond MacDonald & Marilyn Crispell Parallel Moments
(Reviews by Russell).

Ruth Lambert Trio @ The Jazz Café. February 22

Ruth Lambert (vocals), Giles Strong (guitar) & Mick Shoulder (double bass) + Graeme Wilson (tenor saxophone) + Ray Burns (harmonica)
(Review by Russell).
Saturday night at the Jazz Café, the listeners’ seats taken, an obscured-view seat the next best option. A bottle of Prince Bishop at hand, hello to Ruth, note pad at the ready in the absence of Bebop Spoken Here’s Main Man (‘Man Flu’, apparently). Ms Lambert’s trio, a perfect fit for the venue, kicked off with You and the Night and the Music. Remarkably, those in attendance ceased conversation, opting to listen. Hoagy’s masterpiece – Skylark – followed. 

Saturday, February 22, 2014

CD Review: Introducing Nelson Pari.

Nelson Pari (guitar); Adam Davy (sop/alt); Manley O'Connor (pno/keys); Luigi Casanova (bs); Callum Green (dms).
(Review by Lance)
Young Italian guitarist Pari sent me this, his début EP, in November last year and, to my eternal shame, I've only just got around to playing it. In my defence it arrived at a time when CDs were arriving by the barrow-load and I tended to give preference to the better known names.
A mistake!

CD Review: Sandro Zerafa - The Bigger Picture

Sandro Zerafa (gtr); Olivier Zanot (alt - 5 tracks); Laurent Coq (pno); Yoni Zelnik (bs); Fred Pasqua (dms).
(Review by Lance)
Malta born, Paris based guitarist Zerafa has been compared by Jazznews to Jim Hall. That was 3 years ago and since then the 38 year-old guitarist has moved on, ploughing his own furrow, albeit not without retaining much of Hall's  harmonic depth and moulding it into his own original voice. A prominent member of the Paris Jazz Underground Collective, Zarafa proves it is possible to operate in a contemporary manner without being completely divorced from the innate sense of swing so essential to a jazz performance even though it may be remote and only implied. Nevertheless, it is there.

Friday, February 21, 2014

‘Jazz Study Links Music And Language’

Does this mean we jazz bloggers are all geniuses?
I spotted this news item in the ‘I’ (Independent) newspaper on Thursday this week.  It said that there had been a study done at John Hopkins University in Maryland (USA) which showed that jazz players ‘activate parts of their brain normally associated with spoken language’.  Apparently improvisation activates brain areas linked to language processing, which helps with interpreting the structure of phrases and sentences.
Now by my reckoning, users of this blog come well out of this, as we all deal with jazz, and we read and write about it as well.  This includes we singers, especially those who use lots of scat (Note to myself: must start scatting more!) Just a thought.
Ann Alex

CD Review: Pat Metheny Unity Group – Kin (<->)

Pat Metheny (electric & acoustic guitars, guitar synth, electronics, orchestrionics, synths); Chris Potter  (tenor sax, bass clarinet, soprano sax, clarinet, alto flute, bass flute); Antonio Sanchez (drums and cajon); Ben Williams (acoustic and electric bass); Giulio Carmassi ( piano, trumpet, trombone, french horn, cello, vibes, clarinet, flute, recorder, alto sax, wurlitzer, whistling and vocals).
(Review by Steve H.)
This album is classic Pat Metheny for those who are familiar with his work and for those who are not this is a great place to start. The opening track on the album On Day One  is an extended rip roaring ensemble fusion piece with hints of Steve Reich style passages utilizing a variety of electronic wizardry, hand claps and anything else the band can get their hands on. Midway through the track there is a pyrotechnic saxophone solo from Chris Potter and the finale ends with some atmospheric vocals.

Off Key Big Band @ Beamish Museum February 21

John Gilderoy, Amy Swann, Steveo Fay, John Fay (MD) (Trumpets); Battler Britton (Alto) Beth Sanderson (Tenor) Kris Park (Bari); Gerry Christie (Drums)
(Review by Kath Jobes).
I had heard via Facebook of a big band I had not encountered before who were playing over the half term week at Beamish Museum, and decided to go along for a listen.  My plans for going on Sunday afternoon were scuppered by other things, and I kept thinking I must get down to Beamish… and today I actually made it!

Zara McFarlane @ Sage Gateshead. February 20.

