R O G E R
B E A U J O L A I S
photo: Sarkis Boyadjian
Update + latest news & reviews
7 April 2015
Many, many apologies. this is the first update for about 18 months.... Last time I was about to move house so my flat was on the market. Then I sold it & was 'between homes' for 10 months before finally buying somewhere in West Berkshire. I moved in last January & since then (apart from having a builder in with all the chaos that goes with it) I haven't been able to connect my desktop to the internet. The software I use to update this site is only in my pc desktop & my laptop is a mac....... I've been going away a lot too so that hasn't helped. So today I've managed to get connected but it's not permanent yet. But good enough.
Which means I've also updated my gig page & soon hopefully I'll be able to keep it up to date regularly.
I haven't managed to update any other pages though so there's still quite a bit of work to do.
Really, I need to completely revamp my website. If all goes well it should look a lot more modern soon.....
I haven't had time to write more news so what's below has been there for years. Sorry about that. At least the gig page is up to date!
My latest quartet album "Mind The Gap" was released on June 17th 2013 & there have been a quite a few reviews - in the Observer, The Independent on Sunday , the Financial Times, the BBC Music Magazine as well as the usual jazz press. And they've all been good........ At some point I'm going to put all the reviews on the review page on this site but so far I haven't had time. I've been busy which I'm sure is as a direct result of the press my new album generated. But that's meant that I haven't had time to do a lot of things around the house let alone update my website...... Although I regularly update the gig page.
"Mind The Gap" includes 3 compositions of mine - "Mind The Gap, "Joe Beam" & "Bad Connection" as well as 3 Brazilian influenced tunes (with added percussion from Oli Savill) as well as tunes by Wes Montgomery, Thad Jones, Chick Corea & Milton Nascimento. The line-up is my regular quartet - Robin Aspland on piano, Simon Thorpe on double bass & Winston Clifford on drums. I'm really happy with it.
I'll be adding some audio files from the album to this page soon so that people can have a taster. I meant to do this ages ago but I just haven't had time.
I had my annual trip to Rimini in August which was a great success as always. On the way we did a lovely gig in Sent in Switzerland too.
I've also been doing a few gigs with the singer/songwriter Mark Nevin. Ther guy who wrote virtually all the tunes for pop band Fairground Attraction including the Number One, "Perfect" & their other Top 10 hit, "Find My Love". Mark is a great writer & puts on a really good show although as he wasn't the singer on the hits he wrote he hasn't got the profile to get lots of well paid gigs. Nevertheless, he's brilliant & should be far better known than he is.
Things have been a bit quiet with the Jerry Dammers' Spatial AKA Orchestra. The only real gig we've done this year was the “Unmenschliche Musik” (Inhuman Music) festival in Berlin in February although there are always rumours that there may be a tour coming up.
Tommaso Starace's CD "Marvellous" (a tribute to Michel Petrucciani on which I guested on 4 tunes) has had some great reviews & Tommaso has been busy gigging to promote the album. Unfortunately none of which include me but I'm sure I'd be involved if he was getting paid more for his gigs.
I've noticed that there are loads of Beaujolais Band & Vibraphonic tunes on youtube. They seem to be getting a few hits too so that's good. I uploaded a couple of things myself - you should be able to hear my tune "T Bone's Take" at Roger Beaujolais
Other bits of me on youtube can be found at Rumer with 2 LushLife tracks at Chasing A Dream & Eastern Cool & one by Tommaso Starace at TommasoStaraceItalianQuartet although there are loads of other bits & peces that people have posted up there - Chevalier Brothers, Rob Hughes & many others.
I think that's it for the moment. I've updated my gig page recently so if you want to see what I'm up to please go to Gigs. Most of what's printed below here has been there for a while but if you want some more info on the fairly recent past please have a look. I've updated a few bits too.....
I was pleased with the way my last quintet album "Blue Reflections" did. It had some good reviews (see the Reviews page) & has sold quite well. It's possible to buy the CD here if you like. Just go to Buy CDs. Otherwise it's available on Amazon & in the few shops that stock British jazz CD's.
Blue Reflections" was released on 18th February
2008. Below are a few sound samples of tracks from the album.. Further
below are more details of the album......
If you listen to the sound samples above you'll see it's an album with lots of blues on. It includes a few new compositions & covers of "Green Jeans" by Grant Green, "Chitlins Con Carne" by Kenny Burrell, "Soul Station" by Hank Mobley & "Sugar" by Stanley Turrentine. A lot of the venues I play in have websites where it's possible to find out the full addresses, directions, starting times, entry fees etc. for my gigs. I have managed to set up links with a lot of them which can be found on my Links page. It also includes links to venues & clubs that I have played at in the recent past which hopefully I will be doing again in the near future.
