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June 2021

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We Jazz June

 

"I may be late but I'll be up to date when I can shimmy like my sister Kate" ..... or in this case, ".... now I know what a 'meme' is". Meme is a word I have heard but never bothered to follow up, so it is good to find a meme to open the page for June. The current definition of a meme is "an image, video, piece of text, etc., typically humorous in nature, that is copied and spread rapidly by internet users, often with slight variations." It's origin apparently comes from the Greek word mimena meaning imitated - You could get the above meme on a mug for about £14 ... or you could send us your favourite jazz meme - here's a selection.


Ace Of Clubs Ace Of Clubs book

Trumpeter Digby Fairweather has a new book out - Ace Of Clubs: A Celebration Of The 100 Club is published in paperback andis available now.

"it has sticky floors, torn plastic seats and a strong aroma of humanity. It remains one of the greatest venues in the world" (Jools Holland)

'During its eighty years under London's legendary Oxford Street everyone from Louis Armstrong to rock icons the Rolling Stones, Sex Pistols and Chuck Berry have played the historic 100 Club. In Ace of Clubs, with foreword by Jools Holland, we read its story in the words of the people who came to the club to play, work, dance or just listen to the music. Handsomely illustrated in colour, this is the first comprehensive story of one of the world's longest-running clubs, its seventy-year jazz history and its transformation into the greatest grass-roots music venue in the UK. Now granted special status it is ranked alongside Abbey Road Studios, Jane Austen's home and Shakespeare's birthplace. The 100 Club's story is an inspiring and frequently hilarious must-read for music fans everywhere.'

Click here for details.

 

 

 

A Review Of Jazz In England

The All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group (APPJAG) has commissioned a review of the current position of jazz in England and would like you to help by giving your views in a questionnaire by 28th June.

The review will be undertaken by APPJAG’s Secretary, Chris Hodgkins, and an expert advisory panel, chaired by musician and jazz educator Dr Kathy Dyson. Chris says: "This review concerns the operation, management and business of jazz, and its purposes APPJAG logoare twofold:

One, to help  the jazz constituency in England to 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.

The review will be undertaken in two phases. The first, entitled "Where are we now?", examines the present state of jazz in England, drawing on revealing data from five key surveys aimed at the jazz constituency. The second asks the question: "Where do we want to be?", and develops a succinct action plan for jazz in England that will go out for consultation to all interested parties, and the jazz constituency at large."

Full details of the Review are here.

If you are a jazz musician, a professional working in the jazz industry, or a jazz fan, the Review wants to hear from you.

Below are four questionnaires dealing with the crucial areas of gigs, festivals, audiences and musicians. The fifth questionnaire is for people and organisations who want to address the terms of reference or a particular area; you are able to attach a document if it is easier.   Please select the appropriate questionnaire for you and click on the link below to complete and then return it, so your views form part of the Review.

Please note the closing date for the questionnaires is midnight, Monday 28th June 2021

Review of Jazz in England - National Jazz Promoter and Venue Research Questionnaire
Review of Jazz In England - Audience Questionnaire
Review of Jazz in England - Jazz Festivals
Review of Jazz In England - Musicians’ Questionnaire
Review of Jazz in England  - People and Organisations Questionnaire

Dr Kathy Dyson adds: “As a jazz musician and educator I am well aware of how hard a year it has been for jazz musicians, promoters, studios, technical staff, media and the jazz constituency at large. Realistically, recovery will be slow on the domestic scene and our touring capabilities will be hampered both by Brexit and the myriad quarantine and travel issues globally. This current situation is exacerbated by ten years of funding cuts which have dramatically affected the arts and now the Government is planning to impose a disastrous 50% funding cut to arts subjects including music at Higher Education level in England. The Jazz Musicianspandemic has thrown petrol on flames and highlighted issues of insecurity, low wages and exploitation of musicians by the music streaming companies. This Review of Jazz in England is a genuine and concerted attempt by people who care deeply about the music, musicians and all  involved in promoting it, to find out how the jazz community has fared during the pandemic, what the main issues are that we face now; how these can best be addressed during the post Covid period with the aim of an  action plan for the  jazz community in England.” 

What will hapen to the review? APPJAG chairs and vice chairs at Westminster say: "It has been a tough year for jazz with many musicians and promoters falling through the cracks in terms of funding. APPJAG continues to put the case to the Department for Culture, Digital, Media and Sport to rectify this egregious state of affairs. Underpinning the review is the fact that jazz in England (and indeed across the UK) is “rich beyond the dreams of avarice” in terms of human resources: jazz musicians, composers, volunteer promoters, audiences, commercial promoters, educators, youth orchestras, jazz festivals, Arts Council England funded jazz National Portfolio Organisations, a growing service economy and jazz archives. But there are some vital issues that need addressing urgently; increased investment, frictionless touring in the EU, financial support for musicians and promoters who fell through the cracks in 2020/21 and a fair deal for musicians getting their music streamed. The objective of the Review of Jazz in England is to inform Government, funding bodies, potential sponsors, Parliament and to assist the jazz constituency in shaping an action plan for jazz in England.”

 

 

 

Summer Of Soul Movie

Summer Of Soul


A documentary looking at the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival will be released this summer. The film - described as part historical record and part documentary - traces the Festival over the course of six weeks, the same summer as Woodstock.

The event celebrated Black history and culture and saw Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Gladys Knight & The Pips, Sly & The Family Stone, Max Roach, Mahalia Jackson, B. B. King and many more perform to over 300,000 people during the course of the festival. The feature film, directed by Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson, features extracts of 40 hours of never-seen-before footage shot by the pioneering Hal Tulchin, which had been in storage until now.

The movie should be shown at the beginning of July.

Click here to watch the trailer. Click here for more details.

 

 

 

Decca's British Jazz Explosion

Journeys in Modern Jazz album
Digging deep into one of the most important catalogues in the world of modern jazz, Decca Records is launching a brand-new, ongoing audiophile vinyl reissue series British Jazz Explosion: Originals Re-Cut, which will present a selection of seminal British jazz albums made during the 1960s and ‘70s. A number of tracks and albums will be made available on vinyl and digitally for the first time since their original release and the series will launch with a deluxe 2LP & 2CD album ‘Journeys In Modern Jazz: Britain (1965-1972)’ featuring a compilation of tracks from across the series.

Featuring rare and sought-after albums from the vaults of British labels such as Decca, Argo, Lansdowne, Deram and Fontana, the series has been compiled by producer, music consultant and jazz historian Tony Higgins and will include classic titles such as Don Rendell's “Space Walk”, Ken Wheeler & the John Dankworth Orchestra's “Windmill Tilter (The Story Of Don Quixote)” and The New Jazz Orchestra's “Le Dejeuner Sur l’Herbe”. Three titles are available now and further releases will be available from the 16th July onwards.

All titles in the Originals Re-Cut series have been remastered from the original tapes and will be presented on all-analogue 180-gram vinyl pressings including high quality ‘flipback’ sleeves, front-laminated original LP artwork and 12x12 inserts featuring brand-new liner notes.

Click here for more details.

 

 

 

 

 

Video Juke Box

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

 

 

Juke Box

 

 

Tom Ollendorff video

 

 

 

Introductory video for guitarist Tom Ollendorff's new album A Song For You. [See article in this month's issue - click here]

 

 

 

 

 

 

Curtis Fuller video

 

 

Trombonist Curtis Fuller, who sadly passed through the Departure Lounge in May, plays a solo on Children Of The Night with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers in San Remo, 1963.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Firehouse Five South video

 

 

In the 1950s the Firehouse Five Plus Two were a popular, if somewhat of a novelty band. Here they are playing South in 1951. The band members, led by Ward Kimball, were employees of the Disney animation department who all had an interest in jazz. The "Firehouse" idea came from a 1916 American LaFrance fire engine that Kimball restored for the local Horseless Carriage Club, and the "Plus Two" was from the fact the band had seven people.

 

 

 

 

 

Pharoah Sanders Promises video

 

 

Introductory video for Promises, the new album by Pharoah Sanders, Floating Points and the London Symphony Orchestra. [See Recent Releases].

 

 

 

 

 

Danny Moss video

 

 

This video of tenor saxophonist Danny Moss's Quartet comes from a DVD issued some years ago before Danny passed through the Departure Lounge. The other members of the band are: Matt Jodrell (piano), Danny Moss Jnr (bass) and Michael Perkins (drums).

 

 

 

 

 

Papa Celestin video

 

 

Apparently this video of Tiger Rag is the only available film of trumpeter Oscar "Papa" Celestin and his New Tuxedo Jazz Band. They are performing live at the Old Absinthe House in New Orleans circa 1954. Papa Celestin was a contemporary of Buddy Bolden - you can read more about him here.

 

 

 

 

Charlie Porter Hindsight video

 

 

Introductory video for trumpeter Charlie Porter's new album Hindsight. [See Recent Releases].

 

 

 

 

 

The Jazz Ticket finale

 

 

Video of the finale of Tomorrow's Warriors The Jazz Ticket project in 2018. [See article about Tomorrow's Warriors by Howard Lawes here].

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

British Black Music Month

Music Industry Knowledge poster

 

This year, BBM/BMC (BritishBlackMusic.com / Black Music Congress) offers fewer, but targeted events to mark British Black Music Month (BBMM), the annual June-July window it has been using to highlight domestic black music, create networking spaces and provide music industry education since 2006.

These include BBMM2021: 'Copyright And Producers In/Of Black Music' on June 17 and  'Musicians: Understanding Your Rights, Income Streams And Music Industry Alphabet Soup' on July 6.

Both are online seminars, are FREE, and are open to anyone to register. Click here for details of the Copyright seminar. Click here for the Rights and Income Streams seminar.

 

 

 

 


Anagram

SAW SLIM TONY RAN

(US trumpeter and bandleader)

Click here for the answer

 

 

 

Opening Up

As lockdown restrictions ease I have had many messages from venues, musicians and festivals wanting to publicise their gigs and tours either indoors or outside, including the EFG London Jazz Festival planning to take place in November. I am not able to list them all, but it might be worth checking out what is happening now in your local area.

At the same time, some venues are still waiting to re-open, possibly because social distancing is not possible; because the size of the audiences they can accommodate are commercially unviable, or because some people are still reluctant to attend gatherings. At the end of May, there were also reports in the press that some festivals are still unable to go ahead because they are unable to get insurance to cover the event, and the Commons Culture, Media and Sports Committee is arguing for a government-backed insurance scheme to help out. However the Culture Minister, Caroline Dinenage, said in March ".....as the minister responsible for this I would much rather be able to make an announcement when I am absolutely certain things can go ahead, or at least in a much better sense of predictability that things can go ahead, than announce an indemnity scheme, give people the confidence in order to pull the rug out from underneath them again. I just wouldn’t be prepared to do that.”

Hopefully, as the vaccination programme continues and confidence grows, many of these issues will be resolved.

 

 

Poetry and Jazz

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

Blind Willie Johnson

 

 

[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].

