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October 2020

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Tiana Major9

Amongst other items this month we include a spectrum of singers and songwriting from Kurt Elling and Fini Bearman to Beryl Bryden and Ottilie Patterson. Pictured here is Tiana Major9. Tiana is the first signing to the UK branch of Motown Records. The famous Detroit-based label was founded by Berry Gordy in 1960 and it has had some of the most biggest names in soul and R&B on the label, including Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight and Smokey Robinson. The Motown record label is expanding into the UK for the first time in its 60 year history. Led by Rob Pascoe with Afryea Henry-Fontaine as Marketing Director, the new division is being set up under its owners, EMI, to promote their current American releases and champion a new generation of British Black music. Tiana's voice has been compared to that of the late Amy Winehouse. Click here for a video of Tiana singing Think About You. In one interview Tiana says: "....jazz music is the heart and soul of my music. It’s the base of my music, literally. I used to listen to it while I sat and did my homework, it’d just be playing in my house! It’s always been around. When I started songwriting, it became more obvious that I loved jazz. It was one of my biggest influences because you can hear it in my melodies. When I decided to become an artist, I wanted a name that related to jazz so I added the Major9." (She added Major 9 to her stage name for the Major 9th chord)

 

 

 

Dave Brubeck Anniversary Lullabies

Born on 6th December, 1920, Dave Brubeck’s centennial is approaching and Verve Records have announced the release of Lullabies, a collection of familiar songs and original compositions for the whole family. Dave recorded this collection of music as a gift to his grandchildren and as his last studio recording.  'His ingenuity and integrity, all hallmarks of great Brubeck recordings, are abundantly Dave Brubeck Lullabiesapparent on the album.  The set contains covers and originals that will appeal to existing jazz and Dave Brubeck fans, as it exhibits his innovative style over delicate, inviting compositions that will also be enjoyed by the entire family.'  At the time of the recording, Brubeck commented on the project and his hopes for the compilation. “Some of the melodies on this album are like those familiar songs,” said Brubeck.  “Some are original pieces that I thought would appeal to babies as well as an older generation. I hope the littlest ones will respond to this music, and that parents and grandparents will enjoy it as well.”

'Fans of Brubeck and of his other recordings will be delighted to discover five original tracks (“Going to Sleep,” “Lullaby For Iola” “Koto Song,” “Softly, William, Softly,” and “Briar Bush”) to experience, through “Lullabies”, as well as a new dimension of his unrivalled talent.  Created for the whole family to experience, fans will greatly enjoy the album with their children and grandchildren, beginning with the just released Brahms Lullaby”, and the upcoming album for many years to come.'

Lullabies will be available worldwide on November 6th and the first track “Brahms Lullaby” is out now. You can pre-order the album and hear the single here.  The accompanying animated video lends itself to a soothing, calming experience. You can watch it here.

 

 

 

 

For Sale - Louis Armstrong's Trumpet

Louis Armstrong Selmer trumpet

 

 

The trumpet being sold is a Selmer Model 19, which was custom made for Louis in 1948 and given to a family friend in 1953.

The trumpet is made of gold plated brass, is inscribed with his nickname "Satchmo" and accompanied by a signed cotton handkerchief.

It is likely that the Selmer trumpet was used for Louis Armstrong's The California Concerts, a live album which was recorded in 1951. The trumpet is expected to reach between $60,000 and $80,000 when it goes on sale at Christie’s Auction House in New York on October the 14th.

Click here for a short video about the trumpet.

 

 

 

 


'Ronnie's' Documentary

A feature documentary by director Oliver Murray is due to be screened from 22nd October.

'In 1959, saxophonist Ronnie Scott opened the door to a small basement club in London’s Soho. As part of the burgeoning modern jazz movement, he and fellow saxophonist Pete King had dreamt of opening a club modelled on the swinging scene of New York’s 52nd Street. From its humble beginnings sixty years ago, Ronnie Scott’s would become the cornerstone of the UK jazz scene andRonnie Scott one of the most famous jazz clubs in the world.'

'Ronnie Scott was beloved by many, from the great and famous who frequented his club, to the many hard up musicians who were often helped by his warmth and generous spirit. However, Ronnie was as complex and colourful as the music played on his stage. In private Ronnie battled with depression and when his untimely death occurred in 1996 it left the jazz community bereft of a respected and favourite leader.'

Funny and moving, Ronnie’s features performances by some of greatest musicians of the C20th including...Oscar Peterson, Dizzy Gillespie, Roland Kirk, Clea Laine and John Dankworth, Buddy Rich, Sarah Vaughan, Sonny Rollins, Miles Davis, Jimi Hendrix, Ella Fitzgerald, Van Morrison and Chet Baker, Nina Simone, and Ben Webster.

Among the early admirers of “Ronnie’s” is the actor, comedian and writer Stephen Fry, who gave his verdict after watching the film. Stephen Fry said, “Ronnie’s” made me cheer, laugh and weep. I am beyond speechless. It’s a revelation. It’s beautifully, sensitively and perfectly presented. Aside from being a superb piece of film-making and story-telling it’s an important film. In my estimation an incredibly important film.”

Click here for a trailer and information on Oliver Murray's website.

 

 

 

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

 

Rob Barron A Time For love

 

 

Rob Barron plays A Time For Love. The tune is featured in his new Trio album From This Moment On released in October [see Recent Releases]

 

 

 

 

Duke Ellington It Don't Mean A Thing

 

 

Here is Duke Ellington and his Orchestra in 1943 with It Don't Mean A Thing (If You Ain't Got That Swing). The person who has posted it says: "...The title was based on the oft stated credo of Ellington's former trumpeter Bubber Miley, who was dying of tuberculosis ...."

 

 

 

 

Benet McLean Just One Of Those Things

 

 

I find Benet McLean's playing formidable when he is playing either the piano or the violin. Here he has the violin for Just One Of Those Things in the company of Steve Williamson (tenor sax), Julian Joseph (piano), Dan Casimir (bass) and Clark Tracey (drums).

 

 

 

 

Ryan Quigley Wave

 

 

Award winning Irish trumpeter Ryan Quigley plays a fine version of Antonio Carlos Jobim's Wave backed by a string orchestra recorded a couple of years ago at the Guildhall School Of Music and Drama.

 

 

 

 

 

Ottilie Patterson video

 

 

Ottilie Patterson sings Mama, He Treats Your Daughter Mean with the Chris Barber Jazz band in 1964. It is easy to see from this what a great singer was and how the band rocked the country at that time paving the way for the Beatles and the Stones.

 

 

 

 

Linley Hamilton Quintet

 

 

Video introduction to the Linley Hamilton Quintet's album For The Record featuring Linley Hamilton (trumpet, flugelhorn); Derek O'Connor (tenor saxophone); Cian Boylan (piano, organ); Mark Egan (bass); Adam Nussbaum (drums) [See Recent Releases]

 

 

 

 

Bon Pollack videoHere's Ben Pollack and his orchestra from 1934. The first part of this video, Got The Jitters, is perhaps the only part of interest as 'hot' music. Ben Pollack was an American drummer and bandleader from the mid-1920s through the swing era. His eye for talent led him to employ musicians such as Benny Goodman, Jack Teagarden, Glenn Miller, Jimmy McPartland, and Harry James. In this clip, one commentator tells us: 'Trombone soloist is, indeed, Glenn Miller, vocals by Nappy Lamare, clarinet Matty Matlock, the trumpet on the left is Charlie Spivak, saxes are (left to tight) Gil Rodin, Matty Matlock and Eddie Miller, Ray Bauduc on drums, Claude Thornhill is on piano. Miss Doris Robbins was, at the time, Ben Pollack's love interest, and he pushed her and the commercial sap that makes up the lion's share of this short (video) above everything else, which is why a number of his men became dissatisfied. Lamare, Rodin, Matlock, Miller and Bauduc would soon constitute the nucleus of the Bob Crosby band, Miller would go on to form Ray Noble's band, taking Spivak with him as lead trumpet and Thornhill as pianist.'

 

 

 

SNJO with Kurt Elling

 

On 30th September, the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra released this video of Courage: Jeep on 35° with Chicagoan vocalist Kurt Elling. A composition by triple Grammy Award-winning guitarist John Scofield, here it also has vocalese with attitude by Nina Clark. 'Taken from the song cycle Syntopicon, which brings human traits and values including knowledge and wisdom, good and evil, language and joy to musical life, Jeep on 35° was chosen to represent courage, and Elling doesn’t hold back. He inhabits lyrics and melody with huge personality and a masterly range of rich vocal tones and agile phrasing'.

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

Peter Whittingham Award 2020

Music charity Help Musicians has now opened the Peter Whittingham Jazz Award, now in their 30th year, doubling its investment into the careers of promising musicians. Founded in memory of survival medicine expert, pianist and jazz fan Peter Whittingham, the awards celebrate and support up-and-coming British jazz artists. In this special anniversary year, and at a time when jazz is so vibrant but the landscape so challenging, Help Musicians has increased its investment to £20,000 so as to support even more jazz artists.

The charity is also providing more support than ever before with business advice sessions and health resources as part of the 2020 Peter Whittingham Award funding package, ensuring jazz musicians are supported across the breadth of their careers. The three awardees will receive: £5,000 to support their creative output, tailored 1:1 business advice sessions with industry experts, and access to health resources through their partner, British Association of Performing Arts Medicine (BAPAM).

