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.
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).
G R A N I T E R E - L O A D E D
Following the cancellation due to Covid of The Granite Band’s gig at the recent Swanage Jazz Festival, all eyes and ears are focused on the Band’s forthcoming performance at Exeter Phoenix on July 26th. This will a rare opportunity to hear ‘live’ the songs from Kate Westbrook’s latest album, the ‘apocalyptic’ Earth Felt The Wound, plus a major new composition The Wounding.
Joining Kate Westbrook are Roz Harding, saxophone, Jesse Molins and Matthew North, guitars, Billie Bottle, bass guitar and voice, Mike Westbrook ( 2022 Parliamentary Jazz Award winner), keyboard, and Coach York, Drums.
see diary for details
EARTH FELT THE WOUND
READ ALL ABOUT IT !
What the Critics are saying
There have been some new reviews of the album by Matthew Wright of Jazz Journal and Chris Searle of The Morning Star. See all the reviews here.
GRANITE FOR TEIGNMOUTH FESTIVAL
Kate Westbrook and The Granite Band will perform GRANITE in the Teignmouth Jazz Festival on the afternoon of Sunday 20th October. See Diary for details
The line up is: Kate Westbrook voice, Roz Harding saxophones, Jesse Molins, Matthew North guitars, Billie Bottle bass guitar, Mike Westbrook piano, Coach York drums and Olly Wickes sound. This is one of a number of performances supported in partnership with Jazz South as part of Platform South, with funding from Arts Council England.
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.
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
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 WestbrookJazz 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.
Keep up to date with 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.
KATE AND MIKE WESTBROOK ON TWITTER
Kate and Mike now have independent accounts on Twitter. These accounts will eventually replace the @westbrookjazz Twitter account, so to be sure of not missing the increased activity from them both on Twitter please follow their respective Twitter feeds.
DIANA & ACTÆON AT STASH
Kate’s recent paintings on this classic theme were exhibited recently at the Stash Gallery, Vout-O-Reenees in London.
See Kate's paintings here
Kate Westbrook took The Granite Band into the Studio in July to record the follow-up album to GRANITE, with the same wonderful team of Roz Harding saxophones, Jesse Molins and Matthew North guitars, Billie Bottle bass guitar/vocals, Mike Westbrook piano and Coach York drums. Once again the producers will be Jay Auborn and Callum Godfroy. Kate’s latest songs and Mike’s new writing take The Granite Band in surprising directions. The album is supported by Airshaft Trust.
CATANIA – THE ALBUM
July 2017 saw the 25th anniversary of the three-day Mike Westbrook Music Festival in Catania, Sicily. Presented by the Associazione Catania Jazz the Mike Westbrook Orchestra performed, on consecutive nights BIG BAND ROSSINI, AFTER SMITH’S HOTEL and THE EUROPEAN SONG BOOK. Westbrook Records, in conjunction with Proper Music Distribution have released a double CD of selected highlights from the festival, entitled simply CATANIA. The album is drawn from various live recordings of the concerts, some of them only recently discovered, expertly assembled by the late Jon Hiseman with additional work by Jay Auborn and Callum Godfroy, of dBs Sound, producers of GRANITE. The UK release of the Catania album was celebrated with a sell-out performance at Ronnie Scott’s in February. The 24-piece Uncommon Orchestra, fresh from its Italian tour, presented the first UK performance of PURE GOLD, a cornucopia of Westbrook classics from the mid 70s to the present day, - from Citadel/Room 315 to A Bigger Show. More information on the PURE GOLD page.
WESTBROOK DOWNLOADS & CDs NOW AVAILABLE FROM BANDCAMP
Our growing catalogue of digital downloads is now available from Bandcamp. Over the coming months we will be adding more titles. The downloads are available in Lossless FLAC, WAV, mp3 and more. See here to access Kate's albums and listen to tracks & purchase. Some CDs are also available.
FALLING IN LOVE – AGAIN
Kate and Mike Westbrook present their jazz cabaret Love Or Infatuation, based on the Hollywood Songs of Friedrich Hollaender, in the company of Roz Harding saxophone and Marcus Vergette bass. The date is Sunday October 6th, the venue Marcus’s Jazz Club at The Globe, Chagford.
See diary for details
HAPPY BIRTHDAY ABBEY ROAD
Thursday September 26th was the 50th anniversary of the release of The Beatles’ Abbey Road album. To mark the occasion Westbrook Records are releasing on-line the Westbrook Band’s version “After Abbey Road” recorded live in Nuremberg in 1996. John Winfield and Kate Westbrook are on vocals, with Brian Godding on guitar, Pete Whyman and Alan Wakeman on saxophones, Andy Grappy on tuba, Mike Westbrook on piano and Peter Fairclough on drums.
