Total Pageviews

Bebop Spoken There

Michelle Coltrane: "It was Geri Allen who told me, 'Why don't you work with a guitar player? It's a lot easier. They're mobile, all the pianos are out of tune'" - DownBeat March 2018.

Verneri Pohjola: “I've been trying to get away from being 'a young and promising trumpet player' for over twenty years” DownBeat March 2018.

Today Wednesday February 21

Afternoon

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Cullercoats Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 4QS. Tel: 0191 253 0242. 1:00pm. Free admission.

Evening

Take it to the Bridge - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 8:00pm. £1.00.

Chris Sharkey - Jazz Café, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8:00pm. £5.00. (students free). Duo with James Mainwaring.

The Village Hall New Orleans Band - Springwell Village Community Venue, Fell Road, Springwell, Gateshead NE9 7RP. 8:15pm £3.00.

Moonshine Sessions - Billy Bootleggers, 28 Nelson Street, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 8:30pm. Free.

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

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

CD Review: Julian Siegel Quartet - Vista.

Julian Siegel (tenor/soprano/bass clarinet); Liam Noble (piano); Oli Hayhurst (bass); Gene Calderazzo (drums).
(Review by Lance).
I'm a bit late with this review for reasons not musically related but, at last, I've caught up with it and not a moment too soon. The album's getting rave reviews across the jazz world and deservedly so. The quartet has been together for, I think, nine years and, as such, are totally at home with each other although this is only their second album - the last one being Urban Theme Park back in 2011. It created an impression when, as part of a promotional tour, they stopped off at Gateshead Old Town Hall.
Seven years on and the feeling of empathy between the musicians is, if possible, even greater.

CD Review: Andy Sheppard Quartet – Romaria

Andy Sheppard – tenor and soprano saxophones; Eivind Aarset – guitar; Michel Benita – double bass; Sebastian Rochford – drums
(Review by Hugh C) 
There was something of the theatrical about my encounter, at the Alphabetti theatre, with a diminutive, smartly dressed gentleman during the interval of the recent Strictly Smokin'/Paul Booth gig.  “I'm glad I met you, I have something for you”, he said, reaching into one of the voluminous inner pockets of his coat.  Producing a sheaf of review CDs, Lance proceeded to sort through them in the dimly lit auditorium.  “Andy Sheppard?” he said handing me a CD still in its shrink-wrap and then searching for another for me to deliver to a BSH colleague.

Preview: Clare Teal @ Gala Theatre in April

Over the years, I've been fortunate to see/hear the wonderful Clare Teal at several venues - Scarborough Jazz Festival, Keswick Jazz Festival, London Jazz Festival, Gateshead International Jazz Festival (where, even by her own high standards, she was fantastic), Customs House, South Shields and Gala Theatre, Durham. These latter two venues were with a trio as opposed to the sumptuous orchestral backing she sometimes gets at the festival gigs and it is once again with a trio that she returns to the Gala Theatre in Durham on Friday the 13th of April but don't let that put you off. Ms Teal is a singer of such class that Friday 13 will surely go down as your lucky day.
Lance.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Postmodern Jukebox @ Sage Gateshead - Feb 18

(Review by Russell).
The phenomenon that is Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox rocked up at Sage Gateshead to play the third date of an extensive European tour. Sage One’s near-capacity audience loved the fast-paced two-hour show, the band playing straight through without a break. Simultaneously Post Modern Jukebox (PMJ) was touring coast to coast in America. How could this be? Simple, Scott Bradlee’s roster of musicians has grown to such proportions that it is possible to organise itineraries on two continents!

Charismatic frontman ‘Cunio’ (Michael Cunio) bounded onto the stage; shaven head, shiny suit,  shiny black Rat Pack cabaret shoes (no socks!). Our MC for the evening came right out with it… this was his debut tour with PMJ! The band cruising, Cunio produced all the moves, screaming, falsetto vocals, a touch of James Brown. Get on down, the revue was well and truly underway, non-stop action, the singers on and off stage, left and right, the band cruising.

