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January 03, 2010

George Arthur Grant

...Dad and I used to joke that we started a conversation as soon as I was able to talk in sentences, and that it just never stopped. Well, it had to stop of course – but not until twenty four hours before his death. And in a sense it goes on, since I often talk to him even now, although he died in 1997. I’d like to think he hears me. ..

Jill Grant expresses love, thanks and respect to the best of men – her father.

To read more of Jill’s first-class columns please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/all_this_jazz/

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September 08, 2008

Naff Adverts

Ebullient Jill Grant recalls some of those TV ads which made you grind your teeth rather than reach for your cash.


For more of Jill’s swinging words please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/all_this_jazz/

And do visit her Web site www.grantidge.com

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June 28, 2008

The Man In The Pork Pie Hat

Jazz singer Jill Grant pays a fitting tribute to her favourite musician, the great Lester Young.

For more of Jill’s words, which bounce, sing and swing and make you feel lucky to have read them, please type her name in the search box in the menu on this page.

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February 02, 2008

How Would You Like Dancing Classes On A Saturday Afternoon?

...My terpsichorean skills are non-existent. I can’t even do aerobics. I once sidled to the left, waving arms about in the approved manner, when the rest of the class were sidling to the right. I tried to change, got my feet in a knot and – fell over...

Jazz singer Jill Grant confesses the she - along with many another musician - has not got dancing feet.

To read more of Jill's delicious columns please type her name in the menu on this page.

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January 12, 2008

Betty Bebop (Not)

...The great evening arrived and Betty dusted off her frock with the safety pins. They felt the strain as much as the musicians had at the rehearsal, but Betty looked into the mirror with optimistic eyes and failed to see the bulges.

What can I say about the vocal performance? I think the word “don’t” about sums it up. What’s that old joke? “How do you tell when it’s a singer knocking at your door?” “She can’t find the key and doesn’t know when to come in.”...

Jill Grant tells of the ear-aching jazz "career'' of Betty Bebop - also known as Betty One Note.

Do vist Jill's Web site www.grantidge.com

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November 04, 2007

Marching To A Different Drummer

...Seems to me that it’s odder to want to tease and mock others rather than just getting on with them. But what do I know? I march to that little old drummer, remember?...

Jill Grant has spent her life marching to the beat of a different drummer. That beat has encouraged a joyous, civilised, hilarious, jazzy, entertaining flow of words.

Keep on marching, Jill!

Do visit Jill's Web site www.grantidge.com

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July 28, 2007

Singing Together!

...back to my crumbling primary school somewhere not a million miles from Rochester. We were pretty street-wise kids, although it wasn’t called that then. Dirty-minded little brats was more often heard. So when old Miss Best handed out the shiny new songbooks, we were eager to find something to snigger at. Oh joy! One day we were given the following to learn:

“As sweet Polly Oliver lay musing in bed
A sudden strange fancy came into her head…..”...

Jazz singer Jill Grant recalls the cheesy folk songs she and her classmates had to sing in school - and that in the days when the Beatles were writing vibrant songs with great harmonies.

Do visit Jill's Web site www.grantidge.com

To read more of Jill's exuberant words please type her name in the search box on his page.

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May 11, 2007

Playing Out

...Back in the Sixties, kids, or at least working class kids like me, were not swaddled in cotton wool. At weekends, in the light evenings and in the school holidays, we “played out” – which meant we disappeared together, in a pack and played in wonderful freedom...

Jill Grant remembers in enviable detail the delights and excitements of her childhood. Every child should be so lucky as to have such adventures.

Do please visit Jill's Web site www.grantidge.com

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March 16, 2007

Knock-Backs

Jill Grant had an Afro perm when she was seventeen. Her Mum, a lady who instantly put her thoughts into words, delivered a levelling comment. “You look like a bog brush on stilts!”

“So glorious an image that I couldn’t take offence,’’ says Jill. “How could I, at something that made me laugh so much?’’

During her jazz-singing career Jill has had a few knock-backs – but she’s still standing.

(If you enjoy cool, swinging music, Jill’s for you. Her voice will remind you of some of the jazz greats – but it is her own unique instrument. She’s marvellous! – PH, Editor, Open Writing).

Please visit Jill's Web site www.grantidge.com

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February 09, 2007

Uuuuuuummmmmm

The irrepressible Jill Grant, a columnist who generously donates a chuckle in every paragraph she writes, tells of childhood encounters with the Goody-Two-Shoes Mafia.

To read more of jazz singer Jill’s exhilarating words please click on All This Jazz in the menu on this page.

And please visit Jill's Web site www.grantidge.com

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January 12, 2007

Silly Songs And Song Titles

Jill Grant shares her joy in silly songs and silly song titles.

For more of Jill’s exhilarating columns please click on All This Jazz in the menu on this page.

And please visit Jill's Web site www.grantidge.com

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November 24, 2006

Therapy Schmerapy

Far be it from me to minimise other people’s problems, but to my way of thinking, you could sum them up with a line from an old song: “Daddy wouldn’t buy me a bow-wow.”

Jill Grant tries a spot of group therapy - but her eyes are plenty sharp enough to spot phoney baloney.

Please visit Jill's Web site www.grantidge.com

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November 03, 2006

The Jazz Aunties

Jazz singer Jill Grant writes about a fabulous bunch of fun ladies - her aunties. From one of them she learned her first rude limerick - pretty mild but still unsuitable for a public forum.

"Later, she was cooking up a pot of green tomato chutney. I walked into her kitchen, sniffed the air and asked what she was making. She beckoned me over to the stove, where a mess of brown goo was sort of seething away, the odd bubble breaking the surface. She grinned and sang “Faarmer Brown’s cow went POOP against the waaall” in the ripest of Mummerset accents. Collapse of both of us into mild hysteria...''

For more of Jill's joyous words please click on All This Jazz in he menu on this page.

And please visit Jill's Web site www.grantidge.com

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September 29, 2006

Battle Maiden

...One of her little ways was to descend on a class at random, terrifying the teacher and the kids, in order to keep her finger on the pulse of school life – or so she said. In Freddie’s class an art lesson was in progress. She got it into her head that Freddie’s painting was rubbish and that he had done bad work on purpose. The old bitch traipsed him into every class in the school, making him hold up this piece of art, while she lambasted him and invited each class to join in the fun...

School days the best days of your life? Not if you’re poor and raggedy and live in a damp, crumbling slum house. Jill Grant seethes with commendable anger as she recalls the acts of a bullying headmistress.

Please visit Jill's Web site www.grantidge.com

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September 22, 2006

In The Brownies...

“I’ve bought the uniform, and YOU’RE GOING!” said Jill Grant’s mum. But jazz-singer-to-be Jill was not made for the Brownies, though the Brownies were made to spark her sense of humour.

Read, enjoy, laugh out loud. And make sure you stay in touch with Jill’s lively words by regularly clicking on All This Jazz.

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September 15, 2006

A True Gentleman

In her latest blog jazz singer Jill Grant pays tribute to her friend and fellow musician John Burch, who died this year. …I never tired of hearing him tell of his jazz life over the years (he was playing at Ronnie Scott’s old place the night it was raided by the police, for example – a policeman slammed the piano lid down on his hands for refusing to stop playing)…

Then by way of contrast the irrepressible Jill introduces us to an entirely different character - Betty Bombastic

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September 01, 2006

Introducing Jazzy Jill

Jazz singer Jill Grant will be writing a fizzy, funny diary-blog for Open Writing. Here's the first page. Watch out for All This Jazz.

Jill began singing very early in life - her parents told her she was singing melody lines before she could speak. At seven she discovered jazz when she heard Count Basie’s “One O'clock Jump”. “It leapt out and grabbed me,” she said. From that moment on, she was hooked. Jill listened to anything and everything all through her childhood and teens - from Jelly Roll Morton to Ornette Coleman, and while at art college she began singing in jazz clubs in Birmingham where she was a student. Since then she has formed her own trio and quartet.

Her regular musicians include Alan Berry and Richard Madgwick (piano), Ernie Cranenburgh (guitar), Stan Robinson and Dave Quincy (saxophones) and Mick Durell (bass).

She has worked at the Watermill, Dorking, the 100 Club, Shepherd's Restaurant, Belgravia, The Green, East Dulwich, the Forester's Arms, Forest Hill, the Park Lane Hotel, Piccadilly and HMS Belfast and regularly at Pissarro’s, Hastings.

Musicians she has worked with recently include Janusz Carmello, John Burch, Simon Woolf, Kenny Shaw, Jim Richardson, George Oag, Roger Curphy, Roland Lacey, Geoff Castle and Mike Cotton. She has recorded her debut CD "Who Needs Spring?" This has been most favourably reviewed by jazz critic Alun Morgan, and played on Jazz FM.

Some comments about Jill's singing: “A fantastic CD” – Art Themen; "Jazz can mean different things to different people but there is unanimous agreement that Jill's singing has all of the necessary jazz elements." - Alun Morgan; "Jill has a unique style" - Pete Cater; "A talented singer" - Derek Nash; "Jill has recorded a super CD" - Lee Gibson; "Jill's pitch is stunning" - John Mumford; "Jill is a good singer, who has chosen a strong programme of material to record" - Alan Barnes.

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