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July 2021

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Jazz On A Summers Day

 

 

 

In the summer of 1958, Bert Stern and Aram Avakian filmed the Newport Jazz Festival. It was a celebration of 40 years and more of jazz. Sixty years and more later and jazz is still alive and well, developing and growing, and festivals featuring all tastes of jazz are beginning to return after the restrictions caused by Covid-19. The film Jazz On A Summer's Day is still available on DVD (click here) capturing for posterity some of the great musicians of jazz - Louis Armstrong, Mahalia Jackson, Chico Hamilton, Gerry Mulligan, Thelonious Monk, Buck Clayton, Eric Dolphy .. and some of the footage is freely available on YouTube: Trailer, Extended clip, Gerry Mulligan, Anita O'Day, Thelonious Monk, Louis Armstrong, Jimmy Giuffre, Bob Brookmeyer and JIm Hall ......


 

Edition Records Launch New Initiatives For Musicians

Edition Records are launching two new projects with the aim of guiding a select group of outstanding artists through every stage of the industry and providing a catalyst in reigniting their careers following an intensely challenging period.

DIRECTIONS IN MUSIC is an international scheme open to artists of any age to be part of a year-long project focusing on all aspects Emilia Martensson and Matt Robinsonof their career growth. Through a series of workshops, one-to-one sessions and development exercises, this scheme will support eight musicians of exceptional talent with the potential to develop into world class artists and creators. These sessions will help demystify the vital next steps in their career and provide leverage and footholds to enable their development over the next few years. From June 2021 applications will be accepted from all international artists of all ages. There are no restrictions. Selections will be made in August with an aim to run the project from September 2021 to August 2022. Applications close on 15th July. Click here for more details and for the application form.

 

Emila Mårtensson and Matt Robinson

 

CANOPY is a scheme to nurture, develop and value the potential of one artist (group or solo) over the course of 2 years, including looking in detail at the writing, releasing and development of music to create value in increasingly challenging times. Edition are very excited to announce that the writing partnership of Emilia Mårtensson and Matt Robinson will be the first participants of this scheme. "Both musicians have shown considerable skill, vision and mind to create interesting and inventive music. Together, we have seen potential in their ability to communicate powerful, emotive music that can grow international audiences."

Click here for Emilia and Matt with Iriving Berlin's Cheek To Cheek videoed informally during the Covid-19 restrictions last December.

 

 

 

Queen's Birthday Honours 2021

Congratulations to Jonathan Peel who has been awarded an MBE in the 2021 Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to Higher Jonathan PeelEducation.

 

Kent Online summarises Jonathan's contribution saying: 'Jonathan Peel was a trumpeter doing jazz gigs across the country, but decided on a career change when synthesiser music became fashionable and his talents were not so much in demand. Thirty years ago Mr Peel joined Trinity Laban, a music and dance conservatoire which merged with London's Trinity School of Music, as a payroll clerk. Now director of strategy and business operations, he receives the honour for services to higher education. The 57-year-old father-of-one, from Rainham, is also founder of Generous Records, a not-for-profit company set up to generate donations to charity through the sale of original recorded music. The songwriter also produced an album, Let the Music Give, featuring 11 of his songs and showcasing up-and-coming new singers and musicians. Since the merger, he has led several major projects including the £3million transformation of the Blackheath Halls concert venue, a major community arts centre in south east London.'

Trinity Laban also congratulates Jonathan quoting him as saying: "I am very proud to work at Trinity Laban alongside fantastic, committed people. Over the past year we have all worked extremely hard against major challenges, and I have been humbled by our shared determination and resilience. Thank you to you all.”

 

 

 

 

Scottish Awards For New Music 2021 - Nominees

These Awards are created by New Music Scotland with support from the National Lottery through Creative Scotland’s Open Project Fund. Award sponsors include Dorico Steinberg, PRS for Music, The Good Spirits Co, Mark McKergow, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, the Incorporated Society of Musicians, the Scottish Music Industry Association, and the Musicians’ Union.

New Music Scotland is a network of composers, performers, programmers, producers, educators, funders and audience.  NMS facilitates the creation, production and promotion of experimental, innovative and imaginative new music. "We believe that new music comes from many different cultural traditions and musical practices; what brings us all together is our passion for and belief in the intrinsic value of Paul Towndrownew music creation for individuals and society as a whole." The awards cover a wide range of musical categories, one of which is the Mark McKergow Award for Innovation in Jazz.

 

This year, the shortlisted nominations are:

Corto Alto: Liam Shortall - [Click here for a video of Apple from Corto Alto]
Deepening the River: Paul Towndrow - [Click here for a preview of Deepening The River]
and
Playtime Collective - [Click here for a video from Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival 2020]

Paul Towndrow

 

Liam Shortall

 

 

Andy Saunders, Co-Chair, New Music Scotland, said: “The variety and number of works and projects nominated this year was incredibly impressive, given the situation that the music world has faced over the last year. There were some stunningly creative ideas, and a consistently high level of artistic integrity within the nominations. To see that so much brilliant music making was going on is nothing short of inspirational.”

 

Liam Shortall

 

 

 

Laura Jurd, trumpet player, composer and panellist, said: “Jazz has always been innovative. From Lester Young's interpretation of show tunes like 'Lady Be Good' to the radical compositional footprints made by Duke Ellington, Mary Lou Williams and Ornette Coleman to name a few. The very notion of speaking your own unique language, through improvisation and composition, and doing so in a such a socially collective manner, is what gives jazz its essence. The Mark McKergow Award for Innovation in Jazz is key in recognising this as part of Scotland's rich scene of music-makers.”

The winners will be announced at the 2021 Scottish Awards for New Music ceremony on Wednesday 7 July at 8.00 pm via the NMS website. Streamed live from the RSNO Centre, Glasgow and presented by Tom Service, it will feature a performance by RSNO violist Katherine Wren, the driving force behind Nordic Viola, of Legend, commissioned from Eddie McGuire in 1974 by the late Jimmy Durrant.

 

 

 

The Review Of Jazz In England

The closing date for sending in your questionnaire to this review has been extended to midnight on 1st August to give more people time to respond. The review is about all genres of jazz and the current experience of audiences, musicians and organisations as it is today following the Covid pandemic. It is also trying to get a picture of the infrastructure, marketing, uses of social media, pay and conditions to help  the jazz constituency in England understand and use its resources in the most efficient and effective ways –  and two, to make the case for improving the support, sustainability and promotion of jazz in England.

If you haven't already sent in a response, details can be found here.

 

 

 

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

 

 

Julian Lage Saint Rose video

 

 

Visualizer video for Saint Rose from guitarist Julian Lage's new album Squint. [See Recent Releases].

 

 

 

 

 

Duke Ellinton Louis Armstrong In A Mellow Tone

 

 

Here are Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington together playing In A Mellow Tone on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1961.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Samara Joy Sophisticated Lady video

 

 

Samara Joy McLendon sings Duke Ellington's Sophisticated Lady with Pete Malinverni at the piano. Samara has a new album out of songs from the Great American Songbook [see Recent Releases]

 

 

 

 

 

Roland Kirk video

 

The Ed Sullivan show did a lot to feature jazz and fortunately much of it has been preserved in its archives. This video featuring Rahsaan Roland Kirk is an example. This version of Haitian Fight Song, with a group that also includes tenor-saxophonist Archie Shepp, trumpeter Charles McGee, trombonist Dick Griffin, pianist Sonelius Smith, both Charles Mingus and Pete Pearson on basses, drummer Roy Haynes, and percussionists Joe Texidor and Maurice McKinley starts out leading you to believe that you are going to hear one thing .... and then it takes off into something else ..... The saxophonist had been leading a series of protests against television variety shows that did not feature black music and Ed Sullivan gave Kirk five minutes to play whatever he wanted.

 

 

 

 

 

Germana La Sorsa video

 

 

Germana La Sorsa introduces the first single - If I Fall In Love - from recording her new album Vapour in the company of Nick Costley-White (guitar), Sam Leak (Hammond Organ) and Jay Davis (drums). The album is due out in the autumn. Click here for Germana's website.

 

 

 

 

 

Brownfield Byrne Newton video

 

 

The Jamie Brownfield / Liam Byrne Hot6 with guest David Newton play Did You Call Her Today in 2018. Jamie and Liam will be at the Pershore Jazz Festival that will be running on 13th, 14th and 15th August this year at Pershore College Campus in Worcestershire - details.

 

 

 

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

 

 

 


Anagram

RARE BIG BANDY

(Duke Ellington clarinettist)

Click here for the answer

 

 

 

Jazz Power In Arles

Jazzwise magazine has highlighted this French exhibition that takes place between 5th July and 26th September. 'Rencontres d'Arles' is a summer photography festival founded in 1970, which has earned a world-wide reputation as a springboard for photographic and Woman In Profilecontemporary creative talents. The exhibitions are given on various heritage sites, suitably stage-designed for the purpose. Many of the most prestigious photographers have taken part in the Rencontres d’Arles, but the list of those who were “discovered” there is also impressive. The festival aims to stay abreast of changes in the photographic image and new processes and technologies, and to offer everyone a chance to get to know the world of photography.

Clara Bastid and Marie Robert are collating JAZZ POWER! JAZZ MAGAZINE: TWENTY YEARS IN THE AVANT-GARDE (1954–1974): "At the time of racial segregation in the United States, which lasted until 1964, and the difficult decolonization process undertaken by France, French periodicals seldom put African-Americans on their covers. But in December 1954, Jazz Magazine set a new tone. From the outset, the young team at the monthly magazine founded by Nicole and Eddie Barclay advocated musical borrowing and cultural exchange. It bore ardent witness to the US civil rights movement as well as discrimination against African-Americans on both sides of the Atlantic. The magazine quickly became a laboratory of experimentation, taking opinionated stands under its editors, Frank Ténot and Daniel Filipacchi - fiery, ambitious friends fascinated by jazz and Afro-American counterculture. Surrounded by enthusiasts, they played an active part in building "legends" in France. For two decades, they legitimized jazz as a form of culture, consecrating the music and revealing its eminently political dimension."

 

Jean-Marie Périer, Woman in profile. Published in Jazz Magazine 190, July 1971.

 

This timely exhibition will include three images by Val Wilmer - Muddy Waters (1971); Rashied Ali (1972) and Nina Simone at Ronnie Scott's (1984). Further details are here (click on ENG - top right of the page - to change from French to English).

 

 

 

 

Poetry and Jazz

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

Count Basie - By The Time We Reached Kansas City ....

 

 

[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. article below].

