Live gig and documentary – Chichester Cinema at New Park.
JAZZ SUITE: STAN TRACEY’S UNDER MILK WOOD
The Undoubted major jazz work ever conceived in the UK, this classic piece is now rarely performed in its entirety.
Stan Tracey’s music will be performed this evening by Bobby Wellins, who of course featured on the original recording in 1965, and is joined by Steve Melling on piano, Andy Cleyndert on bass and Clark Tracey on drums as ever. Narrated extracts for this performance will be read by Ben Tracey, Stan’s grandson who recently collaborated on “A Child’s Xmas” to superb reviews.
STAN TRACEY: THE GODFATHER OF BRITISH JAZZ
With its rich sound design and sumptuous digital cinematography, ‘Stan Tracey: The Godfather of British Jazz’ is a deeply moving portrait of one musician’s lifetime achievement.
In a career spanning 60 years as pianist and composer, Tracey, widely regarded as Britain’s greatest living arranger, recalls his life with unprecedented honesty. Through its mix of archive, landscape and interviews with musical giants such as saxophonist Courtney Pine, Bobby Wellins, saxophonist who worked regularly with Stan, doyenne Cleo Laine and jazz eminence Humphrey Lyttleton, a story of British culture emerges that had never been told before. Nominated for 2003 Grierson Award: Best Arts Documentary.
BBC Four Television 2003 John Akomfrah 70m
Film at 20:15, Live Gig from 22:00
Listen to ‘Starless and Bible Black’ from Under Milk Wood https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUNuxalrCis
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!
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:
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.
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.
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.
- Smoke And Mirrors;
- While We Were Young;
- Minor Pennies;
- What If…;
- If You Never Come To Me;
- The Man I Love;
Bruce Lindsay’s review for All About Jazz ( http://www.allaboutjazz.com/
John Fordham’s review in the Guardian ( http://www.guardian.co.uk/
According to the review on London Jazz: ( http://londonjazz.blogspot.co.
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.