‘All Upon a Lovely Summer’s Day’
The new album by Burton Bradstock
is out NOW!
‘All Upon A Lovely Summer’s Day’
is the innovative debut album from Burton Bradstock. With one foot in the bucolic past and the other very firmly in the contemporary, the album’s arrangements sympathetically recast English folk songs from the early to mid-nineteenth century.
Cannon, a native of Cornwall, is no stranger to the American songbook, and successfully marries his love and practice of jazz with the nostalgia of his childhood; combining the simple and well-loved melodies of English folk songs such as ‘Salisbury Plain’, ‘The Ashgrove’, ‘Early One Morning and ‘John Barleycorn’ with intricate rhythms and contemporary harmonies.
“Burton Bradstock’s interpretations are fascinating. I particularly liked the bluesy take on Foggy Foggy Dew. This is often sung as a bawdy comic song (including famously by Benjamin Britten), but the blues style gives it a slightly darker feel – appropriate since many people think it came from an Irish term meaning something supernatural and scary – or possible another term for TB.
Another song much interpreted is Sally in our Alley here given a straightforward treatment with good use of the strings. A good word also for the two “modern” songs – both very much in the folk style – one from Pentangle and one The Mermaid of Hampstead Heath which inspired the album cover.
Despite my personal interest in both genres, and excepting some interesting interpretations of Bob Dylan songs, jazz and folk music have never been comfortable bedfellows. There is no good reason for this and there really should be more. All Upon A Lovely Summers Day is a good model which delivers some fine jazz while respecting some of the best words to be found anywhere in song.
This is an important and interesting album, which made me think seriously about the nature of song in jazz. We are all familiar with The Great American Song Book which is the “tradition” in jazz – it’s a mix of real jazz standards and show tunes which are now the staple diet of jazz singers all over the world. But as we have already seen in Scandinavia, the folk tunes of a region are as valid a source as those of Hollywood and Tin Pan Alley.”
PETER SLAVID is Chair of the F-IRE Collective and this CD was released on the F- IRE Presents label. This piece is written in a personal capacity, with the aim of drawing attention to some issues raised by the release.
For the album, Cannon has put together a group of equally talented musicians who contribute their virtuosity and wondrous interplay to this project. Featuring Iain Ballamy, with Julian Ferraretto (virtuosic jazz violinist who has arranged for and played with artists including Eska Mtungwazi, Carleen Anderson, Robert Mitchell’s Panacea and Shakira) on violin; Dorian Ford (Berklee alumnus and twice winner of the Chick Corea Jazz Masters Award) on piano; Riaan Vosloo (incredibly talented bassist, composer and arranger with a BA (Hons) from Leeds College of Music and an MA from the Royal Academy of Music with album credits including works for Universal, Sony and Decca Records) on double bass; Tim Giles (cutting edge and award-winning musical prodigy known for his collaborations with saxophonist James Allsopp) on drums, and Pete Berryman (gifted acoustic guitarist and composer with over four decades of experience) on guitar.