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March 2018

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Jazzmeia Horn

Vocalist Jazzmeia Horn at the 2018 Winter Jazzfest, Marathon 2, New York City on January 13th.
Picture by Clara Pereira, Jazztrail


On A Night Like This,
The Story Is Told

The quartet, which was playing a tour of Wales, had just played a gig in Bangor. They spent the night at a bed-and-breakfast and were due to leave that afternoon to travel to Birkenhead. Ronnie (Scott), following his favourite occupation, was deeply entrenched in the local betting shop. Time was marching on, and Martin (Drew), who was driving, concerned that they were running late, went to pick him up.

He remembered: 'I walked into the betting shop and as soon as Ronnie saw me he said: "Martin! I've just done me bollocks! I've done all the money, the band's money as well, and everything is riding on the last race. I've got to wait until it finishes!"


Ronnie Scott

Ronnie Scott

So we waited ... and waited ... and finally the last race comes up. And he bloody well won! So we both did a war dance around the betting shop!'

Ronnie had won all the money back - and some. Martin said: 'Bless his heart. When he won he nearly always wined and dined us. He would say: "There you are. It's all on me".

But we couldn't find anywhere to eat! Birkenhead was shut! So we headed to the Blue Boar on the M1 and all had double bacon, eggs, beans, sausage, fried bread and juice.'


Martin Drew

Martin Drew

From A Fine Kind Of Madness: Ronnie Scott Remembered by Rebecca Scott with Mary Scott.


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



Sandy Brown Jazz is Free To Read

One reader seems to have received a scam email with an 'Invoice' for Sandy Brown Jazz (in fact, I have noticed recently a few scam emails going round labelled 'Invoice' for all sorts of things). If anyone else receives an email like this, delete it! There is no charge for reading Sandy Brown Jazz!




London's Jazz Nursery Closes

Golden Hinde II



Jazz Nursery has been a monthly residency on London’s Southbank. It has opened its doors on the final Thursday of each month on The Golden Hinde II near London Bridge, SE1 where it has been a key venue for showcasing cutting edge talent and creating a stage for the best up and coming bands in London, but sadly the venue cannot take the bands anymore.

Since the Jazz Nursery first opened it has had 3 venues, 7 years and countless bands and musicians. The final event was on 22nd February with sets by the Michael Chillingworth Trio and Dave Manington's Riff Raff.

To illustrate the variety of young talent that has played at The Jazz Nursery, click here for a video of the Sam Braysher Quartet playng Sam's Bray Stay Paid ...

... or click here for a video of the Dixie Ticklers playing Where Did You Sleep Last Night?





Canary Wharf Jazz Festival Cancelled

Canary Wharf Jazz festival


The four-day festival that has taken place at London's Canary Wharf for the past 11 years will not be staged this year. The event first appeared in 2007 at Jubilee Gardens but as its popularity grew it moved to the open space at Canada Square Park where it became London's largest free-entry jazz festival. Sarah Leaman, head of Consumer and Lifestyle Communications at Canary Wharf is reported as saying: 'We regularly review the arts and events calendar at Canary Wharf to ensure we offer an exciting and engaging programme for our visitors and those who work at Canary Wharf. This year we have decided not to proceed with the jazz festival which has been running successfully for 11 years; however there will be other great opportunities to see jazz at Canary Wharf in the coming months and years'.

Peter Conway, who has been the management and booking agent for the festival in previous years has said: 'While a sad decision for us and the wider jazz community, it is to be recognised that Canary Wharf have stated their commitment to promote jazz elsewhere on the estate ... We await with interest the next stage of jazz development at Canary Wharf'.




New Eastbourne Jazz Festival

In sunnier news… we hear of a brand new Jazz UK Festival!   The indefatigable Splash Point Jazz Clubs are putting on the first Eastbourne Splash Point Jazz Festival on Sunday 30th September 2018, with music in three main venues a pebble’s throw from the beach, running fromEastbourne jazz festival logo 2.00 pm to 10.30 pm. 

Pianist/vocalist and Festival Director Neal Richardson from Splash Point says: 'Building on the extraordinary success of our 6 Splash Point Jazz Clubs around the South East, (including one in Eastbourne at the Fishermen’s Club), the aim is to expand this Festival to a whole weekend in subsequent years. Stephen Lloyd MP is the Festival Patron; Eastbourne Chamber of Commerce are kindly offering their support, and renowned experts Cobb Marketing are already involved helping with PR'.

'It promises to be an amazing day, 12 bands and the cream of British Jazz around Eastbourne’s cool “Splash Point” area at the seaside!  There will also be Fringe events in local cafés and a Jazz Photography exhibition by renowned photographer Brian O’Connor.   Headliners include Roger Beaujolais, Mark Nightingale, Art Themen, Craig Milverton, Andy Panayi, Sue Richardson, Julian Marc Stringle, Jason Yarde, Alex Garnett, Hexagonal and more'.

The three main Festival venues chosen for this year are the Fishermen's Club, Christ Church and Leaf Hall, to encourage the re-generation of the east-of-the-pier area. Day-tickets will be available to allow entrance by wristband to all concerts. One stroller ticket gives access to all 12 gigs. £50* from WeGotTickets/splashpointjazz  or £45* early bird booked before 30/6/18. Click here and then on 'Eastbourne Splash Point Jazz Festival' for details and to book.





Jazz Quiz

Who Is Going To Get The Bill?


This Month we give you clues to fifteen jazz musicians with the name 'Bill' or 'Billy'.
Are you able to identify them?

Who is this?



For example:

Which 'Bill' or 'Billy' was a vocalist and bandleader who was noted for his rich, resonant, almost operatic bass-baritone voice. In 1944, he formed his own big band and it became the finishing school for young musicians including Dizzy Gillespie, Dexter Gordon, Miles Davis, Art Blakey, Charlie Parker and Sarah Vaughan?


Click here for the Jazz Quiz.





Vortex Fund Raiser

Evan Parker and Dave Holland




A key London jazz club, The Vortex in Dalston, is being supported by two top musicians, bass player Dave Holland and saxophonist Evan Parker, who are playing a fundraising gig on 1st March.

Dave and Evan, who first played together in the 1960s but have collaborated many times since, have agreed that 100% of ticket sales will go to the venue and they have released an exclusive track that can be downloaded for £1 if you click here.

Click here for a video of Dave and Evan playing at the Vortex last year, on that occasion with John Edwards (bass) and Mark Sanders (drums).








How much should people be charged to go to a live jazz gig?


Jazz Audience


The same as an adult cinema ticket - approx £12 - £15.

Enough to cover the band's expenses and hope to sell CDs to make up the costs.

Less - enough to get people to attend and promote the band, even if it makes a loss.

Depends on how many come and whether enough good publicity has been done.

A little bit more than a cinema ticket and include a complimentary copy of a CD.

Only stage gigs by local bands to keep costs down.

Or .........






Eel Pie Island Museum Opens


Eel Pie Island Museum

Photograph by James FitzGerald


Following the successful launch of 'Clinging To A Mudflat', the documentary about the historic jazz and blues venue on Eel Pie Island at Twickenham, the Eel Pie Island Museum opened its doors to the public on 24th February.

The Museum is curated by author Michele Whitby who has collected, and has access to, memorabilia relating to both the island's musical and boat-building heritage. In 2013 she curated the very successful ‘Eelpiland’ exhibition at the Stables Gallery, Orleans House which received over 100 visitors a day, a unanimously positive response and repeated requests for it to be given a permanent home. Over the summer of 2015, a part-time pop-up Museum in the centre of Twickenham attracted over 1,200 visitors from all over the world, as well as British visitors who had travelled specifically to visit the exhibition. Now the museum has a permanent home

The Museum in the centre of Twickenham at 1-3 Richmond Road (opposite the Civic Centre, next to the Shell garage) will be open Thursday-Sunday from 12.00 - 6.00pm.

Click here for their website. Click here to watch the documentary Clinging To A Mudflat.




Jazz As Art

Lenore Raphael, Wayne Wilkinson and Chris Hodgkins

Alone Together

from the album at Pizza Express Live



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 have to go to another page on the website for this - click here.



Lenore Raphael

Lenore Raphael



Chris Hodgkins and Wayne Wilkinson


In November 2016, American pianist Lenore Raphael, her regular guitarist Wayne Wilkinson and UK trumpeter Chris Hodgkins played a gig at the Pizza Express Jazz Club in Dean Street, Soho. The club's sound engineer, Luc Saint-Martin, recorded the session and an album Lenore Raphael, Wayne Wilkinson and Chris Hodgkins at Pizza Express Live was subsequently released on the Bell label.


Chris Hodgkins and Wayne Wilkinson


The album contains 12 Standards, from September In The Rain and Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams to Hoagy Carmichael's Georgia On My Mind and W.C. Handy's Careless Love. One track, PE Blues is by Lenore, Wayne and Chris. Like the live performance, the recording is a mix of solos, duets and the trio playing together. For our 'Jazz As Art' item this month, Arthur Schwartz and Howard Dietz's Alone Together, Chris Hodkins takes a break and hands the stage to the pianist and the guitarist.


Go to the Jazz As Art page, listen to Alone Together, and take time looking at the paintings I have selected - (I think this only really works if you spend time with each painting) - and see which work for you.  


Zsuzsi Roboz painting




24th March - NJA Big Band Fundraiser - Loughton, Essex

The National Jazz Archive starts its anniversary year in March with its first big band jazz fundraiser featuring the John Ongom Big Band.

John Ongam Big Band poster

The concert will be on Saturday 24 March, in Loughton, Essex, starting at 8.00 pm. It is the first of a series of events throughout 2018 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Archive.

The 17-piece John Ongom Big Band, with vocalists Mark Jennett and Cynthia Simmonds, under musical director Angus Moncrieff, will play a great selection of music made famous by Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra and others.

Angus said: “We’re delighted to kick off the Archive’s anniversary year with this concert, and we’re looking forward to presenting an evening of great music to help raise funds to support the fantastic work of the Archive.”

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 concert starts at 8pm and tickets cost £12. For details and to book tickets, click here or phone 020 8502 4701.





Tracks Unwrapped

Stack O'Lee Blues


[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].


Police officer, how can it be?
You can ‘rest everybody but cruel Stack O’Lee
That bad man, oh, cruel Stack O’Lee
Billy de Lyon told Stack O’Lee, “Please don’t take my life,
I got two little babies, and a darlin’ lovin’ wife.”
That bad man, oh, cruel Stack O’Lee


Stack O’Lee was a notorious black bandit of the late 1800s who goes by many names. He is Stackolee, Stagolee, Stackalee, ‘Stag’ Lee and Stagger Lee. Wikipedia suggests that he was Lee Shelton or Sheldon, an African American taxi driver and pimp.

