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Bebop Spoken There

Dave Gelly: “From 1 January 1920, when prohibition was imposed in the US, people didn’t stop drinking, they just stopped drinking legally.” – (Jazz Journal October 2017).

Regina Carter: “When I was a teenager, I would daydream about going out on a date and dancing to Ella’s music.” (Down Beat October 2017).

Today Wednesday November 22

Afternoon
Vieux Carre Jazzmen - Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 3OS. 1pm. Free.

Evening
Take it to the Bridge - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. £1. 8pm.

Billy's Acoustic Blues - Billy Bootleggers, 28 Nelson St., Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free (weekly).

The Village Hall New Orleans Band - Springwell Village Community Venue, Fell Rd., Gateshead NE9 7RP. 8:15pm. £3.

BBC Big Band - Middlesbrough Theatre, The Avenue, Middlesbrough TS5 6SA. 01642 815181. 7:30pm. £24.50.

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

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Thundercat @ O2 Glasgow - November 14

If the West Coast Get Down is a modern-day P Funk, Thundercat is clearly Bootsy Collins, though on stage he looked more like some glitter rock throwback. While all the P Funk bands essentially played funk, there was inevitably loads of jazz, oodles of rock and no small amount of silliness, which belied the undeniable musicality of it all.
The West Coast Get Down, of which Thundercat is an affiliate member, incorporates hip-hop, which is more or less equal parts P Funk James Brown, street funk, reggae DJing and, apparently Gil Scott Heron, jazz, and modern production techniques.

Line-Up Revealed for Gateshead International Jazz Festival 2018

Gateshead International Jazz Festival is back for 2018 and will welcome some of the greatest jazz artists from around the globe at the three-day event. The UK’s biggest jazz festival held under one roof, fills four stages at Sage Gateshead from Friday 6 to Sunday 8 April 2018. Tickets go on sale on Friday 24 November 2017.

The 2018 programme presents jazz artists from right across the spectrum - from exiting emerging talent from the new UK and European jazz scenes to icons of worldwide jazz.

Headlining this year’s festival are Ruby Turner, Maceo Parker, Sun Ra Arkestra, Tony Allen, Norma Winstone, Portico Quartet, The Chris Barber Band and Georgie Fame with The Guy Barker Big Band alongside many other jazz, funk and soul artists from across Europe and beyond.  

Providing the funk and soul will be one of the UK’s most popular soul singers Ruby Turner who will be joined in a great Saturday night double bill by American funk superstar saxophonist Maceo Parker, whose collaborations over the years have included James Brown, Prince, Ray Charles, James Taylor, De La Soul, Dave Matthews Band and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers.

Jam session @ The Jazz Café - November 21

(Review by Russell)
This was a good one, then some! A fortnight earlier the session didn’t quite take off, not so tonight. That’s the nature of the beast, jam sessions aren’t supposed to be this good. The house band, led by master musician, guitarist Mark Williams, shouldn’t be this good, but it was, and is. Newcastle’s jazz community should count itself fortunate to have these guys around – that’s Williams, mainstay bassist Paul Grainger, and the impossibly brilliant Russ Morgan, drums. Who would throw their hat into the ring tonight?

CD Review: The Mark Zaleski Band - Days, Months, Years.

Mark Zaleski alto & soprano saxes, bass. Jon Bean tenor sax. Glenn Zaleski piano & Wurlizer. Mark Cocheo guitar Oscar Suchanek drums. Danny Weller bass (track 6).
(Review by Dave Brownlow.)
This CD release showcases the talents of a group of six musicians who’ve worked together for eleven years without major changes in personnel – a rare situation in the world of jazz today. The second unusual fact about the CD is that the leader plays both saxophone and double bass (NOT at the same time of course!) through the wonders of modern technology – over-dubbing. Mark Zalesky plays alto or soprano sax on all tracks, AND bass on five tracks while regular bassist on “live” gigs Danny Weller, appears on one track. What started about eight years ago - tinkering with a bass as a hobby – has resulted into a situation where Mark Zaleski is accomplished on all three of his instruments and gets calls for gigs with many of the U.S. big names either on bass or sax. As an Educator, Mark has also taught at three Colleges and is also a fine arranger and composer.

CD Reviews: Wadada Leo Smith - Najwa & Solo Reflections and Meditations on Monk

(Review by Steve H)
Wadada Leo Smith has been a veteran of the free jazz scene since the 60’s working in various configurations from solo performances upwards. These two albums reflect his flexibility perfectly one being an ensemble piece the other a solo album.
Najwa
Wadada Leo Smith: trumpet; Michael Gregory Jackson: guitars; Henry Kaiser: guitars; Brandon Ross: guitars; Lamar Smith: guitars; Bill Laswell: electric bass; Pheeroan akLaff: drums; Adam Rudolph: percussion.
This album reminded me a lot of the Miles Davis electronic era featuring up to 4 guitars and with a very forceful bass and percussion undercurrent backing the lead instruments. Apart from the title track  (Najwa)  the pieces are all inspired/dedicated to the giants of modern jazz. 

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The Early Bird Band + Paul Edis @ Blaydon Jazz Club - November 19

The Early Bird Band: James Metcalf (trumpet & flugelhorn), Alex Thompson (alto saxophone), Ryan de Silva (baritone saxophone), Ben Lawrence (piano), Alex Shipsey (bass & double bass) & Dylan Thompson (drums) + Paul Edis (tenor saxophone & flute)
(Review by Russell/Collages courtesy of Roly & Jerry)
What’s that about police officers looking so very young? Arriving at the Black Bull the average age of those on the premises plummeted due to the fact that six young musicians were about to play a gig in the Sunday evening jazz lounge. More than one of the sextet isn’t yet eligible to cast a vote at a General Election (one could be just around the political corner), and the band’s MD, Paul Edis,  can hardly be described as a veteran musician/educator (that’s way into the future).

Jamie Toms & Lloyd Wright @ The Jazz Café - November 17

Jamie Toms (tenor saxophone) & Lloyd Wright (guitar)
(Review by Russell) 
A first Jazz Café gig as a duo by Jamie Toms and Lloyd Wright. They work in music education, they lead and play in a number of bands, this booking was their Friday night out, the proverbial  ‘busman’s holiday’. The Friday night gig on Pink Lane can be problematic, ie a ‘drinking circuit’ culture prevails and, as the Jazz Café is open to all, there are occasions when some are a tad boisterous, and possibly oblivious to the music. Those there to listen to the music grabbed the prime seats at one end of the bar as the seated duo opened with Lou Marini’s Starmaker.

RIP Della Reese (1932 - 2017)

Della Reese passed away on November 19 aged 86. A singer, more soul than jazz, more r & b than soul Della Reese still managed to add a jazz feel to whatever genre she was operating in. Closer to Dinah Washington and Dakota Staton than to Ella and Sassy as a vocalist, the world probably remembers her best as an actress on both large and small screen and it is her association with the longrunning tv drama Touched by Heaven that the American dailies lead with.

Paul Edis @ Jazz café, Newcastle – November 17.

Paul Edis (piano).
(Review by Jazzbelle/Photo courtesy of Brian Ebbatson).

Thirty adults and a child aged one, gathered upstairs in Newcastle’s Jazz Café to hear a lunchtime solo piano recital by Paul Edis.
Disarmingly apologetic, Paul’s modesty belies his outstanding ability as a composer and player. As well as the wonderful set he served up, the audience enjoyed his anecdotal accounts of how his pieces were composed. The sound level for me was just right, slightly amplified.

Monday, November 20, 2017

EP Review: Liane Carroll - Liane at Christmas

We rarely do EPS and we try to avoid Christmas ones in whatever format. However, when it's a Christmas EP by Liane Carroll we do tend to bend the rules a little.
Liane at Christmas is worth bending the rules for as it's as delightful a post-Yuletide coaster as you're likely to receive on Christmas Eve.
Come January 1, maybe even sooner on Boxing Day, it and all the lesser Christmas albums will be forgotten. Sad but true.
And it is sad because this is such a miniature gem that it deserves an all year-round shelf life.
Liane is in fine voice with, not surprisingly, a hint of Aretha or Mahalia hear and there.
The others listed on the sleeve do their allotted tasks just as Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen. did their tasks way back when.
You can listen/buy here from today.
Lance.

Marcus Miller + Ashley Henry Trio @ London Jazz Festival, Royal Festival Hall November 12


Marcus Miller (bass/vocal); Alex Han (alto); Marquis Hill (trumpet); Pasquale Styrizzi (keys); Alex Bailey (drums).
(Review by Jude)
Anyone who knows me and my obsession with Mr Miller will expect more objectification than objectivity from this review, however, I’ll try to keep a cool head.
Blown away by Marcus Miller’s visit to Sage Gateshead, on the Afrodeezia tour, and only one night after seeing Pat Metheny’s storming 2.5 hour slot in Hull, could this live up to our expectations?
Indeed it could. Starting the set with a new and funky tune, Marcus was in upfront mood from the off, rapping on the mic, slapping and soloing as superbly as you would expect. The band, a quintet, is slightly sparser than on the previous British tour, but the groove is, if anything, even more impressive. This was clearly demonstrated in several tracks from the previous album – Hylife (again with Miller vocalising in places), B’s River and the astounding cover of Papa Was a Rolling Stone.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Funchal Fiesta:CD in the Offing? Paul Edis Sextet @ St. Cuthbert’s Centre, Crook, November 17.

