The John Ongom Big Band featuring Catherine Lima plays a fundraising concert for the National Jazz Archive in Loughton on 2 November. Both the band and Catherine have enjoyed sell-out fundraising gigs for the Archive in the past 18 months.
The outstanding 17-piece band is directed by Angus Moncrieff and play the music of Count Basie, Duke Ellington, and more. The community band is based in Leytonstone and brings together professional and amateur musicians.
Musical director and trumpeter Angus said: “It’s great to play another concert for the Archive. We’re looking forward to presenting an evening of this wonderful timeless music to help raise funds to support the Archive’s fantastic work.”
Vocalist Catherine Lima will join them to sing numbers by Rosemary Clooney, Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee and others, following her own sell-out concert in July. Catherine is a charismatic and entertaining performer with a warm expressive tone which she uses expertly to create moods from sultry to joyous. Her album, Stories and Lies, was released in September 2017.
The concert is at Loughton Methodist Church, 260 High Road, Loughton, Essex IG10 1RB starting at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £17.50.
Adrian Cox delights
Adrian Cox and his quartet gave a wonderful concert to raise funds for the Archive on 28 July in Loughton, presenting ‘Profoundly Blue’ – his tribute to Edmond Hall.
Chris writes: “The concert was a fund raiser for the National Jazz Archive but it also raised the spirits of all those entranced by Adrian’s exuberant clarinet playing and charismatic stage personality.”
And Sue writes: “Faultless in its composition and arrangement, ‘Profoundly Blue' delivers its remit with energy and a real passion for the subject. The band led by Cox, with Joe Webb on piano, Simon Read on double bass and Gethin Jones on drums, work instinctively together and moved effortlessly from high energy to melodic reflection. From the opening bars of “Dardanella”, Cox inhabits Hall’s work with ease and understanding. The energetic “High Society” contrasting with an emotionally nuanced “You Made Me Love You”, and throughout flawlessly coaxing a breath-taking range from the clarinet.”
Catherine’s wonderful tribute concert to Peggy Lee for the Archive in July was filmed and recorded by Sue Lusk, and two extracts can be enjoyed again here. The first is “Black Coffee”, with fine trumpet playing from Paul Higgs, with Jose Canha on bass, Alex Field on guitar and Les Cirkel on drums.
This second extract is a medleyof five great tunes: “He's a Tramp”, “I Lost My Sugar in Salt Lake City”, “Black Coffee”, “Bye Bye Blackbird”, and “Fever”.
Many thanks to Sue and Catherine for sharing these.
Rediscovering Jazz 625 + Archive AGM, 7 December
The National Jazz Archive’s Annual General Meeting will be on Saturday 7 December at the Archive in Loughton Library, Traps Hill, Loughton, Essex IG10 1HD. It will be followed by refreshments, and the opportunity to thank all our volunteers for their great work over the past year.
After this, Dr Nic Pillai of Birmingham City University will introduce his project ‘Jazz on BBC-TV 1960–1969’, in which he remade an episode of the programme in a modern digital TV studio as part of the practice-as-research output of his AHRC Research Leadership Fellowship.
More details will follow next month.
2020 fundraising concerts – save the dates!
The first two fundraising concerts for the Archive next year have been confirmed. More details will follow in future newsletters, but get the dates in your diaries now!
15 February – Simon Spillett Quartet with Rob Barron, Alec Dankworth and Clark Tracey, playing a tribute to Tubby Hayes. The photo above shows Simon's quartet when they played at Loughton in 2016, with the late John Critchinson on piano.
18 April – Darius Brubeck Quartet with Dave O’Higgins, Matt Ridley and Wesley Gibbens.
Photos: Brian O’Connor and Rob Blackham
NJA website update
Regular visitors to the NJA website will have seen the transformation of the site in the last few months. It’s been thoroughly updated and redesigned to work on mobile devices, with many improvements in functionality. Most of the planned changes have now been implemented, and Townsweb Archiving, our technical specialists, have featured the changes to the site in a blogpost here.
Girls in Jazz, 27 November
The Guildhall School in the City of London is holding a day exploring improvisation, jazz standards and women in jazz for young female instrumentalists and vocalists aged 11–18, involving workshops, Q&A and panel discussions led by Women in Jazz co-founders Lou Paley and Nina Fine.
