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October 2016

Click for this month's:
Ten New Releases
Gig Listing

On A Night Like This,
The Story Is Told

When Kathy (Stobart) finally retired, Joe Temperley took over as deputy tenorist. Joe is another Scot, with a hearty contempt for woolly convention and a voice which is guaranteed to penetrate into the farthest corners of a crowded retaurant. A skilled and zealous musician with a high professional sense, Joe has the reputation as a scourge of bandleaders whose only equipment is bluff and 'discipline'. His laugh - staccato bursts of machine-gun fire - is a deadly weapon against pomposity or fake 'dignity'. ...


Tony Coe, Joe Temperley and Humphrey Lyttelton

Tony Coe, Joe Temperley and Humphrey Lyttelton
Photograph Rex Features


At a party given by some of the staff at Granada Television, I suffered from severe palpitations when I heard the unmistakable Scottish bark from the clamorous recesses of the room: 'This party's too respectable!'

When he vanished from the room a few minutes later I followed, apprehensive as to what practical form his protest might take. He was in the kitchen, frying eggs. When one of the hostesses came out to investigate the frizzling sounds coming from her kitchen, she was visibly impressed when the total stranger wielding her frying pan turned and asked bluntly: 'D'you want an egg?'


From Second Chorus by Humphrey Lyttelton
(Publ. Macgibbon & Kee 1958) (currently unavailable except as used copies)


Who's This?

Name the band (click on the picture for the answers)


Who's this?


Who's this?


Who's this?




Jazz Around The Clock

BBC Music Jazz is again collaborating with Jazz FM from 10th - 14th November for 96 solid hours of jazz broadcasting. This digital 'pop-up' will feature a star-studded roster of presenters including Stewart Lee, Gregory Porter, Laura Mvula, Will Young, Cerys Matthews, Moira Stuart, BBC Music Jazz logoJamie Cullum, Soweto Kinch, Jools Holland, Craig Charles, Ana Matronic, Jay Rayner, Julian Joseph and Claire Martin, amongst others; live concerts from EFG London Jazz Festival in partnership with BBC Radio 3; unprecedented access to Jazz FM’s flagship programmes and rare archive recordings, including specially commissioned new content for the first time this year and a countdown of the Top 50 Jazz albums of all time with Radio 3’s Geoffrey Smith and Jazz FM’s Helen Mayhew.

Claire Whitaker on behalf of Serious, producers of EFG London Jazz Festival said: 

‘Serious is thrilled that once again the EFG London Jazz Festival forms the backdrop to the innovative and exciting partnership between BBC Music, BBC Radio 3 and Jazz FM which forms BBC Jazz FM logoMusic Jazz, enabling us to reach an even broader audience. The Festival is committed to engaging both live and digital audiences and enriching the experience for all; BBC Music Jazz is the perfect platform to realise this ambition.’  

Key BBC radio content highlights include over 25 hours of jazz documentary programming from the BBC archive, featuring jazz icons such as Miles Davis and Louis Armstrong. A BBC Radio Scotland series Godfathers of Jazz explores the work of great pioneers of the genre, including Lalo Schifrin, Herbie Hancock and Tony Bennett, who is 90 this year. Jools Holland presents Leader of the Band: Chris Barber Story, a two-part documentary about the trombonist, bassist, bandleader and pioneer of British jazz and blues. Jamie Cullum presents several programmes of interview and performance highlights from his Radio 2 programme, including a special BBC Music Introducing show.

The full schedule and more information will be available in due course.




Body And Soul And Coleman Hawkins - A Rare Treat

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem have announced that they are making The Savory Collection, Volume 1 - Body and Soul: Coleman Hawkins and Friends  available for pre-order exclusively on iTunes. If you order now you get an instant download of the title track, "Body and Body and Soul Savory CollectionSoul." The Collection streams exclusively on Apple Music beginning October 14, the official release date.

Loren Schoenberg, Founding Director and Senior Scholar at the National Jazz Museum says: 'For jazz lovers like us, this is a collector's dream over 70 years in the making. It's been a 30-year quest to bring this buried treasure from the swing era to listeners everywhere. And for all of us at The National Jazz Museum in Harlem this journey -- transforming 24 unbelievably dusty and battered boxes of discs into near-pristine digital gems -- has been a six year labor of love and incredible discovery.' 

'Our first volume includes 18 stellar tracks recorded between 1936 and 1940 by such artists as Coleman Hawkins, Ella Fitzgerald, Fats Waller, Lionel Hampton, Carl Kress and Emilio Caceres. Recorded off the air by sound engineer and technical genius Bill Savory, these sounds haven't been heard since they were originally broadcast decades ago. And, simply put, they are mind-blowing. We know you won't be disappointed. 

Click here for an article in the New York Times and to listen to the title track.

'In the coming weeks we'll be sharing some of our favorite moments of discovery, from my own first encounter with Bill Savory to that heart-stopping, call-the-paramedics moment when I first heard Savory's recording of "Body and Soul."  We hope you'll join us and share your feedback on Facebook and Twitter, or better still, in person at the museum. On behalf of the entire Museum family, we hope you enjoy these recordings as much as we love bringing them to you.'




Garnering Errol

14 previously unreleased Errol Garner studio recordings have been restored by Columbia's Legacy Recordings. The music comes from Errol's Errol Garner album1967 -1971 period

Wild Music is one of the never-before-heard up-tempo Garner originals featured on the upcoming release Ready Take One; you can listen to it and also to the track Back To You if you click here. The Wall Street Journal says: ' ... “Wild Music” opens with the pianist heightening the suspense by starting with a grandly Tchaikovsky-like intro, before he lunges into the tune with an exuberance that’s remarkable even for him. ... Garner’s interpretations of standards were, if anything, even more compelling. Being familiar with the actual melodies allows us to look more closely at what Garner does with them - and often there’s a sense of duality, between tension and release, control and abandon. The most basic visual metaphor for Garner’s playing is the act of dancing. Yet in the standards, in particular, one gets a sense of two figures moving, and not necessarily in a social/partner kind of dance - rather, one can always sense the melody and, at the same time, another figure dancing around it. Garner isn’t merely a solo dancer, he’s a whole dance team all by himself.'

'Garner himself died at age 55 in 1977, which was hardly enough time for him to fully explore all the implications of the piano style that he created. Though his recorded catalog is huge (143 sessions are listed in Tom Lord’s online “Jazz Discography”), every new release of previously unheard Garner material is cause for celebration.'

The album was due to be available from Amazon from 30th September. Click here for details and samples.





Jazz Quiz

Would I Lie To You?

Question Mark


This month we offer our take on Would I Lie To You?

...... fifteen statements where we ask you are we telling the truth or is it a lie?

Trog cartoon


For Example - Truth or Lie?:

'Trog' was the name under which clarinettist Wally Fawkes worked as a cartoonist and it is also the title of a 1970 horror film starring Joan Crawford.



You can check how well you have done on the Answers page where you will also find some interesting videos - and don't forget to check your score.

Click here for the Jazz Quiz.




Don Paterson – A New Situation

This news item might be about a couple of gigs in Scotland and many of you will be unable to get to Inverness or Greenock, but I really recommend that you check out the two links below for some enjoyable time well spent.

A poet of the guitar is a description that’s been given to many musicians due to their ability to create beautiful lines. It’s a soubriquet that applies literally to Don Paterson, who trades sonnets for sonics in Scotland later this month. Paterson is best known to jazz audiences for his work with the Celtic-jazz group Lammas, which he co-led with saxophonist Tim Garland through the 1990s and on five well-received albums. The groupDon Paterson was the result of extensive playing and searching for ideal musical partners which had begun in Paterson’s home town, Dundee, in his teens.

Initially influenced by the freewheeling folk-jazz-rock albums of John Martyn and the conversational style of John Abercrombie, Paterson moved to London in 1984 to join the free-improv scene. His experiences there included lessons with improv master Derek Bailey and gigs and albums with Scottish drummer Ken Hyder’s Talisker, where fellow band members numbered the former King Crimson violinist David Cross.

Shortly after moving to London, Paterson encountered poet Tony Harrison and became captivated by his work. He read widely for a year then began to write, devoting his time to twin pursuits that sometimes went hand in hand. Having met Garland and formed Lammas, adding singer Christine Tobin’s distinctive voice to the group’s Scottish and Irish-flavoured sound, Paterson provided lyrics to songs. Eventually he found himself being recognised more and more for his poetry and as Garland went off to feature in Chick Corea’s group The Vigil, Paterson’s pen became mightier, or at least busier, than his axe.

Click here for a really enjoyable video of Don Paterson reading for Poets & Players in 2015 as part of the Manchester Literature Festival.

He is now one of Britain’s most decorated poets, having won the Forward Poetry Prize for his first collection, Nil Nil, and gone on to win the prestigious T S Eliot Prize twice, among many other accolades. In 2008 he was appointed OBE for services to literature and his latest collection, 40 Sonnets, has been nominated for the Griffin Poetry Prize. He also keeps busy with readings as well as working as poetry editor for publishers Picador and teaching creative writing at the University of St. Don PatersonAndrews.

Towards the end of last year Paterson decided that he’d neglected the guitar and music for too long and needed to reactivate a career that had involved sharing stages and recording studios with Kenny Wheeler, vibraphone virtuoso Joe Locke, pianist Jason Rebello and others. He began woodshedding to get back to ‘match fitness’ (a hand operation had also been a factor in his silence as a musician) and formed a new group, the Don Paterson Situation.

Applying his unusual fingerstyle technique to electric guitar, he’s been writing new material that reflects his long-term engagement with jazz, electronic, classical and Celtic music. His group features Steve Hamilton (currently touring with Mahavishnu Orchestra drumming legend Billy Cobham) on keyboards, along with Euan Burton (previously heard with Ari Hoenig, Gilad Hekselman, Will Vinson, and Jonathan Kriesberg) on bass, and the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra’s star drummer, Alyn Cosker. They made their first appearance at Edinburgh’s Jazz Bar in February.

The band takes their next step at Eden Court, Inverness on Wednesday 19th October and the Beacon Arts Centre, Greenock the following night.

Click here to listen to Don Paterson playing guitar on the beautiful Northshore from the album Lammas with Mark Fletcher (drums, percussion), Tim Garland (tenor and soprano saxophone, wood flute, synthesizer) and Kenny Wheeler (trumpet, flugelhorn).



The Grey Horse, Kingston-upon-Thames

Ram Jam Club programmeThe story of Kingston Jazz continues.

We have a page looking back over the history of jazz in Kingston (click here), but now the Ram Jam Club at the Grey Horse picks up the baton with one of the country's top musicians, saxophonist Duncan Eagles, to present a new weekly night there under the heading Inventions and Dimensions.

There has, of course, been jazz at the Grey Horse for a long time and it is where Duncan launched the excellent band Partikel seven years ago with Max Luthert (bass) and Eric Ford (drums). Partikel will be playing there on 13th October with guitarist Ant Law, but other top names and new bands are also scheduled to appear. The Grey Horse is at 46 Richmond Road, Kingston-Upon-Thames, KT2 5EE. Inventions and Dimensions are programmed for Thursday nights starting at 8.00 pm.

Click here for more information.





Chet Baker

Live In London


In 1983 Chet Baker played six consecutive nights at The Canteen in London with The John Horler Trio (John Horler – piano, Jim Richardson – bass and Tony Mann – drums). Richardson recorded these landmark performances on a basic Sony TCS audiocassette recorder. "While he was not in the best physical shape, Chet's playing was commensurate with his reputation as a great jazz artist ... passion, tenderness and down right aggressive swing,”  he states. “It's all there in the music. I have a huge quantity of Chet Baker recordings but what we have here is Chet baker Live in Londonthe best, in my opinion.”

The recordings have been meticulously restored and will be released as a two CD set Chet Baker Live in London on the Ubuntu Music label.

"The process of restoring standard audio cassette tape, recorded three decades ago and played many times since, was a rather delicate task,”  Martin Hummel, Director of Ubuntu Music, explains. “Tape stretches ever so slightly over the years and the magnetic particles which form the sound tend to wear off with age. On top of that, the recordings were originally made for personal enjoyment - not for public consumption. We had to clean up hisses, pops and distortion, as the cassette recorder was sitting on top of a bass cabinet. Ultimately, after a series of tests, we came up with a solution that does justice to the integrity of the original live sound, while preserving ambiance from those magical evenings at The Canteen in 1983.”

The John Horler Trio reunited for the first time since those Chet Baker shows to launch the album at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club on 22 and 23 August.  Richardson says, “After all these years, hooking up with John Horler and Tony Mann as a unit for the Ronnie Scott's dates is going to be wonderful."  The concerts also featured Quentin Collins on trumpet, Leo Richardson on saxophone and special guest Norma Winstone on vocals.   

"This project was a dream come true for our young label, Ubuntu Music. The challenges were significant, but the result is exceptional music that every Chet Baker fan will enjoy for many years to come," says Hummel.

The album is due to be released on 28th October.




Help With Musical Definitions No 28.


Term used by people who don't understand jazz.
(as in: 'That's Nachtmusik!')

Click here for our page of 'Alternative Definitions'. Send us yours ...





Tracks Unwrapped

Angel Eyes


[You are able to listen to the music at the same time as reading this article and without leaving the page if you click here. This will take you to the article on another page on our website where your computer might ask you to allow the music to play on the page. Alternatively there are links to the music on YouTube etc. in the article below].


Try to think that love's not around
But it's uncomfortably near
My old heart ain't gaining no ground
Because my angel eyes ain't here


I cannot find the exact quotation, but in Woody Allen's 2016 film Café Society, Bobbie Dorfman (Jesse Eisenberg) is confiding in Karen, the wife of a friend. Frank SinatraBobbie has fallen in love with his uncle's secreatry, Vonnie (Kristen Stewart) but she loves someone else. 'That's life,' says Karen. 'It's why Rodgers and Hart are so rich!'

