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June 2018

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Mark Kavuma


Trumpeter and bandleader Mark Kavuma photographed by Ben Amure. Mark Kavuma's debut album 'Kavuma' is released this month.
See New Releases and Jazz As Art articles below.



On A Night Like This,
The Story Is Told

'... When my friend and colleague tenor saxist Jimmy Skidmore died in 1998, the Order of Service at his funeral bore on the front, under his name and photograph, not the conventional RIP but, in bold letters, the initials KYBL. The first time I became aware of the significance of those initials in Jimmy's life was in 1948, the year of the First International Jazz Festival in Nice. He and I were there as members of an ad hoc (in modern lingo, 'pickup') British band which joined the cast of American and European musicians headed by Louis Armstrong ....'

' ....Most of the cast had arrived in Nice before him (Louis Armstrong) and we all attended an official reception in the Town Hall to welcome him ..... After applause and speeches, he was eventually brought over to a table at which some of us were already queuing to shake his hand ..... Jimmy Skidmore was ahead of me in the queue and I watched as he reached the table, shook Louis Armstrong's hand and bent forward to say something to him. I couldn't hear what he said, but it was received with a gutteral burst of laughter .... I caught up with Jimmy and asked him what had so amused Armstrong. " I just said, 'Kiss your bum later,'" was his answer ...'


Jimmy Skidmore

Jimmy Skidmore


'... On most occasions, the conciliatory "Don't mind me, darlin' " turned aside wrath, one exception being an occasion in New York when he addressed it to a cop who had pulled him up for jaywalking. In seconds he was up against a wall with legs akimbo and the cop's nightstick seriously threatening his dignity, if nothing else ....'

'... He was the sole inventor of what I dubbed the Skidmore Watch, a time piece which contrived to be five minutes slow when a concert was due to start and five minutes fast by the time we approached the end, at which point he would tap it pointedly as I prepared to announce the final number ....'

From It Just Occurred To Me by Humphrey Lyttelton.

Click here to listen to Jimmy Skidmore playing You Took Advantage Of Me in 1956 [Jimmy Skidmore (tenor sax); Bertie King (alto sax); George Chisholm (trombone); Leslie 'Jiver' Hutchinson (trumpet); Max Harris (piano); Major Holley (bass); Phil Seamen (drums)].

Name The Tune!

(Click on the picture for the answers)


Name the tune




Name the tune




Name the tune




Click here for our Name The Tune page



Blue Note Documentary

Beyond The notes Trailer


A new documentary about the famous Blue Note record label premiered at the Tribeca Film Fesitval in April this year. Directed and written by Sophie Huber, ‘Beyond The Notes’ features interviews and footage from Wayne Shorter, Art Blakey, Robert Glasper and Herbie Hancock among many others. Huber says it’s a revelatory, thrilling and emotional journey behind the scenes of Blue Note Records, the pioneering label that gave voice to some of the finest jazz artists of the 20th and 21st centuries. Click here to watch the trailer.





Cadillac Still On The Road

In September last year, John Jack, one of the founders of Cadillac Records, sadly died. The Cadillac label has been around since 1971 when John set it up with pianist and composer Mike Westbrook with a view to releasing Westbrook's recordings. Its first release was in 1973 since when it has released albums from Ken Colyer to Bobby Wellins, the Christie Brothers Stompers to Dudu Pukwana. Cadillac Records is continuing despite John Jack's passing. Their next release will be of a previously unissued live session by the Mike Westbrook Concert Band from 1968. Recorded at Ronnie Scott's Old Cadillac logoPlace in Soho, this was the last gig at Gerrard Street on an occasion that was also John Jack's birthday. Distribution will be by Discovery Records and has been produced by Mike Westbrook and Mike Gavin. Click here for details.

'So many good things were contained within the Mike Westbrook Concert Band of 1968 that it’s hard to know where to start. Its personnel included the components of a whole scene of young London-based jazz musicians, bursting with energy and the desire to express the sounds they were discovering collectively and as individuals. For a time, this band gave them the ideal structure. And when they needed a setting, Ronnie Scott and Pete King were there to provide it. The gift of the remaining 18 months of the lease on the basement of 39 Gerrard Street handed young musicians the precious opportunity to perform regularly in the heart of the West End in a sympathetic environment, free from the usual commercial pressures ... I wasn’t lucky enough to be there that night to hear all this magic filling a Chinatown basement. Perhaps you weren’t, either. But we are now'. (Richard Williams)  




British Black Music Month

Black British Music Month


This year's Black Music Month launches on 1st June (although it goes on for a little more than a month!). Annually organised by Music Congress (BBM/BMC) its focus this year will be on Reggae leading up to International Reggae Day on 1st July.

On 13th June, at Hackney Museum, history and music consultant Kwaku presents a personal reflection of Britain’s pivotal role in the development of reggae music. Indeed, he posits that without British input, the Jamaican music industry would not have developed to the extent that it has, nor would reggae have become the international phenomenon that it has become.The presentation is interspersed with footage from his documentary ‘Britain’s Contribution To The Development Of Reggae’. The presentation will also include a short mix of key British reggae, followed by a Q&A session (click here).

Although this year Reggae is the focus, other events might be of interest including a networking event 'Who I Am and What I Do'; 'Making Sense Of How The Music Industry Works', and a Black Music Records and African Crafts Fair.

Click here for the list of events.







Jazz Quiz

Decades Apart

In the Quiz this month we give you fifteen jazz related events and ask you to identify the decade in which they took place. How many do you know?


The Jazz Age Fitzgerald book



For example:

In which decade did Glenn Miller's aeroplane disappear without trace over the English Channel?


Click here for the Jazz Quiz.





The Jazz Ticket

Howard Lawes gives us some background to the 'Jazz Ticket' and the culmination of a project that has taken place over the past year:

Produced by award-winning jazz development agency Tomorrow’s Warriors in association with Turner Sims and Southampton Music Hub, The Jazz Ticket has given young musicians the opportunity to work with leading jazz professionals to develop their performance and improvisation skills, whilst exploring the rich and inspiring history of the genre and six of its pioneering artists born 100 years ago - The Jazz TicketThelonious Monk, Mongo Santamaria, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Buddy Rich and Tadd Dameron.

The premiere of The Jazz Ticket took place at Turner Sims Southampton on 16 March 2017. In all, 54 schools from Southampton, London, Luton, Leicestershire, Manchester, Gateshead, Brighton, Bristol and Hull participated in The Jazz Ticket throughout 2017 involving almost 600 young people in what has been the first project of its kind – connecting regions and crossing generations.

Click here for a video about The Jazz Ticket.

Working in partnership with leading venues and music hubs in nine regions across England, participating schools have worked with Tomorrow’s Warriors' music leaders towards a professional concert at which each ensemble presented one of six newly-arranged compositions, accompanied by specially-commissioned visual projections illustrating the life and times of these Giants of Jazz.

Soweta Kinch talks briefly about the event - click here.

The ensembles came together for a final concert on 28th April at the newly re-furbished Queen Elizabeth Hall in London and performed to other schools in the region. It was followed by a second, very special concert featuring the Nu Civilisation Orchestra performing a new music commission from Turner Sims Southampton, A Journey With The Giants Of Jazz, by the award-winning pianist/composer, Peter Edwards who also conducts the orchestra and with guest soloist and former Jazz Warrior, Soweto Kinch.

Needless to say the performances by all the young people at the final concert in the Queen Elizabeth Hall were breathtaking in their ambition and dazzling in their performance.  The grand finale was a super ensemble of young people from several schools and colleges, the Nu Civilisation Orchestra and Soweto Kinch all playing Cloud Nine by Whitfield and Strong, a never to be forgotten and totally unique experience. 

Click here for more about The Jazz Ticket.



Honorary Doctorate For Herbie Hancock


Herbie Hancock receiving Doctorate

Herbie Hancock (left) and NEC Jazz Studies Chair Ken Schaphorst. Photo © Eric Antoniou


Legendary jazz composer/performer and 14-time Grammy award-winner Herbie Hancock was at New England Conservatory on Sunday, May 20, 2018 to receive an honorary doctorate as part of the 147th Commencement ceremony in NEC's Jordan Hall. The 14-time Grammy award-winner and legendary jazz composer and performer was born in Chicago, was a piano prodigy and performed with the Chicago Symphony at age 11.

His career began after being discovered by Donald Byrd and, shortly afterwards, he joined the Miles Davis Quintet. He later made appearances on Davis' albums In A Silent Way and Bitches Brew, which heralded the birth of jazz-fusion. After leaving Davis, Herbie put together The Headhunters band and, in 1973, recorded the first jazz album to go platinum. Herbie Hancock has also won an Academy Award for his film score 'Round Midnight. His 2007 tribute album River: The Joni Letters won the 2008 Grammy Award for Album of the Year, only the second jazz album ever to win the award after Getz/Gilberto in 1965. Recently named by the Los Angeles Philharmonic as Creative Chair For Jazz, he also serves as Institute Chairman of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz.





Video Juke Box

*Click on the Picture for the Video



Click on the picture to watch the video.



Rob Luft Elina Duni The Wayfaring Stranger



Guitarist Rob Luft and vocalist Elina Duni perform the beautiful The Wayfaring Stranger. Rob was recently nominated for the Breakthrough Act at the JazzFM Awards. More recording from Elina and Rob are in the pipeline as well as an new album from Elina.





Lara Eidi Afro Blue



The amazing Lara Eidi sings her version of Afro Blue in a fresh arrangement inspired by Lara‘s Arabic origins. Afro Blue is rearranged with a new verse written especially for this recording. An EP is on its way!





Earl Hines video


Earl 'Fatha' Hines talks piano - This video is an excerpt from the 1960s TV show “Jazz Casual”, hosted by Ralph J. Gleason. Fatha Hines talks about his innovative style, influences, and how he became known as the father of modern jazz piano. At seventeen he went to Pittsburgh to perform as a member of the “Symphonian Serenaders”  led by baritone singer, Lois Deppe. He received free room and board at the Liederhaus nightclub and a generous fifteen dollar weekly salary. Moving to Chicago in 1925 he was soon among the most celebrated of all jazz pianists.





Omar Sosa video



In the course of his 2017 global tour, 7-time Grammy nominated and world-renowned jazz pianist Omar Sosa gave Yamaha a very personal insight look into his understanding of life and his musical mission.






Symphony In Black video


This nine and a half minute video is a 1935 short film that starts with Duke Ellington composing Symphony In Black. The film depicts black life in America and the composition itself (A Rhapsody of Negro Life) is divided into four parts: “The Laborers,” “A Triangle”, “A Hymn of Sorrow” and “Harlem Rhythm”. “A Triangle” features Billie Holiday in her screen debut, and solos by jazz clarinettist and tenor saxophonist Barney Bigard and Ellington Orchestra regular, trombonist 'Tricky Sam' Nanton. Although Symphony in Black is the title of the Paramount film, A Rhapsody of Negro Life is the actual title of Ellington's composition.





Alina Bzhezhinska Wisdoms Eye


Harpist Alina Bzhezhinska and drummer Joel Prime play Alice Coltrane's Wisdom's Eye for a live JazzFM session. Alina's new album, Inspiration, that includes Wisdom's Eye and also featuring Toni Kofi (saxophones) and Larry Bartley (double bass) is released on 15th June (details here).




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




Poetry and Jazz

Jean Toussaint : Jazz Messenger

by Robin Kidson


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


Jean Toussaint


Has there ever been a more fertile proving ground for stellar jazz musicians than Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers? The list of players who went through Art’s hands forms a Jazz Hall of Fame on its own: Horace Silver, Lee Morgan, Clifford Brown, Freddie Hubbard, Keith Jarrett, Wayne Shorter, Wynton Marsalis…. Another name to add to this illustrious roll call is Jean Toussaint, the London-based American Jean Toussaint with Jazz messengerssaxophonist who has recently released Brother Raymond, his latest album on LYTE Records.

