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Women Make Music Grant
For the fourth year, the Performing Rights Society (PRS) grant scheme Women Make Music is open for applications. Financial support of up to £5,000 is available to women musicians to create new music in any genre. This can range from classical, jazz and experimental music to urban, electronica and pop.
Through the scheme support is available to individuals and organisations / groups including solo performers, solo songwriters or composers, promoters or event producers, bands / ensembles / orchestras, local authorities, schools, etc.
The application deadline is 1st April 2015 for projects happening from 1st May 2015.
Click here for more information.
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Whiplash - Movie
Writing in the Sunday Times at the end of January, Andrew Mueller's article about this film that arrives in cinemas here from 16th January, left me not much the wiser. I understood from a reasonably long article that Damien Chazelle's film is about a jazz drummer, Andrew Neiman (Miles Teller), whose teacher Terence Fletcher (J.K. Simmonds) is 'cruel and manipulative'. The film apparently refects Chazelle's personal experience: 'Immersed for four years in the hypercompetitive jazz-band world depicted in Whiplash, albeit at a New Jersey high school, rather than a Juilliard-style conservatory, the 29-year old film maker also found himself at the mercy of an unrelenting whip-cracker like Whiplash's Fletcher. That's an alarming prospect for anyone who sees this film.'
Mueller does speak of 'Oscar-worthy performances' which made me look elsewhere for more information, and I decided that perhaps Mueller chose not to give away too much of the plot. I discovered that the film was premiered at the Sundance Film Festival a year ago where it received critical acclaim together with the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award. Peter Debruge in Variety wrote that the film: "demolishes the cliches of the musical-prodigy genre, investing the traditionally polite stages and rehearsal studios of a topnotch conservatory with all the psychological intensity of a battlefield or sports arena."
Click here for the trailer.
Andrew Neiman aspires to be a top jazz drummer like Buddy Rich. His volatile encounters with Fletcher drive him to excel to please his tutor, but circumstances regularly undermine him. It transpires that a former student who is supposed to have died in a car accident actually hanged himself as a result of Fletcher's abusive teaching methods. Fletcher is fired after a court case in which Andew testifies. Fletcher and Andrew meet up again later at a gig where they are both due to perform ... The rest you must see for yourself or you can read if you click here.
Paul Adams Wins Services To Jazz Award
Paul Adams from Fellside Records has received the Services To Jazz Award in the British Jazz Awards. Jazz listeners will recognise the Lake Records branch of the company for the long list of recordings that have been issued over the years and particularly those by historic UK bands.
Paul and his wife Linda started Fellside Records as a folk / acoustic label from their home town of Workington, Cumbria in 1976.
Paul, originally from Coventry, was a drummer and bass player who had played both Folk Music and Jazz; Linda, from Great Clifton (just outside Workington), was a guitarist and singer whose chosen genre was Folk Music. They teamed up as a duo and recorded three albums before deciding to start their own label. Most of the Fellside catalogue was recorded and produced by Paul which is an amazing achievement, and Linda runs the administration side of the business. The label has won many awards including twelve for Excellence from the Music Retailers Association.
Many people with an interest in jazz will be grateful to Paul and Linda for the music they have made available and congratulate them on their award. Click here for more about Fellside and Lake.
Jazz Services Seeks Project Director
As readers will know, the support organisation Jazz Services has lost its Arts Council England funding from this coming April. Last month we reported that Jazz Services was about to embark on a comprehensive restructuring process, that its long-running magazine JazzUK has had to cease publication in its current form and that consultation was taking place with the wider public, ACE and and other related parties as part of an organisational review.The Board of Jazz Services Ltd (JSL) has recognised that the organisation’s 30th anniversary in 2015 offers the ideal opportunity to 'rethink, redevelop and relaunch a new JSL organisation under the banner Project 30.'
On December 12th, Jazz Services Ltd. announced it was recruiting for a newly created post of Project Director, with applications being accepted until 5pm on Friday 2nd January 2015. They said: 'The appointment of this new post comes as part of JSL's redevelopment plans for the coming year.' Full details on the role, including the job description, person specification and how to apply, were included. The Project Director post is for a nine month period starting in January 2015 'to lead and effect change and establish New JSL on a new footing. In support of this post, a Project 30 steering group, chaired by the current Chair of JSL, Dominic McGonigal, will be made up of internal and external stakeholders including, for example, representatives of conservatoires and higher education establishments; promoters networks, music media; jazz participants and it will reflect a non-London centric constituency.' Click here for the Jazz Services website where you can read full details of the Project Director post.
Taking into account Christmas and the New Year holidays, the announcement on December 12th, the closing date for applications of 2nd January, the starting date of January and the time-limited contract seem to allow little time for a full range of suitable, interested people to apply. Perhaps Jazz Services already have someone in mind or perhaps project and management consultancies are used to working to these time constraints.
Peter Whittingham Award 2014
Many congratulations to pianist Mark Pringle who has received a 2014 Peter Whittingham Award. We first profiled Mark on this site in 2012 and you can read his story if you click here. Mark says: 'I am extremely happy to have been awarded a Peter Whittingham Award. In early December I took my trio down to London to play for a panel which included saxophonist Pete Wareham, trombonist Dennis Rollins, and Justin McKenzie of London promoter Jazz re:freshed, who decided to award me a Help Musicians UK Development Award. Previous recipients include Gwilym Simcock, Trish Clowes and Peter Edwards.'
Mark Pringle Trio
'Over the course of the next year I will use the money to develop a couple of exciting projects. Firstly, my longstanding trio, and secondly, a 12-piece ensemble of horns, strings and rhythm section called A Moveable Feast, with which an album was recently recorded. More information on that in due course.That same evening we had much fun playing at The Ent Shed in Bedford in support of Elliot Galvin’s trio, followed by a long drive back to Birmingham and an impulsive 1.30 am late set at The Yardbird to close the jam session. A productive and inspiring day with the trio! In other news I have added a lot to my website including information on projects, upcoming gigs, links to my music and more. I am also on Twitter and Bandcamp where you can download a free copy of my trio ep, K.B. (or choose to make a donation). You can also buy the limited edition CD, individually hand-drawn and signed by the trio, for £3.'
The other recipients of the 2014 Award are Leeds-based Stretch Trio. Help Musicians UK say: 'Their inventive approach and willingness to experiment impressed our expert panel last Thursday (December 4th). It’s been an important year for the trio; they’ve released their debut album 'Antithesis', performed at Gateshead International Jazz Festival alongside Bill Frisell, Jack Dejohnette and Polar Bear, became part of the all-new Jazz North Introduces initiative, and were chosen to receive mentoring sessions from internationally acclaimed saxophonist Iain Dixon. All this has lead them to a critical point, and with the support of the Peter Whittingham Award we're confident they will carve out an exciting future for themselves.'
An expert in survival medicine, Peter Whittingham was also a pianist who enjoyed the music of Gershwin, Porter, Sondheim, Bernstein, Shearing and Peterson. After his death in 1987 his family set up this award in his memory – and their connection with the award continues. The award is worth £4,000 and made to a jazz musician or group towards a creative project.
Clearwater Recording Studio - Oxford
Clearwater Recording has contacted us to say that they have set up a new recording studio in Oxford. The building where the studio is now situated was originally part of a farm and much of that relaxed rural atmosphere remains.
They say: 'In common with many other studios, we can set up a click and record the drums first. But we are equally at home recording a band live or with any degree of separation they would like. For drum loops and midi sequencing we call on our specialist. Recording and mixing is currently digital on a Mac using Logic 9. Mics include Pelussio, Rode, Roxon and Shure. Ashdown bass amp and Laney and Fender guitar amps are available. There is a choice of Tama acoustic or a Yamaha electronic drum kit. A Yamaha keyboard is available. If required various session players are also available.'
Rates, including set up, time in studio, strip down and mixing are from £35 per hour. Click here for more details.
Profile - Sam Miles
Saxophonist Sam Miles graduated from the Royal Academy of Music in London in 2013 and since then he has been making a memorable impression on the UK jazz scene. His name is likely to crop up in a number of bands but when you hear him, you begin to appreciate his talent.
Click here for a video Sam playing Turn with Stoop Quintet at Heath Street Baptist Church in 2014 with Sam Miles (saxophone), Alex Munk (guitar), Jonathan Brigg (piano), Flo Moore (double bass) and Dave Smyth (drums).
Sam Miles at the Yamaha Scholarship Awards 2013
The family moved to Australia when Sam was still young and much of his childhood was spent there. He started out modestly, playing the recorder, and picked up a violin when he was in Year 4, but he had no strong feeling for the instrument. ‘I first started playing a saxophone when I was in Year 5 at school,’ Sam recalls. ‘I worked my way through my classical grades until Year 9, but what I remember best is us all playing music together as a family at home.’
