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August 2019

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Bryan Corbett

 

Bryan Corbett photographed by Brian O'Connor at the Watermill Jazz Club in Dorking on the 25th June. Bryan's Hi-Fly Quintet with Chris Bowden (saxophone); Matt Radcliffe (piano); Tom Hill (bass) and Carl Hemmingsley (drums), were playing numbers from their new album, a live recording from the Windsor Theatre in Birmingham A Tribute To '59 - 'the year that changed jazz'. Click here for a taste of the album.

 

 

Jazz At The Proms

The Henry Wood Promenade Concerts at the Royal Hall Albert still remain primarily a celebration of classical music but in recent years, other forms of music, including jazz, have been introduced. This year is no exception and the following concerts are taking place that might be of interest:

 

Royal Albert Hall

 

Wednesday, 21st August - Mississippi Goddam: A Homage to Nine Simone (details)
(Broadcast on Radio 4 on 30th August and on Radio 2 on 13th September)

Singer, songwriter, arranger and political activist – Nina Simone is a giant of jazz history. She’s celebrated here in all her guises in a concert led by Jules Buckley and the Metropole Orkest, featuring titles including ‘Feeling Good’, ‘My Baby Just Cares for Me’ and ‘I Put a Spell on You’.

Thursday, 29th August - Duke Ellington's Sacred Music (details)
(Broadcast on BBC 4 on 6th September)

This Late Night Prom will draw on Duke Ellington’s spectacular Sacred Concerts, blending big-band jazz, gospel and Broadway-style melodies for an exhilarating evening of dance, song and spectacle.

Saturday 14th September - Laura Mvula sings as part of the Last Night Of The Proms.

 

 

 

 

‘Apply to Play’ Showcase Prize now open until 6 August

With the vision of overcoming one of the many overlooked obstacles faced by today’s emerging artists – the North/South divide – Shabaka Hutchings, curator of the award winning festival, OneFest, invites artists at grass roots level to apply to showcase at this year’s festival, OneFestwhich, for the first time, takes place across two cities; Sheffield and London.

Five successful applicants, hand-picked by Shabaka, will take to the stage at both Sheffield’s Leadmill and London’s EartH, forming part of OneFest’s daytime programming.  Aside from the live performance opportunities, winners will take part in a host of educational panels and workshops lead by inspirational music industry leaders.  Open to the public, these sessions include ‘Bridging the Gap, the North South Divide’, a workshop and Q+A with Shabaka, Business, & Funding Workshops, plus  ‘Let’s Keep the Conversation Going’ a further look at Mental Health support, and much, much more.  Speakers include John McClure (Reverend and the Makers) Shlomo, Thomas Haywood (The Blinders), Skinny Pelembe and more. 

Shabaka Hutchings said “‘Apply to Play’ has given me an opportunity to work on educating and expanding minds through the panels and workshops, as well as open doors for emerging bands to compete for a slot during the events. This is an element that was important to me when joining forces with the OneFest team. It’s incredibly important to me that the festival takes place in both the North and South, again breaking those unnecessary boundaries that have evolved within the music industry”

Applicants can ‘apply to play’ from July 26 – August 6th via Music Glue, through the OneFest website The competition is set to be fierce with the previous OneFest receiving an astonishing 800+ applicants.

 

 

 

 

Band On The Wall Expansion

Manchester’s Band on the Wall venue has secured over a million pounds in funding from the National Lottery to expand their premises and reopen the historic Victorian Cocozza building next door in the city’s Northern Quarter. The venue (which is wholly owned by the charity Inner City Music) will expand from 340 capacity to 520, plus they’ll have space for a new bar and community areas including band On The Wall Manchesterflexible classrooms, rehearsal spaces and mini cinema. There will also be a programme of events for the community, rooted in the music and culture of Manchester’s migrant histories, inspiring the public to learn and develop new skills.

Band on the Wall’s CEO Gavin Sharp says this represents an important part of Manchester’s heritage and it gives them a chance to uncover the social and musical history of the two buildings. He told Jazz FM: “We are incredibly excited to be starting this new project and taking the Band on the Wall venue into its next phase of what is already a 200 year history. Manchester is a city of migrants, whether from rural England, Ireland or across the world and as people have travelled here to work they have brought amazing culture which Mancunians have embraced. Band on the Wall represents an important part of Manchester’s aspiration to become a truly global, outward-looking city and we are incredibly pleased that this has been recognised by all the supporters and funders of the project.”

 

 

 

 

The Write Stuff 2019

The Write Stuff gives new jazz and improv music writers a valuable free opportunity to work with professional journalists to improve their The Write Stuffwriting skills, develop an understanding of music criticism and the workings of the music press and blogosphere, as well as getting to see a bunch of great concerts! Jazzwise says: 'We're on the hunt for a new generation of younger writers aged 18-25, who will attain an Arts Award qualification following a successful completion of the course'.

The workshops will include sessions on feature writing and live reviews by Jazzwise writer and BBC broadcaster Kevin Le Gendre, an insight into the history and devlepoment of the UK jazz and music press with Jazzwise Editor-in-Chief, Jon Newey; and a workshop on online journalism and career development with Jazzwise editor Mike Flynn and a special guest, alongside input from other writers and jazz industry figures.

Applicants must be aged 18 - 25 and be available in London on the following dates: Friday 15 November (evening); Saturday 16 - Sunday 17 November and Saturday 23 - Sunday 24 November.

Click here for more details.

 

 

 

 

Video Juke Box

*Click on the Picture to watch the Video

 

 

 

Jonny Mansfield Elftet Falling

 

Jonny Mansfield's Elftet play Falling from their new album with the voice of Ella Hohnen-Ford. Jonny has written the music and many will recognise the lyrics under the title Golden Slumbers. "Golden Slumbers" is based on the poem "Cradle Song", a lullaby by the dramatist Thomas Dekker and also featured on the Beatles' album Abbey Road. The Elftet album was released on 21st June [See Recent Releases]

 

 

 

 

Nicholas Brothers Lucky Numbers video

 

 

Two very young Nicholas Brothers in 1936 singing and dancing to Lucky Numbers.

 

 

 

 

 

Soren Bebe Trio Homeward video

 

 

The Søren Bebe Trio play Homeward from their recent album Echoes.

 

 

 

 

 

Ella Fitzgerald video

 

 

This European television show from the mid-1960s features Ella Fitzgerald with her trio and Joe Williams Blues. The picture quality is poor but the video serves as a reminder of just why Ella was so good.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kevin Hayes and Lionel Loueke video

 

 

Pianist Kevin Hays and guitarist Lionel Loueke play at Jazz Dock in Prague in 2018. Their new album Hope is released on the Edition label on 30th August. Click here for an introduction to the album [See Recent Releases].

 

 

 

 

 

Lambert Hendricks Ross video

 

 

Jon Hendricks, Dave Lambert, Annie Ross sing Four accompanied by the Les McCann Trio in 1961. A new reissue on 2 CDs of 4 of their albums was released on the Avid label in June [See Recent Releases].

 

 

 

 

 

Billy Prim Waves Of Emotion

 

 

Billy Prim is a Greek drummer now based in Hungary. His album Thalassa will be released on 16 September 2019 and we shall iclude details when they are available. In the meanwhile, here is a video of a live performance of the band playing Waves Of Emotion. Click here for Billy's website.

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

 

Eubie checked his watch. ‘I need to introduce the band,’ he said to Ida ...

‘Sure,’ said Ida.

Eubie gestured to a kid who was loitering about at the end of the stage. The kid nodded back then disappeared through a door, and a few seconds later, five young Negro men came out of the door and walked onto the stage. They were all dressed in suits, but there was something about them, the way they hung their heads, their solemn expressions, the way they didn’t even look at the audience, that marked them out as different to any jazz musicians Ida had ever seen.....

‘Ladies and gentlemen,’ Eubie said, ‘thank you for coming here tonight on this cold wintry evening. Hopefully we can warm you up a bit. I’d like to present to you the Charlie Parker Quintet. On trumpet Miles Davis, on piano Duke Jordan, on bass Tommy Potter, on drums Max Charlie ParkerRoach and on alto saxophone, the one and only “yardbird” himself, Charlie Parker.’ .....

Ida looked at the band’s leader with the saxophone in his hand. He was in his mid-twenties, she guessed, and looked a mess, his suit rumpled, his posture slumped, his eyes glazed over, staring at the boards of the stage below him ......

It was unlike anything Ida had ever heard. Jazz, but played at breakneck speed. Fury and ferocity. The tune fragmented. The drummer hit the drums so fast the sticks became a blur ..... a saxophone solo that twisted so much the melodic line kept sounding like it was going to tie itself into a knot, but always, at the last second, the saxophonist escaped in a feat of virtuosity, flipping the melody inside out, looping it round into something new ....

When the applause had died down, the saxophonist looked around the room again, announced the next song.

‘This is a newer composition,’ he mumbled. ‘It’s called “Relaxin’ at Camarillo”.’ .... a few members of the audience laughed  .... Ida looked at Shelton and Eubie. ‘What’s the joke?’ she asked them....

‘Last year Parker and the rest of the band went on tour to California. Parker couldn’t score dope so easy out there so he drank. Went crazy. Set fire to his room and ran through the hotel naked. He was arrested, sent to jail, then on to Camarillo. It’s the State Mental Hospital in California ....’

Ida nodded ......Drew a parallel with Billie Holiday in prison on a dope charge, strung out and locked up and maybe crazy, as well .....

‘Ain’t a surprise,’ Eubie chimed in. ‘All you got to do is look around you. Something’s gotten out of control and its dangerous. World wars and people living in misery. If being rational’s brought us to that, maybe we should try something crazy. Even madness makes more sense than that.’


From The Mobster’s Lament by Ray Celestin

 

 

 

The Mercury Prize 2019

Mercury Prize trophy

In July, nominations were announced for this years Mercury Music Prize, the annual prize awarded for the best album released in the United Kingdom by a British or Irish act.

'The token jazz album' is a phrase that seems to be more common now when the nominations are discussed - usually because it is never expected that the jazz album will win. All of those on the shortlist receive a trophy and the winner a substantial cheque (£25,000 in 2017), but for all those nominated the publicity and exposure is valuable in itself. Whether the jazz album is 'token' or not, we should applaud the fact that it is there.

The Mercury Prize was established by the British Phonographic Industry and British Association of Record Dealers in 1992 as an alternative to the Brit Awards. It was was originally sponsored by Mercury Communications, a brand owned by Cable & Wireless, from which the prize gets its name. Since then it has been sponsored by several other companies and in 2016 a 3-year deal was struck with Hyundai to sponsor the event.

 

The jazz album nominated this year is Driftglass by Cassie Kinoshi's Seed Ensemble.

Click here for a video introducing the band and Driftglass.

 

Seed Ensemble

Seed Ensemble

 

The other nominations are:
The 1975: A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships; Anna Calvi: Hunter; Black Midi: Schlagenheim; Cate Le Bon: Reward; Dave: Psychodrama; Foals: Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost - Part 1; Fontaines D.C: Dogrel; Idles: Joy as an Act of Resistence; Little Simz: Grey Area; Nao: Saturn; slowthai: Nothing Great About Britain.

The winner will be announced in September.

 

 

Name The Tune

(Click on the picture for the answer)

 

Name The Tune

 

Click here for our Name The Tune page

 

 

 

Jazz Quiz

The Beiderbecke Takes

This month we give you fifteen questions related to tunes recorded by cornettist Bix Beiderbecke. We have taken out every other letter from the tune titles. How many tunes can you identify?

 

Bix beiderbecke

 

For example, what is this tune?

W-y.......D-w-.......Y-n-e-.......I-.......N-w.......O-l-a-s

Click here for the Jazz Quiz.

 

 

 

 

Into The Light - Miles Davis and Keith Tippett Recordings

There is news of new album releases of recently 're-discovered' music by two jazz legends, trumpeter Miles Davis and pianist Keith Tippett.

Miles Davis Rubberband

 

Rubberband is a previously unissued album by Miles Davis from 1985. A four-track EP was released last year for Record Store Day, but now Warner Bros are releasing an 11 track album on 6th September. The recorded tracks were put on the shelf in 1985 when Miles transferred from the Columbia label to Warners and he went on to record and release his Tutu album instead.

