WESTBROOK & GEE 4 STEINWAY FEST
This year’s Steinway 2 Piano Festival runs from March 13th to 22nd. at the Pizza Exress, Dean Street, London. Mike Westbrook and Jonathan Gee will meet across two Steinway grands on Saturday March 21st.
Because of the current Corona virus situation it has been decided to CANCEL the lunchtime Mike Westbrook & Jonathan Gee performance at the Pizza Express, Dean Street, Soho
THE COSMIC CIRCUS
Original Peter 1970 film of ‘live” TV happening
directed by Tony Staveacre
Part One Part Two
NOW ON CD
MIKE WESTBROOK LIVE 1972
with George Khan, Gary Boyle, Butch Potter, Alan Jackson
the original Cadillac album re-mastered with additional tracks by Jon Hiseman
Available from HUX RECORDS
More information on this site
More information on Hux Records site
MIKE WESTBROOK CONCERT BAND
The 1969 Deram double album re-issued with a bonus CD of previously unissued material by the Mike Westbrook Sextet, Quartet and Concert Band.In a 3 CD box set with specially commissioned liner notes by Duncan Heining.
Another Planet Music /Cherry Red Records
Available from Cherry Red Records
Also of Current Interest
HEY! BUDDY BOLDEN! - BACK FROM THE ARCHIVES!
Information about the Opera COMING THROUGH SLAUGHTER about the “first man of jazz” is now installed on a new webpage, with extended samples from the score, featuring Wills Morgan as Buddy. (that was 1994 - isn’t it about time to get “Slaughter” fully staged?)
DISSONANCE, TRILLS AND THUMPS (Courtesy Financial Times)
MIKE WESTBROOK AND JONATHAN GEE MEET OVER TWO STEINWAYS IN SOHO
Here is D.T.T.M
Mike Westbrook’s solo album PARIS and Jonathan Gee’s Trio album DRAGONFLY are both on ASC Records.
Mike Westbrook's PARIS can be purchased online from Westbrook Records.
YET ANOTHER VERSION OF DTTM
Recently recorded by Mike with Jools Holland and his Band for Jools’s Radio Two show.
AFTER SMITH'S HOTEL
Mike Westbrook’s composition After Smith’s Hotel was only ever performed once. This was at Snape Maltings, Aldeburgh, in October 1983. Now, as one of a number of ways to mark Mike’s 80th birthday, and his fifty-odd years as a composer/bandleader, Westbrook Jazz has released as a download an archive recording of the complete concert. The double CD length download is now available in MP3 at £8.99 & a CD quality FLAC version at £9.99
Information about the download
GARY BAYLEY'S THESIS ON THE MUSIC OF MIKE WESTBROOK
Gary Bayley's fascinating thesis on the music of Mike Westbrook is now online at Durham University's website as a PDF document.
NOW SHOWING - ARCHIVE FILMS
CHURSTON WOODS- THEN AND NOW
This beautiful and moving film by Stan Willis uses as its sound track “Pastorale” from the Westbrook Orchestra’s album Citadel/Room 315, featuring solos by Henry Lowther on trumpet and Alan Wakeman on tenor saxophone.
Churston Woods Film
CAPTURED ON FILM - LOU GARE PLAYS D.T.T.M.
Matthew North's film of Lou Gare's solo on the Mike Westbrook composition D.T.T.M. - dedicated to the memory of Danilo Terenzi and Tony Marsh - is now released. The occasion was the performance by The Uncommon Orchestra at the Barnfield Theatre, Exeter on 18th December 2014.
D.T.T.M. Lou Gare & The Uncommon Orchestra
We remember Lindsay Cooper who died on September 18th 2013 with film of her in The Cortege with the Mike Westbrook Orchestra in 1982.
Remembering Tony Marsh who died on 9th April 2012 with a film from the first performance of "On Duke's Birthday" in 1984. East Stratford Too-Doo
TWO SHORT FILMS OF LOU GARE
Stan Willis has uploaded two films of saxophonist Lou Gare improvising.
Do take a look:
ALAN WAKEMAN CD
For the first time on CD is a re-release of the 1978 album Wilderness Of Glass by Triton. Triton are Alan Wakeman - tenor & soprano saxes, Paul Bridge - double bass, Nigel Morris - drums. At the time Barry McRae of Jazz Journal wrote "Any reader with a taste for thoughtful modern jazz should give this a try."
