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Laurence Cottle


Born in Swansea, into a musical and theatrical family, Cottle was one of three brothers who helped their father (a pianist) in his variety act. “We were all encouraged to play the piano,” he continues, “and also to take up a second musical instrument.” Cottle chose the trombone, while the eldest brother took up the trumpet and the middle brother the clarinet. With little music in school, he remembers going to a private trombone teacher, “where I did all the grades.” At the same time, his father realised that his growing family had the necessary instrumentation to set up a trad jazz band, and so throughout his early teens Cottle toured Wales and the West Midlands, gaining valuable “playing” experience.    

“When I was 16,” says Cottle, “my father decided that he wanted to switch the band to being a dance band rather than a ‘trad’ band, and that’s when I first picked up the bass.” His first bass was a Kay that he put through an old Selmer valve amp. “I soon got tired of that,” he comments, “so I bought a Fender Jazz that I fed through an Ancron unit


Fire Horse

Label: ECN Music
Released: 2024
Track listing: Holding On To Love; Devil May Care; Born Yesterday; Mystery Ride; Lush Life; As Though You Were Mine; Stolen Moments; Skyscapes; Black Dog; Show You The Way To Go; Snow Blind; Your Biggest Fan.


Song of the Day

Black Dog

Label: ECN Music
Released: 2024
Duration: 04:37


Article: Album Review

Sarah L King: Fire Horse

Read "Fire Horse" reviewed by Neil Duggan

Starting her musical path with coaching from Mike King, one of the UK's leading contemporary vocal coaches, Sarah L King (no relation), surfaced as a solo jazz vocalist, releasing an EP of standards and several singles. Her passage was helped by a family heritage consisting of an accomplished jazz trumpeter father and an orchestral conductor grandmother. ...


Article: Album Review

Doncaster Jazz Alumni: 50 Years

Read "50 Years" reviewed by Neil Duggan

The problem for John Ellis UK as a teacher of brass instruments in the West Riding of Yorkshire, was that there were few resources or equipment available for him to teach his students the skills they needed and take them to the level that would enable them to have a career in music. He wanted to ...


Article: Play This!

Gavin Harrison: Hatesong / Halo

Read "Gavin Harrison: Hatesong / Halo" reviewed by Geno Thackara

Folks who know the name Gavin Harrison know that it's synonymous with versatility, which he's shown through a career including more than one of the world's brainier heavy rock bands. Porcupine Tree probably has the lowest jazzy quotient of those, whch makes it perfectly perverse that Harrison and co-collaborator Laurence Cottle re-shaped a whole album's worth ...


Heart of Mine: songs of Ross Lorraine

Label: Self Produced
Released: 2022
Track listing: Play On; Body Language; The Waiting Game; Pull You Back; Like Love; I'm By Your Side; The Name of the Game; Heart of Mine; We Will Sing Again; All Our Days; A Silent Cry; They're Playing Our Song.


Article: Book Excerpts

Giant Steps: Diverse Journeys in British Jazz

Read "Giant Steps: Diverse Journeys in British Jazz" reviewed by David Burke

The following is a revised excerpt from “Chapter 3: Full Force Gail" of Giant Steps: Diverse Journeys in British Jazz by David Burke (Desert Hearts, 2021). In the 1980s, a new generation of black British musicians began to reconfigure the country's jazz scene, changing the face -and sound-of what had previously been a ...


Article: Album Review

Pat Metheny: From This Place

Read "From This Place" reviewed by John Kelman

It's been a full six years since Pat Metheny last released a studio recording. This, despite the guitarist who has become, in a career now in the midst of its fifth decade, one of the most famous and influential jazz guitarists of his (or, some would argue, any) generation, reportedly having enough material in the can ...


Straight Ahead To The U.K.

Label: Dash Hoffman Records
Released: 2019
Track listing: Wheelers and Dealers, Highwire, Hippityville, Sermonette, I Get Along Without You, Shake It Down, Recipe Of Love, Song 4 Sandy, Something We May Never Know, Dreamsville, Gypsy In My Soul, Last Night When We Were Young.


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