Passion and vibe collide when Pete Brown performs for Jazz Hastings

Pete Brown SUS-180730-161344001
Pete Brown SUS-180730-161344001

Jazz Hastings is offering something completely different for its monthly session on Tuesday August 7 at the East Hastings Sea Angling Association on the Stade: an evening of jazz and beat poetry.

The tradition of combining poetry and jazz has a long history. In this country the legendary poet, lyricist and singer Pete Brown was at the forefront, working with Dudley Moore, Stan Tracy and Bobby Wellins in the 1960s.

Pete had his first poem published in an American magazine when he was 14. In the early ‘60s he was involved in the Liverpool poetry scene and began doing public readings. In 1965, he appeared on stage at the Albert Hall with some of the best of them, including Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Allen Ginsberg.

By this time he had also formed The First Real Poetry Band so that he could read his work accompanied by jazz. This led to a residency at the fabled Marquee Club in Soho. It was Pete Brown’s luck that the Thursday night residency was held at the time by Alexis Korner’s Blues Incorporated.

That band included Graham Bond and Dick Heckstall-Smith, who had both played with Brown’s poetry band. Through them he met two other members of Korner’s band, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker, who would go on to form the legendary supergroup Cream with Eric Clapton.

They liked what Brown did and effectively recruited him as the band lyricist. He wrote some of the band’s biggest hits, including I Feel Free, and White Room with Jack Bruce, and Sunshine Of Your Love with Eric Clapton.

He’ll be joined at Jazz Hastings by saxophonist Dr Kevin Flanagan who has played for countless stars including B.B.King, Ben E. King, Led Zeppelin, the Sex Pistols and Portishead. He also worked with the hugely successful Tommy Chase group in the 1980s. More recently, influenced by the ‘beat’ writing of Jack Kerouac and Pulitzer Prize winner Gary Snyder, he has been exploring ways of combining jazz with poetry readings.

Kevin will play the first set and Pete the second. They’ll be accompanied by Jazz Hastings stalwarts John Donaldson on piano, Simon Thorpe on bass and Darren Beckett on drums.

Doors open at 7.45pm for an 8.30pm start. Tickets £10.

* also read: Acclaimed saxophonist at Jazz Hastings