Interplay – 10 years together!

Posted by on Apr 3, 2019

Interplay – 10 years together!

Interplay Jazz Group – 10 years Together Creating Music! In our fast-moving world it can be hard to find something that has been allowed enough time to mature and develop.  Interplay is a band that has taken that time, reaching our current state of evolution through a journey of ten years. The band brings together the talents and experience of five exceptional musicians, each fuelled by diverse musical influences. Together we work on performing largely original material to make it our own.  Alan Wakeman, (saxes, flute), and Richard Baker (trombone) form an unusual and well-balanced front line. Coming from very different starting points and bringing contrasting styles they have evolved a close musical understanding.  Neil Hunter (keyboard), Adrian Litvinoff (basses) and Dave Balen (drums, percussion) weave together all kinds of dynamics – assertive, fluid, spacious and energetic, as the music requires.  All the band are striking and expressive soloists. The tunes, mainly by bassist and leader Adrian Litvinoff, provide hugely varied settings for the band’s invention and spontaneity.  He says “It is a serious privilege to have had these guys’ attention, musicianship and support over such a long period.  It means I can draw on our mutual understanding to produce music that reflects each individual’s creativity, and also aim for musical realms that more temporary bands are unlikely to reach”. From Village Hall to Concert Hall Also striking about Interplay is the range of audiences we have encountered over the years. In Jazz clubs, concert rooms and festivals, sure, but we have also played in churches, village halls, community centres, even the occasional stately home!  We love playing to people who are enthusiastic and knowledgable about jazz, of course, but there is a different vibe and job to do when the audience has no real idea what they are going to hear.  It’s our chance to help them savour something completely new! We try to do so without compromising the music in any way, and we find that people appreciate and respond to that. In recent years we have had the good fortune to perform in memorable concerts with some great guest artists. These include Claude Deppa, John Etheridge, Norma Winstone and Annie Whitehead, and thanks for this are mainly due to In The Moment, a voluntary promotions group based in Adrian’s home town, Leamington Spa.  In May 2019 the band is appearing there with Alina Bzhezhinska and Tony...

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Alan Wakeman – another ‘milestone’!

Posted by on Oct 27, 2017

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. http://www.jazzwisemagazine.com/breaking-news/14735-westbrook-and-wakeman-line-up-with-the-uncommon-orchestra-for-a-bigger-show               Many Happy Returns...

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Alan Wakeman – on the mend!

Posted by on Oct 27, 2016

Alan Wakeman – on the mend!

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...

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Interplay – more Jazz Day videos!

Posted by on Aug 23, 2016

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 🙂...

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Interplay’s International Jazz Day 2016 – ‘Brilliant’! ‘Memorably Great’! ‘A Blinder’!

Posted by on May 3, 2016

Interplay’s International Jazz Day 2016 – ‘Brilliant’! ‘Memorably Great’! ‘A Blinder’!

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...

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