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Bebop Spoken There

Dave Gelly: “From 1 January 1920, when prohibition was imposed in the US, people didn’t stop drinking, they just stopped drinking legally.” – (Jazz Journal October 2017).

Regina Carter: “When I was a teenager, I would daydream about going out on a date and dancing to Ella’s music.” (Down Beat October 2017).

Sunday November 19

Afternoon.

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

Tyne Horns - Exchange, Howard Street, North Shields NE30 1SE. 3:00pm. Free. New saxophone quartet – Louise Lambert (alto & tenor), Tom Adams (alto & soprano), Colin Wise (tenor) & Col Smith (baritone).

Mitch Laddie Band - Tyne Bar, Maling Street, Newcastle NE6 1LP. Tel: 0191 265 2550. 3:00pm. Free. Blues band.

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

Arun Ghosh + Steve Ojay - Sage Gateshead, St Mary’s Square, Gateshead NE8 2JR. Tel: 0191 443 4666. 8:00pm. £15.30. Sage Two.

Big Muddy - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £5.

Paul Edis + Early Bird Band - Black Bull, Bridge Street, Blaydon NE21 4JJ. Tel: 0191 416 2846. 8:00pm. £5.00. Edis solo piano set followed by the Early Birds.

Toots and Littlefield - Billy Bootleggers, 28 Nelson St., Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.

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

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Nicole Willis and the Soul Investigators @ Hoochie Coochie May 30

Nicole Willis (vocal); Tomas Quilliam (trombone/flute) ? trumpet/flugel; Antti Määttäne (organ/percussion); Didier Selin (guitar);  Sami Kantelinen (bass guitar); Jukka Säräp (drums).
(Photo by Joe Boss Fowler)
Ms Willis gave a stirring performance without a lot of movement but a lot of voice. With a trilby hat jammed tight on her head and horn-rimmed specs she bore no resemblance to the photos on the LP covers adorning the walls. However the voice did!
I didn't catch the names of all of the Investigators but they were masters of their craft. Tom Quilliam, as well as putting in a shift on slide, also played some tasty flute. Trumpet switched to flugel as the occasion demanded and the keyboard man played some of the wildest organ this side of Preston (Billy) as well as flipping out on bongos, congos and other 'gos.
The crowd loved it and the dance floor wasn't deserted!
Nice one Warren - keep 'em coming!
(Maybe more photos to follow...)
Lance.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Some good and bad news from the New Century Ragtime Orchestra!

(From Phil Rutherford).
The bad news first – sadly our gig at Darlington’s New Orleans Jazz Club on Saturday 7 June is postponed until next year.  It’s not the jazz club’s fault, as the premises have been double booked by the church, and an alternative venue isn’t available.
So apologies for our non-appearance in Darlington this year, but we hope to be making good this omission with a new date next year which I’ll confirm as soon as I can.
However, there’s good news as well!  Earlier this year, we recorded only our second CD in ten years, provisionally entitled “Singing in the Bathtub”, which we hope to have available on sale very soon – further details as soon as I have them.

CD Review: Alice Zawadzki – China Lane.

(Review by Debra M).
China Lane is the debut album of singer, violinist, pianist and composer Alice Zawadzki. The project’s diversity is signposted in the opening track ‘Ring of Fire’, where her bright pure voice and plucked violin introducehe debut album of singer, violinist & pianist  a modern folk song, which ultimately transforms into a funky jam with scat, bluesy guitar and Kit Downes grooving on Hammond organ. The fantastical ‘Cat’ has a rockier yet soulful groove, a fitting  backdrop to the dark fairy tale of the lyric.

Strictly Smokin’ Big Band @ The Millstone. May 29

(Review by Russell)
The Strictly Smokin’ Big Band’s last Thursday in the month session at the Millstone has developed from an open rehearsal into an informal concert performance. Word of mouth has seen audience numbers grow and all seats were taken in the upstairs room on a warm early summer’s evening.
Tom Kubis’ Frankie and Johnnie and a Trombone Guy kicked off, then Skin Deep and for a moment it felt like Autumn in New York. MD Michael Lamb made an occasional foray from the trumpet section to stand in front of the orchestra in the hope of getting the boys to finish reading the dots at more or less the same time. The Red Door stood out with the presence of a Gerry Mulligan (beard period) look-a-like in the room warranting a double take! US top trumpeter Pete Tanton asked Have You Met Miss Jones? Not yet! 
Soloists were plentiful – Lamb and Tanton (trumpets), the reeds boys (baritone man Mr. Laurie Rangecroft content to sit out), bone men David Gray and Kieran Parnaby and the engine room contingent of Marc Jolliffe (keys) and guitarist Pawel Jedrzejewski. A John Dankworth arrangement of Moanin’ called time on a good first set.

RIP Herb Jeffries

Former Ellington singer Herb Jeffries died May 25 aged 100. Best known for his vocal on Ellington's 1941 recording of Flamingo Jeffries also sang with Earl Hines and Louis Armstrong.
He also played in movies where he was known as "The Bronze Buckaroo."
Flamingo.                              
Obituary.
Lance.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Big Band Rehearsal in Hebburn

Even though we're in the 21st century I still gain a degree of satisfaction from hearing of musicians of varying ability and age getting together and making music as much for their own pleasure as for personal gain and acclaim. It was to observe just such a happening taking place in our local church that I made my way down  to St. Oswalds in Hebburn - a mere couple of streets away from where I live.
The Off Key Big Band, under the musical direction of John Fay, were getting to grips with  Cry Me a River as well as a couple of the staple ingredients of the Glenn Miller Cook Book - Little Brown Jug and American Patrol. It is fashionable to decry Miller's music but to the general public Miller is the name the man in the street associates with big band swing, much more so than Goodman, Ellington or Basie and it is those people who will no doubt be their most likely audience.
It's not for me to pass comment - at a rehearsal you don't practice what you can already preach - and I'm sure that, come their concert in the very same church on July 12 (see poster in RH column), the pieces will have been honed to perfection.
Lance.

