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January 2019

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Oene Van Geel


Dutch violinist Oene Van Geel of the Nordanians swing jazz/world music trio and co-leader of the band LoLanders who will be playing at the Celtic Connections Festival in Glasgow from Thursday 17th January to Sunday 3rd February (details further down the page). Celtic Connections is Glasgow’s annual folk, roots and world music festival, celebrating Celtic music and its connections to cultures across the globe

Click here for a video of Oene Van Geel playing Manbor with bass guitarist Mark Haanstra.


Best Wishes For 2019

I hope the New Year will be kind to you all. Thank you to everyone who has visited Sandy Brown Jazz during the last year, and especially to those who have contributed articles, sent emails and letters, and given feedback. I hope that between us we can continue to make the site enjoyable and interesting over the next twelve months.



Tommy Smith, O.B.E.

Many congratulations to saxophonist, bandleader and educator Tommy Smith who has been awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) Tommy Smithfor services to jazz in the New Year's Honours List.

Tommy Smith was born in Edinburgh and has been a significant, respected presence on the jazz scene both in Scotland and internationally for many years. He founded and directs the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra; he is professor of Jazz at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and runs the Tommy Smith Youth Jazz Orchestra. This is in addition to leading, recording and touring with various smaller jazz groups.

Tommy is reported as saying: “I am surprised and delighted to be given this honour. I have been passionate about the value of jazz education since my own experiences as a young musician and would like to dedicate this honour to all the teachers and musicians who have played a part in my development.”

Tommy Smith


Click here to listen to the Tommy Smith Youth Jazz Orchestra playing Apple Honey in 2017 featuring solos from young musicians whose names are now becoming established in UK jazz.





Sordid History Of Storyville

The Independent newspaper has carried a story about excavations that have uncovered information about the 'red light' district of NewIndependent Storyville picture Orleans (click here). They report:

'The lid is set to be lifted on the less reputable aspects of the history of one of the world’s greatest cities – and, in doing so, extraordinary new light will be shed on a key location involved in the early development of jazz and blues. Over the last five years, archaeologists have been busy excavating one of history’s most famous red light districts – that of early 20th-century New Orleans. Over the next few years, they aim to analyse up to a million finds unearthed during the dig. Preliminary examination of the material has so far identified everything from vaginal cleansing nozzles to whiskey bottles, a Colt 45 and other pistols, music-related artefacts and heroin syringes .... .'


Two women play cards in Storyville, circa 1912. After two decades of lucrative operations, the area’s brothels were forced to close as a result of intense political pressure exerted by the US military – especially the Navy (Wikimedia Commons/Ernest Bellocq).


'...Over the past half decade, teams of archaeologists have spent a total of around 25 months systematically investigating Storyville and have unearthed hundreds of thousands of artefacts. The material has already allowed them to get a preliminary enhanced impression of how Storyville’s economy functioned – and more thorough analyses in the future will permit an even greater understanding of the social and cultural ambiance which contributed so much to the early development of popular modern music worldwide'.




Serious Searching For Development Co-ordinator

Serious job advert



Serious, the organisation involved in running an annual programme of live music (including the EFG London Jazz Festival) and other support services, is seeking a development professional with flair, versatility and brilliant communication skills to join the organisation. 'We are seeking someone with experience in account management, sponsorship and fundraising. The successful candidate will have an entrepreneurial approach to pursuing new opportunities and be an accomplished writer with excellent relationship management skills. This is an excellent opportunity for you to join this talented and unique force in live music production and contribute to our nationally and internationally recognised programme.This is a full time, permanent position'.

Click here for details. The closing date for applications is Friday, January 11th.






Name The Tune

(Click on the picture for the answer)


Name The Tune


Click here for our Name The Tune page



Jazz Journal Ends Printed Publication

The December 2018 edition was the last printed edition of Jazz Journal. The magazine has moved entirely online. A new Jazz Journal website will be launched in early January (at the same address - '.. that will continue the tradition of the print edition and Jazz Journaldevelop over time an archive holding material from the last seven decades of publication. Initially, at least, it will be a free to view service'.

Jazz Journal says: 'We believe that readers will find in the website the same enjoyment and utility they find in the print edition and more, and hope subscribers will want to support the new venture. However, we understand that the web experience may not suit all readers and therefore ask any reader requiring a refund of the remainder of their print subscription to email or write to Jazz Journal, Caxton House, Wellesley Road, Ashford, Kent, TN24 8ET, United Kingdom, giving full name and address, ideally by the end of January 2019. Many thanks to those who have waived their claim to refund. Their generosity will help sustain Jazz Journal online in the coming months and we look forward to welcoming them to the new website and newsletter'.

Jazz Journal was established in 1946 by editor and jazz critic Sinclair Traill. It was originally published in London under the title Pick Up, which Traill founded as a locus for serious jazz criticism in Britain. In May 1948, Traill, using his own money, relaunched it as Jazz Journal. Traill, for the rest of his life, served as its editor-in-chief. It has been Britain's longest enduring jazz magazine. In April 1977, Billboard Limited – then the publisher of Music Week and The Artist – acquired publishing rights to Jazz Journal (via lease agreement) from the magazine's owner, Novello & Company, Ltd. Cardfront Publishers Limited, a division of Billboard Limited, became the publisher; Mike Hennessey became director; Traill continued as editor-in-chief; and the publication was renamed Jazz Journal International (JJI).

JJI was presumed to have ceased publication in January 2009, after the death on 23 January 2009 of the publisher's wife and associate editor, Janet Cook. Eddie Cook, who had been publisher and editor-in-chief of JJI since 1978, wrote to JJI readers that, following the death of his wife, publication of the magazine would cease, and that the magazine was seeking a new owner. In April 2009, JJI's holding company, which at the time was Jazz Journal Publishing, absorbed the rival magazine, Jazz Review. Jazz Review, originally a monthly, had been published every two months and was owned by Direct Music Limited of Edinburgh, Scotland, who wished to end their publishing interests. Jazz Journal was absorbed into JJI and first published as such in May 2009 under Mark Gilbert – the last editor of Jazz Review, stepping in as editor of the new Jazz Journal. (Wikipedia).




Farewell David Mossman

David Mossman, who started up the famous Vortex Jazz Club in Dalston, London, sadly passed away on the 8th December. Tributes have been coming in from many musicians and a book has been started at the club in which people have been writing their memories and David Mossmanthanks.

Oliver Weindling who currently runs the Vortex writes: 'Ahead of starting the Vortex in 1988, there is nothing in the early life of David Mossman, who died on Saturday at the age of 76, that would naturally make us think that he was ‘destined’ to run a jazz club in a relatively unrecognised part of London. Here was an East End-born 'black cab' taxi driver with a love of mountaineering, a grandfather at the age of 34, with a love of the music of Neil Diamond ...

'His only experience of jazz previously had been going to see some gigs in the 1950s. But he was a man with a sense of flair and intuition, who could take calculated risks in terms of what he did, which musicians played at the club and how it looked. He knew how to survive, and take so many of us with him. In so many ways, he had a lot in common with another person who was as influential in his own way on the London scene: John Jack. Both of them were ‘improvisers’ – not in terms of the pure jazz sense, but in terms of working out how to get the music heard. Meanwhile, on the other side of London, Steve Rubie has been doing the same at the 606 for 40 years. (In fact, David sought out Steve’s advice when the club first opened). ...'

David Mossman
Photograph by Mark Hewins

'....The musicians repaid his faith, and helped to create a club that felt like what a club should be, as a place for musicians, fans and people wanting a great night out. He wasn’t a form filler, and so it never became a place reliant on an Arts Council life support system. He was generous to his friends, which is really how he regarded the musicians, but also he was concerned that the public got nights to remember. Through that commitment, generosity and passion, he likewise found the audience and similarly changed many of their lives (my own being no exception).....'

Click here for Oliver's full tribute and another from guitarist Phil Robson and others.





January's Video Juke Box

*Click on the Picture to watch the Video




What's My Line Duke Ellington



From 1950 to 1967 television broadcast a panel game called What's My Line? In the show, the blindfolded panel were asked to identify the personality of a guest celebrity. On this occasion the celebrity was Duke Ellington.





Tord Gustavson Trio video


The Tord Gustavson Trio plays a studio session with tunes from their new album on ECM - The Other Side. Norwegian pianist Tord Gustavsen leads the trio – including Sigurd Hole (bass) and Jarle Vespestad (drums) - that draws on classical music, church hymns, and jazz – and may sound something like 'Nordic Blues.' Running for 33 minutes, it begins with the relaxed, lyrical tune The Tunnel.





Shelly Manne Richie Kamuca Speak LowRobert Martinez writes: 'Regarding Dave Keen’s posting about Richie Kamuca (click here).  I live on the west coast of the U.S. and grew up listening to all the great jazz musicians of the day including the great Richie Kamuca who I followed almost religiously as he was my favorite tenor sax player ever.  I saw most of the TV appearances Dave included in his piece and practically lived at Shelly Manne's ‘Manne Hole’ where I would go and listen to the group almost every week.  I have most of the recordings he recorded and regret he didn't record more.  Unfortunately there are not a lot of Richie Kamuca videos on Youtube but there are several recordings of him with Shelly Manne if you look under 'Shelly Manne and his Men at the Blackhawk'.  I have these recordings with Joe Gordon on trumpet, (a great trumpet player who died much too young in a house fire). Listen to Summertime, one of my favorites with Richie on sax, but here's a video from an old TV program in L.A., 'Fantan', with the group I saw very often. (By the way, I note that you are in the U.K. so I thought I would mention that the great Victor Feldman is the pianist on the Blackhawk recordings).




