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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).

Today Monday November 20

Afternoon

Jazz in the Afternoon - Cullercoats Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 4QS. Tel: 0191 NE30 4QS. 1:00pm. Free.

Classic Swing - Marquis of Granby, Streetgate, Sunniside NE16 5ES. Tel: 0191 488 0954. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

?????

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

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Belated acknowledgement of the death of a fine singer.

Just to let you know that Marion Williams, former singer with the Dankworth 7 and Oscar Rabin Band (among many others in the 50's) died in February, 2014.
She was 82 and a damned fine singer.
Attached is a promo photo of her back in the 50s/60s.
Dave van de Gevel
Zakynthos
Greece.

Strictly Smokin’ Big Band @ The Millstone March 26

(Review by Kath J.)
On the last Thursday of the month, you can be pretty certain to find me at the open rehearsal of The Strictly Smokin’ Big Band, and although some may think I am biased, due to my best beloved playing 1st Tenor, I endeavour for  my reviews to be honest and accurate.
This evening’s lack of singers allowed the SSBB to show off what a contemporary and varied instrumental pad they have and it’s superb to hear the variety of arrangements.  As usual the place was packed out with an attentive audience, some of whom had come up from downstairs when they heard the music start, and so by the time Paul Bream, Chair of Jazz Northeast  arrived towards the end of the first set, there wasn’t a seat to be had.

CD Review: Harry Allen - For George, Cole and Duke.**

Harry Allen (ten); Ehud Asherie (pno); Nicki Parrett (bs/vcl); Chuck Redd (dms/vbs) + "Little Johnny" Rivero (Latin perc.)
(Review by Lance).
Music is an audio experience but it can also be related to the other senses. Listening to Harry Allen on this disc is, compared to the majority of discs I receive that are full of original  compositions by some kid out of college, like the advent of spring (maybe not this Spring!) That they are by long gone composers, Gershwin, Porter and Ellington, only serves to pose the question - why try to improve upon perfection?

Monday, March 30, 2015

Duende @ The Bridge Hotel. March 29

Steve Glendinning (guitar) & Mark Williams (guitar)
(Review by Russell/Photo courtesy of Ken Drew).
As has become the norm, the on-first-name-terms audience turned out to support Splinter @ the Bridge. At short notice Mark Williams helped out friend and fellow guitarist Steve Glendinning when a proposed quartet gig fell through. The prospect of two fine guitarists playing a few tunes together didn't deter the faithful.

Jason Isaacs & Zita Frith @ Bonbar March 29.

Jason Isaacs (vcl/ten); Mark Webb, Darren Irwin (tpt); Dave Brock  (tmb); Andy Bennett, Ray Dales (reeds); Stuart Collingwood (pno); Neil Harland (bs); Simon Ferry (dms) + Zita Frith (vcl).
(Review by Lance).
A Jason Isaacs' show isn't just another gig it's an occasion - a happening! The songs and the routines may be familiar but, somehow, he makes you think you're hearing them for the first time, such is the man's charismatic appeal. 
Tramp; Beyond the Sea; Kick in the Head; Minnie the Moocher; That's Life; Leroy Brown and many more made this a ring-a-ding-ding of a show.

Hannah Taylor & Alix Shepherd @ The Redwood Bar - March 29

Hannah Taylor (vcl); Alix Shepherd (pno).
The Redwood Bar of Newcastle's Vermont Hotel (Do they have a Newcastle Hotel in Vermont, I wonder?) is the latest watering hole to feature jazz tinged artists. Friday's opener was by Andrea Patterson, Saturday it was Zoe Gilby and last night Hannah Taylor, accompanied by Alix Shepherd on piano, took centre stage.
I had time to spare en route to Jason's gig at Bonbar so I decided to check it out.

Nicola Farnon Trio @ Holy Trinity Church Matfen - March 29

Nicola Farnon - Vocal, Double Bass, Piero Tucci - Piano, Tenor Sax, Phil Johnson - Drums, Perc
(Review by Ray Robson).
Being lovers of the acoustics a church provides, we were delighted to see that our local "Highlights" group had continued their great support in taking Jazz to local Northumberland communities & had arranged a mini tour for the Nicola Farnon Trio.....we caught up with them in the lovely surroundings of Holy Trinity Church in Matfen. 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Four On Six – The Jazz Café - March 28









Steve Glendinning (gtr) & Paul Grainger (bs)

(Review by Kath J/Photo left by Mike Tilley photo right by Lance).
When two outstanding musicians team up for a duo gig, you know that it’s going to be a high quality performance and I wasn’t disappointed.  Four on Six commenced with a bit of Gershwin, A Foggy Day, and right from the start the intricate workings of Stevie’s fingers backed by that confident but laid back bass, set the standard.  Pat Metheny’s Aways and Forever brought an innovative bass solo and Paul’s creativity carried on into God Bless the Child, way to go Mr Grainger!

The Jazz Machine @ The Globe Jazz Bar - March 28.

Pepe Greenaway (alt); Dave Parker (bs); Peter Ninnim (dms).
"A work in progress" was the description given to me by one of the "Machinists" and it probably summed up what was, nevertheless, a fine example of the Jazz Co-op's attempts to offer a varied program - partly subsidised by the wall to wall throng of pulchritudinous flesh in the downstairs bar. It wasn't an easy choice to make!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

CD Review: James Birkett & Bradley Johnston Together

James Birkett (guitar) & Bradley Johnston (guitar)
(Review by Russell)
North east-based guitarists James Birkett and Bradley Johnston have been working together for some time as a duo and have recently released their first CD recording. Together comprises thirteen tracks, of which eleven were composed or recorded by iconic figures in the history of jazz. Two compositions are the duo’s – Blues for BJ (comp.J.Birkett) and James Waltz (comp. B.Johnston).They stand comparison.

