Jazz London Radio

Laurie

Thank you for tuning into Jazz London Radio.  So, how did Jazz London Radio come about? The idea came to me back in January 2014. I thought wouldn’t it be interesting to have a radio station which covers a range of music, primarily in the jazz setting.

I’ve taken my inspiration from a number of musical sources over the past 15 years. My discovery started when I acquired a satellite dish in the late ’90s and tuned into radio stations coming out of France, Italy and Germany. The stations mixed their playlists on an hourly and hence daily basis. During one hour of listening it was possible to hear Theolonius Monk, Miles Davis, Doves, Cranberries, Gil Scott Heron and Marcus Miller. Having spent my student years listening to John Peel on BBC Radio 1 religiously, the idea of music played on the radio without any real categorisation appealed to me greatly.

The idea to start a station based on these principles was something I wanted to explore. Coming out of London, but with the possibility of reaching anywhere in the globe should people wish to check it out. And whilst being a jazz station, having the freedom to play different musical styles and genres such as a Rock and Blues show or World Music special. With daily playlists mixing all of this music together under the great jazz umbrella, some of the music played here may not be jazz, but it will be in the jazz spirit of creativity and freedom, whether that be Indie or Electronica.

I hope you are enjoying the station so far, we have great Presenters on board and will continue to update with new shows and features throughout 2016.

JLR Presents…by Jay Bennett

A new weekly show presented by Jay Bennett showcasing the best up and coming jazz talent, plus some old favourites.

Jay has been presenting and producing radio for the past two years. She developed a passion for jazz music at a very young age after discovering an old Ella Fitzgerald album and has not stopped listening since! As well as Jazz London Radio, Jay presents a weekly show on Wandsworth radio and produces The Late Breakfast for Soho Radio.

JLR Presents will be on air Monday and Wednesday evenings at 8pm.

Jay Bennett

Empirical’s Pop Up Lounge Sessions – February 2016

Jazz is taken to the streets literally this week in the heart of London.  The band Empirical have embarked on a project of pop up jazz sessions, designed to bring the music direct to Londoners with a series of lunchtime and evening commuter sets in a retail unit at Old Street station.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Empirical’s press release says “listeners are invited to visit the lounge for lunchtime and evening commute live sets, with late night sessions scheduled for Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  Early birds will also be able to catch an 8am mid-week performance; all gigs are free of charge.”  It is not a novel idea by any means but it is definitely a marvellous one, what better way to get people into jazz than taking it straight to them (as we say in tennis) in one of the busiest spots in London.  Old Street is one stop from Moorgate in the City of London, whilst bordering Hoxton, Islington and Hackney where so much of what is vibrant about London is happening.  It is also a great opportunity to sell CDs, hand out posters and promote jazz.  Empirical also had a book open where people could leave messages of their experience at the performances.

And what was performed was real jazz, not a watered down or easy listening version, what  Empirical is really about, inviting people to get into deep meaningful stuff, which is rare to see in this age of watered down music to be populous; this is not exclusive to jazz, this “watering down” of music is happening in pop music as well which all know.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

You also don’t know who will get hooked for life from this experience but some people will.  In the summer of 1992 Canary Wharf opened for the first time and to celebrate they had a series of concerts and events.  One event was John Scofied who played with his band for free in the auditorium.  The band included Joe Lovano, Bill Stewart and the late Dennis Irwin on bass.  Needless to say the auditorium was packed; my younger brother who was still at school went along and became a lifelong Scofield fan.  Empirical can have the same effect; they are inviting schools from Hackney and Islington to free educational workshops and live performances.  Empirical are clearly used to getting things done themselves, before the performance they were busy putting everything together including the arrangement of the room and the plastic chairs!  Clearly an entrepreneurial spirit.

Empirical

As for the music, it is a mixture of old and new, with a nod to past masters like Eric Dolphy and Bobby Hutcherson with a modern twist, there is a lot of improvisation but at the same time the grooves are strong to have you tapping your feet, it is not aimless improvisation in any way.  One thing that really impressed me was the sound; the best live sound I have heard for some time, the quality was real high fidelity, as if listening to a very expensive hi-fi set up such as Linn or Naim in your living room.

