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April 2018

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Marcus Gilmore

Drummer Marcus Gilmore
playing with Ravi Coltrane’s band Universal Consciousness at New York’s Winter Jazzfest 2018 in Ravi's homage to his mother, Alice Coltrane.
Picture by Clara Pereira, Jazztrail

 

 


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

 

'It was in 1951 and the audition was for the Johnny Dankworth Seven, in a jazz club in the West End of London. I sang for John Dankworth and the pianist of the group, Bill le Sage, who accompanied me. I'm sure that if I went for an audition today with only the knowledge that I had at the time, I would be kicked out and told to go and do my homework. I could not 'count in' properly, and had no idea of the keys in which I would sing my songs. It was lucky for me that a) they badly needed a singer, b) they had auditioned their heads off that week with no success that far, and c) my voice and style came closest of any to what they were looking for'.

 

Cleo Laine

 

 

'The band played modern jazz, and they were considered the crème de la crème of the British jazz scene. I had started at the top, with no more idea about the music that they were playing than the man in the moon. I had an abundance of confidence in my innate ability and that was about all'.

'The door had opened for me, and I was willing to learn all that I could. But I soon found that 'innateness' was not enough, and I had better get my act together before they found me out and gave me the sack. So I went about it at every rehearsal, asking and getting answers from the musicians and Frank Holder, the other singer in the band. Having a notebook with the song titles that I was going to sing listed in it, complete with the composers' names, the tempos and the keys I sang them in - all this was a start ........'

From: You Can Sing If You Want To by Cleo Laine

Click here for some early footage of Cleo with John Dankworth from the TV show The 6.5 Special. The date is not clear, but this looks like a rehearsal.

 

 


Name The Tune!

(Click on the picture for the answers)

Name the tune

 

 

Name the tune

 

 

Name the tune

 

Click here for our Name The Tune page

 

 

Jazz FM Awards 2018

This year's Jazz FM Awards will be presented at Shoreditch Town Hall on International Jazz Day - 30th April. The Award nominees have been announced, including those eligible for public vote.

Jazz FM logo

Organisation of the Awards 2018 is a partnership between Jazz FM and Serious with support from a number of sponsors. We are told: 'Bassist extraordinaire Thundercat, formidable vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant, genre-bending bassist and singer Esperanza Spalding, and pioneering trumpeter Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah are all up for awards alongside the cream of the thriving UK scene including Shabaka Hutchings, Nubya Garcia, Jacob Collier and Yazz Ahmed. Recognizing the best emerging new artists, contemporary jazz icons and established stars from across the worlds of jazz, soul and blues, the Jazz FM Awards are now in their fifth outing and will celebrate what has been a remarkable year for jazz which has seen the genre continue to enjoy widespread critical acclaim and a huge resurgence in popularity'.

'As well as the awards presentation, which will be hosted by Jazz FM presenters Chris Philips and Jez Nelson, the night will feature several Jazz FM Awards posterperformances from a range of acclaimed artists led by rising star pianist and MD of this year’s Jazz FM Awards House Band, Ashley Henry. Cecile McLorin Salvant, who was recently honoured at the Grammys, is the first artist confirmed to perform at the event and will showcase material from her 2017 release Dreams and Daggers. The US powerhouse vocalist has been nominated for two awards this year under the categories of International Jazz Act of the Year and Album of the Year, with the latter decided by public vote'.

'The recipients of the special award categories – PPL Lifetime Achievement Award, PRS For Music Gold Award and Impact Award – will be announced ahead of the ceremony. In previous years, these special award-winners have included Oscar-winning film director Damien Chazelle, Georgie Fame, Quincy Jones, Gregory Porter and the late Hugh Masekela'.

Click here for details of the nominees, including those categories open for public vote.

 

 

 

London Jazz Festival 2018 Opens Box Office

This year's EFG London Jazz Festival will be held over ten days from Friday 16 November to Sunday 25 November 2018.

Producers of the festival, 'Serious', say: 'Our first shows are now on sale' - (you can sign up to their newsletter to be the first to know about others). 'You can expect to see the full range of heavyweight musical talent from right across the globe, with the festival's usual mixture of the jazzEFG London Jazz Festival logo masters flexing their chops, the cutting-edge young bands making a stir, international legends with a wealth of fresh new music, emerging British stars and outstanding collaborations and commissions all added into the mix'.

'The first raft of concerts sets the Festival line up off in a very strong direction; from Madeleine Peyroux’s new Anthem tour, to a welcome return for Bobby McFerrin, a rare London show from Lea DeLaria – most recently recognised as Boo from Orange Is The New Black, but with a decade-spanning jazz career behind her. We see Orphy Robinson’s reinterpretation of the classic Van Morrison album Astral Weeks, with Zara McFarlane and Sarah Jane Morris to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the album’s release, and Snarky Puppy’s Bill Laurance in a new collaboration with the WDR Big Band. We also announce a new partnership with the BBC Young Jazz Musician 2018, this year we will host the Final – showcasing the work of the next generation'.

'From jazz shows for toddlers to large-scale mass participation events, our Learning & Participation programme will be launched later in the spring – and will bring high profile artists together with people of all ages and abilities for inspirational opportunities to engage with music'.

You can keep up to date with news of the programme if you click here.

 

 

 

What Happened To JazzUK?

Readers might remember that the valuable resource, Jazz Services, came to an end in 2015 when its funding from Arts Council England was no longer guaranteed. For 34 years, Jazz Services had been the voice of advocacy for Jazz in the UK.   As an Arts Council of England Jazz Services logoNational Portfolio Organisation, the charity had targeted grant funding for touring, promoters and recording schemes since 2004 creating over 5,000 gigs, providing employment for over 15,000 musicians, and generating five times more money in revenue than grants it awarded.  “..... it is unlikely Jazz would receive the level of Arts Council funding it currently does were it not for the advocacy and work of Jazz Services”, said Lord Colwyn, Co-chair of APPJAG (All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group).

In 2015, Jazz Services re-branded as 'JazzUK'.   Despite substantially diminished funds, JazzUK initiated the '#4Jazz Festival' in Coventry, substantially funded by corporate sponsorship matching Arts Council funding, and created a consortium of jazz musicians, promoters and agents, together with music Jazz UK logoindustry bodies such as BASCA, PRS for Music and Musicians Union to promote British jazz at JazzAhead in Bremen.

However, in November 2017, the chair of JazzUK, Dominic McGonigal wrote: ' ... securing funding that supports on-going operational costs for industry-wide activities that, for example, pay for salaries of suitably qualified and experienced people, has become increasingly difficult.  The cost of securing grants is now so high that Trustees of the charity were concerned whether ‘chasing grants’ was an appropriate use of charitable funds ..... In a sense, our job has been done. As the jazz infrastructure has developed and the next generation of jazz musicians is coming through, it’s time now to ‘pass the baton on’. The JazzUK trustees are pleased to announce that the JazzUK reserves and assets, including the Online Music Business Resource, will be passed to MusicTank, a not-for-profit music industry information hub set up by the University of Westminster”.

Looking back at the work done by the original Jazz Services it is hard to accept that 'the job has been done'. It will be interesting to see what emerges from MusicTank and I hope to bring you more information in a later issue.

 

 

 

The Bate Collection of Musical Instruments, Oxford

 

Bate Museum

 

The Bate Collection of Musical Instruments, in the grounds of the Faculty of Music at the University of Oxford, is one of the most comprehensive collections in Britain of European woodwind, brass and perscussion instruments. It is open to the public to visit.

Hot Fountain Pen

 

The collection was founded in 1970 with the gift of 300 instruments from collector and musicologist Philip Bate. Since then, numerous other instruments have been added by gifts and donations. Amongst the collection you will find a natural trumpet by Jahn of Paris; a saxophone by the inventor, Adolph sax; a hot fountain pen as played by Adrian Rollini; a C Melody sax as played by Frankie Trumbauer and a Grafton C Melody Sax

saxophone of the sort played by Charlie Parker and Ornette Coleman.

 

 

Early 20th century Hot Fountain Pen (Ebonite Chalumeau)
'made for jazz players'.

 

The collection has over 2000 instruments from the Western orchestral music traditions from the Renaissance, through the Baroque, Classical, Romantic and up to modern times. More than a thousand instruments are on display by all the most important makers and from noted collectors.

 

 

C Melody Saxophone

 

 

As well as regular school workshops, a wide range of activities are held during the year including concerts, recitals, half-term activities, summer schools, evening classes and hands-on events when visitors can play instruments in the collection. The collection is also used by documentary and film makers.

The Bate Collection is at The Faculty of Music, Saint Aldate's, Oxford OX1 1DB (near Folly Bridge). Admission is free and it is open to the public Monday to Friday afternoons 2.00 pm - 5.00 pm and Saturday mornings 10.00 am - 12.00 midday.

Click here for more details.

 

 

 

 

Jazz Quiz

They're Playing My Tune.

 

This month we give you the titles of fifteen jazz tunes and asked you to name the musician / bandleader with whom they are most commonly associated.
How many can you name?

Who is this?

 

 

For example:

Which musician / bandleader is most associated with the tune Blue Rondo À La Turk
(it isn't the person in the picture above!)

 

Click here for the Jazz Quiz.

 

 

 

 

Jazz And Gender - Some Thoughts

The excellent saxophonist, Josephine Davies, whose album we featured recently in a 'Tea Break' item, has shared some thoughts on this topic and has agreed that I can share them with you too. I think her persepective is put so well and deserves to be shared more widely ...


I was recently asked by an audience member why the rest of my band were men and if that made me ‘not-a-feminist’. It seemed such a bizarre question that I merely stared stupidly at her until she walked away, but I have since spent a considerable amount of time rehearsing what I would have said if I’d thought about it as much as I now have. So I’m going to have to say, otherwise I will burst. And also because I have a feeling that the aforementioned audient may not be a lone odd fish, but part of a larger misguided judgement of the female/male ratio in jazz.

Firstly, I would like to mention that I don’t define myself as a female jazz musician, as I would not expect my partner to define himself as a male jazz musician, and I look forward to the day when such binary and unnecessary terminology becomes obsolete – the medical profession is way ahead of the game in this respect.

Secondly, I believe that as artists we should not have to justify our artistic choices. I book musicians on the basis of their sound and creative outlook, neither of which is gender specific. I do not think about their demographics, nor do I think it is my duty as an artist to be considering these unchosen and unchangeable aspects of their existence. Of course, if we are booking only people who share our chromosomal make-up or skin colour because we are uncomfortable with difference then that should certainly be challenged by others, but if we are booking musicians Satorion the basis of sound, and they all happen to be men then that’s that – there is no criticism to be made.

 

Satori (Paul Clarvis, Josephine Davies and Dave Whitford).

 

The fact is that there are far fewer female jazz musicians than male and that limits the palette of sound available, particularly when considering that in both sexes there are widely differing levels of ability. This is merely factual; it does not imply inherent belief systems. Gender imbalance in jazz stems directly from an historical social inequality between men and women that is rapidly changing; I do not believe that it reflects a current misogynistic ideology. To use a topical analogy; working class kids are less likely than privately educated ones to get into the top universities. This doesn’t suggest a current class prejudice (I hope), it is more a continuation of cultural imbalances that go back centuries. This trend, as with gender balance in jazz, will not change overnight and it may be a generation before we approach equal numbers; our societal impatience to see gender balance in all spheres and a 50/50 ratio in jazz programming is simply not supported by the statistical availability.

I argue that artistic quality should not be sacrificed in the name of gender equality, and I would like this statement not to be misinterpreted; it is not my view that male jazz musicians are of a higher calibre than female, but that to find the right band sound is difficult, and we need a wider array of options than might be currently derivable from the female contingent, wonderful though that may be.

In an era where mainstream culture celebrates mediocrity, and even in the arts we see ‘diversity’ becoming almost synonymous with worth, I believe that as artists our responsibilities lie firmly within the sphere of creative excellence, not as proponents of visible change for the sake of it. As citizens, educators, and parents, we are individually and collectively responsible for instilling an innate sense of equality in ourselves and others, but we must also maintain our integrity through a commitment to authenticity in our musicianship. Music, after all, is primarily a sensory delight for the ears, not the eyes.

 

 

 

This Is Hip - The Life Of Mark Murphy

This Is Hip The Life Of Mark Murphy

 

This new book by Peter Jones, was published by Equinox to coincide with vocalist Mark Murphy's birthday on March 14th.

'Mark Murphy was the last of his kind, a hipster of the Kerouac generation, who rejected the straight life of prosperity and numb consumerism. With a catalogue of more than 40 albums under his own name, Mark Murphy was a consummate improviser, who never sang a song the same way twice. He was a master of scat and vocalese, of songwriting and the spoken word. He expanded the jazz singing repertoire, adding his own lyrics to instrumentals like John Coltrane’s Naima, Freddie Hubbard’s Red Clay, and Oliver Nelson’s Stolen Moments. Unrivalled as an interpreter of ballads, he was able to express longing and regret to a degree lacking in any other jazz singer. Rediscovered in the Eighties by a new audience of jazz dancers, and again in the 21st century by a digital generation who invited him to guest on their recordings, he is still considered a crucial though unjustly neglected figure in vocal jazz'.
 
'This Is Hip is more than a biography: it also explores Murphy’s innovative approaches both to singing and to the teaching of singers. Based on numerous interviews with those who knew him best, the book delves into a performing and recording career that spanned 60 years and earned him five Grammy nominations. The author, Peter Jones, is a jazz singer and journalist based in London. During the making of his first album, One Way Ticket to Palookaville, he developed a serious interest in the work of Mark Murphy, which has continued ever since. His second album Utopia was released in 2016 and his third Under the Setting Sun in 2017'. (Introductory notes).

