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May 2022

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The Girls In The Band

 

In 2011 the documentary film The Girls In The Band was released. It told the story of female jazz and big band instrumentalists and their journeys from the late 1930's to the present day - click here for the trailer. The documentary featured an amazing cast of women instrumentalists but one wonders how widely the film was shown and watched. It can still be streamed on some platforms, it is available on DVD, and those and other details can be found in a site set up about the documentary - click here. This month, Howard Lawes reflects on the situation today in his article Bend It Like Bebop.

 

 

 

Make British Black Music Day - Zoom Meeting 3rd May

Make Music Day 2022

If you make any sort of music, here's an opportunity to find out how you can participate in the June 21st Make Music Day (MMD) 2022 programme.

For the third year running, BritishBlackMusic.com/Black Music Congress (BBM/BMC) will be supporting the annual Make Music Day (MMD) with a DJ set by Kwaku BBM, from 12noon -12midnight entitled 'British Black Music History 1912-2022' - a century-plus journey through an eclectic mix of British black music!

If you create any form of black music - whether you're a pro or amateur musician or DJ - and would like to take part in this year's Make Music Day on June 21, then you're welcome to book to join a  free Zoom meeting on Tuesday May 3rd, 6.30-8.00pm BST via Zoom for all kinds of musicians and DJs, and meet MMD co-director Rob Guest, who will walk you through how you can participate and get your event listed on the MMD website!

To join, you must book via: www.BBM.eventbrite.com - Zoom link details will be emailed.

 

 

Apology

On most pages I have a link that says "Click here to join our mailing list". I discovered last month that on one page I had left out the first letter 'C'. I apologise if anyone now has a mucky screen. I have since corrected the mistake.

 

 

Jacob Collier - The Room Where It Happens Documentary

27-year-old UK singer and multi-instrumentalist Jacob Collier, who made history last year when he became the first UK artist of all time to Jacob Collierhave won a Grammy for each of his first four albums, will be profiled by the BBC on Monday May 2nd for its Imagine series. 

'Presenting a portrait of one of the most creative musical minds of modern times, Jacob Collier: The Room Where It Happens traces Collier’s story from the early years of making music at his family home through to winning his first Grammys and embarking on his ground-breaking one-man world tour.'

'Featuring intimate and never-before-seen footage, plus contributions from the likes of Chris Martin, Stormzy, Herbie Hancock, Quincy Jones and Jools Holland, the film offers a fascinating insight into the world of an artist described by Quincy Jones as “absolutely mind blowing” and by Hans Zimmer as “the Mozart of our age”.

Click here for a video of Jacob with a NPR Home Desk video in 2020.

Jacob Collier: The Room Where It Happens goes out on BBC One at 10.35pm on Monday May 2nd and is then available on BBC iplayer.

 

 

 

New Chairperson Needed For National Jazz Archive

The National Jazz Archive in Loughton, Essex, is looking for a new volunteer Chair of Trustees. They say: 'The Archive, formed in 1988, is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) which aims to safeguard and celebrate the rich cultural heritage of jazz in the UK. The Archive holds the UK’s finest resource of printed and visual jazz-related material, along with an important collection of oral history recordings. It is of national and National Jazz Archive logointernational importance.'

'The Board currently comprises 11 trustees. In November 2021 the Board renewed their strong commitment to diversity and inclusivity. A number of long-serving trustees, including the current Chair, have decided to step down. This is with the aim of refreshing the Board and facilitating the development of a Board which is more diverse and inclusive. All the trustees, including those retiring, are committed  to giving ongoing support to the Archive and to ensuring a smooth transition.'

'A copy of the short form job description can be downloaded by clicking this link. The closing date for applications is 1 June 2022.'

Send an application with full CV, together with details of how you heard/read about this opportunity to: chair@nationaljazzarchive.org.uk.  Please feel free to contact the current Chair for an informal chat before applying. Although the Chairperson and trustees are unpaid, they are an essential part of the Archive's organisation.

 

 

 

 

Video Juke Box

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

 

 

Juke Box

 

 

Asaf Harris Reconnecting video

 

 

Israeli saxophonist Asaf Harris plays Reconnecting from his debut album Walk Of The Ducks released on 6th May.

 

 

 

 

 

Meade Lux Lewis video

 

 

Boogie Woogie pianist Meade Lux Lewis plays Roll 'Em, Pete (not Roll 'Em as stated) in the 1940s. As one commentator says: "Roll 'Em is a composition by Mary Lou Williams. This piece is titled Roll 'Em, PETE, written by Pete Johnson and Big Joe Turner (who is dubbing the actor Dudley Dickerson). Both boogies have long become standards."


 

 

 

 

Smith George Arnold Forster video

 

 

Here is a great set from Giacomo Smith (clarinet), Daisy George (bass) and Will Arnold-Forster (guitar) beautifully videod at Kansas Smitty's in November 2020 (58 minutes and well worth putting time aside for - it includes a lovely version of Smoke Gets In Your Eyes).

 

 

 

 

Zoot Sims 1958 video

 

 

Zoot Sims swings I'll Remember April on tenor sax at the Cannes Jazz Festival in 1958 with Walter Davis, Jr. (piano); Doug Watkins (bass) and Art Taylor (drums).

 

 

 

 

 

Snowpoet video

 

 

Snowpoet - [Lauren Kinsella (vocals); Chris Hyson (bass, synth); Matt Robinson (piano, synth); Josh Arcoleo (saxophone); Alice Zawadski (violin); Rob Luft (guitar) and Dave Hamblett (drums)] play The Wheel recorded at The Cockpit in 2021 for the Sligo Jazz Festival.

 

 

 

 

John Barnes

 

 

 

Popular UK multi-instrumentalist John Barnes sadly passed away in April. This video link is also in this month's Departure Lounge - it is an amateur video with a few spots of broken sound and not a very good picture, but here is John playing Tea For Two on baritone sax in 1987 showing what a great talent he had.

 

 

 

 

 

Sophie Tucker video

 

 

Rare, short footage of Sophie Tucker, "The Last Of The Red Hot Mamas", singing No One But The Right Man Can Do Me Wrong in 1930. Sophie (Sofiya) was born in 1886 to a Jewish family in Vinnytsia Oblast, west-central Ukraine. She and her family moved to America in 1887, the year after Sophie was born.

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Bandcamp Friday - 6th May

The Bandcamp site has been supporting the music community through Bandcamp Fridays, where on the first Friday of the month the organisation have waived their fees and given their share directly to artists and independent labels. Over the course of 17 dedicated days 800,000 fans paid artists and labels over $70 million across the events.

If you are thinking of buying music (Downloads, CDs, Vinyl) that is available through Bandcamp, the next Bandcamp Friday is on 6th May.

 

 

 

Poetry and Jazz

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

Musicians On A Train

 

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

 

1950s train

Picture by citytransport.info

 

Humphrey Lyttelton was able to tell a good story. His book Second Chorus was first published in 1958 and apart from his usual wit, in this extract Humph talks about how things were in the 1950s on those occasions when musicians travelled by train:

 

'Touring at home is on the whole less strenuous. Bands which are on the road all the time usually travel by coach. On our sporadic sorties Train compartmentout of town, it is more economical and quicker to go by train. This has its disadvantages, which need not be stressed to anyone who has spent much time on the British railways. As we travel mostly at week-ends, we quite frequently endure the horror of a cross-country train journey on a Sunday. The time-table journey is always an hour or two longer than on week-days. The actual journey is longer still, with frequent prolongued waits around lunchtime at stations which provide no food other than some hard pastry containers, practically hollow except for a thin layer of congealed mincemeat at the bottom, which are euphemistically referred to as meat pies. Sometimes, at big city stations, you may find tomato soup available, for which you can queue like prisoners en route for Siberia. But if you want to keep in with the wardresses the other side of the counter, don't walk off with that pink plastic spoon by the tea-urn. Give your tea a brisk stir and leave it behind. It's the only spoon they have.

'Musicians have perhaps more curious experiences on trains than ordinary people. Ticket collectors, sleeping-car attendants and guards have only to spot an instrument case in the rack to be smitten suddenly with violent persecution mania. Light a cigarette thoughtlessly in a non-smoker, and an enraged official will threaten to stop at the very next station and summon the police, the fire brigade and the entire bench of Railway tea roommagistrates to deal with you. Hold a murmured conversation late at night in a sleeping compartment, and sooner or later the whole carriage will resound with thunderous blows on the door and stentorian threats. One morning, having been called with tea, I dozed off again, to be woken a few minutes later with a vigorous shake. "Yer tea's gettin' cold!" I gave a non-commital grunt. "Very well, then, if you don't drink yer tea, I'll report yer!" I doubt whether anyone but a musician has ever been threatened with a report to the stationmaster at Euston for allowing his tea to get cold.

'Eddie Thompson, a blind pianist, once had trouble getting his guide dog on board a sleeper in the North. An argument developed around the carriage door. Kenny Graham, a bandleader of independent spirit and formidable appearance - with his prickly auburn beard he could be mistaken, in a bad light, for Charles Laughton in a beachcomber role - remonstrated vigorously with the attendant. "I'm sorry," said the man, "I'm responsible for the other passengers, yer know. Supposing he bit somebody?" Kenny's beard jutted. "How d'you know I won't bite somebody?" In the end, by rousing from their beds the city police chief and the stationmaster, authority was given for the dog to be allowed on board. As far as is known, neither he nor Kenny bit anyone during the night.'

From Second Chorus by Humphrey Lyttelton

 

This seems a good point to watch Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon again with Running Wild from the movie Some Like It Hot - click here.

 

 

 

 

Name The Tune

(Click on the picture for the answer)

 

name the tune

 

Click here for other challenges to 'Name The Tune'

 

 

 

 

The Jazz I Saw

'The Jazz I Saw' Exhibition

The Claverack Library in Claverack, New York is staging an exhibition of photographs of jazz musicians from the collection of Dr Jeffrey I Monkash. As far as I can tell, he did not take these photographs himself, but collected them and met the musicians.

