Lambeth resident since the '70s, musician and journalist David Gelly confesses you'd have little trouble to identify, in what was then the London suburbs, a stream of venues where you could access live jazz. We learn setting up gigs and venues operated on more relaxed terms previously. Also, David describes those times were often without the stability to keep bands together, not benefitting from the bigger audiences the inner city was more able to generate.
Indiana Jones and the the Rio Piedras in the WBOI studio with the lovely Julia Meek.
Lifting Lauper/Wildwood Flower
(8:18) El Trama
(13:34) Malaguena/Nuevo Testamento
(19:19) When You Walk in the Room/Symphony of Sweet
(21:52) Brad Mynx
(24:45) Sideburns and Roses
(30:00) Peach Wind
(43:32) Eastern European Pipe Dream
(46:45) Take 5
(48:40) Hot City
Kent-born freelance jazz photographer Brian O'Connor emphasises that his rich portfolio of jazz legends and events has largely been thanks to the right timing and connections from the start. Limitations and customs of the '40s and '50s sparked initial interests in still pictures and jazz standards of the Great American Songbook. He recounts the opportunistic era of being in London when ‘eventually the world came here’ allowing him to capture in real time for posterity the best of the American influence.
A strong sense of public service is behind the professional and voluntary roles of Ray Crick, from researching the record shop stock he managed as a teenager to best advise customers, to putting together well-informed programmes and newsletters for his local jazz club. We learn the years between, working for major record companies in London’s West End from the '60s, gave Ray the best tools and methods for creating programmes as he sidestepped from classical music into building up nostalgia, vintage and jazz labels.
Friends Jessie Penticoss and Toni French paint vivid illustrations of their socially interactive entertainments. Regularly collected to join American troops at their camps during WWII, they felt many fun memories were made at that time, as they experienced the new, lively, American jazz, the jitterbug, and how to really ‘live it up’ at the dance nights.
LYP youth member Dan, and Age UK members Brenda and Doreen talk about the opportunities music has given them. Dan progresses in guitar and piano with the music lessons offered at school today. Brenda and Doreen appreciated anything with a ‘rhythm’ played at their local dance halls when they were younger, as a way of meeting young men.
Crissy grew up in a family of musicians, and was inspired from early on by jazz big bands. We hear her great enthusiasm for the many genres and fusions she loves to perform and coordinate through a busy and vibrant career. We learn how she's worked with determination and strong individual drive to succeed in a male dominated profession as a self-taught drummer. This is a profile which Crissy hopes to raise further to actively inspire a younger female generation.
Graham Langley combined his three passions:, Books, jazz and collecting, when he built the British Institute of Jazz Studies, the UK’s first specialist jazz library. From its inception in 1965 until the National Jazz Archive's formation in 1988 it provided a unique resource for researchers and enthusiasts of all persuasions. Since then the two organisations have cooperated fully, with Graham being invited to be a trustee of the NJA. As a non-musician Graham’s motivation was to be ‘doing something for jazz’. His commitment took place in his personal time, and in his personal space too, as ‘every nook and cranny’ of his home is filled with jazz memorabilia! He tells how it all started.
Vera's relationship with music was initiated by her father's assumption that she ‘would be better for a career as a musician’. Despite completing Royal College exams it wasn't until she picked up an accordion and started a band however, that her own connection and real interest was sparked. Vera reflects she did very well to have made this work as a day job until after the war, amidst a time of few jobs for girls and wives: “It was a different world. But it worked out very well for me.”