Magazine article IAJRC Journal

Manchester Convention

Magazine article IAJRC Journal

Manchester Convention

Article excerpt

IAJRC 2011

The 48th IAJRC Convention was held at Manchester, England, for the first time since London in 1994. It was a masterpiece of Anglo-American co-operation. The warmest praise from all those present goes to those responsible - Ian Thiele, Perry Huntoon and Lee Goode and their helpers on the American side, and Arnie Chadwick, Peter Caswell and the members of the Manchester Jazz Society in Britain. A number of members from the United States and Canada made the effort to attend, plus several from Germany, Austria and Denmark. On arrival, well loaded "goody bags" were presented to all.

The choice of venue was a sound one - the Radisson Park Inn, Central Manchester, a new hotel with 262 rooms and only opened in June, 2009. The conference facilities were first class. The vending room did a busy trade, while the main lecture room was adorned with umpteen posters and photos relating to previous jazz occasions in the city organised by the Manchester Jazz Society, with many famous names illustrated. For the first time a lunch was provided each day, included in the registration fee.

The Convention schedule was varied and absorbingly interesting. After welcoming remarks by President Geoff Wheeler and Ian Thiele of the host committee, Bill Birch kicked off the proceedings with a talk entitled "Keeper of the Flame (Modern Jazz in Manchester, 1946-72)", which was also the title of a well illustrated book he has written and produced.

He was followed by Rainer Lotz from Bonn, Germany, with "Black Europe - Early Acoustic Recordings", a very professional presentation incorporating early film and sound. It was a fascinating glimpse of jazz pre-history in Europe.

Then came Trevor Tolley from Canada, with "Jazz Collecting in 'Ancient' Britain", describing his involvement and early days in detail, with which I happily identified, as it brought back many shellac-hunting memories for me.

Michael Arie from Vienna, Austria, graphically told the history of Austrian Jazz, playing many examples, dating back to 1943 and including illegal wartime sessions and recordings.

Being a Thursday, which is the normal weekly meeting evening of the Manchester Jazz Society, their members joined us, with a presentation including rare recordings made locally. Afterwards they even provided a buffet dinner for everyone, comprising the local speciality called Lancashire Hot Pot, followed by Manchester Tart. Needless to say, this latter name caused some merriment! In addition, Holt's Brewery provided two welcome barrels of their excellent beer. We visitors were all enrolled as Life Members of the Manchester Jazz Society and given badges to wear to prove it.

The evening ended with two hours of jazz films presented by Mark Cantor, too many to describe. Enough to say that they were all worthwhile and up to his exceptionally professional standards.

Friday opened with our editor, Andy Simons, describing his involvement in the National Sound Archive in London, with a talk called "A Jazz Curator's Greatest Gigs" - informative and entertaining, as one would expect from the indefatigable Andy.

Then came our blonde bombshell - the lovely Sabine Nagel-Heyer, from Hamburg, who played a delightful program of jazz from the Nagel-Heyer label. This included a favourite of mine by the Alex Welsh Legacy Band, recorded at the Hamburg Convention in 1999.

From America, musician Don Manning enlarged at length in his wide ranging anecdotal dissertation called "Reminisces of Diz, Bird and the Bop Movement". …

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