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Jazz Services Rural Touring Support Scheme
Applications for support from the Jazz Services Rural Touring Support Scheme opened on Monday 30th June, with applications accepted until Sunday 27th July.
Previous tours by the likes of pianist Philip Clouts, vocalist Christine Tobin and bassist Mike Janisch have yielded amazing results and great feedback from the local crowds.
Click here for more information.
As far aswe can see, not many jazz people were recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours this year, but one person who received an OBE for 'Services To Jazz' was John Cumming.
John is one of the three directors of the organisation Serious and he was the person who started the Bracknell Jazz Festival. He has been a member of a number of Arts Council and Regional Arts panels and committees, and until recently was a long-standing board member of Europe Jazz Network.
He has also received Services to Jazz Awards at the 2005 BBC Jazz Awards, and in 2012 from the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group. Click here for more about John on the Serious webpage.
Pianist and Composer Paul Grabowski received the Officer of the Order of Australia Award. Paul has experimented with different types of music and collaborated with several artists, blending contemporary jazz and traditional aboriginal music. Click here for more about Paul.
Click here to sample Paul Grabowski’s Sextet album The Bitter Suite.
Last October, we reported on a petition that was being organised to oppose financial cuts that might potentially threaten the BBC Big Band. Ewan Mains sends this update:
'I just thought I would update you all on the petition and some fresh news on the BBC Big Band. Once again, huge thanks to you all for signing the petition - we made our voices heard. I'm very pleased to announce that in no indirect way, the BBC Big Band now have their very own official website and Twitter. I personally think this is a huge step forward for the band and it's followers as well as a sign of faith in the band from the BBC. The site will launch at 9am (GMT) on Wednesday 18th June and will be be a 'hub' where you can catch up with news on the band as well as any dates they are playing live concerts and broadcasts.'
'Click here for the new website. You can also follow them now on Twitter @BBCBigBand. Hopefully this is a huge positive step forward in increasing the public profile of the band. Once again, thank you for all your signatures, messages and efforts in helping to keep music live.'
Last month we discussed whether there might be any evidence for the suggestion that there is a resurgence of interest in vinyl recordings. Although we are still short of hard empirical evidence, we have come across one or two other things over the past four weeks that suggest that there might be sound foundation to the claim:
Do contact us and let us know what your experience is on this topic.
Album First Released: March 2014 - Label: Babel
Dominic Lash Quartet
Steve Day reviews this album for us:
Dominic Lash (contrabass, compositions); Alexander Hawkins (piano); Ricardo Tejero (tenor saxophone and clarinet); Javier Carmona (percussion).
Back in 2008 I came across three of this quartet playing in Roland Ramanan’s Tentet; a couple of years later they released a CD, London, on Leo Records. That was then, this is now, Opabina is a new quartet recording and Dominic Lash is a mind at work and although there are dedications on the sleeve to some of the great British Masters of free jazz, I’m very aware that Opabina is full of tight composition amid its ‘freedom’. The credits emphasise the fact: Dominic Lash, contrabass and compositions – okay let’s say this is a man serious about writing for improvisation. I’ve never met Mr Lash, but despite being a bass player I bet he composes on piano. And it is obvious either he or Alexander Hawkins know their way around Bud Powell and Thelonious Monk. You don’t play through a rhythm, you rhyme with it, accent the rhythm until you make it into melody.
Click here for a video of the Dominic Lash Quartet playing Opabina at the London Jazz Festival.
Alexander Hawkins is playing piano in this quartet. He was the one who wasn’t with Ramanan’s band. I have been listening to Mr Hawkins a lot recently. He occupies the same place as my good friend, the maestro Keith Tippett – right up close to the tight snapping snare drum of Louis Moholo-Moholo. There’s always a deep bass-drum drop, with cymbals like waves coming in off the sea. Hawkins knows this stuff. He isn’t going to leave my ears. In Dominic Lash’s Quartet, Alexander Hawkins makes for the centre of gravity. Percussionist Javier Carmona is continually cooking up ‘found sound’ percussion behind him. Carmona like Moholo stirs the mix and makes for almost counter-composition.
Listen out too for Ricardo Tejero’s tenor sax, he covers composition whilst retaining a horn full of solos. When he and Carmona crash through the end of Waiting For Javier/Luzern it is like someone has just upset the furniture. Prior to the eruption Hawkins had been leaning on Monk’s legacy, with Lash’s bass folding out a complex line beneath him. Tejero and Carmona storm in and thunder their grab for the ears, but (there is always a ‘but’) the pianist doesn’t let go. Alexander Hawkins gives the guys a shaft of space then places a beautiful piano figure in under the rough stuff happening above him. It is a really neat interaction. I like it very much.
Ricardo Tejero also plays Bb clarinet. On Double File, piano and clarinet conceive a fragile introduction which is the stuff of spells. As bass and drums join them improvisation and composition are blurred around the edges so it becomes literally a double file of written dots and spontaneous music. Slightly irritating for me is that they stop just at the point where continuation could have taken them somewhere even more expansive.
Opabinia is Dominica Lash’s mind at work. There are a couple of tracks that are only seconds short, they come and go, an idea, then no more. Other pieces extend into fascinating studies that track the art of the impossible. Personally, I’d have given the whole band a little more time with this material but, it’s their show. I recommend it. There’s something going on here.
Click here to sample the album.
Tony Milliner - My Favourite Things
Tony’s favourite choice this month comes from the Gerry Mulligan album, The Age Of Steam. Tony says: ‘For some reason this track has always brought tears to my eyes. It is quite short, but a lovely arrangement. The whole album is worth listening to.’
Click here to listen to Grand Tour.
The Age Of Steam is a specific album in the Gerry Mulligan canon, distinctive, reflective, atmospheric and illustrating the saxophonist’s interest in trains. A commentator on the YouTube page goes as far as to say: ‘Age of Steam is one of my very favourite albums made by anyone. I’ve always thought of it as Gerry’s “Pet Sounds”, “Physical Graffiti”, “Kind Of Blue”, or something. His very own personal masterpiece.’
There are many enjoyable tracks on this album, most of which you can now listen to on YouTube. Click here for the more upbeat title track The Age Of Steam.
The album was recorded in 1971 (and released on A&M Records in 1972) as Gerry Mulligan continued hiswork with orchestral arrangements started the year before with a performance of Dave Brubeck’s A Light In The Wilderness. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, he worked to build and promote a repertoire of baritone saxophone music for orchestra.
The band includes Tom Scott (tenor and soprano), Bud Shank (alto and flute), Bob Brookmeyer (trombone) and Harry ‘Sweets’ Edison (trumpet).
Perhaps the best known of the tunes from the album is K4 Pacific – click here.
The album seems to be currently unavailable as a CD (except used) but is available as a download (click here). You can also watch an interview with saxophonist Tom Scott if you click here.
Pianist David Stevens, now retired and living in Australia, tells us about his encounters with a list of jazz musicians that most people only get to hear:
It all began when my then wife and I met a young photographer at a party somewhere in London, who we found out was the son of the legendary Mezz Mezzrow (his real name was Milton Mesirow).
When he heard we were planning a trip to Paris he said "You must look up my Dad", and gave us his phone number. In Paris, we duly contacted Mezz, and he proved to be a delightful fellow, telling us stories about his life, showing us round and introducing us to local musicians, who (unlike Eddie Condon) revered him. All went beautifully until one day, at a restaurant, I unwisely mentioned that I liked Charlie Parker. That did it. Mezz was on his feet, shouting abuse at me - much to the amusement of my wife and the other customers. He stalked out, and we didn't see him again.
Back in London, we met Milton junior once more. Of course he laughed at the Charlie Parker incident, saying "That's the way he is". He invited us to his 21st birthday at a flat in Hampstead, which we happily accepted. He said his godfather would be there. We looked blank. "You'll be glad to meet him" said Milton, "his name's Louis Armstrong". So that's how we met Louis, and the Allstars, who also came along to the party. It was at the end of a series of concerts they'd been doing in London.
I was chatting with Trummy Young, and asked how they were enjoying London when they weren't playing. Lots of parties and outings, no doubt? "Well, no", said Trummy, "We just hang around the hotel, play cards and watch TV."
Trummy Young and Louis Armstrong
I was amazed. Here were these famous guys, being cheered by huge audiences every night, but when they weren't playing there was no-one to talk to them. I resolved to do something about it when the next American jazz group was in town.
The next group was the Duke Ellington Orchestra. At their first concert, I looked at the faces. Johnny Hodges? No, he has his usual "I'll bite ya" expression. Lawrence Brown and Harry Carney looked pretty serious, too. But one guy was grinning most of the time, having a ball - Clark Terry, a trumpet player I much admired.
So next morning about 11 a.m., and with some trepidation, I phoned their hotel and asked to speak to Clark. Not a good move - obviously I'd woken him up and he sounded pretty pissed off. I stammered out an invitation for him to come round for a meal, and got a gruff "Gimme your number. I'll call you".
That's it, I thought. I've blown it. But a couple of hours later, I got a call from Clark, cheerful and friendly. "Yeah, love to meet you guys. Gimme your address". After that, for the rest of the Ellington band's stay, he was round at our house nearly every day, always cheerful and chatty, treating us like old friends.
David says: 'At least Buck, Roy and Clark are easily recognisable, even if the inscriptions aren't!'