Program change to Sunday's Splinter Session @ Bridge Hotel

Performing live at The Bridge Hotel this Sunday (March 29) are "DUENDE" Mark Williams and Steve Glendinning, both veterans of the jazz guitar scene locally, nationally and internationally. A tour de force of jazz guitar from early to modern, Django to McLaughlin, some choice standards and originals from the sublime to the ridiculous. An evening not to be missed. 

Briefly Alan Glen @ The Jazz Café. March 27

Alan Glen (keyboards), John Pope (double bass) & Paul Wight (drums).
Having been elsewhere on the evening (another concert), was it worth calling into the Jazz Café to catch the last ten minutes? You bet it was! Alan Glen was in full flow. A bottle of Prince Bishop, a seat, aah!
A wrist-ringing tempo on Cherokee entertained the few. The few were listening. Paul Wight maintained a punishing pace, slotting in a drum ‘n’ bass feel, cymbals taking a pasting. Bass and drums were under the stairs, piano man Glen forward on the floor. A keen reaction from the few won an encore – How I Wish (I Knew How it was to be Free). Typically joyous playing, Pope clearly enjoys playing with maestro Glen, so too Wight. Handshakes, smiles – clearly a good gig.
Russell.

Val Wiseman - Lady Sings The Blues @ Gala Theatre, Durham. March 27.

Val Wiseman (vcl) w. Digby Fairweather (tpt); Roy Williams (tmb); Julian Marc Stringle (ten/clt); Brian Dee (pno); Len Skeat (bs); Eric Ford (dms).
(Review by Lance)
The auditorium was near full and justifiably so. Whilst few, if any, have equaled the poignancy and emotional content of Billie Holiday in this, the centenary of Lady Day's birth, Val Wiseman came as close as possible without losing her own identity.
The many fine songs included, Ain't Nobody's Business if I doGood Morning Heartache; God Bless the Child; Fine and Mellow; Miss Brown to You; Just one of Those Things; Comes Love; Me, Myself and I; One For my Baby; What a Little Moonlight Can Do; Am I Blue? Loverman - just piano and voice - was spellbinding and a grandiose My Man captivated. 

Friday, March 27, 2015

James Birkett & Bradley Johnston @ The Lit & Phil. March 27

James Birkett (guitar) & Bradley Johnston (guitar)
(Review by Russell)
Another monthly lunchtime gig at the Lit & Phil. In no time all seats were taken with extra chairs hurriedly set-out to meet demand. It was a special occasion – it being the low key launch of James Birkett and Bradley Johnston’s CD Together. A partnership of equals – Birkett the vastly experienced musician, Johnston the supremely talented young musician making his way in the music world.

SUMMERTYNE AMERICANA FESTIVAL 2015 ANNOUNCES LINE UP!

(Press Release)
SummerTyne Americana Festival is TEN!  To celebrate the tenth birthday, festival  organisers are delighted to announce that they are staging a weekend long party and inviting some of their most famous and legendary friends along, as well as the pick of the new crop of breakthrough acts.   This jam-packed weekend brings the finest American roots music, from both sides of the Atlantic and this year’s festival presents a strong seam of southern soul, blues and gospel alongside a sensational cast of country, rock and Americana stars. 

CD Review: Mikkel Ploug Trio - At Black Tornado.

Mikkel Ploug (gtr); Jeppe Skovbakke (bs); Sean Carpio (dms).
(Review by Lance).
At Black Tornado is Danish guitarist Mikkel Ploug's seventh album and his first for Whirlwind. Recorded at the Black Tornado Studios in Copenhagen on January 28/29 last year, the album was launched at Ronnie's earlier this week. The trio have also appeared elsewhere in London as well as Birmingham and Bungay in Suffolk.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Gateshead International Jazz Festival – so close, you can almost touch it!

Two weeks and counting. Sage Gateshead’s annual jazz party gets underway on Friday 10 April and continues all weekend (Saturday 11 and Sunday 12). Day One (Friday 10) was previewed earlier. Here’s what’s in store on Day Two…
Day Two – Saturday April 11
(Preview by Russell)
After the late Friday night/early Saturday morning festival jam session at the Globe on Railway Street in Newcastle why not sleep-in? But not too late, as the jazz resumes at 1:30pm on the concourse. It’s free, it’s non-stop until seven o’clock, the bars and café will be open throughout and the views across the Tyne are spectacular. It may be free admission but don’t assume the standard will be in some way inferior. Far from it. The Gateshead International Jazz Festival is shot-through with quality (in the concert halls, out on the concourse and in the basement Music Education Centre’s workshops).

CD Review: Nick Sanders Trio - You Are a Creature.

