Tag: big band

Autumn Gig Dates Announced

Having started my Masters studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama this month, I have a raft of gig dates to announce in London and Cambridge. I’ll be performing alongside other post-graduate students in a pair of free concerts, as well as with the award-winning big band at the London Jazz Festival and the Vortex Jazz Club. I’ll also be appearing as a guest with EM and Vesperados will be returning to Hot Numbers in Cambridge for another evening of Latin Jazz.

Calendar
06/10/14, 6pm, FREE – Guildhall Small Band Jazz Evening
17/10/14, 7.30pm, FREE – Guildhall Jazz Band, Milton Court
19/10/14, 3.00pm, £8 – London Jazz Orchestra/Guildhall Jazz Band @ Vortex
07/11/14, 7.30pm, FREE – EM, Cambridge
08/11/14, 11am, £10 – Cambridge Jazz Co-op
17/11/14, 6pm, FREE – Guildhall Small Band Jazz Evening
19/11/14, 7.30pm, £15/10 – Guildhall Jazz Band at the London Jazz Festival
05/12/14, 7.30pm, FREE – Vesperados, Cambridge

Guildhall Small Band Jazz Evening
Monday 6th October, 6pm
Monday 17th November, 6pm
FREE
Lecture Recital Room, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Silk Street, London
Performances from groups of postgraduate and final-year jazz students from the Guildhall. Three bands a night for nothing!

Guildhall Jazz Band
Friday 17th October, 7.30pm
Silk Street Music Hall, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Silk Street, London
FREE
The year’s first performance from the Guildhall’s award-winning big band.
http://www.gsmd.ac.uk/about_the_school/home/view_all_events/?tx_julleevents_pi1%5BshowUid%5D=3855

Sunday 19th October, 3.00pm
Vortex Jazz Club, 11 Gillett Square, London
£8
The Guildhall Jazz Band join top pro big band the London Jazz Orchestra for an afternoon of big band music.
http://www.vortexjazz.co.uk/event/london-jazz-orchestra-8/

EM
Friday 7th November, 7.30pm
Hot Numbers Coffee, Gwydir Street, Cambridge
FREE
Led by pianist/accordionist/composer Dan Ecclestone, this Cambridge-based group plays original music bringing together rock and jazz in a groovy, infectious blend.
http://hotnumberscoffee.co.uk/gigs-and-events/

Cambridge Jazz Co-operative
Saturday 8th November, 11am-1.30pm
Meadows Community Centre, Cambridge
I will be returning for my third session with the co-op, leading a workshop for amateur jazz musicians exploring ideas and strategies for improvisation.
£10 (members); non members must pay an additional £10 for annual membership.
http://www.cambridgejazzcoop.org.uk/wordpress/

Guildhall Jazz Band at the London Jazz Festival
Wednesday 19th November, 7.30pm
Milton Court, Silk Street, London
The Guildhall’s big band performs as part of the world-class London Jazz Festival.
http://www.gsmd.ac.uk/about_the_school/home/view_all_events/?tx_julleevents_pi1%5BshowUid%5D=3867

Vesperados at Hot Numbers
Friday 5th December, 7.30pm
Hot Numbers Coffee, Gwydir Street, Cambridge
My band Vesperados return to Hot Numbers in a new format for an evening of Latin-influenced music.
http://hotnumberscoffee.co.uk/gigs-and-events/
www.vesperados.co.uk

Performing with Liane Carroll this Friday

Liane Carroll with Cambridge University Jazz Orchestra
Friday 31st January, 7.30pm
West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge CB3 9DP

Tickets £14 (full) / £6 (students, with ID, and under 18s) available from ADC Ticketing: http://www.adcticketing.com/whats-on/concert/liane-carroll-cambridge-university-jazz-orchestra or 01223 300085.

This Friday I will be directing CUJO in a performance with multiple award-winning jazz vocalist Liane Carroll.  We’ll be playing mainly songs she has written or covered on one of her many albums, plus a few classics old and new from our repertoire.  There’ll be two brand new arrangements by me, including this beautiful composition by Liane:

Other charts have come from my co-director Chris McMurran, the BBC Big Band, and Malcolm Edmonstone (pianist and arranger for the Strictly Come Dancing band for three series)!

Of course the main attraction will be Liane, who has won not one but two BBC Jazz Awards, the Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Award, two Parlimentary Jazz Awards and the Marston Pedigree Best Vocalist Award.  She has been recording and releasing albums since 1990 and along the way has garned high praise such as:

“Deeply soulful, wonderfully honest” The Times

“Some musicians are talented, some brilliant and a few just seem to be made out of music. Liane Carroll is one of these.” Dave Gelly, The Guardian

“The real thing.” Sholto Byrnes, Independent on Sunday

“Utterly brilliant.” Time Out

If all of that still hasn’t convinced you, check out this duet version of Carole King’s You’ve Got a Friend with Ian Shaw from the 2006 Brecon Jazz Festival:

Tickets have been selling well but there should be some left on the door, but arrive early so as not to miss out!  Here are all the details of the concert including how to book:

Liane Carroll with Cambridge University Jazz Orchestra
Friday 31st January, 7.30pm
West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge CB3 9DP

Tickets £14 (full) / £6 (students, with ID, and under 18s) available from ADC Ticketing: http://www.adcticketing.com/whats-on/concert/liane-carroll-cambridge-university-jazz-orchestra or 01223 300085.