Luís Vicente (trumpet); Olie Brice (bass); Mark Sanders (drums) – Jazz North East @ the Bridge Hotel - February 11

(Review/photos courtesy of Ken Drew) 
This is more of a photo-review than full review, but this performance deserves a mention, not least because it's the first time Jazz North East has had a visiting musician from Portugal.   Also, as the first of a two-venue-only visit to the UK (two days after meeting at The Bridge,  they played the Vortex in London)  Luís Vicente is playing for the first time in the UK  with Jazz North East favourites Olie Brice on double bass and Mark Sanders on percussion. 

RIP Didier Lockwood


French violinist Didier Lockwood died suddenly, yesterday (February 18), only one day after giving a concert.

He was only 62 - a tragically young age for someone so talented (or indeed anyone!)
May he Rest In Peace.
Obituary.
Lance.

Alex Mendham in concert near York this Friday (Feb. 23)



Alex Mendham and his Orchestra perform the sophisticated and stylish music of the 1920’s and 30s with the modern energy and passion of their youthful years. They epitomise Hollywood’s golden age.
When it comes to presenting the sound, charm and white-tie elegance of vintage Hollywood: from their original instruments and pomade that slicks down their hair to their sharp tuxedos and spectacular dresses, no detail is overlooked.
Formed under the leadership and direction of their charismatic founder and singer Alex Mendham, this show Orchestra complete with singing duo, The Dunlop Sisters present a unique combination of dance band music and film scores from the Hollywood musical. 

Exclusive! First Names Announced for the JazzLeeds Festival 2018 July 20- 24

(Press release)
Our second JazzLeeds festival is going to be a bit bigger than the first! We’ve grown from that one day in Millennium Square in August last year to five days this year at the Wardrobe, Leeds College of Music and TWO days in Millennium Square. We’re featuring international stars but also featuring some of the musicians and stories from this great city of Leeds.

·        Topping the bill at JazzLeeds Festival 18 is Soweto Kinch – saxman, rapper, BBC jazz broadcaster – at the Wardrobe on Friday evening 20 July.

·     International jazz star (and former stand-up comedian!) Ian Shaw will be here with his trio with music from his new album Shine Sister Shine at the College of music on the afternoon of Sunday 22 July.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Paul Booth w. Strictly Smokin' Big Band @ Alphabetti Theatre, Newcastle - February 17

(Review by Lance).
The Alphabetti Theatre was sardine-can full - standing room only. They couldn't have had a bigger audience if it had been the RSC doing Hamlet with Sir Kenneth Branagh as the Prince of Denmark.
Substitute SSBB for RSC, Paul Booth for Sir Kenneth and As You Like it for Hamlet and the scene is set. This was certainly As WE Like it and the Shakespearean analogy was complete with the gig being promoted by the Jazz Coop whose regular HQ is The Globe.
Act One: 
Scene One.
Mexicali Nose. The Buddy Rich arrangement featured Paul Gowland who reminded us that there was more than one ace tenorman in the room tonight.
My Heart Belongs to Daddy. Alice Grace in good voice despite being slightly under-amplified. Steve Summers on alto.
Scene Two.
Song for AEG. Time for the featured artist, Paul Booth, to take centre stage (actually stage left) and he didn't disappoint on this, a composition by Tom Garling. Great tenor sound with hints of Hank Mobley and early Coltrane. Booth doesn't charge in but paces himself gradually building the tension and culminating with a flurry of notes encompassing the whole natural range of the instrument and beyond into the stratospheric world of harmonics. And this was just the beginning!

