Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1101

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The Snowboy Column (AUGUST)

The Snowboy Column - AUGUST 2011
The Snowboy Column - AUGUST 2011 Jen Kearney: To The Moon (Chin-Chin) The Fantastics!: All The People (Freestyle Records) Emily Saunders: Cotton Skies

Well the time has finally arrived…….


Talking of unique festivals. Last year it was at glorious Goodwood, this year it’s at London’s Southbank and next year…? It takes place from July the 29th to the 31st and falls on the same weekend as the great Festival Of Britain 60 years ago. Wayne Hemingway’s Vintage festivals are the biggest vintage celebrations anywhere in the world and covers the vintage way of life for British Music, Fashion, Design, Film (and even food) from the 1920’s to the late-80’s. I’m involved myself. I am the curator of the 1930’s and 40’s area and this will be of great interest to you Jazz readers. Of course the majority of the acts are Swing. I have the orchestra of Glenn Miller’s nephew JOHN MILLER, the ever-popular JIVE ACES, Western Swing music from FARGO, Grapelli-style French Hot Jazz from TRIO MANOUCHE, THE BOMBSHELLETTES – an all-female 16 piece Swing orchestra, Fletcher Henderson-style jazz from JIVIN’ MISS DAISY, but most unbelievable thing is that I have the World’s Number 1 Swing orchestra, ONDREJ HAVELKA & HIS MELODY MAKERS over from Prague. This is his English debut and I still can’t believe that we’ve got him. He’s actually performing in the afternoon AND in the evening. I want to make the best of him being at the festival. After all, it took nearly a year to organise it! Musically, the rest of the festival covers Soul, Rock, Electronic, Disco……….you name it. The organisers are expecting 250,000 a day! For tickets or more info please go to


I’m very sorry to report the loss of my friend and famous Black dance historian Terry Monaghan. He died aged 67 from pneumonia whilst under treatment for a brain tumour.

Not only the world’s leading expert on the Lindy Hop – it’s evolution and where it went to, and was the foremost authority on it’s home The Savoy Ballroom. He was a very kind and giving man and through his encouragement was one of the main reasons I finished my book From Jazz Funk And Fusion To Acid Jazz. He also got me to lecture at The Society Of Dance Historians at regents College in London on that subject. This ia an abridged biog from his incredible website

Terry Monaghan co-founded the Jiving Lindy Hoppers in 1984 (who are now steadily catching up with the Mama Lou Parks Company’s all time record for the longest running performance Lindy Hop company.)

Although starting from a specific perspective of re-staging performance quality Lindy Hop, his interests broadened under the direction of “Pepsi” Bethel, and through working with past and present leading dancers in this field such as Frankie Manning, Norma Miller, “Mama Lou” Parks, Vernel Bagneris, Bill Louther andbGeorge and Sugar Sullivan in particular. Devising, organising and promoting the associated tours, individual stage productions and educational jazz dance projects, resulted in separate writing and research involvements.

Writing for The Dancing Times and The Guardian newspaper in the UK, and registered for a PhD on Harlem’s Savoy Ballroom at Goldsmiths College, a teacher at the University of London he was the “Dance Consultant” for the highly successful 2005 BBC TV production on Jazz and Latin dance Bruce Goes Dancing, and is a board member of the Society of Dance History Scholars. In particular Terry organised in Easter 1986 with Bob Crease and the NYSDS, the first international get-together of the new wave of 1980s Lindy enthusiasts in New York, and more recently was one of the three organisers for the 80th birthday celebration of the Savoy Ballroom held at the Alhambra Ballroom in Harlem.

Further to that work he is now also working in conjunction with the Lindy Hop research activities of the Houston TX Swing Dance Society. He also takes a strong interest in rhythm tap dancing and had co-produced and directed various productions for London’s Southbank. The locus of his work remains the Savoy Ballroom and the need to construct new versions of the original swing music and dance dynamic through theoretical, archival and practical research into the relevant music and dance forms.


I am proud to announce that an artist that I have personally championed in a big way has finally been signed to the prestigious Chin Chin Records. Jen Kearney is an incredible Soul Jazz Singer and Keyboard player based around the Boston area in the US. Although she has 3 CD’s released independently in the US, this CD will be her debut in Europe. Simply entitled To the Moon it is full of blistering Sambas and Funky jams. Think Stevie Wonder meets Donny Hathaway meets Lonnie Liston Smith and there you’d have it. A single is also due of the furious Fusion Samba Warm Bath Eyes, which I have been playing to anyone who will listen for the last 10 months. The Jazz Dancers love it. I believe her first major interview appears somewhere in this issue. I didn’t want to do it because I’m too biased!

We believe thatwith the right push Jen could be a huge world star, and you heard her here first. Ok?


