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HOAGY!

Hoagy II quartet comp colour.jpg

CHRIS INGHAM piano/vocal

PAUL HIGGS trumpet
SIMON THORPE bass

GEORGE DOUBLE drums

 

A perennial favourite at Ronnie Scott’s and festivals in Canterbury, Buxton, Edinburgh, Rye, Aberjazz, Devizes, Caterham, Norwich, Woolpit and Bury St Edmunds, Chris Ingham’s Hoagy! is packed with the songs and stories of one of America’s most enduring and endearing songwriters. Wry, wise, sentimental, down-home and sophisticated, Hoagy Carmichael’s songs are beloved for their warmth, wit and melodic beauty. This joyful, edifying and heartfelt salute to the Old Music Master features many engaging anecdotes and insights along with tracks from Chris’s acclaimed CDs Hoagy and Hoagy II including well-loved hits (Stardust, Lazy River, Georgia On My Mind, Skylark, Ole Buttermilk Sky, Lazy Bones, et al) alongside obscure nuggets and delightful curiosities from this unique songwriter's rich and varied songbook.

"One of Britain's best singer-pianists...sophisticated tribute...charming work"  ****
LONDON EVENING STANDARD

 

"Captures the spirit of a 20th-century giant...a delightful package" **** OBSERVER

 

Hoagy Carmichael was special...Ingham knows and understands" MOJO

 

"This is just lovely..." SUNDAY TIMES - JAZZ CD of the WEEK & TOP 10 JAZZ CD 2014

 

Classy product…with plenty of the right kind of swing **** JAZZ JOURNAL

 

Hits the sweet spot every time **** BBC MUSIC

An excellent night by any criteria…the music was of the highest calibre...highly informative and entertainingJAMES ALBRECHT, STUDIO DIRECTOR ST JAMES THEATRE, SW1

 

"Outstanding quartet...inspired solo forays...nifty and concise arrangements...a fine delectation of Hoagy delights conveyed masterfullyLONDON JAZZ NEWS

 

"Mighty fine piano...no mere hanging on the shirt-tails of the great man, Ingham has his own personality...'Dear Bix' is one of the most emotional pieces I've ever listened to...perfect underpinnings...[an] outstanding CD
BEBOP SPOKEN HERE

HOAGY II - sleevenotes

Still the Hippest Guy in the Room

 

Ah, the fatal allure of the pianist-singer. Fatal in that when some future hyphenates were exposed to it in the movies, our fate was sealed. The empathetic elegance of Dooley Wilson in , the seductive self-pity of Sinatra in and the luxurious swing of Nat Cole in all took their toll. But above all, it was the wise, wry Hoagland ‘Hoagy’ Carmichael in monochrome fantasies like who really sold the role.

Hoagy was always the hippest guy in the room, still is. Coolly apart from the central action, but all-seeing, all-understanding and always on hand to offer pithy philosophies to the hapless protagonists. And when he played and sang his mysterious, dreamy, amusing songs, people stopped for a moment and listened, felt something and changed a little. That’s a good job.

A hot jazz junkie and a self-taught pianist, Hoagy always claimed he was a discoverer of tunes rather than a composer, a down home sophisticate with a direct line over the shadows and the rain to the blossom-covered songs of Hoagland. Pumping with a jazz heart, crafted with instinctive Tin Pan Alley smarts, bolstered by harmonies as rich as Kern or Gershwin and topped with melodies dancing like Bix Beiderbecke arpeggii (that’s what Hoagy calls ‘em, must be right), these 70-100 year-old songs still sing to us, still make us stop for a moment. Dazzling absurdity juxtaposes plaintive romanticism while at the centre of everything, the eternal quest for the peacefully dandy. Take me there, brother.

Nine years and over 100 live shows on from our first album, here’s the second volume. Once more, with these prototypically jazzy Indiana-years masterworks, wartime curiosities and Hollywood gems, we’ve resisted the temptation to reinvent the wheel. Get too clever with stuff that’s already clever, you could end up with something stupid. Controls were set for the heart of the song and we just played, felt something, changed a little. That is a good job.

