Slip Sliding Away! – Cliff Face Adventures

In his recently published book, “Tales of Beltinge In The Second World War”, Malcolm Hobbs told of his gripping adventures in Beltinge and Herne Bay, Kent, as a schoolboy during the war years.

A few years younger than Malcolm, this inspired me to begin writing a series of short stories, not necessarily in sequence, about my life and times in Beltinge in the happier post war 1950s, when it was an adventure playground.

Herne Bay Cliffs in the 1950s

The Cliffs prior to grading in the 1970s

I recently read on online these words written by Steven Matlock in 2015. “I have some great memories of my life in Herne Bay, climbing the cliffs between The Downs and Bishopstone Glen. The cliffs were all graded around 1973 to halt erosion, a sad sight for me.”

I concur, Steven, and also have wonderful memories of those days.

This spectacular chasm was formed overnight by one of the massive cliff collapses. Note the ridge and the pools between it and the new cliff top. With the north side of the ridge sloping away to the sea, the area proved to be a huge attraction to us local lads.

Our Teenage Adventure Playground!

The cliffs between Herne Bay, Beltinge and Bishopstone Glen were an adventure playground for us local teenagers in those days. We became adept at scaling their escarpments and speeding across their narrow ridges and – even skidding down the steep shale slopes. So skilled were we that we could outpace all comers – particularly teenage holiday makers who dared to challenge us – over boggy terrain. Occasionally the fire brigade had to rescue holiday makers sunk up to their waists in the clay mud pools. Winter snowfalls and ice added to our adventures. And always accompanying us was Patch, my faithful cross breed terrier.

The cliffs at the top of Burlington Drive, Beltinge, where I lived as a teenager. The thatched cottage to the right was the home of Councillor Williams.

The cliffs at the top of Burlington Drive, Beltinge, where I lived as a teenager. The thatched cottage to the right was the home of Councillor Williams.

The Magical Mattress

But there was one specific adventure which simply has to be told. One summer’s day we came across an old double bed mattress which some unworthy had tossed down the cliff face. Magical! Instantly we converted it into our shale slope toboggan.

I was into photography back then when scaling the cliffs!

A rare shot of one of my rescue attempts!

Hauling it up onto one of the steep ridges, as many of us packed onto the mattress as possible (along with Patch) and set it speeding down the shale slopes. Brilliant at high speed with all of us clinging on for dear life – until, after several days of wear and tear, the mattress, fully laden with scruffy youths – and I might add, teenage girls as well as boys and one dog – the mattress exploded. It burst asunder! Springs and strappings hurled in all directions. And yes, along with every single one of us tobogganists! I was into amateur photography back in those days, but if I’d had a camera with me it would have done no good!

Needless to say, despite recriminations, we all survived to continue our remarkable East Kent teenage adventures.

To the left, Burlington Drive, backing on to farmland in those days.

To the left, Burlington Drive, backing on to farmland in those days. Upper right, the chasm caused by the cliff slide – see image above.



Why post this on Jazz&Jazz? 

Because Beltinge and Herne Bay is where jazz for me began.
Here are extracts from one of my earlier posts.

Jazz Too!
Jazz too played large in the picture. I remember especially one late night party thrown by Bertie in his grand old Georgian Terrace house on Herne Bay sea front. Two jazz hits, played over and over again that night, still haunt me – Miles Davis’s “Lift To The Scaffold” and Lonnie Donegan’s “Seven Golden Daffodils”.

That too was the era of Acker’s “Stranger on the Shore” and Kenny’s “Midnight in Moscow” – bringing back memories of my first “real” girlfriend. Sammy Rimington did the East Kent Jazz Circuit in those days and still does so this day, touring with his International Jazz Band’s Autumn tours. But his was and still is pure New Orleans Revivalist Jazz dating back to the era of his mentor, the legendary George Lewis.

Peter M Butler
Editor & Proprietor Jazz&Jazz

Latest From The National Jazz Archive


October 2016 Newsletter


Don’t miss the Alan Barnes Quintet on 22 October!

Multi-instrumentalist Alan Barnes is bringing a top-flight quintet to play a fundraiser for the Archive on Saturday 22 October in Loughton. The concert starts at 2.30, tickets are available
here or on the door.

Here are previews of these wonderful musicians.

Alan Barnes

Alan Barnes

Alan Barnes is a prolific performer, composer, arranger, bandleader and touring soloist, best known for his work on clarinet, alto and baritone saxes, where he combines a formidable virtuosity with a musical expression and collaborative spirit that have few peers. Here he introduces and plays ‘Lotus Blossom’ on baritone with the David Newton Trio.


Henry Lowther

Henry Lowther

Henry Lowther, one of the UK’s leading jazz musicians since the 1970s, plays a wonderful solo on flugelhorn here on the gourgeous ‘Mateja Sleeps’ with the London Jazz Orchestra.


Frank Harrison

London-based pianist Frank Harrison is best known for his work backing saxophonist Gilad Atzmon, but he has recorded four CDs with his own trio. ‘Live at the Verdict’ was recorded in Brighton in 2014 and videos of the performance are here.



