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April 2020

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Andra Day

 

Andra Day is cast as Billie Holiday in a new movie being filmed in Canada - see the news item below.. Whether filming has now been delayed, I haven't heard. Andra Day is a Grammy nominated vocalist whose debut album Cheers To The Fall was nominated for Best R&B Album. The single from the album, Rise Up, nominated for Best R&B performance, became an anthem of the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Click here for the video of Rise Up where you can get a taste of Andra's voice.

 

 

 

 

Challenging Times

We all know how difficult these times are. Some people have asked whether I shall go on producing What's New, and I shall as long as I can. Hopefully it will give readers something to dip into each month, and please do write in with your ideas, thoughts and stories.

It is a particularly difficult time for most musicians with tours and gigs cancelled, and financially for many who are self-employed. Some are Covid-19able to teach online - Jazz On The Tube has this page about resources - click here. The Jazz Education Network is also conducting a survey to see how collectively musician educators might be helped - click here.

As you will see from the videos on the Jazz On The Tube page, many musicians are performing informally on the internet too - important in keeping profiles up - it is helpful, and enjoyable, to support and follow them. You can either search for performances or support some musicians who post regularly. The Vortex Jazz Club in London recently streamed a nice performance by Rob Luft, Elina Duni and Fred Thomas (click here) - check Facebook and elsewhere for others. Jazz On The Tube is also setting up a directory of live streaming musicians - click here.

Help For Musicians, the independent UK charity for professional musicians of all genres, has a page about support for musicians during the pandemic - click here, and Jazz South also has a whole page dedicated to various resources - click here.

The other way people can help is by buying musicians' recordings either by download or by buying CDs online. Where you can do this direct from the musician, this helps too.

Do take care, everyone, and if any readers have other suggestions of ways to keep jazz safe and well, please write in.

 

 

 

 

 

Jamie Cullum Offers His Piano As A Prize

Jamie Cullum

 

 

Jamie Cullum is giving away a piano. Jamie has decided to offer his Yamaha S6 Grand, which is currently on tour with him and worth around £60,000 new.

The plan is to give the piano to a good cause, perhaps a school, community organisation or charity. If you want to win it, you’ve got to write and record a song for it!

He’s looking for people to submit a composition telling the story of how someone could benefit from a free piano. Songs can be recorded as audio or video and uploaded to the Yamaha website before the end of May, with the winner announced on the 30th of June.

Click here for a video from Jamie about the competition. Click here for details

 

 

 

 

 

New Billie Holiday Movie

Andra Day

A new film began shooting in Canada during October 2019 that documents the tragic story of Billie Holiday and specifically her court case for narcotics possession in 1947, at a time when she was hospitalised with severe heart and liver problems. It tells how she is targeted by the Federal Department of Narcotics with an undercover sting operation led by black Federal Agent Jimmy Fletcher, with whom she had a tumultuous affair. Billie tragically passing away at the age of 44 due to complications linked to substance abuse. The film explores the connection between Billie's early death in 1959 and the war on drugs perpetuated by the U.S. government at the time.

Andra Day as Billie Holiday

 

The film is directed by Empire and Precious director Lee Daniels with Oscar-nominated Andra Day playing the title role. The Pulitzer-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks has written the film's script based on the novel by Johann Hari. Filming has been underway and a full release schedule is expected later this year with the title ‘The United States vs. Billie Holiday’. Click here for more information. Presumably filming could now be delayed. As an aside, if you haven't seen it, Precious is a great, moving film - click here for the trailer, and the whole movie is available online here.

 

 

 

 

 

Video Juke Box

*Click on the Picture to watch the Video

 

 

 

Naomi Nuti Cornflake Girl

 

 

Naomi Nuti sings her arrangement of Tori Amos' Cornflake Girl from her new album Venus Eye released in March (see Recent Releases)

 

 

 

 

Satori 2020 album recording

 

 

Saxophonist Josephine Davies and Satori record their new album How Can We Wake? for the Whirlwind label with James Maddren (drums) and Dave Whitford (bass). The album is due to be released in October 2020.

 

 

 

 

 

Tommy Dorsey Well Git It

 

 

Here is the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra in 1943. After a brief, smooth, introductory touch of I'm Getting Sentimental Over You, the band launch into Well Git It with a 26 year old Buddy Rich driving them along on drums. Other band members include clarinettist Heinie Beau, Don Lodice on tenor, the dueling pianos of Milt Raskin and Joe Bushkin, and a famous trumpet trade off featuring Ziggy Elman and Chuck Peterson.

 

 

 

 

 

Ian Shaw Alfie video

 

 

There is something about Ian Shaw's voice that is special. Ian was due to be touring to promote his latest album What's New with saxophonist Iain Ballamy and pianist Jamie Safir. The tour has been postponed but the trio went into the Jazz FM studio to record this video of Burt Bacharach's Alfie from the album (see Recent Releases).

 

 

 

 

Benet McLean Soul Five

 

 

Self isolation brings creativity. Here is the amazing Benet McLean, this time on violin, playing Soul Five.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tobias Hoffman Nonet Retrospective

 

 

German saxophonist Tobias Hoffman and his Nonet play the title track from their album Retrospective released on the Austrian Alessa Records label. Tobias says: ' ... the instrumentation is kind of unique since it is not really a traditional Big Band but also not a small group. On top of that I think the music on the record has a broad variety from swing to straight ahead grooves, with a lot of composed parts and ensemble playing but lots of space for instrumental improvised solos as well.'

 

 

 

Andre Previn and Oscar Peterson

 

Alan Bond reminds us of this video by Vladimir Horowitz and Art Tatum. Alan writes: 'I was watching (again) the interview of Oscar Peterson by Andre Previn last week (53 minutes). The subject of Art Tatum came up and Andre Previn was talking about Vladimir Horowitz, the classical pianist virtuoso who was a fan of Tatum's playing. Horowitz bought a copy of Tatum's Tiger Rag when it came out in 1933, took it home and played it over and over again so that he could transpose it into a piece of sheet music. From that he learned to play Tiger Rag exactly as Tatum had played it on the record. Some time after he went to see Tatum live and he asked him to play Tiger Rag, which the great man duly did. At the end Horowitz returned from the audience, somewhat puzzled, and said that that was not the way that it had been played on the record and Tatum said, no, it wouldn't be and Horowitz was astounded that that was the case. Bearing in mind that Tatum was almost totally blind it would take a genius to work out how so much talent could be packed into just one man.'

 

 

 

 

Jim Hart and Ivo Nrame video

 

 

Pianist Ivo Neame and vibes player Jim Hart introduce their new album Multiverse (see Recent Releases) with the tune Transference. Their use of mutiple instruments causes John Fordham in Jazzwise to write: 'Multiverse is a duo project, but this pair's multi-instrumental versatility creates tumultuous soundscapes that suggest a band twice the size'.

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

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

Waxing Basie

 

Count Basie

 

Record producer John Hammond first engaged Count Basie to record a Quintet date in Chicago in 1936....

'....... three months were to pass before the full orchestra gained access to a recording studio.

At Hammond's suggestion the band had been enlarged to include a trombone section ... as well as a fourth saxophonist ... and Jimmy Rushing as a regular vocalist. The band worked hard on arrangements of pop tunes in order to broaden its appeal, and were obliged to play tangos and rhumbas for their first New York engagement, at Roseland. "Woody Herman was playing opposite us," Basie remembers. "He was breaking in his band too, but he was in there - he had it made.....".

... On January 22, 1937, the first session by the full band was waxed in New York City. (The word 'waxed' was literally appropriate in those pretape days, when no ten-inch wax master could accommodate more than about three minutes of music, thus effectively reducing the impact of the band, which liked to stretch out many of its exciting performances.) The dance hall job was celebrated in Roseland Shuffle; Buck Clayton, whose cup-muted trumpet was to become one of the band's most identifiable sounds, was heard in Swingin' At The Daisy Chain; Rushing demonstrated his way with a pop song in the then-current Pennies From Heaven; and Basie acknowledged his debt to Fats Waller with Honeysuckle Rose.

Click here to listen to Swingin' At The Daisy Chain.

Basie's rehearsals in the old days were disorganised, to say the least. Arrangers would stand around in the crowded, stuffy basement of the Woodside Hotel in Harlem where the band lived, hoping that sooner or later the Count would get around to their own scores. (Buster Harding, Don Redman, Jimmy Mundy and Andy Gibson were among the frequent visitors who contributed to the book.) in his anxiety to give every arranger a chance to be heard, Basie placed himself in danger of never truly rehearsing anything ..... The legend that the musicians carried music in their heads rather than in manuscript is true only of the very early years, when 'head arrangements' predominated. By 1940, almost all the new performances were based on written arrangements ....

.... Basie once expressed his feelings about his role as an instrumentalist in an interview with Bill Coss: "The chief thing I do is pace-setting, you know, tempos ... and I feed the soloists. Other people use the piano for solos - guys who can really play it - but I use it as part of the rhythm section."

From From Satchmo to Miles by Leonard Feather.

 

 

 

Nominations For The Jazz FM Awards 2020

The nominations for the Jazz FM Awards 2020, produced by Serious, were announced in March. The Awards recognise the best emerging new artists, contemporary icons and established stars from across the worlds of jazz, soul and blues. The organisers say: 'More than ever, Jazz FM logothis year’s shortlist reflects the genre’s rude health and the melting pot of sounds and influences which make up its rich multicultural history.' It is Jazz FM's 30th birthday year, and the Awards event has become one of the most signifiucant events in the UK Jazz calendar. The Awards ceremony is scheduled for 27th May, but it remains to be seen whether it will be postponed or staged in a different way. It is notable that Jazz FM and Serious have been able to attract a significant number of sponsors for the Awards, an endorsement of their profile.

In the meantime, here are the nominations. A new category, Venue of The Year, launches this year with Church of Sound, Love Supreme Festival and Manchester’s Band On The Wall amongst those in contention, which in addition to Album Of The Year and the PRS For Music UK Jazz Act Of The Year will be decided by public vote. For those that are open to Public Vote, voting is open now at www.jazzfmawards.com and will close on Wednesday 15th April at 23:59.

 

BREAKTHROUGH ACT OF THE YEAR:
Rosie Turton; Xhosa Cole; Yelfris Valdés

THE DIGITAL AWARD:
Chiminyo; Jacob Collier; Jazz re:freshed

THE INNOVATION AWARD:
Jazz re:freshed; Moses Boyd; Sarathy Korwar

Mark Kavuma

 

INSTRUMENTALIST OF THE YEAR: 
Binker Golding; Mark Kavuma; Shirley Tetteh

 

Mark Kavuma

 

INTERNATIONAL JAZZ ACT OF THE YEAR:
Branford Marsalis; Charles Lloyd; Kris Davis

 

 

 

SOUL ACT OF THE YEAR:
Anderson .Paak; Celeste; Philip Bailey 

BLUES ACT OF THE YEAR:
Keb’ Mo’; Gary Clark Jr.; Jon Cleary 
  
VOCALIST OF THE YEAR:
Alice Zawadzki; Georgia Cécile; Judi Jackson 

 

PUBLIC VOTE

PRS For Music UK JAZZ ACT OF THE YEAR:
Joe Armon-Jones; SEED Ensemble; Yazz Ahmed

ALBUM OF THE YEAR:
Ashley Henry – Beautiful Vinyl Hunter; Binker Golding – Abstractions of Reality Past and Incredible Feathers; Branford Marsalis Quartet – The Secret Between the Shadow and the Soul; Jazzmeia Horn – Love and Liberation; SEED Ensemble – Drift Glass; Yazz Ahmed – Polyhymnia

VENUE OF THE YEAR
Band on the Wall, Manchester; Church of Sound; Love Supreme Festival; Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club; The Verdict, Brighton; Vortex, Dalston

 

SPECIAL AWARDS (To be announced) : Impact Award; Gold Award; and the PPL Lifetime Achievment Award

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poetry and Jazz

Flanagan's Shenanigans

by Robin Kidson

 

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

 

Tommy Flanagan

Tommy Flanagan

 

Denmark has long had a thriving jazz scene out of all proportion to its size. Not only has it produced more than its fair share of internationally known musicians (John Tchicai, Marilyn Mazur, Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, for example), but has provided a home for a host of expat Americans (Stan Getz, Ben Webster, Dexter Gordon, Oscar Pettiford…). One of the world’s great independent jazz record labels, Storyville, is based in Copenhagen. It is also notable for the number and range of its music prizes such as the Ben Webster Prize and the Sonning Award. A particularly generous prize was the annual Jazzpar award which ran from 1990 to 2004. Winners included David Murray, Lee Konitz, Tony Coe and Django Bates.

The Jazzpar prize was founded by Danish trumpeter, Arnvid Meyer and was sponsored by the Scandinavian Tobacco Company. Its main aim was to raise the international profile of Danish jazz musicians so it may seem strange that the prize was mainly given to non-Danish performers, usually fairly well known Americans or Brits. However, each winner, as well as receiving a not inconsiderable sum of cash, was expected to perform a series of concerts with home grown Danish players. Recordings of these concerts were then released. The overall result was that both the prizewinner and the accompanying Danish musicians received a great deal of extra exposure both in Denmark and internationally. Win-win.

The Jazzpar winner in 1993 was American pianist, Tommy Flanagan. A recording of a Jazzpar concert given by Flanagan in Copenhagen in April 1993 was released on Storyville at the time. The record was called Flanagan’s Shenanigans and has recently been re-released by Storyville.

