“I want to play jazz like that!” Analysing the Jazz Scene – Past, Present and Future


“All need not be lost. The potential for a traditional jazz revival is already there
to 
be seized upon if only the “oldies”, bands and fans alike, would lift their eyes
above their parapets! The key is in emerging younger bands. Because there really
are a number of up and coming younger bands out there making their mark in true
New Orleans style.”

Such is my depth of feeling about the steady decline of Traditional Jazz, and indeed jazz as a whole, over recent decades that I felt impelled to contribute this article to Just Jazz magazine, published in the August, 2012, issue and reproduced here with the kind permission of editor, Pete Lay.

Peter M Butler, Founder of Jazz&Jazz.com

Times have changed since I first took to jazz when it was in its heyday back in the 1950s/1960s. But I was just a teenager following trends and one of the trends I latched onto was Traditional Jazz. Those were the days when Acker Bilk and Kenny Ball were making their mark and Sammy Rimington was big close to my home in Kent. Ken Colyer was beyond my reach! It’s not that I became a devoted follower back then – rather that I preferred “Stranger on the Shore” to “Living Doll”.

So I don’t pretend to be a jazz aficionado and in my article in the May issue of Just Jazz I explain just how I got back into jazz a few years ago and why I launched the website Jazz&Jazz.com.

Not much of a pedigree, I admit, but during those intervening years, sadly jazz has been in a steady decline as frivolous musical tastes have changed and the core fan base has aged. This troubled me immensely, especially when I realised just what I had been missing. But in those same years I had at least developed PR, photography and web skills which perhaps I can now apply to aid the cause traditional jazz. Not to analyse, critique or review the music, bands and musicians – that’s the role of the true jazz professionals. Rather to take a neutral, unbiased overview of the jazz scene today in which the only axe I have to grind will become apparent.

L/R: Bob Thomas of Bob Thomas and The Thomcats, Peter Butler, Acker Bilk, Brian Smith of Welwyn Garden City’s Peartree Jazz Club

Meeting an increasing number of musicians, bands and fans, supporting my local Peartree Monday Jazz Club in Welwyn Garden City, helping launch the brand new Ramsgate Seaside Shuffle Jazz Festival in Kent and running Jazz&Jazz.com is helping firm up my overview of the current day jazz scene.

But first, a couple of other pretty relevant opinions. Although based on the American scene, there are clear parallels in the UK.

It was good to see four youngsters from Sweden at Ramsgate Seaside Shuffle. They even purchased two Seaside Shuffle T-Shirts!

How do we develop and maintain a strong jazz audience?
Kurt Ellenberger (pianist, composer and music professor) makes some pertinent comments about the current state of jazz in an article entitled ‘It Can’t Be Done’: The Difficulty Of Growing A Jazz Audience’ published by NPR Music as recently as 23rd May this year. 

‘When we ask “How do we develop and maintain a strong jazz audience?” what we are really saying is “How can we convince millions of people to alter and expand their aesthetic sensibilities and their cultural proclivities so that they include jazz to such an extent that they will regularly attend concerts and purchase recordings?” And that statement itself is embedded within another Herculean task: “How can we convince people to embrace music that is no longer part of the popular culture?”

‘What we’re really talking about when we complain about the jazz scene…… is not that jazz is dying creatively, or that it’s lost its vitality. It’s that there isn’t enough work and the work that’s there doesn’t pay enough. Those of us who were born between 1950 and 1970 came up in a very different environment than that which exists today.

‘I think it’s clear that obtaining a reasonable income in jazz …  is becoming exceedingly difficult. Those of us who grew up in the arts bubble were very fortunate to come up in an era that was, relatively speaking, flush with cash, which makes the new reality very difficult to accept. But historically speaking, this was an aberration. Beethoven had money problems, Mozart died broke, and I’m sure that we’re all aware of the many incredibly talented and influential jazz musicians of the last 75 years who needed benefit concerts to pay for medical care and funeral expenses as they entered middle and old age.’

It’s worth reminding ourselves of that old gag attributed to Sonny Morris, “If you want to make a million out of jazz, start with two million!”

Kurt Ellenberger (courtesy of the artist)

‘Jazz is not dying …’
Yet Ellenberger continues:

‘As aggravating and depressing as all of this may be, I don’t see it as a “doom and gloom” scenario; to the contrary, I think that jazz is actually thriving, not dying ……

‘Jazz as a creative force is not going away. In fact, I would go so far to stay that it will never go away because of the depth of its materials, its rich history and canon, and its openness to new influences.

‘Wasn’t jazz a street music to begin with? A hybrid that drank from many wells and remade itself every decade (much to the chagrin of many artists then and now)? Why not write music that utilizes electronics and looping, hip-hop, rap, gamelan, minimalism, trance, rock, yodeling, country and anything else that you listen to and find interesting? These things will happen because people need to express themselves, not because they need to land a gig.’

Ellenberger presents an interesting and well argued case which needs to be considered.

‘How can we make jazz vital once more?’

Responding to Ellenberger, Kotaku.com Editor Kirk Hamilton made the following observations in his May 24th article entitled Growing the Jazz Audience ‘Can’t Be Done. Maybe That’s Okay? :

‘Look, I’m under no illusions about jazz music’s unpopularity. I grew up playing jazz, went to school to study jazz, made a living as a jazz musician for a while out of school. Jazz is beautiful, jazz is the best. And people, by and large, don’t care about it at all.

‘How do we make jazz vital once more?

‘How can we convince people to embrace music that is no longer part of the popular culture?

‘[Ellenberger] hits the nail on the head, I think, at least in terms of why modern audiences mostly don’t care about traditional jazz. Jazz music is no longer relevant to popular culture—music has simply evolved beyond it, and like any outdated musical style, it’s now the province of niche interest groups. (I realize this is an oversimplification, and that there are myriad other contributing factors to jazz’s decline.) That’s not to say that it is any less vital, lovely, exciting or fresh today than it was then—by its very nature, Jazz can never become stale or routine—but it does go a long way towards explaining why modern audiences are no longer particularly interested.

‘But you know what? Jazz’s constant evolution is precisely why ‘How can we make jazz vital once more?’ is in some ways the wrong question. As I see it, jazz has had no problem keeping itself vital—it’s just that it’s evolved beyond the musical paradigm we typically associate with ‘Jazz’.

‘But there is one thing that Ellenberger doesn’t really take into account in his piece……. That’s the fact that just as music has evolved, so too has jazz. He’s right that acoustic bebop on traditional jazz instruments will never again rope in big audiences or lead to huge album sales. But jazz itself has diversified beyond that until it’s essentially unrecognizable.

‘Today’s jazz musicians (and jazz-program graduates) are versed in so many different types of music, from straight-ahead bebop to electronic trance to pop to heavy metal, that labeling them ‘jazz musicians’ feels like a misnomer. Jazz may be the root of most modern musical training—it’s where rock, hip-hop and funk all came from, after all—but to pretend that musicians who can play all of that music must or should make a living playing jazz feels like a narrow viewpoint.

‘Most of the working musicians I know make a living not by playing jazz, but by bringing their jazz training to bear on other more current or popular styles. And those styles certainly attract enthusiastic, passionate listeners. A bassist friend of mine tours with a number of terrific acoustic groups playing baltic and bluegrass-influenced improvisational music while accompanying a singer. A drummer friend toured with a great blues band for several years, and before that was touring with a successful experimental jam band.

‘All of these guys and gals can play the pants off of a jazz standard, and the music they’re playing is demanding, harmonically complex and difficult, but with the exception of some of Spalding’s more straight-ahead stuff, it isn’t really ‘jazz,’ not by the standard definition.

‘… It is certainly more difficult than ever to make a living playing jazz; not that it was ever really easy. But to say that jazz music begins and ends at the traditional jazz ensemble is to ignore the many ways that the music has evolved, the many ways that players have evolved alongside it, and the ways that listeners have evolved as well.’

Hamilton’s observations have a bearing on my thoughts. 

Traditional Jazz at a Crossroads
But at this point I consider it essential I stress I’m for Traditional, New Orleans jazz, not the self indulgent modern jazz of the Jazz FM era*, which, frankly, I believe has much to answer for in the decreasing popularity of real jazz. Even in New Orleans, going way back, there has been a steady decline in traditional jazz to the degree that nowadays seemingly it is played there only by overseas bands, visiting mainly from Europe. As Philip Larkin pointed out in his capacity of jazz critic for the Daily Telegraph, people die off and the young blacks in New Orleans lost interest in “that music and no longer wanted to entertain the whites”. (All What Jazz, A Record Diary 1961 to 1971).

A very good band leader friend of mine often repeats the maxim “what goes around comes around” in high hopes of a traditional jazz revival.

But we simply have to realise that Traditional Jazz is at a crossroads. So many musicians have, to put it politely, already reached retirement age. Yet they continue to play great music. Old jazzers never die! I was speaking to another prominent band leader, fifty years in the business, just recently who expressed his disillusionment with the way things are going. The leader of yet another leading UK band told me, on the very day I began writing this, of his concern that before long there won’t be enough musicians to spread around the bands. Because that’s what’s happening. Musicians are getting gigs where they can and bands are calling on musicians to fill the gaps.

On top of that, fans too are an endangered species.

Amy Roberts

Amy Roberts

Keys for a Traditional Jazz Revival
Yet all need not be lost. The potential for a traditional jazz revival is already there to be seized upon if only the “oldies”, bands and fans alike, would lift their eyes above their parapets! The key is in emerging younger bands. Because there really are a number of up and coming younger bands out there making their mark in true New Orleans style.

Sky Murphy on trombone and Adrian Cox on sax with TJJohnson in The Crypt, St Martin in the Fields.

There are also numerous young musicians eager for opportunities to play traditional jazz. Some get invited to play with established bands and at festivals. Some strive to form their own bands – not easy these days. Some, sadly, are seeking work outside of the jazz scene because other types of music pay better. But their hearts are still firmly rooted in traditional jazz.

I’ll introduce the word “precious”! Why? Because bands, musicians and fans alike simply have to stop being quite so precious about the “purism” of the jazz they like. They have to stop being so inward looking at their own age group.