Simon Thorpe

Simon Thorpe plays in and leads several bands, including improPHONICS, the swing band Jivin’ Miss Daisy, and his own octet. His strong, melodic bass style is featured on numerous CDs. Here Simon plays ‘What’s New?’ with the John Donaldson Trio.

Matt Fishwick is one of the first call drummers in London. He worked in New York for several years, but is back in London where he leads his own quartet and co-leads a band with his brother Steve. Here he plays ‘I’ll Remember April’ with Najponk and Jaromír Honzák.

Matt Fishwick

Matt Fishwick


New Guide to the Archive

To make it easier to explore our collections and website, we have compiled a Guide to the Archive. The Guide outlines the main holdings at Loughton, explains how to search the online catalogue and the digitised material on the website. Download a copy here.



Montreux Jazz Festival Archive goes online

The greatest moments at the Montreux Jazz Festival year after year since 1967 can now be explored through this interactive video. The Festival has 50 years of performances in its archives, and over 5000 hours of video and 5000 hours of audio recordings have been digitized and made available through a multimedia platform. Navigating between video and audio recordings, photos and articles is simple and intuitive. In addition, several layers of information are provided on the artists and the concerts.

Music lovers can select from among the highlighted artists and news articles, or use the search engine to find what they want. The database also contains line-ups and set lists since 1967. The project to preserve the recordings, made in numerous formats over the years, began in 2007 and will soon be completed by the EPFL Metamedia Center. Read more here.

Open Day in Loughton


Project archivist Layla Fedyk writes about our recent Open Day at the Archive here.

Loughton Town Mayor Carol Davies visited us, and several one-to-one interviews were recorded during the day with other visitors. NJA Trustee Vic Hobson once again obliged by jumping in to conduct the interviews: as a musicologist, bass player and Essex resident, Vic has the advantage of being able to pick up on specialist or local aspects in the interviewee’s conversations and draw them out further.


Paul Kaufman

Above: Our chair Paul Kaufman listening to an oral history interview recorded as part of the Intergenerational Jazz Reminiscence project.

Recent donations to the Archive – Mike Shera and David Butler

Mike Shera

Mike Shera

Mike Shera founded the Hull Jazz Record Society in the 1970s, and wrote and reviewed for Jazz Journal for many years. He died at the end of 2010, and his daughters Fiona and Georgina have sold his jazz record and CD collection through NJA partner Rabbit Records. As a result, a wonderfully generous donation of £1000 has been made to the Archive.

A note on Mike’s life by Fiona and a letter about him by Richard Palmer in Jazz Journal can be read here.


We’re also most grateful for the donation of £400 from Rabbit Records from the sale of records and CDs donated by David Butler.

To find out more about how to sell your vinyl and support the Archive, click here.

Gems from the Archive – Benny Goodman at Carnegie Hall


Benny Goodman at Carnegie Hall

Often described as the most significant concert in jazz history, the 16 January 1938, concert by Benny Goodman and his Swing Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, New York, was not only a coup for jazz but one of the first racially integrated public performances.

The original three-page programme is held in the Archive as are images of the participants taken in the UK.


In addition to the Goodman band, probably the most popular big band of the day, the concert included some of the brightest jazz luminaries of the time, including Count Basie, Buck Clayton, Johnny Hodges, Walter Page, Lester Young, Harry Carney and Freddie Green. They were special features from Harry James, Teddy Wilson, Lionel Hampton and, of course, Gene Krupa with the show stopper, Sing, Sing, Sing.

Originally issued in a two-LP gatefold album in 1950, the nearly forgotten recording of this historic event quickly became Columbia’s best-selling jazz release, a distinction it held for decades. The whole album may be listened to here.

The album formed the basis of scores of vinyl collections in the 1950s and allowed UK fans to listen to their US heroes on their BSR or Garrard auto-changers. It was issued ‘auto-coupled’, allowing sides 1 and 2 to be played consecutively then both discs turned over to play sides 3 and 4.

Catherine Tackley has published an in-depth study of this seminal concert and recording. She examines its cultural setting, analyses the compositions, arrangements and performances, and discusses the impact of the event and album.

Jon Hancock’s remarkably detailed book and website provides the most fully researched account of the concert, and the various reissues of the music.

Miles Davis and John Coltrane


Miles Davis and John Coltrane at 90

A three-day conference – Miles Davis and John Coltrane at 90: Retrospect and Prospect – focusing on the music and legacy of Miles Davis and John Coltrane, both of whom would have celebrated their 90th birthdays this year, is being held at the University of Surrey on 21–23 October. Thirty expert speakers and performers from across the world, including broadcaster Alyn Shipton, will discuss, assess and play the music of these two artists. The conference will feature performances from Ronnie Scott’s All Stars, the Gary Crosby Quartet, and Steve Waterman. Booking closes on 7 October – details are here.

The National Jazz Archive was founded by trumpeter Digby Fairweather in 1988 and is supported by Essex County Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Copyright © 2016 National Jazz Archive, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
National Jazz Archive
Loughton Library
Traps Hill
Loughton, IG10 1HD

Featuring Joey Alexander Child Jazz Prodigy


Joey Alexander

Joey Alexander

Thanks go to my good jazz friend Philippe Briand for alerting me to Joey Alexander from Bali, Indonesia, just 12 years old and already a jazz prodigy.