Angel Eyes is not a Rodgers and Hart tune, but it is also about unrequited love. The tune for Angel Eyes was written by Matt Dennis. Dennis came from a vaudeville family and by the age of nineteen had established himself as a pianist and vocalist. He began arranging for other vocalists and in 1940 became composer / arranger for Tommy Dorsey's band. His hits include The Night We Called It A Day, Everything Happens To Me and Violets For Your Furs, all hits for Frank Sinatra who had a hit with Angel Eyes in 1953. In fact, when Sinatra staged his first 'Farewell Concert' in 1971 he chose Angel Eyes to close the concert.


Frank Sinatra


Matt Dennis's lyricist was usually Tom Adair. The story goes that one evening in 1940 Adair went into a club where Matt Dennis was playing and suggested that they collaborate on a song. He showed Dennis a lyric called Will You Still Be Mine? Dennis liked the lyric, wrote the song, and gave it to Tommy Dorsey to record. According to Dennis, within a week they also wrote Let’s Get Away from It All and Everything Happens to Me.

However, for Angel Eyes, Dennis's collaborator was Earl K. Brent who wrote for many films in the 1940s - Anchors Aweigh, Zeigfield Follies 1946, Call Me Mister - several of his lyrics were set to classical music.


Angel eyes, that old devil sent
They glow unbearably bright
Need I say that my love's mispent
Mispent with angel eyes tonight


Jennifer film poster

Angel Eyes was featured in the 1953 movie Jennifer where we can actually see Matt Dennis singing the song. The whole film is on Youtube (click here) but you will find Matt Dennis singing at the piano at around 55.45 minutes in.

In echoes of the film Angel Heart that we shall talk about in a moment, we have a search for a missing person. Agnes Langley (Ida Lupino) is down on her luck and is hired by Lorna Gale (Mary Shipp) to replace the "missing" Jennifer as caretaker for a mysterious Southern California unoccupied estate. Langley finds a diary and becomes obsessed with Jennifer and her "disappearance". She takes on a mission to find out what actually happened to the other woman. Agnes soon begins to believe that Jennifer was murdered and that Jim (Howard Duff) who she has fallen in love with, is responsible.The wonderful strapline for the film poster says: 'Did Jennifer fear his fingers at her throat or the burning caress of his lips?' The poster also says: 'Featuring the haunting song hit 'Angel Eyes' by Matt Dennis and Earl Brent'.


Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald's interpretations of Angel Eyes are probably the most famous but the first person to record the song was said to be Herb Jeffries. Unfortunately his recording company folded before he could establish the recording and the song was next taken to the studio by Nat “King” Cole as the B-side to his 1953 hit, Return to Paradise.

Click here for a video of Herb Jeffries singing Angel Eyes in a 1983 television concert (Angel Eyes comes in at 1.58 minutes).


So drink up all you people
Order anything you see
Have fun you happy people
The laughs and the jokes on me


Wikipedia says: 'Because of its colourful harmonic changes, Angel Eyes is a very popular jazz standard which has inspired many original interpretations.' It has been described as “intimate,” “personal,” “lonely,” “weepy,” “bluesy,” “a torch song,” or “a saloon song,” so it will come as no surprise that it was recorded by Chet Baker who I think really does the song justice in this version (click here). This is Chet Baker doing his vocal 'thing' rather than his trumpet 'thing' but the others on this album As Time Goes By are Harold Danko (piano), Jon Burr with a nice bass solo and Ben Riley (drums).

As an aside and probably only worth knowing for the next pub quiz, did you know that a car's front Halo headlights (also known as Halos or Corona Rings) are referred to as 'Angel Eyes' because of the distinctive arrangement of lights placed in a circular pattern.)


Car angel eyes



Pardon me but I got to run
The fact's uncommonly clear
Got to find who's now number one
And why my angel eyes ain't here
Oh, where is my angel eyes


Angel Heart movie still

Now, there is something about this final verse that, for me, takes it out of the usual 'torch song' slot. Unlike One For My Baby the singer isn't just drowning their sorrows, in this song the singer is going off to find out who's taken their Angel Eyes - to do what? Have it out with them? Scratch their eyes out? (Remember the song is not gender-specific). It makes me think of Alan Parker's movie Angel Heart which stars Mickey Rourke and Robert De Niro and where a New York City private investigator, Harry Angel, is also hired to solve someone's disappearance. Ironically, the 'someone' who has disappeared is a crooner, "Johnny Favorite". Angel tracks down Toots Sweet (played by Brownie McGhee), a blues guitarist and former Favorite bandmate whose 'help' leads Harry Angel into all sorts of horrors and stories of trysts with the devil.

The soundtrack for Angel Heart was produced and composed by South African composer Trevor Jones with saxophone solos by Courtney Pine. In this movie, I think any Angel Eyes singer would be well advised to stay in the safety of bar! In the movie soundtrack Brownie McGhee is featured on the track Rainy, Rainy Day. Click here for Brownie McGhee's version with harmonica played by Sugar Blue.



As for the trailer for Angel Heart, well that's not for the fainthearted let alone the broken hearted. For a clip from the film, click here to see a meeting between Mickey Rourke and Robert De Niro as Louis Cyphre (Lucifer) who says: 'The future isn't what it used to be, Mr Angel ... I have old fashioned ideas about honour - you know, an eye for an eye, things like that.' Angel eyes, that old devil sent They glow unbearably bright .....


I cannot bring you Courtney Pine playing Angel Eyes, but beginning to move away from the 'torch song' versions, click here for a video of guitarists Pat Metheny and Ulf Wakenius playing a fine interpretation of the number.

Talking movies, 'Angel Eyes' was also the title of a film by Luis Mandoki starring Jennifer Lopez as 'Sharon' and James Caviezel as 'Catch'. Angel Eyes movie stillHere they are in a jazz club scene with Angel Eyes being played by trumpeter Nick Ali who was awarded the 2002 Canadian National Jazz Award for "Jazz Composer of the Year". Caviezel then picks up the trumpet to play Nature Boy (click here).


It turns out that 'Catch' (Caviezel) was a jazz musician and that an accident on his son's birthday caused him to create a mental block. Caviezel says: "I had to learn how to play the trumpet. I didn't know how to play. The first day they thought they'd just shoot around it, but the lady came in and worked with me, and she thought I could learn to play the song." In a few fast lessons, Caviezel was trumpeting with confidence. "I learned how to play the song for the film, 'Nature Boy', and just for fun, I've always wanted to play 'Hello, Dolly,' so I learned how to play that."


Angel Eyes is such a popular tune you can search online for ages listening to different versions. The penultimate version I have chosen is this one by trumpeter Wynton Marsalis (click here).

But I guess we should end with Ella Fitzgerald singing the song. She recorded Angel Eyes at least four times and named it as her all-time favorite song. This video (click here) has poor picture quality but it is Ella in 1957, and perhaps that's enough.

Ella Fitzgerald





MOBO Awards 2016 - Nominations


Mobo Logo


Voting is open for this year's MOBO Awards and shortlisted for the Jazz Act category are:

Bill Laurence; Cory Henry; Esperanza Spalding; Jacob Collier; Michael Janisch.

The MOBO show is scheduled for Friday 4th November and voting will close a few days beforehand. Click here to sample the nominees' music and to cast your vote.

The MOBO "Music of Black Origin" Award show is held annually in the United Kingdom to recognise artists of any ethnicity or nationality performing black music. Founded in 1996, the MOBO Organisation was established by Kanya King MBE to recognise the outstanding achievements of artists who perform music in genres ranging from Gospel, Jazz, RnB, Soul, Reggae to Hip Hop. Over the past 20 years, MOBO has played an instrumental role in elevating black music and culture to mainstream popular status in the UK.

This year there is a change in that the best overall album is now decided wholly by the MOBO Awards Voting Academy, which means public voting will no longer be applied to this category. (However, you are still able to vote for best Jazz Act). Nominations are announced 5 – 6 weeks before the MOBO Awards giving the public ample time to cast their votes – one vote per category, one vote per person. Voting will be closed 3 - 4 days before the show when the public’s votes will be combined with the voting academy's voting (except for BEST ALBUM), each being weighted 50% towards the final list of winners.




Corey Mwamba - Rising Star

Kahn Jamal


Vibraphone player Corey Mwamba who took time out for a Tea Break with us last month (click here) was nominated for 'Rising Star (Vibraphone)' in the Downbeat Critics' Poll for the third year running, along with Jim Hart and Lewis Wright. Corey says he is 'surprised and pleased' but thinks it strange that 'masters Jamal and Astatke are counted as rising stars - they really should be in the main poll and occasionally winning that!'

Khan Jamal was chosen as the winner of the award. (Khan Jamal was born in 1946 and has been playing and recording for many years).

Khan Jamal


Click here to listen to Khan Jamal playing Lovely Afternoon.

Click here for the long list of categories and winners amongst which Hoagy Carmichael was chosen for the Veterans Committee Hall Of Fame; Miles Davis, Miles Davis At Newport 1955–1975: The Bootleg Series Vol. 4 (Sony Legacy) for Historical Album; Béla Fleck (banjo) - Miscellaneous Instrument and Maria Schneider for both the Composer and Arranger awards.






Tea Break

Johnny Hunter

Johnny Hunter


[You are able to listen to the music at the same time as reading this article and without leaving the page if you click here. This will take you to the article on another page on our website where your computer might ask you to allow the music to play on the page. Alternatively there are links to the music on YouTube etc. in the article below].

I first met and heard drummer Johnny Hunter at the Vortex Club in London and was immediately impressed by his playing. Since then, Johnny has become increasingly recognised as one of the UK's leading drummers. In our review of his latest album While We Still Can, Steve Day writes: 'There are some great new drummers based in the UK who are currently out (and on) the traps and scoring highly in my little notebook;While We Still Can album Johnny Hunter is among the frontrunners ... I am coming to regard Johnny Hunter as serious crème de la crème and it is not just about his playing, though he is a hell of a technician. His whole approach to the role of the drummer is a dynamic one, he arranges any band he is in through his drum kit.'

The ongoing talk about a 'Northern Powerhouse' could equally refer to the jazz scene. Johnny Hunter is a Manchester-based drummer who comes from a background of both the Avant-Garde and more mainstream Jazz.  He has performed or recorded with such esteemed musicians as Benn Clatworthy, Nat Birchall, Jamil Sheriff, Corey Mwamba, Steve Beresford, Adam Fairhall and Steve Berry to name a few.  He is also heavily involved in the Reggae and Dub scene. His brother Anton Hunter is highly regarded as a jazz guitarist.

Johnny also runs the Jazz jam night at Matt and Phred’s Club in Manchester; teaches drums and improvisation and works as an arranger, orchestrating and arranging music for others. He also leads a big band playing entirely his own Ska and Jazz arrangements.


I interrupted his busy schedule to take time for a tea break.


Hi Johnny, tea or coffee?


Milk and sugar?


If you could ask two past jazz musicians to join us for the tea break, who would you invite?

Tough question.  I think I'd ask Sun Ra and Joe Harriott.

What would you ask them?

I'd ask them what their favourite biscuit was; Hob Nob, Bourbon, Garibaldi or Digestive.

Hob Nob, Bourbon, Garibaldi or digestive biscuit?

Better not...



Johnny Hunter Quartet


How are things going with the Quartet album While We Still Can?

Really well, thanks!  People seem to be enjoying it, which is reassuring!  The next album is ready to record now, too, which is exciting.

[Click here for a video of the Johnny Hunter Quartet playing Ayça].




That sounds good, can you tell me something about it?

I don't want to say too much about it yet, but I can tell you that it is furthering my work with larger structures within music.  We premiered a couple of pieces at the Kings Place in June so some of your readers may have been unfortunate enough to have already experienced some of it ...


What gigs have you played recently?

The last few months have been amazing.  I played at the Manchester Jazz Festival with my quartet, and as part of Ben Cottrell's 'MJF Originals' commission, New Seeing; Brighton Alternative Jazz Festival with Cath Roberts's Sloth Racket, which is an incredible festival for new and improvised music; and Lancaster Jazz Festival with my quartet, and Cath's large ensemble (which is made up of really fantastic players).

[Click here for a video of Anton Hunter's Article XI with Johnny and Anton Hunter and Cath Roberts on baritone sax in 2014 playing at The Vortex Jazz Club].

What have you got coming up in the next few months?

I'll be touring with Sloth Racket from 28 Sept, which will be a lot of fun. I'm really looking forward to supporting Ellery Eskelin on Thursday 13th October at Fusebox, Leeds, with my piano trio with Adam Fairhall and Seth Bennett, Fragments.  We've been doing a lot of work with this group behind closed doors so it'll be nice to put it in front of an audience. Also, my quartet are on Jazz North's Northern Line scheme, which will see us performing more regularly and further afield over the next year, including a performance at the Vortex on Monday 31st October.

[Click here to listen to Fragments].

Anna Hogberg

Who else have you heard recently that we should listen out for?

I've just seen Anna Högberg's Attack! at BAJF.  They were great!  Anna Lund on drums was fierce!  Also;

Anna Högberg's Attack!

Sam Andreae is always doing interesting stuff; Shatner's Bassoon; Metamorphic; and Seth Bennett's En Bas Quartet, which is a low string quartet (two violas, 'cello and double bass) with the incredible improvisers Aby Vulliamy (viola) and Alice Eldridge (cello).

[Click here for a video of Anna Högberg's Attack! playing in Austria in 2015]


Another biscuit?

Well, okay then, I'll have a bourbon.


Click here for Johnny Hunter's website.

Click here for more Tea Breaks


Utah Tea Pot




The London City Big Band At Ronnie Scott's Club

There are moments when a top-shelf big band comes together in a timeless arrangement, the music swells, a musician stands, goes into an inspired extended solo and the audience holds its collective breath. Jazz is like that. You can’t bottle it, you can't freeze it for later; there is the one Ronnie Scott's Clubin a million chance that it will be recorded; it is of the moment. Just give thanks that you were there.