Tour to Istanbul

In about an hour I’ll be off on a CUJO tour to Istanbul, for 5 nights. We’ll be playing four gigs:

Thursday 21/3: Istanbul Jazz Centre (21.30)
Friday 22/3: NINA (23.00)
Saturday 23/3: NINA (23.00)
Sunday 24/4: British Consulate (16.00)

Here’s another arrangement of mine from the Cottle gig, which hopefully we’ll be playing out there:

Cottle gig audio now up

In February the incredible bassist Laurence Cottle joined CUJO for a special gig.  In it, we played two of my arrangements, and here are the recordings!

In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning
Music by David Mann, in an arrangement by James Brady
Featuring Simon Warder (tenor sax) and Colin Danskin (trumpet)

Beauty and the Beast
Music by Wayne Shorter, in an arrangement by James Brady
Featuring Laurence Cottle (bass guitar) and Sarah Ling (soprano sax)

 

Photos from the Cottle + CUJO gig

Tom Porteous Photography was at the Cottle gig the other night and took some great photos.  I’ve put a few of my favourites below, and you can see them all at here.

See more of Tom’s photos at his Facebook page.

Laurence Cottle Gig

Wow.  That was such a fun gig.  Last night CUJO was joined by legendary bassist Laurence Cottle for what was truly one of the most memorable (for all the right reasons) gigs I’ve ever been a part of.  Laurence, who joined us on Friday night and Saturday afternoon for rehearsals before the gig (and in the pub afterwards) was pure class and an inspiration for all of us to play with.

Amongst two sets of his excellent big band charts, I had the enormous privilege of having two of my arrangements, Wayne Shorter’s Beauty and the Beast and In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning by Bob Hillard/David Mann performed with Laurence on bass.  I very much hope I’ll be able to make recordings of these and perhaps other parts of the gig available soon!

Thank you to everyone who came to hear us – I hope you enjoyed the gig half as much as we did!

CUJO with Laurence Cottle.  Photo by Vir Bulchandani.
CUJO with Laurence Cottle. Photo by Vir Bulchandani.

 

CUJO with Laurence Cottle

Each year, Cambridge University Jazz Orchestra invites a leading UK jazz musician and composer to join us for a special performance of their charts.  This year, we’re joining up with legendary bassist Laurence Cottle, who has recorded with everyone from Pee Wee Ellis to Brian Eno to Black Sabbath and has an extensive career writing for US TV.  Quincy Jones says “This bass player is killing.”

We’ll be performing at West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge on 2 February at 19:30.  Tickets are £10 or £5 for students and can be purchased here or by calling the ADC box office on 01223 300085.  Here’s the Facebook event.

Laurence’s charts are a serious challenge so we’ve got some serious practicing to do!

London Jazz Festival 2012 Part 1

After rejoining Cambridge University Jazz Band after a break after graduation in 2012, I was lucky enough to have them play some new arrangements of mine at the Bull’s Head, Barnes, during the 2012 London Jazz Festival (which only gave us a couple of rehearsals to put together 2 hours of music!).  We managed to get a rough live recording of my arrangement of In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning, which has always been a favourite ballad of mine:

 

This seemed like a big challenge at first since I didn’t think the usual stock-in-trade technique of heavily harmonising the melody with similar lines would work.  The melody is actually quite square and dull if you play it exactly as written – I think there needs to be quite a bit of rhythmic freedom to bring it out.  So I decided that a good deal of it would be played by a single player – primarily a tenor sax (although I did give myself a short flugel section for the fun of it – then promptly forgot the notes on the gig!), here played by Simon Warder, a talented science student at the University.  To preserve the beauty of the melody, I then kept the harmonic accompaniment mostly very simple, reharmonising it gradually into new forms as it went along.  As I got into the solo section, the progression so strongly suggested Bach to me that I had to go and rip of the G major cello suite!  After that, some thicker textures with different harmony, a climax and we’re done!  Hope you enjoy this – I hope to have the chance to get a recording under better circumstances at some point.

Chameleon

I’ve played several big-band arrangements of The Headhunters’ Chameleon and I’ve not really liked any of them – they tend to be too bombastic for my taste.  I’ve always thought the real magic of the original was how it was so contained – it doesn’t blast your face off.  So with that in mind, I set out on a new arrangement for Churchill Band in 2011, and this was the result: