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Bebop Spoken There

Bob Dawbarn (review of Joe Harriott's LP 'Free Form'): "Both horns scream and roar away, Keane at times doing a pretty fair imitation of an elephant angry with its keeper." - (Melody Maker, December 16, 1961).

Steve Race: "The non-musician critic knows how music ought to sound. But he cannot possibly know how it feels to create it. He is in the position of the marriage guidance counsellor who has never been married." – (Jazz News, June 6th 1962).

Archives.

Today Friday July 28

Afternoon
Rendezvous Jazz - The Black Horse, Front St., Monkseaton, Whitley Bay NE25 8DP. 1pm. Free.
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Jo Harrop Quartet - Gala Theatre, Millennium Place, Durham DH1 1WA. 1pm. £5. SOLD OUT!
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Ian Simpson & Stu Dawson - Vicolo, Pilgrim St., Newcastle NE1 6QG. Free. 8pm. Acoustic blues.
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Evening
Mick Donnelly & James Harrison - Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 9pm. Free.
The Resonators - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St., Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.
Hackney Colliery Band - Sage Gateshead. 8pm. £18. Some very hip cats!
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Jo Harrop Quartet - Ushaw College, nr. Durham DH7 9RH. 7:30pm. £7.
Pocket Jazz Orchestra - The Ship, 50 High St., Wolviston, Billingham TS22 5JX. 9pm.
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Steve Bone - Al Forno, 81 Skinnergate, Darlington DL3 7LX. 7pm.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

JJ's Back in Town

Monday night, the only game in town is at the Prohibition Bar in Gateshead and it's a BIG ONE!
Julija Jacenaite, Lithuania's gift to the world of jazz, appears at the railway arch speakeasy with her quartet.
JJ has been causing a sensation in recent weeks at the local jam sessions and the question everyone is asking is "When can we see her on a gig?"
Well, the wait is over. Monday, July 31 at the Prohibition Bar, Arch 3, Brandling St., Gateshead NE8 2BA sees Julija socking it to them alongside Joel Brown (keys); Paul Grainger (bass) and Matt MacKellar (drums). I'm not sure what time the show starts but the doors open at 7pm which, as it's a compact venue, might be a good time to get there so you can grab a seat. 
And it's free! Although donations will be welcomed and, after you've heard her, you certainly won't begrudge whatever you can afford.
And it doesn't end there either. 
Empty Shop, Framwellgate Bridge, Durham DH1 4SY August 13 @ 4pm. The Matt MacKellar Trio with Julija Jacenaite...
Lance.

CD Review: Maciek Pysz & Gianluca Corona - London Stories

Maciek Pysz & Gianluca Corona (guitars)
(Review by Lance).
That jazz is an international language has rarely been more personified than in this Polish/Italian meeting of like minds.
Two masters of the art of unamplified playing, feeding off each other to transform a duo into a single entity. Musical Siamese twins if you like.
Pysz, who created such a wave of enthusiasm when he played at the Globe a couple of years back, fluctuates between classical and acoustic guitar whilst Corona plays classical throughout.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Nest Egg for the Early Birds

(By George MacKellar)
The generosity of the North East Jazz community (both in terms of spirit and resources) has been well known to your correspondent for several years. Such generosity manifests in the warm welcomes given both to those wish to make music and to those (like myself) who sit and listen; in the gracious way in which the seasoned veterans give way to jam session sitters-in; in the encouragement given throughout the community to the next generation of jazz musicians; in the thoughtful tributes paid to those who have completed their journey; and in the willingness to contribute financially and in kind to the greater good.

Book Review: Dear Reflection: I Never Meant To Be A Rebel - Jessica Bell

(Review by Ann Alex)
Ms Bell, an Australian woman who lives in Athens, is an award-winning author, poet, creative writing teacher, graphic designer, singer, songwriter, and musician. She also co-founded Vine Leaves Press and she writes for various language teaching publishers. She is the daughter of Erika Bach, who with her partner Demetri Vlass, founded two of Melbourne’s iconic indie bands, Ape The Cry and Hard Candy.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Live from ronnie scott's: The Bad Plus. Live stream - Thursday 27th July @ 8.15pm (BST)

Continuing its commitment to providing a worldwide audience the opportunity to experience world class jazz and exclusive shows through its programme of live video streaming, Ronnie Scott’s will live-stream the final night of The Bad Plus this Thursday.
The Bad Plus bend the rules in their own way, drawing on classical, rock and jazz to create their own febrile sound that is as invigorating now as it was when they released their eponymous debut album in 2001.