It is unlikely that many readers outside of the USA will be able to visit the exhibition, but fortunately a video has been produced that we can share - and the photographs are well worth seeing. There is a short interview with Dr Monkash before the video concentrates on the photographs, and there is a nice background score. The video lasts for around 8 minutes and there are some spectacular photographs here.

For those who might be able to visit the exhibition it runs until 7th May at Claverack Free Library.

To watch the video - click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Anagram

MOVE HAT LINE

(Gershwin song)

Click here for the answer

 

 

 

Time Out Ten

In Your Own Sweet Way

Miles Davis Quintet

 

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

 

For this item you need to be able to stop for ten minutes.

We are often moving on to the next job, the next meeting, scrolling down social media, taking the next call ......'Time Out Ten' asks you to stop for ten minutes and listen to a particular piece of music; to find a time when you won't be interrupted, when you can put in/on your headphones and chill out. Ten minutes isn't long.

 

Miles Davis

 

There are a number of versions of In Your Own Sweet Way, written by Dave Brubeck for his wife Iola. I have chosen this one by Miles Davis (he recorded it twice with another line up that included John Coltrane) - this version recorded for the Prestige Oleo album with his Quintet including Sonny Rollins (tenor saxophone); Tommy Flanagan (piano); Paul Chambers (bass) and Art Taylor (drums).

What people have said:

"Oh - the theme played by Miles Davis is so well formed, amazingly beautiful. The following solo by Rollins manages to continue, elaborate on that mood. And not less Tommy Flanagan."

"Miles Davis' theme introduction has a quality, mood, with Flanagan backing mood, feeling, rhythm. This has enchanted me for so many years, since I bought the record 55 years ago."

"Davis probably deserves as much credit as Brubeck for establishing 'In Your Own Sweet Way' as a jazz standard", partly because Davis closed the A theme with an E natural, instead of the F that Brubeck intended. The prevalence of this Davis 'flat five' - which imparts a wry off-centeredness to the proceedings - in later performances is one measure of the trumpeter's influence in the dissemination of this song."

 

Click here to listen to In Your Own Sweet Way

 

Hey Mister (Sister)
Where you going in such a hurry
Don't you think it's time you realized
There's a whole lot more to life than work and worry
The sweetest things in life are free
And there right before your eyes

You got to stop and smell the roses
You've got to count your many blessings every day
You're gonna find your way to heaven is a rough and rocky road
If you don't stop and smell the roses along the way

From Stop And Smell The Roses by Mac Davis and bandleader and trumpeter Doc Severinsen.

 

Roses

 

 

 

 

Merchandise

Do you remember when 'Bird Lives' was written over walls after Charlie Parker died? Then when people bought T-Shirts with the same message?

These days, merchandising seems to be largely in the arena of 'popular music', except for the CDs jazz musicians sell at gigs. Those sales Monk T Shirtcan be quite valuable in helping to give musicians some much needed extra income.

In April, The Guardian carried a report 'Fair Play: Bands take stand against venues taking big cut of merchandise sales'. The item began: 'In March, when the British post-punk band Dry Cleaning played the O2 Forum in north London, the ticketing company Dice informed fans that, counter to usual practice, no merchandise would be sold at the venue. Instead, a pop-up store would open at the Abbey Tavern, a nine-minute walk away. With live music returning after almost two years of shutdown owing to the pandemic, artists have never felt the pinch more. Often merchandise is one of the few ways they can turn a profit on a show. But with Academy Music Group (AMG) venues such as the Forum taking a 25% cut from merchandise sales, the profit margins of artists are being squeezed ever tighter ....... A Guardian investigation has also learned that Universal Music Group (UMG), the largest of the world's three big record labels, is also taking a share of AMG's profits from the sale of merchandise' ....'

'.... After the Charlatans' frontman, Tim Burgess, tweeted in December about the perceived inequities of venues taking a quarter of merchandise sales, the UK trade body Featured Artists Coalition set up a public Google Doc entitled "100% Venues", listing venues that waived commission...." (click here).

I imagine this situation is unlikely to present a problem for the majority of jazz bands and the venues where they play, but perhaps it is worth noting.

Today you can still buy merchandise naming famous musicians like Bird, Monk, Miles, etc.. Do current bands produce merchandise other than CDs? Would it sell? And where does that extra income from CD sales at gigs go when albums are only released digitally?

 

 

 

 


The Mattan Klein Quartet's Long Run

by Robin Kidson

 

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

 

Mattan Klein

Mattan Klein
Photograph by Yossi Zwecker

 

The ever-adventurous British record label, Ubuntu Music, has recently released an album by Israeli flautist, Mattan Klein, called The Long Run. Born and raised in Jerusalem, Mattan Klein is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music in Boston and a well-known figure on the Israeli jazz scene as performer, composer, teacher and festival director. The recipient of various scholarships and prizes, he has performed at the London Jazz Festival and on other international stages. However, outside his native Israel, he has a relatively low profile. The Long Run is his seventh album as a leader but his first with Ubuntu.

The Long Run is billed as “Israeli-Brazilian contemporary jazz”. At first sight, this may seem a rather odd mix but then jazz in the twenty first century is an international affair played by musicians all over the world and absorbing all sorts of influences on the way. Little wonder then that interesting combinations and collaborations are constantly being thrown up. Of course, Brazilian jazz has had a major influence on the development of the music, most notably when the bossa nova was taken up by major American artists such as Stan Getz in the 1960s. Since then, Brazilian rhythms have become an integral part of jazz. Mattan Klein first encountered these rhythms listening to the music played by a well-established Brazilian community in Israel and has been interested in exploring them ever since.

All six tracks on The Long Run strongly reflect the influence of Brazil. By contrast, there is little specifically Israeli here – to this ear, anyway. The label “Israeli-Brazilian contemporary jazz” is perhaps better understood as Brazilian inflected jazz played by Israeli musicians. This isn’t to denigrate it – the music is hugely enjoyable and life-enhancing, and the players are superb: Klein on flute, Toki Stern on Fender Rhodes keyboards, Yoni Ben Ari on bass, and Israel-based Brazilian, Joca Perpignan, on percussion. You can see and listen to them in action playing Used To Be A Bossa in Tel Aviv in 2021 - click here.

There is one Brazilian musician in particular whose considerable shadow hovers benignly over The Long Run and that is Hermeto Pascoal, Hermeto Pascoalwho has clearly been an important inspiration to Klein. Born in 1936 in north east Brazil, Pascoal is an albino who had to spend much of his early years indoors to protect his sensitive skin from the hot Brazilian sun. This gave him plenty of time to learn to play various instruments beginning with the accordion. He started performing with various Brazilian groups in the 1960s, helping to establish a form of Brazilian jazz which wasn’t just bossa nova. He came to international prominence in 1971 when he played with Miles Davis on the Live Evil album. Three of Pascoal’s compositions were included on the record. The experience moved Miles to call Pascoal “the most impressive musician in the world”. Since then, he has led his own groups recording and touring widely. A prolific composer, he is also a charismatic performer, looking like a cross between a lion and a member of ZZ Top. Pascoal is a supremely talented multi-instrumentalist, playing everything from keyboards, saxophone and flute to the less conventional teapots and children’s toys – indeed, he has said that everything can be an instrument: “… wherever I am is an instrument. A chair is an instrument. A table is an instrument. There are so many instruments”. Not for nothing is he known as ‘O Bruxo”, the Sorcerer. Here he is playing flute live at Montreux in 1979 - click here.

 
Four of the six tracks on The Long Run are Mattan Klein compositions including Otem Reh(y) which is a specific tribute to Hermeto Pascoal. Like all the tracks on the album, it is an upbeat, tuneful piece which compels one to tap feet, shake that thing and start employing Mattan Kleinclichéd yet heartfelt adjectives such as “infectious”. As a specialist jazz flautist, Klein is a relatively rare beast. The flute has never really caught on in jazz and has often been seen by musicians as a second instrument to the saxophone. It’s not entirely coincidental that perhaps the best known jazz flautist, Herbie Mann, was also heavily into Brazilian music.

By concentrating on the flute, Klein has perfected a dazzling technique which is in full flow on Otem Reh(y). He improvises as if he was a bird having an intense conversation with someone or something. Yoni Ben Ari contributes a great solo on electric bass which includes some funky Pastorius-type slap bass and helps the whole piece establish a compulsive groove, a fitting tribute to Hermeto Pascoal.

The title track, The Long Run, is another Klein original which, according to the composer, “…reflects on how one must run long distances with heads held high. Only such a perspective can provide the energy and drive to sometimes overcome obstacles and challenges”. Energy and drive there is aplenty in a bossa nova which one imagines Stan Getz would have loved to play. The quartet is joined by guitarist Nitzan Bar who delivers a swinging solo as does Toki Stern on the Rhodes Fender keyboard – which incidentally sounds particularly effective on headphones. Klein’s flute is more free flowing than on some of the other tracks and the whole piece ends on a passage of collective improvisation which never strays into messiness.  Click here for a video of the ensemble playing the title track.

The other two Mattan Klein compositions are medleys: Luck-Key/Kind Of has a deceptively complex tune and rhythm which gently swings along in another foot tapping display. Klein’s flute is crisp and confident; there are solos from bass and keyboard and some nice interplay Mattan Klein The Long Runbetween the two. Azymotiv/Hakaza begins in a slower, more reflective mood with the flute having a slight middle-eastern tinge, the only part of the album where something of Israel perhaps can be heard. However, the beat quickly picks up and we are back to Brazilian territory with Joca Perpignan to the fore contributing interesting rhythms and percussive effects and a particularly arresting solo. The whole quartet play brilliantly together and the piece takes on a momentum where one feels it could almost play itself. You can listen to Azymotiv/Hakaza here.

Jokes is by the keyboardist, Toki Stern and is bright, optimistic and quick. All the musicians need to show off their considerable virtuosity to keep up with the unrelenting beat. Stern’s keyboards are turned to conventional piano mode and the track gradually evolves into a joyous free-for-all where everybody just about hangs on.