A month or two later, the phone rang, and a deep voice said "Is this Dave Stevens? This is Buck Clayton". One of my friends, trying to trick me, I thought. "You can't fool me", I said, "Come on, who is it?". An uncertain voice said "Pardon me?" "Oh my God, I'm sorry", I said, "It really is Buck Clayton?" "Yeah", he said, "Clark Terry gave me your number".
So we got to meet Buck, and the members of his band visiting London, which included Buddy Tate, Dickie Wells, and drummer Herb Lovelle, all of whom we got to know and spent time with during
While chatting with Buddy Tate he asked me if I'd ever been to New York. "No", I said, "I hadn't really thought of it. I guess it would be pretty expensive staying there?" "Well", said Buddy, "I live with my family in Amityville, some way out of town, but I have an apartment in Harlem where I stay when I'm working (he'd had a long residency with his band at the Celebrity Club in Harlem). You could stay there".
Me, living in Harlem? I could have floated to New York on the clouds, no need for a plane.
Of course it was a marvellous week. Buddy introduced me to his friends, and people in the local bar, as "my friend Dave from London", so I was made welcome by them all. Quite apart from the musical side, I explored during the daytime, and, on one day, took a train to Greenwich Village and walked all the way back to Harlem.
The next visitor was Roy Eldridge. He was in a quintet accompanying Ella Fitzgerald in a series of concerts, which also included guitarist Les Spann and pianist Tommy Flanagan. We got to know Les Spann quite well, too.
Roy is a musician I've always admired. He was a lovely man, very warm-hearted and outgoing, though with no time for small talk. I learned not to make careless or casual remarks, or Roy would jump on me! He was often round at our house, and one day he said "I'm always eatin' your food, about time I cooked for you".
The inscription on the photograph reads: '"Best wishes to Lady Trixie and Lord David from your friend Roy Eldridge"
So he did. I wish I'd had the camera to hand when Roy, wearing a kitchen apron was cooking us what he called Hot Tamale Pie.
Sadly, they're all gone now, all except Clark, blind and without his legs. Poor Les Spann died at only 57, a derelict in the Bowery. But I still have some mementos, including a picture frame with autographed photos of Roy, Clark and Buck, and an LP by Clark and Buddy Tate, on which one track is called "20 Ladbroke Square', our London address (click here to sample the tune from the album Tate-A-Tate - Buddy Tate with Clark Terry).
[Dave Stevens hosts a jazz radio show in Australia Midday Jazz which you can listen to online at www.2rrr.org.au. The show goes out on Wednesdays from midday to 2.00 pm, currently that is around 3.00 am to 5.00 am in the UK, or at other times depending where you live and the time difference].
Jazz Services report that, run in conjunction with the PRS for Music Foundation, the Jazz Promoter Awards support established grass-roots promoters as well as those in their first year of putting on live jazz. They have announced that the following organisations have received funding through the scheme in 2014:
* First time applicants
Click hear to read more!
Album Released: 2 June 2014 - Label: Gondwana Records
Matthew Halsall & The Gondwana Orchestra
When The World Was One
Matthew Halsall (trumpet), Nat Birchall (saxophone), Lisa Mallett (flute), Keiko Kitamura (koto), Rachael Gladwin (harp), Taz Modi (piano), Gavin Barras (bass), Luke Flowers (drums).
Let me start by saying how much I like Matthew Halsall’s trumpet playing. Based in Manchester, he is establishing a following and has been featured on national jazz radio programmes. His last album, Fletcher Moss Park, is a joy. This latest recording, When The World Was One, introduces a larger ensemble and is an atmospheric, contemplative album reflecting in Matthew’s composition his spiritual and Eastern influences, hence the harp, koto and bansuri flute. This would be a good album to have if you are into relaxation therapy.
Click here for a video introduction and a good sampling of the album. You can get a fair impression here of what the album is about.
Nevertheless, these are talented musicians playing an enjoyable set. John Fordham, reviewing the album in The Guardian allocates a valid three stars saying: ‘From the McCoy Tyneresque piano vamp, soprano-sax theme and streaming harp counterpoint of the title track, to the spreading-ripples harp intro and quivering flute of Far Away Place, or the harp embracing Birchall's bell-clear soprano tone on the soft-swinging Falling Water, it all bears Halsall's personal stamp - while pianist Taz Modi and Cinematic Orchestra drummer Luke Flowers also crisply catch his contrasting fascination with the gospelly 1960s hard-bop sound.’
Despite my reservations, I still like Matthew Halsall’s playing and his music, and with this album he continues to build a reputation and a collection of notable recordings.
Click here to sample the tracks.
Try as I might, I have not been able to find details of the jazz soundtrack of this latest film by Ken Loach that was released in May and that is still running in some independent cinemas. If, like me, you have missed it, the video is now available. You can see the trailer for the film if you click here.
Ken Loach’s film tells the true story of political activist Jimmy Gralton who was deported after building a tin dance hall at a cross roads in rural Ireland in the 1930s. Click here and scroll down the page for a summary and review of the film which describes the conflicts of the time both politically and with the local church.
‘In 1932, Jimmy Gralton returns from recession-ridden New York to care for his widowed mother after his brother's death but it soon becomes clear that he has in fact ended an exile resulting from his construction of a community hall seen as a threat by the Catholic church, since it provided education and encouraged working class people to think for themselves. A legendary local hero, he is mobbed on his return by the youngsters who wish him to revive the hall, and the lure proves too great to resist … Soon, the hall is restored to its former glory, with the added novelty of a wind-up gramophone and the jazz records brought back by Jimmy. The free and joyous dancing to this music is of course the last straw for the priest.'
Another review by The Irish Story begins: Jimmy’s Hall is the new film from Ken Loach about the deportation of Leitrim communist James Gralton in 1933. The Irish Story has previously covered the Anti – Jazz Campaign in Leitrim in 1934 , and while there are similarities, the Gralton case is ultimately a far sadder and depressing reflection on Irish society at the time. The film is based on Donal O’Kelly’s play Jimmy Gralton’s Dancehall and O’Kelly has a small role as a Roscommon IRA activist involved in resisting evictions. The screenplay was written by Loach’s regular collaborator Paul Laverty, who also wrote the screenplay for The Wind That Shakes the Barley.'
'Gralton was eventually caught and deported to the United States. The money he had in his pocket was taken to pay his fare. His elderly mother was prevented from seeing him before he left. He became the first and only Irish man to be deported from the country after independence……Gralton died in New York in 1945, never having been allowed to return to his native land…. Jimmy’s Hall is an interesting and thought provoking film.' (Click here for the full article).
The idea behind this item is to offer a 'taste' of a musician, singer or band that you might not have come across before. This month, we spend time with ......
The Mound City Blue Blowers
Reel back the years to the 1920s. It is almost unbelievable that video footage of the Mound City Blue Blowers exists and that we are able to witness the sense of fun and exuberance that is so evident in this footage.
This video of them in 1929 playing I Ain’t Got Nobody and My Gal Sal is a good place to start (click here).
Red McKenzie sings and plays comb and paper, Jack Bland is on banjo, Carl Kress, guitar, and the wonderful Josh Billings plays suitcase drumming, humming and dancing. Some things to note – Josh has a lit cigarette behind his ear and around 1:21 in the video it gets a little too close and he has to shake it off. I think he also has sandpaper strapped to the suitcase that he plays with his ‘brushes’ (yes, I mean brushes!).
The Mound City Blue Blowers were formed in 1923 by Red McKenzie and Jack Bland with Red on comb and tissue paper, Jack on banjo and Dick Slevin playing the kazoo. Their first recording, released in 1924, was Arkansas Blues and Blue Blues (click here to listen).
They went on to record twelve tunes in 1924 and 1925 with saxophonist Frankie Trumbauer and guitarist Eddie Lang joining them on occasion.
The videos we have seen come from two short performance films: The Opry House (1929) and Nine O'Clock Folks (1931), which included I Ain’t Got Nobody, Let Me Call You Sweetheart, My Gal Sal and St. Louis Blues.
Click here for the clip of St Louis Blues. In this one we have Red playing kazoo, Eddie Condon and Jack Bland on Banjo and vega and good old Josh on suitcase again. I seem to remember reading that Josh isn’t missing his teeth as you might think, but has blacked them for the performance!
Frank 'Josh' Billings was born in Chicago in 1905 and he was called Josh after the pseudonym of the American humourist, Henry Wheeler Shaw. Josh was a showman. Gerry Paton tells how Josh would play tricks during his playing such as flicking a tip off the suitcase and catching it under his armpit. It is thought that he was at Austin High School, the base of many of the young jazz musicians of the time, and he certainly hung out with the Austin High School Gang. It is said that it was Josh who first designed the 'Zoot Suit'. In 1928, many of the High School gang went to New York and eventually Josh joined them. A good friend of Bix Beiderbecke, visiting Bix during the cornet player's last years, Josh returned to Chicago after Bix died in 1931. By 1941, he was working as a lithographer in Chicago, but he would still play from time to time. He died after a short illness in 1957. There is a very informative and highly amusing biography of Josh Billings by Gerry Paton - Frank 'Josh' Billings - A Suitable Case For Treatment, that is well worth reading to learn more not just about Josh, but about the High School Gang and their time (click here).
