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October 2018

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Ida Karlsson


Saxophonist Ida Karlsson photographed by Brian O'Connor in September at the Watermill Jazz Club in Dorking, Surrey. Ida is part of Kathrine Windfeld's Big Band. The Danish pianist, composer and arranger's band was touring the UK before moving on to gigs in Germany. Ida Karlsson is from Sweden where she leads the jazz quartet ”IDKA Jazz” with Martin Juteus on piano, Pontus Häggblom on drums and Zacharias Holmkvist on double bass - click here to listen to them playing Humble in Malmö in May.



On A Night Like This,
The Story Is Told


We made our first prolonged acquaintance with the Condon Band on the midnight train up to Glasgow, where our tour started. Eddie himself wasn't with us - he flew up separately the next day. But the rest of the band was there in full strength - six men and six bottles of whisky.

George Wettling had spent the day in London buying new clothes. He had a check overcoat in which the predominant colour was light red bordering on orange, and a cap to match. Altogether, he cut a figure more appropriate to an English country estate than to a touring jazz band.

He was inordinately proud of his new coat, and everyone within earshot on the platform at King's Cross was sooner or later called upon to witness that he had made a 'good buy'.



George |Wettling


Once on the train, miniature parties got under way in each sleeping compartment (we had the whole car to ourselves) and the conversation went on long into the night. At about 4 a.m., things began to subside.

Gene Schroeder, the piano player, had a compartment next to George. Last thing, he gently opened the communicating door and peered in to see if George was asleep. He was. The sheets were pulled up under his chin, and he was still wearing his cap and overcoat.


From Second Chorus by Humphrey Lyttelton

Click here for George Wettling with Eddie Condon's Band playing Royal Garden Blues in 1964 (I'm not sure that the line-up shown is quite correct!).


Name The Tune!

(Click on the picture for the answers)


Name the tune


Name the tune



Name the tune


Click here for a full page of Name The Tune.




Quincy Jones Documentary On Netflix

Quincy trailerFor those able to access Netflix, a new documentary telling the life story of Quincy Jones was debuted in September. The film, simply titled ‘Quincy’ is co-directed by his daughter Rashida Jones and features interviews and private archive footage going back to the very beginnings of his career. “It’s rare that somebody who has lived as much life as my dad is still interested in growing and knowing the next generation,” Rashida Jones says. “He is such a man of action and accomplishments, but we were so lucky to spend real time with him, to let him reflect on life and the larger picture. I feel honored to be able to share that with audiences all over the world.”

Quincy Jones’s career as a composer, conductor, best-selling author, multi-media entrepreneur and producer spans decades; he stands today as one of the most successful and admired artists of the entertainment world and was named by Time Magazine as one of the most influential jazz musicians of the 20th century.

Click here for the trailer.




Bauer Media Takes Over Jazz FM

Jon Newey at Jazzwise magazine reports that the Jazz FM digital radio station has a new owner - Bauer Media. Jazzwise reports that: 'Jazz FM, which is broadcast nationally on DAB and recently achieved some of its highest ever audience ratings with the latest RAJAR listening figures, has been sold to Bauer Media Group for an undisclosed amount. Bauer is a worldwide broadcasting and publishing empire, including such UK radio stations as Planet Rock, Kiss, Kerrang!, Absolute, Magic, Downtown Country and regional radio, as well Jazz FM logoas numerous print titles, including Mojo, Q, Empire, Grazia, Bella and Heat magazines. Jazz FM, which broadcasts on the Sound Digital multiplex owned by Bauer, Wireless and Arqiva, started broadcasting in 1990 on FM and, following its relaunch on DAB in 2008, recently hit 672,000 weekly listeners. These new figures come at a time when jazz is undergoing a resurgence in the UK across all age groups'.

'Paul Keenan, CEO of Bauer Media commented: "Jazz FM is a much loved, respected and influential brand, with strong growth potential, we look forward to developing it further. Jazz music is seeing an unprecedented resurgence, and this extends us into an entirely new and complementary radio audience ...". Jazz FM's CEO Jonathan Arendt added: "Jazz FM is a well-established and trusted brand, curated by passionate and expert presenters and producers – and I'm delighted that it will sit within the Bauer Radio family, where they are respectful and mindful of individual formats and listener groups. We are at the top of our game right now with our audience reaching record levels across the country and the Jazz FM Awards globally recognised ...... Bauer see this and have the resources and commercial position to ensure our future as the world's leading Jazz radio station."

Click here for details.




Miles Davis Documentary Coming To BBC2

After various other films about Miles Davis, a new feature length documentary Miles Davis : Birth Of The Cool about the man and his music Miles Davisis in the pipeline. The website Deadline / Hollywood says:


'Production is now underway, and the plan is to wrap the documentary by year’s end for a festival bow and theatrical release sometime early next year. The film will then have its exclusive U.S. broadcast premiere on PBS’ American Masters, while in the UK the film will be air exclusively on BBC2. Davis is regarded as one of the most innovative, influential and respected figures in music. The producers have full access to the Miles Davis Estate and never-before-seen footage including outtakes from his recording sessions, rare photos, and interviews with the likes of Quincy Jones, Carlos Santana, Clive Davis, Wayne Shorter and Ron Carter'.


Miles Davis in 1971


The director and producer is Stanley Nelson: 'Nelson, who has lifetime honors from the Peabodys, Emmys and the International Documentary Association, has amassed credits including the Emmy-winning docus The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution and Freedom Riders, and most recently directed Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities. “Miles was a man apart – in life, in love, in music – a singular artist who never looked back and who changed everything we thought we knew about jazz, about music, about life, several times over in his career,” Nelson said. “With this film, I hope to unpack the mythology that surrounds Mr. Davis and present a definitive account of the man behind the legend.”






Jazz Quiz

Off The Tracks

In the Quiz this month give you four tracks from each of fifteen classic jazz albums and ask you to identify the album and the band / lead musician .......


For example - which album do these tracks come from and who recorded it?

Blue Rondo Ầ La Turk: Three To Get Ready; Pick Up Sticks; Strange Meadow Lark.


Who is this?



Click here for the Jazz Quiz.





Parliamentary Jazz Awards 2018

The nominations have been announced for this year's Parliamentary Jazz Awards that take place on 16th October. Following an online public vote for the Awards, the shortlist was then voted upon by a selection panel who represent a broad cross-section of backgrounds united in their passion and knowledge of jazz. The winners, have been chosen by judging members of the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group (APPJAG). APPJAG currently has 80 members from the House of Commons and House of Lords across all political parties. Their aim is to encourage wider and deeper enjoyment of jazz, to increase Parliamentarians’ understanding of the jazz industry and issues surrounding it, to promote jazz as a musical form and to raise its profile inside and outside Parliament.  

The nominations are:

Parliamentary Jazz Awards shield


Jazz Vocalist of the Year: Liane Carroll, Georgia Mancio, Zara McFarlane, Ian Shaw.

Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year: Rob Luft, Arun Ghosh, Ross Stanley,

Jazz Album of the Year: Arun Ghosh – But Where Are You Really From?; Denys Baptiste – The Late Trane; Gareth Lockrane Big Band – Fistfight At The Barndance

Jazz Ensemble of the Year: Ezra Collective, Dinosaur, ARQ – Alison Rayner Quintet, Beats and Pieces Big Band

Jazz Newcomer of the Year: Fergus McCreadie, Sarah Tandy, Shirley Tetteh,

Jazz Venue of the Year: Jazz Re:Freshed, Jazz At The Lescar, South Coast Jazz Festival

Jazz Media Award: Richard Williams, Kevin Le Gendre, Lance Liddle – Bebop Spoken Here

Jazz Education Award: Pete Churchill, Jean Toussaint, Nikki Iles

Services to Jazz Award: Blow The Fuse - Alison Rayner and Deirdre Cartwright, Jill Rodger - Glasgow Jazz Festival, Gary Crosby, Gill Wilde  







Mercury Prize 2018

Each year the shortlist for the Mercury Prize ' Album Of The Year' includes a nomination for a jazz album. It does not usually win, but it does Sons Of kemetbring some exposure to jazz amongst the 'popular music' nominations. The award was made on 20th September and this year, the Sons Of Kemet band was nominated for their album Your Queen Is A Reptile.

The politically influenced album was reviewed in (click here) saying: '........Sons of Kemet have a political message rooted in the struggles of immigrants in the UK; reflected in their liner notes, they explain, "Your Queen is not our queen." And so, the queens of this album are legendary black women—past and present "queens"—celebrated with two drummers, tuba, saxophone and voice on a palette of Afro-Caribbean, extended reggae and grunge effects. Guest vocalist Josh Idehen provides some cutting remarks on "My Queen Is Ada Eastman" and "My Queen Is Doreen Lawrence," but even absent lyrics, as on "My Queen Is Harriet Tubman," defiance and assurance are palpable .....'


Click here for a video of the band playing My Queen Is Harriet Tubman at the event (contains flashing images).

Writing in the Radio Times before the event Gary Rose said: 'There's a whiff of déjà vu about this year's Mercury shortlist. Arctic Monkeys, Florence and the Machine, Wolf Alice, Everything Everything and Noel Gallagher (with Oasis) have now notched up 13 nominations between them. I'm also adding Lily Allen to that list, because it feels like she's had one, even though she hasn't. Among the debutants, Jorja Smith would be a popular choice, while every release sees King Krule morphing further into Peckham's answer to Tom Waits. And with the jazz renaissance in full swing, could this be the year the token jazz act marches off with the 25 grand cheque? Sons Of Kemet will be hoping so .... as will I.'

And the winner was ..................................... Wolf Alice for the album Visions Of A Life.






October's Video Juke Box

*Click on the Picture for the Video



Click on the picture to watch the video.


Hazel Scott



'What Ever Happened To Hazel Scott?' Interesting 20 minute documentary with some fascinating footage about the pianist and singer prominent during the 1930s, '40s and '50s but whose career faltered after she testified before the House Un-American Activities Committee during the McCarthy era.






Henry Spencer and Juncture The Survivor and the Descendant


Henry Spencer and Juncture play The Survivor And The Descendant from a gig at the EFG London Jazz Festival. [Henry Spencer - trumpet, composition; David Preston - guitar; Matt Robinson - piano, Fender rhodes, Wurlitzer; Andrew Robb - double bass; David Ingamells - drums]. The band will be playing at The Spice Of Life in Soho on 10th October - well worth hearing.






Fabled yellow Card


Sam Rapley's band Fabled play Yellow Card from their fine new album Short Stories released at the end of September (see Recent Releases below). This video is from a gig at The Jazz Nursery in 2017. As you might expect, the sound quality is not as good as on the album which you can sample if you check Recent Releases. [Sam Rapley - saxophone / clarinet Alex Munk - guitar Matt Robinson - piano Conor Chaplin - double bass Will Glaser - drums].






Gwyneth Herbert Letters I Haven't Written



Gwyneth Herbert introduces her new album Letters I Haven't Written. Details are included in our Recent Releases section.







Rex Steart and Nick Travis There'll Never Be Another You


Rex Stewart on cornet and Nick Travis on trumpet gently lead into this driving version of There'll Never Be Another You from one of Art Ford's 1958 Jazz Parties, themed "Champs And Contenders".







Ida Karlsson Humble


If you missed it at the top of the page with the photograph of Swedish saxophonist Ida Karlsson, here is a video of her band IDKA playing Humble in Malmö in May this year. The picture is quite dark, but no matter, it is the music that lets us hear their work. IDKA are Ida Karlsson (saxophone), Martin Juteus (piano), Pontus Häggblom (drums) and Zacharias Holmkvist (double bass).






Sonny Rollins in conversation



This 3-way video is from a 'Meet the Fans Google Hangout'. Young Soren Hvenegaard asks Sonny Rollins about his practice routine and role models.





Click here to visit the Video Juke Box choices from the past six months.



Directory of Alternative Musical Definitions


Tre Corde




The basis of rock 'n' roll

(with thanks to Dave Simms)

Click here for more Alternative Definitions.







Tracks Unwrapped

The Days Of Wine And Roses


[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 (recommended). This will take you to the article on another page on our website where some computers might ask you to allow the music to play on the page. Alternatively there is a link to the music on YouTube etc. in the article below].


Days Of Wine And Roses poster


The Days Of Wine And Roses was written by Henry Mancini with lyrics by Johnny Mercer as the title song for the 1962 Oscar nominated film starring Jack Lemmon and Lee Remick about a relationship with alcoholism. The tagline was: 'This, in its own terrifying way, is a love story'.


They are not long, the weeping and the laughter,
Love and desire and hate;
I think they have no portion in us after
We pass the gate.

They are not long, the days of wine and roses:
Out of a misty dream
Our path emerges for a while, then closes
Within a dream.


In 1962, forty couples walked out of a preview screening of the Blake Edwards film The Days Of Wine And Roses. The film was based on an earlier television play by J. P. Miller, who also wrote the screenplay for the movie. The title is drawn from a 19th century poem Vitae Summa Brevis Spem Nos Vetat Incohare Longam by Days Of Wine And Roses sceneErnest Dowson (above). For its time, the film was daring to deal as it did with the issue of alcoholism.