 “A look at Joey’s site will give you the lowdown on his burgeoning career. To sum it up, Joey was born on June 6th 2003 in Denpasar, on the east coast of Bali, Indonesia. He has just turned 12, but in most of his Youtube videos, he is only 10 or 11. It all began at age 6, when his dad bought him a colour code piano (the Rainbow Method). Joey immediately began to pick out by ear tunes from his parents CD collection. His father remembers : “one day when I came home from work, he was playing some complex jazz melodies.”

In an interview from June 6th 2005 at the Montreal Jazz Festival, Joey explains : “my parents introduced me to jazz, especially my dad. He and I always listen together. Louis Armstrong, Harry Connick Jr, and Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, Thelonious Monk of course, were my main influences and I listen to them, up to Bill Evans, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter of course, Herbie Hancock, I listen to all of them. I like gospel especially, Aretha Franklin, also I like pop, I like the soul musicians like James Brown, Michael Jackson and also the Beatles.”

“Joey Alexander is a jazz pianist from Indonesia and is considered a child prodigy. He released his first album, “My Favorite Things”, on May 12, 2015, at age 11”. (Wikipedia) 

For the full story, over to Philippe’s and other relevant websites: The 11 Year Old Taking Jazz The Jazz World By Storm

“It’s hard to comprehend … a whole new thing!” (Larry Grenadier)

“There’s no way to prepare you for what you are going to experience … until you actually see it happen!” (Jason Olaine)

Peter M Butler
Editor & Proprietor Jazz&Jazz

Jazz … “You’ve Changed”!


A lot’s happened since I followed jazz in the 50s/60s!


2011: Eric Webster, Trefor Williams and SammyRimington back on Sammy's old stomping ground in East Kent

2011 Eric Webster, Trefor Williams and Sammy Rimington back on Sammy’s old stomping ground in Kent

Sammy Rimington did the East Kent Jazz Circuit back in those days and still includes Kent on his annual tours with his International Jazz Band. His was and still is a firm proponent of New Orleans Revivalist Jazz dating back to the era of his mentor, the legendary George Lewis. That too was the era of Acker’s “Stranger on the Shore” and Kenny’s “Midnight in Moscow” – bringing back memories of my early flights of fancy.

I remember one late night party in a grand old Georgian Terrace house on Herne Bay sea front. Two jazz hits played over and over again that night still haunt me to this day – Miles Davis’s “Lift To The Scaffold” and Lonnie Donegan’s “Seven Golden Daffodils”.

So when my old school chum Roger and his wife Chris re-introduced me to jazz back in 2007 I was stunned by the extent of its decline. But I got right back into the groove at Jazz Clubs and Festivals and even started photographing and painting portraits of jazz musicians.

Continental Hotel, New Orleans, 2010.

Continental Hotel, New Orleans, 2010.

Then my wife Ginny won the star prize of a trip for two to New Orleans for the French Quarter Festival in 2010!  That did it! I felt I had to give something back to jazz for such a wonderful opportunity. So in 2010/2011 I launched this website (Jazz&Jazz) aimed at doing my bit to give jazz a boost.

Ramsgate Seaside Shuffle Brolly Parade

Ramsgate Seaside Shuffle Brolly Parade

Ramsgate Seaside Shuffle
This coincided with plans for a brand new UK Jazz Festival in East Kent – the brainchild of Betty Renz, a wonderful lady and jazz singer from Thanet. Betty put her longstanding dream to Chris and Chris recommended to Betty that Ginny and I be asked to handle the promotional material for the launch of Ramsgate Seaside Shuffle. You only have to keep up to date with Seaside Shuffle on this site to realise the success the dedicated organising committee have made of the Festival and monthly club sessions in four short years – financially lean years at that! And the 2015 Festival promises to be bigger and better yet!

Expanding Online Promotions
Since then I’ve expanded my online jazz promotions. This site – (Jazz&Jazz for short) – is firmly established as my primary URL and now also as the catalyst for co-ordinating and interacting with my subsidiary promotional Social Media sites:

Jazz&Jazz YouTubes:
Filming jazz for YouTubes has become a key feature in my promotional presentations. Launched not so long ago, already at the time of posting this, Jazz&Jazz YouTubes have exceeded 72,000 viewings with 119 subscribers. Plus I have a collection of YouTubes not yet released and more constantly in the making.

Jazz&Jazz on Facebook:
My primary Facebook page is listed as Peter Mark Butler (Jazz and Jazz) and is open to family and friends in general as well as jazz friends. It is updated regularly, mainly with jazz items and with links to Jazz&Jazz.

Facebook Jazzers Group
This is a Closed Group featuring jazz related items which I launched specifically for jazz fans, musicians, bands, clubs, festivals to participate in. Items posted on Jazz&Jazz are regularly featured on Jazzers, along with posts by other members of the group from around the world. If you are not already a member of the Jazzers Group, first send a Facebook Friend Request to me at Peter Mark Butler (Jazz and Jazz) and I will invite you aboard.