 

Count Basie looks back at his move to Kansas City. Born in 1904, he was touring with vaudeville shows before he was 20 years old.

 

Count Basie

 

 

'I'd travelled west from New York with a touring vaudeville show. I was just a kinda honky-tonk piano player with the show and we had more than our share of troubles. We didn't have any 'names' in the cast and we didn't do much business. So, about the time we reached Kansas City, the unit was in pretty bad shape and then came the inevitable folding. When we folded, I was broke and didn't have any way to get out of town.

I knew I couldn't do any good by sitting around feeling sorry for myself or wishing I'd never left my home in Red Bank, New Jersey.. I started making the rounds to see if there might be a spot in town for a piano player, and surprisingly fast found Eblon movie theatrethat spot playing the accompaniment to silent films at a local movie theatre called the Eblon. I must say I got a lot of good experience in that job, because I was playing for all sorts of pictures, anything from a Western melodrama to a crime thriller or one of those passion plays.

 

Eblon Movie Theatre on 18th and Vine - the Kansas City Jazz District.

 

Well, I held that job at the Eblon for the better part of a year. Then, in 1928, I got a job with a band known as the 'Blue Devils'. The leader of this band was a guy named Walter Page, who played a mighty wicked string bass, and still does. Yes, he's the same Walter Page who later made with the rhythm in my band.

Click here to listen to Count Basie with the Blue Devils playing There's A Squabblin' in 1929.

The Blue Devils did quite a bit of travelling between Kansas City and Oklahoma City, and in 1929 we picked up a blues singer in Oklahoma City. That was Jimmy Rushing, who for my money has never had an equal when it comes to the blues.

 

Back in the early 'thirties there was a band in Kansas City that more or less ruled the local jazz scene. It was that of the late Bennie Moten. Few people outside Kansas City ever knew much about this band for the reason that way back then there Bennie Motenwere no such means of nation-wide exploitation as radio, records, and juke-boxes and local or territorial bands had to be seen to be heard. Well, the Blue Devils broke up and several of us, including Page and Rushing, joined Bennie. I played 'third piano' in that band. Bennie, of course, was the big man at the keys, and his brother Bus played piano-accordion.....

 

Click here for Bennie Moten's Kansas City Orchestra playing Band Box Shuffle in 1929.

 

Bennie Moten

 

.....I've heard a lot of conflicting stories as to how I came to go out as band leader in my own right. First, I will say that I did not take over the Bennie Moten band when Bennie died. In 1935 the band was booked for the Rainbow Ballroom in Denver, one of the leading dance spots in the west. Bennie, however, stayed in Kansas City for a tonsillectomy. In the meantime the band went on to open in Denver. Just as we were getting under way on opening night, Bus Moten received a telephone call from Kansas City that Bennie had died on the operating table ..... without a leader, the band just didn't seem to mean much any more. Bus Moten took over for the next six months or so and then we broke up.'

From Hear Me Talkin' To Ya edited by Nat Shapiro and Nat Hentoff.

 

 

Click here to listen to Bennie Moten's Kansas City Orchestra playing Moten Swing in December 1932, two and a bit years before Bennie died. In the picture with the video Count Basie is second on the left.

 

 

Count Basie and Walter Page

Freddie Green, Jo Jones, Walter Page and Count Basie in 1938

 

 

 

 

Take Two

Corner Pocket

 

[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].

 

Freddie Green

 

Freddie Green

 

It seems appropriate to follow on this Month's 'Story Is Told' by Count Basie with two versions of one of his famous recordings. Corner Pocket is a composition by Basie's guitarist Freddie Green and it featured on the 1955 album April In Paris.

'While still in his teens, Freddie began to play around the clubs of the city, earning money and a reputation. In one of these gigs, he was noticed by the legendary talent scout John H. Hammond, who realized the potential of Green and introduced him to Basie. In 1937, Basie and his ensemble went to one of Green's gigs on the advice of an associate. Basie was an immediate fan, and approached Green with a job offer' (Freddie would have been 26 years old by then). Except for a brief interruption, he would remain a pivotal fixture of the Count Basie Band for the next fifty years.'

Before choosing our two versions of the tune we should start with a video of the Count Basie Orchestra playing it. Here they are in Stockholm in 1962. with solos by Thad Jones, Al Aarons and Frank Wess, but as you will see from the comments, it was drummer Sonny Payne who attracted the attention - (click here).

Of course it is difficult to follow Count Basie's band, but the first of the two versions we have chosen is by Manhattan Transfer where Donald E Wolf has added lyrics. Here they are at the North Sea Jazz Festival in 1987 - (click here).

 

I used to be so fancy free,
But really lonesome as could be,
Till one lucky day, you came my way
I never knew what love was all about
Until I met you.

 

Manahattan Transfer

I knew it right from the start
I used to think there'd never be,
A girl who'd ever care for me,
Then, what d'ya know, you made it so,
I never knew what love was all about,
Until I met you.

Once we start, then we'll never part
In my blue life,
No one at all would even care if I cried.
(Hurtin' inside)
In my new life,
I'm walkin' tall, I got a feelin' of pride
Glowin' inside.

 

 

 

And, lover, you're the reason why,
A lonely girl is ridin' high
Now, who do you see, lucky as me?
I never knew what love was all about,
Until I met you.

It's cherry pink -
And apple blossom white
That's right - pink and white
I be tellin' why'…

 

TJI Big Band

 

 

Our second 'take' is a big band version, not chosen to compete with the Basie Orchestra, but is an example that could have been one of several. This video by the young TJI (Tucson Jazz Institute) Europe Big Band is from the 2014 Jazz In Vienne Festival. Corner Pocket lends itself well to young big bands and here the video captures how the musicians are completely taken and involved with the tune and the arrangement and how that is conveyed to the audience and each other. That in turn sets up the solos - they repect each other's playing. The trumpet section acknowledge Alex Melnychuck's solo and in particular, the two saxophone solos from Robbie Lee and then Aubrey Martin come up with their personal ideas. Such a great, swinging inspiration by musicians who have an understanding of the music. (click here).

 

 

 

Count Basie interviewed by Max Barker in 1963:

"Have you retained Freddie Green because you prefer to hear a guitar in a rhythm section or only because he happens to be an essential ingredient of the band?"

Basie: "Well, it is both. He is a sort of hold-together. A guy you hear, yet don't hear, but always know whether he is there or not. Not a soloist of any kind, but a lot as far as holding things together is concerned. If he is not in the section we miss him greatly and we feel it. For example, recently we did some tapes with a small group of original band members for radio station WNEW and Freddie could not make the session. One could literally hear the gaps in the tapes and you could almost hear Freddie there although he was not."

 

 

 

 

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.

 

Who is this

 

 

Blues March
Strange Fruit
Little One
Yellow Dog Blues
Mississippi Goddam
Memphis Blues
Come Rain Or Come Shine
Fables Of Faubus
St Louis Blues
Now You Has Jazz
Moanin'
I Love You, Samantha
Along Came Betty
High Society Calypso
Alabama
Beale Street Blues

 

 

Click here for the answers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jazz Pianists - A Passion

By Arthur Rosch

 

[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].

Arthur Rosch is a writer and blogger based in California. Arthur has seen our page on pianist Jessica Williams (click here) and, like us, is concerned that he has been unable to make contact with her and has noticed that her website and some of her music has been removed from the internet. Arthur sends us this article about Jazz Pianists and in particular, Jessica Williams.

 

piano painting

 

If you had only wrought miracles of sound
I would be amazed. But in addition
you feed my soul by giving it music
to nourish and inform
the music in me.

 

Everyone grows up with a unique soundtrack. In our adolescence there were songs that saw us through our sufferings and frazzled romances. This is the music that walked at our sides as we met and married our spouses. And, perhaps, the music that dirged when the marriage ended. None of us forgets the sound track of our youth, with its slow-dance makeout songs and funky booty-bouncers. It remains the sound track of our lives. New music always arrives but the basic rhythm carries our days and soothes our nights.

Our world is a motley of generations, and each generation has its youthful soundtrack. My father was imprinted with Glenn Miller and Tommy Dorsey. They evoked his time in history. Armies were storming the beaches of Normandy, hopes and heartaches were thrown into the fires of war. Spirits were kept buoyant in the face of dread. The music was lively, sentimental and sophisticated. Only real pros could play it, seasoned musicians. It was vital and inventive and it isn’t going anywhere. New generations simply rediscover it.

We know our sound track, whatever it is: Metallica, Paul Anka, Tupac, The Carpenters, Michael Jackson, The Eagles, Little Richard….it’s ours and ours alone. It is permanently tattooed into our nervous systems. The soundtrack of my youth was unusual. In 1961 there weren’t many kids of fourteen listening to John Coltrane. How many of my peers had a closet full of albums by Miles Davis,Ornette Coleman Cannonball Adderley, Roland Kirk? How many owned a copy of Charles Mingus’ masterwork, “The Black Saint And The Sinner Lady”?

I loved jazz so passionately that there’s no adult counterpart that I can identify.  My love for my wife is tempered with the woes of life. It’s deep and real but it isn’t the insatiable breathless devotion I knew as a teenager. I was a kid who had musical crushes. My first Art Blakey album tipped me over!  Jazz was everything for me, at fifteen, sixteen. It was the Path of Paths. I wanted to be a jazz musician, and my ear tuned to this musical elevation. When Ornette Coleman came along in 1965, I was graduating high school, and I didn’t hesitate, I jumped.  I left home, ran off to New York with a dream of joining The Ornette Coleman Quartet. I met the man. He was wonderfully generous but I was too young and not good enough to be a member of his band. I didn’t get it, socially, didn’t understand the drugs, racism, the harshness of the jazz life. It was all a romance for me.  If I failed, I could go home and attend college. There was no such safety net for Ornette Coleman. He had to grab the world and make it listen!

 

Ornette Coleman

 

The sound track of my youth: Coltrane, Miles, Mingus, Jackie Mclean, Tony Williams, Ornette Coleman. I didn’t have many friends. People thought I was crazy. Along the way I developed a passion for piano music. I seized upon Bill Evans with a grip like epoxy and listened for hours and hours. The way McCoy Tyner soloed with Coltrane gave me goose bumps. I’d stop the record, go back to the start of the piano solo and play it again and again.

 

Click here for a video of McCoy Tyner with the John Coltrane Quartet in 1963.

 

I liked the peaceful manner of Bill Evans. He played like a very gentle man, and so it was, I understand. I was gravitating towards a more reflective kind of music.

Click here for a video of Bill Evans playing My Foolish Heart in 1964.

