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Bebop Spoken There

Alicia Hall Moran: “I would go to hear Jason's band play and I'd say "Y'all hot!" But they came out wearing these casual, saggy outfits, putting music out with these not-attractive outfits like they were going on interviews for jobs they didn't want.” – (DownBeat May 2018).

Shabaka Hutchings: “You have to get the funding to come here [New York], and then there's getting the proper visa to play, which costs more than we get paid.” – (DownBeat May 2018).

Today Thursday April 19

Afternoon

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone NE27 0DA. Tel: 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.

Student Performances - King’s Hall, Armstrong Building, Queen Victoria Road, Newcastle University NE1 7RU. 4:00pm. Free admission. Performers include Ada Francis (voice); Simon Hirst (trombone) & Harry Still (drums).

Tees Valley Jazzmen - White Horse Hotel, Burtree Lane, Harrowgate Hill, Darlington DL1 3AD. Tel: 01325 463262. 1:30pm. Free.

Evening

Paul Edis Trio - St James’ & St Basil’s Church, Fenham, Newcastle NE4 9EJ. 7:30pm. £6.00.

Indigo Jazz Voices - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £5.00. Vocalists with Alan Law Trio.

Ada Francis & the Italic Quartet - Las Iguanas, Grey Street, Newcastle NE1 6AF. Tel: 0191 232 9729. 7:30pm. Fortnightly restaurant residency.

Maine St. Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Holywell Lane, Sunniside, Gateshead NE16 5NJ. 8:30pm. Free.

The Strictly Smokin' Sessions - Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8:15pm. £8 (£6 conc.). JNE. Small groups from SSBB.

New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band - Oxbridge, Oxbridge Lane, Stockton on Tees TS18 4AW. 8:30pm.

Tees Hot Club Guest Band Night w. Paul Donnelly Trio - Dorman’s Club, Oxford Road, Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. Tel: 01642 823813. 9pm. Free. Donnelly (gtr); Stu Collingwood (keys); Paul Smith (dms).

Jazz Night - Musiclounge, 21 Yarm Lane, Stockton TS18 4DR. Doors 7:00pm.

Ubunye - Whorlton Village Hall, Barnard Castle DL12 8XD. 7:30pm. Tel: 01833 627253. £10.00. (£5.00. child, £25.00. family).

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

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Chicago Radio DJ Tunes in to South Shields

It's not often the Shields Gazette posts a photo of Duke Ellington and his Orchestra - in fact, the photo that appeared in Monday's edition may well have been the first picture of Duke in the 169 years of its existence! So what prompted this near full page spread? Well, Chicago based DJ and big band/jazz fan, Denny Farrell hosts a long-running late night radio show in the windy city - the sort of station where I could imagine a caller ringing up in the early hours and saying "Play Misty for me".
The Gazette connection came about via Farrell's friendship with the late Frank Wappat who was a well-known disc jockey on Radio Newcastle and was born in Hebburn. He died in 2014.
I've been listening to his [Denny Farrell] latest broadcast on LNCR and his taste is impeccable - Mary-Lou Williams, Dave Brubeck, Dinah Washington, Joe Pass, Duke and Rosie [Clooney], Art Tatum and Cozy Cole to mention but a few. All introduced by Farrell in his deep, resonant, bass voice - they don't come any cooler than this! 
Well worth bookmarking:
Lance

Community Hall New Orleans Band @ Springwell Village Community Venue - April 18

Mick Hill (trumpet, vocals); Liz Bacon (clarinet); Jim Blenkin (trombone, vocals); Ian Wynne (piano, vocals); Dave Rae (guitar, banjo, vocals); John Robinson (double bass); Paul Bacon (drums) + Mac Rae (trumpet, vocals) third set
(Review by Russell)
Recent Arctic weather has, unsurprisingly, affected audience numbers across the region. Resident bands have played to fewer listeners - Springwell Village Community Venue’s Wednesday evening session being one example of winter’s chill wind decimating numbers. Springwell’s Community Hall New Orleans Band, resident for many a year, in many guises – the Rae Brothers NOJB, then Dave Rae’s Levee Ramblers – kept on going, flying the Crescent City flag. The band’s perseverance was rewarded last night with a capacity audience there to welcome home local hero Ian Wynne.

Bass-less fears! The Gala Big Band @ The Gala Theatre, Durham – April 17

(Personnel to follow - maybe)
(Review by Jerry)
The annual big-bash for this estimable community band was late getting started – the bass guitar “had imploded” (?) just before curtain-up so the stressed guitarist rushed off home (?) to repair/replace the offending instrument. Problems for the MD who likened the bass in a band to the goalie in football – you hardly notice them when things are going well but when things go wrong you realise how important they are!
After a delay, and still bass-less, they launched into Strike Up the Band and Bye Bye Blackbird featuring a piano solo by Ben Lawrence. There were no own-goals conceded before the bassist appeared, stage left and panting, and order was almost restored in the rhythm section in time for Alex Kennedy to step up from the drums and give us the vocals on Almost Like Being in Love.