Have you noticed that big bands don’t seem to get the publicity or the journal text time that other bands do? That’s not surprising; there are inevitably more smaller bands around, most of the musicians in a big band belong to them or lead their own bands. It is not easy to run a big band and maintain a high standard, the musicians may have bookings with their other bands when you want to arrange rehearsals and gig dates, and if that happens you need to choose deps carefully - the character of the band depends on it.

The term ‘Big Band’ also runs into that age-old jazz conundrum of ‘definition’. King Oliver had a big band, so did Benny Goodman and Tommy Dorsey; changing the label to ‘orchestra’ takes us in the direction of Duke Ellington and Count Basie but they are still big bands. And what constitutes ‘big’? That’s before we start looking at the arrangements the big bands play, whether they are long-standing classics or contemporary work of today’s new arrangers.

The other thing we should not forget is the melting pot the big bands have stirred where legendary musicians from them have bubbled to the top. Count the stars from Stan Kenton, Woody Herman, Duke Ellington and the Count himself. It is still happening that big bands give musicians that grounding and that springboard.

Perhaps it is time that we began to recognise more the many excellent big bands that are out there. One of them is the London City Big Band.
Barney Lowe

Led by trumpeter Barney Lowe this band of young, talented musicians has now been around for something like five years. Barney brought it together from graduates like himself from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, although there are graduates from other conservatoires too. Their music is varied; there is a strong focus on timeless arrangements by Count Basie, Bill Holman and others but you will also hear arrangements by members of the band.


Barney Lowe



September saw a second appearance of the London City Big Band at Ronnie Scott’s club. The first set was a new departure for the band featuring numbers arranged by Shorty Rogers from his album The Wizard of Oz and Other HaroldAndrew Linham Arlen Songs. For me, the highlight was Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead. After an ensemble introduction, trumpeter Miguel Gorodi stood up and put down the pace, taken up by a great piano solo from Dougie Freeman. Having heard the band before, it felt right that someone should open Andrew Linham’s cage and let loose his baritone saxophone solo. They did. Andrew Linham is an inspired musician and here was one of those moments where the audience held its breath and exploded in applause afterwards.


Andrew Linham


The second set (the band had the evening’s main performance to themselves) was more varied, but still as tight, and here were opportunities to set free solos from musicians. I was particularly impressed by reeds player Tommy Andrews and trumpeter Miguel Gorodi on I Remember You; Tommy Andrewssaxophonist George Millard on Zoot (Bill Holman’s tribute to Zoot Sims); Tommy Andrews again on Stella By Starlight and trombonist Owen Dawson on Carl - Bill Holman's tune dedicated to Carl Fontana.


Tommy Andrews




When encores are called for they are often a complementary bookend, some people will already be leaving. They should have stayed. The band played Limelight and with Ed Parr featured on trombone, pianist Dougie Freeman decided on a solo tour-de-force that drummer David Ingamells couldn’t resist. One of those moments.David Ingamells


I know. You probably weren’t there, so these may just be words. I offer them so that you might remember the names of young musicians that you should listen out for; to encourage you to visit the unmissable London City Big Band who you can hear up close and personal at the Spice Of Life in London's Soho on the last Wednesday of the month, and to tempt you to dip back into the world of big bands if you have not been there for a while.

David Ingamells


Click here to listen to the original version of If I Only Had A Brain by Shorty Rogers and his Giants from the album The Wizard of Oz and Other Harold Arlen Songs.

Click here for the London City Big Band website and go to their 'Audio' page to listen to some of their music.




Do You Have A Birthday In October?


Your Horoscope

for October Birthdays

by 'Marable'




LIBRA (The Scales)

23rd September - 22nd October


Last month, on the 22nd, the planetary power reached its maximum Eastern position and you should be in the period of your maximum power. That is set to continue until the 23rd of this month, so create conditions as you would like them to be and make the changes. Libras are likely to do this with grace and charm rather than by putting down others.

The year ahead is looking good for learning. Your mind should be sharp and absorb knowledge well - now could be the time to take on courses or study you have been considering for a while.

I can see that with Mars sitting in Capricorn it might be more difficult for you to express your feelings, particularly feelings of love and warmth. You could be seen as cold or unfeeling, you are not really like that, so be aware of this and make a point of projecting your caring side to others.

For you here is a video of Frank Sinatra in the studio with the Quincy Jones Big Band recording Teach Me Tonight (click here).





SCORPIO (The Scorpion)

23rd October - 22nd November

With the planetary power in the place of maximum personal power and independence you should have a happy and successful month. Enjoy it! Remember, when you are feeling good and on top of things you are better able to communicate this to others and you are better able to help them. It could feel right for you to get involved in charitable work, either on a wider or a personal level.

Younger people you know, perhaps your children or younger friends, are going through all kinds of changes at the moment and lack a sense of direction. Neptune will be on an old eclipse point this month so if they ask your advice, it might be best not to advise them to take chances that lead them into very risky kinds of activities.

As for you, an opportunity could come your way between the 18th and 20th of the month, and changes between the 27th and 29th. Your energy levels are higher and doors could open.

For you, here is a video of Branford Marsalis playing I Thought About You at the 1987 Newport Jazz Festival (click here).






Full Focus

Sergey Kuryokhin

The Spirit Lives



[You are able to listen to the music at the same time as reading this article and without leaving the page if you click here. This will take you to the article on another page on our website where your computer might ask you to allow the music to play on the page. Alternatively there are links to the music on YouTube etc. in the article below].


Steve Day looks back at Russian pianist Sergey Kuryokhin:


Sergey Kuryokhin


In a manner of speaking, I recently seem to have spent a lot of time with Russians.  Writing about them.  Among the ones I haven’t really touched on until now is Sergey Kuryokhin.  This is probably because he is no longer with us.  He died in 1996, age 42, cancer of the heart, known as cardiac sarcoma.  It is rare; malignant tumours, thieves in the night.  They robbed the world of a great musician when he was still young and totally vital.  In his prime Sergey Kuryokhin was not like other people.  In Russia they called him 'The Captain'. 


Click here to listen to Sergey Kuryokhin playing a tribute to Dave Brubeck with Blue Rondo A La Russ.


I know, of course we are all unique.  The thing about Kuryokhin was that he was truly a one-off casual genius. Bizarre, a prankster, even ridiculous, yet a musician with such a complete intelligence, whose whole conception and vision of the possible was so vast it is difficult to know where to begin any kind of appreciation of his music.  Whatever his penchant for feral absurdity it absolutely did not get in the way of him creating some of the most inspiring, magnificent music of the 1980’s.  Even the Soviet Bloc could not prevent news of his fermenting creativity.  In fact it was his outright commitment to cross those wretched barriers of accepted convention that freed up his ferocious technical mastery of music bringing him into a rich vein of a total creative take-off - witness his take on Brubeck's Blue Ronda a la Turk which he recorded as part of the soundtrack for Sergei Debizhev's 1992 film Two Captains II.   

The Captain started playing piano at the age of 4. A child prodigy who went on to cut across the romance of Rachmaninov, splicing rock music and jazz to such an extent that in his case it seems pointless to try to untie those particular knots.  He would not thank me for doing so.  In the early 1980’s Sergey Kuryokhin recorded a short complex piano and tuba duet of Scott Joplin’s Maple Leaf Rag, yet his later ensemble album, Sparrow Oratorium (Kurizza Records), could be said to draw on the work of his American buddy, Frank Zappa.  Kuryokhin would not find the two projects incompatible and neither do I. 


Click here to listen to Summer from Sparrow Oratorium. You can hear the whole album here.


As a piano soloist he was often described as inhabiting a place between such diverse piano players as Art Tatum, James P Johnson, Cecil Taylor, Carla Bley and Conlon Nancarrow.  The truth of any keyboard analysis is that Mr Kuryokhin sourced from a worldwide discography despite the Iron Curtain; he completely overtook his own influences.  If he were alive today it is his name which would be being used as a benchmark for ‘new jazz’, or whatever is the latest euphemism for critical creative jazz composition.  Even in the short space of his 42 years Sergey Kuryokhin emerged from the avant-garde underground, recorded a huge body of work, established key musical partnerships with leading Russian, American and European contemporaries in rock and jazz, became an established actor, toured the USA, recorded internationally, wrote film scores, became a household name in Soviet Russia via the TV shows Musical Ring and Fifth Wheel, played in Nam June Paik’s Wrap Around The World which was given a television broadcast on the eve of the 1988 Seoul Olympics, as well as inventing and Donna Annatouring his own orchestral synthesis of avant rock-jazz theatre under the title Pop-Mechanics, which on occasions included ‘burlesque’ dancers, opera singers and singing pigs.  I kid you not!  


Click here for a video interpreting Sergey Kuryokhin's Donna Anna.


My current opportunity to write about The Captain is fuelled by the recent release of Sergey Kuryokhin: The Spirit Lives by Alexei Aigui & Ensemble 4’33”, a double disk package (CD & DVD) of a 2015 concert recorded at the Moscow State Conservatoire on 9th July, the same date on which he had died back in 1996.  A year on from the recording, Leo Records now release the special concert to mark this 20th anniversary.  Alexei Aigui’s task in bringing this music to fruition was a true labour of love.  He was using the acoustic full strings of the Ad Libitum Orchestra plus two additional units, Ensemble 4.33 and Ensemble N’Caged, in conjunction with various singers.  Everyone was required to use scores, yet everyone also had to improvise for extensive periods, albeit to very explicit briefs.  Sergey Kuryokhin rarely wrote any of his compositions down in the traditional manner, preferring to either jot scribbled scores on pieces of scrap paper prior to performance, or failing that, literally teach his musicians the music direct to memory in the manner adopted by Don van Vliet better known as Captain Beefheart, the American avant-rock singer/composer (There is no evidence as far as I know that this similarity of approach is the reason why Kuryokhin was known as ‘The Captain’ in Russia.) 

For the The Spirit Lives concerts Alexei Aigui had the laborious task of writing new scores transcribed from Kuryokhin’s recordings.  Among the cast of musicians available to Aigui were Sergey Letov (saxophone), Vladimir Volkov (double bass) and Vyacheslav Guyvoronsky (trumpet), alThe Spirit Livesl of whom played regularly with Sergey Kuryokhin and were able to advise/verify that the final outcome “was very close to the original”.

Bravely, or some might say foolishly (I’m in the ‘brave’ camp), Alexei Aigui decided to include two versions of one of Kuryokhin’s most absurd pieces, Tragedy.  Despite the title, whatever form Tragedy comes in, it is hard to find a tragic version, the composition is vibrant, built on two distinct riffs with plenty of room for spontaneity.  The first version attempted at Aigui’s concert is called Tragedy, Rock Style.  It features Sergey Letov on tenor and Alexei Kruglov on alto, two of Russia’s finest sax players.  Here they sound as if they have been kidnapped by James Brown’s horn section, then escaped, only to find themselves recaptured by Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention.  The second version travels under the name Tragedy In The Style of Minimalism.  It flirts with an attempt at a minimalist approach only to find itself waylaid by Letov and Kruglov who just about break the repetition into a thousand pieces.  The audience roar at the end of this performance as if they are collecting up falling notes dropping from the air.  The whole ensemble quickly segue into Donna Anna from the Kuryokhin’s Sparrow Oratorium and I am left believing the sky has truly fallen in around them.


Click here for a video performance of Tragedy In The Style Of Minimalism.


Kuryokhin’s creativity is all about drawing from various techniques to make a complete ‘whole’ programme of music.  Perhaps a good, instant example on The Spirit Lives concert is Last Waltz.  It is only just shy of three minutes in length but is totally finished, requiring no further Sergey Kuryokhinembellishment.  In structure it is also in utter contrast to Tragedy.  It begins with a vocal refrain appearing as a choral work only to quickly establish a minimalist structure which in turn is taken over by a brief supercharged improvised orchestral interruption which is then ‘contained’ and completes the piece as a final coda.  The fascination with a piece like Last Waltz is that within a very short time span, the composition (and that is what it is despite the ‘built-in’ improvisation) Kuryokhin/Aigui are able to present several different, quite distinct genres, as fully realised performances.


Click here for a video performance of Last Waltz from The Spirit Lives.


Mystic (sometimes translated as Mystics, plural) is another quirky riddle – on The Spirit Lives album even the orchestral setting cannot mask the strange filigree of sound (strummed violins acting as ukuleles), the trained solo operatic soprano voice presenting the melody on an instrumental backdrop which is almost mock vaudeville.  On Sergey Kuryokhin’s original versions of Mystic the contrast between formal and theatre music is even more starkly apparent.  When the soprano singer enters in Kuryokhin’s original she is both operatic yet totally burlesque.  There’s a good argument for saying Mystic is a kind of Soviet version of New Orleans Storyville.  Red Light, back of the bar Basin Street reincarnated as performance art in Leningrad (St Petersburg).


Click here to listen to Mystic(s).


My interest in Sergey Kuryokhin is that musically I identify with him.  If you want to understand The Captain, at least on some level, you have to embrace the connection between what, ordinarily might seem like quite different territories of music.  The link between Jimi Hendrix and Miles Sergey Kuryokhin The Spirit LivesDavis (they were actively planning to play together at the time of Hendrix’s death); Davis’ own touch-base to Charlie Parker and Igor Stravinsky; the mammoth importance of Duke Ellington to avant-garde jazz orchestration; The Duke’s critical status as a piano stylist (one of the bed rocks of the founding fathers of jazz-rock; Weather Report’s awesome version of Ellington’s Rockin In Rhythm); ‘jazz’ conceptually both part of Tin Pan Alley, Gershwin, Dixieland and the radical extremes of European Improv.  It goes on, and on, music is not pigeon holed – jazz is a vast expanse.  Sergey Kuryokhin was a brilliant stride piano player, his wonderful set of duets with multi-reed player Anatoly Vapirov contain both musicians playing a set of Portraits, the first entitled Benny Goodman Is Just Round The Corner and the second, Duke Ellington In Bedouin Garb (from Document New Music From Russia (Leo Records).  These are not fake titles; Vapirov honours Goodman, as does Kuryokhin’s forensic take on Ellington’s piano fantasies.


