Follow us on Facebook
Would you like us to let you know each time this magazine page is updated?
Click HERE, send the email to us, and we will email you when an update is made.
Parliamentary Jazz Awards 2015
Now in its eleventh year the Parliamentary Jazz Awards are the premiere awards in the UK jazz calendar and are voted for by the public online with a shortlist of nominations subsequently voted for by a selection panel of jazz industry figures. Judging members of the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group (APPJAG) then chooses the winners. The awards are sponsored by PPL and will be presented by well-known broadcaster Moira Stuart on 10th March.
Jazz Vocalist of the Year: Alice Zawadzki, Georgia Mancio, Norma Winstone MBE and Zara McFarlane;
Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year: Jason Yarde, Laura Jurd and Phil Robson;
Jazz Album of the Year: Partisans Swamp, Julian Argüelles Circularity and Tim Garland Songs to the North Sky;
Jazz Ensemble of the Year: Engines Orchestra, Loose Tubes and Partisans;
Jazz Newcomer of the Year: Blue-Eyed Hawk, Elliot Galvin Trio and Peter Edwards;
Jazz Venue of the Year: Manchester Jazz Festival, Spice of Life and St Ives Jazz Club;
Jazz Media Award: Jazz on 3, BBC Radio 3, London Jazz News, www.londonjazznews.com and The Jazz Breakfast.
Jazz Education Award: Dr Tommy Smith, National Youth Jazz Orchestra and Simon Purcell; and
Services to Jazz Award: Chris Hodgkins, Evan Parker and Mike Gordon.
New Concert Hall For London
Plans are in hand to explore the idea of a new state-of-the-art concert hall in London. The government has announced a grant of £1 million for the Barbican to lead a six-month feasibility study into the proposal. Most of the capital’s concert halls at the Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall and the Barbican have been criticised for their acoustics and a new venue would need to meet modern expectations. It is expected that funding for a new hall would come mostly from the private sector and the cost is estimated at over £200 million.
Sir Simon Rattle
The site of the Museum Of London, not far from the Barbican is being considered as one option with the Museum moving elsewhere. The new hall would be expected to provide educational facilities and share its music throughout the UK using digital facilities. Sir Simon Rattle, currently with the Berlin Philarmonic, has said that he would consider moving to the London Symphony Orchestra if better facilities were available.
A concern arises from the wording in one report that says: ‘If the new hall is built, the Barbican …would keep its existing venue but develop it more for non-classical music and other events.’ This appears to suggest that jazz would not be seen as a suitable genre to play at the new venue, and that seems unjust. Click here for more information.
Fifty Years Of 'Under Milk Wood'
Robin Kidson looks back over the years since Stan Tracey's Under Milk Wood:
March 2015 will see the fiftieth anniversary of the recording of one of the classics of British jazz. On March 14th 1965, Stan Tracey took his Quartet into the Lansdowne Studios in London and recorded his jazz suite Under Milk Wood. Tracey once described how the suite came about:
Over the years, Under Milk Wood has established itself as a landmark in the evolution of British jazz. It is seen as one of the first pieces which had a distinctive British feel to it rather than being an imitation of American idioms. A modern listener, fifty years on, might find that claim difficult to understand. Yes, it’s a great piece of modern jazz but whether there is something uniquely British about it (apart from being written and played by Britons) is a moot point. Tracey’s piano style, for example, is taken straight from American models – Thelonious Monk with a dash of Duke Ellington. It is A+ Monk but Monk none the less. And there is more than a trace of Stan Getz about the playing of Bobby Wellins, the saxophonist on the recording. Most of the individual elements of the Suite are wonderful melodies played with confidence and panache; and the solos – particularly from Wellins – are lyrical and imaginative. But, to a modern ear, they still belong to a distinctively American tradition.
There is one towering exception to this. The second track of the Suite is called Starless and Bible Black and it is a work of genius. Even today, it still sounds fresh and innovative. It transcends musical boundaries – it is great music rather than just great jazz. It begins with drums and piano establishing a dark, menacing mood in a most un-jazz like way. Then Wellins comes in and plays one of the great jazz solos – wistful, sensual, imaginative. You can almost hear his breathing and the saxophone keys pressing against their pads. It is difficult to imagine any American jazz musician of the time (or, indeed, any other time) writing or playing anything like it.
Click here to listen to Starless and Bible Black.
I once saw a live performance of the suite. It was some time in the late seventies at the Chichester Festival Theatre. Stan Tracey was the supporting act for Woody Herman and, together with his Quartet, performed Under Milk Wood. The Welsh actor, Donald Houston, read relevant excerpts from the Dylan Thomas original play. The use of a narrator served to bring the individual elements of the suite together into an organic whole – something missing from the original recording which sometimes sounds like disparate tracks bearing little relationship both to each other and to the original play. Again, Starless and Bible Black is the exception. It captures perfectly what we feel it must have been like at night on the streets of Llareggub or up in Milk Wood. Subsequent recordings and performances of the piece often include a narrator.
Under Milk Wood – or, rather, Starless and Bible Black – received a new lease of life around its fortieth anniversary ten years ago. The track was included on one of Gilles Peterson’s successful “Impressed” compilations of British jazz released in 2004; and featured prominently in the BBC’s “Jazz Britannia” series in 2005.
New Films On The Horizon
Tubby Hayes - A Man In A Hurry
Last month we reported on the documentary film (DVD) due to be released later this year about saxophonist Tubby Hayes. Tubby Hayes – A Man In A Hurry is expected to air in late summer. The documentary by Mark Baxter and Lee Cogswell is narrated by actor Martin Freeman and features exclusive interviews with people who knew Tubby, worked with him, were influenced by him, people from the music industry and fans.
Also later this year the film Miles Ahead is due to come to cinemas. Starring and directed by Don Cheadle, the film looks at the two days leading up to Miles Davis’s comeback in 1981 with flash-backs to 1955-56 and including his relationship at the time with his first wife Frances Taylor Davis (played by Emavatzy Corinealdi).
Ewan McGregor joins the cast as Dave Brill, Jeffrey Grover plays Gil Evans, and Herbie Hancock and Robert Glasper were also involved in making the film.
Another documentary about John Coltrane is also scheduled for later in the year. Director-writer-producer John Scheinfeld, who has previously made documentaries about John Lennon and Brian Wilson says the goal is to humanize instead of glorify Coltrane. ‘Most of the books attempt to analyze his music. We'll make the film different by showing the impact the music made. He's like the Beatles in that he never repeated himself; he found what worked and moved on. He had a restless creativity, and that, to me, is quite admirable.’
Music and film producer Spencer Proffer brought Coltrane's son Ravi on board as a consultant in February 2012. Ravi Coltrane says: ‘The John Coltrane story is simple. He worked his ass off, going to gigs and then coming home to practice. [Proffer and Scheinfled's] hearts are in the right place. They're film people, not jazz people, so I think it allows for a fresh take. What excites me is how this one artist affected so much outside the realm of music. It's about vision and discipline.’
It is hoped to have the movie ready by the end of 2015 with premiers in 2016.
Point Of View - Miles Davis's Blind Listening Test
In 1964, DownBeat magazine interviewed Miles Davis and asked him to comment on some music through a 'blind listening' exercise. The idea was to see if he could pick out musicians from the way they played. His comments were direct and took no prisoners, his response to some of the music played is surprising in retrospect.
Rob Brockway gives his point of view on Miles's comments:
'The jazz world is rife with sweeping, childish assessments of musical quality. Miles Davis embodies it in this fascinating piece, slagging off records left, right and centre as if he is God and his judgment is sacred, and it carries through to the present day when, for example, it's nothing extraordinary for one commentator to accuse Vijay Iyer of having "no touch, no tone, no melody". What's 'no touch' meant to mean? Does he literally drop his hand to the keyboard and miss? Everyone's entitled to dislike something and say why, but dismissing it entirely, making all opposition wrong, creates more problems than it solves.'
Click here to read what Miles Davis said. What is your view?
Tony Milliner - My Favourite Things
Neil Ardley - Kaleidoscope Of Rainbows
This month trombonist Tony Milliner chooses a track from Neil Ardley's Kaleidoscope Of Rainbows album.
Tony says: This is a complex album from Neil Ardley using six notes in Rainbow 4 and then six others to form twelve note groups, such as the riff in 5. The clarinet solo by Tony Coe on Rainbow 4 is incredible.'
Click here to listen to Prologue and Kaleidoscope 1.
Click here for Kaleidoscope 4.
Neil Ardley was born in 1937 in Wallington, Surrey, England. He was educated at Wallington County Grammar School and Bristol University, where he took a degree in chemistry in 1959. He began to take a practical interest in music at the age of 13, when he started to learn the piano, and later took up the saxophone, playing both instruments in jazz groups at the university. The Observer newspaper has said: ‘Kaleidoscope of Rainbows is a classic, not just of British jazz, but of 20th-century music.’
Click here for Rainbow 7 and Epilogue.
Click here to sample the album.
Flight Of The Foo Birds
A man went to Africa to do some game hunting. While there, he hired a young native to accompany him as his guide. Soon, a large flock of birds flew overhead and the hunter took aim. The guide grabbed his arm and said “Oh, no! Those are foo birds and to shoot one means terrible things will happen to you!” The man decided that this was just a superstition, ignored the warning, and shot one down.
A moment or two later, the rest of the flock returned and pooped all over him. He yelled at the guide: “Please get me some water to wash this mess off”. The boy said “Oh no! To wash the crap of the foo bird off means sudden death immediately!” Again the hunter ignored the warning, found water and got cleaned off. Sure enough he dropped dead then and there. The moral of this story is “If the foo shits, wear it. ”
Which has nothing, or everything, to do with Neal Hefti’s composition that flew out of the Atomic Mr Basie album. Click here for a video of the Basie band playing Flight Of the Foo Birds in 1965.
There are various debates about where the idea of Foo Birds came from – it is quite possible, of course, that Neal Hefti just liked the words.
One suggestion is that the term comes from the word ‘foo’ that emerged in the early 1930s, first used by cartoonist Bill Holman in his Smokey Stover (The Foo Fighter) cartoon strips which were run daily in the Chicago Tribune. Smokey Stover's catch phrase was "where there's foo, there's fire". Smokey wears bright red (or yellow) rubber boots and a clownish striped "helmet" (always worn back-to-front), which he sometimes ties to his nose with string, in lieu of a chinstrap. His trademark helmet also features a prominent hole in its hinged brim, which he occasionally uses as an ashtray for his lit cigar.
Although most of the sequences in the strip (and the occasional comic book) centre on Smokey's escapades with the Chief, the loose "plots" and situations are mainly a framework to display an endless parade of off-the-wall verbal and visual humor. Smokey rides ‘an impossible two-wheeled “Foomobile” (a single-axle fire engine which resembles a modern Segway with seats, or an independent sidecar).’
A novelty song based on Smokey Stover - 'What This Country Needs Is Foo', with words and "FOOsic" by Mack Kay, was recorded by Eddie DeLange and His Orchestra on Bluebird Records in 1939. Holman illustrated the cover for the sheet music. If you must, click here to listen to the recording with Elisse Cooper taking the vocal.
Other suggestions of derivation are a Foo Fighter - a WWII term for a class of unidentified flying objects seen from warplanes over both European and Pacific areas at the time. I see that the rock band Foo Fighters are headlining at Glastonbury this year. The words ‘Foo’ and ‘Bar’ are also apparently used by computer programmers who get them from ‘FUBAR’ -' f**ked up beyond all recognition'. A computer programmer might understand "Foo Bird" to mean - "any kind of bird you might think of will do here"...The acronym ‘FUBAR’ has been around in the military since at least 1944 - perhaps Hefti originally wrote it as "Flight of the FUBAR" but cleaned it up to put it on the record sleeve? – but that is pretty unlikely.
Woody Allen used the Count Basie recording in his classic 1977 film Annie Hall. If you have never seen the film or would like a reminder, click here for a video compilation of some of the scenes.
We stop off first with the Bath Spa Big Band Society playing the number last year with a nice, s hort saxophone solo along the way (click here).
Bath Spa University Big Band
I have to say that I am surprised that there is not more impressive video footage online from other bands performing the number.
Flight Of The Foo Birds is one of those memorable numbers that has carved out its place in the jazz story and deserves repeated visiting. It makes us remember just how much musicNeal Hefti contributed in all his writing from the Batman Theme and Barefoot In The Park to the enduring Li'l Darlin' and Splanky. Thank you Neal.
Each year, Jazzwise magazine asks a number of people in the jazz scene which musicians we should look out for in the year to come. It is reassuring that the list is always quite long. Apart from one year that we missed, we have kept a record of the names put forward back as far as 2008 and it is quite interesting to look back and see who has been included (click here).
So who has been suggested as those we should look out for in 2015?
Anthony Abel continues his look back to his early introduction to jazz and the escapades that went with it:
I went to Cy Laurie's club several times during the 60s, unfortunately the man himself had gone mystic and departed for India so I never got to see him. No visit would have been complete without ogling the pictures on display outside the Windmill Theatre, very tame by today's standards, but enough to inflame a 16 year old back then. I can't be sure who I even saw playing at Cy's, but I can remember the terribly sticky floor and so much smoke that made my eyes water. The heat emanating from all the bodies crammed in there made it a relief to get out again.
There were some strange characters in the area in those days, one chap was called Pete The Brolly, he always carried one. I kept meeting him at various parties over the years. Smokey Shrover was another and a chap with the rather exotic name of Dido Plum.
The Six Bells in Chelsea was one of my favourite places. Jazz was played upstairs on a Saturday night, I even had a membership card, it had a picture of Flook on it, drawn by Wally Fawkes I believe. I saw Humph there several times until he started experimenting with mainstream and had Bruce Turner on sax in the line up. It sounds rather daft now but I considered him a traitor and the Six Bells just lost its appeal. We all used to go down to the Café Des Artistes in Radcliffe Gardens off the Fulham Rd afterwards where there was always somebody who knew of a party we could crash.
The Six Bells, Chelsea
Then my friend and I discovered the Jazz Boat moored on the river at Kingston. It always surprised me how many people used to cram on there. The bands were left with very little room, and it was not wise to be too near the trombonist and risk getting hit by the slide. The drink was served from the ticket booth, only Watneys Red Barrel though.
After that it was always Eel Pie Island on a Saturday night, what a fantastic place that was. I saw Ken Colyer there and Acker Bilk, how that floor used to bounce when we stomped. One night on the way out a friend bet me 5 shillings I would not jump off the bridge into the river. Of course I did and enjoyed it so much I went back on the bridge and did it for nothing. There was a police car parked on the Twickenham side and the policeman just watched and laughed. The downside of that was I had to travel all the way back to Sydenham dripping wet.
Another Saturday on the island Bryan and I gate-crashed a party in a boathouse, a very upmarket affair. They had huge cheeses with candles for lighting. I was hungry and cut an enormous slice out of one to eat, the host was furious as apparently the cheeses were on loan and had to be returned intact, needless to say we were roughed up and ejected.
The Crown in Morden was another favoured venue, run by Steve Duman, a welcoming host who let us get away with some rather bad behaviour, he just looked the other way. The bands were always first class, I must have been pretty drunk because I can't remember any of the lineups, may have been Mike Cotton Band or Terry Lightfoot. Bryan and I used to hitch hike all over to see bands. We went down to Brighton often with our blanket rolls on our backs, Bonnie Manzies Chinese Jazz Club was our destination usually.
Prior to going to the club we used to frequent the Lorelei Coffee bar in the Lanes, then a wine bar that sold draught Merrydown and Mead, powerful stuff.
We were always short of money after that and could not muster up the entrance fee for Uncle Bonnie's so we used to rush up to him as if we were old friends shouting "Uncle Bonnie we are here again". He always was pleased to see us and let us in for nothing, "chop chop velly good" was the response from him. The last time we were there Georgie Fame was playing and I had a bit of a barney with his drummer and we were thrown out, never to return. We used to sleep under the pier after those nights, we never got moved on by the police but they did roust out the other dossers. We were completely without funds in the morning so we decided to try begging. We both took one side of the street and managed to collect 12 shillings between us. We went to the beach to divvy up the spoils and were approached by a policeman. He said he had seen what we were up to and told us we had an hour to get out of Brighton.
It must have been on a Saturday as we decided to go to the Isle Of Wight as we had heard of a club at the Starlight Ballroom at the end of Ryde Pier. We arrived there by a very roundabout route, that happened often when hitching lifts. The band playing were The Clyde Valley Stompers, with Fionna Duncan. I've always been a great fan of the band and Fionna's singing was always a joy to hear. The club owner was a chap called Leo, and unfortunately my pal Bryan said something rather suggestive to the woman he was with. It turned out it was his wife and we were ejected from the club for insulting her. I was with another girl and we spent the night on the beach, I don't know where Bryan went. In the morning I started looking for him fruitlessly so I went to the pier head and asked the chap on duty if he had seen anybody who looked like me? "No mate" was the reply. I went up and down the seafront for about an hour to no avail and decided to try the pier again. I asked the same question and the man said "Yes, he was here about an hour ago looking for you". It took me a little time to realise that it was me he was talking about, he had seen me twice! I did eventually find Bryan passed out in a shop doorway. It took us until early evening to get back home. I was on a dating site some years ago and a woman emailed me asking me if I went to the Black Cat club in Sydenham in the 60s, I said I did and she replied that her eldest son looked like me, she sent me a picture of him. A spitting image. Ah those heady days of free love where anything goes.
Click here for a video of the Clyde Valley Stompers playing Peter and the Wolf in 1962. [Does anyone have a picture of Fiona Duncan? - I have been unable to find one. Ed.]
I was an avid reader of the Melody Maker in those days and they published a list of gigs countrywide. There was a Jazz Festival advertised at Earlswood just outside Birmingham which we both decided to go to. We set out on a Friday night, taking the underground to North London to hitch a ride up the M1. We got there when a crowd was queuing for admission. There was not a huge crowd attending, unlike music festivals these days and one could easily see the bands at close quarters. A few local bands were billed, but best of all were Johnny Dankworth with Cleo Laine, and a real treat The Clyde Valley Stompers with Fiona Duncan. Hearing her sing Salty Dog was well worth the journey. It was a long haul back home and we got to the outskirts of London in the early morning.
As we had walked some distance we were both pretty tired so we got in our sleeping bags and dossed down outside Chalk Farm underground entrance, it was still closed and gated but there was a steady flow of warm air coming up, very comfortable. The station staff roused us when the station opened and we went on our way, I phoned work to say I was not to well and would not be in that day. When I got to work on the Tuesday I was called into the sales manager's office. He asked me had I recovered enough for work, and what had kept me from coming in on the Monday.
I replied that I thought I may have been coming down with the flu. He replied, looking rather angry "Perhaps you will explain the fact that our receptionist saw you asleep outside Chalk Farm underground station yesterday morning?" What could I say, he was working himself into a rage and beetroot red. He said "I'll give you a choice, you can resign or I'll sack you". I said "Suit yourself, I don't care". At that point I honestly thought he was going to come across the desk at me, he was shouting at the top of his voice "Get out! get out!" and he had the office manager eject me from the building. Jobs were plentiful in those days and I was once again employed at the end of the week.
The Trad scene started to fade after a while and I decided to go to Australia, I was there for nearly a year working in a fairground, never got to work the dodgems though which was my ambition. I lost contact with my partner-in-mayhem Bryan shortly before I went, which is a shame because we did have enormous fun. I could write loads of other high jinks we got up to unrelated to Traditional Jazz. Incidentally we both went out with Pamela Kelly who went on to sing blues as Jo-Ann Kelly, what a fabulous voice she had but died tragically of a brain tumour several years ago.
One high spot though, after many years silence Bryan phoned me out of the blue last week, I'm really pleased he did as we share many memories, as you can imagine!
Click here to listen to Jo-Ann Kelly singing Louisiana Blues in 1969.
To be continued ....
Click here for Anthony's previous articles.
Please contact us if Anthony's memories trigger memories for you.
Dave Manington's Riff Raff
[You are able to listen to the track Agile discussed by Dave Manington at the same time as reading this article if you click here. This will take you to the article on another page on our website where your computer might ask you to allow the music to play on the page. Alternatively there is a link at the end of this article and you can listen to the track there].
Bass player Dave Manington is one of the founders of the Loop Collective, the e17 Jazz Collective and is currently writing new music for several new projects. He has composed for and led his own septet, trios, and quartet, whilst also contributing music to many other people’s albums. His acclaimed debut quartet album Headrush was released on Loop Records in 2008.
His band Riff Raff is a dynamic ensemble of young musicians featuring vocalist Brigitte Beraha (Bablefish, Kenny Wheeler.), pianist Ivo Neame (Phronesis) who also contributes occasional accordion, saxophonist Tomas Challenger (Brass Mask, Outhouse, Red Snapper), guitarist Rob Updegraff (Ronnie Scott’s All Stars, Zigaboo Modeliste) and drummer Tim Giles (Iain Ballamy, Kenny Wheeler, Art Farmer).
Riff Raff’s album Hullabaloo was released in 2013 and was followed by a successful UK tour. Dave says:
The starting point for the music is often collective improvisation but compositionally it draws on as wide a range of styles as possible. Folk, electronic music and contemporary classical influences are added to the mix with complex jazz harmonies and rhythms. Several compositions feature lyrics written by Brigitte Beraha and on other tracks she sings wordless vocals, often harmonizing with the sax line to great effect.
The writing process for me can follow many different paths; the elements of a composition can be put together in any order, taken to pieces again, and recombined. If I get stuck writing a melody, I’ll try changing the feel, key or tempo. If I’m still stuck, I’ll reharmonise it, or write a bassline, or a countermelody. Something will sound good and get me going again. The tricky bit is being good at editing. Sometimes the scrap of melody I started with ends up being the weakest part of the composition. I have to be quite self-critical and ruthlessly cut out the bits that don’t work. I have to be willing to pretty much start again from a new angle, basing the piece instead around a nice chord sequence I happened upon, or a groove that happened in the 15th bar perhaps.
Once I am happy with the basis of a composition, I like to live with it for a while, play it on a few different instruments, loop sections of it, and bring it to rehearsals to get people to play it and see what their playing suggests to me about the directions the piece could develop. I record rehearsals and listen back to us playing. Then I rewrite the tune. I like to imagine it’s just another “jazz standard” or a tune by someone else and then I’ll arrange it. I’ll try and write an intro, maybe try some chord reharmonisations, perhaps write a different section to solo on, maybe a specific ending or coda. Eventually I’ll settle on a version I like.
This recorded version of Agile is probably at least the 10th incarnation of a tune. The computer programme “Sibelius” is a fantastic tool which enables musicians like me to spend hours tweaking and editing a composition without having to write out 6 new parts by hand every time I want to change something (or getting through another bottle of tippex – remember that?).
For me, you can hear the influence of Claudia Quintet, Mingus, Polar Bear, Pierre de Bethmann, other Loop collective members and many contemporary jazz composers who I feel close to in this tune. I like the energy of it and the way Tim phrases the groove on the drums. I hope that it makes sense when you listen to it and doesn’t sound clever for the sake of it because the grooves were worked out as organically as possible and not by mathematics.
In the end, you don’t want to be counting when you’re listening to music, just enjoying the overall effect, the melodies, the groove, the textures, whatever attracts you. It’s a subjective thing after all.
This next main variation was originally the backing for the saxophone solo, but after playing the tune a few times we settled on it as the climax for the solo instead.
We play “free” at first and follow Tom's sax. It's collective improvisation with a lot of input from the rest of the band but he leads the way and it's more his solo than anyone else's. We try and follow his suggestions and sudden changes of pace and together we gradually start to hint at his bassline, which is eventually cued in by Tom at the end of his solo and forms the cue to go on into the next section.
In the arranging stage I added a backing line for vocals/sax and a coda where the riff changes key for the final 2 times. It’s nice to write a bit of an unexpected twist at the end of a piece sometimes! I always put thought into the start and end of each tune, it’s easy to think “it’s fine, we can come up with an ending as we’re playing” but really if you want it to work well, confidently and cleanly each time you need to write a proper intro/outro. I also felt the bare vocal/sax line launching into groove at the very start was a strong beginning and good way to start the album.
The band will be playing the following venues in the near future. Catch them if you can:
Monday, 30th March 2015 - Dave Manington's Riff Raff @ The Oxford.
For more about Dave Manington, click here for his website: www.davemanington.com
Click here to sample the full album Hullabaloo by Dave Manington’s Riff Raff.
The Jazz Grammys 2015
The 57th Annual Grammy Awards were held on February 8, 2015, at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles, California. The Grammy nominations were open for recordings released between October 1, 2013, and September 30, 2014. Originally called the Gramaphone Award, it is an accolade by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) of the United States to recognize outstanding achievement in the music industry. The awards cover a wide variety of music. This year, UK singer Sam Smith received four awards. The annual ceremony features performances by prominent artists, and the presentation of those awards that have a more popular interest. The first Grammy Awards ceremony was held on May 4, 1959, to honour the musical accomplishments by performers for the year 1958. There are a number of Jazz categories in the awards and this year's winners were:
Jazz Vocal Album
Large Jazz Ensemble Album
The Essential Album Collection
Which jazz albums make up a collection of classics? We suggest an album each month so that we can gradually build up a list - in no particular order. Do you have these? Click here for our Essential Albums page where you will find the suggestions that have been put forward so far.
Bessie Smith – 1923 - 1933
Bessie Smith, 'The Empress Of The Blues'. As one person writes: 'Bessie Smith was, and is, without parallel. She had a huge powerful rich contralto voice that could range from smooth to harsh, she had perfect pitch, and her control was total. The 22 tracks on this CD include Bessie Smith with basic accompaniment of a solitary piano, also with various instruments added such as cornet (e.g. with Louis Armstrong on St Louis Blues) and clarinet, and with jazz ensembles and full jazz orchestration. At all times, and as appropriate to the mood, Bessie Smith brings her sensitive originality to all the blues melodies expressing sadness and meloncholy as well as humour.'
