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Billy Jenkins

Listening Club
 
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LATEST NEWS!!.....

East/West (Now Wear the Same Vest)!
When Producer Tony Met Guitarist Billy!
Listening Club Series Four Launched!
Recycle Them Blues!
'Wulfie' Ad Libs A Billy Ad!
Jenkins Writes for Jazz Journal!



RECENT NEWS!!.....

Listening Club Now On Spotify!
An Empty River!
Two New Super Heroes In Town!
Ghost Music - A 'Background Only' Download Album!


TIMELESS NEWS!!........

You Too Can Play Billy!
BBC Music Jazz Radio 'Greatest Ever Jazz Albums' Puts Billy At #36!

In Depth All About Jazz Analysis!
The Billy Jenkins Webzine
The War Of Jenkins’ Ear(phones)!
The 'Financial Times' Lauds Billy!

On Another Planet!
Hear Billy Live On BBC R4!


NEWS ARCHIVE!!........

'Scratches' a Top Twenty Re-issue of the Year in Jazzwise...Billy Takes Over BBC R3.....Music Sn-Apps Emerge.....Vortex Jazz Club Celebrate Billy.......London Jazz News Features Billy....Humanism, Blues & Bereavement....'Violent Lewisham' Confuses Billy...One Step On  from the Blues....Austerity Aural Art.....Jenkins Hanging Round Pub Toilets.....Billy with Ginger Baker CD emerges.. ..and much more!

Access the News Archive by spanking your mouse here!

 



Buy the Billy Blues Bonanza Bundle!

Blues Bonanza

2 x CD plus live in concert DVD only £19.99 (inc. p+p)!



The Billy Jenkins

Calling Card Collection

Billy Jenkins Calling Card
                                Collection

 A collectable 3 CD series!!





East/West (Now Wear the Same Vest)!

East/West
Beowulf Mayfield captures a confused Jenkins...

Episode 3/Series 4 of the Billy Jenkins Listening Club finds presenter
Beowulf Mayfield recalling the day he spent in 1994 listening and watching Billy recording one of his masterpieces - the 'East/West' album, featuring the Fun Horns of Berlin.

Whilst enjoy
ing this 12 minute 'snap-pod-web-cast' episode here, cast your eyes on the Billy Webzine page - which has a fascinating 1996 interview with the guitarist about the project.

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When Producer Tony Met Guitarist Billy!

Tony Messenger
Tony Triptych by Beowulf Mayfield. 

For Episode 2/Series 4 of the Billy Jenkins Listening Club,presenter Beowulf 'Wulfie' Mayfield prised some early memories out of Billy's long time producer Tony Messenger and topped and tailed it with the enticing sound of 'Ronald Reagan', from the 1994 CD album release, 'Entertainment USA'.

Enjoy a 7'45" BJLC 'snap-pod-web-cast' here!

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Listening Club Series Four Launched!

Martin France
Martin France photographed by Beowulf Mayfield in 2019.


The ongoing (but occasional) Billy Jenkins Listening Club, the 'audio-autobiographical pod-snap-webcast,' has now launched Series Four online.

Enjoy
in this first episode, by clicking on the image or here, an eight minute discourse as presenter Beowulf 'Wulfie' Mayfield and the guitarist discuss the precise number of miles one of Billy's wonderful drummers Martin France actually did drive in 1993....

You can find out more about Martin's work here.

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Recycle Them Blues!

Recycling Bin YouTube


Mr Mayfield comes up with yet another YouTube 'music-snap' wonder - as he animates the closing track from 'I Am A Man From Lewisham'.

Spank your mouse here - and see if it makes you smile.......


Recycle Blues 1

Recycle 2

Recycle 3

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'Wulfie' Ad Libs A Billy Ad!

Wulfie Ad Lib Ad

Tap the image or spank your mouse here - for 98 seconds of Beowulf 'Wulfie' Mayfield musical inspiration!

