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July / August 2017

Click for this month's:
Quiz
Jazz Venues


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

 

'We want to offer you a job on the Sidney this summer,' said Marable, 'running the cruises outside New Orleans.'

Lewis smiled at them and breathed a sigh of relief, he was being promoted.

'You'll be away four months,' Pops explained. 'Boat goes all the way up the Mississippi - St Louis right up to Minnesota.'

'The pay's real good,' said Marable. 'Thirty-seven fifty a week, room and board, and a weekly bonus of five dollars paid at the end of the trip.' The money was twice what Lewis was making with Ory's band, and that was before the bonus. 'And as an extra piece o' sugar,' continued Marable, 'Captain Joe said he'd buy you your own cornet, so you can give that one you're playing now back to Ory.' ...

 

Mississippi Riverboat

 

... But leaving New Orleans was a scary prospect. He'd heard the stories of musicians being promised big money outside the city, then being left stranded by unscrupulous promoters or shady record producers in the middle of nowhere, with no way of getting back home. He saw the musicians returning to New Orleans broken and in rags, swearing never to leave the city again. Even when record-company men came calling, ready to hand out big-money contracts, all the best players turned them down, and not just because putting your solos on record meant other people could steal them. Freddie Keppard even played with a handkerchief over his hand at gigs, so people couldn't see his fingering and steal his solos ...

...But then he thought of his old mentor, King Oliver, who was making it big in Chicago, and of the Original Dixieland Jazz Band who'd gone to New York ... But the riverboat (would) be going up through the Midwestern states, playing to white folks mostly. People who still thought that jazz was some kind of devil music .... Could a handful of black men on a boat in the middle of the wilderness really be safe? ....

(From The Axeman's Jazz by Ray Celestin).

 


Name That Tune!

(Click on the picture for the answers)

 

Name that tune

 

 

What's this tune?

 

 

Name that tune

 

 

What's this song?

 

 

What's New July And August

Bucket and spades

 

 

As many readers will be on holiday or going to festivals, this issue of What's New covers both July and August. This will also give me time to update some of the items on the website. The next issue will be in September, but in the meanwhile you can check out occasional postings on our Facebook page (click here).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ronnie Scott's Charitable Foundation Invites Grant Applications

In December 2015 Ronnie Scott’s jazz club launched The Ronnie Scott’s Charitable Foundation, a non-profit organisation dedicated to the support of jazz education programmes both in the UK and overseas. The charity aims to ensure that music education is accessible to every child and young person, especially those who are under-privileged, by raising and distributing funds and gifting musical instruments to organisations that create or develop youth jazz programmes.  In its first year, The Foundation successfully raised funds far exceeding its target Ronnie Scotts Charitable Foundation logoand has supported eleven projects that have helped to inspire a new generation of young people to become the next generation of musicians.  It is now actively encouraging grant applications from organisations that further its aims.  

The Ronnie Scott’s Foundation has awarded grants to projects that include London-based  Young & Gifted, The York Music Service, the Doncaster Youth Jazz Association and NYJO who between them have provided dozens of young musicians, tutors, rehearsal space and the chance to collaborate through music workshops.    In June, jazz musician and educator Pete Letanka will introduce jazz to a group 7-11 yr olds from the Soho Parish School with the help of internationally famed drummer, Billy Cobham.  It supports In Place of War, an organisation dedicated to empowering the world’s creative communities in places of conflict and revolution with cultural skills training and exchanges – the Foundation will shortly be sending them a mixing desk for a small space with little equipment in a Soweto township that is developing a thriving jazz community.  The Foundation also runs its own in-house programmes.  The monthly Big Band In A Day  invites young musicians from all over the UK to learn, in just one day, some of the core skills of big band performance culminating in a live performance on the Ronnie Scott’s stage, while its  Music Instrument Amnesty collects unused instruments and donates them to school aged children in the UK and overseas. 

To apply for a Ronnie Scott’s Foundation Grant contact: Fatine Boumaaz, RSCF Projects Manager fatine@ronniescotts.co.uk  or foundation@ronniescotts.co.uk . For more information on The Foundation:  http://foundation.ronniescotts.co.uk

 

 

 

Vinyl Memories: Talking Classic British Black Music Albums - July 23rd

June into July is British Black Music Month organised by BritishBlackMusic.com/Black Music Congress (BBM/BMC). On July 23rd from 18:30 – 20:30 pm in Harrow, London, this event covers a range of music, including jazz. BBM say: 'Do remember when we mainly consumed BBM Music Coversalbums via a physical format known as vinyl? Do you remember poring over the credits without need for glasses because they were printed on a 12-inch by 12-inch space? And if you were lucky, you even got a gate-fold cover full of photos and/or lyrics?'

'Well, here's an opportunity to share memories of some of your favourite albums and covers. We can expand the discussion to cover the socio-politicism highlighted by some of the songs. You can also submit up to 3 of your favourite Classic British Black Music (BBM) albums when you register. We suggest you get hold of one or two of your classic British black music albums and bring them along, because we'd like to share your memories of your classic BBM albums, and even play a track or two on the gramophone'.

'This is a family-friendly event, so bring the young ones, especially those who don't know how those big, 12-inch vinyl thingies work on the ole gramophone. We're open to all genres and it's a bit of a social, so come with a party fun vibe! We'll also reveal the British Black Music Album Covers Top 20 at this event. You can make your submission when you register for this event'.

This is a FREE event taking place at: Harrow Mencap, 1st Floor, 3 Jardine House, Bessborough Road, Harrow, HA1 3EX.

Click here for details.


 

Winston Rollins for NYJO

Trombonist and bandleader Winston Rollins has been appointed as Deputy Music Director to the National Youth Jazz Orchestra. He will work alongside NYJO's Artistic and Music Director, Mark Armstrong. Winston Rollins began playing the trombone at the age of ten and later trained Winston Rollinsat Trinity College of Music in London. Although primarily a trombonist, Winston is also a songwriter, producer and arranger, working from his studio in Chiswick.

Winston said: 'As a NYJO alumnus, it’s a great pleasure for me to come back and work with a whole new generation of NYJO musicians. I’m delighted to be working alongside Mark Armstrong and the NYJO team, and it’s a great joy to witness the passion, energy and commitment that NYJO’s players bring to everything they do'.

NYJO has also appointed Debbie Forwood to replace Jonathan Carvell as Development and Communications Manager. Jonathan has returned to Wigmore Hall to work with their senior management team.

On Tuesday 6 June, a NYJO schools concert was streamed live across the internet to schools across the UK and British Army bases worldwide. Filmed at Risedale College, Yorkshire, 500 children from Hipswell, Colburn, Michael Sy-dall, Carnagill, Wavell, Le Cateau and Brompton-on-Swale schools were also invited to attend. This event was part of the Swaledale Festival, and was developed by the North Yorkshire Music Action Zone (NYMAZ) in collaboration with NYJO, Swaledale Festival, Risedale Sports and Community College, UCan Play and the British Forces Broadcasting Service. You can watch a video from the perfomance if you click here (there is a short delay of about 30 seconds before the film starts. The full video takes 1 hour 12 minutes).

 

 

Jazz Quiz

Where You From (You Sexy Thing)?


This month we challenge you identify the towns or countries where 15 jazz musicians were born.
To help, we give you three choices for each. See how many you can identify?

 

Face Question Mark

 

You can check how well you have done on the Answers page where you will also find some interesting videos - and don't forget to check your score.

Click here for the Jazz Quiz.

 

 

 

Camden Jazz Initiative

London’s Camden Borough has launched a new 18-month programme funded by Arts Council England to encourage aspiring jazz musicians, particularly young women. The project was officially launched by Camden Youth Jazz Band, the borough’s award-winning big band, and the New Camden Jazz Ensemble who played alongside other Camden youth groups at St Luke’s Church, in east London, on 2 April. In May, a session at the Roundhouse was hosted by all-female collective Nerija (who were nominated for Breakthrough Act at last year’s Jazz FM Camden Youth Jazz BandAwards).

In the coming weeks, there will be more activities and singing workshops, plus a free concert and picnic on Sunday 2nd July in the grounds of Lauderdale House, Waterlow Park, with music from the participants led by Jazz FM’s Instrumentalist of the Year 2017 – Nikki Yeoh. 

'Jazz Connect' brings together all the members of the borough’s partnership body - Camden Music Hub, which includes the Council’s highly-regarded Camden Music Service, The North London Music Academy, The Roundhouse, WAC Arts, Young Music Makers and local schools. Camden says: 'There is a wealth of talented young musicians who live or go to school and college in the borough, several of whom have already gone on to become world famous. Former members of the Camden Youth Jazz Band include trumpeter Mark Crown, of English drum and bass act Rudimental, who are previous Brit Award and Music of Black Origin (MOBO) Award winners, as well as multiple platinum award winners for sales of their music in several countries. Jazz Connect will help nurture the next generation of world-leading musicians and singers'.

Click here for more details and other events. Click here for a video of the Camden Youth Jazz Band playing The Sun Will Shine Today.

 

 


Help With Musical Definitions No 37.

Overture

Passing from one soloist to another.

Click here for our page of 'Alternative Definitions'. Send us yours

 

 

 

A Cinematic Musical Journey Filled With Intrigue

Hong Kong Music Series

 

On 7th and 8th July Wilton's Music Hall in London are presenting the Hong Kong Music Series.

"Explore the unique charm of Hong Kong on a cinematic musical journey filled with intrigue. Original music written collaboratively by jazz guitarist Teriver Cheung and composer Fung Lam melds with evocative imagery by architect Anthony Lai to draw up four different chapters of this singular metropolis in the course of a virtual day: its cosmopolitan cityscape, fast-paced lifestyle, avenues for spiritual retreat, and colourful heritage and culture. They are joined by a jazz quartet and eleven top chamber players from the Hong Kong Contemporary Music Group.

Click here for details and an introductory video.

 

 

 

 

BBC Proms 2017

Royal Albert Hall

This year's Promenade Concerts at the Royal Albert Hall run from 14th July until 9th September. It is now the custom to include other genres in what has always primarily been a classical music event and this year there are a number of jazz related performances. Tickets are beginning to be issued (not all concerts are available at the time of writing) but as in the past, many of the concerts will be broadcast.

Friday 4th August - Ella and Dizzy: A Centenary Tribute - Dianne Reeves with trumpeter James Morrison's Trio.

Thursday 24th August - Beneath The Underdog : Charles Mingus Revisited - Jules Buckley with his Metropole Orkest celebrate the life and music of this legendary composer, bandleader and bass-player.

Sunday 27th August - Swing No End - Clare Teal presents big band music from the Guy Barker Big Band and the Winston Rollins Big Band and pianist Hiromo (afternoon concert).

Friday 1st September - Stax Records : 50 Years Of Soul - the Jools Holland Rhythm And Blues Orchestra pay tribute with William Bell and Eddie Floyd (vocals) and Steve Cropper (guitar).

 


 

Jazz As Art

'Lulu's Back In Town' from the album 'Waller'
by Mark Lewandowski

 

Mark Lewandowski Waller

 

When you listen to music, you sometimes conjure images in your mind. Our Jazz As Art series invites you to listen to a piece of jazz and as it plays, scroll down the page and see which of the pieces of art I have chosen comes closest to the pictures in your mind. Hopefully, this will introduce you to recordings and art works you might not have spent time with before. This month we look at six works of art to go with Lulu's Back In Town from bassist Mark Lewandowski's recently released album, Waller, with Liam Noble and Paul Clarvis - a contemporary tribute to Fats Waller. You will need to go to a separate page on the website for this, but you can come back here afterwards - click here for the Jazz As Art page.

Evgeni Hristov Double bass player

 

 

 

Music And Art At Trinity Laban Conservatoire

The idea of combining music and art was also the subject of a series of concerts in June at the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Trinity Laban Music and Art concertsDance in London. In these, the music was primarily classical music. In one concert, Trinity Laban students explored piano works written by four 1950s New York composers who were influenced by the artwork of Abstract Expressionists artists: John Cage, Morton Feldman, Christian Wolff and Earle Brown.

The concert resembled an art gallery where the audience was free to move between three rooms of Kings Charles Court, each room featuring a different programme of abstract works by such artists as Philip Guston, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and Franz Kline who have been considered the most influential artists of this movement and are known to have spent time with composers John Cage and Morton Feldman. In another, the concert explored the concept of synaesthesia – where one sense involuntarily triggers another – through the music of Olivier Messiaen and the visual art of the portrait. 

Click here for a video of music by Morton Feldman to a painting by Philip Guston (not jazz).

 

 

 

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. This will take you to the article on another page on our website where some computers might ask you to allow the music to play on the page. Alternatively there are links to the music on YouTube etc. in the article below].

 

Martin Archer

 

Martin Archer

 

Martin Archer was born in Sheffield in 1957. He was fifteen when he started playing the saxophone and by seventeen he was already active on the Sheffield improvisational music scene. His first group was Bass Tone Trap, but in 1983 he formed the saxophone quartet 'Hornweb', which released three albums over the following ten years and a solo album Wild Pathway Favourites came out in 1988.

As he tells us below, his direction changed as he moved away from playing with the Hornweb Saxophone Quartet, turned to synthesizers and sequencers, developed his music through the studio and set up Discus records. He developed an approach in which he recorded improvisers soloing and then manipulated this raw material, combining it with electronics and structuring it into whole new pieces.

In 1993 Martin formed 'Ask' with guitarist John Jasnoch, guitars, and in 2001 he began a collaboration with writer Geraldine Monk AACMand singer Julie Tippetts. Their first CD Angel High Wires was issued in the same year.

Martin's Engine Room Favourites project is a large ensemble inspired by the Chicago-based Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) a collective of musicians and composers dedicated to nurturing, performing, and recording serious, original music. The AACM first coined the phrase 'Great Black Music' to describe its unique direction in music. The collective pays homage to the diverse styles of expression within the body of Black Music in the USA, Africa and throughout the world.

AACM Chicago

Martin is also currently producing a series of recordings in which he gathers together different Quartets to explore varying approaches to music and improvisation. We reviewed the first two Quartet recordings earlier this year (Felicity's Ultimatum : Sunshine! Quartet).

The Discus label now has a substantial catalogue of recorded music including Martin’s own playing, compositions and projects and the work of a range of other respected musicians. Meanwhile, Martin is always moving forward to embrace new projects and new ideas as can be seen from his website (click here).

Click here for a video of Martin speaking to Rachael Clegg in the Sheffield Telegraph series Front Room back in 2008.

 

 

Hi  Martin, tea or coffee?

Strong coffee, weak tea – I’ll take coffee please.

 

Milk and sugar?

Never.  Strong and black.  Like the AACM.

 

You set up Discus Music in 1994 with Mick Beck, what was the inspiration for that?

I was experienced and worldly wise enough by then to know that no-one else would ever put out records at the rate I intended to make them.  Plus I’m not interested in anyone else having any say or control at all over what I do.

 

I guess a lot of musicians feel that way. Well, the label certainly seems to be busy so it must be working. Can you think of a couple of albums that illustrate your original idea?

Well, it has changed a lot since the start.  When I formed Discus I’d just finished doing 10 years straight with Hornweb Sax Quartet, and I’d put the sax to one side in order to concentrate on electronic music.  Wind forward 20+ years I’ve returned firmly to putting the saxophone at the front of what I do, and keeping the electronics at home in the studio.

So I think that out of recent releases the Story Tellers record is one I would choose because what ultimately interests me in music is scope and ambition, and that one gathers together improvisation and composition ideas into a large scale work in exactly the way I want to present those ideas.  But I can’t just choose a handful because my work consists of looking at the same central point again and again from lots of different angles and via lots of different procedures – so to pick one against any of the others is to miss the point.  It’s would be like blanking out 80% of the image in a kaleidoscope. That central point is always the relationship between abstraction and the blues.  That’s why Leo Smith is my favourite musician. What I do believe strongly is that I’m just starting to get quite good after all this time.  So the best records are all the ones which are about to come out next.  Because if you’re not getting better then what’s the point?  Please keep buying the old ones though!