Ant LawPure Imagination



Guitarist Ant Law plays solo this beautiful version of Pure Imagination from his recent album Life I Know released in November. Click here for more about the album and to sample two other tracks.





Paul Barbarin video



Drummer Paul Barbarin is featured in this short archive video of a New Orleans band playing My Bucket's Got A Hole In It (aka Uptown Bumps) or is it as titled I Hear You Knockin' ? There are no details of the other musicians here nor of the date.





Jonny Mansfield Big Band Love You Deeply


The Jonny Mansfield Big Band plays Love You Madly with the vocals taken by Ellie Bignall and the tenor sax solo by Tom Barford. Percussionist and composer Jonny Mansfield has recently recorded an album with his band Elftet. He has been the recipient of the Tebbut Exhibition Award, Richard Turner Award, Scott Philbrick Jazz Scholarship and the Principals Award from the Royal Academy of Music and was mentioned twice in Jazzwise magazine’s section of ‘who to look out for in 2018’. Jonny was awarded the Kenny Wheeler Jazz Prize in June 2018 and will be releasing his debut Elftet album featuring Chris Potter, Gareth Lockrane and Kit Downes on Edition records in 2019. 




SNJO Peter And The Wolf



Short extract from the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra's album of Peter And The Wolf, available in January. Tommy Smith and the Orchestra will be playing at Ronnie Scott's Club in January.





Dave O'Higgins Rainy Day



The Dave O'Higgins Trio with Max Ionata play Rainy Day live at the 606 Club last May. The tune is on the band's album Tenors Of Our Time released in December (see Recent Releases below)




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





Who To Look Out For In 2019

Each year, Jazzwise magazine asks people in the jazz community to put forward names that they think we should be looking out for in the coming year. It is interesting that only a few suggestions are duplicated. This year, 28 people have put suggested 42 musicians or bands. The reasons for their nominations are in Jazzwise magazine for December/January. We have kept a record of the nominations for past years (click here) and readers might like to look back to see whether predictions have materialised or search further online into the nominations for this year.

The 42 'to look out for' in 2019 are:



Nubya Garcia


Graham Costello’s STRATA (band)
Matt Carmichael (saxophone)
Bex Burch (gyll, Ghanaian xylophone)
Harlem Hellfighters (band)
John Schofield Quartet (band)
Morpher (band)
Samantha Wright Quintet (band)
Bela Horvath Trio (band)
Louis Cole (drums / America)
Jamie Murray’s Beat Replacement (band)
Seth Tackaberry (bass)
Charlie Stacey (keyboards)
Tomasz Bura (keyboards, Poland) x 2
Joe Armon-Jones (piano)
Trio HLK (band)
Joe Wright (saxophone)
Luigi Marino (electronic media and percussion)
Andrew Lisle (drums)
Signe Emmeluth (saxophone, Norway/Denmark)
Cassie Kinoshi (saxophone)
Sarah Tandy (piano) x 2

Cherise Adams-Burnett (vocals)
James Francies (piano / America)
Jonny Mansfield’s Elftet (band)
Tom Barford (saxophone)
Riley Stone-Lonergan (saxophone)
Vels Trio (band)
Arthur O’Hara (bass)
Nubya Garcia (saxophone, flute)
Angelika Niescier (saxophone / Germany)
David Swan (piano)
Melissa Aldana (saxophone)
Tia Fuller (saxophone)
Romama Campbell (drums)
Tiffany Austin (vocals)
Alex Munk (guitar)
Alex Hitchcock (saxophone)
Georgia Cecile (vocals)
Rosie Frater-Taylor (vocals)
Lorraine Baker (drums)
Irreversible Entanglements (band)
Calum Gourlay (bass)





Jazz Quiz

As Time Goes By

With the coming of a new year, this month we give you fifteen questions where the answers contain the names of Days, Months or Seasons - try the fifteen questions in this month's jazz quiz .........


Snowman jazz


For example:

When are ‘Fish jumpin' and the cotton is high’?


Click here for the Jazz Quiz.




Gary Crosby Awarded Honorary Fellowship

Howard Lawes reflects on the ceremony and on Gary's work in education and jazz initiatives over the years:

Each year, the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London recognises accomplished professionals in the fields of the performing arts and education by awarding them the status of Honorary Fellow of Trinity Laban. This is a rare honour, particularly for jazz musicians, but this year bassist Gary Crosby OBE was so honoured following in the footsteps of Norma Winstone MBE and Dame Cleo Laine. 

Gary Crosby OBE is a leading jazz double bassist and one of the founders of the original Jazz Warriors which became a showcase for some excellent black British musicians in the 1980s, many of whom like Courtney Pine, Steve Williamson and Cleveland Watkiss have gone on to become internationally famous and push the boundaries of jazz music. He is also the leader of several bands such as Gary Crosby’s Nu Troop, Gary Crosby Trio, Guava, Gary Crosby’s Groundation,  Jazz Jamaica and Jazz Jamaica All Stars. As well as performing, Gary Gary Crosby fellowshipCrosby, together with his partner Janine Irons MBE FRSA founded Tomorrows's Warriors in 1991 which was designed to encourage and mentor young musicians struggling to enter the music industry, particularly young women, those with an Afro-Caribbean heritage and anyone whose financial circumstances might preclude them from developing their talent. Jam sessions started at the Jazz Café in Camden before moving to the Spice of Life pub in London's Soho but it was probably another move to rehearsal space in London's South Bank that really opened up opportunities for younger musicians.

Gary Crosby's record in music is outstanding, in 2002 he was awarded the BBC Radio 3 Jazz Award for Best Band for his 20-piece big band, Jazz Jamaica All Stars; in 2006 he won the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Award for Best Ensemble and in 2007 he received the BBC Radio Jazz Award for Services to Jazz.  In 2012 he received the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Award for Education; in 2017 a BASCA with a Gold Badge Award and in 2018 he received the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Special Award for his Outstanding Contribution to Jazz in the UK.

However while his own awards are impressive the real testament to the impact Gary has had on the British jazz scene are the achievements of the Tomorrow's Warriors alumni. Since 2010 the MOBO best jazz act has been won by a Tomorrow's Warrior five times out of eight while at the 2018 Jazz FM awards Tomorrow's Warriors won five awards. With Gary's help, young British jazz musicians have been headlining festivals in the UK and abroad, undertaking world-wide tours and starring at the London Jazz Festival.  Celebrated DJ and record producer Gilles Peterson recently declared “Can’t overstate the impact Tomorrow’s Warriors has had on the current music scene in London” and a recent article in the Guardian (8 April 2018) was titled "The British jazz explosion: meet the musicians rewriting the rule book" which highlighted seven young jazz musicians, five of whom are Tomorrow's Warriors.


Gary Crosby with Tomorrow's Warriors

Gary Crosby with Tomorrow's Warriors at the Southbank Centre.


A reception was held at the Royal Festival Hall on 16th December to celebrate the award of Honorary Fellow of Trinity Laban to Gary Crosby that was attended by friends, family and colleagues and in particular many Tomorrow's Warriors from past and present. There were speeches from Gabrielle Carberry, a young bassist who described the wonderful environment that Tomorrow's Warriors provides for learning and playing jazz and emphasised the family nature of the organisation; Moses Boyd who described the earlier days when sessions were held at the Spice of Life, he expressed his gratitude for the training and direction that he received as a young man growing up in London and the opportunities that presented themselves through his membership of Tomorrow's Warriors and Delmelza Hauser, a mother of a young, jazz crazy, musician, too young to go to gigs but who finds the inspiration he needs through the Tomorrow's Warriors development programme.

Click here for a video of Abram Wilson with the Teenie Warriors playing Saturday C Blues.

Janine Irons, Gary Crosby's partner and co-founder of Tomorrow's Warriors, in winding up the proceedings described the very difficult financial situation that they find themselves in.  One of the cornerstones of the training and education provided by Tomorrow's Warriors is that it has always been completely free so as to enable anyone from any background to take advantage of the inspirational development programmes and creative performance opportunities.  Unfortunately, even though Tomorrow's Warriors are a National Portfolio Organisation of Arts Council England other sources of funding have been lost and so a major fund-raising initiative is underway with the goal of raising £100,000. Gary himself has emphasised the importance of free music education which is disappearing from state schools and making the arts accessible only to those privileged enough to be able to afford a good music education.

Click here for a video of Gary talking about the need for support for the programme and how to donate.

After the reception the Queen Elizabeth Hall played host to a Tomorrow's Warriors Winter Showcase where the latest crop of young jazz musicians strutted their stuff to an enthusiastic audience. Anyone interested in Gary Crosby and Tomorrow's Warriors can find further information here and here for Tomorrow's Warriors.





Directory of Alternative Musical Definitions


singing spider



A Singing Spider


Click here for more Alternative Definitions.




HMV Calls In Administrators

The world famous music and film retailer HMV called in the administrators in December. Despite the company apparently accounting for more than a third of all physical music sales in the UK, trading has been weak. It is reported that HMV's 125 stores will remain open while talks with suppliers and potential buyers continue. Alex Neill from the consumer group Which? suggests that anyone with HMV vouchers should spend them as soon as possible. The retailer also owns the nine-store chain Fopp.

Paul McGowan, the executive chairman of HMV, said: '...... HMV has clearly not been insulated from the general malaise of the UK high street and has suffered the same challenges with business rates ...... Business rates alone represent an annual cost to HMV in excess of £15m'. The Guardian newspaper wrote: 'HMV's troubles are a sign of the problem facing entertainment retailers, with competition ranging from online specialists to streaming sites such as Netflix and Spotify....' Kim Bayley, the chief executive of the Entertainment Retailers HMV logoAssociation, said: 'The fact is the physical entertainment market is still worth up to £2bn a year so there is plenty of business there'.

