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The National Youth Jazz Orchestra will be holding auditions in January for young musicians under the age of 25. Musicians with experience of playing in big bands can apply, and the auditions will be held in Manchester and London.
The closing date for applications is 5.30 pm on 6th December. Click here for the application form which can be returned by email.
Other young musicians who are interested in becoming involved in a big band can contact their local music hub or youth jazz orchestra who are usually happy to welcome new members.
NYJO has also received an award of £40,000 from the Garfield Weston Foundation to assist them in their work with music hubs around the country.
Work Experience at Jazzwise Magazine
Jazzwise magazine is looking for work experience interns at its offices in St Jude's Church, Herne Hill, South London. The magazine is offering a series of monthly intern placements from January 2014 to January 2015. Interns will participate in all aspects of the magazine's preparation and production cycle and this opportunity will be of particular interest to people who want to pursue a career in journalism and jazz, have a keen interest and knowledge of the music and are currently studying or have completed a degree or educational course. Previous interns have gone on to work for music magazines, record companies, press agencies and radio production companies.
If you are interested, write to The Editor, Jazzwise, St Jude's Church, Dulwich Road, London, SE24 0PB enclosing a CV and covering letter, or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jazz Services Touring Scheme 2014
The jazz support organisation, Jazz Services, has announced the bands it will be sponsoring for tours during 2014. They are:
Keith Crombie Documentary
Keith Crombie, who passed away in 2012, ran the Jazz Café in Pink Lane, Newcastle. He was a 'character' and a film is being made about him by Abi Lewis who has known Keith since she was born. Abi has worked in the TV and film industry for 10 years and this project, entitled The Jazz Man, is her debut as producer/director. She says: 'It was so much more than a Jazz Café, it was Keith’s business and his home, being allowed into the building was like being invited into Keith’s living room, a place that just happened to have live jazz playing three nights a week. As I started to film with Keith I found out about his colourful past; stories which stem back to the late 50’s early 60’s. Originally a ten minute short, it quickly escalated into the feature length documentary it has now become. Characters like Keith’s are an anomaly, an endangered species and need to be remembered and documented'.
The film is due to be ready in 2014. Most of the filming has been completed on a shoe string budget and interviews with a wide range of people who knew Keith are 'in the can'. Abi is now asking for help with post-production costs. She says: 'Up to now the majority has been self funded and helped by a team providing their expertise and equipment for free. We are now in post-production which is expensive - I have been lucky enough to get industry discount for the post production - edit, sound and colour grade to broadcast standard. The money raised will pay for this'.
To find out more about the project and to see a trailer for the film click here.
Tom Green Septet Tour
The acclaimed young trombonist Tom Green has his Septet on tour this month. A graduate from the Royal Academy of Music and recommended as 'someone to look out for' in 2014 by Jazzwise magazine, he will be playing at:
Sunday, 1st December - St Lawrence Chapel, Ashburton, Devon - 8.30 pm
Tony Milliner - My Favourite Things
Mose Allison – If You’re Going To The City
Trombone player and bandleader Tony Milliner shares with us another of his favourite tracks.
Tony says: ‘Mose Allison is really underrated. Not just as a singer, but for his piano playing. This track has the great Jimmy Knepper on trombone. The others here are Jimmy Reider on sax, Addison Farmer on bass, and Frankie Dunlop on drums.’
Tony is not alone in liking this track. Other commentators say: ‘Mr. Mose Allison could sing the phone book and I'd be fine with it :-) He has been a huge part of the musical score of my life...This tune really knocks me out!!!!’ and ‘If I had to spend the rest of my life on a desert island all by myself with only three records to keep me company THIS would be one of them!’
Click here for If You’re Going To The City
Mose Allison was born in Mississippi. He launched his jazz career performing with people like Stan Getz, Gerry Mulligan, Al Cohn and Zoot Sims and his debut album, Back Country Suite, was issued in 1957. He formed his own trio in 1958. He has been an influence on many singers including J.J. Cale, The Rolling Stones, John Mayall and The Who.
After a break of twelve years in recording, his album The Way Of The World was released in 2010. Click here to sample it.
A Deferred Dream or A Dream Come True?
British Black Music’s recent Harrow African History Season included an interesting session contrasting what happened in the United States with what took place in Britain in the quest for civil rights.
The event looked at the periods ‘From Martin Luther King To Paul Stephenson in 1963. From Race Riots In Chicago To Cardiff in 1919’. The presentation, introduced by Ernest Dawkins, leader of Chicago’s Live The Spirit Big Band, took as a theme the historical background to the band’s jazz compositions, A Deferred Dream Or A Dream Come True? which is inspired by Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have A Dream’ speech, and 1919, inspired by the 1919 Chicago race riots.
Dawkins and rapper Kahari B also spoke about Emmett Till, the 14 year old Chicago boy killed in a racist attack in Mississippi in 1955, and the role his mother, Mamie Till, played in bringing her son’s death to national prominence, and which furthered the cause for African American civil rights. The musicians talked about the influence of the March On Washington For Jobs And Freedom, Martin Luther King’s famous speech, and the results of the early 1960s activism, which led to the enactment of the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1968, and the Voters Rights of 1965, which re-affirmed rights given through various amendments of the American Constitution nearly a century before.
