BLAKE BURNS BRIGHT IN BURY
Smith’s Academy’s Spring activities ended on a high with what many judged to be “the best ever performance of The Westbrook Blake”, presented by Airshaft Trust at the Bury St Edmunds Festival. The Westbrook Blake will be back next season.
Meanwhile here’s a clip of Billy Thompson’s solo on Let The Slave, (courtesy of Matthew North)
THE CORTEGE- NOW ON FILM
Tony Staveacre’s documentary of the 1982 tour of the Westbrooks’ masterwork featuring Kate Westbrook, Phil Minton and a star-packed Orchestra can now be seen on YouTube
Part One Part Two
A stunning performance on a stormy night at the Marine Theatre, Lyme Regis brought to a close the current tour by this contemporary music ensemble featuring the voices of Kate Westbrook and Sara Owen in music by Berio, Walton, Weill, Vaughan Williams, Morton Feldman, Bartok, Donatoni and Judith Weir. We look forward eagerly to the group’s return.
More information about Lavolta
Also of Current Interest
LOVE FOR SALE
The complete version of the Westbrook Trio's take on the Cole Porter classic, filmed live in St Etienne in 1993:
SERPENT HIT NEWS
What they are saying about THE SERPENT HIT
Some of our foremost Jazz writers respond to the album.
See the the articles by
Richard Williams, Chris Parker, John Fordham, Dave Gelly, Stephen Graham, Duncan Heining, Andy Robson and Chris Searle.
More information about The Serpent Hit & The CD
MICHAEL FINNISSY - TRANSGRESSIVE GOSPEL PAGE
We have a page about Michael Finnissy's Transgressive Gospel which was premiered at Wilton's Music Hall in London as part of the Spitalfields Music Summer Festival in June 2009. Kate Westbrook joined Richard Jackson and Finnissy's favourite ensemble IXION. Michael Finnissy conducted the piece.
FINE 'N YELLOW
The CD version of Fine ‘n Yellow is now re-issued on ASC Records (ASC CD 149) with UK distribution by Proper Note. The album is also available from Westbrook Records.
You can also download Fine 'n Yellow as a CD quality Flac file or as an MP3 file from Westbrook Downloads. We have changed our download host and we can once again offer the download all over the world.
Following rave reviews in the French Jazz Press the Fine ‘n Yellow album was selected by staff reviewers of the Italian magazine Musica Jazz as one of the top albums of the year. CDs will now bear the sticker ‘consigliato da musica jazz’ recommended by Musica Jazz).
ENGLISH SOUP DVD/CD
Now available exclusively from Westbrook Records, in a Special Limited Edition for collectors, comprising DVD, audio CD and Recipes.
See here for details
Selected Westbrook recordings can now be purchased online direct from Westbrook Records with payment being made via PayPal. (It's possible to pay using PayPal without opening an account with them). It's also possible to pay by cheque if you wish.
Further information on the CDs available and how to pay
are on the main Westbrook Records page.
We've added CDs of The Cortege, Chanson Irresponsable and The Orchestra of Smith's Academy to the list of CDs and DVDs that you can buy direct from Westbrook Records. The price of the DVD/CD English Soup has also been dramatically reduced!
Take a look.
BBC JAZZ ON 3 MARKED THE CENTENARY OF THE OUTBREAK OF THE FIRST WORLD WAR WITH THE WESTBROOKS’ “PICARDIE”
On Monday August 4th 2014 BBC Jazz on 3 broadcasted in full The Picardie section from the album London Bridge is Broken Down by Kate and Mike Westbrook.
Details of the London Bridge album
The BBC Radio 3 interview with Kate and Mike can be heard on SoundCloud.
KATE AND MIKE WESTBROOK
The Paris Interview 'Passent a Table ' Jazz Magazine
Download a PDF copy in French
KATE WESTBROOK ON FACEBOOK
Kate Westbrook joins Mike Westbrook on Facebook.
