Friday 27 August 2010

Brunswick Jazz Jam Session, Hove, Tuesday evenings

Paul Richards has made a real success of The Brunswick Jazz Jam on Tuesday evenings. It was packed this Tuesday with a good mix of musicians and general listeners. Paul is great at encouraging people to take part and he has managed to established a very relaxed atmosphere where people are not scared of joining in. The high level of interest in the session and the high standard of talent on show bodes well for the future of live jazz in Brighton.
Jamming at The Brunswick by Monika Henter
Paul himself is a fine guitarist. He plays a nylon-strung Godin guitar and uses a classical right hand technique which gives him a very pianistic approach - chords, arpeggios and single note lines - and a beautiful tone. He is certainly one of the best jazz players I have heard live in this vein (Pat Metheny does it brilliantly and I saw Charlie Byrd many years ago, but he was past him prime).

I got to play with some great musicians - Paul, Charlotte Glasson (sax and flute), Eddie Myer (bass), Wayne McConnell (piano) and a young drummer called Peter Adam Hill. The photo is from the Brunswick Jazz Jam facebook group (which is worth joining for details) and was taken by Monika Henter.

Sunday 22 August 2010

Herman Leonard: March 6, 1923 – August 14, 2010

Lester Young by Herman Leonard

Herman Leonard died last week. Photographers like Francis Wolff, William Caxton and Hermann Leonard pretty much created the image of jazz in the 'Fifties and 'Sixties on the East and West Coast of the US. These photos took on a new life when jazz was being re-discovered in the 'Eighties when they also became synonymous with a particular type of  advertising (remember "yuppies"?).

The photo above is from a nice little movie short he made that I saw on Channel 4 years ago and have on a fading video somewhere. That's Lester Young beneath the pork pie hat.

Here's an obituary in Slate:
And a BBC audio slideshow:

Friday 20 August 2010

kineojazz - Autumn/Winter 2010 Programme!

Preston Park velodrome in the snow
The kineojazz team (Ela Southgate, Steve Rayson and I) has just finished putting together a programme for the autumn. Like the Joe Lee Wilson and Claire Martin gigs we will be once again using Brighton's best (IMHO) jazz venue - The Basement.

In choosing artists to put on we have aimed to combine the local angle, those who have a national reputation, strong jazz pedigree and an ability to appeal to a broad audience. Here is the full list of gigs:

Thursday 30th September: Season Kick Off!
LIANE CARROLL TRIO with support from Luke Rattenbury Trio
Pianist/Singer Liane is from Hastings, has won many top awards and is known for her passionate live performances. Guitarist Luke Rattenbury is a regular on the Brighton and promises an exciting jazz/latin set with top class comrades Tristan Banks (drums) and Andre Fry (bass).

Wednesday 17th November: Latin Jazz! 
CUBANA BOP with support from Remember April 
Terry Seabrook has refreshed his Cubana Bop line up but it's good to see tenor saxophonist Ian Price is still in the band. Ela's Remember April will augment their distinctive bossa nova stylings with some three-part harmonisations from Ela, Rachel Dey and Sara Oschlag.

Thursday 9TH December: Christmas Special!
CLAIRE MARTIN with support from Alice Hawkes Quartet
Claire is back with her band featuring fantastic guitarist Jim Mullen. Alice Hawkes plays some tasteful piano with a band that features Py (tenor and soprano sax), Tim Slade (double bass) and Graham Allen (drums). Expect some modern jazz standards and orginal compositions.

If you haven't been before the kineojazz nights are definitely "an event" (rather than just another gig) and makes for a great night out.

You can find full details on the kineojazz website:

Friday 13 August 2010

Blues in the Closet: Treatment of the Blues

Two versions of Oscar's Pettiford's Blues in the Closet. Jim Hall is not really know for his blues playing. On this version he never moves that far away from the tune but takes a few tips from his ex boss, Sonny Rollins, and deconstructs it in various interesting ways. It's Jim at his best - spontaneous, thoughtful and witty. Attila Zoller, not exactly a conventional player himself, also plays with a lot of freedom, spinning some really interesting, swinging, bluesy lines lines. I'm impressed that both players can play so freely in front of TV cameras, but then they have a wonderful rhythm section to support them - Red Mitchell on bass and a very familiar-looking drummer (Daniel Humair I think). If only there was a jazz version of Later with Jools Holland . . .

I like the Bud version of the tune too. It's played quite slowly but is beautifully ornamented and quite Monk-ish in places.