Applications are open between the 16th of September until the 12th of October 2020. You can enter and find out more about the award here.

 

Peter Whittingham Award poster

 

The charity says: 'This Award is open to emerging and early career jazz musicians and groups with the creativity, ambition and commitment to develop a sustainable career in jazz. We are looking for music creators who are at a tipping point in their career and who can demonstrate that their proposed project will help them reach the next stage of their career. We welcome applicants from all walks of life, particularly those who are currently underrepresented in jazz such as women, people with disabilities, and individuals from ethnic minority backgrounds in the UK

Applicants must:

  • Be aged 18 or over
  • Be resident in the UK at the time of applying **
  • Be in financial need and without significant backing (by this we mean not receiving significant financial backing from a record label, publisher or private investor and not having over £16,000 in savings)
  • Be able to evidence a track record as a musician and demonstrate that they are approaching a career tipping point

** Help Musicians refers to the UK residency rules noting that applicants are eligible for our support if:

  • They are a UK National living in the UK they automatically qualify in terms of residency
  • They are a non-UK National, they have been living in the UK for at least 183 days and have the legal right to live in the UK
  • They are a UK or non-UK National and have not been living in the UK for at least 183 days, access to grants and funds is discretionary and decisions will be made on a case by case basis.

Check out their website for more details (click here)

 

 

Scottish Jazz Awards 2020

The Scottish Jazz Awards celebrate Scotland’s vibrant jazz scene and recognise its standout musical talent. A panel of industry specialists, including media, press and promoters from across the UK, have carefully selected the shortlists for five coveted awards. Scottish Jazz Awards logoThe winners are set to be crowned during a virtual ceremony on Sunday 18 October which will include special guests and exclusive live performances.​ From 12 noon on Monday 21 September, you can vote for your favourite acts and decide which of Scotland’s most revered jazz musicians walk away with a Scottish Jazz Award. Voting closes at 5pm on Monday 5 October.

Categories for the 8th Scottish Jazz Awards are: Rising Star Award; Best Band Award; Best Vocalist Award; Best Instrumentalist Award and Best Album Award

As the Awards were moved from their scheduled date in May 2020 due to Covid-19, the time period for eligible album releases was also extended to cover albums released up until the end of July 2020. Last year’s winners were ineligible for nomination in the same category for this year. Two further award winners will be chosen by the panel including the 'Services To Scottish Jazz Award' which celebrates those working behind the scenes in the industry and the 'Lifetime Achievement Award'  where previous winners include Martin Taylor, Fionna Duncan, Carol Kidd, Bobby Wellins, Tam White and Ronnie Rae.

The Scottish Jazz Awards are produced as an independent event by the organisers of Glasgow Jazz Festival and supported by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland.

Click here for the list of nominees and to vote. The Virtual Ceremony will be streamed online at 6pm on Sunday 18 October via the Glasgow Jazz Festival My Player channel.

 

 

 

 

The Droplet Factor

My thanks to trumpeter Andy Hague for information about aerosol production at live events. Andy, who has been hoping to re-open his historic Be-Bop Club in Bristol, is facing the complex maze of rules and restrictions, as are many, despite encouragement and support from the Club's audience.

There has been debate about how far droplets produced by vocalists, choirs, brass and wind instruments present a Covid-19 risk. Andy refers to the guidance from the Musicians' Union in August (click here) which says: '......Additional mitigations, such as extended Be-Bop Club seatingsocial distancing, were previously required for singing, wind and brass given concerns that these were potentially higher risk activities. The MU was unconvinced of the increased risk and has made this argument to Government Ministers and Officials repeatedly over the past few months. As a result of lobbying, the Department of Culture Media and Sport commissioned further scientific studies to be carried out to develop evidence on these activities, which has now been approved by SAGE and has enabled the government to revise their guidelines. Both professionals and non-professionals can now engage in singing, wind and brass in line with this guidance.'

'The research shows that there is little difference between singing and speaking at the same volume when it comes to aerosol production and the ‘droplet effect’ from wind and brass is negligible. However, the new studies have also indicated that it is the cumulative aerosol transmission from both those performing in and attending events that is likely to create risk and therefore adequate and appropriate ventilation should be in place.'The Bear Bristol

 

The Bear pub bar.

 

'Research continues and the UK Government's advice will be updated as further evidence is produced. Our Regional Organisers in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales are also lobbying for amended guidance on singing, wind and brass and we hope that the new evidence produced by Public Health England will inform the relaxation of equivalent areas of guidance in the devolved Nations.'

Bristol's Be-Bop Club uses a room at the back of The Bear pub in Hotwells. Access has to be through the pub which itself has limited seating arrangements. Andy Hague has been exploring the possibility of a smaller socially-distanced audience, removing the sofa seating, introducing earlier gig times to meet the current 10.00 pm closing time, opening windows, and having a small increase in admission costs. Further discussions are taking place with the new management at the pub and arrangements about table service for drinks and other requirements have to be resolved. Andy is hoping to be able to arrange a 'trial gig' to see how things go. Click here to sign up for the Be-Bop Club's mailing list and latest news.

 

 

 

The Grid

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

 

Lionel Hampton

 

 

Sidney Story

Benny Goodman
Kind Of Blue

Jim Hart

Jonny Mansfield
Blue Book
Gene Krupa
Mingus Ah Um
Lionel Hampton
Lulu White
Joe Locke
Mahogany Hall
The Shape Of Jazz To Come
Teddy Wilson
Time Out
Gary Burton

 

Click here for the answers

 

 

 

 

 

elvinyl

'elvinyl' is an online market place created by Richard Morton Jack and Jules Elvins earlier this year. It also contains 'eldorado' an archive resource relating to press-kits, photos etc., advice on buying a record player, as well as other information. The site is not jazz-specific, but it has recently received the rights to sell the vast jazz record collection of writer and record collector Tony Hall. The October issue of Jazzwise points out that 'the Tony Hall collection features original pressings of sought-after American titles by Miles, Monk, Parker and Bill Evans... as well as many of the albums and EPs (Tony Hall) produced for the Tempo label ...'

Click here for the elvinyl site.

 

 

 

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

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

 

1917 - Recording The Original Dixieland Jazz Band

In February 1917, the United States had not yet entered World War I. Although the US had been supporting the Allies financially, America declared itself 'neutral' until April 1917. In April 2017, President Woodrow Wilson convinced Congress to join the conflict. So when the Original Dixieland Jazz Band went into the studio in February 2017, America, unlike Europe was not at war. The recording was released in May and sold in large numbers in the USA. It is possible that the record was not so widely available in the UK, but presumably could be heard on radio. It wasn't until after the War that the ODJB made their historic visit to London.

 

'... on February 26, 1917, they recorded their two most popular compositions, "Livery Stable Blues" and "Dixieland Jass Band One-Step" ....'

'From a technical standpoint Victor succeeded where Columbia had failed. In order to understand this, we must first consider the Original Dixeland Jazz Bandacoustical problems confronting sound engineers in those promitive days of mechanical recording. Before the invention of the vacuum tube and the subsequent development of the electronic amplifier, no efficient means existed for the amplification of sound .... in order to attain sufficient power to drive the stubborn stylus, everything, including tonal fidelity, had to be sacrificed .... A huge tin horn was used to collect the sound and concentrate it upon the diaphragm of the recording head. This monstrous funnel of sheet metal - known as the "pickup horn" - became the central and dominant feature of every recording studio.'

The acoustical problems presented by a jazz band were new to the industry .... In recording opera singers, they (the engineers) had been able to exercise some measure of control. On particularly loud notes, for example, the singer was instructed to draw away from the pickup horn to avoid "blasting". Conversely, he was literally shoved down the mouth of the horn in order to save low notes or those lacking reproduction qualities .....'

'The Original Dixieland Jazz Band, however, did not lend itself to control of this or any other sort. Because of the band's volume, the engineers feared distortion in placing the musicians too close to the pickup horn. But in placing them fifteen feet away, an echo was produced that turned the conrasting voices of the jazz band into a meaningless howl.'

'The problem was solved by the sound engineers at Victor, who succeeded in transcribing the band with great clarity. They placed the musicians according to the recording strength of their instruments, and many test records were made before proper balance was attained. LaRocca was located about twenty feet from the pickup horn, while Sbarbaro wielded his drum sticks about five feet behind him. (The bass drum was not used on this record because of its tendency to "blast"). Edwards' powerful trombone was only twelve to ODJB Recording studiofifteen feet from the horn, accounting for its prominence. Clarinetist Shields stood about five feet away, and Ragas, on piano - the instrument least likely to be heard - was closest of all. It is important to remember, however, that these distances were not determined by the relative volume levels of the instruments. Because the sensitivity of the recording apparatus varied widely from one tonal range to another, certain instruments were more easily picked up than others. In actuality, LaRocca, Edwards, and Shields were very evenly matched in loudness.'

Click here to listen to the Dixieland Jass Band One-Step.

The picture on the right is of the ODJB recreating their Livery Stable Blues recording in the mid-1930s. It was captured in a short film now at the Smithsonian Institute and available here online.

'LaRocca describes the first recording session in these words: "First we made a test record, and then they played it back to us. This is when they started moving us around in different positions. After the first test record, four men were rushed in with ladders and started stringing wires near the ceiling. I asked them what all these wires were for, and one of the men told me it was to sop up the overtone that was coming back into the horn. The recording engineer at Victor had the patience of a saint. He played back our music until it sounded right."