The final track is by the master himself, Hermeto Pascoal. It’s called O Farol Que Nos Guia and has a beautiful, contemplative melody, not particularly Brazilian but universal in its appeal. Klein performs it fairly straight but most elegantly as a duet with Toki Stern. Like Otem Reh(y), it’s another lovely tribute to the genius of Hermeto Pascoal. Listen to O Farol Que Nos Guia here, and by way of contrast, here’s Pascoal’s take on his composition - click here.

 

The Long Run serves a number of functions. First, it is a reminder of the debt jazz owes to the music of Brazil and that of Hermeto Pascoal in particular. Second, it showcases the health and vitality of jazz in Israel, and that the country is nurturing some fine young musicians. Third, it demonstrates that the flute in experienced and practiced hands can be a most expressive jazz instrument. Fourth, it hopefully brings the talent of Mattan Klein to a wider, more international audience. But finally, and most of all, it is an uplifting and joyous listening experience, just the job for troubled times.  

 

Even at 85 years old, Hermeto Pascoal is still going strong. Coincidentally, he is touring Europe this summer. UK dates include:

            2nd May – St Georges, Bristol
            5th May – Barbican, London
            10th May – Stoller Hall, Manchester
            13th May – St Andrews and Blackfriars Halls, Norwich

 

The Long Run is available on Amazon - click here. Mattan Klein’s website is here, and there is more information on the Ubuntu website here.

 

 

 

 

Jazz Quiz

Let's Get Lyrical

This month we challenge you with 15 references to the lyrics from jazz Standards. How many can you answer?

Cole Porter

Cole Porter

 

Click here for this month's Jazz Quiz.

 

 

 

 

Two Ears Three Eyes

Emma Rawicz

 

Emma Rawicz

 

Photographer Brian O'Connor of imagesofjazz.com took this picture of Emma Rawicz at The Verdict Jazz Club in Brighton in April where she was playing with her Quintet - Ivo Neame (piano); David Preston (guitar); Matt Ridley (bass) and Asaf Sirkis (drums).

Growing up in rural North Devon, Emma didn't discover jazz until the age of 15, and didn't pick up a tenor saxophone until a year later, but spent her childhood otherwise immersed in largely folk and classical music. At the age of 19 she has already recorded her debut album featuring Ant Law, made up entirely of her original compositions, and due to be released shortly. A new arrival on the scene, she has already made an impact, regularly playing at major London jazz venues with a wide range of established musicians. She is a recipient of the 2021 Drake Yolanda Award.

Click here for a video of Emma playing Viridian last year at The Yard, Manchester with Ant Law (guitar); Ivo Neame (keys); Conor Chaplin (upright bass) and Jay Davies (drums)

Click here for Emma's website.

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

 

 

 

 


What's Your Story? : Podcasts
by Matt Fripp of Jazzfuel

 

 

Matt Fripp set up his own music agency and website, Jazzfuel, in 2016, since when he has established a client base across many countries. Although born in the UK, Matt is currently based with his family in Paris, France, but the international aspects of his work make little difference to his location. What is different about Matt and Jazzfuel is the information that he shares publicly on his website (click here). Matt has kindly agreed to share some of his thoughts as an agent with us from time to time:

 

I don't know about you, but I'm a big fan of podcasts. The opportunity to hear someone speak in depth about their area of expertise or interest is pretty cool... so why aren't more musicians hosting and appearing on these?! We've been providing jazz PR services for over 4 Jazzfuelyears now, but only recently started noticing the increase in opportunities for musicians to appear on podcasts, alongside traditional reviews and interviews.

Anyway, to shed some more light on that area - and a ton of other things beside - I interviewed singer, broadcaster and host of The Jazz Session podcast Nicky Schrire. Nicky Schrire is a British-South African vocalist and composer based in Toronto, Canada. Alongside her performing and touring career, she has built a profile as a radio broadcaster and, in 2021 took over the reins at the long-running Jazz Session podcast. With deep experience in various sides of the jazz industry, we caught up with her as part of our industry interview series to discuss the work of a portfolio career musician, tips for radio and podcasts and other ideas on the promotion of jazz. You’ll find all the good bits in the full interview - click here - as well as some videos from past podcast episodes – but first a couple of key takeaways from my side…

The presence of a story is vital! This is something we hear all the time from every area of the jazz industry. Great music is, of course, vital. But if there’s a great story behind it, you will be able to connect with people (including fans) much more effectively.

Share reviews/interviews as widely as possible! Getting a gig, review or interview is not the end ! If you don’t shout about it as widely as possible, you not only miss out on all the possible exposure from doing it, but you also risk the person who gave the opportunity not coming back in a hurry…

 

All the best

Matt

[Ed: I know nothing about making podcasts but here are two YouTube videos that might be helpful if people are interested in following up Matt's item. This one relates to using Spotify (click here), and this one more generally (click here), or perhaps you can ask around and find someone who has made podcasts].

 

 

 

 

The Grid

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

 

Arthur Whetsel

Arthur Whetsel

 

Regal
Naima
Arthur Whetsel
Chris Barber
Art Farmer
Cootie Williams
Cousin Mary
Rex
Louis Bacon
Chris Potter
The Winner
Spiral
Countdown
Imperial
Kenny Baker
Freddie Jenkins

 

 

Click here for the answers

 

 

 

Poetry and Jazz

Jazz Remembered

Jessica Williams

 

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

My thanks to Marcus Howell who spotted online that sadly pianist Jessica Williams passed through the Departure Lounge in March. It is surprising that Jessica and her music have not been more widely known, particularly as many people have written to me saying how much they admired her. Perhaps that is because she became disillusioned with jazz in her later years and she had also been unwell. We were last in touch with Jessica in 2018. It is opportune to remember her here.

 

Jessica Williams CD

 

In 2017, Eric Jackson first suggested we spend time with jazz pianist Jessica Williams. Eric says: 'It is time the profile of pianist Jessica Williams was raised as it seems to be slipping away with puzzled expressions or vague recollections when her name is mentioned. Where people do remember her, the recollection probably comes from a DVD where she appears with Bobby Hutcherson at a Harvest Jazz Festival, or from her work in the '70s and '80s with musicians such as Eddie Henderson and Charlie Rowse'.

Click here for a video of Jessica playing Love And Hate in 2006:

Jessica Williams was born in 1948 in Baltimore, Maryland. She began playing piano when she was four and was performing by her teens. Although she studied classical music, by her early thirties she had played with Philly Joe Jones and after moving to San Franciso was playing in house bands for Eddie Harris, Dexter Gordon and Stan Getz.

Click here to listen to Jessica playing her composition I Remember Dexter.

 

Eric continued: 'In about 1993, she moved to Portland on the Pacific coast and continued playing both with her trio and as a solo pianist. There are two superb CDs entitled Encounters 1 and 2 recorded at a club session in 1994 with backing from Leroy Vinnegar where the music could scarcely swing any more. Her music is always swinging, fun and accessible with glimpses of Brubeck, Monk, Tatum, Garner and stride, but is always recognisably hers, with a wide palette of tempos, emphasis, allusions and frequent use of the highest notes. But the music is never retro, just marinaded in the work of the masters.'

'It is difficult to put in print a musical experience but in my case it is akin to listening to musicians who can be audacious, wry and even unnerving, but then whose music ultimately resolves itself. From a reading of her sleeve notes it is apparent that her heroes are Monk and Coltrane and about the latter she has written: " ... his words light my path and his playing lifts my spirits and cleanses my soul."

Click here to listen to Jessica playing Thelonious Monk's Green Chimneys from her Trio album Jazz In The Afternoon.

 

 

'Jessica's last visit to the UK was an appearance at the Brecon Jazz Festival where she gave a superb ninety minute recital in the knowledge that it was being filmed by BBC Wales. She was bitterly disappointed when only a fifteen minute segment was shown and her jessica Williamsattempts to get the material for her own use were unsuccessful.'

'At the time of this appearance she was already troubled by back problems that resulted from her posture when playing. This had to be tackled and as a result she underwent major surgery in 2012 in an effort to continue playing and earn a living. The medical procedures were long and complicated and had to be paid for by the sale of her precious Yamaha piano. Jessica tells how she had to have: 'multi-level back-fusion that required permanent internal rods, pedicle screws, and bone grafts'. This left her with very little money; she is still not playing publicly and is appealing for help to buy another piano'.

In 1997, Jessica began her own record label, Red and Blue Recordings. She also owned a publishing company, JJW Music, and an internet mail order business. Eric wonders whether this had not helped raise her profile due to the commitments of trying to market and produce her own recordings and cut out the middle man'.

Jessica was diagnosed with cancer. In May, on her website (which has since expired) she remained positive, despite being very short of money, talking of the projects she wanted to pursue, saying: 'I have projects, enough for a second lifetime! The first one coming is a doozie: It involves a book about MY LIFE so far, a movie, a DVD, merchandising, traveling, performing "live" again, plus much NEW JAZZ MUSIC from me. That's all I can say about my business "deals", besides perhaps my improbable request for Jennifer Lawrence to play me . . . I have decided that the best thing I can do for myself is to do what I do, and be who I am. I love my music, and I will soon release new music and begin performing again. There are many things to do, and I will start slow, but speed alone is not music — soul and passion are. I am not done.'

Jessica Williams had released over 70 albums, written over 1000 compositions and held a Fellowship with the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

Jessica Williams

 

 

In July 2018, it was wonderful to hear unexpectedly from Jessica who wrote and sent us a recent photograph:

'Thank you for a page on the site about me!  I just wanted to say hi, yes, I am alive! I am 70 now. My health is getting better, and I am married to the finest man there is. I don’t play jazz anymore - I enjoy the peace and quiet! When it stopped being fun playing jazz, I stopped doing it. I’d done enough, and always said that I did it for fun! Money was never a purpose.

My website was successful but now just sits there. It’s great to be me again, a housewife whose favorite singer was and is Doris Day! Really! Mary Ann Kappelhoff was her name, and she was a pro! I have to admit, Al Green gets equal play! I also listen to all the Detroit soul, especially Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield. I don’t listen at all to jazz, as it seems to have lost its substance and timeliness. I still use synthesizers, and that makes me happy - as a hobby.

