Woodcutter
Cut my shadow.
Deliver me from the torture of
beholding myself fruitless.

Why was I born Surrounded by mirrors?
The day turns around me.
And the night reproduces
me in each of her stars.

I want to live without seeing myself
And I shall dream
that ants and hawks
are my leaves and birds.

Woodcutter
Cut my shadow.
Deliver me from the torture of
beholding myself fruitless.

Trans: J.L Gili
Kate Westbrook
THE SCHOOL OF JOLLY DOGS
by Harry Copeland
as performed at Wilton’s Music Hall London in 1865
paintings by                    produced and edited by
Kate Westbrook                         Chris Topley
arranged by Mike Westbrook
Pete Whyman clarinet Alan Wakeman tenor sax Brian Godding guitar
Andy Grappy tuba Mike Westbrook piano Pete Fairclough drums
recorded by Jon Hiseman
December 1989

Watch the video here

download single available from Westbrook Records
via Bandcamp

for information about Jolly Dogs of London
http://john-adcock.blogspot.com/2009/09/jolly-dogs-of-london.html
Kate has painted a whole cast of characters to portray The Jolly Dogs and their rivals Spring-Heeled Jack and Pals, who are up to their ‘nocturnal larks’ in the dark London streets. Skilfully edited by Chris Topley, the screening of The School of Jolly Dogs on April 9th marks the first anniversary of the opening of the Moving Picture Show in April 2020 and, by a remarkable coincidence, the thirty-third anniversary of the Munich premiere of Bunbury, in 1988.
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The WestbrookJazz Moving Picture Show has moved here
9 April 2021
No. 49
 
Moving Picture Show 1st Anniversary
Wiltons Music Hall, London. photo: Paul Marc Mitchell
Slap! Bang!
In 1987, in Hamburg, Kate and I were approached by theatre director Armin Holz and his assistant Bettina Müller from a Munich-based theatre company. They asked if we would write several songs for a forthcoming production.
This was a German version of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, to be called Bunbury. Taking a cue from the original play the songs would comment on Victorian values. We were to base our songs on Music Hall songs of the period, many of which were subversive, full of mockery and innuendo.
Kate and I were already interested in Music Hall, a particularly English popular entertainment, in many ways the equivalent of American Vaudeville and European Cabaret. The Brass Band drew on this form of musical entertainment that could embrace ‘serious’ music, comic songs, pastiche, poetry and social comment; and combine it with improvisation, street music and New Orleans Jazz. Our Jazz Cabaret grew out of this. Mama Chicago in 1978 was the first in a long line of music/theatre shows that has continued ever since. In 2002 Kate with her band the Skirmishers created the ‘Neoteric Music Hall’ Cuff Clout.
We received from Munich a selection of songs that seemed appropriate for the plot and characters involved. Kate then set about adapting the lyrics and re-titling the songs. Her words were then translated into German by Erika Rundstatler. Cupid’s Garden (Miss Prism Regrets) became Lüste Garten, Song of the Fall of the Victorian Empire (Sink Britannia!) became Das Lied vom Fall des Viktorianischen Königreiches (Sinke Brittanien!) and so on. The opening number Algy’s Song, required an ode to the Dandy life and to the declining Victorian Age. We chose The School of Jolly Dogs, aka Slap! Bang!, which translated as Die Schule der Glücklichen Hünde
We worked hard over Xmas and delivered the songs on January 10th in time for rehearsals. We heard nothing from Munich again, and assumed that Bunbury had been abandoned. Only recently we discovered that the show had opened on the 9th of April 1988 at the Gewächshaus in Munchen-Moosach. We were credited as composers of the music, but no-one thought to tell us!
The songs remained on the shelf. But one of them, Jolly Dogs, refused to go away and we decided to play it. At the suggestion of Laurence Aston, who was managing the band at the time, we demoed the song with the Abbey Road band. I can’t remember why. We can’t have thought it would be a hit. However the song proved a marvellous vehicle for Kate and the band, in particular for Pete on clarinet, Andy on tuba and Brian on guitar.
This was the first time we recorded with Jon Hiseman in his Temple Music Studio. The whole thing was wrapped up in one session. Jon had roots in Music Hall and Variety and knew exactly what to do. Nothing has been done with the demo until now.
The relationship with Jon took off from that moment. Within weeks we were back in the studio recording Kate’s Goodbye Peter Lorre. We went on to record over a dozen albums at Temple Music, right up to Jon’s untimely death in 2018
Jolly Dogs re-surfaced years later in various forms. There was an arrangement for the Trio, for a Brass Quintet and a Big Band. The Village Band played it at the opening of a Beryl Cook exhibition at Plymouth University.
Most memorably it was performed as an encore at the 2011 premiere of The Serpent Hit, arranged for voice, sax quartet and drums. The venue was none other than Wilton’s Music Hall in the East End of London, ‘the Handsomest Room in Town’, the very place where it was first performed in the 1860s. At that time, for‘The Great Vance’ (Mister Alfred Vance) Jolly Dogs was a massive hit. The song’s success did nothing for the composer, Harry Copeland, who died penniless in 1865. (The PRS was not founded until 1914).
Now at last The School of Jolly Dogs - to give it its full title - is back to stay, and Harry Copeland may get some of the recognition that he deserves. The demo has been dusted off and sounds as fresh as when Jon made it in those distant analogue days.
Mike Westbrook
16 April 2021
Leñador
No. 50
Leñador.
Córtame la sombra.
Líbrame del suplicio
de verme sin toronjas.