Garry Capon has written trying to track down an old friend. Garry says: ‘Hi, I have no idea if you can help but here goes. I wonder if you have ever heard of a jazz drummer by the name of Colin Seymour? I knew Colin back in '92 - '93 when we worked together in Weybridge - we were both Engineers. Colin however played drums .... jazz drums. He played often back then in the 606 club in Lotts Road, Fulham and at the Bull’s Head pub in Barnes, West London. I hung out with him - he was a great bloke, very unassuming but clever. He lived just behind the Bull’s Head in I think Catherine Road. We lost contact and this was pre mobile phone days (remember them) but I would like to get in contact. I guess Colin would be about seventy now.'
Please contact us if you can help.
Big Joe Turner and Humphrey Lyttelton
In the first of two queries we hope someone can help with, Chris Duff in Canada writes:
There was a very strange session I attended around 1965/66 (I think!). Humphrey Lyttelton and his band had been booked to play in a large ballroom which, if memory serves, was below street level in a building somewhere in the vicinity of the Scala Theatre in Tottenham Court Road, London. I’m sure it was Joe Turner fronting the band. The strange thing is I was the only one there! No one else turned up. Humph and Joe played for a couple of hours and I was the only one applauding. I would love to know if anyone has knowledge of this gig and can confirm I wasn’t dreaming!
In his second message, Chris Duff writes: 'An old jazz friend from Sussex was enquiring recently about clarinettist Les Wood. Les came from Sussex and was a popular member of the local jazz fraternity in the 1960s. He was a member of the original Bob Wallis Storyville Jazzmen and could be seen later guesting with many Sussex bands from The Fourteen Foot Band to the New City Jazzmen. He had a strange habit of disappearing from time to time. I have a note datelined January 1969 that he was coming out of retirement (again!) to lead a new quartet, with Gerald Geogehan (banjo), John Boyett (bass) and Geoff Simkins on drums. They played a few weeks at the King & Queen, Brighton. That’s about the last we’ve heard of him.' Can anyone help?
Sue Reid has seen Anthony Abel's article on Finding Trad (click here) and writes: 'I have just read Anthony Abel’s article and found it fascinating. I used to live in Selsdon but moved up to the Wirral where I spent my teenage years doing much the same thing. There was wall to wall traditional jazz in those days and we saw all the good bands up here. It was a great life then and I went out with a bass player from one of the local bands for quite a time and have recently become a jazz singer myself at this late stage in my life. But, as you will be aware, traditional jazz is fading fast as so many of the players and the audience are leaving us. The youngsters are not really interested in it (with exceptions of course) but modern jazz continues to have its place and many of them know The American Song Book numbers, which is something to be grateful for.'
Thank you to those people who have liked our Sandy Brown Jazz Facebook page and who have commented on posts. I hope that you have found the items 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. (If you are not on Facebook, please tell your friends about us anyway!).
Blazing Flame Blow
At the end of January, Steve Day took the band Blazing Flame to a studio in Bristol to film. Steve is a poet, a writer and a vocalist who has described himself as an aquired taste. His vocal style is distinctive. The band has played together before, so there is an understanding between the members and only limited rehearsal took place for a session based on improvisation.
The resulting film footage looks and sounds impressive, but we need to start by listing the musicians who make up Blazing Flame. There is a lot of talent here. Pianist Keith Tippett and vocalist Julie Tippetts should need no introduction given their long and respected international contribution to improvised music and they bring their experience to this recording. Aaron Standon, alto saxophone and Peter Evans, electric violin make breathtaking contributions, and Fiona Harvey, electric bass, and Anton Henley, drums, anchor the rhythm section.
The film was made by Bristol film maker, Steve Gear, the recording by Jim Barr (bass player with Get The Blessing) at J&J Studio. They both deserve credit for the result. All the tunes recorded and filmed are freely available on YouTube.
The band previously recorded an album High Mountain Top, but Steve Day says: 'This time I wanted visuals of the band. Playing gigs is difficult for an ensemble like us. I don’t say it’s never going to happen but the circumstances would have to be quite special. But what we can do is set up something in a studio which is ‘live’. Quit overdubs and endless re-takes; bring new material into spontaneous performances which hopefully find their own audience out there in the ether.'
Apart from the main theme, the music is entirely improvised, something that comes over effectively from the way the film is made. Steve again:
'I wrote ‘Blow’ for Aaron Standon and Peter Evans, it is the first track in the new filmed series. The Bird Architects are a quartet that Aaron and Peter have been playing in for decades. For me the ‘Bird Architect’ description is an exact fit for Aaron. Charlie ‘Bird’ Parker defined the alto saxophone, he literally was Bebop and beyond. Aaron’s playing is drawn to scale, a true architect of Bird’s legacy. I’m a writer – words. This is not a casual conversation, I believe in the poetry of language; the poetry inside words is crucial. Even in those dark moments, within Blazing Flame I am fundamentally having fun mentally, with the art of spontaneous music making running parallel with my prewritten words. In a way ‘Blow’ is about that process.'
Click here to watch and listen to the film of the band playing Blow. Other videos from the session will be seen to the side of the YouTube page.
Blow © Steve Day www.stevedaywordsandmusic.co.uk
Classic Jazz from Dave Shepherd for the National Jazz ArchiveAn afternoon concert on Saturday, 11th April features clarinettist Dave Shepherd with his Quintet. This concert is one of a series during 2015 to raise funds to support the work of the National Jazz Archive.
Dave was voted Britain’s best jazz clarinettist four times between 1990 and 2000. During his long career, he has played with American jazz legends such as Teddy Wilson, Bud Freeman, Yank Lawson, Ruby Braff, Wild Bill Davison and Barney Kessel. He led his own groups, including the Freddy Randall/Dave Shepherd Jazz All Stars, and the Pizza Express All-Stars for more than 20 years.The Quintet features the excellent Roger Nobes (vibes), John Pearce (piano), Paul Morgan (bass), and Stan Bourke (drums).
Dave Shepherd said: “The National Jazz Archive does great work in preserving the history of our music. It’s a pleasure to bring my group to play to help raise funds to support it.”
The concert starts at 1.30pm, and tickets cost £15.
The venue is Loughton Methodist Church, 260 High Road, Loughton, Essex IG10 1RB, close to the Archive’s home in Loughton Library, where there is extensive parking. It is 1 km from Loughton Station on the Central Line, and served by numerous bus routes.