When Sam was fourteen, the family returned to the UK and settled in East Sussex. At Priory School, he continued to play saxophone in the school bands, but by now his brother Matt, also a saxophonist, was getting into the music of Michael Brecker and Joe Henderson and it began to rub off on Sam. His music teacher at school, Jacqui Fry was encouraging. How many times has the encouragement and enthusiasm of a teacher at school influenced the path we take?
‘When I was given the opportunity to have my own sax,’ Sam says, ‘I chose a soprano sax. I liked the sound and it was convenient to carry around, and then I realised its limits as a main instrument. I found that not many bands looked for a soprano sax player, and then I was given a ticket to go to hear Tim Garland and Acoustic Triangle and I was knocked out. I decided to get a tenor sax, so I went on ebay and bought myself a cheap tenor.’
By the time he finished his ‘A’ levels at schoo,l including passes in Music and Music Technology, his interests had spread to playing funk and ska, ‘Ska is big in Brighton’, and was playing with three others in a group they called the Starfish Project. Sam applied to Trinity College in London, but didn’t get in, so he took a gap year before applying again to a number of colleges. This time he was offered places at more than one, including the Royal Academy. ‘I decided that I would like to go to London,’ Sam says, ‘and what swung it for me at the Academy was the band that played with us at the auditions, they were so good. Tim Garland also tutored there, but unfortunately he left as I started.’
‘My first two years at college took me back to the basics of jazz and made me realise that my listening had been quite narrow. In the second year my friend, bass player Sandy Suchodolski and I listened to quite a lot of traditional stuff. I was aware how other friends on the course were always improving and that was stimulating as well as a very effective way of learning. I can remember the impression made on me by people like Tom Walsh who is a great trumpet player.’
Sam played with the Academy Big Band during the second and third years. ‘In the fourth year,’ he says, ‘we were given space to develop our own voices. The tutors at the Academy were excellent. There were times when I felt out of my depth, but I learned that I had to strengthen my confidence. By the fourth year, I was starting to be a fully-gigging musician and I started to appreciate the importance of networking and building on the contacts I had made.’
Click here to listen to Red Rail recorded by Sam, Tom Millar (piano) and Sandy Suchodolski (bass) at Pinewood Studios in 2012.
Photograph by Lizzie Womack
Sam recalls that preparing for the recording ‘Gave me an idea of the direction I wanted to go. My writing since then has focussed on mixing old-school harmony and melody with more modern influences. I see melody as a critical part of my writing and playing.’ Click here to listen to the very enjoyable Natalou, Sam’s piece for the 2013 Yamaha album with Sam Watts (piano), and Sandy Suchodolski (bass). It does just what Sam says in providing that mix of styles and most people will take something from it.
Tom Green Septet
Sam is currently based in London although he still plays occasional gigs with Brighton Ska bands. He also plays with Flo Moore (bass) and Peter Elliott (banjo) in a function band The Popcorns. They are good: Click here for a video of them playing Gnarls Barkley’s Crazy.
Outside In - A Novel by Scott Schachter
Here’s the challenge. I have to write and say what I think about a novel where a number of famous people have already been quoted as praising it. I also have to give you some idea of the story without giving the game away.
Scott Shachter, the American author, is a reeds player who has been playing his flute, clarinet and saxophones on Broadway since 1988. This is his first novel. Jazz writer Nat Hentoff has said: ‘Scott Schachter’s Outside In is indeed a jazz novel – continually swinging with surprises and insights into human exceptionalism, both inspiring and desperate. It got so inside me I had to go back and read it again for more kicks.’ Jazz historian Ira Gitler is quoted as saying: ‘An intriguing fantasy from inside the jazz world, all narrated by the main character, Shawn. ‘Playing’ Shawn is professional saxophonist Scott Shachter, a storyteller who makes you want to know what happens next.’ The book reached the quarter finals of the 2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award and was a finalist in the 2014 Next Generation Indie Book Awards.
I have to agree with Ira Gitler that I was compelled to find out how the story evolved and ended.
A few months ago we reviewed a novel, Off Key, by British author Mark Robertson. The main character is a saxophonist who experiences the day to day life of an unrecognised jazz musician, whose girlfriend is losing patience with his way of life, and who has an autistic student. Events take place that change his circumstances. Similarly, Scott Shachter’s book has a struggling saxophonist, Shawn Lewis, a disillusioned girlfriend and a character with mental health problems. There the similarity ends, the events that occur take us in an entirely different direction.
Shawn Lewis is a musician with a compulsion to play avant garde jazz, something that stands in the way of his being booked for gigs or return bookings.
“Avant-garde?” she’d say. “I don’t know if I’m ready for that. When we met you were playing show tunes – sounded so wonderful.” She’d dice something and flick it into a saucepan. “I like music you can hum to, or at least tap a foot.”
“Each piece is its own world,” I’d say. “Just think of it like that.”
“Maybe that’s why your head's always in the stars,” she’d say, shaking her head. Then she’d smile. “While everyone else is just hanging on, you’re creating your own little heavens.” …………………………
Enter Jimmy, a man with schizophrenia who paints ‘images that could somehow take over my mind.’ Against a background of odd neighbours, gigs and the Mob, the novel explores the potential relationship between losing oneself in music and the nature of mental illness. Jazzwise magazine describes it as ‘… a novel that explores the experience of ‘genius’ and its ever-ambiguous relationship with ‘madness’ …A work of startling imagination …’
I can remember reading R.D. Laing’s book The Divided Self back in the 1960s. His work and writings, and those of his followers, led to considering whether it is only the ‘real world’ that exists, whether psychosis is actually a gift to a minority who are able to experience another dimension to the ‘real world’. I once went to a convention at the Institute of Psychiatry, or some similar august place in London where, amongst a series of presentations, one of Laing’s followers stated he would not speak to the audience in their formally tiered seats, but if people would like to join him on the stage with his bottle of wine, they could have a discussion there. Chaos! Some people from the audience went to the stage, others sat confused. Eventually, the person hosting the event got things back on the formal track, but a point had been made about what we expect as ‘normal’ and ‘routine’.
In Scott Shachter's story, 'Maestro C' is a visitation by Charlie Parker, 'Majib' represents Jimmy, the painter. "You've been attracting the jellybeans for years,' Maestro C. said. 'They come through your music. Majib can't help but dance in their presence." ... "The jellybeans are from many star systems away. The enlightened ones say they've been visiting Earth for millenia. They zip through the outermost creative dimension. We call that dimension the Outside, the force of pure invention ... When a rare artist with the gift to merge with the Outside enters their creative state, the hidden loops and wormholes of the universe, the hidden tunnels between the Earth worlds, all the secret passageways are open."
The concept of a parallel universe dates back to ancient times, long before novels like C.S. Lewis's Narnia or Stephen Donaldson’s ‘Thomas Covenant’ Chronicles and other stories that use the concept of ‘parallel or alternative universes’, but if we think about most religions, the idea of an afterlife or an all-seeing God, makes us well-tuned to there being more to this world than we can usually experience. The experiences of Shawn Lewis imagine a link between worlds made possible through music and art in the way one might imagine the use of drugs in taking musicians, writers and artists to ‘another plain’, but the consequences are tragically all too real.
I found some of the characters in Shachter’s book intriguing and amusing whilst others seemed to me a step too far, particularly when the Mob become involved. I guess that this novel would have been different if written by a psychiatrist who plays jazz rather than a jazz musician who is intrigued by the nature of ‘losing oneself in music or art’, but the story certainly makes one think about the relationship between creativity and imagination. There was no question that I had to read it to the end.
Click here for more information and reviews.
Shireen Francis and Sarah Moule
Never look at the trombones; you'll only encourage them.
This month trombonist Tony Milliner chooses a great version of the standard Once In A While from trombonist Ray Anderson. Tony says: 'This is a trombone thing with a great extended solo from Ray Anderson.' The track comes from the 1987 album It Just So Happens. On the liner notes, Fred Bouchard says: 'Ray's opening cadenza speaks of togetherness and his solo of love's conviction. His fadeaway purrs sweet nothings.'
Click here to listen to Ray Anderson's Once In A While.
Born in 1952 in Chicago, Ray Anderson worked with the Chicago Symphony trombonists and is seen as someone who pushes the limits of the instrument. He was consistently chosen as DownBeat Magazine's Critics Poll best trombonist throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s.
After spending study time in California, he moved to New York in 1973 and freelanced. In 1977, Anderson joined Anthony Braxton's Quartet (replacing George Lewis) and started working with Barry Altschul. In addition to leading his own groups since the late '70s (including the funk-oriented Slickaphonics), Anderson has worked with George Gruntz and has appeared on a remarkable number of albums by musicians such as Charlie Haden, Dr John, Henry Threadgill and John Scofield.
He can also sing and has the ability to sing two notes at the same time (a minor third apart). While pushing his sound into the future, Anderson has frequently returned to his early love of New Orleans music for inspiration. His Alligatory Band as well as his Pocket Brass Band, are rooted in its tradition. Since 2003 he has taught and conducted at Stony Brook University in New York.