Click here for details. Click here to listen to Mark Murphy performing Naima.

 

 

 

Poetry and Jazz

Heartcore For Africa

Ni Chikondi (About Love)

by Clara Pereira


 

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

Clara Pereira at JazzTrail in New York talked to Michaela Bóková who told her a bit more about the wonderful project, Heartcore for Africa, and its first released song “Ni Chikondi (About Love)”.

Michaela Bokova and children

On December 12th, 2017, Berlin-based music label Heartcore Records released a new song “Ni Chikondi (About Love)”, in collaboration with the Mthunzi Orphan Center in Lusaka, Zambia. All the proceeds from digital sales will fund the purchase of musical equipment for the Mthunzi center, an orphanage that currently houses over fifty children. Co-written by Kurt Rosenwinkel and the children, the song also features the prominent jazz musicians Aaron Parks and Dave Douglas as guest performers.

 

Michaela Bóková and children, Mthunzi Orphan Center, Lusaka, Zambia 2017 

 

Heartcore representative Michaela Bóková undertook the rehearsal, recording and production of the song; “The kids showed so much talent and creativity. We successfully built a twenty-piece choir and recorded seven children rapping in English and in their native-language, Nyanja. Spending a whole month among them was a very unique and joyful experience,” Bóková remembers. (from Heartcore Records Press Release).

 

Click here for a video about the project.

 

How did this project come to life?

At first, it was my wish to be active and helpful during the summer. I was searching for a place to put my energy into, but I didn’t know what kind of project I was looking for. After I found the music program at the Mthunzi center, Kurt and I agreed to move forward. Then, step-by-step, it started to grow. I called the project Heartcore for Africa and asked Kurt to make the basic track for the song.

 
Why Zambia? And how did you end up working with the kids at Mthunzi Center in Lusaka?

I was very lucky. I reached the right person who introduced me to the Mthunzi Centre, an orphanage in Zambia with an improvised recording Kurt Rosenwinkelstudio. It was kind of a miracle! They already had plans to create something very similar to Heartcore for Africa. The timing was just perfect.

 
What are the goals of Heartcore for Africa?

We reached the first goal during my visit to the center. The kids were very happy to learn about music production. We had a lot of fun with plenty of music workshops, creating and recording. The second goal is selling the song. All the proceeds go back to the children so they can equip their studio and advance in their music education. Another goal is to let people know the world doesn’t end with walls and borders. There are so many people in need we can help. Helping people through music is the highest principle represented by the project.

 

Kurt Rosenwinkel
Photograph courtesy of Clara Pereira, JazzTrail.

 
How did the collaboration between Kurt Rosenwinkel, Aaron Parks and Dave Douglas happen?

As I mentioned, this project grew step by step. The idea of inviting other artists came later when I happened to mention the project to Dave Douglas and he immediately offered his help. Then I started to think, why don’t I ask some more people? Aaron Parks was the first one who came to mind, and he agreed when I asked him. The collaboration itself was an amazing experience that everyone enjoyed.


 
How was the kids first reaction to the music? And what does the music studio mean to these kids?

The kids were wild! (laughs). First, they thought the song was too slow, but they got used to the groove and caught the beat soon thereafter. I heard the catchy melody around me every day. The kids created their own lyrics, which made the song very personal to them, and put a big Ni Chikondi (About Love)effort into the whole process. It was amazing to observe their progress! There were many kids with musical ambitions, who came to the studio almost every day and were very proud to have something like this at the center. The children are very creative and this is one of the few places where they can fully express themselves.

 
How was the experience for you? Any plans to repeat it?

The experience was incredible! I wouldn’t trade the month I spent in Africa for anything! Kurt and I are already planning another “Heartcore” projects. At the moment we are in touch with an educational organization in India. My dream is to create similar projects in different countries and after ten years we’ll hopefully release an album that contains the stories of people around the globe.

 

 

Ni Chikondi (About Love) was released in December 2017 - click here for details. All the proceeds from digital sales will fund the purchase of musical equipment for the centre that currently houses over fifty children.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jazz As Art

Sonny Rollins

There's No Business Like Show Business

from the album Worktime

 

 

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

 

Sonny Rollins Worktime

 

Tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins recorded the Worktime album in December, 1955, with Ray Bryant (piano), George Morrow (bass) and Max Roach (drums) and it was released on the Prestige label. The recordings were made shortly after Sonny came East to New Jersey as a member of the Max Roach-Clifford Brown group. There have been a number of re-issues / compilations since it was first released, and Ira Gitler, who wrote the liner notes for the original album, says: 'There was no doubt that Rollins had put in a lot of practice time on his horn in Chicago and was seriously ready to go back to work, demonstrating how he had matured from highly promising talent of the early fifties into a supersonic Sonny .... By the tail-end of the fifties he was beginning to burn out: feeling the burden of the praise critics were now heaping upon him; dissatisfied with the conditions in the small nightclubs where he did most of his public playing; and just in need of dropping out of the rat race to explore a spirituality that was becoming an increasingly larger part of him. His famous sabbatical began at the end of 1959 and lasted into 1961 ...'

There are only 5 tracks on the original Worktime album, each of them worthy of using for this feature. Sonny's composition Paradox; Billy Strayhorn's Raincheck; Cole Porter's It's Alright With Me; and George W. Meyer/Stanley Adams/Abel Baer's ballad There Are Such Things (my favourite track) originally recorded by Tommy Dorsey. Check them out sometime.

For this Jazz As Art feature, I have chosen Irving Berlin's There's No Business Like Show Business from the album. It has a distinctive approach and seems appropriate in the light of Sonny Rollins' 1950s experience. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

Go to the Jazz As Art page (click here), play the music and scroll down to see which of the ten pictures I have chosen fit the music for you ...

Bernard Buffet Clown

 

 

 

 

 

 

Profile

Terry Cox

 

 

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

 

Terry Cox

 

Drummer Terry Cox is probably best remembered in music for his time with the famous UK folk-jazz band Pentangle. From their formation in 1967 to 1973, the band included Jacqui McShee (vocals); John Renbourn (vocals and guitar); Bert Jansch (vocals and guitar); Danny Thompson (double bass) and Terry Cox (drums). Danny Thompson and Terry brought a key jazz influence to the band as they were already established musicians in the jazz world.

Some years ago I was on holiday on the Baleriac island of Menorca. By chance we came across a restaurant, Pan Y Vino, and decided to get Terry Coxa meal. Recorded jazz was playing in the background and at the time, we were the only customers. I noticed that the owner was named ‘Terry Cox’ and when he came to our table, I discovered that he was the drummer who had worked with Sandy Brown’s band in the 1960s. We talked about his time with the band and I mentioned that I had recently met up with trombonist Tony Milliner who had played with the band at the same time. The restaurant became busier and Terry went to serve other customers, but a while later he re-appeared holding his phone. Tony Milliner was on the other end wondering what was going on!

 

Terry Cox at Pan Y Vino on a hot Menorcan day.
Photograph by Ian Maund

 

 

 

Click here to listen to Terry playing Work Song with the Sandy Brown All Stars in 1963. By this stage, with the addition of reeds player Tony Coe, the band was already moving away from a 'traditional' into a more 'mainstream' style.

Terry William Harvey Cox was born in Buckinghamshire in March 1937. His story, according to John Chilton’s Who’s Who Of British Jazz, tells how he started out sitting in at High Wycombe’s Cadena Club and took lessons from Jack Peach. Terry’s first professional work was with Michael Garrick in 1960/1961 and then with the Lennie Felix Trio from 1961-1962.

He joined the Al Fairweather / Sandy Brown band in late 1962 and was with them until 1964.

Terry was present when members of the Sandy Brown Band appeared with visiting American trumpeter Henry Red Allen for a concert at the Westminster Central Hall in January 1964 with Red Allen (trumpet, vocals), Mac Duncan (trombone), Sandy Brown (clarinet), Johnny Parker (piano), Diz Disley (guitar), Jim Bray (bass) and Terry Cox (drums).

Click here to listen to Honeysuckle Rose from the session, unfortunately the audio quality is poor, but the recording is of historical importance.

Terry also played with the Alan Littlejohn / Tony Milliner band during 1963 and also with guitarist Denny Wright. Denny was an interesting character. He was a session musician,  prolific jazz and orchestra composer, arranger and "fixer" for recording sessions, and he led many bands from small ensembles to orchestras. It is said that Denny set up London's first bebop club in 1945, the Fullado in New Compton Street, where he played piano and guitar. In the late 1940s he toured Italy and the Middle East with the Francisco Cavez orchestra and performed in King Farouk's palace. Denny was also part of Lonnie Donegan's group who first took skiffle to the Soviet Union in 1957. In the 1960s, in addition to a great deal of session work providing backing for many top artists including Mary Hopkin and Tom Jones, with friend Keith Cooper he produced Tribute to the Hot Club as the Cooper-Wright Quintet.

Terry Cox then joined Alexis Korner. Korner (born Koerner), sometimes called ‘The Father Of British Blues’, had worked with Chris Barber’s band in 1949 where he met harmonica player Cyril Davies. Together they started the influential London Blues and Barrelhouse Club in 1955 and made their first record together in 1957. In 1961, they formed Blues Incorporated 'initially a loose-knit group of musicians with a shared love of electric blues and R&B music. The group included, at various times, Charlie Watts, Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker, Long John Baldry, Danny Thompson and Dick Heckstall-Smith. Cyril Davies left the group in late 1962, but Blues Incorporated continued to record until 1966. However, by that time its originally stellar line-up (and crowd of followers) had mostly left to start their own bands’.

We can listen to Danny Thomson and Terry Cox playing with Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated in excerpts of Long Black Train and Sky Blues; an unreleased out-take from the 1965 Sky High LP sessions recorded at Ryemuse Studios in London: Duffy Power (vocals/harmonica), Alexis Korner (guitar), Danny Thompson (bass), Terry Cox (drums).

 

Terry Cox and Danny Thomson were two who moved on to take part in the formation of Pentangle.

According to Wikipedia: ‘Jacqui McShee had begun as an (unpaid) "floor singer" in several of the London folk clubs, and then, by 1965, ran a Pentangle 1969folk club at the Red Lion in Sutton, Surrey, establishing a friendship with Jansch and Renbourn when they played there.

She sang on Renbourn's Another Monday album and performed with him as a duo, debuting at Les Cousins club in August 1966. Danny Thompson and Terry Cox were well known as jazz musicians and had played together in Alexis Korner's band. By 1966, they were both part of Duffy Power's Nucleus (a band which also included John McLaughlin on electric guitar). Thompson was well known to Renbourn through appearances at Les Cousins and working with him on a project for television’.

‘In 1967, the Scottish entrepreneur Bruce Dunnet, who had recently organised a tour for Jansch, set up a Sunday night club for him and Renbourn at the (now defunct) Horseshoe Hotel in Tottenham Court Road. McShee began to join them as a vocalist and, by March of that year, Thompson and Cox were being billed as part of the band. Renbourn claims to be the "catalyst" that brought the band together but credits Jansch with the idea "to get the band to play in a regular place, to knock it into shape".

 

Pentangle in 1969
Photograph by Jac. de Nijs / Anefo - Nationaal Archief

 

 

Click here for an early Pentangle video from 1968 and Let No Man Steal Your Thyme with Jacqui McShee (vocals); Bert Jansch and John Renbourn (guitars); Danny Thompson (bass) and Terry Cox (drums).

This 40 minute video, also from 1968, is from a Norwegian television broadcast (click here).

Terry was a member if Pentangle from 1968 to 1973.

Click here for a video of Pentangle with Hunting Song with Danny Thomson on bass and Terry Cox on drums and xylophone

With another Pentangle video of People In The Highway from around 1970 (click here), one commentator says: 'Obviously what sets Pentangle apart from Fairport, et al is the Danny Thompson, Terry Cox SWING FACTOR!!!... this late stuff is their best with Bert and Jacqui harmonising The Humblebumslike the devil and an angel side by side', and another: '...when Terry Cox is giving it that face. I really don't think that there's a word for it in the English language but you know what he's thinking'.

 

Around this time, Terry was also playing and recording with The Humblebums. The Humblebums were a Scottish folk band, based in Glasgow. Its members included Billy Connolly, who later became the famous comedian and actor, guitarist Tam Harvey and the singer-songwriter Gerry Rafferty. The band was active from 1965 to 1971. When Harvey left, Connolly and Rafferty went their own way after recording two albums of material: The New Humblebums and Open Up the Door. It is not clear which tracks Terry played on as drums are not heard clearly on some tracks, but click here for I Can't Stop Now.

Terry and his wife Jill moved to Menorca in 1970 and Terry 'commuted' working with Pentangle and freelancing with other groups. In the early 1970s he worked with the Roger Webb Trio, Bobby Lamb-Ray’s Premru Orchestra and accompanied many visiting American musicians including Benny Carter and Jon Hendricks. He toured with Roy Orbison and worked with Elton John and David Bowie and played with John Dankworth, Cleo Laine and Ronnie Scott. For six years he played regularly for French vocalist Charles Aznavour.

Eventually, Terry reduced his playing schedule and opened the restaurant 'Pan Y Vino' in Torres, Menorca.

