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New BBC Young Jazz Award
The BBC has announced that from 2014, the BBC's Young Musician Of The Year (broadcast on BBC4 TV and BBC Radio 3) will include a competition for young jazz musicians. It will be a separate award and will be made up of two audition stages followed by a final on 8 March 2014, which will be held at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.
Jan Younghusband, Commissioning Editor Music & Events, commented: "BBC Young Musician has provided a platform for outstanding young musicians for the past 35 years. It’s become a valuable partner in the development of young talent and has helped launch the careers of some of the UK’s finest performers. This year we are delighted to introduce a new Jazz Award, further extending the reach of the competition and look forward to showcasing another group of exceptional young people when BBC Young Musician reaches its broadcast stage early next year."
Entry forms will be available from 1 August 2013 and the closing date is 18th October 2013. Click here for more information.
British Black Music Month - June 2013
BBMM offers an opportunity to celebrate domestic black music, discuss issues, better understand the music industry and copyright issues, and network. It uses a wide range of platforms, from debates, music industry courses, radio specials, live gigs, club nights, film nights, fairs, networking events, and Talking Copyright seminars.
It’s not aimed exclusively at Africans nor at just those in the music industry. BBM/BMC works with partners to deliver its programmes. Click here for more information.
My Favourite Things
Serge Chaloff – Thanks For The Memory
Trombone player and bandleader Tony Milliner shares with us another of his favourite tracks.
Tony’s choice this month is an outstanding track. Taken from the 1956 album Blue Serge, Thanks For The Memory has Serge Chaloff (baritone sax), Sonny Clarke (piano), Leroy Vinnegar (bass) and Philly Joe Jones (drums). You either have this album in your collection or will be asking yourself ‘Why not?’
Tony says: ‘This is beautiful. Just listen to the sound he gets from his baritone sax.’
Serge Chaloff was born in Boston, USA in 1923. His parents were piano teachers. Influenced by Charlie Parker, he became the first major bebop baritone sax player. He was one of the Four Brothers in Woody Herman’s Second Herd. Addicted to heroin, he managed to come off the drug only to die from cancer of the spine in 1957 at the age of just 33.
Richard Cook and Brian Morton in The Penguin Guide To Jazz wrote: ‘Chaloff's masterpiece is both vigorous and moving, not for the knowledge that he was so near his own death but for the unsentimental rigour of the playing. Thanks For The Memory is overpoweringly beautiful as Chaloff creates a series of melodic variations which match the improviser's ideal of fashioning an entirely new song. 'Stairway to the Stars' is almost as fine, and the thoughtful 'The Goof and I' and 'Susie's Blues' show that Chaloff still had plenty of ideas about what could be done with a bebopper's basic materials. This important session has retained all its power.’
Click here to listen to Serge Chaloff playing Thanks For The Memory from the album Blue Serge.
The album is also available as a double CD combined with Serge Chaloff’s Boston Blow Up. Click here to sample.
Parliamentary Jazz Awards 2013
This year's Parliamentary Jazz Awards took place at Westminster during May sponsored and supported by PPL. Nominations were made by the public via the Jazz Services website and whittled down to 3 nominations in each category by an independent panel. The final winners were chosen from this list by members of the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group (from the House of Commons and House of Lords).
Elaine Delmar receives her Special Award from
This year's award winners are:
Jazz Musician of the Year - Guy Barker
Tommy Andrews Project
Tommy Andrews is a talented jazz reeds player who graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 2010. He plays regularly with the London City Big Band and leads his own Quintet. With part funding from Jazz Services, Tommy is working to raise the rest of the money for his debut recording - the Quintet are booked to go into the studio in July. He has set up an initiative where people can sponsor the band by making donations of various sizes. Donors will receive copies of the album, photographs, launch gig tickets, credits on the album, etc. related to their sponsorship.
Tommy says: 'The money that you donate is effectively a pre-order of the album. We are not asking for any more money than you would spend by purchasing the album upon release, but to help out with the studio costs up-front. Your money will therefore go towards studio hire, studio engineer fees, musician's fees, mixing, mastering, photographer's fees and piano tuning. I hope that knowing this will allow you to feel part of the creative experience, as your help will directly influence the production of this record!'
Click here to be involved and to find out more.
The Quintet includes other young musicians who have been establishing themselves in the UK jazz scene in recent years: Rick Simpson (piano), Nick Costley-White (guitar), Dave Mannington (bass) and Dave Hamblett (drums). They are playing at Oliver's Jazz Bar, 9 Grenada Street in Greenwich at 8.30 pm on 5th June.
Click here for our Profile of Tommy Andrews.
That's Trad, Lad!
Mike Daniels and His Delta Jazz Band
Once upon a time, not so long ago and in a land not so far away, the people of the land would go into a darkened place. There, they would open a canister and take out a small scroll. The scroll was made of celluloid. They would take great care that light would not fall on the scroll, as this would destroy its remarkable properties. Gently, they would place the scroll in a camera, then close the camera tightly.
Once the scroll was safe, the people would capture images on the scroll. This they would do carefully, knowing that the scroll was only able to contain twenty-four or thirty-six images. When the scroll was full, the people would return to the darkened place, and with equal care, they would take the scroll from the camera and return it to the canister. They would then send the canister together with the scroll to great giants whose name was TrueBonusPrint and who lived in a castle far away.
The people would then wait until eventually a Queen’s messenger, the Royal Male, would arrive on his trusty steed, Raleigh, bearing their pictures from the great giants. Excitedly, the people would look at their pictures either with great joy or great disappointment, but not with despair as the giant would always include another scroll with their pictures so that they could try again.
One day, a formidable Sorcerer came to the land. ‘Behold,’ he said. ‘I bring you wondrous magic which I call the Digital Imagery. No longer will you need to wait, wondering when your pictures will come for, lo! You will be able to print them yourselves. Moreover, you can capture as many images as you wish, for no longer do we need the scrolls made of celluloid. And you will be able to print your images on mugs and placemats and all sorts of other paraphanelia. Am I not a wondersome Sorcerer?’
And the people of the land marvelled at the great magic brought by the Sorcerer.
It also came to pass that across the wide ocean in the New World lived another great magician whose name was Walter Disney. For clarity, we shall call him ‘Walt’ to avoid confusing him with Walter Raleigh who invented the bicycle for the Queen’s messengers.
Walt also captured images on celluloid, but his magic was so great, his images could move. The idea had been invented by one, Annie Mashon, who was able to draw pictures at great speed one after the other, making small changes in each one. When the images were captured on celluloid, it appeared that they were moving. In a moment of inspired genius, Walt decided to call them ‘Movies’.
