Tom Syson Sextet ALBUM LAUNCH Quarry Theatre, Bedford – June 9th

Tom Syson

On the 9th June, the Tom Syson Sextet will be performing at the Quarry Theatre, Bedford, as part of their 10-date UK tour to celebrate the release of Tom’s debut record ‘Green’. This is the official Album Launch event, which makes it extra special. Other venues/events on the tour include the Glasgow Jazz Festival and the Manchester Jazz Festival.

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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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Olney Jazz Club Announces “Great gigs coming up!”

Tuesday May 2nd 8.00pm

The Ben Holder Quartet

Ben Holder is one of the most gifted and exciting young jazz violinists in the UK. Taught classically from the age of six, he studied at the Birmingham Conservatoire. During his classical studies, Ben began listening to Jazz – classic masters such as Benny Goodman and Oscar Peterson and of course the great jazz violinists including Grappelli, Joe Venuti and the awe inspiring Stuff Smith. Alongside his early studies and later at college he embarked on a detailed analysis of these musicians techniques and the way in which they merged this most classical of instruments into the jazz idiom. Ben’s innate sense of swing rhythm (something which often eludes classical players) stems from those early listening sessions – and his various awards bear testimony to his abilities. A first call jazz violinist for many of the North’s top bands and studios.

Along with Guitarist, Jez Cook, Double Bassist, Paul Jefferies and Drummer – Malcom GarrettThe Ben Holder Quartet play swinging jazz from Louis Armstrong to Gershwin, Fats Waller to Grappelli, Ben’s own originals to The Beatles and everything in between. All this is of course done with copious amounts of energy & excitement along with some beautiful ballads thrown in for good measure!

Overall The BHQ are about having fun and taking the audience along for the ride, with music that will make you want to dance all night, just like the early jazz shows of the 1920s. After all, we are nearly back in the swinging 20s once again!

Fully Booked but call in case of late cancellations!

All tickets £12/£10 in advance from Carlton House Club, High St, Olney.
Tel: 01234 711348 or Phonebox Magazine, Stanley Court, Olney.

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Andrea Motis and Joan Chamorro CDs Reviewed by Paul Goddard

Andrea Motis, Joan Chamorro & Scott Hamilton

I consider myself fortunate to have had two CDs featuring Andrea Motis amongst my Christmas presents, and think them so good as to deserve to be better known,
hence this joint review.

Joan Chamorro and Andrea Motis ‘Feeling Good’

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Fest Jazz 2017 28th – 30th July: Phenomenal Fun, Festive Jazz, International Stars! On the banks of The Aulne in Brittany! Book Early!

Fest Jazz is a young at heart festival that has been making waves in the jazz world for some years now!

Set on the banks of the River Aulne at Châteauneuf-du-Faou, one of the prettiest corners of Brittany, it attracts artists and fans from around the world. The atmosphere is relaxed and convivial with a great mixture of nationalities and generations. And there are swing dancers everywhere!

It is a young at heart festival with a young management team, young artists, a wonderful mix of nationalities and generations as well as a programme which presents jazz at its dynamic best.

No pretensions, no elitism, no rows of bejewelled bourgeoisie clapping politely as another “past their best diva” goes through the motions on stage! Fest Jazz is a festival where young and old, French, English and a host of other nationalities come together for a weekend long party.

As at every Fest Jazz there is a mix of music styles and plenty of young, exciting traditional style bands. Even more so this year and here’s how!

[Read more…]

National Jazz Archive January Newsletter

Simon Spillett Quartet: 11 February
The Simon Spillett Quartet is playing a fund-raising concert for the National Jazz Archive on the afternoon of Saturday 11 February in Loughton, Essex.

Simon Spillett is a highly respected tenor saxophonist who plays in a wide range of groups, and leads his own quartet. He has researched and written extensively about the great British tenor sax player Tubby Hayes, including a widely praised biography ‘The Long Shadow of the Little Giant’. He has recently received the British Jazz Award for ‘Services to British Jazz’.

Simon’s all-star quartet features three other wonderful musicians – John Critchinson, piano, Alec Dankworth, double bass, and Clark Tracey, drums. Alec and Clark were also award winners in the 2016 British Jazz Awards in their respective categories. John Critchinson has had a distinguished career playing with leading jazz groups and now leads the Ronnie Scott Legacy band.

This concert is one of a series in 2017 to raise funds to support the Archive.

Simon said: “It’s a pleasure to bring my quartet to play at Loughton to help raise funds for the National Jazz Archive. It’s a wonderful resource for everyone interested in the history and development of jazz in this country.”

The concert is at Loughton Methodist Church, 260 High Road, Loughton, Essex IG10 1RB, and starts at 2.30pm (doors open 1.30pm). Tickets cost £15.

