Sandy Brown Jazz
And so it begins ...... How many children and young people will receive new musical instruments as gifts this Christmas? Amongst them will be tomorrow's jazz musicians. We should encourage them. There are many groups introducing music to children such as Verona Chard's Musical Balloon Band, and many Youth Jazz Orchestras inspiring young people. We have often featured the Sant Andreu Jazz Band for young people in Barcelona - here is a brief extract (just two and a half minutes) from their A Film About Kids And Music .
Rhythm Man : Chick Webb and the Beat That Changed America
This book by Stephanie Stein Crease was published in July. It is the "First full biography of Chick Webb, one of the first jazz drum virtuosos, and the innovative Harlem bandleader whose music helped launch the Swing Era of the 1930s. It paints a nuanced portrait of Webb's life, from his early years in Baltimore, to top bandleader in Harlem during the Great Depression, and on to national fame as big band swing music swept across the country. The book features previously unpublished material that sheds new light on the early jazz and dance scene in Baltimore, New York and Harlem during the 1920s, the Swing Era, and Webb's interactions with his family and many noted musicians." It is available in hard back, Kindle or Audio Book and there are details here.
Northern Line Requesting Applications
Now in its 11th year, Northern Line is Jazz North’s live touring support programme for Northern artists. "The 18-month programme supports northern artists to reach the next stage of their live performance career and meet their ambitions through targeted 1:1 support and network development. 5 bands from jazz and jazz-related genres are selected each year through an open application and rigorous selection process using a panel of independent industry experts from across the UK." Applications are now open for the next round - closing date 18th December. "The programme offers support regarding live performance, careers and industry skills. Artists will be invited to perform at our showcase at Manchester Jazz Festival, and crucially, Northern Line will provide bursary support to subsidise live activity. You can apply for a touring bursary of up to £3,000 to support travel, accommodation, rehearsals, equipment and other relevant costs in addition to subsidising fees offered by promoters. Further details and information about applying are here.
BBC Radio Scotland Young Jazz Musician Of The Year
Congratulations to 19 year old pianist Ben Shankland who was awarded the 'BBC Radio Young Jazz Musician of 2023' at a ceremony in Glasgow on 26th November. Ben, who comes from Edinburgh, is currently studying at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. He started out on classical piano and bassoon but became interested in jazz in his teens. He has played with Scotland's Youth Jazz Orchestras as well as leading his own Trio with bassist Ewan Hastie and drummer Chun-Wei Kang. There is a video of Ben playing a solo of Dizzy Gillespie's A Night In Tunisia here. You can read more about Ben and the other finalists here, and you can listen to the ceremony here.
The New Indian Express reports on a band from Delhi that performs jazz versions of Bollywood classics. "A drum beat starts. It is picking up pace. A grand piano joins in. Then, the trumpets and the saxophones. A flute. A trombone. Slowly, a familiar melody from the movie Solva Saal (1958) emerges and the singing begins. ‘Hai apna dil to awara…’We have walked into a Hemant Kumar song makeover. At a rehearsal room at the Neemrana Music Foundation in Hauz Khas, members of the 10-piece jazz band, Bollyjazz, are swinging and swaying to trumpet notes and the smooth saxophone melody as they rehearse for their upcoming show at Delhi’s Akshara Theatre. Who would have thought old Bollywood songs could be groovy like that? Started in 2011 by singer and multi-instrumentalist Nikhil Mawkin, Bollyjazz is a music project that revamps old Bollywood songs with original jazz arrangements..... ". Read more here. You can check out a video of them playing Dil Deke Dekho here. Their website is here.
2024 Jazz GRAMMY's Nominees
'From young jazz innovators to established greats. Here are the nominees from the 2024 GRAMMYs, including for the debuting Best Alternative Jazz Album category. The awards ceremony will take place on Sunday, February 4, at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles, California.' Nominees for Best Jazz Performance include Jon Batiste, Lakecia Benjamin, Adam Blackstone, Samara Joy, Fred Hersch and Esperanza Spalding. Other categories and nominees are here. More details and how to watch the awards are here.