Tommy Flanagan and Roy Eldridge

 

 

Tommy Flanagan was born in Detroit in 1930. He began playing the clarinet as a child but switched to piano at the age of 11. He established a reputation as an accompanist in his native Detroit before moving to New York in 1956. He was extremely well regarded by his fellow musicians and ended up playing on two of the greatest jazz albums ever made: Sonny Rollins’s Saxophone Colossus (1956) and John Coltrane’s Giant Steps (1960). He also recorded with Miles Davis, Wes Montgomery, Coleman Hawkins, Art Blakey…. the list goes on.

 

 

 

Tommy Flanagan and Roy Eldridge

 

 

 

 

Tommy Flanagan and Ella Fitzgerald

 

 

 

Tommy had two stints working full time with Ella Fitzgerald: from 1962 to 1965 he was her accompanist; and from 1968 to 1978, he was both her accompanist and musical director. Ella Fitzgerald’s schedule was punishing and Flanagan ended up having a heart attack. Heart problems dogged him for the rest of his life.

 

Click on the picture for a video of Ella with the Tommy Flanagan Quartet playing at Ronnie Scott's Club in 1974 (40 minutes) : Tommy Flanagan (piano); Joe Pass (guitar); Keter Betts (double bass); Bobby Durham (drums).

 

 

 

 

Rather late in the day, Tommy Flanagan developed a flourishing solo career after he left Ella. Always rather a diffident man, he explained to Whitney Balliett, “for a long time, mostly when I was accompanying Ella Fitzgerald, I never thought I had enough technique for a soloist. But then I found I liked to put myself out there”. He mainly worked with a trio and made a number of highly regarded albums. Click here for him talking about his playing and playing Smooth as the Wind. His modest and friendly demeanour, as well as his brilliant technique, come over strongly.

The Jazzpar concert in Copenhagen came shortly after Flanagan had undergone bypass heart surgery, but there are no signs of failing health on Flanagan’s Shenanigans. The pianist is on fizzing form. He is accompanied by Lewis Nash on drums and Jesper Lundgaard on bass. On three of the tracks, the trio is joined by a “windtet” of six Danish musicians: Henrik Bolberg Pedersen, Vincent Nilsson, Steen Hansen, Jan Zum Vohrde, Uffe Markussen and Flemming Madsen. Jesper Thilo on tenor sax plays with the trio on a further track.

Tommy Flanagan Flanagans Shenanigans

 

The album gets off to an upbeat start with both trio and windtet playing Flanagan’s own composition, the Caribbean flavoured Eclypso (once recorded by John Coltrane, no less). Although Flanagan takes a solo, he mainly lets the windtet strut its stuff – which it does admirably. There are some great solos from Jan Zum Vohrde on alto sax, Vincent Nilsson on baritone horn, and Lundgaard on bass.

The windtet is in fine form again on Beyond The Bluebird, another Flanagan original and named after a Detroit jazz club.  All of the tracks with the windtet were arranged by Ole Kock Hansen and he excels here, taking Flanagan’s tune and doing something magical with it. There’s a touch of Oliver Nelson about both the tune and arrangement. Click here to listen to Beyond The Bluebird; and click here for Flanagan on another occasion playing the piece live with just a trio of Nash on drums and George Mraz on drums:

The third and final windtet track is Flanagan’s Minor Mishap. Windtet members take solos, notably Henrik Bolberg Pedersen on trumpet and Uffe Markussen on tenor sax. The next piece is For Lena and Lennie which Quincy Jones wrote for Lena Horne and her husband, Lennie Hayton. Jesper Thilo joins the trio on tenor sax and, again, Flanagan generously allows him the room to take some beautifully textured solos.

 

The remaining five tracks feature just the three players in the trio. They kick off with the title track, Flanagan’s Shenanigans, which was written for Flanagan by James Williams. It is an upbeat piece in which Flanagan’s total mastery of his instrument is on full show. Lundgaard takes a compelling solo with some great and crystal clear string plucking. There is much humour in the playing with all three musicians relaxing into each other and clearly enjoying themselves. The mood is picked up by the audience who respond with rapturous applause. Click here to listen to Flanagan’s Shenanigans.

Next up is The Balanced Scales by Tom McIntosh which has some absorbing changes in tempo and a solo by Flanagan on which he really stretches out. Whitney Balliett was a fan of Tommy Flanagan and once said of him: “First-rate improvisation suggests that if one looked at the sheet music one would find the notes the soloist has just played. That’s what Flanagan does.” Listen to The Balanced Scales and you know exactly what Balliett means (click here).

The first half of But Beautiful (Jimmy van Heusen/John Burke) sees Flanagan playing by himself. The other two musicians then come in and the whole piece relaxes into a gentle swing. Let’s is a Thad Jones composition which the trio take at quite a lick handling the complex tune with aplomb. A word here for Lewis Nash whose drumming is always bang on the beat and whose solos, never too long, add an Tommy Flanaganabsorbing texture. Again, the musicians are clearly enjoying themselves on Let’s as evidenced by the sound of their laughing towards the end of the piece.

The final track is an encore. The trio plays Dizzy Gillespie’s Tin Tin Deo (click here), another complex tune with a latin beat. Flanagan really pulls out all his stops on this one and you see why he was so highly regarded by his fellow musicians. His solos go off into all sorts of interesting places, constantly changing direction with little snatches of other tunes, but always coherent and always honouring the orginal. Flanagan once described his technique thus:

 

“I always feel after I solo that maybe I should have worked it out more first. I always hear so much space that I could have filled in. The piano takes care of itself when you play it, so I think in terms of horn lines a lot. Also, if I have my eyes closed I see the keyboard in my head and I see what I might want my hands to do. Improvising gives you a great sense of freedom. When you find that out – that you’re making your own song – you can go on endlessly. Of course, you learn something each time you play the same song – particularly if you play it in a different key. That sharpens your wit, makes you play better, keeps you away from the clichés”.     

 

For a modest, self-effacing man, Flanagan had a surprising touch of the showman about him. The performance of Tin Tin Deo is a real crowd pleasing barnstormer and is met with thunderous applause. Click here for a live performance (not at the Copenhagen gig) of Tin Tin Deo played by Flanagan with Nash on drums and George Mraz on bass.

Tommy Flanagan’s health problems eventually got the better of him and he died at the relatively young age of 71 in 2001. Denmark did him proud by the award of the Jazzpar prize and putting on such a wonderful concert. Flanagan’s Shenanigans is a fitting memorial of that occasion and of a great and much missed musician. 

 

Click here for details and samples of the album Flanagan’s Shenanigans.


 

 

 

 

Jazz Quiz

I'll Never Forget What's 'is Name

This month we give you clues to fifteen jazz musicians. How many can you identify?

 

Louis Armstrong Hot Five

 

 

Click here for the Jazz Quiz.

 

 

 

Take Two

 

It Could Happen To You

It Could Happen To You is a beautiful standard from Jimmy Van Heusen and Johnny Burke. Written in 1943, it featured in the 1944 movie And The Angels Sing where it was performed by Dorothy Lamour. The title of the film was, of course, a 1939 Ziggy Elman and Johnny Mercer composition and a hit for Benny Goodman. The film was about a singing sister group (Dorothy Lamour, Betty Hutton, Diana Lynn and Mimi Chandler), their exploitation by a bandleader (Fred MacMurray), and their subsequent rise to fame. The whole movie is available on YouTube as is His Rocking Horse Ran Away which became a hit for Betty Hutton (although from the movie clip, I'm not sure it would make it today!).

Jo Stafford and Rosemary Clooney recorded early versions of It Could Happen To You but the first version I have chosen for this article is a swinging recording by Anita O'Day from 1960. The big band is that of Bill Holman and includes Frank Rosolino (trombone), Conte Candoli (trumpet), Lou Levy (piano), Richie Kamuca (tenor sax). (Click on the picture):

 

Anita O'Day It Could Happen To You

 

 

Surprisingly, a 1994 movie It Could Happen To You doesn't use the song although it has a great soundtrack of other standards. That title, which you can probably associate with the National Lottery, was, indeed, based on a true story. Nicolas Cage and Bridget Fonda play a couple where Cage, a police officer, gives Fonda, a waitress, his lottery ticket instead of a tip. The ticket wins (click here for the trailer).

Hide your heart from sight,
Lock your dreams at night,
It could happen to you.
Don't count stars
Or you might stumble,
Someone drops a sigh
And down you tumble,

Keep an eye on spring,
Run when church bells ring.
It could happen to you
All I did was wonder
How your arms would be
And it happened to me

The song It Could Happen To You has been recorded by many, many jazz musicians since it first appeared. For our second version, as an alternative to Anita O'Day's vocal, here is a great instrumental version from the Miles Davis Quintet from 1956 [Miles Davis (trumpet), John Coltrane (tenor sax), Red Garland (piano), Paul Chambers (bass), Philly Joe Jones (drums)] - click on the picture. Following an outstanding set at the 1955 Newport Jazz Festival, Columbia Records offered Miles a contract if he would form a reqular Quintet. Sonny Rollins was the initial saxophonist but Sonny ran into problems with his heroin addiction and then left Miles to join Clifford Brown and Max Roach. It was Philly Joe Jones who recommended John Coltrane to Miles as Sonny's replacement. [Sonny Rollins recorded It Could Happen To You in 1957].

 

Relaxin With The Miles Davis Quintet

 

The interesting design for the album cover of Relaxin' was by Esmond Edwards. Esmond was primarily a photographer who worked for Prestige Records and I think his work on those and other albums is often unrecognised. Relaxin' is a little different in that it was a design rather than a photograph, but you can see more of Esmond Edwards' work here. He is quoted as saying of his technique and of photographing John Coltrane: “One of the occasional traits in my work was direct eye contact between the subject and the camera. Coltrane had this kind of direct openness of his face that lent itself to a certain kind of expression. You get the expression that he is dedicated, devoted kind of person, which he was.”

 

 

 

The House Of Dance And Feathers

 

The House of Dance and Feathers

 

The Coronavirus has sadly claimed the life of Ronald W Lewis. I have never been to New Orleans, but those who have might well have visited his House of Dance and Feathers Museum. Lewis' Tupelo Street museum, which he established in 2003, has been an internationally known destination for visitors seeking an insider slant on aspects of New Orleans parading and marching customs. Ronald was also a champion of New Orleans’ second-line parading traditions. In the late 1980s, he was a founder of the Double 9 second-line parading group and later the Big 9 organization, for which he led the co-ordinated costume design and creation. Click here for the museum's website.

Click here for an interesting video about the House of Dance and Feathers. Click here for a video of the Big 9 Lower 9 Steppers Parade.

 

 

 

Jazz FM Wins Gold Award

Jazz FM ARIA Award

 

 

In March, the radio station Jazz FM was awarded the GOLD award at the ARIAS - The Audio and Radio Industry Awards - in recognition of three decades of broadcasting and their contribution to the jazz world. The award was presented by jazz vocalist Gregory Porter.

Gregory, who had been nominated for Best New Show (The Hang) addressed the London Palladium with the words “I’m so proud to be here because they helped me at the start of my career, playing my records and giving me a platform to perform live. Their contribution to jazz in the UK is immeasurable”.

The Audio and Radio Industry Awards are about recognising the talented individuals and teams in the UK audio and radio sector, who excel at their craft and produce the very best body of work in the world.

 

 

 

 

 

Utah Tea Pot

Tea Break

 

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

 

Maciek Pysz

 

Maciek Pysz

 

Maciek Pysz (pronounced 'Machek Pish' for those outside Poland) is an impressive guitarist. I saw him play earlier in 2020 with saxophonist Julian Costello's Quartet when they were promoting the album Connections: Without Borders, and if anyone still needs convincing, here was uncontraversial evidence of how far we gain from the international exchange of musicians. Hopefully, as soon as the coronavirus outbreak is resolved, this will once again be the norm.

Maciek is based between Krakow, Poland, the country where he was born in 1982, London and Paris. Self-taught, he started playing the guitar when he was ten. Maciek mainly plays Godin acoustic and classical guitars. His sound is very much his own, but if you are looking for influences they are many. You will find reflections of Tango, Flamenco, Latin, Jazz, Brazilian and Classical music, and the musicians who have inspired him include people such as Ralph Towner, Pat Metheny, Bebo Ferra, John McLaughlin, Chick Corea, Wolfgang Muthspiel, Richard Galliano, Paolo Fresu and Michel Petrucciani - to name but a few. 

Click here for a video of Maciek with bassist Roberto Amadeo playing Road Song.

In 2003, Maciek moved to London and stayed in the UK until 2014. As a young guitarist he quickly established himself and toured the UK, USA and Europe with his own projects and as a sideman to other musicians. He established the Maciek Pysz Trio in 2008 and recorded his first EP Discoveries the same year. More touring and collaborations followed including a Quartet version of the project with the addition of accordionist/pianist Maurizio Minardi and bass/harmonica player Patrick Bettison. In 2010, he re-established his trio with drummer Asaf Sirkis and bassist Yuri Goloubev. He appeared on TV and performed in the Blue Note Jazz Club in Poznan, Poland in 2011, and in February 2013 he recorded his debut album Insight with his trio at Artesuono Studio in Udine, Italy with acclaimed ECM sound engineer Stefano Amerio. The album was released in May 2013 on 33 Jazz Records and was followed by a tour of the South of France with French drummer Romain Dravet and harmonica player Adam Glasser. Later that year Maciek appeared with his trio at the London Jazz Festival and the Ceuta Jazz Festival.