Paul Edis (Piano), Mick Shoulder (Bass), Russ Morgan (Drums), Graeme Wilson (Tenor Sax / Flute), Chris Hibbard (Trombone) and Graham Hardy (Trumpet and Flugelhorn).
(Review by Jerry/Photos courtesy of Jerry)
The band started with a standard, Out of Nowhere, despite having memories of getting parking tickets while playing it as an opener at the Whitley Bay Festival! I was there, as Max Boyce used to say. No worries here - Crook is always friendly! The rest of an excellent set-list consisted of originals, some familiar from the sextet’s previous albums, others being “newer tunes” (in some cases totally new to me).

Dee Dee Bridgewater – Cadogan Hall, EFG London Jazz Festival 2017 - November 16

(Review courtesy of Leah Williams, photo credit Giedrė Čėsnaitė)
The one and only Dee Dee Bridgewater doesn’t need any introduction but we were given one anyway, in which she was described as a “music chameleon”. Never was this description so aptly used as, every time I’ve seen her live, it has been something completely different and last night was no exception. Around this time last year, she was at Ronnie’s singing songs in dedication to Billie Holiday and the mood was powerfully melancholic with Dee Dee’s voice out in full jazz standard force. Last night, she was on stage celebrating the release of her new album Memphis….Yes, I’m Ready, looking back at the blues and soul music of her birth town Memphis, Tennessee.

Dutch jazz, French horn, English dates as trio joins Jazz Cafe menu

(Preview by Rob Adams)
The unusually configured trio Kapok appears at the Jazz Café in Newcastle for Jazz North East on Tuesday, November 28 as part of a tour presented by the Jazz Promotion Network’s Going Dutch series in tandem with Dutch Performing Arts.
Kapok features French horn player Morris Kliphuis, guitarist Timon Koomen and drummer Remco Menting and came together by accident in 2012 when Koomen replaced another guitarist who had dropped out of a studio jam session.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The Ubiquitous Mr B and the BBC Big Band

The internationally acclaimed BBC Big Band will be playing a concert at the Middlesbrough Theatre next week conducted by Barry Forgie with special guest, vocalist Jeff Hooper. Hooper, for many years a mainstay of the Syd Lawrence Orchestra is rightly regarded as one of the best big band singers in the UK  whilst the band itself, frequently heard with Clare Teal on BBC Radio and at this year's Proms, contains a host of top-class musicians.
Scheduled to be in the reeds section on the evening will be the ubiquitous Mr B, Alan Barnes, who is more often heard in a small group setting, so the chance to hear him with a big band is an opportunity not to be missed. 
Barnesy’s busy schedule sees him in the northeast again on Friday December 1st to reprise last year’s immensely successful A Christmas Carol at Ushaw College.

The Middlesbrough Theatre gig is on Wednesday November 22nd at 7:30pm. Tickets (£24.50.) are available from the box office on 01642 815181. Mr Barnes is unlikely to appear dressed in Victorian nightgown with the BBC Big Band (see Ken Drew’s photo) but is likely to don the outfit for his gig at Ushaw and he will be bringing with him an all-star (soberly dressed) band.    
Russell          

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Mondo Jazz – New International Jazz Radio Program Hosted by Ludovico Granvassu

Mondo Jazz, a new radio program hosted by Italian-turned-New-Yorker Ludovico Granvassu (Founder and Editor-in-Chief of All About Jazz Italia), has a mission of showcasing international jazz that's not readily available on the US airwaves.

Starting on November 15, 2017, the show will broadcast on Wednesdays from 10 p.m. to midnight via Radio Free Brooklyn.  (See below for additional links to the archives, playlists, Facebook page.  Radio Free Brooklyn is also available through the App Store or via the “Tune-In Radio" app, which can be subscribed to on iTunes.)

Commemorating Dr King

(Preview by Russell)
Yesterday (Monday 13th), exactly fifty years to the day that Martin Luther King visited Newcastle University, a bronze statue of the civil rights activist was unveiled in a courtyard within Armstrong Building (see photo). King’s Quadrangle, as the space is now known, leads onto a corridor from which academics, students and members of the public access King’s Hall. The two metres high bronze, created by Nigel Boonham, was unveiled by Ambassador Andrew Young. Now 85 years old, Young, who served during Jimmy Carter’s American presidency, entered King’s Hall, just as Martin Luther King did fifty years ago, to receive an honorary doctorate.        

