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Bebop Spoken There

Sonny Rollins: "I work very hard. I wear out suits playing." - (Downbeat May 29, 1969.)

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Bob Brookmeyer: "The group's philosophy? We're saving to buy new uniforms - the ties wore out." - (Crescendo March 1965).

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Archives.

Today Tuesday March 28

Jonathan Silk's Fragment Quartet - Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8pm. £10/£8. JNE/Schmazz gig.
Maine Street Jazzmen - Royal British Legion Club, West Jesmond ave., Newcastle NE2 3EX. 8:30pm. £5.
Charles Gordon (solo piano) - Redwood Bar, Vermont Hotel, Newcastle. 10pm - midnight. Free.
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Northern Monkey Brass Band - The Fox, West End Tce., Hexham NE46 3DB. 9pm.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Northern Line Showcase @ Live Theatre, Newcastle. April 22, 2013

(Review by Russell)
Jazz North, the new jazz development agency for the north of England, announced an open submission scheme designed to highlight the best of the region’s jazz scene. Live Theatre in Newcastle hosted the second of three showcase evenings (ACV represented the north east at the first show in Liverpool) with four bands to hear. The event, open to all, attracted promoters, musicians and a few die-hard fans of the music. Jazz North’s influence (perhaps it was luck!) secured the prestigious venue for the evening.

Album Review: Ian Chalk/Dan Clarkson - The Nearness of Two.

Ian Chalk (tpt); Dan Clarkson (pno).
(Review by Lance.)
A digital delight, an album that is awesome in it's simplicity!
Simple because of an unbeatable formula.
One fine trumpet +  one talented pianist + a choice selection of tunes = The Real X Factor.
Those of you can remember such classics as Louis Armstrong/Earl Hines Weatherbird or the Ruby Braff/Ellis Larkins duo recordings on Vanguard may like to think of this as the latest in the line of trumpet/piano classics.

Montreal Jazz Festival

This year's Montreal International Jazz Festival runs from June 28 to July 7.
Check out the star-studded line-up.
Lance.

The J Word – Hall 1, The Sage, Gateshead, April 28, 2013

Trilok Gurtu (percussion), Paolo Fresu (Trumpet/Flugelhorn), Omar Sosa (Piano/Keyboards)
(Review by Les)
I came into this performance knowing of, but not being particularly familiar with, all three players.
Due to poor ticket sales The Sage were offering tickets to attendees of this year's Gateshead International Jazz Festival for £5 each, in the hope of getting a few bums on seats.  Sadly, even at this price the attendance was poor, with not much more than 100 people making up the audience.

International Jazz Day

Today is "International Jazz Day" so let's celebrate the music we love.
There's gigs to go to and music to hear so make sure you do one or the other or both.
Lance

Monday, April 29, 2013

Jimmie Willets?

I wonder if anyone remembers Jimmie Willets. He would dep on piano sometimes at the Rex and he taught me a lot. We did some gigs together and would practice at the Black Horse Monkseaton. His family had a business on the fish quay in North Shields.
Mike Firmstone

Jazz in the Afternoon - Crescent Club, Cullercoats

Iain MacAulay (tmb/vcl); Derek Fleck (ten/clt); Brian Chester (keys) Ollie Rillands (dms) + Joan Armstrong, Teresa Armstrong (vcl), Barry Soulsby (clt); Roy Gibson (pno).
What a jolly afternoon! The number 9 bus from Jarrow tied up nicely with the Metro at North Shields and I was at the Crescent Club in under half an hour. Seats were at a premium and I only just managed to squeeze in next to my favourite - non related - auntie.

I'll Never Forget

(A Memory from Liz)
My heroes of popular music of the 40’s, 50’s and beyond were Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra. Their interpretation of the great American Songbook backed by the wonderful arrangements by the top bands of the day gave the world enormous pleasure. So…I’ll never forget the time I saw these two giants of song live, in person, on stage.

May/June Splinter Listingss

Thanks to Robert Laing for this update.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Mark Williams Plays Pat Metheny and Wins! Bridge Hotel, Newcastle.

Mark Williams (gtr); Paul Susans (bs gtr); Richard Brown (dms); Mark Jackson (pno); Lindsay Hannon (voice); Graeme Wilson (ten).
(Review by Lance).
This was a dream - a gig made in heaven. Take the guy whom many consider the World's Numero Uno, add the guy whom many consider the North-east's Numero Uno and the seeds are set for an evening of magic.
Mark didn't let his  idol down - if anything, had Metheny been present, the bossman would have realised there was a new kid (ish) on the block.

Quercus: The Sage: Saturday April 27

June Tabor (vocals); Iain Ballamy (tenor sax); Huw Warren (piano)
(Review by Ann Alex).
This was an unusual and enjoyable concert with mixed influences of jazz and folk – I noticed some adherents of both traditions among the audience, and I'd love to see other people’s observations in the comments box below.  The two lower levels of Hall 2 were almost full, the band entered all dressed in black, and Ms Tabor struck up with the folk love song Brigg Fair, beautiful unaccompanied singing in a rich low voice.  It wasn't long before the jazz element entered, in the form of wonderful sax from Iain Ballamy, with his flowing melodies, including those breathy, throaty sounds that saxes do, and also well controlled high notes.  Of Huw Warren on the keys, I simply need to say that he played adventurously with great skill which matched the songs well.

A piece of local jazz history.

Our man in Hong Kong has sent me this historical clipping from the Evening Chronicle circa late 1950's. He wonders if anyone can pinpoint the exact date.
The article mentions Big Bill Broonzy appearing at the City Hall. Well Big Bill died in 1958 so that gives us a clue.
Another one is the report of Ronnie McLean leaving the Panama Jazzmen to join the Crane River Jazzmen.
Any ideas?
Lance.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Video clip of Anthony Strong.

I like this video of Anthony Strong singing It's Too Darn Hot. from the album Stepping Out.
Lance.

CD Review: Mike Arroyo Jazz Organ Trio - Full Circle.