However, in 2007, the original members of Pentangle were reunited to receive a Lifetime Achievement award at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards and to record a short concert that was broadcast on BBC radio. In June 2008, the band, comprising all five original members, embarked on a twelve-date UK tour.

Click here for Pentangle with one of their best-know numbers Light Flight on the TV show Later With Jools Holland in March 2008.

Whilst continuing to run Pan Y Vino, Terry continued playing locally and in 2009 he gave a concert with Spanish friends to highlight the condition 'Bipolar Disorder' (referred to at one time as Manic Depression). It is not generally known that Terry has had the disorder for many years and he felt the need to give it more wide public recognistion. "I gave the concert in order to try and break the taboo perceived by many people," says Terry CoxTerry. "I was motivated by two reasons, firstly to inform people of this condition affecting 1 in 10 worldwide, and secondly to repay Menorca for giving our family a magic life. If, as in my case, you are lucky enough to find something you love, concentrate on that (not easy!). Click here to find out more about Bipolar Disorder. There are a number of other information sites on the internet and others who have had the disorder include Mel Gibson, Nina Simone, Jaco Pastorius and Stephen Fry.

Click here for a video of Terry and his Menorcan Trio - Sergi Martin (guitar) and Nito Llorens (double bass) - playing Charlie Parker's Billie's Bounce at Es Forat in 2010. He also issued an EP, the more folk-based Twice Upon A Time, that year - you can sample it if you click here.

In 2011, Pentangle played a muddy Glastonbury Festival. Jacqui McShee and Bert Jansch were interviewed by Lauren Laverne for BBC Radio 6 Music (click here for the video) and then played the Cambridge Folk Festival (click here for them playing a 2011 version of the Hunting Song - the composition from the classic album Basket of Light, based on the mediaeval story of a magic drinking horn sent by Morgana le Fay to the court of King Arthur. A video of the original version is earlier in this article). In his 2011 interview with Lauren Laverne, Bert Jansch mentioned his poor health and he sadly passed away in October that year. John Renbourn passed away in 2015.

Click here to go back to those days when Terry was with the Fairweather/Brown band and listen to him playing on Love For Sale from the Lake Records Worksong album. As I pointed out earlier, this was a time of change that was reflected in the way all of the musicians in this band went on to play. On this track, trumpeter Al Fairweather takes a break and the number features Sandy Brown and Tony Coe, both on clarinet. In his sleeve notes, Paul Adams writes: 'I defy even the most musical listener to hear everything in a Tony Coe solo the first time round ... When he moves to clarinet, with which he duets with Sandy on the fiendishly hard Love For Sale, he provides Sandy, perhaps for the first time in Sandy's life, with a worthy opponent on his chosen instrument ... almost certainly occasioned by Coe's prescence in the band - Sandy has begun to explore more adventurously ...'

Terry Cox has taken a long journey in music since his time with Sandy Brown's Jazz Band, but we can see from his Trio in Menorca and the influence he and Danny Thompson brought to Blues and Folk music that the spirit of jazz has always been present.

Terry has a website at www.terrycoxdrums.com, although it has not been updated for some years, if carries a number of videos of Terry playing.

 

 

 

Video Juke Box

*Click on the Picture for the Video

 

 

Click on the picture to watch the video.

 

Martin Speake Quartet

 

 

The excellent Martin Speake Quartet is on tour during April and May with their latest album Intention. The Quartet with Martin Speake (saxophone); Ethan Iverson (piano); Fred Thomas (double bass) and James Maddren (drums) will play in various locations around the UK (click here). Here they are is a live performance of Blackwell from the album which is released on 20th April and which we'll feature next month.

 

 

 

Willie The Lion Smith video

 

Willie “The Lion” Smith was one of the “big three” of stride pianists of the 1920’s along with James P. Johnson and Fats Waller. This edition of the British television series Jazz 625 from November 7th, 1965 recorded at the Marquee Club features Willie “The Lion” Smith still in prime form, playing distinctive piano, occasionally singing, and telling stores to the enthusiastic audience. There is some interference on the soundtrack at times and although the audio is in English, there are also French subtitles for the speech. Nevertheless, it is an interesting 30 minutes of Willie's stride piano and of Brian Brocklehurst (bass) and Lennie Hastings (drums) with him

 

 

Cloudmakers Five The Exchange

 

Cloudmakers Five - Jim Hart (vibraphone); Michael Janisch (double bass); Dave Smith (drums); Antonin-Tri Hoang (alto saxophone, clarinet); and Hannes Riepler (guitar) - released their new album Traveling Pulse on the Whirlwind label in February. The album was recorded at the Vortex Jazz Club in London from where this live performance of The Exchange from the album comes (see Recent Releases below).

 

 

 

The Road To Southport Pier

 

The Road to Southport Pier - A Jazz Odyssey 2017. This 54 minute video documentary comes from an original idea for an occasional series by Ray Knight, with support from Louis Lince, Fred Burnett, Trish and Derek Galloway, and Fraser McCombe. It reflects on the traditional jazz scene in the Northwest of the United Kingdom, preserving the historical sounds of the various bands as well as the individual players. This video will be enjoyed by lovers of traditional jazz now and in the future.

 

 

 

Dinosaur Quiet Thunder

 

The video for the track Quiet Thunder from Dinosaur's forthcoming album Wonder Trail on Edition Records. The album is due out on May 4th (details here). 'Dinosaur’s second album is as electrifyingly different as anyone who knows Laura Jurd’s track record would expect. Never one to be labeled, the fearsomely talented and multiple award-winning Jurd has a Miles-like way of taking her work and tuning it to illuminate a vast array of musical worlds'. Dinosaur are Laura Jurd (trumpet), Elliot Galvin (keyboards), Conor Chaplin (bass) and Corrie Dick (drums).

 

 

 

Thomas Chapin Night Bird SongNight Bird Song: The Incandescent Life of Thomas Chapin. On March 20th, film distributor Random Media and 'Olena Productions announced the DVD, digital and VOD debut of the acclaimed documentary Night Bird Song by documentary director Stephanie J. Castillo. The film presents an intimate and engaging, music-filled showcase of jazz great saxophonist Thomas Chapin whose life was tragically cut short by Leukemia at age 40 in 1998. Chapin emerged in the New York City’s downtown scene in the 80’s and 90’s and was schooled by jazz greats, including Lionel Hampton and Jackie McLean. The documentary showcases Chapin’s brilliant compositions and work in a broad breath of genres that left music critics and fellow musicians alike amazed at his ability to bend the genre of jazz with innovative originality. Included in the 96-minute film is the Thomas Chapin Trio’s acclaimed performance at the 1995 JVC Newport Jazz Festival. Click on the picture for the trailer. Click here for details.

 

 

Carlos Santana interview on Miles Davis

 

 

Carlos Santana on Miles Davis. This intriguing 28 minute video comes from the DVD "Live at Montreux: Miles Davis". In it, guitarist Carlos Santana is interviewed about his contact and work with Miles - 'the supreme, divine, rascal ...'.

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Poetry and Jazz

Jeff Williams:
An American Jazzman in London

by Robin Kidson

 

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

 

A feature of the current British jazz scene is the number of American jazz musicians who have chosen to base themselves here. One of these US expats is Jeff Williams, drummer and composer, originally from Oberlin, Ohio, but now based, at least for part of the time, in London. In a stellar career, stretching back over 40 years, he has worked with some of the jazz greats including Stan Getz, Lee Konitz, Paul Jeff WilliamsBley and Joe Lovano. In the 1970s, he was in the band Lookout Farm with Dave Liebman.

 

Williams established a base in London after marrying novelist Lionel Shriver in 2003. “She had been living in the UK for many years”, he explained to me, “and I was unable to convince her to return to the US full time. Shortly thereafter her most well known novel We Need to Talk About Kevin became a best seller and that really settled things as her UK profile surged. We both treasure New York as well and I’m back and forth quite a lot to our place in Brooklyn.”

Once in London, Williams quickly began playing gigs with British jazz musicians and teaching at the Royal Academy of Music and the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. He also formed a fruitful relationship with Whirlwind Recordings, the British record label owned by another US expat, Michael Janisch. Whirlwind has released three critically acclaimed Jeff Williams albums: Another Time, which came out in 2011, The Listener (2013), and Outlier (2016). A fourth, Lifelike, is due for release on 20th April 2018.

Like The Listener, Lifelike was recorded live at The Vortex Jazz Club in London. Williams leads a band made up of Kit Downes (piano), Josh Arcoleo (tenor saxophone), Sam Lasserson (double bass), John O’Gallagher (alto saxophone) and Goncalo Marquez (trumpet). Downes, Arcoleo and Lasserson played on Outlier along with Phil Robson on guitar. O’Gallagher is another American, over in England to study for a doctorate at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. Marquez is a Portuguese musician who Williams met when playing some dates in Portugal last year.

The sort of Anglo-American co-operative working exemplified by Jeff Williams’ band is becoming increasingly common. That co-operation is on a much more equal basis than in the past – the inferiority complex from which British jazz once suffered in relation to American jazz has long gone. It is interesting, though, that Williams feels there are still obstacles to this sort of joint work: “I wish it were easier to have Jeff Williams Lifelike albumexchanges between both countries but work permits and other obstacles tend to prevent what could be quite fruitful.” 

I asked Jeff Williams what he saw as the differences between the UK and US jazz scenes and his reply was interesting:

“…with the exception of Ronnie Scott’s and Pizza Express, London’s jazz scene is really spread out. Whereas in New York many of the clubs…in Greenwich Village are all within walking distance. That makes it easy to see more than a single show a night, or to perform in more than one. Outside of New York, jazz gigs are few and far between. Most of the circuit of 6 night-a-week clubs that once made touring possible, at least from one major city to another, are long gone. In the UK, various jazz organisations have managed to keep going and there is a circuit still in place, and, it being a smaller country, it’s even possible to leave London for a gig and return the same evening, eliminating the cost of accommodation. These UK jazz societies especially cater to older jazz listeners, whom the promoters and audience members tend to be. You don’t often see people of advanced age in New York clubs."

"What both New York and London have in common is a wealth of fine musicians, particularly young ones. They form organisations too and that has led to venues like the Con Cellar and others presenting jazz in various pubs around London. In New York, Brooklyn is quite vital in this regard with a number of small venues, such as Barbes. London is a smaller scene but the energy is much the same and the musicianship very high….Both places have many more musicians than gigs, though, and, both being expensive cities, survival from just playing music in either is daunting.”

 

Although Jeff Williams is chiefly noted for his drumming, his considerable skills as a composer should not be overlooked. Most of the tracks on his Whirlwind albums have been written by him – of the seven tracks on Lifelike, for example, six are Williams originals (the seventh, Cancao do Amolador, is contributed by Goncalo Marquez). His compositions are often Jeff Williams Lifelike bandquite complex but all are absorbing and memorable. He also unselfishly leaves plenty of room for the soloists to shine – and all of his band are superb virtuosic musicians with not only technical ability in spades but imagination and passion.

The unselfishness also applies to his drumming style – there are no lengthy drum solos on Lifelike and, in general, he is content to be the guiding spirit more or less in the background. However, he does more than just keep time and he is able, with brush, stick, hand, cymbal and drum, to create the most wonderful soundscapes full of different textures and rhythms.

On his style, Jeff Williams says: “I have absorbed my influences and taken what suits my overall concept so I think I have a distinct identity at the drums. At this point, playing is like talking for me. I don’t spend a lot of time premeditating what I’m going to play anymore. It just seems to come out without effort because my attention is fully engaged in the music at hand at all times. Developing unwavering attention may be the most important aspect. That may be easier for me now at this age because I care less about what anyone else thinks of my playing. Worrying about that doesn’t make you sound better.”

 

Comparing the music of the albums Outlier and the more recent Lifelike, click here for a video of a live performance of New And Old from Outlier, and click here for a video of Dream Visitor from Lifelike.

Click here to sample the album Lifelike : Click here for details of Lifelike from Whirlwind : Click here for Jeff William's website.

Lifelike is being formally launched at the Vortex in Dalston, London on 3rd April 2018. The band is then touring – dates are:

6th April: The Verdict, Brighton
12th April: East Side Jazz Club, Birmingham
26th April: Old Town Hall Cellar, Hemel Hempstead
14th June: Cambridge Jazz
15th June: Harrow Arts Centre

 

 

 

Do You Have A Birthday In April?

 


Your Horoscope

for April Birthdays

by 'Marable'

 

Aries

 

Aries (The Ram)

21st March - 20th April

 

Last month, from the 20th to the 29th, 80 per cent of the planets were moving forward with the planetary power reaching its most Eastern position. This signals a strong independent period that is likely to continue through the month ahead. If changes need to be made, now could be the time to make them.

The sun enters your money house on the 20th and stays there for the remainder of the month, and Venus is in the money house until the 24th, so look out for financial opportunities then. Your financial judgements might be conservative, but that can be good as there are risks in overspending.

As the planetary power shifts below the horizon, the lower half of the Horoscope (the night side) is strong, 40 per cent and sometimes 50 per cent of the planets are there. However, the upper half is still very dominant so you still need to focus on your career, but you can afford to give time to relationships and your own well-being.

For you, click here to listen to Red Garland, Blue Mitchell, Pepper Adams, Sam Jones and Philly Joe Jones playing This Time The Dream's On Me.

 

 

Taurus

 

ATaurus (The Bull)

21st April - 20th May

 

Your planetary power is at its maximum East, and this is the sector of the self. This could be a happy and successful month for you. The fundamentals here are health and energy - if your health is good, your energy is good, and with energy there is usually more good feeling and confidence. Things that you might have thought impossible and that you dismissed before can now come back into the picture more positively.

