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June 2022

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Ella Fitzgerald painting

Ella Fitzgerald - painting by Everett Spruill

Verve Records are issuing the recording of a previously unreleased live album of Ella singing songs from the Irving Berlin Songbook recently discovered from Norman Grantz's private collection. On August 16, 1958, just a few months after she recorded her now-classic album, Ella Fitzgerald Sings The Irving Berlin Songbook, Ella performed selections from that album live at the Hollywood Bowl with a full orchestra conducted and arranged by Paul Weston, who also arranged and conducted the studio sessions. This concert marked the only time that Ella performed these iconic arrangements live with a full orchestra. Ella At The Hollywood Bowl: The Irving Berlin Songbook will be released on 24th June. Click here to listen to Puttin' On The Ritz from the album. Click here for more detail. Click here for purchase details.

 

(piano

 

The Queen's Suite

The Queen and Duke Ellington

On 18 October 1958, Duke Ellington was presented to Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh at a private reception to mark thecentenary of Leeds Festival. Ellington was so inspired by this meeting that he composed a suite in honour of The Queen. For 40 years, The Queen’s Suite, one of Ellington’s and Billy Strayhorn's beautiful jazz works, was shrouded in mystery, with the composer insisting only one copy of the recording be pressed and handed directly to the Royal Household. The piece remained hidden from the public until after Duke Ellington’s death, before finally being premiered by the Bob Wilmer Orchestra in 1998.

On 3rd June the Nu Civilisation Orchestra will reprise their 2009 performance of The Queen’s Suite at London's Queen Elizabeth Hall as part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, with Gary Crosby OBE, recipient of The Queen’s Medal for Music and co-founder of Tomorrow’s Warriors, joining the orchestra on double bass. The show is presented by Tomorrow’s Warriors, and led by gifted pianist, composer and musical director Peter Edwards. The orchestra will also play Edwards' original piece Above and Beyond the Horizon.

Click here to listen to The Single Petal Of A Rose from The Queen's Suite.

 

 

 

Joe Albany - Low Down

Low Down movie poster

 

 

Writing in Jazzwise magazine this month, Selwyn Harris describes the movie Low Down, the biopic of bebop pianist Joe Albany: ' ....Joe Albany is a footnote at best in the jazz history books, and better-known for who he played with than anything else ..... In spite of winning a Sundance award in 2014 ..... Low Down was to fall entirely off the radar, both for filmgoers and jazz lovers. Yet arguably it's a far superior movie than Whiplash, in its candid and sensitive portrayal of the 'jazz life' .......'

As Selwyn Harris suggests, the movie had also passed me by (it is not to be confused with the Woody Allen film Sweet And Lowdown) but it is now available to rent (£3.49) or buy (£5.99) through YouTube or Amazon. 'Based on the memoir by Amy-Jo Albany, Low Down is a compassionate, tender look at the complex relationship between Amy-Jo (Elle Fanning) and her father Joe (John Hawkes), a man torn between his musical ambition, his devotion to his teenage daughter, and his suffocating heroin addiction. Set against a sensuously textured 1970s Hollywood, the film beautifully evokes a colourful, seedy world of struggling musicians, artists, and vagabonds, in which Joe and Amy-Jo strive to live the lives they want against seemingly insurmountable odds.'

Click here for a trailer.

 

 

 

 

Fergus McCreadie Joins BBC3 New Generation Artists

Congratulations to popular Scottish jazz pianist Fergus McCreadie who has been selected to join BBC3's New Generation Artists programme in September. Launched in 1999, the scheme supports young musicians at the beginning of their international careers with Fergus McCreadieperformance opportunities in London and around the UK. These include solo recitals, performances with the BBC orchestras, and appearances at some of the UK’s most prestigious venues and festivals, including the BBC Proms, Cheltenham Festival, Edinburgh International Festival, London’s Wigmore Hall, the Ulster Hall, and Snape Maltings among many others. Through broadcasts on Radio 3 these rising stars are heard by listeners all over the UK, and across Europe through the European Broadcasting Union.

The New Generation Artists joining the scheme this year hail from four continents, and include for the first time in its history an accordionist, Ryan Corbett from Scotland, and a countertenor, Hugh Cutting from England. The other New Generation Artists 2022-2024 are Colombian cellist Santiago Cañón-Valencia, the Berlin-based Leonkoro Quartet, New Zealand-born violinist Geneva Lewis, Scottish jazz pianist Fergus McCreadie, and South African soprano Masabane Cecilia Rangwanasha. They will all remain on the scheme until December 2023.

Fergus's new album Forest Floor was released in April. Click here for a video of Fergus with Law Hill from the album.

 

 

 

Seminar - Understanding Your Rights

On Thursday June 23rd from 6 pm - 8.00 pm there will be a free streamed seminar when the Musicians' Union presents, in association with BBM/BMC, Musicians: Understanding Your Rights, Income Streams And Music Industry Alphabet Soup.

Understanding Your Rights seminar

"I'm a business, man" "It's known as the music BUSINESS"

The Musicians' Union joins BBM/BMC (BritishBlackMusic.com/Black Music Congress) in marking #BBMM2022 British Black Music Month with a free, music industry knowledge boosting seminar! This masterclass is open to anyone with an interest in developing a career in the music industry. It's aimed particularly at the unsigned or do-it-yourself artist, musicpreneur, or those who provide artists, songwriters and producers with specialist support.

'Are you an aspiring musician? Do you want to work in the music industry? If you don't know your MU from your PPL, your PRS from your VPL, or your BPI from your AIM, then this masterclass is for you! If you want to know more about your options for developing a career and income streams for your passion and musical talent - then this masterclass is for you! It's led by Natalie Witts‑Kilshaw(Musicians' Union Regional Officer London Region) and Kwaku (BBM/BMC).'

This £Free event takes place via Zoom. Meeting details are sent by email upon booking. Diarise date and book this and other #BBMM2022 events at: www.BBM.eventbrite.com.

 

 

 

 

Video Juke Box

*Click on the pictures to watch the videos..... or Click on the picture of the Juke Box and see what comes up.

 

 

Juke Box

 

 

Donald Smith video

 

 

 

Donald Smith, who passed through the Departure Lounge in April, plays and sings My One And Only Love in 2010.

 

 

 

 

 

Lara Eidi Fones

 

 

Lara Eidi sings Fones with Dave Manington (bass) and Vasilis Sarakisa (percussion), a blend of world music including Greek, Arabic, Jazz and Contemporary influences sung in the original Greek of the poem 'Fones' (Greek for Voices) by celebrated Greek poet, Constantine P Cavafys. (The song is available from Bandcamp)

 

 

 

 

Turk Murphy video

 

 

Turk Murphy and his San Franciso Jazz Band play Doctor Jazz, Terrible Blues and other numbers in this 14 minute TV broadcast from 1962 [Turk Murphy, trombone; Bob Helm, clarinet; Bob Neighbor, trumpet; Pete Clute, piano; Harold Johnson, tuba and Lloyd Byassee, drums] Trombonist Melvin 'Turk' Murphy came from California, played with Lu Watters and Bunk Johnson and became a popular feature with his own band in the 1950s and 1960s. He later was singer for a number of Sesame Street programmes. (The video comes to an abrupt end but most of it is there).

 

 

 

 

 

Stablefolk Traveller video

 

 

James Pettinger's band Stablefolk play the track Traveller from their debut album Unspoken Tales. See our Tea Break chat about the album below.

 

 

 

 

 

Emmet Cohen Tea For Two

 

You might miss this video if you skip over this month's 'Lens America' item - and that would be a real shame! Pianist Emmet Cohen invited guitarist Gilad Hekselman and drummer Obed Calvaire to one of his terrific 'Emmet's Place' sessions in May, and here they are playing a lovely version Tea For Two. (Russell Hall is the bass player).

 

 

 

 

 

Harry Parry Sextet

 

 

Harry Parry and his Sextet play Honeysuckle Rose in 1947. Born in Wales, Harry played cornet, tenor horn, flugelhorn, drums and violin as a child and then took up clarinet and saxophone in 1927. In 1940 he was engaged by the BBC to lead the band for their Radio Rhythm Club show. He went on to record over 100 titles for Parlophone Records with his sextet, which included George Shearing and Doreen Villiers as members. Unfortunately, the line up for this video is not shown.

 

 

 

 

 

Tom Smith

 

 

 

This is a really nice video of The Girl From Ipanema featuring saxophonist Tom Smith. It was recorded in 2020 during lockdown but the way it has been filmed you can imagine the band being together rather than playing separately. Tom is playing with Mike Higgins (bass), Ted Carrasco (drums) and Terence Collie (piano, and who was also responsible for the arrangement, audio and video production).

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Ottilie Patterson Documentary Ottilie Patterson

 

The National Jazz Archive has reported that it is currently involved in the production of a new BBC documentary celebrating Irish blues singer, Ottilie Patterson. 'Born in Ulster in 1932, Ottilie rose to be regarded in her time as the greatest blues singer outside America. The documentary will explore her life, and hopefully help reignite interest in this sadly neglected artist.'

'Ottilie Patterson encountered jazz while studying art in Belfast and became hooked listening to recordings of early jazz icons, not least Bessie Smith. Patterson met singer Beryl Bryden while on holiday in London in 1954. She went with Bryden to a gig in Soho featuring cornettist Ken Colyer. Her initial request to sing was dismissed, but an impromptu duet with the pianist fired up the rest of the band to unpack their instruments and join in. A few days later Patterson linked up with trombonist Chris Barber. She made her debut with Barber’s band at the Royal Festival Hall in 1955.'

'The documentary is being produced by DoubleBand Films, a Belfast-based company renowned for its cutting edge work. The programme will include images from the Archive collection and will be presented by singer Dana Masters. It is expected to air late 2022 on BBC4 and BBC Northern Ireland.' 

 

 

 

 

 

Poetry and Jazz

On A Night Like This, The Story Is Told ...

As Fate Would Have It

 

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

 

Fate Marable

Fate Marable from an article by Beaulah Schacht

 

Pianist and bandleader Fate Marable was born in Kentucky in 1890. When he was seventeen, Fate began playing on the steam boats on the Mississippi River - John and Joseph Streckfus hired him to replace their piano player, Charles Mills, who had accepted a job in New York City. There was a condition: Fate's responsibilities would include playing a large steam calliope. 'Steam streamed through the brass pipes and whistles at 80 pounds of pressure, the keys were hot and they were hard to hold down. Pitch varied with steam pressure, so there was a challenge of playing in tune. The calliope was designed to be clearly heard on shore, so the volume was overwhelming to the musician who River boat calliopewas manipulating it. To prepare himself for playing the loud machine that spewed steam and water, Marable wore gloves, stuffed his ears with cotton, and donned raingear.'

 

River-boat calliope

 

'Later in 1907, he became bandleader for a paddlewheeler on the Streckfus Line running between New Orleans, Louisiana and St. Paul, Minnesota, a position he retained for 33 years. Later, he spent late nights in New Orleans' clubs scouting for talent and playing at jam sessions .......'

'As a bandleader, Marable shared the lessons from his mother with his musicians. Many of the musicians he hired played by ear, and he augmented their skills by teaching them to read music, and expected them all to learn how to play from sheet music on sight ... Members of Marable's bands were expected to be able to play a wide variety of music, from hot numbers to light classics, playing by memory or ear, and from sheet music. Above all they were expected to keep the dancers happy. Marable was a strict bandleader, demanding musical proficiency and rigid discipline from all his band members, yet allowing them to develop their individual strong points.'

