Contact Us

 

Sandy Brown Jazz
What's New
January 2021

What's New

Missed Something?
Our Archived Pages:
Tea Breaks
Tracks Unwrapped
Full Focus
People Profiles
Jazz Remembered
Photographic Memories
Forum
Information Requests
Click for this month's:
Recent Releases
Quiz
Departure Lounge
Video Juke Box
The Grid
Follow us on Facebook
Join our Mailing List

All That Jazz 2021

2020 has been a hard year, but 2021 begins with hope that we shall soon see musicians playing regularly again.
With very best wishes from Sandy Brown Jazz to everyone who plays or listens to jazz in any or all of its styles.


 

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom Ma Raineys Black Bottom film poster

 

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom is an American film based on a play by August Wilson. Starring Viola Davis as the legendary blues singer it had a limited cinema release on November 25th, 2020 and is now streaming on Netflix.

The story sees 'tensions and temperatures rise over the course of an afternoon recording session in 1920s Chicago as a band of musicians await trailblazing performer, the legendary "Mother of the Blues," Ma Rainey. Late to the session, the fearless, fiery Ma engages in a battle of wills with her white manager and producer over control of her music. As the band waits in the studio's claustrophobic rehearsal room, ambitious trumpeter Levee Green (Chadwick Boseman) – who has an eye for Ma's girlfriend and is determined to stake his own claim on the music industry – spurs his fellow musicians into an eruption of stories, truths, and lies that will forever change the course of their lives. Levee's ambition to start his own band also has him soliciting the managers and producers, requiring him to relive previous traumas.'

Click here for the trailer for the film.

Tragically, this was award-winning Chadwick Boseman's last film. He had gained wide recognition for his role in the 2018 movie Black Panther but he sadly died at the age of 43 in 2020 from complications arising from colon cancer.

Click here to listen to Gertrude 'Ma' Rainey singing Ma Rainey's Black Bottom in 1927.

 

 

 

Icarus Flies Home

Icarus Flies Home

 

 

A new novel by jazz author Debbie Burke, Icarus Flies Home, is about "a stolen song, a stolen kiss and a stunning family legacy!"

'Jazz bassist Beauregard ("Bo") Sonski-Abbott finds himself reeling after learning an aging Broadway producer may have stolen a song written by his distant relative: a great-great uncle who was enslaved on one of the biggest plantations in Georgia. Bo's journey to unravel the truth takes him from the music scene of New York to Washington, DC, only to be sidetracked by a much younger woman who threatens to tear apart his marriage and his career.'

Debbie Burke is a saxophonist, jazz blogger, former newspaper columnist and an expert in her field of jazz journalism. 'She weaves her knowledge of the industry and love of the art form into an engaging mystery that makes this authentic story a light, tight read.'

Icarus Flies Home was published on 15th December 2020. Click here for details where there is a chance to 'look inside' the book and get a sense of the author's style..

 

 

 

 

Video Juke Box

*Click on the pictures to watch the videos..... or Click on the picture of the Juke Box and see what comes up.

 

 

Juke Box

 

 

Tom Ollendorff Etude No 5

 

 

This video lasts for just under two minutes, but relish every second as guitarist Tom Ollendorff plays his beautiful Étude No 5..... and you can find more of his Études series on YouTube.

 

 

 

 

 

Pericopes video

 

 

 

The Italian band Pericopes plays this different and very beautiful interpretation of Mark Knopfler / Dire Strait's Sultans Of Swing. The track appears on their 2020 album Up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lara Eidi Hang On

 

 

Lara Eidi sings her composition Hang On at Christchurch in London back in December 2019 with Dave Manington (double bass, loops); Naadia Sheriff (piano); Charlotte Keefe (trumpet); and Kate Smith, Natalia Krakoviak, Angelina Tursi and Chiara Zurlo (vocals).

 

 

 

 

 

Harry Gold and his Pieces of Eight

 

 

If you will excuse the pun, there are some archive videos that are gold dust. Here are Harry Gold and his Pieces of Eight in Germany in 1987 with some really nice playing as they savour Stardust, Dinah and Milenburg Joys ('Milenburg' can also be spelt 'Milneburg' - click here). The line-up: Harry Gold (bass sax); Al Wynette (trumpet): Roy Crimmins (trombone); Bob Layzel (clarinet, tenor sax); Austin Malcolm (piano); Gerry Ingram (bass) and Stan Daly (drums);

 

 

 

 

Little North The Kite video

 

 

The Danish band Little North has a new album out in February - Finding Seagulls. Here is a video of The Kite from the album with Benjamin Nørholm Jacobsen (piano); Martin Brunbjerg Rasmussen (bass) and Lasse Jacobsen (drums).

 

 

 

 

 

Georgia Mancio and Alan Broadbent That Time Of Year

 

That Time Of Year: Georgia Mancio and Alan Broadbent have been working on their book of songs and Georgia says: 'Somehow I missed one (tune) that Alan sent to me 3 years ago, describing it as a seasonal song. A global pandemic and all the emotions of missing family and loved ones, unsurprisingly turned out to be the perfect time to write the lyric which I finished a couple of months ago. So here is our Xmas song: no snow, no mistletoe, no Santa and no religion, recorded remotely in our own homes across both sides of the Atlantic.....Stay safe everyone, a huge hug for Xmas and hoping for better days for you all in 2021'.

 

 

 

 

Rod Mason Runnin Wild

 

 

Rod Mason's band featuring Beryl Bryden (vocals and washboard) cut loose with Runnin' Wild in 1978. Runnin' Wild is featured in our Take Two slot this month with two quite different approaches - click here.

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Soul movie poster

Soul

Another streamed film release, this time on the Disney+ channel, is the Disney/Pixar animation Soul.

Set in modern-day jazz clubs, the story follows a middle school music teacher named Joe Gardner (voiced by Jamie Foxx), who seeks to reunite his soul and his body after they are accidentally separated, just before his big break as a jazz musician. But when he travels to another realm to help someone find their passion, he soon discovers what it means to have soul. Click here for the full plot details.

In order to portray accurately African-American culture within the film, the filmmakers hired several consultants with whom they worked closely through the film's development; among them were musicians Herbie Hancock, Terri Lyne Carrington, Quincy Jones and Jon Batiste.

One review reads:'.....Pixar has once again done a beautiful job bringing to life a world that exists only in our imaginations, this time showing their interpretation of what our souls are really like. I actually regularly forgot this was a film for children as it is packed full of jokes for adults (especially millennials, who will be taking their own kids to see this) and poignant, thought-provoking moments. It's been ages since I laughed so heartily at a film. And yet it also brought me to tears at one point - it is Pixar after all! ...'

Soul was released on the Disney+ channel on December 25th 2020. Click here for the trailer.

 

 

 

 

The Grid

Our version of the popular panel game 'Only Connect'. The task is to sort the 16 names in the grid below into four groups of four connected names. Some names might seem to fall into more than one group, but there is only one complete solution.