Jazz&Jazz on Twitter:
Jazz&Jazz posts are featured regularly on my Twitter page:

I also feature Jazz&Jazz posts and articles on Linkedin where you will find me indexed under: Peter Mark Butler Jazz & Jazz.

As well as my day-to-day involvement in helping promote jazz musicians, bands, clubs and festivals by featuring their upcoming events, I give specific support to Ramsgate Seaside Shuffle and Lemsford Jazz Club via Facebook pages I manage on their behalf.

Facebook: Seaside Shuffle
In view of my early jazz years in East Kent and my more recent involvement with Ramsgate Seaside Shuffle it  was a logical follow up to launch Seaside Shuffle on Facebook.

But to give it a separate identity, I launched the page as Peter Butler rather than Peter Mark Butler. Upon reflection this might be causing some confusion but now that I have explained my “split personality”, I will invite my Peter Mark Butler Facebook friends as friends on Ramsgate Seaside Shuffle, setting the page up for “Likes” to enhance promotion.

Facebook: Lemsford Jazz Club
Ginny and I lived in Lemsford for 19 very happy years until August 2013 during which time I went to jazz gigs at The Long and The Short Arm public house and then to The Pear Tree Jazz Club in Welwyn Garden City run by my good friend and jazz hero, Brian Smith, aka “Smiffy”. So when jazz finished at The Peartree, Smiffy decided to set up Lemsford Jazz Club in the modern, well appointed village hall. This presented me with a wonderful reason for getting back to Lemsford at least once a month – and to continue to support the club.

Hence Lemsford Jazz Club Facebook Page which I update and monitor regularly. As with Ramsgate Seaside Shuffle, I now need to take time to invite my Facebook Jazz&Jazz friends to also become Friends of Lemsford Jazz Club.

Jazz&Jazz “Like” Pages
I’ve also set up a “Like” page for Jazz&Jazz, namely Jazz & Jazz Entertainment Website and would appreciate it if you could all log on to and “Like” this page – again to help swell the ranks of active jazz fans!

Another “Like Page” is in the pipeline with others will follow as time allows.

The Future of Jazz
So yes, Jazz “You’ve Changed” since the 1950s/60s. Yet we are reaching another turning point and future prospects are promising with a number of excellent up-and coming younger generation jazz bands and musicians, followed by younger fans, making their mark.

Jazz&Jazz has featured a number of these bands in the post “Let’s Avoid the Generation Gap” and will feature more at every opportunity. The list is already long and is growing yet longer.

Thank you all for supporting Jazz&Jazz and its associated Social Media sites.

Peter M Butler
Editor & Proprietor Jazz&Jazz

(Photos © Peter M Butler, Jazz&Jazz)

Steve Fishwick at the Ent Shed, Bedford, Thursday, 14th May

Steve Fishwick

Steve Fishwick

“We are lucky enough to have STEVE FISHWICK back at The Ent Shed, Bedford, on Thursday 14th May. 

“Steve is widely considered to be one of the best jazz trumpet players to come from the UK and is rapidly gaining a global reputation thanks to his flawless technique, and his beautifully flowing, harmonically rich improvisations. He is one of an increasing number of trumpeters who have been heavily influenced by the melodic approach of the late great Kenny Dorham, a figure often overlooked in the pantheon of Jazz Trumpet Legends. As well as “K.D.”, Steve cites Art Farmer, Miles Davis and Woody Shaw among his favourite players, but his style is very much his own. Trumpet great Wynton Marsalis recently said about him “Steve has his own style. He plays from the bottom to the top of the horn whilst maintaining the integrity of the chords. I can’t think of another trumpet player that can do what he does.”

The Ent Shed

The Ent Shed

“Steve is bringing his latest solo project to Jazz@The Ent Shed this time around – a quintet with a somewhat unusual instrumentation. It features his brother Matt Fishwick, who recently returned to the UK after living in New York for 5 years, Tim Thornton on Double Bass, Ross Stanley on piano and Tom Cawley on Fender Rhodes. A new album, “The Outer Periphery”, was released last year. Supporting Steve is a young trumpeter called Alex Astbury who is currently residing in Birmingham while studying in his third year at the Birmingham Conservatoire. He will be bringing a quintet full of his peers at the renowned music college.

“Tickets are on sale for £9 online at On the door Adults are £10, Students £8. Music University/College Students are £5 and Under 18s can come in for free with a full paying (£10) adult (max 2 per adult).

“We really hope to see as many of you there as possible as we look to carry on the momentum of jazz in Bedford. Check out Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date

“See you on the 14th!!!”

Tom Syson





BBC Jazz Club, 1960. Just Reminiscing!

It’s my birthday today! Or, to be more precise, by the time you read this it will have been my birthday today. This time last year I gave my age away but this time this year that’s taboo!

