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MUSICIAN Born:

Stan Tracey

Stan Tracey is an outstanding figure in the jazz world. His distinguished career has spanned five decades of flourishing creativity. He has been a highly influential and stimulating musical voice, not only to his peers but to each successive generation of musicians with whom he has worked.

Stan’s capricious piano playing combines the percussive melody of Thelonious Monk with the robust lyricism of Ellington in a highly idiosyncratic style. A master of harmony, he possesses a potent and compelling improviser’s intellect. Through Stan Tracey’s unflinching commitment and dedication has emerged a very rare artist who has sustained an output of highly exceptional music throughout his career.

A self-taught musician, Stan played his first professional engagement aged sixteen. The unlikely start of such a prestigious career saw him working for the forces entertainment network ENSA. However he quickly became involved in the lively emerging London jazz scene of the 1950s, playing in the bands of Laurie Morgan, Kenny Baker, Ronnie Scott and Tony Crombie.

From 1957-9 he played piano and vibraphone and arranged for the Ted Heath Orchestra. As house pianist at Ronnie Scott’s club from 1961 to 1967 Stan played with many of the most important figures in jazz history including Ben Webster, Roland Kirk, Wes Montgomery, Stan Getz, Zoot Sims and Sonny Rollins. His stature at that time is illustrated by his collaboration with Sonny Rollins which produced some of the most creative music of both musicians’ careers.

ARTICLE: PROFILES

Pete Brown: White Rooms & Imaginary Westerns, Part 1

Read "Pete Brown: White Rooms & Imaginary Westerns, Part 1" reviewed by Duncan Heining

Part 1 | Part 2 Poet, lyricist, rock musician, producer and scriptwriter—Pete Brown has covered a lot of bases in his six decades in music and literature. His career embodies that era that began with the Beatles' “Love Me Do" in October 1962 and ended in January 1969 with the band playing live on ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Nick Weldon: Eleven Flames

Read "Eleven Flames" reviewed by Roger Farbey

Nick Weldon is best known as a pianist and in that context has accompanied some of the biggest names in jazz including Sonny Stitt, Johnny Griffin and Jimmy Witherspoon. However on this album he plays bass. He's had classical training on the instrument and in addition to jazz dates, he continues to play in orchestras. But ...

ARTICLE: MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Evan Parker and Paul G. Smyth on Weekertoft

Read "Evan Parker and Paul G. Smyth on Weekertoft" reviewed by John Eyles

In 2016, English guitarist John Russell and Irish pianist Paul G. Smyth set up the independent Weekertoft label to release music they had been involved in, including recordings made at Russell's longstanding monthly Mopomoso concert series or annual Fete Quaqua festival. As the label reached its third anniversary, its catalogue was dominated by two large sets--the ...

ARTICLE: JAZZ POETRY

Poetry and Jazz: A Chronology

Read "Poetry and Jazz: A Chronology" reviewed by Duncan Heining

My intention here is to offer a detailed but inevitably incomplete chronology of poetry and jazz. The focus is solely on the combination of the two art forms in performance, not on poetry about jazz or jazz musicians or poetry inspired by jazz but not performed to music. My definition of 'poetry' is fairly broad and ...

ARTICLE: BOOK EXCERPTS

Mosaics: The Life and Works of Graham Collier

Read "Mosaics: The Life and Works of Graham Collier" reviewed by Duncan Heining

The following is an excerpt is from “Chapter 9: The Eighties or Graham Collier -The Wilderness Years" of Mosaics: The Life and Works of Graham Collier by Duncan Heining (Equinox Publishing, 2018). All Rights Reserved. The late Graham Collier was a bandleader, a composer and a jazz educator. As far as this latter ...

ARTICLE: THE JAZZ LIFE

Growing Older Jazzfully

Read "Growing Older Jazzfully" reviewed by Peter Rubie

So there I was the other day, taking a yoga lesson, trying to loosen my aching muscles. I'm at that age where it aches if I do exercise, and I stiffen if I don't. The instructor was a young woman with the flexibility of a baby who can suck her own toes. She asked us to ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEWS

Huw Warren: Global Music from a Local Perspective

Read "Huw Warren: Global Music from a Local Perspective" reviewed by Jakob Baekgaard

Welsh pianist and composer, Huw Warren, has been an important voice on the British jazz scene for many years. With a seemingly endless appetite for music, Warren has both been delving into Brazilian music with singer Maria Pia de Vito and played ethereal folk-inspired jazz music with another singer, June Tabor, in the trio Quercus. He ...

ARTICLE: EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Naima/Live in Berlin

Read "Naima/Live in Berlin" reviewed by Duncan Heining

Saxophonist Alan Skidmore has worked in many, many different settings during a career that stretches back to the early sixties with Alexis Korner--one of the three 'Fathers of British Blues" (paternity disputed!). That career has included recordings with John Mayall and Eric Clapton, Georgie Fame, Sonny Boy Williamson, Stan Tracey, Mike Westbrook, Mike Gibbs, the Walker ...

NEWS: BOOK / MAGAZINE

Mosaics: The Life and Works of Graham Collier by Duncan Heining from Equinox Publishing

Mosaics: The Life and Works of Graham Collier by Duncan Heining from Equinox Publishing

Mosaics is the first biography of bassist, band-leader, composer, educator and author Graham Collier. Duncan Heining draws extensively on Collier’s personal archive, as well as on interviews with fellow musicians, ex-students and colleagues from the Royal Academy of Music. It locates Collier and his work within the social and cultural changes which occurred during his life ...


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