The National Jazz Archive is delighted to support the event with the series of banners on Women in Jazz that we developed for the National Youth Jazz Collective last year.
The day (which is now fully booked) culminates in a performance by the Guildhall Jazz Orchestra with Yazz Ahmed in the Milton Court Concert Hall. Details are here.
Remembering Ian Hunter-Randall Ian Hunter-Randall was one of the most technically accomplished and expressive trumpeters in the British traditional jazz scene of his day. He played with several top bands when he began working professionally in the late 1950s.
A CD has been released that celebrates Ian’s wonderful contribution to the traditional jazz revival in the early 1960s. Produced in co-operation with Digby Fairweather, Julian Marc Stringle, and Ian’s widow Jane, the CD features a wide range of Ian’s performances and shows off his tremendous technique. A treat for lovers of first-rate British jazz.
Hugh Rainey in Jazz Journal gives high praise for Ian’s musicianship, tells more of his story and reviews the CD here.
'Ian' – Remembering Ian Hunter-Randall can be purchased here.
The Jazz Centre celebrates the 100 Club The Jazz Centre UK has received a Heritage Lottery grant for £94,800 for a project ‘Jazz at the 100 Club: Bringing History to Life’. It runs until February 2021 and will celebrate the Club’s history from its opening in 1942 up to the present.
Planned activities include interviews with and performances by musicians, exhibitions including ‘voices from the past’ and reminiscences, and community jam sessions combining professionals with newcomers. There will be a ‘Breaking Barriers’ research project, a fashion and jazz exhibition, and dance workshops celebrating the Club’s partnership with the London Swing Dance Society.
The Jazz Centre UK’s CEO Digby Fairweather says: “This is our second HLF grant and we are thrilled to be able to celebrate, to recreate and help set down in history the great venue which, to my certain knowledge, is the oldest jazz club in the world. I was lucky enough to play at the 100 Club hundreds of times from 1971 through until the 1990s when the club was still acknowledged as London’s Home of Traditional Jazz.”
The photo above shows Digby Fairweather at the 100 Club for the National Jazz Archive’s 30th anniversary concert by the NYJO Nonet.
Ronnie Scott’s swings into the Barbican The exhibition of Freddy Warren photographs of British and American jazz singers and musicians charting the first decade of Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club is open at the Barbican Music Library in London and runs until 4 January. It coincides with publication of a superb book Ronnie Scott’s 1959–69 published by Reel Arts Press.
Freddy Warren, the club’s photographer from the opening night in 1959 in Gerrard Street, documented the construction of the current site in Frith Street in the mid-1960s and the American stars of the day, including Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Stan Getz, Count Basie, Tubby Hayes, Ella Fitzgerald, Zoot Sims and Cleo Laine.
The National Jazz Archive has been credited in the book for its assistance and has loaned a fascinating selection of items from the period for the exhibition. These include three autograph books inscribed with Ronnie’s signature and many of his contemporaries from the late ’40s, early ’50s and mid-’80s. They formed part of the collection of the late Roy Hulbert (1925–2018) who made a generous bequest to the National Jazz Archive.
Freddy’s nephew Simon Whittle said: “My uncle loved working at Ronnie Scott’s for so many years and enjoyed rubbing shoulders with some of the biggest names in the business. If people enjoy viewing his photographs and go away with a sense of how magic was created in the club on those dark and smoky nights, I am sure that Freddy, if he were here today, would have been delighted.”
The photo above shows Sonny Rollins, with Stan Tracey, Rick Laird and Ronnie Stephenson at Ronnie Scott’s Club.
Create your own legacy – free this month! Humphrey Lyttelton, John Dankworth, Ted Heath, Tubby Hayes and Ronnie Scott and many more musicians left a wonderful legacy for all who continue to enjoy the joyful results of their musicianship.
Now, the National Jazz Archive can provide you, the jazz lover, with the opportunity to add to that legacy and to play your part in celebrating and preserving the past, present and future of jazz.
‘Free Wills Month’ started on 1 October, and brings together a group of charities to offer people aged 55 and over the opportunity to have simple wills written or updated free of charge by participating solicitors across the UK.
Free Wills Month enables you to provide for family and friends and leave a gift to your chosen charity, like the National Jazz Archive.