Mike Arroyo (gtr); Kyle Koehler (org); Vince Ector (dms).
(Review by Lance)
Think organ you think Church or Jazz - like, er, one or the other -  not both. This is different the Mike Arroyo Jazz Organ Trio take that difference all the way to the steps of the altar!
It works!

SNJO "The Incredible Stan Kenton". Queen's Hall, Edinburgh. April 25.


Tommy Smith (pictured). (md/ten), Konrad Wiszniewski (ten), Ruaridh Pattison, Martin Kershaw (alt), Bill Fleming (bar); Ryan Quigley, Cameron Jay, Tom MacNiven, James Marr, Lorne Cowieson (tpts); Chris Grieve, Phil O'Malley, Kevin Garrity, Kieran McLeod, Michael Owers; Steve Hamilton (pno), Calum Gourlay (bs), Alyn Cosker (dms).
(Review by Lance)
If the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra's In The Spirit of Duke is currently a front runner for my CD of the Year then this concert could well be my Gig of the Year!

CD Review: Human – Being Human

Steve Davis – Drums; Alexander Hawkins – Piano; Alex Bonney – Trumpet; Dylan Bates – Violin.
 (Review by Steve H.)
This band could be described as a British Free Jazz supergroup all its members have featured in many contemporary  bands of recent times (eg. Evan Parker, Convergence Quartet, World Sangune Report).

Friday, April 26, 2013

Katherine Stone Quartet/Jam Session - Star, Newcastle

Katherine Stone (vocals); Dean Stockdale (keys); Michael Robson ( bass guitar); Steve Doyle (drums)
(Review by Ann Alex)
This was a thoroughly enjoyable evening from a more than competent band and a singer with a rich, expressive voice and wonderfully clear diction.  The lady treated us to mostly standard material, sung with just the right amount of subtlety.  And as a bonus there were pleasant introductions to the songs, and then lots of encouragement for singers and players who wanted to be part of the jam session. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Darlington Jazz Festival @ The Forum. Day 2 April 21, 2013.

(Review by Russell).
Day two of the second Darlington Jazz Festival dawned early for some (9.15.am) with  registrations being taken for a workshop at ten o’clock Trumpeter Matt Roberts led the session. An early afternoon public performance featured so many participants they could just about squeeze onto the stage in the main hall. The students spanned the generations   (reeds, trombones, trumpets and a lively rhythm section). The inspirational Roberts did a remarkable job in knocking into shape a disparate group of keen jazzers in no time at all. Two pieces  - Sonny Moon for Two and Now’s the Time - gave everyone the opportunity to take the spotlight; some taking as little as two bars or for those at a more advanced level a well-crafted solo. Each and every contribution mattered and for them to give it a go in front of an audience was to their credit. The audience certainly let them know they were appreciated. What a great start to the day!

Dave Kane Quartet make debut at Seven Jazz

Seven Jazz - "the Leeds club for accessible jazz" - presents the new Dave Kane Quartet on Sunday afternoon 1:30pm - 4pm.
Lance.
PS: Splinter at the Bridge Hotel, Newcastle has Mark Williams playing Pat Metheny 8pm.
Also the JWord is on at The Sage, Gateshead. 7:30pm.
Tough calls on Sunday.

Lindsay Hannon Plus in Ernest Tuesday April 23.

Lindsay Hannon (vcl); James Harrison (keys); John Pope (bs); Dave McKeague (dms).
(Review by Lance).
A new entry in the jazz venue list, Ernest is predominantly a student hangout. Understandable given the amount of student accommodation nearby  The ever eager to explore new outlets Lindsay Hannon has set up a weekly Tuesday session which she/we hope will take off.
The girl was in good voice and although without the promised Paul Gowland - he opted for "bread" rather than pizza - it was a good session. A vignette!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

CD Review: VOLE – The Hillside Mechanism


Roland Ramanan (Trumpet); Roberto Sassis (Guitars); Javier Cormona (Drums)
(Review by Steve H.)
The Hillside Mechanism kicks off with No Knees, a piece which  lets you know what you're in for right from the start; a cornucopia of Trumpet, Guitar and Drums weaving in and out of the tune with thumping abandon. 
Rampicanti  is a more gentle improv. whilst Slow Burn is self explanatory - a slow build up of assorted bumps and squeaks before climaxing in a rock inspired finale.  Following on, Voiced Unvoiced  starts with a mellow trumpet solo and the rest of the trio join in with the mood to provide an ambient reflective piece. 

Darlington Jazz Festival @ The Forum. April 20, 2013. Day 1

(Review by Russell)
The second annual Darlington Jazz Festival at the Forum on Borough Road began with a set by the stars of tomorrow, the Durham County Youth Big Band. A jazz festival should hit the ground running and the Durham band ensured it did just that. Chuck Mangione’s The Land of Make Believe put trumpeter Tom Hill to work in the first of his seven festival appearances. Fellow trumpeter Richard Hodgson played it Cool, West Side Story-style. Just in Time (arr. Nestico) demonstrated fine ensemble work and a new chart for the band - Gershwin’s Cuban Overture - put the alto saxophonists in the spotlight. 
This year’s event had a value-added element; the presence of Julian Siegel. Yes, he performed, quite brilliantly, but he gave so much more. He had time for everyone, making himself available throughout the day. One of his engagements was to work with the youth ensemble and he challenged them to get to grips with his own composition Interlude (a Jazz Action commission for the Voice of the North Jazz Orchestra). This piece taxed the senior band when it was performed last year at the Sage. Not in the slightest deterred, the Durham Young Turks made a fine job of it! 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Mark Toomey w. Jeremy McMurray Trio @ The Cherry Tree, Jesmond.

Mark Toomey (alt); Jeremy McMurray (pno); Peter Ayton (bs); Paul Smith (dms).
(Review by Lance)
By way of a change, I took the 33a bus to the Cherry Tree as it drops you at the door of the restaurant rather than walk the walk up Osborne Rd., from Jesmond Metro. I waited for it outside of the Tyneside Cinema and looked sadly at the dilapidated, run down, building opposite. It too had once been a cinema - The Odeon - arguably Newcastle's finest. I recalled, not only the wonderful films (and some not so wonderful ones) I'd seen many years ago, but also the bands I'd heard on stage. Basie, Ellington and Satchmo stand out in my memory but much earlier, before they allowed American musicians to play in the UK, many other British bands - Heath, Dankworth, Parnell, Geraldo, Ambrose and lots more. Yes, it was with heavy heart I boarded the 33a.

