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August 2018

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Winston Clifford

 

Drummer Winston Clifford photographed by Brian O'Connor. Winston was playing at the Watermill Jazz Club in July with the Camilla George Quartet.

 

 

On A Night Like This,
The Story Is Told
...

The easy-going (Fletcher) Henderson was nevertheless ambitious but, like so many bandleaders, encountered financial problems. Even so, he might well have achieved success on a level to that found by Basie and Ellington had he not been severely injured in a road accident in 1928, an accident which affected his personality. Fletcher's wife, Leora, later observed, 'That was the only accident he ever had, and after that - why, he just changed ... He never had much business qualities anyhow, but after that accident, he had even less'.

In place of the two contradictory elements in his make-up, his casualness and his ambition, Henderson now was merely easy-going .... In 1929, the band's members were infuriated when Henderson failed to back them up when many were fired from an out-of-town assignment playing for a white revue. Several long-term sidemen quit and Henderson was forced to dissolve the band, eventually reforming the following year ....

 

Fletcher Henderson

 

In 1931 Henderson took up a residency at Connie's Inn ... By this time Fletcher's band had a formidable array of talent: Russell Smith, Bobby Stark, Rex Stewart, trumpets, Claude Jones, Benny Morton, trombones, Russell Procope, alto and clarinet, ... Coleman Hawkins, tenor and clarinet ...

But by 1939 Henderson had had enough. His band was playing to declining audiences, and his easy-going attitude towards the band had degenerated almost into indifference. In June 1939 he joined Benny Goodman as an arranger and pianist. In 1941 and at various other times through the 1940s he formed a big band for short residencies and tours, continuing to write for Goodman. In 1950 Fletcher Henderson fell in the street, apparently as a result of a severe stroke and thereafter was largely incapacitated until his death in 1952.

From The Big Band Years by Bruce Crowther and Mike Pinfold.

Click here to listen to Fletcher Henderson's band with Sugarfoot Stomp in 1925.

 


Name The Tune!

(Click on the picture for the answers)

 

 

Name the tune

 

 

 

Name the tune

 

 

 

Name the tune

 

Click here for a full page of Name The Tune.

 

 

 

The Write Stuff 2018

Would you like to write about the music you listen to? Founded and organised by Jazzwise magazine and festival producers, Serious, the Write Stuff course gives new jazz and improv writers a valuable free opportunity to work with professional journalists to improve their writing skills, develop an understanding of music criticism and the workings of the music press and blogosphere as well as getting to see a The Write Stuff coursenumber of great concerts.

The Write Stuff 2018 has workshops held at London's Southbank Centre during the EFG London Jazz Festival's opening and closing weekends : 17th - 18th November and 24th - 25th November. This year, the organisers are on the lookout for a new generation of younger writers aged 18 - 25, who will attain an Arts Award qualification following successful completion of the course.

You can find out more information if you click here. If you are interested in attending, you need to submit by email a 300-word review of a recent gig/concert, together with a CV and full contact details by 10th October 2018. Applicants need to be 18 - 25 and be available in London on the following dates: Friday 16th November (evening); Saturday 17 - Sunday 18 November and Saturday 24 - Sunday 25 November.

Howard Lawes who writes regularly for this website and who has attended The Write Stuff course says: '.... As the course was being run during the EFG London Jazz Festival there were lots of opportunities to sample the best in jazz music and to write reviews which could be discussed with a professional journalist. ..... Kevin LeGendre rounded the course off re-iterating the importance of writing style, communicating with the reader and always being on the lookout for interesting opportunities in all types of media where journalism skills are important.  Everyone agreed that the course had been informative, thought provoking and enjoyable and expressed their gratitude to Jazzwise and Serious for providing this unique opportunity'.

 

 

 

British Jazz Awards - Vote Now

Big Bear Music logo

 

Sponsored by Big Bear Music, the nominations have been announced for this year’s British Jazz Awards.

Now in their 32nd year, the nominations recognise UK Jazz musicians, bands, and albums. The categories range from individual instruments such as trumpet and tenor sax, to rising star and re-issue CDs. Many of the best known names in British Jazz are featured, along with many artists currently making a name for themselves.

From a wide list of contenders, the list has been narrowed down to four nominees within each category, but there is also the option of voting for someone not on the list of nominees. Voting is open to the public, and as well as voting, you can be included in a prize draw to win £100 worth of jazz CDs from Big Bear Records.

Click here to see the nominations and to vote. Voting closes on 30th September 2018.

 

 

 

 

New Europe Jazz Magazine In Print

Jazz In Europe Magazine

 

In an increasingly digital world, European jazz platform 'Jazz In Europe' have announced that they are making their print début with the brand new Jazz In Europe print magazine. The first edition (Summer 2018) features articles and interviews with amongst others, Christian Sands, Grammy® winning drummer Terri Lyne Carrington, The Zurich Jazz Orchestra, Reggie Washington, Ola Onabulé and an extensive feature on London’s jazz photographer, Carl Hyde.
 
Jazz In Europe was founded in 2013 by American ex-pat Johan van Deeg. Johan believed that there was a need for a jazz platform that focused on the entire European jazz scene in the English language. After his passing in 2016 the platform was continued by Nigel J. Farmer who is currently the Chief Editor. Nigel J. Farmer says: "It’s an interesting time to launch a new print magazine. Many industry pundits are saying print is dead. However, in our opinion this statement requires some qualification. There’s no doubt that in some markets, traditional print via the news stand and subscription is struggling, on the other hand many niche publishers are doing very well."
 
"In the magazine you’ll notice that we’ve approached the material from a slightly different angle. Magazines are a great way to go deeper on certain stories and trends. They’re also a wonderful tangible expression of a brand, presenting what the platform values in a thoughtful way .... Our idea was to produce a “Coffee Table” publication that you can keep coming back to."
  
Jazz In Europe is not content with sitting still. In September, Jazz In Europe will launch a new internet Jazz Radio platform under the name Jazz Republic Radio and are currently working on up-grades to their website to leverage video and provide users with a greater experience. Click here for more details about the magazine.

 

 

 

 

 

Jazz Quiz

Beat It!

In the Quiz this month we challenge you with 15 questions about drumming
How many can you answer?

 

For example:

Which drummer headed up the band The Jazz Messengers?

Who is this?

Click here for the Jazz Quiz.

 

 

 

2019 Jazz Masters Fellowships Announced

Each year, the National Endowment for the Arts bestows America’s highest honour in jazz - the NEA Jazz Masters Fellowships - on individuals who have made significant contributions to the art form. The NEA has announced the four newest recipients of this lifetimeMaria Schneider honour - Bob Dorough, Abdullah Ibrahim, Maria Schneider, and Stanley Crouch, who is the recipient of the 2019 A.B. Spellman NEA Jazz Masters Fellowship for Jazz Advocacy (bestowed upon an individual who has contributed significantly to the appreciation, knowledge, and advancement of the art form of jazz). Sadly, Bob Dorough passed away shortly after being notified of his Jazz Masters honour.

 

Maria Schneider

 

The 2019 recipients will be celebrated at a free tribute concert, which will take place on Monday, April 15, 2019 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, and streamed online.

Composer, arranger and bandleader Maria Scheider says: "I'm deeply honored, excited, and absolutely amazed," says Schneider. "I've seen so many of my heroes receive this honor in the past. It inspires me to do more - much much more. There's a heck of a lot to live up to in this club."

 

 

 

Paul Simon To Release Jazz LP


Paul Simon has announced that his 14th studio album will be a jazz LP. The American musician, recently on tour in the UK, announced his Paul Simon In The Blue Lightnew project to be released on Sony Music in September. In the Blue Light will be a different take on some of his classic tunes, and will feature some top jazz players including trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, guitarist Bill Frisell and drummers Jack DeJohnette and Steve Gadd.

Paul Simon told Jazz FM: “This album consists of songs that I thought were almost right, or were odd enough to be overlooked the first time around. Re-doing arrangements, harmonic structures, and lyrics that didn’t make their meaning clear, gave me time to clarify in my own head what I wanted to say, or realize what I was thinking and make it more easily understood. ...... I hope the listener will find these new versions of old songs refreshed, like a new coat of paint on the walls of an old family home.” The release will coincide with the final leg of Simon’s ‘Homeward Bound – Farewell Tour’ in September.

Click here for a video of Paul talking about the album with some snatches of the music.


 

 

 

Jazz As Art

Red Nichols

Feelin' No Pain

 

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 need to go to another page to play the music and see the images - click here.

As most readers will know, 'Red Nichols and his Five Pennies' were often more than 'Five'. Cornet player and bandleader Ernest Loring Nichols said that the name was simply a pun on "Nickel", since there were "five pennies" in a nickel. "That was only a number we tied in with my name", Nichols once explained. "We'd generally have eight or nine [musicians], depending on who was around for the session and what I was trying to do."

Born in Utah, Red moved to New York playing with The Syncopating Seven and then the Johnny Johnson Orchestra. There he met trombonist Miff Mole who would become a close friend and when he started his own band, Red had Miff Mole on trombone and Jimmy Dorsey on alto sax and clarinet. Amongst other musicians who played for a time in his bands in the following decade were Benny Goodman (clarinet), Glenn Miller (trombone), Jack Teagarden (trombone), Pee Wee Russell (clarinet), Joe Venuti (violin), Eddie Lang (banjo and guitar), and Gene Krupa (drums).

This version of Feelin' No Pain was recorded in 1927 with Red Nichols, Miff Mole, Pee Wee Russell, Lennie Hayton (piano), Dick McDonough (guitar), Adrian Rollini (bass sax and goofus) and Vic Berton (drums). There are other recordings with different line-ups but this is the one best known to me. Pee Wee Russell's clarinet is often noted but I enjoy Adrian Rollini's bass sax solo as I do Miff Mole's trombone played against Adrian Rollini's goofus, and Red Nichols brings in a short, clean solo showing the influence Bix had on his playing.

 

Charles Bunbury painting

 

Go to the Jazz As Art page, play the track and then scroll down to see paintings I have chosen to go with the music -

(I think this only really works if you spend time with each painting)

 

 

 

 


Directory of Alternative Musical Definitions

Ostinato - a tomato eaten during the jazz flute solo
at the beginning of the Austin Powers movie

Austin Powers

(with thanks to Andrew Linham)

Click here for more.

 

 

 

 

 

Poetry and Jazz

Keith Jarrett
After The Fall

by Robin Kidson

 

[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].

 

Keith Jarrett

Keith Jarrett - photograph by Henry Leutwyler for ECM

 

I saw Keith Jarrett play live once in the unlikely setting of a field on the Isle of Wight. It was 1970 and the Island was hosting a massive “pop” festival, the “English Woodstock”. Jarrett was playing keyboards in Miles Davis’ band. Miles was in his Bitches Brew period where it seemed to me that what he really wanted was to be a 'rock god' with all the accompanying adulation and money. After a career built on an Miles Daviseconomic, “less is more” minimalism, he had decided to try “more is more” so his band at the Isle of Wight had to include not one but two pianists, Jarrett and Chick Corea, both playing electric keyboards. A film was made of Miles’ performance – you can view it if you click here. It is introduced by a somewhat ambivalent Jarrett.

Keith Jarrett went on, of course, to forge a career as varied and as critically acclaimed as that of his old mentor, Miles. It’s a career as far away from the excesses of Bitches Brew as it is possible to go. Jarrett has, for example, largely eschewed electric instrumentation preferring to stick to acoustic piano. He has also preferred, in his jazz work at least, to play either completely solo or else in small groups where the idea of having two keyboard players would be unthinkable.

Jarrett’s solo piano work is a thing of wonder. His ability to improvise for whole concerts is legendary. His concert in Köln, Germany in 1975, where he wrestled a dodgy piano into submission producing over an hour of the most sublime improvised music, has become a landmark in jazz history. The recording of the concert – The Köln Concert – is the best-selling solo jazz album ever. It was released on Manfred Eicher’s German-based record label, ECM, which has continued to be Jarrett’s main outlet ever since. For a taste of what Jarrett’s solo concerts feel like, click here for a snatch from a concert in Tokyo in 1984.

 

Keith Jarrett Trio

 

Of the small groups which Jarrett has led in his long career, it is his trio with Gary Peacock on bass and Jack DeJohnette on drums which was the most long lasting. It became known as the “Standards Trio” from a series of recordings and concerts in which it breathed new life into old standards. Jarrett’s glittering career came to a sudden halt in 1996 when he was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).

“…I hit ground zero”, he recalls, “and was staring at my pianos, unable to play anything. As my doctor and I worked out what to do, I gradually (very gradually) improved, but if I played at all, I would relapse and hit bottom again”.

In 1998, he started playing tentatively again with Gary Peacock and Jack DeJohnette in his studio. He decided to attempt a concert with his trio at the New Jersey Performing Arts Centre at Newark, New Jersey, near his home “as a kind of scary experiment”. The concert went ahead in November 1998 and a recording of the event has recently been released by ECM - click here. It is called After The Fall “sort of as a bookend to my ‘fall’ into sickness” and marked the beginning of a gradual process of recovery. The pieces on the album are reworkings of old standards including a number of bebop tunes such as Charlie Parker’s Scrapple From The Apple and Bud Powell’s Bouncin’ With Bud.

 

 

One of the many admirable characteristics of Jarrett’s playing is that he never falls into the improviser’s trap of playing the same old phrases in the same old way and travelling along a comfortable rut. He is always trying something new and original. Many of the tracks on After The Fall tread a similar path – an efficient statement of the tune followed by improvised phrases which gradually move away from the melody, becoming more and more adventurous with occasional bombs of discordance, little snatches of some other, vaguely familiar tune, Keith Jarrett After The Falland Jarrett’s trademark vocalisations - little shouts, cries of almost ecstasy - before the original tune gradually re-emerges. This is particularly the case with some of the longer pieces on the album – the 15 minute The Masquerade Is Over, for example.

 

Jarrett’s improvisations usually follow on from each other in a fairly structured way. You can often hear how his mind is working, how one idea leads to another, then another and so on. And when he hits on a more fruitful idea, he will pursue that for a while, occasionally hitting an absorbing and exciting groove (cue another ecstatic vocalisation). His technique is so astounding that it seems that any idea can instantly be translated into music. It is almost as if there is no gap between the thought and the note, as if every fingertip has its own brain.