Red McKenzie circa 1946
From 1925, Red McKenzie went on to record under his own name as a vocalist. With Eddie Condon, he also fronted the McKenzie and Condon’s Chicagoans for a while recording for the Okeh label. Until I read it recently, I hadn't realised that Red also worked as a talent scout and set up the first Okeh Recording date for Bix Beiderbecke, Eddie Lang and Frankie Trumbauer which featured the famous Singing The Blues. In 1929, he returned to re-form the Mound City Blue Blowers for several sessions that included Jack Teagarden and Pee-Wee Russell. Muggsy Spanier and Jimmy Dorsey recorded with them in 1931. Other recordings took place under the name 'Red McKenzie and the Celestial Beings' - who thought up a name like that?! Click here to listen to them playing Georgia On My Mind in 1931. The recordings at that time were issued under a number of aliases including McKenzie's Candy Kids and the Mound City Blue Blowers.
The final Mound City Blue Blowers recordings were made in 1935-1936 with Nappy Lamare, Bunny Berigan, Yank Lawson and Eddie Miller taking part.
Red retired in 1939 and moved back to St Louis where he worked in a brewery – not a good move as he had a reputation as a heavy drinker. In 1944 he returned to sing with Eddie Condon’s band until 1947. He died of cirrhosis of the liver the following year.
Here is a short Buster Keaton film (The Paleface) with the Mound City Blue Blowers providing Tailspin Blues as a background track (click here). Red McKenzie (comb, vocal), Jack Teagarden (trombone), Eddie Condon (banjo, vocals), Jack Bland (guitar, vocals), Pops Foster (bass), Josh Billings (drums).
On my shelf is a broken 78 rpm shellac record of One Hour by the Mound City Blue Blowers. I can remember it breaking; a large cake-slice chunk came out. I kept it because if you put the needle on the part that is still left intact, you can hear the trombone solo. For a long time, the beginning of the record faded in my memory, but of course the time came when it appeared online. You can listen to it if you click here. Red McKenzie is on kazoo, Coleman Hawkins plays a lovely tenor solo, Pee-Wee Russell is also great on clarinet, Glenn Miller is the trombone player, Jack Bland plays guitar, Eddie Condon, banjo, Pops Foster, bass and Gene Krupa, drums. Now you know why I couldn’t throw the record out.
Let’s leave them with this 1929 video where Ethel Perkins sings Let Me Call You Sweetheart (click here).
Click here to sample the Mound City Blue Blowers album Hot Comb and Tin-Can pictured above.
Congratulations to drummer Jonathan Silk for his Scottish Young Jazz Musician of 2014 award. The final took place at The Old Fruitmarket in Glasgow on June 25th. Click here to listen to some of Jonathan's playing.
The finalists for the award were:
Fergus McCreadie (piano); Helena Kay (alto saxophone); John Lowrie (drums); Sean Gibbs (trumpet) and Jonathan Silk (drums).
Click here for more information about each of them and to listen to each of them play.
Jonathan is from Dollar in Scotland. He is a first-class honours graduate of Birmingham Conservatoire and a BBC Jazzlines Music Fellow. At the awards he played his own composition, TBC, and George Shearing’s Conception.
The awards, which were broadcast live on BBC Radio Scotland, were organised by the Scottish Jazz Federation and sponsored for the first time by Birnam CD who are offering the winner a pressing of 1000 CDs along with graphic design and a few associated add-ons. Click here for Rob Adam's report of the event in The Herald Scotland newspaper.
Album First Released: April 2014 - Label: Cuneiform Records
The People In Your Neighbourhood
Carew Reynell reviews this album for us:
Led Bib came together at Middlesex University ten years ago, and they have performing and recording together ever since. This album takes its name from the Sesame Street feature, and reflects the crowd-funding of the recording. The professions of contributors are incorporated into the plastic faux-gold album cover (house husband and philosopher? mergers and acquisitions manager!). The album itself appears at first sight to be made out of wood-effect laminate, but the project is far from B&Q, having been overseen by Grammy award winning engineer Richard Woodcraft - perhaps that is where the wood comes from.
The band is led by drummer Mark Holub, with Liran Donin on bass (double bass and electric bass guitar), Toby McLaren on piano and keyboards and twin altos, Pete Grogan and Chris Williams.
The album opens with New Teles, a blistering statement of intent with declamatory alto theme, very Shape of Jazz to Come, over pounding tom toms and an extraordinary swirl of bleeps and oscilloscopic wails. Complementary alto themes eventually coalesce into the anthemic principal theme. Solos spin off and McLaren sustains his remarkably extensive sound-palette.
Click here for a video of New Teles.
The second track, Giant Bean, starts with a lumbering Kraken of a tune, before taking off at a heck of a pace. Grogan and Williams are masters of bringing order out of chaos in the transition from wild wig out mode to compelling anthem. The third track, Angry Waters, starts introspectively, but with an underlying, unsettling rumble, and tension and intensity build.
So far, so good. In fact, so very good. Pace, texture and intensity vary. The band can do tight and urgent, the band can do loose and effortless, the band can do big band swagger and they can do semi-improvised squalls. Reminiscent of The Soft Machine in their heyday, with added twenty-first century funk.
Click here to listen to other tracks from the album.
Unfortunately, for me, this quality is not sustained throughout the entire album. For example, there is an element of the Duke of York to The Roofus, as we are marched up to the top of the hill only to be marched back down again. Despite fine moments, there is a bit of a lack of direction, and by the half-way point, the band’s tropes are becoming over-familiar.
So not an unqualified success, which is a shame, but at their best, the band can hold their own in any company. As they press onwards, they deserve our admiration and support.
Click here to sample the album.
In July, Jazztimes reported that 77th Street in New York City had been re-named 'Miles Davis Way'. 'An official block party kicked off the ceremony (complete with street closure), which was attended by hundreds of fans of the late trumpet icon as well as members of Davis’ family, who were on hand to host the event. Those included son Erin, daughter Cheryl and nephew Vince Wilburn Jr., as well as actress Cicely Tyson (previously married to Miles) and Rep Charles B. Rangel. Easy Mo Bee DJ’d.'
Spin.com said: 'The unveiling came on what would've been Miles Davis' 88th birthday, on May 26. He died in 1991. Davis' ex-wife Cicely Tyson was among the dignitaries on hand for a block party celebrating the new sign. Davis lived in an apartment building at 312 West 77th Street for 25 years, through the mid-'80s. Shirley Zafirau, a local resident and former Davis neighbor who led the push for the street name, told The New York Times last year the music great really enjoyed being part of the community there. In December, then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg approved a bill for the street renaming.'
CBS News reported the event adding an interview with Miles from 1989. In the 60 Minutes segment, Reasoner describes Davis as "anti-social," but Shirley Zafirau, Davis' former neighbor on West 77th Street, told 60 Minutes Overtime that wasn't the case. Zafirau describes Davis as a "one-on-one" kind of man-- someone who always took the time to chat with his neighbors and ask, "Hey, how's it going?" One day in the late 1960s, while she was walking down the street on her way to work, Zifirau recalls that Davis pulled up alongside her in his sports car. "Where's work?" she remembers him asking in his raspy voice. "The Garment District," she told him and with that, he offered her a ride.
Click here for the CBS News article and interview with Miles Davis.
Let’s fly down or drive down
To New Orleans
In a world where so much is uncertain, one thing you can be sure of – go to a Chris Barber gig / concert and you will hear Bourbon Street Parade. It has been Chris’s signature tune for a year or three now. Congratulations, in passing, to Chris Barber for his Special Award at this year’s Parliamentary Jazz Awards.
So, Chris Barber’s band seems a good place to start, not with a recent video, but let’s go back to 1956 to hear it and the energy from the band at that time (click here).You are listening to Pat Halcox (trumpet); Chris Barber (trombone); Monty Sunshine (clarinet); Eddie Smith (banjo); Dick Smith (bass); Ron Bowden (drums). Ottilie Patterson was, of course, the band's vocalist back then. I like it that there is a comment on YouTube from a W. Duckets who says: ‘That’s my great grandfather on drums … Oh Lord….Fresh!’
Bourbon Street Parade was written by New Orleans drummer Paul Barbarin. Although Adolphe Paul Barbarin refused in interviews to confirm the year he was born, it is often given as 1901, but his brother who was born in 1902 disputes this. Paul was probably born in 1899. Generally considered as one of the best early jazz drummers, he played with King Oliver, Luis Russell, Louis Armstrong and Henry Red Allen. From the 1950s he mostly led his own band and with Louis Cottrell Jr. re-established the Onward Brass Band. Paul Barbarin died in 1969. There is very little video footage of Paul Barbarin, but click here for just over a minute of clips.
That city has pretty
So, what is the Bourbon Street Parade? Why Bourbon Street? I have never been a beer drinker. I wouldn’t have made a football fanatic or leader of UKIP and probably wouldn’t at one time have survived as a jazz musician. But I did like the odd shot of good whisky. In my cups, I could have imagined a picture of people walking down Bourbon Street in New Orleans with glasses of good ol’ Bourbon whisky following a brass band.
Bourbon Street runs for thirteen blocks through the French Quarter in the oldest part of the Big Easy. Apparently, it is now known for its bars and strip clubs.
For a little atmosphere, here is a clip from the television series Boardwalk Empire where they used the tune as a background - click here.
The French colonised Louisiana in the 1690s, and Jean Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville founded New Orleans in 1718. In 1721, Adrien de Pauger designed the city's street layout. He named the streets after French royal houses and Catholic saints. Bourbon Street was named, not after the whisky, but France's ruling family, the House of Bourbon The royal Bourbons in France had been around since the mid-thirteenth century when one of the heiresses married the son of King Louis IX.