Toussaint was born in 1960 in the US Virgin Islands. Raised in New York, he attended the Berklee College of Music before joining the Jazz Messengers in 1982. He toured extensively with the band and played on three studio albums including New York Scene which won the 1985 Grammy for Best Jazz Group Instrumental Performance. “Art”, says Toussaint, “was one of the most inspirational band leaders rated amongst some of the greatest. Names like Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Miles Davis come to mind. They all had an inclusive way of band leading that made each member feel a part of the family. Through the music, Art encouraged us to strive and reach beyond ourselves and work as one to create musical excitement while never losing sight of the audience.”


The Jazz Messengers in concert at Plougonven (Bretagne, France) in 1985 with Terence Blanchard (trumpet) and Jean Toussaint (tenor saxophone).



To see Toussaint in action with the Jazz Messengers back in 1985, click here.

Jean Toussaint moved to London in 1987 to teach at the Guildhall School of Music and has based himself in the UK ever since, one of a growing band of American expat jazz musicians. Brother Raymond is his eleventh album as a band leader but he has also worked as a sideman with the cream of British jazz such as Julian Joseph and Cleveland Watkiss. He is often the go-to saxophonist for US musicians touring Europe, playing with the likes of Eddie Henderson and Jeff “Tain” Watts, for example. Toussaint has continued to teach at the Guildhall as well as the Birmingham Conservatoire, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, and occasionally at the Royal Academy of Music. This teaching and mentoring role is one Toussaint takes seriously – “As one who was fortunate to have been mentored by the ultimate mentor that was Art Blakey,” he says, “one lesson that we all took from that experience was the importance of fostering as Jean Toussaint Brother Raymond albummany of the next generation as possible”. His teaching was recognised in 2017 by a nomination for the Parliamentary Jazz Award for Jazz Education.

As part of that mentoring role, in 2015 Toussaint set up “Roots and Herbs: The Blakey Project” to mark the 25th anniversary of Blakey’s death. The idea of the project was to put together musicians just beginning their careers – “Young Lions”, Toussaint calls them – with older, more established musicians to play the music of Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. Here are members of the Project playing the old Blakey standard, Moanin’ at the Swanage Jazz Festival in 2015 - click here.

On his latest album, Brother Raymond, Toussaint is joined by his “Allstar 6tet” which is made up of musicians who played on the Blakey Project, including “Young Lions”. All eleven tracks are Toussaint compositions and different musicians play on different tracks. The core players, though, are Toussaint himself on tenor, Byron Wallen (trumpet), Dennis Rollins(trombone), and Daniel Casimir (bass). Piano duties are shared between Jason Rebello, Andrew McCormack and young lion, Ashley Henry. The drummers involved are Mark Mondesir, Troy Miller, Shane Forbes and Williams Cumberbatch Perez. Other musicians who appear include Alec Dankworth (bass), Tom Dunnett (trombone), Mark Kavuma (trumpet), and Tom Harrison (alto sax).

The album is dedicated to Toussaint’s older brother, Raymond, who died in 2015. Its vibe is a Blakeyish hard bop with all of the musicians at the absolute top of their game. Toussaint is no hogger of the limelight and gives plenty of room to the other players to strut their stuff. His own playing and improvising is in a most attractive, almost conversational style.

However, the real glory of Brother Raymond is in the quality of the writing and arranging. On the evidence of this album, Toussaint is incapable of writing a bad tune. Take Track 2 for example, Doc, which is structured around a hooky riff beautifully played by Byron Wallen, channeling his inner Miles on muted trumpet. Once heard, never forgotten. Or Amabo which again has an extremely catchy tune and calypso rhythm with a touch of Toussaint’s native Caribbean about it. Or the title track, Brother Raymond, with a cleverly composed main theme, foot tapping beat, and an absorbing arrangement.

Click here for the sextet playing Brother Raymond, live at the Pizza Express.

And here, finally, is Toussaint on Blakey once again: “Art used to say: '“it doesn’t matter how complex you want to play as long as you swing and play from the heart', then he’d cite the great John Coltrane as an example. I owe it all to the great Art Blakey and I’ll be a Jazz Messenger for life”. In his multiple roles of performer, composer, educator, mentor and all-round propagator and populariser of jazz, Jean Toussaint has remained faithful to the spirit and legacy of Art Blakey. He is truly a Jazz Messenger in all senses of that phrase.

More information about Jean Toussaint is on his website - click here, although at the time of writing some information is not up to date. Brother Raymond was released on 18th May (click here for details) and is being formally launched at Ronnie Scott’s Club in London on 4th June 2018.

Jean Toussaint is touring with his Allstar 6tet in the autumn – dates are:

Thursday, 27th September: Hidden Rooms, Cambridge Jazz
Friday, 28th September: Hermon Chapel Arts Centre, Shrewsbury
Sunday, 7th October: Herts Jazz Festival
Friday, 12th October: Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
Friday, 19th October: RWCMD, Cardiff
Thursday, 1st November: Trinity Laban Masterclass
Friday, 9th November: Duc Des Lombards, Paris
Saturday, 10th November: Duc Des Lombards, Paris
Thursday, 15th November: 7Arts, Leeds
Friday, 16th November: Leeds College of Music Masterclass
Friday, 16th November: Hull Jazz Festival
Saturday, 17th November: The Blue Room, Lincoln
Sunday, 18th November: National Centre for Early Music, York
Friday, 23rd November: The Lighthouse, Poole
Sunday, 25th November: Hen & Chicken, Bristol
Saturday, 1st December: Calstock Arts Centre
Friday, 7th December: Eastdown Jazz Club, Birmingham
Saturday 8th December: Jazzlines Workshop, Birmingham
Thursday, 13th December: Bonnington Theatre, Nottingham
Friday, 14th December: Progress Theatre, Reading





The Simpsons - Lisa Gets The Blues

Lisa Simpson Gets The Blues


Tthis April saw the Simpsons celebrating New Orleans. The 635th episode of the series overall (tying it with Gunsmoke for most Episodes in a TV Show), starts with Dewey Largo, the Springfield Elementary School’s music teacher telling Lisa Simpson that musically you have little chance against others out there, drawing on a variation of the Homer Simpson idea that you tried your best and you failed totally.

Later The Simpsons take a flight which gets re-routed to New Orleans instead. While there, Lisa Simpson is forced to face her nerves and regain her confidence. Trombone Shorty is a guest star.

Click here to watch (8 minutes).








Kansas Smitty's House Band


[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].


Kansas Smittys House Band


The JazzFM Awards in May 2018 had three nominations for ‘UK Jazz Act for the Year’ – the bands Dinosaur, the Ezra Collective and Kansas Smitty’s House Band. The award went to the Ezra Collective. For this category, the winner was decided by public vote – so what led to Kansas Smitty’s being nominated? The answer, of course, is their popularity. Here is a talented group of today's jazz musicians who play everything from New Orleans to BeBop, and play it well. Ask the audience.

This video of Party, Party, Party from 2017 introduces the band and sets the mood: click here.

Kansas Smitty’s is a bar / venue in Broadway Market, London E8 open Tuesdays to Sundays, 7.00 pm to Midnight. In 2015, Kansas Smitty’s Band realised they needed a home for their music, and found a basement in Hackney. Now an intimate basement bar it is a rehearsal space for the band as well as a live music venue and cocktail bar. Since 2015, the band has increasingly been making a name for itself. Musician and presenter Cerys Matthews has said: ‘They dance to a beat of their own drum. Totally unpredictable’, and one review of the venue says: ‘Kansas Smitty’s combines some of the best jazz musicians from around the world with a menu of original juleps to create unforgettable and unique nights. The relaxed and intimate atmosphere of this 60 person capacity basement comes alive when members of the Kansas Smitty’s House Band take the stage alongside special guests.

Click here for a video of them playing their composition Movin’ On with guest Lewis Durham featured on vocals and guitar.

Reeds player Giacomo Smith was born in Italy, but grew up in Saratoga Springs, New York. He went to school in Boston and then Montreal. Wondering what to do next, he applied for work in the UK and moved to London. Trumpeter Pete Horsfall came to Giacomo SmithLondon from Wakefield and Oxford. He had been playing around London for a few years before the pair met at a gig. Pete invited Giacomo to play at a gig in Dalston and the experience resulted in Giacomo leaving his job in a South Kensington office to play jazz. Talking to the Evening Standard newspaper, Pete said that they then brought the band together: “We are a core of eight. People have said we’re a collective, but we’re an eight, and then if we need a friend to sub in, they sub in. It’s an extended family.” ... “All of us came from different corners of the London scene, and we all have massively different interests on the jazz spectrum, but where they all converge is on swing and traditional music” said Giacomo.


Giacomo Smith


The line-up varies from time to time, members of the band play with other groups, but it is noticeable that there is a basic cohesion that means the band can readily absorb, and inspire visitors. The core members are Giacomo Smith (alto saxophone, clarinet); Pete Horsfall (trumpet and vocals);  Adrian Cox (clarinet); Joe Webb (piano); David Archer (guitar); Ferg Ireland (double bass) and Will Cleasby (drums).


Click here for a video of their interpretation of James P. Johnson's Carolina Shout.

In 2016, the band released their album Kansas Smitty’s House Band Live on their own label. You can sample it if you click here.

Writing in, Bruce Lindsay said: ‘The band name might suggest a harking back to the early swing of speakeasies and joints, but Kansas Smitty's is a band that's inspired and influenced by a host of different genres from across the history of jazz - notably swing, blues and Kansas City (unsurprisingly), but also more contemporary styles. It doesn't just trawl through the jazz back catalog for its material however: every track on this album is an original number written by the band's members, saxophonist Giacomo Smith claiming the lion's share of the credits ....... Kansas Smitty's was recorded in one take, direct to tape on analog equipment - an approach that's finding increasing favor among young bands. Such an approach to recording seems to reflect and capture the band's spontaneity and in-the-moment musical interactions - all of which lead to an exciting and enjoyable first appearance for Kansas Smitty's House Band’.

Visitors to Kansas Smitty’s bar that year included guitarists Stian Vågen Nilsen and Kourosh Kanani. Click here for them playing After You've Gone with Giacomo Smith (clarinet) and  Simon Read (bass).

The band play regularly at Ronnie Scott’s Club and venture out for other gigs away from their 'house'. In May, they played at the Cheltenham Festival and then to a full house at the Komedia venue in Bath as part of the Bath Festival. The Komedia is a former Beau Nash picture house, a grade one listed building on Westgate Street and retains its beautiful decor although the cinema seats are now replaced by tables and chairs. For this gig, Jason Robello replaced Joe Webb at piano and at one point racked up a boogie into a storming piano solo on Royal Garden Blues. Tenor saxophonist Alec Harper, over from New York and one of the UK's great losses to the USA, was depping for Adrian Cox, and young Will Cleasby, studying at Trinity Laban Conservatoire and a core member of the band, totally commanded the drum kit. As a surprise addition, local jazz singer and presenter Clare Teal joined the band for two numbers in the second half, and again demonstrated how musians on a roll inspire each other. Speaking of singers, listen out for trumpeter Pete Horsfall's driving vocals.


Pete Horsfall


Click here for a video of Pete Horsfall singing the lyrics to Big Bad Shake from the band's album.

The Evening Standard wrote: 'Some bars are about the drinks and some are about the experience.  Smitty's is the latter - and wow, it's one hell of an experience. Wednesdays are a ticketed music night where the house band light up their instruments and burn the house down. Forget what you think you know about jazz: trumpeter Pete Horsfall and clarinet player Giacomo Smith lead their band with a rattling, crackling energy that had the young crowd howling and stomping their feet with sheer joy. The best reason to drink is make a happy moment happier: this underground jazz cave will put you in a terrific mood to start with, so sit back, take a sip of your julep and take off'.

The band will be playing at the Underbelly Festival on London’s South Bank on 8th August and the tickets are already sold out, but otherwise get to visit them in Hackney and find out for yourself why they were Award nominated. If this is the quality of 'runners-up' in Jazz Awards, then there is no question that jazz in the UK is more than alive and well.

Click here
for the Kansas Smitty's website.

Kansas Smittys logo





Do You Have A Birthday In June?


Your Horoscope

for June Birthdays

by 'Marable'




Gemini (The Twins)

21st May - 20th June


During last month and this month the planetary power has been at its maximum Eastern position, so if you still have to make those changes that will make you happy, do it now; it might become more difficult as the planets move towards the West. The changes you want to make might be major, but could be just small changes, the way you look, the way you spend your time, perhaps places you have wanted to go but never got round to it.

