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  • Clare Teal -
    in a range of funky colours which is bound to help the overall image of the instrument This is a great affordable good quality student level instrument with added street cred We have a fantastic brass tradition in this country which we re in danger of tarnishing unless we find more accessible and affordable ways for the youth of today to get involved In fact I m sorely tempted to have a go myself goodness knows I could do with the street cred 06 Feb Tears for tunes Putting together 2 hours of music on a weekly basis fro my radio show trying to find the right blend of tunes drawn from over 90 years of big band and swing to satisfy an audience ranging in age from 15 to 100 is a tricky business It s time consuming but the huge bonus is being able to spend hours listening to music without feeling guilty that I should be doing something else When my schedule gets really busy the performing of and listening to music feels like hard toil I m ashamed to say I become immune to its beauty I hate it when this happens but now by having to make time to listen to some of the greatest records with a clear head I m hoping it won t happen again I d like to say I listen objectively but as we listen with our ears and hearts music appreciation becomes entirely personal that s not to say we don t share it most couples have our song football teams have their individual anthems etc Trumpeter and bandleader Jay Phelps was a guest on the show and chose a Duke Ellington tune It was from the first movement of Duke s 1943 jazz symphony Black Brown and Beige a tone parallel to the history of the Negro in America written for his first Carnegie Hall Concert Although B B B had only been performed live by Duke Ellington in its entirety on a handful of occasions in 1958 he recorded the whole thing for Columbia The centerpiece of which is Come Sunday originally written for seminal sax man Johnny Hodges Mahalia Jackson does the honors on the record and I thought it was high time I listened start to finish As Mahalia s last notes die out I m already in bits then from the ashes a reprise starts Trumpeter Ray Nance has been gently noodling behind Ms Jackson on violin but now comes to the fore again on fiddle and along with the force of band proceeds to totally destroy me there in the kitchen peeling carrots tears streaming down my face This was an unexpected reaction but we ve all been touched or shed an unexpected tear to a song or even a piece of music we ve never heard before Powerful stuff it holds our memories and emotions and brings them to the surface when least expected but then I m grateful for that 29 Jan January s jobs January on paper is supposed to be our quietest month a time for relaxation and reflection Whatever There s just too much to do 2014 is shaping up to be a very busy year Our regular quartet show is in the workshop wheels off for a total overhaul which should be complete by the end of February tons of songs milling through the air some old some new some borrowed some you get the idea At the same time we are busy preparing our latest recording project with good friend and sax legend Pee Wee Ellis this will be a retrospective of songs that have inspired the great man over his 72 years it will be a very intimate low key session recorded as live in Grant Windsor s beautiful studio in very high definition sound With just Pee Wee s tenor Grant s piano and my vocals and by taking drums out of the equation the idea is that you will be able to hear all round the individual sounds There are already a few concert dates in the book for this new venture which we re all very much looking forward to In April Doris Day will celebrate her 90th birthday so to mark this milestone we are performing a few select dates throughout the year paying tribute to her fabulous music with a small Hollywood style Orchestra that s small not Paul Venues so far include Cadogan Hall and Wigan International Jazz Festival We start our touring schedule with a duo show in Settle Town Hall on Valentine s day This will be our Settle debut I m sure there ll be time for a spot of one stop shopping at Car and Kitchen and maybe even time for a cuppa at The Naked Man Then it s up the A64 to take part in this year s Coastival Scarborough s marvellous bi annual music fest We ll have our BBC Radio Leeds Community Big Band With Us and it s always a pleasure to work with those guys In addition to all this there are a couple of very exciting musical adventures that I m not at liberty to discuss at present so although we re not haring round the country except on Sunday s there s very little putting up of feet going on At this rate we re never going to finish Breaking Bad Ah well happy to be busy we ll just have to reschedule this January s R R to next January 15 Jan Alan rises to the occasions Alan the dog is a brilliant addition to the family the fact that even smallest of tasks now takes three times as long to achieve is no matter a wondrous little stress buster he is Last Tuesday we took him for an epic walk to the post office and back a 10 minute skip for us took nearly 45 minutes with Alan At 3 months he can only walk

