On A Night Like This,
The Story Is Told ...
The next morning British newspaper reporters crowded the dressing room doorway. What is jazz? What does it sound like? What does the word mean? The London Daily News of April 4, 1919, reported as follows:
.... as to the word "jazz", the bandsmen rejected both the current explanations. They will not have it that the word is of Red Indian origin, or that "jazz so" is a term of praise in the dialect of the Negroes of the southern states. The word was invented by someone in Chicago ... it is possibly a purely onomatopoeic expression ...'
... The Original Dixieland Jazz Band opened at the Hippodrome in the musical review "Joy Bells" on April 7 ... Tony Sbarbaro recalls with a chuckle that every Bristish orchestra at that time used two drummers, one for the bass drum and one for the snare. It is easy to understand, then, how the London Daily News seemed so obsessed with Tony's drum installation:
"The trap drummer who plays the big drum with his feet and a side drum, the cymbals, and heaven knows what besides, is the most important man of them all .."
A distinguished patron haunted the Dixieland Band wherever they went. Lord Donegall, a close friend of the Prince of Wales, became fanatically interested in their music and even arranged a command performance before King George ... The curious musicians were carefully scrutinized by the gathering of British nobility who stared through their lorgnettes, according to LaRocca, "as though there were bugs on us." ...
La Rocca stamped his foot twice and the little group exploded into its steaming version of "Tiger Rag" ... The royal audience, perhaps having expected a polite form of chamber music, appeared petrified at the onset ... at the conclusion of the number, after an embarrassing silence, his majesty laughed his approval and began to applaud energetically, followed respectfully by his loyal but badly frightened entourage. The encore, "Ostrich Walk", was received with somewhat less tension.
From The Story Of The Original Dixieland Jazz Band by H.O. Brunn.
Name That Tune!
(Click on the picture for the answers)
Live Music Survey - Be Involved
Dr Matt Brennan from the University of Edinburgh is leading a team to survey the current live music scene in the UK, his co-investigators are Dr Emma Webster (Edinburgh University / Oxford Brookes University), Dr Adam Behr (Newcastle University) and Professor Martin Cloonan (University of Glasgow). They say: 'Live music is popular across the UK, and has become increasingly important to the music industries, overtaking recording revenues in 2008. Yet recent years have been difficult for venues. These challenges are felt particularly keenly by the smaller venues, clubs and pubs which provide for local musicians and audiences, and which serve as the training ground for future headline acts. There is widespread interest in the live music sector, and there have been numerous reports assessing its value produced by industry organisations, policy bodies and the charity sector. Nevertheless, there is still a gap in our knowledge about the specific relationship between the value of live music on the one hand and the current challenges facing venues across the UK on the other.'
'Our project will address these issues directly. The UK Live Music Census will be a collaboration between music industry organisations, policy bodies and leading academic live music researchers. Working with key personnel in the live music sector, and building on the project team’s pilot study of a census of live music in Edinburgh, we will provide the first account of live music in the UK that covers the full range of venues and that includes all types of musical activity – from amateur to top-flight professional. Our previous research shows that the way that different local councils deal with live music and venue licensing can have a profound effect on live music provision, but also that it is difficult for them to make informed decisions given the variety of approaches used in previous reports. By bringing together representatives of the music industry, policymakers and academics to help to design the surveys and promote them nationwide, this project will assist all of us by providing a method and framework we can all agree on for assessing the scope and value of live music in the UK.'
The nationwide online survey for musicians, venues, promoters and audiences will be open until 8th May. Click here for details and for how you can take part.
London Venue Closes
The Forge in Camden closes on the 1st April. The venue has staged a variety of music, including jazz, for eight years and the final event took place on 31st March..
Co-founder Adam Caird said: “The directors of The Forge have decided to close the venue from 1st April 2017. Running a music venue in these times is exceptionally tough and we have reached a point where it is time to close the doors and move on to new challenges.
“We are immensely proud of what we have achieved over eight wonderful years and our heartfelt thanks go to everyone who has contributed to and enjoyed this unique venue. We always strove to be as diverse, inclusive and welcoming as we could and we hope that these values have touched as many people as possible and will continue to do so.”
All current ticket-holders will receive full refunds for cancelled events.
Stormy: The Life Of Lena Horne
With premieres in May, this new one-woman musical show brings Camilla Beeput telling the untold story behind Lena Horne’s glamorous career as dancer, movie star, activist, singer - and the first black actor to break the Hollywood stereotype. From 1920s Harlem to the golden era of Hollywood, through WWII to the Civil Rights movement, Stormy celebrates the life and work of one of the most significant African-American figures in 20th century entertainment.
Under the direction of Olivier Award-winning actor/writer/director Clarke Peters (Five Guys Named Moe, The Wire) Stormy brings Lena back to life alongside a five-piece band directed by pianist Alex Webb providing thrilling musical evocations of the eras that Horne lived through in her 60 years in show business. When Horne died in 2010 The Guardian called her, ‘a free woman whose style, beauty, eloquence and independence made her a role model for millions’. In 2017, the centenary of her birth, Stormy brings the Lena Horne story to a new generation. Click here for more information.
Camilla Beeput is an actor working across film, theatre and television. On television, amongst other screenings, she has appeared in Partners In Crime (BBC One), Grantchester (ITV), New Tricks (BBC One), Babylon (Channel Four), Scott and Bailey (ITV), Birds of a Feather (ITV) and Peep Show (Channel Four). Theatre credits include: In the Red and Brown Water (Young Vic), Daddy Cool (Shaftsbury Theatre), West Side Story (Leicester Haymarket) and Bad Girls The Musical (Garrick Theatre).
Wednesday 17 May -
Norwich Playhouse, part of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival.
Wednesday 24 May -
Bath Komedia, part of the Bath Festival.
Jazz FM and Yamaha Expand Partnership
Yamaha and Jazz FM have announced a significant broadening of their existing long standing relationship. This will include a full technical makeover at Jazz FM’s Performance Space at their West End studios in London including a 16 channel MG mixing console complemented by a Yamaha N3X Hybrid Grand piano and a new generation Yamaha DTX digital drum kit. All of which will feature in the hugely popular videos that now reach hundreds of thousands of views through Jazz FM’s social media.
Yamaha also take on headline sponsorship of Thursday evening's “True Brit with Helen Mayhew”. Helen celebrates the Great British jazz scene, contemporary and classic, which is central to Yamaha Music’s strategy in the UK.
Charles Bozon, Sales & Marketing Director – Classic Division of Yamaha Music Europe says: “Yamaha is not only an instrument maker and innovator it is a part of the UK Jazz community and we are delighted to extend our partnership with Jazz FM with an expanded programme to enable us to better promote the genre and of course Yamaha’s role within it. 'True Brit' is the perfect fit for Yamaha UK as we increase our support to new and breakthrough artists combined with our support of our established artists in promoting Jazz across the globe. With the live area gaining popularity with visiting artists the refit will bring us closer to these artists and help promote our support for Jazz in the UK and showcase what Yamaha instruments offer to players and listeners alike."
Click here for more details.
we give you a cornucopial plethora of diverse and miscellaneous assorted questions in the Jazz Quiz.
Re-arrange these letters to form the title of Neal Hefti composition for Count Basie:
THIRD ELF BOOS OFF FIGHT.
You can check how well you have done on the Answers page where you will also find some interesting videos - and don't forget to check your score.
Click here for the Jazz Quiz.
Charlie Parker's Yardbird
From 9th to 17th June, Hackney Empire and English National Opera are presenting the European Premiere of Charlie Parker’s 'YARDBIRD', a jazz-infused chamber ‘be-bopera’ by Daniel Schnyder with libretto by award winning African-American poet Bridgette A. Wimberly.
Lawrence Brownlee stars as the legendary saxophonist - a role crafted around the effortless, improvisational style that makes him one of music’s most sought after tenors.
In the empty twilight between life and death, saxophonist Charlie Parker composes his final masterpiece, revisiting the inspirations, demons and women who fuelled his creative genius.
Set in the famed NYC jazz club, Birdland, the opera is 'as uncompromising in its artistic vision as the “Yardbird” himself.'
Click here for the trailer and more details.
This project is the first in a series of work planned in partnership with English National Opera, Hackney Empire and Opera Philadelphia, to engage with a diverse range of artists and audience members through opera
The running time is an hour and a half; tickets are £15 - £75 plus a booking fee.
An Audience With Harvey Mason
A Centrestage Masterclass at Ronnie Scott’s Club - Saturday May 13th, lunchtime
Drummer, producer and composer Harvey Mason is said to be the world's most recorded session drummer. In a long and incredibly successful career he has worked as a sideman with the likes of George Benson, Donald Byrd, Stanley Turrentine, Carole King, Grover Washington Jr and Lee Ritenour, to name just a few. His experience is endless. Mason first showed his penchant for greatness, distinctive technique and innate sensitivity in the late '60's performing with jazz legends Duke Ellington and Erroll Garner. His recording career began in the early years of the Blue Note jazz crossover explosion and continued with ground-breaking performances and compositions with Herbie Hancock and the Headhunters. He has earned multiple Grammy nominations including ten for his jazz supergroup Fourplay and one for Best Contemporary Jazz Performance for the latest of six solo endeavours, ‘Ratamacue’.
Ronnie Scott’s present ‘An Evening With Harvey Mason’ as part of the club’s Centrestage series of masterclasses and ‘specials’ - a must for musicians, drummers and lifelong fans of Harvey's music.
This lunchtime session will feature Harvey demonstrating some of his musical and drum techniques, talking about his influences and musical career to date plus, if time permits, a Q&A session at the end.
Click here to watch Harvey Mason's ‘Chameleon Band' at the Java Jazz Festival.
Doors Open 12.00 pm -
Starts: 12.30pm (runs for approx 90 mins) -
Seating: Standard Entry – First Come, First Served. Click here for details.
When you listen to music, you sometimes conjure images in your mind. Our Jazz As Art series invites you to listen to a piece of jazz and as it plays, scroll down the page and see which of the pieces of art I have chosen comes closest to the pictures in your mind. Hopefully, this will introduce you to recordings and art works you might not have spent time with before.
You will need to go to a separate page on the website for this, but you can come back here afterwards - click here for the Jazz As Art page.
This month - pianist Bill Evans plays his beautiful version of I Loves You Porgy from the Gershwin's Porgy And Bess and there are five pictures for you to look at.
EFG London Jazz Festival 2017
This year's London Jazz Festival, celebrating it's 25th year, runs from Friday 10th to Sunday 19th November and the first 2 phases of ticket releases are now on sale.
Amongst them: on 10th November, Polish trumpeter Tomasz Stańko brings his Quartet to the Cadogan Hall and Pat Metheny is at the Barbican; the Andy Sheppard Quartet is at King's Place on 11th November; Chris Thile and Brad Mehldau are at the Barbican on 12th November; Beats and Pieces are at Rich Mix on 17th November and Omar Sosa & Seckou Keita play Milton Court on the 19th November. Abdullah Ibrahim & Ekaya and Hugh Masekela: 'The Jazz Epistles' are featured at the opening Gala at the Royal Festival Hall on 14th November.
Click here for the full listing.
'A Novel In One Shot'
This amazing image by Joseph Eid of Mohammed Mohiedin Anis, 70, smoking his pipe as he sits in his destroyed bedroom listening to music in Aleppo, appeared all over the internet in March. Apart from showing the destruction in Aleppo and the value of music, perhaps it also reminds us of how fortunate we are to be able to listen to music in peace. Click here for more background information from the Washington Post.
Do You Have A Birthday In April?
for April Birthdays
Aries (The Ram)
21st March - 20th April
It looks as though it could be a happy month ahead for you. Good things are happening, even though they might not seem obvious and straightforward - for example, you might seem to have missed an opportunity, but don't worry, it comes back again.
With your energy and magnetism you continue to achieve things, even though one or two wrong choices could have consequences further down the line, but you will be able to fix these. That shouldn't stop you tackling things that are annoying you right now.
Venus spends most of the month in your 12th house of spirituality and you experience loving feelings whilst at the same time being strongly idealistic. Follow your highest ideals and 'feel the love'.
Next month is also looking good. Venus moves forward on the 15th offering chances to deal with financial matters, although when your career planet, Saturn, goes retrograde on the 6th you might want to just go with what you have rather than stress over your career.
For you click here for the Maria Schneider Orchestra playing My Ideal in Vienna in 2008 with Greg Gisbert on flugelhorn.
Taurus (The Bull)
21st April - 20th May
A Taurus has all the power of action that an Aries has but their actions must be productive and practical. They have the power to make real their own and others' ideas. They can also be determined and unwavering and some might see them as stubborn, but they usually go the distance and see things through.
Now, if you are a Taurus, I would advise that you work on clarifying your goals until the 15th of the month, for when Venus moves forward on that date you will be entering a period of maximum power. Some changes you make now can pave the way for greater opportunities in the future, so think long-term.
When the Sun moves into your sign on the 19th, family support could add further energy and at those odd times when you might feel under the weather, turn to your spiritual support systems.
On the 21st, Mars moves into your money house and financial intuition is important and you might need to seek some guidance - it might be wise to resist the urge to make quick financial decisions until Mercury starts moving forward again early next month. Next month, May, promises much and could be the time for new ventures between the 3rd and the 10th and from the 25th onwards.
