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July 2020

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VirginiaWoolf

'Anon'. Written for International Women's day 2020 and recorded during lockdown this lovely setting of words from Virginia Woolf's 'A Room of One's Own' features Lara Eidi (vocals), Dave Manington (double bass) and Naadia Sheriff (piano). Music by Naadia Sheriff. Mixing and Mastering by Dave Manington. click here. The recording is available to purchase here.

 

 

 

Quincy Jones Launches New Initiative to Bring Awareness into Schools

To mark this year’s Juneteenth, which is a day celebrating the end of slavery in the United States as of June 19th 1865, Quincy Jones, the legendary multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, composer, arranger, and film and television producer, has launched a new international initiative bringing jazz, blues and gospel music awareness into schools with Qwest TV. They are planning to distribute carefully curated, culturally significant and powerful musical performances free of charge to students and educators from Quincy Jones September.

Quincy says “Much to our collective disservice, the United States is the only country without a Minister of Culture, and this communal inattentiveness to our roots has been detrimental to our individual and collective understanding of identity. Oftentimes, people don’t know who they are because they have no frame of reference......When I lived in Paris during the late 50s, I learned a great deal about life, because having come from America in the midst of segregation, Paris taught me about acceptance, regardless of color or culture. They loved Jazz, and more importantly, they took people who looked like me in as their own. ..... Jazz conditioned me to be an open thinker and taught me how to improvise in nearly every area of my life.....In the same way, there is something absolutely beautiful about the fact that music has the unique ability to connect people from all walks of life. I’m talking about individuals of different races, beliefs, socio-economic statuses, you name it. And man, the history of our music is incredibly deep; the fact of the matter is, people don’t know enough about it and the influence that it has had on our modern-day music and life."

"It’s difficult to know what to say during a time such as this, because I’ve been dealing with racism my entire life. That said, it’s rearing its ugly head right now, and by God, it’s time to deal with it once and for all ...."

"So, it absolutely brings me a great deal of joy to announce that from September onwards, we at Qwest TV will be giving out free access to our “Qwest TV Educational Platform” to all willing elementary-high schools, music schools, colleges, and universities from all over the world, with over 1,000 programs of music, while rightly compensating the artists and rights owners. Documentaries, archives, and concerts from around the world highlight the beauty of our humanity and what makes our differences a strength to share. We want each kid and student to be able to freely explore their musical history by rediscovering their roots, both through Jazz and beyond.”

Click here for more details and for Quincy's full statement and think about passing this link to your local school music department so that they can apply.

 

 

Jazz South Commissions

Jazz South has launched Jazz South Commissions, a new three-part programme offering over £30,000 towards commission projects for composers working in jazz and improvisation in the Jazz South region. Jazz South Commissions are about innovation, ambition and artistic Jazz South logoaspiration, and aim to support and celebrate the vibrant range of jazz talent in the region.

 

Platform South Commissions will involve the six bands selected for the first round of Jazz South’s inaugural Platform South scheme.

Jazz South Radar Commissions and Jazz South South Breakthrough Commissions are two open-call schemes. They are now open for online applications from composers and jazz presenters.

With Jazz South Radar Commissions, 10 awards of up to £1,250 will be offered to composers at all career stages to create new pieces of original music for up to three performers. These will be digitally broadcast in late 2020, generating inspiration and new material for live performances and touring in the future.  Applications are invited exclusively from composers.

For Jazz South Breakthrough Commissions, 4 awards of up to £3,000 will be offered to early career composers.  Supported by a package of mentoring, each selected composer will create a new piece for digital broadcast from a venue in the Jazz South region in early 2021. Applications are invited from composers, organisations or individuals (including promoters, clubs, festivals, venues, curators, and producers).

 

The Deadline for submissions is 5pm Friday 31 July 2020 for details click here.

 

 

 

Jazz For One

At the end of June, The Guardian reported a different initiative being taken by La Gare jazz club in Paris:

La Gare is a club situated in a former railway station in a northern district of Paris; customers form a physically distanced queue to sign up for the evening’s concerts. 'In a time of coronavirus, the musicians are not the only soloists. They are playing for solo guests who take their turn for five minutes’ entertainment in the club’s basement. Couples or pairs of family members can watch together. Everyone else must go down separately. Each evening, three different artists give brief individual mini-concerts. By the end of this month, there will have been La garealmost 3,000 such performances.'

The venue director, Julien de Casabianca, says: “We like to foster a rapport between the musicians and the audience here. Even before the coronavirus we would ask people not to talk during the concerts and never turn their back on the musicians. In most places, they say the customer is king, well at La Gare they’re not. The music is king. And we want people to give it their full attention.”

'Casabianca could open La Gare to a restricted audience with everyone keeping their distance, but says this would kill the atmosphere. The mini concerts are free; guests are invited to pay what they can or want.'

 

Photograph: Kiran Ridley/The Guardian

 

“At first I thought we’d put on concerts with everyone social distancing but it would have been impossible to create a rapport between the public and the musician. It would be a complete failure. I figured that if a person was alone with a solo musician for five minutes there would be this rapport each time for every one of them,” he said. “In this way, people are forced to be completely present. They are face to face with the musician, eye to eye. They can’t be thinking of their money problems or anything else. They have to respect the music and the musician.”

Casabianca added: “Our short concerts generate a kind of magic. People become very emotional. Some come out in tears.”

Click here for the full report. Click here for the La Gare Facebook page.

 

 

 

Video Juke Box

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

 

 

Juke Box

 

 

Joe Webb I Was Doing Alright

 

 

Joe Webb, Conor Chaplin and Dave Archer remind us of what we have been missing as they play this great number ‘I Was Doing Alright’ 2 metres apart at an empty Kansas Smitty’s at the end of May.

 

 

 

 

 

Andrew McCormack Solo video

 

 

This is a brief video introduction to Andrew McCormack's piano album Solo released in June [See Recent Releases]. There is a video of Shaper Maker played live here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nat King Cole Careless Love

 

 

Here's Nat King Cole with a swinging, upbeat version of W.C. Handy's Careless Love in the company of Barney Bigard, Teddy Buckner and others.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emma Johnson Where Have You Been Hiding?

 

 

Emma Johnson's Gravy Boat play their new relaxed and appealing single Where Have You Been Hiding? Emma is a Leeds-based tenor saxophonist and bandleader and this single is part of an album the band plan to record and release this year following their tour in 2019. The track features the voice of Nishla Smith.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ezra Collective Footprints

 

 

A 'listen' rather than a 'watch' but not to be missed. This is Ezra Collective playing Wayne Shorter's Footprints. The track is from the upcoming Bluenote Re:imgained album out in September. The album is a collection of brand new studio recordings of classic tracks from the iconic label’s archive.

 

 

 

 

 

Tyree Glen Jeepers Creepers

 

 

This archive video from back in 1958 has Louis Armstrong / Duke Ellington trombonist Tyree Glen soloing on Jeepers Creepers at Art Ford's Jazz Party.

 

 

 

 

 

 

James Copus From The Source

 

 

Trumpeter James Copus plays From The Source from his debut album, Dusk, due for release in July with a band that includes Tom Cawley (piano); Conor Chaplin (double bass) and Jason Brown (drums).

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

BBC Young Jazz Musician 2020

Following the success of the first three editions, the biennial BBC Young Jazz Musician competition returns in 2020 to support and celebrate the wealth of young talent on the UK jazz scene. In a continued joint effort to showcase the most talented up-and-coming Xhosa Coleinstrumentalists and singers to audiences across the UK, the BBC Young Jazz Musician Final will be hosted as part of the EFG London Jazz Festival in November at an event supported by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, and broadcast on BBC Four.

Entries for the competition are now open, with a deadline in mid-July, and full details on how to apply can be found on the BBC Young Musician website.

 

Xhosa Cole

 

From the initial entries, up to 25 semi-finalists will be selected, out of which 5 young performers will go on to appear at the Final. The finalists will have the opportunity to play with the internationally acclaimed Nikki Yeoh’s Infinitum, led by British jazz composer and pianist Nikki Yeoh and featuring her rhythm section of siblings Michael Mondesir (bass) and Mark Mondesir (drums).  The winner of the 2018 edition was Birmingham saxophonist Xhosa Cole, who went on to be awarded as Jazz Newcomer of the Year in the 2019 Parliamentary Jazz Awards, as well as performing in some of the UK’s most prestigious venues. Click on the picture for a video Xhosa Cole's 2018 performance.

Head of BBC Music TV Commissioning Jan Younghusband says: “We are so delighted that we can continue with BBC Young Jazz Musician this year, and give these incredibly talented musicians a platform to perform. Encouraging young talent at this time has never been more important and we are thrilled to partner again with the EFG London Jazz Festival to make this possible.”

 

 

Record Store Day Re-Scheduled

Record Store Day Drops

 

Record Store Day was originally scheduled for 29th April, then June 20th, but now the decision has been made to split the day into three "drop" dates - Saturday 29th August, Saturday 26th September and Saturday 24th October. In the past, Record Store Day has been a celebration for the music community and record stores, but due to the current climate RSD20 will rely on these drop dates to support record stores, artists, labels and everyone else within the record making business.

A statement from the organisation said, "This current RSD 2020 plan to spread the spotlight and the support over three months, was made with as much available information as possible, and gives the largest number of stores a chance to participate globally in the strangest Record Store Day ever. RSD will be using the guidance of government and scientific experts to ensure these RSD Drop Dates are as socially responsible and safe as possible for all involved."

 

HMV shop safety

 

 

Record shops on the high stree have been re-opening their doors again following government guidelines.

HMV are launching a new ‘List and Leave’ service so you can drop off a list of records you’d like to buy before collecting later, as well as a 'Ring and Reserve' service too.

HMV owner Doug Putman commented: “Our teams have been working on plans to re-open since the day we had to close our doors. We’ve redesigned our store layouts so that customers can make their way through the stores, buy what they want and pay seamlessly, while still providing spaces for those who want to browse while maintaining social distancing”.

A list of their re-opened stores is here.

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

 

Stan Kenton - Play It Loud

 

Stan Kenton

 

'... Capitol Records ... signed Kenton up for a date in November 1943. He quickly became Capitol's top-selling star, his tall , lean frame and toothy grin occupying a high proportion of the company's advertising space.

'Stan quickly cottoned onto the fact that he had a potential following for the all-stops-out style of much of his band's book: Artistry Jumps, Intermission Riff, Machito, ...... The trumpets scrambled over one another as each strove to cap his colleagues, a barrel-chested trombone section sent out blaring tidal waves of sound, and if the saxophone section sometimes struggled to be heard, they refused to be overcome. Under it all was a rhythm section which, as time went by, was obliged to sacrifice subtlety and swing in favour of sheer volume.

Click here for a video of Intermission Riff made when the Kenton Orchestra visited London in 1972.

'It was apparent that Stan loved volume just as much as did the fans. Many stories have been told to verify this. Guitarist Sal Salvador told Stan Woolley how, during the playing of Artistry In Rhythm, the sound sometimes disappeared. "I turned around and looked at the guys and their cheeks were all out and they were blowing like crazy but my ears had just cut-out at a certain point." Another tale told of Stan demanding more and yet more volume in rehearsal until he was finally assured that the band could not possibly play any louder. He was advised to have his ears syringed. He did, and the next day was almost deafened by the thunderous roar of the band....

Click here for a video of the Kenton Orchestra in Berlin in 1953 from the German film, "Schlagerparade" ("Hit Parade") arranged by Bill Holman and with a formidable line-up including Buddy Childers, Vic Minichiello, Conte Candoli, Don Dennis, Don Smith (trumpet) Bob Burgess, Frank Rosolino, Keith Moon, Bill Russo (trombone), Bill Smiley (bass trombone), Dave Schildkraut, Lee Konitz (alto sax), Bill Holman, Zoot Sims (tenor sax), Tony Ferina (baritone sax), Stan Kenton (piano), Barry Galbraith (guitar), Don Bagley (bass) and Stan Levey (drums).

'..... There were also interesting new charts by Gerry Mulligan whose preference for writing tight arrangements which condensed the sound of a big band conflicted with Stan's view that a big band should sound like a big band. Nevertheless, Mulligan left a legacy of good music, including Young Blood, a tune which spakled with originality of thought and was played with verve by the band ...