Career is still important at the moment - you continue to have a lot of planets in the upper half of your chart, but I see that the lower half of your chart has become stronger and that adds to the possibility that now is the time to take more care of yourself.

This month you might need to review your financial situation. Venus has been in your money house since the 19th of last month and she stays there until the 14th. On the 12th, Mercury also enters your money house which suggests that you will begin to focus more on finances. On the 22nd, the Sun enters your money house lighting up the possibility of good opportunities.

Your professional skills are very important, but this year your social skills, your ability to get on with others, have been equally important. Continue to keep that in mind.

For you, here is a video of Bill Evans playing In Your Own Sweet Way in 1962. Click here.




Cancer (The Crab)

21st June - 20th July


Generally speaking, there appears to be a happy month ahead. The planetary power is moving into the maximum Eastern position giving you confidence and independence. Things might not always be perfect and you will possibly have to balance your personal interests with those of others, but Cancerians have the advantage of sensitivity and you know when something 'feels right'.

On the 21st the Sun crosses your Ascendent and enters your 1st house - a good sign where money is concerned, and here again your intuition tells you how to benefit from this.

It may be that this month you encounter a situation where you and someone close to you see things differently. Your sensitivity might lead you to step away, but look for a way to respect the other person's point of view and together, find a bridge between your differences. Friendship is important.

For you, here is a video of Oscar Peterson and Oliver Jones playing Just Friends. Click here.






Jazz As Art

Mark Kavuma

Church from the album Kavuma


When you listen to music, you sometimes conjure images in your mind. Our Jazz As Art series invites you to listen to a piece of jazz and as it plays, scroll down the page and see which of the pieces of art I have chosen comes closest to the pictures in your mind. Hopefully, this will introduce you to recordings and art works you might not have spent time with before. You need to go to another page to play the music and see the images - click here.

Mark Kavuma album


Trumpeter Mark Kavuma's debut album, Kavuma, released on the 15th June 2018 on the Ubuntu label is a real pleasure. Engineer and guitarist Jake Zaitz describes the band as resembling: ' .. the finest amalgam of classic '50s Blue Note and Prestige line ups. Perhaps what attracted them to jazz in the first place was the energy, vibe, blues, rhythm, gospel and emotions found on these influential sides" . 'Kavuma's music is original contemporary jazz with historical roots planted deep in American post-bop, blues and African rhythms'. On this cut of the tune Church, many of these influences are present - marching band, tap dancing by Michela Marino Lerman to Conor Chaplin's bass, the African rhythms and joyful, post-bop solos.

Born and partly raised in Uganda, Mark Kavuma is a prominent young trumpet player on the British jazz scene, leading his own Quartet, the Floor Rippers house band and his main outfit The Banger Factory as well as playing with Jean Toussaint's Young Lions, Jazz Jamaica, Nu Civilisation Orchestra and also one of the brass leaders at London based carnival band Kinetika Bloco. In 2012 Mark was featured as guest soloist with Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Centre Orchestra having been voted best soloist at the very first 'Essentially Ellington' competition in the UK. In 2016 Mark had another opportunity to play as guest soloist with Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Centre Orchestra performing the Gershwin songbook at the Barbican, before resuming his studies at Trinity College of Music. He featured in Hoagy B Carmichael's production of 'This Joint Is Jumpin' at the Other Palace Theatre (2017) before starting to work on this debut album. (Hoagy B. Carmichael is Hoagy Carmichael's son).

Go to the Jazz As Art page, play the track and then scroll down to see ten paintings I have chosen to go with the music - (I think this only really works if you spend time with each painting) - click here.  


Alfred Gockel Blues Club







Jazz Remembered

George Chisholm

by Jeff Duck


[You are able to listen to the music at the same time as reading this article and without leaving the page if you click here. This will take you to the article on another page on our website where some computers might ask you to allow the music to play on the page. Alternatively there are links to the music on YouTube etc. in the article below]. Jeff Duck runs CJRO Records in support of charities - click here for more information.


George Chisholm



Trombonist George Chisholm OBE was born in Glasgow, Scotland on March 25th, 1915, to a musical family. His father was a drummer, his mother a pianist and his two brothers Ron (a pianist) and Bert (a trumpeter) were also skilled musicians.  George’s daughter Carol Moore is a singer and recorded with her father many times in the seventies. His musical career started as a pianist at a local Glasgow cinema and he made his first live broadcast in 1932. George started to play trombone in 1934 and doubled on both piano and trombone for the next few years. In the spring of 1934, he was hired to play trombone by Louis Freeman, who directed a dance band at the Glasgow George ChsholmPlayhouse, where later that year, the trombonist also worked with violinist Jack Ansell's Band.

In 1935, George moved to London and started playing in big name dance bands such as those of Bert Ambrose and Teddy Joyce. It was also at this time that George worked with vocalist George Elrick and bandleader and dancer extraordinaire Ken ‘Snakehips’ Johnson. He made regular visits to the all night jam sessions in clubs like Bag o’ Nails and The Nest, not just as a visitor but as a player as well. He played with the Americans Coleman Hawkins and Benny Carter and impressed with George’s playing ability, Benny Carter invited him for a three month stay in Holland playing with the Carter band.

In this 44 minute programme The Golden Age Of British Dance Bands about bandleader Ambrose, compiled and introduced by Alan Dell in 1972, at about 29.18 minutes in, George Chisholm reminisces about that time when he joined Ambrose's trombone section - click here.

During the 1939 visit to London of Fats Waller the decision was made that Fat’s would make some recordings during his stay. George was in Jersey on his honeymoon but quickly returned to London to take part in the recordings. Other players on this session were fellow Scots David Wilkins (trumpet), Ian Sheppard (tenor sax and violin) and Alan Ferguson (guitar). Alfie Kahn (tenor sax and clarinet) and Edmondo Ross on drums were also there. Titles recorded were Flat Foot Floogie, Pent Up In A Penthouse, Music Maestro Please, and A Tiskit, A Taskit, Don’t Try Your Jive On Me and Ain’t Misbehavin’. That same year Leonard Feather, who was a leading jazz critic in America, organised a recording session for George’s Chis-holm’s Jive Five. It was soon after this recording session that Leonard Feather described George as “one of the half-dozen most inventive and emotionally mature trombonists in jazz - regardless of country: a superlative musician with an ageless style." 1939 was a very busy year for George as he was also a founding member of a band called The Heralds of Swing; the other founding members were Tommy McQuater (trumpet) and Archie Craig (trumpet). The Heralds of Swing were formed with the intention of following a more purist jazz line rather than the more commercial orientated jazz-influenced dance bands of the era.

In 1940 George joined the RAF and joined The Squadronaires (the RAF dance band) as a player and arranger. The Heralds of Swing were disbanded, and George stayed with the Squadronaires after he was demobbed until 1950, as well as working on other projects including five year stint of freelance work along with working with the BBC Showband, the forerunner of the BBC Radio Orchestra.

George was also one of the core members of Kenny Baker’s Dozen (one of the best British jazz bands), and Wally Stott’s orchestra on BBC Radio’s The Goon Show, where as well as providing backing music and playing many jazz solos, George also had a number of acting roles notably as ‘Chisholm MacChisholm the Steaming Celt'. George stepped out of the band to take speaking roles, joining the team of Harry Secombe, Peter Sellers, Spike Milligan and Ray Ellington.

In December 1956 George, along with Sid Phillips, Dill Jones, Jack Parnell and a symphony orchestra were chosen as accompanists to Louis Armstrong at the Hungarian Relief concert at The Royal Festival Hall in London. This was Louis’ first return to London since the 1930s and was such a rare occasion that Humphrey Lyttelton took the job of holding up a heavy recorder to a backstage speaker so as to capture the event. Although to me George’s solos were confident and perfect in every way, the recording seems to show that Louis was George Chisholmoften out of sync with the orchestra. Humphrey Lyttelton once said “I started buying his records and listening to him when I was still at school ... He told me once that his playing was based on eight bars of trombone that Jack Teagarden had played on his recording of Junk Man.” Even though Teagarden remained an inspiration and favourite of George’s he never did copy the America musician.


Click here for a video of George Chisholm and his Jazz Gang playing In A Persian Market Place on the Morcombe and Wise Show in 1962.


In the 1960s and George was as busy as ever, his involvement with The Black and White Minstrel Show involved not only straight playing but also a lot of comedy, George stayed with the show and then toured the country with it as it played to packed theatres, but received bad reviews from the music press especially jazz critics who saw him being involved in a show of bad taste. George was also a player in the house bands for the children’s TV shows Play Away and Play School and had roles in the films The Mouse on the Moon (1963), The Knack...and how to get it (1965) and Superman III (1983). In the late sixties and early seventies George toured the UK with Alex Welsh’s band, and also formed his own band The Gentlemen of Jazz (the first reason for the capitol G).

Click here for a video of George and The Gentlemen Of Jazz who are joined by Carol Kidd, and by special guests Jack Emblow, John McLevy and the Jimmy Feighan Quartet.

Click here to listen to Roy Williams and George Chisholm playing a trombone duet on It's Alright with Me with the Alex Welsh band recorded at the Queen Elizabeth Hall Louis Armstrong Memorial concert 1971. Humphrey Lyttelton joined George and Welsh’s band in the show “Salute to Satchmo” in 1978.

Although very busy and  due to his being an expert brass player, George also received requests to play with leading brass bands such as The Yorkshire Imperial, The Grimethorpe and The Royal Doulton bands. As the 1980s approached George continued playing and arranging despite ongoing heart problems. He underwent heart surgery and after recovering he continued working with The Gentleman of Jazz as well as others, including Keith Smith’s Hefty Jazz. George received the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1984.

Click here for a video of George with Lena Zavaroni, Elaine Stritch and Wayne Sleep playing Sweet Georgia Brown as part of a performance of All That Jazz from the show Chicago.

The mid 1990s were not good for George as he started to suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. He retired from public life to Milton Keynes and unfortunately passed away on December 6th, 1997 at the age of 82. George Chisholm, a pure Gentleman whose career lasted more than sixty years, was often classed as the finest jazz trombonist in Europe, as well as being the first British jazz musician to rank alongside the American giants. Although people would burst out laughing at his antics, his extrovert humour, comedic spontaneity and expert musicianship covered a shy and modest personality.Trumpeter and bandleader Digby Fairweather justly described George's playing as 'majestic with a trademark manipulation of intervals in the lower register of the instrument'; this soon became known as 'Chisholm’s intervals'. Although some of his playing of the trombone might have been termed 'sweet', his elaborations of melody could never be described as 'sugary'. George was one of very few British jazz musicians described as 'one of the best in the world' and was able to leave behind him such an impact as to inspire many of today’s jazz trombonists.

Click here for George playing Stardust in the 1960s.


George Chsholm







Full Focus

Dave Manington's Riff Raff

The Iliad

from the album Challenger Deep


'Full Focus' is a series where musicians and others discuss a jazz track or tracks in detail. The idea is that you are able to listen to the track that is discussed as you read about it. In this article, bass player and bandleader Dave Manington talks about his composition The Iliad from the 2018 album Challenger Deep (Loop 1030).

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

Dave Maningtons Riff Raff Challenger Deep


Bass player Dave Manington is one of the founders of the Loop Collective, the e17 Jazz Collective. He has composed for and led his own septet, trios, and quartet, whilst also contributing music to many other people’s albums. His acclaimed debut quartet album Headrush was released on Loop Records in 2008 and his band Riff Raff released the successful album Hullabaloo in 2013. We featured the track Agile in an earlier Full Focus article. Challenger Deep was released in May 2018.

Riff Raff is a dynamic ensemble of young musicians featuring vocalist Brigitte Beraha (Bablefish, Kenny Wheeler.), pianist Ivo Neame (Phronesis) who also contributes occasional accordion, saxophonist Tomas Challenger (Brass Mask, Outhouse, Red Snapper), guitarist Rob Updegraff (Ronnie Scott’s All Stars, Zigaboo Modeliste) and drummer Tim Giles (Iain Ballamy, Kenny Wheeler, Art Farmer).