 

Blind Willie Johnson

 

(In 1927) 'Columbia took a field unit to Dallas and Memphis and recorded two of the great religious singers of the South: Whasington Phillips, who was noted for playing a curious instrument called the dulceola, and a singer much revered by blues collectors, Blind Willie Johnson.

Willie was a Texas farm boy, blinded at seven by his stepmother during a fight with his father. With few options other than to beg for a living, he became kind of a religious busker, standing in the streets of Marlin, Hearn and Dallas with his tin cup tied to the neck of a battered guitar. In 1927 the tall, gangling twenty-five year old with a thin moustache married Angeline, who taught him many of the songs he became famous for. Most of them came from old songbooks she kept in a trunk in the back of their house, like the Redeemer's Praise, For Sunday School, Church And Family by T.C. Okane, published in 1881.

Click here for a video with Blind Willie Johnson singing Trouble Will Soon Be Over. (It's not Willie in the video but a recreation for a section of one of the blues documentaries produced by Martin Scorsese).

Blind Willie Johnson's records - thirty in all - are intense and moving testimonies sung mostly in a tortured, rasping voice over his astonishing guitar style, often swapping their functions at the end of a line for dramatic effect. The first record, issued in the last week of January 1928, was I Know His Blood Can Make Me Whole and Jesus Make Up My Dying Bed, advertised by Columbia as 'The new sensation in the singing of sacred songs - and what guitar accompaniment!'

The success of the records made little difference to Willie's life-style. He never got more than a few dollars from the company and he remained a street beggar all his life. Even in the late 1940s, when his name had become a legend among sophisticated jazz collectors, he was still living in obscurity down in rural Texas.

After putting out a fire in his house one night in 1949, Angeline lay newspapers over the wet bedding and they were both soaked and cold by the morning. Standing out in the winter winds the next day, singing to earn a little money, Willie got sick and within a few days was dying of pneumonia. When Angeline took him to hospital he wasn't admitted. "They wouldn't accept him. He'd be living today if they'd accepted him. They wouldn't accept him because he was blind. Blind folks has a hard time ....".

From Black Gospel by Viv Broughton

But that's not the end of Blind Willie Johnson's story. In 1977 perhaps Willie's most famous song Dark Was The Night, Cold Was The Ground, was chosen to be included in a disc sent into space on the Voyager 1 space probe - click here for a video documentary about Johnson, his guitar style and Dark Was The Night. (The video is broken by an advertisement half way through and there is a plug for another channel at the end, but ignoring those, the video is still worth watching).

 

Voyager space disc

 

 

 

 

 

Take Two

Polka Dots And Moonbeams

 

[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].

 

Bryan Eng

 

Polka Dots And Moonbeams has always struck me as having one of those themes the novice can play with one hand on the piano - rather like Heart And Soul that Sam Braysher wrote about last month. Perhaps the danger is that doing so can over-familiarise the tune, and that's a shame, because both songs are wide open to creative interpretation.

Polka Dots And Moonbeams with music by Jimmy Van Heusen and lyrics by Johnny Burke was first publiched in 1940 and was Frank Sinatra's first hit record with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. Since then, like all 'standards', it has been recorded many times by countless musicians from Bill Evans, John Coltrane and Lester Young to Bob Dylan and John Denver.

 

A country dance was being held in a garden
I felt a bump and heard an "Oh, beg your pardon"
Suddenly I saw polka dots and moonbeams
All around a pug-nosed dream

 

Wikipedia gives us a couple of 'by the way' facts: 'The song has a notable lyric: a man discovers love at a country dance by accidentally bumping into a woman who has a pug nose. The others at the dance are looking strange at this, since her nose makes her someone they wouldn't think romantically about. But he has the last laugh: she becomes the love of his life, and he settles down Dancing in moonlightwith her.' and 'During the song's first year, a fashion designer even created a "Polka Dots and Moonbeams" fabric print as part of a series of prints inspired by popular music.'

 

 

The music started and was I the perplexed one
I held my breath and said "May I have the next one?"
In my frightened arms, polka dots and moonbeams
Sparkled on a pug-nosed dream

 

 

 

 

 

Our two 'takes' on this 1940s tune are much more recent, one from 2020 and one from 2018. The first has a fine pianist I recently came across and have included before, Emmet Cohen. On this occasion however a young singer, Bryan Eng, sits in with Emmet's trio. I like this video for the happy, relaxed atmosphere of the occasion, for Bryan's interpretation of the song and for Emmet's solo.

At just 22 years old, Bryan Eng is an award winning American musician and actor from Maryland - you can read more about him here. His debut album 20 was released at the end of 2019.

Click here to listen to Polka Dots And Moonbeams with Bryan Eng and the Emmet Cohen Trio.

 

There were questions in the eyes of other dancers
As we floated over the floor
There were questions but my heart knew all the answers
And perhaps a few things more

 

 

Our second take is an instrumental version of Polka Dots And Moonbeams featuring trombonist Carol Jarvis. A graduate of the Royal Northern College of Music, Carol is one of the most in-demand session musicians in the UK. She has been a trombone professor at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music for over fourteen years, has given masterclasses throughout the world, is a former President of the British Trombone Society and was appointed President of the International Trombone Festival in 2017. There is more about her here.

In this video from 2018 Carol is in the company of Bulgarian musicians Teodor Petkov (piano), Vasil Hadjigrudev (double bass), Stefan Kojuharov (drums) and sitting quietly just out of shot, the "Zara strings" quartet - click here.

 

Now in a cottage built of lilacs and laughter
I know the meaning of the words "Ever after"
And I'll always see polka dots and moonbeams
When I kiss the pug-nosed dream

 

Carol Jarvis

 

 

 

 

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.

 

Rosetta Tharpe

 

 

Stuff Smith
Bird
Dudley Moore
Earl Hines
Jay Rayner
Eugene McDuff
Stéphane Grapelli
Clint Eastwood
Didier Lockwood
Forest Whitaker
Woody Allen
Rosetta Tharpe
Charlie Parker
Gertrude Rainey
Joe Venuti
Jeff Goldblum

 

 

Click here for the answers

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 2021 JJA Awards

Ron Carter

 

 

The long list of award winners for America's annual Jazz Journalists Association Awards have been announced. Rather than list them all, here is a link to the details of the Performance and Recordings Awards (click here) amongst which Maria Schneider has won a number of awards, drummer Terri Lynne Carrington is Musician Of The Year, pianist Emmet Cohen (who we have featured recently) is Up And Coming Musician Of The Year, and bassist Ron Carter (pictured left) receives the Lifetime Achievement Award.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roy Mor

After The Real Thing

By Howard Lawes

 

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

 

Roy Mor

 

The reality of life in Israel during the recent episode in the endless struggle between Israel and Palestine was highlighted when Tel Aviv resident, pianist Roy Mor was forced to postpone a chat on Zoom while he travelled to a location less threatened by a Hamas launched rocket attack. We caught up later and were able to discuss the inspiration for his music and his debut album as a leader entitled After The Real Thing.

Click here for an introductory video for the album.

Like most young Israelis Mor spent time in the military after completing his schooling, he also attended university where he gained a degree in Philosophy and subsequently became a software engineer, but music had always been a passion for him. While Mor had studied classical music he also explored other genres including electronic music such as the work of Kraftwerk and Prodigy, Arnie Lawrencecomposing for theatrical productions, performing as a pianist with The Israeli Big Band at major festivals and also with his own ensemble. In the early 2000s he had met alto saxophone player Arnie Lawrence.  Lawrence, who moved to Israel in 1997, was born in the USA and played in the bands of Louie Bellson and Chico Hamilton. He is perhaps better known for his work in education at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in Manhattan and subsequently at the International Center for Creative Music in Jerusalem. 

 

Arnie Lawrence

 

Using his own savings and charitable donations Lawrence provided an opportunity for young people of all backgrounds to excel as jazz musicians and had the ambition that by creating music together they would develop trust and respect for each other. He also hoped to enhance the reputation of Israel as a country with great jazz.  Although the International Center for Creative Music in Jerusalem is no longer operating, Roy Mor pays tribute to his mentor - "Arnie's spirit lives on in the many teens he taught there who are now well known international musicians, including Omri Mor (my brother) and many others". In the album notes Roy Mor also pays tribute to another educator, Amit Golan, an Israeli pianist who following a career in New York, set up a Center for Jazz Studies at The Israel Conservatory of Music.

Having caught the jazz bug Roy Mor decided, as other Israeli jazz musicians have done before him, to seek his fortune in New York City and completed his studies at The New School, where Arnie Lawrence had been a tutor and which had become, over a number of years, a focus, along with Smalls Jazz Club, for expatriate Israeli jazz musicians such as Amos Hoffman, Anat Fort and both Avishai Cohens (trumpeter and bassist). It was in New York where Roy found the "The Real Thing", the vibe and music scene that he was after and he clearly enjoyed his time there - the college where he won a number of prizes, making friends and performing at gigs and jams with other like-minded and extremely talented musicians from schools such as the Manhattan School of Music, City College, Juilliard and Queens College. Two more mentors from Mor's New York time who are mentioned in the album notes are Israeli pianist and organist Sam Yahel and double bassist Reggie Workman who is well known for his work with John Coltrane and Art Blakey.

Roy returned to Israel in 2015 but visited Canada and participated in the Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music in 2016. He performs regularly in Israel and abroad leading trio, quartet or sextet formats or collaborating with Abate Berihun in a new project called Addis Ken (meaning 'new day'). Although his new album, After The Real Thing, was recorded in New York, the title suggests that Roy Mor's musical journey continues and a whole new chapter has started, performing and composing music inspired by Israeli multiculturalism and his own Middle-Eastern roots. Thus there are interpretations of traditional Israeli songs, some Roy Mor After The Real Thingbeautifully rendered versions of well known jazz standards and original compositions that either hark back to New York clubland or have a distinct sound of the Levant.

Tracks 2, After The Real Thing and 7, Speak Low, have a piano trio format with Marty Kenney on bass and Peter Traunmueller on drums.  The title track lays down an irresistible 7/8 groove which has a 2nd line New Orleans feel demonstrating Roy Mor's talent for melodic composition as well as assured improvisation, while Speak Low (Kurt Weil) is a gentle, reflective song of love. 

Click here to listen to Speak Low.

Tracks 1, The Echo Song (Yohanan Zarai) and 8, Do You Know the Way (Efraim Shamir) are traditional songs and feature the fabulous oud of Amos Hoffman, the tunes are very evocative and will surely bring a tear to the eye of all who recognise them from earlier times. Hoffman's oud also features on track 3, Jerusalem Mezcla (Roy Mor) which is a celebration of the diversity of culture of the inhabitants of Jerusalem (mezcla means 'mix') and the Arabic origins of the instrument are highlighted along with some frenetic piano from Mor, this is a really wonderful piece of jazz music inspired by the Mahane Yehuda Market which apart from Mor and Hoffman features Myles Sloniker on bass and Itay Marchi on drums. 

