Interplay saxophonist Alan Wakeman recently reached a milestone birthday this year. Matthew D. Wright has written about his considerable track record and his continuing contribution to jazz, and this appraisal appeared recently in Jazzwise Magazine.
Matthew Wright’s Jazzwise review of our IJD concert.
‘When a top vocalist is in such high demand and performing in various places with local musicians…’ read the review here
Renowned jazz singer Norma Winstone, who is Interplay’s guest on May 1st, has just won another accolade – 2017 Vocalist of the Year – in the Jazz FM Awards.
Norma maintains a full schedule in this country and abroad, between Nikki Iles’ Printmakers and her own international trio, besides a huge range of other projects.
We are really privileged to have her, and will have to be absolutely on our mettle!
Tickets are still available online at time of writing from Wegottickets, and there will be a limited number at the door. The concert starts at 7.30pm in the Restaurant in the Park, Jephson’s Gardens. See our events page for further details.
Interplay’s guest for international Jazz day this year is none other than the great British jazz singer Norma Winstone!
Norma’s career spans a good five decades, since she emerged with the explosion of original British jazz in the 1960s. Her celebrated partnership with pianist John Taylor and trumpeter Kenned Wheeler produced some of the most elevated jazz of its time. Since then Norma continues to work in Britain and abroad making new music with many different artists and gathering awards.
It is therefore really exciting that Norma will be in Leamington on May 1st to join Interplay. Songs by Adrian Litvinoff will feature in the programme as well as carefully selected standards and instrumentals.
The event, an In The Moment promotion, will take place as last year in The Restaurant, Jephson Gardens.
For further information and tickets please go to http://interplayjazz.co.uk/event/international-jazz-day-concert/
Some people may have heard that Alan Wakeman is off the scene at the moment. In fact he has been under par for quite some time, and in the summer was diagnosed with a significant heart problem.
Recently Alan had the surgical procedure he needed, and he is now convalescing. He has been advised not to play the saxophone for at least three months, but in other respects he is hoping to be out and about within that time. We all wish him a full and steady recovery.
Please send Alan any messages via his Facebook page
In the circumstances we felt that Interplay should take a holiday until Alan is ready to gig again, which we hope will be not too far into 2017. At the very least we are planning something special for International Jazz Day 2017 at the end of April.
Thanks for your understanding.
Here’s another video from our Jazz Day concert with Claude Deppa in 2015. This time it’s our tune ‘Weightless’ featuring Dave Balen on tabla. After a beautiful soprano solo by Alan there is an amazing duet (or maybe duel) between Claude and Dave. Check it out!
There are more videos in the pipeline, so please keep visiting 🙂
Interplay’s gig with John Etheridge has been reviewed in May’s Jazzwise Magazine. Thanks to Matthew Wright for the well-chosen words! The title is:
Check it out online – just follow this link.
Interplay’s first International Jazz Day concert was in 2015 and featured special guest Claude Deppa on trumpet. Here is the opening number ‘Spanish Step’.
Here’s some video from our International Jazz Day concert with John Etheridge – Mingus’s breakneck blues “Boogie Stop Shuffle”
Superlatives are flying after Interplay’s concert with John Etheridge and Si Hayden for International Jazz Day! The event, organised by not-for-profit promotions group In The Moment, saw the Restaurant In The Park (Jephson Gardens, Leamington Spa) full to capacity with the kind of appreciative and enthusiastic crowd musicians long for.
The venue itself lived up to high expectations with clean acoustics, a contemporary vibe, and fine views of the river Leam yielding to Rob Sargent’s atmospheric lighting as daylight gave way to dusk.
Si Hayden’s opening set showed his unique mastery of the guitar while delivering his own compositions, that were by turns dynamic, expressive and humorous. It was no mean feat to start the evening as a solo performer, but Si did it with aplomb.
John Etheridge and Interplay opened gently with Pat Metheny’s lovely tune Hermitage, and then from the following number Spanish Step, the first of several originals by Adrian, it was clear that John and the band were in exhilarating form. Adding a special flavour to the evening’s set were two Soft Machine tunes, celebrating the fact that Alan and John had both played in that epoch-making band, briefly overlapping around 1976 or so (forty years ago!). Gesolreut was a typical Mike Ratlidge up-tempo blast, while Kings and Queens by Hugh Hopper provided a contrasting sense of stately beauty.
