WHAT'S NEW

FacebookFollow us on Facebook

Tracks Unwrapped
Full Focus

 

People Profiles
Forum

 

Sandy Brown Jazz
Would you like us to let you know each time this magazine page is updated?
Click HERE for our mailing list and we will email you when an update is made.

February 2017

Click for this month's:
New Releases
Jazz Venues

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

Sidney was drinking with a bunch of musicians in Bricktops Club when a row broke out over who should buy the next round. A disaffected group including guitarist Mike McKendrick and pianist Glover Compton, feeling that it was Bechet who should have the honour, left in a huff and went to another bar. Glover Compton remembered the incident like this:

Sidney eventually went and got a revolver, Mike had one in his pocket. And anyway, Sidney passes the Costa Bar and looked in there for Mike. Mike stepped out on the sidewalk and I stepped out right behind Mike. And when I stepped out that's when the shooting started. And the first shot got me right through the leg right up to the knee.

Two innocent onlookers were also wounded, although Bechet and McKendrick were sent down for fifteen months. They were released after about a year for good behaviour, but the trauma had turned Bechet's hair grey. Although he was still in his mid-thirties, he suddenly had the appearance of a grave patriarch. It was something he would exploit very cleverly before too long ...

 

Sidney Bechet

 

... Bechet's innate graciousness was always evident, except when the Mr Hyde aspect of his personality suddenly flared up. (Wild Bill) Davison witnessed a pre-recording discussion between Sidney and pianist Joe Sullivan .... Bechet got so riled by the backchat he was receiving that he pulled a knife on the pianist and threatened, 'One more crack and I'll cut your head off!'

... When he was feeling tranquil, however, Bechet could charm anyone, particularly women ... It seems that it was not just the jazz historians who were beguiled by his grey hair ... The young man who had hired (the band) warned (Max) Kaminsky that his mother was a bit straight-laced and did not care for jazz ... about half an hour later he saw the dowager perched on Sidney Bechet's knees, laughing and chatting as if they were old friends ....

From Jazz Greats by David Perry. Click the picture for some hot vintage footage.


Name That Tune!

(Click on the picture for the answers)

 

What's this?

 

What's this?

 

 

What's this?

 

 

 

 

The Opportunity - February Yamaha Jazz Sessions

 

A chance to showcase your music and get to play at Ronnie Scott's Club!

Yamaha Sessions logo

This month, Yamaha Music London is introducing ‘The Soho Jazz Sessions’, a unique series of live jazz, offering unrivalled exposure and significant performance opportunities for emerging UK Jazz artists. This is a do-not-miss opportunity for jazz artists to showcase their talent and music, and have the chance to win the ultimate dream gig for any aspiring jazz musician, at the world-famous Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club.

Applications are now invited from jazz artists and groups of up to quartet in size, to perform at one of the ‘Soho Jazz Sessions’ at Yamaha’s flagship music store in Wardour Street, Soho. Open to jazz musicians from age 14 upward, all styles of jazz are welcome. The Soho Sessions will comprise 5 weekly heats from 6.00 pm until 8.00 pm on Thursday evenings, starting on 9th February. Each heat will feature 4 x 20-minute live performances in front of an audience and special guest judge, who will select a winner to perform at the Final on 16th March. The final judging panel, comprising of established jazz artists, industry and media representatives, will choose the overall winner to take centre stage for a gig at Ronnie Scott’s.

Venue: Yamaha Music London, 152 Wardour St, Soho. London. W1F 8YA Dates: 9th, 16th, 23rd Feb + 2nd, 9th, *16th March (* Final)

RULES
* All artists arrive empty handed - you'll get to choose the Yamaha instruments you play on the day from the extensive in-store range.
* All band members must be aged 14 and over; under 18s must be accompanied by an adult. * Any style of jazz is allowed.

To Enter - Send an email to events@yamahamusiclondon.com, including the following:
* Name of artist/band; * Number of people; * Facebook, Twitter and any other Social Media links; * Link to an online video showing you performing; * Contact number; * Email address.

 

 

Malvern Big Band

Makvern Big BandMalvern Big Band is looking for 3rd/4th trumpet and 1st/2nd trombone.They say: 'You don't need to be familiar with big band music or improvisation, but will need to be a good sight reader. We are a friendly bunch, rehearsals are once a month on Tuesday evenings in Malvern. We use the standard big band line up of 5 saxes, 4 trumpets, 4 trombones and 4-piece rhythm section. Many of our gigs are fronted by vocalist Garry Rutter. All our gigs are promoted on the website and in and around the Malvern area'.

Malvern Big Band, based in the Midlands, UK, was formed in 2001 by Mike Halliday and Chris Lewis. It plays an eclectic mix of music from the ‘Rat Pack’ era right up to contemporary jazz and pop standards - have a look at their 'tracks' page to get a better idea about what they play. If you do not play an instrument, you can still get involved if you are in the area. There are always jobs to do with the music library, equipment and general management of the practical business of putting on a performance.

Click here for their website, contact details and more information.

 

 

 

Jazz Tuesday's End at Bullingdon Arms, Oxford

Clarinettist and bandleader Alvin Roy tells us that the Tuesday Jazz sessions at the Bullingdon Arms in Oxford have come to an end: ' ... the venue’s regular Tuesday night jazz has come to a sticky end.........was it ever thus? Jazz nights have been a feature of this music venue long before I moved to Oxfordshire (16 years) and it’s the usual story.....new management trying to fix something that aint broke.'

 

 

 

Jazz Quiz

Cryptic Blues.

Cryptic clues to fifteen blues.
This month we give you clues to fifteen tunes that have 'Blue' or 'Blues' in the title.
All you have to do is get that grey matter working and sort them out!

 

Humphrey LytteltonQuestion Mark

 

 

For Example, what is this blues?:

Humph would have had a difficult time spending this one!

 

 

 

 

 

You can check how well you have done on the Answers page where you will also find some interesting videos - and don't forget to check your score.

Click here for the Jazz Quiz.

 

 

 

 

Discovery: Dixieland Jazz

John Westwood sends us this excellent video of a 1953, 29 minute programme from the San Franciso Museum of Art (click here). Some mightGeorge Lewis challenge the claim that George Lewis was the only band at that time playing original New Orleans jazz, but nevertheless the programme is well worth watching and would work well as an introduction to jazz for those who don't know the music.

It is a 'kinescope' recording, originally made in 1953 by filming the picture from a live video monitor. The programme makers say: 'The picture quality - especially sharpness - is much lower than the rest of our footage produced on 16mm film. KPIX-TV and the San Francisco Museum of Art'. Hosted by Dr Lloyd Luckmann with Phil Elwood it 'presents a program in the 'Discovery' series about the history and influence of jazz music in American culture'.

The programme features George Lewis and his Ragtime Jazz Band (who were in residency at San Francisco's Hangover Club) performing five songs: 'Careless Love'; 'Panama Rag'; 'Bugle Boy March'; 'Closer Walk With Thee' and 'Ice Cream'. The footage includes brief interviews with Lewis, and Avery "Kid" Howard, Alcide 'Slow Drag' Pavageau and Joe Watkins are also in the band.

 

 

 

 

 

Continental Drift

 

It is not unusual for UK readers, and maybe others, to spend time checking out jazz from the UK and the U.S.A. Peter Slavid hosts a monthly, 2 hour radio show at www.mixcloud.com/ukjazz . Peter says: 'It has a very specific purpose. First of all the show is entirely European and entirely modern. There is so much American (and American style) jazz around that European jazz doesn't get a fair shout. And yet I think European jazz is now more creative and more exciting.' In his show, Peter features a Record Of The Month and has offered to share that with us.' This month he features Hungarian cimbalom player Miklós Lukács:

 

Cimbalom Unlimited
(BMC CD 244)
Miklós Lukács – cimbalom; Larry Grenadier – double bass; Eric Harland – drums

 

Cimbalom

 

The cimbalom is an instrument well known in central and eastern European folk music, in gypsy jazz and in classical music, and its smaller cousin, the hammered dulcimer, is used in English and American folk music – but this is my first experience of it in genuine modern jazz. Miklos LukacsAmericans Larry Grenardier and Eric Harland are an outstanding rhythm section, known amongst other things for their work with Charles Lloyd – which is where they first met the cimbalom virtuoso Miklós Lukács.

Click here for a video introduction to the album.

Lukács started out playing classical music as well as folk music but after playing with Lloyd and others on the American scene he has rapidly developed in the jazz world.  Another new release from theCimbalom Unlimited Hungarian BMC label finds him as a member of the Mihály Dresch Quartet with Chris Potter (Zea  BMC CD 235) and this was  definitely another contender for CD of the month.  Both these CDs actually came out in December last year but have only just found their way to me.

Click here to listen to Balkan Winds from Cimbalom Unlimited.

What's breathtaking is the spectacular range of sounds and the speed and precision of the playing that give the fast passages a quite unexpected ferocity and the slower sections a strange and slightly eerie sound.  The construction of the cimbalom is unique. It has a much more sharply defined, more percussive sound than the vibraphone, and  sounds more like a harpsichord than a piano.  What's interesting is that you can hear all sorts of influences from classical, folk and gypsy music, but there's no doubt that this is real modern jazz – verging into the avant-garde on occasions.

Click here for Miklós Lukács's website. Click here for details and to sample the album.

 

 

 

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].

Helen Mayhew

Helen Mayhew

 

Those who listen to jazz on the radio will have different memories of Helen Mayhew's programmes. For many, her voice will always be associated with Dinner Jazz on Jazz FM. In 2016, still broadcasting with Jazz FM, Helen moved on to host True Brit each Thursday at 6.00 p.m. whilst also creating a new Friday night programme – Late Night Jazz from 10.00 p.m. to 2.00 am. Jazz FM Content Director Nick Pitts said: “Our new schedule gives our audience more of what they want. It’s great to be able to give Helen and Sarah Ward the opportunity to freely select the greatest music from their substantial collections with their new programmes.”

Helen’s broadcasting career began on pirate radio while at Exeter University and then with BBC Radio Devon and BBC Radio Kent, presenting and producing a wide range of programmes. She was one of the original presenters on Jazz FM when it began broadcasting in 1990, where she Helen with Chris Barberdevised and presented the Dinner Jazz programme, broadcast on weekday evenings from 7.00 to 9.00 pm. In 2004 she hosted programmes at BBC Radio 2 and 3 for Big Band Special and Jazz Line Up, and that September in 2004, she took over her own weekly show, which she described as "A chill-out zone with a difference featuring music perfect for dreaming away the small hours". This aired every Saturday night/Sunday morning from 1.00 to 4.00 a.m. Her roles on Radio 2 ended in April 2006, and she made her final appearance on Radio 3 in February 2007.

 

Helen with bandleader Chris Barber

 

Helen joined ‘theJazz’ in April 2007 and was heard on Classic FM every Monday to Friday from 12 midnight to 2.00 am presenting the now defunct Classic FM Jazz programme. Helen came back to the re-launched Jazz FM station in 2009 to co-present the Dinner Jazz programme once again with Sarah Ward.

Aside from her radio programmes, Helen is a familiar figure at jazz events and is a Vice President of the National Youth Jazz Collective, an organisation which provides top class mentoring and teaching for the country’s most outstanding young jazz musicians.

We caught up with her for a Tea Break.

 

Hi Helen, tea or coffee?

Double espresso please.

 

Milk and sugar?

No thank you.

 

Charlie Parker Unheard Bird

 

If you could interview any jazz musician, past or present, on one of your programmes, who would you invite?

Charlie Parker.

What would you ask him?

What’s the true story of what happened to those unreleased tracks that sat in the vaults for 64 years before coming to light last year on the album Unheard Bird?


[Click here for Marc Myers discussion of the album. Click on the picture for details].

 

 

Hob Nob, Bourbon, Garibaldi or digestive biscuit?

All of them, thanks!

 

How do you find working until 2.00 am on a Friday evening / Saturday morning? It must be tiring?

Not really, the music is such a tonic, it’s a real buzz, so I don’t notice the time.

NYJC summer school

 

How are things going with the National Youth Jazz Collective?

The National Youth Jazz Collective is going from strength to strength, thanks largely to the tireless work of its founder Issie Barratt, and under the wise guidance of its president and figurehead, the great bassist Dave Holland.  It’s providing top quality jazz teaching at workshops and events throughout the UK, and giving young jazz musicians the chance to meet and exchange ideas, and of course play jazz together. Auditions for the NYJC August 2017 summer school at Purcell School will be taking place soon, so if you know of any talented young jazz musicians who’d like to take part, send them to the NYJC website to apply [click here and click on the picture for a brief introductory video].

 

 

What are you looking forward to in 2017?

Well, apart from the NYJC summer school, things are shaping up nicely for the Cheltenham, Gateshead and Swanage jazz festivals, while the Love Supreme Festival has already got George Benson and Herbie Hancock in the lineup, so plenty of summer jazz fun to look forward to.

 

Is there anyone you heard recently that we should listen out for in the coming year?

There’s a host of great young musicians around at the moment, and there’s plenty of opportunities to hear them in action if you head to the free recitals given by most of the jazz conservatoires around the UK, and of course make sure you support their gigs in small venues around town. For example watch out for the Royal Academy of music’s student nights at London’s 606 Jazz Club. 

 

Another biscuit?

Two please.

 

[Click on the picture below to listen to Helen's My Jazz podcasts for 'theJazz' programme where she talks to personalities about their interest in jazz].

 

Helen Mayhew

 

Click here for more Tea Breaks

 

Utah Tea Pot

 

 

 

Do You Have A Birthday In February?

 


Your Horoscope

for February Birthdays

by 'Marable'

 

Aquarius

 

AQUARIUS (The Water-Bearer)

20th January - 18th February

Last month we signalled the 19th January as a significant point. It was when the Sun entered your sign and began your personal yearly pleasure period. Look out for the good things, take time to smell the roses. Listen and hear.

There are two eclipses this month. The Lunar Eclipse on the 11th (10th in America) occurs in your 7th house of Love. What does this mean? Well, it could put some stress on a relationship, but it will help if you recognise it when it comes. If your relationship is a good one, let the dust settle and it could be all the better for it. If it is not a good relationship, then it is time to move on. The Lunar eclipse can also mean changes in your work, a shakeup perhaps, as with a relationship.

The Solar Eclipse of the 26th brings you another chance to resolve things that might not have been resolved with the Lunar Eclipse. The Solar Eclipse also occurs in your money house, so here is a good opportunity to take a look at your relationship with money. If your financial strategy wasn't right, the benefit of the eclipse is that you can have insight into why that has been so, and the changes you make will be all more to the good.

Underlying all this takes us back to where we began - time to take stock - and remember, your self esteem and confidence should remain high. You can make any changes you need to for your personal happiness.

For you, let's welcome the Lunar Eclipse with the Brad Mehldau trio playing No Moon At All at the Vitoria-Gasteiz Jazz Festival in 2006 (Brad Mehldau - piano Larry Grenadier - bass Jeff Ballard - drums) - click here.