The sessions for Rubberband are described as something of a radical departure from the jazz-funk music of Miles' final Columbia albums. He had a new studio group with Adam Holzman, Neil Larsen and Wayne Linsey (keyboards); Steve Reid (percussion); Glen Burns (saxophone) and Wilburn Jr (drums). 'They explored funk and soul grooves while there were also plans to feature powerhouse vocalists Al Jarreau and Chaka Khan. The music has been completed by its original producers and Davis' nephew Vince Wilburn Jr with new vocal contributions from Lalah Hathaway and Ledisi'. Rubberband includes liner notes from George Cole, writer of ‘The Last Miles’, and features an original painting by Miles Davis as the cover art. Click here for more details.

 

 

 

 

keith Tippett The Unlonely Raindancer

The production of The Unlonely Raindancer by Keith Tippett on the Discus label is well described by Andy Robson in Jazzwise magazine: '... As no master tape exists (of Tippett's solo piano debut) Discus owner Martin Archer, in a painstaking act of dedication, digitally recreated the album from 600 minutes of live recording of Tippett's Dutch tour patched over a YouTube dubbed original vinyl recording. If that sounds like a Frankenstein monster, fear not, it's more the reblossoming of a long dormant rose. Or oak, as Tippett twice visits the folk melody of 'Tortworth Oak', though he soon transcends the tune with his massive chording ... This is improvised, but not avant-garde music that disappears up its own arch. It's music with a heart and soul that can barely contain itself. But it just does.'

 

Keith Tippett says: 'This album consists of improvised music, except for the melody of Tortworth Oak, which developed during the (performance). The pianos were not prepared, except for the final 1 ½ minutes of The Muted Melody, where the strings are dampened by a piece of wood. Music boxes are also used. The final piece Midnight Snow Walk is played on a zither. April 1979 was my first solo piano tour. A tour of the Netherlands organised by my friend Rob Sötemann. In some ways I look upon this music as a blueprint for the Mujician solo albums, a trilogy recorded for FMP during the 1980's. A special thankyou to Martin Archer (Discus) for kindly re-releasing this album in 2019. A big thankyou to Hazel Miller (Ogun) for keeping the originals in safe storage'. Click here for details. Click here for more information.

 

 

 

Poetry and Jazz

Jazz Voices

Ian Shaw

 

Ian Shaw

 

Ian Shaw was born in Wales, took a music degree at the University of London, and has gone on to become a greatly respected vocalist, pianist, stand-up comedian, actor and record producer. His career began unusually for a jazz musician on the Alternative Cabaret Circuit, alongside such performers as Julian Clary, Rory Bremner and Jo Brand. At the same time, he was playing in piano bars and at festivals in London and throughout Europe. During the next few years he moved from the singer-pianist format to working with his new band to an eventual move into jazz. Since the 1990s, Ian has released a string of albums, performed across the world, and become one of the UK's most popular performers. There are many examples of his work on YouTube.

Ian was a strong advocate for the plight of those refugees caught up in the former French, Calais camp known as 'The Jungle'. His lovely, poignant song, My Brother, released about the same time, can be interpreted as a song about a brother (relative) as well as a brother (as a fellow being). Click here for a video of Ian singing My Brother.

Of Ian's most recent album, Shine Sister Shine, John Fordham in The Guardian wrote: 'One of the most moving performances I ever heard from the gifted British singer Ian Shaw was on the 2015 Jazz for Labour concert, when he held an audience at the Barbican in London spellbound with an account of Somewhere, from West Side Story, dedicated to gay politics. There are comparable moments in this diverse dedication to female vocal stars .... Shaw’s roots in the capriciously agile jazz methods of the late Mark Murphy drive the sassily swinging How Little We Know, and he delivers his moving original Keep Walking (Song for Sara) in both English and French in recognition of its inspiration in his work with the charity Side by Side Refugees'. Click here to listen to How Little We Know.

There are a number of videos on YouTube by Ian but I have chosen this video of him at Ronnie Scott's Club singing of Lullaby Of The Leaves from 2014 with Barry Green (piano), Mick Hutton (bass), Dave Ohm (drums) and special guest Fabrizio Bosso (trumpet) - click here.

 

Ian Shaw Lullaby Of The Leaves video

 

Click here for Ian Shaw's website. Click here for our Jazz Voices page.

 

 

 


Directory of Alternative Musical Definitions

 

Pitch

Making a case to a club owner to book your band.

 

Pitch

 

(Click on the picture)

 

Click here for more Alternative Definitions.

 

 

 

 

Poetry and Jazz

Full Focus

Hamburg 2010

from the album All Good Things by the Alex Hitchcock Quintet


 

'Full Focus' is a series where musicians talk about a track from an album in detail. The idea is that you are able to listen to the track that is discussed as you read about it. [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].

 

Alex Hitchcock Quintet All Good Things

 

Saxophonist Alex Hitchcock was born in London. His first instrument was the violin, but at nine he switched to alto saxophone. It was listening to Coleman Hawkins and Joshua Redman that caused him to turn to the tenor sax. Alex studied English at Cambridge, while becoming part of the jazz scene in the city and director of the Cambridge University Jazz Orchestra. With them, he toured Istanbul before returning to London and the Royal Academy of Music where he first established his Quintet. He graduated in 2016.

The Alex Hitchcock Quintet released their album All Good Things in May 2019. The band: Alex Hitchcock (tenor saxophone); James Copus (trumpet, flugelhorn); Will Barry (piano, fender rhodes); Joe Downard (bass) and Jay Davis (drums) has been described as: 'A powerhouse quintet that combines a compelling, adventurous ear for melody with virtuosic improvising'. 

2018 was a breakthrough year for them when they won first place at the Conad Jazz Contest at the 2018 Umbria Jazz Festival, and embarked on a 15-date nationwide tour promoting their debut EP 'Live at the London and Cambridge Jazz Festivals' launched at Pizza Express Jazz Club in Soho. They played Ronnie Scott's Club and the Love Supreme Jazz Festival, going on to play at the Royal Albert Hall and Jazz in the Round, as well as touring Spain, Hungary and Poland and appearing on BBC Radio 3, JazzFM and Hungarian television. 

Of the album All Good Things, Alex says: 'We've tried to find a positive response to the division and uncertainty currently being felt across the UK and further afield. I've tried to write optimistic music that doesn't avoid subtlety and more challenging sounds, and has space for dissonance. Some of the songs are eclectic but this doesn't detract from a common thread and distinctive sound world running through the album, with strong melodies and virtuosic improvising holding it together'. Click here for details and samples of the album.

 

Alex Hitchcock Quintet

 

For our Full Focus article, Alex talks about the track Hamburg 2010 from the album All Good Things.
Click here
to listen to the track. ​

 

I wrote this tune about the time Fulham, the football team I support, reached the final of the Europa League in 2010. I know that might sound a bit trivial, but as an achievement by a group of players at a much smaller club who used spirit and togetherness to make up for what they lacked on the technical side, it was really impressive. Plus, I’ve always valued the escapism in the way football makes you really, genuinely care about something you know doesn’t matter at the same time.

I had paid over the odds for a ticket from a tout on eBay, so went on one of the overnight supporters’ coaches, leaving from the Fulham stadium, to save money. The single chemical toilet broke before we had reached Dover on the way out, and the TV at the front of the coach was showing 'Only Fools And Horses' on 24 hour repeat, with sound. We were dropped on the Reeperbahn, in the middle of Hamburg’s red light district, at about ten in the morning and spent the day wandering around the city and mingling with the Atletico Madrid fans who were very friendly, on the whole, maybe because they saw the result as a foregone conclusion. Anyway, we did lose – in the last minute of extra John Paintsiltime to a deflected Diego Forlán strike – and we headed back to the waterlogged car park where the coach driver was sitting cross-legged in the luggage compartment with a portable stove, about to cheer us up with bacon sandwiches.

One thing that particularly stayed with me was the Fulham right back John Paintsil’s pre-match lap of honour around the stadium. He would always do both a lap before and after every game, applauding the fans, regardless of the result, which sort of entrenched his status as a fan favourite. Seeing him do it in this huge stadium against the background of the floodlights and the towering stand opposite us lit up with flares and camera flashes really stayed with me.

 

John Paintsil

 

 

This is the first track of the album, and I wanted to showcase Jay’s drumming because it’s so important in defining the band’s sound and the texture of the music. Jay is amazing to play with because he always finds new ways to approach the same material over the course of a run of gigs, making sure the dynamic and feel of the music is always fresh and original. So I wanted to create some asymmetrical gaps for him to pull around with some subtle brushwork, against harmony that shifted between light and dark.

Given that the harmony in lots of places is a bit oblique, I used the interval of a fifth to keep a sense of openness and breadth, so you can hear that in the opening melody over the drum solo (0.11), the first bassline (0.43), the main melody (0.57), the sax and trumpet refrain at (1.27), and the closing melody after the solos at (4.44). I think there’s a contrast as well in the relative expansiveness of the sax and piano solos against the more tightly structured form. Towards the end of his solo (4.36), Will starts bringing in a ‘3 over 4’ piano figure that anticipates the rhythm of the closing melody. The piano figure, along with the horn melody, overlays a slower rhythm that contrasts with the feeling of momentum set up by the 12/8 meter that built up during the piano solo, leading into the more restrained outro trumpet solo (5.31).

Here, I wanted the out-of key moments in the piano arpeggios to stretch the listener’s ear outside of the warm harmony a little, and to spur James on in his improvisation. The time signature is a triplet feel in 7 (divided up into 5/5/6/5) but James floats over the time which I think stops the closing section feeling unnecessarily complex. He’s an incredible improviser, and will come up with something that’s totally fresh and inventive no matter what you throw at him!

We had a fantastic tour and it was great to see lots of people come out and enjoy the music all over the country. Now the tour has come to a close I'm looking forward to recording the next album with the quintet with more music we've been road-testing over the past few months.

 

 

Alex Hitchcock

 

Alex Hitchcock

Click here for Alex's website

 

 

 

RESONANCE RECORDS RELEASES FIRST COMPREHENSIVE BOX OF EARLY NAT KING COLE RECORDINGS

Resonance Records, the Los Angeles-based independent jazz label is to issue on November 1, 2019 what they are describing as their “most ambitious release to date” - a the seven-CD/10-LP Nat King Cole boxed set Hittin’ the Ramp: The Early Years (1936-1943)Hittin’ the Ramp offers the first in-depth survey of singer-pianist Cole’s work in the years preceding his long hit-making tenure at Capitol Records.

Zev Feldman, label co-president and the set’s co-producer says: “...this Nat King Cole box is truly a definitive, king-sized set, clocking in at a Nat King Cole Hittin The Rampstaggering 10 LPs and seven CDs worth of essential early Cole material with enhanced audio.” The set’s co-producer, writer and historian Will Friedwald points out in his comprehensive notes to the collection that Cole’s deep and influential jazz roots were often obscured by his towering reputation as a pop singer. “At the height of his fame in the 1950s and ‘60s,” he writes, “Nat King Cole (1919-1965) was primarily known as a popular singer — the biggest-selling artist of his generation, no less — who occasionally played piano. By that point, only a few older fans and critics remembered that he had been one of the greatest pianists in the whole history of American music, a true spiritual descendent of Earl ‘Fatha’ Hines and Art Tatum, and himself a huge inspiration for Oscar Peterson, George Shearing, Erroll Garner, and many others.”

Hittin’ the Ramp homes in on Cole’s prodigious early career, beginning with the debut sides he recorded with his brother Eddie for Decca Records as a 17-year-old piano phenomenon in 1936.  The majority of the set’s nearly 200 tracks focus on the first work by the King Cole Trio, the seminal combo that put Cole on the map with a swinging combination of jazz, jive, and pop, with an emphasis on his simpatico creative partnership with the trio’s longtime guitarist Oscar Moore. 

Newly discovered selections include several performances that were not known to exist before research for the boxed set began. These include a privately recorded number, “The Romany Room is Jumping,” a homage to the titular Washington, D.C., club that hosted Cole’s group; the hitherto unheard Cinematone transcription “Trompin’”; and an unreleased 1940 trio rendering of Trummy Young’s “Whatcha’ Know Joe.”

Click here for more details.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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].

Mike Whitaker

 

Mike Whitaker

 

 

Mike Whitaker is a DJ playing jazz from 10Radio, a local community radio station in Somerset. Mind you, 'local' has a different meaning these days as Mike explains. Mike is not a musician, but his wide knowledge and love for jazz reflects the many years he has been listening to the music. He used to act as National Advisor for Jazz Interest Groups with the Unversity of the Third Age (U3A) and set up group events with the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. Each month, Mike challenges his listeners with a question from our Jazz Quiz with a jazz CD as the prize. Click here for the 10Radio website where you can listen online.