Click here to listen to the track Insights from the 2013 Trio album. In the spring of 2014, Maciek completed a 15 date tour of the UK with his Trio, funded by the UK's Jazz Services National Touring Support Scheme. The tour included a concert at London's Pizza Express Jazz Club with a guest appearance by Grammy award-winning, British saxophonist, Tim Garland. That year he made a number of appearances at festivals in the South of France, including La Colle-sur-Loup Jazz Festival with French violinist Francois Arnaud, with whom he continues to Maciek Pysz Triowork occasionally. Maciek recorded his second studio album A Journey in December 2014, once more at Artesuono Studio in Italy. The album features bandoneon and piano player Daniele Di Bonaventura as well as his long-established trio with Yuri Goloubev and Asaf Sirkis. The trio toured the UK on a 19 date tour supported by Arts Council England, including the album launch at The Forge during the London Jazz Festival.

 

Maciek Pysz Trio: Yuri Goloubev, Maciek Pysz, Asaf Sirkis.

 

Click here to listen to Fresh Look from A Journey.

 

 

In early 2016, Maciek formed a duo with pianist Ivo Neame to play their own compositions and arrangements of the music by Hermeto Pascoal, and the duo toured in 2016 with performances at major arts centres and an appearance at London Jazz Festival.  In May 2017 Maciek released a new album London Stories with Italian guitarist Gianluca Corona. The album, recorded at the Eastcote Studios in London in 2014 reflects his time based in the UK - from 2014 he moved on to Milan, Paris and the South of France. Today, he shares his time between London, Krakow and Paris.

A collaboration with ECM artist Daniele di Bonaventura which began with the latter’s appearance on A Journey has blossomed into a partnership that has resulted in festival appearances as a duo in Poland and Italy, and the album Coming Home which was released in October 2017 on an Italian label, Caligola Records. 

Click here for a video of Daniele (piano) and Maciek (guitar) playing the beautiful Tango from the album Coming Home.

Maciek continues to maintain his strong links with Europe with 'Inwardness', a project based in Nice with Davy Sur on drums and David Amar on vocals and sax which saw its first release, Space Jazz, on a German label Ozella Music in April 2018. Other projects have included a trio project in Paris featuring Alex Stuart (guitar) and Antoine Banville (drums) and his Maciek Pysz New Quartet. In 2019 he released a solo album A View. The album is not genre-specific, but relaxed and creative, and as you can see from this introductory video, inspired by the location in which the improvised compositions occurred - click here.

Maciek joined me for a Tea Break before the coronavirus outbreak made life difficult for all musicians, including Maciek who was planning gigs between various European countries.

 

 

Cześć, Maciek, good to see you. Can I get you a tea or coffee?

Hi Ian, good to see you too. Coffee please. 


Milk and sugar? 

No, thank you, just black please. 



You seem to have been pretty busy travelling around – London and Poland in March, back in the UK with Julian Costello’s Quartet in April, May and June, and gigs here and in Poland with you own Trio and Quartet. How do you find the travelling? 

I love it to be honest! I think I got used to it over the years and now when I'm in one place for too long I feel like I want to be on the move. I am mainly travelling around Europe these days which is fun and I try to take trains as much as possible. Not only it's environmentally friendly, it also allows me to bring all my equipment without having to worry about airlines' policies for flying with instruments, etc. 

 


Is it easier that you are a guitarist and don’t have a larger instrument to carry? I know someone who plays baritone sax in a big band who says few other sax players want to carry the instrument on the underground!

Well, yes and no. Very often I have to bring two guitars and my own acoustic AER amp, as I want to have a specific sound. That, plus a suitcase (or two!), is not that light. If it's just one guitar of course that's pretty comfortable but very often I have to carry a lot more gear than just one guitar. 

 


That's quite a lot of gear! You have lived in London and Krakow and your other base is in Paris. Have you found a lot of difference in the three cities for playing jazz? Are the audiences different?

I think they all have their own feeling in terms of the kind of jazz that is played there and even in the way musicians play. The nice thing is that in all of those places there is a nice sense of a musician's community. I didn't notice that much difference in terms of the audiences, they all seem equally nice and enthusiastic. They all share the love of jazz. 

 

Piec Art Jazz Club

 

 

That sense of community with musicians is a valuable thing. If our readers were to go to Krakow, which jazz clubs should they visit? I seem to remember there was one I went to on the main square some years ago.

That might have been Harris Jazz Club, which is on the main square. There is also U Muniaka, on Florianska Street. I like Piec Art the most, on Szewska street, as it's the nicest looking club out of all of them and it has a lovely piano as well. 

 

Do you have a particular venue where you play in Paris or Krakow?

In Paris I played quite often at the Baiser Sale and Sunset/Sunside and in Krakow it's Piec Art Jazz Club. 

 

Piec Art Jazz Club, Krakow.

 

 

 

 

 

How are things going with the album you released last year? A View came out on the Caligola Records label and it is a solo guitar album, although you do use different guitars. What inspired you to record this album?

I have been very busy since the release date so I didn't actually promote it yet as much as I did my previous albums. I always wanted to record a solo guitar album. There are many solo guitar records I love, especially by Ralph Towner and Sylvain Luc. I felt it's part of the process of maturing as an artist and musician. I used different guitars and overdubbed guitar parts on some of the tunes. Some tunes are just solo guitar. It was a great experience having this empty canvas and being able to paint musically whatever was in my head. Recording in Italy, at Stefano Amerio's (ECM) studio, definitely helped the album come out the way it did, he gets such a great sound. As the title suggests, I used views as my inspiration. I decided to go away from home to compose the music and ended up in the lovely Italian city of Trieste with beautiful views of the sea. 

 

Click here for a video of Maciek with the track Coastline from the album.

 

The music is very relaxing, and it doesn’t seem to fit a particular genre, was that intentional or just the way it evolved?

I never plan what the music will be like, what genre, what time signature, etc. I just let things happen organically. I was in a particularly beautiful and relaxing place while writing the music, the Barcola area of Trieste, Italy. Going there to write was the only intentional thing during this process which I am sure has had an impact on the way the music sounds. 

 

Dorset Apple Cake

 

 

What snack do you usually have with your coffee in Poland? I can offer you some biscuits – I have chocolate digestives or custard creams, and I think I have some Dorset Apple Cake left over in the cake tin?

Yes, we often have cakes. I think I'll go for the Dorset Apple Cake.

 

Dorset Apple Cake

 

 

 

As well as playing with saxophonist Julian Costello you have recorded quite a bit with Daniele Di Bonaventura, Yuri Goloubev and Asaf Sirkis over the years, the relationship with them must be well established now?

Yes, they are all good friends and wonderful musicians. I hope to record more with them in the future. 

Click here to listen to Maciek playing a solo on Sunflowers with Julian Costello Quartet.

 

If you could invite a past musician, someone who has inspired you, to join you for a gig, who would you choose? and what would you ask them during your tea break?

I think it would be Miles Davis. He was such a character, I would love to have to opportunity to play and talk with him. I would probably ask him  what he is practicing at the moment :) 

 

Who else have you heard recently in Poland or Paris that we should listen out for? 

In Paris there is a really good accordion player Laurent Derache who I play with. In Poland I recently met with a great young pianist Mateusz Palka. They are both worth checking out! 

Click here to listen to the Mateusz Trio (Mateusz Palka - piano; Piotr Poludniak - double bass; Patryk Dobosz - drums) playing I Love You from their album Sansa.

 

You have quite a busy schedule booked for the months ahead. How about beyond that – do you have anything else you are planning or would like to do?

Yes, things look busy, I hope it will stay this way! I would love to record another album with my trio or quartet at some point. I think I will be focusing on my own projects in the coming months. 

 

I shall be watching out for those, and I think other people should too. Thanks for dropping by, Maciek. Can I get you another coffee before you head off for your next gig? How about choosing a piece of music while I put the kettle on?

Thanks, I'd love another coffee. How about Ralph Towner's version of My Foolish Heart

 

Excellent choice. It must be one of Ralph's favourites as he has recorded it several times. There are a few videos of him playing it on YouTube going back to 2012, but let's listen to this one from Leipzig from a couple of years ago - click here. I'll put the kettle on and see what's left of the Dorset Apple Cake.

 

Click here for Maciek's website.

 

Maciek Pysz

 

Utah Tea Pot

 

 

 

Name The Tune

(Click on the picture for the answer)

 

Name the tune

 

Click here for other challenges to 'Name The Tune'

 

 

 

Two Ears Three Eyes

Pete Cater

 

Photographer Brian O'Connor took this picture of drummer Pete Cater at the Verdict Jazz Club in Brighton, East Sussex at the end of February. Pete's Ministry Of Jazz band included Steve Fishwick (trumpet), Mark Nightingale (trombone); Richard Shepherd (saxophone); Pete Whittaker (keyboards), Vasilis Xenopoulos (saxophone) and Pete Cater (drums).

 

Pete Cater

 

Pete has several projects underway including Wind Machine; a project devised by virtuoso Greek saxophonist Vasilis Xenopoulos which takes classic big band repertoire and re-imagines it in a Blue Note, organ quintet context. This group features the British jazz stars guitarist Nigel Price, trumpeter Steve Fishwick and Bill Mudge on Hammond. Click here to listen to them playing The Groove Merchant.

Pete also appears with The Organisation featuring top saxist Tony Kofi and The Bone Supremacy, an outstanding coming together of five top UK trombonists featuring outstanding new arrangements by Adrian Fry. He is active in education - Pete has a highly successful teaching studio at Bell Percussion in London and is a faculty mamber at the London Centre of Contemporary Music. He appears at drum events throughout the UK including the Freddie Gee drum camp, the Ultimate Drum Experience, the Rhythm Course and at the UK Drum Fair of which he is honourary vice president. Pete is also on the board of trustees of the British music charity The National Jazz Archive, dedicated to maintaining the presence of jazz in the UK and preserving its history.

Click here to listen to Pete with the Bone Supremacy playing Neal Hefti's Cute.

 

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).

Then exhibition of Brian O'Connor's pictures at the Click Clock Gallery, Clock Tower Cafe, 9 Katherine Street, Croydon, CR9 1ET from 6th April to 1st May 2020 has unfortunately had to be cancelled.

 

 

 

PAndre Canniere

Ghost Days

by Howard Lawes

 

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

 

Andre Canniere

Andre Canniere
Photo by Monika Jakubowska

 

Trumpet and flugelhorn player Andre Canniere is an American from Pennsylvania, married to a British wife. His band for the album Ghost Days has Tori Freestone on tenor sax, Brigitte Beraha singing and speaking vocals, Rick Simpson (piano and keyboards), Tom Farmer (bass) and Andrew Bain (drums). The album highlights the poetry of Rebecca Lynch and Malika Booker.

Click here for a video introduction to the album with the tune Colours.

While the history of jazz with poetry and poetry with jazz is interesting, the results of such collaborations have been somewhat uneven.  In the USA one of the most famous African-American literary figures is Langston Hughes and in a blog from 2014, Rebecca Gross wrote: "Langston Hughes was never far from jazz. He listened to it at nightclubs, collaborated with musicians from Monk to Mingus, often held readings accompanied by jazz combos, and even wrote a children’s book called The First Book of Jazz." 

In the UK, the poet Philip Larkin, who declined the role of Poet Laureate, was a jazz critic for the Daily Telegraph newspaper and is famously quoted as saying: "I could live a week without poetry but not a day without jazz".  While Larkin was a poet who loved jazz, Hughes actually transformed jazz into words as exemplified in his poem The Weary Blues which has the first line "Droning a drowsy syncopated tune ..."

Click here for Langston Hughes with Weary Blues.

Jack Kerouac

 

 

While much of Hughes’ poetry was concerned with the plight of being an African-American in a racist society, something many jazz musicians would be equally familiar with, in the post WW2 years a generation of white poets rebelled against the conventions of mainstream American life and writing and became known as ‘The Beat Poets’.  These angry young men took inspiration from jazz music, adapting the inherent freedom of the music to develop an unfettered, spontaneous form of poetry, Allen Ginsberg's poem Howl begins: "I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix,". Another of the Beat Poets, Jack Kerouac wrote the novel On the Road (1957), which is considered to be the quintessential characterisation of the disillusionment of a generation in post war USA.

 

Click here to listen to Jack Kerouac and Beat.

Jack Kerouac

 

 

 

 

In the UK the relationship between jazz and poetry was rather different.  The pacifist poet Christopher Logue collaborated with drummer Tony Kinsey to release an album in 1959 called Red Bird Jazz and Poetry on the Argo label, which was adapted from the love poems of Pablo Neruda with music by Tony Kinsey and Bill Le Sage.  Another Argo release in 1964 called Poetry and Jazz in Concert featured the Michael Garrick Quintet with poetry read by Adrian Mitchell and Dannie Abse. With Michael Garrick was Joe Harriott who became better known for his free improvisations on alto saxophone, and trumpeter Shake Keane, who also composed poetry. 

Click here to listen to Pals from the 1964 recording.

Michael Garrick continued with his quintessentially British style of jazz until he died in 2011 having just completed Home Thoughts, an album with singer Nette Robinson featuring the poetry of Robert Browning, William Shakespeare and William Blake. His Lyric Ensemble included Tony Woods (alto saxophone), Matt Ridley (bass) and Chris Nickolls (drums). 