Annie Mashon should not be confused with Annie Oakley, who was also very quick on the draw and who was probably partly responsible for the vigorously defended right of every American to carry a gun. There have been those who have tried to reform this practice by producing other celluloid princes who would come and right wrongs. Of particular note were Mr and Mrs Wayne who produced two children. One they called Marion, but he simply changed his name to ‘John’, adopted a funny walk and went round saying ‘The hell I will’. Then there was Bruce Wayne, but he ended up wearing tight-fitting leather and went around with a similarly clad young man called Robin. Mr and Mrs Wayne did their best.
One day, in the 1930s, Walt said to Annie, ‘Yo! Annie, how about us making a movie about Snow White and those little fellers?’ ‘Good idea, boss’, said Annie, and off she sped to start her drawings. In due course, the drawings were captured on celluloid and sent off to TrueBonusPrint. The usual procedure was for the giant to send Walt a few of the pictures in advance so he could see how things were going. This usually took several weeks and were called ‘Rushes’.
While he was waiting, Walt called to his office a couple of songwriters named Larry and Frank. Annie met them and escorted them to the comfortable waiting area outside Walt’s office. Moments later, they were amazed to see Walt emerge with a Salvation Army lady and a young man dressed in a wide-lapelled suit with a very short, wide tie. ‘Good to see you Jean, good to see you Marlon,' gushed Walt. 'Great idea – Salvation Army lady falls in love with a gambler – but will it run? You have to give me some time here. I’ll call you soon. Annie, please can you show Jean and Marlon out?’
‘Gee, thanks Mr Disney,’ mumbles the man called Marlon, ‘ .. and good luck!’
‘Luck!’ says Walt, putting his arm around Annie’s shoulders. ‘I have my lucky lady right here!’
Embarrassed, Annie turns to Marlon and says: ‘He calls me lady luck, but there is room for doubt …!’
Marlon smiles and mumbles: ‘Nicely! Nicely!’ and Annie escorts them through the door.
Seeing the songwriters waiting, Walt says: ‘Hi guys, come on in. Take a seat. Now here’s the thing – I need someone to write some good toons for a movie I’m making about Snow White and the little fellers. Now I don't want any mickey mouse songwriters, I want a good composer and a good lyrics man. Can you guys really write good toons?'
‘We sure can, Mr Walt,’ say the guys. ‘We got some great toons out right now. There’s The Folks Who Live Near A Hill, You Make Me Feel Quite Young, ‘S Pretty Good, I Get Around Quite A Bit … they are taking Tin Pan Alley by storm! Soon we are going to publish what we will call The Great American Toon Book!’
As he listened, Walt saw that the songwriters’ noses appeared to be getting longer and longer! An optical illusion, of course, but it gave him an idea for a movie he would talk to Annie about later.
Then a series of historic events took place. Larry and Frank asked Walt if he had any particular idea in mind for a song for the movie? Just as he was about to reply, there came a knock at the door, and in came Annie Mashon. ‘Have my rushes arrived, Annie?’ Walt asked excitedly. ‘No boss’, she replied. ‘They seem to be taking forever this time.’ Turning to Larry and Frank, Walt, with a great sigh, and banging the desk with his fist, said those immortal words: ‘Dammit, Surely someday my prints will come!’
Seeing how distraught Walt appeared, Larry and Frank left hurriedly, promising to let him have some toons soon. And so it came to pass that a song was born.
Before any reader decides to write in pointing out any inaccuracies in this story, I must stress that the tale is, of course, no more than the imaginings of a fallible, fragrant and fragile mind.
The real Walt Disney, did in fact, make the film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. It was the first full-length cel animated feature film and the earliest in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series. The song Someday My Prince Will Come by Larry Morey (lyrics) & Frank Churchill (music), was performed by Adriana Caselotti (who voiced Snow White in the film), and has been ranked as the 19th greatest film song of all time in the American Film Institute's list of the hundred greatest songs in movie history.
Click here for the clip from the movie where Snow White sings the song.
Some day my prince will come
Some day we'll meet again
And away to his castle we'll go
To be happy forever I know
Perhaps the best known jazz recording of the Someday My Prince Will Come is the classic version by Miles Davis with Miles Davis (trumpet), John Coltrane (tenor saxophone), Hank Mobley (tenor saxophone),
Wynton Kelly (piano),
Paul Chambers (bass) and
Jimmy Cobb (drums).
The first tenor sax solo on this track is played by Hank Mobley, the John Coltrane solo is after the piano solo (after Miles interlude) - click here.
There are two videos of pianist Bill Evans playing the number, the first from 1965 ( click here) and the second with his last regular trio - bassist Marc Johnson and drummer Joe La Barbera in 1979 - nearly a year and a half before his tragic and untimely death - (click here).
Click here for a fascinating video of Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock playing the number together in 1974. Someone writes: 'It's like watching Michelangelo and Da Vinci create a painting together. Two of the greatest to touch 88 keys'.
Some day when spring is here
We'll find our love anew
And the birds will sing
And wedding bells will ring
Some day when my dreams come true
In return for acting as a steward at the Love Supreme Jazz Festival near Brighton in July, volunteers receive a weekend pass and a secure place to camp. The Festival is looking for Car Park and Gate Stewards for the Festival which runs from 5th to 7th July.
Stewards need to be on site by 5.00 pm on the 4th July until 4.00 pm on 7th July. Training will be given and stewards will need to put in the equivalent of 2 x 8 hour shifts. The shift patterns will be confirmed on site.
Click here to apply or to find out more
Saxophonist, clarinettist, composer and arranger Frank Griffith was born in Eugene, Oregon in 1959, that year when so many things happened in jazz. Years before, his great grandfather had been a farmer in Wales, and like many others, had emigrated to farm in the New World, heading for the hills of Montana. In time, he moved to Oregon where the Griffith family established themselves, his son leaving farming to become a Psychology Professor at Reed College in Portland, Oregon in days when Psychology was a new profession. His son, Frank’s father, married an American girl who was a music major, a gifted pianist and vocalist and it was she who really brought music to the family.
Frank and his sisters inevitably learned piano. ‘I was about five when I started,’ Frank remembers, ‘but I wanted to be different to my sisters, and when I found an old clarinet at home, I started to play that. I couldn’t get much out of it at the beginning, but we had music teachers and I steadily improved. We didn’t do ‘Grades’ in America at that time, and I was mainly having tuition in classical music, but by the time I left school, a few things had happened. I had listened to jazz in my parents’ record collection, Ellington, Armstrong, and I had friends at High School who were into jazz, as well as having very good music teachers in Eugene.’
In 1980, at twenty one, Frank left home and headed for New York City and started at the Manhattan School of Music. By the time he graduated in 1984, he had been exposed to some significant experiences in jazz playing with Ron Carter, Jon Hendricks and Jack McDuff. With a BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts) to his name from City College he was asked to join The Glenn Miller Orchestra on alto sax for a nationwide tour in 1984. ‘It was an amazing experience and I met some great people,’ says Frank, ‘But a long time travelling is not so good.’