Zara McFarlane (vcl); Binker Golding (ten); ???(pno); Max Luthart (bs); Moses Boyd (dms).
(Review by Lance).
Hall Two was ground floor full. I guess Hall One did better - Richard and Adam of  Britain's Got Talent "fame"! Well, for my money, there was a lot more talent in Hall Two tonight!
I'd reviewed Zara's CD If You Knew Her earlier this month so I knew this was going to be a cracking gig and it certainly was. The majority of the numbers were from the current CD plus a couple from her previous effort, Until Tomorrow. In fact my favourite of the whole concert was from that earlier CD - More Than Mine. Perhaps it was the inspiration behind the song that got me. A tale of seeing your ex in a supermarket with somebody new and trying to hide behind the vegetable rack but being spotted. This girl sings about life!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Darlington Jazz Club Present - Jazz @ The Forum Music Centre. March/April Program

Season Two
Sundays
 Doors 5.30pm Live Music from about 6.00pm
March 2014
·       2nd March: Jazz ‘Combo’ Ray Dales £4/2
·       9th March: Jazz ‘Combo’ Jazz Tones £4/2
·       16th March: Jazz ‘Combo’: Dean Stockdale Trio £4/2
·    23rd March: Jazz ‘Combo’ Infusion £4/2
·    30th March : Jazz ‘Combo’ Alex Baker Quartet £4/2

CD Review: Roan Kearsey-Lawson - Presence in Mind.


Roan Kearsey-Lawson (vbs) also (marimba/dms/pno); Dorian Ford (pno); Larry Bartley (bs); Dave Trigwell (dms); Duncan Lamont (fl/ten/alt/bs.clt) + Ray Butcher (tpt/flg); Geoff Mason (tmb).
All titles composed by Roan Kearsey-Lawson.
(Review by Lance).
Although this is Kearsey-Lawson's début album it nevertheless has a maturity about it that is often missing from some albums by longer established jazz names. Of course the presence of Lamont Jr. helps but even on the tracks where the flautist/saxist is absent the quality still shines through.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Jam Session @ Jazz Café, Newcastle February 18

(Collective) Peter Gilligan (pno); Paul Grainger (bs); Paul Wight (dms); James Harrison (pno); James Carmichael (dms); Elliott Todd (tpt); Paul Gowland (ten/alt); Paul Ruddick (alt); Ian Forbes (dms); Ray Burns (vcl/hca); Joe Fowler (tmb); Kathryn Lowdon, Claire Kelly (vcl); Anth Ord (bs) + .....
The second of the fortnightly jams hosted by Peter Gilligan and co was another successful evening with some excellent instrumentals and vocals.
Too many to describe in detail suffice to say that nobody that I heard disappointed and there were more to come after I left - apologies for not hanging around for the grand finale even though our own Kath Jobes, James Robson, Belinda Voshtina and several others were "waiting in the wings". No doubt their moment came as I was boarding the number 27.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Death of an Informer

Sad to report that the free listings magazine The Informer is no longer gracing the shelves of North East libraries, pubs, tourist offices and, of course, a coffee table near you. The magazine, edited by Peter Dixon, ran for 136 monthly issues before lack of advertising meant it was time to call "Time gentlemen please".
So, no longer will discerning readers be able to catch up on gigs across the genres, enjoy Joe Palooka's editorial or the Bebop Spoken Here column, written initially by myself and latterly by Russell, but fish and chips will never taste the same again.
RIP.
Lance.

Monday, February 17, 2014

RIP Frank Wappat

The news has just come in that former Radio Newcastle DJ, Frank Wappat, died this morning. As well as his radio program, which ran for almost 40 years, Frank Wappat, who was born and lived for a number of years in Hebburn, also founded Memory Lane magazine, played in dance bands, formed his own church and was highly regarded as an authority on music of the thirties and forties and Al Bowlly in particular.
He also wrote several books including an excellent biography of singer Chick Henderson.
Rest In Peace.
Frank Wappat was 84.
Website.
Obituary
Lance.
PS: Thank you Hil for informing me.
PPS: Photo from Evening Chronicle archives.

