LIVE: Coltrane’s gift to humanity ‘A Love Supreme’

Image: John Coltrane - A Love Supreme album coverAwesome gig the other day (21 Oct) at The Ivy Arts Centre at University of Surrey in Guildford playing Coltrane’s great gift to humanity, A Love Supreme with my long time spar and ALS exemplar, Denys Baptiste (tenor sax), and the stunning Benet McLean (piano) and Eddie Hick. Such a privilege to play this deeply spiritual music with such fine musicians. 

Thankfully, the lovely people at the BBC recorded the gig so, if you missed the live show, you can still catch the full set here on the BBC iPlayer.

BBC Radio 3 Jazz Now - Gary Crosby Quartet

 

Jamaican Independence – come celebrate with Jazz Jamaica!

 

Come have some fun with us and celebrate Jamaican Independence on Saturday 8 August at The Hideaway in Streatham, South London on Saturday 8 August. We have the wonderful Myrna Hague as our special guest, plus there’s brilliant comedy with Felicity Ethnic!The Hideaway Flyer - Jazz Jamaica 08 Aug

 

Revisiting John Coltrane’s A LOVE SUPREME – 10 July

I’m looking forward this week to working in Quartet format again on Friday 10 July at 5.30pm when we revisit John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme. I’ll be joined by my long-time friends and sparring partners, Denys Baptiste and Rod Youngs, and rising star Joe Armon-Jones.  We’re doing it in a free space, The Front Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall at the Southbank Centre, London so lots of you can come see it! It’s an incredible piece of music that we never tire of playing. Here’s a link to my blog piece My Supreme Love Affair that I posted in January where I talk about my relationship with this great work.

Meantime, here are the details for the gig. When you’ve it, click on the flyer to be taken to the Southbank Centre website for more info. Hope to see you there!

IMAGE: Gary Crosby 4tet feat. Denys Baptiste

Fri 21 Nov: Coleridge Goode at 100 – Let’s Celebrate! #EFGLJF

Gary Crosby-Coleridge Goode 100 YearsI’m excited to tell you about a special interactive concert I’m presenting on Friday 21 November at the Purcell Room as part of this year’s EFG London Jazz Festival – Coleridge Goode: A Celebration.

It’s a tribute to my dear friend and mentor, the legendary Jamaican double bassist, Coleridge Goode, who celebrates his 100th birthday at the end of this month (29th). We’ll be marking this important event with a concert combining live music, conversations, literary readings, photography and film, and it would be wonderful to see as many of you as possible joining us for this party! So please share this info with family and friends!

Joining me on stage will be Byron Wallen (trumpet), Aleksandra Topczewska (alto sax), Omar Puente (violin), Alex Ho (piano), Shirley Tetteh (guitar), and Moses Boyd (drums), and a panel of guest speakers including the beautiful vocalist Elaine Delmar, broadcaster and jazz historian Alyn Shipton, saxophonist Denys Baptiste, biographer Roger Cotterrell, and Goode family friend Colleen McIntyre. Our speakers will offer insight into Coleridge’s career and, sharing personal memories, shine a light on a life in jazz that began a few months after the outbreak of the First World War.Chairing the panel, and weaving it all together will be journalist and broadcaster Kevin Le Gendre.

Coleridge is one of the most important musicians ever in the history of jazz and jazz bass. He worked with so many musical luminaries from Stéphane Grappelli and Django Reinhardt, to George Shearing and Joe HarriottShake Keane to Leslie ‘Jiver’ Hutchinson to John Mayer. He even played for the late British Labour Prime Minister, Harold Wilson at 10 Downing Street. He also featured in the Ray Ellington Quartet famed as the house band on BBC Radio’s irreverent comedy programme, The Goon Show that featured Spike Milligan, Peter Sellers and Harry Secombe.

In addition to his contribution as a player, Coleridge is credited as the person who came up with the idea of the double bass pickup to amplify the sound of the instrument, marking a major development in the evolution of bass performance.

Gary Crosby and Coleridge Goode 2014I first met Coleridge in Earl’s Court around 1980 when I was working in a West African restaurant across the road from a club where he used to play. For me as a bass player, I was impressed not only by his technical ability, but also his immense musicality – watching him sing and bow his bass simultaneously was like having a live history lesson that harked back to the great Slam Stewart, Major ‘Mule’ Holley and Jimmy Blanton.

Coleridge was incredibly generous towards us younger musicians, always happy to share information on the history of jazz in Britain. I was especially excited about his work with the great Joe Harriott – Coleridge is the last surviving member of Harriott’s innovative Quintet  – and my conversations with him inspired me to conceive a concert in tribute to the saxophonist as part of the London Jazz Festival some years ago.

Coleridge is a refined, cultured gentleman who loves all kinds of music, particularly classical music. He has always been accessible to me, and I feel enormously privileged to have been invited to spend time with him and his beautiful wife, Gertrude at their house in Notting Hill. It is here that, over the years I’ve been introduced to a number of important Caribbean jazz elders such as Herman Wilson, Ken Gordon, Frank Holder, and Iggy Quail. He also introduced me to other jazz greats such Laurie Morgan, Michael Garrick, and Tommy Jones.

