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Bebop Spoken There

Ambrose Akinmusire: “I love teaching, and I love the exchange. And I’m starting to accept my role as a mentor. That sounds weird to say. But I can’t avoid the fact that there are younger musicians who are watching me.” – (Down Beat September 2017).

Mike Gibbs: “Rehearsals are a chance for players to learn my degree of vagueness.” – (Jazzwise September 2017).

Archives

Thursday September 21

Afternoon
Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Rd., nr. Newcastle NE27 0DA. 1:oopm. Free.
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Tees Valley Jazzmen - White Horse Hotel, Burtree Lane, Harrowgate Hill, Darlington DL1 3AD. 1:30pm. Free. 01325 463262.

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Evening.
Maine Street Jazzmen - Potter's Wheel, Sunniside NE16 5EE. 8:30pm. Free.
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Courtney Pine: Black Notes from the Deep - Sage Gateshead NE8 2JR. 7:30pm. £25.60. 0191 4434661.
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Katie Mac (w. 6 piece band) - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. Free.
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Emma Fisk & James Birkett - St. Cuthbert's Church, Shadforth DH6 1LF. 7:30pm.
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Pocket Jazz Orchestra: Jazz & Tapas - No. 60, Arc, Dovecote St., Stockton TS18 1LL. 7pm. £10.
Tees Hot Club w. Alan Marshall (saxes); Kevin Eland (trumpet); Ted Pearce (keys) - Dormans, Oxford Rd., Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. 9pm. Free.
New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band - Oxbridge, Oxbridge Lane, Stockton TS18 4AW. 8:30pm.01642 678129.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

CD Review: Brian Landrus Orchestra - Generations

Where does one begin? How does one classify such an ambitious undertaking? Generations crosses the genres in an unprecedented manner to the extent that it's undefinable.
Undefinable, and compelling. Where will it go next? As ambitious a work as I've heard from any of the composers who go in for this form of cross-fertilisation.
Landrus, needless to say, is at the core of things. The Jeru Concerto displays his undouubted virtuosity on baritone sax. A four movement composition dedicated to his son who, when Landrus first began writing the piece, had yet to be born. It was also inspired by another giant of the baritone - Gerry Jeru Mulligan. In between the first and second movements, there is an interlude where the composer really cuts loose with an unaccompanied solo that is, for want of a better word, breathtaking!

The Jazz Café All Stars - September 19

(Review/photos by Russell)
An acquaintance suggested it would be difficult, if not impossible, to convey just how good this one was. Newcastle’s Jazz Café has long since established itself as host to the premier jam session on Tyneside. A good session is all but guaranteed, attracting some of the finest musicians on the local scene and from further afield. The place was busy well before the eight o’clock start with more than a few big hitters among the early arrivals – this one had all the makings of a particularly good night.
Paul Edis led the session working with Paul Grainger and Russ Morgan. My Romance opened the set, followed by Michel Legrand’s Watch What Happens. What happened next prompted your front row reviewer to scribble GO HOME!!! Nothing could follow Edis’ show-stopping version of  Bye Bye Blackbird featuring blinding piano playing with bassist Grainger and drummer Morgan right up there in the stratosphere. It was early, the place was full, the cheering had to be heard to be believed.

Preview: Classic Swing @ Ashington Jazz Club - October 4

Ashington Jazz Club is back with another new band called Classic Swing featuring an entertaining program of classic swing, jazz, blues & vocals.
The quintet features international trumpet star Bob Wade with Jim McBriarty on reeds, pianist Malcolm Armstrong, Alan Rudd on bass and vocalist Olive Rudd.
The event is upstairs at the Elephant pub in Ashington on October 4th. Showtime is 8pm to 10pm. Admission is £6 on the door
The concert is part of Ashington Jazz Clubs 35th anniversary as well as Ashington Town’s 150th-anniversary celebrations
For further information and poster see the clubs updated website:-
John Taylor

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

2017 BJA Nominations announced - vote now

The British Jazz Awards are with us once more and the nominations, for this the 31st consecutive year, have been announced. To place your vote, follow the link below. There is, as you will see,  an excellent list of quality musicians in many different fields of jazz. There is also, should you disagree with the nominations, space for your own nomination. You can vote by following the link below (voting closes October 30).
Lance.