Jack Lemmon plays Joe Clay, a public relations man who regularly sustains his work with ‘two-martini lunches’. Joe meets and falls in love with a secretary, Kirsten Arnesen, played by Lee Remick and introduces her to social drinking. Joe and Kirsten marry, despite the misgivings of Kirsten’s father, and they have a daughter, Debbie.

Gradually Joe grows more dependent on alcohol and Kirsten drinks with him. Joe’s work suffers, he is demoted, and sent away on business. Kirsten deals with this by increasing her drinking until she causes a fire at home, nearly killing herself and Debbie.

Joe is given the sack. He staggers from job to job, and then one day catches his reflection in a shop window. He goes home and says to Kirsten: "I walked by Union Square Bar. I was going to go in. Then I saw myself, my reflection in the window, and I thought, 'I wonder who that bum is?' ...and then I saw it was me. Now look at me. I'm a bum. Look at me! Look at you. You're a bum. Look at you. And look at us. Look at us. C'mon, look at us! See? A couple of bums."


Click here for the trailer and introduction to the film - not easy watching. Before release, the studio was concerned to find out how it would be received and arranged a preview, but nobody mentioned that one of the country’s favourite comedians, Jack Lemmon, was not, this time, in a comedy - in the trailer, Jack Lemmon talks about the role.


Days Of Wine And Roses scene

Joe and Kirsten try to deal with their alcoholism, going to Alcoholics Anonymous, and Joe is admitted to a sanatorium, but they keep slipping back into their drinking. Joe begins to steady himself, looking after Debbie, but by now Kirsten is picking up strangers in bars, refusing to accept that she is an alcoholic. She comes to Joe, wanting them to get back to the way things once were. Joe says: "You remember how it really was? You and me and booze - a threesome. You and I were a couple of drunks on the sea of booze, and the boat sank. I got hold of something that kept me from going under, and I'm not going to let go of it. Not for you. Not for anyone. If you want to grab on, grab on. But there's just room for you and me — no threesome." Kirsten leaves and Joe looks down the street where Kirsten is walking, a "Bar" sign reflecting in the window.

Jack Lemmon and Lee Remick were both nominated for Oscars. The nominations were well deserved, both for their acting and their preparation. Both actors had attended several A.A. meetings and Jack Lemmon went several times to the Lincoln Heights jail to see people in the drunk tank and dry-out rooms. "It was frightening, watching those poor souls tortured by delirium tremens,’ he said. ‘As a result of what I saw we changed several scenes. For instance, we used a dry-out table where you are strapped down, rather than having the guy just wake up in a cell."


There are a number of scenes and the full movie on YouTube, but this moving scene, with the theme playing in the background, is one that shows the essence of the film (click here).


Johnny Mercer and Henry Mancini

Director Blake Edwards gave up alcohol a year after completing the film and went into substance recovery. Both Lemmon and Remick sought help from Alcoholics Anonymous after the film was over.The film has been used widely in many alcoholic and drug rehab centres.

Jack Lemmon and Lee Remick were not awarded Oscars, but Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer’s title song did. The Days Of Wine And Roses was given the Academy Award for 'Best Original Song', and it also picked up several Grammies. Both composer and lyricist reflected afterwards on how easily the song came to them. The title of the film inspired the melody and Henry Mancini described how ‘It just came. It rolled out.’ Johnny Mercer agreed: ‘I could not get the words down fast enough’.

According to the International Movie Data Base, the soundtrack just credits 'Chorus' as performing the song.




The days of wine and roses laugh and run away like a child at play
Through a meadow land toward a closing door
A door marked "nevermore" that wasn't there before


Over the years, The Days Of Wine And Roses has been performed in many ways; the smooth, easy listening style of Perry Como and Andy Williams, or elsewhere as a nostalgic love song, if however, you know the story behind the song, it needs to express something more.

We start with a version with lyrics where Tony Bennett and Bill Evans treat the tune sensitively in this short track - click here.


Jaco Pastorius

Woody Herman also seems to get the message in this video of his 1964 Swinging Herd (click here). In one post with this video someone says: 'Billy Hunt's solo over the Four Brothers tenor sound is so tasteful and perfect for the setting (a lost art?), plus the seamless way he navigated over the "changes" in the modulation and set up the "shout" chorus is reminiscent of how Don Fagerquist did those same things with Gene Krupa, Woody's "New Third Herd" and the Les Brown Band of Renown. I sure I am showing my age saying how much I miss hearing that kind of playing'.


Jaco Pastorius


I think it is worth sampling some of the versions of the tune on YouTube to see the different approaches taken and whether or not they might relate to the theme of the movie. I am not convinced, for example, that Dexter Gordon or Wes Montgomery's recordings do, enjoyable as they are. Somehow I can go with Stuart Mack's trumpet solo in this video of him with pianist Gabriel Evans (click here), or perhaps this version by Brian Melvin and Jaco Pastorius (click here). Most of all, perhaps, this video of Jimmy Smith and Nathan Page (click here). As someone said: 'To some it may sound like music in a roller skating rink, but if you really listen you will really find the soul of Jimmy Smith and if you don't see, you might question your soul …. I bet he taught the angels how to play the organ. They done changed their harps for Hammonds. R.I.P. Jimmy …. Nathan Page, guitar what a find!'


The lonely night discloses just a passing breeze filled with memories
Of the golden smile that introduced me to
The days of wine and roses and you


Of course, there is no obligation to relate the tune to the movie - it is strong enough to stand on its own, after all, it did win Best Original Song at the 1963 Academy Awards (Oscars).

For two contrasting versions, click here for a video of the tune played by guitarists Arismar do Espírito Santo and Nelson Faria. The second is a great video from a jazz workshop at the 1966 Newport Jazz Festival where trumpeter Clark Terry uses the song to demonstrate the difference between the effects of half-valve trumpet and flugelhorn - click here.

There is something about Ernest Dowson's poem at the start of this piece that reminds me of part of A.E. Houseman's poem A Shropshire Lad :


Into my heart on air that kills
From yon far country blows:
What are those blue remembered hills
What spires, what farms are those?

That is the land of lost content
I see it shining plain
The happy highways where I went
And cannot come again


..... and so I leave you with a challenge - can you find a connection between 'Blue Remembered Hills' and the tune 'Pennies From Heaven'? I'll give you the answer in next month's Forum section. In the meanwhile, take time to stop and smell the roses.


They are not long, the days of wine and roses


Wilted roses





Lens America

Mark Turner


Saxophonist Mark Turner photographed by JazzTrail photographer Clara Pereira in September
at the Jazz Standard in New York City where he played with pianist Ethan Iverson to promote their debut ECM album, Temporary Kings.


Filipe Freitas from JazzTrail writes in his review of the gig: ' ... We were there for the second set, which started off with “Third Familiar”, the last track on the album, bringing myriad piano timbres (with Iverson’s initial preference going for lower tones) over which Turner poured off melodies elegantly sculpted with complex intervallic patterns. Announcing every title ahead, Iverson gave us a bit more info about the tunes, including the terrific studio in Lugano, Switzerland, where they were recorded. We also learned that he specifically penned “Turner’s Chamber of Unlikely Delight” for the saxophonist in order to express admiration for his ability to improvise fast lines over challenging chord changes. He is totally right about this, and also did a wonderful job himself while soloing, despite having informed the audience he was still working on it ...... If you have a chance, take a look at their calendar and go see them live. The duo is heading out on the road again in October, performing in America and Europe'

Click here to listen to Lugano from the album Temporary Kings.





Poetry and Jazz

Open Land

Meeting John Abercrombie

by Robin Kidson


[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 (recommended). This will take you to the article on another page on our website where some computers 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].


John Abercrombie


John Abercrombie, the American jazz guitarist and composer died last year. He was 72. His record label, ECM, has recently released, on DVD, a 90 minute film made by Arno Oehri and Oliver Primus. The film’s title, Open Land: Meeting John Abercrombie, is both a reference to Abercrombie’s 1999 album, Open Land, and also, perhaps, a reflection of the musician’s open, ego-free personality – open to influences, open to collaboration with other musicians, open to his audience.   

Shot mainly in 2014 and 2015, the film features the amiable and articulate Abercrombie being interviewed in a variety of settings about his life and work. The talking is interspersed with extracts from his various ECM albums together with atmospheric landscape shots. There is an elegiac feel to the film and it is hard not to see it as some sort of obituary although it’s not clear whether Abercrombie saw it as such, nor if he knew he didn’t have that much longer to live. The evidence suggests not – although clearly an older man, Abercrombie comes across as still a vigorous, hard-working (and, it has to be said, hard-smoking) musician looking forward to the future.

Click here for a trailer for the film.

John Abercrombie was born in 1944 and brought up mainly in Greenwich, Connecticut. A sequence in the film shows him returning to his childhood home and reminiscing about his time there – “a nice place to grow up”. His first musical tastes inclined to fifties' guitar-based rock and roll and he started having guitar lessons. Friends in high school introduced him to jazz – Brubeck and Miles Davis, in particular. He enrolled at Berklee and began playing clubs in Boston. After graduating in 1967, he toured with the organist, Johnny “Hammond” Smith and appeared on Smith’s 1968 album, Nasty!. He clearly felt an affinity with the sound of the organ because, throughout his career, he often included an organ in his various groupings.

Click here for Smith, Abercrombie and drummer, Grady Tate, hitting a groove on Speak Low, one of the tracks on Nasty! Abercrombie’s style at the time clearly owes a lot to the likes of Barney Kessel, Jim Hall and Wes Montgomery but he is already displaying considerable technical virtuosity.

He moved to New York in 1969 and played in the jazz-rock band Dreams and with Billy Cobham. He also became a sought after session musician playing, for example, on that fine piece of jazz-rock, The Gil Evans Orchestra Plays The Music of Jimi Hendrix. But he was a John Abercrombiesomewhat reluctant jazz-rocker, particularly when he found himself gravitating more to the rock part of that spectrum. He was saved, if that is the right word, by meeting Manfred Eicher, boss of the ECM record label. Eicher invited him to record something on his label and the result was the album, Timeless, released in 1975, on which he was joined by Jan Hammer on keyboards and Jack DeJohnette on drums. The final part of Open Land sees Abercrombie reminiscing about Timeless and how he composed the tracks, particularly the title track which is played on the film.

Click here to listen to Timeless. It owes something to In A Silent Way and, in the film, Abercrombie acknowledges the influence of John McLaughlin. The album sold well. Abercrombie remarks that it was the most successful recording of his career: “It kind of put me on the map. It was my hit”. He became one of ECM’s main artists, remaining remarkably loyal to the record label for the rest of his life. It works the other way of course – Manfred Eicher also stayed loyal to Abercrombie.

Around the same time, John teamed up with DeJohnette and the British bassist, Dave Holland, for a band called Gateway which released two albums on ECM (plus a third reunion album in 1994). The music was mainly free jazz but Abercrombie was finding his own voice which was a more accessible and melodic one. After Gateway broke up, he spent the next 40 years playing in a variety of different settings and developing his own distinctive style – clear, restrained and unflashy but capable of communicating real feeling and emotion. He was always one of the most generous of musicians, blending in with other instruments in an easy and natural way. As well as leading various groups, he also embarked on some notable collaborations with the likes of Ralph Towner, John Surman and Kenny Wheeler.

Click here for a video of John with the Kenny Wheeler band playing Hotel Le Hot with Kenny Wheeler (trumpet); John Abercrombie (guitar); John Taylor (piano); Palle Danielsson (bass) and Peter Erskine (drums) (unfortunately the video finishes rather abruptly).


Abercrombie’s restrained style has often been seen as the embodiment of the whole ECM sound and there is a revealing section in the film in which he talks about a melancholic strain to his work and how this fits easily with the ECM “aesthetic” – “a little melancholic, a little sad, not so in your face, a little mysterious”. Indeed, a not unattractive languorous  melancholy pervades a great deal of Open Land. Much of the film seems to have been shot in a North American winter with long-held shots of snowy rural landscapes (open land…), ships and trains moving through, cars on cold nights in the city, clouds…

Abercrombie married his wife, Lisa, in 1986, and a sequence in the film has Lisa talking about how they met and their long marriage. The track, Lisa, from the 1986 album, Current Events (with Marc Johnson on bass and Peter Erskine on drums) is played over this sequence which, as well as showing Lisa, also includes footage of the couple in their cosy and comfortable home complete with cat.

Click here to listen to Lisa.


John Abercrombie and Ric McCurdy

Other parts of the film show Abercrombie teaching students at Purchase College, talking to guitar maker, Ric McCurdy, and jamming with other musicians in his home.


