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Bebop Spoken There

Frank Zappa: "There was so much acid during the '60s that it was very easy for large numbers of people to think they had seen God as soon as the Beatles went boom, boom, boom, you know?." - (DownBeat May 18, 1978). – (DownBeat May 18, 1978).

Ryan Keberle: “Don't be easy on yourself when it comes to playing with perfect intonation. All other instruments will be playing with close-to-perfect intonation; the same should be expected of trombonists.'” – (DownBeat April 2018)

Today Thursday March 22


Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone NE27 0DA. Tel: 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.

Higher Education & Research Presents: Future Grooves - Sage Gateshead. 12 noon. £5.00. Showcase performances by BMus & BA degree course students featuring jazz and non-jazz sets.

Tees Valley Jazzmen - White Horse Hotel, Burtree Lane, Harrowgate Hill, Darlington DL1 3AD. Tel: 01325 463262. 1:30pm. Free.


MGB: Milne Glendinning Band - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £5.00. Milne, Glendinning, Katy Trigger (bass) & Nik Alevroyiannis (drums).

BABMUS @ Jazz Café, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8:00pm. £3.00. (£2.00. students/MU).

Rob Heron & the Tea Pad Orchestra - St Cuthbert’s Centre, Church Hill, Crook DL15 9DN. Tel: 01388 765002. 7:30pm. £7.50., £5.00. child, £20.00. family.

Higher Education & Research Presents: Future Grooves - Sage Gateshead. 7:30pm. £5.00. Showcase performances by BMus & BA degree course students featuring jazz and non-jazz sets.

Ada Francis & the Italic Quartet - Las Iguanas, Grey Street, Newcastle NE1 6AF. Tel: 0191 232 9729. 7:30pm. Fortnightly restaurant residency. Line-up: Ada Francis (vocals); Jimmy Jefford (tenor saxophone); Ben Richardson (piano); Luke Gaul (bass) & Harry Still (drums).

New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band - Oxbridge, Oxbridge Lane, Stockton on Tees TS18 4AW. 8:30pm.

Maine Street Jazzmen - Potter’s Wheel, Sunniside, Gateshead NE16 5EE. Tel: 0191 488 8068. 8:30pm. Free.

Tees Hot Club w. Gus Smith (vocal); Richie Emmerson (tenor); Bruce Taylor (keys) - Dorman’s Club, Oxford Road, Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. Tel: 01642 823813. 9pm. Free.

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

Saturday, December 24, 2016

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.

It Could Happen to You/Fried Bananas introduces the duo. The juxtaposition of a Jimmy Van Heusen standard and a Dexter Gordon bop chart indicates the thought process; good tunes, regardless of origin, made the cut. Fats Waller’s Jitterbug Waltz stakes a claim, as does Bobby Timmons’ Dat Dere. Two tunes polls apart, to some ears. To the duo of Edis and Xenopoulos such rigid categorisation matters not. The title track – A Narrow Escape – is a Paul Edis composition. It stands comparison with the many familiar numbers on the recording, as does Xenopoulos’ Piazza Navona. Gershwin’s Someone to Watch over Me is given a most sensitive reading and the closing track, Cole Porter’s What is This Thing Called Love? exemplifies the subtle sense of swing which is present throughout the forty-seven minutes of the recording. This end-of-year new release makes A Narrow Escape a late contender for album of the year.                         
A Narrow Escape was recorded at Red Gables Studio, Greenford, Middlesex, 5 August 2015. Mixed and mastered by Adam Sinclair, produced by Adam Sinclair, Paul Edis and Vasilis Xenopoulos. Album artwork by Kassandra Charalampi.
For further details and to purchase a copy of A Narrow Escape visit: or    


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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: I look forward to hearing from you.