The snow didn’t hold back this morning.  After the taxi , and the (virtually) unaffected train journey with Corey … It was fantastic to walk literally metres to the Lit and Phil, turning right out of Newcastle Station. This reminded me of the British Library in London, before all the hugely expensive renovations. So – to find out the L+P  can to lend out 150+ year old books, is a real surprise. Whole load of history in that building. Great at last to be able to share promo videos for the new album – thanks to Garth Thomas, Dan Redding and Michael Janisch for all the time-pressured work .

And then a catch up with Kevin Le Gendre about an interview soon, along with his great new book!  The arctic wind was no joke (plenty of t-shirted folk about tho!) – so the second breakfast of the day went down well!

This was an unusually great combination of room acoustic, and a piano capable of demolishing the building ! Superb range . There would have been a good amount of public speaking/acoustic music going on in the building’s history, so i am sure every room probably has this sonic aura. Piano checking done (the cold couldn’t remove my grin) – it was great to have dinner with the legend that is Paul Bream. Paul and the organisation Schmazz ( have put on one of the most dedicated nights – for lots of original and free improv music. Founded by Keith Morris – much of this stuff would not be programmed in many other places in the UK. They do a hugely important job now together with Jazz NE. Newcastle always surprises me  with yet more venues cropping up on each visit (so it seems)  , and containing the most i have played UK-wise outside of London. The Lit and Phil had also just put on 3 other jazz gigs in 4 days!

The home made bread at Mario’s sealed the deal -and  now was ready to listen to Corey’s solo set. I don’t think I have heard a set of solo vibraphone at a gig before – and this room showed why the format is a hidden wonder. A fantastically well paced set – free ranging, with uniquely blended Monk and Hancock references, percussive bite, and then ethereal bow-work . I await the album !

The whole tour has been wonderful to date – and this show was a perfect example of why. Great turnout. Super listening vibe. Good to start my solo set with The Glimpse , and have the lh only stuff so well appreciated . The order was then : Memoir, Lullaby, Zuni, Pure, Sage, Prelude 6 (Mompou). Then went straight into the duo with Corey on Cumulus.  Again – the magic of the room was just that. A deconstructed version of (Coreys’) Bereft followed. And then enough folk were up for the improv ‘raffle’ . I think that was a lovely version  ( and the size of the tone cell went up too!). Will have to leave more time for the guided tour of this building, next time round . We hope this is indeed soon.  Thanks to Paul , Schmazz and all the Jazz NE crew. Please Look out for Corey’s great work here….

Brighton next (workshop/solo/panacea!)