Click here for an interesting, 20 minute 1996 audio documentary about Racism in Jazz.
History consultant Kwaku provided a parallel history of the period. He highlighted the racism and riots in Nottingham and Notting Hill in 1958, which along with the racist murder of Kelso Cochrane in 1959, led publisher and political activist Claudia Jones to organise the first Carnival in London. Kwaku also highlighted the Paul Stephenson-led Bristol Bus Boycott, a campaign against racist employment policy, which ended on the very day Martin Luther King gave his famous speech: August 28 1963, and the racist murder of teenager Stephen Lawrence in south London in 1993.
The Bristol Bus Boycott took place in April 1963, when the Bristol Omnibus Company, the main service provider in Bristol and the surrounding area refused to employ Black or Asian bus crews. Youth worker Paul Stephenson and the West Indian Development Council, led a boycott of the company's buses by thousands of Bristolians. The boycott lasted for four months until the company reviewed its policy. The event became of national interest and contributed to the passing on the 1965 Race Relations Act.
Click here for an historic 5 minute documentary about the Bristol Bus Boycott.
“We are grateful that we had the band come to Harrow to enhance our Season’s offering by talking about the history which influenced their latest compositions. However, as we tend to know more about the American experience, it was important that I contrasted it with histories from Britain, which though not on the same scale are nevertheless quite similar,” said Kwaku.
L-R Clive Powell (JazzAlive promoter), Ernest Dawkins (Live The Spirit Big Band), Harrow Mayor Cllr Nana Asante, Kwaku, Harrow Mayoress Awula Serwah, Kahari B (Live The Spirit Big Band)
Click here for a full report on a performance by Live The Spirit of A Deferred Dream Or A Dream Come True? and 1919.
Music Industry Knowledge-Boosting Workshops
BBM enters the New Year with two January workshops. Making Sense of Music Licensing led by Ivan Chandler, a music publisher and copyright consultant, takes place on Wednesday, January 15th from 1.00 to 4.30 pm. Making Sense Of How The Music Industry Works & Preparing A Music Business Plan Workshop takes place on Wednesday January 22, from1.00 to 4.30pm. BBM/BMC events are not exclusively for Africans - they are open to all interested in black music and/or music industry issues. The workshops take place in Westminster, London and you save on the cost if you book in December. Click here for more details.
Theo Jackson and Nathaniel Facey - Duologue
Pianist / vocalist Theo Jackson has been developing a duo project with saxophonist Nathaniel Facey. Theo says: 'The project, which has recently been renamed 'Duologue' allows us to improvise quite freely and reinterpret tunes spontaneously. We have had some lovely feedback at our concerts and now I think it is time to give the project more attention. We started by making a new set of recordings. They're hardly the finished article - in fact they were all recorded in the space of two hours at the 606 Club whilst the staff were working (you can actually hear people washing up at some points) - but I feel quite proud of them nonetheless.'
Both musicians contribute original tunes and ideas and rely on each other to improvise and spontaneously arrange tunes on stage. The skeleton structure of the songs can move and occasionally completely disappears.
Theo and Nathaniel are offering a free track download from the new recordings. All you need to do is to click here and then download Little Do You Know. You can also listen to two other numbers on the page. I think this is really enjoyable music and well worth hearing.
Theo and Nathaneil's next show as 'Duologue' is at the Bonington Theatre in Nottingham on the 5th December.
Darn That Dream
Darn that dream
William Shakespeare, the man my English teacher called 'Bill Wagglejavelin', had some good stories. All human life was there, Love, War, Comedy, Tragedy, Politics, Jealousy, Discrimination. It is hardly surprising that his stories have been hijacked over the years by The Arts, and music is no exception. Duke Ellington composed the jazz suite Such Sweet Thunder in 1957. Cleo Laine and John Dankworth recorded the classic Shakespeare And All That Jazz in 1964, singer Verona Chard released her album Fever - In Love With Shakespeare in 2012 ... and so on. West Side Story’s take on Romeo and Juliet has been a timeless success, but Jimmy Van Heusen and Eddie De Lange’s Swingin’ The Dream, based on A Midsummer Night’s Dream, was a different story.
The show opened on Broadway on November 29th, 1939 and it had every ingredient for a hit. The cast included Louis Armstrong playing Bottom, Maxine Sullivan as Titania, Bill Bailey, and Dorothy Dandridge, Vivian Dandridge and Etta Jones (the ‘Dandridge Sisters’) as three pixies. The Benny Goodman Sextet was in the show, as was Bud Freeman and his Summa Cum Laude Orchestra, and there was also a full orchestra conducted by Don Voorhees. Agnes DeMille choreographed the dance numbers and Walt Disney did the artwork for the sets. The book was by Gilbert Seldes and Erik Charell, music by Jimmy Van Heusen and lyrics from Eddie De Lange – how could it fail?
But it did fail. It closed after thirteen performance on December 9th. The show’s investors lost nearly $100,000, one of the costliest failures of the time. Although the show featured a range of standards – Ain’t Misbehavin, Jumpin At the Woodside - nearly all the new songs in the show have faded into obscurity - Swingin’ a Dream, Moonland, Peace, Brother, There’s Gotta Be a Weddin’, Spring Song – all except Darn That Dream.
