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RichmondHalf done!

The last month has been incredible. We had a fantastic Retro at the end of February with Matt Dibble. The venue was full and it was great to play a few of Matt's originals. It was the first time we had a clarinet player as our guest and so it was nice to have a modern player like Matt bringing out such a great tone and different textures and colours when he plays. He will be our guest at Jazz Cafe Posk in April too.

This month's Posk gig was brilliant. I had to host the evening as Janet was away but we managed to cope even though we had a huge crowd in! Sarah Chaplin came along to help me with the end of the evening jam session. The first set we play as a quartet and Duncan Eagles on tenor saxophone chose some great standards for us to all stretch out on. We kicked off guns blazing on an uptempo version of 'My Secret Love'. It was great fun to play with Duncan again plus Paul Michael on bass and Rha Stranges on drums. The next set was with birthday girl Olivia Flenley. She brought in a good few people to help celebrate her day and her set went down a treat! In between sets it was good to mingle and chat with the audience too. It was nice to catch up with quite a few familiar faces and returning singers and musicians, a lot of them joining for the jam session. This is becoming my favourite monthly gig. Great piano, proper stage, good sound and getting to play great music.

So after months of training, Sunday was half marathon day! What an experience! Having never done anything like this it was all really worth it! I loved the discipline of having to stick to a workout schedule. I geeked out logging and reading all my data from my training sessions like heart rate, distance etc and seeing the progress over the weeks. I remember my first outdoor run and being completely knackered after only 2 kilometres and having to walk back out of breath and with a stitch and then now comparing it to running non stop for 2 hours 22 minutes on Sunday now covering over 21 kilometres! 

The run was a huge event with over 3000 people running. Old Deer Park turns into a village with all the facilities, food and drinks on sale and running equipment for sale. You have to line up and go with the group that are around the time you think you'll finish, so I went with the 2hr30 people. They have a runner with a huge flag that will run the course at a pace for that time which is great so you know how you're doing. As we all set off, the route to Kew was very busy but it was a nice slow pace to start. I felt very good for the most part of the run. Just around the 10 mile marker the legs were feeling a little heavy but when I saw the 12 mile marker I knew it was nearly done and I could push for home. It's a great feeling finishing strong and overtaking people towards the end as opposed to limping home. I think I paced it perfectly. I'm very happy finishing in 2hrs 22 minutes. I didn't expect to be under 2.30. 

Have to say it's all down to my Personal Trainer Aggie for planting the idea in my head and giving me such great coaching!

Thanks so much to all of you that have donated so far. The www.virginmoneygiving.com/TCollie is still open for the moment. Please give a little or a lot if you haven't yet.

So, what next?

Prison Break - The Bent Brief

Sunday February 1st was my last time playing at the Bent Brief for the Southampton Modern Jazz Club. I've really enjoyed playing at this venue over the last couple of years, the audiences have been great and my band Prison Break have been quite popular. Our gigs have gone down extremely well and we always seem to sell quite a few CDs on the night. This month's gig was no different. The acoustics are good and the band's sound is really balanced. It's always great to just play and let go and not have to worry about the sound. 

The Bent Brief has been sold to developers and who knows what it will become. I wish Andy the out going landlord all the best in his next venture. The SMJC continues and organiser Ted Carrasco already has a new venue lined up. I look forward to playing in its new home in the future. 

Dominic Ashworth - Jazz@Retro

It was great to be back playing Jazz@Retro on Tuesday night. 

This year's first guest was guitarist Dominic Ashworth. It was great to hear Dominic take centre stage as I'd only played with him with Gabriel Garrick's quintet. We played a wide and varied repertoire chosen from Dominic's pad and I could really appreciate his musicality, lyricism and taste be it soloing or comping. It's always a pleasure to play with another chordal instrumentalist who knows how to not get in each other's way! Making up this month's quartet were Dave Jones and Paul Cavaciuti on bass and drums respectively and they really are a pleasure to play with.

Got a great review from Lydia Garrow's CD launch gig at Pizza Express in Jazzwise from Sarah Chaplin. Sarah really is a remarkable person. I'm a connection of hers on LinkedIn and I couldn't believe all her achievements! Not only a saxophonist, flautist and singer and is now running a great jam night at the OSO in Barnes but also a successful children's novelist and now reviewer for "Jazzwise" and previously "London Jazz News". 
Check out her review here.
Click here for her review of last year's TW12 Jazz Festival.
Pizza Express Dean Street

 We always used to think January was a quiet month for musicians but things have been non stop since the new year.

It was nice to be back at Jazz Cafe Posk last Friday for "Janet's Jazz Night" and our guest was tenor saxophonist Vasilis Xenopoulos. It's always a pleasure to play with Vasilis, he really invigorates the band and it was a great first set weplayedas a quartet with Richard Sadler on bass and Chris Nickolls on drums. A real highlight was "The Good Life" played as a ballad like the Hank Mobley version.