And I sing. I sing with Doris, and Keely Smith, and Abbey Lincoln. Also Ella. I never knew it but I have a really high and pretty voice. I took lessons and it’s so liberating! I have to breathe! I have not had a cigarette or a drink or drugs for almost 20 years. I do smoke marijuana, for my pain. It’s legal in my state (WA).

Thanks again, Ian. Alicia (aka Jessica)'

Click here to listen to Miles To Go from Jessica's CD Virtual Miles.

 

2021 - A number of people were getting in touch with us asking about Jessica. It seemed that Jessica's website had expired and she had not been in contact. Unfortunately we had no reply to our recent emails to Jessica either. We asked people to let us know if anyone hadCarolyn Graye Songs been able to contact her.

 

Dan O'Brian wrote: 'I am a huge fan.  I sent the note below to my family with an mp3 of her backing of Carolyn Graye’s Do Nothing Til You Here From Me, recorded years ago (click here).  It is so brilliant that it’s at the top of my playlist.  I’m sure Jessica wants to be appreciated for some of the awesome and more famous solo work she’s done, but this performance is so exquisite (only a music person would get it) that I wanted her to know how much I’m in love with it and how happy it makes me to listen to it, along with all of her phenomenal work:

The star on this recording is the accompanist, Jessica Williams.  The backing piano is exquisite.  Not fancy.  Just “perfect.”  The piano solo 2/3rds of the way through is my all time favorite.  Listen to the tempo she establishes in the left hand.  Doesn’t waver - it’s perfect.  And the solo - simple, and perfect, with an exquisite ending to it after making like Dr. Hitt (UMD jazz trumpeter) and playing a bunch of the solo on one note.  I give her 100!

 

2022. We had heard no more from Jessica and presumed her health, her disenchantment with jazz were the reasons.

In March 2022, we learned from the WGBO website that Jessica had sadly died on March 10th.

Click here to listen to Jessica playing My One And Only Love.

Some of Jessica's CD's are available from Amazon etc. and more of her music is on YouTube.

 

 

 

Colectiva
Bend It Like Bebop

by Howard Lawes

 

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

 

Bend It Like Becham image

 

The 20th anniversary of the film Bend it Like Beckham (produced, written, and directed by  Gurinder Chadha, 2002)  has stimulated a discussion about the participation of women in football, (a game that used to be played almost entirely by men), the role of South Asian women in society, discrimination and same-sex relationships.  It was in 1921 that the governing body of football in England, the Football Association, decided to ban women from playing professional football citing dangers to women's health and morality.  It was not until 1972 that the ban was lifted and even then it took encouragement from the European Football Association for this to happen.  The rise in popularity of the game among women was immediate with the number of women and girls' football teams rising from 80 in 1993 to 8000 by 2005 Women footballers(House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee Women's Football Fourth Report of Session 2005–06).  The lack of women's football in England had resulted in very little success on the international stage and it is telling that the young women footballers in Bend it Like Beckham saw their future in the USA.  It was not until 2011 that women in England were actually paid anything to play football and in 2015 before a very small number became professional footballers, but in spite of this frugal approach, England came third in the 2015 Women's World Cup in Canada, beating Germany in the third-place playoff. 

In 2018 the Football Association restructured women's professional football by inaugurating the Women's Super League providing an all professional competition for women.  A further innovation was the setting up of 200 Wildcat Centres where school-age girls could receive free football training in the hope that having learned to play and enjoy playing, a steady stream of talent would be available to the professional game. In fact, this initiative was so successful that rather than 200 centres by 2019, 1250 centres were in operation, and at the last estimate, the Football Association claims more than 2.5 million women are active players.  With popularity and success comes media coverage and investment and with England tipped to succeed in Women's Euro 2022, which takes place in England this summer, the future for women's football looks very rosy. 

Fundamental to increasing the appeal of the game to young women and girls are high profile role models but sadly with increased exposure comes increased anti-social comments and behaviour.  Female commentators on TV have received sexist social media abuse and some sort of sexism is experienced by the majority of women working in football although this may reflect society as a whole rather than football in particular.

What can jazz in the UK learn from the success of encouraging women to play football?  While women may not have been banned from playing jazz the process of making a success of their career in jazz can be particularly daunting as acclaimed trumpeter and composer, Yazz Ahmed, described in the Guardian; she recalls receiving comments about her body and being praised for “playing like a man”. She Yazz Ahmedsays that jam sessions, a staple of the jazz scene, can be particularly anxiety-inducing for women. “They’re very competitive in nature – guys trying to play faster, higher, louder than each other. Women have those abilities, but it goes back to being scared because we’re ridiculed all the time. [Some men] don’t understand – a lot get defensive”. 

 

Yazz Ahmed

 

Very often a career in music starts at school but sadly the provision of music education in many UK schools has been reduced and that which remains can seem very expensive.  The techniques proposed by El Sistema in Venezuela, providing instruments and free training, resulted in great benefits for the children involved and for society as a whole; such projects have been adapted and exported to other countries around the world, including the UK, with varying success.  Organisations like Tomorrow's Warriors and Kinetika Bloco provide additional opportunities, free of charge, for young people in London to play music with a special focus on the needs of young women and ethnic minorities.  Other opportunities specifically for women are provided by organisations such as the PRS Foundation with projects such as Women Make Music and Keychange, which is a global network and movement working towards a total restructuring of the music industry in reaching full gender equality.

There have been a few, all-female bands in recent years including Blow the Fuse, an artist-led organisation formed in 1989 by jazz musicians Deirdre Cartwright and Alison Rayner; Yazz Ahmed's Quintette, and Issie Barratt’s Interchange, a large collective of well known female artists whose performances received great reviews. In general, these bands are collectives, formed either all or in part by established, female musicians; there have been very few successful, female bands formed by relative novices but in 2014 a band emerged from Tomorrow's Warriors, performing at the EFG London Jazz Festival, called Nérija.  The success of Tomorrow's Warriors mentoring and educational techniques were featured in a previous article (click here) and while initially, it was mostly male Tomorrow's Warriors alumni who prospered and embarked on successful careers, in more recent times the females have made up for lost time with Nérija being a great example.  Nérija's prestige and popularity grew rapidly, winning awards, delighting audiences, and signing with Domino Records.

Click here for a video of ARQ playing Half A World Away in 2021 with Alison Rayner (bass); Buster Birch (drums); Deirdre Cartwright (guitar); Diane McLoughlin (sax) and Steve Lodder (piano).

As Issie Barratt explained in an article from 2020 in Jazzwise magazine there is a difference between playing in a band with men and with all women. The conversation is different, the priorities change, and perhaps the whole process is just more relaxed.  Members of Nérija talk about playing together in similar terms in a 2019 Jazzwise article with guitarist Shirley Tetteh describing it as "joyous" and  drummer Lizy Excell saying "there's a family feel to the thing".  The concept of ‘family in music’ has become increasingly important - organisations such as Tomorrow's Warriors and Kinetika Bloco provide the kind of support that a family provides, and young, developing musicians often mention how valuable such support has been to them. 

Click here for a video of Nérija playing Riverfest.

Another organisation with a family feel to it is Jazz re:freshed, a music movement founded in 2003 by Justin McKenzie and Adam Moses with an ambition to challenge the elitism and prejudice within the jazz community.   Describing itself as a small but relentlessly determined organisation, Jazz re:freshed has its hands in many pies, hosting a weekly live residency, a record label, festival, film club, band development programme, club night, workshops, and more. 

One particular activity, called Jazz re:freshed Outernational, is to showcase up-and-coming, UK-based jazz musicians on an international stage at the annual SXSW Conference in Austin, Texas.  Over the last few years many young musicians, male, female, and those from Nerijaethnic minorities have enjoyed this experience; even during Covid lockdowns, when innovative streaming methods were used to keep the show on the road.

For 2022 the artists that travelled to SXSW were Brown Penny, led by Nérija, SEED Ensemble, Kokoroko alto saxophonist Cassie Kinoshi, bass player Daniel Casimir, vocalist Cherise, drummer Jas Kayser and Afro-Latin ensemble Colectiva.  Also present at the conference to discuss The Dope Black British Jazz Landscape was Tomorrow's Warriors founder Janine Irons, Adem Holness (Arts Council England), Adam Moses (Jazz re:freshed) and vocalist and Tomorrow's Warriors alumnus Cherise.  The conversation included the dramatic rise of the jazz scene over the last ten years, the inclusivity of the musicians involved, plus the successes and challenges experienced along the way to enjoying far wider recognition.

 

Nérija

 

A review in the Austin Chronicle reviewed all the performances but seemed particularly taken with Colectiva - "Jazz re:freshed saved the most high-energy act for last. Although Colectiva endured a faulty (but eventually resurrected) keyboard that stretched their set-up time well into the second-to-last hour, the Latin jazz quintet imbued their groove-loving dance tunes with as much energy as all of the other acts combined. Frustration quickly transformed into joy as band and audience shook their groove-things to the turbo-charged rhythms without overlooking Colectiva’s level of harmonic sophistication. Smiles all around reminded us just how much fun this brand of jazz is to play and hear".

Colectiva is perhaps the least well known of the artists representing the UK jazz scene at SXSW and this probably has much to do with the effect of the Covid pandemic, as in 2019 Colectiva won Best  Alternative Act at the Latin UK Awards and were all set to release a single Colectivaand embark on a tour. In  2021, they performed at a sell-out gig at Milton Court Concert Hall with the all-male Balimaya Project and produced a Barbican Sessions video.  Also in 2021 they went on to win a Drake YolanDa award designed to provide momentum to those artists pushing boundaries and developing careers. Mark Kidel for The Arts Desk reviewed the Milton Court concert -  "The band was founded by Viva Msimang, whose charm and passion, as she introduces the songs, is contagious. They play Latin Jazz, though the label hardly does justice to the richness of their power-packed collective passion, fuelled as it is by making a potent statement about the sisterhood and the spiritual power of music."