  1. Don’t Forget to Say No Baby (Carmichael/Johnson/Victor) 2:47                   

  2. (Up a) Lazy River (Carmichael/Arodin) 4:21                  

  3. The Monkey Song (Carmichael) 2:48              

  4. Ain’t There Anyone Here For Love (Carmichael/Adamson) 3:49                 

  5. Billy-a-Dick (Carmichael/Webster) 4:32

  6. Small Fry (Carmichael/Loesser) 2:29                   

  7. Jubilee (Carmichael/Adams) 4:08                     

  8. Two Sleepy People (Carmichael/Loesser) 3:21                   

  9. In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening (Carmichael/Mercer) 3:32                  

  10. Rockin’ Chair (Carmichael) 3:40                   

  11. Down, Boy (Carmichael/Adamson) 1.53

  12. The Nearness of You (Carmichael/Washington) 2:41                   

  13. Winter Moon (Carmichael/Adamson) 3.55                   

  14. I Walk With Music (Carmichael/Mercer) 4:05        

  15. Heart and Soul (Carmichael/Loesser) 2:42                   

  

Chris Ingham - piano, vocal

Paul Higgs - trumpet

Andrew Brown - bass

George Double - drums

Recorded in Bardwell, Suffolk, UK, April 2023

 

Produced by Chris Ingham

Hoagy Carmichael (1899-1981) is one of the most enduring and endearing songwriters from the Golden Age of the Great American Songbook. Wry, wise, sentimental and sophisticated, Hoagy’s songs are beloved for their warmth, humour and jazz-inspired melodic beauty. 

Ten years and over 100 live shows after our first CD Hoagy, our enthusiasm for Hoagy’s singular oeuvre is undiminished. With the second volume, we’ve continued to aim at infusing the music with the spirit of legendary jazz cornettist and Hoagy’s dear friend Bix Beiderbecke and investing even the most familiar standards with a straight-ahead freshness. Whether big hits or fascinating curiosities, these characterful gems of 20th century songcraft continue to move, delight and inspire us. Tunes we’ve played a thousand times seemed to take on a new shine while other tunes we barely knew have become new best friends. 

~

Chris Ingham (piano/vocal) Forming his quartet in 2013, Chris has led over 200 festival and club performances of his Hoagy Carmichael, Dudley Moore and Stan Getz repertoire projects. He is musical director of film song quintet Jazz At The Movies, a record producer (Ruthie Henshall, Joanna Eden), author (Rough Guides to The Beatles and Frank Sinatra) and TV composer (Wartime Crime, How The Beatles Changed The World). Based in East Anglia, he curates jazz clubs in Diss (The Corn Hall) and Bury St Edmunds (Hunter Club). chrisingham.co.uk

Paul Higgs (trumpet) Arranger and trumpeter for NYJO for many years, Paul has worked as a Musical Director at the RSC and National Theatre, as a TV and film composer and a record engineer and producer. One of the UK's most versatile and expressive jazz trumpeters, Paul has played with Nancy Wilson, Shorty Rogers and John Dankworth and is soon to release Pavane II, a second jazz/classical recording featuring his own evocative compositions. paulhiggs.com

Rev. Andrew J. Brown (double bass - CD) For many years, Andrew combined the roles of Minister of the Memorial (Unitarian) Church at Cambridge and professional jazz bass player, though latterly concentrates on the former. He has played and recorded with Peter Oxley, Steve Harley, the Flanagan Ingham Quartet and Riprap and was part of the house trio at the Hunter Club, Bury St Edmunds, where he accompanied Peter King, Alan Barnes, John Etheridge and many of the UK's leading players. andrewjbrown.blogspot.co.uk

Simon Thorpe (double bass - live) One of the UK's best-known jazz bassists, Simon has been nominated twice for a British Jazz Award. He has worked with Bobby Wellins, Stacey Kent (five albums), Bheki Mseleku, Alan Barnes, Elaine Delmar, Scott Hamilton, Amy Winehouse, Imelda Staunton, Imogen Heap, Alexander Armstrong, Maria Ewing and Mica Paris. He leads the swing band Jivin’ Miss Daisy and GershwINNOVATION (music inspired by George Gershwin’s work).  His compositions include music for the BAFTA award winning short film, Wedding Espresso.

