Musicians ask Government to help ensure their futures
Award-winning guitarist Nigel Price has called on Nadine Dorries to give support to the UK’s jazz live scene as it faces a parlous financial situation following the Covid pandemic.
In a letter to the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, endorsed by Dame Cleo Laine and a large group of prominent musicians, educators, promoters and media representatives, Price has drawn attention to a serious lack of funding of the UK’s grassroots jazz infrastructure.
“I have appealed to Ms Dorries to ensure that financial support for this vital part of the UK’s jazz heritage is not overlooked in the Government’s well-documented push to kick start the Arts following the pandemic,” says Price. “We have already lost a number of promoters and venues who have succumbed to the dire financial straits faced by the jazz scene.”
The letter addresses five key points:
· Lack of accessibility to funding to those without dedicated premises and/or company status.
· Disparity in funding between large and small venues.
· The fiercely competitive nature of the Arts Council of England’s bidding process leading to a higher
Incidence of failure amongst grassroots promoters.
· The urgent need for a simpler process to get help to these smaller venues.
A reply from DCMS has left Price and the 68 signatories to his letter, all of whom are winners of the Parliamentary Jazz Awards (the UK’s most prestigious annual jazz prizes) feeling that their claims have been dismissed.
“It’s clear that if we want a live art form that creates work for hundreds of musicians and means so much to so many people across the country to have any kind of future on these islands, then we are going to have to be prepared to fight for it,” says Price.
Price hopes that his initial exchange with the DCMS will be the beginning rather than the end of the discussion and will prompt wider action to support the people who keep the jazz scene alive, many of whom are volunteers who give up a great deal of their spare time to run weekly gigs through a love of the music.
Record Store Day is scheduled for April 23. In 2022, RSD is celebrating an impressive 15-year run.
Historically, the main Record Store Day event falls in April and for the first time in two years, RSD is back in the spring! In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, RSD organizers planned separate, socially distanced events throughout 2020 and 2021 to accommodate smaller crowds (and keep you coming back for more).
How does Record Store Day work?
Artists and labels will schedule the release of exclusive new content or coveted reissues, which is organized by the Record Store Day crew. Inventory will vary greatly depending on where you live or shop. Your favorite record store — whether it’s the local brick-and-mortar or your go-to shop on Discogs — will request items from RSD, but that doesn’t guarantee that the store will get enough for everyone who wants one.
Where can I buy RSD 2022 releases online?
Finding Record Store Day releases online will be easier than in previous years. Starting in 2020, record stores were allowed to list their RSD inventory online on the afternoon of the physical drop.
The following suggestions will help you navigate RSD virtually:
Check your favorite record store’s website for an online shop and reach out to confirm when they will be listing RSD titles online.
If you are searching for a specific RSD release, the easiest way to find it online the day of the drop will be to search for it by name.
The perk of searching for your desired title is that you can discover a new record store selling online and still support the RSD mission even if you’re not physically in-store.
Marketplaces like Discogs support independent sellers around the world, including record stores. As the information on RSD 2022 titles is submitted to the Database by the Discogs Community, the items will appear on the list of RSD releases. Details on the releases will become available on Discogs on the day of the drop. Independent sellers are also active on eBay.
How much are RSD releases?
Great question. The short answer? It depends. The long answer? The very nature of Record Store Day creates exclusivity. Since every item is limited-edition, naturally, the demand is going to be a lot higher than the supply. Depending on the release, the value will appreciate over time. However, the initial drop price is typically standard for what you would pay for a special format (like a picture disc), a box set (especially those collector’s versions), colored vinyl, or a beloved reissue. The cost tends to be more expensive for titles that have fewer copies or more goodies.
Check out Record Store Day for more information about the drop on April 23. Discogs is not affiliated with the RSD organization, but we agree with their mission of bringing more people into record stores.
If you’ve ever peered into the never-ending rabbit hole that is home audio gear, you’ve probably seen a few terms thrown around that seem simple, but are ultimately a little unclear. “Soundstage” is commonly used in audio descriptions, but what is it exactly?
With the help of the experts at Technics, Discogs is going to define what soundstage is, how it enhances your listening experience, and what you need to achieve an impressive soundstage in your home.
What does soundstage mean?
The easiest way to explain soundstage is to compare home listening to the live music experience. When you attend a live performance, you can hear and feel the music all around you. With the right stereo setup, you can create an imaginary three-dimensional space that immerses you in detailed sound. This imaginary 3D space is your soundstage.
Rather than labeling a soundstage “good” or “bad,” listeners typically focus on the height, depth, and width of sound they experience and determine which “size” best fits their needs. If it feels as if your speakers have disappeared and only the music remains, then you may have yourself a broad soundstage.