All three musicians are clearly so used to working with each other that there is a telepathic understanding between them and an idea thrown out by one will be taken up and developed by the others. There are some wonderful moments at the end of Autumn Leaves where the group hits on a groove with Peacock playing the same absorbing riff and Jarrett and DeJohnette gently playing on top of it. And somewhere, there is the sound of leaves falling. You can listen to Autumn Leaves - click here.

 

 

 

All the tracks on the album may be old standards – sometimes, rather hackneyed old standards – but they are all treated with respect by Jarrett. He is always able to find something new and worthy in them and always able to somehow capture their essence. Even a tune like Santa Claus Is Coming To Town emerges with honour from the trio’s hands. The final track is a straightforward rendering of When I Fall In Love. What emerges is just a beautiful and moving piece of music. It is a fitting end to an enjoyable album, one which may capture playing that is twenty years old but is still a worthy addition to the Jarrett canon. There’s a live performance by the Standards Trio of When I Fall In Love in Tokyo in 1986 - click here.

 

Click here for more about CFS or ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis) on the NHS website. A correspondent on the ME Association website describes what living with ME is actually like: "Not many people know what ME is. Those who have heard of it often explain it as ‘being really tired all the time' ... Cold, medical language does little to paint a picture of what it’s like to live with ME. I describe it as my body being like a dodgy phone battery. It drains a lot faster than everyone else’s, and even if I charge it multiple times a day it still ends up flat. No amount of sleep feels refreshing and on bad days I ache all over. I feel dizzy and light headed, and struggle to even focus on watching TV. As a bookworm and freelance writer one of the most devastating effects on my life has been my inability to concentrate. My short-term memory is worse than your Nan’s after a few brandies. It’s a battle to pick even a commonplace word out of the alphabet spaghetti soup inside my brain ...."

“I told the guys in the trio” says Jarrett, “that, for me, bebop might be the best idea, because although it required great technique, I didn’t think I needed to play as hard as I often did as my energy still seemed too low to ‘dig in’ too much”. It has to be said that the album is a joy from start to finish with absolutely no sign of low energy levels. All three musicians are at the top of their game and are clearly enjoying themselves as is the audience, judging from the warm applause.

 

Click here for details of the album, and there is an “unofficial website” devoted to Keith Jarrett here.

 

Keith Jarrett

Keith Jarrett

 

 

 

 

 

Video Juke Box

*Click on the Picture for the Video

 

 

Click on the picture to watch the video.

 

 

Bob Cranshaw and Lee Morgan

 

Remembering Lee Morgan - Bassist Bob Cranshaw played on Lee Morgan's immortal The Sidewinder. In this ten minute video that includes great footage of Lee Morgan, Cranshaw remembers the session, and offers his thoughts on the great trumpeter, who died tragically at the age of 33.

 

 

 

 

Louis Armstrong in Copenhagen 1933

 

 

Historic footage of Louis Armstrong with I Cover The Waterfront, Dinah and Tiger Rag recorded in Copenhagen in 1933, during his Scandinavian (Stockholm, Oslo and Copenhagen) tour.

 

 

 

 

Keith Jarrett Late Lament

 

ECM have released Keith Jarrett's After The Fall, a double-disc album that was recorded live in a special concert in 1998 that signalled the return of the pianist from a forced two-year interruption in his brilliant career due to chronic fatigue syndrome. (See 'Recent Releases' and Robin Kidson's article below). Here is the Trio playing Late Lament from an earlier gig in 1985.

 

 

 

 

Sam Leak and Dan Tepfer

 

Pianists Sam Leak and Dan Tepfer discuss the making of their new album, Adrift, due for release in November 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

Collectif Paris Swing feat. Giacomo Smith

 

 

Clarinettist Giacomo Smith (Kansas Smitty's) is featured in this studio recording of Chinatown, My Chinatown with Collectif Paris Swing in Paris in 2017.

 

 

 

 

Elina Duni and Rob Luft video

 

Elina Duni sings N'at Zaman accompanied by Rob Luft on guitar. I was lucky enough to catch them with guest pianist Kit Downes at the Pizza Express Jazz Club in July for an outstandingly beautiful gig. If you get the chance to catch them, take it. Elina Duni was born in Albania and started singing for National Radio and Television at an early age. After the fall of the communist regime, she moved to Switzerland with her mother, where she started studying classical piano and then discovered jazz. Her repertoire includes music from her native Albania as well as songs from across Europe and America. In 2017 Elina Duni was one of the recipients of the Swiss Music Prize.

 

 

 

Click here to visit the Video Juke Box choices from the past six months.

 

 

 

 

 

Tracks Unwrapped

Manhã de Carnaval

(Morning of the Carnival)

 

[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 (recommended). 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 is a link to the music on YouTube etc. in the article below].

 

Black Orpheus scene

 

In 1959, Marcel Camus' film Orfeo Negro (Black Orpheus) came to cinema screens. It was a re-telling of the Orpheus and Eurydice legend set during a Brazil carnival and starred Breno Mello as Orfeo, Marpessa Dawn as Eurydice and Ademar Da Silva as 'Death'. It also brought some lasting musical compositions from Antonio Carlos Jobim and Luiz Bonfa including Manhã De Carnaval. It introduced an important moment in jazz samba and bossa nova that would be followed by the Stan Getz / Charlie Byrd album Jazz Samba in 1962 and the Getz/Gilberto album of 1963 (released in 1964).

A summary of the film's storyline appears in IMDB: 'In the heady atmosphere of Rio's carnival, two people meet and fall in love. Eurydice, a country girl, has run away from home to avoid a man who arrived at her home looking for her. She is convinced that he was going to kill her. She arrives in Rio to stay with her cousin Serafina. Orfeo works as a tram conductor and is engaged to Mira - as far as Mira is concerned anyways. As Eurydice and Orpheus get to know one another they fall deeply in love. Mira is mad with Black Orpheus scenejealousy and when Eurydice disappears, Orfeo sets out to find her'.

 

 

Click here for a short clip from the film featuring Manhã De Carnaval.

 

The film summary above does not do justice to the film; it won the Palme d'Or at Cannes that year and also a Golden Globe and an Oscar for best foreign-langauge film a year later.

In his autobiography, Dreams From My Father, former US President Barak Obama wrote: '"One evening, while thumbing through the Village Voice, my mother's eyes lit on an advertisement for a movie, Black Orpheus, that was showing downtown. My mother insisted we go see it that night; she said it was the first foreign film she had ever seen ... I was only sixteen then, she told us as we entered the elevator: "I'd just been accepted to the University of Chicago – Gramps hadn't yet told me I couldn't go – and I was there for the summer, working as an au pair. It was the first time I'd ever been really on my own. Gosh, I felt like such an adult. And when I saw this film, I thought it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.'"

Sixteen year old Barak reacted to the film differently. His comments have been quoted elsewhere, usually out of context. In context you would need to read more (click here). The usual part quoted goes like this: '

About halfway through the movie, I decided that I’d seen enough, and turned to my mother to see if she might be ready to go. But her face, lit by the blue glow of the screen, was set in a wistful gaze. At that moment, I felt as if I were being given a window into her heart, the unreflective heart of her youth. I suddenly realized that the depiction of childlike blacks I was now seeing on the screen, the reverse image of Conrad’s dark savages, was what my mother had carried with her to Hawaii all those years before, a reflection of the simple fantasies that had been forbidden to a white middle-class girl from Kansas, the promise of another life: warm, sensual, exotic, different. I turned away, embarrassed for her, irritated with the people around me ....."

 

Writing in The Guardian, Peter Bradshaw challenges Barak Obama's view of Black Orpheus: 'For what it's worth, I think Obama is wrong about Black Orpheus – he's too tough on it. And yet for me this passage exposed, more dramatically than anything has in a very long while, the fact that critical perceptions are governed by class, by background and by race .... (click here for the full article).

Nevertheless, that is the impression the film made on the young Barak. Interestingly, musicals generally, particularly many musicals of the 1950s and before, have characters and plots that could be described as 'childlike', or at least 'naive' in the sense of 'natural and unaffected; innocent'. I am not sure that for all of them, 'critical perceptions are governed by class, by background and by race', but perhaps they are?

In many ways, Orfeo Negro has far more 'darker' characters and scenes than most. Perhaps Barak should not have left half way through!

No Bad News Mabel King

 

Some twenty years later, Sidney Lumet made another musical film with a black cast, The Wiz, and I wonder what Barak would have thought of that. The movie is a retelling of The Wizard of Oz through the eyes of a young African-American kindergarten teacher (Dianna Ross) who's "never been below 125th Street." On her journey down the yellow brick road, Dorothy meets the scarecrow (Michael Jackson); the tin man (Nipsey Russell) and the lion (Ted Ross). The quartet tangles with a subway station that comes to life, a poppy den, and a gaggle of motorcycle henchman on their way to the Wiz (Richard Pryor) -- who orders them to kill the Wicked Witch of the West (a sweatshop tyrant) before he will grant them their wishes.

The sweatshop tyrant is played by Mabel King. Click here for Mabel performing No Bad News from the movie.

 

 

Returning to Black Orpheus, Empire film magazine wrote in a review: '... Marcel Camus’ romantic tragedy is an accomplished blend of Greek legend, Brazilian custom and a little-known play by Vinicius De Moraes. Despite references to Orpheus, Eurydice, Olympus and the Underworld, this is essentially an astral myth: Bruno Mello symbolises the sun, who will deliver the earthy Marpessa Dawn from the darkness of death cast over her by her sinister suitor, Ademar Da Silva. It’s to Camus’ credit that the symbolism is integrated so deftly with the sights and sounds of the Rio Carnival. But what gives the film its mesmerising atmosphere is cinematographer Jean Bourgoin’s discrete contrasts between the vibrancy of the daylight revels and the looming malevolence of the nocturnal sequences ...'.

Click here for the trailer for the movie that includes snatches of other tunes that became established by the film.

 

The legend of Orpheus and Eurydice varies with the telling, but in essence, the god Apollo gives his son Orpheus a lyre and teaches him how to play. Orpheus plays with such perfection that even Apollo is surprised. It is said that 'nothing could resist his beautiful melodies, neither enemies nor beasts. Even trees and rocks were entranced with his music'. Orpheus falls in love and marries the beautiful Eurydice. Hymen, the god of marriage, blesses them but predicts that their happiness will not last. A short time later, Eurydice is wandering in the forest with the Nymphs. In some versions of the story, Aristaeus, a shepherd, sees her and beguiled by her beauty, makes advances towards her, and begins to chase her. Other versions of the story say that Eurydice was merely dancing with the Nymphs. In any case, while fleeing or dancing, she is bitten by a snake and dies instantly.

 

Orpheus before Pluto

H.W. Bissen - Orpheus pleading with Pluto

 

Orpheus sings his grief with his lyre and both humans and gods are touched by his sorrow and grief. He decides to go down to Hades to search for his wife. Any other mortal would have died, but Orpheus, protected by the gods, arrives in the Underworld and manages to charm the three-headed Cerebus who guards the way. He faces Pluto, the god of the underworld, and his wife, Persephone and playing his lyre, melts even Hades' cold heart. Hades tells Orpheus that he can take Eurydice with him but under one condition; Eurydice will follow him while he is walking out to the light from the caves of the Underworld, but he must not look at her before coming out to the light or else he will lose her forever. If Orpheus is patient enough he will have Eurydice returned to him.

Orpheus thanks the gods and begins to ascend back into the world. Unable to hear Eurydice’s footsteps, however, he begins to think that the gods have been fooling him. Eurydice is in fact behind him, but can only become a full woman again when she emerges into the light. Only a few feet away from the exit, Orpheus loses his faith and turns to see Eurydice behind him, but her shadow is whisked back among the dead and trapped in Hades forever. Orpheus plays a mourning song with his lyre, calling for death so that he can be united with Eurydice. His wish is granted and the Muses save his head and keep it among the living to sing forever, enchanting everyone with his lovely melodies.

Manhã De Carnaval has since been recorded by Stan Getz and many jazz musicians - Kenny Dorham, the Modern Jazz Quartet, Quincy Jones, Hampton Hawes, Charlie Byrd, Bob Brookmeyer, Oscar Peterson as well as Frank Sinatra, Jose Feliciano or the Three Tenors ... all of whom you can listen to via YouTube - but first we feature this video from 2015 by trumpeter Andrea Motis and saxophonist Joan Chamorro 2015 - click here.

 

The International Movie Data Base (IMDB) adds some interesting miscellaneous information about the film. Marcel Camus shot Black Orpheus posterthe movie Orfeo Negro entirely on location in Brazil with his cast and crew of mostly local talent. Camus wanted to capture the dramatic landscapes around Rio and the vibrant sounds and colours of the area, infusing the film with a kinetic energy set to the constant throbbing beat of samba music.

Shooting on location did not come without its share of challenges. Camus was already on a limited budget and quickly ran out of money. According to an interview he gave to Time Magazine, in order to cut corners, he took to pinching pennies on meals and sleeping on the beach rather than in hotels. When he was down to his last $17, Brazil's then president, Juscelino Kubitschek, helped Camus procure some filming equipment from the country's army in order to help the production out. "The poverty was not such a bad thing in the long run," said Camus. "I spent so much time trailing around on foot, just looking, that in the end I had a deep awareness of Brazil. With money, I would never have made the same film. Everything would have been done too quickly."

 

Breno Mello who played Orfeu was a soccer player with no acting experience at the time he was cast. Mello was walking on the street in Rio de Janeiro, when Marcel stopped him and asked if he would like to be in a film. He went on to make two more films, Os Vencidos (1963) and Prisoner of Rio (1988). Marpessa Dawn (Eurydice) was not from Brazil, but from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She moved to England where she began acting in small television roles and then moved to France in 1953. Occasionally working as a governess, she also sang and danced in nightclubs where she met director Marcel Camus. She was 24 years old when she was cast as Eurydice. Ademar Da Silva, the actor who played Death, was a triple jumper who won two Olympic gold medals, in 1952 and 1956. Breno Mello and Marpessa Dawn both died in within two months of each other - almost half a century after the film was made.

I think that this video of Manhã De Carnaval by guitarists John McLaughlin, Paco de Lucia and Larry Coryell (click here) is a real treat despite one commentator saying that it doesn't have a 'Latin feel', and it is a reminder of the talents of the late Paco de Lucia and Larry Coryell.

