Monday, December 25, 2006

What I am listening to at the moment "Corey Mwamba" SIPPING RIOJA

My main listening at the moment is to the debut album by COREY MWAMBA the fantastic Vibes/Dulcimer player based in Derby.His debut album titled "Sipping Rioja at home" is a real joy and absolutely wonderful and full of inventive explorations of sound.
Corey is one of those musicians who can tell stories with every twist and turn of their music effortlessly.Always searching for new methods of expression he has the uncanny knack to always open up your ears to some amazing moments of melodic magic that can transport the listener into amazing harmonic and rythmic journeys you want to hear again and again and again.I'd advise everyone to check out one of his shows as they are guaranteed not to leave disapointed.Go buy "Sipping Rioja at home" and see the new year in style.He's also coming to a town hear you soonish watch out for the gigs in the new year with the great pianist composer Robert Mitchell and ace vocalist Deborah Jordan.For a more in depth profile look here.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

The last gig of the year

This thursday I played with the BRUISE band.This is always one of my favourite bands with great players in John Edwards,Tony Bevan,Mark Saunders,Ashley Wales.The night at the Red Rose also had a trio led by Alan Wikinson with John Coxon and Tony Marsh they gave a full on set really enjoyed by the audience.I had last seen Alan Wilkinson playing Baritone in the 200 saxophone project for the London Jazz Festival.So it was great to hear him outside that wall of sound,Tony Marsh has always been one of my favourite Drummers so it goes without saying that I enjoyed his playing with John coxon ably supporting the proceedings guitar/fx.The BRUISE band always different always sheer joy in sound and composition.Tony Bevan had a new Soprano a model made by KING from the 1920s that had an unusual sound and Harmonics in the higher registers.This gig was also a good warm up for a Studio date we had the next day at The famous COWSHED studios.That session produced 8 compositions with me playing some keys for a change Hammond B3 and Fender Rhodes on some numbers.We'll listen back to see how it all sounds after Christmas.Happy

Friday, December 15, 2006


The Roundhouse Venue in Camden re-opened in July this year and what an
amazing place.I have been involved with the education Department since
it's opening.The facilities are really top drawer.I have just finished
teaching on the Autumn term of student classes.Each weekend there's a
Percussion Project called the Roundhouse Beat Band that I lead with
young students playing and learning the rudiments of Drumming plus having
a lot of fun maybe putting percussion to film soundtracks.One weekend
we even sat in and watched the soundcheck of Artist playing in the London
Jazz Festival.This gave the students a close up view of one of the most
incredible drummers on the international scene i.e Vinnie Coliuta who
was performing with Herbie Hancock upstairs at the Roundhouse in the main
Venue.The last 2 weeks have seen the centre involved with taster classes
in some of the activities on offer.Radio Broadcasting,Music Production,
Live Jam which is a course that involves helping young musicians to form
their own bands and compose original music.
80 students have taken part in the percussion classes that have involved
local schools.Hopefully the courses on offer will attract more students
to have these experiences next year.

Sunday, December 03, 2006


Been neglecting the blog a bit as I have been travelling back and forwards to Derby the last 3 months,This was normally at least one day per week.The reason was a project with Derby Jazz and 2 Schools within Derby.The project being led by local musician Walt Shaw and myself.Walt a fantastic musician who creates lovely original instruments from found objects i.e drainpipes,wood,bins,metal,paper etc just about anything really. The Swamp project was funded by the Arts council creative partnerships scheme whereby original music and in this case instruments are created with students who are not necessarily music students.The students took to the project with great enthusiasm particularily the design phase which involved the CDT department of the local secondary school.I would muck in also with drilling,sawing,glueing what ever was needed to bring sn idea to fruition.
All the way through this project there has been research undertaken to look at the how the students are responding and engaging with different methods of creating art. Walt has been amazing at raising their awareness of what can be achieved with bits of junk.One school had an absolutely rreat head of Expressive Arts dept,Who went above and beyond the call of duty to make the whole thing run smoothly.However there was also in the background throughout the whole process some descenting voices who where doing the "Why can't we stick to the tried and tested methods that were used to bit" but I think judging by the ecstatic response to our final day and the subsequent evening performance from both the students and their parents,We achieved all that we had set out to do in the first place. In fact one parent even came up and said "Its probably annoyed them even more now that it gone so well". That they didn't even say goodbye at the end of a three month project or thanks was a teeny bit strange,but hey,it's about the students! I Had a great time and it really was fun conducting the final performance with such interesting sounds being generated from the students incredible array of original instruments.
This year I have been lucky to be involved in some big education projects all having their own difficulties but each having their own successes in the final analysis.Not all so called Educators have agreed with the methods employed in order to achieve the final result,but this has made the process in many cases more interesting than the final outcome due to the resistance,which is fine.It does however mean there are still more than a few dinosaurs out there who would love to maintain the status quo that sees them sitting atop their own mini castles but you can't have everything.Me I have learnt heaps and long may it continue.My final thought is about the student who came up and said "I didn't like music before,I didn't know it could be so exciting!but I want to play Violin now,do you think they'll let me"?
lots of Thanks to Walt,Corey,Geoff,Steve.