Nick Sanders (pno); Henry Fraser (bs); Connor Baker (dms).
(Review by Lance).
New Orleans-born pianist Sanders is described as a unique voice and his trio are referred to as unconventional.
I second the motion!
Maybe we could add Quirky!
The cover art, the titles and the execution tell us that this isn't going to be a straight drive down the freeway but, rather a meandering journey through side roads and dirt paths although there are some moments when the foot is on the pedal and they are in the fast lane pursued by a hip cop.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Durham beckons on Friday

There's a lot going on this Friday - King Bee at The Cluny, Alan Glen Trio at the Jazz Café and the Customs House Big Band at the theatre of the same name in South Shields - all mouthwatering prospects! However, I'm heading for the Gala Theatre in Durham where vocalist Val Wiseman pays tribute to Billie Holiday with her show Lady Sings The Blues.
Apart from her distinctive vocals, the instrumentalists are absolute top drawer swingers i.e.: Digby Fairweather (tpt); Julian Marc Stringle (reeds); Roy Williams (tmb); Brian Dee (pno); Len Skeat (bs); Eric Ford (dms).
This is going to be well worth the trip!
Tickets are £13/£12 and the show starts at 7.30pm.
Lance.

CD Review: The Ted Howe Jazz Orchestra – Pinnacle

(Review by Hugh)
Ted Howe is a Los Angeles based pianist, composer, arranger, producer and teacher.  Pinnacle is his seventh CD as leader.  The central core of the CD is Howe's Suite #1 for Jazz Orchestra.  Howe wrote the suite as his first piece of extended composition for this kind of ensemble.  The suite was premiered in 2011 at the Conant Arts Centre in Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, Georgia (Tate lived in Atlanta for many years).  The suite is presented in three movements of equal duration over a total of 18 minutes as tracks 3, 4 and 5.

CD Review Samadhi Quintet - The Dance of Venus

Krzysztof Urbanski (tenor & soprano saxophones), Dominic J Marshall (piano), Sam Vicary (bass), Sam Bell (percussion) & Sam Gardner (drums).
(Review by Russell).
The Dance of Venus is a phonographic celebration of life, consciousness and the universe and the group explore the role of meditation and still consciousness in music. The album is inspired by the Quadrivium – the four Liberal Arts of Number, Geometry, Music and Cosmology, studied from antiquity as a means to perceive the beautiful numerical order that characterizes the universe. 
Don’t switch off! Read on…

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

As one door closes…

(Report by Russell/Tony).
Darlington Jazz Club switched off the lights one more time, locked the door and walked off into the night. The Forum Music Centre on Borough Road is history. The jazz nights came to an end – the end of an era – last night with a memorable gig by the Darlington Big Band.
However, Bebop Spoken Here’s Deep South correspondent Tony Eales sends news of an exciting future. Darlington Jazz Club will be reborn on Sunday April 12 at a new town centre venue. The Quakerhouse pub in Mechanics Yard, just off Skinnergate, will be one of a select number of venues to stage club events. Sunday April 12 features the excellent post-bop combo the Jazz Tones.
Less than two weeks later the fantastic Darlington Jazz Festival returns (April 23-26) at the Quakerhouse and other jazz-friendly town centre places. A full festival preview will appear on these pages in due course. As one door closes… 
Russell.

CD Review: George Crowley - Can of Worms

George Crowley (tenor saxophone), Tom Challenger (tenor saxophone), Dan Nicholls (piano & Wurlitzer), Sam Lasserson (double bass) & Jon Scott (drums)
(Review by Russell).
Can of Worms is saxophonist George Crowley’s second album. Recorded in July 2014 on Michael Janisch’s Whirlwind Recordings label, Crowley’s quintet comprises some of the very best of the scene’s younger musicians. London-based Loop Collective member Tom Challenger works with the bandleader as a two-tenor frontline. The rhythm section (piano bass and drums) is an integral part of the band sound, thus ‘rhythm section’ is inadequate in describing the contributions of Dan Nicholls, Sam Lasserson and Jon Scott.

Jazz Coop G M.

A very well attended General Meeting of the Jazz Coop took place in the upstairs room of The Globe on Saturday afternoon (if only so many could attend the gigs). Minnie Fraser and Dave Parker each gave good presentations on the past present and future of Britain’s first music venue to be owned by a cooperative. A remarkable amount has been done in such a short space of time in establishing the Jazz Coop taking  inspiration from the late Keith Crombie of the Pink Lane Jazz Café. One of things the Coop are most proud of is the amount of money pumped into the jazz community in form of performance and tuition fees. It is also a notable achievement that by installing a lift both floors of the building  are accessible to all, probably a unique feature for any Newcastle music venue. There is more work to be done but I think all present left the meeting in an optimistic frame of mind and looking forward to the future evolution of the project.
Anyone interested in volunteering or indeed becoming a member of the Coop should 
email pinklanejazzcoop@gmail.com for further details.
Steve H.

CD Review: Carlos Averhoff Jr. - iRESI.

Carlos Averhoff Jr. (ten); Greg Osby (alt); Aruan Ortiz (pno); John Lockwood (bs); Francisco Mela (dms).
(Review by Lance).
It says much for the world wide recognition of Bebop Spoken Here that I receive as many discs for review from Europe  and the USA as I do from UK (Scotland being a notable exception!) Such is the volume of transatlantic offerings that only a small percentage reach the page and I worry about the increased load the Boeing's have to carry - not to mention my postman's back!
Fortunately, this one safely crossed the pond and up our street!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Jason Isaacs - back at Bonbar this Sunday - start spreading the news...