Fine And Dandy? - For you, click here to amazing Art Tatum improvised on the theme on four different occasions.
[You are able to listen to the music at the same time as reading this article and without leaving the page if you click here. This will take you to the article on another page on our website where some computers might ask you to allow the music to play on the page. Alternatively there are links to the music on YouTube etc. in the article below].
Saxophonist Tom Challenger was born in Huddersfield. He leads the band ‘Brass Mask’, which performs music inspired by traditional street-music and collective improvisation.
Their first album Spyboy (2013) was described by John Fordham in The Guardian as ‘an octet of seven horns (from clarinet to tuba, the latter instrument clearly enjoying a big comeback) plus the resourceful John Blease on percussion. Challenger's inspirations are New Orleans Mardi Gras street-bands, free jazz, Gambian and Senegalese music, and the ensemble conceptions of influential American composer Henry Threadgill. Spy Boy is full of startling twists on familiar settings, such as the playful melodic upturn out of the quietly ticking, one-note rhythm pattern Onnellinen, the spooky Albert Ayler-esque shivers in the sleazily rapturous I Thank You Jesus, the Loose Tubes-like dirges at the end of the bouncing Wizards, or the fast percussion shuffle under the sombre harmonies of Israfil. It feels like a work in progress with a somewhat reserved, relationship-building feel, but Challenger is a clever composer and a sharp soloist, and the driving idea is full of potential.’
Click here for a video of Tom talking about Brass Mask back in 2012.
Tom is also involved in the band ‘Dice Factory’, a jazz quartet exploring alternative methods of composition and ‘Ma.’ an electro-improv outfit who have released 3 albums to date. In 2016, Tom collaborated with pianist Kit Downes in a project to record saxophone and organ music in five Suffolk churches. The resulting album, Vyamanikal, was included in Jazzwise magazine’s 2016 albums of the year list. Brass Mask have a new, live album out this month.
I managed to grab Tom for a quick conversation and a coffee break:
Hi Tom, tea or coffee?
Milk and sugar?
Your music seems to span many different approaches, how would you describe what you are doing?
My music does cover a wide variety of styles and aesthetics. However, I see it all being actually pretty integrated (perhaps not surprisingly). Essentially I'm trying to achieve the same goals with every project and scenario I contribute too - that there is space for expression; that there is conversation; and that we all follow the same beat (or vibration).
So, you have a new Brass Mask album coming out this month on the Babel label – what can we expect?
It was a live gig recorded at the end of a period of quite a bit of activity. Although live albums are my favourite, I wanted to try and set the music and gig in different scenery - hence my additions to the post-production you'll hear.
[LIVE by Brass Mask is released on the Babel label on 21st April 2017. You can sample the album if you click here where you can experience the variety from the band's version of Lil' Liza Jane to the opening vibrations and riffs of Nyodi. We shall be reviewing the album in a future issue of What's New].
If you could ask two past jazz musicians to join us for the tea break, who would you invite?
You mean people no longer with us? Tough...today...I don't know ... Lester and Bud.
What would you ask them?
What do you see when you play?
Hob Nob, Bourbon, Garibaldi or digestive biscuit?
Neither, but thanks!
The album you made last year with Kit Downes, Vyamanikal, was interesting. You recorded it in 5 Suffolk churches – did they welcome the idea?
For the five we chose to record in, yes. Part of the magic of the process we entered into was the communication and relationships we forged with the people that actually use those amazing spaces on a regular basis. Some churches weren't up for this, but we found that out in advance of visiting them.
Making music is also about forging a relationship with the space you're inhabiting. As soon as this becomes a vital part of the process, then I believe the music will only get stronger as a result.
[Vyamanikal is named after the ancient Sanskrit term for flying machines - ‘Vaimānika Shāstra’. It is a collection of transcendent improvisations 'where the primordial moans and whistles of remote organs meld with gossamer saxophone'. Click here for a video about the album. Click here for more details].
What have you got coming up apart from the album? Are you touring with it?
We'll do some gigs, and I'll think about a tour (although 9 guys on the road is a scary thought). We actually have a new album of material ready to go, I'm going to try and get this done quick.
Who else have you heard recently that we should listen out for?
There's so much going on...so here's some of my main guys at the moment: Robert Stillman; Philipp Gropper's PHILM; Ingebjørg Loe Bjørnstad; and We All Break.
[Click here for a video of Ingebjørg Loe Bjørnstad singing HÆM in 2014].
I'm ok thanks!
[Click here for saxophonist Trish Clowes in conversation with Tom Challenger in 2014]
Click here for more Tea Breaks
Help With Musical Definitions No 34.
Coming to an agreement with other musicians about the way you have organised a piece of music.
Click here for our page of 'Alternative Definitions'. Send us yours
Black Sound tells the story of 100 years of musical creativity and DIY ingenuity. This exhibition at the Black Cultural Archives in Brixton celebrates the pioneers of Black British music – the players, the promoters, the producers and the punters that changed Britain’s cultural history. Combining sound, moving image and archive material, to dynamically tell the story of Black British music, Black Sound takes you through three phases of this musical journey: Original Imports, D.I.Y Culture and Re-mastering the Mainstream. These themes are consistent throughout the history of Black British music, linking individuals, generations and genres – tracking the evolution of multi-cultural Britain through sound.
Black Cultural Archives, 1 Windrush Square, Brixton, London, SW2 1EF.
Tel:0203 757 8500.
From April 7 until November 4. Tuesday-Saturday, 10.00am-6.00pm (last entry 5.30pm). Admission is free but the exhibition experience includes an audio-guided tour for £3.
There are a number of relevant events at the BCA, including:
Instrumental Sounds of Jazz: A Tribute to Carl Kirton, Friday 12 May, 6.30pm-9.00pm;
Vinyl Rhythms - Thursday 8 June, 7.00pm-9.00pm;
Jazz Music Workshops, various dates. Click here for more info.
Misty-Eyed With Good-Time George
by Yvonne Mallett
[You are able to listen to the music at the same time as reading this article and without leaving the page if you click here. This will take you to the article on another page on our website where some computers might ask you to allow the music to play on the page. Alternatively there are links to the music on YouTube etc. in the article below].
When my old school friend, Emmie, and I met up after a gap of some 30 years the catch-up stories came thick and fast. And when they were over, we inevitably tip-toed into ‘do you remember when?’ territory.
Not that it was school itself that was the attraction – oh, no. It was the après school we were keen to re-visit.
We were besotted by jazz. We used to hoard our pocket money so that when the time came we could jump out of our gym slips and into something less comfortable to get to wherever there was jazz. The music was always good. And some of it was even better. We went to anything from high-school bands to top names like Humph, or Ronnie Scott and Tubby Hayes. We kept pace with every development: trad, mainstream and modern. But the number one attraction for our money was the late great George Melly. We may have been dumb with admiration during his performance but we’d re-run his every note and move for days afterwards.
One night when he was playing within striking distance we got to the venue as it opened and bagged ourselves a table a few feet from the band.
We were dressed to kill and, mercifully, looked nothing like our schoolgirl selves. Lips were being worn untainted by lipstick in those days but we made up for that with half-a-ton of mascara each. Back then mascara came in small blocks (a bit like shoe polish). You had to spit into it and lather it up with a brush before lathering it on to your eyelashes.
Photograph © Sandy Pringle
That night our idol came and saw and conquered us where we sat, misty-eyed with love, spikey-eyed with too much mascara. We knew he had seen us because in the interval, as if it had been planned by our willpower alone, George took three strides from the stage and sat down, without hesitation, at our table.
He was all smiles and friendliness. We were all frozen and silent – but not for long. Everyone was looking at us, their envious expressions clearly saying: “Who are they?”
Emmie was the first to recover from this happy shock – and how!
While I sat nonchalantly, contributing a few – very few – words of conversation, Emmie managed a creditable stream of chatter. George even laughed a few times. I was beginning to see Emmie in a new light – sophisticated, at ease and, it must be acknowledged, obviously a lot more attractive to men than I was.
Sophistication being the name of the game, I’m afraid we smoked a lot more than was reasonable just because George was happy to light cigarettes for us. At one moment in this thrilling process there was a sudden fizzing sound and a faint smell of burning. I had leaned too close to the lighter and my left eyelids were soldered together, courtesy of the mascara.
This was disappointing. The vision of loveliness that was George was now blurred and one-sided. I tried and tried to open my eye. Impossible. I had no choice; I had to slink away to the Ladies, where it took plenty of soap and hot water to prise my eyelids apart. By the time I’d gone to work with a fresh application of make-up and returned to the table, George and Emmie were talking and laughing like old chums, and I’d been relegated to the bit-part role of gooseberry.
There was no stopping them. They chattered on in animated mode while I tried to look bored to cover my frustration. And then George asked us what we did for a living. Emmie had no hesitation at all in explaining that we were still at school.
George made his excuses and left.
The instant his back was turned Emmie swooped on the ghastly dog-ends (not a filter tip to be seen), scooped them into her handkerchief and shoved them into her bag. For months, even years, later we’d pore over those old trophies and reminisce about the night we had George to ourselves. Emmie kept these old dog-ends until even the smell had faded.
After school Emmie and I went different ways but, both of us married, we met briefly in Canada where we each then lived, although on opposite sides of that vast country. Many years later, both of us back in London once more, we managed to meet up again and the embers of our old, close friendship were quickly reignited. Sadly, George is no longer with us but, unlike those unforgettable old dog-ends, his music still burns bright.
Our thanks to Yvonne Mallett who writes short stories, sings and has been listening to live jazz since before she left school.
[Click here for a brief clip from a 1959 interview with George in which he is asked: "Do you enjoy teenage adulation?". George replies: "I don't get very much teenage adulation, I'm afraid."]
[Click here for a video of George Melly with John Chilton's Feetwarmers on Bernard Manning's television show singing Boogie Woogie Man].
Video Juke Box
Click on the Picture for the Video
Alec Dankworth's Spanish Accents: On April 8th at Pizza Express Jazz Club in Dean Street Alec Dankworth leads an all-star line up, sharing his long-standing love of all things Spanish which has provided the inspiration for these compelling musical arrangements. The music of Pat Metheny, Chick Corea, Rodrigo and others is reinvented alongside traditional folk songs and originals in flamenco rhythms creating a wonderful and genuinely Spanish world.
Singer Alexander Stewart has some UK dates coming up featuring songs from his album I Thought About You - click the picture for a video introduction to the album. Highly recommended - catch him if you can.
April 19th – Pizza Express Jazz Club, Dean Street, Soho, London
April 21st - The Music Room, Pizza Express, Maidstone
April 22nd - Pizza Express Live, Brindley Place, Birmingham
May 18th - Manchester Pride Spring Benefit concert.
Jazz Connection on tour. If you fancy some jiving to this Dutch Jive and Swing band they are coming in April:
Apr 5 Belvedere Jazz Club Rawreth, Nr. Wickford
Apr 6 The Swan Inn Chaddesley Corbett
Apr 7 The Cornbow Hall All About Swing Halesowen
Apr 8 America Hall South West Lindy Hoppers Exeter
Apr 9 The Trout Inn Lechlade
Apr 9 The Meca Swingout Swindon
Here's a haunting taster of the new Phil Meadows Project from their Sofar Sound show in January. In this video Phil Meadows with Rob Luft (guitar), Flo Moore (bass) and Will Glaser (drums) play Trashlantis.
A scene from the 1943 movie Cabin In The Sky with Duke Ellington's Orchestra at Jim Henry's Paradise playing Things Ain't What They Used To Be and Goin' Up with some great dance routines including a couple Cakewalking.
Keith Tippett with South West Music Students in 2013 playing The Friar's Drinking Song from his 7 Pieces for Young Old commission.
Dave Manington's Riff Raff playing Dr Octopus at The Vortex in January during their 2017 tour. Brigitte Beraha (vocals), Tom Challenger (tenor sax), Rob Updegraff (guitar), Ivo Neame (keys), Dave Manington (bass), Tim Giles (drums).
John Dankworth on the Bass Guitar
The National Jazz Archive holds the UK’s finest collection of written, printed and visual material on jazz, blues and related music, from the 1920s to the present day. Founded in 1988, the Archive’s vision is to ensure that the rich tangible cultural heritage of jazz is safeguarded for future generations of enthusiasts, professionals and researchers.
Part of the 2011 Heritage Lottery Funded project was devoted to conserving and cataloguing the collection and digitising some of the most interesting material. As a result, the National Jazz Archive web site is jammed full of fabulous interviews, magazine stories, photographs of both UK and US musicians with learning and research resources. These are available and freely accessible on the Archive’s web site (click here). To encourage all jazz fans to delve into the Archive’s collection, they present a series of articles – ‘Gems from the Archive’. In one Gem, they feature bandleader, composer and arranger Sir John Dankworth, who in this extract from a 1969 interview, talks to Les Tomkins about introducing the bass guitar to his band:
Sir John Dankworth and Cleo Laine
(Picture courtesy of the National Jazz Archive)
'It’s very encouraging to see that fans are taking British musicians seriously at last. For a long, long while Americans were the only ones; now you see our musicians beginning to get recognition. It's a great time for British jazz, after all, isn't it? It's really beginning to make its mark. I'm thinking of all the young players who are coming up: the John Surmans, Alan Skidmores and Mike Westbrooks. For many years European jazz has been very much underrated. It’s partly because American jazz has always been very well–promoted. All the visiting American jazz musicians don't come over by accident; they're sent over by agents and promotion campaigns are put over for them. And the poor old British musician has just had to exist on his reputation alone; sometimes that hasn't been enough to get his name before the public. But thank goodness, all that's changing now.