What do I mean by that? Well, I asked a top band leader recently if he had heard of a particular emerging younger jazz band and to my amazement he hadn’t.

And that spells out the problem. The divide. The dichotomy!

I could be wrong but I get the impression the “oldies” stick to and don’t look beyond their ever declining fan bases and circuits. Somehow they don’t think the younger bands follow the holy grail!

‘I have to mix it a bit!’
Meanwhile the younger bands are fighting to make their mark. I take every opportunity I can to cover them on Jazz&Jazz.com. I telephoned a fantastic younger saxophonist recently who assured me that his first love truly is New Orleans Traditional Jazz. Yet at the time he was writing hip hop music. “I have to mix it, Peter, if I’m to make a living from my music!”

Dom Pipkin.

The “emerging” band I mentioned above is London based Dom Pipkin & The Ikos. Dom runs regular New Orleans Workshops and Jam Sessions at The Alleycat in Denmark Street and he recently staged a very successful Mardi Gras event in Hackney. Younger musicians who attract younger fans, and yes, I mean young fans! They mix it a bit but trad jazz always predominates. Dom recently appeared on Later with Jools [and more recently on Andrew Lloyd Weber’s Superstar] as piano accompanist to up and coming songstress Pamola Faith. That way he makes decent money to help support his passion for real jazz.

At present these younger bands are following their own “routes to market”. Somehow there has to be a meeting of minds. A coming together of older and younger generation bands. Only then will “what goes around come around” as the older bands interact with younger bands to reinvigorate traditional jazz until it flourishes again.

‘I want to play jazz like that!’
And the fans? If older fans want to encourage younger fans, they must learn not to be so precious about what they consider to be good jazz. I’ll throw out just one example. 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.

Is any of this so revolutionary? Surely not. Has it not ever been so in all forms of music? Older stars giving way to younger stars, who, while staying basically true to the inherent traditions of their chosen music, “stretch it” a bit for their fan bases as older fans give way to younger fans.

After all, hasn’t jazz improvisation – the ‘Expression of Freedom’ – in itself always been stretching and mixing it? Louis Armstrong perfected the improvised jazz solo and before that Dixieland first featured collective improvisation within their musical arrangements.

I recently heard a fantastic young jazz pianist launch into a classical piece and then skilfully blend it right back into a trad jazz favourite. In preparing for this analysis I also discussed it with one of the UK’s favourite traditional jazzmen who makes a point of “mixing it” by starring with older, established bands and younger emerging bands. An essential example of how there simply has to be a meeting of minds so that Traditional New Orleans jazz not only survives but flourishes.

I plan to feature emerging Traditional Jazz musicians and bands on my website, jazzandjazz.com, and to share this with Just Jazz magazine, perhaps with a follow up article. So I’m sure Pete Lay would join me in welcoming input from band leaders, musicians and Just Jazz readers alike.

Earlier on this website under “Is this the way to go?” Attracting ‘young blood’ to join our Jazz Clubs, I featured Ken Butler’s highly relevant article in the March issue of Just Jazz about attracting ‘young blood’ into Traditional jazz clubs.

So let’s set about implementing the keys to a Traditional Jazz revival!

Addendum
Modern Jazz*

I want to qualify my position on Modern Jazz. I’m not referring to it in any of my references to “stretching it” and “mixing it” as you will see from the context. Nor am I against modern jazz per se. In its earlier stages some works were stunning. But latterly in my opinion Modern Jazz, chiefly of the Jazz FM variety, has become self indulgent, inward looking, repetitive and tedious. It’s that type of Modern Jazz that has much to answer for in turning people away from Traditional Jazz. I discussed this in my letter in the June, 2012, issue of Just Jazz.

(Photos © Peter M Butler, Jazz&Jazz)

“Is this the way to go?” Attracting ‘young blood’ to join our Jazz Clubs

Lois Lloyd wrote to me today. She said: “Hi Peter, I see you (Jazz&Jazz) are noting our [jazz’s] history, a useful deed as we are losing so many wonderful musicians and at 64 David and I are often the youngest punters at the gig!” Lois is a member of the Plymouth Jazz Club.

Plymouth Jazz Club

Just Jazz magazine ran an article by Ken Butler in the March issue entitled “Is this the way to go?” featuring the Leeds Jazz Club and their success in attracting ‘young blood’ to join them (Just Jazz, March issue, p 6). Ken had asked a young singer, Tessa Smith, to join him at the club to see if she liked it. “She did and she enjoyed it so much that she has been back virtually every week since. Not only that, she has spread the word among her friends to such an extent that [recently] I counted at least 20 youngsters dancing and having a really good time.”