Wikipedia is in fact quite helpful to our unwrapping. As far as the song is concerned, 'A song called "Stack-a-Lee" was first mentioned in 1897, in the Kansas City Leavenworth Herald, as being performed by "Prof. Charlie Lee, the piano thumper" ['It is understood that Prof. Fred Warings PennsylvaniansCharlie Lee, the piano thumper, will play Stack-A-Lee in variations at the K.C. Negro Press Association'].

'The earliest versions were likely field hollers and other work songs performed by African-American labourers, and were well known along the lower Mississippi River by 1910. That year, musicologist John Lomax received a partial transcription of the song, and in 1911 two versions were published in the Journal of American Folklore by the sociologist and historian Howard W. Odum'.

The song was first recorded by Fred Waring's Pennsylvanians in 1923, and became a hit. It is interesting that the composer of this instrumental version (played here on an HMV 78 rpm record) is credited to 'Ray Lopez'.


Fred Waring's Pennsylvanians



Another version was recorded that year by Frank Westphal and His Regal Novelty Orchestra, and Herb Wiedoeft and his band recorded the song in 1924, the year that lyrics were added in a recording of Skeeg-a-Lee Blues, by Lovie Austin.

Ma Rainey followed it with a recording of Stack O'Lee Blues in 1925 with Louis Armstrong on cornet (click here). You will imediately notice the similarity to the song Frankie And Johnny. The story behind it is not the same, however. The original tale is recorded in many places on the internet, but returning to Wikipedia:

'The historical Stagger Lee was Lee Shelton, an African-American pimp living in St. Louis, Missouri in the late 19th century. He was nicknamed Stag Lee or Stack Lee, with a variety of explanations being given: he was given the nickname because he "went stag", meaning he was without friends; he took the nickname from a well-known riverboat captain called Stack Lee; or, according to John and Alan Lomax, he took the name from a riverboat owned by the Lee family of Memphis called the Stack Lee, which was known for its on-board prostitution. He was well known locally as one of the Macks, a group of pimps who demanded attention through their flashy clothing and appearance. In addition to these activities, he was the captain of a black Four Hundred Club, a social club with a dubious reputation'.

'On Christmas night in 1895, Shelton and his acquaintance William "Billy" Lyons were drinking in the Bill Curtis Saloon. Lyons was also a member of the St. Louis' underworld, and may have been a political and business rival to Shelton. Eventually, the two men got into a dispute, during which Lyons took Shelton's Stetson hat. Subsequently, Shelton shot Lyons, recovered his hat, and left. Lyons died of his injuries, and Shelton was charged, tried and convicted of the murder in 1897'.

In his book The Prostitution Of Women And Girls, Ronald B. Flowers writes: '(Researcher, Joan) Johnson described three classes of pimps: (1) The popcorn pimp, (2) the player pimp and (3) the Mack pimp. Popcorn pimps are seen as the least successful typer of pimp. Working The Mack movie posterprimarily with teenage prostitutes, they have little money and less roots. These pimps tend to be highly competitive with one another in recruiting girls, mostly runaways. They are the most violent to their stable of girls and have a higher turnover rate compared with more stable, successful pimps. The Player pimp is generally more successful, has a few prostitutes in his stable, and often has one 'special' woman that he lives with. Players tend to be less violent than popcorn pimps, relying more on psychological persuasion to control their girls. According to an expert on the pimp hierarchy, a successful player or 'mid-range' pimp can earn up to $200,000 annually. The Mack pimp is considered the upper class amongst pimps. He usually has a much larger number of prostitutes working for him and has one as his 'lady'. Mack pimps tend to combine street smarts with good business sense, investing profits in legitimate investments. This affords most of them a suburban lifestyle and a low profile - making them harder to reach and put out of business'.

Click here for Tyrone Triggs and Larry Thomas with their song Pimps, Players and Macks.

The Mack was also a 1973 'blaxploitation' film directed by  Michael Campus, starring Max Julien and Richard Pryor. The film chronicles the rise and fall of Goldie who decides to become the city’s biggest pimp. The producers do not label it a true 'blaxploitation' picture. They believe it to be a social commentary according to Mackin' Ain't Easy, a documentary about the making of the film. This clip from the movie creates the tension that we can imagine taking place between Lee and "Billy" Lyons (click here).





“What care I about you little babies, your darlin’ lovin’ wife?
You done stole my Stetson hat, I’m bound to take your life.”
That bad man, cruel Stack O’Lee
With the forty four
When I spied Billy de Lyon, he was lyin’ down on the floor.


Billy Lyons was only 25, and a worker on the levees. He eventually died of his injuries.


Mississippi John Hurt



The song continued to be recorded through the 1930s and 1940s with versions by Duke Ellington and Cab Calloway. The version by Mississippi John Hurt, recorded in 1928, is regarded as definitive. 'In his version, as in all such pieces, there are many (sometimes anachronistic) variants on the lyrics. Several older versions give Billy's last name as "De Lyons" or "Deslile".'

Click here to listen to Mississippi John Hurt's version.







The reference to Shelton being 'a captain with the Four Hundred Club' in St. Louis is interesting. According to the website, 'The Four Hundred Club of St. Louis appears to have taken its name from Ward McAllister, self-appointed arbiter of New York society from the 1860s to the early 1890s. According to him, Four Hundred was the number of people in New York who really mattered; the people who felt at ease in the ballrooms of high society. The Bill Curtis Saloon was the headquarters for the Four Hundred Club. J.C. Covington, financial secretary of the Four Hundred Club, wrote a letter to the St. Louis Star Sayings printed on 29 December, 1895'.

'The Four Hundred Club was organized on December 6, 1895, for the moral and physical culture of young colored men. We contemplate no acts of violence, and as law-abiding citizens and voters we stand ready and willing to protect the laws of our city, State and the United States. Our order was organized with Mr. Will Richmond as president, Robert Lee as secretary and Mr. Lee [Lee Shelton] as captain'. But on the same website we see written of the Bill Curtis Saloon:

'If there is anything that Morgan street dislikes it is conventionality... It scorns imitation. It is original or nothing, and has formulated an unwritten social law of its own. Is it not the home of the famous Four Hundred Social Club, and the habitat of the Hon. Bill Curtis, who runs the most extensive chance emporium in North St. Louis? What the late Al McWardister and his followers were to Gotham the Hon. Bill Curtis and the Honeydripper movie postercolored 400 are to St. Louis. Happy is this city in the fact that death has withheld its destroying hand from his headquarters and spared to us William and his cohorts. Though the Morgue and the City Hospital are regularly supplied with subjects from his headquarters, his popularity never declines, for it is generally conceded that he is acting as a public benefactor in allowing undesirable members of colored society to be dispatched in his place of business. Not every gentleman would be so accommodating in this respect as the Hon. Bill. Would he permit his floors to be stained with the blood of these social drones if it were not that his great heart is fairly bursting with magnanimity and unselfish zeal in the cause of good government? We trow not'.

In his book Stagolee Shot Billy, Cecil Brown quotes J.C. Covington, Financial Secretary of the Four Hundred Club as saying after Shelton was arrested for Billy Lyons' shooting: 'Mr [Stack] Lee was our captain. We deeply regret the situation into which our unfortunate member and brother has fallen, and he has our heartfelt sympathies, both individually and collectively, and our hope for him is the best.'

The song has continued to be recorded through the 1950s and 1960s with versions by Pat Boone and several rock bands including Johnny And The Hurricans, Tommy Roe, Bob Dylan, The Clash and the Grateful Dead. On the jazz front, Sidney Bechet with Albert Nicholas recorded Old Stack O'Lee Blues in 1946 (click here) ...

... and here is an interesting video of Dr John with the Chris Barber band in concert at The Marquee rocking to New Stack-A-Lee (click here). The band had toured with Dr John during 1981 - 1983 and New Stack-O-Lee was recorded in 1983 for the album Mardi Gras the Marquee - also available as a DVD).

In 2007, in that great movie, Honeydripper, Keb' Mo' sings Stack O'Lee (click here) ...

... and did you know that actor Samuel L. Jackson could sing the Blues? Check out this great footage of him singing Stackolee from the 2007 film Black Snake Moan (click here).


Lee Shelton was pardoned in 1909, but returned to prison in 1911 for assault and robbery. He died in prison of tuberculosis in 1912.





Poetry and Jazz

Poetry And Jazz
The Work Of Snowpoet

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].


Snowpoet Thought You Knew


[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].


Poet Robin Kidson considers poetry and jazz in relation to the new album 'Thought You Knew' by the band Snowpoet:

“Jazz”, said the late Michael Garrick, “is poetry, never prose”. Garrick had a passion for poetry and one facet of his long career as a jazz Michael Garrickmusician and composer was an exploration of the affinities between poetry and jazz. Together with poet and publisher, Jeremy Robson, he put on a series of “Poetry and Jazz in Concert” events in the sixties in which some of the most prominent poets of the day recited their work against a jazz backing.

For a flavour of what this sounded like, click here for a 1964 recording of Adrian Mitchell reading his poem, Pals, to an accompaniment by Garrick’s Quintet featuring Joe Harriott and Shake Keane.


Michael Garrick


The idea of reading poems to a jazz backing is, of course, not confined to Michael Garrick and this sort of recital has continued to be an important way in which the links between jazz and poetry are expressed. But they are not the only way .....

There are, for example, poems inspired by jazz – For Sidney Bechet by Philip Larkin is worth checking out (click here):




That note you hold, narrowing and rising, shakes
Like New Orleans reflected on the water,
And in all ears appropriate falsehood wakes,

Building for some a legendary Quarter
Of balconies, flower-baskets and quadrilles,
Everyone making love and going shares--

Oh, play that thing! Mute glorious Storyvilles
Others may license, grouping around their chairs
Sporting-house girls like circus tigers ......


There is also jazz inspired by poetry – Stan Tracey’s Under Milkwood Suite, Duke Ellington’s settings of Shakespearean sonnets….. There are the Beat Poets who sought to reproduce in much of their poetry the rhythms, phrasing and spontaneity of jazz.

A contemporary take on the interaction between jazz and poetry (however defined) is provided by the work of Snowpoet. Snowpoet is a London based ensemble jointly led by Lauren Kinsella and Chris Hyson. Kinsella, originally from Dublin, writes and sings the lyrics (or poems); Hyson plays bass, piano and synths. The music is a collaboration between all members of the band which, in addition to Kinsella and Hyson, is made up of Nicholas Costley-White (acoustic guitar), Matthew Robinson (piano), Dave Hamblett (drums) and Josh Arcoleo (saxophone). They brought out their eponymous first album in 2016 to general acclaim; their second album, Thought You Knew, has just been released.





