Monday, January 04, 2016

Happy New Year to all our readers!! You will be relieved to know that we start our 2016 season of Thursday Night Jazz THIS WEEK on the 7th of January. The Clive Burton Quintet will be shaking off the results of the Festive Season at Hedsor from 8.30pm. This week we will have a deputy bass player. Come and say “Happy New Year” to John Monney, in place of Ken Rankine who will be playing with Enrico Tomasso in Ealing!!

Many of you will know John from previous appearances as a dep at Hedsor, but did you know that he used to be the regular bass player with the forerunner of the Clive Burton Quintet, a band called “Century Jazz”, which was led by the late Keith Vitty on drums. Clive is now the only member left of that original band.

Record Review

Did that benign bearded gent with a red outfit deem it fit to leave a jazz CD or two behind him in December for you? No? He didn’t for me either! BUT I have acquired a gem of a recording from 1998.

Tony Coe is one of Britain’s most identifiable saxophonists. He came to fame at the age of 18 when he was recruited into the Humphrey Lyttleton Band in 1957. He left that band in 1962 and founded the Tony Coe Quintet with trombonist John Pickard. They played the style of jazz that we hear on a Thursday, modern jazz with a trombone saxophone front line. He has gone on to play many different styles with many different people, winning international awards in the process.

Tony’s sound and phrasing are both unique and exciting. He always offers new insights into a tune you may have know for years (have a listen to “Love for Sale” , or "Willow Weep For Me" when he was with the Humph band around 1960), so I was delighted to discover a recording of his in quartet form recorded on an obscure Swiss music company label, in England in 1998. With him are Brian Dee on piano, Matt Miles bass and Steve Arguelles drums. Another international link can be found on the record sleeve!! Apparently this Swiss company is registered in Jersey!!

It is a gem of a find, some great tunes, and some great playing. Tony plays not only tenor sax, but soprano and clarinet as well. Back in Humph’s band he used to do some wonderful stuff on alto sax as well but doesn’t seem to have played it recently, mores the pity. I heartily recommend this if you can find it. It IS still around. Zah Zah Records CD ZZCD 9802 published by Guild Music Ltd.

Tony is now 81, and lives in Canterbury, and that, last I heard, not in the best of health. If you get a chance to hear him live take it. He is a British superstar.

See you all on Thursday.


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