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Graham Hardy Trio @ Bishop Auckland Town Hall - Feb 16

Graham Hardy (trumpet & flugelhorn); Dean Stockdale (piano) & Mick Shoulder (double bass)
I had a rare free afternoon that followed a jazz festival organising week, so I decided to take the short trip from Darlington to Bishop Auckland to catch the regular monthly offering at the Town Hall. Three musicians that will be taking part in the Darlington Festival were on fine form for this recital. Graham contrasted his mellow trumpet and flugel with Harmon mute and his recent pre-gig addition of a £2 plunger from Wilko with free handle – he did offer the handle as a raffle prize. Dean and Mick were fantastic in support and quality came through from the trio in every number.
The program included: Ellington, Golson and Gershwin – My Romance, If I Should Lose You, Mood Indigo, In a Mellotone, Whisper Not, Long Ago and Far Away, Someone to Watch over Me and a Tom Harrell number April Mist to encore. There was an appreciative audience with good numbers in attendance. This was an enjoyable hour spent listening to quality musicians and I am looking forward to hearing them again at Darlington in May.
Shaune Eland     

Mark Williams Trio @ The Lit & Phil, Newcastle - Feb 16

 Mark Williams (guitar); Paul Susans (bass) & Russ Morgan (drums)
(Review by Russell/Photos courtesy of Ken Drew)
The Lit & Phil’s monthly Friday lunchtime concert series attracts a loyal following. Most of the time those in attendance have a fair idea of what to expect – typically straight ahead, GASbook, swing, an occasional Hot Club set. February’s concert presented the Mark Williams Trio. Some would be acquainted with Williams’ work as a supreme guitar accompanist to the jazz singer, some less so with the Irishman’s propensity to occasionally crank it up. The presence of two pedal boards (one at the feet of Williams, the other at the feet of in-the-pocket bassist Paul Susans) indicated today’s performance would be a little different. What would the Lit & Phil’s patrons make of it all?

Crooners - Whitley Bay Playhouse - February 16


Roman Marek, Jim Whitley. Phil Barley (singers).
Chris Hibbard (trombone); Jon Hibbard (alto); Jim Corry (alto); Simon Kaylor (tenor); Damian Bell (trumpet); Daniel Hammerton (trumpet); Jason Scott (piano); Paul Baxter (bass); Dave Hockman (drums).
(Review by Lance).
A fun evening packed with pratfalls, bawdy humour, fine singing and a stonkingly good band. The band were deserving of a feature, perhaps in the form of an overture; all good musicals have an overture* and, on the strength of the occasional short solo these guys, co-led by the Brothers Hibbard, were well up to the task.
The three singers did the job effectively being themselves or, as the occasion demanded, Frank, Dean and Sammy.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Zoë Gilby & Andy Champion @ Empty Shop, Durham - Feb 15

Zoë Gilby (vocals) & Andy Champion (double bass)
(Review by Russell).
It was cold. See photo of Zoë and Andy togged-up. At one point, Andy considered playing with his gloves on! Durham’s Empty Shop was a tad cad. The bar was warm enough with the door closed and a heater working overtime. A bottle of Pavlov’s Dog (Yes, Master…), ‘hello’ to Carlo and co.

The Rebel Yell Jazz Orchestra play 'Fellini 712' and the music of The Kenny Clarke - Francy Boland Big Band @ The Spice of Life, Soho - January 17

(Review by JC)
Some time in the mid-1970s I was sitting quietly in the back of a friend’s car when, having carefully spooled the tape tight with his biro, he slipped a cassette into the player on the dashboard and my head was nearly blown off by the huge big band sound coming out of the speakers on the rear shelf. It was one of the most fantastic sounds I had ever heard and it turned out to be the Kenny Clarke/Francy Boland Big Band. Despite my best efforts my friend, Rick, resisted all my pleas to borrow the tape. However I never forgot that moment and that sound.

Remembering Bill Brooks.

Colin, our man in Hong Kong, sent me this photo of the late Bill Brooks taken on a visit to Ned Kelly's in 2004.