..... The band that I had on the road gradually petered out. I didn't really ever plan it that way, except that long before I stopped touring I was doing film music. And it was a bit of a strain to return, say, from Carlisle at four in the morning and have to be at Shepperton Studios at seven a.m. ... the trouble was that by that time London had started to come up as the biggest session centre in the world. Which I should think it is now; London is busier in studio activity than anywhere else - except Los Angeles, maybe. Musicians weren't going to tour with me, however good the money, if they could stay at home in London and do work which was varied, ...
... Nevertheless, it's been a very exciting season, because there've been a lot of new players come in to take the places of people like Tony Coe and Chris Pyne, and I've discovered more fine talent. Some I'd heard occasionally, but you don’t get to know their playing until you actually play with them. I mean; a player like Alan Skidmore is every bit in his father's footsteps as one of the finest tenor men in the country already. And yet he's a very good musician, all–round; not just a jazz player, but an excellent instrumentalist, reader, everything. Malcolm Griffiths is another; he plays marvellous trombone and is an ideal man to have in the band. I'd have him again any time, at the drop of a hat. I think that the standard of young players, including those who play in my band and in other bands around now, such as the Stan Tracey, Tubby Hayes, Mike Westbrook bands, they're the equal to anybody in the world, as players in this sort of big band. You wouldn't get better performances anywhere.
As for my bringing in the bass guitar… there was a lot of prejudice against it in jazz, and I was one of those prejudiced people. For me, the change came mainly when I had to use the bass guitar a great deal on film sessions. I've been required to write any sort of music that is necessary for the film. Quite often I was writing pop music and pop–orientated music, and I'd use bass guitars. First of all, I would try to use bass players who doubled bass guitar. After a while I realised that, in fact, the bass guitar is an individual instrument that needs a specialist player. Really, if you're going to use bass guitar, you've got to have someone who thinks of it as a serious instrument. Of course, this is what the young bass players like Brian Odgers, Ron Mathewson and Dave Holland are doing now. They are taking it seriously and playing it very well.
This is a sign to the future. Whatever happens in a small group the bass guitar is a much more suitable instrument for big band work. You can hear it. Nobody could ever say in the old days that the bass line was strong enough with a stringed instrument. And for many years bass players used to hate amplifiers. Well, now there's a good case for the bass amplifier, I think, because amplifiers have improved out of all recognition in the last ten years; and now you could get a good string bass sound with amplification. But still I think the bass guitar has a different feel with it, and for a lot of things that I've written in the last six months or so, I prefer to hear it. This is a trend that is being echoed throughout a lot of big–band jazz all over the world today.
[Click on the picture for a video of John Dankworth and Cleo Laine playing Feeling Good in 1974 - a 'master class' in how to sing what I think is a difficult number and which is so often sung the same way].
But it's very hard to iron out prejudices, and there are still a lot of prejudices among jazz musicians about pop–influenced things. I think that's wrong, too. I can remember when I would talk to straight musicians who had prejudices against jazz, and they weren't justified. It was through ignorance, mainly. The same thing applies now; and I thought jazz musicians would be broad–minded when it came to considering another sort of music. Quite often, though, they're not. Or the older players haven't been; they've laughed at pop and anything it can offer jazz.
Whereas the younger generation of musicians think differently. Like Henry Lowther, who's playing with our band —he's as much at home with Alan Price's band as he is with ours. And he loves it all; this is the important part. The thing to realise is: there's a lot of bad jazz going around and there's a lot of bad pop going around, but if you can be good enough to select the best of the two, then you're really swinging.'
(John Dankworth, 1969).
(Picture courtesy of the National Jazz Archive)
Click here for our page of 'Jazz Remembered' articles.
Our thanks to the National Jazz Archive for this 'Gem'. For the real dedicated John Dankworth aficionado, click here for the1038 mentions he receives on the Archive. The National Jazz Archive collections include: More than 4000 books / Runs of around 700 journals and periodicals / Photographs, drawings, paintings, concert and festival posters and programmes / Letters, memorabilia and personal papers donated by musicians, writers, journalists and collectors / Oral histories from our Heritage Lottery Fund intergenerational jazz reminiscence project. If readers of Sandy Brown Jazz have a specific enquiry, they are welcome to contact David Nathan at the Archive directly.
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Access Information: Visitors are welcome in the Archive Reading Room without appointment on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday mornings, from 10am - 1pm. If you have specific research to undertake it is advisable to make contact in advance with your area of research so that material can be prepare for you. If you need to carry out research yet aren’t able to visit in person, you might find the enquiry service useful – please contact by telephone or e-mail if you’d like more information.
It is not unusual for UK readers, and maybe others, to spend time checking out jazz from the UK and the U.S.A. but less so on music from Europe. Peter Slavid hosts a monthly, 2 hour radio show at www.mixcloud.com/ukjazz and says: 'The programme has a very specific purpose. First of all the show is entirely European and entirely modern. There is so much American (and American style) jazz around that European jazz doesn't get a fair shout. And yet I think European jazz is now more creative and more exciting.' In his show, Peter features a Record Of The Month and has offered to share that with us.' This month he features the band Big 4 + 1.
Big 4 + 1
Julien Soro (saxophones and compositions);
Stephan Caracci (vibraphone);
Fabien Debellefontaine (sousaphone);
Rafaël Koerner (drums)
Quentin Ghomari (trumpet).
As usual my CD of the month, this month from France, is a band that few people in the UK will know. It's an unusual line-up with vibraphone and sousaphone and that gives it a distinctive sound. The band has been around for seven years (hence the title), and is led by saxophonist Julien Soro. On this live recording on the Neuklang label they are joined by trumpeter Quentin Ghomari who is a regular with the band Papanosh who produced a fine album last year of Charlie Mingus tunes.
The music here is definitely quirky – and not only because of the unusual instrumentation. Some of the rhythms are complex, there's some fierce improvisation, but also some lyrical passages. There's some fine interactions, particularly between trumpet and saxophone, but everyone plays their part.
You can hear bits of Steve Coleman and Henry Threadgill, but also echoes of Mingus and of New Orleans. I'd love to see the band live in the UK, because the overwhelming impression from the CD is one of great fun being had. Playful music from people who enjoy playing and enjoy entertaining.
Click here to listen to some sample tracks. Click here for a video of the band playing Hymne Aux Lucioles.
Click here for the Big Four website where you can find out more about the band.
Peter Slavid broadcasts a monthly programme of modern jazz focussing entirely on Europe and the UK at www.mixcloud.com/ukjazz and on various internet stations including www.thejazz.co.uk
Two Ears Three Eyes
Geoff Achison and the Soul Diggers
In March, Brian O'Connor captured these images of Geoff Achison's band at the Studio, Hawth, Crawley in West Sussex.
Brian writes: 'Australian Geoff has made a welcome return to these shores after a few years, with his usual mix of hard blues containing quite a sprinkling of the jazz influence. Many of his solos on guitar would not go amiss in a jazz gig, and Paul Johnson on keyboards (new to me) was quite a revelation.'
'Andy Hodge was playing only his second gig with Geoff and fitted in with consummate ease. Sam Kelly on drums is versatile in many genres, and always a joy to watch and listen to. His sheer enthusiasm never flags and is complete with a quite endless range of facial expressions. A terrific two hours of blues, jazz, and simply, good entertainment. Welcome back Geoff.'
Click here for a video of Geoff and the Souldiggers playing Be Careful What You Wish For in 2014.
Born in Cowes, Phillip Island, Geoff Achison is an Australian Melbourne-based singer/songwriter/guitarist. He formed his band 'the Souldiggers' and produced his first album, Big Machine in 1994. It is featured in the National Library of Australia. By 2002, membership of 'The Souldiggers' included Gerry Pantazis and two ex-members of Little River Band: bassist Roger McLachlan, and keyboardist Mal Logan.
In 1995 the Melbourne Blues Appreciation Society sent Geoff to the Memphis International Blues Challenge, where he won the Albert King Award for the most promising guitarist of the finals. He was awarded London-based Jazz FM's Album of the Month in 1999 for 'Mystery Train'. Achison, along with the Souldiggers, won 'Group of the Year' at the 2007 Australian Blues Music 'Chain' Awards and the Melbourne Blues Appreciation Society has awarded Geoff Male Artist of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year and Band of the Year 2012.
Click here for a video of the Souldiggers playing Rule The World in 2014.
All pictures © Brian O'Connor, Images Of Jazz
Brian O'Connor's hard back book, packed with hundreds of photographs is now available. It can be obtained from Brian at: Brian O’Connor, 48 Sarel Way, Horley, Surrey RH6 8EW. Tel: 01293 774171. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. The book is priced at £25 plus £4.95 post and packing (UK).
Bestowing Jazz In Norway
Trombonist leader of Spicy Jazz, Bob Jackson travelled to Trondheim last month to receive an Honorary Doctorate from the
Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). The Doctorate was not in music, but in science, nevertheless, Bob says: ‘I knew that the University did a good deal more than science, but I didn't know that their music department specialises in jazz. The emeritus professor is Bjorn Alterhaug, a wonderful bass player and composer and arranger. In his mid-20s he was on the Ben Webster In Norway album, and has done some excellent CDs since (e.g. Constellations and Songlines). I was invited to play with him and also with Vigleik Soraas (piano) and Håkon Mjåseth Johansen (drums). We did an hour's lunchtime gig at the splendid Rockheim building in Trondheim. This was a lovely experience for me, to play with such outstanding musicians. They even borrowed a nice trombone for me!’
‘At the degree ceremony, they had a wonderful jazz trio led by Lukas Zabulionis, a former music student at NTNU, who played soprano, but also plays really excellent tenor sax. Lukas, who is only in his mid twenties, composes some lovely music. He has a new CD out called Changing Tides which is available on the curling legs label, CLP CD 155. I do hope that his music gets heard outside Norway.’
Click here for an introductory video to Lukas Zabulionis's Changing Tides. Click here to listen to The Seafarer from the album.
David Moore writes: ‘Browsing through the "Jazz Remembered" series and I came up with your Harry Parry highlights (click here). I remember during the war listening to his Radio Rhythm Group and funnily enough when forming my U3A group listening to "Swing and Trad. Jazz" music via CDs, I chose for my "Signature Tune" Harry playing "You Are My Lucky Star”. Harry, I think was one of the nearest British clarinettists to my hero Benny Goodman. I really look forward to receiving your monthly epistle and enjoy the various articles and tributes.’
Click here for a video of Harry Parry and his Radio Rhythm Club Sextet playing Hot Dogs in 1942.
Trummy Young Lies (Down)?
Barry Clare writes: 'I have been writing reviews in the Just Jazz magazine for about 18 years. I
recently wrote a CD review of Louis Armstrong plays King Oliver. In it,
I mentioned that I had seen Louis at Earls Court in the '50s and, during the
performance I saw, Trummy Young lay on his back playing the trombone. I was
somewhat dismissive of this and thought it more 'show bizz' than jazz.
In response to my review, I received several letters which doubted that
Trummy had ever lain on his back to play. I am adamant he did, as is my
brother, who was at the same performance. Fortunately, one Kath (or Kate)
Sanders has written in your pages describing the same thing (click here) and I can assure
you I have never met Kath.
Trummy Young and Louis Armstrong
I feel sure that we three are not the ONLY people to have seen Trummy's
antics and, though it is about 50 years ago, I also feel sure someone could
confirm it. Perhaps you could ask your knowledgeable readers to verify my story. I have
been vilified for what I wrote by people who did not see it and believe that
means it could not have happened.'
Does anyone else remember this? Tell us if you do.
Peter Cook says: Reading with interest re Art Wood (click here), the eldest of The Woods boys, Ted Woods, was drummer with Colin Kingswell's Jazz Bandits and later formed Ted Woods River Boys and youngest Ronnie Woods now of Rolling Stones fame. I was just browsing past contacts starting with Barry Kerswell and up came the names Jim Willis, Gerry Waite, Mike Waldron and many others, Ray Smith - piano, Eddie Harper - piano, Lenny Hastings - sax, Brian Sidaway - clarinet, Mike Messenger - sousa, Reg Squires - double bass, Pat Halcox - trumpet etc etc. (I also worked with Bert Fawkes, father of Wally Fawkes). I was known as 'Pete the Jiving Barman' from The Viaduct Inn, Hanwell, west London and used to follow the jazz scene including Steve Lane at the Norfolk Arms, Wembley as well as many other jazz club venues at that time. Countless tales but sadly I am not a musician.