Last month I proclaimed that Jason Isaacs and the Ambassadors of Swing at Hoochie Coochie was the gig of the month.
Earlier,back in November, he knocked everyone sideways at Bonbar in the Old Assembly Rooms. Well, Jason and his Ambassadors pay a return visit to Bonbar this coming Sunday (March 29) and if you missed out previous, go for it this time round.
Read about it here.
More info here.
Lance.

Jazz Coop @ The Globe: Debra Milne Ensemble – March 21

Debra Milne (vocals); Steve Glendinning (guitar); Paul Grainger (bass); Tim Johnston (drums)
(Review by Ann Alex)
Debra Milne has become an assured jazz singer with a sweet clear voice and songs meaningfully expressed, and this performance was a joy to hear, with all four of the band contributing well. She wore a dress bearing large yellow flowers which chimed in well with the Latin numbers in the varied programme. The men wore jeans and dark shirts; (why should only women’s attire be mentioned?)

Tam de Villiers Quartet @ The Bridge Hotel. March 22

Tam de Villiers (guitar), David Prez (tenor saxophone), Frédéric Chiffoleau (double bass) & Karl Jannuska (drums)
(Review by Russell/Photo courtesy of Ken Drew).
Tam de Villiers has been touring his Whirlwind Recordings album Panacea. A string of European dates, including British dates the length and breadth of the country, concluded with a Splinter gig at the Bridge Hotel, Newcastle. Sunday night regulars turned out in a show of Anglo-French solidarity. de Villiers, British born, has lived in Paris since 2003. His French is, no doubt, better than your reviewer’s English (not difficult). Would he have command of the language of jazz?

CD Review: Vicky Tilson Quartet – Mojo Risin'


Vicky Tilson – double bass; Dee Byrne - alto sax; Stuart Fiddler – guitar; Reinis Axelsson - drums
(Review by Hugh C).
Vicky Tilson, a graduate of the Guildhall post-grad jazz course, formed her first quartet in 2009 and released an album, Picture from Jitske, in the same year.  Tales from a Forgotten City followed in 2010. 
Mojo Risin’, recorded at the Cable Street Records studios in East London where Reinis Axelsson worked as a sound engineer, enabled Tilson to record in analogue and “give the album a certain warmth that digital does not”.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Some Like It Hot @ Victoria Vaults York

John Addy (tpt/vcl); Simon Addy (dms): Steve Devine(ten); Andy Cholliford (keys) and a great bass guitar, whose name I didn't catch!
(Review by Liz).
Well what an afternoon that was! I have known John Addy for years as indeed has anyone with a good ear for great jazz. He apparently retired a month or two ago, but made a brief  come-back today for those people who enjoy live music at the Vicky Vaults
John does Gasbook to perfection and, as I never intended to review this gig, I didn't make notes...but they were all there .One Morning in May, It Might as Well be Spring, I Thought About You, Mountain Greenery, Ain't That a Kick in the Head? it just went on & on. 

CD Review: John Bailey - Black Ship Bright Sea

John Bailey (gtr); Richard Iles (flug); Tim France (sax); Gavin Barras (bs); Steve Hanley (dms).
(Review by Lance).
Quoting from the blurb we're told that the music here sits squarely on the border between jazz and classical music. Bailey's compositions, it would appear, deal with the dark and light aspects of life. The aim of the compositions, it seems, is to move the listener through a range of different emotional states from depressing and bleak to uplifting and optimistic.
Not a party record!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Bruce Adams w. Paul Edis Trio @ Jazz Café - March 20.











Bruce Adams (tpt/flg); Paul Edis (pno); Andy Champion (bs); Adam Sinclair (dms).
(Review by Lance/photos by Mike Tilley).
Every trumpet player in the north east should have been here tonight! Listening and learning from the master. I don't mean just technique and creativity but also how to connect with an audience. Incidentally, pianists, basses and drummers could also have picked up a sack full of knowledge along the way as Edis, Champion and Sinclair were well up for the gig and Bruce's appreciation I am sure was more than mere token.

Friday, March 20, 2015

CD Review: Courtney Pine - Song (The Ballad Book)

Courtney Pine (bass clarinet); Zoe Rahman (pno).
(Review by Lance).
I was unsure if 52 minutes of bass clarinet and piano would hold my interest and there were moments when my attention wandered but not many. Pine has never been less than a forward thinker and although numbers such as Amazing Grace may seem a far cry from the angry young man of the 1980s who leaped into prominence as part of the Jazz Warriors Pine is respectful of the source without disguising his own identity. Even Duke's Come Sunday which opens with a hint of pet shop arson mellows sufficiently to avoid any accusations of sacrilege. In an album with many excellent tunes it is to CP's credit that the most lyrical one is his own composition - Song!

The Collective @ Hoochie Coochie - March 19.




Lyndon Anderson (vcl/hca); Tim Bloomer (gtr); Dominic Snaith (keys) Martyn Dixon (bs/gtr);?(dms).
(Review by Lance).
With Lyndon Anderson up front fifty shades of blue(s) was guaranteed. This was one helluva blast with guest Lyndon playing as good a harp as you're likely to hear 'twixt the Tyne and Tees Delta. His singing didn't hurt either.
Tim Bloomer unleashed the licks and the looks with his usual panache whilst Dom alternated between groovin' B3 and down home barrelhouse boogie blues piano. Martyn used all five strings to great effect and the drummer (Martyn did name check him for me but I inexcusably forgot it!) laid it down like as though he was recording for Sun Records in Memphis, Tennessee.
It was good to have the Collective back at Hoochie but sad that it was just a one off.
Photos.
Lance.

