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Bebop Spoken There

Buddy Rich: "You either swing a band or you don't swing a band - (Metronome April 1956).

Sinclair Traill: “Well I don't think he (Chet Baker) can sing either.” – (Jazz Journal August 1956).

Fred Rowe Funeral Arrangements

The funeral of well-respected and much-loved trumpet player Fred Rowe will take place on Wednesday, December 13 at 14:00 hrs: Lytham Crematorium (Regent Ave, Lytham Saint Annes FY8 4AB). Afterwards - All warmly welcome for refreshments at 2 Chapel Close, Wesham, Preston PR4 3HB.
No flowers by request donations to Parkinson's UK. Should you wish to donate to Parkinson’s research, please contact the Funeral Directors (J & A Porter Funeral Services, Windsor Court, Windsor Road, Ansdell, Lytham St Annes, Lancashire FY8 1AH. Tel: 01253735423) or place in a collection box that will be provided at the end of the service.
"Please do come along, we would love to see as many of Fred’s friends as possible" - Joan Rowe and family.

Submissions for review

Whilst we appreciate the many emails, texts, messages and other communications we receive requesting album/gig reviews on BSH, regrettably, we are unable to reply to them all other than those we are able to answer with a positive response.
Similarly, CDs received by post will only be considered if accompanied by sufficient background material.
Finally, bear in mind that this is a jazz-based site when submitting your album.
Lance

Today Sunday December 10

Afternoon.

Musicians Unlimited - Park Hotel, Park Rd., Hartlepool TS26 9HU. 01249 233126.1pm. Free.

Blues @ The Bay - Tanner Smith's, 17-19 South Parade, Whitley Bay NE26 2RE, 0191 2525941. 4pm. Blues Jam w. Scott Wall & Charlie Philp.

Somethin' Blue - Vesuvio, 3a Houndgate, Darlington DL1 5RL. 01325 788564. 5pm. Weekly.
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Evening

Blue Jazz Sextet - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £5.

Article XI & Favourite Animals - Bridge Hotel, Castle Garth, Newcastle NE1 1RQ. 8pm. £8 (£6 conc.) JNE.

Classic Swing - The Kittiwake, Claremont Crescent, Whitley Bay NE26 3HL. Tel: 0191 251 3977. 6:00pm. New weekly residency.

Durham Alumni Big Band + Durham County Youth Big Band - The Keys, Skinnergate, Darlington DL3 7LX. Tel: 01325 394222. 6:00pm. £6.00. Note change of venue.

Jazz Jam - Empty Shop, 35c Framwellgate Bridge, Durham DH1 4SJ. 7:30pm. Last one of 2017

Chris Martin & Scott Wainwright - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9:00pm. Free.

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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Carleen Anderson @ Sage Gateshead - June 29











Carleen Anderson (vocals, vocal harmoniser & piano), Orphy Robinson (vibes & cajón), Emma Smith (violin), Renell Shaw (bass) & Crispin Robinson (percussion).
(Review by Russell)
The Young Disciple is taking her story to the people. Cage Street Memorial - The Pilgrimage, is Carleen Anderson’s reflections on life and heritage. American born, British resident, Anderson, daughter of Vicki Anderson, has come a long way since her days with Gilles Peterson’s Talkin’ Loud record label. Anderson greeted Sage Gateshead: Good evening congregation!

Colin Aitchison July dates

If any of you are around Tyneside I will be playing here and there with some of the Hong Kong gang, here are some dates if you are in the area and would like to say Hi.
8th, July (Sat) - Mouth Of The Tyne Festival - Colin Aitchison & The China Coast Jazzmen. Neds style set. (1:35pm) The Vieux Carre Jazzmen open things up at 12.00 noon.
10th, July (Mon) - John Hallam Band, Crescent Club, Cullercoats - 1pm - 3pm.
12th (Weds) - Vieux Carre Jazzmen. Crescent Club, Cullercoats 1-00pm - 3-00pm.
13th (Thurs) - The Holystone. Vieux Carre Jazzmen, Newcastle outskirts 1pm-3pm . 
Address: Whitley Rd, Holystone, Newcastle upon Tyne NE27 0DA, UK

14th, (Friday) Evening. South Shields, New Ship Inn, Roy Willis & Mia Webb. 7pm - 9pm
15th (Sat) - Lunchtime session - Blaydon. The Black Bull. 1-00pm - 3-30pm. £5 cover charge. Bridge St, Blaydon-on-Tyne NE21 4JJ, UK.
Colin.
(Pictured centre with James Zoller right)

Thursday, June 29, 2017

CD Review(ish): Alan Broadbent - Developing Story.

