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September 2018

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Ivo Neame

 

Pianist Ivo Neame photographed by Brian O'Connor in 2014. This month, Phronesis (Ivo Neame, Jasper Høiby and Anton Eger) are releasing their latest album We Are All.
(see Recent Releases and Video Juke Box sections). We shall be featuring an article on the band and the album next month..

 

 

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

 

'... The Porgy And Bess album we made in 1976 is probably the most unusual one I have ever undertaken. Any project with Joe (Pass) opened up exciting possibilities, but this one was unique in that I elected to play the clavichord throughout ...'

'.... In 1976 a special "first" took place in my career: I was contracted by the BBC in London to host my own television series .....'

 

Oscar Peterson and Joe Pass Porgy and Bess

 

'.... (former Prime Minister) Edward Heath seemed quite on edge when he came into the studio to guest on one of the shows. I had the feeling that he didn't quite know what was expected of him, but his apprehension seemed to evaporate as I asked him about his interests in music and how he was able to meld them into the busy schedule of his political life. He talked of the impending vote concerning Britain's joining the European Common Market, and how he used music as a soothing balm for his anguish on the night of the Parliamentary division. He had played some pieces on his clavichord, he said, and proceeded to play a selection on that instrument in the studio: the highly introspective and delicately personal sound he elicited held everyone in rapt attention'.

'I was so moved by its sound that in the following week I visited an instrument maker in London and had them make one for me. Norman (Grantz) got wind of this and persuaded the manufacturer to let him buy it for me as a gift. I repaid him in some small way, I hope, with the (Porgy And Bess) album ....'

 

Oscar peterson and Joe Pass

 

From A Jazz Odyssey by Oscar Peterson.

Click here to listen to Oscar Peterson and Joe Pass playing I Loves You Porgy.

 


Name The Tune!

(Click on the picture for the answers)

 

 

Name the tune

 

 

 

 

Name The Tune

 

 

 

 

Name the tune

 

 

Click here for a full page of Name The Tune.

 

 

 

One Note At A Time

One Note At A Time poster

 

Renee Edwards' award winning film One Note At A Time (PG) about the after-effects of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans and its music is now on release in the UK. It's strapline: 'In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, music can save the soul of the city, but can the musicians save themselves?' 'If the musicians ain't got a chance to live, then what chance has the music got?' says Dr John.

It might not be shown at the multiplexes but it is worth tracking down at smaller cinemas - the International Movie Data Base gives it 4½ stars and you can find out where it is showing here.

'This is a beautifully crafted, feature documentary, rich with colourful characters, and set in the iconic musical backdrop of New Orleans. In 2005 the music stopped, when one of the most deadly and destructive hurricanes in American history struck. The flood defences failed flooding the Crescent City for weeks. Lives were lost and shattered. Many displaced musicians felt compelled to return to the chaos and bleak confusion to play again. This is the story of some who made it back, told in their own words, with those who fought alongside to resuscitate the music scene; In particular the founders of The New Orleans Musicians' Clinic, a unique medical facility with the motto, 'Keeping the music alive'. (IMDB)

Click here for the Trailer.

 

 

 

 

Wayne Shorter - Music and Graphic Novel

 

In August, veteran saxophonist Wayne Shorter released his first recording since 2013’s album Without A Net, which marked his return to Wayne Shorter EmanonBlue Note Records where he began his recording career in Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. The new album not only includes six tracks recorded live in London, but also a graphic novel written by Wayne Shorter with Monica Sly, and featuring illustrations by Randy DuBurke. Described as 'an audio visual experience' it is only available on phyical CD or LP.

Emanon (‘no name’ backwards) is the name of Wayne Shorter’s main character and of the four part orchestral suite he’s written and performed with Danilo Perez on piano, John Patitucci on bass, and Brian Blade on drums alongside the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. He says: “When Dizzy Gillespie had a piece of music in the late 40s called ‘Emanon’ it hit me way back then as a teenager: ‘No name’ means a whole lot.”

“Just before Miles [Davis] passed,” Shorter remembers, “he said, ‘Wayne, I want you to write something for me with strings and an orchestra, but make sure you put a window in so I can get out of there'. He definitely did not say, ‘Make the strings swing'. Working with an orchestra is like crossing the street and talking to a neighbor you haven't talked to for 10 years. It's the thing the world needs now: joining forces.”

 

Click here for more details : Click here for a brief promotion video : Click here for a live performance of The Three Marias from the album.

 

 

 

South Of England Jazz Survey

Turner Sims Southampton has commissioned an audit of jazz across the region (from Kent to Cornwall to Oxfordshire) through funding to Jazz South from Turner Sims logoArts Council England. There is a prize draw for those who fill in the online survey - Jazzwise magazine is offering a free subscription to the magazine together with a Jazzwise T-shirt 'to ensure that everyone active in the region's scene pitches in'.

The survey, contracted out to Arts And Parts music consultancy, is designed to establish an accurate and comprehensive picture of every aspect of the jazz scene in the region. It will collect information about musicians, promoters, venues, festivals, youth orchetras, education projects, labels - 'in fact anyone and everything connected with the music'.

'Jazz South's programme promises to present new opportunities including touring, commissions, masterclasses, residencies and networking events'.

For more information and to take part in the survey click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jazz Quiz

Anna Gram

In the Quiz this month we give you anagrams of the names of fifteen jazz vocalists -
how many can you unravel?

 

For example - who is this?

Missie Besht

 

Who is this?

 

Click here for the Jazz Quiz.

 

 

 

 

Jazz FM On The Up

Jazz FM radio station reports that it has increased its adult (15+) weekly reach to 672,000 - up 14% quarter on quarter and 21% year on year.  This is the highest audience recorded in the last 4 years. Total listening hours have yet again grown substantially, rising to 3,047,000 up a massive 84% year on year. Jazz FM now has the highest share of listening via internet/mobile of any national radio brand in the UK Jazz FM logo(41%). Nationally, average hours of listening have risen to 4.5 and in London they have reached a high of 5.8. 

46% of listeners live outside of London - this compares with under 40% in Q1 2016, before Jazz FM re-launched nationally on DAB+. The Jazz FM audience profile remains consistent with previous quarterly data with listeners being predominately aged 25-54 (53%), slightly male biased (54%) and strongly ABC1 (60%).

Nick Pitts, Content Director at Jazz FM said “A truly great set of audience results coming off the back of a brilliant quarter which included our most successful Jazz FM Awards to date and our significant investment in live performance.  We are really proud to reflect the tangible increasing love for Jazz that is evident in festivals and live venues across the country. These results also mirror the great response that we get every day from our listeners.

 

 

 

 

NJA Women In Jazz Exhibition

Tthe Barbican Music Library in central London will host an exhibition celebrating ‘Women in Jazz’ from 16 October to 31 December 2018, Esperanza Spaldingdrawing on the rich resources of the National Jazz Archive and celebrating the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Archive.

This free exhibition will present a musical and social survey of the rich contribution women have made to jazz over the last 100 years and of the talented upcoming generation who herald an exciting new era. It will focus on women instrumentalists, and feature photos, posters, journals, video and memorabilia from the Archive. National Jazz Archive chair Paul Kaufman said: “Singers such as Ella, Billie, Nina and Cleo are household names, but many star women players and pioneers have been sadly neglected and deserve to be rediscovered. So the exhibition will pay particular attention to instrumentalists, such as Valaida Snow, Marian McPartland, Kathy Stobart and Deirdre Cartwright. The Archive is as much about the future as it is about the past, so it is important to us that the current crop of trail-blazing female artists is also featured.”

 

Esperanza Spalding
Photograph courtesy of Brian O'Connor

 

Women In Jazz exhibition poster

 

 

Richard Jones (Music Librarian, Barbican Music Library) said: “I’m delighted to welcome the National Jazz Archive to the Barbican again – this exhibition will be the third that the Archive has presented here. I’m sure it will be of great interest, not only to jazz enthusiasts, but also to people interested in exploring the changing role of women in the arts.” ‘Women in Jazz’ responds to the Barbican’s 2018 cross-arts season The Art of Change, which explores how artists respond to, reflect and potentially effect change in the social and political landscape, with the exhibition celebrating the impact women have had on the genre’s musical development and social influence.

Barbican Music Library is on Level 2, Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London EC2Y 8DS. It is within walking distance of a number of London Underground stations, the closest being Barbican, St Paul’s and Moorgate. The nearest train stations are Liverpool Street and Farringdon. Bus route 153 runs directly past the Barbican. Free bicycle spaces and paid car parking spaces are available.

Opening times are: Monday and Wednesday 9.30am–5.30pm, Tuesday and Thursday 9.30am–7.30pm, Friday 9.30am–2pm, and Saturday 9.30am–4pm.

Click here for details.

 

 

 

 

 

Jazz As Art

You Eat My Food, You Drink My Wine, You Steal My Man

From the album of the same name by

Leslie Pintchik

 

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

 

Leslie Pintchik

 

American pianist Leslie Pintchik released her album You Eat My Food, You Drink My Wine, You Steal My Girl in February 2018. Writing in AllAboutJazz, Dan Bilawsky said 'If they gave out awards for album titles, this one would surely be in the running for top Leslie Pintchik albumhonors. "You eat my food, you drink my wine, you steal my girl" is a harsh and odd phrase that rolls off the tongue like some sort of backwoods country accusation-turned-lament, but its origins are far more urban in nature".

The story is that Leslie 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!"

Leslie Pintchik is a graduate of Columbia University, where she studied 17th century English literature. Having then worked as a teaching assistant, she decided to leave academia and pursue a new career as a pianist. She went on to develop her playing with Bruce Barth before playing public gigs and then landed a steady job playing for the brunch crowd at Bradley's in new York City's Greenwich Village. There she met Red Mitchell who invited Leslie and her husband, Scott Hardy, to play with him on stage. Leslie leads her own trio with Scott Hardy on bass and Michael Sarin on drums and, among other venues, they perform regularly at Jazz at Kitano in New York City.

You Eat My Food, You Drink My Wine, You Steal My Girl is her seventh album.

 

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

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

 

Kristin Elmquist painting

 

 

 

 

Julian Costello Quartet - Open Soundcheck Tour

 

Julian Costello Quartet

 

Saxophonist Julian Costello is encouraging audience engagement on his autumn tour by opening up the soundcheck before each gig. Julian says: 'We aim to demystify what goes on behind the scenes and encourage dialogue between audience and artists which will feed into a more intimate atmosphere later on'.

Julian's Quartet - Maciek Pysz (guitars); Yuri Goloubev/Michele Tacchi (bass) and Adam Teixeira (drums) - will be playing dates in France and the UK during September and October supported by Arts Council England's National Lottery Project.

Click here for tour dates and Julian's website.

 

 

 


Directory of Alternative Musical Definitions

 

Modulate

 

Justin Bua picture

picture by Justin Bua

A young pretentious vegan jazz musician who arrives late to rehearsals
wearing the suit from the night before

(with thanks to Andrew Linham)

Click here for more Alternative Definitions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poetry and Jazz

Harp Jazz

From Casper Reardon to Alina Bzhezhinska

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

 

Alina Bzhezhinska

Alina Bzhezhinska

 

It’s strange how some instruments have never taken to jazz – or is it the other way round? Take the harp, for example. I doubt whether even serious jazz fans could name more than one or two jazz harpists: Alice Coltrane, perhaps? Dorothy Ashby? And then the list probably runs out. Not that the list is long in any case; jazz harpists are pretty thin on the ground.

These musings have been prompted by the recent release on the Ubuntu Music label of Inspiration, an album by Alina Bzhezhinska who is one of that rare breed, a harpist who plays jazz. More of Alina Bzhezhinska later. First, though, here’s a brief trot through the even briefer Casper Reardonhistory of the harp in jazz….

The first harpist to have a go at playing jazz is usually reckoned to be Casper Reardon (1907-1941). He was a classically trained musician who became interested in various forms of Afro-American music and worked out ways of using the harp to play jazz. He became known as “The World’s Hottest Harpist”. There is some grainy footage of him playing on an unreleased studio recording from 1937 (click here). Even with the scratches, something interesting and original is going on, making one wonder why the harp didn’t become a more prominent instrument in jazz.

 

Casper Reardon

 

In any event, Casper Reardon died young and nobody seemed that much inclined to take up the jazz harp baton – except, that is, for Adele Girard (1913-1993) who played harp with the Joe Marsala Band in the 1930s and 1940s. The band included the likes of Shelly Manne and Buddy Rich, and Girard was prominently featured. She married Joe Marsala in 1937. Here she is playing Harp Boogie with her own trio sometime in the late 1940s (click here).

Despite the efforts of Reardon and Girard, the harp was seen as something of a novelty instrument in jazz. The first jazz harpist to be taken more seriously was Dorothy Ashby (1932-1986) who found ways to play bebop on the instrument. As a black woman, she had her struggles but was determined to make her way and develop a distinctive style. She led her own group which included musicians of the calibre of Roy Haynes and Jimmy Cobb. Ashby continued to develop her playing beyond bebop – and beyond jazz. She played, for example, with Bill Withers and Stevie Wonder. Her 1968 album, Afro-Harping, is one of the definitive statements of the harp in contemporary jazz.

 

Here’s a recording of Dorothy Ashby playing There's A Small Hotel (click here).

