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Bebop Spoken There

John Tynan: "Go ahead, call me reactionary. I happen to object to the musical nonsense being peddled in the name of jazz by John Coltrane and his acolyte Eric Dolphy." - (Downbeat November 22, 1961).

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McCoy Tyner: "If anyone want to know how the three of us - Elvin, Jimmy and me - felt about John [Coltrane], listen to the music and you can hear the love and respect we had for each other. The music can really speak more than any of us." - (Melody Maker, August 19, 1967).
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Today Monday April 24

Afternoon.
Jazz in the Afternoon - Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 3OS. 1pm. Free.
Evening.
?????
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Hot Jazz and Blues at The Cumberland Arms - June 6

(Press release)
Back by popular demand! 
The Fabulous Del Rey returns to Newcastle on her 2017 UK Tour!
This time with the Amazing Adam Franklin!
James Place Street
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE6 1LD

1. Ukulele Workshop: Hot Jazz Rhythm Picking
Adam Franklin is a fantastic tutor, as anyone who has attended his Workshop on “Hot Jazz Rhythm Picking for Ukulele” will testify!
§  In this workshop you will learn some easily remembered picking patterns and how to use them to provide a solid rhythmic foundation to ANY song in ANY style – not just “hot jazz”!
§  Whether you are a beginner or a more advanced player, you will find this technique a very useful tool to add that “extra something” to sing-alongs and jams!
2. Guitar Workshop: Moving Bass Lines
After Del Rey’s last performance, guitarists in the audience asked her if she could come back to run a Guitar Workshop. So that is what Del is going to do for us this time, focussing on “Moving Bass Lines”!
§  Want to play like a pianist? Walking and boogie-woogie bass lines for fingerstyle guitar! Learn the positions where you can find both chords and  moving bass.
§  Intermediate-Advanced Level.  Standard tuning. Recording permitted.
3. Hot Jazz and Blues Concert
Del Rey and Adam Franklin Resonate! Jazz and Blues Duets!

Under the Moon of Love? Ruth Lambert Quartet @ Ushaw College – April 21.

Ruth Lambert, vocals; Paul Edis, piano; Andy Champion, bass; Rob Walker, drums.
(Review/photos by Jerry)
The gig began with No Moon at All (which was appropriate as it was stottin’ down outside and even a “supermoon” would have been invisible), revved up in the second set with That Old Devil Moon and ended with How High the Moon. Love was most definitely the theme of the evening as evidenced by Beautiful Love, a song which Ruth Lambert explained had featured in the 1932 film, The Mummy, when Karloff’s mummy pursued the beautiful Helen Grosvenor. The things you learn!
We had a slow, moody take on “living to love and muddling through” in I’m Glad There Is You followed by a rapid gallop through Mercer and Kern’s I’m Old Fashioned (“stay old fashioned with me”). Ruth said she “never tired of singing” the next number, Arlen’s I’ve Got the World on a String, (“what a life – I’m in love!”) while Ira Gershwin summed up the euphoria with ‘S Wonderful! Brother, George, wrote the notes, of course, and some of his other notes popped up, intriguingly, in the piano solo during West Coat Blues in which Wes Montgomery with his “suitcase full of sorrows” gave an alternative take on love. The first set closed with Jobim’s Agua de Beber, a beautiful bossa nova with very metaphorical lyrics (by de Moraes?) – “Your love is rain, my heart the flower…”. It could have reminded us of the world outside –“since the rain has to fall, let it fall on me” – but we were lost in the music by then….

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Patrice Williamson Celebrates the 100th Anniversary of Ella Fitzgerald’s Birth on New Album

This album, somehow got sidelined owing to our designated reviewer being taken ill so, because of the short time between now and the release date which coincides with the First Lady's centenary , I've posted the press release in full stressing that I wholeheartedly concur with all that is written - Lance.
(Press release)
Williamson and guitarist Jon Wheatley conjure the swinging chemistry of the First Lady of Song and Joe Pass. Album due out on April 25.
“Patrice Williamson isn't a singer, she's a one-woman jazz sampler.” Christopher Loudon, JazzTimes
“Ms. Williamson has a beautiful low alto voice that could be likened to a smooth single-malt scotch..."   C. Michael Bailey, All About Jazz.

Brian Molley Quartet @ The Globe, Newcastle - April 22

Brian Molley (tenor/soprano); Tom Gibbs (piano); James Lindsay (bass); Stuart Brown (bass).
(Review by Lance).
I'd recently reviewed the band's current CD, Colour and Movement, and been impressed - it's a stunner. However, hearing the band live in Newcastle really brought the CD to life and I appreciated it all the more. It's a chicken and egg situation - hear the band live to appreciate the CD or hear the CD first to appreciate the band. It's a win win situation and the Jazz Coop audience certainly felt they'd backed a winner last night at The Globe.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Art Invite

(From Dave Clarke) 
I'm attaching an invitation to any readers interested in attending the Private View of Gina Southgate's Exhibition at the Dennis Kilgallon Gallery at South Barn, near Allen Banks, Northumberland NE47 8JP on Friday 5th May from 4pm to 8pm.
Gina is an artist best known for her  paintings made in real time at jazz gigs. She has worked in our region with Jazz North East and at the Gateshead International Jazz Festival and her work is on permanent display at Sage Gateshead. She also paints landscapes.