I only received the downloads for this today so, haven't had a chance to listen to it properly - hopefully some hard copy CD/Vinyl will arrive in the post and enable me to add my thoughts to the snippets I've played. Call me old fashioned but I hate downloads!
It's a classy album, how could it not be with Broadbent involved? - his gig with Georgia Mancio at this years GIJF is way up there as my gig of the year. However, when you bring symphony orchestras into the mix... So I'll reserve judgment until I've had a chance to absorb all the beautiful sounds that await. But, as the release date is tomorrow, for the moment, we'll have to make do with the Press Release.

RIP Geri Allen


Geri Allen, legendary American jazz pianist, composer, arranger, educator and bandleader, died on Tuesday, June 27, aged 60.

I don't think I ever heard Geri Allen live I'm sure I'd have remembered if I had - such was her reputation. and her standing in the jazz world.
However, I will try and YouTube what I missed. In the meantime, the obituary below covers her life comprehensively and more effectively than I could.
May she rest in peace.
Lance.

CD Review: Jan Harbeck's Live Jive Jungle - Elevate

Jan Harbeck (tenor); Thor Madsen (guitar); Jeppe Skovbakke (bass); Peter Leth (drums).
(Review by Lance).
The aim, the blurb says, is to get the jazz audience (back) on the dance floor with these charming, riff-based compositions, beats and grooves. Given the right exposure, Live Jive Jungle can't fail.
Given the right exposure - that's the rub...
In Newcastle, I guess, it would be Hoochie Coochie or, maybe, downstairs at The Globe. Few other local venues offer jazz dancing space for visiting bands (somebody correct me if I'm wrong!).
So, perhaps, the best option is to roll back the carpet, crank up the Vitrola, invite your hippest (I use the word advisedly) neighbours around to shake it about - checking on your building insurance first - and enjoy this slice of Danish.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

RIP Sandi Russell

So sad to learn of the death of Sandi on June 23. A larger than life character, she brought an enthusiasm to the music that few could match and, although there have recently been several claimants regarding who arranged the first Durham Jazz Festival, I think Sandi could claim that distinction.
A lusty, gutsy, singer, she didn't take prisoners but gave her all at each and every performance.
I reviewed that first festival gig back in 2011 here and, although it wasn't gushing approval, she emailed me back thanking me.
She was quite a girl and I'll miss her, often wild, performances. Sandi did do subtle but not very often and I wouldn't have had it any other way.
A one off and someone who'll be very sadly missed. I guess there will be a few promoters throughout the land saying 'we should have booked her'.
Sandi was 71. RIP.
Lance
Obituary

Preview: Gypsy Jazz Workshop @ Easington











The Barn at Easington is a venue on the East Durham Coast that has hosted several festivals in the past. A whole day of Gypsy Jazz Workshops is planned on September 16 followed by a Fireside jam in the evening, all in the beautiful surroundings of Thorp Lea East Farm.  Camping is available for those who have the stamina to go on playing until the small hours. 
If successful, the organisers are hoping that this might become a regular thing and might even extend to a whole weekend Gypsy Jazz Camp next summer. 
Click on the above posters for details also: http://www.thebarnateasington.co.uk/

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

UN-NATURAL FUNCTIONS

(Anon - forwarded by Ray Harley)


It's one of those gigs that you wish you'd not taken,
But money speaks louder than pride so you bite.
Better judgement dispensed with, ideals are forsaken,
You kid yourself it'll be right on the night.

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The drive is a nightmare; you turn up last minute.
The bandleader's 'tutting' and itching to start.
Too late it dawns, it's hell and you’re in it,
The drummer counts in - you can’t find the first part.
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As is the tradition with small town Masonics,
They've eaten their fill and they won’t leave their chairs.
They just sit morosely and down gin & tonics
While fixing the bandstand with long baleful stares.
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Monday, June 26, 2017

CD Review: Kathrine Windfeld Big Band

(Review by Lance).
A compelling album by an outstanding Danish Big Band. Not a swing band by any means and, although there are foot-tapping moments, mainly it's a contemporary ensemble with barely a do-wa-do-wa-do-wa in sight. Instead, Ms. Windfeld successfully, and originally, explores territories previously prospected by Gil Evans, Mingus, George Russell, Kenny Wheeler, Mike Westbrook and Mike Gibbs among others. She does it well and loses nothing in comparision to her better known, outside of Denmark, contemporaries.

Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band @ Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester - June 25

(Review by Russell).
They flew 6000 miles to play two concerts. A capacity audience at this first concert greeted this Los Angeles supergroup with wild applause, all before a note was played. The Wigan International Jazz Festival sought the services of this greatest of big bands for some fifteen years and now, finally, we were about to hear the band live, in concert. Festival Director Ian Darrington introduced the band in simple fashion; Welcome the best big band on the planet.
Cameras flashed as the Big Phat Band strolled onto the stage, the best big band on the planet. MD Gordon Goodwin acknowledged an ecstatic audience as the band’s British premiere began right on time. The eighteen-piece Big Phat Band, comprising of Los Angeles’ A-list film and recording studio session musicians, exuded a casual air, their collective CV simply amazing. Boy, this lot could play!

Update on forthcoming gigs at Blaydon Jazz Club

SATURDAY AFTERNOON SESSION - 15th July 1pm to 3.30pm - £5.00
Colin Aitchison tpt, Franco Valussi clt, Steve Andrews sax/clt, Alan Rudd bass, Roly Veitch gtr.
The annual visit of the Hong Kong based Colin & Franco and friends. It wasn't possible to arrange an evening concert this year hence this Saturday afternoon session. 
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Sunday, June 25, 2017

Jazz Lads back at Saltburn next Sunday (July 2)

Ray Dales (alto); Jeremy McMurray (keys); Ian Bosworth (guitar); Adrian Beadnell (bass); Paul Smith (drums).
The Jazz Lads, pictured left, make their monthly trip to Saltburn Golf Club next Sunday (July 2). Starts 8pm with admission £5. Where better on a balmy Summer's evening?
Lance.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Noel Dennis Trio @ Gala Theatre, Durham - June 23

Noel Dennis (trumpet & flugelhorn), Paul Edis (piano) & Andy Champion (double bass)
(Review by Russell/Photos courtesy of Brian Ebbatson)
Is there a more lyrical trumpet player? Noel Dennis has the pedigree of a top flight London-based musician yet chooses to combine his work as an academic with his love of jazz. Having relocated to his native north east following a short stint working in Glasgow, Dennis is once again playing a select number of gigs throughout the region.
This Gala Theatre gig followed a remarkable pattern; for several months the Gala’s lunchtime jazz concert has sold out days, if not weeks, in advance. Noel Dennis was greeted by a full house. The one hundred seats were occupied in time for a one o’clock start with Dennis quipping that Durham was the region’s jazz capital. 

Paul Skerritt Band @ Jazz Café - June 23

Paul Skerritt (vocal): James Harrison (piano); Anth Ord (bass guitar); Tom Chapman (drums).
(Review by Lance).
Skerritt has acquired a beard since the last time I saw him. He's also just come off his honeymoon so I guess shaving isn't his top priority in the mornings. In celebration of the nuptials, a tray of Rice Crispy based wedding cake was offered around and, it has to be said, it was the best Rice Crispy based wedding cake I've ever tasted bar none. Come to think of it, it's the only Rice Crispy based wedding cake I've ever tasted! It was still delicious - as was the music.
Putting on the Ritz got the party underway and it was quite a party. This band don't do subtle or maybe they do but perhaps it's so subtle only the most keenly attuned ears notice it and you don't get many keenly attuned ears in The Caff on a Friday night.

The Gabi Heller Quartet @ The Globe - June 22

Gabi Heller (vocals); Steve Glendinning (guitar); Dave Parker (bass); Mark Robertson (drums)
(Review by Ann Alex)
This band was as great as ever, so the difficulty for the reviewer is trying to say something different about the performance. Here goes: I noticed Gabi’s clever acting ability in interpreting the songs, especially her very expressive left hand (the hand not holding the mike) pleading, spreading, twisting, in order to convey emotion. I noticed the wide range of different tones that Stevie entranced from the guitar, Dave practically dancing with the bass in his enthusiasm, and Mark matching his drumming wonderfully to the different moods of the songs, sticks, brushes, mallets, playing cymbals only, as suggested. Gabi, who is an actor as well as a singer, put her heart and soul into all the songs, and I think maybe all jazz singers should study acting as well. The songs are worth it.

Friday, June 23, 2017

More Group Theory photos.

Mike Tilley has kindly sent me two photos from last night's gig at the Jazz Cafe which was reviewed and previewed by Russell in the previous two posts.