[Click here for more about Story Tellers and for a sample from the album. Click here for our review of Story Tellers]

 

 

Discus Music

 

Hob Nob, Bourbon, Garibaldi or digestive biscuit?

I don’t need the calories thanks.   It always amuses me that while the actual names of biscuits haven’t changed much since I was small, the size and content has become diluted.  Not that I’d wish to make comparisons with any particular artform.

 

I know what you mean, I remember Mars bars, Penguin biscuits and Waggon Wheels getting smaller and I'm sure it is not just that I have grown. I think comparisons with artforms is fair - hopefully as we grow our understanding and openness does too. Anyway, If you could ask two past jazz musicians to join us for the tea break, who would you invite?

Jackie McLean and Andrew Hill

Jackie McLean

What would you ask them? Apart from whether they would like a small biscuit?

I’d ask Jackie whether he could hear the influence of his own sound coming right through into my own favourite players – Roscoe Mitchell, Henry Threadgill, Anthony Braxton.  Because I can, and I’m curious to know if he’d agree.

Jackie McLean

[Click here for a video where Sonny Rollins also remembers remembers Jackie McLean].

I’d ask Andrew about his decision not to join with the fire music of the time and to do something more spacious and considered and cool – cos again that’s at the root of all the things I like in jazz composition.

[Click here for a video of Andrew Hill's New Quintet in 2006 at Tampere Jazz Happening with Andrew Hill (piano), Byron Wallen (trumpet), Jason Yarde (alto sax), John Hebert (bass) and Eric McPherson (drums.]

 

Apart from developing projects for Discus, you seem to be pretty busy with your own music. I see you have a new album with Julie Tippetts in the pipeline as well as another in the Quartets series that we reviewed recently. Is the third one going to be very different? And what can we expect from this next album with Julie?

Yes the third quartet CD with Laura Cole, Kim Macari and Walt Shaw (as Deep Tide Quartet) is completely different to the first two – much Vestigium albumlooser and organic.  Plus I play mainly tenor for the first time.  I’m getting kinda romantic and bluff in my old age, so all of a sudden I found that tenor was giving me the right sound for what I wanted to say, and it’s a better contrast to the sopranino that alto was.  The alto is sitting on its stand in the studio right now, glaring at me and thinking wtf with this guy? The 50/50 male female balance in the band is very important, I hate the blokey thing you get in music sometimes.  We like this group so much that we’re aiming to keep it together as a gigging group.

Julie’s new album is something else.  One disk is a single 70 minute piece all at 140 bpm, and it develops like a DJ mix, except that DJ is a  free jazz musician.  It features all the players in the JTMA Ensemble plus Corey Mwamba and George Murray.  The second disk is a series of textures and songs.  It won’t be out until 2018. It will be unperformable live, probably just as well seeing as no-one has given us any gigs.

 

[Click here to listen to Martin and Julie with Shiver Across The Soul from the 2015 album Vestigium with Julie Tippetts (voice, acoustic guitar), Martin Archer (keyboards, electronics, woodwind), Peter Fairclough (drums and percussion), Seth Bennett (double bass), Gary Houghton (lead, rhythm and glissando guitars), Michael Somerset Ward (flutes, saxophones, sea flute), Kim Macari (trumpet), Lee Hallam (trombone), Chris Bywater (laptop), James Archer (electronics), Michael McMillan ( guitar), Heather Cordwell (violin), Aby Vulliamy (viola), Mick Bardon (cello). Click here for our review of the album].

 

I can’t not mention the new Engine Room Favourites CD either – Safety Signal From A Target Town.  We did it live with a 14 piece big band at Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studio.  It’s very ambitious!  I wanted to get a real Westbook / Gibbs vibe, that feel that ANYTHING is now possible.  Plus it’s a grim political allegory.  Everyone worked and played their asses off, big style.   We did it in 2 days and it nearly killed us, in a nice way. 

[Safety Signal From A Target Town is due for release in Spring 2018. Click here for a video by Kathy Dinsdale of Martin Archer's large group Engine Room Favourites recording at Real World Studio in March 2017.] 

 

Who else have you heard recently that we should listen out for?

Lana Del Rey is pretty interesting.  I finally found a Japanese import version on T Rex – The Slider which I’d been after for ages.  I really like the Nikki Yeoh solo piano record too – she killed with Denys Baptiste.  And you should hear Corey’s record with Mat Maneri and Lucian Ban – One Last Noose. Mary Halvorsen’s Away With You and Ingrid Laubrock’s Sleepthief records are the most vital creative music I’m listening to right now.  They have learned the lessons from AACM / Braxton / Threadgill and are carrying that continuum forward to the next generation.

[Click here for a video of guitarist Mary Halvorsen's Octet playing Away With You in January 2017. Click here for our review of the album]

 

Another biscuit? On no - the calories. How about an apple, they still seem to be the same size they always were?

 

Martin Archer

 

 

Click here to see who else has taken a tea break.

 

Utah Tea Pot

 

 

 

Do You Have A Birthday In July or August?

 


Your Horoscope

for July and August Birthdays

by 'Marable'

 

Cancer

Cancer (The Crab)

21st June - 20th July

May and June were spiritual months for Cancerians and you will remember I suggested in June that it was time to think 'outside the box'; to look wider, and not to ignore ideas that might at first seem foreign or strange to you.

So here we are in July, and the Sun, your financial planet, remains in your 1st house bringing opportunity until the 22nd. On the 22nd the Sun moves into your money house and things are shaping up for you to have greater financial confidence. That means you can earn your money in fun, enjoyable ways. Not only that, but on the 20th, Mars enters your money house too and spends the rest of the month there. You could discover that employers, parental and authority figures are there to support your goals and projects. Be aware of this and look for opportunities when they come your way.

Having said that, one note of caution. Your energy and enthusiasm might run away with you. There is no need to be impatient and try to get things done in too much of a hurry otherwise you could end up becoming frustrated.

For you, click here for the Big Band de Pertuis with Alice Martinez and Straighten Up And Fly Right and nice solos from trombonist Romain Morello and Christophe Allemand on tenor sax.

 

 

Leo

Leo (The Lion)

21st July - 21st August

July finds Leos with a happy and prosperous month during July but two eclipses to deal with during August.

July can bring periods where you feel independent and confident; you feel that you are able to shape your life in the way you want it to go. This rolls forward into August too, so now is the time to make things happen. Remember though that astrology reflects the spiritual nature of life, good or bad things often happen internally before they happen outwardly. The internal things are in process until the 22nd July with your spiritual 12th house in play and after the 22nd, the internal manifests itself outwardly. This means that it would be helpful to spend the early part of July balancing your inward spiritual self.

In August the Lunar Eclipse on the 7th occurs in your 7th house and stirs up the astral world. Mars is strongly affected and relationships could be tested. Flawed relationships can be shown up for what they are and positive relationships can be enhanced.

The Solar Eclipse on the 21st August impacts on the ruler of your horoscope, the Sun, but it also occurs in your 1st house and you might find that your are being urged to redefine yourself. This could herald a period, a process, where you could be looking at how you want to present yourself and how others see you. The same goes for money. Your financial planet is retrograde at this point so it might be wise to plan any financial changes now and put them into operation next month.

For you, click here for Bill Evans playing What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life.

 

 

Virgo

Virgo (The Virgin)

22nd August - 22nd September

July is a period of gradual improvement in health and energy although the month still has two long-term planets in stressful alignment. If the 19th and 20th seem particularly stressful try to rest and relax more on those days.

The coming months are also influenced by a shifting in planetary power that started in June from the social West to the independent East. This feeling of independence is growing stronger. Look at your own interests and don't see that as being selfish, remember, as you feel more on top of things you are in a better position to help others.

The Lunar Eclipse on the 7th August might bring a need for change and so your earlier confidence might stand you in good stead.

The Solar Eclipse on the 21st August occurs in your 12th house, but very close to the cusp of your 1st house. If you were born early in the sign of Virgo (August 22nd - 24th) you might feel more strongly than others the shake ups in understanding and spiritual breakthrough that occur. On the 22nd, however, the Sun moves into your sign and you enter one of your yearly personal pleasure periods. Some of you might have experienced concerns about your health at the time of the Lunar Eclipse but now is the time to get your body and your image into shape.

For you, click here for a video of Frank Sinatra recording It's Alright With Me with the Quincy Jones Big Band.

 

 

 

 

Jazz Remembered

George Brunies

 

[You are able to listen to the music at the same time as reading this article and without leaving the page if you click here. This will take you to the article on another page on our website where some computers might ask you to allow the music to play on the page. Alternatively there are links to the music on YouTube etc. in the article below].

 

George Brunies

Photograph: Wikipedia / William P. Gottlieb

 

Trombonist George Brunies was born in New Orleans in 1902. The Brunies family lived in the prosperous Central City/Garden District area of the town called the 'Irish Channel' where the Mississipppi flows to the south. George's father, Henry, led a family band, and his brothers Henry 'Henny' (trombone), Merritt (trombone and cornet), Richard 'Iron Lip' (trumpet), and Albert 'Abbie' (cornet) all became noted professional musicians.

By the time he was eight, George was already playing alto horn professionally in Papa Jack Laine's band. 'Papa' Jack was a drummer, but it is George Bruniessaid that he was more noted for his skills at arranging and booking bands and that his role in the early days of jazz is often underestimated. His musicians, and in fact George's family itself, reflects the multi-ethnicity of New Orleans. George's great, great grandfather, Richard, had come from Germany in 1858. He was just 26 years old and came on his own with little more than his fiddle. He married Sophie Weser, who was also an immigrant from Germany and later generations also married German immigrants. As for Papa Laine, ''His musicians included individuals from most of New Orleans' many ethnic groups such as African American, English, French, German, Irish, Italian, Jewish, Latin American, Scottish, etc. He started leading bands in 1885 before the Jim Crow (segregation) laws went into effect in New Orleans. Due to the diverse background of many of his bands' members such as their cultural background, socioeconomic status, age variations from young to old as well as musical experience (some having none at all) a broad range of ideas were developed and fused together leading to the early beginnings of jazz music'.

Wikipedia goes on to tell us that: 'Even after segregation laws started demanding "whites" and "colored" be kept separate, Laine continued to hire light and medium light-skinned African-American musicians, claiming that they were "Cuban" or "Mexican" if any segregationist tried to start trouble. As such his band attracted a large and diverse group of people such as Mexican clarinetist Lorenzo Tio, Sr., a pioneer of the jazz solo. Laine believed music brought people together.

Click here for a short video about Papa Jack Laine and his Reliance Band.

Papa Jack Laine retired from the music booking business by 1920, but he was interviewed a number of times, providing first hand accounts of the early days of the development of New Orleans jazz. He had hired well over 100 musicians to play in his bands. The names include a roll call of early jazz musicians including Nick La Rocca, Alcide Nunez, Alphone Picou, Henry Ragas, Larry Shields and Tony Sbarbaro.

A few years later, George Brunies took up the trombone and was playing with many jazz, dance, and parade bands in New Orleans. He never learned to read music, but could quickly pick up tunes and develop a part for his instrument. In 1919 he went to Chicago with a band led by another of Papa Laine's musicians, drummer Mike 'Ragbaby' Stevens. Mike had left New Orleans to get away from 'personal problems', and became one of the first New Orleans jazz musicians established in Chicago. What followed led to the creation of the New Orleans Rhythm Kings. We are told that '"Ragbaby" Stevens first sent a telegram to George's brother Albert Brunies about going to Chicago to form a band and find better gigs than New Orleans had to offer'. But Abbie decided to stay in New Orleans where he would establish the Abbie Brunies’ New Orleans Jazz Babies at the Halfway House, a dance hall that was halfway between New Orleans and Lake Pontchartrain. They became the Halfway House Orchestra.

Click here to listen to the Abbie Brunies Halfway House Orchestra playing Pussy Cat Rag.

As the brothers were unsure about Ragbaby's suggestion, they put the idea to a friend, the trumpet player Paul Mares, 'who immediately took the opportunity. "So I says Paul, I says, Abbie don't want to go to Chicago and I'm kind of leery, I'm afraid", George recalled. "Paul says, 'man, give me that wire. I'll go.' So Paul went up [to Chicago] and introduced himself to Ragbaby Stevens and Ragbaby liked him… and Paul got the railroad fare from his father and sent me $60". George Brunies packed his trombone and set off to join Mares in Chicago, playing gigs and going to after-hours clubs with Mares. At one such club the pair met some of their future bandmates, the drummer Frank Snyder, the pianist Elmer Schoebel, and the saxophonist Jack Pettis'.

Click here to listen to the New Orleans Rhythm Kings playing Eccentric in 1922 with Paul Mares (cornet), George Brunies (trombone), Leon Roppolo (sometimes spelled "Rappolo", clarinet ) and Jack Pettis (c-melody saxophone).

'The name "New Orleans Rhythm Kings" did not initially refer to this group but rather was the name of a group under the direction of BeeNew Orleans Rhythm Kings Palmer, a vaudeville performer. Palmer's group did not last, but within several months of the breakup of the band, a member of the group, the clarinetist Leon Roppolo, was playing on riverboats in Chicago with Elmer Schoebel, Jack Pettis, Frank Snyder, George Brunies, the banjoist Louis Black and (possibly) Paul Mares. Mares, ready to move on from riverboat life, found the group an engagement at the Friar's Inn, a club owned by Mike Fritzel. The bassist Arnold Loyocano joined forces with the growing band, and thus began the group's engagement at the Friar's Inn, which lasted 17 months beginning in 1921. During this time the group performed as the Friar's Society Orchestra'.

 

This photograph of the New Orleans Rhythm Kings in 1922 appears on a website remembering Jack Pettis. It features L-R: George Brunies, Frank Snyder, Paul Mares, Arnold Loyacano, Elmer Schoebel, Jack Pettis, Leon Roppolo.
(NORK photos courtesy of famed Jazz Photographer Duncan Schiedt)

 

Apparently, George Brunies' trombone style 'was influential to the young Chicago players, and his records were much copied. In this era Brunies was never bested; he could play anything any other trombonist could play as well or better. He would often end battles of the bands or "cutting contests" by outplaying other trombonists while operating the slide with his foot!'

In 1924, the Rhythm Kings disbanded. At this time George would play on some recordings with Bix Beiderbecke and the Wolverines. Click here to listen to Lazy Daddy with Bix Beiderbecke (cornet and piano?); George Brunies (trombone and trombone mouthpiece); Jimmy Hartwell (clarinet); George Johnson (tenor sax); Dick Voynow (piano); Bob Gillette (banjoj); Min Leibrook (tuba); Vic Moore (drums).

Later in 1924 George joined the Ted Lewis band, staying with them until 1934. Click here to listen to them playing Royal Garden Blues in 1931 and on this recording featuring the unmistakeable Fats Waller.

He then moved on to play with Louis Prima before playing at Nick's Jazz Club in New York. In 1939, he joined Muggsy Spanier for a year before returning to Nick's where he stayed until 1946 when he joined Eddie Condon.

Click here to listen to the Muggsy Spanier band with George on trombone playing Lonesome Road in 1939 with a fine solo from Nick Caiazza. Muggsy Spanier (cornet), George Brunies (trombone), Rod Cless (clarinet), Nick Caiazza (tenor sax), Joe Bushkin (piano), Bob Casey (bass), Al Sidell (drums).

George Brunies with Eddie Condon etc

We can watch a video of George taking a solo with Bobby Hackett and Eddie Condon playing At The Jazz Band Ball on the "Saturday Evening Swing Club" show, Bobby Hackett and his Boys with Eddie Condon (banjo), Pee Wee Russell (clarinet), George Brunies (trombone) - click here. George is clearly having fun playing around during this recording.

Three years later, he returned to Chicago to lead his own band. Click here to listen to George Brunis and his Jazz Band playing Ugly Child in 1943 with Wild Bill Davison (trumpet), Pee Wee Russell (clarinet), Eddie Condon (guitar), Gene Schroeder (piano), Bob Casey (bass) and George Wettling (drums).