Back in New York, Frank spent the next ten years teaching on a peripatetic basis and getting his compositions and arrangements played by bands such as the Lionel Hampton Orchestra, the Jon Hendricks Explosion and the Brooklyn Philarmonic Orchestra. He played with the orchestras of Toshiko Akiyoshi, Buddy Rich, Mel Lewis and Mel Tormé. ‘One of Mel’s saxophonists, Andy Fusco, fell ill,’ Frank recalls, ‘and I received this call asking if I would dep. The thing about Mel Tormé was that he was not just a vocalist but a talented arranger and composer and a good drummer and vibes player. This made him aware of the whole thing and enabled him to sing with, be part of, the band, rather than just a singer.... that on top of his great voice.’ We did a gig at Harrow Arts Centre not long ago recalling the partnership of Mel Tormé and Marty Paich.
Mel Tormé on drums with Benny Goodman and Teddy Wilson
During the 1990s, Frank had the good fortune of working with Dick Haymes Jr and David Allyn in New York. City and New Jersey. Looking back, Frank says: ‘There was also a recording featuring a crack band of NYC stalwarts comprising John DiMartino, piano, Bill Moring, bass, Andy Watson, drums and myself, well,..three out of four aint bad. The songs included were Stella By Starlight, You Stepped out of a Dream, Young and Foolish and, of course, The More I See You. I also penned a big band arrangement of The More I See You for Dick to sing as part of the a ‘Tribute to Glenn Miller’ nationwide tour that he did in 1994 or so that also featured Paula Kelly Jr. and Beryl Davis.
‘I also had the great opportunity to arrange for and play with the legendary 1940s crooner, David Allyn.' (Click here to listen to David Allyn singing Soon with tribute photographs).
'David stayed friends with Johnny Mandel throughout the years as Johnny would come by our regular big band gigs at NYC’s Red Blazer on West 46 Street when he was in town, which was often. During the few times that I met him, Johnny was a most congenial and approachable chap especially when I would grill him with questions about arranging and composition. I once had the cheek of asking David if the band could play my arrangement of Johnny’s classic A Time For Love in the presence of the composer which he generously agreed to. Johnny came up to me afterwards and was very complimentary about the chart - a moment I will treasure forever. I strongly feel that my time with Dick Jr, David and Johnny has played a significant part in developing my confidence to flourish in the music business. Long may that triumvirate of artists thrive.’
By 1996, Frank had married an English girl and they had a son. Frank was looking for a new challenge and he and his wife thought that their son would be better growing up in England where they would also have the support of his wife’s family, so they moved to London.
It was not long before Frank began to find his place in the UK music scene. In 1997, he started lecturing at Brunel University in Uxbridge where he is now Director of Performance specialising in composition, improvisation and film music. He met up with Peter Cater whose Big Band included Frank in their recordings Playing with Fire (1997) and Upswing (2000) – ‘Peter was really helpful in getting me started here,’ says Frank, - and Frank’s jazz arrangements were being used by people like Mark Nightingale, Tony Coe, Norma Winstone and Joe Temperley.
Frank’s liaison with baritone saxophonist Joe Temperley resulted in Frank’s clarinet and string arrangements being featured on Joe’s 2001 album Easy To Remember (Hepjazz). Click here to sample.
Frank recorded his debut album The Suspect on the Hepjazz label in 1999. The album featured Tom Harrell. It was also the beginning of a longstanding relationship between Frank and retired art teacher Alastair Robertson of Hepjazz recordings. Click here to sample.
Frank first put together his Nonet in 1999. Their appearance at the Ealing Jazz Festival in 2000 was recorded and released by Hepjazz, under the predictable title The Frank Griffith Nonet ‘Live’ at Ealing Jazz Festival 2000 (click here to sample) and the band has played at the Festival every year since then.
There have been some changes in the Nonet personnel over the years, but many of the musicians remain in place: Henry Lowther, Robbie Robson (trumpet), Adrian Fry (trombone), Frank and Mick Foster (reeds), Tim Lapthorn (piano), Mark Hodgson (bass), Paul Clarvis (drums), saxophonist Bob Sydor (a veteran Brit jazzer who played with Maynard Ferguson, among others) and drummer Matt Home.
The Nonet’s Live Ealing album was followed up in 2004 by The Coventry Suite album, released this time on the 33 Records label. Click here to sample (ignore the misspelling as ‘Country Suite’ on the Amazon site).
2009 saw the Nonet playing at the Pizza Express Jazz Club in London’s Dean Street, this time featuring singer Georgia Mancio. Trudy Kerr had sung with the band, but Georgia took over the vocalist role when Trudy moved on. Click here for a video of them playing at the Pizza Express Jazz Club in London in 2009 with Georgia.
Since then, both Georgia and Tina May have sung regularly with the band, Tina being featured on Frank’s 2011 Big Band album ‘Holland Park Non-Stop’ which also featured top-flight musicians including trumpeters Steve Fishwick and Freddie Gavita, trombonist Adrian Fry, saxophonist Karen Sharp and pianist John Turville.
In July 2009, the Nonet also played at the Stables, the Dankworth’s venue in Wavendon, Buckinghamshire with John Dankworth as guest artist, and Frank the American was presented with an award by John and Cleo Laine – a BAJA – ‘British Adoptee Jazz Alumni’! ‘I was first introduced to John Dankworth by pianist Eddie Harvey who sadly died last year,’ Frank recalls. ‘I would go along to gigs by his band and we would chat and then I started to play with the band. John was a gentleman. A quiet man, focussed and controlled. His partnership with Cleo was great – he wrote many if not most of her arrangements for her. In fact, when he died he probably passed away with a manuscript in his hand. Although in the end he found difficulty playing, he was determined to go on writing.’
‘I interviewed John in 2005 about his 1960s film scores that included Saturday Night, Sunday Morning; The Servant, The Criminal and Darling. The interview was published in the Journal of British Film and Television in December 2006.’ (You can read the interview by clicking here).
Frank plays on the 2009 John Dankworth Big Band album Jazz Matters (QNote) featuring Cleo Laine, and he played with John, Cleo and the London Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican and Royal Festival Hall. ‘I was also involved in the last recording John made before he died’, says Frank. ‘The recording has never been released, and it would be good if someone could put it out.’
In 2010, Frank and pianist / composer Alex Webb co-curated a project for the London Jazz Festival, Songs Of Strayhorn, which was staged at the Queen Elizabeth Hall and featured singers Alexander Stewart and China Moses with the Nonet. This was followed in November 2012 by Alex Webb’s Jazz At Café Society which played at the Purcell Room as part of the London Jazz Festival. The show which celebrated a historic New York City jazz club featured singers China Moses, Gwyneth Herbert and Alexander Stewart and musicians including Frank, Nathaniel Facey, Sue Richardson and Gary Crosby. Frank wrote several of the arrangements including the arrangement of Where Or When featured in this video with Gwyneth Herbert singing the number (click here).
