A Salute to Humphrey Lyttelton
A Salute to Humphrey Lyttelton
An ensemble of jazz musicians from the UK and USA embarked on a 17 date tour in November 2021, in celebration of the legendary trumpeter, bandleader and BBC broadcaster Humphrey Lyttelton, on what would have been his 100th birthday anniversary year. Rising to prominence in the early 1950’s, Lyttelton’s hit single ‘Bad Penny Blues’ was the first-ever British jazz record to achieve top 20 status, and remained there for six weeks. Its success was largely due to a very catchy boogie piano riff, which was later used by Paul McCartney as the basis for the Beatles’ song ‘Lady Madonna’. Throughout his career, he blazed a trail with diverse presentations of jazz music and unique collaborations. In 2002, he performed (in front of 42,000) and recorded with Radiohead, engaging an entirely new audience with his music and providing a rare platform for fellow jazz musicians to play on a world stage.
In addition to his influential role as leader of the jazz revival, Lyttelton, affectionately known as “Humph”, was also a much-loved broadcaster, hosting BBC Radio 2’s ‘Best Of Jazz’ programme for many years, as well as BBC Radio 4’s hugely successful and still running) comedy show ‘I’m Sorry, I Haven’t A Clue’ (later hosted by Jack Dee).
To do justice to Humph’s life and heritage, Chris Hodgkins, himself a stalwart of the British jazz scene, put together an impressive ten-piece band featuring top UK and US musicians who will perform Humph’s compositions and arrangements, as well as some brand new pieces.
The band features, Chris Hodgkins – trumpet, Henry Lowther – trumpet,
Charlotte Glasson – sax, Diane McLoughlin – sax, Mark Bassey – trombone
Alison Rayner – double bass, Buster Birch – drums, Alex Clarke – sax, And all the way from the USA…– sax, Jinjoo Yoo – piano, Wayne Wilkinson – guitar
A ten-part series on Humphrey Lyttelton, presented by Chris Hodgkins, will be broadcast again on Jazz London Radio – London and the UK’s Internet Radio Station in May 2022 to celebrate the launch of the Salute To Humphrey Lyttelton CD
The tour also hosts a scheme, “Create your Tune”. The scheme is open to all ages and especially for people who have never composed a tune but would like to give it a try. Entry will be by mobile phone and the tune can be sung, whistled or played on a musical instrument. Full details arriving soon. The scheme is organised with and in partnership with the National Youth Jazz Collective
A travelling exhibition on Humphrey Lyttelton’s life and times accompanied the tour and consists of a media presentation and visual archive display based on Humph’s writings and journals. See the Salute to Humphrey Lyttelton for the presentation
The Salute to Humphrey Lyttelton Tour 2021 was supported by public funding from Arts Council England with help from PizzaExpressLive. National Jazz Archive, the Jazz Centre UK , Jazz London Radio and Ina Dittke and Associates
Alison Rayner is an award-winning bassist and composer from the UK.
The 2019 recipient of an Ivor Novello Composer Award and runner-up ‘Double Bass’ in the British Jazz Awards for both 2018 and 2019, she has had an extensive career playing jazz and other contemporary styles since the mid-70s, recording and touring internationally with critically acclaimed Latin/jazz group The Guest Stars throughout the 80s.
Performing regularly throughout the UK and Europe, she leads ARQ, her contemporary jazz quintet, described as ‘a beautifully integrated band’ **** by Dave Gelly in the Observer. ARQ recently released their third ARQ album ‘Short Stories’ to critical acclaim, achieving #1 in the Amazon Jazz Chart. ARQ won ‘Ensemble of the Year’ in the prestigious 2018 Parliamentary Jazz Awards and was shortlisted in the ‘Small Group’ category of the 2018 British Jazz Awards.
Rayner also regularly performs and records with, amongst others, guitarist Deirdre Cartwright, trumpeter Chris Hodgkins and vocalist Carol Grimes. She has played on around 30 albums and also co-runs Blow the Fuse, the artist development partnership in London since 1989, performing with artists such as American guitar legend Tal Farlow, New York jazz poet Jayne Cortez, Peter King and John Etheridge.
‘Purposeful, full-toned and melodic.’ The Observer
‘Playing bass with a big, beautiful bass sound that comes from the heart… characterized by individuality, spirit and a sense of freedom.’