You might like jokes about the banjo, but there are those who are dedicated to the instrument. YouTube brings us this video of a banjo player who can banjo up a storm at 92 years old. Nat Piccirilli is a Rhode Island musician. He plays guitar, violin, mandolin and banjo. He's also an accomplished winemaker, gardner and golfer. Nat's been married to his wife Frances for over 66 years. He's played with Bob Hope and actor Jack Lemmon and for President George Bush at his home in Maine. He continues to play as a member of The Aristocats, who have been entertaining Rhode Islanders for years. Those who captured him on video say: 'Nat is a Rhode Island treasure and we were thrilled to sit down and speak with him about his music.'
Click here for the video.
But if you think that is the story of banjo today - think again. Here is a video with Béla Fleck in interview and performance with the Flecktones - this can make you rethink your ideas about the banjo in jazz completely - click here. Béla Anton Leoš Fleck was born in 1958. He is an American banjo player now widely acknowledged as one of the world's most innovative and technically proficient musicians on the instrument.
So joking aside. Try this, then visit our Banjoking page (click here).
Two Ears, Three Eyes
Photographer Brian O'Connor takes his camera to another jazz gig and once again shares with us some of the images he has taken:
Goldings, Bernstein and Stewart
These pictures were taken of a gig at The Watermill Jazz Club in Surrey on 15th January 2015. Graham Thomas went along with Brian and writes:
The Watermill was sold out for the last gig in the UK tour of the Larry Goldings-Peter Bernstein-Bill Stewart trio. There was a real buzz in the venue, with over 30 musicians in the audience, including Alec Dankworth, John Critchinson, Nigel Price, and many others.
Peter Bernstein was born in New York City on September 3, 1967. He began playing piano when he was eight but switched to guitar when he was thirteen, learning the instrument primarily by ear. He studied Jazz at Rutgers Universite with Ted Dunbar and Kenny Barron and then completed his degree at The New School in New York City, where he met and studied with one of his mentors and influences, Jim Hall, and the two have played together as a duo over the years since then.
In the 1990s, Peter was a leading figure in contemporary jazz, playing with many musicians including Joshua Redman, Jimmy Cobb, Lee Konitz, Roy Hargrove and Joe Lovano. He is known for his clean, warm guitar tone and his lyrical melodic lines. In 2008, Peter became part of The Blue Note 7, a septet formed to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Blue Note Records. Click here for a video of Peter Bernstein playing Darn That Dream with Randy Johnston.
The trio soon built up an intense groove and maintained it for the rest of the evening. Peter Bernstein produced a glowing tone on the guitar, building his solos with singing phrases and dramatic runs down the fingerboard.
Larry Goldings was born in Boston, Massachusetts. He studied classical piano until the age of twelve, and then at High School he attended a programme at the Eastman School of Music. He studied with Ran Blake and Keith Jarrett and on moving to New York in 1986, attended a newly formed jazz program at The New School and studied with Jaki Byard and Fred Hersch. While still a college student, he embarked on a worldwide tour with Jon Hendricks and worked with him for a year. A collaboration lasting almost three years with guitarist Jim Hall followed.
From 1988, he was featured with several bands, and his own trio with guitarist Peter Bernstein and drummer Bill Stewart. His first release was Intimacy Of The Blues in 1991. He has released ten or more albums since then, and has appeared as a sideman on hundreds of recordings. In 2007, Larry Goldings, Jack DeJohnette and John Scofield received a Grammy nomination in the category of Best Jazz Instrumental Album Individual or Group for their live album, Trio Beyond - Saudades.
Goldings' compositions have been recorded by many musicians and his musical arrangements and original songs also appear on several James Taylor albums, including October Road, James Taylor at Christmas, One Man Band, and Covers. Click here for a video of Larry playing with the John Scofield Organic Trio in 2013.
Larry Goldings displayed his mastery of the Hammond organ, with orchestral introductions blending all the different sounds of the mighty instrument, like a painter mixing his colours. Centre-stage, drummer Bill Stewart kept up a powerful and varied percussion texture, with superbly structured solos.
Among the tunes played were: Jive Coffee, Every Time We Say Goodbye, Why Wouldn't You (a lyrical new tune by Peter Bernstein), Tincture (by Bill Stewart).
The audience loudly demanded an encore, at which Larry Goldings quipped 'Unfortunately we don't know any more tunes, how about a Q. and A. session instead?' Then Peter Bernstein played a soft chordal introduction, leading the trio into a relaxed and soulful 'Gee Baby Ain't I Good To You', leaving everyone in a mellow mood. Let's hope the trio return to the UK soon!
Bill Stewart's father was a trombonist, and his first and middle names are a tribute to jazz trombonist Bill Harris. Bill grew up in Iowa. He is a largely self-taught drummer and began playing at the age of seven. At high school he played in the school orchestra and went to a summer music camp at Stanford Jazz Workshop where he met Dizzy Gillespie. After graduation, he went to the University of Northern Iowa and then William Paterson University where he played in ensembles directed by Rufus Reid and studied drums with Eliot Zigmund and Horace Arnold. He met Joe Lovano while still in college and made his first recordings, with saxophonist Scott Kreitzer and pianist Armen Donelian while still in school.
After college, Bill Moved to New York playing with John Scofield's Quartet and in the trio with Larry Golding and Peter Bernstein. He worked with Maceo Parker from 1990 to 1991, touring and recording on three of Parker's albums. The association led to Stewart's gig with james Brown, who told Stewart that there "Ain't no funk in Iowa!". Another close associate is pianist Kevin Hays. The Kevin Hays Trio has recorded five CDs and toured internationally. Musical associations with Lee Konitz, Michael Brecker and Pat Metheny have also established his reputation.
Wikipedia describes his drumming style as being: '... distinguished by its melodic focus, and its polyrhythmic, or layered character. To describe someone's drumming style as "melodic" would mean there is a sense that you could "hum along" with discernible linear phrases which tell pieces of a story, akin to a vocalist, pianist, or saxophonist. Stewart's improvisations favor the development and layering of motivic ideas over the raw generation of excitement or display of technical prowess. Stewart has great touch, or dynamic precision, so that his ideas are articulated with an exactness and clarity.' Click here for a video of Bill Stewart talking about his playing at The Modern Drummer Festival in 2008 together with clips of his playing.
The gig at the Watermill Jazz Club was also significant in the audience that it attracted. Brian O'Connor says: 'What a gig. Packed audience of about 130, and at £25 a time that takes some going for a jazz club in a social hall. The audience contained a galaxy of British jazz talent.'
Front Row, Left to Right: Dave Warren, Kathryn Shackleton, Peter Bernstein, Larry Goldings, Bill Stewart, Ann Odell, Nat Lambson, Imogen Ryall and Dave Cliff.