Click here to listen to Jerusalem Mezcla.

Track 4, Nikanor, is named after the street where Roy's parents live in Jerusalem and features Davey Lazar on flugelhorn and Mor on Fender Rhodes, the sweet tones are unmistakably nostalgic.  Track 6, Solar Reimagined (Roy Mor) and Track 9, The Follower (Roy Mor) feature Amos Hoffman but this time on guitar.  The original Solar was a Miles Davis classic while this version has more of a Middle-Eastern feel and an interesting duet between piano and guitar.  The Follower features a chromatic style, one note following another, characterising one who has faith.  The last track is a return to the piano trio format with Joel Kruzic on bass and Jeremy Dutton on drums accompanying Mor's piano, the song is The Nearness Of You (Hoagy Carmichael) and was played live at an unnamed club in New York City, no doubt evoking memories for Roy of the wonderful times he enjoyed there, the friends he made and the great music everyone created together. 

Click here to listen to The Nearness Of You.

This is a very nice album, full of variety by a pianist who deserves to be far better known in the UK than he is now - although a European tour is planned it is far from certain that the UK will be included.  Israel is so often in the news for other reasons but Roy Mor's wonderful music has universal appeal that he would love to share with us.

After The Real Thing was released on the 21st May on the Ubuntu label - click here for details and samples.

Click here for Roy Mor's website.

 

Roy Mor

Roy Mor

 

 

Jazz Quiz

Did They Shake The World?

This month we challenge you to identify fifteen jazz albums from their descriptions. How many can you work out? ......

 

Which album is this?

 

At the beginning of this year Jazzwise magazine listed their '100 Jazz Albums That Shook The World'. Because these are 'albums' they also include re-issues of some recordings made before albums were introduced, for example, they include an album of Louis Armstrong's Hot Fives and Hot Sevens which would have 'shaken the world as 78 rpm recordings' during the 1920s. We have chosen just 15 albums from the list of 100 - how many of them can you identify from the descriptions given in Jazzwise?

 

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].

Clara Pereira

Clara Pereira

Clara Pereira

 

Clara Pereira and Filipe Freitas run the agency JazzTrail in New York. Clara Pereira is a photographer and takes stunning images of musicians; Filipe is a journalist and reports on jazz events and new album releases. They are valued contacts for Sandy Brown Jazz Heritage Projectin the United States and their pictures and reviews regularly keep readers informed of jazz taking place in America.

Clara specialises in black and white photography. As she says on the JazzTrail website: 'At some point in her childhood, she really believed she was an alien. Instead, she became a photographer and graphic designer (with special powers) who couldn’t be more human since her joy comes from earthly things such as coffee, a glass of good red wine, and TV shows'.

Born in Funchal on Madeira Island, Portugal - Clara holds a degree in Communications and Graphic Arts from the University of Porto (FBAUP), and a certificate in General Studies from the International Center of Photography (ICP) in New York.

As you will see from her website (click here), Clara's work is wider than the jazz photographs that we feature. Her work focuses on documenting and taking portraits of people, life, and human expression. One example is her collection of photographs entitled 'Heritage'. (click here).

 

Heritage Project
Photograph © Clara Pereira

 

 

Clara says: "I’m truly fascinated with different cultures and life styles. New York is the perfect stage to observe all that diversity. It’s interesting to observe the roots' interlacement. Parades are a quite often event in this city, gatherings where we can witness the celebration of one particular culture. When attending such events, I try to capture moments, which hopefully will reveal themselves strong enough to hold a story within. Probably because many members of my family have immigrated along the years, including myself, this is a theme that emerged from a natural curiosity. Without any doubt, people are the most interesting subject, and for that reason, this is a project with no due date."

In 2015, she co-founded JazzTrail, an online initiative documenting live jazz in New York and jazz album reviews. Her work has been published and exhibited in Portugal, London, and New York, and is included in the Paul, Weiss Art Collection.

 

 

Clara dropped by for a tea break ....

 

Hi Clara, good to see you, tea or coffee?

Hi, good to see you too. Coffee will be great, thank you.

 

Milk or sugar?

Neither, thank you. Black coffee is just perfect.


 

How have things been in New York during the Coronavirus pandemic?

Well, in the beginning it was quite scary. We didn’t know much about it, no one did, the news was terrible and the number of deaths terrifying… and the 'city that never sleeps' was shut down. People quickly adjusted and respected the quarantine and things started to turn around. As you know businesses closed, music events stopped, everything was on pause. Now things are starting to get a bit back to normalcy but I hope that we don’t go back fully, not everything was great as it was and some changes are needed and welcome. During this time I learned to appreciate the calmness and simplicity of life, spending more time working on my photography archive and I felt blessed to always have had a roof over my head and food on the table. 

 

 

Billy Hart

Billy Hart
Photograph © Clara Pereira

 

 

It’s four years ago that I last chatted over a tea break with you and Filipe! Time goes by so quickly! I wanted to take the opportunity this time to ask you more about your photography. How did you start, and how did you get into taking photographs of jazz musicians?

Photography has been kind of a platonic passion of mine since high school but I never thought I could actually be a photographer. For some reason in my head it was too cool of a thing to do as a job, so I became a graphic designer. After several years working as a designer I decided to move from Madeira Island to New York to pursue photography. It was one of those moments, it’s now or never, better to regret doing it than never do it… So, I did one year at ICP (International Center of Photography) in New York and never left. This is how I started in a more serious way in photography. Jazz arrived a few years later after Filipe, my husband, moved to New York and ‘dragged’ me to all sorts of jazz concerts and, not satisfied with my company, he would ask me to photograph the musicians so he could have a picture for himself! Well, I found out that when I didn’t enjoy the music as much, I still enjoyed the performance, the human expression, the true moment and I started to carry my camera to every concert we went to.

 

 

Henry Threadgill

Henry Threadgill
Photograph © Clara Pereira

 

 

How do you decide on which gigs to go to and photograph?

Fortunately New York has a vast choice to offer and it’s really pick and choose depending on your mood and curiosity about the music projects. Sometimes we receive requests through JazzTrail from the musician’s PR or from the venues to cover a concert, other times we request access because we want to see a specific musician. It varies, but generally Filipe would pick what he wants to write about and we discuss the options.

 

Do the people who run the venues you go to know you and let you in as ‘Press’ or do you have to pay to get in? and do you have to negotiate with the venue and the musicians how and when you take your pictures?

Usually I go in as press, unless it’s a very restrictive concert and they aren't offering press comps. In that case, if I really want to photograph, I do pay for it but that’s rare. Regarding when and how to take pictures varies from venue to venue. Sometimes they will give you 10-15 minutes in the beginning and that’s all you get. Other places leave it to your discretion. Frequently with venues that you go to quite often and have a good relationship with, or at least a good track record, meaning you never caused any problem, they will trust you, they will let you photograph the entire concert since they know you are respectful and careful towards the musicians, the audience and the staff. Also, it’s common that the musicians don’t know I’m there photographing the concert - unless, of course, the request to do so came from them. If I’m granted access by the venue or their PR, I never talk to the musicians before the concert. The less attention I bring to myself the better. At the end of the gig, I usually let them know I was there and that pictures will be online soon.
 

Do you usually send the musicians copies of the pictures afterwards?

No, I don’t. The reason being that we publish a gallery with photos from the concert on JazzTrail and then we send them the link so they can see the full gallery and text. Sometimes they do request a picture for social media and buy a high-res file for their press kit.  

 

I asked you last time about what would you say you are trying to capture in a picture and you told me that you try to freeze a moment of human expression, almost like attempting to capture the emotions and sounds of an improvisation/tune by trapping them in a frame. But what do you aim for in the composition and does that come instinctively?

It’s hard to explain, all of it plays so well in my mind… yes, it’s very instinctive. I like to play with negative space in the frame, to give room for ‘air’. Also look for layers and ways to guide the viewer’s eye to the subject/action.The composition is the result of what I do with my camera, my position and angle in a certain space and time, in response to what I’m observing and feeling. My goal is to end up with a strong photo, one that I could happily have on my wall for years and never get tired of looking at. Mary Ellen Mark used to say the goal is to make iconic pictures, I guess I’m trying to accomplish that.

 

 

Dr Lonnie Smith

Dr Lonnie Smith
Photograph © Clara Pereira

 

 

The logistics of it must also need thinking about – what kit do you take with you, how do you position yourself when you get there and do you move around a lot?

Actually it’s not that complicated, at least now, after so many concerts. I always take the same equipment and I keep it simple. I use what I have and work with it. When I first walk into the venue I assess the positioning of the musicians on stage. Then if I have to sit most of the time, I pick a place that’s better to photograph the bandleader and work from there. If it’s a situation where I can move more freely, I usually start from one of the sides of the stage. I do move around as much as possible and try my best to get different angles.  

 

What happens if there are other photographers who come? I imagine it could get quite disruptive if there were a few of you in a small venue?

It’s not the best situation when you have more people photographing at the same time in smaller venues and in fact it’s a rare occurrence. Usually small venues pay attention to that and try to schedule photographers for different gigs. If they can’t, they will let you know if there is someone else working at the same time so you both are aware of each other. One more camera in the audience could possibly disrupt the musicians and the audience and you want to keep all distractions to a minimum. With that said, we just have to be respectful of each other's work and space. All goes well when we work together.

 

I hope your coffee is OK. Can I offer you a biscuit? I have some custard creams, some ginger nuts and some chocolate digestives, I’m afraid I don’t have any Madeiran honey cake at the moment.

That’s lovely. A custard cream will perfectly pair with my coffee. Thank you.

 

I remember going to a talk years ago by landscape photographer Charlie Waite who said two things that stuck in my mind, one that he sometimes had to wait for hours to get the right composition of light, clouds, shadows, etc (that doesn’t really apply to your situation with gigs) and the other was that he took far more photographs than he shows to people and might only select one that he is happy with from dozens he might take. Do you do the same?

Oh yes! Actually I relate to both things he said. I’m not waiting for hours (definitely not at a gig) to get the composition right, but it’s not just point and shoot. I can spend quite a while looking through my viewfinder, waiting for the right face expression or a different movement, a step into the spotlight, etc. Regarding the number of photos, specially with digital photography, I take too many photographs. And you know what’s funny? Usually my first or second frame is often the final selection. Most of the time I go on just to make sure I’m not missing anything.

 

FranciscoMela

Francisco Mela
Photograph © Clara Pereira

 

 

 
Thankfully you don’t have to use a dark room now we have digital photography, but presumable you have to spend computer time getting the right picture?

Absolutely. That’s the not such a fun part of the job. The amount of hours you spend on the computer… sometimes it’s okay, let's say when it was a good shoot and you got good pictures, but it’s still not as fun to me. I would love it if I could just take pictures and not deal with the computer. But I guess then I would obsess about choosing the right one… so I really need to do it.

 

Most of your photography is black and white, but you very occasionally take a colour picture or two – how come?