George Double (drums) George drums with Art Themen’s Organ Trio, John Etheridge’s Blue Spirits and Jazz at the Movies. He has toured with vocal legend Jack Jones and has played on West End shows Wicked, Guys and Dolls, Avenue Q, Sinatra and Anything Goes. A respected published drum educator, notably for Trinity College, London, George also curates Suffolk jazz clubs in Hadleigh, Southwold and Frinton. georgedouble.com

 

1.    Don’t Forget to Say No Baby (Carmichael/Johnson/Victor) 2:47
A genuine wartime worry dressed up as light-hearted romantic insecurity.                    
2.    (Up a) Lazy River (Carmichael/Arodin) 4:21
From 1931, one of the most elaborate and Bixian of Hoagy’s melodies, all dancing arpeggii, elegant chromaticism and pungent jazz notes.                 
3.    The Monkey Song (Carmichael) 2:48
A dazzling piece of absurd cartoon surrealism concerning corruption, indigestion and cannabilism. From the movie The Las Vegas Story (1951).
4.    Ain’t There Anyone Here For Love (Carmichael/Adamson) 3:49
Rarely performed since Jane Russell’s disgruntled rendition in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), surrounded by a near-naked gang of beautiful hunk o’ men in a gym, entirely indifferent to her amorous ambitions.               
5.    Billy-a-Dick (Carmichael/Webster) 4:32
A brilliant, inventive twist on the emotional wrench separated families experience during wartime as a youngster and a left-behind snare drum worry about a drafted brother, 
6.    Small Fry (Carmichael/Loesser) 2:29
First sung by Bing Crosby in Sing You Sinners (1938) to 12 year-old Donald O’Connor, a song for all parents concerned about burgeoning delinquency in their offspring.                    
7.    Jubilee (Carmichael/Adams) 4:08
A joyous piece betraying Hoagy’s hot jazz roots, Jubilee was introduced by Louis Armstrong as part of an elaborate street parade in the Mae West movie Every Day’s A Holiday (1938).
8.    Two Sleepy People (Carmichael/Loesser) 3:21
Written for Bob Hope and Shirley Ross as a follow-up for their 1938 hit Thanks for the Memory, Two Sleepy People features similarly relaxed, affectionate banter. 
9.    In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening (Carmichael/Mercer) 3:32
Recycled and adapted from the score of an unproduced movie called The Keystone Girl, Bing Crosby and Jane Wyman’s superb performance in Here Comes The Groom (1950) helped the song win an Oscar.
10.    Rockin’ Chair (Carmichael) 3:40
The 1930 Louis Armstrong recording of this wry meditation on looming death was a big break for Hoagy. The song remained a career-long live favourite for Louis who made miraculous light of the glum subject matter.
11.    Down, Boy (Carmichael/Adamson) 1.53
Written for, rehearsed and approved by Marilyn Monroe for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes but blocked by producer Darryl F. Zanuck, it was recycled for Betty Grable in Three for the Show (1955).
12.    The Nearness of You (Carmichael/Washington) 2:41
A breezy walking ballad written for an unproduced 1938 movie Romance in the Rough, it remains hugely popular (recorded over 800 times) while being perhaps the least Hoagy-ish of his big songs. 
13.    Winter Moon (Carmichael/Adamson) 3.55
Boldly, unflinchingly cast in minor-mode hues, this 1955 song first heard on the Johnny Mandel-arranged West Coast jazz album Hoagy Sings Carmichael is Hoagy at his bleakest and artsiest. 
14.    I Walk With Music (Carmichael/Mercer) 4:05
The title tune from the ill-fated Hoagy Carmichael-Johnny Mercer 1940 musical boasts attractive, Kern-esque modulations perfectly suited to jazz improvisation, and has recently received a handful of interpretations after 60-odd years of neglect.
15.    Heart and Soul (Carmichael/Loesser) 2:42
A 1938 hit for Eddie Duchin, Heart and Soul was rediscovered by ‘50s doo-wop and ‘60s pop. It remains a four-chord-white-notes favourite, passed down from generation to generation at home and in schools, all over the world. Most of those versions skip the fiendish middle eight.