CD Review: Wendy Kirkland Quartet - Piano Divas

Wendy Kirkland (piano/vocals); Pat Sprakes (guitar); Paul Jefferies (bass); Steve Smith (drums) + Gary Grace (vocal on 1 track).
(Review by Lance).
Pianist/singer Kirkland and her henchmen came up with the idea of putting together a show based on the work of the various great pianist/singers such as Krall, Simone, Blossom, Horn, Elias and others. In the years to come, some other pianist may repeat the exercise the only difference being that whoever does it will have added Wendy Kirkland to the list - she's that good!
The Chesterfield - two CDs in a row from the Peak District! Must be something in the Derbyshire air!* - chanteuse opens with Come Dance With Me. From bar one I sensed that this lady was something special and when I heard the piano solo my suspicions were confirmed.
Class!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Key Moments 2


Following on from David Brownlow's Key Moments, here are a few of mine...
At the Jazz Band Ball by Muggsy Spanier and Intermission Riff by Stan Kenton hit me simultaneously which was all wrong.  Back then it had to be either one or the other. If you liked Dixieland then you turned your nose up at Progressive Jazz and vice versa. Likewise, if you went for the Bunk Johnson/George Lewis brand of New Orleans it was heresy to even mention Bird or Diz in the same breath. Today there are still pragmatists in both camps who maintain this tunnelled vison approach.
Birth of the Blues by Frank Sinatra. One of his last recordings for Columbia before moving over to Capital and those classic long-players: Wee Small Hours, Swingin’ Lovers, Swingin’ Affair etc. Birth of the Blues was important inasmuch as it removed Guy Mitchell, Eddie Fisher, Johnny Ray from my record shelves. The B (flip) side, Why Try to Change me Now?, remains the benchmark for ballad singing.

Jason Isaacs & The Ambassadors of Swing @ Hoochie Coochie - July 23

(Review by Russell)
Warren at the decks mixing bass-heavy soul grooves with chart-topping soul 45s, cocktail mixing at the bar, the Hoochie Coochie vibe was lazy Sunday afternoon. The Ambassadors of Swing were in the house, primed, pumped and ready to go. Mr Isaacs’ fan club occupied booths and precious few bar stools, many dressed to look good on the dance floor.
Dressed in black the Ambassadors of Swing took to the stage. These guys have played everything, played everywhere, and performed with anyone who is, or was, somebody. When they get down to business they are just that… ’the business’. To the opening of Wonderwall Jason Isaacs strolled out to a hero’s welcome. Sharp suit, Vegas Strip polished shoes, Jason Isaacs’ whirlwind performance is a masterpiece in choreography allied to the tightest of bands taking its cue from MD Darren Irwin as the main man charms his audience. Welcome to the Church of Music says Isaacs. The Hoochie Coochie congregation cheers as the band goes into Beyond the Sea. Isaacs’ show is non-stop, it’s a revue combining jazz and pop standards – meat and drink to the Ambassadors of Swing – with a few of Elvis’ hits. As Bebop Spoken Here is a jazz blog, one mention of the bloke last seen down at the chip shop is mention enough.

Maine Street Jazzmen @ Seaton Sluice Social Club – Final Performance July 23

(Requiem by John T)
A sad night at the Sluice. A continuing low turnout (in the low 20s) has forced Herbie to call it day for this long running monthly gig.
The low turnout did not phase the band and they got a standing ovation at the end. Two fantastic one-hour sets.
Jim McBriarty and Bob Wade did the two Clarinet thing With Creole Love Call, ably supported by Herbie Hudson on harmonica. See attached photo. Smashing arrangement, each musician having a great empathy for the others. Overall, this band just gets better and better.

Teesside on Tyneside - Jazz Café, July 28

(Photos from BSH archives)
Another mega treat coming for ye Geordie lads and lasses. Two of Teesside's finest coming up, to show you how it should be done. The real thing is unimaginably better than what my camera can capture. Get yeself there bonnie lads and lasses. 
New to Live Music on Teesside? Send your email to go on my early notification list.
Email me at; liveatthemanor@gmail.com

John Nesbitt

Sunday, July 23, 2017

William Bell and the state of soul music. The SummerTyne Americana Festival, Sage Gateshead, July 22.

(Review by Steve T)
Without checking, this was much the same set as I reviewed at the Barbican last November. While that was at the London Jazz Festival, under the umbrella of Black Music, this was the SummerTyne Americana Festival, under the umbrella of American Roots Music, reflecting the changing times.
I'm old enough to remember the time when most people agreed with Muddy Waters, that the blues had a baby and called it rock and roll. Nowadays rockabilly is considered the most prominent strand of rock and roll and came from country and western.
Soul music emerged primarily from blues and gospel, but more recently the country element has become greatly exaggerated with the discovery, by the BBC, Mojo and writers like Guralnick, that many of the musicians, songwriters and producers were southern whites, even though virtually all of the artists, including all of the greats were black. 