CD Review: Eyes of a Blue Dog - Rise.

Terje Evenson (Drums/Electronics); Rory Simmons (Trumpet/Guitar/Electronic) 
Elizabeth Nygard-Pearson (Vocals).
(Review by Steve Horowitz)
Eyes of a Blue Dog is a short story written by legendary magical mystical writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez  most famous for ‘100 Years of Solitude’ (one of the greatest novels I have ever read). The band are a Nordic British Techno/Jazz combo the Scandinavian cultural influence just keeps on giving

Cherry Tree Celebrates 5th Anniversary with Discount Deal!

To celebrate its 5th Anniversary the Cherry Tree Restaurant is offering 20% off all meals for tonight only.
As well as all that food we have all that jazz with the brilliant modern alto sax player Mark Toomey and the Jeremy McMurray Trio. Music from 7:45pm.
To book a table telephone 0191 2399924 or visit the website.
Cherry Tree Restaurant, 9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond NE2 2AE
Lance.

Melody Maker Magic.

Colin Aitchison, our man in Hong Kong, and dedicated Melody Maker librarian is revamping his MM Files. Here is a sample of what his new set up will look like.
Keep up the good work Colin,
Lance.

Sue Ferris/James Birkett Quartet, Roly Veitch. Black Bull, Blaydon April 21.


Sue Ferris (tenor sax & flute), James Birkett (gtr), Neil Harland (bass), Dave Francis (dms), Roly Veitch (gtr & voc)
(Review by Ray Robson)
This was our first visit to Roly's "new" Blaydon venue of the Black Bull - an excellent full house of over 50 packed the back room creating that more intimate "jazz" atmosphere we all crave, albeit without the drifting smoke a la 1960's jazz club's. A good local pint went down well too!

Red Stripe @ Boston Spa. April 20


Neil "Red" Drinkwater (Keys), Miss Smith (Vcl), John O'Neil (ten sax), Erica Clarke (bar sax), Brant Tills (tpt), Costa (bass gtr), Ed Williams(dms)
(Review by Ray Robson).
"Jazz at the Spa" summed up Red Stripe perfectly as "now for something different" ...not quite in the Monty Python style, but nevertheless a boogie woogie mix of jive, blues, swing & rock & roll. We'd seen these guys before at Lockerbie Jazz Fest, so we were prepared for the party they bring to town ....& boy, do they know how to party ! 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

CD Review: Chris Greco Quartet - Trane of Thought


Chris Greco (soprano/tenor sax, flute, clarinet); Brad Rabuchin (guitar); Dean Taba (contrabass); Kendall Kay (drums, congas)
(Review by Les)
Before getting into the detail there are a couple of things worth noting at the outset.  Firstly, whilst this CD is a new release (as of March 2013) the recordings were made in 1994.  Secondly, the use of the word Trane in the title is more a "doffing of the cap" to the Jazz Icon than any reference to the music on this release.  

Hot Fingers: Customs House, South Shields: Friday April 19.


Thomas ‘Spats’ Langham (banjo, guitar, ukulele, vocals, wearing spats); Danny Blyth (guitar, mandolin, clarinet, bass clarinet, triangle, vocals); Malcolm Sked (bass, tuba, vocals)
(Review by Ann Alex)
What a fun night was enjoyed by all, including Lucy (aged 7, I suppose) sitting at our table, when this band played to a full house, giving us loads of tunes and songs from the 1920’s, many anecdotes from Spats about the composers and performers of the past, and amusing crazy lyrics in many of the songs.  

CD Review: Klökkeblömst

Anders Banke (tenor sax); Peter Danstrup (acoustic bass guitar); Anders Provis (drums and cymbals.).
(Review by Lance.)
A contemporary slice of Danish jazz that is surprisingly melodic. I quote: "Corresponding to an overall theme - songs that could have been Danish" is somewhat confusing as all ten tracks were written by acoustic bass guitarist Danstrup who is Danish which, by my reasoning, means not only could they have been Danish but they are Danish unless I'm missing something!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Scottish National Jazz Orchestra (SNJO) directed by Tommy Smith proudly presents THE INCREDIBLE SOUND OF STAN KENTON

Looks good to me - Lance.
THU 25 APRIL      Edinburgh Queen’s Hall               Box office: 0131 668 2019
SAT 27 APRIL      Glasgow Royal Conservatoire       Box office: 0141 332 5057
SUN 28 APRIL      Stirling Albert Halls                     Box office: 01786 473544
Throughout the fabulous ‘40’s and well into the 1950’s the world was swinging, living and loving to the gigantic sounds of the Big Bands. Few were adored more than the large orchestra led by influential composer, arranger and pianist Stan Kenton (1911-1979). Tommy Smith once more leads The Scottish National Jazz Orchestra through the jazz hall of fame in a series of Scottish concert dates that promise to re-ignite the hottest music of the post war era and beyond.

You want piano? - You got it!

Some lovely playing by Paul Edis - solo - trio - duo (with Vasy). Well worth a listen.
https://soundcloud.com/paul-edis-performer.
Lance.

CD Review: Hot Fingers - By a Waterfall.

Thomas 'Spats' Langham (gtr/bjo/uke/vcl); Danny Blyth (gtr/mand/clt/bs clt); Malcolm Sked (bass/tuba) + Emily Campbell (vcl); Mike Piggott (vln).
(Review by Lance).
Last night Hot Fingers wowed the Customs House (review to follow) and no doubt they will do the same tonight at Trinity Church and Centre, Gosforth.
By a Waterfall recorded in 2009 and released a couple of years later features the trio augmented by vocalist Emily Campbell and violinist Mike Piggott.