Bill Charlap & Stephen Keogh – ‘Here’s to Louis’ Tribute @ Pizza Express Soho - November 9

(Review/photos courtesy of Melody McLaren)
I had been looking forward to the Bill Charlap/Stephen Keogh ‘Here’s to Louis’ tribute concert to legendary Irish guitarist Louis Stewart at Pizza Express last Thursday (9 November 2017), having been a Louis fan since accompanying him, with my husband Ian, on his 2007 tour with the Frank Harrison Trio to launch their ‘You’ve Changed’ CD.  I’d heard Bill Charlap once before in a Ronnie Scott’s duo piano concert with partner Renee Rosnes but was keen to enjoy him in European Jazz Trio format (with bassist Mark Hodgson and drummer Stephen Keogh), to be joined by guitarist Colin Oxley.  I wondered if they might perform tracks from Artfully (2002) or Gift, which featured the EJT and Louis together.

Paul Gowland Quartet does Bird and the Noel Dennis Quartet does Miles @ Bridge Hotel, Newcastle, November 12

Paul Gowland (alto), Jeremy McMurray (piano), Alan Rudd (bass), Ian Hetherington (drums).
Noel Dennis (trumpet, flugelhorn), Paul Edis (piano), Andy Champion (bass), Richard Brown (drums).
(Review by Steve T/Photos courtesy of Ken Drew)
Even my long-suffering wife, with a trip to Hull the night before, Glasgow this coming Tuesday, and the balance of power shifting back to my first love - soul music - knew she didn't stand a chance of getting me out of this one.
She even drove, bringing her curious liking for Bird, her enforced familiarity with Miles and her love, respect and gratitude for his lordship. Bird, Miles and four pints of blonde ale: what's not to like? As it happened, nothing.
I've long admired Paul Gowland's playing from the other side of the Newcastle Jazz Café on jam nights. He kept his intros to a minimum, in the tradition of prickly leaders like Bird and Miles, and I long since stopped trying to rack my brains identifying the titles of particular pieces. I was along for the ride, having a ball with short pieces, concise and effective solos from the sidemen, all of whom acquitted themselves splendidly.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Strictly Smokin’ Big Band @ Seven Arts - November 12

(Review by Russell)
The Strictly Smokin’ Big Band rocked up at 31a Harrowgate Road in the Chapel Allerton suburb of Leeds to play an afternoon engagement at Seven Arts. MD Michael Lamb called upon his A-listers and, with just three deps drafted in, Tyneside’s finest nineteen piece big band was ready to roll. As Seven Jazz regulars arrived for their weekly Sunday afternoon gig the word on the door was that a handful of tickets, no more, remained on sale.

An Evening with Pat Metheny @ City Hall, Hull. November 11

Pat Metheny – guitars (various); Antonio Sanchez – drums and percussion; Linda May Han Oh – acoustic and electric bass; Gwilym Simcock  - piano and keyboard
(Review by Hugh C)
I was first alerted to this concert by an email from Basho Records informing me that Gwilym Simcock would be performing as part of a world Tour by Pat Metheny.  At the time of booking only three dates were available in the UK – London (EFG Festival), Belfast and Hull – additional dates were added subsequently.  I am a distant Metheny follower (having only two of his CDs), but as my wife was heavily involved in her own artistic endeavour over the weekend, it was an ideal opportunity to both hear the man and visit the UK City of Culture 2017.  A few tickets were left so I ended up with a seat at the front of the balcony.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

CD Review: Cheryl Bentyne - reArrangements of Shadows

Just when you thought it was safe to go in to the record store up pops another one! Yes, another singer emerges from the depths. Fortunately, on this occasion, it's Cheryl Bentyne, of Manhattan Transfer who, in reArrangements of Shadows, takes on the daunting task of reimagining songs by the iconic Broadway composer Stephen Sondheim. I say daunting as, unlike the majority of Broadway songsmiths such as Porter, Gershwin, Kern, Berlin etc. Sondheim's works are so specific to the original show that singing them out of context is far from easy. Send in the Clowns is probably the only song in this collection that has prospered in the hands of others...
...until now.

A Taste of Teesside

(Report by Ron Hampton)
The changing Jazz scene on Teesside has resulted in some interesting developments this year. Tees Hot Club, along with guests, have been playing at Dormans Club every Thursday for more than 7 years so it was decided that, in order to add more variation to this Jazz event, to include a monthly Guest Band night. 

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Tomasz Stanko Quartet and Partikel, EFG London Jazz Festival, Cadogan Hall, November 10.

