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Number 22 in World Jazz Blog Rankings

Number 22 in World Jazz Blog Rankings

Bebop Spoken There

Howard Riley: “When I started out playing jazz back in the late 50s, early 60s, if you wanted a gig you had to learn some standards.” – (Jazz Journal April 2017)

Eric Harland: “I love swing and I’m always going to swing but I also know that you can take a hip-hop groove and improvise with that just like you would with a swing pattern.” – (Jazz Journal April 2017)

Today Saturday April 29

Afternoon

1pm: Dean Stockdale Trio. 2:30pm: Abbie Finn Quartet 4pm: Rick Laughlin Trio - Quakerhouse, Mechanics’ Yard, Darlington DL3 7QF. 01325 245052. 1:00-5:00pm. Free (donations).

Evening

Dave O’Higgins with Durham Alumni Big Band - Majestic Theatre, Bondgate, Darlington DL3 7JT. Support set by Durham County Youth Big Band (7:15pm). £12.00. (+ concs).

Late night jam session - Quakerhouse, Mechanics’ Yard, Darlington DL3 7QF. 01325 245052.10:30pm. Free.

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Ruby Turner - Alnwick Playhouse. 7:30pm. £21.00. & £20.00.

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Fever & Friends - Customs House, Mill Dam, South Shields NE333 3NG. 7:30pm. £12.00. 0191 454234.

Bradley Johnston (solo guitar) - Cherry Tree Restaurant, 9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond, Newcastle. 7:30pm. No cover charge.

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

Saturday, December 31, 2016

In La La Land at the Tyneside

Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle’s independent film theatre, is to screen Damien Chazelle’s new film La La Land in January. Nominated for several Golden Globe awards and a real contender for an Oscar, Chazelle’s take on the Hollywood musical stars Ryan Gosling as Sebastian, an aspiring jazz pianist and Emma Stone as Mia, eyeing a career on the silver screen.
Director Damien Chazelle won acclaim for Whiplash, and La La Land (2016) promises to feature more jazz with the score by Justin ‘Whiplash’ Hurwitz. On Sunday 8th January at 5:40pm there will be a preview screening followed by a run at the Tyneside Cinema from Thursday 12th.                    

Russell.

The Glenn Miller Orchestra (Ray McVay, MD) @ Sage Gateshead – Dec 30

(Review by Russell)
Twelve months on from Ray McVay’s last visit to Sage Gateshead, the weather unseasonably mild, the veteran band leader’s troops were as last time round with just two changes in personnel – Keith Hutton joining the trombone section, and vocalist Mark Porter returning to the fold after a number of years fulfilling other engagements. All seats were occupied on Level One (the stalls, in old money), Level Two likewise, resulting in the upper level being open for business. It is seventy-two years and more since Glenn Miller bailed out but the popularity of the American big band swing legend shows no sign of waning.
Strike Up the Band commanded McVay. A String of Pearls, the first appearance of the Swing Time Jivers doing their thing to Flying Home, the Moonlight Serenaders – Catherine Sykes, Mark Porter, Ray Wordsworth, Alan Berlyn and Danny Hammerton – singing I Got A Gal in Kalamazoo, this was a fast moving show. Sykes remained on stage to sing As Time Goes By accompanied by trumpeter Berlyn. The Nearness of You featured Mark Porter with succinct trombone, tenor and trumpet solos accompanying from within the sections.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Bebop Spoken Here's Post of the Year.


We've had some great writing on the blog this year - well done Russell, Steve T, Steve H, Hugh C, Ann Alex, Debra M, JC, Jerry and several others including myself (sez he modestly) but nothing could compare with the report by Scott Black from Hong Kong of clarinet/saxman Franco Valussi's birthday at Ned Kelly's! This was Hemmingway, Runyon, Greene and Kipling all rolled into one - an exceedingly fine piece of writing. I'm told he [Scott Black] is no mean trumpet player either!
Lance.

Lunchtime Jazz at the Lit and Phil – Spring 2017

Paul Edis has kindly sent me details of forthcoming lunchtime gigs at the Lit & Phil.
All Concerts are 1-2pm. Tickets are £5 on the door
27th January - Mark Williams and Joel Byrne-McCullough
Mark and Joel studied together on the BMus Jazz degree at Newcastle college in 2000.
At that point, they were regularly performing as a guitar duo around North East.
Joel has returned to the North East after living in Manchester, and so the duo has picked up where they left off many moons ago. Both are in high demand as session players, working all over the UK and beyond alongside some of the best in the business!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

CD Review: Camilla George - Isang

Camilla George (alto); Sarah Tandy (piano); Daniel Casimer (bass); Femi Koleoso (drums); Zara McFarlane (vocal - 1 track).
(Review by Lance).
Ubuntu Music, is a newly formed recorded music label committed to bringing quality, accessible jazz and related music genres to increasingly wider audiences.
So reads the blurb and, if this release is typical they're in with a shot. All they need is the airplay and the media coverage. Well, they've got BSH's thumbs up for starters.
Trinity graduate George, her mentors include Toussaint, Kofi, Siegel and Speake, is one of the most delightful alto players to emerge in recent years. Lyrical, melodic, never a note out of place.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

In the Mood for the Glenn Miller Story?