Emcee 5 Remembered by the Safe Sextet @ Bridge Hotel Newcastle

Don Forbes (tpt); Paul Gowland (alt/ten); John Rowland (ten); Dean Stockdale (pno); Paul Grainger (bs); Paul Wight (dms).
(Review by Lance/Photo by Ken Drew).
Newcastle's Emcee 5 achieved local acclaim playing late night sessions at the Down Beat Club. National acclaim followed with the release of a critically well received EP and they were given an international seal of approval when no less an authority than Count Basie pronounced them the most swinging group in Europe after members of the Basie Band had sat in at the Down Beat.
The band broke up soon after, each member going on to greater things in London and beyond.
Fast forward 50 years. To the Bridge Hotel and the Safe Sextet.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Budtones @ Salsa Café February 15

Stuart Findon (Tenor);  Fiona Findon (Tenor/Vocals;) Eric Mckenzie-Stutt (Drums);  Dean Stockdale (Piano);  Paul Grainger (D Bass).
(Review/photo by Kath Jobes)
Well I’d heard that Dean Stockdale had joined the Budtones, but was surprised to see Paul Grainger on Bass, apparently their usual bass player, Andy Porritt became a dad today… a daughter Erin, congratulations Andy, and so the ever flexible Mr Grainger  seamlessly stepped into the breach and did what he does best!
Salsa was pretty packed when I arrived, but my table had been reserved, so I was able to settle down with my cranberry and soda to listen to the music… having realised my pen and pad were in my other coat, I resorted to technology and used the memo facility in my phone to make brief notes. 

Now This is What I Call a Library!

Let it snow! Come rain or come shine...the show must go on!
Better yet...the show is free! No cover, no minimum -- but- - no booze. No pot (yet!)

Just books.
DARYL SHERMAN in concert at Monmouth County Library, Manalapan,NJ.
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2 -4PM
with JAMES CHIRILLO, BOOTS MALESON and...WARREN VACHE

Jason Rebello Line-Up

For those still undecided on whether or not to attend the Jason Rebello gig at Hoochie on March 7 the line-up below may well tempt you!
Joy Rose Vocals; Xantone Blacq Vocals/Keys; Troy Miller Drums; Karl Rasheed Bass; Jason Rebello Keys/Jokes.
Only £10!
Lance.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

More on Pink Lane Jazz Co-operative Share Initiative

Paul Edis Trio – Jazz Café February 14 – Valentine’s Night

Paul Edis (piano) Mick Shoulder (D. Bass) Adam Sinclair (Drums)
(Review/Photo by Kath Jobes)
Valentines night at The Jazz Café… yep I was there with my mates Emma and Ray… and not a card or flower received by any of us, so we had to reconcile ourselves with some superb jazz.  The Café was tastefully decorated with hearts and flowers, a lovely pink rose on each table and a bowl of heart treats on the bar… cakes and decorated marshmallows, and a special cocktail for the  couples with a wee box of chocolates to share… one each!   On arrival it seemed a little quiet, just a group of students and one other couple… my comment to Kay Tilly was they must all still be having romantic dinners… and so it seemed as later the place filled up nicely with couples and small groups of happy patrons, a different crowd than previously seen at the Café but they seemed to enjoy the music and there was even a request… more of that later.

Friday, February 14, 2014

CD Review/Concert Preview: Zara McFarlane - If You Knew Her

Until Tomorrow was Zara's first disc and reviewed within these pages in October 2011. It was and is a superb album and I'm pleased to say this follow up disc is equally brilliant if not better. With Gilles Peterson alongside Zara on the Production Line it had to be good and it is.
The songs are strong often in duo format with Max Luthart or Gavin Barras(bass); Peter Edwards (piano) plus items where she accompanies herself on guitar or piano. There are also band tracks with Binker Golding on tenor, Leron Thomas on trumpet, Andy Chapman on drums among others.
Whatever the combination, it works. The voice is appealing and gets to the heart of each song making the lyric felt as befits a singer/songwriter. A voice with a smoky timbre that tells of loves won and loves lost. A disc to listen to and reflect on the hopes and disappointments of St Valentines Day - or any day.
But it doesn't stop here!
Zara is at Sage Gateshead on THURSDAY - that's right - THURSDAY February 20. 8pm Hall Two. £11.50/£13.50. 
Lance.
The CD is available on Brownwood Recordings.

Two Is an Odd Number! - Paul Edis and Graham Hardy @ the Lit.& Phil, February 14.

Paul Edis (piano) and Graham Hardy (trumpet and flugelhorn).
(Review/Photos by Jerry E.)
Two is an odd number at most jazz gigs but, as was flagged up on Bebop and elsewhere, there are precedents such as Louis and Earl. Anyway, on Valentine’s, I suppose, a trio would be a crowd! And there were some appropriate song-choices for the day: I Loves You Porgy and La Vie en Rose for example. The Gershwin is even more romantic as introduced by one bandleader: ”written by George Gershwin and his lovely wife, Ira”! There was also My Valentine (Funny) which for me WAS an odd number not least because I never found the remembered melody, even in the middle!