(Review by Mike Collins)
It was over an hour before Tomasz Stanko (trumpet) reached for the mic, his introduction of the band barely audible over the cheers and whoops echoing round Cadogan Hall.  There had been musical announcements as Stanko let fly a conversational flurry of chromaticism, or David Virelles (piano) sketched a few dark chords to direct the band towards the next episode.  This was a remarkable, fluid performance, steadily intensifying over the course of the long set of contrasting moods and textures.
Stanko’s modus operandi is atmospheric and episodic acoustic jazz that encompasses hypnotically grooving, loose-limbed pieces built around fragmentary hooks; languid, deceptively simple melodies with expansive and rich harmony; jagged flurries of notes over racing meters. The accompanying trio, completed by Reuben Rogers on bass and Gerald Cleaver on drums explored every nuance and possibility.

Friday, November 10, 2017

CD Review: Mônica Vasconcelos - The São Paulo Tapes

Mônica Vasconcelos (voice); Ife Tolentino (guitar); Liam Noble (piano); Andrés Lafone (elect. bass); Yaron Stavi (double bass); Marius Rodrigues (drums).
(Review by Lance).
And still they advance - the girls - I'm surrounded, I surrender, although in this case it's a sweet surrender. It may be an album of Brazilian Resistance Songs and even though the lingo is foreign to me, the songs speak for themselves. Just as Italian Opera is best heard in Italian irrespective of how au fait you are with the language, so it is here. The booklet tells those who wish to know what each song is about but I prefer to listen and draw my own conclusion. In truth, treating the vocals as another instrument.

Thursday, November 09, 2017

This Sunday (November 12) @ The Millstone

The Vieux Carre Jazzmen are at The Millstone pub, Haddricks Mill Road, South Gosforth, on Sunday afternoon in the downstairs lounge bar. 
Recently fully-refurbished, it's a traditional pub with wood panelling, carpeted throughout with an inlaid tiled fireplace and lots of comfortable seating. 
It has an extensive menu and you can take advantage of special lunchtime offers (arrive early and try one of their superb Sunday Roasts). 
There's also 8 cask ale hand pulls to choose from - house favourites Bass, Doom Bar and Tyneside Blonde - as well as many locally brewed by Jarrow, Cullercoats, Anarchy, Tyne Bank, Stables, Consett, Mordue, Wylam, Ouseburn Allendale and Maxim Breweries. 
5pm - 7pm.
Brian Bennett.
PS: Special guest with the band is clarinet ace from Johannesburg, South Africa, Roy Burrows (pictured). 

CD Review: Stacey Kent - I Know I Dream - The Orchestral Sessions

Stacey Kent (vocal); Jim Tomlinson (tenor) + 58 piece orchestra.
(Review by Lance).
Yet another woman singer although Stacey Kent is hardly just 'another woman singer'! Over the years, with a shelf full of highly acclaimed albums, her position near the top end of the pecking order is undisputed and this latest one only serves to consolidate that position.
The voice is as silky and appealing as always, not least when she sings in her impeccable French. The nuances of that language, to me, seem to lend themselves to jazz almost as much as the varying shades of the American accent do. Often more so.
The idea of a 58 piece orchestra may seem a daunting prospect to both singer and listener.
Not so. 

2017 British Jazz Awards - Results Announced

After receiving votes more than 5000 jazz fans up and down the country, we are pleased to announce the winners of the 2017 British Jazz Awards.

Now in their 31st year, the British Jazz Awards were established to give the array of talented jazz musicians in this country they deserve by allowing the gig-going, record buying public on they thought the best performers, bands and releases were in the last 12 months, via post and an online survey.

The four nominations in each of the 16 categories were selected by a group of respected figures within the Jazz community, a list of whom is included below. In addition, voters had the chance to vote for any musicians not nominated who they considered worthy of a placing as a ‘write-in’ vote – the highest placed of these from each category are included in the final listings.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Jam session @ The Jazz Café - November 7

Joel Byrne-McCullough (guitar), Paul Grainger (double bass) & Rob Walker (drums) + John Wilson (guitar), John Pope (double bass), Ray Johnson (trumpet), Joel Brown (piano), George Sykes (tenor saxophone), Hazem Mohammad (drums), David Gray (trombone) & Ian Forbes (drums)    
(Review by Russell)
Days after November 5th this Jazz Café jam session produced fewer fireworks than usual. Perhaps the lack of horn players had something to do with it. Trumpeter Ray Johnson led the frontline on his own for quite a while until reinforcements arrived in the form of first-timer George Sykes, tenor, and the all-action David Gray, trombone. Young Joel Brown waited his turn, and veteran modernist Ian Forbes hung around long enough to take a spell behind the traps.