Stacey Kent sings Jacques Brel and Rod McKuen's If You Go Away from her new album Summer Me, Winter Me. Songwriter Rod McKuen seems to be largely forgotten these days although his songs are still sung; Frank Sinatra recorded a whole album of them [For Stacey's album see Recent Releases].
Great playing from all of Thelonious Monk's Quartet in this video of Bolivar Blues from 1963 - Thelonious Monk (piano); Charlie Rouse (tenor sax); Frankie Dunlop (drums); Butch Warren (bass). The tune appears on the album Monk's Dream by the same Quartet which many see as the best combo Monk had been involved with for several years.
In this video Trumpeter Bunny Berigan plays and sings Until Now with the Freddie Rich Band in 1936. Having spent short periods with Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey and Paul Whiteman, in 1937 Bunny formed his own big band and had a hit with I Can't Get Started. Sadly, he was also an alcoholic. His bands each lasted for only a few years and he passed away in 1942 at the age of 33.
The outstanding jazz violinist Benet McLean plays Blue Fingers from his impressive new album Green Park: Benet McLean (violin); Duncan Eagles (tenor sax); Liam Dunachie (organ); Rio Kai (bass) and Zoe Pascal (drums). [See Recent Releases]
Here is an introduction to the new album from pianist Terence Collie's Quartet that will be released early in December. It is intriguingly entitled 384,400, (the distance in kilometers to the moon), [See Recent Releases].
France 1952 and a band featuring Sidney Bechet (soprano sax) and Claude Luter (clarinet) play Les Oignons. This was a popular tune at the height of the 'Trad Revival' where crowds of young people went to gigs and in this tune would all shout "Onions" in the pauses.
Saxophonist Simon Spillett plays Spring Can Really Hang You Out The Most in 2022 at Dawkes Music with Rob Barron (piano) Alec Dankworth (bass) and Pete Cater (drums). You will find these palyers among the Big Band Simon has put together for a new album Dear Tubby H paying tribute to Tubby Hayes. [See Recent Releases]
The Story Is Told
Jazz Comes To London In 1919
'The next morning British newspaper reporters crowded the dressing room doorway. What is jazz? What does it sound like? What does the word mean? The London Daily News of April 4, 1919, reported as follows:
".... as to the word "jazz", the bandsmen rejected both the current explanations. They will not have it that the word is of Red Indian origin, or that "jazz so" is a term of praise in the dialect of the Negroes of the southern states. The word was invented by someone in Chicago ... it is possibly a purely onomatopoeic expression ...'
... The Original Dixieland Jazz Band opened at the Hippodrome in the musical review "Joy Bells" on April 7, appearing in a specially staged cafe scene. The ovation following their first number was deafening ..... That night when the curtain came down, George Roby, the star comedian of the show, approached (producer) DeCourville in a seething rage and served his ultimatum: Roby or the jazz band would have to go - ... And so it was that the Original Dixieland Jazz Band was pertmanently removed from the cast of "Joy Bells" after an engagement that lasted exactly one night.
Town Topics, in its issue of April 12, conjured up an explanation of the mysterious disappearance .... "presumably on account of that ubiquitous complaint, influenza ..." Especially fascinating to Town Topics was the use of solo 'breaks' during ensemble choruses as this reporter goes on to explain: "At one moment, the whole orchestra would down tools while one member tootled merrily or eerily on his own account, and the whole would resume again, always ready to give a fair hearing to any other individual player who suddenly developed a 'stunt' ...."
... Tony Sbarbaro recalls with a chuckle that every Bristish orchestra at that time used two drummers, one for the bass drum and one for the snare. It is easy to understand, then, how the London Daily News seemed so obsessed with Tony's drum installation: "The trap drummer who plays the big drum with his feet and a side drum, the cymbals, and heaven knows what besides, is the most important man of them all .."
A distinguished patron haunted the Dixieland Band wherever they went. Lord Donegall, a close friend of the Prince of Wales, became fanatically interested in their music and even arranged a command performance before King George ...