Frank remains a busy man. In addition to his commitments at Brunel University and teaching at various summer schools, he composes for the Associated Boards Jazz Works ensemble series, serves on the Music Education Panel at Jazz Services UK, fronts the Nonet and regularly plays with other bands – click here for a video of him with singer Sarah Ellen Hughes band playing Someone in September, 2012 and the Hot Waffle Big Band earlier that year playing What Is Hip?(click here).
In liaison with Alastair Robertson at Hepjazz records, Frank is working on an album that will feature singer Tina May performing some of Alastair’s favourite Standards and Frank’s arrangements. ‘The project is a pleasure,’ says Frank. ‘Alastair has these songs that he loves, songs like Why Don’t You Do Right?, but he is an enlightened man, comfortable with new ideas and open to change.’ The album should be available in October 2013.
Frank is writing music for a string quartet that will back various soloists for a project at the Pizza Express Jazz Club early in 2014, and for a saxophone quartet, that will feature music based on the themes of that famous year in jazz, 1959 – for Frank, the year he first appeared without a saxophone!
You can check out Frank’s forthcoming gigs in our listings below, or on Frank’s website (click here) where you can listen a showcase of his groups and recordings. You can listen to more of his music on his MySpace site (click here). Frank’s albums are available on the Hepjazz label (click here).
Album Released 13 May - Label Splash Point Records
Sue Richardson – Too Cool
Readers will know that we have a lot of respect for Sue Richardson and her latest album is one we know many of you will enjoy. ‘Too Cool’ is a tribute to Chet Baker and was released on May 13th, the day that Chet died in Amsterdam 25 years ago.
Sue Richardson has a warm, round, full and clear tone on trumpet and flugelhorn; her lyrical improvisation is considered and effective, and her singing here is impressive.
Of the 12 tracks on the album there are four rare titles by Chet Baker with the Italian lyrics translated by Georgia Mancio, and five original compositions by Sue Richardson that reflect the Chet Baker style. Click here to sample one of them, On A Moonbeam.
The recording is good and the variety in the track sequence well thought out. There are also fine contributions from guests Karen Sharp on baritone sax and Andy Drudy on guitar. Neal Richardson (who produced the album) is on piano, George Trebar is the bass player, and Rod Youngs is in the drum seat.
I particularly like the pairing of Sue and Karen Sharp on the tracks All Through The Night (Sue Richardson composition) and Chet Baker's Chetty's Lullaby, and Sue's interpretation of My Funny Valentine is captivating and memorable, a track that will stay on my personal playlist.
The album supports Sue Richardson’s recent UK tour also entitled Too Cool that tells Chet Baker’s story, the highs and the lows, and which includes many of his famous songs. The narrative for the show has been developed in association with actress and theatre director Sylvia Syms, and with help from James Gavin, Chet Baker’s official biographer. The show is due to travel to Europe in the autumn (we shall let you have the dates and venues when we have them). Click here for more about the show.
Writing in The Observer, Dave Gelly says: 'Sue Richardson's trumpet playing catches (Chet Baker's) combination of delicacy and strength, and her singing has something of his candid simplicity. She even writes the kind of tunes that he might have invented.'
For many years, the Bull's Head in Barnes has been a key jazz venue on the outskirts of London. LondonJazzNews reports that from 1st July, the venue will be closing for three to four months as it is taken over by a new leaseholder, Geronimo Inns, a subsidiary of Young and Co. Brewery. Dan Fleming, the present leaseholder will be retiring.
We understand that the music room will remain and that bookings for bands are being taken from November. Geronimo Inns will be holding at meeting at the Bull's Head on June 3rd at 6.30 pm to explain their plans to customers and musicians.
Album Released 21 May - Label: Nonesuch / Tzadik
Pat Metheny – Tap:
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 sample
Leo Blanco is a Venezuelan pianist who loves the music of Brazil and Cuba and who has taken up the cause of promoting South American and Cuban music. In 2006 he won a Bank of Scotland 'Herald Angel', one of the most coveted arts prizes in Scotland, for his outstanding performances during the Edinburgh Fringe. He followed this by earning five star reviews from The Scotsman and The Herald for his concert at Aberdeen Jazz Festival 2007. Now Leo is coming back for a series of dates from Somerset to Scotland including a performance at the Glasgow Jazz Festival.
Leo is a graduate of Berklee School of Music and the New England Conservatory in Boston as well as the Ars Nova institute in Caracas. He was the first Latin American to win the Boston Jazz Society Award, he has also won the Billboard Grant Award for his talent, commitment and musical achievements. His playing career includes gigs alongside Pat Metheny, Terence Blanchard, George Garzone, Bob Moses, and Dave Samuels and appearances at Newport, Monterey, Montreux, Kobe and North Sea jazz festivals. His recordings have featured saxophonists Dave Liebman, West African guitarist Lionel Loueke, and drummer Antonio Sanchez.
Click here for a video of Leo Blanco playing El Negro y El Blanco at the Kennedy Centre, Washington D.C.
In 2008 Leo was commissioned to write End of the Amazonia for the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra as part of SNJO’s celebration of South American music, complementing arrangements of Astor Piazzolla compositions. He has recently completed an arrangement of his Venezuelan Rhapsody for the Scottish horn quartet Brass Jaw.
This year's Parliamentary Jazz Award Scottish journalist Rob Adams has sent us the following piece that he wrote for The Herald newspaper:
Blanco was fourteen when he began his professional career. Some years before that, a piano had arrived in the Blanco household in the Andean city of Merida. Neither of his parents played but they listened to music all the time and decided that one of their children might take an interest. Enter Leo, who spent hour after hour experimenting with sounds and making up tunes. After a while it became clear that the boy was seriously interested, so Leo was sent to music school to study properly.
"At the same time I had a couple of friends who were really good intuitive musicians," he says. "They had no training, just played by ear, and I really enjoyed playing with them. So I was already coming at music from both the popular and classical sides, and I think that helped a lot."
Merida, being a university town with prestigious film and music schools, had a thriving music scene. The teenaged Blanco immersed himself in it, joining one band as a pianist, learning bass guitar so that he could play in another and acquiring a drum kit so that he could join another who already had piano and bass covered.
At seventeen Blanco moved to the Venezuelan capital, Caracas, to continue his classical studies, although there were plenty of other musical distractions to keep him busy too. Before long he had joined a band – he went to hear their soundcheck and when their piano player was late, he sat in and was later offered the job – and he began to get work composing TV film music and advertising jingles.
Click here for a video of Leo playing at a Berklee School of Music Faculty Concert in 2007.