Friday, April 21, 2017

More Phoenix Jazzmen

Another photo of the Phoenix Jazzmen, found by Patrick Brennan on the Evening Chronicle Facebook page. It was sent in by Dan Pye who, I guess, was Eddie Piper 's grandson. Piper is holding a tuba on this shot. Gordon Solomon is now on trombone and Brian Chester appears to be playing banjo. Billy Golightly on long model cornet and Eric Clegg on clarinet. Not certain of the drummer.
I gather this photo was taken shortly before Gordon Sumner joined the band which would probably date it about 1969.
Lance.

CD Review: Jazzmain - Live at the Blue Lamp

Nick Gould (tenor); Steve Grossart (keys); Iain Harkness (bass); Kevin Dorrian (drums).
(Review by Lance).
Recorded live at "The Lamp" in Aberdeen last November, Jazzmain's second album is every bit as good as the first and maybe even better. Like most live recordings, the balance isn't perfect although it improves as the disc progresses or maybe it's my ears adjusting to the acoustics. Whatever, the music more than makes up for it. Play this in a blindfold test and I think many a listener would assume it had been recorded live at, say, the Five Spot or the Village Vanguard in NYC by a band from the 1950s' Blue Note label.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club - April 17

(Review/Photos by Russell).
Easter Monday. Cullercoats. A pint of Consett Brewery’s Last Tap…not quite. ‘It’s off, finished’ said the barman pulling a lifeless hand-pull on the bar at Cullercoats Crescent Club. Make it a pint of the Darwin Original. If it’s Monday lunchtime it must be Cullercoats Crescent Club. For as long as Jazz in the Afternoon regulars can remember it’s been this way. In the dark recesses of BSH’s (fading!) memory bank, Jazz in the Afternoon first made a jazz sound at the Wooden Doll pub perched high above North Shields Fish Quay. A change of venue perhaps, the session retains that much sought after commodity…a full house.

Lickety Split @ Blaydon Jazz Club - April 16

Eddie Bellis (trombone), Alan Marshall (alto saxophone), Paul Gowland (tenor saxophone), Kevin Eland (trumpet & flugelhorn), Bradley Johnston (guitar), Jeremy McMurray (piano), Alan Rudd (bass) & Paul Wight (drums)
(Review by Russell/Photos courtesy of Roly).
Band leader Eddie Bellis announced a celebration – Lickety Split’s tenth birthday! A few changes of personnel down the years is almost inevitable when trying to keep an eight piece band on the road. The current line-up looks as if it could remain stable for some time. That’s good news with the octet sounding better than ever.
 This Black Bull gig, the band’s debut at Blaydon Jazz Club, delivered immaculate ensemble playing with particularly impressive (well rehearsed!) endings. Nothing ragged, just sharp, tight topping and tailing of tunes. Lickety Split is a band that doesn’t shout from the roof tops. No hype, little publicity, simply a ‘turn-up-and-play’ approach, that’s Lickety Split. Blaydon Jazz Club’s Easter Day audience heard two sets of West Coast cool to bop charts – exactly what Blaydon’s Dr Jazz ordered.

CD Review: Matt Holman - The Tenth Muse

Matt Holman (trumpet); Chris Dingham (Vibes); Bobby Avey (piano); Sam Sadigursky (reeds/flutes).
(Review by Steve H).
Inspired by the love poetry of Greek poetess Sappho written some two and a half millennia ago New York based trumpeter Matt Holman has produced   The Tenth Muse consisting of 16 fragments. Each piece is titled fragment nnnx where nnn is a number between 4 and 168 and x where populated is the letter a,b or c. The accompanying liner notes have snippets of Sappho’s  poetry relating to  each fragment -  for example track 8 fragment 168b reads –
Moon has set and Pleades: middle night, the hour goes by, alone I lie.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Forget New Orleans, it all began in Annfield Plain (at least in South West Durham it did)


Earlier this month, Patrick Brennan sent me an interesting post about Carole Clegg and Speakeasy which can be read here. The article, from the Tanfield School Newsletter of 2007 also refers to the early days of the Phoenix Jazzmen - long before Sting's association with the band.
Brian Chester, a founder member of the Phoenix Jazzmen, dug out these photos from the early 1960s which, I'm sure, will stir a few memories for those of us who are still around.
The first photo dates from 1960 and was taken at the Annfield Plain Central Methodist Youth Club.
Bill Golightly (trumpet); Brian Chester (trombone); Eric Clegg (clarinet); John Iceton (banjo); Ted Spears (drums).