RIP June Bowman (nee Barnes)

Thanks to Alfred Stone for drawing this sad item to my attention.
RIP.
Lance.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

RIP Samuel Charters

Generally acknowledged as the greatest authority on American blues, folk and early jazz, Samuel Charters passed away yesterday. He was 85 (March 18). Along with his wife Ann, Charters wrote about, researched and recorded many famous bluesmen and women who had slipped into obscurity - creating an interest in and a revival of their careers. 
Sad news indeed.
Obituary.
Lance.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Scottish National Jazz Orchestra Directed by Tommy Smith present KURT ELLING SWINGS SINATRA


The spring of 2015 is set to burst into wonderful life as the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra (SNJO), now in its twentieth year, and their very special guest Kurt Elling celebrate the birth centenary of a truly household name in popular music, Frank Sinatra
Sinatra has been called many things, from “The Voice of the Century” to “An Act You Can’t Follow”. That has not stopped imitators and emulators from trying, and for the most part failing. It takes a great voice to sing remotely like Sinatra, but it takes a great jazz voice to know Sinatra. Kurt Elling, perhaps the foremost jazz vocalist of his generation, is that voice. 

CD Review: Bob Dylan - Shadows in the Night

Bob Dylan (vocals), Tony Garnier (bass), Donny Herron (pedal steel guitar), Charlie Sexton (guitar), Stu Kimball (guitar) and George C. Receli (percussion).
(Review by JC)
Subterranean Lovesick Blues
For most of us, Bob Dylan releasing an album of Great American Songbook numbers, mostly associated with Frank Sinatra, would have seemed an extremely unlikely prospect. Yet here is a man who, by his mid twenties, had been through numerous musical genres - early blues, folk, protest songs, electric rock and country music (and mostly completely reconstructed them) - and simultaneously, in song-writing terms, had created his own personal Great American Songbook. So why not do an album of standards?

Jazz Café Jam - March 17.

Peter Gilligan (pno); Paul Grainger (bs); Paul Wight (dms) + Joe Fowler (tmb/vcl); Alan Law/Joel Brown (pno); Tom Lapworth (gtr); Fiona Finden (vcl); Stuart Finden/Paul Gowland (ten); Jordan Alfonso (alt); Yuya Honami/Ian Forbes (dms); Alec J. Gamble (cor); Halle Bennett (vcl).
The above is the gist of the evenings performers, there may have been others - apologies if I've missed anyone.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Strictly Smokin’ Big Band @ The Black Bull, Blaydon. March 15

(Review by Russell/Photos courtesy of Roly Veitch & Deirdre Grant).
Blaydon Jazz Club at the Black Bull. The Strictly Smokin’ Big Band strolled into town, suited and booted. Small room, big band. The saxophone section assembled on the floor in front of the small stage. Blaydon regulars filed in looking to claim their usual perch. Instrument cases littered the floor and covered table tops as a sound check took place. One sensed this was going to be something special.
Bandleader Michael Lamb led the way with the first solo of the night on Ol’ Man River. The band’s power almost took the breath away, some were stunned. A sensational start. Depping vocalist Paul Skerritt Let the Good Times Roll; style, presence, timing. Gerry Mulligan’s Red Door and Frankie and Johnny and a Trombone Guy worked as swinging big band tunes.

Monday, March 16, 2015

T J Johnson @ Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club - March 14.

(Review by John T)
It seems TJs recent tour of the south of the region has gone unnoticed. Starting at Bedale Golf Club on Friday 13th they did a lunchtime gig at Darlington NOJC the following day. In the evening they headed south to appear at Boston Spa JC on their way back to the smoke. Well done to whoever organised this small tour.

Dave Newton & Dean Stockdale @ The Globe Jazz Bar - March 15.









Dave Newton & Dean Stockdale (keys).
(Review by Lance/Photo courtesy of Ken Drew)
The number 22 bus takes you practically to the door of The Globe so it was but a short hop from Havana à la Hoochie into the unknown - the unknown being whether a two piano set, even one by two such formidable performers as Dave and Dean, would pull the punters.
The downstairs bar was doing good business with concertgoers seeking refreshment prior to an evening of Spandau Ballet at the Arena.
Upstairs too was near to standing room only as the audience slaked their thirst in eager anticipation.
We weren't disappointed.

Cubop Spoken Here. Havana Club 5 + Heaton Horns @ Hoochie Coochie March 15.

Carlos Luis Rivera/Paco Rivera (perc/vcls)); Alan Law (pno); Paul Grainger (bs); Antonio Marrero (vcl/perc); Simon Coleman (dms); Darren Millett (gtr); + Heaton Horns: David Matthew Gray (tmb); Alex Saxon (alt/fl); Elliot Todd (tpt).
(Review by Lance/Photos courtesy of Anna Miller to follow.*)
The occasional Sunday afternoon gigs at Hoochie are usually something else and this one was no exception! It didn't matter that I hadn't a clue what the songs were about or whether they were in Portuguese, Spanish or a mixture of both, what counted was the infectious, compelling and at times hypnotic rhythms that engulfed those who weren't away wining and dining their mother (or somebody else's mother). They should have brought her here!

