Follow us on Facebook
Sandy Brown Jazz
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.
Click for this month's:
British Black Music Month
June is British Black Music Month, although in truth some activities organised by BritishBlackMusic.com/Black Music Congress (BBM/BMC) run during May and July. As usual, there is a wide range of events open to everyone including:
June 9th - The AntiUniversity History of Black Music in Britain
Click here for the programme.
The AntiUniversity History Of Black Music In Britain on
Thursday June 9th, 5.30-7.30pm at
Hackney Museum, 1 Reading Lane, London E8 1GQ is free of charge but you need to book. Music industry and history consultant Kwaku will deliver an accessible, family-friendly audio-visual assisted presentation on black music making in the British Isles over two millennia, and will also show its engagement with patronage and the music industry. Click here to Register.
Chet Baker - Born To Be Blue
Following the recent screening of the Miles Davis biopic Miles Ahead, director Robert Budreau's film about Chet Baker, Born To Be Blue, opens in cinemas in July. Chet Baker is played by Ethan Hawke while Kedar Brown takes the Miles Davis role and Kevin Hanchard that of Dizzy Gillespie.
Talking to Empire magazine Ethan Hawke was asked about an earlier plan for a film about Chet in conjunction with director Richard Linklater. Ethan says: 'Yeah. I've been passionate about Chet for years. Around the time I was 30, we developed a project about early '50s Chet Baker. So Born To Be Blue felt like I was being offered the sequel to a film I never got to make, you know? But playing Chet in his forties is actually much more interesting for the actor. Like every rise-to-fame story, people are not that interesting when they're getting what they want. We all become a lot more interesting when we're failing.' (Hawke and Linklater had worked up a script in the early 2000's).
Born to be Blue is a re-imagining of jazz trumpeter Chet Baker's life in the 60's. On the Rotten Tomatoes website, people like it and it has been given an average rating of 7/10. They say: 'Ethan Hawke lights up the screen as jazz legend Chet Baker, whose tumultuous life is thrillingly re-imagined with wit, verve, and style to burn. In the 1950s, Baker was one of the most famous trumpeters in the world, renowned as both a pioneer of the West Coast jazz scene and an icon of cool. By the 1960s, he was all but washed up, his career and personal life in shambles due to years of heroin addiction. In his innovative anti-biopic, director Robert Budreau zeroes in on Baker's life at a key moment in the 1960s, just as the musician attempts to stage a hard-fought comeback, spurred in part by a passionate romance with a new flame (Carmen Ejogo). Creatively blending fact with fiction and driven by Hawke's virtuoso performance, Born to Be Blue unfolds with all the stylistic brio and improvisatory genius of great jazz.'
Click here for the trailer.
Empire asked Ethan Hawke whether he had learned to play the trumpet for the role? ; ' ... I've played guitar my whole life and I've goofed around with the trumpet but when I first started taking lessons I was incredibly discouraged about how difficult it was, and begged the director if he could put filming off to let me practise for a year .... (my trumpet teacher said) "If you had eight years, you wouldn't be anywhere near ready." So what I did was I learned about six to eight songs as well as I could, and I played them badly, but at least I learned the fingering and the embouchure.'
From the trailer the film looks very promising and Ethan Hawke has been applauded for his portrayal of Chet Baker, but like Miles Ahead, the reviews have been varied. Rex Reed in The Observer doesn't rate it at all, but Peter Travers in Rolling Stone does: '... you leave the film with a fuller understanding of who Baker was and what drove him ... This potent provocation of a movie says, yeah, Baker got lost, but look what he found.'
Born To Be Blue opens in UK cinemas in July.
Woody Allen's Café Society
Film director (and jazz clarinettist) Woody Allen's new film Café Society was shown at Cannes in May to mixed reviews. Invariably Woody Allen uses a jazz soundtrack for many, if not most, of his films and although I have seen nothing about the music in the reviews so far, the subject matter and the trailer make it clear this film will be no exception (see the trailer link below). For Café Society Allen has assembled a notable cast including Jesse Eisenberg, a young actor I have admired for some time, and he comes out well in the reviews. Kate Muir in The Times says: From his hunched, put-upon shoulders to his nervous, rapid-fire delivery, Eisenberg gives us vintage Woody.
'Set in the 1930s, Woody Allen's bittersweet romance Café Society follows Bronx-born Bobby Dorfman (Jesse Eisenberg) to Hollywood, where he falls in love, and back to New York, where he is swept up in the vibrant world of high society nightclub life. Centering on events in the lives of Bobby's colorful Bronx family, the film is a glittering valentine to the movie stars, socialites, playboys, debutantes, politicians, and gangsters who epitomized the excitement and glamour of the age' (rottentomatoes.com). Robbie Collin writing in The Telegraph and giving the film 4 stars says: “Live every day like it’s your last, and one day you’ll be right,” Evelyn (Sari Lennick) cousels her younger brother Bobby Dorfman (Jesse Eisenberg) near the start of Café Society, the new comedy from Woody Allen. It’s the Thirties, and Bobby has abandoned the sepia-tinted hubbub of the Bronx for the Technicolor vistas of Hollywood. For an ambitious but also directionless 20-something Jewish guy on the make, it’s sound, if pessimistic, advice.
Woody Allen continues to have his critics for his off-screen life. Writing in The Guardian, Melissa Silverstein refuses to see the film because of accusations about Allen's treatment of women, and the Daily Mail reports how the French host at the Cannes Film Festival made a joke about Roman Polanski and rape directed at Woody Allen (click here for the report and the video link).
Click here to watch the trailer for the film. Café Society will be released in the United States on 15th July but we shall probably have to wait a while to see it in the UK.
Whether there is a link between the film and the Café Society upon which pianist and composer Alex Webb's show Café Society Swing is based, I'm not sure. When Howard Lawes reviewed (and recommended) the show in our April issue he said: 'Café Society was a cabaret club opened by Barney Josephson in Greenwich Village, New York in 1938. The format of the club was based on the "Kabarett" clubs in Germany which presented political satire as well as music and dance and it is ironic that as Josephson was opening his club in New York the clubs in Germany were being closed down by the Nazi Party. The Christopher Isherwood novel "Goodbye to Berlin" and the Kander and Ebb Broadway musical "Cabaret" relate the events of the period in Germany. Josephson opened Café Society Uptown in 1940 in Manhattan.'
'Josephson's clubs were the first in New York (and probably in the USA) to welcome both blacks and whites to the same shows - "I wanted a club where blacks and whites worked together behind the footlights and sat together out front" he is quoted as saying. The clubs were well known for supporting new talent and many up and coming singers, jazz musicians, dancers and comedians played there but they also presented established stars such as Billie Holiday, who was a regular performer. After World War 2 Josephson's brother Leon fell foul of the House Committee on Un-American Activities and the subsequent publicity had a drastic effect on the popularity of Café Society forcing them to close in 1948, just 10 years after opening.'
Women Make Music and the PRS Open Fund
The PRS for Music Foundation allocates grants under the projects Women Make Music and The Open Fund. Women Make Music supports the development of outstanding women songwriters and composers of all genres and backgrounds at different stages of their career. The fund can support projects by women songwriters, composers, artists, bands and performers who are writing their own music.