Monday, November 20, 2006


The "MISTERIOSO" piece went really well.The 2 nights that I appeared in the play were hillarious with some fantastic visuals provided by A great italian artiste by the name of Valentina.The piece was written by Italian playright / Journalist Stefano Benni.Who had came over to london for the occasion tieing in some book signing at the Italian Institute and an interview with Jonathan Coe for his new book "Margherita Dolce Vita" with watching this adaptation of his play.Filomena had done a good job pulling together a tight team.Fortunately both nights were sold out which always helps.Hopefully we will get to tour "Misterioso" next year in Italy.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

200 saxophones done.

Wow!! finally finished the Sax Massive project last night.What a Gas!!
The day started with a shortened version of the piece played by Andy Sheppard and 12 Saxophone players including Tony Kofi and James Morton.This was a sort of mini fanfare for the official speeches etc from london Mayor Ken Livingstone and the Hackney Mayor.There was also a peaceful demonstration by local Anarchist during the speeches.Compere for the day was Adisa the Poet Laureate for Hackney who delivered a sterling Job as he always does.I was then given the nod and we launched into the piece it went really well and audience response was great.This was a great way to set us up ready for the main event.In the square and in the Vortex there were lots of creative activity from latin musicians,African Dance ensembles,Capoeira and family entertainers of all descriptions.Vocalist Christine Tobin was roaming and interviewing people in the square plus Andy and Myself for BBC Radio 3.
Meanwhile the 200 Saxophonist were also arriving,certainly not exclusive to london they were arriving from all over the country.I know of Some that had come down from Bristol plus I had also been introduced to a couple from Aberdeen who had made the trip down for the occasion.We did a sort of pep talk to fill in the last few details and then everyone set off for their start positions inside and outside of the square.
I had originally been installed on the roof of the Vortex but I really didn't feel comfortable at all up there,plus the centre of attention would of shifted from the saxes and the great lighting that had been designed around them. So I moved position to the centre of the square on a sort of makeshift podium that was surrounded by the 5000 people who had now gathered in the square.The police and stewards moved into place around the podium just in case and wags in the crowd had decided to do there own impromptu conducting while I was directing the piece.The piece starts with a three pronged call and response from Andy,Tony and James with an ambient soundtrack underneath.The moody lighting provided by the lovely Jo adding to an atmosphere of anticipation.It then moves into some chords played by the sax players placed outside the square.This is then picked up Sax players coming out of concealed places i.e in this case coming out of offices and two lenghty balconies.
There follows sections played by the two groups alternatively Group 1 being those on the ground and group 2 those on Balconies etc. finally the players outside the square walk in playing a motif that is picked up by all saxes with the added bonus of Tony Kofi and James Morton soloing and swapping riffs over the top.
Then we go into the main body of the piece which is really full on with a mammoth Soprano solo from Andy Sheppard played over a some sustained cued chords from all 200 saxes the piece finally ends in a free blowout from all 200 saxes soloing that had the crowd screaming in excitement.This is followed by conducted stabs from Andy and Myself ending on a cadenza from Andy.The crowd really dug the piece and were really enthusiastic to all its shifts and moods.Clapping wildly for a few minutes as the the Saxes took an extended Bow.Visually it was a stunner.Congrats to all involved it did take some carefull organising.The day passed off peacefully and the Rain even let us finish before the skies opened up fortunately we could go off into the Vortex to catch the Robert Mitchell/Omar Ouente Concert with Deborah Jordan guesting on Vocals.
This was absolute magic as you would expect from such fantastic musicians.
This was my first time experiencing the wonderful voice and musiciality of Deborah and I am really looking forward to working together next year on something.
I then had to make my way to the Pizza Express in Dean Street for the Live BBC Radio 3 broadcast I arrived to see The Randy Weston trio tearing up a storm followed by Mike Westbrook's Village Band and Gwilim Simcock anew pianist receiving a lot of attention.The night ended with Evan Parker/Roy Campbell/Henry Grimes band which held the audience rivited to their seats with some wonderful interplay and musical conversations.
All in all a busy day now followed by an intense script reading morning for me to learn the script for tonight's MISTERIOSO show adapted by Filomena Campus Written by The Italian Political Satirist Stefano Beni and featuring musicians Pat Thomas,
Rowland Sutherland and Dudley Phillips that has been running for last two days at the Camden Peoples Theatre with Drama/Visuals and the music of Thelonious monk. The first two nights also had Cleveland Watkiss acting and Vocalising with the text. Tonight I am playing in the place of Cleveland.His text has been recorded and will still feature around the Actors.Should be great fun. Tomorrow nights show will be filmed by Italian TV Broadcaster RAI for transmission at a later date.

Monday, November 06, 2006


This week see's the official opening of the Gillet Street Square in front of the New Vortex Jazz club.The Gillet Street Square is one of the London Mayors new Open spaces initiative projects.The opening also co-incides with the opening events of the London Jazz Festival they have put them both together and come up with the Andy Sheppard Saxophone Massive. A commissioned piece for 200 saxphonist for the occasion.This really does have 200 Saxophonist of all age and description involved.Coming from all over the country.I am conducting the whole thing which has been a really different experience.fortunately we are on course for the show as The rehearsals have been going well,we only have a dress rehearsal left then the show this Friday 10th November at 6pm so come down if your free,you will not be disappointed.It's well worth seeing that's for sure!!!