Val Wilmer, author, As Serious as Your Life: The Story of the New Jazz
‘With her big warm acoustic sound, faultless time, tuning and taste and creative solo ability, she clearly belongs in the front rank of contemporary bassists.’ Digby Fairweather
Buster Birch has an honours degree in music from the University of London and a post-graduate diploma in jazz performance from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He has performed at virtually every major concert hall and jazz club in London, international festivals, toured in over 30 countries and recorded on more than 30 CDs. He has worked with many of the UK’s finest jazz musicians as well as The Royal Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra and deputised on West End shows. He is the drummer for ARQ (Alison Rayner Quintet), winners of the Parliamentary Award for “Best UK Jazz Ensemble 2018”. He is director of The Original UK Jazz Summer School, that received the Parliamentary Jazz Award for Education this year and The Online UK Jazz School and he is co-founder and leader of the award-winning BYMT Jazz School for children. Since 2018 he has published 24 books covering jazz improvisation and musicianship skills for all instruments. He has his own critically acclaimed show “Buster plays Buster” featuring his jazz quartet playing live to screenings of classic Buster Keaton movies for which he has arranged and scored all of the music.
Charlotte Glasson is an award winning multi instrumentalist, composer, and band leader. Since wining the ‘Best Newcomer Award’ in Marlborough Jazz Festival 2009, the Charlotte Glasson has been wowing audiences at many jazz festivals including- London Jazz Festival, Love Supreme, Southport Jazz Festival, Birmingham jazz festival, Swanage, Teignmouth, Ealing and Oxford Jazz festivals.
Charlotte has worked with Claire Martin, Nick Cave, John Martyn, Andy Mackay (Roxy Music), Julian Lloyd Webber, Oasis, Three Friends, (Gentle Giant), Unkle, Jah Wobble, The Lost and Found Orchestra, Camille O’Sullivan and The Divine Comedy amongst many others. More info at: www.charlotteglasson.com
Chris Hodgkins MBA FCIM was raised in Cardiff. In 1974 he co-founded the Welsh Jazz Festival and four years later established the Welsh Jazz Society. As a trumpet player Chris toured the UK and Europe and appeared at the Sacramento Jazz Festival in the States. With his own band he made a number of a number of television and radio appearances. Wild Bill Davison commented, “It’s a hell of a good band”.
Chris relocated to London to play professionally. In 1985, he was appointed Director of Jazz Services Ltd. Chair of the National Jazz Archive 2005 -2014. Chris helped establish the annual Parliamentary Jazz Awards
Chris retired from Jazz Service in May 2014 and has taken to the road, the radio and the recording studio to focus on playing. Chris presents two programmes on Jazz London Radio and Pure Jazz in New York
Chris recently published a business planning manual for jazz musicians “Where Do You Want To Be?” available on the Online Music Business Resource as a free download at: www.chrishodgkins.co.uk.
As a Finalist in the BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year 2020, and the winner of the “Rising Star” category in the 2019 British Jazz Awards, Alex is one of the most exciting young jazz musicians emerging on the UK jazz scene.
Since the age of 15 – where she saw her first public performance sitting in with the Exall/Roberts Quintet at Pershore Jazz Festival – Alex has been a regular face at jazz clubs and festivals all around the country.
Known for her versatility and open-minded attitude towards jazz, Alex enjoys performing a range of genres from New Orleans to bebop. Praised for her extensive repertoire list and intelligent ear for harmony, she brings a youthful, intuitive approach that always sounds authentic in a variety of musical settings. Alex’s musical voice is steeped in the tradition of jazz; her deep respect for the heritage of the music can be heard in her swinging, melodic sound which is reminiscent of Scott Hamilton and Lester Young, also heavily influenced by Phil Woods and Cannonball Adderley.
Her traditional quintet – The Alex Clarke Hot Five – features experienced New Orleans trombonist Mike Owen, and play a range of classic repertoire from New Orleans spirituals to British trad. Her straight-ahead quartet explore her own original compositions, as well as a mixture of American Songbook standards and bebop.