Lance.
PS: Don't miss the Paul Skerritt Band at the Jazz Café tonight at 9pm.

Group Theory @ The Jazz Café - June 22

Dan Garel (alto saxophone), Matt Jacobs (piano), Dylan Purches (double bass) & Tristan Bacon (drums)
(Review by Russell)
The previous evening the magnificent Durham University Big Band brought the house down. This small group session promised to do the same. Four musicians from DUBB returned to play tunes written by alto saxophonist Dan Garel interspersed with a selection of jazz standards. One of the quartet is about to graduate, two have a final year ahead of them, and the fourth member is about to complete his first year at Durham University.
Garel’s Symmetries opened a long, one set, programme. Alto saxophonist Garel demonstrated an amazing command of his instrument, possessing an incisive, biting tone. Garel took a look at Have You Met Miss Jones? turning it inside out with his band mates right there; pianist Matt Jacobs sat listening, playing when necessary, giving Garel room to stretch out, drummer Tristan Bacon (a fine big band drummer) revealed a small group sensitivity (brushes and mallets in evidence during the evening), and bass player Dylan Purches appeared unperturbed throughout. 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

In [Group] Theory one not to miss

Tonight (Thursday) at Newcastle’s Jazz Café four musicians from Durham University will play two sets of original compositions. The quartet played the venue last night as members of the Durham University Big Band, and, quite possibly, slept there overnight! Pianist Matthew Jacobs has been working with NYJO and alto saxophonist Dan Garel has recently returned from studying at McGill University, Montreal. The duo will be joined by DUBB mates Dylan Churches, bass, and drummer Tristan Bacon. Last night’s tremendous big band session whets the appetite. What, exactly, could we expect to hear? First class musicianship, that’s for sure. Anyone with a passing interest in the ‘original composition’ end of the jazz spectrum will be at the Jazz Café tonight. Eight o’clock start.       
Russell.    

Durham University Big Band @ The Jazz Café - June 21

(Review by Russell/Photos courtesy of Mike Tilley)
University bands are by their very nature in a constant state of flux. Students graduate, moving on to who knows what? The standard varies from one academic year to the next. Durham University Big Band has achieved the seemingly impossible in maintaining the highest of standards over two or three years, perhaps longer. The current edition of DUBB is an exceptionally talented ensemble and this Newcastle Jazz Café gig would be the last time they would perform together in public.
The summer solstice, another balmy evening on Tyneside, the Jazz Café’s front door and windows open, tempting the passer-by. Beer and cake on the ground floor, beer and big band jazz upstairs. Fifteen musicians in the first-floor room don’t leave much room for an audience, but hey, hearing a powerful big band at a distance of half a metre is a thrilling, visceral experience. The Durham band (DUBB) is an award-winning one. Regular gigs, studio recordings, and workshops with some of the best jazz musicians on the scene (most recently with Callum Au), DUBB take the music seriously, adopt a professional approach and clearly enjoy what they do.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Joe Stilgoe @ Hoochie Coochie - Mini Preview

Michael Lamb, Strictly Smokin' Big Band, and Hoochie Coochie are never short of ideas when it comes to pulling off a coup. This latest one may be their best so far.
I heard Joe Stilgoe with Claire Martin at Sage Gateshead and was impressed. I tried to pick up a ticket for one of his gigs at the London EFG Jazz Festival around the same time but, left it too late as it was sold out well in advance. My feeling is it could go the same way at Hoochie on Sunday, October 15 when pianist/singer Stilgoe joins the band for what is sure to be a gotta be there occasion.
Tickets are available now. Don't procrastinate.
Lance.
Check out BSH's review of one of his albums.

Mahler, Schoenberg and Finzi by Durham University Orchestral Society @ Durham Cathedral, June 17

(Review by Steve T)
To misquote a famous John, 'before Schoenberg there was nothing'. Just like before Elvis there were men, they just didn't have moving legs, there was music before Schoenberg, it was just the nice, pretty, fluffy type aimed at posh, rich men to conduct along to.
Schoenberg is the composer most associated with atonality, who deliberately set out to make difficult music to challenge the listener, which didn't comply with rules laid down by Bach and Handel and the moon and stars before them. Like the best Jazz, and his peers and followers were influenced by Jazz artists who were in turn influenced by them.
Robert Wyatt, original drummer with prog/jazz/rock band Soft Machine drew a line from Schoenberg, through Cecil Taylor to punk rock so he must have missed the point of Schoenberg and Free Jazz. I know he didn't miss the point of punk rock because there wasn't one; while they were perhaps too clever for their own good, punk rock just wasn't clever at all.  

Jazz Café Jam Session - June 20













(Review by Lance).
The house trio got things rolling with It Could Happen to You; Blue Skies and Exactly Like You which, in places, was exactly like Take the A Train. Alan Law was on fire with Grainger and Morgan adding additional fuel - a promising start.
Grainger remained on board to be joined by Martin Waugh, a fine piano man down from Edinburgh, Keith Barrett, guitarist, more often seen at the Globe Jazz Bar and drummer Fairhurst, a regular at both venues.
Barrett opted for No Moon at All which was a wise choice as was Waugh's Nobody Else But me.
Joel Brown took over the piano stool his shorts and trainers reminding us it was summertime. Fortunately, he changed seasons and played Autumn Leaves. John Pope spelled PG on bass for All of Me followed by a somewhat indecisive take on Monk's I Mean You. When the pianist has his back to the rest of the band communication can be difficult.
No such problems with Like Someone in Love.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

CD Review: Small Town - Bill Frisell (guitar) and Thomas Morgan (bass).

(Review by Steve T)
When reviewing an ECM album one inevitably finds oneself reviewing the label as well as the artist and the album. Occasionally I find I can't review them at all, because any link with Jazz is distinctly tenuous and I really can't recommend it to anybody, and so it was with the last two. It's based on the assumption that ECM completists have their own sources and don't need to rely on me for info about releases.
Any album by Bill Frisell is potentially of interest to the Jazz listener and guitarists in particular, but I can't get excited by an album with just guitar and bass. A drummer, or better still a Hammond, may have added some ba!!$; maybe.

JAZZ IN THE UNDERCROFT 12 July 2017 7.00pm, Undercroft Restaurant, Durham

BBC Big Band Quartet
Martin Shaw - Trumpet
Robin Aspland - Piano
Jeremy Brown - Bass
Tom Gordon - Drums
Enjoy an evening of jazz in the Undercroft Restaurant, to celebrate this year's Durham BRASS Festival.
Tickets: £27.50 per person, including a tapas style three-course meal and drinks reception (to be purchased in advance. No refunds will be given).
Thanks to Peter Bevan for drawing this to my attention.
Lance.

Monday, June 19, 2017

De’Sean Jones & Knomadik @ Dacre Hall, Lanercost – June 16

De’Sean Jones (tenor); Jamie Murray (drums); Mikele Montoli (bass); Russell Gelman-Sheehan (guitar); Chase Jackson (vibes) + Jack Moore (alto).
(Review by David Gosling)
Detroit’s young saxophone titan swept into Cumbria, via three London gigs and a night at Preston’s New Continental, to play a storming gig in rural Lanercost.
Lanercost had secured the appearance of De’Sean Jones and his Knomadik band via a previous appearance De’Sean made in 2014 whilst touring the northwest with pianist Greg Spero.                      
“I remembered this charismatic ancient venue and felt that it would be good to come back and play it with my own band this time”, said Jones.
How to describe De’Sean Jones and his music is tricky but Jazz fusion, in the normal understanding of the genre, it is not. It’s certainly jazz, and if you add in funk, urban and a dash of hip-hop then maybe you are getting closer to the mark. At least that’s what I was hearing.

James Birkett & Bradley Johnston @ Blaydon Jazz Club - June 18

James Birkett (guitar) & Bradley Johnston (guitar)
(Review by Russell/Photos courtesy of Roly Veitch)
Doors leading to the Black Bull’s beer garden were open all evening in a futile attempt to circulate fresh air through the lounge. The air stilled, nothing was moving. This month’s jazz concert drew a good crowd, with many of those present no doubt aware that Blaydon Jazz Club had recently lost one of its most loyal supporters with the passing of Margaret Barnes. The guitar duo of Dr James Birkett and Bradley Johnston expressed their admiration for Margaret, known to all as a keen jazz fan, and, quite simply, a very nice lady.

