Posts tagged ‘Big Band’

Twelve O’Clock Tales – New album by Clare Teal

I remember the day distinctly when Clare called about this recording. It went along the lines of “hello Love, We’d like to do a recording with the Halle… and a big band… yes in the same room… well it’s a church… but a treated church…” and so it began. A live jazz recording like they used to at Columbia… 93 musicians, Big band and orchestra.
I was discussing this conversation recently and I think it was only when it was all over that the scale of it finally hit me. Even when I was preparing the line lists (about 111 +/- 5 here or there) or preparing the desk in the truck did it ever occur to me that this was quite a big deal. Colleague and long time supplier Pete Austin (Ethos Audio) was the first point of contact as I knew he had the truck to do the job. The large channel count meant that we’d have to go digital and the Studer Vista 5 was a perfect choice.
Vista 5

The tricky part was how to keep the lush textures of the orchestra and maintain the sheer dynamic of the big band. We agreed that it was best to have the big band to one side and opposite side from the violins and all the open microphones. The ability to mix up tight and ambient microphones gave us the scope to get good separation of the sections and yet still have that enigmatic blend that makes an orchestra sound so lush.
The space in Ancoates that the Halle rehearse in is superb. Set in quite an up and coming part of the redevelopment of this area, St Peter’s is a gem indeed. The Halle Chorus also rehearse here and so its multi functionality is well serviced by clever use of staging and an excellent crew to set and reset as required. The acoustic treatment is excellent and they also have 63amp 3ø power installed near to the load in door. Sensible cable traps and routing make this a great venue to work in.


We started recording on the Tuesday afternoon and four sessions later it was in the can. The sheer musicianship of both the Halle and the big band, embracing some pretty demanding music from mssrs Barker, Rebello and Windsor, is clear to hear on the album. Stephen Bell was fabulous at interpreting the jazz/classical crossover with the Halle and a good time was had by all.



in the truck…


The Album feature 14 classic songs…

It Might as Well Be Spring
Feeling Good
Wild Is the Wind
Sans Souci
I’ll Never Stop Loving You
La Belle Dame Sans Regret
Lush Life
Never Again
Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most
Always True to You in My Fashion
Whole (It Isn’t Like Me)
Secret Love
The Folks Who Live on the Hill
Paradisi Carousel

The music was arranged by UK trumpet legend Guy barker and by the pianistic talents of Jason Rebello and Grant Windsor. The title “Twelve O’Clock Tales” is taken from a lyric of Billy Strayhorn’s ‘Lush Life’ and the album explores timeless classics penned by legendary musical storytellers of the last 100 years, and celebrates the giants of the Great American and British Songbooks through to the work of more contemporary writers crafting the standards of today plus Clare’s own original compositions. From swing to sublime ballads, Twelve O’Clock Tales reflects Clare’s versatility as a performer, and her agile and expressive voice is captured in the rich, eclectic, jazz infused repertoire ranging from Cole Porter, Billy Strayhorn, Rodgers and Hammerstein to Tim Rice, and Sting.

This was an amazing project to be part of and I’m immensely proud of my association with it.


The album has just been reviewed by Dave Gelly in the Guardian – Review


Clare Teal said ‘This is our most ambitious project to date and being accompanied by the Hallé is an absolute privilege.   To be in a room surrounded by 93 incredibly talented musicians wondrously lifting these stunning arrangements right off the page before your eyes makes for a great day out – to actually then add your own voice to the story is a dream come true. We’re thrilled to be releasing Twelve O’Clock Tales on our own label – it’s truly liberating to be in control of what you want to record, with whom and where you want to release it.’

Stephen Bell said ‘One of the most joyous projects to be involved with – fabulously crafted and classy orchestral charts by Guy Barker, Jason Rebello and Grant Windsor sounding particularly splendid with the full might of the Hallé and Clare’s unique vocal talents. Fabulous music-making!’

Guy Barker said ‘Clare Teal has always been a total joy to work with … a great vocalist, musician and communicator with a seemingly never ending flow of great positive energy.
You add to that one of the world’s great orchestras under the baton and superb musicianship of their conductor Stephen Bell … including some amazing star players like Jason Rebello, Mike Lovatt, Matt Skelton, Iain Dixon, Gordon Campbell and Jeremy Brown… and you then have one of the most enjoyable musical experiences I have ever been privileged to be a part of.’

Twelve O’Clock Tales, released on MUD records, is Clare’s 15th Album and can be listened to via Bandcamp here.

Click here to view ‘The Making Of’ video.


September 16, 2016 at 14:18 1 comment

Forthcoming big band dates








The Syd Lawrence orchestra

17th April – 7:30PM

Theatre Royal Windsor

21st April
Theaterhaus (am Pragsattel)
Siemenstr. 11
Multi-award winning Syd Lawrence Orchestra & the SWR Big Band.
Two televised concerts featuring these two great bands celebrating the 60th anniversary of the SWR band.

Mon 25 Porthcawl Grand Pavilion (Festival) 01656 815995 TBC
Sun 01 7.30 Weston-Super-Mare The Playhouse 01934 645544
Tues 10 7.30 Eastbourne Sussex Congress Theatre 01323 412000

BBC Big Band
Birmingham Town Hall
Friday 13 May 7:30pm at Town Hall

Legendary jazz and soul singer Patti Austin joins the BBC Big Band for an exclusive UK concert appearance. Together they perform the music from her Grammy winning album ‘Avant Gershwin’, including ‘I’ll Build a Stairway to Paradise’, ‘Love Walked In’, ‘Funny Face’, ‘Swanee’ and ‘Lady be Good’.

Tickets available: Call the box office on 0121 780 3333 or visit the Birmingham Town Hall website.

Great Swing Battles: The BBC Big Band meet the Midland Youth Jazz Orchestra
Friday 17 Jun 7:30pm at Town Hall

The BBC Big Band joins forces with the acclaimed Midland Youth Jazz Orchestra. Together they will recreate all the excitement of the great musical battles of the swing era.
Join them as they feature classic scores from the great bands of Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Chick Webb, Benny Goodman, Lionel Hampton and Woody Herman.
Tickets available: Call the box office on 0121 780 3333 or visit the Birmingham Town Hall website

April 5, 2011 at 11:24 Leave a comment

Syd Lawrence Orchestra – Whitley Bay Playhouse – Sunday 28th March 2010

Great concert in the revamped Whitley Bay Playhouse. A long way to go but the multi million pound refit of the theatre made it all worth while. Unlike a lot of refits that just ‘tart’ up a venue they have done an A1 job and it is a great place to play.
Playing at the Anvil Basingstoke this week 1st April 2010

March 30, 2010 at 15:44 Leave a comment

The Great American Songbook

The Great American Songbook


Continue Reading July 28, 2009 at 10:28 1 comment

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