For me, Snowpoet’s most interesting and original work takes us back to Michael Garrick’s spoken word/music experimentations. It’s Already Better Than OK (on Thought You Knew) is a stream of consciousness prose-poem which is spoken by Kinsella to an accompaniment of mainly guitar and drums. Kinsella’s performance is marvellously expressive capturing exactly the halting, disjointed and repetitive course of confused, instant thought. Occasionally, and most effectively, single words and short phrases are sung. There is a similar piece on their first album called Mermaidclick here.

There is, of course, the 'jazz song' which essentially is a poem set to music. Purists might bridle at the notion that a popular song is poetry but even purists would find it hard to argue that the clever sophistication of, say, a Cole Porter or Ira Gershwin lyric wasn’t a form of poetry. And one of the greatest jazz vocal performances ever – Billie Holiday’s Strange Fruit – started life as a formal (and powerful) poem 'Bitter Fruit' by AbeLauren Kinsella and Chris Hyson Meerepol (click here).

“I get tired of labels!”, says Kinsella, which is a good job because the work of Snowpoet is difficult to categorise. The music is an amalgam of jazz, electronica, folk, a bit of contemporary classical and more than a hint of high end pop. The words are recognisably poems – Kinsella includes amongst her influences Sylvia Plath, W.B. Yeats, Philip Larkin and e e cummings – but there is also a touch of the contemporary singer-songwriter there.


Lauren Kinsella and Chris Hyson



Enough of labels, though – the whole Snowpoet package is innovative yet accessible, often thrilling, with a brilliant match between the music and the words. Take Water Baby, for example, a track on Thought You Knew. Kinsella’s lyric is a short but effective poem that creates a wonderfully evocative mood, a mood captured by the music which blends electronics and strings to create sounds of water, birdsong, half-heard voices and outside spaces. (Incidentally, the strings are provided by Alice Zawadski's violin and Francesca Ter-Berg on cello). Kinsella sings her lyric with feeling – she has been compared with Björk and her voice sometimes has a Björk-like catch and breathiness. There is also an attractive Irish inflexion there.


Water Baby

Sound, air, moon, stars.
Light changing from afar.
Am I to you, what seems to be a melancholic mystery.
What was is not, if fact, I find
That only time will heal my mind.

The sound that comes in through the trees: that's distance heard between the leaves.
My focus shifts and what remains are tall firm oaks in passing lanes.


Click here to listen to Water Baby


The promotional video shows how Kinsella’s lyrics can also be highly original – The Therapist, for example (again, on Thought You Knew) plays the well-worn theme of romantic love through a conversation with a therapist - click here.

Thought You Knew was released on 9th February 2018 on the Edition Records label - click here for details and to listen to the album.

Snowpoet are touring Ireland over the next few weeks but also have some UK dates including:

Sunday, 18th March: Bristol International Jazz and Blues Festival
Thursday, 19th April: Hare and Hounds, Birmingham
Thursday, 10th May: Kings Place, London
Friday, 11th May: Turner Sims, Southampton
Saturday, 12th May: Wales Millenium Centre, Cardiff




Do You Have A Birthday In March?


Your Horoscope

for March Birthdays

by 'Marable'




Pisces (The Fish)

19th February - 20th March


It is looking as though March might be a good month for you. The planetary power is at its maximum Eastern position (this is the sector of the self), so independence is strong. If things are annoying you, now could be the time to change them.

The month begins with one planet in stressful alignment - Mars, but on the 17th he moves on, leaving only the moon to bring stressful hints, but they are not frequent. Mars is also your financial planet, and he is in your house of career as he was last month. Remember that your reputation is as important as money - a good professional reputation can itself lead to prosperity.

When Mars moves into your 11th house on the 17th. This brings in an aspect of social contacts that could become particularly important in your life and career. These could bring opportunities for additional work and joint ventures.

Look out for those opportunities. Next month will be a time to calmly take stock of things that have occurred during March.

For you, click here for a video of Jon Faddis with the Barcelona Jazz Orchestra playing If You Could See Me Now.





Aries (The Ram)

21st March - 20th April


Spring is coming. From the 20th March (the first day of spring) to the 23rd, 90 per cent of the planets are moving forward. That could be your best time for starting a new project. If that doesn't suit, from the 20th to the 29th, 80 per cent of the planets are moving forward, so there is still time.

Your career is still in focus from the 17th, but the month ahead is more about the spiritual side, a time when feeding the 'inner you' will be beneficial.

Venus, your financial planet, crosses your Ascendant and enters your first house on March 6th. This could well bring a confidence in you about your finances and that confidence be projected to others who can see you as feeling assured about your situation.

From the 20th life could become rather hectic but you should have the energy to handle it. Keep fit, exercise, and remember: 'Mens sana in corpore sano' ('A healthy mind in a healthy body').

For you, click here for John Coltrane playing Spring Is Here.






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].


Scott Murphy


Scott Murphy


At twelve, Scott Murphy was playing saxophone with the Dumfries Youth Jazz Group (DYJG) and travelling with them to play in Spain, France and Switzerland. Now, at twenty seven he is playing in Malaysia.

His time with the DYJG led Scott to become lead tenor saxophonist with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra of Scotland, the Strathclyde Youth Jazz Orchestra and then on to a BA Applied Music Degree at the University of Strathclyde. Following that, at the Royal Conservatoire of NewSound Bearing WitnessScotland, he became one of only six students in the 2nd year of their groundbreaking Jazz Performance degree where he was tutored by saxophonist Tommy Smith. He was lead tenor saxophonist with Tommy’s internationally acclaimed Youth Jazz Orchestra, playing with musicians such as Randy Brecker, Arild Andersen, Alyn Cosker and Jacqui Dankworth. Scott graduated with honours in 2014.
It was good grounding for what followed as he joined the successful Scottish instrumental collective, Fat-Suit, and co-founded indie record label 'Equinox' through which he part runs Fat-Suit's diary as well as tours. He has recently moved to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia where he is playing with the region's top musicians.

As an educator, Scott has led masterclasses on behalf of SYJO and as part of Fat-Suit. He has worked as a specialist jazz tutor with SYJO for East Renfrewshire and Renfrewshire Councils and internationally with the Art Jazz Cooperative Festival in Ukraine. His most recent endeavour has seen him conduct the first ever FOBISIA Jazz Ensemble in the Intermediate Music Festival in Kuala Lumpur where he teaches students at the British International School of Kuala Lumpur.

He has a new album out 'Bearing Witness' with the Malaysian based band NewSound - it will be available shortly.



Scott took time out of his busy schedule for a Tea Break:


Cold Brew Coffee


Hi Scott, tea or coffee ... or something cooler? How hot is it there in KL today?

Hi Ian, a nice cold brew coffee please. There’s a place near me here called Droffee which introduced me to cold brew and it’s changed coffee for me! It also helps to cool you down although it’s not too hot just now; a chilly 32C!

Milk and sugar?

Neither please, I’m happy with it black and strong.



So how come you have ended up in Malaysia? I see that you went over there to conduct the first ever FOBISIA Jazz Ensemble in the Intermediate Music Festival in Kuala Lumpur – how did that go?

A very good question that I still ask myself sometimes! To cut a long story short my girlfriend is a teacher who’s always had an eye on living/working abroad which is something I had also considered. Her career allows her to move relatively easily between jobs on the international school scene and so she was offered a place at a school in Petaling Jaya (just outside the KL city limits) which allowed us to explore a continent neither of us had ever been able to visit before. I was a hanger on and managed to blag myself a job at another school teaching saxophone/jazz, meaning we’re both legally living and working in Malaysia.

The FOBISIA festival was excellent. These kids were inspiring to work with and, after a bit of ice breaking over the first day, threw themselves into anything I asked of them. I had composed a song specifically for the festival to feature the wide abilities and instrumentation of the 24 strong group and they did a fantastic job at bringing it to life. A lot of what I try to achieve in music education stems from memories of what I have done in the past with the likes of Christine Barbour and Nick Riley in Dumfries when I was at school, as well as through Tommy Smith, Stewart Forbes and Paul Towndrow in the surrounds of the TSYJO and SYJO among others. I was extremely fortunate to have a huge array of musical options growing up and they are all down to a cast of inspiring characters.


It must be very different to working with Fat Suit and other groups you played with in Scotland?

Oh definitely. The adjustment of moving away after a month where I’d had 36 gigs to somewhere I knew nobody in the music scene was a stark one. Luckily it didn’t take me too long before I’d met some amazing people and started to get back on the jazz wagon. One thing I’ve learned from this experience is that musicians are the same anywhere you go. What a blessing that is!

I still perform with Fat-Suit when I’m back in the UK and have recently written some new music which they’ll be playing on their upcoming dates so I still feel involved to an extent. Things in Malaysia are much more chilled out in general and music is no different. But, as I said, musicians are musicians and it really doesn’t matter where they’re from, what language they speak or that they have chilli noodles for breakfast! As long as there’s a shared musical interest you can play for hours.

Click here for Fat Suit playing Scott's composition Messiah Complex.


So, the shared language we call 'music'. What about jazz? What is the jazz scene like in Malaysia?

It’s not a massive jazz scene but it is a strong one. KL has most of the action, what with it being far and away the biggest population centre, but there are a good number of bespoke jazz festivals around the whole country. There are some excellent musicians here such as John Dip Silas (who features on the ‘Bearing Witness’ album), John Thomas, Az Samad, Wee Lern Ch’ng and many others. There’s also an increasing amount of foreigners who have moved here and contribute to the scene including Marques Young, Rodrigo Parejo and Hiroyuki Yagi (also on the ‘Bearing Witness’ album) which gives this place a richly diverse musical feel. We’re also not that far away from Singapore and a short flight from Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam which means that you play with musicians from all over on a regular basis. Bangkok has a very hip jazz scene in fact.

Hob Nob, Bourbon, Garibaldi or digestive biscuit?

Hob Nob please, these are gold dust to me nowadays.

You have a new album out – ‘Bearing Witness’ – with the band NewSound – tell us about the band and the album, and is it very different to music you might have recorded in the UK?

Yes, we do and we’re really excited for it. The album came out of John Dip Silas’s last project which evolved into the sextet of NewSound as it is today. We’ve got a fairly typical contemporary jazz line-up with piano, guitar, bass, drums and saxophone but a combination of tenor and John Dip Silassoprano saxes gives us nice tonal options on melodies. The band are John Dip Silas (keys), Hiroyuki Yagi (soprano/tenor), Hor Chee Seng (guitar), Icco Elnoel (electric bass), Terrance Ling (drums) and myself on tenor. It’s also the first album where I’ve recorded original music and been paid for it as well! Normally original jazz is self-funded or aided by small funding from public bodies leaving very little left over when the dust has settled. This time we were fortunate enough to have the lovely people at pH Music 指数音乐 fund the recording and support us through the release as well. An unusual and heady feeling indeed for a jazz musician!