CD Review: Rik Wright’s Fundamental Forces – Blue


Rik Wright (guitar); James DeJoie (alto sax /bs clt/ clt / fl); Geoff Harper (bs); Greg Campbell ( dms).
(Review by Steve H).
Rik Wright cites his guitar influences as the 3 J’s - Jim Hall, Jeff Beck and John Abercrombie although it is the 3 M’s - Monk, Miles and Mingus who are his compositional influences.

Charlotte Glasson Group @ The Jazz Café. May 28

Charlotte Glasson (tenor & soprano saxophones, flute, violin, melodica & saw), Paul Taylor (trombone), Chris Spedding (guitar), Mick Hutton (double bass) & Sam Glasson (drums)
(Review by Russell/Photos courtesy of Ken Drew.)
The Charlotte Glasson Group made the long drive from Brighton picking up a couple of London-based band mates on the way. Newcastle greeted them with teeming rain. Glasson had previously played a Schmazz at the Cluny gig and this Jazz Café date drew one or two who had been at that first Newcastle appearance. The majority in the Jazz Café’s upstairs space were hearing the multi-instrumentalist for the first time.

Cécile McLorin Salvant Video.

In case you missed last night's live stream from Ronnie's you can watch it again here.
Lance.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

In The Round With Phronesis @ Sage Gateshead May 27.

Phronesis: Jasper Hoiby (double bass), Ivo Neame (piano) & Anton Eger (drums)
(Review by Russell)
Jasper Hoiby’s Phronesis goes from strength to strength. Touring the new CD Life to Everything, the trio stopped off at Sage Gateshead to play an ‘in the round’ gig to an enthusiastic Hall Two audience. Double bassist Hoiby appeared in good fettle, smiling, sharing a joke and spontaneously thanking Sage Gateshead’s lighting technicians for doing such a good job on the night.

Cécile Mclorin Salvant live web stream from Ronnie Scott's Tonight May 28 - 9pm (BST)!!!

Last July, Ronnie Scott’s took a concert from jazz legend Wynton Marsalis to a World-Wide audience with their debut live-stream in association with The Guardian newspaper. The broadcast was a huge success with over 20,000 people tuning into watch the jazz great’s massively over-subscribed London show. Now TONIGHT Ronnie’s are delighted to announce their second live-stream featuring rising star jazz vocal great Cécile McLorin Salvant.

Musivate Predicts the Ukulele Could Transform the Face of Corporate Team Building

Music may factor in very few board meetings but it could be a new and crucial ingredient to corporate success according to one teacher who is setting out to change the face of team building forever.
Ukulele teacher, Lorraine Bow has taught several thousand people to play the Hawaiian instrument, including TV presenters Ant and Dec. She founded Musivate to bring people together through music, reasoning that those who make music together cannot be enemies.

CD Review: Tim Garland - Songs to the North Sky

Disc 1: Lighthouse. Tim Garland (tenor/soprano); Jason Rebello or John Turville or Geoffrey Keezer (piano); Asaf Sirkis (percussion);  Ant Law (guitar); Kevin Glasgow (elec. bass).
Disc 2: Songs to the North Sky. Garland (tenor/soprano); Sirkis (percussion); John Patitucci (double bass/Elec. bass); Neil Percy (tuned/classical percussion); Magdalena Filipczak (violin); Royal Northern Sinfonia Strings).
Tim Garland, long-time resident of a Whitley Bay lighthouse, former Composer-in-residence at Newcastle Uni and a collaborator with Sage Gateshead on many projects including Songs to the North Sky, has a strong affinity with the north east despite his Kentish Roots.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Jazz 'n Real Ale Train: Hexham-Carlisle-Hexham.

There's some confusion about this year's 'Jazz 'n' Real Ale Trains' (even I'm confused) but basically, details are as follows: (All Wednesdays) 
June 4/18/25.
July 2/9.
The music and the real ale bar will commence and finish at Hexham Station
The jazz trains are the 7.25pm Newcastle to Carlisle Service calling at Metro Centre; Blaydon; Wylam; Prudhoe; Stocksfield; Riding Mill; Corbridge; HEXHAM 8.05pm (music commences; Ale Bar opens); Haydon Bridge; Bardon Mill; Haltwhisle; Brampton; Wetheral; CARLISLE (9.28).
Return tickets Newcastle - Carlisle  are currently £17.40. However, if you are travelling with a partner or friend, ask for 'DUO TICKETS', the 2nd ticket is half-price which makes a considerable saving. 
Brian Bennett.

Bell & Bucket New Orleans Jazz Festival. May 26

Paul Bacon (drums), Liz Bacon (clarinet), Martyn Sharp (trumpet & vocals), Jeff Milner (trombone & vocals), Roger Howlett (banjo) & Annie Hawkins (double bass) + Matty McElvogue (trumpet)
(Review by Russell).
Paul Bacon first played jazz at the Bell and Bucket (a community pub converted from a decommissioned fire station) in 1991 and has continued to play there regularly down the intervening years. His well established Bell & Bucket New Orleans Jazz Band’s Tuesday lunchtime session recently rebranded itself as Paul’s New Orleans Music Show and now we have Tyneside’s first dedicated New Orleans jazz festival.

Whitley Bay Carnival. May 26

(Review by Russell).
Following an absence of twenty years the residents of Whitley Bay determined to revive the Whitley Bay Carnival. The Victorian seaside resort has set about recapturing its once proud reputation as a premier coastal holiday destination. Whitley Bay Football Club did the town proud winning at Wembley (not once but twice!), Whitley Bay Playhouse offers a range of attractions (Chris Barber is there next week) and the renovation of the world famous Spanish City is, at last, nearing completion.