CD Review Doc Bowling and his Blues Professors – Black Country Boy

Doc Bowling (guitar & vocals), Donnie Burke (guitar, baritone guitar, banjo & backing vocals), Simon Minney (bass, acoustic bass, whistle & backing vocals), Graham Hadley (drums & backing vocals), Roger Champion (percussion & backing vocals), Sophie Loyer (violin), Lawrence Davies (harmonica) & Eddie Kulak (keyboards)
(Review by Russell)
A new name to your reviewer, Doc Bowling is a new favourite. Doc and his fellow seven ‘blues professors’ can be pigeon-holed quite easily – providing you have a vacant dozen or more pigeon holes! Alt country, blues (twelve bar and its variants), Americana, rock-a-billy, shuffling bottleneck, ska – all from an oblique (psychotherapist’s) view point and a Stetson brim-full of humour and understated musical excellence.
Doc Bowling sings on all eleven tracks on Black Country Boy. The eponymous first track identifies Doc Bowling as a lad raised in the West Midlands:

Faye MacCalman & John Pope @ The Jazz Café. March 14

Faye MacCalman (tenor saxophone) & John Pope (double bass)
(Review by Russell/photo courtesy of Mike Tilley.)
Final year music student Faye MacCalman (tenor saxophone) teamed up with bassist John Pope to present two sets of accessible post-bop material to an appreciative –and occasionally noisy – Saturday night crowd at the Jazz Café. The first set began earlier than usual as John Pope had to be home and in bed by half past ten. Not true – he had another gig across town starting at ten thirty!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Edis Sextet on Jazz Record Requests

Blues For Dad by Paul Edis Sextet was played by Alyn Shipton on yesterday;s Jazz Record Requests.
Link (it's 45 minutes in).
Lance.

CD Review: Chris McNulty - Eternal

Chris McNulty (vocals); John Di Martino (arrangements and piano); Ugonna Okegwo (bass); Gregory Hutchinson (drums) + Chamber ensemble*
(Review by Ann Alex)
Prepare to shed tears whilst listening to this CD.  This is Chris McNulty’s seventh CD since she emerged on to the international jazz scene in 1991, and it is a tribute to her son, Sam McNulty, hip-hop artist-composer Chap One, who died in 2011.  McNulty researched songbooks extensively to get the right mix of material for the album, and she has assembled an excellent set of songs.  

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Rendezvous Jazz @ The Black Horse, Monkseaton. March 13

 Maureen Hall (vocals), Gavin Lee (soprano saxophone), Don Fairley (trombone), Roy Gibson (keyboards), Jim McKeown (drums) + Chris Hodgkins (trumpet), Teresa Armstrong (vocals) & Joan Armstrong (vocals)
(Review by Russell)
Vocalist Maureen Hall has maintained a Friday lunchtime session for several years down at the coast. The Black Horse in Monkseaton (currently to let to an enterprising publican) is one of those venues where the management let the musicians get on with it.

CD Review: Benny Sharoni - Slant Signature

Benny Sharoni (ten); Jim Rotondi (tpt); Joe Barbato (pno); Mike Mele (gtr); Todd Baker (bs); Steve Langone (dms).
(Review by Lance)
Another absolute dream of an album from across the pond - Boston to be precise. Because of Berklee College, Boston could be said to be the breeding ground of jazz today just as New Orleans was at the turn of the century although, in actual fact, Sharoni only hung around the college for one semester - too free spirited, he said, to thrive while there.
This/these guy(s) deserve to be internationally renowned but, sadly, without sites such as this and others around the world, the chances are probably slight.

TAKE THE GREEN TRAIN: A SEMINAR ON SUSTAINABILITY IN MUSIC

(Press Release)
One of the world’s major concert halls and a Europe-wide network of over 100 members from 30 countries are using the context of the 2015 Gateshead International Jazz Festival to explore environmental issues that concern both the music and cultural industries and how the sector can respond as part of a global movement stepping up the urgency around addressing climate change. On Friday April 10, to launch this year’s Gateshead International Jazz Festival, Sage Gateshead and Europe Jazz Network will be presenting a fascinating seminar examining how jazz and music promoters, festivals and venues across Europe can develop their green policies and transform their practices to meet both the challenges and opportunities of a rapidly changing environment.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Pilgrim St Set @ Hoochie Coochie - March 12. (Take 2)

Richard Burns (tpt); Gary Turner (ten); Paul Edis (pno); Paul Susans (bs); Rob Walker (dms).

(Review/photo by Jerry)
Richard Burns keeps exhorting us to tip the bar-staff: I never have (short arms, deep pockets) but I really ought to. They shine. Everything at Hoochie Coochie shines – the chrome fittings, the bar-top, the neon lights and as for the musicians…..

Pilgrim St Set @ Hoochie Coochie - March 12.

Richard Burns (tpt); Gary Turner (ten); Paul Edis (pno); Paul Susans (bs); Rob Walker (dms).
The Pilgrim St Set just get better & better. Last night's performance was stunning. Skillful, humorous, with virtuoso playing everywhere you turned. Excellent musicians having a good time.. In my humble opinion (and I know nowt) they are the best regional jazz band I have seen, Gary's new compositions were some of the best original jazz I have heard in a very long time. If you're a muso come catch these guys @ the next gig on April 9th, you will not be sorry.
WT.