Strictly Smokin' Big Band @ Hoochie Coochie - June 18










(Review by Lance).
Outside they were frying eggs on the pavement, on stage SSBB were cooking with gas. Fortunately, Hoochie's air conditioning kept us comfortably cool.
At this stage of the game, there are few plaudits left to heap on this most exciting of big bands. Two ace vocalists, a host of fine soloists and a pad played with perfect precision which, given the complexity of some of the arrangements, demands a keen eye, a good ear and, seemingly, more digital extremities than a centipede.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

‘Brother Can You Spare A Dime?’ – A song worth singing

Another article in my occasional series about songs that I love. Consider the lyrics, verse included:-
(Ann Alex)
To get a ‘feel’ for this song, Google the title. The first entry is a recording of Al Jolson doing a rather too dramatic version of the song, but the accompanying photographs, showing scenes from the Depression era, are excellent. This song is rightly considered to be an anthem about the American Depression of the 1930’s. By 1932 the unemployment rate in the USA was 24.1%, so there were many ‘Als’ waiting in line. What is clever about the lyrics is that they aren’t a long lecture about the ill effects of the Depression, but a simple description of the circumstances of one man. The listener has to work out how this man got to the stage of asking for help, so is drawn right into the meaning of the song.
I love to sing this song in folk music clubs because of its deep meaning. I like to put particular emphasis on the last ‘I’m your pal’ to bring out the pathos and sheer unfairness of Al’s circumstances. He isn’t being treated at all like a ‘Buddy’ by society. The minor key brings out the sadness. Try singing it in a major key and the whole scenario is lost.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Joe Morris Tony Bevan Duo; Wandering Monster @ Bridge Hotel, Newcastle - June11.











Joe Morris (guitar); Tony Bevan (bass sax).
Ben Powling (tenor); Calvin Travers (guitar); ?? (alto); Sam Quintana (bass); Alasdair Wells (drums).
(Photos courtesy of Ken Drew).
In the absence of a review of last Sunday's JNE gig, I think Ken's photos typify the phrase If a picture paints a thousand words etc.
If the gig was as good as the photos then it was truly a great gig indeed!
Lance.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Chaka Khan @ 02 Academy, Newcastle, June 12.

(Review by Steve T)
The last time Chaka Khan played in Newcastle, you wouldn't get a Hoochie Coochie round with change from £200 so, at just under £40, I couldn't afford to miss this and clearly, others felt the same with this spacious, greater capacity, venue crammed.
It was always my intention, with number one son gone, to get back to some good ole rock n soul, but does she have any credibility or anything to do with Jazz? I've all but given up trying to second guess what else people listen to besides Jazz. As fellow Black Musics, blues and soul seem to me to be the most natural bedfellows, though I also get modern classical music and experimental rock. Hatred of all things charts and media strike me as given, but it seems young people and people with different routes into Jazz have entirely contrary sets of givens.

CD Review: Stanton Moore - With You in Mind, the Songs of Allen Toussaint.

Stanton Moore (drums); David ‘Tork’ Torkanowsky (keys); James Singleton (bass) + Trombone Shorty; Nicholas Payton; Donald Harrison; Maceo Parker;  Jolyanda Kiki Chapman; Cyril Neville; Wendell Pierce.
Lance: I could write at length and wax eloquent but the press release says it all and, on this occasion, the press release doesn’t lie. An album that defies genre but pays tribute to one of New Orleans’ greatest musicians of the latter part of the twentieth century and beyond – Allen Toussaint.
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(Press release).
Toussaint’s sudden death on November 10, 2015 (in Madrid, far from home, of a heart attack, after playing a concert) shocked New Orleans. The polymath producer, songwriter, arranger, bandleader, pianist, singer, and all-around figure of elegance had been a vital, active presence in New Orleans since the 1950s.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Dynamic Duo @ The Black Bull

The north east of England is fortunate in having many fine guitarists working regularly in the region and beyond. Two of the best are heading to Bridge Street, Blaydon this Sunday (June 18). Virtuoso is the word when talking about James Birkett and Bradley Johnston. At eight o’clock on Sunday the guitar duo will take to the stage to present an impeccable selection of jazz guitar tunes drawn from the early masters (Eddie Lang, Carl Kress, Dick McDonough and others), stopping off to dazzle the audience with, perhaps, Doxy, then taking a look at the duo’s mutual favourite, Pat Metheny. More, Birkett and Johnston will bring one or two of their own compositions to the table.
Blaydon Jazz Club presents, as Humph would have said: the very best of jazz. Sunday’s concert is top drawer material. It is no exaggeration to suggest that you will hear world class jazz guitar at the Black Bull. Make a note of the date – Sunday 18 June. Arrive in good time to bag a front row seat.
All proceeds from the evening will be donated to Marie Curie Cancer Care in memory of Margaret Barnes.
Russell.             