Click here to listen to Weather Report playing Duke Ellington's Rockin' In Rhythm.


When the new two disk set of The Spirit Lives dropped on my door-mat I felt I had no choice but to gather my thoughts together on what exactly I understood to be Sergey Kuryokhin.  At best I hope I might have conveyed a slight flavour of the great man.  I don’t expect everyone is going to like his music or want to follow up some of the trails I have put forward.  Perhaps it is enough that he is name checked once more and that music is not just labelled, commercially packaged and given away like a charity freebie.  My thanks to Sandy Brown Jazz for allowing me a smidgeon of space to write the name SERGEY KURYOKHIN.         

Steve Day   www.stevedaywordsandmusic.co.uk




You Suggest

Terry Lightfoot

King Kong



John Doyle hosts a local radio programme at Near FM in Dublin. He writes:

'On 1st August, the Irish August Monday, I played King Kong by Terry Lightfoot.  I've liked this record since its release in 1961. Any information I've read of this 1959 jazz musical from South Africa, mentioned that the show was going to Broadway after its London performances, early 1962.'

'Last weekend, while searching for information on pianist Johnny Parker, I read for the first time that due to various difficulties, the show did not open on Broadway.  Instead, the seventy-cast show broke up in London.  Some cast members went home, others stayed in England.  Johnny Terry Lightfoot King KongParker's second wife Peggy Phango, was a cast member who stayed. Some years ago, while seeking information on the King Kong musical, I found a five page feature in a 1961 issue of Ebony, an American magazine aimed at African American people.  The feature was more photographic than text.  The photographs were taken in London.  Ebony mentions the show's impending run on Broadway, which didn't happen. One photograph, is a young member of the cast playing an alto Grafton plastic saxophone.  It was a birthday present from the cast. I only saw the Grafton plastic saxophone on display in one Dublin music shop, Piggott's, it was around 1959.' 

Click here to listen to Terry Lightfoot's New Orleans Jazzmen playing King Kong (click the grey box to the right that says 'Listen').

This is the title track song from King Kong, an All African Jazz Opera in 1959 starring Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masekela and Kippie Moeketsi. Click here to listen to Kwela Song from the original cast recording.

Wikipedia tells us: 'King Kong had an all-black cast. The musical portrayed the life and times King Kong Opera of a heavyweight boxer, Ezekiel Dlamini, known as "King Kong". Born in 1921, after a meteoric boxing rise, his life degenerated into drunkenness and gang violence. He knifed his girlfriend, asked for the death sentence during his trial and instead was sentenced to 14 years hard labour. He was found drowned in 1957 and it was believed his death was suicide. He was 36.'

'After being a hit in South Africa in 1959, the musical played at the Prince's Theatre in the West End of London in 1961. The liner notes for the London cast recording state: "No theatrical venture in South Africa has had the sensational success of King Kong. This musical, capturing the life, colour, and effervescence -- as well as the poignancy and sadness -- of township life, has come as a revelation to many South Africans that art does not recognize racial barriers. King Kong has played to capacity houses in every major city in the Union [of South Africa], and now, the first export of indigenous South African theatre, it will reveal to the rest of the world the peculiar flavour of township life, as well as the hitherto unrecognized talents of its people. The show, opened at the Princes Theatre, London, on February 23, 1961 ...'

'. ..... According to John Matshikiza, King Kong's first night was attended by Nelson Mandela, who at the interval congratulated Todd Matshikiza "on weaving a subtle message of support for the Treason Trial leaders into the opening anthem".'


'You Suggest' is our regular item where readers can suggest spending a little time with jazz musicians they feel have been neglected in recent years. Please contact us with your suggestion of a musician who you think should be recognised more, with a few words saying why.

Click here for our page of previous 'Your Suggestions'.





Two Ears Three Eyes

Art Themen & Andy Panayi

Splash Point Jazz Club Eastbourne


Bobby Worth

Bobby Worth


Photographer Brian O'Connor went to the first gig at Eastbourne's new jazz venue:

It's always nice to see a new jazz club opening, so it was a pleasure to be in at the start of Splash Point Jazz Club Eastbourne, which has found Art Themena home in the Fishermen's Club, just a pebbles throw from the seafront.


Scheduled to run on the last Wednesday of each month, the opening night saw two giants of the tenor sax reunited. A band featuring the frontline saxes of Art Themen and Andy Panayi was always going to be a joyous collaboration, and this quintet certainly didn't disappoint. Roy Hilton, Bobby Worth and Nigel Thomas completed the line-up, and given the mix of exuberence and experience present in all five musicians the evening was, predictably, a real treat.


Art Themen


The set list was a mixture of the familiar and the more unusual, from Green Dolphin Street to Body and Soul, from the Latin feel of Charles Lloyd's Forest Flower to the tricky timings of Mingus's DizzyAndy Panayi Moods, there was plenty in the programme to satisfy even the most jaded jazz fan.


Andy Panayi



Nigel Thomas took some particularly pleasing solos, and was a solid presence throughout, and Roy Hilton and Bobby Worth proved yet again that they really are at the top of their game. Meanwhile the saxophone juggernaut of Themen and Panayi at the front just kept rolling. Both masters of inventiveness, Art Themen's soloing on Prelude To A Kiss was a definite highlight, and Andy Panayi's tenor solo on Body and Soul was beautiful, as were his two excursions onto the flute – real crowd-pleasers. But it was when they were both playing tenor that some of the sparkiest fireworks happened, as with the closer Cheesecake.

Nigel Thomas



Nigel Thomas


Local sponsors Reid Briggs Insurance, Lawler Davis Financial Advisers and Jessica Hylands Confidence Coach have all helped to make this club happen, but without the enthusiasm of the team Roy Hiltonbehind SPJC, and the paying public  who turned out in impressive numbers, it wouldn't have happened.




Roy Hilton




If their first night is anything to go by Eastbourne Jazz looks set for a bright future – the parking's easy, the drinks are cheap, the sound is good and the venue works well for jazz. When you factor in the quality of musicians booked to appear it's plain to see this club is going to be a healthy addition to jazz in Sussex.



Click here for details of Splash Point Jazz Club, Eastbourne; and the Brighton and Seaford Clubs.


Splash Point Jazz Club


All pictures © Brian O'Connor, Images Of Jazz






Banjo George

Last month, Ian Simms wrote: 'Here's an interesting snippet about Banjo George: he went off to Russia "just to have a look at it" (his words) and came back with a pretty little folk tune. Kenny Ball heard it, George said he could have it if he liked, and Kenny turned it into a No. 1 hit with Midnight In Moscow!'

Gerard Bielderman in the Netherlands replies: 'Just read the short story of Banjo George about Midnight in Moscow. I strongly doubt if it is true. Kenny Ball recorded the tune in September 1961 but there was already a Trad version on the market (Storyville A45042), played by the Dutch New Orleans Syncopators and recorded on January 4, 1961. I've always thought that Kenny heard it and saw the hit potential.'

Click here for more about Banjo George on our 'Banjo Jazz' page.



Cy Laurie Club

Ray Root writes: 'I like your site 'Sandy Brown Jazz'  In particular I enjoyed reading the anecdotes about the  Cy Laurie club as I too frequented this dubious establishment many times back in the fifties. (Click here for our Cy Laurie club page).

'The jazz was great, the atmosphere was often electric with frenzied dancers and fans and of course the sleazy location, the decor and so called furnishings added to the fun! As a Croydon engineering apprentice, I offered to take our works manager's secretary up to Soho and Cy Laurie's Triumph Motorbikeone Friday evening. That lunchtime, I had bought a 500cc girder front forked, ex WD Triumph motorbike from a works colleague and told him I was taking our works secretary up to Soho on it - he said I was mad! I had never ever driven a motorbike in my life but that evening I drove up to Soho with my very posh and smartly dressed secretary on the pillion, crashing the gears and struggling to keep the thing upright.'

' Unfortunately, on the way, outside Brixton police station to be precise, I dropped the bike on her at a set of traffic lights. I let go and just hopped off but she stayed on the pillion and hit the ground very hard! Nevertheless I managed to persuade her to jump back on the bike and proceed to Cy's. We had a great evening until the journey back! Again in Brixton I smelt burning! She was using the exhaust as a footrest and had burned one of her brand new high heel shoes.'

'I never married the girl, but amazingly after 59 years she is still a good family friend and still reminds me that I owe her a pair of new shoes!  Happy memories of the Cy Laurie club!'


Eric Silk and the Jelly Roll Kings


Jellyroll Kings


John Westwood writes:

I remember Eric Silk playing with us in the Jellyroll Kings back in the late 40s. A little digging produced this picture, from when both Eric and Dave were with the band. 

Eric Silk was a member of John Haim's Jellyroll Kings. He played with the band for nearly a year, up to the time of John's untimely death in January 1949 at the age of 19. After the funeral service, Eric, with the rest of the band members, went to Pete Payne's recording studio in South London where they joined Freddy Randall in playing a tribute blues.  This recording was issued on Delta 6, with the 'B' side containing one of the Delta 6 recordfirst "Jellyroll Kings"' recordings.  At this time, most of the band's members were still schoolboys (having previously been titled "John Haim's Jazzin' Babies"). No other recordings of the band had been commercially released, so its place in the history of our music hasn't been preserved.  But Delta 6 was, at the time, reviewed by Rex Harris, writing in the Melody Maker, that "it gives no indication of the lusty sound which the band made in the flesh".

Before forming his Southern Jazz Band/Serenaders, I had the pleasure of playing drums with the band in 1947/8, and still have ​a BBC recording made of a performance at Wimbledon Palais in January 1948 which does give some hint at the sort of excitement we were able to generate. John was a hard task-master and unlike most of the other developing bands at the time, made no attempt to copy - or even hint at - the masters whose 78s we all studied so avidly.  Although he played the cornet, John was most keen on the sounds produced by, amongst many others, the gas-pipe clarinet of such as Ted Lewis, Boyd Senter, Wilton Crawley etc.  Titles recorded by these artists considerably influenced the band's repertoire! 

I had to leave the band in September 1948 to do my National Service - ​where ​postings gave me the opportunity to play with many of the then-emerging bands, including Ray Foxley's Levee Ramblers, the Yorkshire Jazz Band, Manchester's Saints Jazz Band and Smokey City Stompers etc.  On demob. I joined Chris Barber's first band but gave it up in favour of the security of a career in sales, (click here for more detail).

John's brother Gerald went on to attempt to keep the band on the road, but its members dissipated - Eric forming his own band, Charlie Connor likewise, Dave Stevens emigrated to Australia where he still, in his 90s, plays regularly, as does now 85-years-young Gerry Haim in Spain.  No-one knows what happened to Ron Dixon, and I no longer play regularly (but do still enjoy the odd 'sit in' when permitted!).




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Alan Barnes Plays a Fund-Raiser for the National Jazz Archive

The multi-award-winning performer Alan Barnes is bringing an all-star group of top UK jazz musicians to play a fund-raising concert for the NJA Alan Barnes posterNational Jazz Archive on the afternoon of 22 October in Loughton, Essex.

Mike rose at National Jazz Archive says: 'Alan's Quintet for the concert brings together the cream of current British jazz musicians – Henry Lowther, trumpet, Frank Harrison, piano, Simon Thorpe, bass, and Matt Fishwick, drums. This concert is one of a series during 2016 to raise funds to support the work of the Loughton-based National Jazz Archive.'

Alan said: “I’m very pleased to be bringing this group of fine musicians to Loughton to support the National Jazz Archive and the work it does in to collecting and recording the history of our music.”

The venue for the concert is Loughton Methodist Church, 260 High Road, Loughton, Essex IG10 1RB, close to the Archive’s home in Loughton Library, where there is extensive parking, 1 km from Loughton Station on the Central Line, and served by numerous bus routes.

The concert starts at 2.30pm and tickets cost £15.

For details and to book tickets click here or email events@nationaljazzarchive.org.uk or phone 020 8502 4701.

Alan Barnes is a prolific international performer, composer, arranger, bandleader and touring soloist. He is best known for his work on clarinet, alto and baritone saxes, where he combines virtuosity with a musical expression and collaborative spirit that have few peers. His range and brilliance have made him a ‘first call’ for studio and live work. Alan’s musicianship, indefatigable touring, and warm rapport with audiences have made him uniquely popular in British jazz. He has received over 25 British Jazz Awards, most recently in 2014 for clarinet, and has twice been BBC Jazz Musician of the Year.




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:


Derek Smith


Derek Smith - UK born pianist who played with John Dankworth and Kenny Baker and then, in 1957, moved to the United States.He was befriended by the MJQ's John Lewis and recorded with Percy Heath and Connie Kay; accompanied singer Mel Tormé; worked with Benny Goodman and then became resident pianist on NBC's Tonight Show where he accompanied many top singers. He also had his own trio.

Click here to listen to the Derek Smith Trio playing All The Things You Are recorded in 1980.




Fiona Haycock


Fiona Haycock - Fiona Haycock was a popular and highly respected Events Organiser who passed through the Departure Lounge too soon in at the end of August after a battle with cancer. She was behind the organisation of many Parliamentary Jazz Award events and despite her illness, attended the event as a guest just a few months ago. Talking to her at the time, she was quiet but positive and it is sad that she will no longer be around with her welcoming smile. Of course, she was involved with much more than the jazz scene. As Music Week says:' ... she had been involved with ... Music Industry Trusts Award (MITS) and the Silver Clef awards, as well as the Sony Radio Awards and the MOBOs. She also served as director of PR and events at the BPI from 1996-99, and events head at PPL from 2009-14. Her work at the MITS alone helped raise millions for music business charities Nordoff Robbins and the BRIT Trust.' She is missed.




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.

