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In Search of the Authentic Jazz Voice

“In Search of the Authentic Jazz Voice” is the title of my presentation to the Second IJVC in Helsinki in October, held at the Sibelius Academy. Here’s the abstract:

Jazz accommodates diverse and distinct voices. Besides the ‘Greats’, think of Johnny Hartman, Carmen McRae, Andy Bey, Abbey Lincoln, Mel Tormé, Anita O’Day, Mark Murphy or Blossom Dearie. Our study of distinct jazz voices and approaches to story telling, rhythmic gesture, expression, and improvising, signals our membership of the jazz tradition. Yet we want to sound distinctly and authentically ourselves. So how to reconcile being authentic to tradition as we search …

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Out to Lunch with Steve Melling!

If you missed my lunchtime duo concert with Steve Melling on Friday 10 February at University of Leeds here is video of it. As you’ll hear, with his dynamic and deeply swinging piano style, Steve energises any musical partnership.

Concert Series: The Jazz Song Uncovered by University of Leeds – School of Music on Livestream – Livestream.com

In a programme marking 100 years of jazz singing, entitled The Jazz Song Uncovered, Steve and I span the blues roots of Bessie Smith, the American Songbook of Billie, Ella, and Sarah Vaughan, the improvisational bebop …

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Deadly Sings Down Under

My Seven Deadly Sings suite received its Southern Hemisphere premiere in my home town Auckland, New Zealand, on 18 November 2015 at The Creative Jazz Club. Bearing little resemblance to the “jazz dive” my father warned me about more than 40 years ago, this intimate and sophisticated downstairs venue was filled to capacity with family, old friends, and lovers of jazz and new music.

I can’t thank enough the talented band of musicians who beat the music into shape within a few rehearsals and delivered a searingly exciting performance and some memorable solos on the night – including pianist Crystal …

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Deadly Sings Heading DownUnder

Not as seedy as it sounds! My Seven Deadly Sings suite will receive its Southern Hemisphere premiere in my home town Auckland, New Zealand, on 18 November at The Creative Jazz Club. I’ll be joining trumpet player, Mike Booth, and other members of the Auckland Jazz Orchestra. Sounds like it might be a tour in the making…

The band for NZ is:

Andrew Hall – Alto and Baritone Sax
Pete France – Tenor Sax
Mike Booth – Trumpet/Flugel
Haydn Godfrey – Trombone,
Phil Broadhurst – Piano,
Cameron McArthur – Double Bass,
Steve Thomas – Drums

  …

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Photographer Captures Thoughts and Images

Photographer Maria Alzamora has a project capturing images of jazz musicians and their thoughts about what music means for them. Here’s my succinct contribution together with one of my favourite images by Maria.

“I make a distinction between studying music (where I attempt to understand how the music works and how I can improve my performance through practice and rehearsal) and performing music. The former demands analysis and constructive self-criticism and the latter demands suspending self criticism so that you can listen more attentively to your fellow players -and respond intuitively in the moment (especially true whilst improvising). When things

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Ronnie Scott’s Bar in July

Louise is back again at Ronnie Scott’s upstairs as Renato D’Aiello’s special guest on 13 July. Saxophonist Renato and his band have a regular Monday night fixture at Ronnie’s featuring a top UK/European singer.

For this date, as well as singing some of her own and Renato’s original songs, Louise will honour the first anniversary of Horace Silver’s passing with his: Song for My Father, Tokyo Blues, Pretty Eyes, Peace, amongst a few others. In true jazz fashion we won’t know what song’s coming next or who might be sitting in. But you can be sure that you’ll hear …

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