Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

‘Keeper of the Flame’ – Modern Jazz in Manchester, 1946 – 1972 by Bill Birch: Cinnamon Club launch

Straight after the ‘Spirit of Django concert I drove to the Cinnamon Club in Bowdon to attend the launch of Bill Birch’s new book ‘Keeper of the Flame’ with foreward by Don Rendell. Bill’s experience in the printing world has helped him to publish the definitive work of the highest production values on a fascinating subject which has not been covered comprehensively until now. You can get the more information on this superb book here in a synopsis on Jazz Clubs Worldwide.

I have never met anyone quite like Bill, first time at the Radisson Hotel in Manchester (built behind the facade of the Free Trade Hall where many gigs took place and where I went to my first – Black Sabbath in around 1972 – and this is where Dylans’s ‘Live at the Royal Albert Hall was actually recorded) at a Jeremy Sassoon gig where his enthusiasm and knowledge on the Club 43 and the Manchester jazz scene were simply not containable by any vessel known to man – except for that wonderful invention – the book. I only look at the superb pictures – the text is already embedded in my mind – Bill told me the story of how it all happened in Manchester in a few breathless minutes as he showed me the print proofs and told me how he had spent so much time at the printers directing everything down to the ink mix for his labour of love.

Pretty well every major artist in jazz appears in this book on and off stage giving a fascinating into life on the road – including Billie Holliday at The Midland Hotel after her concert – with the late night familiar view of no food available but perhaps a little drink. As I mentioned earlier the print quality is first class especially bearing in mind that many images are from vintage prints and not in first class condition.

There are many atmospheric images – it’s hard to tear myself away to write this with great work in view by the boss –  Terry Cryer, – Sefton Samuels, Brian Foskett, Brian Lawton, Malcolm Carling, Peter Vacher and so many other talented photographers who keep the flame alive and bright.

There was music of course with a bebopping band you see here lead by the very Iain Dixon. I’m sure he won’t mind me saying that, Mike Walker’s very dry humour is spreading by osmosis.

Some night – some book!

Signed book – £@25.00 + £5.50 UK PP  order form – go on!

Cinnamon Club on Facebook

Mr. Bill Birch

Mr. Bill Birch

Bill with guests

Bill with guests

Neil Hughes of the Cinnamon Club (right) and actor Phil Hackland of 'Shameless'

Neil Hughes of the Cinnamon Club (right) and actor Phil Hackland of 'Shameless'

Bill_Launch_Cinn_MG_0241©William Ellis

The Band (Les Chisnall to left of Dave Green)

Bill_Launch_Cinn_MG_0221©William Ellis

Caroline Boaden

Frank Toms

Frank Toms

Bill_Launch_Cinn_MG_0200©William Ellis

Iain Dixon

Bill_Launch_Cinn_MG_0263©William Ellis

Jack Massarik

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Mike Farmer

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Peter Maguire

A few words from Bill Birch

A few words from Bill Birch

Leeds International Jazz Conference

Dave Liebman with the Jiannis Pavlidis Trio

Dave Liebman with the Jiannis Pavlidis Trio

Dave Liebman

Dave Liebman

Sponsored by JazzYorkshire and United States Embassy, London.

Jazz Keynote Speech – Dave Liebman – “Jazz Education: Where it has been and Where it is going.”

Research Keynote Speech – Professor Paul Berliner – “Soul, Thinking and Art.”

Delegates from all over the U.K.,Finland, Hungary, Denmark, Portugal, Norway, Canada, Germany  and the U.S. made this 2 day event one of the most stimulating I have attended.  Workshops, performance at the college and the proximity of The Wardrobe venue/restaurant gave the whole program a well rounded feel, particualarly for me after a Yorkshire beef burger and a sniff or 2 of Shiraz.

This was an exceptional opportunity for me to sit and listen – not to music (most of the time) but to people at the forefront of jazz education giving papers on every imaginable aspect of jazz. Concepts of paricipation in spontaneous communication in improvised contemporary music within the context of learning. The impact of technology on jazz, using Tetrachords for bass, guitar and string improvisation, using transcription to analyse improvisation were amongst many subjects discussed.

I just take pictures and don’t worry too much about these things, luckily the music just works and makes it all happen – as Oscar (Wilde) and probably Mr. Peterson said -‘I don’t know how music works – that is it’s great mystery.’

I don’t mind sitting in Pseuds Corner for an hour.

Rehearsal

Rehearsal

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'Sketches of Spain' Dave Liebman with the LCM Contemporary Jazz Orchestra

The 2 Louises – Gibbs and Wood respectively kindly invited me to present an exhibition in the Green Room where the delegates were refreshed regularly and made kind comments on the work. Anything’s better than a green wall I suppose!

There were excellent small and ensemble concerts during the conference and we have some images from the rehearsal and performance by Dave Liebman with the Leeds College of Music Contemporary Jazz Orchestra – the classic rarely performed ‘Sketches of Spain’. The concert was superb, a massive piece to play, the hairs standing on the back of the neck confirmed a wonderful performance, drama and pathos brilliantly expressed by very gifted young musicians lead by friendly giants.

Footnote: Spain was evoked again as I wrote this prose, my mind took to me to see Keith Floyd at his best, cooking breakfast next to an Andalucian river and idly enquiring as to which wine one should drink with the meal. He picked up a handy bottle of Rioja and declared it an excellent choice.

Saludos amigos!