Darn That Dream survived. Benny Goodman recorded the number with vocalist Mildred Bailey and the song became the first of his 1940 Top Ten pop chart hits. Tommy Dorsey quickly followed with a recording that featured singer Anita Boyer. Click here to listen to the Benny Goodman recording
Darn your lips and darn your eyes
It is a comedy of love and confusion. Theseus, the Duke of Athens is due to marry Hippolyta, queen of the Amazons. The gorgeous Hermia loves the handsome Lysander, but her dad Egeus wants her to marry another chap, Demetrius. Hermia refuses, so her father invokes an ancient Athenian law which says she must marry who her father chooses - or else face death. Duke Theseus tells her that there is another alternative – lifelong chastity and becoming a nun. Rock and a hard place. Hermia takes a third option and makes off to the forest with Lysander.
Click on the picture to hear guitarist Steve Hackett (ex-Genesis)'s beautiful version of Titania
In the forest live the fairies. Oberon, king of the fairies has fallen out with Titania, the fairy queen, because she won’t let him have her servant to be his knight. Oberon is not happy, so in retaliation, he gets his court jester, Puck, to put a magic potion on Titania’s eyelids so that when she wakes up, she falls in love with the first forest creature she sees.
As Helena and Demetrius come to the forest looking for the others, Oberon notices that Demetrius doesn’t respond to Helena’s love, so he asks Puck to put some of the potion on Demetrius’s eyes too. Puck mistakes Lysander for Demetrius, Lysander falls in love with Helena. Oberon is cross, Puck puts the potion on Demetrius’s eyes, and Demetrius falls in love with Helena too. Did I mention that this is a tale of confusion? Hermia is now upset because both of the boys love Helena and Demetrius no longer fancies her. Whoops! says Oberon, and he removes the potion from Lysander and the four are now in love with the right people again.
Meanwhile, a group of actors, including one with the unfortunate name of Nick Bottom (Louis Armstrong) are rehearsing nearby. Naughty jester Puck does magic and changes Bottom’s head to a donkey’s. Now Titania (Maxine Sullivan) wakes up and falls in love with the first animal’s face she sees – Bottom’s! (This is the point, dear reader, where if you wish, you can conjure up other appropriate witty expressions such as Bummer! Silly Ass! Tittifalarious! etc.).
Landseer - Titania and Bottom
While Titiana is canoodling with Bottom and you are thinking up silly words, Oberon makes off with Titiana’s servant. Having got his way, Oberon relents and changes Bottom back to a man again. Theseus, Hippolyta, Hermia, Lysander, Helena and Demetrius all end up with a group wedding and the fairies convince them that everything that has happened has been A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Darn that one track mind of mine
As time has gone on, Darn That Dream
The website of the cartoonist’s Al Hirschfeld Foundation says of the show:
'Why did it fail? Reviews at the time say it had too much Shakespeare and not enough jitterbug. Others say it was the wrong venue for a show that needed the audience closer to the action in order for the music to have the full effect. We can't tell if the critics are right because no complete script has ever been found, and this was the last true Broadway production in the theater.'
Drumming Up Business On Broadway (Al Hirschfeld)
' ….And how does Al Hirschfeld figure into all of this? He created the artwork for the prints ads and program cover, and he subsequently drew a wild drawing for the New York Times. Alas he was not paid for the former (although we are quite sure he was renumerated for the latter, as he continued to work for the publication for another sixty-three years). A lawyer friend suggested Hirschfeld sue the producers Erik Charell and Jean Rodney, and indeed the lawyer got an injunction against the production, which resulted in an impounding of all the musicians' instruments from kettle drums on down, including Armstrong's trumpet … All of which were hauled to Hirschfeld's studio, then located atop the Osborne apartment building on 57th Street. Hirschfeld was paid, the instruments returned, and the drawings filed away in the Hirschfeld studio for more than half a century …' (Click here for the full story).
Oh, darn that dream
The first version of Darn That Dream that we would like to share with you is a video by Ahmad Jamal. It comes from 1959 and features Ahmad Jamal (piano), Israel Crosby (bass) and Vernell Fournier (drums) – click here.
The video picture is of its time but the sound has been restored. Some of the comments on the YouTube page need to be ignored, but one writer says: ‘This was slightly before Ahmad would develop his extremely spare and laconic style, first evident in 'Poinciana'. Seeing him in person can be an out-of-body experience, especially when he sits silently meditating while the rhythm section stays in the same infectious groove. He's a master of using silence (which is a sound) and knowing when less is more. And his touch and voicings are ultra hip’.
The second rendering is this wonderful 1958 recording by Sarah Vaughan with the Count Basie Orchestra - click here. This is essentially Sarah Vaughan's recording. The Basie Orchestra at the time had an illustrious personnel - Thad Jones, Snooky Young, Marshall Royal, Frank Wess, Sonny Payne, Freddie Green ... This was the year Sarah Vaughan filed for divorce from George Treadwell, the trumpet player she met in 1946 whilst performing at Café Society and who became her manager. He had served her well, negotiating many favourable contracts that established her stardom. She had passed her financial matters to him, but at the settlement he said that only $16,000 was left. The couple divided the money and ended their business relationship too.
