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Bebop Spoken There

Miles Kington: "If the intake of alcohol fails to improve a jazz player's performance, why do jazz listeners think it improves their appreciation?" - (Jazz Express October 1982).

Barbara Jay: "My first gig was at the Astoria, Charing Cross Rd. It seemed like a den of iniquity to me. All the Soho girls were there and the gigolos with their old women paying them to dance..." - (Jazz UK May 2008.)

Archives.

Today Sunday February 26.

Afternoon.
Mark Williams (solo guitar) - Cherry Tree Restaurant, 9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond, Newcastle. 12:30pm. Free.
More Jam - Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 3pm. Free.
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Blues @ The Bay - Tanner Smith's 17-19 South Parade, Whitley Bay NE26 2RE, 0191 2525941. 4pm. Free. Blues jam w. Scott Wall & Charlie Philp.
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Musicians Unlimited - Park Hotel, Park Rd., Hartlepool TS26 9HU. 01249 233126.1pm. Free.
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Evening
Maine St. Jazzmen - Seaton Sluice Social Club, Collywell Bay Rd., Seaton Sluice NE26 4QZ. 8pm. £4.
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Shaun Henderson Band - Quakerhouse, Mechanics Yard, Darlington. 6pm. £5.
Jazz Jam - Empty Shop, 35c Framwellgate Bridge, Durham DH1 4SY. 7:30pm. Free.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

A Hundred Years Ago Today

It's not often that jazz gets a mention in the Sunday Express but it did today - a near full page spread. The reason? Today, February 26,  marks the centenary of the first ever jazz recording which took place at the Victor studios on the third floor of 46 West 38th St. New York. The Original Dixieland Jazz Band recorded Livery Stable Blues and Dixieland Jass One-Step thus paving the way for what followed although, as we all know, the real innovators were black musicians such as King Oliver and Louis Armstrong.
Although the music has developed almost beyond recognition over the past 100 years there has always been a core of musicians and fans who remained faithful to the early jazz styles.
One such person is trumpet player Carl Spencer. In the 1960s, Spencer formed his Washboard Kings. In 1997 they were revived as Spencer's Nighthawks Orchestra and a five-CD set has been put together by the leader. 122 tracks.
For more info go to http://www.spencersnighthawks.com/cds/
Lance.

CD Review: Theo Bleckmann – Elegy

Theo Bleckmann – voice; Ben Monder – guitar; Shai Maestro – piano; Chris Tordini – double bass; John Hollenbeck – drums
(Review by Hugh C)
German-born vocalist, Theo Bleckmann, now resides in New York.  He has been described as a “sound painter” - on this CD he uses his instrument to create both broad brush strokes and delicate patterns, he has also composed most of the material.  Bleckmann has had a musical association with guitarist Ben Monder and drummer John Hollenbeck for over two decades, but a more recent association with pianist Shai Maestro and bassist Chris Tordini.
Elegy sets out to be an “exploration of death or transcendence in some existential way”.  Bleckmann states that in this album he wants to “create songs that deal with this subject matter not in a morbid way, but with some light to it”.  

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Hand to Mouth: Lindsay Hannon & Bradley Johnston @ The Lit & Phil. February 24

Lindsay Hannon (vocals) & Bradley Johnston (guitar)
(Review by Russell/Photo courtesy of Mike Tilley from archive)
Some projects work from the off, they just do. In so much that this new duo is a ‘project’, there is much to be mined from the Great American Songbook. Lindsay Hannon and Bradley Johnston’s debut performance at the Jazz Café in the autumn of last year attracted a full house and this Lit and Phil lunchtime concert similarly drew a capacity audience.
As last minute additional seating was being put in place to accommodate the growing numbers, guitarist Bradley Johnston observed that his co-performer Lindsay Hannon had disappeared. It could be a solo jazz guitar concert quipped Johnston. Out of nowhere, Ms. Hannon materialised – dressed in black evening gown and pearls, Johnston in regulation Joe Pass accompanist attire. Ellington, Jobim, Arlen…the GASbook. Discerning listeners showed their appreciation – Yeah!

Mo Scott Band @ The Jazz Café - February 24

Mo Scott (vocals); Dave Dryden (guitar); Neil Harland (bass guitar); Paul Smith (drums).
(Review by Lance/Photo courtesy of Mike Tilley).
Jazz gig? Rock gig? Blues gig?
Yes to all three!
The genres drew from each other and merged.
Mo shouts the blues like a woman 3 times her size (to be a blues mama you've gotta tip the scales at, at least, 20 stone) but she can also sing a ballad like the slender chick that she is and when it comes to rockin', Mo's your first call for a Saturday Night Fish Fry.
Well, as it was only Friday, there weren't no fish frying but there was a whole lot of cookin' on stage.
It had been awhile since I'd last heard Mo and, I suppose I felt a bit blasé about the whole affair. Lots of time spent setting up. Jacks plugged in here, others unplugged there. Where was the roadie? the sound engineer? the singer?
Mo was all three!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Doris Day & the Strictly Smokin’ Big Band @ The Millstone. February 23

(Review by Russell/Photo of F'reez from archives).
Dire warnings from the Met Office. Storm Doris was to wreak havoc across the region. Trees would fall, chimney stacks topple and big band fans would stay at home. Isobars and sunny spells may well be the province of weather forecasters but, they don’t know much about the determination of fans of Tyneside’s roaring Strictly Smokin’ Big Band to make it to the Millstone to attend the band’s monthly public rehearsal night.
Days after the SSBB’s exhilarating Jazz Co-op gig with Bruce Adams a number of deps more than made up the numbers on this not-so-stormy Thursday night. Star vocalist Ms Alice Grace begged leave of absence to meet up with her Scarlet Street sisters at a secret location to work on their close harmonies prior to the much anticipated Hoochie Coochie concert with the SSBB on March 19. F’reez had the vocal numbers all to himself. One early highlight – Higher Ground – was, and is, F’reez at his best, the band simmering, a  soulful vocal. Flight of the Foo Birds then BBB, F’reez singing September in the Rain – varied material, all of it quality material. Tito Puente’s Oye Como Va closed the first set.