 

Capitol river boat

 

The S.S.Capitol river boat

 

One of the most beautiful sounds in the city of New Orleans was Fate Marable playing his steam calliope about seven in the evening every night. Those calliope concerts from the river-boats J.S. and Bald Eagle started in the first couple of years after the boats started using music - around 1916, '17, I'd say. Well, Fate would play the calliope in the evening to let the people know the boats were going to cut out on excursions. All over that river, Fate Marable had a fabulous reputation.

This is how the river-boats got music on them. Those boats had roustabouts on them, and half of those routstabouts played guitar, and nearly all sang. Well, when those boats went up the river, those roustabouts were on the lower deck and the passengers, the gamblers, et cetera, stayed on the upper deck. But when the people on the upper deck heard the singing and playing of the roustabouts, they would come downstairs, and that gave Strekfus, the owner of the boats, the idea of putting music on the boats...... (Danny Barker).

In 1907, Fate (Marable) came out of Paducah, Kentucky, and started to work with me on the steamer J.S. (That boat burned some time ago.) The Strekfus Lines now have another boat of the same name. Those boats were responsible for the start of many a famous musician as Fate, Louis Armstrong, Joe (King) Oliver, the Dodds brothers, Jules Buffano, Wayne King, Emil Flint and others.

About 1919, Fate dropped in at the Co-operative Hall and heard Kid Ory's band playing Honky-Tonk Town by Chris Smith. Fate asked who was playing the trumpet, and it turned out to be Louis Armstrong. Bob Lyons was managing the band and playing bass. Fate went up to Lyons and asked if he could use the trumpet man the nights Lyons didn't use him. So Fate did use him, and that's how Louis got his start to get out and go north, as Fate gave him steady work on the Capitol of the Strekfus Lines...... (Tony Catalano).

Click here to listen to Louis Armstrong playing Down In Honky Tonk Town. This is a later Sidney Bechet band and the trombonist is Claude Jones rather than Kid Ory and the drummer is Zutty Singleton.

There was a saying in New Orleans. When some musician would get a job on the river-boats with Fate Marable, they'd say, 'Well, you're going to the conservatory.' That's because Fate was such a fine musician and the men who worked with him had to be really good.

You know, Fate had a white band on the river-boats before he had his coloured band. The boats would spend the winter in New Orleans, and then, around April, go up to St Louis, stoppin' at Natchez and other places for a night or two. The way it worked on the boats Monday nights were for coloured..... The river-boats played dance music mostly. But Fate had things like Jelly Roll's tunes in the book. Numbers like The Pearls and Jelly Roll Blues. And he had songs like Frankie and Johnny. As a matter of fact, Frankie and Johnny, with Fate's band, was the first record I was ever on.

Click here to listen to Fate Marable's Society Syncopators playing Frankie and Johnny.

At that time they brought the machines along with them and we made the record for Okeh in New Orleans. The other side was Piano Flight......The bands on the boats then were made up of two trumpets, one trombone, mellophone, violin, banjo, drums and bass .... (Zutty Singleton).

Click here to listen to Fate Marable's Society Syncopators and Pianoflage (Piano Flight)

The boat would stop every night in a different town ... big back-wheel boats. They advertised, like one-nighters, but still you were on the boat. There was a pretty big dance floor, with soda fountains - and a place to sleep. We started playing about eight. The boat left at nine. Everybody was down there by then. We had to play fourteen numbers by 11.30. Those fourteen numbers just had to be up there. There were two intermissions, one ten-minute, one fifteen-minute. The day rides would take you a long ways. Then the band would also get off the boat and go into the sugar cane ..... (Pops Foster).

From Hear Me Talkin' To Ya edited by Nat Shapiro and Nat Hentoff

 

Fate Marables Society Syncopators

Fate Marable's band on the S.S. Capitol.
L-R: Henry Kimball, Fate Marable, Boyd Atkins, Johnny St. Cyr, David Jones, Norman Mason, Louis Armstrong, Norman Brashear, and Warren “Baby” Dodds.

Fate Marable died of pneumonia in St. Louis, Missouri. He was 56 years old.

 

 

 

Take Five 2022

The participants for this year's Take Five programme were announced at the end of April and include eight very talented UK musicians - Charlotte Keeffe (trumpet, flugelhorn, piano, voice); Dominic Canning (piano/ synth); Marcus Joseph (alto saxophone);| Midori Jaeger (cello / voice); Misha Mullov-Abbado (double bass / electric bass); Nishla Smith (voice); Rosie Frater-Taylor (voice / guitar) and Xhosa Cole (saxophone).

Take Five is an annual talent development programme for emerging jazz and improvising musicians/composers produced by Serious, and funded by the PRS Foundation, Help Musicians, Arts Council England, and Serious Trust. Inaugurated in 2005, the programme welcomes eight of the finest young composers from across the United Kingdom’s jazz and improvised music worlds each year and offers them mentorship, collaborations, performance opportunities, and funding – serving as a pivotal moment in their careers. It has frequently led to wider recognition, touring, record deals, and more. Take Five participants 2022


The scheme centres around a week-long residency that brings the artists together with music industry experts, giving them a chance to learn about the complexities of the business in an intimate setting, and offering them the chance to take some time out from their usual busy touring/recording schedules and step back and think about how to advance their music and careers.

They also get to collaborate on a series of pieces that each of them arranges for the entire group, directed by the esteemed composer and saxophonist Jason Yarde. Following the residency, the artists continue to receive tailored mentorship from members of Serious’ experienced staff as well as receiving funding towards further mentorship from other music industry professionals. Serious also provides the artists with performance opportunities at the EFG London Jazz Festival and elsewhere – in particular as part of a “Take Five Showcase”.

To be considered for the scheme, artists must be between the ages of 25-35 or have been working as a professional musician for at least five years, be primarily based in the United Kingdom (but do not need to a UK national), be leading their own band and/or composing their own music, and demonstrate exceptional talent and future potential.

 

 

 

 


Anagram

O MORE JELLO

(American drummer)

Click here for the answer

 

 

 

 

Pizza Express Jazz Club Closing For Renovation

Pizza express Dean Street

 

The Pizza Express Jazz Club in Dean Street, London is undergoing a long-awaited refurbishment after 25 years (1997 was the last time the club was renovated!).  The famous Dean Street venue will be out of operation for a little over three weeks closing on Thursday 16th June and re-opening their doors on Friday 8th July. The street-level restaurant will remain open until Thursday 23rd June, when it too will close for refurbishment, re-opening alongside the jazz club on Friday 8th July.

They say: "Once we do re-open, please note that the original side entrance on Dean Street will be used as the main entrance to the club, you will no longer need to enter the venue through the restaurant. We look forward to welcoming you back to what we are sure will be a beautiful new venue from July."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time Out Ten

Guy Mintus

Let It Be

 

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

 

Peg rack

 

For this item you need to be able to stop for ten minutes.

We are often moving on to the next job, the next meeting, scrolling down social media, taking the next call ......'Time Out Ten' asks you to stop for ten minutes and listen to a particular piece of music; to find a time when you won't be interrupted, when you can put in/on your headphones and chill out. Ten minutes isn't long.

 

My mother-in-law has a saying for 'Let it be' that I had not heard before: "Put it on a peg and leave it there".

Of course, Let It Be was the title track of the 12th and final studio album by the Beatles. It was released on 8th  May 1970, almost a month after the group's break-up, in tandem with the documentary of the same name.

"When I find myself in times of trouble, mother Mary comes to me ... there will be an answer, let it be."

Paul McCartney said he had the idea of "Let It Be" after he had a dream about his mother during a tense period in 1968. His mother, Mary Patricia McCartney died of cancer in 1956, when he was fourteen. Paul later said: "It was great to visit with her again. I felt very blessed to have that dream. So that got me writing 'Let It Be'." In a later interview he said about the dream that his mother had told him, "It will be all right, just let it be." When asked if the phrase "Mother Mary" in the song referred to the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus, he typically replied that 'listeners can interpret the song however they like'.

I guess we all have our 'mother Marys', whether that is a partner, a colleague, a friend, a teacher, or just that voice in your head that says "step back and leave it for a while and then come back to it with a fresh look ..."

So - "put it on a peg and leave it there" for ten minutes and take time out to listen to pianist Guy Mintus playing Let It Be.

Guy is an Israeli pianist and composer. Coming from a mixed heritage of Iraqi, Moroccan and Polish Jews, he is based between Tel Aviv and New York. Equally at home whether he’s sharing the stage with jazz legends, composing for classical orchestras, collaborating with masters of traditional music, working with kids or guesting as a soloist with Ska-Punk band Streetlight Manifesto. He recently released a semi-viral musical short film called “Can You Tell the Difference?”, shot at various Jewish-Arab primary schools in Israel that support the idea of coexistence.

 

Click here to listen to Let It Be.

 

Guy Mintus

 

And when the night is cloudy
There is still a light that shines on me
Shine on 'til tomorrow
Let it be

I wake up to the sound of music
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom
Let it be,

Let it be, let it be
Let it be, let it be
There will be an answer
Let it be

 

 

 

 

Two Ears Three Eyes

Yolanda Charles

 

Yolanda Charles

 

Photographer Brian O'Connor of imagesofjazz.com took this picture of Yolanda Charles on the 14th May. The guitarist was playing with her band, The Yolanda Charles Project, at The Verdict Jazz Club, Brighton featuring Yolanda Charles, bass; Paris Ruel, vocals; Hamish Balfour, keyboards; Kim Murray, guitar and Laurie Lowe, drums.

Yolanda has played bass guitar with a wide variety of musicians including Paul Weller, Robbie Williams, Mick Jagger and Hans Zimmer. She was a member of Squeeze and she also plays with her own band, The Deep Mo. She released an EP in 2009 and an album in 2011 with the Deep Mo, and continues to perform both with the band and on solo acoustic shows. She has been involved in teaching, including running classes at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, and was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2020 Birthday Honours for services to music.

Click here for the Yolanda Charles Project playing Everything You Need at London's Spice Of Life in 2019.

 

Yolanda Charles Project


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

 

 

 

Utah Tea Pot

Tea Break

 

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

 

James Pettinger

James Pettinger

 

 

James Pettinger is the pianist, occasional accordionist, and bandleader for the band Stablefolk. He also leads his own trio and plays with various other bands in the UK. James grew up in Yorkshire, and moved to London to study jazz at Trinity Laban Conservatoire, learning from leading jazz educators and performers, such as Simon Purcell, Liam Noble and Tom Cawley; he graduated in 2017. He has performed at the top UK jazz venues - Ronnie Scott’s, Kansas Smitty’s and Green Note, to name a few, playing his own tunes and those of his peers.

Jazz wasn’t his first love, that title is held by the Dave Matthews Band, whom James has admired since his early teens, but his regular listening also includes the music of Shai Maestro, Jonathan Brooke, Dua Lipa, Jacob Collier and James Taylor.

James' technique for getting the best out of the Stablefolk musicians is described as 'elegant and subtle ..... he gets annoyed that they’re not playing it quite the way he wants it, then, after much pontification, announces that it was pretty good actually.'

Stablefolk includes some of the UK's prominent young jazz musicians: Tom Ridout plays soprano and tenor saxophone and bass clarinet. A multi-award winning saxophonist and recorder player, he was predicted by Jazzwise magazine in 2012 as an 'upcoming jazz musician to watch out for' and he went on to be a finalist in the 2016 BBC Young Musician Jazz Award, he is a graduate from the prestigious Royal Academy of Music and winner of the Lancaster Jazz Festival Youth Jazz Commission 2018. Guitarist James Maltby studied jazz at Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and won the Sheriff’s Prize for achieving the highest overall mark on the course. Aram Bahmaie studied jazz at Birmingham Conservatoire under legendary bassists Mark Hodgson and Arnie Somogyi, and went on to play around the UK and in Europe, including at the Cheltenham and Trondheim Jazz Festivals. Drummer Adam Woodcock graduated from the jazz programme at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in 2019 with a first-class honours degree, after studying under some of the best on the British jazz scene, including Simon Purcell, Hans Koller, James Maddren, Gene Calderazzo and Asaf Sirkis. He has performed all over the UK and further afield, both as a sideman and leader of his own group ‘Meridian’.