'But despite these efforts at balancing the instruments, the trombone and clarinet dominated the final records. LaRocca attributes this to nervousness on the part of his fellow musicians ....'

The stamping of a foot would be heard very clearly, and at this time they had not yet discovered a method of "erasing" an unwanted sound from a record. For this reason LaRocca was not allowed to "stomp off" his band in the usual fashion. Instead, the musicians were instructed to watch the red signal light, count two after it came on, and then begin playing. It is indeed miraculous that they were able to start out together, and even more of a wonder that they immediately fell into the same tempo."

Click here to listen to Livery Stable Blues. Perhaps try to imagine this played on a wind-up gramophone for a group of people in 1917 new to the sounds of 'Jazz'. Notice how the record is described by Victor as a Fox Trot 'For Dancing' by the Original Dixieland 'Jass' Band.

From: The Story Of The Original Dixeland Jazz Band by H. O. Brunn

 

Dancing to the gramophone

 

 

 

 

 

Two Ears Three Eyes

The Coalminers

Photographer Brian O'Connor took his camera to a rare gig in September when The Coalminers played an outdoor session at the Vine Cricket Club in Sevenoaks, Kent. Brian says: "Jazz on a Glorious Summers' Day. At a perfect setting adjacent to the Vine Cricket Club in Sevenoaks, Kent, the Coalminers brought to an end a successful fundraising season for the Stag Theatre. Brushing aside the Covid Blues for two hours, all cares forgotten, it was almost possible to avoid thinking that in just a few hours, the rule of six would apply."

The band was: Pat Levett (drums and harmonica); Kat Eaton (vocals); Tommy Hare (vocals); Arthur Lea (keyboards); Ben Somers (sax); Rob Updegraff (guitar) and Spenser Brown (bass).

 

Tommy Hare

Tommy Hare

 

With their dedication to what they like to refer to as “Swamp Soul” this 7 piece band bring the rhythm and soul of New Orleans alive, playing songs ranging from Professor Longhair to Allen Toussaint, Mardi Gras parade anthems to Fats Domino Rock & Roll classics and the swampy funk of The Meters and Dr John. They take their name from the Toussaint/Dorsey song 'Working In A Coalmine'.

They have recently been in the studio recording their arrangement of Allen Toussaint's classic, Sweet Touch Of Love - click here for the video. The number appears on the album Old Records which can be downloaded here.

 

Coalminers gig

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

Take Two

You Must Believe In Spring

 

[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].

 

Les Demoiselles De Rochefort poster

 

 

When lonely feelings chill
The meadows of your mind
Just think if Winter comes
Can Spring be far behind

 

Michel Legrand wrote this lovely song for the 1967 French musical movie Les Demoiselles de Rochefort (The Young Girls Of Rochefort). The song is a great optimistic theme of hope for us today.

Yvonne runs a cafe in Rochefort with her daughters Delphine, who teaches ballet classes and Solange, who gives music lessons. Two smooth-talking but kind-hearted carnival guys, Étienne and Bill, arrive in town and attract the attention of the girls, Yvonne's estranged fiancé also arrives in town and opens a music store and then Yvonne meets Maxence, a sailor about to be demobbed from the navy. Maxence is a poet and painter, and is searching for his ideal woman. Add in a collection of other characters and relationships and you have a mélange des relations formidable. Click here for the trailer and here is You Must Believe In Spring from the film, called here Chanson De Maxence.

 

Beneath the deepest snows
The secret of a rose
Is merely that it knows
You must believe in Spring

 

The song has been recorded many times and there are a number of versions with lyrics you might like to listen to including those by Cleo Laine, Ian Shaw and Bill Evans with Tony Bennett. There is also a nice video by pianist and vocalist Sarah McKenzie.

 

Just as a tree is sure
Its leaves will reappear
It knows it's emptiness
Is just the time of year

 

But the versions I have chosen for this month's Take Two are instrumental performances.

 

Bill Evans You Must Believe In Spring

 

The first is an audio recording by pianist Bill Evans from 1977 but not released until 1981 after his death in 1980. The trio here is Bill Evans (piano), Eddie Gomez (bass) and Eliot Zigmund (drums) and apart from Bill Evans' beautiful playing, credit must also go to Eddie Gomez for his bass solo.

The website billevanswebpages sums it up in a review by Helen Keane and Tommy LiPuma: 'You Must Believe in Spring is an indispensable part of the huge recorded output of Bill Evans, for musical reasons, but its significance is otherwise noteworthy as well. It was his first date for Warner Brothers, after a long and fruitful association with Fantasy Eddie GomezRecords. Recorded in August 1977 at Capitol studios in Los Angeles, but not released until early 1981 -- it was also the first album released by any company after the pianist’s death in September 1980, thus adding to the bittersweet experience of listening to its beauty .... One of the most-loved of his records ... it was also the last session Bill did with bassist Eddie Gomez, who amicably left the trio soon after these dates after an eleven year tenure, to pursue other projects.'

 

Eddie Gomez

 

'Appearing on Marian McPartland’s “Piano Jazz” show in 1979, Evans spoke of this then yet-untitled album, in that it was already “in the can” and he specifically remarked how well Gomez played on the date. Even among bassists, and other working musicians, it’s still a wonder how he was so finely tuned-in to not only Bill’s melodic ideas, but to his freely played rubatos -- knowing where to come in on a chord change, or where to land in close sync with the piano, even though the tempo might be so slow (as in many intros) as to be essentially undefined. .........'

Click here to listen to You Must Believe In Spring from the album.

 

 

 

 

The frozen mountain dreams
Of April's melting streams
How crystal clear it seems
You must believe in Spring

 

 

Igarishi Ishizuka YouMustBelieve In Spring

 

The second 'take' is a video duet by Issei Igarashi playing flugelhorn with pianist Mami Ishizuka that I find particularly compelling (click here). To many of us in the UK their names might not be familiar, but this video gives us the opportunity to discover them. Japanese trumpeter Issei Igarashi began playing piano when he was four and took up trumpet at the age of ten after purchasing an album by Miles Davis. In 1985 he moved to Tokyo to attend Kunitachi College of Music. In the late 1980s he joined the New Tide Jazz Orchestra, the Japanese Jazz Messengers, the group led by the tenor saxophonist Seiichi Nakamura, and Motohiko Hino’s ensemble 196X. He has also played with Tommy Flanagan, Duke Jordan, Ray Bryant, and Kenny Barron, among others.

Mami Ishizuka was born in Tokyo, and also started playing the piano early when she was three. She taught at a middle school in Tokyo for a few years after completing her degree in piano from the Kunitachi College of Music, and before starting her professional career as a pianist, vocalist and composer/arranger. Her performances include a variety of piano styles and she also sings, although not on this video.

 

 

You must believe in love
And trust it's on it's way
Just as the sleeping rose
Awaits the kiss of May

So in a world of snow
Of things that come and go
Where what you think you know
You can't be certain of
You must believe in Spring and love

 

Michel Legrand You Must Believe In Spring

 

 

 

 

Jazz Quiz

Clued Up To Basie

This month we challenge you to work out the clues to 15 tracks recorded by Count Basie. How many can you identify?

 

Count Basie

 

Click here for the Jazz Quiz.

 

 

 

 

Utah Tea Pot

Tea Break

 

[You are able to listen to the music at the same time as reading this article and without leaving the page if you click here (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].

 

Fini Bearman

 

Fini Bearman

 

Multi-instrumentalist, singer and composer Fini Bearman is Professor of Songwriting at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. As the students return, Fini also releases her new album La Loba, a solo album but joined on several tracks by cellist Zosia Jagodzinska. The album, quite rightly, is already receiving attention. Writing in the October issue of Jazzwise magazine, Peter Quinn says: "An album which sparkles with insights into memory, self-discovery, femininity and creativity, the vocal arrangement of My Ideal, a song which moves from blissful stasis to an urgent pulse, is one of the most transporting things I have heard this year ...One of the year's musical highlights, La Loba marks Bearman out as one of contemporary music's most imaginative song stylists."

Fini herself studied jazz and classical voice at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama graduating with a BMus (Hons) in 2007. She went on to complete a Masters in performance and composition from the Jazz Institute in Berlin, where she studied composition with US guitarist and composer Kurt Rosenwinkel, and singing with US vocalist and improvisor Judy Niemack. Since then she has built up an impressive profile as both soloist and collaborator/side-woman, touring the UK and across Europe, including Ronnie Scott's, The Barbican, The A-Trane (Berlin), Cafe Mercedes Jazz (Valencia) and New York venue Dizzy's (Jazz at the Lincoln Center). She has performed at major jazz festivals and on radio. Her music is described as having: 'a ‘rare sense of melody running through her eclectic compositions, full of catchy twists and turns ... it melds diverse influences from jazz, folk and contemporary music into an Fini Bearman Porgy and Bess'arresting and uniquely personal' sound. Sometimes dealing with settings of poetry and other times original lyrics, ‘her voice, effortlessly moves between a light precision and warm soulfulness and is unmistakably her own’.

That is reflected in her varied album releases to date. Step Up came out in 2011 and her interpretation of the music from Porgy and Bess in 2014. Click here to listen to There's A Boat That's Leaving Soon For New York from that album where she was joined by Matt Calvert (guitar); Ross Stanley (organ); Jon Cox (double bass) and John Blease (drums).