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Album Released: 13th May 2016 - Label: Outline


Jane Ira Bloom

Early Americans


Steve Day reviews this album for us:

Jane Ira Bloom (soprano saxophone); Mark Helias (double bass); Bobby Previte (drums).

It’s near on thirty years ago that I bought my first recording by Jane Ira Bloom, Mighty Lights on Enja Records.  At the time it was solely on the basis that Ms Bloom had recruited Charlie Haden, bass and Ed Blackwell, drums, alongside the pianist Fred Hersch.  Of course Haden/Blackwell were with Ornette Coleman and that was good enough for me.  I still have the album (in two formats).  One of the tracks is called I Got Rhythm ButJane Ira Bloom Early Americans No Melody, a perfect cruise through the old Gershwin classic’s chord structure, beautifully abstracted.  Nevertheless it is as the revised title says, absent of the original melody line.  Today, a long, long way down the line, the same cannot be said of Early Americans.

This new recording flows with melodies, under and over which another top class rhythm team, Mark Helias and Bobby Previte, dance with all the panache you would expect from two elite stalwarts of New York’s jazz community.  Early Americans is a definer and here’s the reason why.  Jane Ira Bloom plays the soprano saxophone exclusively, and nearly thirty years on from Mighty Lights she has fashioned through sheer determination a language exclusive to herself.  The mercurial Steve Lacy did the same on the same horn.  And for many years, so did Dave Liebman.  Ms Bloom’s dedication to the instrument has made for a phenomenal understanding of the ‘straight sax’, her ‘sound’ is fleet, flowing and orchestral.  Whereas Lacy always deliberately retained a wonderful dry thirst within his tone (I once heard him play in Paris where he magically turned the small basement club into a Moroccan Kasbah), Jane Ira Bloom’s instrument has developed over the years into this radiant symphonic sound; even in a solo performance.  Here in this first time trio situation with the Helias/Previte bass and drums team surrounding her with a flood of rhythm and accent, she still manages to make the small band sound bright with colour, dare I say ‘blooming’.  The way into this session is through Song Patrol.  And it is a little gift from the gods of power and light.  I am a great admirer of musicians who can take just three minutes out of a moment and tell the full detailed story. Listen to Song Patrol and you know you’re onto a winner.

Click here for a video introduction to Early Americans.

There are thirteen tracks on the album; I’m going to mention seven more in the hope that they represent the breadth of what is on offer.  Despite the title, Dangerous Times is a lovely thing. It begins with a beaters on a snare drum with tambourine rattling on the skin; underneath, a low bowed bass holds the air for a soprano refrain which is light and lucid. Bloom seems to present her instrument as a messenger of hope.  There is nothing alarmist about her playing here, she weaves a music of real strength, soloing through the line, ‘making some of it up as she goes along’ (sic), yet she processes a clear underlining knowledge of her own landscape. You can’t help but admire this level of focus.  Next up is a short acappella soprano recital entitled Nearly (for Kenny Wheeler).  The modest mannered trumpet/flugelhorn player would have appreciated this dedication.  There are actually two unaccompanied short tracks on Early Americans.  The other is the only ‘standard’, Bernstein’s Somewhere, which comes right at the end. I’d have dispensed with the latter only because Jane Ira Bloom’s reading of her own peon to Kenny Wheeler is so accurate a statement the Bernstein seems a little superfluous.  This of course is a subjective opinion and should not detract from the overall quality of this recording.

Singing The Triangle is literally as the title suggests.  It begins with the quietist of beginnings, Soprano slowly aching the melody with plucked bass pacing the tune then, just for a broken moment, space for a gentle tapping of triangle as if it were a “still small voice”.  Things soon open out and what we find is a trio coaxing conversation from each other – the straight horn sonically in-and-out of variants on the melody, then a masterclass bass solo underpinned by interactive drums.  It is all over in a jiffy, but in the process it feels full of purpose and control.

Click here for a video of a live performance of Singing The Triangle.

Now for a very different design, Mind Gray River is probably my favourite track.  Yesterday I was choosing another track, a fine performance called Gateway To Progress. A brilliant angular thing which contains a curve with edges twisting around the trio like bent wire.   But no, it cannot be otherwise, the River is where I must rest my case.  A river flows, but the Mind Gray River almost falls, falls as slow as a southern wind, as if the drop is to the very bottom of brain power.  How can I explain it?  Ms Bloom gets to the top piercing register of her horn whilst Mr Helias enters into the depths of his double bass.  And they leave Bobby Previte to balance his percussion like a man bereft of a map to lead him forward.  The hi-hat coming together in odd-time, white-water cymbals splashing on the rocks, the toms tuned tight and pulsing occasional sporadic beats.  Bobby Previte has spent time with the arch-duke of the unexpected, John Zorn.  On Mind Gray River nothing is what it seems, Jane Ira Bloomthe drummer plays without recourse to reason and then goes on beyond the timeline to complete everything with an architect’s precision.  It is a brittle spare, shallow accompaniment to a saxophone which seems to mourn its own being with tricky blues inflections which pay no mind to a bar count yet are so starkly in the right place.  Mind Gray River has to be the standout performance; God knows it’s going down with all the grace of good and evil.


Photograph by Kristine Larson


And in the going down we must all understand that some things cannot be made known to us. There is a track here entitled Big Bill.  At the time of writing I can’t find any definitive information about who Jane Ira Bloom is actually referring to.  I emailed her agency to ask but they didn’t get back to me.  I’d like to think it was Big Bill Broonzy.  A couple of months ago I sat listening with Ian Maund, Sandy Brown Jazz Editor, to a recording of Al Fairweather’s trumpet playing his own tune, Big Bill, which definitely was written as a dedication to the blues icon.  I suppose I was hoping there might be a link between the common debt to the blues shared by the old tradition of Britjazz and contemporary New York new millennium-jazz.  Not this time.  By now I must have listened to Jane Ira Bloom’s composition a couple of dozen times.  Sadly continually playing the track will not bring it any closer to either Al Fairweather or Big Bill Broonzy – nor Bill Evans or Billy Strayhorn, Bill Lowe, Bill Dixon or Wild Bill Davison; an off-the-top-of-my-head scattering of jazz musicians who come under that name.  What I can say is that Bloom’s Big Bill has a speedy, almost jaunty repeating hook which sets her up for another one of her pithy variations, enabling Mark Helias and Bobby Previte an opportunity to pull out another demo of locked in rhythm-section synergy.

I would be surprised if Early Americans doesn’t end up being acknowledged (and heard) as a new classic.  I can’t think right now that I know of anyone else who has got such an overwhelming currency on the soprano saxophone as Jane Ira Bloom.  (Maybe Evan Parker, but he inhabits a different space.)  The Jane Ira Bloom Trio with Mark Helias and Bobby Previte definitely have a lot more momentum left in their muse.  In the meantime there can be nowhere better to get acquainted with them than this album.  Listen carefully, in Mind Gray River there is a very deep pool.

Click here for details and to sample the album.


Steve Day www.stevedaywordsandmusic.co.uk

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Album Released: 14th October 2016 - Label: Lyte Records


Tom Harrison

Unfolding In Tempo


Robin Kidson reviews this album for us:

Unfolding in Tempo is a celebration of the music of Duke Ellington and his long time collaborator, Billy Strayhorn played by a quintet led by the British alto saxophonist, Tom Harrison. Ellington is, of course, one of the giants of 20th Century music. You tamper with his legacy at your peril. What Harrison has done is to take apart the original Ellington pieces and put them together again, reinventing the music for a modern audience attuned to the innovations of Parker, Coltrane and Coleman, an audience used to the idea of jazz fusing with other traditions and perhaps preferring a slightly rougher approach than the smooth running engines of theTom Harrison Unfolding In tempo Ellington bands. Harrison states his purpose well in the liner notes: “…to reference the original intent of Ellington’s music, yet not to be held captive by it.” The result could be a dog’s breakfast but is actually a triumph. The re-imaginings always pay due respect to the originals, and end up reinforcing the reputations of Ellington and Strayhorn. 

Harrison is joined on the album by Cleveland Watkiss on vocals, Robert Mitchell on piano, Daniel Casimir on bass, and David Lyttle on drums. The tracks were recorded live during a tour made by the band in February 2016. Watkiss, in particular, needs a live audience to best feed his unique brand of improvised vocalisation.

The album gets off to a stirring start with a rendering (recorded at the Everyman Theatre in Cheltenham) of Take the “A” Train, one of Billy Strayhorn’s most famous compositions. The track begins with Watkiss imitating the sound of a steam train coming into a station, complete with an announcement (in a West Indian accent) that this is the “16.47 train for Cheltenham leaving in two minutes…” He then begins slowly to sing the lyrics and the band gradually hits its swinging swaggering stride. Watkiss takes a solo full of improvised lyrics and sounds. His performance is imaginative and suffused with humour – indeed, one of the features of the whole album is its sense of humour and fun. Tom Harrison plays an absorbing and virtuosic solo, taking in all styles from Ellington sideman through Stan Getz to Coltrane and Coleman. Daniel Casimir takes a nicely judged solo on bass; and the track ends with Watkiss sounding like a train coming to a stop and then shouting, in the West Indian accent, “all change please”. A great performance from all concerned  - and the crowd loved it.

Next up is Things Ain’t What They Used to Be, composed by Mercer Ellington. There is a rhythm and blues feel to both Harrison’s and Casimir’s solos – Casimir sounds at times like he’s playing rock on an electric bass, and there’s something of Cannonball Adderley in Harrison’s playing. Watkiss is again on fine form and there is some great interplay between him and Harrison’s sax. David Lyttle keeps up a foot tapping, rocking rhythm throughout.

The third track is The Minor Goes Muggin’ on which Watkiss improvises different styles of scat from Cab Calloway to Louis Armstrong. He really knows how to work an audience and starts exchanging ever more complex phrases with them. Harrison’s solo begins by imitating some of the sounds that Watkiss has made but Tom Harrison & Cleveland Watkissthen takes off into a much freer mode. Robert Mitchell takes a blazing solo on piano in his own appealing and distinctive style.

And then it’s back to Billy Strayhorn again with My Little Brown Book which begins in a slow, bluesy style and then moves into a faster, more swinging tempo. There are solos from Harrison, Mitchell and Casimir with Watkiss scatting and singing along.


Cleveland Watkiss and Tom Harrison


Solitude follows next with Watkiss imitating bass and drums like a modern rap artist as well as singing and vocalising other sounds. There is some particularly effective electronic enhancement of his voice allowing him to double track and introduce an echo. Harrison and Mitchell improvise on top of all this brilliantly.

Strayhorn’s The Intimacy of the Blues is track 6 and includes some fine bass playing by Casimir and barnstorming performances by Harrison and Watkiss. The latter stretches his sound palette to include, for example, the sort of stuff you might hear on an Archie Shepp or Nitin Sawhney album. There is some more amusing swapping of phrases with the receptive audience and interplay with Harrison’s alto.

The final track is Harrison on his own in a performance of the Ellington piece, Warm Valley. Harrison’s playing has a pleasantly wistful feel with a touch of Johnny Hodges about it. However, Harrison, being a Thoroughly Modern Saxophonist, manages to coax sounds out of his horn undreamed of by Johnny Hodges.

Click here to listen to Warm Valley and watch an animated version of an arresting image which appears on the CD’s packaging of a tightrope walker on a piano string.

What would Ellington and Strayhorn have made of Unfolding in Tempo? I think they’d have loved it. They’d have loved the innovation, and the way in which new life has been given to their creations; they’d have admired the technical skill of the musicians and the way in which they have absorbed the whole post-Ellington jazz canon; and they would have appreciated the sense of humour which permeates the whole project but which never compromises the respect accorded to them and their work.

A bonus track, Chelsea Bridge, not featured on the physical CD (and not featuring Cleveland Watkiss) can be heard here.

Further information is on Tom Harrison’s website (click here) and on the Lyte Records website (click here).

Click here for details on Amazon when the album is released on 14th October.

Robin Kidson


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Album Released: 16th September 2016 - Label: Edition Records



Together, As One


Dinosaur: Laura Jurd (trumpet and synth), Elliot Galvin (fender rhodes, hammond organ), Conor Chaplin (bass), Corrie Dick (drums).

When expectations are high, the result can sometimes disappoint. Not this time. We previewed this album from Dinosaur in an earlier issue and it sounded good. I also heard them at Ronnie Scott's Club a few months agoDinosaur Together As One when they closed a performance by three UK bands. They sounded good then too. I have been looking forward to hearing the album.

Dinosaur is Laura Jurd's Quartet re-named. Although she leads the band, it seems appropriate to have an encompassing band name as each of these musicians are at the top of their game. Elliot and Corrie have both released their own albums recently and Conor is much in demand across the jazz scene - in fact at that Ronnie Scott's gig he played for all three bands, depping for other bass players - no mean achievement.

Laura Jurd says: 'Having worked together as a band over the past six years, we have produced a record that is a testament to our close friendship, the time we've spent developing a cohesive sound and our passion and dedication to the art. Regularly working with Elliot, Conor and Corrie in a live and studio setting is always inspiring and has enabled the compositions to take on a life of their own. The process continues to be a natural and joyous experience and we're looking forward to whatever the future has in store'. That friendship and enjoyment in what they do is clearly evident when you see and hear them play.

Together, As One has eight compositions by Laura. Awakening is a good title for the opening track with the music doing just that, imagine bird song over a riff with gentle percussion, the sun rising. Laura's clear trumpet takes the first solo, Elliot comes in with keyboards and now it's catchy, foot-tapping, giving way now and then to just trumpet and drums; keyboard, bass and drums, and fade. First tracks are important they need to draw the listener in. This does. Robin comes as track 2. A jolly dance intro. to a tune that changes in pace and melody Dinosauras it progresses with some nice drumming from Corrie Dick and creative trumpet playing from Laura. Second tracks are important too. They need to keep the listener involved. This does.

Living, Breathing at 3 enters with a fast keyboard riff and a slower, simple theme played out on trumpet and coloured by keyboards, drums and bass.

Click here for a video of the band playing Living, Breathing.

Underdog is a shorter track, low swelling keyboards and bass doing the 'under' bit. No trumpet here, keys, bass and percussion are all. By half way through, an album needs to retain the interest of the listener. This does.

Steadily Sinking is another track described by its title, this one actually sinks quite fast at 1.49 minutes and then leads us into Extinct at track 6. Slow, steady drums and bass that keep up the rhythm throughout and then that clear, expressive, imaginative trumpet. This is the longest track on the album and gives the band the chance to develop ideas and textures. My foot is tapping again.

Click here to listen to Extinct.

Continuing the historical theme, Primordial comes in at track seven. There is a fast intro. on keyboards accompanied by trumpet and underpinned by bass and drums. I like the pairing of bass and trumpet that follows; the pace increases, running now, no lumbering dinosaur here and then gathering breath a little as keyboards are squeezed, then everyone slowing to an end. The shortish Interlude concludes the album, quietly, with trumpet and percussion fading the album out.

Click here to listen to Interlude.

An album needs to end with the listener knowing that they have heard a well-produced, creative, satisfying piece of work. This does. Laura Jurd is a talented trumpet player and composer and together as one with Elliot Galvin, Conor Chaplin and Corrie Dick I think the band is outstanding. Dinosaur's Together, As One is highly recommended.

Click here for a video introduction to the album.

Click here for details and to sample two tracks from the album.

Ian Maund


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Album Released: 14th October 2016 - Label: PICTOR Records


Alex Munk and Flying Machines

Flying Machines


Howard Lawes reviews this album for us:

Guitarist Alex Munk's father, Roger, was a pioneering engineer and designer of lighter than air flying machines. He sadly died aged 63 in 2010, the same year that the company founded by him secured a contract to help develop a machine for the US Government.  Roger Munk had spent 40 years wrestling with the problems associated with airships and his research established him as one of the foremost advocates for these machines which have now developed into hybrid air vehicles combining being lighter than air with an aerofoil Alex Munk Flying Machinesshape to give lift.  Hybrid air vehicles continue to be developed but it seems there is still a way to go before they become a common sight in our skies, nevertheless the dedication, innovation and hard work which Roger Munk committed to his life-long project is very much admired by his colleagues in the industry and also by Alex who, using the name Flying Machines, has dedicated his band and this album to his father.

Alex has been playing the guitar ever since primary school and early memories were of  Mark Knopfler and James Taylor but the acquisition of an electric guitar served to introduce him to Joe Satriani and Steve Vai, a great guitarist also known for his prodigious work ethic.  At secondary school Alex was fortunate not only to have a music teacher who encouraged him to improvise but also to have lessons from Chris Montague, founder member of Troyka and graduate of Leeds College of Music. Alex followed Chris Montague to Leeds where his talent really blossomed gaining 1st class honours, winning the prestigious Yamaha Jazz Scholarship and going on to the Royal Academy of Music where he was awarded the Elton John Scholarship and John Baker Memorial Prize. Having studied in Leeds with Mike Walker as guitar tutor  Alex has gone on to play alongside another Impossible Gentleman, Gwilym Simcock (Let's Get Deluxe reviewed recently) and band leaders such as Alice Zawadzki, Trish Clowes and Stan Sulzmann.

Alex formed Flying Machines in 2014 with longstanding friends Matt Robinson (piano/keys), Conor Chaplin (bass) and Dave Hamblett (drums) and then set about composing the music for the first album.  Money to finance the production of the album was raised through Kickstarter and the video is available here.

On the video Alex explains that the band play emotive music that is always telling a story, a combination of various styles bound together by a lyrical quality and also that they use modern techniques and overdubs to give a fuller sound.  The album is to be launched at the Vortex in London on 14th October.

Flying Machines, the album, has nine tracks, the first of which is called Tracks. It starts as a simple guitar melody before Matt Robinson takes over with some pleasing piano over drum and base grooves; Alex Munk re-joins the party on guitar varying the rhythm and dynamics to give an interesting and thought provoking piece.  The next track is called Bliss Out, implying a feeling of floating contentment and happiness and indeed it is a cheerful number with piano and guitar playing quite different rhythms simultaneously, about halfway through Munk lets rip with some great solo improvisation before the return of the multi-rhythmic theme.

Click here for a video of the band playing Tracks.

As Long As It Lasts features Conor Chaplin on bass contrasting with Munk's much higher register, this is a contemplative piece with an air of resignation, while Emotional Math Metal is the complete opposite confirming that most bands love to play a bit of heavy metal occasionally, noisy, energetic and great fun. First Breath is a very pretty melody played as an acoustic guitar solo, it starts slowly and carefully, and then as Flying Machineshappens with the breathing of new-born babies the tune becomes stronger and more rapid before reprising the original melody as a finale.

Lighter Than Air has Chaplin on bass conversing first with Robinson on keyboard and then Munk on guitar before the band reverts to rhythm section backing another very good solo from Munk.  Peace Offering contrasts some high register, disarming guitar melody with some hostile left-hand bass chords on the piano but the guitar melody seems to prevail being taken up by the piano as well. 

Stratosphere is probably the catchiest tune on the album with a very distinct motif, it is very short, with the tune interrupted by an upwelling of sound in the middle before resuming. The last track is called A Long Walk Home and is probably the best example of the lyrical, narrative style which is the hallmark of the band's music, a lovely tune and ensemble playing that stays in the memory.

Click here for a video of the band playing Lighter Than Air.

Flying Machines is a very good first album from Alex Munk combining affecting melody with impressive solo and ensemble performances.  In an interview for London Jazz News in 2014 Alex Munk cited Tigran Hamasyan as an influence and admiration for bands such as Troyka and Phronesis.  Hamasyan borrows from a very diverse range of music genres for his music while Troyka and Phronesis are superbly talented bands which have been exciting a whole new audience with their intricate and energetic yet melodic jazz style.  These are excellent role models for Alex Munk to aspire to emulate and this album shows that he is making great progress towards that goal.

Howard Lawes     


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Album Released: August 19th 2016 - Label: Tapestry Records


The Girshevich Trio featuring Eddie Gomez

Algorithmic Society


Steve Day reviews this album for us:

Vlad Girshevich (piano, synthesiser); Aleks Girshevich (drums); Eddie Gomez (double bass); plus a string section: Sandra Wong, Ilya Shilberg, Emily Bowman, Ekaterine Dobrotvorskaya, Ann-Marie Morgan, Jeffrey Watson (3 tracks).  In addition Rony Barrak (darbouka, riq, daf (hand percussion) on track 1).

Click here for a video introduction to The Girshevich Trio’s Algorithmic Society.

Oh, Eddie Gomez – if there is ever a discussion about the role of the double bass in jazz it is the following five names where the innovation begins:  Scott LaFaro, Charlie Haden, Eddie Gomez, Paul Chambers and Ron Carter.  You can’t stop talking about the double bass once you have fully analysed even this tight quintet ofThe Girshevich Trio Algorithmic Society names, of course the list is much longer, but here, (in my view) is the reality of renaissance of the instrument.

To listen to Eddie Gomez playing on the 1968 Verve live recording of Bill Evans At The Montreux Jazz Festival is to hear the double bass projected into a playing position which goes far beyond holding the bottom line.  At the start of Montreux there is One For Helen, from there, right through to the tricky time signature of Nardis, studded with a bass solo which is pinched up and then released like a fishing line, Mr Gomez defines the status now accorded him.  Drummer Jack DeJohnette later went on to play with the great bassist, Gary Peacock.  Many people refer to this as one of the ultimate bass/drums partnerships.  Yet plug into the Bill Evans Montreux session it is as plain as daylight where DeJohnette’s affinity with the double bass was eventually percolated, and no surprise that when he formed his own New Directions band (1978 ECM) it was Eddie Gomez who had the bass space.

If this seems like a long route into The Girshevich Trio’s Algorithmic Society it’s because I can’t emphasise enough how fortunate it was that Mr Gomez brought his instrument into this startling father (piano) and son (drums) trio.  Okay, you can hire Eddie Gomez but you can’t buy him.

Healing The Chaos which kicks off the album is the proof.  The Girshevichs wrote all the material and Healing draws on Vlad Girshevich’s background in Uzbekistan, with Rony Barrack’s Arabic hand-percussion trading neat fingered drum breaks with Girshevich Snr.  However, when Gomez places his first solo of the session into the mix it is as if the whole sense of the piece has taken on a new meaning.  I can literally hear the pianist respond to him.  Vlad Girshevich is a sensitive piano player – there is little evidence of chaos on Healing The Chaos.  There is meaning in that title; as a country, Uzbekistan has not had an easy ride since the early 1990’s; the essential Arabic tradition is witnessed in the strong six-piece string arrangement underpinning the trio on this strong opening.

Click here for the Girshevich Trio with Eddie Gomez playing Healing The Chaos.  

How about a title called A Rainbow On Your Carpet?  Aleks Girshevich’s bass drum propels a decisive foot thump under the start of this tune.  It flows like Jarrett ( I’ve got to say it really does; one day very soon they’ll be saying it flows like Girshevich).  Again, Eddie Gomez cracks the composition open and the young man, Girshevich Jr is completely on him, tumbling the drum kit out from the bass break with the sheer exuberance of Eddie Gomezthe moment.  Better to have A Rainbow On Your Carpet than blood; this is a damn fine piano trio enjoying what they have, no tension, no waste, no delay.  It speaks to me of all that has renewed the piano, bass and drums genre over the last forty years.

What I mean by this is probably best illustrated by a track called A Song Of An Old Tree.  I neither know the tree or the reason for the song.  At this precise moment that is not important; what I do hear is that a story is being told to me.  I cannot imagine that Eddie Gomez was simply given a composition manuscript without any discussion about the meaning that lies behind the tune.  I don’t need to know it, but he certainly must have been told.  This is musicians not simply playing a score, or for that matter, improvising with its contents, Old Tree is piano, bass and drums interpreting a well of longing.  They haven’t picked up sheet music of a Cole Porter standard or decided on their favourite Gershwin; no, they have spent time with their own histories.  Maybe the generational age differences across these three individuals is an asset in this respect, they come to their own ‘traditions’ from differing times.  They are at a place of contrasts.  Do you think that’s possible? A Song Of An Old Tree sounds needed.  And that’s what I mean, there is a debt paid to those historic piano trios who forged an awakening.  In a small unit there is the means to find intimate conversations. 

A trio can make for an odd-one-out.  I would suggest you have to be a special kind of individual to have reached the statue of Eddie Gomez yet be able to walk into a piano trio session where a twelve-year-old boy is sitting behind the drum kit.  A certain trust that there sits someone who is going to balance your own playing.  And that is what happens, without a doubt. 

In February 2014 Aleks Girshevich was twelve years old when he made this recording in Lakewood, Colorado. There is nothing about listening to this album which would lead anyone to believe that the drummer was so young and relatively inexperienced.  Rather he is sensitive and resourceful, with a right hand pulse which carries time like he is measuring it.  Normally I wouldn’t bother writing about the age of Aleks Girshevich, after all, I don’t usually mention the age of musicians in reviews.  Don’t worry Aleks, all this ageist rap stuff will stop soon enough, you are already out playing such considerations. 

On the title track, Algorithmic Society, time is a maths lesson. All three players possess an innate ability to count it, count across it, to inhabit the multiple time signatures and work with it.  Compositions are constantly on the move, in pace, melody and improvisation.  The result is I am not just agog at an exercise in mathematical logistics, for me the real prize is that it contains such a beautiful balance, there are no vocals yet it sings.

I realise I have said quite a bit about Mr Eddie Gomez and Aleks Girshevich but relatively little about Vlad Girshevich.  Not only is he a fine pianist he has doggedly carved a place on the Stateside music scene.  I hope this recording brings greater attention.  The Algorithmic Society session adds up to a highly recommended recording.

Click here for details and to sample.     

Steve Day www.stevedaywordsandmusic.co.uk


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Album Released: 19th August 2016 - Label: MUD Records


Clare Teal

Twelve O'Clock Tales


Tim Rolfe reviews this album for us:

It is brilliant to have the opportunity to review one of the UK’s finest jazz singers together with a great orchestra and a big band (total: 93 musicians on Clare Teal’s new album “Twelve O’Clock Tales”). The title comes from a Clare Teal Twelve O'Clock tales lyric in a Billy Strayhorn song, Lush Life, one of the tracks that include a number of classics from the last 100 years, plus more contemporary songs and two of Clare’s own original compositions.

The orchestra in question is the Hallé, conducted by Stephen Bell and the songs were arranged by trumpet maestro Guy Barker and celebrated jazz pianists Grant Windsor and Jason Rebello.

The album consists of 14 tracks, from swing to ballads, which give full range to Clare’s superb vocal range and phrasing. This is an eclectic mix from Rogers and Hammerstein’s, It Might As Well Be Spring and Cole Porter’s Always True To You In My Fashion to Gordon Sumner and Dominic Miller’s La Belle Dame Sans Regret and Tim Rice’s Never Again. The full track listing is as follows:-

1. It Might as Well Be Spring
2. Feeling Good
3. Wild is the Wind
4. Sans Souchi
5. I’ll Never Stop Loving You
6. La Belle Dame Sans Regret
7. Lush Life
8. Never Again
9. Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most
10. Always True to You in my Fashion
11. Whole (It Isn’t Like Me)
12. Secret Love
13. The Folk’s Who Live on the Hill
14. Paradisi Carousel

It was nice to see in the CD notes that the track listings contained the names of the musicians who provided the solos and also a list of who is playing which instrument in the orchestra.

I am not going to go through each track individually as all are exceedingly good with superb vocals by Clare and Clare Tealthe quality of the musicians shining through. However, Track 1 (It Might As Well Be Spring) starts big and bold until Clare comes in with pleasingly clear vocals, and her superior range demonstrated right from the start. This was one of several arrangements from Guy Barker, other tracks being arranged by Grant Windsor and Jason Rebello.

