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October 2017

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Debo Ray

Pharoah Sanders
Débo Ray , Charlie Parker Jazz Festival, August 2017. Picture by Clara Pereira, Jazztrail



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

 

'Gospel's always been full of people who didn't quite fit the mould. Bessemer in Alabama for instance was renowned for its sensational quartets and any local guy with half a voice would fight tooth and nail for a place in the Kings of Harmony or the Blue Jays or the Swan Silvertones or any of a score of others. Yet in that town there was still Prophet Jones, bedecked in gorgeous robes, playing piano with his feet, who in turn inspired the young Alex Bradford to become everyone's favourite gospel showman through the 1950s and 1960s.

Immediately post-war, Bradford (as he became known to all and sundry) shipped himself out of Alabama and into Chicago where Mahalia and Roberta Martin reigned supreme. Roberta would introduce him at a programme as part of her regal patronage. 'So I got up, and they'd never heard a man make all those high soprano notes before. Baby, they were carrying folks out bodily.'

 

Alex Bradford

 

In the mid-1950s he formed the very first all-male gospel group - the Bradford Specials ..... they suddenly hit with Bradford's own song and subsequent gospel standard Too Close To Heaven. It sold well over a million copies and Bradford camped it up all over as the 'singing rage of the gospel age.' By the end of the 1950s he was using the occasional female voice in his group and Madeleine Bell joined him out of the Glovertones in 1960 ....' *

Click here for a video of Alex Bradford singing Lord, You've Been So Good To Me.

It is perhaps not surprising that both Ken Colyer and Chris Barber's early bands recorded the tune, although they called it Lawd, You've Sure Been Good To Me (click here).

* from Black Gospel: An Illustrated History of the Gospel Sound by Viv Broughton.

 


Name That Tune!

(Click on the picture for the answers)

 

Name That Tune

 

 

Name The Tune

 

 

Name The Tune

 

 

 

 

Vote For The British Jazz Awards

Big Bear Music have announced the nominations for the 31st edition of the British Jazz Awards. Now in their 31st year, the awards were set up to help the best musicians, bands and album releases get the recognition they deserve. Big Bear Music say: 'Our panel of 14 experts from the jazz community put their heads together to produce the following list of nominees'. You can vote online until 31st October click here for the nominee you think should receive the award - leave your email address, and you’ll be entered in to a prize draw for £100 worth of Big Bear CDs. Results will be announced on the British Jazz Awards Facebook page the following week and in the following issue of What's New. The nominations are as follows or click here to see the page on the Big Bear Music website. :

British Jazz Awards nominees 2017

 

Best Trumpet Player: Bruce Adams, Enrico Tomasso, Freddie Gavita, Laura Jurd
Best Trombone Player: Adrian Fry, Dennis Rollins, Ian Bateman, Mark Nightingale
Best Clarinet Player: Alan Barnes, Julian Stringle, Mark Crooks, Peter Long
Best Alto Saxophone Player: Alan Barnes, Derek Nash, Nigel Hitchcock, Soweto Kinch
Best Tenor Saxophone Player: Alex Garnett, Art Themen, Karen Sharp, Robert Fowler
Best Guitarist: Jim Mullen, Martin Taylor, Nigel Price, Remi Harris
Best Pianist: David Newton, Gareth Williams, Nikki Iles, Zoe Rahman
Best Double Bass Player: Alec Dankworth, Andrew Cleyndert, Dave Green, Simon Thorpe
Best Drummer: Clark Tracey, Matt Home, Steve Brown, Winston Clifford
Best Vocalist: Claire Martin, Clare Teal, Georgia Mancio, Tina May
Miscellaneous Instruments: Alan Barnes (Baritone Saxophone), Jim Hart (Vibraphone), Karen Sharp (Baritone Saxophone), Ross Stanley
Best Small Group: Brandon Allen Six, Digby Fairweather’s Half Dozen, Nigel Price Organ Trio, Tipitina
Best Big Band: Beats and Pieces, Echoes of Ellington, NYJO, Scottish National Jazz Orchestra
Rising Star: Alexandra Ridout, Camilla George, Nubya Garcia, Rory Ingham
Best New CD: Explore Records for Golden Moments by Bruce Adams/Craig Milverton; Gearbox Records for Journey To The Mountain Of Forever by Binker & Moses; JVG Productions for It’s Always 9:30 In Zog by Dave O’Higgins; Woodville Records for The Lowest Common Denominator by Gilad Atzmon and Alan Barnes
Best Reissue CD: Acrobat Music for Helter Sketler by Joe Harriott; Harkit Records for Change of Setting by Tubby Hayes and Paul Gonsalves; Lake Records for Dusting Off The Archives by Humphrey Lyttelton; Rhythm and Blues Records for The Songbook by Harry South

 

 

 

Eel Pie Island Documentary Film -'Clinging To A Mudflat'

 

Clinging To A Mudflat film

 

September saw the launch of a new documentary about the iconic music venue that was known as Eel Pie Island. We shall be featuring a longer item about Eel Pie Island next month and would welcome memories from any readers who either played at the island or were in the audience there - contact us if you can help. Although people referred to the music location just as 'Eel Pie Island' the venue was actually the hotel on the island.

Eel Pie Island at Twickenham is the largest inhabited island on the river Thames. The hotel that at one time existed there first introduced dance music in the 1920s when it had a smart dance hall. For many years, the only access to the island was by ferry, not an easy challenge forEel Pie Island tea towel musicians with their instruments and kit. Eventually a footbridge was built and people going to gigs had to find 2d to pay a woman in a booth to gain access. The hotel gradually became more dilapidated but many top jazz bands played there before it emerged as the 'go to' place for Rhythm and Blues. Time passed, and despite an initiative to revitalise the hotel and its music, it eventually became a squat until it caught fire and burned down. Most readers will know the island for its musical history, but there is a wider community there of residents, businesses, boatyard workers and artists. As one person in the documentary says, there are two types of people: those who live on the island who don't want a car outside their door, and other people who choose not to live there because they do.

The documentary film, Clinging To A Mudflat, is an oral history that looks at all aspects of the island's story from interviews with residents and others and with archive pictures and footage. It has been produced by digital:works with sponsorship from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Richmond Civic Pride. digital:works is a charitable organisation run by Matthew Rosenberg and Sav Kyriacou. They say: 'digital:works is an arts and educational charity that works with communities, providing training and creative assistance to produce arts and media projects. We are committed to a participatory approach ensuring that those we work with have a major say in the direction of any given project. Creative arts are an exciting way for people of all ages and backgrounds to engage with and learn about a subject or issue.'

In this instance they have also worked closely with curator Michele Whitby at Eel Pie Island Museum. The Museum is about to move to permanent new premises - more about them next month, but if you are starting to think about Christmas presents, their commemorative tea towel is a good idea and a way of supporting their work.

The fascinating documentary film of just under an hour is available to watch online free of charge - click here, although DVD copies are also available through the Museum. The middle section of the film deals with the music. The DVD only includes fragments of the interviews that took place, but you can listen to any of them in full if you click here. More next month.

 

GoGo Penguin Screening

Manchester trio GoGo Penguin have a new project featuring an original score to the 1982 film Koyaanisqatsi by Godfrey Reggio. The film was Koyaanisqatsioriginally accompanied by a score from Philip Glass.

 

Click on the picture on the left for the original film trailer.

 

GoGo Penguin's score was first performed in Manchester in 2015 at the launch of the HOME venue, now they are taking it out on the road during October and November.

The band will play to a projection of the film which has time-lapse footage of the natural world.

GoGo Penguin in performance

 

 

Click on the picture on the right for a video of the interpretation by GoGo Penguin

 

Dates are:

11th October - The Barbican
15th October - The Dome, Brighton
18th- 19th October - The Sugar Club, Dublin
28th October - Howard Assembly Room, Leeds
11th November - the Hull Jazz Festival
Click here for other dates in Canada and the U.S.A.

 

 

 

Jazz Quiz

Big On Basie

 

Count Basie

Photograph courtesy of Brian O'Connor, images of jazz

 

This month's quiz looks at how well you remember Count Basie recordings. We give you fifteen titles but leave out a word in each - can you complete them?

For example, can you complete this title?

Teddy The ---- (4)

Now try the others.

 

Click here for the Jazz Quiz.

 

 

 

London Jazz Harpers

 

Maria Fox

Maria Fox

 

Maria Fox is one of the London Jazz Harpers who, together with guests, played at Pilgrim Harps in South Godstone, Surrey on 24th September. The band consisted of Brenda Dor-Groot (harp and leader); Tara Minton (harp and vocals); Amanda Whiting, Zanna Evans, Maria Fox (harps); Gabrielle CarberryGabrielle Carvery (bass) and Tom Early (drums). An unusual jazz line up.

Brian O'Connor who photographed the session says: 'Pilgrim Harps is set in the beautiful Surrey countryside near South Godstone, manufacturing harps in converted farm buildings.  Once a year they have an open day.  Naturally most of the playing leans towards the classical end of the musical world.  This year however, the last hour or so was given over to the London Jazz Harpers. A very informal and enjoyable gig followed.  Black Orpheus, ‘A’ Train, Blue Bossa.  This was followed by Sunny Side of the Street, In A Sentimental Mood, and others featuring the vocals of Tara Minton'. 

 

Gabrielle Carberry

 

London Jazz Harpers welcome more involvement. They say: 'We are three London based professional harpists drawn together by our love of Jazz. We host informal jams that are open to all harpists and musicians who are curious about jazz and want to have a go in a safe and friendly setting. Audiences are most welcome and we seek to show all who come along that harps have a great place in Jazz ensembles'.

'We host bi-monthly informal jazz jams at a London venue (check online to find out where we are each time!). Pedal and non pedal Harps are provided, as is the amazing rhythm section. If you are a non harpist musician please bring your instrument along. We open from 2-5pm and organise an initial set list which is announced in advance on our Facebook page. Feel free to bring along your own song too, we are a friendly bunch and love hearing new tunes'.

Click here for their website. Click here for a video on Facebook of them performing.

 

 

 

 

Two Rivers Records logo

Black Wave From Two Rivers

 

Two Rivers Records is launching a new project, Black Wave, aimed at promoting opportunities for young musicians from ethnic minorities, especially from the inner cities. Two Rivers' executive producer, Alya Al-Sultani says: ' Black Wave will be a home to artists of colour who possess clarity and honesty towards the expression of their truth and a fearlessness for bending and breaking genre conventions.'

Two Rivers, which released the Solstice album Alimentation and Rick Simpson's Klammer amongst other jazz albums, describes itself as: '... a non-profit label based in London, committed to releasing contemporary and improvised music especially from the London indie scenes. We are genre-less, boundary-less and inclusive - we only ask for courage, creativity, freedom and an authentic aesthetic - and that is what you should expect from every single record we put out.

The Black Wave label's first release is due in early 2018. Click here for the label's website.

 

 

 

 

 

Jazz As Art

Sam Braysher and Michael Kanan

The Scene Is Clean

from the album Golden Earrings

 

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

 

Sam Braysher Golden Earrings

 

The track this month is The Scene Is Clean taken from the 2017 album Golden Earrings by saxophonist Sam Braysher and pianist Michael Kanan. On the album, the musicians revive and interpret some of the lesser known standards from the Great American Songbook and other composers. The Scene Is Clean is a number originally by Tadd Dameron first recorded by Clifford Brown and Max Roach in 1956. You can listen to the track and look at the seven pictures I have chosen to go with the music. See what you think - click here.   

 

 

 


Help With Musical Definitions No 39.

Can-Can

Musician's reassuring mantra.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Tracks Unwrapped

Embraceable You


 

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

 

George and Ira Gershwin

George and Ira Gershwin

 

There are so many fine recordings of this song it is hard to know quite where to begin. Most of us know the song without its introduction, so let's start there:

 

Dozens of girls would storm up
I had to lock my door
somehow i couldn't warm up
to one before
what was it that controlled me
what kept my love life lean
my intuition told me
you'd come on the scene
lady listen to the rhythm of my heartbeat
and you'll get just what I mean


George and Ira Gershwin first wrote Embraceable You in 1928. It was intended as part of an operetta, East Is West, that in the end was never published.

Philip Furia's Ira Gershwin: The Art Of The Lyricist tells us after the failure of the show Treasure Girl, Ira Gershwin became convinced that 'individual songs alone do not make a show'. This 'fuelled the brothers' desire to write a truly integrated show. With that goal in mind they accepted Ziegfeld's invitation to write the songs for a musical adaptation of East Is West, a successful play about Americans in China ...'

'With the Florenz Ziegfeld impresario's assurance that there would be equally close integration of songs and story in East Is West, the Gershwins studied the play for places where character and story could blossom into song. For one such moment they wrote In The Mandarin's Orchid Garden, about a Chinese girl who feels like a common 'buttercup' who 'did not grace the loveliness of such a place'... Their hopes for a fully integrated musical were dashed, however, when the whimsical Ziegfeld, upon reading a novel about a young actress who longs to become a Ziegfeld girl, decided it could be transformed into a musical that would celebrate his own Follies. Summoning the Gershwins into his office, he told them to shelve East Is West and get to work on his new brainchild - Show Girl - which would go into rehearsal in two weeks'.

 

Florenz Ziegfeld Jr

 

In Howard Pollock's book George Gershwin; His Life And Work, Pollock says: 'According to Ira, Ziegfeld shelved East Is West because it would have been too costly to mount - about three times more expensive than Show Girl. But such subtle numbers as In The Mandarin's Orchid Garden, Sing Song Girl and Yellow Blues could not have provided much encouragement; the show clearly would not only have been expensive but risky. In any case, Ziegfeld held out hopes for a 1929 mounting, though as relations between him and the Gershwins deteriorated over Show Girl, the Girl Crazy posterNew York Times reported in August that Vincent Youmans, not Gershwin, would provide the scrore. Ziegfeld further contacted P.G. Wodehouse about writing the lyrics. But as the year unfolded, between competition from film and radio and the eventual stock market crash, any such prospect became increasingly unrealistic. East Is West might have been one of Ziegfeld's final triumphs; as things turned out its collapse signalled the end of an era.'

Embraceable You eventually surfaced two years later in the Broadway musical Girl Crazy where Ginger Rogers sang it in a routine choreographed by Fred Astaire. The show also featured a good number of jazz musicians. The Jazz Standards website tells us: 'The orchestra for the performance was the Red Nichols Band which included Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Jack Teagarden, Jimmy Dorsey, and Gene Krupa. The star-studded orchestra thrilled the audiences with jam sessions during the intermissions. George Gershwin conducted the music at the premier before handing the baton over to Earl Busby. Girl Crazy would run for 272 performances'.

 

We don't have a video of the version from the stage show, but here is a video of Judy Garland performing the whole song in the 1943 movie of Girl Crazy (click here). Ironically, Judy Gardand's character is also called 'Ginger' (Ginger Gray).