Andy Sheppard’s Dalston Saxophone Massive - Friday 10 November 2006 at 6pm Gillet Square, Dalston, London, N16 FREE EVENT

Andy Sheppard’s Dalston Saxophone Massive is an exciting live event, which provides the opportunity for 200 saxophonists of all ages and abilities to play with the legendary UK saxophonist and composer Andy Sheppard, as well as his collaborators - conductor and multi-instrumentalist Orphy Robinson, alto saxophonist James Morton and baritone saxophonist Tony Kofi.

This performance is the culmination of a wide search to recruit saxophonists from all over London and beyond to rehearse and perform this spectacular fanfare by Andy Sheppard.

The Dalston Saxophone Massive has been developed by Serious International Music Producers, Hackney Co-operative Developments and The Vortex Jazz Club. Each partner is joined by their vision for live music presentation in the fields of jazz, world and new music, and a commitment to artistic excellence that is accompanied by the desire to make our music and projects accessible to the widest possible audience.

If you have any queries regarding the project, please do not hesitate to contact Tamanna Verma on 0207 324 1880 or via:

The Dalston Saxophone Massive was premiered as The Living Bridge, at the launch of the Brunel 200 celebrations in Bristol on 8 April 2006. The piece was performed by 200 local players and was commissioned with funding from Arts Council England South West, the Millennium Commission and the Heritage Lottery Fund. Brunel 200 is a partnership initiative created and managed by the Bristol Cultural Development Partnership.

Part of the London Jazz Festival in association with BBC Radio 3

The Final L.I.O of the year

Last night was the final concert of the year by the london Improvisors Orchestra's at their first sunday of the month series held at the Red Rose club.It was a full house of both musicians and audience.This included Vibes Player Jackie Walduck playing a set of Viscount Vibes.A lovely player and person.It was lovely to hear all the colours that each conductor brought out of the ensemble each employing fantastic use of tones frequencies,instrumentation etc.Stand up David Leahy,Steve Beresford,
Alison Blount,Phil Wachmann,Dave Tucker and Pat Thomas and take a bow.The next L.I.O concert will be held on the first sunday of february 2007.I can't wait.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Electric Proms

Saturday I hung out at Dingwalls in Camden Town.To see "DESCENDENTS OF A QUEST"the young band formed by some of my students from The Hackney Empire ADP programmes.They Had been invited to play a short set by the Camden Roundhouse who have been instrumental in organising the BBC week of gigs etc Featuring James Brown,Damon Albarn and other big Headliners.The "QUEST" went down really well and are definitely a band to watch.I am sure next year should see them grow and hopefully be invited onto into the festival circuit.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

L.S.O Fusion Orchestra workshop

I had a great but busy day in the middle of this week.I was invited to conduct a workshop and mini concert with the L.S.O fusion orchestra at their fantastic facility the LSO Discovery centre at the Converted Church of St lukes in Old Street.Each invited Artist that works with the Orchestra Brings in ideas and music that require the students to think outside there normal sphere of expertise. A couple of months Ago I dropped in to see Julian Joseph take the Fusion orchestra through a lovely Jazz inspired workshop.I decided to use "Conduction techniques" as the basis for my workshop day.It turned out to be a lot of fun with students also conducting and inspiring their own pieces,in small ensembles.They gave a terrific performance at the end of the day to a small audience.
I then had to rush off to the Barbican centre as some of my regular students from the Hackney Empire had been invited to perform as part of the Duke of Edinburgh Award night.This was a showcase of excellent work from students all over the U.K.
The organisers had requested particular sections from the Empire's successful ADP 6 show given in August.Although This was really showcasing the work of the Drama department at the Empire as opposed to the work done in the Music Department.The musicians were required to do some underscoring and live soundtracking for 4 drama pieces.The students from the Empire gave enthusiastic and good quality perfomances throughout the show,considering the pieces chosen by the Award organisers were in no way near to the students best work they still came up trumps and delivered a slick and professional performances to be proud of.
Backstage I bumped into one of my ex school students who is now in the 2006 Streetdance champions NASSASSIA and was finally able to see them perform."Man they are a bit good"!!It was good to see lots of students from many different groups swapping ideas and contacts and admiring each others work
All in all a very long day but ultimately spiritually uplifting and rewarding.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Brit Funk reunion

The Brit funk reunion gig at the Jazz Cafe on the 7th October and its forerunner on the 3rd at the Battersea Barge,Went really well the audiences loved it and responded really well.My only downer was a lack of mics for hand percussion resulted in doing the Cafe gig with a fairly loud band and having to literally compete acoustically.A no contest if ever there was one.However I did enjoy all the music and the guys were real funky.Looks like there will be more gigs with the band next year.The Jazz Cafe gig was recorded live so there now is a possible live Album in the cans to go with the studio stuff being done.I have gone back to using the MalletKat during this period for the louder gigs and it seems to work well enough to make me want to explore some of my sampling ideas in the near future.