He was, he says, doing quite well for himself financially. So, a few years later, when some friends who had gone off to study at Berklee School of Music in Boston got in touch to say he should follow them, he wasn’t entirely convinced. Rather half-heartedly, he sent a CV and demonstration tape and didn’t expect to hear anything further until he got a call, saying he was being offered a scholarship and he had to come.
"My friends were right, it was a fantastic move. I got to go to Japan to represent the college over there, which was wonderful," he says. "But actually, the thing that I like about Boston and New York, too, although I’m sure this happens in cosmopolitan cities all over the world, is you can travel musically without having to go to another country. I’ve played Yugoslavian music and all sorts of things just by going to someone’s house or a bar."
Click here to listen to Leo Blanco playing Carabadella from his album Africa Latina.
The most important musical link, however, remains his connection with Venezuela. Now established as an assistant professor of music at Berklee as well as forging ahead with his own playing career, he keeps in constant touch with his family and friends back home and listens to as much Venezuelan music as possible.
En route to a concert at Aberdeen Jazz Festival, whose organisers are always quick to spot special talents, he has reunited with his old friend and record producer Steve Shehan in Paris, where he is recording his new CD, Africa Latina. It will be, he says, a celebration of African music’s influence on South America. At the same time, though, it will be an invitation to listeners to dig further into the continent’s music.
Click here to sample Leo’s album Roots & Effect.
"I hear why world music and jazz audiences have taken so strongly to Brazilian and Cuban music but they’re really just scratching the surface of Latin American music," he says. "In fact, audiences outside South America are only scratching the surface of Brazilian music. There’s so much more to hear. Argentina has much more than tango, and Colombia and Peru and Venezuela have great music too. So if I can draw people’s attention to this and change their vision of Latin American music, I’ll be doing something rewarding."
Click here for Leo’s website where you can listen to more of his music.
Leo Blanco has a new album, Pianoforte, coming out to coincide with the tour. Click here for the liner notes written by Rob Adams. Rob is also giving us an exclusive taste of the album until June 10th - click here and then click: De mi ultima produccion.
Mon Jun 24: 8pm The Forge, 3-7 Delancey Street, London NW1 7NL £10 (advance) £12 (on the door) www.forgevenue.org
Wed Jun 26: 8.30pm Recital Room, City Halls, Candleriggs, Glasgow 0141 353 8000 £13 www.jazzfest.co.uk
Thu Jun 27: 8pm Blue Lamp, 121 Gallowgate, Aberdeen AB25 1BU, 01224 619769 £10, £8 (concs), £5 (students) www.jazzscotland.com
Fri Jun 28: 8pm Queen’s Hall, 85-89 Clerk Street, Edinburgh EH8 9JG 0131 668 2019 £13 www.thequeenshall.net
Sat Jun 29: 7.30pm Eden Court Theatre, Bishops Road, Inverness IV3 5SA 01463 234234 £12 (£10 concs) www.eden-court.co.uk
Sun Jun 30: 7.30pm Carnegie Hall, East Port, Dunfermline KY12 7JA 01383 602302 £10 (concs £7.50) www.onfife.com
Thu Jul 4: 8pm Dean Clough, Halifax HX3 5AX 01422 255266 £12 www.deanclough.com
Fri Jul 5: 7.45pm The Sage Gateshead, St Mary’s Square, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead NE8 2JR 0191 443 4661 £12 (£10 concs) http://thesagegateshead.org
Sat Jul 6: 8.30pm Broomfield Village Hall, Broomfield, Somerset TA5 2EQ 01823 451162 £18, £15, £12 www.quantockonline.co.uk/music (SOLD OUT)
Wed Jul 10: 8pm The Apex, Charter Square, Bury St Edmunds IP33 3FD 01248 758000 £8 (concs £6) http://theapex.co.uk
Album Released 15 April - Label: Babel
Video of the Month
This month's video brings us footage of three legendary jazz guitarists, Herb Ellis, Tal Farlow and Charlie Byrd playing Georgia On My Mind. This is apparently an extract from a DVD ‘Great Guitars Of Jazz’.
One commentator says: ‘At this age I would be happy to be alive and able to pee - that these guys can still do this is amazing’.
Click here for this month's video
Details from the DVD say: 'Herb Ellis, Tal Farlow and Charlie Byrd exemplify the breadth of American jazz. These elder statesmen of the instrument have well over a century of combined knowledge and experience, and their styles cover a vast spectrum of the music, from straight-ahead swing, to be-bop, to bossa nova and beyond. Herb Ellis established an impeccable standard for swinging, mainstream jazz guitar through his extensive work in concert and on record with numerous great jazz instrumentalists including Oscar Peterson, Ray Brown, Harry Edison and singer Ella Fitzgerald.'
'Tal Farlow's nimble and innovative playing with the Red Norvo Trio is considered pure genius, and few guitarists have matched his unusual dexterity and sense of harmony. Charlie Byrd pioneered the use of the classical guitar in jazz and introduced America to the beauty of Brazilian bossa nova. Billed as the Great Guitars, the playing of this remarkable group is a short course in the history of jazz guitar. Tunes performed include: Seven Come Eleven, Georgia (On My Mind), Angel Eyes, Air Mail Special, Blue Skies, Deed I Do, Embraceable You. Undecided, Corcovado, Cottontail, So Danco Samba, Things Ain't Like They Used To Be and Bernie's Tune.'
Click here for information about the DVD.
Jon Turner from Broad Street Jazz specialist record shop in Bath chooses this Tal Farlow collection as the Album of the Month for June. The collection includes the albums Autumn In New York, The Swinging Guitar of Tal Farlow, This Is Tal Farlow and most of the album (7 tracks) of Tal Farlow Plays The Music of Harold Arlen.
Jon says: ‘Tal Farlow was one of the great electric guitarists of the 1950s period – perhaps the top pre-Wes Montgomery electric guitarist in jazz. Largely self-taught, he was very much influenced by Charlie Christian and he was fast, despite having enormous hands (he was nicknamed ‘The Octopus’). This is a good, representative collection of his work, The Swinging Guitar Of Tal Farlow has been popular with customers for many years.’
Tal Farlow was born Talmage Holt Farlow in 1921 and died in 1998. Tal is included amongst the guitarists in our Video Of The Month.
Click here for a track list and to sample the album.
Tal Farlow - Three Classic Albums Plus (2 CDs) is available from Broad Street Jazz at £7.99 plus postage.
Broad Street Jazz specialist record shop in Bath brings out occasional Newsletters giving a selection of the best new, recent and forthcoming releases with a variety of special offers. Included in their special offers until July is a selection of American Jazz Classics and Poll Winners albums that includes Shelly Manne's 2-3-4 and My Fair Lady, Hank Mobley's Workout and Hank Mobley Quartet, Sonny Rollins's The Bridge, and many more.
Click here to request your free copy of the Newsletter from Broad Street Jazz.