In July, I dragged one Mike away from another 'mic' for a tea break ......

 

Hi Mike, put those headphones down - or do you call them 'cans'? - and take a break. Tea or coffee?

Definitely tea, ideally de-caff.

 

Milk and sugar?

Emphatically no sugar – I’m a Cornishman. And only the merest splodge of milk, please. Thanks. My old Cornish granny used to say that you had to cut my tea off with scissors as it came out of the pot.

 

So what goodies are you lining up for your next programme?

That’s on July 23rd and it’s starting to come together in my head. It’s a two-hour show. I like to start off with a bang – something like Buddy Rich’s Bugle Call Rag - and wind down over the last half hour. One of my favourite sub-genres of jazz is the ‘wee small hours’ music – you know – singer in a slinky dress, pianist in a bow tie at the Steinway and its 2.00 a.m. For that, I’m planning pianist Ehud Asherie with Hilary Gardner singing, from their album Late Set. There’ll be my usual spots – a visit to vintage corner, where I ferret in the box of 78s in the attic, maybe I’ll play Vic Lewis this time, a British band leader (and cricket fanatic) many have forgotten. I must remember those who have recently passed through the departure gate – João Gilberto (so there’ll be some Bossa) and Geoff Nicholls of the Avon Cities Band – I’ll probably play one of his more unusual numbers, maybe his take on William Boyce’s Canon. And I’ve got Bill Evans with Jim Hall, Lee Konitz with Miles Davis, Lennie Tristano, Abdullah Ibrahim, Al Casey (who was Fats Waller’s guitarist) and I’ll probably fade out with Round Midnight by contemporary guitarist Jim Yanda and his quartet…Oh, and I’ve got a track by your last tea-break guest,  Tini Thomsen's sax quartet Q4 .

I don't know whether you have seen this video of Buddy Rich with Bugle Call Rag from 1982, Mike, he clearly wasn't happy with the introduction but with the second start we can see why you would want to use it for an opener for the programme! (click here).

 

10Radio logo

 

What’s the set up like for your radio studio. I don’t suppose you have it based on a boat in the Bristol Channel à la Radio Caroline?

Sadly no – It would be fun to base ourselves on Steepholme or Flatholme but in reality our studio is in a temporary building on the Kingsmead School site in Wiveliscombe – a small town in Somerset about 10 miles to the west of Taunton.

It must feel rather strange sitting alone talking into a microphone and not knowing whether anyone is there. As the programme is available on the internet, people can get in touch with you by email during the broadcast. That must help?

We have two groups of listeners – those in the 10 Parishes around Wiveliscombe who listen on 105.3 FM  (we are principally a community station) and those who listen on the net, on www.10radio.org. But you’re right – you don’t know who’s listening, or, indeed, if anyone is. That’s why it is so reassuring when regular listeners email in to say 'hallo' or with answers to the competition question. Many thanks, by the way, for donating the CDs for my competition.

 

 

You're welcome So how far afield are your listeners?

All over the UK, from Inverness to Bodmin Moor. And world-wide, too. Sydney, Brisbane, Vancouver and Toronto. In Europe, I’ve had listeners in Amsterdam, Munich, Monaco, Nice, Gothenburg, Hamburg and, just once, someone called in from Rosie’s Bar on the island of Gozo. The show has two repeats – there’s the night-owl one that goes out at 2.00 a.m. on the Saturday following the live transmission. This is the one the Australians listen to, being about 11 or 12 hours ahead of us. On the subject of Australia, may I say how sorry I was to learn of the recent death of David Stevens. (I’m sure you’re mentioning his passing elsewhere in this issue). David had a show similar to mine on Station 2RRR at Gladesville New South Wales. I know David used to encourage his listeners to try to grab a bit of my show and we used to swap playlists. Our second repeat goes out on the second Thursday after the live transmission.

 

Do you manage to get a break during the broadcast and do you take a snack in with you? Which reminds me, I have some biscuits here – how about a Hob Nob, Bourbon or Garibaldi or two?

Many thanks, Ian. A Garibaldi would go down a treat. I loved 'squashed-fly biscuits' when I was a kid. But no, I don’t eat whilst the show is on. Crumbs in the desk, with all those delicate sliders, would dent my popularity.

 

How did you get into jazz? You seem to have a wide knowledge and presumably a mammoth record collection?

An old, round EKCO wireless set got me into jazz in the 1940s. I’m a native of Bude, in Cornwall and I used to fiddle with the dial on that old The Laughing Policemanwireless, exploring strange stations like Hilversum and Athlone. One day, I found AFN (the American Forces Network in Germany). Basie and Ellington came crackling over the airwaves and that was it ! At the age of 10, I was hooked for life. My musical taste jumped straight from The Laughing Policeman and The Runaway Train to Take the A Train and One O’Clock Jump. I left school at 16 and went to London to work.

I couldn’t believe the cornucopia of music there. I’ve never been a fundamentalist – I was equally happy going to 100 Oxford Street for Chris Barber, or to the Marquee or the Flamingo for Joe Harriott or Tony Crombie. And there was no better way of passing a wet Saturday than browsing the second-hand 78s in Doug Dobell’s shop off Charing Cross Road – I’ve still got some of them (Heaven knows why – they’re virtually unplayable!)…. which answers your second question. Yes, I’ve got thousands of recordings in all formats – shellac, vinyl, cassette, CD and now downloads.

 

I guess you are talking about the Michael Holliday version of The Runaway Train - I wonder how many people remember that? (click here if you don't). There is a grown-up tune with the same title by blues singer Shoshana Bean (click here) - a little bit different!

 

 

If you had the chance to interview a past jazz musician on the programme, who would you choose, and what would you ask them?

This is very hard. I’m not a musician so I wouldn’t want to engage Miles Davis in discourse about modal music. 10 Radio has a very broad listenership, so I’d want an entertaining talker and I’ve always had a particular interest in British jazz. It’s got to be either Humphrey Lyttelton or Ronnie Scott. Both had trenchant views on music. I’d just ask them about the ‘Greats’ they’d worked with and sit back to enjoy the anecdotes. 

No anecdotes in this video, I'm afraid, but it does give us a picture of what you are talking about - here is Ronnie Scott and his Orchestra in 1969 with Maynard Ferguson, Cleo Laine, Marion Montgomery, Vince Hill and Lita Roza (click here) - I wonder if people can name anyone in the band?

 

You were National Jazz Adviser for U3A Jazz groups at one time. They seem to be very active across the country, although I guess they come and go?

Yes, I held that post for about seven years and I’m still leader of the Taunton U3A jazz appreciation group. You’re right – U3A jazz appreciation groups do come and go. The chief reason for them going is the loss of the leader. Some were – still are, I guess - far too dependent on one person, and when that person wants a rest (or, given our age profile, heads for the departure lounge) nobody else will take the task on and the group folds. Overall, U3A is expanding – new ones are popping up all the time. I hope that some of those new ones will sprout a jazz appreciation group.

 

 

U3A study day

 

The annual U3A visit you organised to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama each year – what’s that all about?

That was something I used to do as part of my national jazz adviser role. I managed to make friends with the Guildhall School of Music and their professor of jazz, Scott Stroman. U3A is about self-directed learning, so I hired a large hall for a day and Scott brought along his Guildhall Jazz Orchestra – 18 or so hugely talented young people – and he put them through their paces. We called it a 'Study Day' - it was rather like sitting in on one of Scott’s tutorials. Consequently we learned how a contemporary big band worked whilst enjoying the music. May I plug my successor’s 'Study Day'? Mike Rance of Fleet U3A has arranged a day with Alan Barnes and his band. It’s on September 17th, at Cecil Sharp House in Camden, North London. I know a number of U3A members are your subscribers, so may I please encourage them to go to the U3A national website to get details (it’s under ‘events’ and then ‘educational events’). Please support Mike, and Alan and his splendid band.

 

 

I hope people will - it sounds like a really worthwhile event for everyone involved. Do you have a programme scheduled for August that people can hear, or are you taking a summer break?

Yes, but I haven’t yet got a definite date! I am having a holiday in August and I’ve got to arrange the date around that. I should explain that there are five of us who present  'Sounds Like Jazz'  from  8.00 to 10.00 pm every Tuesday on 10 Radio, so our turns come round every five weeks (or so). Each of us has a slightly different ‘take’ on jazz, so just tune in. But if anyone specifically wants to know when I’m on, please email me.  I’m an enthusiast and I just want to share my love of this music with everyone.

 

How about another tea? I can put the kettle on while we listen to Robbie Williams singing 'I Don’t Want To Rock, DJ, ‘cause you’re keeping me up all night ’ - but perhaps not!! Tell you what, choose your favourite jazz musician instead. Who shall we play?

Ian, I could murder another mug of tea, but I’ll pass on Robbie Williams. Right now, I’d love another garibaldi and to hear a track from the 1982 album Two Of A Kind by singer Karin Krog and pianist Bengt Hallberg. (Karin is still with us but Bengt died in 2013) I’d like their treatment of the old Bessie Smith number ‘Ain’t Nobody’s Business If I Do. This really is one of my Desert Island Discs.

 

I think we can do that - I'll put the kettle on ....

Click here to listen to Karin Krog and Bengt Hallberg and ‘Ain’t Nobody’s Business If I Do

 

Karin Krog and Bengt Hallberg

 

 

Utah Tea Pot

 

 

 

 

A New Jazz Musician's Guide To Finding Gigs

by Cassie McVey

I used to be a music teacher and play piano and guitar, now I’m working primarily as a writer, I was putting together a piece on a different topic when I discovered the Sandy Brown Jazz website.  It occurred to me that your readers might appreciate a piece that looks at first time gigging for new musicians and the essentials they’ll need with them to make sure they’re prepared.

Being a new musician and putting together your own tracks is such an exciting thing. As is the eventual move from your practice room/garage/Mum's front room to a stage for the first time (no matter how small!). It’s highly likely that as well as feeling super excited you’ll also be quite anxious too. Nerves are fine, in fact, the adrenaline rush will keep you sharp. Making sure you’re prepared for every playing eventuality – whether it’s knowing the right equipment to take, or simply what to pack with your guitar, is another matter.

In the UK, jazz is experiencing an increasing surge of interest sparked by younger listeners and players alike. The number of UK users aged 30 and under listening to Spotify’s flagship Jazz UK playlist had increased by 108% last year. So, if you’re a new jazz musician looking to start gigging, there’s never been a better time. Scoring gigs involves hustling, making connections, and not being afraid to put yourself out there, but it’s worth the hard work in the long run. 

Book your own gigs

Visit potential venues (like clubs, restaurants, and bars) and ask the owners if you can play. If you approach a venue that doesn’t typically host jazz musicians, be prepared to really sell yourself. Owners are ultimately concerned about their bottom line, so, explain how jazz will help their business and how they’ll benefit financially, even after paying your band. Also attend regular local jam sessions and make friends with jazz musicians. Let people know you’re ready and willing to do gigs. In fact, when it comes to getting gigs, developing relationships with people in the industry is as important, if not more, than your talent as a musician. Also consider attending upcoming jazz festivals to put yourself in front of a much larger audience. Some exciting upcoming festivals include: Bude Jazz Festival, Cornwall (August 27th-30th); and EFG London Jazz Festival (November 15th-24th).

 

Advice for guitarists

Jazz Guitasrs

 

 

You ultimately need to impress your audience to keep scoring gigs. So, if you’re a guitarist, make sure you have the right electric guitar for playing jazz music. Archtop guitars provide that classical jazz tone, especially for bop and post-bop players, that the younger generation loves to capture. Alternatively, solid-body guitars are an increasingly popular choice for jazz musicians. They’re lighter and more versatile, but won’t necessarily give that same authentic jazz tone. Semi-hollow, semi-acoustic guitars are smaller than archtops, but provide a warm tone. It’s best to try out any guitar in person before buying, so you know you’re making the right choice for you. 

 

 

 

Advice for pianists

Roland F-140R

 

If you’re a pianist with gigs in hotels or restaurants lined up, you can usually rely on a grand or upright piano already being there for you to play. However, it may not be properly tuned, so it’s always a good idea to pack a back up digital piano. If you’re looking for a portable yet affordable digital piano, there’s plenty of options out there for the touring jazz musician. To play jazz, it’s important you have a piano with 88 weighted keys. For example, the Roland F-140R is durable, has 305 various organic sounds, and a great key bed that actually feels like a real piano. Alternatively, the Kawai ES8 has a classic responsive hammer 3 key bed, which also sounds like the real thing. These are some great options to gig with. You may also need to bring a professional rig, including, your digital piano, amp, and a PA system if you’re also singing or playing in larger venues.