There is also a county called ‘Bourbon’ in Kentucky that was established in 1785, also named after the French House of Bourbon. The area later became known as ‘Old Bourbon’.
I’ll take you parade you
Down Bourbon Street
We’ll break into the story here to bring you a video of Louis Armstrong playing Bourbon Street Parade - click here. This video is interesting in that the footage ismade up of historic clips of Louis set against an audio of Louis performing the song.
The history of naming a whiskey (note the 'e') ‘Bourbon’ is disputed. One story says that it was a Baptist minister and distiller, Elijah Craig, who was the first to age the distillation in charred oak casks, "a process that gives the bourbon its reddish color and unique taste". But over the county line in Bourbon County, an early distiller named Jacob Spears is said to have been the first to label his product as "Bourbon whiskey".
Despite these stories, others argue that it is likely that there was no single "inventor" of bourbon, which developed into its present form only in the late 19th century. Wikipedia says: ‘ Essentially any type of grain can be used to make whiskey, and the practice of aging whiskey (and charring the barrels) for better flavor had also been known in Europe for centuries. The use of the local American corn for the ‘mash’ and oak for the barrels was making use of local materials by European-American settlers. The late date of the Bourbon County etymology has led historian Michael Veach to dispute its authenticity. He proposes that the whiskey was named after Bourbon Street in New Orleans which was the major port where the Tarascon brothers' shipments of Kentucky whiskey sold well as a cheaper alternative to French cognac.’
As a variation on what we have heard so far, we move to a video of Wynton Marsalis playing Bourbon Street Parade (click here). There is some nice video footage here. The tune comes from the Wynton Marsalis album Intimacy Calling – Standard Time Vol. 2 (click here).
During Mardi Gras in New Orleans there are many street parades, especially in the French Quarter. Bourbon Street is one of them. Perhaps it is down to the strip joints that there is apparently a rumour that women bare their breasts to the crowds for beads during the Bourbon Street Parade. 'Mardi Gras Throws' are strings of beads, doubloons, cups, and other trinkets passed out or thrown from the floats.
You can read about the ‘rumour’ or ‘tradition’ on the Mardi Gras website (click here), but I know there are readers who have visited New Orleans who might be able to testify to this, if their spectacles didn't steam up.
One commentator on the Mardi Gras website writes: ‘As a fifth-generation New Orleanian, let me say this was never and is still not a tradition. Saying it is "tradition" is like saying that people who get drunk and pass out on Bourbon Street are following tradition as well. Thankfully, this does not occur everywhere in New Orleans during Mardi Gras, but just in the Bourbon Street area of the French Quarter. That's also an area known for its strip joints, where those interested in this sort of thing can see it year-round. Let me explain why you may have heard this rumor. Within the last 10 or so years, a few spring break-aged tourists visiting our city have started getting drunk after the parades on Bourbon Street in the French Quarter, causing them to lose their inhibitions. This has drawn a lot of onlookers. The end result is that certain types of individuals are now attracted to the French Quarter in the evenings after the parades.'
'Throughout the year, the beautiful balconies in the French Quarter are noted for being a wonderful place to enjoy the history, atmosphere, and culture of the city as the sounds of jazz drift by after a fantastic meal. During Mardi Gras, many think of them as a place to get away from the crowd surges below. (Bourbon Street balconies during Mardi Gras are now sold to news media, large corporations, or long-term customers up to five years in advance.). Sadly, many bystanders caught in this crowd will never return to Mardi Gras, because they don't realize they did not experience the "real" Mardi Gras. The flashing for beads and related behavior does not occur in other areas of the city. The Mardi Gras that locals grew up with, enjoyed and love is occurring in every other part of New Orleans and the surrounding suburbs - not in the French Quarter.'
We’ll leave you with evidence that the tune is still alive and well. Click here for a video of the young Detroit Civic Jazz Band playing Bourbon Street Parade in December last year. The Civic Jazz Orchestra provides Michigan's premiere young jazz musicians with pre-professional training that builds upon the strong tradition of jazz in Detroit. Not perhaps the best performance, but interesting from the point of view of the contributions as musicians are called and to compare their interpretations of a jazz classic in today’s environment. I’d like to know whether there is any other current, contemporary versions of the tune.
There's a lot of hot spots, you'll see lots of big shots,
Down on Bourbon Street.
Pianist / composer Tom Donald writes about a project that he is undertaking with his trio:
Chopin improvised piano at salon bars, Bach grooved on bass lines to create chords and Miles Davis played a Spanish Guitar Concerto on his trumpet. Similarly African music uses the same rhythmic complexity the revolutionary Stravinsky 'discovered' in the early 20th Century. The Tom Donald Trio is on a mission to break down the false barriers between jazz, classical and improvisation, challenging the corporate genre myth.
When we recorded In Transito with Spanish drummer Gorka Diez I wanted to make a record that was blind to genre and instead telling a story of life and living that stretches beyond the jazz norms. In Haider Rashid's groundbreaking culture documentary 'Silence, All Roads Lead to Music' that premiered at the Dubai film festival, I deviated from the urban jazz cliché introducing a spacious, tranquil sound that draws upon eclectic influences in a deeply personal way. I think musicians in cities make a big mistake by living too fast, you have to slow down to have anything to say.
Click here for a video from the Gulf Film Channel about the concept.
In our forthcoming album In Transito, accepted notions of musical genre are challenged. Beginning with Herbie Hancock, the trio makes a transition through to Chopin before moving on to a traditional American spiritual, just an example of the captivating musical journey the audience is taken on reminding us of the power of music beyond category.
* * * * * *
Tom Donald is an award winning film composer and pianist often performing complete concert cycles of improvisation. Recently his compositions for film have won acclaim throughout Europe and The Middle East, including Haider Rashid's "The Deep” which recently won 2nd place at the Italian Globe Awards and Koutiba Al-Janabi's "Leaving Baghdad”. Tom has performed internationally at prestigious venues including Abbey Road Studios, National Opera Studio, BBC, Ronnie Scott’s, Sicily’s Horcynus Festival and the Dubai Film Festival.
The film ‘Silence’ documenting Tom’s tour of Italy has also been screened internationally, most notably at the Seattle Film Festival. Running his piano studio in Mayfair, Tom’s seminars are attended worldwide with students from Kuwait, Portugal, Italy, India, Germany, Australia, Canada, Dubai, Paris and London.
'In Transito' is being released on iTunes and Amazon and other music retailers in UK and Spain this September. We shall be reviewing the album next month, but in the meanwhile, click here to sample it on Tom's website.
Album Released: 10 June 2014 - Label: Whirlwind Recordings
Lee Konitz, Dan Tepfer, Michael Janisch, Jeff Williams
First Meeting: Live In London Volume
Lee Konitz (alto and soprano saxophones), Dan Tepfer (piano), Michael Janisch (bass), Jeff Williams (drums).
This is embarrassing. No, not the album, me. I looked at the cover, saw Lee Konitz, thought ‘Cool West Coast’. I looked at the track list: Billie’s Bounce, All The Things You Are, Stella By Starlight, Body And Soul …. and thought ‘Cool West Coast.’ If I had been on top of my game, I should have known better.
Lee Konitz and Cool West Coast are a long time ago. Water has passed. Lee was 82 when this recording was made over two nights in May 2010. This album is a different kettle of fish – and good. After the second listening, I began to appreciate the music that is played here.
Click here for the promotional video for the album with all members of the band talking about the sessions
Other more ‘free’ renderings were made during those sets and they will eventually be released as Volume 2 by bassist Michael Janisch who is the boss at Whirlwind Recordings. It was Janisch who set up these sessions. He got to know Lee Konitz at the 2008 Glasgow Jazz Festival. He says: ‘Lee said to us before the show, “I don’t want to talk a set list through, and make sure you don’t play the way you normally play, just keep those ears open to anything.” When I listen to the music we recorded I hear a lot of peaks and valleys. At times we were very connected and it’s really buzzing. Other times we’re checking each other out, sitting back and allowing the music to simmer a little, to see what happens, and sometimes I can tell we didn’t even know what was next. And it is in those moments where Lee tends to be decisive, to shine. The songs were just vehicles for on the spot improvisation.’
To quote Louis Armstrong and Bing Crosby: ‘Now you has jazz.’
Click here to sample the album.
Reviewing the album in The Guardian and allocating four stars to it, John Fordham says: ‘John Zorn has described 86-year-old saxophonist Lee Konitz as a "brilliant, adventurous and original" jazz improviser, and there's plenty of proof in this often spellbinding improv set recorded in London in 2010.’ (Click here for review).
Last month we ran an article about the banjo (see below). Tony Augarde has written to remind us of the playing of Bela Fleck: Tony says: In your feature on the banjo, you ask where today's banjo players are. One answer is Bela Fleck, a really virtuosic banjo player. My review of one of his albums is here'. Click here for a video of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones with Branford Marsalis playing Sunset Road.
Alan Bond also takes a stand:
I'd like also to add my two penn'orth as regards the banjo, a much maligned instrument. I think a lot of it stems from the recording producers, promoters and engineers of the 'trad' boom, most of whom seem to have not had much rapport with jazz musicians. How I hate the term 'trad' - there is nothing traditional about any kind of jazz and I much prefer the generic term 'dixieland'.