CD Review: Busk ACV

Andy Champion (double bass), Graeme Wilson (tenor & baritone saxophones), Paul Edis (keyboards), Mark Williams (guitar) & Adrian Tilbrook (drums)
(Review by Russell)
Andy Champion’s ACV is a mighty powerful unit. In concert the listener experiences the quintet’s vital energy. Busk, the band’s new CD, reveals Champion’s widening palette as composer. Eight tunes (seven written by Champion, one from the pen of Graeme Wilson) share common characteristics; distinctive melody, restraint, considered solo contributions and the melding of dark material and a collective levity.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Final Recitals

Our end of term degree (40 min) Final Recitals are getting close and I'd love for as many of you to join me in my recital to hopefully ease the pain; p Joining me for the evening will be Ruairidh Patfield on bass, Lewis West on drums and Paul Gowland on Tenor Saxophone.
We will be performing:
Dorios (A composition of mine)
Half Nelson (Miles Davis)
From Seed to Bloom (Anakreon)
Syeeda Song Flute (John Coltrane)
When you wish upon a star
Bemsha Swing (Thelonious Monk).
Date: Thursday May 16, 5pm. Newcastle University.
Mike Papapavlou
(on F/b).

National Record Store Day.

Tomorrow (Saturday April 20) is National Record Store Day throughout the world in many countries including the UK.
Bands are performing in the street, stores are running competitions and there are many bargains on offer. 
In Newcastle four stores are taking park whilst Sunderland have one.
Sounds like a good idea.
Participating stores.
Lance.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Mo Scott @ Hoochie Coochie

Mo Scott (vcl); Neil Harland (bs); Gary Dunn (gtr); Paul Smith (dms).
(Review by Lance).
With Mo, what you see is what you get - or  is it? Maybe you get a lot more. It's not just the singing which is as good as, and often even better than, you expect. The thing that hits me with Mo is that she so obviously loves what she is doing. Offer her a million to make a hit record and I suspect she'd turn it down if it didn't begin with some repeated reference to "Wakin' up this mornin'".. I jest as Mo has long moved on from the stereotyped blues openers.

Mike Papapavlou & Chris Finch @ Newcastle University.April 18.

Thursday at four o’clock in King’s Hall is the place to be to hear seriously talented student musicians. This week guitarist Andrew Taylor impressed hugely playing Bach (Fugue and Allegro), then switching to electric guitar to accompany folk singers Linzi Wilson and Zoe MacCallum. The jazz session (ensuring Bebop Spoken Here’s presence) featured two of the    local scene’s nice guys - guitarist Mike Papapavlou  and pianist Chris Finch. Papapavlou introduced two numbers - Cry Me a River and Invitation - and he was in typical form, smiling and digging it! Finch played the Steinway (lucky you, Chris!) and sounded great! Two tunes, ten minutes and well worth the effort of dashing to the Uni to hear Mike and Chris.  
Russell.

CD Review: Dorothy Doring and Phil Mattson - Compositions By Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn


Dorothy Doring (voice); Phil Mattson (piano)
(Review by Ann Alex).
This CD does just what is says on the tin, or rather the CD insert, and does it really well. I’d recommend this if you're feeling depressed, as the general effect is cheering despite some sad love songs, and if it’s nostalgia you're after, there’s lots of that from these mainly 1930’s and 40’s numbers.

Jazz in Ernest plus Star Update.

The bar/restaurant ERNEST, 1 Boyd St., Ouseburn, Newcastle, have arranged a series of Tuesday night gigs in conjunction with Lindsay Hannon:

The Jazz Caff Refugees present - Lickety Split @ The Star

Eddie Bellis (tmb/ldr); Kevin Eland (tpt/flg)/ Alan Marshall (ten/alt); Bill Brittain (pno); Alan Rudd (bs); Roy Willis (gtr); Paul Wight (dms).
(Review by Lance.)
The tried and tested West Coast/hard bop library of the "Splits" sounded good even though they were now a mere seven piece. John Hudson having departed since last I heard them.
The audience were taken by surprise when the band hit the deck running on Bag's Groove at prompt 8:30pm. In fact because of this prompt start most of the audience hadn't yet arrived having become used to the elasticity of the starting times that are the norm here.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A new jazz blog!

Check out the armstrong-dixon line. It's the brainchild of north east poet Keith Armstrong and artist Peter Dixon who is also editor of The Informer. The site contains examples of Peter's paintings and Keith's poetry  - all jazz based.
Lance.

Preview Quercus - The Sage, April 27.

If, like me, you missed Iain Ballamy at GIJF there is, thankfully, a second chance to catch him as part of Quercus a jazz/folk trio. As well as Ballamy on saxes the trio comprises June Tabor on voice and Huw Warren on piano. The music is a strangely compelling and evocative mix of jazz and folk with an almost medieval feel to it.
Check out Near But Far Away. Also Lassie Lie Near Me.
Both tracks are from their recently released CD.
Iain Ballamy link (see comments).
Sat 27 April 8pm The Sage Gateshead 
£17.50 thesagegateshead.org.uk / 0191 443 4661
Lance.

Hoochie Coochie Highlights.

A couple of Hoochie Coochie dates for your diary..
Sunday June 16 - Brazilian Jazz/Soul/Funk/Samba legends band - AZYMUTH - £12.
Friday June 28: Jazz Funk band the legendary - SHAKATAK - £10.
Details of all Hoochie gigs.
Lance.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

ACV - Busk. Not really a review!

Andy Champion (bs); Graeme Wilson (ten/bar); Paul Edis (keys); Mark Williams (gtr); Adrian Tilbrook (dms).
Russell, even as I type, is preparing the actual BSH review to coincide with the official release on May 13 but, having at last found time to listen to it, I can only say that if Russell doesn't award this 10 stars he will be on the free transfer list!
It is one of those discs where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts which, when you consider the quality of the parts, make this one almighty powerful CD.
This is going to rate high on anyone's CD of the Year list and I hope Babel give it world-wide exposure.
Lance.
PS: And what about the cover design by John Say!