The AFTER ABBEY ROAD album is now available to stream and download from online retailers
You can also support the artist directly by buying the download on Bandcamp
ROSSINI ON RAI
On October 16th at 20.30 Italian Radio RAI 3 will broadcast Rossini Re-Loaded by Mike Westbrook and The Uncommon Orchestra. Presented by Fano Jazz Network the concert was recorded on November 17th 2018 at the Teatro Rossini in Rossini’s hometown Pesaro.
Radiotre Suite Jazz
Mercoledì 16 ottobre 2019
Fano Jazz Network: Mike Westbrook The Uncommon Orchestra
Jazz and Rock variations on themes from the Operas of Gioacchino Rossini
Registrato al Teatro “G. Rossini”, Pesaro, il 17.11.2018
To listen to the concert as it goes out click on ‘ascolta la diretta’ the start button at the bottom of the screen, (UK listeners please beware the time difference):
NEW FACEBOOK DISCUSSION GROUP
We have launched the Kate and Mike Westbrook Facebook group. You are very welcome to join and contribute.
KATE’S NEW GRANITE BAND ALBUM SCHEDULED FOR JULY
After a number of delays producer Jay Auborn has completed the mixing and mastering of the new album, at dBs studios in Bristol. Recorded in the depths of the Devon countryside last July the album, entitled EARTH FELT THE WOUND will be released this July on Westbrook Records, with distribution by Proper Music. The album is supported by Airshaft Trust and by a patronage scheme whereby patrons are invited to buy the album in advance and be credited in the CD booklet. Details of the scheme, and a sound sample, may be found here.
ONCE UPON A TIME AT RADIO 3
A track from Kate Westbrook’s new album Earth Felt The Wound will be featured on BBC Radio 3’s Breakfast show, presented by Petroc Trelawny on Wednesday July 22nd between 8am and 9am. The featured song will be “Once Upon A Time”, the Rossini ballad from La Cenerentola, sung by Kate with Billie Bottle on piano. Matthew North recorded and filmed their performance ‘live’ at the Uncommon Orchestra’s concert in the Teatro Rossini, Pesaro in November 2018.
Matthew’s film will be shown in the Moving Picture Show on Friday July 31st, the official release date of the album.
OUT NOW! NEW GRANITE BAND ALBUM
Kate Westbrook’s Earth Felt The Wound is now officially released on Westbrook Records, supported by Airshaft Trust and the album’s patrons, with international distribution by Proper.
Produced by Jay Auborn it features the Granite Band:
Kate, voice, Roz Harding saxophones, Jesse Molins and Matthew North guitars,
Billie Bottle bass guitar and vocals, Mike Westbrook piano and Coach York drums.
For full information, including films by Martha Shepherd and Matthew North, see here
The films are also on YouTube
Threat Of Natural Disaster
Once Upon A Time
The Streams of Lovely Lucienne
THE LOCKDOWN CHARCOALS - Kate’s new work on Diana and Actæon
In the lockdown months, my love of charcoal has deepened. The medium is as old as Art itself. A versatile drawing material, charcoal is made from Willow that is burnt slowly. When worked on paper, it will smudge, stipple, make the finest of lines, and the crudest. When erased, the black/ grey paper surface becomes almost luminous. The story of Diana and Actæon fascinates me and I have made many large oil paintings on the subject, as well as work in other media. Ovid’s tale describes the goddess Diana bathing in a woodland pool, Actæon the hunter spying on her, and the consequences. To explore the relationship between the nude figure and landscape, I have re-imagined this classic confrontation. My most recent version of the story brings the two protagonists to the open sea. These charcoal drawings have run in parallel to the release of my Granite Band album Earth Felt the Wound. Kate Westbrook
To the Gallery
SHINING A LIGHT
The latest recording by Kate Westbrook and THE GRANITE BAND is featured in a podcast by Jazz South on Monday 30th November. A tribute to Ellington “Says The Duke”, the 19-minute track is one of six works commissioned by Jazz South with funds that, but for Covid 19, would have been used to subsidise gigs this year. Entitled JazzSouthSpotlight, introduced, with interviews by Kevin Le Gendre,
the full series is:
November 2 Iain Ballamy IBQT
November 9 Fourth Page
November 16 Hexagonal
November 23 We Are Leif
November 30 Kate Westbrook & The Granite Band
December 7 Sara Colman Band
each podcast will start at 5pm
All information about the bands on
From November 30 “Says the Duke“ will be available for sale on Bandcamp.
