It was with sadness that I heard of the passing on Friday, 6th March of the legendary pianist McCoy Tyner. I feel it an incredible privilege to have heard Mr Tyner at the Barbican back in November 2011 with Chris Potter and I’ve compiled a Vlog and playlists for you below.
It was with great sadness that we learnt of the passing of the great Jimmy Heath on Sunday, 19th January 2020. Jimmy was a personal friend and played alongside John Coltrane, Miles Davis and Dizzy Gillespie. He wrote over 100 jazz compositions and appeared on over 125 albums in his life.
If you’re on Spotify or another music service please use the ‘Song Shift‘ App (I will paste the Spotify playlist into this when I can get it working)!
I was delighted to present a concert on Saturday, 8th June 2019 at Whittlesford Parish Church which featured students from Cambridge Saxophone and the Advanced Jazz Ensemble from the SCYM.
The concert was organised to raise funds for the refurbishment of the church roof, (raising over £1200) and to students, (especially adults) who wouldn’t normally get the chance to perform, the chance to do so.
The late, great Mike Brecker is regarded by many, (including myself) as probably the greatest virtuoso on the saxophone. Brecker’s contribution to the jazz cannon is well noted, but it was his work as a session musician throughout the 1970’s and 80’s the arguably allowed him to explore jazz saxophone later in his career.
Mike didn’t release a solo album under his own name until he was 37, (Charlie Parker was dead at 35 and Coltrane died at 40) and whilst we also lost Brecker too young, (Mike died aged just 57 in 2007) – his over 700 recording credits are a testament to his outstanding skill as a musician. We’ve briefly covered Brecker’s music in this Vlog post from my ‘Sax Advent Calendar‘ but here is a more focused pop music playlist.
1958 was a pivotal year in John Coltrane’s development as one of the most important ‘voices’ in jazz. In 1957 he had undergone what was in his own words a ‘spiritual awakening’ which had led him to getting REALLY serious about his music and saxophone playing.
Coltrane ’58 features 37 tracks, all of which have been remastered from the original tapes, such as ‘Lush Life’, ‘Lover Come Back to Me’, ‘Stardust’, ‘Good Bait’, and ‘Little Melonae’, plus first recordings of ‘Nakatini Serenade’, ‘The Believer’, ‘Black Pearls’, ‘Theme for Ernie’, ‘Russian Lullaby’, ‘Sweet Sapphire Blues’ and ‘I Want to Talk About You’.
All of the recordings took place in New Jersey at Rudy Van Gelder’s home studio, created during a series of 3-hour sessions…
So the second of my #DFBlues Challenge is now upon us!
It’s really simple to do and open for EVERYONE to enter. All you have to do is video yourself playing, (or singing) a Minor Blues, (with my backing track if you can, but hey as long as it’s a Minor Blues, you do what you want!) & then post it to Social Media using the hashtag #DFBlues