The International Jazz Festival Of Wales

6:30pm - 8:20pm (with interval)
Dylan Thomas Theatre



Supported by: Cefnogir gan:
City and County of Swansea Dinas a Sir Abertawe
Dudley Moore, beloved comic actor, we all know about. Perhaps fewer know about Dudley Moore, pianist — the virtuoso brilliantly exploiting the stylistic possibilities gifted to him by Errol Garner and Oscar Peterson in late night sessions at Peter Cook’s Establishment Club in 1960s Soho, dazzling appearances on BBC TV’s Not Only But Also and the sparkling Decca trio recordings. And perhaps fewer still, Dudley Moore, composer — purveyor of quirky, imaginative jazz originals and the witty music for Bedazzled and 30 Is A Dangerous Age, Cynthia, nuanced movie scores far superior to the movies themselves. In preparing a recording celebrating the music of Dudley, we were tempted to pay homage to his 1960s piano-trio style. After all, Chris, George and I had all been indelibly influenced by the very particular, tight-knit, hard-swinging playing of Dudley, bassist Pete McGurk and drummer Chris Karan. However, whilst exploring the tunes with Paul on trumpet, we began to discover the richness of his compositions and understand a more authentic, and perhaps more revealing way of entering into Dudley’s musical world. As part of that process we took time to read something about the man’s complex and highly conflicted life, one filled with shades of light and dark, joy and woe. Here is not the place to explore any details of this, but what is musically relevant was the way we found these same shades expressed in his compositions. Some of his pieces are, of course, quintessential expressions of the bright, optimistic, swinging ‘60s in which Dudley came to fame, but others are deeply poignant, personal expressions of a darker, more complex world, whilst elsewhere you’ll find a unique and bittersweet mix of the two. It is this emotional range and depth that has made playing Dudley's music a rather intimate and heartfelt pleasure for all of us and, we sincerely hope, for you too. Rev. Andrew J. Brown andrewjbrown.blogspot.co.uk For all the acclaim he received as a comic actor, and the affection with which he is remembered as a hilarious and lovable personality, it may be that the most interesting thing about Dudley Moore's reputation is how undervalued he is as a jazzman and composer. It's easy to see why. In the 1960s, as modern jazz got edgier and angrier, the Dudley Moore Trio popping up on primetime TV with their slick, upbeat take on the Oscar/Erroll tradition hardly represented the hip forefront of what jazz was 'about'. And if a musician had any kind of showbiz profile - and goodness did Dudley have one of those - lack of jazz credibility was probably an inevitable side-effect. And perhaps there was a hint of the dilettante-genius about Dudley. The organ scholar who specialised in classical parodies at Oxford, the adorable pint-sized stooge to Peter Cook's barbed flights of comic fancy, the Hollywood 'sex thimble', the emphasis of the classical repertoire in his latter musical efforts. This kind of versatility indicates a musician some way from being a dedicated jazz man and is the very enemy of jazz posterity. Not that we particularly care about the state of Dud's jazz posterity. But it will be a privilege if our efforts open a few ears to the jazz side of this remarkable musician. Chris Ingham