Details on the “Says The Duke” page.
LOVE YOU MADLY
A new recording by Kate Westbrook and The Granite Band will be launched by Jazz South in a podcast on Monday November 30th at 5pm. Thereafter it will be available as a download on Bandcamp. Entitled Says the Duke, with lyrics by Kate, music by Mike Westbrook, the work is dedicated to Ellington. An extended Blues, it is inspired by the memory of the Ellington Orchestra’s last UK performance, at The Rainbow, London, in December 1973. The 19-minute track was recorded ‘remotely’ by the Graniteers;
Kate (voice) Roz Harding (alto sax) Jesse Molins and Matthew North (guitars)
Mike Westbrook (keyboard) Billie Bottle (bass guitar) Coach York (drums)
and produced by Matt.
Jazz South podcast 5pm, Monday 30th November begins with Kate talking to journalist Kevin Le Gendre about Says the Duke.
Information about the new recording:
Says The Duke
Podcast available from 5pm Monday November 30th here.
(Scroll down that page to 30th November date).
NOWJAZZ. GERMAN RADIO SWR 2. FEBRUARY 18th 23.03 - 24.00
“STEINBRUCHE DER FANTASIE”
Die Englischer Sängerin Kate Westbrook
Kate is featured artist in NOWJAZZ, current series of Jazz broadcasts in SWR 2’s current Jazz series.
Kate talks about her career and her most recent albums, notably GRANITE and EARTH FELT THE WOUND. The interviewer is Dr Bert Noglik, broadcaster, writer and former artistic director of the Berlin Jazz Festival.
Website: https://is.gd/A264Qh Full playlist (with realtime audio player at bottom of page)
Full JAZZNOW Programme (PDF)
THE WESTBROOKJAZZ MOVING PICTURE SHOW
LAST BUT NOT LEAST
Westbrookjazz Moving Picture Show No 75
T H E LA S T P I C T U R E S H O W
OF S U M M E R
With apologies for the delay, we round off the 20/21
Season with a ninety-minute cornucopia of films of
The Westbrook Band in its many guises playing everything from
William Blake to Barry Manilow and including many Picture Show favourites.
T H A T ’ S A L L F O L K S !
Friday October 1st from 11.30am
Since the beginning of April 2020 a new film has been added to the Picture Show every Friday. All films then remain available to view on the Moving Picture Show pages indefinitely.
Details of the latest and all previous films are shown on the
WestbrookJazz Moving Picture Show Pages.
Westbrook Jazz ‘LIVE’ in November
in Devon and London
at Ashburton Arts Centre
The World Premiere of Earth Felt The Wound will take place on
Friday November 5th at the Ashburton Arts Centre, Devon, the
venue that staged the premiere of Granite in 2018.
at the EFG London Jazz Festival 2021
Three performances in the 2021 London Jazz Festival focus on the celebration of Mike’s 85th birthday and three aspects of the current work of Mike and Kate Westbrook.
The Piano and Me a solo concert at the Pizza Express Jazz Club, Soho at lunch-time on November 14th, celebrates Mike’s life-long relationship with the instrument that remains the primary source of his music.
Kate’s Earth Felt The Wound, her new album with the Granite Band, receives its London premiere at the Soho Pizza Express on the evening of November 17th. The band features saxophonist Roz Harding, guitarists Jesse Molins and Matthew North, Billie Bottle on bass guitar and Coach York drums. With lyrics by Kate and music by Mike this powerful work is the latest in their forty-five year songwriting partnership.
The Westbrook Blake at Cadogan Hall on November 19th reunites the Westbrooks with Phil Minton, Karen Street, Billy Thompson, Chris Biscoe and Steve Berry plus Paul Ayres’ with Epiphoni Consort in a performance of Mike’s acclaimed settings of the poetry of William Blake. 2021 marks the 50th anniversary of Adrian Mitchell’s National Theatre musical Tyger in which these Blake songs were first performed.
For Booking information please see diaries Mike's Kate's
GOOSE SAUCE BACK ON THE MENU
The classic Mike Westbrook Brass Band album Goose Sauce, from the late 70s, is now available as a download on Bandcamp. A spicy brew of street music and music-theatre, the album features the original Band line-up of Phil Minton (trumpet/vocals), Kate Westbrook (tenor horn/vocals), Paul Rutherford (trombone/vocals), Dave Chambers (tenor sax), Mike Westbrook (euphonium/piano) plus new recruits Nisar Ahmad ‘George’ Khan (baritone & soprano saxes) and percussionist Trevor Tomkins.
