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Musician

Stan Tracey

Born:

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.

Album

The 1959 Sessions

Label: Resteamed
Released: 2022
Track listing: Sometimes I'm Happy; Just You Just Me; Moonlight In Vermont; Jumpin' With Symphony Sid; Mood 13; Little Girl Sadly; Street Of Themes; Pittar Patter Panic.

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Article: Book Excerpts

Ivor Cutler: A Life Outside The Sitting Room

Read "Ivor Cutler: A Life Outside The Sitting Room" reviewed by Bruce Lindsay


The following is an excerpt from Chapter 6 (A Life of Whimsical Fantasies) and 9 (A Life on the Page), from Ivor Cutler: A Life Outside The Sitting Room (Equinox Publishing, 2022). Chapter 6: A Life of Whimsical Fantasies Ivor's love of jazz, formed during his teens and early-20s, remained strong and he visited ...

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Article: Album Review

Howard Riley / Keith Tippett: Journal Four

Read "Journal Four" reviewed by John Sharpe


British pianists Howard Riley and Keith Tippett were seasoned proponents of the never widespread format of the piano duet, both together and apart. Riley's partners also included Jaki Byard as well as overdubbed sessions with himself, while Tippett's discography contains entries with Stan Tracey, Daryl Runswick and Matthew Bourne (though the last took place subsequent to ...

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Article: Album Review

Henry Lowther's Quarternity: Never Never Land

Read "Never Never Land" reviewed by Chris May


The British trumpeter and composer Henry Lowther, who first made an impact in the 1960s and released the well received album Can't Believe, Won't Believe (Village Life) in 2018, came to jazz via a circuitous route. After playing cornet in a provincial Salvation Army band, he moved to London around 1960 to study violin at the ...

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Article: Album Review

Dave Green Trio plus Evan Parker: Raise Four

Read "Raise Four" reviewed by Duncan Heining


Bassist Dave Green recorded this set for the BBC Radio 3 programme Somethin' Else in 2004. In the interview included here with the show's presenter Jez Nelson, Green reflects on a forty year career in jazz. It is fitting that this fine record, only his fourth as leader, sees its release in the year Green marks ...

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News: Recording

Stan Tracey Trio: The 1959 Sessions

Stan Tracey Trio: The 1959 Sessions

As admired and as influential as Thelonious Monk's piano playing was, his fascinating, jagged style wasn't often imitated. Monk's original compositions, however, were quick to become jazz standards and were played and recorded nearly as often as songs by Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn. But unlike Bud Powell, whose piano style was incorporated by many artists, ...

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Article: Album Review

Stan Tracey Trio: The 1959 Sessions

Read "The 1959 Sessions" reviewed by Chris May


Sonny Rollins summed up the outsize talent of British pianist Stan Tracey in a remark he made sometime in the early 1960s. Tracey was then the house pianist at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club, where Rollins was playing a season. “Does anyone over here realise how good this guy is?" Rollins asked the audience. ...

Album

Inclusivity

Label: Jazz In Britain
Released: 2021
Track listing: Disc One: Live At The 100 Club Set 1: Phase 1 – 5. Disc Two: Live At The 100 Club Set 2: Phase 6 – 8; Encore. Disc Three: Live At Grass Roots: Phase 1 – 6.

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Article: Album Review

Splinters: Inclusivity

Read "Inclusivity" reviewed by Chris May


Archive label Jazz In Britain comes up with another winner. Inclusivity is a 3 x CD collection of the complete performances of Splinters, an all-star 1972 septet comprising three hard boppers, two radical experimentalists and two in-betweeners. They were tenor saxophonist and flautist Tubby Hayes, alto saxophonist Trevor Watts, trumpeter and flugelhornist Kenny Wheeler, pianist Stan ...


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