What is imaging?
When discussing soundstage, it’s helpful to reference imaging (aka speaker image). At a concert, you can see where each musician is set up on stage. You can also hear where each instrument is in the room. For home listening, imaging is the separation between instruments and being able to determine where the sound of each instrument is coming from. If you’re able to easily identify the position of each instrument within your soundstage, then your speakers are capable of detailed imaging.
How does soundstage impact the way you hear music?
Soundstage and imaging can provide a more detailed and immersive listening experience. An all-encompassing soundstage can make you feel like you’re in the studio with your favorite musicians or standing front row center in an intimate venue. However, like most audio options, your particular tastes will determine just how important soundstage is to you. This means that it may take a few configurations before you find the sound you’re looking for.
What do you need if you’re ready to craft your perfect soundstage?
Nothing can take the place of a live show, but you can get pretty close with the right gear.
Technics’ SB-C600 Bookshelf Speaker System is a part of their new C600 Series and it is chock-full of features that prioritize a robust soundstage. With a coaxial speaker design, the SB-C600-K speakers offer rich sound with precise imaging. The tuned port allows air to flow out the front of the cabinet. This means that placing your speakers near a wall or a corner won’t cause unwanted noise.
Once you’ve landed on some speakers, you’ll want to consider system synergy for the best possible sound. A network CD receiver like Technics’ SA-C600 pairs perfectly with the SB-C600-K speakers and it has all the bells and whistles you could ask for. You can play vinyl, CDs, radio, and streaming music all through the same receiver. The SA-C600 is also equipped with a “Space Tune” function with four presets (free, wall, corner, and shelf) which enable you to achieve the best sound based on your acoustic environment. Within 90 seconds, the SA-C600’s cutting-edge technology will figure out the best way to complement the characteristics of your speakers.
In addition to gear and system synergy, you will also want to consider speaker placement. The distance between speakers, the distance between speakers and walls, and the distance between listeners and speakers can all make a significant difference. The height of the speakers in relation to the listener and the vertical and horizontal angles of the speakers can also have an impact on the sound. If you aren’t sure where to start, this guide may help!
Published in partnership with Technics. Photo courtesy of Technics.
7 VIRTUAL JAZZ CLUB’S CONTEST 2021 EDITION: WINNERS ANNOUNCED!
The 7 Virtual Jazz Club is proud to announce the winners of the 6th edition of the contest and to launch the call for entries for the 2022 edition.
Jazz London Radio is happy to announce Filomena Campus will be joining us for her new show called Filomena Campus’ Theatralia Jazz
The show will feature an eclectic mix of European jazz from all parts of the continent and will air on Sundays at 3pm and Fridays at 5pm. Hope you enjoy.
Internationally renowned Sardinian/Londoner jazz vocalist/lyricist, theatre practitioner and academic. Campus has toured and collaborated with the UK’s top jazz artists, including Orphy Robinson, Rowland Sutherland, Cleveland Watkiss, Byron Wallen, Jean Toussaint, Evan Parker, Laura Cole, Tori Handsley, Ruth Goller, and the London Improvisers Orchestra, as well as with fellow Sardinian musicians Paolo Fresu, Gavino Murgia and Antonello Salis.
Filomena has performed at many jazz festivals around the world, having played in the UK, Germany, Italy, Jordan, Qatar, Morocco, Thailand, and Croatia amongst others. In 2010 she founded the Filomena Campus Quartet (with Steve Lodder on piano, Dudley Phillips/Charlie Pyne on double bass, and Rod Youngs on drums), with whom she has released the CD Jester of Jazz and performs regularly at London jazz venues such as the PizzaExpress Jazz Club, Ronnie Scott’s, Jazz Live at the Crypt and the Vortex. The Quartet has two more projects, 20 Venti, sold out at the EFG London Jazz Festival 2021, and Italy VS England with renowned Italian writer and performer Stefano Benni.
In 2014 Campus recorded the album Scaramouche with guitarist and composer Giorgio Serci, featuring the late Kenny Wheeler. 2013 saw Filomena launch her annual My Jazz Islands Festival, later renamed Theatralia Jazz Festival, in which she seeks to unite Italian and UK jazz musicians. Her acclaimed production of Monk Misterioso. A Journey into the Silence of Thelonious Monk, supported by the Arts Council England, toured the UK and was sold out at the EFG London Jazz Festival 2017.