 

 

Pisces

 

PISCES (The Fish)

19th February - 20th March

Of all the signs of the zodiac, the intuitive and emotional faculties of the Pisces can be the most highly developed. Intellect is an extension of what they believe intuitively. Their relationship with spirituality can make them very tolerant of others and at times, when they should say 'enough is enough', it can be difficult for them to do so.

The planetary power enters its maximum Eastern position this month and the two eclipses that will take place bring their own opportunities. These eclipses offer times for change. The Lunar Eclipse of the 11th occurs in your 6th house of health and work. On the whole, your health seems good, but you might like to think about whether you are taking best care of yourself. There could be changes in your work, either for yourself or for others with whom you are connected. Children and young people are also redefining themselves, healthily changing how they think of themselves and how they want to be seen by others.

The Solar Eclipse of the 26th occurs in your sign and very near Neptune, the ruler of your horoscope. Perhaps you should reduce your schedule a little at that time. You might find that whether you planned to or not, you too could end up taking time to redefine yourself and think about how others see you. Make this a positive opportunity if it comes your way.

On the 25th, Mercury enters your sign and you begin a yearly love and social peak (you will have another between August 23rd and September 22nd).

For you, stop, close your eyes, and be cool with John Coltrane playing In A Sentimental Mood - click here.

 

 

 

 

 

Video Juke Box

Click on the Picture for the Video

 

 

 

Henry Spencer The Reasons Don't Change

 

 

Here's the album trailer for The Reasons Don't Change, the outstanding new album from Henry Spencer and Juncture, reviewed in our Review section below. Read the review for more details and samples.

 

 

 

 

Madwort Sax Quartet

 

The great Madwort Saxophone Quartet [Tom Ward (Adam Fairhall, Porpoise Corpus) on alto, Chris Williams (Let Spin, Led Bib) on soprano and alto, Andrew Wolf (Choro Matiz, The Button Band) on tenor and Cath Roberts (Sloth Racket, Quadraceratops) on baritone], release their debut live album on the Efpi Records label on 24th February. Recorded live at the Hundred Years Gallery in London last year, the music is described by bandleader Tom Ward as "weird, angular music for saxophones only". 'It's about exploring the saxophone as a percussion instrument, taking the players to their limits and creating a state of concentration, excitement and danger ...' We look forward to reviewing the album next month.


 

 

John Coltrane Alabama

 

 

On Sunday, September 15, 1963, twelve sticks of dynamite were placed in the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. The bomb had been planted by the KKK, and killed four young black girls between the ages of 11-14. John Coltrane wrote the song Alabama in response to this event and patterned his playing in the song after Martin Luther King’s speech at the funeral for the four girls.

 

 

 

 

 

Phronesis Behemoth album trailer

 

 

Phronesis - The Behemoth - A short taster for the new album from Phronesis due out on 31st March, 2017 on Edition records. The band, Jasper Høiby, Ivo Neame and Anton Eger have recorded the album with the Frankfurt Radio Big Band and with Julian Argüelles arranging and conducting. For more details click here.

 

 

 

 

Jazz At The Dew Drop Inn

 

 

Click on the pucture for a short video about Jazz at the Dew Drop Social and Benevolent Jazz Hall in Mandeville, Louisiana. Built in 1895 is the oldest jazz dance hall in the world. Click here for a video of the young Fontainbleu Jazz Ensemble playing at the Hall in 2012.

 

 

 

 

 

Full Focus

Sam Braysher

Rodgers and Hart

 

[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].

Since saxophonist Sam Braysher graduated with a first class honours degree from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 2011, followed by a two-year Guildhall Artist Fellowship, he has quietly been building a reputation amongst his fellow musicians and audiences, particularly in the London area. 2017 will see his first, highly anticipated album release, Golden Earrings, recorded in New York with the well-known New York City pianist Michael Kanan. We shall be reviewing the album in the near future, but in the meanwhile, we thank Sam for letting us share some of his reflection on the music of Rodgers and Hart.

Musicians particularly might like to read the full article on Sam's website as it contains more detailed, interesting notational details - click here.

 

Rodgers and Hart

 

I have recently been listening to and reading about the work of Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, one of the great writing partnerships of the American Songbook. This was largely in preparation for a gig I had with Will Arnold-Forster and Calum Gourlay on 17th November 2016 as part of Bopfest (Alison Neale and Nat Steele’s mini festival within the EFG London Jazz Festival. Our gig was a double bill with Freddie Gavita’s tribute to Clifford Brown). But it also feeds into a general desire, on my part, to learn more about the songs that we play as jazz musicians, in the hope that knowing them in greater detail might lend more depth to my interpretations of them. I also like discovering new (to me) songs to play. In light of this, I have been enjoying two books that deal with the songs and composers of the Great American Songbook: Alec Wilder’s American Song: The Great innovators, 1900-1950 and Easy To Remember: The Great American Songwriters and Their Songsby William Zinsser.

Wilder's book traces the development of the American song in the 20th Century through the work of the major composers, and it can be quite a heavy read! He examines melodies in quite minute detail, but only some feature an accompanying extract from the relevant sheet music, so it Lorenz Hartcan be quite hard to know what he’s on about, especially if you aren’t familiar with the song in question (and by no means does he stick to the famous tunes). That said, it is fascinating to hear the insights and opinions of a man who was himself a great American songwriter, and he certainly doesn’t hold back, describing Gershwin’s Soon as ‘almost totally a contrivance’, for example.

 

Lorenz Hart

 

The Zinsser book, Easy To Remember, (which of course takes its title from a Rodgers and Hart ballad) uses less technical language and is easier to digest. Written with a real sense of affection, it gives simple characterisations of the great composers and lyricists, summarising what makes them unique. For example:

Cole Porter: wrote ‘list’ songs and his lyrics were often grounded in society’s upper echelons.
Jerome Kern: pure, hymn-like songs, connected to the earlier European light opera tradition.
George Gershwin: highly rhythmic and jazz-influenced.
Harold Arlen: steeped in the blues. Quintessentially American.
Lerner and Loewe: old-fashioned, European-sounding, influenced by Gilbert and Sullivan.
Johnny Burke: schmaltzy and often celestially-themed lyrics.
Yip Harburg: politically left leaning, idealistic lyrics.

 

Of course, I am massively oversimplifying: there’s much more to Zinsser’s characterisations than that, and all of those songwriters/lyricists wrote things that don’t fit with those descriptions at all, but I do find it useful to have a slightly more fleshed out sense of the differences and connections between these craftsmen. You are unlikely to get a sense of Lerner and Loewe’s work being old-fashioned or unusually European-influenced if you listen to Sonny Rollins (click here) or Kenny Dorham (click here) playing If Ever I Would Leave You, but that viewpoint makes a lot more sense if you listen to that song in its original form from the musical Camelot (click here).

Rodgers and Hart are characterised by Zinsser as ‘never sound[ing] even slightly old, endlessly inventing ways to move the ear and touch the heart’. In comparing them to one of the other master songwriters of the 1920s and ’30s, he writes that ‘[i]f the young George Gershwin caught the energy of the Jazz Age, the young Rodgers and Hart caught its softer side, the innocence and credulity of first love … Rodgers was more lyrical than Gershwin, his melodies less angular, his rhythms less brittle, and when he opened the throttle for a full-bodied romantic ballad … he served notice that a composer of unusual spaciousness had arrived’.

There is a real sense of poetry and craft to Lorenz Hart’s lyrics. The songs could be sweet (There’s a Small Hotel, Blue Room), funny (To Keep My Love Alive) and often quite sad (It Never Entered My Mind, Little Girl Blue). As well as being cultured, urbane and witty, Hart also seems to have led a rather troubled, unhappy existence, and love-gone-wrong is a theme that crops up repeatedly in his work.

Wilder refers to Richard Rodgers’ ‘remarkable melodic sensibility’, suggesting that, ‘though capable of highly sophisticated harmony, Rodgers never became so concerned with it as to cause it to distort melodic flow’. Whilst there are Rodgers and Hart tunes that utilise more complex harmony (with its chromatically descending line, Lover is an obvious example), it is true that melody is often noticeably at the forefront of things. The original harmony can be quite static, so jazz musicians have tended to come up with more elaborate changes to blow over. Most jazz versions of It Never Entered My Mind, including those by Stan Getz/Oscar Peterson (click here) and Miles Davis (click here), have that familiar Richard Rodgersascending fifth motif (F, F+, F6, etc), plus various ii-Vs, but the original sheet music spends most of the A section simply moving between F major and A minor chords: Rodgers and Hart obviously decided that that pretty diatonic melody and those sad words were enough to sustain the listener’s interest, and it’s hard to disagree if you hear a more ‘authentic’ version of this song, although of course I love Getz and Miles’ respective interpretations.

Perhaps this is the ‘spaciousness’ that Zinsser refers to. Of course, most show tunes leave some room for harmonic interpretation, but Rodgers’ compositions do seem to have a particular openness about them in this respect. Where Or When is another prime example: what do you do with all that chord I in the first four bars, and all that chord ii (or chord IV in many jazz versions) in the following four?

Richard Rodgers

 

Little Girl Blue is another beautiful ballad with fairly miserable lyrics, and jazz musicians have come up with a multitude of solutions to the harmonic questions posed by the melody. Little Girl Blue is also one of those tunes (like Lush Life and Stardust) where the verse is virtually as important as the chorus or refrain. In this case, it goes into 3/4 time (‘When I was very young…’), typically appearing between statements of the chorus, rather than at the very beginning as is often the case with verses.

My own favourite Rodgers and Hart songs include There’s A Small Hotel, Dancing On The Ceiling and My Heart Stood Still. They all have a sweetness and intimacy about them, and they’ve all been interpreted by great jazz artists. My Heart Stood Still makes me think of Barry Harris and Bill Evans; Dancing On The Ceiling brings Chet Baker and Bird to mind; I love Hank Jones’ and Ella Fitzgerald’s versions of Small Hotel. (In fact, most of the songs mentioned here feature on the Rodgers and Hart album from Ella’s Songbook series).

Click here for Barry Harris playing My Heart Stood Still.

Lorenz Hart would die at the age of 48, while Rodgers went on to even greater success: he and his new lyricist partner, Oscar Hammerstein II, changed the face of musical theatre with shows like Oklahoma!South PacificThe King and I and The Sound of Music. I really like a lot of those songs (People Will Say We’re In Love, It Might As Well Be Spring and The Surrey With The Fringe On Top spring to mind), but the consensus amongst the cognoscenti seems to be that Rodgers’ earlier work with Hart carries the most depth and beauty. Both Zinsser and Wilder agree, with the latter referring to the ‘almost too comfortable armchair philosophy in Hammerstein’s lyrics’.

Still, Rodgers is one of 20th Century America’s supreme melodists who, along with two of its most important lyricists, crafted dozens of well-loved, evergreen songs. (And he wrote some words of his own, too: this comes from a show for which he was both composer and lyricist - click here). I’m looking forward to learning more of these songs as well as discovering more about the individual characteristics and idiosyncrasies of the other major American Songbook composers.

 

Sam Braysher

Sam Braysher

 

Click here for Sam Braysher's website. Sam's gig list for 2017 can be found here and includes:

10th - 14th February - Sam Braysher will be playing with Spanish vibraphonist Jorge Rossy. Sam says: 'Jorge is best known for his tenure as drummer in the Brad Mehldau trio, but he's an incredible all-round musician and a great melodic improvisor on the vibes as well. The band is led by young British drummer Phelan Burgoyne and also includes Linus Eppinger and Tilman Oberbeck from Germany. We're at the Vortex on the 10th, Toulouse Lautrec on the 11th and Ronnie Scott's Late Show on the 13th and 14th.'

On 23rd February Sam plays 'a rare hometown gig in Dereham, where I grew up. I'll be playing songs by Rodgers and Hart and Rodgers and Hammerstein at  Dereham Jazz Society with the house rhythm section'.

 

'Full Focus' is a series where musicians and others discuss a jazz track or tracks in detail. The idea is that you are able to listen to the track that is discussed as you read about it. If you have a track on an album that you have released you might like to share the ideas behind it and talk about how it developed - if so please contact us.

 

 

 


Help With Musical Definitions No 32.

Sackbut

Bags' Groove (sometimes played by an early form of trombone).

Bags Groove

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

 

 

 

 

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].

 

Yazz Ahmed

 

Yazz Ahmed

 

Born in the UK, trumpet and flugelhorn player Yazz Ahmed's mother was a ballet dancer for the Royal Ballet and her grandfather, Terry Brown, was a successful jazz trumpeter in the 1950s. Terry played with the original John Dankworth Seven, Tubby Hayes, Ronnie Scott, Jimmy Skidmore, Phil Seamen, and many other British jazz musicians. He later became a record producer for Pye and Philips Records.

Yazz took up the trumpet when she was nine, went on to study for a degree in music at Kingston University and in 2005, won a scholarship to study on the postgraduate jazz course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. At the Guildhall she put together her first Quintet and released the album Finding My Way Home. The album is a collection of compositions and improvisations that explores her Arabic heritage from her early childhood memories in Bahrain, and contrasts these with the classic British jazz from the 1950s - the sound track to her teenage years. I first heard her play in 2009 at Posk Jazz Café in Hammersmith; I was immediately impressed and we put together a Profile of her for this website (click here). Much has happened since then. Yazz was tipped as a musician to look out for in 2011 by Jazzwise magazine and she has now established herself as a significant part of the jazz scene playing with many top musicians.

In 2013 Yazz was selected for Take Five Edition VIII supported by Serious and the Jerwood Charitable Foundation;  2014 saw her debut on the Jools Holland show;  she was awarded a jazz fellowship from Birmingham Jazzlines in 2014, who supported her during the course of a year in writing a major new suite, Alhaan al Siduri, premiered in October 2015 at the CBSO Centre, and in 2016 she performed it again in her paternal homeland at the Bahrain International Music Festival. Yazz was also commissioned by Tomorrow’s Warriors with the support of PRS Women Make Music to write a suite inspired by courageous and influential female role models. Polyhymnia was premiered at the Purcell Room by a special all female line-up of the Nu Civilisation Orchestra at the WOW! Festival in March 2015.

She has recently been leading her Hafla band. 'Hafla' is an Arabic word meaning a social gathering.

I caught up with her again for a well-deserved Tea Break:

 

Hi Yazz, tea or coffee?

Ooh I’d love a cup of tea thanks!

 

Milk and sugar?

Milk, no sugar.

 

What have you been doing recently?

Well, let’s see, in October I travelled to Bahrain, my first home, to perform my suite, Alhaan Al Siduri, with my Hafla band and guest singers, Brigitte Beraha and Alya Al-Sultani, which was pretty exciting and a dream come true for me. It was also the first time my dad had ever heard me play live! He’s a very difficult man to impress, however, he did say that “the performance was very professional - I am very proud of you”, which isYazz Ahmed Documentary a huge compliment from him. 