The curious musicians were carefully scrutinized by the gathering of British nobility who stared through their lorgnettes, according to LaRocca, "as though there were bugs on us." ...
La Rocca stamped his foot twice and the little group exploded into its steaming version of "Tiger Rag" ... The royal audience, perhaps having expected a polite form of chamber music, appeared petrified at the onset ... at the conclusion of the number, after an embarrassing silence, his majesty laughed his approval and began to applaud energetically, followed respectfully by his loyal but badly frightened entourage. The encore, "Ostrich Walk", was received with somewhat less tension.'
From The Story Of The Original Dixieland Jazz Band by H.O. Brunn.
You will see that the Victor record of Tiger Rag says "For Dancing" and that the tune is a "One Step". Here is a video from 1915 to help you dance the One Step.
KNACK ME THIEF
(Kurt Weill song with lyrics by Bertolt Brecht)
Here is the answer
In which musicians talk about the story and inspiration behind a recording
Atlantic Road Trip
from Paul Towndrow
“Musical projects and endeavours which are truly and successfully collaborative are hard to come by,” says Scottish saxophonist Paul Towndrow. “You need to be on the same page as your co-conspirators, and if not, acceptance and compromise should feel as natural a part of the creative process as anything else. With Atlantic Road Trip, I feel that we’ve found that balance.”
The trans-continental collective Atlantic Road Trip has just released its debut album, One, with Chad McCullough (trumpet - USA), Paul Towndrow (alto saxophone, flute, whistles - Scotland), Miro Herak (vibraphone - Slovakia/Holland), Alyn Cosker (drums - Scotland), and Conor Murray (bass - Ireland) .
Chicago-based trumpeter Chad McCullough first met Slovakian vibraphonist Miro Herak in 2009 at the Banff Center for the Arts in Scotland, a catalyst for creativity under the direction of trumpeter Dave Douglas. The two became great friends and frequent collaborators, touring throughout Belgium and Holland with numerous projects.
Shortly before the pandemic they reached out to Scottish alto saxophonist Paul Towndrow, another longtime associate of Herak’s who is also heard here on traditional whistles and flute. Scottish drummer Alyn Cosker and Irish bassist Conor Murray complete the international ensemble they called 'Atlantic Road Trip'.
“We stayed in close contact throughout the pandemic and even remotely recorded a set for the 2021 Glasgow Jazz Festival,” remembers Chad McCullough. The following year, Atlantic Road Trip toured the UK, Netherlands, and Belgium. Returning to Scotland in 2023, they managed to find the time in their busy touring schedule to record One.
Miro Herak concurs, adding that “I knew Chad and Paul quite well not only musically but also personally… I had no doubt this would be a very inspiring endeavor and that proved true beyond my expectations.”
The music on One distils Scottish and Slovakian folk traditions, blending them with a modern jazz aesthetic. “In Scotland there is an evolving musical tradition built not only around its indigenous music, but also around those who seek to collaborate across styles, genres, and continents,” says Paul Towndrow. His poetic “Pale Ale (Pale Ale/Dr. Jones Never Saw It Coming)” epitomizes this approach, revelling in its Gaelic roots in the opening reel with plaintive whistle and earthy bodhrán before seamlessly shifting into post-Coltrane improvisation. “White Cart Water” uses similar elements to completely different effect, accentuating the translucent beauty of whistle, vibraphone and trumpet over arco bass and delicate cymbal work.
Listen to White Cart Water HERE
Delving into his Slovakian heritage, Miro Herak offers new interpretations of the traditional folks songs “Hore Haj, Dolu Haj” (pronounced Hoh-ray High, Doh-Lu High and translated as 'Up the meadow, Down the meadow') and “Kopala Studienku, Pozerala do nej.” (pronounced Koh-pah-la Stu-dj-enko Poz-e-rala Doh Nyay and loosely meaning ''She was digging a well and looked into it…'). The latter is the basis of the Slovak national anthem. Miro’s contemplative introduction recalls the origins of his arrangement, a solo vibraphone performance at Carnegie Hall. “Hore Haj,” says Miro, “is a Slovak traditional song about inequality between the rich upper class and the common man and calls for an action in the fight against it.” The band intertwines Slavic dance rhythms with Scottish flute and contemporary jazz harmony in this upbeat, optimistic anthem for the common man.