Preview: Indigo Jazz Voices @ The Globe: Thursday April 20

                                                Indigo Jazz voices are Jen Errington, Jenny Lingham, Carrie McCullock, Barry Keatings, David Edgar and Ann Alexander. We are all solo singers, doing a selection of Swing, Bossa and Blues, with maybe the occasional early jazz number from the 1920’s.
We are accompanied by Alan Laws (piano) Katie Trigger (Bass) and a drummer TBC and Barry
Keatings , is accompanied by Ron Pattinson on piano.
Expect to hear songs such as:
Secret Love: Fly Me To The Moon: Gee Baby Ain’t I Good to You, and I’ve got You Under My Skin
Good listening is guaranteed, so don’t miss the gig.
It all begins at 7.30pm, admission is £4, and there are nibbles to eat.
What’s not to like?
Ann Alex

Jazz Café Jam Session - April 18

(Review by Lance).
This was the mother of all jam sessions, to quote a phrase, and I use the expression advisedly. This was like a jazz kindergarten the room bestrewn with proud parents appreciating the talents of the future Down Beat Poll Winners on stage. The parental pride was justified.
Never in the field of human conflict, which is what jam sessions are, has so much been owed to so few (in years that is).
Take the house trio, Minnie and Dan Stanley out of the equation and the average age must have been in the mid teens - incredible!
So much going on, a blow by blow account would require a War & Peace (or a Steve T) length review to do it justice so I'll merely make a few observations.
Matt MacKellar, we know has been accepted by Berklee in Boston, Mass. and deservedly so. On tonight's showing there could well be more.

Monday, April 17, 2017

RIP Allan Holdsworth.


(Obituary by Steve T)
Legendary guitarist Allan Holdsworth died on Sunday April 16 aged 70. Born in Bradford he was a formidable force in progressive rock and Jazz-Rock through the seventies, featuring in a range of bands, sometimes simultaneously, including Nucleus, Tempest, Soft Machine, Tony Williams Lifetime and Gong, before joining Bill Bruford, John Whetton (who died a few weeks ago) and Eddie Jobson in the prog rock super-group UK, and was subsequently invited by Bill Bruford, who considered him one of the world’s great innovators, to join his new band Bruford.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Allan Holdsworth

Just heard of the death of Allan Holdsworth earlier today. Obit to follow.
Lance.

Faye MacCalman/John Pope Duo @ Jazz Café - April 14

Faye MacCalman (tenor sax, clarinet), John Pope (bass).
(Review/photo courtesy of Steve T).
Of all the Jazz Cafés in all the world, I wonder how many featured a double bass, sometimes bowed, and a tenor sax, sometimes a clarinet, playing Blakey, Shorter, Ornette Coleman Hawkins - see what I did there? MacCalman, Monk, Roland Kirk, Sonny Rollins and Sun Ra - see what I did there? - on Friday. And by a lady in her early/mid-twenties and a 'slightly' older male. This is why Jazz is so unique.
We expected more pedals than the Tour de France, more loops than a primary school playground and more freefall than a Bridge too far. What we got was certainly edgy, but in a very different way. Only Jazz can defy expectations in this way. 
I'd wondered how it would work out, without percussion, a keyboard or even a guitar, but half way through the opener, Moanin, I knew it was going to be just fine.

CD Review: David Rees-Williams Trio - Classically Reminded: Bach.

David Rees-Williams (piano); Neil Francis (bass guitar}; Phil Laslett (drums).
(Review by  Lance).
Johann Sebastian Bach has long been an inspiration for jazz musicians sometimes as a pastiche e.g. Goodman's Bach Goes to Town or Fats Waller's Bach Up To Me. Other, more serious tributes have been paid by Peterson, Shearing and Jacques Loussier who made a career out of Bach's music and helped sell a lot of Hamlet cigars along the way.
Formed in 1988, the David Williams-Rees Trio who are based in Kent seamlessly make the transition from 18th century keyboard music to present day jazz. Indeed the joins are anything but obvious, instead the music flows as one.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Nicola Farnon Trio @ Gala Theatre, Durham - April 14

Nicola Farnon (double bass & vocals), Paul Edis (piano) & Russ Morgan (drums)
(Review by Russell/photos courtesy of Brian Ebbatson)
Good Friday. The Gala Theatre. ‘House full’ signs. What’s new? Monthly lunchtime jazz sessions at the Gala Theatre sell-out in advance, it’s been that way for several months. Some people know a good thing when they hear it and book ahead. May, June, July and August are booking now, so, don’t hesitate. Today’s concert sold out weeks ago. Nicola Farnon arrived from her Sheffield base, said hello to Paul Edis and Russ Morgan – they were meeting for the first time – and proceeded to bring the house down.