¿Por qué nací entre espejos?
El día me da vueltas.
Y la noche me copia
en todas sus estrellas.

Quiero vivir sin verme.
Y hormigas y vilanos,
soñaré que son mis
hojas y mis pájaros.

Leñador.
Córtame la sombra.
Líbrame del suplicio
de verme sin toronjas.

Frederico Garcia Lorca
Leñador is featured in the Moving Picture Show for 16 April 2021- You can see it here

 
Kate Westbrook singing Leñador
Kate Westbrook singing Leñador with Big Band RTV Slovenia
LEÑADOR
Federico Garcia Lorca
23 April 2021
Love Or Infatuation
No. 51
In 1996 Kate and I received a bundle of photo-copied sheet music from the composer/saxophonist Dirk Raulf. He was organising a concert in the Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn to mark the publication of Frederick Hollander’s autobiography. Now a rather neglected figure, Hollander was known as one of the principal songwriters of the Berlin Cabaret in the Weimar era. His first big hit, Falling in Love Again, was sung by Marlene Dietrich in the 1930 film The Blue Angel.
Forced by Nazi persecution to flee the country in the mid ‘30s Hollander, like his contemporary Kurt Weill, took refuge in the States. Unlike Weill who went on to great success on Broadway, Hollander wound up as a jobbing composer in Hollywood. He wrote music for 150 movies, with songs for such stars as Betty Grable, Dorothy Lamour and Carole Lombard, as well as Dietrich.
Mostly escapist romantic comedies, these movies are long forgotten. Who now remembers Desire, This Way Please, Cocoanut Grove and The Moon’s Our Home? Exceptions are Destry Rides Again from 1939 starring Dietrich and James Stewart, and Foreign Affair (1948) in which Hollander himself plays piano for Dietrich, and in which songs like Black Market have a harder edge. Mostly the songs are sentimental ballads with lyrics by Hollywood hacks, a far cry from Hollander’s satirical and heavily political Berlin work.
These were the songs that Dirk rescued from oblivion. Having come across them in his research, he sent them to us. Unpromising at first, closer inspection revealed a treasure-trove of tuneful, witty, touching songs, some of which rank with the best of George and Ira Gershwin, Rogers and Hart and Cole Porter. Is there another love song in the American Song Book to touch You Leave Me Breathless?
We found that the verse/chorus structures of the songs, plus some unusual chord sequences, offered possibilities for re-arrangement and improvisation. We carved up the lyrics and wove them into a libretto. They tell an exuberant, humorous and tender story of Romantic Love. There is Brechtian ambiguity too (though Brecht despised Hollywood) which Kate underlined by asking Tommy Bodmer to translate the song Love Or Infatuation into German. Imagine Pirate Jenny in Hollywood.
At the Bonn concert Kate joined an array of German ‘Divas’ each of whom did a 15-minute spot. The Divas included the music theatre star Ute Lemper, a cabaret artist Angelika Thomas, Dagmar Krause (who we knew from Henry Cow days) and Gizela May known as ‘Red Gizela’, one of the original artists of the Berlin Cabaret whose delivery of Hollander’s beerhall lieder had more than a ring of authenticity.
After Bonn we added more songs and extended the piece into a full length jazz cabaret Love Or Infatuation which we toured in Europe playing venues ranging from concert halls to jazz clubs, cafés and bars, from the church of Santa Margherita in Venice to Cabaret Voltaire in Zürich. The Zürich performance is an edited version.
Love Or Infatuation
Kate Westbrook
Mike Westbrook
Thanks to Dirk Raulf we are possibly the only people performing these songs today, whether as a duo, in a trio with Chris Biscoe or in a quartet with Roz Harding on saxophone and Marcus Vergette on bass. The show is still about Falling in Love Again, but raises questions, not only about the nature of Love, but also about the nature of jazz and the potency of ‘cheap music’. Is it real or is it fake? Is it Art or merely entertainment? Is it Entertainment or merely Art? Is it Love, or is it Infatuation?
Mike Westbrook
the album ‘Love or Infatuation’ is available as a download
on Westbrook Records
Love Or Infatuation. Kate and Mike Westbrook caught 'live' is
Moving Picture Show No. 56

 
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