John Abercrombie and Ric McCurdy


As a reflection, perhaps, of Abercrombie’s European connections (both with ECM and with European musicians), a longer sequence in the film shows Abercrombie and other members of his current trio (Adam Nussbaum on drums and Gary Versace on organ) flying to Liechtenstein (also cold and wintry) to play a gig. The music playing over this is Banshee, a track from the 2006 album, The Third Quartet, featuring Mark Feldman (violin), Marc Johnson (bass) and Joey Baron (drums) - click here to listen to Banshee. The interplay between Feldman and Abercrombie is particularly impressive and shows the Indian influences which were never far from Abercrombie’s mature style.


Once in Liechtenstein, the trio plays a relaxed set to an appreciative audience. The film shows them playing the whole of Another Ralph’s, a track from the 2013 album, 39 Steps. It is a gently swinging, funky performance, with any melancholy dial turned right down. Later, over shots of the landscape in Abercrombie’s home in a wintry Putnam Valley, New York, the title track of 39 Steps is played. This fades into Abercrombie playing the tune on piano and explaining something of his compositional technique. Click here for a live performance of 39 Steps with Abercrombie playing with Nussbaum and Versace at the Bologna Jazz Festival.

In his obituary of Abercrombie in The Guardian, John Fordham said of the guitarist:

“His improvisations combined melodic unpredictability and a quietly purposeful momentum, and a typical Abercrombie set would mix unhurried, ruminative drifts into free jazz, elegiac ballads, and a characteristic brand of now-you-hear-it-now-you-don’t swing that could be as toe-tappingly infectious as versions that came much more explicitly to the point…his work never retreated into cerebral privacy, since it always retained lyricism, narrative shape and the distant heartbeat of the groove”.

Open Land, Meeting John Abercrombie is a film which captures beautifully the distant heartbeat of John Abercrombie’s particular groove and is a marvellous introduction to the work of a great musician who was often under-estimated throughout a long career. Lovingly made and absorbing to watch, it leaves the viewer wanting to know more about Abercrombie and hear much more of his music. Although the original intention perhaps was not to make a memorial to Abercrombie, the film, nevertheless, is a fitting tribute.

The DVD is available here. You can find further information here.

For those who might like to explore more about John Abercrombie, this one hour video Conversations With John Abercrombie was recorded in 2014 as part of the NYU Steinhardt Jazz Interview Series at SubCulture in New York. with Dr. David Schroeder (click here).


Meeting John Abercrombie DVD 






Utah Tea Pot

Tea Break


[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 (recommended). This will take you to the article on another page on our website where some computers 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].


Steve Rubie


Steve Rubie



Flautist and saxophonist Steve Rubie runs the famous 606 Club in Chelsea. The story has been told many times of how as a teenage schoolboy in London, Steve discovered a basement club where jazz musicians hung out at 606 Kings Road, Chelsea. The '6', as it was known, had been in existence since the 1950s but in 1969 it was taken over by ex-actor Steve Cartwright. When he heard that the club was in need of a cook, Steve Rubie, now at Trinity College of Music, stepped into the breach and for eighteen months found it a useful way to supplement his student income as well as getting involved in the music.

By 1976, Steve Rubie was a working musician and returning to the UK after a tour in Italy, found that Steve Cartwright was planning to move to France. Steve was persuaded to take over running the club. The Kings Road basement was small, seating just 30 606 Clubpeople, but the audience grew under Steve's management until one day the owners of the building said that they were going to redevelop the site. After one or two alternative locations, a friend told Steve about a derelict basement in nearby Lots Road that had once been a rehearsal room and recording studio. It took nine months to make the venue habitable, including major work to the drains and power supply, but carrying over its former name, the '6' reopened as a 70 seat venue in May 1988.

Since then the 606 Club has extended to take an audience of 135. Running a club in London is an expensive business - just the electricity bill for the club has increased by 17% this year. The club is open seven nights a week and has been a profitable venue since 2001. The basement has a distinct informal, intimate and relaxed atmosphere; visitors are able to book a table and order a meal; an additional sum is added that goes direct to the band. After three visits, visitors can apply for club membership that offers additional benefits (details are on the Club website).

Although the '6' is a key jazz venue, Steve emphasises that the club hosts a wider programme of music. There is a long-standing policy of booking and promoting UK-based musicians, including an ongoing relationship with the Royal Academy of Music, although there are times when musicians from elsewhere play - for example, the exchange project that has been set up with the Budapest Jazz Club in Hungary. As well as running the club, Steve also leads the Latin-jazz band, Samara.


[Click here for a video introduction to the Club]


As you can imagine, Steve Rubie is a busy man. I managed to catch him for a tea break at the club one afternoon in September as preparations were being made for an evening performance by vocalist Rachael Calladine, sound systems were being checked, beer being delivered ........


Hi Steve, thank you for the coffee - what will you have?

I don't usually have tea or coffee, I'll have a glass of water, thanks.


I see Rachael Calladine is singing tonight. Didn't she used to sung with you in Samara?

Yes, some time ago now. She originally comes from Derby and she played at the club with another band in the late 1990s - we needed a singer and I was impressed by how versatile she was, so she joined us. She is a great soul / groove and Latin singer and has just returned after being away for ten years, it should be a good gig with Rachael and her band.


Steve Rubie and Liliana Chachian


'Samara' is an interesting name for a band - how did that come about?

Samara is actually a town in Russia, but we simply used the initials from the musicians in the band when it was originally set up in the 1980s. Bass player Andres Lafone had a band at the old club and invited me to play with them - it was Latin / Brazilian jazz and my interest started then. Today's band usually features Neil Angilley (piano); myself on alto sax and flute; Dill Katz (bass); Nic France (drums) and Liliana Chachian is our vocalist. We have deps, of course, as the musicians can be tied up with other engagements, Steve Lodder will sometimes dep. for Neil, and we usually play once a month at the club.

Steve Rubie and Liliana Chachian



[Click here for Samara filmed at the 606 Club in 2010 with singer Jandara Silva]



If you could bring back a past musician to play with Samara for a gig, who would you invite?

That's difficult. I guess it would have to be the great flute player Harold McNair.


What would you ask him about during the band's tea break?

I'd ask about his approach and practice routine - and any advice he could give on playing the flute!


[Click here to listen to Harold McNair playing Herb Green in 1970 from the album Flute And Nut].


You have always tried to promote UK-based musicians at the Club - have you noticed any changes over the years?

I think today's musicians are probably more technically accomplished. Students coming out of the colleges particularly so, although that will vary year to year depending on the student and the teaching. There are some excellent musicians around and I have noticed how the talents of some students actually go on to emerge after leaving college. For some years now we have worked with the Royal Academy of Music to give their students a platform. Gerard Presencer, who originally ran the Jazz course approached me, and now we work closely with Nick Smart, not just to host their students' final recitals but for the students to play regularly at the club where they get paid for gigs just like any other David Rees-Williamsmusicians. It gives them the chance to experience playing to a usual club audience. Of course there are more and more jazz course students coming out of college each year and there are not enough paying venues to support and pay them. It seems sad that bands have to 'pass a hat round' at a gig, and commercial sponsorship of venues, tours or gigs can be hard to get hold of.

Younger musicians also appreciate the use of social media in promoting their gigs. We do a lot of publicity, online or through our printed programmes, but younger players intuitively understand social media and contact with people who know or who follow them. Like many organisations, the recent General Data Protection Regulation has affected our mailing list so it is helpful that musicians can reach out in that way to their followers.

David Rees-Williams


I also try to ensure that I have at least one musician each month who has not played at the club before. A little while back someone recommended the pianist David Rees-Williams, for instance, who has been around since the late '80s but never played at the Club. So I asked him to perform here just recently - his music is classically influenced and can sound something like a mixture of Jacques Loussier and Herbie Hancock - and the gig was really good. 


[Click here to listen to the David Rees-Williams Trio playing Greig's Arietta]





Budapest Jazz Club


You have also developed a relationship with Budapest Jazz Club - how does that work?

Yes, they approached me about setting up an exchange scheme over ten years ago now and it has been working successfully for some years. Three times a year we fund a musician to travel to Hungary to play at the club there and vice versa. They are lucky in that their government subsidises the air fare, but I think it is a really valuable project. Hungary is not that far away - 2 hours travel - musicians can easily travel in either direction to play a gig at the club and then come home. I'm surprised that more musicians don't take advantage of playing in Europe generally, travelling to some gigs in this country can actually take longer, and there are plenty of opportunities to play all around the continent.


[Click here for a short video clip from a jam session at Budapest Jazz Club and a reconstruction of John Coltrane's Sweet Sioux by János Ávéd]




The 606 Club seems to be developing initiatives all the time - what have you got coming up ahead? And I notice that there is a massive 'Chelsea Waterfront' development taking place across the road - is that going to affect you?

I don't think the Chelsea Waterfront development will affect us a lot, we are mainly a 'destination' venue that people travel to. Right now, we are getting things together for the London Jazz Festival in November. Taking the Club 'outside' has been proving a good event. This year the Fulham Palace Festival in July celebrated its 10th birthday and had an audience of something like 1400 people over 2 days. It would be good to extend that event further, perhaps taking it to somewhere like Italy. I also want to look at developing recording and live streaming facilities at the Club. I also think it is good to promote a varied music programme here - we have Jeremy Stacey's 'Steely Dan Project' taking place this month and a great band 'All Fired Up' as well as our Jazz programme including gigs with the likes of Alex Garnett; Alice Zawadzki; Tim Garland; Gilad Atzmon - and of course Samara.


[Click here for a video teaser of All Fired Up celebrating the music of Earth Wind and Fire]


...... at which point, Steve Rubie's phone rings, he finishes his glass of water, I drink the last of my coffee and the piano tuner continues to make sure things are ready for the evening performance.


The 606 Club is at 90 Lots Road, London, SW10 OQD

For more information visit their website at


Steve Rubie

Steve Rubie



Utah Tea Pot





Jazz As Art

Barbecue Blues

by Kansas Smitty's House Band


When you listen to music, you sometimes conjure images in your mind. Our Jazz As Art series invites you to listen to a piece of jazz and as it plays, scroll down the page and see which of the pieces of art I have chosen comes closest to the pictures in your mind. Hopefully, this will introduce you to recordings and art works you might not have spent time with before. You need to go to another page to play the music and see the images - click here.


Kansas Smitty's House Band




Kansas Smitty's logo

Kansas Smitty’s is a bar / venue in Broadway Market, London E8 open Tuesdays to Sundays, 7.00 pm to Midnight. In 2015, Kansas Smitty’s Band led by reeds man Giacomo Smith and trumpeter Pete Horsfall realised they needed a home for their music, and found a basement in Hackney. Now an intimate basement bar it is a rehearsal space for the band as well as a live music venue and cocktail bar. Since 2015, the band has increasingly been making a name for itself.

Musician and presenter Cerys Matthews has said: ‘They dance to a beat of their own drum. Totally unpredictable’, and one review of the venue says: ‘Kansas Smitty’s combines some of the best jazz musicians from around the world with a menu of original juleps to create unforgettable and unique nights. The relaxed and intimate atmosphere of this 60 person capacity basement comes alive when members of the Kansas Smitty’s House Band take the stage alongside special guests. 

The Evening Standard said: 'Forget what you think you know about jazz, trumpeter Pete Horsfall and clarinet player Giacomo Smith lead their band with a rattling, crackling energy that had the young crowd howling and stomping their feet with sheer joy'.


In this month's Jazz As Art they play Barbecue Blues and you can hear what the reviewers are talking about. Go to the Jazz As Art page (click here), play the track and then scroll down to see the paintings I have chosen to go with the music -

(I think this only really works if you spend time with each painting)


Jurgen Born Drummer In Motion




Do You Have A Birthday In October?


Your Horoscope

for October Birthdays

by 'Marable'





Libra (The Scales)

23rd September - 22nd October

The signs are that your health is better this month as Mars moved into Aquarius in September. You still have two long-term planets in stressful alignment, but most of the planets are kind to you or leaving you alone. Neptune, the most spiritual of all the planets, starts to bring stimulation after the 23rd.

The 23rd could be a significant date as then the Sun enters your money house signalling prosperity. Your money house is full of planets from the 23rd onwards and on top of that, Pluto is in forward motion from the 2nd and that suggests that your confidence is also enabling you to see what you want and how to get there.

One thing to look out for - Venus goes retrograde on the 5th, and although Mars, your 'love' planet is moving forward with signs of enjoyable social activity, there could be one relationship that you might need to back out of.


For you, click here for a video of Dr John at the 2006 Newport Jazz Festival
with Makin' Whoopee.


Dr John Makin Whoopee





Scorpio (The Scorpion)

23rd October - 22nd November

The planetary power is now in its maximum Eastern position, you have been considering being more independent and that develops this month. On the 2nd, Pluto, the ruler of your Horoscope, starts to move forward bringing more clarity about what you are aiming for.

On the 23rd, the Sun moves into your own sign and your First house is easily the strongest in the Horoscope this month. While two planets are still in stressful alignment, your health should be good this month and the Sun moving in suggests that career opportunities might seek you out, helped by the fact that you feel and look more confident.

It also looks as though options for prosperity can run into next month too when Jupiter moves into your money house on the 6th November. Just be who you are going about what you do, but keep an eye open for opportunities.