How many readers hold a jazz club membership card? Those tucked away in the backs of drawers tell many stories, (some which you may prefer to keep to yourselves), but they are evidence of clubs that existed and may have been forgotten by many. We have been sent copies of membership cards from time to time to go with articles that have appeared on the website and so we thought that it might be an idea to set up a separate page for them. They might trigger off memories. If you have a card that tells a story and would like to send us a copy, then please contact us. For the Club Card page click here.
We made a mistake last month by showing the wrong club card with the text that Phil Bird had sent to us. These are the correct cards of the Railway Hotel in Norbiton to go with the story.
The cards were originally given to Phil by Paul Darby who lived in Thames Ditton. Phil says: ‘We frequented all the pubs in your blog and also supported many of the blues bands which sprung up out of the jazz scene. This card is interesting as this was the Yardbirds before name change. I think Eric took over from Top here. We once saw Lennie (Canal Street) jamming with them playing his cornet. Superb. The Yardbirds first name was The Metropolis Blues Quartet and they played upstairs in Norbiton. As did the Canal Street and other jazz bands hence Lennie jamming with them.
As you know Blues bands starting to get more popular than jazz and the venues started changing their booking policies. Eric Clapton and others were regulars at all these venues especially at The Swan in Mill Street. Happy days sitting on the wall by the river !
I still have occasional contact with Jim and Chris from the band and in fact Jim played several times in a Swanage blues club I ran for some years (now being run as The Swanage Blues Festival and has spread to every pub in town!).
I am sure your will get many reminders of the great gigs at Coronation Baths, remember the floor above the swimming pool bouncing up and down as we jived the Cy Laurie. Oh yes ! Funny after Kingston I moved to Bermuda and the house band of the hotel I worked in was made up of UK modern jazz greats. Alan Ganley, Vic Ash, Art Effleson ( spelling ?) and others. Phew what a treat to be working in the same place as that lot.
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:
Tony Adkins - Jim Lowe remembers Tony Adkins who passed through the Departure Lounge on the 9th May at the age of 85.
I first met Tony in 1954 when we would meet up to browse at a Manchester jazz record shop on Saturday mornings and a life-long friendship developed. At that time he was very interested in sound recording and would record local bands, weddings, etc. to tape and then supply copies from his disc-cutting facility to 12” LPs, with his customised label named “WHY NOT” (partly 'Tony' backwards). At that time I was mainly interested in the early classic jazz but he introduced me to Herman, Basie, etc.
By 1957 the local FREE TRADE HALL began presenting all the visiting American jazz and blues artists and Tony had access to a recorder permanently housed in the sound room and took advantage of the opportunity – whilst we local fans echoed “Why Not”! This bonanza came to an end in 1964 when he began working as a sound recordist with BBC Wales and consequently moved to Cardiff.
Our friendship flourished again in the 1980s when we both joined IAJRC (International Association of Jazz Record Collectors) and would meet when attending meetings and also the annual Ellington conferences in the USA and Europe. Indeed, Tony acted as “sound man” at the IAJRC convention held in London in 1994 and also at Ellington and Kenton conferences in the UK. His love of the music and audio sound meant that we could always rely on the best possible fidelity on these occasions. Jazz has lost a good friend and we have lost a great companion. Our thoughts go out to Jeanie at this time.
Album Released 17 June - Label: F-IRE Presents
We have taken the famous 100 Club out of our gig listings because they now only appear to put on one charity jazz lunchtime gig each month. The rest of their programme seems to be mainly rock, some blues and other non-jazz music. If anyone would still like us to list the monthly charity gig, please let us know.
Peter Dunn adds to our collection of memories about the Cy Laurie Club in Great Windmill Street (click here):
We used to frequent Cy Laurie's jazz club on Sunday afternoons around 1956
or so wearing the appropriate apparel sandals and tight black pants
travelling up to town on the tube from the suburbs . My friend (Jerry
Hegarty) introduced us to the club and he was a student at St Martins Art
school around that time. We loved the music (still do) and the memories are priceless.
and Ken Robinson writes from Oregon in the USA:
I was stationed at RAF Northolt from 1958-1960. I was a regular at Cy’s club at least 4 or 5 times a week. I knew Stan Leader, bass player, through a friend in Brighton, and through him got to know the rest of the band. The greatest jazz band of its time. The girls were very picky about who they danced with! If you weren’t a good dancer, knowing at least 2-3 of the 'in' jive methods in vogue, you would be a spectator. I was ('in') and would dance the night away. It was there that I met Anna Massey from Harrow; we got engaged for a while until I was Posted to Germany. I had another good friend known as Fritz! Lost touch with him when he moved to Spain. Great times and a wonderful place to have a misspent youth! I am in the USA in Oregon these days, a long way from Piccadilly Circus. Best wishes to all who remember and were a part of that era.
and Colin Clark in the Isle of Man adds his recollections:
I am a 75-year old ex Londoner, now in Isle of Man. I chanced upon the article about the Cy Laurie Jazz Club. Just one addition, to the contribution of Eric Jackson, who said that there were Sunday afternoon sessions often led by Colin Smith but without Cy Laurie. I remember going to a Sunday afternoon session at the club which was hosted by the Charles McDevitt skiffle group and Nancy Whisky, some time soon after their hit with “Freight Train”. I don’t remember much about the music policy, except that the group I was in “The Henry King Swing Band” did a set, and we were a mix of jazz, pop and early rock’n’roll. This was about 1956, when we won Carroll Levis’ Discoveries at Golders Green Empire, and got to the televised finals in Birmingham.
I imagine that the rationale was that the Laurie band had probably played a Saturday all-nighter, and were asleep, so it made sense to sub-contract a session on Sunday afternoon to contribute to the lease payment. I also have a recollection of seeing Sandy Brown’s band, featuring John R T Davies on trombone and alto sax (and wearing a fez, I believe) at 100 Oxford Street somewhere around this time. Great band! Another memory came to mind recently - this one of the 100 club during the 50’s. As well as one of the British bands (Humph?) Big Bill Broonzy was performing. Josh White was in the audience, never having heard Broonzy before, and after a while went up and duetted with him. That was something!
Click here for our page on the Cy Laurie club.
Alan Jones from Woy Woy in Australia wrote last month asking about Kenny Napper. We have not been able to find out any more information to date, so we should still like to hear from you if you can help.
Eric Wilson from Gold Coast in Australia has also written expressing his interest, saying:
'My interest in Kenny Napper is purely selfish when, as a young aspiring bassist in the 50's, I heard him play and realised how awful my playing was! The other aspect is that we should honour musicians such as Kenny Napper for they were the pioneers of British post war jazz. If I was the mayor of London, I would erect a statue bearing all their names. Yes, their contribution was important culturally and they should never be forgotten'.
(Alan Jones's original query said: 'For sometime now I have been trying to discover the whereabouts of bassist / arranger Kenny Napper with whom I did National Service in the Royal Signals Band. He then played with Jack Parnell, John Dankworth and the Jazz Couriers, later moving to the Netherlands.
I recently acquired a CD entitled ‘A Tribute to Kenny Napper’ which is a bit worrying. Can anyone shed a light on this? ')
We have found reference to Kenny on a Swiss Radio site that says: 'Kenny served in the Army and after demobilization worked with Jack Parnell (1953-54), after which he freelanced extensively through the 1950s with the top names of British modern jazz including Ronnie Scott, Don Rendell, Alan Clare, Stan Tracey, Tubby Hayes, Tony Kinsey and Tony Crombie. From March 1960 to January 1962 he was with the Ronnie Scott - Jimmy Deuchar Quintet. Subsequently with Johnny Dankworth and Ted Heath in 1965. After this he again worked with Dankworth (1967) and Stan Tracey (1966). Through the 1960s he also worked successfully as arranger and composer writing for films, television and radio. In the early 1970s he worked in Germany and Holland as composer and arranger.'
Please contact us if you can help further.
Mick Brocking has written in in response to an enquiry by Rich Millett in Tennesse whose uncle, Neil Millett played clarinet in the UK with the Original Georgia Jazz Band and would like to know more about him. Mick writes:
I have not been able to find out much about Neil. I know that he started playing about 1950 with the Albemarle Jazz Band of Southall with Pat Halcox on trumpet. Pat left to join Chris Barber in 1954 (to replace Ken Colyer). I heard him play many times around the Kingston area in the late 1950s and early 1960s, notably at the Fighting Cocks in London Road (home of the Bill Brunskill and Canal Street bands) and with the Georgia band at the Grey Horse in Richmond Road. I recall him as a fine driving clarinet who could also play with great sensitivity.
Personally he impressed as a very likeable extrovert though a bit of a rogue with it. I was at his farewell bash at the Cocks on his leaving the area (late 1960s?) to live on the South Coast (Bournemouth?) He hired the hall on the first floor but omitted to pay the landlord! Some years later (1970s?) I heard that he was living and playing in Holland or Belgium probably with his close friend Andy Ford, the banjo player who was also living there. They often played together in the Kingston/London area. I know that Andy was still playing with bands a couple of years ago and may well still be playing but I have not been able to contact him. I think that he would be able to tell Rich much more about his uncle.
I have just unearthed the sleevenotes for the Original Georgia Jazzband LP that Rich has. Recorded at the Grey Horse on October 28th 1973 the personnel was Mick Burns (trumpet/cornet), Geoff Cole (trombone), Neil Millett (clarinet), Andy Ford (banjo), Geoff King (bass), Brian Dipper Duddy (drums). Guest drummer Lloyd Taylor is on a ragtime track. It says that " Andy Ford formed the band 18 months ago" / "Neil also plays alto and baritone saxes" and that "he has only been back in the London area for two years after having brightened up the Bournemouth jazz scene for six years" So he left Kingston in 1965 and when I heard the Georgia band it was in the early 1970s.
Adding to our information about the Dancing Slipper in Nottingham, Bob Moore writes to remind us that Ken Colyer played and was recorded there in 1969. Bob says:
The record is entitled Ken Colyer's Jazzmen live at the Dancing
Slipper 1969 and the record number is LC 35 and produced by VJM Records
of Kingsbury, London. I bought it directly from Ken Colyer after he
played at a gig in a village near Great Missenden Bucks in about 1974.
There is a photo on the front of the band which is said to be made up
of Ken with local musicians from Nottingham. The personnel are given
plus details of the recording and a bit of blurb about the Dancing
Slipper and mentions the promotors at that time.
I have been a trad jazz fan since about 1951 so you can guess my age group and my local jazz club was Wood Green at the Fishmongers Arms pub. I went there a few times and think I may have seen Monty Sunshine playing there and one or two other bands. Freddy Randall springs to mind but I might have seen him elsewhere, possible the Cook's Ferry Inn Walthamstow. I am not sure if I ever saw Sandy Brown but I remember, Crane River Jazz Band, Alex Welsh etc. My interest in trad jazz has been revived in the last few weeks as I am a member of the local U3A Jazz appreciation group and as a result of the recent sad deaths of Kenny Ball and Terry Lightfoot we are having a presentation on British trad jazz.
[The personnel on this album were Ken Colyer (trumpet), Tony Pyke (clarinet), Geoff Cole (trombone), John Bastable (banjo), Bill Cole (bass) and Malc Murphy (drums). We cannot see that this particular album is currently available on CD, but an earlier recording by Ken Colyer - Memories - at the Dancing Slipper in 1963 is available from Lake Records - click here]
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 ...
Singer Jenny Green hosts a community jazz radio programme on Ridge Radio every Friday from 11.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. Click here to listen: http://www.ridgeradio.co.uk/ . (Ridge Radio covers the Tandridge area of Surrey but is available across the internet). Jenny tells us that she aims to offer many rare jazz recordings in her music stream: 'You will hear piano jazz, saxophone jazz, Dixieland jazz, big band jazz, vocal jazz, mainstream jazz, guitar jazz, amongst the many different categories of jazz that is presented,' she says. Jenny also gives out a gig guide and often features tracks from up and coming jazz artists. If you would like to feature on one of jenny’s shows please get in touch with her via email@example.com
Jenny is an established jazz singer and she performs regularly in jazz clubs both locally and in the London areas. She works regularly with Jonathan Vinten, Simon Cook and Sean Hargreaves and has also sung with Colin Goode, John Crawford and Barry Green. You can see her every last Friday in the month at the Leatherhead Theatre Bar, or you can visit her website at www.jennygreensings.com . Jenny is currently planning a CD 'Caught A Touch Of Your Love' to be recorded in June and released in the Autumn, but you can hear her singing by clicking here. Produced by Sean Hargreaves, whose credits as a performer and arranger include Michael Buble, BBC Big Band, Alison Moyet etc, the album will feature an eclectic mix of swing, blues and jazz standards plus (not to give too much away!) a couple of very special guests too!
Sodbury Jazz Festival, Chipping Sodbury, South Gloucestershire takes place from 31st May - 2nd June. The Cotton Club kick off proceedings at Chipping Sodbury Town Hall on 31st May. Clare Teal is singing on 1st June. Tickets are available from Sodbury Chamber of Commerce, ℅ Rounceval House Hotel, 64 Rounceval Street, Chipping Sodbury, BS37 6AR. Tel: 01454 334410. Click here for more information.
This year’s London Jazz Festival will run from Friday 15th to Sunday 24th November and the booking office has opened. The programme looks very exciting with names that include Hugh Masekela, Stan Sulzmann, Wayne Shorter, Sonny Rollins, Tigran Hamasyan, John McLaughlin, Brad Mehldau, Gilad Atzmon and Madeleine Peyroux.