 

[Click here for a documentary of the Birmingham premiere of the suite].

 

After a few extra days with my family in Bahrain, I jumped onto a tour bus with '80s new romantics, ABC, for a two week UK tour. I love watching the audiences in these gigs as they’re always very animated. I’m thinking of one night in particular when a fight broke out between two very large hairy men in the stalls! When the tour was over, I flew to Germany to play at the very cool Berlin Jazz Festival with my Hafla band. The gig was completely sold out and was a lot of fun.

I’ve also been working on two very exciting recordings - my Women of the World suite, Polyhymnia, partly funded by PRSF, and the other, my second release, La Saboteuse, which I am bursting to share with everyone! The album will be rolled out in four streaming chapters with a full physical and digital release in May. Each chapter features a different work of art created by the super talented Sophie Bass which together will form the cover of the gatefold vinyl LP.

 

Tell us more about the Yazz Ahmed Hafla Quintet.

It’s a quintet specially assembled for a set at Ronnie Scott’s on the 15th of March 2017, as part of the Jazzwise 20th Anniversary Special. The Hafla Quintet combines members of my Hafla band, Ralph Wyld, Dave Manington and Martin France, with my frequent collaborator and good friend, ‘vocal sculptor’, Jason Singh.

 

[Click here for a video of Yazz and Ahmed Family Hafla playing Lahan Al Mansour from the Women of the World suite, Polyhymnia live at the 2015 Canary Wharf Jazz Festival].


Sun Ra

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

Sun Ra and Kenny Wheeler.

 

What would you ask them?

I would love to hear Sun Ra talk about his life changing trip to Saturn and how his cosmic philosophy Kenny Wheelerinfluenced his music. I think he would be a terrific guest to any tea break!

I really miss Kenny, he was such a beautiful soul. I would love to hear him talk about his music and his musical journey from playing commercial music sessions, such as in the Top of the Pops backing band, to being one of the greatest artists of our time.

 

 

Hob Nob, Bourbon, Garibaldi or digestive biscuit?

I haven’t had a Garibaldi for years! I’ll have one of those please!

 

What have you got coming up in the next few months?

As well as my set at Ronnie Scott’s I’ll also be playing with the full seven-piece Hafla band at the Bristol Jazz and Blues Festival on the 19th of March, and the Cheltenham Jazz Festival on the 30th of April.

 

 

Yazz Ahmed

So, we shall be hearing a follow up to your Finding My Way Home album?

Yes, La Saboteuse is definitely a follow up to my first album. It continues my exploration of the music of my Middle Eastern heritage, fused with jazz harmony and improvisation. But it also reflects the influence of musical discoveries made in my recent collaborations with creative musicians from the field of rock, ambient music and sound design. These include the incorporation of live electronics, manipulation of found sounds, and creating textures in the studio by overdubbing additional instruments, such as Dave Manington's ‘sponge bass’, Samuel Hällkvist's guitar loops, and layers of extra percussion from Corrina Silvester - including the bucket she played in the opening ceremony for the London 2012 Olympics! 

On a spiritual level, the music explores the relationship between my conscious self and my inner saboteur, the seductive voice of my self-destructive inclinations, and the inner demons that I’m sure we all have experienced in our lives. Finally the album also documents the gradual development of my various live bands over the last 5 years - into what has become my musical family.

[Click here to listen to a sample of The Space Between The Fish and the Moon - Chapter One from La Saboteuse].

 

 

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

Trumpeter Arve Henriksen. I heard him play last year at LSO St Luke’s and was completely mesmerised by his sound. I’ve never heard anyone play the trumpet like him before. I’m a massive fan!

 

[Click here for a video of Arve Henriksen's participation in a project, 'Found', a collection of unique performances by international musicians in ancient church settings across the north of England].

 

Another biscuit?

Yeah, go on. One more.

 

[Click here for Yazz Ahmed's website].

 

Click here for more Tea Breaks

 

Utah Tea Pot

 

 

 

Two Ears Three Eyes

Tommy Emmanuel

Tommy Emmanuel

 

On the Wednesday, 11th January, photographer Brian O'Connor took his camera to The Hawth, Crawley in West Sussex where he captured these pictures of guitarist, Tommy Emmanuel.

Brian says: 'Not, perhaps, authentic hard-bitten jazz, but a versatile one man band.  His playing encompasses many genres and he’s impossible to categorise.  To think until recently I was relatively unaware of him.  That has been resoundingly rectified. There are elements of jazz, blues, folk, pop, in his playing, from self-penned numbers to standards.'

Tommy Emmanuel is an Australian guitarist and songwriter best known for his complex fingerstyle technique and the use of percussive effects on the guitar. Although originally a session player in many bands, Emmanuel has carved out his own style as a solo artist in recent years, Tommy Emmanuelreleasing award winning albums and singles. In the May 2008 and 2010 issues of Guitar Player Magazine, he was named "Best Acoustic Guitarist" in their readers' poll.

Click here for a video of Tommy playing Sweet Georgia Brown with Icelandic guitarist Bjorn Thoroddsen.

By the age of six, in 1961, he was a working professional musician. Recognizing the musical talents of Emmanuel and his older brother, Phil, their father created a family band, sold the home, and took his family on the road. With the family living in two station wagons, much of Emmanuel's childhood was spent touring Australia, playing rhythm guitar, and rarely going to school.

Tommy Emmanuel eventually moved to Sydney where he won a string of talent contests in his teen years and by the late 1970s, he was playing drums with his brother Phil in the group Goldrush as well doing session work on numerous albums and jingles. In the 1980s he left the group with whom he was playing to start out on a solo career.

Click here for a video of Tommy playing Bernie's Tune with guitarist Martin Taylor.

In 1994 Australian music veteran John Farnham invited him to play guitar next to Stuart Fraser from Noiseworks for the Concert for Rwanda after which Tommy became a member of Farnham's band. Emmanuel and his brother Phil performed live in Sydney at the closing ceremony of the Summer Olympics in 2000.

In December 2007 Tommy Emmanuel was diagnosed with heart problems and was forced to take a break from his hectic touring schedule due to exhaustion, but he returned to full-time touring in early 2008.

Click here for a video of Tommy Emmanuel playing Stevie's Blues.

 

Tommy Emmanuel

 

All pictures © Brian O'Connor, Images Of Jazz

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

 

 

 

One Good Turn

A Short Story by Yvonne Mallett

 

Tuesday. Never the best night for a jazz gig. Start time is billed as 8 p.m. Pete is here ahead of us, his keyboard standing in its case against the wall. He’s found a spot and sits, head falling forward, at a table close to the small step up from the floor. (They call that ‘the stage’). He’s sleeping Jazz club signsoundly.

Now, a bunch of guys unpacking their stuff, telling a few jokes and sort of re-bonding may get a bit shouty – happy, moany, surly, you name it. And so it is. Pete has a sort of scowling, dejected expression. Chris, probably the tallest bass-player on the planet, leans across and pokes him with his bow. Pete’s expression gets even more scowly, and at last he wakes up. We give a mock cheer. He still looks gloomy and doesn’t speak.

“How’re you doin?” I ask finally, unpacking my horn.

“I’m dead.” Pete’s voice is gravelly.

Evan-the-Red (hair that is)  is already warming up the sax. Josh, flexing his considerable, gym-enabled muscles, is engrossed, making a racket with his drums.

“I don’t think I can do this,” says Pete. He looks like he’d rather be anywhere but with us.

“Smarten up, Pete” I wave my arm round the room for emphasis. “Dozens are waiting out there.”

“Yeah. Dozens of empty tables.”

“People! Fans! There’s the jam, too, don’t forget.”

“You’re trying to make me feel better?”

“You will”.

Pete groans. “Will there be singers? And will they all want to sing Black Coffee? And Willow Weep For Me?”

I have to laugh.  It’s almost a standing joke but one that’s often too close to the truth for comfort.

Pete groans. “I’m exhausted. Including travelling I’ve worked 16 hours out of the last 24. Only one decent meal. Had a gig in Bootle. Some sort of country estate. Had to row out to a small artificial island. I hate boats. Then there was a lunch session at an arty school in Maida Vale. Monday was Southend. Two students this morning – now this.”

“You’ll perk up once we start.”

“I feel like jacking it in.” His sourness is beginning to get to me.

Jazz clubEvan buts in: “What are we tonight? End-of-the-Pier, dance band or actual jazz?” He’s tired of waiting and getting stressed.

I take command, like the leader of the band has to. “Okay, it’s 8.20. Forget the anti. Time we started.”

A few folk have already wandered in, some with instruments to surprise us with later. It doesn’t take long to spot the girls with their sheet music, probably for ‘Coffee’ and ‘Willow’. I signal to the pub MC that we’re ready to go then control my murderous impulses as he makes his usual, crummy announcement about us being a bunch of great musicians plus a drummer. Josh shrugs and grins like he always does. He shouldn’t really complain. Drummers get plenty of applause. He’s pretty good anyway. Last time he dropped a stick. He was going at it somewhat so the stick sort of hurled itself out of his hand like a missile. It was caught by someone in the front row, who tossed it back to Josh, who never missed a beat.

We start off with a set list including:  Now’s the Time, From This Moment On and The Best Is Yet To Come.  We can be pretty versatile – everything’s on the i-Phone anyway. Sometimes I feel we should try to sort of educate the audience a bit. At least bring in some post-Parker material after the interval, before the jam. My hero is Dizzy, and sometimes I manage to let it show. After Ain’t Misbehavin and You Stepped Out Of A Dream a sweet older lady approaches us. She is dressed in what you could call vintage-style clothes. You could describe hair and make-up the same way. And her politeness.

“Sir,” she says to Evan, “Sir, I wonder if you’d be very kind and play a fox-trot?”

I hate to let her down but it can’t be helped and I call across, “Sorry madam but we don’t have a fox trot on the list tonight.”

We head back over some familiar territory: There’ll Be Some Changes Made, But Not For Me, Mercy, Mercy, Mercy and So What? We’re heading for the break. To my shame I think I’ll tell an old joke: “There was a little old rock and blues band. They had a wonderful gig and were laughing and cheering and jumping in the air at the end. One of the musicians was so excited he threw his hat in the air -  it was Chuck Berry!” The audience groans.“Hang around for the jam,” I say. “That’s when we play the sweet stuff.”

It’s the break already. Pete wolfs down a burger. The rest of us tackle various thirst-quenching rewards. The management allows us two drinks each per session. While we’re resting, talking about artificial islands and the like, a tall girl happens over.

jazz singer“Do you do Black Coffee?” she says in a mock-sultry kind of way.

“We’ve heard of it,” says Evan. And winks at us.

“Could you possibly – I’ve got the music, let me do it tonight?”

Josh grins and butts in. “We do Black Coffee kind of Espresso style.”

A mum pops over. “My son is here,” she announces. “He’s only 15 but he’d love to play piano with you. He’s quite good. His name’s Edward. He’s doing music at school.” This proposition is not unique, and I have an image of a sweet faced kid playing Look For The Silver Lining. Obviously I’m wary. Then “Okay,” I say, without much enthusiasm but from the goodness of my heart. It doesn’t hurt to do the odd good turn, does it?

 “We’ll get him on first,” I say. Get it over with, I think. I guess we were all a bit jaded.

I shoot the breeze a bit more with the guys – the gigs we’ve done individually, any recordings (nil), the students that some of us have and how we make ends meet. We get back on stage while the prospective jammers in the audience twiddle about with their music, instruments and nerves. I remember young Edward and my promise to get him on first.

“Tonight for a special treat we have a young man who is going places,” I announce, smiling.

“Back to school,” mutters Chris under his breath.

“Please welcome Ed!” I say it with great enthusiasm, but I can see his mum doesn’t like ‘Ed’. The kid comes up eagerly. Pete vacates the keyboard. I need a few details from Ed. “What are you doing?” He says he wants to do ‘Round Midnight.

“Kind of sophisticated for a young chap like you,” I say. How patronising was that? Ed takes a couple of minutes to adjust things. Then he starts to play. Well, it’s not easy to describe the effect this lad has on us. ‘Electrifying’ might cover it. The privilege of witnessing greatness might be another. What we hear is a wonderful fluidity and the most sophisticated and subtle chord progression ever. I reckon the other guys are actually jazz pianistawe-struck as they back him, though they would never have said such a thing themselves. You bet they are listening, not just hearing.

After the number Pete seems to come to life. At last he’s enthusiastic: “Hey. What was that you played? It was great! Where d’you get those voicings?”

“It’s sort of Thelonious Monk,” says Ed with all the aplomb of a seasoned master.

“Monk? That’s cool.”

 “I intro’d with a minor sixth chord with a sixth in the bass and went from there. Of course, you can call the sixth in the bass the tonic, and the chord a C-minor seventh, flat five. Monk used to refer to an E-flat-minor sixth chord with a sixth in the bass as a C-minor seventh chord, with a  flat five because an E-flat-minor chord with a sixth in the bass is C, E- flat G-flat and B-flat. Same thing. An E-flat-minor chord with a sixth in the bass is C, E-flat. You can call it a half-diminished.”

Most of us are a bit too stunned to take all this in immediately. But not Pete. He does a high five with the kid and goes back to the piano.

“I guess you practise a lot, Ed?” I say.

“Well . . . Yes. But you mustn’t do too much,” he says. “I’m sure you know what Schuman said to music students: Practise scales and exercises of course. But it’s not enough. He said it’s like trying to recite the alphabet faster every day, and you can employ your time more usefully.”

Teddy’s mum approaches at this point, smiling broadly.“I told you so,” she says.

Back in recovery mode, the band does a few more numbers including, I’m Beginning To See The Light and What’s New? There’s a new sort of mood abroad in the band. I think we all feel it. Then we get up a couple of jammers, including a guy who does a real down-and-dirty blues with harmonica accompaniment, forcefully splintering the earlier mood of sophistication. We do a bossa – How Insensitive. Eventually, we get around to Black Coffee – espresso style. Josh introduces some unexpected rhythms into it. The girl sings well and even looks pleased.

A few more numbers then it’s time for our usual sign-off, Bye Bye Blues. Ed’s long gone. Yet tonight there’s not the usual panic to get unplugged, packed up and away. Almost in a whisper, Chris is bowing an extract from a Bach prelude – sweetly, hardly audible. Then I hear Pete begin gently to explore the keyboard in an unexpected way. He’s doing the Monk chords very subtly and drifting into ‘Round Midnight, just for himself. It’s beautiful. Next time I glance round, about to say goodbye, he seems to have fallen asleep again. But now he’s smiling.

Our thanks to Yvonne Mallett who has been writing short stories, listening to live jazz and singing since before she left school.