For more information see Goose News on the Notice Board.
JAZZ DELUXE LIVE IM AACHEN
Two concerts celebrating 40 years of Heribert Leuchter’s LUX Orchester
Theater Aachen October 15 & 16. The LUX Orchester features:
Kate Westbrook (voice) Karl Farrent (trumpet) Marc Godfroid (trombones)
Kurt van Herck (saxophone) Mathias Haus (vibraphone) Heinz Hox (accordion)
Jürgen Sturm (guitar) Gero Körner (piano/Hammond organ) Stefan Radermacher (bass)
Stefan Kremer (drums) Roland Peil (percussion) Heribert Leuchter (saxophone/MD)
Music composed and arranged by Heribert Leuchter
see Kate’s diary for details…
Autumn sees the revival of that much-loved big band project Rossini Re-Loaded, jazz and rock variations on themes and arias from Rossini operas.
Cambridge Jazz presents Rossini Re-loaded on September 27th. Then the Uncommon Orchestra travels to Italy to open a Rossini Festival on October 6th in the beautiful newly restored opera house, the Teatro Rossini in Lugo. Back in 2018 there was a performance in Rossini’s birthplace Pesaro.
The Uncommon Orchestra:
Kate Westbrook voice Mike Westbrook piano Ben Cottrell musical director
Graham Russell Robin Pengilley Andy Hague Sam Massey trumpets
Pete Whyman Chris Biscoe Sarah Dean Alan Wakeman Ian Wellens saxophones
Joe Carnell Sam Chamberlain-Keen Stewart Stunell Ashley Nayler trombones
Karen Street accordion Frank Schaefer cello Marcus Vergette bass Coach York drums
see diary for details.
See Mike's Notice Board piece
ALBUMS FOR AUTUMN
The summer saw the release on CD of Paintbox Jane, the musical theatre show inspired by the painter Raoul Dufy. Tim Goodwin plays Dufy, Kate Westbrook, Martine Waltier and Billie Bottle act and sing, with Alan Wakeman on sax, Mike Westbrook, keyboard and Marcus Vergette on bass.
This is followed in October by LONDON BRIDGE LIVE IN ZÜRICH 1990
a radio recording by SRF (Swiss Radio und Fernsehen) of a performance of London Bridge is Broken Down in the Zürich Jazz Festival of 1990.
Re-mixed and mastered by producer Jay Auborn, the recording is released as a double CD on Westbrook Records. London Bridge is a European-themed work for voice, jazz orchestra and chamber orchestra and includes settings of poetry in French, German and English. The composition was first performed in 1987. A studio recording for Virgin Venture in 1988 has long been unavailable on CD.
The Zürich concert was the last performance of the work in its entirety. Musicians involved are:
Kate Westbrook voice Mike Westbrook piano Pete Whyman, Chris Biscoe, Alan Wakeman saxophones
Graham Russell trumpet Paul Nieman trombone Andy Grappy tuba
Brian Godding guitar Tim Harries bass guitar Peter Fairclough drums
Docklands Sinfonietta conductor Rupert Bond
album supported by Airshaft Trust.
release details be confirmed.
WESTBROOK BLAKE IN LONDON
The Westbrook settings of William Blake were performed at St James’s Church, Piccadilly in the heart of London, on Thursday November 24th. Part of a series of events, profits of which go towards the creation of a Blake centre at Blake’s cottage at Felpham, recently acquired by the Blake Society.
The Band: Phil Minton, Kate Westbrook, Karen Street, Billy Thompson, Chris Biscoe, Mike Westbrook, Steve Berry. Special Guest: Matthew Bourne piano.
