Herts Jazz Film Festival 2016
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Cinema and music come together in an exhilarating new festival! The Herts Jazz Film Festival (HJFF) showcases a wonderful mixture of compelling films that all have a distinctly jazz flavour.

Timed to complement the Herts Jazz Club’s well-established and prestigious annual Herts Jazz Festival, the HJFF will bring you classic Hollywood film noir, silent film with live jazz accompaniment, rarely-seen documentaries, and a performance by a superstar jazz quartet celebrating one of the UK’s greatest jazz pianists, Stan Tracey.

All events will take place at CW Entertainment in Welwyn Garden City, where the Herts Jazz Festival is held. Tickets are available online (see website above), Garden City Cinema box office, Telephone 0300 3039 620). The full HJFF programme is:-

Friday 16th September, 6:15pm-8:00pm, Screen 2

SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS [Alexander Mackendrick, 1957] -£7.40/£6.00 concessions/£5.60 HJ members/£4.00 students - BOOK NOW
Starring Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis in a film that Peter Bradshaw describes as “a fizzingly clever big-city satire and deeply strange late noir classic. Unmissable”. It features a jazz score by Elmer Bernstein and includes appearances by The Chico Hamilton Quintet.

Philip French describes this film as “a masterpiece, intelligent Hollywood cinema at its best” in this review:

Sweet Smell of Success... [is] a film noir about hard-hitting journalism and the alluring world of Manhattan at night. But the hitting is all below the belt and the cowardly pugilists are JJ Hunsecker (Burt Lancaster), a syndicated right-wing gossip columnist who can make or break reputations with a couple of barbed sentences, and Sidney Falco (Tony Curtis), the unprincipled press agent, who supplies him and his rivals with the dirt they dish up daily...

Alexander Mackendrick, one of the two truly outstanding Ealing Studio directors... [was] known for comedies like
Whisky Galore! and The Ladykillers, but his vision was always a dark one and with conscious ambivalence Sweet Smell of Success captures the seductive, visceral excitement of New York's gleaming, dynamic nightlife and the sad and loathsome behaviour of its amoral, hustling inhabitants...

Elmer Bernstein wrote the bluesy score that incorporates the beguiling jazz of the Chico Hamilton Quintet.”

Saturday 17th September, 10:20am-11:15am, Screen 2

Two Buster Keaton short films accompanied by David Newton on piano - £8.50/£7.90/£6.90/£4.50 - BOOK NOW

Two short films from the comic genius Buster Keaton will be accompanied live by one the UK’s top jazz pianists, David Newton. He will be improvising to two of Keaton’s best short comedies NEIGHBORS [1920] and ONE WEEK [1920].

The ‘Great Stoneface’, Buster Keaton is widely regarded as a genius of silent film comedy. With his deadpan expression, endlessly inventive sight gags, perfect timing, and fearless stunt work, he showed that silent film could be hilarious and sophisticated.

Growing up in Scotland, Newton grew up in a household where the piano trio sound of Peterson, Tatum, and Garner was ever-present. After graduating from Leeds College of Music in 1979 he freelanced around Yorkshire and eventually became a resident musician at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough for two and a half years. When he later moved to London he rapidly became a much sought after pianist, playing with some of the greatest musicians in the UK and internationally.

David Newton has been voted best Jazz Pianist in the British Jazz awards for the thirteenth time in 2014 and was made a Fellow of Leeds College of Music in 2003.

Sunday 18th September, 10:10am-11:15am, Screen 2

TUBBY HAYES: A MAN IN A HURRY [Lee Cogswell, 2015] - £7.40/£6.00/£5.60/£4.00 - BOOK NOW

A new documentary about the great tenor player who left behind a body of work that has both stood the test of time and proven to be an inspiration to many like-minded musicians today. Narrated by actor and Hayes fan Martin Freeman.

January 30th 2015 marked what would have been the 80th birthday of Edward Brian Hayes, known to the world of jazz as Tubby. A professional jazz musician at just fifteen, by his untimely death at thirty-eight, he had left behind a body of work, that has both stood the test of time. Tubby became the first solo UK jazz performer to be invited to play in the United States, where Miles Davis attended his first gig in New York and his services were much in demand here in the UK by the likes of Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Henry Mancini, Quincy Jones and Dizzy Gillespie. However, the combination of years of over work, drug abuse and the rise of Pop music in the UK – much to the detriment of the world of British jazz – ultimately found Tubby struggling to complete sometimes poorly attended concerts. He had burnt very brightly but then quickly faded from the general publics consciousness soon after his untimely death in June 1973. But 2015, over forty years since his sad demise, Tubby and his numerous recordings from a highly productive twenty-year period have steadily attracted a growing band of dedicated fans around the globe. (Photo credit: Freddie Warren Archive)

★★★★★ ‘Engaging, affectionate documentary’ – RTE TEN
★★★★★ ‘Great film, very respectful, nice clips, a lovely tribute to the man’ – Paul Weller
★★★★ ‘Engrossing documentary’ – GQ Magazine (online)
★★★★ ‘Impressively researched & highly engaging’ – The Wire magazine (print)
★★★ ‘Thorough, remorseless, & professional by good filmmakers’- Steve Voce, Jazz Journal
★★★ ‘Fascinating portrait’ – MOJO magazine (print)
★★★ ‘A little giant of a movie..’ – Jazzwise magazine (print)

Sunday 2nd October, 7:30pm-10:15pm, Screen 2

Gala evening dedicated to Stan Tracey - £11.00/£10.00/£8.00/£3.00 - BOOK NOW

This legend of jazz will be celebrated in a very special evening of film and music. There will be a rare screening of the documentary STAN TRACEY: THE GODFATHER OF BRITISH JAZZ by eminent British director John Akomfrah. This will be followed by a live performance by the all-star STAN TRACEY LEGACY QUARTET featuring Art Themen, Steve Melling, Andy Cleyndert, and Clark Tracey.

With its rich sound design and sumptuous digital cinematography, STAN TRACEY: THE GODFATHER OF BRITISH JAZZ is an intimate profile of a pianist and composer widely regarded as Britain's greatest jazz musician. Stan’s piano playing combined the percussive melody of Thelonious Monk with the robust lyricism of Ellington in a highly idiosyncratic style. A master of harmony, he possessed a potent and compelling improviser’s intellect.

Through his unflinching commitment and dedication he sustained an output of exceptional, highly influential and stimulating music, not only to his peers, but to each successive generation of musicians with whom he worked. Throughout his career he was a prolific composer, writing over twenty commissions and the music for forty of his own albums. His first major work Under Milk Wood, inspired by Dylan Thomas’ radio play of the same title, is widely recognised as a masterpiece.

Stan was patron of the Herts Jazz Club from 2011 until he sadly passed away in 2013.

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