 

I love pianists. I love the great classical pianists. Glenn Gould, Vladmir Ashkenazy. Chopin transported me. I hated the narcisissm of the so-called “greats”. How could different pianists play the same music, the same Chopin, with such disparate results? Some sounded musical and tender, towering and strong, while others merely sounded brittle.

About ten years ago, a friend gave me an album by pianist Jessica Williams. She was the house pianist for Keystone Korner, the jazz club in San Francisco. She played with everyone! I loved the music. The CD was “Live at Maybeck”, an outdoor concert in which Jessica played solo. I wanted more. I played the Maybeck CD again, and yet again.

What happens when an artist’s work enters a person’s life? What intimate process evolves when a relationship is established between artist and participant? There are a few artists whose visions have become like an alternate home for my soul. I’ve listened to John Coltrane for fifty years. I bought my first Coltrane album, “Blue Train” in 1960. It began an awesome collection of Coltrane recordings. I wore out copies, I gave away copies. I often entreated some shrinking acquaintance who was dodging the copy of “Meditations” I was thrusting into his reluctant hands. “Here, listen to this, you HAVE to listen to this!  It will change your life!  Just take it!” He wanted to go back to his apartment, smoke dope and listen to Moody Blues and Led Zeppelin. By my logic, if I loved Coltrane, everyone should love Coltrane. If I was at a party, I’d load a recording like “Ascension” onto the turntable and people would run from the room as if a disease had arrived.  Now and then someone would hit me, take the album from the turntable and break it or sail it out the window. I carried Trane’s records with me across the country. I took them everywhere an aspiring musician could go.  They lived with me in Cleveland, Detroit, New York, St. Louis and San Francisco.  I listened to them stoned, straight, on acid. I absorbed them, I ate them whole, chewing so much vinyl that my lips turned purple.

 

Later, the same thing happened as I began to acquire Jessica Williams’ CDs. Jessica has a CD called “Tribute to John Coltrane”. I Jessica Williamsordered it from Jessica’s direct-sales website. She even signed it! She was accessible. We became acquaintances. That CD, with my favorite Coltrane song, “Lonnie’s Lament”, became my everyday soundtrack.

As I began listening to Jessica Williams I began to perceive the details of her genius. Her technique is so abundant, I can only laugh. Such speed, such “touch”, such command of the entire keyboard’s sonority. There aren’t many pianists to compete with the absurd affluence of her chops. Some performers with technical gifts get stuck there, with the technique. They remain performers.  They never take the next step towards artistry.

 

Jessica Williams

 

Jessica Williams’ technique is so huge that she’s surpassed that mysterious threshold where a musician becomes able to tell jokes. Wit requires a special ability in music. How can a player tell the joke without the timing? How can there be humor without first acquiring a universe of knowledge with which to assemble the fable, the short quip, the pun, the turning upside down backwards and forwards of a well known piece of music so that it sweetly mocks itself? It takes years of practice to afford the risk of timing, the risk of flirting with a line or a pun in an odd place, framed in an odd way. It requires confidence and audacity to take a chance, to make a wide leap of musical faith. Only the masters have that much audacity. Only the masters are geniuses of timing. Jessica’s aptitude for surprise keeps us listening intently.  Some of her witticisms pass in a second. Whoops, quote from “Grand Canyon Suite” in the midst of a tender ballad. Gone! Two bars. She might play a gorgeous arpeggio from a great old standard. At the end, as the ringing tones of the florid scales vanish into the air, she throws off a little two tone discord, dink! and it fits perfectly, makes a comment on the preceding music as if to say, “so there you are!  Ha!”

It’s impossible to write about Jessica Williams without a discussion of Thelonious Monk. Jessica has made no secret of Monk’s influence on her work. It’s an odd juxtaposition. Jessica said during an interview with Terry Gross that the first time she heard Monk, she thought he was wearing boxing gloves. Monk plays a hammer-handed style that owes little to classical training. It’s a fusion of conventional and purely invented techniques, devised by Thelonious Monk to serve his peculiar childlike madness. My guess is that a Thelonious Monkmajor link between Monk and Jessica Williams is humor. Jessica, with her fleet fingers full of finesse, has so much technique that the piano becomes a complex toy, an object with which to play, as a child plays, building worlds in the imagination.

Monk’s music often sounds like something played by a brilliant and very strong six year old. The melodies are deceptively simple, yet full of tricks and quirks.  Some Monk tunes evoke the sensation of almost stumbling over a crack in the sidewalk, then recovering without falling on your face. Monk is devious. He writes to test other musicians, to see if they can cut it, to separate the gold from the lead. The compositions are not so much difficult as subtle. It’s easy to hum a Monk tune, easy to let one of his lines slip into the rhythm of driving or shopping.  His songs are like nursery rhymes made up by a man who is both autistic savant and cosmic seer. Monk seemed to live in several worlds simultaneously. The only location where all the worlds converged was in the piano. Monk’s music was so unconventional as to require use of elbows, forearms, crazed crushes of fingers. His right leg flopped like a hooked sturgeon when he played. He was famous for getting up and dancing a little jig while his sidemen solved the labyrinth of his chords. Were it not for the staggering originality of Monk’s ideas, he would never have been recognized, never acquired fans. He was barely functional and spent time in mental wards. Without his wife Nellie’s patient devotion, no one would know the name Thelonious Monk. It would be “What-lonius who?”      

 

Thelonious Monk

 

Monk could be hilarious with a single chord. Just one! Using ten fingers. There might be fourteen or fifteen notes played by those ten fingers but all of them belonged in the comic smash of tones that was Monk’s sly quip. How could a musician as funny as Jessica Williams not fall in love with Monk? Both are clowns of the piano. They approach the piano from opposite ends, but Monk has given Jessica an entire vocabulary from which she can absorb crazy funny quirky and exotic musical remarks. No one can imitate Monk. An astute pianist can be liberated by Monk. He invented a uniquely sonorous dissonance. Monk used his imagination to turn wrong notes into right notes. There were no wrong notes.  There were just Monk-Notes and Not-Monk-Notes. Musicians who played too many Not-Monk-Notes soon found themselves playing elsewhere.

Click here for a video of Thelonious Monk playing Straight No Chaser in 1965.

Jessica’s palette is larger than the conventional palette of modern jazz. Bill Evans, Oscar Peterson, Billy Taylor, are modern jazz pianists. I know Jessica will be called a “postmodern” pianist but I refuse to plop a decal on her. Trained in classical music at the Peabody Institute, she encompasses the whole of piano literature and borrows from sources in every corner, from John Cage to the pulse of flamenco and the staccato plonks of the Balkan santur. The length of Jessica’s lines is unusual. They can be so long they seem endless yet always resolve perfectly, after wandering and stretching through a DNA-like weave of notes where each fragment of the entire line is a single chromosome and miraculously the chromosomes fit together by the time Jessica has reached the conclusion of her idea and is moving to the next. Then, another line of equally operatic length may follow.  Jessica pulls this length off without ever getting boring. Her lines are like action films where we wait with our hearts beating quickly until the good guy wins or the odds are overcome. The conclusions are celebrations. The effect is visceral: UH! Rock me in my seat, let my arms and legs twitch with happiness when the mystery is solved!

This isn’t music I listen to. This is music I ingest. This is music that mingles with my bloodstream. “When I'm playing, I think of NOTHING. The Buddha is EMPTY. I seek TRUTH through emptiness, through honesty without a veil or blinders.”. Jessica Williams.

Click here to listen to Jessica playing Miles To Go.

I have twelve CDs by Jessica Williams. That’s not a large number. I’d love to have all of them. I listen to them constantly. I listen to them as I write and work at home. I listen to them in the car. I hardly listen to anything else. Jessica’s music is so rich it’s like a rain forest of exquisite musical plants. It brings me joy, stimulation, awe, relaxation, information and escape to a world ruled by The Queen Of Beauty. What is she doing, I wonder, as she reaches to the very upper keys on the piano and spends sixty four bars tinkling almost beyond the range of human hearing? The sounds are like bells coming from the clouds of a supernatural realm. Meanwhile, her other hand is playing some ironic or unlikely counterpoint that is so dexterous as to be stunning, impossible, yet there it is, pure musical fact. I can imagine a Hindu deity-poster of Jessica possessing eight arms. In each hand is a piano. A keyboard elephant’s trunk of ivory and ebony tapers gracefully from where her nose should be. Jessica is both lofty and funky. She is elegant and rooty, the rasp and twist of blues is never far from the surface.

Click here to listen to Jessica playing I Remember Dexter.

When John Coltrane said, with such stunning simplicity, “I want to be a force for good,” he was expressing the deepest will of anyone attuned to spiritual purpose.  I seldom use the word “God”. It’s too vague. “God” becomes an excuse, a crutch, a fantasy, a fleeing from pain, a selfishness. “Being a force for good” is a more accurate expression of putting my life in the service of a greater power than myself. If I want to be a force for good, if I hold that desire at the center of my heart, I have made a commitment to walking a path of ethics, generosity and compassion. Integrity demands that I make an effort to repair the damage of the lies that I have told, or believed.

There are people who make themselves into living treasures by embracing this desire. Jessica Williams is one of those people. It is our good fortune that she is an individual who devoted countless hours to the practice and study of music.  This has enabled her to be the treasure, play the treasure, inspire the treasure in all of us.

Jessica is a force for good. I have let her become one of the cornerstones of the sound track of my life.

 

Jessica Williams

 

Arthur Roch's books include:
Confessions Of An Honest Man
The Road Has Eyes - An RV, A Relationship and A Wild Ride

 

 

 

Jazz Quiz

Motion Notions

The theme of this month's quiz is 'motion' - we have chosen lines from fifteen jazz standards to do with travelling and movement and challenge you to identify the titles of the songs - see how you get on.......

 

Walking Boots

 

 

Click here for the Jazz Quiz.

 

 

 

 

 

Video and Seminar: 31st July - British History, Black Music, Racism & The Music Industry 1507-2020

Not specifically about jazz, this video and online seminar might be of general interest to readers. Organised by BBM/BMC as the closing event for an extended Black Music Month, the seminar costs £10 or £5 for 'early bird' bookings.British Black History Seminar

'This family-friendly Zoom meeting is inclusive and open to anyone - from music fans, musicians, history and cultural studies students and educators, to music industry practitioners - interested in the history of black music and Africans in Britain, and the interaction of racism. This video provides a comprehensive background. Also, the image to the right touches on some of the areas/topics covered. '

Programme

6-8pm video & remarks

8-9pm Q&A/Discussion

'Music industry and history consultant Kwaku presents a video-assisted presentation mapping out a complex and surprising 500+ year history of the interaction between black music and African musicians, and racism in Britain. Based mainly on documented facts with anecdotal and assumptive asides, it covers from the wicked consequences, the surprising, the resilience, the conquering, the I-didn't-know-that to the fancy-that, and lots more in between! An unmissable learning forum with space for you to have your say.'