Click here for a video of Ray Anderson's Pocket Brass Band playing High School with Lew Soloff (trumpet), Matt Perrine (sousaphone) and Bobby Previte (drums).
All music is folk music; I ain't never heard no horse sing a song.
[You are able to listen to Crystal Car at the same time as reading this article if you click here. This will take you to another page on our website where your computer might ask you to allow the music to play on the page. Alternatively there is a link to Soundcloud at the end of the article and you can listen to the track there].
In 2014, the Tommy Andrews Quintet released their successful debut album The Crux. Tommy talks about one of the tracks, Crystal Car and its place in the album:
During the early stages of the quintet’s life, a lot of the tunes were lengthy and complicated in some way. I therefore promised myself that I’d try and write something that fitted on to one sheet of A4 and was concerned solely with creating a strong melody. With no real ballads in the set I decided that I’d try and write something that was quiet, luscious and simple.
After the first few gigs that we played, I listened back to some of the recordings and found that there were areas in the tunes that could potentially become a wash of information with no aural ‘handrails’ for the listener to follow. Due to this, I am now always keen to place elements within a piece that act as a constant, to help keep a sense of cohesion and glue everything together. If you listen to my first album, you’ll spot these devices everywhere. In The Crux it’s firstly the motivic anticipations in the melody and then the held Gb through a long chord progression in the second section. Sirens has the slowly evolving osinato piano part, Mr. Skinny Legs has strong motifs in the melody and then a rhythmic figure that stays constant during the morph from simple to compound time. L.H.B. takes an identical piano rhythm through a metric modulation and Steep is held together by its repetitive bass riff. For an exercise in creating something simple, however, I opted to try and use a harmonic device rather than any metric modulations or rhythmically complicated. The result was Crystal Car.
Due to the fragile nature of the ballad, I was drawn to a quote from British rock climbing legend and racing enthusiast Johnny Dawes’ autobiography Full of Myself. This was written after the first ascent of the Indian Face in 1986, a climb on the Clogwyn d’ur Arddu in Snowdonia. At the time it was the most technical, imaginative and tenuous rock climb in the world, and nearly 30 years later has rarely been repeated or surpassed. Johnny was a true visionary on the rock, accepting risks as part of putting his artistry first.
‘A week after the ascent The Guardian ran a double page spread: Indian Face. For a day, climbing had the oomph to squeeze Nigel Mansell and Gary Kasparov to single columns. The public could not be expected to understand fully, probably thinking the climb merely scary, tricky, not the equivalent of racing a crystal decanter car around Monaco.’
I instantly enjoyed the image of this ‘Crystal Car’ bombing around the narrow streets of Monaco, where one mistake would ultimately spell death to the driver. It perfectly described Johnny’s position, where a slip would be fatal. I also enjoyed his little poke at the public. It mirrors the occasional feeling you can receive as a musician, where after playing something particularly challenging it’s possible that no one will ever comprehend quite how much of your life’s experience went into that one moment!
A+B: If you listen carefully when the sax enters and the bass has finished playing the tune, you’ll hear that the root notes of all the chords are constantly falling in 3rds. I change between minor 3rd intervals and major 3rd intervals in the bass to explore how they affect the brightness or darkness of each harmonic shift. The resolution to a Dbadd4 chord after 4 bars on a tense F Phrygian chord is the main resolution of the tune. The warmth of a Db major chord, especially with an added fourth degree, can be extremely attractive, and you’ll find that it features in many of my tunes when I need to give some comfort to the listener!
C: To then stop the piece from seeming like it’s falling into a cycle of descent, the last 8 bars use a rising melody and more rising chords to take it back whence it came.
It’s thus possible to loop A, B + C if there were to be repeats of the tune and solos, or just head to C after the head as we do on the album for a more collective approach. The cycling of the whole tune brings more melancholy through the descending chords and starting minor chord, whereas the rising nature of the last 8 bars and use of a suspended starting chord seems to bring more promise if it’s looped.
Lead Sheet for Crystal Car © Tommy Andrews
You’ll notice the climbing term ‘The Crux’ and a musical reference as Johnny Dawes recalls the hardest section of the ascent in his autobiography.
‘I went for the crux, the motion startling me like a car unexpectedly in gear in a crowded parking lot. I swarm through the roundness of the bulge to a crank on a brittle spike for a cluster of three crystals on the right; each finger crucial and separate like the keys for a piano chord. I change feet three times to rest my lower legs, each time having to jump my foot out to put the other in. The finger-holds are too poor to hang on should the toes catch on each other. All those foot-changing mistakes on easy moves by runners come to mind. There is no resting. I must go and climb for the top. I swarm up towards the sunlight, gasping for air. A brittle hold stays under mistreatment and then I really blow it. Fearful of a smear on now-non-sticky boots I use an edge and move up, a fall fatal, but the automaton stabs back through, wobbling, but giving its all and I grasp a large sidepull and tube upward. The ropes dangle uselessly from my waist. I grasp incuts and the tight movement swerves to a glide as gravity swings skyward.’
Johnny Dawes, Full of Myself, 2011.
Click here to listen to Crystal Car on Soundcloud.
Tommy Andrews Saxophones, Woodwinds, Composer, Arranger and Teacher www.tommy-andrews.co.uk
Click here for more details about The Crux album and to taste the other tracks. Click here for our profile of Tommy Andrews.
Album First Released: 10th February - Label: Enja Records
Rez Abbasi Acoustic Quartet
Intents And Purposes
Steve Day reviews this album for us:
Rez Abbasi Acoustic Quartet:) Rez Abbasi, steel string, fretless & baritone acoustic guitars; Bill Ware, vibraphone; Stephen Crump, acoustic bass, Eric McPherson, drums.
I guess it depends what circles you move in. I haven’t come across Bill Ware’s vibes for twenty years or more, but I distinctly remember him playing with Mario Pavone and the late great alto player Thomas Chapin. Even back then I thought you could align the Man with Bobby Hutchinson, my bench mark for vibraphone. Here on Intents and Purposes the strength of his playing is a true marvel. I am so glad to be reacquainted with a genuine master musician who had dropped off my radar.
Here is the stuff of intention: the unison intro between Rez Abbasi and Mr Ware on The Red Baron, followed by the first vibes break is cut so deep it becomes transferable. These are players with a lot to say. They dampen and ring together, a dual action which feels interlocked. Another key ingredient in this session is Rez Abbasi’s fretless acoustic guitar. He doesn’t use it throughout, but when he does, for example on There Comes A Time, it is as if we are listening to a new instrument, almost akin to the Indian sarod. The counter-point with Ware’s vibes makes for an atmospheric echoed-out harmonic playground; this is purposeful ‘fusion’. Just as the title on the cover says, we are dealing with, ‘Intents and Purposes’.
Now for some further intentions; Rez Abbasi is a ‘jazz guitarist’, and this is what he says about 1970s jazz-rock: “....I found myself unwilling to make friends with the synthetic, sometimes brash, saturated electric textures that were spewing out of the speakers even though my primary instrument was and still is the electric guitar.” It’s a view for sure, quite where that puts Miles Davis’s terrific groundbreaking post-Bitches Brew work is another matter. The fact is Rez Abbasi is willing to re-investigate a group of key 1970s jazz-rock compositions, placing them within an acoustic setting (though not entirely so because a vibraphone uses an electric motor).
Abbasi’s version of John McLaughlin’s Resolution is a standout, using a delicately poised improvisation to carry the main theme. McLaughlin’s own version originated from One Word; an outtake from Tony Williams’s Lifetime featuring a Jack Bruce vocal. Both tunes were subsequently recorded by the Mahavishnu Orchestra on Birds of Fire. Rez Abbasi’s instinct to check out this music and find his own way through is heartening.
Apparently Downbeat magazine made Rez Abbasi their Rising Star Guitarist for 2013. I don’t always believe what I read in Downbeat and no one should take my words as definitive either, but hey, I’m willing to add my voice to their affirmation. And if Mr Abbasi and Mr Ware can keep their partnership operating with this much focus I will be staying on their case. Bill Ware is definitely back in my book, watch for what comes next.
Click here for a video of the Rez Abbasi Acoustic Quartet playing Bees (not a track from the album)
Click here to sample Rez Abbasi's Intents And Purposes.
Some time ago, we were asked whether anyone had information about clarinettist / saxophonist Bill Greenow. Over the months, information has come in about Bill and we have opened a Profile page about him with a track of him playing (your computer might ask you to allow the track to play) - click here.