Festival Time in Leeds

Holly Thackery of Seven Jazz has asked me to spread the word regarding a couple of jazz festivals coming up in Leeds in the near future. Now, whilst describing them as festivals might be stretching things a little bit there does appear to be enough happening to attract Snake Davis' multitude of fans to Leeds and Dave O'Higgins' devotees to Chapel Allerton. Plus, there are quite a few freebie events that look very appealing. Open Letter to Mingus is one and Slide Area another. There are also workshops, bluesmen and maybe, just maybe the sun will shine!
For further details click on the posters or visit: Seven Jazz's Jazz Leeds Festival and Chapel Allerton's Village Jazz Festival.
Lance

Big Chris Barber Band @ Alnwick Playhouse - July 22

Chris Barber (Trombone, Vocals); Bob Hunt (Trombone, Trumpet); Mike Henry (Trumpet, Cornet); Peter Rudeforth (Trumpet); Nick White, Trevor Whiting (Saxophones); Bert Brandsma (Clarinet, Tenor Sax); Joe Farler (Banjo, Guitar); Jackie Flavelle (Bass, Bass Guitar); John Watson (Drums).
(Review by George Watt).
From New Orleans styles to Duke Ellington, last night, The Chris Barber Band played with tremendous skill and presentation at the Playhouse in Alnwick. We were treated to classics such as Bourbon Street Parade, A really beautiful rendition of Petite Fleur, by Nick White and a fantastic presentation of The Saints by the whole band. Many more favourites gave a privileged audience a truly memorable evening.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

SummerTyne Americana Festival 2017: Merle Haggard’s Strangers @ Sage Gateshead - July 21

Ben Haggard (guitar, vocals); Noel Haggard (guitar, vocals); Norm Hamlet (pedal steel); Eddie Curtis (bass guitar).
(Review by Ann Alex)
This band went down well to a full capacity Sage Two. None of the songs were announced because I guess, most of the audience knew the material. The musicians played the instruments well, with occasional short solos during songs, probably improvised, and the singing was good. The audience joined in occasionally with a few lines of songs, and some clapping. The mood was one of easy, relaxed listening. Ben and Noel are the sons of the late Merle Haggard, who died last year aged 79. The sons paid tribute to their father during the show.
So why wasn’t I quite happy and at ease, like the rest of the listeners? I’m not the best person to be reviewing a band such as this one, as I don’t especially like the content of the songs presented. This is what I call ‘cowboy’ music, and I don’t mean that description as an insult, but simply as a description. The lyrics portray a kind of freewheeling ‘cowboy’ feel, which I suspect never actually existed in real life.

Alice Grace Trio @ Bishop Auckland Town Hall - July 21.

Alice Grace (voice); James Harrison (keys/accordion); Paul Grainger (bass).
(Review by Steve T/Photos © Mick Shoulder)
It's been said countless Tymes that [Ooh ooh ooh] Ms Grace is the satin of the human race, and Bishop Auckland was in for a real treat this lunchtime.
Work and family commitments meant that I've missed the last couple of gigs here but roving eyes and ears Tony Eales, says it's currently touching the twenty mark, which is getting there but, when you look around at the lit up faces, you wish you could get to the rest, you just know they would love it if they only knew about it. (Editor: Perhaps BSH should hire a light aircraft and do a propaganda leaflet drop over Bishop. Council funded of course).
Alice has a beautiful, clear, voice, comfortable across her significant range, including the high notes; she does some Sassy Jazz and is a mistress of the art of scatting.

Americana’s Ten Gallon Stetsons met with a noisy reception

(By Russell)
If it’s summertime it must be SummerTyne. Sage Gateshead’s biggest festival of the year opened for business at noon on Friday (July 21st) on the Jumpin’ Hot Club’s Performance Square outdoor stage. Street food stands (including Wylam Brewery) did a roaring trade all day long, the rain held off (more or less), and inside, Sage Gateshead’s concourse couldn’t have been more crowded. A private reception for some in the bar located outside Sage Two, the masses sought vantage points to enjoy the Stax Academy Revue’s opening set at six thirty. William Bell’s band (minus the man!) played at ear-splitting volume and there was no escape from it other than to step outside.

Ruth Lambert Quartet @ The Lit & Phil - July 21

Ruth Lambert (vocals), Dean Stockdale (piano), Michael Dunlop (double bass) & Russ Morgan (drums)
(Review by Russell/Photo © Brian Ebbatson)
I’ve Got the World on a String, and so she had. This packed house at the Lit and Phil rolled up to hear the GAS book interpreted by one of its great interpreters. Ruth Lambert arrived in good time, time enough to sit at the piano to play and sing for her own amusement. The band arrived in due course; first Guildhall student bassist Michael Dunlop. A first meeting between the pair, Dunlop a dep recommendation by Lambert’s peers. Drummer Russ Morgan parked outside to off load then drove off to find a parking meter. Pianist Dean Stockdale strolled in. The quartet got into a huddle to agree on a programme as the audience took its many seats in the Loftus Room.