In the 1960s, The New Departures Quartet featuring Stan Tracey  (piano), the wonderful Bobby Wellins (tenor saxophone), Jeff Clyne (double bass) and Laurie Morgan (drums) performed with poet Michael Horowitz and then (with Morgan replaced by Jackie Dougan) proceeded to release in 1965 the widely praised jazz suite, Under Milk Wood inspired by Dylan Thomas's poetic story of Wales.

 

Gil Scott HeronWhile the 1950s and ‘60s seem to have been a pinnacle of the jazz poetry movement there continue to be significant artists attracting attention from time to time.  One of these, American Gil Scott-Heron continued the campaign against racism into the 1970s and his song/poem accompanied by percussion The Revolution Will Not Be Televised was a serious yet amusing denunciation of many aspects of American society which earned him the sobriquet "godfather of rap". 

 

Gil Scott-Heron

 

Scott-Heron sometimes collaborated with pianist Brian Jackson and their album From South Africa to South Carolina includes the anthemic, anti-apartheid song Johannesburg.  Another track from the album A Toast to the People was reprised by Gregory Porter accompanied by Brian Jackson for BBC Music in 2017 - click here.

 

Jazz and poetry continue to be with us today in a variety of forms, although they might not be popularised, for example Snowpoet (click here) or Blazing Flame Quintet (click here).

 

Ghost Days is Andre Canniere's second album motivated by poetry.  The first, Darkening Blue, was inspired by the German born but American resident Charles Bukowski and Bohemian-Austrian poet Rainer Maria Rilke. 

Click here for a video of Going Blind from The Darkening Blue. On this album the musicians are: Andre Canniere (trumpet); Brigitte Beraha (voice); Tori Freestone (tenor saxophone); Ivo Neame (piano, keyboards, accordion); Michael Janisch (electric & double bass); TedPoor (drums).

 

Andre Canniere Ghost Days

 

This time, for Ghost Days, he has chosen two academics; Rebecca Lynch is Artist in Residence in the Department of Informatics at King'sCollege, London while Malika Booker has recently been the Douglas Caster Cultural Fellow at the University of Leeds. 

There are three poems from each of them and while the words "ghost days" occur in Rebecca Lynch's poem Colours. The term has also been used to describe the days that were lost in 1752 when Britain transferred from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar.  A theme of loss runs through the whole album and while poems themselves deal with difficult subjects, the music serves to lighten the mood. The one poem that deals with birth, Arrival,  describes the feelings of an expectant father and with the words "I saw a man naked and unsure, rolling daddy around his tongue, preparing like a raw trumpeter, stretching abstract notes, creating jazz" might be a metaphor for the creation of the whole album. 

Listen to Arrival - click here.

 

 

Brigitte Beraha

 

 

The poem Colours describes love-making but clearly something is wrong: "we would call this (the world would call this) a sin", and Erasure is particularly anguished dealing as it does with a mother speaking of her aborted child, "There is no grief. You are my silence.One More Down is about a missing soldier with fate unknown while My Star also deals with uncertainty saying goodbye "You're my star, You're my star, So far".

The poems are delivered beautifully by Brigitte Beraha using a combination of spoken word, song and vocal improvisation, the band sounds great changing from ensemble playing to solos as the mood of each piece dictates, with Andre Canniere particularly effective on trumpet and flugelhorn, instruments that are ideally suited to the emotional messages in the words. 

 

Brigitte Beraha

 

 

The one track without words is the final track of the album which is called Endure and has the feeling of an anthem for hope, clearly written to encourage those who have lost something - that life will get better in time.  All the music is written and arranged by Andre Canniere and he has obviously explored music genres other than jazz  to feed his imagination, as we have funky grooves, rock, and melodies that will certainly stay in the mind.

Listen to Endure - click here.

While many song lyrics are, in general, relatively undemanding these poems are really quite challenging, particularly given the present climate of global pandemic, and having read the words and heard the music listeners may conclude that it is the words which are the more powerful.  Looking back over the history of jazz poetry this was usually the case, particularly in the USA, where the genre was used to convey messages of discrimination and sadness.  Clearly Andre Canniere has been moved by the words to create some beautiful music and he has done us a great service in bringing this artform to our attention.

Click here for details of the album Ghost Days and to listen to samples.

 

Andre Canniere band

 

 

 


Directory of Alternative Musical Definitions

Villanelle

A French term used in the 16th century for pastoral poems or songs, later applied to compositions by composers such as Georg Philipp Telemann, Hector Berlioz, and Paul Dukas. Later still applied to a certain femme fatale.

 

Villanelle

Click on the picture

Click here for more Alternative Definitions.

 

 

 

 

PJazz Remembered

Ian Hunter-Randall

 

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

 

Ian Hunter Randall

Ian Hunter-Randall in 1962
Photograph courtesy of Jane Hunter-Randall

 

 

Click here for Ian playing Undecided with Monty Sunshine's Jazz Band: Monty Sunshine (clarinet); Ian Hunter-Randall (trumpet); Charlie Galbraith (trombone); Colin Bates (piano); Ron Russell (bass); Geoff Downs (drums). As with Snag It, below, this was originally recorded at The Dancing Slipper club in Nottingham by Allan Gilmour who was the sound engineer at the club. When he passed away the tapes were passed to Lake Records who released them on CD between 1965-1968.

 

UK Trumpeter Ian Hunter-Randall was born in Clapham, London on the 3rd January 1938. Shortly afterwards his family moved to Surrey and Ian went to Sutton High School, but it was not there that his interest in jazz grew, he would excel at English, Swimming and Art and when he left school, go on to an art school in London to study Art and Design.

It was the mid-1950s and the Trad. Jazz revival had begun. Ian already had a guitar but when his friends bought a clarinet and a trombone, he bought his first trumpet in London’s Charing Cross Road for 15 shillings (75 p in today’s money). They practised and played in street fairs, and in the late 1950s, Ian joined Preston Scott’s Jazz Band


The Barton brothers, Ken and Len lived in Acton and both led jazz bands. Ian joined Ken’s Oriole Jazz Band in 1959, the year he first met his future wife, actress and model Jane Bough, who was in cabaret when their paths crossed. By now, Ian was working as a graphic artist in Soho.

In 1962, Ian moved from one Barton’s band to the other, joining Len Barton’s Alexander’s Jazzmen. The band was popular and had regular gigs, to the point where Ian was turning up for work in Soho rather the worse for wear after continuing late nights. He decided to put the music first and turn professional. Alexander’s Jazzmen became the first Trad. Jazz band to win the cup in the Melody Maker magazine poll. The cup is now on display at the Jazz Centre UK in Southend.

 

Alexanders Jazzmen

 

Alexander's Jazzmen in 1962: L-R: Mike Snelling, Len Barton, Ian Hunter-Randall, Johnny Richardson, ? banjo. Mike Nash.
Photograph courtesy of Jane Hunter-Randall

 

 

Even more popular were the Clyde Valley Stompers. The band from Glasgow had been formed in 1952; trombonist Ian Menzies led the Clydes from 1954 when they turned professional and as their popularity grew, they began to play nationally, also having enough work to turn professional. The band had a UK Top 30 success in 1962 with their recording of Peter And The Wolf, but although they appeared on television, including playing on The Morecambe And Wise Show, Traditional jazz was beginning to be overtaken in popularity by Rock and Roll. Ian joined the Clydes for a short time in April 1963 until they disbanded later that year in December.

There were other bands still working, and having met clarinettist Roy Pellet and trombonist John Howlett while touring in Germany with the Clydes, Ian joined the London City Stompers with them in 1964. Ian was also playing gigs with Max Collie's Rhythm Aces. Max was an Australian trombonist, born in Melbourne. He had played with several different bands before forming his own group which he named the Rhythm Aces. Here is Ian with the band in 1964.

 

Max Collie Band

 

Max Collie Band in 1964 - L-R: Max Collie, Andy Cooper, Annie Hawkins, Ian Castle, Duncan Chalmers, Ian Hunter-Randall
Photograph courtesy of Jane Hunter-Randall

 

Ian was also picking up gigs with trombonist Charlie Galbraith’s All Star Jazz band until later that year, 1964, he joined clarinettist Monty Sunshine.

 

Click here for Ian with Monty Sunshine playing Snag It. Again the line-up is : Monty Sunshine (clarinet); Ian Hunter-Randall (trumpet); Charlie Galbraith (trombone); Colin Bates (piano); Ron Russell (bass); Geoff Downs (drums)

 

Ian stayed with Monty for several years in the mid-1960s, leaving to work briefly with Acker Bilk in May and June of 1966. Acker Bilk’s Paramount Jazz Band was one of the bands that continued to ride high in popularity, touring and recording regularly, but that popularity meant that audiences expected to hear the same tunes and the same arrangements they had come to know, and Ian soon found that restricted his ability to improvise and develop his playing.

 

Acker Bilk Band

 

Ian with the Acker Bilk Paramount Jazz Band - L-R: Stan Greig; Acker Bilk; Bruce Turner; Ian Hunter-Randall; Ron Mackay; Tucker Finlayson; Johnny Mortimer; Tony Pitt
Photograph courtesy of Jane Hunter-Randall

 

 

In July, Ian returned to Monty's band until in 1967 he joined another popular and commercially sound band, that of clarinettist Terry Lightfoot.

 

 

Terry Lightfoot Band

 

 

 

 

Ian would stay with Terry until the late summer of 1994. It was a long and fruitful partnership that also helped pay the mortgage. Ian’s wife Jane remembers that during those years, Ian on trumpet and Mickey Cooke on trombone complemented each others’ playing perfectly.

 

The Terry Lightfoot Jazz Band

Terry Lightfoot (clarinet); Mickey Cooke (trombone); Dickie Bishop (banjo); Bix Duff (piano); Richie Bryant (drums); Micky Ashman (bass); Ian Hunter-Randall (trumpet)
Photograph courtesy of Jane Hunter-Randall

 

In 1978, Terry and his wife took over the Three Horseshoes pub in Harpenden, Hertfordshire, where he ‘retired’ for a while, promoting live jazz at the venue for some five years before again responding to the call of the road.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click here for Ian with the Terry Lightfoot Band playing Barnyard Blues in 1976: The line-up is Terry Lightfoot (clarinet), Ian Hunter-Randall (trumpet), Phil Rhodes (trombone), Paddy Lightfoot (banjo), Mike Godwin (bass) and Ian Castle (drums)

 

Ian found work with reed player Pete Allen’s band. Pete, who had played with Rod Mason formed his first band in 1978 and during the early years made thirty appearances on “Pebble Mill at One” for BBC Television.

 

 

Pete Allen Jazz Band

Ian (sitting centre) with the Pete Allen Jazz Band - Ian Bateman; Johnny Armitage; Bernie Allen; Pete Allen; Tony Bagot.
Photograph courtesy of Jane Hunter-Randall

 

When Terry Lightfoot decided to return to playing, Ian joined him again. Terry now concentrated on themed concert presentations such as ‘The Special Magic of Louis Armstrong’ or ‘From Bourbon Street to Broadway’.

In April, 1982, Argentina invaded the British dependent Falklands islands in the South Atlantic. Argentina maintains that the islands are Argentinian, and the Argentine government claimed its military action as the reclamation of its own territory. The British government regarded the action as an invasion of a territory that had been a Crown colony since 1841. The UK sent a task force to retake the Islands and after ten weeks of engagements, a ceasefire was declared on 14 June and the commander of the Argentine garrison in Stanley, Brigade General Mario Menéndez, surrendered to Major General Jeremy Moore. (You can read more about the conflict here).

Two years later, UK troops were still stationed on the Falkland Islands and Terry Lightfoot’s band went there as part of a Combined Services Entertainment (CSE) show. Ian Hunter-Randall kept a log of the trip, and his wife Jane has kindly let us share extracts from Ian’s diary entries which you can read further down this page.

In 1994 Ian thought it was time to form his own All Star Band and they would gig for another four years, but he would also play regularly with Laurie Chescoe’s Good Time Jazz band from 1995.

Click here for a video of Ian with Laurie Chescoe's Good Time Jazz at the 1996 Island of Bute Jazz Festival. Laurie Chescoe (drums), Tony Pitt (guitar and banjo), Alan Bradley (piano), Dave Jones (reeds), Dave Hewitt (trombone), Ian Hunter-Randell (trumpet) and Pete Morgan (bass).

Remembering Ian Hunter Randall album

 

Ian didn’t get the opportunity to retire and just spend time doing the other things he always enjoyed – watching cricket, going to the theatre and painting. In 1999 he had been well, touring abroad with Laurie Chescoe, but he then passed away suddenly with a heart attack on the 13th February 1999. He was found to have suffered an embolism through his leg.

 

Ian Hunter-Randall will be remembered as a fine jazz trumpet player; a tall, gentle sociable gentleman who was always smartly dressed. His wife Jane recalls that Ian loved and responded to the big occasion; he was less nervous playing to a large crowded auditorium than at a small intimate jazz gig.

Jane, trumpeter Digby Fairweather and reeds player Julian Marc Stringle have put together a CD from Ian’s playing over the years, Ian - Remembering Ian Hunter-Randall. In the liner notes, Digby writes: ‘His ability to produce anything from lyrically reflective solos to boiling hot up-tempo trumpet lead and solo outings was matched by his formidable technique, which, at its peak, separated him from all but a very few Traditional jazz trumpeters in (and no doubt beyond) the UK.’ (Click here for details of the CD)

 

 

 

 

The Terry Lightfoot Band In The Falkland Islands

 

Falkland Islands

 

 

In April, 1982, Argentina invaded the British dependent Falklands islands in the South Atlantic. Argentina maintains that the islands are Argentinian, and the Argentine government claimed its military action as the reclamation of its own territory. The British government regarded the action as an invasion of a territory that had been a Crown colony since 1841. The UK sent a task force to retake the Islands CSE logoand after ten weeks of engagements, a ceasefire was declared on 14 June and the commander of the Argentine garrison in Stanley, Brigade General Mario Menéndez, surrendered to Major General Jeremy Moore. (You can read more about the conflict here).