The Slowlight Quartet with the Slowlight Strings @ The Star & Shadow Cinema. May 26

Paul Loraine (keyboards), Ian ‘Dodge’ Paterson (double bass), Jonathan Marriott (drums), Tom Quilliam (tenor saxophone), the Slowlight Strings & visuals
(Review by Russell).
The long holiday weekend, the weather fine, the Slowlights’ EP launch set for the Star and Shadow Cinema. An ailing Ian Paterson sufficiently recovered to ensure the show went ahead, there was a palpable sense of anticipation in the air. The box office turned people away. There is a jazz trio at the Bridge Hotel said the ticket seller, attempting to placate the disappointed (note to the ticket seller – NE4 were at the Bridge, a quartet, a clue is in the 4, as opposed to a 3).

Monday, May 26, 2014

Djangologie @ The Cherry Tree

James Birkett, Giles Strong (guitar); Emma Fisk (violin); Mick Shoulder (bass).
The music was superb, as we've come to expect from Djangologie and, of course, so was the food.  Crab spring rolls, Asian salad and wasabi créme fraiche tastes like manna - especially when accompanied by Les Hot Clubbers playing Coquette.
Could life get any better?

Five Blind Boys of Alabama/North East Gospel Choir @ Sage Gateshead May 25.

Multiple choices on this bank holiday Sunday. Stacey Kent at the Customs House, Slowlight Quartet at the Star and Shadow, NE4 at the Bridge and the Five Blind Boys From Alabama at Sage Gateshead. I opted for the latter gig which wasn't, perhaps, my best ever decision.
Don't get me wrong - they do what they do do brilliantly and it was much appreciated by the sparsely populated Hall One - just wasn't my thing!
Earlier, the North East Gospel Choir gave a spirited performance. Leader Sharon Durant, apart from being an inspiring conductor, also indicated that she is a fine singer in her own right. Like to hear more of her.
Lance.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Vinyl Review: Dexter Gordon - Soy Califa

Dexter Gordon (tenor); Kenny Drew (piano); Niels-Hedding Orsted Pederson (bass); Albert "Tootie" Heath (drums).
(Review by Lance).
Recorded live in Copenhagen back in 1967 this is Long Tall Dex at his finest. Comparable with those legendary Blue Note albums so many of us treasure (Gordon also recorded an earlier version of Soy Califa on his Swinging Affair LP with Sonny Clark on piano). Stretching out without any studio restrictions the ideas flow effortlessly, this is tenor playing of the first order. You want to know what swing is? Just listen to this, or any Dexter Gordon disc.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Preview: Five Blind Boys of Alabama @ Sage Gateshead May 25.

This Sunday (May. 25) Sage Gateshead offers a rare treat in the form of a concert by the legendary Five Blind Boys of Alabama.
The five time Grammy Award winning gospel group have been going for 70 years and still include two original members - Jimmy Carter and Clarence Fountain although the latter may be missing this tour due to ill-health.
Throughout the decades their music has always kept up with trends incorporating material by, or working with, artists such as Bob Dylan, Stevie Wonder, Prince, Les McCann, Preservation Hall, the Hot 8 Brass Band and many many more.
Described elsewhere as a roof-raising experience, I doubt anyone will argue!
More biographical info here.
Listen to their version of Way down in the Hole.
Booking details.
Lance.

New Book on Saxophone Harmonics

Pepe Greenaway, who recently returned to the north east, is in the process of publishing a book on saxophone harmonics. Here is an introduction to the book as well as a YouTube snippet
Q. How have you got to this stage of playing.
A. Well, I love Coltrane, mean really love him like a father, and Eric Dolphy, Elvin Jones, anybody who's had anything to do with jazz machine. Alice, Ravi, Darren. People who speak this language I take as part of my extended family, that way you understand them.

King Bee Launch CD @ Hoochie Coochie. May 23


David Wilde (tenor/baritone/flute/vocal); Jason Holcombe (trombone); Richard Burns (trumpet); Chris Jelly (vibes); Steve Glendinning (guitar); Mark Hand (keys); Dan Brady (bass); Darren Moore (drums); Paul Crown (percussion).
(Review by Lance).
Hoochie, deservedly crowded, has a buzz about it. A swarm of family, friends and fans have taken over - the pollen count is high. - one could say the room's a Hive of activity (Yes Joe Fowler is here) "Beekeeper" Les Aitch's management skills have worked well. King Bee look to be having a successful CD launch.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Francois Carrier Trio @ Recital Rooms, Newcastle Uni. May 22.

 Francois Carrier (alto saxophone & Chinese oboe), Michel Lambert (drums) & Steve Beresford (piano)
(Review by Russell/Photos courtesy of Ken Drew).
Jazz North East’s latest On the Outside promotion featured the French-Canadian duo of reeds man François Carrier and drummer Michel Lambert working with the experienced improvising pianist Steve Beresford.

The Slowlight Quartet: EP Launch @ The Star and Shadow. May 25

Sunday 25 May (bank holiday weekend) sees the official launch of the Slowlight Quartet’s In Flight EP. Get down to the Star and Shadow early to snaffle your limited edition copy of what is sure to become a collector’s item. The Slowlights have been playing some high profile gigs of late and this Ouseburn date will be something of a celebratory occasion. An intriguing bonus on the night is the addition of the Slowlight Strings!  The venue is at the top of Stepney Bank near Byker Bridge, buses run from Newcastle city centre (Blackett Street, Old Eldon Square) and the Metro (Manors or Byker) stops nearby.  The EP comes recommended, so too Sunday’s gig (8:00 pm).   
Russell.

EP Review The Slowlight Quartet In Flight

Paul Loraine (keyboards), Ian ‘Dodge’ Paterson (double bass), Jonathan Marriott (drums) & Tom Quilliam (tenor & soprano saxophones)
(Review by Russell).
The Slowlight Quartet’s debut five track limited edition EP is a study in beautifully crafted, understated composition and performance. The five tunes, written by Paul Loraine, are a feast for the ears. Melodies marinate, infused with subtle spices, the music world’s equivalent of the slow cooking movement.

Sonny Rollins - The Way You Look Tonight.