The Open Fund supports the development of outstanding songwriters and composers of all genres and backgrounds and at different stages of their career. The funds support a huge variety of genres and projects.
Included in the grantees for this round of Women Make Music are Dee Byrne and Lauren Kinsella. Amongst recipients of The Open Fund are Swanage Jazz Festival, Moving On Music (Northern Ireland) and jazz musicians Trish Clowes, Byron Wallen, Ayanna Witter-Johnson, Ben Cottrell, Yazz Ahmed and John Harle.
Click here for more details. The next deadline for applications to The Open Fund and Women Make Music is Monday 13th June 2016 at 6pm.
Keswick Jazz Festival Changes
This year, Cumbria's Keswick Jazz Festival held at the Theatre By The Lake could be the last in its present form. The festival which ran from 12th to 15th May has been going for 25 years.
Keswick Jazz Festival has been the UK's largest and most popular celebration of traditional, New Orleans, swing and mainstream jazz. This year there were over 90 performances, with a further four days of concerts in the Theatre By The Lake preceding the main festival. 'Music from days of jazz when it began - Jelly Roll Morton, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, and from the glory days of traditional jazz in the UK, to the fat and hip-swinging music of the New Orleans brass bands and Cajun style bands, also the jumping sounds of the jive bands, intimate gypsy jazz, powerful and inspiring vocalists, hot pianists, cool saxophones, trumpets, trombones, banjos, clarinets... the list goes on.' A dance floor was created in at least one venue where the bands played for dancing, and dance tutors ran classes in the morning for beginners and intermediates. There were also jazz talks, jam sessions, guest sessions, a parade though the town, jazz services, music in local pubs and cafes as well as concerts in large and small venues in and around the town.
On the Keswick Jazz Festival Facebook page, they said: ' ... it will be the best ever, and possibly the last (in it's current form) ... Next year there will be four concerts in the main theatre and five in the studio running from 11th to 14th May. These will be advertised at this year's festival.'
As Annette Keen writes in the next article, Swanage Jazz Festival seems to be thriving. So why is Keswick changing? Brian O'Connor was at Keswick this year and offers these thoughts:
'The Keswick Jazz Festival has been an annual event now for approximately 25 years. It caters mainly for the Trad jazz section of the market with a sprinkling of mainstream acts. Possibly therein lies the seed of its demise in its present form, unless a miracle happens. The ever loyal audience for Trad has diminished in numbers due to the the passing of time, and of those remaining, their reluctance to accept a broader outlook coupled with ever increasing costs and sponsorship problems, has led to the whole project becoming unviable. As far as I can judge, to remain a multi-venue festival it needs to broaden its acceptance of other varieties of jazz, diluting but not ignoring the Trad tradition.'
'Then, as always, it needs more sponsorship. For many years there have been regular sponsors, and many thanks to them, but as mentioned before, with increasing costs, lack of funds is always a problem. Finally, as with all jazz festivals, it could do with more publicity in the mainstream way of life. A very uphill task. Although it will be sad if it is not rescued, all is not entirely lost. The Theatre has booked 4 days of jazz gigs next year as a form of mini-festival, and let us hope this proves to be successful. Quite a gamble and they deserve to succeed.'
'The setting in the heart of the Lake District is an ideal place to enjoy the music, and take a holiday. Let’s keep our fingers crossed and wish them well.'
Swanage Jazz Festival
Swanage Jazz Festival has received a grant from the PRS Open Fund (see news item above). Is it so different to Keswick?
Annette Keen writes:
Almost July, height of the British summer, with more public events on offer than probably any other month in the year. For some people it can only mean one thing: Wimbledon tennis. I quite like tennis, but for me July means the Swanage Jazz Festival. Now there are plenty of other jazz festivals happening this month, and I don't mean to decry any of them as I'm sure they are all splendid in their own way, but there is something very special about Swanage. And it all starts in a rather special way about twenty-five minutes from the town, if you're taking the car ferry from Sandbanks to Shell Bay. Suddenly, it feels like you're really going somewhere.
If you've never been there you may not know that Swanage is the quintessential English seaside town. Set on a perfect little bay, with a three mile long sandy beach that descends gradually in a child-friendly way into calm waters, brightly painted pedalo boats and stripey deckchairs, it's picture-postcard pretty. There are little boats bobbing about on the sea, and a Victorian pier jutting out into it. Until a couple of years ago there was even Punch and Judy on the beach but sadly the most recent Punchman retired in 2015. It's encouraging though to know that the local council are looking for a replacement, so if anyone reading is interested in a career change, the Punch and Judy concession is up for tender.
Swanage town is heroically stuck in the 1950s. It has a smattering of coffee shops and restaurants, fish and chippies, some interesting shops and many good pubs. There are no big supermarkets, no high street chains and no pedestrian-only shopping centres. It is essentially the same as it was when I went there as a child on family holidays, although I can't now find the shop where they sold delicious fat wedges of blackcurrant ice-cream sandwiched between wafers. The town boasts a steam railway and an open-top bus, and some swanky new beach huts along the prom.
The jazz festival (now in its 26th year) fills the town with people and music for three days. If you leave it too late you'll have a job getting a room to stay - many people do as I do and book for the following year when they pay their bill. Restaurants, pubs, takeaways (yes there are some of those...) are busy throughout. British seaside towns have had a hard time of it in recent years, so it's no wonder that Swanage welcomes the festival back each year, it's good for business and that's good for the town.
What I particularly like about this festival is that you don't end up sitting in the same place all the time – there are four stroller venues nicely spread out and a flash of your wristband will get you into any of them. Two marquees, which host the bigger gigs, are perched on a grassy field overlooking the bay, and from here the route to the other venues cuts through the town in two directions – there is a shuttle bus available for anyone unable or unwilling to walk, although the distance is not great and the views are lovely. Local student bands entertain on the quayside and some of the pubs are free venues. Something of a carnival atmosphere pervades the town on festival weekend. It can be a bit hectic getting round all the gigs you've marked off in the brochure (there are overlaps), but at the same time it's a pretty relaxed vibe - you're at the seaside and there are ice-creams and bags of chips and exceptional jazz to enjoy.
The music policy at Swanage is '...an established mix of well-known names and some of the younger generation who are keeping jazz alive in Britain.' Styles range from New Orleans to Dixieland to mainstream to contemporary. Something for everyone in fact. Keeping the whole thing afloat at the head of the Festival Board is Artistic Director Fred Lindop, ever-present throughout the weekend as he bikes from venue to venue. The President is Alan Barnes, who's played at every Swanage Festival to date. In 2012, after months of wet weather, the marquees had to be abandoned and last minute replacement venues organised. That threw the budgeting into turmoil and put the 2013 festival in jeopardy, but donations from fans and supporters saved the day and Swanage Jazz Festival emerged, a soggy phoenix, to a triumphant jazzy fanfare.
This year, we hope the weather holds. Music will range from the Dixieland of the Shooting Stars, Alex Welsh Remembered, and the Buck Clayton Legacy to the Kofi-Barnes Aggregation and many top musicians including Andy Panayi, Arun Ghosh, Tim Garland, Dave O'Higgins, Bobby Wellins, Art Themen, Henry Spencer and Juncture, Ian Shaw and Remi Harris as well as the Dorset Youth Jazz Orchestra and other student bands.