The story line features Danny Churchill Jr (Mickey Rooney), a young womanising playboy who has been sent by his father to 'Cody College', hoping that will get him to stay away from girls and knuckle down to his studies. On the way there, Danny meets Ginger, the local postal mistress, Mickey Rooney and Judy Gardlandfancied by all the students. College life does not go well for Danny but he gradually settles in until Danny and Ginger learn that the college must close, due to falling numbers of students. Using his father's society and business contacts, Danny approaches the state governor and extracts a promise that the college may be reprieved if enrollments improve. Danny decides to put on a show to 'bring back the old west' and persuades the college Dean to buy the first ticket. Tommy Dorsey's band is engaged, the event is a success, student enrollments roll in, and the future of the college is assured'.

 

Click here for the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra playing Sy Oliver's arrangement of Gershwin's Fascinating Rhythm from the film (the clip comes in two parts) with Mickey Rooney on piano. Rooney was an accomplished musician and played musical parts in several of his films - drums in Strike Up The Band and The Strip as well as piano spots. He also played vibes and as we know, sang in many movies. Here is a video from The Strip with Mickey playing drums with the Louis Armstrong band (including Jack Teagarden, Barney Bigard and Earl Hines) apparently there have been debates about overdubbing, but it looks pretty realistic to me (click here).

Following the movie version of Girl Crazy, Billie Holiday recorded Embraceable You in 1944. The interpretation is very different to that of Judy Garland and in 2005 it became Billie' Holiday's 5th song to get a Grammy Award (the others were God Bless The Child, Strange Fruit, Lover Man and Lady In Satin, Crazy He Calls Me followed in 2010).

This clip of Billie singing the song includes her 1944 and 1957 versions (click here).

 

 

 

Embrace me, my sweet embraceable you
Embrace me, you irreplaceable you
just one look at you my heart grew tipsy in me
You and you alone bring out the gypsy in me
I love all the many charms about you
above all i want my arms about
Don't be a naughty baby...
come to papa come to papa do
My sweet embraceable you.
..

 

If the Billie Holiday version is worthy of a Grammy, the Charlie Parker versions of Embraceable You are classics. This beautiful first recording comes from 1947 with Miles Davis (trumpet), Charlie Parker (alto sax), Duke Jordan (piano), Tommy Potter (bass) and Max Roach (drums) (click here).

Lester Young an d Roy Eldridge

 

This second recording from two years later features Roy Eldridge (trumpet), Tommy Turk (trombone), Charlie Parker (alto), Lester Young and Flip Phillips (tenor), Hank Jones (piano), Ray Brown (bass) and Buddy Rich (drums) (click here).

 

Lester Young and Roy Eldridge

 

The Jazz Standards website goes on to say: 'MGM again visited the well in 1966 with Girl Crazy as the basis for the film, When the Boys Meet the Girls, starring Connie Francis and Harve Presnell. Suffice it to say the highlight of the musical was the songs. Over sixty years after making its debut, Girl Crazy was once again on Broadway, this time as the basis for the 1992 hit Crazy For You. The musical opened on February 19th and ran for 1622 performances. Seven of the songs from Girl Crazy were included in the score along with 13 other Gershwin songs'.

Crazy For You has been staged on many occasions since then. It has become a popular high school production and it is currently on tour around the UK in a professional production during the autumn of 2017 and into 2018 - click here for dates and venues. London's Guildhall School of Music and Drama also staged it as their end of year show in July this year. Here is a video of Embraceable You from the show performed by Kathryn Parks as Polly Baker and Logan O'Neil as Bobby Child/Zangler in this Sarasota production of Crazy of You (click here).

 

 

As you can imagine, the song has been recorded numerous times. Try this take on Embraceable You by Ornette Coleman with Ornette Coleman (alto saxophone), Don Cherry (cornet), Charlie Haden (bass) and Ed Blackwell (drums) - click here. Apparantly, this is the only tune Ornette Coleman ever recorded from 'the Great American Songbook'.

 

On the website smallsrecords.com, there is a page about the Frank Hewitt album, Fresh From The Cooler - Frank Hewitt (piano), Ari Roland (bass), Jimmy Lovelace (drums), recorded at Smalls in 1996. On the page, Chris Byars (saxophonist with the Frank Hewitt Quintet) recalls:

'I had the pleasure of riding home with Frank after the Smalls Saturday late night at 5:00 am. We would rarely share a cab; most often we would Frank Hewittbe stuck waiting for the uptown #1 train that ran every 25 minutes at that time. There was an odd mix of riders: drunken revelers, service industry people on their way to work, and me and Frank. While he was more than thirty years my senior, we shared a brotherly inter-generational friendship that is one of the side benefits of the jazz business. We had both recently become permanently sober, and together we kept a lucid vigil on the rowdiness of the late night train station by sharing one story after another'.

 

Frank Hewitt

 

'Frank always saved his trademark jokes for an audience of at least three, so I was treated to his wild anecdotal repertoire, accounts of growing up in Harlem, his stint in the service, his encounters with Bud Powell. I remember Frank recounting hearing Bird and Diz at Carnegie Hall: "Yeah, that concert was okay, but then I went to hear the band at Birdland later that night, and that was the best music ever!" Once he visited Bud Powell's house in the morning, and walked in on him practicing Embraceable You - stark naked. Frank figured he needed some time to pull himself together, so he went downtown for a while, basically killing time until the afternoon. After six hours had passed, again he entered the Powell residence, and to his surprise, there was Bud, still naked, still playing Embraceable You'.

'His anecdotes boiled down to the same message; life is full of unexpected and bizarre surprises - don't forget to enjoy every moment while youcan. I didn't take our many dozens of late night rides for granted, but I never guessed how few were left'.

 

Let's end with this video of Embraceable You played by Barros Veloso (piano); Bernardo Moreira (bass) and João Moreira (trumpet) recorded at the Hot Club of Portugal in April this year - click here.

Bernardo Moreira and João Moreira

 

Bernardo Moreira and João Moreira

Fortunately, this pianist is fully clothed. As well as being a respected pianist, António José de Barros Veloso is also a doctor and an author; bassist Bernardo Moreira and his friend, Luis Villas Boas, were the originators of the Hot Club in the 1950s. "Luis worked at the airport and hadaccess to the passenger lists, which he checked religiously for names of any jazz musicians who might be on their way to Paris," Moreira said. "When he found one, we would go out and meet the flight. The musicians were usually delighted to have some place to go during the stopover." When they missed the name of Dexter Gordon, another jazz fan at the airport steered the legendary tenor saxophonist in the right direction. João Moreira is a Lisbon based jazz trumpeter and head of jazz department at Escola Superior de Música de Lisboa.

 

just one look at you my heart grew tipsy in me
You and you alone bring out the gypsy in me
I love all the many charms about you
above all i want my arms about
Don't be a naughty baby...
come to papa come to papa do
My sweet embraceable you.
..

 

 

 

 

Tea Break

 

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

 

Ellie Bignall (Vocalist)

 

Ellie Bignall

 

Click here to listen to Ellie singing 'Til There Was You

 

In August 2017 I was at a gig at The Spice Of Life in London. NYJO were playing - the National Youth Jazz Orchestra. Ellie Bignall came on to sing and immediately it was clear that this was a vocalist with a lot of talent; a voice she knew how to use and a way of communicating naturally with both the band and her audience. She had just completed her BMus Hons degree course at Trinity Conservatoire of Music in London.

Ellie grew up in Hertfordshire where she was brought up listening almost solely to jazz and classical music. She discovered she had a passion for singing when she was very young and particularly for singing standards and modern jazz. She was once described as a ‘teenage singing sensation’!

She has gone on to explore many genres of music including jazz, soul, gospel, and classical. Her style of singing is very reminiscent of the forties and fifties; often likened to singers such as Anita O’Day, Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan. She has performed at various venues in and around London, including Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club, the Palace of Westminster, the Vortex Jazz Club (as part of the Trinity Conservatoire Jazz Choir), the Spice of Life, the 100 Club, Oliver’s Jazz Bar (where she currently has a residency running a weekly jam session), and St Anthony’s Jazz Club. She has also taken part many times in high-profile jam sessions, including at Ronnie Scott’s, Small’s Jazz Club (New York) and the Jazzkeller (Frankfurt), and was once invited onstage to sing at the American Legion Speakeasy in Harlem with the Jason Marshall Organ Trio.

As well as singing with NYJO, Ellie also has her own Jazz Quintet with Tom Ridout (saxes), Ralph Wyld (vibes), Flo Moore (bass) and Rod Oughton (drums).

It seemed a good time to catch up with here for a Tea Break:

 

Ellie Bignall

 

Hi Ellie, tea or coffee?

Hello there! Tea, please.

 

Milk and sugar?

Milk (and lots of it, please) but no sugar, thanks.

 

How does it feel now you have completed your degree course at Trinity?

Such a relief! But also rather scary…

 

Yes, I guess it is quite a journey. If someone wants to be a jazz singer, can you give them a tip? Sort of ‘If I knew then what I know now .......’

Honestly I think the most important thing an aspiring jazz singer can do is listen to jazz as much as possible, and not just to singers. There’s only so much you can learn theoretically, so just listen to as much as you can. Then start transcribing things you like (licks, the way someone swings or phrases, etc).

 

[Click here to listen to Ellie singing Comes Love]

 

 

Anita O'day

 

If you could ask two past jazz vocalists to join us for the tea break, who would you invite?

 Anita O’Day and Carmen McRae.

 

Anita O'Day

[Click here for a video of Anita O'Day singing Honeysuckle Rose live in Tokyo in 1963]


What would you ask them?

Who their main influences were, what life was like as a professional jazz singer for them, and who their favourite musicians (to play with and listen to) and influences were. I guess it would be pretty awesome to know what it was like playing and working with some of the greats too!

 

 

 

Hob Nob, Custard Cream, or digestive biscuit?

Definitely a digestive… Best dunking biscuit!

 

Jason Marshall

 

 

I hear you were invited onstage to sing at the American Legion Speakeasy in Harlem with the Jason Marshall Organ Trio. That must have been great! How did that happen?

You know, I was actually only 18 when this happened! I was in NYC on a course with the New York Jazz Academy, and happened to bump into Jason Marshall two nights in a row at various gigs. He recognised us and invited us to see his organ trio the next evening. We went, and while we were there we got chatting with the Mayor of Harlem, who found out I was a jazz singer and – since he’s a friend of Jason Marshall – asked them if I could sing with them. The band asked to hear me sing outside, and then invited me up to sing with them in the second half. It was one of the most incredible experiences of my life!

 

 

 

 

 

How’s it going with your Quintet? Who is involved? How long have you been going?

It’s great, thanks! I love playing with them – every time we do a gig I feel so proud and lucky to be able to play with such amazing musicians. It’s Tom Ridout on saxes, Ralph Wyld on vibes, Flo Moore on bass and Rod Oughton on drums. I think we’ve been playing together since autumn 2015… Quite a long time, I guess!

 

What have you got coming up next? Can people still hear you sing with NYJO?

I’ve got some exciting gigs coming up, and I’m organising a tour (and maybe even an album!) for next year at the moment. Details to be confirmed - but watch this space! People can indeed hear me sing with NYJO – in fact the NYJO Nonet are doing an exciting gig in Mayfair as part of a feature for up and coming jazz musicians on the 22nd September.

 

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

I think I’d need a week to list them all… The members of my band are obviously amazing – definitely check them all out!  But I’m going to give you two other singers: Miriam Ast and Louise Balkwill. Totally different styles of jazz, and they’re both amazing and going to go far!

[Click here for a video of Miriam Ast, the Aubin Vanns Trio and Boplicity at the 606 Club]

 

Another biscuit?

No thanks, I probably shouldn’t… Oh, go on then. Cheers!

 

Perhaps another song first? .........

O.K. Well, summer seems well and truly over now, so how about a winter song?

 

Sweet!

 

[Click here to listen to Ellie singing Winter Sweet ]

 

Ellie Bignall

Photograph by Nesley Joy

 

Click here for Ellie Bignall's website and contact details.

 

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

 

Utah Tea Pot

 

 

 

Parliamentary Jazz Awards

With all the parliamentary activity going on this year, the Parliamentary Jazz Awards were deferred from their usual summer spot and they will now take place on Tuesday, 10th October. The call for nominations for the awards gave very little time to the general public and although we posted details on our Facebook page, we were unable to include an item in What's New. This year, the awards event will not take place at the Houses of Parliament as has been the custom for some years, but at Pizza Express Live in Holborn.

The nominees shortlisted by a selection panel, who represent a broad cross-section of backgrounds have been passed to judging members of the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group (APPJAG) who decide the winners. We shall let you know in our next issue who received the awards. The shortlist is:

Parliamentary Jazz Awards shield

 

Jazz Vocalist of the Year: Georgia Mancio; Cleveland Watkiss; Alice Zawadzki 

Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year: Shabaka Hutchings; Jim Mullen; Tori Freestone 

Jazz Album of the Year: Dinosaur – Together As One; Shabaka Hutchings – Wisdom Of The Elders; Tim Garland – One

Jazz Ensemble of the Year: Partikel; Phronesis; Binker and Moses 

Jazz Newcomer of the Year: Corrie Dick; Ezra Collective; Nerija, Jacob Collier 

Jazz Venue of the Year: Watermill Jazz Club; Jazz Re:Freshed; PizzaExpress Live; Scarborough Jazz Festival 

Jazz Media Award: Jazzwise; Kevin Le Gendre; Chris Philips

Jazz Education Award: Tomorrow’s Warriors; Jean Toussaint; Andrea Vicari 

Services to Jazz Award: Sue Edwards; Henry Lowther; Gary Crosby; Tony Dudley-Evans

 

 

 

 

Ollie Howell Quartet - Scotland October Tour

Music business endorsements don’t come much bigger than having Quincy Jones hire your band to open his new club. Jones was “floored” when he heard Ollie Howell play drums in a student concert at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff. Oxfordshire-born Howell and Ollie HowellJones became friends and Jones has since given the drummer advice on his career, going on to book Howell’s quartet for a three month residency as the opening attraction at Q’s Bar and Lounge, the jazz club Jones opened in Dubai last November.

“Quincy is one-quarter Welsh and he was being presented with an honorary doctorate at the RWCMD when I met him,” says Howell, whose quartet features Duncan Eagles (saxophone), Matt Robinson (piano) and Max Luthert (bass). The quartet tours Scotland this month. “I was a big fan of his work on Frank Sinatra’s Sinatra At The Sands album,' Ollie continues, 'and when he invited me to New York to play with some of his friends after that concert in Cardiff, I had to pinch myself. He later invited me to Montreux Jazz Festival and Los Angeles and has generally been incredibly supportive.”