Second Row, Left to Right: Nat Steele, Paul Hobbs, Pete Whittaker, Gary Wilcox, Dave Barry, Robbie Robson, John Turville, Josephine Davies, Paul Whitten, Terry Seabrook, Andy Trim, John Critchinson, Kate Williams, Alec Dankworth, Stan Sulzmann, Bobby Worth, Ross Stanley and Dylan Howe.
Back Row, Left to Right: Pete Cater, Steve Wetherall, Phil Hopkins, Iain Sutcliffe, Nigel Price, Dorian Lockett, Janette Mason, Andrea Vicari, Shane Hill, Matt Home and Roger Hind
All images © Brain O'Connor, Images of Jazz (www.imagesofjazz.com).
Information has arrived about the following musicians or people connected to jazz who have passed through the 'Departure Lounge' since our last update. Click on their names to read their obituaries where we have them:
Clark Terry – Legendary American trumpeter born in St Louis, Missouri, who worked with Lionel Hampton, Charlie Barnet, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Quincy Jones, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald and others as well as leading his own groups. Although right-handed, he taught himself to manipulate the valves with his left hand too, and could even play the trumpet upside down with the backs of the fingers of either hand. A close friend of Miles Davis, it was Clark Terry who introduced Miles to the flugelhorn.
Jim Galloway - Mike Walmsley writes: 'Jim was an internationally known soprano, tenor and baritone saxophonist from Scotland, playing mostly in Toronto. He was always a pleasure to play with and listen to. He had a wicked sense of fun and humour.' Jim Galloway was born in Ayrshire in 1936. He went to Glasgow School of Art in 1954 at which time he started to play clarinet.
After playing with Alex Dalgleish, he formed his own band the Jazzmakers in 1961 then moved to Toronto, Canada in 1964. There he established his reputation as a saxophonist and bandleader. He returned to Scotland on a number of occasions, playing gigs like the Edinburgh Jazz Festival, and in Canada hosted a radio programme and acted as a booking agent for Café des Copains. Click here for a video of Jim and his Wee Big Band.
Frankie Randall - Pianist and singer who was Frank Sinatra's personal pianist as well as recording in his own right. Born in New Jersey, he started playing piano at the age of seven and after graduating with a degree in Psychology, started playing at Jilly's Nightclub. There he met Sinatra in 1964 and Sinatra helped him to record and appear in film. By the early 1970s, Randall was playing in an all-star jazz band in Los Angeles led by Pat Rizzo, who also played saxophone for Sinatra and was part of the Sinatra circle. Frankie's last recording was the 2001 album Right Now that featured a number of arrangements given to him by Sinatra. Click here to listen to him sing a tribute to Frank.
Bunny Briggs – American percussionist and tap dancer born in Harlem and described by Duke Ellington as ‘the most superleviathonic, rhythmaturgically syncopated, tapsthamaticianismatist’. Inspired by Bill ‘Bojangles’ Robinson he started performing as a child and his career developed through working with big bands, in movies and in clubs and theatres. In 2002 Briggs was given a doctorate in performing arts by Oklahoma City University, and was inducted into the Tap Dance Hall of Fame.
Click here for a video of Bunny dancing with Duke Ellington's Orchestra in David Danced Before The Lord in the 1960s with Jon Hendricks taking the vocals. Click here for a movie clip with Bunny and Charlie Barnett and The Singing Telegram in the 1940s.
One From Ten
We spend time with an album from our list of new and reissued recordings below.
Courtney Pine / Zoe Rahman
Song (The Ballad Book)
Courtney Pine has been playing, re-inventing and exploring since his first album in the 1980s. Over the years in between he has been honoured with an OBE and a CBE for services to music, as well as numerous other awards. In April 2014 he joined Herbie Hancock and many other jazz ‘stars’ for UNESCO’s globally televised concert in Osaka to celebrate International Jazz Day, and released the album House Of Legends, chosen as Album Of the Year by Jazzwise magazine. Many of us will have seen his Jazz Warriors gigs full of talented musicians and playing to packed houses. Now he brings everything down to just himself and British / Bengali pianist Zoe Rahman who herself is steadily becoming a significant presence in jazz here and elsewhere.
Courtney Pine has said: “I have always wanted to record a collection of my favourite ballads and there is nothing like performing in a duet for bringing out the intimacy of great songs”. These ten ballads in question are wide ranging: Beatrice, A Child Is Born, Amazing Grace, Come Sunday, One Last Cry, Intro, A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square, Through The Fire, Song and One Day We’ll All Be Free, compositions by Pine himself as well as Donny Hathaway Edward Howard, Duke Ellington, Sam Rivers, Thad Jones and Brian McKnight.
What does Jazzwise magazine say about the album this time? Alyn Shipton awards it four stars and calls it ‘reflective and beautiful’ with ‘a reverence for the songs’. Come Sunday starts with vintage record effects but then becomes a mix of ‘the sensuous and the questing.’ Shipton picks out Amazing Grace that explores ‘the extreme’s of the bass clarinet’s range within a performance of exceptional control’ and A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square where Pine ‘manages to find a captivatingly sumptuous tone in the instrument’s middle range’ and ‘Rahman’s delicate, thoughtful accompaniment.’
Click here to sample the album nearer to the release date.
Ten Recent Releases and Re-Issues
On Tour - The Tom Green Septet
The Tom Green Septet continues with a successful tour during March featuring their new, highly regarded album Skyline.
Click here for more about the album.
Click here for our Profile of Tom Green.
The Septet is currently on tour - catch them if you can. Matthew Herd's place is being taken on this tour by the very excellent Tommy Andrews. Tom's blog on the tour is on his website - click here.
Tom Green Septet at Burdall's Yard in Bath in January with Miguel Gorodi (trumpet), Sam James (keyboard), Tom Green (trombone), Misha Mullov-Abbado (bass), Tommy Andrews (saxophone) Sam Miles (saxophone), Scott Chapman (drums)
Photograph © Nick Davis Abacus Photography
The Silver Project - Edinburgh
Drummer Kevin Dorrian writes: 'The Silver Project will be launched at Whighams Jazz Club, Whighams Wine Cellars, Edinburgh, on Sunday 15th March. The Silver Project is effectively the band JazzMain augmented by trumpet and flugelhorn player Ewan Mains. Nick Gould (saxophone), Steve Grossart (piano), John Hay (Bass), Kevin Dorrian (drums). It pays homage to the music of Horace Silver, 'sticking to the script' of his fantastic output - including Liberation Brother, Nica's Dream, The Cape Verdean Blues and many many more. You'll find more on the website (click here), especially created for this collaboration between five Scottish jazz musicians
When Horace Silver once wrote out his rules for musical composition (in the liner notes to the 1968 record, Serenade to a Soul Sister), he expounded on the importance of “meaningful simplicity.” The pianist could have just as easily been describing his own life. For more than fifty years, Silver has simply written some of the most enduring tunes in jazz while performing them in a distinctively personal style. It’s all been straight forward enough, while decades of incredible experiences have provided the meaning.