ST CUTHBERT’S CENTRE JAZZ

Paul Edis has released details of the 2015 program of jazz concerts to be held at St Cuthbert’s Centre, Church Hill, Crook they are as follows:
May 15 Ruth Lambert Trio
June 12 Customs House Big Band
Sept 18 Paul Edis Sextet
Nov 13 Djangologie
All Jazz events will have a licensed bar with a good selection of Real Ales
Tickets are £7.00 (includes a light supper)
Events start at 7pm

To reserve tickets please phone or email Anne on 01388 768880 or annemtimothy@gmail.com Venue: St Cuthbert’s Centre, Church Hill, Crook.
Looks good to me.
Lance.

Mercy! Mercy! Mercy! @ Newcastle Arts Centre March 12

Martin Kershaw (alt); Colin Steele (tpt); Steve Hamilton (pno); Brian Shiels (bs); Alyn Cosker (dms).
(Review by Lance/Photo courtesy of Ken Drew).
A cracker of a gig by five of Scotland's finest paying tribute to one of jazz's great bands - The Cannonball Adderley Quintet. It's been a good few days for alto sax players - Mark Toomey's recreation of Bird With Strings down in Saltburn and this appreciation of the late Cannonball. I never heard the alto player live although I did see his brother Nat (played here by Colin Steele - who previously had played Chet Baker at Live Theatre some years back) at the Corner House in the 1980s. 

Paul Edis Trio @ The Cherry Tree, March 11

 Paul Edis (piano); Roly Veitch (guitar/vocal); Neil Harland (double bass).
(Review by JC).
As BSH had intriguingly advertised the Wednesday night gig at the Cherry Tree as a 'good King Cole style trio' that seemed another good reason (along with the food) to go. Maybe Arthur Scargill had taken up the ukulele in his later years or Andy Cole had become a whizz on the baritone sax since he hung up his boots, but on arrival it was clear that neither was the case. The quietly distinguished looking guitarist didn't look the type to make rabble-rousing speeches and the piano player, with all due respect, didn't seem like a 20-goals a season striker (although the bass player might have made an elegant, but tough-tackling centre half).

Thursday, March 12, 2015

A superb site to visit.

Some amazing free downloads of live recordings by the Tony Lee Trio with various guests (Bill Le Sage, Dick Morrissey, Louis Stewart, Ronnie Ross etc.)
There are also MM Poll listings from 1944-1974.
Go to...http://henrybebop.co.uk/links.htm.
Lance.

Charlie Parker Remembered Poetically 60 years on.

Check out the latest jazz poetry project from Dr. Keith Armstrong with images by Peter Dixon.
Lance.

Anyone recognise this lady?

Tommy Henderson wonders if any of our older readers can identify this cabaret artist pictured here at Wetherell's in Sunderland circa 1965?
Lance.

Improvisers’ Workshop: Jazz Cafe: Tuesday March 10

Andy Champion (bass); Wes Stephenson and Another (drums); Alan Laws and Another (keys); Stewart Finden, Fiona Finden, Karen Rann and Two Others (saxes); Two Others (guitars);  Another (Flute); Zoe Gilby, Julie Allen, Ann Alex (vocals).
(Review by Ann Alex).
I must apologise to anyone whose name I didn’t know or who hasn’t been mentioned, but it was an improvisation workshop after all, so I think I can improvise with the names. It could be worse, I could have called you Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck. (I used to work in a certain local museum and according to the visitors’ book, those two characters came to the museum regularly!)
Once again, this workshop was very ably led by Andy Champion and a good and musically adventurous time was had by all.  Various sets of musicians performed during the first set.  For the second set, Andy let each vocalist lead a piece, choosing their own musicians.  There were quite a few listeners and one such man suggested that we should name each piece after it had been played – a good idea, and yet another way to involve everyone.

CD Review: Ernesto Cervini - Turboprop.

Tara Davidson (alt/sop); Joehl Frahm (ten); William Carn (tmb); Adrean Farrugia (pno); Dan Loomis (bs); Ernesto Cervini (dms).
(Review by Lance).
Canadian drummer, Cervini, has assembled a Jazz Messengers' styled outfit that successfully incorporates the mood of what many consider to be the greatest modern jazz combo ever into a band for today.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Bird Lives!

Alto saxist Mark Toomey tells me that he had a great gig at Saltburn on Friday recreating the original line up and arrangements of the legendary Charlie Parker With Strings sessions.
Over a hundred people turned out to celebrate this timeless music.
It was a tribute to Charlie Parker who died 60 years ago tomorrow (March 12, 1955). 
It also happens to be Mark's birthday today (it's been a good week for birthdays!) and we'd like to wish him many happy gigs and may he continue to spread the gospel according to St. Bird.
As an afterthought, if it can pull 100 people in Saltburn then this show deserves to be heard further afield.
Lance.
Mark Toomey (alto); Kevin Eland (trumpet); Jeremy McMurray (piano); Peter Ayton (bass); Kevin O’Neal (drums); Philip Cull (oboe/cor anglais); Gordon Dyke, Geo Dyke, Anna Dyke (violins); Bruce Taylor (viola); Anita Aslin (harp)

Election Results In

The 2015 All Party Parliamentary Jazz Awards have been announced as follows:
Jazz Vocalist: Norma Winstone
Jazz Instrumentalist: Laura Jurd
Jazz Album: Partisans’ Swamp
Jazz Ensemble: Engines Orchestra
Jazz Newcomer: Peter Edwards
Jazz Venue: St Ives Jazz Club
Jazz Media: London Jazz News
Jazz Education: National Youth Jazz Orchestra
Services to Jazz: Chris Hodgkins.
Some worthy choices - congratulations.
Lance.