CD Review: Better Than TV - Song From No Man's Land

Alastair Appleton (sop sax); Gabriel  Bliard (trumpet); Louis Day (trumpet on 3 tracks); Simon Fothergill (trombone); Luke Congdon (piano); Ben Comeau (piano on 4 tracks); Daniel Duffy (guitar); Sergio Contrino (bass); Joe Davighi (drums); Cassie Gorman (voice); Rowan Haslam (cello. voice on 2 tracks).
(Review by Lance).
The second album by this Cambridge based band is somewhat different from the first. Late, reviewed here in 2015, was a tight contemporary sounding quintet whereas this current version is a larger, looser ensemble with bassist Contrino who composed the material the only common denominator.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

CD Review: John Surman Trio - Invisible Threads

John Surman (baritone/soprano/bass clarinet); Nelson Ayres (piano); Rob Waring (vibes/marimba)
(Review by Lance).
Surman at his most lyrical. With like-minded piano and vibes (or marimba) the trio weaves a musical quilt of silver and gold. Almost classical in its concept, the music flows. Despite the absence of bass and drums the trio still retains a rhythmic feel. Not immediately obvious but it's there if you listen attentively.
The improvisations aren't solos in the generally accepted format but rather logical extensions of the theme to the extent that you feel any other choice of notes would be less than perfect. Surman's tone on soprano is perhaps the purest ever heard on the instrument. Equally, he also finds a resonance in his bass clarinet playing that few others have done.

Stop Press! More tickets available for SSBB w. Paul Booth but going fast!

The previously announced sold-out gig by Paul Booth with the Strictly Smokin' Big Band at Newcastle's Alphabetti Theatre on Saturday, February 17 now has 15 more standing tickets available.
To snap up one of these 'hottest tickets in town' go to www.strictly-smokin.co.uk/paulbooth asap.
Lance

Northern Monkey Brass Band @ Billy Bootleggers - Feb 13

Graham Hardy (trumpet); Ben Chinnery (trumpet); Jamie Toms (tenor saxophone); Mark Ferris (trombone); Jason Holcomb (trombone); Adam Sinclair (snare drum); Brendan Murphy (bass drum) & Phil Rosier (tuba)
(Review by Russell).
A first Mardi Gras at Billy Bootleggers. Who to invite to the party? The Northern Monkey Brass Band, that’s who! Graham Hardy’s New Orleans-inspired eight-piece band is the go-to outfit on occasions like this. The horn players bring little baggage with them, Phil Rosier slings his tuba over one shoulder and the rhythms boys – Adam Sinclair and Brendan Murphy – split the kit in half making it an easy-in, easy-out gig.

CD Review/Gig Preview: Alan Benzie Trio - Little Mysteries

Alan Benzie (piano); Andrew Robb (bass); Marton Juhasz (drums).
(Review by Lance).
Next Thursday (February 22) The Globe is the place to be. The Jazz Coop have pulled off another major coup - The Alan Benzie Trio. Benzie, the first winner of the BBC Young Scottish Jazz Musician of the Year competition back in 2007, subsequently attended Berklee where he became the first British musician to win the Billboard Award following in the footsteps of Uehara Hiromi, Jaleel Shaw and Walter Smith III.
His first trio album, Traveller's Tales was enthusiastically acclaimed, not least by this reviewer, and a follow-up was eagerly anticipated. That we've had to wait almost 3 years has but served to whet the appetite.
Well worth the wait.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

CD Review: James Hall - Lattice

James Hall (trombone); Jamie Baum (flute/alto flute); Deanna Witkowski (piano/Rhodes); Tom DiCarlo (bass); Allan Mednard (drums) + Sharel Cassidy (alto on 2 tracks).
(Review by Lance).
Trombone and flute are not your usual frontline, in fact, apart from Herbie Hancock's Speak Like a Child, I can't think of another.
It doesn't matter. Even if trom/flute duos were as common as trumpet/tenor pairings this one would still stand out from the crowd. 
The two horns gel. Hall's round sound - dry but not brittle - contrasting nicely with Baum's virtuosic flights. They interweave seamlessly it's a musical marriage. And so it should be. The title track Lattice was written by Hall and is dedicated to his now wife Kristen, portraying the development of their romance.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Alan Barnes @ Opus 4 Jazz Club, Darlington - Feb 9

Alan Barnes (alto & baritone saxophones, clarinet); Paul Edis (piano); Andy Champion (double bass) & Russ Morgan (drums)
(Review by Russell).
Usually when Alan Barnes arrives at the Traveller’s Rest to play his now customary annual gig the queue of eager gig-goers goes half way down the stairs. This time, some forty-five minutes before the advertised start, the queue went all the way down the stairs to the entrance on West Auckland Road. A popular draw is Barnesy.