John gave a beautiful unaccompanied rendition of Goodbye Pork Pie Hat, which he introduced as his favourite tune. In another bandless spot he was joined by Dave on tabla and log drum in a spontaneous African piece that had the whole audience clapping and a few dancing too.
A blistering Boogie Stop Shuffle gave everyone room to shine and produced outstanding contributions from Richard and Neil, before Si returned to the stand to exchange guitar wisdom with John over the band’s pulsating version of the Cuban classic Amor Verdadero.
You can read more comments on the evening here.
Les Grafton of In The Moment took some excellent photos of the night (in challenging conditions) and these are now up on our Gallery page.
Here are some pictures from our recent gig at Leam Jazz, taken by Bob Wilkinson. Enjoy!
Interplay will be playing live on Coventry’s Radio Plus next Wednesday 25th November, to preview and promote the forthcoming Coventry Jazz Festival. The band’s set will form the climax of the evening which includes interviews and music from artists and organisers of the festival.
With Interplay’s keyboard wizard Neil Hunter committed elsewhere, the band is delighted to welcome Al Gurr, one of the region’s outstanding performers, who will be more than equal to the challenge.
The programme begins at 7.00pm, with Interplay’s appearance from 9.15 – 10.00pm. Radio Plus is at 101.5 FM or on line at Radio Plus
The festival is organised by national jazz agency Jazz UK, (formerly known as Jazz Services), now operating from Leominster in the West Midlands. It is one of the organisation’s first forays into promotion following a period of restructuring.
We had a lovely time at Stratford Jazz this week. A warm receptive audience, and of course we were well looked after and made really welcome by Jay Riley.
Jay took these really atmospheric photos in between running the desk, making announcements, selling raffle tickets and more! What a guy! Thanks Jay.
See them in our Gallery
Alan has reviewed the gig in SLAP (Supporting Local Artists and Performers), the multi-arts magazine based in Worcestershire.
Interplay’s gig with South African trumpet star Claude Deppa was everything that the event organisers, In The Moment, hoped it would be: well attended, well appreciated and highly enjoyable! The genteel setting of the Leamington Pump Rooms proved no obstacle to engaging the audience in music that appealed to the body and emotions in equal measure. Over 140 people turned up to share in the Leamington celebration of UNESCO’s fourth International Jazz Day, founded by Herbie Hancock in his role as UNESCO Ambassador for Intercultural Relations.
Three Way Split began the evening with their fresh arrangements and original treatments. Their deployment of saxophone (Ian Hill), bass (Wayne Matthews) and drums (David Anderson) was both relaxed and inventive, giving each player space to stretch, while the ensemble passages were attractive and simply stated. Ian’s light, expressive singing on their re-interpretation of ‘All Blues’ was a bonus, and the audience responded with real warmth to their set.
Claude Deppa hit the ground running on Interplay’s opener ‘Spanish Step’, to the crowd’s audible delight. The whole band reacted to his presence with energy and creativity that produced some very special moments. There were many inspired individual solos, with Richard Baker in exceptional form, Neil Hunter as inventive as ever and Alan Wakeman ranging from sublime to steaming.
However it was often the group improvisation that took things to a different level, from the hi-octane good times of ‘No Trouble’ to the reflective ‘Live Our Life’. Claude’s duet with Dave Balen on tabla on ‘Weightless’ was also especially memorable. Several of the tunes, which were all by Adrian Litvinoff, were being played for the first time and this may have added an extra edge to the band’s performance.
The finalé was truly celebratory as Three Way Split returned to the stage. David Anderson took his place at the congas next to Dave Balen’s drums, Wayne Matthews joined Adrian Litvinoff on electric basses and Ian Hill extended the front line. The resulting performance of ‘The Shuffle’ featured exhilarating group playing from the horns, tasty duets from the percussionists and bassists and a harmonically adventurous solo keyboard excursion, before the horns returned and the band tore the place apart.
It was a truly fitting end to this ‘Momentous’ event in recognition of International Jazz Day 2015, and surely raises the hope that In The Moment will return with further events in the not-too-distant future.
Visit our Gallery for pictures from the gig