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Bebop Spoken There

Jackie McLean: “I can't understand British audiences. In Britain there doesn't seem to be any curiosity." (Melody Maker, April 1, 1961).

Charles Mingus: "It seems to me that if our records were not issued in Britain, the British cats would have to think for themselves" (Jazz News, July 26th 1961)

Archives.

Today Wednesday July 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.
Jo Harrop & Joel Byrne McCullough - Cherry Tree Restaurant, 9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond, Newcastle NE2 2AE. 7:30pm. No cover charge. 7:30pm. 0191 2399924
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Book Review: Dear Reflection: I Never Meant To Be A Rebel - Jessica Bell

(Review by Ann Alex)
Ms Bell, an Australian woman who lives in Athens, is an award-winning author, poet, creative writing teacher, graphic designer, singer, songwriter, and musician. She also co-founded Vine Leaves Press and she writes for various language teaching publishers. She is the daughter of Erika Bach, who with her partner Demetri Vlass, founded two of Melbourne’s iconic indie bands, Ape The Cry and Hard Candy.
The book is a memoir about Jessica’s childhood and youth, an interesting account of growing up with two talented adults who were heavily into their music, who encouraged Jessica in her own creativity and yet sometimes neglected her when following their careers. We read about her mother’s constant problems caused by being addicted to prescription drugs which gave rise to fits of anger and depression, and the effect this had on Jessica and Demetri. We learn about Jessica’s troubled adolescence, during which she tried all sorts of stimulants and lifestyles, experienced abusive relationships with men, and gave out some abuse herself. Without giving too much of the story away, things more or less come right in the end for both Jessica and her Mother, and Jessica becomes the successful woman described in the first paragraph.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Live from ronnie scott's: The Bad Plus. Live stream - Thursday 27th July @ 8.15pm (BST)

Continuing its commitment to providing a worldwide audience the opportunity to experience world class jazz and exclusive shows through its programme of live video streaming, Ronnie Scott’s will live-stream the final night of The Bad Plus this Thursday.
The Bad Plus bend the rules in their own way, drawing on classical, rock and jazz to create their own febrile sound that is as invigorating now as it was when they released their eponymous debut album in 2001.

CD Review: Wendy Kirkland Quartet - Piano Divas

Wendy Kirkland (piano/vocals); Pat Sprakes (guitar); Paul Jefferies (bass); Steve Smith (drums) + Gary Grace (vocal on 1 track).
(Review by Lance).
Pianist/singer Kirkland and her henchmen came up with the idea of putting together a show based on the work of the various great pianist/singers such as Krall, Simone, Blossom, Horn, Elias and others. In the years to come, some other pianist may repeat the exercise the only difference being that whoever does it will have added Wendy Kirkland to the list - she's that good!
The Chesterfield - two CDs in a row from the Peak District! Must be something in the Derbyshire air!* - chanteuse opens with Come Dance With Me. From bar one I sensed that this lady was something special and when I heard the piano solo my suspicions were confirmed.
Class!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Key Moments 2


Following on from David Brownlow's Key Moments, here are a few of mine...
At the Jazz Band Ball by Muggsy Spanier and Intermission Riff by Stan Kenton hit me simultaneously which was all wrong.  Back then it had to be either one or the other. If you liked Dixieland then you turned your nose up at Progressive Jazz and vice versa. Likewise, if you went for the Bunk Johnson/George Lewis brand of New Orleans it was heresy to even mention Bird or Diz in the same breath. Today there are still pragmatists in both camps who maintain this tunnelled vison approach.
Birth of the Blues by Frank Sinatra. One of his last recordings for Columbia before moving over to Capital and those classic long-players: Wee Small Hours, Swingin’ Lovers, Swingin’ Affair etc. Birth of the Blues was important inasmuch as it removed Guy Mitchell, Eddie Fisher, Johnny Ray from my record shelves. The B (flip) side, Why Try to Change me Now?, remains the benchmark for ballad singing.

