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The Buck Clayton Legacy Band is in BBC Radio 3 this week, and it is a good prior advertisement for our November concert at the London Jazz Festival with Gwyneth Herbert doing the Peggy Lee programme at Finchley Arts Depot. Hope lots of you can join us there but until then, try to catch the band on the BBC i-player, on BBC Radio 3 Jazz Line-Up.


So tonight, Saturday 28 April, is the last of the present series of Jazz Library. It’s been a great five and a bit years on BBC Radio 3, and I’ll be moving next week to Jazz Record Requests. But this show has been more fun to broadcast than anything I’ve done on radio – lovely guests, from giants like Sonny Rollins, Lee Konitz, John Scofield, John McLaughlin and Jack DeJohnette to old mates Alan Barnes, Martin Litton, Ian Smith, Gwyn Herbert, Christine Tobin, John Etheridge, Mike Pointon, Tom Sancton…the list goes on and on. So thanks to all and especially to my lovely production team who have made it such a great experience. And just so as you know what they all look like, here they are:

Charlie, James, Chris, Me, Frank, Jon and Anna


Back now from an excellent short tour with members of the Buck Clayton Legacy Band and Gwyneth Herbert. All the concerts went really well, with lovely singing from Gwyn and such fine playing from the band I had to keep reminding myself to go on playing and not stop to listen! The Peggy Lee songs went down a storm with the chance to re-evaluate several of them, of which What’s New and It’s Been a Long Long Time came out as my favourites, or as the lyricists for Life is For Livin; would have said, my “Faves”.

The band in Eastleigh with Robert Fowler guesting on alto.


Gwyneth Herbert and the Buck Clayton Legacy Bamd

Just a week to go until the first dates in the Life Is For Living tour – see the full details on the Clayton page of this site. Great rehearsal yesterday. This is going to be fun!


Apologies for no posts since the Clayton tour and Harrow. It’s been Festival season, with 3 Radio Oxford shows and a Jazz Library from Oxford, and then 12 concerts to cover and 2 Jazz Libraries at Cheltenham. Now those Cheltenham shows are going out on Radio 3. Check out the first of them on the i-player this week with Django Bates. It’s been fun to do a programme on someone whose playing career exactly coincides with my journalistic one, so I’ve covered almost every stage of his work at the time in the newspaper. Great to hear all that spread of music again…


I had a very interesting evening at Harrow School last Thursday, adjudicating their annual big band competition, sponsored by Nick Samuel and his family, who donated the winner’s cup. Some really promising players to be heard as well as some budding composers. A good spread of repertoire too from Basie and Herman material to Miles Davis, Van Morrison and Steely Dan charts. The star player was bassist Felix Lashman. Looking forward to hearing him play again at the Royal Academy next year.


After all the excitement of the tour, and very successful gigs in Oxford, London, Birmingham and Gateshead, there’s a chance to hear part of our set from the final concert on Jazz line Up this Sunday evening. And I’ll be chatting to Kevin Le Gandre about the band and about Buck’s actual legacy of music which Matthias Seuffert arranged for us to play. Thanks to John Watson/jazzcamera.co.uk for the pic.


Just talking on the Radio 3 message board about Jabbo Smith. Here he is at the Pizza Express in 1978. The pianist is Stan Greig.


Lovely review of Hi De Ho in last Friday’s Washington Times. It was great to be in the United States last week, doing podcasts and interviews for Oxford University Press about the book, and getting some of the buzz that’s going on there. More about Hi De Ho here.


Very pleased to see the first Canadian review of the Cab Calloway book in the Winnipeg Free Press. Wade past the stuff on Kevin Whitehead’s short history to get to mine! And the US reviews have kept coming as well, with a fine piece in Commentary by Terry Teachout (whose own biography of Louis Armstrong is a mighty fine book).


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