Two years later, UK troops were still stationed on the Falkland Islands and Terry Lightfoot’s band went there as part of a Combined Services Entertainment (CSE) show. Ian Hunter-Randall kept a log of the trip, and his wife Jane has kindly let us share extracts from Ian’s diary entries here.

On arrival, the band were given various documents including one that read: ‘During the Falkland’s islands conflict considerable quantities of ammunition were used, consequently a large amount of Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) was left on the battlefield....there are some items in a very sensitive and dangerous state. SOME WILL DETONATE WHEN TOUCHED. ..... REMEMBER. If planning a walk into the hills in a group you must always carry a Minefield Situation Map. Individuals are NOT permitted to walk into the hills alone’.

The Lightfoot Band for the trip were Terry Lightfoot (clarinet, saxophone, vocals); Ian Hunter-Randall (trumpet, vocals); Phil Rhodes (trombone, arranger); Mike Godwin (bass guitar); Max Brittain (guitar) and Keith Hall (drums). Also along as part of the show were: Terry Greene (comedian) and Nick and Marie (singing duo).

 

The company set off on the 19th March. The following is taken from Ian Hunter-Randall’s diary (we have added some pictures):

To begin, I will quote from the information sheet we all got from the CSE office, well in advance of our departure: “.....The wind is ever present throughout the year. The capital, Port Stanley, is unsophisticated and the pace of life, even after the hostilities, is slow. The outlying settlements are even less sophisticated .... The Falklands trip is the grubbiest you are ever likely to go on, so there is no point in taking Hercules aircraftexpensive clothes to wear ...” The briefing finishes with the chilling phrase: “To sum up, if you have any doubts about your capability to do the trip – don’t go.”

 

[The company leave on the 20th March for a stop-over at the Ascension islands, continuing on the 21st]

At 6.00 am we board the chamber of horrors (a Hercules propeller-driven freight plane) in considerable heat, even though it is still dark. No words can adequately convey this airborne claustrophobia. The aircraft is divided down its middle by an iron framework partition and on each side of this, sit two rows of lost souls, facing each other so close that knees fit together like a zip-fastener. After half an hour of sweating discomfort, we are informed that there is a mechanical fault and a spare part will have to be ‘cannibalised’ from one of two other Hercules standing on the tarmac. The following thirteen and a half hours is a mixture of back-ache, standing up to try to get rid of it, and brief dozes, usually interrupted by a large boot coming in contact with some part of my anatomy, as its owner climbs over me and everyone else to get to one of three containers of lemon squash, or the toilet. At long last we touch down after a very buffeted descent. It is now 8.30 pm, local time. We remember how to walk, and step out into a howling gale that all but lifts us off our feet.

 

Thursday, 22nd: Thankfully today is off, the only one we are to get. My room mates, Terry and Mike, still manage to get up for breakfast.

Friday, 23rd: Now it really begins in earnest. Two shows a day, up to and including next Thursday. A nine o’clock departure to get to the helicopter pad. Our first destination is Mount Kent. The idea is to land on top of the mountain, but the weather, which was indifferent at the start of the day, suddenly worsens, and the alternative measure of landing two thirds of the way up the mountain is adopted. On previous CSE tours we haven’t had to carry our own gear to any great extent. Out of the damp fog two trucks appear, one for gear, and the other for us. We are hurled about in near darkness, amongst luggage and musical instruments. The ascent felt like an hour, but in fact has only taken 20 minutes. In bitterly cold, driving rain, we trudge endlessly over wooden planks laid on the mud, until we reach the porta-mess, where we are to perform. Not for the first time since becoming a professional musician, I am struck by the incongruous, even surreal aspect of the situation; dressed up in band uniform, on top of a mountain, in ever-worsening weather, in the middle of the day, on the other side of the world!

[The performance is well received, but the company is unable to get to the second show because of the bad weather. They travel back to Port Stanley by Land Rover].

 

Saturday, 24th: The destination is Byron Heights (yes, another mountain). Byron Heights could not be less romantic than it sounds. The whole place is nothing but a quagmire. The conditions are so dire, that only a shortened version of the show can go on. Here we are playing in sweaters, jeans and mud-proof footwear, to an audience of damp, decidedly dispirited troops. On to Camp Orford. This is far more civilised. The camp is leased to the RAF by a land-owner. The show goes well, despite competition from hundreds of noisy sheep.

[Weather conditions again stop the company from going on to Mount Alice and they press on to the next venue, Fox Bay].

The accommodation at Fox Bay is much more spacious than we have had up to now, but very dirty. We learn that live mines are still being washed up ashore, even two years after the war. I forego the stroll I was contemplating. Max, however takes his binoculars and goes bird-watching. Phil and Gordon also venture out to try some fishing. At any minute I am half-expecting an explosion. When the performance is HMS Fort Austinover, I meet my first Falklanders, or ‘Kelpers’, as they like to be known. They have come from outlying settlements to see the rare live entertainment. The accent is curious – a mixture of west country and New Zealand.

Monday, 26th: There are another two shows today, this time on board H.M.S. Fort Austin, anchored in San Carlos Water. The shows are to be in the helicopter hangar, and the navy have made a good job of turning it into a place of entertainment. The stage is obviously makeshift, but certainly doesn’t feel like it. The first show takes place within an hour of boarding, with half the audience conveniently seated and the rest festooned on anything that provides a perch (girders, hoists, spare propellers – some men are a good 50 feet above deck level).

Tuesday, 27th: Thankfully, we are being flown straight on to our next venue, Port San Carlos. After the show, an expatriate Scot, who has been on the Islands for 20 years, engages us in conversation. There is nowhere in the world he would sooner be. He, in common with most Islanders we have talked to, found the sudden presence, two years ago, of Argentinian Forces, barely believable. It became all too believable as he and his family were rounded up at gunpoint. We scramble to get ourselves organised for the next leg – Kelly’s Garden.

 

Showtime. The format, now it has all fallen into place, follows this pattern: Terry (Greene) opens with about 10 minutes of warm-up gags and impressions, then introduces Nick and Marie. Marie, ever the true Liverpudlian, provides the ‘chat’ and Nick looks after the musical department. Terry Greene returns and does his main spot, the highlight of which for me is an hilarious send-up of Demis Roussos. Having familiarised ourselves with the last five minutes of Terry’s act, we discreetly slide on stage. Terry announces us and we present our offering for the next 45 mins. Our final number brings back on stage the whole company.

Wednesday, 28th: The Sergeant-Major who last night appeared to be a nice guy, this morning turns out to be a sadist. Twice, starting at 7.30, he rips the bedclothes off me and bellows military wake-up type phrases in my ear. I suppose he would love to have us in his control for six months, to ‘whip us into shape.’ Without warning our helicopter arrives. At 11.30, we are inside this monster (a Chinook). Strapped in, deafened and staring at the ground far below through an open trap-door, we pass the ¾ hour journey back to the outskirts of Stanley. The next 4 shows are to be in the biggest of the 3 Coastels [fortifications to provide protection against military attack at or near a coastline], and the performances take place in a vast gymnasium where everything from rifle shooting, through to rugby and cricket are catered for. On the second show, the island Governor, Sir Rex Hunt, together with his wife are in the audience. It is likely we will be invited to tea after the very last show.

Thursday, 29th: The two shows go down well, but as with yesterday, the vast hall is far from full at each performance. It would surely have been better to have one show per night and fill the place up each time. In the forces the ranks are not supposed to ‘mingle’ too much. I find it quite ridiculous.

Friday, 30th: The last show! Our one concert is in the community centre, which serves at different times as school, church, pub, and now concert hall. As we change in the school room, amidst exercise books and children’s paintings, we are struck yet again, of the unreal aspect of it all. We are to put on a show to an audience of evenly split servicemen and local people whose life-style will be affected not one jot by our presence.

[The company travels home to the UK on Saturday, 31st March arriving at Brize Norton airfield on 1st April].

After a painless check-out, the ‘show’ splits up and goes its different ways. Even if the separate components never work together again, we are all united in an extraordinary shared experience. It has been an unforgettable 13 days, which I feel grateful for having been offered. After all we have seen and done, the final lingering impression that remains in my mind is a melancholy one. There are still, we learnt, many unaccounted for Argentinian bodies, yet to be interred, in the more inaccessible parts of the islands.

 

Terry Lightfoot Band                   

                                                                                                      .
                                                     

The Terry Lightfoot Band in 1972
L-R: Ian Hunter-Randall, Ian Castle, Terry Lightfoot, Paddy Lightfoot, Pete Scivington and Mickey Cooke. 
The photograph waso taken at the London Weekend television studios where the band was doing a T V show - you can just see the LW logo.

 

 

 

 

Lens America

Oliver Lake

Photographer Clara Pereira and journalist Filipe Freitas from JazzTrail in New York were in New York City in The Jazz Standard where Clara took this picture of Oliver Lake on sopranino.

 

Oliver Lake

 

Oliver was playing with the band Trio 3 which was featuring Marilyn Crispell. Filipe Freitas writes: 'Trio 3 is co-led by true ambassadors of the free/avant-garde jazz scene - saxist Oliver Lake, bassist Reggie Workman, and drummer Andrew Cyrille. From February 20 to 23, they performed at the Jazz Standard, inviting a different pianist each night to join them on the bandstand. On Saturday, it was the brilliant Marilyn Crispell who heavily contributed to the poetry and sophistication of the trio’s sharp avant-expressionism. The jagged, noise-scarred point of departure of this first set was felt like a slow-motion earthquake that took the unguarded audience by surprise. ... two pieces featured Lake pulling off out-of-the-box solos on the sopranino. The Eastern-tinged “Leaving East of Java” by pianist Adegoke Steve Colson was one of them..... Boasting an often throaty tone, he articulates serpentine phrases containing pops and squeals for a deft rhythmic effect. The band walked out of the bandstand leaving a sweet smell of swing and blues in the air. The audience was exhilarated. Joe Lovano, Dave Douglas, and Angelica Sanchez, among other known jazz artists, were spotted in the house.' (Click here for Filipe's full review).

Oliver Lake is a saxophonist, flutist, composer, poet, and visual artist. He is known mainly for playing alto saxophone but he also performs on soprano and flute. During the 1960s he worked with the Black Artists Group in St. Louis and in 1977 he founded the World Saxophone Quartet with David Murray, Julius Hemphill, and Hamiet Bluiett. He has appeared on more than 80 albums as a bandleader, co-leader, and side musician.

Click here for a video with Oliver in a performance at the Montclair Art Museum, and visits him in his art studio and at his wife Marion Lake's shop in Montclair.

 

 

 

Forum

 

New Merlin's Cave

Tris Murray has seen our page about the historic New Merlin's Cave venue in Clerkenwell (click here) and writes: 'My mum used to bring me and my brother to New Merlin's Cave in the '70s to catch George Melly and John Chiltern's Feetwarmers. We kids would run around outside, occasionally plunging into the smokey fug for crisps and lemonade. I now run a gallery in Queens Park, Kilburn. I want to do a photographic exhibition celebrating the Jazz scene at NMC in the early mid '70s. There was always a photographer who sat by the door. I believe that was Dick Scott-Stewart. Can you help with his archive, or any other photographers that took pics there?'

[Our page on New Merlin's Cave was started some time ago and the one picture we have by Dick Scott-Stewart is not good enough for an exhibition. If any readers do have pictures and can help Tris, please contact us and it would also give us an opportunity to update the page - Ed]

 

 

Raymond Doughty

Raymond Doughty

 

Last month, we shared correspondence from Dean Doughty who wrote: 'This is a long shot. I am tracing my family tree and my father's father called Raymond Doughty played alto sax in this record. “Deep Water” [Personnel: Harry Davis-bj-g dir. Hamish Christie-t-tb / Johnny Swinfen-Raymond Doughty-cl-as / Sid Brown-cl-ts / Oscar Rabin-bsx-vn-ldr / Alf Kaplan-p / Cecil Walden-d]. I have no idea what he looks like and neither does my father remember as he left at a very young age. There are loads of pictures on the internet of the Oscar Rabin band but I wouldn’t know which one's him ... Do you know? If you can help it would mean the world. we have no pictures at all of him.'

[Click here to listen to Deep Water. We contacted David Nathan at the National Jazz Archive who searched their material and found that 'whilst Raymond gets a mention in Melody Maker in March 1934 & February & June 1939 – the latter with the Band of Irish Guards – I could not see any photo.' If any readers have information that might help, please contact us].

Dean has now written again having found this picture and footage of Raymond with Oscar Rabin Orchestra playing Rural Rhythm in 1937 (click here) - Raymond is on alto sax and is also the guy on the right singing when the three gentlemen stand up.

