'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
Listening Club Series Three Box Set Binge Now Online!
The photographer, writer and
web-pod-snapcast wonder Beowulf 'Wulfie' Mayfield continues his
inspired analysis of Billy's music - both aurally and in images!
More Obscure Jewels Of
The British Jazz Underground!
It's been three years since Jazzman Records's A New Life collection alerted jazz heads to the existence of an unknown world of British jazz private pressings and indie obscurities.
Back for a second round, compilers Francis Gooding and Duncan Brooker
have dug deep into the archives to assemble another ground-breaking
collection of Brit jazz anomalies and outliers from the 1970s and 1980s.
A New Life Vol. 2 picks up the story where volume one left
off, searching out overlooked jazz gems from across the length and
breadth of the British Isles.
When the major labels and the record industry left jazz out in the cold,
musicians and jazz enthusiasts took the initiative. Indie labels made
space for established artists and experimental outsiders alike, while
local groups and youth bands turned to private pressings to document
their music and build their own scenes.
From London blues renegade Billy Jenkins's spiritual tribute to Pharoah Sanders
and the swinging vocal artistry of Belfast-born Gerry McClelland, to
the thunderous big band sound of Leicester's Music Explosion and the
modal drama of the Don Rendell Five, A New Life Vol. 2 reveals another
fascinating layer of forgotten Brit jazz history.
Fully researched and presented with in depth liner notes, again we bring
you the unheard, unorthodox and under-rated sound of the British jazz
Double LP gatefold with free download card inside.
'A New Life Vol. 2' will be available late October (on
2xLP or CD) from Jazzman Records.
Beowulf Mayfield captures Billy reminiscing Thameside.....
The tide goes out. And the tide comes back in....
Episode 5 of Series Three of the Billy Jenkins Listening Club snap-cast-web-cast-podcast
is now online.
And ever patient presenter Beowulf Mayfield teases words out of the guitarist relating to the skills producer Pete Bennett, violinist Dylan Bates and double bassist Steve Watts contributed to the making of the 2005 released CD album 'When the Crowds Have Gone'- described, at the time, by The Times music critic John Bungey as, 'his darkest record yet...'.
Click here to give yourself 7' 53" seconds of reflection, dispair but ultimately, recovery. Possibly....
Barry and Billy ripped from a 1997 local newspaper article...
Episode 4 of Series Three of the Billy Jenkins Listening Club snap-cast-web-cast-podcast
is now online.
Billy hasn't appeared on a broadcast since he ran off after presenter Beowulf Mayfield's attempt at retrogressive hypnosis on the guitarist in Episode 1 (Series 3) went a bit Pete Tong.....
But we're pleased to say the guitarist is now back! But - not only has he returned as a teenager, but it seems Wulfie has regressed too....
But that doesn't stop them partaking in a heartfelt tribute to the legendary owner of Wing Music, Barry Mitchell - celebrated on the eponymous track from the 1997 CD album, 'Still...Sounds Like Bromley'.
Enjoy eight and a half minutes of foot tapping joy here!
One man who certainly enjoyed this episode, is Jim Hunt, who took the time to write to Mr Jenkins about his own time working with the late, lamented Barry:
It certainly brought a smile, a roaring laugh (jumping off the 4x12s story) and it did bring a tear or 2!
worked at Wing for over 10 years and was very close to Barry. Hearing
the way you told those stories really brought a lot of great memories
still think of the boss pretty much every day and miss him
terribly. I learned a hell of a lot from him in all sorts of
pretty much all down to him that Planet Guitar exists, if I hadn’t have
done my 'apprenticeship' at Wing I certainly wouldn’t be doing the job I
love and have all of the knowledge I have!
loved the way you mention Barry (towards the end of the podcast)
standing with a cup of tea in one hand, cigarette in the other and a big
smile on his face. That resonated in a big way and I could actually see
that image in my head. I had the biggest smile on my face when I heard
that! Absolutely brilliant!
also had a chuckle at the cleaning guitars, making tea, etc for 50p a
day. It sounded so similar to my early days at Wing in Sidcup when I was
the fresh faced 15 year old Saturday boy. The duties were exactly the
same, plus I was also in charge of the vacuum cleaner. From memory I
think the daily rate was roughly the same as well!
really miss the stories that Barry told, so hearing your podcast was
incredible. I’m positive he would have loved hearing it and probably would’ve been able to give you a few more to add in!"
We at bj.com heartily recommend you visit PlanetGuitar
- to not only read more about Barry and Wing Music (there's a great
photograph of young Jim in the store) - but also to check out the guitar
tuition and instrument repair services Plant Guitar specialise in!
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.
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'