Easter Early Birds @ The Jazz Café – April 15

(Review by Russell)
A bright and breezy Saturday morning. Their regular Saturday morning workshop done, the Early Birds were ready to admit the paying public. Teenage musicians under the tutelage of Paul Edis, the Early Birds develop apace and an audience keeps on turning up to hear what they’ve been up to. The half hour set flies by, just enough time to drink that coffee (or beer) and scoff a Jazz Café scone (home made by Natalie).
Baritone saxophonist Ryan De Silva led the way on But Not For Me followed by Matthew Downey, guitar. Ben Lawrence playing keyboards suggested a tune of his own (the title temporarily alludes your reviewer), a tune deservedly in the pad alongside time-honoured material. MD Paul Edis, on flute, James Metcalf, flugel (on loan from Mr G Hardy), and the composer himself, the soloists.

Paul Edis Sextet @ Gosforth Jazz Club - April 13

Paul Edis (piano), Graeme Wilson (tenor saxophone & flute), Graham Hardy (trumpet & flugelhorn), Chris Hibbard (trombone), Mick Shoulder (double bass) & Adam Sinclair (drums)
(Review by Russell/photos courtesy of Ken Drew (b & w) and Jerry E)
Gosforth Jazz Club. Gosforth where? you say. Yes, a new venture in the leafy suburb of Gosforth. As you come out of Regent Centre Metro station it's a right turn, enter Gosforth Civic Theatre, you have reached your destination. 
Don’t you mean Gosforth Civic Hall? Well, yes, but Austerity Times dictate that a once proud publicly owned amenity is now a ‘social enterprise’, hence Gosforth Civic Theatre. Tonight’s attraction: the Paul Edis Sextet.

CD Review: Freddie Gavita - Transient

Freddie Gavita (trumpet/flugel); Tom Cawley (piano); Calum Gourlay (bass); James Maddren (drums).
(Review by Lance).
From the opening bars I could see where this was coming from - Lee Morgan, The Sidewinder, early Hancock, Blue Note. The roots of hard bop/fusion coming together. Gavita speaks the language and, had he been a graduate of the darker side of The Village in the old days as opposed to a present day product of RAM and NYJO, he'd be winning Down Beat polls. As it is, he's probably the closest thing we've got to that era and a trumpet player comparable with many of the greats. Not via the dazzling technique of the likes of Bruce Adams and Ryan Quigley nor the controlled brilliance of Guy Barker but as, perhaps, the keeper of the flame lit by two British trumpet players who died so tragically young - Abram Wilson and Richard Turner. 

Friday, April 14, 2017

Emma Fisk and Paul Edis @ The Witham, Barnard Castle - April 12

Emma Fisk (violin) and Paul Edis (piano).
(Review/photos by Jerry)
A sign above the stage appeared to say “A DISCO”. Really? I adjusted my bifocals and found it was a date stone reading “AD1860” – when The Witham opened as a music hall – which is interesting as its Victorian / Edwardian heyday coincided with many of the performers and composers referenced in Emma Fisk’s fascinating introductions and links between the twenty pieces of music thoughtfully selected and brilliantly performed tonight. Might tangos on the set-list have been performed on that stage back then? That’s a connection which would appeal to Emma, I think.

New Saltburn venue for The Jazz Lads

The ‘Jazz Lads’ are back at Saltburn Golf Club on Sunday 7th May and Sunday 4th June.
They are: Ray Dales, one of the finest sax players in the area, Jeremy McMurray, virtuoso keyboard player and leader of the Pocket Orchestra, Paul Smith, drummer exceptional and a grand master of his craft, highly talented guitarist Ian Bosworth, of both Tees Hot Club and Musicians Unlimited fame, and Adrian Beadnell, starting his career with Chris Rea in Saltburn more years ago than he cares to remember, on bass. 
Building on their successful Sunday evening at the Club on the 2nd April, where they were joined by guest guitarist Paul Donnelly, the lads are very much looking forward to playing another programme of exciting Jazz numbers to an appreciative audience on the 7th May and 4th June.

Tickets for future evenings can be bought at the door and cost £5.00.  The music starts at 8.00.
AB.