A Saturday afternoon way back - maybe early sixties - my first meeting with the late Charlie Carmichael.
I needed a dep for a gig. Charlie, needless to say, was working but it didn't stop him inviting me in for a coffee (or was it a beer or 3?). Inevitably, records were played including this one by Sonny Rollins - still my favourite from those early Rollins' years.
Charlie is long gone but Sonny is hanging on in and this will live forever.
Thanks to Marc Myers Jazz Wax for reminding me of this fabulous disc (did I file it under M or R?...
Lance.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

CD Review: Tessa Souter - Beyond the Blue.

Tessa Souter (vocal); Steve Kuhn (piano); David Finck (bass); Billy Drummond (drums); Joe Locke (vibes); Gary Versace (accordion); Joel Frahm (saxes).
(Review by Lance).
In my misspent youth my parents would throw up their arms in horror at what they, and many others of their generation, would refer to as "Jazzin' the Classics". In my case, it was usually a syncopated version of The Minuet in G. In retrospect, their anguish at my efforts (on violin) is now fully understandable. Less comprehensible was that they also raised their arms at Art Tatum's more successful efforts - Massenet's Elegy and Dvorák's Humoresque being two that spring to mind.

Something for everyone at Newcastle Jazz and Blues

I was so excited when I received the following press release. However my enthusiasm was somewhat dampened after I read the first sentence... 
Over 75 live bands will take over a town centre this weekend to show off their talents in the Newcastle-under-Lyme Jazz & Blues Festival.
This year there are quality acts from around the UK and even as far afield as Greece and the USA, amid a hand-picked selection of the best local talent.

Global Endeavour

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Times They Are a Changin' - Chris Hodgkins Steps Down - Christine Allen too!

Jazz Services issued the following press Release:  (Also this one re Christine Allen.)
After 29 years at the helm, Chris Hodgkins has taken the decision to retire and step down as Director of Jazz Services Ltd.
Throughout his tenure at the head of the organisation, Chris has been instrumental in the development of Jazz Services as a resource for the music, championing its cause and offering his advice to anyone who required it.  Among his many successes, he helped to establish the National Touring Support Scheme with Debbie Dickenson, which has enabled the careers of hundreds of artists over the years, along with the organisation’s Rural Touring Support Scheme (with the National Rural Touring Forum), the Jazz Promoters Award (with the PRS for Music Foundation) and the Online Music Business Resource, which offers free career advice to anyone who needs it.

Johanna Graham Quartet CD Launch @ Pizza Express, Dean St., London Sunday May 25.

Earlier last month I gave a rave review to a début album from Cornwall based singer Johanna Graham -Review here.
Don't just take my word for it...
"We are delighted to introduce the Johanna Graham Quartet, Cornwall's best kept secret, to Dean Street for the launch of their début album 'Don't Let Me Be Lonely'. Expect creative and innovative interpretations of well known standards and stylish jazz renditions of some unexpected pop classics, alongside captivating, self penned new compositions." Pizza Express Jazz Club.
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Films and Live Music at the Side Cinema.

The Side Cinema, The Side, Newcastle - near Quayside - is currently running a 6 week series of Films and live music. All are on Thursdays commencing at 7.30pm admission £8. Tomorrow's program, the 2nd, may be of interest to our site visitors.
DATE: 22 MAY
FILM: BLACK CAT WHITE CAT
(1998) 127 minutes, Emir Kusturica
A riotous mix of farce, romance and crime. Set within a community of Gypsies it tells a story of dodgy deals, family ties, young love and magical occurrences. Crammed with spectacle, incident and the music of Emir Kusturica’s famous travelling gypsy band.
MUSIC: SIDE CAFE ORKESTAR
 Live music from Side Café Orkestar. An affectionately prepared blend of East European Gypsy tunes, complete with raucous and badly pronounced Serbian vocals, and Gypsy Swing.
Lance.

Colin Aitchison and Franco Valussi July dates

Our man in Hong Kong is visiting the north east in July. Along with another HK resident, Italian clarinettist Franco Valussi, trumpet/trombone player Colin Aitchison will be joining the resident bands on the following dates in July:

Jam Session @ Jazz Café May 20.

Peter Gilligan (piano); Paul Grainger (bass); Paul Wight (drums) + Paul Edis (piano); Lindsay Hannon (vocal); Paul Gowland (alto); Stuart Finden (tenor); Fiona Finden (tenor/vocal); Kath Lowdon (vocal) + ?.
(Review by Lance)
A jam session (any jam session) is a many varied thing. One week no one turns up, another week maybe a few wannabees flexing their developing chops and some weeks the big hitters are in town.
Last night was just such a night at the Jazz Café!
The '3 P's in an ipod' that form the resident trio ie Messrs Gilligan, Grainger and Wight (mega fash. new haircut) got the groove going with the familiar and always hypnotic All Blues. The feel good factor was there. Laura, What's New? and other standards followed, Gilligan successfully coping with the piano's tonal idiosyncrasies - he may go down in history as the guy who found the lost chord!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

BBC Jazz Generations

This year’s BBC Young Musician competition introduces a jazz strand. The Jazz Final is on BBC 4, Friday 23 May (7:30 pm). There is a north east connection, tune in to find out who wins!
Stay tuned to BBC4 as there is a documentary about Nat King Cole (9:00 pm) followed at 10:30 pm by Jazz Divas Gold
There is a further instalment of the Young Musician competition on Jazz Line-Up, 6:00 pm, Radio 3, Saturday 24. Over on BBC 4 Jazz Legends in Their Own Words (7:00 pm) screens archive material and at 8:00 pm there is more from the vaults…Jazz 625 at the BBC

Lyric from Gordon Phillips.

YOU JUST DO WHAT YOU LIKE
Oh, yes, you told me the money’s there;
But you’ve been spendin’ without a care.
If you did what you said,
But you don’t.
You just do what you like.
------

Throwback Jazz

Love this latest addition to the genres - Throwback Jazz.
"In case you weren't aware, these are boom times for throwback jazz in New York City: mostly small-group, predominately pre-swing, with a bounce and pedigree that once would have put it under the Dixieland heading. Along with an accomplished class of musician-scholars now in their 50s and 60s — veterans of more than one cyclical burst of Jazz Age nostalgia — this movement has lately had an infusion of precocious youth and fresh enthusiasm, with an eager, style-conscious audience to match."
Read the full article in the New York Times.
Lance.