Over the past 30-odd years, it has been my absolute honour and pleasure to become friends with, and be mentored by this wonderful human being. But his generosity hasn’t stopped there. He has allowed and encouraged me to bring many of my young Tomorrow’s Warriors protégés to meet and spend time with him at his house, where he has continued to pass on valuable information on jazz history and to appreciate our place within it.

I will always remember the time when, as a birthday present to Coleridge, I learned his only known recorded composition, Dream For Bass. Since bowing and singing at the same time was not my thing, I practised the piece pizzicato then went over to Coleridge’s house where he was having a small get-together with family and friends. I played Dream For Bass in front of the guests who included my dear friends and master bassists, Peter Ind and Dave Green (inspiring me to hatch my Lords Of The Lower Frequencies project). Coleridge looked on, smiling and nodding his support. Later on, during a quiet moment, he pulled me to one side to thank me and tell me how impressed and happy he was that I had even attempted to play his music. However, just as I was about to acknowledge the great man’s praise, he added ‘…but I wrote that music for the bow’! In an instant I was humbled and reminded that I still had much to learn from this incredible musician!

Do come along to Coleridge Goode: A Celebration on Friday 21 November and join me in celebrating the 100th birthday of the consummate Lord Of The Lower Frequencies. Sadly, he is now too frail to attend in person, but we hope to record the concert for Coleridge so he can enjoy listening back to it when we celebrate with him on his birthday. And guess what? Though age may have forced him to lay down his bass, you can still hear him scatting along to music whenever it gets to the bass solo!

100 birthdayHAPPY 100TH BIRTHDAY Mr Goode!


News features:

Special Celebrations at the London Jazz Festival news feature in the Financial Times

Coleridge Goode’s 100th birthday to be celebrated at the London Jazz Festival preview by Marlbank

Biography:

Bass Lines: A Life In Jazz by Roger Cotterrell/Coleridge Goode Vinyl

Recordings:

Jazz For Moderns by Joe Harriott Quintet (Gearbox Records)

Prelude To Heart Is A Lotus by Michael Garrick Sextet with Don Rendell & Ian Carr (Gearbox Records)

There’ll be Dancing In The Street…and so much more!

Jazz Jamaica Motorcity RootsRemember the Motorcity Roots album by the 10-piece version of Jazz Jamaica? Well, for our new Love Motown! project  – Saturday 19 July at Royal Festival Hall, London – we’re upscaling the band to more than three times this size with 4 trumpets, 4 trombones, 5 saxophones; plus 4 violins, 2 violas, 2 cellos from Urban Soul Orchestra; and then our regular 1 upright bass (yours truly!), 1 grand piano and organ, 1 guitar, 1 percussion, 1 drum kit, 3 backing vocalists, 2 lead vocalists, a conductor..and, to top it all off, we’ll then add a 200-voice choir!!!

Here are a few of the original Jazz Jamaica tracks. Have a listen but try to imagine them with the supersized line-up! It’s going to be a seriously big sound that will blow the roof off the Royal Festival Hall.

Of course, this is for Southbank Centre’s Festival Of Love so come ready to sing and dance with your loved one, or your friends – you choose! But there’ll be plenty of love vibes floating around the hall once the band starts playing.

BOOK NOW for the live extravaganza on Saturday 19 July at London’s prestigious Royal Festival Hall.  

 

Peter Ind’s 85th Birthday Party – Ronnie Scotts – 28 July

Peter Ind

Really looking forward to tomorrow lunchtime (28 July). Along with a few others (Pete King, Ian Shaw, Liane Carroll and David Preston) I’ll be playing with my bass teacher, mentor and long-time friend, Peter Ind at Ronnie Scotts in celebration of his 85th Birthday. Going to be a wonderful, chilled out party. Hoping to catch up with lots of old friends.

Peter is a truly great individual and a real supporter of the music. Also a great supporter of the young people coming through our Tomorrow’s Warriors programme. Such an honour to be invited to share the stage with him. Good thing I’ve been practising…!

Here’s the official blurb:

PETER IND the internationally renowned double bassist will be playing with Ian Shaw (Vocals/Piano) and David Preston (guitar) in what has become a regular and innovative group since the recording of Ian’s Abbey Road album. For this special lunchtime celebration of Peter’s 85th birthday there will be some special guest spots –  Liane Carroll (vocals/piano), Peter King (alto sax) and Gary Crosby (double bass).

This is really going to be special – various musicians from the different generations  that Peter has worked with will join him for some interesting guest spots – including a unique double bass duo with Gary Crosby. And you don’t even have to pay the congestion charge or be red eyed by the time you leave.

If you can, come along to see us. Click here for booking info. Hope to see some of you there. HAPPY BIRTHDAY PETER!

Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club
47 Frith Street
London W1D 4HT

Tel: 020 7439 0747

CATCH A FIRE – back by popular demand…now even bigger!

Catch A Fire flyer July 2013