Daryl Sherman:Warm greetings from Manhattan!

I return to UK with fewer (but CHOICE) nooks and crannies AND my debut at Ronnie Scott's.
Sunday July 7, 1- 3 pm delovely theme: Too Marvelous For Words: Johnny Mercer/Cole Porter w/Alan Barnes, reeds, Andrew Cleyndert, bass, Steve Brown, drums
Please try to make this or send a friend -- or a stranger (well, not too strange) thanks! 
Daryl
plus...

Monday, April 15, 2013

Listening to Louis on Radio 2

Listening to the BBC archive recording of Humph and Wynton Marsalis talking about Louis Armstrong.
Very interesting. they also pose the question of favourite Louis recordings. so here are mine.
Hot Five: Cornet Chop Suey. This told me he could get around the horn. (I was 15 year old playing 3rd cornet in a brass band and it hit me that this guy could carve our solo cornet with ease!).
Interestingly, Humph and Wynton talk about South Shields cornet maestro George Swift who died in 1985. One wonders if jazz really began in South Shields?
Orchestra: Swing That Music. Now on trumpet and singing, this was, for me, the best of the often maligned big band recordings.
All Stars (Teagarden): The New York Town Hall Concert the gig that told the world that Louis was back in Jazzland.
All Stars (Trummy): Satch Plays W.C. Handy. Possibly the greatest version of St. Louis Blues ever!
Vocal: A Kiss to Build a Dream on can't be beat.
Maybe you'd like to suggest some of yours.
Lance.
Available here for 7 days.

Northern Line Showcase - Live Theatre, Monday April 22.

Live Theatre is the place to catch the most vibrant bands from from the Northern jazz scene. Jazz North, the new northern jazz development agency, presents four jazz artists from their northern line rostra. An opportunity to listen to four very different examples of contemporary UK jazz on one evening; 
-Space F!ght 
-HSQ 

-Shatner's Bassoon 
-Ariya Astrobeat Arkestra
The evening kicks off at 7pm and costs a mere £5!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Jazz on Radio York

Listening to Ruby Braff/George Barnes Quartet on Radio York (see RH column) playing You Took Advantage of me - it doesn't come much better than this although we do have a Lee Morgan track coming up!
Lance

The Big Bash at the Black Swan.

Mo Scott (vcl); Paul Edis (pno)/Strictly Smokin' Big Band led by Michael Lamb/Hannabiell and Midnight Blue/Jenni Pascoe; Steve Urwin; Scott Tyrell (poets).Swing Tyne (dancers)/Serena Cee (dj).
(Review by Lance.)
The Black Swan Bar was doing good business, the amphitheatre of Newcastle Arts Centre was running out of chairs, the committee members of the Pink Lane Jazz Co-op were smiling  and Jenni Pascoe was poetically asking Who Am I?
This was the PLJC's Big Bash designed to raise funds and awareness of the group's efforts to re-open the Jazz Café. To this end, Dave Parker gave a progress report* before handing over to MC for the evening Big Joe Fowler.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Jazz in York.

Bassist John Marley has set up a website - Jazz in York which I am sure will be of interest to all players and fans in that beautiful city.
Check it out here.
Lance.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Composition and Jazz Ltd. Summer Update

Hello Jazz Lovers in the North-East,
Just a reminder of some of the services Composition and Jazz offers:

The Great American Songbook - Summer Course

Readers might be interested in this summer course   - 3 days residential, at a Study Centre in the Lake District, beautiful setting, fabulous food and loadsa music.
Ron Guariento

Jazz at the Lit and Phil - Saxophonics.

Keith Robinson (alt/sop); Steve Summers (alt); Niall Armstrong (bar); Graeme Wilson (ten).
(Review by Lance).
An out and out demonstration of saxophone virtuosity. The fingers fairly flew as the four players negotiated the twists and turns of the complex charts with the agility of a downhill skier.
Not that it was all devil take the hindmost. There were moments of beauty and some rich harmonies but this was no conventional sax section. More like a syncopated Bach fugue or a Mozart string quartet that rocked and almost rolled.

Jazz Caff Refugees At The Star: April 10: The Budtones


Fiona Littlewood (vocals/tenor sax); Stuart Findon (tenor sax); Mike Papapavlou(guitar);
John Pope (bass); Eric Stutt (drums)
(Review by Ann Alex.)
The band made a good start with a long instrumental (The Message?) with everyone getting a chance to show their metal, tenors doing lovely harmonies together, bell-like guitar, 4’s from the drums, bass doing what basses do, then came Fiona with her second instrument, singing an expressive Straight No Chaser, not the easiest of songs, plenty room for band solos, and a strong ending when she repeated ‘now is the time, now is the time.  

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Mighty acorns and all that jazz...

CD Review: Thought Fox – My Guess

Lauren Kinsella – voice; Colm O’Hara – trombone; Tom Gibbs- piano; Mick Coady – double bass; Simon Roth – drums
Diatribe Records DIACDO13. UK Release May 6, 2013
(Review by Debra M.)
Coincidently following on from the recent Jazz Words at the GIJF, a session devoted to poetry and Jazz, is the UK launch of debut CD from Thought Fox , a band which takes its  name and inspiration from a Ted Hughes’ poem.

CD Review: Bruno Heinen Sextet - Tierkreis.

Bruno Heinen (pno/music boxes); Fulvio Surgatà (tpt); Tom Challenger (tpt); James Allsopp (bs. clt.); Andrea Di Biase (bs); Jon Scott (dms).
(Review by Lance)
When I read the notes I was suspicious - a work by Stockhausen in 12 parts based on the signs of the Zodiac filled me with trepidation and my first thought was, who can I palm this off on? Fortunately I didn't, and it turns out be quite a delightful disc! The music boxes are incorporated sparingly and effectively, heads are melodic and the solos well within the bounds of comprehension.

Paul Edis Trio with Mark Williams @ The Cherrytree - April 9.