Carole Clegg and Speakeasy

Patrick Brennan recently came across this article in the Tanfield School Newsletter for Summer 2007 when he was looking into the history of the Phoenix Jazzmen. His former art teacher, Terry Harvey, was a member of the group for a while and brought them to his school (St Joseph's in Hebburn) sometime in the early 60's. It was his first exposure to live jazz. 
Lance.
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Alan Glen Trio @ The Globe - April 13

Alan Glen (piano); John Pope (bass); Sid White - depping for Paul Wight - (drums).
(Review by Lance).
An Alan Glen gig at The Globe is unlike any other gig. It's as if you're sitting in Alan's front room whilst he plays for you, his friends - on this occasion around about 20..
It brings to mind the legendary Oscar Peterson albums that were subtitled exclusively for my friends and that's how it felt tonight. I'd have felt privileged to have been at those Peterson sessions but, I felt even more privileged tonight! I've got the Oscar sessions on disc but the Alan Glen ones are only in my head. It doesn't matter, I'll relive the highlights without having to crank up the old Victrola. That's how good they were.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

RIP Stan Robinson (1936 - 2017)

Regrettably, I don't think I ever heard Stan Robinson either live or on record. Although, such was his reputation as a tenor, soprano, flute and clarinet player, I surely must have done. Robinson, who died on April 9, played in a host of top bands both big and small and it is inconceivable that our paths didn't cross somewhere along the line.
Those bands included Maynard Ferguson, Tubby Hayes Big Band, Alan Ganley/Keith Christie Jazzmakers, Bert Courtley and many others most of whom I've seen at one time or another - maybe I was in the right place at the wrong time or vice versa.

Blaydon Jazz Club goes Lickety Split!

(Preview by Russell/photo from archive)
Easter Sunday at the Black Bull, Blaydon marks Lickety Split’s debut gig at Blaydon Jazz Club. The West Coast to bop outfit never fails to deliver a great show. Led by trombonist Eddie Bellis, Lickety Split play a choice selection of West Coast cool to bop-tinged charts. The affable Bellis leads some of the north east’s finest; Paul Gowland occupies the tenor chair, Alan Marshall, alto. Kevin Eland, based down in the Tees Delta, blows Maynard Ferguson-style trumpet when the fancy takes him, and fellow Teessider, pianist Jeremy McMurray, plays all eighty eight keys every which way, doing so with consummate ease.

Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe - April 12

(Review/photo by Russell).
Dave Weisser thumbed through the pad, these days looking more like an ultra rare British Library ‘by appointment’ reference-only tome, picked out a few tunes, handed out the old school dots to the orchestra and we were under way. Wayne Shorter, Nat Adderley, and A Foggy Day – a first vocal for Jude Murphy accompanied by a fine solo from guitarist Roy Stephenson.
The Jazz Co-op’s piano was to Barry Ascroft’s liking, although it was somewhat difficult  to hear the man for much of the evening with the frontline horns trading solos for fun. An interesting line-up this evening with regular altos Murphy and Rachel Richman joined by fellow altoist Bernie Ranson, and the big sound of tenor player Johannes Dalhuitjsen, and Nigel Robson boldly blowing ‘bone with a hint of Gary Valente in there somewhere. The multi-talented Jude Murphy played flute on Falling in Love with Love, accompanied once more to good effect by Roy Stephenson.               
Trumpeter Ray Johnson led the frontline (with workshop maestro Weisser content to take a back seat, literally sitting down a la Preservation Hall veterans!), soloing with authority. 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Tomorrow Night (Thursday April 13) @ The Globe - Alan Glen Trio

I've followed Alan Glen for many years going back to Newcastle Jazz Festivals, The Cooperage, on Newcastle Quayside, a pub on Sheriff Hill in Gateshead, The Chilli, The Jazz Café and the Globe where, last year, he celebrated his 80th birthday and maybe as many millions of  notes over the years!
Well, Alan's back at Jazz Coop HQ tomorrow (Thursday) and, as Bud and Oscar are no longer around, this is the place to be.
The current line-up has John Pope on bass and Sid White on drums who takeover the roles previously held by, among others, Ray Truscott, Laurence Blackadder, David Carnegie and Paul Wight.
If you like standards, originals, a bit of bebop and some of the classiest piano playing this side of New York City then the 22 bus leaves from outside Newcastle's [Grand] Central Station at 2/22/42 minutes past the hour for a one stop journey. 8pm start and admission a mere fiver (during April students get in free!).
Lance.

CD Reviews: Frank Kohl Quartet – Rising Tide. Sandro Zerafa – More Light.

(Reviews by Steve T)
Rising Tide
Frank Kohl (guitar), Steve LaSpina (bass), Tommy Kohl (piano), Jon Doty (drums).
This is Kohl’s fourth album, the first being in 1981. He's a native of New York, where these sessions come from, but is generally based in Seattle. From the Beatles in the sixties his training and tastes progressed through Clapton, Hendrix and the blues to Wes Montgomery with Jimmy Smith, Pat Martino and Jim Hall, but it was seeing Tony Williams' Lifetime with Larry Young and John McLaughlin that made him realise anything was possible in Jazz.
Kohl studied at Berklee during its guitar golden age, while Schofield and Metheny were still students.
The album features eight tracks, including five originals, a live version of Rodgers and Hart’s My Romance and two by Victor Young, including a solo guitar piece to close the album.
Nothing much else to say except the songs are fine and the playing is excellent and the notes claim that  smooth exteriors and genuinely emotional interiors make for a difficult balance and listeners will decide whether he pulls this off. I think he probably does but my heckles don't automatically burst through my clothes when I read the 'S' word.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The Eales Report - Doings down in Darlington & Durham

