Stories

One-sided conversations

Posted on 25th May 2020 by John Rosie

  Alan Quaife - Approaching my 90th birthday, I am a survivor of the immediate post-war era when jazz emanated from the wireless (as we called it) almost continuously throughout the day. The jazz style was mainly New Orleans/Traditional and this has, subsequently, dominated my musical life. Many visits were made to London's 100 Club in the late 1950s and, somehow, I found myself in the local pub drinking with the bands during their breaks! In the mid-1960s, the iconic British clar …

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A letter from the White House

Posted on 25th May 2020 by John Rosie

  Catherine Boak - I joined the merry band of voluntary enthusiasts at the Archive in 2019 and find the work both fascinating and somewhat addictive. I was assigned to re-package some of the material, firstly starting on programmes, filed by artist and by country and venues. It is tempting to linger and look at the programmes, but that must be for another time. I now have the Johnny Simmen Collection to work on. Johnny was a Swiss jazz historian, and the collection holds over 3,00 …

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Not just about jazz, but social history

Posted on 25th May 2020 by John Rosie

  Matthew St Pier - I am a big jazz fan and had been aware of the National Jazz Archive for a long time before becoming a volunteer. I live in the Loughton area and had attended Archive fundraising gigs. Volunteering had been in my mind for some time but work commitments always got in the way. However, when I went freelance two years ago with more control over my workload, I finally had the opportunity to get involved. Prior to volunteering I had no direct experience of working fo …

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Jazz and joy

Posted on 25th May 2020 by John Rosie

  Mike Rose - There are two words that have figured very large in my life and they both begin with the letter ”J“. Although they might not necessarily have an obvious connection, they are to me totally intertwined and indivisible. The two words are Jazz and Joy. The two “J’s” connection began when I was aged around five or six and had access to my elder brother’s collection of 1940s 78 rpm records. For hours I would listen to Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Harry James, …

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A relaxed, welcoming environment

Posted on 25th May 2020 by John Rosie

  Nigel Smith - I’m part of the Archive’s Wednesday volunteer team working on scanning and retouching the vast Brian Foskett photo collection. The collection is being put online gradually so the public can see it and we’ve already licensed some of the images which brings income into the Archive.  There’s so much vitality in the shots, often capturing magical, fleeting moments in smoke-filled clubs. I’m a semi-retired graphic designer so when I was asked to take on the …

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Being with friendly folk

Posted on 25th May 2020 by John Rosie

  Roger Cotterrell - Involvement with the National Jazz Archive? For me it’s about being with friendly folk from different backgrounds who are all bitten by the jazz bug – in love with this wonderful music.  And it’s the chance to give something back to jazz by helping to preserve its legacy. Leafing through the Archive collections leads you to magazines and concert programmes from long ago, and gives a great sense of the continuity in the music over the decades. Jazz s …

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A sense of discovery

Posted on 24th May 2020 by John Rosie

  Jenny Golden - What makes a good photograph?  For me the image has to be in black and white to invoke emotion, a sense of discovery, a mood and the need to find the story behind the photograph. A black and white image is also about longevity. The colour photograph will fade with time, losing that vital piece of history and memory. Jazz, both old and new, lends itself to the medium of black and white photography.  The images of the early blues singers tell a story of lives …

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