Their music is described as contemporary jazz built on the 'songs and sounds from folk, singer-songwriters, and music that falls between the cracks. In the midst of its sweeping arcs and epic builds, Stablefolk balances the joyful alongside the melancholy, creating musical moments that transcend genre.'

More simply put, they have a talent for playing really creative jazz that keeps firm hold of the folk music from which it is drawn. Check out this video of Traveller to see and hear what I mean - click here.

Their debut album, Unspoken Tales, is released in June. Altogether, there are five tracks on the album - First Road; Traveller; Riverbend; Hope Runs Deep and Maymolly. First Road is a short introduction on James Pettinger's accordion, down low with an engaging melody that rises from it. Down that First Road comes the Traveller. There is a second video of the third track Riverbend that we'll play during the tea break. It has a haunting, atmospheric theme from Tom Ridout as you will hear. Hope Runs Deep is a light dancing tune with a catchy theme that conveys well the hope in the title and Maymolly, the final track is perhaps my favourite - waves on a sea shore and a beautiful, gentle, lyrical piano piece with equally lovely guitar playing from James Maltby. As their website says: 'Warm, tonal music with a strong sense of home'.

 

Stablefolk's debut EP, Unspoken Tales, is released on June 10th - click here.

 

Stablefolk

 

Stablefolk: L-R: Adam Woodcock; James Pettinger; Tom Ridout; Aram Bahmaie and James Maltby

 

James dropped by for a tea break ....

Hi James, good to see you. Can I get you a tea or coffee? What do folk / jazz musicians drink?

Hi Ian! I’ll take a hot chocolate please – I don’t know what folk or jazz musicians drink, but I’m pretty certain it’s not hot chocolate, so please don’t tell anyone.

It's probably whiskey in the jar, but probably a bit early for that. Hot chocolate isn't a problem, but I'm right out of whipped cream and those small marsh mallows. Milk and sugar?

Probably no extra sugar, but milk in there somewhere would be great.

So, how are you feeling about the new album Unspoken Tales? It's your debut album so did it take some time to come together?

Right now I’m feeling a bit of a mixture: excitement for it to be out there, apprehension that it meets my probably too high expectations, and also a little tiredness to be quite honest. I loved writing the music, and the studio time, and seeing it come together, but it’s what follows that – making sure it doesn’t just excite my mum and teddy bears – that I’m less enthusiastic about, sending lots of emails and doing lots of admin! I’ve heard my tunes a lot by now… It has taken ages to come together actually, but maybe that’s normal, I wouldn’t know! Lots of the process took longer than I imagined it would, the artwork, the videos – but I’m massively a perfectionist so I really wanted it to be just the way I wanted. Which, credit to the people who I’ve worked with, it pretty much is! This hot chocolate is great by the way, thanks.

You're welcome ........ I'm sure the admin can be a real chore, but having put so much careful work into creating the music, it's got to be important to share it well so that a lot of people can enjoy it and so that it opens the doors to what will follow. By the way, I’m intrigued by the title – what and why are the unspoken tales?

I’m excited to be talking about the EP so excuse me if I’m a little self-indulgent!! Unspoken Tales refers to a couple of things. The first is that I can find it hard to express myself well in person, and I can feel that I don’t have much to say at times, so the ‘tales’ I do have to tell come through my music rather than my actual voice, hence ‘unspoken’. The second link I only realised quite recently, but it also fits well I think. I love the fantasy genre, and getting lost in fictional worlds. One of my favourite things is when an author refers just in passing to an event, or person or place, but it’s clear there’s a whole history behind it – and your imagination can go wild filling in the gaps. But it’s the endless possibilities that I find compelling, the not-said, rather than the inevitable prequel that explains exactly how the thing did the thing. Leave it to the imagination! The Kessel Run comment by Han Solo is a good example!

So the Millenium Falcon made the Kessel Run in less than 12 porseconds carrying glitterstim spice without getting caught when it usually took 20 porseconds. Hard to imagine how it did that. Some travelling - which makes a good link to the single - why did you choose the Traveller track to put out as the first single?

It’s upbeat! My music can be a little reflective/introverted, and I think that kind of thing might not grab you straightaway. I basically thought it was the most fun from the EP. Plus there’s a killer solo from Tom Ridout on soprano. And the 12-string jangling from the get-go…

We get that from the video which I played earlier ..... and why did you decide to put out an EP rather than a longer album? A number of bands are putting out singles and EPs these days and I wonder if there is the same response as for ‘LP’ albums? Could you have made the tracks longer with more impro. and put it out as a full album or are there reasons why that wouldn’t work?

I do love albums, and I grew up really listening through complete albums lying on my bed or on long car journeys. I’d get full body shivers quite regularly from Dave Matthews Band’s Before These Crowded Streets, which for me is a fully genius album. I would love to do a bigger, more ambitious work, but I didn’t have loads of tunes written, we hadn’t gigged together, and it was our first output, so I wanted to have a bit more experience before taking that on. As to the tracks being longer – I get a bit daunted when listening to something where all the tunes are Stablefolk Unspoken Tales8 minutes or more. Also, the aesthetic isn’t super jazzy, so I wanted to lean into that.

That all makes sense and the album is self-contained in that it tells the story of a journey anyway. People will be able to download or stream the album but bands have usually benefitted from CD sales when they are playing live somewhere. There are quite a number of tracks and albums now that are being made available as downloads and I wonder if those CD gig sales are missing out?

I do still enjoy physical media. If I really love a film or album, I’ll buy a hard copy. The question is how much do people do this to make it worth producing them! I’m in the process of ordering a short run of CDs (which have some beautiful artwork by the way, buy one when they’re out!) and I’m really looking forward to having a ‘thing’ I can point to and say, look what I did! I debated getting some vinyl made as well, as they’re reasonably popular, but they’re very expensive to make.

I'm fascinated by the way vinyl has come back, but you're right, they are not cheap. Going back a step - how did you come about the idea of focussing on folk music in jazz? Do you have a particular leaning towards folk? There are others of course who have that interest like Fergus McCreadie and Scottish folk music and his albums are really popular.

I’ve never actually listened to a lot of folk music. I think the thing that leads me in that direction is the acoustic guitar, which I blame on my church attendance and Dave Matthews Band! I’m very drawn to sounds that are organic, natural feeling, and there’s something about a strumming acoustic guitar that seems that way to me. I started to write music during uni, with varying degrees of success, but I found I kept stripping the jazz back from it. There were some groove-based tunes, some rhythmically complex arrangements of standards, but gradually it became about finding something simpler and organic, which comes out quite tonal and maybe gentle. Fergus’ music is great, as is Matt Carmichael’s, and I found a lovely album called Shores by Fergus Hall. There’s a real scene in Scotland of this music, which is great! I wish there was a bit more of it here in London to be honest.

There is a nice video for Shores, James, that I think illustrates what you are saying - click here. Can I top up your hot chocolate? I should have offered you a biscuit – let’s see what’s in the tin – hmm, the Hob Nobs are probably a bit stale but I’ve got some Bourbon’s and Garibaldis or Custard Creams? I’m thinking of branching out and offering visitors cake (unless they’re on a diet) – do you have a favourite cake with your morning break?

I’m an awkward customer sorry, I’m gluten free. So I’ll pass!

There's nothing for it - I really have to up my catering game if I'm ever to become a perfect host. I'll talk to Chet at the patisserie tomorrow about getting in a proper selection of gluten free cakes. Talking of folk music - if you could ask a particular folk musician to guest with the band, who would you invite?

 

Quercus

 

 

As I said, I’ve not listened to large amounts of folk, so I couldn’t name you loads of folk musicians. But there’s an album called Quercus, with June Tabor on it, and her voice is amazing, a little bleak in a good way – although none of my tunes have a vocal part. Some of the people she’s played with are awesome too: Martin Simpson on guitar and Ian Ballamy (though he’s a jazzer). There’s an unreal mandolin player called Chris Thile, who is vaguely bluegrass-y, so if that’s allowed, I’ll take him; he’s my current idol.

Quercus (photo from ECM records)

 

 

 

 

Interesting. Have you seen this video of Chris Tile with Jacob Collier playing Loves Me Like A Rock from 2018? - click here.

What would you ask them in the tea break?

Ooh cool question! I think I’d just listen to whatever June Tabor wants to tell me about. Folk songs are often about telling a story, and she seems like she’d be a great teller of tales. Chris Thile, hmm… I’d probably ask him about how he practises improvising his super quick lines, or about how he composes! He has some beautiful music.

Are you planning gigs to promote the album?

Yes I am! I've just confirmed a gig with Pizza Express at the Pheasantry in Chelsea, on 29th September. So that's exciting! I'm also booking a mini tour for some time around then. We're also playing the Monday Marquee Sessions at Sidmouth Fringe Festival on 1st August.

Great! let me know when you have the rest of the schedule and I'll share it. If people want a taste they can see the band and hear Tom's haunting refrain to the more gentle Riverbend in your second video release - click here.

What else have you got coming up this year?

I’ve not got loads booked in! I’ve got a few random things going on: I play accordion with Milena Granci’s sextet, which is a lot of fun and she has some lovely tunes, so hopefully some more of that. I’m in the London Vocal Project which is demanding (!), and we’ve got a gig in June at Pizza Express. I play piano with Adam Woodcock’s 'Meridian', and don’t tell him but I think the music is actually alright. That’s been off the boil since Covid, but I do believe things are happening at some point!

Gigs do seem to be picking up now since the Covid hiatus, thank goodness, so I think you are going to be busy, especially once the EP is released - people really must hear it. Thanks for dropping by, James. It has been great to grab a tea break with you - or hot chocolate - I'll see if I can drum up a lash of whipped cream and marsh mallows next time.

 

Click here for the Stablefolk website.

 

James Pettinger

 

 

Utah Teapot

 

 

 

 

The Grid

Our version of the popular panel game 'Only Connect'. The task is to sort the 16 names in the grid below into four groups of four connected names. Some names might seem to fall into more than one group, but there is only one complete solution.

 

Paul Whiteman

Paul Whiteman

 

Benny Goodman
Love Supreme
Small Trumpet
Chet Baker
Chalumeau
Bob Whitlock
Montreaux
Paul Whiteman
Gerry Mulligan
Johann Denner
Buddy Bolden
North Sea
Umbria
Nat Cole
Theobald Boehm
Chico Hamilton

 

 

Click here for the answers

 

 

 

 

 

 

Take Two

My Gal Sal

 

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

 

My Gal Sal intro

 

Written by Paul Dresser in 1905, My Gal Sal was apparently the first song ever performed in a motion picture film (The Jazz Singer). Sadly, Dresser died the following year and didn't get to know how well his song would do, and what became of it.

My Gal Sal poster

Paul Dresser was born Johann Paul Dreiser Jr in Indiana. He was a singer, songwriter and comedy actor and perhaps his other best-known hit was On The Banks Of The Wabash, Far Away which became Indiana's national song. In all he composed and published more than 150 songs and was at one time compared to Stephen Foster. The turn of the century brought him financial problems when his music became less popular and in 1905 his music publishing business declared bankruptcy. He died the following year.

