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Bebop Spoken There

Andrew Hadro: "It seems to me that everybody just puts out an album, they go through the motions, spend the money and they just sort of throw it out there into the sea of CDs and hope something comes back" - (DownBeat June 2018).

Jonnathan Blake (Blindfold Test): “Maybe it's someone from New Orleans who has lived in New York for a minute.” (DownBeat June 2018).

Today Wednesday May 23

Afternoon

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Cullercoats Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 4QS. Tel: 0191 253 0242. 1:00pm. Free admission.

Evening

Take it to the Bridge - The Globe, 11 Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 8:00pm. £1.00. (Upstairs).

Jam Session - Dun Cow, Brandling Village, Jesmond, Newcastle NE2 4RS. 8:00pm. Free.

Community Hall New Orleans Band - Springwell Village Community Venue, Fell Road, Springwell, Gateshead NE9 7RP. 8:15pm £3.00.

Moonshine Sessions - Billy Bootleggers, 28 Nelson Street, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 8:30pm. Free.

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

Thursday, November 30, 2017

RIP Fred Rowe - Gentleman and Trumpet Player

Just received the sad news that veteran Dixieland trumpet player Fred Rowe died in hospital this morning.
When someone dies it is almost obligatory to say what a nice guy he was irrespective of the truth. No such subterfuge in the case of Fred Rowe. Fred really was one of the nicest guys you could hope to meet and a fine trumpet player who formed his style early on and stuck with it. I first heard him playing with the Rivermouth Jazzmen at the Wouldhave Café, later to change its name to the Shoreline Club, on the seafront at South Shields. It was honest, straight down the middle, Dixieland. This would be in the early '50s. In later years I heard Fred with the Tyne Valley Stompers and other bands led by drummer Ray Brown.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

CD Review: Seth MacFarlane - In Full Swing

Seth MacFarlane (vocal); Joel McNeely (producer/arranger); Norah Jones, Elizabeth Gillies (guest vocals).
(Review by Lance)
Seth MacFarlane is more than just a Family Guy, to quote the title of the TV show he's perhaps best known for - in the eyes of Joe Public. However, in the more discerning eyes and ears of the Bebop Spoken Here readership, MacFarlane is much more.
He's just about the classiest male vocalist around at present. Is he a jazz singer? Was Sinatra, Astaire or Crosby? Are Bublé or Bennett? Who cares? His albums invariably hit the top spots on the jazz charts but what do they know?

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Christmas at Gosforth Civic Theatre














First the bad news.
There will be no 'last Thursday in the month' SSBB sessions at The Millstone until February 22, 2018.
Now the good news.
There are still some tickets left (not many) for the bands annual Two Nights Christmas Special held on Friday and Saturday, December 15/16, at Gosforth Civic Theatre.
Those who have been at the band's previous Xmas gigs know just what a treat will be in store for them. However, this year, not only will the swingingest band what am, Michael Lamb, be up on stage but, with them, will be the sensational Scarlet Street helping everyone to paint the town red.
Don't hang around - get in before the scalpers -  click here.(quote bebop for discount on tickets).
Lance

CD Review: The Classic Jazz Masters – Jazz Roots: The Sound of New Orleans

Bob Wade (trumpet & clarinet), Roy Borrows (clarinet, alto saxophone & vocals), Zbigniew ‘Speedy’ Kobak (trombone), Sasha Sonnbichler (banjo & guitar), Cecil Ferreira (string bass) & Steven Wade (drums)
(Review by Russell).
The Classic Jazz Masters formed in 1988 to play the music of ‘the classic jazz masters’. Founding members Bob Wade and David Mills took up tv news presenter Kathy Fitch’s suggestion of calling the band after the ‘classic jazz masters’ of the 1910s, 20s and 30s. Stan Jones, one-time pianist in Johnny Dankworth’s band, was in the original line-up, and the band went on to record several CDs with varying personnel. Jazz Roots: the Sound of New Orleans is comprised of fourteen tracks and most of them are more than familiar including All of Me, Muskrat Ramble and Wabash Blues.

Annie Ross on Radio 4

Annie Ross talks about depping for Billie Holiday at Harlem's Apollo Theatre. BBC Radio 4 16:00 hrs.

