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The KOKTEBEL JAZZ PARTY returns to the Black Sea coast of Crimea 20-22 August. The organisers say it is “a world of smiling faces and joyful people escaping from the stilted and the tedious, from limits and kitsch into the heady freedom of dancing waves and salty air that blend in with the music liberating body and soul.” In 2017 Vladimir Putin made an address at the festival after being welcomed with a screaming reception worthy of that afforded the Beatles.

Guildhall School of Music presents “A HISTORY OF BIG BAND: THE DAWN OF MODERNISM” (14 May) featuring the Guildhall Big Band with guest director and trombonist Callum Au playing music associated with Nancy Wilson, Ella Fitzgerald, Astrud Gilberto, Dizzy Gillespie, Billy May, Nelson Riddle, Gil Evans, Gerald Wilson and Oliver Nelson. The school say “Dizzy Gillespie's Manteca will provide the overture for this exciting journey through this multi-faceted age: the dawn of modernism, bebop and the golden age of the star vocalist, their arrangers and the great studio orchestras of Capital (sic) Records.”

Clifford Brown, trumpet titan /3

Just before signing an exclusive contract with Emarcy, Clifford Brown recorded one of the most unusual albums in his discography for Dick Bock of Pacific Jazz. The quintet had been appearing at the Tiffany club opposite Art Pepper and Jack Montrose. Bock decided to feature Brown and Roach with some of the best local musicians like Stu Williamson, Zoot Sims, Bob Gordon, Russ Freeman and Carson Smith. Montrose was hired to write the arrangements but as he told me in a JJ interview, “The music was written with Max in mind but he got into a money hassle with Dick and bowed out at the last minute. Shelly Manne was called and he played just beautifully, bless his heart.” The group throw the kitchen sink at Parisian Thoroughfare’s opening vamp and theme with hints of American In Paris, La Marseillaise, Offenbach and assorted traffic noises A few months earlier, Clifford had been in the trumpet section of Hampton’s barnstorming big band but on this occasion he...

Sun Ra’s Chicago: Afrofuturism And The City

John Szwed’s magisterial 1997 biography of Sun Ra – Space Is The Place – opened the floodgates of books and articles about Ra and...

Louis Armstrong & Oscar Peterson: Louis Armstrong Meets Oscar Peterson

Peterson recorded prolifically in the 50s, sponsored and encouraged by impresario Norman Granz. On Jazz At The Phil recordings he worked extensively with the top jazz...

Masabumi Kikuchi: Hanamichi – The Final Studio Recording

In 2013, the late Masabumi Kikuchi recorded a two-day session at New York’s Klavierhaus. The resulting recordings became Hanamichi, the Japanese pianist’s final studio...

Dave Stryker: Baker’s Circle

Dave Stryker’s participation in the lovely online High Note Records tribute to Pat Martino last March gives you an idea of his preferences. Born...

Albare: Plays Jobim Vol. 2.

Albare was born in Morocco but grew up in Israel and France. Although he attended a music conservatory for two years his studies were...

Blossom Dearie: Little Jazz Bird 1952-1959

Actually, there's only one item here from 1952. It's tucked away as a bonus track at the end of the first disc: a 24-year-old...

Eddie Lang, first of the virtuoso jazz guitarists

Maybe, like me, you managed to see most of the best jazz musicians in person when they visited this country, from Louis and Tea...

Alban Claret & Evan Clegg: The Collection

This collection has all the sound and ambience of an early bop session. It really could have been recorded any time from 1945 until...

The Jazz Worms: Squirmin’

Not often does a group wait 30 years before releasing their second album. Denver’s Jazz Worms, on the other hand, have waited 34. Their...

Harald Lassen: Human Samling

Lassen’s 2019 Jazzland debut Eventyrer was quite a statement, and I was struck both by its gritty authenticity and the way in which old...

What’s new

The KOKTEBEL JAZZ PARTY returns to the Black Sea coast of Crimea 20-22 August. The organisers say it is “a world of smiling faces and joyful people escaping from the stilted and the tedious, from limits and kitsch into the heady freedom of dancing waves and salty air that blend in with the music liberating body and soul.” In 2017 Vladimir Putin made an address at the festival after being welcomed with a screaming reception worthy of that afforded the Beatles.

Guildhall School of Music presents “A HISTORY OF BIG BAND: THE DAWN OF MODERNISM” (14 May) featuring the Guildhall Big Band with guest director and trombonist Callum Au playing music associated with Nancy Wilson, Ella Fitzgerald, Astrud Gilberto, Dizzy Gillespie, Billy May, Nelson Riddle, Gil Evans, Gerald Wilson and Oliver Nelson. The school say “Dizzy Gillespie's Manteca will provide the overture for this exciting journey through this multi-faceted age: the dawn of modernism, bebop and the golden age of the star vocalist, their arrangers and the great studio orchestras of Capital (sic) Records.”

Guildhall chronicles the birth of the modern big band

The Guildhall School of Music has a three-day summer jazz festival 4-6 May featuring “four of the most creative and exciting artists on the UK jazz scene”, namely Fini Bearman, Trish Clowes, Ruth Goller and Brigitte Beraha. The school also presents "A History Of Big Band: The Dawn Of Modernism" (14 May) ...

Escaping the kitsch in Koktebel

The Koktebel Jazz Party (founded 2003) returns to the Black Sea coast of Crimea 20-22 August. The programme is yet to be announced but previous participants...