Listen to Kopala Studienku, Pozerala do nej HERE
With his fiery opener “The Other Fulton Street,” Chad McCullough gives a nod to his adopted Chicago home and the Fulton Street Collective, a frequent outlet for Chad’s many creative projects. In sharp contrast, his lovely, lyrical ballad “Auburn” draws inspiration from the iconic science fiction writer H. Beam Piper to imagine the end of the world. In Atlantic Road Trip’s hands it ends with neither a bang or a whimper, but rather with quiet dignity and expansive beauty.
Atlantic Road Trip will be launching their first U.S. tour, a three-week long excursion featuring the premier of Over Mountain, Under Sky, a newly commissioned work for big band and string orchestra.
“Music comes to life when cultural ideas are shared, explored, and given the opportunity to evolve and find a place in the hearts and minds of the audience as well as the people who create it,” says Paul Towndrow. “What happens when people are allowed the freedom to move, travel, exchange ideas, adapt and grow? How can we bring our diverse ideas together in a way that cuts to the heart of our shared experience as humans? I hope the music on One will invite the listener to reflect on these questions as we have done in creating it.”
Details of the album are here.
Time Out Ten
Sammy Davis Jr
from West Side Story
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.
Who knows? It's only just out of reach
Down the block, on a beach, under a tree
I got a feelin' there's a miracle due
Gonna come true, comin' to me
Stephen Sondheim's lyrics to Leonard Barnstein's tune Something's Coming could be interpreted in many ways within the Romeo and Juliet theme to West Side Story, but they are clearly a message of hope and excitement.
Although the tunes and lyrics are varied in the show, I think those for Something's Coming signal the style of Sondheim we will see emerge in his future work.
Of course there are many interpretations of the song on recordings, but this version by Sammy Davis Jr brings us the skill of his vocals and a fine arrangement for the Marty Paich orchestra.
Something's Coming is uplifting and worth a few minutes time out.
Could it be? Yes, it could
Somethin's comin', somethin' good, if I can wait
Somethin's comin', I don't know what it is
But it is gonna be great
Two Ears Three Eyes
The Re-birth Octet
Photographer Brian O'Connor from imagesofjazz.com took this picture of Gabriel Garrick with his sousaphone during a gig at St Andrew's Church, Hove, Sussex in November. Gabriel was playing as part of the Re-birth Octet with Jim Rattigan (French Horn); Andy Panayi (saxophone); Mike Pilley (trombone); Bob Mckay (baritone sax); George Trebar (bass); Chris Coull (trumpet) and Joe Edwards (drums).
Brian says: "Some interesting instrumentation, interpreting very successfully and enjoyably, the music from the seminal 'The Birth of The Cool' album. How Chris Coull manages to organise groups of this calibre in a church hall in Hove is beyond belief. It's very easy to take for granted, week in and week out, the quality and variety of the gigs he not only stages, but also plays in. He is just one of many who keep jazz live and without them the music would be in quite a poor state. Support live music, jazz in particular. If you don't, when it's gone, it’s gone (to quote an advertising phrase). I just think of all the volunteers who put on gigs, Neil Richardson and Annette Keen at Splash Point in Sussex, the Watermill in Dorking, the Verdict in Brighton and all the small clubs dependent in the main on UNPAID volunteers. I think it might be time to pay some sort of tribute to them. The above gig, 8 top musicians, just under 2 hours of first class music, £10. Wouldn't even buy a cup of tea at a Beyonce gig!"
You can watch a video here.