Emily Bacon’s Good Time Gang @ The Globe - September 17

Emily Bacon (piano, vocals); Liz Bacon (clarinet); Peter Wright (trumpet); Jeff Milner (trombone, vocals); Sarah Thatcher (banjo, tenor guitar); Spike Kennedy (bass); Paul Bacon (drums)
(Review by Ann Alex)
‘B flat’ said Paul Bacon as I entered the Globe for some lunchtime entertainment. The Old Spinning Wheel In The Parlour was played, good time, danceable, New Orleans music, vintage jazz straight from the jazz history books, but well worth listening to today for its irrepressible tunes and sheer sense of fun. Essay question for music students: ‘Discuss the differences between today’s performance and the bebop style jazz played by the Safe Sextet at the Globe on Thursday.’  Jazz indeed covers a wide spectrum. 

CD Review: Claudia Morris - Here's to Life

Claudia Morris (vocals); Liam Dunachie (piano/keys); Conor Chaplin (bass); David Ingamells (drums); Al Cherry (guitar); Alex Garnett (sax); George Hogg (trumpet/flugel); Laura Stanford, Penny Ainscow, David Lopez (violins 1,2,3); Daisy Spires (viola); Jessica Cox (cello); Claire Finley (backing vocals).
(Review by Lance)
I first encountered Claudia Morris back in 2011 on her album  Twelve O'Clock Tales. I was hooked.
Two years later, Ann Alex was equally impressed with Secret Love - Claudia's Doris Day celebration.
Now, the ball's back in my court with her latest - Here's to Life.
The standard hasn't dipped - far from it! The voice has mellowed, the theatrical approach has lessened without any loss of emotion and there is warmth exuding by the thermload.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Black Notes from The Deep

(Preview by Russell)
Last year Courtney Pine appeared with Zoe Rahman at the Gateshead International Jazz Festival. Sage One’s audience heard Pine playing exclusively bass clarinet. Of late, Jazz Warriors’ alumnus Pine has returned to playing tenor saxophone for the first time in something like ten years. Music to the ears of some jazz fans!
A young Courtney Pine blew some great tenor in a small group format and his forthcoming concert with British soul singer Omar at Sage Gateshead promises, once again, a touch of tenor madness!

Hand to Mouth @ Blaydon Jazz Club - September 17

Lindsay Hannon (vocals) & Bradley Johnston (guitar)
(Review by Russell)
Hand to Mouth – it could be a commentary on the precarious existence of many a jazz club. This Hand to Mouth is Lindsay Hannon and Bradley Johnston. Less than one year ago at Newcastle’s Jazz Café the duo produced a stunning debut performance. They followed up at the Lit and Phil, and now, a Blaydon Jazz Club engagement at the Black Bull.
Ella Fitzgerald recorded a series of late career duet albums with guitarist Joe Pass. Essentially a definitive take on the Great American Songbook (Ella garnered a Grammy award), the material is timeless, and here we are in the early years of the new century with Lindsay and Bradley looking afresh at the cannon. A couple from Take Love Easy (1973) for starters – the title track and Gee Baby, Ain’t I Good to You? Lindsay’s phrasing and recall of a lyric is nothing short of remarkable; not a lyric sheet in sight and a high stakes playfulness with the words. Bradley has studied online archive footage of the great Joe Pass. To hear the Wearside based guitarist recreate the master guitarist’s signature sound proved to be spellbinding.