John Pope Quintet @ Gosforth Jazz Club - Feb 8

Faye MacCalman (tenor saxophone, clarinet); Jamie Stockbridge (alto saxophone); Graham Hardy (trumpet); John Pope (double bass) & Johnny Hunter (drums)
(Review by Russell/Photo courtesy of Ken Drew)
Gosforth Civic Theatre, formerly Gosforth Civic Hall, is home to the recently established Gosforth Jazz Club. Audience numbers have been encouraging and the turn out for this latest concert was heartening given that it was a cold winter’s evening. The band – the John Pope Quintet – elected
to play on the floor of the auditorium. This was a good move as the musicians were that bit closer with the stage concealed behind a red curtain.

Ben Richardson @ King’s Hall, Newcastle University - Feb 8

Ben Richardson (piano)
(Review by Russell). 
Newcastle University’s weekly music student performances feature classical, folk, rock and, from time to time, jazz. This late afternoon, hour-long gathering included pianist Ben Richardson and a first sighting of guitarist Tom Martin. It was Richardson who was up first to perform in front of his student peers and interested members of the public. As he took his seat at a Steinway grand our pianist was joined by fellow members of Ada Francis and the Italic Quartet and two other student musicians.

Simon Rose (baritone) & Steve Noble (Drums) @ The Bridge Hotel, Newcastle - February 4

(Review by Steve H/Photos courtesy of Ken Drew)
What an unbelievable night of free improvisation the audience were treated to at The Bridge on Sunday night. Two amazing instrumentalists combined to produce two sustained sets of riveting & uncompromising jazz. Individually, both musicians were absolutely superb -  I have never heard a baritone sax played with such energy and range before. Steve Noble, on percussion, was mesmerising with his creativity and inventiveness incorporating handheld cymbals, tea towels and more sticks than you can shake a stick at. 
Spellbinding. 

Monday, February 12, 2018

Vic Damone (1928-2018)

More sad news. This time its legendary crooner Vic Damone who passed away yesterday (February 11).
I recall his 1949 recording of Vagabond Shoes although I'm sure it was a year or two later when I actually heard it - probably Radio Luxembourg - I still remember it and, upon YouTubing it, I find I still like it!
He romanced Jane Powell in the MGM musical Rich, Young and Pretty. The couple sang How Do You Like Your Eggs in the Morning? accompanied by the Four Freshmen. Still a gas!
More films, Stateside hits, a few marriages, Vic Damone will surely be remembered alongside his contemporaries such as Sinatra, Bennett, Martino, Como, Greco and the other Italian/American crooners as a flawless interpreter of the GASbook. As I type, I'm listening to his 1960 album On the Swingin' Side and, with fine big band arrangements by Jack Marshall, it's just about as good as it gets.
Vic Damone was 89 when he left us.
May he Rest In Peace.
Lance.

Preview: A Sage Sunday Postmodern Jukebox

This Sunday, February 18, Sage One is going to be full to the rafters for the return visit of Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox. A viral internet sensation, Bradlee’s skillful use of social media platforms to promote his arrangements of present-day pop tunes, often in a ragtime or twenties’ jazz age style, has won him literally millions of fans. YouTube hits can be counted in their many tens of millions as the New Jersey-raised pianist and arranger tours the world playing to capacity audiences entranced by his shows which are presented, and viewed, through a sepia-tinted lens.