Ollie Howell
Photograph by Rob Blackham

Life has not been easy for Howell who had to deal with being diagnosed with a brain malfunction, which required urgent surgery and which, if it hadn’t been discovered in time, could have left him paralysed. Fortunately he recovered fully and he named his first album, 2013’s Sutures and Stitches, after the experience of undergoing repeated visits to the operating theatre.

“I really was lucky,” says Howell. “I knew at the time that I should have been going to see about the headaches I was having. But I suppose when we’re young we can be reckless with things that we might take more care with later in life. Being ill spurred me into making music but I’ve learned not to put music before my health.”

Click here for a video of the Quartet playing "The Unknown" - Live from Porgy & Bess Jazz Club, Vienna Jazz Festival earlier this year.

 

Ollie's Quartet will be playing on:

Wednesday, October 11: Edinburgh, The Jazz Bar
Thursday, October 12: Greenock, Beacon Arts Centre
Friday, October 13: Stirling, Tolbooth
Saturday October 14: Nairn Community & Arts Centre

 

 

 

Video Juke Box

*Click on the Picture for the Video

 

 

 

Nat Steele Quartet

 

Vibes player Nat Steele is currently touring with his Quartet following the release of their new album Portrait Of The MJQ at Ronnie Scott's Club in September. Click on the picture for a video of the band playing Bag's Groove to get an idea of their swinging take on the music of one of the most successful and influential small jazz groups of the 20th century. Click here for the tour dates and Nat's website. We shall be reviewing the album next month.

 

 

 

Malija A Wing And A Prayer

 

 

Malija (Mark Lockheart, Jasper Høiby and Liam Noble) have a new album out. Instinct was released in September on the Edition label. Here is a taste of A Wing And A Prayer from the album. You can sample more of the album here.

 

 

 

 

Chu Berry video

 

 

This is a three and a half minute documentary video of Leon 'Chu' Berry. It is a fine, short summary of his life and music with pictures and music samples. We also find out why he was called 'Chu' and appreciate his contribution to jazz during his short life.

 

 

 

 

 

Ray Santos

 

This is a fascinating ten minute video with saxophonist, composer and arranger Ray Santos, the “El Maestro” of the mambo sound, looking back over his career. A young Puerto Rican kid from  New York, he fell in love with Coleman Hawkins and jazz, arranged for Machito, Tito Puente, Eddie Palmieri and many others and won a Grammy award for the music in the Mambo Kings movie.

 

 

 

 

Cachao Uno Mas

 

Ray Santos also contributed to this hour and a half video documentary about Cachao, a maestro of legendary status on the world stage and ultimately considered one of the greatest Afro-Cuban musicians of all time. Cachao: Uno Más takes viewers from his start as a child prodigy in Cuba to his personal struggles in Vegas and on to his triumph as a world-class composer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jazz Remembered

The Other Albert Hall

 

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

 

Over past years, information has crept in to this website about trumpeter Albert Hall. His is not a well-known name in jazz circles and in truth, it is his name that is intriguing. What is surprising is that having come across his name, various readers have sent in more information about Albert. Much is still unknown, so if you can add to his profile, then please contact us.

Albert Hall

 

Eddie Sammons first mentioned a trumpet player named Albert Hall when he wrote to us about singer Marion Williams.

Eddie says: 'Albert was with Geraldo from late 1952 to mid 1954. He replaced Syd Lawrence and Albert himself was replaced by Stan Reynolds when Eric Delaney pinched Albert for his new band'.

'Albert Hall was one of the founder members of the Eric Delaney Band,' says Eddie. 'He was a very fine trumpeter and often did duets with his Eric Delaney Sweet Georgia Brownpeer, Bert Courtley. Eric recorded the two on an early Mercury disc by the band – Sweet Georgia Brown.  When Bert left to form the Courtley-Seymour Band, Albert had Kenny Ball as his new partner.'

 

Click here for a Delaney recording featuring Albert with Bert Courtley.

 

 

 

Eric Delaney Mainly Delaney

 

 

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

'Albert’s real name was Alwyn (possibly Welsh?) but the Albert connotation was probably inevitable. There are a number of “Albert Halls” around and I include a certain building. It is thus not easy to find information about him. He did make a commercial LP for Columbia to display his undoubted technique. It is rather pop orientated. I made a CD of it from Eric Delaney’s copy which I suspect he had as he was probably the drummer on it in addition to his obvious support for the musician he admired.'

 

 

According to the discogs.com website, Alwyn Hall was born in South Wales on September 21st, 1929 and died on January 3rd, 1980 in Greenford, Middlesex, England. During his life 'he worked with Teddy Foster, Jack Jackson, Billy Ternent, Tito Burns, Jack Parnell, Ambrose, Eric Delaney, Buddy Featherstonhaugh, Kenny Baker, Don Lusher, Harry South and others'.

 

 

Mike Nevard's Jazzmen Cool Europe

 

 

'I have a Jazz Club broadcast by Eric in which Albert is featured but, frankly, other than as a session man, not that much exists', says Eddie. 'He was part of the Jack Parnell Big Band and recorded with Jack in 1952/53. He moved to Geraldo again about 1952/3. As Eric was with Geraldo at that time, I suspect Eric induced Albert to join his new band which was just a year away. Albert passed away some years ago'.

 

Eddie has also found this nice recording of Albert Hall with Mike Nevard's Jazzmen (click here). It is a bit crackly but displays Albert's talent well - King John 1 (John Dankworth) (alto sax), Don Rendell (tenor sax), Albert Hall (trumpet), Ralph Dollimore (piano), Alan Ganley, David Murray (drums), Johnny Hawksworth (bass), Harry Klein (baritone sax)'.

 

 

 

 

James Bond Theme picture

 

Geoff Leonard continues: 'Just a bit of trivia about trumpeter Albert Hall. It's almost impossible to verify without official records, but Albert is listed as playing on the original version of The James Bond Theme in 1962, arranged and conducted by John Barry (click here). The brass section is believed to have been:

Bert Ezard (trumpet), Albert Hall (trumpet), Ray Davies (trumpet), Leon Calvert (trumpet), Don Lusher (trombone), Wally Smith (trombone), Maurice Pratt (trombone), Jack Quinn (trombone), John Edwards (trombone)'

No doubt the other names will stir some memories in jazz circles!'

 

 

 

On the discogs.com website at the time of writing there is an LP by Albert Hall for sale named Harlem Nocturne. It looks as though it was released in Italy in 1974. The tracklist: The Magnificent Seven; Go Now; Last Tango In Paris; Harlem Nocturne; Every Picture Tells A Story; The Resurrections Shuffle; Bonanaza; Stormy Weather; Superstar; I Want You Back; Latins Anonymous; Son Of A Preacher Man. (Latins Anonymous is an Albert Hall composition).

There is no information about other musicians on the recording and it is not possible to read all the sleeve notes, some of which are unclear, or to Albert Hall Harlem Nocturnesee who wrote them, but they contain some useful information about Albert:

'Albert is a quiet, modest fellow to talk to but when a trumpet or a flugelhorn is at his lips he really blows up a storm and this LP contains positive and conclusive proof of just how good he is. Actually the album is long overdue because Albert is one of that select number of top-class session musicians, unsung heroes without whose anonymous support our hit parade idols would get absolutely nowhere on record, radio and the box. Now Albert has at last stepped into the limelight with a truly Grand Slam of brass brilliance'.

'His musical aptitude was inherited from his father, a stalwart of brass bands in South Wales and London who started passing on his knowledge and ability to his son when Albert was 6 ½ years old. He had a very willing pupil because Albert can remember clearly awaiting the arrival home of his father from work and pestering him eagerly for the next trumpet lesson before Dad had a chance to get his coat off. Albert also learned violin and piano during his later spell at music college, but the trumpet was the instrument as far as he was concerned and he was determined to make a professional career with it before he reached his (?)'.

'Albert’s first professional engagement came when he was 14 in 1943 with Maurice Little’s band at the Tottenham Royal and he graduated into the ranks of the leading British big bands towards the end of their era.....'

 

John Chilton's 2004 book Who's Who of British Jazz gives much the same information but with a little more detail of dates: 'Played in West London Silver Band from age six. Worked in Maurice Little's Band in Tottenham (1944) and with Johnny Brown's Band at Astoria Ballroom, London (1946). Briefly with Johnny Claes, then worked with Teddy Foster (1947) prior to a brief period in the Armed Forces. Again with Teddy Foster (spring 1948). Also worked with Les Ayling, Jack Jackson and Billy Ternent before joining Tito Burns from May 1948 until November 1950. With Cyril Stapleton (November 1950 to March 1951), then rejoined Tito Burns from April 1951 to September 1952. Radio work with Steve Race then briefly with Jack Parnell (September 1952 to November 1952) then with Geraldo from November 1952 to August 1954 (also worked with Dave Shand in May 1954). With Eric Delaney from September 1954 until March 1957. Briefly with Buddy Featherstonhaugh (spring 1957), and Cliff HallKenny Baker, then freelance session work for radio, television and recordings. Often with Joe Loss in the 1960s and 1970s, and occasionally with Frank Weir, and Don Lusher's Big Band. Albert's brother Cliff is a professional pianist and organist'.

Although these dates give us clues to other recordings that might be available I have not been able to find other examples on YouTube.

 

It does raise the question of which Cliff Hall might be Albert's brother? A Cliff Hall has been session pianist for The Shadows, Top Of The Pops, etc. but I am not sure whether it is the same person. Does anyone know? Here he is on YouTube at Retreat Recording Studios - click here. (I have been unable to find other information online about Cliff).

Searching online for information about trumpeter Albert Hall is difficult. Inevitably the things that come up are about the concert hall and jazz trumpeters that have played there. That is a shame, it would be good to know more about Alwyn / Albert. So if you have any memories of him or any pictures you could share, please contact us.

 

The other Albert Hall

The Albert Hall

 

 

 

Do You Have A Birthday In October?

 


Your Horoscope

for October Birthdays

by 'Marable'

 

Libra

Libra (The Scales)

23rd September - 22nd October

 

We saw them beginning to gather last month, but now 60 per cent of planets are either in your sign or moving through. What does this mean? Each planet brings its own gifts and abilities, so the independence and strength you were feeling last month is widened. As I indicated last month, this is the time to tap into them and have the confidence to be yourself.

This could also be a good point to spend time on yourself, your health, your fitness, your talents. Look at how you can make the most of what you have.

Jupiter is making a major move this month, from your 1st house to your 2nd money house. The Sun moves into your money house too, a little later, on the 23rd, so there are also good prospects for financial benefits. But as I have just said, use your confidence to make the best use of any financial gains as well.

The situation looks as though it will continue to be positive for the rest of the year, although Saturn in your 4th house in December signals a need to deal with emotional issues, so your wise investment in all your assets this month is prudent.

For you, here is the classic Charlie Parker / Dizzy Gillespie Shaw Nuff - click here.

 

 

Scorpio

 

Scorpio (The Scorpion)

23rd October - 22nd November

 

I know you, Scorpio. Your preference for stability and order; your loyalty, concentration and depth. You want to make a difference but you tend to act quietly; you can have the sticking power to get there in the end, and because of your sense of order, you tend to want to see things finished.

Well, it looks as though you have a good month ahead. Jupiter moves into your sign from Libra signalling prosperity and opportunity. The Sun, your career planet, will cross your Ascendant and enter your 1st house on the 23rd - when offers present themselves there is no need to rush, you can be choosy.

The planetary power is now at its maximum Eastern position so if you haven't yet made the changes that make you happy, now is the time. On the other hand, if you wait too long, you will still be able to make those changes but doing so will be a little more difficult.

As I pointed out with Libra, 60 per cent of the planets are on the move, for you they are in your 12th house or moving through. For Scorpios this is a time of spiritual breakthrough. I am talking about experience, feeling a breakthrough, not just hearing or reading about something, although that might be where it starts. Recognise it when it comes, it could be fulfilling.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continental Drift

Peter Slavid

 

 

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

Each month Peter selects a CD of the month – looking especially for bands not well known in the UK - and has offered to share that with us. This month he features:

 

 

Riccardo Fassi Tankio Band
plays Zappa : The Return Of The Fat Chicken

 

Riccardo Fassi Tankio Band The Return Of the Fat Chicken

 

The Riccardo Fassi Tankio Band has been around since the 1980s, and specialises in the music of Frank Zappa – although they have also released a CD of Eric Dolphy's music.  It's a large 12 piece band led by Fassi on keyboards with a raft of special guests.

Special Guests on this CD from Alfamusic B073XV19KP released in September are: Napoleon Murphy Brock (voice, tenor sax, flute): Alex Sipiagin (trumpet, flugelhorn), Gabriele Mirabassi (clarinet), Antonello Salis (accordeon, vocals), Ruben Chaviano (violin), Mario Corvini (trombone).

Zappa's views on jazz were well known.  He spent a lot of time poking fun at jazz and he's famously reputed to have said “Jazz isn't dead it just smells funny”.  And yet there's clearly a lot of improvisation in his music, and his tunes are often in complex broken rhythms that really lend themselves to this sort of extended instrumental exploration.

This CD has a mixture of instrumentals and songs – with the songs apparently selected from some of Zappa's more obscure lyrics (and that's very obscure!).  The singer here is Napoleon Murphy Brock who appeared on more than a dozen Zappa Albums from the 1970's through until his death and then continued touring and playing the music with Zappa's son.

This is a quality band that manages to make the music sound fresh and exciting – and most of all it's great fun.

Click here for details.

 

Click here for a video of a live performance by the band of of Zappa's Little Umbrellas.

 

Riccardo Fassi Little Umbrellas

 

 

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

 

 

 

Two Ears Three Eyes

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

 

Marilyn Mazur

 

Marilyn Mazur

 

Marilyn Mazur is percussionist with the Makiko Hirabayashi Trio who played at the Watermill Jazz Club in Dorking on Tuesday 13 Sept, 2017. The Trio are Makiko Hirabayashi (piano), Marilyn Mazur (drums and percussion) and Klavs Hovman (bass).

Click here for a video of the Trio playing Hide And Seek in 2016. Marilyn Mazur is an amazing percussionist and it is worth checking out her work with her own and other bands on YouTube.

 

 

Karen Sharp

 

Karen Sharp

 

This image of Karen Sharp was taken at Splash Point Jazz Club, Seaford Head Golf Club, Seaford, East Sussex on Sunday 3rd September 2017 where Neal Richardson’s Splash Point Jazz Club holds a very enjoyable gig on the first Sunday of each month (click here for details).

On that week, saxophonist Karen Sharp was featured with Neal Richardson (piano and vocals); Sue Richardson (trumpet); Andy Drudy (bass) and Paul Cavciuti (drums). Karen is a busy musician whose career took off when she was asked to join Humphrey Lyttelton's band and she toured the UK and Europe with them for four years. Karen has won the tenor saxophone category of the British Jazz Awards on numerous occasions and is nominated in two categories for the awards this year. She tours regularly with her quartet which features Nikki Iles, Dave Green and Steve Brown - they will be playing at the Derngate Theatre in Northampton on Friday 20th October.

Click here for a beautiful rendering of My One And Only Love by the quartet with Karen on baritone sax.

 

All pictures © Brian O'Connor, Images Of Jazz

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

 

 

 

 

Almost Famous

(A Parody Diversion)

'Wingy' Malone


 

Wingy Malone

 

Born in New Orleans to Irish immigrants, Joe Malone played trumpet and cornet with various local bands before he started to travel around the U.S.A. in the 1920s and 1930s picking up work in a variety of cities. He occasionally sat in with well known bands of the time and admired the style of Miff Mole, Bud Freeman, Ben Pollock and Joe Venuti.

Joe settled in Chicago for a while and to pay his rent, worked during the day at KFC where he acquired his nickname, 'Wingy'. Unfortunately he was eventually fired for constantly getting too close to the deep fat fryer. She was fired too for encouraging him.

He was obliged to move on through California and Canada and in the 1940s tried to break into the BeBop scene, again working days at a KFC in New York where he became addicted to the Boneless Banquet and was admitted for treatment at the Battery Food Clinic in Kentucky. Sadly, he never played again.

'Who was it that gave Wingy one cufflink as a Christmas present?'

I think you are referring to Joe Venuti who used to send trumpeter Wingy Manone a single cufflink. Wingy Malone never wore cufflinks, he used chicken wishbones to secure his cuffs when he was playing but when he was working at KFC he simply wore a T-shirt that said 'Bird Lives'. This got him into quite a few problems with customers who thought that KFC used dead chickens for their popcorn chicken and boneless dips.

Wingy's favourite tune : Charlie Parker playing Chasin' The Bird

 

 

 

AngraJazz 2017

 

Jon Irabagon

Jon Irabagon photograph courtesy of Clara Pereira

 

Filipe Freitas from Jazztrail writes: The 19th edition of AngraJazz, an international jazz festival that takes place annually in Angra do Heroísmo, Terceira Island, Azores, has announced a mouthwatering lineup that is already getting the avid jazz fans excited. The event runs from October 4th through 7th, featuring two daily performances (except for the second day) at the stunning Centro Cultural e de Congressos de Angra do Heroísmo, a former bullfight ring transformed into a cultural center. The previous editions of the festival featured not only true representatives of Centro Cultural e de Congressos de Angrathe modern jazz current scene such as Dave Holland, Joe Lovano, Enrico Rava, William Parker, Christian McBride, and Ralph Alessi, but also legendary names such as Herbie Hancock, Benny Golson, and the late Jim Hall.

On Wednesday, October 4th, the opening show is reserved for the local AngraJazz Orchestra, a regular presence since 2006, followed by a duo composed of French pianist Baptiste Trotignon and Argentine percussionist Minino Garay. Repertoire drawn from their new eclectic album Chimichurri is expected. Thursday, October 5th, brings us one single performance: the Charles Tolliver Tentet (with pianist Stanley Cowell) in a celebration of Thelonious Monk’s centenary.

The Portuguese eight-piece Ensemble Super Moderne opens the night of Friday, October 6th, with the second set being reserved for the Matt Wilson Quartet. The multifaceted drummer forms the rhythm section with bassist Chris Lightcap and guarantees high flies with a powerful horn section composed of saxophonist Jeff Lederer and trumpeter Kirk Knuffke. Closing the festival on Saturday, October 7th, we have the Latin-inflected jazz of the Swiss-Cuban violinist Yilian Cañizares and her quintet, and at a later time, the thrilling post-bop narratives by the virtuous saxophonist Jon Irabagon, whose sturdy quartet features Luis Perdomo on piano, Yasushi Nakamura on bass, and Rudy Royston on drums. Thrilling emotions are on the way!

To buy tickets and know more about the festival click here.

 

 

 

Forum

 

The Lighthouse

Jeroan De Valk, author of the now revised and updated book Chet Baker - His Life And His Music has picked up on a point in our Jazz Remembered article on Richie Kamuca (click here) where we talked about The Lighthouse Cafe in California saying: 'The club first began showcasing jazz music on May 29, 1949, when owner John Levine permitted bassist/band leader Howard Rumsey to start a recurring Sunday jam session on a trial basis.'

Jeroan says: 'Nevertheless, the late alto saxophonist Bernie Fleischer worked there earlier regularly with a band led by a very young Chet Baker, as he told me in the latest, drastically updated and expanded, edition of my Chet-Bio'. According to Bernie: "In fact, our quintet was the first jazz group to play at The Lighthouse in Hermosa Beach, even before Howard Rumsey and The Lighthouse All-Stars made that club famous ... There was a bar next door in Hermosa Beach named the High Seas. The owner there experimented with jazz by bringing in the great clarinetist Barney Bigard for a four-week engagement. It was a smash hit. The club had long lines in front waiting to get in every night. The Lighthouse, right next door, was merely a Polynesian themed bar and Chinese restaurant. When Barney Bigard concluded his gig, the owner looked for a jazz attraction that he could afford. A buzz was going through the South Bay area about this kid, Chet Baker, and he decided to take a chance on an unknown. Chet’s quintet with Bruce MacDonald on piano, Don Logue on drums, Ira Westley on bass and myself on sax, started playing at the club on weekends. It was very successful, the word went out and the lines appeared again. Trying to get in on a piece of the action, John Levine – the owner of The Lighthouse - asked us to do a weekly Tuesday night session at the Lighthouse and we did."

" .... Our Tuesdays at the Lighthouse did very well, but Ira Westley was a very busy musician and occasionally couldn’t make our gig. Chet began bringing in a young guy named Hershel Himmelstein to sub for him. Later, he became known as Hersh Hamel. John Levine did not like his looks or the way he dressed and he asked Chet not to use him anymore. Chet got his temper up, as he was wont to do, and quit, thereby ending our gig. In the meantime, Howard Rumsey was talking to Levine about the idea of the Sunday afternoon sessions and he had the capability, as he had worked with Stan Kenton, of bringing in some big names such as Shelly Manne, Bud Shank, Milt Bernhart, Shorty Rogers, Hampton Hawes, etc. Levine went for it and the rest is jazz history."

'All this took place in 1949, probably February through April. According to every reference book, the ‘official’ start of The Lighthouse was 29 May 1949, when Rumsey organised his first Sunday afternoon jam session. Chet and Bernie’s pioneering work seems to be completely overlooked by jazz historians. Even according to Ken Koenig’s serious documentary ‘Jazz on the Westcoast / The Lighthouse’, Rumsey was the first one to come up with the brilliant idea to start playing jazz there.'

 

 

Marion Williams

Stuart Ralls has written to say: 'I was interested in your article about Marion Williams (click here). I am a big collector of the Woolworth Embassy label. I have the singles you mentioned and also others when her name was changed to Marian Williams and then to Marilyn Lee presumably to avoid confusion with the American Marion Williams.

 

 


Wood Green Jazz Club and an Australian 'Revival'

Eric Butcher in Melbourne has seen our page on Wood Green Jazz Club (click here) and remembers: 'I started going to the Wood Green Jazz Club around the summer of 1958 until the summer of 1963. I seem to remember the first band I saw was Ken Colyer. I reckon Acker Bilk started playing there at about that time. They used to get all the good bands in those says. My favourite band was Sandy Brown as was the case with my friends and we tried not to miss him when he was playing there. I also remember that the club was open on a Thursday night where they had string bands playing which were quite enjoyable'

' I would 't recognise the place now as I have lived in Melbourne for the past 50 years. Locally here there is a revival in trad jazz as each month we have a band at our local bowling club. It is packed and all seats are sold within days of going on sale (usually about 130). Most of the people there are of my vintage!!!'

 

 

Eddie Thompson and Rod Marshall

Paul Acton writes: 'I too was a regular at Eddie's gigs at the Anchor Inn at Brighouse. I first met Rod Marshall in 1970 at the Alexander Hotel in Bradford when my father used to take me to see Joe Markey's band. Rod used to show up to publicise gigs at a pub he had just bought. He was a great supporter of jazz and did his best to help both Harold McNair and Joe Harriot who were both ill and struggling for gigs. The pub was called the Anchor, (It's still there but called something else now), right next to the canal, it was a Webster's house and a bit of a dump to say the least! However the jazz gigs in the upstairs room went from strength to strength. There was a regular band led by pianist Doc Bailey and featured John Beaumont on tenor and Pete Maguire on valve trombone. Guests that I managed to see were, Don Rendall, Henry Lowther, Pete King, Danny Moss, Red Price, Ronnie Scott, Johnny Griffin, and of course Eddie Thompson'.

'Eddie had a regular Thursday night gig from about 1973 to 1976, with his sidemen being Rowley Ashton on bass and Gordon Tetley on drums. He also had a regular gig at the Warren Buckley theatre in Stockport.  I remember the long lost TV programmes. They were broadcast, I think, in 1976, on the same night as Eddie appeared at Brighouse. Rod set up a TV with a makeshift aerial, so we could watch them during the band's intermission. I talked to Eddie, and he wasn't all that happy with these programmes, saying that he didn't really have much say in what he wanted to do, but needed the bread! Guests included Danny Moss, Adelaide Hall, (who Eddie said was past it, but quite sweet), and Beryl Bryden, (who was a pain in the a***). Eddie proved to be a very popular draw at the Anchor, and got some good coverage in the local paper as one of the regulars was a reporter. A high point was when Rod managed to book Ruby Braff. He and Eddie got on really well'.

'The pub folded around 1977, but Rod's mailing list was passed on to a couple of guys who promoted jazz at the Shay Club in Halifax. Eddie was the house pianist accompanying the likes of Al Cohn, Eddie Lockjaw Davis, Al Grey and Jimmy Forrest, Hal Singer, Arnett Cobb, Red Holloway and Sonny Stitt. The latter two proved problematic. Many of us listeners came to see Eddie as much as the front liners, and Holloway and Stitt would only give Eddie a couple of choruses when he wanted to stretch out. Every time they cut him off mid flow to the annoyance of everybody. At the end Eddie refused to do the expected encore and simply walked off saying loudly, 'They can't afford any more', and that was it. When Holloway and Stitt returned the following year they had a different pianist! This would be around 1981'.

'I lost touch with the local scene after that, but remember Eddie doing a BBC broadcast with Pepper Adams. I last saw Rod Marshall during a visit to Wakefield Jazz Club in 1994, he remembered both me and my father from all those years ago'.

Syd Wardman writes: Regarding Eddie Thompson. Paul Acton mentions the Joe Markey band. I remember that band; Joe Markey was an excellent alto player if my memory serves me right in the style of Paul Desmond. Joe was also brilliant on the baritone. There was a very good tenor player called Ronnie Viro -  I once sat  in with the band somewhere about the late '60s/ early '70s. The owner of the place did ask me back (I hope it was with the approval of Joe) but I never went as I lived in Leeds and was gigging in Wakefield. Incidently I remember Danny Moss playing with Joe Markey but not at this venue.

 

 

Bill Greenow

Our Profile page for clarinettist / saxophonist Bill Greenow has been updated - click here - where you can read his story and listen to some of his music. If you can add any further memories of Bill, please contact us.

 

 

 

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A Quartet With Clout

Pianist Philip Clouts celebrates his Quartet’s tenth anniversary with a 13-date tour beginning at Karamel in Wood Green, London on October 5th. Philip formed the quartet – originally a trio – to create a more intimate contrast to the band he’d been working with since the turn of the millennium, the jazz and world-beat ensemble Zubop, which expanded to a nine-piece through collaborations with Gambian master musicians Juldeh Camara and Njega Sohna.

After releasing his trio album, Direction South, he felt that he wanted to add another voice and so Carlos Lopez-Real from the F-IRE Collective joined on saxophone. “We’ve had a few changes in personnel since then but bassist Alex Keen has been in the group since the start, which gives a great sense of continuity, and I’m really pleased with the current line-up as saxophonist Samuel Eagles and drummer David Ingamells have Philip Clouts Quartetbrought some great input,” says Clouts. “Samuel’s sense of phrasing is unique, and apart from being a great jazz player, he also brings his experience of playing Afrobeat on the London scene. David, who played on the quartet’s most recent album, Umoya, has phenomenal technique and can go from total sensitivity to powerhouse in an instant. That’s very inspiring.”

Click here for a video of the Quartet playing Lila.

While Clouts retains a strong love for the jazz tradition and acknowledges heroes including Bill Evans and Keith Jarrett, his compositions have always tended to look further afield. Umoya spans a range of inspirations from Moroccan Gnawa music to Italian tarantella and as well as playing music from that album on tour, the quartet will be featuring newer material including a blues inspired by the biram, a five-stringed harp used by the Boudouma people of Eastern Niger. “Someone recently told me they found my music life-affirming,” he says. “So I hope that the quartet’s melodic groove-oriented approach will have that effect on the people who come to hear us”.

The band is touring through October and November with dates from Scotland down to Dorset - click here for the tour programme.

 

 

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:

 

Walter Becker

 

Walter Becker - Guitarist with the band Steely Dan. Although Walter Becker, Donald Fagen and the band are seen more in the realms of 'popular music' its jazz influences are unquestionable - just listen to some of the arrangements, particularly if you listen to the Aja album where they brought in celebrated jazz musicians including Wayne Shorter, who plays on the title track, along with studio musicians like guitarist Larry Carlton, drummer Steve Gadd and keyboardist Victor Feldman. Walter Becker was born in Forest Hills, Queens in 1950 and met Donald Fagen in 1967 in Bard's College (My Old School). By the time they recorded Gaucho, Walter Becker had become addicted to heroin and in 1981 the band broke up but got together again in 1993. There are many jazz musicians who reference Steely Dan in their influences. Click here for a video where Walter Becker and Donald Fagen talk with Bernard Purdie about the drummer's contribuion to their music.

 

 

 

 

Trefor Williams

 

 

Trefor 'Fingers' Williams - U.K. bass player from Essex who joined the Chris Barber band in 2010. He was a founder member of Phil Mason's New Orleans Allstars in 1992; worked for more than ten years with Max Collie's Rhythm Aces; toured with Sammy Rimington's International band and has been playing on the south coast with the Usual Suspects. Although people have contacted us to let us know of Trefor's passing, we do not have a link to an obituary at the time of writing (the link here is to Trefor's profile on the Chris Barber website where you will also find a larger version of this photograph). Click here for a video of Trefor with The Usual Suspects playing My Mother's Eyes at the Bournemouth Jazz Festival in 2016. [Christine Tyrell (vocals), Trefor Williams (leader/bass), Ken Sims (trumpet), Dave Hewitt (trombone), Tim Huskisson (clarinet), Paul Sealey (banjo), Emile Martin (drums)].