Bebop Spoken Here’s southern (ish) correspondent Tony Eales reports healthy attendances at recent gigs in Darlington and Durham. Mark Toomey played to an encouragingly large turn out at Opus 4 Jazz Club’s monthly promotion at the Traveller’s Rest, Cockerton, Darlington. In the run-up to the 2017 Darlington Jazz Festival (April 27-30), the Jazztones’ Sunday evening Darlington Jazz Club gig at the Quakerhouse pub similarly drew a good crowd. Meanwhile, the Empty Shop in Durham goes from strength to strength. Last week’s appearance by (pictured) Eddie Bellis’ eight piece Lickety Split proved so popular that the venue’s chill out area was requisitioned to accommodate the overflow from the main room. Jazz lives! (in Darlington and Durham). 
Russell.         

Big Bad Wolf @ Bridge Hotel, Newcastle. April 9. Jazz North East.

Rob Luft (guitar, vocals), Owen Dawson (trombone, synthesizer, vocals), Michael de Souza (Fender bass 6, vocals), Jay Davis (wonderfully coloured drums).
(Review by Steve T/Photo courtesy of Ken Drew).
When Steve Hackett auditioned for Genesis, Gabriel (Peter) noted that all the guitarists coming through were about 'flash', while Steve was more about colours. There was ample evidence here of the flash that Luft is more than capable of (as was Hackett), but it was sparse and tastefully spread over the two sets, with more multi colors than Saturday morning TV in the 1970’s.
Luft made the announcements, advising that they record themselves improvising, cut it up and play it with virtually no improvising; what he likes to call Reverse Jazz.

Monday, April 10, 2017

CD Review: Brian Molley Quartet - Colour and Movement

Brian Molley (tenor/soprano/flute/clarinets); Tom Gibbs (piano); Mario Caribé (double bass/guitar); Stu Brown (drums/perc.)
(Review/preview etc. by Lance)
I'm going to kill three birds with one stone here although, kill is far from my intention. Quite the opposite in fact!
A superb CD.
A gig close to home.
A gig not too far away.
Plus, There's also a gig a long way away.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

CD Review: Tomasz Stańko New York Quartet – December Avenue

Tomasz Stańko (trumpet); Davide Virelles (piano); Reuben Rogers (double bass); Gerald Cleaver (drums).
(Review by Hugh C.)
A decade ago Polish trumpeter Tomasz Stańko took an apartment in the city he considers the jazz capital of the world, New York, the stomping ground of all his early musical heroes.  Once resident it was not long before he was playing with some of the most gifted and creative players on the scene.  The first tangible record of this was the New York Quartet's first, much acclaimed release Wislawa.
Stańko's work is recognisable by the grainy tone and smeared notes, the lyrical and soulful themes characteristic of the noirish atmospheres they conjure.  He is generous with his compositions in allowing fellow band members time and space to express themselves.  December Avenue, the Quartet's second release, was recorded at studios in the south of France, with bass player Reuben Rogers (originally from the Virgin Islands) joining the band and forming a deep understanding with Cuban born pianist David Virelles and Detroit drummer Gerald Cleaver.

GIJF Day 3: Tomasz Stańko Quartet - Sage Gateshead, April 2.

Tomasz Stańko (trumpet); Alexi Tuomarila (piano); Reuben Rogers (bass); Gerald Cleaver (drums)
(Review by Hugh C).
It is always nice to be thanked in public for something you have done, but even better, perhaps, for something you have not yet done.  This does, however, put the pressure on to deliver!
By midnight, on the evening of the gig, I was already in an anonymous Travelodge, way, way  South of the Tees Delta, en route to Devon's Jurassic coast to spend a week visiting elderly relatives (not in any way dinosaurs though!).
I have now returned to my laptop, and with Lance's agreement, deliver my somewhat tardy report.
The faithful few were gathered outside the East level 1 entrance to Sage 2 just before 7 pm.  By 7.10 there was still no sign of door staff or the doors opening.  On questioning an unsuspecting Sage staff member we were told the doors opened at 7.30.  “What pre-concert talk?” was the response to our question.  Your reporter was hoping to obtain some nuggets of inside information on the main man from the billed question and answer session with jazz journalist and critic Kevin Le Gendre.  Eventually it was established that due to flight delays, the session had been cancelled.  Oh, well – back to the bar!

Edis & Wilson @ Café Monk - April 7

Paul Edis (piano) & Graeme Wilson (tenor saxophone)
(Review by Russell).
One week on from this year’s Gateshead International Jazz Festival Newcastle’s Jazz Café struck gold with the return visit of Paul Edis and Graeme Wilson. A duo performance makes demands on the listener, and some don’t always listen. This evening’s performance of the lesser-spotted works of Thelonius Sphere Monk drew a large, attentive crowd. So crowded was the Jazz Café that some sat on the floor – disciples at the feet of the masters.