Track 2, Feeling Good, shows Clare’s versatility, ranging all over the register. The saxophone solo from Iain Dixon before the end of the track was terrific. Track 4, Sans Souchi, a Peggy Lee song, has a Latin feel with great syncopation and shows to advantage the range of Clare’s vocals, while I'll Never Stop Loving You at track 5, has a slow evening feel, with lovely piano playing from Jason Rebello.

La Belle Dame Sans Regret, is sung in French with a flute solo by Katherine Baker and Jason contributing on vocals. Track 11, Whole, is one of the few which is Clare’s own and has a slower tempo with evocative highlights and which again features her versatility and clarity of tone. Track 13, Paradisi Carousel, another of Clare’s, is a heartfelt slower tempo number with a superb ending still leaving you wanting more.

All the tracks had marvellous backing from the Hallé and it even sounds as if they had great fun contributing to this album, so with top notch arrangements, orchestra and Clare showing her versatility, humour and range in her singing this was always going to be a successful collaboration.

Click here for a video about the making of Twelve O'Clock Tales.

Click here to listen to the album. Click here for details.

Tim Rolfe


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Album Released: 9th September 2016 - Label: Alexander Stewart Music /Herzog Records


Alexander Stewart

I Thought About You


When singer Alexander Stewart released his first album, All Or Nothing At All, five years ago I was impressed. I went to the album's release gig at Pizza Express in Soho and found a freshness to his voice and performance and a rapport with an equally impressive band.

Although Alexander performs occasionally in the UK (he sings with Alex Webb's Jazz At Café Society shows,Alexander Stewart I Thought About You for example), I wonder why he seems to have a lower profile here than elsewhere. I get the impression that this might be partly because he is very popular in Europe and plays there regularly and also perhaps because his publicity / agency activity is widely spread across a number of countries.

Now Alexander has released his second album, I Thought About You, a well-chosen set of Standards and contemporary songs. The personnel varies as the album was recorded between London and Prague, with the City Of Prague Philarmonic Orchestra on seven of the twelve tracks. It includes Alexander's regular collaborator Freddie Gavita (trumpet), Rob Barron (piano), Rob Anstey (bass) and Andy Chapman (drums) with contributions from Alastair White and Callum Au (trombones) and Andy Panayi (alto sax).

The album opens with a fully orchestrated, swinging version of Stevie Wonder's Part Time Lover with trombone solo. Freddie Gavita has made many of the arrangements and in doing so he has a nice touch which shows his understanding of Alexander's style.

Click here to listen to Part Time Lover.

Willie Dixon's I Just Want To Make Love To You picks up and continues the swinging intro with Alexander trading lines with the band. The title track is Jimmy Van Heusen and Johnny Mercer's Standard I Thought About You and starts slowly Fredie Gavitawith percussion over the orchestra. Sinatra's recording is best known to me, but this is a great arrangement that shows Alexander Stewart's timing and clarity and opens to a pleasing solo from Freddie Gavita.

Click here for a video about the making of the album.


Freddie Gavita



Slowing down again, Brother Can You Spare A Dime starts with voice and bass and gives us a saxophone solo, presumably by Andy Panayi (solos aren't specified on the sleeve notes).

Click here to listen to Brother Can You Spare A Dime.

Human, at track 5, is one of four compositions by the singer, a slow romantic ballad, with the excellent Freddie Gavita again soloing on flugelhorn. Bacharach and David's The Look Of Love follows at its usual steady pace. I was waiting for the trumpet / flugelhorn solo but in this version it is handed to the saxophone. How Glad Am I, gets off at a cracking, funky tempo with a piano solo 'in the middle' and (Moving at) The Speed Of Darkness at track 8 is a catchy song by Alexander Stewart and Alex Webb with a short guitar solo from Tommy Emmerton.

Click here to listen to Speed Of Darkness.

The Sweetest Feeling is arranged by Rob Barron adapted for big band by Callum Au. It is one of those swinging numbers that suits Alexander's style well, and this time the solo is presumably from Callum Au'sAlexander Stewart trombone. Fragments at track 10 and Suitcase Of Dreams which follows are both ballads composed by Alexander Stewart. My personal preference is Suitcase Of Dreams which has catchy lyrics and a twenties / thirties old-fashioned, simple style. The album closes with the beautiful Bacharach and David song A House Is Not A Home, an example of classic songwriting and it is given due respect in the emotion captured in Alexander's interpretation.

Click here to listen to A House Is Not A Home.

I Thought About You is a fitting follow up to Alexander Stewart's first album. Second albums are often chancy after a well-received debut release, but he has achieved it here. If I have any reservation, it is that for a jazz album I would have liked more, and more extended, instrumental solos, but that said, Freddie Gavita and Rob Barron have achieved fine arrangements for a Philarmonic Orchestra. The album was released with two concerts in September at London's Hippodrome and the Casino in Manchester. Alexander Stewart will be touring Germany in November, let's hope we get to see and hear more of him in the UK.

Click here for details and to sample the album.

Click here for Alexander's website.

Ian Maund


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Album Released: 30th September 2016 - Label: JCA Records


Darrell Katz and OddSong

Jailhouse Doc With Holes In Her Socks


Steve Day reviews this album for us:

Darrell Katz (arranger, composer, conductor); Rebecca Shrimpton (voice); Jim Hobbs, Rick Stone, Alec Piegelman, Oliver Lake (alto saxophone); Phil Scarf (tenor, soprano, sopranino, baritone saxophones); Melanie Howell Brooks (baritone saxophone, bass clarinet); Helen Sherrah-Davies (violin); Vessala Stoyanova (marimba, vibraphone); Winnie Dahlgren (vibraphone); Hiro Honshuku (flute); Bill Lowe (tuba); Gary Bonhan, Bill Fanning, Mike Peipman (trumpet); Jim Mosher (French horn); David Harris, Bob Pilkerton (trombone); Carmen Staaf (piano); Alex Smith (double bass); Pablo Bencid (drums), Ricardo Monzon (percussion); Norm Zocher (guitar) (collective personnel)

Sometimes it still shocks me.  I am writing a review. The expectation is that I listen carefully to the content and report back by writing down an impression.  It should be straightforward and then I plug in and almost at once,Jail;house Doc With Holes In Her Socks album the music ‘moves’ me, to a point inside myself that I wasn’t prepared to be dealing with, either in real time or print.  I knew I liked Darrell Katz’s work. Back in 2014 I had made his album, Why Do You Ride? with the JCA Orchestra, my selection for What’s New magazine’s ‘Album of The Year’.  Even so, Ride didn’t prepare me for this encounter. 

The current album title, Jailhouse Doc With Holes In Her Socks, may sound like a self deprecating spoof; taken by itself it is.  The phrase was Paula Tatarunis’s response to that old cliché question, what do you do?  Tatarunis, one of America’s leading best-kept-secret poets, had a day job as a doctor in a VD clinic.  She died in 2015.  Darrell Katz was her husband/partner.  He has now scored six of Paula Tatarunis’s poems as the basis of twelve tracks on the OddSong album.  Not only is the combined text-on-music totally absorbing, the ensemble is enhanced by Rebecca Shrimpton’s blistering vocal with its unorthodox orthodoxy.  She is a singer of quite extraordinary perception.  Hear it in the way she brings bright drama to play, intoning further meaning out of a line like, “It’s time to tell Time off: Time, go to hell” (Tell Time), or in another song, Lemmings, crumbling up the list of names of people who have jumped off the Tappan Zee cantilever bridge which crosses the Hudson River at one of its widest points.  There is definite guile in writing such hard words, honesty in setting them to music and bravery in singing them.  I just think the whole stance is terrific.

The OddSong ensemble is an off-shoot of the JCA Orchestra.  The full jazz orchestra is featured on The Red Blues/Red Blue, the longest track on the album.  The JCA Winds and Strings also have a track, Ye Watchers And, which leaves the OddSong band with the lion’s share of ten pieces, each one a carefully honed crucible of composition and extemporisation.  For sure the words and voice are important on this album, what is going on instrumentally is an extra reason to be cheerful. 

Click here to listen to the title track Jailhouse Doc With Holes In Her Socks.

OddSong have really ace players.  Vessela Stoyanova’s marimba and vibes remind me of Corey Mwamba, a rising star this side of the pond.  She has a similar free-funk phrasing, able to simplify the passage of music yet deliver solo statements which move ‘out’ and rattle the cage.  The title track, plus the short, improvised Prayer with Helen Sherrah-Davies’ fiddle finding a tangible partner and the longer, Like A Wind are all good examples.  Other key figures are the JCA veteran, Phil Scarf, a saxophone specialist who is involved in all three ‘bands’ represented on this album.  I used to think of him primarily as a tenor player but on the exquisite LLAP Libertango he produces a soprano introduction which is so consummate it is difficult to get pass the track. To my ears the intro is based on a scale found in formal Chinese classical music, though the composition originates from Astor Piazzolla, the great Tango composer and bandoneon maestro. Wherever Mr Scarf drew his muse from is almost irrelevant, he makes it his own.  Another key performance comes from Oliver Lake, playing alto on the Orchestra’s The Red Blues/Red Blue.  Lake used to be one quarter of the innovative World Darrell KatzSaxophone Quartet, along with David Murray, Hamiet Bluiett and Julius Hemphill.  They redefined reeds within the American avant-garde during the 1980’s. The Red Blues is dedicated to Hemphill, like the man himself it wears the ‘blues’ label lightly whilst being authentic to the ear.  Hemphill’s old friend and band-mate, Mr Lake, pulls a solo out from under Rebecca Shrimpton’s precise blues articulation of the Tatarunis text shredding the air with full-stops and comas.  It’s great to hear Oliver Lake on form and in this particular setting.


Darrell Katz


There is so much to hear on Jailhouse Doc, I have been playing the album for days not wanting to move on.  The reason?  Like Why Do You Ride?, it balances Paula Tatarunis’s secular sacrament of flexible text with Shrimpton’s singing on a high-wire of intricate composition.  The libretto seems to split open to welcome ‘free form’ passages, as if the whole band (whether it be OddSong, Wind and Strings or the Orchestra) has morphed into another dimension without actually changing their overall rationale.  The title track has no drummer, it begins as if picking its way toward a symphonic sweep, but instead, Jim Hobbs’ horn colours the swirl with a withering droning presence.  The lack of kit drums is not an issue because the whole instrumentation throbs with intensity. And as Jailhouse Doc semi-segues into that first verbal line of Tell Time (“O Time, who tells and whom we also tell...”) it feels as if a stage has been set for almost anything to happen.

In my book Darrell Katz is the heir to the great George Russell – composer, arranger, innovator par excellence.  Just as Russell invented the Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organisation (the germ that fed the great modal explorations of Miles Davis and John Coltrane) attracting to his ranks stellar ‘side-men’ from across the divide (Eric Dolpy and Jan Garbarek both did time with Russell in different decades), Darrell Katz has redesigned and integrated song-form into the ‘jazz’ orchestration and attracted major soloists to his visioning of the art.  Darrell Katz is active in Boston, Massachusetts as was George Russell before he eventually decamped to Europe.  Jailhouse Doc With Holes In Her Socks is the kind of album you put on your system hoping it is going to live-up to past glories only to find it exceeds them.  In all life there is an eventual death and in great art there is the affirmation of the alliance that brings about such a duet. Thank you Darrell Katz for sharing your ‘soul mate’ with us in song.... “Life became a blue vision of the body in it’s moment of departure.”  

Click here for JCA Winds and Mallets playing a version of Jailhouse Doc live.

Click here to sample.            

Steve Day www.stevedaywordsandmusic.co.uk


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Ten New Releases / Re-Releases


One From Ten

We spend time with an album from our list of new and reissued recordings below.


John Scofield

Country For Old Men


I suspected that the title for this new album from veteran guitarist John Scofield might be a take on the movie No Country For Old Men. It might be, but more directly it refers to Country music, a tribute to the country songs of Hank Williams, Merle Haggard and Dolly Parton and others. His John Scofield Country For Old Mencompany for the album includes with Larry Goldings (piano and organ), Steve Swallow (bass), and Bill Stewart (drums).

Writing in The Guardian, John Fordham says of the music: 'Williams’ I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry quickly becomes a fast bebop bass-walk, but Scofield always keeps his long, zig-zagging solo within earshot of the tune. Parton’s Jolene begins as a dark and dramatic theme statement, and takes on the elemental rhythmic insistence of the classic John Coltrane quartet, while a fine account of Shania Twain’s You’re Still the One exhibits a tenderness caressed by Scofield’s signature tonal creativity.'

John Scofield introduces a video about the album saying: 'Here’s a short film (by Abbott Ziegler Films) from a recent session for my next record Country For Old Men. It’s the tune Bartender’s Blues (written by James Taylor!) that I first heard done by George Jones. Featured here the fantastic Steve Swallow, Larry Goldings and Bill Stewart. We’re at the Carriage House in Stamford with engineer Jay Newland and A&R man Brian Bacchus' - click here.

Born in 1951, John Scofield started playing guitar when he was eleven, at that time inspired by both rock and blues players. He attended Berklee College of Music in Boston and after a debut recording with Gerry Mulligan and Chet Baker, became a member of the Billy Cobham / George Duke band for two years. In 1977 he recorded with Charles Mingus, and joined the Gary Burton quartet. He began his international career as a bandleader and recording artist in 1978. From 1982–1985, he toured and recorded with Miles Davis. Since that time he has prominently led his own groups and recorded over 30 albums as a leader including collaborations with contemporary musicians like Pat Metheny, Charlie Haden, Eddie Harris, Bill Frisell, Brad John ScofieldMehldau, Mavis Staples, Jack DeJohnette and Joe Lovano. He continues to tour the world approximately 200 days per year with his own groups, and he is an Adjunct Professor of Music at New York University.

Click here to listen to Jolene from the album.