The first HMV shop was opened in Oxford Street in 1921. Its initials stand for 'His Master's Voice', the title of a painting by Francis Barraud of a jack russel dog, Nipper, listening to a cylinder phonograph, it was later updated to a wind-up gramophone. Over the years HMV was also a record label that featured many jazz musicians including Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald, but in 1967 it changed to a 'classical only' label.

Originally part of the Gramophone Company, HMV has had various owners since 1921 including EMI, and at one stage the company acquired the booksellers Dillons and Waterstones, but sales slumped and in 2003 it called in the administrators for the first time. The American firm Hilco became involved and kept around 141 stores on the market. Recent observations in radio reports hope that another company might step in and keep some stores open, but that with online competition, this is uncertain.

How far the struggles of HMV reflect on the way jazz musicians record and market their music on CDs remains to be seen, but the loss of a major outlet does not help.





Poetry and Jazz

Shai Maestro : The Dream Thief
Jazz With A Message

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].


Shai Maestro


Can jazz (or any other piece of music for that matter) convey a message? It can certainly convey emotion – joy, sadness, anger – but can it carry anything more cerebral; a political or religious message, for example? The answer is yes, to an extent. If the music is accompanying a song, then the words can certainly be made to transmit any amount of different messages. A piece like Strange Fruit, for example, is a brilliant amalgam of words, metaphor and music which produces one of the most searing indictments of racism you’re ever likely to hear:

Southern trees bear strange fruit,
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root…

Click here for the incomparable Billie Holiday version.

Titles of musical pieces can also convey messages. For instance, it’s pretty clear what Max Roach was trying to say in his Freedom Now Suite, or Sonny Rollins in his similarly titled Freedom Suite. The big British jazz act of 2018, Sons of Kemet, called their Mercury Prize nominated album, Your Queen Is a Reptile. Now, I’m pretty sure that they don’t really believe our queen is a reptile but the titles of each of the tracks imagines a black woman as a sort of alternative queen. Click here for the band playing My Queen is Harriet Tubman live at the Mercury Prize giving ceremony earlier this year.

Perhaps, then, a piece of music cannot really carry a message on its own. It needs some sort of context: song words, titles, explanatory Barack Obamanotes.

These musings have been provoked by a new ECM album called The Dream Thief by the Israeli-American pianist, Shai Maestro. He is joined on the album by Jorge Roeder on bass and Ofri Nehemya on drums. The standout track is called What Else Needs To Happen and its message is about the horror of the school shootings in America and the need for gun control. That message is brilliantly conveyed through recorded excerpts from speeches by Barak Obama when he was president. In the excerpts, Obama is calling for greater gun control with both reason and a suppressed but genuine anger. It sounds at times like he is improvising his words. Obama had a rather untypical upbringing for an Afro-American but he can still call on the oratorical skills of black preachers and politicians – and the improvisational skills of a jazz musician. The way he talks is the way a jazz musician might phrase and structure a solo. Maestro’s music skillfully blends in with Obama’s words resulting in a most haunting piece which is both sombre but hopeful at the same time. It’s no use jazz seeking to convey a message if the music is no good but Maestro’s compositional skills are spot on here.


Click here for the video of What Else Needs to Happen. Incidentally, the use of images in the video is yet another way in which contemporary jazz musicians can get a message across.


Sandy Hook, Connecticut shooting image



Maestro’s inspiration for the piece was personal:

“An acquaintance of mine, the saxophonist Jimmy Greene, lost his little daughter in the massacre at Sandy Hook, Connecticut. These school shootings in America have become so common, almost ‘normal’ – it’s surreal, insane. When I realised what happened for Jimmy and the rest of those parents, it felt so close – it was heartbreaking.”

Shai Maestro was born in Israel in 1987. He started playing classical piano at the age of 5 but gravitated towards jazz, winning various prizes and also scholarships to study in America. He has settled there, living in Brooklyn, and has dual Israeli and American citizenship. He first came to prominence playing with fellow Israeli, Avishai Cohen. In 2010, he formed his own trio which released four albums. In 2018, he signed with the mighty ECM, and The Dream Thief is his debut album for the label as leader.




As well as Avishai Cohen, Maestro has also collaborated with some of the other big names in contemporary jazz. For example, click here for him duetting with Chris Potter on All The Things You Are.
Maestro’s style on The Dream Thief is quiet and reflective. He knows almost instinctively when to let the spaces between the notes do their stuff but he can also pile on the notes when required, displaying an absolute mastery of his instrument. There is a touch of Keith Jarrett in his Shai Maestro The Dream Thiefplaying down to, and including, Jarrett’s trademark grunts and shouts.

In addition to What Else Needs To Happen, there are eight other tracks on the album, most of them Maestro’s own compositions. He writes some great tunes, from the almost 'poppy' Lifeline, through the classical vibe of Choral, to the out-and-out jazz of New River, New Water.

Click here for the “official video” from ECM with shots of the trio playing and recording the title track The Dream Thief:

I come back though to What Else Needs To Happen, the last track on the album. I’ve been playing this quite a bit over the last few weeks and each listen opens up more to enjoy and savour. It really is an original piece of the highest quality. It does, however, raise the question as to the purpose of this sort of “message jazz”. It’s difficult to escape the conclusion that these are more personal statements of identity and belief rather than serious attempts to persuade others. The last word here belongs to Shai Maestro who picks up on this and says:

“I understand that in jazz a piece like this I could be ‘preaching to the choir’, but What Else Needs To Happen is about being open to the moment in another way. I think performing artists, because we have a stage, have a responsibility to speak about the world we live in today. Maybe the combination of Obama’s words and the music will help people hear and feel the emotional reality a bit more. It is, for me, at least some measure of resistance to that horrible new ‘normal’.'

The Dream Thief is widely available, including on Amazon (click here). There is also information about the album on the ECM website (click here) and finally, you can find out more about Shai Maestro on his website (click here).




Jazz Voices

Luca Manning


Luca Manning


Luca Manning is a young jazz vocalist from Glasgow, Scotland. In 2018, he was voted ‘Rising Star’ at the Scottish Jazz Awards and was also nominated in the ‘Best Vocalist’ category. Now resident in London, Luca is in his second year at the Guildhall School of Music on the BMus (hons) Jazz degree course and has already played major London venues such as Pizza Express Jazz Club and Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club in Soho leading his own ensembles. He has also become a vocal chair holder with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra since January 2018. Listen to him and you can see why.

There are a number of videos by Luca on YouTube, but I have chosen his version of I Should Care, sung here with Alan Benzie at the piano - click here.

Click here for Luca's website.






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].


Jimmy Thomson


Jimmy Thomson


Jimmy Thomson
(Photograph courtesy of City Life Dundee)


Jimmy Hall Thomson is one of the UK’s most able caricaturists. His work over the years has captured the essence of many musicians. Born in Dundee, Scotland in 1937, Jimmy started work in 1954 working as a cartoonist with local Meadowside publishers D C Thomson (no relation). Their art department at the time had some top comic and boys-paper artists, creating British comic magazines. The newspaper, magazine and comics company now also has offices in Aberdeen, Glasgow and London’s Fleet Street. Jimmy was also studying life Jimmy Thomson with Melody Makerdrawing, fashion drawing and sculpture under Alberto Morrocco at Dundee College of Art.

He went on to work for the Scottish Daily Mail in Edinburgh and then back to Dundee to work at Valentine's studio, where he stayed for the next twenty-four years designing and scripting humorous greetings cards. Jimmy also secured work with the Melody Maker, the first ever newspaper devoted to popular music and jazz. In the early 1970s Melody Maker was selling a quarter of a million copies a week. It had a reputation for its excellent photographs, well-written articles and its humour – including Jimmy Thomson’s unique caricatures – he drew musicians from every genre, jazz, pop, folk, everyone who was famous in the world of popular music.


Jimmy and Irving Miskell-Reid of Freedom Hair with one of Jimmy’s Melody Maker covers at the 2014 exhibition


Jimmy has a particular interest in jazz – he plays clarinet, and recalls that he bought one of his clarinets from Billy Amstell - and through his work over the years he has made strong contacts with many jazz musicians and people in the jazz world. Jimmy says: 'My first sitting in was with Dave Carey in London, while with Ken Gallacher, who then told this to Acker Bilk in Dundee, 1959, leading to me duetting with him on Trouble In Mind. Acker never forgot me.' A long-time friend of American clarinettist Pee Wee Russell, who was also an artist, Jimmy went on to be commissioned to draw many jazz musicians including Wild Bill Davison, George Melly, Bill Evans, Eubie Blake, and many more.


In 2014, there was an exhibition of Jimmy’s work at Freedom Hair Exhibitions in Dundee who have been promoting the work of local artists since 2012.


Dave Brubeck by Jimmy Thomson

© Dave Brubeck by Jimmy Thomson


I caught up with Jimmy for a Tea Break ...


Hello Jimmy. Good to see you - tea or coffee?

Good morning, Ian - coffee please - extra hot latte!


Milk and sugar?

Oh, sweeteners please.


I sometimes wonder, when you first meet someone, whether you look at them and think of their face as a caricature? Are there particular features a caricaturist looks for – the nose, the ears .......?

I always saw the faces a whole, with perhaps, a nip and tuck here and there, but, I've always been amazed at the variations of the human ear, that important Jazz recepticle!