The Jazz Archive needs you…
We are looking for new trustees to join the board and to help manage the Archive. In particular, we are seeking trustees with experience of archives and collection management, volunteer recruitment and management, fundraising and IT.

Applicants will ideally have an understanding of archives, jazz and/or cultural heritage. You will have experience of team-working, an understanding of operational issues and a willingness to be hands-on to resolve challenges. Trustees usually meet four times a year, and take an active role in our subgroups and support NJA events and activities.

Full details can be downloaded here. Applications should be submitted by 10 February 2017.

NJA financial statement 
The report and financial statement for the National Jazz Archive for the year ended 31 March 2016 are now available upon request.

Gems from the Archive – Dave Shepherd
This gem celebrates the great jazz clarinettist, good friend and supporter of the Archive, Dave Shepherd, sad news of whose passing at the age of 87 has recently been announced.

Dave’s long, illustrious career was detailed in an article by Ray Crick in 2014. There were many high spots. In 1953 he began a long association with the great trumpet player Freddy Randall, and performed with his band over many years. He can be heard with Freddy on the CD issued by Fellside Recordings on the Lake label Freddie Randall – Before & After.

In 1958 he was in a group lead by Dill Jones on Norman Granz’ ‘Jazz at the Philharmonic’ tour, starring Roy Eldridge, Sonny Stitt, Dizzy Gillespie, Coleman Hawkins, Stan Getz, the Oscar Peterson Trio and Ella Fitzgerald. Dave was playing rightly alongside jazz royalty. The programme for the tour is  in the Archive and can be viewed here.

Dave was often billed as Britain’s answer to Benny Goodman. It was reported that Goodman himself once said: “He plays more like me than I do”. His performance with Teddy Wilson at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1973 can be heard here: A Fellside recording with Teddy is available here.

More recently, Dave performed with his friend and founder of the Archive, Digby Fairweather, in a variety of line-ups. Digby described him as “the most polished jazz clarinettist of post-war Britain”.

In 2014, the Archive had the privilege of acknowledging Dave Shepherd’s contribution to jazz by arranging for a Blue Plaque to be placed on his family home in Walthamstow. In turn, Dave generously performed with his quintet at a benefit for the Archive – photos of the concert are here. On the day he proved that not only was he a magnificent clarinettist but a really nice guy too.

Images courtesy: Fellside Recordings Ltd, Mike Rose, National Jazz Archive, Ray Crick’s Jazz Profile: Copyright© Ray Crick September 2014

Say it with music – youth jazz sessions at Essex clubs
Youth jazz groups are playing at three clubs in Essex at the end of February, as part of the Archive’s HLF Inter-generational Jazz Reminiscence project. All are welcome to these free sessions.

The Essex Youth Jazz Orchestra, led by Martin Hathaway, is at ColchesterJazz Club on Sunday 19 February, and Hornchurch Jazz Club on Sunday 26 February.

The National Youth Jazz Collective, featuring the BBC Young Jazz Musician 2016, Alexandra Ridout, is at Southend Jazz Club on Monday 27 February.

There will also be the chance to see displays of archive material from the Project, showing how different generations have invested in and celebrated jazz.

Read more.

The photo of the Essex Youth Jazz Orchestra is by Roy Strutt (

Putting jazz & memories into print – 11 March
Join Ann Cotterrell from Northway Books as she shares insights and anecdotes to illustrate the joys and pitfalls of publishing. 
Ann has published a wide-ranging list of biographies, critical studies and jazz histories. The talk will focus on Northway’s experience as a small publisher, including advice for authors on approaching a publisher and self-publishing, linked to jazz but not exclusively on a jazz theme. The advice will include aspects of editing, design, production, distribution and new media.

The talk is at the Archive in Loughton Library, and forms part of the Essex Book Festival. It will be accompanied by a display from the National Jazz Archive’s extensive collections.

The event will be chaired by Nick Clarke, a trustee of the National Jazz Archive. Tickets cost £7, £5 (27yrs and under), and are available from the Festival box office, Mercury Theatre 01206 573948, or online.

The Essex Book Festival takes place throughout the county during March, with no fewer than 90 events at 45 venues, and 200 writers and artists!

Listening to jazz in the digital age
Save the date! 13 May
Stuart Nicholson will explore how we listen to music in general, and jazz in particular, in the new digital world, and how new technology is changing the experience. Stuart is an award-winning music journalist and author who has written seven books on jazz which have been translated into 13 languages. He is visiting professor at Leeds College of Music and a patron of the Archive.

His talk will be in the Archive in Loughton Library, beginning at 2.30pm, price £5. Booking details will be available soon.