 

Percy Heath

 

Laura Jurd
Ella Hohnen-Ford
John Lewis
Elliot Galvin
Ian Shaw
Peter Vacher
Conor Chaplin
Tina May
Milt Jackson
Liane Carroll
Clive Davis
Dave Gelly
Alyn Shipton
Percy Heath
Corrie Dick
Connie Kay

 

Click here for the answers

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

 

Down In The Jungles

'Harlem itself did not become heavily populated until during the war when a great many Negroes from the South came up to work in the plants. But the section called San Juan Hill, or The Jungles, located west of Broadway from Fifty-ninth up to Sixty-fourth was growing Eubie Blakesteadily. West Fifty-third Street started to become the meeting place of entertainers and musicians.....

...By this time Eubie Blake was becoming known as a composer, and we all liked the rag he had written called "Chevy Chase". I think some of his earlier tunes were better than the ones that he became famous for in later years. Everybody should remember his better-known songs like, "I'm Just Wild About Harry" and "Memories Of You".

 

Click here to listen to Eubie Blake and Chevy Chase.

Caricature of Eubie Blake courtesy of Jimmy Thomson

 

The place where the real action was in those days was right in the heart of The Jungles. One wild place was called Drake's Dancing Class (on Sixty-second Street) because they couldn't get a license to operate unless they taught dancing. We called it The Jungles Casino and it was really a beat-up, small dance hall; it was in a cellar where the rain used to flow down the walls. It was so damp down there that they used to try to keep the piano dry by placing lit candles around it. The furnace, coal, and ashes were located Dancersright in the same room with the old upright. There were plenty of dancers but no teachers down there. It was some "ratskeller".

Many of the customers came off the boats that docked in the West Sixties .....These people came from around the Carolina and Georgia sea islands. They were called Gullahs and Geechies. These folks worked and played hard; they were able to dance all night after spending the day throwing boxes around as longshoremen.....

...The Gullahs would start out early in the evening dancing two-steps, waltzes, schottisches; but as the night wore on and the liquor began to work, they would start improvising their own steps and that was when they wanted us to get-in-the-alley, real lowdown. Those big Charleston, South Carolina, bruisers would grab a girl from the bar and stomp-it-down as the piano player swung into the gut-bucketiest music he could.

It was from the improvised dance steps that the Charleston dance originated. All the older folks remember it became a rage during the 1920s and all it really amounted to was a variation of a cotilllion step brought to the North by the Geechies. There were many variations danced at the Casino and this usually caused the piano player to make up his own musical variation to fit the dancing. One of James P. Johnson's variations was later published as a number called "The Charleston", and was used in the show Runnin' Wild on Broadway in 1923. Yes sir, The Brute's "Charleston" became a dance craze by the mid-twenties and is still being revived....'

From Music On My Mind by Willie The Lion Smith.

 

Click here to listen to James P. Johnson's recording with a short video about the origins of The Charleston.

 

 

 

 

Two Ears Three Eyes

Lionel Hampton


Photographer Brian O'Connor took this great picture of drummer / vibraphone player Lionel Hampton back in 1989.

In December 2020, the Recording Academy announced Special Merit Awards for the 2021 Grammys, among them a Lifetime Achievement Award for Lionel Hampton. The honorees will be recognized at the 63rd Annual GRAMMY Awards on January 31st, 2021. Given the challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, more details about the special award presentation event will be announced at a later date. 

 

Lionel Hampton

 

"As we welcome the new class of Special Merit Award honorees, it gives us a chance to reward and recognize the influence they've had in the music community regardless of genre," Harvey Mason jr., Interim President/CEO of the Recording Academy, said. "As a music creator and music lover, I am grateful that we are able to look back at our influences and see the impact that they have made on our community. In a year where music has helped keep us together, I look forward to honoring this iconic group of music creators."

Lionel Hampton, who passed away in August 2002, started his career as a drummer in Chicago in the 1920s before he played the vibraphone with Louis Armstrong. In the 1930s, he broke barriers with the Benny Goodman Quartet - one of the first integrated jazz bands in America. In the 1940s, he formed his own Lionel Hampton Orchestra, which became one of the longest-running orchestras in jazz history. 

 

Click here for a video of Lionel Hampton playing Flying Home on the Vibraharp in 1957.

Lionel Hampton Flying Home

 

 

Main picture © 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).

 

 

 

 

 

Poetry and Jazz

Jazz As Art

Winter

From the album Emergence by Sue Richardson

 

 

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

 

Sue Richardson 

 

Photograph courtesy of Brian O'Connor, Images Of Jazz

 

At this time of the year, a tune from trumpeter Sue Richardson's album, Emergence, always comes to mind. I think that her recording of Winter is a beautiful tune, beautifully played, saying no matter how cold it might be outside, for most of us there is warmth waiting somewhere. Its peacefulness at this time during winter 2020/21 is particularly poignant.

Sue Richardson and her pianist/producer husband Neal are based on the UK's south coast where Neal has established six jazz venues, but of course in 2020 and during this winter they have struggled to carry on producing live music. Neal talked to me about it in a Tea Break (click here), but undeterred, Neal and Sue have continued live-streaming an excellent, relaxed 'Splash Point Jazz Show' each week with Oz Dechaine on double bass and Alex Eberhard on drums. I had suggested that with winter coming Sue might play Winter again, and on December 17th she obliged along with a lovely improvisation on the tune - click here to view that gig on YouTube and for details on how to tune in each week. Winter is played from around 36 minutes into the programme.

Click here for Sue's website.

So, go to our Jazz As Art page, play the music, look at the paintings I have chosen to go with the track and see which you think might fit the mood best ....... (I think this only works if you spend time with each painting or scroll through them a couple of times).

Click here for our Jazz As Art page and Winter.

 

Gary Bunt painting

 

 

 

 


Anagram

MAD MICH JUREY

(UK trumpet player who died in 1993)

Click here for the answer

 

 

 

 

 

 

Take Two

Runnin' Wild

 

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

Runnin Wild sheet music

 

Runnin' Wild was first written and recorded back in 1922. It was a collaborative composition with music by Arthur Harrington Gibbs and lyrics by Joe Grey and Leo Wood.

 

Songwriter A.H. Gibbs was a pianist, composer and conductor born on Christmas Day 1895 in Savannah, Georgia. He went to New York in 1913 where he mainly worked as a pianist for dance orchestras. By 1923 he was leading his own orchestra, eventually touring Europe in 1929 and 1930.

Songwriter Joe Grey was an actor and singer, educated at LaSalle University. He was an advertising salesman and then a stage manager in England and Europe, before becoming an actor in London in 1915. He went on to sing in a trio in night clubs for fourteen years.