Gillott 290 nib




What made you start drawing caricatures rather than other types of drawing and painting?

From an early age I liked drawing funny faces and often obsessed with large noses. I did do life drawing, fashion drawing and clay modelling at college, but it was in D. C. Thomson's art department that I was introduced to the amazing Gillott 290 nib whose flexibility eventually enhanced my work.


Joseph Gillott Pointed Dip Pen Nib 290. A needle-point drawing nib for drawing and copperplate writing and sometimes call a 'Litographic nib'.





George Melly by Jimmy Thomson


Hmm, my nose is quite large. Better change the subject! You obviously have an interest in jazz – can you remember the first jazz you heard?

Yes, my uncle Bill had a band in Milnathort (Bill Thomson's Hot Shots) and so, through my Dad I got to hear Jazz on radio, and through old 78s of Louis, Don Redman, Muggsy Spanier, Duke, of course - and Humph. (Uncle Bill wrote a discography of Red Nichols recordings, an avid fan, I had his collection of 78s for some time).


George Melly © Jimmy Thomson



Sorry – I should have offered you a biscuit – I have chocolate digestives, Garibaldis, Hob Nobs – or I think a have a few mince pies left over after Christmas?

Now - Bill Wyman loves Hob Nobs. I'd rather have a chocolate twist.





Did you meet or hear back from any of the jazz musicians you caricatured?

Yes, well, George Melly, Bruce Turner, Humph, Acker - I sat in with him in 1959 and he never forgot me. A nice guy. By the way you should see my autograph book! I have Kathy Stobart when she was seventeen with Vic Lewis and many years later when with Humph.


Jimmy with Acker Bilk

Jimmy playing with Acker Bilk at Dundee Palais De Danse in 1959


[Click here for a video of Acker Bilk and his Paramount Jazz band playing In A Persian Market Place in Prague in 1964]



What did they think of their pictures?

Some subjects did appreciate my versions of them - George Melly, for example, although he said it veered towards flattery! Tony Bennett asked for the original; Cheech and Chong were very keen to have the Melody Maker drawing, and got it, however Matt Monro's wife wasn't too pleased with my rendition of Matt. On the whole though, the drawings have been mostly well received, including by the Beatles and the Stones - and many others.


That sounds just like George! Are there any people you would like to have drawn?

Well, I wish I could have contributed more jazzers.  As it is, my files still bulge with  faces. So many became lost in the huge tide of performers of the '60s and '70s when I was a contributor to Melody Maker between 1964 and 1968. I wonder whatever happened to Jobriath?



I have never heard of Jobriath, but there is an interesting video of a trailer about him called 'Glam Rock's Lost God' (click here) - I must do a little more research I think .....




Pee Wee Russell by Jimmy Thomson



You were a friend of clarinettist Pee Wee Russell for many years – how did you meet him and what was he like?

I knew Doug Dobell of Dobell’s Record Shop quite well and I used to draw Christmas cards for him and then I met Jeff Atterton at Doug's shop in Charing Cross Road. Jeff was the Jazz specialist at the Sam Goody Store on West 459th Street in Manhattan, and he introduced me to Pee Wee through one of my caricatures. That resulted in ten years of correspondence with Pee Wee. Pee Wee was also a painter - I have said before that I always thought there was a hint of a ‘red indian’ blanket about his work. Pee Wee was not forward but conversational when you talked to him. His wife, Mary, described him as 'irascible'. One example is a time when apparenly at Manchester Sports Guild, sitting in the lounge, Ken Gallacher, then sports writer on Daily Record, asked about the Summa Cum Laude orchestra -"could have been good - conflict of personalities". Athough I didn't have much chat with him, I got the impression that he could be quite reserved.

Pee Wee Russell © Jimmy Thomson




[Click here to listen to Pee Wee Russell with Red Nichols playing Feelin' No Pain in 1927]



Do you have a favourite recording by Pee Wee? I have always loved his playing on the Red Nichols recording of ‘Feelin’ No Pain’.

Too many brilliant Pee Wee solos! There's a beauty on Someday Sweetheart with Bud Freeman and Brad Gowans but oh! a most tender rendering on These Foolish Things with Ruby Braff at Newport. Then there's Down Among the Sheltering Palms with a Condon group, Sterling Bose et al ...


[Click here to listen to Pee Wee Russell with Ruby Braff playing These Foolish Things at Newport]





Wild Bill Davison



While we are speaking of favourites, do you have a favourite from among all your caricatures?

Pee Wee certainly, but a great variety of physiogs - Jimi Hendrix, Wild Bill, John McLaughlin, Bud, Woody Allen, and Duke, of course (what a remarkable head - I met him face to face with Ken Gallagher in Glasgow.


Wild Bill Davison © Jimmy Thomson




So, if you could ask any painter, alive or past, to make a drawing of you, who would it be?

Toulouse Lautrec! A wee man, like me!


Another coffee – or perhaps a piece of Dundee cake?

Dundee Cake? Heavy man! I'll nibble a Digestive. You're so hospitable, Ian. It's been a pleasure. Dundee Cake? Hate the stuff!

Jimmy Thomson


[Jimmy walks off, carrying his 81¾ years with youthful aplomb!]


[Click here for our Profile page for Jimmy Thomson]



Utah Tea Pot




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


Willie ' the Lion' Smith

Willie The Lion Smith


William Henry Joseph Bonaparte Bertholoff was born in Goshen, New York. His mother and grandmother chose the names to reflect the different parts of his heritage: Joseph after Saint Joseph (Bible), Bonaparte (French), Bertholoff (biological father's last name), Smith (added when he was three, his stepfather's name), and William and Henry which were added for "spiritual balance".

In his memoir he reports that his father, Frank Bertholoff, was Jewish. Willie was at least somewhat conversant in Yiddish, as he demonstrated in a television interview late in his life. Willie's mother, Ida Oliver, had "Spanish, Negro, and Mohawk Indian blood". ... Marshall and Wendell pianoAccording to Ida, "Frank Bertholoff was a light-skinned playboy who loved his liquor, girls, and gambling." His mother threw Frank out of the house when "The Lion" was two years old.

When Willie was about six, he went downstairs to the basement of his Academy Street home and found the organ his mother used to play. It was not in good shape, and nearly half of the keys were missing. After his mother discovered his interest in the instrument, she taught him the melodies she knew.

Willie had wanted a new piano very badly, but every time he thought his mother was able to afford it, there was a new mouth to feed. Willie got a job at Hauseman's Footwear store shining shoes and running errands, where he was paid five dollars a week. "Old Man" Hauseman paid that much because he liked the fact that Willie could speak Hebrew and also because Willie wanted to buy a piano with the money.

As it turned out, Marshall & Wendell's was holding a contest: the object was to guess how many dots there were in a printed circle in their newspaper advertisement. Willie used arithmetic to help guess the number, and the upright piano was delivered the next day. From that day forth, he sat down at the piano and played. (Wikipedia)


Click here for a video of Willie 'The Lion' Smith playing Perdido with Duke Ellington and Billy Taylor on the David Frost Show in the 1960s.

Willie The Lion Smith with Duke Ellington and Billy taylor




Jazz As Art

Miles Davis

Someday My Prince Will Come



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


Miles Davis Someday My Prince Will Come


Someday My Prince Will Come, written by Frank Churchill and Larry Morey for the 1937 Disney film Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs, is the title track for Miles Davis' seventh studio album for Columbia Records. It was released in 1961 and it was the only Miles Davis Quintet studio recording session to feature saxophonist Hank Mobley. It was a time of personnel changes for Miles' band and the album reflects some of these. The personnel for the album as a whole is: Miles Davis (trumpet); John Coltrane (tenor saxophone on Someday My Prince Will Come and Teo); Hank Mobley (tenor saxophone on all tracks except Teo); Wynton Kelly (piano); Paul Chambers (bass); Jimmy Cobb (drums on all tracks except Blues No. 2); Philly Jo Jones (drums on Blues No. 2).

In Wikipedia we read: 'In a contemporary review for Down Beat, Ira Gitler praised Coltrane's solo on the title track while finding Kelly equally exceptional as both a soloist and comping musician. "His single-lines are simultaneously hard and soft. Cobb and Chambers groove perfectly together and with Kelly", Gitler wrote. "The rhythm section, individually and as a whole, is very well-recorded." The magazine's Howard Mandel later viewed Someday My Prince Will Come as "a commercial realization rather than an artistic exploration" but nonetheless "lovely", highlighted by each musician's careful attention to notes and dynamics, and among Davis' most "romantic, bluesy and intentionally seductive programs".

Play the tune and scroll slowly down through the pictures I have chosen to go with the music (I think this only works if you spend time with each painting). See what you think.


Click here for Someday My Prince Will Come on the Jazz as Art page.


Millais painting




Lens America


David Ginyard

Bassist David Ginyard photographed by Clara Pereira from JazzTrail in New York.


Bassist David Ginyard was playing with Aaron Parks' band Little Big for their album release launch at Le Poisson Rouge in New York City on December 19th. Click here for details and samples of the album.

Filipe Freitas from JazzTrail writes:

'...... pianist/keyboardist Aaron Parks led his rock-infused quartet Little Big to (Le) Poisson Rouge in New York, presenting some of the originals he wrote for the band’s eponymous album released in October on the Ropeadope imprint. With him, on the bandstand, were Greg Tuohey on guitar, David Ginyard on electric bass, and Tommy Crane on drums..... The Little Big CD release show offered some feel-good vibes and contagious pop/rock spaciousness, especially in its extremities ..... The concert was marked by occasional moments of inspiration, but sometimes too cerebral, even a bit automated, to make me totally connected. However, it revealed Parks and Crane in excellent form, and the audience seemed satisfied with what they were hearing’. (click here for the full review of the gig).

