News & Events – Jazz Appreciation

January 2020

Part 1:  The Modern Jazz Quartet

The M.J.Q. (American), were formed in 1952 and the group watched an entertaining video of a concert from their 35th anniversary tour filmed in Freiberg, Germany. The band played music influenced by classical, cool jazz, blues and be-bop. Initially their style of music was not generally appreciated but eventually secured a vast following world wide. The favourite of the evening was “A Day in Dubrovnik”.

Part 2:  Various Artists

A varied selection of pieces from the vast L.P. collection of Neil and Liz. Starting with a live concert recording from the Palladium in 1960 featuring Tubby Hayes and Cleo Lane. This was followed by a Charlie Parker session with various guest artists including Miles Davis, Thelonius Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Carter, Oscar Peterson, John Lewis and others.

To finish off the evening we listened to the gentle saxophone playing of Charlie Rouse.

Another great evening of varied music under the ” Jazz” umbrella of Neil & Liz.

Mike Plummer

November 2019

Another fine evening of jazz music and discussion.

The first half was devoted to  “Trad”. This is a word that came to cover British jazz bands playing in the style of New Orleans music of the early 1900’s. The  “Trad Boom”  itself lasted only 5 or 6 years and was generally finished by 1963 with the arrival of “The Beatles”. Out of interest the bands themselves generally hated the word “trad”.

A dozen examples were played from 3 different bands. Ken Colyer, Acker Bilk and Chris Barber. This was a good choice as the music style of the bands varied considerably, Colyer, very reminiscent of New Orleans Jazz. Bilk, very commercial but at times not jazz. Barber solid music  and generally a very reliable example of British revival jazz.

After all the foot tapping we then retired for some refreshment.  The second half was a film ” A Man in a Hurry”. This was the sad life story of Edward “Tubby” Hayes (1935-1973), a musical genius who was versatile on many instruments, but predominantly the tenor saxophone. Probably the greatest sax player that Britain has produced, Tubby played in several groups and became very much associated with Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in Soho, but was never able to break into the American scene.He died aged 38 following a series of health problems combined with alcohol and narcotic issues.

Another great session of Jazz in its various forms.

Thanks Neil & Liz .


October 2019

The Bridge

Another good evening of jazz in its various forms. The  session began with a further two members explaining why and how they were introduced to jazz.  This was followed by a Sonny Rollins selection from a 1962 album ” The Bridge”.

A further change in style was then demonstrated by Stacey Kent, an American vocalist who with her husband on reeds and a rhythm section. Tunes were taken from both a 2005 and 2013 album showing how her style has developed.

The second half of the evening started with Trish Clowes (born 1984) and her quartet playing on 6 instruments. 3 examples were played to demonstrate how jazz continues to develop. It was certainly different, but the same thoughts must have been raised when the Modern Jazz Quartet first played in 1952.

The remainder of the evening was devoted to the great tenor sax playing of Ben Webster.

King of the Tenors

5 tracks were chosen from his ” king of the Tenors” album of 1953. These included:- Tenderley, Pennies From Heaven and by popular demand  Danny Boy.

Once again a very interesting and diverse evening.  Thank you Neil & Liz.

Mike Plummer

September 2019

What turned you onto Jazz? This is a a question the group have been discussing over recent meetings. Answers have been poles apart and interesting. Examples include hearing a tune when young and liking, through to only recently liking the music due to discovering an old record in an otherwise classical collection.

The first half of the evening was a DVD film from the Blue Note Catalogue featuring various musicians playing very varied, but interesting, pieces. After tea/coffee we watched a couple of sessions featuring Sonny Rollins saxophone playing with his group in 1959 in Scandinavia. Following this we continued the European theme and enjoyed a session by Roland Kirk who played multiple instruments, and finished the evening with Nina Simone both playing and discussing her music.  Another varied and interesting evening.

August 2019

A very musical evening once again arranged by our host Neil. The initial item was a recording by Humphrey Lyttelton and his band playing “Coffee Grinder”. This was Neil’s intro to jazz in the late 50’s and is good example of how a piece of jazz can appeal to all tastes. Try and hear this piece if you can sometime – you can listen to it here. This was followed by examples of modern jazz played by two musicians/groups that included Ahmad Jamal showing the contrast in style of playing.

In the second half of the session viewed two films. The first being the development in the 1930’s focusing on Benny Goodman and Duke Ellington, and the second featured Herbie Hancock, piano together with various quartets etc.

Once again a varied an interesting evening. Thanks

Christmas – December 2013

Liz and Neil invited both Tuesday and Wednesday Jazz groups to a Christmas Party.

We had lots of lovely food and wine and all had a great time. On this happy occasion the lovely jazz that Neil had selected was almost drowned by the chat,laughter and clinking of glasses.