Jason Isaacs & The Ambassadors of Swing @ Hoochie Coochie - July 23

(Review by Russell)
Warren at the decks mixing bass-heavy soul grooves with chart-topping soul 45s, cocktail mixing at the bar, the Hoochie Coochie vibe was lazy Sunday afternoon. The Ambassadors of Swing were in the house, primed, pumped and ready to go. Mr Isaacs’ fan club occupied booths and precious few bar stools, many dressed to look good on the dance floor.
Dressed in black the Ambassadors of Swing took to the stage. These guys have played everything, played everywhere, and performed with anyone who is, or was, somebody. When they get down to business they are just that… ’the business’. To the opening of Wonderwall Jason Isaacs strolled out to a hero’s welcome. Sharp suit, Vegas Strip polished shoes, Jason Isaacs’ whirlwind performance is a masterpiece in choreography allied to the tightest of bands taking its cue from MD Darren Irwin as the main man charms his audience. Welcome to the Church of Music says Isaacs. The Hoochie Coochie congregation cheers as the band goes into Beyond the Sea. Isaacs’ show is non-stop, it’s a revue combining jazz and pop standards – meat and drink to the Ambassadors of Swing – with a few of Elvis’ hits. As Bebop Spoken Here is a jazz blog, one mention of the bloke last seen down at the chip shop is mention enough.

Maine Street Jazzmen @ Seaton Sluice Social Club – Final Performance July 23

(Requiem by John T)
A sad night at the Sluice. A continuing low turnout (in the low 20s) has forced Herbie to call it day for this long running monthly gig.
The low turnout did not phase the band and they got a standing ovation at the end. Two fantastic one-hour sets.
Jim McBriarty and Bob Wade did the two Clarinet thing With Creole Love Call, ably supported by Herbie Hudson on harmonica. See attached photo. Smashing arrangement, each musician having a great empathy for the others. Overall, this band just gets better and better.

Teesside on Tyneside - Jazz Café, July 28

(Photos from BSH archives)
Another mega treat coming for ye Geordie lads and lasses. Two of Teesside's finest coming up, to show you how it should be done. The real thing is unimaginably better than what my camera can capture. Get yeself there bonnie lads and lasses. 
New to Live Music on Teesside? Send your email to go on my early notification list.
Email me at; liveatthemanor@gmail.com

John Nesbitt

Sunday, July 23, 2017

William Bell and the state of soul music. The SummerTyne Americana Festival, Sage Gateshead, July 22.

(Review by Steve T)
Without checking, this was much the same set as I reviewed at the Barbican last November. While that was at the London Jazz Festival, under the umbrella of Black Music, this was the SummerTyne Americana Festival, under the umbrella of American Roots Music, reflecting the changing times.
I'm old enough to remember the time when most people agreed with Muddy Waters, that the blues had a baby and called it rock and roll. Nowadays rockabilly is considered the most prominent strand of rock and roll and came from country and western.
Soul music emerged primarily from blues and gospel, but more recently the country element has become greatly exaggerated with the discovery, by the BBC, Mojo and writers like Guralnick, that many of the musicians, songwriters and producers were southern whites, even though virtually all of the artists, including all of the greats were black. 

Festival Time in Leeds

Holly Thackery of Seven Jazz has asked me to spread the word regarding a couple of jazz festivals coming up in Leeds in the near future. Now, whilst describing them as festivals might be stretching things a little bit there does appear to be enough happening to attract Snake Davis' multitude of fans to Leeds and Dave O'Higgins' devotees to Chapel Allerton. Plus, there are quite a few freebie events that look very appealing. Open Letter to Mingus is one and Slide Area another. There are also workshops, bluesmen and maybe, just maybe the sun will shine!
For further details click on the posters or visit: Seven Jazz's Jazz Leeds Festival and Chapel Allerton's Village Jazz Festival.
Lance

Big Chris Barber Band @ Alnwick Playhouse - July 22

Chris Barber (Trombone, Vocals); Bob Hunt (Trombone, Trumpet); Mike Henry (Trumpet, Cornet); Peter Rudeforth (Trumpet); Nick White, Trevor Whiting (Saxophones); Bert Brandsma (Clarinet, Tenor Sax); Joe Farler (Banjo, Guitar); Jackie Flavelle (Bass, Bass Guitar); John Watson (Drums).
(Review by George Watt).
From New Orleans styles to Duke Ellington, last night, The Chris Barber Band played with tremendous skill and presentation at the Playhouse in Alnwick. We were treated to classics such as Bourbon Street Parade, A really beautiful rendition of Petite Fleur, by Nick White and a fantastic presentation of The Saints by the whole band. Many more favourites gave a privileged audience a truly memorable evening.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