I think it’s because when I started doing the jazz photos, black and white was my reference and also because I used to photograph with black and white film. Back then, my digital equipment was not great and I had better results in black and white, and lastly because the lighting situation of most venues isn’t good for photography and I usually find colour not a good addition to the picture. When it’s a good colour picture, I use it.

 

 

Jazzmeia Horn

Jazzmeia Horn
Photograph © Clara Pereira

 

 

How have venues been managing over the past months? What are you looking forward to when things get back to normal?

They took a heavy toll with all the shutdown. Some venues have closed, some have been streaming concerts to try and keep up some business and give musicians some help. Hopefully things will start to improve, slowly moving forward. I do miss going to live concerts with my camera and I’m hoping we will be able to do that soon. Although I have to say I prefer to be on the safe side and get all people vaccinated and protected so we can all enjoy small venues and packed festivals!  

 

I have to say that readers of my website have commented in the past about how stunning they think your pictures are, Clara. I hope we can go on sharing them and keeping in touch with what is going on with the jazz scene in New York

That’s so nice! I’m happy to hear that, hoping for the same! I just got the second dose of the vaccine! So I will be sharing some new work soon! I have faith that we are turning the page on this pandemic.

 

Thanks for dropping by, Clara – how about suggesting one of the musicians who caught your attention over the years and I’ll see if I can play us out with some of their music?

Uhm… I’m going to say guitarist Jakob Bro. His was one of the last live concerts I photographed in 2020 at the Village Vanguard. I really enjoy his music.

 

Me too - click here for him with Larry Grenadier (double bass) and Jorge Rossy (drums) playing Mild and Heroines in Copenhagen in July 2019:

 

 

Click here for Clara Pereira's website.

 

Clara Pereira

 

Clara Pereira
Photograph © Luis Elmiro Mendes.

 

Utah Teapot

 

 

 

 

 

Pitching For Festival Gigs

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. This item is primarily about pitching to play at festivals, but a lot of the thoughts apply more widely to booking gigs:

 

I don't know about you, but I start to have the feeling that a lot of countries are gearing up to present live jazz again!

I'm seeing more and more posts pop up on social media from musicians I know and starting to hear from agents and promoters that have been silent the last 14 months! Of course, it may well be 'local artists only' for the next few months, but it feels like progress!

In case you too are feeling positive and ready to start reaching out for gigs again, I thought you might be interested to check these quick but effective 'takeaways' from an interview I just posted with Øyvind Skjerven Larsen who took over as programme director of the great Oslo Jazz Festival in Norway just before COVID hit…(click here for the full interview):

Jazzfuel

 

 

  • Like many festivals, programming starts around 9 months before. Which means, if you’re planning on booking gigs in 2022, now is a good time to get started!
  • We’ve heard this many times from promoters: they will actively search for live video recordings of an artist they’re considering, to see what the gig will be like. If someone searches you on Youtube, what will they find on page 1?
  • Unless you’re a headliner, you probably don’t need to lead with stats about your following on Spotify, Bandcamp, Facebook or anywhere else; sell them on your MUSIC.
  • Playing as much as possible (even in your local city) can really develop a band from ‘great music‘ to the ‘great performers‘ that attract a lot of international bookings.
  • Before pitching to a club or festival, check their programme and be confident it’s a good fit for you, specifically.

     

     

 

 

 

 

 

Tom Ollendorff

A Song For You

By Robin Kidson

 

[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].

 

Tom Ollendorff

 

Tom Ollendorff is a young, up and coming British guitarist and composer based in London. He was awarded the Yamaha scholarship for outstanding jazz musicianship in 2015. Since then, he has established himself as a professional musician, touring extensively and playing with a range of artists including Geoff Simkins, Jeff Williams, James Maddren, Ari Hoenig and Bill McHenry. He has also led his own groups and is a visiting tutor at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff. Tom has recently released his debut album on the Fresh Sounds label. It’s called A Song For You.

A Song For You is an illustration of just how international jazz has become, both as art form and business. So, Ollendorff is joined on the album by Irish born Conor Chaplin on bass and Frenchman Marc Michel on drums. The album was recorded in Wales for Fresh Tom Ollendorff A Song For YouSounds which is a Spanish record label based in Barcelona. The executive producer of the album is a Spaniard, Jordi Pujol, the owner of Fresh Sounds.

Fresh Sounds has an interesting history. It was founded by jazz fan Pujol in the early 1980s and began by reissuing classic American albums by the jazz greats: Armstrong, Ellington, Parker and the like.  But in 1993, it started to build a catalogue of original releases including albums by a variety of American artists. The most notable of these was Brad Mehldau, some of whose first outings were on the Fresh Sounds label backed by Spanish musicians. The label has gone on to release albums by other leading American musicians such as Ethan Iverson, Jon Irabagon, Chris Cheek, Bill McHenry and Robert Glasper. It is yet another illustration of jazz’s globalisation that American performers looked, and continue to look, all the way to Barcelona for support and recording opportunities. The Fresh Sounds catalogue also includes internationally known Spanish jazzers like Tete Montoliu and Perico Sambeat, as well as artists from other parts of the world. Tom Ollendorff says that Fresh Sounds “have released some of my favourite jazz records, and it is a thrill for me to be joining the long list of incredible artists who are associated with the label”.

A Song For You has nine tracks, all but one composed by Tom. Click here for a short introductory video to the album.

The style is straight ahead contemporary jazz: unhyphenated, melodic, with a clear rhythmic pulse. If there is hybridisation, it is perhaps with classical music rather than rock or folk or any other genre. That classical influence is seen most clearly on a track such as Etude 1 on which Tom plays solo guitar without accompaniment. It is a short but attractive piece of contemporary classical music, nicely played. Click here for a video of Tom playing Etude 1 live (though without an audience).

Etude 1 is one of a series of etudes which Tom has written. Track 8 on A Song For You is a performance of Etude 3 on which the guitarist is joined by Conor Chaplin and Marc Michel. Again, this is more contemporary classical than jazz but none the worse for that. (There are performances of the other etudes on You Tube).

As well as the classical touch, there is a hint of Pat Metheny in Tom's playing (though it has to be said there is probably a trace of Metheny in a lot of contemporary jazz guitarists). However, Tom is by no means some sort of Metheny clone. His style is very much Conor Chaplinhis own.

The Metheny influence can perhaps be heard most clearly in the album’s title (and opening) track, A Song For You. This has a bright, gentle melody with some effective changes in rhythm. Tom's improvising quickly moves away from a Metheny-type smoothness to something more distinctive - slightly rougher but nonetheless attractive and taking things off in unexpected directions. Tom also gives space to a compelling solo on bass from Conor Chaplin. Click here to listen to A Song For You.

 

Conor Chaplin

 

Tom Ollendorff’s compositional and improvisational skills are to the fore again on Spring which is a joyful upbeat piece with some slower, more contemplative interludes. There are also some freer passages but the whole thing fits together in a very satisfying way, stitched together by Marc Michel’s imaginative drumming. Not In These Days is the longest track on the album. It begins slowly with a mix of smooth and jagged elements underscored by a two-note repeating bass figure from Conor Chaplin which adds a slightly ominous note. The mood then changes and the beat quickens with a bass solo accompanied by some energetic background drumming. Tom comes in with a solo which becomes more urgent and free before the opening slower mood reasserts itself. The track ends on a lyrical note with the guitar playing a hypnotic riff over and over again with some double tracked embellishments. Click here to listen to Not In These Days.

XY is proper jazz, an upbeat number on which all the musicians get to show off their chops and hit a compelling groove. Tom in particular is on sparkling form channeling the guitar greats – Kessel, Montgomery, Jim Hall, Joe Pass - through some scintillating playing. Conor contributes a classic bass solo, and there is some great interplay between drums and guitar. I was playing this track Marc Michelon headphones recently and was tapping my feet so violently that my wife, 'Jenny-Hates-Jazz', got so annoyed she had to take her hearing aid out…. Click here to see (or hear) what I mean.

Autumn in New York is the Vernon Duke standard and is the only track not written by Tom. It gently swings along and the guitarist dances around the tune to great effect with confident, liquid phrasing. Aare is an upbeat number with quite a complex melody and rhythm. Nevertheless, it is easy on the ear and on the tapping foot. Marc Michel gets to shine with an expressive drum solo.

 

Marc Michel

 

The final track is a brief coda, These Days. It’s a continuation of Not In These Days with Tom repeating the simple but hypnotic riff from the end of that track, supplemented by a range of electronic effects. It’s a slow and wistful piece and nicely rounds off a most promising debut from a guitarist of whom we will surely hear more.

I confess that, when I first listened to A Song For You, I wasn’t particularly stirred but this is an album which rewards repeated listenings during which one begins to appreciate its many virtues: arresting tunes, glittering improvisations, and skillful playing from all three musicians. There’s something interesting going on with Tom Ollendorff and I will follow his career with interest.

Click here for details of how to get hold of the album from Fresh Sounds Records, or details and samples are on Amazon (click here).

Click here for Tom Ollendorff’s website.

 

Tom Ollendorff

 

 

 

 

Name The Tune

(Click on the picture for the answer)

 

Name the tune

 

Click here for other challenges to 'Name The Tune'

 

 

 

 

30th Anniversary of the Founding of

Tomorrow's Warriors

Part Two

by Howard Lawes

 

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

This is the second part of an article where Howard Lawes looks back at the story of Tomorrow's Warriors at the time of their 30th anninversary. You can read the whole article here.

 

 

Tomorrows Warriors

 

In 2009 Tomorrow's Warriors secured a residency (initially for 6 months) at London's Southbank Centre. On 26th September they launched with Jazzploration "a fun day of open jazz jam sessions, performances and workshops for all ages and abilities". Tomorrows Warriors had always wanted to provide the opportunity for everyone to play jazz and even though a welcome was always there, it is perhaps understandable that young musicians would have found the experience of jamming at a pub in Soho somewhat daunting. 

It was also particularly difficult to persuade young women to take the plunge into jazz performance. The singer Julie Dexter and saxophonist Gail Thompson were involved in the early days, but saxophonist Camilla George was one of the first of a new generation of young women to get involved and take advantage of the Southbank facilities having played with Jazz Jamaica from 2009.  Another was Zara McFarlane who released an album on Brownswood in 2011 called Until Tomorrow accompanied by a band that included Camilla George, Binker Golding and Zem Audu on saxophones and Peter Edwards on piano.

Click here for a video of Zara McFarlane singing Don't Stay Away with Jazz Jamaica including Camilla George, Shirley Tetteh, Gary Crosby, Moses Boyd and others at The Hideaway.

