In the press

Interview with Jerry Jazz Musician
The convergence of poetry and jazz has long been a part of the counterculture, and it has always interested me. An early interview I did for Jerry Jazz Musician was with David Amram, once known as Jack Kerouac’s musical collaborator. In the interview he talked about Kerouac’s love of music, telling me that “he had an enormous memory for music and for jazz and the classics. He could sing the melodies from different Haydn and Beethoven string quartets. He was like an encyclopedia of music and classic literature from Europe. He also had an enormous knowledge of Buddhism. He had a tremendous knowledge of Judaism, as well as the writings from the Old and New Testaments as well as from the Mass. He had this knowledge of so many different things. When he was reading, I would submerge myself into whatever it was he was reading, and I tried to anticipate what would happen next.”

Review of ‘Snow Blue Night’ at The Jazz Breakfast

Trains – there aren’t enough of them these days. In rhythm sections, I mean.
Try track two of this second album from the RipRap Quartet. It’s called Old Year, and percussionist Russ Morgan and bassist Andrew Brown pull out of the station at a gentle pace, with pianist Dave Gordon adding regular chimes and soprano saxophonist Kevin Flanagan stoking the fire. By the time we’re three minutes in not only has the piece settled into cruising speed but it has acquired the unstoppability of a, well, train.

Review of ‘Snow Blue Night’ at Down With It
It’s spring, the bulbs and daffodils are with us, lambs are gamboling and it is time to tell you about some new music that you may enjoy. At the end of January, I wrote about Groove Merchant by The Tommy Chase Quartet here. Kevin Flanagan played sax on that album and when I emailed to let him know about my piece, I decided that I would try to write about his current musical endeavours. It’s great to be able to write about a musician, so obviously adept in playing the hard bop changes, who has moved into different, more contemporary territory and also to tell you about a new recording that has recently been released. Riprap have played together for over 8 years and the four members have played alongside many of the great and the good of British jazz, as well as with stellar rock and soul stars.