Porgy and Bess was followed in 2016 by Burn The Boat. In his review, Bruce Lindsey said: "It's a beautiful recording..... What's immediately apparent on Burn The Boat is Bearman's own commanding ability as a writer. From the drama of "Sand On Sand" to the poppy "Gone" and the grungy, unsettling rawness of the title track ....she's on top compositional form. She also has a talent for crafting melodies in sympathy with the words of others; three of the tracks here are based on poems: Lisbon's Fernando Pessoa, whose work also appeared on Step Up with "I Know, I Alone"; Langston Hughes' "The Idea"; and e.e.cummings' "Such A Fool." ...' For Burn The Boat, Fini was joined by four of the UK's 'in demand' young jazz musicians - Matt Robinson (piano); Nick Costley-White (guitar); Conor Chaplin (bass) and Dave Hamblett (drums). Click here to listen to Say The Words from Burn The Boat

Fini released an EP The Bear & The Fish in 2017, but now we have another major recording, La Loba, released in October 2020. Fini says: " It's half solo/half duo record (I play everything but cello on it), exploring songwriting, inspired by jazz and everything else beside - Joni, Paul Simon, Chris Thile, Yola." When she says she plays everything but cello, she means voice, piano, guitar, charango, mandolin, ukulele, electric bass, percussion, glockenspiel and tenor saxophone.

La Loba has so much to commend it - the stripped back simplicity of tracks like Empty, the originality of arrangement in I Deserve, the voice multi-tracking complemented by the cello in Talk, the story-telling in La Loba ... it is an album that requires several plays to appreciate it fully.

 

Click here to listen to the title track from La Loba.

 

Fini Bearman

Fini dropped in for a Tea Break

 

Hi Fini, thanks for stopping by, can I get you a tea or coffee?

Hi Ian. Yes, tea please!

 

Milk and sugar?

A little milk, but not too much.

 

So, you are the Guildhall’s first professor of songwriting! Congratulatuions – that's a really exciting role. I hear the students are back at Guildhall. How is it going? Have the restrictions meant a lot of re-organisation and different approaches to the way you work?

Yes! and I’m about to start my fourth year there, teaching songwriting and jazz voice. It’s an incredibly inspiring job - the students are not only a talented bunch, but they're also really motivated -  'on it' in terms of creativity - writing and producing music - and getting themselves out there. It’s great to be back in the building this Autumn after all our teaching went online in the Spring. The restrictions have affected the size of classes, and some things will stay online, but the school is doing everything possible to accommodate the Zosia Jagodzinskarules etc to ensure that as much of our teaching as possible can happen in person. 

 

So much is having to change. You have a lot going on at the moment. You have a new album out too! Thank you for sending me through details of La Loba - it is a great album. Why did you decide to go for a solo release? Solo apart from Zosia Jagodzinska's cello on some tracks that is? Was there a reason for bringing a cello in?

Most of the songs on the album started off as compositions for voice and cello (sometimes with me playing piano or guitar in addition). Zosia and I had played together before in Raph Clarkson’s band, the Dissolute Society, and apart from being enamoured by the size and resonance of her sound, I also wanted to explore more open and stripped back songwriting, and 2-part writing is as stripped back as it gets .. It was really eye-opening exploring writing in this way, especially when you’re thinking about the narrative of a song and story-telling - the cello is so rich and sonorous -  almost like another voice. So anyway, Zosia and I were working towards a concert to celebrate International Women’s Day in March 2019, and having that deadline to work towards meant that after the gig I thought I may as well record them all. Recording at home took *some* time - I think I started at the end of June and finished early 2020, and as you know from listening, I got a little carried away and filled out these compositions quite a lot, so the music has evolved a little!

 

Zosia Jagodzinska

 

 

 

The story-telling is a key feature. Zosia plays on the first track And We Climb – what is behind that one?

The title came from an interview I heard with Brian Eno who was talking about how he stopped using personal pronouns in his own songwriting. He said, ‘consider the difference between and I climb, and and we climb - how much more inclusive does the we sound/feel?’. So I liked that starting point, and then I remembered the story a friend of mine from West Berlin told me about the squatting that happened in East Berlin after after the Wall came down, because there were all these empty buildings after people from the East defected to the West. I imagined being a kid at this time and running away to live as adults in these majestic old alt-bau buildings.

 

There are many different themes and influences in the words and music– do you have a favourite?

Paul Simon!

 

You mention the different genres that influence the music. I can see there is a way of singing or playing that has a ‘jazz’ approach. Is there a way of writing that particularly opens itself to a jazz interpretation?

OOh! Interesting… I don’t think so, really - anything is open to jazz interpretation I think. Obviously it could be easier to imagine when the melody is freer perhaps, or when there is a lot going on harmonically, but maybe that’s lazy to say. Improvisation is a pretty fundamental component of anything calling itself ‘jazz’, so I think as a writer you have that in your mind - how can this music be opened up, broken down, re-interpretated, etc.

 

I can hear some tracks reflecting Joni Mitchell. Joni has been unwell for a while – she suffered a brain aneurysm in 2015, but has been painting again and I see in the NME that James Taylor has apparently said that she might be coming back with new music. If Joni Mitchellyou could sing a duet with Joni, which of her many songs would you choose, and what would you ask her during a tea break?

I imagine Joni would have some pretty on the nose things to say about the current political climate right now. I have been enjoying the Brad Mehldau and Chris Thile version of Marcie at the moment, so maybe that. I think if we were hanging out I would just want to hear her talk about anything and everything - writing, music making, Jaco (!), how she views creativity and her voice.

 

Joni Mitchell photographed by Mark Seliger in 2019 from an article in UNCUT magazine about her album Shine.

 

 

 

That is a beautiful, gentle version of Marcie by Brad and Chris.

Click here to listen to Joni Mitchell's Marcie by Brad Mehldau and Chris Tile.

 

Talking about Joni prompts me to look out her albums again - Court And Spark was the first one I bought. I know that I love songs from most of them, but I don't have Mingus. It's time I rectifed that!

I have a few biscuits in if you fancy one - let’s see- Hob Nobs, Bourbons, Custard Creams?

I’m not a mega fan, to be honest, but I’ll take a fig roll if you can find some.

 

Those are one of my favourites! I usually hide them away .. but for you...

I guess all songwriters are asked the age old question which comes first, the words or the music? How do you answer that with your students?

It goes both ways, and if you only write one way, turn it around and try it the other - guaranteed you will write something differently just by switching it on it’s head. I encourage my students to mix up their approaches as much as possible to keep it fresh and keep the ideas churning - keep pushing and challenging yourself, starting somewhere new or unknown to keep the flame alive.

 

That's really good advice for all of us, I think. One thing that always intrigues me is that so many songs have been written over time, how can anyone know that the song you come up with has not been written before? If it sells a million, is someone out there going to claim plagiarism?

That reminds me of a Richard Curtis film from a few years ago called Imagine, did you see it? The Beatles didn’t exist (?!) and a random guy started getting famous from their songs that only he remembered.

 

I think you mean the film Yesterday that Richard Curtis made with Danny Boyle. It had the strapline "Imagine there’s no Beatles. It’s easy if you try". It is a wonderful film and Himesh Patel as the main character is perfect. You're right, it is a lovely illustration of re-imagining songs.

Click here for the trailer for Yesterday.

To be honest it’s a legitimate concern for me at least in terms of what you’re singing about - do we need another song about love? So.. when you do feel compelled to write about the much sung about stuff, you need to find a new angle, or work out what it is about your song that is worth saying. 

 

That makes me wonder how many of the songs in the Great American Songbook are about 'love' - quite a high number, I would guess. And that in turn makes me think about the subject areas others write about - social injustice, those who 'tell stories', and then there are those where the ideas are rather more obsucure - has anyone ever explained A Whiter Shade Of Zola MennenohPale or Steely Dan's Bad Sneakers? I am sure there are others. Is there a songwriter you think we should hear about who people might not have come across?

An old friend from Berlin has an album coming out - she’s called Zola Mennenöh and the album is called Longing For Belonging, and out in November. I think it will be very special. 

Click here to listen to Zola Mennenöh singing I Will Be Yours, Forever from the album Longing For Belonging.

 

Zola Mennenöh

 

 

Apart from your teaching work at music colleges, you also teach privately online. How is that going in these Covid days?

I don’t do a huge amount at the moment because my life seems to be taken up with all the stuff that comes with making and bringing out an album on your own (seemed like a good idea at the time!). At the beginning of lockdown I didn’t really stop working for about 4 months - making album artwork and animating music videos for the singles -  so I’ve been trying to have a bit of a break from all that, too!

 

 

 

 

How about another tea/coffee? Tell you what, I’ll play Beholden from the La Loba album while I put the kettle on.

I’ll take a decaf if you have it, thanks!

 

On its way. Thanks for dropping by, Fini. Our Tea Break has raised so many things to think more about and to listen to.

Thanks for having me :)

Click here to listen to Beholden.

 

Click here for details and samples of La Loba. Click here for Fini's website. Click here for a solo live video stream that Fini performed in July playing songs from the new album (47 minutes).

 

Fini Bearman

 

 

 

Utah Tea Pot

 

 

 

 

 

Name The Tune

(Click on the picture for the answer)

 

Cherry

 

Click here for other challenges to 'Name The Tune'

 

 

 

Jazz As Art

Hanky Panky

From the album His 'N' Hers

by Judith and Dave O'Higgins

 

[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].

