Simple, swinging and superb

A new trio album from a master of percussion versatility showcases jazz in its purest form. Joyful rapport between three top instrumentalists


Diz does the Formby Songbook

This little gem features the sadly-missed Diz Disley in his homage with voice and banjolele to George Formby


Sandy at his majestic best

This album was recorded in 1970-71 and portrays Sandy Brown in his prime, with the trad format long discarded but still retaining the fiery passion and originality of his early days


Sandy - a loving tribute

In 1982, cornet player Digby Fairweather recorded his own tribute to Sandy Brown. The first 10 tracks of this album are a type of biographic record of the clarinettist from his Scottish beginnings. Like Digby’s musical memorial, the other tracks, recorded in 1970-71 which include Sandy himself, are equally enjoyable.


Cool in warmest of ways

With his laid-back style and pure tone, alto man Geoff Simkins is often labelled as one of the “cool school”. He has no problem with that, and in his latest CD, the trio gives an array of stylish interpretations.


The Hawk at Ronnie Scott’s

Fifty years ago a young version of Jamie Evans made his way to Ronnie Scott’s club in Soho to hear one of the great figures of jazz, Coleman Hawkins


Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960

The discovery of the soundtrack of a French film directed by Roger Vadim was a wonderful gift for jazz lovers and the resulting double CD with an illustrated booklet is a must for all Monkophiles.


Coops and his phonofiddle

This lovely photograph of a young Alan Cooper was kindly sent to me by clarinettist and distinguished broadcaster Anthony Cash.


Wonderfully weird and magically mainstream

We review two new CDs from the USA that pay homage to the past in their own different ways.


Martin Taylor, guitar great...

We take a personal look at one of Britain’s finest musicians. Martin Taylor kicked off his career as a jazz rhythm guitar player but now bestrides many genres with apparent ease.


The very best of British

The USA might be the birthplace of jazz but here we review two CDs featuring some of the finest British musicians, one of whom, guitarist Jim Mullen (on both albums), must surely have reached ‘national treasure’ status by now


Oo-yah, oo-yah

We look back on one of the great characters of British jazz and certainly one of the greatest percussionists. Lennie Hastings


Fred and Frank just get better

’Over the hill’ and ‘outdated’ are phrases that could never be aimed at two 60-ish piano players, Fred Hersch and Frank Kimbrough. Jamie Evans reviews their new CDs


Diz Disley remembered too

We take an affectionate look at the life and times of William Charles Disley, otherwise known as ‘Diz”


Two albums to gladden the heart

No bathwater thrown out with these babies…Jamie Evans dons his reviewer’s hat and enjoys a couple of albums whose exponents are steeped in broad musical traditions.


That’s Coops again, dear chap

The late clarinetist Alan Cooper deserves to be better-remembered. Jamie Evans, played piano with Coops for many years and also maintains this site devoted to Cooper and contemporaries.


Rognvald the Viking

Ron Mathewson…now and then.


Yorkshire jazz and Vernon Street

The pictures included here show Alan Cooper and his Leeds art school friends in the very early days of their jazz development.


Jazz in the cinema now

Unusually, two films dealing with iconic jazz musicians were released in 2016. Murray Anthony looks at what the modern cinema industry made of Miles Davis and Chet Baker


Jazz in the cinema then

We look back on two films released in the ‘80s and reflect on whether two of the greatest ever jazz movies have stood the test of time.


The Full Monty a tasty treat

It has been a while since Jamie Evans visited Ronnie Scott's club in Soho. Earlier this year he made a personal pilgrimage to hear pianist Monty Alexander.


Peter King - a life in jazz

Jamie Evans was both exhilarated and saddened by the autobiography of British alto saxophonist, Peter King.


Farewell to the Clydes

Jamie Evans harks back to 1963, an eventful year in his life


More into life than he took

Pianist Martin Litton reminisces about his old chum and musical colleague.


Strangler on the Floor

Pianist Ray Smith recalls touring the Gulf and Middle East with Alan Cooper


Early days in Leeds and London

Alan Cooper was a couple of years older than me and had a considerable influence when I was a teenager living in Leeds. We were both habitues of St Michael's Youth Club along with a few of my contemporaries at Leeds Modern School for Boys, including the writer Alan Bennett, and John Woodhead, who later carved out a fine reputation for himself as a jazz pianist in the Midlands.


Ken Colyer and Coops

In this picture both Coops and Ken Colyer exchanged their main instruments, clarinet and trumpet, to piano and guitar


Sandy and Coops

Yes, the picture quality is dreadful. But this cutting, from the archive of the late Ian Howarth, who played drums with the Alan Cooper Trio, is of great historic interest and shows Coops (on the left) with fellow clarinettist Sandy Brown in 1961.


Late convert to the pipe

My old pal Alan Cooper, who has died at 76, was about to join the Pipe Club of London, when he heard he was suffering from terminal cancer (not at all smoking-related).


Jazz at the Junction

After our three-year residency in the City of London (The Rumboe Years) I only played with Coops sporadically until we did our Dutch tour in 1985 (Low Country Life). I would call him every now and then for a gig at a pub or restaurant, usually just a duo. And occasionally he would do the same for me.


Farewell to unique talent and person

Alan Cooper was much more than a jazz clarinettist of world-class stature, he was a true gentleman born out of time with an innate capacity for friendship that transcended music


The Rumboe years

My connection with the Rumboe all started in the early 60s when I met that great character, the Scots pianist and trombonist Bert Murray.


A Long Way from Pasadena

Brian Innes(1928-2014) a founder member and former percussionist with the Temperance Seven, wrote an extremely entertaining and amusing book, 'A Long Way from Pasadena' about the life and times of the band. We are delighted to reproduce some of his thoughts on Alan Cooper.


Town's send off for Alan Cooper

It was the sort of send-off any jazz musician would have been proud of, let alone one of the UK's leading clarinetists.


The Scotsman obit

I FIRST met Alan Cooper in an Edinburgh bar during the 1981 Jazz Festival. He was already a legend in trad jazz circles, with credentials going back to 1949 as a founder member of the Yorkshire Jazz Band. Thereafter he was called to serve his national service, which was extended into a short service commission in the RAF, where he attained the rank of flying officer.


Obituary Times

Tall, balding, and bearded, Alan Cooper was not only one of Britain’s leading traditional jazz clarinettists, he was also a Yorkshireman, and, at heart, an Edwardian. As a member of the original Temperance Seven, he had chart-topping success in 1961 with You’re Driving Me Crazy, and Pasadena, which became the band’s theme tune.


Low Country Life

"A Foggy Day in London Town, in B-Flat," says Coops. ", two three, four," miming grotesquely. And off the four of us go, skittering through the chord changes.


Guardian Obituary

The early 1960s was the era of the curious and brief British "trad jazz" boom. In those years the Temperance Seven, who played a version of 1920s white American dance music, achieved such success that in 1961 they had a British No 1 hit, You're Driving Me Crazy, produced by George Martin in his pre-Beatles days.


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