 

 

Russell Procope and Jelly Roll Morton's Blues

Alan Bond writes: 'Sitting here in 'self isolation', I was listening to some Jelly Roll. It put me in mind of a time when I played trombone in the John Purves Swingtette in the 1960s. Out of the blue he received a request from the editor of a London based magazine called 'Jazz News' now, sadly, long defunct. Apparently he had heard via the grapevine of our band and was particularly interested because we were not a 'trad' band (how I hate the term 'trad') but we played in the 'mainstream' style with two brass and three reeds in the front line. Their reporter came along to one of our weekly rehearsals at Edgware, actually in a church hall which is still there to this day. He turned up towards the end of our session but was suitably impressed and said he would return on another Saturday for a longer appraisal.

It was a few weeks later when he turned up again and he had in tow, two gentlemen who turned out to be members of the Duke Ellington band, which was in town for a number of concerts. One of them was the reed player Russell Procope and the other was one of the trombone players who I thought at the time might have been Britt Woodman but I later found out that he was not with Ellington at the time. Our leader and trumpet player was convinced that it was Lawrence Brown as he was still working with Ellington then. Needless to say, our rehearsal was soon brought to an end while we chatted with these two gentleman. Russell was deep in conversation with our three reed men for a while and I eventually managed to buttonhole him to ask about his career and his work with John Kirby and he said that the Onyx Club job was the best paid he had other than with Ellington.

Click here to listen to John Kirby and his Onyx Club Boys playing From A Flat to C.

I then asked him about his work with Jelly Roll Morton and he seemed rather surprised that I was interested in all that 'old stuff' as he put it. I said, not at all and mentioned his incredibly moving clarinet solo on Deep Creek Blues, but he couldn't remember it as 'it was so long ago'. I suppose, for a working musician with many recordings to his credit it would be hard to remember too much detail, but that clarinet solo, to me reflects the pain of the struggle of the black man in America as it is so poignant. Right at the end is a quirky little effect by Jelly Roll where he leaves a pause and then plays just one final note - ever the dramatist! This is, without doubt, one of the most moving blues performances I have ever heard.'

Click here to listen to Deep Creek Blues.

 

 

The 100 Club

100 Club programme

 

 

Last month we wrote that the 100 Club in London's Oxford Street has been granted special protected status by Westminster Council. It has been recognised as a Community Interedt Company being a not-for-profit social enterprise for the public good. John Westwood writes: 'Your piece about the 100 Club brought back many happy memories - and a few regrets.  As you know, Joe Feldman took out the lease from the guy that ran Mack's, and put on some good music (often visiting American servicemen) but his main purpose was to promote his offspring. Anyway, I played there a few times with John Haim's Jellyroll Kings in the late 40s, but never ate the rather suspect grub then on offer!  At that time there were two bandstands - one at the front (Oxford Street) end and the other at the back by the kitchen.  It was at the latter that we always played - Humph or visiting VIPs had the prime 'front' one. One such notable occasion was when we did the opener and closer for when Jimmy and Marian (McPartland) guested with Humph - highly illegal of course because the Bechet case was still very much in mind, but a great experience to witness.  They were very happy days. During the '90s, Friday lunchtimes were 'free admission' and made a memorable rendezvous for us Mouldy Fygges.  The corner by the bar was always occupied by Harry Gold, Bill Colyer, Ray Foxley and visiting Tradsters who quaffed copious quantities of the real ale which Roger got in - back at a time when it was mainly Red Barrel/Double Diamond in vogue. Now, although I believe Roger still owns the business, he sits back while his son Jeff runs it and who I hold responsible for the almost total absence now of Jazz as we know it.  There's more proper jazz to be heard at Ronnie Scott's than at the 100 these days.  Dig (Digby Fairweather) played a blinder there a few weeks ago!'

 

 

 

 

Lil Hardin

Who Is With Lil Hardin?

 

Stu Morrison sends this picture of pianist Lil Hardin and wonders if anyone can remember anything about the photograph?

Stu says: 'The lady, of course, is Lil Hardin and the guy shaking hands with her is the Aussie banjoist Ashley Keating who lived in the UK for a bit. The guy in the dark jacket is K. Minter and the taller guy Roy Maskell. Keith Smith extremely right. The guy in the sheepskin taking a photo is, to date, a mystery. I can’t for the life of me remember where I got the picture from or who sent it, or where the record shop is?'

 

 

 

 

Lister and Gray

Lister and Gray

 

 

Eric Jackson sends this picture saying: 'This photo is from way back. The clarinet player is Eric Lister and the other two gentlemen were Tony and Dougie Gray who I believe at one time were members of the Steve Lane band.

Collectively they were later known as The Alberts and appeared regularly with Spike Milligan on TV. Their ouevre was in The Temperence Seven / Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Bands so may not be strictly jazz as your followers might know it. Click here for a taste of The Alberts music.

Prior to their later career they might have been nightowls hurtling off from Fleet Street to deliver early edition newspapers to newsagents around London.

As Eric says, 'not strictly jazz', but an illustration of what must now seem an outdated type of 'silly' humour that went from Spike Milligan and The Goons through to Monty Python.

 

 

 

 

 

The Dancing Slipper, Nottingham

Alan Cutts writes to add his memories to our page on the Dancing Slipper Club in Nottingham (click here): 'Went there in August '66, started hitch-hiking in July ... from Sevenoaks in Kent with mates to visit ... up at the Uni and also the Art College ... first night there before the gigs started was spent in Yates Bar, off Slab Square, where the buses raced around the quadrangular outer road sending up sparks from the running board as they tilted so much on the sharp bends ! Went to the Trip to Jerusalem for a look, sight-seeing in Arnold and then the big student party ... It was huge, and the Bonzo Dog Doodah Band was playing live, funniest act we had ever seen up to then, Viv Stanshall outstanding, camp was new then, and we heard that The Who might be coming soon ... magic times, and then back on the M1 to Kent. Do you remember those yellow plastic macs that almost all the students wore back then? Trademark gear. Thanks, memories like that last for ever.'

 

 

 

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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 more about them.

When this page first started, links to newspaper obituaries were free. Then increasingly advertisements were added and now many newspapers ask for a subscription to read a full obituary. Where possible, we initially link to a Wikipedia page which is still free of charge, but we also give links to newspaper obituaries in case you want to read them.

 

McCoy Tyner

 

 

McCoy Tyner - American pianist born in Philadelphia known for his work with the John Coltrane Quartet and a long solo career. He was an NEA Jazz Master and a five-time Grammy winner. Not a player of electric keyboards and synthesizers, he was committed to acoustic instrumentation. Tyner, who was widely imitated, was one of the most recognizable and most influential pianists in jazz history. In 1960 he joined The Jazztet led by Benny Golson and Art Farmer and six months later, he joined John Coltrane's Quartet and worked with the band during its extended run at the Jazz Gallery. Coltrane had known Tyner for a while growing up in Philadelphia. His involvement with Coltrane came to an end in 1965 and he then produced a series of post-bop albums released by Blue Note from 1967 to 1970. During the 1980s and 1990s, McCoy worked in a trio that included Avery Sharpe on bass and Louis Hayes on drums. He made solo albums for Blue Note, and then signed with Telarc for several trio albums.  Click here for a video of McCoy Tyner with the John Coltrane Quartet and Impressions. New York Times obituary. The Guardian obituary.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Danny Ray Thompson

 

 

Danny Ray Thompson - American baritone saxophonist who played with the Sun Ra Arkestra and managed the band for a period of time. He attended night classes at Juilliard School of Music and his first concert was with Babatunde Olatunji. After meeting Marshall Allen, Danny was introduced to Sun Ra. The first Arkestra album Thompson appeared on was 1967's Atlantis. He made his first live appearance with the Arkestra in April, 1968 at Carnegie Hall. Click here for a video of Danny with the Sun Ra Arkestra with East Of The Sun, Mack The Knife and other numbers in 1985. New York Times obituary.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bill Smith

 

 

Bill Smith - American clarinettist and composer who worked in several fields - classical music, Third Stream and jazz. He played with pianist Dave Brubeck intermittently from the 1940s to the early 2000s. He frequently recorded jazz under the name Bill Smith, but his classical compositions are credited under the name William O. Smith. Bill studied at the Juilliard School of Music, played in New York jazz clubs like Kelly's Stables at night, then leaving Juilliard he returned to California upon hearing and admiring the music of Darius Milhaud, who was then teaching at Mills College in Oakland. At Mills, he met pianist Dave Brubeck, with whom he often played until Brubeck's death in 2012. Smith was a member of the Dave Brubeck Octet, and later occasionally subbed for saxophonist Paul Desmond in the Dave Brubeck Quartet. Click here for a video of Bill with Dave Brubeck and Take The A Train. New York Times obituary.

 

 

 

 

 

Henry Gray

 

 

Henry Gray - American Blues pianist born in Louisiana who played and recorded with many artists, including Robert Lockwood Jr., Billy Boy Arnold, Morris Pejoe, the Rolling Stones, Muddy Waters, and Howlin' Wolf. He has more than 58 albums to his credit, including recordings for Chess Records. He is credited as helping to create the distinctive sound of the Chicago blues piano. Henry began studying the piano at the age of eight, taking lessons from a neighborhood woman, Mrs. White. Gray also credits the radio and music records in his home for inspiring his love of music at an early age. A few years later, he began playing piano and organ at the local Baptist church, and his family eventually acquired a piano for the house. Playing the blues was not encouraged in his family, but Henry played blues at Mrs. White's house, and by the time he was 16 he was playing blues at a club in Alsen. His father initially disapproved of the job but became supportive after seeing how much money his son was making. Click here for a video of Henry playing blues standards live at Lovers Lane. The Guardian obituary.

 

 

 

 

 

Ronald Lewis

 

 

Ronald W. Lewis - Ronald Lewis established the House of Dance and Feathers Museum in New Orleans and has died from Covid-19. Lewis' Tupelo Street museum, which he established in 2003, was an internationally known destination for visitors seeking an insider slant on aspects of New Orleans black parading and marching customs. He was also was a champion of New Orleans’ second-line parading traditions. In the late 1980s, he was a founder of the Double 9 second-line parading group and later the Big 9 organization, for which he led the co-ordinated costume design and creation. Click here for a video.

 

 

 

 

Ray Mantilla

 

 

Ray Mantilla - American percussionist and bandleader born in the South Bronx who had a prolific jazz career for more than half a century. Mantilla played on hundreds of recordings, including some that have become important parts of jazz history, like Max Roach’s M’Boom, Herbie Mann’s Flute, Brass, Vibes and Percussion and Charles Mingus’s Cumbia & Jazz Fusion. He was one of the three most recorded conga players in the history of jazz; he held that distinction with Ray Barretto and Cándido Camero. In 1977, Ray also made political history as part of a group of musicians led by Dizzy Gillespie who became the first to perform in Cuba since the travel embargo of 1962. Their joint concerts with Cuba’s supergroup Irakere and the rúmba percussion ensemble Los Papines would re-establish musical ties with the island. Click here for a video of Ray Mantilla playing Mambo Diablo with Tito Puente.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mike Longo

 

 

Mike Longo - American pianist born in Cincinatti who recalled seeing Sugar Chile Robinson playing boogie woogie piano: "The first time I saw him, man, he knocked me out. I must have been three or four years old. He played after the Count Basie show, so I went home and started picking out boogie woogie bass lines." Mike's career began in his father's band, but later Cannonball Adderley helped him get gigs of his own. Their working relationship pre-dated Adderley's emergence as a band leader. Adderley approached the teenaged Longo because he needed a pianist at his church. In the 1960s, Mike began to lead the Mike Longo Trio, which would remain active for the next 42 years. Dizzy Gillespie was playing at the Metropole and Longo, depressed after divorcing his first wife, had just gained a gig at Embers West playing with Roy Eldridge. Eldridge brought Gillespie to see Longo playing with Paul Chambers. Gillespie hired Longo the next day. Mike Longo became musical director for the Dizzy Gillespie Quintet and later Gillespie chose him to be the pianist for the Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Band. From 1966 onward, his music career would be linked to Gillespie. Click here for a video of Mike Longo playing Ding A Ling with Dizzy Gillespie and the Reunion Band. Jazz Times obituary.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Manu Dibango

 

 

Manu Dibango - Saxophonist / pianist born in the Cameroon who has died in France from Covid-19. His 1972 hit Soul Makossa brought African music to the pop charts, but he recorded and toured with many other musicians. Manu recorded and toured prolifically, appearing worldwide and collaborating with musicians including Herbie Hancock, Fela Kuti, Peter Gabriel, and others. At 15 he was sent to Europe to study classical piano and music theory in Paris and Brussels, but he was drawn to jazz, and he began playing saxophone in the early l950s. Click here to listen to Hi-life. Click here for a video of Ce Soir Au Village. The Guardian obituary.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Noemi Nuti - Venus Eye
(Ubuntu Music) - Released: 6th March 2020

Noemi Nuti (vocals, Paraguayan harp, classical harp); Chris Eldred (keys); Tom Herbert (bass); Emiliano Caroselli (drums); Gareth Lochrane (flute); Quentin Collins (trumpet)

Noemi Nuti Venus Eye

 