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

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Album Released: 8th September 2017 - Label: Outline

 

Jane Ira Bloom

Wild Lines: Improvising Emily Dickinson

 

Steve Day reviews this album for us:

Jane Ira Bloom (soprano saxophone); Dawn Clement (piano); Mark Helias (double bass); Bobby Previte (drums); Deborah Rush (voice).

Click here to listen to Alone And In A Circumstance as an introduction to the album.

If you caught the Sandy Brown Jazz review of Jane Ira Bloom’s Early Americans album back in October last year, this new double album may appear as an ‘almost’ sequel.  Six of the tracks featured on this new double album were also present on the Americans album.  Whereas last year’s recording was a trio album with no keyboard, Wild Lines has the added dimension of Dawn Clement’s piano, plus on the second disc, the actorJane Ira Bloom Wild Lines Deborah Rush is ‘narrating’ extracts from the poetry of the great Emily Dickinson (1830-1886).  This is where the spike spikes. 

Emily Dickinson may be a 19th century wordsmith placed in a 21st century ‘jazz’ environment, but you better be sure there’s a relevance in the cut and thrust of this dialogue. Catch the space in-between thought and meaning, immediately you’re dealing with a radical.  I came late to Emily Dickinson – it was a matter of two or more beat poets before the beatitudes.  Then to beat, or not to beat?  Too beat.  When I eventually realised the dark arts gave up Emily Dickinson there were beats a-plenty.  Because although her language is delivered with all the gentility of loose leaf tea strained for a bone china, these are Wild Lines.  More tea, vicar?  Nah, give me the kettle; this album may be about improvising Emily Dickinson, the focus is ‘improvising Jane Ira Bloom’.  Wild Lines run between these two renaissance women.

For example, how about One Note From One Bird; a reference to Charlie ‘Bird’ Parker, at least fifty years before he was born?  Not quite a prophecy, but certainly a synergy.  The full weird line (with the original upper and lower case) reads: One note from One Bird Is better than A Million Word – A scabbard Needs Has – holds But one Sword.  If any poem visually looked like one of Bird’s great alto solos this must surely be it.  And as for Jane Ira Bloom, she purchases a sound out of her soprano sax with the assured confidence that the notes Emily Dickinsoncan be perfect even at this height.  This particular piece is drawn like a sweep of an arc.  The line’s linear language brooks no alternative.  Bloom absolutely defines the solo entry, literally in flight; not any old bird.... but a dozen notes from a soaring eagle. 

Try another example, Dangerous Times; here come the Dickinson words, delivered by Deborah Rush without ornate emphasis:  I lived on Dread – To Those who know The stimulus there is Danger....  Bobby Previte’s guiding ghost percussion sets the scene, joined by a slow, slow bowed bass, stretched like wire across something malleable, then the fix of a soprano-in-Bloom – a secular psalm haunting Dread’s redemption.  And it’s not overdone, it’s just simply done.  That is, simple if you know how.

Emily Dickinson

When I reviewed Early Americans last year I described Mind Gray River as a “....standout performance.... going down with all the grace of good and evil.”  Listening now to the Disc 1 version of the composition on Wild Lines, which doesn’t carry any Dickinson narrative, I’d say it is slightly defused by Dawn Clement’s piano, an instrument not present on the Early Americans recording.  However, go to Mind Gray River on Disc 2 and it is cut out of the same clay, a study in the relationship between tension and relief.  Previte and Elias provide an elastic hold on this music. And Clement’s keyboard is left sparse and angular, a blade to an incision of poetry which states, “I felt a Cleaving in my Mind – As if my Brain had split......”  This is a ‘Gray River’ turned as dark as a starless night.  No aurora necessary, just the mind, or as Dickinson puts it, with “sequence ravelled out of Sound.” There is a fancy for the blues, blues hurting the soul, blues as rough forgiveness, blues when the form becomes as sophisticated as sin itself.  Such sorrow is turned into defiance on the next track.  Cornets Of Paradise has the both the narrator and the band in a storm cutting Jane Ira Bloom Wild Lines bandperformance, “Over and over, like a Tune.”  Bobby Previte “Drums off the Phantom Battlements” as the leader’s saxophone strips Dickinson’s words from the page and puts them out as a soprano reed singing in the grip of an Americana baptism.  (Or something akin to it).

The actual “Sound” on Wild Lines Disc 2 is found in the fascinating intricacies of the Jane Ira Bloom Quartet playing against, as well as with, words.  These are usually delivered flat to crease their own curves as well as the music.  That is except for the closer; Richard Rodgers’ 1935 standard, It’s Easy To Remember.  Here, played acappella on soprano as a bookend to both discs.  It’s not the first time Ms Bloom has chosen to finalise a session with a solo signature.  This album titles Emily Dickinson, but the signature, the unadorned solo horn performance singles out song, emphasising that when it comes down to it, this recording is actually about one of the most unique soprano saxophone players working in the USA today. Certainly Jane Ira Bloom should be congratulated on producing an album of prowess and substance.  Thanks for the review copy, I’d have bought it anyway.

Click here for a video of Jane Ira Bloom, Mark Helias and Bobby Previte playing Singing The Triangle live.

Click here for details and to sample the album. Click here for Jane Ira Bloom's website.

Steve Day  www.stevedaywordsandmusic.co.uk

 

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Album Released: 6th October 2017 - Label: Ubuntu Music

 

Leo Richardson Quartet

The Chase

 

Howard Lawes reviews this album for us:

Leo Richardson (saxophone); Rick Simpson (piano), Mark Lewandowski (bass), Ed Richardson (drums) with guests Quentin Collins (trumpet) and Alan Skidmore (saxophone).

It is a well known maxim that you can't judge a book by its cover, whether this applies to CD covers is debatable but in the case of The Chase by the Leo Richardson Quartet, one has the feeling that the cover very well suggests what the music will be like. Leo Richardson himself looks splendid in a smart jacket and tie playing aLeo Richardson Quartet The Chase formidable tenor sax while the album title pays homage to bebop exponent Dexter Gordon's album of the same name. Other tracks on the album commemorate more giants of jazz such as Joe Henderson with Blues For Joe, Horace Silver with Silver Lining and Alan Skidmore's Mr Skid, written by Leo Richardson for Alan Skidmore and with this track actually featuring Alan Skidmore himself. 

Leo Richardson is a top grade saxophonist and clarinettist, graduating with 1st class honours from Trinity College in 2013 where his tutor was Jean Toussaint, who incidentally supplies the album notes. His band members are pianist Rick Simpson, Mark Lewandowski on double bass and Ed Richardson on drums, all having graduated from top London colleges and becoming part of the thriving London jazz scene playing with some of the best bands around and with regular dates at venues such as Ronnie Scott's. The music played by the band  has been classified as straight-ahead, contemporary hard bop. 

The first track, Blues For Joe, unlike many people's idea of a blues, has a really fast tempo, a catchy tune and establishes straight away that this is a band that can really deliver the goods with exciting solos from Leo Richardson and Rick Simpson. In a live setting it would certainly have the audience cheering and clapping. 

Click here to listen to The Chase on Soundcloud.

Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers is another of Leo Richardson's influences and Demon E,  with Quentin Collins joining the band on trumpet and delivering a great solo, is a lovely, swinging number that reminds us of that link.  Collins is very evident again in The Curve which is described in the album notes as "blues with a bridge", it provides ample opportunity for some very pleasing solos over a vigorous rhythm.  The title track is Richardson's take on the Dexter Gordon classic and features amazing dexterity and precision from Rick Simpson on piano and there is also a rapid-fire drum solo from Ed Richardson. 

 

Leo Richardson Quartet

 

Click here to listen to The Curve on Soundcloud.

In complete contrast Elisha's Song is a wistful and sentimental ballad beautifully played by Leo Richardson. In complete contrast again, Mambo provides musical sections where band members play solos or duets, beginning with some very gentle double bass from Mark Lewandowski before Richardson's bebop saxophone takes over to be replaced again by a contemporary duet between drums and piano.

Silver Lining is, of course, a tribute to the "Grandpop of Hard Bop", and this tune has the same style of rhythm, melody and soloing that Horace Silver employed to great effect. The last track on the album, Mr Skid, is a tribute to Alan Skidmore who joins the band for this piece which will surely please all lovers of jazz tenor saxophone and it is entirely appropriate, given Skidmore's Impressions Of John Coltrane album, that this album cover has a quote from John Coltrane "You've got to look back at the old things and see them in a new light".

The press release accompanying this Ubuntu Music released album states "this album will surely both entertain and delight anyone who wants the real deal in quintessential hard-bop jazz music" and they are absolutely right.

Click here for a video introduction. Click here for details and to sample Blues For Joe.

Click here for Leo Richardson's website.

Leo Richardson is on tour during October and November playing at:

11th October - Spice of Life, London - album launch
26th November - Talking Heads, Southampton
30th November - Matt & Phreds, Manchester
1st December - Opus 4 Jazz Club, Darlington
2nd December - Zeffirellis, Ambleside
4th December - Kenilworth Jazz Club
5th December - North Wales Jazz
7th December - The Blue Boar, Poole
12th December - Pizza Express, Soho, London

 

Howard Lawes

 

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Album Released: 22nd September 2017 - Label: Lake Records

 

Jeff Barnhart and Spats Langham

Thanks For The Melody

 

Jeff Barnhart (vocals, piano, enthusiastic enducements); Spats Langham (vocals, banjo, guitar, ukelele, responses to inducements).

There is a sentence at the end of the album's liner notes: 'As working musicians separately and together Jeff and Spats have recorded and appeared on more Lake CDs than any other artist'. These guys have been round the block. More than that, they have been good friends for many years. This is their second album together and its setting is that relaxed familiarity from musicians who know each other well (We Wish We Were Twins was recorded in 2015). Added to which Jeff describes a recording set up where the piano was 'three floors away from the recording control which involved running a lot of cables ... Paul (Adams at Lake Records) had no visual contact with us ... but it enabled the two of us to simply sit in the room, relax and make music.'

Jeff Barnhart started playing piano professionally when he was just 14 in a restaurant in his home state of Connecticut, U.S.A. Since then he has gained an international reputation and averages around 40 weeks a year on the road. As well as leading bands in the U.K., he works with a plethora of others and has been described as 'the premier stride pianist in the USA.' Tom 'Spats' Langham is equally busy, you seem to see his nameJeff Barnhart & Spats Langham Thanks For the Melody everywhere. He started to play ukelele 'as soon as his fingers were big enough', turned to the banjo when he was 10 and was playing with his first bands at 14. He has become a much loved part of the UK traditional jazz scene and has played with many bands including The Temperence Seven, The Pasadena Roof Orchestra, Acker Bilk, ... the list is long.

Thanks For The Melody has 20 tracks. Value for money. There are many you will know: Mississippi Sandman, Wait 'Til You See 'Ma Cherie', Stompin' 'Em Down; Just An Hour Of Love; Don't Bring Lulu; Lulu's Back In Town; Ghost Of A Chance .... What is nice is that Jeff Barnhart, who wrote the album's liner notes, comments on many of the tracks and why they are here. So sit back, relax and tap your toes.

The opening title track was originally recorded by the Temperence Seven in 1963 but never released. A Beautiful Lady In Blue originally written as a waltz by J. Fred Coots really cracks along, you'd have a job waltzing to this, and the vocals and Spats' banjo solo sum up the happy time being had by this duo! Mississipi Sandman saunters along and gives Jeff an extended piano solo and the jaunty Wait 'Til You See Ma Cherie (one of my favourite Bix Beiderbecke numbers) has Spats taking the vocals and Jeff the solo where I expect Bix to come in, before he hands over to some fancy finger picking in a solo from his fellow musician.

Poor Papa is new to me. It is a 1920s number originally sung by 'Whispering' Jack Smith; if George Melly never recorded it I'd be Jeff Barnhartsurprised! Stompin' 'Em Down is one of the few numbers without vocals and lives up to it title. Mary (What Are You Waiting For?) is that well-known romantic number from Bing Crosby's repertoire; Dapper Dan is another 1920s number originally from Eddie Cantor but here we have the 'enthusiastic inducements and responses' from Jeff and Spats referred to on the album cover: 'If I lose my gal in Baltimore, that won't make me sore (no sir!) There's another can fill the bill waiting for me down in Louisville (she must be a ....) ...'.

Singing In The Rain comes as a surprisingly fast, humorous number followed by the slow Delta Bound. Just An Hour Of Love is another from my Bix/Tram memories and here it is taken faster and not as light as I like it, but each to his own. Bouncin' Around bouncies around as an instrumental and Happy-Go-Lucky You is a pretty number sung by the Broken Hearted Me - a song from the 1930s it featured in Bing Crosby, Ed KirkebySpats Langham and the Pasadena Roof Ochestra play lists. Then we have the two 'Lulu' numbers. Jeff and Spats share the vocals on Don't Bring Lulu that morphs into Lulu's Back In Town and it is nice to be reminded of the clever 1925 lyrics to Don't Bring Lulu.

How Could I Be Blue is a lesser-known Razaf/ Wilson tune and Halfway To Heaven could again be taken out of the PRO/Temperence Seven catalogue ('Then she meets me halfway, halfway up that pathway, That's halfway to heaven and you'). Ghost Of A Chance has Spats singing the lyrics with just Jeff's piano accompaniment to another Crosby favourite that has been recorded by the world and his / her wife. Temptation Rag has the two musicians ragging in an empathetic instrumental partnership with some impressive playing by Spats, and Some Sweet Day has touches of Fats Waller in its increased tempo middle section before it romps away only for Jeff to finish with low down lyrics. The album ends with Irving Berlin's Waiting At The End Of The Road and is introduced by 'Whistling' Jeff Barnhart in tribute to another Bing Crosby number and a fitting end to the recording.

This recording will certainly be popular with those who have a fondness for 1920s music. It is happy reflection of that era by a popular and relaxed duo who clearly work together well.

Click here for details and to sample the album.

 

Ian Maund

 

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Album Released: 8th September 2017 - Label: Ridgeway Records

 

San Francisco String Trio

May I Introduce To You

 

Tim Rolfe reviews this album for us:

Click here for a video introduction to the album.

May I Introduce To You, is a 50th anniversary tribute to the the Beatles classic album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band from three of The Bay Area’s talented artists calling themselves the San Francisco String Trio.  The Trio consists of guitarist Mimi Fox, violinist Mads Tolling and bassist/vocalist Jeff Denson and all the trio members have had critically acclaimed albums as bandleaders in their own right.  