 

Dorothy Ashby

Dorothy Ashby

 

 

Alice Coltrane

 

And then there’s Alice Coltrane (1937-2007), perhaps the best known jazz harpist of them all. However, she first came to prominence as a pianist, replacing McCoy Tyner in husband John’s group in 1966. After John Coltrane died in 1967, Alice gradually developed a considerable reputation in her own right as a composer and band leader, often using the harp in an original and interesting way. She was drawn increasingly to non-western forms of music – and non-western forms of religion. Her oeuvre tends to divide critics – the reviewers of The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD, for example, are decidedly sniffy about her: “Prayerful and intense”, they say, “Alice Coltrane’s records are not for the cynically disposed”. Personally, I’ve always found much in Alice Coltrane to admire – the title track of her 1970 album, Journey in Satchidananda, has long been a favourite. Here is Alice Coltrane playing solo harp live in concert (click here).

 

Alice Coltrane

 

Which brings us back to Alina Bzhezhinska whose latest album, Inspiration, is very much a tribute to Alice Coltrane. Originally from Ukraine/Poland but now based in London, Bzhezhinska has developed an international reputation as a harpist both in classical music and jazz settings. She had the idea for Inspiration at the beginning of 2017, saying that this was “the year when the world paid tribute to Alice Coltrane for her amazing contribution to music, celebrating her 80th birthday and paying respect to her memory … Coltrane is a true role model whose art was an example of endless potential and creative possibilities and whose life journey was dedicated to finding the Alina Bzhezhinska Groupmeaning of human existence and universal consciousness”.

She is joined on Inspiration by Tony Kofi, on soprano and tenor saxophone, Larry Bartley on double bass, and Joel Prime on drums. Together, they played a number of gigs in 2017 celebrating what would have been Alice Coltrane’s birthday, including a memorable appearance at the EFG London Jazz Festival with Pharoah Sanders and Denys Baptiste. This was nominated as 'Best Live Experience of the Year' at the 2018 Jazz FM Awards.

Of the 10 tracks on Inspiration, four are Alice Coltrane compositions. Wisdom Eye is a short, wistful piece on which Bzhezhinska plays solo harp, showing off just what the harp can do – and what Bzhezhinska can do with the harp. Blue Nile is a more upbeat track on which Kofi channels his inner John Coltrane on soprano sax. Here’s a snatch (a “teaser”) of the quartet playing Blue Nile (click here).

Los Caballos has a most infectious riff and is played with both dexterity and humour by all four musicians. Here’s another teaser (click here).

The highlight of the Alice Coltrane pieces, though, is a version of Journey in Satchidananda. This begins with a long but highly effective Larry Bartley bass solo from which the compelling rhythms and themes of the piece gradually emerge. Kofi and Bzhezhinska improvise over the bass and drum riffs, building up quite a head of intense and exciting steam. “Journey in Satchidananda”, says Bzhezhinska, “…is one of the most important pieces on my album. I discovered this music a long time ago and it took me on my own personal journey that I’m still experiencing and would encourage everyone to explore its beauty and depth”.

Bzhezhinska has more than a touch of Alice Coltrane in her playing, which is full of arpeggios (arpeggio, from the Italian arpeggiare, to perform on the harp, from arpa, harp) and glissandi, playing on the strengths of the harp rather than trying to pretend it’s not a harp. However, Bzhezhinska has her own distinctive style which brings the harp right into the heart and spirit of contemporary jazz. One compelling feature of that style is the little bombs of discordance which she explodes, sometimes seeming to strike the harp strings.

Bzhezhinska’s originality is shown to greatest effect when playing her own compositions. Spero, for example, is a short but delightful harp/sax duet. Annoying Semitones has a foot tapping latin beat over which Bzhezhinska improvises freely, employing those unsettling bursts of discordance in a most absorbing way. Winter Moods has harp and bass playing a constant riff throughout the piece with drums Alina Bzhezhinska albumand harp improvising on top and managing to sound like rain, snow and frosty days all at the same time. Lemky is a piece inspired by the traditional music of the Lemky, a tribe from the Carpathian Mountains. The intriguingly named Following a Lovely Sky Boat is billed as a “free improvisation” and has some beautiful bowed bass from Larry Bartley.

There is one track by John Coltrane on the album – After The Rain. The piece “strikes me by its beauty”, says Bzhezhinska, "and I think it works wonderfully with the sound of the rain and a storm that can be imitated on the harp so naturally”.

Perhaps one reason why the harp has never really established itself as a jazz instrument is that it’s often seen as quite a delicate, almost feminine instrument unsuited to the raucous masculinity of so much (too much?) jazz. Many of the top classical harp players are women, and it’s significant that most of the main jazz harp players have also been women. Alina Bzhezhinska is coming into her own at a time when old prejudices are being constantly challenged – even in jazz which, despite its rebel image, has its socially conservative features. Perhaps the harp will also come to be increasingly accepted in jazz. If so, Alina Bzhezhinska, with her robust technique and emphasis on the harp’s special sound qualities, will come to be seen as a key figure. One can’t help feeling that we are going to hear a lot more about Alina Bzhezhinska.  

 

You can buy Inspiration on Amazon here, and there is more information about Alina Bzhezhinska on her website (click here).

Alice is playing a number of dates with her quartet this autumn including:

27th September: Elgar Room, Royal Albert Hall, London
30th September: Hastings Jazz Festival
6th October: Ronnie Scott’s, London, opening for “Late Trane”
19th October: The Vortex, London
23rd October: Annie’s Jazz, Southend-on Sea
17th November: Bear Jazz Club, Luton
22nd November: Spice of Life, London Jazz Festival
30th November: Wakefield Jazz
13th December: The Old Town Hall, Hemel Hempstead

 

 

 

 

Video Juke Box

*Click on the Picture for the Video

 

 

Click on the picture to watch the video.

 

 

Tom Barford Bloomer Trailer

 

Introductory video for saxophonist Tom Barford's debut album Bloomer released on 31st August. Winner of the 2017 Kenny Wheeler Jazz Prize, Tom here is in the company of Rupert Cox (piano); Billy Marrows (guitar); Flo Moore (bass); Dave Storey (drums). (See Recent Releases).

 

 

 

 

 

Jack Costanzo video

 

 

 

20 minute documentary film directed by Nelson Datu Anderson about, and featuring, Jack 'Mr Bongo' Costanzo who looks back over his career in Afro Cuban music including playing with Stan Kenton and other bands.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beats and Pieces Big Band Nois

 

 

Beats And Pieces Big Band celebrate their decade of playing together with a new album, appropriately named Ten. Here is a video of the band playing Nois from the album which was released of the Efpi label in July. (See Recent Releases).

 

 

 

 

 

 

New York All Stars video

 

The New York All-Stars play The Night Has A Thousand Eyes from their album Burnin' In London on the Ubuntu label released this month. Eric Alexander (saxophone), Harold Mabern (piano), Darryl Hall (bass) and Bernd Reiter (drums) return to the Pizza Express Jazz Club in Soho on 17th - 19th September 2018 (where the album was recorded in November 2017) for the launch as part of a European tour. (See Recent Releases).

 

 

 

 

 

Black Indians of New Orleans

 

 

We know that New Orleans was a melting pot of music from a variety of nations. This ten minute documentary Black Indians Of New Orleans by Dr. Maurice M. Martinez looks at how Native Americans from the area contributed their music to the Mardi Gras and that melting pot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Phronesis Matrix for DA video

 

Matrix For D.A. from Phronesis' new album We Are All released on Edition Records on 14th September 2018. This is the eighth album by the award winning band of Jasper Høiby (double bass); Ivo Neame (piano); Anton Eger (drums) focussing attention on an important message of togetherness and balance. (See Recent Releases).

 

 

 

 

 

 

International Sweethearts Of Rhythm

 

 

The International Sweethearts Of Rhythm were a top female jazz/swing band of the 1940's. Anna Mae Winburn was the bandleader. 'There were a lot of female bands in the 30's and 40's but the International Sweethearts of Rhythm was number one, but all the female bands back then were great, but they never got a chance to be superstars, never inducted into the Jazz/Swing Hall of Fame .... women were expected to sing, not play instruments, arrange, direct, produce, nor write...'

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Tracks Unwrapped

The Mooche

 

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

 

The Mooche

 

 

The Mooche was written by Duke Ellington and Irving Mills in 1928. In 1933 Ellington explained that the title referred to 'a certain lazy gait peculiar to some of the folk of Harlem'.

Over time the word has found its way into common usage with two definitions. Similar to the composition, it is defined as 'to walk or do things slowly and without much purpose' (e.g 'Stop mooching around in your room and do something useful' or 'We spent the afternoon mooching around the shops'.

An alternative definition is 'to borrow from people or ask them to give you things without paying for them or intending to return them' (e.g. 'You're old enough to get a job and stop mooching off your family' or 'He mooched a few beers from me as we watched the game') [Cambridge Dictionary].

The 'easy going' definition is expressed well in the Duke Ellington tune. Click here for a video of the Duke Ellington Orchestra playing The Mooche. The drummer is Louie Bellson, Ray Nance is on trumpet with the three clarinettists who it is suggested are Harry Carney, Russel Procope and Jimmy Hamilton and that the trombonist is 'Tricky' Sam Nanton. The arrangement reflects Duke Ellington's 'Jungle Style' period.

 

Duke Ellington band

 

Writing in The Guardian in 2009, John Fordham says: '.....The group's characteristic "jungle sound" began to develop with the Miley/Ellington collaboration East St Louis Toodle-Oo, and in April 1927 came Black and Tan Fantasy, which furthered the then audacious use of multiple themes, key changes, and richly coloured textural effects and harmonies. The band played its most famous residency – at Harlem's Cotton Club – between 1927 and 1931, accompanying the ambitious and hugely popular dance-theatre routines ushered in by the 20s "Harlem renaissance" of African-American culture .......'

Accompanying this 1931 recording of Ellington's Echoes Of The Jungle (click here), we read: 'In December 1927 Duke Ellington's band opened in Harlem at the Cotton Club. They stayed there until 1932, when their level of success permitted them to tour Europe. By 1927, Duke became involved with band agent Irving Mills, who signed Ellington to a contract that gave Mills 50% of Ellington's earnings and 55% of any song royalties due to Ellington's compositions. It was Mills who managed to get Ellington booked into the Cotton Club, and where his music first became known as "Jungle style". Some of his recordings at this time credit him as 'Duke Ellington and the Jungle Band'. The 1920s to early 1930 years were a very colourful time in American music and film history. Hollywood was turning out such films as 'King Kong' and the early 'Tarzan' movies. Meanwhile, 'Tin Pan Alley' was also turning out such songs as "Jungle Jamboree" 1920, "Babes in the Jungle" 1926, "The Jungle Rhythm" 1929, and "Call of the Jungle", plus others. Many of the Harlem clubs also followed this "Jungle" theme. So it was quite natural for some orchestras, including Ellington's, to also adopt the "Jungle" theme'.

 

Cab Calloway

 

Three years after Ellington introduced The Mooche, Cab Calloway followed it with his song Minnie The Moocher, loosley based on Willie The Weeper. Here we find reference to the second definition of 'mooching'. Wikipedia tells us 'The lyrics are heavily laden with drug references. The character "Smokey" is described as "cokey", meaning a user of cocaine; the phrase "kick the gong around" was a slang reference to smoking opium. The November 22, 1951 issue of Jet magazine gives this account of the "Minnie" on whom the song was based: Minnie "The Moocher" has died. She was a familiar figure in downtown Indianapolis. A 82-year-old woman whose real name was Minnie Gayton, she acquired the quaint nickname of "The Moocher" by regularly begging food from grocers and carting it off in a baby buggy. She slept in doorways, on porches and in garages. During the record-breaking blizzard, her body was found on a porch, blanketed with snow. She died from exposure'.

 

Cab Calloway

 

'Calloway also wrote an extended version, adding verses that describe Minnie and Smokey going to jail; Minnie pays Smokey's bail, but he abandons her there. Another verse describes her tempting "Deacon Lowdown" when she "wiggled her jelly roll at him". Finally, they took Minnie to "where they put the crazies", where she dies. This explains why both the short version and the long version end with the words "Poor Min, poor Min". Minnie herself is mentioned in a number of other Cab Calloway songs, including "Minnie the Moocher's Wedding Day", "Ghost of Smoky Joe", "Kickin' the Gong Around", "Minnie's a Hepcat Now", "Mister Paganini - Swing for Minnie", "We Go Well Together", and "Zah Zuh Zaz". Some of these songs indicate that Minnie's boyfriend Smoky was named Smoky Joe as well'.

 

 

Folks, here's a story 'bout Minnie the Moocher
She was a red-hot hoochie-coocher
She was the roughest, toughest frail
But Minnie had a heart as big as a whale

She messed around with a bloke named Smokey
She loved him though was cokey
He took her down to Chinatown
And he showed her how to kick the gong around

She had a dream about the King of Sweden
He gave her things that she was needin'
He gave her a home built of gold and steel
A diamond car with a p-la-ti-num wheel

He gave her his townhouse and his racing horses
Each meal she ate was a dozen courses
She had a million dollars worth of nickels and dimes
She sat around and counted them all a million times

Now Min and Smokie, they started jaggin'
They got a free ride in a wagon
She gave him money to pay her bail
But he left her flat in the county jail

Poor Min met old Deacon Lowdown
He preached to her that she ought to slow down
But Minnie wiggled her jelly roll
And Deacon Lowdown yelled, "Lord save my soul!"

They took her where they put the crazies
Now poor Min's kicking up those daisies
You've heard my story this is her song
She was just a good gal, but they done her wrong

Poor Min, Poor Min, Poor Min.

(I have left out the 'Hi-De-Hi' choruses)

 

Click here to watch a video of Cab Calloway and his Orchestra playing Minnie The Moocher.

At the age of 72, Cab Calloway reprised the song in the movie The Blues Brothers, singing the number while the brothers mooched around outside (click here).

More recently we can check out what the University of Leicester Big Band did in this video of Minnie The Moocher from 2016 - Brennan Alleyne is the vocalist and Tom Starachen takes the trombone solo (click here).

 

That brings us to Charlie Parker and his 1946 tune Moose The Mooche based on the changes of I Got Rhythm. Wikipedia again says: 'It was written shortly after his friend and longtime musical companion Dizzy Gillespie left him in Los Angeles to return to New Charlie ParkerYork City. Parker had been a long time heroin addict and some historians suggest that the song was named after the drug dealer, Emry "Moose the Mooche" Byrd, who sold him drugs for several years before being arrested'.

Click here to listen to Charlie Parker playing Moose The Mooche.

Moose The Mooche was written and recorded during Charlie Parker's sessions for the Dial label. The Los Angeles Magazine tells us: '.... Local fan Ross Russell, owner of the Tempo Music Store on Hollywood Boulevard, was a bebop fanatic; he started Dial Records in 1946 specifically to record Parker’s music ...... Russell managed to assemble top-notch talent for Parker’s Dial sessions. Trumpeter Howard “Maggie” McGhee, pianists Dodo Marmarosa and Jimmy Bunn, bassist Bob Kesterson, and drummer Roy Porter all jammed with Parker at Little Tokyo’s semi-legal Finale Club. But the most famous participant was Emry Byrd. While manning a newsstand on Central Avenue, Byrd supposedly sold the best heroin in the city; Parker was so appreciative that he not only named one of his most famous songs “Moose the Mooche” after Byrd but signed over half of his royalties for his Dial recordings to the dealer, whose address, in short time, was switched to San Quentin.  According to drummer Roy Porter, who drove Parker to the March 28, 1946 session, Parker started writing “Mooche” in the car at 35th and Maple Streets and finished it by the time they got to Radio Recorders Studios on Santa Monica Boulevard in Hollywood .....'

 

Which definition of 'Mooche' gave Emry Byrd his nickname I do not know, but in John Gennari's book Blowin' Hot And Cool : Jazz And Its Critics, Gennari writes that: 'Emry 'Moose The Mooche' Byrd, a Central Avenue paraplegic pusher who made his way around jazz clubs in a wheelchair .... mooched the profits from this recording and several others from Parker's first Dial session ...'.

Moose The Mooche has gone on to be recorded by many jazz musicians and you could mooche through the uploads on YouTube all day long, but I have chosen this video led by baritone sax and flugelhorn from Armenia (click here). It comes from a concert at the Cafesjian Center for the Arts in Yerevan, Armenia with David Melkonyan (baritone sax) and Yervand Margaryan (flugelhorn) .....

 

To finish, let's rewind to the Duke Ellington tune with this video of the remarkable Cohen family playing The Mooche (click here).

Yuval Cohen (soprano saxophone): Anat Cohen (clarinet); Avishai Cohen (trumpet) with Aaron Goldberg (piano).

 

the Three Cohens

photo by Jimmy and Dena Katz

 

 

 

 

Lens America

Freddie Hendrix

 

Trumpeter Freddie Hendrix photographed by JazzTrail photographer Clara Pereira in July with the Stanley Cowell Quintet
at Dizzy's Club Coca Cola in New York City.

 

Filipe Freitas from JazzTrail writes in his review of the gig: 'Revered pianist Stanley Cowell has long been a creative force working on a large portion of the jazz spectrum, from hard bop to post-bop to avant/free. Last Tuesday, July 24th, he convened his brilliant quintet - saxophonist Bruce Williams, trumpeter Freddie Hendrix, bassist Tom DiCarlo and drummer Vince Ector - to perform at Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola, an affiliated site of the Jazz at Lincoln Center. ........ Hendrix shows off his pure tone, which stands crisp and clear in the higher registers, whereas Williams, wielding his soprano sax with authority, evoke the same searing, exotic melodicism of Coltrane’s “My Favorite Things” .....'

Click here for a video of Freddie Hendrix soloing at Small's Jazz Club.

 

 

Utah Tea Pot

Tea Break

 

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

 

Mel Henry

Mel Henry

 

 

Trombonist Mel Henry was born in London in 1937 and is one of those musicians whose playing has evolved as jazz in the UK has changed over the years.

His early years at school in Enfield introduced him to the piano and violin. His parents were not musicians but were keen for their only child to have a good education, so when they moved for a short while to Shoreham in Sussex, they decided on their return to London to place Mel as a boarder at Brighton College. He was there until he turned eighteen and applied for medical school.

In Brighton, Mel played violin with the Sussex Youth Orchestra and then during one holiday a pianist friend took him to Brighton Jazz Club. He was intrigued. He had not heard music like this before. He learned that a Trad jazz band had a front line of trumpet, clarinet and trombone, but this band had no trombone. Mel bought a second hand Salvation Army trombone, took a term of lessons and then had the cheek to ask to sit in. Building on his classical violin and piano background, it was good experience for what would follow.

In his second year at Middlesex Hospital medical school, the interest in jazz increased. He played with the University College Jazz Band which had members from a number of different colleges and regularly had musicians such as Humphrey Lyttelton and Beryl Bryden guesting. It was the 1950s when Trad jazz was thriving. Mel’s band would play for free in the refectory and the place was invariably packed.Jazz Times 3

As his 5 years training went by, Mel noticed a number of students dropping out believing that they could make a good living as professional musicians at that time, but although he reduced his playing commitments in his final two years, Mel went on to qualify.

Doctor Henry journeyed to Bermuda to practice Paediatrics and did a locum on a cruise ship to the West Indies ending up in New York where he sat in for James Archey at Jimmy Ryan’s on 42nd Street. On return he joined a GP practice in Sheen in the London Borough of Richmond. He had taken his trombone abroad with him and on each occasion took the opportunity to play with local bands whenever he could.

On his return Mel formed a Quintet with reeds player Dave Bowen. Based at The Swan in Caledonia Road, the band would stay together for seven years during a period when ‘Mainstream Jazz’ was pushing at the edges of ‘Trad’, and the band welcomed guests such as Tony Coe, Bruce Turner, Sandy Brown and Phil Seamen. Eventually band members went their own way and Mel continued playing and sitting in with various bands in most of the London venues as jazz continued to ripen into what was termed at the time ‘Modern Jazz’. He discovered the 606 club in its early days and played there with on occasion Bobby Wellins, Don Weller, and once memorably with Tony Scott. He became a friend of the new owner Steve Rubie.

Mel formed a duo with guitarist Keith Graville (as Enclave MKII) as they were able to get gigs where the venues did not need a licence to stage under 3 musicians. This opened up opportunities to play in London wine bars and venues such as the Royal Festival Hall Foyer and Riverside Studios.

On retirement, Doctor Henry moved to Bath in the West Country, but he has not retired from playing. He joined the band Metropolis, an anarchic cross between Jazz and R&B with trumpet, alto and tenor sax, trombone, 2 guitars, bass guitar and keyboards, and then formed his own Quintet, both bands playing regularly at Ye Olde Farmhouse in Lansdowne, Bath. When the venue changed its approach, Mel returned to playing duo gigs with guitarist Terry Veale and from time to time adding bass player Bill Lynn for Trio gigs.

In 2017, Mel celebrated his eightieth birthday with a visit to New Orleans. He took his mouthpiece, was able to hire a trombone for ten days and took every opportunity to sit in with various bands including The Treme Brass Band and with Delfeo Marsalis.

As in many places outside London, opportunities to play have reduced, but Mel still gigs when he can. We met for a Tea Break.

 

 

Hi Mel, tea or coffee?

Tea, I think.

Milk and sugar?

Yes, both please.

 

Mel Henry with New Orleans band

 

 

I guess your trip to New Orleans last year was quite an experience?

It was. I think one of the highlights was meeting up with Delfeo Marsalis. We went to hear his band and I met him afterwards. I had my trombone with me and when he heard that I was celebrating my birthday, he insisted that we play ‘Happy Birthday To You’ together. It was fine and then he started off on a second and more elaborate chorus and I had to follow! I think it went OK.

Click here for a video of Mel playing with the Treme Brass Band and with Delfeo Marsalis.

Photo courtesy of Zuleika Henry

 

 

 

 

 

You must have come across a wide variety of musicians over the years, have any surprised you?

I remember an occasion when drummer Phil Seamen guested with Dave Bowen and my band. We had asked if he would play and he seemed very happy to come. When he turned up, he looked very ‘out of it’, I wondered whether he had been drinking or something, and we thought it would be a disaster. Then he sat down at the drum kit, counted us in and we were blown away! On another occasion, I recall a twelve year old Martin Taylor sitting in when his dad, Buck, depped on bass. He knocked us out with his mature, beautiful playing.

 

How about a biscuit? I have a Bourbon, that might remind you of New Orleans, or a Hob Nob or a Kit Kat?


Bourbon sounds up my street, thank you.

 

You have seen much change in the styles of jazz over the time you have been playing. Are there trombonists that have influenced you through those stages?


I think as a ‘Trad’ trombonist I liked Kid Ory, of course. Vic Dickenson was someone I admired during the ‘Mainstream’ period and then came Bill Harris, Frank Rosolino and Carl Fontana. Today, Mark Nightingale and Roy Williams are excellent English trombonists. Apart from the trombone, I enjoy listening to all the greats – Stan Getz, Basie, Ellington, and particularly Chet Baker. On the local scene, Gilad Atzmon, Art Theman, and the little known Damon Brown.

 

 

So if we asked two past musicians to join us for the Tea Break, who would you invite and what would you ask them?

Lol Coxhill

 

 

It would be nice to ask Lol Coxhill. I would remind him of the time when he guested with my quintet at the Assembly House, Kentish Town where he played an extended solo that went through all the jazz styles from New Orleans onwards ending with an Ornette Coleman pastiche.

 

Lol Coxhill

 

It would also be good to ask Jim Hall. Guitarist.Terry Veale and I have modelled our duo on Jim Hall’s duo with Bob Brookmeyer and I would like to ask Jim how that partnership happened.

 

 

 

Click here to listen to Jim Hall and Bob Brookmeyer playing My Funny Valentine at the North Sea Jazz Festival in 1979

 

Although there are still young trombonists coming out of music colleges, the majority of bands today, apart from big bands, don’t seem to feature trombones. I wonder why?

Musicians coming out of academies can be more fluent and adept than ever, but I think a trombone can be a cumbersome instrument to play jazz well and perhaps sometimes there is a tendency to lose the link that jazz should have with its African – American heritage.

 

So, here’s a difficult ‘Desert Island Discs’ type question, Mel – if you could choose one track to take with you to a desert island, what would it be?

Hmm, that’s difficult! I think perhaps I’d choose Frank Rosolino playing Here’s That Rainy Day.

 

Click here to listen to Frank Rosolino and Carl Fontana playing Here’s That Rainy Day, the first track on their 1978 album Trombone Heaven.

 

An excellent choice. Another biscuit?

Let's reprise the Bourbon, please.

 

Mel Henry

 

Mel Henry

Photo courtesy of Zuleika Henry

 

 

Utah Tea Pot

 

 

 

Do You Have A Birthday In September?

 


Your Horoscope

for September Birthdays

by 'Marable'

 

Virgo

 

Virgo (The Virgin)

22nd August - 22nd September

 

As I mentioned last month, Mercury will move across your Ascendant on the 6th and into the lower half of your chart, so the lower half of your Horoscope starts to gain more importance and career could seem less important than family, domestic and wellness issues.

You seem to be taking matters into your own hands these days. You might feel less able to delegate financial matters and that's OK, the Sun in your money house can heighten your financial intuition and as Mercury is there too, authority figures can approve of your self-confidence in these matters.

The benefits could well run into October as Mercury is still in your money house until the 10th of October. This positive attitude towards your finances is something that is projected outwards, you can appear focussed and not needy and that can inspire confidence in others.

However, Venus, your financial planet, is retrograde from 5th October and that could slow things down a bit - it might be wise to be a little more cautious then, but September should have given you a good foundation to do so.

 

Now's The Time

 

For you, click here for a video of Sonny Stitt, JJ Johnson and H. McGhee with Now's The Time.

 

 

Libra

 

Libra (The Scales)

23rd September - 22nd October

A Libra might have a birth sign close to a Virgo, but the indications for you this month are somewhat different to those of your neighbour. The Western social sector of your chart is dominant but the short-term planets are entering their maximum Eastern position, so be prepared for not being able to have things entirely your own way. That said, your feelings of independence are still stronger than at other times in the year, so don't be afraid to take on change, just look out for situations where you will need to negotiate and compromise.

September could also be a spiritual time for you, a time for internal growth.

On the 22nd, both the Sun and Mercury cross your Ascendent and enter your 1st house signalling a time to look after your physical health as well as your spiritual well-being. Pamper yourself a little.

On the 9th, Venus moves into your money house joining Jupiter who has been there all year. You might well find yourself taking a more active role in your financial life.

 

Al Jarreau Take Five

 

For you, click here for Al Jarreau with Take Five in 1976.