Eris 136199 + Inclusive Principle @ The Bridge Hotel, Newcastle -

Martin Archer (Laptop, keyboard, bass clarinet + sop); Hervé Perez (reeds, electronics); Peter Fairclough (percussion) 
(Review/photos by Ken Drew)
This trio performed here early last year to huge acclaim and it was a very welcome return, this time as part of a Northern Line mini-tour.  Starting with a very quiet introduction with strong rhythms developing from Fairclough on percussion, with both Archer and Perez initially sat in charge of Laptops providing a variety of sampled and created sounds - chimes, animal sounds, birdsong, crashing waves etc along with generated-on-the-fly effects.  The filtered white noise plus the sound of ever-so-close seagulls was a little unnerving for those of us who live on the coast!   After a long slowly developing introduction, the soundscape was still evolving ...... was Perez doing 'live coding'? No matter - it was certainly a live and quite complex set of sounds being created in unison with Archer, and with Fairclough adding to the mix quite gently in the background.  Yet, alongside the two laptop & wind performers, Fairclough never failed to make his mark, giving us a masterclass in percussion often using deceptively simple strokes across the kit with tempos changing at will but always in concert with Archer and Perez.

RIP Frank Holder (1925- 2017)

Circa 1954, Newcastle Odeon, Sunday night jazz concert. Back then, the City Fathers (or was it the Lord's Day Observance Society?) wouldn't allow films to be shown on a Sunday, for what reason I know not. Fortunately, in their wisdom, they decided that whilst films were out, bands were in. This meant that, for a number of years, the Odeon and the Essoldo featured regular Sunday night band concerts showcasing the top bands of the day.
One of these bands was the Johnny Dankworth 7, probably the best modern group in Europe at the time. Apart from players such as Eddie Blair, Eddie Taylor, Eddie Harvey, Don Rendell, Eric Dawson, Bill le Sage and the leader himself, there was also a couple of singers - Cleo Laine and Frank Holder. I can't remember much about Cleo other than that she wore a tight skirt but Frank Holder, I recall, was astounding - not just singing but playing bongoes.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

CD Review: Alex Weitz - Luma

Alex Weitz (tenor); Tal Cohen (piano); Ben Tiberio (bass); Michael Piolet (drums).
(Review by Lance).
I'm not going to claim that this is the Album of the Year - how could I when there are so many?
Nevertheless, it will certainly be a lot nearer than the top than the bottom.
It's an honest album, by which I mean it doesn't hide behind any bizarre electronics and, to my ears, non-musical effects. Instead, we have hard swinging post-bop tenor contrasting with Debussy/Delius-like musical reveries that may hark back to Weitz's early days with the Tucson Jazz Institute Ellington Band where he versed himself in the music of Duke and Basie.

Sarah Vaughan @ Sage Gateshead - The Lost Recordings

The Lost Recordings
(Review by Russell)
Bebop Spoken Here accepted an invitation to attend a private event at Sage Gateshead presented by Devialet and Peter Tyson AV. Paris-based audio technology company Devialet working with the long-established Newcastle-based Peter Tyson AV selected Sage Gateshead as the perfect venue to present a demonstration of high-end hi-fi as guests listened to excerpts from an ongoing project to unearth, restore and make available previously unheard in-concert performances to a discerning audiophile audience.   
Peter Tyson said of the event on line:        

Take an incredibly rare, live recording, restore and remaster the analogue tape to a lacquer, the  ultimate analogue medium,…

adding for the benefit of the local audience:

...and listen to it in beautiful surroundings, in this case, the iconic Sage Gateshead.

Free Soft Machine Legacy Download.

Jazz/Rock legends Soft Machine are set to record a new studio album in December this year to coincide with their first USA tour since 1975. The new tour began in Chicago on October 18 and the recording takes place at Jon Hiseman's Temple Studios in Surrey.
In the meantime, here's a free download sampler of the various Soft Machine Legacy bands.
Lance
FREE DOWNLOAD, direct link:

Monday, November 06, 2017

Jazz Voice – Live Stream Announced - Taking the event to new and fresh audiences across the globe

Friday 10 November | Royal Festival Hall
(Press Release)
Serious are delighted to announce that Jazz Voice, the EFG London Jazz Festival’s signature opening night gala concert, will be live-streamed for the first time across YouTube and Facebook Live.
‘It would be difficult to imagine a more impressive curtain-raiser to the EFG London Jazz Festival than Jazz Voice – the vocal extravaganza features a typically adventurous mix of singers from the worlds of jazz, pop and soul.’ (the arts desk).

