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Although the jazz festival season started in February, it begins to gather momentum in March. There are some festivals that look bigger and better this year, testament to the fact that they are popular and proving that jazz is alive and well throughout the UK.
Check which festivals are within striking distance of where you live and perhaps try out something different this year. Click here for a list of UK Jazz Festivals and for festivals further afield.
The Venus Warriors
The rest of the band are Camilla George and Nubya Garcia (saxophones), Rosie Turton (trombone), Sara Dhillon (piano), Shirley Tetteh (guitar), Ruth Goller (bass) and Delphina James (steel pan). A debut album is planned for later in 2014.
Click here for details.
Win A CD
What do you have to do? Simply take a look at our Essential Albums page where we are building a list of suggested jazz albums that everyone should have in their collection, and send us the name of another album you think should be included and why. Click here for the Essential Albums page where we add one album a month.
If we choose your suggestion next month, we shall send you the prize CD. If your entry is not chosen this time, all is not lost, we'll simply carry your entry over and include it with the entries for the following month.
The prize CD this month is the Archie Shepp's Attica Blues Orchestra album I Hear The Sound (click here for the album review).
So, why not send us an email with your suggestion and why you think it should be included. Click here for our contact details.
Barb Jungr New Album
In 2002, the British singer Barb Jungr released the album Barb Jungr Sings Bob Dylan: Every Grain of Sand.
On the 24th March she will be releasing her new album Hard Rain which this time showcases the music of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen. It is interesting that this is the second new album to feature Leonard Cohen's work (see Who's This? item at the top of the page).
Album released: 3 February 2014 – Label: Nonesuch
Pat Metheny Unity Group
Cameron Skerrow reviews this new album for us:
Guitarist Pat Metheny has never been one to look behind, tirelessly crossing the boundaries between many different genres. His resume is something to behold - his first album Bright Size Life, recorded in 1976, featured legendary bass virtuoso Jaco Pastorius and drummer Bob Moses, and showcased both his highly original compositions and musical personality. The album has since been inducted into the “Smithsonian Jazz Anthology”, a prestigious collection comprised of some of the most defining jazz albums of the last century, and remains a cornerstone in the development of contemporary jazz guitar.
Metheny’s pace has hardly slowed since then. His main ensemble, the “Pat Metheny Group” (PMG), has achieved incredible popularity and success, including 10 Grammy Awards, whilst his solo efforts include diverse collaborations with such highly respected jazz musicians as Ornette Coleman, Dave Holland and Herbie Hancock.
This year sees the guitarist return with his latest musical offering, Kin (<->), building on the successes of his most recent outfit, the Unity Band, comprising of Antonio Sanchez (drums), Chris Potter (saxes/woodwinds) and Ben Williams (bass) and Metheny himself. This time however, the group is augmented by the addition of Italian Giulio Carmassi, an eclectic multi-instrumentalist and composer, resulting in the “Pat Metheny Unity Group”. Many hardcore PMG fans will be disappointed to see an absence of Metheny’s longtime musical collaborator and writing partner Lyle Mays, whose creative input spawned many of the Group’s most popular compositions. However, the addition of Chris Potter sees the guitarist including a tenor saxophone in his front line for the first time in over 30 years, something which will undoubtedly divide his fans throughout the world.
Kin (<->) is an intriguing album to say the least, as it very clearly references all of the guitarist’s work so far, of which there have been numerous memorable moments. Indeed, many of the members of the original Pat Metheny Group were no strangers to having to double, or triple on various other instruments to fill the vast sound world which the ensemble explored. Here, it is Carmassi alone who attempts (and largely succeeds!) in helping to create the symphonic and highly atmospheric sound which is undoubtedly the Group’s trademark. Potter’s warm and luscious sound ensures Metheny’s melodies remain strong but that is where the novelty ends.
The first track, On Day One, recalls both the handclaps of First Circle ('First Circle') and a moody bass figure akin to that of So May It Secretly Begin ('Still Life'), but there is very little new here. Sign Of The Season contains some of Metheny’s characteristically rich, dreamy chord progressions, as well as a stirring soprano solo by Potter and deft brush work by Sanchez, but is by no means groundbreaking. Adagia (as well as the majority of the tracks on this album) sounds like it could have equally been one of the outtakes from Metheny’s 1980 recording 80/81 with Michael Brecker, featuring a bold, slow melody played on acoustic guitar accompanied by cymbal rolls and textural fills, once again from Sanchez. We Go On similarly references the guitarist’s 1990s’ recording We Live Here with its inclusion of electronic loops and heavy pop-orientated backbeats, fronted by a singable melody. Genalogy is one of the stranger tracks on the album, its erratic melody and frantic drum accompaniment at once suggesting something one might expect to find on an Ornette Coleman recording (perhaps indeed, on the pair’s collaborative album ‘Song X’!), clocking in at just over half a minute. Born is a tender ballad featuring some very sensitive playing all around, but again, this is not a new concept when considering PMG’s previous albums such as ‘Letter From Home’.
Whilst this recording is by no means lacking in either energy or virtuosity - indeed, many of the improvisatory sections contain powerful displays of emotive interaction - none of these compositions seem to offer anything new to the guitarist’s catalogue. It goes without saying that both Metheny and his band are some of the finest and most creative musicians in the world today, however, one might not be mistaken for thinking this album to be a collection of outtakes assembled from the various stages of his lengthy career. Although the compositions largely remain inoffensive, one might have hoped for a greater sonic leap of faith from the guitarist and this new cohort of exceptional musicians.
Click here to sample the album.
Cameron Skerrow is a jazz guitarist at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Click here for more about Cameron.
You can now listen online to a collection of podcasts from Radio 4 ‘From Armstrong to Zappa - music documentaries from the Radio 4 archive bringing you a brand new episode each week’.
The documentaries are varied including programmes on Leonard Cohen, Folk music, Charlie Watts and Fleetwood Mac, but amongst them are occasional jazz-related topics such as The Armstrong Tapes and Great Lives – Nina Simone.
It is worth keeping an eye on the site to see what comes up in the future.