 

 

 

Elizete Cardoso

 

 

Click here for Manhã De Carnaval sung in the movie by Brazilian vocalist, Elizete Cardoso. Born in Rio de Janeiro, her father was a serenader who played guitar, and her mother was an amateur singer. Elizete began working at an early age and between 1930 and 1935 - became a store clerk and hairdresser among other things. She was discovered at her 16th birthday party by Jacob do Bandolim, the Brazilian composer and musician, to which he was brought by her cousin Pedro, a popular figure among the musicians of the day. Jacó took her to Rádio Guanabara where, in spite of her father’s initial opposition, she appeared on the Programa Suburbano. In 1958, Elizete was invited by Vinicius de Moraes to be the singer of an album of songs written by himself and Tom Jobim. Canção do Amor Demais became the first album of bossa nova music, launching the new genre. The album was released on the Festa label. While Cardoso was not primarily considered a bossa nova singer, she is the vocalist on the original version of the bossa classic Manhã de Carnaval from the Orfeu Negro soundtrack.

 

 

 

 

Nicole Henry

In the USA, the title Manhã De Carnaval was changed to A Day In The Life Of A Fool and lyrics added.

 

A day in the life of a fool
A sad and a long lonely day
I walk the avenue and hope I'll run into
The welcome sight of you coming my way
I stop just across from your door
But you're never home any more
So back to my room and there in the gloom
I cry tears of goodbye
(That's the way it will be every day in the life of fool)

 

 

 

Click here to listen to Nicole Henry performing the song. In many ways I think this changes the original concept, but despite that Nicole Henry's interpretation is worth hearing.

 

 

 

Mission Impossible 2 poster

 

Manhã De Carnaval appeared again in the soundtrack recording for the movie Mission Impossible 2, this time sung by Tori Amos with a completely different arrangement (click here) along with a further variation on the lyrics:

 

I sing to the sun in the sky
I sing to the sun raised high
Carnival dancer, magical time of youth
And as the day draws nigh
Dreams fill my heart
I'll sing while he raises guitar
I'll sing as the night wakes the dawn
Will love come my way on this magical day?
And will hope stay in my heart?

.............

 

According to some information (click here) 'Tori's song "Carnival" is NOT heard during the actual film Mission Impossible 2. That includes the credits at the end. That fall out is quite a shame! The title of the album does makes it clear that some of the songs are "inspired" by the movie and not necessarily in it'.

 

 

 

Luiz BonfaIt seems right to end this piece with a mention of the tune's composer, Luiz Floriano Bonfá. Bonfá was born in 1922 in Rio de Janeiro and studied with Uruguayan classical guitarist Isaías Sávio from the age of 11. As we learn from Wikipedia: ‘These weekly lessons entailed a long, harsh commute by train (two and a half hours each way) and on foot from his family home in Santa Cruz, the western rural outskirts of Rio de Janeiro, to the teacher's home in the hills of Santa Teresa. Given Bonfá's extraordinary dedication and talent for the guitar, Sávio excused the youngster's inability to pay for his lessons’.

Luiz came to notice when performed on radio in a showcase for young talent and went on to compose music for Brazilian crooner Dick Farney in the 1950s. It was through Farney that Bonfá was introduced to Antônio (Tom) Carlos Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes, the leading songwriting team behind the explosion of Brazilian jazz/pop music. Bonfá collaborated with them and with other prominent Brazilian musicians and artists in productions of de Moraes' anthological play Orfeu da Conceição, (Orpheus of the Conception), a three-act stage play that premiered in 1956 in Rio de Janeiro. The play was later truned into Marcel Camus' film Black Orpheus. (There are several videos online of performance and music from Orfeu da Conceição but mostly in Portuguese).

 

Fortunately, buried on YouTube, I discovered this video of Luiz Bonfá playing Manhã De Carnaval with singer Elizete Cardoso (click here).

 

 

 

Finally, let's sign off with this version of Manhã De Carnaval played by Japanese saxophonist Sadao Watanabe with the Toquinho group in 1986 (click here).

[The full movie of Orfeo Negro / Black Orpheus is available through YouTube, but as far as I cansee it is not subtitled and the film quality leaves much to be desired]

 

 

Black Orpheus children

 

 

 

 

Lens America

Dr Lonnie Smith

 

Dr Lonnie Smith photographed by JazzTrail photographer Clara Pereira in July at the Jazz Standard in New York City.

 

Filipe Freitas from JazzTrail writes in his review of the gig: 'Masterful Hammond B3 organist Dr. Lonnie Smith took his new trio to Jazz Standard, making every soul rejoice with his ever-grooving musical creations imbued of soul, funk, and jazz. On the bandstand, showing a tight communication with him, were guitarist Jonathan Kreisberg and drummer Johnathan Blake, two valuable pieces on the live trio album All In My Mind, recently released on Blue Note Records .....

Seated at a table next to mine was an enthusiastic fan of Dr. Lonnie’s music. He confessed to me he was following the keyboardist for 30 years and was prepared to attend all his shows at the Standard for the week long. The joyous expression on his face became even more salient when the trio opened the second set with “For Heaven’s Sake”. .... Wayne Shorter’s “JuJu”, was pure ecstasy. Tackled with brilliance, its chords enveloped the attendees with that infectious 3/4 groove, and eloquent, powerful improvisations. This was the first of two compositions retrieved from the latest album. The other one was Dave Hubbard’s time-shifting “Devika”, which got a completely different treatment here with funky guitar riffs, electronic-like vibes, and an Afro pulse capable of making everybody dancing. ....I had a wonderful time attending this concert. Dr. Lonnie Smith, a true living legend, keeps his music fresh as he approaches the material from surprising new angles'.

 

Click here to listen to Dr Lonnie Smith and the Trio playing Paul Simon's Fifty Ways To Leave Your Lover from the album All In My Mind.

 

Dr Lonnie Smith All In My Mind

 

 

Utah Tea Pot

Tea Break

 

[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 (recommended). 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].

 

Martin Hummel
(Ubuntu Management Group)

 

Martin Hummel

 

Over the past year there has been a noticeable increase in the growing number of important album releases from a company called 'Ubuntu Music'. Some of these are debut releases from talented jazz musicians whose work deserves to be heard by a wider audience; they include people such as guitarist Nick Costley-White, trumpeter Mark Kavuma and pianist Pete Lee. Details of their albums are in our Recent Releases section, and we have featured Thinky Pain from Nick's album and Church from Mark's recording in our Jazz As Art feature.

I was intrigued to find out where this record label had come from and discovered that it is part of Ubuntu Management Group, founded originally by Martin Hummel who is one of the organisation's directors. They have a number of strings to their bow; they specialise in communications/brand/business consulting (Ubuntu Ideas), artist management (Ubuntu Talent) and now recorded music (Ubuntu Music).

So how had the recorded music strand come about? I managed to catch Martin Hummel for a Tea Break in his busy schedule:

 

 

Hi Martin, tea or coffee?

Hi, Ian. It’s a pleasure to join you. Coffee, thank you. 

 

Milk and sugar?

Black. Strong. One sweetener, please.

 

Some background music? What do you fancy?


How about some mellow Bill Evans? Or Kenny Barron with Charlie Haden? It will set the tone for our chat.

 

There is a nice track of Kenny and Charlie playing Spring Is Here that migh suit - I'll put it on in a minute. Ubuntu Music seems to have been making its mark over the past year – how long have you been releasing albums now and how did you become involved in the market?

I spent nearly 40 years working in marketing, advertising and communications all over the world. However, my true love has always been music and, specifically, jazz. It took me a while before I could make this love the main part of my professional life.

For nearly two decades, I was responsible for the Pepsi-Cola International business. Back in the 1980s, we wrote the book on music marketing, bringing an FMCG, sorry, 'Fast Moving Consumer Goods', brand like Pepsi together with some of the biggest names in music. We started our associations with Michael Jackson and went on from there to work with Lionel Richie, Tina Turner, Rod Stewart, Robert Palmer, Madonna, Robbie Williams, Ricky Martin, Kylie Minogue, Beyoncé, Britney Spears, Pink and, yes, even The Spice Girls! The experience I gained was in understanding that artists are living, breathing, growing 'brands' who require the same disciplined approach in the development and management of their careers, just like traditional FMCG brands. Except that artists are human, and they have a point Andrew McCormackof view that must be taken into consideration! Beyoncé is a well-defined brand. Will.i.am is the same. Jay-Z refers to himself as a brand. And that’s because they get it. It’s funny that those who have struggled to develop their profiles are often the ones who see branding and strategy as evil spirits.

My first opportunity to put my views into practice was with an immensely talented pianist, Andrew McCormack, who asked for my help. It started with casual advice, grew into helping him define his career plan, and ultimately becoming his manager. Thankfully, the experiment worked. Within this, I negotiated and re-negotiated Andrew’s contracts with his various record labels. I learned first-hand how labels operated (or perhaps failed to do so).

 

Andrew McCormack

 

Alongside managing Andrew, I also ended up helping his talented partner - vocalist Noemi Nuti - release her debut album, ‘Nice to Meet You’. Initially we pursued the conventional route and were in a series of frustrating negotiations with various labels when it suddenly hit me that I should create the vehicle to release Noemi’s album. And so, 'Ubuntu Music' was born.

 

[Click here for a video of Noemi and Andrew with Vista].

 

I partnered with an excellent trumpet player, Quentin Collins, and in 2015 we released Noemi’s debut album, ‘Nice to Meet You’, on what became the Ubuntu Music brand. It was a real success and, shortly thereafter, QCBA (Quentin Collins & Brandon Allen) was released. People began to take notice.

[Click here for a video of Quentin Collins with Andrew McCormack, Kyle Eastwood, Graeme Belvins and Martyn Kaine playing Big Noise From Winnetka in 2012].

The real game-changer for the Label was an opportunity to take a bunch of 30+ year old audio-cassette tapes living in a shoebox and bring the magic of the music back to life. These tapes contained six nights of Chet Baker playing live in a small London club. The challenges - legal, technical and otherwise - were daunting, to say the least. But the perseverance of our talented team paid off and, in 2016, Chet Baker ‘Live in London’ was released, taking the world by storm. And the rest is history.

It’s an honour to release recently the music of such amazing artists as Camilla George, Leo Richardson, Trio HLK (with Evelyn Glennie & Steve Lehman), Mark Kavuma, Alina Bzhezhinska and Martin Speake. Ubuntu Music is now recognised around the world and the quality of our artists, along with the way we choose to do business, is attracting other exceptionally talented artists all the time. You could say that I’m a very lucky guy!  

 

Mark Kavuma

Mark Kavuma

 

 

Zwelakhe Sisulu

 

‘Ubuntu’ is an unusual name – how did that come about?

Ubuntu is an extraordinary word, which comes from the cradle of civilisation. It means, “I am, because we are” in various African dialects. In other words, we are all connected in some capacity and the actions of one person affects all of us in some way. I first heard the word when I was managing a group of communications agencies in South Africa. I had the enormous privilege of working with a family member who was one of Nelson Mandela’s closest friends. The late Zwelakhe Sisulu, son of Walter Sisulu (Mandela’s strategic partner and lifelong friend), taught me the real meaning and practical application of ubuntu.

Zwelakhe Sisulu

 

Essentially, you must come to know and understand the essence of an individual - as a human being - before even contemplating a business relationship with that person. Once you make that connection, everything then becomes clearer. And it works. I promised myself that, if I ever started my own business, it would be called ubuntu and I would live by those principles and manage my business accordingly.

 

 

 

 

 

Custard Cream, Bourbon, Garibaldi or digestive biscuit?

Please don’t laugh, but do you have any McVitie’s Dark Chocolate Digestive Thins? Sinfully addictive stuff…

 

Ah, you have caught me out there! Perhaps next time. In the meanwhile I could do a chocolate digestive and cut it in half? Do you find that the market for music sales changing? Digital downloads seem to be increasing but there still seems to be a demand for CDs and vinyl appears to be popular, although I wonder if that is just a fad? How difficult is it to anticipate the way things will go?

Hey, if any of us had these answers, we’d all be rich and famous by now! The bottom line is this…the industry remains in a perpetual state of flux. All bets are off. Digital is here to stay and, if anyone thinks otherwise, I suggest they consider pursuing an alternative career. The fundamental keys to success include:

 

  • Always put the quality of the music first. No excuses.
  • See things from the artist’s perspective.
  • Anticipate…don’t simply react.
  • Maintain flexibility, which is the key discriminator versus the big labels.
  • Embrace change…don’t fight it.
  • Build sustainable partnerships within all sectors of the industry.
  • Optimism is (almost) everything. Never say never.
  • Live by your word. And live your Brand.
  • Zig, when the rest of the world zags.

The debate concerning vinyl versus digital formats is a false economy. However, the discussions themselves, along with the fragmentation of music engagement channels (rumour is that audio cassettes are coming back), are helping to re-energise the recorded music industry. And overall sales have been increasing, following many years of steady decline. Look at the worldwide statistics for the full year of 2017:

 

  • Global Revenue Growth: +8.1%
  • Streaming Revenue Growth: +41.1%
  • Digital Share of Global Revenue: 54.0%

 

Turning to this beautiful thing we call jazz (and, no, I will not attempt to define the genre), the sector is on fire. The jazz scene in London is a beacon for creativity and is now recognised as such all over the world. Even America’s definitive rock magazine, Rolling Stone, recently featured an article entitled, “Jazz’s New British Invasion”.

 

John Coltrane Both Directions At Once

 

 

To support the point further, the latest John Coltrane album, ‘Both Directions at Once’ (The Lost Album), recorded 55 years ago and released 51 years after his tragic death, entered the Top 20 Album Chart in the UK at the end of June … which was the sax genius’ biggest ever opening week of sales and his highest chart position of all time. The music business is alive and well, jazz is where it’s at, and digital is the future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have you recently signed up any artists making debut releases that we should take notice of?

There’s a lot in the pipeline that helps get me out of bed with a smile every day. We’ll start with young trumpet ace Mark Kavuma’s debut, just released, and receiving critical acclaim everywhere. Then there’s Pete Lee, a masterful pianist and composer, who released ‘The Velvet Rage’ with us in June. Nick Costley-White, an exceptional guitarist, released his debut quartet album, ‘Detour Ahead’ in July. Then there’s jazz legends Eric Alexander and Harold Mabern - The New York All-Stars - with a live London recording out in September. Camilla George’s brilliant second album is in late September. Alex Munk’s Flying Machines drops in October. Vocalist Jessica Radcliffe and saxophonist Helena Kay release their debut albums in December.

[Click here for a video of Pete Lee playing his beautiful composition The Velvet Rage live with the Amika strings. This is the title tune from his new album released in June].

Most of 2019 is sorted and will include Laurence Hobgood (Kurt Elling’s pianist & composer of 17 years), Gwen & Tiana (African jazz/world music artists with Femi Temowo on guitar and as producer), Rob Cope (a jazz-space exploration, with Rob Luft and Elliott Galvin) and James Copus (one of the hottest trumpet players of his generation). Plus, Leo Richardson, Andrew McCormack, Noemi Nuti and others. The list goes on!

 

 

Chet Baker Live In London II

 

At the end of 2016 you also released that Chet Baker ‘Live in London’ album with John Horler’s trio. You mentioned a whole lot of tapes that had been discovered, is there more of that to come?


Chet Baker ‘Live in London Volume II’
will be out this month, August. The John Horler Trio was Chet Baker’s rhythm section, when Baker came over to tour in the UK. Ubuntu Music’s first release with Baker and the Trio gained worldwide critical acclaim. In Downbeat Magazine, the jazz music bible in the US, this album was selected by its readers as one of the best historical releases in the world that year. Given the amazing reaction to the original ‘Live in London’, we had sufficient quality material remaining to release a second double CD album, ‘Live in London Volume II’. We’re launching the album with a showcase at The Jazz Café in London, featuring the original John Horler Trio, along with Quentin Collins on trumpet, Leo Richardson on saxes and the fabulous young talent of Cherise Adams-Burnett on vocals.

 

 

 

 

I'm sure that will be as successful as the first. Not only is Chet (and for that matter John Horler) eternally popular, the discovery of previously unreleased recording is always intriguing. What else do you have planned generally for the coming year?


These are closely guarded secrets.

 

I understand, but I do have another chocolate digestive biscuit here .....

In that case, for you, Ian, I’ll make the rare exception. Fundamentally, I’ll keep doing what I’m doing and continuously strive for improvement. The Ubuntu Music label connects artists with audiences through beautiful music. The quality of the music is paramount, and I take tremendous pride in serving the artists who have joined the Ubuntu family. We are and will remain a diversified label, in terms of music style and human culture. Now I’m developing deeper relationships with key venues. I’m curating live music recordings which bring out the true essence of what jazz music is all about and I’m submitting a charity proposal which will help young female artists to further their careers in jazz. I’d also like to do some lecturing ..... and I will be 'expanding my business model into related sectors'... you will have to wait and see where that goes. As long as I continue to have this much fun with my clothes on, I will just keep doing what I’m doing, indefinitely!

 

That's the last of my chocolate digestives, but I could do a chocolate Hob Nob ...?

Thanks, but I’m stuffed and exhausted! I greatly appreciate your having me here. Until next time and, when we do so, I’ll bring the Digestive Thins along…

 

Sounds like successful branding from McVitie's......! Oh, and Kenny Barron and Charlie Haden playing Spring Is Here - I'll put it on now .....[Click here]

 

Digestive Thins

 

Click here for the Ubuntu Management Group website.

Click here for Ubuntu Music

 

Utah Tea Pot

 

 

 

Do You Have A Birthday In August?

 


Your Horoscope

for August Birthdays

by 'Marable'

 

Leo

Leo (The Lion)

21st July - 21st August

 

As I mentioned last month, you are having more eclipses than usual to deal with this year and opportunities for change are still present. The Solar Eclipse on the 11th August could affect you more than others as it occurs in your own sign of Leo. Once again you are challenged to redefine yourself and how you want others to see you. Changes not made last month can be made now.

Since 22nd July you have been well placed for changing things that bother you. Now is the time to tackle them as later it could be more difficult. The Sun in your sign should be bringing energy and your charisma should be strong, but if the eclipse shakes your self-confidence, just hang on in there as your self-confidence will return, perhaps even stronger than before.

Income could be slower this month as Mercury your financial planet is retrograde until the 19th, but if you handle the delays you should be OK.

Mercury goes forward again on the 19th and the Sun enters your money house on the 23rd, so positive approaches to finance will be your focus next month.

 

Feeling Good

 

For you, click here for a video of the Slovenia's Ljubljana Academy of Music Big Band with Nuška Drašček singing Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse's Feeling Good.

 

 

 

Virgo

 

Virgo (The Virgin)

22nd August - 22nd September

 

Virgos have faced eclipses during July, but despite these you should have experienced a reasonable month; after all, Venus moved into your sign on 10th July and is there until the 7th August bringing financial and happy opportunities.

On the 7th, Venus moves into your money house and stays there for the rest of the month, and as she will be in her own sign and house, she should be strong on your behalf. However, Venus is a fast moving planet and those opportunities should be taken while they are there. By October 5th / November 16th she will be retrograde and that will be a good time to take time out to review your financial situation.

On the 6th, Mercury moves across your Ascendant and into the lower half of your chart, the lower half of your Horoscope starts to gain more importance; career could seem less important than family, domestic and wellness issues. Interestingly, Mercury plays two roles in your chart; he is the ruler of your Horoscope and also your career planet, so although your focus has shifted to other things, it is still possible that your career will stay steady and in fact, career opportunities could seek you out rather than you having to go looking for them.

I see that from the 22nd to the 25th, Mercury pauses in his latitudinal motion and then changes direction, so this change of direction could happen for you as well.

 

Count Basie with O C Smith video

 

For you, click here for a video of the Count Basie Orchestra and O.C. Smith with 'Deed I Do from 1962.

 

 

 

 

Poetry and Jazz

Kinda Pastoral

Music Inspired by Landscape
Highlighting Tim Garland's New Album
Weather Walker

by Howard Lawes

 

[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].

 

Tim Garland Weather Walker

 

 

It has been noted before (e.g. Philip Scowcroft) that the Lake District, while it has inspired a multitude of artists and poets, seems to have had less impact on composers of music. On the other hand one of the most famous of British hunting songs from the nineteenth century - D'ye Ken John Peel - was inspired by an eponymous Cumbrian farmer and well known huntsman with words and music by fellow Cumbrian John Graves.  Hunting songs and folk music continue to be popular in the Lake District today with frequent events throughout the area such as the Stepping Stones Festival and Music on the Marr. A dissertation by Susan Allan, Folk Song in Cumbria - A Distinctive Regional Repertoire? (2016) is a very comprehensive review of the subject available online. Brass band music has also had and continues to have an enthusiastic following in Cumbria, the Ulverston Brass Band  for example were playing in 1850 and the Whitehaven Brass Band dates back to 1857; many other bands that were associated with mines, iron works and temperance societies have come and gone.

Surprisingly it is in the field of "heavy rock music" where Cumbria has led the way; in 1785 Peter Crosthwaite, an eccentric inventor, became interested in the musical properties of the local stone and in 1840 Joseph Richardson created the Skiddaw Stones, a very heavy, Piece for Lithophoneeight octave lithophone constructed from 61 tuned and shaped rocks, made from rare hornfels stone. It still exists today in Keswick Museum and may be played by visitors.  Several other lithophones reside in various museums in the Lake District and a recording is available of a performance in Kendal Museum - click here

 

Piece for Lithophone.
Written specifically for a combination of The Musical Stone of Skiddaw
and the Kendal Museum Lithophone.



The poet William Wordsworth (1770-1850) who was born in the Lake District and lived there for much of his life is credited, along with Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834), with launching the Romantic Age in English literature while JMW Turner (1775-1851) and John Constable (1776-1837) did much the same for English art. An important aspect of this movement was the concept of the sublime, a sense of wonder,  which inspired both artists and poets to endeavour to make sense of a world which was both physically and spiritually awesome and unexplained. However it seems to have been left to German composers to write the music typical of the age, such as Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony in 1808 and Mendelssohn's overture, The Hebrides written in 1830, to mention just two.

Very few English composers made any great impact at the time but during the latter part of  the Romantic era exceptions were Hubert Parry (1848-1918) and Arthur Somervell (1863-1937) with the latter being born at Windermere in the Lake District.  One of Somervell's most famous compositions was a cycle of songs setting parts of the poem collection, A Shropshire Lad by A E Houseman, to music but in no Ullswater and Cumbrian Mountainsway related to the Lake District.  Pastoral music composed by British composers became popular at the end of the 19th / early 20th century and seems to have been inspired by rural subjects and a variety of landscape, little of which was actually English; poetry was also a common stimulus.  Frederick Delius wrote Into the High Hills (1911) inspired by the Appalachian Mountains of the USA; in 1916, Hubert Parry wrote the music that turned William Blake's poem into the famous and patriotic hymn Jerusalem but the words "England's mountains green" in the poem probably refer to the South Downs of Sussex and while beautiful, these green hills lack the imposing grandeur of Cumbrian mountains. 

 

Ullswater

 

 

John Moeran's Into the Mountains (1921) harks back to his associations with the Irish countryside while Ralph Vaughan Williams cited France, where he served during the First World War, as the setting for A Pastoral Symphony, which was completed in 1922. One of the all time favourite pieces of music from this time is The Lark Ascending which Vaughan Williams wrote in 1914 and which was inspired by the A Garland For John McCabepoem by George Meredith.  It is maybe the war-time era, with homesickness, loss and trauma predominating, rather than the place that was in the minds of composers and perhaps the music provided solace rather than exhilaration.


Throughout the 20th century various pieces of classical music were composed that were inspired by mountains and lakes such as Richard Strauss Alpine Symphony (1915), Ferd Groffe's Grand Canyon Suite (1931), Vaughan Williams' The Lake in the Mountains (1940) forthe film 49th Parallel and set in Canada, Aaron Copland's Appalachian Spring (1944) and Rodgers and Hammerstein's The Sound of Music (1965).  The Grand Canyon Suite was actually recorded by the so called 'King of Jazz', Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra and released as an album in 1932.

An English composer who was inspired by the English Lake District was Armstrong Gibbs who lived there during the Second World War; however his Westmoreland Symphony written in 1944, was as much a symbol of his grief at losing a son fighting in Italy as it was a tribute to the scenery. Gibbs wrote a further short piece for string ensemble called Dale and Fell a few years later. In 1949 Maurice Johnstone wrote an orchestral piece called Tarn Hows : A Cumbrian Rhapsody which is perhaps a rather late addition to the collection of English pastoral music but according to reviewer Ian Lace is the highlight of an album called Brian Kay's British Light Music released in 1999. In 1985 John McCabe composed a piece called Cloudcatcher Fells which was to be used as a test piece for brass band competition and had nine sections, each named after a Lake District mountain or tarn (small lake) according to the mood of the music.  Martin Ellerby's tribute to John McCabe, also inspired by the Lake District and called Nocturnes and Dawn (Patterdale) was released only this year on an album called A Garland for John McCabe.

 

 

Abdullah Ibrahim The Mountain

 

There have been many songs and tunes inspired by mountains but when it comes to jazz, the album by the South African Abdulah Ibrahim and Ekaya called The Mountain, released in 1989, might be the first that comes to mind, the album cover itself is inspirational with a lone figure in an arid landscape studying a distant mountain and Ibrahim's composition is equally compelling, a gentle, soothing melody to promote reflection.

 

Click here to listen to The Mountain

 

However, back in the Lake District a Summer International Music Festival, founded in 1985 by Renna Kellaway had been featuring at least one jazz gig in its predominantly classical programme and in 1992 an erstwhile butcher and rock drummer turned vegetarian and impresario called Derek Hook, commissioned a piece of jazz music from pianist John Taylor which became the album Ambleside Days with John Surman on reeds.  This lovely album has eight tracks and much like Cloudcatcher Fells each piece is named after places or aspects of the Lake District. Derek Hook has been promoting jazz in the Lake District ever since and along with a festival in Keswick and clubs in Kendal, contributes to a lively jazz scene in the area.  In 2017, following the sad death of John Taylor, a jazz festival called Ambleside Days was held to commemorate his work and featured many of the musicians who had collaborated with him throughout his life.

 

Click here for a video of John Taylor playing solo piano with three pieces from Ambleside Days.

Another jazz pianist who delighted in England's Green and Pleasant Land was Michael Garrick, who used this name for a piece composed in 2002 for a jazz string quartet and later composed jazz versions of poetry by Browning and Shakespeare in an album called Home Thoughts with Nette Robinson on vocals and Tony Woods on saxophone.  Also definitely in the pastoral jazz mode is a band called the Avalon Trio with Pete Churchill on piano, Tony Woods on reeds and Rob Millett on vibraphone who in 2011 released Forlana with music originally composed by Delius, Finzi and Vaughan Williams.

Composer and saxophonist Tim Garland is far too young to have participated in the 1960s Canterbury Scene made famous by Tim Garlandjazz/rock/folk bands such as Soft Machine and Caravan but he cites this as an influence along with Celtic folk music which he did play in the band Lammas with whom he played from 1989 to 2000.  As well as jazz, rock and folk, Garland had also studied classical composition at the Guildhall School of Music and in 2007 he released an acclaimed album of his own compositions and arrangements of Thelonius Monk tunes called The Mystery played by the Northern Sinfonia Orchestra with himself and Chick Corea providing solos. 

 

Tim Garland
Photograph by Stefan Booth

 

Another of Garland's projects is the intriguingly named band Storms/Nocturnes which has Garland on reeds, Joe Locke on vibraphone and Geoffrey Keezer on piano; having recorded two albums in New York, their third called VIA, was recorded at Yewfield near Ambleside in the Lake District in 2010. The allure of the Lake District is clear as two of the album tracks, both written by Garland, are called Lake of Weathers and Ambleside Nights and Derek Hook is credited with playing crotale, log drums and wind chimes. 

Click here for a live performance of Ambleside Nights with Tim Garland, Joe Locke and Geoffrey Keezer.

 

 

Garland holds professorships at both the University of Newcastle and the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester and has surely been inspired by the landscape and coastline of northern England. He has for example released albums featuring lighthouses such as If the Sea Replied (2005), Lighthouse (2011) and the double album Songs to the North Sky (2014); key members of the band are Gwilym Simcock on piano and Asaf Sirkis on drums but each album includes different musicians and on some tracks The Royal Northern Sinfonia Strings. In 2016 Tim Garland's album ONE was voted Jazzwise album of the year featuring Jason Rebello on keys, Ant Law on guitars and Asaf Sirkis on drums, this album is also exceptional in that rather than gaining inspiration from nature as he often has before, Garland has harked back to some of his earlier influences, the Canterbury Scene, Lammas and World music and under the guidance of Sirkis and Egyptian percussionist Hossam Ramzy explored unusual rhythmic patterns; other changes include featuring a vocalist, Dionne Bennett, but not a string orchestra.