Leo Wood was born in San Francisco and is probably best remembered as the songwriter of the 1920s hit Somebody Stole My Gal, but he also wrote lyrics for many of the top songwriters of the day. Apart from Runnin' Wild, he also wrote the Paul Whiteman jazz standard Wang Wang Blues, and Mean Old Bed Bug Blues under the pseudonym 'Jack Wood'.

 

 

 

My gal and I, we had a fight
And I'm all by myself
I guess she thinks now that she's gone
I'll lay right on the shelf
I'm gonna show her she's all wrong
No lonesome stuff for mine
I won't sit home, all alone
She'll soon find that I'm
 
Runnin' wild, lost control
Runnin' wild, mighty bold
Feelin' gay, reckless too
Care free mind all the time, never blue
Always goin' don't know where
Always showin', I don't care
Don't love nobody, it's not worth while
All alone, runnin' wild. Runnin' wild

 

 

There have been many recordings of Runnin' Wild during and since the 1920s, the two most remembered perhaps being Glenn Miller's 'all stops out' version and Marilyn Monroe singing the song in the movie Some Like It Hot.

 

 

Hot Sardines Runnin Wild

 

For our Take Two versions however, we are going elsewhere. Our first 'take' is by the Hot Sardines in a studio recording from 2016. This is a happy recording with a tidy arrangement, some nice solos and with the percussive addition of some neat tap dancing by "Fast Eddy" Francisco. (click here).

The Hot Sardines is an American band formed in New York City in 2007 by artistic director, singer, and writer Elizabeth Bougerol and artistic director, actor and pianist Evan Palazzo. You can read a lot more about them here.

 

 

 

When I first met that gal of mine
It seemed just like a dream
But when she tho't she had me right
She started actin' mean
Like mary led her little lamb
She led me all the time
Until the worm had to turn
That's the reason I'm
 
Runnin' wild ......

 

Champian Fulton Runnin Wild

 

Our second 'take' is somewhat different. This is the Champian Fulton Quartet [Champian Fulton (piano, vocals), Stephen Fulton (flugelhorn), Adi Meyerson (bass), Ben Zweig (drums)] playing Runnin' Wild in New York City also in 2016. Champian was presenting her album After Dark ' a swingin' celebration featuring the music of Dinah Washington'. There are solos here from Champian and her father, Stephen Fulton, quite different to those of The Hot Sardines. (click here).

Born in Oklahoma, Champian grew up with music in her home and her mother and father recognized her fascination with music at an early age. The presence of her father’s musician friends, including Clark Terry and Major Holley, inspired her focus on jazz. Her first paid musical engagement was with her own band at Clark Terry’s 75th Birthday Party - she was just ten years old. Since then, her piano and voice skills have been recognized by peers and critics as distinctive and sophisticated. Nominated as a Rising Jazz Star by the Downbeat Magazine Critic’s Poll, Champian was also named 'Pianist and Vocalist of 2019' by Hot House magazine's Readers' Poll. You can read more about her here.

 

No gal will ever make a fool of me
No gal! I mean just what I say
I ain't the simpleton I used to be
Wonder how I got that way  
Once I was full of sentiment, it's true
But now I got a cruel heart
With all that other foolishness I'm through
Gonna play the Villain part
 
Runnin' wild,  lost control
Runnin' wild, mighty bold
Feelin' gay, reckless too
Care free mind all the time, never blue
Always goin' don't know where
Always showin', I don't care
Don't love nobody, it's not worth while
All alone, runnin' wild. Runnin' wild

 

 

 

 

Jazz Quiz

Fine Lines

This month we challenge you to identify fifteen songs that have been popular with jazz musicians and where we have given you just two lines from the lyrics. See how many can you work out.

 

Rodgers and Hart

 

Click here for the Jazz Quiz.

 

 

 

 

 

Poetry and Jazz

Fergus McCreadie

Cairn

by Howard Lawes

 

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

 

Fergus McCreadie Cairn

 

Click here for a video of a live performance of the title track from Cairn.

 

The place where one was born and brought up is bound to be symbolic and hopefully has many happy memories that one would want to commemorate, but few perhaps would go to the trouble of climbing a 648m high hill to collect some rocks, to have them photographed for an album cover and then to take them back up the hill again. Talking to Fergus McCreadie via Zoom he mentioned Kings Seat Hillthat climbing Kings Seat Hill behind his hometown of Dollar in Clackmannanshire is something he has done many times and carrying stones to the top of a hill or mountain to add to a cairn is a Scottish tradition that goes back thousands of years.

Fergus benefitted from a school education in Dollar which provided the opportunity to experience a wide range of music from pipe band through chamber music to jazz before he went to the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow and the jazz department headed by the indomitable Tommy Smith.  While still at RCS Fergus formed his piano trio with David Bowden on bass and Stephen Henderson on drums, two musicians who were already making waves as part of the award winning Glasgow band Square One.  McCreadie's trio went on to win the Peter Whittingham Award a year later in 2016 providing the wherewithal to produce their first album Turas (meaning 'Journey' in Gaelic). Fergus was also a runner-up in the BBC Young Jazz Musician Competition of 2018 and this UK wide exposure on the TV programme surely raised his profile and brought Turas to the attention of a wider public. In 2019, Turas won 'Best Album' at the Parliamentary Jazz Awards.

Fergus McCreadie's second album has the title Cairn and as alluded to above, maintains the strong links which he feels to his heritage. The title track is a joyful piece, and could be a celebratory metaphor for the climb that Fergus has undertaken to reach this point in his musical career - which by any standard has been rapid and spectacular.  His achievements are already legion, perhaps exemplified by his performance streamed on Scotland House Sessions (click here - approx 1 hour 10 minutes) , a series of concerts which together with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, introduces students and alumni from Scotland’s national conservatoire to audiences in the UK and around the world. He admits to enjoying the long hours of practice that are required to perform at this level and demonstrates the same sort of application, technique and ability that defined some of his heroes such as Keith Jarrett, Bill Evans and Brad Meldhau. When it comes to composition, Fergus says that he tends to create the music first before deciding on a title, an artistic process whereby ideas coalesce into something worthy before the name is assigned. It is surely to be expected that a musician whose roots are so firmly based in Scotland and Scottish culture will compose music that hints at those elements.

Other stand-out tracks on the album include North, music to tramp over the hills to, slow and purposeful, while Jig is a riotous piece, loosely based on a ceilidh dance with elements of both folk and rock music. 

 

Fergus McCreadie

 

Click here for a live performance of Jig filmed for Sofar Glasgow early in 2020.

 

The Stones of Brodgar, named after an iconic stone circle on Orkney, has a lilting melody, also available separately as a song with Luca Manning. This recording has a thoughtful solo from David Bowden and evokes the age and romance associated with such monoliths; while the melody of An Old Friend is the sort of tune that Scottish bands seem do so well, bringing a lump to the throat and a tear to the eye and conjuring up all the romance and history associated with a country and culture that clearly impacts its people on a grand scale.