Click here for Radio 4 On Music
Our thanks to Alvin Roy for this invaluably guide as to whether you are a Real Musician:
When you realise that the cheers from the audience after a particularly difficult passage are for a sports play on the big screen TV over the bar, and that in fact, no one is listening to you.
When the gig you drove 200 miles to make a pittance, and had to pay for a hotel room, is later referred to as your "summer tour".
When your most sincere, heartfelt comments are made by people that are drunk and who won't remember you in the morning.
When someone seeks you out to complement your playing as the "best sax player they have ever heard", and you're the trumpet player.
When you realise that a small piece of equipment - such as a wireless mike you need - will take months of weekly gigs to pay for.
When you have to add money out of your pocket to find a sub, because no one will cover you beyond what you are paid.
When you are told that you must play until the very end of when you were contracted for, when your only audience is the bartender.
When the guy collecting money at the door for the band's performance makes twice over the course of the evening as you do as one of the band members.
When people who are drunk tell you that what you are doing is absolutely great and the best thing thing they have ever seen or heard, but refuse to pay more than £6 at the door.
When someone calling the cops for noise is a good thing. You get to go home early and you still get paid.
When you have, for several years, been paid the same amount for a gig, but are afraid to say anything about it for fear that you might lose the gig.
When you spend more at the bar than you get paid for the gig.
Serious Looking For Development Manager
The organisation Serious is advertising for a Development Manager (Sponsorship and Business Services).
Serious is a producer of live jazz, international and contemporary music including the London Jazz Festival. As well as their production work they also run the excellent Serious Learning and Participation year-round programme that brings professional artists and the wider community together, providing inspiration through music for everyone involved.
They say: 'The company works with major concert venues and festivals in the UK and abroad to create a programme characterised by innovative style, cultural diversity and quality. We are seeking someone with experience in sponsorship and fundraising with a proven track record of achieving financial targets in a similar/complementary fundraising environment ... As Development Manager you’ll receive a competitive salary package as well the chance to work with artists and partners from all over the world, on world-class concerts, tours and special events including the EFG London Jazz Festival, the UK’s largest annual celebration of jazz'.
The closing date for applications is 12th March. Click here for more information.
Album Ref: BSCD 039
Jackie Free's Chicagoans
Strike Up The Band
I am sure that there are people who will search the lists of new releases each month looking for a new Trad Jazz album and come away disappointed. Not this month. Recorded at the end of last year and now available on CD, Jackie Free’s Chicagoans are back with an album of Dixieland favourites in the Eddie Condon style.
This is a well-established UK band that knows about playing Trad. and the track list contains many favourites from Indiana and Memphis Blues to Beale Street Blues and It Don’t Mean a Thing.
Although the band plays well together, as they should by now, I have to single out John Crocker (clarinet and occasional tenor saxophone) and Peter Rudeforth (trumpet and flugelhorn) who play some fine solos on this album, and Tim Huskisson who has a nice light touch on piano. Jackie Free made the recording a week before he went into hospital and so understandably he holds back more than usual on trombone, but make no mistake, his is an essential contribution to the band and he gives us well-judged solo on Basin Street Blues. Martin Guy on drums and Murray Salmon on double bass provide a reliable foundation for the music.
I think the album is more satisfying on the traditional numbers that are included in the fifteen tracks on the album. Of the others, It’s A Long Way To Tipperary does not really work for me. Strike Up The Band provides a good album title, but Pete Rudeforth’s flugelhorn solo on Misty I like a lot.
An interesting inclusion is Freddy Randall’s Lea Bridge Stomp, and for those who remember Freddy and Cook’s Ferry Inn in the Lea Valley will probably have their memory vaults tickled. The track is a tribute to Freddy Randall in whose band Jack Free played in the 1960s.
The other tracks are Someday Sweetheart, Swing That Music, You Took Advantage Of Me, Basin Street Blues, I Dreamt I Dwelt In Marble Halls, and Up A Lazy River. Jackie Free provides vocals on a couple of the tracks and I found myself wondering whether the spirit of Ottilie Patterson has descended on a young singer somewhere who could audition for the band?
This is one album you will not be able to buy online, but for £10 you can get it direct from Jack Free at 34, Rahn Road, Epping, Essex, CM16 4JB (Tel: 01992 573667).
For a taste of the music, listen to Jackass Blues from the album on our Catwalk page (click here).
Click here for more about Jackie Free.
Jazzwise magazine in association with Master Travel is organising a music tour to Norway from 3rd - 8th July with the option of extending the tour to Denmark.
The Nordic Sounds tour will include a visit to the Kongsberg Jazz Festival and a trip to the Norwegian Fjords. 'From Oslo to Bergen you will discover the stunning views and crystal-clear waters of this beautiful country, as you venture into some of the most scenic landscapes'.
Highlights of the tour include: Cruising along the wild and beautiful mountain scenery of Norwegian Fjords, The Kongsberg Jazz Festival, a visit to the wooden stavkirke of Fantoft, exploring the capital city Oslo and cosy Nordic towns, the opportunity to understand the culture and explore the delights of this very special country and an optional extension to Denmark and Aarhus Jazz Festival.
Accompanying you throughout the visit to Norway will be Charles Alexander, a musician who plays and teaches guitar, but also is a broadcaster, publisher, jazz historian, author and founder of the Jazzwise magazine. The package price is £2,895.00 although special offers and discounts are available. Click here for more information.
I should like to thank Steve Day, Vic Arnold and Carew Reynell who are now helping with our monthly reviews of new albums and to Cameron Skerrow too for his occasional help. What is nice is that each of them have different styles of writing which adds valuable variety to the articles on this page.
New albums usually come with publicity information that gives details about the band and the backgound to the recording. What we are grateful for are reviewers who have an open mind to listen to the tracks and write a description of what they hear - not necessarily a technical description, or whether the album is 'good' or 'bad' - different people like different things, but of course, if you they like it, they say so and say why.
I am usually able to link reviews of new albums to samples of tracks online so that people can then get a taste of the album when they read the review.
If you would be interested in reviewing an album, please contact me and let me know if you have a particular jazz interest.