Julija Jacenaite & Alan Law at The Dun Cow, Jesmond - April 18

Julija Jacenaite (vocals/piano); Alan Law (piano) + George Sykes (tenor).
(Review by Lance).
I've heard Julija several times at jam sessions and never failed to be impressed. However, a couple of numbers at a jam is far removed from the responsibility of sustaining that momentum over a two-set gig and I was curious to see if she could cut it. 
Any doubts I may have had vanished with the opening bars of Misty - this, I told myself was going to be good and it was good - maybe as good as it gets except, as the night unfolded it got even better!
An original, Mood 3, The Girl From Ipanema, introduced in English, sung in Portuguese by a lady from Lithuania and much appreciated by a couple at my table who were from Norway!
Jazz - the international language.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

CD Review: Hailey Tuck - Junk

Hailey Tuck (vocals) + accompaniment.
(Review by Lance).
Those of us who saw Hailey Tuck with SSBB at Hoochie Coochie back in September 2016 will have fond memories of the bubbly, Parisian based, American singer and are sure to welcome this CD.
It's unmistakeably Hailey although it must be said that, in a blindfold test, the listener, unfamiliar with Ms Tuck, could be forgiven for thinking it was Madeleine Peyroux or Melody Gardot. Two singers, incidentally, that Hailey is quoted as saying that she loves.
Like so many singers, whether at local, national or international level, the repertoire here comprises mainly jazz influenced versions of contemporary pop songs which, let's face it was what Sinatra, Billie and Ella were singing in their early days. They did it well back then and Hailey does likewise here.

Preview: Jazz comes to Fenham!

Tomorrow evening (Thursday, April 19) a new series of jazz concerts begin at St James’ & St Basil’s Church in Fenham, Newcastle. The church recently acquired a new piano and it just so happens that one of Britain’s finest jazz pianists will be performing at the inaugural concert. As piano trios go, the line-up takes some beating…Paul Edis, piano, Andy Champion, double bass and drummer Adam Sinclair.

Expect to hear a classic jazz piano trio performance, one could say a ‘history of jazz piano’ with, perhaps, two or three original compositions by Dr Edis. Accompanying him on the gig are Andy Champion, (‘first call’ and ‘prodigious technique’ spring to mind), and Adam Sinclair, described once upon a time by Simon Spillett as the ‘sartorial’ Adam Sinclair (Adam was wearing a tie!).

Jazz Café Jam Session - April 17

Alan Law (piano); Paul Grainger (bass); Rob Walker (drums) + Paul Gowland (alto); Ben Richardson, Joel Brown (piano); John Pope (bass); Charlie Gordon (guitar); Matt Lack, John Bradford(drums); Kate O'Neill, Weiting Huang; James Shouten, Chloe Watson, ?? (vocals).
(Review by Lance)
Tonight's jam had a plethora of pianists, a drove of drummers, a swarm of singers, even a brace of bassists (a very rare occurrence ) but only a solitary saxophonist. Fortunately, the saxophonist was Paul Gowland who is worth ten men whether you want ten men or not - tonight we did. His Autumn in New York, Cottontail and Someday My Prince Will Come were simply superb.
Accompanied by young Joel Brown the pairing worked well (not forgetting the trojan work put in by Paul Grainger and Rob Walker's drum solo on Cottontail).

The Jazz Lads @ Saltburn Golf Club – April 8

Gus Smith (vocals); Richie Emmerson (tenor); Ian Bosworth (guitar); Jeremy McMurray (keys); Adrian Beadnell (bass); and Mark Hawkins (drums); + Steve Walker (trumpet); and Ashley Walker (bass).
After a year of monthly gigs at Saltburn Golf Club the Jazz Lads celebrated in style. With Gus Smith providing vocals, the night started with a lively version of There Will Never Be Another You and a beautiful rendition of Buddy Johnson's Since I Fell For You.
After a couple of instrumentals Sugar and Killer Joe, Steve Walker joined in along with Gus for When Sunny Gets Blue. Steve demonstrated what a fine horn player he is with a moving solo. The night continued with many numbers including In a Mellow Tone, I Can't Get Started, Take the A Train and finishing with Steve's son Ashley playing bass on Watermelon Man.
Saltburn Golf Club is an excellent venue, good acoustics and plenty of car parking.  It was a pleasure to be in the plush surroundings, listening to such fine musicians play to an enthusiastic audience which has built up over the year ensuring its continuation.

Ron H.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

CD Review: In Other Words - In Other Words

In Other Words: Alex Thompson (alto saxophone, clarinet); Nathan Lawson (guitar); Dylan Thompson (drums)
(Review by Russell) 
Twelve tracks, all of them more than familiar. The trio of Alex Thompson, reeds, Nathan Lawson, guitar, and Dylan Thompson, drums, will need little introduction to those who follow the Tyneside jazz scene. They’ve been gigging as a trio and in several other bands for a couple of years or so. In Other Words is the name of their band and in December of last year they spent a day at Blast Recording Studios in the Ouseburn, Newcastle laying down the tracks that make up this album.  

Miles Davis - A Great Life

This afternoon on Radio 4 at 4:30 Great Lives debates/celebrates the life of iconic trumpeter Miles Davis. In the long-running series talking heads make the case for the subject in question. Today’s guest Adrian Uttley of Radiohead states the case for Miles Davis’ life being a ‘great life’ and author and jazz fan Richard Williams (The Blue Moment: Miles Davis’s Kind of Blue and the Remaking of Modern Music) joins him to discuss the American’s career. The half-hour programme can be heard again on Friday evening at 11:00pm.
Russell      

Gavin Barras Quartet - The Family Tree @ The Jazz Cafe April 13

 Gavin Barras Bass, Jeff Guntren Sax, Jim Faulkner Guitar, Dave Walsh Drums.
(Review by Steve H)
It is not often that a non-performer steals the headlines at a jazz gig but I think that most people in the audience on Friday night would agree that the real star of the show was the double bass and its creator- band leader Gavin Barras’ father. The beautiful instrument had been lovingly built over a course of 15 years. Parts of it were even made from the eaves of Barras’s childhood home.  Still I guess Barras needed a new one as his previous instrument was over 200 years old. In honour to his father, family and double bass, the quartet’s latest album is called Family Tree. A selection from this album, along with some standards, provided the material for this highly enjoyable evening.

CD Review: Rino van Hooijdonk Quintette - The Bijlmer Sessions

Rino van Hooijdonk (guitar, bass track 16); Daniel Weltlinger (violin); Joanna Gardner (violin, viola); Nick Sansome (rhythm guitar) & Niels Tausk (bass, trumpet track 16)
(Review by Russell) 
The Bijlmer Sessions was recorded in the living room of two of the musicians on guitarist Rino van Hooijdonk’s new album. Furthermore, the quintet used an old school Grundig TK 120 Deluxe reel-to-reel tape machine to try to capture the warmth of the once common analogue recording process. ‘Gypsy’ or ‘Hot Club’ jazz are terms usually applied to van Hooijdonk’s material, not least because of his love of Django Reinhardt’s famed Hot Club sound. Six of the album’s seventeen tracks were written by Reinhardt, Duke Ellington’s Black and Tan Fantasy adds lustre, and the unusual pairing of violin and viola in the band’s instrumentation introduces an extra dimension to familiar Hot Club tunes. 

Monday, April 16, 2018

Another Cuban Crisis

Spring was in the air which means only one thing (I'm no longer a young man so my fancy doesn't turn to love or maybe it did in this case) - time to Spring clean.
Where to start? I know, I'll move my treasured collection of 78rpms to a different room. Guess what happens - you're probably ahead of me - one of the shelves gives way and all the items from Ambrose's Cotten Pickers Congregation to Billy May's Mayhem hits the deck. Mayhem indeed, or so I thought. Miraculously, all but one appear to have survived.

The Scottish National Jazz Orchestra (SNJO) directed by Tommy Smith Presents Kenny Wheeler’s ‘Sweet Sister Suite’ featuring soloists Laura Jurd (trumpet) and Irini Arabatzi (voice) And The Music of Mary Lou Williams featuring Brian Kellock (piano)

(Press release)
Jump into Spring with the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra and their special guests Laura Jurd, Irini Arabatzi and Brian Kellock for a celebration of jazz genius. Together they will explore a rarely performed work by master composer, the late Kenny Wheeler, and the repertoire of pianist, composer and arranger Mary Lou Williams.
Kenny Wheeler was a Canadian-born jazz trumpet player who became a stalwart of British modern jazz and who participated in many adventurous configurations as a leader, composer and sideman. He is especially remembered for his long association with Sir John Dankworth, and for a string of successful solo albums for ECM, which featured collaborations with Keith Jarrett, Mike Brecker and Jan Garbarek. He was also noted for iconoclastic projects such as the Spontaneous Music Ensemble, and the exploratory Azimuth with John Taylor and Norma Winstone and was still making wonderful music in his final years. His last album, Songs for Quintet was recorded in 2013 for ECM at the Abbey Road studios in London.

Giles Strong Quartet @ Blaydon Jazz Club - April 15












Giles Strong, Roly Veitch (guitars); Ian Paterson (double bass); Russ Morgan (drums)
(Review by Russell) 
This evening’s concert at the Black Bull on Bridge Street exemplified what Blaydon Jazz Club is all about…a select list of tunes drawn from the Great American Songbook performed impeccably to a discerning audience. Giles Strong and fellow guitarist Roly Veitch put their heads together to come up with a set list and invited bassist Ian Paterson and drummer Russ Morgan to join them to play a  few numbers for the love of it, and, if anyone should drop by to listen, so much the better.

And drop by they did. Familiar faces took their regular seats and, without fanfare, Giles Strong and friends began with Out of Nowhere (comp Johnny Green), each musician introducing themselves in solo spots. A simple format, if it ain’t broke…Alone Together (comp Arthur Schwartz, lyrics Howard Dietz) continued the formula with first Giles then Roly introducing a tune and taking the time to talk about the composer (and lyricist) in much the same way as Frank Sinatra did so fastidiously during a long career dedicated to singing the very best songs of the popular composers of the day. 

Preview: Indigo Jazz voices @ The Globe - April 19

All the members of Indigo Jazz Voices will be singing at the next performance this coming Thursday, April 19. The gig starts at 7.30pm, and is good value at £5 admission. You’ll hear Barry Keatings, Carrie McCullock, David Edgar, Jenny Lingham, Miriam McCormick and Jen Errington. There’ll be an interesting selection of songs, including Love me or Leave me, The Very Thought Of You, Embraceable You, I Only Have Eyes For You and the very appropriate April In Paris.
The songs will be accompanied by the trio of Alan Law (piano); Katy Trigger (bass guitar); and Nic Alevroyiannis on drums.  So get yourself along to the Globe – What’s not to like?
Ann Alex

Sunday, April 15, 2018

The Postmodernaires @ Hoochie Coochie - April 15.

Ross Laing (trumpet/MD); David Gray (trombone); Johnny 'Blue Hat' Davis (tenor); Andrew Richardson (keys); Rev Parker (bass); Tom Shorten (drums); Gina Lou (vocals).
(Review by Lance).
This band don't take no prisoners - this band. They go for the jugular right from the off. and the Hoochie regulars weren't complaining - Palm Court orchestras not welcome here!
Sing, Sing, Sing somehow merged into Take Five and ended up as George Michael's Never Gonna Dance Again, This is what The Postmodernaires are all about, taking pop classics and transforming them into earlier settings which usually seem to end up as 1950s' rock and roll.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

King Bees @ Newcastle Beer & Cider Festival - April 13

Michael Littlefield (guitar, vocals); Scott Taylor (harmonica, vocals); Dominic Hornsby (piano, guitar, vocals); Simon Hedley (double bass); Giles Holt (drums) + lots of beer!
(Review by Russell)
The blues band of the moment, a Friday night out at the 42nd Newcastle Beer and Cider Festival, you can’t go wrong, can you? A raised corner stage, a modest PA system, the crowd drinking like there was no tomorrow and with WWIII likely to break out at any time what better way to go?! The King Bees took to the stage with commemorative festival beer glasses in hand (a drinking band – hurrah!) ready to play the best South Side Chicago blues east of, well, Chicago!

Mick Shoulder Quintet @ Bishop Auckland Town Hall - April 13

Lewis Watson (tenor saxophone); Graham Hardy (trumpet, flugelhorn); Dean Stockdale (piano); Mick Shoulder (double bass); Russ Morgan (drums)
(Review by Russell)
Auckland Castle is closed for major renovation works, the Zurbaráns are out on loan, Kynren is due to return, but all roads led to BATH (Bishop Auckland Town Hall) for a lunchtime gig. Mick Shoulder assembled a starry quintet to play the music of one of the great bands…the Jazz Messengers. The truth is, and Mick would readily acknowledge the fact, we were there to hear Lewis Watson. Where he’s been is anyone’s guess and one question remained to be answered…could he still cut it?

Preview: Sunday in Newcastle (and surrounding districts)

Another 'spoilt for choice' Sunday. Giles Strong/Roly Veitch at Blaydon; Steve Glendinning at the Globe and The Postmodernaires at Hoochie.
This latter gig is the most intriguing. Fuelled by the global success of the American Postmodern Jukebox, the Postmodernaires (remember the original Modernaires singing Jukebox Saturday Night?) follow a similar route to that taken by PMJ i.e. modern pop songs played 1920 style and going by their YouTube promo they do it well. I guess the swing dancers who were out for the House of the Black Gardenia at GIJF last weekend will be up for this one too. It's a 7 piece band so I'm not sure who the horns will be other than trumpet/MD Ross Laing; suffice to say they will do the job brilliantly!
It's a 6pm stomp off (doors 4pm) so making a mad dash to the Black Bull or the Globe may require an early departure or none at all.
This is a shame as the three guitarists at the other two venues (plus Bradley over at the Old Fire Station in Sunderland) are all masters of the six strings.
Perhaps the answer lies in Sleepy Jake Segrave who will be playing the blues from 9pm at Billy Bootleggers.
Lance

Friday, April 13, 2018

CD Review: Gene Jackson Trio NuYorx- The Power of Love

Gene Jackson (drums); Gabriel Guerrero (piano); Carlo De Rosa (bass).
(Review by Lance).
Recorded, like so many classic jazz recordings, in New Jersey - This time in The Tedesco Studios in Paramus, NJ - we could be witnessing the unveiling of another classic. Only time will tell. What is certain is that it's as good as most piano trios that are currently doing the rounds.
A mix of originals by all three plus a couple by Monk (Played Twice and Ugly Beauty) and one by Cole Porter (I Love You) - where would we be without Cole to fall back on!
Jackson comes to this, his first album as a leader, with an impressive CV that includes Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Dave Holland and Kevin Eubanks to mention but a few.

I Bought Some Blue Notes...

Another GIJF has been and gone and, as always, there were some wonderful moments and, as is the case at any festival of this magnitude, some not so wonderful moments. I won't go into the latter, suffice to say the good far outweighed the bad.
And, quite often, for those of impoverished means, the free concerts on the concourse often compared favorably with some of the top dollar ones. For many, I know that the concourse set by the House of the Black Gardenia was the highlight of the weekend and deservedly so.
I too found much delight on the concourse even away from the stage. No, I'm not referring to the engaging sales patter of the hucksters on the Jazz Co-op and Jazz North East stands or even the Cajun and Creole Pizza stall. I mean the CD stand.
Suddenly, I was a kid in the candy store again!
All those Blue Note CDs at 3 for a tenner!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

A Dun Cow Coda (jam session April 11)

(Review/photo by Russell)
As BSH’s Editor-in-Chief wandered off into the night, John Pope wandered into the Dun Cow. The house trio’s fixer and hard-working bassist Paul Grainger eyed JP’s arrival, and, in next to no time Grainger was at the bar as Pope gave him a spell. JP was joined on the stand by Newcastle Uni’s final year music students (the Dun Cow could be their local) Ben Richardson, piano, and drummer Harry Still.* These lads have impressed sitting in at the Jazz Café’s jam session and they seemed up for it here in Brandling Village. And whatever lies ahead for them, in years to come they’ll look back to the time they worked with vocalist Alice Grace! 

The Filip Verneert and Enrique Simon Quartet @ the Eyemouth Hippodrome - April 10.

(Review by Kay C/Photos ©gillesmoulinphotography.com)
What a stroke of luck for the Eyemouth Hippodrome audience that Belgian Filip Verneert (guitar/composer), Spaniard Enrique Simon (piano/composer), French Gil Lachenal (bass) and Belgian Frederik Van den Berghe (drums) chose to begin their first Scottish tour just north of the border.
Filip and Enrique have been performing as a duo for four years and more recently as a quartet with Gil and Frederik. Their sometimes light-hearted, sometimes deeply moving explanations of the inspirations behind their compositions enriched an engaging, melodic and often surprising journey of jazz through Spain, Belgium, France, Italy, America, Japan and the Eden of Garden with each piece clearly evoking the sentiment and varied atmospheres that inspired them.

GIJF Day 2: The Electrio and Kokoroko - Sage Gateshead, April 7

(Review by Steve T/Photos courtesy of Ken Drew)
As we were herded out of Sage One, the whole of the building seemed immersed in this large sound coming from the band on the concourse. Roz had forewarned us of a Jazz-Funk band from Leeds by the name of The Electrio, which seemed entirely appropriate to follow funk maestro Maceo Parker at a Jazz Festival, but this was most definitely distinctly, specifically Azymuthesque.
It wasn't just the volume that was large - though it was - but the sound, like a big band or a big rock band, and I knew they'd find an audience on Tyneside. Like George Benson selling out Sage One in record time, after years of being Uncle George at Julies Night Club, the Boys from Brazil are in the water around the North East. Billy Walker was a major promoter in Stanley and Newcastle in the eighties, with a dance-floor free remit at the Hilltop and downstairs in Walkers, and never missed a chance to slip in some Azymuth. Paul Cook was one of the big club DJs across the region in the seventies and eighties, but liked nothing better than some smooth, funky Azymuth. Well maybe Marvin Gaye. They were the cause of my first trip to Hoochie and I believe they've been back since.

Jam Session @ the Dun Cow, Jesmond - April 11.

(Review by Lance)
As I walked down the not so mean streets of Jesmond I reflected upon past evenings of fine dining and equally fine music at the Cherry Tree Restaurant. Well, the Cherry Tree name is no longer and nor is it a jazz venue but, I'm pleased to report, Jesmond is not without jazz if the Wednesday sessions at the Dun Cow take off. Tonight was the inaugural one, a jam session that, appropriately featured several of the Cherry Tree's regular performers including tonight's house trio i.e. Messrs Edis, Grainger and Morgan who got things going with You'd be so Nice to Come Home to and Toots Thielemans' delightful jazz waltz, Bluesette.
Soon musical instrument cases began to arrive, slung across the broad backs and, sometimes, thick skins of jamming jazzers.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

GIJF 2018: Index/Link to reviews


Twenty reviews and counting - possibly our best ever coverage of GIJF and, of course, Ken Drew's fabulous photos (see link at the foot of this post.
Roll on next year!
Lance



Day 1

Tony Allen: A Tribute to Art Blakey/Zara McFarlane/Tiptoe.
Sun Ra Arkestra.
Big Chris Barber Band.

CD Review: Alyn Cosker - KPF

(Review by Lance).
A lot of disparate, often quite ethnic, elements in this album of compositions by Cosker. Serenity, for example, has Paul Towndrow wailing over a background of fiddle, mandolin, accordion, piano, bass and drums. A cacophony at times, but not an unpleasant one, in fact, more soothing to my ear than many of today's contemporary offerings.
Yatey Ate is dedicated to bandleader Tim Barella who came from Sunderland. Cosker recalls how he'd call out "Right lads, number Yatey Ate" which turned out to be no. 88 in the pad - McArthur Park. Davie Dunsmuir and Steve Hamilton are featured here. McArthur Park isn't.

Latest roster of Jazz North’s northern line jazz artists announced

(Press release)
Jazz North, the northern jazz development agency, today announces the 6th roster of Ambassador Artists to be selected for northern line - the innovative model for touring which gives promoters the opportunity to programme high quality artists with low financial risk.

Since its launch in 2013, northern line has featured 59 such ambassador artists who have performed 650 gigs to date with over 170 promoters partners across the north of England and beyond.

The northern line 6th Round roster is:

Artephis (Manchester)
Emma Johnson’s Gravy Boat (Leeds)
Manchester Jazz Collective (Manchester)
Mark Williams Trio (Newcastle)
Paul Taylor (Newcastle)
Ponyland (Cumbria)
Täpp (Manchester)
Treppenwitz (Leeds)
glowe_ (Manchester)

Derek Fleck Funeral Arrangements

The funeral for Derek Fleck will be held at Whitley Bay Crematorium on Friday 20 April, at 10.30 am.  Followed by a wake/knees up at the Briar Dene, 71 The Links, Whitley Bay NE26 1UE, from 11.30 am.  No flowers, and no need to wear black.  Donations can be made on the day to a nominated charity.  Please bring instruments if you wish, and we can celebrate Derek's life as he would have wished, with music.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

GIJF Day 2: Skeltr - Sage Gateshead, April 7.

Skeltr - Sam Healy (sax,electronics) Craig Hanson(drums)
(Review by Steve H/Photo courtesy of Ken Drew) 
I first encountered this band last July at The Bridge, Newcastle and gave them a rave review. They should have been  back in Newcastle at the Jazz Café  last month but sadly this had to be cancelled due to the inclement weather and the fact they were playing Ronnie Scott’s the night before the gig (Craig Hanson told me after the gig that this was the first time he'd ever been inside the legendary club).
Luckily we didn’t have to wait too long for them to reappear on Tyneside as they had been scheduled to play the late night slot in Sage 2 on day 2 of this year’s GIJF. My only concern prior to Saturday night’s appearance had been that the duo couldn’t possibly live up to my very high expectations. I needn’t have worried as Skeltr picked up from where they left off in July and delivered what for me was the ‘set’ of the festival.

GIJF Day 3: Ushaw Ensemble - Sage Gateshead, April 8

Paul Edis (piano); Andy May (Northumbrian pipes); Graham Hardy (trumpet, flugelhorn); Graeme Wilson (tenor sax, flute); Emma Fisk (violin); Paul Susans (double bass); Rob Walker (drums)
(Review/photo courtesy of Ken Drew) 
Paul Edis juggles many projects and, to mix a metaphor, keeps several plates spinning at once. Educator (principally here at Sage Gateshead), working musician, often as a bandleader, busy concert promoter, there can’t be enough hours in his day to take on much else, yet now he has another project bubbling along nicely…the Ushaw Ensemble. Working to a commission, Dr Edis wrote St Cuthbert’s Suite to be performed first at Ushaw College, then, next day, in the equally impressive surroundings of Durham Cathedral and has since found a receptive audience in the generally less salubrious surroundings of jazz clubs and festivals.   

Keeping Jazz Live in Middlesbrough: Just Friends @ Dormans Club – April 5

Ian Bosworth (guitar); Richie Emmerson (tenor); Ted Pearce (keys); Alan Smith (bass); Ernie Jackson (drums) + Rod Millgate (keys/vocal).
Another successful guest band night was held at the Tees Hot Club  Dormans’  Jazz Night on April 5 with Just Friends and a surprise contribution by Rod Millgate on holiday from the Dordogne. 
Appropriately, the band started with a fine rendition of  Just Friends followed by Sonny Rollins’ Doxy and a number featuring Richie Emmerson playing a moving version of My Funny Valentine. After several more numbers, the first half was brought to a close with Rod Millgate singing Georgia on my Mind
Rod started the second half on keys with Stanley Turrentine’s Sugar then, with Ted back at the keys, the night continued with Killer Joe and several more numbers including Work Song with a fine vocal from Rod to an appreciative audience before ending the night with St. Thomas. The guest band nights, so far, have proved to be a success attracting a wider audience to the regular Jazz nights. 
Ron Hampton   

GIJF Day 3: The Interchange Dectet Led By Issie Barratt – Sage Gateshead, April 8

Brigitte Beraha (voice); Yazz Ahmed (trumpet, electronics); Helena Kay (clarinet, alto sax); Tori Freestone (flute, ten, sop sax, violin); Issie Barratt (bari sax, bandleader); Carol Jarvis (trombone); Shirley Smart (electric cello); Karen Street (accordion); Charlie Pyne (double bass); Katie Patterson (drums, percussion)
(Review by Ann Alex/photo courtesy of Ken Drew).
Issie Barratt explained that she usually works as a composer who is given commissions to complete, but she decided that she wished to work with musicians of her own choosing to see what they could all come up with. And this is it. Ten very talented musicians, playing 10 works, which will eventually result in a CD to be called Donna’s Secret, which is also the title of a novel which has influenced one of the pieces. 
All the pieces were composed by band members or other women, and I’d describe the music as world music, influenced by jazz. I use the word pieces, rather than tunes, as each piece is complex, about ten minutes long, programmatic, as each section is descriptive of the title to some extent, and there appears to be much improvisation. Many different influences are present, Arabic and Middle Eastern tunes, folk tunes, poetry and Shakespeare.

GIJF Day 3: Sheila Jordan with the Pete Churchill Trio & RNS string quartet/ Zoe Gilby & Andy Champion – Sage Gateshead, April 8.

Sheila Jordan (vocals); Pete Churchill (piano); Duncan Hopkins (bass); Mark Fletcher (drums) + a string quartet from the Royal Northern Sinfonia
(Review by Ann Alex pictured w. Sheila Jordan/On stage photos courtesy of Ken Drew) anyone who didn’t thoroughly enjoy this concert should see a doctor urgently! This will take some beating not to turn out to be my Gig of the Year. Not only is Sheila Jordan a superb interpreter of jazz songs, especially bebop style, but she is a totally entertaining raconteur. If she didn’t do music, she could have earned her living as a comedienne and a very charming one. And the trio played along well ('I’d like you for my son’) said Sheila to Pete Churchill at one point, complemented by appropriately effective arrangements from the strings on some of the songs.

GIJF Day 3: Jambone with special guests Issie Barratt & James Brady – Sage Gateshead, April 8.

(Review/photo by Jerry).
Two contrasting Edis originals opened the set: It Takes Time (Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day) and Hymn Tune. The former could be a motto for aspiring young musicians (or even thirty-something musicians too!) and is cheery and up-tempo while the latter – a thought-provoking “secular hymn” – is beautifully quiet. In total contrast again, James Brady’s first composition of the afternoon, Manhattan, was all loud, brash, honking energy. The horns had a field-day! “I’ve never been to New York, “said Brady, “but this is what I imagine it sounds like.” Me neither, James, but I get what you mean.

GIJF Day 2: Norma Winstone & Ralph Towner - Sage Gateshead, April 7

Norma Winstone (vocals) & Ralph Towner (guitar, piano)
(Review by Russell/Photos courtesy of Ken Drew)
Norma Winstone and Ralph Towner go way back. This rare duo performance at Sage Gateshead attracted a discerning audience in Sage Two on the middle evening of three during the fourteenth Gateshead International Jazz Festival. The voice-guitar (and occasional piano) duo played songs from the best part of forty years ago through to as recently as last week when Winstone wrote the lyrics to the eponymous track of one of Towner’s earlier signature ECM albums.

GIJF Day 2: Jazz Goes East, The Sarathy Korwar Band, Sage Gateshead - April 7

(Review by Steve H)
Maybe The Sage was originally called the Stage but was renamed due to a lack of the latter. For some reason, there was an absence of any form of elevated platform for the entirety of the festival in the Northern Rock Foundation Hall. Anyone not sitting in the front rows was lucky to catch a glimpse of all the musicians not on stage. If you pay to see a concert and the ticket does not say restricted view then that is a pretty poor show.  
Whilst on the customer service front it was also very annoying that the names of musicians in the bands were not displayed anywhere let alone printed in a program. So due to these caveats, I am not able to tell you the names of the musicians in the Sarathy Korwar band on Saturday night.

GIJF 2018: Maceo Parker - Sage Gateshead, April 7.

(Review by Steve T/Photo courtesy of Ken Drew).
A couple of tabla players in the next room, and after seeing Talvin Singh in Sage 2 a couple of weeks back, I've got my tabla back on: looking for a set, tutorial DVD, maybe even lessons.
But Maceo's in my blood.
Last time I saw him he wasn't that great, playing very little in the last hour, leaving it to guest fellow James Brown alumni Pee Wee Ellis, so I wasn't too hopeful; but he's in my blood.
As the band rolled on: Rodney Skeat, another former colleague, this time from the P Funk All-stars, setting up an all but constant funk bass-line, and one of the great British Jazz trombone players and no stranger to funk, Dennis Rollins. Maceo's partnership with bone legend Fred Wesley was the powerhouse of Brown's backing band the JB's and then the Parliament, Bootsy, Brides and Horny Horn section of George Clinton's P Funk empire.

Monday, April 09, 2018

GIJF Day 3: JB’s Cats - Sage Gateshead, April 8

James Birkett (MD); Ben Lawrence (piano); Alex Thompson (alto sax, Moog synth); Lucien Guest (trumpet, flugelhorn); Nathan Lawson (guitar); Thomas Henry (guitar); Alex Shipsey (bass); Gemma Watson (drums)
(Review/photo by Russell).
For anyone with an interest in the future of jazz they should check out JB’s Cats’ annual concert on Sage Gateshead’s concourse stage. Noon Sunday, right on time, James Birkett’s Cats took Seven Steps to Heaven. The 2017-18 edition of the band comprises seven musicians; several of them are familiar faces playing in prestigious youth ensembles including Jambone and the workshop/gigging Early Bird Band, some pitch in without fear at top-flight jam sessions and some have recorded CDs – such is the busy life of the region’s up and coming jazz musicians!

GIJF Day 2: Jay Rayner - An Afternoon of Food and Agony - Sage Gateshead, April 7

Jay Rayner (piano, vocals); Pat Gordon-Smith (vocals); Dave Lewis (tenor saxophone);  Robert Rickenberg (double bass)
The Gateshead International Jazz Festival is noted for, if nothing else, its eclectic programming. First publicity for this year’s GIJF included Jay Rayner. What? The restaurant critic? A Saturday afternoon slot in the middle of a high profile jazz festival allocated to a newspaper columnist…is this the future of jazz? Would anyone turn up? They did, Sage Two’s three tiers were open and most seats were sat upon. Looking around the cockpit auditorium it was clear that only a few of those present are ever seen at the week-to-week, bread and butter jazz gigs across Tyneside.

Rayner entertained with anecdotes about his childhood, of growing up with his mother’s ‘agony aunt’ high profile (Claire Rayner), his love of musicals and more. The Ladies Who Lunch (comp. Stephen Sondheim), Eggs and Sausage (comp. Tom Waits), Black Coffee. Yes…music (jazz?) and food. Let’s take it on the road.
Vocalist Pat Gordon-Smith performed enthusiastically, Dave Lewis blew a mean, bluesy tenor, Robert Rickenberg’s secure bass playing added a touch of class, this was a curate’s egg of an afternoon at the Gateshead International Jazz Festival.
Russell  (Photo courtesy of Ken Drew)         

GIJF Day 2: Zoe Gilby & Andy Champion Duo plus some random reflections - Sage Gateshead, April 7

(Review by Ann Alex/photo by Lance).
I didn’t get the chance to hear as much of the Concourse performances as I would have liked this year. However, I did manage to catch Zoe Gilby (voice) and Andy Champion, (double bass) on Saturday. Not many singers would dare to perform with just bass accompaniment, but Zoe is fearless, fine-voiced and flexible, with an interesting mix of songs. Her husband Andy plays bass to-die-for, brilliant, tuneful, exciting music. 
They began with Way Down In The Hole; then a standard Our Love Is Here To Stay. The rest of the programme was of songs not normally thought of as jazz, but they worked well with jazz interpretations. There was Pink Floyd’s Money; Kashka From Baghdad (from Kate Bush’s Lionheart album) and Nick Drake’s Riverman.

GIJF Day 3: House of the Black Gardenia - Sage Gateshead, April 8

Bobbi Charleston (washboard/vocals); Michael Lamb (trumpet); Keith Robinson (sax/clarinet); David Gray (trombone); Michael Littlefield (guitar/banjo/vocals); Ben Immrye (piano/vocals); Neil Hopper (bass/sousaphone); Kit Haigh (drums).
(Review by Lance).
The concourse was crowded, the word had got around that this band was something else. The swing dancers were poised, ready to occupy the prepared floor space and the band kicked off with Blue Drag. 20s/30s jazz that slots in nicely between the New Orleans/Dixieland period and the later bebop sounds.
In other words, Swing!

GIJF Day 3: Georgie Fame w. Guy Barker Big Band - Sage Gateshead, April 8.

(Review by Lance/Photo Courtesy/copyright of William Ellis)
As John Cumming of Serious said when introducing the final Sage One concert of the Gateshead International Jazz Festival 2018, "Georgie Fame was the 1960's pop star who most combined jazz and the pop music of the day" (or words to that effect) and I had to agree with him which was why I was eagerly sitting in Row S awaiting the appearance of the 74-year-old, still swinging (we hoped), superstar.
We weren't disappointed. He may have shuffled on like a man in the September of his years but the voice was still in midsummer. It was Yeh Yeh it was, which was the opening number.
This was better than the 1964 chart-topping single - this one had an extended tenor solo by Paul Booth.

GIJF Day 1: Sun Ra Arkestra - Sage, Gateshead, April 6

(Review by Steve T/Photos courtesy of Ken Drew).
It's probably fair to say the Arkestra is an acquired taste, which is probably best acquired live. It'll certainly catch your attention.
I first came across the Sun Ra Arkestra when a film about them and their erstwhile leader was shown at the Tyneside Cinema as part of a Newcastle Jazz Festival in, as the Goldbergs would say, nineteen eighty something. It was only a few years later, as I acquired more of a taste for the bizarre, that I ventured back for another listen.
Now I always have some Sun Ra albums around, some for sale, some in the basket. They're always good but I couldn't identify one you have to have, and if anybody asked me who my top Jazz Artists are, I'd likely forget Saturn’s favourite Sun Ra. There's no doubting that people like the idea of it, and the idea works brilliantly live.  

Sunday, April 08, 2018

GIJF Day 2: Jazz Attack - Sage Gateshead, April 7

Paul Edis (MD, alto sax); Ryan de Silva (piano, synth, baritone sax); Joe Baron (tenor sax); Aryun Ullal (flute); Sevgi Miller (alto sax, soprano sax); Alex Wright (guitar); Theo Wright (bass); Julian Gibson (drums)
(Review by Russell/photo courtesy of Jerry).
Musician and music tutor Paul Edis directs Jazz Attack. For those familiar with the long-established Jambone (MD Dr P Edis), based at Sage Gateshead, Jazz Attack could be seen as a ‘feeder’ band to the senior age group ensemble. These things are relative – Jazz Attack accommodates the early teen (with one or two slightly older) participants whereas Jambone offers opportunities to the mid to late teenage musician. This year’s Gateshead International Jazz Festival once again provided Edis and his young charges with a chance to show what they could do on the concourse stage. A sound check, lights, action…

GIJF Day 2: On the Concourse - Sage Gateshead, April 7


Baba: Tom Dixon (alto); Dominica Ostrega (vocal); Ines Gonçalves (piano); Alex Shipsey (bass guitar); Dylan Thompson (drums).
(Review by Lance).
The second of six scheduled free performances on the Concourse (performances one and five to be reviewed separately. Number six was, unfortunately, cancelled).
Baba may be young (as the name implies?) but, already they have made their individual presences known at jam sessions and as part of the various Sage Gateshead educational projects such as Jazz Attack and Jambone. 
Led by Tom Dixon who looked like a battle-scarred veteran in comparision to his youthful charges, blew fine alto - we never expect less from him - and the Portuguese contingent (pianist and vocalist) were worthy ambassadors. Shipsey played bass with a maturity that belied his years as did drummer Dylan of the Thompson Dynasty.
A most enjoyable half hour.

GIJF Day Three


GIJF Day 2: Ruby Turner - Sage Gateshead, April 7

Ruby Turner (vocal); Jason Thompson (keys); Nick Marland (guitar); Paul Pryor (bass guitar); Simon Moore (drums).
(Review by Lance/Photo courtesy of Ken Drew).
With or without Jools Holland, Ruby Turner is a ball of fire just waiting to be ignited. Although tonight was without Jools, his presence wasn't missed and the blue touchpaper was lit from bar one of I'm Not the One. This lady hoots and hollers, shouts and sings, like few soul sisters (or brothers) either side of the Atlantic.
I didn't get the names of all the songs and many of the titles I did get were, in the cold light of morning, meaningless (try writing in the dark and you'll know what I mean).

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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.
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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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