BRUISE at the Red Rose club

This Thursday I play with the Tony Bevan Bruise Band at the Red Rose Club in Seven Sisters Road, Finsbury Park.Should be fun as we haven't played much this year.The band has John Edwards on Bass,Mark Saunders on Drums,Ashley Wales Electrics and myself on some other stuff.The new album was recorded live with Derek Bailey and is one of the last recordings of the Great Guitarist,released early this year it has had some really good reviews.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

The week

I Had Heaps of teaching and rehearsing last week for various shows.Meetings that I hope will bring to fruition a few really promising projects.Had the first day of a large scale workshop project in Derby that was a lot of fun.This is a project where Students from two schools will work with both myself and great instrument maker Walt Shaw on new an original sound sources through found objects.It's a three month project culminating in a big show at the end of November.
I had the pleasure to guest with the Evan Parker Quartet on the thursday 28th September at his monthly gig at the Vortex.It was a take no prisioners full on wall of sound from the word go with Tony Marsh Drums and John Edwards on Bass, both playing there socks off.It was also a full house and a very appreciative audience.I played a Malletkat Pro through an old Roland multi timbral unit with sad vibes sounds that gave me a few scarry moments when triggering or programme changing but fortunately for me it stood up to the task.I will be using it today for the L.I.O gig at the Red Rose probably with some other sound source,I am still deciding whether to try using it through a virtual instrument software like the Garitan Orchestral sounds with my laptop.If it sounds ok and triggers properly i.e latency etc.I will then hope to use it for the Brit funk reunion gigs this week.


Lovely gigs happening next week Saturday.Rehearsals are going really well and the band sounds REAL Phat and FUNKY just as the music used to be played.
The dates are as follows:
3 Oct 2006 19:00
The Battersea Barge,Nine Elms Lane, SW8 5BP, behind the Fed Ex Building, London, SW8 5BP
7 Oct 2006 19:00
The Jazz Cafe London,5 Park Way, , London, NW1 7PG
Cost: £17.50 advance. Call 0870 060 3777 for Tix.

2 serious night of Jazzfunk and soulful vibes from some of the pioneers of the Brit Funk era... Beggar & Co was formed by founder Light Of The World members, Kenny Wellington, Breeze McKrieth and David Baptiste.Beggar & Co sold over 100,000 copies and earned the writers gold records but more importantly put them on record alongside major influences like Kool And The Gang, Brass Construction, Earth Wind & Fire.CENTRAL LINE had huge international hits with
"Walking in sunshine" and " Nature Boy" Bassist Camelle hinds going on to have a successful solo career as a vocalist.ORPHY ROBINSON a founder member of classic Brit Funk band SAVANNA who had two hits in the early eighties with "I can't turn away" and "Never let you go" cementing there place in U.K Black music history.Orphy went on to achieve great success as a a top international Jazz musician recording for historic U.S Jazz label Blue Note Records.There will be a few very special unannounced guests appearing on both nights.Get there early as theses gigs have generated quite a buzz on the underground scene.
Breeze McKrieth - guitar/vocals David Baptiste - saxophone/flute/vocals Kenny Wellington - trumpet/flugel/vocals, Fayaz Virji - trombone Peter Hinds - keyboards Toby Baker - keyboards, Camelle Hinds - bass/ lead vocals Henry Defoe-guitar/vocals Orphy Robinson - vibraphone/percussion Lynton Beckles - lead vocals Perry Melius -

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Hackney Students

I went to see a new band "Descendents of a Quest" featuring students Yao,Renell,Chantelle and Samson who I have the pleasure of working with for about 4 years now in Hackney.They were playing on the last Beacon Band Nights gig at Camden's Roundhouse Venue on friday.The Beacon nights feature bands that show promise.I 'm happy to say DQ did not disappoint they were absolutely spot on polished and tight with good songs.The audience were really ecstatic and responded positively to every word, nuance, phrase delivered by singer Chantelle and the band. Having never seen them play live or outside the workshop and Hackney environment it was a real pleasure to sit back in the audience and just observe.Lets hope something positive happens for them. They have actually recorded an album that will be out early septembe.Look out for it..........

The last few days before the holiday

Just back from a happy recording session for Beggars & co the group put together by Members of the seminal Brit funk band Light of the world.Beggars and Co had some hits in the eighties under charting high in the Pop charts around the world that also included a number 1 hit with Spandau Ballet.They also had a big influence on many of the musicians on the london scene when they were a part of the original Light of the world band.Through the magic of They have managed to connect with and put together a new 10 piece group project featuring members of other bands from that period i.e Mirage,Central Line,Incognito and myself from Savanna.There will be some shows in October at the Jazz Cafe 8th October and the Battersea Barge 3rd October,

Monday, August 14, 2006

A busy summer

I have neglected the blog for a while due to some mad schedules based around Education projects at the newly reopened Roundhouse Venue in Camden.An absolutely fantastic place full of goodies a ton load of studios both media friendly and recording.Editing suites for video and rehearsal spaces with lots of courses running through the summer to keep the young occupied.On my part I led a Percussion project with the help of ace drummer Rod Youngs that mixed Tapdance with Samba and drumming of all description.A lot of fun and a real start of something new and a little bit different.At the end of our intensive period of workshops there was a live performance that brought the house down.It was a lot of hard work full of teething problems that we managed to overcome.The students did themselves proud and it was great to see the Joy on their faces as the crowd gave them a standing ovation.
Meanwhile I was also keepig my eye on another Hackney Empire Artist Developement project.This is year 6 of the programme and I have been the MD for 5 of them.This one due was being co led in my absence for the first part by Cleveland Watkiss who did a sterling Job helping about 60 students from different artistic backgrounds and skills write an original 2 hour show. I then took over for the last week of the course putting the music content from the adp Dance and drama depts into the 2 acts that would form the show.The students were excellent on the night of their show.They were playing the main house of the Empire, which was the first time in the 5 years that I have been musical Director at Hackney we have been allowed to perform on the main stage.The stage show was conducted by two Young Musicians Renell and Yao who were fantastic and seriuosly on the case.The students were cheered by a large audience,That I am sure will support other projects that are done at the Empire from now on.Now I have to get stuck a week creating work with the Older students,who will tour their own show to other youth projects around london in september.They showcased a taster of the work they have done so far at the Empire show and brought the house down so I am really looking forward to working with them this week.Next week Hols and not before time!!!

Duet with corey mwamba

A new venue on the circuit and a lovely crew of people led by the ultra helpful Beatrice put this one on at the Whitechapel Art Gallery.A full house came along to support including the fantastic vocalist Deborah Jordan with the Robert Mitchell band who I hope to work with at some stage and premier division allrounder Cleveland Watkiss.We covered a series of improvistions between us moving through all the instruments I could conceivably get in the back of my car.The set was well received from an appreciative audience.Some of which had turned up to maybe hear music more steeped in the past but were greeted with all manner of newness all the same they seemed genuinely to have enjoyed the evening.A few days later we recorded some pieces for a possible future project that we were quite happy with.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Orphy & Corey Mwamba duet

Here's the info for the gig at whitechapel this coming friday hope you can make it as it's always a pleasure callaborating with Corey.
4 Aug 2006 07:00pm - Whitechapel Art Gallery [Edit]
80 - 82 Whitechapel High Street,, London, E1 7QX, ,UK -
Improvised duet from two of the most talented percussionists in the UK, Corey Mwamba and Orphy Robinson. Using instruments as diverse as the Appalachian Dulcimer, Peruvian Cajon, Marimbula, Marimba, Vibraphone, Flutes, Soprano Sax, Percussion, Irish Penny Whistle, looping and sampling live as they go combining jazz, contemporary classical music, african, funk and noise.

Should be a cracker.............

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Camberwell Festival

Last night I played the Camberwell Festival with Charles Heywood the great drummer of the band "This heat" fame who also holds down the drummers chair in the band "Clearframe"Charles had been approached by the camberwell college to put on an event as part of the festival.The event was called "CONTINUITY" the piece was an ever expanding performance and starting with the Clearframe band minus Saxophonist Lol Coxhill who was recovering from an operation on his hip..Can't wait for the audio tape of this as there were some great players and musical moments....

The kids did alright

Last thursday saw the culmination of A 6 months education project "BEATS CONDUCTOR" That I have had the pleasure of leading in Essex,The project was devised for the opening of a new multi-million pound Performing Arts college in Havering.Writing with the students was an inspiring and rewarding experience with many of the students having their first experience of working with or actually writing original music. They were coming up with great ideas and their performances showed that given the chance to express themselves more they really could go far.It took a hell of a lot of planning and rehearsing with about 200 young musicians chosen by their schools within the borough of Havering involved.On Thursday they performed directly after a set from Leading Jazz musician Courtney Pine who was appearing with his quartet consisting of Cameron Pierre Guitar,Darren Taylor Bass and drummer Cheryl Alleyne.The students coming from 8 different schools and the Havering music school really did give a good account of themselves leaving a jaw dropping performance and the audience wanting more.Other Artist appearing on the day were much talked about singer Eska who wrote a great composition "Singing the Building" that was performed with students from Havering college plus Marcina Arnold and Heidi Vogel combined in a strong choral piece.Tuba player extraordinaire Oren Marshall performed his piece for 5 tubas that has to be seen to be believed.Dancer Robert Hylton was also giving some great workshops in the exploration of various Dance styles.Violinist Sonia Slaney was there with her trio as was the Bollywood Brass band who played all around the grounds of the college.All in all a good day full of sterling performances. let's hope now the new college is opened it continues to have such events that are as interesting.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

The duet night

Played a good date with Tony Bevan at the Red Rose "Back in your town" club night on thursday.It was a night of duets starting with Gail Brand doing a really interesting set with laptop.My set with Tony Bevan saw me play only Steel Pans to his Bass Saxophone it always seems to work but this time especially we seem to hit the perfect groove sonically.The last set saw Tuba specialist Oren Marshall work with italian Percussionist Maurizio Ravalico they delivered a fantastic set.Maurizio plays a mean set of congas with Maurizio sat at 5 congas he plays them with a great melodic sensibility creating tones almost like playing a piano.Oren as he always does takes the Tuba and his audience through fantastic musical journeys. A good night that I can't wait to hear back on tape.


The Phillip clarke solo piece was well received at The Red Rose on the 7th June Free Radicals night.Phillip Clarke arrived with another 10 pages of graphic score to add to the other 67 pages he had already given me.In order to do the piece justice I needed heaps of percussion gear plus two different loop boxes.Steve Lawson kindly leant his spare Akai Headrush looper to add to my regular Roland RC20 loop station.I also had a trumpet, Soprano Sax and a Yamaha wx7 wind synth through a Virus access module.I ran everything through two Amps placed on either side of the stage.But kept one for mainly percussion like Cajon,Marimbula and mountains of various strange objects,the other amp I used for everything else.The piece ran for 45 intense minutes that was pretty exhausting, 3 music stands littered around that I either ran or walked to in order to play or change pages. The second half was a real joy with Steve Beresford on assorted objects and Alex Ward on Clarinet. lots of lovely musical discussion and the audience were well inside the music with us.So a good well received night was had by all..I hope to perform phillips music again later in the year.Definetly would like to do the trio again as it was exciting and different.........

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Tomorrow nights solo concert

Tomorrow night's solo concert at the Red Rose club will be a concert with a difference as I will be performing music especially written by composer Phillip Clarke.Phillip Clarke has come up with a 67 page graphic score,That uses live looping through 3 machines with a plethora of percussion instruments plus fx processing trumpet,Soprano sax,Yamaha Wx11 wind synth through a Kaos pad. Hopefully there will be a good size audience as the second I am joined by Lol coxhill,Steve Beresford and Alex Ward guesting.will let you know how it went.

L.I.O The June edition

Great fun at the Regular monthly London Improvisors Orchestra gig this month.27 musicians attended this month with a special appearance from Lol coxhill who has been hobbling around on crutches while suffering hip problems.He also played a blinder in a Pat Thomas conduction that really took off.The conductors this month were Dave Leahy,Caroline krabbel,Dave Tucker,Veryan Weston,Terry day who as always delivered some fantastic inspired poetry and conduction.Again the orchestra members came from all over with a brazilian saxophonist the furthest traveller this month.

Monday, May 08, 2006

L.I.O May edition

Last night was the may edition of the London improvisors orchestra and it did not dissapoint.25 musicians from all over came along Japanese,French,New zealand,German,Spanish plus an assortment of avante garde big wigs Evan Parker,Steve Beresford,Tony Marsh,Pat Thomas.The show had a good size audience and delivered as always a fun pact evening.Conduction duties were handled by Steve Beresford,Dave Tucker,Phil Wachmann,David Leahy,Terry Day..and of course with such a stellar line up of conductors they did not dissapoint.All pieces were well received and as always a high standard of improvisation was the result.The next one is on the 4th June at the regular place The Red Rose on Seven Sisters Road,Finsbury Park....

Sunday, April 30, 2006

The Duet with Roger Goula

I Had the second gig with Roger Goula the fantastic Spanish Guitarist this time at the Battersea Arts Centre the new improv night run by the Famous Bohmman brothers.We first played together at the "Recycle Collective" night at the Darbouka club in february this year and really found some common ground musically. Roger creates live loops on his Mac with the MAX MSP programme plus plays some lovely guitar.As a duet it just works so well.The audience was very attentive and just enough for the venue size.This looks like another successful venue run by the Bohmans who had previously run the legendary Bonnington Club in Vauxhall.We recorded the night so I hope the sound quality is good enough to use for something.

The Pete McPhail NOSTROMO band.

I had the great pleasure of appearing with the Pete McPhail band NOSTROMO from Oxford last monday for their second set at the New Vortex Jazz Club. Saxophonist Pete McPhail showcased his new quartet with Alexander Hawkins on piano and various other things, Dominic Lash on bass and Roger Telford on drums and what a great band.I had agreed to play the second set only due to playing 2 gigs with the LSO at St lukes earlier in the evening and having to leave unfortunately just before seeing my 11 year old son who plays Trumpet play with the L.S.O Fusion OrchestraThe Fusion Orchestra is a 40 strong youth ensemble That meets at the L.S.O Discovery centre at St Lukes Church every month they fuse an extraodinary amount of styles and flavours including Acoustic instruments and theremins digital media etc.Unfortunately in order to get to The Vortex in time for the second set I would have to completely miss his big moment as the featured soloist on one of the main suites but it was the only way I could make it to the Vortex in time.I also played twice earlier in the evening first with a group of the Tutors and musicians from the main L.S.O. orchestra and the second show leading a group called the Digital Tech Group that has students writing music and MCing so quite a manic day plus moving around on public transport with the steel pans in tow, that has been quite a revelation for me as I am normally stuck in a traffic jam somewhere on the way to some gig or other.I hope to play with this lovely band again as it was definitely sounding good and I can't wait to hear the live recording that was being made.Then afterwards to cap a lovely day it turned out that Roger Telfords son Jake a mean Sax player that I once played a gig with in the short lived Rythmic Club in Chapel street,Islington was there watching the gig It turned out that he actually Lives about 5 mins from my house and kindly volunteered a lift home saving me a run to catch buses and trains..A big Thanks was in order.All together a long hard day but very enjoyable.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