It forms part of the Loughton Festival. The entire festival is organised by volunteers and this year the events will be used to raise money for Loughton Youth Project and Essex Air Ambulance.

The photo of Stuart Nicholson is by Jan Granlie.

30 years of Jazz Heritage in Wales
Read about another successful year for Jazz Heritage Wales and their exhibition ‘How jazz came to Wales’ at Swansea Museum, with over 44,000 visitors. The annual report looks back at the 30 year history of the organisation and a terrific range of activities over the past year.
Read more about Jazz Heritage Wales here.

Sell your vinyl and CDs & support NJA 
Are your beloved vinyl records and CDs just collecting dust? Have you replaced all those treasured tracks with MP3 downloads?

Read more about how your record collection can benefit the work and continued development of the Archive.

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.
Rabbit Records are happy to discuss and handle collections both large and small, ranging from a couple of boxes up to major collections. Arrangements may be made for a personal collection service from your home or office.

To discuss your requirements simply contact Scott Nicol at Rabbit Records on 07710 794896 or e-mail [email protected]

Websites you may have missed – National Youth Jazz Collective
The National Youth Jazz Collective is a vibrant National Youth Music Organisation that supports the creative and educational needs of the young jazz musician. NYJC focuses on small group improvisation and creates a pathway of progression designed to support young jazz musicians from beginner to emerging professionals.

NYJC runs an annual summer school. The final concert features groups of young musicians playing sets before an appreciative audience. Videos of five sets at the concert can all be viewed via the NYJC website – the future of our music is in good hands!

The National Jazz Archive was founded by trumpeter Digby Fairweather in 1988 and is supported by Essex County Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Heritage Lottery Fund logo
Copyright © 2017 National Jazz Archive, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email as you have asked the National Jazz Archive to keep you up to date with our work through signing up on our website, completing a feedback form or leaving us your email address.Our mailing address is:

National Jazz Archive
Loughton Library
Traps Hill
LoughtonIG10 1HD
United Kingdom




The Golden Eagles Go For Jazz Gold at Bedford Golf Club


L to R: Roy Stokes (Trombone); Mike Scranton (Trumpet); Liz Bacon (guesting on clarinet); Paul Bacon (guesting on drums); Alan Cresswell (clarinet); Mike Broad (Double Bass); and not forgetting Kevin Scott (Leader, banjo)!

Featuring a series of Jazz&Jazz Golden Eagles’ YouTubes filmed on Thursday, 29th September, at Tad Newton’s Bedford Golf Club Jazz Venue. Magnificent setting – great food, great jazz, comfortable seating!

A couple of the YouTubes fall into my “Take Two Category” – i.e. if only I could have, I would have filmed them again, without the need to reposition the camera from my original vantage point which became obscured by fans. I moved to the bar at the back of the hall to capture the next best possible view of the Golden Eagles over the heads of the fans! It took some manoeuvring for position which shows! But I consider them well worth while including here.

That’s it folks – until I catch up with The Golden Eagles again!.

Peter M Butler
Editor & Proprietor Jazz&Jazz

(Photos & YouTubes © Peter M Butler, Jazz&Jazz)

Fest Jazz Fans Packed the Marquee for Trevor Stent’s Good Time Jazz Band …

… and aptly so given the massive effort Trevor and his 
Châteauneuf team put in to make
Fest Jazz, 2016, such a resounding success.


Launched and led by Trevor, The Good Time Jazz Band is local to the Châteauneuf-du-Faou area. The band soon became so popular throughout the region and for playing regular gigs at the legendary Bar Tal ar Pont, that their success inspired Trevor to launch Fest Jazz back in 2005. Since then the festival has gone from strength to strength and plans are already afoot
for Fest Jazz 2017.

Good Time Jazz Band YouTube
Two New Orleans numbers are featured in the following Jazz&Jazz YouTube: “Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans” and “Lady Be Good”. Trevor asked me to point out that “bassist Peter Butler is playing an electric bass because of a temporary shoulder problem caused by a lifetime of double bass playing!  Normal service will soon be restored!”

Get fit quickly, Peter.

I  should also mention that this is what I call one of my “Take Two” Youtubes. Why? Because I let the camera roll between the two numbers not only to focus on Good Time’s massed fans but also to manoeuvre through them for a better position in time to film “Lady Be Good”. Quicker to keep filming than to risk missing part of such a great jazz by having to set up again. OK – I could have spit the YouTubes but I think this adds interest!

One further Jazz&Jazz post is being produced featuring and summarising the massive success of Fest Jazz, 2016. It will include a master YouTube of the entire festival produced by the brilliant Fest Jazz team headed up by Trevor. It will also include just a couple of bands Ginny and I couldn’t quite fit into our hectic filming schedule, given the brilliant scope simultaneously available. So come back soon to Jazz&Jazz.

