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.

Simon Spillett (Saxophone) - November 2015


Described by the late Humphrey Lyttelton as "formidable," Simon Spillett is a British jazz saxophonist who leads his own quartet featuring John Critchinson (piano), Alec Dankworth (bass) and Clark Tracey (drums). He has won several awards for his music, including the tenor saxophone category of the British Jazz Awards (2011), Jazz Journal magazine's Critic's Choice CD of the Year (2009) and Rising Star in the BBC Jazz Awards (2007).


Simon Spillett


Hi Simon, tea or coffee?

These days it's Herbal Tea. 


Hob Nob, Bourbon, Garibaldi or digestive biscuit?

I've always been partial to a Garibaldi...


Simon Spillett
Photograph by Jerry Storer





Tubby Hayes, Joe Henderson or Pharoah Sanders?

... And I thought choosing the biscuits was hard .... I've listened a lot to all three; Joe Henderson is among my favourites (Inner Urge is one of greatest sax-led quartet albums ever) and I've been a Pharoah fan since hearing Upper and Lower Eygpt when I was about 18. I had just joined a rock band and the guitarist played me a tape of "this sax player....he's mental!" It was Pharoah. As for Tubby, he was and always will be the guv'nor for me.


Milk and sugar?

Neither. I'm on a health kick.


What gigs have you played recently?

I had a busy September. Clark Tracey and I debuted our Big Band Britannia show, featuring Tubby and Stan Tracey's music, at the Herts Jazz Festival; the Quartet with John Critchinson, Alec Dankworth, Clark and myself played a small festival in Maidenhead and I did a couple of Quintet gigs with Art Themen and Peter King. On top of that, there were a string of solo dates.Mark Hale


What have you got coming up in November and December?

My quartet are playing Ronnie's on November 1st, playing Tubby's music. Then on November 19th we're appearing at the launch of the new documentary film Tubby Hayes: A Man in a Hurry at Ray's Jazz in Foyles, Charing Cross Road.

We also have gigs including The Verdict (Brighton), Fleece Jazz (Essex), Welwyn Garden City (Herts Jazz), Twickenham Jazz Club and The Eagle, Rochester.


Mark Hale


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

Two great young drummers, Billy Weir and Mark Hale.

Also, trumpeter Jack Kendon, He's a great player and runs what is to my mind one of the best jazz gigs anywhere, the Bristol Bar in Brighton.



Here's a video of the Jack Kendon Quintet Tribute to the Adderley Brothers Live at the Verdict Jazz Club on 23rd of March 2012 





Another biscuit?

Simon: Just this once....


[Simon is also the author of The Long Shadow Of The Little Giant (2015): The Life, Work and Legacy of Tubby Hayes. Click here for details of and to sample the album Introducing Simon Spillett. Click here for Simon's website].


Utah Teapot


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More Tea Breaks
Tracks Unwrapped
Full Focus
Jazz Remembered

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