BRUISE at Vortex with an added surpise

Last night at the Vortex The Bruise quintet were joined by louis Moholo The legendary Amazing drummer from South Africa and he did not disappoint. The audience
that was very much a normal midweek Vortex type audience i.e sparse but enthusiastic, were treated to a real special night.Normally the drums chair in Bruise is taken By Mark Saunders the top notch improv scene drummer but unfortunately Mark could not make the date.So Louis who is on a 3 month european tour where he is performing with amongst other Artist John Tchchai, North Sea Jazz festival and lots of High profile gigs in Holland and Italy not forgetting some live dates promoting the Famous duet Album release with Pianist Stan Tracey.Louis ably stepped into dep for Mark on his night off.The night also saw the launch of the new Album featuring Derek Bailey on one of his last live dates before passing away last year.This album has already created quite a buzz with bootleg copies changing hands within a week of the live gig and also being critics choice for album release of the year (apparently A 5 star review this sunday in the Times amongst others)Tony Bevan was on top form,as always and the band absolutely kicked all night.Fortunately the night was recorded, so if the sound is as good as it needs to be for a live album we could be on to another winner.Derek Baileys Girlfriend karen who lives not far from the Vortex in Clapton was sat in the audience and seem to really enjoy the music.My on regret was that a trio album date was planned in the summer last year between Derek,Tony and myself but due to his health we held off.I am sure it would of been a good un also...

Monday, April 10, 2006

New album from the Bruise Quintet with Derek Bailey

This month see's the release of the long awaited recording with Derek Bailey on Foghorn Records it see's the Bruise Quintet who are:

Tony Bevan: bass saxophones
Orphy Robinson: steel drum, marimbula, percussion, electronics, trumpet
John Edwards: double bass
Ashley Wales: soundscapes & electronics
Mark Sanders: drums & percussion
Joined by Free Music Pioneer Guitarist Derek Bailey on one of his last recordings before passing away at the end of 2005.Derek had returned to the Uk from Spain to play with his good friend Tony Bevan in a wonderful night of music captured at the 291 Gallery in Hackney.
This is the second album From "Bruise" who have gathered quite a following on the improv scene augmented by their first album "Bruised" critical acclaim.
The Album launch will be on the 19th April at the Vortex club in Dalston.

"Gig of the year - Derek Bailey's return in triumph from Barcelona to East London"
Phillip Clark, "Jazz Review"

Derek Bailey: electric guitar
Tony Bevan: bass saxophones
Orphy Robinson: steel drum, marimbula, percussion, electronics, trumpet
John Edwards: double bass
Ashley Wales: soundscapes & electronics
Mark Sanders: drums & percussion

Recorded live at the 291 Gallery, Hackney Road, London E2 England by Ashley Wales

Dedicated to the memory of Derek. "Search, locate and destroy" was Derek's motto.Tony Bevan

Budapest with the John Tchicai Project

The Second and final gig of the Music and Migration series with John Tchicai was held in a cosy theatre in the centre of Budapest.It was my first visit to Hungary so I was well up for it.The band had all arrived at different times and days for instance John Coxon and Ashley Wales had travelled by rail taking 5 trains across europe in what was an enjoyable but gruelling Journey of 48hrs and would be travelling back the same way.John Edwards and Louis Moholo had arrived the day before so were well in the swing of things when I arrived.The lead up to the gig had various problems in store for Ashley as he uses DJ Cd players and various FX units and the organisors had trouble tracking down the equipment,in fact they only arrived a minute before the gig started luckily there was another band on first.This was the band of Mihela Dresler the Saxophonist They were absolutely on fire and clearly connected with the ecstatic audience.They also had a cymbaline player who was amazing.Then came our spot John Tchicai as always was a complete Joy to hear and he was joined for a duet by Mihela that should of been recorded in fact the whole night was recorded but due to an accidental unplugging of equipment at the end of the gig it was erased from a computer so its out there in the ether.I had a great time that included a trip down memory lane playing a set of Trixon vibes the first time in over 20 years.I have one in the garden shed somewhere in pieces that needs an overhaul.My first set of vibes was a Trixon from the late 50s and this one in budapest had been kept in immaculate condition.They were always famous for the sound i.e the notes were brilliant but the frame was always a bit fragile and looked like a kitch art deco tea trolley however seeing this one made me appreciate its sound and my own nostalgia for playing on an identical set that I had learnt heaps of music on it.The journey back was another early morning flight.Felt sorry for Ashley and John who were going to be starting the journey back to England at 8 in the evening on a sleeper train.Let's hope there are more gigs with John Tchicai as the potential to make some nice sounds is really mouth watering.Here is a review of the London gig at the Spitz club.