Mimi Fox is New York born and claims a huge variety of musical influences from her youth onwards.  Mads Tolling was born and raised in Copenhagen and began his musical career as a classical soloist before San Francisco String Trio May I Introduce To You switching to jazz and attending Berklee in 2000.  Jeff Denson met Mads Tolling at Berklee, whilst taking an arranging class. Jeff was also in a trio called Minsarah before they joined Lee Konitz as his rhythm section on his album Deep Blue in 2007.  All three musicians are improvisers / arrangers at the California Jazz Conservatory and have a love of the Beatles work.  Mimi Fox remembers the album from growing up in New York.  Denson taught a class on the Beatles at the California Jazz Conservatory.

The album is primarily an instrumental recording - only three of the songs have vocals - and the order of tracks does not follow the Beatles original.  The original had 13 tracks, the extra one being a reprise of the title track, so we kick off with When I’m Sixty-Four which has a swinging violin intro with guitar/bass backing, before the guitar takes over. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds follows giving us the chance to hear Tolling’s technique of both bowing and plucking his violin.  This is a gentle interpretation of the song with a blend of recognisable parts of the melody with some improvisation, and it works well.  

The first track that contains vocals is Fixing A Hole and Denson’s vocals suit the track well.  George Harrison’s Within You Without You has Tolling’s violin playing the main theme with nice bass from Jeff Denson, and Mimi Fox’s guitar can imitate an Indian sitar very well on some of these tracks.  With A Little Help From My Friends, is a slower instrumental version, (you can hear Tolling’s classical background sometimes in his playing and stands in well for the missing vocals), and has the violin leading with the melody and releasing it at times to the bass and guitar.  A definite Latin feel to this version of Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite comes from Fox’s guitar, but the violin leads the melody.  You could do a decent Argentinian tango to this track.

Click here to listen to For The Benefit Of Mr Kite.

Lovely Rita has more improvisation on the original theme and the trio blends well together.  The violin with Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band albumguitar, reminded me of Stephane Grappelli who I recall once seeing being backed by Martin Taylor on guitar. This indeed, is a lovely version of the original track.  Getting Better is the second track to have vocals by Jeff Denson and there is a short vocal intro before the instruments take over, again with some well blended improvisation over the original theme.

Good Morning Good Morning has an introduction that has an interesting staccato section with the musicians answering and echoing each other on the violin and bass.  This is an unusual and lovely track.  She’s Leaving Home has a guitar main melody, slow and atmospheric and conveys the melancholy of the original song.  The third track to contain vocals by Denson is A Day In The Life, which captures the minutiae of daily life and the instrumental part has improvised sections with measured and a beautifully played guitar harmonising with the other instruments.  Jeff Denson has a great voice for this track.

We end the album with the original title track, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band;  a slower but very well constructed improvisation on the original theme.  The tempo varies to fast and then slow again and ends with a sharp, abrupt cut.

As mentioned above the original Beatles album had 13 tracks but with the improvisation added to the original songs this may come out to the same playing time as the original album.  The violin mostly takes on the main melody, often joined by the bass and all upheld by the guitar.  However, on She’s Leaving Home, Fox is on the guitar playing unaccompanied except for overlaid guitar tracks. There are no liner notes but there are two track listings.  I may have mentioned it before, I am not a fan of lots of improvisation but this trio has won me over.  An album that should be listened to again as there are lots of detailed contributions from all the musicians.

Click here for details and to sample the album.

Tim Rolfe

 

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Album Released: September 2017 - Label: Leo Records

 

Deniz Peters and Simon Rose

Edith's Problem

 

Steve Day reviews this album for us:

Deniz Peters (piano); Simon Rose (baritone and alto saxophones)

I’d finished writing the October review for the Trevor Watts/Stephen Grew (saxophone and piano) album, All There Is, and the following morning a copy of Edith’s Problem by pianist Deniz Peters and saxophonist Simon Rose arrived in the post.  I was immediately intrigued; two piano and saxophone recordings both centred on improvisation with no prior composition.  I began to listen to Edith’s Problem and I realised that, like the Watts/Grew session, the recording quality is outstanding.  Pin-drop clarity.  I sat and consumed the whole of the Peters/Rose recording in one sitting, I couldn’t move from the room.  After over 50 minutes of music, myDeniz peters Simon Rose Ediths Problem immediate response was to put the whole album back through the speakers and listen again.  Because? Because though I initially thought I’d write a 'compare and contrast' review with Watts/Grew, it became immediately obvious that these two albums, despite initial similarities, are totally different. 

What does this tell us?  Improvised open-ended encounters, far from locking musicians into a common human response, enables the individuality of the players to move into personal places not directly dictated by the instrument. Well, at least that‘s my perception. This review of Edith’s Problem is shorter than usual because I find myself unable to write anything beyond how absolutely bewitchingly beautiful this music is.

There is an intense brevity in the construction of the Peters/Rose performance despite the 50 plus minute duration.  The shuddering sense of this minimalist piano and the horns has soundtracked me for days, as if I have a new pulse emerging.  The title is based on Edith Stein’s book On The Problem of Empathy.  Right now I’ll leave others to read the book.  I’m staying with this empathetic music. 

Simon Rose has been off my radar for several years, he’s been active in dance and electronics, usually in solo or duet situations.  I don’t think Deniz Peters has crossed my path before, I’m not sure. I don’t really know.  The nearest equivalent I can think of to Edith’s Problem is the terrific soundtrack for the Shutter Island movie made up of a mix of pieces by John Adams, Max Ricter, Lou Harrison and John Cage.  Unsettling, scarred by beauty.  Trapping the ears in the need to listen; a vast territory given up to ghosts and imagination. 

Edith’s Problem has seven tracks they hang as a whole but they can be taken in small individual pieces if you prefer.  I hear the album in three parts.  The first is made up of tracks 1 to 4, Between Parts 1 & 2, Hinges and Resonance Part 1.  These pieces are so barren; lean, clean music, extraordinarily aerated, dry as desert, so Edith Stein On The Problem With Empathyslow and singularly free of the movement that carries them forward.  Simon Rose is holding long stretches of sound – notes, clusters, dissonance, tiny timbral drones – shafts of lyricism, scraps of resonating reed through metal.  He is an aural welder – the baritone saxophone taken underground to burn off the oxygen. Deniz Peters places his piano out there in this space, planting a minimal trail of struck single notes, sometimes ‘prepared’ in the manner of John Cage, often simply hung out to dry like a man drip-feeding shingle with suck and blow.

The second part of the album is generated by track 5, appropriately called Shifts; sounds of feverish activity, the baritone borrowing the bottom from the keyboard.  They wait for each other.  Move forward as if they are conducted to do so, yet there is no baton, no mark on a manuscript, only the empathy, seemingly unproblematic.  Shifts changes the position of action.  Until this point piano and saxophones have produced an achingly responsive dual recital, now they divide.  Not to part, but they are animated, acting out miniature fragments of solo space.  Resonance Part 2 picks up the feel of its earlier companion piece, yet it sits under Shifts like a continuation.  It doesn’t splice from Part 1; the alto horn cracks as if hurt, there is oscillation rolling around the inside of the piano, very small sparks of notes coming off the prepared interior.  Eventually it’s like a common breath.

Finally the third section, entitled Parting, brings all these murmurings together.  It is ‘au revoir’ rather than ‘goodbye’; containing a similar contemplation, slow, methodically sounding out – until the music leaves, as if through the backdoor. Deniz Peters and Simon Rose began playing together for the first time a few days prior to making this recording.  It appears they it hit it off.  To be honest, I’m not convinced Edith Stein ever had a problem, at least not this particular one.  This is a recording which holds a huge amount of gravitas in a comparatively small space.  With a minimum amount of notes, from a single grand piano and two saxophones, all things are possible.  Yet we don’t require everything.  This album does not provide ‘all things’, just what is required.  And it is this that gives Edith’s Problem gravitas. No big issue.

Click here for details and to sample the music.  

Steve Day  www.stevedaywordsandmusic.co.uk 


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Album Released: 18th September 2017 - Label: Boom Baboon Records

 

The Brass Funkeys

Rabble Rouser

 

Rob Smith, Matt Letts (trumpets); Dave Robinson (saxophone); Vij Prakesh, Tom Green (trombones): Rob Slater, John Caddick (sousaphones); Scott Jowett (drums); Chris Brice (percussion) and with guests Jack Banjo Courtney (trumpet); Chris Saunders (trombone).

... and now for something a little bit different! A contemporary, young brass band with their own compositions that holds true to a New Orleans sound. They have been around since 2011, and this is their second album (theThe Brass Funkeys Rabble Rouser self-titled The Brass Funkeys came out in 2014). They have appeared at many of this year's Festivals - Glastonbury; North Sea Jazz Festival; Bestival; Wilderness and you might have caught them at the London Jazz Festival; Hootenanny; Richmix; the Shoreditch Blues Kitchen or last year in support of Dr John.

Perhaps the best way to introduce them and their music is this video of them playing Dirty Harry, one of the tracks on Rabble Rouser - click here. You can see why their infectious enthusiasm drives a song along and how they are able to layer new ideas on traditional rhythms.

If you go to the band's YouTube page their tongue-in-cheek approach picks up on that sense of fun, describing themselves as: 'The Brass Funkeys are a performing monkey troupe that escaped the New Orleans circus; hitchhiked east in a hot air balloon; landed in the Atlantic and swam ashore in England. Having raided the store room of a colliery band for pristine trombones, trumpets and sousaphones they are now on the loose making the sounds of the music they so missed; funk, reggae, hiphop, thrashjazz and more... '

They also perform as a marching / street band - click here for them playing in London's Brick Lane. If you haven't caught up with the audience response yet, then here is the album. What do you get for your money? 13 tracks of varying lengths covering 53 minutes of play time with original compositions and a couple of unexpected covers. It starts with a lumbering sousaphone plus percussion before a solo trumpet brings in the rest of the brass to a tune called Goblins, and sounding like the title, they step in time. It is the trumpet again that comes in to explore a line across the band.

Click here to listen to Goblins.

Pacha Mama is slow and steady. She is a fertile Andes goddess 'whose shrines are hallowed (heavy) rocks, or the boles of legendary trees ... an independent deity who has her own self-sufficient and creative power to sustain life on this earth'. Here she has an attractive, embracing fertile arrangement with a skipping trumpet and dancing saxophone, in a well-balanced recording where each instrument has its place in the whole. David Battenberg's Life Of Cakes begs the question of its origin, a life of, not a love of cakes? Whatever, a tasty trombone solo comes in the middle of this multi-coloured confection described by the band as 'the soundtrack to a man stuffing himself full of baked goods in the middle of the rainforest'. Because of some of the videos, I had initially expected the band to be 'looser' on this recording but I was wrong, here is another track that shows the complete compatibility that underlies this 'fun' outing. Which brings us to the cover of Gorillaz' Dirty Harry, the track we tasted in the introduction to this review, and then on to Asiro - a dancing brass melody over a sousaphone riff, full and ripe for the trombone and trumpet solos that emerge.

 

The Brass Funkeys

 

We can get down to Bizness by sharing a buzzing video of this busy track - click here.

Honeydripper is the funky number by singer / songwriter Royce Wood Junior from his album The Ashen Tang. The Brass Funkeys slow strut a low down, wa-wa approach to the number before Clave Maria introduces the second appearance of trombonist Chris Saunders (who was featured in Dirty Harry) for a Latin influenced, carnival-parading, number where the percussion also hits the spot.

Underdub starts out slow with the tune spelt out by the trumpet. By now you know that this album is a tuneful, toe-tapping pleasure and on this number with its imaginative production that presumably excludes overdubbin the point is proven.

Dynamo Blues with its funky riff is happier than a blues tune and the trombone grooves across the middle and Zambezi is a very fast, fun cover of the old Lou Busch standard with the band partying in unison with solo outings along the way. La Sable enters to the sousaphone with tinkling percussion taking the lead into a romantic tango accompanied by a French vocal and a saxophone instead of an accordion. The source you will know better as the Yves Montand song Les Feuilles Mortes (Autumn Leaves) - click here for the lyrics. 'Et la mer efface sur le sable Les pas des amants désunis'. Which goes something like: ''And the sea wipes out from the sand the footprints of the separated lovers'. P.I.T.A. (Prakash In The Attic) clearly belongs to the trombonist and ends this superb set on a jaunty collective interwoven with saxophone until everyone slows down to let Vij Prakesh out of the attic, but not for long!

If this review doesn't show how much I enjoy this album, then I haven't written it properly. The examples, the tasters, that you can get from the links reflect the whole, the complete package. The Brass Funkeys are a real pleasure to hear and inspire with the life in their music, arrangements and compositions. I have yet to hear them play live, but it is on my agenda. We can be uplifted on their current tour which continues through October and November in Oxford, Bournemouth, Bristol, North Cornwall, Cambridge, Reading, Manchester, Newcastle and Leeds ending up at Ronnie Scott's Club on 10th December. Click here for the dates and details where you can also sample some of the tracks on the album.

Click here for more details of the album.

Ian Maund

 

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Album Released: 23rd June 2017 - Label: Symbol Records

 

Terry Pack's Trees

heart of oak

 

Robin Kidson reviews this record for us:

My wife doesn’t like jazz. I am only allowed to play my jazz records (a) through headphones or (b) when she’s out. She was out the other night so I took the opportunity to play the DVD version of Heart of Oak, the debut album by Trees, a Brighton based group led by bassist and composer, Terry Pack. She came home early and caught me at it but watched for a few minutes and then said, “I rather like this; it isn’t jazz, though. Perhaps that’s why I like it”.

I like Heart of Oak as well. I wouldn’t entirely agree that “it isn’t jazz” – there are enough signs that a jazz sensibility is at work both in the arranging and playing. I suppose you could call it “jazzish” which is a term that could be applied to much contemporary music labelled as jazz. This is the case particularly in Europe where jazzTerry Pack's Trees Heart Of Oak has renewed itself by hybridising with other genres including rock, folk and classical. The result is often the proverbial dog’s breakfast; but sometimes, very interesting and exciting music emerges. Which is the case with Heart of Oak.

In the words of Terry Pack, Trees is “an unfeasibly large ensemble” of around 60 musicians and singers of varying age and experience, including professional players. Not all 60 musicians play on all the tracks on Heart of Oak but there are enough to make a big band sound – sometimes, a very big, big band sound.

The album itself has 10 tracks with a total playing time of over 75 minutes. In addition to the audio CD, the package also includes a DVD with live performances of most of the tracks plus a bonus track, El Pueblo Unido.

Much of the jazz in Heart of Oak is of the jazz-rock variety; I was reminded particularly of the British jazz rock of the early 1970s – the days of Nucleus, Mike Gibbs, Neil Ardley and the like. There are also traces of prog rock from the same era, plus a strongish dose of high end pop and more than a nod to the English folk music tradition. The overall result is intricate, highly rhythmic, melodic music which can be enjoyed by a wide range of people – except, perhaps, by those who like their jazz exclusive and esoteric, only to be appreciated by a knowledgeable elite.