Of course there are other brilliant jazz festivals in the UK but maybe they don't all have the fringe benefits that Swanage does. If you haven't been there yet I urge you to try it. Go for the day or go for the weekend. I can't think of a good reason not to - unless of course you're related to Andy Murray, which is only barely excusable ...
Swanage Jazz Festival takes place from 8th to 10th July 2016. Click here for details.
Annette Keen is involved in artiste management and jazz club admin - but is still looking for a venue to re-start her own club. Click here for Annette's website.
New Tubby Hayes Recordings
Following the film Tubby Hayes: A Man In A Hurry and Simon Spillett's book The Long Shadow Of The Little Giant, Savage Solweig are releasing previously unissued recordings by Tubby made shortly before his death in 1973. Simon Spillett has written the liner notes for Split Kick - Live In Sweden 1972 (Savage Solweig SS-004) a recording of sessions in Gothenburg and Stockholm.
With rare photographs and with tracks such as Off The Wagon and Trenton Place, the recording also features some fine flute playing by Tubby. the album has been taken from professionally recorded live tapes and is released in co-operation with Swedish Radio. Simon Spillett says: "Of the recent Tubby releases, this one is among the best musically and sonically. It gives us an up-close opportunity to hear how worked away from his regular line-ups, as well as showcasing some of his finest flute work, something previous albums haven't focused on too much."
Split Kick - Live In Sweden 1972 will be released later this summer.
[You are able to listen to the music at the same time as reading this article and without leaving the page if you click here. 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 are links to the music on YouTube etc. in the article below].
They say into your early life romance came
Sophisticated Lady was composed by Duke Ellington and Irving Mills in 1932 and words were subsequently added by Mitchell Parish. The origin of the melody is sometimes a point of contention with Lawrence Brown claiming credit for the first eight bars and credit also being given to Toby Hardwick. However, it is said that Ellington's original conception for the piece was inspired by three of his grade school teachers: 'They taught all winter and toured Europe in the summer. To me that spelled sophistication'.
Click here for a video from the late 1960s of Duke Ellington's Orchestra playing Sophisticated Lady in Copenhagen featuring Harry Carney with a beautiful baritone saxophone solo and whose circular breathing shows how to hold a note.
Duke's school was in the U Street District of Washington D.C., commonly known as the U Street Corridor. Apparently, until the 1920s, when it was overtaken by Harlem, the U Street Corridor was home to the nation's largest urban African American community. 'In its cultural heyday, it was known as "Black Broadway", a phrase coined by singer Pearl Bailey.' During his childhood, the Ellington's lived on 13th street between T and S Streets. For many years, U Street has been central to Washington's music scene, with the Lincoln Theatre, Howard Theatre, Bohemian Caverns, and other clubs and historic jazz venues.
Click here for an estate agent's interesting summary video which describes the area and its history.
Wikipedia tells us that 'While the area remained a cultural center for the African American community through the 1960s, the neighborhood began to decline following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968. The intersection of 14th Street and U Street was the epicenter of violence and destruction during the 1968 Washington, D.C. riots. Following the riots, and the subsequent flight of affluent residents and businesses from the area, the corridor became blighted. Drug trafficking rose dramatically in the mid-1970s, when the intersection of 14th and U Streets was an area of drug trafficking in Washington, D.C.'
Now, sophistication is returning to the Corridor as more than 2,000 luxury condominiums and apartments were constructed between 1997 and 2007.
Click here for a short video about U Street from a video series exploring how D.C. denizens show their sense of style. On D.C.'s historic U Street, "everyone is a style star."
The years have changed you, somehow
Duke Ellington and His Orchestra first introduced Sophisticated Lady in 1933 with an instrumental recording of the song featuring solos by Toby Hardwick on alto sax, Barney Bigard on clarinet, Lawrence Brown on trombone and Ellington on piano. The recording entered the charts on the 27th May 1933, and stayed there for sixteen weeks, rising to number three.
Click here for the 1933 version by Duke Ellington and his Famous Orchestra that starts with Lawrence Brown's trombone introduction.
Ellington’s vocalist Adelaide Hall recorded two versions of ‘Sophisticated Lady’. In 1928, Adelaide had starred on Broadway with Bill "Bojangles" Robinson in the show Blackbirds of 1928. It became the most successful all-black show ever staged on Broadway at that time and made Hall and Bojangles into household names. Adelaide Hall's part was originally cast for Florence Mills, but she died of pneumonia in 1927 before rehearsals started. Adelaide was chosen to take her place and the show became the hit of the season. Adelaide's performance of Diga Diga Do, created a sensation. When her mother went to see the show she was disgusted to see her daughter performing what she termed 'risqué dance moves', tried to stop the show and banned Adelaide from appearing in any future performances. Fortunately, mum was persuaded to change her mind and Adelaide returned the following day. Even so, it is reported that Lew Leslie, the show's producer was 'so concerned about race violence connected with the controversy surrounding Adelaide's performance that he took out a hefty insurance policy to cover the cast; the most heavily insured were the principals, Adelaide Hall and "Bojangles" Robinson.'
Unfortunately I have been able to find either of the two versions Adelaide Hall recorded of Sophisticated Lady, but we have a video of her singing the song much later that we'll come back to. However, to get an idea of Adelaide in those early years, here she is singing and dancing in 1935 in a video short in which she follows an acrobatic act The Three Whippets and she in turn is followed by very young Nicholas Brothers - click here.
A year before Blackbirds of 1928, Adelaide Hall recorded Creole Love Call with Duke Ellington. They were both touring in a show called Dance Mania. The story is told that Duke had a new number, "Creole Love Call", which he included in his set. Adelaide later said, "I was standing in the wings behind the piano when Duke first played it. I started humming along with the band. He stopped the number and came over to me and said, 'That's just what I was looking for. Can you do it again?' I said, 'I can't, because I don't know what I was doing.' He begged me to try. Anyway, I did, and sang this counter melody, and he was delighted and said 'Addie, you're going to record this with the band.' A couple of days later I did". In David Bradbury's book on Duke Ellington he writes, 'When Duke was recounting the incident to a reporter he explained, "We had to do something to employ Adelaide Hall," and then added, "I always say we are primitive artists, we only employ the materials at hand … the band is an accumulation of personalities, tonal devices."
The British Film Institute has this brief video of Adelaide Hall singing Swing Low Sweet Chariot in 1948 (click here). You can see why she could have sung Sophisticated Lady. This excerpt is taken from an unfinished film called 'A World is Turning', that was 'intended to highlight the contribution of black men and women to British society at a time when they were struggling for visibility on our screens. Only six reels of rushes remain, including scenes of Hall performing at London's Nightingale Club; filming appears to have been halted due to the director's illness.'
The only video I can find of Adelaide Hall singing Sophisticated Lady is this one where she appeared on the Terry Wogan TV show in 1984 (click here). A bit of a mystery surrounds information on the IMDb (International Movie Database) that records a documentary called Sophisticated Lady filmed in 1989 by directors David Mingay and David Robinson. It was a profile of Adelaide Hall and starred Adelaide and Benny Waters, but no information about the film seems to exist (click here). It would be interesting to know more about it.