 

 

 

 

Roots, Radicals and Rockers

Craig Sams draws our attention to this book by Billy Bragg, published by Faber and its review in The Guardian by Richard Williams. Roots Radicals and Rockers book

 

In his review, Richard Williams points out that in many ways, the book is a history of Skiffle music that came to a head at the end of the 1950s. Richard Williams writes: 'The title Roots, Radicals and Rockers suggests that someone at the publishing house experienced a slight failure of nerve, perhaps concluding that the term skiffle nowadays lacks charisma, or even the recognition factor, and coming up instead with a form of words more appropriate to a history of reggae in the 1970s. But Billy Bragg’s book is indeed the story of skiffle, from its origins in Britain’s postwar traditional jazz movement to its eventual eclipse by rock’n’roll. No secrets are uncovered, and a slight suspicion takes hold that some of the frequent digressions are there to bulk up a slender core narrative .....'

..... 'Still, it’s good fun to read about the lost world in which the trumpeter Ken Colyer could leave Britain and his fellow enthusiasts in 1952 and take jobs as a galley cook on merchant ships in order to get to New Orleans, where he played with local musicians and drank directly from the wellspring of the idiom he loved. Eventually deported when his visa expired and the authorities decided that consorting with black musicians constituted subversive behaviour, he was greeted on his return to London as if he had received a sacrament ..... Colyer seems to have been a difficult man, as socially awkward as he was musically doctrinaire, and eventually he and his brother were sacked from their own ensemble, which promptly became the Chris Barber Jazz Band .....In the same unplanned spirit, it was Bill Colyer who had christened the idiom when asked by a BBC producer for the generic description required for his session log. This obviously wasn’t jazz. So what was it? Thinking fast, Colyer remembered the name of an American band of the 1940s: the Skiffle Boys'.

You can read Richard Williams' full review if you click here where there are also details for otaining the book through the Guardian shop. It is, as you might expect, a little cheaper from Amazon (click here) with selective, more positive reviews from other sources.

 

 

 

 

Poetry and Jazz

Chet Baker In London


 

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

 

Chet Baker with Ronnie Scott and Tubby Hayes

Ronnie Scott, Chet Baker and Tubby Hayes at Ronnie Scott's Club.

 

Trumpeter Chet Baker was a significant presence in jazz during the 1950s and 1960s and today he remains one of the music's 'legends'. Jazz. He was seen as an American 'idol' because of his looks and romantic recordings and during those two decades he played and recorded with other top American jazz musicians, but in the end, it was Europe that claimed him.

Chet was born in Oklahoma; his father was a professional guitar player and his mother a pianist. He sang in the church choir, took up the trombone and then switched to trumpet. His mother noted that he could memorise tunes on the radio and seemed to be a natural musician, making out tunes on the trumpet early in life. Chet left school at sixteen to join the United States Army where he joined the Army Band. After Chet Bakera short period studying music theory and harmony at El Camino College in Los Angeles, he re-joined the Sixth Army Band at the Presidio in San Francisco, playing at clubs until he was discharged to become a professional musician.

That career saw him playing with Vido Musso, Stan Getz and Charlie Parker until in 1952 he joined the Gerry Mulligan Quartet. The band's recording of My Funny Valentine became, more or less, Chet's 'signature tune'. He was also arrested and imprisoned for the first time on drug charges. Despite this, he went on to form his own Quartet, released albums and won readers' polls in Metronome and Down Beat magazines as well as being named the top jazz vocalist in 1954. Hollywood signed him to act in the 1955 movie Hell's Horizon, (click here for a brief clip from the movie), but his music was more important and he formed a Quintet with Francy Boland, where he played and sang. With all the promotion of his 'star' profile and his contribution to the cool sounds of West Coast Jazz, he became an icon. Chet admitted to starting taking heroin in 1957, others said it was earlier.

 

Click here for a video of Chet with My Funny Valentine filmed in Tokyo many years later.

 

Chet's first introduction to Europe came with an eight-month tour in 1956 where he recorded the album Chet Baker in Europe. He returned to Europe in 1959 and recorded again in Italy the albums that are referred to as The Milano Sessions, although he was arrested again on drug charges and had to prepare some of the arrangements from prison. During the decade he was also expelled from Germany and the UK on drug-related offenses and was deported to the U.S. from Germany for getting into further trouble with the law a second time. He seemed to be falling out of favour in Europe and he returned California, performing in San Francisco and San Jose between jail terms for prescription Chet Bakerand Gerry Mulliganfraud. His habit continued to undermine his work and particularly in 1966 when he was beaten up, and his embouchure damaged to a point where he found it difficult to play. Nevertheless, three months later, after getting used to false teeth and working on his playing, he found work in New York City playing and recording, in particular with guitarist Jim Hall.

 

Chet Baker and Gerry Mulligan

 

In the late 1970s, Chet returned again to Europe where his friend and lover Diane Vavra took care of his personal needs and helped him during his recording and performance dates. For the next ten years until his death in 1988, he would live and play almost exclusively in Europe, Elvis Costello and Chet Bakerreturning to America occasionally for a few performances. Interestingly his years in Europe resulted in many recordings, mostly for small European labels.

British singer Elvis Costello, who had been a fan of Chet Baker's for a long time hired the trumpeter to play a solo on his song Shipbuilding for Elvis's album 1983 Punch The Clock and that opened up a new audience for the trumpeter in the U.K.

Click here to listen to Shipbuilding.

Three years later in 1986, Chet was filmed with Elvis Costello and Van Morrison in a set of standards including Just Friends and My Ideal and entitled Chet Baker: Live at Ronnie Scott's London. Chet was not in good shape and he would die two years later, not in London, but in Amsterdam. He was found dead on the street below his hotel room with serious wounds to his head, apparently having fallen from the second floor window. Heroin and cocaine were found in his room and in his body.

 

 

Elvis Costello with Chet Baker

 

 

 

 

Click here to watch Chet Baker: Live at Ronnie Scott's (58 minutes). It captures so much about Chet Baker at this time and includes Elvis Costello in conversation with Chet. It is very worth watching the whole film but for a shorter clip, click here for Send In The Clowns with Van Morrison taking the vocals.

Elvis Costello also wrote a beautiful song for Chet called Almost Blue (click here to listen to the song) that Chet went on to feature in many performances and which is also featured in the Chet Baker documentary movie Let's Get Lost.

 

Almost blue
Almost doing things we used to do
There's a girl here and she's almost you
Almost all the things that you promised with your eyes
I see in hers too
Now your eyes are red from crying
Almost blue ....

 

During the time Chet was in London in 1983 for the recording with Elvis Costello he was also captured on video and audio tape playing at The Canteen with a Trio led by pianist John Horler.

Click here for a video of Chet playing Broken Wing from the occasion. Click here to listen to how the tune has been restored for the 2018 audio album. Chet Baker Live In London Vol II

With Chet's permission, Jim Richardson who played bass on the set, recorded the session on a Sony cassette machine. The recordings did not see the light of day until three decades later when they were discovered and restored. They have been released on two albums, each with 2 CDs, on the Ubuntu label - Chet Baker Live In London Volumes I and II. The first appeared in October 2016, the second in August 2018.

In his liner notes for the second Volume, journalist Richard Williams writes: 'The Canteen was a jazz club on the eastern fringe of Covent Garden: a narrow single-fronted space on the ground floor, backing on to a narrow alley. It functioned for probably not much more than a year in the early 1980s ..... presented there during its jazz incarnation were Ahmad Jamal, Slim Gaillard, Lee Konitz, Howard McGhee .... Chet Baker was playing as well as he had in the days of his youthful rise to fame in the 1950s, and sometimes even better. Those of us who were fortunate enough to hear him during that memorable engagement in Covent Garden already knew that. Now, in a set that ranges from his relaxed, swinging work on the jazz classic "Dear Old Stockholm" to the lyrical ballad treatment of "Polka Dots And Moonbeams", everyone can share the pleasure'.

From the very first track, Strollin', there is no mistaking the sound of Chet Baker. On tracks where he sings, the voice is no longer what it was, but given what we know about the events that have taken place in his life, perhaps there is a certain poignancy in that; and given what we know, there is no question that the man's continued mastery of his instrument is amazing. John Horler's trio make for excellent companions, and although at times I find the piano a little 'bright', as you might expect, John Horler's solos sparkle.

Writing in The Guardian, John Fordham said of Volume I: 'Live in London remains a compelling tribute to a flawed but inimitable jazz one-off'.

Volume II completes this compelling tribute.

 

At the time of writing, you can click here to listen to Chet Baker Live In London Volume II.

For details and samples of Volume I (click here) and Volume II (click here).

Click here for our Tea Break conversation with Martin Hummel of Ubuntu Recordings.

 

Chet Baker

 

 

 

 

Two Ears Three Eyes

Photographer Brian O'Connor took his camera to gigs at the Watermill Jazz Club during August. Here are two of his images:

 

Will Glaser

 

Will Glaser

 

Drummer Will Glaser playing with the Josephine Davies Quartet (Josephine Davies, saxophone; Sam Leak, piano ; Oli Hayhurst, bass ; Will Glaser, drums)
at the Watermill Jazz Club, Betchworth Park Golf Club, Dorking, Surrey on Tuesday 7th August 2018.

 

Gerard Sands was also at the gig and writes:

'Not having previously heard Josephine Davies, I Googled a review prior to the gig, where I read that her playing “runs the gamut of styles from Sonny Rollins to Chris Potter”.  I can now confirm that’s correct, indeed there was a moment when I thought “that’s like Sonny Rollins” and another when I thought “that’s quite Chris Potter-ish”, but I would also say that her portfolio stretches further than that, as at times I was also reminded of Ben Webster and Coleman Hawkins. However, as she stated herself, her primary influences are her former mentor, Bobby Wellins, and another tenor great, Joe Henderson. Wellins and Henderson were each honoured with two selections in the night’s show. Wellins with Old Folks and an up-tempo Mad About The Boy, Henderson with two tunes taken from his classic State Of The Tenor album, Ask Me Now and Isotope. There were also titles by Donny McCaslin and Keith Jarrett, and three excellent compositions by Davies herself: the Spanish flavoured La Cancion; The Black Amnesias Of Heaven, inspired by a Sylvia Plath poem, and Dance Of The Dragonfly, the latter written for soprano but played tonight on tenor. Davies explained that she had recently left her soprano sax lying in the recent intense sunshine, with unfortunate results. Tonight’s band comprised Sam Leak on piano,  Oli Hayhurst on bass, and Will Glaser on drums. All were good but I’d like to make special mention of Glaser whose drumming was always inventive but sympathetic, swinging and exuberant, and delivered with a huge grin. Another excellent night at the Watermill Jazz Club'.

 

Josephine Davies In The Corners Of Clouds

 


Click here
for a video trailer of Josephine Davies talking about her new album In The Corners Of Clouds with Dave Whitford and James Maddren. In The Corners Of Clouds will be released on Whirlwind Recordings in November and they will be touring to introduce the album from September through to November - click here for details.

This image from Whirlwind Recordings.

 

 

 

 

 

Alyn Shipton, Menno Daams and Ian Smith

 

Menno Daams

 

The Buck Clayton Legacy Band - Matthius Seuffert (co-leader, sax., clarinet); Alan Barnes (alto sax and clarinet); Menno Daams, Ian Smith, cornet, trumpets); Adrian Fry (trombone); Alyn Shipton (bass); Martin Litton (piano) and Bobby Worth (drums) played at the Watermill Jazz Club, Betchworth Park Golf Club, Dorking, Surrey on 21st August where Brian O'Connor took this picture of bassist/broadcaster/writer Alyn Shipton; Dutch trumpeter / cornet player Menno Daams and trumpeter Ian Smith.

 

Gerrard Sands writes:

'Gigs don’t always turn out as you expect. Going to see the Buck Clayton Legacy Band, I not unreasonably, I thought, expected an evening of music associated with Mr Clayton, or at least played in his style. Apart from the opening number, Outer Drive, which I gather Buck often used as his own set opener, what we actually got was an evening of music dedicated to Duke Ellington. The first set was mostly well known Ellington material: Rockin’ In Rhythm, Creole Love Call (in a nice arrangement by Menno Daams), Satin Doll and C-Jam Blues, all well-played but in my opinion nothing very new or exciting. More interesting to me, because less familiar, were two tunes associated with Johnny Hodges: Globe Trotter and an Alan Barnes' arrangement of Three And Six. Barnes does a very convincing Hodges by the way.

The second set opened with an almost obligatory Take The ‘A’ Train, but then got a little more varied. Two more Hodges numbers, Shady Side (based on Sunny Side Of The Street)  and Broadway Babe, bookended a very fine version of  part one of the Newport Festival Suite. There was a tune I didn’t recognise, and which wasn’t announced, and then a finale of Sophisticated Lady. I’ll admit that the night wasn’t entirely my thing, I’m perhaps more of a modernist, but the show went down well with the capacity crowd of, shall we say, rather more experienced listeners than me.  And I was pleased to finally put a face to Mr Alyn Shipton, host of Radio 3’s Jazz Record Requests, who was the bass player and a very genial compère for the evening. As always, thanks are due to the Watermill Jazz Club.

Click here for the band playing Shady Side at the Pizza Express Jazz Club in November 2014 (Robert Fowler is on tenor sax here).

 

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

 

 

 


Directory of Alternative Musical Definitions

 

Grave

Where musicians decompose.

Click here for more Alternative Definitions.

 

 

 

Wimbledon - Jazz In A Broad Way

The monthly 'Jazz in a Broad Way' series at the Time and Leisure Studio at the New Wimbledon Theatre has been initiated by Vamp Jazz, founded by Verona Chard - singer, actor, lyricist, educator, and vocal director of the recent Age Before Beauty television series.

