Joel Frahm (right) and Tim Whitehead (below)
There is a particular kind of teenager who finds her, or more likely his, refuge in music. It becomes the obsession, the motivator, plus it's what gets him noticed. If it is going to be a job, that decision probably won't have formed itself with any certainty yet. But there can be formative experiences, things accomplished with schoolmates which plant the idea that a career in music is the all-eclipsing imperative.
Two tenor saxophonists who were at school with younger, better-known musicians will be doing interesting gigs in small venues in March, and I'm tempted to get to both.
Liverpool College, England, late 1960's
The principal conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic got moving early. Simon Rattle demanded a drum kit at four, he was in the violins of the Merseyside Youth Orchestra at eleven. His first conducting date was at Liverpool College- I calculate at either 13 or 14 - the ranks of the orchestra swelled by professionals from the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra befriended by his father. The soloist in the Mozart clarinet concerto at that concert was the best musician around in the sixth form: a 17 year-old Tim Whitehead.
What happened to Simon Rattle? He went onwards, upwards. He never learnt to drive, but, hey, he doesn't need to. And what happened to Whitehead? The coup de foudre was to come later, in London whan training to be a barrister, and experiencing, among other things , the live sound of Dexter Gordon. and these days? Peter Bacon of the Birmingham Post and the jazzbreakfast blog has, as ever, some choice words: "Whitehead has a highly personal, always gorgeous sound on tenor and an infinite vocabulary - in a country of fine saxophonists he is one of the finest. "
Yes, Whitehead's is an incredibly strong voice on tenor. It grabs you. By the lapels, if you choose to be polite.... And his regular quartet are powerful, imaginative and never-dull players: wall flowers would wither. It consists of the undeniably world-class Liam Noble on piano, with Oli Hayhurst on bass and Milo Fell at the drums. In the tight space of the RamJam in Kingston on Wednesday March11th, you will find that this quartet has all the immediacy and a directive energy you can handle. And then some.
William H. Hall High School, West Hartford Connecticut, late 1980's
Here's another four-year old with drive. Brad Mehldau was the son of a doctor in West Hartford, who at that age "started picking out melodies on the piano."
As a teenager he was in the High School band, but some of the first paid gigging was out and about on the road in a duo fronted by year-older schoolmate Joel Frahm
What happened to Brad Mehldau? He picked up a Warner Music recording contract just a few years out of school, and has now clocked up 15 albums as leader. And Frahm? I last came across him on DVD as a member of Jane Monheit's Rainbow Room band. His voice on tenor is characteristacally melodic, often gentle. But his the trio on his last album consists of luminaries Kenny Barron on piano, Rufus Reid on bass, and Victor Lewis on drums.
Frahm has very interesting gigs featuring Mike Janisch and Jim Hart on vibes at the tiny Con Bar in Camden Town on Monday 23rd, and in the more comfortable surrondings of the Pizza in Dean Street on Monday 30th and Tuesday 31st.
Joel Frahm (right) and Tim Whitehead (below)
BBC Radio 3 Publicity confirmed to me today the rumours which have been circulating:
the BBC has indeed withdrawn from running its Jazz Awards this year.
Jazz is supported, valued, well promoted and well done, and in each case diffrently, by both Radio 2 and Radio 3. Our hardy plant finds the ground on which to grow wherever it can...
But in the final analysis, neither 2 nor 3 is a "jazz station." This output is on the margins of what each station does.
If I were looking for one single factor - other than general pressure on budgets - which might have shifted the balance towards cancelling, I would point to the passing away last year of Humphrey Lyttelton. Humph's programmes regualarly had the highest radio audiences in the BBC's jazz output.
When I ran JazzDev, I had an informal audience with Prince Philip, and a lively trumpeter from Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex, whose badge said he was called Richard Fairweather. HRH told us that one reason that he, and indeed other members of his family liked jazz was because they adored Humph.
How do you replace a cornerstone like that?
There wasn't really any need for kitchen performance anxiety tonight. One of the cast-iron certainties in British jazz is that a band directed by Pete Long will cook.
This remarkable phenomenon generally known among musicians as Plong, this hyper-active multi-reedsman, in whom Croydon, I am told, is mysteriously inflected with a possible hint of Malta, has led successful Ellington projects,riotously good Dizzy Gillespie projects, and much else besides. Long knows his craft, he delivers meticulously edited parts onto the stands. He bandleads and MC's for Britain.
Thus there were many great moments tonight, when not only the sound, but also the visuals were totally convincing. Pete Long was shuffling around in a burgundy tail-suit, on clarinet, in charge. Enrico Tomasso was alongside him, squeezing blistering high notes out of the trumpet, his whole face rapidly becoming a perfect colour-match for Long's suit. Joan Viskant was finding the vocal colours of her - and also Krupa's - home town of Chicago circa 1940.Period-style specialist Martin Wheatley on guitar was being subtly and predictably flawless. In the background the microphone stands suspended over drummer Richard Pite's head were dancing in time. And the audience of several hundred at Cadogan Hall were showing how much they were enjoying it by whistling, whooping and cheering at the end of just about every number.
But there were uncertainties, mainly about the format. Both Pete Long and Richard Pite expressed their doubts as to whether the attempt to cram of the whole jazz life of Gene Krupa into a couple of hours could actually succeed. It was a tough ask, even allowing for Richard Pite's knowledge of, and enthusiasm for Krupa, his strong musicianship, and his antics at the drum kit. Sometimes we risked being deluged with dates, entrances and exits, criss-cross references to the period being re-created. Announcement culture, bad enough in London Transport, should never be allowed to capture the soul of a swing band as fine as this.
Because this music can, and tonight really did, speak for itself. A sentiment for which Pete Long found exactly the right adage: "If this doesn't turn you on, you ain't got a switch."
Phil is a trumpeter, a product of Leicestershire's excellent school music services, and one gig he definitely communicated a lot of excitement about is the Dave Douglas Quintet from the US on Sunday May 3rd at the Everyman. (Incidentally, Phil now reads the LondonJazz blog regularly, thanks to the very kind early plug from Peter Bacon's blog. )
Dave Douglas was also one of the names featuring prominently in Artistic director Tony Dudley-Evans excellent round-up. Tony has spent so much of his life teaching English to foreigners, that he treats both our language, and the listener, with the kind of respect which is rare.
A moment, it seems yet another moment when we remember a unique voice in British jazz.
Ian Carr died peacefully yesterday.
His early career is detailed here .
A Nucleus website which announced the news yesterday is here . Roger Farbey's obituary is here
Tributes and memories are starting to gather here
He was also one of our finest writers about jazz, the author of very important books.
No pictures, no clips, just great sadness and thought; and deepest condolences to those close to him.
1) On finishing the course:
"You'll know when you've finished the course. Some people have already finished before they've even started. There are others who will never finish."
Basil Tchaikov's remark to his student Rick Wakeman when Wakeman found that he was getting booked for more and more highly-paid sessions.
2) On Jazz in music colleges:
"Jazz used to be what people did who didn't want to go to college."
Pete Churchill on receiving his award as jazz educator of the year at the Parliamentiary Jazz Awards
3) To musicians leaving college and looking for a manager:
"Are you ready for Artist Management? The Quiz:
Question 1: Do you have anything to manage?"
Angela Myles Beeching of New England Conservatory, Boston, from "Beyond Talent" OUP 2005
(Notes: quotes 1 & 2 are from memory; picture source: a Joanna MacGregor lecture on the bass line in the Goldberg variations quoted HERE)
The Youtube clip below haunts the mind. Recorded spontaneously on 23 Dec 1975 after the memorial service in London of Mongezi Feza, who had died of pneumonia while a patient in a mental hospital in Epsom, Surrey, aged just 30.
Wanna read more? There's loads on the Blue in the Air blog and the Matsuli blog. A Jazzwise review is at here of the CD version which came out last autumn.
Or just listen.
Oliver Weindling of the Vortex and Babel (pictured above with David Mossman , the father of the old and the new Vortex) has just been awarded an Honorary membership of the Royal Academy of Music. Which means- I think - he will be able to put the letters Hon. RAM after his name (does one go looking for ....an Hon. EWE?)
The announcement has come in taz.de , the online version of the German national paper Die Tageszeitung, just above an ad for cheap Mallorca holidays.
Also auf deutsch:
Am Freitag, den 13., ist wichtige Post für Oliver Weidling gekommen. Stolz hält er den Brief von der Royal Academy of Music in Händen: Kommenden Monat wird er für seine Verdienste um die junge Londoner Jazzszene ausgezeichnet werden.
Joking aside, Oliver's contribution to the development of the young London jazz scene is indeed second to none.
Scots jazz singer Alison Burns has been touring Sri Lanka courtesy of the British Council with her father-in-law Martin Taylor, and close to all sorts of danger . A scary account is HERE, plus there's a version from her blog .
From the Timex factory in Dundee, to qualifying as a lawyer, and-and-and, it's getting to be quite a life story...
Wishing her a safe return to the tranquillity of Queen's Hall in Edinburgh 8,and of Carl Fischer/ Frankie Laine's "We'll be Together Again"
Jazz in London for March is available online NOW
I am struck by the contrast between some of my recent items about things being quietly closed down, often where jazz is marginal to big organisations.......
versus the vibrancy of what is going on next month at e.g. the Luna Lounge by Leytonstone Library and the Con Bar in Camden.
Comment: It's definitely off. (Source for the above is the Jazzwise website). Blame the recession, blame competition, but salute Charles Alexander and his team for the community- and infrastructure-build they've done in the last quarter century without the public purse getting involved.
2) The BBC Jazz Awards ?
Rumours are doing the rounds that the BBC Jazz Awards may not be happening this year.
-I'm waiting for denial or confirmation. Three voicemails/messages so far taken by people in BBC Press Offices, starting Friday mid-afternoon.
-Marginalistion of jazz is a perrenial problem, and the BBC, and Radio 2 in particular have lost their most powerful jazz voice, Humphrey Lyttelton, in the past year.
-Jazz programming on free-to-air BBC radio is getting pushed into slots when less folk are awake. Claire Martin was talking at half past midnight last night as I was falling asleep...
I've been thinking about a rating system for gigs. I want to highlight music which is melodic, approachable, friendly, and kind to the ear. Music of stunning quality, but which will also make you happy. Something to take your grumpiest friend or a sullen teenager to, in the certain knowledge that the music, heard live, and close up, is going to put a smile on his or her face.
So. For melody, for approachability, for taking grumpy friends or teenagers to and seeing them smile, this is one of my gigs of the year.
The trombone in jazz often functions as a harmony instrument. Trombonists can be real gents, craftsmen blending their warm sound with each other, making their section sound like one indivisible instrument.
Trombonists, because they occupy the harmonic territory at the heart of a band, can make fantastic arrangers. Eddie Harvey who has written some of the arrangements for this gig is one. As is Adrian Fry who is running the gig. As was the late lamented Pete Strange who was Humphrey Lyttelton's sideman and arranger for 21 years, and ran a band called Five-a-Slide, whose arrangements will also be featured.
But trombonists can also project. I've often been on the stand with one of the guys in this band, Chris Gower. Believe me, when Chris takes a solo in the Bull's Head, I've felt that joyous, characterful sound go straight out into the room, and had the physical sensation of it bouncing straight back at us off the opposite wall. And, yes, felt more alive for that.
This gig is the debut of a new band Bone Supremacy. Debut gigs can be risky, because bands haven't either gelled, or blended, or found a shared language. But gelling and blending is the daily work of these five: they are all London trombonists at the top of the profession. I'd also be surprised if this is a band where many arguments happen.
If you don't believe me, try their sound clips .
I will be making the journey to Enfield. The Chicken Shed is just a short walk from Cockfosters Station on the Piccadilly Line. And I know I won't regret it
Wed 10th Jun / 8:00pm Bireli Lagrene Trio
Thurs 11th Jun / 8:00pm / Martial Solal
Simon Purcell Quintet featuring Simon Purcell (piano), Julian Siegel (tenor sax, bass clarinet) , Chris Batchelor (trumpet) , Steve Watts (bass) , Gene Calderazzo (drums).
The 606 Club in Chelsea a friendly setting for the birthday celebration of Gwilym Simcock, a piano star who is and will go on developing, changing, and getting completely stuck in. The programme is promising surprise guests. Last time I heard him the sitter-in was former Chick Corea sideman Tim Garland. Gwilym gets classy guests....
Will Gresford, who has been manager of the new Vortex ever since it first opened its doors properly September 2005, will officially leave this role and complete the handover on March 2nd. The club will be run by Todd Wills, who will take responsibility for programming, working alongside Stephanie Knibbe, who has been Assistant manager for the past year.
A good profile of Gresford by his college contemporary Richard Godwin of the Evening Standard is HERE.
Gresford describes his past three-and-a-half years of running the club as intense, full-on, non-stop. He is definitely looking forward to drawing breath. It will be a relief for him not to be on constant alert for, or worrying about too many things to think about at once.... while simultaneously having that sixth sense of what might go wrong that you haven't already thought of. While manning the bar too.
Gresford describes himself as having been a "custodian," and as part of the team. Among many others, Oliver Weindling has also played a massive role from the start, as in recent months has Stephanie Knibbe. Gresford also pays tribute to the contribution of a legion of volunteers to the Vortex's success.
Apart from taking a well-earned breather, Gresford will be working more actively with Nick Mulvey and Portico Quartet. But I will be flabbergasted if Gresford doesn't get some other, very interesting approaches indeed!
Because in the period he has been running this club with a capacity of a meagre hundred souls, run on a shoe-string, it has steadily built major international recognition, profile and visibilty.
Let's take stock of where the club now is. In past three to four weeks alone, there have been:
-two live Jazz on 3 recordings
-national newspaper reviews "easily into double figures"
-Buffalo Collision, Bobo Stenson, Marc Ducret
-the Loop Collective Showcase/Festival
-the only London gigs by Julian and Steve Arguelles brothers , returning from Scotland/Dresden and Paris respectively.
Congratulations, Will. Best wishes, Todd and Stephanie. On/upwards!
Humphrey Lyttelton- both CD categories, for understandable reasons.
Art Themen (pictured) -Art will be 70 later this year. He had a day-job throughout his working life - and rose to be consultant in orthopaedics. Modest, he'll be as surprised as anybody to have got this accolade and this certificate.
Winner: Bruce Adams
Runner-up: Guy Barker
Winner: Mark Nightingale
Runner-Up :Roy Williams
Winner: Alan Barnes
Runner-up: Tony Coe
Winner: Alan Barnes
Runner-up: Peter King
Winner: Art Themen
Runner-Up Bobby Wellins
Winner: Martin Taylor
Runner-up: Jim Mullen
Winner: David Newton
Runner-up: Gwilym Simcock
Winner: Dave Green
Runner-up :Alec Dankworth
Winner: Steve Brown
Runner-up Bobby Worth
Winner: Jim Hart (vibes)
Runner-Up: Alan Barnes (baritone sax)
Winner: Val Wiseman
Runner-up :Clare Teal
Winner:Freddy Gavita (Trumpet)
Runner-up: Kit Downes (piano)
Winner: Back to Basie
Runner-up: BBC Big Band
Winner: Digby Fairweather's Half Dozen
Runner-up: Alan Barnes' Ellingtonians (Stray Horns)
Winner: Humphrey Lyttelton - Cornucopia 2 (Calligraph)
Runner-up: Alan Barnes - Harlem Airshaft (Woodville)
Winner: Humphrey Lyttelton - Bad Penny Blues (Lake)
Runner-up: Tubby Hayes - Intensity (Ten to Ten)
This Bob Martin?..... Or This Bob Martin?
Bob Martin/Mike Gorman/Julian Bury/Spike Wells
Fri Feb 13
Bull's Head Barnes, 373 Lonsdale Rd, SW13 9PY
One-time Buddy Rich altoist Martin lines up with fine Hammond organist/pianist Gorman and a hard-swinging rhythm section for some fast and furious bebop.
Get this: the LondonPaper had it right
Bob Martin, Mike Gorman, Julian Bury, Spike Wells
Soulful blues-rock and country from the singer-songwriter
Appearing at the Bull's head last Friday was
Congratulations to organizing dynamo Stephanie Knibbe, her French compatriot tall tenor Robin Fincker, and the many others whose can-do energy made the packed-out Loop showcase/festival at the Vortex last week such a success.
First there's some great coverage and even discoverage in the UK national press:
Ivan Hewett of the Daily Telegraph captures the variety and energy well HERE
Mike Hobart had the main arts review in today's Financial Times HERE, with a great picture of the Ivo Neame/Jim Hart Quartet.
Then, thanks to the PRS Foundation, there will also be some continental European coverage.
And Oliver Weindling expresses the hope, which I will second, that more people try out the regular Monday nights upstairs at the Oxford in Kentish Town Road on Mondays HERE.
Oliver....writing about sex...must be a first.
There's no mistaking the just-get-on-with-it attitude of the people involved here. Alex Bonney, singled out for praise in the Telegraph review for his trumpet/bass duo with Dave Kane.... also has loads of high quality recordings on his EARCONNECTOR site. Drummer Dave Smith pushes his own musical knowlege to the limits with exploring African drums . See a feature HERE
Word is getting out....and that is not something which happens by accident. These people don't wait for the phone to ring. They GRAFT.
The Loop Collective is normally to be found on Monday nights upstairs at the Oxford in Kentish Town Road.
Check out Jim Hart's Gemini on 2nd March and you won't be disappointed.
.....the sound mix hardly did the orchestra justice.
The Yamaha Jazz Room at the Bull's Head pub in Barnes is one of the fixtures of the London jazz scene. Other things change, other clubs move, but after nearly 50 years it's still there. Apart from the Yamaha connection, one other thing has moved recently : the Bull's listing in the new -format Jazz in London now adorns the back page.
Young's is no longer family-owned. So the Young family no longer brew their beer, or keep their drayhorses, by the river Wandle in Wandsworth. The smoking ban has hit the pub trade. Dan and Liz have been forced by Health and Safety legislation to make expensive improvements. But a proud, nearly 50-year record of supporting jazz continues. Dexter Gordon played there, Earl Hines. Yes, they all played the Bull.
Regular artists, the stalwarts of British jazz are still regular fixtures. A Friday or Saturday gig in that small room by alto sazophonist Pete King (next on this Saturday 21st) or pianist Stan Tracey (Sat 28th) in a club filled like a rush hour train into Waterloo is something you never forget. These guys deliver every time. Alan Price, local resident, prefers Thursdays (next on 12th March) and also packs them in. Humphrey Lyttelton preferred Tuesdays, and the tradition of "his" band appearing still continues.
You CAN'T book. Go early and nab a chair, or perch at the back if its full. It isn't always.....
What else has caught my eye in the programme?
Young trumpeter Henry Armburg Jennings with a top young band on March 20th. Scott Hamilton on March 27th. And ex-NYJO singer Sarah Ellen Hughes on March 11th. Her promotional (???) video on Youtube has her earnestly discussing the merits of an editing software package (weird) , and an overdubbed washing-up sequence from a kitchen in Peckham (weirder still and weirder) . But there are good sound clips on her MYSPACE and she's got a great young band.
Congratulations to Dominic McGonigall of PPL who is a very effective campaigner on behalf of the music industry on a victory in Brussels last week, getting the EU to back copyright extension to 95 years. The full story is HERE
Belgonostalgia seeming to get me this morning. An awful lot of beer consumed in the shadow of the Berlaymont asbestos monster above!!
There are other campaigns closer to the ground in UK music where nothing ever happens, and Dominic's effectiveness might be useful too......
See link to the Live Music Campaign in the right column.
This extraordinary-looking gentleman, equipped with his megaphone, his pen and astonishing uplift, may be about to rescue the festival and the De Werf venue in Bruges, according to optimistic noises coming from the management.
"Red De Werf" means - save De Werf
The words "Teken de Petitie" coming out of his megaphone mean "sign the petition."
Signatories to the petition are up to nearly 7000, compared to below 5000 when we covered the story a week ago.
The previous piece, and alink to the petition are HERE
Kind of Blue: Recorded March 2nd and April 6th, 1959
Giant Steps: Recorded May 4th and 5th, 1959.
It does seem like a very weird idea indeed, as Ben Ratliff of the New York Times hints very strongly, two organize a joint fiftieth birthday party for two albums.
Ratliff has written a reluctant but nonetheless thoughtful review of the combined celebration at Lincoln Center for the fiftieths of John Coltrane's Giant Steps, and Miles Davis' Kind of Blue.
"Giant, Kind your birthdays are really close together. Daddy says you can only have one party between you. "
I guess fifty year-old records don't get a choice, and they certainly can't cry.....
Read this: Ben Ratliff wasn't exactly saying whoopee when his editor told him he had 600 words to write about it...
"A Jazz at Lincoln Center concert in [...] honor [of these albums] is almost something to dread: not necessarily because the records are technically beyond reach, but because such an event can quickly become a knowing lob to the fetishizers [....]"
Phew. 565 words to go.
It can be booked online HERE
An Evening with Melissa Bell. I don't know her, but, you can hear her on her Myspace page Plus I've done the research yards.......
-Her grand mother - the first ever female Caribbean pianoforte teacher in London
-Her mother an alleged eight octave range
-Melissa herself claims a more modest five octaves
-Her daughter Alexandra Burke has just won X-Factor
-Singing debut: the staff karaoke competition at Marks and Sparks in Marble Arch
-Fast forward just a week to a talent show in Hackney... a member of the audience spots her...a record deal on the spot
-Lead singer of Soul II Soul: 2 top 20 singles, 3 albums, 5 world tours
-Backing vocals for Stevie Wonder -"This lady has a world class voice" , Whitney Houston, Queen, Sir Elton John and Liza Minelli
-Husband and children scattered in Melbourne, Bahrain and London
-A kidney dialysis patient herself
Sammy Fain's Alice in Wonderland which finished off the set was a high-spot. Sarik kicked it off with an extempore piano introduction. His wild idea seemed to be to give the refined and ethereal ghosts of Ravel's Gaspard de la Nuit a strutting bass wake-up call they could never forget, and it worked. Both protagonists nailed the trademarks of the tune every time: Fabian placed that octave leap which starts the song with joyously precise intonation. And A-Lease rather than Alice was charming. The descending duplet figure in the tune was taken by the scruff of the neck. and then frogmarched by Sarik relentlessly on down to the bottom of the piano. Brilliant.
My preview HERE was very long. So the review can and will be short. I enjoyed Fabian's gig, and will definitely want to hear her again. Her voice has power but also a smoky Aretha quality. It definitely sticks in the mind. The drawing room in Maiden Lane sometimes felt uncomfortably small, because both of these musicians can really project. But hey, this was a free gig, not Glyndebourne!
Fabian is fearless, she takes risks, and may she take many, many more. She had penned some English words to Miles Davis "Four" and then launched off into quickfire scat, taking on a dialogue with Sarik with convincing humour and energy. Scat is a dangerous occupation, but Fabian is very good at it. I was reminded of the best of Dee Dee Bridgewater
Both of these men had helped jazz in all its forms to reach the ears of those of us inclined to hunt jazz down. But they also knew how to appeal to the bigger population: those seeking enjoyment and solace and spiritual whatever from hopping radio stations:
Campbell Crichton Mackinnon Burnap, trombonist, vocalist, bandleader and broadcaster: born Derby 10 September 1939; married 2002 Jenny Hargreaves; died London 30 May 2008*.
Or there's a very short clip which gives no clue to her interviewing craft or her knowledge of the scene on her website.
Helen knows the young London scene better than ANYBODY. If I go to an interesting gig by a promising young player or singer which I think nobody else can possibly have found- she's got there before me!
"Creativity is the answer to the question: Who am I?"
"Culture is the answer to the question : Who are we?"
"In my music, I'm trying to play the truth of what I am.
The reason it's difficult is because I'm changing all the time."
Apart from the Vortex, it definitely seems to be singers' night...
I had singled out the Claire Martin/ Richard Rodney Bennett gig at the Pizza on the Park to go to, but I've ended up with a booking to play as part of a trio for a Valentine's Day dinner. Claire is top-of-the-range, a class act, ahem, despite what it says in the link on the right in Dave Newton's Alternative Professions.
And for the recession-proof, Natalie Williams and Joe Stilgoe will be cooking up something very energetic and fun at Ronnie's (two sittings, remember!)
But there's also Tammy Weis from Vancouver at the 606 is also a great singer, as is Georgia Mancio (with her site you're straight into her sound clips) at the Pizza in Dean Street.
But if you want something more varied (edgy, modern etc) then head for the Vortex, and not a singer in sight. A showcase for FOUR bands in one evening The Loop Collective have a short festival which will be getting good media coverage on the continent thanks to the PRS Foundation. If you wanted a snapshot of some of the best of young London jazz, you will get a good sampling of interesting musicians. But book. I think it will be busy and you could well find you're standing rather than sitting....
I also think that it's a great building to look at as you approach it from across the square. The appeal never fails, I find it an uplifting sight. Pictures like this one don't really give you the full effect.
But for those who still can't get enough of Jazz and Valentine's Day, Jeffrey Siegel of Straight No Chaser in Massachussets has written industrial quantities about it HERE.
And John Fordham describes Stan Sulzman thus:
The alto player next to me in the rehearsal band and and I watch the world - and forests of seemingly unplayable semiquavers- go by, and we chat.
After the tenor players have charged through their 64-bar solos, and the flugelhorns have emoted their ballads, we stop counting our bars rest, and put our brains in neutral . We find it best to avoid contentious subjects like tuning, so we talk about politics and religion instead. We ask, rhetorically, how it can possibly be that the bar lines get so much younger and more fleet of foot every year.
(Some of which are going to make you absolutely GROAN.... )
My Papadum tole Me (Blues in the Night)
Oh You Beautiful Dhall
Samosa these Days
I could raita book
All God's chillis got rhythm
Pilau don't talk about me when I've gone
Let's Face the Dhansak and Muse
What a swell chapati this is
Dhansak in the Dark.
Lucky people arriving on Eurostar into London ......
....to spend our bombed-out currency in our great city where you in the last week you could have heard Jamiroquai's pianist playing in a pub for free and Kenny Wheeler for six pounds .....
are to have a new treat. Ebbsfleet will be saluting them with a fifty metre high white horse
I wrote up the Grammys in my sleep at speed before the sun rose on Monday morning and the piece and links are HERE.
Ingrid Laubrock at start-up venue
Jazz In London is a monthly, but Mick Sexton (nice guy, seen-it-all) also updates it during the month with a wry smile for people with their late gigs to put in . Yup. Been there!
This month the Late Arrivals board has interesting stuff, and how!
The Others, 6 - 8 Manor Road, N16 5SA
11/02 Ingrid Laubrock:sax/ Barry Green: Piano/Ollie Brice: Bass/Javier Carmona: Drums followed by jam
And then every Wednesday. Looks VERY interesting!
A worrying rumor about the risen-and-right-up-there star US tenorist from the BBC Messageboards
The merger of LiveNation and Ticketmaster
The way tickets are sold is changing. See THIS commentary on the implications at Allaboutjazz
Sad news, obituaries everywhere.Much loved and admired.
But could any of us (or indeed the Australians and South Africans who love in london??) put our hands on our hearts or a bible or face Mecca and really say "I Like London in the Rain"?
Hieronder bent u vrij om een persoonlijke mening over te maken aan de minister en de commissievoorzitter
You are free to enter your personal opinion to the minister and the head of the commission
PS An arts centre in Borgerhout with which we work regularly has received a negative report from the same commission
The Vortex had deservedly given this gig, Stenson's debut at the club, star billing in their February leaflet. The same players will be at the club again tonight, and they are definitely worth catching.
One of the first pieces I wrote for LondonJazz was a preview of the gig on Saturday night at Pinner Parish Church: here.
Stuart Nattrass and Peter Vacher organize the gig well, and there was a virtually full house. Wilber , looking good for nearly 81, was with regular top-notch British colleagues Richard Busakiewicz on piano, Dave Green on bass, and Bobby Worth on drums
Wilber tells fascinating anecdotes in between numbers, in which both his musical antecedents and his own distinguished, unique roles in jazz history come alive: as a pupil of Bechet, as a member of the Benny Goodman band, as keeper of the Ellington flame, and -this coming May - as music director at the Lincoln Center in New York in the centenary tributes to Benny Goodman with Wynton Marsalis gladly demoting himself to sideman.
He also spoke with real fondness for English churches, and with touching affection for the many British jazz musician colleagues who had come to Pinner to see and hear him play in the church.