 

In this photograph from the Jazz Museum in Harlem the drummer seems to be Gene Krupa.

 

Wikipedia says: 'Brunies often showed off his unusual technical abilities and bizarre sense of humor at the same time; for example he would lie on the floor and invite the largest person in the audience to sit on his chest while he played trombone. On the advice of a numerologist, he changed his name to Georg Brunis in the late 1940s when he was playing at the 1111 (eleven-eleven) Club in Chicago. He believed that this name change would increase his good luck. The "1111" was a very popular jazz club which was always SRO (standing room only) on Friday and Saturday nights with jazz lovers from the northern suburbs of Chicago. Every now and then other well-known jazz musicians such as Muggsy Spanier would drop in and sit and play until the wee hours'.

Click here for a strange silent video from 1964. It is a black and white 16mm film by Dave Bartholomew of a recording session for the Jazzology label and recorded in Dayton, Ohio featuring George Brunis.

Georg Bruni(e)s died in Chicago on November 19, 1974.

The website Vintage Jazz Mart has an interesting and informative page about Abbie Brunies and the Brunies family that is well worth checking out (click here). It tells how: 'Richie Brunies’ son, Melvin, had a little story to tell about Abbie and his younger brother, George. Once or twice every year George would come over to Abbie in Biloxi, and always brag about his many fans in New York and Chicago. So one day Abbie went out and bought a bunch of fans, the type that you fan yourself with. He sent them to George’s home in Chicago with a note saying: “Here are all your fans, I send them to you. (Signed) Abbie.”  Keith still has one of those autographed fans that were found in George Brunies’ personal belongings ...'

'... Most of the Brunies family are buried at the historical Lafayette #1 cemetery, which was founded in 1833 and placed on the national register of historic places in 1972. Although severely damaged by a fire years ago and again in 2005 by Hurricane Katrina, Halfway House still stands. And the Silver Slipper on Bourbon Street is still in operation though under a different name. You can still buy a drink – legally now - at this spot where Abbie and his brothers worked.  Georgia’s house where Henry’s grandson Keith Brunies and his wife Becky have lived so long was so badly damaged by Hurricane Katrina that they can no longer live there. However Katrina has not stopped Keith from researching a book on his family’s history. It will keep the memory of these pioneers of jazz alive'.

 

Papa Jack Laine's band

 

This photograph of Papa Jack Laine's Reliand Brass Band does not include George Brunies, but is a valuable record of the band from 1910. It is featured on the website redhotjazz.com and shows L-R: Manuel Mello, Yellow Nuñez, Leonce Mello, Jack Papa Laine (seated), Baby Laine, Clink Martin and Tim Harris.

 

 

 

 

Video Juke Box

Click on the Picture for the Video

 

 

 

Grant Green Blue Mist

 

On YouTube, Cary Noel writes 'It's hard to believe, and quite a shame that this is the only known footage of Grant Green.  The man played for decades until the late 70's.  Nobody thought in all those years to shoot some film of this master.  I know he wasn't very big in his time, but his influence since has been massive across many genres of music'. Born in 1935 in St. Louis, Missouri, Grant was inspired by the music of Charlie Christian, Charlie Parker, and Lester Young. Here he is playing in the company of Barney Kessel and Kenny Burrell.  

 

 

 

Rob Luft Riser video

 

 

Introducing guitarist Rob Luft's new album Riser with Joe Wright (tenor saxophone), Joe Webb (hammond organ, piano and harmonium), Tom McCredie (bass) and Corrie Dick (drums) released on 28th July.

 

 

 

 

Slim Gaillard and Dizzy Gilespie discussion

 

 

Here is a fascinating BBC 1989 Arena programme, Slim Gaillard's Civilisation: My Dinner With Dizzy. It is one of a series of four on YouTube, that starts with a discussion over a meal about the language of be-bop and has some great archive footage. The whole clip runs for 54.38 minutes.

 

 

 

Liane Carroll The Right To Love video

 

 

Liane Carroll introduces her new album The Right To Love and plays the title track. The album is released on 22nd July and is reviewed here.

 

 

 

 

Ricardo Toscano Quartet

 

 

The Ricardo Toscano Quartet in Portugal play I Don't Stand A Ghost Of A Chance With You in November 2016 - Ricardo Toscano (alto sax), João Pedro Coelho - (piano), Romeu Tristão (bass), João Pereira (drums).

 

 

 

Larry Newcomb Swing To Bop

 

 

Larry Newcomb, Bucky Pizzarelli and Dmitri Kolesnik play Charlie Christian's Swing To Bop with Larry Newcomb talking about Charlie Christian, the language of electric guitar and the nature of the tune. Larry Newcomb's album Living Legend is reviewed on the site this month (click here).

 

 

 

 

 

Tracks Unwrapped

Marcus Vergette
The Marsyas Suite


 

[You are able to listen to the music at the same time as reading this article and without leaving the page if you click here. This will take you to the article on another page on our website where some computers might ask you to allow the music to play on the page. Alternatively there are links to the music on YouTube etc. in the article below].

 

Apollo and Marsyas

 

Marsyas and Apollo by Jane Morris Pack

 

A new recording from Leo Records reflects the terrible story from Greek legend of the shepherd Marsyas. Marsyas was a mythological character connected with the earliest period of Greek music. Some make him a satyr, others a peasant, a shepherd in Phrygia. The story goes that the goddess Athena seeing herself reflected in water playing the flute, disliked the way her cheeks puffed out and threw away the flute in disgust, placing a curse on it. It was found by Marsyas, who began to blow through it and finding it was endowed with the breath of a goddess, played the most beautiful sounds. Marsyas thought he played so wonderfully that he challenged Apollo to a musical contest. They Titian The Flaying of Marsyasagreed that whoever won could do as he pleased to the loser. The Muses, or, according to others, the Nysaeans, were agreed to be the umpires.

Apollo played the cithara, a stringed musical instrument similar to the lyre and Marsyas the flute. Some say that Apollo won the contest because he included a challenge to play the instruments upside down, others that Apollo outdid Maryas by adding his voice to his playing.

Apollo had been outraged that someone should challenge his musical skill in the first place and as retribution, decreed that Marsyas, as the loser of the contest should be bound to a tree and flayed alive. Apollo hung up Marsyas’s skin in a cave and the river that flowed out of the cave was named after the shepherd. His double flutes were carried by the river Marsyas into the Maeander, and emerging in the Asopus, were thrown on land by it in the Sicyonian territory, and were dedicated to Apollo in his temple at Sicyon. The imagery of Titian's painting of the story is unsettling.

Titian - The Flaying Of Marsyas

It is said that the fable evidently refers to the struggle between the citharoedic and auloedic styles of music. The former was connected with the worship of Apollo among the Dorians, and the latter with the orgiastic rites of Cybele in Phrygia.

 

 

In 1907, classical composer Alfonso Castaldi wrote this musical symphonic poem, Marsyas (click here).

Is there a moral to the story? I suspect there are several, and for us all, not just for musicians.

 

Steve Day helps us to unwrap the story and two significant jazz recordings based on the tale.

The Leo Records release of The Masyas Suite features Tom Unwin (piano); Roz Harding (alto saxophone), Janna Bulmer (cello); Lucy Welsman (cello) and Marcus Vergette (double bass).

I picked up on the story of Marsyas a couple of years ago.  The unlikely entry was via the work of Evan Parker, the saxophone ‘transformer’ Evan Parker & Peter Jacquemyn Marsyas Suite extraordinaire.  The sound sculptor had brought his tenor and soprano horns to a recording called Marsyas Suite on the El Negocito label, along with bass player Peter Jacquemyn.  I’d recommend it to your ears; literally a carving out of music against a backdrop of a Greek myth concerning the physical flaying of a shepherd called Marsyas.

Greek myth, Greek legend, Greek literature, I am no expert on the subject and I find Titian’s painting of The Flaying of The Marsyas hard to look at even in its stylised form.  Beautiful torture; it is undoubtedly a magnificent painting depicting the literal skinning of a man by the god of music, Apollo.  Titian’s late sixteenth century masterwork is a slaughterhouse of humanity, made more terrible by how exquisite the brushwork is formed against the detail.  How do you explain it?  A beautifying of torture as a form of shock and awe, the stripping of skin with blades or a fire bomb?  Lighten our darkness with a crucifixion cut into the flesh. 

A couple of years on and Leo Records release an album with almost an identical title, this time by a quintet led by Marcus Vergette.  To play the Parker/Jacquemyn session and the Marcus Vergette album back to back is an interesting experience.  The first is totally improvised whilst the latter is written through composition albeit with improvised passages.  Both take the story of Apollo’s bloody revenge upon the shepherd Marsyas, who dared to challenge the Greek god to a musical dual playing a ‘flute’ (or maybe a double ‘reed’ flute). 

Whilst the Parker album is four duos, plus Jacuemyn and Parker each taking a solo track featuring full-on improv techniques, the Vergette recording is almost in the form of ‘chamber jazz’, albeit with hints of be-bop and Mingus.  I guess if Gunther Schuller were alive I’d be describing this as ‘Third Stream Music’ (check him out).  I’m rattling on about this comparison because:

(a) These two recordings have quite independently taken inspiration from the same source yet arrived at totally different sound palettes. (Although Evan Parker has since indicated to me that he wasn't aware at the time of recording the improvisation that the Marsyas theme was going to be used with it.) 

(b)  The subject matter is disturbing because we are dealing with extreme violence literally cut into art.  Aural art, predetermined, at least in the subject matter, yet improvised (Parker/Jacuemyn), part improvised (Vergette).

Marcus Vergette’s The Marsyas Suite is a lovely thing, it gradually unfolds over 70 minutes.  The opening Mount Olympus is a swirl of strings played by Janna Bulmer and Lucy Welsman, the two bowed cellos offering glancing blows which could have come from Messian’s End Of Time.  Slice the shimmer, the strings are turned over by pianist Tom Unwin’s boppish chord frame and Roz Harding’s eager alto saxophone. Marcus Vergette The Marsyas Suite And it’s jazz I’m hearing; the chords and the rudeness of crude swing.  Welcomed like a familiar friend.  In places Harding sounds as if she’s just blown in from Brooklyn instead of the West Coast (of England).   Then there’s Mr Vergette’s double bass, as authoritative as a horn, (the 60 second solo introduction to Day feels as if this is a musician preparing to lay down the law). Night follows Day giving emphasis to this habit of throwing the skeletons of standards into a soundpool.  Disarming, yet at the same time strangely engrossing. Started I Can’t Get is literally an inside-out version of its American standard source material. 

Click here for a video from a live performance of part of the Suite.

By the 12th track, Flaying, Unwin and Harding are cauterizing an elegy; that is until the alto reed is given over to blowing against Mr Vergette’s bass strings which smack against the neck of his instrument.  They are bowed off into Poor Old Marsyas, and we know it is carnage.  Piano and cellos hold it slow with an episodic sympathy of symphony. I appear to be talking individual tracks because the album gives you that option, but The Marsyas Suite is structured as one continuous performance.  Having heard it half a dozen times, that is how I prefer to come to it too.  Until the final moment, cut away like an edit.

Click here for a second video from the live performance of the Suite.

This album is engrossing.  My interest is in the music, yet the power of the subject matter draws you back.  What Marcus Vergette’s ensemble has achieved with this recording is to evoke a terrible catharsis.  Even as they modulate between an aural encounter close to ‘jazz’ form and a tantalising rondo which escapes me, something far, far away from such considerations, the Evan Parker/Peter Jacuemyn recording is not like that at all.  The intense rapture of the duo is visceral, a circular breathing gasp grasping for life.  Form is in the action. 

So, to Marcus Vergette; I find a certain solace in these strings, a power present in a music that carries the weight of the jealously of terror.  I keep returning to it as if it won’t let me go.  I have to hear it yet again, as if checking my own equilibrium.  How strange, listening to a music which almost hides its hurt.  This is a recording for our turbulent times.  Hear it. 

Steve Day  www.stevedaywordsandmusic.co.uk 

 

Click here for Marcus Vergette's Marsyas Suite on Leo Records. Click here to sample Evan Parker & Peter Jacquemyn Marsyas Suite on El Negocito Records (2015).

Click here for a video discussing the painting by Titian.

 

 

New Focus on Best Instrumentalist at Edinburgh Jazzfest

Last moth we listed the nominees for the Scottish Jazz Awards. Rob Adams reports on the results:

Saxophonist Konrad Wiszniewski, Glasgow-based jazz-folk-fusion collective Fat-Suit, singer, violinist and radio presenter Seonaid Aitken, pianist Fraser Urquhart and jazz ballad specialist Carol Kidd were the winners at the Scottish Jazz Awards, held as part of Glasgow Jazz Festival on Sunday, June 25.

Cumbernauld-born Konrad Wiszniewski, who co-leads the band New Focus as well as being one of the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra’s Konrad Wiszniewski and Euan Stevensonstar soloists and one quarter of a cappella horn group Brass Jaw, was presented with the Instrumentalist of the Year title in a ceremony that took place in Glasgow Royal Concert Hall’s City of Music studio. Fat-Suit took two titles – Album of the Year, for their Atlas release, and Band of the Year – and Seonaid Aitken, who also presents BBC Radio Scotland’s Jazz at the Quay and plays violin with swing quartet Rose Room, was chosen as Singer of the Year. Fraser Urquhart, who leads his quintet at Edinburgh Jazz Festival in July, won the Rising Star award and Carol Kidd was presented with a Lifetime Achievement award.

Konrad Wiszniewski and Euan Stevenson

Wiszniewski will also be appearing at Edinburgh Jazz  Festival, when New Focus, the group he co-leads with pianist Euan Stevenson, reprise highlights of their adaptation for jazz group and strings of Stan Getz’ 1961 collaboration with arranger and orchestrator Eddie Sauter, Focus.

Wiszniewski and Stevenson, whose family tree includes Muir Mathieson, the conductor of over 1000 film soundtracks including Brief Encounter, have been working together for ten years. They formed New Focus after the success of their Getz adaptation in 2011 made them want to explore the expanded format - jazz quartet, string quartet and pedal harp – further. They have since released two albums, New Focus, which was shortlisted for the Scottish Album of the Year Award in 2013, and last year’s New Focus On Song. They will be performing music from both albums alongside the Getz material with a ten piece group.

The New Focus Quartet will be in London during August, appearing at Ronnie Scott’s on August 16th and 17th, with the James Taylor Quartet, and at the Crypt in Camberwell on August 18th.  

 

 


 

Continental Drift

 

It is not unusual for UK readers, and maybe others, to spend time checking out jazz from the UK and the U.S.A. but less so on music from Europe. Peter Slavid hosts a monthly, 2 hour radio show at www.mixcloud.com/ukjazz and says: 'The programme has a very specific purpose. First of all the show is entirely European and entirely modern. There is so much American (and American style) jazz around that European jazz doesn't get a fair shout. And yet I think European jazz is now more creative and more exciting.' Each month Peter selects a CD of the month – looking especially for bands not well known in the UK - and has offered to share that with us. This month he features:

Denys Baptiste

The Late Trane

 

Denys Baptiste The Late Trane

 

Denys Baptiste (tenor and soprano saxophones), Nikki Yeoh (piano and keyboards), Neil Charles (bass), Rod Youngs (bass), Special Guests:Gary Crosby (bass), Steve Williamson (tenor saxophone). Produced by Jason Yarde.

John Coltrane's late works are not his best known or his most popular.  The music is spiritual with cosmic overtones. It's complex, and it takes an effort and some concentration to get into it.  But it has been hugely influential on generations of jazz musicians around the world. Always influenced by John Coltrane, Denys Baptiste has been one of our finest musicians for years.  He sometimes gets underestimated and even ignored because his recorded output and live performances have both been sporadic – but always of the highest quality.