Now hear those tunes come alive with Scotland’s very own tribute to his legacy and his life with a journey through his extensive catalogue. Our goal is not only to emulate the styles of the bands and musicians Horace Silver played in and worked with, but also to bring the music a freshness, to give this enormous talent to the Jazz and music world a fitting tribute.
Working our way though classics such as ‘Song for my Father’, ‘Sister Sadie’ and 'Nica’s Dream’ all the way to some less well known melodies like the beautiful ‘Peace’ and ‘Liberated Brother’, the sheer clarity of Silver’s writing shines through.
Frome Jazz Club Moving
The Jazz Club at Frome in Somerset has been obliged to find a new local venue. From April onwards, Frome Jazz Club will be on the 3rd Sunday of each month, 7-10 p.m.at Frome's The Grain Bar. All events will still be free entry, and now with the added attraction of mezze and local beers. The grand re-opening on Sunday 19 April features pianist John Law. Until now, Frome Jazz Club has used Facebook to advertise its listings, but the move to The Grain Bar, a regular music venue, will allow the Bar's website 'events' page to include the Jazz Club gigs.
Items Carried Over From Last Month
The following items appeared in the last magazine but may still be of interest to readers:
Louis Armstrong's Desert Island Discs Found
It was back in 1968 that Louis Armstrong was interviewed by Roy Plomley on the BBC programme Desert Island Discs. It had been thought that tapes of the programme had been lost, but a copy on reel-to-reel tape has turned up in Louis' own personal collection. The collection of around 750 tapes that was carefully catalogued and indexed by Louis himself is kept at the Louis Armstrong House Museum in New York. The recording is now available for the first time since its original broadcast. The find is down to Terry Teachout who wrote a biography about Louis in 2010 called Pops.
In the programme, Louis tells Roy Plomley about his upbringing in an orphanage and how he learnt to sing in church. Unusually for the programme these days, he chooses five of his own records to take to the desert island. For his luxury item, he chooses his trumpet and for his book, his own autobiography. 'Sometimes you've got to pat yourself on the shoulders,' he says. He adds 'I don't want to fool around with snakes and trees, I'm a city boy after all.'
Cathy Drysdale, the series producer, says: 'When we were originally putting the archive together, the Louis Armstrong programme was one of those we thought "if only that existed somewhere", but despite our best efforts it just didn't turn up. He is so charming, his voice is just thrilling.'
Tubby Hayes - A Celebration
Saxophonist, composer and bandleader Tubby Hayes would have been 80 years old in 2015. To mark his birthday year there are to be a number of events celebrating his music. Tubby was born in St. Pancras, London on the 30th January 1935. He was playing the piano when he was ten and took up the saxophone a year later. He once said: 'I always used to listen to swing music in the early 'Forties and, in fact, I was just a kid at the time. I did not really intend becoming a tenor player, though I always liked tenor. I think maybe Dizzy influenced me more than Parker because he was sort of more accessible, he caught your attention more. As far as my influences over the years are concerned, Getz was it at one stage in the proceedings, and later Rollins, Coltrane, Hank Mobley and, to a lesser degree, even Zoot.'
Tubby joined Kenny Baker's sextet when he was sixteen, and went on to play with a number of big bands before forming his own Octet in 1955. From 1957 to 1959 he co-led the Jazz Couriers with Ronnie Scott. Ronnie is reported to have said: 'This little boy came up, not much bigger than his tenor sax. Rather patronisingly I suggested a number and off he went. He scared me to death.' After a career that established him as one of the UK's favourite jazz musicians he died in 1973 during a heart operation at the age of thirty-eight.
A special Tubby At Eighty concert was held at Ronnie Scott's Club at lunchtime on 1st February with Simon Spillett, John Critchinson, Dave Green, Spike Wells and special guest Bobby Wellins. Simon Spillett's biography The Long Shadow Of The Little Giant - The Life, Work and Legacy of Tubby Hayes is to be published on 25th March. Acrobat records have released a recently discovered live recording of Tubby at The Hopbine from February 1972, Symphony: The Lost Session, and a documentary film Tubby Hayes - A Man In A Hurry is due to be released this year.
Women Make Music Grant
For the fourth year, the Performing Rights Society (PRS) grant scheme Women Make Music is open for applications. Financial support of up to £5,000 is available to women musicians to create new music in any genre. This can range from classical, jazz and experimental music to urban, electronica and pop.
Through the scheme support is available to individuals and organisations / groups including solo performers, solo songwriters or composers, promoters or event producers, bands / ensembles / orchestras, local authorities, schools, etc.
The application deadline is 1st April 2015 for projects happening from 1st May 2015.
Click here for more information.
Jazz Talks: Buckinghamshire and Norwich Areas
Dr Bob Moore has contacted us saying:
'I am a member of the U3A (University of the Third Age) Jazz appreciation section. I now have given four talks to them on each of the following: Louis Armstrong, US swing bands of the 40's, Modern Jazz Quartet and Stan Kenton. I should say that I am not a profession speaker but I have reasonable knowledge of the subject. Now that I have given the talks, it is most probable that they will gather dust in a cupboard but if anyone local to me in High Wycombe is interested, I would be prepared to repeat the talk for free with possible expenses for petrol if far away.'
'The talks mainly simply require a good audio system plus someone to put on the CD's but the Kenton talk does included some excerpts from Youtube on the internet but these could be edited out. If I use the Internet it would require screen plus associated equipment. The talks take about 90 min and the usual format is general background on the artist or group followed by tracks from CD's.'
If anyone would like to take up Bob's offer, you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Similarly, Roy Headland who gives occasional talks to Norwich Jazz and Blues Record Club is offering to give talks with music to other groups in the Norwich area.Roy's email address is: email@example.com.
Tony and Denise Lawrence will be arranging their Jazz Weekends again in 2015. From March to November they book places in hotels around the UK with jazz entertainment provided.
As an example, in Bournemouth at the Wessex Hotel on West Cliff, three nights dinner, bed and breakfast including a five-course gala dinner will cost £209 per person with Kevin Grenfell's Jazz Giants featuring Matt Palmer, John Maddocks Jazzmen, and the Denise Lawrence Band with Ron Drake providing jazz in the ballroom during the evenings. Other weekends take place at Shrewsbury, Windsor, Dawlish, Banbury, Cheltenham, Lyndhurst and Stratford Upon Avon.
Click here for more details.
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 2015