London Jazz Orchestra (compositions by Henry Lowther and Martin Speake arr. Charlie Rees, Vortex, 3 July)

Charlie Rees conducting the London Jazz Orchestra. Phone snap by Sebastian

The London Jazz Orchestra’s 30th anniversary season will close this Sunday afternoon 3 July (*) with a concert featuring the music of Martin Speake and Henry Lowther. There is an LJN connection here…

Sebastian writes: The concert will have compositions by Henry Lowther, which we understand are going to be recorded for an album later in the year.

There are also four tunes by Martin Speake recorded over the course of Speake’s 25+ years making albums, in new arrangements by Charlie Rees. Charlie is (incidentally) also working with us at LJN. I attended the first performance of the first of these four arrangements, “Change of Heart”, back in February, when Charlie was also invited to conduct the orchestra. This time Scott Stroman is directing the whole concert. The three new charts are:

1.  “Always a First Time” : First recorded by Speake in 2013 with Jeff Williams and Mike Outram, its big band iteration will see its second public performance this Sunday – having recently received its premiere by LJO at Morley College .

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2.  “Bill Wrathall” : A newer composition of Speake’s, dedicated to saxophone repairer Bill Wrathall, whose kind, friendly and welcoming nature was a fixture (and a major redeeming feature) for many years at Michael White Musical Instruments in Queen’s Parade, Ealing.

3.   “Bouncy”: A blues that finds its way into many of Speake’s gig sets. This arrangement is heavily inspired by Thad Jones and will also have its first outing on Sunday.

(*) Doors 3 pm . music 3.30 pm

LINK: Bookings

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