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If You Are Young And Live In West Suffolk ...
... you could enter a competition for young jazz players. The West Suffolk Young Musician Competition has launched a section for jazz musicians who are under eighteen and live in the area. Heats will take place in February next year and five musicians will go on to the finals that will be held on the 17th July 2015 at the Hunter Club in Bury St Edmunds. The organisers say: 'The West Suffolk Young Jazz Musician Competition is an exciting, new competition for young musicians with a particular interest in performing jazz music.To take part in the competition, entrants will need to display an ability to perform and improvise on a melody instrument. For example, instruments could include trumpet, trombone, saxophone, electric guitar, bass guitar or piano.'
'There will be one heat in February, at which all competitors will play an own choice programme to an adjudicator, lasting no more than 5 minutes. From the heat there will be between three and six finalists who will be selected to perform at the Finalists Concert on Friday July 17th 2015. The final will take place at the Hunter Club as part of the Headhunters series "Jazz at the Hunter Club", with The Chris Ingham Trio accompanying.'
The closing date for entries is 30th November 2014. For further details click here.
Blue Note Book and Box Set
November 3rd sees the publication of The Sound Of America, a 400 page book on the history of the legendary Blue Note label with photos, album sleeves and memorabilia. A 4 CD box set, Uncompromising Expression, is also released this month.
The Sound Of America by Richard Havers and Herbie Hancock presents 'The entire story of jazz from its earliest days in New Orleans to the 1970s and beyond told through archival material from Verve. Verve signed practically every major jazz artist of the 1950s and 1960s and is home to some of the greatest music ever recorded. Charlie Parker, Count Basie, Billie Holiday, Dizzy Gillespie, Oscar Peterson, and Ella Fitzgerald all released records through Verve. This superb new volume presents some of the rarest records and unseen ephemera from the label that helped define the world of jazz. Hundreds of the best examples of iconic seven-inch, ten-inch, and twelve-inch records appear, along with publicity reports, news clippings, posters, telegrams, and programmes ... The book includes features on key artists and key albums as well as insightful timelines that connect Verve with wider musical history. Looking beyond the music scene, the book discusses segregation in America, the missions to take jazz to Europe and the world, the clubs, the places, and the people who made Verve great and jazz cool. Commentary from the biggest names in jazz today, including some of Verves own artists, complements the text. 1,200 illustrations in color and black and white.' Click here for more details.
The CD box set description says: 'A sweeping overview of one of the world’s most diverse and celebrated Jazz catalogues, the 75-track collection features singles by Jazz greats Art Blakey, Donald Byrd, John Coltrane, Norah Jones, Thelonious Monk, Cassandra Wilson, and many more. Curated by Jazz expert and author of the Uncompromising Expression book, Richard Havers, each of the collection’s discs covers a specific era of the Blue Note’s evolution as a label, from boogie to bop, soul jazz to the roots revival of the 1990s, and 21st Century trailblazers including Robert Glasper and Gregory Porter. The new collection is presented in a beautiful slipcase with a 48-page booklet including a complete discography of its 75 featured singles.' Click here for more details.
2014 Peter Whittingham Jazz Award Applications
If you read this item early, there is just time to apply for this year's Peter Whittingham Award where applications have to be in by 7th November. The award of £4,000 is open to applicants studying on a higher education jazz course or in the first two years of their professional career. Soloists or ensembles can apply.
The deadline for all applications and references is Friday 7 November at 5.00pm. Auditions will be held at the Premises Studios in Hackney, London on Thursday 4 December. If you have any questions about an application please contact Elizabeth Sills by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on 020 7239 9119. (They cannot offer detailed guidance on project proposals). Click here for more details.
Sam Healey Wins International Jazz Soloist Award
We tend to forget that jazz is not only thriving in other countries, but that UK musicians are recognised abroad too. Beats & Pieces Big Band saxophonist Sam Healey has won first prize in the Johnny Raducanu International Jazz Festival in Braila, Romania. Fourteen musicians from a wide variety of countries performed over two days, with Sam receiving the top prize of €5000 from the judging panel. The festival was established in memory of pianist Johnny Raducanu, who was born in Bralia and went on to become Romania's most famous jazz musician, performing with the likes of Art Farmer and Slide Hampton during his career.
Click here to listen to Sam's Quartet playing Rain On The Day.
Eel Pie Island
Sadly, we did not hear about a project that took place last year that focussed on the well-known jazz and rock venue of Eel Pie Island. Eel Pie Island in the Thames near Hampton Court had a questionable reputation in the 1950s and 1960s, you would probably not let your mum know you were going there! Bass player and pianist Rob Rubin remembers the point of his double bass disappearing through the floor.
Fortunately, there is still some information about the project online, including a written and audio record of people's memories. A collection of over 70 interviews and first hand accounts of ‘Eelpiland’ through written contributions and oral history interviews, as well as documentation and photographic archive of ‘Eelpiland’ – visit the ‘Your Memories’ to read submitted accounts from clubgoers and listen to edited extracts of a spoken word collection. If you have a memory you’d like to submit to the project, please click here.
A digital collection of interviews, photos and memorabilia has been lodged with Richmond Local Studies, and is now available to the public. A further film is being made and we hope to let you know more about that as it develops.
Click here to read about the project.
The Da Vinci Ode
I've flown around the world in a plane
The idea behind this item is to offer a 'taste' of a musician, singer or band that you might not have come across before. This month, we spend time with ......
Singer Diane Schuur was born in Tacoma, Washington in 1953. She was born without sight. Nicknamed ‘Deedles’, she started singing when she was two-and-a-half and was performing professionally by the age of nine. Her father played piano and her mother had a large collection of Duke Ellington and Dinah Washington albums – hardly surprising that Diane was singing Dinah Washington’s What A Difference A Day Makes when she was just a toddler. At ten, she was singing country music at Tacoma’s Holiday Inn.
Click here for a video of Diane playing the piano and singing The Man I Love at the Java Jazz Festival in 2007.
Click here for a video of Diane swinging Louisiana Sunday Afternoon with the Paul Stefanelli Big Band around 1991.
Click here to listen to Deedles singing New York State Of Mind with Stan Getz, Dave Grusin and Don Grusin from the album Deedles. One listener says: ‘I’ve died, and I thought there wasn’t any possible heaven – THERE IS!’.
Her latest release in June this year is I Remember You (With Love to Stan and Frank) in which she pays tribute to Stan Getz and Frank Sinatra who have both supported her career. The recording features all new arrangements by Alan Broadbent, and in addition to the arranger on piano, it includes an all-star band of Ben Wolfe, Ulysses Owens Jr., Romero Lubambo, Roni Ben-Hur, and Joel Frahm. Click here to listen to the title track from the album. Click here to sample the album
Diane sang I Just Called To Say I Love You when the Kennedy Centre held a celebrity packed concert in tribute to Stevie Wonder in 1999. Click here to see the video of her performance.
Tony Milliner - My Favourite Things
Carla Bley – Sing Me Softly Of The Blues
Trombonist Tony Milliner has an album by keyboard player Carla Bley. If Tony were a garage mechanic, he would have this picture pinned up on the wall - not that the picture is unduly risqué, but Tony's admiration for the image is probably unequalled. This is, of course, because she is an excellent musicuan (?). He has other albums by Carla, of course.
In trying to pick a 'favourite' tune by Carla Bley, Tony chooses Sing Me Softly Of The Blues, and we are fortunate in being able to watch a video of Carla playing this with bass player Steve Swallow in 1989 - click here.