There are various CD's for sale at Buy CDs including all my quintet albums & the Chevalier Brothers CD "Live & Still Jumping" that I recently acquired copies of. The album was originally recorded & released in 1985 on vinyl & the CD release includes some extra live tracks from the same time that have never been released before. Reviews of all my albums can be seen on the Reviews page - there are a lot of them. There's an interview of me at www.jazzviews.co.uk if you want to have look. An internet search will probably also take you to an interview I did for Jazz Review about 5 albums that have influenced me over the years in the February 2006 issue of Jazz Review.
If anyone is interested in booking the quartet or wants more information please feel free to mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I think you may have to paste the address onto an email......
As I like it so much I've left in the Guardian review from the One Eleven Club, Sheffield. Saturday July 3 2004 by James Griffiths:
"British vibraphone virtuoso Roger Beaujolais took up the vibes in his early 30s, after spending many unprofitable years as a rock drummer. He hitched a ride to popularity on the back of the mid-1990s acid jazz movement, although in recent years he has moved into more traditional jazz territory. In Sheffield he appeared with his regular quintet for an evening of pulsating, Latin-tinged hard bop. They melded danceable clave rhythms to driving Art Blakey-style funk work-outs and a generous dose of the blues.
Beaujolais has a band of high-profile musicians, including the sublime Winston Clifford on drums and Mark Lockheart on saxophone. Stir Robin Aspland's spirited piano playing into the mix
and you've got an extremely sophisticated backdrop for Beaujolais's astonishing technique. The show came in two distinct halves; shorter pieces first, then an extended jazz suite of rare depth and cohesion.
Of the shorter pieces, Jazz Syrup best encapsulated the group's approach. Boasting a cosmopolitan swagger reminiscent of a Tubby Hayes band, it ducked and dived through a variety of double and half-time passages. Beaujolais frequently used his vibes atmospherically, lacing his cohort's solos with glowing clusters and graceful little counter-phrases. But he also turned on the heat: in full flight with two mallets in each hand, he gives the world's best vibes players a run for their money. Not bad for a failed rock tub-thumper."
If you've read my biography you'll notice he was a bit liberal with the facts but as it was such a good review I forgive him.....
Below are the usual things - attempts to try to make you part with money etc. so please read on.....
I'm still regularly selling CD's through my site but unfortunately I've had to increase the price of the CD's. The exchange rate between £'s & $'s has meant that I was hardly making any money from the sales which didn't bother me too much until CCNow (the credit card company I use to sell them through) started taking a much larger cut from all sales. But if anyone feels like buying a CD (or two!) there are a few available through this site (all the albums from StayTuned Records + a few others including Tim Richards' Great Spirit) & it's possible to listen to a few short samples of tracks to help decide before you buy....... Unfortunately I no longer have any copies of the first Vibraphonic album (called "Vibraphonic"). To buy or listen to any of the CD's please click on the following link - Buy CDs. You can also hear samples of tracks via the pages of the relative band......
The interview I did for the Lunar Lounge website is still on their site if anyone's interested. Lunar Lounge is a club which has jazz/dance live nights at the Spitz in East London. I really enjoyed playing there one hot, sweaty evening in the summer of 2002. The interview can be found at www.lunarlounge.co.uk
Below is a shameless ego boost for me - I thought I'd leave it on the site for a while.
Gary Burton, the regular winner in the "Best Vibist" category of Downbeat magazine's annual jazz poll was in London in the summer of 2000 to play a week at the Pizza Express with Makoto Ozone. While there he was given a blindfold test by UK magazine "Jazz Review" that appeared in Sept 2000. It's the usual format: a musician is played tunes (usually featuring their own instrument) without being told who they're listening to.
Luckily for me, amongst tracks by Lionel Hampton, Roy Ayers, Bobby Hutcherson & Mike Mainieri he was played a track from my quintet album "For Old Times". The track was "Highway One", written by Bobby Hutcherson. Not surprisingly, he didn't recognise my playing but thought it might be one of the top guys in the USA at the moment which was very flattering. Below is a copy of what he said. The "Test" was performed by Mark Gilbert.
"This could be one of the newer players
that I'm not real familiar with. I've heard a little bit of Stefon Harris
and a little bit of Steve Nelson in recent years, but I'm not sure I
would recognise their playing. I'm guessing it's one of those two guys,
though there's a couple of other younger players as well. Joe Locke
is another one. I would think it was one of those three, but of course
it could be someone from Japan or France or something as well."
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