Many thanks to those who have written in about Bill, including:
Pianist Jamie Evans, who unearthed (almost literally in a dusty recess!) this photo of some of his old chums. 'Prominent is alto-sax player Bill Greenow, during a late-night impromptu session at the Red Lion, Barnes, south-west London. The hostelry was being run by singer and drummer Ted Wood while Alan Cooper holds forth on clarinet (both in the foreground). The picture was taken in the early '70s and if memory serves Jamie right (just about visible in the bottom right of the photo), Bill, Coops and Ted were all members of the New Temperance Seven at the time. Sadly all three are no longer with us, Bill being the most recent departure at the age of 71 in 2011. Ted Wood (who was the elder brother of Ronnie who plays in some band called The Rolling Stones) deserves a special mention for the delightful comment - after the odd decision to record some tracks on a flight of Concorde at twice the speed of sound - or "twice the speed of drink," as Ted remarked.'
Mike Whitaker has also uncovered an old tape of Bill Greenow's Trios from the early 1980s and you can listen to Meet Mr Rabbit on Bill's Profile page (click here).
The notes with the tape are by Bill Greenow in 1986: 'Inspiration for making these recordings came to me during a residency with Trevor Richards in Switzerland during the summer of 1980. I hadn't heard Trevor for many years as he'd been in the States studying with Zutty Singleton and later leading his own trio in Germany. I'd been in Sweden for some time. Trevor had technique, imagination and swing not often found in European old-style drummers. It had long been an ambition of mine to record with Stan Greig: we used to play regularly together 10 years previously and I loved his very personal swinging style.'
'The opportunity to record arose in October 1980 when by chance Trevor and I were in London. I took Trevor to meet Stan where he was playing (they'd never met before). Trevor sat in and tore the place apart and Stan was most impressed. Stan was also a Zutty fan so there was plenty to talk about. A few days later we began a series of recording sessions. Peter Boizot generally allowed us to use the music rooms at Pizza On The Park and Pizza Express, and Dave Bennett recorded us. There were no rehearsals, no arrangements and no public except for a few astonished waitresses who looked in from upstairs now and again. We made one session with the late Fred Hunt replacing Stan - it was the only time Fred and Trevor ever met. In February '81 I took Stan and Trevor on a 2 week tour of Sweden, and that was the entire activity of the band.'
As Mike Whitaker says: 'The quality is not so brilliant but the more I listened to it, the more I liked it. The drive, especially with Stan Greig on piano, is great.'
Saxophonist Howard Lawes kindly started reviewing albums for us in 2014. Howard retired from a career supplying meteorological and oceanographic consultancy to the offshore engineering industries and tells us how he now prefers to indulge his passion for jazz. ‘I have enjoyed great music for almost ten years at the Way Out West club in west London listening to Tony Woods, Tim Whitehead, Liam Noble, Kate Williams, Mike Outram and many other great musicians. I also enjoy playing alto saxophone in a band called the Strodes World Jazz Project under the direction of Martin Pyne performing two or three gigs a year where we play a mixture of international jazz music and Martin Pyne compositions. I also played in a performance of Andy Sheppard's Saxophone Massive in the BT River of Music prior to the London 2012 Olympic Games.’
Howard has also undertaken voluntary work for Jazz Services and helps out at the London Jazz Festival which has introduced him to a wide variety of jazz artists, venues and events. At the 2014 London Jazz Festival in November, Howard took part in The Write Stuff, a series of seminars and activities run by Jazzwise magazine for aspiring music journalists. Howard tells us about the experience:
The Write Stuff is a series of seminars to introduce aspiring jazz journalists to the custom and practice of writing about jazz albums, gigs and interviewing jazz personalities. It runs concurrently with the London Jazz Festival and has been repeated every year since 2002 organised by the magazine Jazzwise and the Learning and Participation section of the production company Serious.
Applicants must provide a CV and a 300 word review to demonstrate their suitability for the course. This year many of the successful applicants were young post-graduates starting out in the music industry but there were also a few older jazz enthusiasts who were looking to improve their techniques of writing about jazz in programmes, newsletters and all types of literature.
Initial discussion with journalist Kevin Le Gendre concentrated on quality of writing and emphasised the importance of communicating information precisely in an accessible and readable style. Several examples were provided and discussed illustrating good and not such good reviews and highlighting the difficulties of getting a message across with as little as 200 words or even less. On the other hand long pieces must retain the interest of the reader and not wander off the point.
Another session with Jazzwise editor John Newey presented the interesting history of jazz journalism which started in the 1920's with titles such as "Melody Maker" and "Rhythm". Jazz music became increasingly popular and there was a corresponding increase in jazz journalism opportunities reaching a zenith in the decades after WW2, reflecting the popularity of dance bands and world famous musicians and at that time magazine circulations were measured in hundreds of thousands. In more recent times music tastes have changed with traditional print media being supplanted to a large extent, although not completely replaced, by modern technology but as Mike Flyn explained, there are still opportunities for jazz journalists and in particular those who embrace computer technology and the internet.
As the course was being run during the EFG London Jazz Festival there were lots of opportunities to sample the best in jazz music and to write reviews which could be discussed with a professional journalist. A really interesting session was a real, live interview with the Israeli born, New York based jazz musician Oran Etkin who was about to perform in the Festival. Oran proved to be the ideal interviewee with really interesting views on composing and playing jazz, the influence of world music and music education.
Kevin Le Gendre
This was followed by a presentation by Selwyn Harris who has recently produced a definitive boxed set of CDs of jazz music in Polish cinema which was launched at the EFG London Jazz Festival accompanied by screenings of some of the most famous films. Selwyn started his jazz journalism career as an intern at Jazzwise magazine but emphasised that it is necessary to develop a range of expertise to prosper and that simply writing is unlikely to be enough.
Kevin Le Gendre rounded the course off re-iterating the importance of writing style, communicating with the reader and always being on the lookout for interesting opportunities in all types of media where journalism skills are important. Everyone agreed that the course had been informative, thought provoking and enjoyable and expressed their gratitude to Jazzwise and Serious for providing this unique opportunity. There doesn't seem to be much money to be made and most journalists have a number of irons in a number of fires. Perks such as there are include free entrance to gigs and CDs but I have to say that even in my humble volunteering role with LJF you do have fun and get to meet some interesting members of the jazz community.
Album first released: 4th November 2014- Label: Prevenient Music / CD Baby
Phil DeGreg and Brasilia
Vic Arnold reviews this album for us
Sometimes people forget that not only can jazz be an excellent music to listen to, but it always has been great for dancing too. I found that this excellent recording ticks both boxes, you can sit and listen, or dance to classic Brazilian music in the style of samba, bossa-nova and choro.
Brazilian People is a quintet mainly from Cincinnati that was formed in 2008 to play and enjoy the music from Brazil. They are Phil DeGreg (piano), Kim Pensyl (trumpet/flugelhorn), Rusty Burge (vibraphone), Aaron Jacobs (bass), and John Taylor (drums and percussion). The pianist, trumpeter, vibraphonist, and bassist are all professors at the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music.
Click here for a video of Brasilia playing in 2014.
On tracks four and six there is a guest guitarist, Bruno Mangueira, who also wrote the music for one of the tracks. Other members of the group wrote a couple of the compositions on the recording and three tracks are the work of Antonio Carlos Jobin. There are ten tracks on the recording, eight of them were recorded in Cincinnati and the final two were recorded live at an unnamed location.
The music is a mixture of up-tempo numbers and some that are much slower, but it all sounded good to me, and it made a refreshing change to have a vibraphone instead of the normal saxophone. Rusty Burge's vibes introduce Jobim's A Felicidade, first introduced in the movie Black Orpheus and which has since almost become a Standard.
Click here for a video of the band playing A Felicidade (the arrangement is different to the recording).
It is always difficult to pick out the best track as an example, but on this occasion it is track one that stands out - Valley of the River. If you have a liking for music from South America, and Brazil in particular, you should enjoy this excellent recording by Brazilian People.
Click here to sample the album.
Allan Eves sends us this picture of a bar bill from a George Melly recording session at New Merlin's Caves in Clerkenwell.
Allan says that he found it in an album sleeve for the George Melly LP Son Of Nuts that used to belong to his father. The bill, which is for a total of £704 and is signed by producer Derek Taylor covers two rehearsals and the recording. It includes 87 bottles of wine - giant size, three 18 gallon kegs of beer and various items of food and a fish and chip dinner!
There appears to be no date on the bill, but we think Son Of Nuts, if that was the session, was recorded in 1973.
Allan offered the item for sale on Ebay during December but thought we might be interested in it.
This song goes back a long way. The rumour that it was first sung in year zero by a group calling themselves The Three Wise Men is probably unfounded. There is more reliable evidence that it was written by pianist Spencer Williams in the 1920s. Spencer was also responsible for Basin Street Blues, Royal Garden Blues, Tishomingo Blues and Everybody Loves My Baby - presumably the reason he had to find a new one. He wrote it with Jack Palmer (who also shares the credits for Everybody Loves My Baby). Jack was a staff writer in Tin Pan Alley and his other two 'hits' Jumpin' Jive and Boog It were written with Cab Calloway.