In this new CD he has reimagined and reworked ten carefully chosen compositions from Coltrane’s late music  with a fresh and modern new interpretation. These are not copies, or attempts to replicate Coltrane's versions – except possibly in an emotional sense.  There are occasional hints of Denys's Caribbean roots, and of contemporary London sounds giving the music a modern feel.

In the past I have listened to Coltrane's late works, but that was some years ago and I certainly wouldn't claim to be familiar with them.  If you have the same experience, or if you have never heard the originals, that shouldn't stop you enjoying this music in its own right.  This is a genuinely outstanding band of top-notch musicians playing spiritual jazz of the highest quality. 

Click here for a video of After The Rain played live at Wakefield Jazz .

The Late Trane was released on Edition Records on 16th June.

Peter Slavid broadcasts a monthly programme of modern jazz focussing entirely on Europe and the UK at www.mixcloud.com/ukjazz and on various internet stations including www.thejazz.co.uk .

 

 

Two Ears Three Eyes

Over the past month photographer Brian O'Connor has again been capturing musicians in performance and shares with us some of his latest images

 

Barry Harris

Barry Harris taken at the Watermill Jazz Club, Betchworth Park Golf Club, Dorking, Surrey on 27th June 2017. The Barry Harris Trio were: Barry Harris (piano), Dave Green (bass) and Steve Brown (drums).

Brian says: 'Just ahead of a four night stint at the Pizza Express, Soho, Barry Harris played for a very enjoyable couple of hours at the Watermill.   Barry will also be carrying out teaching sessions whilst over here.  As Dexter said, ‘Whatever he’s on, I’ll have some.’

Graham Thomas writes: 'At 87, Barry Harris looks a bit frail now and walked with some difficulty to the piano at the Watermill, Dorking. But once seated, he played beautifully, concentrating on ballads and mid-tempo tunes, with a clear tone and rich harmonies. He played several tunes by pianists:  Ruby My Dear (Monk), She (George Shearing), Lotus Blossom (Strayhorn), I'll Keep Loving You (Bud Powell) and he resurrected an old Rudy Vallee tune called ‘Deep Night’ which sounded great in his hands'.

'He ended with a slow ballad which he called 'One Step At A Time', it was only after a while that it became clear it was really ‘Giant Steps’. Barry said 'All the young kids nowadays play that tune too fast!'. Dave Green and Steve Brown provided superb support and had to listen hard to Barry, as he admitted afterwards he only played two of the tunes he'd agreed with them beforehand. Barry made some pointed comments on age and the aches and pains it brings, and said 'Come and see me again, but don't wait too long!'

Click here for a video with Barry Harris talking to students about On Green Dolphin Street recorded during workshops that Barry Harris gave at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague between 1989 and 1998.

 

 

 

Susannah Flack

 

 

Susannah Flack (steel pan and vocals) with David Beebee (bass) and Andy Panayi (sax) taken at Tom Paine’s Chapel,
Lewes, East Sussex on Sunday 11th June 2017. Neal Richardson (piano and vocals) and Sam Glasson (drums) were the others in 'Susannah Flack and Friends'.

Brian says: 'I’ve always enjoyed the first few minutes of steel pan music, but then the ‘novelty’ fades.  Susannah is a revelation to me.  Not content with just playing the rhythm she actually plays the melody, interpreting jazz classics and latin tunes with consummate skill. She also has a fine voice ideally suited to the latin songs she likes.  Throw in a few originals and accompanied by an excellent group of friends, this was a highly entertaining and enjoyable gig'.

Click here for a video of Susannah playing Moonglow at the 606 Club in 2008.

 

 

 

 

Lauren Housley

 

 

Lauren Housley  taken at Crawley Blues Club, Hawth, Crawley, West Sussex on 5th June 2017.

The Lauren Housley Band: Lauren Housley (vocals, guitar), Thomas Dibb (guitar), Chris Hillman (slide guitar, guitar), Mark Lewis (bass), Craig Hanson (drums).

Brian says: 'Another great blues gig from someone I’d not heard of before.  Songs from the upcoming album, of course, which includes originals etc.'

Click here for Lauren and her band with Elvis Presley Blues at The Biddulph Arms, Biddulph, Staffordshire in 2016.

 

 

 

 

 

Thomas Lahns

 

 

 

Thomas Lahns from the Vein Trio - Michael Arbenz (piano), Thomas Lahns (bass), Florian Arbenz (drums) taken at the Watermill Jazz Club, Betchworth Park Golf Club, Dorking, Surrey on 6th June 2017.

 

Brian says: 'Three classically trained Swiss guys playing a mix of everything from Ellington to Ravel, and including self-penned items. They played tracks from past albums, and an upcoming one dealing with music by Ravel. They were brilliant'. 

 

Click here for a video of the Vein Trio playing at the Sibiu Jazz Festival in 2015.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All pictures © Brian O'Connor, Images Of Jazz

Brian O'Connor's hard back book, packed with hundreds of photographs is now available. It can be obtained from Brian at: Brian O’Connor, 48 Sarel Way, Horley, Surrey RH6 8EW. Tel: 01293 774171. Email: info@imagesofjazz.com. The book is priced at £25 plus £4.95 post and packing (UK).

 

 

 

 

Forum

 

 

Blake Reynolds

Jeff Sanders writes from California:

'I found your website and email while looking for information about my grandfather Blake Reynolds (1908-1980). He played clarinet and saxophone for Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman, the Paramount Studios orchestra, the Universal International Pictures Studio Orchestra (first chair woodwinds: 25 years with them until 1970), and was a Dixieland jazz player early on. He was the clarinetist in the Sextette from Hunger (Ed Skrivanek). Blake Reynolds knew Spike Milligan who played with the Bill Hall trio. My aunt said Spike was one of many musicians who would drop by their house. Would you happen to have any information, photos, or recordings of Blake Reynolds? My mom, Ann Reynolds, was Blake's oldest child'.

If anyone can help with information about Blake, please contact us.

 

Utter Bilge

Eric Jackson writes: 'About Acker Bilk; In the old Flook comic strip there was often a coach parked in the background with signage 'Utter Bilge' and his band'.

Flook was a British comic strip which ran from 1949 to 1984 in the Daily Mail newspaper. It was drawn by Humphrey Lyttelton's clarinettist Wally Fawkes (of the jazz group Wally Fawkes and the Troglodytes), who signed the strips as "Trog". There are a number of Flook cartoons online but unfortunately I have not been able to find one with the coach in it (Ed).

 

 

Albert Hall

Eddie Sammons has discovered some footage on YouTube to add to our information about trumpeter Albert Hall. Eddie says: 'Just browsing through Delaney stuff  on YouTube and came across this - It is the full US album (12” against UK 10”) but track 11 is of interest to your piece on Albert Hall. It is “One O’Clock Jump” and was recorded in London, England on 15th October 1957. (click here). Albert (present on the whole LP) is to be heard blowing with Kenny Ball who had replaced Bert Courtley. The tenor saxes are Jimmy Skidmore and Vince Bovill.

 

 

Remembering Steve Lane

Adrian and Kay McGrath moved to Andalucia from Hertfordshire but still recall those days listening to Steve Lane's band. (Click here for our Profile of Steve Lane).

'In our teens and 20's Steve Lane was the highlight of our social life in the 1960s. He was a regular feature of our Saturday nights - in Barnet, at the Oddfellows Hall in Rickmansworth, a pub we can't recall on the North Circular and The Red Lion at Welwyn. We know we must have been at the same performances many times between 1960 and 1975 but never actually met until 1976. Our shared appreciation of Steve´s music was a significant element in establishing our relationship.

'We both remember how his trousers always seemed too short - about 6 inches above his shoes! He did recognise his regular fans and always called you "mate". We also heard Acker Bilk, Kenny Ball, Chris Barber, Temperance Seven etc... but apart from Steve Lane, only Chris Barber "did it" for us. We were once at a Young Conservative dance (ugghh - but they were good places to meet people) in one of the Heathrow Terminal buildings. We chatted briefly to Chris Barber and Ottilie Patterson. He said that he had once played a concert with Steve Lane in the late '40s or 1950s'.

'You may be interested to know that we have just uploaded 15 videos of the entire Wembley Wiggle LP from the early 1960s with Pam White.
We are now getting ready to upload Rusty Taylor with Steve Lanes Famous Southern Stompers  Good Old Bad Old Days. Dare we say that you have a wrong fact about Rusty on your appreciation of her? She recorded the Good Old Bad Old Days in London during April - December 1973 - before she went abroad in 1975 with her husband - not , as you say, in 1980 after her return'. (I have changed this on our Profile of Rusty - click here - Ed.)

'When Steve recorded Wembley Wiggle, Richard Grandorge interviewed him. He said: "Your band certainly produces a different sound from the Trad-Pop bands". Steve Lane claimed that unlike most Trad bands of the time he stuck to the "clean ensemble of classic New Orleans jazz where musicians actually listened to each other and fitted in". Grandorge asked:  "What went wrong with British Trad-Jazz after the early 50s?". Steve Lane replied " Well, I think it was this. There were too many bands, several of some quality, which lowered their standards to increase their already satisfactorily commercial value."  "Money again?" " Yes Mate, that same old filthy lucre".

'There was a record shop we liked at 77 Charing Cross Road called "Dobells" - run by Doug Dobell. He used to produce Steve Lane (and others) on 77 Records. We still debate who was best (and most like Bessy Smith) of Steve's singers ... Pam Heagren, Pam White or Rusty Taylor (Kay backs Rusty, I liked Pam Heagren best)'.

 

 

Cooks Ferry Inn

David Jones writes: 'I have enjoyed reading about,and remembering Cooks Ferry Inn (click here). I saw Ken Colyer's Jazzmen there for the first time in 1955, but on all my subsequent visits the band was Mike Daniels Delta Jazzmen, with the lovely Doreen Beatty, aka The Angel. I remember at closing time that the bar lights used to flash on and off in time with the music. How lucky we were to have all those places to hear wonderful music in those days. My real spiritual home became the Studio 51 in Great Newport Street, but I still remember the trips to Cooks Ferry round the North Circular on my BSA Bantam'.

 

 

 

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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:

 

Geri Allen - American pianist and educator born in Michigan and a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh where she received a Master’s degree in Ethnomusicology. She played with bassists Charlie Haden and Ron Carter and drummers Paul Motian and Tony Williams, later Geri Allenplayed with Betty Carter's Quartet and became one of the first pianists since the 1950s to make a commercial recording with the free-jazz pioneer Ornette Coleman.

Geri Allen went on to spend 10 years as an educator at the University of Michigan, becoming a sought-after mentor to young musicians, and in 2013 she returned to the University of Pittsburgh as the director of its Jazz Studies program. In 2014, she helped found the All-Female Jazz Residency, a summer program at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center for young jazz musicians in their teens and twenties. She received an array of awards over the years, including a Guggenheim fellowship; she was the first woman to win Denmark’s Jazzpar Prize; the African-American Classical Music Award from Spelman College in Atlanta; and the first “Lady of Soul” prize for jazz, awarded by the television show “Soul Train.”

Click here for a video of Geri Allen playing at the Bonn Jazzfest in 2014.

 

Not all jazz musicians who pass through the Departure Lounge are reported in the national press, so if you know of anyone's passing that we should mention, please contact us with a few words about them, or a local obituary if one is available.

 

 

 

 

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Album Released: 2nd June 2017 - Label: Lake Records

 

Ben Cohen

Remembering Ben Cohen Vol. 2

Ben Cohen with the Sonny Dee All-Stars and
Laurie Chescoe's Goodtime Jazz

 

The name of cornettist Ben Cohen comes up in correspondence to this website from time to time, often in connection with other ensembles, but he is not fêted in the way we recognise many other jazz musicians. It is gratifying that Lake Records are putting this right with this limited series of compilations. Vol. 1, featuring Ben Cohen with Brian White's Magna Jazz Band was released in 2014 and I quote Paul Adams from the liner notes:

'He came to public attention when he joined Chris Barber’s New Orleans Jazz Band in 1950. From 1950 until his death in 2002 Ben Cohen became highly regarded as a fiery ‘hot’ player in the early Louis Armstrong mould. He played in the bands of Alex Revell, Cy Laurie, Ian Bell, The Temperance Seven, Mike Daniels and many others. Keith Nichols used him on his recreations of 1920s bands. Ben Cohen recorded for LAKE as a member of the Sonny Dee All Stars and Laurie Chescoe’s Goodtime Jazz. This CD sees him with Brian White’s Magna Jazz Band on previously unreleased tracks from 1979, 1984 and 1987. It is good, swinging jazz in the Chicago style and shows why Ben Cohen was so well regarded by musicians and jazz fans alike'.

Click here for further details and to sample Vol. 1.

We should also note the nature of these 'limited series' that are only around for a while: 'These are CDs of music or musicians which are not expected to be volume sales, but which deserve to be heard'.

On Vol. 2 we are treated to the recordings mentioned in the liner notes of Vol. 1. There are 14 tracks with The Sonny Dee (aka Stan Daly) All Stars: Ben Cohen (cornet/vocals); Pete Hodge (trombone); Al Newman (clarinet/tenor saxophone); Austin Malcolm (piano); Bob Painer (bass) and Stan Daly (drums) - all recorded inRemembering Ben Cohen Vol 2 May 1990.

The remaining 3 tracks with Laurie Chescoe's Goodtime Jazz were recorded in September and October 2000 and feature: Ben Cohen (cornet); Dave Hewett (trombone / cornet); Al Gay (clarinet); Stan grieg (piano); John Stewart (guitar / banjo); Pete Skivington (bass) and Laurie Chescoe (drums).

As usual with Lake CDs, Paul Adams includes useful historical liner notes. Stan Daly formed a first version of the All Stars in the 1960s. He spent a period in the USA playing with Condon associated musicians and was drummer for Harry Gold's Pieces Of Eight band. The All Stars used written arrangements leaving spaces for improvised solos. Paul says: 'I was surprised when Ben surfaced in Stan Daly's band as I knew that he wasn't really a reading musician .... Recently I spoke to Keith Nichols - who had also played in the All Stars - Keith's response was "Ben did read a bit, but he only just scraped through in the Mike Daniels Big Band and also a couple of times I used him in a ten piece situation. But his wonderful soloing made up for it all"

The 14 tracks with Sonny Dee are all standards. Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone romps away the first track with Ben Cohen in early with his solo. The music has been mixed well and everyone's contribution can be appreciated. Mama's Gone Goodbye is a tune I know less well and Al Newman's nice clarinet leads into a muted trombone solo from Pete Hodge before Cohen's cornet cuts in. Everybody Loves My Baby stomps and Cohen's cornet and Hodge's trombone growl; I Cried For You and Blue And Broken-Hearted follow with Ben Cohen setting the slow swing blues for the band on the latter. I Can't Believe That You're In Love With Me picks up the foot tapping ensemble again with the front line all taking their solos and Bob Paine allowed a brief bass break. I Want A Little Girl is sweet with tenor solos from Al Newman, a nice trombone contribution from Pete Hodge and vocals from Ben Cohen. Somehow I think it would have held the mood better without the vocals. Spain and Glad Rag Doll follow in true trad style as is Roses Of Picardy with its trombone entry and At Sundown maintains the swinging tempo, Cohen cuts in sharply and Austin Malcolm once again shows his light touch on the piano.

If I Could Be With You One Hour Tonight is one of my favourite tunes. The trombone carries the melody, Ben Cohen provides the words, and the tenor sax, cornet and piano do their bit but I think the tenderness of the Mound City Blue Blowers' 1929 version of One Hour is hard to better (check it out on YouTube). Ain't She Ben CohenSweet is nicely played by the piano, bass and drums while everyone else takes a rest before Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gives to Me crashes in with the drums opening the way for the solos that swing us neatly into the ensemble and out of the Stan Daly set on the album.

 

Ben Cohen from a photograph courtesy of Alex Revell

 

Ten years later and we have the tracks with Laurie Chescoe's Goodtime Jazz. Paul Adams says: 'Although Ben was on the mend following a stroke he joined Laurie Chescoe's band and we set up a recording session at The Stables in Wavendon. We had got a few tracks down on the first day and had started the second day when there was an almighty crash and there was Ben lying on the floor ... fortunately (?) he had only fallen off the edge of the stage ... we reconvened a couple of months later ...'. The recording is also valuable in that it features two other late, excellent jazz musicians, Stan Greig and Al Gay.