Kate's Page: http://tinyurl.com/6g7orom
Mike's page: http://tinyurl.com/66ufq7z
The Uncommon Orchestra Page: http://tinyurl.com/j2gkoqs
WESTBROOKJAZZ NOW ON TWITTER
Follow Westbrookjazz on Twitter: http://twitter.com/westbrookjazz
DIANA AND ACTÆON
Kate’s exhibition of paintings on this classic theme has come to the end of its successful run at the Malthouse Gallery, Lyme Regis.
To keep in touch with future plans visit http://tinyw.in/JK4r
UNCOMMON ORCHESTRA - WHERE NEXT?
The Orchestra rounded off the year with what many agreed was the best ever performance of A Bigger Show, in Birmingham just before Xmas ( read Gary Corbett’s review). The bandwagon will start rolling again in the summer. More news soon.
Meanwhile for Matthew North’s Taste of Bury see here.
More Uncommon Orchestra Films.
THE UNCOMMON ORCHESTRA PLUS GUESTS IN
Thursday 15th November CATANIA
Friday 16th November PALERMO
Saturday 17th November PESARO
with thanks to Pompeo Benincasa of Catania Jazz and celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Mike Westbrook Festival in Catania '92'
Full line up soon.
ALL CHANGE AT SMITH’S ACADEMY
For over 30 years the Smith’s Academy Informer, founded by John and Margery Styles has chronicled the activities of the Westbrook Band. Originally a printed, quarterly newsletter circulated by post, latterly published online more
sporadically, the SAI has kept track of tours, recordings and new projects.
Now that the relaying of up-to-date information is provided by the Social Media and the Diary and Latest News pages on the website, the Informer is free to concentrate on its other function, that of providing a space for reportage and background information.
Re-invented as the Smith’s Academy Notice Board, it will in future set out to give a platform to comment, analysis and in-depth writing on relevant topics. The Notice Board will be published on the website and each new edition notified to a mailing list of subscribers. Join Our Mailing List to be kept "Informed".
Back issues of SAI will continue to be available on the website.
Issue No 1 of Smith’s Academy Notice Board is devoted to Kate Westbrook’s “Tracks of Desire”, written in advance of the World Premiere and album release of GRANITE.
JON HISEMAN 1944 - 2018
It was with great sadness that we learned of the death of Jon Hiseman, drummer, bandleader, recording engineer and producer whose illustrious career involved working with many major musicians in the worlds of Jazz and Rock, notably his wife, saxophonist/ composer Barbara Thompson. We send our condolences to Barbara, Ana, Marcus and all Jon’s family and friends.
From the mid 80s Jon produced most of the albums made by Kate and Mike Westbrook, making an enormous contribution to their music.
For a personal tribute by Mike Westbrook, see the Smith’s Academy Notice Board.
NEW ALBUMS BY DAVE HOLDSWORTH & ROZ HARDING
Dave Holdsworth, featured trumpet soloist with many of the most important jazz units in the UK, and the imaginative and distinctive alto saxophonist Roz Harding, who are both currently members of Mike Westbrook's Uncommon Orchestra, have recently released new albums of their own. We feature both albums here with sound samples and information on where to purchase them.
GRANITE – ALBUM RELEASE DATE ANNOUNCED
Kate Westbrook’s new album GRANITE: a soliloquy is officially released by Proper Music Distribution on July 27th. With her lyrics inspired by the love of Dartmoor and its granite quarries, music by Mike Westbrook, performed by The Granite Band, GRANITE received its ‘live’ premiere on June 21st in Ashburton, as part of the Dartmoor Resonance Music Festival.
GRANITE the album is now available, pre-release, direct from Westbrook Records.
More information and sound samples here.
See our GRANITE FILM here
SMITH'S ACADEMY NOTICE BOARD
The Smith's Academy Informer has been superseded by The Smith's Academy Notice Board, and we have a new post. A review by Angela Jianu of Paintbox Jane as performed at St. Ives, Cornwall on 24 July. Take a look.