Click here for a video recorded in 2019 of Fergus and vocalist Luca Manning with The Stones Of Bodegar

 

 

 

There are many definitions of jazz. Most emphasize syncopation, improvisation and rhythm and all agree that it originated within the African-American communities of the southern USA, and as such is a unique combination which some regard as the pre-eminent, indigenous artform of the USA.  Fergus McCreadie's jazz is unashamedly Scottish jazz and the inspiration he feels when composing comes not from New Orleans or Chicago but Clackmannanshire or Glasgow.  McCreadie also emphasises how he and other aspiring musicians were nurtured at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, highlighting the importance of a creative community providing varied opportunities for expression and performance. This is evidenced by his work with other bands such as Graham Costello's Strata - described as "playing music fusing jazz, rock, and classical minimalism"; Matt Carmichael's Quartet "blending folk and jazz influences organically into one personal style"; Cort Alto featuring nu-jazz, neo-soul, hip-hop, breakbeat, ragga, spoken word and scat, and in accompanying Luca Manning whose style and vocals was one of the stand-out performances of this year's London Jazz Festival.  As well as jazz, Fergus retains a love of classical music, in particular Chopin and having witnessed the success of Brad Meldhau's After Bach he continues to practice Chopin's famous and innovative preludes with a view to perhaps releasing a recording at some point.

It seems remarkable that Fergus McCreadie, still in his early twenties, has achieved so much so quickly but this will come as no surprise to John McGongle, Director of Music at Dollar Academy when McCreadie was still a student there who said “Fergus is a stunning performer – and this is not a term I use loosely. He simply has to be heard to be believed.”

Cairn is due for release on the Edition label on 29th January 2021. Click here for details and samples when they are available.
Click here
for Fergus McCreadie's website.

 

Fergus McCreadie trio

 

 

 

Name The Tune

(Click on the picture for the answer)

 

Name the tune

 

Click here for other challenges to 'Name The Tune'

 

 

 

 

 

Jazz Remembered

Denis Rose

 

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

 

Denis Rose

Denis Rose photograph courtesy of henrybebop.co.uk

 

Gerry Lupton wrote to us in December with regard to the documentary on Ronnie Scott's Club and referred to .... 'the home movies shot by trumpeter Denis Rose of the characters of Soho, that also featured in the Scott documentary where Ronnie is seen gurning and generally acting up. Rose himself would be an interesting subject for an article, as all the nascent British modern jazzers say they used to defer to him, as he had grasped the basics of bebop harmonies, without having visited the States with Geraldo's Navy. I believe he may have had a bit of trouble with the law, having gone AWOL from his National Service, and thereafter kept a very low profile, but I don't know much about him and would be pleased to find out more.'

Click here to listen to Denis playing the Charlie Parker tune Buzzy as part of the Jazz At The Town Hall Ensemble in 1948 [Ronnie Scott (tenor sax), Johnny Dankworth (alto sax), Reg Arnold (trumpet), Denis Rose (piano, trumpet), Jimmy Skidmore (tenor sax), Bernie Fenton (piano), Joe Muddel (bass), Jack Fallon (bass), Carlo Krahmer (drums), Cab Kaye (vocals).]

John Chilton's Who's Who Of British Jazz gives us a good start. Apparently Denis was born in Clerkenwell, London on the 31st May, 1922. Self-taught, he played piano as well as the trumpet and tenor horn and started out playing in pubs and clubs before briefly playing with Happy Blake's Band. He had his own band at the Jamboree and Panama Clubs and then, as Gerry suspected, he deserted from the Royal Army Medical Corps after being called up in 1943.

The following seven years saw Denis move from band to band including those of Johnny Claes, Johnny Brown (at the London Astoria Ballroom), Johnny Swinfen at Hammersmith Palais, Jack Amlot, Tito Burns' Big Band and Sextet, Sidney Gross's Swing Shop Package, Cab Kaye's Ministers Of Swing and Leon Roy's Orchestra. At times he also led his own band in Boston, Club Eleven dancersLincolnshire and his own sextet in London.

We should be grateful that Denis regularly had a movie camera handy and captured valuable archive film. He was responsible for much of the footage in this documentary about Archer Street in London, a gathering place for musicians picking up work outside the Union's offices.

Click here for the documentary The Street.

Denis was also a founder-member of London's Club Eleven from 1948 to 1950. Club Eleven has a significant place in the story of Jazz in the UK. The club was named because it had eleven founders – business manager Harry Morris and ten British bebop musicians. It first opened at 41 Great Windmill Street in Soho in 1948, and had two house bands, one led by Ronnie Scott and the other by Johnny Dankworth. Denis Rose organised many of the activities at the club.

 

Bebop dancing at Club Eleven, 1949. (Topical Press)

 

Click here to listen to Denis playing How High The Moon as part of the Jazz At The Town Hall Ensemble in 1948 [Ronnie Scott (tenor sax), Johnny Dankworth (alto sax), Reg Arnold (trumpet), Denis Rose (piano, trumpet), Jimmy Skidmore (tenor sax), Bernie Fenton (piano), Joe Muddel (bass), Jack Fallon (bass), Carlo Krahmer (drums), Cab Kaye (vocals).]

His desertion finally caught up with Denis in April 1950 when he was arrested at Club Eleven and charged. It is amazing that he had been Absent Without Leave for so long, and discovery does not seem to have affected him as he was soon back playing with Sid Millward's Big Band in Glasgow before returning to London to freelance and then play on and off back with Cab Kaye. Ironically, he toured Germany with USO (United Service Organisations) with Bernie Stanton's Band in 1953. Other gigs followed with Norman Burns and Sid Wright before he was mainly playing piano in North London clubs.

In the 1970s Denis accompanied vocalist Maggie Nichols and had a residency at the Maestro Club in London. Maggie Nichols was at one time a dancer at the Moulin Rouge but from her singing gigs with Denis, she moved on to become a significant 'free jazz' vocalist. In this video, she talks about her approach to free improvisation - click here.

There is much more about Denis on the website henrybebop.co.uk where David Taylor gives a very readable and informative account of Denis' story and quotes Johnny Dankworth as saying: ' If it hadn't been for Denis, I'm convinced that the modern movement here would have taken much longer to develop, and that Club Eleven would never have happened...' and Ronnie Scott as saying: 'I learned most of the theory from Denis...Everyone did...'