SummerTyne Americana Festival 2017: Merle Haggard’s Strangers @ Sage Gateshead - July 21

Ben Haggard (guitar, vocals); Noel Haggard (guitar, vocals); Norm Hamlet (pedal steel); Eddie Curtis (bass guitar).
(Review by Ann Alex)
This band went down well to a full capacity Sage Two. None of the songs were announced because I guess, most of the audience knew the material. The musicians played the instruments well, with occasional short solos during songs, probably improvised, and the singing was good. The audience joined in occasionally with a few lines of songs, and some clapping. The mood was one of easy, relaxed listening. Ben and Noel are the sons of the late Merle Haggard, who died last year aged 79. The sons paid tribute to their father during the show.
So why wasn’t I quite happy and at ease, like the rest of the listeners? I’m not the best person to be reviewing a band such as this one, as I don’t especially like the content of the songs presented. This is what I call ‘cowboy’ music, and I don’t mean that description as an insult, but simply as a description. The lyrics portray a kind of freewheeling ‘cowboy’ feel, which I suspect never actually existed in real life.

Alice Grace Trio @ Bishop Auckland Town Hall - July 21.

Alice Grace (voice); James Harrison (keys/accordion); Paul Grainger (bass).
(Review by Steve T/Photos © Mick Shoulder)
It's been said countless Tymes that [Ooh ooh ooh] Ms Grace is the satin of the human race, and Bishop Auckland was in for a real treat this lunchtime.
Work and family commitments meant that I've missed the last couple of gigs here but roving eyes and ears Tony Eales, says it's currently touching the twenty mark, which is getting there but, when you look around at the lit up faces, you wish you could get to the rest, you just know they would love it if they only knew about it. (Editor: Perhaps BSH should hire a light aircraft and do a propaganda leaflet drop over Bishop. Council funded of course).
Alice has a beautiful, clear, voice, comfortable across her significant range, including the high notes; she does some Sassy Jazz and is a mistress of the art of scatting.

Americana’s Ten Gallon Stetsons met with a noisy reception

(By Russell)
If it’s summertime it must be SummerTyne. Sage Gateshead’s biggest festival of the year opened for business at noon on Friday (July 21st) on the Jumpin’ Hot Club’s Performance Square outdoor stage. Street food stands (including Wylam Brewery) did a roaring trade all day long, the rain held off (more or less), and inside, Sage Gateshead’s concourse couldn’t have been more crowded. A private reception for some in the bar located outside Sage Two, the masses sought vantage points to enjoy the Stax Academy Revue’s opening set at six thirty. William Bell’s band (minus the man!) played at ear-splitting volume and there was no escape from it other than to step outside.

Ruth Lambert Quartet @ The Lit & Phil - July 21

Ruth Lambert (vocals), Dean Stockdale (piano), Michael Dunlop (double bass) & Russ Morgan (drums)
(Review by Russell/Photo © Brian Ebbatson)
I’ve Got the World on a String, and so she had. This packed house at the Lit and Phil rolled up to hear the GAS book interpreted by one of its great interpreters. Ruth Lambert arrived in good time, time enough to sit at the piano to play and sing for her own amusement. The band arrived in due course; first Guildhall student bassist Michael Dunlop. A first meeting between the pair, Dunlop a dep recommendation by Lambert’s peers. Drummer Russ Morgan parked outside to off load then drove off to find a parking meter. Pianist Dean Stockdale strolled in. The quartet got into a huddle to agree on a programme as the audience took its many seats in the Loftus Room.

CD Review: Gavin Barras – The Family Tree

Gavin Barras (double bass); Jeff Guntren (tenor); Jim Faulkner (guitar); Dave Walsh (drums) + (on 2 tracks) Gavin Barras (acoustic guitar); Rhiannon James (viola); Margit van der Zwan (cello).
(Review by Lance).
“Best known for his work with trumpeter Matthew Halsall” says the blurb. And it’s true. Barras has appeared with Halsall in the locality [NE UK] over recent years. However, the bassist/composer’s most recent visit was as part of the Dean Stockdale Trio with whom he excelled.
He excels here too performing his own compositions all of which have family connections in one form or another.
Perhaps the strongest family connection is the instrument Barras is playing – a double bass crafted by his father, luthier Steve Barras. Not surprisingly, the album is dedicated to Steve.

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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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