You Don’t Know What Drink Is

You don’t know what drink is
Until you’ve learned the meaning of the booze
Until you’ve bought a round you didn’t choose
You don’t know what drink is

You don’t know how lips hurt
Until you’ve drunk and had to pay the cost
Until you’ve flipped your glass and your drink’s lost
You don’t know what drink is

Do you know of a lost weekend?
Friends tell you if you’ll listen
And how lips that taste real ale
Lose their taste for Guinness

You don’t know how eyes burn
For nights spent in the pub and on the street
Until you’ve had a hangover complete
You don’t know what drink is
 Ann Alex

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Pocket-sized jazz at a capacity Dun Cow

Bebop Spoken Here’s roving County Durham correspondent Tony Eales reports a full house on Friday (Sept. 15) for a first ever jazz gig at the Dun Cow. The pub on Old Elvet in Durham City offered the Pocket Jazz Orchestra* a gig and it paid off all round. After a slow start the pub filled up with jazz and non-jazz (converts?) fans making it a standing room only affair. The publican could be on to something and the band could well be back. Watch this space! 
Russell. 
*Mark Toomey, alto, Paul Donnelly, guitar, Jeremy McMurray, piano, Peter Ayton, bass.

Berlin Jazz Quartet @ St James’ & St Basil’s Church, Newcastle - September 16*

Ulrich Hübner (tenor saxophone), Max Arsava (piano), Leo Helgert (double bass) & Jonas Sorgenfrei (drums)
(Review by Russell)
Four young music degree students drove from Germany to Tyneside (autobahn, a cross-Channel ferry, motorway) to undertake a tour playing five gigs in five days – two churches, a church hall, a sixth form college, and a recently revived community music venue. Studying at prestigious music conservatoires, members of the quartet had worked together in numerous combinations but it was this short tour that afforded them a first opportunity to perform together as the Berlin Jazz Quartet.
St James’ and St Basil’s Church in the Fenham area of Newcastle is one of many venues utilised by Master Musicians International to facilitate performance opportunities for classical musicians – emerging and established – and this Saturday lunchtime concert featuring the Berlin Jazz Quartet was a new venture. Happily, the event was well supported. Those thinking they were about to hear something like Acker Bilk were in for a surprise!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

CD Review: The Brass Funkeys - Rabble Rouser.

Rob Smith, Matt Letts (trumpets); Tom Green, Vij Prakash (trombones); Dave Robinson (tenor); Rob Slater/John Caddick (sousaphones); Scott Jowett (drums); Chris Brice (percussion) + Jack Banjo Courtney (trumpet on 1 track); Chris Saunders (trombone on 2 tracks).
(Review by Lance).
The jazz brass band marching tradition may have begun in New Orleans at the turn of the last century but it has long since spread far beyond its Louisiana roots. In the northeast of England, the Northern Monkey Brass Band, nee Horndogs, have long been firm favourites. Moving further south, the New York Brass Band are familiar figures in and about Old York whilst, even further south again, London has the Brass Funkeys heard here on this, their second album.

CD Review: Sam Boshnack Quintet - The Nellie Bly Project

Samantha Boshnack (composer, trumpet, vocals); Beth Fleenor (clarinet, bass clarinet); Alex Chadsey (piano, keyboards); Isaac Castillo (upright/electric bass); Max Wood (drums); Valerie Holt, Anne Mathews (vocals tracks 1 and 3); Anne Whitfield (spoken vocals tracks 2 and 4)
(Review by Ann Alex).
Sam Boshnack, a bandleader based in Seattle, works with various ensembles and has been influenced by free jazz, Cuban rhythms and modern jazz. She has at least 4 previous albums to her credit, such as Go To Orange (2013) and Exploding Syndrome (2014). I enjoyed The Nellie Bly Project, which was as I expected from the notes supplied, full of a free jazz feel, lots of repeated riffs and unusual sounds.  In fact I must quote from the blurb in Downbeat ‘...’open voicings, jaunty tempos and buoyant timbral mixes have a friendly monster feel that achieves a bittersweet and elegiac mood of orchestral grandeur.’ 

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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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