In most live performances at the time I never found the banjo to be obtrusive and I think a lot of the remarks came from the 'modernists' (and I don't use the term in a derogatory way as I had a foot in both camps) who seemed to resent the popularity of the 'trad' bands, short lived though it was. In a way, I was glad that the lads in these bands showed their independence by not knuckling under to the tin pan alley gang, who tried to manipulate them in the name of profit. That, as much as anything else, led to the later shift away from jazz to the likes of the Beatles etc.
Most of the real jazz fans that I know of have never been seduced by the propaganda of the 'pop' world and the fast track to fame and fortune philosophy that it engenders. I have always been firmly of the opinion that jazz is truly a small venue, intimate music and not generally suited to large venues such as concerts though I would allow that their are exceptions. It would be ridiculous for any jazz band to play in a venue with upwards of 50,000 people when most of them will only see the band on a massive TV screen and hear them though the amplification system. Why pay colossal sums of money for that when the effect is exactly the same as sitting at home listening to a CD ?
Popularity has its price and it seems to be that as long as jazz can rub along I see a much healthier future than to be manipulated by those in the recording industry who have their eye on a fast buck, which is where the banjo came/comes into the equation. Thankfully, these days we don't have the rigid divide that separated the two camps to the point where, in my experience for example, you never told anyone at the Marquee that you were going on to Ken Colyer's for the all night session and you never told anyone at Colyer's that you had come from the Marquee. We just liked jazz and weren't prepared to accept a divide.
Shotgun Jazz Band
As regards the 'New Orleans' genre I think the following link will reveal that the jazz scene in the USA is not as dead as some would like to think. The Shotgun Jazz Band is very like some of the better Ken Colyer bands and what the trumpet player lacks in technique she makes up for in enthusiasm - well worth a look as the band has a rhythm section that knows the price of corn - rock steady and driving (click here).
Finally, on the subject of banjos, I am a bit of a blue grass fan and there is plenty of excellent banjo picking to be found on You Tube from some of the many great practitioners, not the least of whom is the actor Steve Martin, who can hold his own with the best of them. There are too, some excellent banjo players around and about on the jazz scene here, most of whom put to shame the majority of the guitar strummers of the 'pop' world.
Bring Back The Banjo!
Last month's article: I have received so many jokes about the banjo and banjo players like the ones below that it must be time for a banjo Champion to arise and lead a revolution to save the jazz banjo before it becomes extinct. Who will stand against what, in any other setting, would be classed as Discrimination! Who will speak for the banjo? Where is Jo Strummer when you need him?
I had hoped that a review of the California Feetwarmers album (reviewed in June) might do the trick until I heard two tracks that especially feature the banjo. Sadly, for me they let the album down and do not help my rallying call against the banjophobes. Where are today's great banjo players?
The banjo had a place in early jazz and in America there is a Jazz Banjo website ‘For the four string banjo enthusiast’ (click here) and a radio station - Jazz Banjo Radio.
Click here to remember Johnny St Cyr playing Jelly Roll Blues.
Album Released: 25 March 2014 - Label: Araminta Music
Tyrone Birkett / Emancipation
Postmodern Spirituals: The Promised Land
Tim Rolfe reviews this album for us:
This album consists of 8 tracks and they are all composed by Tyrone Birkett who plays saxophone and keyboards. His wife, Paula Ralph Birkett provides vocals and the backing musicians are Gregory Royals (piano, organ), Reggie Young (electric bass) and Jason Patterson (drums). On two of the tracks, Pablo Vergara is on electric keyboards and Camille Gainer Jones is on drums. Guitar on track 4 is provided by Benny Martinez and on the last track John Benitez is on acoustic bass and is particularly good.
Saxophonist/Composer Tyrone Birkett has synthesized his mentorship by Jazz greats Frank Foster and Budd Johnson and his years toiling in black church sanctuaries and 70s soul-jazz into a distinctive fusion. An “outsider” artist to the jazz scene, he has nonetheless developed a powerful lyrical sound with shades of post-Coltraneisms and an idiosyncratic but melodic sense.
The album has three pages of extensive notes by Tyrone who describes it as "a modern day rendering of the freedom song." As music, "it is re-imagining and reviving the Negro spiritual by incorporating jazz sensibilities with soul and gospel music along with new compositions likened to its predecessors. The term “postmodern” is applied to many ideas both old and new so it can mean many things to lots of people. But I found that the more I listened to the songs there is something that the term can be applied to with this album. The tracks are called:
1. The Departure
The album consists of a mix of original work and re-working of older material and with track 4 standing out with a “hook” that can remain with you for some time afterwards. Tracks 1, 2, 7 are part of a larger work called The Seven Star Suite planned for later release. Track 3 (Postmodern Spiritual) uses some of the ideas mentioned in the extensive liner notes for a spoken word manifesto delivered by Paula Ralph Birkett. I’m not so sure about the spoken spiritual on track 3 overlaid on modern jazz sounds but it did deliver a powerful message.
Click here to listen to Strength from the album.
The album told a very strong story through tracks 1 to 5 with much melodic weaving of instruments and voice throughout with the later tracks becoming more reflective and quieter. There is a big opening on the sax at the start of track 1 which is echoed on closure with Paula Birkett’s vocal complemented by Tyrone’s playing.
Click here for a video of a live performance of Motherless Child.
The keyboards on track 6 (Deep River) are very soothing with restrained playing by Tyrone on his saxophone and percussion highlights but all musicians blending well. For me, this was possibly my favourite track on the album. On track 7 (Freedom Dreaming), Paula Birkett’s vocal gets across that dreamy feel with the lyrics inspiring. Track 8 (The Promise) again has more reflective playing and seems to end on a hopeful note. Worth listening and re-listening to.
Vertically challenged busker on the Paris underground
with thanks to Ron Rubin
Pianist Ethan Iverson of the Bad Plus, vibraphonist Gary Burton and singer Dee Dee Bridgewater were given top honours -- along with veteran author, editor, educator and radio show host W. Royal Stokes, freelance writer Nate Chinen, Spanish photographer Antonio Porcar Cano and videographer John Moultrie -- at the 18th annual Jazz Journalists Association's New York City Jazz Awards party on June 11, 2014.
Roswell Rudd, Terence Blanchard, Lee Konitz, Gregory Porter and Wayne Shorter all feature in the awards, and we are delighted to see that soprano saxophonist Jane Ira Bloom received an award this year. Click here for the awards list.
Jane Ira Bloom
Awards were also announced to JazzTimes magazine and AllAboutJazz.com.
Iverson, Burton and Bridgewater were celebrated not for music but for their work in media. Members of the JJA, a non-profit professional organization with some 300 members, voted Iverson's Do The Math the Best Blog of the Year and Gary Burton's autobiography Learning To Listen: The Jazz Journey of Gary Burton (Berklee Press) Best Book of the Year. Dee Dee Bridgewater, on-air host of the NPR series Jazz Set, received the JJA's Willis Conover-Marian McPartland Award for Broadcasting.
Royal Stokes, who has retired to West Virginia after a 60-year-career in and around Washington, D.C., was presented with the Lifetime in Jazz Journalism Award. Nate Chinen, contributor to the New York Times and JazzTimes, won the Helen Oakley Dance-Robert Palmer Award for Writing in 2013. Antonio Porcar Cano depicted tenor saxophonist Benny Golson blowing in front of a huge image of Billie Holiday for Photo of the Year (click here). John Moultrie's Best Short Form Jazz News Video clip is the very candid "Gary Bartz Talks About Drug Use Among Jazz Greats" (Click here to watch this 6 minute video).
The JJA's Jazz Awards are the only comprehensive honors for excellence in jazz and jazz journalism presented publicly in the U.S.
Remembering Frank Wilson
Dave Burman sends us his recollections of trumpeter Frank Wilson:
I first met Frank at the Castle Pub on the Finchley Road around the mid 1970s. He was playing there with a band of mainstream/dixielanders. I sat in there on piano and trumpet and we became a good pals. He always welcomed me at his gigs when he would take a long break leaving me to cover him on trumpet. He admired piano players and their "comping" which he dearly would have liked to have been able to do and regularly told me off because I preferred to play trumpet and not piano. I would then tell him what a great trumpet player he was and to forget about playing the piano. He was a great player with a sweet tone and immaculate phrasing, quite versatile from early styles to early bop.
Whenever Frank booked me to play piano he always gave me a blow on trumpet while he fiddled on the piano, a swap that was probably a nerve-racking experience for both of us.
Frank had a long standing gig at the Load Of Hay in Hampstead, Thursday nights. I believe that the pianist there, Claus, a German guy - and Frank, ran the gig between them. The Load of Hay was just across the road from The Steeles where I played on Monday Nights.
Frank would come to the Steeles on Mondays and sit in with us and I would go to him at The Load Of Hay on Thursdays when he got me on to the piano. He would usually then slope off after a while, leaving me on trumpet while he fraternised with the punters, then he would return and we'd do two trumpets with chase choruses. Then Frank would do his double trumpet act where he played two trumpets at the same time, in harmony!!
Frank had a big party in 2009 on his eightieth birthday and I presented him with a poem (see below) and a little bit of Chopin on the piano. I also gave him a short piece that I wrote for him - "Frank's Blues". The piece ended up on the web David Burman.Org and with my various pieces on "Score Exchange" and it has had a lot of hits! A pastor, who downloaded the piece, mailed me from the USA saying this Frank must be a great guy and that he'd arranged the piece for his church choir. I was supposed to play the piece at Frank's memorial service but sadly, bad weather and flu kept me away.