Blaydon News

Sunday 19th Nov. @ 8pm. £5.00. Paul Edis, solo piano + the Early Bird Band.
Established in May 2014 at the Lit and Phil as a Saturday morning work-shopping band, the name ‘Early Bird Band’ is in part in recognition of the early morning starts, and Charlie ‘Yardbird’ Parker. Already some fantastic young players have passed through the ranks. Drummer Matt MacKellar is now at Berklee College of Music, Boston. Guitarist Francis Tulip was another amazing talent. Francis has just started his second year on the degree course at Birmingham Conservatoire. The Early Bird’s trombonist Andrew Hedges plays in the Durham County Youth Big Band. Drummer Dylan Thompson (all of fifteen!) is another great prospect. Ben Lawrence plays piano and trumpet. Phillip Grobe plays piano and did a great job playing Ellington’s Sacred Music with Jambone at the Sage and Ushaw in July. Over the last three years, the Early Birds have performed at the Sage, Ushaw Jazz Festival and at numerous other venues. 
The current line-up of the Early Bird Band is as follows:
James Metcalf – trumpet; Ben Lawrence – trumpet & piano; Alex Shipsey – alto sax; Alex Thompson - alto sax; Andrew Hedges – trombone; Phillip Grobe – piano; Alex Shipsey – bass; Dylan Thompson – drums.

Paul Edis needs no introduction...

CD Review: Sinne Eeg - Dreams

Sinne Eeg (vocal); Jacob Christoffersen (piano); Larry Koonse (guitar); Scott Colley (bass); Joey Baron (drums).
(Review by Lance).
Considered the pre-eminent jazz vocalist in Scandinavia, Danish singer Eeg and fellow Dane Christoffersen touched down in Brooklyn and teamed up with three top names on the American jazz scene to record an album that will serve well her ambition to achieve wider recognition on the world stage - a stage that's already overcrowded with female voices. 
Nevertheless, Eeg has the voice for it. Swings lightly, scats gently, takes liberties with the melody, but no more than say Anita O'Day or Sarah Vaughan did and, on top of that, she wrote 6 of the 10 songs, one in cahoots with Mads Mathias - Head Over High Heels. There's also a couple of Cole Porter's (What is This Thing Called Love? & Anything Goes), Rodgers and Hart (Falling in Love With Love) and De Paul and Raye chip in with I'll Remember April. Eeg's songs hold up well alongside those by these GASBOOK GANG heavies.

Sunday, November 05, 2017

You push it son, I’ll play it!

Northumberland Street, Newcastle, Saturday morning. Buskers abound, nothing unusual there. The Rookery arrived from the suburb of Heaton (approximately one mile as the rook flies) with piano in tow. Yes, half a dozen lads out for a jam PUSHED a piano from student land! Pianist, alto saxophonist, two guitarists, a drummer, another handing out flyers (see image) promoting Monday evening’s jam session at Little Buildings in the Ouseburn Valley.
Let’s be clear, this Saturday morning outing wasn’t a jazz jam session, more like a rock ‘n’ roll mash-up. All good fun and on Monday at Little Buildings Rehearsal Rooms on Ford Street the chances are it’ll be more of the same. The Rookery’s guest will be Ojay, the best busking bass player for miles around, admission is three quid, starting at 8:00pm (probably).          
Bebop Spoken Here informed the lads that there is another jam session in town on Tuesday at eight o’clock in the Jazz Café. It’s free admission, turn up early to grab a seat, it’ll be busy.
Russell

Jazz Poetry - A New Project: Poetry by Keith Armstrong; Images by Peter Dixon,

Internationally renowned northeast poet, jazz fan and raconteur, Dr. Keith Armstrong, has combined with artist Peter Dixon to produce some perceptive words and enigmatic images of several of the jazz world's most iconic figures.
Link.
Lance.

The Julija Jacenaite Trio @ The Globe: November 4

Julija Jacenaite (vocals, shakers); Steve Glendinning (guitar); Paul Grainger (bass)
(Review by Ann Alex/Photo courtesy of Huang Wei Ting)
This is my Gig Of The Year, no question about that. It was a brilliant performance by Julija, who also brought out the best from the musicians, who are among the best anyway. I’d seen this lady give great performances at the Jazz Cafe Tuesday jams, dramatic, soulful renditions of songs with which she wowed the audience, but tonight the full force of a totally engaging personality was revealed. Not only did she give wonderfully inventive versions of the songs, but she had the audience joining her in a couple of choruses, she mentioned many audience members by name, she told us all that she was grateful to be performing for us, and she added humour to some song interpretations, even causing Paul to be somewhat embarrassed in a fun way. I’ve rarely seen such effective musical chemistry as there was between Steve on guitar and Julija’s vocals. I feel sorry for people who weren’t present last night, especially women singers, who could learn loads from watching the performance.