When you listen to music, you sometimes conjure images in your mind. Our Jazz As Art series invites you to listen to a piece of jazz and as it plays, scroll down the page and see which of the pieces of art I have chosen comes closest to the pictures in your mind. Hopefully, this will introduce you to recordings and art works you might not have spent time with before.

 

 

Judith and Dave O'Higgins

 

The album notes describe this new album by the two tenor saxophonists Judith and Dave O'Higgins: ' His 'n' Hers affectionately pits Mr and Mrs O’Higgins against each other as in the movie, Mr & Mrs Smith... In reality, this is a swinging “tough tenors” band in the good humoured tradition of the great Johnny Griffin - Eddie Lockjaw Davis group, who made nine albums together between 1960 and 1962. But what Griffin and Davis did together was not a competition, however apparently combative. It was collaboration, mutual inspiration, and special because of both the similarity and contrast of the two protagonists.'

'The eponymous His’n’Hers recording has been prepared specifically for vinyl (although it is also available on CD or Download). The appeal of this medium (vinyl) was to present something considered and well programmed in an elegantly digestible format. Pour Judith and Dave O'Higgins His 'N' Hers albumyourself a glass of wine and listen to Side 1, whilst perusing the large-scale cover art and familiarising yourself with the tune titles and personnel. Then, 18 minutes later it will be time for a refill and you’ll be lured into hearing what Side 2 brings. An LP requires careful programming on the part of the artist, in the same way as a good set at a gig. The track order is crucial and, due to the nature of the medium, often listened to in the intended order. The CD format can be the musical equivalent of the “all you can eat” buffet - too much for one sitting! In addition, the tactile, analog nature of the 12” disc encourages focused engagement, not ripping onto a digital device for shuffled play in the background.'

'The recording was made with a “new meets old” aesthetic: inspired by the 50s and 60s Rudy Van Gelder recordings in terms of transparency and natural fidelity, but also with a nod to contemporary sonic developments. The O’Higgins have been on a mission for 10 years or more now to create a jazz friendly, ribbon mics, spill-and-all recording environment and JVG Studio gets better all the time.'

'This record kicks off with a bright modal original tune, Fourth Dimension (click here) and Judith sets the tone with the first tenor solo statement. Throughout the session she is on the left and Dave on the right. We'll Forget March is another new composition, disguised from its inspiration (can you guess what it is?) by a change to 3/4 and a pedal interlude. Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most is inspired by Stanley Turrentine, and lulls us into a relaxed mood before having to get up to turn the disc over. Side 2 begins with another song by the O'Higgins frontline, and has perhaps the most obliquely developed lines of the date. Two crowd-pleasers from the book, amassed over years of occasional His’n’Hers gigs, finish things off: Save Your Love For Me from the Griffin / Davis repertoire, and Dexter Gordon's catchy theme, Soy Califa.'

 

I find the album is a pleasure, and although I listened to it on a promotional CD, I can appreciate that it will work well on vinyl. But for our Jazz As Art feature this month we have chosen the final track Hanky Panky. I find this track really engaging. It starts with a bit of fun with a doff of the cap to Henry Mancini's Pink Panther theme before the sax solos excel against a foot-tapping tempo that carries the listener along right through the track. Inventive, swinging (sic), and 'good time jazz' for today's world. Judith and Dave are joined on the album by Graham Harvey (piano) who picks up the idea with a nice solo too, Jeremy Brown (bass) and Josh Morrison (drums). Details of the album, released on the 23rd October 2020, the track list and purchase details are here.

 

So play the music, scroll down the page and see which paintings work for you - I think this only really works if you spend time with each painting or scroll through them a few times. Click here for our Jazz As Art page.

 

Ria Das painting

 

 

 

 

 

 


Directory of Alternative Musical Definitions

Vermindert

Diminished (as in interval) or mouse droppings in the band room.

If you haven't seen the mouse, well Chick Corea has ....

Troy High Senor Mouse

 

Click on the picture

 

Click here for more Alternative Definitions.

 

 

 

 

Poetry and Jazz

Jazz Remembered
Beryl Bryden

by Alex Balmforth

 

[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].

 

Beryl Bryden

 

Click here for Beryl singing and playing washboard on Doctor Jazz with Kenny Ball's band in 1961.

Beryl Bryden, larger than life and with a voice to die for. A stalwart of the jazz recording scene who in almost five decades recorded in excess of 120 different titles with over forty bands and musicians in more than a dozen countries. Friend and confidant to many jazz musicians, and perhaps the finest true jazz singer and blues shouter this country has ever produced. The British Bessie Smith… and mould breaker - playing washboard alongside Chris Barber on bass on that iconic recording of the fifties, Lonnie Donegan’s Rock Island Line.

Beryl was born on the 11th May 1929 and moved to London from her native Norwich in the late forties. She firstly took a job with ‘Esquire Records’ were she was to meet the Aussie bandleader Graeme Bell, who introduced her to Cy Laurie and the rest as they say, is history. It is generally agreed that Beryl began her singing career in 1948 and from her first performance her career in Jazz was assured. Her first band was ‘Beryl’s Backroom Boys’ featuring Cyril Davis, Alexis Korner on guitars, Frank Cash on bass and Dave Stevens on piano.

Click here for them playing Rock Me - a skiffle version of the tune Beryl would later record with Mary Lou Williams in 1956.

 

Everybody wanted a piece of Beryl; her personality was as large as her physical presence … It is a cliché, however it is true to say it would be easier to list the bands she did not play and record with rather than list the bands she did.

Beryl’s largesse was legendary, in latter times assisting musicians down on their luck. Amongst the many US musicians she was to Beryl Bryden ends her Paris seasonrecord with and befriend was the pianist, Mary Lou Williams, whose immeasurable contribution to the US Civil Rights cause was championed and encouraged by Beryl.

 

Click here for Beryl singing Rock Me with Mary Lou Williams from the album Jazz & Blues.

 

Every fifties band had their own Beryl story, and George Melly had more than his fair share. Maggy Hambling, the artist has her own fund of ear smarting tales. My own favourite Beryl story was when she was in Australia for a wager and she became the first person to be filmed and recorded under water – playing a washboard. Truly a one off…

This photograph is from a website that readers might find interesting - chinacoastjazzmen has a collection of pictures of 'vintage all girl orchestras'. The date when the picture was taken is not shown.

Throughout her long career Beryl never slowed down, indeed it would have been impossible for her to decelerate - such was the demand for her services. She toured extensively, the Continent, Far East, Australia and the US where - unusually for a woman - she was to be feted. In Holland in 1978 Ted Eason’s Riff Records christened her ‘Queen of the Blues’.

 

Click here for a video of Beryl singing Running Wild in Rotterdam with Rod Mason's band in 1978

 

Her last recording session was to take place in Holland in March 1997 alongside her old mate, Nat Gonella, after which her health began to fail and sadly on the 14th July 1998, Beryl died of lymphoma.

Click here for a video of Beryl singing Bessie Smith's Young Woman's Blues on 21st June 1997. The sound is not good, but the video is historically valuable for a number of reasons, including footage of Cy Laurie who would pass through the Departure Lounge 5 years later: '... this is probably the last time that Beryl appeared in 'public'. The event was a 50th Anniversary reunion of John Haim's Jellyroll Kings, with which Beryl sometimes sang. She was accompanied here by Alan Wickham trumpet, Cy Laurie clarinet, Ray Foxley piano and John Westwood drums.'

 

Beryl Bryden with Gerry Salisbury

Beryl Bryden with Gerry Salisbury's Band
photograph courtesy of Gerry Salisbury

 

 

 

Lens America

Larry Grenadier

 

Larry Grenadier

 

In November 2019, the highly influential record label ECM celebrated 50 years of a rich musical life at the majestic Rose Theater at Jazz at Lincoln Center in Manhattan, New York. The commemoration lasted two days, 'relying on performances from an incredible roster of affiliated artists, which, cutting across stylistic and geographic boundaries, serve the aesthetic purposes of an imprint that vouches for excellence in contemporary music and sound quality. Present at the event were heavyweights like Enrico Rava, Joe Lovano, Bill Frisell, Egberto Gismonti, Andrew Cyrille, Vijay Iyer, and Jack DeJohnette, among many others. The most notable absence of the night was ECM’s visionary founder Manfred Eicher, the acclaimed producer behind the vast majority of the 1600 titles released on the label.' Photographer Clara Pereira and journalist Filipe Freitas from JazzTrail in New York had the privilege to attend the second night, which happened Saturday, November 2nd when Clara took this photograph of bass player Larry Grenadier.

Filipe writes Grenadier 'bowed masterfully one piece from his latest album The Gleaners ......'

Click here for a video of Larry Grenadier playing My Man's Gone Now from the album.

 

Each month we share Clara's photographs and Filipe's reviews. Readers might like this introduction to the couple who have been in lockdown in New York. Here is Filipe at home playing his composition Joy with fellow guitarist Bruno Santos in a stay-at-home New York-Lisbon collaboration.