Jim Rattigan, Chris Coull, Andy Panayi and Mike Pilley
From Blue Beginnings To Old Heartland
by Howard Lawes
With so many great gigs (approximately 400) available during the EFG London Jazz Festival it is sometimes just serendipity that leads the jazz fan to some great music. This was the case in choosing to go to Milton Court to hear Nikki Yeoh and the National Youth Jazz Orchestra (NYJO) play Nikki's compositions Speechmik X-ploration and then a new, NYJO commission called Nucleus dedicated to the late legendary Scottish trumpet player and educator Ian Carr. The show was introduced by another Scot, Luca Manning, who like Ian Carr looks destined to take jazz in new directions.
'Nucleus' was the name of Carr's ground-breaking fusion band that hit the headlines in 1970 when it took the top prize at the Montreux International Jazz Festival. After an interval, NYJO, directed by the irrepressible Mark Armstrong, played new arrangements of four of Ian Carr's compositions. Carr was one of the few jazz composers of his era to include strings in his music, as in the album Old Heartland, and this cohort of NYJO included a string quartet. The music sounded like it could have been composed yesterday, such was its contemporary sound that highlights the innovation and originality that Carr brought to his music plus of course, the excellent arranging by members of NYJO.
Ian Carr was born in Dumfries, southwest Scotland, but grew up in Northumberland and studied the piano as a teenager. He was also very keen on literature and it was English that he studied as an undergraduate in Newcastle but as it turned out he was able to follow both music and literature as careers. After National Service and travelling in Europe, Ian became a teacher in Newcastle and also established himself in the local music scene, playing in his brother's band, the EmCee 5, but he was nearly 30 before moving to London where his music career really flowered by virtue of being the joint leader of the Don Rendell / Ian Carr Quintet. This legendary band had Don Rendell on saxophones, Ian Carr on trumpet and flugelhorn, Colin Purbrook on piano, Dave Green on bass and Trevor Tomkins on drums. They released their first album, Blue Beginnings, in 1964 and it is considered to have marked a watershed in European modern jazz. It signified a departure from both the traditional New Orleans revival that had become popular in Britain and contemporary American jazz. It was re-released in 2021. The album is available here where you can also listen to the track Blue Doom.
Here is a video of the Quintet with Michael Garrick at the piano
playing Pavane at the Antibes Jazz Festival in 1968:
Apart from Michael Garrick taking over the piano stool in 1965, the Don Rendell / Ian Carr Quintet remained unchanged for several years and produced a series of remarkable albums. Following on from Blue Beginnings there is Shades of Blue (1965), Dusk Fire (1966), Phase 3 (1967), Live (1968) and Change Is (1969). To this list can be added a recording that only came to light relatively recently when drummer Trevor Tomkins donated his personal archive for posterity and which has been released as Warm Up : The Complete Live at the Highwayman 1965 (2022). During the 1960s Ian Carr often played with bands led by Michael Garrick and Joe Harriott. He can also be heard on big band recordings playing with the New Jazz Orchestra, the Harry South Big Band and the Stan Tracey Big Brass. In 1969 Ian Carr and Don Rendell went their separate ways and Carr, along with Karl Jenkins, founded the group 'Nucleus'.
The late 1960s and early 1970s were exciting times in popular music. As so often happens, American super-stars such as Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock received much of the acclaim for the new genre which came to be known as 'Fusion', but in the UK a whole host of outstanding musicians developed a parallel scene on their own terms with little reference to America. The so-called 'Canterbury Scene' included bands such as Soft Machine and Caravan while other bands like Colosseum (led by drummer Jon Hiseman) combined jazz and rock music to become commercially successful. Soft Machine, having toured America and supported Jimi Hendrix, had to re-form back in the UK before releasing Volume Two (1969) and Third (1970), the latter widely considered to be their best album which set the tone for British jazz-rock fusion.
Here is a video of Nucleus playing in 1972. For about the first five minutes the video features Dave McCrea on Fender Rhodes and Roy Babbington bass before Ian Carr comes in to take over on trumpet followed by Karl Jenkins on oboe..