Monday, May 19, 2014

ACV @ Bridge Hotel May 18.

Andy Champion (double bass), Graeme Wilson (tenor & baritone saxophones), Paul Edis (keyboards), Mark Williams (guitar) & Adrian Tilbrook (drums)  
(Review by Steve H.)
There is a variation of an old Ronnie Scott joke which goes something like this  ‘I use my mother-in-law as a bouncer - instead of chucking them out she chucks them in’. Well never could a word be spoken truer in jest as Andy Champion’s mother-in-law Hilary and husband John were the stand-in box office staff for this very well attended ACV gig.  

Chaka Khan & Incognito @ Hoochie Coochie May 17.

(Photo courtesy of Hoochie on F/b).
Chaka was an absolute top class blast - the place was packed out, and a wide age range too.  All very exciting.  We stood away from the front, by one of the pillars - so had somewhere for our glasses and stuff.  Free Bolly and a bottle of wine for me - consequently my head was a bit sore on Sunday!  I lost the top of my hearing too - and my knees were knacked from all the mad dancing.  All worth it - an unforgettable evening - she did all the hits, one after the other - and Incognito played along, all the tight, funky grooves, with plenty of brass and keyboard riffing.  Hoochie attracts such a good and friendly crowd - I can't wait for the next gig there.  And I like it that the DJ plays vinyl, and great classic dance tracks for a bit of a boogie - knees permitting!
Patti D.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Late Shows: Lawnmowers Theatre Company - The Glass Orchestra

(Review by Ann Alex).
You MUST see this: Put it on your bucket list for next year
It isn’t jazz as such, but it’s wonderful, magical music! A semi-circle of musical instruments, all made of glass, glasses of water of all sizes, large jars, glass tubes and tubs, a xylophone and glass blocks on a table.  To be tapped with drumsticks, fingers circled round water glasses to produce a rich ringing tone, or tubs thumped with the hands, to get a bass sound. A 15 minute performance of delight.  The first item was of interwoven tones, then came a piece with an amusing spoken commentary about a bus journey to the Metrocentre.

CD Review: Greg Spero - Electric.

Greg Spero (keys/synth/vocal); Junius Paul (bass); Makaya McCraven (drums).
The American musicians on this album could almost be regarded as Honorary Tynesiders having, over the past couple of weeks, played several venues not a stones throw away from the river. As  on the Chicago pianist's last visit, he wowed the audience with his playing - so genre encompassing as to make categories near obsolete. With an all American quartet it was a mind-blowing experience.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

CD Review: Kekko Fornarelli Trio - Outrush.

Kekko Fornarelli (piano/synth); Giorgio Vendola (bass); Dario Congedo (drums). Roberto Cherillo (vocal on one track).
An interesting album of originals by Italian pianist/composer Kekko Fornarelli. An explorative player, Fornarelli reflects, probes, reaches inside the structure of the piece to tell a story - a song without words. The themes cover landscapes from a train; the Platone myth of people cut in two; a love story; a line from Waiting For Godot; a tree about to be cut down and carried to a sawmill; becoming concious that all is defective: mass media, politics, art, relationships; Also an actual song with words sung by Roberto Cherillo. It's a dreamlike conversation between the real ego and a Utopian one.

Brazilian Music Educators Return to North East for Second Visit Sage Gateshead Shares Expertise and Experience in Exchange Programme

(Press Release.)
A group of Brazilian music and education professionals are spending time with Sage Gateshead, schools and community groups from around the North East to share expertise and experience, as part of a unique, music education exchange programme.
The team of 10 Brazilian musicians and educators from Santa Marcelina Cultura (SMC) are returning to the region a year after their first visit, to take part in a 10-day programme sharing music ideas and experiences with their opposite numbers at Sage Gateshead. The visit, from May 12-25, follows Sage Gateshead’s Learning & Participation team’s trip to Brazil in  October last year, where the North East group learned how SMC uses inclusion and excellence in music education in its work with around 13,000 young people in São Paulo.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Roger Beaujolais Quartet/Greg Spero @ The Recital Room, Newcastle University. May 15.










Roger Beaujolais (vibes), Robin Aspland (piano), Simon Thorpe (double bass) & Winston Clifford (drums) + Greg Spero (piano) 
(Review by Russell/Photos courtesy of Ken Drew).
Jazz North East’s presentation of the Roger Beaujolais Quartet benefited from the late addition of a short opening set by pianist Greg Spero. JNE’s regulars turned up as ever, Spero turned up in the nick of time, sat at the Steinway, composed himself and trusting  in the instrument, started to play.

Adam Stapleford – Drum Kit. Final Recital @ New Music Studios, Newcastle University. May 15

(Review by Russell).
A highlight of Tyneside’s musical year is the series of recital performances given by music students at Newcastle University. Open to the public, these occasions are always memorable – after all there is much at stake. Are the students terrified? Do they request a last meal? Do they say their goodbyes? If so, Bebop Spoken Here correspondents have yet to see any signs of terror, nerves or foreboding.

Pilgrim St. Set @ Hoochie Coochie. May 15.

Richard Burns (trumpet); Gary Turner (tenor); Paul Edis (piano); Paul Susans (bass); Rob Walker (drums).
Russell was drinking Beaujolais (Roger) along at the Uni so it was left to me to drink the Fosters - as if! - at Hoochie. No, good old London Pride does it for me at this venue as does the Pilgrim Street Set led by Aussie trumpet player Burns, hence the Fosters reference.
This is an ace band with in demand players which, as the leader pointed out in that Crocodile Dundee drawl of his, creates problems. "How ya gonna get guys like this  - gigging 24/7 - together at a moment in time to rehearse?"
How indeed?