 

Colectiva

 

"The pleasure that the members of Colectiva take in playing together is tangible, with that sense of mutual respect and shared delight that is so essential to all African-inspired music, in this case further lightened by Latina humour and energy. Sax and flute player Allexa Nava, who had come in as a last-minute substitute, offered a rip-roaring and perfectly constructed solo. Bass-player Alley Lloyd drove the band’s infectious rhythm with both tact and force, in perfect synergy with the remarkable drummer Lya Guerreo who near-miraculously managed to make her kit sound like a pair of timbales, congas, and a whole array of other Latin percussion instruments, all on her own.".

The original line-up of the collective had Viva Msimang (trombonist and founder),  Sarah Wackett (flute-congas),  Nadine Nagen (violin),  Deanna Wilhelm (trumpet), Maria Grapsa (original co-composer of the new single "Under The", keys), Rosetta Carr (bass),  Lilli Elina (keys, congas), a little later they were joined by Lya Reis Guerrero (drums), Alley Lloyd (bass), Poppy Daniels (trumpet), and Allexa Nava (Saxophone/Flute). Currently, the core band is Viva, Alley, Lilli, Allexa, and Lya. The band is described as anti-hierarchical in structure and exists as a vehicle for women instrumentalists to come together through their love of and appreciation for Afro-Latin and Jazz genres, composing collaboratively, in the spirit of sisterhood.

Click here for a video introduction to the band and their music filmed at the Milton Court Theatre as part of the Barbican Sessions in 2021.

Answering questions by email, some of them told me that the band has grown organically over time while some members had already played together in other bands on the London Latinx scene or had met on pop sessions and jam nights around the city. Otherwise, it was women's networks, word of mouth, or social media that brought them all together.   Many of the band are largely self-taught, without the benefit of formal music education, and have arrived where they are musically via a number of different routes and to some extent, their diverse journeys distinguish Colectiva from other bands. Allexa Nava learned her jazz with Tomorrow's Warriors and was awarded the Alf Williams Memorial Award (which has been established by Alf’s family to champion future aspiring young jazz artists on Tomorrow’s Warriors Emerging Artist Programme).

While the pandemic interrupted Colectiva's live performance, the time was used productively to do a couple of live streams and it was a good time to record and film from home while creating new music. Also during this period they were able to create the music video for their new single Under The, and release it during one of the slivers of time between lockdowns. As Viva Msimang says "there’s no doubt that it was an exceptionally challenging time all round, but having purpose and community through a project like Colectiva really helped me get through it".  In 2021 Colectiva’s Drake YolanDa award enabled them to record the new single and film "an incredible video with "the best crew they could have asked for". The band continue to write new material that will be included in their debut album that they hope will be released by the end of the year, but they need additional funding to make this happen.

Click here for the video of Colectiva playing Under The.

The opportunity to perform at SXSW was an honour and the reaction of the audience was very positive.  Jazz clubs such as the Elephant Room in Austin are rather calm and intimate compared to festivals where the audience has to stand, but the reception the band received was really soul-affirming and they hope to return to the Americas soon.  Colectiva has just completed a British tour performing in cities including London, Manchester, Leeds, Leicester, and Bristol. Upcoming gigs include the London Richmix Flawa Festival on 6th May, Lya Guerrerothe Great Escape Festival in Brighton on 14th May, La Petit Halle in Paris France on the 25th May, 27th May Discovia Fest, Basket of Lights Fest on 11th June.

When asked about the experiences suffered by Yazz Ahmed, Lya Guerrero agreed that similar attitudes "stopped her from going to some jam sessions because that’s the feeling you get when there is too much testosterone around trying to show off instead of actually listening to each other on stage. There are some new jam sessions/events in town orientated for girls, non-binary and pretty much all levels welcome like Higher Ground Jam, Peng Femme, Popola where the vibe is completely different and you can sense that everyone wants to share music and not compete. It is nice to see more instrumentalist girls jumping on stage and it would be very nice if we are all treated the same because at the end of the day we are musicians and gender shouldn’t matter when making music".

 

Lya Guerrero

 

A dictionary definition of feminism (e.g. Collins) is the belief and aim that women should have the same rights, power, and opportunities as men.  In a 2014 article, Amy Pearce, Associate Director of London Jazz Festival producers Serious, highlighted that it is usually women who talk about feminism and that while most people would agree that women should have equal opportunities to men, using the word ‘feminism’ seems to be a problem. Amy said "I feel a lot of men sometimes feel uncomfortable talking about gender or sexism. They think, can I talk about this, because I am a man? Hell, you can! You can play a really big part in changing how things are."

Returning to the football analogy much has changed in the way football is enjoyed by both men and women these days. The success that has been achieved in women's football has come about due to training, encouragement, and support for girls, continuing with a supportive and non-discriminatory approach as they get older and providing incentives so that the best are properly rewarded,  becoming role models for those that follow.  But perhaps the most important change has been the attitude of men.

Colectiva are one of the latest examples of how women succeed given an inspiring and mutually supportive environment in which they can thrive and become role models for others to follow.  Whether a band is all male, all female, or a mixture of the two is less important than the music they create, as Viva Msimang says "We want to empower and inspire others to collaborate and create together."

Colectiva are associated with event producers and record company Movimientos and the project Global Local. They are appearing in the Festival of Latin American Women Art on 6th May at Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Rd, London E1 6LA (click here).


Colectiva

Colectiva

 

 

 

Lens America

Cecile McLorin Salvant

 

Cecile McLorin Salvant

 

Journalist/guitarist Filipe Freitas and photographer Clara Pereira run JazzTrail in New York City. They feature album and concert coverage, press releases and press kits, album covers and biographies. They are valued contacts for Sandy Brown Jazz in the United States. You can read more about Filipe and Clara in their 'Tea Break' item with us if you click here. For Filipe's reviews of album releases click here

Clara took this picture of Cecile McLorin Salvant when she was singing at an all-star concert produced by the pianist Aaron Goldberg at the Peter Jay Sharp Theatre at Symphony Space in New York.

Cecile is featured on a new album by pianist Brad Mehldau, Jacob's Ladder, released in March (see Recent Releases). The album features 'new music that reflects on scripture and the search for God through music inspired by the prog rock Mehldau loved as a young adolescent, which was his gateway to the fusion that eventually led to his discovery of jazz.'

Cecile McLorin Salvant was born in Miami, Florida. She studied classical piano from the age of five, began singing in the Miami Choral Society when she was eight, and went on to develop an interest in classical voice. In 2015 she said: "I was lucky enough to grow up in a house where we listened to all kinds of music. We listened to Haitian, hip hop, soul, classical jazz, gospel and Cuban music, to name a few. When you have access to that as a child, it just opens up your world." Cecile was the winner of the first prize in the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition in 2010, and released her first album, Cécile, shortly afterwards. Her third album, For One to Love, was released on September 5, 2015, to critical acclaim from The New York Times, The Guardian, and Los Angeles Times. It won her the Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album in 2016. In 2017, Wynton Marsalis said: "You get a singer like this once in a generation or two."

Click here for a video of Cecile singing Ghost Song, the title track of her new album released in March (featured last month - click here for details).

 

Cecile McLorin Salvant

 

 

 

 

Forum

 

Teign Jazz & Blues Club, Teignmouth, Devon

Ian Roberts writes: 'Teign Jazz and Blues is enjoying a renaissance in live music as the pandemic gradually lessens. Covid hit TJB hard and saw a disastrous loss of its long-standing venue at the Bronx Bar, while funds for the charity plummeted. With a new team the Charity is enjoying a revival and has been staging gigs since last summer many of which have been selling out weeks before the event. In just a year the Charity has developed sufficient strength to be able to resurrect the annual Jazz and Blues Festival next year. The Club has also gone into partnership with a new host; Teign Corinthian Yacht Club. Its amazing club room, with a bar and light catering, hosts seated audiences in a night club style and offers panoramic sea views in what must be one of the best venues in the Southwest. Adrien Raud, the new Chair of TJB, said ‘we are so pleased to have this top-class venue and it is a credit to the Yacht Club that they have been so generous in helping revive the music scene in the town by hosting our monthly club nights’. With greater diversity between jazz, blues and even some world music the bands have, until recently, been largely from the region. Now with the industry getting back on its feet and tours starting to happen again the club is booking bands from further afield  including international performers. A full list can be seen on the website here.'

 

 

Sounds From Down Under

Of course, if you are reading this in Australia or New Zealand (I know there are some of you who do), this won't be news to you, but John Westwood says: 'I've just recovered from 3 weeks of Covid, and didn't enjoy it!. Anyway, while locked up in my room here, I had plenty of time to enjoy a lot of the old stuff, as well as "What's New" - for which many thanks. Along the way, found https://jazzday.com/ which doesn't seem to be getting much exposure here, unlike in Oz where they're making a real effort to support our music. In particular, this week's https://www.3cr.org.au/jazz contains some gems - including a Sandy Brown recording I'd not heard before.  It should be up for a few weeks on their AoD shortly; always a good 90 minutes!'

 

 

 

The Dancing Slipper

Bass player Alan Smith adds to our page looking back at memories of the Dancing Slipper in Nottingham (click here): 'I have many memories of the Dancing Slipper in West Bridgford, Nottingham. It is where I first met my wife, Joyce, in 1963 while I was bass player for the Johnny Johnstone All-Stars (I had replaced his original bassist Ernie Greenwood, in 1962). We were married in 1964 and we went to the Dancing Slipper every Saturday, which was then the headquarters of Bill Kinnell’s famous Nottingham Jazz Club. There Joyce and I saw many great American jazz musicians, usually guests of the Alex Welsh Band. These included Earl Hines, Henry “Red” Allen, Rex Stewart, Dicky Wells, Wild Bill Davison, Bud Freeman, Long John Baldry, Ruby Braff, Pee Wee Russell and the fateful evening when Ben Webster - playing with the Bruce Turner Band - became too drunk to continue playing. 