For you, click here for a video of Dave Brubeck with guests Paul Desmond and Gerry Mulligan playing All The Things You Are in 1971.

Dave Brubeck All the Things You Are






Poetry and Jazz

Bob Mintzer - A Meeting Of Minds

by Kate Gamm


[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 (recommended). This will take you to the article on another page on our website where some computers 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].


Bob Mintzer


‘A musically rich meeting of minds’ is how producer Marty Ashby describes an interesting new collaboration between the Bob Mintzer Big Band and acapella group, New York Voices. Drawing on the Great American Songbook from the 1930s and 1940s, the quartet’s vocals are enhanced by modern arrangements of classic songs by Grammy Award winner Bob Mintzer.

It is not the first time Bob Mintzer and the New York Voices have performed together - click here for a video of them back in 2014 introducing gigs at Tokyo's Blue Note.

Bob Mintzer leads several musical lives that, at times, seem humanly impossible for one person to sustain. For twenty years he’s been a Bob Mintzermember of the Grammy award winning jazz fusion band Yellowjackets;  he’s chair of jazz studies at the University of Southern California;  he writes books on jazz;  he writes for orchestra, concert band and big band;  he travels with his own quartet;  and plays with numerous other bands around the globe.

Click here for a video of him guesting with the California State University Jazz 'A' Band playing a beautiful version of Everything Happens To Me in 2016 .

Bob Mintzer was born in New Rochelle, New York in 1953. He says: 'Jazzmobile, an organization that sponsored jazz performances around the greater New York metropolitan area, sent a quintet consisting of Dr. Billy Taylor, Grady Tate, Ron Carter, Harold Land, and Blue Mitchell to the New Rochelle High School in 1967. I was a sophomore at the time. I think it was then and there that I decided that music would be my calling. Later that year I was taken to the Village Gate to hear the double bill of the Miles Davis Quintet and the Thelonious Monk Quartet. From that point on I went to as many live performances as I could on the budget of a 16-18 year old. During my formative years I was so fortunate to have the opportunity to hear Sonny Rollins, Miles, Monk, Sonny Stitt, Dexter Gordon, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, and many of the jazz greats play around New York'.

Bob won a scholarship to Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan and then went to the University of Hartford Hartt School, Connecticut, on a classical clarinet scholarship. Jackie McLean had just started a jazz program at Hartt, and it was McLean who suggested to Bob that he transfer to New York City and 'jump into the jazz community down there'. He took the suggestion and transferred to Manhattan School of Music in 1973.

Click here for him playing a bass clarinet solo (date unknown).

Since then, the list of musicians that he has worked with is as impressive as it is diverse including Art Blakey, Jaco Pastorius, Randy Brecker, Gil Evans, Kurt Elling, the Buddy Rich Big Band and the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Big Band.  Then there’s session work for the chart toppers – Diana Ross, James Taylor, Aretha Franklin, Steve Winwood, Queen and countless others.

Click here for a video of Bob playing The Chicken with Jaco Pastorius. Randy Brecker is the trumpeter.



New York Voices


The New York Voices jazz vocal group was founded in 1987 by Peter Eldridge, Caprice Fox, Sara Krieger, Darmon Meader, and Kim Nazarian. All except Krieger were members of an alumni group from Ithaca College that toured Europe in 1986. They began performing as the New York Voices in 1988 and issued their debut album the following year. Sara Krieger left in 1992 and was replaced by Lauren Kinhan. After Caprice Fox left, the group became a quartet.


Click here for a video of the New York Voices singing Lennon and McCartney's In My Life.


Now, Bob Mintzer releases Meeting Of Minds, an album with New York Voices, a collaboration that unites two projects from the MCG Jazz stable. MCG - The Manchester Craftsmen's Guild, based in Pittsburgh, has had a jazz programme since 1987. They say: 'Through our live recordings we reach a national and international audience – a market we’d like to grow. Through our educational programs we are able to have students attend the concerts at low or no cost to them, make artists available for master classes and provide opportunities for internships in production and marketing .... The jazz artists come to the Guild to perform with an understanding that we’re a school. Most leave feeling that they got as much or more from their MCG experience than they gave. They frequently mention “hope” and “the spirit of the place.” You will hear what they mean in their recordings. MCG Jazz label recordings are unusually joyful ....'


New York Voices




Mintzer has been a long-time fan of New York Voices – ‘great soloists and superb ensemble playing on some fairly challenging arrangements’. New York Voices (NYV) have previous form with big bands, having performed with the Count Basie Orchestra in 1996, for which they too won a Grammy.  This new album with Bob Mintzer takes a more integrated approach to voice and band, including a series of solos from the quartet, along with improvised solos from the orchestra.  What could be an over-complicated project actually puts the lyrics at centre stage.  As Mintzer says, ‘it was fun to go somewhere else arrangement-wise while acknowledging the greatness and intention of the tunes.’ NYV are known for their close-knit harmonies, very much in the style of Manhattan Transfer.  Their collaborators span a number of influential jazz artists since they formed thirty years ago - Bobby McFerrin, Nancy Wilson, George Benson, Annie Ross. 

Click here for a video of New York Voices and Manhattan Transfer together singing Birdland in 2011.

The new album, Meeting of Minds, has some great tunes that span the very best of the era, reinventing classics by Mercer, Kern, Porter, Carmichael, with the addition of a new track by Mintzer himself that has shades of the West Coast in the production, with a Fagan/Becker feel to Speak Low in particular.

Click here to listen to Speak Low.

A highlight of the album is the joyful bossa nova sound of You Go To My Head, featuring trumpeter Scott Wendholt and lead vocals by Darmon Meader, the vocal arranger for all the tracks on the album.  Interwoven with harmonies by Kim Nazarian and Lauren Kinhan, the track is the loosest (and campest) track on the album. I Get Along Without You Very Well puts soloist Peter Eldridge at centre stage, his initial plaintiveness developing into something more celebratory when joined by Nazarian and Kinhan.  As is the way of the whole album, this classic song is reinvigorated and celebrated. 

Click here to listen to I Get Along Without You Very Well.

We'll let Bob Mintzer leave us for the time being with this informal video that someone took of him playing an Eastman tenor sax at this year's National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) trade business show in California (click here).


Click here for details and to sample the Meeting Of Minds album


Meeting Of Minds album




Trumpet Geek




Two Ears Three Eyes

Photographer Brian O'Connor took his camera to gigs at the Watermill Jazz Club during September. Here are some of his images:


Johannes Beraeur's Hourglass

Johannes Beraeur's Hourglass played at the Club on the 4th September with Austrian composer, Johannes Berauer, pianist Gwilym Simcock, guitarist Mike Walker, violinist Thomas Gould, bassist Martin Berauer and drummer/percussionist Bernhardt Schimpelsberger.



Bernhardt Schimpelsberger

Bernhardt Schimpelsberger


Gerard Sands writes: Hourglass is a jazz ensemble formed to play the music of Austrian composer, Johannes Berauer. Usually I have my reservations when classically trained musicians become involved with jazz, often finding the results rather too formal and stilted for my tastes, but Berauer is proving to be one of the exceptions. This may in part be because the ensemble contains musicians with an extensive jazz pedigree, in particular pianist Gwilym Simcock and guitarist Mike Walker. Violinist Thomas Gould does have more of a classical background but has also played jazz with swing band The Man Overboard Quintet, and with Tim Garland amongst others. Bassist Martin Berauer (Johannes’ brother) and drummer/percussionist Bernhardt Schimpelsberger have both been involved with Berauer’s work for some time. Berauer himself was present for the performance, and introduced several of the pieces, but did not actually play anything himself.

The evening began, appropriately enough, with In The Beginning, a melodic piece extensively featuring Gould. Simcock’s composition Now We Know was slow and atmospheric, despite Simcock being somewhat disconcerted by the presence of a rather large wasp! The Wheel, written by Schimpelsberger, was in 5/4 time and had a strong Indian flavour, with Schimpelsberger providing most of the “percussion” a capella. That’s the first time that I’ve seen somebody speak a drum solo and it was very effective. Spiral was a duet for piano and violin, and Antics, another Simcock composition, featured the John Scofield-like guitar of Walker, a bass solo from Berauer M, and finished with a piano/drum battle. After the interval, East also had an Indian feel, and Triptych - Secrets/Dreams/Feelings was more like chamber music - I was reminded of the Modern Jazz Quartet although obviously with slightly different instrumentation. Invention was apparently a homage to Bach, although personally I couldn’t detect much Bach in it, to me it sounded more akin to Balinese gamelan, and Nocturne was much as you would guess from the title.

All in all this was an interesting, varied, and certainly enjoyable evening of music, played to a full and appreciative house. It’s testament to the adventurous booking policy of the Watermill Jazz Club and long may it continue.

Click here for a video of the band playing Keep Up.



Thomas Gould

Thomas Gould





Kathrine Winfeld's Big Band


Kathrine Winfeld Big Band



Gerard Sands writes: This week the Watermill Jazz Club hosted the UK debut of the Kathrine Windfeld Big Band. Danish pianist, composer and arranger Windfeld founded the band in Copenhagen in 2014, recruiting musicians from Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Poland, and the line-up remains largely unchanged today. The band are well known within the Scandinavian jazz scene and positive reviews for the recent release of their 2nd album Latency, and now this short tour of the UK, should give their profile a well deserved boost over here.

Anders LarsenThe material at tonight’s gig came primarily from that album and, as far as I’m aware, was all composed by Windfeld. In truth her forte may be more as an arranger than as a composer, there was nothing wrong with any of the compositions, far from it, but some days after the show it is individual elements of the performances that have stayed with me. 


Anders Larsen


Opening number The Barking Dog used a persistent riff from the brass section to represent the titular animal - the riff going “ruff” as it were. Undertow featured rippling piano over a menacing theme on the baritone sax. Aircraft brought to mind the turbulence that the band had endured on their flight earlier that day, and The Wasp buzzed and whirled and generally pestered the listener. 

Click here for a video of the band playing Wasp at the 2017 Copenhagen Jazz Festival.

Throughout the evening  the 5 saxes, 3 trumpets and 3 trombones combined or played against each other to create a variety of moods and textures. The prominent but not overbearing use of electric guitar added another interesting element.

Maintaining a big band is no mean feat in the modern musical climate and Windfeld is doing a magnificent job. I wish them every success in the future, and do go and see them if you get the chance'.


Click here for a compilation video of the band playing in Copenhagen earlier this year.


Kathrine Winfled


Kathrine Winfeld


All pictures © Brian O'Connor, Images Of Jazz. Brian O'Connor's hard back book, packed with hundreds of photographs is now available. It can be obtained from Brian at: Brian O’Connor, 48 Sarel Way, Horley, Surrey RH6 8EW. Tel: 01293 774171. Email: The book is priced at £25 plus £4.95 post and packing (UK).




Directory of Alternative Musical Definitions


Free Jazz

Music that it doesn’t cost you any money to listen to.


(with thanks to Andrew Linham)

Click here for more Alternative Definitions.





Jazz Remembered

Jack Jackson

by Jeff Duck


[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 (recommended). This will take you to the article on another page on our website where some computers 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].


Jack Jackson


From the 1920s through to the 1970s, multi-instrumentalist, band leader, radio presenter, actor (straight and comedy), artist, chat show host, booking agent and compère, Jack Jackson had an enormous fan base along with receiving great respect from everyone around him.

He was born in Barnsley, Yorkshire in 1906 where his father was a brass player and conductor. By the age of eleven, Jack was playing cornet in local brass bands and at the age of sixteen he started to play violin and cello in a local dance band. Jack was accepted at the Royal Academy of Music where he also learnt to play trumpet under the guidance of John Solomon. The career that followed saw him Jack Jacksonworking in various ballrooms, on ocean liners, circuses and playhouse revues. He also played at the Birmingham and Hammersmith Palais for the Canadian band leader Bill Shenkman and toured with a revue titled “Stage Struck”. In this revue Jack was leading the pit orchestra as well as playing many solos.

With all of this going on Jack was always busy but continued to expand his playing by fronting gig bands at the Holborn Restaurant and the Hotel Cecil, he also led a band called The Metropole Band at the Links Hotel in Ashford, Kent. When Bert Railton spotted the 19 year old he immediately asked Jack to join his Havana Band. In 1926, the Railton band left England for a tour of Africa, unfortunately Railton was shot dead in February 1927 but the band completed the tour being led by saxophonist Bill Barton before returning to England in June 1927. Once back in England Jack did session work for a while playing for the likes of Ambrose and Ronnie Munro and he also made quite a few recordings on Parlophone and Crystalate (Imperial Records) with Syd Roy’s Crichton Lyricals playing some brilliant hot Jazz solos on The Baltimore, She Don’t Wanna and Somebody Said.

Jack’s big break came when he joined Jack Hylton’s band in 1927. By now his playing was so much more confident, with a touch of Bix Beiderbecke and Red Nichols combined with his own styling. As lead trumpet/cornet player with Jack Hylton, Jack played many hot jazz solos as well as singing scat.