As well as leading her own projects, Alex works with local bands and house rhythm sections up and down the country, performing alongside notable names such as Roy Williams, Bruce Adams, Enrico Tomasso, Gilad Atzmon, Greg Abate, Dave Newton and Art Themen. Additionally, Alex regularly works with the highly acclaimed jazz, blues and country vocalist/pianist TJ Johnson. As well as small group playing, Alex has worked with a variety of big bands such as the highly-regarded Northern band ‘Swingtime’ and The Paul Barry Big Band.
In 2018, Alex released her debut album “Mirage” – featuring Tom Kincaid (piano), Ed Harrison (bass) and Eryl Roberts (drums) – which comprises her arrangements of standards and lesser known compositions by the likes of Tubby Hayes and Harold Arlen. In October 2019, Alex recorded an album with The TJ Johnson Band, entitled “Songs from the Jazz Country”.
Over recent years, Alex has benefitted from tuition from Andy Scott, Dan Whieldon, Alan Barnes and Andy Panayi. She is also an alumni of the National Youth Jazz Collective, where she has received outstanding instruction and mentorship from some highly respected names in jazz performance and education. Alex is pleased to return as a tutor on the 2021 NYJC Summer School Short Course. (https://nationalyouthjazz.co.
Outside of jazz, Alex has had much experience playing a variety of music from Ska to prog rock. She is a former member of the award-winning Cheshire-based Pink Floyd tribute band ‘Floyd Machine’. She is equally comfortable working alongside DJs for private and corporate functions. As a session musician, Alex has recorded for projects ranging from folk to Northern soul, including recent sessions at the prestigious Abbey Road Studios in London. As a confident multi-instrumentalist – saxophones, flute and clarinet – and reader, Alex is experienced at working in pit bands for musical theatre productions.
As an educator, Alex has been working at Warwick School since September 2019 as their Music Assistant. She is also available for private tuition in the Warwickshire area.
Alex is proud to be a Brand Ambassador for Play It Again UK, a Dorset-based woodwind and brass specialist. (https://www.playitagainuk.
Diane McLoughlin is a composer, arranger, saxophonist, pianist and educator. She was born in Yorkshire and lives in London.
In a professional career of over 30 years, she has played in many genres, from bebop and big band jazz to soul, funk and disco, and from West African highlife to Eastern European folk.
She is currently involved in several music projects. Her own group, The Casimir Connection, features her original compositions. The group’s recent album Cause and Effect has received extensive critical acclaim. Nick Lea from Jazzviews.net described it as a “stunning album, something very special indeed”.
She is also a long-standing member of Alison Rayner’s award-winning ensemble, ARQ
Diane has written and arranged for many small and large ensembles, among them the Vortex Foundation Big Band and Di’s New Outfit, a blend of contemporary, folk and East European styles, that inspired a cult following and Giant Steppes, her 17-piece jazz orchestra. She is currently developing a new group celebrating the work of Dexter Gordon.
John Fordham described Diane’s playing as “vibrating with echoes of Cannonball Adderley” and her writing as “attractively punchy and highly emotive”.
Jinjoo Yoo, jazz pianist/composer/arranger is a dynamic performer with a unique voice. Hailing from Seoul, South Korea, Jinjoo currently resides in New York and collaborates with different projects and leads her own group as well. As a leader and a solo performer, she has toured internationally, including performances in the United States, Italy, Greece, Azerbaijan, and South Korea. In 2017, she was selected as one of the finalists for the Baku Jazz Competition and semi-finalist for the Virtual 7 Club contest
Jinjoo stylistically encompasses the range from Jazz Classic and the American songbook to original compositions that are played with swinging intuition. Jinjoo recently released her Debut Album “I’m Curious>(Gut String Records, 2018) as a leader, where she presented her sophisticated yet gutsy playing. This album features two of phenomenal jazz artists: Neal Miner, one of the most sought-after bassists in New York Jazz Scene, and the legendary drummer Jimmy Wormworth that has a long history and playing credentials with a host of historic jazz figures. With this Trio album, Jinjoo finished her CD release tour in Spain, Greece and Italy successfully.
