Sandy Brown Jazz

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The monthly Tea Break is a series of short, fun items in What's New Magazine that also gives jazz musicians an opportunity to update us with what they are doing. Here are the Tea Breaks they (and I) have taken since 2015.

Ian Maund (Sandy Brown Jazz) - December 2015 January 201


This month I spend my tea break talking to myself ....

Ian Maund


Hi Ian, tea or coffee?

An Americano with cold milk please. As it's my second, it had better be a decaff.


Hob Nob, Bourbon, Garibaldi or digestive biscuit?

I do like Bourbons. Mind you, I am a sucker for warm panettone (Nero, Costa) or fruit toast (Starbucks), depending where I am working.


Bix Beiderbecke, Miles Davis, Cecil Taylor or Kit Downes?

It depends what mood I'm in. I return regularly to Bix and Miles; I could listen to Kit play Kit Downeslive for hours. I only dip into free jazz occasionally so Cecil Taylor is not a frequent taste. I usually leave more avant garde reviews to people like Steve Day who has a stronger affinity for the music, although it is good to listen to some of this music with people like Steve who is able to help me appreciate what is going on.

Kit Downes


I also like to include articles that 'unwrap' the music and explain some of the background (e.g. Tom Green talking about his Equilibrium album (click here), Alec Harper talking about his Beaker recording (click here) or Alex Killpartrick (click here) on recording).

I really miss listening to music with trombonist Tony Milliner who died last year, we would spend hours with his collection of vinyl and his experience and enthusiasm was immeasurable. I try to avoid listening only to jazz as I enjoy other music and I think it helps put everything in perspective, so you will find me listening to Puccini, Prokofiev, Ravel, Sondheim, Steely Dan, the Proclaimers ...


Milk and sugar?

Just milk, thank you. Except one sugar in my first cup of tea in the morning.


What have you been doing on the website recently?

November and December have been a bit squeezed. We went on holiday to Cornwall in November, rather late, but my wife (Maria Wojdat) who does ceramics had various shows on earlier in the year. In December we spent time with family over the Christmas holiday. I tend to work on the website most mornings in local coffee shops where I find it better to concentrate. As many readers know, it Frank Griffithis just me, I don't have 'staff', so I am eternally grateful to those who help review albums, send in articles, or like Brian O'Connor, let me have recent pictures from gigs.


Frank Griffith


I particularly enjoy writing and researching - that takes time and putting text, pictures and links into the site is time consuming too. I really appreciate including things other people have written as that adds colour and variety the site, so articles like Sam Braysher's piece about Charlie Parker (click here), Frank Griffith's interview with Sir John Dankworth (click here), or Roger Trobridge talking about Harmonica Jazz (click here) are very welcome.

I am sent a lot of emails and albums to review so it is a question of trying to select which to include. The last few days of the month is always hectic trying to get the site finished and checked.


What have you got coming up in January?

I shall start on the next issue as soon as the January 1st issue is online. I have been meaning to include an article about cartoonist Jimmy Thomson for some time so that is in the pipeline and I am hoping to read Keiron Pim's new book on David Litvinoff. I am planning to go up to London from Wells during the month to catch a gig or two - the London City Big Band at the Spice Of Life is always a joy to hear, and I am looking forward to interviewing some musicians who don't get much exposure. My grandson who is doing computer studies at college is encouraging me to change the layout of the site, but I have had readers say how they like the uncomplicated format without advertisements running all the time, so I'll need to think carefully about that. There are other jazz sites online, some of them sponsored by advertising, so I try to keep to Sandy Brown Jazz's straightforward 'magazine' format with something for everyone. I should be interested in readers' opinions about this.


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

There are so many! That's great - it shows the music is thriving. Trumpeter and bandleader Henry Spencer should have a new album out this year that I am looking forward to. Cath Roberts has been acknowledged by Jazzwise as 'someone to listen out for' and she and Dee Byrne have been doing excellent stuff through LUME for some years now. I heard The Dixie Ticklers at the Albert Hall at the end ofMiguel Gorodi last year - what a great band - and good to see the room packed for the gig. Miguel Gorodi on trumpet and flugelhorn goes from strength to strength. I heard him with Ian Shaw a few months ago - Ian's 2012 recording of Fran Landesman's songs A Ghost In Every Bar remains one of my favourite albums.


Miguel Gorodi.


All the time new, talented musicians are emerging and it raises an issue for me (and others) in that we try to bring them to readers' / listeners' attention, but that tends to be fleeting, there is always someone else 'new' coming along. How do we, or musicians themselves, keep up their profile? Some have an ability to publicise themselves well and consistently, others do not. Colleges do not seem to give sufficient time to students to help them understand the 'business' side of the industry. I am not sure that social media covers every angle in maintaing a musician's profile despite its popularity. I welcome the chance to interview young musicians and profile them on the site, they just have to get in touch, and if they have a decent video showreel and some tracks people can listen to online, so much the better.


Another biscuit?

I think that would be a good idea, thank you. Tea break over, better get on, tomorrow is New Year's Eve and the site goes live the day after. Thank you to everyone who has been in touch with me, given time for interviews, sent review albums, reviews, items for the website, etc. through the year. My best wishes for the New Year - I hope 2016 turns out to to be a good one.


Utah Teapot


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Other pages you might find of interest :

More Tea Breaks
Tracks Unwrapped
Full Focus
Jazz Remembered

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