Share Invitation from Pink Lane Jazz Co-operative

We are inviting music lovers throughout the UK to join us in a unique venture – a co-operatively owned live music and jazz education venue.
We are issuing shares to raise money to buy The Globe, a pub and music venue on the west edge of Newcastle city centre.We aim to establish The Globe as the place to go to hear live jazz and other music that is outside the mainstream.  It will be a place where musicians learn, share and develop their skills – a hub for jazz education.  It will be the first music venue to be owned by a co-operative committed to jazz.
We’ve already got promises of nearly half the money we need from two ethical funds.  Now we need to raise £125,500 from individual investors – maybe people like you.
You may invest any sum between £200 and £20,000.  You will become a member of the co-op and can become actively involved in this exciting project if you want to be.  Membership is open to any person (age 16 or over) or organisation that supports the objectives of the co-operative.
You can apply here for shares online or by post using the form on the last page of the share offer document.
Dave Parker
Pink Lane Jazz Co-operative

The Collective @ Hoochie Coochie February 13

Tim Bloomer (gtr); Dominic Snaith (keys); Paul Crown (drums); Martyn Dixon (bs. gtr.); Kieron (vcl).
Good to see The Collective back at Hoochie and with a good crowd in attendance, It was rockier and less jazz orientated than previous gigs with only Tim and Dominic from the last Collective on stage. Nevertheless, they're all talented young guys and when Kieron joined them for the second set the sparks flew.
I remember Kieron from one of the Splinter jam sessions where he sang the verse to As Time Goes By completely unaccompanied. This time he was in a bluesier mode - Long John Baldry was a comparison made although the final I'm Comin' Home Baby was Mel Tormé.
The first set was solid Rock with overtones of Cream evident in the guitar blasts from Tim Bloomer and Martyn on bass. Paul had effective solos and kept the adrenalin flowing whilst Dominic Snaith produced much more than mere piano sounds from his keyboard stack.
The Collective are back next month and a new combo, The Pilgrim St. Band - a brainchild of Paul Susans - are here next week.
March 7 it's JASON REBELLO!
How does Warren manage to pull so many names to his Pilgrim St. bar?
If you like what he does now's the time to show your support. Not just by buying the tickets which we hope you'll do anyway (only £10 for JR!) but to cast your vote for Hoochie in this year's Licensed Trade Awards by following the link.  http://www.licensedtradeinternational.com/awards.php
Lance.
PS: Can anyone name check the band for me?
PPS: Thanks to Tim for corrections.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Jeux de Mots! Djangologie @ Bishop Auckland Town Hall. Wednesday February 12.

Mick Shoulder (bass), Emma Fisk (violin), Giles Strong  (guitar) and James Birkett (guitar).
(Review photos by Jerry E.)
It began inauspiciously: had we encountered three witches and a cauldron between car-park and Town Hall, I’d not have been surprised! Even inside, the wind howled and thrummed in the rafters and the curtains behind the stage wafted ominously!
It was a good turn-out though and from the off the audience, having unwrapped more layers than I’ve seen since returning from a visit to Estonia, was rapt – “too rapt” during Dinah, according to Mick! He urged applause and, solo by solo, they “un-rapt” to the extent that he seemed almost to “tut” after one unseemly bout of premature Mick-adulation before he’d finished his solo! “There’s no pleasing him,” said Emma.
But we were pleased by Douce Ambience in which Giles “did something contrapuntal” (it’s legal in Bishop!) and by Feuille d’Automne and Nuages. During the quiet, melancholic coda to this last, the wind made its presence felt as “fifth member” of the band: for the most part, fortunately, the strumming guitars and tapping feet managed to drown it out. Music conquers all?

CD Review: Ian O'Beirne - Glasswork

Ian O'Beirne (alt/ten); Tim Wendel (gtr); Tim Brey (Fender Rhodes); Kurt Kotheimer (dbl. bass.); Matt Scarano (dms).
O'Beirne, Philadelphia based saxist/composer/arranger/educator, in a parallel universe plays baritone with a touring Glenn Miller Orchestra. He will do it well. However, although there's no String of Pearls on this disc there are plenty of gems not least the leader's alto and tenor sax work. His playing flows with an appealing fluidity without resorting to torrential outpourings of sound. This is one for those who prefer a melodic line with some often unexpected intervals thrown in just to add that vital element of surprise so essential to a good jazz performance.
Guitarist Wendell weaves in and out creating a rich tapestry of his own and whilst I'm not always a fan of Rhodes pianos Brey gets just the right sound for this ensemble. Piano and guitar combine well with bass and drums giving O'Beirne the perfect cushion.
 Ian O'Beirne - Glasswork can be obtained by following the above link.
Lance.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Murder Trial Verdict

Well the sad case is over now and Mark Arthur found guilty of the murder of Heather Arthur. No need to repeat the details as I'm sure there will be plenty media coverage including tomorrow night on BBC Look North after sentencing takes place.
May Heather now be allowed to Rest In Peace
Lance.