Carla Bley moved to New York from California when she was seventeen and took a job at Birdland as a cigarette girl. There she met and married jazz pianist Paul Bley who encouraged her to start composing. The couple later divorced but she kept his surname professionally. She remarried to trumpeter Michael Mantler in 1967, but again divorced in 1992. Her partner now for several year has been Steve Swallow.
She has continued to perform and record with her big band and other smaller groups. In 2005 she arranged the music for and performed on Charlie Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra tour and recording, Not in Our Name, and in June this year it was announced that she will receive the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Jazz Masters Award 2015.
Video Of The Month
Our thanks to Peter Maguire for suggesting this month's video in which a awe-inspiring variety of saxophones played by Attilio Berni are shown in jazz clips. There are reed instruments here I have never heard of, although jazz scholars might know of them. I have never seen a reed instrument with a slide!
There is a discussion on the YouTube site about the instruments, styles, mouthpieces, etc. but you do not need to read these to be fascinated by the range of sounds these instruments make.
Well worth spending 13 minutes with - it includes a brief 'discussion' between Attilio Berni and Adolphe Sax! Shame my Italian is non-existent! Click here for this month's video.
Mercury Prize 2014
Although in October the Mercury album prize was, once again, won by a non-jazz group (Young Fathers for their hip-hop album Dead), it was encouraging to see that this year, two contemporary jazz groups were amongst the twelve nominees - GoGo Penguin and Polar Bear.
Both bands now have established positions in the jazz world and a strong following. Seb Rochford, Polar Bear's amazing drummer has been here before, once with an earlier nomination of Polar Bear and also with Basquiat Strings.
The £20,000 prize would have been useful. The awards took place at the Roundhouse in Camden on 29th October.
New From GoGo Penguin
Break is an album sessions track from the Deluxe Edition of the GoGo Penguin Mercury Music Prize nominated album ‘V2.0’ that was released on 20th October and reviewed by us in September. Break is an enjoyable track that you can hear if you click here. As the publicity says: 'Pianist Chris Illingworth’s yearning classical influenced melodies are filtered through the dance music energy of bassist Nick Blacka and drummer Rob Turner. Their instrumentation might be the archetypal piano trio but while the melodic, harmonic and structural ideas are influenced by both classical and jazz the rhythms are drawn from left field electronica and it’s this meeting of opposites that makes their unique acoustic-electronica sound so exciting and creates such an interesting and emotionally rich palate for the listener - as drawing on a heady brew of influences from Brian Eno, John Cage and Squarepusher to Manchester’s grey rain-streaked urban streets they create a brave new sound all their own.'
To go with this new release, the band are offering fans and budding remixers the chance to download and remix a track from the album and win cool prizes, check it out here: http://gogopenguin.co.uk/remix-competition/
GoGo Penguin will be playing on 7th November at Rich Mix, Bethnal Green with Mammal Hands and DJ Matt Halsall (Gondwana).
Out On DVD - Too Late Blues
This 1961 film by director John Cassavetes is now on as a 2 DVD package as part of the Masters of Cinema series. Comments on the film say:
'The supreme master John Cassavetes followed up his earth-shaking 1959 debut Shadows with this, his first directorial effort for a major studio. Positioned somewhere between Cassavetes' ferocious independent productions and the Hollywood fare of the early 1960s, Too Late Blues represents a glimpse at a road not taken neither by the director himself, nor by mainstream American cinema in the era of the studio system's collapse - a parallel-universe of the movies that never came to pass ... except in rare instances such as Too Late Blues.'
Click here for the trailer introduced by John Cassavetes.
'The critic Jonathan Rosenbaum wrote that Cassavetes' film is a portrait of "the self-laceration and other forms of emotion brought about when a footloose jazz musician decides to sell out and go commercial, that it "has moments that are indelible and heartbreaking " and that "if you care a lot about Cassavetes, you should definitely see this".'
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Jazz Heritage and Blue Plaques
The London Borough of Waltham Forest, located a short distance from the home of the National Jazz Archive in Loughton, Essex, enthusiastically operates a Blue Plaque scheme which celebrates many aspects of local history and cultural heritage. For several years, the National Jazz Archive has been working alongside Waltham Forest to identify the residences of jazz musicians within the Borough which covers Leyton, Leytonstone, Walthamstow and Chingford. The National Jazz Archive reports on the current plan:
In 2013, Waltham Forest arranged for plaques to be placed on houses previously occupied by Sir John Dankworth, one of the finest British jazz musicians and composers whose work is known both by jazz fans and the public at large, and of clarinettist Dave Shepherd who, in his career, has played with Billie Holiday, Gerry Mulligan, Teddy Wilson, founder of the Archive – our own Digby Fairweather, and many other renowned jazz performers. Recently, a plaque was placed on the house in Leyton where trombonist, Jackie Free, spent his first twenty five years and learnt the trombone at the local Boys Brigade. Now, following detailed research, three more jazz musicians with reputations in the UK and around the world have been identified as spending part of their lives residing in Waltham Forest and worthy of Blue Plaque recognition.
Jackie Free Blue Plaque 'unveiling'
The next Blue Plaque nominee, Kenny Clare, was born and spent his early years in Leytonstone. Highly regarded by the likes of Buddy Rich, Kenny Clarke and Louie Bellson, Kenny began his playing career in his twenties with the Oscar Rabin band before joining Jack Parnell. For an extended period in the 1950s and early 1960s he was featured with the John Dankworth and Ted Heath bands. In 1963 Kenny began playing drums with the Kenny Clarke-Francy Boland Big Band and by 1967 he was regularly paired with Clarke in what became a two-drummer band for performances, concerts, and at least 15 recordings. The list of singers and musicians that Kenny performed with include some of the jazz greats of the 20th century – Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett, Cleo Laine, Stephane Grappelli, Johnny Griffin, Harry James and many more. He died in 1984.
The recent sad loss of trumpeter and composer Kenny Wheeler will not affect the plans to unveil a plaque for Kenny as his family have given the go-ahead for a low profile ceremony. Although born in Canada, Kenny made an indelible mark on Britain’s jazz scene, first moving to the UK in 1952 where he lived for over 60 years much of this time in Leytonstone where the plaque will be located. In the Sixties, he played alongside Ronnie Scott, John Dankworth and Tubby Hayes, before making a series of recordings with on albums including Gnu High and Deer Wan in the Seventies. However, for many the Nineties were considered Wheeler’s career peak, when he released influential albums such Music for Large and Small Ensemble and Kayak. In 1997, he received critical acclaim for album Angel Song, which featured Bill Frisell, Dave Holland and Lee Konitz.
More recently, he became the founding patron of the Junior Jazz programme at the Royal Academy of Music and was the focus of a year-long exhibition by the Academy Museum. In a statement when Kenny’s passing was announced, Nick Smart, head of jazz at the Royal Academy of Music, paid tribute and described Wheeler as “one of the great musical innovators of contemporary jazz”. “Kenny was an important and much loved figure to the jazz department here at the Academy… His harmonic palette and singularly recognisable sound will live on in the memory of all who heard him and in the extraordinary legacy of recordings and compositions he leaves behind, inspiring generations to come,”
The National Jazz Archive is delighted and privileged to join with the London Borough of Waltham Forest in recognising and celebrating these much loved jazz musicians who contributed greatly to The Story of British Jazz.
I Guess I’ll Hang My Tears Out To Dry
Glad To See You was the story of a United Service Organization Troupe of players. It was written by, and co-starred, comedy writer Eddie Davis. It was also Jule Styne’s first attempt at writing a complete score for the stage – well I guess everyone has to start somewhere.
Two songs survived from the play. I Guess I’ll Hang My Tears Out To Dry, sung by Jane Withers and B ‘Postrophe which was later used in the 1950 film The West Point Story.