The third version, and perhaps my favourite of the three by a small margin, is by the Sonny Rollins Trio recorded in Copenhagen in 1965 with Sonny Rollins (tenor sax), Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen (bass) and Alan Dawson (drums) – click here.
I can close my eyes and know immediately that this is Sonny Rollins. Rollins visited Denmark many times. In 2011 he was interviewed during the Jazz Festival in Copenhagen - it is a short interview, and you can see it by clicking here.
All men dream, but not equally.
T. E. Lawrence
Image of the Month
Peter Ind by Brian O'Connor
© Brian O'Connor
Our thanks to photographer Brian O'Connor for letting us share this picture of Peter Ind (click here for our profile of Brian O'Connor).
Double bassist Peter Ind has been playing professionally since the late 1940s. After being part of the Queen Mary’s house band for two years, he moved to New York where he played with Lennie Tristano, Lee Konitz, Buddy Rich, Booker Irvin, Slim Gaillard and others. During the 1950s in America, Peter pioneered stereo recording and overdubbing and produced sessions for Zoot Sims, Gerry Mulligan and other musicians. He worked as a sound engineer for various labels including Atlantic, Verve and Bethlehem and set up his own label and company, Wave, in 1961.
From 1963 to 1966, Peter lived in California, playing and recording until 1967 when he returned to England. In 1984, Peter opened the Bass Clef nightclub in London, now sadly closed. He is the author of Jazz Visions - The Legacy of Lennie Tristano, a memoir of his association with Tristano and he continues to write and be a quiet, regular presence on the London jazz scene.
Click here for a video from 1977 of Peter playing Baubles, Bangles and Beads with Irish guitarist Louis Stewart on Spike Milligan’s Q7 show.
The idea behind this item is to offer a 'taste' of a musician, singer or band that you might not have come across before. This month, we taste the music of
Jazz And All That is an interesting album that brings a fusion of Eastern and Western music, and it is worth experiencing how the ensemble play jazz in this setting. Sachal Jazz performed at Kings Place in London during October, and later in the month they travelled to play with Wynton Marsalis at the Lincoln Centre. That event was filmed for a documentary about Sachal Music to be released next year.
Jazz And All That is a follow up album to Sachal Jazz which carried an interpretation of Take Five. Now the latest album is dedicated to Dave Brubeck who is quoted as saying: ‘I was once asked how I wanted to be remembered. I answered, “As someone who opened doors”. I believe that I have opened doors for future musicians of every color and ethnicity. I invite them to explore, perfect, extend and move beyond anything I have ever done. I am glad that I happened to be born in the 20th century, into an era known as The Jazz Age, and that I was privileged to play a role in its unfolding story’.
Click here for a video of Sachal Jazz playing Brubeck’s Take Five from the first album.
Sachal Studios are based in Lahore, Pakistan and were founded by Izzat Majeed and Mushtaq Soofi who ‘got together to essentially produce music they both loved and then hoped it would also be loved by others’. Jazz And All That features musicians of the Sachal Studios Orchestra with Nafees Ahmad Khan (sitar), Ballu Khan (tabla), and Rafiq Ahmed and Najaf Ali (dholaks & percussion), but it also has an input from UK musicians including Derek Watkins (trumpet/flugelhorn)), Chris Wells (percussion), Steve Lodder (piano), Philip Achile (bass/harmonica) and John Paracelli (guitar).
To me, some tracks, like Brel’s If You Go Away and REM’s Everybody Hurts, sit more in the ‘Easy Listening’ category, (click here for a video of them performing Everybody Hurts), but other tracks including Brubeck’s Blue Rondo A la Turk, Baqir Abbas’s Five Rivers and Pat Methey’s To The End Of The World are more jazz orientated in terms of style and improvisation.
The album was released in September on the Sachal Studios and Proper labels. I think it is an interesting release - see what you think. Click here to sample Jazz And All That.
Videos Of The Month
The Young Guns
Roger Trobridge suggests the first of this month's videos. The occasion is the 2013 World Harmonica Festival and Philip Achille and Mathias Heise are playing Spain in one of the Jazz Sessions at the Canape Club in Trossingen. Mathias met Philip just before they played together and as you can tell from the video, they really clicked to produce a great performance. The following day Mathias won the Jazz Chromatic competition.
We tend to forget the harmonica's contribution to jazz (click here for more information), but this video shows just how much young talent there is around.
Click here for the video.
Clark Terry and Phil Woods - Undecided
In September, both Alvin Roy and Seppo Lemponen suggested a video of Clark Terry, Milt Jackson and Ray Brown playing at Montreaux in 1977 so we featured that as our video of the month. Whilst I was looking at it, I noticed to the side of my screen this video of Clark Terry and Phil Woods playing Undecided in 1959.
Click here for the video.
