Jazz Art Gallery

Adrian Cox Jazz Painting


Adrian Cox
Double Take

J002. Amy Roberts and Adrian Cox – Reeds in Duet
J003. Amy Roberts on Saxophone – Amy’s Got Rhythm
J004. Annie Hawkins on Bass – Annie on Bass
J005. Barry Martyn – Barry Martyn at the 100 Club
J006. Betty Renz – Betty Renz Steals the Show
J007. Big Bill Bissonnette – Alias B3
J008. Bob Thomas – Bob Thomas of Thomcat Fame
J009. Brian Smith – Washboard Rhythm King
J010. Burt Butler – Burt on Banjo
J011. Chris Marchant – Sublime on Drums!
J012. Chris Tyle on Cornet – Head Honcho with Style
J013. Christine Woodcock – Mysterious Lady
J014. Cuff Billet – Cuff Billet on Trumpet
J015. Dave Arnold – The Clash of the Cymbals
J016. Dave Bartholomew – Let the Good Times Roll!
J017. Dave Rance’s Rockcin’ Chair Band – Let it Rip, Dave!
J018. Dom Pipkin – Dom Pipkin Pumps Piano
J019. Dr Michael White – Visitations
J020. Emile Martyn – Emile on Drums
J021. Emile Van Pelt and Eric Webster – Honky Tonk Time
J022. Esther O’Connor – Esther Enthralls Her Fans
J023. Frederic John on Trombone – Frog Islanders!
J024. Jim Hurd and John Whitehead
J025. Gerry Birch on Sousaphone – Jazz at The George
J026. Gordon Lawrence – Ensnared
J027. Grand Marshall Jimbo Heads the Parade – Good Time Jazz
J028. Greg Stafford – He Der Man!
J029. Hugh Masekela – The Coal Train
J030. Ivan Gandon on Saxophone – A Very Mean Sax
J031. John Pickett – Plays Trumpet for Recreation
J032. Johnny Rodgers – Passion Personified
J033. Joshua & Sandra Walker – Neighbours Well Met
J034. Katja Toivola on trombone at Donna’s Bar, New Orleans –
J035. Keith Minter – Measured Beat and Rolling Peal
J036. Laurie Fray on Clarinet – The Pinnacle of Passion
J037. Laurie Palmer – Drums on the Prom
J038. Leroy Jones at Donna’s Bar – Keeper of the Flame
J039. Lionel Ferbos – Long live Jazz, Long live Lionel Ferbos
J040. Mike Pointon – The Trombonist
J041. Pete Lay – Pete Lay on Drums
J042. Pete Smith – Come Join the Parade
J043. Ray Colyer – Take it away, Ray
J044. Roger Nicholls & Pat Elms – Strumming’ and a Drummin
J045. Sam Weller and Mark Alexander of Vocalion – Trombone and Drums
J046. Sammy Rimington on Clarinet – The Clarinetist
J047. Sammy Rimington – Take Two Sammys
J048. Sammy Rimington & Amy Roberts – Eyes on the Master
J049. The Fallen Heroes – Tony Rico, Paul Bonner & Ben Martyn – Sax. Trumpet and Bass
J050. Tim Curtis on Sousaphone – Tim on Tuba
J051. Tony Cunningham – Tony Cunningham Trombonist
J052. Tony O’Sullivan – Spotlight on the Trumpet
J053. Trefor Williams on Double Bass – Double Bass Ace

Over in the Gloryland

Sammy Rimington, Frederic John and Keith Minter, performing in a concert of hymns and spirituals at The United Reform Church, Folkestone, Kent (Photo © Peter M Butler, Jazz&Jazz, 2009)

Hymns and Spirituals form a considerable part of the jazz repertoire. It goes back to the times of slavery, especially in the Southern States of the USA, including the Louisiana plantations. Christianity proved a major respite for black slave workers and their families. Sabbath church assemblies not only helped lift them from their drudgery but also provided an opportunity for entire families to relax and fellowship.

