Jazz Groove

Cecil Payne dies at 84

Cecil Payne, baritone saxophonist who played with Dizzy Gillespie’s band and recorded with Miles Davis and John Coltrane, died on November 27 aged 84.

Cecil Payne was the first to play bebop on the baritone saxophone during the Forties, and didn’t change his style much in the next 60 years.

It was said that his shyness and reluctance to trouble anyone led to him to become a virtual recluse surviving on the junk food. Not surprisingly perhaps, he was almost blinded by glaucoma in recent years.
He became famous as a member of the Dizzy Gillespie big band during its glory years from 1946 to 1949 when it included John Lewis, Ray Brown and Milt Jackson. He was the featured soloist on two of the band’s classic records, “Ow” and “Stay On It”, in 1947.

He was born in Brooklyn on December 22, 1922. As late as May 2006 he was billed to play at a club on Park Avenue.

The Teignmouth Jazz Festival

The 11th Teignmouth Jazz Festival opens this weekend in the Devon, England seaside town, which is a star attraction on the English Riviera.

If you think November is a strange month to hold a music festival in the UK, many people would agree with you, but, nothing daunted, the English are a hardy breed, especially jazz buffs. This festival was specially conceived as a response to the unusually high concentration of talented jazz musicians in the South Devon area, but also attracts players from all over the country and overseas.

The festival aims to cover as many jazz tastes as possible. Swing, New Orleans, modern and contemporary jazz will all be represented around the bars and clubs of the town from Friday night to Sunday.

Saturday afternoon will feature The Tony Woods Project, Claridad Jazz, Original Rags, the Roger Beaujolais Acoustic Trio, Greg Abate and the Jim Blomfield Trio, Jazz TRilogy, Simon Banks and Kevin Grenfell, among others.

Tomorrow evening will feature the Annie Whitehead Quintet, Iain Ballamy with the Pete Canter Quartet, Sue Kibbey and George Huxley’s All Star Band with Caz Shennington.
Sunday evening has a special line-up, but I won’t spoil it for you if you’re coming along.