Thursday, May 15, 2014

CD Review JC Sanford Orchestra Views From the Inside

(Review by Russell).
JC Sanford is a co-founder of the composer’s federation, Pulse, with Darcy James Argue and Joseph C. Phillips. Living and working in Brooklyn, Sanford has NYC’s Downtown scene on his doorstep. His sixteen piece ensemble comprises musicians from the spheres of classical music and contemporary jazz. The writing embraces French impressionism, a cinematic sweep across a 20th/21st century North American landscape (the 1925 silent film Ben Hur to subversive, unsettling quasi-nursery rhymes) to big band jazz post-Gil Evans to the jazz of today.

Joe Stilgoe - Songs on Film - Sage Gateshead May 14.

Joe Stilgoe (piano/vocal); Tom Mason (bass); Ben Reynolds (drums).
(Review by Lance).
Without reaching the highs of my last two gigs (Greg Spero @ The Bridge/Jason Isaacs @ City Hall) Stilgoe's trip down the aisles of bygone Odeons and ABC cinemas was, nevertheless, a pleasing enough experience. Leading his musicians on stage with a torch - presumably to simulate an usherette - he immediately launched into a medley of cartoon themes, some of which I recognised some of which I didn't.

CD Review: Jeremy Fox - With Love

Dr. Jeremy Fox (arranger, conductor, producer, engineer) Various vocalists; also ...
Daniel Strange (piano); Rene Toledo (acoustic and electric guitars); Geoffrey Saunders (bass); Michael Piolet (drums). Complete list of players, including strings, go to: 
(Review by Ann Alex.)
This CD is a fine compilation of (mostly) jazz standards, arranged by Jeremy Fox, and sung by acclaimed vocalists who have won Grammys and other awards.  Says Dr. Fox ‘They had the innate ability to make this music come alive – with integrity, with passion, with positive energy, with love.’   I cannot add anything to that, except to outline each track.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

2014 Parliamentary Jazz Awards in full:

 Jazz Vocalist of the Year: Christine Tobin
Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year: Arun Ghosh 
Jazz Album of the Year: Troykestra ‘Live At Cheltenham 13 Jazz Festival’
Jazz Ensemble of the Year: Beats & Pieces Big Band
Jazz Newcomer of the Year: Phil Meadows
Jazz Venue of the Year: EFG London Jazz Festival
Jazz Media Award: Jamie Cullum
Jazz Education Award: Issie Barratt, National Youth Jazz Collective
Services to Jazz Award: David Redfern
Special APPJAG Award: Chris Barber.

Jazz Café June Listings

Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle upon Tyne, near the Central Station     
NE1 5DW      tel: 0191 222 9882  open Tuesday – Saturday from 11am 
TUESDAY  3rd JUNE 8pm - free admission
Tuesday Jam
Pete Gilligan piano, Paul Grainger bass and Paul Wight drums welcome sitters-in and listeners.

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CD Review: Lee Konitz; Dan Tepfer; Michael Janisch; Jeff Williams - First Meeting Live in London Vol. 1.

Lee Konitz (alto/soprano); Dan Tepfer (piano); Michael Janisch (bass); Jeff Williams (drums).
(Review by Lance).
I've heard Lee Konitz live on three occasions: Newcastle City Hall on Sept. 12, 1958, Corner House, Whitley Bay, on Dec. 22, 1975 and Pizza Express, Soho, May 19, 2010. My original review of this latter concert can be read here and, four years on, my thoughts are pretty similar to what they were then albeit with more understanding, having now a greater knowledge of the circumstances (it really was a "First Meeting" for all four musicians as a quartet). No rehearsal plan, or preconceived notion of the music's end result. Under Mr. Konitz's instruction, anyone on the bandstand could simply start playing a melody, and the rest of the band could follow. Or not. Thus, on Body and Soul it's Konitz (soprano) and Tepfer whilst on All the Things You Are Tepfer drops out leaving Konitz (alto) to blow with the other two. The final Outro has Kontiz blowing alto with only drummer Williams for support.
Apart from Konitz, Tepfer and Williams are outstanding and Janisch, on whose Whirlwind label the album is being released, is his usual inventive tower of strength.
At times the playing is quite free (Volume 2 when it emerges is reported to contain the more freer stuff.)
Konitz was 82 when these recordings were made and it's a testament to his timeless thinking that resting on his laurels wasn't an option - but then it never was!
First Meeting - Live in London Volume 1 will be released by Whirlwind (WR 4638) on June 10.
Lance.

Greg Spero Radio Interview

Greg Spero and his musicians were interviewed on Radio Cumbria yesterday (Tuesday May 14). Follow the link. It's about one hour 30 minutes in and lasts for half an hour.
Thanks to David Gosling for this info.
Lance.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01y79m5

Jazz @ Blaydon - James Birkett - Bradley Johnston Jazz Guitar Duo - Sunday May 18.

Once in a while a very young musician comes along who clearly has a special talent. When it happens its a lovely thing to see them progress. Such a case is guitarist Bradley Johnston, a product of The Sage weekend school and now studying for his music degree. This young artist is paired with his mentor, James Birkett, and together they play a complete cross section of jazz guitar history - from Django to Metheny.
Black Bull, Bridge St., Blaydon NE21 4JJ. 8pm. £5.
Roly

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Chaka Khan @ Hoochie May 17 - tickets NOW GONE!

Don't hang about, there aren't many tickets left for this - the gig of the century at any Newcastle intimate venue - already all the booths have been snapped up and there aren't many stand ups left. £175, and that's cheaper than what you'll pay at Ronnie's. SOLD OUT!
More info and booking...
Lance.

The Globe - One Giant Step(s) for Jazzkind.


Ken Drew took these photos on May 9 at the inaugural reception for shareholders of the Pink Lane Jazz Co-op at The Globe pub, recently purchased by the Jazz Co-op. First gig is scheduled for mid-July. In the meantime there is work to be done...
Lance.