The text with the video says: 'In 1959 under the leadership of Quincy Jones, a musical show was cris-crossing Europe with an all star cast. The dancers and singers were backed up by a fine team of jazz musicians. The show eventually went bankrupt but the musicians travelled for further arrangements and went through the Netherlands as well. Under the name Fancy Free they were recorded for one of the Dutch broadcasting companies. The band swings into Undecided'. You see and hear Clark Terry (trumpet and flugelhorn), Phil Woods (alto sax), Sahib Shihab (baritone sax), Quentine Jackson (trombone), Patty Bown (piano), Buddy Catlett (bass) and Joe Harris (drums).
The Earthworm (by Belle Gonzalez)
The Sandy Brown / Al Fairweather bands tended not to use vocalists, Sandy sometimes taking on the singing himself. There were, however, one or two exceptions - Neva Raphaello on an occasion in 1956, and Belle Gonzalez who can be heard on the Doctor McJazz album from 1960. Her singing of Monday on that album accompanied by Tony Milliner's trombone and then Sandy's clarinet, then followed by Al's trumpet solo, is a joy. If you have the album, look it out and play the track.
Fifty-three years on and Belle still has a piano that takes up most of her living room. You can read her story in our profile if you click here. She continues to write music and poetry, and impressively, she has just gone online to publish her own book of poetry with her own drawings - Cats And Other Friends can be downloaded from the Amazon website (click here).
Belle shares with us one of the poems from the book - The Earthworm:
The earthworm's dance
Always slow and
When it passes
Many thanks to Brent Wheeler who sent us this story on November 5th:
'Guy Fawkes night is an oddly bizarre – which is as good as any an excuse to rehearse this wonderful Art Blakey anecdote from the inevitable Bill Crow:
Art was driving to an out-of-own job and passed through a village where traffic was completely tied up because of a funeral procession. Since he couldn’t get past the cemetery until the service was over, he got out and listened to the eulogy. The minister spoke at length about the virtues of the deceased, and then asked if anyone had anything else to add. After a silence during which nobody spoke up, Art said, “If nobody has anything to say about the departed, I’d like to say a few words about jazz.”
Thank you to those people who have liked our Facebook page and who have commented on posts during our first month of using it. I hope that you have found the items posted there of interest. Using Facebook gives us a chance to share information that arrives between issues of What's New Magazine. If you do visit our Facebook page, please Like us and Share us with your friends. For Facebook -
Album Released: March 2013 - Label: CD Baby.Com/Indys
Lee Dunlop Boyd
The Lake Reflections
© Mike Hogh
This month's picture comes from trombonist Mike Hogh. The musicians in the picture are L-R: Ron Humphries, Eddie ? (bass), Mike Hogh, Willie Garnett, Dennis Ogden, Alan Stuart and, behind Willie Garnett, the pianist is possibly Alan West. The question is who from the Octet (presumably the drummer) is missing? The picture comes from the 1970s. Mike played with Denny through the 1960s, 70s and 80s until Denny became ill and the band was taken over by Alan Stuart. We have been able to find very little information about Denny who was clearly a presence on the UK jazz scene during those years. Can anyone tell us any more about him? Click here for our profile of Mike Hogh.
Do you have a photograph that triggers a jazz memory for you? Perhaps it would trigger memories for other people too? We'd like to hear from you and the photo doesn't need to be a work of art as long as you can make out the detail. You could either email a JPEG copy of the photo to us or if you would prefer, post it to us and we could copy it, and send the original back to you. (Click here for our contact details).
Have you checked out our page of Photographic Memories? There is now quite a collection that are well worth a look. Click here
Which jazz albums make up a collection of classics? We shall suggest two each month and gradually build up a list - in no particular order. Do you have these? Do you agree they should be included?
There are many albums available by Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli. This 2 CD set covers much of their well-known work with the Quintette of the Hot Club of France with tracks Nuages, Djangology, Rose Room and Sweet Georgia Brown (click here).
Their Quintet was one of the earliest continental jazz groups in Europe and popularised what became known as Gypsy Jazz.
Stephane’s violin and Django’s guitar were formidable together. They played together from 1934 to 1939 when they were separated during the war years but came back together for a while in 1946.
Art Tatum is acknowledged as being one of the greatest jazz pianists of all time. Almost blind from birth, and having learned to play by ear, his playing was fast, complex, imaginative and inspired.
His technique has been described as being: ‘… marked by a calm physical demeanor and efficiency. He did not indulge in theatrical physical or facial expression. The effortless gliding of his hands over difficult passages baffled most who witnessed the phenomenon. He especially astonished other pianists to whom Tatum appeared to be playing the impossible.’ To give you an idea, click here for a video of him playing Yesterdays.
There are albums of his solo performances and also with others. Click here for The Best Of Art Tatum album where you can also sample the tracks, or click here to sample Volume 1 of his Solo Masterpieces album.
Click here for the Essential Albums page.
Jon Turner at Broad Street Jazz specialist record shop in Bath, who picks ten new releases and re-issues for us each month, has a free brochure / catalogue available if you are looking for Christmas present ideas or simply want to treat yourself.
For a copy of the free catologue, just send Jon an email with your name and address. Click here: email@example.com
One From Ten
We look in a little more detail at one of this month's albums recommended below by Jon Turner at Broad Street Jazz record shop in Bath.
