Friday, 6 August 2010

Tommy Smith Interview...

As the title of this post suggests, my recent Tommy Smith interview is the subject that has prompted me to write again. Of course you're not going to find it reproduced here, but it's now the cover feature of the latest edition of Jazz Journal, and quite a proud moment for me too.

To read the thing in its entirety you'll need to buy the magazine, and that won't necessarily be easy given that it's about as easy to find in the shops as a first edition Shakespeare folio. Worth a try though, and if you get stuck there's always a chance it'll get reproduced on Tommy's website. If not, I'm sure it'll appear here one day, after a respectful interval.

Not much else to mention by way of news, but worth mentioning our recent trip to Manchester to be part of the audience for the live broadcast of Jazz On 3 (or is it 'Jez On 3'?). The Beeb obliged with free tickets after I entered our names in the pre-concert ballot. Thoroughly surprised to have been selected, we were left to hastily arrange transport and accommodation. It may be many years before I enter, let alone win, another competition, so it would have been foolish to look this gift horse in the mouth.

Excellent music from a packed Band On The Wall, starting with the great Arun Ghosh quintet (with Idris Rahman and Corey Mwamba), moving on to a solo guitar and electroncis piece from the Cinematic Orchestra's Stuart McCallum (another Mac user!), and finally in the early hours of the morning a riveting set by a trans-Atlantic quartet featuring Gwilym Simcock, Mike Walker, Steve Swallow and Adam Nussbaum.

It really was live, no delays, and everything sent straight to air just as it happened. The late start allowed time for dinner on Rusholme's legendary 'Curry Mile', and the following day we had lots of time for browsing around this surprising city. Louise picked up a neat little illuminated toadstool at a fascinating emporium of kitsch called Oklahoma, and I managed to avoid the temptation of an iPhone 4 at the Apple Store. Still haven't made the leap, and at the moment see no reason.

Shame we had to miss the tribute concert to Chris Yates happening in Newcastle at the same time, but I'm sure that Chris would have felt the same way as I do about memorials and tributes. Glad to read that it went well and raised cash for some well-chosen charities, but if there had to be a memorial then I'd say that Sonny Rollins dedicating his upcoming show at The Barbican would be a more fitting epitaph than Alan Barnes at The Corner House, but I suppose you've 'gotta keep it real" (and The Corner House, Chris and Alan Barnes have a long intertwined history).

Back full-circle, Tommy Smith dedicated his show at this year's Gateshead International Jazz Festival to Chris, and that very afternoon we exchanged some warm recollections of the man. That's the way it should be...

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