JONATHAN GEE SOLO
Jonathan Gee’s new album ‘The Lions Revisited’ is out on ASC Records. This is Jonathan’s first full album as vocalist as well as pianist. He sings well chosen standards by McCartney, Le Grand, Gershwin and Jobim, and a number of original songs. These include Cognac, with what Jonathan describes as a ‘tour-de-force lyric’ by Kate Westbrook, on which his voice is accompanied by Andy Hamill on double bass.
order from https://www.ascrecords.com/lions_revisited.html
CHRIS BISCOE PLAYS MIKE WESTBROOK
Chris Biscoe’s new album on Trio Records ‘MUSIC IS’ features his arrangements of themes composed by Mike and Kate Westbrook. Chris has worked with Mike and Kate since joining the The Brass Band in 1979 in Mama Chicago. With The Orchestra he took part in the premiere of The Cortège and On Duke’s Birthday. With the much-travelled Westbrook Trio, which recently passed its fortieth anniversary, he recorded L’Ascenseur/The Lift. Themes from these works are the basis of the Quintet’s perfomances. Chris, playing soprano, alto and baritone saxes and alto clarinet, is joined by Mike Outram, guitar, Kate Williams on piano, Dave Whitford, bass, and Jon Scott drums The Album launch will take place at Jazz Café Posk in London on Friday 13th January 2023.
See Diary for details.
"MUSIC IS" the CD album is available from Chris's Website.
or a download on Bandcamp.
K A T E A T T H E E X P O
A long awaited recording has now been released of composer/bandleader Heribert Leuchter’s KlangWeltReligion, which featured at the Hannover Expo 2000 with Kate Westbrook as soloist, with the 11-piece Lux-Orchester. Subtitled ‘A lyrical-musical collage for voice and jazz orchestra’, KlangWeltReligion includes settings of Ancient Egyptian, Hindu and Sufi texts and of the poetry of Rose Ausländer, Paul Celan and Oscar Wilde. Over the six months of the Expo, fifteen performances were given in the Christus Pavillon, a multi-faith space at the centre of the Expo site.
Lux - Orchester
Kate Westbrook voice Heribert Leuchter saxophone Karl Farrent trumpet Christoph Titz trumpet Kurk van Herck saxophone Marc Godfroid trombone Manfred Leuchter accordion Gero Körner hammond organ Jürgen Sturm guitar Arup Sen Gupta tablas Stefan Kremer drums Lothar Galle-Merkel bass
The album, released in Germany on Luxaries Records is now available on CD and download only from Westbrook Records. See the CD page to purchase.
‘At The Expo’ notes on the background to the performances and recording of KlangWeltReligion can be read on the Notice Board
Marcus Vergette TINTINNABULATION
March 23 Dartington, Devon
Matthew Bourne, Mike Westbrook, Kate Westbrook,
Dhevdhas Nair, Coach York, Marcus Vergette
At the centre of this performance of music by Marcus Vergette is his Time and Tide bells: handmade instruments which create sound with the rising sea levels. One of the bells is ringing at any given time of day as the tide wraps around our coast, retreats and returns again. There are eight bells currently scattered across the UK’s coasts, each existing as a democratic artwork owned by the local community. Sounds from these bells are collaged with field recordings from the coast and fragments of instrumental improvisation, including Vergette himself on double bass. The result is a collection of dark and dramatic soundscapes, capturing thetumultuous nature of our waters.
The music performance will be ‘Tintinnabulation’ which explores the idea of a world with birds, and a world without birds, playing with the interaction between the bells and birdsong. In ‘Ferry’, a small group of instrumentalists respond musically to a projected film of the Torpoint Ferry as it crosses the water, with field recordings from
the boat audibly intertwined throughout the track. The bells are perhaps most prominent in ‘Wax and Wane’, buoyantly weaving between vocal fragments and field recordings.
See Diary for venue and booking details.
FINDING THE KEY
Composer/flautist Viv Goodwin-Darke has published a collection of essays, poems and visual images by fellow Devon-based artists. These include musicians, poets, composers and performers. Each was asked to make a personal statement about their basic practice as artists, in whatever form they wished; an article, a poem, a drawing, a photograph. For musicians it is about the relationship with their instrument. Among twenty three contributors the booklet includes items by members of the Uncommon Orchestra: Kate and Mike Westbrook, Coach York, Marcus Vergette, Martine Waltier, Billie Bottle and Roz Harding. Finding the Key began with Viv’s meditation on the flute.
Finding the Key is available for £7 + p&p. The accompanying film can be viewed on YouTube.
Details at bottom of this page:
The Big Band meets Grand Opera at Ronnie Scott’s
Ronnie Scotts Jazz Club, Monday 12th June 2023 - Tuesday 13th June 2023
Regarded as one of UK’s greatest living jazz composers, Mike Westbrook brings his acclaimed ‘Big Band Rossini’ project back to life at the club where it was performed triumphantly 30 years ago.