HOAGY! Live

 

2024

Sat 20 Jan (18.00 & 20.00) NOTTINGHAM Peggy's Skylight

Sun 11 Feb (11.30) WAVENDON Stables

Wed 28 Feb (20.15) EASTLEIGH Concorde Club

Thurs 21 March (19.30) KIRK LANGLEY Village Hall (trio)

Fri 22 March (19.30) LEADENHAM (Village Hall (trio)

Sat 13 April (14.00) SOUTHEND Jazz Centre UK

Fri 26 April (19.30) DUNSTON Village Hall (trio)

Sat 27 April (19.30) CAUNTON Dean Hole Community Centre (trio)

Sun 12 May (14.30) IPSWICH Venue 16

Thurs 4 July (19.30) DISS Corn Hall

Tues 24 Sep (19.30) STOKE BY NAYLAND Fleece Jazz

2023

Sat 28 Jan (19.30) IBSTOCK The Palace* (trio)

Thurs 9 Feb (19.30) STOURPORT Civic Hall Theatre* (trio)

Wed 25 Feb (19.30) BARTON (Staffs)* (trio)

Sat 4 March (19.30) WING (Rutland)* (trio)

Fri 21 April (19.30) BURY ST EDMUNDS Hunter Club

Sun 2 July (15.00) NEWPORT (IoW) Apollo Theatre

Mon 21 Aug (20.00) BEXLEY Jazz Club

Tues 19 Sep (19.30) WESTCLIFFE ON SEA Annie's Jazz

Sat 11 Nov (15.30) LONDON Piano Smithfield, Barbican

 

2022

Sun 23 Jan (11.30) WAVENDON Stables

Tues 24 May (20.00) DORKING Watermill Jazz

Wed 13 July (12.00) FELIXSTOWE Orwell Hotel (trio)

Thurs 21 July (14.00) BILLERICAY Chantry Centre

Sat 6 Oct (19.30) TEALBY Tennyson d'Eyncourt Memorial Hall (trio)

Sat 5 Nov (14.30) LOUGHTON Methodist Church

2021

Sat 28 Aug - HADLEIGH Jazz Club

Thurs 23 Sep - DISS Corn Hall

Fri 15 Oct - ALDEBURGH Jubilee Hall

Sat 29 Oct - MARLOW Jazz Club

Wed 3 Nov - LONDON Piano Smithfield (solo)

 

2020

Wed 15 Jan - RADLETT Centre

Wed 12 Feb - LONDON Crazy Coqs (trio)
*CANCELLED*

*Sat 9 May SOUTHEND Jazz Centre*
*Sun 10 May NEWPORT Apollo Theatre (Isle of Wight)*
*Thurs 25 June DISS Corn Hall*

*Thurs 2 July MARLOW Jazz*
*Fri 3 July STAPLEFORD Granary*
*Sat 4 July ALDEBURGH Jubilee Hall*
*Fri 10 July BURFORD Jazz*
*Sun 12 July STROUD Sub Rooms*

 

2019

Fri 8 March - SOUTHWOLD Arts Centre

Wed 9 Oct - BELVEDERE Jazz Club

2018

Fri 9 March - ILMINSTER Arts

Fri 23 March - CODSALL Community Arts Festival

2017

Wed 1 Feb - LONDON Crazy Coqs (trio)

