Parliamentary Jazz Awards- Results/Review

The Parliamentary Jazz Awards took place last night,. It was just one the day after the swearing-in of the new House of Commons, and the “new politics,” as several of the politicians commented, are very new indeed.

The politicians who came onto the stage to give awards out last night in the Terrace Pavilion are very much feeling their way. They clearly find the current cessation of all hostilities, the suspension of political tribalism very unfamiliar. “Perhaps I should be holding hands with Ed Vaizey,” quipped veteran politician Lord Steel.

Yes, politicians are learning to improvise, tentatively testing their ability to convince in a new language. Standing alongside each other in a spirit of collaboration.

The live music, later, showed them how it’s really done. Commandingly. with strong voices, no room for wimps. The regular fixtures on the stand were guitarist Phil Robson, last year’s Musician of the year, and bassist Dave Whitford. Drummers – Gene Calderazzo, Dave Wickens, Seb Rochford – took turns, as did vocalists Christine Tobin and Cleveland Watkiss. This was mesmerising stuff, as far removed as a jam session for beginners as you could ever get.

The only overtly political speech of the night was from Lord (Tony) Colwyn. And it contained a couple of sentences which counted: “Jeremy Hunt will remove the restrictions on small gigs.” Colwyn expressed the intention to re-instate the Liberal Democrat’s Live Music Bill, and to make it into law. This commitment received the loudest applause of the night. And- maybe more significntly – it also got both a grin and a thumbs-up from Arts Minister Ed Vaizey.

There were nine awards.

Musician of the Year was Mark Lockheart. You don’t get a more popular and deserving winner than that. He is comfortable alongside all the generations of Britiah jazz, and they with him. Bravo.

Group of the Year was won by Nigel Price ‘s Organ Trio with Pete Whittaker and Matt Home. Let’s hear it for organ trios : I urge you to read Pete’s review of the Jimmy Smith Jazz Icons DVD.

CD of the year : Gareth Lockrane’s “No Messin’ .” Frank Griffith’s review is HERE

Broadcaster of the Year was Alyn Shipton. As Paul Gambaccini concurred, 21 years on Radio 3 is one hell of an achievement. His award was presented to him by Jacqui Dankworth. That was a nice touch, after Alyn’s superb work compiling the definitive four disc retrospective “I Hear Music”

Educator of the Year was Kathy Dyson. She tahanked her students. A nice touch.

Publication of the Year was Jazzwise, well-deserved.

Journalist of the year: Mike Flynn, who writes superbly for Jazzwise and Time Out.

Venue of the Year was theJazz Bar in Edinburgh. A good line from Bill Kyle’s acceptance speech: “Any venue putting on jazz deserves an award.”

Lifetime Achievement: Brian Blain, for his work as promoter, journalist activist. His in-self-caricature line: “Sorry to spoil the party, but that’s the kind of guy I am.” His message: get involved in the Jazz Services petition for more Jazz on the BBC.

The awards are organised by Jazz Services, sponsored by PPL, and the leading light is Michael Connarty MP. He thanked Bob Blizzard MP for a major contribution.

If Michael Connarty is successful in recruiting some of the “freshers” who ventured into the awards last night, it would only be right.

Because improvising is the future.

And yes we can……… all learn from those who really can.Like the musicians who won awards last night.

Categories: miscellaneous

10 replies »

  1. Too self-effacing, as always! For all those reading this review, don't forget that this site, LondonJazz.blogspot, was one of the 3 nominees for Best Publication – that recognition is an accolade in itself. Well done!

  2. To the Blog Administrator – I note that some blog exchanges from yesterday have been removed. That of course is your entitlement. I merely consider that catering solely for unctuous and sycophantic back-slapping via your blog, is not the way forward. Intelligent and well-read individuals should be able to exchange views without fear or favour, or indeed censorship. Your article centered on the Parliamentary Jazz Awards. I am quite sure that many of these Parliamentarians, when they are not busy completing expense and allowance forms, are perfectly well able to deal with a modicum of criticism, especially when the facts are so responsibly sourced. Surely, the strong moral of HC Andersen's story ‘The Emperor's Robes' was that speaking your mind honestly, is infinitely better than deferring to grovelling praise, for no better reason than we consider the recipient is a greater worthy than ourselves. There's none so blind ……….

  3. Thank you HPS, previously writing as anonymous.

    This is a blog about jazz. Its focus is the music, we celebrate it here. The drift of your argument had gone too far from that, and into a personal attack on an individual who I felt should be defended, for the good he does.

    Some background you may not be aware of: following the withdrawal of the BBC from presenting its jazz awards, the Parliamentary Awards have -unwittingly – become a more significant event in the jazz calendar than they were.

    Those of us involved in jazz are thankful to the people who get behind these awards that they exist.

    They continue because the enthusiasm for this music can and does unite people. The music engages and attracts politicians from across the political spectrum. It's not just the older ones: there were a number of fresher MPs at the event.

    This music makes people less grumpy. That can only be a good thing. Maybe HPS, in your less grumpy moments, you are a jazz fan too.

    I look forward – not without trepidation!- to hearing about your views on music.

  4. Blog moderator – I acknowledge some validity in your argument. My apologies – London Jazz is perhaps not the best forum for my trenchant views on those who, in the opinion of many, have abused the trust vested in them. Of course, it is proven beyond doubt, that many Parliamentarians have fallen from grace for jazzing up their claims, but let us move on. Whilst I adhere to my views, you are quite correct to allude to the benefits of a less grumpy persona – life's too short. I will endeavour to put such negative thoughts to one side, and enjoy the music. Yes – I try not to miss the Upton Festival, when, after much imbibing, even I am very much at one with the World !

  5. That sounds great. There are some superb acts on the Saturday this year. Check out these:

    Sue Richardson Quintet
    singer/ trumpeter whose pianist husband is one of the nicest guys in British jazz.

    Andy Panayi~Mark Nightingale Quartet
    Two stalwarts of the Dankworth bands. He knew quality….

    Peter King Quartet featuring Steve Melling / Geoff Gascoyne / Martin Drew
    three top-drawer musicians accompany a legend

    Robert Fowler/Karen Sharp Quintet
    the two tenor saxophone format.

    HPS if at least one of these doesn't bring a smile to your face, I will be VERY surprised.

    Have a great time, I have enjoyed our correspondence

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