“We discovered the history of the slave songs and African rhythms, the spirituals and folk songs, ragtime, the blues, church music and dance music. These were all important contributors to the mix that emerged in the early 20th Century as jazz.” (God, Church and All That Jazz)

This was especially so in Louisiana and New Orleans where the early jazz musicians found inspiration in church music and either adapted hymns and spirituals for their bands or composed their own numbers. Perhaps this is why, for the most part, those early musicians were so smartly attired. The music lifted them above slave status enabling them to forgo slave rags for their glad rags and appear on stage or at their gigs in “the white man’s” attire. And the more popular jazz became, the more they could proudly claim their place in society.

Duke Ellington

Sadly, during the era of UK and European “traditional jazz”, this dress code went by the board. Bands and musicians switched to more easy going, individualist fashions, if they could be called fashions! Duke Ellington would not have been pleased.

But to this day, hymns and spirituals remain a core influence on jazz with numbers such as “Over in the Gloryland”, “The Old Rugged Cross”,  “Down by the Riverside” and “Does Jesus Care” regularly performed at jazz festivals and clubs and sometimes at jazz concerts in churches.

Jazz: A Theology of Different Tones


No wonder, then, that I was especially drawn to an article entitled “Jazz: A Theology of Different Tones”, sent to me by a good friend and jazz fan in Monrovia, LA.

Here are a few extracts from the article:

Wynton Marsalis (Courtesy Fanpix.net)

“Jazz, like other art expressions, offers a theology of differing tones, a language of sophisticated splendour and complexity; a source of varied contemplation. Jazz is music the church should take greater notice of, giving audience and emphasis to its musical-theologians, those that play with great skill, humanity, and inspiration, a gift given to them by the Master of Creativity.”

“So what is it about jazz that is intriguing, particularly from a Christian standpoint? What makes jazz an art form of beauty and

cerebral gymnastics, pointing to the intricate nature of God? These are hard questions to answer. Many have written about the theology, influence, and ideology found within Jazz.”

Thelonious Monk (Courtesy eil.com)

“What’s interesting to note is that many Christians have taken a keen interest inJazz, a once taboo form of music for the church. Even many of the composers, be it Duke Ellington, Dave Brubeck, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Eric Dolphy, or Wynton Marsalis, have integrated Christian themes within their music.”

“Anabaptist theologian, James McClendon writes, ‘It is jazz with its partner the bluesthat constitutes a distinctly American music, thereby offering American culture (and increasingly, world culture) a fresh art.’ McClendon goes on to summarise the interchange of jazz and worship as, “Participation, improvisation, cooperation, recognition, inclusion.”

“Dutch theologian and historian, Hans Rookmaaker, asks a question concerning the importance of jazz: “Why did we [the church] reject…jazz years ago, without ever bothering to listen and ask ourselves whether it might help rejuvenate Christian music?”

You can read the full article online at: ASSIST News Service (ANS)

Jazz: Sinful or Spiritual?

Next I read in an article entitled: Jazz: Sinful or Spiritual? by David Arivett.

“A careful study of the history of jazz reveals many moments where jazz music has become a very expressive and powerful vehicle that points to a spiritual dimension in life. Whether it’s been jazz funerals in New Orleans, Duke Ellington’s beautiful sacred jazz compositions, or John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme”,  jazz music has been created and played for spiritual purposes. In fact, many of its musicians and fans understand both jazz and improvisation to be of a spiritual nature.  Dizzy Gillepsie once shared that…”the church had a deep significance for me musically…I first learned there how music could transport people spiritually”. Many of those considered founding fathers of jazz music from New Orleans, King Oliver, Jelly Roll Morton, and Louis Armstrong were all brought up in church and church music played a very important roll in their musical development. The Negro spirituals also played a most important role in the birth of the music we today call “jazz”.” (http://songsofdavid.com/JazzSinfulOrSpiritual.htm)

“Jazz: A Theology of Different Tones” also quoted The Reverend Alan Kershaw’s poignant statement, …jazz played with feeling and inspiration seems to me more truly an act of worship than singing some of the religious songs I learned back in Sunday School…life is so big and wide and deep that you just have to go beyond what’s superficial, and banal, and what’s phony. Faith rises above the streets, above the slime and the suffering men, to the source of goodness Himself. In this sense, jazz becomes a glorious anthem of praise”.