It rolls off the tongue. Purrrr-rfidia. We know it as a happy, Latin standard, but what does it mean? Was she a sultry Italian femme fatale? Perhaps. Is it an island off Sicily? Nope. I’ll tell you. Perfidia is a Latin word, but is also a Spanish word with the same meaning.The clue is in the word ‘perfidious’ - which means treacherous, untrustworthy, deceitful ... just right for a 'My woman done me wrong' type of number.
Did you know that England is seen as 'perfidious'? How can that be when Englishmen are 'perfect gentlemen' and ladies are 'ladies'? England has had the label since way back in the 13th century. ‘Perfidious Albion’ we were called. At the time of the French Revolution, many in Great Britain looked on the Revolution with mild favour and then we were seen as ‘perfidious’ by the revolutionaries when we allied ourself with other monarchies against France. "La perfide Albion" became a stock expression in France in the 19th century and it was used by French journalists whenever there were tensions between France and Britain. More recently, the term was used in 2008 by US Vice President Dick Cheney about a meeting between then Foreign Secretary David Miliband and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Thank goodness our politics today are no longer ‘perfidious’.
So we know what to expect from the song. The original was written with Spanish lyrics by Alberto Dominguez, a Mexican composer and arranger, and it was published in 1939 when it became a hit for Xavier Cugat and his Hotel Waldorf-Astoria Orchestra. Dominguez also wrote the song Frenesi. Click here to listen to Xav and his boys playing the number – I expect you to have a private mambo around the room if no-one is looking.
To you my heart cries out “Perfidia”
For I found you, the love of my life
In somebody else’s arms
There is a great 7 minute video mini-documentary made in 2008 in which Laura Sutnick takes a look at the origins of Perfidia and its performance by the sultry Sara Montiel - click here. As one commentator says : ‘Damn, I was enjoying that, I wanted it to go on forever’.
Your eyes are echoing “Perfidia”
Forgetful of our promise of love
You’re sharing another’s charms
Perfidia was picked up soon after its publication in 1939, not just by Xavier Cugat, but in the Gloria Swanson movie Father Takes A Wife where it was sung in Spanish by Desi Arnaz. The English lyrics were added by Milton Leeds. Strangely, we can find little information about Milton except for the suggestion that he was American and lived from 1909 to 2005, and that he was also involved in writing English lyrics to the song Misirlou.
In Father Takes A Wife, Frederick Osborne Jr is uncomfortable that his father, Senior (Adolphe Menjou), the president of a huge merchantile fleet, is acting strangely. Senior lets it be known that he is going to marry Leslie Collier (Gloria Swanson), a famous stage star. Junior and his wife Enid are horrified. Shortly after their marriage, Senior and Leslie are already arguing as they head for their sea voyage honeymoon. On ship, they discover Carlos (Desi Arnaz), a stowaway, and Leslie invites him to stay with them when they return to New York. Leslie intends sponsoring Carlos’s career, but that leads to more trouble. Junior and Senior take over the sponsorship to save the situation – on condition Carlos's career is established as far away as possible!
Click here for a video of the scene on the voyage where Carlos has been discovered by Leslie and Senior and he sings Perfidia.
With a sad lament, my dreams
Have faded like a broken melody
While the Gods of love look down and laugh
At what romantic fools we mortals be
Glenn Miller and his Orchestra quickly picked up the tune and recorded it in February 1941. The vocals on this occasion are by Dorothy Claire and the Modernaires. Click here.
And now I know my love was not for you
And so I’ll take it back with a sigh
Perfidious one, goodbye
Moving on, I particularly like this video where Ibrahim Ferrer sings Perfidia in Spanish and there is some nice piano playing from Roberto Fonseca. The band also features Orlando 'Cachaito' Lopez and Manuel Galban. The track can be found on Ferrer’s third and last album Mi Sueno. Ibrahim Ferrer was, of course, a member of the Buena Vista Social Club. He died in 2005. Click here.
With a sad lament, my dreams
Have faded like a broken melody
While the Gods of love look down and laugh
At what romantic fools we mortals be
There are, of course, many ‘easy listening’ versions of Perfidia, but let's sign off with the Dave Brubeck Trio playing Perfidia from The Masterpieces (Songs Remastered) album. Click here.
And now I know my love was not for you
And so I’ll take it back with a sigh
Perfidious one, goodbye
Kathy Sanders was once married to drummer and London jazz club owner Sandy Sanders . Now retired, living in Devon and better known as Kate, she is a member of the Exeter Jazz and Blues Society. Here she looks back at those early days when she discovered jazz:
I was working at the Foreign Office in 1952 / 1953 when George Shearing's Lullaby Of Birdland was in the pop charts. Hearing me whistling this classic, a colleague, Tony McMahon, said: 'What's this, a girl who likes jazz. Would you like to come to Humph's with me tonight?' Not admitting that I had never heard of jazz or Humph, I said 'Yes please' - as is my wont.
Subsequent visits to Cy's, Ken's, Cook's Ferry Inn, the Fishmonger's Arms at Wood Green and Soho clubs; evenings spent absorbing the music of Alex Welsh, Freddy Randall, Sandy Brown, Mick Mulligan, Monty Sunshine, Bill Brunskill et al, led to a lifelong commitment to live jazz, and to being part of a great friendship network of musicians, wives and fans, comparable to being Jewish or a Mason.
I was taken to Sandy's Barn at 44 Gerrard Street, Soho, first by good friends of mine, Bernie Newlands and Reg Woolley. Sandy Sanders, who ran the club, approached me in the Blue Posts at the rear of Humph's Club at 100 Oxford Street. Skilfully detaching me from the trombone player I was with, he invited me to an all-night party. 'I've got a car,' he said. We became engaged and waited all of two months to be officially married, to give my family time to get used to the shock of a long-haired, bearded, duffle-coated, under-nourished, penniless alien-in-law, of a type never seen in the little South Devon village of Harberton before (and rarely since). I think they had a hard time holding their heads up after that.
We'd been flat-hunting with the Bruce Turners, but deciding not to share, we took one-room accommodation in a converted warehouse in Robert Street, Euston. Though there was no bathroom and only one toilet, there were enough musicians living there to field a couple of bands. They included Stan Greig, Derek Warne, Dave Tomlin, and most of the Bonzo Dog Doodah Band, who were sleeping on old settees in the entrance shed, where one side was open to the yard and the sky. My first child was called Margie after the Bix Beiderbecke number. I refused to call my lovely baby girl 'Bix'. Whilst pregnant I sometimes took my afternoon sleep with a full-band rehearsal going on around me in that tiny room.
I bought Sandy his first drum kit. He said he thought I was rich because of my monthly pay, my posh accent and the large amount of coat hangers I had.
In the 1960s we lived in a council house, midway between Plaistow and West Ham tube stations. There was a lot of pub jazz in the East End then and many musicians looking for somewhere to sleep. Many kipped on our floor, most staying only one night, but some dug themselves in. The longest stayer was Mac White, later of the Temperence Seven and the Pasadena Roof Orchestra, who came for a couple of days and stayed nearly three years. He was no trouble and kept my baby amused by playing the clarinet for him for hours on end. It's funny, the child became a drummer!
One pest was a clarinet player who always peed in the garden, saying he didn't want to wake me by using the loo. After several weeks of this, with my Michaelmas daisies being permanently spotted yellow, I locked him out. He kicked up a racket outside, throwing lumps of earth at the window, until I got up and told him he was barred. He wailed: 'But I've got Johnny Duncan of the Blue Grass Boys here.' I replied that I didn't care if it was J.C. himself, I wanted blue grass even less than spotted daisies!
I could usually guess how many musicians were sleeping in the living room by the level at which the smell of bad socks gripped my throat as I came downstairs on Sunday morning. I often used to wash (by hand then) shirts for an entire band, or even two bands. My elder girl was very useful, she would tell me who was the owner of each shirt after they had been ironed, by sniffing the under-arms.
To be continued next month .......
The idea behind this item is to offer a 'taste' of a musician, singer or band that you might not have come across before. This month, we spend time with ......
I like Emilia Mårtensson's voice. No, I can't really tell you why, it is one of those personal things like loving cinnamon or Earl Grey tea and steering clear of Marmite. Perhaps it is the feeling that she conveys when she sings.
She released And So It Goes, an album with pianist Barry Green and guests in 2012 and it caught my attention then. Now she has a new album, Ana, coming out in April on the Babel label. We are fortunate that we can have a taste of what is to come through two videos. Ana is named after Emilia's grandmother. Barry Green is once again the pianist.
The first is a 12 minute 'behind the scenes' video looking at the making of the album in which Emilia and others talk about the music and you get a taste of the content (click here). It is a good video in that you also get to know something of Emilia. The second video accompanies the track Harvest Moon from the album (click here).
Emilia moved from her home in Sweden in 2000 to study music at Trinity College in London and graduated in 2007. Now based in London, she is a recognised presence on the jazz scene but her music still reflects the Swedish folk songs of her home.
We look forward to reviewing Ana next month, but on the strength of this taster, it is sounding good.
Ana is launched on 4th March at the Pizza Express Jazz Club in London.
Child prodigies always intrigue and amaze us, whether they are musicians, painters, mathematicians or any other skill that a child has no right to have mastered. With music, there is a danger that we don't see past the incongruity and appreciate the music. Because the experience is unexpected, we can endow the player with more ability than perhaps they deserve.
In this video, pointed out to us by Alvin Roy, you can close your eyes and still appreciate the playing. Then open your eyes and be amazed. Don't believe me? Click here and close your eyes. What is particularly interesting is that a ten-year-old can convey that degreee of sensitivity and musical dexterity and skill.
The 14 minute video shows us the talents of Joey Alexander playing Thelonious Monk's Round Midnight, Chick Corea's Armando Rumba, and John Coltrane's Giant Steps.
Joey is from Jakarta, Indonesia. He started playing piano at seven and in 2011, when he was eight, he was invited by Unesco to play for Herbie Hancock when Herbie visited Jakarta. Over the past two years he has been playing in Eastern Europe and Asia. He performed at the JakJazz Festival in Jakarta in 2012, and in 2013 he not only played at the World Youth Jazz Festival in Malaysia, but won the Grand Prix award when he represented Indonesia at the First Contest of Jazz Improvisation in the Ukraine.
Click here for more information and you will find more footage of his playing on YouTube.
Thank you to those people who have liked our Facebook page and who have commented on posts. I hope that you have found the occasional items there of interest. Using Facebook gives us a chance to share information that arrives between issues of What's New Magazine. If you do visit our Facebook page, please Like us and Share us with your friends. For Facebook -
Pee Wee Russell in 1964
Artist and Caricaturist Jimmy Thomson sends us this interesting photograph of American clarinettist Pee Wee Russell. Jimmy says: 'This was taken in Manchester in October 1964 when Pee Wee played at the Sports Guild. Pee (second left) is pictured with Doug Dobell, George Ellis and G E Lambert (both jazz writers at that time). I knew Doug Dobell quite well as I drew his Christmas cards for a number of years, and John Kendall. I met Jeff Atterton at 77 Charing Cross Road. It was he who introduced me to Pee Wee through one of my caricatures. That led me to a ten-year exchange of letters with Pee Wee, and Jeff got my drawing of Condon into The Eddie Condon Scrapbook of Jazz. Jack Hutton was also at the Pee Wee gig in Manchester - and Steve Voce. All misty history now'.
Doug Dobell was, of course, the owner of Dobell's, the famous London record shop. George Ellis wrote for Jazz Beat (Jazz News) amongst other publications. G E Lambert was an author as well as a jazz critic and his Kings of Jazz books are available as free downloads Kings of Jazz : Johnny Dodds (click here); Kings of Jazz : Duke Ellington (click here).
Do you have a photograph that triggers a jazz memory for you? Perhaps it would trigger memories for other people too? We'd like to hear from you and the photo doesn't need to be a work of art as long as you can make out the detail. You could either email a JPEG copy of the photo to us or if you would prefer, post it to us and we could copy it, and send the original back to you. (Click here for our contact details).
Have you checked out our page of Photographic Memories? There is now quite a collection that are well worth a look. Click here
Which jazz albums make up a collection of classics? We shall suggest an album each month and gradually build up a list - in no particular order. Do you have these? Do you agree they should be included?
This month's essential album is by Sarah Vaughan, 'Sassy' or 'The Divine One':
What do people say of this album?:
‘This 2003 release of Vaughan's December, 1954, album (previously released in 1991 as "Sarah Vaughan with Clifford Brown") is one of her most brilliant collaborations and a fine memorial to the work of Brown, who died eighteen months after recording this, at age twenty-six. With Brown on trumpet, Paul Quinichette on tenor sax, Jimmy Jones on piano, Roy Haynes on drums, and Herbie Mann on jazz flute, the album is a sophisticated partnership among musicians, all of whom are thinking of the whole sound and the whole effect, rather than their own star turns. The mood varies from light to poignantly tender, the tempo is usually slow, and the volume is kept low, highlighting the creativity of each performer's variations while remaining true.’
‘From the very opening bars of Lullaby of Birdland, the sweet interplay of Vaughan's velvet voice and Brownie's mellifluous trumpet make this recording truly wonderful. Brownie took a break from the illustrious Max Roach Quintet to play with Vaughan and a band put together for the date. It exudes the aura of great occasions - collective confidence, fluid ideas and the chemistry of a fresh association.’
There is another 'teaser' video out for the new album to be released by the Neil Cowley Trio in June.
Touch And Flee, to be released on Naim Records on June 9th, is described as marking: 'a defining moment in the evolution of the band. It is the trio’s bravest, most daring album to date, spotlighting the ever- increasing brilliance of Cowley as a composer. With long time band mates, Evan Jenkins on drums and Rex Horan on bass, Neil Cowley Trio jump headlong into new territory to present what they describe as “our concert hall record” for an altogether deeper listening journey. Gone are the familiar hook laden tunes and pounding crescendos, replaced, in the main, by shifting, expansive melodies and longer elegant passages'.
'What is familiar though is Cowley’s power to move through music. Exquisitely graceful movements meet with dark haunting passages. And although this is a new direction for Neil Cowley Trio, their personality, and unmistakable sound, still shines through. Iin the epic, sweeping, Kneel Down there is a three movement piece containing pulse, power, climax, spaciousness, and then, gentle surprise'.
Tickets for their only London show of 2014 at the Barbican on October 3rd are now on sale - click here to book. More autumn dates are expected to be announced soon.
We wait and see, but in the meanwhile, click here for the teaser video.
Album Released: - November 2013 Label: - Lowland Records
Tim Kliphuis Trio
The Grappelli Album
Terence Blanchard Opera Project
Trumpeter Terence Blanchard is trying to raise funds for a live recording of his very first opera, Champion: An Opera in Jazz.
He says: 'The opera tells the true, life story of boxing champion Emile Griffith who searches for redemption after killing his opponent in the ring and denying his true sexuality. As some of you may know, the opera premiered at Opera Theatre St. Louis in June 2013 to rave reviews from critics and audiences alike. Most recently, the opera has been nominated for a number of prestigious awards, namely the 2014 International Opera Awards for best ‘World Premiere!’ Due to the mass acclaim and requests by other opera companies to present Champion, the obvious next step is to record Champion with the original cast'.
'This is where you guys come in! I am asking for your help in making the recording session become a reality. This recording is integral to the preservation and dissemination of this groundbreaking work, the first to combine jazz and opera since George Gershwin's Porgy & Bess. In exchange for your contributions, I am offering a number of great perks, like copies of the Champion album, Terence Blanchard t-shirts, VIP concert tickets in various cities, and even a chance to take a private trumpet lesson with me! Want to help but can’t contribute? No problem! Sharing the campaign with friends and family and on social media is vital to broadening Champion's impact. Additionally, I will be relying on your feedback throughout this process to ensure the final product is the best it can possibly be'.
If you are interested in learning more, visit Terence Blanchard’s Champion: An Opera in Jazz Sound Recording at igg.me/at/ChampionRecording (click here), to contribute, or to spread word about the campaign.
Guildford Jazz Three Years Anniversary
Guildford Jazz began back in 1982, but three years ago, local bass player Marianne Windham became involved. She says: 'Three years ago I walked into a room with a small stage, a vaulted ceiling, a PA system, stage lighting, a bar, and a landlord who wanted to put on some jazz, and I knew I’d found the perfect place. Three months later, with some tables, chairs, candles, an enthusiastic audience, some exceptional musicians, and a flurry of hard work, the Jazz @ The Cavern club was born'.
'It’s an unlikely venue in many ways: despite its name, the function room lies above a pub between the historic towns of Guildford and Godalming in Surrey. But the club has quietly flourished, and since our first gig with Mark Nightingale in March 2011, over 70 musicians have created a jazz haven that has been enjoyed by nearly 2000 people and which has helped put Guildford onto the UK jazz circuit map'.
'It hasn’t all been plain sailing, of course. Setting up a club from scratch was rather daunting, and running a jazz club is not the easiest undertaking! I am hugely indebted to all the musicians who have given of their time and talents with such generosity and also the new Freeholder’s landlords, Dave and Yvette, who have embraced the jazz nights with such enthusiasm.'
Jazz @ The Cavern is currently based at The Freeholder’s in Farncombe, Surrey, and has also started a second very successful jazz night at the Electric Theatre in the centre of Guildford, with both venues priding themselves on excellent acoustics and an intimate and welcoming environment. Guildford Jazz point out that they are dedicated to bringing performances by some of the country’s top jazz musicians to a local audience, in an intimate and welcoming environment. Both venues stage a monthly fixture. In addition, Guildford Jazz regularly provides performance opportunities for younger people studying music and runs improvisation workshops for local musicians.
Marianne says: 'There have been some memorable personal highlights this last year – an unforgettable gig in the spring from Guildford’s own Iain Ballamy, Martin France and Gareth Williams, the summer success of our first “Jazz Showcase” event for students, Alan Barnes and Bruce Adams playing a charity gig in the autumn to a full house in Guildford’s beautiful and historic Guildhall, the enthusiasm of both tutors and students at the pre-gig workshops throughout the year, and most recently the utterly joyous atmosphere at the Latin Jazz Night in December with Dave O’Higgins and Gareth Lockrane'.