Frankly Frankly speaking
We know your bones are creaking
But the muscles in your chops
Are frankly still the tops
Like those Masters of the past
You blow away the years
And bring magic to our ears
Well Frank although you’re eighty
You’re still very very matey
A perfect gentle knight
Who sallies forth at night
With stomp and rag and blues
And ballads and good news
For those who dig your riffing
You’re still absolutely spiffing
In his last years Frank conscripted me into his ventures at various pubs where he tried to get a scene going. He finally gave up on these swan songs and retired to Tenerife where he died just a few years back. He would phone me occasionally to report on his activities in Tenerife . He had a keyboard there which he played around with and he met somene there who he could jam with after a fashion.
I do have some recordings of his trumpet playing on a video from the Steeles at a Christmas party rave with various guests. I've extracted what I can but the audience noise is loud and intrusive.
I attach a couple of photos of Frank at the Steeles Christmas party, circa 1980s. The one here shows from left to right - Jim Shepherd trombone, Ken Blakemore trombone, Frank on trumpet, Dave Burman on trumpet, Richard Williams (the film animator) on trumpet, Bob Flag actor and sax player (Big Brother in the film 1984), Colin Bray "the coat" on piano, also on the session but out of view, Brian Chadwick drums and John Fergus double bass. Also present on the session was Andy Thunderclap Newman piano and vocals. He, Bob Flag and myself did a few party pieces as the "Balloonatics" which Frank joined in on, providing a fourth harmony part on the vocals. The one above shows Frank doing a solo spot at the gig.
He was really a great guy, generous and thoughtful. The music was what he cared about and he was unselfish and welcoming if you turned up on one of his gigs and of course, he was a fine trumpet player. My lasting memory is of Frank, standing, with two of his trumpets (he had many!) playing them in harmony.
[The Frank Wilson Dave remembers is not to be confused with the Frank Wilson who played trumpet with Jack Payne in the 1930s. Ed]
Album released: 14 July 2014 – Label: Babel
Writer and musician Steve Day reviews this album for us:
Orphy Robinson (Marimba); Pat Thomas (piano, keyboards, computer beats); special guest: Steve Williamson (tenor and soprano saxophone).
In the 1980’s, before any of us really understood what we would be in for, he used to play piano fairly regularly at the Avon Gorge Hotel in Bristol. I saw him there at least three times. Pat Thomas, the only Black guy in a lean brittle band called Ghosts, they were very good. But even then he was better ‘than very good’. A lot later down the line I caught him up against Lol Coxhill’s soprano. Pat Thomas, a unique pianist for sure, but by then electronics were already carving out a different kind of space for him.
As a pianist he lays his hands out as if upon a table; he’s percussive. I don’t mean that he simply hits. Mr Thomas is a striker of rhythm, sometimes in clouds of notes in the style of Cecil Taylor, raining rhythm into an improvisation as if he had a hot tin roof to perform on. Other times there are clumps of chords pounding, pounding, an avalanche beatmaster exchanging a deck of vinyl for 88 keys.
Don’t take too much notice of the Cecil Taylor reference, Pat Thomas arrived back at his own name before he ever reached the new millennium. Since then the partnership with Orphy Robinson has enabled Thomas to plant himself in a very strong place. Here in Black Top ‘# One’, marimba and piano become a Gamelan Orchestra of colour and nuance over three extended live tracks recorded immaculately by Steve Lowe. Robinson and Thomas are literally in tune with each other to the extent that in the substance of this music, it is like listening to a twinned sound of colour. (Black certainly, but there are rainbows present.) The spring in the strike of the mallets on the wood of the marimba, the hammer inside the very guts of the piano; harmonies collide, pass, grace and shimmer.
Click here to listen to There Goes The Neighbourhood.
Improvisation is built on a variety of precepts. This particular version of Black Top does not come from opposite corners. Pat Thomas and Orphy Robinson are Black Top, which is as it should be and how it sounds to be. But, but, on this occasion they are joined by the saxophone player Steve Williamson. A man who came up through the whole 1980’s Jazz Warriors new wave along with Orphy Robinson, only to step sideways into the path of.... exploration. If the Warriors rode out of reggae into John Coltrane, in seeking to define ‘Blackness’ Mr Williamson and Mr Robinson have, via different routes, found themselves calling into question a massive amount of other material, from hard funk to Blue Note. It has taken a while. Now all things come back here to ‘# One’.
On track two, the long improvisational journey named, ‘Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner?’ (name checking the iconic Sidney Poitier movie that cracked open the lid on Black and White American family relations in the 1960’s) Steve Williamson cross purposes between tenor and soprano saxophone in such a way as to make Pat Thomas’ propulsive piano fully interactive, joined hip to hip. And Robinson’s marimba is not caught in Steve Reich-like repetition. His Black Top instrument hangs in the air, deep and purposeful producing a solo so precise it pops each note open like aural graph architecture. What we hear is all of a whole, at times it sounds as if piano and marimba sonically swap roles. The marimba has a pianistic facility and vice versa. Black Top are not boxed in, the lid is off.
Click here to sample Guess Who's Coming To Dinner.
Of course Steve Williamson’s presence on ‘# One’ alters the shape of things. He begins the proceedings with an oh so mighty tenor and at the end is still blowing soprano cliff hangers through the final track; ‘Archaic Nubian Stepdub’, (click here), a mesmerising marimba, computer beats and techno structure. Truly trio music of Black Top brilliance. Orphy Robinson, you must know you’re ‘Out To Lunch’!!! I believe this is likely to be the most important UK jazz recording released this year. ‘# One’ carries the past lightly whilst at the same time freeing up the future for all improvisers. Undoubtedly an essential benchmark recording from here on in.
Because he followed a path to classical music, we tend to forget that André Previn played jazz piano in his early career.
Here is an interesting programme broadcast on BBC Four where he interviews, or rather talks with, Oscar Peterson, and the two illustrate the discussion with their piano playing.
The programme is in six parts. You can just watch the first part (nine and a half minutes) in which they talk about their introductions to jazz, and Oscar Peterson talks about Art Tatum, or you can watch the other parts by choosing the clips listed on the right of the screen.
Click here for Part 1.
If you want a reminder of André Previn's jazz piano, click here to listen to Like Blue from the album of the same name recorded with David Rose and orchestra in 1959/1960.
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.
Last month, saxophonist Dave Keen wrote from Canada recalling the first time he encountered pianist and vocalist Diana Krall. He also attached this collage, saying: 'Here is a collage I made up years ago (40 at least!) from old jazz mag photos of my heroes. The square looking, young guy with hair, in the middle of the picture playing tenor is me. You’ll note Sandy Brown strategically placed on either side of me.'
Dave suggests that readers might like to try and identify people pictured in the collage. The reproduction is not that good, so if you are having trouble, try this selection from the main picture:
Click here for the answers
Do you have a photograph that triggers a jazz memory for you? Perhaps it would trigger memories for other people too? We'd like to hear from you and the photo doesn't need to be a work of art as long as you can make out the detail. You could either email a JPEG copy of the photo to us or if you would prefer, post it to us and we could copy it, and send the original back to you. (Click here for our contact details).
Have you checked out our page of Photographic Memories? There is now quite a collection that are well worth a look. Click here
Thank you for the suggestions that you have been sent in. I am surprised that some of the very basic recordings have not been put forward yet - what about Louis Armstrong? The idea is that if someone were searching for a list of albums to give them a good foundation for a jazz library, what should they include?
All we ask is for a couple of paragraphs about the album and what makes it a classic.
Some of you seem to have been suggesting your favourite albums of the moment rather than a 'foundation' collection. I shall keep these and perhaps we can move on in due course to another feature for them.
The winner for this month's suggestion is Mike Whitaker who makes a case for an unexpected album Lambert, Hendricks and Ross - Sing A Song Of Basie (see below). Mike wins a copy of the CD The California Feetwarmers.
We would welcome your entries for next month. What do you have to do? Simply take a look at our Essential Albums page where we are building a list of key jazz albums and send us the name of another album and make your argument for why it should be included. Click here for the Essential Albums page where we add one album a month.
If we choose your suggestion next month, we shall send you the prize CD. If your entry is not chosen, all is not lost, we'll simply carry your entry over and include it with the entries for the following month.
So, why not send us an email with your suggestion and your reasons for why you think it should be included. Click here for our contact details.
Which jazz albums make up a collection of classics? We ask you to 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.
This month's essential album is suggested by Mike Whitaker.
Mike makes his case saying:
'First - nobody has yet nominated a Basie album. I'm sure someone will suggest The Atomic Mr Basie any day now, but I'm not going to.'
'Second - vocalese is a minor but exciting sub-genre of vocal jazz. It contains elements of the close-harmony singing of all those swing-era Sisters (Clark, Boswell, Andrews), the multi-tracking developed by Les Paul & Mrs, the clever stuff done by the Hi-Los and King Sisters (and continued by Singers Unlimited) ... and let's not forget the magnificent Manhatten Transfer. But Lambert, Hendricks and Ross did it first - the swing, the wit and the skill of the words, driven along by Nat Pierce, Eddie Jones and Sonny Payne. Come on - how can any jazz collector NOT regard it as an essential?'
One From Ten
Jon Turner at Broad Street Jazz specialist record shop in Bath selects an album for special mention from his list of new and reissued recordings below.
Neil Cowley (piano), Rex Horan (bass), Evan Jenkins (drums).
