NEWS: Tom Haines wins inaugural 2014 Eddie Harvey Award for jazz arranging

Tom Haines (left) being congratulated by Mike Hogh
on winning the inaugural Eddie Harvey Award
Photo credit: Jo Mulvey  

Pete Hurt, Mike Hogh and Peggy Hannington report from the inaugural 2014 Eddie Harvey Award Presentation Concert, held at Cafe Posk on Thursday 6th November:

The winner of the inaugural Eddie Harvey Award for Jazz Arrangement was chosen, and announced during a celebratory concert at Jazz Cafe Posk in Hammersmith.

The four judges, Mark Armstrong, Pete Hurt, Kate Williams and Jason Yarde, had reviewed anonymously all the entries and selected, from a number of high-standard pieces, and chosen a shortlist of three which were performed on the night.

Kicking off with Eddie Harvey’s composition NYJO, Mark Armstrong danced a responsive National Youth Jazz Orchestra through the three finalists’ pieces. Neither the judges, the band, nor the audience knew the composer of these arrangements in advance.

Each piece (still anonymous at this stage) had its own characteristics:

Sea Master was a lyrical piece in 3/4 featuring the flugelhorn with occasional forceful brass interjections

Sleep was quiet (and NYJO did pp beautifully) and soothing

Mystery Dog was an inventive, complex but accessible piece full of changes of rhythm and mood.

Still the winner remained unrevealed, and we were kept guessing until after the interval.

Mike Hogh compered the evening, keeping the mood light. In the second half, the audience – made up of friends and supporters of the three finalists, friends of Eddie and a good number of jazz enthusiasts – were treated to more of Eddie’s music. As well as Route 65, Embraceable You and Twenty Five And Counting, the band roared through Eddie’s piece Hotel DeGreg, for which they were joined by the man to whom it was dedicated, special guest pianist Phil DeGreg, a good friend of Eddie’s, who was visiting from the US. DeGreg praised the three competition pieces he’d just heard as well as NYJO’s playing, then let rip to great effect all over the piano’s five and a half octaves in Eddie’s composition.

That great musician, Kenny Wheeler who sadly died, was also remembered in NYJO’s fine rendition of his lyrical composition Know where you are.

As the evening reached its climax, the names of the three finalists of the Eddie Harvey Award were finally revealed: Thomas Haines, James Hamilton and Tom Walsh.

To great acclaim, Thomas Haines, from Bedworth, Warwickshire, who had postponed an engagement in Norway to be present at the ceremony, was announced as arranger of Mystery Dog, and was awarded the prize of £2,000.

To round off proceedings, Haines had the opportunity to hear his piece reprised by NYJO. A successful first year for the Award – and we hope 2015’s competition will be just as exciting!

The sponsor of the Eddie Harvey Award (website) was Vibration Music

LINK: Eddie Harvey (1925-2012) with an interview and tributes

Categories: miscellaneous

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