Leeds Jazz Club

Struck by this, I decided to follow up Ken’s article with this letter published in the June issue of Just Jazz:

Dear Pete

Got my copy of the March issue of Just Jazz yesterday. Very timely because of the article on Leeds Jazz Club “Is this the way to go?” about attracting “young blood” back to Traditional Jazz Clubs.
Tessa Smith raises the very pertinent point that youngsters today can’t relate to jazz. They hear “the squeaking of horns and discordant piano solos or free improvisation, or technical mastery …… that lacks a discernible melody” and proclaim “I don’t like jazz”! Then when they hear traditional jazz they say “but I like what you just did”!
Barry Price at the Hemsby Autumn Festival last year asked the girls 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 they did! So he told them this was original, traditional jazz. So the jazz that put them off had to be modern jazz!
Just like the Leeds Jazz Club, locally in Welwyn Garden City I’m striving to help Brian Smith build up the ageing membership by attracting younger fans. We’ve made a small start but there’s a way to go. Bob Thomas and The Thomcats used to play in our village pub and Bob also organised a weekly rota of other bands. In fact Bernie Tyrrell recently mentioned to me that Bob is no longer advertising in the Jazz Guide and I told him that’s because with landlord changes, the Long and The Short Arm had stopped the jazz nights.
That’s why Brian (“Smiffy”) started The Peartree Monday Jazz Club and now that we’ve been working on rebuilding the “disbanded” fan base with some success, yes, it’s time to try to get the youngsters along, some of whom used to wander in from the other bar in the pub.
Why am I keen on mentioning this right now? Not just because you might like to use this as a response to the Leeds Jazz Club article in the next issue of Just Jazz but also because I’m constantly seeking ways to help reinvigorate real jazz via my website jazzandjazz.com.
It takes time for a new website to catch on and “go viral” (horrible expression). Yet although perhaps not so many older fans use the web, it’s got to be one of the ways of reaching a younger audience.
It’s a hard slog but I want to get there. One of the approaches I’m aiming at is to contact “younger” musicians who attract younger fans such as “Dom Pipkin & The Ikos”, “The Fallen Heroes” and “Young Blood” crews. I’ve got plenty of photos of them in action to display what I’m about, although to make this pay or at least recuperate my costs I need to sell more commissions, portraits and prints. But that will come.
This brings me to a key point of this email, which I hope isn’t boring you due to its length but I think you can tell I feel passionately about this.
As a fairly recent “returnee” to the trad jazz scene I don’t want it to appear I’m knuckling in. You know I’m not. but I have in mind approaching clubs like Leeds and Plymouth to link up endeavours.
Regards
Peter Butler, Welwyn Garden City, Herts 
With Pete Lay’s permission I intend submitting another article analysing the current state of traditional jazz in the UK. Hopefully it will appear in the August issue of Just Jazz.
In  the meantime I would like to hear the views of clubs, musicians and fans. Just email me: peter@jazzandjazz.com

No Stranger to Potters Bar, Acker Bilk Packs Willyotts Theatre

Fans turned out in force at the Wyllyotts Centre to welcome Acker Bilk and his Paramount Jazz Band back to Potters Bar on Thursday, 31st May. The theatre was packed and the applause raised the roof.

Now an octogenarian, Acker is a living legend and a highly honoured legend at that, having received his MBE from the Queen back in 2001 and then on 24th May this year, the Special All Party Parliamentary Jazz Award for his services to music.

Acker played with Ken Coyer’s band at the height of the jazz era back in 1954 and by 1956 he had formed the Paramount Jazz Band. So soon we will be celebrating Acker’s very own Jubilee Year.

He lived in Potters Bar in those earlier years but originally hailed from Somerset and, living back in his home county now, he remains a Somerset lad at heart. Hence his nickname, because in the local dialect ‘Acker’ stands for ‘friend’ or ‘mate’.

And to this day, his staunch Potters Bar fans truly consider him to be their friend and mate.

Colin Wood

John Day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Richie Bryant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ian Bateman

Mike Cotton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Acker in wry humour mode!

 

 

Thank you Acker, for allowing us to meet you. L to R, Bob Thomas of Bob Thomas & The Thomcats, Peter Butler of Jazz&Jazz, Acker and Brian Smith who runs The Peartree Monday Jazz Club in Welwyn Garden City.

 (Photos © Peter M Butler, Jazz&Jazz)

 

Jazz Portrait: Roger on Banjo and Pat on Drums, “A Strummin’ and a Drummin'”

Jazz painting of Roger Nicholls on banjo and Pat Elms on drums

One of my favourite Jazz portraits, especially as so sadly, Pat Elms is no longer with us having passed away early in 2015. But here he is on drums alongside Roger Nicholls on banjo with Bob Thomas and The Thomcats playing at “Jazz on the Island” in Lemsford, Hertfordshire, back in 2011.

Fine art print of Jazz Portrait of Roger Nicholls and Pat Elms

A Strummin’ and a Drummin’

Cymbals afire, drums aglow,
Pat on percussion, timing the flow,
For Roger on banjo in rhythmic solo.

Jazz&Jazz Copyright © 2011 Peter M Butler. All rights reserved.

Fine Art Giclée Prints of this portrait are available, with or without my descriptive poem. Simply email: peter@jazzandjazz.com to place your order and help support jazz.

 

“Keep Doing What You Are Doing”: Just Jazz Magazine Features Jazz&Jazz

 

THE TRADITIONAL JAZZ MAGAZINE

Jazz & Jazz: honoured to be featured in the May,

2012, issue of Just Jazz.

So much so, that we are pleased to reproduce the article here for our online followers:

INTRODUCING WWW.JAZZANDJAZZ.COM

 By Peter Butler 

“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”).