Click here for David Ginyard with Aaron Parks' Little Big band playing a live version of the track Kid.






Gennett Records Documentary

Music Makers of gennett

Mike Rose at the National Jazz Archive recommends this two-hour video documentary about Gennett Records. During the early 20th century, one tiny recording studio in Richmond, Indiana, had a big impact on the soundtrack of the Jazz Age. The Music Makers of Gennett Records tell the unlikely story of the Gennett Recording Studios, where many of the greatest artists in American jazz, blues, country, and gospel music first recorded. Mike says: 'I’ve just finished watching a brand new documentary released today on the story of the Starr piano company and Gennett records. This free-to-view copy does contain advertising for the TV company etc. but it’s easy to skip through. The first major section features the jazz recordings, the latter part, their blues and country output.

Click here to watch the video.



Do You Have A Birthday In January?


Your Horoscope

for January Birthdays

by 'Marable'




Capricorn (The Goat)

21st December - 19th January

As I noted last month, you begin this year with the planetary power mostly in the Eastern sector of your chart signalling a continuing period of personal independence. It is a time to focus on your interests and personal situation and to spend a little time looking at how you can take the year forward for yourself - your health and wellbeing, your career and other aspects of your life that have been concerning you.

The month is not without a couple of complications. There are two eclipses ahead - a solar eclipse on the 6th affects you most, as it occurs in your sign but it also impacts on Saturn, the ruler of your Horoscope. Try to take a relaxed, stress-free approach over this period.

The lunar eclipse on the 21st occurs in your 8th house and suggests that you might want to think about changing course, or possibly a need to make adjustments as a result of someone else changing course.

But basically the month is prosperous and on the 20th the Sun enters your money house, and your underlying confidence should cause you to look for the positives in situations that occur or changes that you plan to make.

For you, click here for video of Michelle Lordi singing Look For The Silver Lining at the Mezzrow Jazz Club in New York City in 2018 with Michael Kanan (piano), John Besay (tenor sax) and Ben Wolfe (bass).


Michelle Lordi Look For The Silver Lining






Aquarius (The Water Bearer)

20th January - 18th February


Spirituality has been important for some years now, after all, your 12th house has been strong since 2008. Last year the 12th house got even stronger and this year it gets stronger still. It is a year for inner growth. Jupiter spends most of the year in your 11th house of friends; it shows an active social life with new friends coming into the picture.

As with Capricorn, the Eastern sector of your chart is unusually strong with all the planets in the East, the sector of self. The only exception is the Moon, which will be in the Western, social half from the 15th to the 26th. You might be the one who has to take the initiative during this time.

Again, as with Capricorn, there are two eclipses this month. The solar eclipse on the 6th in your 12th house, impacting on the ruler of that house, Saturn. This might also impact on the spiritual situation in that house so you could find some of your ideas tested, flaws revealed in your thinking, and an opportunity to make adjustments.

The lunar eclipse comes on the 21st. The Moon, remember, is your health and work planet. So take time to care of your health - think about your diet and health regime. There might also be changes afoot for your career or work schedule, and as I said earlier, think about whether you should be the one to take the initiative when opportunities present themselves.

For you, click here for a video of Stan Getz and Chet Baker with Just Friends in 1983.


Stan Getz and Chet Baker Just Friends







Two Ears Three Eyes

Photographer Brian O'Connor took his camera to gigs recently. Here are some of his images:


Helena Kay's KIM Trio

Brian went to hear Helena Kay's KIM Trio at The Verdict in Brighton on Friday, 15th December.


Helena Kay

Helena Kay



Dave Ingamells



Brian writes: ‘Brighton!  A force 10 gale, rain and wind-lashed, £31 to park the car; I do love Brighton! Thank goodness the KIM Trio gig was excellent. Lovely melodic playing of standards and own compositions, many from Helena Kay’s debut album ‘Moon Palace’.

Dennis Anguige adds: ‘An enthusiastic audience saw Helena Kay and her KIM trio deliver a delightful set of both original material and some standards played with equal measures of passion, precision ensemble playing and thoughtful improvisations. Standards from the likes of John Coltrane and Billy Strayhorn were interspersed with original material influenced by pianist and composer Carla Bley along with nods to her time living in Muswell Hill and time spent in New York. The concert was part of a short tour to promote her new album Moon Palace (Ubuntu Music) from which the standout piece was the evocative Strawberry Terrace, a former address during her time in London. The trio was completed by bassist Ferg Ireland and drummer David Ingamells'.


David Ingamells


(Click here to listen to Helena's KIM Trio playing Perry Street (one of my favourite tracks from Moon Palace - Ed.)


The Trio finish their tour on 9th January 2019 at The Lescar, Sheffield






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





Poetry and Jazz

Elina Duni


by Howard Lawes


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


Elina Duni


Although born in Albania and achieving fame there as a child singer, Elina Duni has spent most of her life as a singer and musician outside her home country.  The country she was born in, the Peoples' Socialist Republic of Albania, has had an unsettled history. From 1944 until his death in 1985, the head of state was Enver Hoxha, known for his application of Marxist-Leninist ideology and imposed atheism.  Although prior to the 2nd World War Albania had a king called Zog, the country became increasingly under Italian control when it was led by the fascist Albania mapdictator Mussolini. In 1939, Italy invaded Albania only to be replaced by German and then communist forces, resulting in Albania becoming one of many eastern European countries effectively under Russian control. Then, in the 1960s, Albania allied itself with the Peoples' Republic of China.  After all the misery and upheaval of war time and the subsequent cold war, Albania became more stable under its communist government; the population enjoyed increasing prosperity and literacy, but ethnic conflict continued in the Balkan region for many years involving the states of former Yugoslavia that border Albania and millions of people were affected as casualties or were displaced from their homes. Elina Duni's new album, is entitled Partir (Departure).


Click here for an introductory video for Partir.



Elina Duni has happy memories of her childhood in Albania. She enjoyed fame as a young singer and left her home country at a time when the communist regime had been replaced with a democratic government and travel restrictions had been lifted, allowing her recently divorced mother to take Elina to Switzerland.  But the departure from Albania affected Elina deeply and it took her a long time to regain her love of music and singing; but in doing so, she encountered jazz and blues and like so many was captivated by the singing of Billie Holiday and the playing of American jazz musicians such as Miles Davis and his hugely influential Kind Of Blue album. 

Elina studied music and languages in Switzerland and then took a break from studying. In 2000 she began a career of writing music and performing. She also appeared in a play in Albania directed by her father Spiro Duni.  In 2004, Elina embarked on a university course at the Hochschule der Kunste in Bern studying voice and jazz composition, and during this time she formed a quartet with Colin Vallon on piano, AkshamPatrice Moret on double bass and Norbert Pfammatter on drums. Their music included Balkan folk songs and jazz and in showcasing music from her homeland Elina, won the first of several prizes for her music and composition.

On completing her studies the Elina Duni Quartet released the first of four albums, the last two Matanë Malit (Beyond the Mountain) and Dallëndyshe (Swallow) released through ECM records. 


Click here for a video of the Quartet in 2010 with the beautiful Ka nje mot e gjysem viti [It's Been A Year And A Half (since we fell in love)]

In 2014, Elina released her first album as a singer-songwriter in Kosovo and Albania, entitled Muza e Zezë (The Black Muse). Current projects are a duo with the highly acclaimed guitarist Rob Luft, a tribute to Billie Holiday with pianist Jean-Paul Brodbeck, and “Aksham”, a quintet featuring pianist Marc Perrenoud and trumpet player David Enhco.  



Click here for a video of Aksham playing XVII.

Partir (Departure) is her first solo album on ECM records accompanying herself on piano, acoustic guitar and percussion. Partir is, if nothing else, a linguistic tour de force with twelve songs sung in nine different languages; a booklet is available with English translations. It is of course a lot more than that and the common theme stated in the album notes is "We are all departing in one way or another, bound to be torn away from what we love.  All we are left with is the unknown ahead of us".  Co-incidentally, when describing his new album The Journey, guitarist Lionel Loueke also talks of "a musical journey where the point of departure is known but the destination is an enchanted mystery".  Both Elina Duni and Lionel Loueke having left their respective homelands retain an unbreakable bond to their birthplace and are using their music and song to highlight the plight of others who have Elina Duni Partirbecome separated from home, usually in desperate circumstances.

The first song on Partir, Amara Terra Mia, has a chorus "Goodbye, goodbye my love, I'm leaving, bitter land of mine, bitter and beautiful", a lament, and although sung in Italian, the passion and grief is very clear. Let Us Dive In is the only song sung in English, it is accompanied by some very nice piano but the line "We made it through 'til here" suggests a sad ending, while in Meu Amor (My Love) the sad ending is very explicit.


Click here for a video of Meu Amor.


Lamma Bada Yatathanna is sung in Arabic accompanied with percussion and Duni performs it with just the right inflection. The sad theme of the album is unremitting but Duni's voice is absolutely exquisite, particularly so in Kanga E Kurbetit (The Exile Song), a traditional song from Kosovo sung a capella while other traditional songs from Albania and Macedonia are performed as folk songs.  The last two songs on the album, Je Ne Sais Pas by Jaques Brel and the traditional Swiss song Shonster Aberstarn are perhaps indicative of the singer re-locating to western Europe and yet these are still songs about lost love and impossible dreams that make one sincerely hope that the singer will find happiness eventually.