It was Clarence Williams (no relation) who first introduced the tune on Okeh records in January 1926 with his Blue Five with Eva Taylor (contralto) - it is sometime called I've Found A New Baby. You can listen to the Clarence Williams version if you click here - unfortunately the person who has put it on YouTube has included a mis-spelling, calling it 'I've Gound A New Baby'. He has probably been arrested.
Ev'rybody look at me,
Happy fellow you will see,
I've got someone nice, oh, gee!
Oh what joy, what bliss.
Just the treasure that I need,
Pure as gold and guaranteed.
Is she pretty? Yes, indeed,
Let me tell you this.
Why and when did people start calling each other 'baby'? On the face of it, it is rather a strange thing to call another adult, in fact there are those who see it not as a term of endearment, but something a man has used to show his authority over a woman, something that demonstrates her dependence on him. These days, when women call men 'baby', presumably it could be argued that it signifies the change that has taken place in roles?
In the movie Dirty Dancing Jennifer Grey plays Frances 'Baby' Houseman (does anyone ever remember that she has other names than 'Baby'?) and it is down to Patrick Swayze's Johnny to rescue her with that unforgettable line 'Nobody puts Baby in a corner'. Click here for the movie scene clip.
Others see it simply meaning something that demonstrates a tender feeling, as one would towards a baby.
Writing in thenewrepublic.com website, Alice Robb says: 'It may be creepy, but we’ve been doing it for a long time. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, it was in the seventeenth century that “baby” was first used as a romantic term of endearment. In Aphra Behn’s 1694 novel, Love-Letters Between a Nobleman and His Sister, Philander, the male hero, declares himself “not able to support the thought that any thing should afflict his lovely Baby.” (In spite of the title - and as fitting as it would be if “baby” were coined in an incestuous context - the “sister” in question is a relation by marriage.) And it isn't just English-speakers who call each other "baby"; many languages have similar terms, from the French bébé to the Chinese baobei.'
Some see using 'pet' names as a healthy form of intimacy where using a proper name can seem inappropriate. Ian Kerner, a sexuality counsellor and author says: 'Pet names are a kind of cue to intimacy. They speak to the intimacy in a relationship. When couples stop using baby names, it’s often an indication of a lack of intimacy.' (Click here to read the rest of this article).
I've found a new baby, I've found a new girl,
My fashion plate baby, has got me a whirl.
Her new king o' lovin' done made me her slave,
Her sweet turtle dovin' is all that I crave.
Sweetest miss, with a kiss full o' bliss, can't resist somehow.
Tells me lies, but she's wise, naughty eyes, mesmerise I vow,
and how, I don't mean maybe!
I just had to fall,
I've found a new baby, new baby that's all.
Which brings us to 'fashion plate baby'. Fashion plates again spin us back - this time to the 18th century. Fashion plates are depictions of the latest fashion styles. They were preceded by dolls (another term of endearment). Wikipedia tells us: 'Marie Antoinette's dressmaker was known to tour the continent every year with berlines containing dolls outfitted with the latest fashionable styles. Fashion plates, as they were known during the height of their popularity, were first circulated at the end of the 18th century in England, rather than in France, as would be expected. "The Lady's Magazine", one of the first distributors of fashion plates in magazines, began publishing in 1770, spreading the trend across Europe (of course we, as regular readers of The Lady knew this all along!).
Interestingly, in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the children's toymaker Tomy revived the concept as a toy marketed simply as Fashion Plates. Today, numerous magazines and toys are seen as fashion reflectors. will.i.am, musician and frontman for the Black Eyed Peas, has just revealed his new wearable technology company i.am puls on the Dreamforce stage for the first time - I don't care if people think that I am a crazy gink. I'm cool, baby!
I don't care if people think
That I am a crazy gink,
If love puts me on the blink
I'll just yell, Hey, Hey,
'cause I'm wild about my queen,
Sweetest girl I've ever seen.
She's red hot that's what I mean,
Listen while I say.
Moving on from wil.i.am, what about the tune? What has happened to that since the Will.i.amses brought it out? It has remained part of the Trad jazz repertoire, but it says something for the popularity of the tune that it has spread its wings.
We have to start with the classic Charlie Christian guitar solo with the Benny Goodman Orchestra (click here) considered as one of the most influential solos recorded by the guitarist. Charlie was 'an early performer on the electric guitar, and a key figure in the development of bebop and cool jazz. ...His single-string technique, combined with amplification, helped bring the guitar out of the rhythm section and into the forefront as a solo instrument.'
Also demonstrating the bridge between past and future is a recording by Teddy Wilson's band (click here) which at the time featured Teddy Wilson (piano), Lester Young (tenor sax), Buck Clayton (trumpet), Buster Bailey (clarinet), Freddy Green (guitar), Walter Page (bass) and Jo Jones (drums).
Click here for a very early Charlie Parker recording of I Found A New Baby from 1943 with Charlie Parker (alto sax), Efferge Ware (guitar) and "Little" Phil Phillips (drums). Listeners to this track say: 'Bird's style seems still in its embryonic stage at age 23. This is smooth and pure. Super!' and 'A true masterpiece. How about the quote from Tickle Toe at 0:17, the Song of the Volga Boatmen at 1:36, and Lester Young's Shoe Shine Boy solo quote at 1:58? Love it.'
You will find countless versions on the internet - Paul Whiteman, Ethel Waters, Andre Previn, Dexter Gordon, Sidney Bechet, Django Reinhardt, Louis Jordan - but let's end with a smile and a video of the Wiyos playing the number at the Middle Earth in Bradford in Vermont in 2007 (click here).
I've found a new baby, I've found a new girl,
My fashion plate baby, has got me a whirl.
Her new king o' lovin' done made me her slave,
Her sweet turtle dovin' is all that I crave.
Sweetest miss, with a kiss full o' bliss, can't resist somehow.
Tells me lies, but she's wise, naughty eyes, mesmerise I vow,
and how, I don't mean maybe!
I just had to fall,
I've found a new baby, new baby that's all.
Help With Musical Definitions No 6.
After effects of a vindaloo.
with thanks to Ron Rubin
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Album released - January 26th : Label - Naim Jazz
Troyka: Kit Downes, keyboards; Chris Montague electric guitar; Joshua Blackmore, drums.
Click here for a video of Troyka playing Ornithophobia.
Troyka has established itself firmly as an experimental band with three of the UK's top musicians who have developed their sound over the past few years. This is their third album, and their first for the excellent Naim label, its title inspired by Chris Montague's fear of birds, an idea that develops into an 'avian flu' nightmare that changes people into human-size birds, gradually making them lose their minds. It was unfortunate that the recording was taking place as the Ebola crisis was taking hold in Africa but that gives us the opportunity to reflect again on that nightmare. Troyka invited Swedish producer Petter Eldh to produce and mix the album and on Life Was Transient and Troyka Smash, he has taken acoustic recordings of the band and resampled the performances into entirely different composition whilst retaining the Troyka sound.
In an interview with guitarmani.eu, Chris Montague says: 'We took a little bit longer to record this album as we had a very unique opportunity to record in a studio for free for 3 or 4 days with great equipment. We recorded at Eton College which is near Windsor and we are very grateful to them for granting us access to the studio there. After we tracked all the parts live we began editing things down in my home studio, choosing the best takes, stripping out sections that didn't work etc. This is where we chose to use quite a few overdubs to broaden a lot of the textures and add some interesting percussion tracks and piano which really make the whole album sound uniquely Troyka.'
Steve Day gives his impression of the album for us:
Naiel Ibbarola’s visuals for the avian adventure comic book which accompanies Troyka’s new recording, Ornithophobia, is a fantasy following in the Hipgnosis tradition of album covers for Pink Floyd, Yes etc. Prog Rock always used to dress up to produce a costume drama delivered in fancy artwork. In 2015 Prog Jazz isn’t about to short change on that score. Of course, it is the ‘score’, the actual compositions, the music itself that is a more delicate matter.
What is Prog Jazz? I don’t set out to label anyone but Troyka’s own publicity describes the trio as ‘progressive jazz’, so I guess this recording provides a clear aural definition. Within the first two minutes twenty-five seconds of Arcades we hear a digital synth and counterpoint percussion taking a supposedly progressive detour to Chris Montague’s guitar entry, which is itself a rather robust thing. Had this guitar been offered up in 1974 it would have been encased within a vinyl gatefold album sleeve. Keeping our ears on our toes, Mr Montague, Kit Downes and Joshua Blackmore produce a pattern of complication with all the skill of long haul bird migration. These keyboards, guitar and drums are being simply, clever.
Today there is a rather fluctuating market for old school progressive rock. The first wave of punk dealt a blow to the originals and when it periodically re-emerges the results are usually fat and flabby. And yes, half the audience have moved their Prog to a form of jazz which is Nordic clean; slimmed down and notated to within a millimetre of existence.