Paul Skerritt Band @ the Cherry Tree May 12

Paul Skerritt (vcl); James Harrison (pno); Anth Ord (bs); Tom Chapman (dms).
(Review by John T).
When we walked through the door of the Cherry Tree last night we thought it was the band from last Thursday @ the Lit & Phil. On closer examination of course it wasn’t Lindsay Hannon Plus - it was them Minus i.e. John Pope and Lindsay who were replaced by Anth and Paul! This was the second visit of the Paul Skerritt Band to this venue. What a fantastic young male vocalist & his trio from Teesside. Something new for Tyneside, till now the land has been ruled by young female vocalists.

Preview: Joe Stilgoe: Songs on Film. Celebrating 100 years of Hollywood. Sage Gateshead, May 14 8pm. Tickets £20.

This show, specially devised for the EFG London Jazz Festival, sees pianist, singer and songwriter Joe Stilgoe pay tribute to 100 years of Hollywood cinema through the music that aided and abetted its legend. From ‘An American in Paris’ to ‘The Apartment’, from ‘Casablanca’ to ‘Catch Me If You Can’, Joe and his remarkable band perform songs written for, and inspired by, some of the greatest films over the last century, focusing on those that pushed the popularity of jazz and the standards of Gershwin, Cole Porter and Ivor Novello.
Joe is a singer, pianist, composer and entertainer touring constantly with his band and as a solo act. In 2011 he made his solo debut at the Edinburgh Fringe where his show One Hour! was a sell-out and garnered much critical acclaim. Last summer he released his second album ‘We Look To The Stars’ which immediately went straight to the top of the jazz charts while pulling in rave reviews from the national press.
(Sounds good to me - Lance)

CD Review: Felipe Salles - Ugandan Suite

(Review by Steve H).
One of the main reasons I can’t cope with wildlife programmes on TV is the ridiculous corny music that they use to accompany the various shots of a kangaroo feeding its young or a crocodile swallowing a man whole etc..  Well if they were to use a soundtrack like the music found on this album I might begin to reappraise my viewing habits.

Monday, May 12, 2014

More Deaths

In tonight's Shields Gazette the death is announced of Richard (Dick) Close. Dickie, as he was invariably known, was a fine pianist - not a jazzman but a capable club/lounge piano player. Dickie was 88.
I recall a gig I had at Hebburn Newtown Club in 1968. I'd booked Dickie for the gig but he put in a dep - his son Richie, then aged 15/16. The doorman wasn't even going to let him in the club - he had his music in his school satchel! When I discovered the situation I went berserk - until I heard him play!
In present day terms Richie was the Harley Johnson/James Harrison of his day. He went on to become accompanist for Tony Christie, and a much respected session musician, arranger and composer for ITV in Manchester.
Sadly Richie contracted Legionnaires Disease in Spain and died, aged 39, in 1992. I don't think his dad ever quite got over it. 

Snarky Puppy @ Sage Gateshead. May 11

Michael League (electric bass), Bill Laurance (keyboards), Cory Henry (keyboards), Mike Maher (trumpet & flugelhorn), Evan Weiss (trumpet & flugelhorn), Chris Bullock (tenor saxophone),  Mark Lettieri (guitar), Robert ‘Sput’ Searight (drums) & Nate Werth (percussion)
(Review by Russell/Photo courtesy of Sage Gateshead.)
Hall Two was buzzing. Level one all standing, rammed, the seated upper tiers rammed. A word of mouth phenomenon, the sneakered Snarky Puppy strolled out to a rapturous Sage Gateshead reception. Bassist Michael League’s jazz funk twenty somethings are mid-way through a European tour and they’re having a ball. Greeted by ecstatic full houses every night, the University of North Texas boys are living the dream and someone had tipped them off that Tyneside was the party capital of the universe!

Greg Spero Quartet @ Bridge Hotel May 11

Greg Spero (Clavinova); De'Sean Jones (tenor); Junius Paul (bass, bass guitar); Makaya McCraven (drums).
(Review by Lance/Photo courtesy of Ken Drew).
The four Chicago based musicians took to the stage one by one. The double bass kicked things off. A tall player, a tall instrument, a lot of sound. Junius Paul a genius of the genre. McCraven sat behind the kit and the groove was forming. De'Sean Jones, toting tenor (1946 Holton) had his say and the tension mounted. Finally, the Emperor himself entered the arena, took his place on the throne and, after twiddling knobs and pushing buttons, the quartet was complete. Lift off took place - destination unknown.

ACV @ Darlington Jazz Festival Sunday April 27.

(This piece by Russell was accidentally omitted from the Tolstoyan review of last month's Darlington Festival - my fault, Lance.)
The contemporary theme continued with the arrival of ACV. Touring nationally, Andy Champion’s quintet hit the ground running as they charged, two at a time, up Dog Leap Stairs. A local Newcastle landmark, the stone steps - Dog Leap Stairs - link two of the band’s favourite watering holes - the Crown Posada and the Bridge Hotel. Try walking up the stairs sometime - half way up you could find yourself out of breath. Not these boys, they’re super human jazz players, trained to within an inch, they were in the Bridge in no time eyeing up the brews. 

Alan Glen Trio @ Salsa Café, Newcastle - May 10.

Alan Glen (Keys) Paul Grainger (D. Bass)  Paul Wight (Drums)
(Review by Kath Jobes.)
A damp night in Newcastle and we opted to pop in to the Salsa Café, knowing that others would be reviewing the French Night at the Jazz Café … and to be honest, I had parked just across the road, and it was raining... and as you may know dear readers, Kats don’t like the rain!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

French Jazz Night @ The Jazz Café. May 10











Gypsies of Bohemia: Jim Wallace (guitar), Matthew Whitaker (guitar & vocals), Frank Grime (double bass) & Sam Draper (drums)
Shamans Jazz Quartet: Claire Kahn (tenor & soprano saxophones, violin, vocals), Chris Bonno (electric bass), Amos Joseph (piano) & Fito Pierre (drums). 
(Review by Russell/Photos courtesy of Mike Tilley). 
Mitry Mory meets Madchester or never the twain. The French contingent from the outskirts of Paris – the Shamans – opened the show at a well attended Jazz Café. A community, work-shopping band lead by electric bassist Chris Bonno, their set list comprised French popular song (George Brassens, Charles Aznavour), a standard (Autumn Leaves) and a Latin reworking of Minor Swing.