When I want rain, I get sunny weather
I Guess I’ll Hang My Tears Out To Dry is a particularly beautiful Standard that has been sung and played by many jazz people since 1944. Style and Cahn have every reason to be proud.
Keith Jarrett Trio
Let’s start with this lovely version by Keith Jarrett (piano), Gary Peacock (double-bass) and Jack Dejohnette (drums) click here.
My friends ask me out, but I tell them I'm busy
The United Service Organizations Inc. (USO Show) is a non-profit organisation that provides programmes, services and live entertainment to United States troops and their families, a bit like ENSA, I imagine, the Entertainments National Service Association that was set up in 1939 to provide entertainment for British armed forces personnel during World War II. ENSA was superseded by Combined Services Entertainment which now operates as part of the Services Sound and Vision Corporation.
Click here for a taste of Bob Hope and his USO Troupe entertaining the troops 'from Somewhere in the South Pacific' in 1944: 'You all know Crosby, Sinatra's father ....' 'You remember girls ...'
After it was disbanded in 1947, USO was revived in 1950 for the Korean War, after which it also provided peacetime services. During the Vietnam War it was sometimes located in combat zones. As with ENSA, many famous celebrities joined the ranks of USO entertainers. The American USO is also still operating. It is privately funded by various corporate and individual donors and operates 160 centres worldwide.
Time to put words to the song. The Frank Sinatra version(s) are memorable but this 1984 video by Linda Ronstadt from the Tokyo Music Festival brings us the introduction to the song as well as a heart-felt rendering. Click here.
One of the classic versions of I Guess I’ll Hang My Tears Out To Dry is this version by tenor saxophonist Dexter Gordon from the 1962 Blue Note album Go with Sonny Clark, Butch Warren and Billy Higgins (click here). As someone says: ‘As somebody who loves the sound and depth of emotion the saxophone gives, this is the first thing that made me fall in love with the instrument.’ The track is also on the Dexter Gordon Ballads album.
The Essential Album Collection
Which jazz albums make up a collection of classics? We suggest an album each month so that we can gradually build up a list - in no particular order. Do you have these? Click here for our Essential Albums page where you will find the suggestions that have been put forward so far.
Fats Waller - The Essential Collection
There are a number of collections by the legendary, ebullient piano player. His songs, many written with lyricist Andy Razaf, like Ain’t Misbehavin’ and Honeysuckle Rose have become so well known they are immediately associated with Fats. We have chosen this collection because it is comprehensive. Another collection is criticised because it contains ‘too many instrumental numbers’ and not enough vocals. This collection encompasses both.
Speaking of his regular band, trumpeter Herman Autrey and clarinettist Gene Sedric always gave often unacknowledged support.
Philip Clouts’ Poetic Afro-jazz
Rob Adams writes:
'You don’t need a degree in Social Anthropology from Cambridge University to play jazz but it certainly helped pianist and composer Philip Clouts. South Africa-born Clouts, who brings his new quartet on a six-date Scottish tour beginning on November 1st, was just finishing his studies at Cambridge when he had an epiphany. Realising that he wanted to contribute to his own culture instead of studying other ones, he decided to concentrate on music and specifically the South African jazz style that had followed him to London, where he grew up.'
“At that time in the 1980s there were many exiled South African musicians in London,” he says. “Some, like Dudu Pukwana, the great saxophonist, had come over in the 1960s, as my own family had done, with the Blue Notes who became celebrated very quickly for their vibrant music. But there were others from a younger generation, including drummers Brian Abrahams and Thebe Lipere and for me most notably the pianist Bheki Mseleku who was a great source of inspiration and who mentored me for a short while.”
'The group Clouts formed on returning to London from Cambridge, Zubop, benefited as a whole from the exiled musicians’ input into their playing. As well as Mseleku showing Clouts the ropes, Thebe Lipere joined Zubop for their first few gigs, playing his distinctive African drum kit, and with this “rubber stamping” of their efforts, the band went on to be very popular on the live music circuit, subsequently expanding into ZubopGambia, which featured the BBC World Music Awards-winning riti, or one-string fiddle, player Juldeh Camara.
Click here for a video of Philip's Quartet playing On West Hill.
In 2006, Clouts decided to leave London for Dorset and began a new phase of music-making inspired by the coast where he lives. He continues to draw inspiration from South African music and from music from all around the world, including Cuba and South America, but something of his father, respected poet Sydney Clouts’ talent has emerged also in Clouts’ compositions that have been inspired by the Dorset landscape.'
Philip Clouts Quartet: John Desbrulais (drums); Philip Clouts (piano); Alex Keen (bass); Carlos Lopez-Real (saxophones)
“There are ways in which my composing has been shaped by both my father and my uncle Cyril Clouts, who was a musician and composer too,” says Clouts, who has recently brought together another group that features saxophonist Tom Ward, bassist Tim Fairhall and the Yamaha Jazz Scholarship-winning drummer Dave Ingamells. “Cyril created very expressive music in the 1960s and 1970s and my father was profoundly affected by the landscape around Cape Town, and I like to think that living near the sea has drawn me closer to his ability to express his response to nature, except I use notes where he used words.”
Click here to listen to samples from the Philip Clouts Quartet's album The Hour Of Pearl. The Quartet is currently on tour and you can catch them at:
Saturday, November 1st: Auchenblae - Village Hall
Parliamentary Jazz Awards
It is that time of the year when you have a chance to let your favourite musicians know you appreciate them by nominating / voting for them. Brought forward because of next May's General Election, voting for the Parliamentary Jazz Awards starts this month, on November 17th at 12.00 noon. The awards will be made at the House of Commons on March 10th. This is the 11th year of the awards which have become a key event in the jazz calendar. Nominations are put before a panel of people from the jazz 'industry' which shortlists nominations for the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group (APPJAG) to select the final winners. The awards are sponsored by PPL.
Arun Ghosh receiving his award for Instrumentalist of the Year in 2014.
We think that it is important to nominate your choices as, whether they win or not, this is a way of letting your nominees know you appreciate their work. Click here to vote from November 17th. The categories are:
Jazz Album of the Year; Jazz Vocalist of the Year; Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year; Jazz Ensemble of the Year; Jazz Venue of the Year; Jazz Media Award (magazines, journalists, websites); Jazz Education Award (to an educator or project); Jazz Newcomer of the Year; Services to Jazz Award.
Album Released: 29th September 2014 - Label: Trichotomymusic.com/Topologymusic.com
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 their obituaries where we have them:
Brian Lemon - Nottingham-born pianist, arranger and bandleader who worked with the Fairweather-Brown All Stars between 1961 and 1963. He moved to London when he was nineteen to join Freddie Randall and then worked with Betty Smith's band. Much in demand, he played with, amongst so many others, Danny Moss, George Chisholm, Alex Welsh, Scott Hamilton, Benny Goodman, John Dankworth, Charlie Watts, the Pizza Express All Stars and many visiting musicians from abroad.
Click here for a video of Brian playing at the Pizza Express in Dean Street (?).
Tim Hauser – Founder member of the American vocal group Manhattan Transfer. Whilst spending most of their success in the pop charts, their allegiance to vocalese and collaboration with jazz vocalists like John Hendricks, tribute albums to Louis Armstrong and Chick Corea and Tim Hauser singing note for note the Jaco Pastorius bass line for Weather Report’s Birdland, showed their jazz influences. Tim Hauser named his son 'Basie'.
Click here for a video of Manhatten Transfer swinging in 1986.