Click here to listen to Young Blood.

'.... In the early 1960s Stan's ceaseless quest for new sounds led him to form his 23 piece 'New Era in Modern Music' orchestra which, thanks to having in its ranks an instrument not associated with jazz and big bands, was more usually known as the 'Mellophone' Band.

'Stan had wanted a new voice for the brass section. He had tried French horns and even alto trumpets before turning to mellophoniums. The results were mixed but the sound certainly was different .....

'..... Not surprisingly, given his penchant for experimentation, Kenton also tried his hand at fusions but with varying levels of success. On one particularly well-received album, 7.5 On The Richter Scale, Kenton looses his band on such numbers as the themes from the movies .....

Click here to listen to the James Bond Live And Let Die theme from the album.

'..... In 1977 Stan fell, fracturing his skull and was subsequently operated on for the removal of a blood clot. During his absence the band played on, led for a while by clarinetist Buddy De Franco and when Stan returned to the band he was as enthusiastic as ever but his gruelling schedule was beginning to tell. The band played its final concert on 20 August 1978 ..... Stan's health deteriorated rapidly and he died on 25 August 1979.

'In his will Stan Kenton stipulated that his band would never follow in the footsetps of Glenn Miller or Tommy Dorsey; there was to be no Stan Kenton Orchestra after his death'.

From: The Big Band Years by Bruce Crowther and Mike Pinfold.

 

Stan Kenton

 

If you enjoy Stan Kenton's music you might want to watch this 'Lost Concert' video from 1978 (click here) which lasts for almost an hour and a half. The picture is not perfect but the sound is very good and there is some outstanding playing. Jack Stuckey who posts it says: "This engagement in March 1978 does not appear in any of the band's published itineraries. Even Audree Coke Kenton could not find any record of this concert in Kentonia files. When Robert Widener presented the band in 1977, Stan could not be there because of his tragic accident in Reading, PA. Bob kept in touch with Stan and his agent, Willard Alexander. The idea of reopening the legendary Cocoanut Grove appealed to them. Widener made arrangements to reopen this historic room which had been mothballed and unused for years. Bob advised his mailing list that Kenton would be back, and it would be at the Cocoanut Grove. Willard Alexander called and said, March, in California. Bob picked Saturday, March 18. Stan's fans rushed to book seats and the event sold out in days......" (You can read more with the video).

Despite what Stan said in his will, this hasn't prevented bands emerging paying tribute to the Stand Kenton orchestras such as the Stan Kenton Legacy Band.

 

 

 

 

 

 

PRob Luft's

Life Is The Dancer

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].

 

Nicholas Poussain Dance To The Music Of Time

 

The artist Nicholas Poussin painted the picture 'A Dance to the Music of Time' in 1636; it can be viewed in the Wallace Collection in London.  While the precise meaning of the picture is uncertain, it has come to represent the perpetual cycle of the human condition itself: from poverty to labour to riches and then to pleasure, which, if indulged to excess, reverts to poverty.  The title of Rob Luft's new album, Life Is The Dancer, is a quote borrowed from Eckhart Tolle who said "life is the dancer and you are the dance" while W.B. Yeats in his poem 'Among School Children' asks the question "How can we know the dancer from the dance?".

It is self evident that dance and dancer are inextricably linked and these various metaphors of human life and how it is lived serve to get us thinking about ourselves and our situation.  Life Is The Dancer is an excellent title for an album of music and the title has taken on added significance given that is has been released into a world plagued by Covid-19, but while the added significance may be welcome, the chaos and damage that has been done to the whole music industry in general and Rob Luft's plans for promoting the album in particular are Rob Luft Life Is The Dancerdecidedly unwelcome. 

Over the telephone Rob tells me how he was in New York for two sold-out gigs in Greenwich Village in March with Elina Duni and Rod Youngs and had just completed the soundcheck when the gig was cancelled, forcing Rob and Elina to quickly get a flight back to London before the lockdown and travel ban came into effect. Months later a poster on the Royal Albert pub in New Cross advertising an upcoming Rob Luft gig still hangs forlornly, weeks after the gig was meant to have taken place, and it is surely this almost instantaneous abandonment of live performance that is so hard to come to terms with.

Rob is stoical about his and the predicament of all musicians who thrive on live performance.  It was too late to delay its release so the album launch was done on-line via Serious Livestream Sessions with Elina Duni helping out but without the quintet that performed in the recording studio. Rob has spent his lockdown time at home. He admits that the enforced break from his normal busy life has enabled him to listen to music far more, including music from his own collection that he hasn't heard for a long time such as Nick Drake and the earlier work of Pat Metheny that included Brazilian and Argentinian influences.  It must also be very pleasing that Life Is The Dancer has been very well received by critics and the public alike - Chris May at allaboutjazz wrote "Every aspect of the album is sublime....", while Adrian Pallant wrote "the guitarist's warm personality and eclectic musical interests clearly shine through both his playing and interactions with others."  The other musicians on the album are Luft's long term collaborators, with Joe Wright on tenor saxophone, Joe Webb on Hammond organ and piano, Tom McCredie on double bass and Corrie Dick on drums.  Guest contributions come from Byron Wallen on trumpet and Luna Cohen on vocals.

Fans of Rob Luft will remember that the title track of his first album as band leader, Riser, betrayed a South African influence while another track had the feel of a ceilidh about it. This blending of jazz with other music genres has been called 'future jazz' and Life Is The Dancer carries on where Riser left off, with more great jazz that gets you dancing and with arrangements that give every band-member the chance to shine.  Unusually, the first track on the album has not been written by Luft but is an arrangement of a piece composed by Danish bassist Anders Christensen called Berlin, which the Luft quintet often play at the end of gigs. This irresistible piece celebrates Berlin techno which became popular with young people following the demolition of the Berlin Wall; outside of Germany the same style of music might be called dance music.

Click here to listen to Berlin.

Tracks 2, Life Is The Dancer and 10, Expect The Unexpected, both include trumpet from Byron Wallen and vocalising from Luna Cohen and the addition of these two artists generates a really big sound from the band. Rob Luft revealed in a recent BBC Radio 3 interview with Jess Gillam that the voice is his favourite instrument and hearing Luna Cohen it is easy to understand why, although surely Wallen's trumpet, muted on the latter track, can't be far behind.

Click here for a video of Expect The Unexpected played live in Budapest in February 2020.

The tanpura is an Indian fretless lute and on track 5, Tanpura, Rob conjures an authentic sound using electronics and a slider.  Synesthesia, the title of track 6 is a condition whereby one perceives something with two senses simultaneously and in the musical context this often involves hearing sounds and seeing them as colours; Joe Webb plays some great piano on this track before Rob piles in with guitar reinforced with electronics. This track was co-written by Rob and Enzo Zirilli and Rob relates that Zirilli found a hang (a tuned percussion instrument popularised by the band Portico) backstage where they were performing in Italy and instantly produced a tune on it that Rob recorded.  

Click here to listen to Synesthesia.

It is clear that a lot of skill and thought has gone into this album and the result is excellent jazz with numerous and varied influences. The title of the album itself inspires thought and during these gloomy times the music from Rob Luft and his superlative band will certainly help to bring some joy into everyone's life.  

The streamed album launch of Life Is The Dancer with just Rob and Elina is still available on YouTube (click here). It runs for just over an hour and it is a delight. It is informal and relaxed and even if the picture isn't perfect, the music is outstanding.

 

Click here for details and samples of the album Life Is The Dancer.

 

Rob Luft

 

 

 

 

Take Two

Everything Happens To Me

 

[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].

Everything Happens To Me is a lovely standard written in 1940 by Matt Dennis with lyrics by Tom Adair. It was picked up by the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra as a feature for Frank Sinatra. The Classic Jazz Standards website tells how: 'In December 1940, the compositor Matt Dennis, through the singer Jo Stafford, met Tommy Dorsey in the Hollywood Palladium. Dorsey, after listening to some of the melodies, A Rainy Day In New Yorkasked him to compose something for him. Although Dennis had the music of the songs written, he needed the lyrics. One night, while he was playing in a nightclub in Los Angeles, he ran into Tom Adair, who had already written the lyrics of another of his songs, ‘Will You Still be Mine?’. The compositor loved Adair’s sophisticated way of writing and asked him to write the lyrics for two of his compositions, ‘Everything Happens to Me’ and ‘Let’s Get Away from It All’......'.

Before we take two, let's remind ourselves of the vocal version. It is sung here by Hollywood's current 'golden boy', Timothée Chalamet, in the latest film, A Rainy Day In New York, by Hollywood's currently less-than golden boy, Woody Allen. Made in 2017, it took two years for it to be distributed in some European countries and is now available in the UK on a couple of digital platforms (Amazon Prime, Google Play). The film has received poor reviews but nevertheless has brought in a lot of money! Chalamet has since announced that 'he will be donating his salary from (A Rainy Day In New York) to the Time’s Up initiative against harassment and assault, alongside other charities.

 

 

Click on the picture below for a clip of Timothée Chalamet singing Everything Happens To Me
(You might get an advert first for a few seconds)

 

Timothee Chalamet Everything Happens To Me

 

I have chosen two takes of the song that feature saxophone solos, one of which presents a challenge.

 

The first has Sonny Stitt playing the song in Copenhagen in 1971 with an amazing line-up of 'Jazz Giants' - Thelonius Monk (piano); Dizzy Gillespie (trumpet); Kai Winding (trombone); Sonny Stitt (sax), Al McKibbon (bass) and Art Blakey (drums). After Kai Winding's introduction the stage primarily belongs to Sonny Stitt - click here.

 

Sonny Stitt Everything Happens To Me

 

 

Black cats creep across my path
Until I'm almost mad
I must have 'roused the devil's wrath
Cause all my luck is bad
I make a date for golf and you can bet your life it rains
I try to give a party and the guy upstairs complains
I guess I'll go through life
Just catchin' colds and missin' trains
Everything happens to me

I never miss a thing
I've had the measles and the mumps
And every time I play an ace
My partner always trumps
Guess I'm just a fool who never looks before he jumps
Everything happens to me

 

I like to imagine Matt Dennis and Tom Adair writing Everything Happens To Me in the same room with Jerome Kern and Dorothy Reynolds as Jerome and Dorothy were writing 'Nothing's impossible I have found, For when my chin is on the ground, I pick myself up, Dust myself off, Start all over again.', but that was written four years earlier.


Our second take also features a saxophone solo, but I cannot tell you much about the band except they are called 'Pitch Black Jazz' and that the video was made during a recording session. I have searched the internet without success, so if anyone else fancies doing some detective work and can find out more about them, that would be good. In the meanwhile, check out their version of Everything Happens To Me - click here.

 

Pitch Black Jazz

 

 

At first my heart thought you could break this jinx for me
That love would turn the trick to end despair
But know I just can't fool this head that thinks for me
I've mortgaged all my castles in the air

I've telegraphed and phoned
I send an "Airmail Special" too
Your answer was "Goodbye"
And there was even postage due
I fell in love just once
And then it had to be with you
Everything happens to me

 

 

Jazz Quiz

Question Time

This month we challenge you with fifteen jazz-related questions. How many can you answer?

 

Who is this?

 

 

Click here for the Jazz Quiz.

 

 

 

Beatbox and Jazz

[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].

Some time ago in the UK, APPJAG (the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group) had an arrangement with Yamaha to sponsor Scholarships to emerging jazz musicians. A musician was nominated each year by each of the major conservatoires of music and they received a financial grant from Yamaha which they used to record, to promote their bands, etc. The Scholars were also given the opportunity to record a sample of their work at Astar Studios and Jazzwise magazine released a limited edition compilation CD, ‘The Yamaha New Jazz Sessions’, of those recordings with their magazine, and the 606 Club in Chelsea hosted an evening where the Scholars played.

Back in 2008, Ruby Wood, a vocalist from West Yorkshire, was nominated for a scholarship by Leeds College of Music. When she played at the 606 Club, for one of her numbers, John Coltrane's Africa, she introduced a beatboxer friend to join the band. The result was unusual and really impressive. Fortunately the number was recorded for the cover CD, although the beatbox percussion is less effective in the Alem beatboxerrecording than it was hearing it live. Click here to listen Ruby and Africa.