Click here to listen to the Jack Hylton Orchestra in 1928 playing You're The Cream In My Coffee - I am assuming this is Jack on trumpet although there is no note of this on the clip.


He eventually left Hylton’s band in November 1929 to join the Howard Jacobs band, playing at the Berkley Hotel, but he soon moved to the Savoy Hotel to play in the house band that was being lead by Percival Mackey who was then replaced by Arthur Lally. As well as recording with both these leaders, Jack continued to do freelance work with the likes of Harry Hudson at Edison Bell.

In March 1931, bandleaders Jack Payne and Roy Fox were both after the services of Jack; he joined Payne and spent two years at the BBC as a key player in Payne’s band not only as a soloist and vocalist but also assisted in many of the comedy aspects of the performances.

Click here for Jack with the Hylton band in 1931 playing Little Girl. It gives us a chance to taste his trumpet playing before he moves on to become a bandleader himself.

In February 1933, Jack went on to form his own band for which he had already secured a recording session at HMV and in August, Jack Jackson's band opened at London's Dorchester Hotel. Along with some top musicians in Jack's band there was also ace arranger Stanley Andrews and vocalist Helen Clare who sadly passed away in September this year. Jack and his band became very popular with the smart set at the Dorchester, setting a good dance tempo as can be heard on many of his HMV recordings, but in December 1933 Jack and his band were on the move again, first to Rector’s Club and then in March 1940 to the Mayfair Hotel.

Click here for Jack Jackson and the band playing Everybody Loves My Marguerite in 1933 with Sam Costa singing the words. Some might remember that Sam went on to a radio career with the BBC in the It's That Man Again (ITMA) shows with Tommy Handley, with Kenneth Horne and gang in Much Binding In the Marsh and also presenting Housewive's Choice.

Sam was by no means the only vocalist with Jack Jackson - click here for Al Bowlly, also in 1933 and with a little more syncopation, singing I'm Playing With Fire.


Jack Jackson band



YouTube has this 'Unissued Take' of Blue River, Roll On recorded in 1933 by Jack Jackson 'recording as John Jackson and his Orchestra' with a more upbeat tempo and a brief bit of hot trumpet (click here). The person posting it (?Panachord) says: 'Take 2 of "Blue River, Roll On" was released by HMV on HMV B6338. This is the first time that the unissued first take, made on 31st March 1933, has been made available to "the public". This single-sided disc has not only never been issued, but it has been out of copyright for over quarter of a century. It has been remastered by this user. Jack Jackson had recently left Jack Payne's BBC Dance Orchestra and was in the process of forming his own orchestra. The musicians used in his two recording sessions made under the name of "John Jackson" in February and March 1933 were to form the nucleus of his Dorchester Hotel orchestra. Bill Harty was the drummer for these sessions, probably thanks to Ray Noble who would have been behind them as MD at HMV'.

It is sometimes forgotten that the wonderful American vocalist Alberta Hunter appeared for the 1934 winter season with Jack Jackson's society orchestra at the Dorchester, in London. Click here for her singing Noel Coward's I Travel Alone from that time. For those who might not remember Alberta Hunter click here for a marvellous video of her singing in Berlin in 1982.

One of the popular tunes of the time was My Very Good Friend The Milkman, always associated with Fats Waller, but click here for Jacks' Orchestra and their version in 1935. The person sharing it says: 'A hit in the U.S., surprisingly British dance bands virtually ignored it. Jack Jackson was the only 1930s bandleader to record it. Judging by its scarcity today the record did not sell well in the '30s.'

There are many Jack Jackson tracks to sample on YouTube but the choice becomes less as War approaches. This 78 rpm scratchy recording of Please Be Kind is from 1938 (click here).

As the war started, Jack joined the Ministry of Information and was tasked with drawing cartoons for pamphlets, he was also working as a booking agent at Foster’s Agency. Jack didn’t get on well with desk work and after leaving the Ministry he made a comeback with a new band at Churchill’s in February of 1947. This was followed with playing with his own band at the Potomac in October 1947. It was after this engagement that Jack gave up band-leading after he received an offer from the BBC to compare a BBC big-band series of programs called Band Parade.


Jack Jackson

Just under a year later (June 1948), Jack had his own late night show, Record Round Up, which ran for over 20 years making Jack a household name with a new generation of listeners. He also made a number of broadcasts on Radio Luxembourg along with various TV appearances, hosted his own chat show on ITV in September of 1955, and continued to work outside of his radio activities compèring band shows at theatres across the UK as well as appearing as a solo act on various occasions.

Click here for a 2015 video seeking money to preserve the Jack Jackson studios where Jack became known as the 'Father as DJs'.

In 1962, Jack Jackson left England to live in Tenerife. He built himself a sophisticated and technically advanced studio where he would record his radio shows and the recordings were sent by jet plane each week to London. At the age of 67 Jack became quite ill, his illness was aggravated by the climate where he was living and so he returned to Rickmansworth, England where his two sons were running their own recording studio. Reports state that that Jack had aged tremendously, all of his energy being sapped by emphysema. After approximately two years Jack made a remarkable recovery and although having to rely on an electric air-compressor for his breathing he began to present a new radio show in 1975 called The Jack Jackson Show.


Click here for a brief taste of Jack's show on the radio which involved comedy as well as music.


The multi talented Jack Jackson, all round gentleman and good friend to many, died on 15th January 1978.


Jack Jackson

Jack Jackson


Jeff Duck runs CJRO Records in support of charities - click here for more information.







Eric Dawson at Cooks Ferry Inn

Cooks Ferry band



Andrew Dawson writes about a photograph on our page remembering Cook's Ferry Inn (click here): 'I think the bass player on this picture is my late father, Eric Dawson (1927-2016) ex Dankworth 7 and the big band til 1959. I may have been there myself (13 ish) as well as my mum Margaret, and her great pal, Doddie Dunn, Cliff's mum'. 





Robert David Neal

Malcolm Hunt writes: 'My cousin, Robert David Neal was apparently closely involved with various musical events at the Railway Hotel, Norbiton in the 1960’s. He has recently died and I am trying to find out anything about his involvement with this venue. In the past he has mentioned an involvement with Eric Clapton, John Long Baldry, Cream and the Yardbirds. He did manage some groups including one that I think was called Dedicated Jugg Band or something similar. I suspect that Robert drifted between Jazz and Rock. Papers I found mentioned Junction Jazz Club, Harrow Road, Ealing Jazz Club, Station Hotel Richmond Jazz Club and Richmond Jazz Festival. Any thoughts would be appreciated. (Robert's funeral took place in late September).

If anyone remembers Robert Neal, please contact us.



Jazz Harp

Doug Potter writes about Robin Kidson's article on Jazz harp last month (click here): 'I remember a guy called David Snell who could really swing the harp, not heard of him for a long time though'.

There is an interview with David Snell on YouTube, but click here to listen to him playing My Favourite Things.



Studio One - Edinburgh ?

Stuart Stott writes: An elderly neighbour of mine knowing my liking for Jazz & Blues asked me if I’d ever heard of a ‘Club’ called Studio One (1) which was near the foot of The Royal Mile ( Canongate ) in Edinburgh. This would’ve been in the late '50s and maybe early '60s. Alex Shaw was seemingly a regular performer. I’ve asked all my older Jazz loving friends but no one can recall such a ‘club’ It may have been more of a function room than public bar/club. Any information you have would be gratefully received.

Please contact us if you can help Stuart.



Pete Allen in Somerset

Pete Allen



John Westwood writes: Reeds player Pete Allen has been attempting to preserve the good sounds (what more can you expect from an Hon. Citizen of New Orleans?) but after his failure to get a regular following for sessions at the Master Thatcher in Taunton, he's now trying hard to get the scene firmed up in Minehead, at the Regal Theatre bar on Sunday afternoons (the next being 14 Oct and 12 Nov).  That effort started well, but numbers are already starting to decline, and I fear that it, too, may fall by the wayside, unless it gets better attendances.  I know he's tried hard to get support from the media so could I ask that you add the two gigs abovementioned in your next issue's listings?  Plus the very promising concert at the Brewhouse Theatre, Taunton on 17 Oct, which promises to be a belter, with his 'Hot 7' supporting Ben Holder - one of the very few currently playing real Jazz on the violin.






Sandy Brown Jazz Facebook and Mailing List

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Saint Stephen’s Church, Bristol BS1 1EQ, Saturday 20th October 2018

A concert dedicated to Keith Tippett, who is listening.


Keith Tippett

Keith Tippett


Steve Day writes: “There is a special concert taking place in Bristol this month for Keith Tippett, arguably the foremost avant-garde jazz pianist/composer in the UK.  Most people know that Keith has had significant health problems this year.  Although things are gradually improving he is not back to full fitness.  This month’s concert features Stephen Grew, another undoubted piano maestro making a rare solo performance in the south of England, plus Steve Day’s Blazing Flame Quintet, a band that inhabits a territory all of their own making.  The concert is at Saint Stephens Church in the centre of Bristol, thus ‘Three Stephens For Keith’.  A Saturday-night-must.” Note: No one involved in this concert will be taking a fee for this performance.  “May music never just become another way of making money.” Keith Tippett.



Stephen Grew is an exceptional solo improviser, as well as one of a handful of pianists to have recorded duets with Keith Tippett. This is a rare opportunity to hear the Lancashire based pianist performing in Bristol – “intense solo keyboard extemporisation, often rhythmically dense against a masterful double handed linear narrative” Sandy Brown Jazz



Steve Day, voice, percussion; Peter Evans, electric violin; Mark Langford, bass clarinet, tenor saxophone; Julian Dale, double bass, voice; Marco Anderson, drums, percussion plus special guest David Mowat, trumpet. This performance will feature two short Keith Tippett compositions never previously played live.  Steve Day has written sleeve notes to four of Keith’s key recordings; all of these musicians have worked individually and collectively with Keith Tippett, except Marco Anderson, who has played with Paul Dunmall (which almost counts!)  “The blending of the music, vocals, poetry really works... a joy to listen to from beginning to end.” Jazzman Magazine

Doors Open 7.30pm, starts 8.00pm. tickets at £12/£10 conc available Bristol ticket shop





Camilla Beeput As Lena Horne, Live At Zedel


Camilla Beeput


16th - 25th November 7.00 pm

Camilla Beeput as Lena Horne is written by actress and singer Camilla Beeput and her musical director Alex Webb.  Adapted from the theatre production – Stormy:  The Life of Lena Horne in which Beeput embodied the enigmatic star as well as a number of Horne’s loves, ghosts and demons including Ava Gardner,  Billie Holiday and  Cab Calloway, Camilla’s performance was described by The Times as “a bravura display”. 

Staged over 5 nights  at Brasserie Zedel as part of this year’s EFG London Jazz Festival with Alex Webb (MD & piano), Miles Danso (double bass), Cheryl Alleyne (drums), Erica Charles (tenor sax, clarinet, flute) and Sue Richardson (trumpet), Camilla Beeput will transport audiences back to 1920s Harlem, the Golden Age of Hollywood, through to WWII and the Civil Rights Movement, all culminating in Horne’s ultimate triumph on Broadway with the 1981 Tony Award Winning Show Lena – The Lady and her Music.   

Talking about the show Beeput commented “I think it’s important to recognise those who have paved the way for us and I believe Lena Horne is a trail blazer who opened doors to enable so many of the actors, singers and artists I admire to be recognised today. There would be no Lupita Nyongo or Halle Berry or Oprah Winfrey, Whoopi Goldberg, Alicia Keys, or Beyoncé…..without Lena Horne.” 

Tickets are now on sale - click here for details.




Remembering Eddie

Eddie Condon


18th October, Didcot, Oxfordshire

The Eddie Condon Tribute Band will be playing a concert honouring the guitarist / bandleader at the Cornerstone Arts Centre in Didcot on Thursday, 18th October at 8.00 pm.

Chicago / Dixieland jazz with a band that includes well known musicians Enrico Tomasso, Julian Stringle, Ian Bateman, Alvin Roy, Craig Milverton, Harvey Weston, Jim Douglas and Charlie Stratford.

Tickets at £12.50 (£10.50 concessions) are available from the box office: Tel: 01235 515144





Departure Lounge


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.



Randy Weston



Randy Weston - American pianist and composer born in New York who was inspired by his African roots and became known as "America's African Musical Ambassador". He said: "What I do I do because it's about teaching and informing everyone about our most natural cultural phenomenon. It's really about Africa and her music". Wynton Kelly was his cousin and he played at various times with Bullmoose Jackson, Kenny Dorham, Cecil Payne, Booker Irvin and many others. His compositions include Berkshire Blues, Earth Birth, Babe's Blues, Pam's Waltz, Hi-Fly and African Sunrise.

Click here for a video interview / documetary with Randy Weston His Life and Celebration of "African Rhythms".