Saturday, April 08, 2017

CD Review: Peg Powler Band - Northern Lines

(Review by Ann Alex).
I’ve been given special dispensation by Blogmaster Lance to review this folk music CD on BSH. We encountered this excellent band when we dropped by the Prohibition Bar on the Friday of the GIJF, and, after chatting with the band, were given a review copy.
The songs are all originals except for one traditional number (Katie Cruel) and they have the distinction of being immediately memorable and accessible, with strong hooks to draw in the listener, and themes not a million miles away from many a blues number.

CD Review: Brass Mask – Live

Tom Challenger (tenor saxophone), George Crowley (tenor saxophone), Rory Simmons (trumpet), Alex Bonney (trumpet), Nathaniel Cross (trombone), Dan Nicholls (organ & percussion), Theon Cross (tuba), Jon Scott (percussion) & John Blease (drums)
(Review by Russell)
Mardi Gras time down in the Servant Jazz Quarters. In 2015 Tom Challenger’s nine piece second liners played a gig at the Dalston, London jazz and cocktails venue, recorded it, and released it on the Babel Label as Brass Mask Live. Eight tracks, a little more than fifty minutes’ worth of music, a brass band on steroids. If you’re feeling down, ask your GP to write a prescription for some of what Brass Mask are on, it’ll prove the ideal tonic.

GIJF: The (almost) Complete Works.

I think we can say that we did the 2017 edition of GIJF rather proud this year! Almost a blanket coverage with possibly more to come!
Thank you to Ann, Russell, Steve T, Steve H, Ken Drew, Hugh C and everyone else who chipped in.
It was quite a weekend!
Reviews:

Preview: Big Bad Wolf @ Bridge Hotel, Newcastle - Sunday April 9

I come across a lot of guitarists and I've described them as good, great, excellent and whatever new adjectives I can come up with, but this Sunday JNE have got something extra special: the great British Jazz guitarist of his generation, the next Mike Walker, ex NYJO and Royal Academy, Rob Luft is an exceptionally extraordinary player. 
I first heard him at Scarborough last year when he was playing with Adam Glasser and I became increasingly intrigued by him throughout the set. He never put a note wrong.
He's joined by Owen Dawson on trombone, Michael de Souza on bass and Jay Davis on drums and my guess is they'll all be pretty amazing.
Tell your guitarist friends about this but warn them they'll most likely, either go home and practice until they drop, or pack it all in and buy a bouzouki.
Steve T.

Friday, April 07, 2017

GIJF Day 1: Dean Stockdale Trio @ Sage Gateshead - March 31

Dean Stockdale (piano), Gavin Barras (double bass) & Adam Dawson (drums)
(Review by Russell)
Dean Stockdale’s opening night ‘late night’ performance on the concourse at Sage Gateshead was a difficult act to pull off. Festival concert goers ensconced in the halls were oblivious to a piano trio set of swinging standards and original tunes. Stockdale, regularly working either end of the M6, has a new album on the way and took the opportunity to unveil some of it at this year’s Gateshead Jazz Festival.

GIJF Day 3:: Jazz Africa/Jazz Cuba @ Sage Gateshead , April 2.

(Review by Steve T)
It's always nice to do at least one gig in Sage One, over the weekend, to see those who maybe only do one show,  but make the whole thing happen. Otherwise you feel insular, like the only people there are the familiar faces in the small rooms, at the concourse and the stands. 
This was the other no-brainer, along with Miles Mosley, until number one son introduced some brains suggesting we should be in Hall Two, and then Lance (who tends to know what he's doing in these matters) confirmed he was in Northern Rock. Sounds like a resounding finale for the Festival.
By Sunday evening, anybody still wondering whether they'd had a festival was left in no doubt by the end of this; this was almost a festival on its own. 
Lots to get through so Shabaka Hutchings was already onstage when I got in, complete with his Ancestors.  

GIJF Day 2: Garibaldi Plop and The ICP Orchestra @ Sage Gateshead - April 1

ICP Orchestra
Ab Baars, Toby Delius, Michael Moore (reeds); Thomas Heberer (trumpet); Wolter Wierbos (trombone); Mary Oliver (violin); Tristan Honsinger (cello); Guus Janssen (piano); Ernst Glerum (bass); Han Bennink (drums).
(Review by Steve H/Photos courtesy of Ken Drew)
The ICP Orchestra (Instant Composers Pool) was formed 50 years ago in The Netherlands. Sadly co-founder Misha Mengelberg died recently (a photo tribute to the man is currently on show until April 14) but drummer Hans Bennnink, aged 75, still drives the band with tremendous energy and good humour. It would be hard to single anyone out in this 10 piece ensemble. I enjoyed everyone’s playing but Cellist Tristan Hinsinger has to get my MVP award, not only for his poetry reading and singing but also for the most amazing piece of conducting which took the form of a dance. All in all a delightful performance full of spontaneity, wit and swing -pure class.