With regard to Denis' desertion, David Taylor writes: 'This was an unhappy time and he deserted and spent several years on the run from the Military Police hiding out at a friend's house during the day.' Later, in 1961, David quotes Vic Schonfield in Jazz Journal ... 'In 1951, with the closing of Club Eleven, Rose severed his connections with the active jazz world, leaving behind him a Thelonius Monk-like reputation compounded of an erratic personality and technique, and influential and far-sighted musicianship. Since then he has worked as a commercial pianist, and although many well known names have played with him he has not appeared before a jazz audience during the past decade ....... On piano, which is now his main instrument, he alternates between swinging and inventive playing in the idiom of Al Haig and Bud Powell, and a uniquely angular linear style of harmonic exploration, but despite the admiration of his colleagues, he will only extend himself musically if he feels inclined. Both technically and physically he is in far better shape than during his years of prominence, and it has been his reluctance to face the stress and uncertainty of the jazz world that have kept him obstinately away from the public eye.....'

In his later years, Denis was quite happy to play in a trio or solo in London pubs and clubs and he died in London in November 1984.

I have been unable to discover what happened when Denis was finally arrested and charged with desertion - presumably he was not imprisoned - does anyone know? Also, in the two tracks played in this article does anyone have any details about which solos were played by Denis as the personnel on the recordings shows two trumpet players and pianists?

 

Denis Rose

Denis Rose photograph courtesy of henrybebop.co.uk

 

 

Lens America

Ingrid Laubrock

 

Ingrid Laubrock

Photograph © Clara Pereira / JazzTrail

 

Saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock was photographed by Clara Pereira, and Filipe Freitas of JazzTrail recently spoke to Ingrid about her 2020 album Dreamt Twice Twice Dreamt:

Lately, you’ve been focused on writing for large ensembles. What are the biggest challenges and rewards of approaching your music in this format?

It has been a huge and welcome learning curve for me. I have no formal composition training and had to study how to compose and notate for instruments that are not normally in my daily palette as a jazz musician. This included learning more about bowing Ingrid Laubrock Dreamt Twice Twice Dreamttechniques, percussion notation and - earlier this year - demystifying the concert harp a little more. So, there was and still is a lot ofnuts and bolts work to be done! I pored over a lot of scores, particularly by Ligeti, Lutoslawski, Gubaildulina and Feldman. Making orchestral scores and parts is also incredibly time consuming, but I even enjoy that, as you deepen your knowledge about the piece while doing it. 
The reward of having so much color at your disposal makes it all worthwhile, it’s really like nothing else for me. One big practicalchallenge is of course that large ensembles are very expensive to realize and complex to organize, so without external financial support by a foundation or government it would be completely out of the question for me. 

Your new double-record for the Intakt label - Dreamt Twice, Twice Dreamt -  was split into orchestra+soloists and small ensemble. How did this idea come up?

The small group versions were the result of John Zorn’s Stone Commissioning series - a monthly series that took place in National Sawdust in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Initially I wrote them for piano, electronics and saxophone with the additions of violin on some of the pieces. For the recording, I extended the group and added electric harp and accordion. The orchestra versions were commissioned by the EOS Chamber Orchestra, a Cologne based group which I have worked with in the past.
The compositions on both records are based on entries in dream diaries I have been keeping for a decade and both sides feature the same pieces but completely reimagined.

Click here for Filipe's full interview with Ingrid. Click here for details and to listen to the album. Click here for a video about the making of Dreamt Twice, Twice Dreamt.

 

Filipe has shared a number of his own songs on YouTube during lockdown in New York with images by Clara Pereira. Here is his tune Sleepwalker. Click the picture below to watch the video:

 

Filipe Freitas Sleepwalker

 

 

 

 

Red Planet

by Steve Day

 

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

 

Red Planet Mars

 

 

Doubt about who wrote a particular melody tends to provide an air of mystery.  Enter Red Planet.  Years ago a highly respected British saxophone player told me John Coltrane wrote Red Planet but called it Miles’ Mode for copyright reasons.  It’s the only time I’ve heard this explanation but hey, it’s a scenario that happens.  There’s also a more established theory that Eric Dolphy wrote the tune. 

Red Planet’s main theme is a twelve-tone tone-row; the basis for a lot of serial music.  Dolphy was interested in such ideas; he certainly experimented with the piece.  There’s also some suggestion he may have ‘contributed’ it to Coltrane’s own development of Miles’ Mode when they played the piece together at the Village Vanguard sessions in 1961.  Of added interest is that the following year the great Bb clarinet maestro, Pee Wee Russell, decided to re-translate Red Planet for his own groundbreaking album New Groove, giving the composer’s credit to Trane. Take a listen to Pee Wee’s short Planet solos on New Groove - click here - the ears truly hear something extraordinary.  Writing about it at the time in Downbeat magazine’s review Don DeMichael called it “triumphant”.

In my Red Planet poem I’m attempting to tap into this triumphant ‘mystery’:

  • The Roman’s regarded Mars as the ‘red planet’, the God of War.
  • It’s an example of 12 tone music albeit translated into modal improv.
  • ‘Ronnie’ refers to Ronnie Scott, a great wordsmith, who could talk authoritatively - providing two meanings to ‘bars’ in the same sentence. 
  • And then after all that, in the last verse I allude to several Shabaka Hutchings’ song titles. Why do that?  Because having listened to a lot of Coltrane/Dolphy alongside Pee Wee Russell’s clarinet on New Groove, it occurred to me it’s Shabaka Hutchings who currently holds a similar breadth of breath across the experiential response on this often overlooked instrument.

The poem ends with the Shabaka Hutchings title, The Comet Is Coming, like Red Planet, referencing outer space.  All improv is based to some degree on the notion of call and response, the impact of one phrase upon another.  If the comet is coming my poem offers a personal response.  One thing global pandemic and climate crisis points to is how we respond to what is ‘out there’ is crucial to our lives.  In my view music, poetry, all the arts, reflect a central message; what happens to one of us induces a response from all, what feels like a mystery is actually our own humanity.  That is the underlying beauty found in the work of great musicians like Trane, Dolphy, Pee Wee and Shabaka.

 

Red Planet

They had been playing Red Planet,
taking the sonic trip up and outta
space to where few people want to go on
a Saturday night when the world collapses
around the end of the evening.
Midnight soaked in neon gets no one near
the surface of Mars
never mind a miracle of music.
For sure Coltrane had always treated
the twelve tone like a mode; fact, he sometimes
named it as that but Pee Wee’s Bb licorice clarinet
would have none of it; already leapt the line
like jumping gravity when a rainy night
suddenly warms up.
Heaven knows who hears
the God of War as the God of Good and Evil
but by 1962 when Pee Wee Russell touched
down with the tune no ears were arguing
with what they could hear
coming out of the ancient New Groove.

There are only so many bars in the
City of Soho as Ronnie pertinently
pointed out to no particular person other
than those of us who already knew how to
steal a scene. See a mind’s eye
that is what the Great Observatory has
hit upon, more red,
less grey, blue to green and a
colony of music as ancestral as Africa.
So you blow dry wood through reeds like over
wide plains and across this Serengeti of chorus
and who is to translate what-when-how-but
Pee Wee understood about Red Planet.
What we still believe
when catching a phantom
haunting the horns of Shabaka Hutchings
knowing it to be a real new thing orbiting
what we came here to do. Forget no one
least of all Pee Wee Russell
who saw the comet coming before us.