 

 

 

Jazz Remembered

Wellman Braud

 

 

Bassist Wellman Braud (his family sometimes spelled their last name "Breaux", pronounced "Bro"), was born in St. James Parish, Louisiana, in 1891. He went to New Orleans in his early teens where he played violin and the upright bass and led a trio in Storyville before moving to Chicago in 1917. In 1923 he went to London with the Plantation Orchestra in which he doubled on bass and trombone. Moving on to New York Wellman BraudCity, he played with Wilber Sweatman's band before his big move to be part of Duke Ellington's Orchestra - he stayed with Ellington from 1926 to 1935. In 1970, Duke Ellington recorded the tribute Portrait Of Wellman Braud as part of his New Orleans Suite (click here).

Branford Marsalis claims that Braud was the first to utilize the 'walking bass' style that features in more modern jazz, as against the 'two-beat' pattern the tuba played in New Orleans style jazz (Wellman doubled on tuba). In fact, Braud is a distant relative of Branford Marsalis and Branford's brothers through their mother's side.

Click here for a video clip of Wellman Braud with the Ellington Orchestra playing Old Man Blues in the 1930 film Check And Double Check.

Wellman's melodic bass playing, alternately plucking, slapping, and bowing, was an important feature of the early Ellington Orchestra sound in the 1920s and 1930s. Braud's playing on Ellington's regular radio broadcasts and recordings helped popularize the slap style of string bass playing, as well as encouraging many dance bands of the time to switch from using a tuba to an upright bass. Sidney Bechet and Wellman Braud

 

We can listen to Wellman playing on this 78 rpm record of Freeze And Melt by Joe Turner and his Memphis Men (a pseudonym for the Duke Ellington Orchestra). Various people say that this is generally thought to be the first recorded string bass solo - click here.

 

Wellman Braud with Sidney Bechet.

 

In 1936 Braud co-managed a short lived Harlem club with Jimmie Noone, and recorded with the group Spirits of Rhythm from 1935 to 1937. He played with other New York bands including those of Kaiser Marshall, Hot Lips Page, and Sidney Bechet, and returned for a while to Ellington in 1944. In 1956 he joined the Kid Ory Band with whom he stayed for years.

Click here for a recording of Sweet Sue by Sidney Bechet and Mugsy Spanier's Big Four in 1940 with Wellman on bass and Carmen Mastren on drums.

Wellman Braud died in Los Angeles, California in 1966.

Click here for our page of 'Jazz Remembered'

 

 

 

Intergenerational Jazz Reminiscence Project

The National Jazz Archive is a registered charity based in Loughton Library in Essex. It was founded in 1988, and holds the UK’s finest collection of written, printed and visual material on jazz, blues and related music, from the 1919 to the present day. The Archive is half wayNJA Reminiscence Project through an ambitious 18-month programme, the ‘Intergenerational Jazz Reminiscence’ project, which will expand the Archive’s holdings in collaboration with local and national organisations, with participation from community groups of all ages. This project has been funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and is exploring how different generations have promoted, performed, supported, and documented our jazz heritage.

The project is focussing on three areas in Essex close to the Archive’s base, and one area identified by the Black Cultural Archives (bcaheritage.org.uk). In each location, using materials from the Archive and others supplied by local jazz clubs and the Chelmsford Museums service, the Archive team is engaging with members of Age UK / Age Concern activity centres, local jazz clubs, local youth groups and young jazz musicians to explore and discuss what music has meant and still means in their lives.

Interviewing and recording talks and discussions at intergenerational workshops
in Age UK/Age Concern activity centres.

 

The generation that founded jazz clubs, learned to play jazz before there was any formal musical education in jazz, and who have donated their magazines, photographs and other material to the Archive are nearing the end of their lives. Through interviewing and recording talks and discussions at intergenerational workshops in Age UK/Age Concern activity centres the NJA Reminiscence Projectproject is recording and conserving the reminiscences of a generation of people who had to make considerable investment to access music.

Music is a part of the workshops, including live music by both young and experienced musicians. Interviews conducted by the University of Essex with older jazz musicians, club promoters and supporters are forming a permanent record of anecdotal jazz history. Loughton Youth Project is participating in and filming the sessions. Their members are being trained in media, broadcasting and interviewing skills.

The interviews and memories collected by the project will be made available on the Archive’s website and will contribute to an exhibition ‘Say It With Music’, celebrating the people and places that have shaped jazz music across the UK, at the Forum in Southend in May 2017. The reminiscence project began in January 2016 supported by HLF funding of £83,300. It follows on from the very successful HLF-funded 'Story of British Jazz' project that the National Jazz Archive completed in 2014, which resulted in storing and conserving more than 40,000 archive items NJA poster(journals, photos, posters and programmes), cataloguing more than 4300 books and 600 journals to series level along with personal and photo collections. Numerous journals, photos, posters and programmes were also scanned and digitised for direct access via a redesigned website. The Archive’s Lottery Funded ‘Intergenerational Jazz Reminiscence Project’, once completed, will make a valuable contribution to the ‘Story of British Jazz’ and available via the Archive’s web site for future jazz researchers, musicians and equally important, jazz fans.

However, whether a musician, club owner, promoter or a regular fan, it’s the jazz and the wonderful experience of playing or listening and even dancing to the music they love that’s the vital element. Recognising this, the Archive, in partnership with three top jazz clubs in Essex, is hosting sessions of live music and dancing. Alongside will be displays of archive material from the Jazz Reminiscence Project, showing investment in jazz across the generations.

The first two gigs will feature the exciting Essex Youth Jazz Orchestra, directed by one of the country’s leading jazz musicians, Martin Hathaway and provides opportunities for musicians between 14 and 17 years old that have a love for jazz. The first EYJO outing is at the Colchester Jazz Club on Sunday 19 February, 7.45pm. The second is programmed for the Hornchurch Jazz Club on Sunday 26 February, 8.30pm. The third gig will feature the vibrant National Youth Jazz Collective that supports the creative and educational needs of the young jazz musician. The NYJC will perform at the Southend Jazz Club on Monday 27 February 7.30pm   All three gigs are entrance free and everyone is welcome to attend and see and hear the future of Jazz in Britain. Further updates on the ‘Intergenerational Jazz Reminiscence Project’ will be posted as the project progresses. 

 

 

 

 

 

Forum

 

A Humphrey Lyttelton Query

Paul Adams from Lake Records writes hoping that someone can help. Paul says:

'I don’t know if any of the followers of your website can help, but I have a bit of a mystery. I have an acetate dubbing which is labelled:

HUMPHREY LITTLETON (sic); two tracks AIN’T MISBEHAVING’/AFTER YOU’VE GONE. The label reads R.L. SAUNDERS SOUND RECORDING. L/3456

I have learnt that Bob Saunders was a BBC engineer. This doesn’t seem to be a regular band and the suspicion is that it is a BBC Jazz Club ‘All Star Jazz Group’. The trombone could be George Chisholm and the piano Dill Jones, but this is speculation. I think it’s pre-1954, but more than that I don’t know. Any ideas gratefully received.'

Please contact us if you can help throw any light on this.

 

 

Albert Hall

Geoff Leonard picks up on our article last month regarding trumpeter Albert Hall (click here):

Albert Hall

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

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

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

 

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

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

Eddie has also found this nice recording of Albert Hall with Mike Nevard's Jazzmen (click here). It is a bit crackly but displays Albert's talent well - King John 1 (John Dankworth) (Alto Sax), Don Rendell (Tenor Sax), Albert Hall (Trumpet), Ralph Dollimore (piano), Alan Ganley, David Murray (Drums), Johnny Hawksworth (Bass), Harry Klein (Baritone Sax).

 

 

What Did You Think Of La La Land?

La La Land poster

 

Here's a film with jazz as part of the storyline that is winning awards and has received 5 'stars' in virtually every review, so how come I was disappointed with it; out of step with everyone else?

In truth, I found it too long, too predictable, despite the twist at the end, and I longed for the wryness of a Woody Allen script. Described in some places as 'a return of the modern musical', La La Land did not move me nor uplift me in the way Sunshine On Leith did, and I did not think it had the imaginative flair of Moulin Rouge. Granted it showed jazz in a good light, although Ryan Gosling's jazz pianist, Sebastian, at one point says he wants to open his own 'proper' club because jazz is dying, and perhaps it has introduced people to the music who would not usually listen to jazz. Granted, too, that I enjoyed the choreography and the occasional song, the occasional scene - it was amusing to see J K Simmons from Whiplash playing a character who did not like jazz! - but it did not send me out of the cinema tap dancing down the mall.

Click here for the trailer.

I am due to go and see it again with friends. What am I missing?

 

 

 

Kingston Jazz

Vin Robinson writes:

I’ve just found your wonderful page, Kingston on Thames and Jazz, and memories come flooding back. I lived in Norbiton Avenue and started going to the Chicago Jazz Club, the Railway Hotel, Norbiton in 1962/3 aged17/18. We watched the Canal Street Jazzmen. The attached is myCrane River Jazz Club card membership card. I remember having to Drink Watneys Red Barrel!!!

I went to Kingston College of Further Education at 16 in 1961 to do O and A levels leaving in June 1964 to start a degree in Earth Sciences at Kingston Technical College which became Kingston College of Technology (KCT) (now Kingston Uni) completing in 1967, and continued in Kingston at weekends until October 1968. So I was involved in the Jazz scene in Kingston area from '61 to '68. We went to The Swan in Mill Street, near the Art College, the Coronation Hall in winter, (swimming pool covered in winter), Eel Pie Island when they were hosting Trad Jazz on some nights (e.g. The Temperance Seven)  and R&B (Rolling Stones)  another night. Somewhere along the line I saw the Bill Brunskill Band but I can’t remember where. I never went to the Fighting Cocks, unfortunately.

But, my real reason for making contact is find out more about my favourite venue by far, The Crane River Jazz Club at the Thames Hotel, Hampton Court. My Membership Card is attached. This venue had bands such as Monty Sunshine, Alan Elsdon, Eric Silk,  Ken Colyer. The following quote is from www.rockabilly.nl : “The Thames Hotel near Hampton Court became a regular venue for the band and it was here that a series of recording sessions produced six LPs on the Joys label. They included one devoted entirely to ragtime numbers and two volumes of spirituals. They are still available Chicago Jazz Club cardmore than 30 years later on compact discs”. I went there regularly during 1963 to 1967. It was in an upstairs room with a bar and reached from outside steps just upstream from Hampton Court Bridge. It was great for jazz Jiving and the tempo was frantic.

During my O & A levels, we went to the KCT  refectory for lunch and to the lunch time “Jazz Hop” in the roof floor for an hour of serious jazz jiving, introducing me to a life-long love of New Orleans Jazz music. I will never forget jiving to “Ice Cream” by Chris Barber on the Tempo Label, a 45rpm single. I’ve never heard this version since. For a 16 year old from a Secondary Modern boys school by the Gas Works in Richmond Road, to a College full of jazz jiving girls between the age of 16 to 22 was a massive culture shock. Of course, the Surbiton, Kingston, Richmond strip was famous for Jazz, R&B and Folk Clubs as the popularity of these evolved rapidly in the ’60s.

John Renbourn played at KCT in the  lunch hours whilst he was studying  at Kingston Art College. We saw the Rolling Stones at the Crawdaddy Club at the Station Hotel, Richmond every Sunday night, and then at the Athletic ground, followed Hogsnorts Humpty Dumpty Club cardby the Yardbirds the following year. My Sister was at School with Eric Clapton at Hollyfield Road School, Surbiton, a short distance from the College. By the time I was at KCT, most College gigs were R&B or Rock. I remember the Surbiton Folk Club, compèred by Derek Sargent  where many famous names appeared; the Folk Barge and  Barge 894 Club (ex Jazz Barge); I saw Jimmy Reed at a venue I cannot remember the name (just further north from where the Folk Barge was moored, along the A307, Portsmouth Rd towards Kingston town centre - was it the Commodore Club?).

I have also have a membership card for Hogsnorts Humpty Dumpty Club, I can’t remember anything about this Club or where it was.  Was the band called Hogsnort Rupert’s Jazz Band? I still have my Passport to Eel Pie Island # 15249. I also attended the 4th National Jazz Fest at Richmond Athletic Ground in 1964 and I have a membership  card for “The London Society of Jazz Music” I seem to remember this was issued when I joined one of the various Clubs, was It Eel Pie Island? I can’t find any reference to this Society on the Web. Overall, I felt I could not have lived in a better place than Kingston during this period and never felt the need to visit London Clubs. Any more information on the history of  the Crane River Jazz Club at the Thames Hotel would be appreciated.

[We have a collection of readers' jazz club cards - click here].

 

Richmond Jazz Festival ticket

 

 

A Sandy Brown Documentary?

David Binns, Sandy Brown's former partner at the acoustic engineers Sandy Brown Associates, has floated the idea of trying to commission a TV documentary on Sandy. David says: 'I am making enquiries to see if we can find someone to commission the film. It would be perfect if we Sandy and davidcould find one who is also a jazz fan'. If anyone has contacts or is interested, please contact us and I'll pass the information on to David.

Sandy Brown and David Binns

 

David says: 'I think it is unlikely that we will find enough film of Sandy to fill an half hour jazz documentary. Trailing YouTube however I have another idea: There is a lot of contemporary film material on Sandy’s recording studios and that, together with my book “Homes of the Hits” can provide the background material. The featured music would be some of the classic pop albums recorded in the studios  We can also get jazz in here as Sandy recorded albums in some of the studios. This could take up half the film. The other half could concentrate on his  jazz career using the film footage we have found together with still images, sleeves and interviews. It could also possibly include extracts from The McJazz Manuscripts and Follies of the Wise, the screenplay that Sandy wrote for the BBC, presented and acted by Spike Milligan'.

This is just an initial 'sounding', but please contact us if you think you might be able to help.

 

 

Adrian Rollini

Last month we wrote about bass saxophonist Adrian Rollini in our 'Jazz Remembered' slot (click here). Albert Haim, founder of the Bix Beiderbecke website writes: 'Thanks for providing information about Adrian Rollini in the last "Sandy Brown Jazz." One addition: After the Goldkette band dissolved in the Fall of 1927, Adrian Rollini hired several Goldkette musicians (Bix, Tram, Rank, Murray) for his short-lived New Yorkers. The New Yorkers did not record under that name, but most musicians in the band got together under Trumbauer and recorded many sides. One correction: Rollini was in New York in 1928, briefly, when his dad died. Rollini returned permanently to New York in 1929.'

Albert's comprehensive website www.bixbeiderbecke.com is dedicated to the preservation and dissemination of  information about Bix.  Annotated lists of books, articles, video tapes, audio tapes, recordings, and related items are provided. 

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

Dave Evans - An Appreciation

Drummer Dave Evans was found in his flat on Tuesday night, 3rd January, after missing his resident gig at The Brewery Tap in Brentford.

