Archive for the ‘Performance’ Category

Tony Bennett – New CD – William Ellis front cover

Tony Bennett©William Ellis

Cover of the latest release in Europe from Tony Bennett.
This photograph was taken at Glasgow Jazz Festival in 2003 during an outdoor concert in George Square.
I remember arriving just as Mr. Bennett went on, I quickly settled near the piano while around 20 other photographers flocked over on the right hand of the stage.
Sooner rather later he strolled over with the air of a Roman Emperor to sing his second song.

Cover of the latest release in Europe from Tony Bennett.

This photograph was taken at Glasgow Jazz Festival in 2003 during an outdoor concert in George Square.

I remember arriving just as Mr. Bennett went on, I quickly settled near the piano while around 20 other photographers flocked over on the right hand of the stage.

Sooner rather later he strolled over with the air of a Roman Emperor to sing his second song.

Order a print of the uncropped image

Format: CD Label: SONY BMG Catalogue Number: 88697985612 Barcode

Herbie Hancock – All That’s Jazz: KCET Los Angeles TV

I was contacted a couple of weeks ago by Karen at KCET about using some of my images in the Herbie Hancock profile – you can view images and hear interviews with NY based Jimmy Katz and myself here where I talk about the shoots with Herbie, MIles Davis and the wonderful Nancy Wilson.

A very informative and beautifully produced profile of the great man which features Gustavo Dudamel, Quincy Jones and Wayne Shorter – Herbie Hancock: All That’s Jazz – KCET Los Angeles

Herbie Hancock©william_ellis08-3741Herbie Hancock: Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, 2008

‘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

Bill_Launch_Cinn_MG_0254©William Ellis

Mike Farmer

Bill_Launch_Cinn_MG_0242©William Ellis

Peter Maguire

A few words from Bill Birch

A few words from Bill Birch

Christian Scott – Band on the Wall

Christian Scott: Manchester 2010

Christian Scott: Manchester 2010

Christian Scott with Dizzy - the Band on the Wall motif

Christian Scott with Dizzy – Band on the Wall

Christian Scott and I share the same birthday – however he is younger, cooler, more talented and more knowlegdable about music than me – but I still like him!

An incredible player with a beautiful unique tone (made with his beautiful unique horn seen here – photographed with it for the first time I’m told).  I was reminded me of meeting Roy Hargrove in Glasgow in 1992 at a sinilar age on what I think was his first European tour. He was a self-assured, modest, brilliant young musician – who as we know continues to fulfill his great early promise.

Christian Scott too has those qualities, and the instrument has another great young player to help keep it moving. His love of the music, the strong sense of direction he and his band have – and the respect he showed to one of his great predecessors the late Clifford Brown (as he commented on his favourite LP) was both touching and inspirational.

Christian had very kindly agreed to be photographed with his favourite album for the ‘ONE LP’ project, I’m sure you know – a shoot often takes alot of pulling together and I would like thank Malcolm, Simon and Mike at Band on the Wall, Sorcha and Amy at Serious (who helped even in the middle of London JF – their massive main mission at the time) and Martin and Joe – looking after the guys on tour – for making it happen at the sharp end.

A truly memorable gig – catch them next time if you can.

Review from this tour in Birmingham

sndchkChristian Scott_MG_9675©William Ellis

Sound check, l-r - Kris Funn, Jamire Williams, Christian Scott and Matt Stevens

piano Scott_MG_9793©William EllisMr. Lawrence Fields on piano

Mute

Mute

In concert

In concert

‘The Spirit of Django Suite’ – World Premiere

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

jamie safiruddin quartet debut: cinnamon club bowdon

_MG_4942©William Ellis-1jamies_qt_MG_4947©William Ellis
jamies_qt_MG_4859©William Ellis
This young quartet have lived before I think – the way they play suggests this! Sam Rapley ts, Pete Turner b, Calum Lee d and Jamie playing the grand. Original music by Jamie mixed with some very mature arrangements of material by Bobo Stenson, Pat Metheny, Rogers and Hart and Keith Jarrett gave the gig an engaging pace – and the audience some familiar material whilst maintaining a strong feel in the 2 sets. Jamie chatted between tunes and in the second set explained they would now play something  they meant to play in the first set, they were so in the moment – top man, easily done.

The exuberance was contagious although the place was packed and you could hear a pin drop most of the time, and a few jaws actually. Such a very special atmosphere when people hear young players take off.

jamies_qt_MG_4713©William Ellis
jamies_qt_MG_4832©William Ellisjamies_qt_MG_4845©William Ellisjamies_qt_MG_4831©William Ellisjamies_qt_MG_4895©William Ellis