Dave talks about the track The Iliad from Challenger Deep. You can listen to the track if you click here, or better still, click here to go to a page where you can listen without moving away from the text (recommended).



Dave Manington


Challenger Deep, Riff Raff’s latest album, is the follow up to our 2013 debut Hullabaloo and features nine of my original compositions. As my third album as a leader, I feel it's the ultimate expression of my music. Although it is shaped and led by my compositions, there is plenty of freedom to explore, and the band now plays so well as a unit after over five years together that we can push each other to the limits of our energy and creative powers.

Challenger Deep is the deepest ocean trench in the world, nearly 11km down at the bottom of the Pacific ocean.

The Iliad is a bit of an epic, written in several contrasting sections. I would have named it The Odyssey but Spinal Tap already used the name "Jazz Odyssey", as did several dodgy 1980s jazz albums I used to own! I like to take the listener on a journey, to tell a musical story, Rob Updegraffrather than repeating too much material.

For this tune I really threw everything at it that I was practising and working on at the time. There are probably three main sections.

The tune began life when I came up with the bass groove in 5/4 as seen in the 'A' section below. After messing around with it for a while I extended it so you can feel it in the original bar groupings (5/5/5/6/5/5/5/6/extra 3/8) - or in dotted crotchets as in the 'B' section below. So you hear the melody over both 'feels' with the drums/rhythm section changing underneath. This has the effect of making the music seem to relax and spread out as it hits the 'B' section. I like a polyrhythmic element and have used it regularly as a compositional tool.

There is a brilliant guitar solo from Rob Updegraff at 'C' which is partly in the dotted crotchet pulse and partly in the original bar groupings. After a few attempts the band decided they’d prefer to see it written as below, with the chord movements crossing the 12/8 barlines rather than seeing each rhythmic grouping, as the rhythm section is playing a strong 12/8 feel. This is the trickiest section to play, I’ve tried feeling it in both ways and I’m still not sure which is easier!


Rob Updegraff



The tune morphs again at 'D' as the dotted crotchet pulse becomes the 5 in a 5-over-4 groove, creating a new polyrhythm. This is essentially a slow 4-in-a bar pulse coming in underneath the old Ivo Neamepulse. Again this creates a subtle slowing down and spreading out of the underlying pulse, whilst the texture of the rest of the band seems to be getting more frenetic.

The whole 'D' section is in 3 bar sections for a fantastic Rhodes solo from Ivo Neame.

Ivo Neame


Later there’s new melodic material over this section, before the music returns to the original 'A' section feel. The melody appears again as before, then with a slightly bebop variation. Essentially it’s a through-composed piece which is my preferred way of writing rather than to repeat myself.

Finally, I added a thrashy coda at the end (section 'E') - a separate bass riff that I'd come up with. Sometimes it's nice to go for a surprise ending ....!




Dave Manington The Iliad



Dave Maningtons Riff Raff


The Challenger Deep album was released on 11th May 2018. Click here for details and to sample the album.

Dave Manington's Riff Raff were touring during May and will be playing at The Soundcellar, Poole, Dorset on 14th June 2018.

Click here for Dave's website.




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].


Neal Richardson


Neal Richardson


The monthly Tea Break is a series of short, fun items in What's New Magazine that also gives jazz musicians an opportunity to update us with what they are doing. This month, Neal Richardson, pianist, vocalist and producer, takes a break and talks about organising Splash Point Music, its south coast Jazz Clubs and the Eastbourne Jazz Festival.

As well as being pianist/vocalist playing jazz, blues and originals, Neal is also an award-winning Producer. He cut his teeth performing in jazz clubs, hotels, and cruise ships in over 50 countries, from Rio to Raffles, Norway to New Orleans, Vietnam to Venezuela.  His Quartet has entertained Royalty, Hollywood celebrities and VIPs at world-renowned venues, including playing for George Clooney on his yacht at the Cannes Film Festival. Neal's arrangements and original compositions display his wide-ranging tastes and influences, and he and his band have a great swinging style influenced by Oscar Peterson and Gene Harris. His debut album Better Than The Blues was launched at the London Jazz Festival in 2014, and his nine-piece band sold out Ronnie Scott’s Club in Soho in 2016. He has produced 30 albums for various jazz artists, including two at London's Abbey Road Studios, and ran his own label Splash Point Records for 12 years. He now runs the hugely popular Splash Point Jazz Club nights - which have expanded to six regular venues - and heads-up Splash Point Music Ltd.  He quotes his biggest honour as being asked to collect a Gold Badge Award at the BASCA ceremony at The Savoy on behalf of Dame Cleo Laine.

With the new Splash Point Jazz Festival in Eastbourne imminently taking place in September, we were lucky to catch him for a tea break.



Hi Neal, tea or coffee?

Coffee please.


Milk and sugar?

Coconut milk, please, and no drugs ta .....

Susannah Flack




You have been busy over the last few years – I think you have now set up is it 6 Jazz Clubs along the South Coast, and now you are introducing the first Eastbourne Splash Point Jazz Festival on 30th September. Who can we expect to hear on the day?

Well, a whole raft of amazing national and international players, that we're delighted are coming.  12 bands in 3 venues on one lovely day at the seaside. We were in the fortunate position of having way too many favourite players to choose from, many of whom have played in our various Splash Point Jazz Clubs, so we tried to put together a balanced programme music-wise, and suitable to each venue.  There are too many to list here - but a sample of names would be Roger Beaujolais, Art Themen, Quinto, Andy Panayi, Susannah Flack, Craig Milverton, Jason Yarde, Sue Richardson, Simon Thorpe, Julian Marc Stringle, Hexagonal, Mike Piggott, Paul Richards, Sara Oschlag, and yours truly. The full list is at


Susannah Flack


Click here for a video of Susannah Flack playing The President and The Lion - Cravo e Canela.





That sounds like a great line-up for one day! Presumably setting up the Festival has needed sponsorship and support? Has that been a challenge? Have venues been supportive?

Well it seemed like a good idea at the time…!  I'll blame my partner in crime Annette Keen here - I'm sure it was her idea…  and as Programme Director she's been amazing.

I'm pleased to say Eastbourne as a town have got behind it - the Council, the Chamber of Commerce and the local MP (Stephen Lloyd) who is our Festival Patron.  It's a commercial enterprise, but we are raising money for Chestnut Tree House children's hospice too. I do believe in the CSR principle of corporate sponsorship - I really think it's a win-win if it's done in the right way - with the one proviso of course that sponsorship buys no influence over booking policy!  Similarly there are many companies whose money I would not want involved for reasons of personal principle.  So my job is really to schlepp round all the local companies - and some big ones - to try and convert them to the joys of Arts Sponsorship!  Either that or lose my house!


Eastbourne Jazz Festival



I think visitors and sponsors will be pleased to support the Corporate Social Responibility approach, I imagine not all organisations consider the social and environmental consequences of events; and the Hospice, which is supporting something like 300 children is a great cause. Did you have a strategy for the range of music you would include? 

It's hard not to let one's personal tastes dictate/preclude certain types of our broad church of jazz - it's probably somewhat inevitable -  but we've tried to get a pretty wide range - from hot club to modern.  I try to resist the ever-present jazz temptation to be the Judaean People's Front vs. the People's Front of Judea! (Life of Brian movie).



Apart from the time it must take to organise a Festival, what other challenges have there been? Taking the Life Of Brian reference, do you 'Always look on the bright side of life?'

Trying to balance/gamble the books, and all the minutiae of things that emerge as you get deeper into it.  And this is only one day! God alone knows how Nigel Price is coping with Swanage!! He's amazing! I love making things happen. Second only to performing live.  But I oscillate between chutzpah and hubris i.e.  "Yeah! I can do this" vs. "Who am I kidding?" Or "I've still got time to get good" vs. "I'm too old"… God I love the paroxysms of self doubt… not!





If you could have included two past jazz musicians, who would you have chosen and what would you have asked them to play?

Ella and Louis.  I know that's a bit of an obvious choice, but in both cases I don't think they've been surpassed - nor will be. We do indeed stand on the shoulders of giants.  Probably that sublime version of "They Can't Take That Away" or "Cheek to Cheek" - or anything from that album really, then I get Oscar, Herb, Ray and Buddy too! :-))

[Click here to listen to Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong with They Can't Take That Away From Me].



Hob Nob, Bourbon, Garibaldi or digestive biscuit? 

While waiting for McVitie's to sort their supply chain out... it'd have to be a Bourbon from the Co-op please as the ingredients are entirely plant-based.


How are things going with the Jazz Clubs? I know some clubs are struggling financially at the moment while others seem to be thriving? Do audiences at each club like different styles of music?

Yep. I think you have to cut your coat according to the cloth to some extent. Our Splash Point Jazz Clubs involve an inordinate amount of work - I think we provide over 400 employment slots for individual musicians a year - but like most of the jazz industry they would collapse without fantastic volunteer help.   We're forever tweaking the balance between presenting new/underrated musicians and better-known names in order to gently coax the public's palate to try new flavours.  But there are two quotes I keep in mind:

1) Never forget who's paying your bills - i.e. an audience wants to be entertained.  I know some purists might shudder at that - but the most moving performances are the ones that take the listeners with them - not leave them out in the cold, methinks. 

And 2) the Ellington one: "To keep a band together you simply need a gimmick. The gimmick I use is to pay them money."  I LOVE that quote.  I don't care if the audience is paying £100/ticket or £0, what I care about is that the musicians get paid decently and treated well.



Is it four years now since your Better Than The Blues album? How was that received?

Better Than The Blues album


Pretty well, I'm pleased (and relieved) to say. It was a huge "Wizard of Oz" undertaking for me, to finally come out, so to speak, into the recorded limelight myself.  It was only four years ago - but it took 48 years to gestate!  I had run the Label (Splash Point Records) for 12 years and in that time produced/co-produced lots of CDs for some amazing names, won awards for them, worked at Abbey Rd and Capitol in L.A., but this felt very different.  Although I've done thousands of gigs - and recorded as a sideman on others' records, I had to finally, nervously set my own stall of compositions out for assessment!  We pushed the boat out on the production/packaging, marketing it as a coffee-table book/CD which people seemed to like the idea of.  I was trying to buck the trend of falling physical CD sales…before they disappeared for ever!  I'm still very proud of it - especially getting some of my oldest friends to play on it, but already I'm feeling itchy to do the next one along the lines of "I know I can play/sing better now…" - whatever "better" means.  Still, I took it to Ronnie's and pretty much sold out - thanks to the stellar band I think!



[Click here for an introductory compilation video of Neal with the release gig for Better Than The Blues at the Pizza Express Jazz Club in Soho].


Sue Richardson at Ronnie Scotts



That 'coffee table' format for the album was really impressive and quite unusual. Both you as a pianist and vocalist and you wife, Sue Richardson, as a jazz trumpet player and vocalist are busy with many things. Is Sue still playing her tribute to Chet Baker set? What else do you have planned after the Festival?

Psychotherapy!  Why do we all do this to ourselves - the frenetic pace of modern life?!  But yes, Sue's 'Chet Baker' Too Cool show still proves very popular - not least I think because of the amount of research and backstory she puts into it - having spoken to Chet's biographers, and his friends like Archie (Shepp) when she gigged with him in Paris. She's doing the two week run of Café Society at Stratford East, and now has two more shows of her own:  Jazz Immortal (the music of Clifford Brown) which is a tour de force; and Screen Sirens (Jazz in Hollywood) which lifts the lid on some of the appalling treatment of female stars in the so-called 'Golden Age'. She is also into year 1 of a PhD in music edukashun…

Meantime I carry on with 4/5 gigs a week, don't practise enough, and do too much admin on all this to try and keep the ship afloat. Talking of which, I dip in the sea every morning to keep me (in)sane!


Sue Richardson


[Click here to listen to Sue Richardson guesting on Ian Shaw's A Ghost In Every Bar poignant album of Fran Landesman's songs and the so beautiful track All The Sad Young Men].





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

The women in jazz:  e.g. Susannah Flack on steel pan strikes a beautiful balance of her Brazilian-heritage groove with pretty advanced jazz harmony, plus she writes some nice toons too;  Danish singer Sara Oschlag is a tour-de-force vocalist, with superb tuning and accessible but thrilling scatting. Oh, and of course you can hear them both at our Splash Point Festival, Sunday, 30th September 2018.

[Click here for a video of Sara Oschlag with the Flash Mob Jazz Bigger Band and Sing, Sing, Sing].



I'm glad Susannah is getting some exposure. The steel pan is not a common instrument in jazz, I have heard it once or twice and played well, it is very effective. Another biscuit?

Really? Blimey this is the best Rider I've ever had! Yes please - you're too kind, sir. You should know that musicians will do anything for free food… Oh god don't get me started on the economics of gig fees again..!  I'm sure YOU'VE got stuff to get on with even if I haven't…!  Thank you, Ian, and please keep up the great work spreading the word and supporting our somewhat precarious but life-saving industry!


Neal Richardson


All colour photographs above courtesy of Brian O'Connor, Images Of Jazz

Utah Tea Pot





Dirty It Up




Poetry and Jazz

Jazz Violins And Cellos

by Howard Lawes


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


Alice Zawadzki

Alice Zawadzki


Imagine if you can, some of the most famous Duke Ellington and Glenn Miller tunes played without brass, saxophones or drums; impossible perhaps until you come across an album of Polish String bands called Koncerty w Trójce released on the Polskie Radio label with arrangements by Krzysztof Herdzin. As it says in the press release - the music gains a "new quality", "a different type of lyricism, typical of Tchaikovsky or Ravel" and why not? Jazz is all about new arrangements and improvisation. (Click here for details and to sample the album).

String bands of course are not new and were there at the beginning of New Orleans jazz in the early 20th century including guitars, mandolins, banjos, violins, ukulele and bass in the lineup. Henry Graves was playing cello with W.C. Handy's Orchestra in 1917 - click here to listen to them playing The Old Town Pump. As jazz music evolved in the USA bands used different types of instruments, but Jean-Luc Pontyin Europe guitarist Django Reinhardt popularised the string band format with a style called Gypsy Jazz, and in collaboration with violinist Stephane Grappelli formed the Quintette du Hot Club de France. This style of music was very popular on both sides of the Atlantic and Stephane Grappelli's violin playing still sets a high standard for later jazz violinists to aspire to. 

Click here for a video of the Quintette back in 1939 playing Jattendrai Swing. (J'attendrai - I'm waiting).

One violinist inspired by Stephane Grappelli was Nigel Kennedy who recounts in an article in the Guardian (19 December 2007) how as a 13 year old student at the Yehudi Menuhin School he had the opportunity to jam with Grappelli and played Honeysuckle Rose and Sweet Georgia Brown with the great musician. Another violinist influenced by Grappelli was the Frenchman, Jean-Luc Ponty who began playing jazz violin in 1962. 


Jean-Luc Ponty




Click here for a video of Jean-Luc Ponty with Dr. L. Subramaniam and Billy Cobham playing Conversations in 2003.

In 1967 an album called Violin-Summit was released featuring a quartet of violinists, the same year as a violin workshop at the Monterey Jazz Festival that involved Grappelli, Ponty, Swede Svend Asmussen and American Stuff Smith, who sadly died later the same year. 

Click here for a video of Stuff Smith, Ella Fitzgerald and the Oscar Peterson Trio playing It Don't Mean A Thing If You Ain't Got That Swing.

Ponty stayed for extended periods in the USA playing with Frank Zappa and the Mahavishnu Orchestra, while back home in France he set up the free jazz Jean-Luc Ponty Experience while Asmussen collaborated with the Modern Jazz Quartet.  Another European jazz violinist Yehudi menhuin and Stephane Grappelliwho found success in the USA was Michal Urbaniak from Poland, who after receiving the best soloist prize at the 1971 Montreux Festival Urnaniak emigrated to America in 1973 and experimented with a variety of special electronic effects as well as using a 5-string violin. In 1985 he featured on the the Miles Davis album Tutu and has played with many great American jazz musicians.  Another Polish jazz violinist was Zbigniew Seifert who played "impassioned, Coltrane like violin" with the Tomasz Stanko group.

Click here to listen to Zbigniew Seifert with the Tomasz Stanko Quintet playing Aeoioe / Heban.


Yehudi Menhuin and Stephane Grappelli





In the UK in the 1970s folk violin music was popular and featured in bands such as Fairport Convention and the Albion Band, but in 1972 the TV talk-show host Michael Parkinson brought Stephane Grappelli together with the famous classical violinist Yehudi Menhuin for what proved to be such a successful collaboration that they recorded an album together of jazz standards such as Jealousy and Night and Day.

Click here for a video of Stephane Grappelli and Yehudi Menhuin playing Jalousie (Jealousy).


One of Menhuin's students was Nigel Kennedy who is perhaps thought of as a classical violinist who plays jazz, but in fact one of Kennedy's first albums in 1984 was Nigel Kennedy Plays Jazz

Tim Kliphuis


Another student of Menhuin was Christian Garrick, son of the great British jazz-choral composer and educator Michael Garrick, and who, like Nigel Kennedy, met and was profoundly influenced by Stephane Grappelli to the extent that he named one of his bands Spirit of Stephane.  Garrick's other bands include the Christian Garrick Group which began in 1990 and the Budapest Cafe Orchestra described as "the finest purveyors of Balkan music this side of a Lada scrap heap", highlighting the fact that Balkan is a more accurate description of the provenance of the music than the word 'gypsy' associated with Django Reinhart. 

Yet more violinists influenced by Grappelli were the Dutchman, Tim Kliphuis who has played in the U.K. many times and Florin Niculescu who with guitarist Bireli Lagrange recreated the magic of the Quintette du Hot Club de France with a 2001 album called The Gypsy Project.  Omar Puente came to the U.K. from Cuba in 1997 as a classical violinist but has played jazz with British saxophone stars such as Courtney Pine and Denys Baptiste.


Tim Kliphuis



Click here for Omar Puente playing Mas Que Nada with J-Sonics at the Canary Wharf Jazz Festival in 2016.


Following in the footsteps of Yehudi Menhuin the internationally acclaimed classical violinist Viktoria Mullova flirted with jazz encouraged by her husband, cellist Matthew Barley. She released an album in 2011 called The Peasant Girl playing jazz violin which she went on to perform at the Proms.  Classical musicians who are used to playing music as it is written on the score sometimes find improvising rather difficult but as Barley writes on his website about musical improvisation "Having been improvising for 30 years now, it is wonderful to see it becoming Pascal Roggenmore and more mainstream, as it once was in the classical music world. Great musicians of old (Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Liszt and many more) were all master improvisers, and up until the early 20th century, musicians would commonly have a jam, even on the concert platform".  Barley himself recorded an acclaimed album with jazz pianist Julian Joseph in 2009 called The Dance of the Three Legged Elephants.


Pascal Roggen


Barley's observation certainly seems to be accurate with several musicians who began studying classical violin either moving over to jazz or playing both styles as the situation demands.  Pascal Roggen is a violinist from New Zealand who followed the classical path from a very young age but graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with a Masters Degree in jazz in 2006.  In the UK Roggen has played with Andy Sheppard, Denys Baptiste and Soweto Kinch but may be best known as the violinist in the Shez Raja Collective that released an album called Gurutopia in 2016. 


Continuing the association between Poland and jazz violin is Alice Zawadszki and although she is probably better known for her wonderful voice she originally trained as a classical violinist. On her album China Lane released in 2014, Alice plays violin along with guest musicians Shirley Smart, Peggy Nolan and Rosie Toll on cello, Lucy Nolan and Tahan Stevens on viola and Eva Thorarinsdottir and Steven Proctor on violin.

Click here for a video of Alice playing and singing Ring Of Fire.


The Atom String Quartet, also from Poland with the classic string quartet format of two violins, viola and cello, were formed in 2010 and have become one of the most popular jazz bands in Poland, representing their country at Jazz Ahead in Bremen twice and performing at the Manchester Jazz Festival in 2016.

Click here for a video of the Atom String Quartet playing Triton Blues.



Tomorrow's Warriors, who know a thing or two about developing young jazz musicians who go on to achieve great things, have also StringTingestablished a string quartet.  From the same proving ground as Nerija, Binker and Moses, Peter Edwards and Shabaka Huthchings we now have StringTing with  Rhiannon Dimond and  Barbara Bartz on violin,  Julia Vaughan on viola and  Miranda Lewis on cello.  Earlier this year StringTing performed a programme of jazz at the Royal Academy of Music for the Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition.




The cellist Shirley Smart is a very busy musician who plays in several bands ranging from classical through world music to jazz.  She is a member of Interchange, formed by Issie Barratt in 2017, in which ten of the UK’s leading female musicians combine in a fascinating new initiative playing new music from women composers and representing a breadth and diversity that crosses generations and cultural backgrounds. Shirley also belongs to the Balagan Cafe Band with Richard Jones on violin and Christian Miller on guitar.  This band formed in 2012 and inspired by Django Reinhart, takes the string band jazz of the pre-war era as a starting point and traditional music from around the world such as Chaabi music from Algeria; Tango from Argentina and folk from the Balkans, to create some really great jazz. The Balagan Cafe Band album was released in March 2018 and as Cristian Miller points out in the album notes the flexibility of jazz makes it a natural way to combine musical traditions in the same way that American jazz drew on blues, African, Caribbean and European music. It features a really eclectic mix of jazz violin, guitar and cello recalling the best of Gypsy Jazz but also embracing music from other cultures. Guest artists on the album are Joe Browne on soprano saxophone, Tommie Black-Rof on accordion and Alice Zawadzski on vocals and while many of the compositions are new, such as the Manouche style Stompin' at the Adjani, it also includes a new arrangement of the old favourite Honeysuckle Rose, the same tune fondly remembered by Nigel Kennedy when he duetted with Stephane Grappelli as a teenager. 

Click here for a video of the Balagan Cafe Band playing Lady Be Good.


Right on cue Nigel Kennedy has just released his own album Kennedy Meets Gershwin to rave reviews such as the Guardian - ' Rip-roaring and exquisitely tender – the classical star is a mesmerisingly musical jazz lover and enthusiastic acclamation from audiences at Ronnie Scott's and Cheltenham Jazz Festival' - Click here for a video of Nigel Kennedy talking about the album. (click here for details and to sample the album).

In this necessarily brief review of mainly European jazz played on bowed, stringed instruments I have tried to describe a different kind of jazz which some might say isn't jazz at all. However, as Matthew Barley describes, elements of what makes jazz have been around for a long time, and Christian Miller emphasises that jazz has a unique flexibility which has always allowed music from other music genres to be re-arranged and explored. The jazz music being played by young (and some not so young) violinists and cellists is great music in any language. As the young guns from Tomorrow's Warriors and Jazz Refreshed have shown there is an enthusiastic audience for jazz influenced by Afrobeat and Caribbean music and at clubs such as Green Note in Camden there are also enthusiastic audiences for jazz based on the music of the whole world.


Click here for pianist Kit Downes and cellist Lucy Railton playing the title track from their album Tricko.


Kit Downes and Lucy Railton


Kit Downes and Lucy Railton




Calstock Arts : Jazz Off The Beaten Track


Calstock Ats


Kate Gamm writes:

Calstock Arts is set in a small Cornish village. The venue is a beautiful former Methodist chapel of the type commonly found in Cornwall.  What makes this one extra special is that despite its traditional exterior, your expectations on walking through the door are immediately overturned by a stunning view of the Tamar Valley through the large, modern picture window beyond the stage where organ pipes once reached the archway.  This is all thanks to Peterloo Poets, the previous owners who converted The Old Chapel into a performance space in the 1990s with grant funding from Arts Council England and The National Lottery.

Following the dissolution of Peterloo Poets in 2009, Calstock Arts CIC was formed by a group of local residents with the aim of preserving Clare Tealthis special space for use by the community.  I became the event programmer and soon built up a network of performers wanting to perform here from across the music and arts spectrum – Jazz, Folk, Classical, Comedy, Poetry, Theatre and Dance have all featured from the beginning.  Our catchment area was initially from nearby villages and towns, and went on to include audiences from at least a fifty mile radius – Exeter to the east, Truro to the west and even beyond Devon and Cornwall on occasions.

Our reputation spread rapidly and in 2012 we staged the first Calstock Jazz and Blues Festival, with events taking place at venues throughout this vibrant village.  We aimed high at Calstock Arts that first year – Clare Teal was the headliner, along with the Clark Tracey Septet and the Nicolas Meier Quartet. 


Clare Teal



The festival continued with the same high quality for a further three years, with Claire Martin, Ian Shaw, Jacqui Dankworth, Jean Toussaint, Antonio Forcione, The Printmakers and Polar Bear headlining, alongside emerging (at that time) names such as Matthew Halsall, Empirical and Femi Temowo.

As you can see, the festival was well served by exceptional female singers, but the ratio of male to female instrumentalists, even allowing for the fact that there are far more men on the circuit, was completely out of balance.  Of the 50+ instrumentalists on our festival stage, only two were women! 


Women In Jazz Weekend


Laura Jurd

Laura Jurd


To redress the balance, Calstock Arts went on to programme a Women in Jazz strand featuring Laura Jurd, Trish Clowes and Nerija early on in their careers. Such was the interest in these gigs that we planned a weekend of events celebrating female jazz musicians from across Shirley Smartthe UK spectrum, with support from the PRS Foundation’s Open Fund, which took place at the end of April 2018.

The opening night saw a performance by Interchange, the newly formed ten piece female ensemble led by pioneering National Youth Jazz Orchestra conductor Issie Barratt.  The dectet was buzzing from playing the Gateshead International Jazz Festival the previous weekend, before heading south for an exclusive date in the West Country – only the fifth time they had played together.   A set of all new material composed by women, mainly the band members, included pieces by Yazz Ahmed, Karen Street, Tori Freestone, Brigitte Beraha, Issie Barratt and my personal favourite, the Middle Eastern influenced Palmyra by cellist Shirley Smart.


Shirley Smart
Photograph by Adrian Pallant


Click here for a compilation video of Shirley Smart playing at Kings Place in London.


Saturday night saw a return visit by The Printmakers, led by pianist Nikki Iles.  Sadly minus Mark Lockheart due to illness, the remaining band members conveyed their love of lyrics and the sheer enjoyment in playing together.  Songs from writers as diverse as Joni Mitchell, Ralph Towner and Harold Arlen were beautifully interpreted by award winning vocalist Norma Winstone.  The addition of their own material from the outstanding 2015 release, Westerly, included the Iles/Winstone composition Tideway, inspired by the eerie calm of a misty Kent coast, tinged with a bossa nova twist. Click here





The Printmakers


The weekend concluded with jazz on a Sunday afternoon with three talented amateur singers.  Jo Bell, Tina Learmonth and Lou Phillips, accompanied on piano by musical director Helen Porter, played to a packed house of local supporters. 

This was a celebration of great contemporary music, for jazz lovers (and doubters) alike.   We’ve already had requests for another Women in Jazz weekend and we will certainly continue to focus on raising the profile of female musicians.    Hopefully there will come a time when that will no longer be necessary. 


Calstock Arts interior







Banjo George Baron

Adrian Baron Robbins, George's son, has added this information to George's Profile (click here):

George was born in Coventry in 1906, and his full name was George James Thornhill Robbins. He took to the name 'Baron' as his stage name from his mother, Leah Baron. He married my mother, Phyllis Josephs some time in 1936, and I was born in 1937. They subsequently divorced. He told me that my grandmother celebrated her eightieth birthday playing banjo in a pub in North Road Brighton. He also told me that he made most of his money playing poker.


The 606 Club

Last month, we congratulated the 606 Club in Cheslea on its 30th birthday, but apparently the club is older than it looks. Trombonist Mel Henry writes: 'Although Steve Rubie took over the club in the mid '70s, it was formerly run by a sometime actor, Steve Cartright before he disappeared to the South of France. I first knew the club even before then, when it was called Davina's - the first time I sat in was with the Morgan James duo!!' (Mel Henry plays regularly with 'Jazz Times Three' in the Bath area).

Does anyone else remember the club in its former life?




Mike Collier

Bryan Woy writes: 'I came across your very interesting website while looking on Google for the trombonist Mike Collier, with whom I played regularly in Dieppe in the last years of his life. A very good article, I think, but since you ask for feedback, here are a couple of corrections:

"an LP on 77 Records featuring The Fourteen Band" should read "The Fourteen Foot Band" (in the picture caption, too, but it is cited correctly in the following paragraph) - I presume they were called thus because there were seven of them and they each had two feet.

"he was always disappointed that he was never invited to play by the Rover Big band" - as far as I know no such big band exists - I imagine someone misread Erica's handwriting and what she meant was the Rouen Big Band (founded by Christian Garros in 1978 and now known as the Christian Garros Big Band).

I look forward to reading future issues of What’s New.




Sandy Brown Jazz Facebook and Mailing List

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

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You can join our Mailing List - click here - and I will send you an email each time a new issue of What's New comes out.





Two Ears Three Eyes

Ralph Alessi and This Against That


Photographer Brian O'Connor went to this gig at the Watermill Jazz Club, Betchworth Park Golf Club, Dorking, Surrey on Tuesday, 15th May 2018 with Graham Thomas who describes the event.


Ravi Coltrane and Andy Milne

Ravi Coltrane and Andy Milne


The band on this occasion was Ralph Alessi (trumpet); Ravi Coltrane (saxophone); Andy Milne (piano); John Herbert (bass) and Mark Ferber (drums).

Ralph Alessi and John Herbert



Ralph Alessi’s This Against That featured long, complex original compositions which generally avoided settling into any particular groove or harmonic pattern for long. Alessi played long, flowing trumpet solos with an attractively rounded tone.  On tenor sax Ravi Coltrane played atmospheric, sustained notes interspersed with sudden fast runs.      


Ralph Alessi and John Herbert


Andy Milne on piano managed the difficult feat of providing chords and solos without falling into obvious harmonic choices, supporting the enigmatic sound of the group.  Bassist John Herbert played counter-melodies and sudden rhythmic bursts rather than the usual walking bass patterns, whilst Mark Ferber provided a complex but quite restrained texture on drums, occasionally letting go and demonstrating real power when required.



A standout tune was Howling on which Alessi played with a plunger mute while Milne used  ‘prepared piano’ sounds to imitate tuned percussion. The group’s music was quite complex and demanded concentration, but was well received by the Watermill audience.

Click here for a video of Ralph Alessi and This Against That playing in Amsterdam in May 2018.


John Herbert

John Herbert


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




Essex - The Julian Marc Stringle Quartet Plays a June Fundraiser for the National Jazz Archive

Reeds player Julian Marc Stringle is bringing his Quartet to Loughton, Essex on Saturday 23rd June for a fundraiser for the NJA. The Quartet will feature music made famous by Benny Goodman, Buddy de Franco and Artie Shaw, among others. The concert is the second Julian Marc Stringlein a series of events this year to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Archive.

Julian Marc Stringle plays clarinet, alto and tenor saxes, and sings, but the clarinet is his passion. He has won several British Jazz awards, with his highly melodic music and unique sound. He plays in and leads a wide range of groups, playing swing, modern, Latin, jazz-funk and more. Canadian guitarist Dominic Ashworth is an active freelance player. He regularly plays alongside Julian, both as a duo and in Julian’s Dream Band. He teaches guitar at Trinity Laban Conservatoire. On bass is Julian’s long-time musical associate Andrew Cleyndert, well known to jazz audiences for the past 30 years. He has played and toured with the cream of UK and international musicians. In the drum chair is Kent-based Rod Brown, drummer of choice for many top vocalists.

Julian said: “I’ve played in several fundraising concerts for the Archive over the years, and it’s a pleasure to bring my own group and help support the Archive, especially in this anniversary year.”

The venue for the concert is Loughton Methodist Church, 260 High Road, Loughton, Essex IG10 1RB, which is located just a couple of hundred yards from the Archive’s home in Loughton Library, where extensive parking is available. The church and the archive are about a kilometre away from Loughton Station on the Central Line, and they are also served by numerous bus routes.

The event starts at 2.30 pm on Saturday, 23rd June. Tickets cost £15. Click here for details.




Tristan Plan to Supersize Your Sunshine

Rob Adams writes: One of Europe’s most popular jazz-funk bands, Tristan, returns to the UK in July and September for a series of dates for the 'Going Dutch' programme that is bringing top musicians from the Netherlands to the UK and Ireland over the next eighteen months. TristanOriginally a trio that worked with guests including legendary American trumpeter Randy Brecker and British saxophone virtuoso Nigel Hitchcock, Tristan really hit their stride with the addition of singer Evelyn Kallansee and guitarist Guy Nikkels in 2013. The following year they released their first album, the startlingly fresh Full Power, which featured the turntable and dancefloor hit Supersize My Sunshine and was immediately chosen as Jazz FM’s Album of the Week. (Click here for a video of a live session at JazzFM).

The group’s music draws on influences including vintage Acid Jazz, Tower of Power and Snarky Puppy and brings, as Toto guitarist Steve Lukather described them, “a 1970s vibe into the current decade.” With funky guitar rhythms, Hammond organ, Fender Rhodes and synths, and a super-tight rhythm section giving her a warm, solid background, Kallansee’s beautiful vocals truly shine. Following Full Power and its successor, 2nd Phase, both of which went straight to the top of the UK Soul charts and won the band a world-wide following, Tristan released their third album, Lifestyle with guest contributions from Atlanta-based soul singer Heston and Dutch singer-guitarist Kasper. As their live performances continue to illustrate, however, Tristan is an entirely self-sufficient outfit full of drive and commitment, presenting honest music of the highest quality that’s the perfect soundtrack to the summer.

Live Dates:
1st July: Colchester Arts Centre Jazz Club
2nd July: Pizza Express, Holborn, London
6th July: Harrogate Festival
13th July: Tall Ships Stage, Sunderland
29th September: The Brook, Southampton
30th September: Wall2Wall, Abergavenny





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:


Reggie Lucas




Reggie Lucas - American guitarist, song writer and record producer who played with Miles Davis' electric band (including Pete Cosey, Michael Henderson and Al Foster) in the 1970s. He became a producer working with percussionist James Mtume for artists including Lou Rawls and Roberta Flack. Click here for a 1973 video of Reggie Lucas with Miles Davis.







Brooks Kerr



Brooks Kerr - American jazz pianist perhaps best known for being leading a small group featuring Sonny Greer and Russell Procope. He had sight problems from childhood and by the time he was 28 was totally blind. He studied with Lucky Roberts and Willie 'The Lion' Smith and becamse an expert on Duke Ellington's music. Listen to Watermelon Man from the album Brooks Kerr Salutes Duke Ellington - click here.





Gavin Jones - Owner of Garon record shops in Cambridge, UK, and promoter of gigs in the city. After leaving school he became a rep for Atlantic Records and Polyphon before setting up in business with a London cab driver, Ron Michaels. They began by selling imported records from a wallpaper table in Upper Street in Islington, north London, and then in 1969 acquired a regular market stall in Cambridge. They later opened branches of their store in Oxford and Norwich.


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.




Some Recent Releases



Mark Kavuma - Kavuma

Sloth Racket - A Glorious Monster

Trialogue - First Flight

Alina Bzhezhinska - Inspiration

The Dissolute Society - Soldiering On

Howard Riley - Listen To Hear




McClenty Hunter Jr - The Groove Hunter

Jon Irabagon Quartet featuring Tim Hagans - Dr Quixotic's Traveling Exotics

Mike McGinnis - Singular Awakening

Meg Okura and the Pan-Asian Chamber Ensemble - Ima Ima

Henry Threadgill 14 or 15 Kestra: Agg - Dirt... And More Dirt




Francesco Chiapperini Extemporary Vision Ensemble - The Big Earth

Solveig Slettahjell - Live At Victoria

Esbjörn Svensson Trio - e.s.t Live In London




Jimmy Dorsey - The Hits Collection 1935-1957

Ben Webster - Ben Webster & Associates

Buddy Rich - The Lost Tapes

Duke Ellington / Coleman Hawkins - Duke Ellington Meets Coleman Hawkins

Maynard Ferguson - Memories Of Maynard : The Best Of The Columbia Years









Mark Kavuma - Kavuma
(Ubuntu Music) - Released: 15th June 2018

Mark Kavuma (trumpet); Mussinghi Brian Edwards (saxophone); Ruben Fox (saxophone); Artie Zaitz (guitar); Reuben James (piano); Conor Chaplin (bass); Kyle Poole (drums) plus Michela Marino Lerman (taps on Church).

