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John Cumming 1948-2020
Listening Club Series Four Box Set Binge Now Online!

Don't Forget To.....!
Music For Self-Isolation!
Sharing The Musical Vision!
Messages From The Other Side!


There Is No Glass...!
East/West (Now Wear the Same Vest)!
When Producer Tony Met Guitarist Billy!
Listening Club Series Four Launched!

Ghost Music - A 'Background Only' Download Album!


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

 A collectable 3 CD series!!

John Cumming 1948-2020

John Cumming

Very hard to get one's head round the fact that John Cumming, one of Billy's (many) favourite promoters, died a while back in May.

It would not be far from the truth to say that John was one of the mover and shakers that ensured, over the last few decades, that jazz and improvised music had a stage to perform on in the UK. He promoted not only many national musicians but the cream of the worldwide jazz (and much more) music scene.

Despite an attempt to 'send in the jazz police' to 'arrest' John in about 1990  - when the guitarist gate crashed into what was then his organisation's office in Soho with his young twin daughters dressed in full police officer fancy dress, John always ensured that, if Billy approached him with a project, he'd find a suitable slot, over many years, on one of his festivals - be it the Bracknell Jazz Festival (x2) Crawley Outside In (x4), Camden Jazz Festival (x2) and The Purcell Room on the South Bank - where he promoted was has been been, to date, Billy's last public music performance with the BBC Big Band in 2010.

There are many deserved obituaries and memories online - especially from life long friend and fellow promoter Ros Rigby (Londonjazznews), Richard Williams (The Guardian) and John Fordham (jazzwise).

Billy sends his heartfelt thoughts and thanks to Ginnie and daughter Katie.

We walk on in eternal gratitude.

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Listening Club Series Four Box Set Binge Now Online!

BJLC Series 4 YT promo

The photographer, writer and web-pod-snapcast wonder Beowulf 'Wulfie' Mayfield continues his inspired analysis of Billy's music - both aurally and in images!

If you enjoy this Billy Jenkins Listening Club Series Four Box Set Binge promotional video - spank your mouse here to access all six episodes.

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Don't Forget To.....!

Washing Hands

We at billy.com are grateful, in this time of Corona Virus, to Beowulf Mayfield - for not only reminding Mr Jenkins that, in 1994, he recorded a short solo guitar piece entitled 'Washing Hands' (which was released in 2014 on 'The Semi-Detached Suburban Home (Music for Low Strung Guitar)', but we are also flattered that he's created another one of his touching videos, which you can enjoy here.

Stay safe!

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Music For Self-Isolation!

Billy isolated

Listening Club presenter Beowulf 'Wulfie' Mayfield has come up with an inspired sixteen track selection of Billy music to accompany your Corona Virus self-isolation.....

Available exclusively on Spotify.

Spotify Self isolation playlist

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Sharing The Musical Vision!

Chris Batchelor
Batchmo smiles for Wulfie

'Playing Billy' is the title of the final episode of Series Four of the
Billy Jenkins Listening Club   'pod-cum-snapcast' presented by Beowulf Mayfield.

And who better to talk about Billy's music and modus than the innovative and creative trumpet player, composer and educator Chris Batchelor.

Enjoy 17' 35" of Batch talking and playing Billyness here!

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Messages From The Other Side!

Ghost Piano
Beowulf possibly captures the spirit of Billy....

'Ghost Music' is the topic of the latest Billy Jenkins Listening Club 'pod-cum-snapcast' presented by Beowulf Mayfield.

Our intrepid Wulfie was supposed to meet guitarist Billy at Charlie Hart's Equator Studios - but it seems he's turned into a piano......

Enjoy a scary 13 minutes here!

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There Is No Glass......!

Charlie and Billy
Beowulf captures a contented producer and guitarist....

2020 - and the 'year of perfect vision' gets under way. And Billy remains silent....

Silent - but satisfied.

None more so when the creative polyglot
Beowulf Mayfield comes up with yet another Billy Jenkins Listening Club gem.

This time he enjoys another cup of tea at Equator Studios, as musician, engineer and producer Charlie Hart talks to Wulfie about the transition from playing with the guitarist to engineering and producing his music.

Enjoy an eight minute gem here!

The episode features the title track from 'Jazz Gives Me The Blues', recorded by Charlie in 2010.

You can find out more about the amazing Mr Hart here.

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East/West (Now Wear the Same Vest)!

Billy 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.

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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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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