Lazy Lester


Lazy Lester - Leslie Johnson - American Blues musician born in Louisiana who sang and played harmonica and guitar. He replaced Buddy Guy in a local band when Guy left Louisiana. He was brought into recording by Lightnin' Slim and was recorded by Jay Miller, who dubbed Lester "Lazy Lester" because of his laconic, laid-back style. He recorded songs such as I'm a Lover Not a Fighter, I Hear You Knockin', and Sugar Coated Love and stated that he wrote these songs, but almost all are credited to Miller or to Lester and Miller. Lester also stated he received few royalties, which embittered him and made him skeptical of the music industry'. In 2003, Martin Scorsese included Lester in his blues tribute concert at Radio City Music Hall, and in 2012, Lester teamed up with British Blues Woman Dani Wilde to play a special double headline concert as part of Gloucester Rhythm and Blues Festival.

Click here for a video of Lazy Lester singing Sugar Coated Love at a record store in Austin, Texas in 2011.





Helen Clare



Helen Clare - Vocalist born in Bradford, UK. As a child during the 1920s, Helen Clare was billed as “Little Nellie Harrison - Child Wonder” in Australia where she was taken at the age of four. By 1936 she had joined Jack Jackson and his orchestra at the Dorchester Hotel in London. Just after the War she moved down to Bristol with the BBC Variety Department. She recorded with many bands including Carroll Gibbons, Billy Thorburn, Henry Hall, Billy Ternent, Jay Wilbur, Van Philips and Harry Leader and on one occasion Jack Hylton. She became a freelance singer in 1941. After leaving broadcasting and the concert platform Helen gave singing lessons and master classes and appeared often with the Wallington Operatic Society until the age of 90.

Click here to listen to Helen singing Goodnight Wherever You Are with Harry Leader's Orchestra in 1944. Click here to read Jeff Duck's article 'Remembering Jack Jackson'.







Otis Rush




Otis Rush - American Blues guitarist and singer born in Mississippi. His style was in the nature of that of Magic Sam and Buddy Guy and his sound became known as West Side Chicago Blues. From 1956 to 1958, he recorded for Cobra Records and released eight singles, some featuring Ike Turner or Jody Williams on guitar .His first single, "I Can't Quit You Baby", in 1956 reached number 6 on the Billboard R&B chart. By the end of the 1970s he had stopped recording but he made a comeback in 1985 with a U.S. tour and the release of a live album, Tops, recorded at the San Francisco Blues Festival. He released Ain't Enough Comin' In in 1994, his first studio album in 16 years. Any Place I'm Goin' followed in 1998, and he earned his first Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album in 1999. Click here for a video of Otis Rush with It's My Own Fault Baby in 2001.






Ira Sabin and Sarah Vaughan




Ira Sabin - Born in Brooklyn, Ira Sabin was a jazz drummer, promoter, and record store owner who founded JazzTimes magazine. Inducted into the army himself in 1952, Sabin spent four years playing in army bands in Japan. Upon returning to Washington in 1956, he became a prolific and popular drummer and bandleader on the local scene. He owned the Washington, D.C., store Sabin’s Discount Records, which became the largest jazz record retailer in the United States. The store began distributing a newsletter, Radio Free Jazz, to customers; it evolved into JazzTimes, of which Sabin was publisher until 1990 and owner until 2009.

Ira Sabin with Sarah Vaughan (JazzTimes)






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.



Norwich - A Menu of Talks On Jazz

In September / October, Roy Headland will be making a meal of lunchtme talks about jazz at the Octagon Chapel, Colegate, Norwich. The talks will each last for an hour (1.00 pm - 2.00 pm) with Roy sharing his personal take on jazz accompanied by recordings and illustrations. A donation of £5 a session (£12 for all three if paid in advance) will go to the organisation Forget Me Nots that runs interactive groups for people with memory loss, and the Octagon's new facilities appeal fund:

Starter: Wednesday, 26th September - A brief introduction to jazz and how I first acquired a taste for this fascinating music.

Main Course: Wednesday, 3rd October - Some of the major players who developed my appetite.

Dessert: Wednesday, 10th October - An appreciation of some jazz artists, sweet and hot to celebrate 100 years of jazz (1917 - 2017).

Click here for more information from Roy Headland.





Some Recent Releases



Camilla George - The People Could Fly

Fabled - Short Stories

Lorraine Baker - Eden

Gwyneth Herbert - Letters I Haven't Written

Mike Westbrook - Starcross Bridge

Soft Machine - Hidden Details

Get The Blessing - Bristopia




Mark Turner / Ethan Iverson - Temporary Kings

Jeff 'Siege' Siegel Quartet - London Live

Stefon Harris And Blackout - Sonic Creed

Helen Sung - Sung With Words

Miguel Zenón - Yo Soy La Tradición



Europe and Elsewhere

Marcin Wasilewski Trio - Live

Hilde Marie Hosen - Lazuli

Lars Danielsson and Paolo Fresu - Summerwind

Wolfgang Muthspiel - Where The River Goes




Various Artists - The Savory Collection 1935-1940 (Box Set)

Benny Golson - Four Classic Albums

Johnny Griffin and Eddie 'Lockjaw' Davis - Four Classic Albums

Dakota Staton - Four Classic Albums

Freddie Hubbard - Gleam








Camilla George - The People Could Fly
(Ubuntu Music) - Released: 28th September 2018

Camilla George (alto saxophone); Sarah Tandy (piano and Rhodes); Daniel Casimir (upright and electric bass); Shirley Tetteh (guitar); Quentin Collins (trumpet).

Camilla George People Could Fly



'Following on the heels of her smash success debut album, alto sax sensation Camilla George releases her second album, The People Could Fly, which is based on African folk tales. The music portrays the lives and experiences of African slaves, who created stories in which various animals assumed the personalities of the slaves and the slave owners. The album delivers a fusion of African, Caribbean and American influences, within a distinctly jazz foundation'. "This is a project which is very close to my heart as I grew up listening to my mum and grandmother tell me these stories," says George. "I have always been fascinated by these tales and really wanted to explore them further ...... The People Could Fly was my favourite story in this collection of tales ... The idea behind it is that some Africans were magical and had the ability to fly but through long enslavement lost the ability to fly away." (album notes).

Click here for details and samples : Listen to The People Could Fly track : Listen to Here But I'm Gone track:







Fabled - Short Stories
(Pictor Records) - Released: 28th September 2018

Sam Rapley (saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet); Alex Munk (guitar); Matt Robinson (piano); Conor Chaplin (double bass); Will Glaser (drums)

Fabled Short Stories


'Formed in 2014, Fabled is the brainchild of saxophonist/clarinettist, Sam Rapley. Following on from the success of their recent EP, the band have been performing extensively across the UK building a loyal fanbase and writing material for their debut album Short Stories. As the title implies, the album interprets a collection of short stories tackling subjects such as life, love, and death told through richly atmospheric and expressive music, which draws from Rapley and his fellow musicians shared love of jazz ensembles, literature, classical musicians, world music, modern composition and indie-folk. Originally from Manchester and now living in London, Rapley has been quickly solidifying himself as one of the most exciting up and coming musicians and composers in the scene. As well as playing in Fabled, Rapley plays regularly as a sideman with BBC Radio 3 Next Generation artist Misha Mullov-Abbado Group, Troykestra, Maria Chiara Argiro Quintet, Waaju and Ralph Wyld's Mosaic. Looking at his recent work it's easy to see how such a multifarious source of styles and genres have collided on Short Stories. At times the album calls to mind the likes of Mammal Hands, Gogo Penguin, Polar Bear and Tigran Hamasyan whilst undertones of Debussy, Ravel, Peter Broderick and Lau can also be heard throughout. Tracks such as Old Owls capture the raw intensity that can be heard throughout the current London scene. Whilst elsewhere, tracks such as Dove Stone and H.G are heavily cinematic with mellifluous sax and clarinet lines layered over idiosyncratic guitar and piano parts, which provide percussive and rhythmic qualities whilst also intertwining melodies throughout Rapley's playing. There is a sentimental poetry to Fabled's approach to finding new ways to tell age-old stories through their intimate and heavily textured music. Their redolent instrumentation and vast voicings speak volumes in the absence of words, giving contemplative life to the stories laid out by the band. Albums that manage to merge such a wide variety of styles and exhibit such a multitude of musical landscapes are rare. Fabled have produced a debut which is both accomplished and distinctive, and this is only the very start of their journey'. (album notes).

Details and Samples : Listen to High Mayfield : Video of Yellow Card live : Listen to The Picture House :





Lorraine Baker - Eden
(Spark! Records) - Released: 12th October 2018

Lorraine Baker (drums, percussion); Binker Golding (tenor saxophone); Liam Noble (piano); Paul Michael (electric bass).

Lorraine Baker Eden


'Lorraine Baker is a drummer, percussionist and bandleader. Originallly from Kent, she started playing the drums for a local swing band when she was twelve. She graduated from Trinity Laban in 2009 with First Class Honours. Baker has worked with acclaimed British musicians including Julian Siegel, Simon Purcell and Christine Tobin. She performs on Christine’s latest recording, Pelt. Baker has recorded for BBC Radio 4 and performed at many prestigious venues including Tokyo Opera House, Ronnie Scott’s and the Royal Albert Hall. Baker’s debut album, Eden, pays tribute to drummer Ed Blackwell. Lorraine has always admired the dance-like quality of Blackwell’s playing. She has crafted her latest project with the drums at the centre, re-arranging tunes that Blackwell famously played and adding exciting modern compositional twists. “A career highlight for me was to perform the Don Cherry tune ‘Guinea’ with the international bassist Dave Holland who played and recorded with Ed Blackwell. This collaboration was such a unique experience it inspired me to form my latest quartet,” says Baker. Tracks include Dakar Dance, a drum-heavy, infectious riff-based tune, Thumbs Up, a raw fusion of progressive rock and Afro groove and Blues Connotation which has an aggitated, edgy introduction that explodes into hard driving swing. The quartet features some of the country’s finest improvising musicians - critically acclaimed pianist and mentor Liam Noble, Paul Michael on Bass and MOBO winning saxophonist Binker Golding'. (album notes).

Details and Sample : Video of Dakar Dance drum solo : Listen to Thumbs Up track :






Gwyneth Herbert - Letters I Haven't Written
(Monkeywood Records) - Released: 12th October 2018

Gwyneth Herbert (vocals, horn, ukelele); Rob Luft (guitar, vocals); Ned Cartwright (piano, saxophone, vocals); Sam Burgess (bass, covals); Corrie Dick (drums, vocals).

Gwyneth Herbert Letters I Haven't Written

'Letters I Haven't Written is award-winning singer, composer, lyricist, record producer and multi-instrumentalist Gwyneth Herbert's 7th album and first since the acclaimed The Sea Cabinet in 2013. Since this time Gwyneth's been on all sorts of creative adventures in all sorts of places, collaborating with artists, orchestras, brass bands, amazing young people and... puppets. After all that, when she finally sat down to write this album she didn't know where to start: "The world was full of so many stories," she says, "and my voice suddenly felt so small on its own". Then a close friend said: "If you were to sit down at your piano right now and write a song that no one else would hear, what would it be?" Terrified by the idea, she thought she should probably do it. "My beautiful friend Sophie had just taken her life", Gwyn continues, "so I decided I would write to her. And this was my first letter song. After that the songs came thick and fast: a thank you to her inspirational 6th form music teacher, Martin Read; a duet of friendship with her best pal Krystle Warren; a letter of love and separation inspired by time in the refugee camp in Calais; one to our government campaigning for a revolution in education and more". Gwyn brought together her fantastic band and special guests to record the album in Rockfield studio in Monmouth this summer, with engineer Sean Genockey. The single You're Welcome is an infectious track exploring the journey of the Windrush generation in Britain, from their hope-filled, invited arrival in 1948, through the street violence and political unrest of the '50s and '60s, up to the devastating scandal that has just left this country shaken. Alongside the album Gwyn has also developed an ambitious new live show with these songs at its heart, collaborating with an extraordinary creative team including her band, video designer Will Duke, director Susannah Tresilian and designer Tom Rogers, exploring how we communicate, and trying to find a more meaningful way of connecting with ourselves and the world. (album notes) '..... The album arrangements are full of ear-catching detail, from tintinnabulating toy pianos and glockenspiels to Herbert's own multi-layered backing vocals, with the circuitous song structures often leading to codas of quite breathtaking emotive power'. (Peter Quinn in Jazzwise 4*).