Jazz can be a very masculine endeavour, performed by men to be played back by men on complicated audio equipment whilst their wives are out. One of the striking things about Trees is the number of women involved, not only in the choir of mainly female voices but also in the players and soloists. Although most of the pieces were written and arranged by Terry Pack, three of the tracks are the work of Hilary Burt who also plays flute in the ensemble.

The album kicks off with The Long Man/The Holy Well. Like many of the other pieces on the album, the track is inspired by places in the Sussex landscape. It begins with an electronically enhanced wash of sound which leads into female voices singing a lyric written by band member, Imogen Ryall after a poem by Sir Edward Dyer. The song and tune would not be out of place as the theme of a James Bond movie. It is backed by a wordless chorus of female voices, a characteristic feature of the Trees style. It is a very effective piece of music making but you’d be forgiven for wondering where the jazz is – until, suddenly, the beat picks up and Gabriel Garrick plays a superb, beautifully judged solo on flugelhorn. Proper jazz! Later in the piece, there are equally strong solos by Mark Edwards on synthesiser, James Osler and Enrico Pinna on guitars, and Beccy Rork on soprano sax.

The second track, Simeon, is by Hilary Burt. It has a foot tapping beat, a memorable tune and more sterling solo work by Derek Beebee on electric piano, Charlotte Glasson and Philippe Guyard on tenor saxes, and Terry Pack himself on electric bass. Click here to see a live performance.

The Ridge is another Sussex-inspired piece by Pack. It has a nice, lyrical tune interspersed with more memorable solos particularly from Enrico Pinna on guitar, Andy Pickett on tenor sax, and Paul Nieman on trombone. Pantaleon is dedicated to the Argentinian composer, Astor Piazzola – Pantaleon is his middle name. It’s “a kind of tango”, perhaps inevitably. The Story So Far is a Hilary Burt piece – of all the memorable tunes on the album, this is the one that most insistently lodges in the brain. It has another sung lyric with the choir sounding like the sixties vocal group, The Fifth Dimension; and solos from Glasson and Rork which fit snugly into the whole.

Scarborough Fair is a Pack-arranged version of the old folk song. It is a big band arrangement which quickly leaves the spirit of the original behind – “the arrangement soon took on a life of its own and led me a merry dance”, according to Pack. The band really stretches out with searing electric guitar from James Osler, some effective exchanges between Jack Kendon on trumpet and Gabriel Garrick on flugelhorn, and another nicely judged contribution from Charlotte Glasson, this time on soprano sax. Click here to see a live performance of the track.

Baka is another Hilary Burt piece with an African feel to it and a complex 6/4 time signature. Friston To Cuckmere brings the brass instruments of the ensemble to the fore. At times, it sounds like an English brass Terry Pack's Treesband with a touch of Mike Westbrook. It develops a thrilling, insistent rock beat with an awful lot going on including the spoken narration of a poem by Rudyard Kipling, first by a male voice, then a female one.

The title track, Heart of Oak is another brassy sounding piece which, at one point, morphs into something which Dizzy Gillespie might have played with his big band in his latin period. Gabriel Garrick plays a virtuosic Gillespie-type solo on trumpet.

After all the big band, big sounds, the final track, Haven: The River’s End, is a short reflective piece with a distinctive Indian vibe featuring Kate Hogg on bansuri, Enrico Pinna on acoustic guitar, and Eddie Myer on double bass.

The bonus track on the DVD, El Pueblo Unido, has all the characteristics of the Trees style: the big band sound, memorable riffs, the insistent upbeat rhythm (driven, this time,  by Eddie Myer on bass), the wordless female chorus, and, of course, great solo work – from Julian Nicholas on tenor sax and Jack Kendon on trumpet. Click here to see the live performance on the DVD.

Categories can illuminate, but they can also mislead. Whether Heart of Oak is jazz, pop, jazz-rock or just jazzish isn’t the point. What matters is that it’s a superb, brilliantly conceived piece of music. I like Heart of Oak; I like it a lot. What’s more, my wife likes it. And there can be no higher praise than that.

For more information about Trees plus details of how to get hold of the album and samples of some of the tracks, click here for their website. It’s also worth checking out their You Tube channel here.

Robin Kidson

 

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Album Released: 8th September 2017 - Label: Palmetto Records

 

Fred Hersch

Open Book

 

Filipe Freitas at Jazztrail in New York reviews this album for us:

Fred Hersch (piano).

Open Book is another wonderful opportunity to get in touch with the compelling and always emotional music of Fred Hersch, an established pianist who, playing solo, presents three originals and four selected covers of disparate nature.

The gifted musician confesses in the booklet notes of his 11th solo release that what gives him more pleasureFred Hersch Open Book lately is sitting down at the piano and letting it flow to see what happens. That’s exactly the sensation we get when this record is spinning. It starts by conveying a delicate intimacy in its opening tune, “The Orb”, an original and very personal composition whose touching lyricism is freed by the magic touch of his fingers as he couples melodic and harmonic richness. Everything is surrounded by a glorious sense of dreaming.
 
Plainsong” is another original composition that reflects this state of melancholy, generating an idyllic crossing between jazz and classical genres. Its structure has nothing to do with “Through The Forest”, a ruminative 19-minute free improvisation that explores imaginary paths and trails of a secret forest. There are amazement, abstracted reverie, and dazzle in the depiction, but also mystery and an intermittent tension that is mostly created by the deep-sounding chords unhooked with the left hand.

Jobim’s “Zingaro”, also known as “Portrait in Black and White”, shows up with a heavenly aura, carrying all that crushing sentiment in the beautiful melody and harmonic progression. Benny Golson’s classic “Whisper Not” is dissected with wisdom and perceptiveness, and then reconstructed with adventurous melodic counterpoint and ruling staccato voicings that, in an early stage, make difficult the perception of which tune we are listening to. The Fred Herschmain melody only becomes clearly discernible when we reach the final shout chorus.

In turn, Monk’s “Eronel" theme is delivered when most expected. Holding on to its natural bop gaiety, Hersch’s rendition exerts inventive rhythmic variations, stout phrases enriched with exciting passage notes and attractive motifs. It diverges from Billy Joel’s lyric poem “And So It Goes”, which, interpreted with elegance, closes the album with a romantic touch.

Click here to listen to Eronel.

As a curiosity, the previous solo album by Fred Hersch, precisely entitled Solo, also included one Jobim and one Monk song, and closed with a pop/rock piece, in that case, Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides, Now”. Regardless of that observation, Open Book is another story and a wonderful one, replete with fantastic moments that should be enough to make you explore it with no reservations.

Click here for details and to sample the album.

Filipe Freitas jazztrail.net

 

 

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Album Released: 28th July 2017 - Label: Edition Records

 

Rob Luft

Riser

 

Rob Luft (guitar); Joe Wright (tenor saxophone); Joe Webb (Hammond organd, piano, harmonium); Tom McCredie (bass); Corrie Dick (drums).

We are very lucky to have some very talented jazz guitar players in the U.K. and Rob Luft is one of them. This is his debut album under his own name and he is joined by four other talented young musicians who have been making a substantial impression on the current scene.

Originally from Kent and now based in London, Rob Luft graduated from the Royal Academy of Music in 2016. He has played with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra; with The Deco Ensemble that he co-founded in 2013 toRob Luft Riser re-imagine the music of Astor Piazzolla’s Nuevo Tango; he is a winner of the prestigious Kenny Wheeler Music Prize and was placed second in the 2016 Montreux Jazz Guitar Competition. He is a member of Byron Wallen’s “Four Corners”, Martin Speake’s “Mafarowi” and Enzo Zirilli’s “Zirobop” and is part of the band Big Bad Wolf. He appears on Liane Carroll’s 2015 release Seaside, on Brazilian singer Luna Cohen’s 2016 album November Sky, and on the 2015 debut album from Enzo Zirilli, Zirobop. He took time out with us for a Tea Break back in November 2016 when he was looking forward to recording this album.

Now with Riser, Rob says: “Riser marks the first occasion on which I’ve released a selection of my original songs. I have always considered myself as being primarily a performer and secondly a composer and feel more at home standing on the kind of “Riser” that can be found in London’s jazz clubs rather than sitting at home writing music.”

Click here for an introductory video for Riser.

All of the numbers on this album are compositions by Rob except Shorty which was written with Tom McCredie and Corrie Dick.

Night Songs opens the set with some fast guitar and percussion introducing the theme before the tune opens out and stretches out. Rob's guitar establishes its credentials in the solo against the swell of the band and Corrie Dick's persistent drums underlie a repeated motif. The title tune, Riser, is next up. It is a really engaging melody mainly spelt out with hints of Africa and developed by Joe Wright's saxophone until the guitar floats in with its part and the Hammond fills beneath the motif to the end.

Click here to listen to Beware!

Rob Luft and Corrie Dick

 

Beware! at track three haunts its way into a Scottish-sounding air making way for an effective guitar solo before finalising back to the repeated riffs of the air. Slow Potion is a brief, slow, gentle emerging of guitar and ensemble before the guitar plays out the wistful tune over a quietly textured arrangement.

Rob Luft and Corrie Dick

Click here to listen to the opening of Slow Potion.

Different Colours Of Silence swells to a lovely, slow theme from guitar and saxophone with a pace that picks up and is explored by the saxophone as the motif continues underneath. The track more or less morphs into the gentle and lyrical Dust Settles and its appealing guitar solo and arrangement. The jointly composed and slightly funky Shorty comes next and everyone contributes their individual personality to the arrangement and effects to make this an intriguing number that, Tardis-like, makes the band seem bigger than you think.

Blue, White and Dreaming has another lyrical theme where keyboard and guitar take the tune on its dream and St. Brian I which follows does not break the mood as the saxophone tunefully opens the way for the guitar solo and then leads the band through the outro. We Are All Slowly Leaving completes the set opening with solo guitar arpeggios. This is the longest track on the album at 8:15 minutes it could equally be titled 'We Are All Slowly Entering' but they do all eventually leave and fade away

This is an album in Rob Luft's name and although he says that he sees himself as 'being primarily a performer and secondly a composer' he should be proud of both his playing and the compositions he has brought to this recording. But it would be wrong to leave you with just that; this is an album where each band member is contributing to the whole character and effect of the album. It seems that the arrangements have been developed to create a distinctive signature. When you listen to the tracks again, you hear more of what is going on - that in itself signals substance. This is an impressive debut album by Rob Luft and reaffirms his place in our jazz music wonderland.

Click here for details and to sample the album.

 

Ian Maund

 

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Album Released: 29th July 2017 - Label: Free Tone Records

 

konik

Angel Pavement

 

Steve Day reviews this album for us:

Mark Langford (tenor saxophone, bass clarinet); Dominic Lash (double bass); Roger Telford (drums).

J.B. Priestley published his novel Angel Pavement in 1930. I recently read it for the first time when I was given this album to review.  It’s an amusing story, full of deftly written descriptions of the lives and loves of characters.  Set against the backdrop of what history describes as The Great Depression, eventually the people and their employment go bust. Roger Telford suggested borrowing the name for this trio recording.  A different twist to thekonik Angel Pavement title is emphasised by Lizzie Langford’s sunlit wet-paint sleeve cover, tracking a golden yellow haze of hills across a landscape awash with storm clouds.  Before you get to the music, it’s as if you’ve already heard it. Angelic without reliance on religion; organic and hard, in its own way, intensely satisfying.  Like reading a good book.

The album is made up of six improvisations, the shortest is six minutes, the longest, the title track, just over eleven.  Although a work of total improv it feels almost like a straight jazz session.  It’s as if these pieces have had all their pre-composed ‘heads’ removed, leaving just ‘the pure’ form of collective improvisation.  What is immediately obvious is that these three speak as one – Mr Telford’s percussion is positioned as an equal and although he doesn’t dice with ‘straight’ time playing, nonetheless he has a way of injecting the exact movement necessary for each track.  Like a man crumpling a large loaf of bread with his bare hands to provide a trail for others to follow.  This trio carry their detailed performances forward. 

Sea Orchid, the opener, from the start operates like a bigger splash.  The title came about after the recording, yet its appropriation is warranted, the closing bass clarinet section is breathly, graceful, like swimming for pearls.  I recently heard a 2017 ‘big name’ reeds player holding forth live on bass clarinet.  He turned the instrument into a second saxophone.  If you are going to double up your arsenal it has to be for its own sake.  With ‘big name’ there was none of the wit or presence on display here on the coda of Sea Orchid.  Mr Langford seems to dissolve himself into his reeds, waits for the moment and then elucidates; projecting the woody depth of song form without words.  So fine.  So very fine.

Dominic Lash first crossed my path when he was playing in the Roland Ramanan Tentet in 2010.  They brought out an album on the Leo label, London.  It was one of those recordings that abides with you for months.  It opened with a squeal and closed with a compressed composition, a bit like the old Brotherhood Of Breath.  Mr Lash then surfaced again in my slip stream a couple of years later when he was running a quartet of his own which included the pianist Alexander Hawkins.  They brought out a CD on Babel called Opabina, one of the first albums I reviewed for the Sandy Brown Jazz website.  He’s a bass player with a natural ability to create inner open secrets. On the track Piece In Our Time he hangs out under Langford’s introductory tenor, composing a parallel plucked performance which gradually knits the trio into instant composition.  The ending with bowed konikdouble bass and drones is a full circle to the imaging that went on at the start of the Piece. Leaving aside the obvious allusion to the irony of Neville Chamberlain’s misreading of Hitler’s intentions, the album’s track three performance is so much of a ‘piece’.  Structurally it is true to itself (or at least, that’s how I hear it).

Mark Langford is my tenor sax player of choice.  He grinds music out of his reeds like each day matters, yesterday has gone and tomorrow will be dealt with when/if it arrives.  You hear the now, not the past and not even the future.  At the beginning of Walking The Plank there are fast flutters which segue into a series of glancing riffs as if on a habitual search for structure that never quite appears.  Then comes the play of ideas, the testing of lengths, high thrill trills.  Mr Telford’s drum kit is carefully hammering around the horn as if clearing The Plank of any obstruction.  On Farmyard, although totally abstracted, there is almost something ‘down-home’ about the core of the tenor playing – I’ve heard Mr Langford play the blues, and whilst he doesn’t touch Texas-Americana here, it would be possible to reach out to the devil at the crossroads and feel the force of that history.  This might be an Angel Pavement but there’s also a darkness on the edge of this music which is pleasurably scary.

Switch reeds, turn up the ears; go Balance On The Scales and adjust your settings.  Here Mark Langford takes the bass clarinet to places it was never intended to inhabit, a far country.  Playing off Lash’s bowed bass, the two deep forces enter a twilight world of droned sonics; over seven minutes they explore the floor until they come up together patterning a fragment they found down there, like archaeologists working in the dark.