Empirical comprise of Nathaniel Facey on alto saxophone, Shaney Forbes on drums, Lewis Wright on vibes and Tom Farmer on bass. Their latest album is called Connection and will be released early March.  Before the performance on Wednesday afternoon, I quickly interviewed Tom Farmer which you can listen to below.

Lenore Raphael’s Jazz Spot

The “Queen of Swing” Lenore Raphael will bring her unique tones to Jazz London Radio.  Lenore’s show plus interviews with the top American jazz musicians will fit nicely into our Classic Jazz slot.  You will be able to hear Lenore’s show on Thursdays at 7pm and other times tbc.  We hope you enjoy it.

Lenore Raphael

A Steinway Concert Jazz Artist, and  award winning jazz composer and clinician, Lenore Raphael  has been called “Queen of swing” and “simply one of the best pianists in the jazz mainstream” by jazz writer John Gilbert.

 Lenore’s internationally acclaimed performances include major jazz festivals and venues such as Jazz At Lincoln Center, the Blue Note, Ottawa International Jazz Festival, Birdland, Ronnie Scott’s (London), the S.S. Oosterdam Floating Jazz Festival, The Joy of Jazz festival Johannesburg, SA

With 10 CDs on the Swingin’ Fox Music label, her CD “Class Act” received  TOP PICK for international releases for 2009 on CKUC. FM Canadian Radio network and the BBC network.

Along the way she has performed with such jazz greats as Clark Terry, Wycliffe Gordon, Ken Peplowski, Jon Hendricks, Warren Vache, Jay Leonhart, Marlene VerPlanck, Howard Alden, Harry Allen, Jack Wilkins, Giacomo Gates and many more.

As a jazz teacher and clinician, Lenore has done Jazz Master Classes  globally at such prestigious schools as The Edinburgh Conservatory, University of South Africa, Orange County School for the Arts, East Tennessee State University where she also ran the summer jazz piano camp, Montclair University in New Jersey where she was director of the summer jazz camp for 5 years.

She brings her years of experience performing and knowing these artists into her comfortable and informative and fun interview radio show “Lenore Raphael’s JazzSpot”.

JLR Album Review – Barbara Dennerlein Studio Konzert

Vinyl records have been making a comeback for some time. Back in the early 1990s, HMV took the decision to stop selling vinyl completely and sold off all of their records for next to nothing before removing the unsold ones from the shelves. CDs tempted you with bonus tracks you couldn’t find on the records. We were consistently told digital was better than vinyl; CDs were more convenient and vinyl took up too much space. CD players were cheap and cheerful in hifi shops and electronics stores.

Fast forward to 2015 and now many people are continually looking for vinyl in 2nd hand record stores, records are being reissued on labels such as Blue Note and even brand new recordings are being pressed and issued on vinyl!  Studio Konzert record

Yesterday I received a limited edition copy of the new album by organist Barbara Dennerlein entitled Studio Konzert. The album has just been released and is a live recording no less; recorded at the Bauer Studios in May 2015 in front of a studio audience. Some interesting facts about the record:

• It was recorded live direct to 2 track stereo analogue
• No digital transfer, an AAA recording; recorded in analogue, mixed in analogue and mastered in analogue
• The vinyl is grade 180 grams

The performance comprises Barbara on Hammond organ, synthesizer with Marcel Gutske on drums. All bass lines are performed with the foot pedals, made to sound like an acoustic bass being played. There are seven tracks in all, three on side A and four on side B. The music itself is very much signature Barbara Dennerlein, and a reminder that she is one of the top innovators in the world of music (not that we need reminding), Barbara has a distinctive sound on the instrument, you hear it you know it’s her on Hammond organ. The album contains a great selection of tracks including Organ Boogie from her previous CD Bebabaloo released in 2010. Side A has two blues numbers called Gray May Blues and Bluesy. Sandwiched between those is Southern Funk which is a wonderful modern old school contemporary jazz tune in the spirit of artists like George Benson. The final track on Side B is called Under Construction. However, to be fair, the record sounds far from under construction but very much the finished article; the audience must have loved being there to absorb this music.

By the way, the sound quality is exceptional. In fact, you would imagine this is what digital is supposed to sound like, and yet there is absolutely no digital anywhere in this production, which is quite incredible. This highlights the capabilities of vinyl produced well and played on a quality turntable and sound system. gatefold

You can catch tracks of the album on upcoming Vinyl Vaults and purchase it through Barbara’s website.