“…Her music is unhackneyed, melodic, welcoming…….. She has her own voice, or I should say, Voices. It’s clear that she has steeped herself in the jazz tradition — reaching far and wide to include bebop, Jimmy Rowles, Ellington, Monk, and American popular song at its best — but she is herself. …..” Michael Steinman, Jazz Lives
“……One of the most listenable albums I’ve heard in many a turntable revolution!” Lance Liddle, Bebop Spoken Here
Henry Lowther was born in Leicester, England, in 1941. As a child, Henry learned cornet from his father and took private violin lessons before going on to study with Manoug Parakian at the Royal Academy of Music.
In the sixties, Henry was one of the first musicians on the British jazz scene to experiment with total free improvisation and also at this time began a musical relationship with Sir John Dankworth which lasted till the composer’s death in 2010. In 1967 he played on the now legendary Kenny Wheeler album, “Windmill Tilter”.
In 1969 Henry appeared at the famous Woodstock festival with the Keef Hartley Band.
Over the years Henry has worked in all areas of the British jazz scene and is one of only two or three trumpet players to have played lead trumpet for both Gil Evans and George Russell. He has also worked extensively as a studio and classical musician.
Currently, Henry composes and plays in the London Jazz Orchestra, leads his own band Still Waters, and is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music.The new album from Henry Lowther’s Still Waters, “Can’t Believe, Won’t Believe” was released in February 2018.Henry is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music and at the Parliamentary Jazz Awards in 2019 Henry was awarded the Special APPJAG Award
“Meltingly attractive solos, startling originality.” Chris Parker, Vortex
Jazz trombonist Mark Bassey has been described as “a superb, witty player” (Dave Gelly). His playing can stretch from the “raucous” (John Fordham) to an “exquisite sound and perfect phrasing” (Brian Blain). Regarded as a highly versatile musician, Mark covers many styles from swing to bop as well as the more contemporary fields. Musical associations have included Julian Arguelles, Alan Barnes, Liane Carroll, Charlotte Glasson, Nikki Iles, Billy Jenkins & the BBC Big Band, Lemke-Nenza-Hillmann Trio, Daphna Sadeh, Terry Seabrook, Stan Sulzmann, Clark Tracey, Mike Westbrook and Kenny Wheeler. He has recorded
Photo: Brian Connor
widely with many people and has released two albums under his own name: Mark Bassey’s Telling Stories (CD 2007) a quartet album featuring his own writing, and the quintet Bassey Plays Basie (CD 2011).
Mark has been involved with jazz education for over 30 years, teaching all instruments and running classes in harmony, improvisation, composition, and arranging at many colleges including the Royal Academy of Music, Trinity College of Music, and also the Jamey Aebersold jazz summer school.
Wayne Wilkinson, an artist with Benedetto guitars and GHS Strings, is known for his melodic high-octane straight ahead and bebop jazz, innovative jazz arrangements of other music genres, and inspired original compositions which world-renowned jazz trombonist Bill Watrous said “is the greatest guitar playing I’ve ever heard.”
Wilkinson performs and tours across the United States and internationally and has shared the stage with iconic jazz musicians and a President at the White House.
Over his four decade career, Wilkinson has played at Carnegie Hall and at major jazz and music festivals with the premier Air Force Jazz Ensembles “The Airmen of Note” in Washington, D.C. and the “Falconaires” in Colorado Springs. Recent performances have included the London, Tel Aviv, and Vail Jazz Festivals; a United Kingdom Tour, and Hawaii Tour.
As a faculty member at the nationally accredited Colorado Springs Conservatory, Wilkinson helped establish the Jazz program. He was also an adjunct professor for Jazz Guitar at Colorado State University-Pueblo for ten years. Wayne conducts master classes and clinics at universities and conservatories across the country.
Wayne and has played with jazz greats like Joe Williams, Ernie Watts, Michael Brecker, James Moody and Stanley Turrentine, as well as Bill Watrous, Bucky Pizzarelli, Johnny Smith, Wycliffe Gordon, Terell Stafford, Nicki Parrot, Houston Person, Ken Peplowski, and Harry Allen.
Wilkinson’s CD’s, “Proceed To Route” and “It’s A Lark” were under consideration for the 2019 and 2014 Grammys respectively.
Social Media Links: Website: waynewilkinson.com Facebook: WayneWilkinsonJazzGuitarist Instagram: coguitarist Twitter: @coguitarist YouTube: Wayne Wilkinson https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCeY7lwQxm1xLUGKkvGOp2uA