Chris Duff writes: I was so pleased to see that Pete Simkins is alive and well and still tickling the ivories. He was one of a group of jazz enthusiasts behind the Sussex Jazz Society during those halcyon days in the 1960s when the resident Fourteen Foot Band and others played and accompanied British and American musicians to full houses at the Fox and Hounds, Haywards Heath. For a number of years Pete could be seen and heard with bands in the Brighton area, often with his father, tenor player Benny, and brother, altoist Geoff. Many of these sessions were with leading American musicians and were recorded. The full story of the wonderful jazz heard around Brighton during the latter half of the twentieth century is told by Pete and trombonist Keith Samuels, who co-edited the book 'The Brighton Jazz Line'.
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Information has arrived about the following musicians or people connected to jazz who have passed through the 'Departure Lounge' since our last update. Click on their names to read their obituaries where we have them:
Martin Guy on Facebook has posted that pianist Pat Hawes, 'Lazy Piano Man', has passed through the Departure Lounge. We have no other information about this and would be grateful if anyone can let us know more. Click here to listen to Salty Dog from the album of the same name with Pat Hawes [piano], Alan Elsdon [trumpet], Goff Dubber [reeds], Mike Pointon [trombone], John Rodber [bass] and Rex Bennett [drums].
Dave Valentin - Born in the Bronx to parents who came from Puerto Rico, Dave Valentin was playing conga and timbales professionally by the time he was 10. As a teenager, he became attracted to a girl who played the flute and, to court her, switched instruments and taught himself to play. He went on to become one of the pre-eminent flutists in Latin jazz. He recorded with the singers Patti Austin, Chris Connor and Nnenna Freelon, the guitarist Lee Ritenour, the pianist McCoy Tyner’s Afro-Cuban All-Stars and many others. He also toured with the percussionist Tito Puente and was music director of his Golden Latin Jazz All-Stars. Click here for a video of Dave Valentin playing Obsession.
Horace Parlan - American pianist whose adoptive parents gave him piano lessons as therapy when he was 7, two years after polio left him partly paralyzed on the right side of his body. He moved to New York in 1957 and became a member of Charles Mingus’s ensemble. He remained with Mingus until 1959 and was prominently featured on the albums Mingus Ah Um and Blues and Roots. He also worked with Sonny Stitt and Archie Shepp amongst others. Unable to use the middle two fingers of his right hand, Mr. Parlan still forged a style that impressed critics.
Click here for a video of the DVD Horace Parlan by Horace Parlan - a view of the life and music of the pianist.
James Cotton - Harmonica Blues player born in Mississippi to parents who were sharecroppers working on a cotton plantation. His father was also the preacher at the local Baptist church. He worked with Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf and helped establish his instrument as an integral part of modern blues. His prowess on the harmonica 'earned him the nickname Superharp (the term “harp” is common parlance for the harmonica), released some two dozen albums, with small and larger ensembles, for a variety of labels, including Alligator, Vanguard and Telarc. His Deep in the Blues (Verve) won a Grammy for best traditional blues album in 1997'. His most recent album, Cotton Mouth Man, was released in 2013 and was nominated for a Grammy. Click here for a video of James Cotton and Muddy Waters playing Got My Mojo Working.
Misha Mengelberg - Born in Kiev, Ukraine, the pianist and composer is possibly known best as the pianist on Eric Dolphy’s album Last Date, recorded in concert shortly before Dolphy’s death in 1964. His family moved to the Netherlands in 1930. 'He was much better known in Europe, and especially in the Netherlands, where he was one of the leading figures in a thriving avant-garde jazz scene,' where his 'dissonant harmonies and unorthodox phrasing were reminiscent of Thelonious Monk, an acknowledged influence. But he also drew inspiration from many other sources, including the composer John Cage and the interdisciplinary art movement known as Fluxus.' In 1963 he formed a quartet, whose members included drummer Han Bennink. The next year he, Bennink and the bassist Jacques Schols accompanied Dolphy at the concert in the Dutch city of Hilversum that would be released as Last Date. In 1966 his quartet performed at the Newport Jazz Festival. The next year he, Bennink and the saxophonist Willem Breuker formed the Instant Composers Pool. An ensemble with shifting personnel under the direction of Mengelberg and Bennink, toured Europe regularly and won praise for its unusual blend of anarchic improvisation and straight-ahead swing.
Click here for Misha's trio playing You Don't Know What Love Is.
Arthur Blythe - American alto saxophonist and composer born in Los Angeles. He took up the alto saxophone at the age of nine, playing R&B until his mid-teens when he discovered jazz. In the mid-1960s, he was part of The Underground Musicians and Artists Association founded by Horace Tapscott, on whose 1969 The Giant Is Awakened he made his recording debut. Arthur Blythe played as a sideman for Chico Hamilton, was part of the Gil Evans' Orchestra and worked with Jack DeJohnette and McCoy Tyner. He recorded as a leader on albums such as The Grip and Metamorphosis. He joined the World Saxophone Quartet and from 2000 he made recordings on Savant Records which included Exhale (2003) with John Hicks (piano), Bob Stewart (tuba), and Cecil Brooks III (drums). Click here for a video of Arthur Blythe in Montreaux in 1981 with Chico Freeman and McCoy Tyner.
Roy Fisher - British poet who was also a jazz pianist.. Born in Birmingham, as a teenager he became interested in jazz and taught himself to play the piano. He was particularly influenced by a group of Chicago musicians including Bud Freeman, Pee Wee Russell, and the pianist Joe Sullivan. By his late teens he was playing in public with local bands. In 1971 Fisher moved to Keele University where he taught in the Department of American Studies until 1982. After leaving Keele he continued to work as a writer and jazz musician, a second career he had sustained since the late 1950s playing with a number of his childhood heroes including Bud Freeman and Wild Bill Davison when they were touring Britain.
Not all jazz musicians who pass through the Departure Lounge are reported in the national press, so if you know of anyone's passing that we should mention, please contact us with a few words about them, or a local obituary if one is available.
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Album Released: 23rd April 2017 - Label: Roomspin Records
Georgia Mancio and Alan Broadbent
Georgia Mancio (voice and lyrics); Alan Broadbent (piano and music); Oli Hayhurst (double bass); Dave Ohm (drums and percussion).
I wrote about the background to this album last month, but it is worth reminding ourselves of how it came about. Vocalist Georgia Mancio said: 'About 20 years ago, when I worked at Ronnie's, Simon Woolf recommended I listen to Irene Kral as I was just starting singing. That led me to the sublime duo albums she made with Alan Broadbent. In 2012, I sent Alan an email asking if he ever wanted to do any UK gigs with a singer totally unknown to him! That led to some duo gigs the following year and later the start of our songwriting partnership.' The result, Songbook, is released on 23rd April - Alan Broadbent's 70th birthday. They launch the album on 2nd April at Gateshead International Jazz Festival and on 3rd April they are headlining at Ronnie Scott's.
Alan Broadbent is recognised as a leading jazz pianist, composer and arranger with credits as impressively far-ranging as Diana Krall, Natalie Cole, Woody Herman, Johnny Mandel, Paul McCartney, Chet Baker, Warne Marsh, Bud Shank, and iconically Irene Kral and Charlie Haden’s Quartet West. Georgia Mancio has established herself as a popular and prominent vocalist who has worked with Bobby McFerrin, Ian Shaw, Sheila Jordan, Gwilym Simcock and Liane Carroll and stages her own international annual voice festival - ReVoice!
Georgia and Alan discovered that they have a mutual appreciation of the Great American Songbook, clearly reflected in this recording. Alan invited Georgia to write a lyric for The Long Goodbye - an evocative piece originally conceived for Charlie Haden’s Quartet West. It coincided with Georgia’s final visit to her father’s house and became ‘The Last Goodbye’ on the Songbook album - a subtly emotional story of loss and coming of age. One song organically led to another and in a prolific nine month period they reimagined some of Alan’s earlier recorded work.
Click here to listen to Alan playing an instrumental version of The Long Goodbye.
You would think that the first two titles on the album, The Journey Home and The Last Goodbye, would come at the end. In fact, they are about memories, a theme throughout the album, and they introduce us to the light touch of both vocalist and pianist and Oli Hayhurst's gentle double bass. The Last Goodbye says 'I passed by the house just today. It seemed to have something to say. The gates were all worn and the pathway was torn and yet I still hoped you'd be there.The lights that you hung from the tree, the flowers you planted for me, the shoes you once wore they were right by the door and so I still hoped you'd be there ...'. Welcome to Georgia Mancio's touching lyrics.
Click here for a video introduction to the album.
Someone's Sun swings gently in a tune that could work in a stage show and Alan Broadbent's piano ripples through the middle section. Cherry Tree is another song about memories. It would be easy to forget that these lyrical tunes are originally Alan Broadbent instrumental compositions. One For Bud, opening with Dave Ohm's drums and a vocalese approach from Georgia, is clearly about pianist Bud Powell and Georgia sings 'I went to work - 9 to 5. I concentrated on the boss and his jive. His patter and zeal held no inch of appeal compared to Bud.' and the piano solo swings into a double bass outing and then to a piano - drums 'conversation'.
Georgia brings sad lyrics to the slow Hide Me From The Moonlight, one of those tunes that asks for words about lost love, and Forever waltzes its way through a song about taking notice of now: 'Children, they think they'll stay children forever and never get bigger and better. What do they know? Tell them just to go slow. Playtime lasts for so long then they too will grow.' Close To The Moon fits well into an album named Songbook, one of those laid back, softly swinging tunes that belongs to the crooners and Where The Soft Winds Blow, originally written by Alan when he was seventeen, is nicely paced through a song about youth looking forward and an old man wondering where time has gone - 'So we ebb and flow, where the soft winds blow.'
Just Like A Child at track 11 trips lightly, with Latin-like touches, and is perhaps one of my favourite tracks on the album for the way the lyrics and piano fit and the way Dave Ohm's drums carry the tune along. Here again we have a 'looking back', 'We're all frantically coping, intervening between death and birth, Open up your mind and go back, think just like a child!' The album appropriately closes quietly and slowly with a beautiful lullaby of memories, presumably for Georgia's father, Lullaby For MM. 'These are the memories I'll always hold as I grow old, dear father.'
Georgia Mancio has written some superb life-drawn lyrics that she sings with clarity and feeling. They bring pictures to Alan Broadbent's music in such a way that the album could equally be named 'Picturebook', and most of all we can hear the empathy between pianist and vocalist. Oli Hayhurst and Dave Ohm's contribution is 'just right', integrating with the song sensitivities and sometimes adding their individual ingredients to season the dish.
Songbook is released on Roomspin Records on 23rd April.
Click here for Georgia's website where you will find purchase details and click here to listen to samples of the tracks.
Album Released: 21st April 2017 - Label: Unit Records
The Chamber Music Effect
Robin Kidson reviews this album for us:
The days of rigid boundaries between jazz and classical music have long gone – if they ever existed in the first place. We are currently going through a particularly fertile period of cross-fertilisation between the two genres, to the extent that one wonders sometimes if we can do away with any distinctions altogether. A recent and good example of this cross pollination in action is The Chamber Music Effect, the latest release by the Swiss trio, Vein.
Vein are three classically trained musicians: Florian Arbenz on drums, his twin brother, Michael Arbenz on piano, and bassist, Thomas Lähns. The trio has steadily built an international reputation, not least for their collaborations with stellar American saxophonists, Greg Osby and Dave Liebman.
The Chamber Music Effect sees the musicians return to their classical music roots. The album has eight original compositions which seek to fuse the language and techniques of classical chamber music with those of jazz. In Florian Arbenz’s words, the influence of chamber music “makes our interplay even more varied, compact and innovative and sharpens our musical profile. Combined with various chamber music structures, it complements and extends the very heart and soul of Vein’s playing philosophy: interplay and the greatest possible equality for all members”.
The end result is definitely at the jazz end of the spectrum (perhaps we can’t let go of these distinctions after all!) – and accessible, rhythmic jazz at that. Yet there is something very interesting and original about Vein. Most jazz trios are dominated by the piano with bass and drums largely there to provide the beat. But Vein really live out that philosophy of “the greatest possible equality for all members”. That striving for equality is seen straightaway on the first track of the album, the Florian Arbenz composition, Boarding The Beat. All three instruments play a full part in the music; none dominate. The whole piece has a jaunty rhythm and a most attractive catchy theme, reminiscent of some of the wonderful tunes that the late Michael Garrick used to turn out.
Michael Arbenz wrote the second track, Prelude, and his piano playing here often has a classical feel. But it is the bass playing of Lähns which is particularly notable – innovative and energetic, with some great interplay with the piano. The track swings along nicely with, again, a light catchy tune.
Poème de Nuit, another Michael Arbenz composition, is perhaps the most “classical” track on the album. It has a much slower rhythm than the previous tracks with all three instruments working together to create a slightly sinister atmosphere. The notes gradually get higher and the tension slowly builds in a most effective way. One is expecting the tension to be relieved in spectacular fashion but our expectations are confounded and the music fades away. It is a piece which a Debussy or a Falla could have written.
In Medias Res is an upbeat number with some virtuosic bass-piano interplay punctuated by short but loud drum explosions. This being a Florian Arbenz composition, he also gives himself a more extended place in the limelight with a nicely judged drum solo. He manages to create different sound textures in a compelling and absorbing way.