Funeral arrangements for George Laing

The funeral arrangements for pianist George Laing are as follows:
Wednesday, February 28 at 12:30pm at South Shields Crematorium, John Reid Rd., South Shields NE34 9DT.
Afterwards at Grey Horse, East Boldon.
Original post.

Preview: Crooners - Whitley Bay Playhouse - February 16

Judging by the press release below, this is one helluva show. Following the links and watching the trailers has only served to whet my appetite. Whitley Bay Playhouse on Friday, February 16 and Billingham Forum the following Friday are the local venues and I can't wait. This is more than just another Rat Pack show. It's a happening! - Lance.
------

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Jive Aces w. Amy Baker @ Customs House, South Shields - February 10.

Ian Clarkson (trumpet/vocal/ukulele); John Fordham (tenor/clarinet); Alex Douglas (trombone); Vince Hurley (piano); Ken Smith (bass); Mark Warburton (drums); Grazia Bevilacqua (accordion) + Amy Baker (vocal).
(Review by Lance).
The Jive Aces were back! The rip-roaring, rock 'n' rollin' sextet once again laid siege to the Customs House with their Keely Smith/Louis Prima/Louis Jordan brand of rhythm 'n' blues and jazz.
Yes, there was jazz and swing in abundance. How could there not be with John Fordham, who doesn't write for The Guardian, blowing tenor as if he was Sam Butera walkin' the bar in New Orleans? He also paid homage to Illinois Jacquet on Flying Home.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Jam session @ The Jazz Café - Feb 6

(Review by Russell)
Lots of new faces at the Jazz Café’s bi-monthly jam session and one or two first time sitters-in. The Pink Lane venue was as busy as ever as pianist James Harrison got things underway with A Train ably abetted by mainstay bassist Paul Grainger and drummer Russ Morgan. Harrison likes to enjoy himself as he plays and his infectious enthusiasm energised musicians and listeners alike ensuring the evening flew by. I’ll Remember April then the floor was open to all-comers.
Drummer Hazem ‘Mo’ Mohammad couldn’t wait to get started and he was joined by George Sykes on tenor to play Blue Monk, a swift Beautiful Love, and a quote-laden There Will Never be Another You. Flautist Josie Wellington – ‘That’s Josie from Haltwhistle’ said JW – joined the party on I Wish I Knew How it Would Feel to be Free and it wasn’t long before Alan Law stepped up, thus allowing house pianist Harrison to take a breather. 

Bradley Johnston @ The Fire Station, Sunderland - Feb 4

Bradley Johnston (guitar)
(Review by Russell)
Metro on time, weather fine, a stroll up the road to the Fire Station, a now familiar early Sunday evening routine. The Fire Station stands on High Street West, the heart of Sunderland’s rapidly developing ‘cultural quarter’ boasting site-specific artworks, the imposing Empire Theatre, nice pubs, restaurants and a hotel. And there is more to come. The Auditorium, a 450 capacity new build venue scheduled to open next year, will offer a state of the art performance space – good news for musicians! One top class musician is ahead of the game as guitarist Bradley Johnston recently commenced a weekly residency at the impressive, recently renovated Fire Station. 

Ada Francis & the Italic Quartet @ North Terrace, Newcastle - Feb 3

Ada Francis (vocals); Jimmy Jefford (tenor saxophone); Ben Richardson (piano), Luke Gaul (bass) & Harry Still (drums)
(Review by Russell) 
North Terrace in Spital Tongues is within walking distance of Newcastle city centre and on the doorstep for hundreds of students. Recently reopened following a makeover the pub is once more keen to offer musicians a platform. Upon arrival, the upstairs room was already busy with animated, loud chatter filling the air. They – predominately students – were there to hear Ada Francis.

CD Review: Dan Pugach Nonet - Plus One

(Review by Dave Brownlow)
Let’s get one thing quite clear from the start – this is an excellent album of modern/contemporary jazz played by a Nonet plus One of first-rate musicians who are not only terrific soloists but fine readers capable of playing and interpreting Dan Pugach’s complex charts. Dan is the bandleader/drummer/arranger/composer/ who’s been working at a high level in the jazz business since completing his Batchelor’s and Master’s degrees at Berklee and The City College of New York. As a composer/arranger, Dan brings such a freshness and imagination to the music rarely found today and as a drummer, he’s full of energy, driving the band, inspiring his soloists and occasionally soloing fiercely himself.