You can buy the album from JAZZCDs
You can read more about the album on Alan's Website
PLAYING THE BAND - THE MUSICAL LIFE OF JON HISEMAN
the biography by Martyn Hanson
is now published by Temple Music
Order from Amazon
MIKE WESTBROOK AT "ALL ABOUT JAZZ"
An article by Duncan Heining covering Mike Westbrook's career from the early days of 'Celebration' to present day works such as 'English Soup' and 'The Serpent Hit' is featured on the "All About Jazz" website.
Mike Westbrook: Art Wolf at 75
MIKE WESTBROOK ON FACEBOOK
Mike's Facebook page: http://tinyurl.com/66ufq7z
The Uncommon Orchestra Page: http://tinyurl.com/j2gkoqs
Kate Westbrook joins Mike Westbrook on Facebook.
Please visit and "like" Kate's page: http://tinyurl.com/6g7orom
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
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).
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.
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 still 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.
LOVE FOR SALE
The complete version of the Westbrook Trio's take on the Cole Porter classic, filmed live in St Etienne in 1993:
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
This 10 - minute film of the river, filmed by Will Halfacree with music score by Mike Westbrook can now be viewed on WestbrookJazz.
KATE AND MIKE WESTBROOK
The Paris Interview 'Passent a Table ' Jazz Magazine
Download a PDF copy in French
For a taste of 1920s Paris here’s the opening sequence of the Dupont silent classic starring the notorious Olga Tchekova with Mike Westbrook’s score performed by the Matrix Ensemble. Formidable! http://bit.ly/2oIjRqG
Mike Westbrook in memory of LOU GARE is now available from Westbrook Records
see review at http://tinyw.in/uJC1
To order your copy please see here
Mike Westbrook Concert Band
THE LAST NIGHT AT THE OLD PLACE May 1968 was officially released on Cadillac on May 25th. See http://tinyw.in/vM1O and http://tinyw.in/Yh2e
Mike Westbrook STARCROSS BRIDGE
solo piano album on Hat Hut Records HatOLOGY 754. Release date 17th August 2018
Mike Westbrook Orchestra
Live in Sicily in 1992 double CD on Westbrook Records WR004
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.
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.
GRANITE – THE ALBUM
Following a triumphant “live” premiere in The Dartmoor Resonance Music Festival, Kate Westbrook’s new album is now officially released. Distributed by Proper Music the CD is also available direct from Westbrook Records.
Here’s a taste
For more information comment, reviews and samples click here.
Following the release of Mike Westbrook’s PARIS, Werner Uehlinger, director of Hat Hut Records, commissioned a solo piano album for his label. Mike Westbrook’s STARCROSS BRIDGE is now released (hatOLOGY 754). The new album was recorded in concert at Hélène Aziza’s 19 rue Paul Fort, Paris, at the beginning of December last year, by Miles Ashton, edited and mixed by the late Jon Hiseman. This performance followed a solo concert in the Intakt Festival, Zurich, a festival celebrating the centenary of the birth of Thelonious Monk.
STARCROSS BRIDGE is available from Westbrook Records.
See the CD page for sound samples and a superbly perceptive review by Andy Robson of Jazzwize.
See Smith’s Academy Notice Board.
LAST NIGHT AT THE OLD PLACE
Mike Westbrook Concert Band
Recorded in May 1968, officially released on Cadillac on 25th May 2018
Buy the album.
The album is disc of the month in the prestigious Italian magazine Musica Jazz
Read the review in Italian here
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.
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.
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.
"PIANO" REISSUED AS A DOWNLOAD
Mike Westbrook's 'PIANO' album, first released on vinyl on the Original Records label in 1978 was later reissued on CD by Imptetus in 1995. The solo piano compositions, all by Mike Westbrook were based around well known English poems.
The album has been unavailable for too long and second hand copies have been known to fetch large amounts of money. We have decided to make it available as a download in either CD or mp3 quality. See here for further information and sound samples.
Other Westbrook downloads are also available
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 Mike's albums and listen to tracks & purchase. Some CDs are also available.
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
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
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):
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.
A BLUE PLAQUE FOR RONNIES
On Thursday October 24th at 12.30 pm a blue plaque will be unveiled at 39, Gerrard Street, Soho, in honour of Ronnie Scott’s club which opened there, in the basement, in 1959. When the club moved to Frith Street in 1966 the Gerrard Street club carried on, as ‘The Old Place’, featuring the newer British bands.
The Mike Westbrook Band played the Saturday All-Nighter every week until the club closed in 1968.
The last band to play at The Old Place, on May 25th 1968, was the Mike Westbrook Concert Band, a performance commemorated with the live album ‘The Last Night At The Old Place” on Cadillac Records.