 

 

Also keep learning new tunes and expanding your repertoire. Knowing how to play a vast number of songs will increase your chances of landing gigs. The more songs you learn, the easier it’ll become to learn new material quickly. With these tips, you’ll start landing a steady stream of gigs and grow your career as a jazz musician. 

 

 

 

Lens America

Caroline Davis

 

Caroline Davis

 

Caroline Davis’ Alula were playing at NUBLU in New York City on 30th May when Clara Pereira from JazzTrail took this picture. JazzTrail's Filipe Freitas reviewed the gig saying: "Caroline Davis’ Alula is a forward-thinking synth-infused trio that just released their debut album on New Amsterdam Records. Besides Davis on alto saxophone and electronics, the group comprises keyboard wizard Matt Mitchell, and drummer Greg Saunier, who was absent that night. His chair was taken by the proficient and no less vibrant Dan Weiss ..... Infectious funk with circular spins, impeccable rhythmic accents and variations, smart and fresh ways of swinging within a new context, fragmentations and occasional deliberate dissonances, psychedelic effects and scorching electro-rock grooves were enjoyed ...."

Click here for Filipe's full review. Click here for a video of Wingbeat, the single from the album, Alula release on May 10th, 2019 on New Amsterdam Records.

 

 

 

Poetry and Jazz

Rob Cope's
Gods Of Apollo

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 (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].

 

Rob Cope Gods Of Apollo

 

The 1950s and 1960s were decades of great change in jazz as in many other fields. It was the time of the Cold War when the USA and its allies on the one hand and the USSR on the other competed militarily, and it was the start of the Space Race in which the two super-powers struggled to be the first to travel into space and subsequently to land on the Moon. It was the USSR that first put a satellite, 'Sputnik', in orbit around the Neil Armstromg One Small StepEarth in 1957, and got a man, Yuri Gagarin in 1961, and then a woman, Valentina Tershkova in 1963, into space. The USA 'Apollo' Program was initiated in response to a challenge from President Kennedy in 1961 but got off to a tragic start when a fire in the Apollo 1 module in 1967 caused the deaths of three astronauts. Fortunately the program continued without further casualties and in 1969 the Apollo 11 mission successfully landed a manned spacecraft called Eagle, on the Moon. It was the captain of the Eagle, Neil Armstrong, who uttered the immortal words on leaving the spacecraft on the Moon, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."

Perhaps if Armstrong had been a John Coltrane fan he might have talked about 'giant steps' but it was left to the Police in 1979 to sing "Giant steps are what you take, Walking on the moon".  Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the Moon described the landscape he saw as "magnificent desolation", and apparently he was a jazz fan, as it is reported that he was playing Frank Sinatra's version of "Fly Me to the Moon" with Count Basie on his portable cassette player.  The song's association with Apollo 11 was reprised many years later when Diana Krall sang it at the mission's 40th anniversary commemoration ceremony. She also sang a version of the song in 2012 at the memorial service for Apollo 11 mission commander Neil Armstrong.

Click here for a video of Diane Krall singing Fly Me To The Moon with John Clayton (bass).

Composer and teacher Rob Cope has long been fascinated by the 'Space Race', and has been inspired to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the hugely successful Apollo 11 mission with his debut album, "Gods of Apollo", on which he plays soprano saxophone - other band members are Elliot Galvin (piano), Rob Luft (guitar) and Jon Ormston (drums). The piece uses historic mission recordings from the NASA and Soviet space agency archives, woven together to form an audio timeline covering the period 1957 to 1972,  the project was partly financed by a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2018. 

For the Kickstarter promotion Rob Cope said: 'The music on this album, 'Gods of Apollo' has been influenced greatly by space, in particular the crackling and beeping of the radio transmissions published by NASA over the last decade. These audio archives inspired me to create music in a different way, to find new ways to convey a story through sound and to immerse the listener in that world. This led us towards playing freely improvised music in a way that reflects the mood of the audio tracks. The end result is something that, I hope, will resonate with people and make others feel the way I do about this most incredible period in human history. It aims to blend the freedom of jazz with NASA archival audio tracks to create an entirely new experience of space exploration. Above all, it aims to tell what I believe to be the greatest story in mankind's history; the race to walk on the moon.  

Click here for Rob introducing a video trailer for the album

 

There are six tracks on the album, each with its own effect:Sputnik

 

With Sputnik, a pulsating radio signal introduces a spacey melody on soprano saxophone that becomes more freely improvised before being joined intermittently by improvised piano, guitar and finally drums, repeated motifs suggest sounds of chaos which are in stark contrast to the steady pulse from the spacecraft. In response, Human Spaceflight begins with the clarion call from President Kennedy urging USA scientists to be the first to put a man on the Moon - musical improvisations overlay recordings of conversations between astronauts and mission control.

Sputnik

 

Flames relates to the tragic accident when three astronauts lost their lives in a fire, and freely improvised music gives way to a short reflective saxophone melody, and then Neil tells the story of the successful Apollo 11 mission during which Neil Armstrong was the first human to walk on the Moon. Famous extracts from conversations between astronauts and mission control are accompanied by a big, semi-improvised sound emphasising the huge achievement of everyone concerned with themission.

Magnificent Desolation begins with the most famous quotes from both Armstrong and Aldrin and the music reflects the awesome spectacle which the astronauts must have witnessed.

 

Click here to listen to Magnificant Desolation.

 

Finally, One Hell Of A Ride includes reflections about the Apollo project as it came to an end in 1972 and that are increasingly drowned out by the improvised music as the whole band enjoy themselves. The final part of the piece is a recording of Apollo 17 astronauts Harrison Schmitt and Eugene Cernan singing "I was strolling on the Moon one day..." adapting a song sung by Bing Crosby "While Strolling Through the Park One Day" written by Ed Haley.

Click here to listen to One Hell Of A Ride.

 

It is perhaps revealing that the jazz musician, Rob Cope, is more interested in the sounds of space exploration, the crackling radio, the beeping satellite, the radio transmissions from the astronauts and Mission Control than the science and engineering.  Additionally, it is surely paradoxical that he is celebrating the huge achievement of the Apollo project that was planned to the last detail, checked, tested and planned again over several years with jazz music that is freely improvised in the moment.

Certainly, Rob the bandleader has gathered together a group of very fine young jazz musicians who give an excellent account of themselves within the wide boundaries that Rob the composer has set, and together with the iconic recordings the album has much of interest.  For those that like their Moon music sung by Ella Fitzgerald (How High the Moon, 1947),  Billie Holliday (Blue Moon, 1952) or like Buzz Aldrin Fly Me To The Moon by Frank Sinatra, then Gods of Apollo will indeed be a giant leap but where would jazz music be otherwise?

 

Rob Cope

Rob Cope

 

 

 

 

Tribute To Michel Legrand

A number of stars have rallied behind a concert to pay tribute to Michel Legrand - the French film composer, conductor and jazz pianist who unexpectedly died in January aged 86. He had been due to play a show with the Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Orchestra in the autumn, which will now Michel Legrandbecome a celebration of Michel’s life and career with guest singers including Alison Moyet and Maria Friedman, alongside contributions from the likes of Quincy Jones and Sir Michael Caine, with more to be announced.

It’s all to be led by Ronnie’s Musical Director, James Pearson, who says the concert will be rooted in Legrand’s 1999 Big Band Jazz album. They’ll also have a chance to visit some of his greatest hits including the songs ‘Windmills of your Mind’, ‘Ray Blues’, ‘Summer of 42’, ‘The Umbrellas of Cherbourg’, ‘Dingo Rock’ and many more. James Albrecht of Fane Productions told Jazz FM: “We are so happy that artists are lining up to pay tribute to Michel in this way. Most of them have their own personal connections to him and will be choosing which songs they will perform. This is a fitting way to pay tribute and we know it will be an unforgettable evening for artists and audiences alike.” Proceeds from the show will go to a music charity. It’s all happening at London’s Royal Festival Hall on September 20th, with tickets available now via www.southbankcentre.co.uk/ JazzFM

 

 

 

Two Ears Three Eyes

As usual, photographer Brian O'Connor took his camera to gigs during July. Here is one of his images:

 

Percy Pursglove

 

Percy Pursglove

 

Bassist and flugelhornhorn player Percy Pursglove was playing with the Iain Ballamy Quartet, at Watermill Jazz Club, Dorking, Surrey on 2nd July - (Iain Ballamy, sax; Jason Rebello, piano; Mark Whitlam, drums). It was the first gig to be sponsored by the newly formed Jazz South.

An exhibition of Brian O'Connor's Images Of Jazz photographs will be staged at the Hawth, Crawley, West Sussex, RH10 6YZ from Tuesday 3rd September - Thursday 19th September 2019. The exhibition celebrates 50 years of Brian taking pictures of jazz musicians (entrance is free). Click here for details.

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).

 

 

 

Forum

 

Sir John And The Duke

Saxophonist and bandleader Frank Griffith in Liverpool has started to send us some of his thoughts and we hope to include more in the future. If you find that they trigger thoughts for you, please get in touch (contact us):

"UK Jazz fans will be familiar with Sir John Dankworth (1927-2010) the great British saxophonist/clarinettist, bandleader and arranger/composer for his collaborations with his wife of 52 years, Dame Cleo Laine, and his prolific output for the John Dankworth Seven and his big band. John’s arrangements over the years were a hearty testimonial to his love of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn. There are too many to mention, but two stand out as completely devoted to Ellington's music - Cleo Laine's Solitude with the Duke Ellington Orchestra (1994) and In A Mellow Tone recorded in 2005 by the John Dankworth Quintet. These albums do not attempt to recreate Frank GriffithDuke's opuses note by note as so many repertory ensembles do (and very well too), but instead are sifted through an alchemy of Sir John's unique sound and vision.

Cleo's Solitude CD was recorded in 1994 with the Ellington Orchestra led by Mercer Ellington and arranged by John alongside fellow British arrangers, Stan Tracey and Eddie Harvey. Harvey in particular, was a long-time member of the Dankworth stable, having been a charter member of the Johnny Dankworth Seven from 1949, as well as John's various big bands over the years. 

Cleo's interpretations of classic Ellingtonia featured popular gems like Don't Get Around Much Anymore, Take The A Train, and Sophisticated Lady, as well as lesser known titles like All Too Soon and Reflections. Also included was Duke's ‘Don't You Know I Care’ with lyrics by Hal's older brother Mack David, and an eloquent and heartfelt delivery by Cleo. I also had the pleasure of recording this song with fellow DESUKIAN, pianist, Brian Priestley, on his 2004 album "Who knows - The Uncovered Ellington" on the 33 Jazz Label.

Writer of ‘In A Mellow Tone', Alyn Shipton, had the following to say on this album:

"Such open-mindedness is readily apparent in this selection of Ellingtonia by the John Dankworth Quintet. Most, but not all the repertoire is familiar, but the way it is tackled is not. With John's typically astute ear for what makes a jazz arrangement work and his ability to get to the heart of a piece of music, numbers that are normally the preserve of a sixteen piece orchestra hold no terrors for the five musicians in his band. All of the twelve selections have something fresh and original about them, although throughout the disc there's also a clear familiarity with Duke's own interpretations". Indeed.

The quintet included Mark Nightingale (trombone), John Horler (piano), Alec Dankworth (bass) and the late Allan Ganley (drums).  All play distinctive roles in echoing Ellington's timbre and spirit while executing the music of The Maestro. It should also be added that Allan Ganley was a mean arranger/composer himself and certainly brought that insight and experience to his interpretations from behind the drums.

Dankworth's final big band CD was "Jazz Matters" (2007) on the Qnote label. Having played on this album myself, an Ellington-like influence was clear, and I detected a kinship with the Duke in how it was put together. John wrote and arranged fourteen pieces, half of which with lyrics by saxophonist/songwriter Duncan Lamont, and all sung by Cleo. With titles like Colour Your Dreams, Madame Jazz and How Goes The World, et al, the listening experiences that great warmth of collaboration and sharing that Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn had.

