CELEBRATING THE JAZZ COURIERS
THE NEW JAZZ COURIERS
Press Statement - August 9th 2010: Following the sad death of Martin Drew in July this year, the New Couriers are on hiatus. There are no immediate plans to reform the band at this time.
'Celebrating The Jazz Couriers' was a group put together by Mornington Lockett and ex-Oscar Peterson drummer Martin Drew as a tribute to the fantastic band co-led by Ronnie Scott and Tubby Hayes in the late 1950s. The new band featured Nigel Hitchcock on tenor sax, Steve Melling on piano and Andrew Cleyndert on bass, made two live CDs and toured extensively during 2002 and 2003.
The group reformed in 2004, Nigel Hitchcock having relocated to the Isle Of Skye (!) and Andy Cleyndert having gone on to pursue projects of his own, including TRio Records which produces the band's albums.
The new band, called simply 'THE NEW JAZZ COURIERS', features the prodigious talent of ex-NYJO drummer Jim Hart on vibraphone and the great Paul Morgan on bass.
Steve Melling remained with the band for two further albums: 'Azule Serapé' and 'Brazilian Thoroughfare', before he too left to the band, to be replaced by the fine pianist Robin Aspland, who has returned to the jazz 'fold', after a long stint as keyboardist and MD with Van Morrison.
The New Couriers are still featuring the music of important British musicians, more recently focussing on the great pianist, vibraphonist and composer, Victor Feldman.
Victor was a contemporary of Tubby Hayes and Ronnie Scott, who settled in New York, playing and writing extensively for Cannonball Adderley and Miles Davis. He later became a star on the US session scene, recording albums with Tom Scott and Steely Dan among many others.
The New Jazz Couriers' CDs, old and new, are available by mail order. The most recent 'Brazilian Thoroughfare' received excellent reviews from the Guardian and the Observer newspapers, and was recorded live at the 606 Club in London.
See publicity pictures of the band at: IMAGES