In 1970, Nucleus released Elastic Rock featuring Ian Carr (trumpet, flugelhorn), Karl Jenkins (baritone saxophone, oboe, piano, electric piano), Brian Smith (tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, flute), Chris Spedding (guitar), Jeff Clyne (bass) and John Marshall (drums). In those heady days, contemporary jazz and emerging talent were frequently featured on BBC radio, Ian Carr was a regular presenter, and the Rendell-Carr Quintet and then Nucleus were often featured on mainstream programming. The BBC, as the national broadcaster in the UK, entered Nucleus into the European Broadcasting Union competition at the Montreux Jazz Festival and Ian Carr's band took the first prize, part of which included representing Montreux at the Newport Jazz Festival in the USA. Elastic Rock (listen here) is considered a milestone in Fusion that demonstrates a refusal to recognise rigid boundaries between musical genres and delivers a “total musical experience”. Along with Soft Machine, Colosseum and others Nucleus ensured that British Fusion music was among the world leaders.
In the years that followed Nucleus frequently changed personnel but under Ian Carr's leadership maintained a consistently high standard. Following Elastic Rock releases included We'll Talk About It Later (1971), Solar Plexus (1971), Belladonna (1972), Labyrinth (1973), Roots (1973), Under The Sun (1974), Snakehips Etcetera (1975), Alleycat (1975), In Flagrante Delicto (1977), Out Of The Long Dark (1979) and Awakening (1980). In the late 1970s, Ian Carr joined the United Jazz Rock Ensemble which was based in Germany. The band included a significant British contingent with Kenny Wheeler on trumpet alongside Ian, Barbara Thompson on saxophones and Jon Hiseman on drums. Ian Carr remained with this remarkable band until 2002 when there was a farewell tour. In the 1980s there was less to hear from Nucleus but Old Heartland (1988) with its string quartet among the musicians harks back nostalgically to Carr's upbringing in Northumberland. This album, with its pastoral feel, also marks a departure from that jazz-rock fusion of the 1970s.
The Jazz Quiz
In this month's quiz we pose fifteen jazz-related questions where we ask you 'Who?' How many can you answer?
The December Jazz Quiz is
Did You Know?
Royal Garden Blues
Royal Garden Blues was written by Clarence Williams and Spencer Williams in 1919. It was not named after a garden in a royal palace, but after a dance hall at 459 East 31st Street in Chicago. At various times it was known as Lincoln Gardens, Royal Gardens, Royal Gardens Café, the New Charleston Café and Café de Paris. It hosted many famous jazz bands but closed in June 1927 after it was the target of a bombing suspected to be related to gang warfare. You can read more about it here.
The tune has been recorded many times, but here is Bix Beiderbecke and his Gang playing it in 1927 (Bix Beiderbecke (cornet); Bill Rank (trombone); Don Murray (clarinet); Adrian Rollini (bass sax), Frank Signorelli (piano) and Chauncey Moorehouse (drums):
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 Filipe's reviews of album releases here and see Clara's gallery of pictures here.
Clara Pereira took this picture of Aruán Ortiz back in 2016 when he was leading a Quartet at the Cornelia Street Cafe in New York City. The other members were Ingrid Laubrock (saxophone); Mark Helia (bass) and Tom Rainey (drums). At that time Filipe Freitas wrote: "I was paralyzed by the verve of these four hyper-creative musicians who presented their own languages with one common goal in mind: making great music. And believe me! That happened!"
Now Aruán Ortiz has a new album out, Pastor's Paradox, with Don Byron (clarinet, bass clarinet, voice); Lester St Louis, Yves Dhar (cello); Pheeroan AkLaff (drums) and Mute Gant (spoken word). The introduction to the album says: "60 years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his signature “I Have a Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial. The content, structure and power of King’s words serve as a fundamental inspiration for Pastor’s Paradox, the stirring new album by Cuban-born, Brooklyn-based pianist, composer and conceptualist Aruán Ortiz. ...... Pastor’s Paradox shares many of King’s themes, including racial equality, but also reflects Ortiz’s singular artistry. To write his enthralling suite, Ortiz studied King’s Biblical and world history references, the speech’s construction, and the pacing and vocal dynamics that give King’s words such power and momentum. “’I Have a Dream’ is one of the masterpieces in the history of speeches,” says Ortiz. “I studied that speech from different angles, particularly his use of analogies and how he integrated different aspects of literature into his message. It’s amazing when you analyze its structure.”