Sat 10 June - COSSINGTON Village Hall

Sat 8th July - BURY ST EDMUNDS Risbygate Sports Club

Sun 9 July - BUXTON Festival

Sun 23 July - RADLETT Arts Centre

Thur 24 Aug - ABERJAZZ Festival

Say 30 Sep - OXFORD Jazz at St Giles

2016

Thurs 21 January - BURY ST EDMUNDS Theatre Royal

Sat 6 Feb - DISS Park Hotel

Fri 12 Feb - LONDON Pheasantry

Tue 16 Feb - FLEET JAZZ

Sat 27 Feb - TEDDINGTON Landmark Arts Centre

Fri 4 March - IPSWICH St Peter's by the Waterfront

Sat 5 March - MARGATE Theatre

Fri 29 April - LEICESTER Jazz House

Thur 9 June - DEVIZES Festival

Fri 10 June - CATERHAM Festival

Sat 11 June - WOOLPIT Festival

Mon 20 June - LONDON Reform Club

Wed 6 July (2pm) - EPSOM All Saints Church

Thur 7 July (1pm) - LONDON Cadogan Hall, Culford Room

Tues 18 Oct - SOUTHEND Annie's Jazz

Thur 27 Oct - SHEPPERTON Jazz Club

2015

Wed 5 February - LONDON Elgar Room, Royal Albert Hall

Sat 14 February (lunchtime) - WELLINGBOROUGH Castle

Sat 14 February (evening) - LINCOLN The Collection Museum

Tues 24 February - LONDON St James Theatre Studio

Tues 17 March - BRENTWOOD The Bardswell

Tues 7 April - SOLIHULL Jazz Club

Fri 10 April - STOKE BY NAYLAND Fleece Jazz

Wed 15 April - MILL HILL Jazz Club

Sat 2 May - SLEAFORD Playhouse

Thurs 14 May LONDON The Table, Southwark

Wed 20 May (1pm) - BURY ST EDMUNDS The Apex

Tue 2 June - OLNEY Carlton House Club

Tue 9 June - NORWICH Jazz Club

Wed 15 July - BELVEDERE Jazz Club

Tues 25 Aug - EDINBURGH Assembly Rooms Ballroom

Wed 26 Aug - EDINBURGH Assembly Rooms Ballroom 

Thurs 27 Aug - EDINBURGH Assembly Rooms Ballroom

Tue 1 Sep - SOUTHEND Annie's Jazz

Thurs 29 October - CANTERBURY Festival

Fri 13 November - IPSWICH Royal Hospital School

Sun 15 November (1pm) - LONDON Ronnie Scott's

2014

Fri 7 Feb - LONDON St James Theatre Studio

Fri 28 Feb – CAMBRIDGE Mumford Theatre

Wed 2 April - DEREHAM Jazz Society, Lyng

Thurs 3 April – CAMBRIDGE Modern Jazz Club

Sun 4 May - LOWESTOFT Milestones, Hatfield Hotel

Fri 20 June - BURY ST EDMUNDS Hunter Club

Thur 3 July – BURNHAM MARKET The Hoste

Wed 9 July - LONDON The Pheasantry

Wed 20 August - BELVEDERE Jazz Club, Essex

Sat 23 Aug - RYE Jazz and Blues Festival

Sun 31 Aug - NORWICH Jazz Weekender

Sat 6 September - MAIDSTONE Pizza Express

Sun 21 September – IPSWICH Jazz Club

Fri 26 September - OLD HARLOW Marigolds

Sun 26 October (lunchtime) - LONDON Ronnie Scott's

Sun 9 November - FELIXSTOWE Fludyer Arms

Sat 15 November - MAIDENHEAD Norden Farm Arts Centre

Wed 19 November - EASTLEIGH Concord Club

Thur 4 December - LONDON Bull's Head, Barnes

Mon 15 December - BEXLEY Jazz Club, The King's Head

2013

Sat 6 July - HADLEIGH Jazz Club

2012

Fri 19 May - BURY ST EDMUNDS Hunter Club

 

 

 

 

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