'Born in New York City and of Italian descent, Noemi Nuti is a well-established jazz vocalist based in London.A finalist at the Worshipful Company of Musicians, she has released her debut album Nice to Meet You in 2015, which was also the first release on the Ubuntu Music Record Label. Six tracks have been featured on national and international radio stations, two of which were A listed on Jazz FM. She has received wide critical acclaim touring the UK, headlining festivals and supporting Brazilian legend Marcos Valle at Islington Assembly Hall. She has also performed nationally and internationally as lead vocalist in Andrew McCormack's Graviton. Noemi Nuti's second album, Venus Eye, due to be released in March 2020, is a celebration of the female perspective in song form, fusing influences from artists such as Joni Mitchell and Esperanza Spalding.' (album notes). 'Venus Eye is the expression of a three-year journey I started in 2017. After the success of my debut album, ‘Nice to Meet You’, I decided to take some time off to go on an artistic, emotional and musical quest. I was lucky enough to spend this time listening, researching, practising and rediscovering my love for the harp.This has shaped the music and, for me, this was the best decision I have ever made. It took 18 months to write the music as I wanted to challenge myself to write songs with strong vocal and flute layering arrangements yet preserving elements of improvised jazz music. As I was recording, I realised that the overall theme was one of the self-affirming female perspective, which is the only perspective I have. I am so happy to embrace this music as it developed naturally whilst I was seeking to discover what was within me at that time. I believe this honesty can be heard in the storytelling of the lyrics, the instrumentation, the arrangements, the compositions and the textures.' (Naomi Nuti). '..... Nuti's ever-evolving musical artistry is tellingly reflected in this consummate collection of songs'. (Peter Quinn in Jazzwise ****)

 

Details and Samples : Click here for a Video of Cornflake Girl : Listen to I Will Remember : Listen to Crazy Dance : Further Details :

 

 

 

 

Tom Green Septet - Tipping Point
(Spark! Label) - Released: 17th April 2020

Tom Green (trombone/composition; James Davison (trumpet/flugelhorn); Tommy Andrews (alto/soprano saxophones); Sam Miles(tenor saxophone); Sam James (piano); Misha Mullov-Abbado (double bass); Scott Chapman (drums)

Tom Green Septet Tipping Point

 

'The Tom Green Septet is an outlet for Tom's original compositions: elegant and lively contemporary chamber jazz tunes with rich harmony, propulsive grooves, and memorable melodies at their heart. The Septet was formed in 2012, bringing together seven in-demand young musicians who are all prize-winning bandleaders, composers and performers in their own right. Together they create a warm and distinct sound world, using the unique range of textures available in the seven-piece ensemble. Their debut album 'Skyline' was released in February 2015 to unanimous critical acclaim, and now five years later, the Tom Green Septet return with their second release 'Tipping Point' featuring eight new compositions celebrating the importance of hope and positive action when addressing individual and global challenges. 20% of album sales will be donated to the charities Trees for Life: rewilding the Scottish Highlands by restoring the Caledonian Forest, and Cool Earth: working alongside rainforest communities to halt deforestation.' (album notes). " 'Tipping Point' is a phrase that has become more and more common recently to describe global changes, whether the subject matter is climate change, politics or upheavels within society. The title track in particular reflects this; it is unsettled, with shifting tona lcentres and alto saxophone, trombone and trumpet solos building towards a climax before a quiet unresolved ending". (Tom Green).

Details and Samples : Listen to Jack O' Lantern :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ian Shaw, Iain Ballamy, Jamie Safir - What's New
(Silent Wish Records) - Released: 3rd April 2020

Ian Shaw (vocals); Iain Ballamy (saxophone); Jamie Safir (piano)

Shaw Ballamy Safir Whats New

 

'What's New is the latest collaboration between two internationally renowned British jazz musicians - vocalist Ian Shaw and saxophonist / composer Iain Ballamy - and Jamie Safir, one of the finest young pianists of his generation. "This recording is a return to how it all started - under the wise advice of Ronnie Scott, thirty years ago - and a discovery of the art of great popular song," explains Shaw. "To be able to sing these songs with one of Ronnie's favourite horn players, Iain Ballamy, who played with Cedar Walton and me exactly twenty years ago on my US release, In A New York Minute, was pure joy. One of the pleasures of making jazz is how it transcends generation. Jamie Safir, the in-demand pianist of our day, here in the UK and in Europe, completes this convergent, thrilling and completely live album." From the title song by Bob Haggart and Bernstein's Some Other Time to the Bacharach and David classics Alfie and You'll Never Get To Heaven, What's New is a beautiful collection of songs celebrating love and hope, music that is rich in its portrayal of human connections. Many of the songs featured were favourites of Ballamy's father, who recently passed away, and the album is dedicated to his memory.' (album notes).

Details and Samples : Video of Alfie : Listen to You'll Never Get To Heaven : Listen to I Wish I Were In Love Again :

 

 

 

 

Fred Hunt - Blues 'n Boogie
(Lake Records) - Released: 10th April 2020

Fred Hunt (piano); Mike Bracewell (drums, tracks 1-9); Alex Welsh (Long Model cornet, track10)

Fred Hunt Blues n Boogie

 

 

'Pianist Fred Hunt quietly became a cult figure on the British Jazz scene. In the early 1950s he played semi-professionally before turning professional with Alex Welsh in 1954. He did two stints with the Welsh band (1954 – 1962 and 1964 -1974). During this time he carved out an enviable reputation. The Welsh band was the 'go-to' band for visiting Americans and so Fred played alongside, and recorded with, Bud Freeman, Wild Bill Davison, Ruby Braff and others. His style ranges from gentle to powerful coupled with his own tasteful, inventive ornamentations. He left to pursue a solo career in the 1970s. He only made two now rare, highly collectable albums under his own name before his death in 1986. This 'live' set shows him away from the constraints of a band and a recording studio enjoying and indulging himself often playing medleys where he alights on a standard, gains inspiration before segueing into another theme often in a variety of tempos. Highlights of Welsh band concerts were the duets he played with Alex. 'Davenport Blues' was one of their notable collaborations and a previously unissued version is the bonus track.' (album notes).

Details :

 

 

 

 

 

Jim Hart, Ivo Neame - Multiverse
(Edition Records) - Released: 21st February 2020

Ivo Neame (piano, electric piano, keyboards); Jim Hart (vibraphone, percussion, marimba)

Jim Hart Ivo Neame album

 

'Pianist Ivo Neame and vibraphonist & drummer Jim Hart take their duo project to the next level with an astonishing and multifaceted new album. Produced by Matt Calvert, the music blends a rich world of Jazz, groove, electronica with ear-catching and bold electronic textures. This is a distinctive-sounding, multi-faceted album that ranges from serene, acoustic interpretations of the music of Hermeto Pascoal and John Taylor to dystopian, electronic free jazz. Both musicians are at their most free and honest whilst being in full command of their respective means of expression.' (album notes). 'If ever there was a meeting of virtuosic equals who can play more or less anything and often do, it's the UK partnership of pianist and reeds player Ivo Neame and vibraphonist / drummer Jim Hart - a 15 year liaison realised in a variety of line-ups .... Multiverse is a duo project, but this pair's multi-instrumental versatility creates tumultuous soundscapes that suggest a band twice the size ... Multiverse lives up to its name with a frquently awesome aplomb' (John Fordham in Jazzwise ****)

Details and Samples : Video of Transference : Listen to Au Contraire :

 

 

 

 

 

America

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

 

Pat Metheny - From This Place
(Nonesuch Records) - Released 21st February 2020

Pat Metheny (guitar); Gwilym Simcock (piano); Linda May Han Oh (bass); Antonio Sanchez (drums) + guests Gregoire Maret (harmonica); Meshell Ndegeocello (vocals); Luis Conte (percussion).

Pat Metheny From This Place

 

''From This Place' is one of the records I have been waiting to make my whole life', Metheny says. 'It is a kind of musical culmination, reflecting a wide range of expressions that have interested me over the years, scaled across a large canvas, presented in a way that offers the kind of opportunities for communication that can only be earned with a group of musicians who have spent hundreds of nights together on the bandstand'. The record features ten compositions by Metheny, who is joined by his long-time drummer, Antonio Sanchez, Malaysian/Australian bassist Linda May Han and British pianist Gwilym Simcock as well as the Hollywood Studio Symphony conducted by Joel McNeely.' (album notes). 'Four years after releasing the double-disc CD The Unity Sessions, guitar phenomenon Pat Metheny is back to his eclectic, fully persuasive sonic environments with a new album, From This Place. The program consists of 10 deftly written originals that reflect Metheny's refined musicianship, and is carried out alongside his new working quartet ... Their sound kept evolving throughout the years they’ve been touring together, and the bandleader broadens his vivid palette with brilliant symphonic arrangements written by Alan Broadbent and Gil Goldstein and performed by the Hollywood Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Joel McNeely.... Conceived with perspective, developed with maturity, and sparkling with effulgence, this journey takes us to places worth visiting.' (JazzTrail).

Details and Samples : Full JazzTrail Review : Listen to Same River : Listen to Love May Take Awhile :

 

 

 

 

 

Christian McBride - The Movement Revisited
(Mack Avenue) - Released: 7th February 2020

Christian McBride (bass); Steve Wilson (alto sax, flute);  Todd Bashore (alto sax); Ron Blake (tenor and soprano saxes); Loren Schoenberg(tenor sax); Carl Maraghi (baritone sax); Michael Dease, Steve Davis, James Burton (trombone); Doug Purviance (bass trombone); Lew Soloff, Ron Tooley, Frank Greene, Freddie Hendrix, Darryl Shaw (trumpet); Warren Wolf (vibraphone, tambourine, timpani); Geoffrey Keezer (piano); Terreon Gully (drums) + Alicia Olatuja, J.D. Steele (vocals) + choir Voices Of The Flame.

Christian McBride The Movement Revisited

 

'The Movement, Revisited: A Musical Portrait of Four Cultural Icons is culminating documentation of a richly inspired piece - lauding four key figures of the Civil Rights Movement: Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Rosa Parks and Muhammad Ali. Marshalling his ever-sharpening skills as a composer, arranger, conductor, musician and lyricist, McBride has created a historically and culturally illuminating five-part suite for an 18-piece big band, chorus and narrators that places the motivating forces as well as the goals of the Civil Rights Movement within a powerfully relevant artistic context. It is a one-from-the-heart project McBride was, apparently, destined to undertake. This recording of The Movement, Revisited marks the addition of a fifth movement, "Apotheosis," which acknowledges the election of Barack Obama as the first African American President of the United States.' (album notes). 'The Movement Revisited, the newest opus of first-class bassist/composer/arranger Christian McBride, is an important African American manifesto that takes the form of a five-part suite focused on four indelible figures of the Civil Rights Movement - Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Rosa Parks, and Muhammad Ali. The bassist gathered an 18-piece band that includes vibrant soloists, a great choral team led by soul/gospel singer JD Steele, and four skilled speakers, who profess the words of each protagonist with passion........ The splendor of the music side with force of the words in a powerful and personal musical statement that envisions to alert the world for essential principles. This is the third big band recording for McBride.' (JazzTrail).

Details and Sample : Full JazzTrail Review : Video :

 

 

 

 

 

Engin Ozsahin - Sequence Of Emotions
(Self Produced) - Released: 11th January 2020

Engin Ozsahin (piano); Jacob Shulman (tenor saxophone); Aaron Dutton (alto saxophone); Bobby Lane (trumpet); Seajun Kwon (bass); Charlie Weller (drums).

Engin Ozsahin Sequence Of Emotions

 

'Originally hailing from Istanbul and now residing in Boston, pianist Engin Ozsahin drew inspiration from the bold decision of radically changing careers at the age 29 to compose his debut album, Sequence of Emotions. His passion and flair for music making led him to cut ties with a steady engineering job and enroll in the New England Conservatory in Boston. The nine song collection presented here took into consideration the whirl of emotions associated with different phases of that challenging process. Musically, the pianist was able to create a synergistic environment in the company of a functional sextet of young talents that includes saxophonists Jacob Shulman and Aaron Dutton on tenor and alto, respectively, Bobby Lane on trumpet, Seajun Kwon on bass, and Charlie Weller on drums.....Tunes such as “What If” and “Instincts” denote a fantastic sense of dynamics and interplay. The former starts off with a blue trumpet discourse supported by Kwon’s inspired bass notes, and then segues into a passage where staccato full-hand chords on the piano give it the intended locomotion. A stark contrast is created when the two saxophonists pair up in an unaccompanied ride that later welcomes swirling piano movements. The piece then evolves into an avant-garde crescendo that allows emotions to flow freely. A different perspective, more traditionally swinging is offered on “Instincts”, whose scrumptious arrangement embodies a relentless bass pedal setting the pace, attractive melody, and improvisations from piano and alto sax.....Ozsahin composes with intelligence and his voice rings out clearly and promisingly.' (JazzTrail)

Details and Samples : Full JazzTrail Review : Listen to What If : Listen to Day Dreamer :

 

 

 

 

 

Avishai Cohen - Big Vicious
(ECM Records) - Released: 27th March 2020

Avishai Cohen (trumpet, effects, synthesizer; Uzi Ramirez: guitar); Yonatan Albalak (guitar, bass); Aviv Cohen (drums); Ziv Ravitz (drums, live sampling).