The Southbank residency was a great success and it wasn't long before the temporary arrangement was extended and it continues to this day. This began a very busy period for Tomorrow's Warriors as young musicians rapidly developed while the great popularity of the Southbank inevitably encouraged a new audience for the jazz they played. The Tomorrow's Warriors website lists a selection of SheilaMaurice Greyevents from 2013 (click here) giving a taste of their achievements and activities.  These included Gary Crosby's new band called Groundation with Nathaniel Facey on alto saxophone, Shirley Tetteh on guitar and Moses Boyd on drums. Nathaniel Facey also won the Jazz FM award for Instrumentalist of the Year; The Nu Civilisation Orchestra performed Duke Ellington's Harlem with the BBC Concert Orchestra at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre; the all-female group Nerija formed with Cassie Kinoshi (alto saxophone), Nubya Garcia (tenor saxophone), Sheila Maurice-Grey (trumpet), Rosie Turton (trombone), Shirley Tetteh (guitar), Scarlett Stewart (piano), Inga Eichler (double bass), and Momoko Gill (drums) and performed at the Southbank Centre Women of the World Festival; and members of the Youth Warriors and music leaders took part in a sharing session with SAMYO – the UK’s National Youth Orchestra for Indian Music.

 

Ms Maurice (Sheila Maurice-Grey)

 

As part of the Young Artist Development Programme,  Janine Irons and Gary Crosby attended a royal reception for prominent members of the British Caribbean community hosted by Prince Charles, The Prince Of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall at St James’ Palace; Tomorrow’s Warriors small ensemble Ezra won the National Festival of Music for Youth in Birmingham; Shabaka Hutchins won the Best Jazz Act Award at the MOBOs (only one of the five nominees was not a Tomorrow's Warriors alumnus); and Ezra Collective performed highly acclaimed sets at the Royal Albert Hall as part of the Grand Finale of the National Festival Of Music For Youth and as part of the London Jazz Festival.

In 2014, Arts Council England shook up the jazz community by withdrawing funding from the umbrella organisation, Jazz Services, and re-distributed extra funds to organisations such as Tomorrow's Warriors. Several bands that had  passed through the Young Artist Development Programme released albums and gigs were happening regularly.  These bands included Ezra Collective [Femi Koleoso (drums), Dylan Jones (trumpet), James Mollison (tenor saxophone), TJ Koleoso (double bass), and Joe Armon-Jones (keyboards)]; Empirical [Nathaniel Facey (alto saxophone), Tom Farmer (double bass), Lewis Wright (vibraphone) and Shaney Forbes (drums)]; Sons of Kemet [Shabaka Hutchins (saxophone and clarinet), Theon Cross (tuba), Tom Skinner and Eddie Hick (drums)]; Nerija; and Binker and Moses [Binker Golding (tenor saxophone), Moses Boyd (drums)]. 

Click here for a video of Ezra Collective playing You Can't Steal My Joy at Glastonbury in 2019.

In 2015, Tomorrow’s Warriors commissioned trumpeter Yazz Ahmed to write an extended work, to be performed by members of the Nu Civilisation Orchestra on International Women’s Day for a concert at the Women of the World Festival, at London’s Southbank Centre. Yazz Ahmed describes the piece as a celebration of female courage, determination and creativity.  The piece, entitled Polyhymnia was released as an album - 25 musicians play on the album, the majority of them women, and it went on to win Jazz Album of the Year at the Jazz FM awards in 2020.

In 2017 Tomorrow's Warriors initiated the Jazz Ticket project which was a ground-breaking national jazz education outreach and concert touring project celebrating the music of 6 legendary jazz artists: Tadd Dameron, Ella Fitzgerald, Mongo Santamaria, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk and Buddy Rich. Working with 28 partners over 2017/8 in 8 cities – Brighton, Bristol, Hull, Leicestershire, Luton, Southampton and Manchester it culminated in a National Grand Finale at London‘s Southbank Centre in April 2018. 150 workshops were delivered to 718 young musicians (not including the young people participating as audiences) across Key Stages 2-5 and 62 music teachers, from 54 schools working with 16 music leaders from Tomorrow’s Warriors and 22 jazz artists from the Nu Civilisation Orchestra. They reached live audiences of 5,493 people at 14 concerts in professional venues. 

Click here for a short video about the finale of The Jazz Ticket.

In the same year, Tomorrow's Warriors were nominated in 7 categories at the Parliamentary Jazz Awards winning 4 of them, Jazz Vocalist of the Year was Cleveland Watkiss; Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year, Shabaka Hutchings; Jazz Newcomer of the Year, Nerija and the Jazz Education Award went to Tomorrow's Warriors. In the following year they won 3 awards - Jazz Album of the Year for The Late Train by Denys Baptiste; Jazz Newcomer of the Year was Shirley Tetteh and the APPJAG Special Award went to Gary Crosby OBE. At the 2018 Jazz FM awards Ezra Collective collected two awards for UK Jazz Act of the Year and Live Experience of the Year; Shirley Tettehsaxophonist and clarinetist Shabaka Hutchings picked up the award for Jazz Innovation of the Year;  Zara McFarlane won Vocalist of the Year for the second time, (she also received the honour in 2015) and Nubya Garcia won Breakthrough Act of the Year.  A further award for Gary Crosby in 2018 was the Queen's Medal for Music followed in 2019 with an honorary fellowship of Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, he had also been awarded a BASCA Gold Badge Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Music Industry and is a member of the Jamaica Jazz Hall of Fame for consistent contribution to Jamaican Music.

 

Shirley Tetteh

 

It sometimes seems that Tomorrow's Warriors can do no wrong but sad things happen, one of them was Gary Crosby suffering a stroke in 2018 that affected his ability to play, and in 2019 and 2020 it became necessary to supplement Arts Council funding. 'I Am Warrior' appeals raised over £200,000, a sum sufficient to allow free tuition to continue as it always has, ensuring that nobody is deprived of the opportunity to learn because they are unable to afford tuition fees.  On top of that came the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020 which not only prevented face-to-face tuition but forced the cancellation of 148 gigs that would have provided a valuable income.  

Recent notable achievements for Tomorrow's Warriors have been a BBC Prom Concert in 2019 when the Nu Civilisation Orchestra performed extracts from  Duke Ellington's Concerts of Sacred Music; and in 2020 the EFG London Jazz Festival was entirely streamed due to the pandemic but one of the standout performances of the whole festival was a performance of the music of Charlie Parker by Groundation with Gary Crosby able to play his double bass again. During the pandemic there have been some great concerts, live-streamed from the Barbican by Tomorrow's Warriors alumni Cassie Kinoshi and her SEED Ensemble and the Moses Boyd's sextet, but nothing beats the truly live performance with audience and as pandemic restrictions are relaxed further live-streamed concerts have been organised and advertised on the Tomorrow's Warriors website.

Click here for a video of SEED Ensemble playing Interplanetary Migration live at the Hyundai Mercury Prize 2019.

Janine Irons summed up the purpose of Tomorrow's Warriors by referring to the Spike Lee film Do the Right Thing where a character in the film asks about the absence of pictures of African-Americans on a "Wall of Fame" in a Brooklyn pizzeria and is told that if he wants pictures of African-Americans portrayed he should build his own wall. The Tomorrow's Warriors wall of fame has been extended many times, it is testament to the success of Tomorrow's Warriors that one of their most successful protégés has just been featured in Vogue Magazine (click here), not to mention many other musicians on front pages and inside many other magazines and other media.  Gary Crosby emphasises that they can never rest on their laurels, particularly when other organisations have paid Gary Crosby and Janine IronsTomorrow's Warriors the sincerest form flattery by imitating them and so Gary and Janine, along with their team are determined to continue to provide the best route for aspiring young jazz musicians to realise their dreams.

 

Janine Irons MBE and Gary Crosby OBE

 

The Tomorrow's Warriors Artist Development Programme is hugely popular with a waiting list for applicants. In the 30 years since Gary and Janine started their groundbreaking venture some 10,000 musicians have passed through, many have become nationally and internationally renowned and their testimonials as quoted on the Tomorrow's Warriors website bear witness to their gratitude to Gary and Janine and the great affection they have for Tomorrow's Warriors, its people and what it stands for.  Moses Boyd said "People from all walks of life can come and just experience music without having to worry about financial constraints. Music was all I had so, for many of us, Tomorrow’s Warriors – led by Gary – was a much-needed safe and positive space."  Nubya Garcia said "One of the most special things about Tomorrow’s Warriors is their unwavering support. Their ethos is ‘each one teach one’. It’s about diversity in terms of ethnicity and gender. That’s what they champion and have been championing for over 20 years. There’s no-one like them basically. I love them!". Paul Gambaccini said "Gary Crosby, through his organisation and outstanding teaching has achieved in 20 years what many would think takes a lifetime in regards to ethnic minorities and gender imbalances."  

For those of us who love jazz, Tomorrow's Warriors has been a huge success story providing great music from a diverse group of exciting young musicians.  It has also inspired new, young and diverse audiences to appreciate a truly great, worldwide artform, streaked with the uniquely cosmopolitan culture of London, that had at one time seemed destined to fade away as predominantly white, male musicians and predominantly white, male audiences became ever older. 

The next generation of young people is being trained and mentored even now, learning to work together, learning to achieve, to communicate and to express themselves musically and peacefully, but for it to continue its great work Tomorrow's Warriors needs donations, never more so than now as the pandemic has robbed it of vital income.  Donations can be made through the website (click here) while forthcoming performances are shown here.

Click here for the full concert of Gary Crosby's Groundation celebrating the centenary of the legendary Charlie Parker as part of the EFG London Jazz Festival 2020 [1 hour 52 mins].

 

Tomorrows Warriors 30 years

 

 

 

 

 

Two Ears Three Eyes

Paul Higgs

After a long time without live performances, photographer Brian O'Connor of imagesofjazz.com dusted off his camera and took this picture of trumpeter Paul Higgs during an outside gig at the Three Horseshoes pub in Knockholt, Sevenoaks, Kent on  Tuesday 18th May 2021.  Brian says: "Despite the variable weather they played an excellent two set tribute to Miles Davis.  Let's hope things go on improving.  It was organised by John Levett of the Listening Room, with nourishment available from the pub (at reasonable prices) under the auspices of Michele."

 

Paul Higgs

 

Trumpeter Paul Higgs was joined on this occasion by Mike Hatchard (keyboards); Paul Morgan (bass) and Dave Barry (drums).

Paul is renowned as one of the UK’s leading trumpet players and composers. He has had an extensive musical career in many fields including performing, composing and arranging music for film, TV and theatre. He was a Musical Director for many years for the National Theatre and Royal Shakespeare Company. His credits for film and television are extensive (click here) and he has performed with luminaries including Sir Peter Maxwell Davis, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Johnny Dankworth, Lulu, Tony Hatch, John Williams, Nancy Wilson and Shorty Rodgers. Paul has also performed in major concert venues around the world, such as the Royal Festival Hall, the Schubert Theatre (USA), Berlin Concert Hall, the Royal Albert Hall and Ronnie Scott’s.

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).

 

 

Tommy Smith's SoLow Moods

Tommy Smith

 

 

Saxophonist Tommy Smith is planning several concerts in cathedrals and churches, where the acoustics lend themselves to atmospheric and unhurried improvisation. Tommy's recent release on Bandcamp, SoLow gives a good indication of the moods to expect. He's recently been adding Gaelic waulking songs to his solo repertoire and he can draw on a wealth of knowledge of the jazz canon, choosing melodies in situ and sharing his fabulous tone production and creative imagination.

