R O G E R
B E A U J O L A I S
photo: Sarkis Boyadjian
Update + latest news & reviews
4 March 2013
I'm well overdue in updating my home page. It's terrible I know.....
Lots of things have happened since I last updated this page but the most important is that I'm about to release my new album - "Mind The Gap" by the Roger Beaujolais Quartet. It's my first release since my quintet became a quartet. We don't have sax any more. On this album I've recorded 3 Brazilian influenced tunes & for those have added Oli Savill on percussion to the regular line-up of Robin Aspland on piano, Simon Thorpe on double bass & Winston Clifford on drums. I'm really happy with it.
Soon I'll be updating this page with the release date.
I'll be adding some audio files to this page soon as well so that people can have a taster & in a month or so I'll be selling the album via this site. It will also be on Amazon as well as a few other sites. Hopefully there'll be some good reviews too. They should help me get some gigs which will help to sell some albums, which will help me get some gigs, which will help me to sell more albums. And so on.......
Recently I played at the “Unmenschliche Musik” (Inhuman Music) festival in Berlin with Jerry Dammers' Spatial AKA Orchestra. It was a great gig but it was a long day of travelling & soundchecking before playing with the Orchestra for over 3 hours without a break..... And then we went to the hotel & left the hotel early the next morning to fly home. Glamourous eh?
Tommaso Starace's CD "Marvellous" (a tribute to Michel Petrucciani) has had some great reviews & there have been some nice mentions of my contribution - I guested on 4 tracks.
I went to Rimini again last summer & will be there again this year - in August by the look of it - with a gig near St Moritz on the way.
And the Hep Chaps seem to be getting busier - or having more gigs in exotic places anyway. We're in Paris in May & Granada, Spain in July.
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 email@example.com. 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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