© Steve Day

Click here to listen to Shabaka Hutchings The Comet Is Coming.

 

 

 

 

Forum

 

 

Placed The Face

Ronnie Scott screenshot

Steve Greatorex was watching the documentary Ronnie's about Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club where this picture appeared without comment. Neither Steve, nor I, could quite put our finger on who this is with Ronnie Scott. I wondered whether it is singer and DJ Sam Costa (who passed away in 1981), but I was not convinced.

Jerry Lupton and Jeroen De Valk both got in touch. Jerry said: ‘I'm sure I won't be the first to say....but the other character forbidding Ronnie to play bebop, is comedy actor Mario Fabrizi (1924-63). He was a regular member of Tony Hancock's repertory company, as well as appearing in the 1950's TV comedy 'The Army Game' as Corporal 'Moosh' Merryweather. He also crops up in a myriad of films, including that old warhorse 'It's Trad, Dad', where he was cast as the 'spaghetti eater'- such is show business, I guess. Mario can also be seen, albeit very briefly, in the home movies shot by trumpeter Denis Rose of the characters of Soho, that also featured in the Scott documentary, where Ronnie is seen gurning and generally acting up.’...

... and Jeroen added: ‘It took me about five seconds to find the answer, as the photo is in Scott's bio 'Let's join hands and contact the living'.  According to the photo caption, it's 'actor and jazz fan Mario Fabrizi'.

 

 

 

 

Which Band?

Having identified the person in the photograph above, this month presents us with another challenge. Andy Burkinshaw writes:

'Jazz isn't really my thing, I'm more into 60's psych and rock. I picked up this photo in a lot with others and dropped on your site, whilst trying to identify the band. Do you have any clue as to who they are? The names are hard to make out, but look kind of German.'

Andy is right in saying the signatures are not very clear but does anyone recognise the band or any of the musicians in the picture below?

 

Andy Burkinshaw photograph

 

 

 

 

Sandy Brown Jazz Facebook and Mailing List

Thank you to those people who have liked our Sandy Brown Jazz Facebook page and who have commented on posts. I hope that you have found the items there of interest. Using Facebook gives us a chance to share information that arrives between issues of What's New Magazine. If you do visit our Facebook page, please 'Like' us and 'Share' us with your friends - * Since a recent Facebook 'update' I have been experiencing problems with being able to post items on the page and I am trying to resolve this. Facebook


Click here

 

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

 

 

 

Departure Lounge

 

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

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

 

 

Jim Petrie

 

 

Jim Petrie - Scottish New Orleans style cornet player and vocalist from Edinburgh. He played with West Richmond Street Stompers, the Edinburgh Climax Jazz Band, the Auld Reekie Parade Band, the Criterion New Orleans Brass Band and his own bands, amongst others. He continued to lead his Diplomats Of Jazz band from the 1980s until he died. Click here for a video of Jim and the Diplomats of Jazz in 2015.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stanley Cowell

 

 

 

Stanley Cowell - American pianist born in Ohio. At college he played with Roland Kirk and then went on to play with Marion Brown, Max Roach, Bobby Hutcherson, Clifford Jordan Sonny Rollins, Stan Getz, Charles Moore and others in the Detroit Artist's Workshop Jazz Ensemble, and J J Johnson. In 1971, Cowell founded the record label Strata-East together with trumpeter Charles Tolliver. The label would become one of the most successful Black-led, independent labels of all time. Click here for a video of Stanley Cowell playing with the Graham Collier Sextet in 1969. Obituaries: New York Times; Jazz Times : Washington Post :

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

Recent Releases

Some Recent Releases

Please Note: Where we give links to albums from Bandcamp and the price is shown in dollars, this is converted to pounds sterling if you click 'Buy' so you can check the price before you purchase.

 

 

UK

Alastair Penman - Do You Hear Me?

Will Glaser - Climbing In Circles

 

 

 

America

Artemis - Artemis

Susan Alcorn Quintet - Pedernal

Brian Charette - Like The Sun

Joel Ross - Who Are You?

Chris Potter - There Is A Tide


 

 

Europe and Elsewhere

Tigran Hamasyan - The Call Within

Benjamin Faugloire Project - L

 

 

 

 

Alastair Penman - Do You Hear Me?
(Sospiro Records) - Released: 11th December 2020

Alastair Penman (soprano/alto/tenor/baritone saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet, keyboards, MIDI programming and compositions)

Alastair Penman Do You Hear Me

 

 

'The 4-track EP 'Do You Hear Me?' reflects on the climate emergency we are living through and the changes we must make to prevent the end of life on earth. In the words of Greta Thunberg, "Our house is on fire", so we must do everything we can to halt and reverse this disaster. Alastair Penman is a multi-award-winning saxophonist and composer praised by critics for his "undoubtedly brilliant imagination" and "surpassingly beautiful music". 'Do You Hear Me?' fuses Penman's masterful saxophone playing with electronic effects, backings and enhancements to create a unique sound world and convey the urgency of the climate emergency. 'Do You Hear Me?' has been produced by legendary saxophonist and producer John Harle, following on from Penman and Harle's successful collaboration on Penman's critically acclaimed debut album 'Electric Dawn'. 50% of proceeds from the album will be donated to two highly impactful environmental charities: Clean Air Task Force and Coalition for Rainforest Nations.'

Details : Video for Our House Is On Fire :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Will Glaser - Climbing In Circles
(Ubuntu Music) - Released: 22nd January 2021

Will Glaser (drums, percussion); Matthew Herd (saxophone); Liam Noble (piano)

Will Glaser Climbing In Circles

'Will Glaser is a Nottinghamshire born drummer and percussionist, mixes an eclectic range of influences in a drumming style that is musical, melodic and deeply rooted in the Jazz tradition. His inspiration draws on every corner of Jazz history, from traditional and early Jazz styles and New Orleans music to Free Jazz and improvised music, but also Rock music, experimental music, singer songwriters and pretty much anything that makes a sound. Will's playing style is a charming combination of both the familiar and surprising. Will moved to London in 2010 to study Jazz at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. After graduating in 2014 he quickly became an in-demand sideman for a startling array of British and International Jazz musicians. The exhaustive list includes Soweto Kinch, Yazz Ahmed, Kit Downes, Nikki Iles, Dame Clio Lane, Alex Garnett, Laura Jurd, Empirical, Ian Shaw, and Jason Rebello, to mention just a few.Climbing in Circles, Will's latest, is the culmination of a three-year project, exploring his musical relationships with Matthew Herd (sax) and Liam Noble (piano). This third album sees the joining of Liam and Matt in a bass-less trio setting, the logical conclusion after Will's two previous duo releases. For this record, Will chose to depart from the same choice of repertoire as recorded previously, as the new tune choices represent the musical growth of these partnerships. Threaded together by explorative improvisations, the trio plays tunes from a range of sources.some standard repertoire, a Tom Waits song, a Paul Motion tune and a Don Cherry composition. In this very intimate setting, these musicians explore all the possibilities of this slightly unusual ensemble. Explorations in sound and colour give way to heavy grooves and walls of energy, strong melodies and transportive atmospheres which link improvisation and compositions alike.Will describes the project: "This album means an awful lot to me. Playing with Liam Noble and Matt Herd is such a trip. I guess this record sums up everything I love about music. We play standards and compositions from my heroes, and spontaneously create new music in the moment," explains Glaser. "I really feel I can be myself with Liam and Matt. We are all drawing from this large bag of great music we all love so nothing is really off the cards. When we play the tunes it's with this very open mindset of seeing what will happen. It always feels really open and new things surprise me every timr. When we play free, they come out like miniature compositions." (album notes).