One of my closest friends back in the 1950s/1960s era emigrated to Australia in 1968. Before that, along with our other chums, we spent hours together doing what teenagers did back then. Partying, pub crawling, club crawling, Young Conservatives crawling! Saturday nights started out at The Miramar Hotel in Beltinge, where Alfie challenged us to the “double or nothing” chance of free entry, and ended up either at The Marie Celeste Night Club in Herne Bay or at Sarre Court Country Club – all in East Kent.

Jazz Too!
Jazz too played large in the picture. I remember especially one late night party thrown by Bertie in his grand old Georgian Terrace house on Herne Bay sea front. Two jazz hits played over and over again that night still haunt me – Miles Davis’s “Lift To The Scaffold” and Lonnie Donegan’s “Seven Golden Daffodils”.

That too was the era of Acker’s “Stranger on the Shore” and Kenny’s “Midnight in Moscow” – bringing back, dare I say it, memories of my first “real” girlfriend. Sammy Rimington did the East Kent Jazz Circuit in those days and still does so this day, touring with his International Jazz Band’s Autumn tours. But his was and still is pure New Orleans Revivalist Jazz dating back to the era of his mentor, the legendary George Lewis.

But getting back to my “emigrated to Aussie” Chum, Roger and I stay in touch and I was delighted when he visited us for a very pleasant afternoon a couple of years ago. And again this Autumn when I got together with him during his latest visit to the UK.

Where is The BBC Today?
What’s the point of these reminiscences? Just that recently he emailed me a wonderful YouTube bringing memories of those days flooding back. So much so that I  couldn’t  resist sharing it with you all on Jazz&Jazz. And note it’s title, BBC Jazz Club, 1960. To view it, hit

So just where is the media –  BBCand ITV included –  today when it comes to jazz? I’ll get back to that very soon.

Meanwhile I couldn’t resist signing off my **birthday with this catchy, highly pertinent blues number a friend in LA just sent me: “Weary Blues”:

Jessie Fuller starred on BBC Jazz Club back then!

Jazzers’ Debate No 1: Younger Jazz Bands and Musicians


Jazzers’ Debate No 1

Younger Jazz Bands and Musicians



Peter Mark Butler

The best introduction to my one of my recent Jazz&Jazz features is from an email I received today from my close friend Ray in Castaic, California: “Good interview with Trefor Williams. One observation from a jazz outsider: it seems as if all the groups are quite elderly. Are there no up & coming younger jazz artists in the UK or the US or elsewhere?”

I replied, “There are, Ray, but admittedly they are few and far between. But that is changing as this feature and other posts in Jazzers show”.

Not just any old festival, this is an Inspirational Jazz Fest!

Perhaps I should have rephrased my reply to say that could be changing, so before continuing the debate here is a very apt passage from Pete Lay’s Editorial in Just Jazz, March, 2013:

“We strive to promote youngsters in jazz, but I did get irritated when we received notification of the National Youth Summer School to publish. Great in principal but any youngsters wanting to attend are confronted with various criteria, funding applications, bursaries and more off-putting auditions. More importantly, I do not see any provision where youngsters will be instructed or lectured on the era of jazz which we promote and that our readers enjoy. It seems most young musicians who will attend will have already attained some level of proficiency. I do hope their teachers haven’t ignored Armstrong, Morton, Ory, Henderdson, Russell, etc!

“I understand that Alyn Shipton and Keith Nichols are certainly doing their best to keep the history of jazz alive with their pupils, and are to be congratulated. I just wish there were a lot more like them.”

Clare Gray was first to respond, commenting with a link to and an article on A Quick Note On Training Bands To Play For Dancers.

Ken Taylor then recommended we watch this video recorded at The Hive, Shrewsbury – “the young band “Brownfield Byrne Quintet went down a storm!”

upon which Chris Barber commented “nice thoughtful version of one of my favourites..congratulations.”

This set the ball rolling and  to give the debate a boost I posted:

Peter Mark Butler 


Time to reinforce the aims and goals of Jazzers and Jazz&

“The art of life is to know when to seize on accidents and make them milestones.” Chairman Humph. (A gem from Humphrey Lyttelton’s autobiography, “It Just Occurred to Me”).

I stumbled back into jazz just a few years ago, started to paint portraits of jazz musicians, joined the Southern Sounds New Orleans French Quarter Festival tour in 2010, and realised that jazz has reached a woeful low in the popularity stakes.

Frankly put, with ageing bands, musicians and fans, if action isn’t taken soon, jazz and in particular New Orleans jazz will simply fade away, even in New Orleans. Yet there are younger bands, musicians and fans out there to carry the torch, and they need all the support and encouragement we can give them if they are to stay on track.

One solution lies in the forging of relationships between the “oldies” and the “young’uns” – bands, musicians and fans! Cross fertilisation of the skills and thrills of jazz … forging a partnership between older, well established bands and dynamic younger bands and setting a pattern for bringing New Orleans back to the UK.

But it’s not just a matter of watching this space. We want members of the Jazzers Group to get involved. How? By inviting bands, clubs, musicians and fans to join Jazzers and work together to achieve a not so impossible lift off to a sustained revival of New Orleans Jazz, the source of all of our popular forms of music.

I would welcome a proliferation of posts along these lines from north, south, east and west. Let’s get the show on the road.