CD Review: Gavin Barras – The Family Tree

Gavin Barras (double bass); Jeff Guntren (tenor); Jim Faulkner (guitar); Dave Walsh (drums) + (on 2 tracks) Gavin Barras (acoustic guitar); Rhiannon James (viola); Margit van der Zwan (cello).
(Review by Lance).
“Best known for his work with trumpeter Matthew Halsall” says the blurb. And it’s true. Barras has appeared with Halsall in the locality [NE UK] over recent years. However, the bassist/composer’s most recent visit was as part of the Dean Stockdale Trio with whom he excelled.
He excels here too performing his own compositions all of which have family connections in one form or another.
Perhaps the strongest family connection is the instrument Barras is playing – a double bass crafted by his father, luthier Steve Barras. Not surprisingly, the album is dedicated to Steve.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Key Moments...

Bassist and occasional contributor to these pages, David Brownlow, has been thinking back to some of the key jazz moments that impacted on him over the years both as a listener and a player. He mentions some of them here and hopes that other readers will follow suit with their thoughts. 
The 60s to the Noughties saw many visiting stars in concert - Diz, Stitt, Hawk, Eldridge, Peterson, Ray Brown, Kessel, Brubeck, MJQ, Ellington, Hi-Los, Ella, Gil Evans, Miles, Trane, Dolphy, Elvin Jones, Ronnie Scott, Stan  Tracey, Mick Mulligan/George Melly, Keith Jarrett & 'Standards Trio' and others not-quite so memorable !
Circa 1970s    Met Red Rodney [pictured left with Bill Harper] at the Corner House.    Rodney played with Bird !!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Wire Salon: An Audience with Val Wilmer (Café Oto)

(Text & blackboard image © AJ Dehany); (Images of Val Wilmer © Fabio Lugaro)*
Val Wilmer has given us some of the twentieth century’s most distinctive images of jazz musicians. With a journalistic commitment to the truth of her subjects and an artist’s eye for a memorable picture, her photographs portray the stars of the music as both working players and living people. Since the early 1960s the writer and photographer has interviewed and photographed everyone from Louis Armstrong to Sun Ra in a colourful and fascinating life.
We could have devoted an evening just to her activity in the women’s movement; in 1983 she started Format, the first all-women photographic agency. At Café Oto, in conversation with Tony Herrington, publisher of The Wire magazine, the talk mostly concerned her involvement with the avant-garde jazz scene of the sixties in London and New York, and her travels around the blues heartlands in the U.S. Deep South. She selected just seventeen images to project up. “It’s worse than Desert Island Discs — what do you show?”    

Jam session @ The Jazz Café - July 18

(Review by Russell)
A jam session debut for Stuart Collingwood. Been there, done that, has Stuart, so this jam session held no fears. Ain’t Misbehavin’ (true, he wasn’t), A Foggy Day (anything but), Come Rain or Come Shine, proper piano playing, likewise bass and drums courtesy of Paul Grainger and Russ Morgan.   The evening’s ‘guests’ as Collingwood called them – the sitters-in – were rather thin on the ground, at least initially.
One such sitter-in who clocked-on early was Newton Aycliffe-based drummer Abbie Finn. On hearing the news that Ms Finn was in the house, one of the house rhythm section said: Oh, good! Finn played a few numbers, stood down, to return later. First Russ Morgan then Abbie Finn, a frighteningly high standard had been set. A glance around the room…Where had all this lot come from? Suddenly a thinly populated Jazz Café was now heaving. Why settle for two fabulous drummers when you can have four? The Matts had arrived.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

CD Review: Katie Thiroux – Off Beat.

Katie Thiroux (double bass/ vocals); Ken Peplowski (clarinet/tenor); Roger Neumann (tenor/ soprano); Justin Kauflin (piano); Matt Witek (drums.)
(Review by Dave Brownlow)
Katie Thiroux, a young bassist/vocalist already has an impressive musical background. On her CV is a degree from Berklee College of Music and a master's from California State University. Since then, she has worked with such fine musicians as Billy Taylor, Branford Marsalis, Bill Cunliffe, Geri Allen, Charles McPherson, Ken Peplowski, Mundell Lowe, Teri Lynne Carrington, Lewis Nash, Jeff Hamilton and many others. This is a follow-up album to her debut CD (Introducing Katie Thiroux 2015) and is thoroughly enjoyable, entertaining, swinging, uncomplicated yet sophisticated, full of variety and the essence of jazz “the sound of surprise.”

Kathryn Tickell and Superfolkus @ Lindisfarne Village Hall – July 16.