Anthony Braxton, Gretchen Parlato, Pat Metheny. Composite: Redferns, Getty
An enthralling live set from Pat Metheny, Ches Smith’s fascinating blend of avant garde and Vodou and octogenarian Charles Lloyd’s fresh takes on Leonard Cohen and the Beach Boys stood out in a strong year
This international quartet of contemporary jazz mavericks was invited by German virtuoso pianist/composer Michael Wollny to play four unrehearsed free-jamming nights at Berlin’s A-Trane club, and to massage a studio album from the best takes. It’s sometimes horn-led and jazzy (saxophonist Émile Parisien’s influence), explosively abstract, avant-funky or gracefully choirlike, but there isn’t a cliche in earshot.
Uncategorisable … Ruth Goller
9. Ruth Goller – Skylla
Bass guitarist Ruth Goller has played bone-crunching punk jazz, harmonically mysterious Ghanaian ritual music, improv and avant-bop, but this uncategorisable venture, inspired by Greek mythology and aided by singers Lauren Kinsella and Alice Grant, joined iconoclastic ideas about guitar tuning and intonation (reminiscent of Derek Bailey) to ethereal, multi-layered vocal sounds sometimes suggestive of 1980s Laurie Anderson, to startling effect.
8. Anthony Braxton – Quartet (Standards) 2020
Sixty-seven tracks on a mammoth live-recorded box set by one-off multi-reeds virtuoso Anthony Braxton, one of the most prolific, unflinchingly exploratory and idiomatically open-minded artists in all jazz. Recorded with a UK touring band including Braxton-attuned pianist Alexander Hawkins, it focuses on a forensic, fearless re-examination of Broadway standards, jazz classics and popular songs. Read the full review.
7. Tim Berne/Chris Speed/Dave King/Reid Anderson – Broken Shadows
New York altoist Tim Berne is famous for knottily wrought originals, but this punchy all-covers set with fellow saxophonist Chris Speed, and the Bad Plus bass/drums pairing of Reid Anderson and Dave King, pays vivid tribute to the music of Ornette Coleman, Charlie Haden, Dewey Redman, and Julius Hemphill. The pieces are succinct and memorable, the playing right on the money.
Prodigy … Jihye Lee
6. Jihye Lee Orchestra – Daring Mind
South Korean Jihye Lee was first an indie pop singer, then a jazz composer prodigy whose work has been compared to the legendary Gil Evans and Maria Schneider. Daring Mind, a contrast-packed big-band set produced by Darcy James Argue with Lee, shows just why in its dizzying sweep from bebop to 21st-century rhythm-bends and haunting Schneider-like harmonies.
5. Gretchen Parlato – Flor
Her singing can be as quiet as a sigh or as buoyantly melodious as calls by the hippest of birds. New Yorker Gretchen Parlato is a vocal adventurer, but also a delicately ingenious exponent of gliding Brazilian dances and sidelong swing. This terrific comeback set after a parenting break mixes touching originals and covers of composers from David Bowie to Joao Gilberto and Bach.
4. Shai Maestro – Human
Israeli pianist/composer Shai Maestro, once mentored by that country’s famous bassist and songwriter Avishai Cohen but a bandleader of rare character for the past decade, made his best small-group recording to date on this session with Lima-born bassist Jorge Roeder, Israeli drummer Ofri Nehemya, and brilliant New York trumpeter Philip Dizack – cinematic, eclectic and profoundly humane music.
3. Charles Lloyd and the Marvels – Tone Poem
The music of Charles Lloyd – an octogenarian reeds player out of 1960s John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman but with his own poignantly voicelike sound – comes in several guises. His country-oriented Marvels group, including guitarist Bill Frisell, joins the songs of Coleman, Leonard Cohen and the Beach Boys on a set that sounds alluringly like a vocal album without vocalists. Read the full review.
2. Pat Metheny – Side-Eye NYC (V1.IV)
Guitarist Pat Metheny, one of contemporary jazz’s boldest updaters of traditions from freebop to country music and hard rock, picked the classic 1960s funky guitar/Hammond organ/drums trio format for his Side-Eye project – here featuring young multi-genre keys player James Francies, and fiery drummer Marcus Gilmore. This enthralling live recording mixes classic Metheny evergreens and new works. Read the full review.
Thrilling … Ches Smith. Photograph: Pacific Press Media Production Corp./Alamy
1. Ches Smith and We All Break – Path of Seven Colours
Ches Smith, the New York drummer and composer equally devoted to avant-garde jazz and Haiti’s ancient drums-and-vocal-centred Vodou culture, set himself the fascinating challenge of intertwining those threads. The result was this thrilling mix of haunting folk vocals, conversational multi-instrumental drumming and the kind of rhythmically intricate jazz favoured by his frequent bandleader, Tim Berne. Read the full review.