The intriguingly titled Ode To The Sentimental Knowledge (Florian Arbenz again) is like Poème de Nuit in that it works to create a mood – gentle, reflective, dreamlike. The piano-bass interplay is again exceptional, making a sort of conversation and bringing to mind the collaborations of Bill Evans and Scott LaFaro.
Sheherazade (Michael Arbenz) begins with an extended solo by Florian on tabla which establishes a distinctive eastern vibe with an attractive, foot tapping beat. Later on the track, there is a marvellous duet between tabla and bass with the two instruments perfectly complementing each other. Michael Arbenz contributes some virtuosic and original piano playing.
Pastorale is by Thomas Lähns who plays some highly effective bowed bass, making it sound like a cello. It is a slower piece than many of the other tracks creating a reflective mood which is sometimes disturbed by discordant notes and a rather eerie sound when Lähns moves into a higher register. If this is a pastorale, then there is a chain saw murderer lurking in the woodshed…..!
The final track, Ballet of the Monkeys, is an upbeat Michael Arbenz composition which is a sort of summary of the Vein style: virtuosic playing, catchy themes, crisp drumming and, above all, that equality between the three instruments. It’s a fitting climax to a well thought out and absorbing album.
Click here for an introductory video for The Chamber Music Effect:
Click here for details. For further details, go to the Vein website at: http://www.vein.ch/ where there are also samples of the tracks on The Chamber Music Effect.
You can see Vein live in England over the next couple of months at:
Wakefield Jazz on 28th April,
Huddersfield University on 29th April,
Colchester Arts Centre on 18th May,
at the Pizza Express Jazz Club in London on 22nd May where they will be appearing with Greg Osby.
Watermill Jazz, Dorking on 6th June
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Album Released: 16th December 2016 - Label: Whirlwind Recordings
John O'Gallagher Trio
Live In Brooklyn
Steve Day reviews this album for us:
John O’Gallagher (alto saxophone); Johannes Weidenmueller (bass); Mark Ferber (drums).
You know, I do like a SESSION. The rationale for Live in Brooklyn is not rocket science. Alto sax, bass and drums; all downtown genius players who know each other; book the band into a club, tell them they have 50 minutes to touch the moon. Between each musician there’s a pile of riffs and fragments which they know how to get the most out of; then simply record them getting on with it. Welcome to the John O’Gallagher Trio, let’s describe the action, firstly with this video introduction to the album - click here.
Prime is a fabulously weird, weird start. Weidenmueller/Ferber’s drums and bass run a lopping looping 5/7 time, a bit after the style of Blackwell/Haden on those original Atlantic albums for the Coleman Quartet. John O’Gallagher’s alto horn also has some of that about it too – he’s not rushing the melody line yet at the same time he’s got a squeeze on the reed which could blow raspberries if that was his intention. Prime is almost a ballad in that they pace it slow – stretch then yawn, speed up the sax line, tumble the drums and counterpoint the bass. Weee! This has got to be the most fun thing I’ve heard all week, all month, maybe over the last six months. Mark Ferber presses out incredibly tight compressed rolls which then simply float off into that metered beat. To be honest, I can’t count with any form of precision on the signature. But they do, I swear they do, and as they rummage around in Johannes Weidenmueller’s bass solo at the end, you might just as well count the stars. Prime segues into...
Extralogical Railman, which is an anagram of Bird’s famous Relaxin’ At Camarillo. You've got to hand it to O’Gallagher for coming up with that title. For those of you familiar with Charlie Parker’s tune you can actually just recognise Camarillo as they first spin into the head, but it’s soon off down the Extralogical railtrack and you quickly lose any sense of the Yardbird in its wake. For me, what follows is an extraordinarily outstanding six minutes of alto playing – breath control, tonality, speed, ideas a-go-go. Devil may care, after all this time someone new comes along and you know damn well they have the whole stockpile covered. It’s not just the name of the leader on the headline, Mark Ferber rattles a sparkle-finish traps kit into an abandon gallop of cross hatching, with Mr W’s bass plotting a course straight through the middle only to burst out of his own confines.
Credulous Intro is a three minute display of undulating solo alto before the double bass joins in, taking time to measure things prior to the whole glorious construction melting into Credulous proper. It is a minor niggle that the bass could have had a touch more prominence in the mix. Strange, because this is Michael Janisch’s label; he can usually be relied on to ensure a perfect bass response. No matter, I re-dial my ears and Credulous turns and trails a triangular pattern of colours, initially slowly drifting on a double bass extemporisation against spatial drums. And then John O’Gallager is back, talking to you like a man who has the truth of things in amongst the fake blues. How do I get to how good this is? It has some of that quality of certain preachers, you know, those real Holy modal soothsayers who profit out of prophecy yet, by some quirk of constant practice, suddenly hit on heaven’s highway. It all ends with percussion shaking, shuffling and rumbling like the darkness embedding itself into the middle of midnight. Play-on John O’Gallagher Trio, head first into.....
Blood Ties, another one of those sneaky little rhythm counts which feel as if they’re all nudge and shove; bass and drums looking to get in to wet the baby’s head. Something like that. Mr G’s pouring himself through his horn, using the whole embouchure and length of the alto to get at the good stuff inside his own head. Another fine drum break.
Nothing To It is a modest enough statement. Well, it comes with a heady head-melody which positively circles time around, creating a sound web. This track almost counts as a straight line, though by most people’s standards it would be a trip through the Rocky Mountains. Mark Ferber makes the most of drumsticks as claves, taps a snare drum like hammering nails, there’s a far too low down bass popping some strange scale Mr Weidenmueller found in amongst his fingers and then John O’Gallagher calls it Blood Ties and decides to keep it in the family and come again with the up-and-over head melody which correlates with.....
The Honeycomb, which also happens to be the title of a previous O’Gallagher studio album on Whirlwind Records. This trio have been working this theme for a few years now. There’s an excellent live version on YouTube (though still, with a low bass mix). Over the years, repeatedly coming back to a familiar ‘head’ melody line is sometimes regarded as lazy. For me, a short simple phrase containing a rhythmic jerk and twist, though not too detailed, can take quality improvisers a long, long way. That’s how it is here with John O’Gallagher’s Trio. I think there’s probably a twelve-tone development in the construction, but that’s not really how my brain works. What I do know is The Honeycomb ends this session on the high it has maintained all the way through.
Click here for a video of The Honeycomb played live.
If you think this counts as a rave review you’d be right. This is a SESSION, seemingly casual, put together in a small performance space called Seeds Jazz Club, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. But at heart this is a trio of heads and minds, what I hear on this recording is totally convincing music of the highest order. I don’t know whether I’ll ever get the opportunity to catch them perform live. Who knows? The world throws up some strange jokers in the pack. Michael Janisch is involved somewhere along the line so maybe we’ll all get the opportunity. Meanwhile – John O’Gallagher Trio, Live In Brooklyn, brilliant!
Click here for details.
Click here for John O'Gallagher's website.
Steve Day www.stevedaywordsandmusic.co.uk
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Album Released: 5th May 2017 - Label: Lake Records
Chris Barber's Jazz Band
Barber In Detroit
Chris Barber (trombone, leader), Pat Halcox (trumpet), Monty Sunshine (clarinet), Eddie Smith (banjo), Dick Smith (bass), Graham Burbidge (drums), Ottilie Patterson (vocals).
The last time I heard The Big Chris Barber Band was at the Colston Hall in Bristol the year after trumpeter Pat Halcox had died. The concert hall was full as Bourbon Street Parade, as always, brought on the band. Chris is amazing. He will be 87 years old on 17th April this year; he still plays a mean trombone, he still has a formidable tour schedule (click here) and he can still fill a venue.
The first time I heard the Barber band was at Wimbledon Town Hall and I was still at school. Even then the town hall was full; we were all fresh, musicians and audience; boys' hearts stopped when Ottilie Patterson sang raw and dirty; jazz was the music of the young then, and that was the band that you can hear on this album. If you think I exaggerate, look at the photograph of the band in the liner notes taken by the Golden Gate bridge during this 1959 tour.
Paul Adams' liner notes are comprehensive and valuable. Paul says: 'This is not a classic Chris Barber album, but a historically important one.' The USA tour was itself significant. A Musicians' Union ban on American artists appearing in Britain was becoming more relaxed allowing 'swaps' to take place. Freddy Randall's band had 'swapped' with Louis Armstrong, but as Paul points out, Chris's band was the first to tour extensively in a 'swap' for Woody Herman. Reproducing the music from this Detroit gig was a challenge. 'The basic problem was that the recordings were made from a single microphone placed high above the band. This meant that there was a lot of ambient noise from the auditorium, a certain 'boominess' and a lack of clarity'. Dave Bennett and Paul Adam's audio engineering has eventually brought us something we can enjoy.
The other background story is that ' ... apparently the band didn't know they were being recorded. Whoever recorded it arranged for it to be issued on LP. It appeared on the GONE label in the USA pertaining to be by 'The All American Ramblers' ... Chris Barber came across the LP in Joe's Record Shop in New York and realised by the tunes that it was his band - "we played Bobby Shatfoe and I didn't think any other bands - let alone American groups - were doing at the time."
There are many Barber favourites amongst the 12 tracks recorded in Detroit on 22nd February, 1959 - Bourbon Street Parade, Bobby Shaftoe, The Old Rugged Cross, Chimes Blues, Panama, Didn't He Ramble ... From the outset this is clearly a live performance, some numbers being captured better than others; we know the arrangements so I'll pick out a few salient points. The first is the energy coming from the band. Bobbie Shaftoe is taken at a very fast, almost unnatural, pace; Pat Halcox's solo on My Old Kentucky Home shows what a fine trumpet player he was, and Barber's slide trombone drives the number along - you appreciate his musical influence on the band on this and other numbers that follow. The Old Rugged Cross is, of course, Monty Sunshine's showpiece, briefly but nicely interpreted here; Chimes Blues brings good solos from all the front line and has that catchy 'chiming' interplay at the end; Saratoga Swing, one of the longer tracks, also features great solos packed with feeling from the front line. Chris launches fast into Sweet Sue with extended trombone solos and Eddie Smith gets to feature his banjo; Savoy Blues captures perfectly the early years of the UK Trad. of the time and Didn't He Ramble sends the audience home in 'feel-good' historic fashion with Graham Burbidge's drums introducing the slow march and jaunty follow up before the track fades.
Because of the recording set up in Detroit, Ottilie Patterson was not featured, and so the album makes up for this with six bonus tracks recorded in 1957 and 1958. Paul Adams says: 'No album from this era would be complete without a contribution from Ottilie so I trawled through my recordings to see if there was anything I could use ... Fortunately I had tapes of two concerts from the Manchester Free Trade Hall containing unused tracks. These concerts were also recorded using a single microphone ... We have no indication of what Ottilie might have sung on the Detroit concert. It would not be until 1961 that a recording of Ottilie singing Big Bill Broonzy's Too Many Drivers would appear on record.'
After the band plays I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Out Of My Hair, the 25 year old Irish vocalist sings the metaphoric Too Many Drivers. Three and a bit months later she is singing Lowdown Blues accompanied empathetically by the Barber trombone and stomping a vocal duet with Chris on It's Got Me Going. The Ellington / Hodges instrumental Jeeps Blues features solos from Pat Halcox, Chris Barber and, briefly, Monty Sunshine and the album swings breezily to a close with High Society with Monty Sunshine taking his version of the Johnny Dodds solo. (Did you know that the first couple of bars were frequently quoted by saxophonist Charlie Parker in his improvisations?).
This album might not have the clarity of a studio recording but it really captures the essence of the Barber band's live performances at a time when their music was fresh, new and inspirational to young audiences in the 1950s. As a historical record of the time it is an important addition to the catalogue.
Click here for details and to sample the album which is released on 5th May.
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Album Released: 17th March 2017 - Label: Gadgemo Records
Colin Steele Quintet
Even In The Darkest Places
Howard Lawes reviews this album for us:
Trumpeter Colin Steele's first recording in 1999, with Cathie Rae providing the vocals, was a Tribute to Chet Baker but it was the noughties (2000-2009) that brought Steele and his quintet rave reviews for a string of albums as well as their live performances and a BBC best album award in 2004 for The Journey Home. Steele's final album of the decade, Stramash, featured an additional string quartet as well as a piper highlighting the Scottish pedigree of the band. One commentator at the time hailed Steele's band as a Scottish supergroup blending traditional music with modern jazz to provide something both distinctive and extremely effective.
During 2009 Colin Steele toured with a theatrical show called A Funny Valentine based on the life, music and drug addiction of Chet Baker; many will know that Chet Baker suffered damage to his mouth and had to relearn how to play the trumpet before continuing with his career. In a cruel twist of fate, Colin Steele also had to relearn his trumpet playing following a disastrous change of technique which damaged his mouth and rendered him unable to earn a living. Luckily friends rallied round and after a period of several years Colin Steele is back on the music scene with this new album and gigs following 2016 appearances in Aberdeen and Edinburgh, and with Fife and Aberdeen in 2017 where he played the music of Miles Davis - one fervently hopes that any future parallels between Steele and Davis, unlike that with Baker, are entirely positive.