RIP Alice Babs

Sweden's First Jazz Lady Alice Babs passed away yesterday (February 11) aged 90. Babs is probably best remembered in the jazz world for her collaborations with Duke Ellington. In particular the sacred concerts.
In 1958 she was Sweden's first Eurovision Song Contest entrant finishing 4th. Babs also appeared in several Swedish films.
Sadly missed.
Lance.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

CD Review: Let Spin - Let Spin.

Moss Freed (gtr); Ruth Goller (bs);  Chris Williams (sax); Finlay Panter (dms).
Let Spin were formed in 2012 as a collaboration between four of the UK's top genre-crossing instrumentalists: Freed (Moss Project); Goller (Acoustic Ladyland); Williams (Led Bib) and Finlay Panter (Bits and Pieces Big Band). Discovering their own shared space the band quickly found their own unique language and two months later recorded this, their début album.
To be honest, reading the blurb my first reaction was that I'm going to hate this!
Then I played it!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Second Ending by Evan Hunter

I love music and I love books - I love other things too but we won't go into that! 
There are books, just as there are records, that you wouldn't part with yet may never read or play again. There are also books (and records) that you are compelled to come back to time and time again.
Second Ending by Evan Hunter is just such a book. Hunter also wrote The Blackboard Jungle and the Ed McBain 87th Precinct stories but Second Ending is the one I always come back to.

Tom Harrison/Jamie Taylor Quartet @ The Bridge Hotel, Newcastle. February 9

Tom Harrison (alto); Jamie Taylor (guitar); Conor Chaplin (bass); David Lyttle (drums).
(Review by Lance)
In a perfect world the Splinter session at the Bridge, last night, would have been chockablock with sax players jostling with guitarists, bassists and drummers for a front row seat.
In a perfect world.
As it turned out there were none of the aforementioned breed and very few other species either. You could in fact almost count the audience on Django's left hand.

Dear Bix and other Emotive Music

Saw your nice comment  on Dear Bix in Hoagy review - thanks for thinking of me . I got my guitar out and ran through it as I've not sung it for ages but I could pretty much remember the words. Must revive it as you suggest. Like you, I think its a lovely, very moving song. I first come across it on a great album 'Getting some fun out of life' by Dave Frishberg.  And dear Richie Kamuca sings it on another album I have.
It's an interesting topic - the question of songs with moving lyrics plus nice melody. I think the best examples that we love are some of the nicest forms of music in existence. Not just Gasbook - there's Schubert (I think he maybe thought this too) and just last night on TV we listened to the Everly Brothers concert at the Albert Hall back in 1983 when they got back together. Phil recently passed away. I  found it extremely moving to say the least and some of their songs are absolute gems.

PG3 + 2 @ Salsa Café February 8

Pete Gilligan (Keys) Paul Grainger (D.Bass) Steve Summers (Sop & Tenor Sax) Don Forbes (Trumpet)  Tim Johnston (Drums)
(Review by Kath Jobes).
Salsa Café was buzzing when I arrived, my friend Emma had managed to get a table near the front, close enough to smell the saxes! Steve Summers had brought along two plus his usual selection of percussion for the Latin numbers… already I could see this was going to be a good night! 
Don Forbes led the band off with a lively There Will Never Be Another You, then came the first of several Horace Silvers numbers… and Pete was in his element with Silver’s SerenadeTokyo Blues saw a superb trumpet solo from Don and I was so impressed I missed the name of the next number… sometimes I’m just having too much fun!  

CD Review: Tord Gustavsen Quartet - Extended Circle

Tord Gustavsen – Piano, Tore Brunborg – Saxophones, Mats Eilertsen - Double Bass, Jarle Vespestad – Drums.
(Review by Steve H.)
Norwegian jazz tends not to be the wild swinging sort of music that originated from New Orleans;  in fact when you hear of Norwegian blues I’m sure  many people think of the legendary Monty Python parrot sketch . This album by Norwegian pianist Tord Gustavsen, his sixth for the ECM label, will not disavow you of any preconceived ideas about the Nordic interpretation of this musical art form. However,  for those who appreciate subtle, meditative, atmospheric and thought provoking music,  I can thoroughly recommend you give this genre a listen and hopefully it will have you ‘pining for the Fjords’.