On Friday Ray McVay returns to Sage Gateshead with his official UK Glenn Miller Orchestra. Seats for the matinee performance have been going like hot cakes. McVay’s band boasts an array of jazz and big band musicians out to put on a show. Christmas has been and gone, why not treat yourself to an afternoon of Miller classics such as Moonlight Serenade, Little Brown Jug and In the Mood?
American critic Leonard Feather wrote: Miller had a following among young swing fans comparable with nothing since the first Benny Goodman regime in 1935. After Miller’s untimely disappearance – in December 1944 – the band soldiered-on under the leadership of Jerry Gray and Ray McKinley. In the late fifties a young Englishman obtained the permission of the Miller estate to form a band to play the music of Major Miller. That young man was Ray McVay and he has been touring the world ever since, the keeper of the Miller flame.
Ray McVay’s Glenn Miller Orchestra will be on parade 3:00pm prompt, in Sage One this Friday, 30 December. To book your seats telephone 0191 443 4661.        

Russell.           

Alphonse Mouzon (November 21, 1948 – December 25, 2016)

Legendary Fusion drummer, Alphonse Mouzon passed away on December 25 aged 68. Although, perhaps, best known for his work with Weather Report, Mouzon performed and recorded with most contemporary names including Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, McCoy Tyner, Donald Byrd, Gil Evans, the list is probably endless - until now that is. In a year that has seen many household names depart, Mouzon was certainly one of the ones most mourned by the jazz community. I never saw him live although I came close at the North Sea Jazz Festival in 1984. Unfortunately, his concert clashed with a one by Dizzy Gillespie and James Moody so choices had to be made...
RIP.
Lance.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

King Bee @ Hoochie Coochie

Video from King Bee session at Hoochie Coochie last Thursday (December 22) supplied courtesy of MaryB.

On the 12 gigs of '16...

...my poor love said to me, 'try to spend a bit less money next year dear'.

Earth, Wind and Fire @ O2 Academy, Glasgow, 30th June.

And the excuses to squeeze a few more in; I only allowed one per artist or Alan Barnes may have had two (Ushaw) and Brandon Allen may have hit a hat-trick (Ilkley, Scarborough). I don't have dates for Empty Shop, Durham in my diary so, if the Steve Glendenning Quartet was in 2016, it would certainly have been in there.
Steve T.

Vieux Carré Jazzmen News

The Vieux Carré Jazzmen's afternoon jazz session at The Holystone pub this Thursday (29 Dec) features clarinet & saxophone ace, Jim McBriarty, who will join the band for our final gig of 2016. Showtime 1.00pm. After that, we take a WINTER BREAK and recommence at the Holystone on THURSDAY 2 February 2017
Also, a reminder that there will no jazz at Cullercoats Crescent Club tomorrow (28 Dec) - our weekly session there commences on Wednesday 4 January 2017.

As 2017 approaches, we would like to wish all our friends and supporters a very Happy New Year. 
Brian Bennett.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Memories of Jazz on a Sunday Afternoon. Part Two - The Tally Ho, Kentish Town.

It was during this period (1963) that I got married and spent my honeymoon in London.
The Tally Ho in Kentish Town was the Sunday lunch jam at the time and crowds overflowed into the streets outside. The bonnets and roofs of parked cars provided substitutes for tables and you could still hear the music.The finale, Jumping at the Woodside had more 'One more time' codas than April in Paris ever did! I've never witnessed a jam like this - ever! I wanted to ring my buddies back at The Bluebell, let them have a piece of the action, but this was back in the days of kiosks, press button A and other stone-age methods of communication so I had to press button B to get my money back

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Memories of Jazz on a Sunday Afternoon. Part One - The Bluebell, Felling.