Avishai Cohen Big Vicious

 

'Charismatic trumpeter Avishai Cohen launched his homegrown band Big Vicious six years ago, after relocating from the US to his native Israel, rounding up friends to shape the music from the ground up. Guitarist Uzi Ramirez, bassist Jonathan Albalak and drummer Aviv Cohen write much of the material together with Avishai. Ziv Ravitz, from Avishai's acoustic quartet, was recruited as second drummer a year ago. "We're all coming from jazz, but some of us left it earlier", Avishai says, summing up the stylistic reach of his cohorts. "Everyone's bringing in their backgrounds, and that becomes part of the sound of the band." Textures from electronica, ambient music and psychedelia are part of the blend, so too grooves and beats from rock, pop, trip-hop and more. A wide-open approach to cover versions – from Massive Attack to Beethoven - is also integral to the Vicious vision. Recorded in Studios La Buissonne in the South of France in August 2019 and produced by Manfred Eicher, Big Vicious's debut album is issued as the band gears up for extensive international touring, including Love Supreme in July.' (album notes). 'Trumpeter/composer Avishai Cohen gives another solid step toward innovation with the consistent group he formed six years ago, after moving back from the US to his native Israel. The eclectic album, Big Vicious, is the successor to the duo recording Playing The Room and marks his fourth outing on the reliable ECM imprint. The electro-acoustic ensemble, which includes two drummers, delivers a program of nine originals and two covers. Despite their backgrounds in jazz, these open-minded artists experiment with different sonic flavors and the outcome is more than satisfactory....... Revealing himself a musical chameleon, Avishai Cohen deserves acclaim for this exciting work.' (JazzTrail).

Details and Samples : Full JazzTrail Review : Listen to Honey Fountain : Listen to Teardrop :

 

 

 

 

 

Jure Pukl - Broken Circles
(Whirlwind Recordings) - Released: 21st February 2020

Jure Pukl (tenor and soprano saxophones); Charles Altura (guitar); Joel Ross (vibraphone); Matt Brewer (bass); Kweku Sumbry (drums)

Jure Pukl Broken Circles

 

'The sociopolitical and environmental focus on our world seems to be stronger than ever, predominantly for all the wrong reasons. But consequential calls for action can also summon a positive uprising of both energy and creativity – something particularly evident in the story behind Broken Circles from New York-based saxophonist/composer Jure Pukl, with new music that reflects empathy and respect. Previous Whirlwind releases Hybrid (2017) and Doubtless (2018) featured more spatial quartet and dual-tenor environments. But Pukl has also been honing this quite different quintet sound with the arresting line-up of guitarist Charles Altura, vibraphonist Joel Ross, bassist Matt Brewer and drummer Kweku Sumbry. “We’ve been playing in New York for a while now,” explains Pukl, “including Smalls, Fat Cat and The Jazz Gallery, and I am drawn to how the watercolor feel of guitar and vibes changes the sound, quite different to piano, and sometimes even blurs those textures. I hear Joel as another prominent melodic voice, and Charles contributes hugely to the arrangements.” Alongside the dexterity of bassist Matt Brewer is the astonishing talent of Kweku Sumbry. “He moved here a couple of years ago,” enthuses Pukl, “and comes from a strong African-family percussion tradition. Hearing this album, my very good friend, drummer Howard Curtis, exclaimed: ‘Wow, who’s the drummer? He sounds like a percussionist playing drums!’ – and that’s exactly what he is. So most of the pieces were written (with input from Pukl’s saxophonist wife, Melissa Aldana) with this group in my head.” (album notes). 'With Broken Circles, Slevenian-born, New York-based saxophonist Jure Pukl floats along on the waves of self-awareness and optimism, issuing a call for action on the sociopolitical and environmental predicaments that our world is facing lately .... This record comprises compositions that allow him to fly with freedom and, simultaneously, take full advantage of his bandmates’ musical skills ... The music in Broken Circles reflects Pukl's virtuosic prowess both as a composer and performer. His work has evolved in exciting ways and the 11 originals presented here couldn’t have been shaped with more character and life.' (JazzTrail)

Details and Samples : Full JazzTrail review : Listen to Sustained Optimism : Listen to the title track Broken Circles :

 

 

 

 

Europe and Elsewhere

 

Alvin Schwaar, Bänz Oester, Noé Franklé - Travellin' Light
(Leo Records) - Released: 20th March 2020

Alwin Schwaar (piano); Bänz Oester (bass); Noé Franklé (drums).

Alvin Schwaar Travellin Light

 

 

'If your love for improvisation and the memory of the Great Jazz Songbook is driven by pure joy and confidence you get the Swiss trio of Alwin Schwaar (piano), Bänz Oester (bass) and Noé Franklé (drums). They go on a travel without any preconceptions and language limitations, and they do not aim to arrive at any precise place. They just enjoy the trip which turns into pure joy. The band unites two generations and the musicians see themselves as soulmates with juvenile serenity!' (album notes).

Details and Sample : Track List :

 

 

 

 

 

 

George Colligan Trio - Live In Arklow
(Ubuntu Music) - Released: 3rd April 2020

George Colligan (piano); David Redmond (bass); Darren Beckett (drums)

George Colligan Trio Live In Arklow

 

'George is not only one of the great jazz pianists of his generation, but he has earned an international reputation as a multi-instrumentalist (drums, trumpet, organ, keyboards), composer, accompanist, teacher and bandleader. Winner of the DownBeat Magazine Critics Poll, he has had a long association with living jazz legend Jack DeJohnette. With over 130 albums to date as an accompanist, Colligan has worked with a long list of jazz greats, including Buster Williams, Cassandra Wilson, Don Byron, Ravi Coltrane and many others. Colligan, a New York resident for 15 years, now resides in Portland, Oregon where he is an Associate Professor at Portland State University."Mr. Colligan. favours an earthy, assertive style, putting him in a lineage that includes McCoy Tyner, John Hicks and Mulgrew Miller. "--The New York TimesGeorge was reunited with a long-time colleague, Irish drummer Darren Beckett, since their extensive recording and playing days in New York, and was joined by Irish bassist David Redmond, to form a gifted trio that performed at the Bray Jazz Festival in 2018, appearing at Arklow Methodist Church. The live performance was recorded and will be released in CD and digital formats."One of the best kept secrets in jazz."All About Jazz Darren Beckett (drums) won a prestigious Bass Ireland Award as a teenager, leaving the emerald isle to study jazz in New York, where he resided for 21 years. Across his career, he has played drums everywhere from Carnegie Hall in New York to the Royal Albert Hall in London. He has performed on over 50 albums recording with notable names like Brandon Flowers, Daniel Lanois, Madeleine Peyroux, Lee Konitz and Kenny Wheeler. Over the years, Darren has worked with Lauryn Hill of The Fugees, James Hunter, jazz pianist Aaron Parks and played festivals all over the world from Austin City Limits to Montreux to NH7 in India.' (album notes).

Details and Samples :

 

 

 

 

 

Radha Thomas & Aman Mahajan - Bangalore Blues
(Subcontinental Records) - Released: 31st March 2020

Radha Thomas (vocals); Aman Mahajan (piano, Fender Rhodes)

Radha Thomas Bangalore Blues

 

 

'Considered one of India's most beloved jazz vocalists, Radha has worked with some of the biggest names in the genre including Michael Brecker, John Scofield, Alex Blake and Buddy Williams. On Bangalore Blues she teams up with Berklee-alumnus piano player Aman Mahajan for an album described as unusual, outstanding and superb.' (album notes).

Details and Samples : Introductory Video : Video of Load Shedding live :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Re-Releases

 

Lee Morgan - Here's Lee Morgan
(Jazz Images) - Released: 15th November 2019

Lee Morgan (trumpet); Frank Stozier (alto sax); Clifford Jordan, Wayne Shorter (tenor sax); Wynton Kelly, Eddie Higgins, Bobby Timmons (piano); Paul Chambers, Art Davis, Bob Cranshaw (bass); Art Blakey, Louis Hayes, Albert Heath (drums).

Heres Lee Morgan

 

"One of the key hard bop musicians of the 1960s, trumpeter Lee Morgan (1938-1972) came to prominence with Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers before launching a solo career. Presented here are two of his greatest albums as a leader, Here’s Lee Morgan (Vee Jay LP-3007) and Expoobident (Vee Jay SR-3015), as well as two LPs that find him as a sideman in small groups also featuring Wayne Shorter on tenor sax: The Young Lions (Vee Jay LP-3013) and Wynton Kelly’s Kelly Great (Vee Jay LP-1016). " (album notes). '... By late 1959, the trumpeter had both earned his spurs with Gillespie and Blakey, and the right to be considered the heir to the late Clifford Brown.... The supporting cast on these dates reads like Hard Bop Heaven ... In sum a beautiful collection of music, well-packaged and with good sound. If you only know Morgan from his Blue Note albums, please do make this your next port of call.' (Simon Spillett in Jazzwise **** ).

Details : Samples from earlier mp3 release :

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Duke Ellington Orchestra - Liederhalle Stuttgart 1967
(Jazzhaus) - Released: 17th January 2020

Cat Anderson, Cootie Williams, Herbie Jones, Mercer Ellington (Trumpet); Buster Cooper, Chuck Connors, Lawrence Brown (trombone); Johnny Hodges (alto sax); Russell Procope (clarinet, alto sax); Paul Gonsalves (tenor sax); Jimmy Hamilton (clarinet, tenor sax); Harry Carney (baritone sax); Duke Ellington (piano); John Lamb (bass); Rufus Jones (drums).

Duke Ellington Liederhalle Stuttgart

 

 

 

'The Duke Ellington Orchestra's European tour of 1967 has already generated a generous spread of bootleg discs, but perhaps none of them as vibrantly recorded as this Stuttgart concert from 6 March. Matters do not, however, get off to a promising start. An unkempt 50-second scrap of 'Take The A Train' just about hangs together - before the curtain rises on the orchestra's true glories......Kixx also highlights what a hard-driven, funky band Ellington had in 1967, with raw-boned brass stabs and trenchant saxophones that could have easily given James Brown a run for his money. An exceptional Ducal night.' (Philip Clark in Jazzwise ****).

Details :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sarah Vaughan - The Complete Columbia Singles As & Bs 1949-53
(Acrobat) - Released: 12th December 2019 [3 CDs]

Sarah Vaughan (vocals) with various personnel including Miles Davis (trumpet); Bennie Green (trombone); Jimmy Jones (piano).

Sarah Vaughan Complete Columbia Singles

 

'Sarah Vaughan was one of the illustrious coterie of female vocalists who spanned the genres of jazz, big band music and sophisticated pop during the post-war era to provide some of the finest music of their times, not only interpreting the Great American Songbook and putting their own individual stamp on it, but continuing to perform top class new material through the musical upheavals of subsequent decades. Described by renowned music critic Scott Yanow as the possessor of one of the most wondrous voices of the 20th century she performed and recorded consistently through to her demise in 1990. This great value 69-track 3-CD collection follows directly on in her career from our earlier release The Early Years 1944-48 Sarah Vaughan (Acrobat ADDCD3251), and comprises the A and B sides of her releases on Columbia during her time with the label from 1948 through to 1953. It naturally includes all her eleven Billboard Top 30 entries in these years including the Top 10 hit I Love The Guy, and features performances with Miles Davis, Bennie Green, Jimmy Jones and Budd Johnson, and the orchestras of Joe Lippman, Hugo Winterhalter, Norman Leyden, Percy Faith, Paul Weston and George Treadwell. In addition, the collection includes bonus tracks comprising live recordings from this era with Jimmy Jones, Stan Getz and Dizzy Gillespie, plus her 1950 MGM singles with Billy Eckstine. Its a comprehensive overview of this important period in her career and a thoroughly enjoyable showcase for her peerless talent as she effortlessly spans the world of jazz and commercial pop.' (album notes). 'Released in 2018 Acrobat's impressive 2 CD anthology ... brought together 49 tracks ... This superb follow-up goes one better, a 3 CD set which presents a glorious 69-track conspectus of the Divine One's A and B sides ... The 32-page CD booklet includes detailed recording session information ...plus an in-depth essay on the music by Paul Watts. Three hours-plus in the company of one of the most remarkable voices of the last century is undoubtably time well spent.' (Peter Quinn in Jazzwise ****)

Details and Samples :

 

 

 

 

 

Gerry Mulligan : Art Farmer - Gerry Mulligan and Art Farmer
(Essential Jazz Classics) - Released: 1st November 2019

Gerry Mulligan (baritone sax); Art Farmer (trumpet); Bob Enevoldsen (valve trombone); Art Pepper (alto sax); Russ Freeman (piano); Bill Crow, Buddy Clark (bass); Dave Bailey (drums)

Gerry Mulligan Art Farmer album

 

 

'This release presents some of the best recordings made by the piano-less quartet fronted by Gerry Mulligan and Art Farmer. Included here is the complete original LP What Is There to Say? (Columbia CS8116), along with another studio set, taped for radio broadcasting just months after completing that album. On both sets Mulligan and Farmer are backed by Bill Crow on bass and Dave Bailey on drums. Two tunes from the soundtrack of the film The Subterraneans, featuring both leaders with an all-star group, round out this CD.' (album notes). 'This Gerry Mulligan Quartet was a very different beast to the earlier, and more celebrated, Chet Baker-featured incarnation. For one thing, Art Farmer was a player whose previous playing associations .. had given him considerable muscle to go alongside all the lyricism. For another, the leader had now shed some of his fashionable reserve for a gutsier, more free-blown extroversion ... go buy' (Simon Spillett in Jazzwise ****)

Details :

 

 

 

 

 

Some Other Pages on this Website:

Jazz As Art : Listen to a track while looking at a range of paintings we have chosen to go with the music.

The Tea Break : A musician or someone in the Jazz world generally takes time out to chat over a cuppa.

Jazz Venues Near You: Venues hosting live jazz in the UK. Please let us know of other venues together with their website addresses, or please also let us know if you discover any of the links on the page don't work.

Jazz Talks : People willing to give talks about Jazz to community groups. The geographical areas covered include Surrey, Buckinghamshire and Norwich.

 

 

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