Read the “About” section of Jazzers. It has more to say about these goals.

Peter Butler
Founder of Jazz& & Jazzers

The following exchange of views ensued:

Martin Bennett As a generalisation, one of the main reasons for what seems to be a lack of interest in the young, is the venue itself. Most of the venues are places modern youngsters wouldn’t be seen dead in. Places full of chairs and tables are of no interest to them. People under 25 prefer to stand – as you will see at festivals and many jazz clubs in Holland, all of which have cheering youngsters to a point of overflow – places where the over 40s wouldn’t want to be seen dead in here in the UK.

Peter Mark Butler A very valid point, Martin, which we need to pay attention to! Such limited venues include pubs yet even pubs are turning jazz away these days. But fans are not prepared to pay sufficient for their jazz to make that difference. As Pete Lay recently wrote to me: “That is why the audience mentality has to change, and it will do, if we can get the younger audience on board – they are used to paying for their nights out.” Somehow we must learn from Holland and Germany. Perhaps it will take a concerted effort to get daring with venues! In fact I included a post on Jazz&Jazz recently based on developments at the Leeds Jazz Club addressing just this point: Perhaps we should check up on how Leeds is doing now.

Martin Bennett Leeds Jazz Club runs a Jump Jive dance group in conjunction with the jazz nights. It works very well and all of the Jump Jive dancers are under 30. There is a similar group of dancers from Greater Manchester which turns up at clubs suitably set up. There are no clubs I know of in Manchester working on a regular basis so they have to travel – usually to Jump Jive Bands. Leeds has it sorted.

Peter Mark Butler I believe Jeff Lewis and Speakeasy Bootleg Band are doing something similar in Liverpool, so it can happen. We need to get more on board! As I’ve stressed in my Just Jazz articles and on Jazz&Jazz, fans and even bands must learn not to be so precious and be prepared to “mix it a bit” if traditional jazz is to regroup for a revival.

Clare Gray Jive swing and similar is absolutely thriving at the moment – go to the TwinWood website to see what they have on and pics of this year’s great events. We went and although big band is a different ‘fish’ to what most folk in this group are aiming at, there were some other decidedly more jazz-orientated bands there also, as well as a lot more of the 50’s vibe. I’m not suggesting Twinwood is the ideal venue for Trad, Dixie etc, but I think it’s likely that the young ‘keenies’ that we meet at our LindyHop classes will naturally progress to the cooler shades of jazz – in fact I am noticing a lot of them ‘liking’ tracks and bands that definitely are smoother and just as good for them to dance to. So the upshot is, keep the music alive and as public as possible. Keep on pushing it out there and they will come. I agree that it might be that pubs are a dying source – they’re up against so much attack on their profits (non smoking, rising beer prices, more people drinking at home etc) that they can’t really take a punt on bands that might not bring in the drinkers (a lot of these youngsters only drink softies anyway these days – horrors!- whatever the media says about binge drinking). So perhaps the secret is to start looking for big, open venues where jazz events might be held and start building it from there. There is interest in dinner jazz from smaller restaurants and while I know that some bands might blanche at that idea, its all getting the good stuff out there, so don’t knock it if you can get it.

Twinwood Festival is The No. 1 Vintage Music & Dance Festival! Twinwood Events hosts the annual Glenn Miller Festival and Rhythm Festival at the historic Twinwood Airfield.

Martin Bennett Jeff’s a good chap and certainly does his bit over in Liverpool and has developed a wider range which works very well.

Clare Gray Good for you Peter. With your determination and contacts you’ll get this party started! Am really hoping the scene starts to open up a bit soon. I’m itching to get into something new – using the Trad, blues, dinner, dance band and other ‘grooves’ I’ve got into since the late 90’s. I’m determined to find some folk to enjoy that with. As a ‘younger’ jazz fan I find it frustratingly difficult to break in with the hardened older players who seem to enjoy ‘noodllng’ (nothing wrong with that) but don’t really want to gig or to push it much. Can’t say I blame them, but where are all those players who want to make a noise??? Get them out of the woodwork and you’ll start a fire!…..

Chez Chesterman Trouble is, if you mention the word jazz the kids will not turn up. To them jazz is a naughty word. Call it swing, play the right tempos and they’ll come flocking in. Forties swing is the one that gets everyone hopping.

Clare Gray I agree. Amongst my fellow jive swing/lindy dancers (many quite a bit younger) there’s a nose-wrinkling at the ‘J’ word – yet they’re tapping their feet and swinging along to it all the same. Perhaps you’re right – give it a different hat and they’ll all want to put it on!

Dave Mayor Members of the Bude Jive club also belong to the Bude Jazz club, most welcome they are too.

Peter Mark Butler It seems all is not lost. Yet, taking the comments received so far, there is a long way to go. To Chez and Clare I’ll respond with a conversation had at the Hemsby Autumn Parade last year. Barry Price asked the girls serving behind the bar if they liked jazz. “No!” was the answer. So, pointing to the stage he asked, “Do you like this kind of music?” And they said yes they did! So he told them this was original, traditional jazz. So the jazz that put them off could well have been ultra modern jazz – you know, the self indulgent stuff you can’t even tap your feet to!