Fellow drummer, Gerry Wood writes:

'We await the coroner's report for cause of death and probable date, etc. Dave was an esteemed drummer in the traditional New Orleans jazz style through the 1960s to recent days. For most of his life, Dave lived between Chiswick and Brentford, and as a young teenager in the late 1950s,  he made his first steps into playing with the help of some rudimentary lessons from the pit percussionist at the Chiswick Empire variety theatre. That apart Dave was self taught and in the company of friends and fellow jazzers, like Barry Kid Martyn, grew into the world of the London jazz scene at Eel Pie Island and all-night sessions at Ken Colyer’s Club.

Over the years Dave developed an eclectic taste in music. From Ravel and Erik Satie to Jimmy Smith’s Hammond B3 organ to Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters and '60s rockers, The Band. His heart and soul, however, were settled on the music of New Orleans:  Jelly Roll Morton, GeorgeDave Evans Lewis,  Kid Ory,  Louis Armstrong and especially the  drummers Baby Dodds, Zutty Singleton, Minor Hall, Joe Watkins and above all the doyen of all styles, Sidney Catlett.

Establishing himself in the UK and Europe with Keith Smith’s Climax Jazz Band, Dave played with some of the great names:  Al Casey, guitarist with Fats Waller; pianists Alton Purnell and Sammy Price; and reeds player Joe Darensbourg.  On a duo gig with the famed Lil Hardin Armstrong, Dave found himself pitched,  unannounced, into Morton’s demanding ragtime piece The Pearls, and at the end was congratulated  warmly for his spirited, knowledgable  accompaniment by the original pianist/arranger with King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band.  Quite a night in Putney!

Dave played in New York and Minnesota on Garrison Keiller’s Prairie Home Companion radio show with Butch Thompson’s Anglo-US King Oliver Centennial Band. His 15 minutes of fame came with the trad-boom Confederates Jazz Band, complete with full military uniform (excused boots) and he later toured prestigious concert halls with The London Ragtime Orchestra.  Dave’s eclectic mind contributed solid swing to a coveted Champion Jack Dupree EP recorded for Mike Vernon at Decca with a young Jimmy Page on guitar. In the early 1970s, notable pub rockers ‘Bees Make Honey’ called him to Dave Edmund’s Rockfield Studios for  album tracks. Among his many recordings, perhaps his finest  characteristic playing was on a live album from the 100 club with Johnny Parker’s Reunion Band complete with JP himself, Ken Coyler, Graham Stewart, Alan Cooper, Jim Bray and Diz Disley. Lovely assured, confident swing,  elastic  ensemble interplay, slow­-burn solos grounded by a timely, telling clout on his commanding snare.

Like me, Dave was a great admirer of Sandy Brown and his various bands. One of his stories told of  meeting Sandy Brown on a muddy building site in Chiswick around the late 1950s. Dave was young jazz fan at the time and getting started in playing. He happened to have a 'Melody Maker' in his pocket as he took a short-cut across the open land. To his astonishment, he gradually realised that an approaching figure, taking his own short-cut towards him, was none other than Sandy Brown. Sandy stopped and asked for directions to a local pub where there was to be a band pick-up. Dave gave directions and despite being a shy young man produced his M.M. and secured Sandy's autograph. In later years this brief serendipity led to Dave sharing a bandstand with Sandy on a couple of occasions.

Until the end, Dave played a weekly residency with the One More Time Band at The Brewery Tap and various clubs and festivals with The Excelsior Vintage Jazz Band. Away from playing Dave was a familiar figure around Brentford and held in affectionate  regard  by many and often to be found in a corner seat with a pint studying The Telegraph crossword.  A private man, comfortable in his own worth with nothing to prove to anybody.  Amused by Stan and Ollie; entertained by Paul Temple and Mr Grouser; in awe of Phil Seaman and Bryan Spring.'

Dave Evans:  a gentle man.  08.02.42 - 03.01.17

Mark of Ealing, who sent us the above picture of Dave, says: 'I have heard it said that he played the drums as if he had a bad smell under his nose. At the Brewery Tap in Brentford, where he played with the Max Emmons 'One More Time' Jazz Band for a very long time, he was sometimes referred to as "The Metronome".'

 

 

 

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:

 

Dave Evans

 

 

Dave Evans - Self-taught UK drummer who played with Keith Smith’s Climax Jazz Band and accompanied many visiting musicians including Lil Hardin. He also played in New York and Minnesota on Garrison Keiller’s Prairie Home Companion radio show with Butch Thompson’s Anglo-US King Oliver Centennial Band; the Confederates Jazz Band; Johnny Parker’s Reunion Band and, until the end with the One More Time Band at The Brewery Tap and various clubs and festivals with The Excelsior Vintage Jazz Band. See Gerry Wood's appreciation of Dave above.

 

 

 

 

 

Buddy Greco

 

 

Buddy Greco - American pianist and singer who came to notice with Benny Goodman’s big band and sextet in the late 1940s. He entered Las Vegas as 'a lounge singer with a propulsive, swinging style that he applied to a long list of standards, and, in a recording career that generated more than 60 albums, genres ranging from country to rock ’n’ roll.' “Ballads are all well and good, but there’s no debating what Buddy Greco does best: swing,” Will Friedwald wrote in “A Biographical Guide to the Great Jazz and Pop Singers” (2010). “Pure swing. Explosive, relentless, insensitive sometimes, almost even annoying swing.”
Click here for a video of Buddy Greco singing The Lady Is A Tramp with Sammy Davis Jr,

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nat Hentoff

 

Nat Hentoff - American writer and music journalist. He knew most jazz musicians and the National Endowment for the Arts called him “one of the major voices in jazz literature” and in 2004 made him the first non-musician to win its Jazz Masters award. He became interested in jazz at eleven on hearing Artie Shaw. He began at the New Yorker as a staff writer in 1959 with a profile of saxophonist Gerry Mulligan and was most proud of a live TV program he helped stage in 1957, “The Sound of Jazz.” He and Whitney Balliett, jazz critic at the New Yorker, persuaded Billie Holiday, Count Basie, Lester Young and Thelonious Monk, among others, to take part.

 

 

 

 

Rod Mason


Rod Mason - English trumpet / cornet player who played with Cy Laurie from 1959 and joined Monty Sunshine in 1962. In 1965 he founded his own band, and from 1970 he played in the Acker Bilk's Paramount Jazz Band, before he founded a band together with Ian Wheeler in 1973. From 1980 Rod played in the Dutch Swing College Band and in 1985 he founded Hot Five band, with which he released a number of albums for Timeless Records. In later life he lived with his wife Ingrid in Germany. Click here for a video of Rod with his Hot Five playing That's My Home.

 

 

 

 

 

Terry Cryer

 

Terry Cryer - UK photographer from Leeds who from the 1950s, took memorable photographs of jazz musicians. 'Driving back from seeing Big Bill Broonzy in Manchester, Barclay fell asleep at the wheel and Cryer woke up with a broken neck. A lengthy stay in hospital followed, yet within months he had contrived a trip to London to photograph a Thames riverboat shuffle, still encased in a plaster cast.' Moving to live in London, where his wife worked at the Marquee club in Oxford Street 'Terry comprehensively covered a flourishing jazz scene in Soho. The crossover then was extraordinary: it was possible to dance to the New Orleans jazz of George Lewis one night and listen to the Modern Jazz Quartet’s neoclassicism in concert the next. Cryer absorbed it all, then suddenly disappeared from the jazz scene, lured by Associated Press and a regular wage.' Click here for our Profile of Terry Cryer.

 

 

 

 

 

Chuck Stewart

 

 

Chuck Stewart - American jazz photographer known for his photographs of John Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie, Dinah Washington and many others. He created an archive of some 800,000 negatives, and by his count his photographs appeared on the covers of at least 2,000 albums. Fellow photographer Carol Friedman said: 'If you look through Chuck’s images, what is immediately apparent is that his subjects have let him into their inner sanctum. They like him and they trust him. Whether he’s documenting them at a recording session or capturing them in the privacy of his own studio, he knew how to defer to the moment in time that unfolded before him.'

 

 

 

Charles Bobo Shaw

 

 

Charles Bobo Shaw - American avant-garde jazz drummer who helped found the Black Artists’ Group in 1968, a do-it-yourself cooperative of musicians, visual artists, writers, dancers and actors in St. Louis, it lasted until 1972. Bobo Shaw led a changing lineup of his Human Arts Ensemble during the 1970s and ’80s. He also performed and recorded with Mr. Lake, Cecil Taylor, Anthony Braxton, Steve Lacy, Lester Bowie, Frank Lowe, Billy Bang and others. His discography consists of some two dozen albums as leader and sideman. Click here for a video of Bobo Shaw playing with other drummers in 2011.

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Album Released: 27th January 2017 - Label: Eden River Records

 

Jimmy Scott

I Go Back Home

 

Robin Kidson reviews this album for us:

Jimmy Scott, who died in 2014 aged 88, had one of the most distinctive voices in jazz. A hormonal imbalance meant that his voice never really broke. He used this to his advantage and developed an unusual counter-tenor singing style. After early success in the fifties, contractual difficulties began to plague his career and he dropped out of sight. He made a comeback in the nineties, becoming something of a cult figure. I Go Back Home is his last album. It was recorded in 2009 but has only recently been released.

The brainchild of German producer, Ralf Kemper, I Go Back Home does Jimmy Scott proud. A full scale symphony orchestra plays on all twelve tracks together with an impressive rhythm section of Kenny BarronJimmy Scott I Go Back Home (piano), Michael Valerio (bass) and Peter Erskine (drums). Various guest artists are featured including the likes of James Moody, Joey DeFrancesco and Dee Dee Bridgewater. Phil Ramone produced the mixes, and the physical packaging of the album is superb.

It has to be said that Scott’s voice is not the all-conquering instrument of his younger days. But its very fragility adds a poignant, compelling dimension to the music, rather like some of Billie Holiday’s late recordings. His singing has a heartfelt, yearning quality, a longing for past youth and past loves, perhaps, and regret at lost opportunities. Most of the tracks are old standards but Scott manages to make them sound brand new and invests the sometimes rather hackneyed words with real meaning and passion. And he hits the notes. All in all, it’s an impressive performance by any standards let alone from a frail man in his eighties.

The album begins with a moving rendition of the old spiritual, Motherless Child. Scott’s heartfelt vocals are supported by some fine, soulful Hammond organ playing from Joey DeFrancesco. Martin Gjakonovski and Hans Dekker replace Valerio and Erskine on bass and drums respectively. Click here for a video of Jimmy Scott giving a live performance of Motherless Child.

The second track is the old standard, The Nearness of You which, as with most of the other tracks, has a lush orchestral arrangement. It also has some 'proper jazz' with the rhythm section really swinging at times. The actor, Joe Pesci, joins Scott on some of the vocals. This may appear a somewhat bizarre pairing but, actually, Pesci has a great voice which sounds eerily like Scott’s at times.

Pesci sings on another of the tracks, Folks Who Live on the Hill (Track 11). This is billed as a “Tribute to Jimmy Scott” and Scott does not actually sing on it at all so Pesci has to carry the whole performance himself – which he does triumphantly. Again, the similarity to Scott’s voice in younger days is uncanny. The track also features the on-form Joey DeFrancesco on a muted, Miles Davis sounding trumpet.

Track 3, Love Letters, is another old standard but given a foot tapping bossa nova treatment. The late Brazilian guitarist, Oscar Castro Neves, plays on the track and also sings (in Portuguese) either solo or with Scott. The effect is rather like one of those Getz-Gilberto collaborations from the sixties. Joey DeFrancesco contributes some more Hammond organ; and Gregoire Maret plays a short evocative harmonica solo.

On the next track, Easy Living, Scott doesn’t so much sing the lyric as talk it, Rex Harrison style. Occasionally, he bursts into song and that combination of talk-sing is surprisingly effective. Even when he is talking the lyric, Scott’s phrasing and diction are immaculate. Joey De Francesco plays organ again and takes a longer solo than on other tracks. DeFrancesco’s work is one of the highlights of the whole album and leaves one wondering why the Hammond organ is not heard more often in contemporary jazz.

On Someone To Watch Over Me, Scott is joined by Renee Olstead. Scott’s contribution is minimal so it’s really Olstead’s show. She has a great voice which, like Joe Pesci’s, is similar to Scott’s. She manages to make something distinctive of the rather 'pop' sounding arrangement and familiar words. Kenny Barron contributes a short but well-judged solo. Kenny Barron is also to the fore on How Deep Is The Ocean which, like Love Letters, is given Jimmy Scotta bossa nova makeover. Barron’s solo swings along effortlessly; and Oscar Castro Neves plays guitar again.

Scott’s vocal on If I Ever Lost You is particularly heartfelt; you know exactly how he would feel if he ever lost you. Till Bronner is the guest artist and his breathy trumpet solo contributes something a bit more contemporary to what is otherwise a conventionally lush arrangement. For Once In My Life is taken at a more stately pace than the Stevie Wonder version. Scott is joined by Dee Dee Bridgewater and they duet together effectively. Bob Mintzer plays some nice tenor sax. I Remember You is another Jimmy Scott-less “Tribute to Jimmy Scott” sung by Monica Mancini (Henry’s daughter). Again, the tempo is bossa nova with Oscar Castro Neves on guitar, and Arturo Sandoval playing some great flugelhorn.

Everybody Is Somebody’s Fool was originally recorded by Scott in the fifties with Lionel Hampton. You can listen to the original version - click here. The version on I Go Back Home is as poignant as the original but in a different way. Years of life experience separate the two versions making the later rendition sound like the musings of an older, wiser man rather than a wistful youth. There is a fine, too brief sax solo from the late James Moody and, as usual, sterling support from Joey DeFrancesco on Hammond organ. Scott hits the final high note right on the button.

Click here for Jimmy Scott singing Everybody Is Somebody’s Fool in his later years – this isn’t the version on I Go Back Home, but similar. The final track on the album is Poor Butterfly for which Scott adopts his talking/singing style. Again, phrasing and timing are perfect. Gregoire Maret contributes a harmonica solo which slots perfectly into the whole piece.

Performances by jazz legends at the end of their careers often disappoint but Jimmy Scott managed to keep going and deliver powerfully right to his death. I Go Back Home is a fitting tribute to a great talent.

A film documenting the making of I Go Back Home will be shown in the UK later this year. Click here for a trailer which also acts as an introduction to the album itself.

For further details of the album, go to the Eden River Records website, or click here for CD, MP3 or vinyl purchase information.

 

Robin Kidson


Back to top of page

 

Album Released: 13th January 2017 - Label: Basho Records

 

Trish Clowes

My Iris

 

Steve Day reviews this album for us:

Trish Clowes (saxophones), Chris Montague (guitar), Ross Stanley (organ, piano); James Maddren (drums).

My Iris, released on the 13th January 2017 sets the bar very high for British small group jazz releases this year. What’s going on in this band equates to some kind of magic.  And for sure the gift that is Ross Stanley’sTrish Clowes My Iris Hammond keyboard has a crucial role, as does the guitar of Chris Montague, playing his best recording date so far (in my opinion), robust and intricate on the opening One Hour, spare and spooked on the follow-up, Blue Calm.  Then there are James Maddren’s drums, brushed and struck as if beaten by a propeller measuring the length of the ocean.  All play their part – we’ll get to the tasty set-piece, Tap Dance (For Baby Dodds) five paragraphs further on from here.  Unsurprisingly it is Trish Clowes herself who calls the tune. 

A couple of years ago it looked likely she was going to break through glass ceilings and concrete floors, she has largely succeeded in making that happen by her own sheer creativity and organisation.  Now with the release of My Iris, an album with such a compression of articulated vision, I can’t believe she isn’t going to be recognised as a critical European player and composer.    Trish Clowes’ soprano and tenor saxophones are already TC (Top Cat). 

Click here for Trish Clowes introducing My Iris

Where to start? How about A Cat Called Behemoth since we’re on the subject. Behemoth is apparently a giant cat character in ‘The Master & Magarita’ by Mikhail Bulgakov.  I don’t know the story, though I understand an organ comes into it somewhere emitting “a strange chromatic squeak”.  Well, speak as you find, I don’t hear any squeaks coming off of Ross Stanley’s Hammond.  A Cat Called Behemoth is a wonderfully weird piece of music making.  Each of the three front line players give individual recitals which are weaved in tight to James Maddren’s prod and pushing percussion.  For me it is Trish Clowes herself who delivers the initial delicacies, mainly because she’s confident with her own eloquence and strips the quirky line of over complication.  She holds in her hands the only instruments that are blown in this band, the breadth of her breathing floods through the improv.  Under and over, Ross Stanley’s keyboard is a real soundboard; a funky feel-good that has nought to do with Jimmy Smith’s The Cat.  Mr Stanley turns on gothic grandeur, mock Bach without ridiculing the source.  The guy has just been awarded the British Jazz Awards prize for his use of organ in the miscellaneous instrument category.  His work within My Iris is amble proof of why it was a good decision. 

The trick within A Cat Called Behemoth is that it is stalking in a number of different directions.  Chris Montague’s guitar maintains a closed brevity, riding single notes across the spacy groove.  Sure, when he solos he’s scattering complexity in a number of directions, but because he’s held back until now, he’s earned the right to knit a short weave of six strings.  There’s a version of this tune on Youtube with a quintet line-up, including Maddren and Montague.  It’s a real tight classy catch; piano, no organ, tasty double bass, no organ-bass pedals.  Give it a listen, it will take you some of the way there, but it demonstrates by default the mystery of the My Iris line-up when exercised around Stanley’s Hammond (click here).  Trish Clowes is ever so slightly unsettling in his presence, or so it seems to me, and that being the case, it gives the action a dramatic quality.  This is a music of substance.

Let’s go to Muted Lines, another spacy composition, the only non-Clowes original, written instead by Cevanne Horrocks-Hopayian, currently composer in residence with the London Symphony Orchestra.  The track comes with a story I haven’t got the room to tell, but here’s a short briefing: A 16th century Armenian poem by Nahapel Kuchak which Trish Clowes whisper-sings because it is about an exile’s “unsingable songs”.  The irony of singing what can’t be sung represents a lot of what is going on here.  Being able to articulate what could be Trish Clowes Chris Montaguethought of as out of reach, these are after all by definition, Muted Lines.  The suggestion is that this is the current predicament.  We must achieve peace, where there is none.  Find hope where there is only sorrow, a voice where there is an uncanny silence.

What follows Muted Lines is Tap Dance (for Baby Dodds), which Clowes considers a ‘sister’ tune to Muted.  As everyone knows, Baby Dodds was the ace drummer with King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band and Louis Armstrong’s Hot Five (I owe my father for bringing me up on this stuff though I mustn’t now become diverted from my task).  Trish Clowes’ own story goes that she was transcribing a Dodds drum break at the same time as briefing Cevanne Horrocks-Hopayian on the My Iris project.  Personally, I can’t understand why Clowes was transcribing Baby Dodds solos and breaks, because as far as I know Warren Dodds never played a transcription in his life.  I guess that shouldn’t prevent Trish Clowes from having a go, the end result sure beats Frank Zappa tapping with his fingers on the top of a mixing desk in the middle of John Cage’s 4.33 (the so-say ‘silent’, composition).  Clowes’ Tap Dance gets very close to Baby Dodds without going anywhere near the Creole Jazz Band or the Hot Five (I just had to play them as comparisons).  So, I like this Tap Dance because it acknowledges and pays homage to the start of things without becoming retro.  I like the rest of the album because it honours what there is to come.

Click here to listen to King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band with Baby Dodds

On Be A Glow Worm the action is rooted in a workout that could have been a tenor hard-bop blow, but is instead circumnavigated as an alt-riddle of fragments, the fractures spliced into verses; Clowes and Montague ducking and weaving around each other in search of ‘The Light’.  To Be A Glow Worm means you are the light, and the abrupt ending feels like an acknowledgement of that fact.  In Between The Moss And Ivy is a linear ballad which is poised and blown clean of superfluous activity, leaving each part of the quartet to come together, holding the brittle melody intact as if it is the ‘other-side’ of the opening track, One Hour, which itself had so slowly unfolded sound and rhythm onto my ears right at the start of My Iris.  An intriguing beginning which fulfilled the function of a prologue; it contained just enough of the whole to make me want to listen-up without giving away the secrets to be shared. 

Trish Clowes has thrown down a challenge to herself with this album.  The bar is set, there is no way back from this height, neither can she stop still.  There will have to be something else to come.  My Iris buys her some time. 

Click here for details and to sample the album.

 

Steve Day www.stevedaywordsandmusic.co.uk

 

Back to top of page

 

Album Released: 27th January 2017 - Label: Whirlwind Recordings

 

Henry Spencer and Juncture

The Reasons Don't Change

Henry Spencer (trumpet, flugelhorn), Nick Costley-White (guitar), Matt Robinson (piano, Rhodes, Wurlitzer, melotron), Andrew Robb (bass), David Ingamells (drums), the Guastalla Quartet - John Garner, Marie Shreer (violins), Agata Darashkaite (viola), Sergio Serra (cello) on track 9.

There is always that risk, when you have been won over by a band playing live, that their album doesn't come up to that experience. Not here. I think this album is outstanding.

Some years ago, trumpeter Barney Lowe, who leads the London City Big Band, told me I should hear Henry Spencer. I first found Henry and Juncture in an upstairs room at a London pub; that is when I was first won over,Henry Spencer The Reason's Don't Change particularly moved by Henry's playing on a tune called Joanne's Diary. The tune is on this album. The last time I heard Henry and Juncture play was in 2016 at Ronnie Scott's club. There have been trailers and samples of this album online, but they are no substitute for the complete package which benefits from being heard as a whole, and here I have to credit the studio engineering and mixing by George Murphy, Charlie Morton and Dave Darlington.

The first track on an album is important; this is where the listener meets the music and the musicians, where your attention is caught - or not. The first track on this album is called Introduction/Hindsight Can Wait. Like Louis Armstrong's West End Blues, it starts with a formidable trumpet solo. Within thirty seconds you are listening to Henry Spencer's technical skill, creativity and emotional expression - and you'll know that is why I use a word like 'outstanding'. The track also confirms that this is not just about Henry, but that he has with him talented musicians who have developed an understand from working together over a number of years and who make their own valuable contributions.

The ten tracks on the album, all composed by Henry, are engaging. They are named as a response to his way of dealing with specific personal experiences, but the listener is invited to respond to them in their own way. On The Bridge is introduced by Matt Robinson's single note piano with Henry Spencer's flugelhorn bringing in the gentle theme. The balance in the recording as the other instruments come in is why I credited the engineering Henry Spencerearlier. About half way through we begin to hear that emotion again in Henry's playing - do you remember the expression Miles Davis put into his Porgy and Bess and Sketches of Spain albums? The piano solo leads us into a swelling ensemble before the tune ends on that single piano note. Eulogy (Goodbye Old Chap) is led by a strong trumpet that merges into the ensemble and then melts into Nick Costley-White's fine, extended guitar solo until the ensemble explorations return to the theme.

Click here to listen to On The Bridge.

And then Joanne's Diary. Horn and piano lead us to Andrew Robb's bass and Matt Robinson's lovely piano solo, picked up in turn by the guitar. Listen to how well David Ingamells drums are brought into the mix. Knock Back, Knocked Forward is, for me, one of the highlights on the album. A repetative piano motif underwrites the entry to Henry's captivating trumpet solo before we move on to Nick's guitar solo and leave with that piano riff once again taking us out. Never Draw A Line makes room for a bass solo from Andrew Robb quietly accompanied by Nick's guitar. The tenderness is taken up by piano and then the flugelhorn wistfully fades without drawing the line.

Still Open To Confusion comes as a surprise in tempo and introduces one of the themes that seems to stay in the memory from this album. There is some exquisite trumpet playing by Henry Spencer on this track with plenty of space for Matt Robinson's piano. Remember Why seems like a gentle progression from the previous track. IHenry Spencer at Ronnie Scott's Club have written before about the ability Henry Spencer seems to have to literally squeeze emotion from his trumpet and we hear that again here. Piano and guitar have their enjoyable conversation on this track and it is worth taking time to listen to the work of the bass and drums behind them.

Click here to listen to a demo extract from Still Open To Confusion made in preparation for the album.

Hopeless Heartless is one of the most beautiful and engaging tracks on this album. With the strings of the Guastalla Quartet this could be music for a movie soundtrack. Matt Robinson's piano solo leads us to Henry's touching flugelhorn storytelling and surely it cannot just be me that feels the emotion that I hear. We leave the album with The Survivor And The Descendant with its changing rhythms and ideas and Henry's high notes leading the ensemble into and out of the theme.

Click here to listen to Hopeless Heartless.

Barney Lowe told me I should hear Henry Spencer. I think you should too. Henry Spencer is a special talent and this album from Juncture is a treat.

Click here for details and to sample the album.

Henry Spencer and Juncture will be on tour:

7th February - Pizza Express, Soho (album launch)
26th April - Old St. Records, London
11th May - Soundcellar, Poole
12th May - Bourton Hall, North Dorset
13th May - Calstock Arts, Plymouth
14th May - Ashburton Live, Devon
15th May - North Devon Jazz Club, Appledore
16th May - St Ives Jazz Club
17th May - Jazz at Dempsey's Cardiff
18th May - Jazz at Future Inn, Bristol
2nd June - Ray's Jazz at Foyles, London

 

Ian Maund


Back to top of page

 

Album Released: 2nd February 2017 - Label: MGP Records

 

Pete Oxley and Nicolas Meier

The Colours Of Time

 

Howard Lawes reviews this album for us:

The Colours Of Time is the third album from the guitar duo of Pete Oxley and Nicolas Meier, a couple of great musicians whose output in terms of albums has been prodigious over the last few years.  Pete Oxley has been a member of bands such as New Noakes Internationals and more recently Time Is Of The Essence, which perhaps not coincidentally has the same name as an album by saxophonist Michael Brecker with Pat MethenyPete Oxley and Nicolas Meier The Colours of Time on guitar. 

Nicolas Meier's bands include the nu-metal Seven7, Modern Guitar Orchestra and The Meier Group and his catalogue contains 20 albums produced in little more than a decade.  Meier's album Orient from 2005 won him the Grand Jury Prize at the Juan les Pins Jazz Festival and he repeated this success with his own group in 2015. 

Both Oxley and Meier are members of Eclectica.  Whereas Oxley graduated from Leeds College of Music and spent formative years in France, Meier graduated from the Conservatoire de Fribourg in Switzerland and then reinforced his love of jazz, that grew from visits to the Montreux Festival, at Berklee College in Boston, USA.

Meier and Oxley have run jazz clubs; Meier in Guildford where he teaches at the Academy of Contemporary Music and Oxley in Oxford where his Spin Club was voted Best Live Jazz Venue at the Parliamentary Jazz Awards in 2012.  Oxley's music has been influenced by the Brazilian composer and guitarist Egberto Gismonti as well as jazz greats such as Pat Metheny, Herbie Hancock and John Schofield; Meier has embraced music from around the world, in particular Turkey, the home country of his wife Songul Yilmaz-Meier, a professional artist who painted the striking album cover on this latest album. He has also played with rock bands such as the Jeff Beck Band, Live in Tokyo 2014.

In a conversation with Nicolas, he explained to me that his international travels have introduced him to a range of music forms and in particular the music of Turkey, the home of his in-laws, which has a particular structure based on smaller intervals between notes than a semitone, which is the case with Western music.  Very small intervals are called 'microtones' and are played, in Nicolas Meier's case, using fretless guitars.  In Indonesia he met Dewa Budjana, leader of a very popular band called Gigi, which led him to compose the tune Dewa which incorporates sounds of Indonesia.  Nicolas also talked about his work in the UK where he is a performance tutor at the Academy of Contemporary Music in Guildford, he teaches both metal and jazz Nicolas Meier with guitarstechniques and runs jazz workshops for aspiring young musicians.  Nicolas spoke warmly of his musical partnership with Pete Oxley which is both mutually supportive and challenging, they use a variety of guitars which adds depth and interest to their performance and recordings, they also enjoy working as a quartet and are looking forward to a 35 date tour in the UK followed by further gigs in Europe.

Nicolas Meier has clearly taken Frederic Chopin's view that "nothing is more beautiful than the guitar, save perhaps two", to extremes.

A feature of the The Colours Of Time album is the variety of guitars played by both musicians which are identified on the album cover alongside each track.  These include acoustic, electric, nylon strings, steel strings, jazz guitar, glissentar (or oud) and fretless guitar.  A second feature is that this is a double album with Oxley and Meier playing all new material as a duo on CD1 while CD2 contains music from a quartet with Paul Caviaciuti on drums and Raph Mizraki on acoustic and electric basses. Two of the tracks on CD2 are new, the rest have been released as duo versions on previous albums, Travels To The West and Chasing Tales

Click here for a video introduction to the album.

CD1 starts with the Oxley composition, The Key Of Klimt, inspired by the remarkable symbolist paintings of the artist Gustav Klimt, perhaps best known for striking figures, bright colours and the use of gold leaf, Oxley's music is similarly vivid with lovely harmonies and perhaps sets the tone for the whole album which is not distinctly jazzy but beautiful music played by jazz musicians.  Meeting Dewa by Meier recalls the popular music of Indonesia as might be played on the tuned percussive instrument called a gamelan, however a guitar solo is used to enlarge on what is possible with a gamelan.  The great jazz pianist Bill Evans improvised Peace Piece in 1958 and Oxley's A Piece For Peace is similarly evocative, lamenting the suffering that so many have had to endure in recent times. Meier then lightens the mood with the folkdance style Waltz For Dilek which includes solos from both players. 