The tracks are a little mixed up on the sleeve notes. Stardust is at track 15 (not Heebie Jeebies as stated in the liner notes) and is an excellent cornet duet shared by Ben Cohen and Dave Hewett with some beautiful piano playing by Stan Greig. One of my favourite tracks on this album and worth hearing. Heebie Jeebies follows at track 16 with Dave Hewett, this time on trombone, easing us in. Pete Skivington's bass is featured after Ben states the theme and the trombone then treats us to another solo before Ben Cohen shows his 71 years are no problem to his playing - amazing too if he had recently had a stroke. Potato Head Blues is the final track with more great playing from Ben reflecting Armstrong through his notes. Al Gay's clarinet seems a little far back in the mix but Stan's piano is there doing justice. Ben plays the clear classic phrases that lead the ensemble to the end.

For those who remember Ben Cohen, this will inevitably add to their collection. For others it is a taste of one of the lesser featured trad jazz musicians who with his strong, clear cornet and talent made a valuable contribution to British jazz.

Click here for details and for track samples.

Ian Maund

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Album Released: 16th June 2017 - Label: Sam Records (2 CDs)

 

Thelonious Monk Quintet

Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960

 

Steve Day reviews this album for us:

Thelonious Monk Quintet: Thelonious Monk (piano); Charlie Rouse and Barney Wilen (tenor saxophones); Sam Jones (double bass); Art Taylor (drums).

Click here for a short video introduction.

From an historical point of view, this recording is special, a precious find. About four years ago Zev Feldman, François Lê Xuân and Fred Thomas contacted Laurent Guenoun, curator of writer and soundtrack producer Marcel Romano’s archive (Miles Davis’ Ascenseur Pour L'échafaud plus a whole lot more). They were interested in examples of recorded music by the French tenor sax player, Barney Wilen who had played on the Ascenseur soundtrack. One thing led to another.  In amongst all the other paraphernalia of Romano’s life’sThelonious Monk Quintet Les Liaisons Dangereauses 1960 work were these July 1959 tapes of Thelonious Monk’s complete session for Roger Vadim’s version of Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960.  Music which has never been released on record before. 

Back in 1959 the Monk soundtrack session had been secured by Romano in the manner of a fisherman trying to tempt an old pike to take the bait.  It had been a bad period all round for the pianist; a dodgy drugs bust the previous year screwed him up with depression, hospitalization and betrayal, drying up his work in New York.  Romano had been hanging onto the fishing line since the summer of 1958.  By February 1959, now back in front of an audience, Thelonious Monk recorded a live At Town Hall concert with his bespoke Orchestra.  This was not a permanent fixture, in fact a rare context for Monk and one he’d been pleased with.  However the gig received a bit of a pasting in some quarters (sorry guys, what is there not to like about At Town Hall?).  The fact is by the time Marcel Romano got to waving around a contract for Vadim’s film soundtrack Thelonious Monk was not ‘in the mood’.  When he did eventually sign on the dotted line he could not (maybe, would not) compose specific new material.  The result is that there is one new blues and a short version of the old hymn By And By; the rest are well known Monk originals. 

If that was the end of the story, the Thelonious Monk contribution to Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960 would perhaps not garner the excitement it does to my ears.  As it is I’m desperate to get to the point, because what we have here is aural evidence into the inner workings of one of jazz’s truly great maestros.  This Dangereuses album package has so much going for it I recommend anyone who has got this far with this review to get on-line and buy the CD instantly; here’s the reason why.

1.  The two versions of Rhythm-a-Ning are among the very best studio ‘takes’ of this Monk classic.  [Yep, of course, I know the original version with Gerry Mulligan – I wrote, “among the very best”.]  The two-tenor frontline of Charlie Rouse and Barney Wilen jump from the traps as an inspired formation team.  Drummer, Art Taylor and bassist, Sam Jones offer a mighty sting in the tail; Monk himself is interpolating a twist of irregular in-fills, at the same time demonstrating that unorthodoxy in chord placement allows magic to be made.  On both ‘takes’ his solos are in fabulous non-alignment.

2.  The ‘master’ version of Pannonica on Disk 2 is a ‘must go to’ listen for Monk aficionados.  Originally recorded with Sonny Rollins on the brilliant Brilliant Corners session three years before, the melody line had given Mr Rollins a few headaches.  By the time the Dangereuses session came to fruition Charlie Rouse had the track honed and delivered like a sworn marriage vow (he played with Monk for over ten years).  Say what Les Liaisons Dangereuses posteryou want, Sonny Rollins is a god whereas Charlie Rouse, a mere angel, but serious ears will take Mr Rouse’s short modest delivery as being something close to being genuinely sublime.  The tenor horn underneath beautifully compliments his boss’s slow trickling ripple along the elongated length of the line - empathy begets everything.  Monk’s own performance on the master is a jewel. And of course this package comes complete with two solo takes and an edited quartet Pannonica.  There’s plenty for the ears to study.

3.  Light Blue is a Monk tune that hasn’t had a lot of coverage.  My favourite version is from 1963, live at the Newport Jazz Festival.  However, on Dangereuses what we get is an insider’s ear of what happens when Thelonious Monk is struck by happenchance.  There are three versions, a ‘master’, an ‘edit’ and a fourteen minute tape run called Light Blue (making of).  It’s a composition with an esoteric internal time count.  At Newport, four years on from the Dangereuses session, drummer Frankie Dunlop played a deft casual count, which is only carried by Rouse and Monk. Drums ‘n’ bass lope the thing forward with a loose sleepy shuffle which doesn’t attempt to signal the signature.  They were wide awake.  Maybe they were just aware of Art Taylor’s ‘time-trial’ on Dangereuses Liasons. 

Warming up at the start of the first ‘take’, Taylor plays a pattern which doesn’t bear any specific relation to the internal hook of the melody.  The two are in juxtaposition, particularly the bass drum, however this doesn’t prevent Monk telling Taylor this is exactly what he requires.  What follows on making of is Mr Taylor attempting to hit the circumference to Monk’s circle.  They eventually complete a ‘take’.  Does it work?  For my money better to go to the Newport recording, or Monk with Johnny Griffin in 1958 where the gracious Roy Haynes shadow plays drums to make clever clearance of the difficulties. Nonetheless, listening to the Dangereuses recording voice-over, with the man-himself insisting that Taylor’s beat will work if the drummer only perseveres with precision, is a lesson in nerves. Hell, you could base a whole drum clinic around this little insight.

4. Finally, I’d point to the versions of Crepuscule With Nellie, Ba-Lue Bolivar Ba-Lues-Are and Well You Needn’t.  Let’s be clear, Crepuscule, written for his wife Nellie, was a tune that always took on something of near sacred proportions for Monk, such was his dependency on her.  The second ‘take’ version on disk 1 is a fine personal statement without closing on the version on Monk’s Music, recorded two years before with John Coltrane.  In other circumstances the other two tracks would both be serious contenders but for the fact that the awesome Ba-Lue with Sonny Rollins must get the prize and of the many versions of Well You Needn’t, probably the one with Coltrane has to be definitive.  (Monk enthusiastically calling out John Coltrane’s name to solo is such a heady moment.  And what follows is such a show-stopping redrawing of the tune, what do you do?  It’s difficult to get past those guys.)  But, here we go, the full unedited version of Needn’t presented here should definitely be regarded as a ‘must hear’.  The Taylor/Jones axis swings, Monk himself (who composed the piece way back in 1944) signals places for all the ‘parts’ as if he were juggling balls in the air.  And Charlie Rouse sounds at ease as well as dexterous and bright.  This is a genius presiding over a masterwork.  As forThelonious Monk Ba-Lue, on the Monk/Sonny Rollins session Brilliant Corners, Mr Rollins was joined by Ernie Henry; on Dangereuses it’s Barney Wilen with Mr Rouse.  They fit like an argument that has only agreement left.  The solos and the unison heads are joined at the hip (so to speak).  Monk too is totally ‘on’ throughout, by being ‘out’.  No one strikes the blues at such an acute angle.  Playfully unpredictable, yet holding an inner personal  assurance that this truly is Monk.

In a strange kind of way I now don’t hear Dangereuses Liasons 1960 as a soundtrack.  I did see the movie many years ago, but it’s faded and deleted.  I now feed my ears with this session, the music feels so bold and beatific.  I don’t wish to hear it reduced to background wallpaper, however iconic the visual content. 

I don’t use the word lightly, Thelonious Monk is one of the true geniuses of jazz (full stop).  And the present tense is still true of a dead man. As I referred to Coltrane and Rollins, like them Thelonious Monk can’t be replicated.  When I hear other pianists playing his quirky, puzzling, curiously profound creations I wonder why they bother.  The maestro has already made them so utterly his own; riffs-in-a-riddle, so utterly personal, yet symphonic in implications.  Copying Picasso doesn’t take you forward (in my view). Dangereuses Liasons 1960 is a glorious gift we had no right to expect after all this time.  What is jazz?  This is.  Too important to turn away.

Click here for details.

Steve Day  www.stevedaywordsandmusic.co.uk

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Album Released: 26th May 2017 - Label: 33 Records

 

Matt Chandler

Astrometrics

 

Howard Lawes reviews this album for us:

Matt Chandler (guitar), Ross Stanley (Hammond organ), Eric Ford (drums).

Astrometrics is guitarist Matt Chandler's third album following on from After Midnight released in 2009 and It Goes Like This released in 2011.  The band on this album is an organ trio with Ross Stanley playing the organ and Eric Ford on drums.  Both of these musicians have successfully played in other bands, Ross Stanley withMatt Chandler Astrometrics the peripatetic Nigel Price band for example, who completed a mammoth UK tour in 2016 and Eric Ford with Partikel who have played widely in Europe and as far afield as China. The name of the album is an anagram of the band members' first names but Astrometrics is also the science of celestial measurement so the picture on the album cover of the Egyptian pyramids, which are aligned with the star Polaris, is an acknowledgement of this.

Organ trios became popular in the 1950's with Jimmy Smith being one of the most famous and prolific organists playing with guitarists such as Wes Montgomery on two albums and Kenny Burrell on a very many albums between 1957 - 1994.  These days they are still popular, not least because you get a lot of music for your money. In his press release Matt Chandler states "I wanted to do an album that was in keeping with the organ trio tradition but with a newer take on it and with material that was not composition heavy, where the music and the players "just get down to it".  It's really a celebration of our skills and how our skills work together". 

What this approach has resulted in is music with not much melody but lots of very skillful improvisation.  The first track, Funk Work, starts with a familiar sounding, simple toe-tapping melody, with Chandler and then Stanley exploring various improvisational strategies, Ford keeps everything interesting with impressive Matt Chandlerdrumming.  Both of the next two tracks, The Sting and El Diablo, seem to begin with some bass guitar, there is a lot of rapid fire improvisation, guitar and organ conversing from time to time but not a lot of space.

[Click here for a video of the trio playing live. Only El Diablo from this set is on the album].

The next track, Doctor's In The House, is perhaps a little more like the organ trio music of yesteryear with an attractive melody and latin type rhythm while Intricate Facade opens with a dramatic crescendo from drums and organ but settles into a rather laid back, electronically enhanced guitar with the organ concentrating mainly on long chords and drums sounding like distant cannon fire. 

Scene Of No Scene starts with a cheerful melody played first on guitar and then organ, guitar and organ then take it in turns to improvise, Eric Ford working very hard on the drum kit as he does on the next track, 5 Bar Short, where he releases a positive fusillade of beats.  Dirty Rat is a fast tempo number where all members of the band get to solo and the last track, harking back to the melody of Scene Of No Scene is called A Change Of Scene (of No Scene) and is a charming and very relaxed piece and a lovely way to end the album.

Matt Chandler mentioned in his press release that this album "was not composition heavy", in other words melodies are relatively sparse and there is a lot of high octane improvising from both Chandler on guitar and Stanley on organ. Eric Ford's drumming is consistently powerful and impressive. Chandler talks about musicianship skills and musicians working together and the band certainly delivers on these aspects.

Click here for details and to sample the album.

Click here for further information on Matt Chandler's website.

 

Howard Lawes

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Album Released: 14th July 2017 - Label: Spartacus Records

 

Tommy Smith

Embodying The Light
A Dedication To John Coltrane

Tommy Smith (tenor saxophone); Pete Johnstone (piano); Calum Gourlay (double bass); Sebastiaan de Krom (drums).

Dear Lord is the short track, the ballad, on John Coltrane’s Transition album recorded in 1965.  There was a little period in my life when Dear Lord took me over.  Back in the '70s, living in a legal squat but with no proper heating, rock bands rehearsing in the room across the hall from mine, as well as above me, like steam rollers laying tarmac, John Coltrane seemed the embodiment of sanity.  Dear Lord was the place I went to in order to hear myself as a tenor saxophone. Dear Lord is so beautiful, even now it feels like rain and sun haveTommy Smith Embodying The Light combined.  When I looked at the track listings for Tommy Smith’s new album and saw Dear Lord I wondered how he could eclipse it.  And of course, he doesn’t.  Tommy Smith’s lovely take on Lord is even shorter than the original.  He doesn’t attempt to do anything different, doesn’t fight it, doesn’t smother it with new notes, he just plays that exquisite melody with all the skill and grace he can bring to the proposition.  There’s no point in saying anything different, this too is beautiful. 

You better believe it.  Tommy Smith.  Sometimes it comes back to this; after all the orchestral suites, the interviews, all the collaborations with famous people, the commissions, the arrangements both practical and musical, a successful musician has to ‘return to sender’.  Who sent you on this journey?  It’s 50 years since John Coltrane died, time certainly for Tommy Smith to pull an A1 quartet out of his sharp suit pocket and record ‘A Dedication To John Coltrane’.  As I have stated elsewhere in this month’s 'What’s New', for a sax player it is nigh on impossible to get around the legacy that is John Coltrane. Don’t even try to; Embodying The Light is a much more truthful response.  Simply, embrace the one who gave you motivation and enlightenment. But, hey, even so, only do this when you are absolutely sure that by doing so you have something to bring to the table.

Tommy Smith offers up both light and darkness, a man of his word (and sound).  No one can take away from Mr Smith what he has achieved.  As a sixteen year old kid way back in 1983 Smith recorded his first album Giant Strides (a nod to Coltrane’s Giant Steps).  It was good too, people began talking. Back in the day, I can remember going to see Ornette Coleman (or was it Braxton?) playing on London’s South Bank and Tommy Smith opening the gig with a small group.  There was a buzz around him though murmurings came in tow.  There are always those who have put-your-own-people-down-responses to child prodigy.  Well, Tommy Smith is still here and he’s proved his worth, done everything that anyone could ask of him.  Now he chooses to ‘embody the light’, referencing his own original source for the journey.  This album is such a delight.  When I recently reviewed Mr Smith’s suite, Beauty And The Beast, which featured the American, Bill Evans as soloist, I mused on whether Smith should have taken on that central role himself.  Listening to Embodying The Light, its starkly obvious that he could have done, what’s more (in my opinion), he should have done.

Let’s go first to Summertime, Gershwin’s money earner, recorded literally thousands and thousands of times by musicians of every genre imaginable.  Coltrane did his bit for the Gershwin estate on the 1960 Atlantic album My Favourite Things.  Despite the presence of McCoy Tyner and Elvin Jones, this whole session owes a fair bit to Coltrane’s last sojourn with the Miles Davis band.  To comprehend John Coltrane you have to take in Miles Davis going modal. During this whole period diatonic scales were the rails on which Trane drove. Tommy Smith plugs into a feverish Summertime because he’s making a point. He cracks the melody at a fast pace using similar measures to Coltrane.  Summertime always adapts to circumstances, acting as one of the modal testers on Embodying The Light.  Placed smack in-between The Father, The Son and The Holy Ghost (from Coltrane’s Meditations, which contra to the passive title was the ‘out’ recording which finally imploded the ‘classic’ Coltrane quartet) and Embodying The Darkness, a Smith composition which acts as a Janus double to the title track.  Where there is light, look long enough and you will find darkness. 