Click here for an introductory video for One.

 

Tim Garland's latest album, Weather Walker, does go back to nature, but not just any old nature, finally we have a collection of music that does justice to the landscape that inspired some of England's greatest poets and artists but which for some reason has inspired so little serious music.  Tim Garland's band for Weather Walker has Jason Rebello and Pablo Held on piano, Yuri Goloubev on double bass, Thomas Gould and Magdalena Filipczak on violins; no drums, but the English Session Orchestra led by David Juritz, which to quote Garland Tim Garland Weather Walker album"I wanted to show just how rhythmic the string orchestra can be. It is not just sweeping romance and landscape sustained chords! The overall feel of the album is kinda pastoral too, with connections to classical music".

Click here for an introductory video to Weather Walker.

In the best traditions of pastoral music there are track titles such as The Sigh of the Land that awaken relationships with the countryside; recall the sublime - such as The Sky is an Empty Mirror and Angry Sun, and makes use of a folk song - in this case The Snows They Melt The Soonest (1821) - as a theme that recurs throughout the album. On top of that there is a large string orchestra and the picture on the album cover portrays a beautiful view.  The music, as you would expect from Tim Garland is beautiful, tracks like Gaia's Clock where Garland solos as a traveller in a mythical Earth evoked by swooping strings and The Lady of the North in which Pablo Held's piano is in a dialogue with Garland's soprano saxophone seemingly soaring like Vaughan William's lark. 

Rugged Land and Angry Sun have the string orchestra demonstrating its rhythmic capabilities while Altitude builds crescendo on crescendo in a classic romantic composition. Click here to listen to Rugged Land from the album.

 

 

Click here for the first of four video interviews with Tim Garland about Weather Walker.

Click here for details and samples of the album Weather Walker.

Click here for Tim Garland's website.

After the overwhelming response to the 2017 Ambleside Days Contemporary Jazz Festival, Derek Hook will be hosting another Festival this year starting on Thursday 30th August and concluding on Sunday 2nd September 2018 presenting the following musicians :

Claire Martin OBE (voice); Thomas Gould (violin); Paul McCandless (saxophones); Tim Garland (saxophones); Asaf Sirkis (drums); Nikki Iles (piano); Jason Rebello (piano); Gwilym Simcock (piano); Mike Walker (guitar); Joe Locke (vibraphone); Alyn Cosker (drums); Martin Berauer (bass); Bernhard Schimpelsberger (percussion); Mark Lockheart (saxophones); Darryl Hall (bass); Yuri Goloubev (bass); John Helliwell (saxophone) plus others.

Click here for details.

 

Lake District Walkers

 

 

 

Two Ears Three Eyes

Photographer Brian O'Connor has taken his camera to several gigs in the past few months. Here are some of his images:

 

Julian Marc Stringle : Camilla George

 

Julian Marc Stringle

 

Julian Marc Stringle Quartet

Julian’s Quartet – with Dominic Ashworth (guitar), Andy Cleyndert (bass) and Rod Brown (drums) – delighted an audience of around 140 on a sunny Saturday afternoon on 23 June in Loughton, Essex. The concert was a fundraiser for the National Jazz Archive, whose home is a couple of hundred yards away from the Methodist Church, the venue for the concert. Julian played clarinet almost throughout, offering just one tune on tenor sax and one vocal. He made clear his love for Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw and Buddy de Franco’s playing both in his introductions and his playing. Among the tunes from the classic swing era repertoire were Memories of You, The Man I Love, Avalon and I Got Rhythm. Standouts were a great Latin workout by Dominic Ashworth on Black Orpheus / Manhã de Carnaval, and Dominic’s arrangement of Rhapsody in Blue (click here for video).

The audience enjoyed Julian’s relaxed and witty introductions as well the music, for example, Dominic correcting Julian’s announcement that they would shortly be touring 'Sweden' and 'Turkey' to the more prosaic 'Swindon' and 'Torquay'. The group clearly enjoyed playing together greatly: the empathetic and varied drumming from Rod Brown made for a fine variety of feelings and styles, while Andy Cleyndert played with a rich and resonant swing. Julian Marc Stringle and Dominic Ashworth are regular musical partners, and made the piano-less quartet into an entirely natural musical grouping.

Brian O'Connor

 

 

Camilla George

Camilla George and Daniel Casimir

 

Camilla George Quartet

Despite her relatively young age alto player Camilla George is already something of an old hand on the UK jazz scene having featured with acts such as Tomorrow’s Warriors and Jazz Jamaica but this was the first time I was fortunate enough to see her leading her own quartet at the Watermill Jazz Club. Her band members on this occasion were her regular pianist Sarah Tandy and bass player Daniel Casimir with drummer Winston Clifford ably covering for the unavailable Femi Koleoso.

Tandy and Casimir are both talented composers and band leaders in their own right but the emphasis tonight was firmly on George’s own material, although all four musicians were given ample opportunity to solo, two lengthy bass solos by Casimir particularly stood out for me. All but one of the tunes played came from George’s soon to be released second album, The People Could Fly, which is inspired by the book of the same title by author Virginia Hamilton, a favourite of George’s as she was growing up. The title refers to the dreams of slaves who wished that they could fly back to their native Africa and, whilst essentially remaining in the modern jazz tradition, the music is imbued with both Caribbean and African flavour and spirituality and conveyed feelings of hope and determination.  It was an enthralling and inspiring evening and I can’t wait to hear the album when it is released.

Gerard Sands

 

Daniel Casimir

Daniel Casimir

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: info@imagesofjazz.com. The book is priced at £25 plus £4.95 post and packing (UK).

 

 

 


Directory of Alternative Musical Definitions

 

a Lick - Using a Mouth Organ

Triple Tonguing - A Trio of Mouth Organs

 

Click here for more.

 

 

 

 

 

Jazz Remembered

Jack Payne

by Jeff Duck

 

[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].

 

Jack Payne

 

Click here for a video of Jack Payne and his Band playing Hot Bricks in 1928.

 

I was recently visiting a record shop and looking through a small collection of 78 rpm records when I came across a 1935 recording of I’m Popeye the Sailor Man. The label on the record was in quite bad condition and I could not make out the artist's name. So making a note of the label, REX, and the catalogue number, F1280, on my return home I looked up who the artist was. It turns out that it was Jack Payne who recorded many sides for Rex - well approximately 160 - from April 1934 through to October 1939.

British bandleader Jack Payne was born John Wesley Vivian Payne on August 22, 1899 in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, England. Jack played piano from an early age, and while serving in the Royal Flying Corps during the the first world war, organised various small bands to entertain the troops. He was a member of “The Allies” - a voluntary concert party group that entertained wounded soldiers around Jack Payne circa 1930Birmingham. After the war Jack continued with small band outfits and played with visiting American jazz bands at the Birmingham Palais during the early 1920s.

Jack's six piece band was soon expanded to ten players when booked to play at London’s Hotel Cecil in 1925.

 

Click here for a compilation of pictures of the Hotel Cecil and featuring recordings by Jack Payne's Band in 1927. The person posting the video says: 'Before leading his famous BBC Dance Orchestra, Jack Payne was resident with his band at the Hotel Cecil in London for three years. At the time of making these recordings for Regal, Jack was well-established and regularly broadcast over the BBC from the grand hotel which stretched from The Strand to the Embankment where it stood next to, and dwarfed to some extent, the Savoy Hotel'.

'Many of the illustrations in this video recall the Hotel Cecil itself, which was mostly demolished in 1930 and replaced by the Shell Mex building. The hotel had fallen behind the times and was finding it difficult to compete against the newer luxury hotels in the British capital. Jack himself recalled that even in his time not all guest rooms had running hot and cold water, while the neighbouring Savoy had a third tap for ice water; much demanded by American visitors. Even so, during Jack’s reign as director of the hotel’s dance music, the Cecil was a very popular establishment and the resident Orchestra in the vast Palm Court was a great attraction'.

 

Jack Payne circa 1930

 

 

 

Jack's band began to be featured in BBC broadcasts and he soon had a grand reputation for dance band music. He was appointed the BBC's Dance Music Director and became the leader of the first official BBC dance band.

Click here for a brief British Pathé Preview video of Jack Payne's Band in 1928.

In 1929 this band was featured on the first ever BBC television broadcast. His signature tune was “Say It With Music”.

Jack Payne’s band at the time was said to be and I quote: “Public Property, it is paid for by the wireless licence fees which you and I supply...As such its one duty is to please the masses. It has to be good musically, it has to entertain, it needn’t worry about anything advanced in the way of style and the last thing it need be is rhythmically hot. I think we must all agree that it does its job well and that anything it may at times lack in modern rhythmic stylishness is amply compensated by other qualities more important from the public’s viewpoint, such as musical ability and versatility”.

In 1932 Jack left the BBC and returned to performing in hotels, taking his band on various nationwide tours. Jack and his band also starred in the 1932 film “Say It with Music”, and this was soon followed with another film “Sunshine Ahead”. Jack Payne’s band had three hit waltz recordings, “Blue Pacific Moonlight”, “Under the Spanish Stars” and “Pagan Serenade” which Jack composed. As well as running a theatrical agency, Jack and his band toured Africa and France and Jack made some Jazz recordings with Gerald Wilson in the 1930s.

Click here for a video of Jack and the band playing a very fast Tiger Rag in Paris in 1935

Jack disbanded his band at the end of 1937, retiring to his stud farm in Buckinghamshire but it was not long before he returned to music, forming a 20 piece big band the following year. In the latter part of 1939 Jack Payne became the first British bandleader to entertain the troops in France.

 

Jack Payne with the BBC Dance Orchestra

 

The 1940s were good years for Jack, he returned to the BBC as Director of Dance Music in 1941, and added two female vocalists - Carole Carr and Lizbeth Webb - to his orchestra. In the 1950s, Jack decided that a change was needed and he became a DJ, returning to the dance music scene in 1955 to present his own TV programme, “Words and Music”. The programme ran for three series. At the same time Jack was also appearing as a panellist in the TV show “Juke Box Jury” and playing piano on various other TV shows.

 

Click here for Jack Payne and his BBC Dance Orchestra in 1932 playing Love Is The Sweetest Thing, included here to share the valuable archive photographs that accompany the music.

Loved and respected by all in the music industry, Jack Payne built his reputation during the 1930s in the dance band era and this strong reputation stood him in good stead for his later years. Jack wrote two autobiographies, “This Is Jack Payne” (1932) and “Signiture Tune” (1947).

Jack Payne died on December 4th 1969 in Tonbridge, Kent.

 

Jack Payne and his Band

 

Jeff Duck runs CJRO Records in support of charities - click here for more information.

 

 

 

The Sons Of Kemet for The Mercurys


The first major label release from jazz ensemble Sons Of Kemet, Your Queen Is A Reptile, has been shortlisted as one of 12 nominees for this year’s Hyundai Mercury Prize. With Shabaka Hutchings (saxophone), Theon Cross (tuba) and double drums from Tom Skinner and Sons Of KemetEddie Hick.

On this third studio album, Sons Of Kemet ‘bring a genre-defying approach that celebrates the restless exploration of identity within the Caribbean diaspora within the U.K. Your Queen is a Reptile was recorded in London with a host of guests spanning the breadth of the U.K. scene including jungle legend Congo Natty and poet Joshua Idehen. Sonically, this album stretches from New Orleans to the Caribbean to London to the Middle East. With the instrumentation of tuba, drums and sax, it has a second-line quality that marches into the Caribbean diaspora. There is spoken word, rap, and elements of dub, further emphasizing jazz’s place in today’s hip-hop world’.

As they say: “It’s great to know that our music and our ideas will have the chance to resonate with as wide an audience as the Mercury nominations permits. Our aim is to merge the music and ways of perception associated with histories of the Afro-Caribbean diaspora to the developments happening within the London music scene and propel the results outwards to the world as a force for good.”

You can sample the album here and there is a video of My Queen Is Angela Davis here.

 

 

 

Forum

 

Jessica Williams

Some months ago, Eric Jackson wrote saying that we should recall American singer and pianist Jessica Williams in our ‘Jazz Remembered’ slot, and so we included a feature - click here.

Jessica Williams

 

 

It has been great to hear unexpectedly from Jessica who has written and sent us a recent photograph:

' Thank you for a page on the site about me!  I just wanted to say hi, yes, I am alive! I am 70 now. My health is getting better, and I am married to the finest man there is. I don’t play jazz anymore — I enjoy the peace and quiet! When it stopped being fun playing jazz, I stopped doing it. I’d done enough, and always said that I did it for fun! Money was never a purpose. My web site was successful but now just sits there. It’s great to be me again, a housewife whose favorite singer was and is Doris Day! Really! Mary Ann Kappelhoff was her name, and she was a pro! I have to admit, Al Green gets equal play! I also listen to all the Detroit soul, especially Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield. I don’t listen at all to jazz, as it seems to have lost its substance and timeliness. I still use synthesizers, and that makes me happy — as a hobby. And I sing. I sing with Doris, and Keely Smith, and Abbey Lincoln. Also Ella. I never knew it but I have a really high and pretty voice. I took lessons and it’s so liberating! I have to breathe! I have not had a cigarette or a drink or drugs for almost 20 years. I do smoke marijuana, for my pain. It’s legal in my state (WA).

Thanks again, Ian. Alicia (aka Jessica)

 

 

 

 

What Is 'Hard' About Bop?

Mike Whitfield writes: 'I was talking to my Taunton U3A group about 'what is bop' and we got on to 'hard bop'. Well, most of us know what hard bop is, but one of my group asked why is it called that? What's 'hard' about it? Cue stunned silence. I have ploughed through the internet and my collection of jazz books but all tell us what it is but not why it's called that. Just one  line in one webpage suggested that the 'hard' might relate to the hard (or heavy ) beat. Hard bop did contain elements of R 'n' B - so maybe that's why? Any ideas ?

 

 

Soho In The 1950s / 1960s

Dave Arthur writes: 'I am putting together a collection of memories, photos, poems, etc., of Soho in the 1950s/early 60s and would love to hear from any of your readers who might like to contribute their memories of those times - the characters, places, cafes, pubs, clubs, anecdotes etc., to help build up an impression of Soho at that time. I myself was there then as a young teenager'.
If anyone can help, please contact Dave.