Jason Isaacs Big Band "Swing Sensations" - City Hall, Newcastle, May 10.

Jason Isaacs (vocal/tenor) + Steve Norman (tenor/vocal); the Fenner Sisters (backing vocals); Dorothy Ellis (vocal); The Ambassadors of Swing.
Darren Irwin (trumpet/MD); Dave Hignett, Mark Webb (trumpets); Don Failey, Dave Brock, Alan Brady (trombones); Sue Ferris, Lewis Watson, Steve Blythe (reeds); Stuart Collingwood (piano); Neil Harland (bass); Rod Sinclair (guitar); Simon Ferry (drums).
(Review by Lance).
The Ambassadors of Swing put us In The Mood for the world's most athletic, on stage, performer - Jason Isaacs. The ten foot tall (or thereabouts) singer bounded on to the stage well inside the Olympic record for bounding on stages and he did it Side Ways!

Very Sad News - Ron Pollard.


Just heard from Roly Veitch that Ron Pollard, organiser of the Gateshead Fell at the Legion Jazz Club died yesterday morning (May 10).
Such a shock - Ron and his wife Joyce have been strong supporters of jazz in the area for many many years and their often uphill struggle to keep The Fell Jazz Club afloat won them much admiration from fans and musicians of the traditional and mainstream persuasion.
Our deepest sympathy and condolences go out to Joyce.
In the photo (taken by Eddie Carson) the couple are seen celebrating their Golden Wedding at the club in 2011. As well as jazz Ron and Joyce loved dancing and were fortunate in being able to combine those two passions.
Rest In Peace.
Lance.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

R.I.P. Joe Wilder

American trumpet player Joe Wilder died yesterday (May 9). Although not a name that drops off many fans lips these days, Wilder did stints with many big bands including Lunceford, Goodman and Basie. Under his own name he recorded a number of pieces by Henry Mancini for the TV series Peter Gunn. He also did a lot of studio and Broadway session work. The Obituary in the New York Times sums Joe Wilder up with its heading "Elegance was his theme song."
Joe Wilder was 92.
Rest in Peace.
Obituary.
Lance.

Paul Edis Trio @ The Jazz Café. May 9

Paul Edis (piano), Mick Shoulder (double bass) & Adam Sinclair (drums)
(Review by Russell.)
Newcastle’s Jazz Café on Pink Lane continues to present the best in jazz and the monthly treat that is the resident Paul Edis Trio produced another five star performance. Regulars settled down for the treat, garrulous transients a peripheral distraction.

Pink Lane Jazz Co-op Launch @ Globe Hotel May 9

I don't know if all of the 200 shareholders were present but, at times, it certainly seemed like it! Pink Champagne and a buffet spread greeted the arrivals as did a form "to be filled in before you leave". I'd have preferred to have taken the form home and reflected upon the questions rather make than make rash statements and promises that even now have changed in the cold light of a pink champagneless morning. Nevertheless, it was good to have a tour of the building which included a perilous descent of the fire escape. In the meantime, John Rowland (tenor); Stuart Finden (guitar!); Ray Truscott (bass guitar) and Peter Ninnim (drums). were doing some nice things to In a Mellow Tone, Bright Mississippi and other numbers.
Dave Parker gave a welcoming speech and his Co-chair mini-skirted Minnie Frazer (which came first the name or the skirt? - I'll probably become the first shareholder to be expelled for a sexist remark but, in my defence, She wears it so well it would be churlish not to comment!)

Friday, May 09, 2014

Triptych @ The Lit & Phil. May 9

Paul Edis (piano & clarinet), Paul Susans (double bass) & Rob Walker (drums/percussion)
(Review by Russell/Photos by Jerry).
Three jazz gigs at the Lit & Phil this week – Wednesday evening, Thursday evening and today’s lunch hour set – perhaps accounted for a relatively low turn-out to hear Triptych. The trio of Paul Edis (piano), Paul Susans (double bass) and drummer Rob Walker have, in a short space of time, got something going with this new line-up. The set list combined standards, traditional songs and contemporary composition. The trick is in the approach and the arrangements of once familiar tunes.

Katherine Stone Quartet w. Paul Gowland @ Ashington Jazz Club May 7.

Katherine Stone (vocal); Stu Collingwood (keys); Paul Grainger (bass); Steve Doyle (drums); Paul Gowland (tenor).
(Review/Photo by Peter S.)
The appearance of Katherine Stone and her Quartet drew a good crowd including members old and new. Ms. Stone, not long back after a lengthy engagement on "the high seas", had managed to get together a unique group of exceptionally good musicians. Although there had been little time to discuss arrangements before taking to the stage the group blended together seamlessly. This has always amazed me, how do they achieve that? It just goes to show how accomplished these musicians are. Three of them were appearing at Ashington for the first time and they expressed their enjoyment through the music they produced.

CD Review and Launch.The Lindsay Hannon Plus - The Spy". Lit and Phil. May 8.















Lindsay Hannon (vocal); James Harrison (piano); John Pope (bass); Tom Chapman (drums).
(Review by Lance/Photos by Ken Drew/CD artwork by Jim Sebright).
The Lit and Phil was buzzing, an air of anticipation hung in the air, as the audience assembled for this JNE assisted launch of The Lindsay Hannon Plus' CD The Spy. Many of us had been present for the live recording done late last year at the Bridge Hotel so we had a fair idea of what to expect and we got it - did we not!
A laid back double bass introduction interspersed with delicate  piano punctuations and tinkling cymbals led eerily, intriguingly, to Lindsay's smoky voiced take on the album's title track - The Spy. The Doors' classic has all the elements of a novel by Ian Fleming or John le Carré. The build up to the emotional, even violent vocal heights and the gradual release of tension.

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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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