This Summertime is no everyday ‘jazz’.  It pulses.  Plugs the gap. Stings like a wasp in dry heat.  Whereas the trinity of Father, Son & Spirit is alchemical phat-thunder, a gnawing at the bone of a prayer to whoever’s there, Summertime crosses the ears easily, morphed into one classic shape.  A piano solo spraying a confetti of notes, chords cupped in the hands each one a present of sorts, double bass peaking on the scale of the line, Tommy Smith Quartetthe drum solo as tight as a knot, and Tommy’s tenor telling the truth that there’s no point trying to keep up with him, he’s not taking the janitor’s dog for a walk. Once they get to Embodying The Darkness Tommy Smith’s saxophone is the sound in the dark.  The flowing conversation of an adult who knows he’s gone for good.  If all this sounds rather esoteric, it is only if you want it to be.  You see, this music is the direction home. 

Tommy Smith, Pete Johnstone, Calum Gourlay and Sebastiaan de Krom have produced a recording which is so easy to enjoy.   His compatriots are chosen to spark.  At this moment bassist Calum Gourlay is in more bands than you can shake a stick at, with good reason, he’s a deeply musical rhythmic inventor. Pete Johnstone, a first call pianist with a vein straight to McCoy Tyner, and the Belgium drummer, Sebastiaan de Krom, a percussionist who can collapse time as well as make it work damn hard.

Tommy Smith closes down his homage to Coltrane with Transition, the title track from my original vinyl Impulse record containing Dear LordTransition always was something else, one of those Trane visitations to the blues that transcends the description.  And Tommy Smith hurls himself into the deep density of the soundquake as if he was born to play it.  Maybe he was, maybe we all were, except that this guy actually can do it (for us).  That’s how it feels.  Watch the concert performance on YouTube, it’s all there.  Any saxophonist who releases a specific album of John Coltrane material is not asking for an easy ride.  I haven’t given him one either, it’s just that Mr Smith has achieved something fundamentally fabulous.  I don’t have to justify it further and neither does he.

Click here for details. Click here for the video on YouTube of Embodying The Light.

Click here for the original recording of Dear Lord by John Coltrane.

Steve Day  www.stevedaywordsandmusic.co.uk 


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Album Released: 2nd June 2017 - Label: Edition Records

 

Verneri Pohjola

Pekka

Steve Day reviews this album for us:

Verneri Pohjola (trumpet); Tuomo Prättälä (electric piano : Fender Rhodes); Teemu Viinikainen (guitar); Mika Kallio (drums); Antti Lötjönen (bass).

The Dragon of Kätkävaara is a title ripe for frightening bedtime story reads.  It begins this album in style; trumpet, subtle as a whisper in the dark, a gossamer web yet strong.  There’s a constant intention forming around the embouchure, against the electricity of big guitar, and it ends with coda-clicks feeding into silence as if there is nothing left to say.  Of course there is, but it’s under wraps.  I knew I was going to hit on this horn as soon as Verneri Pohjola began.  The circling riffs, looping dynamics, drum patterns that stretch, a high-hatVerneri Pohjola Pekka rising and falling on tight time ... and that trumpet, bursting into brass cast in metal.  Metal as in the musical genre.  But of course, this is only the first track and there is plenty more to come.

Verneri Pohjola is the son of the late Pekka Pohjola, bass player and composer with the Finnish '60s / '70s prog-rock band Wigwam. (No, I hadn’t heard of them, but then I was never into prog-rock from Finland or anywhere else come to that).  All of the tracks on Pekka are compositions by Pohjola senior.  The second piece, First Morning has the structure of prog-rock if not the sound.  That being the case I don’t feel the need to start investigating Nordic rock music; in a way I don’t think that’s the point of this heir apparent recording.  In Finland Verneri Pohjola is established in his own right.  According to the Verneri’s liner notes, father and son had a very different rationale to music: “.... he had ... a ‘one truth’ of how his tunes should be.  And he never made any changes to them.  My approach has been different; I don’t see one truth in music .... I’m an improviser and I thrive on opposing ideas.”

Click here to listen to First Morning.

From the evidence of this album Verneri Pohjola is not only an improviser but also an experimenter.  Glue-in to what’s going on and it’s possible to pick out the material where the guy is literally trying stuff out.  His ambient trumpet has a way of descending on a melody or pattern.  There’s a sense of needing to reshape fixtures.  I think I can detect where this necessity might have sprung from.  To my ears, the structure of the written source material still carries a lot of the excess baggage contained within those gatefold sleeves on early Virgin, Chrysalis and Harvest record labels. Teemu Viinikainen’s electric guitar occasionally runs away with his own licks. It’s as if the guitarist has given his sound to the instrument rather than to himself.  (A musician I work with told me recently he personally had to acknowledge the music before his instrument could.  Initially this might appear obvious but the more I’ve thought about it, the more telling the observation seems to be.) 

What keeps me on board with this album is Pohojola Jr’s actual trumpet.  On almost all the tracks, that bright bruising horn is given space to emote; when that happens, this band become special.  For me, the most successful tracks are Madness Subsides and Benjamin.  Here is where Pohjola comes through with stealth and direct intent.  Madness is in essence a slow blues, introduced by electric guitar arpeggios and bass parts.  They signpost the soundscape on which the leader’s horn operates.  Bassist, Antti Lötjönen is Verneri Pohjolaresponsive, becoming tellingly effective in an open and expansive manner; drawing a picture in the dark arts of the bass register.  Verneri Pohjola’s own entry comes in under sparse percussion.  He then fuses the whole character of the piece giving it depth and horizon.   Benjamin is better still, the arrangement is clean.  The trumpet is in from the git-go sketching circles of sound.  Covering the backdrop, guitar hyperactivity is replaced by a sparse robust approach from Tuomo Prättälä’s Fender Rhodes.  Again the trumpet states the melody, holding it close as if containing a message. 

In my opinion it illustrates the stark difference between the unfailing wonder of Miles Davis’ In A Silent Way, a place of textural enquiry and subtle jazzfunk, vs the phenomena of 1970’s concept album hyperbole.  Maybe this is what Pohjola meant when he referred to his father’s approach to music as being ‘strict’.  Once the old prog-rock ‘concept’ became established there was usually nowhere to go, whereas for Verneri Pohjola, “There’s always a new version out there waiting to be discovered.”

This new album is about one man trying to come to terms with a father for whom he had mixed emotions.  “I don’t think of Pekka as my father, since we didn’t have so much contact in my childhood.”  As he puts it, “It only added to the pressure to achieve in my own right.  It would have been easy to ride on his success, but I definitely did not want to do that.”  For his sake I hope Verneri Pohjola feels he has now been to ‘that place’ and that he can move on.  The trumpet on this album is his personal jewel in a ‘foreign’ landscape.  Next time it should be his own First Morning in a different country. Possibly still Finland, but a different country nonetheless.  He’s paid his tribute to the man he found hard to call father, good luck with the rest of the music that is out there.

Click here for a video introduction to the album. Click here for details and to sample the album.

Click here for Verneri Pohjola's website.

Steve Day www.stevedaywordsandmusic.co.uk         

 

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Album Released: 12th May 2017 - Label: Ocean Blue Tear Music

 

Yoko Miwa Trio

Pathways

 

Robin Kidson reviews this album for us:

Born in Japan, Yoko Miwa moved to the US in 1997 to study at Berklee where she is now a Professor of Piano. She is also a performer, mainly on the Boston jazz scene but with a broader national and international reputation. On Pathways, her latest album, she plays with Will Slater on bass and her husband, Scott Goulding on drums.

Miwa has an attractive and accessible style in the modern Jarrett/Mehldau mode with more than a touch of rock populism. She is also an accomplished composer and four of the eight tracks on Pathways are MiwaYoko Miwa Pathways originals. The first track, however - the cleverly titled Log O’Rhythm - is by Marc Johnson, one-time bassist with Bill Evans. It begins with a compelling, repetitive figure which subtly modulates rather like a Philip Glass piece. Miwa then improvises some great gospel-jazz in a duet with Will Slater who plays some impressively nimble bass. The whole thing is driven by an infectious beat provided mainly by Scott Goulding’s excellent drumming.

To see a live performance of Log O’Rhythm, click here.

The second track is the Miwa composition, Lickety Split, which has a distinctively Dave Brubeck feel complete with memorable melodies and interesting time signatures. The piece is taken at quite a lick and, like the rest of the album tracks, sets the feet tapping. Miwa’s improvisations often take off in unexpected but delightful directions with little flurries and an occasional flash of dissonance. Both Slater and Goulding take absorbing solos.

Click here for a live performance of Lickety Split.

Next up is the Joni Mitchell number, Court and Spark. Miwa sticks close to the original with an evocative folk rock beat driven by an interesting drum shuffle from Goulding. Miwa’s solo work is particularly satisfying here with some touches of Keith Jarrett complexity and an engaging bluesy feel.

The Goalkeeper is another Miwa original. It was inspired, apparently, by the doings of a neighbour’s cat playing with a ball, and is appropriately playful with a swinging, good time feel. It is probably the most conventional track on the album but none the worse for that. After You is the second Marc Johnson composition on the album. Slater’s agile bass work is to the fore again and there is some effective call-and-response between drum and piano. The tune is original and memorable with complex rhythms and a compelling drive.

Click here to listen to The Goalkeeper.

Track 6 is the Miwa-penned Lantern Light. The beat is contemporary rock and the tune has the feel of a good pop ballad with a particularly dramatic edge to it. Someone ought to set words to it and give it to some contemporary pop star – it would be a hit. Miwa’s solo work is forceful – she doesn’t do Bill Evans Yoko Miwaintrospection – and there is some interesting interplay between drum and piano with Goulding playing almost in a military style adding to the drama of the whole piece.

Another Miwa piece, Was It Something I Said?, is the penultimate track, taking as its inspiration a comment made by a waiter. This is a playful blues with a foot tapping, good time feel which the trio takes at full tilt. It is one of those jazz performances where the music seems to take over the musicians – matter over mind (or something like that).

The best is left to last – a rendering of the Beatles’ Dear Prudence. Arguably the best jazz interpretation of a Beatles' song is Brad Mehldau’s Blackbird. Well, Miwa’s version of Dear Prudence is as good as that. As with Court and Spark, Miwa has the good sense not to stray too far from the original retaining its rock beat, for example. Her improvising also never loses sight of the original tune, but her trademark touches are well to the fore – the little liquid flourishes, the occasional discordance, and the forceful attack. Will Slater is replaced by Brad Barrett on bass for this one track and, together with Goulding, gives sterling and energetic support. It’s a great ending to a thoroughly enjoyable album which consistently engages the listener’s attention even on the longest pieces. It easily bears repeated listenings, revealing new dimensions and delights to savour each time.

Click here for details and sample the album.

For more details about Yoko Miwa, and more information about how to get hold of the album, click here for Yoko's website.

Robin Kidson

 

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Album Released: 22nd July 2017 - Label: Quiet Money

 

Liane Carroll

The Right To Love

 

Liane Carroll (piano, vocals), Mark Edwards, Malcolm Edmonstone (piano), Mark Jaimes (guitars), Kirk Whalum (saxophone), Loz Garratt, Roger Carey (bass), Ralph Salmins, Russell Field (drums), James McMillan (producer and trumpet on the title track).

Liane Carroll is one of the UK's favourite jazz vocalists. With good reason. The Right To Love is her tenth album and follows on from the excellent 2015 release, Seaside, which is always a pleasure to return to. For this album Liane has chosen a mix of Standards and perhaps lesser known songs, but the theme that runs through them takes a look at love in its many forms. Liane says: 'I wanted to make the fourth album with James something where we could explore some of the less obvious attitudes towards love. And in a time whereLiane Carroll The Right To Love intolerance to race, sexuality and religion seems to have raised its ugly head again it seemed appropriate for us to make this statement'.

The album opens with Kirk Whalum's saxophone taking us into a full, lush version of Hoagy Carmichael's Skylark and a beautifully paced vocal supported by guitar and keyboard. The sax returns later with a solo that picks up on the feeling in Liane's singing. The first track on an album is important as it either does or doesn't draw you in. This does. In hearts. The Right To Love, the title track and originally written about inter-racial marriage was suggested to Liane by Gregory Porter's pianist, Chip Crawford and is an emotional statement bridged by a trumpet solo from James McMillan.

Click here for an introductory video with Liane playing and singing The Right To Love.

It's A Fine Line is a beautiful song out of Nashville from Mike Willis. The original Fine Line by Mike is a simple, sensitive, guitar and voice song (click here) from the album Pendulum Groove: A Revelation Of The Heart of which Mike says: 'The songs on this album chronicle my struggle to overcome the challenges of my marriage breaking down in October 2015. I've tried to include songs, both new and old, that resonate with the five stages of the human experience of processing grief - denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance'. Liane's version is a more full, soulful and strong presentation but the message remains.

If You Go Away is the Jacques Brel song. The lyrics are by Rod McKuen, a too often forgotten poet from the 1960s whose poems and lyrics were often set to music. His own recordings of his work brought his distinctive voice and in Liane's version, her distinctive voice is just as recognisable. You Don't Know What Love Is is one of those songs so popular with many torch singers. Liane savours the words and the piano, bass, guitar and drums are completely compatible with a nice guitar solo from Mark Jaimes. Goin' Back is a 1966 number by Gerry Goffin and Carole King often associated with Dusty Springfield's version. When Carol King heard it, she said Dusty`s version was so perfect she just cried. Dusty had it played at her funeral. 'I think I'm goin' back
To the things I learned so well in my youth, I think I'm returning to The days when I was young enough to know the truth ...So catch me if you can I'm goin' back.' Liane sings the song swelling the middle section.

Stevie Wonder's Lately is a lovely version by Liane with minimal, hesitant instrumental backing. The words 'They always start to cry' were always strung out by Stevie Wonder and carried much of the feeling. Liane stretches them too but balances them with the surrounding lyrics and maintains the feeling. Hoagy Liane carrollCarmichael's music returns with Georgia On My Mind and Liane interprets it in her own way simply accompanied by Mark Jamies' guitar and some scatting. In The Neighbourhood is a Tom Waits song. It is appropriate to the theme of Liane's album where she makes us aware of our surroundings. It is worth looking up the wonderfully descriptive lyrics. Here's a sample: 'Well, Big Mambo's kicking his old greyhound And the kids can't get ice cream 'cause the market burned down And the newspaper sleeping bags blow down the lane And that goddamn flatbed's got me pinned in again In the neighborhood ...'

The album closes with another Hoagy Carmichael Standard, I Get Along Without You Very Well. Here it is dedicated to Liane's mother, Clare, who passed away in 2016. We all know the words, or should, and it sits very appropriately on this album about love.

The album will be launched in Hastings on July 22nd with a big band and strings at St Mary In The Castle. Liane will feature it again on August 1st and 2nd at the Pizza Express Jazz Club in Soho. If you have the opportunity to catch her singing these tunes live, you should take it and you will undoubtably buy a copy of the album there. Otherwise go in search of this fine album that you can continue to enjoy and appreciate.

Click here for a video of Liane singing Skylark.

Ian Maund

 

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Album Released: 2nd June 2017 - Label: Essential Messenger Records

 

Larry Newcomb with Bucky Pizzarelli

Living Tribute

 

Tim Rolfe reviews this album for us:

The latest recording from the New York based guitarist and his quartet, or should I say quintet as the 91 year old guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli plays on 7 out of the 11 tracks, is dedicated to friends and family including his spiritual guru Prem Rawat. The album’s notes detail to whom the songs are dedicated and give some pointersLarry Newcomb Quartet with Bucky Pizzarelli Livine Tribute why. Out of the 11 tracks on the album, 4 are Standards, the oldest from 1932, and 7 are originals written and arranged by Larry himself.  Although this is mostly an instrumental album there are two songs with vocals by Leigh Jonaitis.