Princes' Islands, refers to a group of islands offshore from Istanbul and which in the past were home to an ethnically diverse population, Meier's composition immediately transports the listener to the eastern Mediterranean and his use of fretless guitar enables him to play authentic music from the region which is characterised by microtones (i.e. tonal increments less than a semi-tone).  Oxley's In Restless Repose certainly has a disturbing and slightly sinister feel to it featuring synthesiser, changes to tempo and rhythm and solo improvisations from both players.  Oxley's next tune pays homage to his former teacher, now master stringed instrument technician and historian, Zachary Taylor - Song For Z.T. features the extra versatility that comes with the use of a 7-string guitar.  The track Sahara uses the fretless Glissentar to provide an authentic taste of music from northwest Africa while the next track Bosphorus is a Pete Oxley and Nicolas Meierlovely melody, sounding much like a love song.  The final track on CD1 is called First Day Of Spring, a time to lift the spirits but with a brisk tempo suggesting time passing and opportunities that could be missed.

CD2 has two newly composed tracks, Oxley's Purple Panther mixes pink and blue to give a couple a classic jazz guitar solos which are very well supported by drum and bass in this quartet format, while Meier's Fethiye Crossroads, combines the traditional music of Turkey with western music and solo improvisations suggesting cultural differences and competition between one lifestyle and another.  Tracks 1 to 5 were first recorded on the Chasing Tales album as guitar duo performances, these are The Followers, Looking West, Chasing Kites, Riversides and Tales Track 7, Breeze, was first recorded on the live album, Travels To The West. These tracks demonstrate a different style, although recorded in a studio they have the feeling of live performance about them, drum and base impart a much more obvious rhythm and Chasing Kites includes a drum solo.  Both Breeze and Riversides include a solo from Meier on glissentar but in the latter the style is more disco than folkdance, although none the less enjoyable for that. 

It has been clear for some time that jazz music in its broadest sense includes music from all over the world and Pete Oxley and Nicolas Meier have jumped at the chance to exploit this reality and bring really interesting and beautiful music to the ever changing and expanding jazz audience.  As is so often the case with jazz this music deserves repeated listening to fully appreciate the intricacies that  these great musicians bring to their performance.  It is clear that Oxley and Meier have great musical rapport, both supporting and challenging each other to reach even greater heights.

Click here and follow the link for further details, samples and the tour list for the coming months.

 

Howard Lawes     

 

Back to top of page

 

Album Released: 25th November 2016 - Label: Trail Belle Records

 

Christine Tobin

PELT

Christine Tobin (voice), Phil Robson (guitars), Liam Noble (piano, prepared piano, rhodes), Gareth Lockrane (flutes), Richard Jones (violin), Kate Shortt (cello), Dave Whitford (double and electric bass), Lorraine Baker (drums tracks 1 & 4), Simon Lea (drums on 3,5,6,7,9, 10), (Thebe Lipere percussion and Steve Arguelles drums on track 11).

Christine Tobin's 2014 album A Thousand Kisses Deep made a great impression on me. Until then, I had never warmed to Leonard Cohen's songs, but listening to Christine's interpretations and arrangements live and then on CD, completely converted me. I was glad that I had discovered the poet before he passed through the Departure Lounge in November 2016.

In 2015, Christine moved to New York and I caught up with her for a Tea Break item in August 2016 when she was looking forward to the launch of her new album, PELT, that November at London's Pizza Express Jazz Club. 'The songs are all original compositions. The lyrics and poems are by poet Paul Muldoon and music and arrangements by myself,' she said. And so I am introduced to another poet - and Christine chooses her poetsChristine Tobin PELT well. Muldoon's words are printed in the booklet that comes with the CD and the album title comes from the poem, Pelt:

The rain rattled the roof of my car like holy water on a coffin lid, holy water and mud landing with a thud
though as I listened the uproar would fade to the stoniest of silences ... They piled it on all day till I gave way
to a contentment I'd not felt in years, not since that winter I'd worn the world against my skin, worn it fur side in.

By now, readers will have recognised from the list of personnel that Christine's usual collaborators, Phil Robson and Dave Whitford are onboard, together with other musicians with whom she has recorded before - the talents of Liam Noble, Gareth Lockrane, Kate Shortt, Thebe Lipere, etc. are all here.

Zoological Positivism Blues opens the album with wonderfully percussive rhythms introducing and then backing the vocals that make way for a stretching guitar solo, and then Wind And Tree slows gently to piano and voice in a song about relationship. On track 3, the mood crashes into San Simeon a piece describing images of celebrity and a place, San Simeon: 'Julius ''Groucho'' Marx lines up his duck walks through San Simeon / Winston Spencer Churchill likens himself to Virgil after San Simeon ...'. The keyboards have the solo platform here and afterwards I am left thinking that, like much of poetry, I need to explore further the intent behind the words.

Click here to listen to Wind And Tree.

After Me at track 4 is a gentle love song: ' ... No one will give you a second glance after me ...', and carries some nice flute, piano and guitar, I really enjoyed the guitar solo that picks up the mid section. Promises Christine TobinPromises starts with Richard Jones's violin and Kate Shortt's cello. The poem is one of my favourites in this collection and at times I hear occasional touches of Joni Mitchell in Christine's vocals: 'I am stretched out under the lean-to of an old tobacco shed on a farm in North Carolina. A cardinal sings from the dogwood for the love of marijuana. His song goes over my head there is such splendour in the grass ....'. Credit too to Liam Noble's lovely piano work on this one and the strings lend their part nicely to the mood.

Click here to listen to Promises Promises.

Which brings us to Longbones, with a strong bass undertone feet-tapping voodoingly behind the occasionally double-tracked vocals and occasional howls: 'When she came to me that night in Damascus Street she was quite beside herself. Her father was about to die and his mirror was covered with a sheet so his spirit might not beat against it but fly as spirits fly ...'

 

Christine Tobin
Photograph by David Woodall

 

Click here to listen to After Me.

The Big House sings a tale against a mix of strings and flute told by 'I was only the girl under the stairs' who notices 'something is wrong' and a squire who dies. Once again Gareth Lockrane's flute and the strings float through and around the story. It is Gareth too who opens the title track, Pelt, with plucked bass handing over to piano before Christine slowly sings the words. The piano gently bridges to the last verse and just as gently wraps up the song. I'd Know You Anywhere says: 'We've never met before but I'd know you anywhere' and sets itself against a world of ways of meeting - mobiles / cell phones, the clock at Waterloo, rolled up newspapers, the lion in Trafalgar Square. Phil Robson's guitar plays the solo with everyone taking the tune out alongside Christine.

Big Idea has a strange bowed and plucked beginning that rocks into guitar, bass, and drums - 'Hey Galileo what's the big idea?' The instrumental mid-section is a rocking outing with a riff borrowed from rock 'n' roll - 'Hey Stephen Hawking what's the big idea?' And then the dreamy Horses and the voice I have come to know as Christine Tobin's. It is a short piece that says: 'I'm trying to remember, as best I can, if I'm a man dreaming I'm a plowhorse or a great plowhorse dreaming I'm a man.' and Phil Robson again takes us out lyrically with his guitar. The album ends quietly with the instrumental arrangement for Pelt.

Like A Thousand Kisses Deep, this album is as much about the words as the music. The relationship between the music, the arrangement and the story behind the poem is central, one needs to enhance the other. Christine Tobin seems to have a way of achieving that. A one-time listen is nowhere near enough it can only be an introduction. Read the words, listen again and you can come to know the real substance of PELT.

Click here to listen to Zoological Positivism Blues.

Click here for details and to sample the album.

This is not a track on the album but click here for a video of Christine Tobin, Phil Robson, Liam Noble, Dave Whitford, Simon Lea, Kate Shortt and Thebe Lipere playing live at The Vortex in 2009.

 

Ian Maund

 

 

Back to top of page

 

Album Released: 6th January 2017 - Label: Cdbaby

 

Laura Dubin Trio

Live at the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival

Tim Rolfe reviews this album for us:

This album comprises of the two recorded sets that the Laura Dubin Trio performed at the festival during the summer of 2016.  The early set is on disc 1 and the later set on disc 2, which also contains a trailer for a full concert DVD, the sheet music for Something’s Cookin' plus 3 photos of the trio and the CD cover notes for each track. The DVD of their performance at the festival is available separately.  Laura Dubin Trio album

 

Laura Dubin started attending the festival as a teenager, so to perform at the event was a career achievement. Laura has crowd-funded a previous album and this is also how this double CD release was financed. Both CD’s include original compositions, a few previously released, rearranged tracks, some Great American Songbook standards, pieces of classical music that have been arranged for a jazz trio, and a few compositions by other great jazz musicians.  This is quite a variety to showcase Laura’s musical background and the jazz musicians that have influenced her.  There are 21 tracks in total containing 27 separate compositions of which 10 are from Laura.

The trio consists of Laura on piano, her husband Antonio H. Guerrero on drums and Kieran Hanlon on bass. There is great interplay between the members of the trio and they are given ample opportunity to also show their skills in a number of solos.

Disc 1 kicks off with Steve Allen’s This Could Be The Start of Something Big, which is very upbeat with some intricate keyboard work and a nice bass solo towards the end and illustrates the interplay previously mentioned between the members of the trio.  Track 3, Ode to O.P., is a homage to Oscar Peterson, a primary influence of Laura’s.  This a swinger with cascading piano which provides good backing to a bass solo and highlights the playful interactions between the musicians.  

Track 4 is a medley of Ravel’s Prelude From Le Tombeau de Couperin and Rogers and Hammerstein’s My Favourite Things, so we have a dramatic first half with fast and punchy playing which continues into the second part where the bass  is played with the bow providing a nice contrast and ending with an excellent drum solo.  It should not work but does.  

Click here for a video of My Favourite Things from the CD release concert.

Track 7, Fats Waller’s Handful Of Keys shows Laura’s full potential in this piano-only track which includes a number of piano styles - stride, barrelhouse, waltz and touches of Erroll Garner and Bach.  

The following track is Beethoven’s Sonata No.8 'Pathetique', which has small additions of other melodies interspersed throughout.  This is played at a fast pace with a nice interaction with Guerrero on drums.  We Laura Dubinfinish the first CD with Laura's own composition, Anxiety, which has differing rhythms and speeds which gradually build up, then slow again with the cycle repeating, utilising a good undelaying melody.

Click here for a video of the Trio playing the Beethoven Sonata.

Disc 2, starts with Laura’s composition, Something’s Cookin’, which is another swinging track with an intricate melody played with great accompaniment from bass and drums, both providing solos.  Invention For Nina pays homage to Nina Simone, and is one of the fewer, slower melodic tracks featuring Bach influences and is played beautifully.  Donald Brown’s New York is both fast and brash in the playing and composition, invoking the hustle and bustle of that city.  A bouncy bluesy number called Kelly Green, has bowed bass slowing things down and offering contrast.  We then have another medley consisting of Debussy’s Reflets Dans l’Eau with Gershwin’s Our Love Is Here To Stay which has a slower staccato piano, and is my favourite of the medleys.

Click here for a video of a live performance of Kelly Green.

The second disc’s final track is called Barcelona and is where Laura has performed and where she met her husband.  It obviously has a Spanish feel and is a rousing track to end the CD.

This is a very tight trio and these two CD’s show their range and influences with Laura perhaps favouring faster tempos for her live sets, displaying to advantage her careful, complex and clear playing whilst also managing to show the talents of the other two members of the trio.

Click here for details and to sample the album.

 

Tim Rolfe

 

Back to top of page

 

Album Released: 13th January 2017 - Label: Ubuntu Music

 

Camilla George Quartet

Isang

 

Steve Day reviews this album for us:

Camilla George (alto saxophone); Sarah Tandy (piano); Daniel Casimir (bass); Femi Koleoso (drums); special guest, Zara McFarlane (vocal) on Ms Baja.    

Today, this sounded like the only music I wanted to hear.  The Camilla George Quartet draw you in to their music from the beginning.  It’s a very honest recording; clean, no fuss, but with all the filigree that you need from sax, piano, bass and drums when its early in a new year and you’re desperate to hear someone, somewhere say something truthful.  A little reassurance.  There’s a Ben Okri quote on the sleeve: “Who can dream a good road and travel on it?”  And this morning the music in my ear seems to come from a gang of four who have translated the dreams of the dark night into a wake-up call to turn 2017 into a journey. 

The drum kit breaks; opening piano chords split. Sarah Tandy is a pianist who exposes the possibilities of the keyboard even when she’s setting the scene for someone else, and then there’s this bravura alto sax playing the fine line between melody and the start of a potential solo.  And once Ms George begins to pull away from the rest of the band it is immediately obvious that she’s a top notch soloist with ideas a-plenty, yet she too hasCamilla George Quartet Isang done her listening to get to this point.

Isang is an Efik/Ibibio, Nigerian word related to ‘journey’.  It is the title of the first album to come out under Camilla George’s own name, though she’s spent time with Tomorrow’s Warriors and Jazz Jamaica.  She’s right to put this quartet together.  She’s a generous leader, everybody gets a pop at the action, but make no bones about it, Camilla George is right to have her name on the label, this is an alto player who can really stir the pot.  I hear Bird and Art Pepper and Dudu Pukwana.  She slips Salt Peanuts and Rollins’s Don’t Stop The Carnival into her calypso Lunacity.  Joe Harriott must have figured in her thinking at some point.  Coltrane hangs over the swing imbued within The Night Has A Thousand Eyes.  All these people matter, yet at the same time are set aside in the flurry to gather up the concentration projected into the reading of her self-composed, Dreams of Eket.  It is near perfection. The alto horn is as eloquent as Rumi verse creating the setting for Daniel Casmimir’s short, studied bass commentary which unfolds to allow the leader to deliver a soliloquy of tenderness throughout the entire length of the rest of the song.  Camilla George, this is ballad playing at its best!

Click here to listen to Lunacity on Soundcloud.

The other tasty original which slow burns a showcase on this session is Song For Reds.  Limpid and languishing, an after-hours portrait of Camillia George’s father. The alto sax curves the tune blue For Reds, only to blow the ballad monochrome, as if it had just been pulled out of a Prestige label album sleeve.  Femi Koleoso plays tidy slinky brushes against the leader's horn and they’re given neat emphasis when he stops for the duration of Sarah Tandy’s pithy, impressionistic piano interlude, only to pick-up on the sax as it re-enters and puts the finishing touch to the portrait.  It’s clever little details like this that make the journey taken on Isang such a smooth ride.

I suppose the track that might be chalked up for radio air-play is Ms Baja, written by Kenny Garrett, and featuring Zara McFarlane’s voice as a scat-sung second horn line.  It’s the kind of thing that Courtney Pine used to do with Cleveland Watkiss.  It works well enough for sure.  I guess if it had been down to me I’d have Camilla George Quartetencouraged Camilla George to keep the focus on her own front line horn.  There’s nothing wrong with Zara McFarlane, far from it.  On her 2012 album, If You Knew Her, she produced an arrangement of the old Junior Murvin/Clash classic Police And Thieves, which stole the show.  It remains an ever-so sophisticated pertinent piece of Brit-jazz news narrative. And on Ms Baja, voice and horn harmonise the Garrett line with terrific panache.  It’s just that Camilla George’s sax is on such a high-end roll on this session, to the point that it makes me eager to get back to her unadorned reed.