On the night Earl Hines guested with the Welsh Band at the Slipper, Joyce and I were invited to the hotel on Gregory Boulevard where the band and Earl Hines were staying and he got on a piano there for another impromptu session. I later played in the Arthur Coyne Jazz Band at the Bell Inn, Saddlergate, Derby, alongside former Sandy Brown pianist Ralph Laing, who had moved from Edinburgh to work for Rolls-Royce. More great musicians guested with the Coyne Band and my playing days alongside Ralph and his arranging and piano skills were very rewarding. Played at the Milton’s Head, Nottingham, with the Johnstone All-Stars. Guest musicians were featured such as Danny Moss, Al Gay and George Chisholm. I went on to play with the Richard Hallam Trio and the Newark Jazz Band. 

Later I became jazz correspondent for the Nottingham Evening Post, writing under the name of Alan Joyce. I wrote a weekly column for 35 years together with regular reviews for the paper. This enabled us to meet and interview such musicians and bands as the MJQ, Ray Brown, Kenny Burrell, Harry Edison, Errol Garner, Buddy Rich, Duke Ellington and Chick Corea, to name but a few.

Finally, Joyce was the only person who I had ever met who has actually seen Charlie Parker . . . at a 1957 JATP concert in the Massey Hall in Toronto, Canada, where she also saw Count Basie, Duke Ellington and Oscar Peterson. Sadly, Joyce died in October last year. She was listening to her favourite pianist, Oscar Peterson, just before she passed away.'

 

Clarinet Jamboree

David Lepper writes: In a charity shop todayy I bought a 1960 Music For Pleasure LP "Clarinet Jamboree", A Denis Preston recording with tracks by Sandy, Archie Semple, Terry Lightfoot and Acker Bilk solo and in various combinations and with various backing. For instance Sandy solos on The Last Western with Phil Seamen on drums and Jack Fallon, bass. All the tracks recorded between 8th Oct and 13th Oct 1959 which suggests it might have been a specially recorded compilation. Does anyone have any info about its recording history - especially for the Sandy tracks - "Boodle-am-Shake" with Acker and Terry, "That Old Feeling " and "Louise" with Archie Semple and "Slabs Blues" with all 4 clarinetists. Thanks in anticipation.

[Contact us if you can help David. I can probably help with the Sandy tracks but not with the Archie Semple or Acker tracks - Ed]

 

 

 

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Departure Lounge

 

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

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

 

 

John Barnes

 

 

John Barnes - UK multi-instrumentalist John (Johnny) Barnes was born in Manchester and at 17 started out playing clarinet. Over time he added saxes, flute, drums and vocals to his repertoire. He played with many notable musicians and bands including the Zenith Six, Mike Daniels, Alan Elsdon, the Midnight Follies, Digby Fairweather, Lennie Hastings, Bruce Turner, Roy Williams, Humphrey Lyttelton, Alan Barnes, Martin Litton, the Great British Jazz Band, Tenor Madness - to mention but a few. In 1969 he was named as 'Rising Star' on baritone sax in Downbeat Magazine. Click here for a video of John on bari playing Tea For Two with local Lincoln musicians in 1987 at the old Constitutional Club, Silver Street, Lincoln, UK. The person posting says: 'With apologies for slightly premature fade out and amateur camera work', but what there is here shows Johnny's talent. Tribute by Alan Barnes :

 

 

 

Jessica Williams

 

 

 

Jessica Williams - American pianist born in Baltimore, Maryland. Although she studied classical music, by her early thirties she had played with Philly Joe Jones and after moving to San Franciso was playing in house bands for Eddie Harris, Dexter Gordon and Stan Getz. Click here for a video of Jessica playing Love And Hate in 2006. Obituaries: Sandy Brown Jazz : WGBO :

 

 

 

 

 

Joe Messina

 

 

 

 

Joe Messina - American guitarist born in Detroit who started out playing jazz but established a role in the Motown hits of the 1960s. Played with Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Milt Jackson and others. Click here for a video of Joe with the Funk Brothers and Reach Out I'll Be There. Obituaries: The Guardian :

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not all jazz musicians who pass through the Departure Lounge are reported in the national press, so if you know of anyone's passing that we should mention, please contact us with a few words about them, or a local obituary if one is available.

 

 

 

 

Recent Releases

A few words about recent releases / reviews:

Apart from where they are included in articles on this website, I don't have a 'Reviews' section for a number of reasons:

  • I receive so many requests to review recordings it is impossible to include them all.
  • Unlike some publications/blogs, Sandy Brown Jazz is not a funded website and it is not possible to pay reviewers.
  • Reviews tend to be personal opinions, something a reviewer likes might not suit you, or vice versa.
  • It is difficult to capture music in words, so much better to be able to listen and see whether the music interests you.

For these reasons in particular I just include a selection of recent recordings below where I share the notes issued by the musician(s) as an introduction and links to samples so you can 'taste' the music for yourselves. For those who like to read reviews, these, of course, can be checked out on other sites.

 

 

Some Recent Releases

Please Note: ^ Where we give links to albums from Bandcamp (and some other sites) and the price is shown in dollars or other currencies, this is converted to pounds sterling if you click 'Buy' so you can check the price before you purchase.

 

 

UK

The Gaz Hughes Trio - Beboperation

Brandon Allen - The Stanley Turrentine Project

Fergus McCreadie - Forest Floor

Ron Caines / Martin Archer AXIS - Port Of Saints

 

 

America

Brad Mehldau - Jacob's Ladder ^

Michael Leonhart Orchestra - The Normyn Suites ^

Survival Unit III - The Art Of Flight : For Alvin Fielder ^

Mike Holober & Balancing Act - Don't Let Go ^

 

 

Europe and Elsewhere

Júlio Resende - Fado Jazz ^

Shake Stew - Heat ^

Jon Balke / Siwan - Hafla

 

 

Re-issues

Sidney Bechet - Four Classic Albums : Third Set

Bill Evans - The Legendary Bill Evans Trio

Charles Mingus - The Lost Album From Ronnie Scott's

Frankie Newton - The Connoisseur's Frankie Newton : His 25 Finest 1937-1939

 

 

UK

 

The Gaz Hughes Trio - Beboperation
(self release) - Released: 6th May 2022

Gaz Hughes (drums); Andrezej Baranek (piano); Ed Harrison (double bass)

Gaz Hughes Trio Beboperation

 

 

'The new 2022 album for the Gaz Hughes trio featuring Andrzej Baranek (piano) and Ed Harrison (double bass). They worked together on Gaz’s “Plays Art Blakey” album and tour. The opportunity to play every night helped the three musicians to form a tight bond and it felt like a natural decision for the trio to have a creative outlet of its own. Gaz loves arranging music for ensembles and has enjoyed bringing new ideas to the Piano trio format and working collaboratively with the group. Gaz also wanted to showcase his melodic drumming concept. For years he has been delighting audiences by tuning his drums to specific pitches and quoting the heads of tunes during solos. This album is the first time he has arranged and recorded music for this concept. The album will be released on the 6th May 2022. It will initially be available digitally and a limited run of physical copies will be produced.' (album notes).

Details and Samples : Video Introduction : Video for Caravan : Listen to Send In The Clowns :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brandon Allen - The Stanley Turrentine Project
(Ubuntu Music) - Released: 4th March 2022

Brandon Allen (saxophone); Will Barry (piano); Conor Chaplin (bass) David Ingamells (drums)

Brandon Allen Stanley Turrentine OProject

 

'The Stanley Turrentine Project came about because of a deep admiration and respect for the late, great saxophonist’s musical approach and output. Brandon’s highly acclaimed Gene Ammons Project came into existence for the same reasons. Selections from Ammons’ entire catalogue were reinterpreted, seeking to capture the spirit of the music as well as exploring the stylistic changes that occurred throughout the tenor saxophonist’s 30-year career. The repertoire of The Stanley Turrentine Project is slightly more specific, drawing from Turrentine’s releases on the Blue Note and CTI labels. In addition, some of Turrentine’s renditions of rock & pop hits of the 60s and 70s have been reimagined by Brandon and the quartet. Brandon explains: “When putting this project together I deliberated over the choice of tunes for some time. Listening to as many albums as I could, discovering some gems along the way, I slowly began to pick out some selections that resonated with me and that would work well with this line-up. I then began to arrange them for the quartet.“Some of the original versions were orchestral in nature and so I tried to capture the essence of that large ensemble feeling. With the other tracks I have taken all the main elements of the song but have made some small alterations, textural changes here and there and opened up certain sections for solos.” ...... (album notes).

Details : Video for Fool On The Hill : Video for Little Green Apples :

 

 

 

 

 

Fergus McCreadie - Forest Floor
(Edition Records) - Released: 8th April 2022

Fergus McCreadie (piano); David Bowden (double bass); Stephen Henderson (drums)

Fergus McCreadie Forest Floor

 

 

'Scottish pianist Fergus McCreadie returns with a brand new studio album ‘Forest Floor’ that follows the highly acclaimed Cairn, released in January 2021. Building on the superlative reaction to Cairn, Forest Floor develops similar traits and characteristics but imbued with even greater maturity, interaction and vision. The Scottish folk influences developed in Cairn remain central and define Fergus’ and the trio’s sound.' (album notes).

Details and Samples : Listen to Forest Floor : Listen to Glade :

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ron Caines / Martin Archer AXIS - Port Of Saints
(Discus Music) - Released: 4th March 2022

Ron Caines (soprano, alto & tenor saxophones, kalimb, small percussion); Johnny Hunter (drums); Gus Garside (bass); Martin Archer (baritone & ensemble saxophones, organ, Rhodes, electronics); Hervé Perez (soundscapes, processing, electronics); Chris Sharkey (guitar & electronics); Byron Wallen (trumpet); Graham Clark (violin); Ben Higham (tuba); Corey Mwamba (vibraphone, electronics)

Axis Port Of Saints

 

' "Imagine the AACM contingent crossing paths with Keith Tippett’s Centipede, injected with a healthy dose of contemporary electronic sound design, and you’ll get some feel for the diverse breadth of Axis’s multi-dimensional constructs." - Darren Bergstein, DMG NYC. The 14 tracks are organised into 3 suites, each of which plays without break. It's recommended that you listen to the album in Suite form, but all 14 tracks are also included individually. Port Of Saints is the third collaboration between Archer and Caines - all compositions by Caines with arrangements and production by Archer. This time around the 14 pieces have been edited into three long suites, and a careful listener will hear thematic links running all the way through the album. Caines takes centre stage throughout with the other musicians arranged to provide a shifting and sometimes almost orchestral setting. Breaking with the group's tradition, whereas previous albums have featured Laura Cole's piano, this time round chordal parts from Chris Sharkey (guitar) and Corey Mwamba (vibes) are edgier and darker. Electronics have always been a feature of the group - on Port Of Saints Martin, Chris and Corey all use electronics to extend their sounds, alongside Hervé's radical post production interventions. We're delighted to welcome Byron Wallen as featured soloist on this record, and Graham Clark returns on violin for some telling interventions. Johnny Hunter underpins the group with detailed work on drums, which Gus Garside's darkly atmospheric bass provides a considered commentary. Very much not a blowing band and more an electroacoustic suite..... ' (album notes).