Details : Video :





Mike Westbrook - Starcross Bridge
(Hat Hut) - Released: 17th August 2018

Mike Westbrook (piano)

Mike Westbrook Starcross Bridge


'This album is rooted in the personal. Westbrook's enduring creative partnership with his wife, the singer, lyricist and painter Kate Westbrook is represented by two songs they wrote together. Starcross is a rail station nearby the Westbrook home in Devon, near Plymouth where his creative life began all those years ago. His title track is dedicated to the tenor saxophonist Lou Gare, whose death in 2017 was a particular wrench. Starcross Bridge is an intricately woven network of musical and personal references'. (Philip Clark, album notes). 'Wait 40 years for a solo piano recording from Mike Westbrook then stone me, two come along at once. Starcross Bridge is, if it's at all possible, even more intimate and elusive than 2016's Paris .... We hear through a veil, often of tears. And yet it is in that witnessing of an artist easing yet pleading, sometimes blithely at one with his art, at others challenged and defeated, that the beauty and strength prevails .... Starcross Bridge is a rail crossing close to Westbrook's Dawlish home. One side the sea, on the other a cosy pub. And that's what this release brings us: wide wild vistas on one side, hunkered down delight, warm with detail on the other ...' (Andy Robson in Jazzwise 4*)

Details and Samples :





Soft Machine - Hidden Details
(Dyad Records) - Released: 7th September 2018

John Etheridge (guitar); Theo Travis (tenor and alto saxophones, flute, keyboard); Roy Babbington (bass); John Marshall (drums, percussion); Nick Utterbridge (percussion).

Soft Machine Hidden Details'The studio album 'Hidden Details' is the first Soft Machine album (as opposed to Soft Machine Legacy) in 37 years. This is three quarters of the celebrated 1970's version of the legendary jazz-rock group, which recorded the acclaimed 'Softs' album in 1975 - John Etheridge, Roy Babbington and John Marshall - completed by outstanding saxophone star Theo Travis (Robert Fripp/David Gilmour/Gong). The music is broad ranging from psychedelia to jazz rock to free form improv to simple pop-ish tunes to hypnotic mood pieces. The band plays material from the era (compositions by Hugh Hopper, Mike Ratledge and Karl Jenkins) as well as many contemporary works. 'Hidden Details', released in 2018, exactly 50 years since the release of the band's 1968 debut album 'The Soft Machine' was recorded in the late Jon Hiseman's studio in Surrey in Dec 2017. The recording features new compositions by the band, group improvisations and interpretations of two Soft Machine classics - from 'Third' and 'Bundles'. Whilst the line-up of Soft Machine may have changed many times since the heady days of the late 1960's, the band's spirit of musical adventure, and the ease with which it freely avoids being pigeon holed and can move from powerful progressive jazz fusion to atmospheric psychedelia to free improvised jazz-rock to ambient loop music, continues to make it both unique and totally contemporary'. (album notes). 'The loss of Jon Hiseman inevitably hangs over Hidden Details, but there could be no more fitting tribute to his skills as producer than this high-octane release. This is the Softs as questing and rocking as ever ... long term Softs fans, whatever their stylistic loyalties, will savour Hidden Details'. (Andy Robson in Jazzwise 3*).

Details and Samples :





Get The Blessing - Bristopia
(Kartel) - Released: 21st September 2018

Pete Judge (trumpet); Jake McMurchie (saxophone, electronics); Jim Barr (bass); Clive Deamer (drums); Adrian Utley (guitar); Margerethe Bjorklund (pedal-steel guitar).

get The Blessing Bristopia

'Following the success of their 2015 album Astronautilus, jazz-rock mavericks Get The Blessing return with their spellbinding new Album 'Bristopia'. Blending their mutant jazz sensibilities with spacey electronics and post rock atmospheres, 'Bristopia' ventures into new, unexplored territories. From the jagged, interweaving brass patterns of opening track 'If It Can It Will', through the brooding atmosphere of 'Bristopia' and absorbing, haunting melodies of 'Not With Standing', the Bristolian quintet channel subterranean depths and soar from dizzying heights, leading the listener through a complex labyrinth of tangled melodies and sliding soundscapes of dark, immersive production. Having been conceived, born and raised in Bristol, the band now pay tribute to their hometown with an album that careers around the city's one-way system (not always in the correct direction of travel), darting into some of its hidden alleyways and lesser-known night-time hot-spots, and occasionally just stopping to take in the dizzying vistas of sprawling buildings and distant hilltops. Enlisting the help of regular / irregular collaborator Adrian Utley, whose guitar sprayed some strikingly unexpected colours across some of the objects, they then persuaded pedal-steel guitarist Margerethe Bjorklund to add some skilfully applied brushstrokes to the piece. With this powerful return, Get The Blessing send their sonic transmission deep into the furthest corners of the universe, setting the pace for the current UK Jazz revival, demonstrating that the early pioneers of the scene still have something important to say'. (album notes). 'Even as the BBC Jazz Award for best album was handed to them in 2008, Get The Blessing felt like interlopers in a disapproving scene. A further decade and jazz's march in from the mainstream will likely still leave them outsiders, their cinematic soundscapes a more outré urban vision than that of the new London scene .... Atmosphere combines unpredictably with groove, trumpet solos that float pensively in space, and diverse melodies and emotions grip sufficiently to ensure these pioneers' ongoing worth'. (Nick Hasted in Jazzwise 3*).

Details and Samples :




American Releases

We are indebted to Filipe Freitas for details of many American releases. Filipe runs JazzTrail in New York City and to photographer Clara Pereira. They feature album and concert coverage, press releases and press kits, album covers and biographies. They are valued contacts for Sandy Brown Jazz in the United States. You can read more about Filipe and Clara in their 'Tea Break' item with us if you click here.



Mark Turner / Ethan Iverson - Temporary Kings
(ECM Records) - Released: 7th September 2018

Mark Turner (tenor saxophone); Ethan Iverson (piano).

Mark Turner Ethan Iverson Temporary Kings

'With Temporary Kings - their debut on record as a duo - saxophonist Mark Turner and pianist Ethan Iverson explore aesthetic common ground that encompasses the cool-toned intricacies of the Lennie Tristano/Warne Marsh jazz school, as well as the heightened intimacy of modernist chamber music. The album, issued in CD and vinyl formats, presents six originals by Iverson (among them the nostalgic solo tune "Yesterday's Bouquet") and two by Turner (including "Myron's World," which has acquired near-classic status among contemporary jazz players). There's an off-kilter blues ("Unclaimed Freight") and a strikingly melodic, almost Ravelian opening track dedicated to the Swiss town where the album was recorded ("Lugano"), plus an interpretation of Marsh's playfully serpentine "Dixie's Dilemma." The initial musical connection between Turner and Iverson was made in 1990s jam sessions in New York City, with both going on to individual success – Iverson in hit trio The Bad Plus and Turner as a solo leader and in such groups as the trio Fly (recording in both capacities for ECM). A decade after their first meeting, the saxophonist and pianist began an association in the Billy Hart Quartet, the two players featuring sympathetically on two widely lauded ECM albums by that band' (album notes). 'Tenorist Mark Turner and pianist Ethan Iverson, two resplendent titans of the current jazz scene, join forces for an intimate outing. Temporary Kings aggregates nine compositions - six by Iverson, two by Turner and one by Warne Marsh - that, besides bristling with competence, allow for space, reflection, and expansion. Ten years after meeting for the first time in New York, the two distinguished players and members of the Billy Hart Quartet release their first duo album on the ECM label ...... Temporary Kings is a guileless jazz session whose bi-directional moves converge and diverge with an astounding conviction' (JazzTrail).

Details and Sample : Full JazzTrail Review :







Jeff 'Siege' Siegel Quartet - London Live
(ARC) - Released: 6th September 2018

Erica Lindsay (tenor saxophone); Francesca Tanksley (piano); Uli Langthaler (bass); Jeff ‘Siege’ Siegel (drums).

Jeff Siegel Quartet London Live



'Drummer Jeff ‘Siege’ Siegel, a sculptor of rhythm with a tendency to spiritual post-bop and gospel-inflected modalism, showcases London Live, an 8-track album recorded at the Pizza Express Jazz Club on the last night of a 2010 European quartet tour. The band features habitual co-workers Erica Lindsay on tenor saxophone and Francesca Tanksley on piano, both contributing with originals, plus Vienna-based bassist Uli Langthaler ......Even if not so strong as last year's King of Xhosa, London Live has an uplifting quality deriving from a rich combination of melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic senses that also shows the generous and thoughtful temperament of Siegel’s compositional style' (JazzTrail).

Details and Samples : Full JazzTrail Review :








Stefon Harris and Blackout - Sonic Creed
(Motema) - Released: 28th September 2018

Stefon Harris (vibraphone, marimba); Casey Benjamin (alto and soprano saxophones, vocoder); Felix Peikli ( clarinet, bass clarinet); James Francies (piano, keyboards); Mike Moreno (guitar); Jean Baylor (vocals); Regina Carter (violin); Daniel Frankhuizen (cello); Elena Pinderhughes (flute); Joseph Doubleday (marimba); Joshua Crumbly (bass); Tarreon Gully (drums); Pedrito Martinez (percussion).

Stefon Harris and Blackout Sonic Creed



'Prodigious vibraphonist/marimbist/composer Stefon Harris, a mallet master who has recorded as a member of the SF Jazz Collective and The Classical Jazz Quartet, renews the group Blackout for their first recording since 2009, the time when the Grammy-nominated Urbanus caught the jazz world’s attention. Sonic Creed, a reflection on African American life in our times, comprehends inspiring explorations of tunes by masters such as Bobby Timmons, Horace Silver, Wayne Shorter, Bobby Hutcherson, and Abbey Lincoln, plus a tribute to Michael Jackson and a couple of original compositions that go perfectly well with the rest of the material ..... Filled with gorgeous ideas, Sonic Creed offers a smooth voyage to the world of jazz masters with imaginative, regenerating sounds deep-rooted in the powerful African American culture'. (JazzTrail).

Details and samples : Full JazzTrail Review :







Helen Sung - Sung With Words
(Stricker Street Records) - Released: 14th September 2018

Helen Sung (piano); John Ellis (tenor and soprano sax, bass clarinet); Ingrid Jensen (trumpet); Reuben Rogers (bass); Kendrick Scott (drums); Samuel Torres (percussion) + guests Jean Baylor, Carolyn Leonhart, Christie Dashiel, Charenee Wade (vocals).

Helen Sung Sung With Words



'Helen Sung keeps up the glowing sophistication in her way of playing that withstands any sort of a synthetic approach to music. She puts this skill into use in her new recording, Sung With Words, the first containing all original compositions. Every single piece was inspired by the words of Californian poet Dana Gioia. Sung puts together a central sextet with saxophonist/clarinetist John Ellis, trumpeter Ingrid Jensen, bassist Reuben Rogers, drummer Kendrick Scott, and percussionist Samuel Torres. The vocal tracks, in which every syllable is served with lyric refinement after Gioia’s spoken-word intros, are ‘entrusted’ to one or two accomplished guest singers such as Jean Baylor, Carolyn Leonhart, Christie Dashiel, and Charenee Wade ...... The rhythms and textures devised by Sung, an intelligent composer, somehow restore and revitalize Gioia’s poems in an ingenious combination of jazz and poetry. This work feels like a necessary, certainly confident step in the pianist’s career'. (JazzTrail).

Details and Samples : Full JazzTrail Review :







Miguel Zenón - Yo Soy La Tradición
(Miel Music) - Released: 21st September 2018

Miguel Zenon (alto saxophone) + The Spektral Quartet - Clara Lyon (violin); Maeve Feinberg (violin); Doyle Armbrust (viola); Russen Roles (cello).

Miguel Zenon  Yo Soy La Tradicion



'The powerful musicality and extended possibilities one can achieve by combining saxophone and strings were tested and confirmed by jazz giants such as Charlie Parker, Stan Getz, Ben Webster, Cannonball Adderley, Lee Konitz, and many more. Drawing from several musical and cultural Puerto Rican traditions, saxophonist Miguel Zenon takes the concept to a completely different level on Yo Soy La Tradicion, recipient of 8 chamber-like pieces written for alto sax and a quartet of strings. With the help of The Spektral Quartet - Clara Lyon and Maeve Feinberg on violin, Doyle Armbrust on viola, and Russen Roles on cello - the saxophonist validates his own identity, exploring the Puerto Rican roots and heritage with compositional virtuosity ..... Yo Soy La Tradicion is a chamber tonic for the ears. Its complexities, in form and tempo, are hidden through cerebral arrangements that permit an intuitive readability of the music. Because in music, demanding executions usually require demanding listenings, get ready for the challenges this CD offers'. (JazzTrail).

Details and Samples : Full JazzTrail Review :





European and Other Releases



Marcin Wasilewski Trio - Live
(ECM Records) - Released: 14th September 2018

Marcin Wasilewski (piano); Slawomir Kurkiewicz (double bass); Michal Miskiewicz (drums).

