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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.

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.
True words, Gordon, Bill was indeed a fine fellow and an excellent bassist. In the photo, he is playing at the Breda Jazz Festival in Holland circa 1980/1.
Sadly missed by all who knew him.
The funeral is on Tuesday, February 20 at Mountsett Crematorium, Dipton, nr. Stanley.

5 comments :

Brian Bennett said...

It hadn't occurred to me before, but it's true that Bill "never spoke ill of anyone". Also, I can't recall him ever using a profanity. Noble qualities which few of us live up to. Bill Brooks - a great guy and a terrific string bass player - it was a privilege to know him and play alongside him. RIP.

Anonymous said...

Very sad to hear of the passing of Bill Brooks. A real gent and a very fine player of the double bass. R.I.P
Raymond Newton Double Bass player

Steve Andrews said...

I was very sorry to hear of Bill's death. He and I played together in different bands - mostly the Vieux Carre - right through the '70's. He was a cheerful, funny man, and a great bass-player for that time, especially after he took lessons from Albert Collins to improve his (self-taught?) technique. I got to know him quite well when we both played in a rather good "hybrid" band called the Gateway/Panama Jazzband in 1974/75, in Hexham at the Beaumont Hotel and other gigs from Haltwhistle to Carlisle (including a memorable night with George Chisholm, who turned out to be a superb pianist!). Gordon Solomon was on trombone and Joe McMullon on Cornet - I took over the gig from Stan Martin - with Micky Potts on piano and Albert Holliday on drums. Bill had an Escort van, full of his work gear, and the neck of his bass used to come through the middle of the two front seats. One night, coming back from Carlisle or somewhere, on the military road just coming down the hill towards Chollerford, Bill fell asleep at the wheel, just before a corner. I shouted and he frantically turned left and hit the brakes and the neck of the bass shot sideways and forwards straight through the steering wheel so he couldn't steer the van! Thank God we stopped before hitting anything or going off the road. He stayed awake after that! He was a fully qualified explosives expert, too - but that's another story........

Anonymous said...

Sad to hear of Bill's passing. He was a lovely person who was a solid bass player with great time and drive. Rhythm sections with Bill on bass were always very good rhythm sections. As has been mentioned he was a great guitar enthusiast, very keen on Django style playing. He told me too about his work at the pit (I think Greenside) where he had responsibility for the use of explosives.
Roly

CCJAZZMEN said...

I was so sad to hear the news about Bill, great musician and a lovely person, an saw Bill & Dad many times at the Corner House and with various bands over the years. The big surprise for me was when Bill and I think his sister, Heather ?? came out to Hong Kong to see me at Ned Kelly's back in 2004. What a surprise and such a wonderful memory to hold. RIP.

Colin Aitchison
Hong Kong


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Bebop Spoken Here -- Here, being the north-east of England -- centred in the blues heartland of Newcastle and reaching down to the Tees Delta and looking upwards to the Land of the Kilt.
Not a very original title, I know; not even an accurate one as my taste, whilst centred around the music of Bird and Diz, extends in many directions and I listen to everything from King Oliver to Chick Corea and beyond. Not forgetting the Great American Songbook the contents of which has provided the inspiration for much great jazz and quality popular singing for round about a century.
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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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