Click here to listen to Je Ne Sai Pas.

The overwhelming theme of this album is one of sadness, lost love and leaving home, described in traditional songs and executed with an exceptionally beautiful voice.  There are similarities to the Portuguese style of singing known as 'fado' but the difference here is that Elina Duni sings in the traditional style of several different countries instead of just one. 

Perhaps this solo album is a one-off and future albums will be less melancholy, in particular Elina Duni's future co-operation with Rob Luft, previewed at Omnibus during the EFG London Jazz Festival should be one to savour.

Click here for a video of Elina and Rob with Serge Gainsbourg's Couleur Café.


Click here for details of the album Partir. Click here for Elina Duni's website.


Elina Duni







Uncle Bonny's Chinese Jazz Club

Elliot Jackson in Canada writes: 'I was just googling Uncle Bonny’s Chinese R ‘n B Club in Bristol and came across the poster on your website. It was way down the page under the heading of “Chinese” Jazz Clubs (click here). The poster was from 1965. I was born in Bristol and was a regular attender seeing such great bands. Hope this helps to fill in a gap and I look forward to seeing the updates in future'.

Uncle Bonny's Jazz Club poster




Jazz Novels

The Bear Comes Home


Eric Jackson adds another recommendation to the list of Jazz novels we have featured over the past two months (click here) - 'The Bear Comes Home' by Rafi Zabor (Vintage) that won the PEN Faulkner award.The bear performs in the street for his owner.

'The story of a sentient, talking jazz-playing bear and his adventures in the human world. What, in other hands, might have become a recipe for mawkishness and banality has been made by Rafi Zabor into an enchanting and quirky novel that is at times moving, hilarious, and informative. Follow that bear as he escapes from the bondage of literally playing dumb animal and attempts to succeed in the world of ordinary humans (and jazz musicians) and works out his relationship with his fomer 'owner'. (Amazon reviewer *****). Another review by Andy Summere: 'Great book probably the best I have ever rear about what it feels like to be a musician, poignant, humorous and right on. The spiritual odyssey of Paul Zabor's deeply human sax-playing bear provides an exhilarating read'.





Information Request

Tony Freer in Canada writes: I was sent some information related to two jazz bands that I have never heard of and wondered if you or your readers can help? They are The Brent Valley Jazz Band and High Society Jazzmen. Finally, would anyone have any photographs of these bands or any of Dickie Bishop and the Sidekicks, other than those on the internet? Tony's email address is antfreer[at]



Women In Jazz Exhibition

Mike Whitfield visited the National Jazz Archive's Women In Jazz exhibition at The Barbican in December and the information there raised a number of interesting questions for him: 'One of the most interesting exhibits was another series of video clips, entitled The Girls In TheSherrie Maricle's Diva Orchestra Band. The one about the 1940s 'Girl Bands' was interesting but not exactly new - the girls were marketed on appearance not musical ability - and when the guys came back from the Services, that was it - back to the kitchen, girls! In fact Dr Samuel Johnson's remark on women preachers sums up the general view of women in jazz - " a woman's preaching is like a dog's walking on his hind legs. It is not done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all." I would like to have had insight into WHY this was so. Why did jazz have a macho atmosphere? Was it to do with its origins in brothels, etc? Was it to do with the almost gladiatorial attitude of some musicians - 'cutting' contests' and that sort of extreme competitiveness? Another unanswered question (to me) is 'do female players approach the music differently? My ears suggest that they don't - Kathy Stobart could hold her own with the guys in Lyttelton's band. Maybe it's different in the 'all-women' bands like Sherrie Maricle's Diva Orchestra but I doubt it.' (click the picture for a video).



Steve Lane

Steve Lane




Derek Lane-Smith writes: 'I found some 2003 photos I took of Steve Lane.  You may care to add them to your database.  They are sad in that he had stopped performing, I think, even back then, but he seemed content and we got on well.  That was the year I discovered his dad’s Wheatstone concertina, that is now my prized possession'.

My thanks to Derek, I have added two of the pictures into our page on Steve Lane (click here).







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

Click here


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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.





BBM 2019 January New Year Music Industry Knowledge-Boosting Workshop

BBM logo


A reminder of this event in January:

Are you an aspiring musician? Do you want to work in the music industry? If you don't know your MU from your PPL, your PRS from your VPL, or your BPI from your AIM, if you want to know more about your options for developing a career and generating an income for yourself through your passion for music then this master-class could be for you!

This BBM workshop takes place on Saturday 19th January 2019, from 1.00 to 5.00 pm in Harrow.




Topics covered include:

  • Music Industry Ecosystem
  • Copyright
  • Contracts
  • Music Publishing
  • Record Label Management
  • Releasing A Record
  • Licensing
  • Trade Bodies & Collection Organisations
  • Income Streams
  • Online World

    Click here for full details and for booking arrangements.



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.

Alun Morgan


Alun Morgan - British jazz writer and critic. Alun Morgan became interested in jazz as a teenager during World War II, and Charlie Parker became a significant influence on him in the late 1940s. Morgan began to write on jazz from the early 1950s for Melody MakerJazz JournalJazz Monthly and Gramophone, and for 20 years from 1969 a weekly jazz column in a local Kent newspaper. Over his writing career he completed liner notes for over 2,500 albums and he contributed to music programmes for BBC Radio. He was author and co-author of books on jazz and lectured on the subject too. In later life he emigrated to Australia. (Click here for his obituary - subscription to the Daily Telegraph is needed for full article).





Nancy Wilson



Nancy Wilson - American vocalist who came to prominence in the 1950s and 1960s. She became one of the few African-Americans of her day to host a TV program, the Emmy-winning “Nancy Wilson Show,” on NBC. Nancy released more than 70 albums in a five-decade recording career. She won three Grammy Awards, one for best rhythm and blues recording for the 1964 album How Glad I Am, and two for best jazz vocal album, in 2005 and 2007. In 2004, she was honoured as a Jazz Master by the National Endowment for the Arts. Click here for a video of Nancy singing The Very Thought Of You in 1964.







David Mossman



David Mossman - London East End taxi driver who started up the famous Vortex Jazz Club in London's Dalston. Oliver Weindling, who currently runs the club says: '.. His only experience of jazz previously had been going to see some gigs in the 1950s. But he was a man with a sense of flair and intuition, who could take calculated risks in terms of what he did, which musicians played at the club and how it looked'. A book has been started at the club in which people having been writing their memories and thanks. (See the article further up this page for more information).





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.




Glasgow's Celtic Connections

Glasgow’s Celtic Connections festival of traditional and roots-derived music from across the world has a significant jazz element in its 2019 programme, which runs from Thursday 17th January to Sunday 3rd February in venues across the city.

Armenian pianist Tigran Hamasyan, with special guest, Norwegian trumpeter Arve Henriksen, Snarky Puppy offshoot, Bokante, pianist Zoe Rahman’s trio, Scottish saxophonist Paul Towndrow’s epic Deepening the River project and a new group, LoLanders co-led by Dutch violist Fraser FifieldOene Van Geel, of the Nordanians swing jazz/world music trio, and Scottish saxophonist-piper Fraser Fifield, all appear in the festival.


Fraser Fifield


LoLanders also includes Scottish guitarist Graeme Stephen, Indian percussionist Hardeep Deerhe, and Dutch bass guitar-percussion team Mark Haanstra and Udo Demandt and, as a bonus for jazz fans, the group’s debut performance at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on 22nd January will see young Scottish pianist Fergus McCreadie’s trio opening the concert. McCreadie appeared in the BBC Young Jazz Musician 2018 final broadcast on BBC Four at the end of November.

Celtic Connections also supports a programme of jazz at Glasgow’s recently opened jazz club, the Blue Arrow on the city’s renowned Sauchiehall Street featuring, amongst others, Belgian trumpeter Jean-Paul Estiévenart’s trio, Young Scottish Jazz Musician of the Year 2017, bassist David Bowden’s group Mezcla and guitarist Graeme Stephen’s group with Lau fiddler Aidan O’Rourke.

Full details are available at






Andy Hague - Coming Of Age
(Ooh-Err Records) - Released: November 2018

Andy Hague (trumpet/flugelhorn), Ben Waghorn (tenor sax), Jim Blomfield (piano), Chris Jones (double bass), Mark Whitlam (drums).

Andy Hague Coming Of Age



Over the past 25 years trumpeter and drummer Andy Hague has become well known in Bristol both as a performer and as organiser of weekly jazz venue, The Be-Bop Club. Besides his jazz activities he has played in many other settings, including albums by the band Portishead and for theatre, TV and film productions. In 2016 he appeared as part of Pee Wee Ellis and Fred Wesley's Back To Jazz Big Band at the Bristol Jazz and Blues Festival and at Ronnie Scott's Club. Andy is also a jazz educator having taught under the banner of Bristol Jazz Workshops for over a decade, tutoring on summer schools and acting as an external examiner for the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. With Andy on this album are musicians that he has worked with on many occasions: saxophonist Ben Waghorn is a long-term associate and pianist Jim Blomfield has long been part of Bristol's jazz scene. Bassist Chris Jones and drummer Mark Whitlam can also be found with their own project 'We Are Leif'.

Details and Samples : Click here for our Profile of Andy Hague :







Clark Tracey Quintet - No Doubt
(TenToTen Records) - Released: 28th September 2018

Alexandra Ridout (trumpet, flugelhorn); Sean Payne (alto sax); Elliott Samson (piano); James Owston (bass); Clark Tracey (drums).