Details and Samples : Video for I'm An Old Cowhand : Promotional Video : Listen to Jitterbug Waltz :

 

 

 

 

 

America

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

 

 

Artemis - Artemis
(Blue Note Records) - Released: 11th September 2020

Melissa Aldana (tenor sax); Ingrid Jensen (trumpet); Anat Cohen (clarinet, bass clarinet); Cecile McLorin Salvant(vocals); Renee Rosnes (piano); Noriko Ueda (bass); Alison Miller (drums).

Artemis

 

'All-star collective featuring Renee Rosnes, Anat Cohen, Melissa Aldana, Ingrid Jensen, Noriko Ueda, Allison Miller & Cécile McLorin Salvant release their debut album 'Artemis', a superb nine-song set that features material composed and/or arranged by each of the band's six instrumentalists. 'The group identity emerged organically', Rosnes says, and Artemis discovered a thrilling collective vision early in its lifespan. 'We are seven leaders, each with our own vision and personal point of view, but we play with a unified conception.' (album notes). 'Artemis is an all-female supergroup whose seven members already possess deep credentials in the modern jazz world. They are not only intrepid improvisers and colorists but also true team players. Hence, Artemis’ eponymous debut album is highly demonstrative of those feats. Under the musical direction of Canadian pianist Renee Rosnes, this international ensemble proudly features New York-based jazz figures from different parts of the world, namely Israeli clarinetist Anat Cohen, Chilean saxophonist Melissa Aldana, Canadian trumpeter Ingrid Jensen, American vocalist Cecile McLorin Salvant, Japanese bassist Noriko Ueda and American drummer Alison Miller. Artemis is the Greek goddess of the hunt and the wilderness. The opener, precisely titled “Goddess of the Hunt”, was penned by Miller, who forges an attractive rhythm with Ueda here. The tune features four distinctive soloists - Aldana, exemplary in her acrobatic movements, is effective across the whole range of the saxophone but really stuns whenever she hits the low notes; Rosnes develops fleet phrases with horn fills in the back; Jensen’s unique locution is filled with meaningful piercing notes; and Cohen brings her dulcet sound and agile imagination to the fore. The interesting arrangement inflicted by Jensen to The Beatles’ “The Fool on the Hill” transformed the amiable pop of the British group into polished post-bop. Amidst the collective effort, it’s hard not to notice the conjoint work of the contrabass and the bass clarinet toward low-end stabilization. .... These remarkable jazzwomen make a point about creativity.' (JazzTrail).

Details and Samples : Full JazzTrail Review : Video for Goddess Of The Hunt : Listen to The Sidewinder :

 

 

 

 

Susan Alcorn Quintet - Pedernal
(Relative Pitch Records) - Released: 13th November 2020

Susan Alcorn (pedal steer guitar); Mary Halvorson (guitar); Michael Feldman (violin); Michael Formanek (acoustic bass); Ryan Sawyer (drums).

Susan Alcorn Quintet Pedernal

 

"Pedernal” opens with Alcorn’s gracefully slithery pedal steel line suggesting a dark, minor blues that’s joined in an undulating caress by Formanek’s lithe bass. Descending chords introduce the second section as the band steps into the gathering maelstrom, eventually resolving into a beatifically lyrical theme that seems to summon the abiding power of the iconic vista. (album notes). 'Cleveland-born, Baltimore-based pedal steel guitar player/composer Susan Alcorn always finds a taut balance between articulate melody and ambiguous, atmospheric ambiances. She’s usually seen playing in duo and trio formats but for her most recent outing, Pedernal, she assembled a quintet with three old collaborators - guitarist Mary Halvorson, bassist Michael Formanek and drummer Ryan Sawyer - and a new backer of her musical cause - violinist Michael Feldman. The album embraces diverse languages, moods and styles, yet, the five Alcorn compositions perfectly cohere as a whole. The title track initiates the journey by centering guitar and bass in a spiritual communion. The group embraces folk, chamber music and country-jazz with a deep melodic sense in this charming sonic portrait of Cerro Pedernal, a narrow mesa located in northern New Mexico. Inspired by the Anasazi dwellings in southeastern Utah’s Hovenweep National Monument, “Circular Ruins” enhances a contrasting, restless cymbal activity within the reflective mood delineated by concurrent guitars and violin countermelodies. Halvorson’s exquisite tones are wonderful during the explorative states of suspension created by Alcorn’s colorful chordal work and the lugubrious bowing of the bass and violin .... Alcorn’s long-awaited debut as a leader is a promising sign regarding the work that will come in the future.' (JazzTrail)

Details and Samples : Full JazzTrail Review :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brian Charette - Like The Sun
(Dim Mak) - Released: 1st December 2020

Brian Charette - Hammond organ, keyboards,synth, drum machines.

Brian Charette Like The Sun

 

 

'New CD of Hammond organ with electronica; think Kraftwerk meets Harlem juke joint. Charette’s keyboards are accompanied by synths and drum machines that he has programmed to react to him in provocative ways as he tracks live. The music is original catchy instrumental tunes with hip beats, memorable melodies, slick chords, and dreamy atmospheres. The heart of the music is the Hammond Organ which is compelling because it is rarely seen in this robotic context. The pieces on the album speak of isolation, finding my lovely wife, and the terrible anxiety of losing my concerts because of the virus. All instruments and production by Charette' (album notes).

Details and Samples: Video for Like The Sun :

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joel Ross - Who Are You?
(Blue Note Records) - Released:

Joel Ross (vibraphone); Immanuel Wilkins (alto saxophone); Jeremy Corren (piano); Kanoa Mendenhall (bass); Jeremy Dutton (drums) + guest Brandee Younger (harp).

