It is with extreme sadness that I announce that John Griffith died on 4th January at 4.30am. He had battled bravely and was cheerful throughout the traumas of a recurring brain tumour. John and I worked very closely together on many, many albums that he produced for Upbeat Jazz over the last 23 years. He had an encyclopaedic knowledge of both classical and jazz music and was such an enthusiastic and lovely man. His sense of humour was quite unique – calling my office a dogstacle course as I have two dogs…..only John could have coined that phrase. John will be sorely missed. Indeed, I miss him already!
Welcome to the Upbeat Recordings website - home of the very best music recordings. UPBEAT JAZZ keeps on releasing great CDs so make sure you keep updated throughout the year. You will see that our Mail Order Shop has now moved to a dedicated site, so if you are looking to purchase from our catalogue, please enter via Upbeat Mailorder (the third button on the Home Page)..
URDVD267 KEN COLYER - Rare Footage from the Vaults While the visual aspect of this release is far from perfect, the sound is great and this is the only live footage of Ken on DVD.
URCD265 COLYER FROM THE ARCHIVES featuring Sammy Rimington with Ken Colyer's All Stars Previously unreleased live riverboat session from 1973 sees Ken in fine form! 72 glorious minutes.
URCD268D TJ JOHNSON IN RETROSPECT Double CD with 30 tracks celebrating TJ's 30 years in the business.
URCD266 THE RISE OF THE CROONER 1945-1975 - The London Swing Orchestra The fourth and final release in this history of 20th century jazz from the London Swing Orchestra.
URCD256 YOUNG SATCHMO - Birth of a Jazz GeniusThis unique compilation of early Armstrong features classic tracks with Bessie Smith,Fletcher Henderson, King Oliver,Clarence Williams and Sidney Bechet. CRITIC'S TOP 10 CHOICE 2014 Jazz Journal International
URCD263 THE BIRTH OF SWING 1935-1945 The London Swing Orchestra - volume 3 in their complete history of 20th Century popular music.
URCD262D KID ORY - STORYVILLE NIGHTS plus Kid Ory plays WC Handy and Dixieland Marching Songs. These are his last recordings....
URCD259 KID ORY and his ORCHESTRA - THE ORIGINAL JAZZ Recordings from 1957 of the classic Ory line-up, plus the final 2 tracks from Dance with Kid Ory or Just Listen and two more tracks from Kid Ory in Europe.
URCD255 THE ELEGANT THIRTIES Graham Dalby and The London Swing Orchestra in the second volume of their History of Jazz series, this time with a portrait of the music of the 30s.
URCD257 KEN COLYER'S JAZZMEN - LIVE REDISCOVERED TREASURES FROM THE CLASSIC YEARS - This new CD contains over an hour of previously unheard, digitally remastered tracks from what was considered to be Colyer’s ‘classic’ line-up from the late 50s playing standards, blues, spirituals and rags in their relaxed and inspired way!
Available by mail order and digital download NOW! In the shops from 8th June.
This live Thames riverboat session dates from the early 70s - a time when traditional jazz was fighting for its existence. Ken Colyer's Studio 51 Club in Leicester Square had recently closed after 20 years as a mecca for lovers of New Orleans music. Ken had given up leading a regular band, but was offered a regular weekly slot at the 100 Club in Oxford street and ... [MORE]
Available by mail order only NOW! Watch this space for news of shop release...
This historic concert has been treasured by George Lewis fans for many years, and now we here at Upbeat are proud to announce the first UK release of this landmark recording of the Lewis band at its exciting digitally remastered best! An essential double-album for all lovers of authentic New Orleans music.
By the mid-50s the band often performed on the college ... [MORE]
Released March 2015!
HOT STUFF! was originally recorded in 1992 and was the brainchild of Chez Chesterman. We are releasing this fantastic CD to celebrate the reforming of the band (sadly not with all the original members) in May 2015.
The band here features Dick Charlesworth clarinet, soprano and tenor saxophone, Mike Pointon trombone, Chez Chesterman cornet, Pat Hawes piano, Jim Forey banjo and guitar, John Rodber double bass and Rex Bennett ... [MORE]
Volume two of this fabulous 1957 Manchester concert by a specially assembled group starring two icons of Jazz. The concert was presented by The National Jazz Federation, and with the obvious exception of Max Kaminsky, every musician had previously been a member of Louis Armstrong’s All Stars. The promoters thought they would appeal to the British public in the same way Satchmo himself had on his first post-war visit the previous year – and the rapturous ... [MORE]
In The Shops 18th September. Available from Upbeat Mailorder NOW!