 

 

The Lord Napier

Keith Wicks writes: 'The Lord Napier pub in Beulah Road, Thornton Heath, was once a well-established jazz venue, but it was sold to Parkheath Estates Ltd in 2016, and the licensee closed the pub suddenly in July 2017. Plans are to build seven new flats, with a smaller pub Lord Napier pubbelow. Progress has been slow, but demolition eventually started in April 2018. Bill Brunskill's band were regulars at the pub for about 30 years, and Thames Television made a jazz documentary there in 1984. "Whatever Happened to Bill Brunskill" was presented by George Melly (click here). Many of the best bands played at the Lord Napier in the 1960s and 70s. In more recent times, The Delta Big Band featured regularly, but audiences were very small'.

 

The Lord Napier pub

 

This article in the Thornton Heath Chronicle (click here) says '...However, the plan still includes providing a similar sized traditional local pub with seven flats above for small households suitable for the location above a pub ..... The architects and designers go on to say in the application: “The proposed development will replace a tired looking agglomeration of buildings that, due to the lack of viability of the existing pub, is only likely to deteriorate further with a striking new, contemporary building that will be a positive addition to the street scene and reflect the aspirations of the area moving forwards'. That was 2 years ago. If anyone has any further information about the Lord Napier, please let us know.

 

 

 

Richard Grandorge and Brian Rust's 'Jazz Records'

Brian Rust Jazz Records

Last month, we shared correspondence from Alan Bond about Richard Grandorge and Brian Rust. Alan wrote: 'Back in the mid 1960s when we used to be regulars at Steve Lane's 'Southern Stompers' gigs at North Wembley, there was a chap that used to sell 78 rpm records each week and I bought several off him at very sensible prices. His name was Richard Grandorge and he was a mate of Brian Rust's and it was Richard who compiled the index for Brian’s 'Jazz Records'. Now this was in the days before computers and such and a couple of us went to Dick's place at Hayes End to collect a few records he had put by for us. When we got there, there were sheafs of paper dotted all over house and we wondered what they were all about and Dick said that he was compiling the index for 'Jazz Records.' I know it took him months and I also know that it caused a lot of arguments between him and his wife! Sadly, Dick was killed in a car crash in 1968, another nice chap who is sorely missed.

Mike Rose from the National Jazz Archive writes: 'I was inspired to add to the item on Richard Grandorge and Brian Rust's 'Jazz Records'.


What few people know is that the Sounds Department of the British Library contains over 500 interviews with British  jazz musicians: the ‘Oral History of Jazz in Britain’. Currently these interviews are only available to listen to by visiting the Library or listening on-line if, you are an accredited member of a Higher and Further Education institutions. This is due to the total lack of copyright clearance which wasn’t obtained at the time of the interviews.

In 2017, the National Jazz Archive were awarded funding by the Heritage Lottery to mount the “Intergenerational Jazz Reminiscence Project” – an oral history project. It was decided that if we could include a number of relevant clips of the British Library interviews they would make a feature of the subsequent exhibition. On contacting the British Library we were informed they would allow 6 clips of 3 minutes Brian Rusteach from selected interviews to be used. However, this involved two Archive Trustees visiting the Library, listening to the whole 6 interviews previously chosen and select the 3 minute clips. BUT the clips could only be used on the proviso we gained permission from the interviewee to do so. Of course, as the majority of those involved had passed to the Big Jazz Club in the Sky, this meant tracking down living relatives.

Amongst the interviews I listened to was one with Brian Rust, doyen of jazz discographers. In the selected 3 minute interview, Brian described how his parents had visited the London Palladium in 1919 with the express purpose of seeing a French dance company. To their utter disgust, they also had to ‘endure’ a performance of the Original Dixieland Jazz Band which they described as  “a group of grown men jumping around the stage producing a total cacophony”.

Brian Rust
Photograph courtesy of the National Jazz Archive

 


After some intensive research, I ‘found’ Vic Rust, Brian’s only son. On contacting Vic to obtain his permission to use the clip, his response was “On behalf of my sisters and me, I am happy for you to use the audio interview and hope that anyone listening and attending will be inspired by it and the wider exhibition”.  Vic also confirmed that his parents' visit to the Palladium included the story his Dad regularly recounted of the ODJB. As a result, the clip was made available to visitors to the exhibition. A further benefit was that the Archive contains a copy of the event programme which was displayed  in the exhibition. 

The positive news on the ‘British Library Oral History of Jazz in Britain’ interviews is that Andy Linehan, head of Popular Music at the British Library, is now an Archive Trustee and we’re hoping that clearance can be obtained to allow the Archive to make the interviews available to all jazz fans.  

 

 

Studio One, Edinburgh

Stuart Scott writes: 'An elderly neighbour of mine, knowing my liking for Jazz & Blues asked me if I’d ever heard of a ‘Club’ called Studio One (1) which was near the foot of The Royal Mile (Canongate) in Edinburgh. This would have been in the late '50s and maybe early '60s. Alex Shaw was seemingly a regular performer. I’ve asked all my older Jazz loving friends but no one can recall such a ‘club’. It may have been more of a function room than public bar/club. Any information you have would be gratefully received'.

Please contact us if anyone can help.

 

 

 

Norman Cave

Philip Hays-Nowak writes: 'Every so often I head online to see what new information might be available on Norman Cave.  I had a busy year last year and obviously missed the excellent piece you published and which has prompted me to write (click here). I've not got much to add about Norman (that you would want to include at least) beyond the fact that he passed away in a San Francisco nursing home in May 1999.  The other thing that you may be mildly interested to read is that I suspect that Sid Phillips wasn't best pleased with Norman because just a few months after Sid had successfully concluded a long search for a new female vocalist, Norman began a relationship with her and she fell pregnant. Sid had to let her go when it became too obvious. Sid's short-lived vocalist was my late mother Rosemary Archer, and my father was of course Norman.

Rosemary continued with her singing career, which included joining a German orchestra for a time (the name of which we don't know) and touring Europe; we know she sang with an outfit called the Helmut Weslinski Sextet who I think were signed to Columbia, and we know that she headlined a summer season at the Chikito Club in Bern. She also made a lot of broadcasts for the American Forces Network and eventually married an American working on a base in Germany.  After that she moved to Denver and sang with a band called the Johnny LaPorta Trio as well as working with other names we're unfamiliar with such as Joe Flores, Eric Ross and Dean Bushnell. Just to underline that genes will always out, I had been head chorister in a Cathedral choir and subsequently helped form a jazz big band in which (after briefly flirting with trombone) I played second trumpet before I discovered anything about my parentage.  Thanks again for the interesting article and the photo, which I hadn't seen'.

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

When this page first started, links to newspaper obituaries were free. Then increasingly advertisements were added and now many newspapers ask for a subscription to read a full obituary. This means that some links to names that we included in the early days might no longer work. Where possible now, we might link to a Wikipedia page which is still free of charge.

 

Dave Stevens - UK pianist David Stevens was born in Leicester and first played with John Haim's Jelly Roll Kings in 1948. He joined Beryl Bryden's Backroom Boys a year later, then worked with Dick Hawdon, Mick Mulligan and with other bands during the 1950s. He worked regularly with Sandy Brown in 1956 and can be heard on the album Sandy's Sidemen. He was with Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated at the same time as Mick Jagger before emigrating to Australia in 1964 where he played with various bands, touring Britain and the USA with the New Wolverines in 1993. Dave presented a jazz programme on Australian Radio and for a while 'twinned' with Mike Whitaker from 10 Radio in the UK (see Mike Whitaker's Tea Break). Dave suffered a heart attack on 20th May 2019. John Westoowd says: 'Apparently his funeral was hugely attended, and ended up with a celebration of his life at the Club Ashfield, which is the haunt where all the musicians there meet, play and jam - a memorable occasion'.

 

Dave Stevens with the Jelly Roll Kings

Dave Stevens with the Jelly Roll Kings (photograph courtesy of John Westwood)

John Westwood (drums); Ron "Dixie" Dixon (trombone); John Haim (cornet); Eric Silk (banjo);
Gerald Haim (sousaphone - in the background - you can just make out his specs!); Charlie Connor (clarinet) talking to Dave Stevens (piano)

 

 

 

 

Lil Buck Sinegal

 

Lil' Buck Sinegal - American blues and zydeco guitarist and singer born in Louisiana. He worked with musicians such as Slim Harpo, Lazy Lester; recorded with Rockin' Dopsie, Katie Webster and Lil' Bob; joined Clifton Chenier's band and founded the Cowboy Stew Blues Revue with C. C. Adcock. In 1999, Senegal released the album The Buck Starts Here, featuring songs predominantly written and produced by Allen Toussaint. More information here. Click here for a video about the rediscovery of three American music legends -- Creole blues guitarist Paul "Lil' Buck" Sinegal, Texas R&B shouter Roy Head, and zydeco pioneer Classie Ballou.

 

 

 

 

Dave Bartholomew

 

 

Dave Bartholomew - American trumpeter, bandleader, composer, arranger, and record producer. He was prominent in the music of New Orleans throughout the second half of the 20th century but he also played rhythm and blues, swing, and rock and roll. In the 1970s and 1980s, he led a traditional Dixieland jazz band in New Orleans, releasing an album, Dave Bartholomew's New Orleans Jazz Band, in 1981. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a key figure in the transition from jump blues and swing to R&B and as "one of the Crescent City's greatest musicians and a true pioneer in the rock and roll revolution." Click here for a video of Dave Bartholomew with Fats Domino and others in 1986.

 

 

 

 

 

Joao Gilberto

 

João Gilberto - Brazilian singer, songwriter, and guitarist, who was a pioneer of the musical genre of bossa nova in the late 1950s. Around the world he was often called "father of bossa nova"; in his native Brazil, he was referred to as "O Mito" ("The Legend"). In 1963, Gilberto collaborated with American jazz musician Stan Getz on the album Getz/Gilberto which was released the following year. Jobim played the piano for the album while Gilberto's then-wife Astrud performed the vocals in English while he sang in Portuguese. Although Astrud Gilberto was only in the recording studio to be with her husband, João Gilberto requested her to sing on several of the tracks as he could not sing in English.This resulted with a duet between the two on the track "The Girl from Ipanema" which became a major hit from the album. At the 7th Annual Grammy Awards, Getz/Gilberto won three awards including Album of the Year, which marked the first time a jazz album received the accolade. Click here for the obituary from The Guardian. Click here for a video of João Gilberto playing Wave.

 

 

 

 

 

Leo Davis

 

Leo Davis - Mark of Ealing tells us of the passing of this UK trumpeter - 'A wonderful New Orleans trumpet player. He was with us at the Lord Hood a few times". On the Colchester Jazz Club website, Leo wrote: "I grew up in the East End of London and caught the jazz bug during my final years at school in the late 1950s during what became known as the Trad Boom. I began to go to performances by these bands and as money allowed to buy records. Things changed for me when I heard the Ken Colyer band in 1960 and that took me down the path of listening to the real thing in the shape of the veteran New Orleans musicians ... In 1977, by which time I was living in Havering, I answered an advert in the Melody Maker for a trumpet player to join a New Orleans band which subsequently became the Liberty Hall Stompers .. In 1978 I started the Superior Brass band and still play the occasional parade with the band. In 1998 I moved permanently down to Kent and for a brief period lead a N.O style band called the Rose Leaf Ramblers. I now play in a couple of bands down here and make the occasional foray back into Essex to play with Red Beans n Rice". We do not have an obituary or dates for Leo - perhaps readers can help? In the meanwhile, click here for a video of Leo playing Bugle Boy March with the Charles Morris Jazz Men in 2012.

 

 

 

Duncan Lamont

 

 

Duncan Lamont - Scottish saxophonist, composer, song writer and arranger born in Greenock who worked with George Shearing, Gil Evans, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr, Henry Mancini, Fred Astaire and others. ' Duncan quit his job in the shipyards at 16 and left Greenock for London after winning a competition to join Kenny Graham's 'Afro Cubists'. His choice of instrument also changed and he swapped the trumpet for the tenor saxophone, becoming an in-demand studio musician'. Duncan passed through the Departure Lounge on 2nd July just hours after playing at London's 606 club to celebrate his nearing 88th birthday. Click here for a video of Duncan playing at Wakefield Jazz in ?2015 with John Crawford (piano), Simon Read (bass), Matt Parkinson (drums) and Beverley Bierne singing Duncan's composition You Were Born To Smile, a tribute to his late wife Bridget.

 

 

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.