 

I talked to Ruby at the time (click here) but as the years passed I have lost touch with her. The memory of that number with the beatbox percussive effects has remained with me and since then I have not come across any other bands that have involved beatboxing.

 

Alem

 

The music created by Yancarlos Sanchez who uses mouth trumpet with a beatbox (KalimbaModel - Hugh Tracey Alto Kalimba with pickup), is amazing (click here), but this is not the use of beatbox with jazz that I am talking about.

Similarly, saxophonist Derek Brown has used a beatbox effect through his saxophone, but that is different again. Here he is with fellow saxophonist Jeff Coffin playing Brother (click here).

The nearest I have found to the effect I am writing about is this video from the French band Jazz Beatbox Project. JBP is mainly a meeting of three exceptional musical personalities: Alfio Origlio, pianist and jazz composer, brings to the trio his own creations and singular musical atmosphere, Stéphane Edouard, percussionist, strongly influenced by indian and occidental music, and Alem, elected beatbox world champion, quintessence of urban culture. There is more information with the video from 2017 - click here.

It would be interesting to know whether any readers have come across beatbox used as percssion in jazz. Please let me know if you have.

 

 

 

Making Sense Of How The Music Industry Works

BBM/BMC are taking their longstanding Masterclass online this year using Zoom. The event takes place from 1.00 - 5.00 pm on 25th July and costs £40 for those who book before 8th July. There is full information about the event here, but as an introduction, they say:

'If you don't know your MU from your PPL, your PRS from your VPL, or your BPI from your AIM, then this is for you! This master-class is open Music Industry Knowledgeto anyone with an interest in developing a career in the music industry. It's aimed at the unsigned or do-it-yourself artist, musicpreneur, or those who provide artists, songwriters and producers with specialist support. An opportunity to help you turn your music industry dreams or plans into reality!'

'This course amalgamates most of our short music industry courses (excluding Preparing A Music Business Plan Workshop). It shows how the music industry works, in order to join the dots by understanding the various careers within the music industry, the functions of the key industry organisations, income streams, and rights.'

'It's led by music industry tutor Kwaku (BBM/BMC & BTWSC). Kwaku holds a Music Business Management MA, Media MA and an LLM in Entertainment Law. He has taught music industry courses from pre-degree levels at City & Islington College, City University London, to post-graduate level at University Of Westminster. He has guest lectured at University Of Hertfordshire and LIPA (Liverpool institute For Performing Arts). A qualified NVQ assessor, he's also designed and delivered BTWSC's accredited and non-accredited courses.'

 

 

 

 

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].

 

Adrian Cox

Adrian Cox

 

Adrian Cox was born in Cuckfield in Sussex and grew up in Burgess Hill. He started playing clarinet when he was six; by the time he was fifteen and had taken his GCSE exams, he had left home to become a professional musician, and he has been playing hundreds of shows a year ever since.

In one interview Adrian said: “I had been learning the clarinet since I was six. I had lessons from a clarinettist who lived in Burgess Hill called Jumpin’ Jack Gilbert. He was my favourite player on the British scene. He made it so exciting. He was in a navy band in the Royal Navy and he had all the theory behind the music, but he also had tremendous feel. He did a lot for a lot of young people playing jazz, and from him, I got the excitement."

“I asked him to teach me exactly how he was taught. I told him ‘I would love to play like you.’ I started with him when I was 12. I used to go and see him once a week. His lessons would be 30 minutes, but I would always have the last lesson of the week and I would stay with him for three hours!"

“He was the person who really got me going. I was doing gigs from age 12, playing pubs around Worthing, so by the time I was 15, I must Adrian Cox Profoundly Bluehave done 200 gigs.”

Since then, Adrian has worked with a whole range of musicians, playing jazz, blues, funk and ska, but jazz has always been his main interest and his popularity and fan base have increased as time has gone on. Time Out has called him ‘London’s most charismatic reeds man’.

Adrian is also a proud ambassador of the National Jazz Archive

In 2017 Adrian put together a show featuring the story of the life and music of his favourite jazz clarinettist - Edmond Hall. The show, ‘Profoundly Blue’ was featured on BBC 6 Music and on Clare Teal’s Radio 2 jazz programme. It went on to complete three UK tours, was invited to festivals around Europe and played in New York in July 2019. The band has produced two albums (Profoundy Blue Part 1 and Part 2) and sold over 2000 CDs.

Adrian says of Edmond Hall who died in 1967: “He worked in New Orleans and wanted to go to New York. He worked with a lot of big bands, and when he was in New York, he was playing with people like Billie Holiday. He got offered a job with the Duke Ellington Orchestra but turned it down because he wanted to play with smaller groups. He got to play with some amazing musicians. He has got an incredible sound. His sound was really unique. He can make it sound so gravelly. It was also really powerful. He had a warm sound but he was also cutting edge. He was a huge influence on me, not just the excitement but also the tone. It is something that I have not Edmond Halltried to emulate, but something that I have tried to continue in my own fashion. He was one of the greats who just sailed over the top."

 

Edmond Hall

 

Profoundly Blue is a track name from an Edmond Hall recording in 1941. We start there and the whole concert goes through his life. He wrote some incredible, original music, which I just discovered by chance. The concert is the whole story. His music and his life story. It’s a nice piece."

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The Coronavirus outbreak has brought to a halt the many other gigs, tours and a recording projects Adrian had planned for 2020.

 

Adrian and I got together for a Tea Break outside in an imaginary garden, properly social-distanced, of course:

 

Hi Adrian, how are you?

I am really good thanks, missing being on tour but I think my body was ready for a little break!

 

Thank goodness the sun’s come out so put your coat on that other chair; you can leave your hat on – ah! That sounds like something from The Full Monty!

Good brass lines in that tune!!

 

Of course the late, wonderful Joe Cocker first had a hit with that Randy Newman song and there is a great video of him performing it in Dortmund when arenas had crowds. Tom Jones was ideal to sing it for the movie - and you are right about the brass lines. Sadly the only clip on YouTube is dubbed in Spanish where Gaz's son tells his dad to join the others on stage, but the song is in English.Click here.

 

Your cap and hat are now very much part of your identity. When did that start and where do you get them from?

When I moved up to London in 2004 , I remember TJ Johnson’s wife at the time had a really cool green trilby and it suited me, I then got in Adrian Cox shoesto wearing hats all the time. People tend to not recognise me if I don’t have one on these days so I thought I would carry it on. During lock-down, I received a message from a hat company in south London “Peckham Hatters” asking if they could gift me a few of their products, which was lovely of them. I am fortunate to have a few endorsements now including a shoe one with “Shoe Embassy” which is a real treat too. There we go, plugging already started ..... ha ha ha. But in answer to your question, I am happiest wearing a hat, I have about 30 at the moment and have got them from all over, PH, Goorin Bros, Christy’s and Lairds. 

 

That's a really cool pair of Ones and Twos, I could go for them.

I’m glad to see you have brought a flask. What have you got? Tea, coffee, Hot Chocolate? - There I go with The Full Monty again! 

Well, today I have treated myself to a Chai Latte. I used to get so annoyed in a coffee shop hearing people ask for all these different types of drinks “Skinny, mocha, frappy, flat white, cold brew” etc….. that one day, I just said go on, give me a Chai Latte lets see what that's about, turns out, they are lovely!

 

 

Thanks for taking time out from preparing for your Sunday Service. That has been streaming on Facebook for a few weeks now (click here). I am always amazed about the number of people who turn up each Sunday. Not only that, but how they seem like a regular community, messaging you and each other?

Yes, it has turned out to be a great community of people who interact with each other throughout the concerts. I am overwhelmed by the amount of people each week. It really is encouraging for me and I always read back everything that has been said. It is wonderful, so many recommendations or little stories between one another. 

 

How do you decide on the topics each week? It seems to me that presents you with quite a challenge as you have to learn new numbers each time.

So everyone I am featuring on these shows I have had the pleasure of listening to over my life (lucky to have so much amazing music out there) and I get excited as soon as I think about any of them. The Barney Bigard concert was about 6 hours a day of learning new material. I love the challenge, but also, the tunes are so beautiful that they stick with you and I lam ucky to have a good capacity for learning tunes. It is always easier to learn if you are massively interested in a subject! That's why I left school at 15 and went professional! I don’t recall lessons about Ed Hall or Sidney Bechet, otherwise I may have stuck around a bit longer!

 

Sidney Bechet has such a distinctive sound. There are so many musicians streaming their music from lock-down at the moment, do you think it will go on when everything settles back?

Somebody said to me they think that it will continue, I quickly pointed out that there was already lots of live streaming going on, it was just that the majority of the audience was out at work. But I do think, for the foreseeable, we are lucky to have these means of performing. I have spent a life touring around the world and it's amazing that I am able to reach out to everyone from my front room. I think we are very lucky in that respect with technology!

Borders Lemon Drizzle

 

 

By the way, I have bought a box of chocolate chip cookies. There is a plastic tray inside, untouched by human hand, so if I open the box  .... and slip out the tray ..... you can take them from that end if you fancy one, and I’ll take from this end. 

Fantastic!

Did you get the memo about Borders Lemon Drizzle?

 

Did I?! I queued for half an hour in my blue plastic gloves to get into Sainsbury's keeping my two metres and then danced around missing other people to the biscuits shelves. There was just one pack of Borders left! They're good too, you can take from one side .....

 

 

 

 

 

What do musicians you talk to think about how they can start playing live again? Has anyone come up with ideas?

I think many are looking into how they can play together and do concerts, everyone is of course missing playing live. Personally, I cancelled all my shows until 2021. I had a tour planned in September, but I think it is all a bit soon to do anything so I cancelled all my shows quite early on in lock-down just so I know where I stand. I think in a realistic world it will probably be outdoor concerts and probably smaller line ups, but I am of the opinion that if it is just more for the sake of doing a gig, then perhaps wait. Whilst there is a very nasty virus out there, just keep your travelling around and meetings of people to a minimum. I can see that my next step will be doing Facebook live streams with a guitarist or something like that.

 

You were fortunate in being able to release your album, ‘Profoundly Blue’, before the Coronavirus arrived. There is a great video of you playing ‘Blue Room’ at The Spice Of Life in 2018. Taking it so fast must have been a challenge – Simon Read’s fingers must have hurt from keeping it going on his bass?

I don't think I have seen that video, Simon’s got fast fingers, so he will be alright! So Profoundly Blue was a concert that I put together celebrating the music and life of the great clarinettist Edmond Hall. We made the album to accompany the concert and since its release in 2018 we have sold 3500 copies of Part 1 and 2000 of Profoundly Blue (Part 2). The album was nominated for a Parliamentary Jazz Award and it was really nice to get a nomination, and the tours were so much fun. We took the show all around Europe and also to New York where we played at Dizzy’s Club in New York (Jazz at Lincoln Center).

 

Click here for the video of Blue Room.

 

Is it right that the album pays homage to clarinettist Edmond Hall? Why him?

Edmond Hall is my favourite of all time, he has the most amazing sound and feel and inspired so many. His playing with Teddy Wilson is some of the best ever and of course there's my favourite All Stars front line with Louis Armstrong and Trummy Young. The more I researched about him for the concert, the more I fell in love with his playing. We finished touring that show back in October 2019 but I am sure it's something we will revisit in the years to come.

 

Which tune by Edmond should we listen to and if by magic he were to turn up today, what would you ask him?

Edmond Hall wrote some fantastic tunes, and the tune Neighbors is just beautiful. It was recorded on an album called Rumpus On Rampart Street. It also featured his brother Herb Hall, and Omer Simeon playing some lovely backing to Ed. If he was here now, I would ask him what reeds was he using and was Benny Goodman actually his favourite clarinettist?

 

Click here to listen to Neighbors.

 

That's a really nice tune by Edmond Hall, I think it was his own composition. I remember seeing you in Bath with Kansas Smitty’s House Band a couple of years ago. How long were you with them?

Actually,  I left Kansas Smitty's at the end part of 2018, but I still see all the guys (well not at the moment of course!). I had a great two years playing shows with them but I spend a lot of time on the road touring with my own band and Bad Manners so I was not really about for when they had shows. It made sense that someone else took the spot, plus the music is on a different route to what I play so that was another factor. I don't feel like it's something you really leave and I always jump in on anything if Giacomo asks. He remains one of my favourite people to make music with, it just makes it more special when it happens. They are doing lots throughout lock-down every day at 5pm so it's worth checking out their You Tube channel.

 

You were obviously having fun with them in 2018 in this video of every clarinettist's dream (?) of High Society (click here)!

Kansas Smitty’s has been a popular venue, what do you think their secret is? A big worry is about venues, and whether many of them will close down?

Kansas Smitty's is a very special venue as it is always full of music lovers and creative people who want to be there! Not just there to be seen. I think every part of the venue is thought out from the piano to the light fittings, plus their cocktails are killer I have been told (being sober for six years I couldn’t possibly tell you!).

 

 

What’s this I hear about The Hour Off?Adrian Cox The Hour Off

 

So in 2019, my quartet was very busy playing around 25 shows per month all around Europe. We went into the recording studio to finish my record Now Is Spring and we had 4 days in the studio and we were writing the album as well as recording, so it  was very full on. I think we had driven 22 hours from Denmark to London and then went in the Studio four days straight and then straight back out to Sweden the next day!! During the session , I looked at the band and said shall we just have an hour off? ... and of course what did we want to do in the hour off? .... just have a play! So we sat down and just played some great standards to let off steam. Of course, I got the engineer to just press 'record' and what we ended up with was 10 tracks of a band that was having a good time and a break from all the music we had been hammering for the the last 2 years!! As soon as lock-down happened, I looked at what I could release and suddenly remembered this. People have really been enjoying it and the comments on how tight the band is and how we play “together” are so nice!

People can find out about the album here. I like the track Just You, Just Me - it comes over as though you were having a good break and Joe sets you off at quite a pace - which he has to handle when he gets to his solo - he nails it!

Click here to listen to Just You, Just Me.

 

I guess the lock-down has given you a bit of time to write and plan. What are you looking forward to?

I always have plans as to what I am doing next and look at life as little  5 year plans. I did that in the early days (for the record, I am looking forward to being 40!) so my next recording is in the making and I am delighted to be working with an amazing arranger/composer Philip Maniez who is arranging some of my music for a string quartet. The plan is to then record an album with the quartet + strings and then tour this in the fall of 2021. The more I have been checking out the music of the clarinettists featured in my life, the more I find inspiration to do these things, it is wonderful discovering all this new music. I know that 2021 will be a busy year as I had so many shows cancelled in the last 12 weeks alone (75 shows) including tours of South America/America with Bad Manners which I am looking forward to doing when we can. I love it out there and I hope to take my quartet out there too.

 

WelI, we must have had more than The Hour Off already, more like a lunch break than a tea break! Thanks for stopping by, Adrian, good to see you, take the rest of the Borders Lemon Drizzle for the trip home and of course we’ll tune in to the next Sunday Service. In the meanwhile, can you suggest someone else who has been in lock down for me to wrap my ears around?

Thanks for having me round, I really suggest checking out my friend Evan Christopher (my fave clarinettist around today) and his “Art of the Duo” sessions in New Orleans on a Sunday night,  plus another friend out there Seva Venet (guitar/banjo) he does various sessions in the week.

How about this? Evan and David Torkanowsky made this self-isolated video of Sidney Bechet's Blues In The Air in May, and I think it really works well (click here).

 

Sounds good to me. Great to catch up and thank you for the biscuits!!

See you Sunday! 

 

Adrian Cox

 

Click here for Adrian Cox's website

Click here for Adrian's Sunday Service

 

Utah Tea Pot

 

 

 

 

Name The Tune

(Click on the picture for the answer)

Name the tune

 

Click here for other challenges to 'Name The Tune'

 

 

Take Five 2020

Take Five is an annual talent development scheme hosted by music producers Serious and funded by the PRS Foundation, Help Musicians, the Arts Council England, Night Dreamer, the Garrick Trust and the Serious Trust. Each year, eight emerging jazz and improvising musicians are selected for the programme that offers mentoring and other opportunities.

Serious describes the project: 'The scheme centres around a week-long residency that brings the artists together with music industry experts, giving them a chance to learn about the complexities of the business in an intimate setting and offering them the chance to take Jelly Cleaversome time out from their usual busy touring/recording schedules and step back and think about how to advance their music and careers. They also get to collaborate on a series of pieces that each of them arranges for the entire group, directed by the esteemed composer and saxophonist Jason Yarde.'

'Due to the complications around COVID-19, this year’s residency has had to be postponed to early 2021, but the ongoing mentorship of the scheme continues apace, with Serious providing the artists with guidance and funding through what is an especially difficult time for all musicians. This year’s Take Five programme also marks the beginning of a new series of performances by the artists which are directly linked to their participation in the programme – taking the form of the inaugural “Take Five Showcase” as part of the EFG London Jazz Festival in November 2020. Other aspects of the scheme such as mentorship, funding and marketing support will create further opportunities for the artists to reach a wider audience and gain a greater foothold in the rapidly evolving music industry.'

 

Jelly Cleaver
Photograph by Brian O'Connor Images Of Jazz

 

Selected for the 15th Edition of the scheme are: Noemi Nuti (harp and vocals); Rosie Turton (trombone); Sam Eagles (saxophone); Sarathy Korwar (drums, tabla); Jasdeep Singh Degun (sitar, vocals); Jelly Cleaver (guitar, vocals); Jemma Freese (keyboards, piano, vocals); and John Pope (acoustic and electric bass) (click on their names for videos of them playing).

Click here for more information.

 

 

 

 

Poetry and Jazz

Full Focus

Role Models

from the album Role Models by Dominic Inham

 

'Full Focus' is a series where musicians and others discuss a jazz track or tracks in detail. The idea is that you are able to listen to the track that is discussed as you read about it. 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

 

Dominic Ingham started playing the violin when he was five. His focus then was on classical and folk music and his early playing was based on the Suzuki method. Shin'ichi Suzuki in Japan pioneered the idea that preschool age children could learn to play the violin if the learning steps were small enough and the instrument was scaled down to fit their body. He is quoted as saying “I want to make good citizens. If a child hears fine music from the day of his birth and learns to play it himself, he develops sensitivity, discipline and endurance. He gets a beautiful heart.”

Click here for a video comparing Suzuki and Traditional music learning. There are others on YouTube. Dominic's parents are familiar faces in the music scene, both playing saxophone professionally. Like Dominic, his father Richard has been involved in a wide range of musical styles and is Professor of Saxophone at both the University of St Andrews and the Unversity of Aberdeen.

Dominic went on to be named as Junior, Intermediate and Senior musician of the year at the Queen Elizabeth Grammar School in Dominic InghamWakefield and leader of Wakefield Youth Orchestra; he joined the National Youth Orchestra at fifteen and then went to the sixth form at Chetham's School of Music. From being a member of the Yorkshire Young Musicians Scheme based at the Leeds College of Music, Dominic enrolled at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London where he studied Jazz Violin while continuing to play classical violin as well. Dominic is also a vocalist and his music reflects the mix of his singing, jazz, folk and classical background creating a distinctive persona.

Dominic has continued to play in a wide range of musical settings, including the five piece collective Bonsai, Jonny Mansfield’s Elftet, Camila Meza’s Nectar Orchestra and indie rock band Blaenavon. He has toured extensively across the UK and Europe, playing at prestigious venues and festivals such as Ronnie Scott's club, Love Supreme, Heaven, The Royal Albert Hall, The Barbican and EFG London Jazz Festival. He graduated from the Guildhall in 2019.

In June 2020, Dominic released his debut album Role Models which features Jonny Mansfield (vibraphone), David Swan (piano), Will Sach (bass) and Boz Martin-Jones (drums). The album artwork is by Dutch artist Claudia Hoejenbos. The title of the album acknowledges many of Dominic's role models. Of those who play with him he says: "“These musicians aren’t just my role models, they’re some of my closest friends who I’ll continue to play with for the rest of my life”, but he also pays tribute to American trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, saxophonist Walter Smith III and the Chilean guitarist and composer Camila Meza. As you will see from Dominic's article below, pianist Shai Maestro is another and there are many more.

As an introduction to the album, here is a video of the band playing the second track Fall (click here). Note the use of the bass in the mix and here we can see Dominic's use of voice, and the textures created by the instruments in play here. The musicians, individually very talented, clearly interact perfectly.

The composition of Dominic’s band is unusual but very effective. You can listen to the tracks by clicking on the links. The album opens with the title track, Role Models, and Dominic will tell us about that in a moment. The mood lightens for track 3, Pj's , with drums and bass strongly supporting the tune and there's a light touch from David Swan's piano. We can hear how well Dominic's violin works with this ensemble. Phones has a separate, brief, fine piano Introduction track while Phones itself is more complex and showcases Dominic's violin skills. You need to listen to this track carefully to appreciate how well it has been mixed to capture the playing of all of the instruments. Daydreaming at track 6 slows things down, as you might expect from the title, with the melody and arrangement suiting the title well. There are one or two high notes from the vibes at 4.44 that somehow moved me. Bottles continues to be slow and gentle before it gathers pace. Here again, you can hear how the part of Will Sach's bass on this album is a significant feature, it is quite forward in the mix and adds much to the texture of the music, particularly when Boz Martin-Jones's bass drum comes into play too. Which brings us to the final track, Passport. Violin and vibes weave us into and through the track as the theme is developed, swells, and finally fades.

This quintet has a different and quite distinctive sound that is well worth experiencing, and the album will benefit from hearing it in an environment where you can appreciate the contribution of each musician and the approach that has been taken to the mix.

 

 

Dominic Ingham Role Models

 

Click here to listen to the title track - Role Models

 

Dominic Ingham talks about the title track Role Models.

 

At the time of writing this piece I was listening a lot to Shai Maestro’s ‘The Dream Thief’ (ECM). In this album I was drawn to the combination of simple melodies and fast irregular time - you get this beauty and excitement. I wanted to try and explore that in my tune Role Models.

The solo piano section that you will hear at exactly 1:00, was the first theme to be written. It was written as a loop, meaning it works well when it’s repeated many times. I often like to start compositions by writing a loop, as it acts like a ‘miniature composition’, which you can then go on to develop. The pianist David Swan introduces this theme in such a way that it seems to say ‘hello’, and implies that we’ll definitely be hearing it more later on. 

I realised that I wanted this theme to act as a release, so I needed to write an introductory section where there was a sort of ongoing tension. This introductory section involves a quick 5/8 groove (irregular time signature) combined with a sustained soaring melody - both contribute to the tension that is present. On a side note, this first soaring melody is a good example of how the violin and vibraphone work well together as front line instruments - you have the attack of the vibraphone and the sustain of the violin (opposites attract!).

The first theme is reintroduced at 4:00 where David improvises with the melody and chords. I love this solo section as there’s so much freedom, and it’s beautifully different from how I had imagined it.

The final section is another loop, and gives way for a drum solo. Right at the end, the first theme appears again (high violin), but has been adapted so it can be played over the new sequence. This is the first time you hear the melody at the same time as the fast 5/8 groove, so there’s a feeling of unity here as the piece comes to an end.

 

Click here to sample and to purchase the album. Click here for Dominic's website.

 

Dominic Ingham Quintet

 

 

 

 

 


Directory of Alternative Musical Definitions

Iambics

Poetic and musical units consisting of two sylables, the first short, the second long, or, a certain cornet player's introduction to Paul Whiteman.

 

Paul Whiteman

 

Click on the picture

Click here for more Alternative Definitions.

 

 

 

 

Lens America

Francisco Mela

Unable to take pictures at jazz gigs in New York at the moment, here is a photograph taken by Clara Pereira from JazzTrail in 2017. The hands belong to Cuban-born New York-based drummer, composer, and bandleader Franciso Mela who was playing at Cornelia Street Café with his Crash Trio, and with American saxophonist Tony Malaby as a special guest.

Filipe Freitas wrote of the gig: '....The tune, “Ornette”, is a brand new composition that made the walls trembling with the intensity of its groove. Harmonically closer to a jazz standard, this swinging Ornette-meets-Monk number featured Genovese in his deconstructed piano avalanches, often alluding to the theme’s melody, and Malaby, who never ceases to explore, projecting assorted timbres while interweaving bop and modern-creative dialects. ...I truly believe that nobody would mind staying another hour listening to these eruptive waves of intense musicality. Where’s the next concert? I’m asking for another round!'

 

Francisco Mela

 

Born in Bayamo, Cuba, in 1968, Francisco Mela studied at the Music School of Arts El Yarey as a teenager before going on to the National School of Arts for Teachers, el CENCEA. He taught at Rafael's Cabrera Conservatory of Music and played with some of the country's top Latin jazz musicians, as well as leading his group, MelaSon Latin Jazz Band, that toured throughout Mexico.

In 2000, he moved to Boston to study at Berklee College of Music and was invited to join the percussion faculty. He became the house drummer at the Wally's Café. It was here where he developed the concept for what would later be his own group.

In 2005, Mela joined the quartet of saxophonist Joe Lovano.  In late 2016, Mela was part of an inaugural ensemble that joined Afro-Cuban pianist Chucho Valdés and saxophonist Joe Lovano for an international tour throughout Europe and North America. He also leads his own group, The Crash Trio.

But for a video of Francisco Mela, I have chosen this one where he is using those brushes in Clara's picture. The video is from an earlier gig at Cornelia Street. This is the beautiful Israeli ballad, Shirim Ad Kan, played by the Oran Etkin Quartet featuring Oran Etkin (bass clarinet), Lionel Loueke (guitar), Ben Allison (bass) and Francisco Mela (drums). Oran heard this tune from his father often as a child. In introducing the song at the concert, Oran reflected on how his father's love for beautiful melodies shaped him as a musician growing up. (Click here).

 

Oran Etkin video

 

 

 

Francisco Mela

 

 

Each month we share Clara's photographs and Filipe's reviews. Readers might like this introduction to the couple who have been in lock down in New York. Here is Filipe at home performing Falsa Baiana (Geraldo Pereira) and Mar de Copacabana (Gilberto Gil). (Click on the picture)

 

Filipe Freitas

 

 

 

 

 

Poetry and Jazz

Mulgrew Miller and Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen

The Duo

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].

 

Mulgrew Miller and NHOP

 

 

In 1999, Danish bassist, Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen joined forces with American pianist Mulgrew Miller to record a tribute to Duke Ellington on the 100th anniversary of his birth. The musicians were initially brought together by the Danish electronics firm, Bang & Olufsen. The CD which the duo recorded was then given away free to potential Bang & Olufsen customers at the time. It was not made available to the general public. Now, 21 years later, Danish record label, Storyville, has released The Duo, an album containing those original 1999 Mulgrew Millerrecordings.

The duo members are sadly no longer with us - Ørsted Pedersen died in 2005 and Miller in 2013. Both had busy and illustrious careers. Mulgrew Miller was born in 1955 and began his career playing with the Mercer Ellington band in the late 1970s. He also played with Woody Shaw, Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers and Tony Williams amongst many others, as well as leading his own group, Wingspan. His technique was widely admired by other pianists and his work as a teacher ensured his influence passed on to further generations.

 

Mulgrew Miller

 

Click here for him playing I Got It Bad And That Ain’t Good live in Vienna in 2012.

 

 

 

 

Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen had one of the most complicated names in jazz so, in time, he became universally known by his initials, NHØP. He was born in Denmark in 1946 and was something of a child prodigy on the bass. He began playing at Copenhagen’s famous Jazzhus Montmartre in his teens. As a member of the house band, he played with some of the biggest names in jazz when they toured Niels-Henning Ørsted PedersenDenmark. He quickly acquired a fearsome reputation for his incredible digital dexterity – when he was only 17, he had to turn down an offer to join Count Basie as he was legally too young to work in the US.

Click here for NHØP ripping through his solo with Sonny Rollins in Denmark in 1965. He was only 19 years old at the time.

 

Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen

 

In 1972, NHØP became a regular member of the Oscar Peterson Trio. Oscar Peterson had an appeal which went far beyond the jazz world and often appeared on mainstream television across the world so NHØP enjoyed considerable international exposure.

Here he is playing You Look Good To Me live with Peterson in Tokyo in 1983. Joe Pass is on guitar and Martin Drew on drums (click here).

NHØP left the Peterson trio in 1987. Even when he was with Peterson, he was much in demand and played with some of the other big jazz stars of the day including Chet Baker, Lee Konitz, Ben Webster, Anthony Braxton and Dexter Gordon. He continued to do so post-Peterson and also led his own ensembles. His discography is huge as is his international reputation. So when, in 1999, a Danish hi-fi company was looking for a musician to show off their products, who better to turn to than NHØP, a Dane who also happened to be the acknowledged master of his instrument. NHØP chose Mulgrew Miller to be his partner in a celebration of Duke Ellington’s music.

The pairing of piano and bass was a homage to the Duke’s own collaboration with bassist Jimmy Blanton in recordings made in 1939-40. Blanton joined the Ellington band in 1939 and quickly became one of its essential components. He died young in 1942 but is now seen as a pioneer in the development of modern bass playing. You can listen to the Duke and Blanton playing Ellington’s Pitter Panther Patter in 1940 here.

 

NHØP and Mulgrew Miller recorded their take on the piano/bass pairing in Copenhagen in January 1999. They then went on a long promotional tour. Something must have clicked in the relationship because they continued to play together until NHØP’s untimely death in 2005. Although the 1999 recordings were not generally released at the time, the duo did record a live performance at the North Sea Jazz Festival in 2000. This was released by Storyville in 2016 on an album called The Duo – Live!

So now we have The Duo containing the original 1999 recordings. As one might expect from a CD originally meant to show off Bang & Mulgre Miller NHOP The DuoOlufsen hi-fi equipment, the sound quality is superb. The bass, in particular, comes through loud and clear.

The album has 12 tracks, mainly familiar Duke Ellington compositions but stripped of their big band arrangements to illuminating effect. The essential tunes emerge fresh as the day they were first conceived and heard. This serves to remind the listener just what great tunes they are and also what a genius Duke Ellington was as a composer.

The empathy between NHØP and Miller shines through on every track. They share the limelight evenly so first one takes the lead in playing the melody or improvising a solo whilst the other accompanies, then they swap. The way they click so perfectly together is seen on a track like Just Squeeze Me. This is an upbeat number guaranteed to get feet tapping. The playing is relaxed and confident with both musicians clearly enjoying themselves and generously supporting each other. The whole piece takes off and hits a most compelling groove.

You can listen to Just Squeeze Me here.

The bass in jazz is so often a background instrument that when NHØP gets to play the melody, the effect can be startling. On Sophisticated Lady, for example, the familiar tune becomes something quite extraordinary in NHØP’s hands. Sophisticated Lady was also one of the tracks on The Duo – Live! album. Click here to listen to this live version. NHØP’s efforts are complemented by some virtuosic piano from Mulgrew Miller.

Talking of virtuosity, NHØP plays some barnstorming bass on many of the tracks. Take Caravan for example on which NHØP sets up the most thrilling, finger blistering bass riff against which Miller plays the melody and also improvises his solo. Listen to the duo playing Caravan here.

Both musicians can also do tasteful restraint as well as technical virtuosity. On tracks like Come Sunday, for example, or Solitude, they capture the mood of the pieces beautifully without too much in the way of embellishment. And, when required, each can be the perfect accompanist.

One of the tracks, Blues In The PM’s, was written by Mulgrew Miller and shows what an interesting composer he was in his own right. The piece is in a more modern style than any of the Ellington numbers but the tune is a memorable one and both musicians give it an imaginative rendering.

The final track is an NHØP composition – O.D: Blues. This is another memorable tune with both folk and rock elements; and NHØP’s fingers get another going over. One has to marvel at his technique.

First and foremost, then, The Duo is a fitting tribute to Duke Ellington, finding something new and interesting in his much-played repertoire. It is also a piece of work thrown down by two superlative musicians at the height of their powers who both died far too young. Each of them left substantial legacies of recorded work in all sorts of settings both as sidemen and leaders. In time, The Duo will take its place as amongst the best of that work.

For CD purchase information click here, for samples and and download information click here.

 

 

The Parliamentary Jazz Awards 2020

The results have been announced for this year's All Party Parliamentary Jazz Awards. Following an online public vote for the Awards, the shortlist was then voted upon by a selection panel, who represent a broad cross-section of backgrounds with a passion and knowledge of jazz.

John Spellar MP, Co-Chair of APPJAG, said: These shortlists demonstrate the wealth of talent and commitment that exists in the British jazz scene. Now in its 15th year, the Parliamentary Jazz Awards honours the best of British jazz. MPs and Peers in the All Party Group are delighted to work with and are extremely grateful to PizzaExpress Live for supporting the event.”

The nominations are below and the Award winners, announced on 30th June, are shown in green:

 

APPJAG shield

 

Jazz Vocalist of the Year: Georgia Mancio; Cherise Adams-Burnett; Lianne Carroll
 
Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year: Sarah Tandy; Rob Luft; Liam Noble; Nubya Garcia
 
Jazz Album of the Year: Seed Ensemble ‘Driftglass’; Yazz Ahmed ‘Polyhymnia’;  Kate Williams Four Plus Three meets Georgia Mancio - ‘Finding Home’.
 
Jazz Ensemble of the Year: Byron Wallen’s ‘Four Corners’; Seed Ensemble; Dave O’Higgins/Rob Luft Quartet; Nikki Iles Big Band
 
Jazz Newcomer of the Year: Luca Manning; Rosina Bullen; Alexandra Ridout; Bonsai
 
Jazz Venue of the Year: Colchester Arts Centre Jazz Club; PizzaExpress Jazz Club; 606 Club
 
Jazz Media Award: Jazzwise Magazine; Corey Mwamba “Freeness”; London Jazz News; Jazz Views
 
Jazz Education Award: UK Summer School; Jon Eno; Nick Smart
 
Services to Jazz Award: Steve Rubie; Blow The Fuse; Mike Westbrook

Special APPJAG Award: Jazzwise Magazine

 

 

 

 

 

Two Ears Three Eyes

Billy Butterfield and Tony Scott

 

As he is unable to take pictures at gigs at the moment, we delve into the back catalogue of photographer Brian O'Connor for his regular slot on the website. This image goes back to 1981 when Brian captured trumpeter Billy Butterfield and the magnificently bearded saxophonist Tony Scott.

 

Billy Butterfield and Tony Scott

 

Two years later, in 1983, Billy was in Germany playing Undecided with Red Norvo (xylophone), Buddy Tate (tenor sax), Tal Farlow (guitar), Slam Stewart (bass), Teddy Wilson (piano), Johnny Mince (clarinet) and Sam Woodyard (drums) - click here.

Fast forward to 1996 and here's Tony Scott on clarinet playing a lovely version of Memories of You with guitarist Buck Pizzarelli at a concert in San Marino - click here.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Profile

Rowan Hudson

 

[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].

 

Rowan Hudson

 

 

Click here to listen to the Rowan Hudson Trio playing Lulu's Back In Town with Rowan Hudson (piano), JJ Stillwell (double bass) and
Joe Dessauer (drums)

 

I first met pianist Rowan Hudson In 2009. As soon as he had reached his fourteenth birthday he began to play publicly at a café in his home city of Wells in Somerset. “I decided that I wanted somewhere else to play rather than just playing at home,” he said “I read in the local paper that this café was opening so I thought I would get in and ask them before anyone else did”. Quite gutsy for a thirteen year old.

The Piano Café in Wells opened as Rowan hit his fourteenth birthday and they agreed to give him a trial – five numbers the following Saturday morning. He was booked. He started by playing for two hours on alternate Saturday mornings, but went on to Piano Cafe Wellsplay every week and occasionally for functions at the café under the large photographs of Charlie Parker and Billie Holiday that were hanging on the café walls. “People will sometimes come and ask for tunes I don’t know,” he says. “But I usually say I’ll go away and learn them.”

Rowan was born in 1993 in West Hampstead, London but the family moved to Somerset just one year later. His father had played drums in his younger days, his mother is an actress, and an uncle lectures in music at Glamorgan University, but jazz has not really featured in the family background. There was however a great stack of vinyl recordings belonging to Rowan’s father that Rowan started dipping into. The collection is mainly 1960s and 1970s popular music, but it was the 1960s albums that captured Rowan’s interest despite the current popular music that was being played by his friends.

Rowan has a number of guitars. He has also, like his father, experimented with playing drums, but it has been the piano that he has identified with most strongly. “I started piano lessons when I was seven,” he remembers. “I think my father wanted me to have the opportunity to learn that he didn’t have when he was young."

The involvement with jazz began when Rowan discovered an LP of Soft Machine amongst his father’s collection, an album that bridged popular music and jazz with modal and electric fusions. The music department at Rowan’s school was good in terms of general music education, but was not proactive in encouraging Rowan’s evident jazz talent. Instead, he researched jazz on the internet and bought jazz albums through ebay, gradually building up a collection of sheet music and albums by John Coltrane, Dave Brubeck, Miles Davis and others. From those he took his inspiration and both at home and at the café, developed his repertoire and improvisational technique. Although her own background is not in jazz, Rowan’s piano teacher, Karen Squance, was greatly supportive, looking at the jazz pieces he wanted to play and discussing how to approach them.

Rowan's interest in 1960s music continued alongside as this gave him an opportunity to play organ with other friends who are musicians – bass, drums and sax - who were are able to rehearse in a local garage.

In 2009, Rowan studied Music, Music Technology, History and Film Studies at Strode College. Strode has a thriving, active music department and also provides a base for the Centre of Somerset Youth Jazz Orchestra (COSYJO). Moving to London in mid-2011 he studied Jazz at Middlesex University and graduated in 2014. Since then has formed several groups and played with some of London's leading musicians as well as touring Germany and the UK. He has been playing and teaching in London ever since.

Click here for a video of the Rowan Hudson Trio in 2018 playing John Coltrane's Vilia at The Jazz Room at Barnes Bridge in London.

Looking back over the last five years from June 2020, Rowan says: "I've been mostly playing with my trio (JJ Stillwell and Joe Dessauer/Angus Bishop), with JJ's group Nattacackle, and with the singer Richard Hadfield. We've done a couple of short tours and he's currently putting together a much bigger UK tour for next year (if there are any venues left to play in!). I'm also currently working on getting my music into filmmaking circles, The Lighthouse has been used in a Brazilian short film which is yet to be released, but I'm hoping to get my music into a few others as well."

 

Click here to listen to The Lighthouse

 

In April 2019, Rowan released his band's debut album, Passing Ships, with Sophie English (cello); Sophie Creaner (clarinet); Rowan Hudson (piano); Jj Stillwell (bass) and Angus Bishop (drums). The album includes the track The Lighthouse.

 

Rowan Hudson Passing Ships

 

The project took a different approach. Rowan explains: "JJ and Angus I studied with and have done hundreds of gigs with, so they've had a very Jazz-centric way of approaching things as I have. The two Sophies are completely the opposite, both had classical upbringings and have very rarely played any improvised music. Sophie Creaner (clarinet) is particularly interested in early music and is actually something of a multi-instrumentalist outside of my group. Sophie English (cello) is very busy in the pop world, she does a lot of Radio 1 Sessions and has quite a portfolio of artists she's worked with. Both of them I sought out for this project and hadn't met before, though they were both very accommodating and willing to try new things. One of the major problems I've had with Passing Ships is that it doesn't neatly fit into any genre. There are elements of jazz but every note is written so obviously the philosophy is very different. That also means that it's hard to find venues to play in, though the Bulls Head in Barnes (and particularly Yvonne Evans) have been very supportive. On the whole I am very proud of the Passing Ships album, I feel that it's the best representation of who I am as a musician, and was created only for that purpose with a very supportive set of musicians. I also really like the artwork which was done by Angus Bishop."

 

 

Click here to listen to Wind Up Birds from the album:

 

I asked Rowan how he had been managing during the months that the Coronavirus had caused disruption throughout the UK.

"During lockdown I've actually mostly been transcribing and getting back into a solid practice routine which I had lost a little over the last couple of years. I've got a YouTube channel which I sell transcriptions from and which has really come alive over the lockdown period, I assume from everyone staying home and playing more than usual. I'm really just looking forward to playing with my trio again, even if no one is listening. I've really felt the lack of other people to bounce ideas off of during lockdown which and it will be good to get back to having that, and if and when the UK tour with singer Richard Hadfield goes ahead that, will be a lot of my focus later in the year and going into 2021."

"I've also got some very sketchy ideas about doing a solo album, again in a sort of Passing Ships vein, so probably with very little improvisation. I've been listening to a lot of Penguin Cafe Orchestra and Simon Jeffes which I'd really like to model my new compositions on."

Simon and the Penguin Cafe Orchestra were featured on BBC2's The Old Grey Whistle Test back in 1984 and fortunately there is a video from that show that has been archived here.

 

As with many musicians, it will be interesting to see and hear the direction Rowan's music takes as the Coronavirus restrictions are steadily lifted.

Click here for Rowan Hudson's website.

 

 

 

Hot Biscuits - A Jazz Radio Show

There are many jazz programmes on local radio stations, many of them with faithful and regular listeners. Saxophonist Frank Griffith recommends two: One in Holland being Take 5 Jazz, and another in the United States - Pure Jazz Radio

Let us know about local radio shows that you tune into and I'll create a list. Local radio jazz broadcasts often seem to create a regular community where listeners are able to communicate with the presenter making them 'family affairs'. In the UK, broadcaster and writer Steve BewickSteve Bewick tells the story of his local radio show Hot Biscuits at FC Radio in the Greater Manchester area:

The history of Hot Biscuits is also a personal history and a glimpse into the politics of football. Sound strange? This is about as strange as my jazz preferences. I started with Hospital Radio way back and then enjoyed doing live radio when funding was available for an RSL (Radio short term Licence to broadcast). Going back to patient requests was never quite the same. I always wanted to undertake a regular specialist programme with Jazz and contemporary music in mind.

Chances came from within the protest movement at Manchester United Football Club against the sale of the club to the Glazier family. This yellow and green protest led to a break in support for the club out of frustration at being refused a voice. A group of 2,000 supporters at a public meeting voted to tear up their season tickets and establish a new FCUM (Football Club United of Manchester) in the North West League of the non-league structure.

The radio station came from a group of media students who wanted to support the fledgling club through radio and TV and so was born FC Radio and TV. Some twelve years later the club has an official, unofficial media platform. The radio station is rather like 5 Live with 6 Music.

I now have my own radio jazz show with an emphasis on local jazz music in the Greater Manchester area and the North West generally. Resident bands, touring bands, jazz clubs, festivals ..... and so it goes. I very much like to record and make available live jazz music in the area. This has become a staple part of the Hot Biscuits mix although over time and distance I have made contacts with friends, musicians and bands around the world. Oh, and the rest of the UK.

I am always interested in new sounds. I broadcast under the banner of “Hot Biscuits” and you can catch me on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 9.00 pm and late Saturdays at 11.00 pm at FC Radio (you will only see me on this link at those times). It's one new show a week usually, repeated twice. I have a back catalogue of shows here.

 

 

 

 

Forum

 

Statement From The National Jazz Archive - Black Lives Matter

'As trustees of the National Jazz Archive we recognise the enormity of recent events in the USA, and the impact they have had in galvanising reflection and calls for change from Britain and across the world. The contents of the archive show clearly that such events are National Jazz Archive logonot confined to the present, or to the USA, but are a product of systems spanning many nations and times, including in the United Kingdom.'

'Institutions like ours have important roles in our societies: to hold collected knowledge, to make it accessible to all, to reveal often unwelcome truths, and to stand with the communities whose tangible heritage we care for.'

'As the collections in the archive consistently show, jazz produced by black Americans and black Britons, is a rich resource for learning what is wrong and how to contribute to change. The first step is to educate ourselves and those around us. The archive is a great resource for showing that black lives mattered in establishing a world-wide music that continues to develop today. At its best, jazz is an art in which black and white musicians work together and through which white cultures have learnt about the lives of non-white compatriots.'

'Jazz history is a complex mix of existent culture, the legacy of slavery, and colonial history. The history of jazz has exposed deep-seated racism in British society and provided a context for racial stereotypes to become embedded in our culture. We stand with all black people who have faced injustice and wish to shine a light to expose the causes of such injustice. We want to be part of the solution and will not stand by and tolerate racism. As a collective voice against racism, Black Lives Matter is a movement we strongly support.'

'We pledge to do much more to ensure our collections, which are available to all, benefit everyone as a resource of education and solidarity and continue to address any shortcomings in our own organisation.'

 

 

Banjo George

Lois Lane with Banjo George

 

 

Vocalist Lois Lane adds to our profile of Banjo George Baron (click here): 'I've just discovered your website and thought I'd get in touch. I used to play guitar with George at the Tatty when I was about 16 years old. My Mum and Dad used to come with me and my Dad would sometimes play his 4string Macaferie. I started work in a local Estate Agents as a secretary and in the evening played rhythm guitar at a club in Soho London called ‘The Tatty Bogle’, (Scottish for Scarecrow). It was frequented by doctors, lawyers, journalists and, folk and trad-jazz musicians.'

'I accompanied a great character called Banjo George, who could play anything from ‘When the Saints go Marching In’ to ‘Rhapsody in Blue’. Jimmie MacGregor (who with Robin Hall recorded ‘Football Crazy), Steve Benbow (well known folk singer) and Tony Pitt (later played in The Alex Welch Band), were my predecessors. Jack Hutton, editor of The Melody Maker brought his trumpet, Paddy Fleming, PR man for Phillips Records, brought his snare drum and many others brought bongo drums, trombones and DJ Ed Stewart once struggled down the basement stairs with his double bass, not forgetting my Dad with his tenor guitar. Quite a jam session!' For Lois Lane's website click here.

 

 

 

 

Johnny Parker and Champion Jack Dupree

John Rivaldi writes: 'I used to live in Rosebery Avenue so I could walk to Merlin's Cave in about five minutes, I went regularly and listened to bands - I would have been about 18 years old. I remember one time seeing Champion Jack Dupree there,  Johnny Parker then had a go. Johnny Parker had some kind of medical problem and had trouble climbing the steps to get to the stage,  Champion Jack remarked  “That’s what you get when you go with strong women”. I was also very close to Cross Street, off of Essex Rd and Upper Street, a pub there  called the White Horse (?)  something like that, very, very good, and in Upper Street  itself was the Kings Head. As a little side thing, the Kings Head refused to go metric - drinks were in pounds, shillings and pence. Living in Rosebery Avenue I was a regular at the 100 Club. When I first joined it was called “Jazzshows“ (I think),  there was no bar; when you went in, on the right where the bar is now, were rows of cinema type tip-up seats; then they introduced beer and Chinese food. Ken Colyer was the band for me, also others such as Dick Charlesworth and The City Gents,  Acker was also good in those days. My Dad introduced me to jazz - in the 1930’s and followed Armstrong, Kid Ory, Fats Waller, etc.'

 

 

 

Sandy Brown painting

Picturing Sandy Brown

 

Greg Armstrong sends this picture and says: 'Hi There. My granddad was Sandy Brown’s brother-in-law. I remember lying on my living room floor as a child listening to tapes of Sandy that my grandparents gave me.

After grandad’s death about 11 years ago, we were clearing out his old garage and I found this paining. My parents were just going to throw the painting out, but I wanted to keep it. It’s been on my wall ever since and I thought you might appreciate it. I’m afraid I have no idea where it came from or who painted it, but I hope you like it.'

 

 

 

 

 

 

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. (If you are not on Facebook, please tell your friends about us anyway!). Facebook


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You can join our Mailing List - click here - and I will send you an email each time a new issue of What's New comes out.

 

 

 

Departure Lounge

 

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

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

 

Keith Tippett

 

 

 

Keith Tippett - UK pianist and composer born Keith Tippetts in Bristol and a lovely man.. 'He was a genius as a solo piano improviser, his unaccompanied concerts consisting of dazzling collages of chords that coalesced into blues, mysterious patterings like somebody tearing paper in waltz-time, romantic arpeggios and thundering bass-note trills.' His friend, Steve Day, told me a little known fact: "One of Keith’s favourite pieces of music was Kenny Ball’s Midnight In Moscow.  He’d often mention it to me as a very early influence.... and I know he still occasionally listened to it." Click here for a video of Keith with Daniel Pennie (guitar) and AD Chivers (vibes /& percussion) playing Touch The Water. Obituaries: The Guardian : The Telegraph :

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Duncan Chalmers

 

 

 

Duncan Chalmers - UK banjo player. Jane Hunter-Randall writes: 'Born in Banstead, Surrey, Duncan started showing an interest in musical instruments after leaving college, and developed a liking for jazz. He chose to learn the banjo, saying it was the easiest to master. Bands he worked with include, Monty Sunshine, The Original East Side Stompers, Micky Ashman’s All Stars, Max Collie’s Rhythm Aces and The New Stompers. Duncan had to retire from playing some 10 years ago due to an accident damaging his right hand. He had a big personality and spread laughter wherever he went. He will be greatly missed by his friends and on the jazz circuit.'

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lennie Niehaus

 

 

 

Lennie Niehaus - American alto saxophonist, arranger, and composer on the West Coast jazz scene. Born in Missouri, he played with the Stan Kenton Big Band, trombonist Ray Vasquez, the Phil Carreon Orchestra, and others. Niehaus composed and arranged for many feature films including Clint Eastwood's biographical Charlie Parker movie, Bird. Obituaries: New York Times : The Guardian : Jazz Times : Click here to listen to Lennie Niehaus and I Remember You in 1954.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bob Northern

 

 

 

Bob Northern (Brother Ah) - American French Horn player and bandleader born in North Carolina and raised in The Bronx.  He was perhaps best known as a session musician working extensively in the 1950s and 1960s with musicians such as Donald Byrd, John Coltrane, Gil Evans, Sun Ra, McCoy Tyner, Don Cherry, Miles Davis and many others. Obituaries: New York Times : Jazz Times : Click here to listen to Bob playing The Sea in 1978.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Andrew McCormack - Solo
(Ubuntu Music) - Released: 26th June 2020

Andrew McCormack (piano)

Andrew McCormack Solo

 

'My mission in music is constantly evolving. I’m often experimenting with ways to communicate my ideas to the audience and solo piano is a very direct and explicit way to do that. However, solo concerts are difficult to pull off well. There’s an exposed test of all your facility which can be risky and exhausting, plus it’s lonely up there. Despite this, you could say I’m addicted. Particularly the hush of the room when something special happens in the moment and everyone is locked in..... Nobody Else But Me and Thelonious Monk’s We See are quasi studies in two-part invention and the latter became like a rough line drawing, Monk is one of my favourite composers in the jazz repertoire because his signature sound is all over these tightly made compositions, even though you might substantially change them from the original ... I Can’t Believe You’re In Love With Me is a light nod to the Stravinsky tarantella from Pulcinella, even though it sounds nothing like it!  Also the coda of Nobody Else But Me has snatches of the Russian composer Petrushka too....The final results are a recital of piano music that uses composition as a springboard for improvised exploration with an overarching theme of storytelling devices such as contrast within the pieces themselves ....' (Andrew McCormack)

Details and Samples : Introductory Video : Further Details : Video of Shaper Maker played live : Video of For All We Know played live from 2018 :

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

James Copus - Dusk
(Ubuntu Music) - Released: 17th July 2020

James Copus (trumpet, flugelhorn, voice), Jason Brown (drums), Tom Cawley (piano, synthesiser), Conor Chaplin (bass)

James Copus Dusk

 

'2020 sees the release of James’ much-anticipated debut album, featuring a first call line up of Tom Cawley (Peter Gabriel, Curios trio..), Conor Chaplin (Marius Neset, Dinosaur…) and New York heavyweight Jason Brown (Monty Alexander, Kurt Rosenwinkel, etc.). The music showcases each musician's personality and originality, still keeping the aesthetics of a classic jazz record. Recognised as a talented composer, Copus’ writing is fresh and original, while reflecting his serious study of the jazz trumpet tradition - Freddie Hubbard, Miles Davis, Wynton Marsalis, Gerard Presencer are his idols. James has composed all original material for the album, drawing on many influences that have sculpted his musical tastes. Compositionally, James has mainly drawn inspiration from the writing of Seamus Blake, Kendrick Scott and Chris Potter, citing the New York aesthetic as a huge influence. An in-demand sideman across a range of projects, Copus has played and recorded with the Alex Hitchcock Quintet, Jacob Collier, Stan Sulzmann Neon Orchestra, Nikki Iles Big Band, Alan Barnes + 11, Tim Garland and Bruno Heinen to name a few. He is, by now, a stalwart of the British jazz scene having performed at most of the country's leading jazz venues. A regular performer at London’s premier jazz venues such as Ronnie Scott’s, PizzaExpress Jazz Club and the 606, Copus can often be heard with musicians such as Daniel Casimir, Ashley Henry, Binker Golding, Alex Hithcock and others. He has also performed and recorded with Seamus Blake, Jorja Smith and Joss Stone.' (album notes).

Details and Samples : Introductory Video : Video of From The Source : Listen to Yearning :

 

 

 

 

 

Pete Judge - Piano 2
(PJM) - Released: 3rd April 2020

Pete Judge (piano)

Pete Judge Piano 2

 

 

'At the beginning of 2019, trumpeter Pete Judge surprised himself and everyone else by releasing an album of solo piano miniatures, prosaically entitled ‘piano’ (partly in reference to his use of the soft pedal throughout the recording) which he recorded on a single autumn night in an empty St George’s Bristol,  a deconsecrated 1820s church reopened a few years ago as a concert space. Now, in Spring 2020, comes the follow-up, the second storey (or ‘piano’): ‘piano 2’. As before, the album was recorded on a single day in St George’s Bristol. It consists of 16 pieces, ranging in length between one and five minutes.'

Details and Samples : Video for Frond Three : Listen to Brute Angels :

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joe Downard - Seven Japanese Tales
(Ubuntu Music) - Released: 12th June 2020

Joe Downard (double bass, synthesisers); Alex Hitchcock (tenor saxophone); James Copus (trumpet, flugel horn); Will Barry (piano); Rupert Cox (synthesisers); Felix Ambach (drums); Jon Moody (Hammond organ); Todd Speakman (Space Echo).

Joe Downard Seven Japanese Tales

 

 

'Seven Japanese Tales is a suite of compositions inspired by the deeply lyrical and moving short stories of the great Japanese writer, Junichiro Tanizaki. The album explores bassist and composer Joe Downard’s interest in Japanese literature and features seven compositions, each named after one of the stories, bringing to life the narratives, characters, moods and dynamics through interweaving melodies, improvised passages, and lush soundscapes. The album features an augmented sextet lineup, including electronic elements and field recordings from Downard’s travels in Japan. “If light is scarce then light is scarce; we will immerse ourselves in the darkness and there discover its own particular beauty.” - Jun'ichirō Tanizaki, In Praise of Shadows' (album notes). '...this impressive debut from bassist/producer Joe Downard offers musical counterparts to seven short stories by Japanese author Jun'ichirō Tanizaki. Downard was inspired by Tanizaki's lyricism and by the range and depth of emotion he manages to convey is a short space of time and you can hear those same qualities in these seven tracks ....' (Thomas Rees in Jazzwise ****).

Details and Samples : Video of The Thief : Listen to Aguri :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let Spin - Steal The Light
(Efpi Records) - Released: 17th April 2020

Chris Williams (alto saxophone); Moss Freed (guitar); Ruth Goller (bass); Finlay Panter (drums)

Let Spin Steal The Light

 

'Since their inception, Let Spin have maintained an egalitarian musical ethos, giving each member the opportunity to write for the project and have equal say over its decision-making. Yet, with their third album, Steal The Light, it is the progress they have made in developing their respective compositional voices and musical outlooks independently that has resulted in their most accomplished, experimental and meticulously-produced album to date. When guitarist Moss Freed, bassist Ruth Goller, drummer Finlay Panter, and saxophonist Chris Williams convened at Hull University’s Duality studio, they each harboured desires to use the studio as an instrument, to implement inspirations found in music beyond the worlds of jazz and rock, and to challenge some of the conventions of meter, groove and melody. To realise their ambitions, the group worked closely with engineer/producer Alex Killpartrick, inviting him to have a greater creative influence than on either of their previous two records ....In experimenting with time and space, challenging their own compositional tendencies and striving for a more experimental production style, Let Spin have crafted a fluid yet focussed LP that reflects their maturity and ambition ... '(album notes). '.... In a band designed to give its members room to write, diverse tracks of atmospheric intensity and viscerally realised intellect are the result ... ' (Nick Hasted in Jazzwise ****)

Full Details and Samples : Video for Sketch : Listen to Cosmoss :

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

Dave Glasser - Hypocrisy Democracy
(Here Tiz Music) - Released: 8th May 2020

Dave Glasser (alto and soprano saxophones, flute); Andy Milne (piano); Ben Allison (bass); Matt Wilson (drums).

Dave Glasser Hypocrisy Democracy

 

 

'The latest album from New York-born saxophonist Dave Glasser, Hypocrisy Democracy, arrives not only with a vital message of fairness and justice to the world but also with an intense will to ‘speak’ to the listener, musically. Drawing from tradition but sounding properly contemporary, Glasser, the lead altoist for the Count Basie Orchestra, is backed by a stellar quartet comprised of pianist Andy Milne, bassist Ben Allison and drummer Matt Wilson, all of them accomplished bandleaders. The opening two tracks are scorchers that demonstrate the athletic agility of the ensemble ...... If “Dilemonk” is a bluesy Monkian stretch, then “Revolver” seems to fuse the late pianist’s “Ask Me Now” with some Brubeck’s demeanors. And you’ll also find a beautiful ballad with shades of bolero and great piano work on “Dark Deep”, and crested waves of funk on “It’s Nothing New, where soprano and flute ride together over Milne’s wide harmonic avenues. Fueled by an infectious, inspiring energy, this album is immediately relatable and a pleasure from start to finish.' (JazzTrail).

Details and Samples : Full JazzTrail Review : Listen to It's A Small World : Listen to Dilemonk :

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

James Carney Sextet - Pure Heart
(Sunnyside Records) - Released: 5th June 2020

Ravi Coltrane (tenor and soprano saxophones); Oscar Noriega (bass clarinet, alto saxophone); Stephanie Richards (trumpet); James Carney (piano); Dezron Douglas (bass); Tom Rainey (drums).

James Carney Sextet Pure Heart

 

'The combination of concept, effort and the right collaborators typically leads to good things no matter what the goal might be. These elements are especially integral to cohesion within a musical ensemble in performance, especially a group built of musicians who haven't previously played together. Pianist/composer James Carney was thinking along these lines when he came up with the idea and chose the musicians for his new recording, Pure Heart. The sextet that Carney put together is quite an assemblage. For the horns, he recruited his longtime friend and saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, bass clarinetist and alto saxophonist Oscar Noriega, and recent collaborator and trumpeter Stephanie Richards. Bassist Dezron Douglas and drummer Tom Rainey met in their first time ever pairing. In fact, most of these players had never played together before, except Coltrane and Douglas and Noriega and Rainey.' (album notes). 'Pianist and composer James Carney has been an important figure in the New York scene for years, whether leading interesting groups assembled to carry out his creative ideas, whether curating and hosting the improvisation-centered Konceptions music series in Brooklyn .... His new outing, Pure Heart, features a sextet composed of a powerful three-horn frontline with saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, multi-reedist Oscar Noriega, and trumpeter Stephanie Richards, and a gritty rhythm section that puts bassist Dezron Douglas and drummer Tom Rainey side by side for the very first time. Despite the different aspects of their musical personalities, interesting things happen throughout the five tracks on the album, a display on how utterly comfortable Carney is on his instrument.' (JazzTrail).

Details and Samples : Full JazzTrail Review :

 

 

 

 

 

Rudresh Mahanthappa - Hero Trio
(Whirlwind Recordings) - Released: 19th June 2020

Rudresh Mahanthappa (alto saxophone), François Moutin (acoustic bass), Rudy Royston (drums)

Rudresh Mahanthappa Hero Trio

 

'Over the course of an illustrious twenty-five-year career Rudresh Mahanthappa's music making has constantly pushed at the artistic boundaries to encompass such diverse influences as classic bebop, the ash and fury of electric fusion, and the complexities of Carnatic music, while always maintaining a clear sense of his own fiercely intelligent, uncompromising musical personality. On 'Hero Trio', his sixteenth release as a leader/co-leader, he has moved the focus away from his own compositions to pay tribute to his greatest influences with an album of interpretations. All of the material is presented in Mahanthappa's characteristically original arrangements, and to approach them with the greatest degree of freedom and spontaneity he chose to record in trio format, enlisting the talents of long-time associates François Moutin on bass and Rudy Royston on drums.' (album notes). 'Possessing a sui-generis improvisational style, altoist Rudresh Mahanthappa is known as one of the most powerful forces in today’s jazz. On his latest recording, Hero Trio, he performs in trio format, basking in a collection of nine familiar non-originals that includes jazz standards, bebop and post-bop hits, and - surprise! - an R&B and a country-pop song by Stevie Wonder and Johnny Cash, respectively. For this purpose, Mahanthappa enlisted his longtime associates - bassist François Moutin and drummer Rudy Royston - paying homage to his influences and inspirations with able arrangements of his own, and that constant, impulsive spontaneity that has been stamping his discography......Both widely known, “I Can’t Get Started” and “I’ll Remember April” are carried out with different postures. The former, more meditative, is delivered in five and exhibits an incantatory way of breathing, whereas the latter returns to that soulful ebullience that Mahanthappa often presents us with. This is a trio of shifting texture and smart rapport.' (JazzTrail).

Details and Samples : Full JazzTrail Review : Video of Red Cross live : Listen to Ring Of Fire :

 

 

 

 

 

Matt Gold - Imagined Sky
(Whirlwind Recordings) - Released: 29th May 2020

Matt Gold (electric and acoustic guitars, voice (5), analog synthesizer (2, 8), wurlitzer electric piano (2, 7), mellotron (5)); Bryan Doherty (electric bass); Jeremy Cunningham (drums); Macie Stewart (voice 2); Sara Serpa - (voice 8); Dan Pierson ( analog synthesizer 1, 3); Myra Hinrichs (violin 5); Matt Ulery (- double bass 5).

Matt Gold Imagined Sky

 

 

'Imagined Sky'​ is the first solo record from Chicago-based guitarist and songwriter ​Matt Gold.​ Gold’s open, creative approach to music making has flourished in his adopted home - “I value the cross-pollination and intermingling of the scenes; it’s a beautifully collaborative city” - and his talents have been called upon by a diversity of boundary-crossing artists such as ​Makaya McCraven, Greg Ward, Sara Serpa,​ and J​amila Woods.​ Melody is at the center of Gold’s music, whether he’s edging towards post-rock power-trio antics with electric bassist ​Bryan Doherty​ and drummer ​Jeremy Cunningham, ​or exploring an abstracted Americana with acoustic guitar and whispering electronic textures. Imagined Sky also uses these elements to frame the direct, folk-tinged vocals of collaborators ​Sara Serpa​ and ​Macie Stewart,​ as well as Gold himself. “I’ve tried to stitch together the more improvisatory electric trio material with something more song-focused and concise, balancing these energies.” (album notes).

Details and Samples : Listen to Bottom Of The Barrel : Listen to Queen Anne :

 

 

 

 

 

Europe and Elsewhere

 

Jon Balke - Discourses
(ECM) - 15th May 2020

Jon Balke (piano, sound processing)

Jon Balke Discourses'Jon Balke's solo recordings comprise a special subset of his work, informed by the improvisational daring and compositional imagination that has made him one of creative music's most original voices. Discourses is his third solo album, preceded by Book of Velocities (recorded 2006) and Warp (2015). The new album, recorded in sessions in 2019, takes further the integration and juxtaposition of acoustic piano and processed soundscapes introduced on Warp. Jon Balke's unique solo work blurs distinctions between composition, improvisation and sound design as Discourses further develops the methodology introduced with the Norwegian pianist's Warp album. Integrated in the resonant sound of his piano music are "layered soundscapes" of processed material which Balke describes as "distorted reflections and reverberations from the world." Underpinning the project are some thoughts about language, and the notion of discourse and dialogue as fading concepts in an era of confrontational rhetoric. Balke: "In this work I had the framework of language with me from the beginning. As the political climate hardened in 2019 with more and more polarized speech, the lack of dialogue pointed me towards the terms that constitute the titles for the tracks." Discourses was recorded at Lugano's Auditorio Stelio Molo in December 2019, and produced by Manfred Eicher.' (album notes). 'Resisting categorization, the music of the Norwegian pianist Jon Balke, a longtime ECM recording artist, can be sublime, rousing and touching, all at the same time. On his third solo piano recording, Discourses, Balke is deep inside his piano playing. With a sense of dignity and penchant for exploration, he emanates a genuine intimacy from statements that are juxtaposed with processed soundscapes, creating absorbing narratives inspired by the overwhelming lack of dialogue and polarized speech in the political context we’re living in. Hence, language appears as a crucial factor here, with Balke employing specific composed ideas as a vehicle for improvisation, as well as sound processing to complement his conceptual thinking ..... This is a dazzling album from a fascinatingly complex musician who, without refraining from innovate, preserves his exceptional musical identity.' (JazzTrail).

Details and Samples : Full JazzTrail Review : Listen to the why :

 

 

 

 

Marcin Wasilewski Trio with Joe Lovano - Arctic Riff
(ECM Records) - Released: 26th June 2020

Marcin Wasilewski (piano); Joe Lovano (tenor saxophone); Slawomir Kurkiewicz (bass); Michal Miskiewicz (drums).

Marcin Wasilewski Trio with Joe Lovano  Arctic Riff

 

'The first-time teaming of Poland’s dynamic Marcin Wasilewski Trio and big-toned US tenorist Joe Lovano brings forth special music of concentrated, deep feeling, in which lyricism and strength seem ideally balanced. The alliance plays four new tunes by Marcin and one by Joe, as well as Carla Bley’s classic “Vashkar” (in two variations), plus collective improvisations with strong input from all four players;  Slawomir Kurkiewicz’s bass skills are particularly well-deployed in the spontaneous piece “Arco”. Joe will be joining the Polish trio for a number of selected concerts in the autumn. Arctic Riff was recorded at France’s Studio La Buissonne  in August 2019, and produced by Manfred Eicher.' (album notes). 'Polish pianist Marcin Wasilewski augments his crisply articulate piano trio - featuring bassist Slawomir Kurkiewicz and drummer Michal Miskiewicz - with the addition of great American saxophonist Joe Lovano, who populates Arctic Riff with his burnished saxophone literacy. The album comprises 11 pieces - four by Wasilewski, one by Lovano, four collective improvisations, and one by pianist Carla Bley, which makes a double appearance with the inclusion of an alternate take. The composition in question is “Vashkar”, which first saw the light of day in 1963, when it was included on Paul Bley’s trio album Footloose. The quartet’s reading admits conspicuous turbulence by the time that Wasilewski speaks and also exposes great saxophone work over a logical bass-drums association. The tune’s variation is cooked with the same passion and subtly atmospheric tones, but relatively different flavors.....Even when exploring boundlessly, the quartet embraces a fluid style leavened by a wonderful sense of space. As a key to our contentment, the sounds are not just meticulous but also consistently surprising.' (JazzTrail).

Details and Samples : Full JazzTrail Review : Introductory Video : Listen to Glimmer Of Hope :

 

 

 

 

 

Re-Releases

 

The Ray Russell Quartet - Spontaneous Event : Live Vol. 1: 1967-69
(Jazz In Britain) - Released: 1st May 2020

Ray Russell (guitar); Alan Rushton (drums); Roy Fry (piano 1-3, 5-9), Pete Lemer (piano 4); Ron Mathewson (bass 1, 4, 6-8) , Dave Holland (bass 2, 3, 5, 9).

The Ray Russell Quartet Spontaneous Event

 

 

'Live is Live!" You are what you play". 'The experience of live broadcast where you can't try anything before you start is an experience like no other. Falling in a dream is the nearest analogy. In these days live was live. Every gig an unrepeatable event. Ron Fry the pianist on some of these tracks passed away far too early. He was ahead of his time in progressive music. This era was a great time for progressive music in the UK. I'm so pleased it has found its way to be released.An incredible, never-before-released series of live sessions from The Ray Russell Quartet, recorded in London between 1967 and 1969. Featuring one of the earliest known recordings of legendary bassist Dave Holland. This is an absolutely unmissable set for fans of Ray, British progressive jazz, and jazz in general.' (album notes). 'For aficionados of British jazz, guitarist Ray Russell is a tantalising if not downright frustrating prospect; a formidable talent who released a handful of albums in the late 1960s and early 1970s before drifting away from jazz to make a living as a session musician ...These recently unearthed jam sessions are a welcome addition ... capturing Russell in his early twenties and absolutely incandescent with youthful vigour ...' (Daniel Spicer in Jazzwise ****)

Details and Samples : Listen to Spring Flower : Listen to Can I Have My Paperback Back :

 

 

 

 

 

Hank Jones - Live at Jazzhus Slukefter Vol 2
(Storyville) - Released: 1st May 2020

Hank Jones (piano); Mads Vinding (bass); Shelly Manne (drums)

Hank Jones Live at Jazzhus Slukefter Vol 2

 

 

'Storyville releases Hank Jones 'Live at Slukefter Vol. 2' - the follow up to 2019's Vol. 1. Whereas the first volume was recorded at the legendary Copenhagen Jazz Club Slukefter on June 6th 1983, this recording is from the day after, June 7th. As on the earlier release, Jones is joined by Mads Vinding who worked together on several other visits to Europe. The chosen songs on these recordings are very diverse, and support image of Jones as a musician with a huge knowledge of songs, both from within the Jazz world as well as contemporary pop music. The result of the 1983 Slukefter session Vol. 2 is an enjoyable hour of music that, after sitting unheard for over 30 years, sounds as fresh as if it were recorded yesterday.' (album notes). 'Taking a standard like All The Things You Are and finding fresh things to say on the head, and then adding more originality as the piece progresses was child's play for Hank Jones, one of the most consummate pianists in all of jazz. But it is a good way of approaching this release of the second of two nights recorded in a live Copenhagen club setting, as it stands as a yardstick for what this trio would achieve ....' (Alyn Shipton in Jazzwise ****).

Details : Listen to Recorda Me / No Me Esquica :

 

 

 

 

 

Peggy Lee - Ultimate Peggy Lee
(UMC - Virgin International) - Released: 19th June 2020

Peggy Lee (vocals) with various bands.

Ultimate Peggy Lee

 

'Throughout 2020, the 100th anniversary of Peggy Lee’s birth - May 26, 1920 - will be commemorated around the globe with music releases, notable exhibitions, special events, programming and a host of tributes and concerts, including a just-announced Hollywood Bowl tribute concert in August, “Miss Peggy Lee at 100 with The Legendary Count Basie Orchestra.” Kicking off The Peggy Lee 100 celebration is the release of Ultimate Peggy Lee, a new collection from Universal Music Enterprises (UMe) available April 17. The 22-track comprehensive set features her hits, five songs she co-wrote, as well as the previously unreleased “Try A Little Tenderness,” which makes its world debut 57 years after it was recorded. (album notes). 'Released in tandem with Peggy Lee Decca Rarities, this is part of the Lee estate's year-long centenary tribute to this great jazz singer, and it includes a previously unreleased version of 'Try A Little Tenderness' ... Her career was so prolific that this extensive collection can do no more than scratch the surface .... That said, the 2CD Avid Four Classic Albums set not only runs this close, but gives us a broader cross section of Lee's work .... So while The Ultimate is a very fine anthology, it is far from definitive.' (Alyn Shipton in Jazzwise ***).

Details and Samples : Listen to Try A Little Tenderness : Listen to He's A Tramp :

 

 

 

 

 

Art Blakey and the Jazz Messegers - Just Coolin'
(Blue Note) - Released: 17th July 2020

Art Blakey (drums); Lee Morgan (trumpet); Hank Mobley (tenor sax); Bobby Timmons (piano); Jymie Merritt (bass)

Art Blakey Just Coolin'

 

 

 

'Now that's what you call an archival gold nugget! A rediscovered studio recording by the short-lived spring 1959 edition of Blakey's Messengers, which unlike any other recent vault-retrievals, is a genuine 'album' rather than a sewn-together set of cut-offs ...Short at around 39 minutes, this is a set with absolutely no filler, but that's the point: this killer is the very essence of hard bop. An album that deserves all the stars you can throw at it.' (Simon Spillett in Jazzwise ****)

Details and Sample : Listen to Quick Trick :

 

 

 

 

 

Some Other Pages on this Website:

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

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

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

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

 

 

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