John Dip Silas


Click here for the introductory video for Bearing Witness.

The music on the album is pretty much half John’s and half my own, but the individuality of everyone can’t help but permeate (and improve) the writing all the way through the record. The only song which hasn’t been composed by either of us is a song by Indonesian singer Amelia Ong who also came over to record on the album. We’re very lucky to have had some wonderful guest musicians on Bearing Witness.

Musically there are a lot of influences from all over the world on the album; the jazz tradition is richly swathed all through the music but the end product has a much more international air than anything else I’ve been a part of in the past. In saying that, however, one of the songs we recorded I’d originally written for a group of mine a few years ago featuring Davie Dunsmuir, Angus Tikka and Mark Scobbie called ‘Kwortet’. The song is a comment on former Liberal Democratic leader Nick Clegg in what the guys have since dubbed as ‘cowboy jazz’. I am fairly confident it’s the first song recorded in Malaysia with it’s roots in the fall out from the 2010 UK General Election and subsequent coalition government.  

I really love the sound on that introductory video. The music is very melodic and engaging - it should appeal to many people. So worth spending time with. Looks like the Hob Nobs are going down well! If you could ask two past jazz musicians to join us for the tea break, who would you invite?

Tough question…just two? I’d love to chat with Art Tatum because every time I stumble across a recording of his I am continually awestruck. But then again I do want more Hob Nobs…

A consistent hero of mine throughout my musical life has been John Coltrane so I think I’d be compelled to split a Hob Nob with him.

Or maybe Mingus. And Bill Evans…how big is this table?


Not too big, we like to keep it personal. Hang on - I'll open another packet of Hob Nobs, you know what Art is like! So what would you ask them?

I think I’d mainly be interested in them as people as opposed to trying to steal licks off of them. I’m increasingly interested in learning about what makes a person the individual that you see before you. I’d ask about their home, their family, their favourite musical artists, their friends, their idea of relaxation, their concept of work and I’d definitely find out what their favourite biscuit is. I’ve recently started a new Podcast series called ‘Portrait’ which follows this idea and features musicians from all over the world from a variety of different musical genres, backgrounds and ideologies. 'People watching' is something I enjoy doing and if I can set them off telling me stories through uninvolved questions I’d be happy to sit and bask in their presence.


What gigs have you played recently? Have you been launching Bearing Witness?

No Black Tie Malaysia


We recently launched the NewSound album at No Black Tie in KL, which is the best jazz venue in this part of the world by a long way. Evelyn, the owner, is a fantastic champion of jazz and it consumes her as much as the musicians she keeps in roti canai. That gig was absolutely packed to the rafters and I think there are videos starting to appear online of it as well.

I also played a great set of gigs alongside John from NewSound with two amazing musicians flown in from Bangkok to play drums (Pong Nakornchai) and upright bass (Siriwat Tae Pliansanthia) where we paid tribute to Thelonious Monk to honour his centenary. And yes I had a great time introducing the band to the audience….

Click here for NewSound playing Uncle Junior at Alexis Bistro, Kuala Lumpur.


Not easy names to pronounce with a Scottish accent, Scott (pardon the pun)! What else have you got coming up in 2018?

NewSound are on full release mode with gigs at Borneo Jazz Festival, the World Youth Jazz Festival and Penang Jazz Festival upcoming as well as some other gigs further afield… I’m making trips to Hong Kong and Jakarta in the next few months as well as the usual array of music KL has to offer. I’m also back in the UK for a few weeks over summer to see my sister get married and will no doubt try to squeeze some stuff in while I’m back!


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

Marques Young


I heard a snippet of the unreleased album from Q Sound (KL based) which deserves international recognition when it is put out there.


Click here to listen to Guilty Room from the Q Sound (trombonist Marques Young) album Dual Citizenship.



Aina Abdul







I’m also a big fan of the output from a singer I’ve played with out here Aina Abdul - she’s amazing.

Click here to listen to Aina's Reminiscing.






Alan Benzie Trio are putting out their 2nd record soon and that’s one I can’t wait for; the first one was brilliant so I’m excited for that as well.

Alan's album has arrived here and I'm featuring it in our Video Juke Box and New Releases sections this month.

Another biscuit - Art and John ate all the Hob Nobs I put on the table, but I have another packet secretly put aside?

Go on, it’ll be another 6 months until I get a Hob Nob again.


Scott Murphy


Click here for Scott Murphy's website.

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


Utah Tea Pot



The Complete History Of Jazz 1899 - 1959


The Complete History Of Jazz 1899 1959


It seems a misnomer to entitle this album release as though the history of jazz ended in 1959, but this 4 CD re-issue on the Proper label includes 89 tracks from Scott Joplin and the Original Dixieland Jazz Band to Miles Davis, Charles Mingus and John Coltrane. As such, it is a very good historical perspective for jazz lovers and perhaps for those being introduced to jazz.

The description from Proper says: 'A galaxy of innovators tells this History Of Jazz, from its earliest beginnings in a bygone century, through its many transitions, taking in Ragtime, Swing, BeBop, Hard Bop and Free Jazz, and other strains throughout the development of this vital music. The cast list includes the greatest musical magicians of 20th century, people that created and developed this ever-changing music. Compiled and annotated by Joop Visser, acknowledged Jazz historian, it includes 89 tracks over 4 CDs with a 32 page booklet'. Alyn Shipton in Jazzwise magazine says: ' ... there's nothing inessential here ... the set charts a clear itinery through the development of the music ...'

The re-issue was released in October 2017 and although there are details on Amazon, somehow they have become mixed up with another album of Gospel music, so if you are interested it is better to go to the Proper Music website (click here) for more information, track listing, etc. The box set is available there at £11.99.





Video Juke Box

*Click on the Picture for the Video



Click on the picture to watch the video.


Alan Benzie The Warrior Who Became A Tiger


The Warrior Who Became A Tiger is from the new album Little Mysteries by the Alan Benzie Trio: Alan Benzie (piano/composition); Andrew Robb (bass), Marton Juhasz (drums). The band has been on tour in Europe and the UK during February to promote the album which is featured in our Recent Releases section below.





Jimmy Lunceford and his Orchestra


Rhythm Is Our Business. It appears that this might be the only known footage of Jimmie Lunceford and his Orchestra by Vitaphone from 1936. A correspondent says that the drummer is James Crawford; Joe Thomas is on tenor sax, Paul Webster on trumpet, Moses Allen on bass and the vocalist is Willie Smith (who also plays alto sax). The video also features The Three Brown Jacks and Myra Johnson.





Zhenya Strigalev Pinky


The 9th March sees the release on the Whirlwind label of Russian born saxophonist Zhenya Strigalev's new album, Blues For Maggie with Argentian guitarist Frederico Dannemann; Mauritian Linley Marthe (bass) and American Eric Harland (drums). Click the picture for a video of a live performance of Pinky. The album will be launched at The Vortex, Dalston on 28th March. Details are in our Recent Releases section below.





Simon Nabatov Lady Sings The Blues


Russian-American pianist Simon Nabatov plays Lady Sings The Blues by Herbie Nichols. The pianist has a new String Trio album, Situations, out on the Leo label with Gareth Lubbe (viola) and Ben Davis (cello). Details are in our Recent Releases section below.





Ben Webster Sextet video


The Ben Webster Sextet playing Duke Ellington's C Jam Blues. The video, from 1959, features Buck Clayton (trumpet); Ben Webster (tenor saxophone); Vic Dickenson (trombone); Hank Jones (piano); George Duvivier (bass) and Jo Jones (drums). This footage appears to come from a Jazz From Studio 61 recording at the Robert Herridge Theater, a half-hour dramatic anthology that ran primarily on educational television stations. One edition, "The Sound of Miles Davis", which Herridge referred to onscreen as "a story told in the language of music", consisted of an April 2, 1959, jazz concert by Davis, John Coltrane, Wynton Kelly, Paul Chambers, Jimmy Cobb and the Gil Evans Orchestra at CBS TV's Studio 61 (click here for a video).




Pablo Ziegler Trio


The Pablo Ziegler Trio has won the 2018 Grammy Award for "Best Latin Jazz Album" with their exciting release Jazz Tango (ZOHO).  Ziegler, who honed his piano and composing skills working with legendary fellow Argentinian Astor Piazzolla, has continued to develop the style of Nuevo Tango. This video is an introduction to the work.





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






Free Improvisation

and the music of

Martin Pyne and Stephen Grew

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].


Improvisation is a significant part of jazz. Take a piece of music and improvise on it. Spontaneous composition. But what if you free yourself of the constraints of an original piece? Musicians continue to experiment with improvisation and for those who thought that the first sorties into free jazz would not last, there is a thriving part of jazz that continues with that experimentation. Howard Lawes reflects on how the improvised music of two musicians, Martin Pyne and Stephen Grew, fits into today's jazz scene:

The recent surge in the popularity of jazz music among young audiences, particularly in London, has to a large extent involved strongly rhythmic music from across the world including the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East and South Asia, but very quickly young musicians have explored new avenues. Among them are MOBO award winners Binker and Moses who describe themselves as ‘semi-free improvisers’ and Cath Roberts, Dee Byrne and others at Lume who are successfully promoting original and improvised music.

Binker and Moses



Click on the picture to the left for a video of Moses Boyd and Binker Golding playing and talking about the making of their album Dem Ones.



‘Free’ or almost free improvisation is probably one of the more difficult styles of music for a novice audience to appreciate since to the uninitiated rhythm and melody seem to be almost entirely absent, but the likes of Binker and Moses are popularising a style of jazz that has actually been around for a while.  It originally gained some popularity when Ornette Coleman and others started experimenting in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and in the UK around the same time, a band called the Spontaneous Music Ensemble became a focus for several free improvisers such as Evan Parker, Trevor Watts and Dave Holland who went on to become well known in the field. [A re-issue of the classic SME album Karyōbin (are the imaginary birds said to live in paradise) with Kenny Wheeler, Evan Parker, Derek Bailey, Dave Holland and John Stevens from 1968 was released on the Emanem label in November 2017 - click here].

Spontaneous Music Ensemble



Click on the picture to the right for a video of the Spontaneous Music Ensemble playing in 1972 with Trevor Watts (saxophone), Julie Tippetts (guitar and voice), John Stevens (drums) and Ron Herman (bass).




Stephen Grew is a pianist and keyboard player whose music is totally improvised and over the last 25 years has established himself as one of the leading exponents of the genre, his albums have included collaborations with erstwhile Spontaneous Music Ensemble members, Evan Parker and Trevor Watts. Martin Pyne is a percussionist, vibraphone player, composer and accompanist for live ballet and silent film, he also loves free improvisation.  The two musicians met for the first time in a church in Lancaster on a bitterly cold day and Martin describes the process of creating their album, Winter Landscape, as follows:

Stephen Grew



"There was, (as is usually the case in free improv), no prior discussion about what we would play, though I would equally say that, as with any improvisation, we had both spent a lifetime preparing for that moment. What I mean by that is building a wide frame of musical reference through extensive listening, working on developing and evolving an individual musical vocabulary, or voice, on our respective instruments, developing a strong sense of  musical structure (short and long term), and developing the ability to very quickly assess available options at any given moment and make almost instant decisions."

