27 June 2012


Harry South Big Band for Mercury UK from 1966.

Ian Hamer, Hank Shaw, Les Condon, Greg Bowen (tp), Ian Carr (tp,fl-hrn), Johnny Marshall, Chris Smith, Keith Christie, Gibb Wallace (tb), Roy Willox, Alan Branscombe (as,fl), Ronnie Scott, Dick Morrissey (ts), Bob Efford (ts,fl), Harry Klein (bs), Gordon Beck (p), Phil Bates (b), Phil Seamen (d), Harry South (ldr).
Six To One Bar/Lush Life/There And Back/North Of The Soho Border.
Ian Hamer, Hank Shaw, Les Condon, Albert Hall (tp), Ian Carr (tp,fl-hrn), Rik Kennedy, Chris Smith, Keith Christie, Bill Geldard (tb), Roy Willox, Alan Branscombe (as,fl), Ronnie Scott, Dick Morrissey (ts), Tubby Hayes (ts,fl), Pete King (bs), Gordon Beck (p), Phil Bates (b), Phil Seamen (d), HarrySouth (ldr).
Costa Fortuna/Last Orders/Afterthought/Alone Together.

Another first at OIR for this superb Brit Jazz all star session produced,arranged and led by Harry South comprising of six South originals and two standards.Here's the cover notes to shed some light on this neglected set which has never seen a reissue of any kind.I've ripped it from the original mono lp.

A personal note from Harry South :
Perhaps I should first try to explain how this big band came to exist at all. Back in 1960 Terry Henenbery, who was the producer of BBC Jazz Club, asked me to select a group of musicians and write some big band scores for a jazz club broadcast. I did this and we were all very pleased with the results.I was more than delighted to have this opportunity of indulging the writing side of my musical personality;the musicians enjoyed the change from their more usual environment of the small club groups;and not least public reaction was favourable.Further work with this 18 piece line up was then shelved for a time,while I was working for a year in India with a group led by tenorist Dick Morrissey.Starting early in 1963,however,I have managed to get the band together on a number of occasions - for broadcasts,special club dates and concerts.Many of the 1960 band members are still with me - people like Tubby Hayes,Ronnie Scott,Keith Christie,Ian Hamert,Les Condon,Phil Bates and Alan Branscombe. I would like to take this opportunity of thanking both them and all the musicians who have played with the band for their co-operation and enthusiasm on all occasions.May there be many more...!
Just a few words about the titles we recorded at these sessions:
"Six To One Bar" is a blues in six four time which I wrote at the commencement of the flat racing season.Solos are by Roy Willox,Ronnie Scott and Gordon Beck
"Lush Life", composed by Billy Strayhorn in the early thirties,features Gordon Beck on piano.
"Cosa Fortuna". I must try to get this Spanish "bit" out of my system! I really can't help it if this track sounds like Antonio's dancers trying the Gay Gordons around a circus arena.The very title suggests a put on.Solos: Ian Carr,Ronnie Scott,Dick Morrissey,and then Ronnie Scott again.
"Last Orders" is a chance for all the soloists in the band to get up to the bar.The solo order is Phil Bates,Gordon Beck,Tubby Hayes,Keith Christie,Ian Carr,Roy Willox,Peter King,Hank Shaw,Dick Morrissey and Ronnie Scott.
"There And Back" is a title that would take too long to explain,suffice to say that Alan Branscombe,Les Condon and Roy Willox are the featured soloists.
"Afterthought" was finished about an hour or so before a recent broadcast by the band,hence the title.Hank Shaw,Les Condon,Roy Willox and Tubby Hayes are the featured soloists.
"Alone Together" This tune is a long standing favourite of mine and it features Tubby Hayes on alto-flute.
"North Of The Soho Border"-This title refers to the original geographical location of Phil Seamen's abode,before a fire next door caused him to move.Roy Willox,Les Condon, Gordon Beck and Phil Seamen take the solos.
To have the big band recorded has been a long time hope of mine,and when Mercury's A&R producer Mike Hawker (for whom I had recorded with the Dick Morrissey Quartet) suggested this album,I was only too pleased to get the band together once more.We certainly hope you enjoy listening!

17 June 2012


Mikio Masuda for East Wind Japan from 1976.

MIKIO MASUDA: Fender Rhodes electric piano, Hohner D-6 Clavinet, Yamaha YC-30 organ, Mini Korg synthesizer, ARP String Ensemble MASAYOSHI SAITOH: guitar OSAMU KAWAKAMI: electric bass O JESS: drums GUILHERME FRANCO: congas, tablas, cuica, voice, percussion KOHSUKE MINE: soprano saxophone (4)

Keeping with the J Jazz theme here's another of my top 5 from Japan - Mikio Masuda's fantastic fusion tour de force "Mickey's Mouth".
All killer ....

16 June 2012


That man Tony Higgins,compiler of the Impressed series, has put together a couple of quality mixes focusing on J Jazz Joints. Very highly recommended and of course the very finest in Japanese Jazz...