Click here to listen to Amoris.

The first concert is taking place in Lichfield Cathedral on Thursday, July 15.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Forum

 

Tony Scott

Last month we featured clarinettist Tony Scott in our Jazz Remembered series (click here).

Pete Neighbour and Tony Scott


Fellow clarinettist Pete Neighbour writes: 'Thank you for the feature on Tony Scott; such a fine musician and so often overlooked. More years ago than I care to remember, when my great pal and wonderful clarinet player Julian Stringle and I were teenagers and soaking up as much live jazz as possible (often hanging out at Ronnie’s after our pub gigs to hear whoever was performing) we went one evening to the Dean St. Pizza Express to hear Tony. We sat there enthralled all night; I wish I could remember who was accompanying him but I can’t. Anyhow; after the last number we hung around and went up to talk to him. He couldn’t have been kinder or helpful to two young clarinet players - although somewhat eccentric! One memory is that his clarinet had an enormous crack in the upper joint; we questioned him and he just shrugged it off saying “Oh…. I just compensate for it….”

Even more memorably, having packed his clarinet away the three  of us sat at a table and he reached into his briefcase and produced a large envelope of his photos. Julian and I proceeded to have a ‘one-on-one’ lesson on Tony’s photographic history as he handed us pictures of Duke, Count, Ben Webster, Lester Young et al. Almost any ‘name’ you could come up with there was a picture of them - often with Tony alongside them. If only we’d have had cellphone cameras then! Finally, the very last photo in the pile was double wrapped in plastic. I went to take the photograph from his hand (as we’d been doing for all the previous ones) and he snatched it back… “No!! Nobody touches this one!” It was a photo of Billie Holiday… sure enough he held it up for us to look at - but not to touch! What a character he was. Thanks for the memories! Here’s a  VERY young me with Tony that night.'

 

 

Silent Prayer

David Gent writes: 'I was amused by the letter  about Miles Davis "Have they started yet?" (click here). The American avant-garde composer John Cage once wrote a short piece called 4'33 which was completely silent. His mother attended the first performance of this composition. She asked the composer how she should approach it, and he told her to look on it like  a prayer. It was followed by a very loud electronic piece, and Mum sat through all of this, then said "What a long and intense prayer." (click here for a performance of 4'33).

 

 

Jessica Williams

A number of people have been getting in touch with us asking about American pianist Jessica Williams (click here). It seems that Jessica's website has expired and she has not been in contact. Unfortunately we have had no reply to our recent emails to Jessica either. Please let us know if anyone has been able to contact her.

 

Ziggy Ludvigsen

Last month we included a message from Alexander Teglbjaerg in Sweden has written enquiring about Ziggy: '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. Can anyone help? - Ed]

So far, there does not appear to be much more information available about Ziggy although Eric Jackson writes: 'A name from the past and I too wondered what happened to him. He was a regular at the jam sessions held at the Tally Ho pub in Kentish Town.There was an LP produced by Don Sollash with the title Jazz at the Tally Ho.The stand out track was Ziggy playing I Hear A Rhapsody. He really was rather good.'

 

 

Dipper Duddy

Many thanks to Andrew Ford who has sent us several pictures of drummer 'Dipper' Duddy. We profiled the late Brian Duddy back in 2015 but were rather short on photographs of him. Here is one of Andrew's pictures, others are on the page about Dipper (click here).

The band members here, taken at The Grey Horse pub in Kingston-upon-Thames in around 1972 - 1973 are: Neil Millett (clarinet); Mick Burns (trumpet); Ron Vango (trombone); Geoff King (bass); Andy Ford (banjo) and Dipper Duddy (drums)

 

Dipper Duddy and band

 

 

 

Jazz At Kew Boathouse

Staying with memories of the Kingston-upon-Thames area, Annabel Farley writes: 'I was just reading your website about the jazz scene in the 1950’s in Kingston-upon-Thames (click here). My mother, Ann Sheridan and uncle Ian Sheridan (they were twins)  were very much involved at the time and they ran a jazz night at Kew boathouse (my mum would work on the door), they also ran both the Jazz Barge (which apparently sunk!) and then Commodore Club.  I wonder if you remember them? This period was such a highlight of their lives, they spoke about it so much.  Sadly they have both passed on now but have left me with a wonderful love of jazz and whenever I hear it I’m reminded of them.'

[Does anyone else remember these venues? - Ed]

 

 

Mystery Photograph

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

Charles Hippisley-Cox writes: 'The photo is of Nat Gonella's band from the mid 30s. Harold Hood (piano), Bob Dryden (drums), Pat Smuts (tenor), Charlie Winter (bass), Jimmie Mesene (guitar) and Nat on trumpet.'

This agrees with other replies we have received, although the spelling of Charlie Winter / Winters and Jimmie Mesene / Jimmy Messini varies!

 

Nat Gonella band photo

 

 

 

Pops Coffee

Carl Spencer asks: 'It seems impossible to trace Pops (in his 80s and from Nottingham) even though his book on Tuba Skinny has only just come out (click here). There’s even a reference to last year’s Covid problems. I expect you know he used to write The Syncopated Times. I have written to Joe in  the US who seems to have taken it over, unless that is another one under the same name.'

[Does anyone have contact details for Pops? - Ed]

 

 

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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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.

 

 

Curtis Fuller

 

Curtis Fuller - American trombonist born in Detroit. He spent several years in an orphanage and developed a passion for jazz after one of the nuns there took him to see Illinois Jacquet and his band perform with J. J. Johnson on trombone. Curtis attended a public school in his hometown, together with Paul Chambers, Donald Byrd, Tommy Flanagan, Thad Jones, and Milt Jackson and went on to play with Cannonball and Nat Adderley, Yusef Lateef, Miles Davis, Art Farmer-Benny Golson's Jazztet, became the sixth man in Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers in 1961, and later toured with Dizzy Gillespie and Count Basie. Click here for a video of Curtis playing In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. Obituaries: New York Times : The Independent :

 

 

 

 

 

Bob Koester

 

 

 

Bob Koester - American record producer and businessman who was the founder and owner of Delmark Records, a jazz and blues independent record label. He also operated the Jazz Record Mart in Chicago, which he billed as the "World's Largest Jazz and Blues Specialty Store", and later a record store specializing in blues and jazz in Irving Park, Chicago. Born in Wichita, Kansas, he began collecting and trading classic 78 rpm records when he was in high school. Obituaries : The Telegraph : New York Times :

 

 

 

 

 

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

Alex Western-King - SideSlip

Sons Of Kemet - Black To The Future

Wilma Baan - So Nice

Roan Kearsey-Lawson - Mostly Me

Jenny Green - Always & Forever

Deemer + 1 - Aftermath

 

 

America

Floating Points, Pharoah Sanders & The London Symphony Orchestra - Promises **

Chris Potter Circuits Trio - Sunrise Reprise **

Dave Holland - Another Land

Wadada Leo Smith with Milford Graves and Bill Laswell - Sacred Ceremonies

Charlie Porter - Hindsight **

 

 

Europe and Elsewhere

Ariel Bart - In Between **

 

 

Re-issues

Count Basie And His Orchestra - The Count Basie Collection 1937 - 1939

Joe Williams - Four Classic Albums

Art Pepper - Atlanta: Unreleased Art Pepper Volume 11

Bill Evans - Everybody Still Digs Bill Evans: A Career Retrospective (1956-1980)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alex Western-King - SideSlip
(Ubuntu Music) - Released: 25th June 2021

Alex Western-King (saxophone and compositions); Sam Leak (piano); Jonny Wickham (bass); Jay Davis (drums); James Copus (trumpet)

Alex Western-King SideSlip

 

 

'This album is a meeting point between my love of straight-ahead bebop and the chaos and fragility of free jazz. There is a magical moment in which musicians sit perfectly on that line between jazz and free improvisation. I have always found music the best way to communicate in moments of emotional turmoil. This album is a snapshot of one year of my life, documenting my growth out of a dark place and into the light. SideSlip takes its name from the way the tune moves in and out of different key centres and draws significant inspiration from Thelonious Monk's Epistrophy. I have always admired the playfulness of Monk's angular melodies and how rhythm section players interact with them, and that was something I tried to capture in this tune. This album would not be what it is without the incredible creativity and musicianship of Sam Leak on Piano, Jonny Wickham on Bass, Jay Davis on Drums and James Copus on trumpet. I would like to give special thanks Alex Garnett for his guidance, for being a great friend and for being an inspiration to so many on the London Jazz scene. A special thanks also goes to Jonny Wickham for lending me his ear in the tune writing and mixing process and to Georgina Williams for the album artwork.' (Alex Western-King). '

Details and Samples : Video of SideSlip : Listen to The Long Road :

 

 

 

 

 

Sons Of Kemet - Black To The Future
(Impulse!) - Released: 14th May 2021

Shabaka Hutchings (tenor sax, woodwinds); Theon Cross (tuba); Tom Skinner, Eddie Hick (drums); Steve Williamson, Kebbie Williams (tenor sax); Ife Ogunjobi (trumpet); Nathaniel Cross (trumpet); Cassie Kinoshi (alto sax); Kojey Radical, Lianne La Havas, Joshua Idehen, D Double E, Moor Mother and Angel Bat Dawid (vocals)

Sons Of Kemet Black To The Future

 

 

 

'The follow up to 2018's Mercury Prize nominated breakout release 'Your Queen Is a Reptile', 'Black to the Future' is the avant-garde band's fourth record. Compared with their previous release, this album has featured vocalists and more of an emphasis on fuller compositions and arrangements. Guest artists include Kojey Radical, Moor Mother, Angel Bat Dawid, Joshua Idehen and D Double E.' (album notes). ' .....Bold and nuanced, invested with a dynamic circularity that nods to African cosmologies and with Hutchings' focus on woodwinds (and on composition), it's a work that grabs you by the scruff .... Black To The Future is a strong candidate for album of the year.' (Jane Cornwell in Jazzwise ****)

Details and Samples : CD Details : Introductory Video :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wilma Baan - So Nice
(Self Release) - Released: 14th May 2021

Wilma Baan (vocals); Graham Harvey (piano, Fender Rhodes, arrangements); Dave Chamberlain (double bass, guitars 1, 8); Josh Morrison (drums); Claire Martin (percussion); Chris Traves (trombone 3, percussion)

Wilma Baan So Nice

 

 

'When you hear So Nice, the debut release from vocalist Wilma Baan, you may wonder why you haven't heard her before. Wilma's rich, mellow tone, impeccable timing and elegant delivery pay homage to her musical influences (Julie London, Nancy Wilson, Dianne Reeves) on this accomplished recording of 12 treasures from the standard repertoire. The arrangements by Graham Harvey provide a sparklingly fresh take on these much-loved songs including a wonderfully sensitive version of the inexplicably under recorded 'Day by Day' and on a poignant rendition of 'Here's to Life', producer Claire Martin coaxes every nuance and shade from Wilma's charming vocal performance......Born in the Netherlands, if her parents' accounts are accurate, her musical career began at the tender age of 3, humming herself to sleep with parts of the Brandenburg Concertos – a serious side effect of being spoon fed JS Bach and Miles Davis in equal amounts from the moment she was born. .....After a break to bring up her family including spells in Oman, Brunei & Greece due to her husband's long international career, Wilma finally settled in the UK. A chance opportunity to perform with singer/pianist Joe Stilgoe, followed by a series of dates with pianist Alex Hutton, reignited the spark for jazz and in May 2020 she was about to perform with pianist Graham Harvey and his trio when the pandemic brought everything to a grinding halt. Unwilling to lose momentum, she decided to seize the moment and record this album.' (album notes).