Monday, November 27, 2017

CD Review: Django Bates' Belovèd - The Study of Touch

Django Bates (piano); Peter Eldh (bass); Peter Bruun (drums).
ECM records are usually met with a reluctance by most of our reviewers. In general, the response  is one of apathy, Suddenly, they have a migraine, or their aunt has died, they're on holiday, they're working overtime, they've got to paint a fence - "Which fence?" "Any fence". And so it goes on, the upshot being that the output from ECM is very much an acquired taste.
On this occasion, it was down to me to bite the bullet and it actually turned out to be a very tasty bullet indeed.
Bullets fired by Django Bates usually are and this was no exception.

DUJS Jazz Jam @ Empty Shop - November 26

Most Sundays, term time, there is a jam session at 35c Framwellgate Bridge. The Empty Shop speakeasy is the place to hang out anytime and these Sunday jam sessions have developed a student audience eager to support their peers as they play some jazz. Durham University Jazz Society organises the event and most weeks some seriously good musicians turn up to have a blow.
A short hop from a jam session in Darlington, a ‘hello’ to Carlo, a pint from the Durham Brewery, and, entering the bustling performance space, a female voice could be heard singing the Jimmy McHugh/Dorothy Fields’ old warhorse On the Sunny Side of the Street

Darlington Jazz Club Jam Session @ Quakerhouse - November 26

Shaune Eland (trumpet), Alan Thompson (tenor saxophone), Steve McGarvie (keyboards), Alan Smith (bass) & Stephen Fletcher (drums) + Ray Johnson (flugelhorn), Rick Laughlin (keyboards) & Beth Roberts (alto saxophone)
(Review by Russell)
Darlington Jazz Club meets twice monthly, usually at the Quakerhouse pub in Mechanics’ Yard, usually featuring an invited band. Occasionally there is an all-comers jam session. This was one such occasion. A pint of Bear Ass from Cheshire’s Beartown Brewery, selected from a tempting, tip-top range of beers, then upstairs to be greeted, as ever, by Beth Roberts ‘doing the door’.
The house band – effectively the Jazztones – kicked off with Lee Morgan’s Tom Cat. Trumpeter Shaune Eland led a round of solos, followed by tenor man Alan Thompson, then a bluesy Steve McGarvie. Bernie's Tune heard solos from all concerned before Eland stepped aside to allow the first of the sitters-in to have a blow. Ray Johnson played flugelhorn on three or four numbers, the pick being Beautiful Love, with Rick Laughlin on keyboards.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

CD Review: Rhiannon Giddens - Freedom Highway

This lady is playing Sage One on Tuesday (November 28) and I'm seriously disappointed I have to work.
It's a fine album which captures the spirit of the Black Experience as well as old country blues records and even going back to work-songs, but with a contemporary edge and drawing on folk, Americana, bluegrass, jazz and soul.
Giddens writes, plays guitar, piano and minstrel banjo and sings quite beautifully and, while I haven't yet had the chance to back-track to her previous albums, on the strength of this, she's definitely one to watch out for.
Tracks to YouTube: At the Purchaser's Option and The Angels Laid him Away.
Steve T.

John McLaughlin and the Fourth Dimension + the James Herring Band, play the music of the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Vic Theatre, Chicago USA, November 18

John McLaughlin (guitars), Gary Husband (keyboards, drums), Etienne M'bappe (bass, vocals), Ranjit Barot (drums, vocals).
(Review by Steve T)
If you read any of the growing literature about John McLaughlin, the Mahavishnu Orchestra (MO) and Jazz/Rock/Fusion, there are three constants among those who saw the original band: that this was a musician of staggering intensity and virtuosity, that people thought it was all him - we'd heard electrified violins and moogs but never played like this - and that their lives were changed by the experience.
A friend of mine always said the classic rock bands I saw as a ten/eleven/twelve-year-old must have gone over my head, but I was familiar and comfortable with music by all of them, except the Mahavishnu Orchestra. I already knew the media and the charts weren't for me, but as I stared, open-mouthed in disbelief, anything became possible, as John might say, between nothingness and eternity.
This is to be his farewell tour of America, I suspect with his love of all things India, due to Trump's policy towards 'foreigners'. He's been tentatively dipping back into the MO back catalogue in recent years but this is the first time he's done it lock, stock and...