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

A Carolina Moon over the Crescent Club - June 14

 Brian Bennett (banjo & vocals), Bob Wade (trumpet), Jim McBriarty (clarinet, tenor saxophone & vocals), Laurence McBriarty (trombone), Bill Colledge (double bass) & Fred Thompson (drums & vocals) + Miles Watson (trumpet & vocals)
(Review by Russell).
A sultry day down at the coast. If it’s a Wednesday it’s the Vieux Carré Jazzmen at the Crescent Club. There’ll Be Some Changes Made sang Fred Thompson. Not much change in the tried and tested formula – give the punters what they want. Savoy Blues, Avalon (Jim McBriarty blowing a tenor sax and singing), and Christopher Columbus featuring Laurence McBriarty, trombone, and the band’s recent recruit, the excellent Bob Wade, trumpet, exchanging ideas for fun. Trombone veteran Laurence seems to have a renewed spring in his step working alongside Wade. Brother Jim, a multi-reeds maestro if ever there was one, shared vocal duties with drummer Thompson, contented bandleader Bennett knocked out the chords and Bill Colledge perched on a high stool kept time, Rolex time.

A Night of Swing @ Newcastle University - June 13

(Review by Russell)
King’s Hall hosted the jazz evening of this year’s Newcastle University Summer Music Festival. The week-long, end of term, mid-summer jamboree celebrates a year of student music making encompassing classical, folk, new music, and, tonight’s offering, jazz. Charles Philp, this year’s festival ‘chair’ and erstwhile occasional participant at the Jazz Café’s top flight jam session, has knocked into shape the 2016-2017 edition of the Newcastle University Jazz Orchestra. Guitarist Philp left his instrument in its case as he took to the stage to conduct the band for the last time.
Newcastle University Jazz Orchestra can proudly boast that it is the only big band to have taken part in the Great North Big Band Jazz Festival every year since its inception. Indeed, the band’s debut appearance was a winning one. 2017’s line-up included no fewer than seven saxophones (five of them altos!), just three trumpets and three trombones and a beefed-up rhythm section as Nick Loughlin (guitar) joined the engine room boys. A familiar face or two – the principle soloists within their sections – shone; trumpeter Joe Davies has made his mark at the Jazz Café’s twice-monthly hot-shot jam session and County Durham Youth Big Band trombone star Tom McDonald.

Samuel Eagles' Spirit @ The Globe - June 13


Samuel Eagles (alto); Duncan Eagles (tenor); Ralph Wyld (vibes); Sam Leak (piano); Max Luthert (bass); Dave Hamblett (drums).
(Review/photo by Lance/B & W photos courtesy of Ken Drew).
The Eagles eventually landed - a flat tyre en route delayed their arrival. However, another bird, Wylam Breweries' Red Kite kept our Spirits high until at last the band was up and flying.
As you will gather from my recent review of their new CD it's a very impressive album indeed and all the plaudits posted then apply now. However, there is a difference. Even if you have the best Bose sound system in the world, it pales against hearing the participants live - even after a seven hour, incident-packed drive!

Monday, June 12, 2017

George Heaviside Remembers John (Mighty Joe) Young

It was only a few weeks ago that I came across the 'Bebop Spoken Here' articles about the death of John and the nice tributes from some of those who had known him. The lateness in my discovery was due to having lost contact with John after I was married and moved away from the NE in 1956.
My wife and I wandered around and lived in sixteen homes in thirteen counties with our family. Currently Sheila and I are retired and have been rusticating in the Cotswolds for nearly twenty years. (Sheila got to know of me from the regular letters I wrote to John whilst doing my National Service in BAOR.)  We first met in person at a Coronation Jazz Party in Dennis Reah's parent's posh bungalow in Low Fell.  That was 64 years ago and we have now been married for 61 years!)

CD Review: Samuel Eagles' SPIRIT - Ask Seek Knock

Samuel Eagles (alto); Duncan Eagles (tenor); Ralph Wyld (vibes); Sam Leak (piano); Max Luthert (bass); Dave Hamblett (drums) + Jean Toussaint (tenor on 2 tracks).
(Review by Lance).
SPIRIT's new album - Ask Seek Knock - is a timely reminder that this exciting, innovative band is booked to appear at The Globe, the Jazz Coop HQ, on June 13. It's one to look forward to. Not just for the Brothers Eagles but also for Ralph Wyld who is one of the best vibraphonists around. On a previous visit to The Globe with Samuel Eagles, to say that he impressed would be putting it mildly! Wyld is the business.
This album is the perfect appetiser for the gig - well almost.