 

Chris Bateson

Dave Arthur also says: 'The other reason for writing is that I remember a cornet player named Chris Bateson, who at 17 was playing trumpet-mouthpiece blue-blowing with Russell Quaye’s City Ramblers Skiffle/spasm Group. One of the bass players of which was Pete Maynard, who later played bass with Dave Keir’s Elizabethans. Chris Bateson left the Ramblers around 1957/8 and seems to have vanished. I know that he had some drug problems as a young guy but apparently came out of the other side  and was rumoured to have been seen/heard playing piano as well as cornet (his main instrument in the mid-50s). In the late 50s early 60s I was running a basement coffee bar in Monmouth Street, London, called The Farm; it was a place where guitar payers would drop in after gigs. One customer was Chris Bateson who would come down the stairs and take up a position in a little alcove, his head hunched into his turned up collar. I think this was his drug time. I never saw him again when I left The Farm. Since then I can find nothing about him. He was a lovely looking young guy, and a great musician, and I’d love to be able to filll in some more info on his later life. Hopefully he’s still around? Could you please help me through the website, or your contacts that might know something of Chris.

Let us know if you can help Dave or have any memories of Chris Bateson or The Farm

 

 

Albert Hall

Trumpeter Albert Hall's family have been in touch to add more information to his Profile (click here). Albert's son, Stephen, corrected the spelling of Albert's middle name shown elsewhere as 'Alwyn' but actually 'Arwyn'. Steve says:

'I have read the  notes about my father with great interest. His middle name is Arwyn (not Alwyn). When I was a young boy much fun was made of his name because of the famous building. I asked my grandmother why call him Albert? She replied when he was born in Llanelli, Wales, nobody in those parts had heard of the Albert Hall building so it seemed a reasonable name for the time. My father may not have been well known in jazz circles but he was widely regarded  by his peers as the best trumpet session musician in the country'.

Albert Hall's Grand Slam album

Albert's granddaughter, Amber, writes: 'I’m just contributing to information regarding Albert Hall the trumpet player. He made this LP and it’s awesome. I have an original copy, but looks like it’s hard to find anywhere else. Thanks for keeping the memory of him alive. Sadly I never met him as I wasn’t born until 1991. He is one of 5 brothers. Henry recently passed away but Cliff is still alive and playing piano professionally'.

Amber and Steve also send information about another album of Albert's - Albert Hall's Grand Slam. The album was released in 1974 on the EMI label with sleeve notes written by Nigel Hunter and the track listing reflects some of the popular music of the time arranged for a big band: The Magnificent Seven, Go Now, Last Tango In Paris, Harlem Nocturne, Every Picture Tells A Story, The Resurrection Shuffle, Bonanza, Stormy Weather, Superstar, I Want You Back, Latins Anonymous, Son Of A Preacher Man.

The personnel on the recording with Albert: Greg Bowen, Derek Healey, John Huckridge, Bert Ezzard (trumpets); Chris Pine, Bob Lamb, Pete Smith, Jack Thirlwell (trombones); Mick Barker, Eric Ford (electric guitars); Les Hurdle (bass guitar); Harry Stoneham (organ), Bobby Orr (drums); Stan Barrett (percussion).

 

At the time of writing, a copy of the LP is available at Discogs (click here).

 

 

 

 

 

Sandy Brown Jazz Facebook and Mailing List

Thank you to those people who have liked our Sandy Brown Jazz Facebook page and who have commented on posts. I hope that you have found the items there of interest. Using Facebook gives us a chance to share information that arrives between issues of What's New Magazine. If you do visit our Facebook page, please 'Like' us and 'Share' us with your friends. (If you are not on Facebook, please tell your friends about us anyway!). Facebook


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Departure Lounge

 

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.

 

Les Lieber

 

Les Lieber - American saxophonist, promoter and publicist who from 1965 ran Jazz at Noon, a fabled New York venue where talented amateur players got together every week to stretch their skills and to perform alongside top-flight professionals. He organised the first Jazz at Noon, partly to give himself a chance to play his alto saxophone and penny whistle for an audience. Jazz at Noon moved around over the decades to various Manhattan locations. Mr. Lieber both played at the sessions and acted as master of ceremonies. In 2011 he announced the end of Jazz at Noon, but he played at least one other session at that club the next year. It was to celebrate his 100th birthday. Click here for a video of Les and others playing at his 100th birthday.

 

 

 

 

 

Bill Watrous

 

Bill Watrous - American trombonist who described himself as a "bop-oriented" player. He was well known among fellow trombonists as a master technician and for his mellifluous sound. His first professional performances were in Billy Butterfield’s band but from 1960 he played and recorded with Maynard Ferguson, Woody Herman, Quincy Jones, and Kai Winding amongst others. In the 1970s he played with the jazz fusion group Ten Wheel Drive and also formed his own band, The Manhattan Wildlife Refuge Big Band, which recorded two albums for Columbia Records. Watrous taught at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Click here for a video of Bill Watrous with Henry Mancini playing Too Little Time.

 

 

 

 

Tomasz Stanko

 

Tomasz Stańko - Polish trumpeter, composer and improviser. He came to prominence in the early 1960s and went on to establish a reputation as a leading figure not only in Poland but across the world.  He worked with many top musicians including Jack De Johnette, Dave Holland, Rufus Reid and was a member of Cecil Taylor’s Big Band. During the 1980s, he travelled to India and recorded solo work in the Taj Mahal,  and also led various groups of his own. In 1993, Stańko formed a new quartet composed of the then 16-year-old drummer Michał Miśkiewicz, along with Miśkiewicz's two friends, pianist Marcin Wasilewski and bassist Sławomir Kurkiewicz. That same year he also formed an international quartet that included Bobo Stenson, Tony Oxley and Anders Jormin. Derek Richardson, writing for the San Francisco Chronicle said, "Tomasz Stanko is not the first jazz musician to negotiate a rapprochement between gorgeous melodies and free improvisation. But he is one of the most eloquent proponents of extemporaneous lyricism working today." Click here for a video of Tomasz's Quartet playing in 2005.

 

 

 

 

Henry Butler

 

 

Henry Butler - American pianist and photographer. Known for his technique and his ability to play in many styles of music, he had been blinded by glaucoma as a child. He attended Louisiana State School for the Blind, where he learned to play valve trombone, baritone horn and drums before focusing his talents on singing and piano. Butler was mentored by clarinettist and educator Alvin Batiste and went on to receive a Master's degree in music at Michigan State University. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina destroyed his home and 1925 Mason & Hamlin piano and he moved to Colorado and New York. Click here for a video of Henry playing Something You Got in 2009.

 

 

 

Brian Lawrence

 

 

 

 

Brian Lawrence - Mark of Ealing tells us of the passing of banjo player Brian Lawrence, who played with the Brunch Bunch at the Lord Hood pub, in Greenwich, London, and also played at The Water Rats annual jazz week on the Norfolk Broads. Brian's funeral takes place at The Kemnal Park Crematorium (A20 Sidcup by Pass , Chislehurst. BR7 6RR) at 2pm on Tuesday 7th August. Rob Fullalov says: 'We know Lin will welcome all Brian's friends and the jazzers who new him ...... which are many.

 

Brian Lawrence picture courtesy of Marcus Holt.

 

 

 


 

 

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.

 

 

 

Blazing Flame Quintet

Steve Day's Blazing Flame Quintet has a new drummer, Marco Anderson, who will be playing on all future BFQ live dates and recordings.  The fine trumpeter player David Mowat will also feature on a number of selected gigs as a special guest. BFQ features: Mark Langford (bass clarinet, tenor sax), Julian Dale (double bass, voice), Peter Evans (5 string electric violin), Marco Anderson (drums, percussion), Steve Day (voice, words, hand-percussion).

Blazing Flame Quintet

 

BFQ have live dates lined up:

Sunday 5th August (afternoon) Amnesty International (Bristol) Garden Party, Goldney Lodge, BS8 1BH; Line-up: Day, Langford, Dale, Anderson, Mowat (note: Peter Evans is regrettably unavailable for this performance.)

Saturday 6th October (afternoon) Longwell Records, Keysham, BS31 1EH; Line-up: Day, Evans, Langford, Dale, Anderson.

Saturday 20th October (evening) Concert For Keith Tippett – St Stephen’s Church, Bristol BS1 1EQ; Line-up: Day, Evans, Langford, Dale, Anderson plus special guest Mowat.

Click here for more details.

 

 

 

 

ToRONto Ron turns Scotland on to SymphRONica

Rob Adams writes: Canadian pianist Ron Davis plays a series of concerts in Scotland, including an extensive run on the Edinburgh Fringe, with his band SymphRONica during August. A musician who has the distinction of having studied piano with a teacher who was taught by Ron Davisboth Oscar Peterson and David Saperton (aka George Gershwin’s brother-in-law), Toronto-based Davis formed SymphRONica in 2003, initially using diverse line-ups including jazz trio and full symphony orchestra. Following a series of symphony orchestra concerts, Davis decided to create a band that would allow him to blend the classical music he trained in with the jazz that was, and is, his passion without requiring a massive budget.

Ron Davis

“I chose an octet comprising a string quartet with an electro-acoustic jazz quartet – piano, guitar, bass and drums – because I wanted to give all the players an input, and this configuration allows that,” he says. “I also liked the idea that, as an octet, we could include different styles of music and switch from a jazz standard or something based on I Got Rhythm to a folk tune more naturally than with an orchestra and yet still have a certain Seonaid Aitkenrichness of sound.”

Joining SymphRONica, which features one of Canada’s finest jazz guitarists, Kevin Barrett and Aline Homzy who is developing a reputation as a jazz violinist alongside her classical credentials, will be Seonaid Aitken, the singer and BBC Radio Scotland jazz presenter who plays violin with the hot club styled Rose Room, winners of the Best Band title at this year’s Scottish Jazz Awards. Scottish National Jazz Orchestra drummer, Alyn Cosker, who has worked with SymphRONica on the band’s two previous Edinburgh Fringe visits, will also be in the line-up.

Seonaid Aitken

 

“Generally we travel with a core of Kevin, Aline and myself and pick up musicians locally, and we’ve been lucky to get players with the vision to make the music happen,” says Davis. “But Alyn went beyond that. When we played the first number in rehearsal, Kevin and I looked at each other and mouthed ‘Wow.’ We didn’t have to tell Alyn what we wanted because he just made it his own. We’re looking forward to working with Seonaid, too, because as well as playing mostly viola, she’ll also sing, which gives us another dimension.”   

Ron Davis will release a new SymphRONica album UpfRONt, in October.

Ron Davis’ SymphRONica plays the Jazz Bar, Edinburgh on Thursday 2 August; Stockbridge Church, Edinburgh (3- 4 and 17 August);  Marwick Spiegeltent, North Berwick (7 August); Scottish Arts Club, Edinburgh (8, 10, 16, 18 August); Leith Depot, Edinburgh (13, 14, 15 August); Pianodrome, Edinburgh (15 August - lunchtime); and the Tron Theatre, Glasgow (19 August).

 

 

 

Langtoun Jazz Festival

‘Let’s organise our own festival’ vocalist and broadcaster Grace Black said to a group of friends in February ‘How hard can it be?’

Langtoun Jazz Festival


After several months of failed funding applications, venue changes and band changes the inaugural Langtoun Jazz Festival will be taking place in Kirkcaldy from 26th to 28th October 2018.

The festival will start off with a dinner jazz event at Dean Park Hotel where Grace Black and Ray Martine will entertain diners with a selection of jazzy/swingy standards, then at Adam Smith Theatre Beveridge Suite on Saturday 27th October we will have performances from Lewis Benzies Trio, Fergus McCreadie Trio, Lights Out By Nine, James Brown is Annie, and Modern Vintage Dance Band. We will finish off the day on Saturday with a jam session hosted by Liz Dicks and a trio or quartet of fine Scottish musicians. The venue for that is still to be confirmed but entry is free for anyone who would like to bring instruments or voices or just come along to enjoy watching the talent.
On Sunday we are at Dean Park Hotel all day and present Busking Sharks Community Band, Inverkeithing Community Big Band, Fife Youth Jazz Orchestra, Jerry Forde’s New Phoenix Jazz Band and King Louis & The Primas with guitar duo Knox and Ion playing during afternoon intervals

Tickets for all events except Dinner Jazz and Jam Session will be available from Adam Smith Theatre Box Office from 1st August Tel: 01592 583302 or online at www.onfife.com . For Dinner Jazz book through Dean Park Hotel 01592 261635. For more info email langtounjazz@yahoo.com or follow us on Facebook www.facebook.com/langtounjazz and Twitter www.twitter.com/@langtounjazz

 

 

 

 


Some Recent Releases

 

UK

Tim Garland - Weather Walker

Julian Argüelles - Tonadas

Sugarwork - Sugarwork

Chet Baker - Live In London Volume II

Matt Anderson Quartet - Rambling

Onyx Brass - Onyx Noir: Jazz Works For Brass Quintet

The Alan Skidmore Quartet - Naima / Live In Berlin

Binker and Moses - Alive In The East?

 

America

Keith Jarrett - After The Fall

Jamie Saft Quartet - Blue Dream

Jure Pukl - Doubtless

Joshua Redman - Still Dreaming

Tim Berne / Matt Mitchell - Angel Dusk

 

 

Europe and Elsewhere

Angles 3 - Parede

Dwiki Dharmawan - Rumah Batu

Alam Khan - Immersion

 

 

Re-Releases

Dave Brubeck Quartet - Gone With The Wind

Frank Sinatra - In The Wee Small Hours

The Mike Westbrook Concert Band - Last Night At The Old Place

Dexter Gordon Quartet - Tokyo 1975

Art Tatum and Oscar Peterson - Masters Of Jazz Piano

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tim Garland - Weather Walker
(Edition Records) - Released: 8th June2018

Tim Garland (saxophones, composer); Jason Rebello (piano); Pablo Held (piano);Yuri Goloubev (double bass); English Session Orchestra.

Tim Garland Weather Walker

 

 

'.... atmospheric and unfailingly melodic new orchestral album ... takes its inspiration from the Lake District in the North West Of England. Recorded at the iconic Abbey Road Studio 1 with a 35 piece string section, this epic production contains some of Tim Garland's best large ensemble writing ...'. "...The Lakes, which have a melancholy beauty even throughout the cold grey months, remain magical. Given the inspiring visual setting of this music, it is naturally cinematic".' (album notes / Tim Garland).