Friday, February 09, 2018

CD Review: Walter Smith III - TWIO

Walter Smith III (tenor); Harish Raghavan & Christian McBride (bass - 4 tracks each); Eric Harland  (drums) + Joshua Redman (tenor - 2 tracks).
(Review by Lance)
Since I heard Walter Smith III at Sage Gateshead back in 2013 I've been a fan. So much so that when I opened up the mail that had accumulated since I'd been away, this one jumped out in front leaving the other albums to fill the minor places in the race to the CD player.
My enthusiasm wasn't misplaced - it's a winner!

Musicians Unlimited @ Dormans Club, Middlesbrough - February 1

The award-winning 18 piece Big Band from Hartlepool played as Guest Band at the Tees Hot Club Jazz Night Dormans Club Middlesbrough on 1st.Feb.
The band, led by Mick Donnelly, started the night with a beautiful Doc Severinson arrangement of In The Mood. Among the many other tunes played were tracks from Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band, Jazz Police and Count Bubba.
Vocalist Paul Skerritt did a splendid job on several numbers including Misty and Georgia much to the delight of the audience with both his singing and youthful exuberance.
The night was a huge success with this great band playing to a packed room and an enthusiastic audience, finishing the night off with a fine swinging arrangement of Sweet Georgia Brown.
Ron Hampton.

King Bees @ Billy Bootleggers - Feb 2

Michael Littlefield (guitar & vocals); Scott Taylor (vocals, harmonica & guitar); Dominic Hornsby (piano, guitar & vocals); Simon Hedley (double bass) & Giles Holt (drums)
(Review by Russell).
The fact that a contributor to the jazz blog Bebop Spoken Here is prepared to forsake jazz gigs elsewhere in town is an indication of just how good this blues night is. First Friday in the month King Bees take centre stage at the Nelson Street juke joint, invariably the place is crammed and tonight was no different.

CD Review: Anton Hunter - Article XI

(Review by Steve H)
Having seen and thoroughly enjoyed this band live last December I was very much looking forward to listening to the CD and I certainly wasn’t disappointed. Although the album is just about to be released (February 9*) It was actually recorded live in London and Manchester in 2014!  
The opening number, Retaken, is a fairly straight-ahead piece dominated from the outset by an almost mariachi-style trumpet and a bass solo that really slows things down a bit before the ensemble joins in for an uplifting finale. 

RIP George Laing

More sad news hit me whilst I was incarcerated - the passing of pianist George Laing on February 7. 
Back in the day, South Shields abounded with piano-led trios and there were none finer than the one fronted by George. I first heard him in the Cyprus pub where he knocked me out with a version of Woody Herman's Applehoney that, to my ears, has yet to bettered apart from by George himself (it became a staple part of his repertoire). 
When the CIU clubs began to expand he added the obligatory Hammond and Leslie technique to his armoury and became resident organist in various such establishments.

Thursday, February 08, 2018

RIP Bill Brooks.

During my recent hospital stay I received the following sad news from Gordon Solomon:

Just a bit of sad news. Bill Brooks passed away last night (February 2). I can only describe Bill as a Gentleman of Jazz, he never spoke ill of anyone, regardless of the situation he found himself in. He was a fine bass player and possessed that much sought after quality - the ability to swing. He was also a good guitar player, indeed he started playing jazz as a guitarist before switching to bass when he was offered the position with the Vieux Carre Jazzmen in 1961. He joined the River City band in 1978 and played with them until a few years ago when his increasing problems with dementia forced him to retire. Bill spent his last years in a nursing home. He was a good friend and will be sadly missed.
Gordon.

Blog Archive

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

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.

Subscribe!