Arts and Entertainment Robbie Williams is to release a new album called Swing Both Ways

Robbie Williams is getting back into the swing of things with a new album mixing cover versions of classics and his own songs.

Music: Fanfare to free form

The late Sixties proved to be a zenith of British jazz. Richard Williams celebrates its dynamic scene

Pop/Jazz album reviews

Ani DiFranco `Up Up Up Up Up' (Righteous Babe) While not as commercial as last year's Little Plastic Castles, DiFranco's 10th album in nine years, a live, meandering effort, should keep her fans satisfied. And, for those that bought the Alanis Morissette album and were disappointed, check out DiFranco now! HHH

Obituary: Bob Haggart

"HE COULD have been another George Gershwin if he'd channelled all his talents into composing," said Bob Crosby. "The man himself will never realise just what talents he possesses," confirmed Eddie Miller. Both men, colleagues of Haggart's in the co-operative Bob Crosby Orchestra, were talking of Bob Haggart, a multi-talented musician if ever there was one, composer of the classic "What's New?" and a multitude of good tunes.

Music: Grrr! She's wonderful

GERI ALLEN TRIO/ NIKKI YEOH QUEEN ELIZABETH HALL

Obituary: Eldon Shamblin

MANY MUSICIANS who helped to make popular music great are forgotten names today, if indeed they were ever known outside of a particular band's followers. However, their contribution is not diminished by that. Eldon Shamblin was not a front man but, 60 years ago, his guitar playing and arrangements helped to establish Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys as a leading country music band, and then, in the 1970s, he played with the top country music act of the day, Merle Haggard and the Strangers.

Obituary: Lew Chudd

FIFTIES ROCK 'n' roll was torn between the rootsy rhythm 'n' blues of the original black performers and the watered-down teen-idol variety of white middle America. The record company mogul Lew Chudd worked in both these strands and played a major role in the career of leading exponents of both genres.

Frank Sinatra: It didn't mean a thing unless Ol' Blue Eyes made it swing

Once criticised for singing songs as if he believed them, that was precisely what made him the best.

Come follow me into the living world of obituaries

FROM TIME to time, it is the parts of newspapers that have nothing to do with the news that give the most pleasure. For some, this will be the crossword; for me it is the obituaries. I know that many readers skip over them.

Letter: Doom for jazz

JAZZ WAS not KO'd by rock, as asserted by George Russell ("Lydian modes and all that jazz", 7 March). It was KO'd by James Caesar Petrillo, president of the American Federation of Musicians from 1940 until 1958. The two-year-long recording ban he called in 1942 spelled doom for the instrumental star bands, such as those of Count Basie, Benny Goodman, Jimmy Lunceford, Harry James and Artie Shaw, and paved the way for the current dictatorship of the vocalist - they, not being union members, had continued to record.

Interview: Jazz queen trumpets beginning of a new era

Big bands have become musical dinosaurs says Phil Johnson but all that could change with the music of Maria Schneider who comes to the Barbican this week breathing new life into orchestral jazz

Proms: John Dankworth and Cleo Laine RAH, London

The Julian Joseph All-Star Big Band was the Proms jazz feature two years ago. In 1996, Darius Milhaud's jazz-inspired ballet La Creation du monde was the nearest the season came to the subject. This year, however, it was the turn of John Dankworth and Cleo Laine to act as jazz standard- bearers, complete with the Dankworth Sextet, the BBC Concert Orchestra and the BBC Big Band.

Letter: Maddening music

Sir: It is infuriating, when trying to do business on the telephone, to find oneself left listening for minutes on end to an idiotic musical- box representation of Mozart or a foxtrot played by Glenn Miller. I suspect that irritation with this practice is almost universal. So how can customers convey their displeasure to the many companies that use this device?

Obituary: Eddie Jones

"It was a fabulous time, a golden age for jazz," the bassist Eddie Jones said of the ten years he spent in Count Basie's band which began in 1953. "It was a good time to be in that band and a good time to be alive. Working for Basie was a pleasure: all he asked was that you show up, do your job, look good, and play well." A job in the band was much to be prized. "You couldn't afford to get sick in that band - if you didn't show up you disappeared."

London has more buzz than swing

Energy, yes; creativity, in abundance - but did it live up to all the hype? Tamsin Blanchard chooses the best - and worst - of London Fashion Week.

Let the good times roll again

There was Hitler and rationing - but also the thrill of swing music, of womanly curves and manly suits, and Hollywood at its most glamorous. Because of, or despite, the War, the Forties have an excitement rivalled this century only by the Sixties. A revival of Forties music, clothes and dance is now in full spate. Happy days are here again, says Sandra Lawrence, herself a Forties-style singer.
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