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10 Seconds: Charlotte Keeffe

Thank you George, for inviting me to share 100 seconds of amazing music! These wonderful musicians stopped me in my tracks when I first heard (10 seconds of) them - they’re ALL a constant source of deep inspiration for/to me!

1. Miles Davis - Bitches Brew (14'38" - 14'48")

From Miles Davis - Live In Copenhagen (1969)

"Bitches Brew - this era of Miles - is hugely inspiring to me, as it is for many! I came across Bitches Brew during a church choir trip to London - the album’s incredible artwork immediately caught my attention in the record shop we were visiting, I’d never seen anything like it before! I started playing and learning the trumpet when I was 10yrs old, it’s all I wanted for my 10th Birthday! At that point, I knew of Miles as a trumpet player… but then, BANG! His intention behind every note, the meaning, his feel and the feeling, his focused ENERGY, his presence, his colour, power, rawness, bursts, blasts, rips, cracks, and even his silence falling out of my tiny CD player was captivating - I was seriously hooked, 12yr old me full of curiosity, listening to these powerful men - it’s like they were telling me, ‘there’s no one way, right way, or wrong way, just breathe, listen and focus - FREEDOM! Nowadays, my trumpet and flugelhorn have become my sound brushes, I see colours and shapes when I play - splashes and strokes of colours/sounds here and there, this is definitely as a consequence of listening to Miles!"

2. Rebecca Nash - Tumbleweed (5'19" - 5'29")

From Rebecca Nash - live recording in Highbury Studios (2018)

"Now for a lush 10 seconds that will leave you wanting more from the exquisite pianist/musician, Rebecca Nash, who I had the joy and honour of finally meeting and playing with as part of Steve Waterman’s Brecon Jazz Fest Band a couple of years ago now, I’m bursting to play more with Rebecca! I think she’s super, super cool! To me, her music making really has a unique balance of fire and earth/grounding and connecting energies/elements! Sometimes, I find musicians lean more into one element than another when they play, which I adore, but when I hear and feel someone who plays with a mixture of elements, (like Rebecca) - fire, air, water and/or earth - I’m immediately drawn to them, I want to play and connect with them/kindred spirits - I’m really digging what Rebecca’s getting up to..."

3. Laura Cole (1'33" - 1'43")

From Laura Cole - Enough (2017)

“Continuing with the piano theme, let these 10 seconds wash over you...

Laura Cole is a wondrous creative being, she always brings me back to the NOW. Her Enough album released on Discus Music says it all - I don’t want to say much more! But I’ll copy musician/bass player’s Seth Bennet’s precious words below as I completely echo them, and I also want to say that this album features some of the most delicious duo improvisations I’ve ever heard on an album/CD - between Laura and the magnificent Corey Mwamba, WOW! Talk about stopping in my tracks!"

"Always beautiful, often troubling, and deeply moving, this record is a masterpiece of understatement and integrity. Cole ought to be celebrated as one of the greats of British improvised music after this release. Always fiercely true to herself and her conception, this album nevertheless generously welcomes anyone with open ears and a desire to hear. All you have to do is listen!" - SETH BENNETT

4. The International Sweethearts of Rhythm (13'34" - 13'44")

"And now for some MIGHTY TINY DAVIS playing with the incredible International Sweethearts of Rhythm!

Have you heard of Tiny? I’d only really heard of her name before the start of this year. I’m absolutely delighted to be part of a special concert series celebrating women in jazz and blues called Stranger Fruit. Each Stranger Fruit performance features music making from Roella Oloro, Sharron McLeod, Renu Hossain and myself. We focus, reflect and celebrate the lives of women jazz and blues musicians who for whatever reason, folks are unlikely to have heard much about them! I decided to find out more about Tiny Davis and chose to lead a whole concert inspired by her as part of this unique series! Tiny’s a magnificent trumpet player, singer, performer, she was also a gay woman who ran a gay club - Tiny and Ruby’s Gay Spot - in Chicago in the 1950s! You can see/hear Tiny's powerful presence in just 10 seconds, (like Miles, she was FOCUSED)! This woman turned down work/playing with the likes of (the) Duke, Count and Louis Armstrong, (who offered her 10 times her $150 salary) to stay making music with her ‘gals’ - she knew exactly who she wanted to play/make music with!"