Mark Kavuma album



' .... the debut album of virtuostic trumpeter Mark Kavuma, brings together some of the leading jazz musicians on the UK jazz scene today ...' "They resemble the finest amalgam of classic '50s Blue Note and Prestige line ups. Perhaps what attracted them to jazz in the first place was the energy, vibe, blues, rhythm, gospel and emotions found on these influential sides" (engineer and musician Jake Zaitz). 'Kavuma's music is original contemporary jazz with historical roots planted deep in American post-bop, blues and African rhythms ... ' (release information).

Details : Listen to Modibo from the album : Listen to Church : Mark Kavuma's website :







Sloth Racket - A Glorious Monster
(Luminous Label) - Released: 4th June 2018

Cath Roberts (baritone saxophone); Sam Adreae (alto saxophone); Anton Hunter (guitar); Seth Bennett (bass); Johnny Hunter (drums).

Sloth Racket A Glorious Monster


'Sloth Racket formed in 2015 when Jazz North east invited Cath Roberts to present a new project at Gateshead International Jazz Festival. Since then, Sloth Racket have released two studio albums, a live album, and another studio album with an extended lineup, Favourite Animals.

A Glorious Monster was recorded in November 2017 when the band was in the middle of a mini-tour. Cath had spent a few months trying to write an upbeat and optimistic album, ending up with a batch of music that was mostly pretty dark, heavy and/or downtempo. The one-day session was a process of orientation, deconstruction and communal improvised negotiation ... the resulting album is a staement of continued intent from a group who are deeply into the rabbit hole of a collective musical experiment.

The band is on tour during the summer when 'the music will almost certainly transform itself again as repeated performances turn the compositions inside out'.

Details and listen to Animal Uprising, the first of the four tracks on the album : Sloth Racket website and videos :





Trialogue - First Flight
(Spark! label) - Released: 29th April 2018

Chris McMurran (piano); Arvin Vaghela (bass); Alexander Blackwell (drums).

Trialogue First Flight'


Debut album from three Cambridge scientists: neurologist and Dankworth Prize-winning pianist Chris McMurran; physicist Arvin Vaghela (bass) and biologist Alexander Blackwell (drums). The compositions are by each member of the band who draw on their scientific backgrounds for inspiration, for example, Bhaskara's Wheel describes the fruitless quest to develop a perpetual motion machine, whilst blues Mother Tongue is a transcription from our own genome: the gene FOXP2. 'Musically, we have exchanged influences throughout the trio tradition,' say the band, 'from Oscar Peterson to Brad Mehldau and Avishai Cohen, but the tracks on the album draw widely from Beethoven, Alfred Schnittke and Jimi Hendrix'. The fact that the inspiration for the compositions comes from scientific backgrounds does not make the music cold and formulaic, as you can see from the introductory video. There is some nice work from McMurran and Vaghela, and Blackwell makes plenty of use of his cymbals on some tracks'. (release information).

Details and Samples : Introductory Video :





Alina Bzhezhinska - Inspiration
(Ubuntu Music) - Released: 15th June 2018

Alina Bzhezhinska (harp); Tony Kofi (soprano and tenor saxophones); Larry Bartley (double bass); Joel Prime (drums, percussion).

Alina Bzhezhinska Inspiration



Originally from Ukraine/Poland and now based in London, Alina Bzhezhinska is an internationally renowned harpist. She has performed with leading classical and jazz musicians such as Django Bates, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson and the Glasgow String Quartet. Her duo, with award-winning jazz vocalist Niki King, supported Gregory Porter at the 2017 Edinburgh Jazz Festival. Alina's critically acclaimed Quartet led the 80th Birthday celebrations for Alice Coltrane around the UK in 2017. Their appearance at the EFG London Jazz Festival in a special bill featuring Pharoah Sanders - 'A Concert for Alice and John' - has been nominated for Best Live Experience of the Year at the 2018 Jazz FM Awards. Her new album, Inspiration, will be released in June 2018 through Ubuntu Music. "I set myself on a mission to tell Alice and John Coltrane's story in my own words, through my own interpretation of their music and my compositions," explains Alina. Her music fits under the banner of contemporary jazz with its virtuosic playing and improvisation. However the appeal of Inspiration will reach well beyond a jazz audience because of its unique combination of genres. (Website).

Details : Introductory Video : Taster of Blue Nile : Live video of Alina playing Alice Coltrane's Wisdom's Eye :






The Dissolute Society - Soldiering On
(Babel Label) - Released: 11th May 2018

Fini Bearman (voice); Naomi Burrell (violin); Zosia Jagodzinska (cello); Gustav Clarkson (viola); Laura Jurd (trumpet); Raph Clarkson (trombone, vocals); Phil Merriman (keys, synth bass); Simon Roth (drums). Special guests: Huw Warren (piano); Mia Marlen Berg (vocals,fx); Joshua Idehen (rap vocals); Mike Soper (trumpet).

The Dissolute Society Soldiering On


'Absorbing, multi-faceted debut album by this new 8-piece ensemble, led by the inspired, ever-active, London-born trombonist-composer, Raph Clarkson. ... The album is dedicated to the late John Taylor (two of whose compositions are featured) and Micaela Comberti, Raph's late mother – violinist and leading figure in the British Early Music revival. ... It is a highly personal, poignant, often dark album - interweaving a wide range of genres, styles and influences, including: avant-garde improvised music, traditional & modern jazz, contemporary classical music, folk, funk, poetry and spoken word. Ralph's musical palette covers all these areas and more - and he has developed a compositional and improvisational interest in the intersection between trombone and voice - an area he explores with The Dissolute Society, for which he provides most of the compositions and writes the words. In fact, he especially likes to employ the power of words in music to give a narrative arc, which also acts as a 'glue' for the many genre styles within this project. The 15-track album is full of remarkable performances: Fini Bearman's breathtaking part-spoken vocals; Huw Warren's mesmerising piano; Laura Jurd's fleet-footed trumpet; Mia Marlen Berg's elastic voice; and not least, Raph Clarkson's trombone virtuosity - from soft, mournful refrain to unrestrained vigour, and all shades in between. But, genuinely, all the participating musicians bring phenomenal feeling and interpretation to this complex, opaque recording - that also has such immediacy and inner energy. ...' (release information). 'On the whole though, Soldiering On is a challenging listen, dominated by bracing free improvisation and unflinching poetry album that requires several plays to get your head around'. (Thomas Rees in Jazzwise).

Details and Samples : Video :





Howard Riley - Listen To Hear
(SLAM) - Released: 20th April 2018

Howard Riley (piano).

Howard Riley Listen To Hear



'Pianist Howard Riley performing solo works, recorded 12 September 2017 at Porcupine Studios, London. Howard has been a regular and productive recording artist on SLAM since the very early days of 1990. In fact his discography includes 16 SLAM CDs. In his solo recordings he has always shown a preference for the short tracks, which he has on occasion referred to as his 'Short Stories'. This studio session, is very much of that character, with 17 tracks of around 3 and 4 minutes - plus, as is not uncommon, the inclusion of a jazz standard, in this case a couple of takes on "April in Paris". "Listening to the music on this CD is to hear, in an almost Dickensian flow of characterisation, much of the history not just of jazz but of 20th century music, plus some Romanticism, plus some Baroque, flowing past. Riley in his pomp is also a music historian...Precious moments" - Brian Morton (release information). 'The veteran English pianist's playful charm and deceptively naive craft are in evidence ....'(Selwyn Harris in Jazzwise).

Details and Samples :





American Releases

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



McClenty Hunter Jr. - The Groove Hunter
(Strikezone Records) - Released 4th May 2018

Stacy Dillard (tenor saxophone); Eric Reed (piano); Corcoran Holt ( bass); McClenty Hunter (drums) + guests Eddie Henderson (trumpet); Donald Harrison (alto saxophone); Dave Stryker (guitar); Christian Sands (piano, Rhodes); Eric Wheeler (bass).

McClenty Hunter Jr The Groove Hunter


'The drumming qualities of McClenty Hunter could be fully enjoyed throughout the years while performing with Kenny Garrett, Eric Reed, Jim Snidero and Dave Stryker. His faultless rhythmic drives have a special meaning now since he gathered some of the most revered heavyweights on the scene to play with him on The Groove Hunter, his debut full-length album. The guest appearances include emblematic musicians like trumpeter Eddie Henderson, altoist Donald Harrison, and guitarist Dave Stryker, but also emergent talents such as pianist Christian Sands and bassist Eric Wheeler on three tunes each. They expanded the possibilities of a tight core quartet composed of Stacy Dillard on tenor sax, Eric Reed on piano, Corcoran Holt on bass, and McClenty in the drummer’s chair'.

'The album, pure post-bop thrill, comprises four gentle originals and a selection of five exciting covers .... The Groove Hunter is a notable jazz ride whose tightness and dynamism defines the rhythmic pathos of a gifted drummer who will certainly conquer much more in the future'. (JazzTrail).

Details and Samples : Full JazzTrail Review :





Jon Irabagon Quartet featuring Tim Hagans - Dr Quixotic's Traveling Exotics
(Irabbagast Records) - Released: 15th May 2018

Jon Irabagon (tenor saxophone); Tim Hagans (trumpet); Luis Perdomo (piano); Yasushi Nakamura (double bass); Rudy Royston (drums).

Jon Irabagon Dr Quixotics Traveling Exotics



'Searchers and enthusiasts of contemporary jazz will probably agree with me about the works of saxophonist Jon Irabagon being a must-listen. Let me add that his explosive new album of originals, Dr. Quixotic’s Traveling Exotics, is one of his very best ....'

'Nothing in this music is pointless or forced, in the same way that everything is tangible, honest and risk-taking. Irabagon shows off brilliant compositional skills and a personal tenor conception that elevates him to a superior level'. (JazzTrail).

Details and Samples (when available) : Full JazzTrail review : Video of The Demon Barber of Fleet Week played live :







Mike McGinnis - Singular Awakening
(Sunnyside) - Released: 27th April 2018

Mike McGinnis (saxophone, clarinet); Art Lande (piano); Steve Swallow (electric bass).

Mike McGinnis Singular Awakening


'Rising-star clarinetist/saxophonist/composer Mike McGinnis couldn’t have had better associates to develop his musicality than pianist Art Lande and electric bassist Steve Swallow, whose experience and distinct styles provide an elegant carpet for his strides. Singular Awakening is the natural follow-up to last year’s Recurring Dream. The album comprises twelve tracks, eight of them being improvised numbers, while the bassist and the pianist contribute with two compositions each ...'

'Swallow’s groovy jazz compositions occupy the extremities, starting and closing the album with bliss ... Both the established compositions and the collective improvisations enrich a session in which three multi-generational voices crisscross with imagination and clarity of purpose' (JazzTrail).

Details and Samples : Full JazzTrail Review : Video Introduction :






Meg Okura and the Pan-Asian Chamber Ensemble - Ima Ima
(Self-Release) - Released: 13th May 2018

Meg Okura (violin, vocals, erhu); Tom Harrell (trumpet); Sam Newsome (soprano sax); Sam Sadigursky (bass clarinet, clarinet); Anne Drummond (flutes); Riza Printup (harp); Rez Abbasi (guitar); Brian Marsella (piano, electric piano); Pablo Aslan (bass); Jared Schonig (drums).

Meg Okura Im Ima



'Japanese violinist Meg Okura records for the fourth time with her Pan-Asian Chamber Ensemble, this time having first-rate improvisers Rez Abbasi and Tom Harrell in the roster, guitarist and trumpeter, respectively. Containing seven original compositions, the album Ima Ima put on view her lucid musical vision as she explores material across the world-fusion spectrum. Thus, it’s more than common to hear timeless Eastern melodies running over contemporary jazz arrangements .... Elements of Japanese folk merge with jazz harmonies, shaping a gracious chamber jazz that lands on an uplifting Latinized vamp dominated by Harrell’s soloing aptitude. Ms. Okura was able to create magical crossover soundscapes with intimacy and subtlety, resorting to a pure lyricism and fascinating collective passages that never put the homogeneity of the whole into question'. (JazzTrail).