Picking out this album by Craig Handy, Jon Turner says: ‘This is an interesting album where the saxophonist takes a selection of numbers associated with organist Jimmy Smith and plays them in the style of New Orleans jazz. Craig Handy was a saxophonist with the Mingus Big Band'. Craig Handy was born in California in 1962. A post-bop tenor saxophonist, he has played with a long list of musicians including Art Blakey, Wynton Marsalis, Roy Haynes and Betty Carter. He played the role of Coleman Hawkins in Robert Altman's1962 film Kansas City - click here for a clip from the film featuring Joshua Redman and Craig Handy.
Information with Craig's new album Craig Handy and 2nd Line Smith says: 'The album is a New Orleans take of the music related to late organist Jimmy Smith. The album features guest appearances by Wynton Marsalis and Dee Dee Bridgewater. The 2nd Line Smith band is a true live band and very exciting to watch and hear. Despite being a sought after sideman, Craig will tour 2nd Line Smith globally. From the time he arrived in New York at age 23 in 1986, saxophonist Craig Handy was acknowledged as a musician with big, burly tenor sound, sharp wit, and above all, individuality. Craig Handy will undoubtedly fulfil many more dreams, as he strives to contribute his own perfect choruses to jazz history'.
One commentator says: 'The energy is high, the solos are lively and the whole album has an infectious, almost danceable quality to it. There is also a nice growling trumpet solo from Wynton Marsalis on "Got My Mojo" and DeeDee Bridgewater adds some nice vocals to "Sunny side of the Street". A novel and interesting project from the under-rated Craig Handy'.
Click here to sample the album.
Information has arrived about the following musicians or people connected to jazz who have passed through the 'Departure Lounge' since our last update. Click on their names to read their obituaries where we have them:
Frank Wess – American tenor sax and flute player who worked with Billy Eckstine’s Orchestra before joining Count Basie where he played alongside Frank Foster. He moved on to join Clark Terry’s Big Band and continued to play and record until a few months before he died. Click here for Frank Wess featured with the Count Basie Orchestra on Cute in 1960.
Chico Hamilton - American drummer and bandleader born in Los Angeles who initially played with Lionel Hampton, Lester Young and Duke Ellington. He enjoyed working with big bands including those of Charlie Barnet and Count Basie and evolved his style through be bop into jazz rock and fusion. He was still playing at 90.
Chico Hamilton co-founded the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music jazz programme in 1968. This video (click here) considers his work and his views on jazz.
Ronald Shannon Jackson – American drummer born in Texas who by his teens was playing jazz locally. He moved to New York and worked as a session player with Charles Mingus, Betty Carter and Jackie McLean and then went on to join Ornette Coleman’s Prime Time. He later formed his own Decoding Society band. Click here for a video of him playing with Decoding Society in Poland in 1988
Jarosław (Jarek) Śmietana – Polish guitarist, composer and teacher who led the legendary jazz group Extra Ball. He went on to lead and play with the bands Sounds, Symphonic Sound Orchestra Big Band, Polish Jazz Stars Band (with most of the top jazz musicans from Poland) and was a co-leader of the Namysłowski-Śmietana Quartet. During his musical career he has played and recorded with such great artists as Art Farmer, Freddie Hubbard, Joe Zawinul, John Abercrombie, David Gilmore and Dave Friedman. He recently toured with Nigel Kennedy. Click here for a video of Jarek and his band playing Little Wing in 2010
Alan Thomas - Dr John Latham tells us that Alan Thomas, pianist with the Sandy Brown and Cy Laurie bands has passed through the Departure Lounge. Alan had retired to Portugal which is where he died at the age of 83 on the 23rd September. Alan played with Sandy from 1954 to 1956 when Sandy and Al Fairweather had moved to London, and he played on many of the band's early classic recordings including Everybody Loves Saturday Night, Something Blues, African Queen and Blues Stampede. Those were the days when the band had John R.T. Davies on trombone and Graham Burbidge on drums. Ian Armit went on to take over the piano chair when Alan left. We have not been able to find an obituary for Alan, so please contact us if you can let us have any information about him from the time he left Sandy.
Last month we featured Dave Burman's photograph and memories of Colin Kingwell's Jazz Bandits (click here) and of Steve Lane's Southern Stompers. Alan Bond writes:
'I was looking closely at the comments with the photo of the Steve Lane band with Colin Kingwell on trombone and I have to agree with Dave Burman's comments regarding Steve's bands. They were always well-ordered and played great arrangements, mostly by Steve but some were layed down by others such as John Wurr and the late Bob Beardsworth. Steve certainly doesn't get the recognition he deserves. I think he is about 91 or 92, but sadly he is housebound and being looked after by a young relative. Another thing that Steve doesn't get credit for is the number of excellent tunes that he composed. A friend of mine, the late Brian Chadwick, was the drummer in Steve's band in the late 1980s and I last saw Colin Kingwell at a friend's funeral at Ruislip in August. Colin had put together a quartet to play at the funeral which was a humanist, secular affair and it was very well attended.'
Roger Trobridge adds:
'There is a large discography of his (Steve's) recordings. There
is not a lot on VJM Records although I have been helping to pull some of it
Colin is very active with his band with a regular night in Uxbridge as well
as other gigs'.