Joel Ross Who Are You

 

 

'Only with two albums released as a leader, Joel Ross is already considered one of our era’s most brilliant and lavishly gifted vibraphonists. Following up Kingmaker - his encouraging debut on Blue Note - Who Are You? is a collection of 15 new made-to-measure instrumentals whose result is utterly rewarding. Ross, who moved to New York from Chicago, welcomes bassist Kanoa Mendenhall into the group, expanding the original quartet featuring saxophonist Immanuel Wilkins, pianist Jeremy Corren and drummer Jeremy Dutton. Proficient jazz harpist Brandee Younger is also featured on five tracks, including Coltrane’s “After the Rain”, where the sweetness of her sweeps and plucks contribute to achieve spiritual heights. The record kicks off with “Dream”, a Dutton-penned piece that brings a certain magic spell and dramatic quality. This is followed by Mendenhall’s solo-bass “Calling”, which serves to bridge the path that takes us from the opening piece to the waltzing “Home”, a Ross composition cooled-out by an unspeakable comfort and endearment .... Ross is a storyteller with an ample melodic and harmonic sense. He brings such a broad scope to the jazz vibraphone universe that his music is capable of influencing hearts and minds.' (JazzTrail).

Details and Samples : Full JazzTrail Review : Listen to Dream : Listen to After The Rain :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chris Potter - There Is A Tide
(Edition Records) - Released: 4th December 2020

Chris Potter (piano, keyboards, electric and acoustic guitars, bass guitar, drums, clarinet, bass clarinet, flute, alto flute, percussion, samples and saxophones).

Chris Potter There Is A Tide

 

'It’s a year no one will forget, a year in which the global lockdown was shared by all, and yet experienced in a million different ways. For Chris Potter, a musician who has been on the road continuously since the 1990s, whose raison d’etre is playing live, lockdown presented both a challenge and an opportunity. It’s a tribute to his creativity, personal integrity and huge musical talent that Chris was able to take on this challenge and make something unbelievably fresh from the opportunity. Starting in May 2020, as the Black Lives Matter movement was kicking off (reflected in the track ‘I Had A Dream’), Chris set out to create something alone, to express his reaction to these chaotic times. Uniquely, playing each and every instrument: piano, keyboards, electric and acoustic guitars, bass guitar, drums, clarinet, bass clarinet, flute, alto flute, percussion, samples and of course saxophones, Chris took just six weeks to complete the whole process.' (album notes). 'This solo album by Chris Potter, made in six weeks while in lockdown, reveals instrumental insight as he plays all the instruments in a new and challenging experience that included writing, recording and producing. It's not as thrilling as when he plays with his groups, but his known strengths are on display, especially the killer saxophone solos, the compositional eclecticism, and the ability to find color and joy in his surroundings. The opening track, “I Had a Dream”, has all that. The piece, inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, has a glowing Afro-folk feel to it that enhances the urgency of equality in this world.... In turn, “Rest Your Head” waltzes gently, displaying a lovely pop melody on top of a harmonic tapestry competently textured with acoustic and electric guitars.....There is a Tide was conceptualized and arranged with imagination, insisting on the search for beauty and hope instead of focusing on the fear and despair. Although far from Potter’s foremost works, it’s hard not to be uplifted by its positive energy.' (JazzTrail).

Details and Samples : Listen to I Had A Dream : Listen to Rest Your Head : Full JazzTrail Review :

 

 

 

Europe and Elsewhere

 

Tigran Hamasyan - The Call Within
(Nonesuch) - Released: 28th August 2020

Tigran Hamasyan (piano, keyboards); Evan Marien (bass); Arthur Hnatek (drums). Guest artists: Tosin Abasi (guitar); Areni Agbabia (vocals); Artyom Manukyan (cello).

Tigran Hamasyan The Call Within

 

'Produced by Hamasyan, 'The Call Within' is a journey into the artist's dreamlike inner world, which is as realistic to him as his physical one. Hamasyan, who believes that the 'moment of unconscious creation is the way to feel conscious', says: 'Unutterable seconds of longing, subliminal realization, and mostly joy fill the body as a work of art, a poem, or a melody is being born into this world for no apparent reason, but only for the humanity to discover what is invisible: the divine mystery'. (album notes). 'After two consecutive solo albums, namely An Ancient Observer (2017) and For Gyumri (2018), Armenian pianist/composer Tigran Hamasyan returns to the trio format on The Call Within, his sixth album for Nonesuch and the most fascinating thus far. Pairing up with American electric bassist Evan Marien and Swiss drummer Arthur Hnatek, Hamasyan delves deeper into dreamlike inner states, nudging the band into uncharted realms while drawing inspiration from astrology, maps from ancient eras, geometry, divine mysteries, ancient Armenian design and folklore, and many more. The album provides several highlights encrusted with technical acuity, and “Levitation 21” couldn’t have opened the album in a better way. Incantatory chants are set against a relaxed piano-driven background; yet, on top of that, the energetic rhythmic thrust of Marien and Hnatek creates a polyrhythmic feel that completely dazzles. It’s a beautiful piece indeed, with effortless transitions in which the ethereal moods of folk and classical contrast with the powerful dynamism of progressive jazz and rock ..... These expertly structured frameworks are designed with imagination and a perfect sense of direction. I hope they provide the same exhilarating listening experience for you as they provided for me.' (JazzTrail).

Details and Samples : Full JazzTrail Review : Video for Levitation 21 :

 

 

 

 

 

Benjamin Faugloire Project - L
(jazz family) - Released: 16th October 2020

Benjamin Faugloire (piano, composer); Denis Frangulian (double bass); Jérôme Mouriez (drums).

Benjamin Faugloire Project L

 

 

'BFP is a jazz trio from Marseille (France). Born in 2005, those three friends met and bonded over the music of Benjamin Faugloire. More than ten years after BFP creation, three recorded albums and many tours around the world, the trio comes back to present the 4th album: a succeed, successful and flagship album. "L" marks a frank evolution in Benjamin Faugloire's style: if it confirms his personality and his emotivity, it nonetheless refined here even more and focuses on the essential. Indeed, he avoids  conventions and makes fun with form or style: Only the narration counts. The trio just reached a level of cohesion and musicality unmatched until now. Spontaneity of playing and improvisation, strong moments, unforeseen silences, as much risks as a united trio like BFP can accomplish with so much control and flexibility. The whole with the precision and the colorful writing from the pianist. "L" is one of those albums that gives you chills, makes you cry and laugh, brings you back to your childhood memories, your love stories... It is also one of those jazz albums where skills of musicians can shine but always for a speech: this is one of these albums which should lead this trio to the top of the bill.' (album notes)

Details and Samples : Video extract of Bunker : Listen to La Demoiselle : Band website.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some Other Pages on this Website:

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

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

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

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

 

 

Back to Top

Follow us on FacebookFacebook

© Sandy Brown Jazz 2021

 

Click HERE to join our mailing list

 

 

 

multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, composer, arranger, and film and television producer.-

 

 

Archie Shepp

as

back to top