As another miscellaneous 'factoid', according to William Zinsser in his book, Easy to Remember: The Great American Songwriters and Their Songs, the song Laura was born out of a disagreement between composer David Raksin and director Otto Preminger. Preminger wanted to use Sophisticated Lady as a theme in the film Laura, but Raksin felt it was wrong for the movie and wrote Laura in a weekend as a replacement.
For two different takes on Sophisticated Lady, here is tenor saxophonist Eddie Miller playing the tune in 1986 during the Cork Festival in Ireland. Yank Lawson introduces Eddie for a feature as part of a festival concert by the Bob Cats. Bob Haggart is on bass, Lou Stein on piano and Nick Fatool on drums. Eddie Miller had a tenor sax style similar to that of Bud Freemen. He started playing professionally in New Orleans when he was sixteen and went on to play with Ben Pollack and then Bob Crosby - (click here).
Now watch and listen to Thelonious Monk in this video of his Sophisticated Lady solo at the Berliner Jazztage, Berlin, Germany, on 7th November 1969 (click here). As one commentator says: 'Monk plays so perfectly, capturing the potential for dissonance in a piece without sacrificing elegance.'
Let's end with this version of Sophisticated Lady by bass player Christian McBride from a video made at the 2009 Festival de Jazz San Javier (click here). The piece starts with a great bass solo before pianist Peter Martin takes his solo. They then work the tune out between them. Ulisses Owens is on drums.
'Elegance is the only beauty that never fades.' (Audrey Hepburn)
The Parliamentary Jazz Awards
The Parliamentary Jazz Awards are held each year in the Terrace Room at the Houses of Parliament. The room runs parallel to the river Thames - you can see the terrace in those pictures of the Houses of Parliament taken from the opposite side of the river. Getting to the room is a journey. Entry is by invitation and as you would expect, security is tight, much like at an airport where all metal objects are placed in a tray on a conveyor and you are screened while holding up your trousers because your belt is in the tray. There is then a walk to the room through an enormous, cavernous, stone lobby and I am wondering whether that was designed to make a man feel small, humbled. Turn left along a corridor where statues of the great and the good look down on you (don't blink!), across the Central Lobby where the political journalists 'talk to camera' and then down carpeted corridors serving busy committee and meeting rooms that say Parliament is not 'nine to five', and on towards the Thames.
As you walk, you feel the age and history of the building but not the enormous amount of wear and tear that is causing headaches for the government in how to deal with the maintenance and restoration work currently needed and the debate about moving elsewhere while work is done. The Parliamentary Jazz Awards might have a different venue in a year or two.
The Terrace - you can see the blue canopy above the outside the room.
The terrace room is smaller than the ballroom where the JazzFM Awards were held, and there is no separate bar room, although people do go outside on to the narrow terrace above the river to talk and meet. At one end of the room, the Ronnie Scott's All Stars band plays and a small group gather round to hear Freddie Gavita's trumpet solo. In the middle of the room, a temporary stage is erected for the Award presentations. The room is packed with people meeting the award nominees, renewing old contacts and making new ones. I argued last month about how important I think these events are for musicians, jazz venues and activities and the jazz scene generally. A time for recognition of what is being achieved; an opportunity for a coming together of people who make the world of UK jazz happen.
The Ronnie Scott's All Stars
The Parliamentary Jazz Awards are promoted by a group of Parliamentarians. Parliament is much like a school or university in the way it has 'out-of-hours interest groups'. 'An All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) consists of Members of both Houses who join together to pursue a particular topic or interest. In order to use the title 'All Party Parliamentary Group', a Group must be open to all Members of both Houses, regardless of party affiliation, and must satisfy the rules agreed by the House for All Party Parliamentary Groups.' There are many, of which the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group (APPJAG) is one. They are all included in a Register where their purpose and officers are listed - for example there is an All Party Parliamentary Football Club Group whose purpose is 'to play football and raise money for charity' and an All Party Parliamentary Group on Cancer whose purpose is 'To keep cancer on the political agenda, monitor implementation of government initiatives, provide briefings to parliamentarians and ensure policy making is evidence based and patient centred.' The general public is usually unaware of these activities and the range of groups is interesting to see (click here).
The purpose of AAPJAG is 'To promote an appreciation of jazz music and to engage Parliament in an awareness of the issues facing jazz music, musicians and promoters.' Of course, there are other benefits from APPGs in that they bring together different members of the House of Commons and House of Lords from all political parties who have a common interest. The current joint chairs of APPJAG are Jason McCartney, M.P. for the Colne Valley in West Yorkshire and Lord Colwyn (click here for our page on APPJAG). The Register also records any registrable (financial) benefits received by the Group and for APPJAG there are none. As with the JazzFM Awards, these events are funded by sponsors. Parliament makes the venue available 'with the permission of the Speaker' but other costs are met by supporting organisations such as PPLUK, the organisation that licenses recorded music in the UK.
The band stops playing and after an introduction by Jason McCartney MP, and then this year's host, Jon Newey, Editor of Jazzwise magazine introduces the presentations. Unlike some other events, the audience is attentive and most of the nominees are present. It is quite an achievement to have so many talented jazz people rubbing shoulders in one place at a time - Liam Noble, Julian Argüelles, Ian Shaw, Liane Carroll, Jason Yarde, Evan Parker, Jacqui Dankworth ...... As the winners are announced, the band plays a few appropriate bars - a Scottish air for Dr Tommy Smith as he receives the award for Jazz Education. The award itself is a simple wooden wall shield, but the significance of the award is far from simple and I hope that Parliament and the sponsers enable the event to continue for years to come.
Picture courtesy of Hayley Madden / PPL
This year's Award winners were:
Jazz Vocalist of the Year: Emilia Mårtensson (click here for a video of Emilia singing Harvest Moon)
Lewis Wright accepting the Jazz Ensemble award on behalf of Empirical
Jason McCartney, M.P. told us: 'I came to appreciate Jazz through the Marsden International Jazz Festival in my constituency. It was wonderful to see such amazing musical talent in Parliament and as the Co Chairman of APPJAG I look forward to nurturing and celebrating this musical talent for many years to come.'
Binker and Moses
Nominated for both the JazzFM Awards and the Parliamentary Jazz Awards this year were the duo Binker and Moses. They went away with two awards from JazzFM - Breakthrough Act of the Year and UK Jazz Act of the Year and from the Parliamentary Awards with Jazz Newcomer of the Year Award. Who are these guys?!
Click here for an interview with Binker and Moses at the JazzFM Awards.
Binker and Moses are tenor saxophonist Binker Golding and drummer Moses Boyd - two of the most exciting young jazz musicians on the thriving London jazz scene. Originally meeting through double bassist / educator Gary Crosby’s Tomorrow’s Warriors jazz development programme, they have played together in various large and small format groups including recording and touring extensively as members of Zara McFarlane’s band.
Binker and Moses at the Parliamentary Jazz Awards
Binker Golding leads his own quartet and is co-director of the Nu Civilisation Orchestra. Drummer Moses Boyd, was winner of the Worshipful Company of Musicians Young Jazz Musician Award in 2014.
Click here for a video of them playing Man Like GP from the album, Dem Ones which was released in May 2015.