Clifford Brown, trumpet titan /3

Just before signing an exclusive contract with Emarcy, Clifford Brown recorded one of the most unusual albums in his discography for Dick Bock of...

Sun Ra’s Chicago: Afrofuturism And The City

John Szwed’s magisterial 1997 biography of Sun Ra – Space Is The Place – opened the floodgates of books and articles about Ra and...

Louis Armstrong & Oscar Peterson: Louis Armstrong Meets Oscar Peterson

Peterson recorded prolifically in the 50s, sponsored and encouraged by impresario Norman Granz. On Jazz At The Phil recordings he worked extensively with the top jazz...

Masabumi Kikuchi: Hanamichi – The Final Studio Recording

In 2013, the late Masabumi Kikuchi recorded a two-day session at New York’s Klavierhaus. The resulting recordings became Hanamichi, the Japanese pianist’s final studio...

Dave Stryker: Baker’s Circle

Dave Stryker’s participation in the lovely online High Note Records tribute to Pat Martino last March gives you an idea of his preferences. Born...

Albare: Plays Jobim Vol. 2.

Albare was born in Morocco but grew up in Israel and France. Although he attended a music conservatory for two years his studies were...

Blossom Dearie: Little Jazz Bird 1952-1959

Actually, there's only one item here from 1952. It's tucked away as a bonus track at the end of the first disc: a 24-year-old...
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Louis Armstrong & Oscar Peterson: Louis Armstrong Meets Oscar Peterson

Peterson recorded prolifically in the 50s, sponsored and encouraged by impresario Norman Granz. On Jazz At The Phil recordings he worked extensively with the top jazz stars of the day, and with his own world-class trio or quartet he embarked on a journey through the master works of the great popular American composers in his songbook series. He also recorded a string of albums featuring invited jazz celebrity guests, and in this context eventually met up on this session with the legendary grand master, Louis Armstrong. (Actually they had already met, and hit it off, on the Ella/Louis recordings.) A clear policy for this memorable collaboration was agreed on, with no hint of any JATP-style jousting. Armstrong's standard All Stars Dixieland repertoire was jettisoned for top-quality popular songs typical of a Peterson album. Louis sounds confident, relaxed and enjoying the change - not to mention the Rolls Royce backing of probably the best rhythm section in the world. His vocals dominate every track throughout, and introduce all but two of the 16 songs. Less featured, his unmistakable majestic trumpet nevertheless contributes powerfully on eight...
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Obituary: Carol Fredette

Although she did tour, including some travels overseas, Carol Fredette chose to work extensively in the New York area and this, allied to relatively...

Obituary: Freddie Redd

Although he played piano as a child, it wasn't until he was 18 and serving in the military in Korea that Freddie Redd seriously...

440 Keys (some more used than others)

“Jazz piano” is no more of a self-contained notion than is “Jazz saxophone”. After all, the music can be played on any instrument, although...

Obituary: Duffy Jackson

There was never any doubt that Duffy Jackson would become a jazz musician, specifically a drummer. The son of a famous jazz bassist, Chubby...

Obituary: Chris Barber

It really seemed as if Chris Barber would go on forever. He was still playing trombone and leading his Big Jazz and Blues Band...

Chick Corea: the musical essence

Nearly a year ago the world lost one of its piano greats in McCoy Tyner. Now it has lost another who operated in the...

Count Me In 02/21

There are historical parallels between jazz and photography - both were nascent (primitive, if you like) in the second half of the 19th century....

Obituary: Sammy Nestico

The American Dream suggests that for those ready to work hard, America will deliver success. For Luigi Nistico, a small boy from Naples...

Obituary: John Russell

The improvising guitarist John Russell died peacefully in his sleep in the early hours of 19 January 2021. Born in Battersea in 1954, John...

Obituary: Junior Mance

Pianist, composer and educator Junior Mance died in his New York City home on 18 January. He was 92, and had been in failing...
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Guildhall chronicles the birth of the modern big band

The Guildhall School of Music has a three-day summer jazz festival 4-6 May featuring “four of the most creative and exciting artists on the UK jazz scene”, namely Fini Bearman, Trish Clowes, Ruth Goller and Brigitte Beraha. The school also presents "A History Of Big Band: The Dawn Of Modernism" (14 May)  featuring the Guildhall Big Band with guest director and trombonist Callum Au playing music associated with Nancy Wilson, Ella Fitzgerald, Astrud Gilberto, Dizzy Gillespie, Billy May, Nelson Riddle, Gil Evans, Gerald Wilson and Oliver Nelson. The school says “Dizzy Gillespie’s Manteca will provide the overture for this exciting journey through this...
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Wilderness

Nothing could be more unlike a jazz musician's life than a weekend break in Cornwall, especially if the musician is black and even knowing...
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JJ 03/91: Marvin Stamm interviewed

In the UK, trumpeter and flugelhorn player Marvin Stamm is perhaps best known for the two years he spent in the early 1960s as the principal jazz trumpet soloist with Stan Ken­ton's Mellophonium Orchestra. His incisive, tightly-muted statements on Kenton's Sophisticated Approach (1) and Adventures In Blues (2) are models of concise musical expression. In the late 1960s and 1970s Stamm was engrossed in the New York studios, but he is now back on the jazz scene with a vengeance. He is a member of several major American and international jazz orchestras, and in addition to being a first-class section...

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