(click on the picture)

 

Filipe Freitas and Bruno Santos video

 

 

 

Forum

 

Pete Mawford (Drums)

Alan Worrell writes: 'Just been reading through interesting line ups of the various jazz bands etc. Perhaps you can help me? Around 1961/62  I had started working at an engineering company in Hounslow. My hobby was playing drums (my age about 17 at that time) in a 'pop' group. During lunch breaks etc, got talking to chap, (his looks and hairstyle reminded me of Buffalo Bill) he also played drums in a traditional jazz band, his name I recently found out was Pete Mawford. He invited me to come and watch him play on a Friday evening, it was in a hall at The Cardinal Wolsey. l surprised the girl who I took with me as Pete asked me, and I jumped at the chance, to sit in on a couple of numbers. I don't know if they had a regular gig there and I don't know the name of the jazz band. As a foot note I have started playing drums again, 5 years ago after a 50 year break, albeit rock and R and B. Any info would be appreciated.'

Please contact us if you can remember Pete Mawford at the Cardinal Wolsey (Hampton Court).

 

 

Rod Marshall

'Dutch' Dave van de Gevel says: 'Good morning Ian, from sunny Zakynthos (no virus hot spot in my house!). Firstly, I would like to thank, belatedly, all those who provided information about Marion Williams. Very interesting. Whilst trawling through various pages on the site, someone mentioned Rod Marshall and his wife, the redoubtable Phyllis, at the Anchor Pub in Brighouse back in the 70s. I knew Rod well and of his being a former jazz flautist but I never knew who he played with or for. He was obviously well known in jazz circles as he had the Eddie Thompson Trio as a regular on the Thursday night jazz sessions. He also introduced me to Ronnie Scott and George Chisholm at a jazz festival in Bridlington (must have been about 75/76?). Red Price was an occasional drinker there, complete with black leather gloves to protect his hands as, at the time, he was working on a building site in Leeds (according to Rod). Any information about Rod's professional career would be most welcome.'

'I host a regular amateur radio show on the internet every Wednesday from, appropriately, a bar on Zakynthos. So, if any of your readers are interested, it is a mix of jazz, in its many forms, blues, blues rock, folk (principally, but not exclusively, British and Irish) and the odd bit of classical guitar...most eclectic. It can be a bit chaotic at times as the internet is a fickle creature and the beer doesn't help. Times: Wednesday, 12 midday (GMT) via Shortieweb. The 'station' is called Roadhouse Radio and is available through FaceBook, MixR, etc. Thanks for renewing my interest in all things jazz.'

Please contact us if you can remember Rod Marshall.

 

 

London Hot Club record

 

 

London Hot Club

Matthew sends us this picture and message: 'I’ve just bought the following record off eBay which says it’s a private recording from WGJC and& wondered if it was Wood Green Jazz Club and if so, if you could shed any light on who it was?  I think it sounds like a Django tribute.'

Can anyone help? Please contact us if you can.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

 

Johnny Mandel

 

 

 

Johnny Mandel - American composer and arranger born in Manhattan who played piano, trumpet (with Joe Venuti) and trombone (with Jimmy Dorsey, Buddy Rich and others). The musicians he worked with include Count Basie, Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee, Anita O'Day, Tony Bennett, Diane Schuur and Shirley Horn.He won 5 Grammy Awards - from 17 nominations; his first nomination was for his debut film score for the multi-nominated 1958 film I Want to Live! Obituaries: The Telegraph : The Times : Click here for a video of Bill Evans playing Johnny Mandel's Emily.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hal Singer

 

 

Hal Singer - also known as Hal "Cornbread" Singer, was an American jazz bandleader and saxophonist. He was the last surviving male survivor of the Tulsa race massacre that took place when he was 2 years old. He played with Jay McShann, Hot Lips Page, Roy Eldridge, Coleman Hawkins, Earl Hines and others as well as recording in the R&B charts. A documentary film, Hal Singer, Keep the Music Going, was made by Haitian-American director Guetty Felin in 1999.Obituaries: New York Times : The Guardian : Click here for a video of the Hal Singer Quintet playing Autumn Leaves in 1970.

 

 

 

 

 

Salome Bey

 

 

Salome Bey - American-born Canadian singer-songwriter, composer, and actressborn in New Jersey. After moving to Toronto in 1964 and playing the jazz club circuit, she became known as "Canada's First Lady of Blues". Bey appeared on Broadway in Your Arms Too Short to Box with God, for which she was nominated for a Grammy Award for her work on the cast album. She put together a blues & jazz cabaret show on the history of black music, Indigo - which earned her the Dora Mavor Moore Award for outstanding performance. The show was later taped for TV networks. Bey recorded two albums with Horace Silver, and released live albums of her performances with the Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir and at the Montreux Jazz Festival. Obituaries: New York Times : Click here for a video of Salome singing Hit The Nail Right On The Head in 1971.

 

 

 

 

 

Gerry Higgins - UK bass player born in Salford. Mick Hamer writes: 'Gerry (Gerard) Higgins, who died of cancer in August, worked with some of the biggest names in jazz, from Stephane Grappelli to American stars like trumpeter Henry Red Allen as well as more home-grown talent like guitarist Diz Disley. Gerry came to London in the early 1960s joining the Alex Welsh band in 1966 when Ron Mathewson left to Gerry Higginsjoin Tubby Hayes. With John Barnes on reeds and Roy Williams on trombone, Alex Welsh had one of the best mainstream bands in the country and it was much in demand to accompany visiting American artists. In December 1966 the band embarked on a nationwide tour with the American cornet player Wild Bill Davison, making a live recording in Manchester, a studio recording in London followed by a session for the shortlived BBC2 television show, Jazz goes to College. The stint with Alex Welsh was followed by two world cruises on the P&O liner Canberra with Dick Charlesworth’s band. Gerry and Dick became lifelong friends, a friendship founded on mutual respect for each other’s musicianship and their deep enjoyment of a libation. Or two. Back in London, Gerry with his clear intonation and encylopedic knowledge of the repertoire, was much in demand, playing East-End pubs and West-End nightclubs.

 

Gerry Higgins at the Paris House July 2019

 

Gerry was very good at reading a room. He kept a shrewd eye on the audience, to see what kind of numbers went down well, or if there was a punch-up brewing, which wasn’t that uncommon in the East End, as well as the all-important task of clocking what the management was up to. All musicians at the time played commercial gigs to supplement their income from jazz and Gerry was equally at home playing a tea dance at the Café Royal as he was at a jazz club.  One function that was etched on his memory was the Guild of Television Producers’ Awards ceremony at the Dorchester Hotel on 14 February 1969. The presenter, the comedian Kenneth Horne, dropped dead on stage in front of the cameras. The event was cut from the broadcast programme. A lifelong cricket fan, Gerry and a clique of fellow musicians including John Barnes, were members of the MCC and often to be found in the Long Room at Lords. In the late 1980s he went on a lengthy tour of Scandinavia as part of June “Pepper” Harris’s international trio, culminating in a gig in Helsinki, which was broadcast by Finnish television in January 1988. Back in London Gerry joined the Hot Club of London, with guitarist Denny Wright and the violinist Johnny Van Derrick. The group was one of the headline acts at the Ealing Jazz Festival of 1990 and 1991. In 1996 he moved down to Brighton. For many years he was the bandleader at the up-market Havana restaurant. He became a pioneer of the city’s thriving afternoon jazz scene and for the past three years he was resident at the Paris House. The Paris House went from strength to strength, with trios fronted by violinist Mike Piggott, guitarist Nils Solberg, pianist Mick Hamer, the London-based tenor player Al Nicholls and cornetist Andy Woon. Gerry was a master of the distinctive style of defensive humour that musicians have perfected. In the autumn of 2017 he was diagnosed with bowel cancer. He had the tumour cut out along with a chunk of his colon. “Now,” said Gerry, “I’ve got a semicolon.” After the operation he seemed to be back on top form and on 16 March he was on the last gig before lockdown at the Paris House. But two months later the cancer returned and this time nothing could be done. Click here for a video of Gerry playing with the Al Nichols Trio at the Paris House in Hove in 2019.

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rob Barron Trio - From This Moment On
(Ubuntu Music) - Released: 2nd October 2020

Rob Barron (piano); Jeremy Brown (bass); Josh Morrison (drums)

Rob Barron Trio From This Moment On

 

'Pianist Rob Barron has been a mainstay on the London jazz and studio scene for years and is highly regarded for his improvisational flair, innate musicality and a deft touch that reveal influences inspired by Blue Note greats Cedar Walton, Wynton Kelly and Sonny Clark. Barron’s latest recording, From This Moment On, features Jeremy Brown on bass and Josh Morrison on drums and follows his critically acclaimed 2016 debut What’s In Store. “On this album I feel I have created a work that reflects who I am as an artist today. In a departure from my debut album, this recording centres on the piano trio. Now is the time to produce a classic trio recording that reflects my influences and puts me in the piano trio spotlight,” explains Barron. “My playing and arranging style has developed greatly since my debut and I feel energised by the musical bond within the trio, the arrangements and the space I am in as a player.” From This Moment On is a beautiful collection of music featuring compositions by Barron (‘Fortune Green’ and ‘Evidently’) as well as imaginative interpretations of classics from the Great American Songbook. “‘From This Moment On’ struck me as the perfect name for this album. As well as being the title of the Cole Porter song featured on the record, I felt the optimistic narrative of the lyrics (‘From this moment on, No more blue songs/ We’ll be riding high/ Every care is gone…’) is a positive and hopeful sentiment during this period of crisis in the world,” says Barron. “It brings a sense of looking forward to a brighter future.” (album notes).

