Featuring the NJA Newsletter October 2017


News from The National Jazz Archive


… to our new subscribers, especially all who signed up at the Abergavenny Wall2Wall Festival in September – see below. We hope you found our display interesting and will enjoy following developments at the Archive through these newsletters.


“A wonderful evening of melody, rhythm and music”

Clare Teal and her trio delighted a packed audience at Loughton on 19 September, who responded with a standing ovation at the end of the fundraising concert.

Clare gave the audience a wonderful mix of standards and delightful originals, all supported by her excellent trio of Jason Rebello (piano), Tom Farmer (bass) and Ben Reynolds(drums) who also provided backing vocals on several numbers. Clare featured songs from the Ella Fitzgerald song book and her latest album Twelve O’Clock Tales.

Clare is an honoured Patron of the National Jazz Archive and her performance raised funds to support our continuing work.

Photos of the concert by Brian O’Connor are here

Clark Tracey Quartet comes to Walthamstow – book now!

Award-winning drummer Clark Tracey is bringing his quartet to play a fundraising concert for the Archive on 24 November in Walthamstow, East London. To celebrate what would have been Stan Tracey’s 90th year, Clark has written the definitive biography of his father (The Godfather of British Jazz), being published by Equinox Publishing. The concert will be part of the book’s launch and will feature Stan’s music and well-known jazz standards. Copies of the new book will be on sale at a discounted price.

Clark Tracey is one of the UK’s premier jazz men with an international career as an outstanding composer, arranger and drummer. His group also features three other superb musicians: Art Themen (saxes), Bruce Boardman (piano) and Andrew Cleyndert (bass).

Clark said: “I’ve had the pleasure of playing at fundraising concerts for the National Jazz Archive several times, so it’s great to bring my own quartet to help raise funds for the Archive. It’s a wonderful resource for everyone interested in the history and development of jazz.”

The venue is the characterful arts centre Mirth, Marvel and Maud, 186 Hoe St, Walthamstow, London E17 4QH, which is five minutes’ from Walthamstow Central Station and served by the Underground, Overground and numerous bus routes. The concert starts at 8pm and tickets cost £17.  Download the poster for the concert here.

Stan and Clark Tracey play together at the Vortex in 2011.

Photos courtesy of Brian O’Connor.

NJA exhibition in Loughton till
26 October

For the next two weeks, excerpts from Say it with Music, our Heritage Lottery Funded exhibition telling the story of jazz in Britain, can be seen in Loughton Library – alongside displays on the centenaries of Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonious Monk.The display will be up until Thursday 26 October in Loughton Library’s ground floor display space, just downstairs from the Archive reading room. We aim to return with a fuller version and a tour around Essex and the South East in the coming months.

And of course, if you visit the exhibition, do come in to the Archive. It’s open 10am­­–1pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Jazz Reminiscence interview – Ray Crick

As part of the Intergenerational Jazz Reminiscence project, successfully completed by the Archive earlier this year, more than 30 people were interviewed at length about their involvement with jazz throughout their lives. Extracts from all these can now be listened to here, and the full recorded interviews and transcripts will be uploaded in due course.

Over the coming months, some of these interviews will be highlighted so you can listen and enjoy them. We begin with record producer and veteran nostalgia specialist Ray Crick, who talks about putting together programmes of nostalgia, vintage and jazz recordings for major record companies, and more recently for Retrospective Records.

Archive goes to Abergavenny

The Archive took a display to this year’s Wall2Wall Jazz Festival in Abergavenny in September, writes Mike Rose, celebrating 100 years since the first jazz recordings and the birth of Ella Fitzgerald, Thelonious Monk and Dizzy Gillespie, and 50 years since John Coltrane’s passing.

The Festival is organised by Black Mountain Jazz, who started putting on concerts in 2006 with the aim of bringing live jazz to the South Wales town. The Festival was launched in 2013 and has grown from these regular events. It is based in the Melville Arts Centre, a converted Victorian school. The auditorium, a comfortable 70-seat theatre, is an excellent music venue, and the bar also featured some great free performances.

A new element this year was the ‘live streaming’ of a number of performances and interviews, including a conversation with the writer on the 100 years of recorded jazz and the work of the Archive. This forms part of a recorded concert viewable online.

Among the performers ‘streamed’ was Ian Shaw accompanied by Barry Green and Gilad Atzmon and The Oriental House Ensemble, featuring their new album Spirit of Coltrane. Clips of all these performers can be seen on the Festival website.

The many artists featured at the Festival plus an enthusiastic audience created a fabulous atmosphere. Thanks to Mike Skilton and Debs Hancock who made the whole Festival work and ensured that a great jazz-time was had by all. See you in Abergavenny in 2018!