Paul Edis (piano), Mark Williams (guitar), Mick Shoulder (bass) and Rob Walker (drums).
This gig should really have been headlined 'Straight from the Gateshead International Jazz Festival' as all of the four performers had been playing at the Sage over the weekend across at least three different bands. Nothing could illustrate more clearly the growing national reputation of our locally based musicians and here they were playing around the corner from my house. I could only make the second half so didn't try to keep a note of what the tunes were. Paul was unusually sparse with his announcements, which was fine, as no doubt he'd done enough of that over the weekend. There was a Jobim number and something by Peterson, I think, with added Bach, but basically they just played and I just listened and it was hugely enjoyable. Four fine musicians, enjoying themselves, it seemed to me, and playing beautifully. What could be better? Peter and the Cherrytree deserve great credit for creating a space (with great food, of course) in which these kind of gigs can happen.
JC.

Search For a New Jazz Star.

In a brand new initiative for 2013 – Decca Records’ Verve label has joined forces with Cheltenham Jazz Festival to launch a new talent search – Search For A New Jazz Star. This exciting competition seeks to find and celebrate the brightest up-and-coming jazz talent from across the UK and showcase their skills at the Festival in May.

GIJF: Day 1 - Stonephace Stabbins featuring Zoe Rahman.

"Stonephace" Stabbins, (saxes and flute), Zoe Rahman (piano), Pat Illingworth (drums), Crispin"Spry" Robinson (percussion), Karl Rasheed Abel (bass).
(Review by JC.)
Although I like to think I keep in touch with what's happening in music, sometimes a name or a group are mentioned that I have to admit I've never heard of.  Larry "Stonephace" Stabbins was one of these names and the group that was mentioned in connection with him, Working Week, was another. However, in my defence, looking up the internet, it seems they came to prominence in the 1980s when I was in rural seclusion living in a tiny village in deepest Northumberland. So access to music was quite limited and although it was rumoured that there were brilliant Northumbrian pipers, fiddle and harmonica playing shepherds somewhere about, I never heard any of them and the only gig I went to in 8 years was the Ray Stubbs One Man Band in a pub in the next village. However, I would have thought the name 'Stonephace' might have stood out in the cultural ether, as even among the hard biitten characters living in tiny  snow bound cottages in the Northumberland hills, it was not that common a title.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

How did you get into Improvised Music?

Those of our readers who are into Free Improvised music may find this YouTube interview with John Russell of interest linked up as it is with Mopomoso's tour which includes a gig at Summerhill Bowling Club, Winchester Tce., Newcastle on April 29.
Lance.

Mentioned in Despatches

"Hats off to Lance Liddle's Bebop Spoken Here blog which produced eleven lively pieces during last weekend's Gateshead Festival" - Sebastian Scotney, LondonJazzNewsletter.
(Editor - Actually it was 18 and counting unless seven of them weren't considered "Lively"!).
LondonJazzNews.
(Link from Fred Grand - see comments.)

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

CD Review: Joshua Redman - Walking Shadows

Joshua Redman (ten/sop); Brad Meldhau (pno); Larry Greanadier (bs); Brian Blade (dms) + orchestra conducted by Dan Coleman.
(Review by Lance).
I suppose it's the jazz musicians equivalent of the comedian who wants to play Hamlet but, eventually, just about all the big names get around to it - recording with strings. Bird, Chet, Clifford Brown, Bobby Hackett, Stan Getz have all had a crack at it and, by and large, the results have been better than the often derogatory reviews by the critics would suggest. At their worst, they are still pleasant and easy to listen to. At their best (e.g. Parker's Just Friends; Getz's Focus album) they add to the artists' pension pot.
Joshua Redman's Walking Shadows falls into the latter category.

GIJF Day 3: Jazz Words Part 2 - Christine Tobin’s Sailing To Byzantium.


Christine Tobin (vocals and Composer); Phil Robson (guitar); Kate Short (cello); Liam Noble (piano); Dave Whitford (double bass).
(Review by Ann Alex.)
(Christine Tobin: Photo credit, Mark Savage.)
The talented Christine Tobin won a British Composer Award in 2012 for this work, which I found mostly enjoyable and true to the spirit of WB Yeats poems, which I know quite well. I’d be interested to know what people, who didn't know much of Yeats’ work, made of this.

CD Review: Troy Roberts – Nu-Jive 5 (XenDen Music)

The latest album by Western Australias Troy Roberts is a heavy slice of smooth, slick, Funk Jazz Fusion with a little bit of modern Drum and Bass leaning thrown in for good measure. It’s a smart affair with heavy clean production and great musicianship. The records scene-stealers are the opening track “Convertible Burt” and closer “Stoner”. So if you fancy a bit of modern Jazz Funk check out www.troyroberts.com
Wesley Stephenson.

CD Review: Claudio Scolari – Synthesis (CSMD05)


(Review by Wes.)
I can’t say that I’m particularly familiar with the Jazz scene in Rome and what’s happening there but if the new album “Synthesis” by Claudio Scolari, his son Simone and Daniele Cavalca is anything to go by then it sounds like it’s pretty healthy right now. This is certainly one of the more interesting CD’s that I have been given recently for review.

GIJF - Day 2: Northern Spirits. Ian Carr's Northumbrian Sketches; Lighthouse Trio; Tim Garland, Northern Sinfonia - Songs to the North Sky

(Review by Debra M.)
When the GIJF programme was issued some time ago, it was frustrating that the 2 gigs we most wanted to see clashed on the Saturday night… Birelli Lagrene vs Lighthouse Trio & Northern Sinfonia. Being democratic, & also trying to accommodate the teenager, we gave him the casting vote. Northern Spirits it was….

GIJF Day 3: Alexander Hawkins & Louis Moholo-Moholo + Bonga, Mwamba & Champion

(Review by Russell)
The closing concert of the 2013 Gateshead International Jazz Festival brought together two generations of improvising musicians. From Oxford, pianist Alexander Hawkins and from South Africa, drummer and elder statesman of the music Louis Moholo-Moholo

GIJF Day 3: Way in to the Way Out

(Review by Russell)
Why do musicians do what they do? Why do some musicians take the hard road? The life of an improvising musician, particularly those on the free scene, is hardly the road to riches. As someone once said: No turn left unstoned. Pianist Alexander Hawkins and Corey Mwamba (vibes) are two such musicians; youthful, spirited, keen students of the history of the music.