Earlier in the year, David Thickens contacted us asking for information about trumpeter Terry Heap. Syd Wardman kindly sent in some information and now we have been contacted by Paul Wood who writes:
'I was sitting listening to my grandmother tell me that I looked like my grandfather's brother. Her name is Joan Heap and she used to be married to Jack Heap, the trombonist. So I'm told that I look like Terry. Apparently Terry emigrated to Australia many years ago. My uncle, Stephen Heap (Terry's direct nephew) lives in New Zealand so I'll get in touch and ask him if he is is still in touch with Terry. Unfortunately Jack passed away last year.'
We have not yet heard whether Paul managed to contact Stephen - we shall let David Thickens (and you) know what transpires.
In 1955 and 1956, Brian Parker played bass with the Sandy Brown band. Brian now lives in Malaga, Spain and has contacted us to say he was playing in one of the photographs we recently featured on the site. Brian manages a jazz radio programme All That Jazz Radio which you can listen to by clicking here. We hope to feature an article about Brian in a future edition.
We have also heard that the Darktown Strutters band in West Somerset has a new website. They say:
'Two years ago a couple of us put an ad in the local paper ‘Jazzmen wanted to complete band’. Within days, half-a-dozen elderly gents, who had presumed their best jazzing days were over, got together - found that most of them knew each other from years earlier - and couldn’t wait to get blowing and strumming again. A few weeks later, in February 2011, the band held their first gig at Watchet’s Esplanade Club, playing rumbustious Dixieland jazz in the Eddie Condon/Alex Welsh style. The audience assumed we had played together for years as something just seemed to gel. Perhaps more that 500 years of musical experience had something to do with it! Having a world-class trumpet player has certainly helped. But most of all, we love playing this kind of music and hope our performances reflect the fun we have'.
The Strutters are : Geoff Nichols (trumpet), Pete Middleton (clarinet), John Bradley (banjo, guitar), Colin Frechter (keyboards), Alex Hollweg (keyboards), Tony James (bass), Tony Mann (trombone, sousaphone), Tony White (drums).
Click here for their new website and news of their gigs.
Help Me Information
with apologies to Chuck Berry (click here)
Can you help?
We regularly receive requests for information about musicians, music, etc. Responses sometimes come months after we have featured the request so we have started a separate page. Please click here to see if you can help ...
Cafe Society Swing - A True Story
Saturday 21 December and Sunday 22 December 2013, 9.30pm
The Leicester Square Theatre 6 Leicester Place, London WC2H 7BX
Starring - China Moses, Harold Sanditen, Alexander Stewart and introducing Cherise Adams-Burnett
Written by Alex Webb Directed by Simon Green (A Copasetic production)
Advance tickets £18.50; £20.50 at the door (group discounts available)
US cabaret star Harold Sanditen fronts this swinging show about the legendary New York nightclub which promoted racial equality and progressive causes. From 1938 to 1947 Cafe Society played host to some of the finest musical talent of the 20th century, including Billie Holiday, Lena Horne, Sarah Vaughan, Count Basie and many others. Performing the classic songs of the period are Paris-based China Moses (daughter of jazz giant Dee Dee Bridgewater), rising jazz star Alexander Stewart and a startling new vocal talent, Cherise Adams-Burnett.
Café Society Swing tells the story of the venue from its idealistic Left-wing beginnings in Depression-era America. It follows its thrilling musical journey through struggles and triumphs, to its eventual demise in the ‘Red scare’ hysteria of the late 1940s.
The soundtrack comes from the Cafe Society All Stars, drawn from the cream of UK jazz talent. Musical highlights include representations of performances by Billie Holiday, Big Joe Turner, Lena Horne, Sarah Vaughan, Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Lucienne Boyer. The show was commissioned by the London Jazz Festival in 2011 and ran for a sold-out week at London’s Tricycle Theatre in 2012.
The original Cafe Society was based in New York’s Greenwich Village and later opened a midtown venue. The brainchild of former shoe salesman Barney Josephson, it was the first racially desegregated club in New York City. Proud of its Left-wing leanings, Cafe Society called itself ‘The Wrong Place for the Right People’. An early headliner at the club was Billie Holiday, to whom Barney Josephson presented the classic protest song Strange Fruit – which became her signature song.
Alex Webb created the show (formerly titled 'Jazz at Cafe Society') with the help and advice of Terry Trilling-Josephson, widow of Barney Josephson (1902–1988).
Tickets can be booked online via http://leicestersquaretheatre.com/whats-on, through the booking line number 08448 733433 or in person at the venue (Box Office open from 2hrs prior to first performance).
The Times **** ‘A genuine treat’
Financial Times **** ‘Fabulous’
Evening Standard *** ‘An eight-piece band worthy of any West End stage’
Some December Gigs
London City Big Band
Sunday, 1st December - The Gunnersbury Tavern, 590 Chiswick High Road, London W4 5RP - Music starts at 12.30 (lunchtime). Admission £10 www.thegunnersbury.com
The popular saxophonist and bandleader has the following gigs booked for this month:
Sunday, 15th December - Frank Griffith as part of Jazz At The Movies - Ronnie Scott's Club, 47 Frith Street, London W1D 4HT - £15
Friday 21st and Saturday 22nd December - Frank Griffith as part of the Cafe Society Swing show with Alexander Stewart, Gwyneth Herbert, China Moses and Harold Sandite - Leicester Square Theatre, London - £18
JazzCotech Shiftless Shuffle
Duke's (Basement Club) 18-20 Houndsditch, London EC3A 7DB (for further info email firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sunday, 15th December - Perry Louis' JazzCotech jazz dance Christmas Special dance session with DJs Patrick Forge (of Dingwalls and Talkin' Loud), Shuya Okino (of Japan's Kyoto Massive), Perry Louis, Ronnie Coldsweat Stephenson and Debbie Joy. Session followed by Weak At The Knees JazzFunk and Boogiie session.
Class at 2.00 pm Extended Club Session 3.00 pm to 11.00 pm - £7
The following items appeared in the last magazine but may still be of interest to readers:
Rob Adams reports on how singer Cindy Douglas has come up with a novel way of combining two of her passions – food and jazz – and serving them up to people in rural communities:
'On a recent trip to New York, Cindy observed that citizens of the Big Apple can go out for dinner and enjoy jazz at the same time in intimate and sophisticated surroundings, whereas jazz in Scotland tends to be presented either in formal concert halls and arts centres or in pubs where the jazz becomes relegated to background music.
Following the trend in larger towns and cities for pop-up cafes and restaurants, the Netherley-based singer has devised Eat to the Beat, a jazz supper club that will pop-up initially in villages in Aberdeenshire and the Mearns. On the menu will be great food from a roster of high-class chefs and fine jazz from Cindy Douglas and her musicians in locations where jazz concerts are a rarity. The plan is to roll out the project throughout Scotland and beyond.
“I think of Ronnie Scott’s in London and The Blue Note and The Village Vanguard in New York, and these are places where food is part of the experience that makes going out more of an event,” says Cindy, whose singing style has been described as exuberant, mesmerising and versatile and whose repertoire covers jazz standards and original songs. “Village halls in Scotland may be miles away from these venues in every sense but I think we can give people in these communities an opportunity to socialise and make their night out one to remember for all the right reasons.”
For further information on the Eat to the Beat pop-up jazz supper club, please contact Cindy on 07840 884973 or by email at email@example.com. Her website is at www.cindydouglas.co.uk.
Jazzwise magazine says of Cindy: “Explores everything from bebop to swing to world music ... the song arrangements are full of captivating detail.”
Happy Birthday to Peter Maguire's website Jazz Clubs Worldwide that for the past seventeen years has logged jazz clubs across the world. Peter's site also carries a list of musicians worldwide. He says: 'I have just finished rebuilding and updating the Jazz Musicians Worldwide Index. It now includes a random display of musicians on the Home Page of Jazz Clubs Worldwide. I would appreciated if you could update your details - if you are already listed - particularly if you have not uploaded a picture and your logo - one picture for both functions is acceptable. To get the best from the Musicians Index please let me have:
1. Picture and Logo
2. Description and Meta Information (key words that describe you and what you do) -This is essential if you want your profile to be noticed by Google and other search engines.'
Click here for the Musicians Index.
Peter is also collating a list of jam sessions worldwide, so if you are running regular jam sessions and would like them to be included, please send Peter your details - click here.
The organisation Jazz Services has a number of free guides available in the Jazz Business part of their website and now Jazz Services Director, Chris Hodgkins, has written a musician's guide to funding bodies and practices which can be downloaded free.
Whilst it is primarily geared towards artists applying for the Jazz Services Recording Support Scheme, the guide contains lots of useful information and contacts for various support bodies and should prove a useful resource for anyone looking for help on where to turn for advice on funding. You can find the guide to funding page by clicking here.
We should thank Mike Durrell for bringing to our attention this series of pictures from the New York Times (click here). Based on Joe Lauro's collection of around 60 photographic colour slides, here are pictures of the Jazz Greats. An amazing collection.
The first image you will see is of Ella Fitzgerald where the text says: 'An almost startling intimacy characterized the smoky jazz clubs in places like Chicago and Cleveland around 1950. Billie Holiday relaxed on a banquette; Ella Fitzgerald sang on small stages, mere feet from the audience. “This was the way this music was supposed to be presented,” says Joe Lauro, the president of the Historic Films Archive in Greenport, N.Y. “They weren’t filling up Madison Square Garden.” Lauro acquired a trove of pictures from this time taken by photographers believed to be associated with Character Arts Studio in Cleveland that captures some of the era’s jazz greats in color, rare for the subject matter then. “It’s fascinating to see them at this particular moment,” says Loren Schoenberg, the artistic director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, of these previously unpublished pictures. “This was just before rhythm and blues and rock ’n’ roll took the spotlight away from these people.”
Take a moment to click through the images - well worth it.
Click here for the Sandy Brown Jazz Site Directory on our Home page.
The Directory includes regular features, articles, people profiles (let us know if you would like us to add a profile) and many other items including information about clarinettist Sandy Brown after whom this site is named.
© Sandy Brown Jazz 2013