5. Tomasz Stanko - Celine (3'17" - 3'27")

From Tomasz Stanko Quartet - Music from 'Suspended Nights (2005)

"Tomasz Stańko, Tomasz Stańko, Tomasz Stańko! Checkout his grainy trumpet sound in these 10 seconds.

His music, (like all music), teaches me about what it feels like to be free, let go, sing out, it can be beautiful, even if it’s not ‘pretty’! I remember saving up to see him live at the Barbican! Just before the concert kicked off, this storm cloud of a man whooshed straight passed my seat, really grumpy, something had happened - his moodiness only added to his unique, magical music making, which was/is so free! Similar, but different, to Rebecca Nash - playing with all of the elements again, but with such a loose/flowing togetherness/connection between the musicians/ensemble - I want to make music like this!"

6. Wayne Shorter - Juju (44'26" - 44'36")

From Wayne Shorter - Newport Jazz Festival (2001)

" Wayne Shorter’s Juju is a piece I could listen to forever! I love the idea of music never really stopping and starting, Juju’s harmonic sequence is so beautifully relentless and circular! It really invites and embraces those wholetone scale sounds too, which I’m so into at the moment! I love falling into them and weaving lines and patterns up and down - there's a bold openness, an intriguing tease… the sound of curiosity, where are we going?"

7. Sarah Gail Brand & Mark Sanders (title unknown) (1'33" - 1'43")

From - Mopomoso archives

"Finally, here’s a woman making and playing music by the scruff of its neck’ - this is what went through my mind when I first came across Sarah Gail Brand on YouTube in the Mopomoso archives - Mopomoso is the UK’s longest running concert series dedicated to freely improvised music. Checkout these 10 seconds of her with Mark Sanders.

I wanted to study at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama because Sarah taught/teaches there - I HAD to connect with this woman! She's a striking being! I once asked Sarah and Mark in a masterclass they did at the Guildhall, if it was ok to laugh at some sounds - low sounds on the trombone - of course it was/is! Seeing/hearing Sarah gave me the ‘permission’ I needed to make RAW music!"

8. Jaimie Branch - Theme 001 (1'21" - 1'31")

From Jaimie Branch - Live at Moods (2020)

"I also can’t get enough of this woman - Jaimie Branch, such a force of nature, no words needed, take it away Jaimie! Also big fat shout out to these other inspirational women in brass/music; LAURA JURD, LINA ALLEMANO, ROSIE TURTON, SUSANA SANTOS SILVA, SHELIA MAURICE-GREY, EMMA JEAN THACKRAY, ALEX RIDOUT and YAZZ AHMED!"

9. Peter Evans - Solo Performance (5'50" - 6'00")

From OUT.FEST (2019)

"I used to be ‘scared’ of listening to Peter Evans! Any 10 seconds of him is life changing"

10. Ashley John Long - Solo Improvisation (3'02" - 3'12")

Taken from - Live improvisation at Musique Libres Festival, Besancon, France (2008)

"I’d never seen, or heard, of anyone like ASHLEY JOHN LONG before! He’s a dear friend of mine and a deep kindred spirit. We’re looking forward to recording some duo music together soon and I’m so proud/honoured that he’s also part of my Quartet project. This blurred video/these 10 seconds take me back to when I first met him! He’s one of the most virtuosic musicians I can think of, he’s so modest and underrated, he is constantly captivating and breathtaking! To me, he is MUSIC - I can only hope that everyone gets to see and hear him at some point in their lives!"

Thank you again George, I’m going to make myself a coffee now and listen to everyone above again… maybe for more than 10 seconds!


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