The current Colin Steele quintet has long term collaborators Michael Buckley on saxophones, Dave Milligan on piano and Stu Ritchie on drums, while Calum Gourlay on bass is a newer member of the band. The album has seven tracks, all composed by Steele and arranged by Milligan. The album has a colourful, stylised, bioluminescent fish from the deep ocean on the front cover and more coloured lights on the back; showing that colour can be found, even in the darkest places, perhaps a metaphor for the help Colin Steele has received to get him through a dark period in his life.
The first track, I Will Wait For You, starts with trumpet and saxophone in unison, playing a catchy melody. Saxophone and then trumpet solos are more reflective, but towards the end the piano sounds triumphant with enthusiastic backing from the rest of the band suggesting that whatever the wait was for it was well worth it. Many have stood on the shores of Loch Ness looking for a legendary creature; track 2, Looking For Nessie has trumpet and then saxophone playing brief melodies before a brisk marching tune alters the mood followed this time by a bluesy solo from Gourlay on bass and then Buckley on saxophone.
Suite For Theo is a tune written for Colin Steele's youngest child and the long trumpet solo is understandably emotional. Dave Milligan's beautifully judged piano follows, leading into a reprise of the melody followed in turn by solos on drums and saxophone, excited playing from the whole band fades into a lullaby from the piano as the finale. The next track, Robin Song, was written as a personal thank you for the generous help rendered to Colin Steele during his misfortunes, it is a beautiful melody that certainly sounds heartfelt, solos from Steele, Gourlay and Milligan retain the essential melodic feel of this charming piece.
Independence Song, as might be expected, has the feel of a traditional Scottish ballad, becoming increasingly joyful at the end. There Are Angels is "dedicated to all those who helped Steele through his darkest hours" and Steele's playing seems particularly inspired; Milligan's piano is excellent. The last track, Down To The Wire, is perhaps the most interesting on the album and also the longest. It begins with a jazzy conversation between soprano saxophone and piano, then a melody in a traditional Scottish style follows that is explored, dissected and embellished by the soprano saxophone; the piece proceeds very pleasantly with various combinations in harmony until, with a sudden change of mood, the quintet does a great job of sounding like a big band, with fast tempo piano, trumpet and saxophone solos in the best bebop tradition before a frenetic finale.
Those who have become interested in jazz during the last few years will have probably never heard of Colin Steele although that is less likely if you live "north of the border". Those that do remember his previous music will remember beautiful melodies inspired by, but not over-reliant on the music of Scotland, real jazz trumpet influenced by the likes of Chet Baker, Lee Morgan and Miles Davis and an ensemble that was both relaxed and empathetic. The great news is that Colin Steele is back with more lovely melodies, more great jazz and a band that perfectly complements his style, moreover a band whose members, particularly Dave Milligan who did the arrangements, are all excellent in their own right.
Click here for details and to sample the album.
Colin Steele's website - https://www.colinsteele.com/
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Album Released: 4th November 2016 - Label: Laborie Jazz
Nasheet Waits Equality
Between Nothingness And Infinity
Filipe Freitas reviews this album for us:
Reinforcing his credentials as a bandleader, Nasheet Waits, an impressive drummer from New York, releases a stimulating album on the French label Laborie Jazz.
The percussionist has a flair for straight-ahead jazz and avant-garde categories but moves with equal confidence in post and neo-bop styles. His father, Freddie Waits, was also a respected percussionist who played with jazz giants such as McCoy Tyner, Pharoah Sanders, Lee Morgan, Kenny Barron and Andrew Hill. However, he never officially recorded as a leader.
Nasheet, commonly called “Heavy” Waits, has collaborated with Antonio Hart, Mark Turner, Andrew Hill, Fred Hersch, David Murray, Jason Moran, and Steve Lehman, while more recently, his groundbreaking drumming techniques were put at the service of Logan Richardson, Miroslav Vitous, Avishai Cohen, Tony Malaby, and Ralph Alessi.
In his new album, philosophically entitled Between Nothingness and Infinity, he leads the completely renewed quartet Equality, which comprises high-caliber artists such as alto saxophonist Darius Jones, pianist Aruan Ortiz, and bassist Mark Helias. They replace Logan Richardson, Jason Moran, and Tarus Mateen, respectively, who were in the recording of the previous album Infinity (Fresh Sound New Talent) in 2008.
Waits’s Korean Bounce couldn’t be a more exciting opening, boasting an exuberant pulse that works as a recipient for Ortiz’s timely piano voicings and Jones’s rugged saxophone lines, intentionally imbued of Oriental flavor.
Helias’s Story Line flows through African-tinged percussive spells. The theme statement is supplied in unison by sax and piano, and the riveting improvisations make us alert at all times. Jones, whose slightly dissonant contortions are never gratuitous or frivolous, proves he’s a quick-witted explorer while Ortiz’s rhythmic sense and levels of inventiveness thrust him into the limelight of modern pianism.
An uncanny dark mood envelops the title track, a solemn piece composed by the bandleader to be performed by piano trio formation. It opposes the Parisian charm of Andrew Hill’s Snake Hip Waltz whose bohemian feel is instantly absorbed. The amiable melodies blown by Jones, who opts for a post-bop language, encounter Ortiz’s titillating voicings. The pianist’s movements demand clever and intuitive responses from Waits, who nails it.
In Sam Rivers’s Unity, you’ll find Jones and Ortiz dialoguing over a well-heeled bass-drums incitement while Nasheet is breathtaking on toms and cymbals.
Envisioning a diversity of pace and colour, the quartet delivers Kush, a leisurely waltz that recalls Bill Evans, and Parker’s Koko, and which has sufficient rhythmic variations to sound fresh. In the latter, Waits follows Ortiz’s piano mosaics, carrying his chattering percussive vibes before Helias embarks on a frantic walking bass that seems to ask for bebop scales, a request that Jones immediately refuses, engaging instead in an alternative and more interesting soloing concept with focus on timbre.
Nasheet Waits unwraps an extraordinary body of work that brings us the best of modern jazz, serving as a showcase for his vibrant driving grooves and impeccable compositions. This is a hidden treasure that every fan of contemporary jazz should look for.
Click here to listen to Hesitation.
Click here for details and to sample the album. Click here to sample the album on Soundcloud.
Filipe Freitas jazztrail.net
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Album Released: 25th April 2017 - Label: Riverlily Records
Patrice Williamson and Jon Wheatley
Tim Rolfe reviews this album for us:
The new album by Boston based jazz vocalist Patrice Williamson is a tribute to the Ella Fitzgerald and Joe Pass collaboration which produced 6 albums where all of these tracks can be found. The CD will be released on April 25th as this will mark 100 years since Ella was born. Patrice’s fellow Berklee College of Music faculty member, Jon Wheatley, joins her for this set of 12 songs.
The album is from Williamson’s own Riverlily Records (named after her mother Lillie Rivers Williamson) and produced by pianist /composer Helen Sung. Williamson states “I started listening to recordings of Ella during my sophomore year in college, and I haven’t stopped. Jon has a vast knowledge of all the great jazz musicians and jazz guitarists, including Joe Pass. Our goal was to present how Ella and Joe have inspired our own musical development”. The series of tributes explore a different facet of Ella’s career from small bands to orchestra. There is also a narrative through the choice of songs which reflects a woman’s journey from loneliness to love, and from lost love to resilience and joy which lends the songs a compelling theme.
Williamson also makes the point that “she found herself particularly drawn to her (Ella's) work with Pass due to its vulnerability and purity, without the assistance of bass or drums”. However, Williamson does play the flute on tracks 1 and 12. The only other “instrument” employed would be her use of ‘scat singing’, using the vocals as an instrument of improvisation with sounds instead of words. If you like this form of singing then the title track, Comes Love and the closing number One Note Samba will be to your taste.
Click here to listen to the title track, Comes Love.
The opening track is Toots Thielmans’ Bluesette. This sets the scene for the next two tracks, Comes Love, and 'Tis Autumn, conveying the feelings of infatuation that lead to falling in love. The next track, I May Be Wrong (But I Think You’re Wonderful), is arranged by pianist Helen Sung, to evoke the giddy and uncertain feelings of a new love.
Click here for a video of Patrice and Jon playing You Turned The Tables On Me.
The following tracks reflect the feelings when a relationship is in trouble, starting with the reflective and questioning Duke Ellington’s Take Love Easy, and then by Billy Eckstine’s I Want to Talk About You. Things start to get a bit heated with Joe McCoy's Why Don’t You Do Right? but Williamson’s version of Benny Goodman’s Don’t Be That Way, is in contrast to the Fitzgerald / Pass recording which is soothing and not sung with sardonic exasperation of the vocals here. The subsequent tracks illustrate that the relationship is over with Billy Strayhorn’s Lush Life, You Turned the Tables on Me, By Myself and One Note Samba.
The whole album is extremely interesting bringing clear vocals and clean guitar together with an excellent purity and simplicity. The flute additions lend another layer of intricate and pure melody to a couple of the tracks and the impression is indeed that Ella and Joe Pass have inspired this thoughtful homage; Jon Wheatley’s guitar paying complements Patrice’s voice. I liked the fact that, as with the original Ella Fitzgerald / Joe Pass partnership, both musicians made an equal contribution to what I hope will be a continuing collaboration.
Comes Love is released at the end of April.
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Album Released: 2017 - Label: Byrd Out (Vinyl)
Evan Parker, John Edwards, John Russell
Walthamstow Moon (’61 revisited)
Steve Day reviews this album for us:
Evan Parker (saxophones); John Edwards (double bass); John Russell (guitar). This is a limited edition vinyl album of 300 copies.
In Last Orders, the Graham Swift novel, a story told in flashbacks, the central character is dead. The ashes of ‘Jack Dodds’ are taken by his old comrades from Bermondsey to Margate to be sprinkled in the sea. Old Kent Road, Dartford, Gravesend, all these evocative place names are sprinkled through the book, just like Jack.
This vinyl creation has something of Graham Swift’s novel about it. In November 1961 John Coltrane played the Granada Theatre in Walthamstow, East London. He was leading a stellar band; Eric Dolphy, McCoy Tyner, Reggie Workman and Elvin Jones. Evan Parker tells the tale of how he, aged 17, took off with his mate from Ashford, Kent in a beaten up Ford Popular to make the journey round the North Circular. They weren’t casting ashes to the wind but the car gave up the ghost in Acton and the two young men arrived in Walthamstow by tube just in time to catch both sets by the John Coltrane Quintet.
55 years later, Mr Parker takes his two mates, John Russell and John Edwards, back to the preserved Granada Theatre in Hoe Street, E17, now being gradually restored and renamed Mirth, Marvel & Maud, to play out the memories of that historic gig in their own private concert.
John Coltrane - to my mind, if there was ever a high priest amongst the annals of what I understand as jazz, then it is he. Coltrane; he is The One. Yet, now, here in the UK, 2017, we are found continually waiting for our own Godot to step forward. We, who listen to improvised music know, that amongst our own, Evan Parker is the catalyst, the reeds player, who for over 40 years has given this music a new language. Even so, Evan Parker waits for no man. Fitting then, that for a second time it is Mr Parker who makes the comparatively short journey from Kent to Walthamstow to the site of an encounter with the unknown. Even after all these gigs together, they cannot guarantee that this will be like the last. And it is totally understandable that Parker, Edwards and Russell sound especially special, as well as truly, unequivocally like themselves. This trio is certainly uncertain as well as indefinitely definite, and if they are not quite the massive icon that became ‘Coltrane’ it is because this whole journey has always been about finding yourself, rather than the ghost of gods or other humans .... even amongst those who reside on the same plain.
John Russell’s guitar technique has sometimes been compared to the late Derek Bailey’s guitar deconstructions, and of course Mr Bailey was one of Evan Parker’s original accomplices in the whole reconstruction of what was once understood as ‘free improvisation’. If you’re that interested in the story of how Mr Bailey and Mr Parker fell out with each other there are places on the Net that will tell you, and if you’re not interested you don’t need it told right here. For me the positively important fact is, putting personalities to one side, all these great musicians (the original Spontaneous Music Ensemble collective, together with the whole European scene coming via the Globe Unity Orchestra and beyond) created (amongst other things) a collective music that was actually a sound platform, not a notated or orthodox western harmonic system.
John Russell, who took a few lessons from Derek Bailey early on, is sufficiently different in his break with conventional guitar technique to not bother anyone about it. Mr Russell certainly imposes a radically new colour palette to his tuning whilst maintaining a ‘chordal’ framework which continually bends my ears. About 18 months ago I caught these three at a gig nowhere near Kent or the North Circular. The occasion wasn’t as momentous as the Walthamstow Moon event but sure enough they came game-on; nobody said anything, everybody played like they were rebuilding three brains, we all applauded, and not for the first time, we went home wondering how it was done.
There’s always someone who wants to try to explain. I hope I’m not going to fall into that trap here. I’ve been listening to Evan Parker since I knew I needed to (decades ago). The more I hear him, the less I can say about him other than he is probably the one player in the UK who leaves me speechless. Here on the Moon live recording I am again lost for words. I am not boasting, it’s no big deal, but I have hundreds of recordings featuring Evan Parker’s tenor and the soprano. Every year I add more. And yes, I do have my own special favourites, but actually that’s not what it is really about. Always better simply to just put my hand in amongst them and bring out whatever is grasped and play the mass of it. Hear the air. The route out of temperance. Or the Saturnine Aspect, to borrow one of these titles as a description. Or maybe, it is to do what Stuart Broomer once referred to as count “....the phantom pitches, the adding and subtracting of the ear’s ring modulator.” To actually dive into that continuous beavering away at breath and finger placement. And in the case of John Russell and John Edwards, the plucking vital strand of Mopomoso, here in all but name.
If you think you know Evan Parker there is nothing on Walthamstow Moon (’61 Revisited) which you would not recognise from before; his confounded dominance, his total focus, the sour stringency, the splintering, the line drawn in the space between his ear and yours. Yet I can’t say otherwise, you will want to hear this one too. It will interact with you like The Topography Of The Lungs. Astound you, but not like last year’s As The Wind astounds you, but astound you nonetheless. Cry jazz at you like Leaps In Leicester, yet offer nothing remotely close to Lester Young, or in this case, Dolphy and Coltrane. It will rush at you like Imaginary Values whilst not containing the weighted balance of the Guy/Lytton axis. Take Walthamstow Moon on its own terms. By all means revisit John Coltrane in 1961, India, Naima, and Impressions, true blue-blues in abstract is still alive at the Village Vanguard; box-set after box-set is some kind of holy grail. So you won’t find Chasin’ The Trane at Mirth, Marvel & Maud, but here on this new slice of vinyl (which has fascinatingly intricate artwork by Oliver Bancroft) is another inspired recording by Evan Parker, John Russell and John Edwards. There are only 300 copies, get one while you can still afford it.
Click here for a video of Evan Parker, John Russell, John Edwards playing live at The Vortex in 2013.
Steve Day www.stevedaywordsandmusic.co.uk
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Album Released: 10th February 2017 - Label: Criss Cross
The Time Verses
Filipe Freitas reviews this album for us:
Long-revered altoist phenomenon David Binney, born in Miami in 1961 and raised in California, is certainly proud of having created a very personal style within modern jazz. In the course of his remarkable career, he has joined forces with other ingenious artists such as Chris Potter, Bill Frisell, Donny McCaslin, Craig Taborn, Uri Caine, Scott Colley, Edward Simon, Brian Blade, and Kenny Wollesen.
Those collaborations spawned truly exhilarating albums - Free to Dream (Mythology, 1998), Welcome to Life (Mythology, 2004), Out of Airplanes (Mythology, 2006), and Graylen Epicenter (Mythology, 2011) that should be on the shelves of any jazz lover.
The brand new The Time Verses, released on Criss Cross label, is now out to join them.
Besides his own projects, Binney has been very busy as a sideman. In the past, he was part of part of several bands such as Lost Tribe (with guitarists Adam Rogers and David Gilmore, bassist Fima Ephron, and drummer Ben Perowsky), Lan Xang (with saxophonist Donny McCaslin, bassist Scott Colley, and drummer Jeff Hirschfield or Kenny Wollesen), and the renowned orchestras of Gil Evans and Maria Schneider.
He’s also a sought-after producer and the quality of his work is mirrored not only in his own releases, but also in Scott Colley’s The Architect of the Silent Moment (CAM Jazz, 2007) and most of Donny McCaslin’s albums, including the latest Beyond Now (Motema, 2016).
His compositional structure and patterns are immediately identifiable in Walk, which flows with a rock pulse for a while until decelerating toward an oneiric passage efficiently controlled by the rhythm section. The final part thrives with cyclic harmonic sequences, so appropriate for Binney’s resolute attacks and imaginative phrases replete with intervallic wisdom. Vocal samples and electronics are tastefully added.
Airing a folk-ish melody, Arc is a ballad that grows athletic muscle throughout Binney’s improvisation, returning to the soft primary movements in order to conclude. However, the Zen trophy goes to Seen, a soaring balm for the spirit and mind, earnestly sung by Jen Shyu, who also wrote the lyrics. After Opsvik’s empathic solo, Binney sets off on a soulful, quasi-metaphorical improvisation that defies time and space. His wise sense of resolution, especially after ‘outside’ flights, is a rare gift.
A jittery intro of sax and drums in The Reason To Return seems to push us into heavier territories. Despite being more saturated in color, the tune remains faithful to the bandleader’s philosophy as he embarks on edgy declarations congested with melodic awareness, well followed by Weiss’s graceful rhythmic drives and Sacks' exciting piano swirls.
Where Worlds Collide is a typical-Binney creation, well structured from roots to branches and rejoicing with plenty of life. Weiss enchants with his percussive clear-sightedness, and after the tremendous saxophone bursts, Sacks shows why he’s one of the most rhythmically daring pianists on the scene. This particular tune features guest saxophonist Shai Golan on the theme statement.
A bracing swing takes hold of Fifty Five whose title makes reference to the 55 Bar in New York where this quartet often plays. The tune intersects Binney’s fluid language with moods of Wayne Shorter and Sam Rivers.
The Time Verses gives us everything we could expect from a visionary saxophonist of multiple talents and resources as David Binney.
His endless energy works together with an inspired creativity and sharp focus, and this is his most brilliant work in years.
Click here for details and to sample the album.
Filipe Freitas jazztrail.net
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Albums Released: 10th March 2017 - Label: Inner Circle Muic
Jason Yaeger and Jason Anick
Steve Day reviews this album for us:
Jason Yeager (piano); Jason Anick (violin, mandolin); Greg Louhman (double bass); Mike Conners (drums); John Lockwood (double bass tracks 5 & 9); Jerry Leake (percussion tracks 5 & 9); Jason Palmer (trumpet tracks 5 & 9); Clay Lyons (alto saxophone track 2); George Garzone (tenor saxophone track 7).
I’ve never heard of these two guys, the two Jason’s, piano and violin/mandolin. In such circumstances I become a stranger in a strange land. The album’s called United. Close friends, probably; what are they saying? What’s their context? Why are they doing that? The presence of George Garzone on one track, called Turbulent Plover intrigues me. I’m almost sure the last time I encountered this tenor sax giant was when he was with Ornette Coleman’s former electric bassist, Jamaaladeen Tacuma; a completely different band proposition to the one on offer here. The trumpeter Jason Palmer is also on a couple of tracks. I’ve rated his playing with Noel Preminger and Cédric Hanriot, both tell opposite stories to each other, and hell’s teeth, what’s happening here is different again.
The opening track Achi, written by pianist Jason Yeager, catches the ear with the first solo, played on piano by the composer. You can hear it in the confident manner he dribbles the notes into the space and then just holds off them to reflect on their sound. I almost wish he’d started with the solo rather than the theme. Why? Because the same thing happens when Jason Anick’s violin folds into the space – everybody, including Greg Loughman’s bass and Mike Conners' drums seem to lighten up. What’s ‘written’ on a musical score is like words, you can’t take them back, no you damn well can’t, whereas some solo space in jazz, when thrown over chord changes give you options. The encouraging thing about Achi is that Yeager and Anick take up their own options.
Click here to listen to Achi.
Next up is Bird’s Eye View and Yeager/Anick ask Clay Lyons’ alto sax to step up and provide the Charlie ‘Bird’ Parker perspective. The guy only plays on this one track. I wish he’d hung around for the whole session. He pumps up the power. Just prior to the alto entry there’s a neat fiddle break, all finesse and finely third stream. Lyons leans on this when he pours in the saxophone but it’s infuriating, because he’s obviously got more to say, but he’s cleaned out by the arrangement. I hope the studio wasn’t a long journey for Mr Lyons, perhaps he was going to do the family food shop on the way home.
Jason Palmer gets a little longer for his guest appearance. Well Red is a good crack. Over its 5 minute plus length it’s not delivered straight, there’s a quirky theme that bounces into place and is set up by Palmer, there’s a Brubeckesque time signature for pianoforte, and the trumpeter has to theme his horn across it. A complicated conceit by the composer (Anick) which nevertheless hatches some genuine creativity from the content. The tasty truth is that Jason Palmer is back for another track. Harlem Hoedown is the longest outing on the album and it cuts deep. Tub thumping counting the ‘head’ melody over a tricky time signature, which sets up Jason Palmer’s early entry.
His trumpet is angular even when soaring. He can crush notes as he descends, he almost has a reed player's ability to squeeze out a multiple language. He generates a head of steam which enables the other two Jasons leading this session to take up the action when it comes to their own showcase breaks. The switch of rhythm sections is interesting. Jerry Leake is busy, busy, busy, piling on detail, determined to find space. His percussion break over a bass and piano figure is a fast thing. Hoedown? They’re in Massachusetts, so it’s hoedown, and there’s alliteration with Harlem, yet that’s New York. I guess these guys can call it what they want. Whatever the name, I’ll have some of that.
This name, Zbigniew Seifert, might not mean a great deal to people new to jazz, so it’s pleasing to have a couple of this string pioneer’s compositions included here. Mr Seifert died young but in the time he had available he went some way in rearranging expectations about the violin in a jazz context. In the 1970’s he played with Tomasz Stańko, Joachim Kühn, Philip Catherine and others. Stillness is short. Stillness is often short in the living of it, so it is here; a deft eulogy from one violinist to another. However that’s not the end of this digression because the track Turbulent Plover, which I referred to in the opening paragraph, was also a Seifert composition. It is incendiary. For starters it begins as a duet chorus with just George Garzone’s tenor saxophone lit up by balanced breath control against Mike Connors' drums, breaking up cross beats socked against a shimmering ride cymbal marking time in twos. When Yeager, Anick and Loughman join them it feels like a fast ride but Anick’s solo does Seifert proud. Turbulent, sure; invigorating, absolutely. The fact that Mr Garzone gets to open out at the end is another plus. He’s one brilliant voiceover tenor; pity he had to leave the session to join Clay Lyons’ shopping trip home.
There’s a couple tracks which don’t make it for me. In my view, a version of George Harrison’s pleasant tune Something, played as a mandolin/piano duet, doesn’t stand up well against the avatar action they generate on Turbulent Plover. Nor do I see the point of Yeager and Anick producing yet another summary of All Blues, the staple track from Kind Of Blue. Somehow I doubt whether Miles Davis would buy into that either (though I’ve no hotline to check out the worth of such a statement.)
Click here for Something played live.
The fact is there’s plenty of ‘Plus’ on United. The Zbigniew Seifert connection is a smart move and the guests bring zing to the session. I absolutely know the violin to be an improvising instrument. Jason Anick makes a tight case for his own playing, particularly when he’s pushed into the sonics by Palmer and Garzone. The opener, Achi, is Jason Yeager; smooth and assured. Harlem Hoedown demonstrates he can cut rough too. There’s more to come from these two leaders.
Click here for a video introduction to the album.
Click here for details and samples. Click here for Jason Yeager's website.
Click here to listen to Zbigniew Seifert – solo violin, Kind Of Time.
Steve Day www.stevedaywordsandmusic.co.uk
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Choice Cuts / Slim Pickings
In the above reviews we aim to look in detail at a selection of new albums we think you will find interesting, to give you some background to the recording and a description of what you are likely to hear so that you can decide whether you would like to investigate the albums further.
Clearly we are only able to review a limited number of albums in detail, so here we list a selection other new or re-released albums that you can explore further if they look of interest.
Gilad Atzmon / Alan Barnes - The Lowest Common Denominator - (Woodville)
Gilad Atzmon (saxophones, bass clarinet), Alan Barnes (saxophones, clarinet), Frank Harrison (piano), Yaron Stavi (bass) Chris Higginbotham (drums).
Details and Sample : Review.
Tigran Hamasyan - An Ancient Observer - (Nonesuch)
Tigran Hamasyan (piano).
Details and Sample. Review.
Lee Konitz - Frescalalto - (Impulse)
Lee Konitz (alto sax, vocals), Kenny Barron (piano), Peter Washington (bass), Kenny Washington (drums).
Details and Sample. Review.
The Dave Brubeck Quartet with Paul Desmond - At The Sunset Center, Carmel, 1955 - (Solar Records)
Dave Brubeck (piano), Paul Desmond (alto sax), Bob Bates (bass), Joe Dodge (drums).
Sarah Vaughan - Live In Berlin 1969 - (Delta Music)
Sarah Vaughan (vocals), Johnny Veith (piano), Gus Mancuso (bass), Eddy Pucci (drums).
Wallace Roney - A Place In Time - (HighNote)
Wallace Roney (trumpet, flugelhorn), Gary Bartz (alto sax), Ben Solomon (tenor and soprano sax), Patrice Rushen (piano), Buster Williams (bass), Lenny White (drums).
Erin Dickins - Vignettes - (Sizzle & Swing)
Erin Dickins (vocals, co-founder of The Manhattan Transfer); various personnel including Paul Jost (drums), Danny Levin (piano, violin, cello,keyboards), Bruce Hamada (bass), David Friedman (vibraphone), John Lissauer (piano, sax, keyboards), A.J. Croce (piano, bass guitar).
Details and Sample.
Joe Bushkin - Live At The Embers 1952 - (Dot Time Records)
Joe Bushkin (piano), Buck Clayton (trumpet), Milt Hinton (bass), Papa Jo Jones (drums)
Details and Sample.
Keith Oxman - East Of The Village - (Capri Records)
Keith Oxman (tenor sax), Jeff Jenkins (Hammond B3 organ), Todd Reid (drums)
Details and Sample.
Chris Rogers - Voyage Home - (Art Of Life Records)
Chris Rogers (trumpet, keyboards), Michael Brecker (tenor saxophone), Ted Nash (tenor and alto saxophone), Steve Kahn (guitar), Xavier Davis (piano), Jay Anderson (bass), Steve Johns (drums).
Details and Sample. Review.
Help Me Information
Long distance Information
Give me mention, then we'll see
Help me find a party ...
with apologies to Chuck Berry (click here)
Can you help?
We regularly receive requests for information about musicians, music, etc. Responses sometimes come months after we have featured the request so we have started a separate page. Please click here to see if you can help ...
It is impossible for me to include a list of all the gigs taking place during a month. I have decided to take an approach where I will list venues geographically and give you their website links so you can check what is going on in a particular area. If you would like me to include links to other venue listings, please let me know.
Dublin: JJ Smyth's, 2, Aungier Street, Dublin 2. www.jjsmyths.com
Dublin: Sugar Club, 8, Lower Leeson Street, Dublin 2. www.thesugarclub.com
Dublin: National Concert Hall, Dublin 2. www.nch.ie
Dublin: Flanagan's (Basement) Piano Bar, 61 Upper O'Connell Street, Dublin 1. www.flanagansdublin.com
Dublin: Whelan's, Wexford Street, Dublin 2. www.whelanslive.com.
Wicklow: The Hot Spot Music Club, Harbour Lodge, Bayswater Terrace, Cliff Rd, Greystones, Co. Wicklow. www.thehotspot.ie
For other regular jazz sessions in Dublin contact Ollie Dowling from Quality Music Tel: 00 353 87 2878755 or email:email@example.com
Scotland: The Blue Lamp, Aberdeen, 121 Gallowgate, Aberdeen, AB25 1BU. www.thejazzbar.co.uk
Scotland: Fife Jazz Club, The Woodside Hotel, Aberdour. email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Scotland: The Jazz Bar, Edinburgh, 1a, Chambers Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1HR. www.thejazzbar.co.uk
Wales: Dempsey's, Cardiff, 15, Castle Street, Cardiff, CF10 1BS. www.jazzatdempseys.org.uk
Newcastle-upon-Tyne: The Jazz Cafe, 25 - 27 Pink Lane, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE1 5DW. www.jazzcafe-newcastle.co.uk
Cumbria: Kendal Jazz Club, The River Bar, Hawkshead Brewery, Stavely Mill Yard, Back Lane, Kendal, Cumbria, LA8 9LR. www.kendaljazzclub.co.uk.
Lancashire: Ribble Valley Jazz and Blues Club, The Grand Theatre, 18 York St. Clitheroe, Lancashire, BB7 2DL. www.rvjazzandblues.co.uk
Liverpool: The Capstone Theatre, Shaw Street, Liverpool, L6 1HP. www.thecapstonetheatre.com
Yorkshire: Seven Jazz, Leeds, Seven Arts, Chapel Allerton, Leeds, or Inkwell Arts, 31 Potternewton Lane Chapel Allerton, Leeds. www.sevenjazz.co.uk
(Includes: Seven Jazz Improvisation Group, Seven Jazz instrumental workshops and Seven Jazz Voices Choir).
Yorkshire: Wakefield Jazz, Wakefield (College Grove) Sports Club,
WF1 3RR. www.wakefieldjazz.org
Yorkshire: Jazz In The Spa, Boston Spa, Village Hall, High Street, Boston Spa. www.jazzinthespa.co.uk
South Yorkshire: Sheffield Jazz, Various venues in Sheffield. www.sheffieldjazz.org.uk
Manchester: Matt and Phred's, 64 Tib Street, Northern Quarter, Manchester M4 1LW. www.mattandphreds.com
East Staffordshire: Jazz On Tap, The Worthington Room, The National Brewery Centre,
Burton upon Trent,
DE14 1NG www.jazzontap.wordpress.com
Birmingham: Birmingham Jazz Listings www.jazzinbirmingham.co.uk
Hertfordshire: Herts Jazz Club, Welwyn Garden City, Screen2, Hawthorne Theatre, The Campus, Welwyn Garden City, AL8 6BX. www.hertsjazz.co.uk
Essex: The Electric Palace, Harwich, King's Quay. Harwich. www.electricpalace.com
Essex: North Weald, North Weald Village Hall, CM16 6BU Essex
Third Saturday of every month - 12.30 pm to 3.00 pm.
Jack Free's All Star Band with Jack Free (trombone), Peter Rudeforth (trumpet), John Crocker (clarinet), Tim Huskisson (piano), Murray Salmon (bass), Martin Guy (drums).
Buckinghamshire: Amersham Jazz Club, Beaconsfield SYCOB FC HP9 2SE. www.amershamjazzclub.co.uk
Oxford: The Oxford Wine Cafe, 38 South Parade,
OX2 7JN www.oxfordwinecafe.co.uk/jazz/
Oxford: The White Hart, 162 Cowley Road, Oxford, OX4 1UE
From 28th September 2016: Last Wednesday of each month, 8,30 to 11.00 pm, Volunatry donations - Oxford Kitchen Jam Session
Oxford: James Street Tavern, 47-48 James St, Oxford OX4 1EU.
First Wednesday of each month, 8.45 to 11.00 pm, Free entry - The Trish Elphinstone Quintet.
Oxfordshire: Witney Jazz, Burwell Hall, Thorney Leys, Witney OX28 5NP. www.witneyjazz.co.uk
Oxfordshire: Newbridge, Rose Revived, Newbridge, Witney, Oxfordshire, OX29 7QD. Mondays from 3rd April 2017 - Alvin Roy's Reeds Unlimited. Free entry. 7.30 to 10.00 pm.
Jazz London Live has become the key reference place for who is playing where in the London area - click here, and you can download their app to your phone etc. from a page on their website.
London: Jazz London Live, Listings website for London and South East. www.jazzinlondon.live
London: King's Place, 90 York Way, London, N1 9AG. www.kingsplace.co.uk
London: LUME, www.lumemusic.co.uk
London: Pizza Express, Soho, 10, Dean Street, London W1. www.pizzaexpresslive.com
London: The Spice Of Life, Soho, 6, Moor Street, London W1. www.spicejazz.co.uk
London: Ronnie Scott's Club, Soho, 47 Frith Street, London W1. www.ronniescotts.co.uk
London: The 100 Club, 100 Oxford Street, London W1D 1LL. www.the100club.co.uk (The 100 Club only occasionally stages jazz gigs these days)
London: The Green Note, Camden, 106 Parkway, Camden, London NW1 7AN. www.greennote.co.uk
London: Chickenshed Theatre Jazz Bar, Southgate, Chase Side, Southgate, London N14 4PE. www.chickenshed.org.uk
London: The Vortex, 11, Gillett Street, N16 8AZ. www.vortexjazz.co.uk
London: Club Inégales, 180 North Gower Street (corner of Euston Street). www.clubinegales.com
London: Southampton Arms, Highgate Road, North London
Wednesdays, 8.00 - 10.00 pm: Dave Burman (piano) and Dave Eastham (alto / clarinet)
London: Jazz In The Round, The Cockpit, Marylebone, Gateforth Street, Marylebone, London NW8 8EH. www.thecockpit.org.uk
London: Omnibus, Old Clapham Library, 1 Clapham Common Northside, London, SW4 0QW. www.omnibus-clapham.org
London: 606 Club, 90 Lots Road, Chelsea, London SW10 0QD. www.606club.co.uk
London: The Bull's Head, Barnes, 373 Lonsdale Road,
SW13 9PY. www.thebullshead.com
London: Putney, The Half Moon, Putney , 93 Lower Richmond Road, Putney, SW15 1EU.
Dick Laurie's Elastic Band. The band now plays the first Sunday and third Sunday of every month.
Sunday, 16th April and Sunday, 23rd April - 1.00 pm - 4.00 pm
London: The Hideaway, Streatham, 25 Streatham High Rd, London SW16 6EN. www.hideawaylive.co.uk
London: e17 Jazz, Walthamstow, Gnome House, 7 Blackhorse Lane, Walthamstow, E17 6DS. www.e17jazz.com
London: The Jazz Nursery, St Mary Overies Dock, Cathedral Street, London SE1. www.jazznursery.com
Surrey: Harri's Jazz, Shepperton, Bagster House, Walton Lane, Shepperton, TW17 8LP. www.harrisjazz.com
Surrey: Thames Ditton, The George and Dragon, High Street, Thames Ditton, KT7 0RY.
Every Tuesday - Alan Berry (piano), Mike Durrell (bass), Don Cook (drums) plus weekly guests - 8.30 pm
Surrey: Guildford Jazz, 2 venues - Guildford and Godalming Rugby Club, Guildford Road, Godalming GU7 3DH (second Wednesday in month); Guildford Electric Theatre, Onslow Street. Guildford GU1 4SZ (Tuesday nights). www.guildfordjazz.wordpress.com
Surrey: Watermill Jazz, Dorking, Betchworth Park Golf Club, Reigate Road, Dorking RH4 1NZ. www.watermilljazz.co.uk
Surrey: The Grey Horse, Kingston-Upon-Thames, 46 Richmond Road,
KT2 5EE. www.grey-horse.co.uk
Surrey: The Barley Mow, Shepperton, 67 Watersplash Road, Shepperton, TW17 0EE. www.themow.co.uk
Kent: The Roffen, New Road Rochester, ME1 1DX. www.144club.co.uk
Sussex: Splash Point Jazz Club, Seaford, Splash Point Jazz Club Seaford at The View, Seaford Head Golf Club, Southdown Road, Seaford. www.splashpointmusic.com
Sussex: Brighton Jazz Club, www.brightonjazzclub.co.uk
Sussex: Splash Point Jazz Club, Brighton Marina, Splash Point Jazz Club at The Master Mariner, Inner Lagoon, Brighton Marina. www.splashpointmusic.com
Sussex: Chichester Jazz Club, Pallant Suite, 7 South Pallant, Chichester, PO19 1SY. www.chichesterjazzclub.co.uk
Hampshire: Fleet Jazz Club, The Harlington Centre, 236 Fleet Rd, Fleet GU51 4BY (every 3rd Tuesday each month - except August).
www.fleetjazz.wordpress.com & facebook.com/FleetJazzClub
Gloucestershire: Cirencester, Kings Head Hotel, 24 Market Place, Cirencester GL7 2NR. www.kingshead-hotel.co.uk
Bath: Widcombe Social Club, Widcombe Hill, Bath, BA2 6AA
Jazz Times Three. Every 2 weeks. 8.00 pm onwards. www.widcombesocialclub.co.uk.
Bristol: The Be-Bop Club, The Bear, Hotwell Road, Bristol, BS8 4SF. www.thebebopclub.co.uk
Somerset: Ilminster Arts Centre, The Meeting House, East Street, Ilminster, Somerset, TA19 0AN. www.themeetinghouse.org,uk
Dorset: Blandford Forum, The King's Arms, Whitecliff Mill St, Blandford Forum DT11 7BE. Facebook
Dorset: Bridport Arts Centre, South Street, Bridport, DT6 3NR. www.bridport-arts.com
Dorset: Sound Cellar, Poole, The Blue Boar, 29 Market Close, Poole, Dorset, BH15 1NE, www.soundcellar.moonfruit.com
Cornwall: St. Ives Jazz Club, Western Hotel, Gabriel Street, St. Ives, Cornwall, TR26 2LU. www.stivesjazzclub.com
Jazz Talks: Buckinghamshire and Norwich Areas
Dr Bob Moore has contacted us saying:'I am a member of the U3A (University of the
Third Age) Jazz appreciation section. I now have given four talks to
them on each of the following: Louis Armstrong, US swing bands of the
40's, Modern Jazz Quartet and Stan Kenton. I should say that I am not a
profession speaker but I have reasonable knowledge of the subject. Now
that I have given the talks, it is most probable that they will
gather dust in a cupboard but if anyone local to me in High Wycombe is
interested, I would be prepared to repeat the talk for free with
possible expenses for petrol if far away.'' The talks mainly simply require a good audio system plus
someone to put on the CD's but the Kenton talk does included some
excerpts from Youtube on the internet but these could be edited out. If
I use the Internet it would require screen plus associated equipment.
The talks take about 90 min and the usual format is general background
on the artist or group followed by tracks from CD's.'If anyone would like to take up Bob's offer, you can email him at email@example.com
Similarly, Roy Headland who gives occasional talks to Norwich Jazz and Blues Record Club is offering to give talks with music to other groups in the Norwich area. A recent talk 'A Jazz Tour of Norwich and Norfolk' to an audience of 60 had the organiser saying: "Thank you for giving us such an informative and enjoyable evening,full of musical stars.The feedback was good and we hope to see you back with part 2." Other talks Roy has given include: Condon Jam Sessions;
Clarinet Kings of Swing;
Tommy Ladnier -"Mandeville to New York "; and a talk to Rotary on "The Winter Solstice" (their request) on Dec 21st which I managed to link in with Artie Shaw and called "The Shawtest Day"!
Roy's email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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