Details and Samples : Listen to Petite Afrique : Listen to Calypso Roto :

 

 

 

 

America

 

Brad Mehldau - Jacob's Ladder
(Nonesuch Records) - Released: 18th March 2022

Brad Mehldau (grand piano, keyboards, synth, Rhodes, mellotron, harmonium, xylophone, vocals, and more); Joel Frahm (tenor and soprano saxophone); Pedro Martins (acoustic and electric guitar, vocals); Becca Stevens (vocals); Luca van den Bossche (treble voice, vocals); Cécile McLorin Salvant (wordless vocals); Chris Thile (mandolin, vocals); Lavinia Meijer (harp); Mark Guiliana (drums); and more. 

Brad Mehldau Jacobs Ladder

 

'The album features new music that reflects on scripture and the search for God through music inspired by the prog rock Mehldau loved as a young adolescent, which was his gateway to the fusion that eventually led to his discovery of jazz. Featured musicians on the album include Mehldau’s label mates Chris Thile and Cécile McLorin Salvant, as well as Mark Guiliana, Becca Stevens, Joel Frahm, and others. Mehldau explains, “We are born close to God, and as we mature, we invariably move further and further away from Him on account of our ego. Jacob’s Ladder begins at that place closer to God with the voice of child, and then moves into the world of action. God is always there, but in our discovery and conquest, and all the joys and sorrows they bring, we may lose sight of him. He sets a ladder before us though, like in Jacob’s dream, and we climb towards him, to find reconciliation with ourselves, to stitch up all those worldly wounds and finally heal. The record ends with my vision of heaven—once again as a child, His child, in eternal grace, in ecstasy. “The musical conduit on the record is prog,” Mehldau continues. “Prog—progressive rock—was the music of my childhood, before I discovered jazz. It matched the fantasy and science fiction books I read from C.S. Lewis, Madeleine L’Engle and others at that time, aged ten through twelve. It was my gateway to the fusion of Miles Davis, Weather Report, Mahavishnu Orchestra and other groups, which in turn was the gateway to more jazz. Jazz shared with prog a broader expressive scope and larger-scale ambitions than the rock music I had known already........ (album notes).

Details and Samples ^: Listen to - maybe as his skies are wide - : Listen to Jacob's Ladder Part I - Liturgy :

 

 

 

 

Michael Leonhart Orchestra - The Normyn Suites
(Sunnyside Records) - Released: 25th March 2022

Michael Leonhart (trumpet, French horn, trombone, accordion, organ, guitar, bass, drums); Donny McCaslin, Joshua Redman (tenor sax); Michael Blake (tenor sax, flute); Chris Potter (bass clarinet); Freddie Hendrix, Tony Kadleck (trumpet); Ryan Mason (trombone); Ryan Keberle (bass trombone); Sara Schoenbeck (bassoon); Bill Frisell, Nels Cline: (guitar); Larry Goldings (organ); Elvis Costello, JSWISS (vocals ); Joe Martin (bass); Nicolas Movshon, E.J.Strickland (drums); and more.

Michael Leonhart Orchestra The Normyn Suites

 

'The Normyn Suites is both a requiem and celebration, inspired by the life and death of the bandleader’s 15-year-old dog, a female mini dachshund named Normyn. The third album by the Michael Leonhart Orchestra features a pair of suites - the first of which is an exploration of the stages of grieving, while the second is a reflection on love and loss. In keeping with the MLO’s eclectic musical palette, the album features several collaborations with Elvis Costello, with contributions by Bill Frisell, Nels Cline, and JSWISS as well as two bonus offerings with Donny McCaslin.“The Normyn Suites is an elegy; to listen is to spend time in that space of loss, reckoning, questioning, and mourning. At the same time, though, with each note, each phrase, we are propelled back into life,” reflects author Alexandra Horowitz in the stirring liner notes. The first part is titled “The Normyn Suite #1: (Soundtrack to the Five Stages of Grieving)”, and was inspired by “The Kübler-Ross Grief Cycle”, a model introduced by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross in her 1969 book On Death and Dying. “The Five Stages of Grief” is a critically acclaimed study on how humans handle loss. For this suite in five parts, Leonhart expands the MLO’s live performance palette of brass, woodwinds and strings to include choir and found percussion over gritty breakbeat drums. Leonhart shares, “I wanted “Denial” & “Anger” to have an emotional tension and raw quality, almost a whiplash effect, before the contemplative soloing of Bill Frisell over the peaceful “Catharsis”.” ........ (album notes).

Details and Samples ^: Listen to Denial : Listen to Kenny Dorham :

 

 

 

 

 

Survival Unit III - The Art Of Flight : For Alvin Fielder
(Astral Spirits Records : Instigation Records) - Released: 18th March 2022

Joe McPhee (tenor saxophone, pocket trumpet); Fred Lonberg-Holm (cello); Michael Zerang (percussion)

Survival Unit II The Art Of Flight

 

"To rush at the wind and having caught it, to soar." - Unknown. Astral Spirits and the Instigation Festival are proud to announce the first release on Instigation Records: "The Art of Flight: For Alvin Fielder" by Survival Unit III (Fred Lonberg-Holm (cello), Joe McPhee (tenor saxophone, pocket trumpet), Michael Zerang (percussion). This set finds the trio breaking new ground - Lonberg-Holm going sans electronics for the first time in Survival Unit III's storied discography - while displaying the mastery of sonic shade and deft interplay that's been their hallmark over the past sixteen plus years. Beautifully recorded at the New Orleans Jazz Museum during the 2018 Instigation Festival, the night was fittingly historic: Survival Unit III performed the middle set of a three act bill featuring Ken Vandermark's Marker (released as Roadwork 1 on Vandermark's Audiographic imprint) and the final performance of McPhee (filling in last minute for an ill Kidd Jordan) with legendary drummer and beloved AACM elder Alvin Fielder to whom this album is dedicated. That set - with James Singleton on bass to round out the trio - will be released on LP in 2023 as the third title on Instigation Records. With precious few recordings of Survival Unit III, every new release is a cause for celebration, and a perfect encapsulation of the spirit of the festival: honoring the history by crafting the future.' (album notes)

Details and Samples ^: Listen to Part IV : Listen to Part V :

 

 

 

 

 

Mike Holober & Balancing Act - Don't Let Go
(Sunnyside Records) - Released: 15th April 2022

Mike Holober (piano); Dick Oatts (alto and soprano saxophone, flute);  Jason Rigby (tenor saxophone, clarinets); Marvin Stamm (trumpet, flugelhorn); Mark Patterson (trombone); Jamile (vocals); Mike McGuirk (bass); Dennis Mackrel (drums).

Mike Holober Dont Let Go

 

'It’s an appropriate name for a Holober-led band; in many ways, Holober’s management of his many musical inspirations is a balancing act. On one hand, much of what he’s best known for is his work with larger ensembles like the WDR Big Band, the HR Big Band, and the Gotham Jazz Orchestra, whose latest work with Holober at the helm, Hiding Out, earned a 2020 GRAMMY® nomination. On the other, there’s the magnetism of even greater self-actualization, of writing for and leading a smaller group.“After focusing on big band work for so long,” Holober says, “Balancing Act exists to satisfy my needs to write for and lead a smaller group again and make a completely personal statement, where the fruits of the collective are matched with band leadership and personal artistic goals.” But the balancing isn’t just finding the sweet spot between large groups and small; it’s also about striking the balance between Holober’s classical and jazz impulses. Don’t Let Go is a 14-part song-cycle divided into two sets — one for each of the album’s two discs — recorded in October 2019 at Aaron Davis Hall on the campus of the City College of New York, where Holober has taught since 1995. The work is intended to be heard in the order presented, much like the song-cycles of classical influences like Robert Schumann, Samuel Barber, and Ralph Vaughan Williams........ Rhapsodic in nature, Don’t Let Go’s structure and presentation will appeal to listeners across the musical spectrum. At times it presents like classical-inspired jazz; at other times like jazz-inspired classical. That’s by design. Holober formed Balancing Act in 2015, with its eponymous premiere recording landing on many jazz critics’ “best of” yearly roundup lists. In 2017, Holober sought (and won) a commission from Chamber Music America’s New Jazz Works program to create Don’t Let Go because, as he puts it, he’s drawn to “contrasting elements and ideas, mixing styles, grooves, and influences from diverse jazz and classical languages.” ......... (album notes).