Click here for more details
Dartington International Jazz Summer School
Dartington is from 27th July - 3rd August in the fantastic surroundings of Dartington Hall. Participants are also able to attend concerts from the other courses running concurrently. Click here.
Falmouth-Yamaha Jazz Summer School
Falmouth-Yamaha runs from 12th - 16th August, and benefits from fantastic facilities in the multi-million pound Performance Centre. Click here.
Rendcomb Dutton Jazz Summer School
31st August to 1st September at Rendcomb College near Cirencester, tutors include Eddie Parker - flute, Dom Franks - sax, Pete Rosser - piano and more.
Some June Gigs
London City Big Band
Henry Spencer and Juncture
Saturday, 8th June - Henry Spencer playing with Hot Air - Brixton Jamm, 261 Brixton Road, London SW9 6LW - 9.00 pm - www.brixtonjamm.org
Tommy Andrews Quintet
A chance to hear reeds player Tommy Andrews and his Quintet of Rick Simpson (piano), Nick Costley-White (guitar), Dave Mannington (bass) and Dave Hamblett (drums) before they go into the recording studio in July for what has the potentiual to be a promising debut album.
(See article above).
Click here to read more about Tommy Andrews.
Wednesday, 5th June - Oliver's Jazz Bar 9 Grenada Street in Greenwich - 8.30 pm
The popular saxophonist and bandleader has the following gigs booked for June:
JazzCotech Shiftless Shuffle
The UK's only Street Fusion Jazz Dance Class and Club Session
Sunday, 16th June -
Sunday, 2nd June - Louis Stewart Quartet - JJ Smyth's, Aungier St, Dublin - 4.30 pm - €10
Scotland: Café Source Too, 32 Hughenden Road, Hyndland, Glasgow G12 9XP.
Lancashire: Ribble Valley Jazz and Blues Club,
Yorkshire: The Grove Inn, Leeds
Yorkshire: Seven Jazz, Leeds
For some years, Denise and Tony Lawrence have been running jazz weekends at hotels around the UK. A series of weekends for 2013 is now available. For details of bands involved and prices go to the Jazzbreaks website at www.jazzbreaks.com
The following items appeared in the last magazine but may still be of interest to readers:
Photographer William Ellis is undertaking a project in which a musician is pictured with a favourite album. Each portrait will be accompanied by a short interview that explores the album's meaning for the person concerned. Acker Bilk, for example is photographed with Louis Prima's Strictly Prima album and says: 'I like Louis Prima - I had the pleasure of working with him in New York a few years ago on Ed Sullivan’s show. We got chatting and I enjoyed his company - I enjoyed his playing and his singing is excellent - good jazzer!' (click here).
Clark Tracey is pictured with the album Thelonius Monk : Monk's Music and says: I think probably because it's a nostalgic thing for me. It was obviously being played from my earliest years - my very earliest years. The album cover appealed in the way it would to a child - Monk sitting in the trolley. The musicians on the album, the feel, everything - as I've grown up and matured with music it's turned out to be one of the best albums - it still appeals to me.' (click here).
This is a great concept for a portfolio of pictures and there are some nice photographs here. Click here for more about the project. William Ellis says: 'It’s an ongoing project - there’s a lot more still to come'. So you might like to visit it again in the future.
Click here for our profile of William Ellis.
'Kenny Wheeler: Master Of Melancholy Chaos' is the title of a new exhibition from trumpeter and composer Kenny Wheeler's archive. The exhibition will be running at the Royal Academy of Music museum in London for a year from April. 'Tracing Kenny’s varied career via seven milestone albums, the exhibition draws on many previously unseen items from his musical archive acquired by the Academy in 2012. Handwritten sketches and scores illuminate his creative process, from his very early arrangement of the jazz standard ‘Stella by Starlight’ to manuscripts from his latest big band offering ‘The Long Waiting’, among many other unique exhibits.'
'The displays are also enriched by unprecedented access to Kenny’s personal memorabilia and recordings of recent interviews with him. Together these give glimpses of his famously self-deprecating personality, his wry and quick wit, and his quietly determined musical ambitions. Visitors to the exhibition will have a unique opportunity to see a letter from a nineteen-year-old Kenny seeking work experience, hear about the children’s television programme that inspired his first album, and see one of the few remaining flugelhorns that Kenny has not damaged or given away!'
The exhibition is open from 11.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. on weekdays and 12 noon to 4.00 p.m. on Sundays. Click here for more information.
June 4th to June 8th a performance of Billie Holiday's work by the former X Factor winner, Alexandra Burke who takes up residency in the Royal Albert Hall’s Elgar Room to perform her own take on Lady Sings The Blues.
Alexandra will perform — with full jazz band — the soundtrack from the 1972 film about Billie Holiday, in which Diana Ross played the lead and sang her songs. The concerts are part of the 'More At The Hall' series — a range of events being held outside the venue’s main auditorium.
Todd Allen draws our attention to reeds player Sammy Rimington's new book. Sub-titled 'Adventures in New Orleans Music over Five Decades', the 256 pages of A Life In Pictures is a large format, full colour paperback that looks back over Sammy's life in music from 1957 and includes photos, memorabilia and contributions from those who have know Sammy. The publication is a limited edition and the first 500 copies are signed by Sammy.
Jules Holland has said: “Sammy Rimington is one of the great players and an important influence on me and my music… Sammy is unique as the power of his playing literally leads the whole band. I hope you will enjoy. .. This is a much welcome catalogue of some of his life music and times.”
The book is available at £30 plus £5.30 UK postage. Click here for more information.
There are now links to a number of musicians' profiles that we have put together on this site as well as other people who are included on the Who's Who page.
Click on the person's name to read their profile:
Yazz Ahmed : Norrie Anderson : Tommy Andrews : Zem Audu :Tony Augarde : Bunny Austin
Johnny Bastable : James Gardiner-Bateman : Bill Bramwell :Willie Burns :
Verona Chard : Bryan Corbett : Mike Collier : Bob Craig : Roy Crimmins : George Crockett : Terry Cryer
Stu Eaton : William Ellis
Freddie Gavita : Belle Gonzales : Miguel Gorodi : Frank Griffith
Andy Hague : Mike Hogh : Lew Hooper : Rowan Hudson
Dizzy Jackson : Iestyn Jones : Paul Jordanous
Dave Keir :
Hayley Madden : Tony Milliner : Corey Mwamba
Johnny Parker : Dave Paxton : Mark Pringle
John Randall : Sam Rapley : Alex Revell : Sue Richardson : Matana Roberts : Alvin Roy : Ron Rubin
Gerry Salisbury : Cameron Skerrow : Alexander Stewart : Caspar Sutton-Jones : Henry Spencer
Felix Weldon : JJ Wheeler : Ruby Wood
Let us know if you would like us to add a profile.
© Sandy Brown Jazz 2013