The Last Night At The Old Place is available from Westbrook Records.
Mike Westbrook has written about 'The Old Place' on the Westbrook Notice Board.
UNCOMMON XMAS ON THE ENGLISH RIVIERA
The line-up for the Uncommon Orchestra’s COOL CHRISTMAS at the Grand Hotel, Torquay on Sunday 15th December is confirmed.
Phil Minton is a special guest, lead trumpet Mike Brewer returns to the fold, Billie Bottle is back from the Circus, and Andy Williamson makes his first appearance with the Orchestra on baritone.
The full list is:
Phil Minton Kate Westbrook Martine Waltier vocals Billie Bottle vocals/keyboard
Mike Brewer Robin Pengilley Sam Massey Andy Hague trumpets
Dave Holdsworth trumpet/sousaphone Pete Whyman Roz Harding Sarah Dean Will Paley
Andy Williamson saxophones Joe Carnell Sam Chamberlain-Keen Stewart Stunell
Ashley Nayler trombones Jesse Molins Matthew North guitars Marcus Vergette bass
Coach York drums Mike Westbrook MD.
And yes! There will be Westbrook classics, Panto music, Blues, Bebop, Carols, Ellington, Basie, Rossini, William Blake, John Clare, Gustav Holst, and a special treat for lovers of Sicilian Folk Music. The concert is presented in association with fougou music, supported by Airshaft Trust.
See diary for information, including details of the Grand Hotel’s special Dinner and Room offer.
click here for film of the Uncommon Orchestra at Torquay Town Hall.
NEW FACEBOOK DISCUSSION GROUP
We have launched the Kate and Mike Westbrook Facebook group. You are very welcome to join and contribute. https://www.facebook.com/groups/westbrookgroup/
HAPPENING NEW YEAR!
WESTBROOK QUARTET FOR BATH NEW YEAR FEST
2020 kicks off with the Bath Jazz Weekend from January 3rd to 5th. On the 3rd. The Westbrook Quartet - Kate Westbrook Roz Harding, Marcus Vergette, Mike Westbrook - will perform ‘Love Or Infatuation’ based around the Hollywood Songs of Frederick Hollander. Other artists appearing in the festival include Iain Ballamy, Robert Mitchell, Joanna MacGregor, John Law, Tom Orrell, Nikki Yeoh, Huw Warren, Sam Crockett and more to be announced.
See Diary for more info.
ELLINGTON’S BIRTHDAY CELEBRATED in LONDON & TORQUAY
A special Preview performance of Mike Westbrook’s “On Duke’s Birthday” will be given at the Grand Hotel, Torquay on Sunday April 26th, prior to The Uncommon Orchestra’s appearance at Ronnie Scott's in London on April 29th – Ellington’s actual birthday. The regular line-up of the Orchestra will be augmented by guest soloists Chris Biscoe (saxes), Dominique Pifarely (violin) and Frank Schaefer (cello).
The Grand Hotel concert is presented by Fougou Music in association with Westbrook Jazz, and both performances are supported by Airshaft Trust.
See Diary for full personnel and booking information.
LOVE AND UNDERSTANDING - CITADEL ROOM 315 STOCKHOLM 1974
Recorded originally for Sveriges Radio in May 1974 the World Premiere of Citadel Room 315 is to be released on vinyl and CD on Jon Griffiths’ “My Only Desire” label.
Composer Mike Westbrook and featured soloist John Surman performed with the 16-piece Swedish Radio Jazz Group, led by saxophonist Arne Domnérus and the Argentinian trumpet player Americo Bellotto. The group comprised many of the finest players on the Swedish scene including trumpeters Jan Allan and Bertil Lövgren, saxophonist Lennart Åberg, guitarist Rune Gustafsson, pianist Bengt Hallberg and drummer Egil Johansen. The Mike Westbrook Orchestra’s well-known version of Citadel, also featuring Surman, was recorded for RCA the following year.
Taking its title from one of the sections of the piece, LOVE AND UNDERSTANDING will be officially released on April 3rd.
The CD can be pre-ordered from
DUKE’S BIRTHDAY AT RONNIE SCOTTS SOLD OUT
With over two months to go all tickets have been sold for the Uncommon Orchestra’s performance of Mike Westbrook’s Ellington tribute ON DUKE’S BIRTHDAY at Ronnie Scott’s club on April 29th.. Anyone unable to get a ticket for Ronnie’s might like to catch the performance three days earlier at The Grand Hotel, Torquay, on Sunday April 26th.