In an interview with Stephen Graham last year, Binker said: '“Well, I first met Moses quite a while ago. I think through Abram Wilson and we became friends from the get go. Since then we’ve played in a number of groups together, most consistently Zara McFarlane’s band. So we’ve been on the road with Zara quite a bit the last few years which has given Moses and I a lot of time to experiment between soundcheck and performance. So we’d often play duo when we had that moment free and practise certain things. Over time the ideas we practised evolved and moulded into things, things that we developed into complete pieces of music. We then decided we should start doing duo performances to see if we could make sense of it in a performance context. We did that for a while, deemed it as a good idea, then a short while later Gearbox Records approached us with the idea of making an album after they heard some demos we recorded and put online.'
Click here for the video of Black Ave Maria from the album.
... and in speaking about their music on the album - '“It was very challenging. Simple in the sense that we knew what we wanted to do and how it should sound, but challenging in the same way that the gigs we do are challenging, meaning we want it to sound like music and not two musicians practising and that’s harder given the instrumentation. It helps that Moses and I are on the same page. If we weren’t it would be an utter nightmare.'
'I think in this circumstance the musicians have to be practically custom-made for each other. In regards to liberation I’d say we started this ensemble for liberation. In my mind it’s a mild rebellion against jazz which is over composed with perhaps one or two too many instruments.
So we said: ‘We’ll practically get rid of all the instruments and strip it down and improvise rather than compose.’ The stripped down nature of it is one of the main attractions for us. Communication is very different when it’s just between two people.' (Click here to read the full interview and other interviews with them).
Click here to listen to In The Chambers of Pain (or: "Dem ones" live)
BBC Proms 2016
It looks as though jazz will have an increased presence in this year's Promenade Concerts in July and August.
News is through that Kamasi Washington will be playing on 30th August when his band is joined by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and conductor Jules Buckley. Iain Ballamy and Liane Carroll will be taking part in a celebration of Shakespeare's anniversary when they perform Duke Ellington's Such Sweet Thunder with the National Jazz Orchestra on 5th August, and Jamie Cullum will be presenting an evening of late-night jazz with the Roundhouse Choir and Heritage Orchestra on 11th August ...
... and there's more: Saxophonist YolandDa Brown will play as part of a Gospel Prom on 19th July; Jacob Collier and vocalist/bassist Richard Bona will be celebrating Quincy Jones with Jules Buckley's Metropole Orkest on 22nd August, and the Sao Paulo Jazz Symphony will be playing Brazilian music from street sounds to avant garde on 24th August.
Click here for more information.
Corrie Dick (Drums)
Drummer Corrie Dick comes from Glasgow but is now based in London. He graduated as a gold medal student from the jazz course at Trinity Laban Conservatoire. His awards include the BBC's 2013 Young Scottish Jazz Musician of the Year, the Scottish Jazz Awards "Up and Coming Artist" in 2012, and he has been nominated in the Parliamentary Jazz Awards several times including this year. He is an alumni of both the Tommy Smith Youth Jazz Orchestra and the National Youth Jazz Orchestra of Scotland and has been mentored by the likes of Mark Guiliana, Kendrick Scott and Ari Hoenig as well as Ghanaian kpanlogo master Saddiq Addy, nephew of the legendary Mustapha Tettey Addy. He has also studied the traditional music of Zimbabwe, Madagascar, Benin and other parts of Africa alongside his prodigious creative companion, guitarist Rob Luft. Corrie plays in a number of bands both here and abroad and he released his debut album Impossible Things at the end of 2015.
Hi Corrie, tea or coffee?
Coffee, cheers Ian. Espresso if you do it?
No problem - Hob Nob, Bourbon, Garibaldi or digestive biscuit?
I have literally no idea what a Garibaldi is, will try that.
Max and Paul in equal measure.
A bunch of stuff. I've been working on a solo show and doing a few local gigs - hoping to move that a bit more next year. Also plenty with the band from my album. I've also been playing regularly with Laura Jurd's band Dinosaur and a bit with Pete Wareham, 'Little Lions' (a collaborative trio with Matt Robinson and Joe Webb) and lots with Rob Luft - look out for that guy, jeez...
[Click here for a video of Corrie with Dinosaur playing Laura Jurd's composition Hardanger].
Yeah I've got quite a lot, I have listed my gigs on my website (click here). Mainly I'm working towards a tour of the UK in August - September, I've got 17 dates booked and counting. And a few outside of the tour period too. I'm also thinking about my next move, I've got ideas that I'm really excited about - Little Lions is releasing it's first EP, Embers, on 17th June too.
[Click here for a video of Little Lions playing Turn Our Back at Dempsey's in Cardiff in 2015]
What’s the reaction been to the new album Impossible Things?
GOOD. People seem to like it, which is great. Part of the reason I play music is to connect with people, I consider myself very lucky that the music I feel connected with is something that others can get in on.
[Click here to listen to Soar from the album].
Is there anyone you have heard recently that we should listen out for?
Also this bassist/producer Huw Marc Bennet has a great project called Susso - look out for that album!
Huw Bennett Quintet
Yeah, why not 😊
[Click here for Corrie Dick's Band Of Joy playing Annamarrakech at Oliver's in 2015]
Do You Have A Birthday In June?
Ron Drakeford has written a great page on this website looking back at jazz in Kingston-upon-Thames and the music and characters of past years there (click here where you also can listen to some of the jazz of the time). The page has set off memories for a number of people including Chris Mitchell who wrote about one 'character' from those days, 'Dusty' Millar: 'There was a guy called John ‘Dusty’ Millar who had been a promising trumpet player until he accidentally cut off his hand and terminated his career as a musician. He would hold court in the Kenya Coffee House in Kingston on Friday and Saturday nights on a wide variety of subjects and most Sundays he would be a speaker at Speaker’s Corner on the platform of the National Secular Society, teasing his audiences about God and religion and encouraging atheistic thought (quite radical in those days). He had a bookshop near Kingston Hill and a young son called Christopher. Chris went on, as ‘Rat Scabies’, to form The Damned in around 1976. Dusty was a keen listener to jazz, though he no longer played ... It would be interesting to see how many people who were on the Kingston scene would remember him. I first knew him in 1961 and we kept in touch until he died 10 years ago.'
Craig Sams remembers 'Dusty' and sent us this nice article:
'It is a paper that I wrote in 1963, when I was 18 and at university. It captures a smidgen of the Kingston Scene and the jazz scene, of which Dusty was an integral part ....
“Sir, your argument was originally proposed by St. Anselm of Canterbury in 1053. It is ambiguous, presumptuous and ridiculous for the following reasons…”
The man on the National Secular Society stand at Marble Arch smiles and winks at his other listeners. He looks older than his thirty-odd years. Long locks from his large shock of silver-grey hair hang down over his ruddy face. Every Sunday he speaks out against God and organized religion before what Churchill has called the orator’s most difficult audience. He is always a success.
Originally Dusty was one of the most promising young trumpet players on the English jazz scene. Then he lost his valve hand in an accident. His career as a trumpeter cut short, he turned to the pursuit of lay politics, anti-clericalism, and “pop” philosophy. He became the central figure of the Kingston coffee-house society. A large number of Arabs and Afro-Asians who studied in Kingston met at the coffee-house, argued with Dusty, and generally ended up absorbing many of his ideas. When he said that a true socialist government permanentizes itself by total nationalisation, the point was argued and discussed for days afterwards. It is possible that some of the ideas that he promulgated were taken away to become, in some form, part of the programs and policies of the governments of the new nations. Even in London, one of Dusty’s political “disciples” entered, ran in and won an election to a seat on the Surrey County Council as one of the few Labour representatives in the county. Much of his campaign was based, not solely on Labour Party doctrines but on the teachings of Dusty Millar.