Marcin Wasilewski Trio Live


'For years, fans of Poland's Marcin Wasilewski Trio have been asking for a live album. The group made this one "by accident", unaware that their August 2016 performance at Jazz Middelheim in Antwerp had been recorded by the festival. On listening, they felt that it captured the soul of things rather well, "maybe because there was no awareness of playing to the microphone". Unselfconsciously dynamic and outgoing, the trio draws an enthusiastic response from the audience. "Being out in front of an audience of 4,000 doesn't change your playing or your skills," Wasilewski reflects, "but with a crowd of this size you have to project more energy. You can hear that in this recording." The trio is certainly in energetic, extroverted mode, fanning the flames of their 'Spark of Life' repertoire and drawing on the deep understanding Marcin Wasilewski, Slawomir Kurkiewicz and Michal Miskiewicz have established in the course of a quarter century of shared musical endeavour. As Jazz Journal has noted, "Wasilewski's music celebrates a vast dynamic range, from the most deftly struck pianistic delicacies to gloriously intense emotional exuberance, the chords pounded with unrestrained joy, yet always within a marvellously melodic concept." (album notes). '..... On Live, Wasilewski follows the same methodology that hailed him as a spellbinding pianist whose charming jazz propagates warmness and comfort. The three musicians, all former members of the Tomasz Stanko Quartet, thank the late trumpeter on the CD booklet for ‘the inspiration as well as precious and unique experiences in music’ .....The material speaks to me gracefully and the trio rises to the occasion with inventive interpretations of an excellent set of songs'. (JazzTrail).

Details and Samples : Full JazzTrail Review :






Hilde Marie Holsen - Lazuli
(Hubro) - Released: 25th May 2018

Hilde Marie Holsen (trumpet, electronics)

Hilde Marie Holsen Lazuli'Acclaimed trumpeter/soundscaper Hilde Marie Holsen follows up her critical hit mini-album debut, 'Ask', with the dark and mysterious 'Lazuli', a suite of four compositions inspired by visual art and named after minerals used to colour paint. "All the electronic sounds on the album are still live and processed trumpet, as they were on 'Ask'" says Holsen. "Since 'Ask', I've been exploring, among other things, different ways to play the acoustic trumpet, both conventional and unconventional, trying to find different timbres that can also give a larger register of processed sound in the electronic soundscape. The music on 'Lazuli' began as improvisation, and then later on I've had the chance to do minor adjustments and edits on the tracks. 'Lazuli' came about through a collaboration with the artist and painter Tyra Fure Brandsæter… The titles on the album are an homage to this collaboration: they are all different types of minerals that have been used as colour pigment in painting." 'Lazuli's' combination of beautifully pure-toned, almost classical-sounding acoustic trumpet with an often dark and dense forest of electronically manipulated noise, is devastatingly effective. We seem to hear what might be snuffling animals or squelching sci-fi film FX alongside random clicks and glitches or rumbling, ominous, industrial machine-hum, together with gentler sounds from a more lyrical or pastoral realm: snatches of sleigh or shepherd bells, perhaps the mystical half-echo of a tamboura drone. As the ambient sounds have themselves been triggered by the trumpet through various electronic plug-ins or captured by re-processing the instrument's total sound-making potential, from blowing to sucking to playing as percussion, there is no real gap between one and the other, reinforcing the organic nature of the entire artistic process, from first puff to final parp'. (album notes). Norway's Hilde Marie Holsen creates bewitching soundscapes using her trumpet and an array of electronics. She compares her work to visual art .... Sometimes Holsen's sound paintings are vast to the point of infinite, but there are also moments of incredible intimacy, when it feels like quick-winged moths are tickling the nooks and crannies of your ear. After the album ends, the silence is deafening. You almost feel bereft'. (Thomas Rees in Jazzwise 4*)

Details and Samples :






Lars Danielsson and Paolo Fresu - Summerwind
(ACT) - Released: 28th September 2018

Lars Danielsson (bass, cello); Paolo Fresu (trumpet, flugelhorn)

Lars Danielsson and Paolo Fresu Summerwind



'.... The timely arrival of Summerwind, a minor masterpiece, shows us what so much of jazz today is missing. Teachers and students take note. A duo configuartion means there is nowhere to hide - every note has to count. Fresu's beautiful tone, melodic erudition and sheer craftsmanship presents endless lines of well-polished melodic development burnished by years of experience. Danielsson too is no stranger to valuing and caressing melody ... They both know their subject inside out, but they do not seek to flaunt their knowledge. Rather they gently use their combined wisdom to reveal deeper meaning ...' (Stuart Nicholson in Jazzwise 4*).

Details and Sample :







Wolfgang Muthspiel - Where The River Goes
(ECM) - Released: 12th October 2018

Wolfgang Muthspiel (guitar); Ambrose Akinmusire (trumet); Brad Mehldau (piano), Larry Grenadier (bass); Eric Harland (drums)

Wolfgang Muthspiel Where The River Goes


'Where The River Goes carries the story forward from Wolfgang Muthspiel’s highly-acclaimed Rising Grace recording of 2016, reuniting the Austrian guitarist with Brad Mehldau, Ambrose Akinmusire and Larry Grenadier, heavy talents all, and bringing in the great Eric Harland on drums. Much more than an “all-star” gathering, the group plays as an ensemble with its own distinct identity, evident both in the interpretation of Muthspiel’s pieces and in the collective playing. The album, recorded at Studios La Buissonne in February 2018, and produced by Manfred Eicher, features six compositions by Wolfgang Muthspiel and one by Brad Mehldau, plus group improvisation. It is issued in both CD and vinyl formats'. (album notes). '..... Though Muthspiel albums incline nowadays toward a mix of solo meditations and probing collective speculations over nailed-down grooves, there's a good enough balance of both for this set to intrigue both freefall-jazz voyagers and pursuers of blues and leftfield perceptions of swing .... It's as classy a session as the personnel would imply, if extendedly pensive at times'. (John Fordham in Jazzwise 4*).

Details and Samples when available :









The Savory Collection - 1935 - 1940
(Mosaic) - Released: Mid-September 2018 (Box Set 6 CDs)

Various artists including Bobby Hackett, Coleman Hawkins, Stuff Smith, Fats Waller, Count Basie, Lionel Hampton and many others.

The savory Collection 1935-1940


'For Loren Schoenberg of the Jazz Museum of Harlem, it's the discovery that capped nearly forty years of searching. For us at Mosaic, it's the "find" that has us re-examining an era we thought we knew inside out.  And now, for listeners, it's an historic and fleeting opportunity to own a treasure trove of previously unknown music.  Mosaic Records presents "The Savory Collection" - six CDs with 108 tracks locked away for more than 70 years and finally available on CD for the very first time anywhere. The recordings are from the personal collection of Bill Savory, a quirky and secretive studio engineer in New York whose day job in the late 1930s and early 1940s was transcribing radio broadcasts for foreign distribution, and whose nighttime passion was turning on the disc recorders to pull in and preserve what was happening in the clubs of New York City and other cities ........' (album notes). '.... It would be prohibitive to try and list the highlights, but a couple that need to be mentioned are the six-minute 'Body And Soul' by Hawkins (amplifying his then recent single) and a 10-minute slow 'Blues' by Hampton featuring Charlie Shavers and Herschel Evans ...... despite stiff competition, this could well be the archive release of the year'. (Brian Priestley in Jazzwise 4*).

Details, more information and Samples :






Benny Golson - Four Classic Albums
(Avid) - Released: 3rd August 2018

Benny Golson (saxophone) with various personnel

Benny Golson Four Classic Albums


'AVID Jazz continues with its Four Classic Album series with a re-mastered 2CD release from Benny Golson, complete with original artwork, liner notes and personnel details - 'The Modern Touch'; 'Benny Golson's New York Scene'; 'The Other Side of Benny Golson' and 'And The Philedelphians'. Perhaps better known as a writer and arranger, influenced by the great Tadd Dameron with whom he played with from 1953-59, Benny Golson was none the less a very fine tenor sax player as noted in our four fine selections. He played in the bands of Lionel Hampton, Johnny Hodges, Earl Bostic and Art Blakey amongst others and was a contemporary of Coltrane, Red Garland, Jimmy Heath and Philly Joe Jones. On our selections Benny is joined by the likes of Kenny Dorham, J. J. Johnson, Wynton Kelly, Paul Chambers, Max Roach, Gigi Gryce, Art Farmer, Lee Morgan and Ray Bryant. That should give you some idea of the esteem Benny Golson was held in and the classic jazz company he kept'. (album notes). 'A who's who of the hard-bop scene in 1957-58, these four Golson albums .... are simply essential - the last named being the highlight, featuring the Lee Morgan/Golson partnership from the contemporaneous edition of the Jazz Messengers'. (Alyn Shipton in Jazzwise 4*).

Details : Review : Video of the Benny Golson Quintet playing Whisper Not, one of the tunes in this collection.






Johnny Griffin and Eddie 'Lockjaw' Davis - Four Classic Albums
(Avid) - Released: 3rd August 2018

Johnny Griffin; Eddie 'Lockjaw' Davis (tenor saxophones) with various personnel.

Johnny Griffin Eddie Davis Four Classic Albums


'AVID Jazz continues with its Four Classic Album series with a re-mastered 2CD release from Johnny Griffin & Eddie 'Lockjaw' Davis, complete with original artwork, liner notes and personnel details - 'Tough Tenors'; 'Lookin' At Monk'; 'Blues Up And Down' and 'Griff & Lock' - Two tough tenors, indeed! These two titans of the tenor sax both had wildly prolific careers but somehow found the time to come together as a hard blowing unit from 1960-1962. Discovering they had compatible styles on their chosen tenors the pair decided to form their famous quintet where you will hear, rather than perhaps the expected cutting sessions, their styles perfectly complimenting each other. This was of course greatly helped by the fine band of jazzmen accompanying them, from the delicate piano of Junior Mance to the subtle but forceful rhythm section of Larry Gales on bass and Ben Riley on drums. (album notes). 'No less essential than the Golson reviewed above, this is one of the great two-tenor partnerships of the same era, and few albums from that 1960-61 period match up to the excitement of the sparring on the original LPs of Tough Tenors or Blues Up And Down'. (Alyn Shipton in Jazzwise 4*).

Details : Video of the saxophonists playing Funky Flook, a tune on the Tough Tenors album








Dakota Staton- Four Classic Albums
(Avid) - Released: 3rd August 2018

Dakota Staton (vocals) with various personnel.

Dakota Staton Four Classic Albums


'....a re-mastered 2CD second set release from Dakota Staton, complete with original artwork, liner notes and personnel details - 'Dakota'; 'Dakota Staton Sings Ballads And The Blues'; 'Softly' and ''Round Midnight. Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Dakota Staton attended the famed George Westinghouse High School, (alumni include pianist Ahmed Jamal, possibly at the same time!) and went on to study music before entering the music scene through that tried and tested, and very tough route, of the night club circuit. From a young age she was travelling around the country appearing in night clubs from Detroit to Indianapolis to Cleveland and to St. Louis and to Harlem in New York, where she was discovered by Capitol Records producer Dave Cavanaugh who promptly signed her to a recording deal with Capitol. Dakota made many highly acclaimed albums in the 1950s and 1960s and we have included five here for your listening pleasure. There may be more to come!' And here they are! Our original sales notes to accompany our first acclaimed Dakota Staton release promised more to come. Well it's not five albums this time but four, but hey, when they are this great, it's quality not quantity that counts!'. (album notes). 'This collection focuses on the more intimate side of Dakota's work .... it shows she could inhabit the Great American Songbook with class'. (Alyn Shipton in Jazzwise 3*).

Details : Listen to an earlier release of 'Round Midnight :





Freddie Hubbard - Gleam
(BGOCD) - Released: 6th July 2018

Freddie Hubbard (trumpet, flugelhorn); Carl Randall, Jr. (tenor sax, flute); George Cables (electric piano); Henry Franklin (electric bass); Carl Burnett (drums); Buck Clark (percussion).

Freddie Hubbard Gleam



'Jazz trumpeter Hubbard's 1975 CTI album, recorded live in Tokyo at Yubin Chokin Hall. Features Carl Randall, Jr., George Cables, Henry Franklin, Carl Burnett and Buck Clark. Digitally remastered and slipcased; Extensive new notes (album notes). 'While the run of fine studio albums that marked Hubbard's mid-1970s fusion years is rightly celebrated by fans, a couple of cracking live sets should also be noted. This performance recorded in Japan is as good as the much-loved North Sea Jazz Festival gig .... Good document of a musician whose influence on several generations should not be overlooked'. (Kevin Le Gendre in Jazzwise 4*).

Details : Listen to Put It In The Pocket from 1975 :







UK Jazz Venues Near You


Click here for our page of venues hosting live jazz in the UK.

Please let us know of other venues together with their website addresses,
or please also let us know if you discover any of the links on the page don't work.



Jazz Talks: Surrey, Buckinghamshire and Norwich Areas


Surrey and around:

Mike Forbes is a member of the Woking Area U3A and active in the Jazz Appreciation Group. He ha’s given presentations to other groups and is willing to travel in Surrey and surrounding areas to give his talks, which consist of music tracks with commentaries. Rather than focus on a particular jazz group or soloist he takes a theme and follows it chronologically from early to modern jazz. Topics include: Women in Jazz; Is There Less Improvisation In Jazz Than We Think?; Twelve Bars; Time After Time; Best of Buddies; and, as an exception to the rule, Unexpected Satchmo. No payment required although a little towards cost of travel would be appreciated. Just a CD player (and PA if it’s a very big room) is all that’s needed.




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


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:

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