Inspired by her fellow musicians, peers and mentors, Verona is setting out to establish 'a platform for live music that is engaging, accessible and fun'. To date, a long list of prominent jazz musicians have been featured at this venue where the team works on creating a Ronnie Scott's style vibe and where top international musicians play a mix of classic jazz, latin, swing, funk, originals and crossover music. Lift access is available and the Time & Leisure Bar is at 93, The Broadway, Wimbledon, London SW19 1QG. Doors open 7pm for 7.30pm. Tickets on the door are £15.00 or £13.00 concessions.

Click here for more details.

Jazz In A Broad Way poster

 

Upcoming gigs compèred by Chris Hare include:

Sunday 16 Sept 2018

Digby Fairweather (trumpet); Dominic Ashworth (guitar); Paul Morgan (bass); Clark Tracey (drums); Roan Kearsey-Lawson (vibraphone); Verona Chard (vocals)

 

Sunday 21 October 2018

Renato D'Aiello (sax); Wayne McConnell (piano); Chris Neill (bass); Winston Clifford (drums); Verona Chard (vocals)


Sunday 25 November 2018

Gareth Williams (piano); Verona Chard (vocals); Roan Kearsey-Lawson (vibraphone); Alec Dankworth (bass); Winston Clifford (drums)

 

.

 

 

 

 

Jazz Remembered

Sydney Lipton

by Jeff Duck

 

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

 

Sydney Lipton

 

 

In this article I return to discussing an artist from the British Dance Band history of the 1900’s - looking at my past articles for 'Jazz Remembered' I see that this one is somewhat shorter than the others - although in his life span of just fifty years and with a commercial musical career spanning from the early 1930s through to the 1960s, this gentleman became known as an actor, a trained Classical violinist and one of the friendliest band leaders of his time.

Click here for Sydney Lipton with his Grosvenor House band in 1932 playing Happy-Go-Lucky You And Broken-Hearted Me in 1932 with Sydney Lipton (violin, director); Charlie Price (trumpet); Bud Hammond (trombone); Jimmy Goss, Victor Boulcott (clarinet, alto sax); Jimmy Shankland (clarinet, tenor sax); Billy Reid (piano, piano accordion); Harry Thorne (guitar, string bass); Jock Jacobson (drums); Sam Browne (vocals).

Sydney John Lipton was born on 14 December 1905 in London’s East End to a musical family. At the age of seven, Sydney started to play the violin and gained recognition by his teacher as a good student and an even better player with big plans to become a concert soloist. The plans for a soloist career were soon shelved after losing the top of his left index finger while folding a deck chair. Sydney also soon realised that he needed to help support the family, so he started working weekends and after school in cinema and theatre orchestras. At the age of seventeen Sydney turned professional playing with the Murray Hedges quintet at Edinburgh’s Palais de Danse. Although a long way from his home turf, Sydney felt that with this move he would gain some great experience and learn a lot about the music industry. The Murray Hedges quintet was booked to play opposite Billy Cotton and his Band at The Regent Ballroom in Brighton.

Along with Clem Bernard (piano) and Joe Ferrie (trombone) also from the Murray Hedges line up, Sydney was asked to join the Billy Cotton outfit on violin for the whole of a season at Southport. The three young lads were right in thinking that they would each gain some good experience from this move. When Billy Cotton travelled down to the Liverpool Rialto for a season, Sydney decided not to go and stayed in Southport as leader of a local Southport band. When the job in Southport eventually came to an end, Sydney returned to London Sydney and Celia Liptonto join the Ambrose line-up for various broadcasts and recording sessions. It was 1928 when Sydney returned to working for Billy Cotton in his London Savannah Band at the Astoria Ballroom on Charing Cross Road. Staying with Cotton’s band when it moved to Ciro’s Club, this put the thought into Sydney’s mind that there were too many changes and touring for a married man with a young daughter, Celia. Little did he realise at the time that his daughter would be singing with his own band and those of Lew Stone and Jack Hylton a decade later. In the early days of Sydney’s band-leading years his signature tune was I’ll See You In My Dreams, although in later years he would feature two other tunes, Just Dance And Leave The Music To Me and Sweet Harmony.

 

Sydney with his daughter, Celia.

 

Instead of touring with Billy Cotton’s band Sydney formed his own band at the Royal Palace Hotel in Kensington and when that contract expired, moved to The Grosvenor House in Park Lane, from where the BBC started regular late night broadcasts of dance music.

 

 

This recording of the Grosvenor House band playing Lovely To Look At from 1935 (click here) appeared on the Cinecord label. The Cinecord label was manufactured by the British Homophone company and ran for a small number of issues in 1935, ostensibly as a non-copyright record for use in cinemas during intermission. Most titles are from current films and are played by several well-known bands, amongst them those of Billy Merrin, Oscar Rabin and Charlie Kunz. As the records were never intended for public sale, the bands are not credited on the labels; it has been established that this stylish and well-arranged side is in fact by Sydney Lipton's band (then resident at Grosvenor House in Park Lane) with a vocal again by Sam Browne. Freddy Gardner is on clarinet and saxophone and Max Abrams on drums.

With a working time span of thirty-six years (except for his wartime service years) at the Grosvenor, Sydney had some of the best up and coming players in his band. Not only did this band have a strong line-up of players it had just as strong a line-up of vocalists too including his daughter Celia Lipton who was joined by Jack Plant, Harry Bentley and Chips Chippendale, with Cyril Grantham and George Evans adding their vocal talents to occasional guests such as Al Bowley, Nat Gonella and Sam Browne.

 

Click here for Sydney Lipton's band playing Hey! Young Fella with Nat Gonella and Jack Plant.

 

 

Sydney Lipton and his Orchestra

Sydney Lipton and his Orchestra at the Grosvenor Hotel in 1937

 

As the war arrived Sydney signed up first to the Royal Artillery and then later to the Royal Signals. He received a mention "in Despatches” for his service as a motor-cyclist and achieved the rank of Captain. On being de-mobbed Sydney really did not want to return to the Grosvenor, but they made him an offer he could not refuse. On his return to the hotel he re-started the band with a completely different line-up of instruments including more strings, harp and rhythm. About eight months after this re-start, Sydney returned the band to a similar line-up to the one he had before the war, but employing more new and younger musicians.

Through the years, Sydney Lipton made many excellent recordings with Regal, Sterno, Decca, Zonophone and Columbia, although none became great hits. He had also started an entertainments agency before the war based at an office at Steinway Hall near Hanover Square, London, and this became his main interest when he retired in 1967.

I mentioned right at the start that Sydney was also known as an actor, he appeared in Let's Make a Night of It (1937), Looks Familiar (1970) and the TV interview show This Is Your Life (1955). A real cockney at heart, Sydney Lipton was a well spoken, smartly dressed, tall and elegant gentleman who had respect for all his associates and who received the same high respect in return. An ideal front-man with a fantastic personality, stage charisma and character he unfortunately passed away in July 1995 during a visit to his daughter in Florida, USA.

Click here for a tribute to Sydney Lipton playing a variety of his music (just over an hour).

 

Sydney Lipton

 

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

 

 

 

Eastbourne Jazz Festival and Photographic Exhibition

Eastbourne Jazz Festival

 

The 2018 Eastbourne Jazz Festival takes place on Sunday, September 30th. Building on the success of Splash Point Jazz Clubs, the first Splash Point Jazz Festival in Eastbourne takes place over one day and features 12 bands at 3 main venues (The Fisherman's Club (Royal Parade, BN22 7AA), Leaf Hall (Seaside, BN22 7NB) and Christ Church (Seaside, BN22 7N), all within walking distance of each other around Eastbourne’s cool “Splash Point” area by the sea. [Click here for the line up of bands].

Fringe events, Duos, Solos. One stroller ticket gives access to all 12 gigs. £50* from WeGotTickets/splashpointjazz £45* early bird booked before 30/6/18 [*+booking fee]. You can register and pick up your wristband from any of the venues on the day. Admittance to venues only with wristband. Seating availability is on a first come, first served basis.

 

 

Click here for details.

 

 

 

Photo exhibition picture

 

 

 

The Festival will also feature an exhibition of Brian O'Connor's Jazz Photographs at Leaf Hall Community Arts Centre, 51 Seaside, Eastbourne, BN22 7NB.

More details are on Brian's images of jazz website (click here and scroll down to bottom of page).

 


 

 

 

 

Jazz At St James, Edinburgh

Rob Adams reports: 'This autumn, Edinburgh’s Jazz at St James series returns with concerts by guitarist Don Paterson, saxophonist Laura Macdonald and pianist Fergus McCreadie. Following a successful launch season in the spring, promoter Robin Connelly decided to continue with a programme that features some of the best musicians in Scotland: “We began with a fantastic solo saxophone concert by Laura MacdonaldTommy Smith that sold out and demonstrated the superb acoustics of the room,” says Connelly. “The feeling I got from that night was that there was a real interest among people locally in coming out to really listen, rather than going to a club where there can be a lot of background chatter, and the intimate atmosphere certainly helps. We had young musicians sitting at very close quarters to Alyn Cosker, when he played with the New Focus Quartet, and they said it was like getting a drum lesson.”

 

Laura Macdonald

 

Connelly has persuaded Don Paterson, who these days is better known as a poet, to read some of his poetry as well as leading the Don Paterson Situation on September 15. Paterson has been wary of combining the two strands of his work but is coming round to the idea that people might become interested in his music through his writing and having concentrated on poetry at the expense of his music career since his group with Tim Garland, Lammas, dissolved, he is now fired up by his new band which features keyboards player Steve Hamilton, who currently tours with drumming legend Billy Cobham, bassist Euan Burton and the Fergus McCreadie aforementioned Alyn Cosker on drums.

 

 

“The Scottish scene is so strong right now, with a lot of great young musicians coming through the jazz course at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and the idea is really to focus on home-grown musicians,” says Connelly. “Laura Macdonald, who plays on October 20, is well established up here and further afield,  of course, and is a wonderful player and composer and I’m really excited to have Fergus McCreadie’s trio playing on November 17 because he’s such an amazing talent, as magazines like Jazzwise are beginning to recognise.”

 

Fergus McCreadie

 

Connelly doesn’t rule out appearances by touring bands from beyond Scotland as he looks ahead to 2019 and is keeping his ear to the ground. The main proviso that musicians need to meet, however, is that they are able to play acoustically, or with minimum sound enhancement. “The sound in the room is such that microphones just aren’t necessary for saxophones, for example, and the response we’ve had so far is that the musicians themselves are delighted to be able to work with the natural sound of their instruments and the audience like it that way too,” he says. “So that’s become a feature of the concerts and we make it a selling point along with the up close and personal nature of the presentations.”

 

 

 

Angra Jazz 2018 – Jazz In The Azores

Filipe Freitas at JazzTrail writes:

Angra Jazz 2018 poster

 

'Proudly celebrating its 20th anniversary, AngraJazz - the international jazz festival of Angra do Heroísmo - outlined a thrilling 4-day program to take place on Terceira Island, Azores, from October 3rd through 6th. As habitually happens, the festival opens in Portuguese, only this time with the Jazz Orchestra of the Hot Club de Portugal as the sole performer of the first night. The AngraJazz Orchestra, the host band that usually opens the festival, kicks in on the following day, preparing the ground for the eminently rhythmic trio of Cuban pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba, advocate of a vibrant mix of post-bop and expandable Latin languages.

The third day brings us the British saxophonist Andy Sheppard, a mature ECM artist who won’t miss the opportunity to enchant the audience with tunes from his latest quartet album Romaria. Two hours later, the stage will belong to the American pianist/composer Billy Childs, who will perform in quartet configuration with two habitual partners and a new drummer.

Lastly, strong emotions are expected on the closing day, with Canadian-born Darcy James Argue conducting his multi-awarded 18-piece ensemble Secret Society, a project that includes some exciting emergent bandleaders and soloists in its lineup. After this concert, it’s time for the appetizing vocal jazz of Jazzmeia Horn, competently backed by the key artists - pianist Victor Gould, saxophonist Marcus Miller, bassist Barry Stephenson, and drummer Henry Conerway III - that contributed for the huge success of her debut album A Social Call.

Besides the cited concerts, there will be related activities such as conferences, exhibitions, films and other events, all good motives for you to make a trip to the beautiful island.

For more information, please visit: https://www.angrajazz.com/

 

 

 


 

Forum

 

Musical Playgrounds For Kids : The History Of Jazz Music

Sarah Neale, who plays trumpet, went to music camp in the summer where she had research worksheets that she took home and showed to her father, Steven. When Sarah was researching Jazz History, she came across the web page Musical Playgrounds For Kids : The History Of Jazz Music (click here). It is strange that it appears on an American website for a company selling children’s play equipment, but it might prove a useful reference point for readers. Apart from a history of Jazz, the page contains links and references to other interesting jazz-related material.

 

 

Jack Payne Remembered

Godfrey King adds to Jeff Duck's 'Jazz Remembered' article on Jack Payne (click here): 'Jack presented a hit records BBC TV show (pre - Top Of The Pops and 65 Special) and also a BBC Radio disc program. He had financial problems then returned to the radio... I recall his humble gratitude for the support of his listeners etc. ..... just a personal memory of a pioneer along with Jack Jackson in record presentation styles on radio after their respective band careers were over'.


and Del Pring says of the article : 'Thank you. That was wonderful!'