CD Review: Craig Taborn – Daylight Ghosts

Craig Taborn – piano, electronics; Chris Speed – tenor saxophone, clarinet; Chris Lightcap – double bass, bass guitar; Dave King – drums, electronic percussion
(Review by Hugh C).                                                                
This is native Minnesotan, adoptive New Yorker, Chris Taborn's third ECM release as a leader.  The quartet consists of Taborn with fellow New Yorkers Chris Speed and Chris Lightcap, the foursome being completed by drummer Dave King (also of The Bad Plus fame) who Taborn has known since their days as teenagers in Minneapolis.  Each draw from a broad musical background including rock, electronica and world music as well as jazz and have variously played in each other’s bands for a minimum of 10 years.  This close association enables them to play together in a seamless way.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Chris Sharkey Trio @ The Jazz Café. February 22










Chris Sharkey (guitar), Andy Champion (double bass) & Joost Hendrickx (drums)
(Review by Russell/Photos courtesy of Mike Tilley)
Shiver and trio VD – just two of guitarist Chris Sharkey’s twenty-first century pursuits. A Chris Sharkey Trio debut gig at Newcastle’s Jazz Café played classic jazz material with a focus upon cultural developments in late fifties New York. Miles to Monk, the GASbook and much improvisation, this was Sharkey the restless experimenter in alternative mode.   
Regular collaborators were on the gig with the Gateshead-born guitarist – fellow Geordie, bassist Andy Champion, and drummer Joost Hendrickx. All Blues, A Night in Tunisia – it later occurred to Sharkey that the Jazz Café audience would know the material. Yes, good jam session material (Jazz Café first and third Tuesdays in the month!) explored at length by a virtuosic trio. The visceral power of trio VD absent, this was Sharkey in ‘jazz guitar’ territory, although it was unmistakably Chris Sharkey. Stella By Starlight makes demands on the musician, as does Autumn Leaves – don’t mess too much with the tunes, departing from timeless melodies would be folly and this new project of Sharkey’s paid due respect to the composers featured during the evening.

Jazz Hands Quintet - Black Orpheus

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

HSJF 2016 Berklee Concert Jazz Orchestra

CD Review: Heather Bambrick - You’ll Never Know

Heather Bambrick (vocals, whistling); Mark Kieswetter (piano); Ross MacIntyre (bass); Davide DiRenzo (drums, perc); Rob Piltch (guitar); Chase Sanborn (trumpet, flugelhorn); John Johnson (saxophones); Guido Basso (flugelhorn on 2 tracks)
(Review by Ann Alex)
I don’t remember reviewing a CD from a Canadian singer before today. Hailing from the land of Joni Mitchell and the McGarrigle sisters, Heather Bambrick has a lot to live up to, and she compares well with her countrywomen, though she is, of course. doing a different type of singing. Ms Bambrick has been active musically for 20 years, as an award-winning vocalist, voice actor, broadcaster and educator. She has performed internationally with many other artists, including Ian Shaw, who is well known to Tyneside, audiences and, of course, much further afield. The material on the CD ranges from swinging jazz standards, pop songs, an original Bambrick penned song, a Kurt Weill number and even a folk song. The voice is very pleasing and versatile and the musicians are well accomplished. And you get good value from the CD which has 14 tracks.

A Highlight of the Year – the Great North Big Band Jazz Festival (March 3-5)

(Preview by Russell)
The first long weekend in March marks the return of the annual Great North Big Band Jazz Festival (Mar 3-5). For many years staged in Sunderland, this 2017 edition will take place in nearby Chester le Street. More than thirty big bands will converge on Park View Community Centre located just off Front Street. Several bands travel considerable distances to compete for the National Glass Centre commissioned trophies in an event which has attained national prominence in the world of big band jazz. Schools, youth and senior bands engage in fierce but friendly rivalry making the GNBBJF one of the highlights of the year.

Jazz Café Jam Session - February 21

Mark Williams (guitar); Paul Grainger (bass); Russ Morgan (drums) + Michael Lamb (trumpet); Vince Webb (piano); Alex Moniakis (guitar); Paul Gowland (soprano).
(Review by Lance).
Possibly because it was half-term, there were fewer jammers than usual this week. However, although lacking in quantity, there was no shortage of quality which meant that those who did play had more opportunity to shine rather than the normal wham bam thank you, ma'am, next please situation that inevitably occurs.
Thus, after a few numbers, the trio were joined by Michael Lamb who, no doubt inspired by Saturday's big band session with Bruce Adams, was on fire. I Love You; Long Ago and Far Away and September in the Rain were right on the money. Vince Webb, last here on that memorable evening when Eric Burdon's backing band turned up,  sat in on piano for Days of Wine and Roses and Tadd Dameron's Ladybird. Impressive!

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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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