    Original URL path: http://www.clareteal.co.uk/index.php/page/9/?page_id=2 (2016-02-15)
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  • Clare Teal -
    upstairs cupboard Bing Crosby would begin to sing how did he know We carefully unwrapped nan s ancient glass baubles from the 1940 s from their tissue paper along with the pink gold velour rocking horse and the weird wonky robin that was just a little bit too realistic and frankly a bit menacing all to the strains of I Love That Christmas Feeling and Silver Bells To house our nativity figurines Dad crafted a stable out of bits of wood knocking about in the cellar but unlike your regular lowly cattle shed ours had electricity and was tastefully lit by a christmas tree bulb In keeping with tradition baby Jesus wasn t allowed entry till Christmas Eve so loitered around the back or in the bureau drawer Alongside Bing my other favourite was the Bert Kaempfert seasonal selection Sleigh Ride being a particular highlight I knew one day I d make a Christmas album and I wanted to incorporate the same values and sentiments imparted by Bing Bert and Perry Como So this year s Festive Fiesta coincides with the release of said long awaited Christmas album Jing Jing a Ling As I write the boys are in the study warming up a super talented bunch they sing as well as play The backing vocals on the record were provided by three amazing singers queen of bebop Anita Wardell king of session singers Andy Playfoot and young jazz star AJ Brown from Halifax and are rangy and complex It s a tough act to follow so I m very lucky indeed to work with three excellent musicians who in addition to playing like Gods are also able to hold down very difficult harmony lines with aplomb Our tour starts in the historic town of Chipping Sodbury followed by Bath

    Original URL path: http://www.clareteal.co.uk/index.php/christmas/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Clare Teal -
    I tootle my way up to the big smoke and arrive just in time for my interview with Steve Wright and Tim Smith Steve is an amazing broadcaster and as a rookie in comparison I am intrigued to see how the interview will go Most 10 minute interviews I do start with So how did you get into jazz which while I m happy to answer takes about 5 minutes leaving me little time to talk about the project album or concert I m there to talk about My interview flew by I felt super welcome and the questions were varied and interesting Predominantly I was there to talk about my big band show but was also able to mention the release of our new Christmas album Jing Jing a Ling In fact Steve played snippets of most of the record and said very nice things This resulted in huge spike in CD sales it just goes to show the power of the media It also says a lot about the skill of the interviewer Having learned from the master I had the opportunity to try my hand at interviewing the lovely Rosemary Squires who not only sang with Ted Heath and Geraldo but reigned supreme as queen of the jingles hands that do dishes can feel soft as your face being one of her most famous Sometime later I head back to the car park where having broken my ticket I have a pleasant exchange with a machine on the 2nd floor who is able to reissue my ticket I say Isn t it amazing that you re able to do that from your office without actually being here to my surprise she replies It is even more amazing considering I am in Holland Still tickled by this I

    Original URL path: http://www.clareteal.co.uk/index.php/curates-egg-day/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Clare Teal -
    the finest jazz trumpeters this country has ever produced for quite a long time but until last week I d only had the pleasure of actually working with him once before that too was for a festival opening where he joined us for a rip roaring rendition easy for you to say of Anita O Day s version of Tea For Two it s not easy to sing super fast and I would imagine it s not easy to play the trumpet super fast either I was blown away no pun intended by Guy s solo Jazz Voice is now in I think its 6th year the list of past guests is most impressive Jamie Cullum Georgie Fame Ian Shaw Boy George Kurt Elling Gregory Porter Paloma Faith Patti Austin Imelda May Jamie Cullum to name but a few Back in June Guy started working with the singers choosing repertoire Every item on the set list has to have a connection to an anniversary 10th 50th 100th you get the idea this might be to do with the writer the singer the instrumentalist the musical etc that made the item in question famous Quite by chance both of the songs I sang were made famous by Doris Day Secret Love won an Oscar for being the best song of 1953 and celebrates its 60th birthday this year I ll Never Stop Loving You was from the 1955 movie Love Me Or Leave Me it was written by Sammy Cahn who had he lived would have celebrated his centenary this year Guy s arrangements were simply stunning Both mine and Muddy s favourite song of the night was a new original called Gatekeeper by Eska a fantastic newer artist Check it out if you get chance The other great surprise of

    Original URL path: http://www.clareteal.co.uk/index.php/london-jazz-festival/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Clare Teal -
    received an email from Mr Van Morrison s manager requesting my presence at a very nice recording studio in London the very next day I looked down at my to do list write column address small mountain of paperwork covering desk build 2 hour radio learn twenty new songs by Thursday after a millisecond s thought I fear I did drop everything Singing a duet with one of your songwriting heroes having met them for all of 3 minutes beforehand is a little daunting but it was an amazing experience and one that I ll treasure forever I left the studio in a daze pinching myself at regular intervals did that really just happen From there I made my way across a beautifully autumnal looking London to the residence of Mr Ian Shaw good friend and jazz singer extraordinaire We had a 2 hour show of classic duets to put together from scratch in less than 48 hours Not only is Ian an incredible singer he s also a fine pianist We spent a good deal of time giggling and eating chocolates and macaroons He was in good form despite being manically busy having literally just taken part in a highly acclaimed performance of Frank Zappa s 200 Motels as part of the Southbank s The Rest Is Noise Festival The duets ranged from the sublime With You I m Born Again Bridge Over Troubled Water and Lou Reed s Perfect Day to the ridiculous I Got You Babe You re The One That I Want from Grease a short series of duets that Julie Andrews and David Bowie should have sung together and a string of Ian s more famous advert jingles Gilette Bodyform etc In amongst all this a healthy jangle of jazz and more laughs Our favourite