Spirituality is still important and can lead you to see opportunities for financial and career improvement. One of the characteristics of a Taurus is seeing the practical value of something and not taking action just for its own sake. You might not be keen on starting new projects, you can be someone who likes routine, but once you get involved in projects, you usually finish them. Not everyone can do that.

Personal initiative and recognition of your skills are important. Create wisely and it will pay off in the months to come. If you make mistakes, you will learn from them.

For you, click here for a video of O.C. Smith singing Deed I Do with the Count Basie Orchestra in 1962.

 

 

 

 

 

Tea Break

 

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

 

Mike Pointon

 

Mike Pointon

 

Trombonist Mike Pointon was born in London. He started out on piano and trumpet but then switched to his preferred instrument, the trombone. His experience with UK jazz bands is extensive. After gigging with the young Blue Crow Jazzmen and Perdido Street Six in Croydon, he formed his own Jazzmen as well as playing with the Salutation Brass Band, Kid Martyn’s Ragtime Band with Sammy Rimington and with whom he toured with such New Orleans greats as George Lewis, Capt. John Handy, Kid Thomas and Alton Purnell. He also played with the San Jacinto Jazzmen, the New Teao Brass band, Uncle John Renshaw’s Jazzband, Keith Smith’s Climax Jazzband, Barry Martyn’s Camellia Jazz Orchestra, Dave Mills’ Jazzband, Brian Green's Jazz Band, the Lounge Lizards and Bill Brunskill’s Band.

For a year he played with his own Quartet in Belgium working with the Cotton City Jazz Band of Ghent, with whom he once backed the legendary Mezz Mezzrow; worked with Albert Nicholas and recorded with Paul Closset’s Dixie Gamblers. He played in Paris with Les Haricots Rouges; toured the Gulf States with the British All Stars; worked with Jump Jive and Wail and the European Classic Jazz Band, toured Northern Ireland in 1989 with Wild Bill Davison, Art Hodes and John Petters’ All Stars and toured and recorded with Hot Stuff with Dick Charlesworth. Mike also played at a Louis Armstrong tribute concert in Hungary more recently with Satchmo’s last clarinettist Joe Muranyi, and appeared with Clive Wilson’s New Orleans Serenaders on their last two UK tours. He has often guested with the Apex Jazz band in Belfast and played regularly with Dick Laurie’s Elastic Band.

 

[Click here for a video from 1994 of Mike playing Heebie Jeebies, Chattanooga Stomp and Four Five Times with the Swedish Jazz Kings / European Classic Jazzband [Bent Persson (clarinet); Mike Pointon (trombone, vocals), Tomas Ornberg (clarinet, alto sax) ? Ray Smith (piano) unknown (banjo) Boe Juhlin (tuba).

 

In his early days, Mike deputised in Ken Colyer’s Jazzmen and worked with his All Stars in later years. and together with Ray Smith, has written a biography of Ken, Goin' Home. The book won a Parliamentary Jazz Award in 2010. Mike and Ray have recently completed a new book: Bill Russell And The New Orleans Jazz Revival based on interviews with the great historian of New Orleans jazz whose recordings of such legendary figures as Bunk Johnson and George Lewis were a major influence on the development of post-war jazz in Britain.

Mike still plays regularly, writes for magazines such as Just Jazz, New Orleans Music and Hot News and has presented documentaries on radio and television. When the Ken Colyer Trust was active, Mike used to do the interviews of some of the top players and he still puts together material for release on Upbeat Records.

[Click here for part of a 2000 BBC Documentary about Henry Red Allen by Mike Pointon with John Chilton introducing Red Allen's Algiers Bounce].

 

He dropped by for a tea break .....


Hi Mike, tea or coffee?

Coffee – espresso, please.

 

Milk and sugar?

No, no sugar thanks.

 

Apart from playing trombone, you seem to spend some time writing for different journals as well as books. How is the balance these days between playing and writing? What are you writing at the moment?

I’ve just completed a book with my friend, pianist Ray Smith with whom I collaborated on a biography of Ken Colyer some time ago. This current one is called Bill Russell and the New Orleans Jazz Revival, based on interviews with Russell who played a significant part in creating interest Ken Colyer 50 Years Onin New Orleans music in the 1940s. He recorded many black jazzmen who inspired our young musicians like Colyer, Barber and others to develop their version of it in the '50s and '60s, much of which became known as `trad’…

 

That sounds like an interesting piece of research, let us know when it's available. You are something of an aficionado on Ken Colyer. Do you have a favourite memory of the man – or of an occasion with him?

I knew Ken for many years, having first played with him as a teenage `dep’ - I think probably I recall his band’s first impact on me as a would-be teenage jazz musician most vividly, leading me to learn more about New Orleans music and eventually to work with several key figures from New Orleans such as George Lewis (who I first saw with Ken’s band on his visit to London in 1957) and Albert Nicholas.

 

Ken Colyer 50 Years On -
Master of Ceremonies: Mike Pointon

 

 

 

Hob Nob, Bourbon, Garibaldi or digestive biscuit?

Garibaldi - as I love Italy!

 

Apart from Ken, if you could ask two past jazz musicians to join us for the tea break, who would you invite?

Jelly Roll Morton and Duke Ellington.

 

What would you ask them?

I’d just sit listening to these great pioneering rivals talking together!

 

Jazz is always subject to change. Do you think it is still ‘alive and well’? Do you think that polarisation that happened between ‘Modern Jazz’ and Trad Jazz’ in the ‘50s and ‘60s is still there?

I think jazz is alive and well but the so-called `educators’ should give equal coverage to the earlier styles as they do to later ones, as teachers of classical music do, or youngsters will never get a chance to hear it and polarisation will persist. Radio is partly guilty for this as the few younger musician playing earlier styles never get broadcasts, nor does Chris Barber, still leading a fine band at 87 and who deserves wider recognition for what he has accomplished over the years in the fields of jazz and blues.

 

Despite some naysayers, it seems to me that Trad bands can still draw an audience. There are also some young musicians who play traditional and contemporary jazz. I have been to some gigs specially played for children to introduce them to jazz. Looking back, are there ways we can bring jazz and its history more to young people?

Proper teaching would help. Keith Nichols at the Royal Academy of Music is one of the few who does today. Keith coaches young musicians in the earlier styles and stages concerts regularly celebrating such influential bands as Duke Ellington, Fletcher Henderson and Cab Calloway.

Luckily, there are also some younger musicians such as clarinettist Adrian Cox  keeping the New Orleans tradition alive with his tribute to the great New Orleans pioneer Edmond Hall.

Click here for a video of Adrian Cox and his Hot Quintet playing Swing That Music at the Gunton Jazz Festival in September 2017. [Adrian Cox (clarinet), Peter Horsfall (trumpet), Simon Read (bass), Gethin Jones (drums), Joe Webb (piano)].

 

The Globe Hackney

 

 

 

What gigs have you played recently?

I share my time between doing guest spots on various UK jazz festivals which feature traditional jazz but which in general attract `mature’ audiences, and in Europe where, due in part to regular radio exposure of the music, there are audiences of all ages. I also, as many jazz musicians playing traditional jazz do, play local gigs. One of the most pleasant for a Londoner like me, is to perform at The Globe, Hackney regularly where the publican and its audience appreciate our style of music.

 

 

 

 

 

What have you got coming up this year? Are you still putting things together for Upbeat Recordings?

I'll be playing at several festivals during the year for drummer John Petters who organises his jazz weekends well with a variety of styles. I’m also still compiling and producing various CDs for Upbeat which, now I’m not regularly presenting documentaries on jazz for Radio 3, enables me to keep my hand in, perhaps in a more permanent way. I still often take part in the shows that the admirable jazz broadcaster Walter Love presents every Sunday evening - 'Jazz Club' for BBC Radio Ulster, the only national replacement for the much-missed Humphrey Lytttelton and Campbell Burnap’s shows.

[Click here for a video of Mike with John Petters' Band playing All The Girls Go Crazy, in a tribute to Ken Colyer at the William Shakespeare Jazz'n'Swing Festival in Straford upon Avon on Sunday 14th November, 2010].

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

Listen out for a promising young band called The Old Hat Jazz Band now appearing at various clubs and festivals.

Versatile guitarist/banjoist/vocalist Spats Langham is also doing a wonderful job in a vintage style with his popular group Hot Fingers, paying affectionate homage to many key figures of the 20s from Ukulele Ike and Lonnie Johnson to the ever- popular Al Bowlly.   

[Click here for a video of Ledra Street Stomp played by the Old Hat Jazz Band (William Scott (clarinet); Michael Soper (trumpet); Joe Webb (piano); Louis Thomas (bass); Lizy Exell (drums)].

 

Another biscuit?

Yes please!

 

Mike Pointon

 

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

 

Utah Tea Pot

 

 

 

Open Land - Meeting John Abercrombie

Meeting John Abercrombie

This new documentary film by Arno Oehri and Oliver Primus was screened in the United States at a selected number of festivals during March. It's cinema release in December was in Liechtenstein and Switzerland. It will be shown on April 7th, at Moods, Zurich.

The publicity for the film says 'Amazingly authentic, the film "Open Land" offers an unforgettably intimate portrait of it's protagonist, jazz legend John Abercrombie who died in August 2017. This wonderful encounter is as poetic and atmospherically dense as Abercrombie's music. A labor of love and deep admiration "Open Land" is a subtle and very personal portrait that gives an insight into the life and work of this outstanding artist. To glimpse genius on such an intimate level is nothing short of revelatory'.

Arno Oehri tells me that 'I still hope that one of the festivals in the UK will also take the film in their program….a DVD is to be released by ECM towards the end of spring and streaming and downloading services are also planned, but I have no release dates yet. I’ll keep you posted'.

I'll keep readers posted too.

 

 

 

 

 

Zoe Francis Remembers
Blossom Dearie

by Howard Lawes

 

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

 

Remembering Blossom Dearie album

 

It is over 50 years since he American vocalist Blossom Dearie recorded the live album Blossom Time (1966) at Ronnie Scott’s in London at what was reported as a joyous occasion. Blossom sang ballads interspersed with some of her trademark witty and amusing numbers such as When In Rome and I'm Hip, and she followed this up a year later with a second album recorded live at Ronnie Scott’s, Sweet Blossom Dearie (1967). 

Click here for a video of Blossom Dearie singing I'm Hip.

Margrete Blossom Dearie was born on April 28, 1924, in East Durham, New York. Her father was of Scottish/Irish descent and her mother from a Norwegian family. Blossom reportedly received her unusual name because of "a neighbor who delivered peach blossoms to her house the day she was born", although she once recalled it was her brothers who brought the flowers to the house. After high school, Blossom moved to New York City. She dropped her first name, Margrete, and began to sing in groups such as the Blue Flames (with the Woody Herman Orchestra) and the Blue Reys (with Alvino Rey's band) before starting her solo career.

By the time she made the 1966 Blossom Time album she was at the height of her popularity in the UK and had also had great success at home in the USA as well as in Europe. In America she had released several albums in quick succession, Once Upon A Summertime on the Verve label in 1958, quickly followed by Give Him The Ooh La La on Polygram. My Gentleman Friend was recorded with guitarist Kenny Burrell and the same year, 1959, Blossom Dearie on Verve again pictured Blossom on the album cover in large spectacles looking for all the world like a secretary typing a letter. The following year Blossom Dearie Sings Comden And Green was a little less successful, perhaps because Blossom's sweet voice did not quite suit the material, but again Kenny Burrell's guitar was a welcome addition on some tracks.

Click here for a video of Blossom Dearie singing I Wish You Love in France in 1965.

Perhaps it is time that the work of Blossom Dearie is revisited and in a new release, vocalist Zoe Francis has done just that. She has chosen a selection of tracks from Blossom’s iconic albums and re-visited them in her own, highly acclaimed style. On the album she is accompanied by her partner and renowned guitarist Jim Mullen and two other highly regarded musicians, Barry Green on piano and Mick Hutton on bass.  Some readers may know that Jim Mullen has been hospitalised but a silver lining to this cloudy period was that it gave him the opportunity to write the new arrangements for Zoe's album. 

Zoe explains her attraction to the songs of Blossom Dearie as follows:

"Perhaps her unique voice and being able to accompany herself gave her this great vehicle to carry both songs from the great classic songbook, such as "Sophisticated Lady", "Manhattan" alongside witty songs like "Rhode Island Is Famous For You" with equal conviction. I love that you can feel the sentiment of the story, the well crafted lyric when she sings, the humour and the vulnerability, there is an intimacy, a subtlety often lost into today's culture".

There was often some debate about whether Blossom Dearie was actually a jazz singer, cabaret singer or even pop singer, in fact she was at times all three but certainly a jazz singer according to Miles Davis who is quoted as saying she was "the only white woman who ever had soul" and her piano playing has been likened to that of Bill Evans. 

There is certainly no ambiguity about the singing style of Zoe Francis, her first two albums Looking For A Boy and The Very Thought Of You have received much favourable reaction, Dave Gelly said: "She communicates a love and understanding of classic American song with Zoe Francisthe lightest of touches". This light touch is perhaps reminiscent of Blossom Dearie but whereas Blossom did not quite get to grips with all the songs on the Comden And Green album Zoe Francis has the power and depth in her voice to do these songs justice. Blossom Dearie’s voice was often described as ‘girlish’, but although light, her diction was superb, the audience could hear every word and her expressiveness conveyed extra meaning to each song.