I am going to cheat and instead of taking an album from Jon Turner’s current Ten Albums (below), go back to one he included last month. It would be a great shame if the Neil Cowley Trio’s Touch And Flee slipped by this page unnoticed.
I think this is an excellent album from the Trio with some entrancing piano and a symbiotic understanding between the musicians that works throughout the recording. Add to that some very pleasing compositions by Neil Cowley and the impeccable engineering of the Naim label, and you have an album to reckon with.
Click here for a video of Kneel Down, the first track on the album.
I think that the jokey artwork for the album, (a pun of ‘touch and flea’?) might belie the quality of the music. Some of the nine tracks are extended, others quite short, but even the short tracks are self-contained gems. Notes on the music say of the Trio's recording: ‘ … they present more expansive melodies and longer elegant passages for what they describe as “our concert hall record” … Here are a collection of tunes best savoured in a darkened room at full volume.’
Click here to listen to the track Mission.
Reviewing the album in The Guardian, John Fordham gives it four stars, saying: ‘ … this is the Cowley album for anyone who ever wished this gifted maverick might dig deeper: the pieces are varied (gospelly slow-burners, jazzy cat-and-mouse games, systems-music churnings, Jarrett-like churchy funk) and the playing richer and more intricate.’ (Click here for the full review).
A more detailed review is available from The Quietus (click here).
The Quietus review likes the track Sparkling, almost five minutes based on a repeating motif with bass and drums rising effectively but briefly to the surface on occasion. I probably need to listen to it more. The 4 year old son of a Neil Cowley Trio follower on Twitter says after listening to Sparkling: 'It's like you're walking along and your shoes make special noises.'
Album Released: 2013 - Label: Self Release
We have some differences of opinion about this album. Selwyn Harris in the Short Cuts review section of Jazzwise magazine gives it 3 stars and says: ' ... here (Paul) effectively mixes together the likes of Bach, sentimental would-be film music and light entertainment jazz.'
On the other hand, while one of our regular reviewers, Steve Day, is also of the opinion that the album might constitute ‘film music’, he finds it 'shallow' and would not award it any stars within a jazz setting.
Let’s listen to the title track, Pavane (click here).
There is little question that Paul’s trumpet playing is accomplished. As a former musical director at the National Theatre and RSC his musical credentials are well-founded. We also gave him mention for his trumpet contribution to Chris Ingham’s album Hoagy a month or two ago.
The Marlbank website review also gives the album three and a half stars whilst saying: ‘You won’t however find big improvisational flights of fancy or extended solos here as that’s not the point although there is a jazz sensibility at play. ‘Shadows and Desire’ is my pick of the tunes with its Metheny-esque Secret Story-like atmosphere, and the album may well also appeal to listeners who dip in and out of light classical music as much as they do styles of jazz that have their compass set firmly from the example of the early balladic side of Miles Davis onwards.’
Click here to listen to Shadows and Desire.
I am not sure that I would go so far as to make the Pat Metheny and Miles Davis connections, although I can understand what the reviewer is alluding to. The album is melodic and accessible contains some attractive compositions by Paul, and from that point of view warrants three stars, but like Steve Day, I would hesitate to award it three stars as a jazz album.
I think there are two issues. The first is the difficult task of trying to record an album where Paul says he ‘wants to combine the freedom of jazz with the rich sonorities of classical music’. It can be that the listener is not quite sure which genre they are listening to or the piece can fall between the two.
The other issue is interesting. This is not an album where the musicians have all recorded together. It is not at all unusual for recordings to be mixed and adjusted prior to release, long gone are the days where several Charlie Parker recordings would have been issued as different ‘takes’ of the same tune. However, I have to wonder whether something is lost when musicians are not all in the same place at the same time. I know - one could equally argue that jazz played and recorded electronically / digitally can be subject to the same implications.
Paul tells me: ‘Like many albums these days I had to wear many hats while making Pavane. I was both recording engineer and musician and it was recorded in my home studio. Although it has been known for me to play both piano and trumpet simultaneously on gigs, for this recording I didn’t. Sometimes the rhythm section recorded together and I’d put the trumpet on afterwards but always the cello / string section would have been an overdub. My friend Helen Yousaf on the cello tracked up many string lines on some tracks to recreate an orchestral sound (I couldn’t afford the London Symphony this time!). The classical guitar was put on later by Andy Watson.
Click here to listen to Song Of The Siren from the album which illustrates Paul’s trumpet playing.
I would encourage you to make up your own mind about whether you like this album. The various reviewers’ reference to ‘film music’ seems consistent, and you will not find it difficult to listen to. Let us know what you think.
Click here for Paul Higgs's website.
Would you like to join readers Steve Day, Tim Rolfe, Carew Reynell and Vic Arnold in reviewing new releases? New albums usually come with publicity information that will give you details about the band and the backgound to the recording. We should welcome people who have an open mind, listen to the tracks on the album and are willing to write a description of what you hear - not necessarily a technical description, or whether the album is 'good' or 'bad' - different people like different things, but of course, if you like it, say so and say why.
I am usually able to link reviews of new albums to samples of tracks online so that readers can then get a taste of the album when they read your review.
If you would be interested in reviewing an album, please contact me and let me know if you have a particular jazz interest.
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:
Horace Silver - American pianist, saxophonist and pioneer of hard bop. His family were Portuguese emigrants to Connecticut. Horace Silver played with many jazz musicians during his career including Art Blakey and Oscar Pettiford.
His work also appeared on a number of Miles Davis' albums, including 1954's Walkin'. Click here for a video of the Horace Silver Quintet playing Song For My Father.
Jimmy Scott – American contralto vocalist born in Ohio. He was a featured singer with the Lionel Hampton Orchestra, a friend of Billie Holiday and sang with Charlie Parker at Birdland.
Problems with recording companies led to his dropping out of the scene for a while, but he was re-discovered in the 1990s, and was signed to sing in a number of films as well as recording a new album that received a Grammy nomination.
Click here to listen to Jimmy singing that beautiful song Holding Back The Years.
Phil Mason - UK trumpet player and bandleader who founded the Isle Of Bute Jazz Festival. He joined Max Collie’s Rhythm Aces in 1970 and formed his own band Phil Mason’s New Orleans All-Stars in 1992. He played regularly with friends at venues in Rothesay from the 1980s.
Click here for a video of Phil’s band playing Smiles.
Our thanks to John Mumford who tells us that the clarinet player in the photo of Colin Kingwell's Jazz Bandits is Ian Mackerrow (click here for our Photographic Memories page) .
Vic Arnold picks us up on our 'That Track' article last month about, Upper Manhattan Medical Group (U.M.M.G.):
'In the article you state that the first time UMMG was recorded was in 1959 with Dizzy Gillespie. However, this was not the case. It was first recorded on "Historically Speaking -The Duke", in February 1956. I used to own it on vinyl, but now I have it on "Duke Ellington, The Complete Gus Wildi Recordings". This is a 2 CD set, the only fly in the ointment, as far as I am concerned, is that Ellington used Jimmy Grissom as a vocalist, but, fortunately, only on one track.'
Alan Bond draws our attention to the Shotgun Jazz Band playing at the Abita Springs Opry in Louisiana. The Abita Springs Opry is a series of music concerts held six times a year and is produced by a nonprofit organization, Abita Opry Inc. The show has the mission of preserving and presenting Louisiana "Roots" music. 'Our music is played primarily acoustically, in its original form'.
Alan says: 'As regards the 'New Orleans' genre I think the following link will reveal that the jazz scene in the USA is not as dead as some would like to think. The Shotgun Jazz Band is very like some of the better Ken Colyer bands and what the trumpet player lacks in technique she makes up for in enthusiasm - well worth a look as the band has a rhythm section that knows the price of corn - rock steady and driving. (Click here for the video).
The line up for this 30 minute video is: Marla Dixon (Trumpet & Vocals), James Evans (Saxophone & Clarinet), Barnabus Jones (Trombone), Tyler Thomson (Bass), Justin Peake (Drums), John Dixon (Banjo).
Tony Abel writes:
'I came across The Six Bells online today, I remember going there often in the early 60s. I am sure I saw Humph playing there with Bruce Turner. Nobody else has mentioned this, could I have imagined this? (Click here for our page on the Six Bells in Chelsea - Tony's memory seems perfectly feasible?).'
'I can clearly remember having a row with Sandy Brown in the bar of The Star Hotel in Croydon, the Croydon Jazz Club was there every Friday night. I wanted him to play a number I liked and he got a bit angry, maybe he was having a bad day? My fault I am sure, I was a stroppy young git in those days. Wish I could do it all again, I mean experience the music, not the row.'
Roland Ashpool wrote asking: 'I have been reading John Codd’s blog about the Dave Carey Band and the Wood Green Jazz Club with great interest. I used to buy my books, records and reeds from Dave's jazz shop in Streatham SW16. I also worked with Tony Gibbons in London in the print industry for about 10 years he then married and moved to Thames Ditton we kept in touch for many years, but then he dropped off the radar and I could not catch up with him again. I would appreciate any news of him.'
John Codd replies:
'I had an email from Tony Gibbons daughter some time ago telling me that Tony had sadly passed away, cannot remember the date unfortunately'.
Help Me Information
with apologies to Chuck Berry (click here)
Can you help?
We regularly receive requests for information about musicians, music, etc. Responses sometimes come months after we have featured the request so we have started a separate page. Please click here to see if you can help ...