Sheila Tracy – Best known as the presenter of the Big Band Special on BBC Radio2, many forget that Sheila also played trombone with the Ivy Benson Band in the 1950s. When she left the BBC in 2000, Sheila introduced a programme called Swingtime on commercial radio until 2006 and presented a programme for Pure Jazz Radio in America. She has written two books about big bands: Bands, Booze and Broads (1995) and Talking Swing (1997).
Click here for Big Bands On The Road in which Sheila Tracy talks to sidemen from America's great swing bands of the 30s 40s and 50s. Click the picture for Sheila's website.
George Roberts – American trombonist who specialised in playing the bass trombone. Born in Iowa, the musical director of the school big band told him his arms were too short to play the trombone and advised him to take up the clarinet. George insisted on the trombone. Following National Service, he played with the Gene Krupa band and switched to bass trombone when he found he could not compete with Krupa’s trombonist, Urbie Green. George turned down an offer to join Stan Kenton and instead became, and stayed, a player with Nelson Riddle. He was featured in many recordings including those with Sinatra and in film scores such as those for Jaws and Days Of Wine And Roses.
Click here for a video of George Roberts playing a medley of numbers from his album Meet Mr Roberts.
Vic Ash - UK saxophonist and clarinettist born in East London. He joined Kenny Baker's band with Tubby Hayes in 1951 before joining Vic Lewis. He led his own band in the 1950s, hosted a radio programme, Sunday Break, and toured America before returning to play with Lewis in 1959. He continued to play with UK jazz groups, including the BBC Big Band, for many years, recorded several mainstream albums and his autobiography I Blew It My Way was published in 2006.
Jack Bruce - A founder-member of the group Cream, the bass guitarist Jack Bruce was born near Glasgow. His father and brother were jazz fans who favoured different genres, and Jack went to the Royal Scottish Academy of Music to study piano and cello. In 1960, he toured Italy with the Murray Campbell Big Band before joining the Scottsville Jazzmen. He went on to work with Alexis Korner, John Mayall and then Manfred Mann. After Cream dissolved, Bruce recorded Things We Like, dissolving the boundaries between rock and jazz with tunes that he had written as a boy. He played the double-bass, and was joined by the saxophonist Dick Heckstall-Smith, guitarist John McLaughlin and drummer Jon Hiseman. He went on to play with many musicians over various music genres. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2003.
We choose an album for special mention from our list of new and reissued recordings below.
Trish Clowes (tenor and soprano saxophones), Gwilym Simcock (piano), Chris Montague (electric guitar), Calum Gourlay (double bass), James Maddren (drums) and the BBC Concert Orchestra with conductor André de Ridder.
What do you get when you record together an award-winning saxophonist/composer, an excessively talented band and the BBC Concert Orchestra? Answer: An album of substance. You can expect to listen to it more than once to fully appreciate it, but here is an album that invites you to sit down and allow time to explore what is going on.
The tracks are all Trish Clowes compositions. It is two years since she released her last album And In The Night-time She Is There. During those two years she has been a BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist, a scheme that helps to support talented musicians to reach the next stages of their careers and brings some of the world’s most promising new talent to listeners across the UK through BBC Radio 3 broadcasts. has also worked with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, curated her own Emulsion Festival and performed with other bands and musicians.
Three of the tracks on the new album are with the BBC Concert Orchestra. The other five tracks are with her band Tangent. To say these are talented jazz musicians is an understatement. Calum Gourlay and James Maddren (one of my favourite drummers) are now seriously experienced players who work with many ensembles as well as their long background with pianist Kit Downes. Chris Montague is another Kit Downes collaborator and contributes some nice guitar work on the album. Gwilym Simcock is one of our top pianists and his playing on this recording is notable.
Taking the three tracks with the BBC Concert Orchestra - Radiation, Balloon and Chorale, Trish says: 'My first priority was to make sure I got the orchestra improvising in some way ... in Chorale, I gave them two chords to improvise with for the introduction, giving them indications of which timbres/instrument techniques I wanted them to use, and some good notes to choose from. In Radiation, I gave them a piece of melody which was the basis for a 'free-up'. In Balloon I feature some jazz oboe - which has been affectionately termed 'jazzboe'. The oboist, Lauren Weavers, works with me in my Emulsion projects (bringing together jazz and classically trained musicians to share ideas/collaborate/perform) so I was able to spend some time with her developing what we would do.'
Take a moment to click here and listen to extracts from Radiation and Balloon. In Radiation, the saxophone leads Chorale layers the orchestra and Calum Gourlay's bass gently behind the saxophone and piano.
In 2013, Trish went to California. Question Mark, which features her soprano saxophone, was composed just before her trip. Whilst in America, Trish visited saxophonist Wayne Shorter. Trish says: 'The experience had a big impact on the music I was creating at the time. Pfeiffer And The Whales is dedicated to Monterey and Big Sur. Wayne's Waltz is for Wayne Shorter.'
Porcupine features Chris Montague and Trish Clowes and for me, this is a track that shows just what an empathetic drummer is James Maddren. Symphony In Yellow is inspired by Oscar Wilde's poem. It is a wistful ballad beautifully interpreted by Trish and Gwilym Simcock and just when you think the piece is coming to an end, Chris Montague's guitar comes in with some minimal, perfectly-judged playing. The Oscar Wilde poem is quoted in the sleeve notes:
An omnibus across the bridge
Crawls like a yellow butterfly,
And, here and there, a passer-by
Shows like a little restless midge
Big barges full of yellow hay
Are moved against the shadowy wharf,
And, like a yellow silken scarf,
The thick fog hangs along the quay.
The yellow leaves begin to fade
And flutter from the Temple elms,
And at my feet the pale green Thames
Lies like a rod of rippled jade.
Click here to listen to extracts from Tangent playing Question Mark, Porcupine, Pfeiffer And The Whales and Wayne's Waltz.
For a video of Tangent playing Seven three years ago - back in 2011 (not on the Pocket Compass album) click here.
Click here for a video of Trish Clowes and pianist Ross Stanley playing Trish's composition A Moment (not on the Pocket Compass album) at the Cadogan Hall in August this year.
Pocket Compass is released in the Basho label on 10th November. Click here to listen to samples of the tracks. It will be launched on the 18th November at the Queen Elizabeth Hall as part of the London Jazz Festival.
Trish Clowes will be touring the UK next February with a Quintet featuring Gwilym Simcock as special guest:
Walton-on-Thames (February 20th); Pizza Express, Dean Street (23rd); Leeds Seven Arts (26th); Sheffield Jazz (27th); The Arena Theatre Wolverhampton (28th).
Last month we reviewed the Johnny Hunter Quartet album Appropriations. The band takes to the road in November. We said of the album
The band is Graham South (trumpet), Ben Watte (tenor saxophone), Stewart Wilson (double bass) and Johnny Hunter (drums). Johnny Hunter (brother of guitarist Anton Hunter) is based in Manchester and is another talented young drummer establishing a name for himself in the UK jazz scene. His drums power the first track Five Stories High firmly stating his credentials whilst the rest of the band settle in with easy conversations between the trumpet and saxophone (click here to listen). For me, the third track, Mallard Ballard, is the 'go to' track on this album where Graham South and Ben Watte really show what they can do in their solos. (Click here to listen to Mallard Ballard).
Click here for a video introducing the band and the album. Rivers Of Appropriation precedes Stewart Wilson's bass Interlude and in contrast to the short Interludes the album ends with the extended track Constantly.