 

Zoe Francis

 

Click here for a video of Zoe Francis singing The Very Thought Of You from her earlier album.

Zoe Francis' diction is equally good and for this she thanks her mother, who as a single parent, raised Zoe and her sister in Lincolnshire.  Zoe started her performing arts as a dancer and it wasn't until later life in New York that she started singing, developing her technique at Barry Harris' Manhattan workshops.  Her enjoyment of singing jazz and the great American songbook led her to jam sessions in New York and gigging in clubs and restaurants such as Arturo in Greenwich Village.  On her return to England, Zoe settled in Bristol and teamed up with super pianist, Dave Newton, before moving to London where she has performed at most of the leading venues including Ronnie Scott's and the 606 Club.

On February 7, 2009, Blossom Dearie died in her sleep of natural causes at her apartment on Sheridan Square in Greenwich Village, New York City after a long illness and failing health.

In Remembering Blossom Dearie, Zoe Francis does not copy the original songs but by the same token, she has not fallen into the trap of making them totally different; she sings the songs as they are meant to be sung and sings them very well. Blossom's piano playing has been described as ‘delicate bebop’ and here Barry Green on piano complements Zoe's singing beautifully with his own sensitive playing.  Jim Mullen on guitar provides background melody and some nice solos and Mick Hutton's bass is flawless as ever.

The CD cover of Zoe's album reveals that the production of the album has only been possible due to the kindness and generosity of people within the music community and it is really quite inspiring to think that such a thing of beauty can be borne out of the charitable reaction to misfortune.

At the time of writing, Remembering Blossom Dearie is available from Zoe at her live gigs – she will be at the Vortex, Dalston, London on April 21st and London’s 606 Club on April 22nd - and direct from Zoe (click here for her contact email address). Zoe plans to have a website established by the end of April and the album will be generally available then.

Until songs from Remembering Blossom Dearie are available, click here for a video of Zoe Francis singing Sleeping Bee.

The track list and original Blossom Dearie albums in which the songs feature are:

When in Rome and I'm Hip from Blossom Time at Ronnie Scott’s (1966); Try Your Wings, The Riviera and They Say It's Spring from Give Him the Ooh La La (1958); Surrey With the Fringe On Top, Once Upon A Summertime and Tea For Two from Once Upon A Summertime (1958); Lonely Town, Some Other Time and  Lucky To Be Me from Blossom Dearie Sings Comden and Green (1959); Peel Me A Grape from Sweet Blossom Dearie (1967); You Fascinate Me So from My Gentleman Friend (1959);  Lies Of Handsome Men from Blossom's Planet (2000).

 

 

Blossom Dearie

 

 

Forum

 

 

Harry Baldock

Tash Smith writes to ask whether anyone can help with information about Harry Burdock:

 

Cambridge City Jassband

 

‘My father, Harry Baldock, recently passed. He played trumpet and bass mainly, though could also play banjo and guitar. He was a former member of various bands including Cambridge City Jassband (Late 1970s/early 80s) and Thames City Jazz Band (late 1950s/early 60s). He also toured with Monty Sunshine Band, Max Collie's Rhythm Aces and Champion Jack Dupree in the late '70s'.

'I have several photos, both of bands he played in and of bands that perhaps were on the same bill. I'm looking for more information on them, as currently they are just nameless faces'.

 

Thames City Jazz Band

Thames City Jazz Band

 

If anyone can help with information about Harry, please contact us.

 

 

 

Cold Brew Coffee

Cold Brew Coffee

 

Last month in his 'Tea Break' (click here), saxophonist Scott Murphy in Malaysia opted for Cold Brew Coffee rather than tea. I had never come across Cold Brew Coffee before (but of course I obliged).

Kathy Gallo, who writes about all things coffee, has seen the article and sent details from her website DailyCupo on how to make Cold Brew Coffee (click here).

Kathy says: 'We all love coffee and let’s face it, it’s difficult to get through the day without our caffeine fix. Does that mean we’re just a little bit addicted? Maybe, but we don’t mind admitting that. The problem is, in the heat of the summer, sometimes it can be too warm for a hot coffee, and all you want is a cold beverage. The perfect answer is an iced coffee, right? Except have you ever tried to make one?'

'You brew a strong, hot coffee, pour it over the ice – and then the ice melts and the drink you end up with is watery and tasteless. We’ve all been there. But what you really need is cold-brewed coffee. Cold-brew is a completely different drink. It’s rich, it’s smooth – and since it’s brewed cold, it doesn’t melt the ice when you serve it. One of the best things about cold brew is, it’s so easy to make. Here’s our recipe for how to make cold brew coffee (click here).

 

 

 

 

Sandy Brown Jazz Facebook and Mailing List

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


Click here

 

There is no charge for the Sandy Brown Jazz website.
You can join our Mailing List - click here - and I will send you an email each time a new issue of What's New comes out.

 

 

 

 

Looking Back

The Creole Dance Orchestra

Chris Macdonald


 

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

Chris Macdonald, second clarinettist / saxophonist with the Harry Strutters Hot Rhythm Orchestra continues to look back at his early days of jazz and hopefully his recollections will bring back memories for others. In this article he remembers his Creole Dance Orchestra days:

I had been playing with local traditional jazz bands since 1957, starting with two school bands. I joined the Kansas City Seven on clarinet in 1960, followed by the Woodford Valley Jazzmen in 1962, and then the Frog Island Jazzband, on piano, in 1964 - the year that the idea of forming a big band to play 1920s/30s music came to me. In late 1964 I was working behind the bar of a local pub when, one lunchtime, a builder came in and asked if anyone was interested in 200 or so 78rpm records for 10 shillings (£0.50 in today’s terms!), which he had found in the loft of a house on which he was working. I bought them, and that was where it all started!

Very soon I had gathered together enough people who were interested in forming a band and we hired the Denglow Studios in Chadwell Heath, Essex for a Sunday afternoon. I wrote an arrangement of King Oliver’s Olga and very slowly we worked our way through it – very exciting for me to hear what I had written!

The musicians on that day were Tony Cooke (1st trumpet), Teddy Fullick (2nd trumpet), Micky Hickey (trombone), Josephine Gurr (1st alto & clarinet), Roy Rhodes (2nd alto and clarinet), myself (tenor), John Farrell (piano), Dave Price (banjo), John Arthy (bass) and Mick Carter (drums).

It soon became apparent that this could work, so I set about writing more arrangements, transcribing piano sheet copies of 1920s songs from my mother’s collection (she was a self-taught pianist) for the instrumentation that we had.  At that time I was working in the accounts department of a big office in West Smithfield, London, for W. Weddell & Co, meat importers. On a Monday morning we were given our whole week’s work, and were left to do that at our own pace, the only condition being that it was all done by 5.00 pm on the following Friday! I discovered that by working hard on Mondays, I could get most of it done, leaving the rest of the week for me to write the arrangements in the office – my Head of Section did not say a word!

.... and so The Creole Orchestra was born…

 

The Creole Orchestra


1966 Creole Orchestra…


L-R: Micky Hickey, Teddy Fullick, John Farrell, Tony Cooke, Dave Price, Mick Carter, Jo Gurr,
Chris Macdonald (MD), Roy Rhodes, John Arthy, Clive Payne

 

The material we were to perform came very much from the world of Dance Music, rather than jazz. That was a deliberate action on my part as there were so many people doing the jazz thing. I had also been influenced by the marvellous 1961 Temperance Seven, whose clarinet player, Alan Cooper, had come to my school in 1958 to play at our first school “hop” with a live band rather than records. Alan and I become close friends from that day on, and I was privileged to be present at many of their private gigs, assuming the role of clarinet case carrier! 

The Creole band evolved slowly, and we were able to use the basement of  one of John Arthy’s family’s Bakers Shops in East Ham, London, for rehearsals, once we had lined the walls with egg boxes for sound absorbtion, and put down some carpets on the floor! John Arthy was at that time working for British Fermentation Products, demonstrating and selling yeast products.Chris Macdonald

 

Personnel changes were very few, as the early photos show, the one exception being the addition in late 1965 of the very versatile Clive Payne on tenor and bass saxes, clarinet and sousaphone, leaving me to concentrate on the arrangements and band direction. We were soon joined by John Parry on 2nd trombone and vocals. He had seen an article about the band in a local newspaper and came to see me, asking if I would like another trombonist, but my response was to ask him if he could sing! He joined, and the rest is history!  John Arthy bought himself a sousaphone… We went from strength to strength – we had stands made; we tried to standardise our uniform; we looked for gigs. That was the problem that remained with us until 1974!!! It was very difficult to find a venue large enough and interested enough to take an unknown band of 12 people!

 

Chris Macdonald

 

Public exposure at that time (1966) was somewhat limited, although the Lord Rookwood in Leytonstone, a well-known jazz pub, found space for us, and we played Thursday evenings in the autumn of 1967 as a public session/rehearsal. We had a notable sitter-in for several sessions in the form of banjo player Eddie Smith who had been replaced in the Chris Barber Band by Stu Morrison in 1964. We had also been invited, in the summer of 1966, to play for the Vintage and Veteran Car Club at the Montagu Motor Museum in Beaulieu, Hampshire. Ironically, it was very successful, apart from a few transport problems!

By February 1967 the only other changes to the personnel were the replacement of Micky Hickey by trombonist Algy Davies. Micky had recently married, had a daughter, and I think felt a bit out of his depth in the music reading world – he returned to his traditional jazz roots… Secondly, John Farrell left, I took over the piano chair, Mick Carter had been replaced by Roger Brewer on drums, and finally Gerry Smith took over the tenor sax chair. John Arthy was sometimes absent due to work commitments, and Clive Payne was an admirable dep on sousaphone. I occasionally had to take the piano chair when nobody else was available!

Click here for the Creole Dance Orchestra playing Look For The Silver Lining in 1967. We must remember that the raison d'être of the CDO was to recreate the DANCE music, not jazz, of the period. This is a rehearsal take. The tuning and recording is pretty poor, having been done on a randomly-placed Reel to Reel tape recorder with one microphone, and probably recorded in the cellar of John Arthy's bakery in London! The personnel on this recording are: Tony Cooke (1st trumpet); Teddy Fullick (2nd trumpet and ‘hot soloist’); Mick Hickey (trombone); Jo(sephine) Gurr (1st alto saxophone/clarinet); Roy Rhodes (2nd alto saxophone/clarinet); Clive Payne (tenor saxophone/clarinet); John Farrell (piano); Dave Price (banjo); John Arthy (sousaphone); Mick Carter (drums) and Chris Macdonald (director/conductor).

Eventually we found a large pub, The Brewery Tap, in Barking, Essex (Tuesdays from February 7th 1967), willing to take us once a week. We were to be paid a percentage of the evening’s bar takings to divide between us. The idea was to draw in the crowds so that we could all make lots of money! No chance…! But it did give us exposure, and we gradually became a known band on the pub scene, with a lot of help from the local newspapers and by word of mouth.

 

The following is an extract from the Ilford Pictorial – 23rd February 1967

 

Making A Hit With 'Jumble Sale' Music

The dancing years are over. Once they jumped and jitterbugged in the aisles and smooched till dawn to foot-tapping rhythms. Now the nostalgic memories of the great dance band era are etched only on recording wax. And audiences merely listen.

This is what the Creole Orchestra have found as they play a unique brand of 1920s music each week at the Brewery Tap public house. Barking.

Leader of the tail-coated orchestra, Chris Macdonald, said: 'When we formed the orchestra two years ago our aim was to play for dancing. But people prefer to come and watch. We're not really disappointed, perhaps audiences are lazy these days'.

Chris, 23 next month, explained: 'Creoles were a race originating in the Southern States of America. They were a mixture of Spanish, African and French peoples. The music they played had its heyday during the early days of jazz. It was just a name I spotted on a poster in a West End record shop ....'

 

 

 

The Green Man Leytonstone

 

The Green Man, Leytonstone in the 1960s. The pub is probably most well-known for a robbery outside by highwayman Dick Turpin on 30 April 1737.

 

By June 1967 we had moved to the Green Man in Leytonstone on Sundays. We had, by that time, added the “dancing girls”, Pat and Helen, friends of Jo Gurr, a welcome addition for our audiences! We were also joined from time to time by Martin Frith, a baritone sax player, who performed cameo sketches while the band played. One involved erecting an easel upon which he placed an empty picture frame. One of the girls would pose behind it while Martin produced a palette and a paintbrush, dressed in a cloak and a floppy hat and false moustache – the band played, while Martin pretended to paint, If I Had A Talking Picture Of You!

 

Creole Orchestra 1967

The Creole Dance Orchestra February 1967

Back, L-R: Dave Price, Roger Brewer.
Out of shot: Chris Macdonald and Clive Payne.
Front, L-R: John Parry, Algy Davies, Teddy Fullick, Tony Cooke, Jo Gurr, Roy Rhodes, Gerry Smith

 

Click here for the Creole Dance Orchestra in 1967 playing A Room With A View.

 

As in the band's Look For The Silver Lining (above), the personnel are: Tony Cooke (1st trumpet); Teddy Fullick (2nd trumpet); Mick Hickey (trombone); Jo(sephine) Gurr (1st alto saxophone/clarinet); Roy Rhodes (2nd alto saxophone/clarinet); Clive Payne (tenor saxophone/clarinet); John Farrell (piano); Dave Price (banjo); John Arthy (sousaphone); Mick Carter (drums) and Chris Macdonald (director/conductor).

Again, it should be noted that this is a rehearsal take. The tuning and recording is pretty poor, having been done on a randomly-placed Reel to Reel tape recorder with one microphone, and probably recorded in the cellar of John Arthy's bakery.

Gigs were a perpetual problem. We had very few – a big band is very expensive if one is going to keep people together and interested – other commitments were always lurking in the background. I had decided to pursue a career in teaching, and in 1968 went back to college to pursue a degree course. Study took up a lot of what spare time I had and something had to go… My mother’s telephone bill was relieved! Eventually, in early 1969, I decided to relinquish leadership to John Arthy, who bravely took on the mantle of bandleader. He promptly renamed the band 'The Pasadena Roof Orchestra'. The music stands were repainted and updated!!!

Initially the band continued with the same repertoire, inherited from the Creole Dance Orchestra. Then John had the fortune to acquire a library of 1920s and 1930s commercial orchestrations of popular dance tunes and songs. These were gradually introduced into the repertoire over a period of some three years to bolster up my hand-written contributions, and continued to be added for many years.

 

Pasadena Roof Orchestra 1969



Pasadena Roof Orchestra 1969 :


Back row: Jake Spalding, John Parry, Pete Beresford,
2nd row: Ken Hughes, Tony Cooke, Chris Macdonald, Bill Triggs, Bob Renvoize, Barry Tyler,
Seated: Pat, John Arthy, Helen, On floor: Jo Gurr.

 

Personnel of the “new” band? Roy Rhodes left and was replaced by Ken Hughes on 2nd alto. I replaced Gerry Smith on tenor sax and clarinet, and Stan Ivieson was brought in to replace me on piano. Teddy Fullick departed and was replaced on 2nd trumpet by Jake Spalding from the excellent Mike Daniels (jazz) Big Band. Algy Davies was replaced by Bob Renvoize on trombone, and Roger Brewer relinquished the drum chair to Barry Tyler. Finally we saw the arrival of vibes player Pete Beresford, on violin, to complete the picture!

Other personnel changes between 1969 and 1974 included the addition of Mike Baskerville on piano, the departure of Jake Spalding, to be replaced by Dave Manning on 2nd trumpet, and Derek Jones replaced Barry Tyler on drums. Bill Triggs on banjo was replaced by the “bookends”, Albert Sadler and John Bright! The big change, though, was the arrival of Andy Pummell, half way through a gig, to replace Jo Gurr on 1st alto. Derek Jones had been unable to make the gig and we had Phil Franklyn as a dep. During the course of the first set it became obvious that Jo didn’t like his drumming style, and announced that if he continued she would not play for the rest of the gig! Fortunately for us, Jo’s husband Tommy had that very evening brought along a young friend who had just graduated from the Royal College of Music on clarinet and saxophone. Andy came on to the stand, and never left…

Rehearsals were held weekly in the back room of the Three Pigeons in Leyton, and we were very fortunate to have pianist and trombonist Keith Nichols’ presence as musical director on occasions. Recordings were made, initially, at Regent Sound Studios in Denmark Street, London, where we produced a demo EP, with Keith present. The tracks were Pasadena, Sweet and Hot, Sing Holly, Go Whistle, Hey, Hey, and I’ve Got You Crying Again. I seem to recollect that Stan Ivieson was not present, and we had Mike Baskerville, and that Keith overdubbed some of the piano work…?

Gigs weren’t that forthcoming. We were often at local hockey and rugby club’s “1920s Balls”, and a few private functions. One opportunity missed was when the Pasadena Roof Orchestra was asked to replace the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band when they left their Wednesday night residency at the Duragon Arms, Hackney. We did just 4 weeks before the Management decided that perhaps we weren’t the same sort of draw as the Bonzos, who used to absolutely pack the pub – standing room only? There weren’t any seats in the first place! The one really successful residency was at the Mitre, on the south Tunnel Approach to the Blackwall Tunnel – we consistently drew large audiences.

 

Pasadena Roof Orchestra 1974

The 1974 Pasadena Roof Orchestra as on the Transatlantic Records recording:


L-R: Bob Renvoize, Tony Cooke, Dave Manning, Pete Beresford, Albert Sadler, Derek Jones, John Arthy, John Parry, John Bright, Stan Ivieson, Andy Pummell, Ken Hughes, Clive Payne

 

Then the Transatlantic Records approach led us to Chipping Norton Studios in July 1974 – my last performing connection with the Pasadena Roof Orchestra was as MD on the session. Clive Payne was recalled to take over my tenor sax and clarinet seat when I was appointed to my first teaching post in Havant, Hampshire in September 1974. I had to move to the south coast, and there a new temptation appeared! Harry Strutters Hot Rhythm Orchestra needed a new sax player! I joined on 1st September 1974, and I’m still there!!! 

To that point in 1974 the PRO had been basically a semi-professional outfit, most members having “proper” jobs. When the big step was taken to become fully professional in 1975, due to an amazing rise in interest in, and appreciation of what they were doing, both at home and in Europe, it wasn’t that long before several long-standing members decided that they were not in a position to continue with the Orchestra, leading to some changes in band personnel, and those chairs were taken over by seasoned professionals.

Finally, those who had decided that the professional route was not for them, for a variety of reasons, resumed their semi-professional stance, recruited a few new faces and continued to perform for some years as the Rainbow Dance Orchestra, based around the South West Essex/North East London region.

Click here for previous articles in Chris Macdonald's 'Looking Back' series.

 

 

Two Ears Three Eyes

 

Markus Stockhausen

Markus Stockhausen

 

Photographer Brian O'Connor went to this gig at the Watrmill Jazz Club in Dorking in March and his friend Gerard Sands describes the event: (Markus Stockhausen is the son of composer Karlheinz Stockhausen):

The gig by a duo of trumpeter Markus Stockhausen and pianist Florian Weber at the Watermill Jazz Club in Dorking in March didn’t start promisingly, numbers were considerably down on the usual attendance for the club - my guess is that the majority of members were unfamiliar with Markus’ own music and were put off by the challenging reputation of his father’s works, or maybe it was just the rival attraction of Celebrity Bake Off on TV - and the musicians were clearly tired, having driven that day from Germany. However, if their attitude at the start was one of ‘since we’re here we might as well play’, it was soon clear that these are two artists who live for their music and give their all to it. 

Both Markus and Florian have extensive recording careers, occasionally together but each in a variety of other contexts, and the concert covered compositions by each of them; Markus’s material generally a little gentler, Florian’s more intense, but the two gelled perfectly. Florian stuck to piano and said little except when vocalising along to his playing, Markus played mostly flugelhorn but occasionally switched to trumpet or piccolo trumpet. He also provided wry commentary - reminiscing about his first visit to England when he had played with his father at the Royal Festival Hall and the Barbican he mused that “and here we are now playing in a room in a golf club. This next song is called ‘There’s Always Hope’.”

Click here for a video of Markus Stockhausen and Florian Weber playing Inside Out.

Their efforts weren’t in vain because although the audience was smaller than they might have been used to we were all enthralled, a personal highlight being when Markus played his trumpet directly into the piano, producing a range of interesting and beautiful harmonics, a technique that I don’t think I’ve ever seen before. Thanks are due to Markus and Florian for a wonderful evening of music, and also to the Watermill Jazz Club for their adventurous and eclectic booking policy.

 

Florian Weber

 

Florian Weber

 

 

Croydon Photographic Exhibition of Brian O'Connor's Photographs

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

 

Dexter Gordon

Dexter Gordon

All pictures © Brian O'Connor, Images Of Jazz

 

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

Brian O'Connor

 

 

Brian O'Connor

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

 

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

 

 

The Clocktower Cafe also hosts a weekly jazz gig on a Thursday between 12.15-2.15pm.  Entry is free but a donation is required.  Should you wish to combine a visit to the exhibition with some more live jazz the gigs are as follows (always check before travelling):-

5th April: Spencer Brown, bass :  Martin Hathaway, alto. : Mark Ridout, guitar
12th April: Oz Duchaine, bass : Graeme Flowers, trumpet : Terry Seabrook, keyboards
19th April: Mark Crooks, tenor : Allison Neale, alto : Dave Warren, guitar
26th April: Renato D'Aiello, sax : Jay Darwish, bass : Dave Warren, guitar.

 

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).

 

 

 

Departure Lounge

 

Information has arrived about the following musicians or people connected to jazz who have passed through the 'Departure Lounge' since our last update. Click on their names to read their obituaries where we have them:

 

Didier Lockwood

 

 

 

Didier Lockwood - French jazz violinist. He played in the progressive rock/jazz fusion band Magma in the 1970s and was known for his use of electric amplification and experimentation on different sounds on the electric violin. Lockwood's influences included fusion violinist Jean-Luc Ponty. He took up the electric violin after hearing Ponty play. Another important influence was fellow Frenchman Stéphane Grappelli. In 2000, Lockwood recorded a tribute album to Grappelli. Click here for a 2017 film featuring the Didier Lockwood Quartet (1 hour).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buell Neidlinger

 

 

Buell Neidlinger - American bass player who started out playing classical music and Dixieland jazz with Eli's Chosen Six. In 1956 he joined pianist Cecil Taylor and later became a member of the Houston Symphony Orchestra and Boston Symphony Orchestra. He spent almost 30 years as the principal bassist in the Warner Bros. Studio Orchestra. He had a significant role in the establishment of free jazz, took part in the premieres of works by John Cage and Igor Stravinsky and had credits on numerous hit songs and soundtracks. Click here to listen to Buell with Cecil Taylor from the album "New York City R&B" with Billy Higgins, drums and tympani.


Photograph by Drew Kampion

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 


Some Recent Releases

 

UK

Tom Ridout - No Excuses

Alexander Hawkins / Elaine Mitchener - Uproot

Andy Sheppard Quartet - Romaria

Cloudmakers Five - Traveling Pulse

Zoe Francis - Remembering Blossom Dearie

Jeff Williams - Lifelike

Alycona Mick and Tori Freestone - Criss Cross

Paula Rae-Gibson and Sam Leak - Permission

Eyebrow - Strata

 

America

Adam Nussbaum - The Leadbelly Project

Martin Wind - Light Blue

Mary Halvorson - Code Girl

Anat Cohen / Fred Hersch - Live In Healdsburg

Julian Lage - Modern Law

Kairos Sextet - Transition

 

Europe

Henri Texier Twiga Quintet - Sand Woman

Bobo Stenson Trio - Contra La Indecisión

Eyolf Dale - Return To Mind

Verneri Pohjola and Mika Kallio - Animal Image

Hank Jones - In Copenhagen

 

Re-Releases

Zoot Money's Big Roll Band - Big Time Operator

Edmond Hall with the Ralph Sutton Quartette - Live At Club Hangover

Art Pepper - Smack Up

Jack Hylton And His Orchestra - Just Humming Along

Helen Humes - The Helen Humes Collection : 1927-1962

 

 

 

 

 

Tom Ridout - No Excuses
(33 Jazz Records) - Released: 1st November 2017

Tom Ridout (saxophones, alto and bass recorders); Rob Luft (guitar); Billy Marrows (guitar); Will Barry (piano, keyboards); Flo Moore (bass); Phelan Burgoyne (drums); Alexandra Ridout (trumpet, flugelhorn); Ann Drysdale (french horn); Elliot Pooley (trombone); Anastasia Stahlmann, Didier Osindero (violin); Anita Kurowska (viola); Cecilia Bignall (cello).

Tom Ridout No Excuses

 

 

Debut release from the award winning young saxophonist, Tom Ridout, featuring his sister, Young Musician of The Year Alexandra Ridout, guitarists Rob Luft and Billy Marrows, with Will Barry on piano, Flo Moore on bass and drummer Phelan Burgoyne. The Group is joined on some tracks by Anna Drysdale, french horn, Elliot Pooley on trombone and a string section - Anastasia Stahlmann, 1st violin, Didier Osindero, 2nd violin, Anita Kurowska, viola and cellist Cecilia Bignall. 'Sometimes young musicians, striving for their own sound, lose touch with the beauty of jazz. No Excuses avoids this trap. The album is an assembly of talented musicians taking us through an array of moods with the energy and unboundedness of youth. Tom Ridout's technical accomplishment is clear, but he doesn't need to prove it so often. If he can further mature the narrative abilities he so evidently possesses, Ridout the elder will be very exciting indeed' (All About Jazz).

Details and Samples : Review **** : Video of Tom Ridout performing his original, 'No Excuses', in the BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year 2016.

 

 

 

 

 

Alexander Hawkins / Elaine Mitchener Quartet - Uproot
(Intakt Records ) - Released: 17th November 2017

Alexander Hawkins (piano); Elaine Mitchener (vocals); Neil Charles (bass); Stephen Davis (drums).

Alexander Hawkins Elaine Mitchener Quartet Uproot

 

Brian Morton writes in the liner notes: 'This is music that speaks directly to our condition, our uprootedness and our strange fixities of purpose alike. It is clever and emotional. It comes out of jazz, and a whole lot else besides. Mathematicians have mostly done their great work by the age of 30. Musicians often continue to mature for decades. Here is a group, populated by some of our most singular and precious talents, whose greatest talent is to communicate, and whose music already bears the signs of maturity and longevity'.

Details and Samples : Review **** :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Andy Sheppard Quartet - Romaria
(ECM) - Released: 16th February 2018

Andy Sheppard (tenor and soprano saxophones); Eivind Aarset (guitar); Michel Benita (double bass); Sebastian Rochford (drums).

Andy Sheppard Quartet Romaria

 

 

'With a penchant for the intimacy and the subtlety, British saxophonist Andy Sheppard, earned international reputation while playing with Gil Evans, George Russell, and Carla Bley. His new ECM album, Romaria, features experienced bandmates from early recordings: Norwegian guitarist Eivind Aarset, Algerian-born French bassist Michel Benita, and Scottish drummer Sebastian Rochford ..... Sheppard’s compositions and leadership reflect his experience as a musician. The pure, full-bodied timbre of his sax, diffusing favourable energy in an effortless way, fortifies the luxury of his impeccably layered compositions'. (Filipe Freitas, JazzTrail)

ECM Details and Samples : Full JazzTrail review : Purchase Details and Samples

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cloudmakers Five - Traveling Pulse
(Whirlwind Recordings) - Released: 23rd February 2018

Jim Hart (vibraphone); Michael Janisch (double bass); Dave Smith (drums); Antonin-Tri Hoang (alto saxophone, clarinet); Hannes Riepler (guitar).

Cloudmakers Five Traveling Pulse

 

 

‘Under the leadership of vibraphonist Jim Hart, Cloudmakers Five is the new band grown from his long-standing Cloudmakers Trio with Michael Janisch and David Smith, now augmented with Austrian-born guitarist Hannes Riepler and French-based alto saxophonist Antonin Tri Hoang .... With their uncompromising approach, Cloudmakers Trio has been known to effortlessly marry the complex with accessibility, the improvised with composed, and showcase original music that lies somewhere between New York’s downtown sound and the modern European tradition – their music defies easy category yet draws influence from a diverse range of traditions, featuring the under-exploited format of the vibraphone trio’. (Whirlwind Recordings). 'Once I knew who I was writing for, the music came very quickly, and it was so freeing to have all these ‘colors’ available. I found I could now share the responsibility of covering the harmonic and melodic elements, while affording each player room to express themselves'. (Jim Hart). The album was recorded live at the Vortex Jazz Club in London.

Details and Samples : Listen to The Exchange from the album : video of a live performance of The Exchange : video of a live performance of Golden.

 

 

 

 

 

Zoe Francis - Remembering Blossom Dearie
(Zoe Francis Records) - Released: February 2018

Zoe Francis (vocals); Jim Mullen (guitar); Barry Green (piano); Mick Hutton (bass).

Zoe Francis Remembering Blossom Dearie

 

 

'Remembering Blossom Dearie' is a selection of songs Blossom made famous, including songs by Cy Coleman, prolific duo writing team Comden and Green, and Dave Frishberg, who wrote I’m Hip and Peel Me A Grape. London born Zoe Francis began singing at the Barry Harris workshops in New York, performing her first gigs in Manhattan with musicians including, Jo Cohn, Harry Allen and Howard Alden, and also sitting in with Frank Wess, Warren Vache and Ken Peplowski. Returning to the UK, Zoe performed and recorded her first album Looking For A Boy with award-winning pianist Dave Newton. Her second album The Very Thought of You was with an all-star group including, saxophonist Stan Sulzmann and pianist Gareth Williams, recorded live at London’s 606 club.

Article on this website by Howard Lawes :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jeff Williams - Lifelike
(Whirlwind Recordings) - Released: 20th April 2018

Jeff Williams (drums); John O'Gallagher (alto saxophone); Josh Arcoleo (tenor saxophone); Kit Downes (piano); Sam Lasserson (bass); guest Gonçalo Marquez (trumpet).

Jeff Williams Lifelike

 

Dividing his time between Brooklyn and London, veteran drummer Jeff Williams is in the midst of an exceptional run on the Whirlwind Recordings label. Outlier, in 2016, showcased his working UK quintet in a set hailed by All About Jazz for its “imaginative compositions and excellent musicianship.” Lifelike, the follow-up, finds Williams and the group live on the bandstand, with a tweak in personnel and an expansion to sextet with the addition of guest trumpeter Gonçalo Marquez. “Lifelike is another way of saying ‘live,’” he muses about the album title. “The word is usually ascribed to inanimate objects and I always found it humorous. Basically, I felt that this recording has ‘life’ in it, the kind of life embodied in a live performance .... “My own compositions come from different periods,” Williams says. “‘Borderline’ and ‘Lament’ are from the ’90s, others quite recent. All are conceived at the piano: sometimes I just write down the notes as they present themselves, or sometimes I’ll play one for an extended period while learning to improvise on the form and tweaking the harmony, as was the case with ‘The Interloper'. I’m looking for balance between songs with structure and open forms so that the players have freedom to express their own conception.” (Whirlwind Recordings).

Details and UK Tour dates April - June : Video of Dream Visitor live : Article on this site by Robin Kidson : Purchase Details :

 

 

 

 

 

Alycona Mick and Tori Freestone - Criss Cross
(Whirlwind Recordings) - Released: 23rd March 2018

Tori Freestone (tenor and soprano saxophone, flute); Alcyona Mick (piano); Brigitte Beraha (voice tracks 1 and 8)

Alcyone Mick Tori Freestone Criss Cross

 

 

'Known for diverse roles in jazz, folk and world music, Freestone and Mick have been friends for years, performing together in different ensembles, including the London Jazz Orchestra. But it was casual duo explorations in music from their combined eclectic influences, taking in the output of Thelonious Monk, which led to an enthusiastic invitation from Manchester Jazz Festival's artistic director, Steve Mead, to develop the project for live performance in 2015 ... "this project especially engders warmth, enjoyment and openness amongst the intensity and complexity. It's both fun and heavy - a developing journey through the material and styles we love ...." (Whirlwind Recordings and Tori Freestone)'.

Details : Introductory Video : Listen to Hermetica :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paula Rae-Gibson and Sam Leak - Permission
(33 Extreme) - Released: 30th March 2017

Paula Rae-Gibson (vocals, lyrics, photography, filmography), Sam Leak (piano)

Paula Rae Gibson Sam Leak Permission

 

 

'Permission is a melodic, free-jazz exploration based upon lyrics and poetry by Rae-Gibson. The two musicians have developed a synergetic approach to real-time composition, with the combined goal of expressing an unapologetically raw and intimate underlying emotion. Embracing the unknown, they let the music guide them as it happens, resulting in a very immediate honesty and integrity. Sometimes dark, sometimes joyful, prepared piano interplays with confessional vocals as the pair examine their own experiences of the ups and the downs of love and relationships' (press information).

Details : Samples : listen to Rather Make Believe Than Make Do :

 

 

 

 

 

Eyebrow - Strata
(Bandcamp / eyebrowmusic.com) - Released October 2017

Pete Judge (trumpet, electronics); Paul Wigens (drums, percussion, violin, bowed guitar).

Eyebrow Strat

 

 

 

Eyebrow is a trumpet and drums duo based in Bristol UK. Its music evolves out of improvisations which are reassembled into structured pieces with an unexpectedly cinematic sweep, like journeys through slowly-changing landscapes. "Music of quiet imagination and intimate beauty" (Richard Williams). Pete Judge and Paul Wigens both work with the award winning band Get The Blessing as well as many other ensembles.

Details, Samples and listen to Gravity Waves : Video : The Eyebrow website.

 

 

 

 

 

American Releases

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

 

Adam Nussbaum – The Leadbelly Project
(Sunnyside Records) – Released: 23rd February 2018

Ohad Talmor (tenor saxophone); Steve Cardenas (guitar); Nate Radley (guitar); Adam Nussbaum (drums).

Adam Nussbaum The Leadbelly Project

 

 

'On The Leadbelly Project, (Adam Nussbaum’s) first work as a sole leader, he draws from the American roots, focusing on treasured repertoire by the influential blues and folk singer/songwriter Lead Belly, but still adding a couple of kindred compositions of his own. Besides being a powerful singer, Leadbelly was a dedicated 12-string guitar strummer. Hence, the choice of two guitars to revive the rawness of his bluesy tones through an entirely up-to-date perspective doesn’t feel particularly surprising. Playing in tandem yet resorting to sweet-tempered counterpoint, guitarists Steve Cardenas and Nate Radley join the drummer in a bass-less quartet rounded out by saxophonist Ohad Talmor. .... Nussbaum’s drumming has that kind of shining quality that rewards the collective and enhances the tunefulness of the music. Throbbing with marvellous interplay and filled with compelling tonal colours, this project provides us with an optimum revitalization of the folk and blues genres, here seamlessly merged with the exciting language of jazz'.

Details and Samples : Full JazzTrail Review : Video of live performance of Black Betty

 

 

 

 

 

Martin Wind – Light Blue
(Laika Records) – Released: 2nd March 2018

Martin Wind (upright bass, acoustic bass guitar); Ingrid Jensen (trumpet); Scott Robinson (saxophones, clarinet, taragota); Anat Cohen (clarinet); Gary Versace (organ, piano); Bill Cunliffe (piano); Maucha Adnet (vocals); Matt Wilson (drums); Duduka Da Fonseca (drums).

Martin Wind Light Blue

 

 

'German-born, New-York based bassist Martin Wind, is a respected bandleader whose first work was released 25 years ago. His new album, Light Blue, is divided into two different parts/recordings ..... For the first five compositions, he leads a more robust quintet .... The remaining five tunes are held by a new group with strong Brazilian accent called De Norte a Sul ... Mostly sailing in straight-ahead waters, ... he composes and hears harmony and rhythm, making Light Blue a satisfying stop for fans of easy-listening jazz and amicable tropical rhythms'.

Details and Sample : Full JazzTrail Review : Video Introduction

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mary Halvorson - Code Girl
(Firehouse 12 Records) - Released: 30th March 2018

Mary Halvorson (guitar); Ambrose Akinmusire (trumpet); Amirtha Kidambi (vocals); Michael Formanek (acoustic bass); Tomas Fujiwara (drums).

Mary Halvorson Code Girl

 

 

'Guitarist Mary Halvorson is known for her ability to create wayward yet rich soundscapes. She has been spreading sonic charms in fruitful collaborations, usually in duo and trio formats. However, it was leading her nonet that she definitely caught the jazz world’s attention, in a rapturous record from 2016 entitled Away With Me. Now she’s back with a brand new experience permeated with genre-bending ideas, having penned lyrics and music of the 14 appealing tracks that compose Code Girl, a vocalized album envisioned for the quintet of the same name. ... The longest piece on the record and also one of the most beautiful, “The Unexpected Natural Phenomenon” is a dramatic avant-garde excursion with lugubrious arco bass work, impeccable vocal technique, expressive guitar phrases constantly falling ‘outside’ the expected, and poised drumming ... With an enviable openness and a propensity to explore the unknown, the unrivaled Halvorson crafts a fantastic album that I urge you to enjoy out loud'. (JazzTrail).

Details and Samples : Full JazzTrail Review : Video of solo by Mary Halvorson :

 

 

 

 

Anat Cohen / Fred Hersch - Live In Healdsburg
(Anzic Records) - Released: 8th March 2018

Anat Cohen (clarinet); Fred Hersch (piano)

Anat Cohen Fred Hersch Live In Healdsburg

 

 

'On their debut duo record, world-class instrumentalists Anat Cohen and Fred Hersch, clarinetist and pianist, respectively, included originals and carefully selected repertoire, whose variety enriches sonic possibilities as it supplements their creative vein. This intimate recording session was part of the 2016 Healdsburg Jazz Festival's lineup and comes in the sequence of very personal works recently put out by the two artists ... After Fats Waller’s emblematic “Jitterbug Waltz”, here re-invented with a playful intro from piano, expressive musical smiles, and loose-limbed interplay with some rhythmic wallops, the recording comes to an end with the amicable serenity of Ellington’s classic “Mood Indigo” ... Inspiring each other and divinely ingratiated by their natural talent and musical sophistication, Cohen and Hersch make effortless music. This cute live recording, warmly temperate and melodic, makes for a pleasant listen'. (JazzTrail).

Details and Samples : Full JazzTrail Review : Video of Child's Song performed live :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Julian Lage - Modern Law
(Mack Avenue) - Released: 2nd February 2018

Julian Lage (guitar); Scott Colley (double bass); Kenny Wollesen (drums); Tyler Chester (keyboards); Jesse Harris (maracas, casio, acoustic guitar).

Julian Lage Modern Law

 

 

'Guitarist Julian Lage recorded his new album, Modern Lore, with a quality lineup of musicians ... Fusing country, rockabilly, and jazz, “The Ramble” takes you to a spine-tingling rollercoaster, erupting in a stunning guitar solo whose point of entrance is impactful enough to make you alert. ... With techniques, styles, and lucid tones being constantly cross-wired and recombined, we can appreciate the easy listening pop/rock of “Splendor Riot”, the bluesy rodeo style of the hard-swinging “Look Book”, the Roy Orbison-esque lament of “Whatever You Say, Henry”, and the free state of mind of “Earth Science”, where the musicians endorse exploration. Far more reflective is the closing tune, “Pantheon”, abandoning the tradition in favor of a modern harmonization and shifting tempos. Regardless if this is your style or not, it’s undeniable the superb instrumental outfits created by an ambitious rising-star who, without wasting time, is carving out his own space. He's making his way with a sui generis sound and a sure sense of direction, just like Bill Frisell and Pat Metheny did'. (JazzTrail).

Details and Samples : Full JazzTrail Review : Video of Roger The Dodger played live :

 

 

 

 

 

Kairos Sextet - Transition
(Dafnisonmusic) - Released: 15th December 2017

Sam Neufeld (trumpet); Tom Kelly (alto and soprano saxophones); Sean Johnson (tenor saxophone); Nick Lamb (piano); Jon Dadurka (upright and electric bass); Johnathan Hulett (drums).

Kairos Sextet Transition

 

 

'Every single member of this band penned at least one tune for this work, which also contains an interesting reinvention of the standard "I Remember You". The arrangement by Kelly is fabulous, altering the traditional chord progression, favoring post-bop modulations, and still sticking to the most common swinging drive that normally characterizes the song. ... The sextet proves to have that desirable rapport that allows them to scintillate with creativity. Each individual statement feels hand-in-glove with the written material and Prieto has all the reasons to be flattered and proud of this band'. (JazzTrail).

Details and Samples : Full JazzTrail Review : Videos

 

 

 

 

 

European Releases

 

Henri Texier Twiga Quintet - Sand Woman
(Bleu) - Released: 2nd February 2018.

Sébastien Texier (Alto Sax, Clarinet); Manu Codjia (Guitar); Vincent Le Quang (Tenor Sax, Soprano Sax); Gautier Garrigue (Drums)

Henri Texier Sand Woman

 

My choice this month comes from one of the true giants of European jazz. Now in his 70s, Henri Texier came to prominence in France in the 1960s as an early follower of Ornette Coleman. He worked extensively with Martial Solal, Lee Konitz, Phil Woods, Gordon Beck and also with Don Cherry.  In the 1970s he formed a popular trio with Louis Sclavis and Aldo Romano. Since then he has constantly formed and re-formed a series of bands, encouraging many young musicians – these days usually including his talented son Sebastien.  His compositions have also developed, pursuing his interests in African and Native American sounds. This latest group comprises: Sébastien Texier (Alto Sax, Clarinet); Manu Codjia (Guitar); Vincent Le Quang (Tenor Sax, Soprano Sax) and Gautier Garrigue (Drums). In many ways the music is quite conventional.  It swings, and it follows a standard theme and improvisation structure.  Texier's bass playing is characterised by a big booming distinctive sound.  The improvisation style is probably best described as post-bop.  What is outstanding, apart from each of the individual musicians, is the interactions between them which makes the whole thing sound like one of those groups that has been playing together for years. All the tracks on this CD are 10-12 minutes long and that means that they all have time to develop melodically and to allow extended soloing – it's rare to find that these days. Highly recommended. (Peter Slavid)

Details and Samples : Video :

Peter Slavid (Peter Slavid hosts a monthly, 2 hour radio show at www.mixcloud.com/ukjazz and says: 'The programme has a very specific purpose. The show is entirely European and entirely modern'. Peter shares his 'album of the month' with us).

 

 

 

 

Bobo Stenson Trio - Contra La Indecisión
(ECM) - Released: 19th January 2018

Bobo Stenson (piano); Anders Jormin (double bass); Jon Fält (drums).

Bob Stenson Trio Contra La Indecision

 

The Swedish pianist, Bobo Stenson has always been a serious contender.  One massive indicator is his early championing of the mercurial Ornette Coleman/Don Cherry partnership. Paul Bley excepted, there was a time when pianists retreated from the implications of Ornette’s harmolodics.  To be fair, initially Ornette Coleman kept his distance from keyboards.  Bobo Stenson and the great German piano player, Joachim Kühn, both got underneath Mr Coleman’s open lyrical line, refreshing the music in a way that confirmed Don Cherry’s move to Scandinavia. Stenson/Jormin’s presence on the overlooked late Cherry masterpiece, Donna Nostra (track What Reason Could I Give here), also on ECM, is proof positive of their commitment to following ‘the line’.

‘The line’ is at the crux of this new album. As the title indicates – the flow of ‘song’ throughout this session is in the complete opposite direction to indecision. The spontaneity of the note narrative is fabulous. Bassist, Anders Jormin composed almost half of these eleven tracks.  His pluck and arco throughout is like a springboard for the pianist. They act like one. Whether it be Erik Satie’s Elégie, or Mr Jormin’s Doubt Thou The Stars or his robust, Stilla, the emphasis is always decisively on how far the trio can stretch the line of collective interaction within the inherent lyricism. For my money, Bobo Stenson is still not given the accolades he deserves: A true giant of contemporary jazz piano. Don’t be indecisive, I urge you to listen.

Steve Day     www.stevedaywordsandmusic.co.uk 

Details and Samples : Purchase Details : Video of Bobo Stenson Trio playing live in 2017

 

 

 

Eyolf Dale - Return To Mind
(Edition Records) - Released: 2nd March 2018

Eyolf Dale (piano); Hayden Powell (trumpet, flugelhorn); André Roligheten (tenor saxophone, clarinet); Adrian Løseth Waade (violin); Kristoffer Kompen (trombone, euphonium); Rob Waring (vibraphone); Per Zanussi (bass); Gard Nilssen (drums)

Eyolf Dale Return To Mind

 

 

'Return to Mind is the new album from Norwegian pianist Eyolf Dale. Since releasing his Edition debut in June 2016, the poetic and expressive Wolf Valley, Eyolf Dale has expanded and developed his already elegant and warm sound into a powerfully emotive force. Radiating elegance and poise, Return To Mind confirms Eyolf Dale’s promise and reputation as a strong band leader, creative composer and an expressive soloist with a taste for melodies and interplay that summons powerful musical images' (Edition Records). 'Music for me is a personal statement, a musical representation of my imagination. I often start with images, sometimes abstract, sometimes stemming more from reality ...' (Eyolf Dale).

Details and Samples : Video Introduction : Review **** :

 

 

 

 

 

Verneri Pohjola and Mika Kallio - Animal Image
(Edition Records) - Released: 23rd February 2018

Verneri Pohjola (trumpet, electronics); Mika Kallio (drums and gongs)

Verneri Pohjola Mika Kallio Animal Image

 

'Animal Image is a soundtrack album to a poetic documentary about the infinite relationship between man and animal. Edited to an improvised score by Finnish trumpeter Verneri Pohjola and percussionist Mika Kallio, the film illustrates the emotional bond between man and animal beyond the boundaries of written language or fictional storylines. The movie depicts nature-photographer and writer Heikki Willamo’s journey to the landscape of the post ice-age northern wilderness to explore man’s ancient relationship to his prey and Willamo’s personal encounters with the inhabitants of the northern woods. Man, bear, sky and fire: the Finnish forest is a place like nowhere else, a place of dreams and the imagination, an ancient place where its denizens live in the shadows'. (Edition Records). 'When I saw the breathtakingly expressive footage for the first time, I immediately recognized this as something too inspiring to retract myself from. And as the project developed I realized, that probably no other project or person has ever treated my music with such a respect and vision'. (Verneri Pohjola).

Details and Sample : Video : Review ****

 

 

 

 

 

Hank Jones - In Copenhagen
(Storyville Records) - Released: 2018

Hank Jones (piano); Mads Vinding (bass); Shelly Manne (drums)

Hank Jones In Copenhagen

 

 

This well recorded live performance is a set of previously unreleased music from June 6, 1983.  ‘In the 1970s and 1980s, Jazzhus Slukefter in Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen, was the site for a large number of live recordings release by Storyville. Hank Jones brought Danish bassist Mads Vinding with him, a bassist with a large sound, the ability to take very original solos, and a love for straight ahead jazz. The third name on the stage was drummer Shelly Manne .... This 1983 concert consists of nine jazz standards. Jones takes the lion’s share of the solo spots, changing his style between that of a classical bebop pianist and other times swinging elegantly like Teddy Wilson. The masterful trio comes up with creative variations and give all the songs on the release rewardingly fresh treatments’. (Storyville Records)..

Details and Samples : Listen to the album on Soundcloud :

 

 

 

 

Re-Releases

 

Zoot Money's Big Roll Band - Big Time Operator
(Repertoire Records) - Released: 26th January 2018 [4 CD Box Set]

Zoot Money (vocals, organ,piano); Nick Newell, Clive Burrows (saxophones and flute); Andy Summers (guitar); Paul Williams (bass, vocals); Colin Allen (drums)

Zoot Money Big Time Operator

 

 

 

'Zoot Money's Big Roll Band was one of the most popular and entertaining groups of the British R&B boom era. A charismatic personality, soulful singer and cool Hammond organist, Zoot was much loved by the Mods who flocked to his shows at London's 'in' clubs like The Flamingo. The Beatles and Rolling Stones were among his greatest fans. The Big Roll Band boasted an array of top class musicians, including guitarist Andy Summers, later to find fame with The Police, saxophonists Johnny Almond and Nick Newall, singer/bass player Paul Williams and drummer Colin Allen. This essential 4 CD box set collection captures the band playing soul, jazz and R&B hits on stage and in the studio with energy,drive and humour. ... Detailed liner notes, complete with new interviews with Zoot Money and a brilliantly written foreword by Andy Summers, reminiscing about the unique atmosphere of the Flamingo Club, help make this eagerly awaited Box Set an essential release for all lovers of Big Rollin R&B at its best' (publicity notes).

Details : Video :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edmond Hall with the Ralph Sutton Quartette - Live At Club Hangover [2 CDs]
(Sounds Of Yesteryear) - Released: 13th October 2017

Edmond Hall (clarinet); Ralph Sutton (piano) Clyde Hurley (trumpet), Walter Page (bass), Charlie Lodice (drums).

Edmond Hall Ralph Sutton album

 

 

Edmond Hall worked as a farm-hand, but by 1919 he had become tired of the hard work, and despite his parents’ worries of finding a decent job as a musician, he left for New Orleans. The first New Orleans band he played with was that of Bud Rousell and he was to go on to grace the bands of many of the most famous names in Jazz. On this double CD he is featured with the Ralph Sutton Quartet. Ralph Sutton was a stride pianist born in Missouri whose style was in the tradition of James P. Johnson and Fats Waller.

 Details : Listen to Black and Blue :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Art Pepper - Smack Up
(Poll Winners) - Released: 9th February 2018

Art Pepper (alto saxophone); Jack Sheldon (trumpet); Pete Jolly (piano); Jimmy Bond (bass); Frank Butler (drums) plus Jack Sheldon Nonet: Jack Sheldon, Chet Baker (trumpet); Art Pepper, Herb Geller (alto soxophone); Harold Land (tenor saxophone); Paul Moer (piano); Buddy Clark (bass); Mel Lewis (drums).

Art Pepper Smack Up

 

 

'This release contains Art Pepper’s complete original album "Smack Up" (Contemporary S7602). Recorded in a quintet format with trumpeter Jack Sheldon, "Smack Up" marks Pepper’s second to last album as a leader before entering prison to serve the longest of his drug-related sentences (after a short session as a sideman in January 1961 he entered San Quentin and wouldn’t record again until May 1964, or lead a studio date until 1973). The only tune from the soundtrack to the film 'The Subterraneans' by a quintet co-led by Pepper and Sheldon, as well as a complete 1959 nonet session, featuring both musicians in the esteemed company of Chet Baker, Harold Land and Mel Lewis, have been added as a bonus'. (Publicity notes). 'If Pepper was under pressure due to his imminent incarceration it didn't have any negative effect on his playing. As feisty as ever, his readily identifiable signature sounds resonate through this magnificent album ...' (Roy Carr, Jazzwise)

Purchase and Details : Review and Samples from earlier release of Smack Up :

 

 

 

 

Jack Hylton and his Orchestra - Just Humming Along
(Halcyon) - Released: 15th December 2017

Jack Hylton and his Orchestra featuring Pat O'Malley (vocals)

Jack Hylton Just Humming Along

 

 

'Featuring vocalist Pat O'Malley, this collection draws attention to what was Britain's top-selling dance orchestra of the early 1930s, playing passable jazz and demonstrating fine musicianship and ensemble cohesion'. (Alyn Shipton in Jazzwise).

Details :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Helen Humes - The Helen Humes Collection 1927 - 1962
(Acrobat) - Released: 8th August 2017 [2 CDs]

Helen Humes (vocals) with various personnel.

The Helen Humes Collection

 

'Helen Humes was a blues and jazz singer who defied categorisation, working successfully as a big band vocalist with Harry James and then replacing Billie Holiday in Count Basie's orchestra, as a classic blues performer and R&B/jump blues hitmaker during the 1940s, a noted jazz stylist in the 50s and, during her later career, a sophisticated interpreter of ballads and popular songs. This great-value 49-track 2-CD comprises recordings from across more than three decades of her career, from her studio debut as a 14-year-old in 1927 through to the early 60s. As well as including some of her titles with James and Basie, it encompasses recordings with some of top blues, R&B and names of the 40s, including Dizzy Gillespie, Roy Milton, Buck Clayton, Pete Brown, Leonard Feather, Bill Doggett and Dexter Gordon, plus noted recordings with Red Norvo in the 50s, and live recordings done in London in the early 60s with T-Bone Walker, Memphis Slim and Willie Dixon. It naturally features her two big Top 10 R&B chart hits of the 40s, Be-Baba-Leba and Million Dollar Secret. Its a varied and highly entertaining showcase for her very special talent'. (Album notes).

Details and Samples : Video of a live performance of Million Dollar Secret from 1979.

 

 

 

 

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We regularly receive requests for information about musicians, music, etc. Responses sometimes come months after we have featured the request so we have started a separate page. Please click here to see if you can help ...



 

 

 

UK Jazz Venues Near You

 

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

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

 

 

Jazz Talks: Buckinghamshire and Norwich Areas

Buckinghamshire:

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

Norwich:

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

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

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