The quartet comprises Eric Olsan on piano, Dmitri Loesnik on bass and Jimmy Madision on drums with Larry himself on guitar and they are joined by vocalist Leigh Jonaitis and guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli, who was one of Larry Newcomb’s music teachers.

The set starts with I Remember You at an unusually fast tempo with harmonious guitar and swinging piano. This is followed by another classic, the lively You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To, which contains a superb drum solo and well balanced guitars.  Alone Together features every instrument well but has a particularly notable bass section. Later on the album there is some more excellent bass playing by Dmitri Loesnik on the track, Crossing Over. 

Morningside Heights is dedicated to Bucky Pizzarelli and named after the neighbourhood where Larry and his wife, Mary lived for 5 years.  On this track the guitar playing keeps the momentum going whilst each member of the quartet performs a highlight session and the whole track showcases Larry Newcomb’s excellent swinging arrangement.  Another of Larry’s own compositions, Band of Brothers, is dedicated to Larry’s three sons, and is a joyful and charmingly intricate track with guitar and piano complementing each other.  

I have to mention the two tracks with vocalist Leigh Jonaitis, which are One Heart Ain’t As Great As Two and the Latin feeling Love Is Here.  The vocals bring another dimension with some clever lyrics and a beautifully modulated clear voice adding to the quartet’s already skilful playing.  

The album comes to an end with Horace Silver’s Peace.  This is a slower and gentler number with brushed drums and soulful guitar and piano bringing this album to a languorous conclusion.

Although there was improvisation on some of the tracks it was more difficult to spot as the playing by all musicians was so smooth.  It was an easy album to listen to with strong melodic lines throughout, timely solos and a range of solid beats and lyrical rhythms. Somehow the words I have written do not seem to reflect my overall enjoyment in listening to the release!

Click here for details and to sample the album.

Tim Rolfe

 

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Album Released: 16th June 2017 - Label: Origin Records

 

Zem Audu

Spirits

 

Zem Audu (saxophone), Mike Stern (guitar), Benito Gonzales (piano), Ben Williams (bass), John Davis (drums).

I first came across saxophonist Zem (Azemobo) Audu in 2008 when he graduated from London's Trinity College of Music, won first place in the Worshipful Company Of Musicians Jazz Competition, was nominated for a Parliamentary Jazz Award for Best Jazz Saxophonist, and was awarded a Yamaha Jazz Scholars prize. I was particularly impressed by his talent at the time and now here we are nine years later with Zem establishedZem Audu Spirits in America and releasing his first full-length debut album (he released a digital EP in 2016, Visions).

Zem worked with a number of musicians in the UK before he decided to move to the United States and since then he has been gaining international recognition. Born in Nigeria, raised in London, and now living in Brooklyn, Zem has played and recorded with many of the worlds finest musicians including Jason Moran, Miss Lauryn Hill, The Bleachers, Hugh Masekela, Plan B, Paloma Faith, and the Skatalites. His debut recording is described as: 'Inviting you to feel the atmosphere of the city streets, the blazing sunshine of the Caribbean, and the soulfulness of Nigerian culture, the visceral impact of his experiences with a wide-range of musical greatness'. The eleven tracks on the album are all Zem's compositions.

Neon Nights opens the album with flavours of Earth Wind and Fire rhythms soon moving into the catchy saxophone stated theme. The balance between instruments plays well. The saxophone holds the rhythm as it explores lyrically above it. Mike Stern's funky electric guitar takes over swinging and swelling until the saxophone retakes the theme and leads the ensemble out to fade. An eight-and-a-half-minute, captivating introduction to the album. Big Qi at track two starts with solo sax setting a repeated toe-tapping motif for the band to follow and Ben Williams' insistent bass drives on under Mike Stern's solo and is still there as Zem takes his sax out to play.

Click here to listen to Big Qi.

Muso at track 3 is a fairly fast ballad where the bass, drums and piano underscore Zem's saxophone interpretations of the theme and then we get the light touch of Benito Gonzales' piano solo, another sax outing and then a great restrained bass solo. On Bird a piano riff repeats below a saxophone with its South African heritage and this time we have keyboards from Benito to dance the tune on. And so to the title track, Spirits. Bass, then piano playing repeated chords, saxophone enters with a motif, lightly tripping drums, saxophone Zem Audu Spirits bandand guitar twinning, the guitar let loose and we have 'the atmosphere of the city streets' described above with the saxophone weaving its way through the traffic. An impressively arranged and played track.

Flow at track 6 brings a touch of that 'Caribbean sunshine'. I particularly like the way the bass has been mixed in most of the tracks on this album and the way the drums are balanced with it. Neither are lost and they make a substantial contribution to the textures.

Click here to listen to Flow.

On Flow you can appreciate how well the bass and drums work with Benito Gonzales' piano solo. Dragon has a repeated descending piano riff with the saxophone checking out the possibilities; Bamijo has a particularly attractive theme and appealing solos from guitar, sax and piano in turn; Arcade opens with a pinball-playing guitar and the saxophone seems to be wondering which machine to play, so a bass solo decides until the sax feels happy to work the slots.

Click here to listen to Bamijo.

Moths is a well-titled penultimate track with the drums then sax fluttering and then the horn stretches out against African rhythms again. The guitar gets a chance to squeeze out a nice extended solo that draws Zem's sax back in for a conversation and a solo outing for John Davis' drums. And that brings us to Nebula, a gentle end to the album with really pleasing lyrical solos from Benito Gonzales and Zem Audu.

I recommend this album to you. It is a joyful recording that has so much going for it. The compositions are enjoyable and the arrangements well considered and varied in their flavours. The musicians are completely in accord and individually contribute to the overall success of the album either in solos or ensemble and I don't know who engineered the album but they deserve full credit for both the recording and the mixing.

Click here for details and to listen to the album.

Click here for a video of Mike Stern's comments on the album. Click here for Zem's website.

 

Ian Maund

 

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Album Released: 12th May 2017 - Label: Whirlwind Recordings

 

Hayden Prosser

Tether

 

Steve Day reviews this album for us:

Hayden Prosser (bass, electronics); Philipp Gropper (tenor saxophone); Elias Stemeseder (piano); Max Santner (drums).

The white on pink cover is sharp, cut up angles.  The music is sharper still, in a manner of speaking.  Sharper still or still sharper?  We shall see, perhaps even hear.

I was interested in Hayden Prosser even before I’d got down to listening to his music.  He originates from Somerset but is now based in Berlin.  I guess because I live in Somerset, or at least more-or-less, I was slightly intrigued by this guy’s decision to leave.  Distance often plays a necessary factor in an individual’s life.  The other key protagonist on this recording is Elias Stemeseder, who had done a similar journey, upped andHayden Prosser Tether moved from New York to Berlin.  Okay, I’m going to review the music, but music is not made in isolation to its environment.  Where you physically place yourself on the map is important.  If it were not so migration wouldn’t be the big deal it’s become for a lot of people.

Tether is an acoustic album but there’s a lot of electronics involved.  I suppose it could be described as a migration between electronics and unplugged.  Much of the composition is transposed from laptop; there’s an implicit electricity about the way the acoustic music unfolds. And there’s a sliver of electronics on the tracks, Undo, All and Before Now which belies their origins.  Recorded at Studio P4 Funkhaus, Berlin, mixed and edited by Alex Bonney back in London, that’s just one of the journeys present here. The album title Tether is taken from a recording by Plaid, a well-known London based electronics duo who I had never heard of.  Sometimes it’s like that, I realise I just don’t know.

Hayden Prosser’s Tether has eleven tracks although I think the album is best approached as a continuous piece.  There’s a lot of music here, I’m going to give a brief descriptor of each track because only in that way can I hope to convey the breadth of this startling debut recording.

Undo begins with Elias Stemeseder’s light as a feather piano with Philipp Gropper’s tenor sax a fey recital in the distance.  Could be Claude Debussy; it isn’t.  But it’s not long before Max Santner is deploying a rattling of brushes.  He’s undermining melody if that’s how you see the world, but Mr Prosser’s environment is not really about the embroidery of tunes.  He’s after something far more ephemeral, albeit he’s not afraid to write a topline.  Maybe it is inherent in the title – we Undo what we create, set it free.  Something like that.  Before they’ve finished Gropper’s tenor puts down a tenor solo which expands the instrument.  The quartet are working Prosser’s writing but not bound to it.

Glas is a mirror image.  Again they begin with piano.  For a moment it is a refuge.  A short passive improvised enquiry springing out of a statement. Prosser/Santner put a pulse in there and then it’s over.  Just Hayden Prosser Quartetunder a minute of flavours of favours and then comes.....

All, almost a cut-up of riffs.  It’s written (I think) and then sliced, leaving each instrument to take the piece they need.  I gotta say, I like Max Santner’s pacing.  He is able to capture rhythmic figures as if they were running hares.  Proof is positive on the smear of electrics.

Click here to listen to All.

Before Now has a miniature ‘arrangement’ going on.  It could be a loop.  Might well have been a loop.   Real time, gone.

Seasons could act as an introduction.  It has a conventionality about it.  If you only heard Seasons you’d get the wrong idea.  That said, there’s a weaving, scattering tenor saxophone break toward the end that comes on like Wayne Shorter blowing sound-shapes or maybe even, Steve ‘m-base’ Coleman.

Out Of This supplies a longer lean into another temporary place of refuge – at first I thought Stemeseder, Prosser and Santner had become a ‘piano trio’ such was the languid pulse of this lovely thing.  Philipp Gropper then joins in towards the end – giving the piece a signature.

Remainder is a minute’s worth of improv; over and out.  Blowout blown, rattle and bang.  I’d have wanted it to grow more, not stop – but then I wasn’t there, they were.

Overturn could have been Seasons part two but they don’t allow themselves that easy avenue.  Instead it is the bigger sister to Remainder and as such produces a tight tangle of four-way action, where you have to listen asHayden Prosser well as read, have to feel as well as rehearse.

Click here to listen to Overturn.

Small Chance is another crack into a crooked minute and by now I’m beginning to believe Hayden Prosser is really into surprise.  Again, I’d have called it to double and stretch but he knows what he’s doing.  A minute it may be, but it’s a great minute’s worth.

Click here for a video of Small Chance.

Rounds starts on a high and gets higher.  They are now elongating the improvisations within the midst of those funky repeat riffs.  Chiming piano, phat-tenor tonguing, Prosser’s double bass covering the role of loops, Mr Santner’s drums laying down milestones.  Rounds, layers of live interactions, one on top each other in real time. Yeah!  (There was no one else in the room when I said it.)

All (Reprise) is the final miniature. A snippet of piano melody brought back to touch base, think of it as a tethering.

Tether by Hayden Prosser is full of facts which are often on a dual trajectory. He’s a young man on the move, playing double bass but fascinated by digital experiment, seeking stillness but never still, exploring the technicalities of composed music but responding to total improv as if it were composed.  The seeking out of instant insistency; rehearsing his own pre-determined riddles. It all makes sense and no sense, and for this I give him a lot of credit.  For this precise theatre of a recording Hayden Prosser was in Berlin, in the future possibly not.  No need to be tied or tethered.  This is wonderful music deserving of much, much more investigation.  A creative musician could build a high tower from here.  Here is the start of a long journey, if Hayden Prosser wants it.

Click here for details and to sample the album. Click here for Hayden Prosser's website.

Steve Day www.stevedaywordsandmusic.co.uk

 

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Album Released: 21st October 2016 - Label: Curling Legs

 

Lukas Zabulionis

Changing Tides

 

Steve Kershaw reviews this album for us:

Lukas Zabulionis (saxophone, composer), Ivan Blomqvist (piano), Arne Martin Nybo (guitar), Kristian B. Jacobsen (bass), Per Kamfjord (drums), special guests on various tracks : Astri Hoffmann Tollaas (cello),Lukas Zabulionis Changing Tides Øystein Kjøstad Fjeldbo (electronics), Henrik Lødøen (percussion).

Click here for an introductory video.

Lukas Zabulionis is an outstanding young Norwegian jazz saxophonist and composer, with a family background that goes back to Lithuania. His latest CD, Changing Tides, includes nine original compositions, all inspired by the sea, and played by Lukas and his excellent quintet.

This is the music of fjords, broad skies and the midnight sun. Lukas Zabulionis inhabits the contemporary Nordic jazz landscape with an approach that is clearly melodic and often haunting, but his band also maintains a spark and energy that can light up the long Nordic nights. Engaging compositions allow for interesting improvisation and spirited interplay from a well-knit ensemble. The overall aesthetic is very appealing, and Changing Tides provides a thoroughly enjoyable listening experience throughout. Highly recommended!

Click here for a video taster of the recording of track 7 - Downwind Sailing.

 

Steve Kershaw (Steve Kershaw leads the British/Danish/Swedish jazz trio Stekpanna)

 

Lukas Zabulionis has lived in Sandefjord since he was 7 years old. After graduation at Sandefjord high school, he attended musical studies at Toneheim Folk High School in 2011. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in jazz performance in 2016 at Jazzlinja, the department of Jazz at Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim (NTNU). His debut album, Changing Tides, is inspired by ECM's contemporary jazz Lukas Zabulionisaesthetics from the 1970's and linked to the work of Jan Garbarek. The thinking behind the release can also be linked to ideas that originated in the romanticism in the 1800s, where the music is marked by longing, mystery and love with great emphasis on colours and contrasts.

Click here to listen to Song Of The Stormy Petrel (track 3).

 

Lukas Zabulionis
Photograph by Diederickwolf

 

On his website, Lukas carries the following description of the music: 'This is a story about setting out to unknown and distant places, hoping to find warmth and love ... The album showcases a composer and saxophonist who has a keen sense of elegant and melodic lines. Underneath lie rich contrasting harmonies that vary in moods from melancholy, sad and longing to happy and joyful with a sense of optimism. The characteristic style and tone of the young saxophonist has a broad emotional register and when he is not playing lyrical or energetic solos, he naturally blends into the soft carpet of sound that the band puts behind'.

Click here to listen to the final track The Seafarer.

Click here for details of the album. Click here for Lukas Zabulionis' website.

 

 

 

Choice Cuts / Slim Pickings

 

In the above reviews we aim to look in detail at a selection of new albums we think you will find interesting, to give you some background to the recording and a description of what you are likely to hear so that you can decide whether you would like to investigate the albums further.

Clearly we are only able to review a limited number of albums in detail, so here we list a selection other new or re-released albums that you can explore further if they look of interest.

 

Hanging Hearts Into A Myth

 

 

Hanging Hearts - Into A Myth - (Shifting Paradigm Records)
Chris Weller (tenor saxophone), Cole DeGenova (keyboards), Devin Drobka (drums). Dave King (producer, tambourine on track 2).
Details and sample : Review :
Video of Pilsen played live in 2015.

