Clare Hirst is a UK saxophonist with a distinguished career in pop and jazz music. Clare has performed with iconic British groups including Bronski Beat, Communards and David Bowie among others. However, Clare made her name with all female band the Belle Stars in the early 1980s; playing saxophone and keyboards on hits like “The Clapping Song”, “Sign of The Times” (not the Prince tune) and “Iko Iko”, which was later used as the theme tune for the movie Rainman starring Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman.
Last Tuesday I spoke with American soul / r&b singer Robin McKelle via Skype. Robin is currently on tour in France performing a series of concerts and also played at the Jazz Café in London for the first time; a gig I attended and thoroughly enjoyed. The French connection is not an insignificant one; Robin more or less got her break in France where her records really got the most airplay initially and she has been able to build up quite a following there. Ironically the first time I heard Robin’s music was on Paris station FIP on satellite radio (in the days before internet streaming took off).
Last month Jazz London Radio had the opportunity to interview drum legend and composer Harvey Mason. Harvey was in London with his group for two dates at Ronnie Scotts as part of the London Jazz Festival held every November in prestigious venues throughout London. I met Harvey at his hotel in the heart of Central London before he was due to have the sound check. Harvey was relaxed and in good form, and why not? It is always a privilege to do a job you love and tour the world playing for the people. I didn’t get to the gig at Ronnie Scotts but did go to the sound check and the band sounded great, I am sure the punters got their money’s worth that night.
Jazz London Radio is delighted to announce pianist and educator Andrea Vicari will present a new show called “Andrea Vicari’s Jazz Doodles”. Andrea will focus mainly on music that has influenced her whilst promoting contemporary British jazz. The show will be run three times a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Stay tuned to the schedule to see exact times over the coming weeks.
Carl Hyde’s photographs exude musicality, freedom, beauty and a love for jazz. Being interested in photography myself, when I came across Carl’s pictures, I found them so refreshing. There is humanity behind the glossy façade which makes them so much more than just photographs! We meet at the small but perfectly formed “Bar Italia” in Frith Street in London to talk jazz and, of course, photography!