Details and Samples ^: Listen to Smile Slow : Listen to Touch The Sky :

 

 

 

Europe And Elsewhere

 

Júlio Resende - Fado Jazz
(ACT Music ) - Released: 25th February 2022

Júlio Resende (piano); Bruno Chaveiro (portuguese guitar); André Rosinha (double bass); Alexandre Frazão (drums)

Julio Resende Fado Jazz

 

 

'Júlio Resende is a Portuguese pianist and composer. He is a pioneer of a unique and new genre called "Fado-Jazz". His improvisation techniques are transversal to his aesthetics, and articulate different musical genres, from Jazz, Fado, Classical Music and even Electronic Music. "What Julio Resende does with Fado, reminds of what Keith Jarrett does with jazz standards." (album notes)

Details and Samples ^: Video for Vira Mais Cinco : Listen to All The Things - Alfama - Are : Listen to Fado Blues(For Deolinda) :

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shake Stew - Heat
(Traumton) - Released: 25th March 2022

Lukas Kranzelbinder (double bass, electric bass, guembri, percussion); Astrid Wiesinger (alto saxophone, bass clarinet); Mario Rom (trumpet); Johannes Schleiermacher (tenor saxophone, flute); Oliver Potratz (double bass, electric bass, Fender bass VI); Niki Dolp (drums, log drums, percussion); Herbert Pirker (drums, log drums, percussion)

Shake Stew Heat

 

'Heat is the fifth album since Shake Stew's formation in 2016 and delivers probably the most diverse overall impression of their musical range to date. For the first time in the band's history, there was a personnel change in the horn section at the beginning of 2021, where the Austrian alto saxophonist Astrid Wiesinger took over the position from Clemens Salesny. The addition of Wiesinger has given the band an injection of new energy and we can hear the electricity buzzing on each track. Its genesis also reflects a decisive characteristic that has accompanied the band from the beginning: since the first note played together, the septet's music has been forging its way, unceasingly bringing forth new facets - no matter how adverse the circumstances. As Heat's seven compositions took on more and more concrete form towards the end of 2020, it quickly became clear that this music had to be recorded as soon as possible and sent out into the world. At the same time society was moving from one lockdown to the next and rehearsals between the partly Austrian and partly German musicians* could only be realised under difficult conditions. Therefore, the decision was made that a large-scale project was needed to get the band out of the daily routine of the pandemic and into an environment where they could fully ignite the fire that had arisen in the new line-up and capture it on record..........' (album notes)

Details and Samples ^: Listen to I Am The Bad Wolf : Listen to Heat :

 

 

 

 

 

Jon Balke / Siwan - Hafla
(ECM Records) - Released: 22nd April 2022

Jon Balke (keyboards, electronics, tombak); Mona Boutchebak (vocals, quitra); Derya Turkan (kemençe); Bjarte Eike (baroque violin); Helge Norbakken  (percussion); Pedram Khavar Zamini (tombak); Per Buhre (vocals, viola)

Jon Balke Siwan Hafla

 

 

'Siwan, the transcultural, trans-idiomatic musical collective led by Norwegian keyboardist/composer Jon Balke, continues along its special path, with new music inspired by the creative spirit of Al-Andalus. The ensemble weaves lines of communication between musicians from multiple traditions and locations. Among the texts set by Balke on Siwan’s third album  and persuasively sung by Algerian vocalist Mona Boutchebak are verses by Ummayad princess Wallada bint al-Mustakfi (1010-1091) and contemporaries including Ibn Zaydun (1003-1071)  and Ibn Sara As-Santarini (1043-1123). Hafla was recorded in May and June 2021 at Village Recording Studios, in Copenhagen...... (album notes).

Details and Samples :   Purchase details :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Re-issues

 

Sidney Bechet - Four Classic Albums : Third Set
(Avid Jazz) - Released: 2022

Sidney Bechet Four Classic Albums Third Set

 

'AVID Jazz continues with its Four Classic Jazz Album series with a re-mastered 2CD Third release set from Sidney Bechet, complete with original artwork, liner notes and personnel details. "Que Faites-Vous Samedi Soir?"; "Sidney Bechet With Sammy Price's Bluesicians"; "Sidney Bechet With Andre Reweliotty & His Orchestra" and "Bravo! Sidney Bechet & Teddy Buckner". As jazz legends go, they don't come much bigger than the master clarinettist and soprano saxophonist, Sidney Bechet. Bechet's story is, of course, well known to all jazz fans, born in New Orleans, recording with Clarence Williams in 1923, even before the great Louis Armstrong, playing with all the greats of the 1930s and 40s including Freddie Keppard, Bunk Johnson and King Oliver. Arrested in the UK for assault, returned to the States, left again for a world tour which included Russia before settling in France (where he also served 11 months for assault). And all the while making outstanding music and largely on his own, often very forceful terms. With this THIRD and final 2CD Set from AVID we wrap up our tribute to the legendary Sidney Bechet and his remarkable performances whilst he was living in Paris. Our four albums feature Bechet performing in France in the 1940s and early 1950s for the French record label Vogue. Two albums on this set feature visiting American musicians keen to play with the great man. Pianist Sammy Price had played with Bechet before but this was the first time legendary trumpeter Teddy Buckner had got together with Bechet. The results speak for themselves. Bechet remained in France, where he had become a huge star, for the rest of his life and died there in 1959.' (album notes).

Details :

 

 

 

 

Bill Evans - The Legendary Bill Evans Trio
(Cherry Red Records) - Released: 6th May 2022 [3 CDs]

Bill Evans (piano); Scott LaFaro (bass); Paul Motian (drums); Tony Scott (clarinet on 2 tracks)

The Legendary Bill Evans Trio'Five albums in a three-disc Box Set featuring the legendary Bill Evans. “Bill had this quiet fire that I loved on piano. The way he approached it, the sound he got was like crystal notes or sparkling water cascading down from some clear waterfall.” Miles Davis. Bill Evans co-wrote ‘Kind Of Blue’ with Miles Davis and is regarded by many as the most influential jazz pianist of his generation. The trio he formed in 1959 with the brilliant, ill-fated young bassist Scott LaFaro and drummer Paul Motion is surely as fine as any in jazz history. This three-disc box set edition comprises almost everything this Evans trio recorded; The two miraculous studio albums, ‘Portrait In Jazz’ and ‘Explorations’; the intimate live sets recorded in New York in the summer of 1961, ‘Sunday Night At The Village Vanguard’ and ‘Waltz For Debby’. These masterpieces are complimented by the Birdland sessions – an earlier musical document of the trio in an authentic club setting – with disc three completed by the their first recordings together, with the jazz clarinettist Tony Scott; for the album ‘Sung Heroes’, his homages to Billie Holiday and the trumpeter “Hot Lips” Page. The Canadian journalist Gene Lees was a close friend of Evans: “Bill wanted it to be a three- way colloquy, rather than pianist-accompanied-by-rhythm-section. And it was. LaFaro, still in his early twenties, had developed bass playing to a new level of facility. He had a gorgeous tone and unflagging melodicism. Motian, Armenian by background, had since childhood been steeped in a music of complex time figures and was able to feed his companions patterns of polyrhythm that delighted them both. “Pianists waited for their albums to come out almost the way people gather at street-corners in New York on Saturday night to get the Sunday Times: ‘Portrait In Jazz’, ‘Explorations’, and then, ‘Waltz For Debby’ and ‘Sunday At The Village Vanguard’, derived from afternoon and evening sessions recorded live on June 25, 1961. These albums alone, if Bill had never recorded anything else, would have secured his position in jazz.” Evans’ biographer, Peter Pettinger, on the Village Vanguard site: “The fruits of the group’s imagination that day continue to reward repeated hearings and to renew the listener’s mental and emotional stamina. Each piece occupies its own crystalline world of magic. This legacy has been called Bill Evans’s finest hour, and few would disagree For depth of feeling, in-group affinity, and beauty of conception with a pliant touch, these records will be forever peerless.” (album notes).

Details :

 

 

 

 

Charles Mingus - The Lost Album From Ronnie Scott's
(Resonance Records) - Released : 29th April 2022

Charles Mingus (bass); Jon Faddis (trumpet); Charles McPherson (alto saxophone); Bobby Jones (tenor saxophone, clarinet); John Foster (piano, vocals); Roy Brooks (drums, musical saw)

Charles Mingus The Lost Album From Ronnie Scotts

 

 

'The Lost Album from Ronnie Scott's is a never-before-released live recording of jazz icon Charles Mingus from Ronnie Scott's jazz club in London captured in August of 1972. Features a stellar band with alto saxophonist Charles McPherson, tenor saxophonist Bobby Jones, trumpeter Jon Faddis, pianist John Foster and drummer Roy Brooks. The deluxe 2 CD set Includes an extensive insert with rare photos from Jan Persson, Christian Rose, Jean-Pierre Leloir, Hans Harzheim and others; essay by British jazz author Brian Priestley, who saw the band during this run and conducted an interview with Mingus and McPherson at the time; new interviews with Charles McPherson, Mingus' friend and author Fran Lebowitz, plus bass icons Eddie Gomez and Christian McBride.' (album notes)

Details and Sample : Listen to The Man Who Never Sleeps :


 

 

 

 

 

Frankie Newton - The Connoisseur's Frankie Newton : His 25 Finest 1937 - 1939
(Retrospecitive) - Released: 2022

Frankie Newton (trumpet) with various personnel including JC Higinbotham (trombone); Edmond Hall, Mezz Mezzrow (clarinet); Russell Procope, Sonny Payne (alto sax); Sidney Bechet (clarinet, soprano sax); James P Johnson, Albert Ammons (piano); John Kirby (bass); Big Sid Catlett (drums) and many others.

Frankie Newton The Connoisseurs Frankie Newton

 

 

'Here is a magnificent addition to the invaluable, Digby Fairweather-inspired series of great jazz trumpeters on Retrospective, which now stretches to no fewer than 21 releases! Virginian Frankie Newton (1906-1954) stands tall in this distinguished company, yet his artistry has tended to remain one of jazz’s better-kept secrets. The Connoisseur’s Frankie Newton focuses exclusively on the remarkable sessions under Newton’s leadership from 1937 to 1939, assembling virtually all of his finest recordings, and providing a comprehensive portrait of his prodigious artistic gifts. This is classic late-30s small group jazz at its very best with eight tracks from the Uptown Serenaders (You Showed Me The Way), six from his 1939 seven-piece orchestra (Rosetta), five from his Café Society Orchestra (Tab’s Blues) and finally six of the superlative blues performances recorded for Blue Note in 1939 (Blues For Tommy Ladnier). Generously showcased too are the other superb musicians around him, notably alto sax player Pete Brown, clarinettist Edmond Hall, Sidney Bechet, James P. Johnson and so many more. A jazz connoisseur’s delight!' (album notes)

Details :

 

 

 

 

Some Other Pages on this Website:

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

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

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

 

 

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