Line-up: Saxophones: CHRIS BISCOE, PETER WHYMAN, SARAH DEAN, ALAN WAKEMAN, IAN WELLENS; Trumpets: GRAHAM RUSSELL, ROBIN PENGILLY, ANDY HAGUE, SAM MASSEY; Trombones: JOE CARNELL, SAM CHAMBERLAIN-KEEN, STEWART STUNELL, ASHLEY NAYLER; KAREN STREET accordion; FRANK SCHAEFER cello; MARCUS VERGETTE bass; COACH YORK drums; KATE WESTBROOK voice; MIKE WESTBROOK piano and BENJAMIN COTTRELL conductor
Mike Westbrook leads his 20-piece Uncommon Orchestra in this internationally acclaimed jazz classic. Originally commissioned by the NDR Band in Hamburg in 1990 and subsequently toured by the Mike Westbrook Orchestra, Big Band Rossini has been played at Festivals all over Europe, and performed with big bands in Scandinavia, Canada and Australia. It was the first jazz work ever to be featured in the BBC Proms in 1993. Revived with The Uncommon Orchestra in 2018, Rossini Re-Loaded scored a hit at the annual Rossini Festival in Pesaro, the composer’s birthplace. The Orchestra returns to Ronnie Scott’s fresh from a triumphant appearance at the Rossini Open International Music Festival in Lugo, in the opera house where the teenage prodigy Rossini first performed in 1806.
“In the city where Gioacchino Rossini lived, and in the theatre where he actually played, Mike Westbrook breathes new life into the immortal magic of the Italian maestro’s compositions”. Giancarlo Spezia Musica Jazz
Dates: Monday 12th June 2023 - Tuesday 13th June 2023
Doors open time First House 18:00
Ticket Prices: £35.00 - £50.00
TWO FOR DUKE
April 29th is the 124th anniversary of the birth of Duke Ellington. To mark the occasion Westbrook Records is releasing as a download ‘Says the Duke’, a single, 11-minute track recorded live by the 23-piece Uncommon Orchestra at Ronnie Scott’s in April 2022. ‘Says the Duke’ formed part of Mike Westbrook’s extended Ellington tribute ‘On Duke’s Birthday’. At the same time Westbrook Records will re-issue on download an 18-minute version of ‘Says the Duke’ recorded by the 7-piece Granite band during lockdown in 2020.
Says the Duke (2020) and Says the Duke (2022) will be released officially on April 29th, as a download on Bandcamp from Westbrook Records, and streaming/downloading from Proper Music Distribution on all digital platforms.
Says the Duke (2022)
Says The Duke (2020)
Mike and Kate Westbrook have recently been invited to become Patrons of the Blake Society, an organisation set up to study and celebrate the work of William Blake.
The Society is based in Piccadilly at St James Church. Blake who was born in nearby Soho, was christened at the church in 1757. The Westbrook Blake, based on settings of William Blake’s poetry, was performed in the church in November.
On April 19th the Society staged a conversation by Zoom between Mike and Kate and Camila Oliveira Querino. Camila is a Blake expert who was born in Brazil and is currently an Associate Research Fellow at the University of Lisbon. The session included film of performances featuring the voices of Phil Minton and Kate Westbrook. Discussion ranged from the relationship of music to Blake’s poetry and the place of his vision in the modern world, to stories from the Westbrook Band’s fifty-year travels with William Blake.
A Music Celebration of Blake, an informal conversation by zoom, can be seen on the Westbrook Jazz Moving Picture Show here
For information about the Blake Society visit https://blakesociety.org/
The DVD/CD “GLAD DAY LIVE” filmed at Toynbee Hall, London in 2008 is available from westbrook records
JAZZ DE LUXE
Kate Westbrook guests on seven tracks on composer Heribert Leuchter’s latest album, recorded live in Aachen in October 2022. To a capacity crowd in the opera house the Lux Orchester presented a dazzling programme of musical highlights from its 40 year career, with Kate performing in German, French and English. Kate has collaborated with Heribert on a number of song writing and theatre projects over the years, notably a commission for the Hannover Expo 2000, KlangWeltReligion (also available on Luxe Records). Heribert’s masterly arrangements for the 12-piece ensemble allow plenty of space for a starry array of soloists.
Heribert Leuchter saxophone Kate Westbrook voice Matthias Haus - vibraphone
Karl Farrent trumpet Kurk van Herck saxophone Marc Godfroid trombone
Heinz Hox accordion Gero Körner Keyboards Jürgen Sturm guitar
Stefan Kremer drums Roland Peil - percussion Stefan Rademacher bass
the CD JAZZ DE LUXE is available from Westbrook Records