 

 

 

Georgia Mancio's Hang

Three evenings at the Pizza Express Jazz Club in London featuring the voice of Georgia Mancio in different settings

Click here for details

Georgia Mancios Hang

 

 

 

 

Burton Agnes Jazz and Blues Festival

The success of this year's festival in Driffield sees them planning already for next year.

Burton Jazz festival

 

They tell us: 'It was the biggest yet, with thirty performances across four different stages. It took place over the 12th to 13th July 2019, at the stately home of Burton Agnes Hall in East Yorkshire. Bands played inside the Elizabethan Great Hall, from the lawns, and in the late night bar tent. Saxophone playing owner, and festival organiser, Simon Cunliffe-Lister, joined in, leading the stately party into the early hours. The stage was lit up by Mo Pleasure, previously a member and musical director of Earth, Wind & Fire. Acclaimed jazz singer Atila performed a polished centenary tribute to Nat King Cole. International performers travelled in from Berlin, Italy, and the USA.

Over four hundred campers settled in the Hall’s park field. New this year festival goers enjoyed pizzas from Burton Agnes Hall’s newly renovated vintage wood fired pizza trailer; and the young at heart swung to the music in the Halls’ new woodland adventure playground.

Next year’s Burton Agnes Jazz & Blues Festival is on 17th to 19th July 2020. Mega early bird tickets are available now, until 31st August 2019, for the 2020 festival.
For more information please visit: https://www.burtonagnes.com/Jazz_Festival/Tickets_and_Prices.html
Telephone 01262 490324

 

 

 

 


Some Recent Releases

 

UK

Zac Gvi - Monk Spent Youth

Leo Richardson Quartet - Move

Ashley Henry - Beautiful Vinyl Hunter

Keith Tippett - The Unlonely Raindancer

Jonny Mansfield - Elftet

Paul Booth - Travel Sketches

Wendy Kirkland - The Music's On Me

 

 

 

America

JD Allen - Barracoon

Jamie Saft Quartet - Hidden Corners

Alex Sipiagin - NoFo Skies

Paul Bley, Gary Peacock, Paul Motian - When Will The Blues Leave

Yoko Miwa Trio - Keep Talkin'

Kevin Hays & Lionel Loueke - Hope

Miles Davis - Rubberband

 

 

Europe and Elsewhere

Tini Thomsen's MaxSax - Shift

Michele Rabbia, Gianluca Petrella, Eivind Aarset - Lost River

Søren Bebe Trio - Echoes

 

 

Re-Releases

Ben Webster and Coleman Hawkins - Ben Webster Meets Coleman Hawkins

Jon Hendricks / Lambert, Hendricks and Ross - Four Classic Albums

The Modern Jazz Quartet - The Early Years : 1952-1956

Bud Powell - The Genius Of Bud Powell

 

 

 

 

 

Zac Gvi - Monk Spent Youth
(FIR-E) - Released: 13th August 2019

Ben Davis (cello), Fred Thomas (drums, bass, prepared piano), Zac Gvirtzman (piano, bass clarinet, organ, toy piano).

Zac Zvi Monk Spent Youth

'Monk Spent Youth is the fruit of several things: an electrifying collaboration between like-minded musicians, a monthly night hosted by the band at the old Jamboree, and a youth spent captivated by the music of Thelonious Monk. Celebrating the music, the life and the spirit of Monk, this record is much more than an re-imagining of some of Monk’s seminal compositions; it’s a testament both to Monk’s unique sensibilities, his playfulness and introspection, and to the original sound and sensitivity of the ensemble. The ensemble, all members of London’s F-IRE Collective, consists of Ben Davis on cello, Fred Thomas on drums, bass and prepared piano and Zac Gvirtzman on piano, bass clarinet, organ and toy piano. As well as Monk’s compositions, the album features originals “Waltzin’ In” and “Lunasphere” by Gvirtzman alongside his and the ensemble’s arrangements of Monk’s compositions and several solo pieces performed by Gvirtzman. The opening track “Bubu’s Birthday” is a miniature portrait of Monk’s humourous side, playing on the childlike-ness of the tune with it’s free-wheeling toy piano musings. “Evidence I”, with its counterpart “Evidence II”, fragment Monk’s iconic composition, itself a process of deduction from the standard on which it was based, into a series of snatched gestures that build towards the statement of the theme, underpinned by Thomas’ highly creative and upfront drumming. On “We See” the ensemble roars with carefree gusto, with Davis’ cello equally powerful as a searing solo horn and a funky, rooted walking bass. Gvirtzman’s rendition of “Crepuscule with Nellie” as a solo church organ piece finds the hymn in the tune, employing a palate of contrasting organ stops, while his bluesy waltz, “Waltzin’ In”, is both a nod to Monk’s sojourn on the religious music circuit and a vehicle for the ensemble’s abundant tongue-in-cheek humour. ........ “Monk Spent Youth” was recorded by Alex Bonney at Greenway Studios and Heath Street Baptist Church in Hampstead, and mixed and mastered by Bonney. The spirit of play is maintained in Gvirtzman’s post-production of the record in the intersections between some of the tracks and occasional, subtle cartoon-like effects' (album notes).

Details and Samples :

 

 

 

 

 

Leo Richardson Quartet - Move
(Ubuntu Music) - Released: 9th August 2019

Leo Richardson (tenor saxophone); Rick Simpson (piano); Tim Thornton (bass); Ed Richardson (drums); guest Alex Garnett (tenor saxophone).

Leo Richardson Quartet Move

 

'Leo is widely recognised as one of London's leading tenor saxophonists, best known for his honest, straight-ahead, contemporary hard-bop style. His influences include John Coltrane, Joe Henderson, Dexter Gordon, Horace Silver and Art Blakey. Leo's 2017 debut album, The Chase, received exceptional reviews from around the world, including the first ever 5 Star review for a debut jazz album by the Observer. The Chase was also selected by The Times as one of the Top Ten Jazz Albums of 2017. In America, Downbeat Magazine praised the album as being straight out of the mid-1960's jazz classics. Leo has performed throughout the world and appeared last year at the Love Supreme Jazz Festival in the UK. This summer, Leo's quartet will be performing at the Rochester International Jazz Festival in the US. He has played at Ronnie Scott's, on numerous occasions. 'Move', Leo's next Quartet album, features his powerhouse rhythm section of Rick Simpson (piano), Tim Thornton (bass) and Ed Richardson (drums). The ubiquitous tenor Alex Garnett joins the band as guest on the final track. The sophomore album picks up where the debut album left off. As Leo describes, "I never thought I'd release my second album so soon after the first, but I just love playing with the band so, I thought, why not?! The compositions on this record are very much a natural progression from the first album. I feel the music has developed and matured, instilling the essence of hard bop but remaining contemporary. The rhythm section in this quartet is absolutely world class and I'm very lucky to be able to play my music with them and develop it together as a band". (album notes).

Details and Samples : Listen to The Demise :

 

 

 

 

 

Ashley Henry - Beautiful Vinyl Hunter
(Universal /Sony Music) - Released: 6th September 2019

Ashley Henry (piano, keyboards); Theo Croker, Keyon Harrold (trumpet); Judi Jackson (vocals); Sparkz (rap); Daniel Casimir (bass); Eddie Hick, Marijus Aleska (drums); Artie Zaitz (guitar); Makaya McCraven (drums); Binker Golding (tenor sax); Moses Boyd (drums)

Ashley Henry Beautiful Vinyl Hunter

 

 

'Following the widespread success of 26-year-old Ashley Henry’s Easter EP, the genre-blurring UK pianist returns in full force with his debut studio album Beautiful Vinyl Hunter, set for release in September on Sony Music. Offering a journey into the visionary mind of one of the UK’s most creative young talents, the highly anticipated 15-track album draws on a heady brew of influences from jazz, beats, hip-hop, punk and grime and features collaborations with an impressive collective of innovators including Makaya McCraven, Keyon Harrold, Ben Marc, Luke Flowers, MC Sparkz, Jaimie Branch, Binker Golding and Joshua Idehen' (album notes). '...... This debut long player is very much a consolidation of his progress to date and the presence ... (of) ... some of the young Turks of UK jazz ...makes this a transatlantic affair with a contemporary edge ....' (Kevin Le Gendre in Jazzwise ***)

Details and Samples :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keith Tippett - The Unlonely Raindancer
(Discus Music) - Released: 22nd April 2019

Keith Tippett (piano)

Keith Tippett The Unlonely Raindancer

 

The production of The Unlonely Raindancer by Keith Tippett on the Discus label is well described by Andy Robson in Jazzwise magazine: '... As no master tape exists (of Tippett's solo piano debut) Discus owner Martin Archer, in a painstaking act of dedication, digitally recreated the album from 600 minutes of live recording of Tippett's Dutch tour patched over a YouTube dubbed original vinyl recording. If that sounds like a Frankenstein monster, fear not, it's more the reblossoming of a long dormant rose. Or oak, as Tippett twice visitssthe folk melody of 'Tortworth Oak', though he soon transcends the tune with his massive chording ... This improvised, but not avant-garde music that disappears up its own arch. It's music with a heart and soul that can barely contain itself. But it just does.' Keith Tippett says: 'This album consists of improvised music, except for the melody of Tortworth Oak, which developed during the (performance). The pianos were not prepared, except for the final 1 ½ minutes of The Muted Melody, where the strings are dampened by a piece of wood. Music boxes are also used. The final piece Midnight Snow Walk is played on a zither. April 1979 was my first solo piano tour. A tour of the Netherlands organised by my friend Rob Sötemann. In some ways I look upon this music as a blueprint for the Mujician solo albums, a trilogy recorded for FMP during the 1980's. A special thankyou to Martin Archer (Discus) for kindly re-releasing this album in 2019. A big thankyou to Hazel Miller (Ogun) for keeping the originals in safe storage'.

Details and Samples : Click here to listen :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jonny Mansfield - Elftet
(Edition Records) - Released: 21st June 2019

Ella Hohnen-Ford (vocals & flute); James Davison (trumpet & flugel); Tom Smith (alto, tenor sax & flute); George Millard (tenor sax, bass clarinet & flute); Rory Ingham (trombone); Dominic Ingham (violin); Laura Armstrong (cello); Oliver Mason (guitar); Jonny Mansfield (vibraphone & composition); Will Harris (double bass & electric bass); Boz Martin-Jones (drums); Guests - Chris Potter (tenor sax,track 2); Gareth Lockrane (flute, track 4): Kit Downes (Hammond organ, track 9).

Jonny Mansfield Elftet album

 

 

'Jonny Mansfield, winner of the Kenny Wheeler Jazz Prize 2018, vibraphonist and composer, follows previous winners Rob Luft, Misha Mullo-Abbado and Tom Barford as part of new generation of vibrant musicians emerging from the UK. His debut album, Elftet, shines a bright light on his talents as instrumentalist, composer and orchestrator, and celebrates the close musical bond he shares with his fellow musicians' (album notes). 'Mansfield has the ambition to tread a different path and in creating a larger ensemble, and writing and composing for it, has set himself a lifetime's challenge .... Mansfield suggests enormous promise for the future' (Stuart Nicholson in Jazzwise ***)

Details and Samples : Video of Falling :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paul Booth - Travel Sketches
(Ubuntu Music) - Released: 30th August 2019

Paul Booth (tenor sax); Steve Hamilton (piano); Dave Whitford (bass); Andrew Bain (drums)

Paul Booth Travel Sketches

 

'Internationally renowned saxophonist Paul Booth returns to his roots with a stylish new album of original compositions.  Travel Sketches features leading musicians Steve Hamilton on keyboards, Dave Whitford on double bass and Andrew Bain on drums.  “We are friends who make music together.  There’s an empathy when we play, unspoken directions that lead us to constantly re-interpret the music we are playing,” explains Booth.  “The album was recorded one afternoon in a live playing situation and most of the tracks were first takes.  I really wanted my compositions to feel as though they were written by the whole band and somehow, I think we achieved this.” Travel Sketches was inspired primarily by places Booth visited whilst on tour with different artists.  “I wrote ‘Seattle Fall’ one rainy autumn day, during a tour with Steve Winwood. Looking for solitude in a Seattle theatre, I found a beautiful old piano and the inspiration was set.”  Along with ‘Seattle Fall’ and ‘Tuscan Charm‘, a tune that evokes the delights of Tuscany following a lengthy Italian tour,  Peter Gabriel’s ‘Don’t Give Up’ has been chosen as a single release.  “It has been played many times at our gigs and will typically close an evening. It is my hope that the listener leaves with a sense of self and hope.  The positive message, woven in with my own interpretation, will hopefully trigger or--dare I say it--INSPIRE the ideals and ethics of future generations,” says Booth.  “In order to succeed...Don’t give up on the hard work it takes. The life you can live through music is the most fulfilling and rewarding life. Trust me, I’m living it now!” (album notes).