CD Review: Joanne Tatham - Out of My Dreams.

Joanne Tatham (vcl); Bob Sheppard (saxes); Tamil Hendelman/Jamieson Trotter (pno); John Clayton/Lyman Medeiros (bs); Marcel Camargo (gtr) Peter Erskine/Mike Shapiro (dms).
(Review by Lance)
Class! A word we used to use to describe albums by Peggy and Ella. A word we still relate to Diana (Krall) and others. Ms Tatham isn't one of 'The Others" indeed, on the strength of this album, the lady can stand tall alongside her peers.
Tatham's voice is as expressive as the words demand and often more than they are worthy of. Not that there are any bummers on this set list.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Beatrix Ward-Fernandez Improv Workshop @ Bridge Hotel, Newcastle March 8










The pre-evening gig was preceded by an afternoon Improvisation Workshop led by Beatrix Ward-Fernandez with a decent turnout for the session. This started with a general discussion around improve and its impact on the individual, the players and the audience.  Then straight in to some improv practice – using cards as keys to different forms of stimulus / expression, directed by Beatrix who conducted the changes. Quite an acceptable result considering the diverse range of participants !   And finally a free-improv session where Beatrix joined in on the Theremin (Etherwave Pro) with similarly good results but with an obvious freer form overall.  After the Workshop, those in awe of the Theremin took the opportunity to ‘have a go’.  Compared to the  ‘standard Etherwave’ it has a much broader range of pitch (goes much, much lower !!) and is ‘easier’ to control for both pitch and volume.  Instructional classes are recommended for those tempted to progress !
Ken Drew.

CD Review: The Susan Krebs Chamber Band - Simple Gifts

Susan Krebs – vocals, Rich Eames – piano, Rob Lockart -  woodwind, Scott Breadman – percussion, Paul Cartwright – violin & viola.
(Review by Debra M)
Chamber ensembles developed in the era of classical music, where small group of musicians would play without a conductor in small venues and society residences, in contrast to larger orchestras conducted in formal concert halls.  ‘Simple Gifts’ is the result of a similar collaboration over several years in Southern California, between vocalist Susan Krebs and a group of jazz musicians. 

Jazz North East & Splinter @ the Bridge present a ‘Women Make Music’ event; Beatrix Ward-Fernandez Trio + Watching Sideways @ The Bridge Hotel, Newcastle – March 8.


Beatrix Ward-Fernandez (theremin); Derek Saw (flugelhorn, valve trombone, tuba); Charlie Collins (drums, percussion).
Zoë Gilby (voice & electronics).
(Review by Steve H/photos courtesy of Ken Drew)
There used to be a TV series - ‘Who Pays the Ferryman?’ Jazz North East/Splinter seem to have created their own similarly named series - ‘Who plays the Theremin?’ As the old adage goes you wait decades for a jazz Theremin player to come along and then two come along at once. The Beatrix Ward-Fernandez trio arrived hot on the heels of the Splinter appearance of Bluebut at The Bridge last November featuring Theremin player Pamelia Kurstin.  

CD Review: Jakob Bro – Gefion

Jakob Bro (guitar); Thomas Morgan (double bass); Jon Christensen (drums)
(Review by Hugh).
Jakob Bro first recorded for ECM with Paul Motian in 2004 and subsequently with Tomasz Stanko in 2009.  This recording is Bro's debut as bandleader.  The album is named after the Norse goddess associated with ploughing, prophesy and premonition – although this reviewer was not entirely sure what he was going to hear!
Gefion was recorded in Oslo in November 2013 and produced by Manfred Eicher.  The trio comprises Bro on guitar with US bassist Thomas Morgan and Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen.  This skeletal format allows all three musicians to contribute to the final result on equal terms.

Monday, March 09, 2015

Buskers in Barcelona


Looking out of a hotel window in Barcelona at the old cathedral, the square below was almost empty. Returning to the window ten minutes later these three musicians had appeared with an upright piano (despite the fact there was no vehicle access to the square). They (Cadena Banda) gave an extended performance of well played dixieland jazz tunes that was appreciated by passers-by. They even included one of their own compositions Back Home in Barcelona which was so authentically in the style it could almost have been written 90 years ago! Not a bad location for busking.

JC

RIP Lew Soloff

Trumpet player Lew Soloff passed away yesterday (March 8). He played with many bands including pioneering jazz/rock outfit Blood, Sweat and Tears. I never got to hear him live but knew of him from his association with Gil Evans and many other jazz notables.
He was 71.
Sadly missed.
Obituary.
Lance.

Great North Big Band Jazz Festival (Day 3) @ North Shore. March 8

(Review by Russell).
International Women’s Day. Six hundred plus musicians over three days at Sunderland’s Great North Big Band Jazz Festival, and, without doing a head count, a guesstimate of at least three hundred of the musicians being female, the North Shore event is an exemplar in participation for all. Day three crammed in more big band music than any sane person would consider attempting to organise. Festival Director Bill Watson and his merry band of helpers aren’t sane – they’re big band fanatics!
Ten o’clock Sunday morning. Another big band workshop – the educational aspect of the music world; the tutoring, the mentoring, instilling a life-long love of the music. Today’s competition programme split into two parts – schools and youth. Five school bands from near and far went into battle hoping to take home a National Glass Centre-commissioned trophy and a modest financial reward.

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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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