Writing in The Times, Chris Pearson says: 'Buddy Rich’s last words summed it up. As the jazz drummer was being led into the operating theatre, a nurse asked him if he was allergic to anything. “Yeah,” he replied. “Country and Western music.” Yet as genres blur and prejudices fade, jazz music is casting its net wider, even as far as country. And so it is that the American guitarist John Scofield tackles a whole disc of the stuff — with rollicking results.'

Andy Robson in Jazzwise magazine allocates the album 4 stars and reminds us of the tragedy that befell John Scofield and his family. (Their son Evandied in July 2013 after a two year battle with sarcoma) : 'I cannot begin to comprehend how you deal with the death of a son. For over two years the Scofield family and friends have journeyed the earth fulfilling their son's wish to have his ashes scattered across the world. But there's something fitting that, as that global project concludes, Scofield has created a record about home, roots and country. ........ This isn't country for old men. This is a musical country for us all.'

Country For Old Men was released on the 23rd September on the Impulse! label. Click here for details.




Ten Recent Releases and Re-Issues


The Ten

Our monthly ten suggestions of other new releases or re-releases.

(Although we might link to the digital albums to sample, the recordings are usually available as audio CDs as well where you might find more details).


Joe Stilgoe Songs On Film The Sequel


1. Joe Stilgoe - Songs On Film: The Sequel - (Linn)

[Click here for details and to sample].





Neil Cowley Trio Spacebound Apes


2. Neil Cowley Trio - Spacebound Apes - (Hide Inside)

[Click here for details and to sample. Click here for review].





John Scofield Country For Old Men


3. John Scofield - Country For Old Men - (Impulse!)

[ See One From Ten article above].





Black Art Jazz Collective Side Door image


4. Black Art Jazz Collective - Presented By The Side Door Jazz Club - (Sunnyside)

[Click here for details and to sample].





Johnny Hodges Ben Webster Small Groups


5. Johnny Hodges and Ben Webster - Complete 1954-61 Small Group Studio Sessions - (Phono - 4 CDs)

[Click here for details. Click here for more details and to sample].




Joshua Redman Brad Mehldau Nearness


6. Joshua Redman and Brad Mehldau - Nearness - (Nonesuch)

[Click here for details and to sample. Click here for review. Click here to listen to Ornithology from the album].





Naima Bye


7. Naima - Bye - (Cuniform Records Rune)

[Click here for details. Click here for introduction. Click here for review].





Tubby Hayes Split Kick Sweden


8. Tubby Hayes - Split Kick: Live In Sweden 1972 - (Savage Solweig)

[Click here for details].





Allen Toussaint American Tunes


9. Allen Toussaint - American Tunes - (Nonesuch)

[Click here for details and to sample. Click here for review. Click here for video].





Hank Mobley 3 Classic albums + review image


10. Hank Mobley - Three Classic Albums Plus (Mobley's Message / 2nd Message / Jazz Message No. 2) - (Avid Jazz)

[Click here for details. Click here for more information].








Help Me Information
Long distance Information
Give me mention, then we'll see
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with apologies to Chuck Berry (click here)

Can you help?

We regularly receive requests for information about musicians, music, etc. Responses sometimes come months after we have featured the request so we have started a separate page. Please click here to see if you can help ...





Some UK Jazz Venues



It is impossible for me to include a list of all the gigs taking place during a month. I have decided to take an approach where I will list venues geographically and give you their website links so you can check what is going on in a particular area. If you would like me to include links to other venue listings, please let me know.


Dublin: JJ Smyth's, 2, Aungier Street, Dublin 2. www.jjsmyths.com

Dublin: Sugar Club, 8, Lower Leeson Street, Dublin 2. www.thesugarclub.com

Dublin: National Concert Hall, Dublin 2. www.nch.ie

Dublin: Flanagan's (Basement) Piano Bar, 61 Upper O'Connell Street, Dublin 1. www.flanagansdublin.com

Dublin: Whelan's, Wexford Street, Dublin 2. www.whelanslive.com.

Wicklow: The Hot Spot Music Club, Harbour Lodge, Bayswater Terrace, Cliff Rd, Greystones, Co. Wicklow. www.thehotspot.ie

For other regular jazz sessions in Dublin contact Ollie Dowling from Quality Music Tel: 00 353 87 2878755 or email:jazzindublin@gmail.com


Scotland: The Blue Lamp, Aberdeen, 121 Gallowgate, Aberdeen, AB25 1BU. www.thejazzbar.co.uk

Scotland: Fife Jazz Club, The Woodside Hotel, Aberdour. email: fifejazzclub@yahoo.co.uk

Scotland: The Jazz Bar, Edinburgh, 1a, Chambers Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1HR. www.thejazzbar.co.uk

Wales: Dempsey's, Cardiff, 15, Castle Street, Cardiff, CF10 1BS. www.jazzatdempseys.org.uk


Newcastle-upon-Tyne: The Jazz Cafe, 25 - 27 Pink Lane, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE1 5DW. www.jazzcafe-newcastle.co.uk

Cumbria: Kendal Jazz Club, The River Bar, Hawkshead Brewery, Stavely Mill Yard, Back Lane, Kendal, Cumbria, LA8 9LR. www.kendaljazzclub.co.uk.

Lancashire: Ribble Valley Jazz and Blues Club, The Grand Theatre, 18 York St. Clitheroe, Lancashire, BB7 2DL. www.rvjazzandblues.co.uk

Liverpool: The Capstone Theatre, Shaw Street, Liverpool, L6 1HP. www.thecapstonetheatre.com

Yorkshire: Seven Jazz, Leeds, Seven Arts, Chapel Allerton, Leeds, or Inkwell Arts, 31 Potternewton Lane Chapel Allerton, Leeds. www.sevenjazz.co.uk
(Includes: Seven Jazz Improvisation Group, Seven Jazz instrumental workshops and Seven Jazz Voices Choir).

Yorkshire: Wakefield Jazz, Wakefield (College Grove) Sports Club, Eastmoor Road, Wakefield, WF1 3RR. www.wakefieldjazz.org

Yorkshire: Jazz In The Spa, Boston Spa, Village Hall, High Street, Boston Spa. www.jazzinthespa.co.uk

South Yorkshire: Sheffield Jazz, Various venues in Sheffield. www.sheffieldjazz.org.uk

Manchester: Matt and Phred's, 64 Tib Street, Northern Quarter, Manchester M4 1LW. www.mattandphreds.com

Birmingham: Birmingham Jazz Listings www.jazzinbirmingham.co.uk

Hertfordshire: Herts Jazz Club, Welwyn Garden City, Screen2, Hawthorne Theatre, The Campus, Welwyn Garden City, AL8 6BX. www.hertsjazz.co.uk

Essex: The Electric Palace, Harwich, King's Quay. Harwich. www.electricpalace.com

Essex: North Weald, North Weald Village Hall, CM16 6BU Essex
Third Saturday of every month - 12.30 pm to 3.00 pm. Jack Free's All Star Band with Jack Free (trombone), Peter Rudeforth (trumpet), John Crocker (clarinet), Tim Huskisson (piano), Murray Salmon (bass), Martin Guy (drums).

Buckinghamshire: Amersham Jazz Club, Beaconsfield SYCOB FC HP9 2SE. www.amershamjazzclub.co.uk

Oxford: The Bullingdon, 162 Cowley Road, Oxford, OX4 1UE www.thebullingdon.co.uk

Oxford: The White Hart, 162 Cowley Road, Oxford, OX4 1UE
From 28th September 2016: Last Wednesday of each month, 8,30 to 11.00 pm, Volunatry donations
- Oxford Kitchen Jam Session

Oxford: James Street Tavern, 47-48 James St, Oxford OX4 1EU.
First Wednesday of each month, 8.45 to 11.00 pm, Free entry - The Trish Elphinstone Quintet.


London: Jazz London Live, Listings website for London and South East. www.jazzinlondon.live

London: King's Place, 90 York Way, London, N1 9AG. www.kingsplace.co.uk

London: LUME, www.lumemusic.co.uk

London: Pizza Express, Soho, 10, Dean Street, London W1. www.pizzaexpresslive.com

London: The Spice Of Life, Soho, 6, Moor Street, London W1. www.spicejazz.co.uk

London: Ronnie Scott's Club, Soho, 47 Frith Street, London W1. www.ronniescotts.co.uk  

London: The 100 Club, 100 Oxford Street, London W1D 1LL. www.the100club.co.uk (The 100 Club only occasionally stages jazz gigs these days)

London: The Forge, Camden, 3-7 Delancey Street, Camden, London NW1 7NL. www.theforgevenue.org

London: Chickenshed Theatre Jazz Bar, Southgate, Chase Side, Southgate, London N14 4PE. www.chickenshed.org.uk

London: The Vortex, 11, Gillett Street, N16 8AZ. www.vortexjazz.co.uk

London: Club Inégales, 180 North Gower Street (corner of Euston Street). www.clubinegales.com

London: Southampton Arms, Highgate Road, North London
Wednesdays, 8.00 - 10.00 pm: Dave Burman (piano) and Dave Eastham (alto / clarinet)

London: Jazz In The Round, The Cockpit, Marylebone, Gateforth Street, Marylebone, London NW8 8EH. www.thecockpit.org.uk

London: Omnibus, Old Clapham Library, 1 Clapham Common Northside, London, SW4 0QW. www.omnibus-clapham.org

London: 606 Club, 90 Lots Road, Chelsea, London SW10 0QD. www.606club.co.uk

London: The Bull's Head, Barnes, 373 Lonsdale Road, Barnes, London, SW13 9PY. www.thebullshead.com

London: Putney, The Half Moon, Putney , 93 Lower Richmond Road, Putney, SW15 1EU.
Dick Laurie's Elastic Band. The band now plays the first Sunday and third Sunday of every month.
Sunday, 2nd October and Sunday, 16th October - 1.00 pm - 4.00 pm

London: The Hideaway, Streatham, 25 Streatham High Rd, London SW16 6EN. www.hideawaylive.co.uk

London: e17 Jazz, Walthamstow, Gnome House, 7 Blackhorse Lane, Walthamstow, E17 6DS. www.e17jazz.com

London: The Jazz Nursery, St Mary Overies Dock, Cathedral Street, London SE1. www.jazznursery.com


Surrey: Harri's Jazz, Shepperton, Bagster House, Walton Lane, Shepperton, TW17 8LP. www.harrisjazz.com

Surrey: Thames Ditton, The George and Dragon, High Street, Thames Ditton, KT7 0RY.
Every Tuesday - Alan Berry (piano), Mike Durrell (bass), Don Cook (drums) plus weekly guests - 8.30 pm

Surrey: Guildford Jazz, 2 venues - Guildford and Godalming Rugby Club, Guildford Road, Godalming GU7 3DH (second Wednesday in month); Guildford Electric Theatre, Onslow Street. Guildford GU1 4SZ (Tuesday nights). www.guildfordjazz.wordpress.com

Surrey: Watermill Jazz, Dorking, Betchworth Park Golf Club, Reigate Road, Dorking RH4 1NZ. www.watermilljazz.co.uk

Surrey: The Grey Horse, Kingston-Upon-Thames, 46 Richmond Road, Kingston-Upon-Thames, KT2 5EE. www.grey-horse.co.uk

Kent: The Roffen, New Road Rochester, ME1 1DX. www.144club.co.uk

Sussex: Splash Point Jazz Club, Seaford, Splash Point Jazz Club Seaford at The View, Seaford Head Golf Club, Southdown Road, Seaford. www.splashpointmusic.com

Sussex: Brighton Jazz Club, www.brightonjazzclub.co.uk

Sussex: Splash Point Jazz Club, Brighton Marina, Splash Point Jazz Club at The Master Mariner, Inner Lagoon, Brighton Marina. www.splashpointmusic.com

Sussex: Chichester Jazz Club, Pallant Suite, 7 South Pallant, Chichester, PO19 1SY. www.chichesterjazzclub.co.uk


Gloucestershire: Cirencester, Kings Head Hotel, 24 Market Place, Cirencester GL7 2NR. www.kingshead-hotel.co.uk

Bath: Widcombe Social Club, Widcombe Hill, Bath, BA2 6AA
Jazz Times Three. 5th October; 2nd November 2016 then every 2 weeks. www.widcombesocialclub.co.uk.

Bristol: The Be-Bop Club, The Bear, Hotwell Road, Bristol, BS8 4SF. www.thebebopclub.co.uk

Somerset: Ilminster Arts Centre, The Meeting House, East Street, Ilminster, Somerset, TA19 0AN. www.themeetinghouse.org,uk

Dorset: Bridport Arts Centre, South Street, Bridport, DT6 3NR. www.bridport-arts.com

Dorset: Sound Cellar, Poole, The Blue Boar, 29 Market Close, Poole, Dorset, BH15 1NE, www.soundcellar.moonfruit.com

Cornwall: St. Ives Jazz Club, Western Hotel, Gabriel Street, St. Ives, Cornwall, TR26 2LU. www.stivesjazzclub.com




Jazz Talks: Buckinghamshire and Norwich Areas


Dr Bob Moore has contacted us saying:'I am a member of the U3A (University of the Third Age) Jazz appreciation section. I now have given four talks to them on each of the following: Louis Armstrong, US swing bands of the 40's, Modern Jazz Quartet and Stan Kenton. I should say that I am not a profession speaker but I have reasonable knowledge of the subject. Now that I have given the talks, it is most probable that they will gather dust in a cupboard  but if anyone local to me in High Wycombe is interested, I would be prepared to repeat the talk for free with possible expenses for petrol if far away.''The talks mainly simply require a good audio system plus someone to put on the CD's but the Kenton talk does included some excerpts from Youtube on the internet but these could be edited out. If I use the Internet it would require screen plus associated equipment. The talks take about 90 min and the usual format is general background on the artist or group followed by tracks from CD's.'If anyone would like to take up Bob's offer, you can email him at drbobmoore-inbiltec@supanet.com


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: royheadland@gmail.com.


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