 

 

 

 

 

Dinah Washington Sings Bessie Smith and Fats Waller

 

Dinah Washington - Sings Bessie Smith / Sings Fats Waller - (American Jazz Classics - 2 LPs on 1 CD)
Dinah Washington (vocals) with Eddie Chambleee band and Ernie Wilkins band including Clark Terry, Johnny Coles, Quentin Jackson, Julian Priester, Jimmy Cleveland, Benny Golson, and Sahib Shihab.
Details : Further Details :

 

 

 

 

 

Billy Jones 3's A Crowd

 

Billy Jones - 3's A Crowd - (AC Recording)
Billy Jones (drums) featuring various musicians including: East Coast Musicians - (George Young (alto sax), John Vanore (trumpet), Mick Rossi (piano), Tony Micelli (vibraphone), George Genna (piano), Tyrone Brown (bass): West Coast Musicians - Scotty Wright (vocal), Kenny Stahl (flute), Stu Reynolds (bass clarinet), Gary Meek (tenor sax)
Details and sample : Review

 

 

 

 

Talinka album

 

 

Talinka - Talinka - (Fanfare)
Tali Atzmon (vocals), Jenny Bliss Bennett (viola da gamba, violin, flute, vocals), Gilad Atzmon (bass clarinet, soprano sax, accordion), Yaron Stavi (double bass) Guests: Frank Harrison (piano), Enzo Zirilli (percussion).
Details, website and samples : Video :

 

 

 

 

Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim

 

 

Frank Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim - Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim - (Universal)
Frank Sinatra (vocals), Antonio Carlos Jobim (guitar, vocals) plus various personnel.
Details and sample : Review : Video

 

 

 

 

NYSQ Sleight Of Hand

 

 

New York Standards Quartet (NYSQ) - Sleight Of Hand - (Whirlwind Recordings)
Tim Armacost (saxophone), David Berkman (piano), Daiki Yasukagawa (bass), Gene Jackson (drums).
Details and sample : Title track :
Review

 

 

 

 

Freddie Hubbard - Four Classic Albums

 

 

Freddie Hubbard - Four Classic Albums - (Avid)
Freddie Hubbard (trumpet) with various personnel including Hank Mobley, Wayne Shorter, Paul Chambers, Philly Joe Jones and Elvin Jones on the remastered albums Open Sesame / Goin' Up / Hub-Tones / Ready For Freddie.
Details and sample :

 

 

 

 

New Vision Sax Ensemble Musical Journey Through Time

 

 

The New Vision Sax Ensemble - Musical Journey Through Time - (Zaki Publishing)
Diron Holloway (alto sax, clarinet), James Lockhart (alto sax), Jason Hainsworth (tenor sax), Melton Mustafa (baritone sax)
Details and sample : Review : Video

 

 

 

 

Scott Hamilton - The Shadow Of Your Smile

 

 

Scott Hamilton - The Shadow Of Your Smile - (Blau /DiscMedi)
Scott Hamilton (tenor sax), Dena DeRose (piano, vocals), Ignasi González (bass), Jo Krause (drums).
Details and sample :


 

 

 

Alex |Goodman Second Act

 

 

Alex Goodman - Second Act - (Lyte Records)
Alex Goodman (guitar), Matt Marantz (saxophone), Eden Ladin (piano), Rick Rosato (bass), Jimmy Macbride (drums)
Details : Video : Review

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Help Me Information
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Give me mention, then we'll see
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with apologies to Chuck Berry (click here)

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We regularly receive requests for information about musicians, music, etc. Responses sometimes come months after we have featured the request so we have started a separate page. Please click here to see if you can help ...



 

Jazz Festivals 2017

Tthere are a number of websites that carry details of when and where Jazz Festivals are taking place. The Jazz FestivalMay issue of Jazzwise Magazine also carries a comprehensive list.

The Festival Calendar carries details of Jazz and Blues Festivals in the UK in its information on music festivals.

allexciting.com carries information about festivals in Europe.

The EFG London Jazz Festival is not until November (10th to 19th) but some performances are already booking.

 

 

Some UK Jazz Venues

 

 

It is impossible for me to include a list of all the gigs taking place during a month. I have decided to take an approach where I will list venues geographically and give you their website links so you can check what is going on in a particular area. If you would like me to include links to other venue listings, please let me know.

 

Dublin: JJ Smyth's, 2, Aungier Street, Dublin 2. www.jjsmyths.com

Dublin: Sugar Club, 8, Lower Leeson Street, Dublin 2. www.thesugarclub.com

Dublin: National Concert Hall, Dublin 2. www.nch.ie

Dublin: Flanagan's (Basement) Piano Bar, 61 Upper O'Connell Street, Dublin 1. www.flanagansdublin.com

Dublin: Whelan's, Wexford Street, Dublin 2. www.whelanslive.com.

Wicklow: The Hot Spot Music Club, Harbour Lodge, Bayswater Terrace, Cliff Rd, Greystones, Co. Wicklow. www.thehotspot.ie

For other regular jazz sessions in Dublin contact Ollie Dowling from Quality Music Tel: 00 353 87 2878755 or email:jazzindublin@gmail.com

 

Scotland: The Blue Lamp, Aberdeen, 121 Gallowgate, Aberdeen, AB25 1BU. www.thejazzbar.co.uk

Scotland: Fife Jazz Club, The Woodside Hotel, Aberdour. email: fifejazzclub@yahoo.co.uk

Scotland: The Jazz Bar, Edinburgh, 1a, Chambers Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1HR. www.thejazzbar.co.uk

Wales: Dempsey's, Cardiff, 15, Castle Street, Cardiff, CF10 1BS. www.jazzatdempseys.org.uk

 

Newcastle-upon-Tyne: The Jazz Cafe, 25 - 27 Pink Lane, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE1 5DW. www.jazzcafe-newcastle.co.uk

Cumbria: Kendal Jazz Club, The River Bar, Hawkshead Brewery, Stavely Mill Yard, Back Lane, Kendal, Cumbria, LA8 9LR. www.kendaljazzclub.co.uk.

Lancashire: Ribble Valley Jazz and Blues Club, The Grand Theatre, 18 York St. Clitheroe, Lancashire, BB7 2DL. www.rvjazzandblues.co.uk

Liverpool: The Capstone Theatre, Shaw Street, Liverpool, L6 1HP. www.thecapstonetheatre.com

Yorkshire: Seven Jazz, Leeds, Seven Arts, Chapel Allerton, Leeds, or Inkwell Arts, 31 Potternewton Lane Chapel Allerton, Leeds. www.sevenjazz.co.uk
(Includes: Seven Jazz Improvisation Group, Seven Jazz instrumental workshops and Seven Jazz Voices Choir).

Yorkshire: Wakefield Jazz, Wakefield (College Grove) Sports Club, Eastmoor Road, Wakefield, WF1 3RR. www.wakefieldjazz.org

Yorkshire: Jazz In The Spa, Boston Spa, Village Hall, High Street, Boston Spa. www.jazzinthespa.co.uk

South Yorkshire: Sheffield Jazz, Various venues in Sheffield. www.sheffieldjazz.org.uk

Manchester: Matt and Phred's, 64 Tib Street, Northern Quarter, Manchester M4 1LW. www.mattandphreds.com

East Staffordshire: Jazz On Tap, The Worthington Room, The National Brewery Centre, Horninglow Street, Burton upon Trent, DE14 1NG www.jazzontap.wordpress.com

Birmingham: Birmingham Jazz Listings www.jazzinbirmingham.co.uk

Hertfordshire: Herts Jazz Club, Welwyn Garden City, Screen2, Hawthorne Theatre, The Campus, Welwyn Garden City, AL8 6BX. www.hertsjazz.co.uk

Essex - Colchester Arts Centre Jazz Club, Church Street, Colchester, CO1 1NF. www.colchesterartscentrejazzclub.com

Essex: The Electric Palace, Harwich, King's Quay. Harwich. www.electricpalace.com

Essex: North Weald, North Weald Village Hall, CM16 6BU Essex
Third Saturday of every month - 12.30 pm to 3.00 pm. Jack Free's All Star Band with Jack Free (trombone), Peter Rudeforth (trumpet), John Crocker (clarinet), Tim Huskisson (piano), Murray Salmon (bass), Martin Guy (drums).

Buckinghamshire: Amersham Jazz Club, Beaconsfield SYCOB FC HP9 2SE. www.amershamjazzclub.co.uk

Oxford: The Oxford Wine Cafe, 38 South Parade, Summertown, Oxford OX2 7JN www.oxfordwinecafe.co.uk/jazz/

Oxford: The White Hart, 162 Cowley Road, Oxford, OX4 1UE
From 28th September 2016: Last Wednesday of each month, 8,30 to 11.00 pm, Volunatry donations
- Oxford Kitchen Jam Session

Oxford: James Street Tavern, 47-48 James St, Oxford OX4 1EU.
First Wednesday of each month, 8.45 to 11.00 pm, Free entry - The Trish Elphinstone Quintet.

Oxfordshire: Witney Jazz, Burwell Hall, Thorney Leys, Witney OX28 5NP. www.witneyjazz.co.uk

Oxfordshire: Newbridge, Rose Revived, Newbridge, Witney, Oxfordshire, OX29 7QD. Mondays from 3rd April 2017 - Alvin Roy's Reeds Unlimited. Free entry. 7.30 to 10.00 pm.

Jazz London Live

Jazz London Live has become the key reference place for who is playing where in the London area - click here, and you can download their app to your phone etc. from a page on their website.

 

 

London: Jazz London Live, Listings website for London and South East. www.jazzinlondon.live

London: King's Place, 90 York Way, London, N1 9AG. www.kingsplace.co.uk

London: LUME, www.lumemusic.co.uk

London: Pizza Express, Soho, 10, Dean Street, London W1. www.pizzaexpresslive.com

London: The Spice Of Life, Soho, 6, Moor Street, London W1. www.spicejazz.co.uk

London: Ronnie Scott's Club, Soho, 47 Frith Street, London W1. www.ronniescotts.co.uk  

London: The 100 Club, 100 Oxford Street, London W1D 1LL. www.the100club.co.uk (The 100 Club only occasionally stages jazz gigs these days)

London: The Green Note, Camden, 106 Parkway, Camden, London NW1 7AN. www.greennote.co.uk

London: Chickenshed Theatre Jazz Bar, Southgate, Chase Side, Southgate, London N14 4PE. www.chickenshed.org.uk

London: The Vortex, 11, Gillett Street, N16 8AZ. www.vortexjazz.co.uk

London: Club Inégales, 180 North Gower Street (corner of Euston Street). www.clubinegales.com

London: Southampton Arms, Highgate Road, North London
Wednesdays, 8.00 - 10.00 pm: Dave Burman (piano) and Dave Eastham (alto / clarinet)

London: Jazz In The Round, The Cockpit, Marylebone, Gateforth Street, Marylebone, London NW8 8EH. www.thecockpit.org.uk

London: Omnibus, Old Clapham Library, 1 Clapham Common Northside, London, SW4 0QW. www.omnibus-clapham.org

London: 606 Club, 90 Lots Road, Chelsea, London SW10 0QD. www.606club.co.uk

London: The Bull's Head, Barnes, 373 Lonsdale Road, Barnes, London, SW13 9PY. www.thebullshead.com

London: Putney, The Half Moon, Putney , 93 Lower Richmond Road, Putney, SW15 1EU.
Dick Laurie's Elastic Band. The band now plays the first Sunday and third Sunday of every month.
Sunday 2nd July, Sunday 16th July, Sunday 6th August and Sunday 20th August - 1.00 pm - 4.00 pm

London: The Hideaway, Streatham, 25 Streatham High Rd, London SW16 6EN. www.hideawaylive.co.uk

London: e17 Jazz, Walthamstow, Gnome House, 7 Blackhorse Lane, Walthamstow, E17 6DS. www.e17jazz.com

London: The Jazz Nursery, St Mary Overies Dock, Cathedral Street, London SE1. www.jazznursery.com

 


Surrey: Harri's Jazz, Shepperton, Bagster House, Walton Lane, Shepperton, TW17 8LP. www.harrisjazz.com

Surrey: Thames Ditton, The George and Dragon, High Street, Thames Ditton, KT7 0RY.
Every Tuesday - Alan Berry (piano), Mike Durrell (bass), Don Cook (drums) plus weekly guests - 8.30 pm

Surrey: Guildford Jazz, 2 venues - Guildford and Godalming Rugby Club, Guildford Road, Godalming GU7 3DH (second Wednesday in month); Guildford Electric Theatre, Onslow Street. Guildford GU1 4SZ (Tuesday nights). www.guildfordjazz.wordpress.com

Surrey: Watermill Jazz, Dorking, Betchworth Park Golf Club, Reigate Road, Dorking RH4 1NZ. www.watermilljazz.co.uk

Surrey: The Grey Horse, Kingston-Upon-Thames, 46 Richmond Road, Kingston-Upon-Thames, KT2 5EE. www.grey-horse.co.uk

Surrey: The Barley Mow, Shepperton, 67 Watersplash Road, Shepperton, TW17 0EE. www.themow.co.uk

Kent: The Roffen, New Road Rochester, ME1 1DX. www.144club.co.uk

Sussex: Splash Point Jazz Club, Seaford, Splash Point Jazz Club Seaford at The View, Seaford Head Golf Club, Southdown Road, Seaford. www.splashpointmusic.com

Sussex: Brighton Jazz Club, www.brightonjazzclub.co.uk

Sussex: Splash Point Jazz Club, Brighton Marina, Splash Point Jazz Club at The Master Mariner, Inner Lagoon, Brighton Marina. www.splashpointmusic.com

Sussex: Chichester Jazz Club, Pallant Suite, 7 South Pallant, Chichester, PO19 1SY. www.chichesterjazzclub.co.uk

Hampshire: Fleet Jazz Club, The Harlington Centre, 236 Fleet Rd, Fleet GU51 4BY (every 3rd Tuesday each month - except August).
 www.fleetjazz.wordpress.com & facebook.com/FleetJazzClub

 

Gloucestershire: Cirencester, Kings Head Hotel, 24 Market Place, Cirencester GL7 2NR. www.kingshead-hotel.co.uk

Bath: Piattino's, 7 Edgar Buildings, George Street, Bath, BA1 2EE.
Jazz Times Three. Every 2 weeks. 9.00 - 11.00 pm www.piattinobath.com

Bristol: The Be-Bop Club, The Bear, Hotwell Road, Bristol, BS8 4SF. www.thebebopclub.co.uk

Bristol: Future Inns, Cabot Circus, Bond St S, Bristol BS1 3EN. www.futureinns.co.uk/bristol/jazz-at-future-inns

Somerset: Ilminster Arts Centre, The Meeting House, East Street, Ilminster, Somerset, TA19 0AN. www.themeetinghouse.org,uk

Dorset: Blandford Forum, The King's Arms, Whitecliff Mill St, Blandford Forum DT11 7BE. Facebook

Dorset: Bridport Arts Centre, South Street, Bridport, DT6 3NR. www.bridport-arts.com

Dorset: Sound Cellar, Poole, The Blue Boar, 29 Market Close, Poole, Dorset, BH15 1NE, www.soundcellar.moonfruit.com

Cornwall: St. Ives Jazz Club, Western Hotel, Gabriel Street, St. Ives, Cornwall, TR26 2LU. www.stivesjazzclub.com

 


 

Jazz Talks: Buckinghamshire and Norwich Areas

Buckinghamshire:

Dr Bob Moore has contacted us saying:'I am a member of the U3A (University of the Third Age) Jazz appreciation section. I now have given four talks to them on each of the following: Louis Armstrong, US swing bands of the 40's, Modern Jazz Quartet and Stan Kenton. I should say that I am not a profession speaker but I have reasonable knowledge of the subject. Now that I have given the talks, it is most probable that they will gather dust in a cupboard  but if anyone local to me in High Wycombe is interested, I would be prepared to repeat the talk for free with possible expenses for petrol if far away.'' The talks mainly simply require a good audio system plus someone to put on the CD's but the Kenton talk does included some excerpts from Youtube on the internet but these could be edited out. If I use the Internet it would require screen plus associated equipment. The talks take about 90 min and the usual format is general background on the artist or group followed by tracks from CD's.'If anyone would like to take up Bob's offer, you can email him at drbobmoore-inbiltec@supanet.com

Norwich:

Similarly, Roy Headland who gives occasional talks to Norwich Jazz and Blues Record Club is offering to give talks with music to other groups in the Norwich area. A recent talk 'A Jazz Tour of Norwich and Norfolk' to an audience of 60 had the organiser saying: "Thank you for giving us such an informative and enjoyable evening,full of musical stars.The feedback was good and we hope to see you back with part 2." Other talks Roy has given include: Condon Jam Sessions; Clarinet Kings of Swing; Tommy Ladnier -"Mandeville to New York "; and a talk to Rotary on "The Winter Solstice" (their request) on Dec 21st which I managed to link in with Artie Shaw and called "The Shawtest Day"!

Roy's email address is: royheadland@gmail.com.

 

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