Clark Tracey Quintet No Doubt


'Formed in January 2018, this group is the latest in a succession led by drummer Clark Tracey since the early '80s, which showcases emerging, young and exceptionally talented jazz musicians. 'No Doubt' marks Clark's 40th year in jazz as he turned professional in 1978 when he joined his father Stan Tracey CBE's band. Trumpeter Alex Ridout is already making heads turn, winning the BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year Award in 2016 when just 17 years old. 18 year old alto player Sean Payne was a finalist in the first of those awards when he was 14. Both musicians were heard by Clark at the Purcell School of Music some years ago and are currently studying at the Royal Academy of Music. On piano is Elliott Sansom, who recently graduated from Birmingham Conservatoire where Clark regularly teaches and he was also a finalist in the BBC jazz awards. Bassist James Owston is still studying at Birmingham where he is tutored by Arnie Somogyi and Mark Hodgson. Recorded in April of 2018, this recording, which is Clark's 15th under his own name, has two original tunes by the horn players and three tunes which allow the musicians to stretch out. In their first year, under Clark's guidance, the quintet have performed at a number of major venues including Ronnie Scott's Club and the Pizza Express, along with festivals such as Swanage and the South Coast Jazz Festival' (album notes). ' ......Clark himself encourages everyone and plays with taste, power and precision. I hope he'll keep this group and let it develop and grow. This CD has given me so much listening pleasure, it has ended up as my Record of the Year' (Tony Hall in Jazzwise ****).

Details : Listen to Pools :






The Scottish National Jazz Orchestra - Peter And The Wolf
(Spartacus Records) - Released: December 2018

Tommy Smith (conductor); Tam Dean Burn (narrator); Makoto Ozone (piano); Yvonne Robertson (flute); Martin Kershaw, Paul Towndrow, Konrad Wiszniewski, Bill Fleming (saxophones); James Davison, Sean Gibbs, Tom MacNiven, Lorne Cowieson (trumpets); Chris Greive, Liam Shortall, Michael Owers (trombones); Calum Gourlay (bass); Alyn Cosker (drums); text adapted by Liz Lochhead.

SNJO Peter And The Wolf




'Tommy Smith’s jazz version of Peter and the Wolf will remain true to Prokofiev’s premise that particular instruments are allocated to each character and the wonderful melodies will be lovingly preserved whilst actor Tam Dean Burn will narrate new text specially adapted by Liz Lochhead' (album notes).

Details : Available in January : Video Introduction :








Dave O'Higgins Trio with Max Ionata - Tenors Of Our Time
(Albore Jazz) - Released: 7th December 2018

Max Ionata, Dave O'Higgins (tenor sax); Ross Stanley (organ); Luca Santaniello (drums).

Dave O'Higgins Tenors Of Our Time



'Led by UK saxophonist, Dave O’Higgins, the idea came about when Dave performed at the 2018 Rochester Jazz Festival in New York with Italian drummer, Luca Santaniello. Doing a 2-tenor combo with the wonderful Max Ionata seemed like a perfect UK-Italian collaboration, and it was a sheer pleasure from the first note. The quartet was made up with UK virtuoso jazz organist, Ross Stanley. The session was 'live in the studio' and swinging hard: 5 originals by Dave, 2 by Max, a tricky blues theme by James Williams, a Dizzy Gillespie rhythm changes and an old Italian pop song!' (album notes).

Details and Samples : Video of You're Nicked :








Paula Rae Gibson and Kit Downes - Emotion Machine
(Slowfoot) - Released: 2nd November 2018

Paula Rae Gibson (vocals); Kit Downes (piano, cello)

Paula Rae Gibson Emotion Machine



'Emotion Machine is the first collaboration between Paula Rae Gibson, a prolific artist renowned for her photography, lyricism and ethereal vocal work, and highly acclaimed composer and pianist Kit Downes. Downes' minimal, abstract arrangements of sombre piano meditations and Arthur Russell-esque cello experimentation blend with Gibson's idiosyncratic vocals to create a sense of emotional urgency - a raw, distressing honesty is prevalent throughout the album. Drawing inspiration from Delta Blues, Icelandic Art Rock and Early Music, the sonic world created is both inviting and menacing, giving the perfect template for Gibson's lyrics of love, loss and the various fuels of the Emotion Machine (album notes). 'The sense of close integration between the idiosyncratic singer-songwriter Paul Rae Gibson and her new partner Kit Downes, on piano and cello, on her fifth CD is a fresh approach that works very well. Downes' intelligent, resonant semi-abstract sonic sculptures ... curl invitingly around the singer's naked personal lyrics and half-spoken, ethereal goth-ish vocals (Selwyn Harris in Jazzwise ***)

Details and Samples : Listen to Tell Me Why :





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



Cécile McLorin Salvant - The Window
(Mack Avenue) - Released: 28th September 2018

Cécile McLorin Salvant (vocals); Sullivan Fortner (piano, organ); Melissa Aldana (tenor sax).

Cecile McLorin Salvant The Window


'The Window, an album of duets between Cécile McLorin Salvant and pianist Sullivan Fortner, explores and extends the tradition of the piano-vocal duo and its expressive possibilities. With just Fortner's deft accompaniment to support McLorin Salvant, the two are free to improvise and rhapsodize, to play freely with time, harmony, melody and phrasing. The world first learned of the incredible vocal artistry of Cécile McLorin Salvant when she won the prestigious 2010 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition. In just under the span of a decade she has evolved from a darling of jazz critics and fans, to a multi-GRAMMY® Award winner and a prescient, fearless voice in music today. Thematically, 'The Window' is a meditative cycle of songs about the mercurial nature of love. The duo explores the theme across a wide repertory that includes Richard Rodgers and Stephen Sondheim, the inner-visionary Stevie Wonder, gems of French cabaret, and early Rhythm and Blues, alongside McLorin Salvant's brilliant, original compositions. Just as a window frames a view - revealing as much as it hides, connecting as much as it separates - each song on the album offers a shifting and discerning perspective on love's emotional complexity. McLorin Salvant sings of anticipation and joy, obsession and madness, torment and longing, tactics and coyness. 'The Window' traverses love's wide universe, from the pleasure of a lover's touch with its feelings of human communion, to the invisible masks we wear to hide from others and from ourselves. Touched at every moment by McLorin Salvant's brilliance, The Window is a dazzling new release from an artist who is surely, to quote Duke Ellington, "beyond category." (album notes). 'A mix of studio and live tracks, the latter recorded at the Village Vanguard ... few recordings this year (2018) have been as unfailingly engaging, uplifting and accomplished as The Window (Peter Quinn in Jazzwise ****).

Details and Samples : Review by Chris Mosey (allaboutjazz) ; Listen to Somewhere from the album :






Paul Simon - In The Blue Light
(Sony Music/Legacy) - Released: 7th September 2018

Paul Simon (vocals, guitar, percussion); with various personnel including Bill Frisell (guitar); Sullivan Fortner (piano, celeste); John Paitiucci (bass); Jack DeJohnette, Steve Gadd (drums).

Paul Simon In The Blue Light


'In The Blue Light is legendary songwriter, recording artist and performer Paul Simon‘s 14th studio album.  Produced by Simon and Roy Halee, who have worked together since the 1960s, the album features a talented cast of musicians who have joined Simon to lend fresh perspectives on 10 of the artist's favorite (though perhaps less-familiar) songs, drawn from his unparalleled body of work. Revisiting his repertoire, Paul Simon has selected songs originally appearing on There Goes Rhymin' Simon (1973),  Still Crazy After All These Years (1975), One-Trick Pony (1980), Hearts and Bones (1983), The Rhythm of The Saints (1990), You're The One (2000) and So Beautiful Or So What (2011), refreshing and transforming the compositions through new arrangements and collaborations. Among the many musicians joining him on ‘In The Blue Light’ are jazz icons trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, guitarist Bill Frisell, and drummers Jack DeJohnette and Steve Gadd. “This album consists of songs that I thought were almost right, or were odd enough to be overlooked the first time around. Re-doing arrangements, harmonic structures, and lyrics that didn’t make their meaning clear, gave me time to clarify in my own head what I wanted to say, or realize what I was thinking and make it more easily understood.”  - Paul Simon (album notes). 'For both jazz instrumentalists and vocalists, Paul Simon's Music has long proved an inspiration, as covers by pianists Bill Evans and Brad Mehldau, Pat Metheny, Paul Desmond .. and more have attested. With his 14th studio album, the jazz-inspired In The Blue Light, Simon now returns the favour .... Simon appears to revel in this musical company and, at the age of 77, the vocal pipes seem remarkably unchanged (Peter Quinn in Jazzwise ***)

Details and Samples : Introductory Video : Listen to One's Man Ceiling Is Another Man's Floor :





Kamasi Washington - Heaven And Earth
(Young Turks Recordings) - Released: 22nd June 2018 (box set)

Kamasi Washington (tenor saxophone); Dontae Winslow (trumpet); Ryan Porter (trombone); Patrice Quinn (vocals); Cameron Graves (piano); Brandon Coleman (keyboards); Miles Mosley (bass); Thundercat (bass); Ronald Bruner Jr. (drums); Tony Austin (drums); Robert Searight (drums); and more.