Appropriations by the Johnny Hunter Quartet is available from Efpi Records (click here - where you can also listen to the track Rivers Of Appropriation). This is a recording that signals potential. The Quartet is touring in November as part of a Jazz Services supported programme, so you would do well to try and catch them at one of the following venues:
November 6th: LUME @ Long White Cloud, London – 8pm £5
November 7th: Hillary Step, Manchester – 8.30pm FREE
November 15th: Zeffirellis, Ambleside – 8.30pm FREE
November 16th: Seven Jazz @ Inkwell, Leeds – 1pm £7/5
November 16th: Splinter Jazz @ Bridge Hotel, Newcastle – 7.30pm £6
November 18th: Spotted Dog, Birmingham – 9pm FREE
November 19th: Lescar, Sheffield – 8.30pm £5
November 20th: Matt & Phred’s, Manchester – 9pm FREE
November 21st: Caledonia, Liverpool – 9pm FREE
Trombonist Tom Green is taking his talented Septet on tour prior to the launch of his debut album in January. The Dankworth Competition prize winner leads a band that features Matthew Herd (alto/soprano sax), Sam Miles (tenor sax), James Davison (trumpet and flugelhorn), Sam James (piano) and Scott Chapman (drums). Click here for our Profile of Tom Green.
The band will be playing at:
13th November - Yardbird, Birmingham
14th November - Be-Bop Club, Bristol
15th November - Teignmouth Jazz Festival
17th November - Spice Of Life, Soho
The album launch will take place at London's St James Theatre Studio on 29th January.
The Tommy Andrews Quintet completes its autumn tour in November featuring music from their excellent album The Crux (click here for a taster). Tommy Andrews (alto sax and clarinet), Nick Costley-White (guitars), Rick Simpson (piano), Dave Manington (double bass) and Dave Hamblett (drums).
You can hear them playing at:
3rd November – Jazz At the Oxford, Kentish Town
5th November - Dempsey's, Cardiff
23rd November - The Green Note, Camden
Album Released: October 2014 - Label: Leo Records
Frank Gratkowski & Achim Kaufmann
Steve Day reviews this album for us:
Frank Gratkowski (clarinet, bass clarinet, alto saxophone); Achim Kaufmann (piano); Wilbert de Joode (double bass); Okkyung Lee (cello); Richard Barrett (electronics); Tony Buck (drums, percussion).
Ten years ago I wrote sleeve notes for Frank Gratkowski’s recording Facio. The improvising quartet were pushed and prodded by the American percussionist-par-excellence, Gerry Hemingway. To this day Facio remains a super sharp session. A decade on I get the opportunity to write about Skein.
This time the great Tony Buck is the drummer. Like Hemingway, he shakes the centre of gravity. Buck is the long time percussion vortex of The Necks, one of the most important bands to come out of Australia (Click here for a video of The Necks). Their extended spontaneous meditations develop and deliver an awesome music from a collective gathering of fragments of experimentation.
Tony Buck’s presence on this new CD, alongside Gratkowski, Kaufmann and de Joode (an established working trio) and electronics pioneer Richard Barrett (from Evan Parker’s Electro-Acoustic Project) plus cellist, Okkyung Lee, makes for a riveting experience. (Click here for a video of Okkyung Lee).
Skein is music totally produced without preconception. The best I can do to represent what is happening is to give short impressions of each of the six tracks. I’d recommend you judge the worth of this recording by getting hold of a copy. Yep, buying it.
Track 1: ‘Tycho’ (7:32) It starts as if each musician is on a quest to seek out a sound that will fit into a colossal space. The actual recording quality is exemplary; the twist of the stereo across the speakers feels like a leaping animal. Do not use a compressed format to listen to this music.
Track 2: ‘Axoneme’ (10:51) Like ripping paper, double bass and violin literally cut a skein of a thing. The piano places a melody through a shredder while Gratkowski’s reeds are sucked of all their surface meaning. The alto sax and percussion evolution in the last three minutes is as if a sheer cliff is breaking up.
Track: ‘Schacht’ (21:08) Oh, this piano prelude is the wonder of music making; when it defuses at around five minutes between a virtuoso hi-hat and electricity scratching at the edges, the bass clarinet conjures a new story for the telling of. In the final few moments we arrive at something akin to the Palace of Babel for those who have ears to here.
Track 4: ‘Adze’ (8:21) Bubbling electronics, like listening to Macbeth’s witches cooking tiny creatures.
Track 5: ‘Limation’ (16.08) Bowed bass so deep it is as if the bottom is below any known note. The electrics crackle and hum harmonies inside the ear that are not taught in music lessons. And the acoustic grand piano picks its way across the ensemble as if attempting to draw breath on a written score that doesn’t exist.
Track 6: ‘Thrum’ (4:41) Pile in rhythm, knock it for six, rock it for all its worth in time signatures which you couldn’t count even if you were Einstein. The fact that they do is because there are six improvisers here playing at the top of their game. Peaks have a high purpose, from this music you can see for miles. What an extraordinary end to a very special recording.
(Click here for a video of the Frank Gratkowski, Achim Kaufmann, Wilbert de Joode trio).
There are currently no samples of the album, but click here for more information.
Following our quiz last month about musical instruments used at some time in jazz, David Braidley writes: Enjoyed the October jazz quiz, but disappointed not to find the Sarrusophone in the list. A wonderful, rare, instrument, played by Sidney Bechet on Clarence Williams Blue Five 1924 recording of 'Mandy, Make up Your Mind.'
David is right. You can listen to this brilliant track if you click here in a video that is just as joyful. In December 1924 jazz promotor, pianist and bandleader Clarence Williams decided to choose two of the most promising young musicians to make a recording. Originally from the birthplace of jazz, New Orleans, he asked Louis Armstrong on cornet and Sidney Bechet on soprano saxophone to join him in this recording session.
Bechet, always the creative young man, decided to bring a new instrument, a bass-sarrusaphone, invented in 1856 by Pierre Gautrot to replace the oboe and the bassoon which lacked the power required for outdoor band music. Originally a double reed instrument it was later replaced with a single reed mouthpiece, similar to those used on soprano saxophones. The fingering is like that of a saxophone as well. In the recording are also Charlie Irvis trombone, Buddy Christian banjo and the vocal is by Clarence's wife Eva Taylor, one of the most succesful singers of that time.
George Wheeler writes having read our previous article about the doctorjazz.co.uk website that carries a collection of World War 1 'draft cards' which include those of many of the famous New Orleans musicians of the time, chief among whom are Louis Armstrong, Johny Dodds, King Oliver and Bunk Johnson along with a host of other familiar names (click here).
George says: 'That was an interesting article about the true date of Louis Armstrong birth. About thirty years ago I read the Armstrong biography by James Lincoln Collier. I seem to remember that in it he claimed there was evidence that Armstrong altered his age entry on his draft papers to avoid military service.'
'I think he started a trend because didn’t Kenny Wheeler move to England from Canada to avoid being called for military service in the Korean War?'
Quite a bit of correspendence has come in about Neil Millett since we included a message about him on our information page. Sue Millett, Neil's daughter, has now written saying:
'Interesting to hear the stories about my father, I was born in 1954 so particularly intrigued by the earlier stories, we lived in Chertsey at first, then Surbiton. We moved to Bournemouth in 1964. Dad died in March 2001 suddenly of a heart attack. In Bournemouth. He had previously lived abroad, from about 1981 to 1994, and there was no family contact, would be fascinated if anyone knew him there, in Germany and Holland I think. After he died I went through his address books and managed to contact quite a few for the funeral. It was an interesting and cathartic exercise! I will look out some photos.'