Sunday, February 09, 2014

CD Review: Chris Ingham Quartet - Hoagy.

Chris Ingham (pno/vcl); Paul Higgs (tpt); Rev. Andrew Brown (bs); Russ Morgan (dms).
(Review by Lance).
No offence ladies - I loves y'all - but it is such a treat to have a male vocalist invading your, what sometimes seems to be, overpopulated ranks. That Chris Ingham also plays mighty fine piano is another bonus but the icing on the cake is the material - Hoagy Carmichael. 
Unlike the Broadway Grandmasters of popular song - Kern, Berlin, Porter, Rodgers and Gershwin - whose music was ultimately taken from the quasi operatic settings of the composers and enhanced by jazz musicians and popular crooners, Carmichael's classics were aimed at the jazz and popular market from the moment he put pen to manuscript paper. Add Hoagy's laconic vocal presence and his sympathetic piano and you have the composite all-rounder.
Fast forward to 2014 - enter the Chris Ingham Quartet.

Alter Ego @ Ashington Jazz Club. February 5

Andy Hawking (Roland Key Board), Tony Abell (Bass),  Keith Robinson (Alto. Sax.), Dave Hignett (Tpt. Flugel.), Niall Armstrong (Ten. Sax. Flute), Dave Francis (Drums).
(Review by Peter S.)
The AJC reopened, after a winter break, with Alter Ego. The members arrived in force if a little apprehensive realising this would be a new experience for them as many would
not have listened to this West Coast Modern Jazz style.

Elkie Brooks @ Sage Gateshead February 9

Elkie Brooks (vcl); Stevie Jones (ten); Andrew Murray (keys); Brian Badham (bs gtr); Rufus Ruffell (gtr); Michael Richardson (dms); Lee Noble (various).
(Review by Lance).
After Natalie Williams had sent us on our way rejoicing from Hoochie on Friday night, the feeling was that it would be many a moon before a star shone so brightly again. Then, lo and behold, less than 24 hours later we were once again bedazzled, this time at Sage Gateshead and by a woman almost twice Natalie's age!
Elkie Brooks.

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Jamil Sheriff Trio with Josh Kemp @ The Lit & Phil. February 6

Jamil Sheriff (piano), Pete Turner (double bass), Dave Walsh (drums) + Josh Kemp (tenor and alto saxophones) + Archie
(Review by Russell/Photos by Ken Drew.)
Jazz North East’s first promotion since their marathon fundraiser drew a decent crowd. Presented in association with the Lit and Phil, pianist Jamil Sheriff and Dave Walsh (drums) drove up from Leeds and bassist Pete Turner, with Archie in tow, made the journey across the Pennines from the north west. Sheriff has recently been writing reams of material and some of it got a work out during this Newcastle engagement.
Trio Piece No.1 set the tone; a swinging piano trio composition, all three musicians into a groove from the off. Applause woke Archie from his slumbers. Our four-legged friend leapt to his feet, tail wagging as he ran around the room  Master Turner commanded he return to his dog basket and good as gold did just that receiving a pat on the back on the way.

Natalie Williams @ Hoochie Coochie + CD Review: Natalie Williams - Where You Are

Natalie Williams (vcl); Phil Peskett (keys); Al Cherry (gtr); Robin Mullarkey (bs. gtr/uke bs); Troy Miller (dms).
(Review by Lance)
Last time I heard Ms. Williams was on a Thursday afternoon in London's Cadogan Hall where Natalie laid a couple of hours of delightful GASbook upon us.
Friday night at Hoochie Coochie is more than mere miles away from a Thursday afternoon at Cadogan! It's a different planet! Maybe somewhere around Jupiter way.
Instead of suave sophistication, we got a raunchy, no holds barred, performance that merged soul, jazz, funk and rock into a sizzling inferno of sound.

CD Review: Jason Anick - Tipping Point.

Jason Anick (vln/man); Greg Loughman/Adam Cote (bs); Mike Connors (dms); Jason Yeader/Matt de Champlain (pno); Clay Lyons (alt); Kris Jensen (ten); Lee Dynes (gtr).
Isn't it just like the thing? You wait for ages and three come along at once!
No, for once I'm not talking about the number 27 bus but jazz violinists. I've extolled the violin virtues of Emma Fisk and rated Tim Kliphuis' tribute CD to Stephane Grappelli, then, lo and behold, this one lands in the passage!