The first Sunday lunchtime jazz I encountered was, circa 1960 at the Bluebell pub in Felling. At the time I was playing cornet in a brass band (saxophone was lurking on the horizon..) I'd been playing with the band at the Durham Miners Gala and chilling out (sobering up) in a local CIU club. A guy came up and said, "Can I borrow your cornet?) "Okay" I replied, thinking, odds on Oh Mein Papa.
Was I wrong! He blew At the Jazz Band Ball better than Freddy Randall! Afterward, after I'd complimented him on his playing, he invited me to hear him really play and to come along to the Bluebell, a pub in Felling the following Sunday morning.
Despite a massive hangover (obligatory after a Durham Miners' Gala) I turned up and wasn't disappointed.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas to Jazzers Everywhere.

Many thanks to all the jazz people that have contributed to Bebop Spoken Here. Not just this year, but since we started in 2008. 
We're a disparate team, all with different views of the music whilst at the same time respecting the others' opinion even if we don't agree with it.
Likewise, those who complete the obstacle course to post a comment, are always welcome - your views are important.
But, most of all, we say thank you to the musicians who have provided us with the music to write about irrespective of whether it be at a dimly lit bar in a side street or a festival performance in the Sage One auditorium you guys keep the faith and we try to maintain it.
So, have a great Christmas and New Year but, if you're drinking and driving, make sure the reindeer's sober. 
Lance.
The cartoon is by my dear friend the late Bill Shaw who died this year. One of the most talented persons I have known, whether it be as drummer, artist or street philosopher. Bill was a special person.

CD Review: Vasilis Xenopoulos & Paul Edis – A Narrow Escape

Vasilis Xenopoulos (tenor saxophone), Paul Edis (piano)
(Review by Russell)
A Narrow Escape is a duo recording by friends Vasilis Xenopoulos and Paul Edis. Their musical association of many years continues to evolve and this new CD, recorded in one day in August 2015, is a fine example of jazz as a conversation, of communication born of mutual respect and countless gigs together.
Tenor saxophonist Xenopoulos has established a reputation as a leading interpreter of the Great American Songbook, pianist Edis similarly embraces the tradition. Both musicians write and arrange material for their own ensembles and others. A Narrow Escape should, perhaps, be seen as a snapshot in time, skills honed and harnessed to produce a CD flowing with ideas. Nine tracks, of which two are original compositions, follow a standard format; one of the duo stating the theme, the other developing a solo. The head-solo-head format is a tried and tested formula and Xenopoulos and Edis clearly take the view that if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

Jazz Coop Xmas Party 2016 @ The Globe, Newcastle - December 22

(Review by Steve T).
The night began for me around eight and already a good crowd and good food; always a good sign.
A prior engagement diverted me to Hoochie Coochie for the first half of King Bee, rewarded with some toon fonk and a taste  of the Jelly genius. Then back to the Globe where number one son had a date with a certain drummer.
When we got back the stage was crowded for the only really seasonal song I heard all night; Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.
With Mathew MacKellar’s departure imminent the stage cleared for something a bit serious, and, from the three youngest people in the building, though three of the finest teenage Jazz musicians in the region.

Vintage CDs of 2016


This past year BSH has reviewed over 200 CDs, usually from the current highfliers as well as those seeking to get a foot on the ladder. I've also had to bypass at least as many from this latter category. At times, I'm tempted to suggest they're climbing the wrong ladder but why should I? I'm not God and, who knows? maybe one day it will turn out that they are!  Surprisingly (or perhaps not) very few albums I get for review (or reviews of) are from the classic jazz masters. Those that are are, invariably, previously unreleased, newly discovered items. Historically as important as the Dead Sea Scrolls but still very much alive musically.

Here are those items
*This wasn't sent for review - I picked it up in a charity shop but, as it's such a fine album (Chris Potter on sax), I decided to include it anyway!
Lance.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Lee Morgan Documentary.


Having, this year, endured films about Miles Davis and Chet Baker - only compensated for by Abi Lewis' affectionate portrait of the late proprietor of Newcastle's Jazz Café, Keith Crombie, in The Geordie Jazzmen, - this review by Frank Brody in The New Yorker of a documentary detailing the life and death of Lee Morgan may just re-dress the balance in the Jazz Film World.
Swedish director Kasper Collin’s I Called Him Morgan, centered on the relationship between the great trumpeter Lee Morgan and his common-law wife, Helen Morgan, who shot him to death, in a Lower East Side jazz club, in 1972.
Let's hope it hits the provincial circuit.
Lance.

