23 December 2013

Review of 2013

We asked musicians and jazz fans across Sussex for their highlights from 2013.


Charlie Anderson

Drummer and vibes player Charlie Anderson is the editor-in-chief of Sussex Jazz Magazine.

What was your highlight of 2013?

The biggest highlight for me, other than starting up Sussex Jazz Magazine, was the Love Supreme Festival in July. Seeing local musicians performing at the same festival as the top American players made me realise what a great jazz scene we have in Sussex.


Favourite gigs?

Back in early January 2012 I remember seeing Bobby Wellins at The Verdict and thinking that would be hard to beat. It wasn’t until the summer that I got to hear Dave Drake performing in both his own band and with Jack Kendon. 2013 will also be the year that I discovered Mark Edwards’ Cloggz, vocalist Imogen Ryall and Preston/Glasgow/Lowe with Gareth Lockrane.

I also discovered the many fantastic big bands in Sussex, notably the Paul Busby Big Band, and Straight No Chaser who launched their new CD Navigation, at the Brunswick in Hove.


Top 3 favourite albums of the year?

  1. Liane Carroll: Ballads
  2. Straight No Chaser Big Band: Navigation
  3. Eddie Myer: Why Worry?



Eddie Myer

Bassist Eddie Myer is the regular columnist for The Sussex Jazz Magazine.


What was your highlight of 2013?

The Love Supreme Jazz Festival. Three Days of great music and perfect weather, and notable performances from a host of local players on the Verdict Bandstand Stage.


Favourite gigs?

Gilad Atzmon, Julian Arguelles, and Tony Kofi and Byron Wallen’s Lineage, all at the Verdict (where else?).


Top 3 favourite albums of the year?

1. Gilad Atzmon; Songs of the Metropolis

2. Jason Henson plays Wes n’ Benson

3. Sara Oschlag; My Little Boat.

And of course my own, titled Why Worry?



George Trebar

Bassist George Trebar was interviewed in issue 1.


What was your highlight of 2013?

Playing Einkhuizen Jazz Festival with Dave Blenkhorn and Shane Forbes- in Adrian Cox Quartet.


Favourite gigs?

Best gig- easy Christian McBride Trio @ Ronnies for LJF.


Top 3 favourite albums of the year?

1. Ralph Towner – Solstice

2. Harry Connick Jr. – We are in love

3. McCoy Tyner Trio – Inception



Paul Richards

Guitarist Paul Richards was interviewed in issue 2.


What was your highlight of 2013?

Getting Sussex Jazz Guitar School running with many excellent, talented guitarists hungry to improve.


Favourite gigs?

Straight no chaser play music of Simon D'Souza. Having played Simon's amazing compositions in small band settings, it was a joy to see them performed by a big band.  I loved Simon's playing on his tune "Giving Peace"

Love Supreme Festival

Martin Speake trio @ The Verdict


Top 3 favourite albums of the year?

1. Navigation, Straight No chaser play Simon D'Douza

2. Martin Speake Trio- always a first time

3. The Complete RCA Julian Bream album collection released this year. Its not jazz (classical guitar) but it's one of my faves of the year!



Mark Bassey

Trombonist Mark Bassey was interviewed in issue 4.


What was your highlight of 2013?

Highlights of this year have included: playing at Swanage Jazz Festival with my own band Bassey Plays Basie; playing in the London Jazz Festival with Stan Sulzmann's Neon Orchestra; and finally my first gig directing the Sussex Jazz Orchestra.


Favourite gigs?

I must be honest and say that I do not make enough time to attend many gigs (there's a New Year's resolution in the making!) However, I did go to the Brunswick and hear Straight No Chaser playing with Simon D'souza, helping to launch his new CD Navigation. Simon is very ill with a brain tumour but he still managed to to play so beautifully. This was one of the most moving gigs I have ever been to.


Top 3 favourite albums of the year?

1. Simon D'souza's Navigation

2. Simon D'souza's Navigation

3. Simon D'souza's Navigation

Now go and buy one (or three)




Mike Guest

Photographer and flautist Mike Guest contributed an article to issue 3.


What was your highlight of 2013?

Well that’s an easy one, It has to be the Love Supreme Jazz Festival at Glynde! This was a massive success both for local musicians – 120 of whom were featured over three days on our very own ‘Bandstand’ stage – and for Jazz in the UK as a whole. The organisers, Jazz FM, Serious etc. were so blown away by the response which completely outstripped their expectation that they immediately started planning for next year! 

Keep an eye and an ear out for a special ‘Love Supreme’ edition of the Brighton Jazz School podcast in the near future featuring loads of interviews with the visitors and musicians who took part:



Favourite gigs?

Let me just say that by nature I am a pretty mainstream old ‘Jazzer’ having been nurtured on Bebop and Hardbop back in the late fifties/early sixties. This year I was, however, wrenched out from my comfort zone when I heard ‘Preston Glasgow and Lowe’ with the amazing Gareth Lockrane guesting on Flute at the Verdict in Brighton. I won’t go on too much as there has already been an in depth review in this very magazine but suffice it to say it was pretty much a life changing experience for me.

Next was a concert by an extraordinary group of musicians calling themselves ‘Cloggz’ and lead by pianist and arranger Mark Edwards with a fascinating and eclectic group of instrumentalist. I would be hard put to define the music that came off the stage that night but I was transported and deeply moved in a manner that rarely happens these days. I would urge you to listen to them if you ever get the chance.

Finally and top of the list has to be 18 year old pianist Dave Drake’s farewell and total sell out concert, again at the Verdict. This was both an exciting and emotional moment firstly listening to the fresh and original compositions that he gave us and secondly a sad moment in the knowledge that he would be leaving in a couple of weeks to begin – on a bursary – four years of study at the The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York. Our loss and America’s gain!


Top 3 favourite albums of the year?

1. Ahmad Jamal’s latest album ‘Saturday Morning’

2. Kurt Elling’s ‘1619 Broadway’: The Brill Building Project

3. Eddie Myer ‘Why Worry?’



Lou Beckerman

Vocalist Lou Beckerman interviewed Liane Carroll for issue 5.


What was your highlight of 2013?

Without a doubt the musical highlight for me was Nigel Kennedy at the Proms with his unique, thrilling and invigorating re-invention of Vivaldi's The Four Seasons interspersed with jazz (Gwilym Simcock piano; Yaron Stavi bass) and traditional Arabic sounds from Palestinian Strings. If you watch the unabridged version on YouTube you won't be disappointed. I'm excited and moved just thinking about it.


Favourite gigs?

My own!! Just joking! Perhaps not the favourite but decidedly the most significant was the legendary Jon Hendricks at Ronnie's – an opportunity to be in the presence of this master (and originator) of vocalese was quite humbling. In his nineties and still giving it some…


Top 3 favourite albums of the year?

It often takes ages for me to catch up… Hence I list just one favourite new release and two of my discoveries of delight this year:

1  Without a Net – Wayne Shorter (2013)

2  Noted – Anita Wardell (2006)

3  Seven Days of Falling – Esbjorn Svensson Trio (2003)



Paul Busby

Pianist, composer and arranger Paul Busby was interviewed in issue 6.


What was your highlight of 2013?

The highlight of 2013 for me was my concert in the Brunswick on November 10th.  The band played fantastically and there were some great solos.

Incidentally,   I'm putting on a gig with my big band on the theme of One World with guest artist, Mihaly Borbely, a remarkable sax player from Hungary in October.  Thought I'd get my highlight of 2014 in there too!


Favourite gigs?

My favourite gig I attended was Simon D'Souza's gig at the Brunswick in December.  Great playing by the Straight No Chaser big band and wonderful compositions by Simon. 


Top 3 favourite albums of the year?

I tend to listen to jazz now on youtube.  The only album I bought this year was Simon D'Souza's Navigation,  so that's my favourite.



Sophie Mason

Pianist Sophie Mason was interviewed in issue 7.​


What was your highlight of 2013?

In Sussex two great projects have started up this year, The Love Supreme Festival and The Sussex Jazz Mag, both of which will assist in the growth of jazz in Sussex and the awareness of jazz courses, venues and professional and young jazz musicians in the local area.


Favourite gigs?

Lee Konitz at the London Jazz Festival, Ramon Valle and Alfredo Rodriguez, Cuban Pianists also at the LJF, Chris Potter Quartet at Ronnie Scotts + many brilliant gigs at the Verdict! 


Top 3 favourite albums of the year?

The Metheny/Meldhau  Album  – a wonderful collaboration between 2 virtuous.



John Lake

Pianist John Lake was interviewed in issue 8.​


What was your highlight of 2013?

The launch of my trio's CD "Up on the Downs" at the Verdict Jazz Cafe, Brighton in May with Phil Paton on sax, Simon Cambers on drums and Simon Brewin on bass.


Favourite gigs?

Michel Camilo trio at Ronnie Scott's in May – a front row seat with Lincoln Goines on bass and Cliff Almond on drums.

Love Supreme Festival in July – several great performances – Branford Marsalis Quartet and Neil Cowley Trio stood out.

Lee Konitz at the San Sebastian Jazz Festival in Spain – at over 80 years old he still blows superbly. A real treat to see a guy who recorded with Miles Davis in the 1950's!


Top 3 favourite albums of the year?

1. Tingvall Trio In Concert – Skip Records – Fantastic on the road recordings and dynamic performances of their recent work.

2. Yellowjackets – A Rise in the Road with the excellent Felix Pastorius now on bass – Mack Avenue Records – A refreshing performance with some great tunes even though I do miss hearing Jimmy Haslip! 

3. Ahmad Jamal Saturday Morning on Jazz Village. The old master is back but this is no re-hash – he's out there with new work and great rhythmic sound from his drummer Herlin Riley and percussionist Manolo Badrena.

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