In 1942, 20th Century Fox made a film about Paul Dresser starring Rita Hayworth and Victure Mature called My Gal Sal. In the movie, 'Sally Elliott, a musical star meets up with Indiana boy Paul Dresser, a runaway who after a brief stopover with a medicine show arrives in Gay Nineties New York. He composes the title tune for the fair lady and becomes the toast of Tin Pan Alley'. A number of female stars were approached before Rita Hayworth finally took the part but her singing voice is dubbed by Nan Wynn, (Victure Mature's singing voice by Ben Gage). Click here for a clip from the movie where the song is performed in waltz time.

There have been many jazz interpretations of the song over the years by bands including the wonderfully named Stokers Of Hades (a psuedonym for Fletcher Henderson's Orchestra on the Columbia and Parlophone labels); Red Nichols (? Beiderbeck influenced) and even Bobby Darin, but our first 'take' is one we have featured some time ago by the Mound City Blue Blowers from 1929. We are lucky to have this footage from so long ago and the fun with which the band tackle the tune is epitomised in Josh Billings' performance on and off the suitcase. The video starts with the band playing I Ain't Got Nobody before it goes into Paul Dresser's tune. [Click here for more about Josh Billings].

 

 

 

Click here for the Mound City Blue Blowers and My Gal Sal with Red McKenzie (comb and vocals), Jack Bland and Carl Kress (banjo and guitar) and Josh Billings (suitcase).

 

Mound City Blue Blowers

 

They called her frivolous Sal
A peculiar sort of a gal
With a heart that was mellow
An all 'round good fellow
Was my old pal

Your troubles, sorrow and cares
She was always willing to share
A wild sort of devil
But dead on the level
Was my gal Sal

 

If your feet aren't tapping already, our second 'take' should sort that out. This is a video of saxophone player Ewan Bleach and friends playing My Gal Sal.The video of this street band with the saxophonist from Tuba Skinny was taken in the French Quarter of New Orleans in 2017. It is good to hear an updated version of the tune without the original essence being lost.

Click here for Ewan Bleach and friends playing My Gal Sal.

Sal was clearly a good person to have around.

 

Ewan Bleach My Gal Sal

 

 

 

 

Jazz Quiz

Place The Face - Drummers

This month we challenge you with pictures of 15 jazz drummers with their initials. How many can you identify?

Who is this?

 

Click here for this month's Jazz Quiz.

 

 

 

 

 

Trish Clowes
A View With A Room

by Howard Lawes

 

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

 

Trish Clowes A View With A Room

 

 

The June 2022 edition of Jazzwise magazine might well have been called 'the Trish Clowes edition', including as it did an extended interview with Trish by Andy Robson, an intriguing list of Trish's current favourite music, a review of the performance of her band, My Iris, at the Wigmore Hall and a great review of her latest album A View From A Room. The Trish Clowes Quartet known as My Iris released their first album, My Iris, in 2017 with Trish Clowes on tenor saxophone, Chris Montague on guitar, Ross Stanley on piano and Hammond organ and James Maddren on drums; Montague and Maddren featured on Trish Clowes' first album, Tangent, released in 2010 and A View From A Room is her seventh album as bandleader, which is good going by anyone's standards. 

Answering my questions by email Trish Clowes has wonderful memories of her time at the Royal Academy (she began her music studies there in 2003) where two of her most influential teachers were Pete Churchill and Iain Ballamy, and perhaps in contrast with the experiencesTrish Clowes My Iris of students over the last two years when personal contact became difficult or impossible, she made lasting musical relationships and friendships. She met My Iris band members Chris Montague and James Maddren at college and such a long-standing relationship must pay huge dividends in terms of cohesion and empathy. Dr. Trish Clowes is now a member of staff at Guildhall School of Music and Drama teaching composition and saxophone. As for carving out her career Trish says "Well, I just did my thing, as I always have, and thus far I've been lucky in that I have always seemed to kind of know what I wanted to do next. Iain Ballamy mentored me beyond my undergrad studies, and he is a dear friend."

 

Trish Clowes and My Iris
Photograph by Jochen Kohlenberger

 

The name of the album seems clearly to be a play on the words of the title of the E.M. Forster novel, A Room With A View, which told of the restrictions placed on a young woman in Edwardian England.  All the music for the album was composed by Trish Clowes during the Covid-19 pandemic, when government-imposed restrictions had a big impact on everyone's freedom, but particularly on musicians whose lives are dominated by  playing music with others in public performance.  The picture on the album cover (photographed by Rose Hendry) has an air of mystery to it, the view as such is ill-defined while an everyday object, a bottle, close to the viewer dominates the scene. In describing the picture, Trish says "this one just really resonated with me somehow… the ‘ordinary’ objects of the home, the longing for the sea in the distance, the near and the far, the tangible and the imagined"

Click here for a video of My Iris playing the title track - A View With A Room - at Ronnie Scott's Club in March 2022.

Two of the tracks on the album, Amber and Ayana, are dedicated to inspirational women: Amber Bauer is the founder of a charity called forRefugees that uses donations to provide grants to local organisations to help refugees directly (Trish Clowes is an ambassador), while Ayana Elizabeth Johnson is a marine biologist specialising in climate issues, the dangers to coastal communities and using science to identify solutions. 

Click here to listen to Amber.

A third track Ness, has grown out of a piece composed by Trish for solo cello and premiered by her long term friend and fellow Royal Academy of Music alumnus, Louise McMonagle, on-line during lockdown.  The inspiration for the piece is the Scottish coastline and sea, the music is for the most part suitably brisk but in the end calmer and reflective.  A section of Trish's website describes the on-line event and includes some pictures of calm seas and big skies and she goes on to talk about what stimulates her compositions: "It’s all subjective, and so personal to me, but also to the listener… one never knows how one’s music will or won’t touch others in some way, that’s the magic of it".

Click here to listen to The Ness.

The last two tracks on the album nicely summarise the skill and expertise of Trish and the My Iris band. Time is a track based around a simple melody that is pushed and pulled about by each member of the band. Trish describes it as "... 'Time', in this context, is about how flexible it is… how it expands and contracts depending on how we feel, or what has happened, or where we have or haven’t been. How you can long for people you miss, and yet when you see them again, it’s like no time has passed at all."  These feelings of longing and familiarity were particularly felt by her during and after the lockdown in relation to music-making and creating music with her band as she goes on to say: "The first gigs I did back with musicians, and then in front of audiences, felt like homecomings actually".  Almost is one of the most interesting tracks on the album and has the loosest format, it seems to have a wistful feel to it, perhaps with each musician recalling their own experiences during the lockdown and revelling in being together again - a great final track to a lovely album.

Click here to listen to Almost.

My Iris have been touring the country to launch the album with an intensity that might almost rival the tours of Nigel Price - Nigel Stanley (who plays both with My Iris and the Nigel Price Organ Trio) must be one of the most travelled musicians around.  Trish Clowes and My Iris seem equally at home at the Wigmore Hall in London, known as the international home of chamber music, as they do in jazz clubs throughout Great Britain and Trish pays tribute to both Ina Wieczorek and Arts Council England for facilitating the tour.  She says: "It has been amazing playing Trish Clowes and James Maddrenfor, and meeting, so many people in different kinds of venues on this tour. It’s been so, so fun".

When asked about her own future plans she says "I don’t make many plans beyond what’s right in front of me - about a year usually - I go on instinct, blind faith, and the things that make me tick the most at any given time! As well as enjoying other things that I’m invited to do – I love new challenges".  Clearly she loves performance and the spontaneity of performing jazz, she says: "My job is just to make stuff, and stay true to my own thing, whatever that is. But I certainly enjoy things most when we as musicians can do the kind of exploring we want to get into on stage, and we can bring other listeners on the journey with us – those special connections that come from live music".  She is also fascinated by the magic of music as an educator and facilitator.  'Emulsion' is her innovative and evolving, cross-genre music festival providing a platform for new music and improvisation and as she says: "I just love watching things unfold across scenes, and the curiosities of how something, or someone, just suddenly clicks with people en masse, sometimes completely unpredictably. It’s a joyous thing".

Trish Clowes is able to celebrate everything that is great about jazz which includes leading a long-established band of musicians who are amazing in their own right and creating new and exciting music opportunities both for herself and for many others. Cormac Larkin in the Irish Times described Trish Clowes as "a musician at the intersection of generations", she is, without doubt, a leading figure in the contemporary music world and fully deserves the widespread acclaim that she receives.

Click here for details of the album A View With A Room.

Click here for Trish Clowes' website.

 

Trish Clowes

 

 

 

Lens America

Gilad Hekselman

 

Gilad Hekselman

 

Journalist/guitarist Filipe Freitas and photographer Clara Pereira run JazzTrail in New York City. They feature album and concert coverage, press releases and press kits, album covers and biographies. They are valued contacts for Sandy Brown Jazz in the United States. You can read more about Filipe and Clara in their 'Tea Break' item with us if you click here. For Filipe's reviews of album releases click here

Clara took this picture of guitarist Gilad Hekselman at an 'Alternative Guitar Summit' at The Jazz Gallery in New York City where Gilad was playing a duo set with fellow guitarist Peter Bernstein in 2018. At the time, Filipe Freitas wrote that, opening the occasion, the two guitarists: '... silenced the audience with dazzling renditions of jazz standards. They started off with a crystalline interpretation of Horace Silver’s “Peace” ....'

Much more recently, pianist Emmet Cohen invited Gilad and drummer Obed Calvaire to one of his terrific 'Emmet's Place' sessions in May, and here is the video of them playing Tea For Two - click here. (Russell Hall is the bass player).

Born in Israel in 1983, Gilad studied classical piano from age 6 and began studying guitar at the age of 9. He attended the prestigious Thelma Yellin School of Arts, graduating with excellence from the jazz department at age 18. In 2004 he moved to America, and soon after, was sharing stages with some of the greatest artists in the New York City jazz scene including Chris Potter, Eric Harland, Mark Turner, Anat Cohen, Ari Hoenig, Esperanza Spalding, Jeff Ballard, Ben Wendel, Gretchen Parlato, Ben Williams, Avishai Cohen, Tigran Hamasyan, Aaron Parks and Becca Stevens among many others. You can read his biography here.

Having released nine albums, Gilad released his latest album, Far Star, in May. It is quite different to Tea For Two! I features a number of significant jazz musician guests including Shai Maestro (keyboards) and Eric Harland (drums). The album is introduced as '... something that is simply breathtaking. The music has a boldness and simplicity, it’s progressive yet accessible; ultimately it’s a modern and adventurous album with an abundance of detail that offers reward after reward at every listen....' (See Recent Releases for details).

Click here to listen to Long Way From Home.

Filipe Freitas writes: Eric Harland ... lays down a sort of Afrobeat vibe on the .. track, employing a whistled simple melody as a starting point, this piece is impeccably layered with a frisky bass pulse and a particular guitar sound that seems to draw from country jazz. Hekselman’s improvisation is modern and catchy, and the atmosphere reaches an epic, cinematic climax before resting on the triple time drumming of Harland.....'

 

 

Gilad hekselman Far Star album

 

 

 

Name The Tune

(Click on the picture for the answer)

 

Dolphins

 

Click here for other challenges to 'Name The Tune'

 

 

 

Elk Hunting
by Matt Fripp of Jazzfuel

 

 

 

Matt Fripp set up his own music agency and website, Jazzfuel, in 2016, since when he has established a client base across many countries. Although born in the UK, Matt is currently based with his family in Paris, France, but the international aspects of his work make little difference to his location. What is different about Matt and Jazzfuel is the information that he shares publicly on his website (click here). Matt has kindly agreed to share some of his thoughts as an agent with us from time to time:

Jazzfuel

 

Without a doubt, the best 'outreach' email I've received all year landed in my inbox this morning.

(I'll clarify first that, aside from working with jazz musicians, I have no other sidelines and have never even seen an elk, let alone gone hunting...). Check it out ....


“Hi Matt,

I’m putting together an expert roundup post on ‘elk hunting tips’. And I naturally wanted to invite you to contribute.

The question is: ‘For the first elk hunter, what should we prepare to increase chance of success?’

I know you’re busy so a lengthy response isn’t necessary (50-100 words is totally fine).

Thanks!

Robert ------

Co-founder of -------"

 

Elk cartoon

 

 

It's an extreme example, but my reaction (*delete*) is the same as what happens when...

- a contemporary jazz instrumentalist reaches out to a club that only books swinging singers
- a standards singer reaches out to a festival that only books free jazz
- you pitch your new single to a jazz journalist who only covers albums
- you ask an all-Dutch record label sign your North American piano trio

Mass mails and copy/paste messages rarely work!

So next time you're planning on reaching out to someone you really want to connect with (promoter, agent, label, journalist) have a think first if you're asking them for an elk hunting tip or something they might realistically say 'yes' to.

 

 

All the best

Matt

Matt "Rocky Mountain" Fripp | Jazzfuel

 


 

 

Poetry and Jazz

Jazz Remembered

Dave Keir

 

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

 

Deve Keir

 

© Photograph courtesy of Dave Keir

 

[Dave Keir passed through the Departure Lounge in 2019. I should like to add more pictures of Dave and more of his music to this article - if anyone can help, please get in touch. Ed]

When I first met with Dave Keir, the Scottish jazz multi-instrumentalist, he had recently discovered that his great, great grandmother, Amelia Dreyheller had a father, John Henry (Johan Heinrich) Dreyheller who, when he registered the birth of his daughter in 1815, stated his profession as ‘trumpeter’. Coincidence or something in the genes?

There is further evidence of an argument for ‘something in the genes’. Dave’s father had played cornet in the Dunfermline Town Band, and his mother’s cousin, Bill Andrews, was bandmaster for the Salvation Army band in Rochester, Kent, and was another cornet player. This only presents an argument for Dave’s favoured instrument, it may not explain his considerable talent as a multi-instrumentalist.

Dave’s parents lived in the small Scottish mining village of Townhill about two miles north of Dunfermline in Fife, where David Keir was born on the 9th April 1928. His father travelled four miles or so daily by tramcar to work at the dockyard in Rosyth.

Soon after moving to Townhill, a neighbour decided to sell up and emigrate to Canada. Amongst the possessions they were selling was a harmonium for which they asked ten pounds, a lot of money in 1929. Dave’s mother managed to scrape together the money from somewhere and with the help of six other neighbours, they manoeuvred it up the flight of stairs to their flat above the village inn.

There, by sheer perseverance, she taught herself to play and read music – hymns mainly, but some light pieces by Beethoven, Schubert, Mozart’s ‘Ave Verum’, Handel’s ‘Largo’ and Schumann’s ‘Traumerei’. As a wee tot, Dave would listen spellbound to the sounds coming from his mother’s playing.

When Dave was about nine or ten years old he started to learn the cornet in the local miners’ brass band where the instrument was provided and the tuition was free. The miner who taught Dave to play loved music and also arranged many of the pieces played by the band. Dave recalls that “indeed he was as fine a musician as anyone I met afterwards”.

And so Dave would go home and play along with his mother when she sat down at the harmonium, “busking the tunes because her music was in a different key from me and perhaps it was good training for me later to produce the Jazz sounds in my head”.

At twelve, Dave started secondary school in Dunfermline. The homework he was given left him with little time to practise and his playing suffered. His cornet tutor met Dave’s mother in the street one day and complained about how Dave’s playing had slipped. His mother’s ‘artistic temperament’ exploded and she ordered Dave to hand in his cornet.

Fortunately, the music teacher at Dunfermline High School, ‘Pop’ Gardiner, had as his passion the School Orchestra and anyone who could play was immediately recruited. Now that Dave had no instrument, ‘Pop’ saw his opportunity! Since he already had about seven cornet and trumpet players amongst the hundred or so players but was short of trombone players, he button-holed Dave one day and asked whether, if he supplied Dave with a trombone and a ‘teach yourself’ book, Dave would be interested in playing? So Dave agreed. He was given the trombone and the book, and a notice that there would be a School Orchestra concert in six weeks’ time at which he would be expected to play!

“It was one of those Bass trombones in G with the handle on the slide. Firstly I took off the handle, worked out which slide positions corresponded to which cornet valves, and mastered the thing in six weeks. Pop had arranged a medley of Scottish songs including a trombone solo. I can still remember his expression of delight when I busked ‘Duncan Gray Cam’ Here Tae Woo – Ha Ha The Wooin’ O’t’. I have never managed to be a good reader of trombone parts, it being too easy to busk anything I wanted to play”.

During the latter three years at High School, Dave acquired his own tenor trombone and played in the evenings in a local dance band.

During the 1940’s, Dave had seen Bing Crosby in the film ‘Birth Of The Blues’, since when he had notions of leading a jazz group on clarinet, so he bought himself an old Albert system and taught himself to play. Two years’ National Service in the armed forces was still a requirement when boys left school in those days, so Dave joined the Royal Air Force and trained as a Radio Fitter. He was eventually posted to a flying station in Yorkshire where in the evenings he and some friends ran a dance band. This provided the opportunity for Dave to lead the saxophones on alto sax and clarinet and so bring some reality to his ‘Birth Of The Blues’ dream. He also played euphonium in the station band. One of his regrets was not coming across clarinettist Monty Sunshine who served in the same camps, and only discovering this later in 1953 when the two met in London.

After National Service, Dave returned to Dunfermline and started at Edinburgh University. He and some friends formed the short-lived ‘Creole Bells Jazz Band’, and then in 1949, Dave went on to play with ‘Jock Turner’s Jazz Band’, a little five-piece band that went to London to play at the jazz clubs there. On their return to Scotland the band broke up due to lack of engagements.

Dave moved to lodgings in Edinburgh. It was there that he heard there was a group playing in a pub in town led by a guy called Sandy Brown, so he went along and asked to sit in – on clarinet! “Remarkably, Sandy did not object, and sometime later when his cornetist Stew (Stu) Eaton left, I joined Sandy on cornet, Al Fairweather was still in the Army and in any case, he was the band’s trombonist at that time. When Al came home we were at first a front line of Sandy (clarinet), Al (trombone), and me on cornet, but Sandy had heard Al pick up someone’s trumpet and blow on it and was so impressed at the sound, we now became Al on trumpet and me on trombone”.

“Sandy’s ambition at that time was to get as near as possible to the Louis Armstrong Hot Five sound, which meant he wanted a ‘Kid Ory’ on trombone, so I left and Bob Craig joined”.

Dave moved on to join Archie Semple’s Dixielanders. He found the Chicago style they played to be more congenial and when Archie left to join Mick Mulligan in London, Dave took over the leadership of the band and renamed it the ‘Nova Scotia Jazz Band’. Jackie Graham took over the clarinet position from Archie, and Pat Malloy replaced Dickie Alexander on bass. Alex Welsh had recently come in to play cornet in place of Archie’s brother John. A year later, it was Alex Welsh who took over leadership of the band when Dave received a telegram from Mick Mulligan asking Dave to join him in London. He caught the next train.

Dave stayed with Mick for about a year before leaving with the idea of starting his own group, but he returned to the Mulligan fold for some weeks to help out on clarinet when Paul Simpson injured his hand when the group’s bandwagon crashed.

Paul returned and Dave joined Freddy Randall for a month or two “but he wasn’t doing a lot so I got a band together to play in Dusseldorf for ten weeks at the New Orleans Bier Bar. Our agent was supposed to be booking gigs for us in the U.K., but when we got back, we found nothing had been done – so that was that!”

Click here to listen to Dave playing trombone with Freddy Randall's band in 1955 on the title track from the album My Tiny Band Is Chosen - Freddy Randall (trumpet); Dave Keir (trombone); Al Gay (clarinet); Betty Smith (tenor sax); Harry Smith (piano, bass) and Stan Bourke (drums).

So Dave joined Bruce Turner’s first ‘Jump Band’ to play in Moscow at the 1957 International Youth Festival. They were there for about a month playing on Moscow Television to thousands in Gorky Park and then at a ball in the Kremlin, “although the Russians were mainly interested in Rock and Roll”.

“Bruce’s band disbanded when we got back, so I had a go at my own group again. We made a private recording of a song I had heard in the Kremlin – ‘Evening In Moscow’. I sent a copy to E.M.I. to see if they were interested, only to be told in their reply that ‘they didn’t think it had any commercial value’. Kenny Ball was later to show how wrong they were when he recorded the same tune (for E.M.I. of course!) and it went to Number One!!”.

For a while afterwards, Dave put together a band called ‘The Elizabethans’, playing numbers based on songs from Tudor times as well as the more familiar standards.

“During the remainder of my stay in the London Jazz scene I gigged at times, playing trombone with Sid Phillips, Bobby Mickleburgh and Johnny Parker, and on alto sax with Ken Colyer’s Omega Brass band. I recall playing with Bobby Mickleburgh at the Cavern in Liverpool when the Beatles were the ‘Interval Group’. I was too anxious to get to the pub at the interval to stop and listen, something I very much regret today. Little did I think then that we wouldn’t even be the ‘Interval Group’ in a year’s time.”

In the early 1960’s, Dave joined Dick Charlesworth for about a year but then left to form his own group again. Dick’s band was pretty successful, so when Dave was asked why he left, his only reply was that “I wanted to play my own material, some of my own compositions and other numbers and styles, a lot of small band Ellington for example, which I was really sold on”.

By 1964, the writing ‘was on the wall’ for jazz and so Dave returned to Edinburgh, and there he completed the degree that he had abandoned so many years before. At the time, Scotland was short of Science teachers and so he trained as a teacher of Mathematics and Physics. During the twenty-odd years that he taught, he only played with the school band at one school. He played no jazz at all until 1980 when, having retired early from teaching, Mike Hart, the musical director of the Edinburgh International Jazz Festival invited Dave to ‘sit in’ and he played trombone, trumpet, clarinet and sax from then on. He also played trombone with Charlie McNair, Frank Birnie, and Mike Hart’s ‘Edinburgh Ragtimers’ and trumpet with the ‘Capital Jazz Band’.

“About eight years ago," Dave told me in 2006, "I got together with some friends in Edinburgh to try to play the Classic Jazz of the 1895 – 1930 New Orleans period, first as the ‘Dave Keir Hot 4’, and by adding a trombone, the ‘Dave Keir Hot Five’. The personnel are Mike Westwater (alto sax and clarinet), his brother Jock Westwater (banjo and vocals), the Sandy Brown sideman Dizzy Jackson (double bass), Gordon Melrose (trombone) and myself on cornet. We made a couple of CDs. with the Quartet, but have not yet got down to recording the Hot 5 – perhaps this year at Kirkcudbright we’ll make an effort.”

 

Dave Keir Hot Five

Dave Keir Hot 5

L-R: Dizzy Jackson, Gordon Melrose, Dave Keir, Jock Westwater, Mike Westwater

© Photograph courtesy of Dave Keir

“There are not as many gigs for our kind of music these days, but we play about once a month at the local jazz club run by Norrie Thomson at the Heriot’s Rugby Club. We manage the odd Jazz Festival at places such as Peebles, Keswick, Hawick, Kirkcudbright, and of course Edinburgh and we are sometimes booked to play for wedding receptions”.