For their Anniversary gig in March, British jazz trumpeter Steve Waterman will be celebrating the music of Benny Golson, joined by exciting contemporary jazz pianist John Donaldson and Spike Wells on drums. Pre-gig workshops from guests at the Cavern are open to all instrumentalists and this season will be based on the music of the composer of the month.
Wednesday, March 12th - Steve Waterman Plays Benny Golson - The Freeholder’s, St John’s St, Farncombe, GU7 3EJ
Doors 8pm, Music from 8.30pm. Tickets £10 in advance from www.guildfordjazz.org.uk
or Guildford Tourist Information Centre on 01483 444334
Oxfordshire Jazz Federation Concert - Sunday 23rd March
As far as we can find out, it appears that there will be no Oxford Jazz Festival this year, but the Oxford Jazz Federation will be staging their fourth Annual Charity Concert at the Exeter Hall, Oxford Road, Kidlington, OX5 1AB on Sunday 23rd March. Doors open at 7 pm and the concert starts at 7.30 pm.
This year's concert is on behalf of the Multiple Sclerosis Society and the tickets are £7 on the door. Among the musicians appearing are "Guitar Summit" with Jez Cook, Kevin Armstrong, Terry Hutchins, Steve Smith and Charlie Stratford. The two pianos of Martin Pickett and Rory McInroy and Alvin Roy's Reeds Unlimited with Alex Hawkins, Raph Misraki, Ben Twyford, Mike Wills and special guest, top saxophonist, Alan Barnes.
The Federation says: 'The past concerts have been very successful and have raised plenty of money for the various chosen charities, so we want this year's concert to be equally successful and hope that you will attend, whilst also telling your fellow jazz fans to come and enjoy a great evening of jazz from some of the leading jazz musicians in Oxfordshire'.
Album Released: February 2014 - Label: 144 Records
Jon Turner at Broad Street Jazz specialist record shop in Bath selects an album for special mention from his list of new and reissued recordings for February below.
Jon says: 'Jimmy Deuchar was a good hard bop trumpet player, an unsung hero who was rather in the shadow of other musicians he played with such as Tubby Hayes, Stan Tracey and Tony Crombie. This is a great album that collects together his recordings from the once famous UK Tempo record label'.
Acrobat, who are releasing this album on their label, say:
'Trumpeter Jimmy Deuchar – known as The London Scotsman – was the ultimate “musician’s musician”. A central figure in British jazz circles since making his debut in the original Johnny Dankworth Seven in the early 1950s, his playing, composing and arranging enlivened the bands of Tony Crombie, Ronnie Scott and Tubby Hayes over the ensuing decade, but it was his series of recordings he made for the fabled Tempo label between 1955 and 1958 that contained his best work'.
'Collected here in their entirety, they form an impressive body of jazz, ranging from cleverly constructed original themes to personal adaptations of compositions by Miles Davis, Bud Powell, Horace Silver and Sonny Stitt, together with an intriguing take on the music of Rodgers and Hart. Originally released in scattered form on rare EPs, 10” LPs and multi-artist anthologies, Deuchar’s sessions also boast the cream of British modern jazz during the late 1950s, including Tony Crombie, Victor Feldman, Tubby Hayes, Derek Humble, Phil Seamen, Terry Shannon, Harry South, Stan Tracey and Ken Wray. This two-CD set comes complete with a detailed booklet essay by noted saxophonist and writer Simon Spillett and is a must for all fans of the Golden Age of British Jazz'.
I don’t know why Jimmy Deuchar’s work has not been more widely available and more lovingly embraced as I find it engaging and satisfying. Watch this video from a Jazz 625 broadcast in 1965 with Jimmy Deuchar and Tubby Hayes playing Suddenly Last Tuesday (click here).
I think we might return and spend more time looking at Jimmy and his music in a future edition, so if you have any thoughts or memories of him, please contact us.
Broad Street Jazz has the 2 CD set at £9.99 plus postage. (Click here).
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:
Marion Williams (Marie Power) - (see article above) - In 2012, David Van De Gevel wrote from Greece asking if anyone could help with information about Marion Williams who once sang with John Dankworth (click here for Information page). Cathy Pound, Ben Wallis and Paul Francis (Marie's son, have contacted us to say on 13 February 2014 to say: 'Sad news that Marie Power (formerly Marion Williams) has passed away today (13th February) at the Royal Free cardiac care unit, Hampstead, London. Marion Williams was her name when she was a performer. London born in 1931 to an Irish mother and Nigerian father, she had high profile already by age 18, and in her 20's was with Johnny Dankworth before Cleo Laine. I believe along with other bands she reverted to her maiden or married name later in life when we knew her in Camden. She left the scene I think younger than she needed to and worked with Virgin finance department until her retirement'
Professor Alexander Cullen, an electrical engineer, who made important contributions in the field of microwave research was also an accomplished jazz musician and in later life took up the vibraphone. He formed a schoolboy jazz band with the future television presenter Steve Race and during his spare moments from work he played the drums in a semi-professional jazz band. At the age of 89 he took up the vibraphone and taught himself to play. He also wrote a series of songs, some of which his son David arranged to be recorded by the Radio Big Band.
Album First Released: 2012 - Label: Labirinti Sonori Records
More memories have been triggered by our page on the Dancing Slipper (click here).
Ken Milner writes:
I have just been reading about the Dancing Slipper. I was the DJ there in the 70s as King Ken along with my friend Melody Mike!
Brings back memories :) I can remember in the day time it was the Ivy Brooks Dance School, I didn't have much to do with the Jazz nights (sorry not my scene) but did enjoy Kenny Ball and his Jazzmen, I used to work mostly Friday nights if I remember and played Motown Charts etc.
DJ names to conjure with!
Dan Lucken adds to our collection of memories of Wood Green Jazz Club at the Fishmonger's Arms (click here):
I often recall my Sunday evenings, in the mid 50s, spent at Wood Green Jazz Club. They started me on a lifetime enjoyment of Trad Jazz.