Details and Samples : Introductory Video : Listen to Day By Day :

 

 

 

 

 

Roan Kearsey-Lawson - Mostly Me
(144 Records) - Released: 13th April 2021

Roan Kearsey-Lawson (vibes and all other instruments on this album performed by Roan Kearsey-Lawson)

Roan Kearsey Lawson Mostly Me

 

 

'Roan is a Multi-Genre, Multi-Instrumentalist. In jazz he has worked with dozens of artists such as Scott Hamilton, Darius Brubeck and many more. Featured on BBC Radio and a highly acclaimed composer commissioned in the Film and Pop industries. "As restrictions have dictated I’ve performed every instrument myself, recorded it myself from home, mixed and mastered it myself (which is all a first for me as I usually have a sound engineer), and written all the music (apart from on ‘Roan’s Groove’ written by the late Duncan Lamont)".

Details and Samples : Listen to Roan's Groove : Listen to Latin Exchange :

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jenny Green - Always & Forever
(Self Released) - Released: 6th June 2021

Jenny Green (vocals); Neville Malcolm (bass); Winston Clifford (drums); ChrisTraves (trombone); Adrian York (piano & arrangements on tracks 1,3,5,7,9 & 11); Rob Barron (piano & arrangements on tracks 2,4,6,8,10 & 12); Claire Martin, Winston Clifford (backing vocals & percussion)

Jenny Green Always and Forever

 

'Jenny is proud to announce the release of Don’t Sleep In The Subway, the first single from her hugely anticipated 2nd Album Always and Forever. Produced by the wonderful Claire Martin OBE mixed and mastered by Chris Traves both from Soup to Nuts Productions. “Don’t sleep in the Subway” was written by Jackie Trent and Tony Hatch and rearranged for Jenny by Adrian York who plays piano on the album. Following the release of her critically acclaimed debut album Caught A Touch Of Your Love in 2014, Jenny had been busy presenting her Jazz Radio programme, running her Jazz Club and had a full diary of gigs when the pandemic started. This gave Jenny time to reflect and think about producing another album this time with the help of Claire Martin producing. Claire was an obvious choice for Jenny to ask for help, having been a fan for many years. Jenny is also delighted that Claire joins Jenny on the album singing backing vocals on a couple of the tracks along with Winston Clifford adding a special touch to the album. When choosing her musicians Jenny didn’t hesitate to include Winston Clifford on drums and Neville Malcolm on bass, both of whom featured on her debut album. Adding trombone on some of the tracks on the album was suggested by Chris Traves who mixed and mastered the album. Joining Jenny on piano is Adrian York and Rob Barron who wrote six of the arrangements each on the album.' (album notes)

Details and Sample : Listen to Don't Sleep In The Subway :

 

 

 

 

 

Deemer + 1 - Aftermath
(Luminous Label) - Released: 4th June 2021

Dee Byrne (alto saxophone/electronics); Merijn Royaards (electronics); Johnny Hunter (drums/percussion)

Deemer Plus One Aftermath

 

 

'Dee Byrne (sax/electronics) and Dutch sound artist Merijn Royaards (electronics) met in 2006 and promptly started weekly experimental sessions in a warehouse in Hackney Wick. Over the years Deemer has incorporated found objects, reel to reel tape machines, suspended industrial metal plates and stacks of small tv monitors projecting sonic wave patterns. Today Deemer is a leaner, more pared-down version than its previous incarnations and has sought to extend its horizons in other ways by collaborating with other improvising musicians. The duo released their debut album ‘Interference Patterns’ on Luminous Label on 7th December 2015. Their second album ‘Live At The Vortex’ was released on cassette on 1st December 2016. Their third album Aftermath (2021), features improvising drummer Johnny Hunter and was recorded shortly after their trio performance at London Jazz Festival in November 2019. The album will be released on Luminous Label on the 4th June 2021.' (album notes)

Details and Sample : Listen to the title track Aftermath :

 

 

 

 

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.

 

Floating Points, Pharoah Sanders & The London Symphony Orchestra - Promises
(Luaka Bop) - Rele
ased: 26th March 2021

Sam Shepherd (piano, harpsichord, celesta, Fender Rhodes, Hammond B3, Oberheim 4 voice, Oberheim OB-Xa, Solina String Ensemble, Therevox ET-4.3, EMS Synthi, ARP 2600, Buchla 200e, string writing, string arrangments); Pharoah Sanders (tenor saxophone, voice); London Symphony Orchestra: (strings).

Floating Points Pharoah Sanders Promises

 

 

'The legendary tenor saxophonist Pharoah Sanders, an icon of free jazz and an advocate of spiritual communion in music, works with the British electronic musician/producer Floating Points (Sam Shepherd) and the notable century-old London Symphony Orchestra on Promises, which signals his first release in more than a decade. This 46-minute nine-movement suite reveals a quiet nature and an irresistible sense of longing and veneration for the heavenliness. The first movement sets the tone with a beautiful sequence of sparse chords timely arpeggiated with harpsichord, piano and synth. We recognize some ethnic influence that drowns us into the immensity of a luminous, intimate and transcendental stasis......Now, no movement reaches the heights of “Movement VI”, a fascinating journey graced with a hair-raising orchestration whose emotional response can easily bring tears to our eyes.....Although less possessed by the giant saxophonist’s improvisational flair, Promises is easier to consume than his free jazz romps of other times. It’s a beautiful work, fruit of an inter-generational collaboration that should be welcomed by each and every jazz, classical and ambient music fan.' (JazzTrail).

Details, Samples and Introductory Video **: Full JazzTrail Review :

 

 

 

 

 

Chris Potter Circuits Trio - Sunrise Reprise
(Edition Records) - Released:

Chris Potter (tenor and soprano saxophones, flute, clarinet, sampler); James Francies (piano, keyboards); Eric Harland (drums).

Chris Potter Circuits Trio Sunrise Reprise

 

 

'A prodigious figure in the contemporary jazz world for many decades, saxophonist/composer Chris Potter constantly makes waves at every release. Sunrise Reprise, the second installment of his acclaimed Circuits Trio - featuring the formidable keyboardist James Francies and the dynamic drummer Eric Harland - consists of a five-track program that, navigating an interesting tonal spectrum, generates a technically perfect circuitry of ultra-modern sounds combined in its electric and acoustic forms. Recorded in the midst of an imposed New York City lockdown, the album kicks off with “Sunrise and Joshua Trees”, a soaring contemplation delicately crafted with Francies’ adept textures. The tune’s glowing atmosphere has a dreamlike quality occasionally stirred by laser-like synth beams and progressively engulfed by deep bass notes that stimulate Potter’s advanced vocabulary.....Luxuriating in individual freedom and tight collective interplay, Sunrise Reprise may not reach the heights of the Circuit Trio’s eponymous debut, but guarantees plenty of groove and atmospherics to keep you permanently connected.' (JazzTrail)

Details and Sample :  Full JazzTrail Review :

 

 

 

 

 

Dave Holland - Another Land
(Edition Records) - Released: 28th May 2021

Dave Holland (bass); Kevin Eubanks (guitar); Obed Calvaire (drums).

Dave Holland Another Land

 

'Another Land is the new album from the all-star trio featuring Dave Holland, Kevin Eubanks and Obed Calvaire and a power-packed set of originals. This is a potent studio set of fluid themes developed by the band and forged in the furnace of live performance. During the live shows that preceded the recording of Another Land, Dave explains “we were doing a continuous set, once we started we very rarely stopped, we just kept going,”. The Guardian described the shows as a “blues-fuelled inferno summoning the spirit of Hendrix”. Throughout his career, Dave Holland has established a reputation for making his bands a proving ground for promising young instrumentalists, but his latest trio is a true all-star assemblage of jazz heavyweights, all established bandleaders and composers, each representing the world standard on their instrument. Released on limited edition double vinyl, CD and hi-res download, this is a power-packed set that reunites Dave with the guitar work of Kevin Eubanks, whose searing, soulful approach was last heard on Dare 2 as part of the Prism project. Eubanks was also key to the muscular quartet that recorded Holland’s seminal 1990 ECM release Extensions, and this new band is yet another example of Holland’s brilliance at building ensembles that are greater than the sum of their formidable parts.' (album notes). 'Dave Holland is a mighty bassist who is equally at home in world fusion and post-bop environments as with avant-garde ensembles. Another Land is a blistering fusion work delivered with a new trio ....The album’s nine instrumentals - four by Holland, four by Eubanks and one by Calvaire - will keep you engrossed in a kaleidoscopic musical sphere moulded with startling emotional honesty.....Holland’s allegiance isn’t to genre but to musical excellence. Whatever the context his group plays in, their sense of unity and enjoyment becomes evident, not just while riding the great themes but also when departing from the written notations to embark on thrilling improvised stories.' (JazzTrail)

Details and Sample : Listen to the Title Track Another Land : Listen to The Village : Full JazzTrail Review :

 

 

 

 

 

Wadada Leo Smith with Milford Graves and Bill Laswell - Sacred Ceremonies
(TUM Records) - Released: 4th June 2021 [3 CD Box Set]

Wadada Leo Smith (trumpet); Bill Laswell (electric bass); Milford Graves (drums, percussion).

Smith Graves Laswell Sacred Ceremonies

 

'Wadada Leo Smith will turn 80 later this year, and to celebrate, Tum Records are releasing two deluxe 3-CD box sets. Three CDs with their own carton sleeves and an inner sleeve with a 50 page booklet. Sacred Ceremonies represents a meeting of three true masters of creative music. On this three-CD boxed set trumpet legend Wadada Leo Smith joins forces with the ever-versatile electric bassist Bill Laswell and the late, great master drummer Milford Graves in three separate sessions. The boxed set comprises a duo CD of Wadada Leo Smith with Milford Graves, a duo CD of Wadada Leo Smith with Bill Laswell and a trio CD of Wadada Leo Smith with both Bill Laswell and Milford Graves.' (album notes). 'To celebrate his 80th birthday, the distinguished avant-garde trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith releases a 3 CD box set, Sacred Ceremonies, in the company of the experimental electric bassist Bill Laswell and the late free-jazz drummer Milford Graves. The recording, which took place at Laswell’s studio in New Jersey, is the product of three separate one-day sessions, with the first two volumes emerging as duos (trumpet/drums and trumpet/bass) and the third, the main focus of this review, in the trio format.....With these three extraordinary explorers, the improvisation can go anywhere as they discover as they go. Sometimes magical and ravishing, sometimes intriguing and dark, the music immerses the listeners in angular forms that are consistently good from start to finish......Structural elements are connected with atypical exhibitions of sentiment, turning these unique meetings into amazing and unshakeable sonic worlds of their own. The album is dedicated to Graves, who passed away in February this year.' (JazzTrail).