Details and Samples : Rugged Land from Weather Walker : 'Kinda Pastroral' article by Howard Lawes:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Julian Argüelles - Tonadas
(Edition Records) - Released: 20th July 2018

Julian Argüelles (tenor and soprano saxophones); Ivo Neame (piano); Sam Lasserson (double bass); James Maddren (drums, percussion).

Julian Arguelles Tonadas

 

'Tonadas (simply meaning 'tunes') is the lyrical and vibrant new quartet album from saxophonist Julian Argüelles. Drawing on his Spanish roots Argüelles has produced a gem - a beautifully warm, harmonically rich and melodic album, abundant with elegant tone and absorbing colour. Tonadas has everything you'd want and expect from a contemporary Jazz album, yet it surprises on another level. With shifting turns of phrase and effortless band interplay, Argüelles growing status as a master composer, bandleader and creator are clear ....' (album notes). 'Whilst the inspiration for the album is all things Spanish, the music doesn't seek to emulate, say, Miles Davis's classic Sketches Of Spain; the tracks, all originals, mirror the composer's eclectic proclivities. More importantly, the album engages the listener at every level'. (allaboutjazz)

 

Details and Sample : Review 4½* : Listen to Alfama : Listen to Alalá :

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sugarwork - Sugarwork
(Harriphonic) - Released: 1st June 2018

Paul Harrison (piano); Phil Bancroft (saxophone); Graeme Stephen (guitar); Stuart Brown (drums)

Sugarwork album'One of the UK music scene's most resourceful figures, Paul Harrison releases the debut album by his latest band, Sugarwork. Featuring four musicians whose work has been marked by a consistent thirst for enquiry, Sugarwork brings together saxophonist Phil Bancroft, guitarist Graeme Stephen and drummer Stuart Brown, with Harrison on keyboards as the main composer and producer. Harrison, Bancroft, Stephen and Brown are among the leading players in Scottish jazz circles and as a pianist Harrison alone has worked in classic jazz, with singer Carol Kidd, with Dave Liebman and the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra and in myriad other jazz situations including organ trios and the Brazilian-styled Trio Magico. Sugarwork draws on and continues this jazz experience in terms of improvisation, while avoiding any pat traditions, and embraces elements of atmospheric electronica, industrial looping, psychedelic exploration, and post-rock dynamics as well as the melodic style associated with European jazz. The music on the album is, at times, hauntingly melodic, at other times, thrillingly relentless and intense, and is the result of Harrison's decision to use studio production and manipulation in the style of electronica and rock producers rather than documenting how the band sounds live. 'As well as being a jazz pianist, I've long been into all kinds of music, particularly electronica,' says Harrison. 'Having experimented with this element where I could in various projects, I wanted to bring it further into the foreground in a new context. I wanted to see if I could create a band that uses jazz harmony, improvisation, and loud electronic instruments without straying into jazz fusion. It's been a gradual and exploratory process but we had fun bringing it to fruition and hope that listeners will enjoy the sounds and contrasts we've created.' The album includes a collaboration with Serbia-based artist David Stanley, whose photography is developed into extensive original artwork featured on the CD and band's website. Further collaboration is planned, including a music video for the track 'After The Forest, The Sky' later in the year'. (album notes).

Details and Samples : Video : Interview with Paul Harrison :

 

 

 

 

 

Chet Baker - Live In London Volume II
(Ubuntu Music) - Released: 10th August 2018 (2 CDs)

Chet Baker (trumpet); John Horler (piano); Jim Richardson (bass); Tony Mann (drums).

Chet Baker Live In London II

 

For six evenings, from 28th March to 2nd April 1983, the John Horler Trio rhythm section supported the legendary trumpet player Chet Baker at The Canteen in London. For those who were fortunate enough to be there, these were magical shows. The rhythm section was tight and Chet was at the top of his game. The best of the six hours of music is presented here on 'Live in London Volume II' and has been restored and remastered to the highest quality. Jim Richardson, Chet's bassist, asked him if he could record the shows for his personal enjoyment. Chet was only too happy to agree, and Jim managed to capture most of the performances on a SONY TCS 300 audiocassette recorder. Over the years, Jim selectively shared this astonishing music, and those who heard it encouraged him to find a way to release it to the public. However, a combination of factors precluded this from happening for 33 years, until Martin Hummel met Jim late one evening at Ronnie Scott's. Jim's story about the music and his unwavering desire to share this with the world caught Hummel's attention. Together, they persevered and ultimately The Chet Baker Estate granted permission to release the material on the Ubuntu Music record label. These, just like the original 'Live in London' release, are exceptional performances of Baker at his best, with music that touches the head, the heart and the soul. (album notes).

Details and Sample : Tea Break article with Martin Hummel of Ubuntu Music :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Matt Anderson Quartet - Rambling
(Jellymould Jazz) - Released: 1st June 2018

Matt Anderson (tenor and alto sax); Peter Lee (piano, keyboards); Will Harris (bass); Jay Davis (drums); with guests Nick Malcolm (trumpet); Owen Dawson (trombone); Aubin Vanns (guitar).

Matt Anderson Quartet Rambling

 

 

Innovative saxophonist and composer Matt Anderson and his quartet release 'Rambling', which fuses a range of distinct musical influences, exploring the common ground between contemporary jazz and folk music. Subtle strains of blues and country can also be detected within the music, as well as echoes of Scandinavian jazz and Afro-Celtic soundscapes. Matt Anderson is the winner of the 2017 Dankworth Prize for Jazz Composition and a sought after saxophonist, already well established in the UK and European jazz scenes. His 2015 debut album 'Wild Flower' (also released on Jellymould), received widespread praise from critics and audiences alike, cementing Anderson's reputation as an ingenious player performing exciting and original compositions. It features Pete Lee on piano, Will Harris on double-bass and Jay Davis on drums, as well as some tracks with special guests Nick Malcolm on trumpet, Owen Dawson on trombone and Aubin Vanns on guitar. 'Rambling' is Anderson's best work to date and signifies an evolution and development of a signature sound. This new music is a genuine representation of positive progression, both in terms of maturity of composition and effervescent performance. (album notes).

Details : Video : Website :

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Onyx Brass - Onyx Noir: Jazz Works for Brass Quintet
(NMC) - Released: 18th May 2018

Niall Keatley, Alan Thomas (trumpet); Andrew Sutton (horn); Amos Miller (trombone); David Gordon-Shute (tuba)

Onyx Brass Onyx Noir

Amos Miller writes ... 'The release of this album marks the 25th anniversary of Onyx Brass. During this period, we have premiered around 200 new works, and believe that new music is utterly essential both for the development of brass chamber music and to the wider survival and success of classical music. In 1994, I was a participant in the Banff International Jazz Summer School, where one of the tutors was Kenny Wheeler. I was completely smitten by both his music and his playing, and thought that, one day, I might have the courage to approach him to write a piece for our newly formed quintet. Fast-forward to 2012, where I was fortunate enough to be playing on Gwilym Simcock's amazing album Instrumation, and this long-held idea was suddenly given life. Having persuaded Gwilym to agree to write us something, I was then chatting with the drummer Martin France at a tea break, and I mentioned my long-held dream to ask Kenny to write a brass quintet piece. Martin immediately gave me Kenny's phone number, and said call him now, and tell him I said so! Kenny was grace personified, and agreed, with the caveat that it might take him some time. Less than three weeks later, he called back with the news that hed already finished it! Having Kenny and Gwilym on board made it much easier to approach the other legends on this album, all of whom have also been astoundingly generous and enthusiastic about the project. This commissioning side of this project has been entirely self-funded by Onyx Brass, and we would like to put on record our heartfelt gratitude to the composers for their generosity, both of time and talent. There is currently a golden era in British jazz, and we felt that it was important, not just from a brass chamber music perspective, but also from a wider classical music point of view, that this wealth of talent should be tapped to create music in a jazz idiom, using each composer's unique understanding of melody, harmony and rhythm, but playable by classical musicians. The commissioning brief for each composer was simple: something around 5 minutes and do whatever you want! We are completely thrilled by the results, and hope you have as much fun listening to it as we have had playing it'. (album notes).

Details : Introductory Video : Review :

 

 

 

 

The Alan Skidmore Quartet - Naima / Live In Berlin
(ITM) - Released: 6th April 2018

Alan Skidmore (tenor sax); Steve Melling, Mike Gorman (piano); Geoff Gascoyne, Aidan O'Donnell (bass); Tony Levin, Ian Palmer (drums)

Alan Skidmore Quartet Naima

 

 

 

'Skidmore has never hidden his espousal of the Coltrane cause. He clearly worships the man. Open him up and he'd be lettered Coltrane all the way through. So, when does inspiration overtake replication? Well, here for a start ...This is exhilarating music. The companion set, also new to CD, dates from four years earlier (2007) and is subtitled 'Live In Berlin'. It's less turbulent, opening with an elegant reading of Gershwin's 'But Not For Me' ... Over these two sets, Skidmore shows a mastery of his chosen methodology, at one with his material and unflaggingly creative'. (Peter Vacher in JazzWise).

Details and Samples :

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Binker and Moses - Alive In The East?
(Gearbox) - Released: 22nd June 2018

Binker Golding (tenor sax); Evan Parker (tenor sax, soprano sax); Byron Wallen (trumpet); Tori Handsley (harp); Yussef Dayes, Moses Boyd (drums)

Binker and Moses Alive In The East?

 

 

'The second disc of last year's Journey To The Mountain Of Forever album by jazz-rooted but generically free-thinking, young MOBO winners Binker and Moses turned their duo partnership into a sextet including free-sax giant Evan Parker, and the eclectic Yussef Dayes as a second drummer ... these live takes from Stoke Newington's Total Refreshment Centre from the same diverse line-up cranks that energy level even higher ....' (John Fordham in Jazzwise 4*). 'The music's default position is ferocity. But discordancy is not a feature - the emphasis is on solo rather than collective improvisation, so avoiding the cacophony that is a characteristic of much full-on free jazz. Jumping-off points are provided as much by Boyd's beats as Goldings's harmolodic centres. Motor rhythms are ever present, not so much grooves as urgent pulses, pushing the music forward. The result is a whirlwind. It can rip the hair clean off the back of your neck'. (Chris May in AllAboutJazz)

Details and Samples : Full Review by Chris May 5* :

 

 

 

 

 

American Releases

We are indebted to Filipe Freitas for details of many American releases. Filipe runs JazzTrail in New York City and to photographer Clara Pereira. They feature album and concert coverage, press releases and press kits, album covers and biographies. They are valued contacts for Sandy Brown Jazz in the United States. You can read more about Filipe and Clara in their 'Tea Break' item with us if you click here.

 

 

Keith Jarrett - After The Fall
(ECM) - Released: 2nd March 2018

Keith Jarrett (piano); Gary Peacock (bass); Jack DeJohnette (drums).

Keith Jarrett After The Fall

'In the course of its 30-year lifespan the trio of Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock and Jack DeJohnette – the group colloquially known as "the Standards trio" – made many outstanding recordings. And After The Fall, overflowing with sparkling playing and dynamic interaction, must rank with the very best of them. "I was amazed to hear how well the music worked," writes Keith Jarrett in his liner note. "For me, it's not only a historical document, but a truly great concert." This performance – in Newark, New Jersey in November 1998 – marked Jarrett's return to the concert stage after a two year hiatus. Joined by improvising partners Gary Peacock and Jack DeJohnette, he glides and soars through classics of the Great American Songbook including "The Masquerade Is Over", "Autumn Leaves", "When I Fall In Love" and "I'll See You Again". There are also breath-taking accounts of hallowed bebop tunes including Charlie Parker's "Scrapple From The Apple", Bud Powell's "Bouncin' With Bud" and Sonny Rollins's "Doxy".' (album notes). ' ...After The Fall, a double-disc album, was recorded live in a special concert that signalled the return of the pianist from a forced two-year interruption in his brilliant career due to chronic fatigue syndrome. The gig took place in 1998 at the NJPAC in Newark and the pianist himself expressed surprise when he heard how well the music worked .... With a trio that has nothing more to prove and plays totally from the heart, we can only expect wonders ..... After The Fall is a record of unhesitating steps that renew our appetite for jazz standards and other known songs'. (JazzTrail).

Details and Samples : Full JazzTrail Review : After The Fall article by Robin Kidson :

 

 

 

 

Jamie Saft Quartet - Blue Dream
(RareNoise) - Released: 29th June 2018

Bill McHenry (saxophone); Jamie Saft (piano); Bradley Christopher Jones (bass); Nasheet Waits (drums).

Jamie Saft Quartet Blue Dream

 

 

'Exposing valuable technical skills and a lyricism of his own, Jamie Saft is one of the sharpest pianists working today. His second release of the year, following the grandiose and haunting Solo a Genova, is entitled Blue Dream, an illuminated work where transcendence is achieved through the creation of absolutely glorious emotional soundscapes .... Impressively executed with great feeling, Blue Dream makes you plunge into aurally transparent sonic waters that open your soul, clear your mind, and more than satisfy your ears. Saft’s music touches me deeply and it feels awesome to be enveloped by his voluble and devotional reverberations'. (JazzTrail). ' .... the Upstate New York based artist presents a further facet of his seemingly boundless talent for composition, performance, invention and in this case, for acting as master of ceremonies to a group of exciting and innovative musicians ... Blue Dream showcases nine new vibrant, spiritual and energetic compositions by Jamie Saft, as well as three mesmerizing standards'. (album notes).

Details and Samples : Full JazzTrail Review :

 

 

 

 

 

Jure Pukl - Doubtless
(Whirlwind Recordings) - Released: 25th May 2018

Jure Pukl (tenor saxophone); Melissa Aldana (tenor saxophone); Joe Sanders (upright bass); Gregory Hutchinson (drums).

Jure Pukl Doubtless

 

 

'The up-and-coming New York-based tenor saxist Jure Pukl went back home, Slovenia, to record Doubtless, an open-spirited album comprising originals and covers ..... Prone to buoyancy, Doubtless showcases Pukl and his associates combining traditional and modern elements within well-defined forms and structures. Prepare yourself for an exciting expedition bolstered by the passion of true creators and their solid musicianship'.  (JazzTrail). 'Spontaneity is the key. "It's very improvised - and every number sounds different at each gig," says Pukl. "Joe can change things so much, including time signatures, so we have to react in the moment ....' (album notes). '.... Given the sonic similarity of the two tenorists, an indication as to which saxophonist is heard on which channel or even which solo order would have been useful, but this doesn't detract from the high quality of the music presented here. Despite his obvious allusions to Coleman, Pukl evinces his own voice, his compositions and arrangements proving increasingly irresistible'. (allaboutjazz).