Thanks to the Abergavenny Camera Club for photos of Ben Waghorn, Gilad Atzmon, and Shez Raja and Dennis Rollins.

NYJC 2017 Summer School concerts now online

Last month’s newsletter reported on the wonderful day celebrating the 10th birthday of the National Youth Jazz Collective. You can now watch the performances by the five groups who played at the Summer School closing concert at Kings Place on 12 August here. The bands had worked together for a week with tutors who helped them develop an understanding of each piece and then create an original arrangement for the concert. This year’s repertoire came entirely from British composers, in recognition of the celebration of 100 years of recorded jazz in the UK.

Rhythm Changes / Amsterdam

In September, the Fifth Rhythm Changes Conference ‘Re/Sounding Jazz’ took place in Amsterdam, writes Pedro Cravinho. As the largest jazz research conference in the field, it brought together more than 120 jazz scholars and researchers from all over the globe, including two NJA trustees, Vic Hobson (above left) and myself.

Two pre-conference events were hosted by the Dutch Jazz ArchiveSiena Jazz Archive, and Jazzinstitut Darmstadt. The first, on the Europeana Collections Project, was followed by a European Jazz Archives Round Table chaired by Paul Gompes (Dutch Jazz Archive). After introducing the affiliations and activities of all present, a discussion took place on the challenges and aims for joint projects between European jazz archives. It is hoped that the first steps in this direction can be made soon.

Conference topics included biographical and historiographical studies, recordings and festivals, jazz and other genres in distinct regions, and much more. One of the exciting parts of the Rhythm Changes conferences is that many delegates keep returning (including myself, having never missed one since 2011). Many of us have become friends over the years, and after long days and discussions, we continued our conversations in a restaurant or bar in lovely Amsterdam.

I spent an afternoon visiting the Dutch National Jazz Archive office, hosted by Ditmer Weertman, and based in the University of Amsterdam. Among many topics, we discussed the activities and requests of archive visitors and preservation, storage and access to those materials, and the database that supports these demands. It was a very well spent afternoon with many stories about jazz and archives.

Looking forward to the Sixth Rhythm Changes Conference!

Welcome to new trustees

Welcome to three new trustees who have joined the Board of Trustees of the National Jazz Archive: John DaleErin Lee and Andy Linehan. Their experience of software engineering and online systems, archives and sound recordings are proving invaluable. We look forward to working with them over the coming years and thank the other applicants for their interest.

The Board would still like to appoint a trustee with specialist experience in fundraising. Further information can be found here.

Gems from the Archive – the Original Dixieland Jazz Band

This month we celebrate 100 years since the first jazz recording of Livery Stable Blues by the Original Dixieland Jazz Band – the ODJB – on 26 February 1917 in the Victor Talking Machine Company studios in New York. It was an immediate hit, selling, by some estimates, more than a million copies.

In 1919, the ODJB performed in London and presented themselves as the Originators of Jazz. Their appearance on 7 April in the revue Joy Bells at the London Hippodrome was the first official live jazz performance in the UK and was followed by a command performance for King George V at Buckingham Palace. On 22 April the band opened at the London Palladium as part of a variety bill. The programme for this show is the earliest item in the National Jazz Archive and can be viewed here. They are described as ‘The creation of Jazz. The sensation of America’.

The ODJB were the first recorded band to use the word ‘jazz’ (or ‘jass’) in their name. ‘Livery Stable Blues’ and several of their early recordings became standards: ‘Tiger Rag’, ‘Dixie Jass Band One-Step’ (later called ‘Original Dixieland One-Step’), ‘At the Jazz Band Ball’, ‘Fidgety Feet’ and ‘Clarinet Marmalade’. The band’s lively, syncopated dance music was rooted in New Orleans (and in the vaudeville tradition), and their front line of cornet, clarinet and trombone played contrapuntal melodies that typify New Orleans jazz.

In 1967, Storyville magazine celebrated the 50th anniversary of recorded jazz with a fascinating article about the band by the doyen of jazz discographers, Brian Rust. (See pages 13–16).

Brian Rust had a personal connection with the ODJB and their appearance at the London Palladium. His parents actually attended the performance but were appalled with what they saw and heard. In an interview recorded for the British Library in 1993, Brian tells the story of his parents’ visit and his mother’s amazement that Brian would want to listen to their recordings.

Want to help the Archive?

The National Jazz Archive is a registered charity which holds the UK’s finest collection of written, printed and visual material on jazz, blues and related music, on jazz in the UK from the 1920s to the present day. We need more resources to ensure that we manage our collection to professional standards, and that we do more to make the collection accessible.

You can help by making your online purchases through EasyFundraising – and it doesn’t cost you anything! Here’s how.

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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Copyright © 2017 National Jazz Archive, All rights reserved.
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