This actually is, the Angel Pavement. Walk here and the company you keep transcends the merely ordinary.  Telford tapping toms, Lash pulsing the senses through double bass, while all the time the bass clarinet is charting out an active area on this Pavement. Langford hits a high and from here begins to compose on the spot konikan eloquent melodic path which in a different context would be considered ‘formal’. It is a rich seam and Dominic Lash recognises it for what it is.  The double bass becomes simpatico to the reed.  We are roughly half way through and from here on the trio take on a three way ‘fix’.  Roger Telford shuffling the content of his drum kit to gain the best advantage point, the bass picking a passage through the wealth of textural patterning from the clarinet.  There is no resolution, they end simply as an antidote to continual repetition.  The track, Angel Pavement is a magnificent achievement; a musical statement which transcends its own intentions.

I don’t know Dominic Lash.  I’ve met Roger Telford a couple of times.  Mark Langford and I are friends.  I’m putting all that aside.  Such things don’t really come into it when the ears are asked to face up to the kind of performances on this album.  I was recently at a studio with Mark Langford and for some reason which he could not quite figure out he’d left the mouthpiece of his bass clarinet at home.  He was therefore restricted to playing tenor saxophone throughout the whole session.  I remember offering up some platitude like, “Ah, well you’ll be able to concentrate, no swapping around.”  He genuinely looked worried, his reply, almost an aside, went something like this:  “No, it’s a pity, Steve.  I’m getting so much out of the wood at the moment, I feel at a bit of a loss.”  Listening to Balance On The Scales and Angel Pavement I can appreciate his dilemma.  Neither of these performances could simply be transferred to a different reed.  konik (no capitals), if that really is their collective name, don’t make it easy for themselves, but then neither do they make it difficult for the listener.  Langford, Lash and Telford have produced an extraordinary example of the art of improvisation.  If you too are in any way sympathetic to this rationale of music making I would urge you to re-invest the price of a cheap cinema ticket, stay at home, turn up the volume and listen to some great music instead.

Click here for details and to sample the album.

Steve Day  www.stevedaywordsandmusic.co.uk

 

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Album Released: 14th September 2017 - Label: Delta

 

Alan Ferber Big Band

Jigsaw

 

Filipe Freitas at Jazztrail in New York reviews this album for us:

Alan Ferber, John Fedchock, Jacob Garchik, Jennifer Wharton (trombones): John O'Gallagher, Rob Wilkerson, John Ellis, Jason Rigby, Chris Cheek (saxophones): Tony Kadleck, Scott Wendholt, Alex Norris, Clay Jenkins (trumpets): Anthony Wilson (guitar): David Cook (piano, keyboards): Matt Pavolka (bass):  Mark Ferber (drums): Rogerio Boccato (percussion).

Besides being a skillful trombonist, the Grammy award nominee Alan Ferber is a magical arranger and a focused bandleader. These true gifts make him an inevitable figure in the contemporary jazz universe. As a leader, he got notoriety for conducting a vibrant nonet whose album Roots & Transitions was definitely one of Alan Ferber Big Band Jigsaw the most irresistible I had the chance to tackle last year. The same sense of fulfilment applies to Jigsaw, his seventh album of originals, recorded with a 17-piece big band that includes some of the most enlivening jazz artists on the scene.

The superior quality that results from these compositional vision-meets-ravishing arrangements is fully felt on the first track, Impulso, an absolutely impulsive, gritty scorch established within a sumptuous, contemporary setting. Flowing at a moderate pace with a Latinized cool spirit, the tune finds the band wading into striking interplay before each soloist begins to express what's going on in their minds, starting with the bandleader, then saxophonist John O’Gallagher, and finishing with trumpeter Alex Norris, who finishes the story.

Guitarist Anthony Wilson handles the introductory section of a song that he wrote, She Won’t Look Back. He employs slightly dissonant chords modelled by acerbic sound effects, a tactic that beautifully fits the languid air surrounding this half-dreamy, half-conscious pop fantasy. Here, the bass of Matt Pavolka is particularly highlighted.

Reveries of freedom arrive with the title track, and the more abstract, free-form overture obtains a bold avant-gardish tonality created by the kinky sounds flowing from David Cook’s keyboards. In addition to the enticing rhythmic contortions, one can indulge in O’Gallagher’s highly expressive saxophone improvisation filled with volcanic episodes, and there’s also time for a spontaneous percussive escapade by Mark Ferber, Alan’s twin brother.

Contrasting with this last tune, we have the silkiness of North Rampart, a weeping ballad that besides being intelligently harmonized and orchestrated, exhibits a catchy melody imprinted on the head.

Click here to listen to North Rampart.

There’s also the Latin-tinged breezes of Paul McCandless’ Lost in the Hours, which acquires a pronounced Brazilian feel, considerably intensified through the action of percussionist Rogério Boccato, especially during the improvisations of trombonist John Fedchock and saxophonist Rob Wilkerson.

Alan Ferber Big BandMuted trombones and trumpets prepare the ground for the soulfully groovy vibe that sustains Get Sassy, a brassy piece reminiscent of Mingus’ exultations, where the amazing teamwork eases the glorious blend of traditional and modern elements. A different concoction is achieved for Clay Jenkins’ Late Bloomer, artistically devised to contain unpretentious swinging jazz and brawny rock passages.

Jigsaw is a kaleidoscopic, up-to-the-minute jazz album that doesn’t need frivolous pyrotechnics or radical asymmetries or complicated meters to sound marvellous. It rather uses a genuine reciprocity between the highly committed musicians who, under the keen direction of Alan Ferber, provide another lovely and contagious big band record.

 

Click here to sample the album. Click here for UK orders.

 

Filipe Freitas jazztrail.net

 

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Album Released: January 2017 - Label: Discus Music

 

Trevor Watts and Stephen Grew Duo

All There Is

 

Steve Day reviews this album for us:

Trevor Watts (alto and soprano saxophones); Stephen Grew (Kawai mini grand piano).

This duet session by Trevor Watts and Stephen Grew has one of the best recorded sounds I’ve heard in ages; it captures the top, middle and bottom of this music with a precise clarity. Shaun Blezard was at the desk, Lancaster Baptist Church the location..... the sound quality is a stone built sonic, without wave or reverb.  This is really listening to music, not the room.  If this is All There Is then it is enough, because it is wonderfully generous on lots of levels. 

But first I digress: Trevor Watts – his name is forever linked to John Stevens and the groundbreaking free improvisation work of the Spontaneous Music Ensemble (SME) and the subsequent electric ensemble, Amalgam.  At the time I took in as much I possibly could of that huge body of music, live and on record, yet asTrevor Watts and Stephen Grew All there Is important as those projects were, (and they were crucial to the UK scene), for me Trevor Watts is always associated with someone else; the Ghanaian multi-instrumentalist, Nana Tsiboe.  They began playing together at the tail end of the 1970's and were still linked up at end of the 1990's.  Their one ECM album, A Wider Embrace, featuring the Moiré Music Drum Orchestra, was for a significant period, the only record in town in our house.  Crucially the content of that album was in the title, the width of their embrace was serious pan-African, with lyrical composition and improvisation hand in glove.  In 2002 Trevor Watts returned to free-improv recording 6 Dialogues with pianist Veryan Weston.  It is that recording which may well have sowed the seed for what Watts and Grew are playing on All There Is.

The new album from January 2017, could be thought of as ‘a closer embrace’ and the gloves are off.  This is the redoubtable Trevor Watts in all his manifold compliance to his two main reeds, alto and soprano, played in the context of ‘free improvisation’.  If we needed any reminding just what an extraordinary player Watts is, witness the first three minutes of the opening, Shepherd’s Return, as he hangs the straight horn on Stephen Grew’s hands and then shapes a masterclass recital out of the silence of that Baptist chapel; it is truly mesmerising.  As for Stephen Grew, he’s a pianist who has brought about his own return to the public arena with telling effect.  Back in May, I caught him last on the fine Discus session, Felicity's Ultimatum.   The ‘closer embrace’ of All There Is favours Mr Grew’s freeform perspectives.  The one to one encounter enables him to literally freely form-a-form out of the presenting situation. The piano folds rhythm into multiples, gallops arpeggios, signals exits and entrances, hammers highlights into clusters, yet.... his ear is on Watts’ case the entire time.  The two men refer to themselves as a duo, and be of no doubt, this is indeed duet-music.

Trevor Watts and Stephen Grew aren’t against each other, this is collaborative creativity.  Take the title track; it sits half way through this session; almost double the length of the other six pieces.  All There Is feels so potent yet is utterly devoid of histrionics.  Moving through parallel lines, call and response and into short single breaks, the two men propose possible ways forward to each other, signal a simile without making it obvious (to the point I Trevor Watts and Stephen Grewrealise I am making that assumption). There seems to be a dual generosity between them, enabling each musician to progress their response to the other, modified maybe, but giving permission to implode a moment where necessary, or escalate  a fragment into a longer form.   Either way, Watts waits for Grew, to fill a space, to land a point of view; then catches that response and in an instance re-fashions it.  Similarly, Grew will lay down a thread of harmonies which can be picked apart by either instrument. Sometimes there’s a crack of concentrated sparseness, for example around 14.28, when the saxophone just lightly but tightly holds a note over the piano as if it were a transparent covering of comfort.  I guess that’s it, a sense of  humanity about this encounter which exudes positivity.

A track that illustrates the fine balance in this partnership is Tunnels. I’ve no idea what the significance of any of the titles are to these performances.  I have found myself listening specifically to Tunnels over and over again.  In the final four/five minutes piano and alto ride through taut and fast.  They cross over each other as if in an enclosed space from which they are forced to burrow out of at speed.  Whether I get this impression because the title suggests this idea to me, or it’s a mind-game of my own making, I don’t know.  I can’t second guess Watts and Grew. What I do know is, Tunnels is a condensed compression of the agility and skill of these two great players.  What is also clear is that here in this tight space, form can be fashioned from a fragment; a hunch, a suggested riff not necessarily designed for the purpose yet becoming a hobbled hitch into an extended encounter.  And the underground ‘tunnelling’ produces a music which is very ‘full’, maybe another reason why this session is ‘a closer embrace’.

There is something slightly ironic about All There Is.  It might be as the title suggests that this album contains the complete ‘works’ recorded at Lancaster Baptist Church on the 18th and 20th January 2017.  In which case, the title makes sense.  However, anyone who has encountered Trevor Watts or Stephen Grew will know, All There Is isn’t all there is; between them they have a wealth of music, past and present.  Both musicians have long histories; there is nothing, absolutely nothing here, that suggests to me this is where things have to end.  This is a sumptuous reeds and piano encounter that is going to garner a lot of praise - as long as people are listening.  Ah, yes, who is listening?

Click here for details and to listen to Tunnels.

Steve Day  www.stevedaywordsandmusic.co.uk

 

 

 

 

Choice Cuts / Slim Pickings

 

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

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

 

 

Lizz Wright Grace

 

Lizz Wight - Grace - (Concord)

Lizz Wright (vocals), with various personnel including Kenny Naks Sr (piano), Marvin Sewell (guitar), David Pitch (bass) and Jay Bellerose (drums).

Click here for details and to sample the album. Click here for review.

 

 

 

 

Billie Holiday Sangs For Distingue Lovers

 

Billie Holiday - Songs For Distingué Lovers - (Robin - remastered album)

Billie Holiday (vocals), Ben Webster (tenor sax), Harry 'Sweets' Edison (trumpet), Jimmy Rowles (piano), Barney kessel (guitar), Red Mitchell (bass), Alvin Stoller and Larry Bunker (drums)

Click here for details.

 

 

 

 

Cecile McLorin Salvant - Dreams And Daggers

 

Cecile McLorin Salvant - Dreams And Daggers - (Mack Avenue)

Cecile McLorin Salvant (vocals), Aron Diehl (piano), Paul Sikivie (bass), Lawrence Leathers (drums) plus string quartet.

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

 

 

 

 

Dave Brubeck Quartet - The Lost Recordings: Live At the Kurhaus, 1967

 

 

Dave Brubeck Quartet - The Lost Recordings: Live At the Kurhaus, 1967 - (Fondamenta)

Click here for details.

 

 

 

 

Courtney Pine - Black Notes From The Deep

 

Courtney Pine - Black Notes From The Deep - (Freestyle)

Click here for details and to sample the album.

 

 

 

 

 

Colosseum - Valentyne Suite

 

Colosseum - Valentyne Suite - (Esoteric Recordings - Remastered expanded edition)

Dick Heckstall-Smith (tenor sax, soprano sax), Dave Greenslade (organ, vocals), James Litherland (guitar, vocals), Jim Roche (guitar), Tony Reeves (bass), Jon Hiseman (drums).

Click here for details.

 

 

 

Gary Peacock Tangents

 

Gary Peacock Trio - Tangents - (ECM)

Gary Peacock (double bass), Marc Copland (piano), Joey Baron (drums)

Click here for details and to sample the album. Click here for review.

 

 

 

 

Hudson album

 

DeJohnette, Grenadier, Medeski, Scofield - Hudson - (Motema)

John Scofield (guitar); John Medeski (keyboards); Larry Grenadier (bass); Jack DeJohnette (drums).

Click here for details and to sample the album. Click here for Jazztrail review.

 

 

 

 

Chris Speed Trio Platinum On Tap

 

Chris Speed Trio - Platinum On Tap - (Intakt Records)

Chris Speed (tenor saxophone); Chris Tordini (bass); Dave King (drums).

Click here for details and to sample the album. Click here for Jazztrail review.

 

 

 

 

Mark Guiliana Jazz Quartet Jersey

 

Mark Guiliana Jazz Quartet - Jersey - (Motema)

Jason Rigby (saxophone); Fabian Almazan (piano); Chris Morrissey (bass); Mark Guiliana (drums).

Click here for details and to sample the album. Click here for Jazztrail review.

 

 

 

 

Manny Echazabal - Short Notice

 

Manny Echazabal - Short Notice - (self produced)

Manny Echazabal (saxophone); Tal Cohen (piano); Dion Kerr (bass); David Chiverton (drums).

Click here for details and to sample the album. Click here for Jazztrail review.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Some UK Jazz Venues

 

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Jazz London Live

 

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

 

 

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

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

London: LUME, www.lumemusic.co.uk

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

London: Putney, The Half Moon, Putney , 93 Lower Richmond Road, Putney, SW15 1EU.
Dick Laurie's Elastic Band. The band now plays the first Sunday and third Sunday of every month.
Sunday 1st October and Sunday 15th October - 1.00 pm - 4.00 pm

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

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

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

 


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


 

Jazz Talks: Buckinghamshire and Norwich Areas

Buckinghamshire:

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

Norwich:

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

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

 

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