Dr Bob Moore has contacted us saying:
'I am a member of the U3A (University of the Third Age) Jazz appreciation section. I now have given four talks to them on each of the following: Louis Armstrong, US swing bands of the 40's, Modern Jazz Quartet and Stan Kenton. I should say that I am not a profession speaker but I have reasonable knowledge of the subject. Now that I have given the talks, it is most probable that they will gather dust in a cupboard but if anyone local to me in High Wycombe is interested, I would be prepared to repeat the talk for free with possible expenses for petrol if far away.'
'The talks mainly simply require a good audio system plus someone to put on the CD's but the Kenton talk does included some excerpts from Youtube on the internet but these could be edited out. If I use the Internet it would require screen plus associated equipment. The talks take about 90 min and the usual format is general background on the artist or group followed by tracks from CD's.'
If anyone would like to take up Bob's offer, you can email him at email@example.com
Album released: 2014 – Label: Self release
Ali Affleck & Vieux Carré
Indeedy I Do
Alison Affleck was named Vocalist of the Year in the 2013 Scottish Jazz Awards. She performs regularly with two bands, The Copper Cats and Vieux Carré, the latter starting up in 2009. Before that, Ali lived in the USA for 16 years where she performed with traditional and gypsy jazz bands. She has broadcast on the BBC and sung with the Brian Kellock Trio and The Classic Jazz Orchestra and she is a keen Lindy Hopper dancer.
Indeedy I Do is her second album with Vieux Carré, the first Le Debut was nominated as 'Best Ensemble' in the 2013 Scottish Jazz Awards. Vieux Carré describe their repertoire as ‘think Tin Pan Alley with a hint of good old Vaudeville’.
Indeedy I Do reflects that atmosphere. The nine titles include Back In Your Own Backyard, Comes Love, Sitting On Top Of The World, I’ve Got A Feeling I’M Falling and Dream A Little Dream. This is an album that will appeal to those who enjoy straightforward small band swing jazz, to the band’s followers and will provide the band with a calling card to pubs, clubs and functions. Ali Affleck has a good voice and from a personal point of view, I would like to hear a recording with arrangements that challenge her and the band a little more.
Help Me Information
with apologies to Chuck Berry (click here)
Can you help?
We regularly receive requests for information about musicians, music, etc. Responses sometimes come months after we have featured the request so we have started a separate page. Please click here to see if you can help ...
In November the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra is staging some concerts celebrating the inspirational music of the legendary electric bass master, Jaco Pastorius and have one of the UK's finest bass players, Laurence Cottle as special guest with support from outstanding percussionist, Marcio Doctor and renowned flautist Gareth Lockrane.
SNJO say: 'The music of Jaco Pastorius is characterized by a sense of joy and, although there were dark shadows in Jaco’s life, his music brims with stunning shapes and exotic colours. Jaco Pastorius also shaped the sound of the electric bass into startling musical sculptures, first with Pat Metheny and then, famously, with Weather Report. On tunes like Liberty City, his effervescent group Word of Mouth produced some of the most flamboyant hues in contemporary jazz, while his big band projects created fresh orchestral forms and structures.'
'We in particular encourage young people to attend either free with adults if under 16yrs or if 16 - 25 they can register online at www.snjo.co.uk for a SNJO youth card and buy tickets for only £5.'
The concerts will be at:
Friday, 7th November - Edinburgh, Queens Hall
Saturday, 8th November - Glasgow, Royal Conservatoire
Sunday, 9th November - Dundee, The Gardyne Theatre
The full programme is now online for this year's EFG London Jazz Festival which will take place from Friday 14th to Sunday 23rd November 2014.
The organisation Serious says: 'Here are some of the strands that are going to make 2014 a spectacular year for the Festival:
New music is the future for any genre and to continue our commitment to this ethos, 21 new pieces of work have been commissioned and will be premiered at the 2014 Festival. In new music, we relish the unknown, inspired by what the artists from previous eras have given the next generation.
BLUE NOTE CELEBRATIONS
Blue Note Records, the label perhaps most synonymous with jazz legends past and present are celebrating 75 years. The Festival plays host to some of the most exciting artists in the current Blue Note roster.
SOUTH AFRICA PROGRAMME
This year’s Festival looks at how South African jazz and its musicians have been inspired, how the music has flourished and what they have contributed to music world-wide. ‘South Africa 20 years on’ is one of our core themes, supported by a full programme of concerts, film and talks highlighting the breadth of talent and inspiration inherent in South African jazz.
Events organised as part of the South African Season in the United Kingdom. The South Africa-United Kingdom Season 2014 & 2015 is a partnership between the Department of Arts and Culture, South Africa and the British Council.
JAZZ VOICE OPENING GALA
Nothing sets the tone for an event quite like the opening night and only one show can create the perfect curtain-raiser to the 2014 EFG London Jazz Festival, the inimitable Jazz Voice. A true celebration of singing and song, this concert is arranged, scored and conducted by Guy Barker, who leads a 40-piece orchestra alongside an extraordinary line-up of vocal talent who we are thrilled to announce: Dee Dee Bridgewater, Emma Smith, Georgie Fame, Jacob Banks, Sachal, Kurt Elling and Vula Malinga. These artists will kickstart the Festival in spectacular style at the Barbican, Friday 14 November.
You can also view the complete Festival brochure online here.
Some November Gigs
It is impossible for us to include a list of all the gigs taking place during a month. I have decided to take an approach where we will look at venues geographically and give you their website links so you can check what is going on in a particular area.
I will choose some Gig Picks that you might find interesting - but check their website for other gigs. Where a venue doesn't have a website, then some details of what is taking place are included below.
Dublin: JJ Smyth's, 2, Aungier Street, Dublin 2. www.jjsmyths.com
Dublin: Sugar Club, 8, Lower Leeson Street, Dublin 2. www.thesugarclub.com
Dublin: John Field Room, National Concert Hall, Dublin 2. www.nch.ie
Scotland: The Jazz Bar, Edinburgh, 1a, Chambers Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1HR. www.thejazzbar.co.uk
Wales: Dempsey's, Cardiff , 15, Castle Street, Cardiff, CF10 1BS. www.jazzatdempseys.org.uk
Lancashire: Ribble Valley Jazz and Blues Club, Atrium Cafe Bar, Clitheroe Castle Keep, Clitheroe, Lancashire, BB7 1BA. www.rvjazzandblues.co.uk
Newcastle-upon-Tyne: The Jazz Cafe, 25 - 27 Pink Lane, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE1 5DW. www.jazzcafe-newcastle.co.uk
Liverpool: The Capstone Theatre, Shaw Street, Liverpool, L6 1HP. www.thecapstonetheatre.com
Yorkshire: SevenJazz, Leeds, Seven Arts, Chapel Allerton, Leeds, or Inkwell Arts, 31 Potternewton Lane Chapel Allerton, Leeds. www.sevenjazz.co.uk
Yorkshire: Jazz In The Spa, Boston Spa, Village Hall, High Street, Boston Spa. www.jazzinthespa.co.uk
South Yorkshire: Sheffield Jazz, Various venues in Sheffield. www.sheffieldjazz.org.uk
Manchester: Matt and Phred's, 64 Tib Street, Northern Quarter, Manchester M4 1LW. www.mattandphreds.com
Norfolk: Norwich Jazz Jam, The Windmill, Knox Road, Norwich, NR1 4LQ. www.jazzjam.org.uk
Essex: The Electric Palace, Harwich, King's Quay. Harwich. www.electricpalace.com
Essex: The Headgate Theatre, Colchester, 14 Chapel Street North, Colchester CO2 7AT. www.headgatetheatre.co.uk
Buckinghamshire: Amersham Jazz Club, Beaconsfield Sycob FC HP9 2SE. www.amershamjazzclub.co.uk
Oxford: The Oxford Jazz Kitchen, The Crown, Cornmarket Street, Oxford . www.oxfordjazzkitchen.com
Oxford: The Half Moon, The Half Moon, St Clements, Oxford.