King Bee Xmas Party 2016 @ Hoochie Coochie - December 22

Dave Wilde (tenor/baritone/flute/vocal); Graham Hardy (trumpet/flugel); Chris Jelly (vibes); Steve Glendinning (guitar); Mark Hand (keys); Dan Brady (bass guitar); Jonathon Marriott (drums); Brendan Murphy (congas/perc.)
(Review by Lance).
Christmas is many things to many people. Last night it was one thing to many people - Funtime!
As the festively clad band struck up with We Got the Power the dancers took to the floor - bizarrely there were more men than women shaking their hips as Wilde blew the first of many solos. The groove was in.
Switching to flute for Who Do You Think You Are?, a number he, Dave, also sang. Indeed Wilde's vocal contributions seem to have increased somewhat adding a further dimension to a band Warren described as "The best band in Newcastle". I'd have added, "And much further afield" and I don't mean Gateshead.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

And the Beat Goes On @ Caedmon Hall, Gateshead – December 20

(Review and photos by Kat Rutter)
A fundraising concert in memory of local musician Mick Danby. This was one of two concerts in aid of the Brain Tumour Charity/Spirit of Mick Danby Fund with the second one taking place in Leeds in the New Year. As many people on the north-east jazz scene know, Mick was a talented and inspirational musician and singer who lost his brave fight against brain cancer in February 2014 aged just 52.
The line-up included: Emma Fisk and James Birkett, Appletwig Songbook, Storiella, The Lindsay Hannon Plus and the Tenth Avenue Band. The compere for the evening was Ian Ground, a friend of Mick Danby and member of the same choir, Heaton Voices.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

CD Review: Frank Kimbrough - Solstice

Frank Kimbrough (pno) Jay Anderson (bass) Jeff Hirschfield (dms).
(Review by Dave Brownlow)
Frank Kimbrough is a very fine pianist who has had a long and successful career in jazz which has seen him work with Lee Konitz, Scott Robinson, Joe Locke, Paul Bley, Maria Schneider, Dewey Redman and the Gil Evans Project and he has more than twenty critically acclaimed albums to his name.   This CD has him collaborating with long-time musical companions, bassist Jay Anderson and drummer Jeff Hirschfield on music by those who’ve influenced him such as Carla Bley, Paul Motian, Annette Peacock, Andrew Hill, Maria Schneider and Maryanne de Prophetis.

Monday, December 19, 2016

No Smokin' Without Fire

The word on the street is that Lindsay Hannon is singing with a scaled down version of the Strictly Smokin' Big Band at the Prohibition Bar on New Year's Eve - this info, erroneously attributed to Bebop Spoken Here, - has been denied by the lady herself who, after her highly successful support of Claire Martin at Sage Gateshead last night said, "Well if I am it's news to me!"
Clarification needed on this one - not least by Lindsay herself!
Lance.

New Century Ragtime Orchestra @ Brunswick Methodist Church. Dec 19

(Review by Russell).
The Friends of King’s Hall met at an invitation-only event in Brunswick Church in the week before Christmas to enjoy a concert by the New Century Ragtime Orchestra. The shop-’til-you-drop types were out in force in Newcastle city centre rushing here, there, and back again in pursuit of yet more tat. Brunswick offered an alternative, 1920s jazz and ragtime numbers performed by Tyneside’s twelve piece ‘early jazz’ specialists.
Band manager Phil Rutherford acknowledged the season draping his sousaphone in the solitary piece of tinsel the New Century possesses – otherwise, it was business as usual. Mr Steve Andrews, the orchestra’s long-time MC, sat contentedly listening to the band play a selection of, in the main, lesser known charts. Scott Joplin’s 1901 Easy Winners opened proceedings with the ensemble playing entirely acoustically in the church hall.

George MacDonald & James Birkett with the Roly Veitch Trio @ The Black Bull December 18.

George MacDonald (clarinet), James Birkett (guitar), Roly Veitch (guitar & vocals), Paul Grainger (double bass) & David Francis (drums)
(Review by Russell/Photos courtesy of Bradley Johnston & Roly).
The Black Bull staff prepared the room for Blaydon Jazz Club’s annual Christmas party. A long table set aside would soon be groaning under the weight of a food mountain. The tradition is to bring an offering, be it savoury or sweet. Donated items boosted the raffle resulting in no fewer than nine prizes being up for grabs. At precisely eight the orchestra began the evening’s entertainment playing to a full house.

'Let it Snow' - Claire Martin w. Northern Sinfonia @ Sage Gateshead - December 18

Claire Martin (vocal) w. Royal Northern Sinfonia inc. Ryan Quigley (trumpet); Matt Skelton (drums) conducted by Timothy Henty.
(Review by Lance/photo from archive).
I wondered, is this going to be another round of seasonal supermarket songs? I looked at the programme, Winter Wonderland, just as I thought, but, 'alf a mo', Lady is a Tramp. What's Christmassy about that?
Claire explained. The evening was about Christmas but, as next year would have been Ella's centenary, they'd decided to jump the gun and include a lot of Ms. Fitzgerald's songbook classics.
Conductor Henty arranged the Christmas Overture which included a snatch of Manhattan. They used to refer to Sir Malcolm Sargent as 'Flash Harry'. Meet the new and flashier Harry. Henty conducts the orchestra with the fervor of Mourinho on the touchline appealing a penalty decision. It works, I doubt if even John Wilson or Rafael Benitez could have got more from the slimmed down, augmented Sinfonia. 