It all began in my teenage years in Herne Bay on the North Kent coast in the late 1950s and the early 60s. Jazz was the in thing back then. Memories flood back of gigs at The Kings Hall and The Queen Vic in Herne Bay and Rechabite’s Hall in Canterbury. In those days Sammy Rimington’s early hunting grounds were in East Kent at such venues as Man of Kent in Rainham.

But when I moved to Hertfordshire in 1966, life changed course and  jazz was consigned to the back burner … until just a few years ago when Roger Pout, my oldest and closest friend from school days, told me “Peter, when you’re next down we’re going to take in some jazz gigs”. And we did – at The Duke of Cumberland in Whitstable when Burt Butler’s Jazz Pilgrims played there and at Thursday night gigs at The George in Shalmsford Street, Canterbury, and now at The Star in Old Wive’s Lees.

The New Milestone

Then back in 2008 Chairman Humph’s “accident” kicked in. Roger and his wife Chris had booked for the Ken Colyer Trust Autumn Jazz Parade in Hemsby, Norfolk, along with other close friends, Derek and Barbara. But at the last minute, due to illness, Derek and Barbara had to drop out and insisted my wife Ginny and I took their places, gratis.

We seized the opportunity and so began Humph’s new milestone in my life. For years I had painted landscapes and seascapes as a hobby. Following the 2008 Autumn Parade I couldn’t resist painting portraits of the jazz musicians at the festival, including Sammy Rimington who topped the bill that year … especially of him in a sax duet with brilliant young star Amy Roberts

New Orleans Bound

Then at the 2009 Autumn Parade I displayed my first collection of jazz portraits. But that wasn’t all. Incredibly my wife won the prize draw for a trip for two on the Southern Sounds tour of New Orleans in April 2010! It was an incredible experience and I gathered material for a whole series of jazz portraits.

Now the die was cast and the “accident” was turning into a phenomenon!

My wife and I felt we had to give something back to jazz, especially as the scene had changed so much since those earlier glory years.

So rather than just sell my jazz portraits, I hit upon a plan to launch a new website to help promote and support traditional jazz, with costs covered by the sale of my portraits, fine art prints and photographs.

So jazz&jazz.com was launched in June, 2011 – not just to feature my jazz art but also as a forum for jazz bands and jazz fans. And above all to support, promote and help revitalise Traditional Jazz.

JazzandJazz.com is dedicated to promoting jazz and more jazz for Jazz Bands, Jazz Musicians and Jazz Fans. The aim is to raise the profile of jazz and to develop a sounding board for jazz by inviting bands, musicians and fans to share news and views about the jazz scene. As more jazz paintings are commissioned and sales of the fine art prints and photographs increase to help cover costs of the site, the aim is to expand the scope and reach of JazzandJazz.com in support of jazz.

Celebrating the successful launch of the 2012 Ramsgate Seaside Shuffle season: Peter (third from left) with Committee Members John Myhill (left), Ron Sheldrake (second left) and John Morgan (right). Chis Pout was too busy with Shuffle fans to be included in the photo!

Helping Promote Traditional Jazz

Now Jazz&Jazz is going from strength to strength and as a result last year I was able help launch and promote a brand new UK jazz festival, Ramsgate Seaside Shuffle, providing advertising and promotional materials. This year Jazz&Jazz is again heavily involved in promoting the 2012 Seaside Shuffle Festival and associated monthly gigs at Court Stairs Manor & Country Club. The first gig held on 25 February with The Gambit Jazzmen was a huge success and Pete Lay congratulated the Seaside Shuffle Committee on their successful launch of the 2012 season. So it’s a huge pleasure to be working with Chris Pout and the rest of the Committee on this, especially as Chris is my jazz chum Roger’s wife.

My wife Ginny is a graphic designer and last year she suggested we look into using my jazz photos to help promote events and festivals. She wanted to produce a Jazz Guide ad for the Hemsby Autumn Jazz Parade for Pete Lay as a thank you for our trip to New Orleans. We have worked with Pete again this year to produced the 2012 Parade ad which includes some of my photographs.

Closer to home Jazz&Jazz is involved in helping promote our local Welwyn Garden City Peartree Monday Jazz Club. Working closely with Brian Smith, aka “Smiffy”, I produce the club’s six monthly programme and monthly flyers and Jazz Guide ads as well as heavily promoting the club on the Jazz&Jazz website.

Getting Involved

So do take a look at www.jazzandjazz.com and if you would like a mention on the site, email me: peter@jazzandjazz.com. Above all please get involved and use the Comment boxes at the foot of each item to add your views and opinions. This helps boost jazzandjazz.com – and traditional jazz – in Google rankings. Come to that, since getting so re-involved, I’ve met a number of “lapsed fans” now getting back into jazz like myself. All grist for the mill!

I want to thank Pete Lay for his interest in my jazz portraits and photos and for the support he is giving me with Jazz&Jazz.com. Thanks too go to Trefor Williams, Bob Thomas and Emile Martyn, a fellow artist, for their support and encouragement. Also special thanks to Barry Martyn who wrote to me urging me to “keep doing what you are doing”.

