100 years apart

Horn Factory

100 years apart

Back full of energy from our summer break, Horn Factory have been diving into lots of new music in preparation for “Jazz at the Jubilee” in Aldeburgh this November. One of these tunes, “Apollo’s Reel” was written by Tom Molter this year (2017) and it’s already become one of our favourites.

This got us thinking – most of our music has been written in the last 20 years, but what is the oldest piece we currently perform?

One candidate has to be “In A Mellow Tone” by Duke Ellington. Written nearly 80 years ago in 1939, it originally appeared on the Ellington album “Blues in Orbit” and has since established itself as one of the most well known jazz standards.

However, did you know that In a Mellow Tone is a contrafact of a tune called “Rose Room” written by Art Hickman in 1917! So when our soloists break out into improvisation, they’re doing so on chords written exactly 100 years ago!

It’s fascinating to delve into the long history of jazz but we also find it incredibly exciting that new music is still being written and we’re honoured to be able to bring it to an enthusiastic audience.

Want to hear what our 2017 “Apollo’s Reel” sounds like? Well it’s so new, there appear to be no recorded examples so you’ll just have to come and see us perform it live!