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January 2015


Pearls for January

The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once.

Albert Einstein

 

Metronome

 

Well, I think writing is basically about time and rhythm. Like with jazz. You have your basic melody and then you just riff off it. And the riffs are about timing.

Kathy Acker

 

Abdullah Ibrahim

 

Abdullah Ibrahim - A Brother With Perfect Timing

1987 documentary film (click here for the trailer)

 

 

Yesterday's the past, tomorrow's the future, but today is a gift. That's why it is called the present.

Bill Keane

 


Who's This?

Who's This?

 

Born in California in 1920, his father was a cattle rancher and his mother a pianist. He intended to work with his father and went to college to study veterinary science. He changed to music on the urging of the head of zoology, who told him "... your mind's not here. It's across the lawn in the conservatory. Please go there. Stop wasting my time and yours." Later, 'he was nearly expelled when one of his professors discovered that he could not read music. Several of his professors came forward, arguing that his ability with conterpoint and harmony more than compensated.'

The Quartet

His famous Quartet first came together in 1951 and a number of recordings followed, but it was not until 1959 that his best known album was released with Joe Morello on drums, Eugene Wright (bass) and Paul Desmond (alto saxophone). The album contained all original compositions, almost none of which were in common time. Other albums followed based on the same concept of using unusual time signatures.

He died in 2012, but his son, Darius, also a pianist, continues the family tradition and played a series of gigs in the UK during 2014 with his quartet.

Not sure? Click here for a video of the Quartet playing one of the tunes from that famous album.

 

 

Women Make Music Grant

FPRS Women Make Music logoor the fourth year, the Performing Rights Society (PRS) grant scheme Women Make Music is open for applications. Financial support of up to £5,000 is available to women musicians to create new music in any genre. This can range from classical, jazz and experimental music to urban, electronica and pop.

Through the scheme support is available to individuals and organisations / groups including solo performers, solo songwriters or composers, promoters or event producers, bands / ensembles / orchestras, local authorities, schools, etc.

The application deadline is 1st April 2015 for projects happening from 1st May 2015.

Click here for more information.

 

 

 

Adobe Flash Player Adobe Flash Player logo


During the past month, there seems to have been an update to Adobe Flash Player and it may be that when you try to view videos on YouTube you find that your internet search engine blocks them saying the old version of Flash Player is now vulnerable. You might be able to solve the problem by following the on-screen instructions, but I ended up going to the Adobe website and clicking 'Install Now' to download the latest version of Flash Player (click here). Note, there is a box on that page that will also install McAfee Security Scan Plus unless you uncheck the box.

 

 

Whiplash - Movie

Whiplash Movie posterWriting in the Sunday Times at the end of January, Andrew Mueller's article about this film that arrives in cinemas here from 16th January, left me not much the wiser. I understood from a reasonably long article that Damien Chazelle's film is about a jazz drummer, Andrew Neiman (Miles Teller), whose teacher Terence Fletcher (J.K. Simmonds) is 'cruel and manipulative'. The film apparently refects Chazelle's personal experience: 'Immersed for four years in the hypercompetitive jazz-band world depicted in Whiplash, albeit at a New Jersey high school, rather than a Juilliard-style conservatory, the 29-year old film maker also found himself at the mercy of an unrelenting whip-cracker like Whiplash's Fletcher. That's an alarming prospect for anyone who sees this film.'

Mueller does speak of 'Oscar-worthy performances' which made me look elsewhere for more information, and I decided that perhaps Mueller chose not to give away too much of the plot. I discovered that the film was premiered at the Sundance Film Festival a year ago where it received critical acclaim together with the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award. Peter Debruge in Variety wrote that the film: "demolishes the cliches of the musical-prodigy genre, investing the traditionally polite stages and rehearsal studios of a topnotch conservatory with all the psychological intensity of a battlefield or sports arena."

Click here for the trailer.

Andrew Neiman aspires to be a top jazz drummer like Buddy Rich. His volatile encounters with Fletcher drive him to excel to please his tutor, but circumstances regularly undermine him. It transpires that a former student who is supposed to have died in a car accident actually hanged himself as a result of Fletcher's abusive teaching methods. Fletcher is fired after a court case in which Andew testifies. Fletcher and Andrew meet up again later at a gig where they are both due to perform ... The rest you must see for yourself or you can read if you click here.

 

 

 

Album Released: September 2014 - Label: Hep Records

 

Tina May

My Kinda Love

 

Tina May continues to consolidate her popularity with this, her latest album, and once again she chooses some top UK musicians to keep her company. Thankfully, saxophonist Frank Griffith and trumpet / flugelhorn player Freddie Gavita are along for the ride again and trumpeterTina May My Kinda Love album Janusz Carmello, guitarist Ian Laws and keyboard player John Pearce all make appearances.

The title track kicks off a big band swinger with Sammy Mayne (alto sax), Nicol Thomson (trombone), Dave Tina MayGreen (bass) and Winston Clifford (drums) joining the line up. From there, the mood varies from ballad to swinging number with favourites like Lazy Afternoon, A Sunday Kind Of Love, You Came A Long Way From St Louis, Manhatten In The Rain and I'm Through With Love interwoven with the occasional less-known number, including the one Marmite moment, Si Tu Partais (If You Go) sung low in French with hints of Edith Piaf. It seems to stand out from the flow of the rest of the album and you might either like it or not.

There are some nice arrangements by Frank Griffith - I like the bass and vocal introduction to S'Posin' followed by Janusz Carmello's trumpet solo and then Frank, this time on clarinet. Similarly Manhatten In The Rain starts with just piano and vocals and on this track the Bowfiddle String Quartet fills out the mood gently. The Quartet are there for other tracks like Haunted Heart too, and they bring just the right level of colour and tone.

Writing in The Observer, Dave Gelly says: 'Real jazz singers flourish in the company of good jazz musicians, and Tina May is a real jazz singer. She can sing a straight melody, such as I’m Through with Love, and make it open like a flower. She can swing effortlessly and invent a wordless scat chorus as tricky as anything her fellow musicians can deliver. And, led by saxophonist and arranger Frank Griffith, they are among the best you will find anywhere.

My Kinda Love is an album with shedloads of appeal. The Telegraph newspaper understandably included the album in its list of the 33 Best Jazz Albums of 2014. It might be just my imagination, but I am sure I can hear Tina May enjoying every note of this recording.

Click here to taste some of the tracks from My Kinda Love. Click here for more information. The album is available as an audio CD but Hep Records are currently in the process of making it available as an mp3 download.

Ian Maund

 

 

 

Paul Adams Wins Services To Jazz Award

Paul Adams from Fellside Records has received the Services To Jazz Award in the British Jazz Awards. Jazz listeners will recognise the Lake Records branch of the company for the long list of recordings that have been issued over the years and particularly those by historic UK bands. Paul and Linda Adams

Paul and his wife Linda started Fellside Records as a folk / acoustic label from their home town of Workington, Cumbria in 1976.

Paul, originally from Coventry, was a drummer and bass player who had played both Folk Music and Jazz; Linda, from Great Clifton (just outside Workington), was a guitarist and singer whose chosen genre was Folk Music. They teamed up as a duo and recorded three albums before deciding to start their own label. Most of the Fellside catalogue was recorded and produced by Paul which is an amazing achievement, and Linda runs the administration side of the business. The label has won many awards including twelve for Excellence from the Music Retailers Association.

Many people with an interest in jazz will be grateful to Paul and Linda for the music they have made available and congratulate them on their award. Click here for more about Fellside and Lake.

 

 

 

Jazz Services Seeks Project Director

As readers will know, the support organisation Jazz Services has lost its Arts Council England funding from this coming April. Last month we reported that Jazz Services was about to embark on a comprehensive restructuring process, that its long-running magazine JazzUK has had to cease publication in its current form and that consultation was taking place with the wider public, ACE and and other related parties as part of an organisational review.The Board of Jazz Services Ltd (JSL) has recognised that the organisation’s 30th anniversary in 2015 offers the ideal opportunity to 'rethink, redevelop and relaunch a new JSL organisation under the banner Project 30.'

On December 12th, Jazz Services Ltd. announced it was recruiting for a newly created post of Project Director, with applications being Jazz Services logo accepted until 5pm on Friday 2nd January 2015. They said: 'The appointment of this new post comes as part of JSL's redevelopment plans for the coming year.'  Full details on the role, including the job description, person specification and how to apply, were included. The Project Director post is for a nine month period starting in January 2015 'to lead and effect change and establish New JSL on a new footing.  In support of this post, a Project 30 steering group, chaired by the current Chair of JSL, Dominic McGonigal, will be made up of internal and external stakeholders including, for example, representatives of conservatoires and higher education establishments; promoters networks, music media; jazz participants and it will reflect a non-London centric constituency.' Click here for the Jazz Services website where you can read full details of the Project Director post.

Taking into account Christmas and the New Year holidays, the announcement on December 12th, the closing date for applications of 2nd January, the starting date of January and the time-limited contract seem to allow little time for a full range of suitable, interested people to apply. Perhaps Jazz Services already have someone in mind or perhaps project and management consultancies are used to working to these time constraints.

 

 

Peter Whittingham Award 2014

Many congratulations to pianist Mark Pringle who has received a 2014 Peter Whittingham Award. We first profiled Mark on this site in 2012 and you can read his story if you click here. Mark says: 'I am extremely happy to have been awarded a Peter Whittingham Award. In early December I took my trio down to London to play for a panel which included saxophonist Pete Wareham, trombonist Dennis Rollins, and Justin McKenzie of London promoter Jazz re:freshed, who decided to award me a Help Musicians UK Development Award. Previous recipients include GwilymMark Pringle Trio Simcock, Trish Clowes and Peter Edwards.'

Mark Pringle Trio

'Over the course of the next year I will use the money to develop a couple of exciting projects. Firstly, my longstanding trio, and secondly, a 12-piece ensemble of horns, strings and rhythm section called A Moveable Feast, with which an album was recently recorded. More information on that in due course.That same evening we had much fun playing at The Ent Shed in Bedford in support of Elliot Galvin’s trio, followed by a long Stretch Triodrive back to Birmingham and an impulsive 1.30 am late set at The Yardbird to close the jam session. A productive and inspiring day with the trio! In other news I have added a lot to my website including information on projects, upcoming gigs, links to my music and more. I am also on Twitter and Bandcamp where you can download a free copy of my trio ep, K.B. (or choose to make a donation). You can also buy the limited edition CD, individually hand-drawn and signed by the trio, for £3.'

The other recipients of the 2014 Award are Leeds-based Stretch Trio. Help Musicians UK say: 'Their inventive approach and willingness to experiment impressed our expert panel last Thursday (December 4th). It’s been an important year for the trio; they’ve released their debut album 'Antithesis', performed at Gateshead International Jazz Festival alongside Bill Frisell, Jack Dejohnette and Polar Bear, became part of the all-new Jazz North Introduces initiative, and were chosen to receive mentoring sessions from internationally acclaimed saxophonist Iain Dixon. All this has lead them to a critical point, and with the support of the Peter Whittingham Award we're confident they will carve out an exciting future for themselves.'

Stretch Trio

An expert in survival medicine, Peter Whittingham was also a pianist who enjoyed the music of Gershwin, Porter, Sondheim, Bernstein, Shearing and Peterson. After his death in 1987 his family set up this award in his memory – and their connection with the award continues. The award is worth £4,000 and made to a jazz musician or group towards a creative project.


 

Clearwater Recording Studio - Oxford

Clearwater Recording has contacted us to say that they have set up a new recording studio in Oxford. The building where the studio is nowClearwater Recording logo situated was originally part of a farm and much of that relaxed rural atmosphere remains.

They say: 'In common with many other studios, we can set up a click and record the drums first. But we are equally at home recording a band live or with any degree of separation they would like. For drum loops and midi sequencing we call on our specialist. Recording and mixing is currently digital on a Mac using Logic 9. Mics include Pelussio, Rode, Roxon and Shure. Ashdown bass amp and Laney and Fender guitar amps are available. There is a choice of Tama acoustic or a Yamaha electronic  drum kit. A Yamaha keyboard is available. If required various session players are also available.'

Rates, including set up, time in studio, strip down and mixing are from £35 per hour. Click here for more details.

 

 

Jazz Quiz

The Bells! The Bells!

Question MarkAs bells ring out to welcome 2015, they give us a theme for this month’s quiz. All our fifteen questions relate toWhat are these? the word ‘bell’ or a word that contains or sounds like ‘bell’. For example:


7. What are these percussion instruments?


If you think you know the answer, go to our quiz page and try to answer the other fourteen quiz questions and then check out the 'Answers' page where you will also find some interesting videos.

 

Click here for the Jazz Quiz.

 

 

 

Profile - Sam Miles

 

Saxophonist Sam Miles graduated from the Royal Academy of Music in London in 2013 and since then he has been making a memorable impression on the UK jazz scene. His name is likely to crop up in a number of bands but when you hear him, you begin to appreciate his talent.

Click here for a video Sam playing Turn with Stoop Quintet at Heath Street Baptist Church in 2014 with Sam Miles (saxophone), Alex Munk (guitar), Jonathan Brigg (piano), Flo Moore (double bass) and Dave Smyth (drums).

Sam MilesSam was born in Cambridge. His parents are not professional musicians but music was ever present at home. His father, a radiologist, plays several instruments and albums by Dexter Gordon, Bill Evans and others were amongst his collection. Sam’s mother plays flute and piano, and of his brothers and sisters, one studied composition at Goldsmith’s College and is now a music teacher, and another brother writes music for short films.

Sam Miles at the Yamaha Scholarship Awards 2013
Photograph courtesy of Hayley Madden / PPL

The family moved to Australia when Sam was still young and much of his childhood was spent there. He started out modestly, playing the recorder, and picked up a violin when he was in Year 4, but he had no strong feeling for the instrument. ‘I first started playing a saxophone when I was in Year 5 at school,’ Sam recalls. ‘I worked my way through my classical grades until Year 9, but what I remember best is us all playing music together as a family at home.’

When Sam was fourteen, the family returned to the UK and settled in East Sussex. At Priory School, he continued to play saxophone in the school bands, but by now his brother Matt, also a saxophonist, was getting into the music of Michael Brecker and Joe Henderson and it began to rub off on Sam. His music teacher at school, Jacqui Fry was encouraging. How many times has the encouragement and enthusiasm of a teacher at school influenced the path we take?

‘When I was given the opportunity to have my own sax,’ Sam says, ‘I chose a soprano sax. I liked the sound and it was convenient to carry around, and then I realised its limits as a main instrument. I found that not many bands looked for a soprano sax player, and then I was given a Sam Miles ticket to go to hear Tim Garland and Acoustic Triangle and I was knocked out. I decided to get a tenor sax, so I went on ebay and bought myself a cheap tenor.’

By the time he finished his ‘A’ levels at schoo,l including passes in Music and Music Technology, his interests had spread to playing funk and ska, ‘Ska is big in Brighton’, and was playing with three others in a group they called the Starfish Project. Sam applied to Trinity College in London, but didn’t get in, so he took a gap year before applying again to a number of colleges. This time he was offered places at more than one, including the Royal Academy. ‘I decided that I would like to go to London,’ Sam says, ‘and what swung it for me at the Academy was the band that played with us at the auditions, they were so good. Tim Garland also tutored there, but unfortunately he left as I started.’

‘My first two years at college took me back to the basics of jazz and made me realise that my listening had been quite narrow. In the second year my friend, bass player Sandy Suchodolski and I listened to quite a lot of traditional stuff. I was aware how other friends on the course were always improving and that was stimulating as well as a very effective way of learning. I can remember the impression made on me by people like Tom Walsh who is a great trumpet player.’

Sam played with the Academy Big Band during the second and third years. ‘In the fourth year,’ he says, ‘we were given space to develop our own voices. The tutors at the Academy were excellent. There were times when I felt out of my depth, but I learned that I had to strengthen my confidence. By the fourth year, I was starting to be a fully-gigging musician and I started to appreciate the importance of networking and building on the contacts I had made.’

Click here to listen to Red Rail recorded by Sam, Tom Millar (piano) and Sandy Suchodolski (bass) at Pinewood Studios in 2012.

Sam MilesAs he finished his course in 2013 with a 1st Class BMus (Hons) degree, the Royal Academy nominated Sam for a Yamaha Scholarship. These awards have been made for a number of years to one student from each of the key music courses at conservertoires in England, Wales and Scotland. The awards are presented at an event hosted by the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group at the Houses of Parliament. Apart from the scholarship certificate, the scholars are given a financial award to help start their careers and the opportunity to record for a CD given away with Jazzwise magazine.The recording brings new talent to the ears of the jazz public but also provides a ‘marker’ for musicians of their composition and playing at that time.

Photograph by Lizzie Womack

Sam recalls that preparing for the recording ‘Gave me an idea of the direction I wanted to go. My writing since then has focussed on mixing old-school harmony and melody with more modern influences. I see melody as a critical part of my writing and playing.’ Click here to listen to the very enjoyable Natalou, Sam’s piece for the 2013 Yamaha album with Sam Watts (piano), and Sandy Suchodolski (bass). It does just what Sam says in providing that mix of styles and most people will take something from it.

There is another track that illustrates beautifully Sam’s lyrical sensitivities. Click here for his interpretation of the standard Prelude To A Kiss recorded live at the Verdict in November 2013 with Matt Robinson (piano), Sandy Suchodolski (bass) and Ben Brown (drums).

2014 saw Sam playing, touring and recording with a number of bands. He plays regularly with the impressive Tom Green Septet who have recorded their debut album, due for release early in 2015. Click here for a video of Sam playing the entrancing Equilibrium with the Tom Green Tom Green SeptetSeptet.

 

Tom Green Septet



In December, Stoop Quintet also recorded their first album which should be on the streets during the coming year. (See the video at the beginning of this article). Other recordings have been with Troyk-estra and Duncan Fraser, whilst Sam also gigs with the Patchwork Big Band, the James Taylor Big Band, drummer Dave Smyth and Mingus Underground.

Sam is currently based in London although he still plays occasional gigs with Brighton Ska bands. He also plays with Flo Moore (bass) and Peter Elliott (banjo) in a function band The Popcorns. They are good: Click here for a video of them playing Gnarls Barkley’s Crazy.

Sam also leads his own Quartet with Matt Robinson (piano), Sandy Suchodolski (bass) and Ben Brown (drums). The Quartet was featured at a Ray’s Jazz Event at Foyles in Charing Cross Road in 2014. Sam is currently writing music ready for the Quartet to record when the opportunity arises. Click here for the Sam and the Quartet playing Skylark.

Sam Miles is a talented, creative jazz saxophonist with a promising future, you would do well to try and catch him playing live.

 

 

 

Go ahead and play the Blues if it'll make you happy

Homer Simpson

 

 

Outside In - A Novel by Scott Schachter

Here’s the challenge. I have to write and say what I think about a novel where a number of famous people have already been quoted as praising it. I also have to give you some idea of the story without giving the game away.

Scott Shachter, the American author, is a reeds player who has been playing his flute, clarinet and saxophones on Broadway since 1988. This is his first novel. Jazz writer Nat Hentoff has said: ‘Scott Schachter’s Outside In is indeed a jazz novel – continually swinging with surprises andOutside In novel insights into human exceptionalism, both inspiring and desperate. It got so inside me I had to go back and read it again for more kicks.’ Jazz historian Ira Gitler is quoted as saying: ‘An intriguing fantasy from inside the jazz world, all narrated by the main character, Shawn. ‘Playing’ Shawn is professional saxophonist Scott Shachter, a storyteller who makes you want to know what happens next.’ The book reached the quarter finals of the 2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award and was a finalist in the 2014 Next Generation Indie Book Awards.

I have to agree with Ira Gitler that I was compelled to find out how the story evolved and ended.

A few months ago we reviewed a novel, Off Key, by British author Mark Robertson. The main character is a saxophonist who experiences the day to day life of an unrecognised jazz musician, whose girlfriend is losing patience with his way of life, and who has an autistic student. Events take place that change his circumstances. Similarly, Scott Shachter’s book has a struggling saxophonist, Shawn Lewis, a disillusioned girlfriend and a character with mental health problems. There the similarity ends, the events that occur take us in an entirely different direction.

Shawn Lewis is a musician with a compulsion to play avant garde jazz, something that stands in the way of his being booked for gigs or return bookings.

“Avant-garde?” she’d say. “I don’t know if I’m ready for that. When we met you were playing show tunes – sounded so wonderful.” She’d dice something and flick it into a saucepan. “I like music you can hum to, or at least tap a foot.”

“Each piece is its own world,” I’d say. “Just think of it like that.”

“Maybe that’s why your head's always in the stars,” she’d say, shaking her head. Then she’d smile. “While everyone else is just hanging on, you’re creating your own little heavens.” …………………………

Enter Jimmy, a man with schizophrenia who paints ‘images that could somehow take over my mind.’ Against a background of odd neighbours, gigs and the Mob, the novel explores the potential relationship between losing oneself in music and the nature of mental illness. Jazzwise Scott Shachtermagazine describes it as ‘… a novel that explores the experience of ‘genius’ and its ever-ambiguous relationship with ‘madness’ …A work of startling imagination …’

I can remember reading R.D. Laing’s book The Divided Self back in the 1960s. His work and writings, and those of his followers, led to considering whether it is only the ‘real world’ that exists, whether psychosis is actually a gift to a minority who are able to experience another dimension to the ‘real world’. I once went to a convention at the Institute of Psychiatry, or some similar august place in London where, amongst a series of presentations, one of Laing’s followers stated he would not speak to the audience in their formally tiered seats, but if people would like to join him on the stage with his bottle of wine, they could have a discussion there. Chaos! Some people from the audience went to the stage, others sat confused. Eventually, the person hosting the event got things back on the formal track, but a point had been made about what we expect as ‘normal’ and ‘routine’.

Scott Shachter

In Scott Shachter's story, 'Maestro C' is a visitation by Charlie Parker, 'Majib' represents Jimmy, the painter. "You've been attracting the jellybeans for years,' Maestro C. said. 'They come through your music. Majib can't help but dance in their presence." ... "The jellybeans are from many star systems away. The enlightened ones say they've been visiting Earth for millenia. They zip through the outermost creative dimension. We call that dimension the Outside, the force of pure invention ... When a rare artist with the gift to merge with the Outside enters their creative state, the hidden loops and wormholes of the universe, the hidden tunnels between the Earth worlds, all the secret passageways are open."

The concept of a parallel universe dates back to ancient times, long before novels like C.S. Lewis's Narnia or Stephen Donaldson’s ‘Thomas Covenant’ Chronicles and other stories that use the concept of ‘parallel or alternative universes’, but if we think about most religions, the idea of an afterlife or an all-seeing God, makes us well-tuned to there being more to this world than we can usually experience. The experiences of Shawn Lewis imagine a link between worlds made possible through music and art in the way one might imagine the use of drugs in taking musicians, writers and artists to ‘another plain’, but the consequences are tragically all too real.

I found some of the characters in Shachter’s book intriguing and amusing whilst others seemed to me a step too far, particularly when the Mob become involved. I guess that this novel would have been different if written by a psychiatrist who plays jazz rather than a jazz musician who is intrigued by the nature of ‘losing oneself in music or art’, but the story certainly makes one think about the relationship between creativity and imagination. There was no question that I had to read it to the end.

Click here for more information and reviews.

Ian Maund

 

 

Album First Released: 4th November 2014 - Label: Planet Arts / Pony Canyon

 

Christian Finger

Ananda

 

Saxophonist Howard Lawes reviews this album for us

“Ananda” is Sanskrit for “the world is bliss”, and this is what Christian Finger and his band want to show with their new album which is 13 tracks with a total length of nearly 78 minutes and comes with some informative sleeve notes for each track. Twelve musicians have been involved in creating the music; Christian Finger on drums, Vadim Neselovskyi on piano and Adam Armstrong on double bass play on every Christian Fingertrack, Dave Stryker and Pete McCann on guitar, the Mivos String Quartet with additional violin from Zach Brock feature on many of the tracks while Bobby Harden provides vocals and Jeff Ballard on drums feature on single tracks.

Production of the album was successfully funded via Kickstarter in 2012 and released in October 2014. As described by Finger the style of the album is not "standard jazz" but "combining the American jazz tradition with a European sensibility", the inspiration is world music with each track representing a different place that Finger has visited or imagined journeys that are yet to be undertaken. The sleeve notes by Bob Blumenthal are excellent at providing insight into musical influences and technical details and it is difficult for a reviewer to avoid plagiarising his text.  Finger's hope/aspiration for the album is "that the music will transport the listener to an expanded state of consciousness, leaving him or her with the understanding that we are not alone, and to experience the world as a blissful place" and it is perhaps no coincidence that Ananda was also the name of one of the principal disciples of the Buddha.

Click here for the original video which was used for the Kickstarter appeal and which introduces us to Christian Finger, the band and the music.

The musical journey starts in Africa with African Skies, Linear Lives and features piano and violin in contrast to track 11 which is called African Skies, Drumming Lives: Boubacar's Sons which is dominated by a drum duet between Finger and Ballard.  Perhaps it was a vision of Africa that provided Finger with the stimulus to leave his home country of Germany and begin a new stage in his life. Track 2,Truth Waltzed In, is peaceful and melodious reflecting his life in Germany while the title track, Ananda, celebrates his new life in New York featuring some virtuoso violin from Zak Brock.  Nights Beyond India pays tribute to John McLaughlin's group ShaktiChristian Finger Ananda album in which Finger's drumming evokes the sounds of the tabla.  Two Faces is the only vocal track on the album and describes a "beautiful and difficult time" with a former girlfriend.  Track 7 is called For Now, is inspired by New York and is subtitled "When Sonny meets Wayne" which probably says it all. 

The next two tracks, conjure up images of the religious processions which take place in Spain before Easter, full of symbolism and mysterious ritual.  The string playing is superb but all members of the band are excellent in this pulsating, sinuous piece. Not Gone, Not Forgotten is contemporary, classical music featuring Finger and the Mivos String Quartet and highlights the breadth of Finger's compositional talent with a nod towards Mozart.  The last two tracks are called In's Weltenall 1: Into the Sky and In's Weltenhall 2: Endless Stars and deal with the ultimate journey from Earth and into the universe.  Endless Stars was inspired by the Austrian composer, Alban Berg's Violin Concerto, written in 1935 and was the last piece he completed; it features Finger and the Mivos String Quartet in classical mode.

This is a very interesting, thought provoking and enjoyable album that includes both very modern jazz and contemporary classical music and while the listener may not be transported quite as far as the composer hopes there is certainly music, with a little imagination, to fill your mind with fascinating images and lasting 78 minutes you should also feel really good about its value for money.

Click here to sample Christian Finger's album Ananda.


Howard Lawes

 

 

Hello!

Shireen Francis and Sarah Moule

When Peggy Met Ella

 

Singers Ms Shireen Francis and Ms Sarah Moule, accompanied by pianist Mr Geoff Castle were performing When Peggy Met Ella at The Hawth theatre in Crawley last Shireen FrancisNovember. They have been performing the show on an occasional basis for a couple of years now and this was the first of what is hoped to become a regular series of Sunday afternoon gigs at the The Studio (a small 100 seat side venue to the main theatre and ideal for this type of event) organised by Mr John Levett of the Listening Room. 

 

Shireen Francis

Born in London of Jamaican and Goan heritage, Shireen  initially learned her craft in Afro-Caribbean music.  However, inspired by artists such as Marlena Shaw, Dianne Reeves and Carmen Lundy, she soon moved into jazz singing and writing her own material. During her 25-year career, Shireen has performed at top international venues and festivals, including Ronnie Scott’s, Royal Festival Hall, Royal Albert Hall, 606 Club and Pizza Express Dean Street. She has performed with acclaimed artists such as John Etheridge, Jim Mullen, Benny Green, Humphrey Lyttleton, Mark Murphy, Anita Wardell and Billy Ocean. Click here for a video of Shireen singing Just My Imagination at the 606 Club.

 

 

Sarah Moule

Photographer Mr Brian O'Connor was there for the event. Brian says: 'Singing songs made famous by Peggy Lee and Ella Fitzgerald from the Great American Songbook, (‘Swonderful, A Tisket a Tasket, Black Coffeee, etc.), they performed two lovely sets of fine singing.  They both had solo spots and duets, and filled the gaps in between with anecdotes about both Peggy and Ella.  A very satisfying gig, watched by an enthusiastic capacity audience. Geoff Castle was also brilliant on piano.'

 

Sarah Moule

Sarah Moule met jazz singers Ian Shaw and Claire Martin in the 1990s. She was singing gigs in Soho and began to explore the work of Thelonious Monk and Duke Ellington and before long had established a reputation in the London jazz clubs. She has performed with many jazz musicians, toured and appeared on television. Click here for a video of Sarah singing in 2012.

 

Geoff Castle

'Personally, I have never heard either singer sound better,' says Brian. 'Sarah I’ve always liked, but Shireen was a revelation.  Here she was terrific, with a variety and depth of interpretation I’ve not heard before. Furthermore they took the trouble to ‘dress up’ something sadly lacking with many jazz artists, and took care over lighting effects etc.  A very professional gig.'

 

Geoff Castle

Geoff Castle was born in London in 1949. He joined the National Youth Jazz Orchestra in 1967, worked with Ian Carr's Nucleus band, played on a number of film tracks, and in 1995 launched his CD label Turret Records. Click here for a video of Geoff playing with Ray Russell's Generation Band in 2007. Shireen Francis and Sarah Moule

 

 

All pictures by Brian O'Connor, Images Of Jazz

Click on Shireen, Sarah and Geoff's names above to find out more about them and gig information from their websites.

 

 

 

 

Never look at the trombones; you'll only encourage them.

Richard Strauss


 

 

 

Tony Milliner - My Favourite Things

Ray Anderson - Once In A While

Tony MillinerThis month trombonist Tony Milliner chooses a great version of the standard Once In A While from trombonist Ray Anderson. Tony says: 'This is a trombone thing with a great extended solo from Ray Anderson.' The track comes from the 1987 album It Just So Happens. On the liner notes, Fred Bouchard says: 'Ray's opening cadenza speaks of togetherness and his solo of love's conviction. His fadeaway purrs sweet nothings.'

Click here to listen to Ray Anderson's Once In A While.

Ray Anderson

Born in 1952 in Chicago, Ray Anderson worked with the Chicago Symphony trombonists and is seen as someone who pushes the limits of the instrument. He was consistently chosen as DownBeat Magazine's Critics Poll best trombonist throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s.

After spending study time in California, he moved to New York in 1973 and freelanced. In 1977, Anderson joined Anthony Braxton's Quartet (replacing George Lewis) and started working with Barry Altschul. In addition to leading his own groups since the late '70s (including the funk-oriented Slickaphonics), Anderson has worked with George Gruntz and has appeared on a remarkable number of albums by musicians such as Charlie Haden, Dr John, Henry Threadgill and John Scofield.

Ray Anderson

He can also sing and has the ability to sing two notes at the same time (a minor third apart). While pushing his sound into the future, Anderson has frequently returned to his early love of New Orleans music for inspiration. His Alligatory Band as well as his Pocket Brass Band, are rooted in its tradition. Since 2003 he has taught and conducted at Stony Brook University in New York.

Click here for a video of Ray Anderson's Pocket Brass Band playing High School with Lew Soloff (trumpet), Matt Perrine (sousaphone) and Bobby Previte (drums).

 

 

 

All music is folk music; I ain't never heard no horse sing a song.

Louis Armstrong


 

Full Focus

Tommy Andrews Quintet

Crystal Car

 

[You are able to listen to Crystal Car at the same time as reading this article if you click here. This will take you to another page on our website where your computer might ask you to allow the music to play on the page. Alternatively there is a link to Soundcloud at the end of the article and you can listen to the track there].

 

In 2014, the Tommy Andrews Quintet released their successful debut album The Crux. Tommy talks about one of the tracks, Crystal Car and its place in the album:

During the early stages of the quintet’s life, a lot of the tunes were lengthy and complicated in some way. I therefore promised myself Tommy Andrewsthat I’d try and write something that fitted on to one sheet of A4 and was concerned solely with creating a strong melody. With no real ballads in the set I decided that I’d try and write something that was quiet, luscious and simple. 

After the first few gigs that we played, I listened back to some of the recordings and found that there were areas in the tunes that could potentially become a wash of information with no aural ‘handrails’ for the listener to follow. Due to this, I am now always keen to place elements within a piece that act as a constant, to help keep a sense of cohesion and glue everything together. If you listen to my first album, you’ll spot these devices everywhere. In The Crux it’s firstly the motivic anticipations in the melody and then the held Gb through a long chord progression in the second section. Sirens has the slowly evolving osinato piano part, Mr. Skinny Legs has strong motifs in the melody and then a rhythmic figure that stays constant during the morph from simple to compound time. L.H.B. takes an identical piano rhythm through a metric modulation and Steep is held together by its repetitive bass riff. For an exercise in creating something simple, however, I opted to try and use a harmonic device rather than any metric modulations or rhythmically complicated. The result was Crystal Car.

Due to the fragile nature of the ballad, I was drawn to a quote from British rock climbing legend and racing enthusiast Johnny Dawes’ Johnny Dawesautobiography Full of Myself. This was written after the first ascent of the Indian Face in 1986, a climb on the Clogwyn d’ur Arddu in Snowdonia. At the time it was the most technical, imaginative and tenuous rock climb in the world, and nearly 30 years later has rarely been repeated or surpassed. Johnny was a true visionary on the rock, accepting risks as part of putting his artistry first.

            ‘A week after the ascent The Guardian ran a double page spread: Indian Face. For a day, climbing had the oomph to squeeze Nigel Mansell and Gary Kasparov to single columns. The public could not be expected to understand fully, probably thinking the climb merely scary, tricky, not the equivalent of racing a crystal decanter car around Monaco.’ 

Johnny Dawes

I instantly enjoyed the image of this ‘Crystal Car’ bombing around the narrow streets of Monaco, where one mistake would ultimately spell death to the driver. It perfectly described Johnny’s position, where a slip would be fatal. I also enjoyed his little poke at the public. It mirrors the occasional feeling you can receive as a musician, where after playing something particularly challenging it’s possible that no one will ever comprehend quite how much of your life’s experience went into that one moment!

Crystal CarA+B: If you listen carefully when the sax enters and the bass has finished playing the tune, you’ll hear that the root notes of all the chords are constantly falling in 3rds. I change between minor 3rd intervals and major 3rd intervals in the bass to explore how they affect the brightness or darkness of each harmonic shift. The resolution to a Dbadd4 chord after 4 bars on a tense F Phrygian chord is the main resolution of the tune. The warmth of a Db major chord, especially with an added fourth degree, can be extremely attractive, and you’ll find that it features in many of my tunes when I need to give some comfort to the listener!

C: To then stop the piece from seeming like it’s falling into a cycle of descent, the last 8 bars  use a rising melody and more rising chords to take it back whence it came.

It’s thus possible to loop A, B + C if there were to be repeats of the tune and solos, or just head to C after the head as we do on the album for a more collective approach. The cycling of the whole tune brings more melancholy through the descending chords and starting minor chord, whereas the rising nature of the last 8 bars and use of a suspended starting chord seems to bring more promise if it’s looped.

 

Lead Sheet for Crystal Car © Tommy Andrews

 

You’ll notice the climbing term ‘The Crux’ and a musical reference as Johnny Dawes recalls the hardest section of the ascent in his autobiography.

            ‘I went for the crux, the motion startling me like a car unexpectedly in gear in a crowded parking lot. I swarm through the roundness of the bulge to a crank on a brittle spike for a cluster of three crystals on the right; each finger crucial and separate like the keys for a piano chord. I change feet three times to rest my lower legs, each time having to jump my foot out to put the other in. The finger-holds are too poor to hang on should the toes catch on each other. All those foot-changing mistakes on easy moves by runners come to mind. There is no resting. I must go and climb for the top. I swarm up towards the sunlight, gasping for air. A brittle hold stays under mistreatment and then I really blow it. Fearful of a smear on now-non-sticky boots I use an edge and move up, a fall fatal, but the automaton stabs back through, wobbling, but giving its all and I grasp a large sidepull and tube upward. The ropes dangle uselessly from my waist. I grasp incuts and the tight movement swerves to a glide as gravity swings skyward.’

Johnny Dawes, Full of Myself, 2011.

Click here to listen to Crystal Car on Soundcloud.

Tommy Andrews Saxophones, Woodwinds, Composer, Arranger and Teacher www.tommy-andrews.co.uk

Click here for more details about The Crux album and to taste the other tracks. Click here for our profile of Tommy Andrews.

 

 

Album First Released: 10th February - Label: Enja Records

 

Rez Abbasi Acoustic Quartet

Intents And Purposes

Steve Day reviews this album for us:

Rez Abbasi Acoustic Quartet:) Rez Abbasi, steel string, fretless & baritone acoustic guitars; Bill Ware, vibraphone; Stephen Crump, acoustic bass, Eric McPherson, drums.

I guess it depends what circles you move in.  I haven’t come across Bill Ware’s vibes for twenty years or more, but I distinctly remember him playing with Mario Pavone and the late great alto player Thomas Chapin.  Even back then I thought you could align the Man with BobbyRez Abbasi album Hutchinson, my bench mark for vibraphone.  Here on Intents and Purposes the strength of his playing is a true marvel.  I am so glad to be reacquainted with a genuine master musician who had dropped off my radar.

Here is the stuff of intention:  the unison intro between Rez Abbasi and Mr Ware on The Red Baron, followed by the first vibes break is cut so deep it becomes transferable.  These are players with a lot to say.  They dampen and ring together, a dual action which feels interlocked.  Another key ingredient in this session is Rez Abbasi’s fretless acoustic guitar.  He doesn’t use it throughout, but when he does, for example on There Comes A Time, it is as if we are listening to a new instrument, almost akin to the Indian sarod.  The counter-point with Ware’s vibes makes for an atmospheric echoed-out harmonic playground; this is purposeful ‘fusion’.  Just as the title on the cover says, we are dealing with, ‘Intents and Purposes’.

Now for some further intentions; Rez Abbasi is a ‘jazz guitarist’, and this is what he says about 1970s jazz-rock: “....I found myself unwilling to make friends with the synthetic, sometimes brash, saturated electric textures that were spewing out of the speakers even though my Rez Abbasiprimary instrument was and still is the electric guitar.”  It’s a view for sure, quite where that puts Miles Davis’s terrific groundbreaking post-Bitches Brew work is another matter.  The fact is Rez Abbasi is willing to re-investigate a group of key 1970s jazz-rock compositions, placing them within an acoustic setting (though not entirely so because a vibraphone uses an electric motor).

Rez Abbasi

Abbasi’s version of John McLaughlin’s Resolution is a standout, using a delicately poised improvisation to carry the main theme.  McLaughlin’s own version originated from One Word; an outtake from Tony Williams’s Lifetime featuring a Jack Bruce vocal.  Both tunes were subsequently recorded by the Mahavishnu Orchestra on Birds of Fire.  Rez Abbasi’s instinct to check out this music and find his own way through is heartening. 

Apparently Downbeat magazine made Rez Abbasi their Rising Star Guitarist for 2013.  I don’t always believe what I read in Downbeat and no one should take my words as definitive either, but hey, I’m willing to add my voice to their affirmation.  And if Mr Abbasi and Mr Ware can keep their partnership operating with this much focus I will be staying on their case.  Bill Ware is definitely back in my book, watch for what comes next.  

Click here for a video of the Rez Abbasi Acoustic Quartet playing Bees (not a track from the album)

Click here to sample Rez Abbasi's Intents And Purposes.

Steve Day
stevedaywordsandmusic.co.uk         



 

Bill Greenow

Some time ago, we were asked whether anyone had information about clarinettist / saxophonist Bill Greenow. Over the months, information has come in about Bill and we have opened a Profile page about him with a track of him playing (your computer might ask you to allow the track to play) - click here.

Many thanks to those who have written in about Bill, including:

Pianist Jamie Evans, who unearthed (almost literally in a dusty recess!) this photo of some of his old chums. 'Prominent is alto-sax player  Bill Greenow, during a late-night impromptu session at the Red Lion, Barnes, south-west London. The hostelry was being run by singer and drummer Ted Wood while Alan Cooper holds forth on clarinet (both in the foreground). The picture was taken in the early '70s and if memory serves Jamie right (just about visible in the bottom right of the photo), Bill, Coops and Ted were all members of the New Temperance Seven at the time. SadlyBill Greenow all three are no longer with us, Bill being the most recent departure at the age of 71 in 2011. Ted Wood (who was the elder brother of Ronnie who plays in some band called The Rolling Stones) deserves a special mention for the delightful comment - after the odd decision to record some tracks on a flight of Concorde at twice the speed of sound - or "twice the speed of drink," as Ted remarked.'

Mike Whitaker has also uncovered an old tape of Bill Greenow's Trios from the early 1980s and you can listen to Meet Mr Rabbit on Bill's Profile page (click here).

The notes with the tape are by Bill Greenow in 1986: 'Inspiration for making these recordings came to me during a residency with Trevor Richards in Switzerland during the summer of 1980. I hadn't heard Trevor for many years as he'd been in the States studying with Zutty Singleton and later leading his own trio in Germany. I'd been in Sweden for some time. Trevor had technique, imagination and swing not often found in European old-style drummers. It had long been an ambition of mine to record with Stan Greig: we used to play regularly together 10 years previously and I loved his very personal swinging style.'

'The opportunity to record arose in October 1980 when by chance Trevor and I were in London. I took Trevor to meet Stan where he was playing (they'd never met before). Trevor sat in and tore the place apart and Stan was most impressed. Stan was also a Zutty fan so there was plenty to talk about. A few days later we began a series of recording sessions. Peter Boizot generally allowed us to use the music rooms at Pizza On The Park and Pizza Express, and Dave Bennett recorded us. There were no rehearsals, no arrangements and no public except for a few astonished waitresses who looked in from upstairs now and again. We made one session with the late Fred Hunt replacing Stan - it was the only time Fred and Trevor ever met. In February '81 I took Stan and Trevor on a 2 week tour of Sweden, and that was the entire activity of the band.'

As Mike Whitaker says: 'The quality is not so brilliant but the more I listened to it, the more I liked it. The drive, especially with Stan Greig on piano, is great.'

 

 

The Write Stuff

Saxophonist Howard Lawes kindly started reviewing albums for us in 2014. Howard retired from a career supplying meteorological and oceanographic consultancy to the offshore engineering industries and tells us how he now prefers to indulge his passion for jazz. ‘I have enjoyed great music for almost ten years at the Way Out West club in west London listening to Tony Woods, Tim Whitehead, Liam Noble, Kate Williams, Mike Outram and many other great musicians. I also enjoy playing alto saxophone in a band called the Strodes World Jazz Project under the direction of Martin Pyne performing two or three gigs a year where we play a mixture of international jazz music and Martin Pyne compositions.  I also played in a performance of Andy Sheppard's Saxophone Massive in the BT River of Music prior to the London 2012 Olympic Games.’

Howard has also undertaken voluntary work for Jazz Services and helps out at the London Jazz Festival which has introduced him to a wide variety of jazz artists, venues and events. At the 2014 London Jazz Festival in November, Howard took part in The Write Stuff, a series of Howard Lawesseminars and activities run by Jazzwise magazine for aspiring music journalists. Howard tells us about the experience:

The Write Stuff is a series of seminars to introduce aspiring jazz journalists to the custom and practice of writing about jazz albums, gigs and interviewing jazz personalities.  It runs concurrently with the London Jazz Festival and has been repeated every year since 2002 organised by the magazine Jazzwise and the Learning and Participation section of the production company Serious.

Applicants must provide a CV and a 300 word review to demonstrate their suitability for the course. This year many of the successful applicants were young post-graduates starting out in the music industry but there were also a few older jazz enthusiasts who were looking to improve their techniques of writing about jazz in programmes, newsletters and all types of literature.

Howard Lawes


Initial discussion with journalist Kevin Le Gendre concentrated on quality of writing and emphasised the importance of communicating information precisely in an accessible and readable style. Several examples were provided and discussed illustrating good and not such good reviews and highlighting the difficulties of getting a message across with as little as 200 words or even less. On the other hand long pieces must retain the interest of the reader and not wander off the point.

Another session with Jazzwise editor John Newey presented the interesting history of jazz journalism which started in the 1920's with titles such as "Melody Maker" and "Rhythm".  Jazz music became increasingly popular and there was a corresponding increase in jazz journalism opportunities reaching a zenith in the decades after WW2, reflecting the popularity of dance bands and world famous musicians and at that time magazine circulations were measured in hundreds of thousands. In more recent times music tastes have changed with traditional print media being supplanted to a large extent, although not completely replaced, by modern technology but as Mike Flyn explained, there are still opportunities for jazz journalists and in particular those who embrace computer technology and the internet.

Kevin Le GendreAs the course was being run during the EFG London Jazz Festival there were lots of opportunities to sample the best in jazz music and to write reviews which could be discussed with a professional journalist. A really interesting session was a real, live interview with the Israeli born, New York based jazz musician Oran Etkin who was about to perform in the Festival.  Oran proved to be the ideal interviewee with really interesting views on composing and playing jazz, the influence of world music and music education. 

Kevin Le Gendre

This was followed by a presentation by Selwyn Harris who has recently produced a definitive boxed set of CDs of jazz music in Polish cinema which was launched at the EFG London Jazz Festival accompanied by screenings of some of the most famous films.  Selwyn started his jazz journalism career as an intern at Jazzwise magazine but emphasised that it is necessary to develop a range of expertise to prosper and that simply writing is unlikely to be enough.

Kevin Le Gendre rounded the course off re-iterating the importance of writing style, communicating with the reader and always being on the lookout for interesting opportunities in all types of media where journalism skills are important.  Everyone agreed that the course had been informative, thought provoking and enjoyable and expressed their gratitude to Jazzwise and Serious for providing this unique opportunity. There doesn't seem to be much money to be made and most journalists have a number of irons in a number of fires. Perks such as there are include free entrance to gigs and CDs but I have to say that even in my humble volunteering role with LJF you do have fun and get to meet some interesting members of the jazz community.

 

 

 

Album first released: 4th November 2014- Label: Prevenient Music / CD Baby

 

Phil DeGreg and Brasilia

Brazilian People

Vic Arnold reviews this album for us

Sometimes people forget that not only can jazz be an excellent music to listen to, but it always has been great for dancing too. I found that this excellent recording ticks both boxes, you can sit and listen, or dance to classic Brazilian music in the style of samba, bossa-nova and choro.

Brazilian People is a quintet mainly from Cincinnati that was formed in 2008 to play and enjoy the music from Brazil. They are Phil DeGregBrazilian People album (piano), Kim Pensyl (trumpet/flugelhorn), Rusty Burge (vibraphone), Aaron Jacobs (bass), and John Taylor (drums and percussion). The pianist, trumpeter, vibraphonist, and bassist are all professors at the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music. 

Click here for a video of Brasilia playing in 2014.

On tracks four and six there is a guest guitarist, Bruno Mangueira, who also wrote the music for one of the tracks. Other members of the group wrote a couple of the compositions on the recording and three tracks are the work of Antonio Carlos Jobin. There are ten tracks on the recording, eight of them were recorded in Cincinnati and the final two were recorded live at an unnamed location. 

The music is a mixture of up-tempo numbers and some that are much slower, but it all sounded good to me, and it made a refreshing change to have a vibraphone instead of the normal saxophone.  Rusty Burge's vibes introduce Jobim's A Felicidade, first introduced in the movie Black Orpheus and which has since almost become a Standard.

Click here for a video of the band playing A Felicidade (the arrangement is different to the recording).

It is always difficult to pick out the best track as an example, but on this occasion it is track one that stands out - Valley of the River.   If you have a liking for music from South America, and Brazil in particular, you should enjoy this excellent recording by Brazilian People.    

Click here to sample the album.

Vic Arnold

 

 

 

George Melly's Bar Bill

George Melly's Bar Bill

Allan Eves sends us this picture of a bar bill from a George Melly recording session at New Merlin's Caves in Clerkenwell.
George Melly's Bar Bill

Allan says that he found it in an album sleeve for the George Melly LP Son Of Nuts that used to belong to his father. The bill, which is for a total of £704 and is signed by producer Derek Taylor covers two rehearsals and the recording. It includes 87 bottles of wine - giant size, three 18 gallon kegs of beer and various items of food and a fish and chip dinner!

There appears to be no date on the bill, but we think Son Of Nuts, if that was the session, was recorded in 1973.

Allan offered the item for sale on Ebay during December but thought we might be interested in it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That Track

I Found A New Baby

This song goes back a long way. The rumour that it was first sung in year zero by a group calling themselves The Three Wise Men is probably Clarence Williamsunfounded. There is more reliable evidence that it was written by pianist Spencer Williams in the 1920s. Spencer was also responsible for Basin Street Blues, Royal Garden Blues, Tishomingo Blues and Everybody Loves My Baby - presumably the reason he had to find a new one. He wrote it with Jack Palmer (who also shares the credits for Everybody Loves My Baby). Jack was a staff writer in Tin Pan Alley and his other two 'hits' Jumpin' Jive and Boog It were written with Cab Calloway.

Clarence Williams

It was Clarence Williams (no relation) who first introduced the tune on Okeh records in January 1926 with his Blue Five with Eva Taylor (contralto) - it is sometime called I've Found A New Baby. You can listen to the Clarence Williams version if you click here - unfortunately the person who has put it on YouTube has included a mis-spelling, calling it 'I've Gound A New Baby'. He has probably been arrested.

 

Ev'rybody look at me,
Happy fellow you will see,
I've got someone nice, oh, gee!
Oh what joy, what bliss.
Just the treasure that I need,
Pure as gold and guaranteed.
Is she pretty? Yes, indeed,
Let me tell you this.

 

Why and when did people start calling each other 'baby'? On the face of it, it is rather a strange thing to call another adult, in fact there are those Dirty Dancing posterwho see it not as a term of endearment, but something a man has used to show his authority over a woman, something that demonstrates her dependence on him. These days, when women call men 'baby', presumably it could be argued that it signifies the change that has taken place in roles?

In the movie Dirty Dancing Jennifer Grey plays Frances 'Baby' Houseman (does anyone ever remember that she has other names than 'Baby'?) and it is down to Patrick Swayze's Johnny to rescue her with that unforgettable line 'Nobody puts Baby in a corner'. Click here for the movie scene clip.

Others see it simply meaning something that demonstrates a tender feeling, as one would towards a baby.

Writing in thenewrepublic.com website, Alice Robb says: 'It may be creepy, but we’ve been doing it for a long time. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, it was in the seventeenth century that “baby” was first used as a romantic term of endearment. In Aphra Behn’s 1694 novel, Love-Letters Between a Nobleman and His Sister, Philander, the male hero, declares himself “not able to support the thought that any thing should afflict his lovely Baby.” (In spite of the title - and as fitting as it would be if “baby” were coined in an incestuous context - the “sister” in question is a relation by marriage.) And it isn't just English-speakers who call each other "baby"; many languages have similar terms, from the French bébé to the Chinese baobei.'

Some see using 'pet' names as a healthy form of intimacy where using a proper name can seem inappropriate. Ian Kerner, a sexuality counsellor and author says: 'Pet names are a kind of cue to intimacy. They speak to the intimacy in a relationship. When couples stop using baby names, it’s often an indication of a lack of intimacy.' (Click here to read the rest of this article).

 



I've found a new baby, I've found a new girl,
My fashion plate baby, has got me a whirl.
Her new king o' lovin' done made me her slave,
Her sweet turtle dovin' is all that I crave.
Sweetest miss, with a kiss full o' bliss, can't resist somehow.
Tells me lies, but she's wise, naughty eyes, mesmerise I vow,
and how, I don't mean maybe!
I just had to fall,
I've found a new baby, new baby that's all
.

 

Which brings us to 'fashion plate baby'. Fashion plates again spin us back - this time to the 18th century. Fashion plates are depictions of the will.i.amlatest fashion styles. They were preceded by dolls (another term of endearment). Wikipedia tells us: 'Marie Antoinette's dressmaker was known to tour the continent every year with berlines containing dolls outfitted with the latest fashionable styles. Fashion plates, as they were known during the height of their popularity, were first circulated at the end of the 18th century in England, rather than in France, as would be expected. "The Lady's Magazine", one of the first distributors of fashion plates in magazines, began publishing in 1770, spreading the trend across Europe (of course we, as regular readers of The Lady knew this all along!).

will.i.am

Interestingly, in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the children's toymaker Tomy revived the concept as a toy marketed simply as Fashion Plates. Today, numerous magazines and toys are seen as fashion reflectors. will.i.am, musician and frontman for the Black Eyed Peas, has just revealed his new wearable technology company i.am puls on the Dreamforce stage for the first time - I don't care if people think that I am a crazy gink. I'm cool, baby!


I don't care if people think
That I am a crazy gink,
If love puts me on the blink
I'll just yell, Hey, Hey,
'cause I'm wild about my queen,
Sweetest girl I've ever seen.
She's red hot that's what I mean,
Listen while I say.

 

Moving on from wil.i.am, what about the tune? What has happened to that since the Will.i.amses brought it out? It has remained part of the Trad jazz repertoire, but it says something for the popularity of the tune that it has spread its wings.

We have to start with the classic Charlie Christian guitar solo with the Benny Goodman Orchestra (click here) considered as one of the Charlie Christianmost influential solos recorded by the guitarist. Charlie was 'an early performer on the electric guitar, and a key figure in the development of bebop and cool jazz. ...His single-string technique, combined with amplification, helped bring the guitar out of the rhythm section and into the forefront as a solo instrument.'

Charlie Christian

 

Also demonstrating the bridge between past and future is a recording by Teddy Wilson's band (click here) which at the time featured Teddy Wilson (piano), Lester Young (tenor sax), Buck Clayton (trumpet), Buster Bailey (clarinet), Freddy Green (guitar), Walter Page (bass) and Jo Jones (drums).

Click here for a very early Charlie Parker recording of I Found A New Baby from 1943 with Charlie Parker (alto sax), Efferge Ware (guitar) and "Little" Phil Phillips (drums). Listeners to this track say: 'Bird's style seems still in its embryonic stage at age 23. This is smooth and pure. Super!' and 'A true masterpiece. How about the quote from Tickle Toe at 0:17, the Song of the Volga Boatmen at 1:36, and Lester Young's Shoe Shine Boy solo quote at 1:58? Love it.'

You will find countless versions on the internet - Paul Whiteman, Ethel Waters, Andre Previn, Dexter Gordon, Sidney Bechet, Django Reinhardt, Louis Jordan - but let's end with a smile and a video of the Wiyos playing the number at the Middle Earth in Bradford in Vermont in 2007 (click here).

 



I've found a new baby, I've found a new girl,
My fashion plate baby, has got me a whirl.
Her new king o' lovin' done made me her slave,
Her sweet turtle dovin' is all that I crave.
Sweetest miss, with a kiss full o' bliss, can't resist somehow.
Tells me lies, but she's wise, naughty eyes, mesmerise I vow,
and how, I don't mean maybe!
I just had to fall,
I've found a new baby, new baby that's all.

 

 

Help With Musical Definitions No 6.

Runs

After effects of a vindaloo.

with thanks to Ron Rubin

 

 

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Album released - January 26th : Label - Naim Jazz

 

Troyka

Ornithophobia

 

Troyka: Kit Downes, keyboards; Chris Montague electric guitar; Joshua Blackmore, drums.

Click here for a video of Troyka playing Ornithophobia.

Troyka has established itself firmly as an experimental band with three of the UK's top musicians who have developed their sound over the past few years. This is their third album, and their first for the excellent Naim label, its title inspired by Chris Montague's fear of birds, an idea that develops into an 'avian flu' nightmare that changes people into human-size birds, gradually making them lose their minds. It was unfortunate that the recording was taking place as the Ebola crisis was taking hold in Africa but that gives us the opportunity to reflect again on that nightmare. Troyka invited Swedish producer Petter Eldh to produce and mix the album and on Life Was Transient and Troyka Smash, he has taken acoustic recordings of the band and resampled the performances into entirely different composition whilst retaining the Troyka sound.

In an interview with guitarmani.eu, Chris Montague says: 'We took a little bit longer to record this album as we had a very unique opportunity to record in a studio for free for 3 or 4 days with great equipment.  We recorded at Eton College which is near Windsor and we are very grateful to them for granting us access to the studio there. After we tracked all the parts live we began editing things down in my home studio, choosing the best takes, stripping out sections that didn't work etc.  This is where we chose to use quite a few overdubs to broaden a lot of the textures and add some interesting percussion tracks and piano which really make the whole album sound uniquely Troyka.'

Steve Day gives his impression of the album for us:

Naiel Ibbarola’s visuals for the avian adventure comic book which accompanies Troyka’s new recording, Ornithophobia, is a fantasy following in the Hipgnosis tradition of album covers for Pink Floyd, Yes etc.  Prog Rock always used to dress up to produce a costume drama delivered in fancy artwork.  In 2015 Prog Jazz isn’t about to short change on that score. Of course, it is the ‘score’, the actual compositions, the music itself that is a more delicate matter.

What is Prog Jazz?  I don’t set out to label anyone but Troyka’s own publicity describes the trio as ‘progressive jazz’, so I guess thisTroyka Ornithophobia recording provides a clear aural definition.  Within the first two minutes twenty-five seconds of Arcades we hear a digital synth and counterpoint percussion taking a supposedly progressive detour to Chris Montague’s guitar entry, which is itself a rather robust thing.  Had this guitar been offered up in 1974 it would have been encased within a vinyl gatefold album sleeve.  Keeping our ears on our toes, Mr Montague, Kit Downes and Joshua Blackmore produce a pattern of complication with all the skill of long haul bird migration.  These keyboards, guitar and drums are being simply, clever.

Today there is a rather fluctuating market for old school progressive rock.  The first wave of punk dealt a blow to the originals and when it periodically re-emerges the results are usually fat and flabby.  And yes, half the audience have moved their Prog to a form of jazz which is Nordic clean; slimmed down and notated to within a millimetre of existence.

What we have here is, what used to be called, ‘a concept album’.  Exactly half way through, the track Thopter presents a spoken word narrative describing Europe in ‘lock down’ following a transmuting avian virus attacking human beings.  London, Paris and Brussels are in quarantine. Thopter would be darkly Sci-Fi funny if it were not for Ebola, now a real time reality, terrible and tragic.  Fiction however has pandemic bird flu victims transformed into eagle-like creatures.  It’s a cruel twist of timing that in North West Africa dead bodies are being buried by masked heroes in goggles and protective clothing, beating the Sci-Fi spooky virus to the final painful punch.

The track that follows Thopter is a slow sparse keyboard figure called Bamburgh, its good. It doesn’t go anywhere, it’s not meant to, but it provides a moment of reflection.  For me it makes its point precisely and without clutter.  I could have done with more of that approach.  However, on its own terms, Ornithophobia is.... a piece of original thinking.  We live in a broken era, cast in technical sophistication yet often viciously viral.  Prog Jazz might yet find that whatever new, new wave is around the corner will demand that the sounds of a synth do not quite go far enough. 

Steve Day
stevedaywordsandmusic.co.uk       

Writing in marlbank.net, Stephen Graham says: 'A little more ponderous perhaps in places than on earlier albums, the ambient beginning of ‘Bamburgh’ for instance, the good news is Troyka retain their state of the art involved sense of improvisational interplay and refuse to accept jazz norms, the only question mark hovering here: have Troyka gone in just too deep?'

Find out for yourself. Listen here, or catch them on tour.

Click here for an extract from Ornithophobia.

Click here to sample the album.

Troyka are on tour in February and March:

February 8th: Edinburgh, Voodoo Rooms
February 9th: Leeds College of Music
February 10th: Barnstable, North Devon Theatres
February 11th: Milton Keynes, The Stables
February 12th: London, Rich Mix (Launch Party)
February 13th: Cardiff, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama
February 20th: Manchester, Royal Northern College of Music
February 25th: Birmingham, MAC
February 27th: Liverpoo,l Capstone Theatre
February 28th: Morecombe, Morecombe Hothouse
March 12th: Sheffield Students' Union
March 26th: Belfast, Moving On Music
April 2nd: Oxford, Spin Jazz

 

 

 

Banjoking

And so we reached the end of 2014 without a Champion for the banjo emerging. We live in hope that in this year, 2015, he or she will step forward to fight against the defamation of banjo players. Will our Champion appear in shimmering haze from desert sands like Omar Sharif in Lawrence of Arabia; incognito like Bruce Wayne in Batman; in leather like Xena, Warrior Princess, or indefatiguably like George Formby?

Here is what we are up against - jibes such as this:

A Rabbi and a banjo player are travelling through the country with their friend from India when their car gets stuck in a ditch. Stranded, they walk Banjo George Baron to the nearest farmhouse and knock on the door. A farmer and his beautiful daughter answer the door. The farmer says he'll be glad to put them up for the night and they can go for help in the morning. However, there is only room for two in the house, one of them will have to sleep in the barn.

The Rabbi volunteers and goes off to the barn. A few minutes later, there is a knock at the door, it's the Rabbi, "I cannot sleep with a pig, it's sacrilege."

Then the Hindu volunteers to sleep with the pig and goes off to the barn. A few minutes later, there is another knock on the door, "I cannot sleep with a cow, sacrilege."

So, now the banjo player takes his banjo and goes off to sleep in the barn. A few minutes later, there is a knock on the door - it's the cow and the pig!!!

Jimmy Thomson writes: 'Did you know that Cameron Mackintosh's dad was Spike Mackintosh, trumpet player with Sandy, Wally et al. I met him at Six Bells, Chelsea. Also have you come across Banjo George Baron? I sat in with him and Eggy Ley at Tattie Bogle Club in 60s - see photo to the right. Banjo George had a connection with early dance bands, and singer, Lois Lane.

George Baron played banjo in a group known as Andy's Southern Serenaders (directed by Harry Leader) which made some records for Parlophone in 1935. Apart from being fondly remembered, there does not seem to be much information around about George - does anyone else remember him?

 

 

 

The Essential Album Collection

Which jazz albums make up a collection of classics? We suggest an album each month so that we can gradually build up a list - in no particular order. Do you have these? Click here for our Essential Albums page where you will find the suggestions that have been put forward so far.

Getz Gilberto albumStan Getz and João Gilberto - Getz / Gilberto

This 1964 album brought together saxophonist Stan Getz, Brazilian guitarist João Gilberto, and Composer and pianist Antonio Carlos Jobim in a recording that started a bossa nova craze in the United States and internationally. Stan Getz had already played bossa nova on his album Jazz Samba. Getz / Gilberto became one of the best-selling jazz albums of all time, and turned Astrud Gilberto, who sang on the tracks The Girl From Ipanema and Corcovado into a star.

The album won the 1965 Grammy Award for Best Album of the Year, Best Jazz Instrumental Album - Individual or Group and Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical. "The Girl from Ipanema" also won the award fo Record of the Year in 1965. This was the first time a jazz album received Album of the Year. It was also the last jazz album to win the award until Herbie Hancock's River.The Joni Letters 43 years later, in 2008.

Click here to sample the album. Click here for a video of Astrud Gilberto and Stan Getz performing The Girl From Ipenema in 1964.

 

 

Album Released: 15th October 2014 - Label: Dot Time Records


Adrienne West and Alessio Menconi

With Love To Ella and Joe

The way Adrienne West can sing a whole passage, slowly savouring each word and confidently doing as she wants with the music, confirms for me that here is a truly talented vocalist. To have this consistent vocal control is something to treasure. In this tribute album to Ella Fitzgerald and Joe Pass, guitarist Alessio Menconi joins Adrienne to revisit some of the Fitzgerald/Pass partnership's repertoire including standards like I May Be Wrong, Speak Low, Gee Baby Ain't I Good To You, Love For Sale, A Foggy Day, and a lovely version of My Ship. Adrienne West and Alessio Menconi albumI was less familiar with Love Dance and Pra Dizer Adeus. Adrienne and Alessio do not, thankfully, attempt to imitate the originals, but they certainly do them justice.

Adrienne says: 'Paris 1980 ... that was the first time that I personally met Ella. She invited David and I backstage to meet her ...WOW!! Never could imagine that years later she would not only remember my name but invite me again to visit her backstage!'

The duo approach of voice and guitar works well when you have a voice of this quality matched with some impressive guitar playing, and Alessio Menconi is given a substantial hearing on the album. I have already mentioned My Ship and you can hear Alessio's introduction amongst the samples linked below. Adrienne takes the tune Rain and scats it for the majority of the number. The album ends with a slow version of On Green Dolphin Street that includes the introductory lyrics, not always heard, and a fine solo from Alessio.

Adrienne West is a native New Yorker and started out singing spirituals, hymns and sacred music when she was five and was singing professionally when she was six! She has appeared on Broadway and toured with a number of shows including the Tony award winning musical Ain't Misbehavin'. She now lives in Europe with her husband, a choreographer named David Cameron.

Click here for a video of Adrienne singing Tea For Two in 2009 (not on the album).

Click here to sample the album.

 

Ian Maund                                     

 

 

Finding Jazz And Ken Colyer

Anthony Abel begins to look back to his early introduction to jazz:

I stopped listening to most music after discovering Trad in the early 60s, to coin a phrase "that's what I call jazz". A bit of name dropping here, I met and spoke to many of my Trad heroes in those days and I clearly remember when Acker and co. gave me a lift in the old Bedford van that they were using, we were all crushed in the back with their kit. I muscled in on the Bob Wallis band at the Corn Exchange in Redhill all those years ago and sang his favourite piece with him Everybody Loves Saturday Night, Mickey Ashman was on bass. Click here for a video clip of Bob Wallis and his band playing Bellissima in 1962 in a movie about British Traditional jazz.

I first remember hitching out to Reading to see Ken Colyer after work with a work colleague. I was 15 at the time and working at Greenly's advertising agency in New Oxford Street (Dave Cousins who went on to play with the Strawbs also worked there).  In 1959 I had no real interest in any sort of music, but a fellow messenger at the advertising agency had and he suggested we go to an all-nighter in Reading after work that Friday night. It was my first introduction to Ken Colyer and traditional jazz.

The experience was fantastic, my pal Mick got far drunker than I did and passed out in the middle of the dance hall, nobody took any notice or even minded but I had to place a couple of chairs over him to prevent him being trampled by the hoard of dancers jiving and stomping. We were both booted and suited coming straight from work and looked totally out of place but nobody gave us a second glance. That was the start of my lifelong addiction to Trad, no cure available for one as so intense. My commitment to hearing the purist style of New Orleans music was as strong as Ken Colyer’s desire to play it. From then on I was addicted and tried to see him at as many clubs as I could. I travelled all over, sometimes hitching long distances to see him.

Ken ColyerKen was immensely popular at the club nearest to me - I lived in Sydenham at the time and used to go to the Croydon Jazz Club at The Star Hotel. Many great bands played there but when Ken Colyer was there it was a sell out and everybody’s favourite number of his was Maryland, a great tune to start a stomp, much to the management’s fury.

Ken Colyer

Best of all were the all-nighters at Studio 51, not licensed, but we used to tank up at the pub over the road in Great Newport Street.  I was fortunate to be at the bar with Ken before one all-nighter, I liked a drink too. I attempted to have a conversation with him, but if any of your readers tried the same they would have found out that Ken was a very private person and was not easily engaged in small talk, we had a couple of rounds together but he said very little. He expressed himself in his music though, and that was good enough for all of us.

The club was a smoke-filled basement and very crowded, I and many others took drink in with us. In my case it was usually a large flagon of strong cider, it's not sold like that any more but then it was available in the sort of container people now use to make homemade wine (lasts all night!). I saw Sammy Rimmington there playing with Ken for the first time, he hadn't been with him long and I don't know who he replaced. Many of us commented how odd he seemed, he was dressed in evening dress and played with his head leaning at an angle to his right. Seemed out of place and very awkward,  but once he started playing we all realised he was really special. He is still on the scene and I have seen him playing a couple of times, although he is playing the same music still superbly, for some reason there has never been a trombone in his line up.

The Venues now are all wrong, can't listen to that sort of music sitting down, it's meant to be heard in a smoky crowded club standing or jiving on a sticky floor. I remember going to one all-nighter with a girlfriend who was a fantastic dancer - I had difficulty keeping up with her, especially when I had been drinking. I took a break and fell asleep on the floor and left her to carry on alone, she didn't mind a bit. When I woke up nearly at the end of the night we did our usual thing and staggered down to Trafalgar Square and dunked our heads in the fountains to wake up properly before the homeward journey to South London. I felt very itchy then and to my horror I was covered in flea bites, but I considered even then that it was a small price to pay.

Another clear memory of the club nights was seeing Ken and Diz Disley, both drunk fall down the very steep stairs and landing on top of each other. Apart from a nasty cut on Ken’s head which someone put a plaster on, neither of them seemed bothered by what happened and both ofAnthony Abel them started the set, which of course was brilliant.

I used to see a lot of bands at Cheam baths where I first met Acker Bilk and got my much needed lift in the old van the band used. Again I went with my friend Mick and sometimes used to stay the night at his house as he lived in Ewell, not far away. I saw Ken Colyer there as well and rather than walk through the night back to S.E. London, which I had done some times in the past (no real effort then), I used to walk up to Tattenham Corner station which was unlocked in those days and spend the night sleeping on the first train out to West Croydon and a bus ride from home. I did that many times, the trains were warm and very comfortable then, I used to wear my duffle coat back to front to block out the light.

I think this picture was taken at Cheam baths possibly as it looks very clean and institutional.

Perhaps my best memory of Ken Colyer, the icing on the cake, was the North Sea Shuffle, which was organised by the Melody Maker for the princely sum of £7.00, which was rather a lot then. In the morning, we all caught a train from Liverpool Street to Harwich, bands playing all the way on the train. We took the Ferry to Hook Of Holland, bands playing on it too. I talked to Ken and Brother Bill and a woman who I think was Ken’s mother on the boat deck for some time and we all shared a few drinks. At the Hook there was an evening concert - the only band I can remember, other than Ken playing, was the Dutch Swing College Band. That was followed by an all night session with them both and others I can't recall. Then a huge breakfast in the morning and the same sessions all the way back. You can see what I mean about the best bit!

I lost contact with my friend Mick, mainly because of the state he got into when we were out together, he always drank far too much, fell over and invariably ripped the knees out of his trousers. All this caused huge rows between his parents and he overheard his father say "I can't take much more of his behaviour, I have always tried to treat him as one of my own." Until that moment he never knew he was adopted.

Anthony AbelThis picture of another friend, Bryan, and myself was taken in the early 60s at the Black Prince in Bexley, I am the one with big paint brush. We had been given the task of posting stickers by the organisers and were paid in beer, the picture was taken by my other friend Barrie Wentzell who went on to be the staff photographer for the now defunct Melody Maker.

The occasion was a jazz festival sponsored by Guards Cigarettes. That could not happen in this dayGuards cigarettes and age now smoking is taboo, but we all smoked in those days. It's one of the first big outdoor jazz functions that I attended.  I cannot remember the bands that were on the bill - that may be because of the beer I was paid and not my memory at fault.

I do have a very clear memory of the amateur band contest and seeing Ken Sims playing trumpet in one of the bands that entered. I was talking to him as I had seen him playing in the clubs, he pleaded with me not to mention who he was as he clearly was not an amateur and would be disqualified if found out. I wouldn't have said anything anyway, but his band did not win. The drummer was Viv Prince, who in later years played with The Pretty Things as well as many other bands. Another band I do remember very clearly (not jazz) was a bunch of young Irish guys calling themselves ‘Them’. The singer was called ‘Shorty’, who I also spoke to. He went on to be Van Morrison.

In 1977 when I met my second wife's mother who loved traditional jazz - which endeared me to her - she mentioned being at the Black Prince event. All the family were there including my future wife who would have been seven at the time (I am ten years older than her). It's a very small world!

To be continued ....

Please contact us if Anthony's memories trigger memories for you.

 

 

 

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:

Buddy DeFranco

 

Buddy DeFranco - American clarinettist born to an Italian/American family who played with Tommy Dorsey, George Shearing, Count Basie and Terry Gibbs amongst many others. His own early quartet included Art Blakey and more recently, in 2006, he received a Jazz Masters Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. His last playing appearance was in 2012. Click here for a video of Buddy and Terry Gibbs playing Giant Steps in 1987.

 

 

Eric Scriven - UK Jazz Club founder. Following his demobilisation in 1946, Eric opened a jazz club at 43 Port Street, Manchester. Club 43 moved to the Claredon hotel until Eric bought the lease of the Capriccio Club on Amber Street. There he featured many jazz greats including Sonny Rollins, Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster, Zoot Sims, Al Cohn, Hank Mobley, Dexter Gordon, Johnny Griffin, Max Roach, Maynard Ferguson and the cream of UK jazz musicians. The club closed in 1969 and Eric and his family moved to Los Angeles. Eric passed through the Departure Lounge on 20th December 2014.

 

 

Geoff Bradford – Brian Stanley sends us this item from the East Barnet Old Grammarians newsletter concerning Geoff Bradford, guitarist:' I have just returned from a long stay in California to be advised somewhat belatedly that Geoff Bradford passed away on the 24th March. Geoff became one of Britain’s leading guitarists and a short biography can be found on Wikipedia:

Bradford was born in Islington, England, and went to school in East Barnet. From the age of 14 he took piano lessons. Although he soon lost interest in the instrument, exposure to blues music left a lasting impression on him. After leaving school, he briefly obtained a position in an insurance office, before signed on for the Navy as a stoker-engineer when he was 17 years old. In 1954, whilst on leave, he met and married his wife Jean. He bought himself out of the Navy, then worked briefly as a baker and butcher, before obtaining a position as a screen printer. Bradford met Kevin Scott and they appeared as a duo at The Roundhouse blues club after which they formed the band, Blues By Six, with Brian Knight on vocals and harmonica, Charlie Watts, later of the Rolling Stones, on drums and Peter Andrews on bass. He has recorded infrequently, most recently in 1995. Bradford also appeared on the video Masters of British Guitar, and on the film, Living With The Blues on Channel Four".

' I didn't know Bradford, nor sadly do I remember knowing of him, but I did used to go to the above-mentioned Roundhouse where my friends and I listened to Long John Baldry, Alexis Korner, Jack Elliot and others. He played with Alexis Korner and Long John Baldry and later joined Cyril Davies's band the R&B All Stars.'

 

 

One From Ten

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

Jerome Sabbagh Quartet

The Turn

Jerome Sabbagh is a New York based tenor sax player, and has a quartet that has been together for ten years. Together with guitarist Ben Monder, bassist Joe Martin and drummer Ted Poor, Sabbagh has recorded this, his third album as a leader and it demonstrates how a band Jerome Sabbaghthat knows each other well can work in rapport.

As a composer, the French saxophonist, a New Yorker since 1995, ‘favours strong melodies and crafts compelling moods.’ The recording features a variety of songs, ranging from a pop/rock influence (Electric Sun and Banshee) to the more mysterious (Cult and Ascent). The cohesiveness is found in the improvising and the strength of the band’s sound.

The record company says of the rest of the quartet: ‘An inspired soloist with a knack for creative harmonic textures, Ben Monder (himself a noteworthy bandleader, composer, and sideman with Maria Schneider, Paul Motian and Lee Konitz) shows once more why he is one of the great guitarists of our time. Joe Martin is a first-rate bassist with a facile ear and has worked with the likes of Mark Turner and Chris Potter. Drummer Ted Poor provides a steady groove that eschews unnecessary effects. He shapes the music withJerome Sabbagh The Turn album the creativity and with a sure-footedness that has earned him the trust of Kurt Rosenwinkel and Aaron Parks.’

Click here for a video of Jerome talking about the recording and the band and giving us a taste of the music.

The Turn was recorded live to analog tape by the acclaimed engineer James Farber (Brad Mehldau, John Scofield and Joshua Redman) and mastered by the legendary Doug Sax (Pink Floyd, Diana Krall, Ray Charles and Sonny Rollins), yielding a sound that is clear, natural and warm, highlighting the band’s sonic signature.

The compositions on the recording are all originals, except Once Around the Park, a tune written by the recently deceased master drummer and composer Paul Motian. Sabbagh was one of the last saxophonists hired by Motian and played in the drummer’s “New Trio” alongside Ben Monder at the Village Vanguard in New York in 2011. The band’s take on Motian’s piece is done in tribute to this extraordinary figure.

Click here to sample the album.

 

 

 

Ten Recent Releases and Re-Issues

 


The Ten

Our monthly ten suggestions of new releases or re-releases:

 

Keith Jarrett album

 

1. Keith Jarrett, Charlie Haden, Paul Motian - Hamburg ’72 - (ECM)

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

 

 

Louis Armstrong album

 

2. Louis Armstrong - At the Crescendo 1955 - (Solar / Discovery)(3 CDs)

[Click here to sample].

 

 

Don Cherry album

 

3. Don Cherry - Modern Art: Stockholm 1977 - (Mellotronen)

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

 

 

Johannes Enders album

 

4. Johannes Enders - Mellowtonin - (Enja)

[Click here to sample. Click here for detailed information].

 

 

Jerome Sabbagh album

 

5. Jerome Sabbagh - The Turn - (Bee Jazz)

[Click here to sample. Click here for video].

 

 

The Hot Sardines album

 

6. The Hot Sardines - The Hot Sardines - (Decco)

[Click here to sample. Click here for a video of the band playing St James Infirmary].

 

 

Michael Wollny album

 

7. Michael Wollny Trio - Weltentraum Live – Philarmonia Berlin - (ACT)

[Click here to sample. Click here for video].

 

 

Tierney Sutton album

 

8. Tierney Sutton - Paris Sessions - (BFM)

[Click here to sample. Click here for the track Beija Flor. Click here for review].

 

 

Buddy Tate album

 

9. Buddy Tate - Swingville Sessions (2 CDs) - (Fresh Sound)

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

 

 

Jools Holland Sirens of Song album

 

10. Jools Holland & His Rhythm & Blues Orchestra - Sirens Of Song - (Rhino)

[Click here to sample. Click here for video. Click here for information].

 

 

 

Forum

Cyril Davies

Last month we reported on a new album, an anthology of jazz harmonica player, Cyril Davies. Roger Trobridge writes:

'The early days of R&B were covered by the Cyril Davies CD anthology which omitted some trad jazz tracks with Cyril on banjo. Todd and I helped with the original incarnation of this double CD, back in 2007. It was completed, pre-sold and then dropped at the very last second when Universal took over Castle. Our web site (www.cyrildavies.com) provided a lot of the history for the booklet. It is not generally known that two of the early outings for the Cyril Davies and Alexis Korner Blues Inc band was as a support for the late Acker Bilk. The audiences were unsure what to make of them (no waistcoats and bowler hats) and Acker could not remember them when I spoke to him about it a couple of years ago.'

Roger did a broadcast on commuity radio a year ago about the early days of the British Blues boom. You can access it on the Cyril Davies website home page - click here.

 

   

Kenny Napper

Joroen de Valk writes from The Netherlands with more information about Kenny Napper (see our Information Request page):

Kenny was living in Holland during most of the 70s and 80s. He was staff arranger for the 50-piece Metropole Orchestra (a combination of a chamber orchestra and a big band) and working continuously. Often, he also conducted the huge band. He didn’t speak Dutch but most of the people over here speak English fluently and if they don’t, they try hard to learn. He was also teaching ‘harmony at the piano’ at at least two conservatories in Holland, which means he taught non-pianists to play chords at the piano. At a certain point, there was reportedly some vague conflict with the band and he concentrated more and more on teaching.

I studied with him at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, where he stood out because A – he showed up every week (most of the new jazz teachers did not, although they got paid) and B – stimulated creativity. Instead of playing standards, he said I could bring a song of my own each week. He was a real gentleman to me, and couldn’t care less about what the other, very strict teachers might think. Sometimes, he had a hang-over and started explaining how to arrange my recent song for strings and brass. I had to remind him I didn’t have my own private Metropole Orchestra. He never touched a bass during these decades, as far as I know. Around 1990, I lost track of him. I’d love to know what became of him. It seems likely he returned to the UK and retired.

 

 

Neil Millett

Garry Crook writes with his memories of Neil Millett (see our Information page for more):

Not sure if this is the same Neil Millet I knew in Amsterdam from 1984 to 1986 but it sounds like him."My" Neil Millet(t) was working for Giltspur Engineering as a Technical Illustrator, but he was a clarinet player and had played Jazz professionally. One thing he mentioned was that he had played on some Rolling Stones Albums, not sure if that is correct? I remember his 57th Birthday in Amsterdam, he was roaring drunk and the Jazz band that was there invited him up on stage to play, he staggered up and then whilst sitting down proceeded to play a beautiful intro into a jazz piece on his clarinet. I remember him as a very humorous man, and have a few funny stories about him, sad to hear of his passing.


Harry Boult’s Club

Irene Hayward has been reading our page about the Fishmonger’s Arms and Wood Green Jazz Club (click here). Irene says: ‘I used to go  to Harry Boult's club in the 50's and I remember seeing the John Barry Seven there, the band was a regular feature, who would have thought that he would go on to be the composer for the James Bond Movies! Harry Boult's club was located in Lordship Lane (Wood Green end), it was almost opposite Wood Green tube station. My memories of it are very vague but I recall it was always crowded with teenagers and there was a stage at one end of the hall and some of us would sit on the edge of the stage so that we could be as close to the live performers as possible.

This would be around 1959. I wonder if people also remember The Assembly Rooms, opposite the Fishmongers Arms? .. that was another popular place to dance.'

 

 

 

 

Some Albums From 2014

One of our album reviewers, Steve Day, has suggested we look back over albums that we have reviewed in 2014 and choose three that we have enjoyed. Steve, Tim Rolfe, Vic Arnold and myself have chosen the following. This is not an exclusive list as there have been more than three that I personally have enjoyed!


Paul Jackson Trio album

 

Paul Jackson Trio - Groove or Die (TR)

 

 


Tyrone Birkett album

 

Tyrone Birkett - Emancipation (TR)

 



Adam Smale album

 

Adam Smale - Out of the Blue (TR)

 



Tim Kliphuis album

 

Tim Kliphuis Trio - The Grappelli Album (VA)

 

 

JazzMain album

 

Jazz Main - A Sound for Sore Ears (VA)

 

 

Annie Ross album

 

Annie Ross - To Lady with Love (VA)

 

 



Black Top album

 

Black Top - # One (SD)

 



Darrell Katz album

 

Darrell Katz & The JCA Orchestra - Why Do You Ride? (SD)

 



RaymondMacDonald album

 

Raymond MacDonald & Marilyn Crispell - Parallel Moments (SD)

 



Quadraceratops album

 

Quadraceratops – Quadraceratops (IM)

 



Janice Borla Group album

 

Janice Borla Group – Promises To Burn (IM)

 

 


Tommy Andrews album

 

Tommy Andrews Quintet – The Crux (IM)

 

 

 

 

 

Help Me Information
Long distance Information
Give me mention, then we'll see
Help me find a party ...

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 ...



 

 

Leo Blanco and Christine Tobin

Rob Adams tells us that: Venezuelan piano virtuoso Leo Blanco returns to the UK at the end of January for a set of concerts that includes an appearance with his Blue Lamp Quartet at Glasgow’s Celtic Connections festival and a duo gig with Dublin-born singer Christine Tobin, who isLeo Blanco and Christine Tobin the current Parliamentary Jazz Awards Singer of the Year, at the Vortex in London. Blanco made a big impression on his first full tour of the UK in the summer of 2013, selling out four of his eleven dates and earning rave reviews from The Guardian, Jazzwise and Jazz Journal for his rhapsodic and inventive solo piano playing. Following his London concert at the Forge in Camden, John Fordham of the Guardian was moved to describe Blanco as “a phenomenon” and Blanco’s latest album, Pianoforte, which was released to coincide with last summer’s UK visit was greeted as an “unalloyed triumph of invention” in Jazz Journal.

Blanco’s gig at Celtic Connections on Sunday February 1st reunites the Venezuelan with three of Scotland’s finest musicians, the Brazilian-born bassist Mario Caribe, alto saxophonist Paul Towndrow, of horn quartet Brass Jaw, and the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra’s drumming powerhouse, Alyn Cosker, who formed the Blue Lamp Quartet with Blanco to thunderous acclaim and five-star reviews at Aberdeen Jazz Festival in 2007. A musician who particularly enjoys working with singers (he has recorded and performed with Grammy-winning vocalist Luciana Souza as well as featuring alongside Dave Liebman, Donny McCaslin and Lionel Loueke), Blanco was so impressed with Christine Tobin’s vocal quality and her recent, award-winning album of Leonard Cohen songs, A Thousand Kisses Deep, that he invited her to join him at the Vortex on Wednesday, February 4th in a programme of duets and solo piano pieces. He will also play with Caribe, Towndrow and Cosker at the Jazz Bar in Edinburgh on Friday, January 30th.

 

 

Jazz for Labour – A Concert for Fairness and Diversity

Jazz For Labour: A Concert for Fairness and Diversity to be held at the Barbican on Friday 27 February, will include names such asJazz For Labour artists Courtney Pine, Claire Martin and Arun Ghosh (pictured above) who are among many major British jazz artists set to perform at this special concert. Inspired by the groundswell of American jazz musicians who appeared at the Jazz For Obama concert at New York’s Symphony Space during the 2012 US presidential campaign that included Roy Haynes, Joe Lovano, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Ravi Coltrane, Christian McBride and Geri Allen, Jazz For Labour will take place in the run up to the general election next May.

Other names so far scheduled to appear are: Soweto Kinch, Ian Shaw, Liane Carroll, Gary Crosby, Christine Tobin, Andy Sheppard, John Etheridge, Phil Robson, Jay Phelps, Tim Garland and Dave O’Higgins, with transatlantic solidarity from Darius Brubeck. More artists are still to be confirmed. Former Labour MP and now Parliamentary Candidate, Bob Blizzard of Jazz For Labour says: “It’s great that so many of our best jazz artists want to come together and, through their music, express support for Labour’s values of fairness and diversity that need to prevail at the next general election.”

Click here for more details.

 

 

Jazz Weekends

Tony and Denise Lawrence will be arranging their Jazz Weekends again in 2015. From March to November they book places in hotels around the UK with jazz entertainment provided.

As an example, in Bournemouth at the Wessex Hotel on West Cliff, three nights dinner, bed and breakfast including a five-course gala dinner will cost £209 per person with Kevin Grenfell's Jazz Giants featuring Matt Palmer, John Maddocks Jazzmen, and the Denise Lawrence Band with Ron Drake providing jazz in the ballroom during the evenings. Other weekends take place at Shrewsbury, Windsor, Dawlish, Banbury, Cheltenham, Lyndhurst and Stratford Upon Avon.

Click here for more details.

 

 

 

Some January Gigs

 

 

It is impossible for us to include a list of all the gigs taking place during a month. I have decided to take an approach where we will look at venues geographically and give you their website links so you can check what is going on in a particular area.

I will choose some Gig Picks that you might find interesting - but check their website for other gigs. Where a venue doesn't have a website, then some details of what is taking place are included below.

 

 

Dublin: JJ Smyth's, 2, Aungier Street, Dublin 2. www.jjsmyths.com
Gig Pick - Saturday, 31st January - Ian Shaw (UK).

Dublin: Sugar Club, 8, Lower Leeson Street, Dublin 2. www.thesugarclub.com
Gig Pick - Friday, 16th January - Taylor McFerrin and Marcus Gilmore.

Dublin: National Concert Hall (NCH), Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin 2. www.nch.ie
Gig Pick - Tuesday, 13th January - Karen Underwood.

Dublin: Whelan's, 25, Wexford Street, Dublin 2. www.whelanslive.com

Dublin: John Field Room, National Concert Hall, Dublin 2. www.nch.ie


For other regular jazz sessions in Dublin contact Ollie Dowling from Quality Music Tel: 00 353 87 287855

 

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
Gig Pick - Friday, 16th January - Alyn Cosker Group.

 

Wales: Dempsey's, Cardiff , 15, Castle Street, Cardiff, CF10 1BS. www.jazzatdempseys.org.uk
Gig Pick - Tuesday, 20th January - Alex Garnett's Bunch Of Five..

 

Lancashire: Ribble Valley Jazz and Blues Club, Atrium Cafe Bar, Clitheroe Castle Keep, Clitheroe, Lancashire, BB7 1BA. www.rvjazzandblues.co.uk
Gig Pick - Friday, 9th January - Zoe Gilby Quartet.

Newcastle-upon-Tyne: The Jazz Cafe, 25 - 27 Pink Lane, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE1 5DW. www.jazzcafe-newcastle.co.uk
Gig Pick - Tuesday, 27th January - Laura Jurd Septet.

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

Yorkshire: SevenJazz, 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).
Gig Pick - Thursday, 15th January - John Taylor's New Group at Seven Arts.

Yorkshire: Jazz In The Spa, Boston Spa, Village Hall, High Street, Boston Spa. www.jazzinthespa.co.uk
Gig Pick - Saturday, 24th January - Alan Barnes and John Hallam.

South Yorkshire: Sheffield Jazz, Various venues in Sheffield. www.sheffieldjazz.org.uk
Gig Pick - Friday, 23rd January - Max Luthert's Orbital.

Manchester: Matt and Phred's, 64 Tib Street, Northern Quarter, Manchester M4 1LW. www.mattandphreds.com
Gig Pick - Friday, 16th January - Oedipus Mingus.

Norfolk: Norwich Jazz Jam, The Windmill, Knox Road, Norwich, NR1 4LQ. www.jazzjam.org.uk

Birmingham: Birmingham Jazz Listings www.livebrum.co.uk/events/jazz
Gig Pick - Thursday, 22nd January - In Bed With.

Essex: The Electric Palace, Harwich, King's Quay. Harwich. www.electricpalace.com
Gig Pick - Thursday, 22nd January - Rico's Hot Rhythm.

Essex: The Headgate Theatre, Colchester, 14 Chapel Street North, Colchester CO2 7AT. www.headgatetheatre.co.uk

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
Gig Pick: Wednesday, 14th January - The Cheshire Cats.

Oxford: The Oxford Jazz Kitchen, The Crown, Cornmarket Street, Oxford . www.oxfordjazzkitchen.com
Jam Sessions every first Wednesday of the month, 8.30 pm - 11.00 pm with Trish Elphinstone (saxophones), Peter Dixon (guitar) and Tim Richardson (drums) at
The St. James Tavern, Cowley Road, Oxford

Oxford: The Half Moon, The Half Moon, St Clements, Oxford.
Last Wednesday of each month - The Trish Elphinstone Quintet.

 

London: King's Place, 90 York Way, London, N1 9AG. www.kingsplace.co.uk
Gig Pick - Saturday, 24th January - Matthew Halsall and the Gondwana Orchestra + Mammal Hands.

London: Lume, Hoxton, The Long White Cloud, 151 Hackney Road, London E2 8JL. www.lumemusic.co.uk

London: e17 Jazz, Walthamstow, Orford House Social Club, 73 Orford Road, Walthamstow, London E17 9QR. www.e17jazz.com

London: Pizza Express, Soho, 10, Dean Street, London W1. www.pizzaexpresslive.com
Gig Pick - Monday, 19th January - Darius Brubeck Quartet.

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  
Gig Pick - Monday 5th - Wednesday 7th January - National Youth Jazz Orchestra.

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
Gig Pick - Wednesday, 14th January - Laura Jurd: 'Human Spirit'.

London: Chickenshed Theatre Jazz Bar, Southgate, Chase Side, Southgate, London N14 4PE. www.chickenshed.org.uk
Gig Pick - Friday, 30th January -
Julian Marc Stringle: 'It's Classical'.

London: The Vortex, 11, Gillett Street, N16 8AZ. www.vortexjazz.co.uk
Gig Pick - Friday, 9th January - Christine Tobin: 'I Love Elis'.

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 (tpt) and Dave Eastham (alto / clarinet)

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

London: 606 Club, 90 Lots Road, Chelsea, London SW10 0QD. www.606club.co.uk
Gig Pick - Saturday, 24th January - Dave O'Higgins.

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

London: The Bull's Head, 373 Lonsdale Road, Barnes, London, SW13 9PY. www.thebullshead.com
Gig Pick - Saturday, 31st January - Claire Martin and Ray Gelato: 'A Swinging Affair'.

London: Putney, The Half Moon, 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, 4th January and Sunday, 18th January - 1.00 pm - 4.00 pm

 

Kent: 144 Club, Nr Tunbridge Wells and Rochester, Finchcock's Musical Museum, Goudhurst, TN17 1HH. www.finchcocks.co.uk

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

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

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

Surrey: Watermill Jazz, Dorking, Friends Life Social Club, Pixham Lane, Dorking, RH4 1QA. www.watermilljazz.co.uk
Gig Pick - Thursday, 8th January - Gwyneth Herbert & the Buck Clayton Legacy Band - The Billie Holiday Songbook.

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

Wiltshire: Bradford-on-Avon, The Fat Fowl, Silver Street, Bradford on Avon, near Bath, Wiltshire BA15 1JX.
Monthly residency by two very talented musicians, pianist John Law and saxophonist Nick Sorensen. 12.30 pm to 3.30 pm and admission is free

Bristol: The Be-Bop Club, The Bear, Hotwell Road, Bristol, BS8 4SF. www.thebebopclub.co.uk
Gig Pick - Friday, 16th January - Tribute To Kenny Wheeler.

Somerset: Ilminster Arts Centre, The Meeting House, East Street, Ilminster, Somerset, TA19 0AN. www.themeetinghouse.org,uk
Gig Pick - Friday, 30th January - Sue Richardson & Karen Sharp - A Tribute to Gerry Mulligan and Chet Baker.

Dorset: Bridport Arts Centre, South Street, Bridport, DT6 3NR. www.bridport-arts.com
Gig Pick - Friday, 16th January - Elaine Davies and Philip Clouts.

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


 

Items Carried Over From Last Month

The following items appeared in the last magazine but may still be of interest to readers:

Jazz Services - A New Plan and The Passing of JazzUK Magazine

The organisation Jazz Services has announced it is about to embark on a comprehensive restructuring process. One aspect of this process is that its long-running magazine JazzUK has had to cease publication in its current form. Following the withdrawal of its Arts Council England Jazz Services logo(ACE) funding from 2015, Jazz Services has been consulting with the wider public, ACE and and other related parties and undertaking an organisational review.

JazzUKTo coincide with its 30th anniversary in 2015, Jazz Services will introduce a new business model with greater emphasis on artist and audience development, working in partnership with related organisations and groups to offer a more rounded support network to artists throughout their careers as well as contributing towards a healthy live scene for both artists and audiences. It’s core delivery programmes – such as its funding schemes and preparation for April’s JazzAhead event - will continue as normal until the end of the current funding period, but as part of the immediate streamlining process, the current incarnation of JazzUK has now ceased publication. However, for the past few years, JazzUK has enjoyed an extremely productive partnership with Jazzwise magazine to produce monthly live jazz listings, available on the Jazz Services website as the digital guide Gigs. As part of the more collaborative model proposed for Jazz Services in the future, discussions are currently in place to expand and develop this partnership further, with more details to be announced as they are available.
 
JazzUK’s editor John Norbury-Lyons said, “It’s a shame to have to close the magazine in its current form after so many issues ... I’d like to take this opportunity to give my sincere thanks to everyone who’s been involved in its production over the years.  In the meantime, the discussions with Jazzwise magazine are very encouraging and hopefully there will yet be a future for the JazzUK name as Jazz Services continues to evolve.”

Click here for the full press announcement.

 

 

The Yamaha Jazz Scholars - Free Download

In the past, a free CD has been attached to the cover of the December/January edition of Jazzwise Magazine. This year it is available as a Yamaha Jazz Scholars 2014download. Each year, seven of the colleges and conservatoires of music in the UK nominate one of their final year jazz scholars for this award which is celebrated at the Houses Of Parliament in an event supported by Yamaha, Jazzwise, PPL and the 606 Club and hosted by the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group.

The bursaries give financial help to the scholarship winners who are able to record some of their music with producer Andy Ross at Astar Studios near Manchester. The Yamaha New Jazz Sessions recording this year also features tracks by guest musicians Ryan Quigley, Geoff Warren and Riley Stone-Lonergan. The award winners you will hear are Scott Chapman, Tom Dennis, Ashley Henry, Utsav Lal, Dan Smith, Mark Lewandowski and Ed Haine.

The download is available exclusively from Jazzwise magazine - click here.

 

 

JazzAhead! Bremen, 2015

Despite their funding issues, Jazz Services will again be taking a stand at the 2015 event JazzAhead in Germany next April.

They say: 'Jazz Services is very pleased to announce that we will again be taking a stand at the annual JazzAhead! industry event, to be held JazzAhead! image in Bremen, Germany, from the 23rd-26th April 2015.'

'Our presence in previous years has provided UK-based jazz professionals with a valuable opportunity to attend as a co-exhibitor of Jazz Services, and to allow artists to apply for showcases.  Despite the situation regarding our funding beyond the end of March next year, we recognise that JazzAhead! is a vital part of our commitment to serving the UK jazz scene’s international interests.  We have also noted the concerns of many on the scene that they would not be able to attend without the platform our presence provides, and to this end we have made careful provisions to ensure we can go ahead with 2015’s event. We’re also delighted to bring on board Cathie Rae to facilitate our involvement.  Former Director of the Scottish Jazz Federation, Cathie has attended JazzAhead! herself many times in the past and will be working with Jazz Services to organise and arrange our stand and presence.  She brings with her a fantastic wealth of international experience, and her addition to the team helps to further strengthen our position as we continue working for British jazz music at home and abroad.'

'Full details, including how to join Jazz Services as a co-exhibitor, will be announced shortly and we look forward to helping champion British jazz overseas once again in April 2015.' 

For information about JazzAhead click here.
 

 

Jazz Talks: Buckinghamshire and Norwich Areas

Buckinghamshire:

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

Norwich

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.Roy's email address is: royheadland@gmail.com.

 

 

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