Friday, February 07, 2014

Wild Flower Sextet Launches Crowdfunding Campaign

The Wild Flower Sextet have launched a crowd-funding campaign to support the making of their debut album, which they are recording on February 22nd and 23rd in the Leeds College of Music recital room after receiving a place on the Jazz Services Recording Support scheme.
The band, led by Leeds-based tenor saxophonist Matt Anderson, takes its name from a composition by the great Wayne Shorter, and the project celebrates the master saxophonist's music with deconstructed re-workings of his compositions as well as new material. Also featured in the band are young London-based trumpeter Laura Jurd, guitarist Alex Munk and pianist Jamil Sheriff, as well as the ever-popular combination of Sam Vicary and Sam Gardner on double-bass and drums.

Ashington Jazz Club Milestones

6 years since I met Lance for the first time (at The Caedmon Hall) and he said he was starting something called a blog.
5 years since  I took over running Jazz at The Elephant (after the Queens failed as a venue)
4 years since we introduced trios with female singers to Ashington
3 years since the Pimptones blasted out at the Elephant
2 years since Lickety Split brought us up to date in a big band way
1 year ago since we went back to New Orleans with Gavin Lee
Last Wednesday Bebop was spoken here at Ashington and we were brought up to date with Alter Ego and our traddies loved  it!!!!
The most northerly jazz club in  England  -  offering the most diverse range of jazz styles of any jazz club around
Note: We also now celebrate 30 years of Ashington Jazz Club (Also Blaydon Jazz Club which started about the same time)
Next Month we are back to New Orleans with Brian Carrick on Geo. Lewis’ Metal Clarinet and some real JASS ( as Jazz was known in those days).
John T.
 

Thursday, February 06, 2014

It Pays to Advertise Particularly if you don't have to pay!

Peter Bacon, he of the Birmingham based Jazz Breakfast Blog, posted this pithy and perceptive open letter to young jazz musicians.
I suggest all jazz musicians read it but instead of "Birmingham" replace with "Your City". You could even delete "Young".
Check it out here. Guys like Peter, myself and all the other jazz bloggers don't live in one-way streets but sometimes it looks that way.
Lance.

Friday Night at Hoochie (Feb 7)

Not to be missed! Heard her in London last year. Great singer.
Lance.

CD Review: Tim Hegarty - Tributes.

Tim Hegarty (ten/sop); Kenny Barron (pno); Rufus Reed (bs); Carl Allen (dms) + Mark Sherman (vbs) on 4 tracks.
(Review by Lance)
Tim Hegarty is, or rather was, an unknown name to me. The blurb tells me he's been a force on the New York City jazz scene for some 25 years - and well he may be. Hegarty is one of those players who come up on you from left field and leave you saying, "Where have you been all my life?" This is class tenor (and soprano) playing in the best Dexter early Trane tradition perhaps even with a hint of Ike Quebec. The late Chris Yates would have described Hegarty as a "Tough Tenor" and I'm not going to argue.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Jazz UK - Current Issue 115

Jazz UK - the House Organ of Jazz Services - is always worth a read. It's free (although subscriptions are welcome to help keep it afloat) and usually available at a gig or from a record shop near you.
The  February/March issue which is out now is of particular interest to North East fans containing, as it does, articles by Dave Parker and Paul Bream.
Dave, one of the founder members of the Pink Lane Jazz Co-op, writes about the aims of the PLJC which include buying a pub, and hosting a monthly Jazz Workshop held at Sage Gateshead. He makes reference to venues large and small that feature bands on a regular basis as well name checking some of the musicians who keep jazz alive at grass-roots level. I'm pleased to say Bebop Spoken Here gets a favourable mention!

Jazz Café Jam February 4











Peter Gilligan (pno); Paul Grainger (bs); Paul Wight (dms) + Dean Stockdale (pno); Eric Stutt/Ian Forbes (dms); Don Forbes (tpt); Stuart Finden/Johnny Davis (ten); Fiona Finden (ten/vcl); Lindsay Hannon/Claire Kelly (vcl); Ray Burns (vcl/hca) etc.
(Review by Lance)
Bruce Bax looked around the crowded room and said to me "The Caff is reborn!" I knew what he meant not least because most, if not all, of the musicians on the stand had been part of the iconic building's previous incarnation. Familiar faces in the audience too - not least Bruce himself whose charismatic 1940's style trilby, strategically angled at 45º, was forever a part of the old Jazz Café landscape.
The house trio for the evening  set the mood with the opener Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most followed by a familiar sounding Bud Powell number. Peter and the two Pauls were on fire.

CD Review: Lauren Kinhan – Circle in a Square

Lauren Kinhan – vocal; Andy Ezrin – piano, Fender Rhodes & B3 organ; Ben Wittman – drums & percussion; David Finck – bass; Will Lee – bass.
Special guests: Randy Brecker – trumpet; Romero Lubambo – guitar; Chuck Loeb – guitar; Donny McCaslin – tenor saxophone; Joel Frahm – tenor saxophone; Gary Versace – accordion; Peter Eldridge – piano.
(Review by Debra Milne).
Lauren Kinhan is an established  American jazz singer and songwriter, best known  for her  longstanding involvement in New York Voices , and also as a member of  ‘vocal supergroups’  Moss and  JaLaLa, the latter a trio with Manhattan Transfer ‘s  Janis Siegel and Laurel Masse. Circle In A Square is her 3rd solo album, and is composed of entirely original material, recorded with a core of longstanding musical collaborators and a host of special guests. She  co-produced the project with Elliott Scheiner , whose  previous credits  include  albums with Steely Dan,  Sting, Paul Simon & BB King , and no less than 7 Grammys. 

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

CD Review: Bob Dorough - Eulalia.

Bob Dorough (vcl, pno, arr); Steve Gilmore (bs); Herman Matthews (dms); Phil Woods (alt); Aralie Dorough (fl); Dennis Dotson (tpt); Thomas Hultén (tmb, tuba); Ray Wilson (gtr);Warren Sneed (ten, sop) + Keith Vivens (el. bs.);  Mike Mizma (vbs, pandeiro); Gary Mitchell Jr. (vcls, choirmaster, B3); Tammie Bradley (vcls).
(Review by Lance)
A cornucopia of delights in this slightly whimsical disc. Where to start? Dorough isn't a great singer but he puts over the quirky lyrics with the tongue in cheek approach of someone like Dave Frishberg and, like Frishberg, he can laydown some mean piano as well as writing poetically, composing a melodic tune and arranging the same imaginatively. His daughter, Aralie, also plays mighty fine flute (her dad was born in Arkansas and discovered music in Texas).

Monday, February 03, 2014

Tommy Smith: In the Beginning Age 20.

January's most viewed posts

Two posts dominated the most viewed statistics in January and for two very different reasons. By far the most significant post was the announcement that much loved saxist John Wheeler had died. The one post none of us expected. Sad as this was, it let the world know the legacy John left us. Not just as a musician but as a lovely person. RIP.
The other item was the posts surrounding the highly successful Jazz North East Fund Raising event both before and after. Good that it was so well supported.
Also well viewed were reviews of:
Mark Williams and Claude Werner at the Jazz Café; Mo Scott at the Bridge and forthcoming events at Hoochie Coochie.
Lance

Ant Law Quartet @ The Bridge Hotel. February 2













Ant Law (guitar), Michael Chillingworth (alto saxophone, clarinet & bass clarinet), Tom Farmer (double bass) & James Maddren (drums)
(Review by Russell/Photos by Ken Drew)
A return visit to the Bridge by the Ant Law Quartet. In 2013 guitarist Ant Law’s Newcastle debut made a big impression and with the same line-up of the best of British new wave jazz talent on show this was an eagerly anticipated return gig. This Splinter at the Bridge gig, in association with Jazz North East, attracted the regular first name punters.

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Djangologie @ Jazz Café. February 1

Mick Shoulder (contrabasse), Emma Fisk (violon), James Birkett (guitare) & Giles Strong (guitare rythmique)
(Review by M. Russell/Photo by Mlle. Kath J.)
Saturday evening in a little café in Newcastle sur Seine. Friends, couples, lovers engaged in low level, if not intimate, conversation. A bottle of Rivet Catcher (Jarrow sur Seine), the offer of a flower vase politely declined in favour of a ‘traditional’ half glass. Perhaps the hot topic was the result of the day’s 'grand' match at St James’, given the outcome perhaps not. Intermittent downpours dampened the enthusiasm for ‘le punch-up’, drowning of sorrows the priority. Earlier in the day your reviewer could be found in a nameless Tyneside hostelry watching ‘Le Debacle’. The (illegal) overseas television coverage courtesy of Canal Plus, Les Mags’ French Contingent would surely do ‘le business’. Non! 

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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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