 

 

 

Ray Foxley

Robert Greenwood writes: ‘I write concerning your ‘Jazz Remembered’ feature on pianist Ray Foxley (click here), and the statement that “Pianist ‘Professor’ Ray Foxley, died aged 73 of Bell's palsy in 2002.” I realise that you are just repeating an article in The Guardian, but people do not die of Bell’s palsy. It is a distressing but temporary paralysis of the facial nerves and often abates of its own accord within weeks, or, if not, it is amenable to treatment usually with steroids.

We take Robert's point and have been unable to find online the actual cause of Ray Foxley's death. If anyone can help, please contact us.

 

 

Chris Bateson

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

Since Dave's request, others have remembered Chris Bateson but what happened to him remains a mystery.

David Stevens writes: 'Like Dave Arthur, I would very much like to know what became of Chris Bateson. I knew him well in the late fifties and early sixties when I was living in Ladbroke Square, Notting Hill (I moved to Australia in 1964). I remember Chris as a good trumpet player (or it could have been cornet) but lacking in self-confidence. I remember one story about him that’s worth telling. It was at the time that Ella Fitzgerald came to London with a group that included Les Spann, Tommy Flanagan and Roy Eldridge. I got to know Roy quite well, and he often visited our flat. On one such visit, we were chatting with Roy when the doorbell rang. It was Chris. I introduced him to Roy, and Chris Batesonperhaps thoughtlessly told him “Chris is a trumpet player”. Roy beamed at him, and held out his horn which he had beside him. “You’re a trumpet player, man” he said “Play me some things!” Chris froze for a moment, looked wildly round, and fled out of the door. I didn’t see him again for some weeks'.

Peter Maguire recalls Chris and sends this photograph: 'I often jammed with Chris Bateson in the early sixties. The House of Sam Widges, The Nucleus, The Farm, The Gyre and Gymble,  et al. The musician he was closest to was Dave Tomlin, a very talented tenor saxophonist. I remember them performing Parker's compositions. Chris was on a Prince Lasha album: Prince Lasha Jeff Clyne, Rick Laird, Joe Oliver (drums), David Snell (harp), Mike Carr, Stan Tracey, John Mumford (trombone) and Chris Bateson (trumpet). Also was a sideman with  Bluesology,   Elton John's group  around 1966. Bluesology supported Little Richard at The Saville Theatre on Sunday, December 11, 1966. Also on the bill were The Alan Price Set and The Quotations who performed with Little Richard. The Bluesology line up consisted of Stewart A. Brown (vocals), Freddie Creasey (bass guitar), Reggie Dwight (organ): David Murphy (saxophone): Chris Bateson (trumpet), Paul Gale (drums)'.

'The last time I saw Chris was in a flat in Charles Square, Notting Hill Gate, where I lived for a while with a whole bunch of musicians, artists, etc. that included Davey Graham. Chris Bateson was a paid up member of a school of jazz musicians that I think has almost ceased to exist, a romantic  devotee of the jazz life. A rather quiet, polite, and reserved individual who carried his trumpet around in a soft leather bag. He had I am sure some psychological issues, was into milder drugs; if he graduated to Class A substances, of that I do not know. From time to time I am in touch with trombonist John Mumford, who has lived in Switzerland for many years. On the last occasion we talked on the telephone, Chris was mentioned.  John told me that Chris really went downhill, was not playing, and basically sleeping in the hallway of a house that belonged to some sympathetic musicians. Within the last couple of years I was in touch with Dave Tomlin. I asked him about Chris. He didn't know what had happened to him'.

 

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

 

 

 

Sandy Brown Jazz Facebook and Mailing List

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


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

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

Val Mannix

 

 

Val Mannix. Eric Jackson writes: 'Just heard about demise of bassist Val Manix.Tried to google for information but no go.It does however reveal the that he backed quality musicians in the London to the Coast area. With your contact's you should be able to get more information'.

I cannot find an obituary online for Val, but click here for a video of him playing at Frank Holder's 90th birthday gig in 2015 at the Pizza Express Jazz Club in London.

 

Val Mannix
Picture courtesy of Brian O'Connor, Images Of Jazz

 

 

 

 

 

Aretha Franklin

 

 

Aretha Franklin - Legendary American 'Queen Of Soul'. 'Ms. Franklin’s airborne, constantly improvisatory vocals had their roots in gospel. It was the music she grew up on in the Baptist churches where her father, the Rev. Clarence LaVaughn Franklin, known as C. L., preached. .... But gospel was only part of her vocabulary. The playfulness and harmonic sophistication of jazz, the ache and sensuality of the blues, the vehemence of rock and, later, the sustained emotionality of opera were all hers to command. ..... Mr. Hammond saw Ms. Franklin as a jazz singer tinged with blues and gospel. He recorded her with the pianist Ray Byant’s small groups in 1960 and 1961 for her first studio album, “Aretha,” which sent two singles to the R&B Top 10: “Today I Sing the Blues” and “Won’t Be Long.” The annual critics’ poll in the jazz magazine DownBeat named her the new female vocal star of the year'.

Click here to listen to Aretha singing Right Now with the Ray Bryant Combo.

 

 

 

 

 

Morgana King

 

Morgana King - American vocalist, the daughter of Sicilian immigrants. She '... began singing in hospitals and clubs as a teenager and by 16 had graduated to nightclubs, some less reputable than others, adopting the name Morgana King because her mother did not want her to use the family name for performing. At 17 she married Tony Fruscella, a jazz trumpeter with a drug problem ....'. With her second husband, trombonist Willie Dennis, she toured with Buddy Rich. She starred in the movie The Godfather as Vito Corleone’s wife'. During her career she sang at many clubs and with many musicians (click here).

Click here to listen to Morgana singing I've Found A New Baby from Avid's Four Classic Albums.

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

Norwich - A Menu of Talks On Jazz

In September / October, Roy Headland will be making a meal of lunchtme talks about jazz at the Octagon Chapel, Colegate, Norwich. The talks will each last for an hour (1.00 pm - 2.00 pm) with Roy sharing his personal take on jazz accompanied by recordings and illustrations. A donation of £5 a session (£12 for all three if paid in advance) will go to the organisation Forget Me Nots that runs interactive groups for people with memory loss, and the Octagon's new facilities appeal fund:

Starter: Wednesday, 26th September - A brief introduction to jazz and how I first acquired a taste for this fascinating music.

Main Course: Wednesday, 3rd October - Some of the major players who developed my appetite.

Dessert: Wednesday, 10th October - An appreciation of some jazz artists, sweet and hot to celebrate 100 years of jazz (1917 - 2017).

Click here for more information from Roy Headland.

 

 

 

 


Some Recent Releases

 

UK

Tom Barford - Bloomer

Metamorphic - The Two Fridas

Bansangu Orchestra - Bansangu Orchestra

Phronesis - We Are All

Karen Sharp - The Sun, The Moon And You

John Horler - Free And Easy

Beats And Pieces Big Band - Ten

 

 

America

Dave Holland - Uncharted Territories

Joe Lovano and Dave Douglas' Sound Prints - Scandal

The New York All-Stars - Burnin' In London

Charles Lloyd & The Marvels + Lucinda Williams - Vanished Gardens

Lee Konitz / Dan Tepfer - Decade

 

 

Europe and Elsewhere

The Eclectic Maybe Band - The Blind Night Watchers' Mysterious Landscapes

Meloche / Archer / Robair / Hodnett - The Sincerity Of Light

Trygve Seim - Helsinki Songs

Tord Gustavsen Trio - The Other Side

 

 

Re-Releases

Erroll Garner - Nightconcert

Stan Getz And The Oscar Peterson Trio - Stan Getz And The Oscar Peterson Trio (Remastered)

Keely Smith - The Keely Smith Collection 1949 - 1961

Ralph Flanagan and his Orchestra - Flanagan's Boogie

Nat King Cole - Four Classic Albums

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tom Barford - Bloomer
(Edition Records) - Released: 31st August 2018

Tom Barford (saxophone); Rupert Cox (piano); Billy Marrows (guitar); Flo Moore (bass); Dave Storey (drums).

Tom Barford Bloomer

 

 

'Bloomer is the debut album from Tom Barford, saxophonist, composer and winner of the 2017 Kenny Wheeler Jazz Prize .... From the first notes Bloomer is impactful, youthful and energetic, but it's Barford's contribution that hits you immediately: this is an artist with something to say! His sound is immediate, bold and fluent and he's an improviser adept at resoucing a vast bank of harmonic language. The influence of US saxophonists Seamus Blake or Chris Potter are there, but an original and distinctive new voice is clear and present'. (album notes).

Details and Samples : Introductory Video : Listen to Bloomer :

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Metamorphic - The Two Fridas
(Discus) - Released: 1st April 2018 (2 CDs)


Kerry Andrew (vocals); Chris Williams (alto sax); John Martin (tenor / soprano sax); Ollie Dover (bass clarinet); Seth Bennett (double bass); Ruth Goller (double bass / electric bass); Johnny Hunter (drums); Laura Cole (piano/ Rhodes, composer).

metamorphic The Two Fridas

 

'Metamorphic are an octet of some of the finest improvising musicians in the UK, who play compositions written by pianist and bandleader Laura Cole, based on her emotional journeys and personal experiences. The Two Fridas is their third album; their two previous albums, Coalescence (2013) and The Rock Between (2011) received widespread critical acclaim, with the music described as ‘amazingly original’ (Jez Nelson, Jazz on 3); ‘highly personal and self-revelatory’ (John Fordham, The Guardian); ‘compelling and ear-catching’ (Peter Quinn, Jazzwise); and ‘utterly remarkable’ (Brian Morton, Jazz Journal). This is a group who really relish playing together, and the sound and intention behind this music is one that has hugely evolved in the ten years the band have been playing together. Metamorphic explore the intensity of collective experience, with Laura Cole’s compositions as a starting point, through spoken word, improvisation and tightly written passages' (album notes).

Details and Samples : Information About Laura Cole :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bansangu Orchestra - Bansangu Orchestra
(Pathway Records) - Released: 3rd August 2018

Saxes: Paul Booth (MD, alto/bass flute, tenor saxophone); Sammy Mayne (alto sax); Jason Yarde (alto sax); Richard Beesley (tenor sax); Gemma Moore (bass clarinet/baritone sax). Trumpets: Ryan Quigley; Kevin Robinson; Andy Greenwood; Shanti Paul Jayasinha; Steve Fishwick. Trombones: Trevor Mires; Barnaby Dickinson; Robbie Harvey; Martin Galddish; Richard Henry. Rhythm Section: Giorgio Serci (guitar); Alex Wilson (piano); Davide Mantovani (electric bass); Rod Youngs/Tristan Banks (drums); Satin Singh (percussion).

Bansangu Orchestra

 

'Leading British saxophonist Paul Booth formed Bansangu Orchestra with Giorgio Serci and Kevin Robinson in 2014. While retaining a Traditional Big Band format, Bansangu consciously steers clear of the traditional Big Band Jazz and Swing repertoire. The orchestra has recorded nine self-penned compositions and arrangements that show case the rich and diverse musical influences from Brazilian, African, Cuband, Caribbean, Indian and Middle Eastern cultures'. (album notes). 'The album draws on an eclectic range of influences: Brazil, Africa, Cuba, the Carribean, India and the Middle East are all represented here and this multicultural "X Factor" undoubtedly contributes to its strength. The music is alive, vibrant and engaging and offers an aural punch that only a great big band can deliver. Incidentally, the band's curious name derives from the compliment Airto Moreira pays to his band in his Brazilian accent: "Ban San Goo," which actually means "Band Sounds Good!" (Roger Farbey in AllAboutJazz 4½*). 'This gloriously feel-good album offers irresistibly catchy hooks, a myriad of musical influences handled with an unruffled ease, plus a communicative power that thrills at every turn'. PeterQuinn, The Arts Desk).

Details and Sample : Video of Cross Channel : Review 1 : Review 2 :

 

 

 

 

 

Phronesis - We Are All
(Edition Records) - Released: 14th September 2018

Jasper Høiby (double bass); Ivo Neame (piano); Anton Eger (drums).

Phronesis We Are All

 

'With the critically acclaimed release of their sixth album ‘Parallax’ in 2016 (recorded at Abbey Road studios) and a reputation for spell-binding, roller-coaster live performances, twice MOBO-nominated Anglo-Scandinavian trio Phronesis have captured the hearts and minds of audiences worldwide. Formed in 2005, they have performed widely across Europe and taken their engaging grooves, irresistible rhythmic energy and breathtaking group interplay to concert stages and festivals across the world from Morocco to Brazil and Australia to North America (where the trio returned in the summer of 2017 for a tour of seven jazz festivals.) In 2017 Phronesis released their seventh album, ‘The Behemoth’, recorded in Germany with the hr Frankfurt Radio Big Band – a special commissioned project to celebrate the band’s tenth anniversary, for which composer/arranger Julian Argüelles created innovative big band arrangements of the trio’s compositions drawn from their entire back catalogue. These arrangements have been performed in the UK, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands including at North Sea Jazz Festival 2017. In October 2017 Phronesis won the ‘Jazz Ensemble of the Year’ award at the UK’s Parliamentary Jazz Awards. We Are All, the band’s eighth and newest studio album, offers plenty of emotional range and musical richness for committed Phronesis fans and new listeners alike. But in its title and scope, it also seeks to focus attention on an important message of togetherness and balance beyond the one the trio demonstrate on the bandstand'. (Edition Records).

Details and Samples : Video of One For Us :

 

 

 

 

 

Karen Sharp - The Sun, The Moon And You
(Trio Records) - Released: 20th April 2018

Karen Sharp (tenor sax); Nikki Iles (piano); Dave Green (bass); Steve Brown (drums).