London: King's Place, 90 York Way, London, N1 9AG. www.kingsplace.co.uk
London: Lume, Hoxton, The Long White Cloud, 151 Hackney Road, London E2 8JL. www.lumemusic.co.uk
London: e17 Jazz, Walthamstow, Orford House Social Club, 73 Orford Road, Walthamstow, London E17 9QR. www.e17jazz.com
London: Pizza Express, Soho, 10, Dean Street, London W1. www.pizzaexpresslive.com
London: The 100 Club, 100 Oxford Street, London W1D 1LL. www.the100club.co.uk (The 100 Club only occasionally stages jazz gigs these days)
London: The Forge, Camden, 3-7 Delancey Street, Camden, London NW1 7NL. www.theforgevenue.org
London: Chickenshed Theatre Jazz Bar, Southgate, Chase Side, Southgate, London N14 4PE. www.chickenshed.org.uk
London: The Vortex, 11, Gillett Street, N16 8AZ. www.vortexjazz.co.uk
London: Club Inégales, 180 North Gower Street (corner of Euston Street). www.clubinegales.com
London: Southampton Arms, Highgate Road, North London
London: Little House, 1 Queen Street, London W1
London: Jazz In The Round, The Cockpit, Marylebone, Gateforth Street, Marylebone, London NW8 8EH. www.thecockpit.org.uk
London: 606 Club, 90 Lots Road, Chelsea, London SW10 0QD. www.606club.co.uk
London: The Jazz Nursery, St Mary Overies Dock, Cathedral Street, London SE1. www.jazznursery.com
London: Putney, The Half Moon, 93 Lower Richmond Road, Putney, SW15 1EU.
Kent: 144 Club, Nr Tunbridge Wells and Rochester, Finchcock's Musical Museum, Goudhurst, TN17 1HH. www.finchcocks.co.uk
Kent: The Roffen, New Road Rochester, ME1 1DX. www.144club.co.uk
Surrey: Harri's Jazz, Shepperton, Bagster House, Walton Lane, Shepperton, TW17 8LP. www.harrisjazz.com
Surrey: Thames Ditton, The George and Dragon, High Street, Thames Ditton, KT7 0RY.
Surrey: Watermill Jazz, Dorking, Friends Life Social Club, Pixham Lane, Dorking, RH4 1QA. www.watermilljazz.co.uk
Sussex: Brighton Jazz Club,. www.brightonjazzclub.co.uk
Wiltshire: Bradford-on-Avon, The Fat Fowl,
Bradford on Avon,
Wiltshire BA15 1JX.
Bristol: The Be-Bop Club, The Bear, Hotwell Road, Bristol, BS8 4SF. www.thebebopclub.co.uk
Somerset: Ilminster Arts Centre, The Meeting House, East Street, Ilminster, Somerset, TA19 0AN. www.themeetinghouse.org,uk
Dorset: Bridport Arts Centre, South Street, Bridport, DT6 3NR. www.bridport-arts.com
Cornwall: St. Ives Jazz Club, Western Hotel, Gabriel Street, St. Ives, Cornwall, TR26 2LU. www.stivesjazzclub.com
The following items appeared in the last magazine but may still be of interest to readers:
A review of BBC Music Services is currently underway and you have a chance to say what you think about the coverage of jazz on the radio.
Kerstan Mackness makes the point: ’Jazz is already something of a pauper on the BBC - compared to classical and pop music at least, and I think there is a real danger of the music being further marginalised. With cuts meaning less hours and less budget for recordings and reporting. We can't afford for this to happen. But we're not entirely powerless - below is a link to the BBC Trust review of music services. Please make a submission about how you feel about jazz on radio. And please if you are able to speed the word then please do - if enough people share this, tweet about this, blog about this and generally spread the word then more and more people will have their say and hopefully the BBC will listen. After all they kept 6 Music because enough people shouted for it to stay - lets make sure they keep jazz on the BBC too!’
Is there enough? Should it be protected? How important do you think the BBC is to the jazz sector?
Community and Local Radio are providing some services and there is probably more in your area than you realise. Nobody would pretend that this is an alternative to a national jazz radio station, but there are people who are making time, often on a voluntary basis, to promote jazz either within a local radio 'on air' or through the internet where you can stream radio programmes or listen to them on your computer or tablet. Check out what is going on in your area and let us know if you have a favourite.
Trumpeter Chris Hodgkins who retired from the organisation Jazz Services earlier this year is presenting a weekly show in London called "Jazz Then and Now" on London Jazz Radio. The concept of the show is as Chris puts it “what it says on the tin”. Chris will be delving into the history of the music and present what is happening on the scene today with a watchful eye on British contemporary jazz. The show will run every Monday at 3pm and 8pm repeated on Wednesdays; and will complement nicely Todd’s Turntable by Todd Gordon which runs on Sundays at 12pm repeated Wednesday evenings. Click here for London Jazz radio.
Mike Whitaker is just one of the presenters on 10Radio, a community radio show in Somerset. Mike has a relaxed style and like many community radio shows, sounds like he is talking to a group of friends. Mike says: 'Sounds Like Jazz is broadcast on a Tuesday evening between 8.00 pm and 10.00 pm. It is repeated twice. There's a Night Owl repeat on the Saturday after the live broadcast, from 2 am to 4 am and another repeat on the following Thursday from 10 am to 12 noon. Repeats are more of a technical challenge than you might think and only a few of the 10Radio crew can do them. And I'm not one of them ! I mention this as repeats don't always turn out exactly right!' You can listen online to Sounds Like Jazz at: www.10radio.org .
Another of our correspondents, vocalist Grace Black (click here for a video of her singing Feeling Good), hosts a Scottish community radio jazz programme, The Jazz Lounge, on K107fm Community Radio on Sunday afternoons from 4pm to 6pm. Grace says: 'I am playing all the classics but also inviting Scottish and UK artistes to send me cds and MP3's so that I can showcase the vast array of talent that we have on the current jazz scene. People can contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook by searching for The Jazz Lounge on K107fm.' This is another programme that is available online at http://www.k107.co.uk and some shows are also on Mixcloud.
Similarly, vocalist Jenny Green (website:Jenny Green sings) hosts a jazz programme on Ridge Radio in the Surrey area every Friday from 11.00 am to 1.00 pm in which she features and interviews jazz musicians www.ridgeradio.dreamhosters.com
In Australia, we are in touch with David Stevens, a UK jazz musician who once played with Sandy Brown and other well-known bands before he emigrated. David is one of six presenters who host a local radio jazz programme Midday Jazz which you can listen to online in the UK, although midday in Australia is the middle of the night here! If you are a nightfly you can find it here www.2rrr.org.au
Let us know about your local or community radio station, but in the meantime send in your comments to the BBC to let them know what you think about their Jazz programming. As Kerstan Mackness says: 'It’s is really important that we have our say at a time when there are cuts across BBC and jazz may be under threat.' https://consultations.external.bbc.co.uk/bbc/music_radio
South African pianist Abdullah Ibrahim has been a key jazz musician for more than fifty years and in November he is playing a number of gigs in the UK. A quote from The Guardian newspaper says: ‘People don’t like Abdullah Ibrahim, they adore him, bestowing on him the devotion normally reserved for Nina Simone. When he plays, melodies tumble out effortlessly, as he slides from theme to theme like a laid-back South African reincarnation of Thelonious Monk.’