Stephen Grew



Martin Pyne Stephen Grew Winter Lndscape



Winter Landscape is that type of album, it is a complete, unedited sequence of improvisations and by definition a one off. (You can listen to the music if you click on the album cover to the right).






For many people music is simply an ephemeral entertainment, a beat they can tap their foot to or a melody they can hum.  The established jazz audience has different priorities for as well as foot tapping and humming they can admire new arrangements and the imaginative and skilful improvisation that goes with the Great American Songbook and countless other lovely compositions both new and old.  New audiences are embracing jazz via modern versions of Afrobeat and Indojazz but are also enjoying contemporary music that is becoming ever more free. 


Martin Pyne


To quote Martin Pyne again:

"Contemporary music listeners do not expect a composer to follow a specific preordained path. One of the beauties of this kind of performance is that the players have no idea of the musical destination. They have to enter it in a very open state of mind. The same is necessary of the listener........ you need to clear your head and listen to what is there."


Martin Pyne









Jazz Remembered

Clive Burton (Trombone)


[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].


Clive Burton


Alan Bond writes, remembering trombonist Clive Burton who passed through the Departure Lounge last year:

'I had a message to say that trombonist Clive Burton had passed away last October. I remember Clive chiefly from his time with drummer Keith Vitty's band 'Century Jazz' who were well known around the Thames Valley area in the 1980s and 1990s. Keith spent many years as a jobbing musician in the Far East, being based in Hong Kong until he was diagnosed with cancer. He returned to the UK in the mid-1980s and formed Century Jazz with Clive Burton and they had regular gigs at the Railway Inn at Cookham as well as at the Fifield Inn in Fifield, between Maidenhead and Windsor.


Click here for a video of Clive with Century Jazz playing The Night Has A Thousand Eyes at The Cricketers, Horsell Birch, Woking, Surrey, on 13th October, 2008 with Clive Burton (trombone), Mike Wills (saxophone), Zane Cronje (keyboard), John Mulley (bass), Martin Hart (drums).


Keith Vitty passed away in the early 2000s. I have a couple of CDs of what was a very polished little band and I heard them live on many occasions before moving to the West Country in 1999. Also in the band were Mike Wilson on reeds, Roger Munns on piano and John Monney Clive Burton Quinteton bass guitar. I also remember an evening at Fifield when Alan Barnes was the guest musician. Some great music was the result.


Click here for a video of the Clive Burton Quintet in 2011 playing It's You Or No One.


John Monney was an excellent bassist and always used a fretless bass guitar. You don't see too many of those and John reckoned that if you played bass guitar you couldn't call yourself a proper bassist unless it was fretless!'

Alan has also shared a link from Geoff Cronin whose blog lists gigs in North Berkshire and South Buckinghamshire and says: 'This refers to one of the regular venues at which Century Jazz/The Clive Burton Quintette regularly appeared over the years. The Hedsor Club is close by Bourne End, which for many years had a jazz venue at The Firefly, which was hard by Bourne End railway station. It was well known for visiting American musicians among whom were Bud Freeman and Wingy Mannone.

In this entry, Geoff wrote about a gig in January 2018 in celebration of Clive Burton:

'This week we have perhaps the first outing of "The Clive Burton Celebration Quintet". After Clive's passing the rest of the band members wanted to keep Clive's name at the front of the band. They also want to invite trumpeter Lester Brown to become part of the band, and THIS THURSDAY he will be with us'. The following week, Geoff wrote: 'Last week had the FIRST night of jazz from the Clive Burton Celebration Clive Burton with Chris Pearce's Frenchman bandQuintet - Lester Brown trumpet, Mike Wills reeds, Nigel Fox keyboard, John Monney bass and Martin Hart drums. It was a really good start, with some new tunes and some old familiar ones too, but with a bite and a swing, and warmth and melody as well. It was well attended and it was great to see the room beginning to look full. Lets hope we can keep it that way. It was good have see Jan Burton with us at this new start'.


Click here for Clive playing Nobody's Sweetheart Now with Chris Pearce's Frenchman Street Jazz Band: Chris Pearce (clarinet); Clive Burton (trombone); Tony Davies (trumpet); Phil Probert (banjo); Graham Smith (drums).


Clive Burton also played at Pangbourne Jazz Club where he is remembered as 'probably the best known local trombonist. He is a big character and a great entertainer even when not playing his trombone. He plays with many different jazz bands, big bands and combos and has an amazing repertoire off the top of his head'.

If anyone would like to add to these memories of Clive Burton, please contact us.








Oh,Play That Thing!

Paul Adams at Lake Records argues that the calling out of 'Oh, play that thing' where we unwrapped Sugar Foot Blues / Dippermouth Blues last month might not be as clear as first thought ....

'I take Baby Dodds’ explanation of how that exclamation came about with a pinch of salt. If you listen to the first recording of the tune on 6 April 1923 Baby Dodds is clearly expecting a break, but not a drum one because he brings the band to a stop with a choked cymbal crash. The cry then follows perfectly in time and doesn’t sound like someone who has wondered why the drum break hasn’t come. Another take doesn’t seem to have been made to correct the mistake. The second recording of the tune on 23 June 1923 sees the tune played at a faster tempo and exactly the same thing happens. They clearly didn’t remake it to correct Dodds’ error on 6 April. He doesn’t emphasise the break in the same way. Perhaps, if it was an error they decided it was a good one and the reason for the remake was to have a brisker tempo. Perhaps King Oliver’s ego liked the idea of someone shouting at the end of one of his solo pieces. We’ll probably never know, but my feeling is that it was intended from the start'.



Do Nothing 'Til You Hear From Me

In last month's Quiz, I asked the question 'Duke Ellington wrote the tune 'Concerto for Cootie' named after Cootie Williams. What was the title of the tune after lyrics were added'? I gave the answer: 'Do Nothing 'Til You Hear From Me'

David Stevens points out that it was a little more complicated than that:

'You’re by no means the only person to say that Concerto For Cootie (C for C) had lyrics added to produce Do Nothing 'Til You Hear From Me (DNT). What evidently happened was that Duke took the eight-note principal motif from C for C and built a popular song round it. Bob Russell wrote the lyrics. C for C is quite a complex piece of music. It begins by Cootie stating the eight note theme on his own, followed by an elaborate intro by the band (sounds as though written by Strayhorn). There follows four sets of eight or ten bars, all different, the first two and the last played by Cootie using a straight mute and the third a growl with plunger. You could look at it as a loose AABA sequence, as the first, second and third each consist of the eight-note theme repeated three times, followed by a variation and a contribution by the band. But the third, the growl one, has a different theme altogether, probably contributed by Cootie himself. All of that’s in F.

After that, the band plays four bars which sound as though it’s going into a bridge, but simply introduces Cootie’s magnificent open solo, sixteen bars of a new theme, in D flat. The band has two bars to get back to F, after which Cootie returns with a mute, restating the eight-note theme, and developing it into a beautiful extended coda, Cootie, with plunger, in dialogue with the band. Sorry to bang on about the construction of C for C, but it’s such a beautiful piece of work, and  although it might be possible to write lyrics to it (Jon Hendrix might have had a go) you wouldn’t get many singers who were game to sing it.

Click here to listen to Concerto For Cootie.

DNT is a simple AABA song, its only real similarity to C for C being the eight note main theme. The harmonies are different from those in the first half of C for C, although the sequence in DNT, F - F7 - Bb - Bbm, does appear in C for C’s final statement, after Cootie’s open solo. The bridge of DNT is entirely different from anything in C for C; in F, it's in Db for four bars, then F for four bars'.



Times With Sandy Brown

Clarinettist Dave Bowen remembers times with Sandy Brown:

First, thank you for the marvellous clip of Sandy playing on top form with such a good rhythm section in Czechoslovakia (click here) and to Alvin Roy for supplying it.

I left Bridgend in Glamorgan in 1962 to study at Kings College, London. Sandy was already a hero. Before too long some guys decided to form a college jazz band for which I became the clarinet player. We played regular sessions in the College bar and eventually decided to hold a series of guest evenings. Those who accepted our invitation (and payment would you believe of £5 for the session?!) were Jimmy Skidmore, Don Rendell and, at my insistence: Sandy (who brought along his bass clarinet too.)

Thereafter I went to many of The Fairweather-Brown All Stars gigs, e.g. at the Six Bells where Sandy graciously invited me to sit in. (I don’t think Al was very impressed). Later on (late '60s) I was very pleased to learn that Sandy was a near neighbour. I was in a bachelor flat in Swiss Cottage. I invited him to one of our parties and he arrived with Graham Burbage, Chris Barber’s drummer. Sandy’s eyes lit up when I secretly slipped him the gift of a bottle of scotch which wouldn’t otherwise have lasted very long among my friends and flat mates.

At one time, Sandy was using a motor scooter and could be seen passing down Finchley Road, black leather hat firmly in place and his back hair (which he grew long presumably to compensate for his baldness) streaming in the wind. Just before I left Swiss Cottage with my wife to be, Bridget, she and I met Sandy who was fruitlessly trying to gain access to a pub which hadn’t yet opened. Bridget invited him back to her tiny flat close by and there Sandy spotted her oboe, Bridget being a classical musician. He was intrigued by the double reed. Bridget suggested he try and get a sound. He did, producing a noise which would not have been well known in classical circles but gave us all a laugh. We must surely be a unique couple in witnessing S. Brown playing oboe?

A great original musician and a charming companion, we were very sad when he left us so young. Thanks again for reviving very happy memories of Sandy. 



Carried over from last month:

Broadcast Opportunity For Oxford Bands

Radio Cherwell



Mike Abbott writes: I produce some shows for Oxford's Hospital Radio Cherwell. One of the shows is The Oxford Band Show which features mainly local swing bands. If any local jazz bands of any size are interested in appearing on the show they can contact me directly.

Click here to contact Mike.

Click here for the Radio Cherwell website.






Sandy Brown Jazz Facebook and Mailing List

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Two Ears Three Eyes

Photographer Brian O'Connor has again been capturing musicians in performance and shares with us some of his latest images.

Ed Richardson



Ed Richardson playing with the Leo Richardson Quartet at Boaters Jazz, Boaters Inn, Kingston-upon-Thames on Sunday 11th February. 2018.

Leo Richardson (saxophone);
Rick Simpson (keyboards);
Tim Thornton (bass)
Ed Richardson (drums).

Brian says: 'Lovely shabby chic pub by the waterside but, when crowded, spoiled by noise magnification of the general chatter.  A shame.  This does affect a lot of pubs and restaurants, yet we have the techniques to ensure this doesn't happen.  Leo's set was very enjoyable good mainstream stuff, standards etc.  He has a well received debut CD out (click here)'. 




Yazz Ahmed


Yazz Ahmed at the Watermill Jazz Club, Dorking, Surrey on 6th February 2018.

Gerard Sands says of the gig: 'Yazz Ahmed’s 7-piece Hafla Band produced a melange of swirling riffs, mainly supplied by the bass clarinet of George Crowley and the vibes of Ralph Wylde, whilst drummer Martin France  and bassist Dudley Phillips powered things along and pianist Nadia Sheriff and versatile percussionist Corrina Silverstein added texture and colour. There were strong solos from each of the front line. Material played came from Yazz’s excellent 2017 album La Saboteuse and from her soon to be recorded Polyhymnia suite. This was a heady concoction of music to transport us from a dreary English February to Arabian climes'.


Yazz will be playing at this year's Love Supreme Festival.





Mike Hatchard and Tina May




Mike Hatchard, pianist and violinist accompanied singer Tina May at The Hawth, Crawley, West Sussex on 18th February.

Brian O'connor says of the gig: 'Great fun with two consummate artistes performing well known tracks from the Great American Songbook, and other closely related material'.

Tina May's album Cafe Paranoia, a tribute to Mark Murphy, was released in 2017. Click here for details.









The Jazz Photography Of Brian O'Connor - April Exhibition


Nicole Henry

Nicole Henry


Brian O'Connor has been taking photographs of jazz musicians since 1971 and this retrospective exhibition of his work will be on display at The Clocktower Cafe in Croydon from Tuesday 2nd April to Friday 27th April 2018. The exhibition, which will be opened by the Deputy Brian O'ConnorMayor of Croydon at 2.00 pm on Saturday 7th April has free admission and is open from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm Monday to Saturday.

The Neal Richardson Trio will also be playing at the opening (Neal Richardson: piano and vocals; Sue Richardson: trumpet and vocals; Andy Panayi; saxophone).


Brian O'Connor


Brian kindly shares with this website each month his photographs of recent gigs. Here is an opportunity to see some of the stunning photographs that he has taken over the years. You can read more about Brian here. His website Images Of Jazz has many of his pictures which are also worth seeing and an archive of his work is held at the National Jazz Archive in Loughton.


The Jazz Photography of Brian O'Connor 1971 - 2017 is at The Clocktower Cafe, Click Clock Gallery, 9 Katharine Street, Croydon, CR9 1ET.


Dexter Gordon

Dexter Gordon


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).




Two More 'Go Dutch' with UK Dates

Two pianists visit the UK this month as part of the 'Going Dutch' initiative that will be bringing leading musicians from the Netherlands throughout 2018 and into 2019.

Kaja Draksler


Kaja Draksler

Kaja Draksler and Dominic J Marshall originally come from Slovenia and Scotland respectively but qualify for Going Dutch by being resident in Amsterdam. Draksler, who will also be appearing at Gateshead Jazz Festival in April, plays a solo concert as part of Belfast’s Brilliant Corners on 8th March.


Dominic J Marshall



Dominic J Marshall was born in Bannockburn, near Stirling, and studied at Leeds College of Music, where he began to make waves with his first trio, before taking his master's degree in Amsterdam. He's since formed a new version of his trio and his gigs at The Globe in Newcastle upon Tyne on 29th March and Pizza Express in Soho on the 31st March will be the first time he's brought this group to the UK. He's as much influenced by J-Dilla as the lineage of piano trios from Bill Evans onwards and brings a vibrant individual groove to his music. 






Jazz At The Merchants House

Merchants House Glasgow


The Merchants House of Glasgow continues its jazz concert series with a once-only performance featuring three of the UK’s leading pianists on Sunday, March 11. Steve Hamilton, Paul Harrison and Tom Gibbs, who between them have worked with Ray Charles, Carol Kidd and trumpet legend Freddie Hubbard, will each perform solo before collaborating in duos and trios in the West George Street building’s Grand Hall.

Ian Dickson, Lord Dean of Guild at Merchants House, said: “After a fantastic start to the series with Paul Towndrow playing the 'Charlie Parker With Strings' repertoire, we are looking forward immensely to staging more of these concerts. The Grand Hall has hosted musical events, including jazz, over the years and it’s a marvellously attractive setting that will allow us to stage most of the jazz concerts acoustically so that people will enjoy the music in its natural form.”

Also due to appear in the monthly series are guitarist and poet Don Paterson with his first group since he co-led Celtic-jazz outfit Lammas in the 1990s, The Don Paterson Situation (April 15) and saxophonist Konrad Wisniewski and pianist Euan Stevenson’s New Focus Quartet (May 13). Long-time saxophone and piano partnership Tommy Smith and Brian Kellock follow on June 17. All concerts begin at 8:00 pm. Click here for details.





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:


Coco Schumann



Coco Schumann - German jazz guitarist and Holocaust survivor. He became a member of the 'Ghetto Swingers' while transported to Theresienstadt concentration camp at the age of nineteen. Schumann performed as a jazz guitarist, with Marlene Dietrich, Ella Fitzgerald, Helmut Zacharias and others. Click here for a video of Coco playing at Badenscher Hof.







Ndugu Chancler


Leon (Ndugu) Chancler - Born in Shreveport, Louisiana, in 1952, drummer Leon Ndugu Chancler began playing drums when he was thirteen years old. He graduated from California State University with a degree in music education. By then he had already performed with Herbie Hancock and recorded with Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard and Bobby Hutcherson. He recorded as a sideman in jazz, blues, and pop music, including the iconic and instantly recognizable drums on Billie Jean by Michael Jackson. In 2006, he became an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies at the University of Southern California. Click here for a video of Ndugu Chancler. Click here to listen to Billie Jean.





Wesla Whitfield



Wesla Whitfield - Born in Santa Maria, California, Wesla started out as an opera / classical music vocalist but became well known for her interpretations of the Great American Song Book. Many news obituaries online seem to require subscription. The allaboutjazz link we have given was written before Wesla died on 9th February. There is more here. Click here for a video of Wesla singing Walkin' After Midnight with her husband Mike Greensill's Trio in 2011.




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



Alan Benzie Trio - Little Mysteries

Snowpoet - Thought You Knew

John Surman - Invisible Threads

Kit Downes - Obsidian

Go Go Penguin - A Humdrum Star

Martin Archer + Engine Room Favourites - Safety Signal From A Target Town

The Matthew Read Trio - ANECDOTES II

Martin Pyne / Stephen Grew Duo - Winter Landscape

Lenore Raphael, Wayne Wilkinson, Chris Hodgkins - At Pizza Express Live


Nicolas Masson - Travelers

Leslie Pintchik - You Eat My Food, You Drink My Wine, You Steal My Girl

Bobby Previte - Rhapsody

James Hall - Lattice

Kevin Sun - Trio

Walter Smith III - TWIO

Katie Thiroux - Off Beat


Trio Galactus - Trio Galactus

Rose / Kellers / Roder - New World

Simon Nabatov String Trio - Situations

Zhenya Strigalev - Blues For Maggie


Steve Lane - Steve Lane Plays Vintage Jazz Music

Billie Holiday - The Complete Billie Holiday Songbook

Oscar Brown Jr - Between Heaven And Hell / Sin And Soul

Sidney Bechet - Five Classic Albums

Mark Murphy - Midnight Mood





Alan Benzie Trio - Little Mysteries
(CD Baby) - Released: February 2018

Alan Benzie (piano and composition); Andrew Robb (bass), Marton Juhasz (drums).

Alan Benzie Trio Little Mysteries


Second album from the young Scottish pianist who won the BBC Scotland Young Jazz Musician at only 17 (his 2015 debut album was Traveller's Tales). Now 27, he has won a string of high profile awards in the last few years, including the prestigious Billboard Award at Berklee College of Music. Journalist Rob Adams has said: 'Benzie has an orchestrator’s ear for detail in his compositions… His spontaneous creativity impressed even more as improvisations were developed with a clear sense of direction and sustained with inspired phrase'. The Trio has recently been touring the Continent and the UK promoting the album. CD Baby describes it: 'From sensitive, magical textures to virtuosic explosions of energy, the trio are both sophisticated and accessible, with the warmth and empathy that can only be achieved through great friendship and years of making music together'.

Details and Sample Album : Video of The Warrior Who Became A Tiger : CDs are available through Alan's website :







Snowpoet - Thought You Knew
(Edition Records) - Released: February 2018

Lauren Kinsella (vocals); Chris Hyson (multi instrumentalist); Josh Arcoleo (saxophone); Matt Robinson (keyboards); Nick Costley-White (guitar); Dave Hamblett (drums).

Snowpoet Thought You Knew



Jazz FM Vocalist of the Year (2016) Lauren Kinsella and multi-instrumentalist Chris Hyson explores the common ground between poetry, electronica, modern folk, and jazz. Blending sweet hook-laden vocal lines with warm and lush arrangements, the music is infectious, delicate and tasteful. The sound is clear and beautifully produced, while the lyrical content exhibits a deep and raw emotion.

See Robin Kidson's article Jazz And Poetry : The Work Of Snowpoet

Details and Samples : Video Introduction : Video for Love Again : Review ****








John Surman - Invisible Threads
(ECM) - Released: 19th January 2018

John Surman (soprano & baritone saxophones, bass clarinet); Nelson Ayres (piano); Rob Waring (vibraphone, marimba)

John Surman Invisible Threads

John Surman’s Invisible Threads is near on his 20th album with ECM under his own name. He’s used electronics, had other ‘invisibilities’; witness Invisible Nature, the 2002 John Surman/Jack DeJohnette session.  Today I’m declaring Invisible Threads top of the Surman ECM stack. High praise because Stranger Than Fiction and Brewster’s Rooster are stunning sets, however the explorations of Invisible Threads are gripped by a beautiful intensity.  Tracks like the short, compressed, At First Sight, the extended Pitanga Pitomba and Concentric Circles deliver a strong narrative.  The vibes into piano, piano into vibes, lace the contours of these compositions.  On The Admiral,Surman’s bass clarinet cuts between the two like a wave through a spontaneous sea.

Why I’m so taken up with Invisible Threads is that the Brazilian pianist Nelson Ayres and American-now-living-in-Norway, Rob Waring, (vibes/marimba), provide a pairing that gets underneath the Surman sound.  They own it for themselves.  Since I first heard John Surman playing with Barre Phillips and Stu Martin in 1970 I’ve realised he is special.  The baritone and soprano on Invisible Threads doesn’t ‘sound’ anything like the reeds that roared with the Martin/Phillips bass ‘n drums.  Take the trail through the past, and it is possible to hear how one great musician went on a mission. Together the three compatriots of Invisible Threads are ‘The Trio’, 2018.  Here there is also no need for electronics.  The sleeve has a studio photograph showing a never heard guitar propped up in the corner.  Now, what’s that doing there? 

Steve Day (Steve Day is a writer and poet and leads the band Blazing Flame. )

Details and Samples : Samples on Soundcloud : Further Details on ECM Records page





Kit Downes - Obsidian
(ECM) - Released: 19th January 2018

Kit Downes (organ) with guest Tom Challenger (tenor saxophone)

Kit Downes Obsidian



Some of Kit's earliest musical experiences were as a church organist and in recent years he has been revisiting the instrument, exploring its sonic possibilities and idiosyncrasies, in improvisations both melodic and textural. In November 2016 producer Sun Chung followed Downes to three English churches - the Snape Church of John the Baptist and Bromeswell St Edmund Church - both in Suffolk - and Union Chapel Church in Islington, London. These are very different acoustic spaces housing organs of very different characters which Downes investigates creatively.

Details and Samples : Introductory Video : Review ****+







Go Go Penguin - A Humdrum Star
(Blue Note Records : Decca UMO) - Released: 9th February 2018

Chris Illingworth (piano); Nick Blacka (bass); Rob Turner (drums).

Go Go Penguin A Humdrum Star



The Manchester-based trio conjure richly atmospheric music that draws from their shared love of electronica, their grounding in classical conservatoires and jazz ensembles alongside indie bands, and a merging of acoustic and electronic techniques ... “I think we felt even more liberated on this album—and I think there’s more of each of us on it,” says bassist Nick Blacka. Their latest material reveals both native turf and far-flung influences. ... As with previous albums, these tracks stemmed from a love of electronic music ... That electro-acoustic tension pulses throughout the new album. (Blue Note website).


Introductory Video : Purchase Details and Sample :







Martin Archer + Engine Room Favourites - Safety Signal From A Target Town
(Discus Music) - Released: 1st January 2018

Martin Archer (saxophones); Mick Beck (tenor saxophone, bassoon); Seth Bennett (bass); Graham Clark (violin); Laura Cole (piano); Steve Dinsdale (percussion); Peter Fairclough (drums); Johnny Hunter (drums); Kim Macari (trumpet); George Murray (trombone); Corey Mwamba (vibraphone); Walt Shaw (percussion); Riley Stone-Lonergan (tenor saxophone, clarinet).

Martin Archer Safety Signal From A Target Town



'This suite is the third and most ambitious release by my AACM influenced big band. Across three releases, the band has developed from the original idea of saxophone + percussion quartet + studio based orchestration ... to the current release which features a larger group and more complex scores. I’m not usually one for programmatic music, but these pieces were conceived written very quickly in the final 2 months of 2016. The titles enable the listener to imagine their own story of a world moving in exactly the opposite direction to the version most people would wish to live in'. (Martin Archer).

Details and Listen to the Album : Video of a test recording of The Playground In The Desert : Martin Archer's website : Martin's 'Tea Break' on this site in July 2017.






The Matthew Read Trio - ANECDOTES II
(Self Release) - Released: 9th February 2018

Matthew Read (double bass); Benedict Wood (guitar); Arthur Newell (drums).

Matthew Read Trio Anecdotes II



Drawing influence from a multitude of styles including jazz, folk, country, hip hop, dance music, spirituals and both European and American church music, the trio creates a soundscape of melody driven music. The album features eleven original compositions based on Read's experiences including K, an imagining of the music that might be played if Kendrick Lamar and Kurt Rosenwinkel were to play together: Burke and Hare, a melody with a contrasting, darker undercurrent that reflects its subject matter including 19th Century serial killers; and Revolutions, a piece that laments the loss of interest in physical media formats.

Details and Samples : Live video of Burke and Hare : Review ****







Martin Pyne / Stephen Grew Duo - Winter Landscape
(Tall Guy Records) - Released: 22nd January 2018

Martin Pyne (percussion, vibraphone), Stephen Grew (piano, keyboards).

Martin Pyne Stephen Grew Winter Landscape



The album consists of a sequence of improvisations for vibraphone and piano recorded on a bitterly cold day in Lancaster in the north west of England.

See Howard Lawes' article 'Free Improvastion and the Music of Martin Pyne and Stephen Grew'


Details and Listen to the Album :







Lenore Raphael, Wayne Wilkinson and Chris Hodgkins - At Pizza Express Live
(Bell CDs) - Released: 17th November 2017.

Lenore Raphael (piano); Wayne Wilkinson (guitar); Chris Hodgkins (trumpet)

Raphael Wilkinson Hodgkins album



Recorded at a live session at the Pizza Express Jazz Club, Dean Street, in 2016, this album was released last November. The event had originally been planned as a duo performance by American pianist Lenore Raphael and UK trumpeter, Chris Hodgkins, but Lenore's regular guitarist, Wayne Wilkinson joined them to make the Trio. With interpretations of 12 Standards and one original track by the three musicians, the album features enjoyable solo tracks, duets and ensemble performances.

Details and Samples : Listen to September In The Rain : Listen to Georgia On My Mind : Visit our Jazz As Art article :




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.



Nicolas Masson - Travelers
(ECM) - Released: 16th February 2018

Nicolas Masson (tenor and soprano saxophone); Collin Vallon (piano); Patrice Moret (double bass); Lionel Friedli (drums).

Nicolas Masson Travelers



'The real strength of the recording resides in the musicians’ convergence, reciprocity, and team spirit. They denote a clear understanding of one another’s moves. More reserved than effusive, Masson’s music dawns slowly, subverting unnecessary stunts while describing through lightly smoky soundscapes the magical realism of a hermetic, personal world. Regardless if their storytelling is deep or shallow, the quartet engages in the commitment of wringing every emotion from a song'.

Details : Introductory Video : JazzTrail Review :








Leslie Pintchik - You Eat My Food, You Drink My Wine, You Steal My Girl
(Pitch Hard Records) - Released: 15th February 2018

Leslie Pintchik (piano); Scott Hardy (acoustic bass, guitar); Michael Sarin (drums); Satoshi Takeishi (percussion) with Steve Wilson (alto saxophone); Ron Horton (trumpet, flugelhorn); Shoko Nagai (accordion).

Leslie Pintchik You Eat My Food


'Equipped with originals, jazz standards, and a supportive combo of talents, pianist Leslie Pintchik commits to a smooth and groovy jazz on her latest album ... Even lacking the factor surprise, the album has enough diversity and flexibility to conquer audiences looking for unwrinkled post-bop'. 'Pintchik found the album title in one of those "only in New York" moments. While crossing Canal Street at West Broadway in the SoHo section of Manhattan, she heard a voice behind her yell, "You eat my food, you drink my wine, you steal my girl!" It was a perfect fit for the sharp-elbows vibe of her new tune, with its samba-funk groove, understated humor and fender-bender of an ending. So with one gruff shout, serendipity handed her a bold, spunky for a bold, spunky tune'. '...the wide range of grooves (samba-funk with a touch of partido alto, swing, bolero, traditional samba, straight-eighths, and ballads-all played with exceptional skill and pizzazz by Pintchik and her top-notch band members) is a great added pleasure'.

Details and Samples : Audio Introduction : JazzTrail Review






Bobby Previte - Rhapsody
(RareNoise) - Released: 23rd February 2018

Bobby Previte (drums, percussion, autoharp, guitar, harmonica); Fabian Rucker (alto saxophone); Nels Cline (acoustic guitar, 12 string guitar, slide guitar); Zeena Perkins (harp); John Medeski (piano); Jen Shyu (vocals).

Bobby Previte Rhapsody



'Taking into account the outstanding rhythmic skills of American drummer Bobby Previte, it came to no surprise that his new album, Rhapsody, reveals a tour-de-force storytelling that takes us into an uninterrupted journey of musical discovery while addressing pertinent subjects such as transit and migration in the current days ... Boasting a stupendous sound and concept, as well as an unconventional repertoire of converging influences and metaphors, this is a masterwork by a fearless musician who never ceases to innovate'.

Details : JazzTrail Review : Video : Audio Edit : Information








James Hall - Lattice
(Outside In Music) - Released: 9th February 2018

James Hall (trombone); Jamie Baum (flute); Deanna Witkowski (piano, Fender Rhodes); Tom DiCarlo (bass); Allan Mednard (drums) + guest Sharel Cassity (alto sax)

James Hall Lattice



'The effortless genre-bending approach that characterizes him is well patented on Lattice, his sophomore album inspired by his own love story and Herbie Hancock’s Speak Like a Child ... The tunes we hear on Lattice are easy to connect and assimilate. They not only show a high level of musicianship but also authenticate Hall as a talented voice in today’s jazz'.

Video : JazzTrail Review : Purchase Details








Kevin Sun - Trio
(Endectomorph Music) - Released: 2nd February 2018

Kevin Sun: (tenor and C-melody saxophones); Walter Stinson: (acoustic bass); Matt Honor (drums).

Kevin Sun Trio



'The album Trio, released on the saxophonist’s label Endectomorph Music, allows him to explore textures and dynamics with freedom while merging the contemporary and the tradition in a tasteful way ... I have no doubt that Sun’s musical integrity will bring him wide recognition. Trio proves him a high flyer whose presence is voluminous and a gifted saxophonist who feels comfortable in a variety of musical contexts'. 

Video : JazzTrail Review : Purchase Details and Samples









Walter Smith III - TWIO
(Whirlwind Recordings) - Released: 9th February 2108

Walter Smith III (tenor saxophone); Harish Raghavan (bass); Eric Harland (drums); with guests Christian McBride (bass); Joshua Redman (tenor saxophone)

Walter Smith III TWIO



Working and touring for the last fifteen years, playing multi-layered compositions in different configurations with artists such as Terence Blanchard,​ Roy Haynes,​ Sean Jones, Ambrose Akinmusire and with his own bands, Smith also began to revisit classic jazz songs. He elaborates: “I would try and alter tunes quite radically by rearranging, reharmonizing and altering meters to a point where I was barely playing the original song; but realized that I was confusing the point of playing the songs, so I began to interpret them more directly, as they were first meant to be played ... This project represents something that everyone of all levels can relate to because it presents familiar and accessible songs that we've all grown up playing. The plan is that when we tour, I’ll use that opportunity to invite the community to come sit in, have fun, and share ideas, which I imagined this music was all about in the first place.”

Details and Samples : Video Introduction : Listen to Ask Me Now :





Katie Thiroux – Off Beat
(Capri Records) - Released: 18th August 2017

Katie Thiroux (bass and vocals); Ken Peplowski (tenor saxophone and clarinet); Roger Neumann (tenor and soprano saxophones); Justin Kauflin (piano); Matt Witek (drums).

Katie Thiroux Off BeatReleased in 2017, Off Beat, with its interesting mix of vocals and instruments, follows Katie’s inaugural album, Introducing Katie Thiroux, released in 2015.  The title comes from the mix of lesser known songs featured.  There are 10 tracks on Off Beat, but only one, Slow Dance With Me, which has a blues feel and is an instrumental with a solo on the bass, is composed by Thiroux. Katie has a degree from Berklee College of Music and a Masters from California State University and has an impressive musical background.  She has worked with numerous musicians such as Geri Allen, Branford Marsalis, and Ken Peplowski who plays reeds on 5 of these tracks. Roger Neumann arranged the title track, Off Beat, which uses both clarinet and soprano sax to good effect with good clear vocal and bass from Katie.  This is followed by When The Lights are Low,  a Benny Carter composition that features sultry vocals ably accompanied with a delightful piano solo by Kauflin.  Katie scat sings on Ray’s Idea, a Ray Brown composition including some smooth clarinet from Peplowski.  Duke Ellington’s Happy Reunion, has both Peplowski and Neumann’s tenor saxophones to the fore with backing from Thiroux’s bass and drums from Witek.  Willow Weep for Me, shows Katie’s talent off by a solo effort with just vocals and the bass.

This album shows off Katie Thiroux’s vocal skills and bass playing backed by great musicianship from the other band members.  There is a mix of tempos through swing to blues, clear vocals ranging through sultry to tender and dazzling arrangements from multiple band members which means that there is a hugely varied range covered in the short time available.  This is an unusual selection of tracks but there is something for everyone here and most jazz fans would favour at least one number.  I am sure I will be listening to this album again.

Tim Rolfe

Details and Samples : Interview with Katie : Katie's Website



European Releases


Trio Galactus - Trio Galactus
(Improvvisatore Involontario) - Released: 8th January 2018

Giorgio Casadei (electric guitar, guitar-bass double handle); Alessio Alberghini (baritone sax, alto saxophone, flute); Simone Pederzoli (trombone)

Trio Galactus album


What you see below is the contents of the box that contains this really interesting Italian CD.  It starts with a most unusual line-up of double-handled guitar, baritone sax and trombone.  Then the subject matter is entirely devoted to compositions (by Casadei) inspired by superheros.  And the box contents shown here include 13 postcards, each one a painting by a different artist, of the 13 superhero tracks. And then there's the music.  Quirky and sparkling.  Some odd and broken time signatures, some very odd sounds from that combination of instruments, but overall I found the whole thing terrific fun.

As far as I can establish the complete box set is only available from under Giorgio Casadei's name (click here), but the music can be downloaded from all the normal sources.

Details and samples : Listen to Spider Jessica :

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').


Trio Galactus album cards




Rose / Kellers / Roder: New World
(FMR Records) - Released: January 2018

Simon Rose (baritone & alto saxophone); Will Kellers (drums); Jan Roder (double bass)

Rose Kellers Roder New WorldIn October 2017 I reviewed an album called Edith’s Problem.  It was a wonderful stark clean study of jazz minimalism by Berlin based British reeds player Simon Rose and Swiss pianist, Deniz Peters.  Mr Rose’s new album, with percussionist Will Kellers and bass player Jan Roder, takes the opposite approach.  New World is a dense soundscape built on drones and multiple rhythms. Twenty years previously Kellers recorded Twilight Etchings with Keith and Julie Tippett.  New World and Etchings share similarities, the link, not surprisingly, drums.  Will Kellers is a constantly inventive percussionist.  Technically jaw dropping, he holds your ears to the beats as if he’s Caesar.

What starts with Human Head, Mr Roses’ droned saxophone turning into deep soloing, moves into Cargo, a high pitch of mouthpiece, gong and split bass falling into richly fractured baritone against trip-tuned percussion.  At the album’s centre is No Joseph (maybe “No Joseph for your manager”, maybe some other Joseph), either way it’s a vital three-way improvisation with Rose bringing the reeds into forensic clarity against multi-active drums and Jan Roder’s spatial double bass.  The longest track is the final, River Witness.  It feels like a story but is played out as if the trio are turning a river into a lake; a liquid edifice where saxophones are air, the drums heavy rain, and the bass, the bottom of the ocean. New World is revitalised European saxophone, bass ‘n’ drums.  Anyone interested in the genre will want to hear this fascinating album.

Steve Day (Steve Day is a writer and poet and leads the band Blazing Flame. )

Purchase Details : Simon Rose's website




Simon Nabatov String Trio - Situations
(Leo Records) - Released: February 2018

Simon Nabatov (piano); Gareth Lubbe (viola); Ben Davis (cello).

Simon Nabatov String Trio Situations


'Nabatov's chamber music calls for a kind of string player only recently arrived, who is equally comfortable with complex scores and the challenges of improvising ....violist Gareth Lubbe (Principal Violist in the Gewandhaus Orchestra of Leipzig) and cellist Ben Davis (Basquiat Strings) ... participate ... in Nabatov's compound vision - the dialectics of possibilities, the brace of the new in the embrace of the known. In a single piece, the trio moves from manic-chaotic through spiky school-of-Vienna pointillism to roller-coaster improvisation that thins out to something that might play blissfully in the background of an impossibly high-end Brazilian beach bar ...'

Details : As the album is only just out as we go to print, samples are likely to become available on the Leo Records site or on Simon Nabatov's site - click here.







Zhenya Strigalev - Blues For Maggie
(Whirlwind) - Released: 9th March 2018

Zhenya Strigalev (saxophone, composer); Frederico Dannemann (guitar); Linley Marthe (bass); Eric Harland (drums).

Zhenya Strigalev Blues For Maggie



Live recording from two venues in Vienna and the Netherlands featuring seven original compositions by Zhenya. Maggie Black was a well known figure in London who loved jazz and supported its musicians. She has since become a close friend of Strigalev, inspiring and supporting his work. The recording's mood is 'ebullient'; Strigalev says: 'The goal was to capture our 'breath', along with our mistakes (you won't notice them, I bet), out friendship and joy, our spontaneous musical decisions and interactional mastery, as well as a serious approach to music. All ways we like to express ourselves - responsible fun ... and with a happy ending!'

Details : Video of Pinky live : Listen to Not Upset : UK purchase details








Steve Lane - Steve Lane Plays Vintage Jazz Music
(Lake Records - Limited Edition) - Released: 1st December 2017

Steve Lane (cornet, bandleader) with the Famous Southern Stompers; Red Hot Peppers and VJM Washboard Band and various personnel including: Bob Dwyer (trombone); Bob Beardsworth (trombone); George Dawson (clarinet); John Wurr (clarinet); Geoff Over (banjo); Martin Litton (piano).

Steve Lane Plays Vintage Jazz Music



Another valuable archive of historic UK jazz from Lake Records. 'From the late 1940s up until the 2000s Steve Lane’s various bands recreated the sounds of the Classic Jazz era of King Oliver, Jelly Roll Morton, Bix Beiderbecke and a whole host of others. Steve also ran the Vintage Jazz Music record label, VJM. Never content to simply carbon copy the originals Steve Lane would put his own stamp on the tunes whilst remaining true to the genre. Steve never turned professional, but a whole host of musicians who would make music their living served an apprenticeship in Steve’s bands'.

Samples and Details : Profile of Steve Lane







Billie Holiday - The Complete Billie Holiday Songbook (2 CDs)
(Essential Jazz Classics) - Released: 13th October 2017

Billie Holiday (vocals) and other vocalists with various personnel.

Billie Holiday The Complete Songbook



Remastered original recordings with various takes and a wide variety of personnel, the CDs cover work from the Decca, Columbia and Commodore labels as well as a couple of short Basie film soundtracks. 'The idea is to draw together all the songs that Billie Holiday wrote or co-composed, firstly in her own performances and secondly in interpretatuions by other singers ... the real interest here is in Billie's own records, and some of them in particular are lesser-known gems ...' Writes Alyn Shipton in Jazzwise giving the album 4*.

Details :






Oscar Brown Jr - Between Heaven And Hell / Sin And Soul
(Soul Jam Records) - Released:

Oscar Brown Jr (vocals) with various personnel including Floyd Morris (piano); George Duvivier (bass) and David 'Panama' Francis (drums).

Oscar Brown Jr album



Recorded between 1960 and 1962 'This CD includes two of Brown’s finest studio albums from his most inspired years at Columbia Records: the excellent and underrated Between Heaven and Hell (1962), featuring a couple of arrangements by the fascinating Quincy Jones, and Brown’s critically-acclaimed debut LP Sin & Soul (1960). Both masterpieces are widely regarded as landmark recordings of the early ‘60s. This remastered collector’s edition also includes 3 bonus tracks from the same period'. 16 page booklet with rare photos, memorabilia and detailed liner notes.

Purchase Details : Review : Listen to Work Song from the original Sin And Soul album :






Sidney Bechet - Five Classic Albums Plus
(Avid) - Released: 3rd November 2017

Sidney Bechet (clarinet and soprano saxophone) with various personnel.

Sidney Bechet Five Classic Albums plus



2 CDs with remastered original recordings of the albums On Parade; Ambience; Deux Heures Du Matin Au Vieux-Colombier; Rendez-Vous and Bechet Revient complete with original artwork and liner notes plus Airs Du Film Serie Noire EP; Un Ange Comme Ca EP and L'Inspecteur Connait La Musique EP. 'Bechet's own compositional skills are to the fore on a number of the sides on this two CD set, including Petite Fleur, a big hit for Bechet and a few years later a million seller for Chris Barber - as well as the suitably moody Temperamental and the beautiful Jacqueline which Bechet composed in honour of his mistress'. 'Alyn Shipton in Jazzwise gives it 4* and says: ' ... an excellent follow up to Avid's earlier set of Bechet in France'.

Details :






Mark Murphy - Midnight Mood
(MPS Records) - Released: 17th November 2017

Mark Murphy (vocals); Jimmy Deuchar (trumpet); Äke Persson (trombone); Derek Humble (alto saxophone); Ronnie Scott (tenor saxophone); Sahib Shihab (baritone saxophone and flute); Francy Boland (piano); Jimmy Woods (bass); Kenny Clarke (drums).

Mark Murphy Midnight Mood



'Mark Murphy exhibited an inventive stylistic range that covered blues to bebop on through to modern jazz. His 1967 MPS recording lands in the middle of his European decade, and it is one of the most beautiful, striking documents of his skills. Midnight Mood is characterized by the sophisticated dialogue between voice and eight musicians from the Kenny Clarke Francy Boland Big band ...'

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Jazz Talks: Buckinghamshire and Norwich Areas


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


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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