Harry plays his personal selection of the great trumpet stylists drawn from across the jazz spectrum, from King Oliver to Miles Davis.
Many reed players build their reputations on one instrument but double on others to enhance their options for making a decent living. To-night Gordon focuses on musicians playing the baritone sax who are not normally associated with it as their primary instrument, including the likes of Don Murray, Tubby Hayes, Charlie Ventura and Sonny Stitt. So, an evening of baritone sax without a note of Gerry Mulligan or Harry Carney. Weird!
Although Duke Ellington and Woody Herman built their reputations as leaders of two of the greatest and most enduring big bands in jazz history, both of them encouraged and often participated in recording sessions by small groups which showcased their star soloists. Richard presents a programme of these stripped-down masterpieces by units composed of Ellington and Herman sidemen.
As we know, “Happiness Is A Thing Called Joe”, so after our Girl Talk evening last year, it’s time to even things up with a ‘bring-your-own’ evening on the subject of male names. Tune titles dedicated to males may not be as numerous as females, but there’s “Frankie and Johnny”, “Bill”, “A Portrait of Bert Williams”, and as a last resort there’s always “Blues For …..…” somebody.
The career of pianist John Horler has embraced accompanying visiting American stars like Bob Brookmeyer, Zoot Sims, Chet Baker and Art Farmer, and long associations with some of the greats of British jazz – Ronnie Ross, Tony Coe, John Dankworth and Cleo Laine. He believes that music, especially jazz, is about togetherness – individual input merged with others to make a whole piece of music. To-night John plays examples from his own career and by musicians who have exerted a strong influence on his development, to illustrate his musical philosophy.
Stride pianist Thomas ‘Fats’ Waller was an outsize man, both physically and in terms of the effervescent personality he projected through the grooves of the hundreds of records he made. Bryan selects a few of his recordings, some with his own group, others made in the company of other prominent jazz musicians of the era, to illustrate Waller’s 20-year career which ended prematurely in 1943.
One of the endlessly fascinating aspects of jazz is how different treatments of the same tune can result in such widely differing, but equally enjoyable musical experiences. Bill presents an evening of alternative versions of the same tunes, each pair contrasting styles, tempos, instrumentations and interpretations.
Taking its title from a book he’s currently engaged in writing, Mike’s presentation tells the fascinating story of a multi-faceted man – a violinist, avant-garde composer, meticulous musical instrument repairer, jazz record producer, archivist and writer, whose dedication to New Orleans jazz earned him the soubriquet ‘the spiritual godfather of Preservation Hall’. No doubt we shall hear some Bunk Johnson, but maybe some surprises as well.
As our esteemed President, Harold has carte blanche this evening to play whatever he chooses, but the smart money says there’s likely to be some Dixieland, some mellifluous clarinet, some Woody Herman and maybe some Chris Barber, and with luck we’ll hear more of Harold’s stories from his influential involvement in the British jazz scene of the late 1950s and 60s.
Chris takes a swinging machete to clear a path through the dense undergrowth of vinyl and the choking vines of CD releases, and traces a line of jungle-themed jazz from early examples like Luis Russell’s “Jungle Jazz” to more contemporary sounds like Carla Bley’s “Song Of The Jungle Stream”. Don’t forget your pith helmet and mosquito net!
An opportunity for three of our newer members to present a small sample of their personal favourite tracks and musicians, to illustrate where their jazz tastes and preferences lie.
This year is the centenary of the birth of composer, arranger, pianist and lyricist, Billy Strayhorn. In celebration of the occasion, Mike presents a retrospective re-assessment of his genius, which was perhaps eclipsed during his lifetime by the colourful personality of his boss, collaborator and friend, Duke Ellington.
Fresh from the publication of his definitive biography of Tubby Hayes, tenor player and jazz writer Simon Spillett presents a unique evening composed entirely of previously unreleased Hayes material. From his vast accumulated archive of private recordings, gig tapes and unreleased studio sessions, Simon plays tracks dating from Tubby’s teens right up to shortly before he died , and talks about their provenance, their rediscovery and, more generally, about his research for the book. This presentation is exclusive to Kingston Jazz Society.
An evening of tracks that have newly arrived on members’ CD players, giving them the opportunity to share the sounds that have got them smiling and enthusiastically tapping their feet in 2014, whether purchased or acquired by other means.
Born in Chicago, now settled in Fulham, Joan’s journey as a jazz singer has been adventurous and unconventional, taking in at various times jazz clubs, cabaret work, big bands and even voiceovers. She talks about how her career has developed, the people she has met along the way, and those who have influenced her musically, and she promises to give us at least a taste of her own songwriting.
Picking up the story of Hyman Arluck’s career, and the tunes he wrote for revues, Broadway shows and movies under the name of Harold Arlen which have since become an essential part of the jazz repertoire. At the end of Part 1 we arrived at the 1939 film ‘The Wizard of Oz’ and one of his most enduring and popular tunes, “Over The Rainbow”. Tonight we hear more jazz versions of Arlen tunes, both memorable and obscure, from the middle and latter stages of his career.
Following on from Michael Koch’s presentation, this is a ‘bring-your-own’ evening focussing on what was happening in the British jazz scene in the post-war years from 1945 to 1959 – from the beer and sloppy sweaters of the New Orleans ‘revival’ movement to the snappy suits and transatlantic excursions of ‘Geraldo’s Navy’.
The first decade after WWII saw familiar faces and newcomers on the German jazz scene, the emergence of numerous big bands all over the country, and a historic recording session by an American in Berlin. As a follow-up to his fascinating talk on jazz and hot dance music in Nazi Germany, Michael traces the development of jazz in post-war Germany from 1946 to 1955.
Art Pepper first made his name during a lengthy tenure with the Stan Kenton Orchestra, and despite personal problems that resulted in several interruptions to his career, went on to become one of the most luminous stars of the West Coast scene. Mick plays classic Art Pepper recordings from the 1950s, in the company of Jack Montrose, Warne Marsh, Bill Perkins, Marty Paich, etc.
No, not an evening of ‘girl band’ pop music, but an opportunity for three of our lady members to play some of their favourite recordings. I am told the evening will include Blossom Dearie, Count Basie and Mel Tormé, but they have insisted it’s their prerogative to change their minds.