The fourth and final chapter in the London Swing Orchestra’s comprehensive anthology of Jazz and Swing charts the rise of the crooner. Although crooners such as Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra had toured with band leaders in the thirties, it wasn’t until post 1945 that the vocalist totally eclipsed the band leader to become superstars.
From 1945 there was a distinct decline in ... [MORE]
Respected broadcaster and trombonist in the band,Mike Pointon writes: 'By 1986,when this session took place, Ken was no longer leading a regular band and was suffering from ill-health,but his subtly dynamic performance reveals him to still be on authoritative form. He'd recently been re-united with Ray Foxley after Ray had left the Jazzmen in 1960 and by this time Ken and Colin Bowden worked together again after Colin had been recruited for the re-born ... [MORE]
This is a wonderful double album of 30 tracks lasting just over two hours. As the title suggests, it is a celebration of 30 years of TJ Johnson’s life playing jazz and blues TJ Johnson is a very active solo musician as well as band leader playing all over London on a weekly basis. He also runs his own band which plays regularly at jazz festivals throughout the UK. [MORE]
Roger Marks’ Armada Jazz Band toured Britain and, to a lesser extent Europe, extensively for 25 years appearing repeatedly at the majority of the jazz clubs and festivals and enjoyed great popularity with the public and critics alike, receiving generous air-play on BBC Radio 2 in particular.
This CD will appeal to a large audience being very much BBC Radio 2 repertoire as well as interesting for the jazz aficionados. Humphrey Lyttelton really liked ... [MORE]
The second in our series celebrating great British jazzmen is released to mark the second anniversary of the death of Terry Lightfoot. In a recording from 1990, originally released as Stardust, Terry demonstrates the versatility of his playing and his band leading. From the start of his career in the mid 1950s, Terry's name has been synonymous with quality of sound and presentation.In this recording from 1990, Terry Lightfoot and his band clearly ... [MORE]
The Crane River Jazz Band is one of the most revered jazz bands of the 20th Century. In 1949 they took the UK by storm appearing on BBC TV and Studio 51 in Leicester Square and in 1951 played at the newly opened Royal Festival Hall.
In 1972 the Cranes re-formed and their first London appearance was at the 100 Club in Oxford Street where this CD was recorded. The result was sheer joyousness and almost relaxed telepathic teamwork.
All the players ... [MORE]
CRITICS TOP 10 CHOICE 2014 - Jazz Journal International
This unique compilation of early Armstrong features classic tracks with Bessie Smith,Fletcher Henderson, King Oliver,Clarence Williams and Sidney Bechet. It includes many of the ground-breaking tracks that, with the ambitious influence of his wife Lil, showed the young Armstrong changing the face of jazz. [MORE]
In all of jazz’s turbulent history there have been few instrumentalist / performers who personified showmanship more than Louis Prima. In a positive way he brought many essential elements of New Orleans music to a wider public long before the roots of the so-called ‘Revival’ ever took shape. This CD traces the evolution of his charismatic talent, covering the years 1933 –1955, and includes rare tracks that have not been heard for many years.
These recordings comprise broadcasts mostly for BBC Jazz Club and run from 1957-1962. They include some tunes that had not appeared on studio commercial recordings. They complement the sessions from our series of BBC Jazz Club and our special issues of Colyer and Barber from the same time. The personnel are Kenny Ball trumpet and vocals, John Bennett trombone, Charlie Galbraith trombone, Dave Jones clarinet, John Potter banjo, Dick Bishop banjo and ... [MORE]
Re-engineered version now in the shops and available by Mail Order!
This CD celebrates the unique talent of Cliff 'Ukulele Ike' Edwards, pioneer of an instrument once again in fashion, the ukulele, and one of the first true crooners. ‘Ukulele Ike’, as Edwards became known, was an entertainer whose inimitable style exuded a quality rare in today’s jaundiced world: charm. Edwards was a prolific recording artist in the 20s and 30s - by ... [MORE]
THE INTERNATIONAL HARP ENSEMBLE is unique in the Europe and was originally formed to provide professional training and introduce the full range of the harp to the general public. However its sound has resonated around concert halls across Europe and has left audiences clamouring for more ! Founded by award-winning solo harpist Luisa-Maria Cordell in 2002, The International Harp Ensemble is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year and now numbers ... [MORE]