“A couple of years ago, during the Edinburgh Jazz Festival, I got together with three other musicians – Dizzy Jackson (bass), George 'Washing Machine' from Sydney (violin), and Diz Disley (violin), an old mate from my London days and who was formerly with Stephane Grapelli. ‘Washing Machine’s’ name is actually ‘Washington’, but George seems to think his real name is too pretentious! Jock Westwater recorded a souvenir CD. that we made in his flat at Howe Street in Edinburgh. I hear lately that George has Alzheimer’s Disease and of course Mick Mulligan died two or three months ago. I suppose I should say ‘there but for the grace of God …….”.

Dave lived in South Queensferry, Edinburgh playing regularly with his Hot 5 until 2007 when he retired to Dorset. He passed away on 31st May, 2019.

 

If any readers have memories of Dave Keir that we could add to this page, please let us know. We'd also be grateful for any other pictures or recordings that we could share.

Click here for a stomping version of Memphis Blues from back in the day when Dave played trombone with Feddy Randall's band - the 1955 line up is the same as shared earlier.

 

 

Forum

 

Angel Eyes

Angel Eyes verse

 

Art Levine in California saw our page 'unwrapping' the song Angel Eyes (click here) and wrote: 'Have you any information about a verse for “Angel Eyes?” I just saw someone singing it on YouTube, so I’m trying to follow this up. I wrote the performer, of course, but I thought you might be able to help out on this?'

As you will see from our article, the song was written by Matt Dennis and Earl K. Brent and featured in the 1953 film Jennifer, but we did not find reference to the verse. Art heard back from John Mackie who he had heard singing it, and John sent Art a picture of the score for the verse - proving there was one. He then heard back from John, who said that his fellow musician Yuki Kumagai, was given a photocopy many years ago "so that seems to be the end of that trail." Click here for John and Yuki singing the song.

Ever had the feeling
That the world's gone and left you behind
Have you ever had the feeling
That you're that close to losing your mind

You look around each corner
Hoping that she's there
You try to play it cool perhaps
Pretend that you don't care

But it doesn't do a bit of good
You got to seek till you find
Or you never unwind

 

 

Art is still trying to find out who published the song. "Someone mentioned that in certain instances, the publishers would omit the verse from the sheet music editions. I knew performers often did that, but I didn’t know that it was also a practice among publishers. I saw one dealer on ebay, and emailed them to ask whether the sheet they’re selling contains the verse. I haven’t heard back."

Meanwhile, Art has also come across one or two others who have included the verse when they sing the song, including Mark Murphy and Andy Bey. Click here to listen to Mark Murphy and Angel Eyes from the excellent album Love Is What Stays. Till Brönner plays trumpet / flugelhorn.

If anyone can give us any further information about the verse or its publishers, please get in touch.

 

 

Pete Mawford and the Cardinal Wolsey

Alan Worrell writes: 'I have been fascinated reading your history of jazz for several reasons. I was born in 1945, and at school at the age of about 13,  formed a skiffle group with school friends. One of them was Ian 'Mac' McLagan...I then took up drums and played in several local 'pop's groups, although I loved all styles of music. One of my first jobs leaving school was at an engineering factory in Hounslow. One of the chaps working a lathe, called Pete ...to me he looked like Buffalo Bill., after chatting, found out he also played drums in a trad jazz band...He said why not pop along to where he played on a friday night, the hall at the back of The Cardinal Wolsey near Hampton Court, was about 1961, mention him at door....this I did and was delighted to sit in on one of their numbers, impressed the girl I was with at the time. Having read your article it gives me Peter's  surname, Mawford (I think). Do you know of his where abouts etc...For the record I had a break for drumming of 50 years, but took up again 7 years ago, live in Sunbury and play in 2 groups locally....'

[Chris Mitchell mentions Pete Mawford further down our page about 'Kingston Jazz'. Please contact us if anyone knows of Pete].

 

 

 

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Thank you to those people who have liked our Sandy Brown Jazz Facebook page and who have commented on posts. I hope that you have found the items there of interest. Using Facebook gives us a chance to share information that arrives between issues of What's New Magazine. If you do visit our Facebook page, please 'Like' us and 'Share' us with your friends.

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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 more about them.

When this page first started, links to newspaper obituaries were free. Then increasingly advertisements were added and now many newspapers ask for a subscription to read a full obituary. Where possible, we initially link to a Wikipedia page which is still free of charge, but we also give links to newspaper obituaries in case you want to read them.

 

 

Don Smith

 

Don Smith - Our thanks to Keith Wicks who noticed that UK bass and sousaphone player Don Smith passed through the Departure Lounge on 12th May. Don started playing bass in 1951 when he was in the RAF and afterwards, in 1953, joined the Phoenix Jazz Band which was formed from half of the Crane River Band. From 1956 Don was with the Mike Daniels Delta Jazzmen. In late 1954, Don joined Sandy Brown's band for a recording of Shortnin' Bread at the BBC studios that, as far as we know, was never released. Don became a well-respected staff photographer for the Radio Times magazine where tribute to him is paid here. As yet, we have no other link to obituaries for Don. Click here to listen to Don with the Mike Daniels band playing Down Home Rag in 1959, and here for a video of Mike Daniels' Big Band. Don is pictured in this photograph from Keith Wicks in 1953 with the Phoenix Jazz Band probably at the White Hart, Acton.

 

 

 

 

Charnett Moffett

 

 

 

 

Charnett Moffett - American bass player born in New York City. He played with Branford and Wynton Marsalis, Sanley Jordan, Tony Williams, Dizzy Gillespie, Pharoah Sanders, Ornette Coleman and many others as well as leading his own groups. Click here for a video of Charnette Moffett's Quintet playing Holy Spirit. Obituaries: Jazz Times : Guitar World :

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conrad Janis

 

 

Conrad Janis - American trombonist and actor born in New York City. 'He assembled a band of jazz musicians in 1949 ("all of the guys that I idolized"), consisting of James P. Johnson (piano), Henry Goodwin (trumpet), Edmond Hall (clarinet), Pops Foster (bass), and Baby Dodds (drums), with himself on trombone. During the late 1970s, he formed the Beverly Hills Unlisted Jazz Band, which appeared multiple times on the Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and gave eight sold-out performances at Carnegie Hall'. He also worked as an actor in film and television. Click here for a video of Conrad playing Rockabye with the Beverley Hills Dixie Band and Jerry Lewis. Obituaries: New York Times :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Donald Smith

 

 

Donald Smith - American pianist, flautist and vocalist born in Virginia. His father Lonnie Liston Smith Sr. was a member of the famous gospel group the Harmonizing Four and his older brother, the funk/jazz keyboardist and composer Lonnie Liston Smith. Donald played with Dizzy Gillespie, Art Blakey, Jackie McLean, Archie Shepp and many others. Click here for a video of Donald Smith with My One And Only Love in 2010. Obituary: Amsterdam News :

 

 

 

 

Not all jazz musicians who pass through the Departure Lounge are reported in the national press, so if you know of anyone's passing that we should mention, please contact us with a few words about them, or a local obituary if one is available.

 

 

 

 

Recent Releases

A few words about recent releases / reviews:

Apart from where they are included in articles on this website, I don't have a 'Reviews' section for a number of reasons:

  • I receive so many requests to review recordings it is impossible to include them all.
  • Unlike some publications/blogs, Sandy Brown Jazz is not a funded website and it is not possible to pay reviewers.
  • Reviews tend to be personal opinions, something a reviewer likes might not suit you, or vice versa.
  • It is difficult to capture music in words, so much better to be able to listen and see whether the music interests you.

For these reasons in particular I just include a selection of recent recordings below where I share the notes issued by the musician(s) as an introduction and links to samples so you can 'taste' the music for yourselves. For those who like to read reviews, these, of course, can be checked out on other sites.

 

 

Some Recent Releases

Please Note: ^ Where we give links to albums from Bandcamp (and some other sites) and the price is shown in dollars or other currencies, this is converted to pounds sterling if you click 'Buy' so you can check the price before you purchase.

 

 

UK

Chris Hodgkins and his Band - A Salute To Humphrey Lyttelton

Ben Marc - Glass Effect ^

Julie Tippetts and Martin Archer - Illusion

The Felonious Monks - With Criminal Intent ^

Stephen Godsall - The Stars Displaced

Shabaka - Afrikan Culture

 

 

America

John Scofield - John Scofield ^

Orrin Evans and Kevin Eubanks - EEE : Eubanks Evans Experience ^

Mary Halvorson - Amaryllis ^

Gilad Hekselman - Far Star

Oded Tzur - Isabela

 

 

Europe and Elsewhere

Tord Gustavsen Trio - Opening ^

Thomas Mitrousis - The Seed ^

Atlanticus - Blue Haven

 

 

Re-issues

Cleo Laine - You'll Answer To Me

Vic Parker - Vic Parker At The Quebec Hotel with Chris Hodgkins and Jed Williams

Curtis Fuller Quintet - Blues-ette

The Quincy Jones Big Band - The Complete 1960 European Concerts

Louis Prima - The King Of Jumpin' Swing : Greatest Hits

 

 

UK

 

Chris Hodgkins And His Band - A Salute To Humphrey Lyttelton
(Bell CDs) - Released: 12th May 2022

Chris Hodgkins (trumpet); Henry Lowther (trumpet, flugelhorn); Noel Langley (trumpet); Charlotte Glasson (baritone sax, clarinet, penny whistle); Diane McLoughlin (alto sax, soprano sax); Alex Clarke (tenor sax, clarinet); Mark Bassey (trombone); Amy Baldwin (double bass); Buster Birch (drums); Max Brittain (guitar); Jinjoo Yoo (piano)

Chris Hodgkins A Salute To Humphrey Lyttelton

 

 

'Chris Hodgkins MBA FCIM raised in Cardiff. Toured the UK and Europe and appeared at the Sacramento Jazz Festival in the States. With his own band he made a number of television and radio appearances. Relocated to London to play professionally. In 1985, Director of Jazz Services Ltd. Retired in 2014 took to the road, the radio and the recording studio. "This album is dedicated to Kathryn Shackleton and Iain Sutcliffe of Watermill Jazz for their perseverance and hard work in supporting the UK jazz scene. The “Salute to Humphrey Lyttelton” is to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Humphrey Lyttelton’s birth and to showcase his wonderful life, times and music. As a life-long fan of Humphrey Lyttelton, I wanted to highlight how Humph led the way for the jazz revival of the late ’40s and ’50s by bringing jazz to the UK mainstream with ‘Bad Penny Blues’, the first UK jazz record to reach the Top20. This album – and the tour that preceded it – is my dedication to Humph to thank him for his huge contribution to – and advocacy of – the UK jazz scene."........ (Chris Hodgkins / album notes).

Details and Samples : Listen to Bad Penny Blues : Listen to Fat Tuesday :

 

 

 

 

 

Ben Marc - Glass Effect
(Innovative Leisure) - Released: 22nd April 2022

Ben Marc (bass); Judi Jackson, Joshua Idehen, Midnight Roban (vocals); Jason Yarde (saxophone); Ed Riches (guitar); Marius Alessia, Sam Jones (drums)..

Ben Marc Glass Effect

 

 

'Producer and multi-instrumentalist Ben Marc, who’s emerged as a key figure of London’s cutting edge jazz scene, has just announced his debut full length, a follow up to last September’s widely acclaimed Breathe Suite EP (heralded by NPR, Pitchfork, The Wire, The Guardian, and more). Glass Effect is an assured and accomplished 13-track realization of a singular vision that unifies a multitudinous profusion of influences (free-jazz, broken beat, hip-hop, electronica and beyond) into a sublime whole, underscoring the evolution of his quest for a distinctive sound: lambent, low-key, and yet dizzyingly intricate. It’s a rare talent that can link Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood, Ethio-jazz pioneer Mulatu Astatke, Afrofuturists Sun Ra Arkestra, and grime legend Dizzee Rascal, but Marc has long blurred musical worlds and criss-crossed boundaries. One of the reasons that he started writing Glass Effect, says Marc, was going to nightclubs in Ibiza and experiencing the heady sun-dappled euphoria of a summery dancefloor, as well as the beat-driven production of artists like Four Tet, Bonobo, Machinedrum, DJ Shadow, and Madlib'. (album notes).

Details and Samples ^: Listen to Give Me Time : Listen to Straight No Chasing :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Julie Tippetts and Martin Archer - Illusion
(Discus Music) - Released: 22nd April 2022 [2 CDs]

Julie Tippetts (voice); Martin Archer (keyboards, electronics, radio waves, all saxophones and clarinets); Band: Peter Fairclough (drums); Seth Bennett (double bass); Anton Hunter (electric guitar, loops and electronics); George Murray (trombone); Corey Mwamba (vibraphone, wood flute); Charlotte Keeffe (trumpet, flugelhorn) and others.

Julie Tippetts Martin Archer Illusion

 

 

'A new double CD from Julie Tippetts & Martin Archer, the first for 6 years, and our most ambitious work to date. The two CDs can be listened to separately and in any order. Each volume offers a different perspective on a common theme. CIRCLE OF WHISPERS is a sequence of 13 separate and contrasting songs, performed by various small groups drawn from the JTMA Ensemble, plus some guest musicians. Each song details a character / situation whose presence is hinted at in the companion disc. For the first time on a JTMA record, instrumental composer credits on a number of tracks go to Laura Cole and to Nick Robinson. The result is a powerful and often intensely beautiful record. By contrast ILLUSION SUITE, although split into 7 tracks, is a single piece of music which runs without break for 75 minutes. The music is structured like a DJ mix - with elements appearing, reappearing, and transforming throughout. Extensive use of chance procedures was made in arriving at the finished form of the electronic music which forms the base layer of the piece, over which we hear both the ensemble in full throttle and Julie’s complex vocal arrangements. Occasionally the music reaches passages of great – almost overwhelming - density, and periodically the 140 bpm rhythms collapse into abstraction.................. (album notes).

Details and Samples : Listen to Dancing On Air : Listen to Magic Man :

 

 

 

 

 

The Felonious Monks - With Criminal Intent
(Jazz Halo) - Released: 10th June 2022

Mike Hall (tenor saxophone, clarinet, crumhorn, recorder); Debbie Rogers (alto saxophone, oboe, crumhorn, shawm, garklein, recorder, vocals); Helena Summerfield (alto saxophone, flute, crumhorn, rauschpfeife, vocals); Carl Raven (bass clarinet, alto saxophone); Jim Fieldhouse (baritone saxophone, crumhorn); Simon Lodge (trombone, sackbut, vocals); Steve Waterman (trumpet, flugelhorn); Russell Gilmore (trumpet, cornett); Steve Berry Berry (double bass, vocals); Paul Hartley (guitar); George King (piano); Eryl Roberts (drum kit).

Feloniuos Monks With Criminal Intent

 

 

'Do crumhorns belong in jazz? The Felonious Monks are a 12 piece band combining jazz and early music, juxtaposing sackbut, recorder, crumhorn and raushfyffe against sax, trumpet, bass and drums. They succeed in fusing early music and bebop in a way which has been described as "uplifting", "fresh" and "captivating". The compositions are by Mike Hall and Debbie Rogers; Mike is perhaps best known as a jazz educator and for his work leading the RNCM big band for 20 years. He is also an in-demand tenor sax soloist and composer, influenced by his mentor John Dankworth. Debbie was a long term member of early music group The Kincorth Waits and also runs her own big band. The depth of their experience shows in these stunning arrangements for a 12 piece band, creating sonorities you've probably never heard before and allowing every instrument to shine. Originally commissioned for the 2013 Manchester Jazz Festival, this is the first general release for these recordings, on the Jazz'Halo label and Bandcamp. Mike and Debbie explain; "With Criminal Intent is often how we felt when writing the music for this project. We fully expected the purists who inhabit either the jazz or Early Music worlds to be outraged by the idea that we should fuse the two together. We had the opportunity to build a hand-picked band; musicians versatile enough to work with both period and modern instruments and help capture the spirit and ethos of our music." (album notes).

Details and Sample ^: Listen to Ballo Francese :

 

 

 

 

Stephen Godsall - The Stars Displaced
(Jazz Halo) - Released: 20th May 2022

Jimi Hendrix (guitar, voice, lyrics); Stephen Godsall (bass, drums, organ, production, additional guitar on tracks 2 and 4); Zak Smith (voice on track 3)

Stephen Godsall The Stars Displaced

 

 

Stephen Godsall is a composer and multi-instrumentalist combining jazz, classical and experimental rock. 'anted to hear more Jimi Hendrix and began by isolating guitar and voice from broadcast interviews and live performances, then cutting these into short phrases. Once again I was blown away by his vision and creativity. His speaking voice has a natural musical quality which really integrates into the tracks. I assembled drum parts, then added Jimi's voice and guitar, finally binding the whole thing together with bass guitar."Freakish blues" tells the story of how Jimi came to England and his aspirations to develop a new type of music - the words are from one of the first interviews he gave."Gig economist" uses words from his last recorded interview and it's good to hear his upbeat tone and ideas for multi-media productions. For "The stars displaced" I wanted to use some vocal phrasing similar to the "Axis bold as love" album so I got Zak Smith to record a vocal; his voice is quite similar to Hendrix. Back in 1967 his lyrics were already imagining problems with a changing climate."They got lasers, they got pills" is a stream of consciousness about creativity, racial tension, religion and anti-missile technology.' (album notes).

Details and Sample : Listen to Jimi Hendrix, Gig Economist :

 

 

 

 

 

Shabaka - Afrikan Culture
(Impulse Records) - Released: 20th May 2022 [digital only]

Shabaka Hutchings (shakuhachi, clarinet, flute, voice); Alina Bzhezhinska (harp); Kadialy Kouyaté, Kwake Bass (beatbox); Dave Okumu (guitar).

Shabaka Afrikan Culture

 

 

'Acclaimed saxophonist, philosopher, bandleader, and musician Shabaka Hutchings, now professionally known as Shabaka across all solo musical efforts, has announced his first major-label solo body of work, Afrikan Culture, which will be released on the iconic Impulse! Released on 20 May 2022. Entirely written by Shabaka, the eight-track digital-only EP showcases him on various wind instruments and focuses on the aural meditative space. “Afrikan Culture was made around the idea of meditation and what it means for me to still my own mind and accept the music which comes to the surface,” says Shabaka. “It features various types of Shakuhachi flutes and a new technique of creating that I’ve been experimenting with in layering many flutes together to create a forest of sound where melodies and rhythms float in space and emerge in glimpses.” Produced by Shabaka and frequent collaborator Dilip Harris, Afrikan Culture takes you on a sonically healing journey. Immersed in a sea of sound, diverse instruments that include the Shakuhachi (a Japanese end-blown flute), a Kora (a stringed instrument used extensively in West Africa), a Mbira (a “thumb piano” from Africa), and a music box envelopes the listener in a soothing sound that lingers on well past the last played note.' (JazzFM).

Details and Samples : Video for Black Meditation : JazzFM notes :

 

 

 

 

 

America

 

John Scofield - John Scofield
(ECM Records) - Released: 6th May 2022

John Scofield (guitar)

John Scofield album

 

 

'John Scofield’s first guitar-solo-recording ever gives a résumé of all the influences and idioms he has cultivated over his career in performances on guitar, accompanied by his own rhythmic pulse and chordal backing using a loop machine. Besides jazz, John is known to have always also had a soft spot for the rock and roll and country music he grew up with, revealed here in unencumbered renditions of Buddy Holly’s “Not Fade Away” and Hank Williams’ “You Win Again”. Between elegant and personal readings of standards, like “It Could Happen To You”, the traditional “Danny Boy” and Keith Jarret’s “Coral”, Scofield presents his own timeless compositions – some new, others known. For the guitarist, it’s all about “the way you get the sound out of the string and what you do with it after you attack it.” The 180g vinyl version will become available in autumn 2022.' (album notes).

Details and Samples ^:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Orrin Evans and Kevin Eubanks - EEE : Eubanks-Evans-Experience
(Imani Records) - Released: 18th March 2022

Orrin Evans (piano); Kevin Eubanks (guitar)

EEE album

 

 

'Welcome to EEE. The story of two musicians from the city of Brotherly Love, who have decided to turn their personal conversations about life, strife, happiness and all that goes with it, into a journey of sound. One on piano. One on guitar. Emotions, calm and tranquil, an unforeseen moment turns into what can be described as a growling pivot to a clearly different musical point of view. It’s a powerful moment when the listener’s energy AND the duo on stage experience a collective artistic conversation. They both have that homegrown Philly feel for music. Be it Jazz, gritty Funk or “Space is the Place”, all of it was part of their musical childhood which they both developed into unique, separate musical personalities and careers. There’s also a delicately beautiful side to this duo that is just pure and simply put, pretty. Their soon-to-be-released recording has a dream like quality...colors put to music. Yes, bring back the “Pretty.” I'm just saying... ' .......... (album notes).

Details and Samples ^: Listen to Novice Bounce :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mary Halvorson - Amaryllis
(Nonesuch Records) - Released: 13th May 2022

Mary Halvorson (guitar); Adam O’Farrill (trumpet); Jacob Garchik (trombone); Patricia Brennan (vibraphone); Nick Dunston (bass); Tomas Fujiwara (drums) + The Mivos Quartet (#4-11).

Mary Halvorson Amaryllis

 

 

'Amaryllis is a six-song suite performed by a newly formed sextet of master improvisers, including Halvorson, Patricia Brennan (vibraphone), Nick Dunston (bass), Tomas Fujiwara (drums), Jacob Garchik (trombone), and Adam O’Farrill (trumpet). The Mivos string quartet joins for three of the songs, making this the largest ensemble for which Halvorson has written to date. The suite showcases Halvorson’s many musical influences from jazz, experimental, new music, and beyond.' (album notes).

Details and Sample ^: Listen to Night Shift :

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gilad Hekselman - Far Star
(Edition Records) - Released: 13th May 2022

Gilad Hekselman (guitars, keys, bass); Eric Harland (drums track 1, 2, 3, 5, 6): Shai Maestro (co-production, keys track 2); Nathan Schram (viola, violin track 4); Oren Hardy (bass track 4); Alon Benjamini (drums, percussion track 4); Nomok (co-production, keys track 7); Amir Bresler (co-production, drums, percussion track 7); Ziv Ravitz (drums track 8).

Gilad Hekselman Far Star

 

 

'The adventurous and progressive guitarist and composer Gilad Hekselman releases new album ‘Far Star,’ featuring guests including Shai Maestro, Eric Harland, Ziv Ravitz, Nomok & Amir Bresler. Far Star is the new album from Israeli-born and New York based guitarist Gilad Hekselman – a work that explores a new universe rich in colour, limitless in detail and bold in vision. Based for more than 18 years in New York, Gilad has become a well known figure in that highly creative scene, building a unique sound that is both progressive and timeless. With a new approach to music making that has as much to do with the enforced constraints of the pandemic as with any artistic decision, Gilad has produced something that is simply breathtaking. The music has a boldness and simplicity, it’s progressive yet accessible; ultimately it’s a modern and adventurous album with an abundance of detail that offers reward after reward at every listen. From the opening infectious whistle you know you’re going to be taken on a journey of discovery. It connects on all fronts, emotionally and intellectually, ebbing and flowing into wide-view cinematic and progressive Jazz goodness........' (album notes).

Details and Sample : Listen to Long Way From Home :

 

 

 

 

 

Oded Tzur - Isabela
(ECM Records) - Released: 13th May 2022

Oded Tzur ( tenor saxophone); Nitai Hershkovits (piano); Petros Klampanis (double bass); Johnathan Blake (drums).

Oded Tzur Isabela

 

 

'On his second release for ECM New York-based saxophonist Oded Tzur introduces a heightened sense of urgency and a conceptually augmented approach to his distinctive voice, weaving one underlying musical idea through a series of elaborate and impassioned designs. The quartet’s lineup is unchanged from 2020’s Here Be Dragons and the group’s interplay has grown even more expressive in the meantime. Throughout Isabela the saxophonist and his collaborators – pianist Nitai Hershkovits, Petros Klampanis on bass and rhythm conjurer Johnathan Blake – apply their subtle dialect in a more intense space, exploring the nuances and colors of Oded’s self-fashioned raga in a suite-like sequence of quiet meditations and powerful exclamations. The remarkable session was captured in Lugano’s Auditorio Stelio Molo in September 2021 and produced by Manfred Eicher. The 180g vinyl version will beomce available in autumn 2022.' (album notes).

Details and Samples : Purchase Details :

 

 

 

 

 

Europe And Elsewhere

 

Tord Gustavsen Trio - Opening
(ECM records ) - Released: 8th April 2022

Tord Gustavsen (piano); Steinar Raknes (double bass, electronics); Jarle Vespestad (drums)

Tord Gustavsen Trio Opening

 

 

'On the album Opening, Tord Gustavsen reveals a fresh angle to his particularly unique trio investigations into Scandinavian folk hymns, gospel, chorale and jazz, as he introduces a different voice on bass. With a new fellow-traveller on board and its recording premiere in Lugano's Auditorio Stelio Molo, the trio discovers inspired new ways to interact with each other, using innovative approaches to sound and technique in the process. Made up in equal parts of intricately textured improvisations and understated melodic hooks, the group’s conversations bring an enticing unfamiliarity to the language the Norwegian pianist has developed over almost two decades of collaboration with ECM. The 180g vinyl version will become available in autumn 2022.' (album notes).

Details and Samples :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thomas Mitrousis - The Seed
(Self Release) - Released: 21st March 2022

Thomas Mitrousis (guitar); Kostas Yaxoglou (piano); Paraskevas Kitsos (double bass); Dimitris Klonis (drums)

Thomas Mitrousis The Seed

 

'Thomas Mitrousis was born and grew up in Athens. He started playing the guitar at the age of 12 and after finishing school he decided to study at the Jazz department of Codarts Rotterdam. He has performed and collaborated with various artists in Greece and Netherlands over the years. In March 2022 he releases his debut album with his original compositions entitled “The Seed”. All eight pieces of this album fluidly shift between moods, textures and tempos, revealing high levels of musicianship and chemistry.“THE SEED” consists of eight compositions with obvious modern jazz references, as well as influences from classical and post rock. The cinematic introduction of the opening track “Crossing Lines”, immediately engulfs the audience into the atmosphere of the album. The compositions create continuous exchanges of emotions and images, retaining an undiminished anticipation from the first note to the last. Each piece has a tendency to refer to a different musical genre. “Fax From Fux” contains baroque elements, “Poisonous Little Flower” moves with an impressionistic mood but all compositions maintain an amalgamated character, due to the common jazz background of the four musicians. The quartet explores the amazingly broad varieties of timbres and dynamics of the instruments and manages to maintain a sonic diversity with an aesthetically contemporary approach, through the whimsical arrangements........ (album notes).

Details and Samples ^: Listen to Crossing Lines : Listen to Quinta :

 

 

 

Atlanticus - Blue Haven
(self release) - Released: 10th June 2022

Peter Fraize (tenor saxophone); Terry Seabrook (organ); Jack Kendon (trumpet); Milo Fell (drums)

Atlanticus Blue Haven

 

 

'ATLANTICUS is a unique British-American musical partnership bringing together US saxophonist Peter Fraize, and UK organist Terry Seabrook, trumpeter Jack Kendon and drummer Milo Fell. ATLANTICUS draws from the storied tradition of the great Hammond organ groups, with a post-modern sound. It is a fresh take on a deep tradition, utterly authentic and effortlessly swinging. Recorded in a single day at the tail end of a month-long tour, "Blue Haven" captures all the excitement, energy and vibe of the band's live performances that UK fans have known about since 2016. The album features nine original compositions by Peter and Terry with re-workings of two tunes from the classic repertoire. It encompasses a range of the classic sounds associated with the organ genre, revitalised for the contemporary scene: the hot modal swing of ‘That’s What’, the punchy hard bop stylings of ‘Blue Haven’ and the bluesy swagger of ‘Let’s Walk’ are balanced by the intricate boogaloo groove of ‘Swank’ and the heavy funk of ‘Blues For Alice In Wonderland’ - with bold re-workings of the evergreen standards "Moanin’’ as an Afro-Latin groover and "Softly As In A Morning Sunrise" letting the whole band loose on an irresistible uptempo workout.' (album notes).

Details and Samples : Video of Moanin' live : Listen to Let's Walk : Atlanticus website : UK June and July Tour Dates :

 

 

 

 

Re-issues

 

Cleo Laine - You'll Answer To Me : A Selected Anthology
(Jasmine Records) - Released: 12th May 2022 [2 CDs]

Cleo Laine You'll Answer To Me

 

 

'Dame CLEO LAINE, DBE, is arguably Britain's most all-time versatile singer. Although acknowledged as the U.K.'s finest Jazz export, Cleo is comfortable in almost any musical genre and is the only female vocalist to have received Grammy nominations in the Jazz, Popular and Classical music categories. Famous for her scat singing and extraordinary vocal range, although she is a natural contralto, Cleo can produce a G above high C, giving her an overall compass of four octaves. This compilation traces the first twelve years of her career, beginning with her earliest sides as an uncredited ensemble vocalist in The Johnny Dankworth Seven, in 1951, through to her emergence as a major solo star at the turn of the 60s, when she registered an unlikely mainstream Pop hit, 'You'll Answer To Me'. Laine has been hugely prolific and this compilation is drawn from fourteen singles, five EPs and six LPs. The first comprehensive compilation of this body of her work, a number of these sides are notoriously hard to find elsewhere on CD.' (album notes).

Details :

 

 

 

 

 

Vic Parker - Vic Parker At The Quebec Hotel with Chris Hodgkins and Jed Williams
(Bell CDs) - Released: 12th May 2022

Vic Parker (guitar); Chris Hodgkins (trumpet); Jed Williams (drums).

Vic Parker At The Quebec Hotel

 

"For a number of years I had the great fortune to play with Vic Parker at the Quebec Hotel, Crichton Street, Cardiff. I used to work with him in the Quebec every Monday and Wednesday. We had a little duo, just playing standards, and he would sing in a Cardiff accent. When you’re young, you forget so much; you can be handed the keys to the kingdom and not notice. Working with Vic was like that: he was in his late 60s then and was one of the nicest guys you could meet. These tracks were recorded in the Quebec in January and February of 1976 with myself, Vic Parker and Jed Williams ...... Born Henry Victor Parker Saunders in Cardiff on 5 November 1910 to a mother from Barbados, he was raised by his aunt and went to school in Cathays with Frank Deniz. At the age of 16 he signed up as a galley-boy but after two voyages, decided the sea was not for him. Within months he was in London with his guitar and busking on the streets .... Recorded evidence of Vic Parker’s exceptionality has been absent until now. He is believed to have recorded with a couple of Latin-American bands in London immediately following the war, but it has been impossible to find evidence of this. Had he returned to London in the 1960s when the jazz scene was going through a period of optimism and stylistic fluidity, this omission might have been rectified. Instead, he remained in Cardiff to make occasional appearances on film and television, and to enchant all-comers with his playing." (Chris Hodgkins / album notes)

Details and Samples : Listen to You Took Advantage Of Me : Listen to Georgia On My Mind :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Curtis Fuller Quintet - Blues-ette
(Essential Jazz Classics) - Released: 28th January 2022

Curtis Fuller (trombone); Benny Golson (tenor saxophone); Tommy Flanagan (piano); Jimmy Garrison (bass); Al Harewood (drums)

Curtis Fuller Bluesette

 

 

'The widely-celebrated 'Blues-ette' album (1959) by trombonist Curtis Fuller in its entirety, plus alternate takes from the same session and three tracks from the 1957 album, 'Jazz! It's Magic'. Featuring an all-star quintet: Curtis Fuller (trombone), Benny Golson (tenor saxophone), Tommy Flanagan (piano), Jimmy Garrison (bass), Al Harewood (drums). Hackensack, New Jersey, May 21, 1959. "Here is a good example of how simple material plus taste and thought can produce an album of lasting beauty. An uncluttered method of theme statement, added to the abundant use of minor keys and the remarkable blend of the two horns, gives this LP its charm." - Don Demichael, DownBeat.' (album notes).

Details :

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quincy Jones Big Band - The Complete 1960 European Concerts
(Essential Jazz Classics) - Released: 28th January 2022 [4 CDs]

Quincy Jones (director) with various personnel including Clark Terry, Benny Bailey (trumpet); Jimmy Cleveland, Åke Persson (trombone); Phil Woods, Harold McNair (reeds); Les Spann (guitar); Patti Brown (piano); Buddy Catlett (bass); Joe Harris (drums).

Quincy Jones Big Band 1960

 

 

'All known live recordings by the fabulous Quincy Jones Big Band during its 1960 European tour, across 4CDs, includes a comprehensive 24-page booklet. By then, the orchestra included such stars as Clark Terry, Benny Bailey, Phil Woods, Sahib Shihab, Quentin Jackson, Jimmy Cleveland, and Les Spann. Recorded with excellent sound quality, this is the first issue to include all these concert performances in a single collection. "I like to look on the orchestra as my personal instrument, the same as the soloist looks on his, and I like to improvise with it. I like to describe my feelings, my moods and my thoughts so that writing becomes the same as improvising a solo for me." - Quincy Jones' (album notes)

Details :

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Louis Prima - The King Of Jumpin' Swing : Greatest Hits
(Essential Jazz Classics) - Released: 28th January 2022

Louis Prima (trumpet, vocals); Sam Butera (tenor sax); Keely Smith (vocals); Little Red Blount, Lou Sineaux, (trombone); Jack Marshall, Bobby Roberts, Alla Seltzer (guitar); Willie McCumber Jr, John Nagy (piano); Amado Rodrigues, Tony Liuzza, Roland Dilorio (bass); Bobby Morris, Harvey Lang, Paul Ferrara (drums).

Louis Prima The King Of Jumpin Swing

 

 

 

'This release compiles all the classic hits of Louis Prima's legendary band of the mid-50s featuring vocalist Keely Smith and tenor sax giant Sam Butera. The 27 tracks presented here exemplify Prima's jump-band swing style, which electrified dancers for generations and earned his band the reputation as, "the wildest show in Las Vegas". Includes 12-page booklet.' (album notes).

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Some Other Pages on this Website:

Jazz As Art : Listen to a track while looking at a range of paintings we have chosen to go with the music.

The Tea Break : A musician or someone in the Jazz world takes time out to chat over a cuppa.

Jazz Venues Near You: Venues hosting live jazz in the UK. Please let us know of other venues together with their website addresses, or please also let us know if you discover any of the links on the page don't work.

 

 

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Dmulti-instrumentalist, songwriter, composer, arranger, and film and television producer.-

 

 

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