Duke on Talking Pictures


In 1934, the Duke Ellington Orchestra arrived at the Paramount studios in Hollywood to take part in the movie starring Mae West, Belle of the Nineties. I haven't seen the film but at 20:10hrs on Monday (November 27) on the Talking Pictures Channel, a 20 minute shot of excerpts from the film shows Mae West singing with the Ellington Band.
Virgin 445; Sky 343; Freeview 81.
Lance

Saturday, November 25, 2017

CD Review: Henry Lowther's Still Waters - Can't Believe, Won't Believe

Henry Lowther (trumpet/flugel); Pete Hurt (tenor); Barry Green (piano); Dave Green (bass); Paul Clarvis (drums).
(Review by Lance).
The trumpet player has long been regarded as the flashy extrovert of any band or orchestra. The stentorian tone of the instrument can drown out the loudest drummer, even, we're told, bring down the walls of Jericho. Buddy Bolden, it was said, could be heard at the other side of Lake Pontchartrain - a distance of 20 miles. 
Hearing such trumpet players as Louis Armstrong, Harry James, Dizzy Gillespie, Maynard Ferguson, Arturo Sandoval, Kenny Baker and Bruce Adams live or on record serves as a further reminder of the instrument's power.
And yet, running parallel to the bombast of the above there's also another group. Players more minimalist. Introverts who, nevertheless, show that less can often be more.
Bix, Bobby Hackett, Miles, Chet and, more recently, Tomasso Stanko and Laura Jurd all belong to the latter school.
As does Henry Lowther.

In Other Words @ Tynemouth Station Christmas Market - November 25

Alex Thompson (alto saxophone), Nathan Lawson (guitar) & Dylan Thompson (drums)
(Review by Russell)
Tynemouth Station Christmas Market. Yes, November isn’t out, yet the Santa hats were out in numbers. The weekend market on either side of the Metro line is as popular as ever and today there was an added incentive to catch a train from Newcastle to the coast – In Other Words, in Santa and bobble hats themselves, were entertaining late morning visitors to a bustling market.
In Other Words (think Fly Me to the Moon) are Alex Thompson, alto, Nathan Lawson, guitar and Dylan Thompson, drums. The chances are you’ve heard them without knowing their names. On Sage Gateshead’s concourse these young men have entertained the crowds in numerous band permutations – Jazz Attack, JB’s Cats (that’s James Birkett’s young charges), Jambone (the big band based at Sage Gateshead) and the Early Bird Band to name but four.   

Blues and Art of Chicago.

(Observations by Steve T)
Some people think American skyscrapers are ugly, but I find them amazing and Chicago more so than New York - real fantasy/sci-fi stuff. Chicago seems a long way to go for a concert, but the Windy City was on my bucket-list anyway, alongside San Fran, New Orleans, Boston and Vegas. The city that gave the world electric blues and Curtis Mayfield, who many think will ultimately be considered one of the finest human beings who ever lived.
We were left with a trek to the three gigs, two of which we did entirely by taxis, but by a stroke of luck, were literally around the corner from Buddy Guy's world-famous club - Legends.

Friday, November 24, 2017

RIP George Avakian

I never met George Avakian, no reason why I should. He lived in Manhattan and I didn't. He was just one of those names that appeared on album sleeves - Produced by George Avakian - usually in print too small to read. Fortunately, he frequently also wrote the liner notes himself which, in themselves, became a part of jazz literature. Writing about Ellington at Newport 1956 and, in particular, Paul Gonsalves' 27 choruses long solo on Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue he draws attention to former Basie drummer, Jo Jones, who, after playing with Teddy Wilson, egged the Ellington band on by shouting encouragement and swatting the edge of the stage with a rolled up copy of the Christian Science Monitor about 18 inches from George's squatting haunch. "As this target has grown more inviting over the years, I was careful to stay an arm and a half clear of Jo at all times" writes George in his notes.

Group Theory @ The Jazz Co-op, The Globe, Newcastle - November 23

Dan Garel (alto saxophone); Tom Burgess (guitar); Dylan Purches (bass) & Tristan Bacon (drums)
(Review by Russell)
Group Theory emerged from a jazz hothouse in the heart of Durham city. Durham University and the ever quirky Empty Shop on Framwellgate Bridge are key elements in a burgeoning jazz scene to be found, and heard, in Dunelm House (Students’ Union), the Music Department up on Palace Green, the Gala Theatre, the county-wide Brass Festival, and the new Durham Jazz Festival with its many unusual venues which in its first year included a gig in a barber’s shop.

The BBC Big Band: Swing Legends @ Middlesbrough Theatre - November 22

(Review by Russell)
The BBC Big Band made a rare visit to the region to play a concert at Middlesbrough Theatre with vocalist Jeff Hooper as special guest. As a full house took its seats a star-studded line-up ambled out onto stage bang on time…professional from beginning to end. The BBC’s Big Band Special is long gone from the Radio 2 schedules but the orchestra continues to defy the odds with a concert diary stretching into next year.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Christian McBride Trio @ Constellation, Chicago, USA, November 17

Christian McBride (double bass), Dan Wilson (guitar), Emmett Coleman (piano).
(Review by Steve T)
It was clear as soon as he came out he was a jovial, bubbly type, all smiles from the off. Bit of a Spinal Tap moment as the bass and piano kept going round and round as the guitarist tried frantically to plug in. Eventually, to his obvious relief, a lady emerged from the audience and sorted it out.
SKJ, a Milt Jackson blues - actually almost a boogie-woogie - gave all three an opportunity to show off their considerable chops, loads of power coming from bass and piano, a touch more subtlety from the guitar, the audience clapping along with the bass solo.
The Masquerade is Over displayed more intricacy with several time changes and the three gelled to perfection.

RIP Jon Hendricks - a vocal icon, very sadly missed.


(Lance remembers)
I remember Jon Hendricks, as I'm sure everyone of a certain age does, from that first multi dubbed Lambert, Hendricks, and Ross' Basie songbook album. LHR was quite an amazing vocal group - I'd never heard anything quite like it - still haven't. Oh, wait a minute, yes I have. 
It was later that same year that I first heard Beethoven's Ninth aka The Choral Symphony. I was with my parents at one of their friends' houses for a 'musical evening' and a new recording of it was being played. When I was asked what I thought of it, I remarked that it reminded me, in places, of Lambert, Hendricks and Ross. As I was the only one in the room who'd heard of the greatest vocal trio ever, a hushed silence fell and they quickly moved on to something else. Back home, my mother said, "Lambert, Hendricks and Ross indeed! Sounds like a law firm" and I was packed off to bed without any supper (I made that last bit up!)

CD Review: Fraser & The Alibis

Fraser Smith (tenor); Joe Webb (Hammond); Harry Sankey (guitar); Gethin Jones (drums).
(Review by Lance)
Fraser and his Alibis share a view contrary to that of their musical peers (late-twenty-somethings) inasmuch as their passion lies with the 'straight ahead' genre of Dexter, Wes, Clifford Jordan, Jack McDuff and the 50's/60's Blue Note Era - done via their own original compositions.

Idit Shner Quintet plays Eric Dolphy's Far Cry @ Fulton Street Collective, Chicago, USA. November 16

(Review by Steve T)
Some things are the same everywhere, like the small Jazz Club: brick walls, a couple of dozen die-hards, the empty seats, the Tony Eales type, maybe two, the Ken Drew type lurking around and emerging where you least expect him, maybe three or four, and an artist in residence? The bass player with a hat to keep his Jaco locks at bay and a bass clarinet letting loose with a note or two of its own.
After Miles, Trane and Mingus are my favourite Jazz artists, so Dolphy, important to both, is a big deal to me that we don't hear enough of. I haven't heard it for many years but Far Cry seems to be rated his best after Out to Lunch.

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.

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Submissions for review

Whilst we appreciate the many emails, texts, messages and other communications we receive requesting album/gig reviews on BSH, regrettably, we are unable to reply to them all other than those we are able to answer with a positive response.
Similarly, CDs received by post will only be considered if accompanied by sufficient background material.
Finally, bear in mind that this is a jazz-based site when submitting your album.
Lance

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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