Only once have I seen the usually mild-mannered Dusty lose his self-control. It was at a party at which the Rolling Stones, a popular Rhythm ‘n Blues group at the time, were present. Instead of being the attractions of the party, they were part of a circle listening to Dusty in hot debate with an American Catholic girl. Like a missionary speaking to a pagan, Dusty firmly analysed her beliefs and carefully made sure that there was no vestige of reason left when he had finished with them. At last he could no longer be the cool, quiet reasoner. Billy Sunday-like he stood up and shouted, “Why don’t you renounce your faith?” Broken, the girl could only say humbly, “I believe, I believe.”
Confronted with this Dusty could only mutter a few apologies. A few minutes later he left. The next day he was on his stand at Hyde Park, still defying God to do something about him, to manifest Himself. The words were the same, but the usual spark, the fervour and the zealous devotion were lacking. His audience sensed this and their reactions were unenergetic. It took him weeks to recover.
Jazz London Live
As Mary Greig retires from producing the Jazz In London gig listing and receives the Services to Jazz Award at the Parliamentary Jazz Awards (see above), a new online listing takes its place. Sarah Chaplin and Mick Sexton of LondonJazzLive say:
'JazzLondonLive is a new mobile digital resource aimed at the jazz community in London and the south east, devised specifically to fill the void left by the much-loved monthly printed booklet, which was produced continuously for the last 43 years. Sarah Chaplin and Mick Sexton are currently putting this app/website together, which goes live in its beta format on 1st June 2016. It will give people access to what’s on in the jazz world every day of the year all over London, as well as insights into who’s who in the London jazz scene, plus links to news and reviews, band personnel, tour dates, festival announcements and more.'
'If you would like to help make this happen, please support our crowdfunding campaign which runs until 10 July. We need to raise £10,000 to get the database built that will run behind the listings site in the long run, so every pledge helps – the rewards range from £2 to £2500.'
Click here for the JazzLondonLive website.
Jane says: 'All Night Long (1962) was certainly one of the worst films ever made but fortunately the story took place in a night club and they did at least get the jazz right. This clip features Dave Brubeck backed by four British musicians and offers a rare sight of wonderful Bert Courtley on trumpet. As you will no doubt spot, the editing of Raggy Waltz is nonsensical, showing certain musicians playing, when the soundtrack says otherwise!' - Click here.
Bert Courtley was born on September 11, 1929 in Moston, Manchester, England as Herbert Courtley. He was married to Kathy Stobart. He died on September 13, 1969 in Croydon, Surrey, England.
Ron Simmonds remembers Bert Courtley in an article held by the National Jazz Archive. In it, Ron says: '... He was a jazz trumpet player, pure and simple and he was happiest standing out the front in a small band, playing what he liked the way he wanted, free from all the restrictions and disciplines of the big combination. He left Tommy (Sampson)’s band and went straight out with a small group got together by a young lady tenor-saxophonist by the name of Kathy Stobart. It must have been a case of love at first sight, I guess, between this tall, beautiful, fair-haired girl and the fresh-faced, young blonde newcomer. It was enough, anyway, to keep them together when Kathy’s band folded and the two of them joined Vic Lewis’s big band ... Bert did about three years with Ken Mackintosh at Wimbledon Palais and then went on tour with Eric Delaney’s band ...'
'... Bert had one of those sharp, clear sizzling sounds on the trumpet; he would shut his eyes and hunch his shoulders up and play the most beautiful jazz you could imagine. In 1956 he became part of the Jazz Today unit, which toured Britain with Gerry Mulligan’s Quartet and later the Modern Jazz Quartet. Some of his colleagues in Jazz Today were Phil Seamen, Kenny Wheeler, Kenny Napper and Ed Harvey ... Bert made a solo record for Decca called “Bertrand’s Bugle” around this time. Then he was part of the Woody Herman Anglo-American Band, playing alongside Reunald Jones, Nat Adderley and Bill Harris. ...
Click here to listen to Bert and Founder Member from the album The Jazz Committee featuring Bert and Don Rendell. On the YouTube page Neil Yates says: 'Great to hear this. Bert was great. He never even gets a mention now. Sad. I love his laid back timing, beautiful phrases and sound.'
Bert Courtley, Eddie Harvey, Don Rendell, Pete Blannin, John Dougan
Ron continues: 'Then I left Ted Heath to join Dankworth’s band and Bert suddenly found himself in a totally unexpected situation, one he had never dreamed of: that of sitting in the Heath band playing the extremely demanding lead book.“I wasn’t sure if he’d be able to make it,” Ted told me one day after Bert had been in the band for a few weeks. “I don’t think he’s ever played lead before. But he knocks me out every night and he’s getting better all the time.” ....
'Bert became a studio musician, still keeping up his club dates too, though, until he suddenly became ill, lost some teeth and went through a very rough time indeed trying to get his embouchure back again. If a trumpet player has any trouble with his teeth he ought to realise that no dentist in the world will be able to replace them in anything like the same position without first having at hand an accurately-made impression of the originals. The first set Bert had made gave him so much trouble it was like starting to learn the trumpet all over again and I think this had a big bearing on the general deterioration in his health later on, that eventually led to his death.'
Click here to read the full interesting article by Ron Simmonds.
In 2000, Kathy Stobart gave an interview to Jazz Journal in which she also blamed the pressure of work with the Ted Heath band and Bert's increasing drinking. She said Bert started to feel ill, was taking all sorts of addictive, patent medicines, and finally he had to leave the band. After good pay working with Ted Heath, money became tight and in addition to working as a dep. with Humphrey Lyttelton, Kathy had to take a job as a demonstrator at Bill Lewington's music instrument store. 'The doctor told me that if Bert didn't look after himself he would kill himself. He succeeded!' she said. 'In September 1969 Bert died. It was two days after his 40th birthday.'
Jane Stobart is an artist and printmaker axisweb.org/artist/janestobart
The Elliot Galvin Trio
Click here or on the picture to see a video of Blop from the album Punch by keyboard player Elliot Galvin, with Tom McCredie (double bass) and Simon Roth (drums, percussion and glockenspiel). On the album Elliot plays piano, kalimba, melodicas, accordion, cassette player and stylophone. The album will be released on 29th July on the Edition Records label.
Elliot graduated from Trinity Laban Conservatoire in 2013 with a BMus (Hons) degree in Jazz Piano and later in 2014 with a Masters in Composition, winning the prestigious Gold Medal Competition as well as being named one of 2013’s Yamaha Jazz Scholars and receiving the Worshipful Company of Musician’s Silver medal award.
Elliot works regularly with trumpeter Laura Jurd and he is also involved in the 2016 Serious 'Take Five program'. The Elliot Galvin Trio was announced winner of the European Young Jazz Artist of the Year Award in Germany in 2014, the year they released their debut album Dreamland.
The Quality Of Music Is Not Strained
Alan Bond writes in response to a comment we included last month when we reported on new, clear recordings on YouTube of Louis Armstrong's and Duke Ellington's recordings (click here, here, and here). We quoted a report saying: 'Considering the poor quality of most early jazz records, these tracks are a rare treat for any fan of the pioneering New Orleans trumpet master....'