Details and Sample : Listen to Pure Imagination : Video for A Time For Love :

 

 

 

 

 

Linley Hamilton Quintet - For The Record
(Teddy D Records) - Released: March 2020

Linley Hamilton (trumpet, flugelhorn); Derek O'Connor (tenor saxophone); Cian Boylan (piano, organ); Mark Egan (bass); Adam Nussbaum (drums)

Linley Hamilton Quintet For The record

 

 

'Linley Hamilton has been the foremost trumpeter in Ireland for the last 20 years. He is one of the most prolific figures in the jazz scene on these islands between his role as a Radio broadcaster for the BBC, his position as Professor of music at The Ulster University Magee and of course meeting the demands of his musical performances.He has released several albums as a leader as well as appearing on several albums by Paul Brady and Eleanor McEvoy. Linley has also performed on several occasions with Van Morrison. 'For the Record' sees Linley return with a quintet format for his next creative project. A superb recording that highlights Linley's sensational ability as a virtuoso horn player. Joining Linley are US stars Adam Nussbaum on drums and Mark Egan on bass, Derek "Doc" O'Connor on saxophone and Cian Boylan on piano.' (album notes).

Details and Samples : Introductory Video : Listen to Holly's Moment : Listen to Right Angle :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fini Bearman - La Loba
(Self Release) - Released: 9th October 2020

Fini Bearman (compositions and lyrics, voice, piano, guitar, charango, mandolin, ukulele, electric bass, percussion, glockenspiel, tenor saxophone); Zosia Jagodzinska - cello (tracks 1, 2, 4, 5, 10 & 11)

Fini Bearman La Loba

 

 

'Spanning a wide range of musical textures and lyrical themes, ‘La Loba’ is infused with world-wide influences, from American folklore (La Loba) to stories of young children in East Berlin (And We Climb). Narratives play a pivotal role throughout and with this change in aesthetic - multi-layered vocals, guitars and percussion, perhaps reminiscent of Becca Stevens or Jacob Collier - this sound-world draws the listener in as the elements of each story unfold. These are songs about womanhood and childhood; looking for love and finding it; femininity, courage and the life-long journey towards individuation. Fini looks at the problems we face in this modern age; the pull of social media and worrying shifts in global politics. As well as drawing luscious and vivid imagery, this album is a celebration of all the dimensions of life as well as a call to arms - challenging the listener to stand up and find their own voice. ‘We all begin as a bundle of bones lost somewhere in the desert, a dismantled skeleton that lies under the sand. It is our work to recover the parts.’ (Clarissa Pinkola Estés -Women Who Run With Wolves). (album notes).

Details and Samples : Listen to La Loba : Listen to Beholden : Tea Break article with Fini Bearman :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dee Byrne and Cath Roberts - Disembark!
(Luminous Label) - Released: 18th September 2020

Dee Byrne (alto saxophone); Cath Roberts (baritone saxophone)

Dee Byrne and Cath Roberts Disembark!

 

'Recorded by Cath at Gun Factory Studios in April 2019, it was mixed by Alex Bonney and has original album artwork by Dee. Disembark! is a series of short, spontaneous improvisations that explore a dramatic range of textures, whilst maintaining the sense of an ongoing, inquisitive conversation. The recording came about after a series of live duo performances; going into the studio seemed like the next logical step. The release was originally planned for earlier in the summer, with a five date duo tour booked and ready to go, but that plan was derailed by the pandemic. Now, we've decided to get the music out there. Dee and Cath have played together in many different ensembles since they started working together, most recently in February this year with MoonMot (more about that on the LUME blog), touring the UK and Europe to mark the sextet's debut album just before COVID-19 shut all the venues down. Playing together as musicians has been part of a larger context, combined with running LUME projects together and releasing music through Luminous. Disembark! is available as a digital album via Bandcamp. No physical copies for now, but ask us again when touring is back on...' (Dee and Cath)

Details and Samples : Listen to the title track Disembark! : Listen to On The Tip Of My Mind :

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

John Hollenbeck - Songs You Like A Lot
(Flexatonic Records ) - Released: 14th August 2020

John Hollenbeck (composer, arranger, conductor); Kate McGarry (vocals); Theo Bleckmann (vocals); Gary Versace (piano, organ) + Frankfurt Radio Big Band.

John Hollenbeck Songs You Like A Lot'......This project brought up questions I asked myself numerous times: What is arranging? Why arrange? Why arrange popular songs? Is it still a “pop” song if it was not “popular”? Must the original still be recognizable in the arrangement? What can you arrange and what must be left intact so that the original is still there? When does it stop being an arrangement and transition to being a re-composition or original-composition-based-on-another-piece? And, do you have to like a song or composition to be able to create a good arrangement of it? Going into the project, my answer to this last question was “yes,” but now at the end of this project, my answer has changed to a definite “no.” As it turns out, for this recording, I was able to enjoy arranging pieces that I did not know or, in some cases, even like.......(album notes). 'With Songs You Like a Lot, drummer/composer/arranger John Hollenbeck concludes the trilogy started in 2013 with Songs I Like a Lot and continued with Songs We Like a Lot. This album, featuring the synergetic pair of vocalists Kate McGerry/Theo Bleckmann on top of keyboardist Gary Versace (who returns after Uri Caine has taken the piano chair on the second installment) and the Frankfurt Radio Big Band, is the first to be released on Hollenbeck’s own label Flexatonic Records. Similarly as in previous sessions, popular songs were culled from different genres (this time chosen online by a group of fans/listeners), being reshaped and stretched into musical states that still respect the integrity of the original versions. Even pushing the program a bit more into the pop canon, the eclectic drummer opens the album with the methodical gospel chant of the traditional “Down In the River To Pray”. This well-intentioned song makes a good catch with the understated “Kindness”, the sole Hollenbeck original, which sounds like a Bjork oddity subtly adorned with affable woodwind lines and beautified with melancholic improvisations from bassist Hans Glawischnig and guitarist Martin Scales......Although I was not particularly impressed with the song selection, there are two pieces in the lineup that made me experience an immediate connection. The first of them was Bee Gees’ “How Deep Is Your Love”, here transformed by excellent rhythmic mutations and offering spectacle in the arrangement. It kicks off with a magnetic drum beat over which piano, flute and bass clarinet probe odd intervals. It also adds organ for textural consistency and color, and a tenor saxophone solo that stands out during the most orchestrally populated phase of the song. The other one was a memorable, risk-taking version of Peter Gabriel’s “Don’t Give Up”, here launched by a lone trumpet and redirected into a funkified jazz full of groove and harmonic force.....' (JazzTrail).

Details and Samples : Full JazzTrail Review : Listen to How Deep Is Your Love :

 

 

 

 

 

Matt Wilson Quartet - Hug!
(Palmetto Records) - Released:

Jeff Lederer (tenor, alto and soprano saxophones, clarinet, piccolo, voice); Kirk Knuffke (cornet, soprano cornet, voice); Chris Lightcap (acoustic and electric basses, 8 string space bass, voice); Matt Wilson (drums, xylophone, voice).

Matt Wilson Quartet Hug

 

'Need a little musical snuggle time? The irrepressible drummer/composer Matt Wilson brings us a virtual 'Hug!'. A new Matt Wilson album isn't so much a snapshot capturing the drummer at a particular moment in time. Rather, his recordings are more like a musical family tree,vividly illustrating the web of relationships that manifest in his music. A creative force since the 1980s, he embodies a verdant and radically unbounded aesthetic, and ' Hug' embraces some of his deepest nourishing roots. Featuring Wilson's long-running quartet with saxophonist Jeff Lederer, cornetist Kirk Knuffke and bassist Chris Lightcap, 'Hug!' documents one of jazz's most potent and expressive working bands exploring a typically far-flung Wilsonian program.' (album notes). 'American drummer/composer Matt Wilson reconvenes his monumental quartet - pairing up with bassist Chris Lightcap in the rhythm section and having reedsman Jeff Lederer and cornetist Kirk Knuffke sharing the frontline - to perform an 11-track session crammed with improvisational virtuosity and quicksilver interplay. The drummer’s phenomenal work, known for its elasticity and versatility, can encompass everything from New Orleans marches to muscular swinging numbers to uncompromising avant-garde tradition. Consisting of originals and covers alike, Hug! is no exception to the rule, having been programmed with a wide aesthetic variety.... More than anything, this album expresses the immense joy these four musicians feel when they play together. They have fun while exploring the visceral pleasures of swing and marching songs, or by simply exchanging muscular melodies with ecstasy.' (JazzTrail).

Details : Full JazzTrail Review : Listen to the title track Hug : Listen to Space Force March :

 

 

 

 

Diana Krall - This Dream Of You
(Verve) - Released: 25th September 2020

Diana Krall (piano, vocals); Alan Broadbent piano, arranger); Anthony Wilson, Russell Malone (guitar); Christian McBride, John Clayton (bass); Jeff Hamilton (drums);– and includes numbers with Stuart Duncan (violin, fiddle); Marc Ribot (guitar); Bob Dylan’s bassist Tony Garnier, Randall Krall (accordion); Karriem Riggins (percussion).

Diana Krall This Dream Of You

 

 

 

“This Dream Of You” is a new album that I have produced from sessions that took place in 2016 and 2017, leading up to Turn Up the Quiet, but it is very far from a record of outtakes or unfinished music. When Tommy Lipuma died shortly before TUTQ was released, I lost not only a great friend but my creative partner. Earlier this year, I realize that I still had work to do in preparing the large repertoire covered in those 2016-2017 sessions for this new album. I’m glad to say that record leads off with “But Beautiful”, a performance that Tommy loved with all his heart and the last song we were able to complete together. Some of these performances have unavoidable poignance. In days when one cannot easily travel to New York, in “Autumn” or any other season, I have to believe that there is still a place for hope even in a city of struggle and change." (album notes).