We had a great turn out this month and it was good to see the place packed which created a lovely atmosphere. Our featured singer Stephan O'Goodson did a nice vocal set along with Janet McCunn's set. Stephan is a real soulful singer and that comes through in his performance and his song choices. The jam at the end of the night had lots of participants including our regular E.W.I player on his retro Casio c1990s and it was nice to hear Nigel Fox sit in on piano. Really looking forward to our next night in March but it won't be the same without our host Janet who will be away.

On Sunday singer Lydia Garrow had her CD launch at Pizza Express in Dean Street. Not only was I playing on the gig and the recording but I produced the album too. It was an epic battle to get the CD ready! The tracks were only recorded at the end of December and beginning of January. In the space of a week I had to edit then mix the ten tracks, send them to be mastered, sent to the CD duplication plant and returned by post ready for the CD launch gig. It was great fun but very close to the wire. The CDs arrived on the Saturday morning. Great playing by Guillermo Hill, Richard Sadler and Chris Nickolls on here. I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out. The turn out at the Pizza again was brilliant. Lydia does such a good job of filling her gigs. Nice to play on that Steinway too. Go to lydiagarrow.com to purchase her CD or check out her upcoming gigs.

Greetings from my hotel room in Chester at the Chester Grosvenor Hotel and Spa. This is the eighth year in a row that I've played here on New Year's Eve. It's a great little gig I do as a quartet with brothers Steve and Jamie Trowell and Matt Ridley. Last night I invited the band I'm playing with tonight to play at my monthly gig at Retro Bistrot in Teddington. We sometimes don't get to see each other for a whole year between playing here so it was a good little warm up for tonight. It was a great evening and a very different vibe having Steve, a vocalist and sax player as the guest. 

It's been a very eventful year and I'd really like to thank anyone who has supported me by either coming to see me play or purchasing any of my music. Thanks to all the great singers and musicians I've played with this year, it's been a fantastic privilege to share the music with you. Lots of exciting things to come next year. TW12 Jazz Festival will be one of the things I'm so looking forward to organising as well as continuing with Jazz@Retro and the new monthly gig at Jazz Cafe Posk. 

For the new year I will be getting back to more composition, some new material for Prison Break maybe and hopefully writing for a new piano trio I've been thinking about putting together.  

All that's left for me to do is wish you all a very HAPPY NEW YEAR! See you on the other side!


Wishing  you all a very merry Christmas. 

Every year I try to record a short little Christmas tune. This year I managed to sneak this one in on time. It's Irving Berlin's White Christmas.The version sung by Bing Crosby is the best-selling single of all time, with estimated sales in excess of 50 million copies worldwide. Other versions of the song, along with Bing Crosby's, have sold over 100 million copies.

Hope you enjoy it..


Hello. Sorry it's been a while since my last update. Had some great gigs in the last month or so. Jazz@Retro in November was great fun. Saxophonist Christian Brewer was our guest with Richard Sadler on bass and Paul Cavacuiti on drums. We had a full house and it was great to play with Christian for the first time. 

A couple of weeks ago I went down to Brighton to record a TV show with drummer Rha Stranges' Multidirectional band. This was all Rha's original and very challenging music. I never got to see the broadcast but I'm told it looked and sounded good. Looking forward to playing this week with Rha and singer Marta Capponi at Pizzica in Fulham.

Another new gig was at Richmond's Rincon Bar. It was a new gig for Janet McCunn and it was a trio with Janet singing and Paul Michael on bass. Lovely little bar with good acoustics. Lots of Janet's friends turned out so it was a nice evening. More dates to follow. 

I've been busy training for the half marathon in March and on Friday I managed to run 12 kilometres, a lap of Richmond Park. Lots of hills, so it was a real workout. I feel like a runner now! Please visit my page to donate to my two excellent charities! 

So over the last few weeks I've had some nice gigs.

It was great to play at this year's EFG London Jazz Festival at Charlie Wrights with Prison Break. It's been a while since the band's last outing and it was good fun to play with Jac, Joe and John again. One thing is evident to me though, I've got to compose some new tunes to play and record a new album. It was so nice to hear and then read all the positive feedback from the people that attended through the London Jazz Meetup, thanks to Janet McCunn for hosting and bringing so many people in. 

I went to check out and sit-in at the monthly jam session run by Sarah Chaplin in Barnes at the Old Sorting Office or OSO Arts Centre as it's known now. A really nice atmosphere and a nice bequeathed old Steinway piano (composed on by Vaughan Williams) to play on. If you're local to Barnes and sing or play, check this out!

It was good to be be back at the Rose Theatre doing an afternoon gig with Angie Tabs and Dave Jones. The Rose may play a part in some large scale events 'Mood Indigo Events' are thinking about putting on. This was a free entry gig and the audience there are always very appreciative. There's always an older crowd that maybe don't get to see so many other jazz gigs. It's great to interact with them after the gig and they're always very curious to what I'm doing locally especially when I tell them I live nearby in Hampton. 

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