Click here for details and booking.

 

 

 

 

 

Facebook - Artist Page or Personal Profile?

by Matt Fripp of Jazzfuel

 

Matt Fripp set up his own music agency and website, Jazzfuel, in 2016, since when he has  established a client base across many countries.  Although born in the UK, Matt is currently based with his family in Paris, France, but the international aspects of his work make little difference to his location. What is different about Matt and Jazzfuel is the information that he shares publicly on his website (click here). Matt has kindly agreed to share some of his thoughts as an agent with us from time to time.

 

Forget meaningless stats such as Facebook ‘likes’ and ‘followers’ – your challenge (if you use social media) is to get your music in front of as many potential fans as possible, make them excited to hear more and then stay connected with them.

Jazzfuel logo

 

Not because it looks good to have more followers, but because some of those fans are the ones who are going to:

  • Pre-order your next album from Bandcamp
  • Buy a ticket to your gig
  • Tell their friends how great you are

Of course, they might become a ‘follower’ at first, but once you’re engaging these people, you have the opportunity to ask them to take other action…

  • “Join my mailing list here…”
  • “Check out my Patreon here…”
  • “Pre-order on Bandcamp here…”

So my suggestion is not that you should use Facebook because it is fun or friendly, but because (when done ‘well’) it can play a role in building your audience.

And, with all that in mind, one big thing we need to talk about is why you should be focusing on your artist page, rather than your personal one. For example:

 

Get Tagged by Venues, Magazines & Fans

Getting 100,000 followers on Facebook and waiting for the gigs to come rolling in is probably not the best plan for a jazz musician. But one thing is for sure: there are many, many people using Facebook who would love your music if they discovered it. One easy way to expand that reach, organically, is by being tagged in other peoples’ posts. Imagine you get a review in a jazz magazine which has a good following on Facebook. If you have an artist page, that magazine can ‘tag’ you when they mention your album. Anyone who sees that, can simply click on the name and they’ll be taken directly to your Facebook page. Sure, this might only bring in a trickle of new fans each week, but it costs nothing and, over time, these ‘details’ really add up… [That doesn’t work if you’re using a ‘personal’ page. They might think they’ve tagged you, but only friends will see it]

Here are��12 Reasons Your Artist Page Is Important

Hope you find some useful thinking-points in there!

All the best

Matt


 

Ode For Charlie Haden

by Steve Day

 

Charlie Haden

 

Charlie Haden played double bass
like an astronaut in a checked shirt and tie.
He continually took bottom to the top giving
ground to gravity,
closing the circumference
of poor people’s lives whilst circling the skies.
A notated
            passage
                    walking
                            the zigzag
                                      line
                                         through to liberation.
Orchestrating voices of the Fallen. Soloist in the
timbre and the varnish patina on the tree of life.
A blues beneath the cry of Morrison’s Bluest Eye.
The sonic pulse of whales encrypted by the bow.
Ornette’s violin scratching at this Science Fiction.
An abuser’s regime: “I accuse it of a lack of love”.
Charlie plays for all prisoners of conscience who
gather to sing Feliciano Ama – the dawn will set
itself afire in El Salvador.

Officials invent rules about inflammatory politics
and the art of playing an antique bass; check the
face on the passport to make sure Senhor Haden
gets to grace a night in a rat biting prison for his
Song For Che. The Portuguese DGS return him to
America and the FBI say tango is a dance of spies.

His doubling bass, squares the rhythmic density,
popping free modulation, carrying the big fiddle
every station of the cross counting up the times
a chorus is lost. The seeker projects the twist of
dissonance and folk song. “I fill a space, only if I
am asked to. Ornette and I, we orbit our melody.”

 

Click here to listen to Charlie Haden's composition Song For Che with Don Cherry (cornet, Indian flute); Ornette Coleman (alto sax, trumpet, violin); Dewey Redman (tenor sax, clarinet); Charlie Haden (bass) and Denardo Coleman (drums) from 1969.

Steve Day is a jazz performance poet. He will be presenting this new work Ode For Charlie Haden with other compositions in a concert at Ashburton Arts Centre in Devon on Friday 8th October with Julian Dale (double bass) and Peter Evans (electric violin).

 

 

Name The Tune

(Click on the picture for the answer)

 

Name the tune

 

Click here for other challenges to 'Name The Tune'

 

 

Lens America

Andre Matos

 

Andre Matos

 

This photograph of guitarist Andre Matos was taken by Clara Pereira from JazzTrail at the Cornelia Street Cafe in New York City in 2018.

Andre has a new album out On The Shortness Of Life Vol. I - IV. It is reviewed by Filipe Freitas at JazzTrail. Filipe says: 'After finishing his solo tetralogy with Casa (Robalo, 2021), the Portuguese guitarist/composer Andre Matos, who is based in New York since 2008, creates another four volumes, this time consisting mostly of short duo tracks that explore diverse perspectives of texture and space. Recorded last April, On the Shortness of Life has the guitarist working on top (and around) improvised segments sent by colleagues of long standing, guiding us across vast planes of music whose essence can be folk-like, experimental, avant-garde or ambient, and, in certain cases, a combination of some of these elements. All of this is delivered with a sensitive awareness of the frequencies of the two instruments involved and where they each fit. The resolute direction taken by the pianist Richard Sears on “Sunrise” is shrouded by the beautiful soundscapes of Matos......

Click here to listen to Sunrise.

........While finding the right feel for each track, Matos shows how subtly brilliant and spaciously melodic his guitar playing can be. “Smalls” and “Antidote”, both with saxophonist Nathan Blehar, and “Flowers” with bassist André Carvalho, convey a wise tranquility, whereas the vocalist Sara Serpa pushes things a bit more into the edgier side on three tracks. With “Remembrance”, it’s the circular breathing of Aaron Krusiki on bass clarinet that motivates a wonderful, in-depth guitar processing. This is a lucid improvisatory work by a guitarist with a strong identity who decided to donate all sales of the record to the International Rescue Committee. 

Click here to listen to Remembrance.

Click here for details and samples of the album. Click here for Filipe's full review.

Andre Matos On The Shortness Of Life

 

 

 

 

Lock Down Legacy

Woolly Mammoth

By Dave Manington

 

During the Covid-19 lockdown jazz musicians looked for ways of composing and sharing new work online. In time, some of this work will be played at live gigs, but for the time being, let's listen to some of their music. This month, try bass player Dave Manington's Woolly Mammoth: Click here.

 

Woolly Mammoth

 

Dave says: "Recorded remotely in lockdown, this track was written for a group of like-minded London jazz musicians brought together by Rick Simpson to rehearse and workshop each others' new music for medium/large jazz ensemble. With the sessions out of action during lockdown, I decided to ask everyone to track their parts at home and put this recording together myself. Everyone did a fantastic job creating the vibe and contributing to a very organic sounding finished track which features great solos from Tommy Andrews on alto and Billy Marrows on guitar."

The result is Woolly Mammoth, which is available to download from Bandcamp and which features: Dave Manington (composition and double bass); Brigitte Beraha (vocals); Freddie Gavita (trumpet); Sean Gibbs (trumpet); Tommy Andrews (alto sax); George Crowley (tenor sax); Billy Marrows (guitar); Rick Simpson (piano) and Dave Hamblett (drums).

 

Dave Manington Woolly Mammoth

 

 

 

 

Two Ears Three Eyes

Roger Beaujolais

 

Photographer Brian O'Connor of imagesofjazz.com was able to take this picture of vibes player Roger Beaujolais at an outside gig in June at the The Three Horseshoes, Knockholt, Kent. Roger was playing an afternoon session with his quartet - Winston Clifford (drums), Jim Mullen (guitar) and Simon Thorpe (bass). It would be tempting to imagine that Roger had grown his facial hair as a result of Covid-19 shortage of hairdresser appointments, but unlike the image on Roger's website (click here), Brian O'Connor has pictures to prove the 'new look' goes back to 2018.

 

Roger Beaujolais

 

Born in Yorkshire and growing up in Devon, the 'vibraphone virtuoso' was 24 before buying his first vibraphone and 28 before he played his first gig - you can read Roger's story here. Since then he has gone on to establish himself firmly as a founder/member of the jump/jive band “The Chevalier Brothers” in the 1980s, then with Fairground Attraction before setting up the Latin Jazz Beaujolais Band and the Roger Beaujolais Quintet and other Roger Beaujolias 'formations'.

Click here for a video of Roger playing In The Meantime at a Jazz FM live session with pianist Robin Aspland.

Roger says: "I had another quartet album ready to release in October 2020 but because of Covid, I decided to put the release date back to ‘I don’t know when’. The album is a tribute to Milt Jackson and features the great Scottish guitarist Jim Mullen on 3 tracks. At the beginning of 2020 I was in the process of organising an autumn tour for the quartet when Covid appeared and promoters cancelled all gigs and stopped booking for the future. The album will come out at some point but I’m not sure when. It will be when it’s possible to do a tour to coincide so it may not be till 2022. But because I wasn’t able to release my quartet album I decided to release another album that’s been hanging around for a while. It’s an album of solo vibraphone and is not a jazz album but more ambient. One of my main aims was to highlight the beautiful trance-like sound of the vibraphone. It’s called ‘Dreamscapes’ and I decided to only release the album digitally. It’s available here."

Click here to listen to Falling Leaves from the album.

 

Roger Beaujolais Dreamscapes

 

Photograph © 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).

 

 

Forum

 

 

Tommy Wilson (drums)and Ralph Collins (trumpet)

 

Edzell RAF Band

 

Tommy Wilson and the Edzell RAF Band

 

Amanda Brown has been researching her late father’s musical career and would appreciate any help readers might be able to give about her father, trumpeter Ralph Collins, and his bandleader, drummer Tommy Wilson.: ‘My late father was a dance band trumpet player in the RAF in WWll.  I have a number of old photos of him with Tommy Wilson, a drummer from ‘Snakehips' Johnston’s band - a corporal who led the quintet which my dad played in. I can find no reference to Tommy after the war and wondered if you know what became of him? I recently inherited the family photographs, and as it is the centenary of my late father's birth (1921- 1987) I thought I would research his musical career using the photos, a few mementos, and anecdotes. I came across these articles from 1944. They played at bases across the UK and when they were near London, they played in clubs there too. My father said he used to pick up work in Archer Street.'