Details and Samples : Video for Autumn In New York : Listen to But Beautiful :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Michelle Lordi - Break Up With The Sound
(CD Baby / Cabinet Of Winder) - Released: 2019

Michelle Lordi (vocals); Donny McCaslin (tenor sax); Tim Motzer(guitar, electronics); Matthew Parrish (acoustic bass); Rudy Royston (drums).

Michelle Lordi Break Up With Sound

 

 

'Imbued with jazz and country-rock ambiances, Break Up With the Sound, the fourth feature-length album by singer/composer Michelle Lordi, steps up her previous recordings by expanding stylistic horizons and employing a much more exciting band. Just to get this straight, revered tenor saxophonist Donny McCaslin and guitarist Tim Motzer show off their improvisational artistry, while the rhythmic foundation is provided by bassist Matthew Parrish, who also produced and arranged, and the super-reliable drummer Rudy Royston .... One of the strongest aspects in Lordi’s vocalization lies in her ability to eschew unnecessary stretches and frivolous fireworks. The narratives are straightforward and brought with the required amount of rawness. Her self-penned “Before”, a beautiful folk rock excursion, is a good example of what I've just said. This tune is elevated by Motzer, effective in delivering emotional cries after opening with an able fingerpicking on the acoustic guitar. Again, his bluesy guitar chops can be traced, right there in the middle of the sweet country-pop melancholy of “Wayward Wind” .... Revealing competence and boldness as a composer, Lordi should predominantly focus on original material from now on. (JazzTrail).

Details and Samples : Full JazzTrail Review :

 

 

 

 

Europe and Elsewhere

 

Hanna Schörken - Luma
(Leo Records) - Released: September 2020

Hanna Schörken (vocals)

Hanna Schorken Luma

 

 

 

'With her solo album Luma, Hanna Schörken shows herself as an improviser with great vocal techniques, expression and an urge to explore the unknown. She combines a wild, sensitive, fiercs and word-related approach towards vocal free expression and in the last years she has become a significant voice on the scene. In her improvisations she dives deep into an emotional landscape of her voice: curious and without fearof silence or chaos (album notes).

Details and Sample : Video of Hanna singing in 2018 :

 

 

 

 

 

Re-Releases

 

 

Miles Davis Quintet - Four Classic Albums
(Avid Jazz) - Released: 14th August 2020

Miles Davis (trumpet); John Coltrane (tenor sax); Red Gardland (piano); Paul Chambers (bass); Philly Joe Jones (drums)

Miles Davis Quintet Four Classic Albums

 

'AVID Jazz continues with its Four Classic Albums series with a re-mastered 2CD release from The Miles Davis Quintet complete with original artwork, liner notes and personnel details 'Cookin', 'Relaxin'; 'Workin' and 'Steamin' Over the years we at AVID have been developing a catalogue of classic jazz albums, while also giving some space to some lesser known names and perhaps forgotten jazzmen and jazzwomen who made their own significant mark on the jazz world. These days it's a pretty large and diverse catalogue which deserves to be checked out by all jazz fans. Many featured albums are now hard to find or ridiculously expensive. Because it was important to us to feature some of the lesser names in jazz we have inevitably left some significant gaps in the catalogue along the way, which we are now setting about rectifying. Our next release certainly falls into that category! A true classic jazz quartet comes to AVID Jazz only this time the quartet is a Quintet! The Miles Davis Quintet present four classic albums 'Cookin'; 'Relaxin'; ''Workin' & 'Steamin'. Universally recognised as one of the greatest jazz quintets ever recorded (until Miles created the 2nd great jazz quintet in the 1960s!), Miles Davis was at the top of his game when, in October 1956, he bought together four of the greatest musicians of the day (including one who would go on to become a jazz legend) to record a bunch of tunes that would make up the four classic albums we are honouring with this fine release. Alongside Miles Davis, was John Coltrane on tenor sax, Red Garland on piano, Paul Chambers on bass and 'Philly' Joe Jones on drums.' (album notes). 'This famous material was last reissued as recently as last year and reviewed enthsuiastically in Jazzwise. That release on the Jazz Images label reproduced the music in the order it was recorded at two lengthy dates for the Prestige label, whereas here it's grouped as originally issued on the four legendary albums .....' (Brian Priestley in Jazzwise ****)

Details :

 

 

 

 

Alan Wakeman - The Octet Broadcasts 1969 and 1979
(Gearbox Records) - Released: 21st August 2020

Alan Wakeman (tenor sax, clarinet); Alan Skidmore (tenor sax, flute, two gongs at once); Mike Osborne (alto sax, clarinet, tambourine); Paul Rutherford (trombone, small Chinese gong); Paul Nieman (trombone, small Chinese gong); John Taylor (piano, castanets); Lindsay Cooper (bass, sleigh bells); Paul Lytton (drums)

Alan Wakeman The Octet Broadcasts

 

'The next young generation of British jazz” has been applied many times to London’s current jazz scene, but this headline from Melody Maker was also used to describe Alan Wakeman and his band back in 1970. And if a prototype for Binker and Moses' viscerally energetic, semi-free sound is sought, you would be hard pressed to find a closer relative than the second part of climactic Disc 1 highlight 'Dreams'. The Octet Broadcasts is made up of two BBC sessions from 1969 and 1979 respectively. Taken and mastered from the original analogue tapes by Gearbox, the album offers a snapshot of a time when British jazz was at another high, featuring such names as John Taylor, Alan Skidmore, Paul Lytton, and Art Themen, who themselves were contemporaries of and collaborated with the likes of Evan Parker, Michael Garrick, Ian Carr, and Roscoe Mitchell. Wakeman, influenced by Duke Ellington and Charles Mingus and mentored by Mike Westbrook, was composing singular, large ensemble pieces at a time when jazz had long left the limelight and rock was in the foreground. His brand of warm, pastoral jazz, reminiscent of brass bands and traditional chorales whilst also fit to bursting with free improvisation and dramatic motifs, is representative of a magical period in British jazz which deserves to be unearthed and heard again.' (album notes). '...Talk about prophets unheard and all that - the groups Wakeman assembled here never got to play live, these dates were the only time they played together' (Stuart Nicholson in Jazzwise ****)  

Details and Samples :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jimmy Heath - Four Classic Albums
(Avid Jazz) - Released: 17th July 2020

Jimmy Heath (tenor sax); Nat Adderley (cornet); Clark Terry, Freddie Hubbard (trumpet); Julius Watkins,Dick Berg (french horn); Curtis Fuller, Tom McIntosh (trombone); Cannonball Adderley (alto sax); Pat Patrick (baritone sax); Wynton Kelly, Cedar Walton (piano); Percy Heath, Paul Chambers (bass); Albert Heath (drums)

Jimmy Heath Four Classic Albums

'AVID Jazz continues with its Four Classic Album series with a re-mastered 2CD release from Jimmy Heath, complete with original artwork, liner notes and personnel details 'The Thumper'; 'Really Big!'; 'The Quota' and 'Triple Threat' One of the many great aspects of working with the wonderful folks at AVID is the opportunity to discover artists that for one reason or another, have eluded ones musical radar. One such name is our latest recruit to the AVID Hall of Jazz, Mr Jimmy Heath. Sadly, it has taken the recent passing of Mr Heath at 93 years of age in January 2020 to bring him to our attention through a suggestion from one of our dedicated customers. Selecting the albums for our set, what struck us out about Jimmy Heath was the wonderful sound he made on his tenor sax, it was so rich and full of life and energy. Starting jazz life playing with his two musical brothers, Percy and Albert, Jimmy found early success as an alto player but getting a rep as 'Little Bird' Jimmy decided to make the switch to tenor in order to stand out from his influences. Heath had a classic (some might say almost cliched) jazz life when as a heroin addict in the 1950s he was imprisoned (more than once) and would eventually spend most of a six year sentence incarcerated. He eventually emerged in 1959 having spent much of his prison time composing and playing jazz. Cleaning up took some time but Jimmy did it and was clean for the rest of his long life. As an arranger, composer (100+ songs) and player the list of jazz men he played with or who used his compositions is actually quite startling, take a look at this lot. Donald Byrd, Benny Carter, Miles Davis, Kenny Dorham, Art Farmer, Curtis Fuller, Red Garland, John Coltrane, Milt Jackson, Elmo Hope, Milt Jackson, JJ Johnson, Sam Jones, Herbie Mann, Cal Tjader, Nat & 'Cannonball' Adderley, Chet Baker and Ahmad Jamal. So, as you would expect, Jimmy is joined by a whole host of great jazz players for these four fine selections. Here's just a flavour of some of those guys, Freddie Hubbard, Wynton Kelly, Paul Chambers, Nat Adderley, 'Cannonball' Adderley, Pat Patrick, Clark Terry, Cedar Walton, Tommy Flanagan, Julius Watkins and of course not forgetting Jimmy's famous siblings Percy and Albert Heath who were often essential mainstays of his bands on bass and drums respectively.' (album notes). '.... Presented in beatiful sound quality, these sets make an ideal introduction to Heath's music' (Simon Spillett in Jazzwise ***)

Details :

 

 

 

 

Some Other Pages on this Website:

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

 

 

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