'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!
News Archive by spanking your mouse here!
Buy the Billy Blues
2 x CD plus live
in concert DVD only £19.99 (inc. p+p)!
The Billy Jenkins Calling Card Collection
A collectable 3
Jazzman John Clarke - Now A 'Ghost On The Road'...!
Jazzman John Clarke 1948-2018
Sad news reaches us that the inspirational performance poet Jazzman John Clarke has died.
Mr Jenkins very much enjoyed accompanying him and his 'Jazz Circus' in the studio in 2008 for the CD release 'What Jazz Can Do For Your Life' (Waterline
Music Splash 13) and on a handful of SE London live performances.
The guitarist even got John partaking in the occasional game of bowls
atop Hilly Fields, about which he wrote a typically delightful poem
which hung on the wall of the pavilion for many a year.
Billy was greatly touched when asked if he would write the forward to John's 2012 collection 'All the way from Kathmandu' (Nirala) and, by way of a small tribute, we reprint an extract:
have no time for imitation. Yet John
works a genre decades old that,
his pen, becomes refreshed, revitalised,
reinvented and reborn.
is indeed everybody I meet, his art old
as rivers of time.
by a muse that burns so bright I fear
how you hold this book. It might
Beowulf Mayfield captures Mike Pickering in the groove...
Episode 3 of Series Three of the Billy Jenkins Listening Club snap-cast-web-cast-podcast
is now online.
And with Billy still on the run after presenter Beowulf Mayfield's attempt at retrogressive hypnosis on the guitarist in Episode 1 went awry, Wulfie went to talk to Blues Collective drummer Mike Pickering about Billy's fascination of sometimes using two stick drummers and especially working with the wonderful Roy Dodds.
The second episode of Series Three of the Billy Jenkins Listening Club snap-cast-web-cast-podcast
is now online - and, with guitarist Billy not having yet returned after
running off at the end of Episode One and in his continuing absence,
presenter Beowulf 'Wulfie' Mayfield unravels a frightening tale penned by the bandleader entitled, 'The Day I (Nearly) Died'....
The guitarist's grandson Daniel Lemmard (captured
by Beowulf Mayfield) and Billy age 3....
He may be musically mute (save the minor diversion of the new 'Ghost Music' piano album), but Mr Jenkins, together with presenter Beowulf 'Wulfie' Mayfield, can't keep away from the broadcast medium, as the Billy Jenkins Listening Club snapcast launches Series Three!
Cast your ears over Episode One, as Beowulf attempts to practise his retrogressive hypnosis on the guitarist (performed by then six year old Daniel Lemmard - Billy's grandson) as they analyse 'First Day In Hell' from the 2002 Blues Collective 'LIFE' album!
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' is available from most
popular download and streaming sites and by purchasing, you'll be
helping Billy to continue his life's work.
Around the end of the last century, the local SE London Mercury newspaper would often print a 'postcard home' that, whilst in some far flung corner of Europe, Jenkins, the reluctant wandering minstrel, would send to their resident columnist Mercury Man.
Merc Man has now resurfaced on the wonderful 853 website, that covers 'public interest journalism for Greenwich and SE London', all brilliantly curated by the editor Darryl Chamberlain.
Merc Man wanted to know, amongst other grasshopper musings, 'just why the guitarist had stopped performing' and 'what exactly are these Listening Club podcasts....?'
Tap the link here to not only enjoy Billy's responses, but to feast you eyes on some of Beowulf Mayfield's wonderful photographs and MusicSn-Aps! - all laid out and resourced so delightfully by Mr Chamberlain!
Beowulf Mayfield gets an exclusive photograph of the guitarist back at work in Equator Studios - with the master Charlie Hart engineering and producing.
The album, 'Ghost Music', is scheduled for a download release in April.
But what sort of recording it will be....?
For, since his last contemporary recording, the solo low strung guitar album ‘Death, Ritual & Resonation’,
released in 2015, his minor but chronic 'industrially related' physical
issues has meant he hardly picks up the instrument.
And he struggles to make sense of digital download sound and how folks perceive and listen to music these days.
We listen forward to it with with 'bated ears'....!
BBC Music Jazz Radio
'Greatest Ever Jazz Albums' Puts Billy At
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
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
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
Just what did
the guitarist do to get chased out
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
And much, much
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!
new recently released download album
highlights the marginalisation of
musicians in this technological age.
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
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.’
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:
- 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
- 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).
– 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.
sound – it has been said that
‘analogue recording approximates
perfection. Whereas digital recording
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’.
as social and economic lifestyles evolve
at high speed, how does the musician
reinstate their art?
Jenkins, it means bringing out an
unreleased album he recorded nearly twenty
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
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
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
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.
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
with it, musicians’ livelihoods and
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.
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.
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.....
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...'
teased lots of little 'out of this world'
thoughts from Mr J. in his secret garden
and there are four short clips posted on
Browny Meets Billy Jenkins
When Did You Leave Heaven?
On White Van Man
is 'one man’s quest for the ultimate
waste of time…because wasting time is
not the same thing as time
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.
music, sport, fast cars, bikes and
technology. They also like poker, great
days out, flying and much more. And the
music of Billy Jenkins......
Jenkins can be heard partaking in 'lively
and diverse conversation on the
flagship BBC R4 'Midweek'
radio programmewith Libby
Purves and other guests writer and
naturalist Sir John Lister Kaye,
fashion designer Caroline Charles
and former Masterchef winner Thomasina
live discussion, with Billy talking about
his music and conducting Humanist funerals
took place on Wednesday 24th February2010 and can still be listened to
and enjoyed by spanking this 'Midweek'