The articles, from the Montrose Standard and the Brechin Advertiser, report on the Edzell R.A.F. band playing for a dance at Montrose Recreation Hall in aid of the Thistle Foundation for families of men severely disabled in the war. The report reads: ‘Leader of the band and drummer is Cpl. Wilson, a West Indian who was playing in the Cafe De Paris in London, with the famous ‘Snake Hips’ Johnston, when the latter was killed during an air raid. Others in the band are Syd Hadden, pianist, who used to go on tour with Teddy Joyce; Ralph Collins, trumpet, who was on tour with Syd Millward; Jack Edzell RAF Band membersSeymour, bass, who played in the Holborn Restaurant with Bram Martin; and Ray Smith, saxophone, who is well known in various London Clubs.’

Amanda continues: ‘The names also link to the attached photo which my dad helpfully labelled at some point. On the photo, Jack Seymour, became the highest profile musician and has an entry in John Chilton's Who's Who of British Jazz. I recently made contact with his daughter in Canada.’ 

'I read an interesting article on your website from 2018 by Lionel King about Black British Swing (click here). It provided some pre-war information about Cpl. Tommy Wilson, the bandleader. I've attached some more photos of Tommy Wilson including one with two other black musicians.  I posted this photo recently on Twitter referencing JazzFM's Definitive History of Jazz in Britain to see if anyone could identify the musicians. There's been a great deal of interest and to date it's been seen over 11,000 times but no names have been forthcoming. The National Jazz Archives couldn't help - they even called on Digby Fairweather's assistance!

'It would be great if anyone knows  about Tommy Wilson's career after the war as I can't find any information at all, and it would be a huge bonus if anyone could identify the other musicians. However, I'm not holding my breath but would really appreciate any assistance.'

Please contact us if you can help with Amanda's research.

 

Tommy Wilson

Tommy Wilson

 

 

Ziggy Ludvigsen

In May we included a message from Alexander Teglbjaerg in Sweden who wrote enquiring about Ziggy Ludvigsen: 'I found your site and your writing about Mike Hogh. You mention Ziggy Ludvigsen. I'm curious about this performer. It seems he was involved in producting music books during the 1970s. I guess you don't really know the answer to this but I have two questions: Do you know Ziggys first name? Do you know if Ziggy still is alive?'

 

I contacted Mike Hogh who remembers Ziggy as a tenor saxophone player but is unable to answer Alexander's questions. Mike's wife has kindly searched the internet for more information but we are still unable to discover Ziggy's first name or whether he is still around. Since then, others have remembered Ziggy (click here) but we seem to be no further forward in answering Alexander's questions.

In June, Alan Bond recalled:

'I was interested to read the little piece about Ziggy Ludwigsen and his appearances as part of the crew at the Tally Ho! It was always an impromptu jam session with various musicians turning up but at the start of the evening it was always Hugh Ledigo on piano, Ronnie Bott on bass and Vic Richards on drums. I don't remember any other name for Mr Ludwigsen, he was always 'Ziggy' to all and sundry.

'The last time I heard, Hugh Ledigo was still working but whether Vic or Ronnie are still about I don't know. Other regulars were Ziggy on tenor, Mike Hogh on trombone, Harry Lock on clarinet and Alan Littlejohn(s) on trumpet. I did have the opportunity to sit in on a couple of occasions, mainly because the size of the band towards the end of the session gave me a certain amount of anonymity as very much the inexperienced amateur trombone player. It was our little crowd's regular haunt on a Sunday night and things used to get very, very crowded in that tiny little bar.

'I also have a copy of the LP that the band made, one side of which was done in the studio and the other live on a Sunday night. Can't believe that it dates back nearly sixty years. I actually acquired the LP from the late John Kendall, who wrote the sleeve notes for it. That was when he had his own little record shop in a side street off, if I remember correctly, Shaftesbury Avenue. There was a pub on the opposite corner from the shop and John would sit in the bar by the window and pop across and open the shop for any customers that turned up. By that time John was living at Belsize Park as he lost the flat in the block over Dobell's when the whole lot was demolished. We had some good times on Saturday afternoons at the time when Dobell's closed at noon on that day, the pub being the next port of call.

'The LP is a treasured possession. I have one particular track in mind and that is a version of Indiana with Ziggy and Wally Moffat on tenors. It also has Keith Graville and Vic Cennamo (Italian name and pronounced as Chennamo) on guitars with the others being the regulars of Ronnie Bott on bass and Vic Richards on drums. There is a also a nice version of Lover Man as a tenor solo by Ziggy. On that track Ronnie Bott is replaced by another Tally Ho! regular, Wally Wright.

'An old mate of mine seems to think that Ziggy Ludwigsen's first name was Alf but I am doubtful. The surname is Eastern European so his first name could have been Zygmunt or Sigmund or something similar. I only make the point because many years ago I knew a chap called Zygmunt Orleanski who was Hungarian. Perhaps his family originated in Orleans in France, who knows, as there have been so many displaced families across Europe down the centuries. The possibilities are endless and it seems that a can of worms has been opened!

 

 

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. Facebook


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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.

 

Raul de Souza

 

 

Raul de Souza - Brazilian trombonist also known as Raulzinho who recorded with Sérgio Mendes, Sonny Rollins, Hermeto Pascoal, Cal Tjader and the jazz/fusion band Caldera. Born in Rio de Janeiro, his first recordings were mainly in the disco/funk genre. He went on to play at many jazz festivals and Colors, his earlier album for Milestone, is available on CD as part of the Original Jazz Classics series. Click here for a video of Raul de Souza and Frank Rosolino playing Tom Jobim's Corcovado in 1978 - the sound isn't perfect but there is some nice playing by Raul.

 

 

 

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 or other currencies, this is converted to pounds sterling if you click 'Buy' so you can check the price before you purchase.

 

 

UK

Andrew Woolf - Song Unsung

Archipelago - Echoes To The Sky

Ben Crosland Quintet - Solway Stories

Nigel Price Organ Trio - Wes Reimagined

Charlotte Keefe - Right Here, Right Now

Matt Ridley - The Antidote

 

 

America

Julian Lage - Squint

Ches Smith And We All Break - Path Of Seven Colors **

Samara Joy McLendon - Samara Joy **

Ben Goldberg - Everything Happens To Be **

Miles Davis - Merci Miles! Live At Vienne

Mario Pavone Dialect Trio + 1 - Blue Vertical**

 

 

Europe and Elsewhere

Carsten Dahl - Sagn **

Emil de Waal - Vente **

Francesco Ciniglio - The Locomotive Suite **

Barbara Jordan - Timeless **

 

 

Re-issues

Tony Bennett - Five Classic Albums

Red Nichols And His Five Pennies - The Red Nichols Collection 1926-32

Various Artists - Djangology And More: A Compendium Of Jazz Manouche (Gypsy Jazz)

Mike Gibbs - Revisiting Tanglewood 63: The Early Tapes

 

 

 

 

 

Andrew Woolf - Song Unsung
(Oti-O Records ) - Released: 25th June 2021

Andrew Woolf (tenor saxophone); Joe Auckland (trumpet); Rob Updegraff (guitar); Dave Manington (double bass); Simon Roth (drums)

Andrew Woolf Song Unsung'

 

 

‘Song Unsung’ is Andrew Woolf’s first release as bandleader and composer. Subtle African and Brazilian derived grooves sit alongside ethereal and atmospheric free abstractions, whilst other compositions present soulful melodies which belie their odd-meter undercurrents – all drawn together by an emphasis on direct, melodic expression, and heartfelt sincerity of emotion throughout. Woolf’s warm and lyrical tenor saxophone is complemented beautifully by the distinctive voices of the other musicians, bringing an intimate quality to their improvisations and playful interactions.' (album notes).

Details and Samples : Listen to Sway : Listen to Miragem de Inaê :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Archipelago - Echoes To The Sky
(New Jazz And Improvised Recordings) - Released: 25th June 2021

Faye MacCalman (tenor saxophone / clarinet / synth / vocals); John Pope (bass guitar / FX / vocals); Christian Alderson (drums / percussion)

Archipelago Echoes To The Sky

 

'Archipelago are a genre-defying trio of adventurous musicians, formed out of the North East of England’s creative musical underground. Fronted by multi-instrumentalist and composer Faye MacCalman, their sound is a dreamlike collision of otherworldly atmospheres, heartfelt song-writing and energetic off-kilter rhythms. Moving between instruments and effects to create the illusion of a much larger ensemble, before peeling back to their raw, improvisational trio form, Archipelago’s uncompromising refusal to fit in one genre makes for a fully-charged musical experience. With influences stretching from Joni Mitchell to Don Cherry to Esperanza Spalding, Archipelago draw on a deep pool of sonic references and the diversity of their individual musical histories. 2019 saw Faye MacCalman selected for Serious Music’s well-respected Take Five scheme, as well as Manchester Jazz Festivals talent-development programme Hot House. Supported by BBC Introducing and selected as a Latitude Festival highlight by Tom Robinson (BBC6 Music), Archipelago completed a national tour in 2019, further cementing their growing reputation as an unmissable live act. In 2020, despite the restrictions on touring, Archipelago were invited to present online concerts for Manchester Jazz Festival and EFG London Jazz Festival, finding ways to engage their creativity through online performance. They also headed into the studio to record the follow-up album to ‘Weightless’, their first full-length recording since 2017. The highly-anticipated new album ‘Echoes to the Sky’ is due for release mid 2021, in partnership with Newcastle’s growing New Jazz and Improvised Music Recordings label.' (Artists' notes).

Details and Sample : Listen to Wine Dark Sea : Listen to Silhouette :

 

 

 

 

 

Ben Crosland Quintet - Solway Stories
(Jazz Cat Records) - Released: 28th May 2021

Steve Waterman (trumpet and flugelhorn); Steve Lodder (piano and keyboards), Chris Allard (guitar); Ben Crosland (bass and compositions); Dylan Howe (drums).

Ben Crosland Quintet Solway Stories

 

 

‘Solway Stories’ is a collection of twelve original compositions by bassist and composer Ben Crosland. The music was inspired by his 1988 visit to the beautiful area of South West Scotland, bordering the Solway Firth. “I was captivated by the gorgeous landscape and engaging place names - Beeswing, Carsethorn, Islesteps and Powfoot,” explains Crosland. “I decided to write a set of pieces inspired by our trip and wrote those names down on a sheet of paper which I duly filed away.” In November 2018 a chance viewing of Richard Thompson performing his song ‘Beeswing’ on YouTube reawakened the memory of the trip and Crosland set about the compositional project imagined all those years before. Crosland has revisited Solway Firth and his research into its rich history has shaped many of the compositions on ‘Solway Stories’. Ben Crosland has been leading bands for over 30 years. He has recorded a series of critically acclaimed albums, released on his independent Jazz Cat label, with the cream of UK jazz musicians including Alan Skidmore, Dave O’Higgins, Jim Mullen, Mark Nightingale, Steve Waterman, John Etheridge, Martin Shaw, Steve Lodder and Barnaby Dickinson.' (album notes).

Details and Sample (scroll to bottom of page) : Video :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nigel Price Organ Trio - Wes Reimagined
(Ubuntu Music) - Released: 4th June 2021

Nigel Price (guitar); Ross Stanley (B3 Hammond organ); Joel Barford (drums); Vasilis Xenopoulos (tenor saxophone); Tony Kofi (alto saxophone); Snowboy (congas, bongos, surdo, shekere, whistle); Callum Au (string arrangements and trombone phonograph effect); Strings: Kay Stephen (violin 1); Anna Brigham (violin 2); Elitsa Bogdanova (viola); Chris Terepin (cello).

Nigel Price Wes Reimagined

‘I make no secret of the fact that I’m a big Wes Montgomery fan. Who isn’t?? I’ve found his compositions to be great vehicles for jazz improvisation, especially used in the organ trio format. .... This album is a collection of the great man’s tunes, played in the same spirit but with a little look at what might have been. Some decisions as to what ‘feel’ a piece will be in are made very quickly, sometimes on the day of a recording session. I got to thinking there was every chance that many of these tunes could have easily come out sounding very different if Wes had just been in an alternative frame of mind on the day. Hey, I haven't tried to reinvent the wheel in any way - it’s just a kind of ‘what if?’ So, ‘Leila’ moves from a cool ‘west coast’ vibe to an out and out burner, ‘Far Wes’ to a waltz and ‘’Road Song’ from a groovy bossa to a raucous shuffle. That’s the concept here – the same but different! I also think that Wes’s honest, direct and melodic style directly influenced a lot of the funk, soul, boogaloo and earthy groove music that was to come shortly after his passing. I have no doubt that he would have been at the forefront of that movement. I’ve therefore intertwined some of these later styles with Wes’s music. ‘Cariba!’, originally a groovy bossa becomes a kind of JB’s ‘Doin’ it to death’ feel with perhaps a bit of the Hendrix track ‘Rainy day, dream away’ in there too. ‘Twisted Blues’ becomes a no nonsense boogaloo with a nod to George Benson’s grooving track ‘Benson’s Rider’ and ‘Movin’ Along’ a straight funk. Wes was clearly a fan of the bossa nova movement in the early sixties and the marriage of his bluesy and simplistic writing with the fresh ‘straight eighths’ feels made for some really memorable records. I know there was much more mileage in this style and I’m sure there would have been a samba or two in the repertoire before long had he not left us at so prematurely. One of Wes’s most well known themes ‘Jingles’ gets the proper treatment, featuring the talents of Snowboy on congas and surdo. ‘Monk’s Shop’ (written by Wes’s brother Monk) translates well into this style too. I wanted too, to acknowledge the later period of Wes’s recordings so I commissioned the utterly incredible trombonist/arranger Callum Au to write three string quartet arrangements and transform some pieces into larger productions. ‘So Do It!’, originally the swinging theme to Ed Beach’s 60s radio show, now takes the form of a down tempo bolero with some achingly beautiful string passages. Wes recorded the ballad ‘I’ve Grown Accustomed To Her Face’ on the live album ‘Full House’ and I wondered what this would sound like with a more epic treatment. I wasn’t quite prepared for the depth and beauty of Callum’s incredible writing, not to mention the wonderful playing from the Phonograph Effect strings. ‘Cariba’ is subtly transformed to a higher plane with the quirky pads and jabs from the strings. This is really great and tasteful writing. We were incredibly lucky to have been able to tour this material at the end of last year (a real achievement in 2020!) and it’s proved to be very popular with audiences all across the UK. What started out as a little daydream has become an exciting body of work of which I am very proud. I must say it turned out even better than I imagined... ' (album notes)

Details and Samples : Listen to Leila : Listen to I've Grown Accustomed To Her Face : Video for Cariba! :

 

 

 

 

Charlotte Keeffe - Right Here, Right Now
(Discus Music) - Released: 11th June 2021

Charlotte Keeffe (trumpet, flugelhorn, electronics) - solo, duo, quartet and with members of the London Improvisers Orchestra.

Charlotte Keeffe Right Here Right Now

 

 

'This first release from the dynamic trumpet player features Charlotte Keeffe in a number of configurations recorded mainly live over the last three years. The four Quartet recordings on the disk find Charlotte in her group with guitar, bass and drums – the music is melodic, soaring, incisive jazz. By contrast, the tracks with the venerable London Improvisers Orchestra find Charlotte in a conduction mode, spontaneously creating structures and textures from this very large group of players. The solo and duo tracks on the record highlight Charlotte’s love of live electronic transformation of her sound. Taken as a whole this collection sets out a varied musical stall for this exciting young player / composer. In Charlotte's words: 'Right Here, Right Now is an exciting collaboration of over 60 improvising musicians and artists from all over the world! Including British stalwart improvising musicians Steve Beresford, Caroline Kraabel, John Edwards and vocalists Maggie Nicols and Phil Minton amongst the improvised textures of the large ensemble pieces' (London Improvisers Orchestra) ...... (album notes)

Details and Samples : Listen to A Horse Named Galaxy : Listen to The Melody's In The Post :

 

 

 

 

 

Matt Ridley - The Antidote
(Ubuntu Music) - Released: 23rd July 2021

Matt Ridley (double bass and composition); Alex Hitchcock (saxophones); Ant Law (guitar); Tom Hewson (piano, fender rhodes and synthesizers); Marc Michel (drums)

Matt Ridley The Antidote

 

'On The Antidote, Matt Ridley has channeled his varied and extensive influences across a range of widespread genres, into a unique and memorable body of work. Though firmly rooted within the contemporary jazz discipline, the album emanates both rock overtones and classical influences, evolved from decades of genuine passion for music. Matt inhabits his own space within the creative diaspora, being able to navigate a broad spectrum of inspirations and transform them into a vibrant and exciting sound. The Antidote features the formidable quintet of Alex Hitchcock on saxophone, Ant Law on guitar, Tom Hewson on piano/keyboards/synthesizers, Marc Michel on drums, and of course Matt Ridley on bass. With an insistence on detailed, expressive and thought-through compositions, Ridley allows time and space for both himself and his band members to express and showcase both their individual and collective talents thorough dynamic improvisation. When listening to the album, the synergy between the group and a mutual understanding of each players’ specific nuances are more than apparent, while still allowing enough freedom for independent flair to shine though. Combining this with the more melodic and compositional aspects of the work makes for a truly engaging listen. Rather than a 'leader + sidemen' attitude, Ridley has cultivated a genuine 'band' sound, as Tom Hewson elucidates: “This project totally captured my imagination from the first minute of rehearsal. Matt has managed to create something full of incredible compositional range whilst staying totally grounded with this immediate, unpretentious sense of energy. As someone that came to jazz through rock and prog I love that feeling of unshackling, that desire not to hold back from. The whole band really bought into the spirit from the start - something you canreally hear on the record, and something that will definitely come across live.” In a world where divisions, categories and polarized opinions seem to be more prevalent than ever, The Antidote is Matt Ridley’s attempt at making music to unify and reconcile differences. His inclusive approach and lack of boundaries or barriers, combined with a priority of fulfilling music’s primary function as a release from troubles, a shared understanding and a sense of community, is a refreshing change to such projects where messages seem to mean more than the art itself.' (album notes)

Details and Samples : Video for Georgina Diabolo : Listen to Infant Eyes :

 

 

 

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.

 

Julian Lage - Squint
(Blue Note Records) - Rele
ased: 11th June 2021

Julian Lage (electric guitar); Jorge Roeder (double bass); Dave King (drums).

Julian Lage Squint

 

 

'It’s frequent to find a variety of styles - jazz, folk, blues, country - in the music of virtuosic 33-year-old guitarist Julian Lage, who makes his debut as a leader on the Blue Note label with Squint. The album - whose program includes nine Lage originals, one jazz standard (the gracefully waltzing Mandel/Mercer's “Emily”) and one classic country song (Billy Hill’s “Call of the Canyon”) - was built with his current working trio, featuring bassist Jorge Roeder and the former-The Bad Plus drummer Dave King. It’s the long-waited follow-up to Love Hurts (Mack Avenue, 2019), whose rich repertoire included tunes by Keith Jarrett, Ornette Coleman, Ivers/Lynch, Roy Orbison and Jimmy Giuffre. According to the bandleader, his tactic for this album was to make positive, beautiful music, and he succeeded with cohesiveness and an authentic trio sound that, happy to note, is never too polished.......The arresting and eclectic Squint was crafted with nuance, clarity and precision, and the results are sophisticated and vibrant.' (JazzTrail).

Details and Samples : Video for Etude : Video vizualiser for Saint Rose : Full JazzTrail Review :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ches Smith And We All Break - Path Of Seven Colors
(Pyroclastic Records) - Released: 11th June 2021

Sirene Dantor Rene (vocals); Miguel Zenón (alto saxophone); Matt Mitchell (piano); Nick Dunston (bass); Daniel Brevil, Fanfan Jean-Guy Rene, Markus Schwartz (tanbou and vocals); Ches Smith (drums, percussion and vocals).

Ches Smith Path Of Seven Colors

 

'The singular drummer/percussionist and composer Ches Smith fell in love with the drumming rituals of Haitian vodou music in 2000 and, since then, has been exploring and maturing it. His We All Break project began as a quartet in 2015, but now has doubled its members into a perfect octet lineup that includes all the original co-conspirators - pianist Matt Mitchell and tanbou players/singers Daniel Brevil and Markus Schwartz - plus the valuable additions of alto saxophonist Miguel Zenón, bassist Nick Dunston, Haitian singer Sirene Dantor Rene and percussionist/singer Fanfan Jean-Guy Rene. This expansion allowed Smith to work on a broader range of musical territory on Path of Seven Colors, in which he pushes the envelope by brewing a potent cauldron of Haitian vodou rhythms and contemporary jazz. The singing gets even more exposure on this album and the lead-off track, “Woule Pou Mwen” points the way after a precursory piano figure that joins the intervallic and the limberness. If this piece is based on the Kongo rhythm, a secular form of social dancing, then “Here’s the Light” erupts in the classic Port-au-Prince style bass line, merging the Afro-Haitian rhythmic colors of the Yanvalou (a sacred dance) with jazz influences that range from Keith Jarrett’s post-bop to Ornette Coleman’s harmolodics.....Confident as ever, Smith proves to be a drummer of categorical rhythmic detail. His thought-provoking explorations combine precise articulation and an inexhaustible eclectic vitality.' (JazzTrail).

Details and Sample : Listen to Here's The Light : Full JazzTrail Review :

 

 

 

 

 

Samara Joy McLendon - Samara Joy
(Whirlwind Recordings) - Released: 9th July 2021

Samara Joy McLendon (vocals); Pasquale Grasso (guitar); Ari Roland (double bass); Kenny Washington (drums)

Samara Joy album

 

'Samara Joy is a singing star in the ascendancy. The young vocalist attracted attention in 2019 after winning the Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition. Now, the 21-year-old announces her self-titled debut release, which puts her spin on jazz standards from the Great American Songbook. Produced by Grammy-nominated veteran Matt Pierson, she’s joined by jazz guitar virtuoso Pasquale Grasso and his trio (Ari Roland and Kenny Washington) for a release that furthers Joy’s reputation as one of America’s most promising young jazz vocalists. Joy grew up in the Bronx around a supportive musical family. Music was a pervasive presence, due to the inspiration of her paternal grandparents, Elder Goldwire and Ruth McLendon, who led the Philadelphia-based gospel group, The Savettes. “My mother and father gave me the opportunity to hear music on an interesting spectrum, from Luther Vandross and Chaka Khan through to George Duke and Stevie Wonder. Actually, I hadn't heard of Sarah Vaughan until college. My friends were all into jazz and started sharing their favourite recordings with me. The turning point was when I heard Sarah's version of “Lover Man” – I was hooked.” It’s with singers like Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald that early comparisons have been made, and close study of such vocalists formed the basis of the album. “The inspiration comes from absorbing as much of their style as possible. It's a glimpse of what I've learned so far, and a way for me to pay homage to those who have come before, while lending my own perspective to these songs.” ........' (album notes)

Details and Samples ** : Listen to Stardust : Video of Stardust live : Listen to video for (It's Easy To See The Trouble With Me Is You) :

 

 

 

 

Ben Goldberg - Everything Happens To Be
(BAG Production Records) - Released: 18th June 2021

Mary Halvorson (electric guitar); Ellery Eskelin (tenor saxophone); Michael Formanek (bass); Tomas Fujiwara (drums); Ben Goldberg (clarinets)

Ben Goldberg Everything Happens To Be

 

'Anyone with strong ties to modern jazz has clarinetist/composer Ben Goldberg in high account, not only because of his free-minded posture and adventurous sound but also for the exciting groups he puts together. His latest outing, Everything Happens To Be, features him in a malleable quintet with some of the most in-demand New York risk-takers, for whom he specifically composed the music. Goldberg combines his melodic resources with the ones of tenor saxophonist Ellery Eskelin in the forefront, while the rhythmic department features the illustrious members of Thumbscrew - guitarist Mary Halvorson, bassist Michael Formanek and drummer Tomas Fujiwara. Hyped by Halvorson’s phenomenal comping, “What About” demonstrates to be a romantic, cinematic and easy-on-the-ear opener, having Goldberg and Eskelin work closely together to draw a chorale-type of narrative arc. Fujiwara’s command of the brushes is noticeable here, and he finds a time for himself near the ending.......Yet, the most impressive piece on the album is “Tomas Plays the Drums”, a tour-de-force that integrates the magnetic, sonorous tones of the bass clarinet with a mix of dry snare, wet toms and rim sounds provided by the drummer. The last section is reworked on the strength of an infectious rhythm atop which Eskelin’s multiphonics, Goldberg’s intensely vibrating blows, and Halvorson’s distorted tweaks, stand out. This is an album that conveys optimism and joy, blending empathic familiar sounds with carefully measured tension.' (JazzTrail).

Details and Samples ** : Listen to What About : Listen to Tomas Plays The Drums : Full JazzTrail Review :

 

 

 

 

 

Miles Davis - Merci Miles! Live At Vienne
(Rhino Records) - Released: 15th June 2021 [2 CDs]

Miles Davis (trumpet) and various personnel.

Miles Davis Merci Miles

 

 

'By 1991, the world's most celebrated trumpeter could look back on five decades of musical evolution - his own, and that of the world around him. Miles Davis had found ways of marrying jazz with classical ideas, then later R&B, rock and funk, producing hybrid offspring that shaped the course of popular music and had come to define his legend. Miles Davis' performance at Jazz at Vienne on July 1, 1991 became one of his final live performances before he passed away on September 28, 1991, and this previously unreleased set includes two songs written by Prince, 'Penetration' and 'Jailbait'. The package features liner notes from music historian, journalist, and producer Ashley Kahn, with art designed by Bruno Tilley.'

Details and Samples : Video :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mario Pavone Dialect Trio + 1 - Blue Vertical
(Out Of Your Head Records) - Released: 18th June 2021

Mario Pavone (bass, compositions); Dave Ballou (trumpet, arrangements); Matt Mitchell (piano); Tyshawn Sorey (drums)

Mario Pavone Blue Vertical

 

'Blue Vertical is to be the final recording by the legendary bassist and composer Mario Pavone, who passed on May 15 2021. Though in the final stages of a 17-year battle with cancer, Pavone pushed throughout April 2021 to make sure this music would be a part of his recorded legacy. On March 25 and 26 2021 he gathered his Dialect Trio with Matt Mitchell and Tyshawn Sorey (an active group since 2014), and the addition of his longtime collaborator Dave Ballou on trumpet, to record the music that has become Blue Vertical. Blue Vertical is releasing simultaneously with the album Isabella on Clean Feed Records. In the interview "Mario Pavone Makes His Final Statement" by journalist Kevin Whitehead (recently featured in Downbeat Magazine), Pavone said: “I’m just happy to get these two releases done. It took every bit of energy, and the music is what got me through. I’ve had a great life and I’m so appreciative of all the players who jumped in and generously contributed, from the heart. I’m grateful, happy, satisfied with my life, ready to move to this next cycle.”  (album notes). 'The incredible bassist, composer and bandleader Mario Pavone passed away last month after a 17-year battle with cancer. With a fruitful career that spanned nearly 60 years, he will be ever seen as a true example of love and dedication to creative music. Inspired albums such as Remembering Thomas (1999), Dancers Tales (1997) and Ancestors (2008) still have impact today. For this record, the bassist and his Dialect Trio mates - pianist Matt Mitchell and drummer Tyshawn Sorey - are joined by a constructive fourth member, the trumpeter Dave Ballou, who was in charge of the arrangements. The quartet manages to give the sense of what the musical connections with Pavone were: serious business but also a great deal of fun......The music of Pavone - complex, lyrical and lively- will be sorely missed. Blue Vertical is here to attenuate that pain and be discovered.' (JazzTrail)

Details and Samples ** : Full JazzTrail Review : Listen to Legacy Stories :

 

 

 

Europe and Elsewhere

 

Carsten Dahl - Sagn
(Storyville Records) - Released: 4th June 2021

Carsten Dahl (piano)

Carsten Dahl Sagn

 

 

’Sagn’ in English means ‘saga’, and is a narrative or legend founded in the oral tradition. Many sagas were written down much later than they first originated, then finally published in collections of folklore. Here you will hear a kind of music that Carsten Dahl ‘downloads’ in the moment, with no agenda or deliberation involved in the creative process. In a timeless state where he lets his own, inner soundboard resonate to the sound of the universal language that flows as energy, continuously offering information about the eternal. Using only his right hand, the music was recorded in one, long take (or flow), with no post-editing. Carsten Dahl is today considered one of the most innovative and genius improvising musicians. His substantial talent seems to be unlimited. With free expressions within the jazz tradition and an almost scary level of originality and narrative ability, he composes orchestral works and plays as a multiinstrumentalist in his own productions. Through his career, he has appeared on more than 300 CD's and received a countless number of prizes and praises by critics all over the world.' (album notes).

Details and Samples ** : Listen to Cis Mol : Listen to E dur :

 

 

 

 

 

Emil de Waal - Vente
(April Records) - Released: 2nd July 2021

Emil de Waal (drums and percussion); Elith ”Nulle” Nykjær (clarinet); Dan Hemmer (organ); Gustaf Ljunggren (electric guitar, lap steel guitar, mandola, celeste, marimba, clarinet).

Emil de Waal Vente

 

'Vente (The Danish word for "wait") is the sixth album and the latest result, of a long-running collaboration between drummer Emil de Waal, clarinetist Elith "Nulle" Nykjær, multi-musician Gustaf Ljunggren and hammond organist Dan Hemmer. Emil de Waal is the main man behind the project Vente. He has played drums with an impressive line-up of names in Danish rock, pop and jazz, ranging from Bagdad Dagblad, over Old News and Maluba Orchestra, to his current band Kalaha, an ensemble known for mixing electronic music with elements of jazz and African music, who just released their fourth album in February, 2021 on April Records. Emil de Waal has played within all genres of music and this is something that can be heard in all of the nine tracks on Vente. Elith "Nulle" Nykjær, who is 84 years old, is a living legend in Danish jazz and has had an impressive career as an actor, writer, musician and composer at DR (The Danish Broadcasting Corporation). Since the late '80s, he has toured in both Europe and in the US with his ensemble, Nulle & Verdensorkestret ("Nulle & The World Orchestra") and the repertoire of this very popular group has affected the repertoire on Vente. ......The four musicians on Vente all come from their individual musical backgrounds, bringing with them elements of their personal history. And when they get together to play, they don't intend for the music to come out in any particular way - it just has to feel right for all of them. This free-spirited approach to playing music, combined with the album's delicate mixture of originals, written by various members of the ensemble, and carefully selected jazz-standards, played with the group's groovy personal touch, gives the music on Vente a nostalgic, yet timeless, quality. Listening to Vente puts you in a mellow and comfortable state of mind and gives you a much-needed break in these trying times. Vente is the perfect soundtrack for a lazy day in on your own or a relaxing evening with your loved ones. ' (album notes).