More information about the recording is here.
David Keen in Canada wrote to us: "I think Stanley Turrentine gets real short shrift historically. He was a hugely influential player from that period and could play any bag." So here is a look back at the saxophonist and his music:
Here is a video of Stanley Turrentine (sometimes know as 'Mr Sugar Man' or 'Mr T') playing Midnight Special at the Mount Fuji Jazz Festival in 1987 with Kenny Burrel (guitar), Jimmy Smith (organ) and Art Blakey (drums) - in another version of this video a YouTube commentator says: "These are the Gentleman I grew up listening to in the Shoe Shine Shop I used to shine shoes at in my teenaged years. We also sold records and the owner would play Jimmy Smith, Kenny Burrell, Art Blakey and so on . I got a rich education in this music. This is one of the reasons I'm a musician today. A lot of these cats today they all sound alike. I can tell who is blowing or playing their axe. You know what I mean man. Thank you for this just lovely. Thank You!"
Tenor saxophonist Stanley Turrentine was born in Pittsburgh. His father was a saxophonist with Al Cooper's Savoy Sultans, his mother played stride piano, and his older brother Tommy Turrentine was a professional trumpet player who served stints in the big bands of Billy Eckstine, Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie and Benny Carter. After hearing saxophonist Illinois Jacquet, Stanley started out playing with blues, and rhythm and blues bands,
In the 1950s, he went on to play with the groups of Lowell Fulson (with Ray Charles) and Earl Bostic but it wasn't until the mid 1950s that he received any formal musical training when he served with the military for a short time. In 1959, he left the military and went straight into Max Roach's band.
In 1960, Stanley married organist Shirley Scott and the two frequently played and recorded together, and as the decade went on, he started working with organist Jimmy Smith. He made many soul jazz recordings both with Smith and as a leader in his own right.
Listen here to Love Letters from the 1964 album Hustlin' with Stanley Turrentine (tenor saxophone); Shirley Scott (organ); Kenny Burrell (guitar); Bob Cranshaw (bass) and Otis Finch (drums).
Stanley began recording as a leader for Blue Note, concentrating on small-group soul-jazz on classics like That's Where It's At, but also working with the Three Sounds (on 1961's Blue Hour) and experimenting with larger ensemble settings.
Here he is playing Willow Weep For Me with the Three Sounds from the Blue Hour album with Gene Harris (piano), Andrew Simpkins (bass), Bill Dowdy (drums).
Stanley Turrentine was possibly best known for his Blue Note soul-jazz jams of the 1960s but by the 1970s he had divorced and had started to become involved in playing jazz fusion. He signed for Creed Taylor's CTI label and his album, Sugar, was a great success.
Here's Sugar with Freddie Hubbard (trumpet); Stanley Turrentine (tenor saxophone); George Benson (guitar); Lonnie Smith (electric piano); Ron Carter (bass) and Billy Kaye (drums).
Stanley Turrentine went on to work with, amongst others, Milt Jackson, George Benson, Idris Muhammad and Eric Gale.
The album Mr Natural included the Beatles' Can't Buy Me Love with Lee Morgan (trumpet); McCoy Tyner (piano), Bob Cranshaw (bass), Elvin Jones (drums), Ray Baretto (percussion).
He returned to soul jazz in the 1980s and into the 1990s until he died of a stroke in New York City in 2000.
Here is Stanley Turrentine's cover of Isaac Hayes's Shaft from the 1980s.
Jazz.com says: "Stanley Turrentine, it has been said, could make the telephone book sound soulful. His elegant brawn in the lower register of the tenor saxophone, and seductive swagger in the upper, sang perfectly in whatever bag he swung - from the blues and bebop to rhythm 'n' blues and pop. Throughout his long and varied career, his musical identity remained distinctively intact."
Here is a video of Stanley Turrentine playing John Coltrane's Impressions in the 1990s.
There is more of Stanley Turrentine's music to be heard on YouTube, and here is an obituary in The Guardian by John Fordham from 2000 giving more details about him.
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. Matt has kindly agreed to share some of his thoughts as an agent with us from time to time:
I wanted to talk about what we can learn about gig pitching from those crazy salespeople who stand on street corners. Imagine you're walking down the street and there's a guy shouting about insurance. It's very easy to ignore him and keep walking.
Now imagine that same guy comes up to you, tells you he noticed the saxophone case on your back and told you he had an amazing offer for musical instrument insurance.
Quite possibly you are already sorted ...... but you probably won't keep walking and ignore him, no? And it's not impossible that you actually are in the market to protect your instrument, his offer is good and you end up buying some insurance ... That's a very similar situation club and festival promoters are in when receiving pitching emails.
They might not be looking to book your project right now, but you won't find out unless you can catch their attention personally...
❌ Mass mail: very easy to ignore, guilt-free.
✅ Personalised mail: much more engaging, prompts action
Unfortunately as we approach the tech-fuelled year of 2024, simply adding their name is not enough. Everyone knows that can be done automatically.
No, personalisation means things like..
Referencing their club/festival name
Noting similar artists they've booked
Being aware of their lead times
Mentioning mutual contacts
If that sounds time-consuming, well ... it is (compared to a mass mailout). But, unlike mailouts, it also generates real responses and results!
That research doesn't just let you say to the promoter "this is a personal mail, pay attention!" it also guides you towards the gigs that will be the best fit for your music.
You can find more thoughts in my free download Common gig booking mistakes and how to overcome them (PDF)
All the best.
The Cy Laurie Band In 1956
Many thanks to Andy Smith who tells us about some brief footage of the Cy Laurie band that he came across in a YouTube documentary. The video is a half hour documentary about London's Soho in 1956 and the Cy Laurie band appears at 16.10 minutes in. You will find the video here.
Freddie Webster and Miles Davis
Eric Scott Reed, a Jazz pianist from the U.S., doing research on Miles Davis' influences. I'm delighted to have come across your page! (here). You posted a YouTube link of Savoy played by Lucky Millinder, and cited Freddie Webster as the trumpet soloist. When I read the comments on the YT link, someone stated that it was actually Joe Guy on trumpet. Would you be able to offer some insight, as I'm not familiar with either of their styles?
Would any musicians reading this like to comment on their styles for Eric? (Ed). On our page about Freddie SWebster we wrote: "In April 1942 Freddie Webster also joined his friend Pee Wee Jackson in the Jimmie Lunceford band. It was while travelling with Lunceford that Freddie met Miles Davis and the two became great friends. Trumpeter Benny Bailey is reported as saying: ‘Freddie practically taught Miles. I know that because Miles told me that. In fact, there's a solo on a very early Charlie Parker record ("Billie's Bounce") in which Miles played Freddie's solo, note for note!’ (You can listen to that recording here).
Jazz banjo player Jerry Withers' daughter Jane has been in touch with us, initially writing about other corresondence we had concerning trumpeter / bass player Harry Baldock; they both played with the Thames City Jazz Band. With Jane's help, we plan to write an article about Jerry in the New Year. One early photograph Jane has sent to us is this one: She says: "This photo is from 1958 with my Dad and band playing on Hampstead Heath. I am the blonde toddler - I apparently slept in my Dad's wooden banjo case!! The story goes that the police wanted to move them on but (actor) John LeMesurier was a fan and invited the band to play in his garden which the police could do nothing about. My Mum was pregnant with my younger sister and John LeMesurier made her a cup of tea!!
Does anyone remember Jerry Withers - it would be good to hear from you?
Information has arrived about the following musicians or people connected to jazz who have passed through the 'Departure Lounge' since our last update.
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.
During the past month I have not read of any jazz musicians who have passed through the Departure Lounge.
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
You will find the Recent Releases page HERE where you can scroll down through the albums. Included this month are: