Tom Mc Clung

 

Pianist Tom McClung died during the night between Saturday 13rd and Sunday 14th May 2017.

 

His passing is not something that feels natural. He was so deeply rooted in the French scene that his demise is hardly believable at all. I’m afraid my first thought when I am going to need a pianist will still be to call him. Unfortunately, there will be no answer. Tom always answered. He was always ready to play.

 

I had first heard him in the late 1990s at Le Relais de l’Isle, a very small restaurant on the Ile St Louis in Paris, run by Christophe Lepelletier. After the regular hours he would continue to swing on that white upright piano, always ready to play if someone sat in. Next door, he often played at the Franc Pinot, run by Jean-Marc Verbois, with Hal Singer, Bob Demeo, Joe Lee Wilson…

 

With Jérôme Partage, I have been so fortunate to organise concerts where he shone so brightly : a duet at the Eglise de Bon Secours with ténor saxophonist Jean-Jacques Elangué ; a trio with Andy McKee on bass and John Betsch on drums at the Sorbonne ; a quartet with Ted Curson on trumpet, Nicola Sabato on bass and John Betsch in the gardens of the 11e arrondissement ; a memorable private concert at the US Embassy in Paris with Ted, Peter Giron and Doug Sides.

 

 

 

Tom with Doug Sides (dm) and Peter Giron at the US Embassy in 2008. With Jean-Jacques Elangué (ts) at Eglise du Bon Secours, Oct. 2013.

In 2010, in Sarcelles, he took part in a concert led by bassist Wayne Dockery with John Betsch on drums dedicated to the music of McCoy Tyner. With very little rehearsal time, he turned in an incredible performance, letting his incredibly sprightly inspiration speak for him.

The climax for me was undeniably the night he played at the Improviste, a boat in Paris in July 2014, with Ricky Ford, Peter Giron and Doug Sides. The music was wild and fiery. He was really smoking that night, in the full embrace of the music he was creating collectively.

 

Sadly, these « bright moments » went undocumented.

 

 

Fortunately, his concert with Ted Curson and Ricky Ford at the Sorbonne was recorded. I remember he had just flown in from a tour and had joined the band effortlessly, delivering some magnificent solos and beautiful comping. You can hear his superb contribution on Ted Curson Plays the Music of Charles Mingus, Live in Paris (2008).

Tom with the Spirit of Life Ensemble; feat. Joe Lee Wilson (voc), Rob Henke (tp) and Ray Blue (ts), April 2008

Tom was a driving force on the Paris scene. He constantly sat in with the Spirit of Life Ensemble when they were in town. He had a band with Ronald Baker and Nicola Sabato playing the music of Frank Sinatra ; and also beautiful trio with Mourad Benhammou and Mathias Szandai… He played alongside Archie Shepp for many years and also with Marion Brown, Yusef Lateef, Gildas Scouarnec and Steve McCraven. Before his time in Paris, he had played with Thomas Chapin, Attila Zoller, Ray Copeland, Jimmy Knepper, Benny Waters, Al Cohn, Arthur Blythe…

 

 

Obviously, Tom simply soaked in all that, building his own jazz vocabulary. He has so much music in him. My feeling was that he had reached a point where he had his own musical world, a fascinating balance between straight and quirky lines. He reminded me of Kirk Lightey in that respect, of Mal Waldron and Monk too, and Kenny Barron and John Hicks. His world was very diverse. Swing with enigmatic angles and blues undertones—even when he played classical music. He was always extremely musical in his playing  and he never let formalism get in the way—his musical intelligence remained based on an emotional approach. Big-hearted and soulful, his music was witty and full of unexpected twists and turns. A stylistic oddity, he generously spiced up his expression with unpredictable phrases. There was always something happening when he played.

 

Born in 1957 in New York, Tom McClung had spent his childhood in Amherst, Massachussets and no doubt you will read his complete obituary in Jazz Hot, with a list of all his accomplishments. But what I remember is of course the most elusive part of the man, the one that can never get written down—his demeanour, his façon d’être, his dry humour, his quiet charm, his gentle smile.

 

We miss him already. And I already know I’ll still want to call him for a gig.

  

 

Jean Szlamowicz

 

Our deepest sympathy goes to his wife Anne.

With Wayne Dockery and John Betsch; with Nicola Sabato (b), Ted Curson (tp) and Vincent Frade (dm); at the Sorbonne (©Ph. Chagnon); with Peter Giron (b)

Spirit of Jazz présente…

Ricky Ford's Power Quartet au Sunside, vendredi 7 octobre 2016!!

Ricky Ford has played with Charles Mingus, McCoy Tyner, Abdullah Ibrahim, Roy Hargrove, Milt Hinton, Jaki Byard and many more. He has been developing his own musical world for years in duets, big band, sextet, quartet, tackling swing, sacred music, standards and creating a very rich universe all his own. Based on his larger-than-life sound rooted in furious swing, his music is an engulfing cascade of tenor madness.

Here and now with his Power Quartet !!!!   Be there, y’all!!

Tarif préférentiel 20€ au lieu de 25 € avec le code promo 20RF7 sur le site http://www.sunset-sunside.com

 

21h00 au Sunside, 60 rue des Lombards, 75001

 

On piano, the extraordinary colourful Ronnie Lynn Patterson brings a special sonic background to the quartet.

On bass, Darryl Hall is a groove-maker like no other. Hailing from Philadelphia he has played with Ravi Coltrane, Carmen Lundy, Kenny Barron, Regina Carter, Dianne Reeves… One of the most melodic and swinging bassists today. Logically one of the most sought-after.

With veteran drummer John Betsch (Mal Waldron, Steve Lacy, Jim Pepper, Ted Curson) providing the pulse, the music is sure to soar to incredible heights of artistic engagement. 

 

 

 

Sarah Thorpe, Tribute to Nina Simone, Festival Jazz Vocal, le 2 juillet 2016 au Sunset !

Sarah Thorpe Sings Nina Simone

Dans la foulée de son premier album, Never Leave Me, Sarah Thorpe a choisi d’évoquer l’univers de Nina Simone, entre swing et soul, sensibilité et hardiesse, de "Feeling Good" à "Don't Let me Be Misunderstood". Grâce à une voix touchante, pleine de feeling, un répertoire entre rhythm and blues funky et ballades sensuelles, valse jazz et swing moderne, Sarah Thorpe montre une conviction énergique qui parvient à un équilibre entre émotion et vigueur. Au carrefour de la métamorphose et de l'hommage bluesy, entre finesse et ferveur, une découverte immanquable !

 

Sarah Thorpe (voc), Olivier Hutman (piano), Michel Rosciglione (contrebasse), Philippe Soirat (batterie)

Sunside, 60 rue des Lombards, 75001, Paris

Réduction de 5 € avec le code promo 20ST1

Réservation des places : www.sunset-sunside.fr

Retrouvez les vidéos de Sarah Thorpe et de son sextet sur le titre de Nina Simone "I'm Gonna Leave You"

 

 

Nouvelle production Spirit of Jazz Records !

EN VENTE DANS NOTRE BOUTIQUE


Premier album !


Sarah Thorpe, la nouvelle voix de la scène parisienne, est entourée de musiciens d'élite ayant accompagné Dianne Reeves, Michel Legrand, Anne Ducros ou Kenny Barron… Avec sa voix touchante, pleine de feeling, entre fragilité et puissance, elle revisite  un répertoire de joyaux mélodiques, entre rhythm and blues funky et ballades sensuelles.


Vivifié par le groove, Never Leave Me raconte de nombreuses histoires d’amour, de la rencontre à la rupture en passant par d’énigmatiques entre-deux.

Attentive au sens des mots, Sarah Thorpe donne corps à toutes ces histoires : la pop jazzifiée de « Jive », le standard transfiguré « Mack the Knife », la véhémence bluesy de « Gonna Leave You », la nostalgie de « The End of the Line »… du groove à la tendresse, Sarah Thorpe dévoile toutes les facettes de son expression.
Un premier album d’une rare maturité!

Spirit of Jazz Booking

Pour les festivals, clubs de jazz et autres programmateurs, Spirit of Jazz propose de belles affiches dans des styles variés.

De grands noms du jazz comme Ricky Ford et son Power Quartet consacré à Monk et Mingus ou de nouveaux noms de la scène jazz comme la très élégante et funky Sarah Thorpe …

 L’enthousiasme du swing est porté par le nouveau quartet de Nicola Sabato avec le vibraphoniste Jacques di Costanzo pour une musique débordante d’un groove rafraîchissant ou par le quintet du trompettiste et chanteur Ronald Baker avec un beau programme autour de Nat King Cole.

Le trio du pianiste Olivier Hutman avec Darryl Hall et Steve Williams est emblématique d’un jazz raffiné, moderne et inspiré. L’art du trio célébré avec un très grande classe !

 L’esprit d’un jazz international explorant des couleurs variées est exalté par le Spirit of Life Ensemble de Daoud-David Williams et ses rythmes latins, ainsi que par l’Afro-Semitic Experience de David Chevan et Warren Byrd unis par le gospel et la musique de synagogue.

De nombreuses autres affiches sont possibles car nous travaillons régulièrement avec des artistes de renoms comme Kirk Lightsey, Harry Allen, Michel Pastre, Sean Gourley, Aurore Quartet, William Chabbey, Sylvia Howard…

De nombreuses autres affiches sont possibles car nous travaillons régulièrement avec des artistes de renoms comme Kirk Lightsey, Harry Allen, Michel Pastre, Sean Gourley, Aurore Quartet, William Chabbey, Sylvia Howard…