    Original URL path: http://www.clareteal.co.uk/index.php/surprise/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Clare Teal -
    bed grinning ear to ear We were washed brushed and out of the door by 7 15 It was a dark miserable morning and the traffic was frustratingly stop start stop start especially through Salisbury Our meticulously planned schedule was slipping Thankfully Muddy is a brilliant driver always safe but with an inbuilt ability to go like the clappers when necessary Despite having left what I thought enough time we reached Southampton docks with minutes to spare and zoomed onto the Red Funnel Phew I hate ferries more than I hate wasps and I hate the sea even more than I hate ferries I don t cross any body of water without very good reason It s whilst attempting to slurp a coffee eat a muffin and write this column that I discover that a tornado hit nearby Hayling Island just yesterday that and I ve run out of travel sickness pills Great Despite the weather report our crossing is relatively peaceful and calm and by the time we pulled into East Cowes the sun was cracking the flags not Having stood by an open window for most of the journey I didn t feel too bad although judging by my sickly pallor I could have been auditioning for the lead role in Wicked Lunch at The Garlic Farm helped perk me up there s a surprise I didn t fancy the garlic ice cream but the garlic cheese was fantastic Much as we enjoyed the food we couldn t keep from watching the clock Finally the time had come and after a short drive we pulled up to the house and excitedly knocked on the door We re here Mud s mum Di had come with us as she is an authority on these things Are you sure you

    Original URL path: http://www.clareteal.co.uk/index.php/meeting-alan/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Clare Teal -
    have added loads of extra time to already long journeys It s especially annoying when there s not a single flashing light or Hi Vis jacket to be seen for miles There s also the panic that sets in when it s a particularly long diversion what if the imperative turn left here diversion sign has blown over or been nicked or worse moved by kids In these situations I always think of the much loved and much missed drummer Chris Dagley who when faced with a diversion would ring me and shout Where am I he knew I was initially suspicious of satnavs and for years always travelled with an atlas on my knee just in case it took a turn I didn t agree with Muddy was driving incidentally Other news the badgers have been trashing the lawn digging for leatherjackets which are the tasty soil dwelling larvae of the daddy long legs or crane flies Neither Muddy or myself are huge fan of the daddy long legs but that said we not fans of whacking great holes in the lawn either Our neighbor Adrian told us that a woman up the road deters the badgers using large white objects Worth a go Di lent us a load of big white plastic chairs which Muddy strategically placed and now the orchard has an air of abandoned garden party about it That said it does appear to be working Our tomato season is now officially over sadly I didn t get to make green tomato chutney as I left said picked fruits too long in the bucket they all grew beards and turned from green to brown Thanks for all the recipes I have carefully filed them well there s always next year Finally those of you who have

    Original URL path: http://www.clareteal.co.uk/index.php/autumn-stories/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Clare Teal -
    the Water also known as the September Equinox when the sun crosses the celestial equator Our attention was drawn to the one of the end beautifully bedecked in druid finery accessorised by a large handbag boldly affixed to the crook of her arm The Autumn equinox also highlighted the fact that the garden needs a massive Spring clean Any recipes you might have for green tomato chutney would be most welcome In a bid to ripen the significant amount of unripe fruit I have snipped off any unnecessary leaf or shoot The plants now look quite awkward and slightly embarrassed like freshly clipped poodles Our Victoria Plum tree was ripe for the picking so pick we did 4 buckets worth of purple juicy plums A well known DIY store reported today that sales of maslin pans and gingham squares and jam paraphernalia have risen by 2000 in recent times Having triumphed in marmalade for beginners I felt confident enough to have a crack at jam I was unaware that de stoning nearly 14lbs of plums leaves your hands looking as though you ve been chain smoking Capstan Full Strength from birth Into the pan go the plums and water cook for half and hour then add the warmed sugar and boil to a fury adding a few blanched kernels for extra flavour and pectin shortly before setting point Here s the thing this setting point business is a tricky affair The magical moment of knowing when the molten gloop is cooked enough to set just right ie not too soft and not too hard Experienced jam makers put a blob on a cold plate and nudge it with their fingers looking for a wrinkle in the jam s skin others use a thermometer Now I don t have a specific

    Original URL path: http://www.clareteal.co.uk/index.php/autumn-stories-2/ (2016-02-15)
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