Details and Sample : Video of Seattle Fall played live : Paul Booth's website :

 

 

 

 

 

Wendy Kirkland - The Music's On Me
(Self Release) - Released: 20th July 2019

Wendy Kirkland (piano & voice); Pat Sprakes (guitar); Paul Jefferies (bass/bass guitar); Steve Wyndham (drums) + Roger Beaujolais  (vibes); Tommaso Starace (saxes)

Wendy Kirkland The Musics On Me

 

'Wendy’s musical career began at age 10, when she started taking piano lessons. She won a scholarship to have all her lessons paid for by Derbyshire Music, and continued to take her ABRSM piano grades. Switching to jazz in her late teens, Wendy continued her playing career as a dance class pianist, accompanist to singers and as a keyboardist in club bands. After being persuaded to sing by a great friend and guitarist, Bill McCreath, Wendy learned to reach people who are perhaps turned off by instrumental jazz, as she learnt to communicate with the audience through the songs. Wendy’s voice has been likened to Blossom Dearie with hints of Diana Krall. Her influences range from Nat King Cole, Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald through Oscar Peterson, Bill Evans, Wynton Kelly to Chick Corea, Eliane Elias and Michel Petrucciani' (Wendy Kirkland website). 'Wendy stated in a recent interview here on Jazz In Europe that she considers herself a pianist that sings and this is evident in the strong piano work throughout the album. This in no way detracts from her vocal ability and in fact, it is the instrumental nature of her vocals that make it so attractive. When listening to this album I keep coming back to Blossom Dearie and yet, while obviously influenced by Dearie it’s clear that Wendy has developed her take on it. I enjoyed this album a great deal. Highly recommended' (jazzineurope website).

Details for purchase : Introductory Video : jazzineurope Review :

 

 

 

 

America

We are indebted to Filipe Freitas for details of many American and some other releases. Filipe and photographer Clara Pereira (see the 'Lens America' article in What's New) run JazzTrail in New York City. 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.

 

 

JD Allen - Barracoon
(Savant Records) - Released: 12th July 2019

JD Allen (tenor saxophone); Ian Kenselaar (acoustic and electric bass); Nic Cacioppo (drums).

JD Allen Barracoon

 

'JD Allen's eighth recording for Savant Records finds the wildly inventive saxophonist returning to the sax-bass-drums format playing with his usual sizzling intensity and unveiling new works which challenge preconceptions which somehow engage the listeners rather than alienate them. His colleagues, Ian Kenselaar and Nic Cacioppo are with him every step of the way, revelling in the exploratory compositions of their leader and rising to the challenges they bring. JD Allen was hailed by New York Times jazz critic Ben Ratliff as, "a tenor saxophonist with an enigmatic, elegant and hard-driving style," He has be the winner of Downbeat, JazzTimes & NPR polls in categories including NPR's Best Jazz of the Year, Tenor Saxophonist of the Year, Composer of the Year and Rising Star of the Year. Following up on 2016's ground-breaking album, 'Americana', (SCD2155), 'Barracoon' (a lean-to or barracks to confine slaves) reflects Allen's awareness of the 400th anniversary of the first arrival of unwilling slaves in what was to become the United States' (album notes). 'The incomparable saxophonist JD Allen returns with his 13th album as a leader, this time in the company of two young rhythm stylists who have been playing with the tenor titan for more than a year, bassist Ian Kenselaar and drummer Nic Cacciopo. Barracoon contains 10 tight, tough compositions that confer a wider ampleness to Allen’s improvisatory ground since the style adopted often leans on the avant-garde jazz while retaining the true essence of the blues and Americana spirit. The title track is an incendiary tour de force that shrinks and expands with bite and insight in the account of the saxophonist’s fully intonated low-pitched notes, whose extraordinary timbre resounds like a cannon. Everything falls on top of the rambunctious swinging tapestry created by bass and drums. The inspiration for this CD was today’s political fickleness as well as the books Barracoon: The Story of The Last Black Cargo by Zora Neale Hurston and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot, whose emotions are directly transferred to “The Immortal (H.Lacks)”. Taking the form of a lachrymose spiritual, naturally rooted in the blues and folk traditions, this tune affiliates with “13” in terms of tone, feeling, and expression. The latter piece dawns with a solo bass statement and dusks after an impactful trio reassembly for an awesome finale ....' (JazzTrail).

Details and Samples : Full JazzTrail Review : Listen to Communion :

 

 

 

 

Jamie Saft Quartet - Hidden Corners
(RareNoise Records) - Released: 5th July 2019

Jamie Saft (piano); Dave Liebman (tenor and soprano saxophones, flute); Bradley Christopher Jones (acoustic bass); Hamid Drake (drums).

Jamie Saft Quartet Hidden Corners

 

'On 'Hidden Corners', visionary keyboardist, producer and composer Jamie Saft embarks on a spiritual journey along the searching path unveiled by such iconic forebears as John and Alice Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders, and Albert Ayler' (album notes). 'The penchant for spiritual sounds evinced by keyboardist Jamie Saft is widely known, especially after a successful double release on RareNoise imprint last year: Solo a Genova and Blue. The novelty of his new album, Hidden Corners, is the musicians that follow him in this restorative, empyreal journey of musical discovery. Whereas bassist Bradley Christopher Jones continues in the rhythm section, the well-versed drummer Hamid Drake occupies the chair that belonged to Nasheet Waits. In the frontline, tenorist Bill McHenry gives his place to master saxophonist Dave Liebman, who extends the sonic possibilities with the addition of flute, tenor, and soprano. Inspired by concepts from Jewish mysticism, the eight-track album makes a start with “Positive Way”, going toward the bandleader’s confession of faith in positivism. We find Jones bowing the bass with depth in a generous contribution for the overall splendor until he shifts technique to embark on an expressive pizzicato solo whose melodic paths amaze. With Drake driving the boat with pure love for rhythm and low-key expertise and Saft accompanying with the habitual efficacy, Liebman makes an astounding entrance, rising up above the ground with lines that simultaneously strike and breathe ...' (JazzTrail).

Details and Samples : Full JazzTrail Review :

 

 

 

 

 

Alex Sipiagin - NoFo Skies
(Blue Room Music / CD Baby) - Released: 22nd April 2019

Alex Sipiagin (trumpet); Chris Potter (tenor saxophone); Will Vinson (alto saxophone); Alina Engibaryan (vocals); John Escreet (piano, keyboards); Matt Brewer (bass); Eric Harland (drums).

Alex Sipiagin NoFo Skies

 

 

'NoFo Skies, the new recording by trumpeter/composer Alex Sipiagin, features his regular crew. If saxophonists Chris Potter and Will Vinson contribute to the supple three-horn voicing with ardent determination, pianist/keyboardist John Escreet, bassist Matt Brewer, and drummer Eric Harland establish a front-rank rhythm section. Russian-born vocalist Alina Engibaryan completes the lineup, employing her warm tones to narrate stories with words and contemporary melodies. The material, nine compositions by Sipiagin and one by Engybarian, run smoothly, forming a solid whole. The album was inspired by the North Fork of Long Island, New York (Spiagin’s home), and wends its way through a variety of modern yet palpable sonic terrains ...... For this disc, Sipiagin invested as much in compositional acumen as improvisational abundance, modernizing rhythms and patterns while still respectful of traditional frames. All musicians seem comfortably fit in their positions and the present session transpires not just a relaxed environment but also the strong bondage between them'. (JazzTrail).

Details and Samples : Full JazzTrail Review : Listen to Sky 1 :

 

 

 

 

 

Paul Bley, Gary Peacock, Paul Motian - When Will The Blues Leave
(ECM Records) - Released: 31st May 2019

Paul Bley (piano); Gary Peacock (double bass); Paul Motion (drums)

Bley Peacock Motion When Will The Blues Leave

 

'When Will The Blues Leave, a previously unreleased recording rescued from the archives, bears testimony to the special musical understanding shared by three great improvisers. Long acknowledged by creative musicians as one of the influential groups of the 'free' era, Paul Bley's pioneering trio with Gary Peacock and Paul Motian has been under-represented on record. In 1999, a year after recording the splendid reunion album Not Two, Not One, Paul Bley's highly innovative trio with Gary Peacock and Paul Motian took to the road with concerts on both sides of the Atlantic. When Will The Blues Leave documents a terrific performance at the Aula Magna, Trevano in Switzerland. Included here, alongside the angular freebop Ornette Coleman title track, are Paul Bley's "Mazatlan", brimming over with energy, Gary Peacock's evergreen "Moor", Gershwin's tender "I Loves You Porgy" and much more… All played with the subtlety of master improvisers, recasting the music in every moment. Paul Bley's last recording for ECM was the live solo album Play Blue, recorded at the Oslo Jazz Festival in 2008. Paul Motian's final recording as a leader for the label was Lost In A Dream, recorded 2009, with Chris Potter and Jason Moran. Motian died in 2011, Bley in 2016' (album notes). 'It's difficult for piano trios to distinguish themselves in that most common of jazz formations, but When Will The Blues Leave could have been a defining moment for this unit. Their juxtaposition of lyricism and free improvisation within single pieces, and in real time, is challenging listening, but this elite group of artists have left us with a scrapbook of stunning ideas' (Karl Ackermann in allaboutjazz ****)

Details and Samples : Full Karl Ackermann Review : Listen to Dialogue Amour :

 

 

 

 

 

Yoko Miwa Trio - Keep Talkin'
(Ocean Blue Tear Music) - Released: 14th June 2019

Yoko Miwa (piano); Will Slater (acoustic bass); Scott Goulding (drums); Brad Barrett (acoustic bass track 11)

Yoko Miwa Trio Keep Talkin

 

'Keep Talkin’, the new trio album by Japanese-born, Boston-based Yoko Miwa, documents a pianist and composer operating at the peak of her powers. While maintaining her undeniable signature, Miwa’s musicianship evokes the harmonic finesse and rhythmic brilliance of key influences like Bill Evans, Keith Jarrett, McCoy Tyner and Oscar Peterson. Her expansive, versatile writing presents both a remarkable ear for melody and an earthy, intuitive feel for groove. And as an arranger and interpreter, Miwa showcases her fantastic knack for programming: From jazz standards to Brazilian music to unsung gems by pop and folk heroes, each of her selections is definitively remade in her image while retaining its core charms. In the end, those delights coalesce around Miwa the bandleader, who helms gifted players including her husband, the drummer Scott Goulding, and the bassists Will Slater and Brad Barrett with intelligence and dexterity. Or as the Boston Globe said of the Miwa Trio’s previous album, 2017’s Pathways—which hit No. 6 on the JazzWeek chart—her music is “bright and accessible. … Miwa’s technical chops are evident, yet she’s anything but showy; she prizes space in her sound, and leaves room for the deep interplay her group has honed over the years' (album notes). '...The superb Keep Talkin' brings that number of recorded offerings from Miwa to eight. The music of Keep Talkin' says that Miwa has fully embraced an American state of mind, beginning with the title tune, a Miwa original that sounds like something out of the hard-grooving Horace Silver songbook. Or add some horns and Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers could come to mind. And apparent right out of the gate: Miwa and her trio play with joy.....' (Dan McClenaghan in allaboutjazz ****)

Details and Samples : Further Details : Introductory Video : Dan McClenaghan's full review :

 

 

 

 

Kevin Hays and Lionel Loueke - Hope
(Edition Records) - Released: 30th August 2019

Kevin Hays (piano); Lionel Loueke (guitar)

Kevin Hays Lionel Loueke Hope

 

 

'Pianist Kevin Hays & guitarist Lionel Loueke have created a masterpiece with their mesmerising and joyous acoustic debut, Hope. Originally a vinyl only release (2017), this remastered CD and digital version adds three new, additional tracks. Hope is an album that moves effortlessly between melodic serenity and rhythmic interplay, bound by the combination of two creative minds, two generous souls and two deeply expressive voices. Hope is remarkable, warm and inclusive (album notes). '...... Hays is a native of one of the most affluent zip codes in the U.S. while Loueke was born in a part of Africa that suffers from one of the world's lowest literacy rates. Despite their many differences, there is a contemporaneousness and harmony between these two artists that transcend their roots and goes straight to the heart of their common purpose. Hope is an elegant album from two masters with ambitious aims and the talent to convey their message in sublimely stylized manner (Karl Ackermann in allaboutjazz ****).

Details and Sample : Introductory Video : Listen to Heritage : allaboutjazz review :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Miles Davis - Rubberband
(Warner Bros) - Released: 6th September 2019

Miles Davis (trumpet); Adam Holzman, Neil Larsen and Wayne Linsey (keyboards); Steve Reid (percussion); Glen Burns (saxophone) and Wilburn Jr (drums); Lalah Hathaway, Ledisi (vocals)

Miles Davis Rubberband

 

 

Rubberband is a previously unissued album by Miles Davis from 1985. A four-track EP was released last year for Record Store Day, but now Warner Bros are releasing an 11 track album on 6th September. The recorded tracks were put on the shelf in 1985 when Miles transferred from the Columbia label to Warners and he went on to record and release his Tutu album instead. The sessions for Rubberband are described as something of a radical departure from the jazz-funk music of Miles' final Columbia albums. He had a new studio group with Adam Holzman, Neil Larsen and Wayne Linsey (keyboards); Steve Reid (percussion); Glen Burns (saxophone) and Wilburn Jr (drums). 'They explored funk and soul grooves while there were also plans to feature powerhouse vocalists Al Jarreau and Chaka Khan. 'The music has been completed by its original producers and Davis' nephew Vince Wilburn Jr with new vocal contributions from Lalah Hathaway and Ledisi'. Rubberband includes liner notes from George Cole, writer of ‘The Last Miles’, and features an original painting by Miles Davis as the cover art.

Details :

 

 

 

 

 

Europe and Elsewhere

 

Tini Thomsen's MaxSax - Shift
(339 Records) - Released: 17th June 2019

Tini Thomsen: (baritone saxophone); Nigel Hitchcock (alto saxophone); Tom Trapp (guitar); Mark Haanstra (bass); Joost Kroon (drums); Guest: Miles Bould: (percussion on Track 8)

Tini Thomsen MaxSax Shift

 

'For Tini Thomsen, a musical life without exploration, innovation and a constant broadening of her artistic horizons is unthinkable. The baritone saxophonist and composer constantly seeks new expressive possibilities, forms and fields of activity.  With Shift, the third album from Tini’s MaxSax, the raw energy of its two predecessors gives way to a more nuanced and temperate aesthetic focusing on strong contrasts while leaving the immense power of the music intact.  This is a courageous album of innovative and imaginative compositions with a highly original sound' (album notes). 'Shift, the third album of Tini Thomsen's MaxSax. And of course the saxophonist and her band - how could it be any different with this album title - have turned a few screws to give the already very individual group sound a slightly different "spin". The Bonnie and Clyde-like iconoclasm of the first two albums has given way to a more nuanced and well-tempered aesthetic on Shift, which, without depriving the music of its immense power, relies on strong contrasts. New on this album is that both Tom Trapp and Mark Haanstra have contributed compositions. The band members know how to combine the heavy grooves of the first album with the jazz harmonic elements of the second album and to give the baritone sax enough space to line up as usual without losing the position of the centre. Even more band sound with even more Bari than backbone. Shift has become a courageous album, which not only scores with its wealth of ideas and imaginative compositions, but also presents a band with a highly original group sound, which has to be located beyond any conventions' (339 Records).

Details and Samples : Tini Thomsen's Tea Break : Video :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gianluca Petrella, Eivind Aarset, Michele Rabbia - Lost River
(ECM Records) - Released: 31st May 2019

Gianluca Petrella (drums, electronics); Eivind Aarset (guitar, electronics); Michele Rabbia (trombone, sounds)

Rabbie Aarset Petrella Lost River

 

 

'Lost River is an evocative post-ambient, richly textured sonic event, and one of the outstanding beyond-category recordings of recent ECM history. Drummer Michele Rabbia and guitarist Eivind Aarset had played many duo concerts, and Rabbia had also worked with trombonist Gianluca Petrella in other contexts, but this recording marks a premiere for the trio. Spontaneously improvised for the most part, and with mysterious detail flowering inside its soundscapes, Lost River keeps revealing new forms. Rabbia's drumming is freely creative and propulsive, and enhanced through his use of electronics. Aarset's flowing playing will delight listeners who have enjoyed his Dream Logic project and his contribution to recordings with Nils Petter Molv 1237;r, Tigran Hamasyan, Andy Sheppard and others. Petrella's role as a principal instrumental voice will surprise those who know him only as a great "jazz" soloist with Enrico Rava and Giovanni Guidi; his broad range is very well deployed in Manfred Eicher's widescreen production in this recording, made in Udine in January 2018' (album notes).

Details and Samples : Video :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Søren Bebe Trio - Echoes
(From Out Here Music) - Released: 10th May 2019

Søren Bebe (piano); Kasper Tagel (double bass); Anders Mogensen (drums)

Soren Bebe Trio Echoes

 

 

'Copenhagen based pianist, composer and bandleader Søren Bebe fits seamlessly into the series of major jazz piano names originating from Scandinavia – Esbjorn Svensson and Tord Gustavsen are the two most often mentioned when describing the nevertheless unique sounds of the Søren Bebe Trio. The Copenhagen-based group continues the long tradition of Scandinvian piano trios, performing music both lyrical and understated, mournful and sweet. Original compositions - including a collaboration between all three musicians called New Beginning- sit alongside Danish psalms and folksongs. There’s even a nod to their classical influences in the form of Elgar’s Sospiri, Op. 70. And whilst they inevitably draw comparisons to the likes of Esbjörn Svensson & Tord Gustavsen who made this style so popular, years of touring together enable them to bring their own special touch to the music' (album notes)

Details and Samples : Video of Homeward played live : Video of Jeg er træt og går til ro played live :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Re-Releases

 

Ben Webster and Coleman Hawkins - Ben Webster Meets Coleman Hawkins
(American Jazz Classics) - Released: 22nd March 2019

Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster (tenor saxophone); Oscar Peterson (piano); Herb Ellis (guitar); Ray Brown (bass); Alvin Stoller, Stan Levey (drums)

Ben Webster Meets Coleman Hawkins

 

 

'The complete classic album Coleman Hawkins Encounters Ben Webster (Verve Records MGV-8327), as well as the other six tunes from the session, originally issued on other Hawkins’ albums and long out of print anthologies. As a bonus, four songs from sessions recorded on both the previous and the same day by each saxophonist alone with the same rhythm section have been added. The sessions end with each player presenting his own reading of “Ill Wind”. Includes comprehensive 6-page booklet with up-to-date liner notes' (album notes). '....Most serious jazz fans will already own the album, but for those who may not have heard either tenor titan before, this reissue makes a very handy introduction ....' (Simon Spillett in Jazzwise ****)

Details and Samples :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jon Hendricks / Lambert, Hendricks & Ross - Four Classic Albums
(Avid) - Released: 7th June 2019 (remastered)

Jon Hendricks, Dave Lambert, Annie Ross (vocals) with various musicians.

hendricks Lambert Ross Four Classic Albums

 

'AVID Jazz continues with its Four Classic Albums series with a re-mastered 2CD release from Jon Hendricks (2 x solo albums) and Lambert Hendricks & Ross complete with original artwork, liner notes and personnel details Jon Hendricks - 'A Good Git Together'; 'Fast Livin' Blues'' and Lambert, Hendricks & Ross - 'High Flying' and 'Sing Ellington' Following the incredible success of our first and recently released Lambert, Hendricks & Ross: Four Classic Album set (AMSC1320) and our classic best seller Annie Ross: Four Classic Albums (AMSC1015), we thought we would round off our journey with another two classics by the titanic trio and for good measure offer up a taste of the vocalese master Jon Hendricks out on his own on two extraordinary albums. Released in 1959, A Good Git Together features Jon Hendricks during the time of his greatest success with LH&R, amongst such fine musicians as Wes Montgomery, Pony Poindexter and the brothers Cannonball & Nat Adderley. For Fast Livin' Blues, Hendricks is again joined by Pony Poindexter on tenor and soprano alongside Freddie Green on guitar and the legendary Joe Newman on trumpet as well as LH&R stalwarts the Ike Isaacs Trio. Our two final LH&R albums round off our vocalese journey through the music of one of the finest vocal groups in jazz history. Sing Ellington does what it says on the tin (to use that awful expression) but in fine, fine LH&R style, while High Flying features the final time Annie Ross would play on an album with her brothers in song. But what a fine way to out... singing sublimely! And of course the Ike Isaacs Trio are on hand to accompany them on both albums' (album notes). 'Two Hendricks solo albums ... and two by the vocalese trio catch Jon in good form, and complement the earlier L,H & R box from the same label with as much oodly-boodling as anyone could want' (Alyn Shipton in Jazzwise ***).

Details :

 

 

 

 

 

The Modern Jazz Quartet - The Early Years: 1952-56
(Acrobat) - Released: 5th May 2019 (2 CDs)

John Lewis (piano); Milt Jackson (vibraphone); Percy Heath (bass); Kenny Clarke, Connie Kay (drums)

MJQ The early Years

 

 

'The Modern Jazz Quartet were one of the most innovative, distinctive and influential groups in jazz in the 1950s and subsequent decades, pioneering a refined, classically-influenced style of cool jazz which retained the blues-based traditions of the genre, and reflected the changes wrought by bebop, while playing music which was unique and unmistakeable. That music owed much to the interplay of John Lewis piano and Milt Jacksons vibraphone seamlessly underpinned by Percy Heath's bass. Kenny Clarke was the group's original drummer, replaced when he left in 1955 by Connie Kay. This great-value 32-track 2-CD set comprises recordings from their first four LP releases for Prestige and Atlantic from their first studio session as the Modern Jazz Quartet in 1952 through to 1955. It features all the titles from their original 10 Prestige LP The Modern Jazz Quartet, and from their 12 LPs for Prestige Django and Concorde, plus all the titles from their Atlantic LP Fontessa, and selected titles from their Atlantic LP At Music Inn (some tracks on that album also featured Jimmy Giuffre, but none of those are included here). Its a comprehensive overview of the music which established their reputation and captures the essence of their approach during their formative years as a recording unit' (album notes). '.... this is a good 2 CD tour through the MJQ in its early prime, with the switch from Kenny Clarke to Connie Kay happening just before the halfway point ....' (Alyn Shipton in Jazzwise ***)

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Bud Powell - The Genius Of Bud Powell
(Jazz Images) - Released: 27th May 2019

Bud Powell (piano); Ray Brown, Curley Russell, George Duvivier (bass); Buddy Rich, Max Roach, Art Taylor, Osie Johnson (drums)

The Genius Of Bud Powell

 

'The album-title was first used in connection with a mid-1970s reissue, some ten years after Powell's death, and yet the pianist's genius is still insufficiently recognised. Having arrived on the scene in the shadow of Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, his brilliant manipulation of bebop's complexities can often seem less compelling than the dazzle of the horn-players. Yet his ability to translate their intensity to the piano, and to create highly melodic lines at great speed, deserves to put his reputation on the same level. These two batches of material from Powell's early career (1950-51) are not evenly matched, either in length or approach. The opening session finds Ray Brown and Buddy Rich working hard to keep up with him, and features three versions of the same fast, Tatum-influenced arrangement of "Tea For Two" the remaining material is unaccompanied, and the even faster "Just One of Those Things" almost defeats him--but not really. Two other, more relaxing standards follow the uniformly impressive originals, which include "Parisian Thoroughfare" (later done by Clifford Brown) and "Hallucinations" (aka "Budo", recorded by Miles Davis). The pianist's own versions show exactly what Clifford and Miles admired' (Brian Priestley album notes from an earlier release). '.....if you have no Powell from the period, this is a great set to get, but let's hope for a sequel that, by matching this level of presentation, does a better job of reissuing the Blue Note material ....' (Alyn Shipton in Jazzwise ****)

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Some Other Pages on this Website:

Jazz As Art : Listen to a track while looking at a range of paintings we have chosen to go with the music.

The Tea Break : A musician or someone in the Jazz world generally takes time out to chat over a cuppa.

Jazz Venues Near You: Venues hosting live jazz in the UK. Please let us know of other venues together with their website addresses, or please also let us know if you discover any of the links on the page don't work.

Jazz Talks : People willing to give talks about Jazz to community groups. The geographical areas covered include Surrey, Buckinghamshire and Norwich.

 

 

 

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