Details : Full JazzTrail Review :

 

 

 

 

Charlie Porter - Hindsight
(OA2 Records) - Released: 19th February 2021

Charlie Porter (trumpet); Nick Biello (alto and soprano saxophone); Orrin Evans (piano, keyboards); David Wong (upright bass); Kenneth Salters (drums); Mike Moreno (guitar); Behn Gillece (vibraphone); Damian Erskine (electric bass); Jimmie Herrod (vocals); Rasheed Jamal (rap vocals); Majid Khaliq (violin); Bassekou Kouyate (ngoni); Mahamadou Tounkara (tama).

Charlie Porter Hindsight

 

'Not a stranger to the idea of infusing one's art with examinations of societal conditions, Grammy-winning trumpeter Charlie Porter follows 2019's 'Immigration Nation' with thoughts of how we act in hindsight to deal with the collateral damage of 'progress' and the centuries-old struggles with racism, inequality and corruption. Born during the upheavals of 2020, 'Hindsight' reflects the tumult, uncertainty, and fiery emotions of the times, yet with the recent birth of his son and thoughts of how we're going to leave the planet for the next generation, his 'For Ellis' closes the album with a gospel choir and a hymn of hope.' (album notes). 'Possessing a refined compositional style and immersive sound, trumpeter/composer Charlie Porter reflects on the present times through a mix of mainstream and neo-bop that deftly combines familiarity and surprise. Hindsight, Porter’s third album as a leader, finds him navigating great textures and ambiances with a core quartet - featuring pianist Orrin Evans, bassist David Wong and drummer Kenneth Salters - that, more often than not, is expanded with special guests. The uplifting “Tipping Point” is a Wynton Marsalis-esque incursion delivered with manic swinging glee and asking for rapid lines and kinetic expression.....Both the title track and the waltzing “Requiem” are ballads. The former is enriched by Behn Gillece’s vibraphone work and the cool airiness of Porter’s muted trumpet, while the latter is a tribute to the victims of covid-19....The record addresses present concerns about the world but also hope in the future as seen by the lens of a formidable post-bop practitioner who knows how to recycle tradition for the sake of fresh contemporary music making.' (JazzTrail)

Details and Samples **: Introductory Video : Listen to Tipping Point : Listen to Requiem : Full JazzTrail Review:

 

 

 

 

Europe and Elsewhere

 

Ariel Bart - In Between
(Ropeadope) - Released: 20th May 2021

Ariel Bart (harmonica); Mayu Shviro (cello); Moshe Elmakias (piano); David Michaeli (double bass); Amir Bar Akiva (drums)

Ariel Bart In Between

 

 

'Working to extend the harmonica’s boundaries by creating original music, Ariel Bart is bringing a fresh sound to Jazz. The Jazz influences from her mentors are evident on her debut album, In Between, set for release on May 20, 2021, yet she stretches into unknown territory with the unique sound of the harmonica. Hints of Jonathan Levy and Tin Hat Trio are there in her solos, backed by a free flowing composition and playing from Mayu Shviro (Cello), Moshe Elmakias (Piano), David Michaeli (Double Bass), and Amir Bar Akiva (drums). The interplay with the band highlights the unique feelings evoked by a lead harmonica - always longing with a touch of sadness but punctuated with moments of pure joy. 'Storytelling in any form of music always grabs my attention; and my response to Ariel's style was instant. In Between feels like a soundtrack to my own journey; a remarkable connection between artist and listener is immediately evident' (Louis H. Marks, Ropeadope)' (album notes). '......she plays with soul: as the title suggests, she's 'in between'; between the cultures of her Israeli background and those of the Arab and European world; between jazz and classical; between cherishing tradition and charting the new ... An intriguing listen today, and an artist who will be even more compelling tomorrow.' (Andy Robson in Jazzwise ***)

Details and Samples ** : Video of Stranger On The Hill : Listen to The Year After :

 

 

 

 

Re-issues

 

Count Basie And His Orchestra - The Count Basie Collection 1937 - 1939
(Acrobat) - Released: 2021 [3 CDs]

Count Basie (piano) with various personnel including Buck Clayton, Harry 'Sweets' Edison (trumpet); Dickie Wells (trombone); Earl Warren (alto sax); Lester Young, Herschel Evans, Chu Berry (tenor sax); Freddie Green (guitar); Walter Page (bass); Jo Jones (drums); Helen Hume, Jimmy Rushing (vocals).

Count Basie Collection 1937-1939

 

'William Count Basie was one of the most important, innovative and influential personalities in jazz during the middle decades of the 20th century, both as pianist, composer and bandleader, his music transcending the worlds of small group jazz, big band music, swing and R&B, and with many future stars of the genre coming to prominence playing with his orchestra. Having honed his skills with Bennie Moten's band in Kansas City, he formed his own orchestra in 1936 after Moten's death and after a lengthy engagement in Chicago signed to Decca, recording for them until almost the end of the decade. This 63-track 3-CD set comprises his releases for Decca during those years, which laid down a marker as to the talent and style of his bands, and constitute a significant and satisfying body of work. The collection features many of his well-known compositions like One O'Clock Jump, Blue And Sentimental, Blues In The Dark, along with some of the classic standards of the era. A number of the tracks feature vocals by the great singers Jimmy Rushing and Helen Humes, and among the predominantly big band recordings are some by Basie with a trio comprising Fred Green, Walter Page and Jo Jones. Among the other musicians in his line-up were Buck Clayton, Lester Young, Harry Edison and Dickie Wells. Its a substantial, thorough and enlightening overview of this key era of Basi'es career.' (album notes). '....In clear sound, with helpful booklet notes and available at bargain proce, this makes a great introduction to anyone who may only know Basie from the Atomic period onwards. Highly recommended.' (Simon Spillett in Jazzwise *****)

Details and Samples :

 

 

 

 

 

Joe Williams - Four Classic Albums
(Avid Jazz) - Released: 2021

Joe Williams (vocals) with Count Basie and various personnel

Joe Williams Four Classic Albums

 

'AVID Jazz continues with its Four Classic Albums series with a re-mastered 2CD set release from Joe Williams complete with original artwork, liner notes and personnel details. 'A Night At Count Basie's'; 'A Man Ain't Supposed To Cry'; 'Everyday I Have The Blues' and 'Just The Blues'. Before I agreed to write these sales notes for our Joe Williams set, I insisted to the friendly guys at AVID that I would absolutely not mention the fact that our man has often been mistaken for the legendary blues man Big Joe Williams. They agreed so I won't mention it! Joe Williams was born Joseph Goreed in Georgia 1918 but was raised by his mother and grandmother on the south side of Chicago. His early years were spent singing gospel in church choirs and he began his professional solo career in 1937. Joe played with many of the big bands of the era including Lionel Hampton and Jimmy Noone as well as touring with Coleman Hawkins in 1941. From 1954 to 1961 Joe was to play with the man whose name he is perhaps synonymous with, the legendary Count Basie. Here we feature Joe on three albums featuring and supported by the great man. The two would remain great friends, with Joe regularly performing with Basie during his own very successful solo career. In 1992 one of our featured albums 'Everyday I Have The Blues' was added to the Grammy Hall Of Fame for recordings of particular historical or qualitative importance. An impressive list of artists Joe has played with would have to include Harry 'Sweets' Edison, Cannonball Adderley, George Shearing, Junior Mance, Clark Terry and Thad Jones. Our final album of this set 'Just The Blues' features just Joe and The Count Basie Orchestra together and to the best of our knowledge has not been available on CD until now!' (album notes). 'It would be truer to say that this is two classic albums with a pair of additional records of wildly different character attached to its coat-tails, and (unusually for Avid) some rather deficient liner note details. By far the odder of these old LPs is a jam session at the 132nd Street New York bar that for a short while bore the name of Count Basie Club. Joe Williams sings as immaculately as ever ....' (Alyn Shipton in Jazzwise ****)

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Art Pepper - Atlanta: Unreleased Art Pepper Volume 11
(Widow's Taste) - Released: 2021

Art Pepper (alto sax); Milcho Leviev (piano); Bob Magnusson (bass); Carl Burnett (drums)

Art Pepper Atlanta

 

 

'Art Pepper's widow Laurie's eleventh volume of archive material gives us an intimate snapshot of the great saxophonist's Quartet live in Atlanta in May 1980 ... This latest release is dedicated to Milcho Leviev, a pianist of sensitivity, imagination and humour ... Wayne Peet's remastering of Laurie's cassette tape brings out Bob Magnusson's excellent sound, intonation, swing and soloing ....More than once, pepper's solos rise to such an emotional level that it seems a natural progression, not affectation, to go out into avant-garde multi-note flourishes. And then on the ballad 'Patricia' he is achingly beautiful and truly profound .......' (Alan Barnes in Jazzwise ****)

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Bill Evans - Everybody Still Digs Bill Evans: A Career Retrospective (1956-1980)
(Craft Recordings) - Released: 2021 [5 CDs]

Bill Evans with various personnel including Freddie Hubbard (trumpet); Cannonball Adderley, Lee Konitz (alto sax); Zoot Sims, Stan Getz, Harold Land (tenor sax); Toots Thielmans (harmonica); Marian McPartland (piano); Jim Hall, Kenny Burrell (guitar); Scott LaFaro, Percy Heath, Ray Brown (bass); Paul Motian, Philly Joe Jones, Connie Kay, Shelly Manne (drums); Tony Bennett (vocals)

Bill Evans Everybody Still Digs Bill Evans

 

 

'First-ever career-spanning retrospective (1956-1980) - 5 CDs with repertoire from the Riverside, Fantasy, Verve, and Warner years. Includes the previously unreleased concert 'On a Friday Evening' recorded live at Oil Can Harry's in Vancouver, BC on June 20, 1975, featuring Jazz legends Eddie Gomez on bass and Eliot Zigmund on drums. The collection features over 60 tracks that spotlight Evans' exceptional work as a leader and co-leader. The expansive set also includes a previously unreleased live performance from 1975, captured at Oil Can Harry's in Vancouver, B.C.' (album notes). 'There's a huge amount of good music here, as indeed there should be from a compilation covering a quarter-century.....Of course, with any such compilation, the individual punter can dispute the choice of titles and versions. But the main lesson to be learned is that, even for experienced listeners, a well-known album track heard in isolation and surrounded by other relevant material is often a stunning reminder of how extraordinary this music is.' (Brian Priestley in Jazzwise ****)

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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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