GIJF Day 1: Laura Jurd’s Dinosaur & Daniel Herskedal Trio @ Sage Gateshead - March 31


Laura Jurd (trumpet & synth); Elliot Galvin (keyboards); Conor Chaplin (electric bass); Corrie Dick (drums). + Northern Sinfonia Strings.
(Review by Steve H/photos courtesy of Ken Drew).
Just in case you weren’t sure who was who, one group of players entered the stage suited and booted in black evening wear, whilst the other group of players entered in jeans, tee shirts and wooly hats. I have seen Dinosaur several times and always thoroughly enjoyed their exciting creativity and enthusiasm. Maybe they were intimidated by playing with such an auspicious lineup up, but on this occasion I thought the music although enjoyable was not as exhilarating as on previous occasions. Corrie Dick is normally a really powerful, forceful drummer but he seemed to be playing well within himself. In a previous review, I had said that a rendition of Happy Sad Song was one of the highlights of the year, but on Friday it was good, but nothing special in comparison with the quartet only version. Personally, I thought the best piece was played by the quartet with no strings attached.
I am sure that, as an experience, it will certainly help the band to grow to an even more elevated position in current British circles.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

GIJF Day 3: Paul Edis (Solo piano) @ Sage Gateshead - April 2


(Review by Steve T/Photos courtesy of Ken Drew).
Ms Alex is absolutely right, it's the concourse which turns a series of concerts into a festival, and what better way is there to arrive than in the presence of his lordship himself?
Most pianists just do their thing and, if the audience don't get it, that's their fault for being philistines. Not so Lord Paul who knows he's there to entertain as well as educate and has developed into a real master, comfortable, warm and witty in his announcements and in his choice of music.

GIJF Day 3:John Pope Quintet @ Sage Gateshead - April 2

John Pope (bass), Jamie Stockbridge (alto), Faye  MacCalman   (tenor), Graham Hardy (pocket trumpet), Johnny Hunter (drums).
(Review by Steve T)
Having missed them at the Bridge last summer, this was a major fixture in the program for me, without which the Festival would likely have become two gigs over consecutive nights, which isn't that unusual at Sage Gateshead where I often spend three or four consecutive nights.
Coincidentally, Ornette Coleman's Shape of Jazz to Come is on number one son's listening list so, not having heard it for many years, I bought us each a copy. Like probably many others, I saw the great man in Sage One shortly after returning to the North East, which I expected to be an act of homage but was actually excellent, despite being younger and (even) less responsible - I think I may have nodded off during a pocket trumpet or violin part.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Berklee Bound

Young drummer Matthew MacKellar has been offered a place at Berklee, Boston, Massachusetts, the prestigious American music school. Matt made a big and instant impression when he first turned up at Dave Weisser's weekly workshop at the Chillingham pub in Newcastle. Now as a veteran - all of 18 - on the local scene, Matt is a regular participant at the Jazz Cafe's top class jam session.
Well done Matt, from Bebop Spoken Here!

GIJF Day 3: Family Jazz All Stars with Zoë Gilby @ Sage Gateshead - April 2

Zoë Gilby (vocals), Mark Williams (guitar), Andy Champion (double bass) & Richard Brown (drums)
(Review by Russell)
Are you sitting comfortably? 11:00am Sunday morning, the Northern Rock Foundation Hall, Sage Gateshead. A fun and educational concert for the younger jazz fan…one such, Libby, age 6, and another youngster, age 6½ (keen to emphasise the ½), were but two prize winners during an hour of fun and games with Zoë Gilby’s ‘Family Jazz All Stars’. Well behaved grown-ups were welcome to attend if accompanied by a younger jazz fan. Early Sunday perhaps, nevertheless there was a sizeable turn out to hear Zoë Gilby sing songs and conduct a quiz. This Sunday morning jazz fans won prizes!

Jazz Café Jam Session - April 4.

Steve Glendinning (guitar); Paul Grainger (bass); Rob Walker (drums) + Joel Brown (piano); Abbie Finn (drums); Beth Roberts (alto); Matthew MacKellar (drums); Francis Tulip (guitar).
(Review by Lance).
The numbers may have been down on and off stage (Easter hols?) but the quality on stage was most definitely up.
Steve Glendinning, this week's, host, got the ball rolling with It Could Happen to You; God Bless the Child and All the Things You Are. Guitar sounded good as did bass, for whom it would be a long night, and drums, for whom it would be a short night!
"Any jammers in?" asked Steve.
There were in the form of Joel Brown and Abbie Finn. The two took their places at piano and drums respectively and, before you knew it, we were 500 Miles High in North East Corea.

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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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