Peter M Butler
Editor & Proprietor Jazz&Jazz

(Photos & YouTubes © Peter M Butler, Jazz&Jazz)

Robyn Bennett & Bang Bang: Plans For UK Autumn Tour



Robyn Bennett (vocals) ; Ben van Hille (trombone) ; Max Mastella (guitar) ; David Pouradier Duteil (drums) ; Gino Chantoiseau (doublebass) ; Julien Raffin (saxophones)

Robyn Bennet has contacted Jazz&Jazz about her UK Autumn tour with her band
Robyn Bennett & Bang Bang

“I’ve received your information from Al Nicholls who plays sax with Blue Harlem, among other groups. Al has been helping promote my band in the UK over the past year. I am an American singer based in Paris, France, with a five-piece band (guitar, doublebass, drums, trombone and saxophone).

“We tour extensively in France and we toured the UK in August, 2015, playing sold-out shows at Ronnie Scott’s, Boisdale of Canary Wharf and Blues Kitchen Camden.”

To date Robyn Bennett & Bang Bang is booked for two UK gigs:
• Friday, October 28th at Kings Arms, Fulham
• Saturday, October 29th at Boisdale Restaurant, Canary Wharf
• Sunday October 30th Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club

They are also looking for another gig for Thursday, 27th October and possibly for Monday, 31st October and would appreciate any suggestions of venues to contact. 

Take a look at the Robyn Bennett & Bang Bang website. It’s impressive! Then, whether you are a promoter or a fan and would like to see Robyn at your club/venue, contact her at:

[email protected]
Tel: +33 6 63 240 260 or +33 9 82 29 86 48

Or you can send me any messages you may have for Robyn via “Speak Your Mind” below.

Peter M Butler
Editor & Proprietor Jazz&Jazz

Top Shows in March, April and May at Olney Jazz Club


Time to book tickets for the March, April and May Club Nights!
Call: 01234 711348 without delay.

Tuesday March 1st

“Jazz at the Movies”


Joanna Eden

With the Jazz at the Movies Band featuring Joanna Eden (vocals), Mark Crooks (reeds), Chris Ingham (piano), Rev. Andrew Brown (bass) and George Double (drums) … show, played Ronnie’s at Christmas….. £12/£10 in advance…

Great songs, great films, great band, great singer…one of the finest vocal albums I’ve heard for quite a while” BEBOP SPOKEN HERE

Movie songs like these provide good material for the best jazz singers. Joanna Eden and her
first-class band had a ball with them, so did the audience

JAZZ AT THE MOVIES is a unique jazz group formed specifically to interpret movie themes and soundtrack songs taken from a wide-range of silver screen sources both familiar and obscure. Their refined dramatic and jazz sensibilities produce sounds that celebrate the meeting point of songcraft and swingcraft. With a reputation for vibrant music, deep repertoire and droll presentation, JATM have become a regular sell-out at Ronnie Scott’s, St James Theatre, the Royal Albert Hall’s Elgar Room and many jazz clubs, theatres and Arts Centres throughout the UK.

JATM features evocative vocals by acclaimed singer and mentor/teacher to pop sensation Sam Smith, JOANNA EDEN; bewitching saxophone and clarinet from star reedsman of the John Wilson Orchestra MARK CROOKS. Plus atmospheric textures and grooves from  CHRIS INGHAM (piano), REV. ANDREW BROWN (bass) and GEORGE DOUBLE (drums).

Tickets – £12/£10 in advance

Nearly SOLD OUT (Phonebox Magazine has a few left– please email OJC to go on the returns list.

Tuesday April 5th

The New Orleans Z’hulus


Dan Vercruysse (trumpet) and Brian Turnock (leader, bass)

Presenting The New Orleans Z’hulus – a great band hailing The Continent with sublime renditions of New Orleans Jazz. Plus a welcome return for Brian Turnock (Leader, Bass) and Jesper Larson (clt), members of Doc Hound’s Revival Jazz Band who starred at Olney in October last year!

£10/£8 in advance

Tuesday May 3rd

The Krupa Connection

Alan Haughton

Alan Haughton

Richard Exall

Richard Exall

Formerly Three Men on Third, featuring the music of the Gene Krupa Trio …. Richard Exall (clarinet/sax), Alan Haughton (piano) and John Watson (drums)….£10/£8 in advance

John Watson

John Watson

All tickets are great value and you can get them from Phonebox Magazine, Stanley Court, Olney or the Carlton House Club, High St, Olney, 01234 711348,  (don’t forget to book separately if you would like to eat).





Check it all out at

Hoping to see you at the next OJC gig,



Olney Jazz Club
[email protected]

Photos © Peter M Butler, Jazz&Jazz