Don’t you just love serendipity? For the past few days I’ve had Tony Bennett in my head. A very specific Tony Bennett. The one who, in 1976, stood in a recording studio not far from Bill Evans at the piano… Read More ›
Steve Tromans mixes philosophical talk and jazz piano in a fresh format
He’s been sharing his Deep Thoughts on this website for a while, but now Birmingham-based Steve Tromans is doing his double thing – philosophical discourse and jazz performance – on Soundcloud. He writes: “I’ve recently recorded an improvised talk on jazz… Read More ›
The sounds an audience hears – who’s responsible?
It was once so simple… The Greek lyre player would pluck away, and the listeners in the olive grove – I nearly wrote “ancient olive grove” there but back in the fourth century BC it was probably just a youthful olive grove… Read More ›
Does UK jazz need these national networks?
Once we had one called Jazz Services and it had substantial financial support on a stable contract from the Arts Council; now we have two – the Jazz Promotion Network (JPN) and Jazz UK – neither of which has regular… Read More ›
Nature, music and writing – it’s all blues
As her new album, Shelter From The Storm – Songs Of Hope For Troubled Times, with pianist Laurence Hobgood, is released, vocalist Barb Jungr reflects on how nature has always played a major role in her music. For me, a… Read More ›
When we watch the All Blacks we’re watching jazz
They’ve beaten the ‘Boks since the article in question was written, and they played quite a few bum notes in that game which resulted in a fair few penalties, in the first half at any rate, but hey, when was jazz… Read More ›
Steve’s been busy turning the Pepper grinder
Steve Tromans, jazz pianist and scholar, has an article called Myth, Progress, and Motion in Jazz Practice with the Standard Repertoire now published by the French jazz journal Epistrophy. In his own words it includes “a recording made during a jazz-research lecture at Birmingham Conservatoire,… Read More ›
A tribute to John Taylor
Tony Dudley-Evans remembers the great jazz pianist who died suddenly on Friday night. I was shocked and immensely saddened to hear of the sudden death of John Taylor (see here). John was part of a generation of British jazz… Read More ›
Not so easy being a rhymin’ Simon
I recently reviewed an album by the guitarist Wolfgang Muthspiel – not his usual jazz instrumental stuff but a set of songs with lyrics, most of which he was singing. The review is here. I confess to a particularly –… Read More ›
That difficult modern jazz relationship between singers and instrumentalists
I believe that contemporary jazz has what might be called a dysfunctional relationship with singers, and it is to the music’s artistic and commercial detriment that this is the case. While there are great vocal artists in contemporary jazz, there… Read More ›
A German take on helping jazz musicians to organise
There is much debate in the UK jazz world at the moment about how it should organise itself. Jazz Services is having to rethink its role (see here), the Jazz Promotion Network has been established and is making some progress (see… Read More ›
Tim Whitehead’s full report of his meeting with Arts Council England
By Tim Whitehead REPORT OF THE MEETING WITH THE ARTS COUNCIL OF ENGLAND 13.5.15 regarding the funding of jazz 2015-2018people present:Helen Sprott – Director Of MusicDenys Baptiste – Music Liason OfficerTim Whitehead – Jazz MusicianI’ll summarise the upshot(s) of the… Read More ›
Let it be Told: a personal take on South African Jazz
Last October this website asked what’s the attraction of Township jazz ? The question was specifically aimed at British jazz fans drawn by the Township Comets, appearing at The Drum, courtesy of Birmingham Jazz. Later, in November, at the London Jazz Festival there… Read More ›
Jazz For Labour? Or one more time up the garden path?
By Duncan Heining The Barbican, London UK 27-02-2015 Remember Red Wedge and how pop and rock stars threw their collective weight behind Neil Kinnock’s Labour Party in 1986? Well, on Friday 27 February a raft of British jazzers gave their artistic… Read More ›
When the jazz questions get down to basics
A friend who like all kinds of music and much of it with jazz leanings but is not particularly into “mainstream” or “orthodox” acoustic jazz asked me the other day while we stood near the bandstand at a certain awards… Read More ›
Let’s talk more about jazz – what do you say, musicians?
“I let my horn do the talking.” “If you have to have it explained to you, you obviously aren’t going to get it.” You know the kind of thing. Jazz musicians can be some of the most reluctant interviewees. Heck,… Read More ›
South African artists at the London Jazz Festival – well sort of…
I received an email press release from the London Jazz Festival. In the subject field it read: “PRESS RELEASE: South African artists at the EFG London Jazz Festival.” I was all excited. The opportunity for some forward-thinking British jazz festival to… Read More ›