In the context of two events celebrating the life of Eddie Harvey (1925-2012), saxophonist/composer Pete Hurt and Eddie’s widow Peggy Hannington write about his “ways into writing”, and about the origins of compositions to be played at these concerts: Route 65, and Knight of the Jazz Stable . They write:
Eddie came up with many approaches to writing and improvisation. For the latter he of course stressed the importance of learning all the chords and scales and the rules for their use. At the end of it he said “Then again you can do what the hell you like!” As with any artistic pursuit you need to be able to do the basics, understand how to structure everything and put it together before you go off and do your own thing. For his own compositions Eddie often drew on other ideas to start him off.
He was commissioned to write a suite based on the Ealing Comedies, early films produced in the Ealing Film Studios. He took various of the films and based a movement on each. NYJO will play one/some of these at the Eddie Harvey celebratory concert on 10 November at Royal Academy of Music.
Eddie would also give pieces catchy titles. His ‘Route 65‘, written for big band, describes the journey of the double decker bus which plies the route between Kingston upon Thames and Ealing where Eddie taught at Thames Valley University. It also jokily refers to the song Route 66 which is about a – slightly longer – journey. NYJO will be performing this number in the second half of the Eddie Harvey Celebratory Concert on 10 November at the Royal Academy of Music.
Eddie was a founder member of Way out West and at their special concert in Richmond on 20 November to commemorate his life, several of our nationally known musicians will take one of his compositions, Knight of the Jazz Stable, to inspire works of their own to play on the night. Eddie wrote Knight of the Jazz Stable as a feature for his friend and colleague John Dankworth. John had recently become ‘Sir’ and of course created The Stables theatre at Wavendon. The title is also a reference to the original knights of the round table.
We are lucky to have Tony Kinsey, Chris Biscoe, Pete Hurt, Tony Woods, Kate Williams and Tom Millar addressing the number with their own very varied compositional styles. It should make a great evening of listening on the 20th. But first come and hear the original on 10th!
EDDIE HARVEY celebration and inauguration of his Award on 10 November, 6pm at Duke’s Hall, Royal Academy of Music
EDDIE HARVEY celebration with Way out West on 20 November, 7.30pm at Duke Street Church, Richmond
Tickets will be available on the door