Details and Samples ** : Video of First Song (For Ruth) :

 

 

 

 

Francesco Ciniglio - The Locomotive Suite
(Whirlwind Recordings) - Released: 16th July 2021

Francesco Ciniglio (drums & composition); Raynald Colom (trumpet & flugelhorn); Matt Chalk (alto saxophone & arrangements); Matteo Pastorino (bass clarinet); Alexis Valet (vibraphone); Felix Moseholm (double bass)

Francesco Ciniglio The Locomotive Suite

 

'Born in Naples, educated in New York and now residing in Paris, drummer Francesco Ciniglio combines spotless drumming facility with substantial compositional flair, and has the capacity to move, reflect and express through his music. An in-demand sideman, Ciniglio has collaborated with Wynton Marsalis, Shai Maestro, Aaron Parks, Dayna Stephens, Seamus Blake and Tony Tixier. Following his debut solo release (Wood, with Parks and Joe Sanders), Ciniglio returns as leader for his Whirlwind debut, The Locomotive Suite, a set of compositions for sextet that combine a personal metaphor of resilience with snapshots of his formative familial influences....“It’s a straight metaphor,” says Ciniglio of the suite. “Every one of us should be our own locomotive, sturdy and reliable, because crazy times can come; if we don't react right away, and don't keep going, we're going to sink.” Composed for sextet, the collection began as reflections on the Ciniglio’s intense experiences of New York. They found another life in Paris and were recorded in May 2020 during one of the city’s brief lockdown respites, which saw the ensemble descend on the capital from all across Europe. The suite is a collection of substantial, knotty harmonies, rhythmic shifts and spacious textures. But it also experiments internally, with chordal horn textures giving bass and vibraphone more melodic freedom. The unusual scoring is inspired by the soundworlds of Pat Metheny and Ben van Gelder, bridging the gap between music for large ensemble and harmonically focused trio music. Or, as Ciniglio puts it, it’s all about "finding an ensemble that’s not too big or small.” ...... (album notes).

Details and Samples **: Listen to Locomotive : Extract from video of the band live at Smalls Jazz Club :

 

 

 

Barbara Jordan - Timeless
(Self Produced) - Released: 10th June 2021

Barbara Jordon (vocals); Jon Seiger (piano, trumpet, vocals on Track 6 - "A Fine Romance"); Chris Robinson (tenor sax, soprano sax, clarinet); Ron Johnston (bass); Glenn Anderson (drums); Tony Quarrington (guitar, producer, composer and lyricist of  the song "Someone").

Barbara Jordan Timeless

 

 

'Barbara was born in Montreal and began her musical career as a folk singer and then moved on to become a dynamic, multi-lingual vocalist with several leading disco, pop and country/western bands in and around the Montreal area. A passionate performer, for the past 10 years Barbara has appeared at well-known jazz locales in Toronto such as The Rex,  C’est What,  744, (formerly the Chicken Deli) and the iconic Grossman’s Tavern singing New Orleans style jazz, 20’s 30’s traditional jazz and swing. She often appears as a guest vocalist with Dinny and the Allstars. She also appeared monthly at The Red Lantern in Toronto. Barbara appeared in the 2017 Orillia, Ontario Jazz Festival and also the Sarasota  Florida 2017 Jazz Festival.' (website notes). Barbara says "My husband and I have been to England many times and have enjoyed various jazz festivals such as Whitley Bay and Bude. We hope to visit again in the summer of 2022.'

Details and Samples ** : Listen to I'm Beginning To See The Light :

 

 

 

 

 

Re-issues

 

Tony Bennett - Five Classic Albums
(Avid Jazz) - Released: 2021 [2 CDs]

Tony Bennett (vocals) with various personnel including Nat Adderley (trumpet); Urbie Green, Kai Winding (trombone); Al Cohn (tenor sax); Count Basie (piano); Milt Hinton (bass); Art Blakey (drums)

Tony Bennett Five Classic Albums

'AVID Jazz continues with its Five Classic album series with a re-mastered 2CD release by Tony Bennett complete with original artwork and liner notes. 'Cloud 7'; 'The Beat Of My Heart'; 'Hometown, My Town', 'Count Basie Swings, Tony Bennet Sings' and 'In Person'. Sadly it's not often we get to feature a musician who is still alive and performing and recording today and who actually fought in the second world war 'a front row seat in hell' as he would later describe it. Born in 1926, Anthony Benedetto, would later become Tony Bennett, courtesy of a name change instigated by Bob Hope while Bennett was touring with him following a performance by Bennett that Bob had witnessed with Pearl Bailey who 'discovered' him in 1949 and asked him to open for her in Greenwich Village. By age 10, Tony was already performing in public and he would go on to become somewhat of a pop star of his generation alongside another crooner of the era Frank Sinatra. We are focusing on the later years of the 1950s when Tony Bennett who had been signed as a pop singer to Columbia Records in 1950 by legendary producer and A&R man Mitch Miller, decided to make a musical adjustment towards a more jazz influenced style. In 1954, guitarist Chuck Wayne became his musical director which led to his first jazz album Cloud 7 being released in 1955 and pointed to the musical direction he would take for the next few years. By 1957 he had parted company with Mr. Wayne and pianist, composer and musical director Ralph Sharon had begun a very successful partnership with Tony Bennett. Sharon would encourage him even further in a jazzier direction and this would result in our featured albums Beat Of My Heart and the two collaborations with Count Basie Swings-Sings and In Person on which he would he would become the first male pop singer to sing with the Basie band. Taking a look at some of the fine musicians who appear on our albums will tell you what high regard Tony Bennett was held in the jazz community. Count Basie (of course), Kai Winding, Nat Adderley, Al Cohn, Jim Pisano, Bobby Jaspar, Art Blakey, Herbie Mann, Jo Jones, Al Cohn, Urbie Green, Freddie Green, Joe Newman, Candido, Milt Hinton, Thad Jones and Marshall Royal.' (album notes). '.... Tony Bennett is simply a unique voice who's done much of his best work within jazz frameworks ...All in all, beautiful stuff for lovers of songs, swing and classy delivery' (Simon Spillett in Jazzwise ****).

Details :

 

 

 

 

Red Nichols & His Five Pennies - The Red Nichols Collection 1926 - 32
(Acrobat) - Released 2021 [4 CDs]

Red Nichols (cornet) with various personnel including Jimmy Dorsey (clarinet,alto sax); Fud Livingston (tenor sax); Babe Russin, Bud Freeman (tenor sax); Pee Wee Russell, Benny Goodman (clarinet); Adrian Rollini (bass sax, goofus); Leo McConville, Monty Klein (trumpet); Miff Mole, Glenn Miller, Jack Teagraden (trombone); Joe Venuti (violin); Arthur Scutt, Joe Sullivan, Lennie Hayton (piano); Eddie Condon (banjo); Eddie Lang (guitar); Dick McDonough (bass); Vic Berton, Chauncey Morehouse, Gene Krupa (drums)

The Red Nichols Collection

 

 

 

'This 93-track 4-CD set comprises recordings which were released on Brunswick under the name of Red Nichols & The Five Pennies during the band's classic era, along with other recordings done by similar line-ups led by Nichols under the name of The Charleston Chasers for Columbia, presented in chronological order of their recording.' (album notes). '..... A determined if strait-laced improvisor whose talent, energy and organising skills placed him at the centre of things in the 1920s New York and beyond, it's good to be reminded of Nichols' worth and his still influential amalgam of hot dance music and jazz.' (Peter Vacher in Jazzwise ***)

Details :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Various Artists - Djangology And More: A Compendium of Jazz Manouche (aka Gypsy Jazz)
(Jasmine Records) - Released: 11th June 2021 [2 CDs]

Django Reinhardt (guitar) Stephane Grappelli (violin) and various other personnel and bands.

Djangology Jazz Manouche

 

 

'Gypsies - or more correctly, Romany, Romani or Roma people - have always been nomadic, and their music has been influenced by exotic Eastern, European and Arabic idioms. But Gypsy Jazz had its roots firmly in France, where it is known as Jazz Manouche, and its origins can be traced directly to guitarist Django Reinhardt and violinist Stéphane Grappelli, who teamed up at the Hôtel Claridge in Paris, during the summer of 1934, to form Le Quintette Du Hot Club De France.Other important Jazz Manouche/Gypsy Jazz musicians included violinist Michel Warlop, accordionists Gus Viseur and Tony Muréna, guitarists Joseph Reinhardt, Baro, Matelot, Sarane Ferret (the latter trio, of Les Freres Ferret), and Oscar Alemán, all of whom are also featured heavily herein. The fifty-four sides compiled on this 2-CD set were all recorded between 1934-47, which was very much the 'Golden Age' for the genre.' (album notes).

Details :

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mike Gibbs - Revisiting Tanglewood 63: The Early Tapes
(Jazz In Britain) - Released: 1st June 2021

Tracks 1, 4, 5, 7: Henry Lowther, Harry Beckett (trumpet); Malcolm Griffiths, Mike Gibbs (trombone); Dick Hart (tuba); Tony Roberts, Stan Sulzmann, Jim Phillip (woodwind/reeds); Chris Spedding (guitar); Mick Pyne (piano); Roy Babbington (bass guitar); John Marshall (drums); Frank Ricotti (percussion)

Tracks 2, 3, 6: Nigel Carter, Henry Lowther, Harry Beckett (trumpet); Chris Pyne, Mike Gibbs (trombone); Dick Hart (tuba); Alan Skidmore, Tony Roberts, Stan Sulzmann (saxophone/flute); Chris Spedding (guitar); Mick Pyne (piano, organ); Roy Babbington (bass, bass guitar); Jeff Clyne (bass); John Marshall, Clive Thacker (drums); Frank Ricotti (percussion)

Mile Gibbs Revisiting Tanglewood 63

 

 

'Michael Gibbs is one of the great jazz composers of our time, and has been for the past half-century and more. To prove it, just listen to these seven tracks, recorded in 1970. Born in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), Gibbs studied in the US and came to London in the late 1960s, landing in the middle of a jazz scene boiling over with youthful creativity. The music here comes from two BBC broadcasts by a handpicked band. The programmes were recorded six months apart and there’s a noticeable difference between them, revealing dynamic changes in the young composer’s approach in this short time. The first set includes the wonderfully melodic and catchy Tanglewood 63 and June the 15th 1967, featuring Mick Pyne (piano), Chris Spedding (guitar) and Frank Ricotti (vibraphone), three leading young players of the day. Both pieces are lifted by irresistibly light and springy rock rhythms. From the second session come Five For England and Fanfare, heavier and more dissonant, with the emphasis on the lower brass instruments, and the remarkable Canticle, 12 minutes of total abstraction, first performed at Canterbury Cathedral and utterly mesmerising in its strangeness.' (Dave Gelly in The Observer ****).

Details and Samples : Listen to Five For England : Video for Tanglewood 63 :

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

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

 

 

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