Karen Sharp The Sun The Moon and You

 

'Saxophonist Karen Sharp returns with a long awaited second album on Trio Records featuring her now well established British Jazz Award "All Winners" quartet of Dave Green (bass), Niki Iles (piano), and Steve Brown (drums) - a stella line-up indeed. Since releasing their debut recording back in 2011 - 'Spirit', the quartet have been busy touring clubs and festivals across the UK, delighting audiences with their unique sound, group interplay and shared passion for strong, melodic material and the jazz tradition. The band's repertoire has evolved naturally over time and this album features familiar and lesser-known standards together with original pieces written by Karen and Nikki. Highlights include a great version of Monk's "Pannonica" as well as the little heard, deceptively simple tune by bassist Ron Carter, "Little Waltz" but everyone will find their own delights within this album. Far from being a horn with accompanying trio, Karen's quartet features each voice to its fullest without ever undermining the integrity of the group, with fine contributions by all' (album notes). 'This quartet has been together for a while now and it shows. Each player is given space to air their artistry with Sharp taking the lead, of course, her slightly languid sound perfectly caught, with Iles spinning out cherishable commentaries and then soloing with the kind of nimble alacrity that seems to mark all her appearances ....'(Peter Vacher in Jazzwise).

Details and Samples :

 

 

 

 

John Horler - Free And Easy
(Trio Records) - Released: 13th April 2018

John Horler (piano).

John Horler Free And Easy

 

'John Horler is a highly respected pianist and composer who has earned a formidable reputation on the British jazz scene over half a century. Probably best known for his collaboration with Sir John Dankworth and Dame Cleo Laine for over 20 years, he has also worked with many well know American jazz icons, including Chet Baker Bob Brookmeyer and Clark Terry. A graduate of The Royal Academy Of Music aged 16 (later being made an ARAM for services to music) John became an avid disciple of the late Bill Evans and also absorbed the music of the European composers Debussy, Ravel and even Brahms which he welded into his own very special jazz language. This intimate solo album, full of melodic invention and sophisticated harmony, features five free pieces, where a figure is played spontaneously and developed randomly, without any preconceived idea of where it might lead. Other tracks include My Ship by Kurt Weil, inspired by the Miles Davies Gil Evans recording, What Kind of Fool Am I played in tribute to composers Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley and Beija Flor by Nelson Cavaquinho and an improvisation on Bach's Prelude in e flat minor. There is just one of Horler's own compositions a melancholy tune in A major, called "Piece for Poppy" Dave Gelly described John's playing best when he wrote "Horler has a delightful habit of lulling you into a sense of false security with sweet, simple phrases and warm chords, before suddenly heading off into the harmonic undergrowth. Little scraps of melody, which at first seem quite random, gradually come together into a fascinating pattern." Andrew Cleyndert's recording of the piano is superb and has contributed in no small measure to a really excellent CD'. (album notes). '.... the veteran pianist John Horler's classical background serves him equally well on this superbly recorded and succinctly performed solo piano set' (Selwyn Harris in Jazzwise).

Details : Samples : Review :

 

 

 

 

 

Beats And Pieces Big Band - Ten
(Efpi Records) - Released: 13th July 2018

Ben Cottrell (director); Anthony Brown, Oliver Dover, Tom Ward (saxophones); Richard Foote, Simon Lodge, Rich McVeigh (trombones); Owen Bryce, Graham South, Nick Walters (trumpets); Anton Hunter (guitar); Richard Jones (piano, Fender Rhodes); Stewart Wilson (bass); Finlay Panter (drums).

Beats And Pieces Big Band Ten

 

'This exciting ensemble led by composer/conductor Ben Cottrell boasts 14 musicians, many of them bandleaders in their own right, with each player’s distinct musical background and individual voice being key to the collective band identity. Now in their 10th year, Beats & Pieces are a rarity in keeping a fairly consistent lineup for so long – especially remarkable for a group this size. Such is the level of trust and friendship across the group that they perform entirely from memory, effortlessly switching between super-tight ensemble playing and generous soloistic expression in the same way as a trio or quartet. A driving force of the vibrant Manchester music scene and one of the most striking ensembles of its kind, the group continues to win new fans and friends across Europe and beyond. Beats & Pieces is not an average ‘big band’ – rather a band that’s big'. (band website). '.... the title Ten of their third CD points to the Manchester-based band's longevity; they celebrate a decade together with a 'live' album recorded at the Royal Northern College of Music ... There's a hunger and intensity to the solos and the personnel's execution of Cottrell's arrangements that attests to their shared conviction over the past decade' (Selwyn Harris in Jazzwise).

Details and Sample : Video of Nois :

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

Dave Holland - Uncharted Territories
(Dare2Records) - Released: 11th May 2018

Evan Parker (tenor saxophone); Craig Taborn (keyboards, electronics); Dave Holland (upright bass); Ches Smith (percussion).

Dave Holland Uncharted Territories

 

'Uncharted Territories, released in 2CD and 3LP formats, reunites Dave Holland with saxophonist Evan Parker, a longtime friend from their early days in London. They're joined by Craig Taborn, on piano and electronics, and Ches Smith on percussion. In addition to quartet improvisations, they also broke off into every possible subset of duo and trio configurations. The group also recorded two compositions by Smith and one by Holland. A resulting 23 tracks present a series of deep, multi-layered conversations between the musicians, some of whom were interacting for the first time'. (album notes). 'Everyone into jazz knows about the extreme versatility of English bassist/composer Dave Holland, an extraordinary bandleader and valuable sidemen. The ability and competence to play in a variety of settings - from post-bop to free jazz and from solo to big band - with a voice of his own are remarkable. For his new quartet recording, Uncharted Territories, Holland teams up with the adventurous English saxophonist Evan Parker, inventive pianist Craig Taborn and multi-faceted percussionist Ches Smith, both American. This was the first time the latter has recorded with the bassist while Evans first joined forces with Holland in a 1968 free improvisation session for John Stevens/Trevor Watts’ Spontaneous Music Ensemble ..... This comprehensive adventure consists of a double record mostly composed of improvised material - in duo, trio, and quartet configurations - selected from a two-day recording session. Except for three scored compositions, they entitled the 23 tracks with a code that indicates the instrumentation, the day they recorded it (Tuesday or Wednesday) ..... The entire program, manifesting the individual freedom and collective unity of four confident risk-takers, folds into amorphous figures, passionate interplay, and irregular trajectories pelted with rugged and decorous textures'. (JazzTrail).

Details and Samples : Full JazzTrail Review :

 

 

 

 

 

Joe Lovano and Dave Douglas' Sound Prints - Scandal
(Greeleaf Music) - Released: 6th April 2018

Joe Lovano (tenor and soprano saxophones); Dave Douglas (trumpet); Lawrence Fields (piano); Linda May Han Ho (bass); Joey Baron (drums).

Joe Lovano and Dave Douglas Sound Prints Scandal

 

'Scandal marks the first time that trumpeter Dave Douglas and saxophonist Joe Lovano have recorded a full studio album of material together, revealing a passionately adventurous band for whom no territory is off-limits. As on their live debut recording, Sound Prints features pianist Lawrence Fields, bassist Linda May Han Oh, and drummer Joey Baron. The super group heads off into swinging, heartfelt and sophisticated new territory inspired by saxophonist giant Wayne Shorter. Two of Shorter's pieces receive special treatment. A truly fantastic and original group playing new originals and music by Shorter'. (album notes). 'Dave Douglas and Joe Lovano, two incredible composers/arrangers and stalwarts in the art of playing trumpet and saxophone, respectively co-lead the Wayne Shorter-inspired quintet Sound Prints, for which they composed original material. Their high caliber rhythm section - pianist Lawrence Fields, bassist Linda May Han Ho, and drummer Joey Baron - spends time creating intuitive bounces that would better serve the soloists while solidifying rapport ..... This is a great comeback from Sound Prints, whose effervescent and sagacious playing sounds pretty damn good.(JazzTrail).

Details and Samples : Full JazzTrail Review :

 

 

 

 

 

The New York All-Stars - Burnin' In London
(Ubuntu Music) - Released: 7th September 2018

Eric Alexander (saxophone); Harold Mabern (piano); Darryl Hall (bass); Bernd Reiter (drums).

New York All Stars Burnin' In London

 

 

Recorded at the legendary Pizza Express Jazz Club in Soho, London on 20 & 21 November 2017, Burnin' In London features six classic tunes including Harold Mabern's own Nightlife In Tokyo and a beautiful interpretation of Gershwin's classic Summertime .... "The interplay between Eric and Harold is magical, supported by the rock solid bass lines from Darryl and the exacting rhythmic underpinning of Bernd's precision-like drumming ..." (album notes / Martin Hummel, Ubuntu Music Director). 'Mabern really is a remarkable talent. At 81, he's still playing with the passion of a man at least half his age and his ace pupil Eric Alexander continues to grow'. (Jazzwise).

Details : Video of The Night Has A Thousand Eyes : The band is on tour in Europe during September and November 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charles Lloyd & The Marvels + Lucinda Williams - Vanished Gardens
(Blue Note Records) - Released: 29th June 2018

Charles Lloyd (tenor saxophone, flute); Lucinda Williams (vocals); Bill Frisell (guitar); Greg Leisz (pedal steel guitar and dobro); Reuben Rogers (bass); Eric Harland (drums).

Charles Lloyd Vanished Gardens

 

'When Lucinda Williams joined Charles Lloyd & The Marvels at UCLA’s Royce Hall in April 2017, the musicians beamed with unbridled joy. Same for the fans fortunate to witness, to share the depths of the artistry and exploration happening on stage. There were tears, too, as Williams reached inside herself for expressions of love, longing and loss in equal measures. But the image that remains strongest from this remarkable night is of Lloyd, radiant and enchanted, at times not even playing, just taking in the wonders of this grouping that had come together around him. That same energy and elation buzzed through the compact sessions in a Los Angeles studio that brought us the luminescent music heard on this album, Lloyd and Williams with the singular set of talents that comprise the Marvels ... musicians who just as Lloyd and Williams have done have set their own courses, found their own ways of expression and exploration, while thriving most profoundly in sparks-filled collaborative settings'. (Blue Note). 'Among the songwriting credits for this work we find not only Lloyd and Williams but also Jimi Hendrix, Thelonious Monk, and Tommy Wolf/Fran Landesman. The latter’s “Ballad of the Sad Men”, a tune popularized by Roberta Flack and instrumentally rendered by Keith Jarrett, is amiably cooked with Lloyd jumping in halfway to blow our minds with his sui generis vocabulary. This strategy is also put into effect on “Monk’s Mood”, a marvelous duet with Frisell, who prepares the ground for the saxophonist’s musical enlightenment with a relaxed introduction. This song is the closest they get to jazz since the project’s philosophy falls more into a blend of country, folk, blues and rock genres ... Drawing inspiration from the roots of American music, the band effortlessly coat these songs with a charming charisma. With The Marvels establishing an unshakable bridge between styles, Lloyd/Williams collaboration is indeed successful'. (JazzTrail). 'The mood is varied, however. Williams reprises three old songs, including 2007’s Unsuffer Me, with Lloyd matching her anguish (and how nice to hear her without guitar squalls), while a version of Hendrix’s Angel caresses the song’s beauty and optimism. Lloyd’s playing, in his 80th year, remains fluid, still pushy on the title track, reflective on Blues for Langston and La Rue, while the Marvels match his invention. Too bad Williams doesn’t sing on the plaintive Ballad of the Sad Young Men. Otherwise, this unexpected collaboration doesn’t miss a trick'. (Neil Spencer in The Guardian)

Details and Samples : Full Blue Note Description : Full JazzTrail Review : Neil Spencer's Guardian Full Review :

 

 

 

Lee Konitz / Dan Tepfer - Decade
(Decca Records) - Released: 5th July 2018

Lee Konitz (alto saxophone); Dan Tepfer (piano).

Lee Konitz Dan Tepfer Decade

 

 

'To celebrate a decade of intense musical collaboration and friendship, the masterful 90-year-old altoist Lee Konitz and the resourceful pianist Dan Tepfer, 36, release Decade .... an auspicious follow up to Duos With Lee (Sunnyside, 2009). The duo has been performing extensively throughout the years, but their mature sense of impromptu comes bolstered throughout these 15 spontaneous short tunes. In possession of an enviable originality in terms of sound and language, the pair takes the same direction and overcomes any possible generational gap with their modernistic facility ...... Wielding a delightfully quirky style, Konitz and Tepfer provide the listener with those truly magical moments that will keep them sigh with pleasure'. (JazzTrail).

Details and Samples : Full JazzTrail Review :

 

 

 

 

 

European and Other Releases

 

The Eclectic Maybe Band - The Blind Nightwatchers' Mysterious Landscapes
(Discus) - Released: 1st April 2018

Roland Binet (flute / tenor saxophone track 6); Joe Higham (electronics / soprano saxophone / doudouk track 7);  Michel Delville (electric guitar); Catherine Smet (keyboards); Guy Segers (bass / samplers track 5); Dirk Wachtelaer (drums).