JazzandJazz.com is dedicated to promoting jazz and more jazz for Jazz Bands,
Jazz Musicians and Jazz Fans. The aim is to raise the profile of jazz and to develop
a sounding board for jazz by inviting bands, musicians and fans to share news
and views about the jazz scene. As more jazz paintings are commissioned and
sales of the fine art prints and photographs increase to help cover costs of the site, 
the aim is to expand the scope and reach of JazzandJazz.com in support of jazz.

Commissions

 

I pen poems for my jazz portraits and personally produce and hand sign my Jazz&Jazz Fine Art Giclée Prints. I happily accept commissions for jazz paintings and jazz portraits from bands and musicians, and especially from fans who might have their favourites. A fine art print of the painting and poem is offered along with each commissioned acrylic jazz painting.

Stand alone fine art prints of any of the jazz portraits are also available for sale with payment via PayPal or private arrangement. Should you wish to purchase a jazz print, commission a jazz portrait, or if your are interested in any of the jazz photographs displayed, please email Peter at: peter@jazzandjazz.com

A PayPal “Donate” button (right hand column) is available for contributions and especially to facilitate payment for portraits, commissions and Fine Art Giclée Prints. My aim is to develop direct contacts with clubs, festivals, bands, musicians and fans to help promote and spread the word about Jazz&Jazz. Should you wish to purchase a jazz print, commission a jazz portrait, or if your are interested in any of the jazz photographs displayed, don’t hesitate to email me at: peter@jazzandjazz.com

Completed commissions include:

Pete Smith on Sousaphone

Dave Arnold on Drums

Christine of The Stackyard Stompers

Laurie Fray on Clarinet captured in a stunning rendition of Burgundy Street Blues

Rance’s Rockin’ Chair Band

Ray Colyer on Trumpet

Bob Thomas on Trumpet

John Pickett on Trumpet

Laurie Palmer on Drums

Tony Cunningham Trombonist


The following portraits were presented to the musicians during the 2011 Autumn Jazz Parade in Hemsby, Norfolk:

Annie Hawkins
Chris Tyle
Johnny Rodgers

To view a selection of portraits completed either for the launch of the Ramsgate Seaside Shuffle Festival in July, 2011, or commissioned during the festivals since, go to Ramsgate Seaside Shuffle Jazz Portraits.

Peter M Butler
Artist, Editor & Proprietor, Jazz&Jazz

ABOUT JAZZ & JAZZ

 

JazzandJazz.com is dedicated to promoting jazz and more jazz for Jazz Bands, Jazz Musicians and Jazz Fans. Our aim is to raise the profile of jazz and to develop a sounding board for jazz by inviting bands, musicians and fans to share news and views about the jazz scene.

 

JAZZ BANDS

JazzandJazz.com aims to capture, share and promote the unique ethos of  jazz by featuring bands, musicians, clubs and festivals. As well as modern day greats, we focus on the vitality of younger, emerging stars and bands, and on the inexhaustible exuberance of smaller bands on the jazz circuit.

 

JAZZ FANS

JazzandJazz.com aims to become a force for jazz by galvanising jazz fans everywhere into a fully fledged jazz revival by getting out and supporting their local clubs and established touring bands. Also by encouraging the newly emerging younger generation of jazz fans to swing along with happy jazz performed by recently launched younger bands and musicians. Fans’ comments on any of the featured items are welcomed.

 

JAZZ YOUTUBES

JazzandJazz.com features posts and videos from Jazz&Jazz YouTubes.
Launched in 2014 but promoted in earnest only in recent months, as of November 2015, Jazz&Jazz YouTubes includes 300 videos with over 110,000 views increasing daily. Videoed at Clubs, Theatres, Concerts and Festivals and edited by myself to highest iMovie standards they include top musicians and bands with special emphasis on our emerging new generation jazz bands. The videos can be viewed in High Definition.

 

JAZZ ART

JazzandJazz.com features the Jazz Art of artist and poet, Peter Mark Butler, presenting the dazzling world of jazz through his collection of jazz paintings, jazz portraits and jazz poems. His jazz art reflects his involvement in the jazz scene which prompted him to launch JazzandJazz.com to help champion jazz, raise the profile of New Orleans Revivalist Jazz and keep it alive and thriving.

Fine art prints of the jazz portraits are available for sale with payment via PayPal or private arrangement. Peter also accepts commissions. Should you wish to purchase a jazz print or commission a jazz portrait please email Peter at: peter@jazzandjazz.com

Scroll down for INDEX OF JAZZ ART

 

JAZZ PHOTOGRAPHS

JazzandJazz.com also features Peter’s ever growing portfolio of  jazz photographs which are available for promotional materials for Jazz Bands, Jazz Clubs, Jazz Festivals and musicians. Selections of these photographs have been used in producing online promos, ads, brochures and flyers for the jazz community, some of which are displayed throughout the site for publicity purposes. Should you be interested in any of the photographs, either as prints or for promotions, just email: peter@jazzandjazz.com

 

INDEX OF JAZZ ART


Amy Roberts on Saxophone

Amy Roberts and Adrian Cox

Annie Hawkins on Bass

Barry Martyn at the 100 Club

Brian Smith, Washboard Rhythm King

Betty Renz Steels the Show

Bob Thomas on Trumpet

Burt Butler on Banjo

Chris Marchant on Drums

Chris Tyle on Cornet

Christine Woodcock on Trombone

Cuff Billet on Trumpet

Dave Arnold on Drums 

Dave Bartholomew at The Palm Court, New Orleans

Dave Rance’s Rockin’ Chair Band

Dom Pipkin Pumps Piano

Dr Michael White and Gregg Stafford

Emile Martyn on Drums

Emile Van Pelt and Eric Webster

Esther O’Connor, Songstress Supreme

Gerry Birch on Sousaphone

Grand Marshall Jimbo Heads the Parade

Hugh Masekela

Ivan Gandon on Saxophone

Jim Hurd and John Whitehead, Frog Islanders

John Pickett on Trumpet 

Johnny Rodgers on Saxophone

Laurie Fray on Clarinet

Laurie Palmer on Drums

Lionel Ferbos, Louisiana Jazz Legend

Mike Pointon on Trombone

Pete Lay on Drums

Pete Smith on Sousaphone

Ray Colyer on Trumpet

Sammy Rimington & Amy Roberts Saxophone Duet

Sam Weller and Mark Alexander of Vocalion

Trefor Williams on Double Bass

Tim Curtis on Sousaphone

Tony Cunningham on Trombone

Big Bill Bissonnette

Leroy Jones at Donnas Bar 2010

Tony O’Sullivan on Trumpet

 

LINKS TO JAZZ & JAZZ

Jazz&Jazz welcomes link exchanges. This can be done by using the simple text link such as http://www.jazzandjazz.com/.


Peter M Butler
Editor & Proprietor Jazz&Jazz

Ginger Pigs Play to a Packed House at The Walnut Tree Jazz Club

 

Besides being influenced by the music of London in the “Swinging 60’s”, Northampton based Ginger Pig Band has had a long term connection with New Orleans. 

[Read more…]

Dréo de Lille’s Stunning Rendition of Oscar Brown Jr’s “Dat Dere”

During their April, 2017, UK Tour, Old Chaps Jazz Band from Lille, France, starred at
Tad Newton’s Walnut Tree Jazz Club, Blisworth, Northants, where I was privileged 
to film several numbers for YouTubes.

Dréo’s rendition of Oscar Brown Jr’s “Dat Dere” was immensely compelling, even spellbinding!
One of those rare occasions of being in the right place at the right time to
capture something very special.

[Read more…]

Jazz&Jazz Presents National Jazz Archive Updates

 

Latest news from the National Jazz Archive

Welcome to our November 2016 Newsletter

A great afternoon with Alan Barnes
Mike Rose writes: As jazz fans will know, an Alan Barnes gig always guarantees a number of things. First, wonderful, joyful jazz. Second, an array of jokes both old and new, amusing passing comments made to the audience, and finally, a thoroughly enjoyable time for all. Add the excellent line-up of Henry Lowther (trumpet), Frank Harrison (piano), Simon Thorpe (bass) and Matt Fishwick (drums) and you have a perfect package.

Alan’s Quintet played a fundraising gig for the Archive on Saturday 22 October at Loughton. A packed house of discerning jazz aficionados enjoyed a nice mix of jazz standards and a selection of Alan’s excellent original writings. Henry Lowther sounded like he had just arrived from the West Coast with the coolest trumpet sound. Frank Harrison’s lightness of touch both during his solos and filling-in behind the front line were a sheer delight. Simon Thorpe and Matt Fishwick provided a solid basis for the quintet as well as highly imaginative and enjoyable solos.

And yes, a great time was had by all.


Black Icons magazine launched
Thirty-seven young people from London’s inner-city boroughs have collaborated to produce a free new magazine, celebrating Black Icons of the British Jazz Age in the 1920s and 30s. ‘Black Icons’ was launched during Black History Month in October.

Black Icons is an initiative by the award-winning charity Fashion Awareness Direct (FAD) and is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund in collaboration with the Black Cultural Archives. The project sees iconic Black figures such as entertainer Rita Cann, boxer Len Johnson and broadcaster Una Marson brought to life, empowering Black youth and inspiring young people from all backgrounds with their shared heritage.


This stunning fabric was inspired by the story of Ken ‘Snakehips’ Johnson, band leader and dancer, killed in an air-raid in London in 1941.

This unique project encouraged those involved to conduct hands-on archive research with original source material. Volunteers heard lectures from respected historians to inform their work. The young volunteers explored London’s rich archives at the BFI, the British Library and the National Jazz Archive, before designing and creating textiles inspired by traditional East African Kanga cloth, to celebrate their chosen Black Icons. These cloths were then modelled by the young people themselves, providing the images for the final magazine.

Read more about the project here.


Forty-five years of jazz images – from Abercrombie to Zirilli
A stunning new book – ‘Brian O’Connor’s Images of Jazz’ – of more than 400 photographs of jazz musicians taken over 45 years, has been published – an ideal Christmas present for jazz lovers!

The book captures striking and atmospheric black and white and colour photos of musicians taken at more than 60 venues in London and across the UK between 1971 and 2016. It includes photos of UK and visiting American and European musicians both onstage and informally. Several musicians are featured at different stages of their careers, from exuberant youth to successful maturity.