Alan writes: 'I would take you to task on your quote about most early jazz recordings being of poor quality as the word 'early' needs to be qualified. Granted that a lot of the accoustic recordings could have been better when seen from the modern viewpoint but I would say that we should feel ourselves lucky to have such a wealth of early jazz recordings and those from Victor, Columbia, Okeh and Vocalion are pretty good. Robert Parker started a trend in the 1980s when he began digitally re-mastering some of this early stuff and I have to say that regardless of that, most of the vinyl I have has some pretty good quality transfers. Hot and Bothered by the Ellington band is one where I can detect no discernible difference so it is clear that the earlier transfers must have been made from the original masters by CBS and probably those of most of the others. I have a copy of the Columbia 10" LP of the ODJB recordings made in London in 1919 and 1920 and the quality of the recordings is pretty good all round especially considering the recording equipment of the time, state of the art as it was. Gennets and Paramounts are certainly not as good as those previously listed and the output of the Autograph label is pretty poor even by comparison with these two.
Since we first shared Neil Millett's brother's request for information about Neil, we have received an increasing amount of information about the clarinet player and I am considering setting up a separate Profile page for him, so any other information from readers would be useful.
Martin King says: 'Originally from Bournemouth myself, I met Neil in the mid to late 70’s. We both worked as Technical Illustrator’s and whilst working on a contract for IBM in Hursley, Neil, myself and two others shared a house in St Thomas Street, Winchester. The house was originally the servants' quarters to the big house next door and was well positioned close to several pubs which we all used to enjoy. The owner of the house was horrified upon our arrival due to the quantity of musical instruments being carried into the house.'
'My next meeting with Neil was in Germany. I was at work one day when the telephone rang. It was Neil phoning me from Wolfsberg (The home of VolksWagen) telling me of a job opportunity. I took him up on it and he kindly put me up for a few days until I got myself sorted. Neil played at many venues around the Wolfsberg and joined a local band called the Saratoga Seven (I think). I remember they made an LP and I think I still have a copy in the attic. Neil was friends with Acker Bilk and he used to go and meet up with him if he was touring in the area.
I know Neil was estranged from his family at the time but I do remember him talking with pride of his son and daughter who I believe attended Slade School of Art.
Neil was talented and always great fun to be around and I was sorry to hear about his sudden death.'
Bill Kinnell and the Dancing Slipper
Debby Klein writes:
I checked out your website with great interest, when trawling for something about Bill Kinnell to refresh my memories. Bill was, bizarrely, my godfather. But this can be explained as I am the daughter of Mick and Betty Gill, so I have many childhood memories of the Dancing Slipper and 'me dad going blowing'.
We lived in West Bridgford as some will remember, in the 1950s as I was growing up. I well recall the 'Great Ben Webster incident' - there was a little sticker on our phone in the hall for many years, which proclaimed 'Ben Webster spoke on this phone' although I believe that what he said was rather slurred and along the lines of 'Sorry man, too much'. I remember Johnny Johnstone, one of your correspondents, indeed I have a photo of him at our house in Eltham Road. I also remember many other 'blowers' like Bruce Turner, Ray Crane, etc. They all used to visit us, and/or sleep on our front room floor.
I note the comment that Mick Gill's cornet style 'did not fit in' with Chris Barber when asked to play at short notice. Well, it wouldn't would it - me dad was a Revivalist, not a Traddie. Also, I don't really think he was that good a musician in retrospect! I have a collection of his recordings on a CD and, er, it's an interesting archive rather more than entertainment!! We idolised him at the time though. Sadly he died young, in 1987.
I am sure some will also remember my vivacious young mother Betty, whose raison d'etre was Jive and Jazz 24/7. Sadly she too died, in 1995. They were both in their early 60s. Does anyone have any memories of my family? Now into my own 60s I'm trying to piece things together a bit……. and still listening to jazz.
Click here for our page on the Dancing Slipper in Nottingham.
Harry Parry and Doreen Villiers
Last month we featured Harry Parry in our You Suggest article (click here).
Bob Ross, clarinetist from Dundee writes: 'A quick search reveals that Harry often featured Doreen Villiers in his
band. Might this be her singing in the clip?'
Follow Us On Facebook
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!).
Two Ears Three Eyes
Photographer Brian O'Connor was at the Watermill Jazz Club in Dorking to hear the Espen Eriksen Trio ...
Andreas Bye © Brian O'Connor
The Watermill Jazz Club has been forced to move for the second time in it’s 25 years of existence. The original home, the Watermill pub, burned down approximately 14 years ago. Unable to wait for the restoration, and the probability of not being able to return, they were fortunate to be able to re-locate to the sports and social centre of the nearby Friend’s Provident Society. Fate then struck again. Multi-national company Aviva gobbled up Friend’s Provident and in asset stripping mode are busily saving money by closing down the entire site, including of course the sports and social club.
Espen Eriksen © Brian O'Connor
The task of finding another new venue proved to be very difficult. There are not many venues in Dorking, and even less prepared to house a grand piano, the Watermill’s pride and joy. The 'knight in shining armour' materialised in the form of the Betchworth Golf Club, being almost opposite the first venue, the pub. Not only have they housed the piano, but they have made every effort to be accommodating, and have gone a long way to making the transition go as smoothly as possible.
Gigs commenced at the beginning of May when I took these pictures of the Espen Eriksen Trio. The other change is that gigs are now on a Tuesday instead of Thursday.
Lars Tormod Jenset © Brian O'Connor
The Norwegian Espen Eriksen Trio was formed in 2007 and consists of Espen Eriksen (piano), Lars Tormod Jenset (double bass) and Andreas Bye (drums). Of their music they say: 'EET plays highly melodical and lyrical instrumentals with elements from Scandinavian folk and melancholia and shades of the deep woods. It´s definitely jazz, but their 'less is more' approach is in contrast to most of their contemporaries.' Their most recent album Never Ending January was released on the Rune Grammofon label in October last year. Click here for details and to sample.
Click here for a video of the Espen Eriksen Trio playing In The Mountains
Watermill Jazz Club is at Betchworth Park Golf Club, Reigate Road, Dorking RH4 1NZ - www.watermilljazz.co.uk
National Jazz Archive Summer Jazz Event
On Saturday, 23rd July, Val Wiseman will be presenting her Divas Of Swing fund raising concert for the National Jazz Archive. Voted Top Jazz Vocalist in the 2011 British Jazz Awards Val Wiseman has been described as 'An appealing, stylish performer with a connoisseur's ear for repertoire', and for this gig she will be presenting her tribute to Anita O’Day, Sarah Vaughan, Peggy Lee, Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday.
The gig which will also feature Brian Dee, piano, Len Skeat, bass, and Eric Ford, drums will take place at 2.30 pm on Saturday 23rd July at Loughton Methodist Church, 260 High Road, Loughton, Essex IG10 1RB. Tickets are £15.
Click here for details.