Monday, April 08, 2013

GIJF Day 3: Jazz Words - Larkin's Jazz.

Ian Smith (tpt/narrator); Dave Gelly (ten); Colin Good (pno); Alyn Shipton (bs); Jez Cooke (gtr). David Thurston (reader).
(Review by Lance).
If Bireli Lagréne got the Gold Medal at this Jazz Olympics then this session was surely my choice for the Silver (I stress my choice as I'm sure we have all allocated the hypothetical awards as to our own personal preferences and it would be good to read what others think).

GIJF: Day 3: On The Concourse: The Blue Jazz Quintet


Chris Finch (keys); Karen Rann (sop sax); Jeff Smith (tenor sax); Dave Parker (bass); Michael Howard (drums)
(Review by Ann Alex)
So Chris said to me, just before they went on, ‘ I’ve never played in front of this many people before’.  He needn’t have worried, the band were great, although I must confess to bias, as this is the band that we Blue Jazz Voices do our end of term gigs with, so we have a close relationship with them all.  But reviewers try to be unbiased, so, as I said, they were great!

GIJF Day 3: Jazz from the North

(Review by Russell)
The afternoon session in the Jazz Lounge necessitated leaving the concourse and its interesting and varied line-up of gigs. Neil Yates’ Five Countries Trio opened the show to another capacity audience. Trumpeter Yates crossed the divide; jazz, folk melodies, world music. The tone poem Flutter and Flight expertly evoked the frenzied cries of ravenous seagulls and the inherent dangers of the (unsuspecting) al fresco diner! Zsolt Bende played Charlie Byrd-style acoustic guitar and percussionist Cormac Byrne maintained a consistent rhythmic pulse throughout an atmospheric set.

GIJF Day 3: Afternoon Jazz

(Review by Russell)
The concourse at the Sage Gateshead boasts picturesque views of the Tyne, its bridges and the city of Newcastle over on the north bank. The platform offered free events throughout the weekend spanning the one hundred years’ history of the music celebrated at the 2013 Gateshead International Jazz Festival. 

GIJF Day 2: Jens Thomas and Verneri Pohjola

(Review by Russell)
The Jazz Lounge came into its own during the late night sessions. A set of AC/DC tunes by jazz artists was going to be one of two things - a total flop or a triumph. German vocalist/pianist Jens Thomas worked with Finnish trumpeter Verneri Pohjola to interpret the back catalogue of the Antipodean hard rock megastars. Thomas cut a foppish figure plucked from Berlin cabaret. 

GIJF Day 2: Jazz from the North.

(Review by Russell).
The Jazz Lounge (aka Northern Rock Foundation Hall) sold out. This session has grown into a ‘must get’ ticket at the Sage Gateshead over the years. Four bands over four hours at a bargain price. 

GIJF Day 2. The Paul Edis Sextet: Concourse, Saturday April 6, 2013


Paul Edis (piano), Mick Shoulder (bass), Adam Sinclair (drums), Graeme Wilson (saxes), Graham Hardy (trumpet/flugelhorn), Alex Leathard (trombone).
(Review/photo by Jerry)
After initial reservations when its development was first announced, I have come to love the Sage. I feared it would be a “cathedral of music”: nothing more than an elite venue dedicated to devotees of classical music (a club from which I have voluntarily excluded myself for most of my life!). Structurally it is a cathedral, but there is nothing elitist or forbidding about it – rather it is a communal hub buzzing with life even on workaday days but all the more so when a major jazz festival is underway!

GIJF: Day 2: The Concourse. April 6.

(Review by Ann Alex)
You could actually have yourself a free festival by watching the concourse performances, and you’d get lots of variety, interest and good music.  On Saturday I heard:
The Grace Ellen Band
This singer is new to me and she did some of the songs which featured in her recent performance at one of the Jazz co-op gigs which take place at the Star pub in Newcastle on Wednesdays.  We heard versions of rock songs such as Sweet Dreams and New Day and standards such as Black Coffee, Fever and Georgia.  The instrumentalists are brimming with talent, I believe some of them are from one of the Sage’s music degrees, so I would have liked to hear more solos from them, to complement the singing.

GIJF Day 3: Saxophone Massive.

Andy Sheppard (sop/ten/conductor); Laura Reveley (alt); Keith Robinson (ten); Graeme Wilson (bar); Chris Sharkey (tutor/conductor).
(Review by Lance).
The threat initially was to have 200 saxophones but, mercifully, I think the total was about 50. In truth, this was one of the most amazing musical get togethers I have ever witnessed!

GIJF: Some Highlights A personal view from Ann Alex

First things first –food.  I like the new arrangements in the cafe, where you can order your meal, then sit down with a number till it comes.  I had Aracini – risotto in breadcrumbs – delicious.  Why not try the posset, a dessert from the new bar at the west door?  A delicious milk pudding with fruit compote which I believe they ate in Medieval times.  And the only time in the year that I get to eat caviare is with the nibbles provided at the press reception which opens the festival.  No, I haven’t become a food writer, so what about the music?

GIJF Day 3: Ruby Turner; The Brand New Heavies. April 7.

(Review by Lance).
(Dawn Joseph: Photo credit, Mark Savage.)
Tonight posed the question what is and what isn't jazz? Both sets had lots of soul and funk but as regards jazz content that is debatable. Paradoxically, this was, I would guess, one of, if not the, best attended concerts of the Festival. If this helps to subsidise the jazzier events then so be it.

Sunday, April 07, 2013

GIJF Day 2: Jazz Record Requests

(Review by Russell).
A live edition of Jazz Record Requests! The welcoming yet authoritative voice of Alyn Shipton visits jazz homes tuned to BBC 3 every Saturday afternoon. Here at the Sage Shipton invited the audience to listen to requests, request a track of their own and hear    some jazz ‘live’ from the stage in Hall Two at the Sage. The programme will be broadcast this coming Saturday (13 April) on Radio 3, so you will have to listen to find out which tracks were chosen for broadcast!

