Trumpeter Chris Hodgkins launches three albums at the Pizza Express Jazz Club

Monday, May 9, 2022

The renowned player will be joined by a host of UK trumpet greats and an all-star band to launch three albums on Thursday 12 May at Pizza Express Jazz Club, Soho

The Chris Hodgkins International Quartet
The Chris Hodgkins International Quartet

In November and December last year, the Chris Hodgkins Band completed a 17-date tour with support from Arts Council England, playing music from their Salute To Humphrey Lyttelton project, a celebration of the legendary trumpeter, bandleader and BBC broadcaster on what would have been his 100th birthday anniversary year.

NowThe Salute To Humphrey Lyttelton album, plus the Chris Hodgkins International Quartet album, Festooned with Trumpets, (recorded after their tour in 2019), and an archival reissue of Vic Parker At The Quebec Hotel + Chris Hodgkins + Jed Williams (captured live at the Quebec Hotel, Cardiff in January/ February 1976) will all be launched on this single gig on 12 May.

The band for the launch is Chris Hodgkins, Henry Lowther and Nick Smart (trumpets), Alison Rayner (double bass), Buster Birch (drums), Charlotte Glasson (baritone sax/clarinet/penny whistle), Alex Clarke (tenor sax/clarinet), Diane McLoughlin (alto sax/soprano sax), Mark Bassey (trombone) plus special guests, Andrea Vicari on piano and guitarist Phil Robson. The music is comprised of a mixture of standards and four originals especially written for the tour and was recorded immediately after the tour.

Rising to prominence in the early 1950s, Lyttelton’s hit single ‘Bad Penny Blues’ was the first-ever British jazz record to achieve top 20 status.  Throughout his career, he blazed a trail with diverse presentations of jazz music and unique collaborations. In 2002, he performed (in front of 42,000) and recorded with Radiohead, engaging an entirely new audience with his music, and providing a rare platform for fellow jazz musicians to play on a world stage.

In addition to his influential role as leader of the jazz revival, Lyttelton, affectionately known as “Humph”, was also a much-loved broadcaster, hosting BBC Radio 2’s ‘Best Of Jazz’ programme for many years, as well as BBC Radio 4’s hugely successful and still running) comedy show I’m Sorry, I Haven’t A Clue (later hosted by Jack Dee).

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