Is there no end to this man's talents...!?!

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Jenkins Writes for Jazz Journal!


Jazz Journal


S
pank your mouse now on the iconic Jazz Journal iconI
Jazz Journal is the oldest English-language magazine dedicated to the coverage of jazz music. Founded by Sinclair Traill in 1948, it has been published from the UK in web-form only since 19th January 2019, following continuous print publication for seven decades.

Jazz Journal has a team of around 30 writers, some of whom have written for the magazine since the late 1950s, and a rich archive of photographic and editorial material, much of which will gradually be made available on this website.

Billy is therefore honoured that the editor Mark Gilbert has published on the site a short (and typically provocative) self penned piece relating to the film afternoon at Greenwich Theatre Studio on the 29th September.

And in it, he hints at at a couple of reasons why he is currently silent.....


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Listening Club Now On Spotify!


BJLC now on Spotify
          

As well as being able to access the Billy Jenkins Listening Club pod-snap-web-casts from this site or iTunes, you can now listen to then on Spotify.

So now, you can stream endless Jenkins tracks on the Spotify platform, whilst also enjoying some entertaining and informative 'audio autobiographical background' to the guitarist's inspirations and methodology.

All presented, in his inimitable style, by photographer and former jazz critic Beowulf 'Wulfie' Mayfield.

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An Empty River!


An Empty River


With Mr Jenkins still seemingly silent as we encounter the new buds of spring in 2019, click the photo above for a one minute and 36 second feast for the eyes and ears, as Beowulf Mayfield captures the sound of the river from the album 'Greenwich' - which the Penguin Guide To Jazz described as
'one of the most distinctive British jazz albums of the 1980's'.

Originally released as a 12" album in 1985 (Wood Wharf Records WWR852), the album has been especially remastered by Andy Le Vien at RMS Studios for digital download direct from virgin vinyl.

Enjoy it all on your favourite streaming site now!

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Two New Super Heroes In Town!

Fat Pepole YouTube

It's half term! Grandpa Billy has the grandkids!

What better way to pass the day than to ask photographer Beowulf Mayfield to kindly make a short YouTube promo?

Set to 'Fat People' from the 1982 'Sounds Like Bromley', click the icon to enjoy the 107 seconds result!

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Ghost Music - A 'Background Only' Download Album!



Ghost Music


Friday 13th April 2018 sees (hears) the release of a brand new Billy Jenkins recording!

'Ghost Music' continues his research into the digital format, following on from the solo low strung guitar albums The Semi-detached Suburban Home (2014) and   ‘Death, Ritual & Resonation’ (2015).

The guitar albums were created with a focus on frequency and pitch. Now, the composer takes to the piano to address changes in the listening habits multi-use technologies have inflicted on our ever evolving modern world.

It was created as a music for background listening, but it comes towards you, the ear drawing in, becoming mid- field music.

And then, as one starts to appreciate the overtones, ambient noises and piano mechanics, it ends up as near- field music. Music that will haunt you.

For after several plays, you will start imaging you’re hearing it in the background.

But it’s not playing....

Imbibe Beowulf Mayfield's evocative 90 second promotional video here:

Ghost Music YT icon

'Ghost Music' is available from most popular download and streaming sites and by purchasing, you'll be helping Billy to continue his life's work. 

iTunes also offers a free download 'cover'!

Track listing and more information here!


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You Too Can Play Billy!



Brilliant music


If you are a bandleader, a music teacher, run a jazz band workshop or lead a music ensemble – why not consider playing the music of Billy Jenkins!?

Find out more here !

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BBC Music Jazz Radio 'Greatest Ever Jazz Albums' Puts Billy At #36!!



BBC Music Jazz Top 50 albums


As part of the 2016 EFG London Jazz Festival, the BBC and Jazz FM ran a five day pop up 24 hour digital radio station.

Four programmes were dedicated to The 50 Greatest Jazz Albums, as nominated by the jazz community - including BBC and Jazz FM presenters, jazz musicians, critics and journalists.

And, in amongst jazz legends like Benny Goodman, Sonny Rollins, Thelonious Monk, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Louis Armstrong and many other 'greats' - up popped Mr Jenkins and his 1998 release 'True Love Collection'!

Listed as the 36th Best Ever Jazz Album!!!

A fitting tribute to all the brilliant musicians that contributed to the
'True Love Collection'!

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In Depth All About Jazz Analysis!





An excellent overview on Billy's recorded work is now online at allaboutjazz.com.

Comprehensively penned by that most astute writer Roger Farbey, the 1,500 word article pretty much covers the guitarist's recorded output over the last thirty six years.

Spank that link now to enjoy Mr Farbey's excellent writing!

And then perhaps add a pithy comment!


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The Billy Jenkins Webzine




With 2016 being Billy's 60th year, we at billy.com had some fun sprucing up Ian Bolton's beautifully built 'digital cavern of curios and Billy-ness'!

Music activist, promoter and writer Ian started the Webzine towards the end of the last century.

Although it's been pretty much a locked site for several years, this impressive labour of love contains a treasure trove of Billy-ness - all created to increase your enjoyment and understanding of his work over the last four decades and counting....

  • Find out just how many musicians Billy has been compared to....
  • Just what did the guitarist do to get chased out of Bilbao...?
  • Enjoy thoughtful and learned essays on Billy's work by musician Richard Russell...
  • Pick apart epic verbatim interviews by respected anthropologist Matthew Engelke and painter Maxwell Jay and others...
  • Read public Vox Pop response to some of Billy's artistic rants.....
  • And much, much more!

An 'old school' web page layout and deliberately designed as a 'get lost in' site, there is now a page looking at the sixteen years of Big Fights!


Punch your mouse now!


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The War Of Jenkins’ Ear(phones)!
 

Billy Jenkins War of Jenkins Ear
Ear today, gone tomorrow....? © Steve Morrison
 

A new recently released download album highlights the marginalisation of musicians in this technological age.

The nuances composers and tunesmiths bring to their art is rendered impotent by digital sound which is more often these days relayed through narrow audio range earphones.

‘To truly appreciate the power of music’, says 57 year old guitarist and composer Billy Jenkins, ‘it has to be a whole body experience. It needs air to breathe. Headphones offer no more than reference – much like a post card of an oil painting.’

Jenkins, over the last thirty years, has written his critically acclaimed gloriously idiosyncratic jazz and blues tinged music especially for the sound carrying medium.

Certain things recorded music lovers may not know:

Vinyl  - did you know that there is less bass frequency as the groove nears the centre of the disc? On his 1988 vinyl album ‘Motorway At Night’ he actually incorporated ‘surface noise at motorway exit’, by widening the groove during the disc mastering). 

Cassette - was the consumer ever aware that no tape machine ran at exactly the same speed? Jenkins underlined his introduction to the 1993 première at the National Sound Archives of his ‘Actual Reality - Music For Two Cassette Machines’ by stating that ‘no playback is ever the same’ – he had composed it building in a plus or minus 10% speed and pitch variation).

CD – the wider than vinyl frequency range has meant that two many albums mastered for CD have been mastered at such a volume, the compression necessary to iron out highs and lows reduces the emotional resonance. Mr Jenkins’ many CD releases have minimal compression.

Digital sound – it has been said that ‘analogue recording approximates perfection. Whereas digital recording perfects approximation’.

Digital processing - arbitrarily ‘takes’ what it wants of the sound source. Music made wholly by machines works well in the digital domain. But when it comes to music where every single note comes from the heart, hand and ear of the player – chip technology just doesn’t ‘get it’.

So, as social and economic lifestyles evolve at high speed, how does the musician reinstate their art?

For Jenkins, it means bringing out an unreleased album he recorded nearly twenty years ago.

These days, after a lifetime on and off the road and in and out of the recording studio, leaving him with an intense dislike of travel and a sensitivity to noise, he now scratches a living creating and conducting humanist funerals (‘nothing’s changed really’, the guitarist notes dryly, ‘I stand up in front of folks and they all start crying..’).

Uneasy with the sound of digital download, Jenkins feels that the album ‘The Semi-Detached  Suburban Home – Music For Low Strung Guitar’ (VOTP Records) is actually one that works on tinny headphones.

Captured in close microphone by long time Jenkins producer and engineer Tony Messenger, listening to it, one becomes the musician – every nuance can be heard - wire, wood, skin, nail and breath – all thrown into silence to create invisible audio images of everyday household objects and events.

‘We, the music creators, need to make folks understand, ‘states Jenkins, ‘that trendy coloured headphones are just fashion accessories. 
And by using them, especially when out in public, you are not only tempering the wonder of the world around you, but also consigning the wonder of music and musicians to history. 
And just like Neil Young and many other musicians have stated, I too agree that Apple, who led the digital revolution with their iPod, stand guilty of helping to destroy the spirituality of music. 
And with it, musicians’ livelihoods and purpose’.
 

Semi-Detached House CD

TheSemi-detached Suburban Home
(Music for Low Strung Guitar)

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The 'Financial Times' Lauds Billy!
 

Billy Jenkins Lewisham Clock Tower
In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion roars 
tonight...                            ©Steve Morrison
 

We have no shame in continuing to flag up an article about Mr Jenkins and his work which appeared in the prestigious Financial Times in November 2010.

Written with depth, great sensitivity and understanding by fellow musician and writer Mike Hobart, it is very flattering that Billy was chosen as one of only two artists to be previewed for the London Jazz Festival - the other musician was jazz legend Herbie Hancock.

It is delightfully ironic that a man for whom commerce, marketing and business remain 'black arts' should be worthy of such microscopic attention by one of the world's leading financial newspapers.....

You can enjoy Mr Hobart's writing here.

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On Another Planet!

Billy Jenkins Planet Browny
Three rakes...

Mr Jenkins is currently in the habit of apologising to to interested live promoters saying that he is 'unable to accept your kind offer as I am fully focused on a distant journey to Planet Recording, Planet Marketing and Planet Conducting Humanist Funerals...'

So how come he's landed on the Youtube Planetbrowny page? 

Browny teased lots of little 'out of this world' thoughts from Mr J. in his secret garden and there are four short clips posted on YouTube.:

1. Browny Meets Billy Jenkins
2. When Did You Leave Heaven?
3. On White Van Man
4. On Composing

Billy Jenkins with Planet Browny
Two tools...

Planetbrowny is 'one man’s quest for the ultimate waste of time…because wasting time is not the same thing as time wasted'.

The site is dedicated to "how we all waste time or what we do when we’re not ‘working’."  Created by a group of like minded middle-aged men, Planetbrowny aims to be a place where they can have everything they want under one roof.

They like music, sport, fast cars, bikes and technology. They also like poker, great days out, flying and much more. And the music of Billy Jenkins...... 

Spank that Planetbrowny.com link now!
 

Sadly, Brownie left this planet all too suddenly in September 2012. The website remains as a loving tribute to the man.

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Hear Billy Live On BBC R4!
 

BBC Radio York Billy Jenkins
'I'll try and do 'morning nice...!' 
©Mary Thackray
 

Call the Polite Police! 

Mr Jenkins can be heard partaking in 'lively and diverse conversation on the flagship  BBC R4 'Midweek' radio programme with Libby Purves and other guests writer and naturalist Sir John Lister Kaye, fashion designer Caroline Charles and former Masterchef winner Thomasina Miers.

The live discussion, with Billy talking about his music and conducting Humanist funerals took place on Wednesday 24th February 2010 and can still be listened to and enjoyed by spanking this 'Midweek' link!

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