Manchester Jazz venue Matt and Phred’s is relaunching. While they will always remain a jazz club, they are expanding their range of events to become a pan-arts venue. If it’s innovative, original and good, chances are you’ll see it at Matt and Phred’s first.

So far they have featured tango, chamber music, poetry and literature, Burlesque, salsa, world music and drama to name but a few, with much more planned for the coming months. Their aim is to take full advantage of the diversity of talent in the thriving artistic community of Manchester’s Northern Quarter and beyond.

Some selected August highlights… see for full listings.

5th August- Honeyfeet album launch
6th August- Go Go Penguin.
10th August- Andrew Woodhead Trio.
11th August- Adam Fairhall.
20th August- ¡Boludo! Authentic but modern down-and-dirty Argentinian tango.
26th August- Carnival Divine. Burlesque and Cabaret spectacular.
29th August- Lend Us Your Stage. Open mike.


Talking of the 1940’s, there is an incredible new 1940’s weekender in Torquay in March 23rd-26th 2012 called Riviera Swing. It’s very intimate, only holding 325 people, and is at the glorious Victoria Hotel with it’s three ballrooms. It’s Friday til Monday and the dancing will be to the John Miller Orchestra, The Jive Aces and The Little Devils with DJ’s Jeff Two-Tone Boogie, O-kay For Sound and Rob Be-Bop. There will also be singalongs, afternoon tea dances, cinema on a PROPER screen, dance lessons and a vintage market. The website isn’t up and running yet but flyers have gone out and tickets are already starting to sell. If it sounds interesting to you, contact Tony on 07966 390802, e-mail


I’ll be playing with my Afro Cuban Jazz group at the new Jazz venue Boisdale in the Docklands at Canary Wharf, London in August. This very classy venue is causing a huge stir, and rightly so. We are there on Saturday August the 27th so come down and see the venue for itself


Over a year old and going strong is my Friday night residency at Madame Jo Jo’s in Brewer Street, Soho, London. It’s called The Good Foot and, musically, it’s heavyweight 60’s and 70’s R&B, Funk, Soul, Boogaloo, and Rare Groove all the way. We run 10pm til 3am every Friday and it’s £8 admission. Here are my guest DJ’s for August:

29th – SI CHEEBA

It’s particularly brilliant to have heavy-weight collector and DJ and originater of the influential early-80’s UK warehouse scene, Jay Strongman. Since moving to LA he rarely comes to the UK so I have grabbed him to make a very rare appearance..


The Fantastics – All The People (Freestyle)

This is such a new direction for The Fantastics it’s totally unrecognisable as the same band. I’m not saying it’s a good thing or a bad thing because their previous recordings were already fantastic, and this is equally so. The sound is now much bigger and diverse and very intricate production. There is no way this was made over a couple of days as it’s obvious that a lot of time and energy has gone into the arrangements. The boys are playing great on here and Sulene Flemming is sounding particularly great as a guest singer, with ‘Cold Case’ the outstanding track on the album for me. Sorely a club classic?

Push - The Return Of The Rare Groove (Push)

Here’s a very special CD. To the general public they wouldn’t know this fantastic group. They started mid/late 80’s in the middle of the London and Essex based Rare Groove scene and made an immediate impact. Wheras The James Taylor Quartet and The Brand New Heavies went off and became huge, Push became the musicians in Galliano (obviously STILL huge) and later were the first call band to back US Soul and Funk acts left, right and centre particularly at The Jazz Café. With Push, it’s never been a case of ‘what ever happened to them?’ because they’ve never gone away. We’d all give a sigh of relief to see them on stage backing a favourite US act, knowing it will sound amazing and authentic. They treated us to occasional gigs and records too, and that is what we have here: everything they’ve released to date and some rarities (like the unreleased Lay It On The Line featuring Seal!!!). The title is unsatisfactory, because 'Rare Groove’ has never gone away. More fitting would be 'The Return Of The Rare Groove Masters,' because that is EXACTLY what they are. This is quality throughout and a beautiful companion to the forthcoming Cd of all new Push material later in the year. You’ll buy them both of course, won’t you?

Emily Saunders – Cotton Skies (F-IRE)

Here’s a great debut CD from a new talent on the scene. Emily Saunders has a lovely refreshing voice with a uniqueness to it that stands out from all these bland similar-sounding Jazz singers that the world’s jazz scene is churning out right now. You know, perfect but soulless. There’s some great, very mature songwriting here and mainly with a Brazillian feel to them. I have a feeling she may be aware of the UK Jazz Dance scene because there are some unusual covers on here to the Jazz public but very known in my Jazz Dance world, such as 'Xibaba,' 'O Sonho' and ‘Mixing’. Every one of them Airto Moreira and Flora Purim-related. The CD is all the better for the inclusion of these. Great choices Emily.



Please feel free to contact me with any Jazz news/event info that you feel would benefit others at Thank you.

From Jazz Funk & Fusion To Acid Jazz

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