Details and Samples : Full JazzTrail Review : Video of A Night Insomnia played live :





Henry Threadgill 14 or 15 Kestra: Agg - Dirt... And More Dirt
(Pi Recordings) - Released: 8th June 2018

Henry Threadgill (alto sax, flutes); Liberty Ellman (guitar); Chris Hoffman (cello); Jose Davila (tuba); Ben Gerstein (trombone); Jacob Garchik (trombone); Jonathan Finlayson (trumpet); Stephanie Richards (trumpet); Curtis Macdonald (alto sax); Roman Filiú (alto sax, flute); David Virelles (piano); David Bryant (piano); Thomas Morgan (bass); Elliott Humberto Kavee (drums, percussion); Craig Weinrib (drums, percussion).

Henry Threadgill Dirt And More Dirt



'Saxophonist Henry Threadgill, holder of a sui-generis jazz style, debuts his 14 or 15 Ekstra: Agg, another singular project that includes guitar - adroitly handled by longtime collaborator Liberty Ellman, who also produces the record - cello, tuba, two trombones, two trumpets, two or three saxophones (depending on if Threadgill conducts or plays), two pianos, one bass, and two drums. The album, Dirt… and More Dirt, presents ten compositions that pretty much represent the gravitating sound of the multi-awarded altoist, whose unmistakable signature, built on power, finesse, and mystery, constantly undermines the listeners’ expectations .... As a top-tier experimentalist, Threadgill continues to innovate through a spontaneity and reflex that navigate the abstract and the emotional. For the ones experiencing the saxophonist’s forms and textures for the first time, this can be a real challenge. Yet, it's just a matter of time before concluding that his airy (de)constructions never lack drama or elegance'. (Jazztrail).

Details and samples when album released : Full JazzTrail Review : Video of Henry Threadgill in conversation in 2014 :





European Releases


Francesco Chiapperini Extemporary Vision Ensemble - The Big Earth
(Rudi Records) - Released: 12th March 2018

Francesco Chiapperini (arrangements and compositions, clarinet, bass clarinet); Andrea Jimmy Catagnoli (alto sax); Gianluca Elia (tenor sax); Eloisa Manera (violin); Vito Emanuele Galante (trumpet); Marco Galetta (trumpet); Andrea Baronchelli (trombone and tuba); Simone Quatrana (piano); Luca Pissavini (cello); Andrea Grossi (double bass); Filippo Sala (drums); Filippo Monico (drums and percussions).

Francesco Chiapperini The Big Earth

This 12 piece big band, led by Chiapperini on clarinet, sets out as a tribute to the "great land" of Puglia and its deep cultural and musical tradition. A universe steeped in rituals originating from the ancient peasant and maritime civilization.

What you get is a mixture of religious imagery, raucous street music, folk melodies, and contemporary modern jazz, often playfully interpreted.  And there's some fine soloing in what is an unmistakeably European, if not Italian sound.

One of the most interesting big bands I've come across for a while, from the always innovative Rudi Records.

Peter Slavid ((Peter Slavid hosts a monthly, 2 hour radio show at and says: 'The programme has a very specific purpose. The show is entirely European and entirely modern'. Peter shares his 'album of the month' with us)

Details and Samples : Introductory Video :





Solveig Slettahjell - Live At Victoria

(Jazzland) - Released: 1st January 2018

Solveig Slettahjell (piano, vocals); Pål Hausken (vocals) and guests.

Solveig Slettahjell Live At Victoria


A singer, alone, at a piano is not an unusual sight. But when that singer is Solveig Slettahjell, the rarity of the moment becomes vivid, and the expectation of what this moment could deliver is amplified. And, on a September night in 2017, at Nasjonal Jazzscene in Victoria, Oslo, Solveig gave such a performance. "Magical moments guaranteed" ran the tagline, and - for once - it was not advertising hyperbole. Guests joined for some songs: Pål Hausken provided percussive accompaniment on some tracks, while the choir Safari appeared to provide a whole new ambience to proceedings. However, their sparing use adds colour and drama at just the right moments, never resorting to mere chorus build-up and repetition. Featuring a set made of standards, original material, and settings of poems by Emily Dickinson, Solveig's performance is a masterful blend of emotional honesty and technical brilliance. Her delivery of classics by the likes of Gershwin, or more recent creations by Tom Waits and Leonard Cohen is bold and forthright, and her interpretations retain the spirits of the originals while marking them clearly with her own stylistic thumbprint. Her Emily Dickinson interpretations are much more than mere exercises - they are charged with the energy of the original poetry, and often viewed through unexpected lenses ...'. (release information). 'Any new recording by the Norwegian vocalist, pianist and composer ... is a huge cause for celebration an age of downloading and streaming, Live At Victoria is an album that deserves to be heard at one sitting...' (Peter Quinn in Jazzwise).

Details and Samples :





Esbjörn Svensson Trio - e.s.t. Live In London
(ACT) - Released: 25th May 2018

Esbjörn Svennson (piano); Dan Berglund (bass); Magnus Öström (drums).

est Live In London


'The release of this album marks a poignant moment: the tenth anniversary of the tragic and premature death of Esbjörn Svensson on 14 June 2008. During the last ten years after the end of e.s.t. there have been constant reminders of the indelible mark which the band has left on the international jazz scene. Indeed it is hard to imagine a whole generation of currently highly successful young bands all over the world, often attracting an audience of same age, without the deep and lasting influence of the sound and the aesthetic of e.s.t. It might sound like a cliché but it is evident that through his music, Esbjörn Svensson will stay with us forever.The trio really was a phenomenon. Its scale, recognition and impact grew progressively and internationally during the seventeen years of its existence' (release information). 'It is now 10 years since the tragic and untimely death of Esbjörn Svensson .... So this excellent album is a timely reminder of the emotional and aesthetic appeal of a group whose music crossed barriers of age, ethnicity and genre to reach beyond jazz, not just in Europe, but the US itself ...' (Stuart Nicholson in Jazzwise). 'In no sense am I an expert in jazz or for that part, but this is a lovely album. It contains a stellar performance of a band at their peak. The vinyl version is what I have and the pressing is dead quiet, crisp and clear. A joy listening to!' (Customer review).

Details and Samples :





Jimmy Dorsey - The Hits Collection: 1935-1957 (Box Set - 5 CDs)
(Acrobat) - Released: 8th March 2018

Jimmy Dorsey (clarinet) with various personnel.

Jimmy Dorsey Hits Collection


'Clarinetist and saxophonist Jimmy Dorsey and his brother Tommy led two of the most popular and successful big bands through the swing era of the late 30s and through the war years into the post-war decade until popular music changed in the new socio-economic climate. Jimmy took over leadership of The Dorsey Brothers orchestra in 1935 when Tommy left to form his own band, and over the next two decades maintained a remarkably consistent presence in the pop charts, capturing the zeitgeist of the times with instrumental hits that provided the favoured style of dance music and vocal hits which encapsulated the sentimental, optimistic and escapist themes which kept people going through the difficult times of the war or reflected the upbeat mood of later years. When he died from cancer in 1957, aged just 53, his final hit was still in the charts. This great-value 105-track 5-CD set comprises his entries in Billboard, Cash Box and the other US charts which existed before the Billboard record sales charts began in 1940 ....It’s a thorough and entertaining overview of the music that made his orchestra such a fixture in the pop music landscape of the time'. (release information). ' .... for a whistle stop tour through his own work as a leader, and the big hits he had, then this exemplary 5 CD set is essential, with surprises including his brilliant 'Dorseyland' trad band'. (Alyn Shipton, Jazzwise).

Details :




Ben Webster - Ben Webster & Associates
(Poll Winners Records) - 23rd March 2018

Ben Webster, Coleman Hawkins, Budd Johnson (tenor sax); Roy Eldridge (trumpet); Jimmy Jones (piano); Les Spann (guitar); Ray Brown (bass); Jo Jones (drums).

Ben Webster and Associates



'... Leonard Feather ... wrote on the original liner notes to this album that: 'here you will find the type of music that will never depend on fashion, or technical display or a caustic rejection of society - here is experience, here is wisdom, here is beauty, here at its purist and truest is jazz', he had a point .... The time is made up with a couple of JATP jams featuring Ben, but the original album on its own is such a thing of beauty it really needs no further adornment'. (Alyn Shipton in Jazzwise).

Details :






Buddy Rich - The Lost Tapes
(Lightyear/Lobitos Creek) - Released: 2nd February 2018

Paul Phillips, Eric Mayashiro, Michael Lewis, Joe Kaminsk (trumpet); Scott Bliege, Mike Davis, James Martin (trombone); Steve Marcus, Mark Pinto,Bob Bowlby, BrianSjoerdinga, Jay Craig (reeds); Bill Cunliffe (piano); Dave Cropener (bass); Buddy Rich (drums).

Buddy Rich The Lost Tapes



'Buddy Rich The Lost Tapes is an historic preservation and restoration project. The producers recovered the masters from a fire in 1990 and went about restoring the original surround soundtrack of this 1985 show, the last concert Buddy Rich filmed and recorded before he passed away in 1987. This release follows the Emmy Award winning Channel One Suite (both concerts were recorded the same night)'. (release information). '... this 15 minute version (of West Side Story Suite) is one of his most dazzling and heroic solos ...In the past I might have directed someone seeking the best of Buddy Rich to the 1960s Pacific albums like Mercy Mercy or Big Swing Face, but having heard this, I think this is the one ...' (Alyn Shipton in Jazzwise).

Details and Samples :






Duke Ellington - Duke Ellington Meets Coleman Hawkins
(Poll Winners Records / Intermusic) - Released: 23rd March 2018

Ray Nance (cornet, violin); Lawrence Brown (trombone); Johnny Hodges (alto sax); Coleman Hawkins (tenor sax); Harry Carney (bass sax); Duke Ellington (piano); Aaron Bell (bass); Sam Woodyard (drums).

Duke Ellington Meets Coleman Hawkins



'Two pure voices - heartfelt and soulful! It is studio quality mastering, as if we were in the same room when it was recorded'. (Customer Review). 'This is one of the great Ellington small group sessions for Impulse!... Impulse themselves reissued it with the John Coltrane/Duke Ellington session in 2011, which represents rather better value than this. However, here the bonus tracks provide more cuts by Hawk, playing Ellington material with his own bands'. (Alyn Shipton in Jazzwise).

Details :







Maynard Ferguson - Memories Of Maynard: The Best Of The Columbia Years
(Sleepy Night Records) - Released: 16th February 2018

Maynard Ferguson (trumpet) with various personnel.

Maynard Ferguson Memories of Maynard


'Remastered original tracks from Sony Music. Maynard Ferguson, passed on 10 years ago, regarded as a one off, there will never be another musician like him with his power and incredible high note technique on the trumpet. This is his Greatest Hits from his time with Columbia, Big Band Pop/Jazz/Disco ... some are rare mixes never available on CD before. (Including from 1977), a top-40 (#22) pop single, Gonna Fly Now (from the movie Rocky), a rare accomplishment for a jazz musician in the 1970s. Film and television themes figured prominently in the surging popularity of MF. On this CD the Theme from Star Trek, and Main Title from Star Wars, Bernstein's Maria from West Side Story, Scheherazade from the classical music realm, Dorothy's Over The Rainbow from The Wizard of Oz. For the first time anywhere, on any format, we bring you the previously unreleased, Shanti Mantra' (release information). ' This is the Maynard of the lavish studio years ... yet there's a driving energy about everything here from Chameleon to Hollywood (with Stanley Clarke in the driving seat) ..' (Alyn Shipton in Jazzwise).

Details and Samples :





Information Requests

Long distance Information
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Help me find a party ...

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Can you help?

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




UK Jazz Venues Near You


Click here for our page of venues hosting live jazz in the UK.

Please let us know of other venues together with their website addresses,
or please also let us know if you discover any of the links on the page don't work.



Jazz Talks: Surrey, Buckinghamshire and Norwich Areas


Surrey and around:

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




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


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:

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