Kind Of Blue Revisited
Celebrating what would have been Miles Davis's 90th year (1926-1991) the Frank Griffith Sextet presents "Kind of Blue"- revisiting the Epochal LP". This will take place on 9th September at the Dorchester Corn Exchange featuring a world class sextet led by the USA tenor saxophonist. The band will include:
Canadian born but UK resident trumpeter, Jay Phelps, who has worked with everyone from Courtney Pine, Ray Brown, George Benson and Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Centre Jazz Orchestra -Jay will be handling the Miles role. UK alto saxophonist, Tony Kofi, who boasts appearances with Donald Byrd and the David Murray Big Band as well as a member of the World Sax Quartet since 2006 will be the voice of Cannonball Adderley in the group.
Frank Griffith, in addition to playing and arranging for Ron Carter, bassist with Miles in the 1960s, has also arranged many Miles and Gil Evans pieces for vocalist, Jon Hendriks.
Acclaimed British jazzers, pianist Gareth Williams and bassist, Jeremy Brown and American drummer, Rod Youngs, (Gil Scott Heron), will round out this all star rhythm team.
The show was written and will be narrated by internationally recognised journalist, academic and Miles fanatic, Paul Lashmar, who is also a resident of Dorchester - so keep a keen eye out for him posting flyers in the area as the date approaches.
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:
Eddie Cook - Former Publisher and Editor of Jazz Journal magazine. Eddie's funeral will take place at St Mary's in Chigwell at 11.00 a.m. on Friday 24 June. Eddie will then be buried with his wife Janet in Brentwood. Eddie's daughter, Sarah, says: 'The years have gone by and dad has been out of the jazz world since 2009 when I sold the magazine but I do wonder if there are other people who know him and would want to attend?'
Joe Temperley - Scottish baritone saxophonist from Fife who started by playing in Glasgow dance bands. He joined Humphrey Lyttelton as a tenor saxophonist and it was Humph who suggested he change to baritone sax. Joe then moved to America where he played with Woody Herman, Thad Jones and Mel Lewis and in the Ellington legacy band after his hero Harry Carney died. In 1991, he joined Wynton Marsalis's Jazz At The Lincoln Center.
Click here for a video of Joe playing with the Fife Youth Jazz Orchestra in 1996.
Paul McDowell - Born in London in 1931, 'Whispering' Paul McDowell found fame as singer with The Temperence Seven. When he was studying at Chelsea School of Art he took up the trombone and formed Paul McDowell and his Gentleman Ravers which later expanded to become the Temperence Seven. Their 1961 recording of You're Driving Me Crazy became a No. 1 hit and was soon followed by their recording of Pasadena. He went on to become a writer for television and an actor, mainly on TV.
Click here to listen to You're Driving Me Crazy (Producer George Martin's first No.1 UK hit before he took on The Beatles).
Tomita - Isao Tomita was not a jazz musician but his pioneering work with electronic music led the way for many musicians to use that medium to take their music and improvisation forward. Born in Tokyo he studied at Keio University after a brief period in China. He 'became enraptured by Western classical music, along with jazz and pop, through radio broadcasts by the United States Army of occupation.' He bought a Moog Synthesizer from the United States and gradually extended his kit and his international reputation.
Click here for Tomita with Ravel's Pavane.
George 'Buster' Cooper - American trombonist from Florida who started out in his cousin's 16-piece band and then went to the Hartnett School of Music in New York. A friend of Cannonball Adderley, he joined the Lionel Hampton Orchestra where he met many other top jazz musicians, worked briefly with Benny Goodman and then, with his brother, formed their own band. He was invited to join Duke Ellington's Orchestra three times. He turned down the first two offers but joined Duke in 1962 alongside Lawrence Brown. After leaving Ellington he became a studio musician and played in big bands behind singers like Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald.
Click here for a video of Buster Cooper soloing with Lional Hampton's All Stars Big Band in 1981.
Michael S. Harper - American poet some of whose work focussed on jazz musicians such as John Coltrane and Dexter Gordon. In a preface to his poems in “The Norton Anthology of African American Literature,” he wrote, “My poems are rhythmic rather than metric; the pulse is jazz; the tradition generally oral; my major influences musical; my debts, mostly to the musicians who taught me to see about experience, pain and love, and who made it artful and archetypal.” A collection of his work was published under the title of one of his poems 'Dear John, Dear Coltrane'.
Click here where you can click on 'Look Inside' to see the list of poems in the book and read some of them.
A friend told me
(for Miles Davis)
Not all jazz musicians who pass through the Departure Lounge are reported in the national press, so if you know of anyone's passing that we should mention, please contact us with a few words about them, or a local obituary if one is available.
One From Ten
We spend time with an album from our list of new and reissued recordings below.
Jason Palmer and Cédric Hanriot
City Of Poets
Released through Whirlwind Recordings on 20th May, City Of Poets is an improvisational concept centered around Olivier Messiaen's 7 Modes of Limited Transportation and US author Dan Simmons' acclaimed, four-novel science fiction series Hyperion Cantos. It seems sufficiently intriguing to prompt further exploration of its background.
Palmer and Hanriot chose to restrict themselves to Messiaen's seven modes, each of which are defined by differently shifting degrees/intervals (though always symmetrical and each sharing the same beginning and ending reference point). Once the melodic structure was in place, Palmer explains, the harmonic and rhythmic content for each of the seven tracks arrived quite easily: "It was quite an exercise in creative periphery, the art of taking in literary work and creating musical work simultaneously."
Launched in 2014 and emphasising its cross-cultural ethos with concerts and masterclasses in the USA, UK and France, the work has taken on an energy of its own. From the colourful, two-horned vibrancy of The Priest's Tale (Mode II) to dusky piano/bass blues The Detective's Tale (Mode VII), this is music which shrieks spontaneity and whispers the work of imagination, reflecting the creative, cultural roots of both its inspirers and realizers. Percussively piquant The Shrike (Mode I) revels in Palmer's blistering trumpet extemporisations, whilst Michael Janisch's supple, effected bass enhances the mystery of The Scholar's Tale (Mode III). The Soldier's Tale (Mode IV) swings coolly to Hanriot's pianistic deftness, and the broad landscapes of both The Poet's Tale (Mode V) and The Consul's Tale (Mode VI) throw the rich fluidity of McCaslin's tenor into the spotlight.
Click here to listen to The Poet's Tale (Mode V).
Whirlwind Recordings say: 'This recording, captured before a receptive, live audience at London's Pizza Express Jazz Club, expresses all the intended fervor and vigor of this original music and the excitement and freedom emanating from the quintet's sparky invention. To put a musical slant on the words of English philosopher Bertrand Russell, quoted in Dan Simmons' Hyperion: "Language serves not only to express thought but to make possible thoughts which could not exist without it."
Click here and scroll down to listen to other tracks from the album.
City of Poets was released on 20th May. We shall review the album in a future issue.
Ten Recent Releases and Re-Issues
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. A recent talk 'A Jazz Tour of Norwich and Norfolk' to an audience of 60 had the organiser saying: "Thank you for giving us such an informative and enjoyable evening,full of musical stars.The feedback was good and we hope to see you back with part 2." Other talks Roy has given include: Condon Jam Sessions; Clarinet Kings of Swing; Tommy Ladnier -"Mandeville to New York "; and a talk to Rotary on "The Winter Solstice" (their request) on Dec 21st which I managed to link in with Artie Shaw and called "The Shawtest Day"!
Roy's email address is: email@example.com.
Back to Top
© Sandy Brown Jazz 2016