Clare Gray Funny you should say that Peter. When I first started doing the Trad stuff with Bob Thomas, a friend and former colleague laughed when I told him and said “you’re not doing all that dreadful scatting stuff and singing to Shakespeare sonnets are you?” He thought it was hilarious and took the mickey whenever I said we had a gig . One day I was playing some trad in the car when he came with me on a business trip. He was really enjoying it and I turned and said “this is what we do”. He was quite impressed, and although I would never say he’s going to be listening to it by himself, he came along to a gig and had a good old time. I was a bit worried I might offend the group mentioning the truly ‘modern’ jazz, but in my opinion it is that stuff – where no one is playing the same tune or in the same key it seems, and the drummer appears to be building flat pack wardrobes in the background – that puts people off sometimes. This probably makes me sound like a total Philistine, but if we want to draw people in, we must start with what good old Bob calls ‘Happy Jazz’ as well as ‘Dance-y Jazz’ and then we have a better chance of keeping this bird in the air.

Peter Mark Butler I’m keeping this vital debate on the boil on Jazzers for more members to have their say. I will also cross reference it to Jazz& and invite followers’ comments there. We’ve reached the blatantly obvious conclusion that if “traditional” jazz is to make a comeback we, fans and musicians alike, need to be less precious about the purity of the genre. I’m all for “mixing it a bit” and am not against mainstream per se, but we shouldn’t forget the roots of New Orleans jazz and of jazz dance, because I believe if that could be reintroduced the kids would go for it and follow jazz, even if they adapted the dance styles to their own modern tastes. “New forms of jazz dance developed with new music, such as the Charleston, swing, rock and roll, and the Caribbean reggae” (Dancin’ Unlimited:

Oh, to be young again!

Jeff Matthews I named my band ‘The Chicago Swing Katz’ because the word ‘Jazz’ has a bad name with many people. Very sad really. I have left ‘jazz’ concerts early because even I was bored with the music. And I am an enthusiast of all kinds of ‘jazz’!

Jim Lodge For me, part of the problem seems to revolve round the “purist” attitude. Some bands and listeners (and some musicians) project an “if it isn’t a carbon copy of (insert original of choice) it’s wrong”. This leads to a situation where we end up with a glut of what “Popular Music” refers to as “Tribute Bands”, and their musician equivalents. Such a path can only lead to a joyless stultifying conformity, without life or excitement.

Jeff Matthews Ref: Jim’s purist comment, I know musicians who say that “if you are not black and born in New Orleans before 1939, you don’t play jazz”. My trip to New Orleans to attend the jazz course there showed me that many purists are equating all New Orleans jazz with the revivalist Music they heard which didn’t reflect all the different jazz and characters involved. It was a city filled to the brim with music of all kinds played by musicians of different technical abilities. Most had remarkable facility and many were highly proficient music readers. They had to be in order to survive. And there is room for all styles. It’s all wonderful music.

Tim Penn Well Jazzers – I think this may be what Peter may be talking about: Note – saxophones and electric bass!!! And this was preceded by a version of Junco Partner and followed by Ray Charles’ ‘What I Say’ (His birthday on Sept 23rd – so we paid a few tributes this night). The evening finished off with a funky version of The Meters Hey Pocky Way – which veered off into using some of the Miles Davis “So What” minor inversions and a little bit of Cecil Tayloresque Free Form piano over the Funk.

Is this a step too far for the traditional audience for Jazz? I guess only time will tell. But many of us see this 20th century evolution of New Orleans based music as something to be celebrated and embraced. But then I remember my dear departed friend Mac McGann telling how he was summarily kicked out of the trad jazz band he was playing in in the late 50s / early 60s – because he brought a guitar along to a gig instead of the tenor banjo.

Peter Mark Butler Right on the mark, Tim! If jazz is to make a comeback fans have got to accept change, or as I put it, “mixing it a bit”. After all, the story of jazz has always been about improvisation, mixing it a bit, and it’s no different today. Especially if we are to appeal to younger fans.

“Kicked out for playing guitar instead of banjo,” you say! Don’t tell Tony Rico this. Martin Bennett recently commented: “There are plenty of clubs I could name that won’t have bands that don’t have a clarinet as the main reed. Saxophone is a dirty word that has to be kept away from clubs that promote what they refer to as British Trad. This has been said to me by several club organisers who refuse to book bands with saxophones – and there are hundreds of jazz followers who think that way. Howard Murray, our reed player, was challenged by a man in Colchester Jazz Club who severely berated him for playing saxophones and soon left but not before HM had said to him ‘when I started playing music I didn’t have you in mind!'”

Peter Mark Butler An elderly fan recently cornered me to voice his criticism of a particular very impressive trombonist for being too flamboyant, “not subtle enough, not smooth enough.” At that very same gig I heard a youngster asking his mother if she could she buy him a trombone because “I want to play jazz like that!” This speaks a thousand words! Because jazz isn’t inert, it’s exuberant, dynamic as well as soulful.