Indigo Jazz Voices @ The Globe, June 15

It’s just the sort of weather to suit a song such as Mountain Greenery, isn’t it? Well, Indigo Jazz Voices will oblige you this Thursday with that song and many others, such as You Go To My Head and The Nearness Of You if you care to go to the Globe for 7.30pm on June 15. Indigo Jazz Voices are Jen Errington, Jenny Lingham, Carrie McKullock, David Edgar and Barry Keatings, and they’ll all be accompanied on the piano by the superb musicianship of Alan Law.
I’m not one of the singers this time, but I’ll be there in the audience, and I’m looking forward to hearing these skilled singers interpreting jazz standards, blues and bossa numbers, all for your pleasure. Free entry as well. What’s not to like!
Ann Alex

CD Review: Tina Raymond - Left Right Left

Tina Raymond (drums); Art Lande (piano); Putter Smith (bass).
(Review by Lance.)
I'm not a political animal - politics is beyond my comprehension, it always has been. All I can go by is what I read in the paper which is usually dissed by what I read in another paper which is why I try to keep these pages totally apolitical. It's about music.
Having said that, this album might seem a strange choice.
Tina Raymond is rapidly becoming a first call musician on the Californian scene and, coming from a family with strong labor/union connections it's not surprising that she chooses to make a statement on 'The state of the Union'. 
"I was very disillusioned when a man with no qualifications defeated a woman who is probably one of the most qualified people to ever run for president."

Sunday, June 11, 2017

The Gala Big Band @ St. Cuthbert’s Parish Centre, Crook. June 9.

(Review by Jerry E [Apologies again: I do not have a full list of the musicians for tonight] )
After The Early Bird Band, Crook welcomed back the Gala Big Band (or a slightly slimmed version of it – slim enough to photograph without going panoramic!) for a familiar and thoroughly enjoyable set consisting of 9 tunes with a solo piano “interlude” by the MD towards the end of the evening.
The Power of Love opened proceedings with the full-blast band lifting the rafters of the old school-room which now houses the Parish Centre. For health and safety reasons it’s just as well this was the “slimmed” band! The Coast, an Edis original in bossa nova style (jointly inspired by Jobim and Tynemouth) lowered the volume but not the tone!

CD Review: Yoko Miwa Trio - Pathways

Yoko Miwa (piano); Will Slater (bass); Scott Goulding (drums) + Brad Barrett (bass 1 track).
(Review by Lance).
I never get tired of listening to piano trios. There's something about the piano, bass and drums set up that always lights a spark within me. I know its formulaic - but, so is the recipe for Jack Daniel's!
Miwa's trio is in the Jack Daniel's league with the added bonus of not having a hangover the next day.
A mix of originals, Joni Mitchell, a couple by former Bill Evans' bassist Marc Johnson and a Lennon & McCartney tune I didn't know - Dear Prudence.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Young, Gifted and Back (In Crook). The Early Bird Band @ St. Cuthbert’s Parish Centre, Crook. Friday June 9.

Paul Edis (flute, saxophone, MD); Ben Lawrence (piano); James Metcalf (trumpet); Alex Thompson (alto); Matthew Downey (guitar); Alex Shipsey (bass guitar); Matthew MacKellar (drums).
(Review by Jerry E)
Young? “Average age 15?” suggested the MD. This seemed to ruffle the feathers of band members and after much head-scratching and mental maths they came up with “about 17”. I still think that’s young to have built up so much experience and to perform jazz live with such maturity. This stems from the excellent rapport between band members and their MD, who invariably treats them like fellow professionals rather than young tyros. Age established, they launched into I’ll Remember April on which James Metcalf soloed impressively as did everyone else (if you count trading fours) apart from the guitarists whose opportunities soon came with Matthew Downey taking the lead on Nature Boy ditto Alex Shipsey’s bass on So What?

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Tunde Jegede:'Testimony'. Concert and two workshops - July 12 & 13

The Jazz Cafe in collaboration with Waka Waka Africa is proud to present a solo concert, the “Tunde Jegede Testimony Tour : 21 Concerts in 21 Cities” at 8pm on Wednesday 12th July in the Black Swan Bar and Venue, Newcastle Arts Centre, 69 Westgate Road, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 1SG.
Tunde Jegede is an internationally renowned kora (African harp) player, cellist and composer whose remarkable music bridges African and European musical traditions. 
There will be a short support set of songs from a young, local singer,Victor Yugire and Tunde will also be giving two music workshops.

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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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