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Bebop Spoken There

Ernie Wilkins: “If you don't look at the liner notes, you don't know who in the hell it is. Everybody sounds alike, that same million-note approach. Faceless.” – (Crescendo November 1975).

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Ben Williams: “A lot of jazz today has developed this allergy to simplicity. ‘If it’s simple, that means it’s not hip’ is a theme. But sometimes the simplest thing you can do is the hippest thing you can do.” – (Down Beat August 2015).

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Archives.

Today Wednesday March 22

Afternoon.
Vieux Carre Jazzmen - Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 3OS. 1pm. Free.
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Evening.
Take it to the Bridge - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. £1. 8pm.
Paul Skerritt Band - Cherry Tree Restaurant, 9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond, Newcastle. 7:30pm. No cover charge.
Levee Ramblers NOJB - Springwell Village Community Venue, Fell Road, Springwell, Gateshead NE9 7RP. 8:30pm. £3.00.
John Harle and Steve Lodder - Royal Grammar School, Eskdale Tce., Jesmond, Newcastle NE2 4DX. 7pm. £20 & £10. 60th birthday tour for RGS alumnus Harl.
Chris Sharkey Trio - Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8pm. £4.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

CD Review: Keith Oxman - East of The Village

Keith Oxman (tenor); Jeff Jenkins (B3); Todd Reid (drums).
(Review by Lance).
The organ trio has long been an integral part of the music. Sometimes frowned upon by purists but loved by others - myself included.
A tenor player in full flight, goosed along by an A1 B3 merchant and a driving drummer is a good place to be and, here we have those essential ingredients in one package.
Once again, I wonder where they will click outside of their Denver base. In a perfect world, they'd be touring the globe and, if they ever hit Newcastle upon Tyne, they'd be a natural for the Jazz Coop's Globe HQ. Not to mention Sage Gateshead, Hoochie, The Caff and all jazz venues between Newcastle and (including) Ronnie's.

An embarrassment of riches @ The Jazz Café - March 21

(Review/Photos by Russell).
This one was off the scale! Hanoi Pete created an opening for a budding piano dep. Step forward Mr James Harrison. Superb piano playing from the off – A Train, Our Love is Here to Stay, tonight was going to be good. A cast of thousands assembled in the wings, Ray Johnson (flugelhorn) got in there early – Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise with Harrison fleetingly quoting Puttin’ on the Ritz.
David Gray, trombone, does Latin (DG does anything and everything). Mr Strictly Smokin’ Michael Lamb, trumpet, joined DG on Don’t Get Around Much Anymore (Harrison incorporating something like a stride pattern), up jumped Alex Saxon on flute, drummer Matt MacKellar joined the party, the show was well and truly on the road. The joint jumpin’, this, the Jazz Café jam session the greatest free show in town!

GIJF 2017 - Not long now...

Just a reminder (as if you needed one!) that Gateshead International Jazz Festival is just over a week away. Friday, March 31 - Sunday, April 2 once again sees Sage Gateshead become the epicentre of the British Jazz World.
A whole host of goodies in store with something for just about everyone.
Programme.
Lance
(See you there.)

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Before Tubby there was Harry

They weren't related although I'm sure Tubby dropped by Harry's place to have his tenor de-elasticated from time to time. Without saxophone players and postmen the elastic band industry would have collapsed years ago.
I mention Harry Hayes as, in the process of bringing some form of system to my CD/LP/Tape/78/etc collection, I discovered I had a couple of CDs by Harry Hayes and his Band.
I'd forgotten just what a delightful band this was. Recorded either side of D-Day and beyond, this was a band reminiscent of an Ellington or a Benny Carter small group and, indeed, Hayes' alto is not too far removed from Benny Carter himself.
The sidemen are also big hitters of the time - Kenny Baker, George Shearing, Tommy Whittle, George Chisholm, Aubrey Franks, Norman Stenfalt - to mention but a few.
The music straddles that period before Bop had fully crossed the pond or the revivalists had begun to wave their banjos.
It's the kind of band I'd like to hear today.
The discs were issued on Hayes' own label so I don't know if they're still available.
Listen to Drop Me Off at Harlem and you may want to find out more - or even start a band!
Lance.

Triggerlawross @ The Globe March 18

Alan Law (keys); Katy Trigger (bass guitar); Matt Ross (drums)
(Review by Ann Alex)
Yes, as suggested by the name, a monstrous new band has entered the local jazz scene: Alan Law playing as you’ve never heard him before, Katy Trigger giving the bass an equal status from her place at the right-hand side of stage front, and Mr. Ross giving it all on the drum kit. Eight or so long pieces, all original tunes, sounding as if most of the work had developed from improvisation, sometimes flowing lyrical keys, sometimes strong chords from the low end of the piano, then insistent, repeated riffs, often exchanged between piano and bass. An adventurous bass, lyrical, and then interestingly jangly and breathy by turns. And the drummer doing what drummers do, but more so.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Red House refurbishments

The Vieux Carré Jazzmen's 1st-Sunday-of-the-month session on Sunday 2nd April has been POSTPONED due to bar & restaurant renovation work. The pub will be closed. 
The work will be completed and the pub reopened the following weekend. 

For this special occasion, the reopening of the newly refurbished bar and restaurant, The Vieux Carré Jazzmen shall perform on Sunday 9 April. Showtime 8.00pm.

Dean Stockdale Trio @ Blaydon Jazz Club - March 19

Dean Stockdale (piano), Mick Shoulder (double bass) & Adam Sinclair (drums)
(Review by Russell/Photo courtesy of Roly Veitch)
As Blaydon Jazz Club embarks upon its thirty third year presenting the very best in jazz, pianist Dean Stockdale, in the company of Mick Shoulder, bass, and drummer Adam Sinclair, returned to the Black Bull on Bridge Street to play two sets of standards, original compositions and some Oscar Peterson. The audience, best described as select but discerning, hung on every note, an evening of intimate, small group jazz, a connoisseur’s delight.

Early Birds @ Jazz Café - March 16

Paul Edis (flute, clarinet, MD); Ben Lawrence, James Metcalfe (trumpets); Ryan DeSilva (baritone); Alex Thompson (alto); Mathew Downey (guitar); Phil Grobe (piano); Alex Shipsey (bass guitar); Matthew MacKellar (drums).
Ben Lawrence Trio - Dylan Thompson (drums).
(Review by Steve T).
Like police people, teachers and drivers, Early Birds just get younger. A veteran at seventeen, maybe now eighteen, Ben Lawrence was called upon to quell the high spirits of his fifteen or sixteen year old trio, after their debut at the Caff.
The band have regrouped and reinvented themselves and missed their former string section not.
Ladybird remains in the set and kicked things off for the just over twenty in the audience of mostly, but not exclusively family and friends. It's so easy for piano and guitar to get in each other’s way but these two have it cracked already, masterful comping from the guitarist and some great inflections cutting through from Dr Phil, his soloing far more confident and virtuosic than I've ever heard him. Look out Leeds.
Blue Bossa is another band favourite, here given a push towards the avant garde, particularly during the intro with Alex playing his mouthpiece and James playing muted.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

The Family Band @ Jazz Café - March 17

Riley Stone-Lonergan (tenor sax); Kim Macari (trumpet); Tom Rivière (bass); Steve Hanley (drums).
(Review/Photos courtesy of Ken Drew). 
First off, a composition by Macari, about a scorpion. Starting with a brief intro by herself, then an extended sax solo from Stone-Lonergan. 
A very lively opener. Then to a composition by Rivière, introduced by solo bass (bowed) with wind-sounding 'noises off' from the sax. 
A long section sees sax with trumpet - Stone-Lonergan solos melodically while trumpeter Macari utilises the distinct sound of her instrument to move between the tenor with counter phrasing and other less harmonic effects too.  Quite a slow and soulful tune - until they all let it rip for a short while, then ending quietly. Quite dramatic!  Then the pace picked up with all four, straight in with a well-paced number, the sax featuring here.  Blistering! And so refreshing!!   Closing the first set, a standard - I Don't Stand a Ghost of a Chance with You - lovely interplay, bluesy-soulful sax, with trumpet complementing in wonderful harmony, a superbly slow groove.  This piece would be perfect for a Sunny Sunday Jazz Festival, but for now a delightful end to the first set.

Thinking about Jazz Record Requests @ Sage Gateshead - March 18

(Review by Russell)
Jazz Record Requests is required listening. Your weekly Saturday afternoon appointment with Alyn Shipton is the jazz world’s equivalent of devotees of The Archers tuning to BBC Radio 4 Monday to Friday, never missing an episode. This March 18 edition of Jazz Record Requests was broadcast live during BBC Radio 3’s Free Thinking Festival at Sage Gateshead. The concourse overlooking a gray River Tyne a hive of activity – Radio 3 people busying themselves with who knows what and a Tyneside public with a thirst for listening to other people think – the natural meeting place for JRR’s legion of fans, familiar faces at every turn.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Breaking News - RIP Chuck Berry.


Word has just come through that Rock and Roll legend Chuck Berry died earlier today (March 18) aged 90.
Jazz fans will recall him from the film Jazz on a Summer's Day and Sweet Little Sixteen but his influence and appeal was far wider. I only saw him live once. I thought it was at Middlesbrough in 1978 but it wasn't so it must have been in Holland at one of the North Sea Jazz Festivals. It was a late start and my memories are somewhat vague save for that incredible duckwalk that drew more applause than any of the solos! Numbers like Johnny B. Goode and No Particular Place to Go stand out for me. For more, go to Steve T's comment.
Lance.
I've just received a heads-up from Russell that Eric Burdon is to sing a tribute to Chuck Berry on Radio 4 at 9am (Sunday March 19).

CD Review: Erin Dickins - Vignettes

Back in 2011 I interviewed Erin after hearing her album Nice Girls Don't Stay For Breakfast. I was knocked out then and I'm reeling again listening to this new one. Erin, a founder member of Man Tran, finishes her European tour tomorrow night (Sunday March 19) at London's legendary '606' Club. Talk about Blues to be There!
Track 1: Erin Girl For Rhythm//Jumping With Symphony Sid. A clever merging of the two riff tunes with Erin sounding smoky and swingy. The nightclub chanteuse/the girl next door. All but two of the tracks on Vignette has Erin accompanied by a sole multi-instrumentalist - in this case - Paul Jost, a world class singer himself who pitches in on drums, vocal bass and harmonica.

Thinking about Gabi & Steve @ Sage Gateshead - March 17

Gabriele Heller (vocals, electronics) & Steve Glendinning (guitar)
(Review by Russell)
The Gold Dust ticket clearly stated: Please arrive 10 minutes beforehand, otherwise you may lose your place. The queue outside the Northern Rock Foundation Hall snaked past the West Door of Sage Two stretching to the (closed) balcony bar. This, twenty minutes before the advertised start time. Clipboard types strolled hither and thither, headsets and Access All Areas tags denoting their status…these were BBC Radio 3 people.
The queue comprised M & S and Waitrose types, Radio 3 their choice of listening, early morning through to late at night. They were here at Sage Gateshead to do some thinking, free thinking. Radio 3 people continued to stroll; clipboards, headsets, AAA tags, bottled water. A senior BBC type walked purposefully towards an AAA behind-the-scenes door, produced a swipe card (confirmation of big cheese status) and disappeared beyond. Bang on ‘start time’ a junior BBC/Sage person wandered along the snaking queue checking for Gold Dust. A BBC type (headset etc) breezed up the stairs from concourse to AAA door, a party of thirteen keen sixth form types following close behind, disappearing beyond the AAA door. Later, the BBC type emerged from beyond, dutiful sixth form ducklings, with munch-on-the-go sandwiches, skipping along to keep up with the Radio 3 Head Duck.

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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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