Kamasi Washington Heaven And Earth


'The long-awaited follow up to Washington’s debut The Epic, Heaven & Earth is comprised of two halves, which find Washington confronting quotidian realities with cosmic themes. A further investigation of Washington’s world building ideas, the new album explores his reckoning with current global chaos and his vision for the future. Washington convened his band, The Next Step, as well as members of the long running collective The West Coast Get Down at Henson Studios in Los Angeles to record the 16 tracks on Heaven & Earth. The music was composed, written and arranged by Washington, with new arrangements of jazz and bebop legend Freddie Hubbard’s “Hubtones” and iconic kung fu film theme “Fists of Fury,” as well as one song by bandmate Ryan Porter. Thundercat, Terrace Martin, Ronald Bruner, Jr., Cameron Graves, Brandon Coleman, Miles Mosley, Patrice Quinn, Tony Austin and many more contribute to the album. Heaven & Earth, will be available on double deluxe CD. “The world that my mind lives in, lives in my mind.” This idea inspired me to make this album Heaven & Earth. The reality we experience is a mere creation of our consciousness, but our consciousness creates this reality based on those very same experiences. We are simultaneously the creators of our personal universe and creations of our personal universe. The Earth side of this album represents the world as I see it outwardly, the world that I am a part of. The Heaven side of this album represents the world as I see it inwardly, the world that is a part of me. Who I am and the choices I make lie somewhere in between.” Kamasi Washington (album notes). 'Kamasi Washington’s new double-disc Heaven And Earth boasts a sound that is completely identifiable with the saxophonist’s previous creations, but definitely doesn't match them in terms of grooviness and excellence. Catching up with today’s musical trends, Kamasi combines traditional jazz and retro-funk elements with contagious beats and synth-infused layers. Occasionally, on top of it, there are heavy string orchestrations and chants carried out with a luxuriant opulence that may or not affect the existing idea of nostalgia ... Even not venturing into new ground, Kamasi remains with an intact and eclectic vision. Even expecting more from this album, I found that the connection of the group as a whole is never put into question (JazzTrail)

Details and Samples : Full JazzTrail Review :




Europe And Elsewhere


Andrew Rathbun - Character Study
(Steeplechase) - Released: 1st November 2018

Andrew Rathbun (tenor saxophone); Tim Hagans (trumpet); Gary Versace (piano); Jay Anderson (acoustic bass); Bill Stewart (drums).

Andrew Rathbun Character Study



'Unquestionably, 2018 was a positive, busy year to Canadian saxophone stylist Andrew Rathbun, who, in the aftermath of his Atwood Suites, a jazz-orchestra project released on the Sunnyside label, collaborates once more with trumpeter Tim Hagans on his latest SteepleChase outing, Character Study. The quintet album, inspired by the idea of character and the political situation in America, is entirely composed of originals with the exception of “EtCetera”, in which Rathbun takes Wayne Shorter’s sound palette to something of his own. Starting in a trio setting with helical saxophone flames flying above the restless rhythm laid down by bassist Jay Anderson and drummer Bill Stewart, this classic piece also exhibits Rathbun’s motifs being replicated by the bassist. The swinging flux that persists while Hagan improvises is discontinued in favor of a looser texture, urging pianist Gary Versace to express his ideas against a funk-inclined background .... Rathbun’s challenging writing requires an attentive execution from his cohorts. All the same, the theoretical complexities turned spontaneous moves keep sounding natural, also due to the musicians’ ability to create a bond with the listener' (JazzTrail).

Details and Samples : Full JazzTrail Review : Introductory Video :






Slava Ganelin and Vladimir Homyakov - Neuma
(Leo Records) - Released: 14th November 2018

Slava Ganelin (piano, synths, drums); Vladimir Homyakov (pipe organ).

SlavaGanelin and Vladimir Homyakov Neuma



'The Russian city of Chelyabinsk is in the Urals, the gateway to Siberia. The State Philharmonic in Chelyabinsk has a huge pipe organ. Vladimir Homyakov is a new name in the catalogue of Leo Records. He plays this pipe organ while Ganelin plays the piano, two synths and drums. But what kind of music do they play? In his liner notes, Steve Day is trying to persuade us that they play jazz. Jazz or not, but playing seventy minute concert in Chelyabinsk to the ecstatic audience, these two musicians managed to create something very special, new and original. Steve Day calls it 'gigantic creative epic'. (album notes).

Details and Samples : Video :








Paolo Fresu, Richard Galliano, Jan Lundgren - Mare Nostrum III
(ACT) - Released: 25th January 2019

Paolo Fresu (trumpet, flugelhorn); Richard Galliano (accordion, bandoneon, accordina); Jan Lundgren (piano)

Fresu Galliano Lundgren Mare Nostrum III



'Twelve years ago, Sardinian trumpeter Paolo Fresu, French accordionist Richard Galliano and Swedish pianist Jan Lundgren, all from the upper echelons of European jazz, formed their trio. Each has his roots in the musical tradition of his home country, and each has used it to develop his own musical language. Mare Nostrum III completes a trilogy of albums. Right from the beginning of their decade-long collaboration, the group has had the idea of recording an album in each of their home countries. They made the first in Italy in 2007, and it took these busy musicians until 2016 to go to France and to record the second. Their third destination was Sweden, and the Nilento Studio in Gothenburg. "Once again," says Rene Hess, the Swiss producer of the album, "it was a pure pleasure to see the sheer ease with which Paolo, Richard and Jan can create such great music." With "Mare Nostrum III", Paolo Fresu, Richard Galliano and Jan Lundgren have once again created a wonderful ballad album. Through their music they rise way above that old discussion about whatever "jazz" might be nowadays. What they have achieved instead is to bring the sound of Europe to life' (album notes).

Details : Video Introduction :







Charles Mingus - Jazz In Detroit / Strata Concert Gallery / 46 Selden
(Jazz Workshop) - Released: 2nd November 2018 (5 CD Box Set)

Charles Mingus (bass); Joe Gardner (trumpet); John Stubblefield (tenor sax); Don Pullen (piano); Roy Brooks (drums, musical saw)

Charles Mingus album


'After recent discoveries of 'lost' tapes by John Coltrane and Thelonious Monk there now arrives this 5-CD box set of previously unreleased recordings by the great bassist/composer/bandleader Charles Mingus (1922-79) taken from a week-long residency at the Strata Concert Gallery in Detroit during February, 1973. With Mingus (bass) were tenor saxophonist John Stubblefield (1945-2005); trumpeter Joe Gardner (died 2002); pianist Don Pullen (1941-95) & drummer Roy Brooks (1938-2005) all in blistering form playing magnificent versions of 'Pithecanthropus Erectus', 'Peggy's Blue Skylight', 'The Man Who Never Sleeps', 'Orange Was The Color Of Her Dress, Then Blue Silk', 'Celia', 'Noddin' Ya Head Blues', 'C Jam Blues' and the first appearance on record of Mingus's 'Dizzy Profile'. The late 1960s & early '70s were generally a low time for Charles Mingus but these powerful and atmospheric live club recordings for radio station WDET-FM, released with the approval of his widow Sue Mingus, stand comparison with some of the bassist's finest work' (Amazon Reviewer *****); 'Well, this is a pleasantly unexpected Christmas present, and no mistake. Not merely because of its musical quality, but also its rarity. Tenor saxophonisdt Stubblefield's five-month tenure with Mingus was previously only the subject of memory .. while trumpeter Gardner, an inventive and non-cliched soloist, didn't stay much longer ....The entire four-hours-plus of first-generation public-radio recording is presented unedited ... The sound is good for a club set and the performance is inspiring (Brian Priestly in Jazzwise ****)'

Details :





Jazz City UK Volume 2 - The Jam Sessions
(Big Bear Records) - Released: 16th November 2018

Humphrey Lyttelton, Digby Fairweather (trumpet); Roy Williams, Roy Crimmins (trombone); Dave Shepherd, Randy Colville (clarinet); Peter King, Bruce Turner (alto sax); Dick Morrissey (tenor sax); John Barnes (bass sax); Brian Lemon, Mick Pyne (piano); Martin Taylor, Jim Douglas (guitar); Dave Green, Harvey Weston (bass); Allan Ganley, Johnny Richardson (drums).

Jazz City Volume 2



'.... two celebratory jam session recordings from the 1980s collected here under the Jazz City heading, this being an allusion to Birmingham, the HQ for (Jim Simpson's Big Bear Agency) both set up as the ceremony finales (for the British Jazz Awards) ....' Both have Humphrey Lyttelton out front ... 'Here as often applies with impromptu gatherings, proceedings get a bit mixed, not to say raucous. Still, its a chance to hear solos from some fine but now departed players, as well as such hardy survivors as Green, Williams, King and Taylor ....' (Peter Vacher in Jazzwise ***)

Details and Samples :








Stanley Turrentine - Four Classic Albums
(Avid Jazz) - Released: 5th October 2018

Stanley Turrentine (tenor saxophone) with various personnel

Stanley Turrentine Four Classic Albums



'AVID Jazz continues with its Four Classic Album series with a re-mastered 2CD release from Stanley Turrentine, complete with original artwork, liner notes and personnel details 'Look Out'; 'Dearly Beloved'; 'Blue Hour' and 'That's Where It's At'. Despite being born only half a dozen years before the likes of Miles and Trane, our next guest artist, Stanley Turrentine, became known primarily as a tenor sax giant from a much later generation. Perhaps this was due to his early years playing in the bands of R&B legends such as Lowell Fulson and Earl Bostic. He also became known for playing with two legendary soul jazz organist, the Incredible Jimmy Smith and his wife (in the 1960s) Shirley Scott. Our four selections feature Stanley playing with organist Shirley Scott and quite a few upcoming future soul jazz legends such as pianist Les McCann, Gene Harris and Herbie Lewis' (album notes). ' .... here's a fine collection from his previous run of BN (Blue Note) material that includes the classics Look Out and That's Where It's At' (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.




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

If anyone would like to take up Bob's offer, you can email him at



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

Roy's email address is:

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