Brian includes affectionate notes about his regular visits to Ronnie Scott’s and other venues, and shares insights into his life as a jazz photographer, capturing the moment. There are notes for the camera enthusiast, and a detailed index of musicians.


Courtney Pine at Love Supreme, 2014

Brian O’Connor’s Images of Jazz’ is published by Riverside Publishing Solutions, in association with the National Jazz Archive. The book is A4 hardback, 132 pages printed in colour throughout, ISBN 978-1-5272-0057-9. The book is priced at £25 plus £4.95 post and packing (UK), but the price for orders placed before 24 December 2016 is £20 plus p&p.

For more information and to order, contact Brian O’Connor: info@imagesofjazz.com.

London Jazz News published a preview/ interview with Brian here.


Searching for the young soul rebels: style, music, art in London 1956-69
The Paul Mellon lectures 2017 will be given at the National Gallery, London on Monday evenings from 9 January to 6 February 2017 by Thomas Crow, Professor at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University.

He will discuss the late-1950s emergence of the Modernist style among youthful connoisseurs of advanced American jazz and how it fostered a favourable climate for signature British artists of the 1960s. Themes include:

● Modernist faces: hard bop and clean design
● Jazz painting? Modernist Hockney?
● Painting sensations: Pauline Boty/Bridget Riley
● Hippy hippy shake: sculpture through the counterculture
● The great lost look c.1969: beyond cultural studies

The lectures, named in honour of the philanthropist and collector of British art, Paul Mellon (1907-99), were inaugurated in 1994.The lectures are biennial, given by a distinguished historian of British art.

Read more.


Don’t miss the Simon Spillett Quartet!
Saturday 11 February is the date, and Loughton is the place.

The ‘formidable’ Simon Spillett is bringing John Critchinson, Alec Dankworth and Clark Tracey to play a fundraising concert for the Archive. It starts at 2.30pm and tickets, price £15, can be ordered here.


Reminiscing in Colchester
Our Intergenerational Jazz Reminiscence project held its third reminiscence workshop in partnership with Loughton Youth Project at Lion Walk Activity Centre in Colchester on 26 October.

The workshop showcased some of our archive material, as well as artwork and artefacts from Colchester Jazz Club’s Dave Bailey. Local jazz musician Goff Dubber also delighted participants with soprano sax and clarinet.

Read Layla’s blog post here.

Celebratory events at three Essex jazz clubs are planned for February as the next stage of the HLF project:

● Sunday 19 Colchester 
● Sunday 26 Hornchurch
● Monday 27 Southend 

These will feature performances from young musicians: more details will be in our newsletters in the New Year.


Join us on 12 December
For the first time for some years, the National Jazz Archive will be holding an Annual General Meeting. This will be at 12.30 on Monday 12 December, at the Archive in Loughton Library, Traps Hill, Loughton IG10 1HD. It will be followed by refreshments, and the opportunity to thank all our volunteers for their great work over the past year. All are welcome: if you plan to join us, please email enquiries@nationaljazzarchive.org.ukbeforehand so we can order enough sandwiches!


Gems from the Archive – Bobby Wellins
This month we feature Bobby Wellins, who sadly passed away on 27 October 2016. A proud Scot, Bobby has long been considered one of the UK’s greatest tenor saxophonists. His career extended over five decades and had many highs and, regrettably, a few lows.


The Wellins-Wray Quintet at Ronnie Scott’s. From left: Peter Baker, Ken Wray, Tony Archer, Gordon Beck, Bobby Wellins. From Jazz News, Dec 1960

In 1965 Bobby recorded Stan Tracey’s ‘Under Milk Wood’, the suite inspired by Dylan Thomas’ radio play, with Stan at the piano, Jeff Clyne on bass and Jackie Dougan on drums. This album has rightly become regarded as one the finest UK jazz albums every produced. In 2010, Guardian critic John Fordham wrote of Bobby’s performance “Wellins’s softly hooting sax, the rippling tone-poem ‘Starless and Bible Black’ is widely acclaimed as one of the great jazz performances”.

In 1996 Bobby recorded an album which was his personal favourite – ‘The Satin Album’ – which was his instrumental interpretation of the 1958 Billie Holiday album of the same name. ‘You Don’t Know What Love Is’ is a track from Bobby’s version.


In 2006, Bobby gave JazzUK magazine an interview in which he talked candidly about his life. Read the first part here and the second part here.


In recent years, Bobby made himself known to younger jazz fans, appearing at many venues across the UK. He was rarely seen without a smile, was down to earth, self-effacing and happy to greet his many admirers. And apart from that he was a fabulous tenor player and will be sadly missed. Put simply, Bobby you did it In Your Own Sweet Way.

The photo at the top was taken by Denis Williams at the Fairway, Welwyn Garden City in 1997. The photo of Bobby and Stan Tracey was taken by Brian O’Connor in 2007.


Pass it on … !
Have you found this newsletter interesting? Why not pass it on to jazz-loving friends and encourage them to sign up on our websiteto receive it direct every month.

The photo of Coleman Hawkins and Sonny Stitt was taken by Terry Cryer in Bradford in 1959. The Archive holds 160 of his photos.


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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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