News from the National Jazz Archive
August 2020 newsletter

Covid-19 update

The Archive has been open again for several weeks now and work by our team of volunteers has also started back again, following all the necessary precautions …

Only four people are allowed in to the Archive at any time, including our research archivist David Nathan. Visitors to the Archive are welcome but by appointment only – call 020 8502 4701 or email to arrange a visit. Visitors are requested to wear a face mask.

Jazz book sale continues!

Thank you to all who supported our book sale last month – we can’t hold fundraising concerts at the moment, so these book sales are our only regular source of income. Since June, nearly 200 books have been sold, raising over £1200 for the Archive. Special thanks to all of you who bought books last month, and then gave an additional donation to the Archive along with your payment. 

Here’s another selection of over 60 fascinating jazz biographies and memoirs, books on big band and swing, New Orleans, jazz guitar, songwriting and popular song. There are also more than 20 books by well-known jazz writers and critics – including some rare first editions.

These books were all donated to the Archive by Michael Brocking, Tony Farsky and John Sturgess, to whom we are very grateful.

Details of these books and how to order them can be downloaded here. We have only one copy of most of them, so email quickly to check that the ones you are interested in are still available and to reserve your copy.

The only really global jazz magazine

NJA trustee Roger Cotterrell has written an article for the Archive’s website about Jazz Forum, the magazine of the International Jazz Federation, which has been published in Warsaw, Poland since 1964. At its peak, in the late 1970s, it was published in English and German, as well as Polish, and distributed in more than 100 countries. 

The Archive does, of course, have copies of the magazine, which can also be seen at Loughton. 

Thank you Waitrose!

The Archive was delighted to receive a donation from Waitrose and Partners for £290 on 3 August. The money was raised by Waitrose at their Buckhurst Hill branch through their Community Matters scheme.

The picture shows the cheque being presented to our Chair of Trustees, Paul Kaufman. Also present were volunteers Jackie Pam (on the right) and Mike Rose (who took the picture).

The Waitrose Community Matters scheme started in 2008 and is the longest-running community initiative of its kind. Every month each store donates £1000 to three local causes. The proportion of donations is determined by the customers, who place a green token in a box based on their preference. The more tokens a cause receives, the bigger the donation, so our thanks to every Waitrose shopper who selected us. 

Posts, tweets and images of jazz

Like most organisations, we use social media to engage with supporters and potential users of the Archive. This builds understanding of and interest in what we do, and helps to make the NJA known internationally.

By following us on social media and receiving this newsletter, you can see some of the Archive’s wide range of images and keep up to date with our news. We like to keep our readers interested with jazz-related facts and campaigns. Recent social media themes have included our support for the Black Lives Matter movement, UK Jazz in 100 Images, The Singer and the Song, Summertime Jazz, and, most recently, ‘Jazzin’ the 88s’, with photos of jazz pianists from different genres. 

What we enjoy is engaging with our social media followers and hearing your views and experiences.

To see our posts, click on the Facebook, Instagram or Twitter icon at the bottom of this newsletter. To receive our posts and tweets automatically, follow us by going to our profile page (found by selecting the post image) and selecting the option to follow us on the social media of your choice.

We look forward to hearing what you think – let us know if there are images or ideas you would like us to explore.

Thank you – recent donations to the Archive

We are most grateful for the many books, journals, photos and other materials that have been donated to the Archive recently. Here is a full listing of donations and enquiries to the Archive in the past few months.

Rabbit Records – update on donations

Since 2007, Rabbit Records has been working with the National Jazz Archive to help people to donate or dispose of their collections of vinyl records and CDs. We are most grateful to Scott Nicol of Rabbit Records for his continuing help and support, and to everyone who has donated records and CDs to the Archive. In the last three months, over £1275 has been received by the Archive from sales of records and CDs.

If you would like to donate your collection to the National Jazz Archive then Rabbit Records can facilitate the sale, with a proportion of the proceeds passed on to benefit the work and continued development of the Archive. Alternatively, Rabbit Records will purchase collections directly from the seller and then independently make a donation to the Archive to acknowledge the initial referral, so the Archive still benefits.

Find out more here or email Scott Nicol.

Making connections – The Rhizome

At the July meeting (by Zoom) of the NJA trustees, Corey Mwamba talked about the ‘messy’ nature of the British jazz and improvised music scene, with people often playing in many groups and styles. You can visit he website he has developed, The Rhizome, which visualises the astonishing connections between over 1400 musicians. 

Annie Ross

Annie Ross died on 21 July at the age of 89, after a long and varied career as a singer and actor. Her family emigrated from Britain to New York in 1934 when she was four years old. As a child she acted in films, then developed as a singer, both solo and as part of a trio with Dave Lambert and Jon Hendricks, with whom she recorded seven albums in the 1950s. Her vocalese style, matching the vocal line to a jazz improvisation, saw its highpoint in ‘Twisted’, following Wardell Gray’s solo. Here she recreates the solo in the 1959 TV show ‘Playboy after dark’, and sings 'Everyday I have the blues' with Dave Lambert, Jon Hendricks, and guest Joe Williams.

She returned to acting, and continuing singing for many years, including a period in London in the 1960s, when she also ran a club, Annie’s Room, though this wasn’t successful financially. 

Her obituary in Jazz Journal can be read here.

Her singing career was of course covered in jazz magazines and periodicals over the years, which are all held in the National Jazz Archive. Here is Jazz News from 2 May 1962, with a photo of Annie by Val Wilmer:

And here is Jazz News & Review of 2 January 1963, which also features her on the cover:

The interview with her by Michael Aldred on page 16 of the issue of 24 January 1963 issue can be read here.

The photo at the top was taken by Brian Foskett in 1962 during Annie Ross' UK tour with Count Basie.

Jazz Lockdown

A recent edition of ‘Jazz Lockdown’, the on-line jazz quiz organised by Clark Tracey and chaired by Alyn Shipton, featured Simon Spillett, and includes a nice plug for the Archive. In a question (starting 10min 15sec into the quiz), Alyn refers to a recent item posted on the Archive’s Facebook (not the website) about the Selmer Mk VI tenor sax. The series of images, including Selmer adverts in journals that are available on our website, can be viewed here and the full quiz featuring Simon can be watched here.

Other episodes of the quiz are available here

Leave a legacy gift in your will

If you are passionate about jazz and want to help preserve its heritage, leaving a gift in your Will to the National Jazz Archive will enable the celebration of jazz to continue for years to come. Here’s a message from NJA Patron, the Right Honourable Baroness Valerie Amos CH PC:

"I am a huge admirer and supporter of the National Jazz Archive given its passion and dedication to preserving the work and talent of Jazz in Britain. That is why I have been a Patron for over a decade. 

Leaving a legacy gift will mean the Archive can continue and sustain its important work, including managing and digitising collections, developing the website to ensure access for everyone, and making sure it can continue to employ a high-quality body of staff to undertake this brilliant work." 

The National Jazz Archive was founded by trumpeter Digby Fairweather in 1988 and is supported by Essex County Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund.
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Copyright © 2020 National Jazz Archive, All rights reserved.

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