Kathryn Tickell (Northumberland pipes, fiddle), Sophie (fiddle, guitar), Scott (guitar, piano, mandolin), Michael (accordion), Will (percussion, mandolin).
Guests: Abby, Mike Tickell (voice), Rory (piano). 
(Review by Steve T.)
When the tide comes in Holy Island is another country, they do things different there. One lady told us that the pubs stay open late in summer but close early in the middle of July. I hoped the Wicker Man would be on the box to really spook Mrs T. Whether summer or mid-July, headline acts play in the afternoon so the queer folk who cross the causeway don't get stuck.  
Bebop Spoken Here is a North East Jazz site and many will claim Ms. Tickell has nothing to do with Jazz and I wouldn't totally disagree, despite her exploratory nature, her experimenting with unusual (for folk) instruments, room for improvisation in the frequent jigs and no small amount of virtuosity.
She has also written, recorded and performed with British jazz sax ace Andy Sheppard which remains in her set, whether Superfolkus or the Side.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Ruth calls in the deputies!

Ruth Lambert's lunchtime gig on Friday at the Lit and Phil will feature a couple of deps. Top class pianist Dean Stockdale steps in, replacing guitarist Mark Williams, and former Jambone bassist Michael Dunlop, currently studying at the Guildhall, will be in town to work with Ms Lambert. It's a one o'clock start, £5.00 on the door. Arrive early, it's sure to be busy.
Russell
 Stockdale photo courtesy of Ken Drew/ Dunlop photo from archives.

Duke Ellington’s Sacred Concert: Jambone & Quay Voices with Zoë Gilby, Matt Anderson & Colette Serrechia @ Sage Gateshead - July 16

(Review by Russell)
This Young Musicians’ Programme concert, the second of two performances, presented the music of Duke Ellington’s Sacred Concerts in Sage One, Sage Gateshead’s magnificent, 1700 seats, state of the art concert hall. The project had been long in the making with frequent rehearsals over many months. A successful first performance took place on Saturday afternoon at Ushaw, Durham (photo by Kate Edis), in the splendour of the former seminary’s chapel, and this Sunday evening concert concluded a weekend of music making under the aegis of the Young Musicians’ Programme (YMP).
Paul Edis and Matt Beckingham tutored respectively Jambone and Quay Voices (Jambone is Sage Gateshead’s youth jazz orchestra, Quay Voices the youth choir) throughout the 2016-17 academic year, culminating in this weekend of memorable public performances. Featured guests worked with Edis and Beckingham throughout the year and their participation in the project should, perhaps, be viewed as a contribution of equal, rather than superior, value to orchestra and choir.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Colin Aitchison & Friends @ Blaydon Jazz Club - July 15

Colin Aitchison (trumpet & vocals); Franco Valussi (clarinet & vocals); Steve Andrews (clarinet, tenor saxophone & baritone saxophone); Roly Veitch (guitar) & Alan Rudd (double bass) + Olive Rudd (vocals) & Neville Sarony (vocals)
(Review by Russell)
A Zez Confrey tune to open proceedings; Stumbling written in 1922 (with thanks to Steve Andrews’ encyclopedic knowledge of the composers and musicians of the era!). This Blaydon Jazz Club gig, at the Black Bull as usual, was something of a departure in being a first ever lunchtime promotion. The unavailability of the room on the preferred Sunday evening necessitated the change, and fears of a low turn out were soon allayed as regulars rolled up bolstered by a large contingent from Hong Kong.

Mia Webb & Roy Willis @ New Ship Inn, Cleadon – July 14













Mia Webb (vocals); Roy Willis (guitar); Colin Aitchison (muted trumpet, vocals); Franco Valussi (clarinet); Neville Sarony (vocals)
(Review by Ann Alex)
I’d finally made it to this gig which takes place quite near to my home in South Shields and I wasn’t disappointed. And there was the added bonus of meeting Lance’s friend Colin, over from Hong Kong, who is a BSH legend. Ms Webb is a very talented and experienced vocalist, Roy Willis was superb on guitar, then there was the added pleasure of a smooth, liquid clarinet, Colin’s rich, lively trumpet and also a song or two from Neville Sarony, (also visiting from the Orient) who has a fine tenor voice. I was a bit puzzled by the use of a backing tape of piano bass and drums, which the band could well do without, as they have enough skill without any assistance, but the tape didn’t detract too much from the enjoyment.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

CD Review: Brent Laidler - No Matter Where Noir.

(Review by Lance)
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Intro and dialogue.
(Telephone rings)
"Miami - 1959"
"Hello?"
"Oh Good, You're still there!"
Her voice was well modulated but somewhat breathless with an accent I couldn't place.
"So what can I do for you?"
"Your ad in the phone book says you specialize in missing persons, are you any good at it?"
"I'd like to think so. So who's missing and how long have they been gone?"
"Me. I mean... I don't know."
Most 'Persons' cases start out pretty simple. This didn't seem to be one of them.

Matthew's Farewell Jazz Party @ the Jazz Café (Upstairs & Downstairs) - July 13

(Further thoughts by Steve T)
The day began a little earlier for me, the ongoing search for an amp FDT is wholly happy with and arrangements for a first and last-minute run through for a band who've never played together. In fact, Michael and Joel have never played with each other at all and it continues to amaze me that Jazz musicians, even so young, can do this.
Ben Lawrence has been exploring the possibilities of the classic Fender Rhodes sound, which is exciting for a self-confessed piano trio philistine like me, reared on seventies Jazz-funk when it was so prevalent but, here restricted to the downstairs upright acoustic piano, he gave for me the best performance yet of this combo to watch, his original standing up with a classic and a current big-name American.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Benny Benack III - A guy worth checking out.

(After reading this press release of Benny Benack III, I was curious to discover more - and I'm pleased that I did. Singing or blowing trumpet this young man proves that all of the young talents don't come out of Newcastle. Some even come from across the pond in New York. Check him out here. - Lance.)
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(Press release)
Benny Benack III, a young and multi-talented Pittsburgh native and denizen of the New York jazz scene. He is never one to limit himself. He is both an affable and expressive jazz singer and a formidable, modern-minded trumpeter, and these elements of his musical self are deeply and effortlessly intertwined. On One of a Kind, his debut release, Benack also reveals himself to be a wry and expressive songwriter and lyricist, bringing his boundless musical gifts together in a program that’s steeped in tradition but every bit as restlessly individual as his album title suggests.

Matthew MacKellar’s Farewell Jazz Party @ the Jazz Café - July 13 (Upstairs)

(Review by Russell)
At the conclusion of the opening downstairs’ set (see BSH Editor-in-Chief’s review), fed with crisps and sausage rolls and watered (the bottled variety), your correspondent dashed upstairs to catch a set by the Early Bird Band (BSH Editor-in-Chief’s entourage arrived in the their own time). Dr Edis brought along a liquorice stick and took his place alongside the Earlier Birders as they opened with Four. The regular line-up (more or less) made the gig…James Metcalf (trumpet); Ben Lawrence (trumpet); Matthew Downey (guitar); Phillip Grobe (keyboards), Alex Shipsey (bass) & Dylan Thompson (drums). Matthew Downey featured playing his Gibson on Nature Boy and Blues Walk capped a short, sharp set with the young man of the moment – Matthew MacKellar – replacing the impressive Dylan Thompson for one last blast with the Early Bird Band.

Matthew MacKellar's Farewell Jazz Party @ the Jazz Café - July 13 (Downstairs)


Matthew MacKellar's farewell do was quite a lavish affair with crisps, sausage rolls and other party nibbles adorning the tables plus, naturally, plenty music to sooth the savaged breast.
Both floors of the popular Pink Lane bopperie were utilised as friends, family, and the various bands the young drummer has enhanced, wished him well on his voyage into the unknown or, to be more precise, Berklee College of Music.
As the happenings were on two levels it was decided that I should cover the lower deck and my worthy constituent Russell the flight deck.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

CD Review: Liane Carroll - The Right To Love

Liane Carroll (vocals/piano); Mark Edwards, Malcolm Edmonstone (piano); Mark James (guitars); Kirk Whalum (sax); Loz Garratt, Roger Carey (bass); Ralph Salmins, Russell Field (drums)  Which tracks each musician played on is not stated.
(Review by Ann Alex).
Blogmaster Lance handed me this CD for review, casually declaring that I’d have few problems in dealing with it, but he failed to mention that it was a real gem. He gets so many of these CDs, poor lamb. I reckon that the 27 bus should do the next review.  But less of this nonsense.  Liane Carroll, a resident of Hastings, is a stellar singer and pianist (classically trained from the age of 3), whose vocals are ‘deeply soulful, wonderfully honest’, as quoted by The Times newspaper. The Right to Love is Ms. Carroll’s tenth CD, and it was produced and recorded by James McMillan in his studio in Hastings.

Abbie Takes Gold in Finn Class

(Report by Russell)
Durham County Youth Big Band to Leeds College of Music to NYJO Academy Big Band to Trinity Laban, drummer Abbie Finn first emerged as a contender at the wonderful Great North Big Band Jazz Festival. A few short years later Abbie has recently graduated from Leeds College of Music with a 1st Class Honours Degree. A teenage award winner at the GNBBJF in Sunderland, Abbie went on to form college bands (gigging on home turf in Darlington, most recently with a quartet at this year’s Darlington Jazz Festival), working with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra’s Academy Big Band, and now, as a graduate, is to embark upon further study at London’s prestigious Trinity Laban.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Vieux Carré Jazzmen & Guests @ Crescent Club, Cullercoats

Bob Wade (trumpet); Jim McBriarty (clarinet/tenor/vocal); Laurence McBriarty (trombone); Brian Bennett (banjo/vocal); Ollie Rillands (drums/vocals); Bill Colledge (bass guitar) + Neville Sarony (vocal); Miles Watson (vocal); Colin Aitchison (trumpet/vocal); Franco Valussi (clarinet).
(Review by Lance/photo courtesy of Colin Aitchison).
The annual visit by 'Our Man in Hong Kong' - ex-pat Colin Aitchison - and his Ned Kelly's escapees never fails to liven up the local scene. This afternoon, at the Crescent Club, Colin, Franco and Neville slotted into the Vieux Carré Jazzmen's line-up with ease making for a very enjoyable lunchtime session.
The VCJ set the scene with I'm Beginning to See the Light, McBriarty, the younger, taking the vocal and blowing fine tenor. Bourbon Street Parade reminded me of the Breda Jazz Festival back in the 1980s when it seemed to be practically the Dutch national anthem. Bob Wade and McBriarty, the elder. shone. 

Tom Rivière Family Band @ TESTT Space, Durham - July 11

Kim Macari (trumpet), Riley Stone-Lonergan (tenor saxophone), Tom Rivière (double bass) & Steve Hanley (drums)
(Review by Russell)
The Empty Shop’s satellite venue on North Road, Durham is a temporary affair as the bus station building is to be demolished in another major redevelopment in the city. Visual artists are tenants alongside other ‘creatives’ until such time as they’re given notice to quit. A makeshift performance space on the second floor (no stage, blacked-out windows) with a bottle bar and a warm welcome from Durham Brass Festival/Empty Shop staff, this the venue for Cutting Edge Brass.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Skeltr & Skwid Ink @ The Bridge Hotel - July 9

(Review by Steve H/Photos courtesy of Ken Drew). 
After a matter of seconds of the opening number, I knew that this was going to be one of those extra special gigs. Ace BSH snapper Ken Drew confirmed my initial enthusiasm at the conclusion of the first number. This was Skeltr’s inaugural gig in this country (their only previous gig being at a festival in Rotterdam) maybe their freshness contributed to the raw power and excitement of this dynamic duo. Further tension was created each time a new piece was triggered on the various electronic devices as no one knew what the exact outcome would be. Luckily everything seemed to work perfectly and the audience was treated to as an exhilarating and uplifting performance as I can remember. 

Duke Ellington's Sacred Concert Resurrected

There will be two performances this weekend of Duke Ellington’s Sacred Concert by Sage Gateshead's youth ensembles Jambone and Quay Voices. For some of you, this may be a chance to recall the magnificent performances of this work by the late Stan Tracey and his Orchestra at Durham Cathedral in the early nineties. If you weren't able to be there then this is a rare occasion to hear this music revisited.
If you were there, I'm sure you'll be interested in hearing it again.
On Saturday afternoon at 1.00pm Jambone and Quay Voices will be performing this Concert under the leadership of Paul Edis, alongside solo vocalist Zoe Gilby and saxophonist Matt Anderson in the beautiful surroundings of Ushaw College. They will also perform this concert in Sage One on Sunday 16th July at 7pm.
Brian E.
Tickets for the Ushaw concert are £5 and available from: 
The Sage One concert is free but ticketed. Booking details can be found at: 

Monday, July 10, 2017

Jo Harrop's Headin' North

Press release:
Fever: Jo Harrop sings Peggy Lee makes its Paris debut at the Sunside jazz club, rue des Lombards, Paris on Thursday 26th October. This remarkable show celebrates the sultriest songstress of them all, with special guest Tony Kofi (alto sax) and the show's creator Alex Webb (piano/MD) providing support for the vocalist that bebop spoken here described as ‘a singing sensation!'.
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We say thank you for that but, for those of you living in the NE postcode area, before setting off to Paris you can hear Jo at several venues closer to home.
July 26: Cherry Tree Restaurant, Jesmond – 7:30pm. No cover charge.
July 27: Jazz Cafe, Newcastle - 8pm. £8 (£6 in advance).
July 28: Gala Theatre, Durham – 1pm. £5. (SOLD OUT!)
July 28: Ushaw College, nr. Durham - 7:30 pm. £7.
Lance.

The Scottish Swing Orchestra & Brass Broadway Chorus with Kate Graham & Matt Corner @ The Gala Theatre - July 9

(Review by Russell)
This Gala concert, one of the set piece events of this year’s Durham Brass Festival, attracted a full house on a sultry summer’s evening. All seats in the stalls and circle were occupied as the seventy-five or so performers filed onto the stage. The Brass Broadway Chorus (approximately sixty strong) assumed their predetermined positions, some nudging into the wings with the fifteen-piece Scottish Swing Orchestra assembling out front.
A fast moving Broadway revue featured most of the performers most of the time. Moving on and off stage wasn’t practicable (the show’s vocal stars the exception) and it appeared to be as hot as mid-summer in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen. 

Sotavento Big Band @ The Globe - July 9

Across the road, at the Metro Arena, the American punk rock band Blink 182 had attracted a host of fans, many of whom were having pre-concert drinks at The Globe. On stage at the Jazz Coop HQ, the Argentinian jazz tango group known as the Sotavento Big Band were ready to unleash their unique brand of swing.
The SBB replaces the conventional trombone section with three tenor saxes and the trumpet section with one tenor sax and two clarinets. It sounded strange hearing Basie's Splanky without the brass but by the time Jumping at the Woodside had been and gone our ears were accustomed to it.

Sunday, July 09, 2017

CD Review: Tara Minton - The Tides Of Love

(Review by Ann Alex)
This is a collection of 10 original songs by Australian Ms Minton, featuring jazz played on the harp (as in Wales, not as in harmonica) and I was amazed by what a great jazz instrument this harp turned out to be. A whole new perspective on instrumentation! Ms Minton says [the CD] ‘is a musical memoir of my London journey, both as a musician and as a person.’ The songs celebrate the city of London, tell of the low and high points of various relationships, and the final song rejoices in love fulfilled with the husband she met at a gig in London. Not all the songs are jazz-like as there are elements of folk and soul too, with lots of space for improvisation. A very enjoyable CD, with good lyrics and plenty of hooks for the listener to latch on to.

Saturday, July 08, 2017

Book review: Dave Frishberg - My Dear Departed Past

Dave Frishberg admits he's a nostalgia buff. Come to think of it, aren't we all? The musicians, the sportsmen, the movies, the books we love are much better than today's crop. Not always true, of course, it's just that we haven't had time to grow and love the present compared to the years we've dwelt upon our past memories and, anyway tomorrow, today becomes the past.
At 84, Dave Frishberg has a lot of memories yet, despite his fondness for the past, as a pianist, singer, songwriter, composer, he can still hold his head high today.
My Dear Departed Past contains a host of memories such as learning boogie-woogie from his brother, reading Mezzrow's Really the Blues, the gradual progression from playing with high school dance bands to bigger names. To playing with Al Cohn and Zoot Sims, and Count Basie. Difficulties with Anita O'Day and Benny Goodman and much more.
The book is studded with anecdotes. Some sad, some revealing and a lot which are very funny indeed.

Lunchtime with Colin at the Black Bull (and elsewhere)

(Preview by Russell)
Colin Aitchison’s back in town. Bebop Spoken Here’s trumpet playing Hong Kong-based  Geordie ex-pat correspondent will be around for a week or so playing gigs here and there - see here, and as in recent years, Colin will be joined by fellow Hong Kong resident Franco Valussi. Colin is an authority on Louis Armstrong and his contemporaries, Franco is a virtuoso clarinetist, and on their gig at the Black Bull in Blaydon they will reunite with Cumbria-based reedsman Steve Andrews, Blaydon Jazz Club’s Roly Veitch playing guitar and, no doubt, singing one or two songs, and, on this session, the redoubtable bassist Alan Rudd.
It should be noted that this concert will be on a Saturday at one o’clock in the afternoon. The date? July 15. Colin’s schedule and the availability of the Black Bull’s in-demand music lounge dictates that July’s jazz concert will be something of a departure for Blaydon Jazz Club. Saturday afternoon could well appeal to many, we’ll see. Why not make a trip to the Black Bull? The pub is listed year in year out in Camra’s Good Beer Guide (Black Sheep and Deuchar’s are regulars on the bar), and there is ample parking just off Bridge Street. Alternatively, Blaydon Bus Station is but five minutes’ walk (frequent services to Gateshead, Newcastle and the Tyne Valley) and here’s a bonus if you’re travelling from Newcastle…why not take the train up the Tyne Valley line? Depart Newcastle 11:54, arrive Blaydon 12:06, returning 16:11, arriving Newcastle Central Station 16:27. Colin and the boys will be playing two sets, the first set starting at one o’clock. Admission on the door £5.00.                      

Russell.

The Northern Monkey Brass Band @ The Cumberland Arms - July 7













(Review by Russell)
The Cumberland Arms, built c1860, hasn’t had a lick of paint since…c1860. Fridays on the Terrace is something of an institution. If it’s summer (occasionally it is!) the hostelry’s patrons sit outside on the terrace, a terrace overlooking the lower Ouseburn’s post-industrial landscape. Folk like it here – don’t tell anyone otherwise any old Tom, Dick or Monkey will turn up.
 This particular Friday a cartload* of monkeys assembled to the side of the imbibers. This barrel* of monkeys was remarkably quiet…perhaps they had eaten one banana too many. They appeared to be attracted to, indeed fascinated with, gleaming, shining pieces of brass. At around six thirty – aka Northern Monkey Brass Band time – our troop* of tree dwellers piped up. Blowing bold as, Graham Hardy, Chief Monkey, appeared left field, meanwhile down below in a field (literally), Top C, Alistair Lord unleashed a volley on the unsuspecting imbibers. On cue, David Gray pumped up the volume standing on the roof of the Cumberland Arms. David! David! Come down now, before you fall down you silly boy! From all points, monkeys converged upon the Cumberland’s patrons. Surrounded, the Friday night crowd succumbed to the Northern Monkey Brass Band’s infectious brand of N’Awlins’ jazz.

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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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