Album Released: 3rd June 2014 - Label: Cannonball Jazz
Chingford Assembly Hall, Station Road, Chingford, London E4 7EN
The National Jazz Archive continues its fundraising concerts with this special one-off concert which sees the return to the Archive of Blues man, Paul Jones, (he of Manfred Mann and his own Blues Band).
'Paul will have an A-team of British blues and jazz stars to sing blues, standards and some of his hits as well.'
Click here for more information.
There are some festivals that look bigger and better this year, testament to the fact that they are popular and proving that jazz is alive and well throughout the UK.
Check which festivals are within striking distance of where you live and perhaps try out something different this year. Click here for a list of UK Jazz Festivals and for festivals further afield.
Some July Gigs
It is impossible for us to include a list of all the gigs taking place during a month. I have decided to take an approach where we will look at venues geographically and give you their website links so you can check what is going on in a particular area.
I will choose some Gig Picks that you might find interesting - but check their website for other gigs. Where a venue doesn't have a website, then some details of what is taking place are included below.
Dublin: JJ Smyth's, 2, Aungier Street, Dublin 2. www.jjsmyths.com
Dublin: Sugar Club, 8, Lower Leeson Street, Dublin 2. www.thesugarclub.com
Dublin: National Concert Hall (NCH), Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin 2. www.nch.ie
Dublin: Whelan's, 25, Wexford Street, Dublin 2. www.whelanslive.com
For other regular jazz sessions in Dublin contact Ollie Dowling from Quality Music Tel: 00 353 87 287855
Wales: Dempsey's, Cardiff , 15, Castle Street, Cardiff, CF10 1BS. www.jazzatdempseys.org.uk
Lancashire: Ribble Valley Jazz and Blues Club, Atrium Cafe Bar, Clitheroe Castle Keep, Clitheroe, Lancashire, BB7 1BA. www.rvjazzandblues.co.uk
Yorkshire: SevenJazz, Leeds, Seven Arts, Chapel Allerton, Leeds, or Inkwell Arts, 31 Potternewton Lane Chapel Allerton, Leeds. www.sevenjazz.co.uk
Yorkshire: Jazz In The Spa, Boston Spa, Village Hall, High Street, Boston Spa. www.jazzinthespa.co.uk
South Yorkshire: Sheffield Jazz, Various venues in Sheffield. www.jazzinthespa.co.uk (Closed until the autumn season).
Manchester: Matt and Phred's, 64 Tib Street, Northern Quarter, Manchester M4 1LW. www.mattandphreds.com
Norfolk: Norwich Jazz Jam, The Windmill, Knox Road, Norwich, NR1 4LQ. www.jazzjam.org.uk
Essex: The Electric Palace, Harwich, King's Quay. Harwich. www.electricpalace.com
Essex: North Weald, North Weald Village Hall, CM16 6BU Essex
Buckinghamshire: Amersham Jazz Club, Beaconsfield Sycob FC HP9 2SE. www.amershamjazzclub.co.uk
Oxford: The Oxford Jazz Kitchen, The Crown, Cornmarket Street, Oxford . www.oxfordjazzkitchen.com
Oxford: The Half Moon, The Half Moon, St Clements, Oxford.
London: Lume, Hoxton, The Long White Cloud, 151 Hackney Road, London E2 8JL. www.lumemusic.co.uk
London: Pizza Express, Soho, 10, Dean Street, London W1. www.pizzaexpresslive.com
London: The Spice Of Life, Soho, 6, Moor Street, London W1. www.spicejazz.co.uk
London: Ronnie Scott's Club, Soho, 47 Frith Street, London W1. www.ronniescotts.co.uk
London: The 100 Club, 100 Oxford Street, London W1D 1LL. www.the100club.co.uk (The 100 Club only occasionally stages jazz gigs these days)
London: The Forge, Camden, 3-7 Delancey Street, Camden, London NW1 7NL. www.theforgevenue.org
London: Chickenshed Theatre Jazz Bar, Southgate, Chase Side, Southgate, London N14 4PE. www.chickenshed.org.uk
London: The Vortex, 11, Gillett Street, N16 8AZ. www.vortexjazz.co.uk
London: Club Inégales, 180 North Gower Street (corner of Euston Street). www.clubinegales.com
London: Southampton Arms, Highgate Road, North London
London: Little House, 1 Queen Street, London W1
London: Jazz In The Round, The Cockpit, Marylebone, Gateforth Street, Marylebone, London NW8 8EH. www.thecockpit.org.uk
London: Putney, The Half Moon, 93 Lower Richmond Road, Putney, SW15 1EU.
Kent: 144 Club, Nr Tunbridge Wells and Rochester, Finchcock's Musical Museum, Goudhurst, TN17 1HH. www.finchcocks.co.uk
Kent: The Roffen, New Road Rochester, ME1 1DX. www.144club.co.uk
Surrey: Harri's Jazz, Shepperton, Bagster House, Walton Lane, Shepperton, TW17 8LP. www.harrisjazz.com
Surrey: Thames Ditton, The George and Dragon, High Street, Thames Ditton, KT7 0RY.
Gig Pick - Thursday 24th July - Nikki Iles Trio with special guest Josh Arcoleo.
Wiltshire: Bradford-on-Avon, The Fat Fowl,
Bradford on Avon,
Wiltshire BA15 1JX.
Bristol: The Be-Bop Club, The Bear, Hotwell Road, Bristol, BS8 4SF. www.thebebopclub.co.uk (Closed until the autumn season)
Sussex: Brighton Jazz Club,. www.brightonjazzclub.co.uk
Cornwall: St. Ives Jazz Club, Western Hotel, Gabriel Street, St. Ives, Cornwall, TR26 2LU. www.stivesjazzclub.com
The following items appeared in the last magazine but may still be of interest to readers:
In May, Charlie Cooper, the Independent newspaper’s Health reporter, wrote an article in which he looked at a new study that suggests professional musicians are four times more likely to suffer from deafness caused by exposure to loud noise than the general population.
The study also argues that whether in rock bands or orchestras, musicians are also 57 % more likely to develop tinnitus (a ‘ringing’ or ‘whistling’ in the ear - I have had it for years). Musicians who have experienced hearing problems they attribute to loud music are the guitarist Pete Townshend; Chris Martin, the Coldplay front man, and WiLL.i.am of The Black Eyed Peas.
Speaking with one young jazz saxophonist who wears ear plugs when he plays, he told me that his college recommended that ear plugs are used. I queried whether that affected his playing and interaction with other band members? He said that it took a while to get used to it, but now he has no problem with wearing them. He also knows a drummer who is now almost completely deaf.
The study reported in the article appeared in the Occupational Health and Environmental Medicine journal and had been carried out by a group researching insurance data from seven million people in Germany. Musicians made up just 0.03 % of that population, and 0.08% of insurance claims for hearing loss came from the group. There are of course, many things other than loud music that can cause hearing problems. Even when the figures were adjusted to allow for the effects of ageing, for example, musicians were still more likely to suffer than the general population. Click here to read the Independent article.
Apparently the Musicians’ Union works with specialists at the Musicians’ Hearing Service who provide hearing tests and noise level monitors.
Do you have any views or experience on this topic?
This network has been initiated primarily for jazz promoters, venues, tour organisers, educators and the media. It is holding its inaugral conference at the Midland Hotel, Manchester from 23rd - 24th July during the Manchester Jazz Festival. The conference will stage debates and panel discussions as well as showcasing a number of gigs.
They say: 'All individuals and organisations involved in the promotion and presentation of jazz are invited to participate in this major, agenda-setting event. The conference programme will feature keynote speeches by influential figures, presentations about international opportunities, discussions on audiences, touring, education and other pressing issues, and direct contributions from JPN members in the form of pitching sessions to propose ideas for future collective action.'
Click here for details.
John Westwood was taken with a radio programme put out by the BBC about the Twelve Bar Blues and decided to save it. He has given us a link so that you can download if you click here to listen to the 30 minute programme. If you choose 'Open', the programme takes a few minutes (about 2 - 3 mins) to download to the player on your computer (e.g. Media Player).
Including an interview with Chris Barber, the programme pointed out that the twelve bar blues 'is the DNA of popular music. Three chords played in a set sequence over twelve bars. .... The twelve bar is an American invention. It was originally taken up by rural blues musicians. The first commercial example was W.C. Handy's 'St Louis Blues'. Then it became the staple of the New Orleans jazz repertoire, the big bands, Chicago blues. And in the fifties, just about every other pop song was written around the twelve bar chord sequence. Nick Barraclough has played a few twelve bars in his time. In this programme he talks to bluesologists, a couple of jazzers and a banjo player about why the twelve bar works so well. They illustrate what can be done with this simple sequence and how much fun it can be to mess with it.'
Jazzwise magazine still ha openings for people looking for work experience as interns at its offices in St Jude's Church, Herne Hill, South London. The magazine is offering a series of monthly intern placements from January 2014 to January 2015. Interns will participate in all aspects of the magazine's preparation and production cycle and this opportunity will be of particular interest to people who want to pursue a career in journalism and jazz, have a keen interest and knowledge of the music and are currently studying or have completed a degree or educational course. Previous interns have gone on to work for music magazines, record companies, press agencies and radio production companies.
If you are interested, write to The Editor, Jazzwise, St Jude's Church, Dulwich Road, London, SE24 0PB enclosing a CV and covering letter, or email to email@example.com.
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.
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