GIJF Day 1: Zara McFarlane. April 5 Hall 2

Vocalist Zara McFarlane emerged from the Tomorrow’s Warriors’ hot house of the same generation as headliner Soweto Kinch. Her profile continues to rise and this Gateshead International Jazz Festival appearance will do her no harm whatsoever. Vocal improvisers are ten a penny - picking the best is a different matter and the Sage got it right on this occasion. The diminutive McFarlane, backed by a tight quartet - piano, bass and drums with a late-change saxophonist - sang with style. Commentary on contemporary matters of the day infused her lyrics (a Billie Holiday for the 21st Century) - Woman in the Olive Groves one such highlight, Blossom Tree another. McFarlane headlining on Tyneside will surely happen in the not to distant future.     
Russell.
(Editor's note. A couple of years back Zara had a very fine début album reviewed within these pages - Lance.)

GIJF Day 2: Workshop: An Introduction To Vocal Improvisation: At GOTH

Lindsay Hannon (tutor)
(Review by Ann Alex).
About 18 of us, mostly women, gathered at Gateshead Old Town Hall, to find out about exploring our voices in order to use them adventurously and hopefully musically.  We started with relaxation exercises and some rather raw sounds, and by the end of the session we’d produced 2 viable pieces of a capella music, working in 2 separate groups, so this was a very successful, well taught session.

GIJF Day 2: Bireli Lagréne Quartet/ Kevin Mackenzie & Dave Milligan. April 6 Hall 2.

Bireli Lagréne (gtr); Franck Wolf (ten/sop); Jean Marc Robin (dms); Jean-Yves Jung (Hammond).
----- 
Kevin Mackenzie (gtr); Dave Milligan (pno).
(Review by Lance.)
I proclaimed to all who would listen that this would be the concert of the Festival and, to date, I have yet to be proven wrong. It was simply fantastic with Lagréne the icing on a cake that included many fine guitarists such as James Birkett with Djangologie, Mark Williams, with ACV, Bradley Johnston (pictured) with Jambone and Kevin Mackenzie of whom more later.

GIJF Day 1: Jambone Friday April 5: Hall 1

(Review by Ann Alex)
Just in case there’s anyone out there who hasn't come across Jambone, they are the Sage’s own Regional Youth Jazz Ensemble.  They did themselves, the Sage, and jazz itself proud in this introduction to the NYJO Orchestra concert. 

Saturday, April 06, 2013

GIJF Day 1 - Soweto Kinch & The Legend of Mike Smith. April 5.

Soweto Kinch (alto & tenor saxophones), Nick Jurd (double bass & electric bass) & Shaney Forbes (drums)
(Review by Russell)
Soweto Kinch arrived at the Gateshead International Jazz Festival with a story to tell - the Legend of Mike Smith. Our eponymous hero is an aspiring MC and on his journey to wherever (Dante’s Inferno perhaps) he encounters/experiences the Seven Deadly Sins.

GIJF Day 1 NYJO with Mark Nightingale, Jacqui Dankworth and Jason Yarde. April 5.

(Review by Lance)
(NYJO trumpet section. Photo credit: Mark Savage.)
After Jambone's opening set with Tim Garland and Paul Edis' compositions (review due shortly), NYJO had it all to do.
However, NYJO has grown in stature over the years and these days it can hold its own against any big band anywhere. Add soloists of the calibre of Mark Nightingale, Jason Yarde and Jacqui Dankworth and you have the ingredients for an evening of unmitigated delight!

Friday, April 05, 2013

The One That Almost Got Away!

The Festival opens with a session by the Dixie Ticklers who play a contemporary form of New Orleans - check them out here.
On the Concourse at 6:30pm today. FREE!.
Lance.

The Collective @ Hoochie Coochie Thursday April 4, 2013.

Jamie Toms (ten/shakers); Keith Nicholson (tpt/flug/triangle/shakers); Tim Bloomer (gtr) Katie Trigger (bs); Dominic Snaith (keys); Robbie Houston (dms).
(Review by Lance).
The Collective had Toms and Nicholson as guests this month and the two horn players blew up such a storm that South Cones may have been hoisted 'twixt Dogger and Cromarty. Add Bloomer's wild thrashing and they may even have been reached for in the German Bight. What is certain is that there were moments when the band gave more than just a nod to Weather Report, The Crusaders and Herbie Hancock.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Alan Glen Trio/Take it to the Bridge @ The Chillingham. April 3, 2013

Alan Glen (keyboards), John Pope (double bass) & Paul Wight (drums)
(Review by Russell)
Pianist Alan Glen last played at the Chillingham in August of last year. It was good to have him back working once again with bassist John Pope and versatile drummer Paul Wight. Glen’s set list draws on the standards - It’s You or No One, How Deep Is the Ocean?, You Don’t Know What Love Is, Beautiful Love -  yet he finds something new to say every time. 

Early Bird Specials @ The Millstone 1pm. Today


Specials include: Cumberland Feast A full 8oz traditional Cumberland sausage curl, fried egg, chips and peas. Served with your own gravy boat  £5.65
Irish Stew & Dumpings  A wholesome and hearty dish of pieces of tender, slow-cooked mutton with carrots, swede, onion and pearl barley in a rich gravy with dumplings. All served in a giant Yorkshire pudding with mashed potato £6.00 
The Vieux Carré Jazzmen + Brian Chester, trombone (pictured) Tasty, well-seasoned performers served with a generous portion of classic jazz. Free.   
Brian Bennett.
Thursday 4 April @The Millstone, Haddricks Mill Road, South Gosforth NE3 1QL.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Peter Gilligan Trio @ The Star


Peter Gilligan (pno); Mike Clarke (bs); Mark Robertson (dms) + Ian Forbes (dms); John Rowland (ten).
(Review by Lance.)
Musically this was faultless. Gilligan, depping for guitarist Steve Glendinning, made sure there wasn't a note on the keyboard untouched. He plays 'em all!

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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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