Sunday, December 18, 2016

A Jazz Christmas Carol @ Ushaw College. Dec 17

(Review by Russell/Photos courtesy of Ken Drew).
County Durham’s jazz fans turned out en masse for this stellar occasion at Ushaw. The ‘never miss’ were joined by the ‘rarely miss’ and ‘others’ swelled audience numbers to such an extent that the majority of seats in the imposing Exhibition Hall were occupied shortly before the eight o’clock start. Alan Barnes’ A Jazz Christmas Carol attracted an audience of hardcore fans, musicians (‘night off’ entered in the diary months ago), and, no doubt, enthusiasts of Charles Dickens.
The Alan Barnes’ All Star Octet was just that – ‘all-star’. Last week’s announcement of this year’s British Jazz Awards (poll winners and the top five) couldn’t have been more opportune. Barnes himself won best clarinet, Mark Nightingale top trombone and Clark Tracey, drums. The other five members of the Octet – Karen Sharp and Robert Fowler, reeds, Bruce Adams, trumpet, Dave Newton, piano and Simon Thorpe, bass – placed in the top five in their respective categories.

Strictly Smokin' Big Band @ Newcastle Arts Centre - December 17

(Review by Lance)
The police sirens were going, the ambulances were trying to get through the traffic, the pavements were awash with mini-skirts and tee shirts. The carousers had taken over the city centre. Was this typical of the Saturday before Christmas in Newcastle? No, just typical of any Saturday night in Newcastle.
Things were more sedate in the Arts Centre, well they would be, wouldn't they? The start was slightly delayed as many of the fans were stuck in traffic or unable to get parked.
Eventually, the annual juggernaut started rolling and... 

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Up with the Larks @ The Lit & Phil. Dec 17

(Review by Russell).
The Early Birds were up and about at the crack of dawn today. Teenage musicians – on this occasion nine of them – met at the Lit & Phil on Westgate Road for another of their Saturday morning workshops under the tutelage of Paul Edis. An hour or so later it was time to admit the public for their regular half hour set.
But Not for Me for starters with a startlingly good alto solo by Ryan De Silva. Pianist Ben Lawrence, usually heard playing trumpet, brought along an as yet untitled number with a Latin feel to it. Trumpeter James Metcalf took a good look at it with an extended solo and drummer Matt McKellar took command of it to take it home.

Ruth Lambert & Alan Law @ The Jazz Café. Dec 16

Ruth Lambert (vocals) & Alan Law (piano)
(Review by Russell)
From the Strictly Smokin’ Big Band’s gig in the Black Swan, a mad dash around the corner to the Jazz Café to catch Ruth Lambert’s second set. Almost a year to the day Lambert and Law played their first ever duo gig in the Caff, and here they were once again to present another GAS book master class. We arrived Round Midnight (22:20 GMT to be precise). The tag ‘world class’ should be used sparingly but, it can be said without fear of contradiction that, within fifty metres (the distance between the Black Swan and the Jazz Café) we heard Alice Grace then Ruth Lambert. What a treat!

Christmas at the Black Swan with the Strictly Smokin’ Big Band. Dec 16










(Review by Russell/Photos courtesy of Mike Tilley)
We Three Kings heralded a night of swinging big band jazz, and what a night! The first of two sold out nights, the dynamic Strictly Smokin’ Big Band dazzled from the off with the audience there to enjoy themselves. Power, precision, all sections firing, this was the way to open the show! Tenor men Paul Gowland and Jamie Toms introduced themselves, Pav Jedrzejewski similarly made his presence felt with the first of several fine guitar solos, as did multi-reeds virtuoso Steve Summers opening on alto.
Tyneside’s jazz fans look forward to these now annual nights at the Black Swan for many weeks if not months and they have yet to be disappointed. The band in sober lounge suits, vocalist Alice Grace looking sensational in a red evening gown, the first set started at the appointed hour, this is how to put on a show! Ms Grace’s fellow vocalist – F’reez – sang Moondance (sounding better than ever), followed by a duet with Alice on Baby, It’s Cold Outside. The audience loved it, the applause said it all. Alice has a high class pedigree… the National Youth Jazz Orchestra no less. She brought along a NYJO chart – Heat of the Moment – which went down a treat. F’reez delivered on Gambling Man Blues and Alice melted/broke hearts telling us My Heart Belongs to Daddy (featuring a three-flute intro).