On the final track, Mami Wata Returns/Usoro, Sarah Tandy switches to electric piano and things get subtly funky.  Ms George turns on the tap and the others flow with her.  It’s a little over six minutes in length and could so easily have stretched to twelve without being harmful to anyone.  This modest quartet have put together an album, that on its own terms, declares a major saxophone voice who can also compose according to her requirements.  Right now, I need to check them out a whole lot more.  The Camilla George Quartet are currently on tour, it’s February, why not make the best use of winter.  Try and catch them if you can.

Tour Dates:

22nd February - The Lescar, Sheffield
23rd February - Mattand Phred’s, Manchester
25th February - Zeffirelli’s, Ambleside
26th February - Seven Arts, Leeds
27th February - Kenilworth Jazz Club
28th February - Royal British Legion, North Wales Jazz
1st March - Dempsey’s, Cardiff
2nd March - The Vortex, London

Click here for details and to sample the album.

Click here for a video of the Camilla George Quartet playing live in 2015

Steve Day www.stevedaywordsandmusic.co.uk

 


Back to top of page

 

Album Released: 16th December 2016 - Label: Intakt

 

Ingrid Laubrock

Serpentines

Filipe Freitas reviews this album for us:

German-born, Brooklyn-based saxophonist, Ingrid Laubrock, an active hipster within the modern creative jazz scene, who knows how to prod and when to loosen up, doesn’t stop to amaze me with her projects (Anti-House, Sleepthief, Octet, Paradoxical Frog, Ubatuba). She started playing saxophone in London, where she livedIngrid Laubrock Serpentines between 1989 and 2009 and did a postgraduate jazz course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, before moving to New York.

Among her numerous collaborations, we find giant improvisers such as Anthony Braxton, Kenny Wheeler, Muhal Richard Abrams, and William Parker.

Following a great duo record with the inventive drummer Tom Rainey, she presents five brand new compositions in the company of a debutant group. In Serpentines, she explores diverse sonorous landscapes and never sounds the same twice, giving her peers – trumpeter Peter Evans, pianist Craig Taborn, drummer Tyshawn Sorey, koto player Miya Masaoka, tuba player Dan Peck and electronics wizard Sam Pluta – the opportunity to intervene with fantasy, cohesiveness, and reverie.

The opening tune, Pothole Analytics, is split in two parts, working as an invitation for a variety of textures and calculated structures that will come next. The first part is sparse in movements, organic in its musical intercessions, and uniform in intensity. It moves in a sort of limbo, promising to explode any time with a provocative tangibility. The second part brings us the scintillating effervescence we always expected on the first one. The vivid interactions, suffused with irony and the polyphony generated by Laubrock, Evans and Peck, can be described as a 'controlled cacophony' where no one stands out but the collective. Constantly searching for balance and carefully eschewing altercation, Masaoka and Taborn sketch agitated figures while Sorey confidently takes the rudder in his hands, propelling the starship into the vastness of space.

Their spectrum gets darker in the obscure Chip In Brain, a quasi-cinematic experience of startling textures. Surreptitiously, the tune evolves into a dreamy aura with the contribution of Pluta’s effects, Evans’s long notes, and Masaoka’s gentle touches.

Squirrels, a modern hymn, blossoms with tortuous lines of soprano sax and trumpet. Lurking in the corner, Peck’s tuba is attached as a guideline while Taborn balances everything with his monster creativity and Ingrid Laubrockfreedom, well accompanied by Sorey’s fleet drumming. To better define the sections, unisons are injected as interludes, and the tune culminates with a diptych of Masaoka’s strumming and Pluta’s noise, before assuming the form of a prodigious march.

Chimerical and explorative, the title track, Serpentines, bursts with rhythm, becoming cautiously atmospheric as the textures weaved by Taborn, Sorey, and Pluta invite Peck’s low vibes. The bandleader resumes the melodic contours with the help of Masaoka’s exotic sounds.

Accurately composed and wrapped in fantastic chemistry, Serpentines reaffirms Laubrock as an indispensable figure in the contemporary jazz. New York is her home, but this music has no borders, showing solid, serpentine roads paved with freedom and discipline, expansions and contractions, composure and convulsion.

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

Click here for Ingrid Laubrock's website.

 

Filipe Freitas jazztrail.net

 

Back to top of page

 

Albums Released: 24th February 2017 - Label: World Village

 

Omar Sosa and Seckou Keita

Transparent Water

 

Steve Day reviews a series of releases:     

Omar Sosa (keyboards, electronics, vocals, percussion); Seckou Keita (kora, vocals, percussion); Gustavo Ovalles (percussion); Mieko Miyazaki (koto); Wu Tong (sheng, bawu); E’Joung-Ju (geomungo); Dominique Huchet (bird EFX).

I have now listened to Transparent Water multiple times.  I wish I knew more about it.  ‘World Music’ is an awkward term, actually why pick on ‘World Music’, all labels are difficult suggestions for creativity and Omar Sosa, from Cuba and Seckou Keita from Senegal don’t push the description. But listening to the thirteen reflective pieces which make up this album cannot do anything else but make you aware of the width and circumference of the planet and the mix of cultures that must ‘improvise’ with each other when they are brought together from Venezuela, Japan, France, Beijing and the African Diaspora.  In this context the label ‘World Music’, however awkward I am with diluting traditions, is totally valid because Sosa and Keita are truly travellers.  ‘The mix’ represents their lives as men on a continual road to the next place.  And I, with my low carbon footprint of travel, know little of the experience of finding a new daily home next to a stone or under a tree, maybe an abandoned car park in downtown whatever-town-this-is.  The mix of physicality and spirituality,Transparent Water album journeying through the night like modernity’s magi.  All those years ago, the great Don Cherry showed me it was possible; listening to Transparent Water I recognise the reasons.

There are thirteen tracks on this album, each one a stopping off point. Dary, a joyous beginning, a piano melody poured out over a kora and a sloop of percussion.  In The Forest begins with something like an enchantment, the performance gives itself time to make up the soundscape.  Omar Sosa’s piano recalls Abdullah Ibrahim’s meditative improvisations. Black Dream is a song, maybe to ancestors.  Seckou Keita tells a story which I am unable to translate, yet have no need to.  It is not necessary to know each other’s dreams sentence by sentence to still appreciate their complexity. Then comes another note pinned to a signpost; Mining-Nah sounds like a love song, integrating rhythmic hand percussion with all the sway of an easy stopover.  And the pitch is plucked intensity. 

These are songs we recognise the world over.  They should not be difficult to embrace. Tama-Tama is a piano led recital which falls into a vocal line with all the logic of rehearsed recital. For a man who has no god to pray to, Another Prayer fits my karma.  No need to pray for me, though there is nothing to prevent me enjoying yours.  This one has no words, some things are better left unsaid. Fatiliku, the title, I think it is Swahili. The song is a ripple over a subtle bouncing centre with Keita’s koto answering his own call and response.  I wish Johnny Dyani were alive to play double bass on this. 

Click here for an extract of Tama Tama. Click here for an extract from Fatiliku.

What follows is like an interlude, Oni Yalorde, a pause to sing with accompaniment, a short song that doesn’t ask to be extended.  The phrase Peace Keeping is often used to mean the exact opposite of the words used.  No such intention on the part of Omar Sosa and Seckou Keita. It begins with electrics, like the wind coming off Omar Sosa and Seckou Keitathe North African night.  If a piano could throb this is what it might sound like. Slowly.  From a bar or maybe somewhere more private. As for Moro Yeye it waits like a call in wild places, to be answered by a chant and a percussion break on djembe.  Like everything else about Transparent Water, there is no hurry, just purpose. Recaredo 1993 celebrates the 50th anniversary of a very special bottle of cava.  Ah, clearly some points on this journey are more exclusive than a travel bus car park.  The shortest track is Zululand.  Such a place has a much longer tale than that which is told here.

And so Sosa and Keita finish in West Africa via Columbus, Ohio USA. Thiossane, pronounced ‘cha-sahn’, dedicated to the Thiossane Insititute of Dance, Music and Culture.  Thirteen tracks that trek the globe.

Steve Argüelles, brother of the sax player, Julian Argüelles, is now based in Paris.  He was the original drummer with Loose Tubes and, maybe more significantly in this context, spent time with the later version of Dudu Pukwana’s Zila.  Steve Argüelles is the producer for Transparent Water and also was behind the desk for Omar Sosa’s previous albums Mulatos and Afreecanos.  I throw this in as a fact to demonstrate that lots of recordings, like life’s journey, counteract expectations.

Omar Sosa and Seckou Keita are touring the UK in November 2017.  By that time a lot of ‘Transparent Water’ will have flowed under any number of bridges by then.  My guess is that some of that water could get quite murky, Sosa and Keita could be just what we need by the Autumn.

Click here for an interview with Seckou Keita.

Click here for details.

           

Steve Day  www.stevedaywordsandmusic.co.uk

 

 

Back to top of page

 

Album Released: 21st October 2016 - Label: Not Two Records

 

Generations Quartet

Flow

Filipe Freitas reviews this album for us:

New York pianist, composer, and bandleader Michael Jefry Stevens has a remarkable aptitude: he moves equally well in post-bop and avant-garde genres. His solid musicianship, deserving a wider exposure, spans more than twenty years, not only leading projects under his own name but also as a member of creative groups.Generations Quartet Flow In all these bands, he has the company of his longtime associate and indispensable modern bassist Joe Fonda. Examples are: The Fonda-Stevens Group, a notable quartet/quintet led by the inseparable duo; The Mosaic Sextet with the prolific trumpeter Dave Douglas, and Conference Call, a bold project featuring the German saxophonist / clarinetist Gebhard Ullmann.

The cited duo joins forces once again in the Generations Quartet, an irresistible new collective that also features the renowned saxophonist, visual artist, and poet Oliver Lake, co-founder of the free-funk African-jazz ensemble World Saxophone Quartet with David Murray, Julius Hemphill, and Hamiet Bluiett. As a true explorer, Lake has his name forever associated with a few mandatory albums of the improvised genre released between the '70s and '90s, cases of Heavy Spirits, Expandable Language, and Virtual Reality: Total Escapism.

Rounding out the group is the much younger Emil Gross, an Austrian drummer who tries to get the visibility he deserves and gain his place in the avant-jazz scene. Flow, their vehement new album, was recorded live in Bielefeld, Germany, in October 2015.
 
Lake contributes with a couple of powerful originals. One of them is the opening track, Rollin, where Fonda holds out an intrepid bass groove to start, receiving promptly back up from Gross and Steven. The latter makes use of a clever comping, full of rich rhythmic intention, and his improvisation comes up with Latin seasoning. Still, the show belongs to Lake, who boasts his disconcerting sound and fluid phrasing peppered by occasional wild exteriorizations.

Also liberating yet distinct in terms of motion and attitude, Steven’s Mantra #2 is a spiritual voyage suffused Michael Jefry Stevenswith clamours. It was connected through individual and collective creative moments in order to gain the expression of a healing prayer delivered with uplifting tranquility.

Click here to listen to Mantra #2.

The hyperkinetic title track, Flow, another expeditious product from the saxophonist’s mind, displays all his intensity, vision, and expansive language. The band crafts assorted textures with articulated ideas, doing the same in Fonda’s densely ordered Read This, a polyphonic wallop with transitional sections and rhythmic accent patterns succeeding one after another.

Not everything here is so explosive, though, since there’s space for a dazzling ballad, La Dirge De La Fleur, set in motion by the classical cascades of Steven’s solo piano and enriched by Fonda’s magical improvisation.

Flow is a wholly unique venture and lives up to the hype. Each musician seems to be able to read their equal’s minds, and consequently, their moves. It’s this unstoppable communication, together with off-kilter moods and entrenched musical consistency, that makes this recording so special. I look forward to hearing more of Generations Quartet in a near future.

Click here for the website, for details and to sample. Click here for UK purchase details.

 

Filipe Freitas jazztrail.net

 

Back to top of page

 

Choice Cuts / Slim Pickings

 

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

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

 

Barney Kessel Live at the Jazz Mill 1954

 

 

Barney Kessel - Live At The Jazz Mill, 1954 - (Modern Harmonic)
Barney Kessel (guitar), Pete Jolly (piano), Gene Stoffel (bass), Art Kile (drums).
Details

 

 

 

Led Bib Umbrella Weather

 

 

Led Bib - Umbrella Weather - (Rare Noise Records)
Mark Holub (drums), Chris Williams (alto sax), Pete Grogan (alto sax), Liran Donin (bass), Toby McLaren (keyboard).
Details / Sample.

 

 

 

Sarah Vaughan Swingin at Mr Kelly's

 

 

Sarah Vaughan and her Trio - Swingin' Easy At Mr Kelly's - (Essential Jazz Classics)
Sarah Vaughan (vocals), John Malachi, Jimmy Jones (guitar), Joe Benjamin, Richard Davis, Wyatt Ruther (bass), Roy Haynes, Fats Heard (drums).
Details / Sample

 

 

 

Grover Washington Jr The Definitive Collection

 

 

Grover Washington Jr - The Definitive Collection - (Robinsongs / Cherry Red)
Grover Washington Jr (alto, tenor, soprano sax) plus various personnel including (Eric Gale (guitar), Gary King (electric bass), Ralph McDonald (percussion).
Details

 

 

 

Toots Thielemans Four Classic Albums

 

 

Toots Thielemans - Four Classic Albums [Remastered] - (Avid)
Toots Thielemans (harmonica) with various personnel.
Details / Sample.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Help Me Information
Long distance Information
Give me mention, then we'll see
Help me find a party ...

with apologies to Chuck Berry (click here)

Can you help?

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 ...



 

 

Some UK Jazz Venues

 

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Jazz London Live

 

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

 

 

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

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

London: LUME, www.lumemusic.co.uk

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

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

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

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

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

London: The Forge, Camden, 3-7 Delancey Street, Camden, London NW1 7NL. www.theforgevenue.org

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

London: Putney, The Half Moon, Putney , 93 Lower Richmond Road, Putney, SW15 1EU.
Dick Laurie's Elastic Band. The band now plays the first Sunday and third Sunday of every month.
Sunday, 5th February and Sunday, 19th February - 1.00 pm - 4.00 pm

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

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

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

 


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Bath: Widcombe Social Club, Widcombe Hill, Bath, BA2 6AA
Jazz Times Three. Every 2 weeks. 8.00 pm onwards. www.widcombesocialclub.co.uk.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


 

Jazz Talks: Buckinghamshire and Norwich Areas

Buckinghamshire:

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

Norwich:

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

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

 

Back to Top

Follow us on FacebookFacebook

© Sandy Brown Jazz 2017

 

 

 

 

 

Archie Shepp

as

back to top