I was a very good friend of one of your earlier contributors, Pat Millard, or Pat Heaton as she was then known. After dancing all evening, we would travel home on the 233 bus to Park Lane, Tottenham, where we both lived. We were recruited as extras for the dance scenes in “Mama Don’t Allow” which was filmed on a Saturday morning in the hall (click here to see the video). There was no live band - the music played was pre-recorded. So the film must have been put together in the Edit room, where they seem to have “Lost” my contribution. We were paid, well, I was, £2 cash - a lot of money then, plus a free lunch in the pub.
By late 1956 National Service training loomed. After a weekend leave, I would visit the club in my baggy new Army uniform, the lovely Art would enquire how I was getting on, and of course let me in free, as he did with all servicemen in uniform, I don’t remember him ever giving me “half a crown”. At closing time,10 p.m., I would dash down the hill to Wood Green station, tube to Waterloo station, dodge the Redcaps checking passes, catch the train to Salisbury, then cadge a lift 30 miles to sneak into Blandford camp, where I would manage a couple of hours in my bunk before 6am roll-call parade Monday morning. It all came to an end in January 1957, when I was posted overseas to fight one of Her Majesty's colonial wars, very popular at the time, not to return to UK for nearly two years. These days, in the wrong half of my 70s, I get my kicks playing banjo, weekly, on a Wednesday afternoon, here in Hertfordshire, with a Trad Jazz Band, made up of old aged pensioner Jazz Legends
This all brings back fond memories of those wonderful days of youth, when all the girls noticed you and your knees were never hurting.
Pete Batten recalls:
I have one story which may interest Sandy Brown fans. One evening early in September 1958 I was in the Blue Posts at the rear of 100 Oxford St. I bumped into Sandy, whom I knew slightly. We had friends in common and I had also played on the same jazz club bill as his band on one or two occasions. I told him I was feeling fed up because I wanted to apply for a new job, but did not have any decent references because I was only a year out of University. He asked me to give him my address and promised to write me a reference. 2 or 3 days later I got a note from Sandy plus a short but glowing reference typed on the notepaper of his architectural firm. I got the job and began a successful career in Adult Education. Just one example of Sandy – a great musician and a wonderful human being.
In the early days of the Sandy Brown Band, Bob Craig, he of the majestic moustache, played trombone. We have received the following request from Alan Dowie, but we have not been able to help him. It may be that Robert Craig is a fairly common name, but just in case, we raise the query here. Alan says:
'I have just read an article on the sandybrownjazz website about Bob Craig, a jazz musician from Edinburgh. The reason I came across this was that I was searching for a Robert Craig who painted a picture of Edinburgh signed 1968 and lived at 44 Vandeleur Avenue, Edinburgh. This seems to be the same person'.
'Do you know if he was an amateur painter? The picture is signed. It was framed by John Mathieson and Co., 20 Frederick Street, Edinburgh who were highly reputable picture restorers and framers in the New Town in Edinburgh.'
[Click here for our profile of Bob Craig].
Last month, prompted by a message from Ian Boyter, we have been trying to find out something about American saxophonist Sammy Lee who came over to Scotland some years ago and recorded with the Spirits of Rhythm band.
It is intriguing that we have only been able to find out a small amount of information about him. Born on February 11th, 1911, in Napoleanville, Louisiana, his family moved the 70 miles to New Orleans where at nine, Sammy started playing violin with his uncle, Dave Ross, a blind street guitar player. At fifteen, his teachers at the local music school bought Sammy a saxophone and he was soon playing with the orchestra at the jitney dance hall.
Before long, he was playing alongside bands that included those of Papa Celestin and Henry Allen, Sr, and by the 1930s he had joined Cap'n John Handy's Louisiana Shakers.
He formed his own trio, the Sammy Lee Footwarmers and then journeyed to Los Angeles in the 1950s where he performed frequently with Barney Bigard, Johnny St Cyr, Ed Garland and others.
A very religious man, he was very active in his community trying to interest young people in music and church activities and away from drugs, gangs and crime.
Dave Paxton with Sammy Lee, the Fireman’s Club, Edinburgh, 1982.
© Photograph courtesy of Jeanette Paxton
Ian Boyter says: 'One of the highlights of my music life was recording with Sammy Lee as part of Violet Milne’s ‘Spirits of Rhythm’ in Edinburgh. He was certainly a huge personality who lit up the room. The ladies loved him, and I learned a lot about exuberant sax playing while making the recording with him'.
Sammy Lee recorded about 12 tracks with the Spirits of Rhythm and Ian Boyter will see if he can share them on YouTube.
Please let us know if you remember Sammy Lee. Click here to read a little more about Sammy Lee.
Roland Ashpool writes:
I have been reading John Codd’s blog about the Dave Carey Band and the Wood Green Jazz Club with great interest. I used to buy my books, records and reeds from Dave's jazz shop in Streatham SW16. I also worked with Tony Gibbons in London in the print industry for about 10 years he then married and moved to Thames Ditton we kept in touch for many years, but then he dropped off the radar and I could not catch up with him again. I would appreciate any news of him.
If anyone is able to give any news of Tony Gibbons please contact us.
Last month, Alan Bond wrote saying:
I was transferring some of my stuff from cassette to CD and I came across one side by the above band which I think I recorded from one of Humprey Lyttelton's 'Best of Jazz' shows. According to Tom Lord's TJD online the personnel is :-
Bobby Pratt, Bert Courtley, Derrick Abbott, Les Condon (trumpets) Keith Christie, Gib Wallace, Bobby Lamb, Bill Geldard (trombones) Johnny Scott (alto sax) Tommy Whittle, Eddie Mordue, Bobby Wellins (ten sax) Ronnie Ross (baritone sax) Tommy Watt (piano) Malcolm Cecil (string bass) Bobby Orr (drums).
Most of the names are familiar but I have never heard of Gib Wallace, Bobby Lamb, Bill Geldard or Eddie Mordue before and I wondered if anyone had come across any information on any of these guys. By coincidence, I was at a session with Geoff Nichols' 'Good Vibes' band in Minehead recently and I was chatting to a chap who told me that Derrick Abbott was a cousin of his but he hadn't seen him for at least forty years. It's amazing how these people come out of the woodwork - must be something about Jazz.
This one side I have by the '42' is C Jam Blues and is one of four issued on Columbia 45 rpm singles, of all things (Columbia DB 7050 & DB 7275). They were recorded in the spring of 1963 but don't appear to have been re-issued at all. Any information on the band or any re-issues would be appreciated.
Tony Middleton replies:
Centre 42 band played at the Centre 42 in London. Gib Wallace (Canadian? ex. Dankworth); Bob Lamb (ex. Parnell; Heath; Trinity Big Band; Lamb/Premru Orchestra). Bill Geldard (ex. Rabin; Dankworth; Heath), Eddie Mordue (ex. Winstone - married Julie Dawn); Kenny Grahame.
Information continues to come in following a request from Rich Millett in America about his late brother, clarinettist Neil Millett.
Pete Batten adds to the information:
About August 1973, I did an audition for a band that played every Sunday lunchtime at the Half Moon at Putney. The leader was a banjo player, John Green. His regular trumpet player, Daze Allen, was taking time off to cope with a bereavement – I think it was his mother. I got the job and soon met Neil Millett, who was a regular member of the band. At that time the band played in the front bar. The band became very popular and in January 1974 the session moved to the large hall at the rear of the pub. Daze Allen returned but John Green asked me to stay on. I was to play most of the lead trumpet while Daze would contribute solos and sing. It soon became obvious that his singing was a very important factor in the band’s growing popularity.
Neil made a very important contribution on clarinet and baritone. He also brought along Geoff Cole to take over on trombone. At that time they were both members of the Georgia Jazz Band, which had a residency at the Grey Horse in Kingston. John Green then decided to further enlarge the band by adding another clarinet/sax player and asked Neil to play mainly baritone. The band quickly became very popular and began to pack the hall every Sunday. To my surprise about May or June 1974 Neil announced that he was moving to Bournemouth. I am not sure, but I think he had been offered a good job. Although he was not a close friend, I did enjoy his company and his playing. The band at this time was called “John Green and his Snap Syncopators”. In 1981 it became “The New Dixie Syncopators”; it finally broke up in 1987. Geoff Cole was a leading member of the band until about 1982, when his other band commitments became too many. His playing and singing were an important part of the band’s success.
Help Me Information
with apologies to Chuck Berry (click here)
Can you help?
We regularly receive requests for information about musicians, music, etc. Responses sometimes come months after we have featured the request so we have started a separate page. Please click here to see if you can help ...
This year's Liverpool Festival takes place from 27th February to 2nd March with most events centering around the Capstone Theatre in Shaw Street.
The programme is exciting with performances from Jason Rebello, The Impossible Gentlemen, Unfurl, Blue Touch Paper, Stuart McCallum Trio, Get The Blessing, The Weave, Jamil Sherrif, HSQ and ACV.
Click here for details.
With support from the supermarket Waitrose as headline sponsor, Sodbury Jazz festival has a more extensive programme this year that will also include Blues. Co-organiser Mark Lloyd commented “What began as little more than a one-day event has grown to cover four days. The support from Waitrose has been a great boost to this year’s event and underlines the importance of the Festival to the town”. “Our aim is to bring top artistes to the town because it costs so much to attend a concert in Bristol or Bath”, says Stuart Hobday, one of the organisers. “We intend to continue to bring the highest standard of musicians that we can to play in Chipping Sodbury”
The programme of music kicks off on Thursday 5th June and includes music from the Eddie Martin Trio, Sinead McCabe with New Orleans Update, Zoot Money, Papa George, Chris Farlowe and the Norman Beaker band, and Sunday sees a special service to be held at St. John The Baptist Church. Here a combined choir drawn from local churches will be performing ‘A Little Jazz Mass’ written by Bob Chilcott.
Chipping Sodbury Jazz & Blues Festival takes place on 5th to 8th June. Click here for the full programme and other details.
Some March Gigs
London City Big Band
Thursday, 20th March 2014 - at the Spice of Life at 7.30 pm with music at 8.00 pm - £10 / £8 concessions / £5 students.
The following items appeared in the last magazine but may still be of interest to readers:
The UK's jazz support organisation Jazz Services has appointed a new Chair to its Board of Trustees. The previous Chair, Bob Blizzard, left in 2013.
In January the organisation said: 'Jazz Services is delighted to announce the appointment of Kelly LeValley Hunt as the new Chair of our Board of Trustees, effective immediately.
With a professional background in global technology sales and technology development, Kelly also has specific experience in fundraising and leading not-for-profit organisations internationally'.
'She also has a life-long passion for jazz music; she was born and grew up in Louisiana and spent most of her time as a child listening to her family play jazz, blues and bluegrass. Her mother, a professional jazz musician, was born and still lives in New Orleans. As such Kelly is the ideal candidate to head Jazz Services’ Board and we greatly look forward to the year ahead'.
We have been reading that Microsoft is planning to withdraw its support for its XP operating system from April 8th this year. The word seems to be that if you are still using XP, Microsoft will no longer be making updates that support the system, rendering it vulnerable to viruses and attacks, even if you have a virus protection programme such as McAfee or Norton.
So far, we have not come across any proposals to solve this issue apart from updating your computer with a different system (if it has the capacity), or replacing the computer. If you still use XP, it is worth keeping an eye on the situation over the next couple of months.
Jazzwise magazine still ha openings for people looking for work experience as interns at its offices in St Jude's Church, Herne Hill, South London. The magazine is offering a series of monthly intern placements from January 2014 to January 2015. Interns will participate in all aspects of the magazine's preparation and production cycle and this opportunity will be of particular interest to people who want to pursue a career in journalism and jazz, have a keen interest and knowledge of the music and are currently studying or have completed a degree or educational course. Previous interns have gone on to work for music magazines, record companies, press agencies and radio production companies.
If you are interested, write to The Editor, Jazzwise, St Jude's Church, Dulwich Road, London, SE24 0PB enclosing a CV and covering letter, or email to email@example.com.
Click here for the Sandy Brown Jazz Site Directory on our Home page.
The Directory includes regular features, articles, people profiles (let us know if you would like us to add a profile) and many other items including information about clarinettist Sandy Brown after whom this site is named.
© Sandy Brown Jazz 2014