Zoë Gilby Trio @ The Jazz Café. Dec 16

Zoë Gilby (vocals), Mark Williams (guitar) & Andy Champion (double bass)
(Review by Russell)
Some things are quality, they just are. The Zoë Gilby Trio entertained the Lit & Phil’s regulars at the Jazz Café. A one-off change of venue, the audience transferred to Pink Lane without a hitch. One or two were first time visitors to the Caff. They liked what they saw and they liked what they heard. Vocalist Gilby’s star is in the ascendant. An acclaimed singer on the national scene, this trio gig pitched Gilby with double bassist Andy Champion and guitarist Mark Williams. You won’t find a better bass player and you won’t find a better guitarist. A lunchtime concert in Newcastle, three virtuosi, the hour-long programme resolutely GAS book-plus.

Quiz & Quiche

Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society met for the final time this year at Gateshead Central Library to participate in a friendly but fiendishly difficult end of term quiz. Reigning quiz champion Margaret Barnes set the questions and members’ brains were duly engaged and it soon became clear that some – your correspondent’s included – were stuck in first gear.

Your starter for ten: Which actor played Glenn Miller on screen?
And…which musician was known as the Hi De Ho Man? 
And…which pianist has four sons playing trumpet, saxophone, trombone and drums?

Just three of many questions with a total of thirty-five points at stake. At its end, members sat scratching heads, collective brain power all but exhausted, our Quiz Queen enquired if  anyone had achieved a total of  thirty-five points. Looks of incredulity! Twenty-five? Who would get to wear the dunce’s hat? Twenty? Silence. Just as we were about to stand in the corner Ron G piped up: I’ve got seventeen! A winner! The rest were left trailing. Must try harder.

Quiz over, GJAS members tucked-in to a lavish spread. A CD player was at hand. A jazz ‘Christmas’ selection was tolerated – sorry, enjoyed – by all, not least Eartha Kitt’s Santa Baby.
Russell.               

Friday, December 16, 2016

The Gala Big Band @ Durham Town Hall - December 15

(Review/photos by Jerry - Apologies: I do not have a full list of the musicians )
The Town Hall, with its mullioned windows, giant portraits and armorial crests was host to a sizeable crowd (well over 60 – they had to wheel in extra chairs) listening to the ever-improving Gala Big Band. It’s not a Christmas concert but the brass instruments winked and shone like fairy-lights, the trumpet section sported their customary glittery bowlers and the MD took to the stage for the second set wearing a Christmas tee-shirt which his wife, had she been there, might have counseled him against. So, not a Christmas concert but, like the opening number, In the Mood.

Preview: Claire Martin w. Royal Northern Sinfonia - Let it Snow.

There's a lot going on on Sunday - Blaydon, Hartlepool, Coxlodge, Los Angelos, New York, Kowloon and elsewhere.
However, for those without vagabond shoes or whose passport or bus pass has ran out, then Sage Gateshead looks good. In fact, if you're in LA, New York or Kowloon and your passport is in order then you still have time to make it to Sage Gateshead for Claire Martin's Let it Snow concert.
Claire is one of those singers capable of stamping her magical touch on whatever the material. I've heard her with Ian Shaw; in a terrific triumvirate with Barbra Jungr and Mari Wilson; with Sir Richard Rodney Bennett; at various jazz festivals and, on Sunday, I'll hear her with the Royal Northern Sinfonia in a mix of Christmas Classics and Superb Standards.

Identify the Professors.


I have followed your blog for some time now. It's quite interesting for someone like me who is interested in the jazz scene in UK in the 1960s. Anyway, I came across a photo of Pete Deuchar's Professors of Ragtime, probably from 1959 or 1960, and I wonder whether you or someone on the blog would be able to identify the musicians on that picture.
I hope you can help! 
Johann Haidenbauer.
David  'Dave' Evans (drums) and 'Chez' Graham Robertson Chesterman (trumpet) are also sometimes mentioned as having been in the Professors of Ragtime.
However, I don't know how they look like - and therefore cannot tell whether they are on this picture.

Finally, there is a live recording of Pete Deuchar from the Antibes 1963 festival which one can listen to and/or download - in case you or others on Bebop Spoken Here are interested in this!
Johann

CD Review: Peter Kavanaugh - Look For the Silver Lining

Peter Kavanaugh (guitar); DJ Bonebrake (vibes - drums 1 track); Jonathan Dane (trumpet - 3 tracks); Kyle O'Donnell (sax - 2 tracks); Jervier Vergara (sax - 1 track); David Tobocman (piano - 2 tracks); Paul Eckman (bass); Mark San Filippo (drums - 8 tracks).
(Review by Lance.)
What can I say? Impeccably played, a choice selection of standards, not a chord or a note out of place, just about as perfect a disc as you could get for that dinner party, that intimate tete-a-tete where you want the music to suit the mood but not to intrude.
It's more than easy-listening and certainly not elevator music but it doesn't quite light the blue touchpaper.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Simon Spillett gets the nod for 'Services to Jazz 2016'

Russell mentions the award winners heading for Ushaw College but omits to mention one who isn't heading for Ushaw.
Simon Spillett.
Simon, tenor player, author and authority on Tubby Hayes, is a worthy winner. Unlike so many musicians of stature, Spillett is interested in the music as a whole both past, present, and future. That he can write as effectively as he plays - although if he types as fast as he plays he must go through a keyboard a month - puts him on a level with Humph, Melly, and Digby in the British jazz musician literary stakes.
That he also finds time in his busy schedule to occasionally send a snippet to BSH does him no harm in this quarter.
Well done Simon - next stop Downbeat.
Lance.

What the Dickens? A Jazz Christmas Carol!!!

That most Dickensian of characters Alan Barnes returns to Ushaw College this Saturday  to read from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. The virtuoso reedsman will enjoy the company of several fellow British jazz musicians in this most seasonal of gigs. They will be playing Barnes’ music in a setting of Dickens’ much-loved perennial. Joining Barnes are the bona fide A-listers Bruce Adams, Mark Nightingale, Robert Fowler, Karen Sharp, Dave Newton, Simon Thorpe and Clark Tracey!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

CD Review: Newport All Stars - Tribute to Duke.

George Wein (piano); Ruby Braff (cornet); Joe Venuti (violin); Red Norvo (vibes); Barney Kessel/Kenny Burrell (guitars); Larry Ridley (bass); Don Lamond (drums).
(Review by Lance).
Recorded live in Basel, Switzerland, a George Wein led group of handpicked mainstreamers pays tribute to Duke Ellington. 
Don Lamond, perhaps best remembered as a big band drummer kickstarts Sweet Georgia Brown with an explosion that would have launched the Third Herd on a trip to Mars let alone Joe Venuti who meets fire with fire with an incendiary solo of his own.
Venuti gets further into his stride on Undecided before handing over to Kessel who plays as tasteful as ever then passes the ball back to Venuti who takes it for a chordal ride-out. Venuti remains centre stage for Sophisticated Lady. He really was an outstanding player and it's good that our local 'Josephine' Venuti - Emma Fisk - keeps his memory alive.

The Jazz North East Fluid Orchestra - a 50 years celebration @ Newcastle Arts Centre - December 13

(Review by Lance/Photo courtesy of Ken Drew.)
Possibly the most ambitious project by any regional jazz organisation, Jazz North East's 50th-anniversary celebration attracted a goodly crowd to the Arts Centre for this performance by the Jazz North East 'Fluid' Orchestra - an ensemble specially formed to celebrate the occasion.
Jazz North East came into being in 1966 as the brainchild of the late Chris Yates and was the first grant supported jazz organisation in the UK.
Beginning with a concert by Earl Hines in the, now long gone, Connaught Hall JNE presented countless jazz greats at that venue and later at the Corner House. As the legendary names fell from the tree more contemporary bands and artists took over.
Tonight was to be a celebration of those 50 years.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Cameron Vale @The Bridge - December 12

Miles Spilsbury (saxophone, effects); George Birkett (guitar); Sam Dutton-Taylor (bass); Finn Booth (drums)
(Review by Steve H/Photo courtesy of Ken Drew).
For the second successive Sunday, Jazz North East presented a band from Jazz North’s ‘Northern Line’ roster. Cameron Vale sounds like it’s the sort of place our ex-prime minister should live but in fact, the quartet is named after a character from the science fiction movie Scanners. The music certainly had a futuristic feel to it with the band using plenty of electronic effects to create layers of sound. Drummer Booth appeared to have come from a rock background rather than a jazz one so the mood was more Rozzy than Jacky but, having said that, there was lots and lots of different stuff going on much of which was at the same time.

Identity Crisis


At last night's gig at the Prohibition Bar, a lady was enquiring about the late Charlie Lovell whose alto playing enlivened the scene in the pre-millennium years. I'm not sure, but Charlie may have been the alto player on this photo from the Wheatsheaf in New York (North Tyneside version). Can anyone verify and, if you know the lady, pass the info onto her. Others in the photo are; Eric Gamblin (guitar); Charlie Carmichael, Leo Harwood (tenors) and, on trombone and clarinet?...
Lance.

Budtet @ Prohibition Bar, Gateshead - December 11

Jude Murphy (vocals, alto sax, flute); Fiona Finden (vocals, soprano sax); Stu Finden (tenor sax); Lin Lee (piano); Jim Crinson (double bass); Eric Stutt (drums) Dave Weisser (cornet).
(Review by Lance).
My first visit to the Prohibition Bar - a converted railway arch within staggering distance of Sage Gateshead - saw the Jazz Messengers inspired Budtet preaching to the converted - work to be done there. Fortunately, those pilgrims who did take the road to Damascus or, to be more precise, Brandling St. certainly got The Message in the opening number. A fast bebop groove with solos all round and scintillating fours 'twixt tenor and drums. 

The Blue Jazz Quartet @ The Globe, December 10

Jeff Smith (ten sax, sop sax); Keith Barrett (guitar); Dave Parker (bass); Michael Howard (drums)
(Review by Ann Alex/Photo courtesy of Minnie Fraser).
The band is normally a quintet/sextet with piano and/or soprano sax but tonight’s rearrangement worked well, with the sax mostly taking the lead followed by solos all round. All performed with the skill and aplomb that we’ve come to expect from this band, especially in the second set, where the audience doubled with the entrance of a group of young men who’d found out about the Globe from Mr Google. I hope they come back soon.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Preview: Jazz North East presents Schmazz with THE JAZZ NORTH EAST ‘FLUID’ ORCHESTRA







Faye MacCalman, Graeme Wilson, James Mainwaring (reeds); Graham Hardy (trumpet); Mark Williams (guitar); Beatrix Ward-Fernandez (theremin); Corey Mwamba (vibes); Aby Vulliamy (viola & backing vocals); Johnny Richards (keyboards); Andy Champion (bass); Steve Hanley (drums); Zoë Gilby (voice)
Tuesday 13th December | 8.00pm
Black Swan Bar & Venue | Black Swan Court | 59 Westgate Road | Newcastle NE1 1SG
Tickets £13.00 | £10.00 concessions from the Jazz Café (0191 222 9882), Reflex Records (0191 260 3246), or www.seetickets.com
(From Paul Bream’s ‘Jazz Alert’

Chillin’ with the Cello - Ayanna Witter-Johnson @ The Jazz Cafe December 9


(Review by Steve H/Photos courtesy of Mike Tilley).
Despite this gig starting at the ungodly hour of 7pm the Jazz Cafe was packed for the performance of the British folk/soul singer Ayanna Witter-Johnson. The audience, some with sleep still in their eyes, were rewarded with a performance of charm, elegance, and sheer quality. Witter-Johnson had arrived with a very impressive CV - MOBO nominated and the only non-American ever to win Amateur Night at the iconic Apollo Theatre in Harlem.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

CD Review: New York Brass Band - Hardcore Horn


(Review by Lance).
A familiar sight on the streets of York and at weddings and corporate functions in and around the ancient streets of that renowned cathedral city - not to mention festivals further afield - the New York Brass Band bring a taste of present-day New Orleans to present-day North Yorkshire.
It's soulful and swinging, pulsating and percussive. I first heard them at the Cumberland Arms back in 2013. Then, I was informed, they were banned by the council from busking on the streets of their hometown because of causing traffic congestion. I don't know if the ban was ever rescinded - I can understand both sides of the argument - but I think it's fair to say that, wherever they play, they're going to draw a crowd.

Friday, December 09, 2016

McVay and the Swing Time Jivers coming to Sage Gateshead

Three weeks today – Friday 30th December – Ray McVay returns to Sage Gateshead to present his Glenn Miller show. It’s a three o’clock rendezvous in Sage One and it looks like being the biggest gathering yet for this now annual occasion. McVay’s band knows the music inside out, soloists are given the opportunity to shine and the energetic Swing Time Jivers will dance themselves silly, and, no doubt, some jivers in the audience will be tempted to join them!    
Vocalists Colin Anthony (BBC Big Band) and Catherine Sykes (Leeds College of Music) will be joining the band to sing a selection of favourites, so to be sure of your seat, phone Sage Gateshead’s ticket office now: 0191 443 4661. 

Russell.

Barber packs ‘em in at Sage Gateshead

Keen gig-goer Margaret Barnes is delighted to report a full house at Sage Gateshead, there to hear the indestructible Chris Barber. Playing as well as ever, the Big Chris Barber Band presented a typically varied programme of New Orleans jazz, Ellington, blues, and several of Barber’s hits down through the years. There is no stopping the man. He’ll be back next year, so, check out Bebop Spoken Here for news of Barber’s concerts in Northumberland and on Tyneside.   

Russell.        

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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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