Been very busy. Last week at the London Jazz Festival – including ‘Strayhorn the songwriter at the Queen Elizabeth Hall and the colossus Sonny Rollins at the Barbican. I photographed  3 superb musicians kindly having their portrait taken as part of my One Lp project, (in order of shoots) Acker Bilk at the Lyceum, Crewe, Christian Scott at the Band on the Wall Manchester and Martin Taylor at the impressive Floral Pavilion Theatre, New Brighton where he was the soloist playing Guy Barker’s specially composed for him – lucky chap – ‘Spirit of Django Suite.’

The piece was commissioned by the excellent International Guitar Festival on the Wirral with support from The Arts Council.

Onstage were around 40 other world class players, split approximately half and half – members of the Liverpool Phil and Guy Barker’s Jazz Orchestra – including the ‘Spirit of Django’ ensemble and the wonderful Alison Burns. If I could describe the sumptious sounds of music I would be a writer not a smudger – there has to be a recording made, please.

I like New Brighton, it’s like LA only much cooler, temperature wise that is, we used to go there as a family when I was a kid to the outdoor swimming pool, sadly gone now. I’m not saying that the water was cold but I often saw killer whales and a remote control model of the Titanic on a doomed mission to cross the vast horizonless abyss. People were much more robust then, unfiltered cigarettes and fun (and not a single Parr in sight) – though I do recall spending most og the time trying to avoid being thrown into the icy brine by a juvenile – my Dad.

New Brighton and Blackpool are the places where I first became aware of photography, a shiny camera and little boxes of film were quietly taking up residence in my tiny mind.

Back to the concert –

The composer conducts

The composer conducts

Jack Emblow's

Jack Emblow's

Rehearsal

Rehearsal

Spirit of Django_MG_9858©William Ellis

Guy Barker and Martin Taylor after the final rehearsal

Guy Barker and Martin Taylor after the final rehearsal

The Spirit of Django

The Spirit of Django

Spirit of Django_MG_0120©William Ellis

Introducing Alison Burns

Spirit of Django_MG_0109©William Ellis

The full ensemble - sublime

Guy_Martin ©William Ellis