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Acker Bilk

Acker Bilk has won immortality on rock oldies radio for his surprise 1962 hit "Stranger on the Shore," an evocative ballad featuring his heavily quavering low-register clarinet over a bank of strings. To the jazz world, though, he has a longer-running track record as one of the biggest stars of Britain's trad jazz boom, playing in a distinctive early New Orleans manner. After learning his instrument in the British Army, Bilk joined Ken Colyer's trad band in 1954 before stepping out on his own in 1956. By 1960, a record of his, "Summer Set" — a pun on the name of his home county — landed on the British pop charts, and Bilk was on his way, clad in the Edwardian clothing and bowler hats that his publicist told his Paramount Jazz Band to wear. Several other British hits followed, but none bigger than "Stranger," which Bilk wrote for his daughter Jenny

ARTICLE: PROFILE

Keith Tippett: 100 Best Foots Forward

Read "Keith Tippett: 100 Best Foots Forward" reviewed by Duncan Heining

From the Albert Hall at twenty-two with a fifty-piece band to picking potatoes to make ends meet a decade later, Keith Tippett's life in music could sum up many a jazz career. After a grim '80s, things now look better for the composer, pianist and bandleader. “What I'm about to say is ridiculous but it was ...

Meet Martin McFie

Read "Meet Martin McFie" reviewed by Tessa Souter and Andrea Wolper

Super Fan Martin McFie is so into live music he doesn't even have a record collection. These days, McFie, British by birth, calls both South Carolina and Nice, France, home. The frequent-traveling “jazz detective" has made it his business to seek out jazz of all kinds in some of the most unlikely places, especially when he's ...

NEWS: OBITUARY

Acker Bilk: Legendary jazz clarinettist dies aged 85

Acker Bilk: Legendary jazz clarinettist dies aged 85

Clarinettist Acker Bilk, who personified the trad jazz revival of the 1950s and '60s, has died after a lengthy illness at the age of 85. His most famous song Stranger on the Shore was the UK's biggest selling single of 1962 and made him an international star. Born Bernard Stanley Bilk, he changed his name to ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEW

Live From Birmingham: The Pedigree Jazz Band, Tony Bennett, The Fat Chops Big Band

Read "Live From Birmingham: The Pedigree Jazz Band, Tony Bennett, The Fat Chops Big Band" reviewed by Martin Longley

The Pedigree Jazz Band Solihull British Legion September 7, 2014 It's a curious sensation when tributes are paid to revivals of revivals. Down the decades since the original jazz repertoire was established in the 1920s, '30s, and even earlier, there have been a multitude of responses, counter-responses, exhumations and ...

NEWS: FESTIVAL

Brecon Jazz 2013 Hosts Best Of Contemporary Jazz

Brecon Jazz 2013 Hosts Best  Of Contemporary Jazz

The stunning Brecon Beacons in the heart of Wales will resonate to the sound of some of the very best in contemporary jazz as Brecon Jazz returns on the weekend of the 9th-11th August with a stellar line-up to suit a broad range of tastes. Saxophonist Courtney Pine presents his House of Legends band at the ...

NEWS: FESTIVAL

Huw Warren: Brecon Jazz Artist-in-Residence

Huw Warren: Brecon Jazz Artist-in-Residence

Back for his second year as artist-in-residence at Brecon Jazz is innovative Welsh musician and composer Huw Warren who performs in one of the stand-out festival concerts with his highly acclaimed ensemble Quercus, along with some interesting international collaborations. Quercus play the Chapter Stage at Brecon Cathedral on the festival Sunday, bringing together three of the ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEW

Rhythm Changes: Rethinking Jazz Cultures

Read "Rhythm Changes: Rethinking Jazz Cultures" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Rhythm Changes Media City UK, Salford Rethinking Jazz Cultures Conference Manchester, UK April 11-14, 2013 The study of jazz in academic institutions may be a relatively modern trend, but the presence of over a hundred academics from South Africa to Russia and from America to Portugal at the Rhythm Changes: ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Davey Payne: Ready To Play

Read "Davey Payne: Ready To Play" reviewed by Sammy Stein

Davey Payne is known best for the time when he was saxophonist with British group, The Blockheads. His solo on the 1978 number 1 hit, “Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick" was the first time a double sax solo had appeared on a hit record. Before he joined forces with Dury, who fronted The ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Mort Weiss: Mort to Come

Read "Mort Weiss: Mort to Come" reviewed by Sammy Stein

Mort Weiss is a clarinetist with attitude. He has also achieved what few would dare--taking a break from music for almost 40 years and then making a successful comeback. Every man is a sum of his parts, his life story put together like pieces of a jigsaw. For some, the puzzle is simple, pieces slot together ...


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