Details and Samples : Full JazzTrail Review : Listen to the title track :

 

 

 

 

 

Joshua Redman - Still Dreaming
(Nonesuch Records) - Released: 25th May 2018

Joshua Redman (tenor saxophone); Ron Miles (cornet); Scott Colley (double bass); Brian Blade (drums).

Joshua Redman Still Dreaming

 

 

'After fruitful collaborations with The Bad Plus (2015) and Brad Mehldau (2016), virtuoso saxophonist/composer Joshua Redman releases his long-awaited studio album ... Redman’s inspirations for Still Dreaming were his father and the avant-garde jazz quartet Old and New Dreams, whose members included Dewey Redman, Don Cherry, Charlie Haden, and Ed Blackwell, all former sidemen of groundbreaking altoist Ornette Coleman. Hence, it comes as no surprise that the two covers on the album, Ornette’s “Comme Il Faut” and Haden’s untrammeled “Playing”, give us a wonderful taste of that generation ... Simple structures, complex emotions; Still Dreaming emanates passion for another musical era and Redman, besides talking from the heart in his ear-catching improvisations, strengths the repertoire with an indefatigable sense of collectivity'. (JazzTrail).

Details and Samples : Full JazzTrail Review :

 

 

 

 

 

Tim Berne / Matt Mitchell - Angel Dusk
(Screwgun Records) - Released: 12th April 2018

Tim Berne (alto saxophone); Matt Mitchell (piano).

Tim Berne Matt Mitchell Angel Dusk

 

 

'Last year, innovative pianist Matt Mitchell released Forage, a great solo album whose audacious material consisted exclusively of compositions by alto saxophonist Tim Berne, the man who had hired him in 2012 to play in the progressive Snakeoil band. The musical bond between the two men is so strong that a duo album was almost inevitable. Hence, Angel Dusk is now available and features eight tracks that pair Berne’s agile phrasing and resonant angularity with the perceptive, if intricate, tapestries of Mitchell. .... The constituent pieces of this collaborative work are extremely hard to separate in upbeat or downbeat. It’s much easier to associate their organic sounds with light and darkness due to the timbral coloring of the knotty textures. Berne and Mitchell sculpt and engrave with an absolute sense of anticipation and direction, making their set of explorations a stimulating listening experience'. (JazzTrail).

Details and Samples : Full JazzTrail Review :

 

 

 

 

European and Other Releases

 

Dwiki Dharmawan - Rumah Batu
(Moonjune Records) - Released: 27th July 2018

Dwiki Dharmawan (keyboards, compositions); Nguyên Lê (guitar); Carles Benavent (fretless bass); Sa'at Syah (flute), Yaron Stavi (upright bass); Asaf Sirkis (drums).

Dwiki Dharmawan Rumah Batu

'Riding the momentum of 2016's groundbreaking, critically heralded release, "Pasar Klewer" -- an album awarded a 5-star review by Downbeat, All About Jazz, and numerous others -- MoonJune Records is proud to present the phenomenal new album by the iconic keyboardist, composer and producer, Dwiki Dharmawan. Drawing from both his extensive jazz influences and his rich cultural heritage, the Indonesian maestro delivers yet another spellbinding masterwork! Brimming with adventurous compositions, ingenious arrangements and superlative performances, "Rumah Batu" almost defies categorization -- eclipsing both progressive jazz and world music genres. While a score of diverse ethnic flavors abound throughout, within its nucleus resides the free-spirited, unpretentious essence that epitomizes the greatest jazz. Augmented by a stellar cast of players, vastly international in scope - including: the enigmatic Parisian virtuoso, of Vietnamese descent, Nguyên Lê, on guitar; legendary flamenco fretless bassist, Spain's Carles Benavent; the extraordinary flutist, also from Indonesia, Sa'at Syah, and the proven progressive backbone of fellow Israeli-born, UK transplants, Yaron Stavi [on upright bass (yes: the album features twin basses!)] and (supreme drummer) Asaf Sirkis -- this landmark recording offers an intimate glimpse into Dwiki's unparalleled genius as player, arranger and songwriter. The album chronicles yet another magical session created and captured at the already-infamous La Casa Murada. Situated in the tranquil, picturesque setting of the Catalonian wine region of Penedès, Spain, the studio's recordings seem to take on a life of their own; and "Rumah Batu" is certainly no exception: articulating jazz's continuing evolution in the 21st century. For those who wondered what Messenger Dharmawan could possibly conjure as a follow-up to Rumah's unanimously praised predecessor, prepare to be amazed and perplexed -- and escorted on a musical sojourn unlike any the genre has ever witnessed!' (album notes).

Details : Details and Samples : Review 5* : Video Introduction by Dwiki Dharmawan in his own language :

 

 

 

 

Angles 3 - Parede
(Clean Feed) - Released: 11th May 2018

Martin Kuchen (tenor and soprano saxophones); Ingebrigt Haker Flaten (bass); Kjell Nordeson (drums)

Angles 3 Parede

 

 

Effusive saxophonist Martin Kuchen, a mainstay of the free improvised Swedish scene, spearheads the avant-jazz band Angles, whose formation keeps changing throughout the years. The nonet (Angles 9) is probably the most popular of its ensembles, but for Parede, a live recording made in the Portuguese city referred in the title, the band was narrowed to a trio. The adventurous Norwegian bassist Ingebrigt Haker Flaten enrolls for the first time, replacing Johan Berthling, while the drums are entrusted to the regular Kjell Nordeson. ... Kuchen and his like-minded cohorts give each tune a stimulating, uncompromising execution that is as much ardent in emotion as it is agile in technique and craft. The band’s raw sound is all compressed in this record, which comes out unfailingly infectious. (JazzTrail).

Details and Sample : Full JazzTrail Review :

 

 

 

 

 

Alam Khan - Immersion
(AMMP) - Released: 1st June 2018

Alam Khan (sarod); Indranil Mallick (tabla); Benjamin Araki (tanpura)

Alam Khan Immersion

Sarod, the 25-stringed North Indian classical instrument rich in resonances, plays well with others, but is best savored solo. Master player Alam Khan knows this, having studied at his father Ustad Ali Akbar Khan's knee and taking up his style and lineage. On Immersion, he unfurls the instrument's stirring beauty via several ragas, a tribute to his family's accumulated knowledge and his own carefully honed artistic sense. Khan is a respected teacher and collaborator, a torchbearer of the Maihar gharana (musical family or clan) which was created by his grandfather Acharya Baba Allauddin Khan. Khan absorbed these facets by training since childhood with his father, who brought the instrument and greater awareness of Indian classical music in general to American audiences in the '60s. ''My father was a legend and his style was unique. What he passed on to me was a deep sense of that style, the feeling, touch, tone, all those kinds of things. Once I learned to emulate what he wanted me to play, I learned the reasons behind why I'm playing that. My father has passed on, but I want to continue his aesthetic and approach.'' Part of that approach adheres to the essence of the raga and its connection to a particular time of day and mood. ''Every raga was created for a certain time of day. When you play or listen to the ragas at the correct time, the full potential and wonder comes out,'' he notes. ''The traditional system of ragas and time is very important to my family and me.'' Khan recorded Immersion as he would have performed live. He is accompanied by the traditional combination of Tabla (Indranil Mallick) and Tanpura (Khan's student Benjamin Araki). (album notes). 'Immersion's packaging is Spartan or, if that's the way your tastes tend, minimalist. Its music though oozes sumptuousness - its unbelievably well-performed and blissfully nocturnal. Alam Khan is the son of Ustad Ali Akbar Khan ... I crossed continents to see his father. I would cross continents to see Alam Khan. Immersion reveals his deftness of touch and mind better than anything I've heard from him. (Ken Hunt in Jazzwise 4*).

Details and Samples :

 

 

 

Re-Releases

 

Dave Brubeck Quartet - Gone With The Wind
(Elemental Music / Jazz Images) - Released: 1st April 2018

Dave Brubeck (piano); Paul Desmond (alto sax); Eugene Wright (bass); Joe Morello (drums).

Dave Brubeck Quartet Gone With The Wind

 

 

'Two albums for the price of one here, with the title session from 1959 combined with the highly regarded Time Further Out made two years later ... The touch throughout is light and loose, Brubeck less bombastic than of yore, Wright's pitter-pat bass and Morello's spare accompaniment just perfect for Desmond's flurry of ideas ... However much Brubeck you may already have, this double dose remains an essential purchase' (Peter Vacher in Jazzwise). Gone With The Wind was originally released in 1959 on Columbia CL 1347 (monophonic) and CS 8156 (Stereo), the album came out of the Quartet's desire to create an album of original music using unusual meters they discovered abroad such as in traditional Turkish folk music, which eventually became Time Out. However, the label executives insisted that the band first create a more conventional album to cover the risk of their preferred concept.

Details :

 

 

 

 

Frank Sinatra - In The Wee Small Hours
(Essential Jazz Classics) - Released: 25th April 2018

Frank Sinatra (vocals) with Nelson Riddle's Orchestra featuring Harry Edison (trumpet)

Frank Sinatra In The Wee Small Hours

 

 

'It is widely believed that Sinatra's ability to fully express the forlorn lyrics of the great ballads began on In the Wee Small Hours, which was made during one of the darker moments of The Voice's stormy marriage to Ava Gardner. His separation caused him tremendous grief, which led to greater emotional depth as an artist. In addition to the complete aforementioned album, this CD also contains eight bonus tracks consisting of some of Sinatra's finest ballads of the period'. (album notes) 'The highlight of the Sinatra/Riddle collaboration, cut for Capitol in 1954-55, this is the epitome of the ballad-singing Frank, no tempo moving above a leisurely stroll with Riddle's consistently inventive counter melodies and orchestral voicings complementing the songs, as does Sweets Edison's trumpet. (Alyn Shipton in Jazzwise)

Details :

 

 

 

 

 

The Mike Westbrook Concert Band - Last Night At The Old Place
(Cadillac Music) - Released: 25th May 2018

Mike Westbrook (piano); Dave Holdsworth (trumpet); Malcolm Griffiths, Paul Rutherford (trombone); Mike Osborne, Bernie Living, George Kahn, John Surman (saxes); Harry Miller (bass); Alan Jackson (drums)

Mike Westbrook Concert Band Last Night At The Old Place

 

 

'It may seem amazing that such an important document of British jazz history, the last night at Ronnie Scott's 'Old Place' - the basement aof 39 Gerrard Street ... featuring the Mike Westbrook Concert Band has taken this long to be released .... It may well have been the poor sound quality that stood in the way of the album's release, but with passage of time, this unique slice of British jazz history has grown in such importance and such considerations have diminished ... This is a historic document, and a valuable one at that, and must be seen in this context, and while the sound may be the issue for some, for others it will be a slice of history made real'. (Stuart Nicholson in Jazzwise).

Details and Samples : Review 4* :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dexter Gordon Quartet - Tokyo 1975
(Elemental Music) - Released: 29th June 2018

Dexter Gordon (tenor sax, violin); Kenny Drew (piano); Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen (bass); Albert 'Tootie' Heat (drums), + one track with Ronnie Mathews (piano); Stafford James (bass); Louis Hayes, Espen Rud (drums)

Dexter Gordon Quartet Tokyo 1975

 

 

Elemental Music presents a complete previously unissued quartet performance by the great Dexter Gordon. This astonishing concert marked Gordon's first appearance ever in Japan, backed by an all-star rhythm sections consisting of Kenny Drew on piano, Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen on bass, and Albert Tootie Heath on drums. The album includes a 16-page booklet containing special essays by famed jazz producer Michael Cuscuna & by Dexter's widow, Maxine Gordon and is presented simultaneously on vinyl and CD (the CD version contains 2 bonus tracks, also previously unreleased). (album notes). 'This is a potent reminder of Gordon's musical strength during the decade and a half when he was based in Europe, with a closing bonus track from the subsequent homecoming that generated a touring American rhythm-section ... The recording is serviceable, with a hint of flutter at times ... But, with music this compelling, sound quality is hardly the most important consideration'. (Brian Priestley in Jazzwise).

Details :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Art Tatum and Oscar Peterson - Masters Of Jazz Piano
(Sounds of Yesteryear) - Released: 23rd February 2018

Art Tatum, Oscar Peterson (piano) with other personnel including Ray Brown (bass) and Ed Thigpen (drums)

Art Tatum and Oscar Peterson Masters of Jazz Piano

 

 

This CD features two of the twentieth centuries greatest jazz pianists. Firstly, Art Tatum who is featured at two venues at different dates in 1952. His first performance, where he performs four numbers, is solo from the Embers restaurant. The second performance of a further four tracks is with guitarist Everett Barksdale and bassist Slam Stewart. performing at Cafe Society. The second master of jazz piano to feature on this CD is the great Oscar Peterson. Making up his trio are bassist Ray Brown and drummer Ed Thigpen, together performing at The Newport Jazz Festival on Rhode Island in July of 1959. Collectors will find it interesting to compare the styles of these two keyboard giants albeit that Art Tatum takes the lion's share of the recordings. (album notes). 'This is nearly a good compilation of two club sets ... but poor sound (and rather lumpy soloing) lets down the Tatum, however the 24 minutes of Peterson on geat form redeems it'. (Alyn Shipton in Jazzwise).

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Jazz Talks: Surrey, Buckinghamshire and Norwich Areas

 

Surrey and around:

Mike Forbes is a member of the Woking Area U3A and active in the Jazz Appreciation Group. He ha’s given presentations to other groups and is willing to travel in Surrey and surrounding areas to give his talks, which consist of music tracks with commentaries. Rather than focus on a particular jazz group or soloist he takes a theme and follows it chronologically from early to modern jazz. Topics include: Women in Jazz; Is There Less Improvisation In Jazz Than We Think?; Twelve Bars; Time After Time; Best of Buddies; and, as an exception to the rule, Unexpected Satchmo. No payment required although a little towards cost of travel would be appreciated. Just a CD player (and PA if it’s a very big room) is all that’s needed.

email: jmike210@gmail.com

 

Buckinghamshire:

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 drbobmoore-inbiltec@supanet.com

Norwich:

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: royheadland@gmail.com.

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