What we have here is, what used to be called, ‘a concept album’. Exactly half way through, the track Thopter presents a spoken word narrative describing Europe in ‘lock down’ following a transmuting avian virus attacking human beings. London, Paris and Brussels are in quarantine. Thopter would be darkly Sci-Fi funny if it were not for Ebola, now a real time reality, terrible and tragic. Fiction however has pandemic bird flu victims transformed into eagle-like creatures. It’s a cruel twist of timing that in North West Africa dead bodies are being buried by masked heroes in goggles and protective clothing, beating the Sci-Fi spooky virus to the final painful punch.
The track that follows Thopter is a slow sparse keyboard figure called Bamburgh, its good. It doesn’t go anywhere, it’s not meant to, but it provides a moment of reflection. For me it makes its point precisely and without clutter. I could have done with more of that approach. However, on its own terms, Ornithophobia is.... a piece of original thinking. We live in a broken era, cast in technical sophistication yet often viciously viral. Prog Jazz might yet find that whatever new, new wave is around the corner will demand that the sounds of a synth do not quite go far enough.
Writing in marlbank.net, Stephen Graham says: 'A little more ponderous perhaps in places than on earlier albums, the ambient beginning of ‘Bamburgh’ for instance, the good news is Troyka retain their state of the art involved sense of improvisational interplay and refuse to accept jazz norms, the only question mark hovering here: have Troyka gone in just too deep?'
Find out for yourself. Listen here, or catch them on tour.
Click here for an extract from Ornithophobia.
Click here to sample the album.
Troyka are on tour in February and March:
February 8th: Edinburgh, Voodoo Rooms
And so we reached the end of 2014 without a Champion for the banjo emerging. We live in hope that in this year, 2015, he or she will step forward to fight against the defamation of banjo players. Will our Champion appear in shimmering haze from desert sands like Omar Sharif in Lawrence of Arabia; incognito like Bruce Wayne in Batman; in leather like Xena, Warrior Princess, or indefatiguably like George Formby?
Here is what we are up against - jibes such as this:
A Rabbi and a banjo player are travelling through the country with their friend from India when their car gets stuck in a ditch. Stranded, they walk to the nearest farmhouse and knock on the door. A farmer and his beautiful daughter answer the door. The farmer says he'll be glad to put them up for the night and they can go for help in the morning. However, there is only room for two in the house, one of them will have to sleep in the barn.
The Rabbi volunteers and goes off to the barn. A few minutes later, there is a knock at the door, it's the Rabbi, "I cannot sleep with a pig, it's sacrilege."
Then the Hindu volunteers to sleep with the pig and goes off to the barn. A few minutes later, there is another knock on the door, "I cannot sleep with a cow, sacrilege."
So, now the banjo player takes his banjo and goes off to sleep in the barn. A few minutes later, there is a knock on the door - it's the cow and the pig!!!
Jimmy Thomson writes: 'Did you know that Cameron Mackintosh's dad was Spike Mackintosh, trumpet player with Sandy, Wally et al. I met him at Six Bells, Chelsea. Also have you come across Banjo George Baron? I sat in with him and Eggy Ley at Tattie Bogle Club in 60s - see photo to the right. Banjo George had a connection with early dance bands, and singer, Lois Lane.
George Baron played banjo in a group known as Andy's Southern Serenaders (directed by Harry Leader) which made some records for Parlophone in 1935. Apart from being fondly remembered, there does not seem to be much information around about George - does anyone else remember him?
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.
This 1964 album brought together saxophonist Stan Getz, Brazilian guitarist João Gilberto, and Composer and pianist Antonio Carlos Jobim in a recording that started a bossa nova craze in the United States and internationally. Stan Getz had already played bossa nova on his album Jazz Samba. Getz / Gilberto became one of the best-selling jazz albums of all time, and turned Astrud Gilberto, who sang on the tracks The Girl From Ipanema and Corcovado into a star.
The album won the 1965 Grammy Award for Best Album of the Year, Best Jazz Instrumental Album - Individual or Group and Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical. "The Girl from Ipanema" also won the award fo Record of the Year in 1965. This was the first time a jazz album received Album of the Year. It was also the last jazz album to win the award until Herbie Hancock's River.The Joni Letters 43 years later, in 2008.
Album Released: 15th October 2014 - Label: Dot Time Records
Anthony Abel begins to look back to his early introduction to jazz:
I stopped listening to most music after discovering Trad in the early 60s, to coin a phrase "that's what I call jazz". A bit of name dropping here, I met and spoke to many of my Trad heroes in those days and I clearly remember when Acker and co. gave me a lift in the old Bedford van that they were using, we were all crushed in the back with their kit. I muscled in on the Bob Wallis band at the Corn Exchange in Redhill all those years ago and sang his favourite piece with him Everybody Loves Saturday Night, Mickey Ashman was on bass. Click here for a video clip of Bob Wallis and his band playing Bellissima in 1962 in a movie about British Traditional jazz.
I first remember hitching out to Reading to see Ken Colyer after work with a work colleague. I was 15 at the time and working at Greenly's advertising agency in New Oxford Street (Dave Cousins who went on to play with the Strawbs also worked there). In 1959 I had no real interest in any sort of music, but a fellow messenger at the advertising agency had and he suggested we go to an all-nighter in Reading after work that Friday night. It was my first introduction to Ken Colyer and traditional jazz.
The experience was fantastic, my pal Mick got far drunker than I did and passed out in the middle of the dance hall, nobody took any notice or even minded but I had to place a couple of chairs over him to prevent him being trampled by the hoard of dancers jiving and stomping. We were both booted and suited coming straight from work and looked totally out of place but nobody gave us a second glance. That was the start of my lifelong addiction to Trad, no cure available for one as so intense. My commitment to hearing the purist style of New Orleans music was as strong as Ken Colyer’s desire to play it. From then on I was addicted and tried to see him at as many clubs as I could. I travelled all over, sometimes hitching long distances to see him.
Ken was immensely popular at the club nearest to me - I lived in Sydenham at the time and used to go to the Croydon Jazz Club at The Star Hotel. Many great bands played there but when Ken Colyer was there it was a sell out and everybody’s favourite number of his was Maryland, a great tune to start a stomp, much to the management’s fury.
Best of all were the all-nighters at Studio 51, not licensed, but we used to tank up at the pub over the road in Great Newport Street. I was fortunate to be at the bar with Ken before one all-nighter, I liked a drink too. I attempted to have a conversation with him, but if any of your readers tried the same they would have found out that Ken was a very private person and was not easily engaged in small talk, we had a couple of rounds together but he said very little. He expressed himself in his music though, and that was good enough for all of us.
The club was a smoke-filled basement and very crowded, I and many others took drink in with us. In my case it was usually a large flagon of strong cider, it's not sold like that any more but then it was available in the sort of container people now use to make homemade wine (lasts all night!). I saw Sammy Rimmington there playing with Ken for the first time, he hadn't been with him long and I don't know who he replaced. Many of us commented how odd he seemed, he was dressed in evening dress and played with his head leaning at an angle to his right. Seemed out of place and very awkward, but once he started playing we all realised he was really special. He is still on the scene and I have seen him playing a couple of times, although he is playing the same music still superbly, for some reason there has never been a trombone in his line up.
The Venues now are all wrong, can't listen to that sort of music sitting down, it's meant to be heard in a smoky crowded club standing or jiving on a sticky floor. I remember going to one all-nighter with a girlfriend who was a fantastic dancer - I had difficulty keeping up with her, especially when I had been drinking. I took a break and fell asleep on the floor and left her to carry on alone, she didn't mind a bit. When I woke up nearly at the end of the night we did our usual thing and staggered down to Trafalgar Square and dunked our heads in the fountains to wake up properly before the homeward journey to South London. I felt very itchy then and to my horror I was covered in flea bites, but I considered even then that it was a small price to pay.
Another clear memory of the club nights was seeing Ken and Diz Disley, both drunk fall down the very steep stairs and landing on top of each other. Apart from a nasty cut on Ken’s head which someone put a plaster on, neither of them seemed bothered by what happened and both of them started the set, which of course was brilliant.
I used to see a lot of bands at Cheam baths where I first met Acker Bilk and got my much needed lift in the old van the band used. Again I went with my friend Mick and sometimes used to stay the night at his house as he lived in Ewell, not far away. I saw Ken Colyer there as well and rather than walk through the night back to S.E. London, which I had done some times in the past (no real effort then), I used to walk up to Tattenham Corner station which was unlocked in those days and spend the night sleeping on the first train out to West Croydon and a bus ride from home. I did that many times, the trains were warm and very comfortable then, I used to wear my duffle coat back to front to block out the light.
I think this picture was taken at Cheam baths possibly as it looks very clean and institutional.
Perhaps my best memory of Ken Colyer, the icing on the cake, was the North Sea Shuffle, which was organised by the Melody Maker for the princely sum of £7.00, which was rather a lot then. In the morning, we all caught a train from Liverpool Street to Harwich, bands playing all the way on the train. We took the Ferry to Hook Of Holland, bands playing on it too. I talked to Ken and Brother Bill and a woman who I think was Ken’s mother on the boat deck for some time and we all shared a few drinks. At the Hook there was an evening concert - the only band I can remember, other than Ken playing, was the Dutch Swing College Band. That was followed by an all night session with them both and others I can't recall. Then a huge breakfast in the morning and the same sessions all the way back. You can see what I mean about the best bit!
I lost contact with my friend Mick, mainly because of the state he got into when we were out together, he always drank far too much, fell over and invariably ripped the knees out of his trousers. All this caused huge rows between his parents and he overheard his father say "I can't take much more of his behaviour, I have always tried to treat him as one of my own." Until that moment he never knew he was adopted.
This picture of another friend, Bryan, and myself was taken in the early 60s at the Black Prince in Bexley, I am the one with big paint brush. We had been given the task of posting stickers by the organisers and were paid in beer, the picture was taken by my other friend Barrie Wentzell who went on to be the staff photographer for the now defunct Melody Maker.
The occasion was a jazz festival sponsored by Guards Cigarettes. That could not happen in this day and age now smoking is taboo, but we all smoked in those days. It's one of the first big outdoor jazz functions that I attended. I cannot remember the bands that were on the bill - that may be because of the beer I was paid and not my memory at fault.
I do have a very clear memory of the amateur band contest and seeing Ken Sims playing trumpet in one of the bands that entered. I was talking to him as I had seen him playing in the clubs, he pleaded with me not to mention who he was as he clearly was not an amateur and would be disqualified if found out. I wouldn't have said anything anyway, but his band did not win. The drummer was Viv Prince, who in later years played with The Pretty Things as well as many other bands. Another band I do remember very clearly (not jazz) was a bunch of young Irish guys calling themselves ‘Them’. The singer was called ‘Shorty’, who I also spoke to. He went on to be Van Morrison.
In 1977 when I met my second wife's mother who loved traditional jazz - which endeared me to her - she mentioned being at the Black Prince event. All the family were there including my future wife who would have been seven at the time (I am ten years older than her). It's a very small world!
To be continued ....
Please contact us if Anthony's memories trigger memories for you.
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:
Buddy DeFranco - American clarinettist born to an Italian/American family who played with Tommy Dorsey, George Shearing, Count Basie and Terry Gibbs amongst many others. His own early quartet included Art Blakey and more recently, in 2006, he received a Jazz Masters Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. His last playing appearance was in 2012. Click here for a video of Buddy and Terry Gibbs playing Giant Steps in 1987.
Eric Scriven - UK Jazz Club founder. Following his demobilisation in 1946, Eric opened a jazz club at 43 Port Street, Manchester. Club 43 moved to the Claredon hotel until Eric bought the lease of the Capriccio Club on Amber Street. There he featured many jazz greats including Sonny Rollins, Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster, Zoot Sims, Al Cohn, Hank Mobley, Dexter Gordon, Johnny Griffin, Max Roach, Maynard Ferguson and the cream of UK jazz musicians. The club closed in 1969 and Eric and his family moved to Los Angeles. Eric passed through the Departure Lounge on 20th December 2014.
Geoff Bradford – Brian Stanley sends us this item from the East Barnet Old Grammarians newsletter concerning Geoff Bradford, guitarist:' I have just returned from a long stay in California to be advised somewhat belatedly that Geoff Bradford passed away on the 24th March. Geoff became one of Britain’s leading guitarists and a short biography can be found on Wikipedia:
Bradford was born in Islington, England, and went to school in East Barnet. From the age of 14 he took piano lessons. Although he soon lost interest in the instrument, exposure to blues music left a lasting impression on him. After leaving school, he briefly obtained a position in an insurance office, before signed on for the Navy as a stoker-engineer when he was 17 years old. In 1954, whilst on leave, he met and married his wife Jean. He bought himself out of the Navy, then worked briefly as a baker and butcher, before obtaining a position as a screen printer. Bradford met Kevin Scott and they appeared as a duo at The Roundhouse blues club after which they formed the band, Blues By Six, with Brian Knight on vocals and harmonica, Charlie Watts, later of the Rolling Stones, on drums and Peter Andrews on bass. He has recorded infrequently, most recently in 1995. Bradford also appeared on the video Masters of British Guitar, and on the film, Living With The Blues on Channel Four".
' I didn't know Bradford, nor sadly do I remember knowing of him, but I did used to go to the above-mentioned Roundhouse where my friends and I listened to Long John Baldry, Alexis Korner, Jack Elliot and others. He played with Alexis Korner and Long John Baldry and later joined Cyril Davies's band the R&B All Stars.'
We spend time with an album from our list of new and reissued recordings below.
Jerome Sabbagh is a New York based tenor sax player, and has a quartet that has been together for ten years. Together with guitarist Ben Monder, bassist Joe Martin and drummer Ted Poor, Sabbagh has recorded this, his third album as a leader and it demonstrates how a band that knows each other well can work in rapport.
As a composer, the French saxophonist, a New Yorker since 1995, ‘favours strong melodies and crafts compelling moods.’ The recording features a variety of songs, ranging from a pop/rock influence (Electric Sun and Banshee) to the more mysterious (Cult and Ascent). The cohesiveness is found in the improvising and the strength of the band’s sound.
The record company says of the rest of the quartet: ‘An inspired soloist with a knack for creative harmonic textures, Ben Monder (himself a noteworthy bandleader, composer, and sideman with Maria Schneider, Paul Motian and Lee Konitz) shows once more why he is one of the great guitarists of our time. Joe Martin is a first-rate bassist with a facile ear and has worked with the likes of Mark Turner and Chris Potter. Drummer Ted Poor provides a steady groove that eschews unnecessary effects. He shapes the music with the creativity and with a sure-footedness that has earned him the trust of Kurt Rosenwinkel and Aaron Parks.’
Click here for a video of Jerome talking about the recording and the band and giving us a taste of the music.
The Turn was recorded live to analog tape by the acclaimed engineer James Farber (Brad Mehldau, John Scofield and Joshua Redman) and mastered by the legendary Doug Sax (Pink Floyd, Diana Krall, Ray Charles and Sonny Rollins), yielding a sound that is clear, natural and warm, highlighting the band’s sonic signature.
The compositions on the recording are all originals, except Once Around the Park, a tune written by the recently deceased master drummer and composer Paul Motian. Sabbagh was one of the last saxophonists hired by Motian and played in the drummer’s “New Trio” alongside Ben Monder at the Village Vanguard in New York in 2011. The band’s take on Motian’s piece is done in tribute to this extraordinary figure.
Click here to sample the album.
Last month we reported on a new album, an anthology of jazz harmonica player, Cyril Davies. Roger Trobridge writes:
'The early days of R&B were covered by the Cyril Davies CD anthology which omitted some trad jazz tracks with Cyril on banjo. Todd and I helped with the original incarnation of this double CD, back in 2007. It was completed, pre-sold and then dropped at the very last second when Universal took over Castle. Our web site (www.cyrildavies.com) provided a lot of the history for the booklet. It is not generally known that two of the early outings for the Cyril Davies and Alexis Korner Blues Inc band was as a support for the late Acker Bilk. The audiences were unsure what to make of them (no waistcoats and bowler hats) and Acker could not remember them when I spoke to him about it a couple of years ago.'
Roger did a broadcast on commuity radio a year ago about the early days of the British Blues boom. You can access it on the Cyril Davies website home page - click here.
Joroen de Valk writes from The Netherlands with more information about Kenny Napper (see our Information Request page):
Kenny was living in Holland during most of the 70s and 80s. He was staff arranger for the 50-piece Metropole Orchestra (a combination of a chamber orchestra and a big band) and working continuously. Often, he also conducted the huge band. He didn’t speak Dutch but most of the people over here speak English fluently and if they don’t, they try hard to learn. He was also teaching ‘harmony at the piano’ at at least two conservatories in Holland, which means he taught non-pianists to play chords at the piano. At a certain point, there was reportedly some vague conflict with the band and he concentrated more and more on teaching.
I studied with him at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, where he stood out because A – he showed up every week (most of the new jazz teachers did not, although they got paid) and B – stimulated creativity. Instead of playing standards, he said I could bring a song of my own each week. He was a real gentleman to me, and couldn’t care less about what the other, very strict teachers might think. Sometimes, he had a hang-over and started explaining how to arrange my recent song for strings and brass. I had to remind him I didn’t have my own private Metropole Orchestra. He never touched a bass during these decades, as far as I know. Around 1990, I lost track of him. I’d love to know what became of him. It seems likely he returned to the UK and retired.