Saturday, November 04, 2017

CD Review: Roly Veitch - A Canny Tale Crowley's Crew.

Roly Veitch (vocal/guitar/banjo/uke) + Stewart Hardy (fiddle on 6 tracks)
(Review by Lance).
By the time the final track ended I felt as though I'd lived in Blaydon all my life even though, apart from the various pubs and clubs where Blaydon Jazz Club has, over the years, nested and passing through the town en route elsewhere I'd had little or no connection to the place.
Admittedly, I'd had a pint or two in the Crowley Hotel but had had no idea as to the origins of its name.
Until now.
Roly Veitch has removed his jazz hat and replaced it with a cloth cap and muffler (or whatever the working man wore in Blaydon long long ago) to tell us in song and story of his hometown's industrial past.

Friday, November 03, 2017

Ushaw Ensemble @ The Jazz Café - October 31. A Jazz North East ‘Schmazz’ presentation.

Paul Edis (MD/piano); Andy May (Northumbrian pipes); Ed Cross (violin); Rob Walker (drums); Graham Hardy (trumpet/flugel); Paul Susans (double bass); Graeme Wilson (tenor sax/bass clarinet/flute).
(Review/photos by Ken Drew).


Durham-born Paul Edis was commissioned by Ushaw College in 2016 to write St Cuthbert's Suite, a musical account of the life of St. Cuthbert, and so The Ushaw Ensemble was created. Its world premiere took place on March 18 at Ushaw College and was also performed the following day in Durham Cathedral.
Tonight, we were to be treated to another world premiere. The anticipation of hearing Edis's St Cuthbert's Suite in the second set was heightened by the presentation of a more recent three part suite in the first set. An introductory piece, The Sound of Achill, enabled us to become accustomed to the line-up where the inclusion of violin and Northumbrian Pipes provided a significant folk component to the overall sound, together with compositional elements covering a wide range of musical styles from contemporary classical music to jazz improvisation, with many other influences in between.

Rendezvous Jazz @ St Joseph’s, Birtley - November 2

Maureen Hall (vocals), Gavin Lee (clarinet & alto saxophone), Don Fairley (trombone), Malcolm Armstrong (keyboards), John Robinson (double bass) & George Davidson (drums & vocals)
(Review by Russell)
Alabama Jubilee, Royal Telephone, Alexander’s Ragtime Band. Dixieland and gospel – trademark Rendezvous Jazz. St Joseph’s CMS Parish Centre on Birtley Lane has presented jazz for close on two decades. On an evening such as this draw the Mason-Dixon Line straight through the Borough of Gateshead. Maureen Hall’s raiders set up camp in St Joseph’s concert room. Hall’s lieutentants, Gavin Lee and Don Fairley, sat either side, armed with clarinet and alto saxophone, and trombone. In the platoon’s chuck wagon conscripts Malcolm Armstrong, keyboards, John Robinson, bass, and George Davidson, drums and vocals, were busily cooking up a mighty southern stew.

CD Review: Bob Mundy - Love to Me

Bob Mundy (vocal); Dan Kaufman (piano); Peter Slavov (bass); Mark Ferber (drums); Lage Lund (drums); Sean Harkness (guitar); Dominick Farinacci (trumpet); Joel Frahm (tenor);; Sam Sadigursky (tenor/soprano); Keita Ogawa (percussion); Yves Dharamraj (cello).
(Review by Lance).
I've oft-times commented about the number of girl-singers rolling off the conveyer belt to the point where that piece of machinery must be due for a service and safety check. However, the male side of the factory is under less pressure which, perhaps, is why Bob Mundy comes across so relaxed.
Native New Yorker Mundy, born in Queens and raised on Long Island, began as a pianist and it was when he was playing piano for a variety show he was asked to get up and sing.
That was how it all began.

The Austerity Playbook @ Northern Stage - November 1

(Review by Russell)
Stage 3 at Northern Stage was, at one time, the foyer bar of the then University Theatre. Back then on this very spot on Sunday mornings, the legendary Newcastle Big Band played to full houses. On the very same spot, a then-unknown bass player, Gordon Sumner, played with the big band and an all-conquering Last Exit. Sumner, already known to all by his nickname, headed for the bright lights of London. The rest, as they say, is history. Sting was about to hit the big time.
Fast forward five minutes, in truth several decades. In this Age of Austerity, two academics working at Durham University and Newcastle University have developed a new musical. The Economic and  Social Research Council provided support and as part of Freedom City 2017 – commemorating the visit of Martin Luther King to Newcastle University – the Austerity Playbook took to the stage.

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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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