Abdullah Ibrahim Ekaya Septet
The tour dates are:
Abdullah Ibrahim: Ekaya Septet + New Trio – Saturday, 15th November – London, Royal Festival Hall
Abdullah Ibrahim: New Trio – Sunday, 16th November – Saffron Waldon, Saffron Hall
Abdullah Ibrahim: Solo Piano – Wednesday, 19th November, Gateshead, Sage Gateshead
Abdullah Ibrahim: Solo Piano – Thursday 20th November, Leeds, Howard Assembly Room
Click here for more information and to book tickets.
They say: 'Jazz Services is very pleased to announce that we will again be taking a stand at the annual JazzAhead! industry event, to be held in Bremen, Germany, from the 23rd-26th April 2015.'
'Our presence in previous years has provided UK-based jazz professionals with a valuable opportunity to attend as a co-exhibitor of Jazz Services, and to allow artists to apply for showcases. Despite the situation regarding our funding beyond the end of March next year, we recognise that JazzAhead! is a vital part of our commitment to serving the UK jazz scene’s international interests. We have also noted the concerns of many on the scene that they would not be able to attend without the platform our presence provides, and to this end we have made careful provisions to ensure we can go ahead with 2015’s event. We’re also delighted to bring on board Cathie Rae to facilitate our involvement. Former Director of the Scottish Jazz Federation, Cathie has attended JazzAhead! herself many times in the past and will be working with Jazz Services to organise and arrange our stand and presence. She brings with her a fantastic wealth of international experience, and her addition to the team helps to further strengthen our position as we continue working for British jazz music at home and abroad.'
'Full details, including how to join Jazz Services as a co-exhibitor, will be announced shortly and we look forward to helping champion British jazz overseas once again in April 2015.'
For information about JazzAhead click here.
Pianist David Stevens, now retired and living in Australia, tells us about his encounters with a list of jazz musicians that most people only get to hear:
It all began when my then wife and I met a young photographer at a party somewhere in London, who we found out was the son of the legendary Mezz Mezzrow (his real name was Milton Mesirow).
When he heard we were planning a trip to Paris he said "You must look up my Dad", and gave us his phone number. In Paris, we duly contacted Mezz, and he proved to be a delightful fellow, telling us stories about his life, showing us round and introducing us to local musicians, who (unlike Eddie Condon) revered him. All went beautifully until one day, at a restaurant, I unwisely mentioned that I liked Charlie Parker. That did it. Mezz was on his feet, shouting abuse at me - much to the amusement of my wife and the other customers. He stalked out, and we didn't see him again.
Back in London, we met Milton junior once more. Of course he laughed at the Charlie Parker incident, saying "That's the way he is". He invited us to his 21st birthday at a flat in Hampstead, which we happily accepted. He said his godfather would be there. We looked blank. "You'll be glad to meet him" said Milton, "his name's Louis Armstrong". So that's how we met Louis, and the Allstars, who also came along to the party. It was at the end of a series of concerts they'd been doing in London.
I was chatting with Trummy Young, and asked how they were enjoying London when they weren't playing. Lots of parties and outings, no doubt? "Well, no", said Trummy, "We just hang around the hotel, play cards and watch TV."
Trummy Young and Louis Armstrong
I was amazed. Here were these famous guys, being cheered by huge audiences every night, but when they weren't playing there was no-one to talk to them. I resolved to do something about it when the next American jazz group was in town.
The next group was the Duke Ellington Orchestra. At their first concert, I looked at the faces. Johnny Hodges? No, he has his usual "I'll bite ya" expression. Lawrence Brown and Harry Carney looked pretty serious, too. But one guy was grinning most of the time, having a ball - Clark Terry, a trumpet player I much admired.
So next morning about 11 a.m., and with some trepidation, I phoned their hotel and asked to speak to Clark. Not a good move - obviously I'd woken him up and he sounded pretty pissed off. I stammered out an invitation for him to come round for a meal, and got a gruff "Gimme your number. I'll call you".
That's it, I thought. I've blown it. But a couple of hours later, I got a call from Clark, cheerful and friendly. "Yeah, love to meet you guys. Gimme your address". After that, for the rest of the Ellington band's stay, he was round at our house nearly every day, always cheerful and chatty, treating us like old friends.
David says: 'At least Buck, Roy and Clark are easily recognisable, even if the inscriptions aren't!'
A month or two later, the phone rang, and a deep voice said "Is this Dave Stevens? This is Buck Clayton". One of my friends, trying to trick me, I thought. "You can't fool me", I said, "Come on, who is it?". An uncertain voice said "Pardon me?" "Oh my God, I'm sorry", I said, "It really is Buck Clayton?" "Yeah", he said, "Clark Terry gave me your number".
So we got to meet Buck, and the members of his band visiting London, which included Buddy Tate, Dickie Wells, and drummer Herb Lovelle, all of whom we got to know and spent time with during
While chatting with Buddy Tate he asked me if I'd ever been to New York. "No", I said, "I hadn't really thought of it. I guess it would be pretty expensive staying there?" "Well", said Buddy, "I live with my family in Amityville, some way out of town, but I have an apartment in Harlem where I stay when I'm working (he'd had a long residency with his band at the Celebrity Club in Harlem). You could stay there".
Me, living in Harlem? I could have floated to New York on the clouds, no need for a plane.
Of course it was a marvellous week. Buddy introduced me to his friends, and people in the local bar, as "my friend Dave from London", so I was made welcome by them all. Quite apart from the musical side, I explored during the daytime, and, on one day, took a train to Greenwich Village and walked all the way back to Harlem.
The next visitor was Roy Eldridge. He was in a quintet accompanying Ella Fitzgerald in a series of concerts, which also included guitarist Les Spann and pianist Tommy Flanagan. We got to know Les Spann quite well, too.
Roy is a musician I've always admired. He was a lovely man, very warm-hearted and outgoing, though with no time for small talk. I learned not to make careless or casual remarks, or Roy would jump on me! He was often round at our house, and one day he said "I'm always eatin' your food, about time I cooked for you".
The inscription on the photograph reads: '"Best wishes to Lady Trixie and Lord David from your friend Roy Eldridge"
So he did. I wish I'd had the camera to hand when Roy, wearing a kitchen apron was cooking us what he called Hot Tamale Pie.
Sadly, they're all gone now, all except Clark, blind and without his legs. Poor Les Spann died at only 57, a derelict in the Bowery. But I still have some mementos, including a picture frame with autographed photos of Roy, Clark and Buck, and an LP by Clark and Buddy Tate, on which one track is called "20 Ladbroke Square', our London address (click here to sample the tune from the album Tate-A-Tate - Buddy Tate with Clark Terry).
[Dave Stevens hosts a jazz radio show in Australia Midday Jazz which you can listen to online at www.2rrr.org.au. The show goes out on Wednesdays from midday to 2.00 pm, currently that is around 3.00 am to 5.00 am in the UK, or at other times depending where you live and the time difference].
Jazzwise magazine still has openings for people looking for work experience as interns at its offices in St Jude's Church, Herne Hill, South London. The magazine is offering a series of monthly intern placements from January 2014 to January 2015. Interns will participate in all aspects of the magazine's preparation and production cycle and this opportunity will be of particular interest to people who want to pursue a career in journalism and jazz, have a keen interest and knowledge of the music and are currently studying or have completed a degree or educational course. Previous interns have gone on to work for music magazines, record companies, press agencies and radio production companies.
If you are interested, write to The Editor, Jazzwise, St Jude's Church, Dulwich Road, London, SE24 0PB enclosing a CV and covering letter, or email to email@example.com.
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The Directory includes regular features, articles, people profiles (let us know if you would like us to add a profile) and many other items including information about clarinettist Sandy Brown after whom this site is named.
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