Garry Crook writes with his memories of Neil Millett (see our Information page for more):
Not sure if this is the same Neil Millet I knew in Amsterdam from 1984 to 1986 but it sounds like him."My" Neil Millet(t) was working for Giltspur Engineering as a Technical Illustrator, but he was a clarinet player and had played Jazz professionally. One thing he mentioned was that he had played on some Rolling Stones Albums, not sure if that is correct? I remember his 57th Birthday in Amsterdam, he was roaring drunk and the Jazz band that was there invited him up on stage to play, he staggered up and then whilst sitting down proceeded to play a beautiful intro into a jazz piece on his clarinet. I remember him as a very humorous man, and have a few funny stories about him, sad to hear of his passing.
Irene Hayward has been reading our page about the Fishmonger’s Arms and Wood Green Jazz Club (click here). Irene says: ‘I used to go to Harry Boult's club in the 50's and I remember seeing the John Barry Seven there, the band was a regular feature, who would have thought that he would go on to be the composer for the James Bond Movies! Harry Boult's club was located in Lordship Lane (Wood Green end), it was almost opposite Wood Green tube station. My memories of it are very vague but I recall it was always crowded with teenagers and there was a stage at one end of the hall and some of us would sit on the edge of the stage so that we could be as close to the live performers as possible.
This would be around 1959. I wonder if people also remember The Assembly Rooms, opposite the Fishmongers Arms? .. that was another popular place to dance.'
Some Albums From 2014
One of our album reviewers, Steve Day, has suggested we look back over albums that we have reviewed in 2014 and choose three that we have enjoyed. Steve, Tim Rolfe, Vic Arnold and myself have chosen the following. This is not an exclusive list as there have been more than three that I personally have enjoyed!
Paul Jackson Trio - Groove or Die (TR)
Tyrone Birkett - Emancipation (TR)
Adam Smale - Out of the Blue (TR)
Tim Kliphuis Trio - The Grappelli Album (VA)
Jazz Main - A Sound for Sore Ears (VA)
Annie Ross - To Lady with Love (VA)
Black Top - # One (SD)
Darrell Katz & The JCA Orchestra - Why Do You Ride? (SD)
Raymond MacDonald & Marilyn Crispell - Parallel Moments (SD)
Quadraceratops – Quadraceratops (IM)
Janice Borla Group – Promises To Burn (IM)
Tommy Andrews Quintet – The Crux (IM)
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 ...
Rob Adams tells us that: Venezuelan piano virtuoso Leo Blanco returns to the UK at the end of January for a set of concerts that includes an appearance with his Blue Lamp Quartet at Glasgow’s Celtic Connections festival and a duo gig with Dublin-born singer Christine Tobin, who is the current Parliamentary Jazz Awards Singer of the Year, at the Vortex in London. Blanco made a big impression on his first full tour of the UK in the summer of 2013, selling out four of his eleven dates and earning rave reviews from The Guardian, Jazzwise and Jazz Journal for his rhapsodic and inventive solo piano playing. Following his London concert at the Forge in Camden, John Fordham of the Guardian was moved to describe Blanco as “a phenomenon” and Blanco’s latest album, Pianoforte, which was released to coincide with last summer’s UK visit was greeted as an “unalloyed triumph of invention” in Jazz Journal.
Blanco’s gig at Celtic Connections on Sunday February 1st reunites the Venezuelan with three of Scotland’s finest musicians, the Brazilian-born bassist Mario Caribe, alto saxophonist Paul Towndrow, of horn quartet Brass Jaw, and the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra’s drumming powerhouse, Alyn Cosker, who formed the Blue Lamp Quartet with Blanco to thunderous acclaim and five-star reviews at Aberdeen Jazz Festival in 2007. A musician who particularly enjoys working with singers (he has recorded and performed with Grammy-winning vocalist Luciana Souza as well as featuring alongside Dave Liebman, Donny McCaslin and Lionel Loueke), Blanco was so impressed with Christine Tobin’s vocal quality and her recent, award-winning album of Leonard Cohen songs, A Thousand Kisses Deep, that he invited her to join him at the Vortex on Wednesday, February 4th in a programme of duets and solo piano pieces. He will also play with Caribe, Towndrow and Cosker at the Jazz Bar in Edinburgh on Friday, January 30th.
Jazz For Labour: A Concert for Fairness and Diversity to be held at the Barbican on Friday 27 February, will include names such as Courtney Pine, Claire Martin and Arun Ghosh (pictured above) who are among many major British jazz artists set to perform at this special concert. Inspired by the groundswell of American jazz musicians who appeared at the Jazz For Obama concert at New York’s Symphony Space during the 2012 US presidential campaign that included Roy Haynes, Joe Lovano, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Ravi Coltrane, Christian McBride and Geri Allen, Jazz For Labour will take place in the run up to the general election next May.
Other names so far scheduled to appear are: Soweto Kinch, Ian Shaw, Liane Carroll, Gary Crosby, Christine Tobin, Andy Sheppard, John Etheridge, Phil Robson, Jay Phelps, Tim Garland and Dave O’Higgins, with transatlantic solidarity from Darius Brubeck. More artists are still to be confirmed. Former Labour MP and now Parliamentary Candidate, Bob Blizzard of Jazz For Labour says: “It’s great that so many of our best jazz artists want to come together and, through their music, express support for Labour’s values of fairness and diversity that need to prevail at the next general election.”
Click here for more details.
Tony and Denise Lawrence will be arranging their Jazz Weekends again in 2015. From March to November they book places in hotels around the UK with jazz entertainment provided.
As an example, in Bournemouth at the Wessex Hotel on West Cliff, three nights dinner, bed and breakfast including a five-course gala dinner will cost £209 per person with Kevin Grenfell's Jazz Giants featuring Matt Palmer, John Maddocks Jazzmen, and the Denise Lawrence Band with Ron Drake providing jazz in the ballroom during the evenings. Other weekends take place at Shrewsbury, Windsor, Dawlish, Banbury, Cheltenham, Lyndhurst and Stratford Upon Avon.
Click here for more details.
Some January 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: Fife Jazz Club, The Woodside Hotel, Aberdour. email: email@example.com
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: 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
Birmingham: Birmingham Jazz Listings www.livebrum.co.uk/events/jazz
Essex: The Electric Palace, Harwich, King's Quay. Harwich. www.electricpalace.com
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: 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: Club Inégales, 180 North Gower Street (corner of Euston Street). www.clubinegales.com
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: The Bull's Head, 373 Lonsdale Road,
SW13 9PY. www.thebullshead.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:
The organisation Jazz Services has announced it is about to embark on a comprehensive restructuring process. One aspect of this process is that its long-running magazine JazzUK has had to cease publication in its current form. Following the withdrawal of its Arts Council England (ACE) funding from 2015, Jazz Services has been consulting with the wider public, ACE and and other related parties and undertaking an organisational review.
To coincide with its 30th anniversary in 2015, Jazz Services will introduce a new business model with greater emphasis on artist and audience development, working in partnership with related organisations and groups to offer a more rounded support network to artists throughout their careers as well as contributing towards a healthy live scene for both artists and audiences. It’s core delivery programmes – such as its funding schemes and preparation for April’s JazzAhead event - will continue as normal until the end of the current funding period, but as part of the immediate streamlining process, the current incarnation of JazzUK has now ceased publication.
However, for the past few years, JazzUK has enjoyed an extremely productive partnership with Jazzwise magazine to produce monthly live jazz listings, available on the Jazz Services website as the digital guide Gigs. As part of the more collaborative model proposed for Jazz Services in the future, discussions are currently in place to expand and develop this partnership further, with more details to be announced as they are available.
JazzUK’s editor John Norbury-Lyons said, “It’s a shame to have to close the magazine in its current form after so many issues ... I’d like to take this opportunity to give my sincere thanks to everyone who’s been involved in its production over the years. In the meantime, the discussions with Jazzwise magazine are very encouraging and hopefully there will yet be a future for the JazzUK name as Jazz Services continues to evolve.”
Click here for the full press announcement.
In the past, a free CD has been attached to the cover of the December/January edition of Jazzwise Magazine. This year it is available as a download. Each year, seven of the colleges and conservatoires of music in the UK nominate one of their final year jazz scholars for this award which is celebrated at the Houses Of Parliament in an event supported by Yamaha, Jazzwise, PPL and the 606 Club and hosted by the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group.
The bursaries give financial help to the scholarship winners who are able to record some of their music with producer Andy Ross at Astar Studios near Manchester. The Yamaha New Jazz Sessions recording this year also features tracks by guest musicians Ryan Quigley, Geoff Warren and Riley Stone-Lonergan. The award winners you will hear are Scott Chapman, Tom Dennis, Ashley Henry, Utsav Lal, Dan Smith, Mark Lewandowski and Ed Haine.
The download is available exclusively from Jazzwise magazine - click here.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Similarly, Roy Headland who gives occasional talks to Norwich Jazz and Blues Record Club is offering to give talks with music to other groups in the Norwich area.Roy's email address is: email@example.com.
Click here for the Sandy Brown Jazz Site Directory on our Home page.
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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