Wow! This week was busy, it started off with a meeting with Serious on Monday evening where we shared ideas and talked about possible future projects. The next day I had a meeting with Harrow Arts Centre to chat with them about visuals for the gig on 18th November, we're all really looking forward to it. Later I met with Kings Place to discuss a pilot education programme for this November leading up to the New Orleans Christmas Style Story gig on 17th December.
On Wednesday it was the London Jazz Festival launch in Smithsfield, man it was PACKED. Met some very cool people and caught up with some old friends, great night and very excited about doing the Jazz for Toddlers series between 13th - 19th November.
On Thursday Miss Myrna Hague came over for a rehearsal, we had some tea beforehand and chatted about her first ever gig in London. I recorded some of it on film which I'll post later in the week. That evening I headed off to the Soho Hotel to review LOUIS: Louis Armstrong, Charlie Chaplin and the birth of jazz for Sebastian Scotney's blog LondonJazz. Check it out below.
Friday evening I had a meeting with my booking agent and we have some goooooood gigs lined up for next year and some even better ones in the pipeline. To find out more about next year’s projects click on Current Projects.
Yesterday I was in the studio with my good friend Vicki Hart-Dale recording in time for her gig on 14th October at 333 Club in Old Street. And today, I've been writing. Definitely one of the busiest weeks this year...Enjoy the review.
Abram Wilson reports from this week's press screening of LOUIS
Throw the story of a young Louis Armstrong who dreams of his own cornet, the black and white silent film tradition of Charlie Chaplain, the lustful red light district of early 20th century New Orleans, not to mention some great music and you have the new silent film directed by Dan Pritzker. Based on a montage of fictitious stories told from several points of view, LOUIS: Louis Armstrong, Charlie Chaplin and the birth of jazz reinforces how jazz runs directly in line with the life that it came from. The talented and charismatic Anthony Coleman plays a fictitious six-year old Louis Armstrong, his passion is his small, old cornet which he doesn’t know how to play but does it anyway regardless. He was a real joy to watch and left me wanting more of his story. The beautiful and captivating Shanti Lowry plays Grace, a mulatto prostitute living and working in the dark corners of the whorehouses. Her story tells one of many black women during that era and the daily battles they faced leading them to make some extremely harsh decisions. Jackie Earle Haley plays the grotesque, vain and ambitious Governor Perry. Haley succeeds in getting under your skin, stopping at almost nothing to get what he wants and demonstrating strong comedic elements of dark humour throughout the film. With its crystal clear picture, the sharp cinematography gives a contemporary feel to the traditional silent movie genre. But, unsurprisingly, the highlight was the music, gracefully switching between compositions by Creole pianist and composer, Louis Moreau Gottschalk performed by pianist Cecile Licad and music by Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, and Wynton Marsalis. The latter was performed by an all-star septet including Marsalis himself, Wycliffe Gordon, Wessel Anderson, Herlin Riley and Reginald Veal. The music was of the highest quality and its execution was flawless and most importantly, swinging. This, along with Armstrong-esque versions of West End Blues and Tiger Rag made me very excited at the thought of seeing the band perform this incredible music live to film at the London Jazz Festival. Louis will be screened at the Barbican on Sunday November 13th at 3pm and 8pm as part of the London Jazz Festival