Bobby’s forthcoming gigs at a glance…

25th July – The Verdict, Brighton (see diary for full details)

20th August – Chichester Park Cinema Film Festival with special jazz documentary, details coming soon.

30th August – 606 Club, London.

More to come!

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RIP Stan Tracey (1926 – 2013)

We were deeply saddened to learn yesterday of the passing of Stan Tracey, a dear friend and musical collaborator of Bobby’s for over 50 years and with whom Bobby recorded and performed on many occasions.

A number of well-written obituaries have been published today including these:

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Bobby Wellins documentary “Dreams are Free” – screenings in August and November.

In 2010, independent film-maker Gary Barber started working on a documentary about Bobby’s life and career.  Gary first met and interviewed Bobby ten years previously and says he was “enchanted by his stories, lyrical voice and his passion for music”.  The film was completed and first shown at the Brighton Film Festival in 2013.   The film is now going to be screened at both the Chichester Film Festival next week, Wednesday 21st August and again at the London Film Festival in November.

Dreams are Free
screening at Chichester Film Festival – 21st August 2013
Dreams are Free will be screened at the Chichester Film Festival followed by a performance by the Bobby Wellins Quartet.
See full details here http://www.chichestercinema.org/film/2018/BOBBY-WELLINS-DREAMS-ARE-FREE

Dreams are Free screening at London Jazz Festival – 20th November 2013
Dreams are Free will be screened as part of the London Jazz Festival at The 606 Club.
http://www.londonjazzfestival.org.uk/
Find out more about the Dreams are Free documentary and Gary Barber at http://dreamsarefree.org.uk/ 
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Bobby Wellins Tenor Saxophonist winner in British Jazz Awards 2013

The 27th British Jazz Awards 2013 organised by Big Bear Music took place in the Jewellery Quarter Improvment District in Birmingham on 10th July.

See full results and nominees in all categories on Big Bear’s website.

 

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606 Club 25th Anniversary Festival 22nd May – 2nd June

 

25celeb resizeThe 606 Club will be celebrating 25 years at Lots Road with a 12-day festival involving 42 bands.  

Bobby will be playing with Don Weller as part of the festival.  Here’s a short interview with Bobby on his years playing at the club.


You play regularly at the 606 Club, when did you first get to know the club’s owner, Steve Rubie?

Steve and I go back many years but it was his brother, Peter, I knew first. I met Peter in the seventies and we did some gigs together with Peter on guitar, we just did little pubs here and there.  Then, Steve came around, he played both saxophone and flute, so we all played together and became friends.

Did you play at the old club on Kings Road?

I did, I started going down the old club in the eighties, which was at number 606 on the Kings Road, of course. So I had a play down there and got to know Steve very well and occasionally used to flop at his flat round the corner.  Steve became a very good friend and I have to say he gave me some very sound at advice at that time which I won’t forget… but that’s another story!  He moved to Lots Road so I started doing gigs there. I play one Saturday per month with the quartet: Liam Noble on piano, Dave Wickins on drums and Dave Whitford on base.  Saturday nights are usually heaving and can get pretty lively.

What do you think makes the 606 a great jazz club?

Well, first of all Steve has put a hell of a lot of work into building up the club over the years and we all know that jazz is a difficult business. So, well done Steve.

People like “the six” [so called by the regulars] because it’s relaxed and intimate and it attracts a good mixture of people, so it’s always interesting for the customers as much as it is for the players to see music lovers of all ages, nationalities and so on coming down to eat and enjoy the music.  Various family and friends have come to gigs over the years and they love it down there.  It has become a bit of a home from home for the Wellins’!

Of course, there’s no wine being served out of teapots and tea cups and saucers like at the old club, it’s all legitimate now!

You do get a few famous characters down the club from time to time. I remember one night John Le Mesurier came down with a lady friend, we had just finished playing  What’s New and he came up to me and said “ Excuse me Bobby, do you think you could play What’s New?” and I said, “oh John, we’ve just played it” and then he looked at me with that wonderful look he used to have in Dad’s Army and said “I suppose you have really”.

The other thing to point out is that it’s one of the few clubs in London which employs jazz musicians who play jazz.  We all have to be grateful to Steve for keeping us in employment.

And we mustn’t forget that aside from the music, they do great food, the staff look after everyone and James, the manager, really takes care of everything and keeps it all running smoothly.

I’m really looking forward to playing with Don [Weller] as part of the 25th anniversary celebrations. It’s going to be a cracking night and a super festival.

Here’s to the next 25 years!

Bobby Wellins and Don Weller – Saturday 1st June.

www.606club.co.uk

 

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New Album out now: Smoke and Mirrors

Bobby has a new CD out: a duet with pianist Kate Williams. Entitled “Smoke and Mirrors” it is on the KWJazz label.

It was recorded on 17th of November 2011 at the Crossley Gallery in Halifax, Yorkshire and features Bobby on tenor and Kate Williams on piano.

CD_cover_Smoke_and_Mirrors

Track Listing:

  • Smoke And Mirrors;
  • While We Were Young;
  • Minor Pennies;
  • What If…;
  • If You Never Come To Me;
  • The Man I Love;
  • P.S.;
  • Imagination.
Reviews:

Bruce Lindsay’s review for All About Jazz ( http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=42365 ) describes it as  “relaxed interplay between tenor saxophone and piano that has the effortless ease that can only come from players in total command of their craft.”

John Fordham’s review in the Guardian ( http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2012/jul/19/bobby-wellins-kate-williams-review ) gives it 4 stars “It’s an unpretentiously delightful encounter.”

According to the review on London Jazz: ( http://londonjazz.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/cd-review-bobby-wellins-kate-williams.html ) it “exudes elegance, taste and refinement that at times borders on the exquisite.”

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Classic 1960s John Dankworth Session now available on CD

From Amazon:

The late John Dankworth (1927-2010) made a string of recordings in the 1960s that have since come to be regarded as some of the finest British jazz albums of their time. This release excavates two albums and presents them remastered from the original tapes. 1963′s literary-inspired jazz suite ‘What the Dickens!’ saw Dankworth painting musical portraits of several of Charles Dickens’ best-known characters. And with a band containing a wealth of world-class players – the sax section alone consisted of Ronnie Scott, Tubby Hayes, Pete King, Dick Morrissey and Bobby Wellins – the jazz on offer here is of the highest order. Dankworth turns in some truly inspired compositions, enabling the entire suite to gel into a coherent whole, and the result is one of the most satisfying albums in his extensive discography.

Track listing: WHAT THE DICKENS! (1963) Prologue, Weller Never Did, Little Nell, The Infant Phenomenon, Demndest Little Fascinator, Dotheboys Hall, Ghosts, David and the Bloaters, Please Sir I Want Some More, The Artful Dodger, Waiting for Something to Turn Up, Dodson and Fogg, The Pickwick Club, Sergeant Buzfuz, Finale /

OFF DUTY! (1969) Ja-Da, Off Duty!, Little Brown Jig, Sophisticated Lady, African Waltz, Bernie’s Tune, Skyliner, Basin Street Blues, To Emma, Don’t Get A round Much Anymore, Song of India, Holloway House

You can buy the CD now at Amazon for £9.99 (price correct at the time of posting this article.

 

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Bobby nominated for top British Jazz Award

We are delighted to announce that Bobby has been nominated for a British Jazz Award in the category of Tenor Sax.

The winner will be announced at the awards presentation at the Concorde Club, Eastleigh on Monday October 22nd (start time tbc).

Details of the venue including directions can be found at http://www.theconcordeclub.com/contact.php

We hope that Bobby will continue his success, having won the UK Parliamentary Jazz Awards as Jazz Musician of the Year in May 2012.

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Birds of Brazil re-released by HEP records

Bobby’s CD, Birds of Brazil, recorded in 1989 and long unavailable has been re-released by HEP records.

We’ve spotted it on Ebay here but it will be available through other stockists too.

The CD features the late Pete Jacobsen, Kenny Wheeler, Spike Wells, Ken Baldock, Chris Karan  plus a string quartet and is a wonderfully atmospheric suite of pieces.

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New CD Release – Whole Lotta Tony

One of Bobby’s earliest recordings – on Tony Crombie’s “Whole Lotta Tony” – has been released for the first time ever on CD.

You can buy the recording here on Amazon:  Whole Lotta Tony

Recorded in 1961, this is essential listening from a seminal period in British Jazz, and features the rarely recorded Harold McNair, fellow Scot Tommy Whittle and Gordon Beck on piano.

You’ll find more info on the recording in the Discography page.

 

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