Jeff Matthews May I add to the discussion by first stating that a style is a style. New Orleans, traditional jazz is a style and different sound hewed out of the western scale by years of experience and love. Although originally from New Orleans, it was developed and embraced by people around the world. It is still extremely popular wherever it is played. But since the demise of Louis Armstrong as Ambassador for jazz and in the UK, the finish of Kenny Ball’s appearance on TV in the Morecambe and Wise show, traditional jazz has had no profile. You can have the best product in the world but if nobody knows about it….!

There are many forms of trad played up and down the UK to enthusiastic fans but it is almost a forgotten style of music because of the deliberate culling of music in other forms, apart from ‘pop’ music which is played ‘for the many’ for the financial benefits of the few. The wonderful interpretation of traditional jazz by Brian Carrick is just as valid as any other even if it’s band members and fans are in the senior part of their lives. Age is not the issue nor is whether a sax is acceptable. Most bands are well past that point. Let’s just play the music.

But, what is true and to me is the null point of all of this is promotion. Not a changing of the music to accommodate ‘pop’ culture, but a promotion of the best elements of the music to the general public which consists of people of all shapes, sizes, colours, education and age. We need some of the ‘names’ in trad jazz to step forward and promote New Orleans/Traditional/Dixieland/Chicago style jazz. Call it what you may. A new set of ‘Ambassadors for the Tradition’. Where are you guys?

All that ‘ageing audience’ stuff will take care of itself if the music is brought back into the public eye. Get some good looking musicians ready who play the music well – not bending it to rock ‘n roll – but playing what we already have with heart and conviction. Then get those ‘names’ involved. Where are you Jools Holland? Where are you Jamie Cullum? Stop mis-educating people about what real jazz is and stick to some time honoured definitions.

It’s time for us jazzers to start influencing our ‘world’ and look for ways to insist that we have a cultural right to play and ‘broadcast’ our musical art. Time to make the general public aware of our music and embrace it once more. The rest will follow. And there will be bands in the Ken Colyer mode as well as those who will play jazz in a more R&B way. But people must hear it and have a choice. By the way, there are already enough ‘knock out’ musicians in the UK, young and old who already hold the professional stage. Let’s get THEM heard on jazz shows and on TV shows. Good presentation, good arrangements, good foot stomping tunes, that infectious NO rhythm. We did it in the recent past. Why not now!

Peter Mark Butler Excellent, Jeff! A couple of your lines are worth emphasising: “We need some of the ‘names’ to step forward and promote New Orleans/traditional/Dixieland/Chicago style jazz. Call it what you may. A new set of ‘Ambassadors for the Tradition’. Where are you guys?”


Telling It As It Was: Sharing The Memories of Ken Sims


Ken Sims

Shortly after Ken Sims passed away, Jon Critchley scanned the series of articles by Ken that appeared in Just Jazz Magazine in 2004/5 and sent them to Fred Burnett at Jazz North West.

After converting the images into text and photographs, Fred sent them to me at Jazz&Jazz. With his help, I have pieced them together for this special feature.
Fred will place a link to the feature on Jazz North West.

So, in memory of Ken and courtesy of Jon, Fred, Jazz North West, and especially Just Jazz*, below are the condensed extracts from his series of Just Jazz Magazine articles: “A Muskrat’s Ramble”.

*Note: These extracts from Ken Sims memoirs were taken from his ‘Muskrat Rambles’ that featured in Just Jazz magazine in 2004/2005. I publish these extracts with kind permission of Just JazzJust Jazz tell me that it is hoped that one day his ‘Rambles’ could be put together in book form as they are excellently written and deserve greater recognition.

Peter M Butler
Editor & Proprietor Jazz&Jazz

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[Read more…]

Chris Ingham Presents The Life and Music of Hoagy Carmichael

The new season of exquisite jazz shows from JBGB Events Live at
Zedel 2017 has just been announced. The season starts with the
Hoagy – The life and music of Hoagy Carmichael
with the Chris Ingham trio
Hoagy Carmichael

Hoagy Carmichael

Wednesday 1st February 9.00pm 
Tickets £20 
Chris Ingham

Chris Ingham

Wry, wise, sentimental, down-home and sophisticated, Hoagy Carmichael’s songs are loved for their warmth, wit and sheer melodic beauty. This evening at The Crazy Coqs highlights Hoagy’s special relationship with the music of legendary jazz cornettist Bix Beiderbecke. The programme features many of the well-known hits (Stardust, How Little We Know, Georgia On My Mind, Skylark, The Nearness Of You, Ole Buttermilk Sky, Lazy Bones, Old Rockin’ Chair, et al) as well as some obscure nuggets and delightful curiosities from Hoagy’s rich and varied songbook. Featuring the musical sensitivities of Chris Ingham (vocal/piano), Paul Higgs (trumpet), Rev Andrew Brown (bass)

Chris Ingham’s album collection of 16 numbers,”Hoagy”, catches their spirit exactly”  The Guardian
“An evening packed with the tales, anecdotes and music of Americas master musician”  The Hoste of Jazz
For more info, images and interviews please contact [email protected]