Jazz in Caistor Church

Caistor Church in Norfolk periodically hosts jazz concerts and is currently announcing:
“Following another successful concert, we hope to bring New Orlean’s Heat back to Caistor in 2014.”

New Orleans Heat (here seen at The Peartree Jazz Club, Welwyn Garden City) are a popular band at jazz weekends at Hemsby, Caistor’s neighbouring village, and have recently released a new CD featuring hymns and spirituals appropriately named “Over in the Gloryland”. (Photo © Peter M Butler, Jazz&Jazz)

Sammy Rimington’s International Band

Sammy Rimington Jnr shoulder to shoulder with his famous father in a concert with his New Orleans All Star Band at Chilham, Kent, on 6 February, 2010. (Photo by P.M.Butler, Art&Verse)

Back in 1959 Sammy Rimington played with Barry Martyn’s band. His spectacular jazz career as a professional musician with Ken Colyer’s band started in 1960. In those years my lifelong friend Roger followed his gigs in Kent so when Sammy was booked to appear with his International Jazz Band at the 2008 Ken Colyer Trust Hemsby Autumn Jazz Festival in Norfolk, it didn’t take much persuading for me to join Roger at the festival.

Since then I’ve made a point of keeping up with Sammy, who now lives in Sweden, and his International Jazz Band during their UK winter tours. His concerts of Hymns and Spirituals in the New Orleans Style at Folkestone’s United Reformed Church have been nothing short of inspirational and his Trad Jazz gigs at Chilham Village Hall always pack in the fans.

Trefor Williams on bass, Eric Webster on banjo, Emile van Pelt on piano, Frederic John on trombone and Keith Minter on drums are all jazz virtuosos in their own right but to quote The New York Times: “Sammy Rimington’s playing demonstrates the clarinet’s matchless range of funky virtuosity, which makes jazz’s past as real as its future.”

And indeed, Sammy is every bit as dedicated to the future of jazz as he is to continually surpassing his own brilliance. I witnessed this for myself at the 2008 Hemsby Festival when he invited emerging star Amy Roberts, then barely 19, onto the stage to accompany him in a saxophone duet. The next morning I overheard him stressing the need to to persuade Amy to stay with jazz: “Amy’s got a natural talent and feel for the music. She’s got rhythm. She’s the future of jazz.”

Some accolade from a legend of jazz who has performed with Louis Nelson, Big Jim Robinson, Chris Barber, Kid Thomas Valentine and Captain John Handy.

I count it a privilege to have painted a portrait of Sammy in duet with Amy and indeed, portraits of each member of the International Jazz Band. Trefor Williams paid me a huge compliment:

“What a pleasant surprise to receive your portrait of me. I’m very flattered that you considered me a worthy subject. Thank you for devoting your time and talent. It’s a very thoughtful study and the words are very touching. May God continue to bless you and your very special gift”

Sammy Rimington’s website is at: http://www.sammyrimington.com

You can listen to Sammy and explore some of his music at: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x20zvy_burgundy-street-blues-sammy-rimingt_music

"Eyes on the Master" - portrait of Sammy in duet with rising star Amy Roberts.

Hand signed, fine art prints of the Art & Verse jazz portrait of Amy and Sammy can be purchased in two sizes:

A4 (297x210mm) £29.00
A3 (420x297mm) £39.00

A Certificate of Authenticity is issued with each print. If you would like to purchase a print or an original acrylic portrait or to commission a portrait, please email me at: peter@jazzandjazz.com