Eclectic Maybe Band Blind Night Watchers Mysterious Landscapes

 

We’re delighted to make this music available. You’ll know Guy Segers from his days as bass guitarist with the influential and brilliant RIO group Univers Zero, but you may not know that Guy has been a tireless creator and releaser of music – often via his own Bandcamp page – up to the present day. This new release by Eclectic Maybe Band has a great vibe and atmosphere to it. A group of highly skilled and compatible players came together in the studio under Guys’s direction and made some improvisations. Although improvised the outcome is stylistically varied. Some tracks make you think of electric Miles filtered via zeuhl, while others are freer and open ended. Really flexible and great sounding bass and drums provide an ever shifting backdrop. The guitar is angular, surprising, expressive, a real stand out performance. Flute is the main horn at the forefront, blown by the wind eerily back and forth over the tracks, with the saxes digging in occasionally. Very original use of keys here too, especially when a rather icy grand piano cuts in. These initial improvisations have been carefully restructured in post production by Guy to produce a result very much in keeping with the Discus Music spirit (album notes).

Details and Samples :

 

 

 

 

 

Meloche / Archer / Robair / Hodnett - The Sincerity Of Light
(Discus) - Released: 20th April 2018

Chris Meloche (guitar and electronics); Martin Archer (woodwind and electronics); Gino Robair (percussion and electronics); Lyn Hodnett (voice).

MelocheArcherRobairHodnettSincerityOfLight

 

 

Trance-like minimal loops and drones from Canadian electronics composer Meloche orchestrated by Archer with improvised percussion and voices from Robair and Hodnett. A unique meeting of minimalism and improv (album notes). "I wanted to do something which would be interesting if we played it live, and I hit on the idea to use my woodwinds with live audio to midi conversion so that my playing would trigger a whole surrounding set of sounds. I invited my long term colleague Lyn Hodnett, who specialises in very high frequency vocal improvising, to record a session. Then I set things up so that my playing would trigger a cloud of vaguely related randomised Lyns to each note I played ..... I used the same technique in Part 2 to trigger a whole group of saxophones from my alto sax .... We think it's unusual to combine static and active elements together in this way, with a whole load of detail dancing around over the drone material ....(Martin Archer)

Details and Samples :

 

 

 

 

Trygve Seim - Helsinki Songs
(ECM Records) - Released: 31st August 2018

Trygve Seim (tenor and soprano saxophones); Kristjan Randalu (piano); Mats Eilertsen (double bass); Markku Ounaskari (drums).

Trygve Seim Helsinki Songs

 

'With its overt lyricism, strong themes and a sense of perpetual melodic invention, Norwegian saxophonist Trygve Seim’s new album quickly identifies itself as a classic-in-the-making. Themes of dedication run through Seim’s Helsinki Songs album, a set of tunes composed - for the most part - in the Finnish capital, and radiating tributes in many directions. Here are songs referencing Igor Stravinsky and Jimmy Webb, pieces dedicated to each of Seim’s gifted bandmates, and tunes that tip the hat, obliquely, to Ornette Coleman and Bill Evans. The quartet plays superbly throughout, with outstanding solos from leader Seim and pianist Kristjan Randalu. Helsinki Songs was recorded in Oslo’s Rainbow Studio in January 2018 and produced by Manfred Eicher'. (album notes). 'Norwegian reed player Trygve Seim puts a new quartet together with Kristian Randalu on piano, Mats Eilertsen on bass, and Markku Ounaskari on drums.  Most of the material on Helsinki Songs, his eighth album as a leader/co-leader for the ECM label, was written in the capital of Finland, conveying a lyrical sentiment that gravitates toward the contemplative. Throughout the 11 originals, autumnal and wintry tones are combined in gracious perfection .... Stimulating in its quietness and hauntingly poignant in its textures, Helsinki Songs favors slow-drag tempos and embraces a memorably dusky lyricism, exposing an attractive anti-climax nature. It’s an endearing work by Trygve Seim, who definitely deserves wider attention. (JazzTrail).

Details and Sample : Full JazzTrail Review :

 

 

 

 

 

Tord Gustavsen Trio - The Other Side
(ECM Records) - Released: 31st August 2018

Tord Gustavsen (piano); Sigurd Hole (acoustic bass); Jarle Vespestad (drums).

Tord Gustavsen Trio The Other Side

 

'For the album 'The Other Side', Norwegian Tord Gustavsen opens a new chapter in his piano trio story, with faithful drummer Jarle Vespestad, and introducing his excellent new bassist Sigurd Hole. "This is the chill-out as a state of grace, and it can go as deep as you like. Sublime," wrote the Independent on Sunday of the Gustavsen Trio's Being There, released in 2007. Over the last decade Tord has explored other ensemble forms, but on 'The Other Side' - recorded at Oslo's Rainbow Studio in January 2018 - Gustavsen is back with the format that brought him world-wide adulation when his debut album, Changing Places, was released in 2003. Hole's approach to his instrument, drawing on folk influences as well as modern jazz, is ideally suited to Gustavsen's slowly-developing, deeply melodic pieces. The recording, produced by Manfred Eicher, is made available both on CD and vinyl, and is issued on the eve of a major tour'. (album notes). 'Generating deeply moving sounds through a close interplay, the Tord Gustavsen Trio, inactive since 2007, takes us to The Other Side with staggering new originals and admirable renditions of traditional songs and classical pieces, including three by J.S. Bach. The Norwegian pianist and composer plays alongside his longtime drummer Jarle Vespestad and the new bassist Sigurd Hole, two excellent accompanists who provide him with all the rhythmic sustenance and enchanting texture he needs to make this one of the most gratifying releases of his career ... There are no extravagances but plenty of utterly beautiful moments that take you to another dimension. The record is soulful and inspired, and Gustavsen and his bandmates are all refined musical taste, originality, and perception'. (JazzTrail).

Details and Sample : Full JazzTrail Review :

 

 

 

Re-Releases

 

Erroll Garner - Nightconcert
(Mack Avenue) - Released: 13th July 2018

Erroll Garner (piano); Eddie Calhoun (bass); Kelly Martin (drums).

Erroll Garner Nightconcert

 

'New release of a previously unissued 1964 live performance, recorded at The Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. Restored and mixed from the original master tapes, featuring 8 never-before-heard songs including a newly discovered Garner original. Deluxe double Vinyl or single CD package includes previously unseen colour photographs from the concert, and liner notes by writers Nate Chinen, Dr. Robin D. G. Kelley, and pianist Christian Sands. Following the incredible rediscovery of jazz pianist Erroll Garner through the release of 'The Complete Concert By The Sea' and 'Ready Take One', Octave Music, in partnership with Mack Avenue Records, will next issue 'Nightconcert', a newly-restored live performance from the Garner archives, recorded at the height of his 1964 sold-out European tour. 'Nightconcert' (from the Dutch Nachtconcert) is a midnight jazz performance held at The Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, one of the premiere concert halls in the world. Recorded on November 7, 1964, it features Garner with his classic trio (bassist Eddie Calhoun and drummer Kelly Martin) performing to a packed house of 2,000 enraptured fans. The audience witnessed a blistering set featuring the group's unique take on classics from The Great American Songbook, as well as three originals by Garner: "Theme From A New Kind of Love (All Yours)," "No More Shadows" and a new composition titled "That Amsterdam Swing." ' Nightconcert' will continue to remind music fans of Erroll Garner's singular talents as a pianist, composer, and showman'. (album notes). ' ... a release that's great to have for Garner fans and scholars, but an occasionally painful listen for those of us to whom tuning matters'. (Alyn Shipton in Jazzwise)

Details :

 

 

 

 

 

Stan Getz and the Oscar Peterson Trio - Stan Getz and the Oscar Peterson Trio (Remastered)
(State Of Art Records / Millennium Digital Remaster) - Released: 4th February 2018

Stan Getz (tenor sax); Oscar Peterson (piano); Herb Ellis (guitar); Ray Brown (bass).

Stan Getz and the Oscar Peterson Trio

 

 

'This is full of really fine music by Stan, Oscar, Herb Ellis on guitar and Ray Brown on bass, but just be careful to avoid making the same mistake that I made. Because the cover picture is different, I didn't immediately recognise that this is essentially the same as an album - with the same title - that I already had (issued by Verve). The one difference is that this also includes a couple of tracks ("When Your Lover Had Gone" and "Candy") from another fine album recorded a couple of months earlier - "Jazz Giants '58", credited to Stan, Gerry Mulligan, Harry "Sweets" Edison, Louie Bellson and the Oscar Peterson Trio'. (Amazon commentator). ' .... this 24-bit remastered classic is well worth checking out and not just for the exemplary sound of these 1957 tracks .... there is warmth and intimacy about this encounter, the powerful duality between the unflappable saxophonist and the excitable pianist creating a minor classic'. (Stuart Nicholson in Jazzwise).

Details and Samples :

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keely Smith - The Keely Smith Collection 1949 - 1961 (3 CD Box Set)
(Acrobat) - Released: 5th May 2018

Keely Smith (vocals) with various personnel.

The Keely Smith Collection

 

'Keely Smith was one of the most distinctive and multi-talented performers of the 1950s and 60s, combining a vocal versatility with an innate sense of comedy, which she used to good effect using her trademark deadpan style in stage and TV performances with her husband Louis Prima, with whom she also made some fine jazz, R&B and pop records, including the Grammy Award-winning That Old Black Magic in 1959, winner of Best Performances By A Vocal Group. She was a fine jazz singer, with a sense of swing and timing that placed her alongside the best of her peers, but she was equally at home performing sophisticated pop material with an orchestra, and this collection provides the opportunity to hear her in both environments. This great-value 80-track 3-CD set comprises selected recordings with Louis Primas Orchestra for the Mercury, Capitol and Dot labels from her 1949 debut with his band through to 1961, when they were divorced, and selected solo recordings for Capitol and Dot accompanied by the orchestras of Billy May, Nelson Riddle and others from 1956 through to 1962. It includes the chart hits with Louis Prima, That Old Black Magic, The Bigger The Figure, Ive Got You Under My Skin and Bei Mir Bist Du Schon. Its a fine showcase for her talent and style during what was one of the most productive and important eras of her career'. (album notes). 'Smith's death last December ought to have prompted a wave of reissues, but aside from a Louis Prima compendium, it didn't, until now, with Acrobat's exemplary 3CD box of her work, taking us beyond Prima to her great work with Riddle, May and other leading arrangers of the day'. (Alyn Shipton in Jazzwise).

Details :

 

 

 

 

 

Ralph Flanagan and his Orchestra - Flanagan's Boogie
(Sounds Of Yesteryear) - Released: 23rd March 2018

Ralph Flanagan (pianist and bandleader) with his Orchestra and various personnel

Ralph Flanagan Flanagan's Boogie

 

'Ralph Flanagan (born Ralph Elias Flenniken; April 7, 1914 in Lorain, Ohio - died December 30th, 1995 in Miami, Florida) was a famed big bandleader, conductor, pianist, composer, and arranger for the orchestras of Hal McIntyre, Sammy Kaye, Blue Barron, Charlie Barnet, and Alvino Rey. During World War II he served in the Merchant Marine from October 1942 to 1946. By 1949 he formed a very successful orchestra which is credited with re-popularizing the Glenn Miller sound, and which made many records, among them Singing Winds; Rag Mop; Hot Toddy and Flanagan s Boogie. The Ralph Flanagan band was managed by Herb Hendler, who had signed Glenn Miller to his final record contract before Miller's fatal plane crash in the English Channel during World War II. It was Hendler who had encouraged Flanagan to adopt the Miller sound that led to his sucess. Hendler also co-wrote Hot Toddy, which was recorded by many artists, including Chet Atkins, Rosemary Clooney, Red Foley and Julie London. The Flanagan orchestra's theme songs were Giannina Mia and Singing Winds, the latter title also applying to the orchestra's singing group'. (album notes). 'Top NY session players populate pianist (and erstwhile vocalist) Flanagan's 1951-56 big band, playing in the style of a slightly updated Glenn Miller orchestra, and the results are swinging and danceable versions of standards, or originals closely based on standard forms' (Alyn Shipton in Jazzwise).

Details : Original recording of Flanagan's Boogie tune :

 

 

 

 

 

Nat King Cole - Four Classic Albums
(Avid Jazz) - Released: 1st June 2018

Nat King Cole (piano and vocals) with various others

Nat King Cole Four Classic Albums

 

 

'AVID Jazz continues with its Four Classic Album series with a re-mastered 2CD release from Nat 'King' Cole, complete with original artwork, liner notes and personnel details 'Sings For Two In Love'; 'Penthouse Serenade'; '10th Anniversary Album' and 'Just One Of Those Things' Although we at AVID do have a fine Easy Listening catalogue, which in fact, does carry a couple of collections by our latest inductee into the jazz hall of fame; Great Beginnings (AMSC569) and The Essential Collection (AVC953). For our latest release we have chosen to highlight the jazz side of Nat King Cole. Our four classic album selections cover all aspects of Nat's jazz output from the jazz vocal workouts with arrangers, Nelson Riddle and Billy May on 'Sings For Two In Love' and 'Just One Of Those Things' to a selection of his sides with the Nat Cole Trio on 'The 10th Anniversary Album' to the classic piano session 'Penthouse Serenade' where we can witness just how fine a jazz pianist Nat really was'. (album notes). 'This is Cole in transition from singer/leader of his trio (represented here on the Penthouse Serenade album, making the set worth having for this alone) to vocalist with Nelson Riddle, Billy May and others, and the four original LPs are liberally sprinkled with his greatest hits' (Alyn Shipton in Jazzwise).

Details :

 

 

 

 

 

UK Jazz Venues Near You

 

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

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

 

 

Jazz Talks: Surrey, Buckinghamshire and Norwich Areas

 

Surrey and around:

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

email: jmike210@gmail.com

 

Buckinghamshire:

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

If anyone would like to take up Bob's offer, you can email him at drbobmoore-inbiltec@supanet.com

Norwich:

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

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

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