Sunday, April 02, 2006


Tonight is the regular monthly gig of The London Improvisors Orchestra at the Red Rose Club in Seven Sisters Road.Starts around 8 O'CLOCK and features all the big wigs on the improv scene.This weekend expect a special guest.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

John Tcichai

It was with great anticipation that I played a concert last night at The Spitz Club in Shoreditch.The occasion brought together The guys from Springhill Jack who are Ashley Wales and John Coxon with The one and only Louis Moholo flying in from South Africa on drums and Double Bassist extraordinaire John Edwards who flew in just before the soundcheck,fresh from a protracted Journey from Paris due to an impromptu Air Traffic controller strike the day before that meant he could not get back for a rehearsal of John Tcichai's music.We had been brought together as part of the Music and migration series of concerts happening simultaneously in Budapest,Paris and London over the next week.John Tcichai who played with John Coltrane on the Ascension album, Albert Ayler,Cecil Taylor,Archie Shepp and many more Heavyweights on the avante garde scene was a completely serene and warm person.His music has a spiritual and calming influence but he can also burn brightly on the Alto sax when he's ready.I think this was the first gig this year that I've played Vibes so I was having a lot of fun reaquainting myself with the instrument especially as I was using a rental one.I also took along the loop machine and mixed live percussion Fx and Vibes.The club was packed out due to a big seminar earlier in the evening that had musicains and industry bods rubbing shoulders at the bar so the atmosphere was buzzing all night.The reception after each piece was really positive and augurs well for next weeks trip to Budapest.I can't wait.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Phillip Clemo london

We are playing at 93 feet east in Brick lane tonight 21st March there should be a bit of a crowd by all accounts so please try to get there early.
150 Brick Lane,, London, E1 6QL,UK -
SEPARATED BY SHADOWS (PHILIP CLEMO & BAND) MAIN HALL 7.30PM - 11PM £8/£10 (08700 600 100) / Composer and film-maker PHILIP CLEMO develops dialogues between composition, improvisation and film. Described as 'mesmeric and completely addictive' by The Wire, Clemo's work 'hints at jazz, classical and world... but it always seems to sound like it's own music' - Radio 3. Jazzwise described Ambiguous Dialogues (Metier Jazz) as 'John Cage to electric Miles via Brian Eno... intensely personal and profoundly beautiful. Clemo's live sextet have quite a lineage, having played with David Sylvian, Courtney Pine, Evan Parker, Jah Wobble, The Cinematic Orchestra and Bill Laswell. They perform with a specially made film, shot in Iceland, South East Asia and Australasia.

Finally on My Space

I finally got around to joining the online community that is Lawson and Andi Mclean had both got me thinking last year about joining but I just didn't get round to exploring it until now.It seems like a good place to listen to music direct from the Artist both unreleased and released.There is also the adding of people to your myspace site that throws up some interesting names.i.e at mine there is now a link to Artist like Pat metheny.David bowie, George clinton and many others that have popped up.

A busy week

Had two good gigs last week the first in Brighton at the Dome with Phillip Clemo.It really was a pleasure playing with musicians like John Edwards,Mark Saunders,Tom Chant and Clive Bell.The music is tightly controlled by a lot of sequenced sounds pre-recorded on to computer plus an original video installation used as a backdrop to the band.The sound could of been better but the audience seem to leave happy enough.
The second gig was at the Red Rose with Tony Bevan on Bass Saxophone and me on percussion it was great not to have any restrictions placed on you creatively.Peter flood the drummer played beautifully to open the night eith Ian watson on trumpet and electics.The other band on had chefa alonso playing some lovely soprano sax.I had only known Chefa as a percussionist so it was a surprise to hear her so at home on the sax but I found out after that this was actually her first instrument.Dave Leahy played some nice Bass with Ashley Wales providing some sympathetic processing and sounds.
Saturday saw me do a session down at the Resonance Fm studios at tin pan alley with the Springhill Jack crew John Coxon and Ashley Wales at the controls this is their regular fortnightly show were they play pretty leftfield stuff.It was a lot of fun and I would love to do another session at some time in the future.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Phillip Clemo gig tonight in Brighton

Here is some info on tonights gig with Phillip Clemo.
Philip Clemo and Band Time(s): 8pm Tickets: £10 (concessions £8) Telephone 01273 709709 Philip Clemo laptop, electronics, guitar Tom Chant soprano saxophone Clive Bell Asian flutes John Edwards double bass Orphy Robinson percussion Mark Sanders drums and percussion Clemo constructs complex atmospheres, mixing the sounds of Icelandic geothermal activity with the insect life of the Malaysian rainforest, Delhi street markets with the sparks and crunches of metal and glass workshops. He weaves these sound environments into layers of beautiful and dark harmonies created with electronics, manipulated guitar and keyboards. The soprano saxophone of Tom Chant and the shakuhachi and bansuri flutes of Clive Bell dance and dive over Philip Clemo's lush and colourful soundscapes. Orphy Robinson on percussion and Mark Sanders on drums and percussion create and shift the rhythmic textures, with John Edwards on double bass moving between rhythm and harmonic colour, utilising the full range of his instrument. The band performs with a large screen DVD projection of a film specially made for the performance. Shot on location in Iceland, UK, Australia and South East Asia, using high speed and time-lapse filming techniques, it explores ideas around the abstraction of nature through the distortion of scale and time. The slowed-down imagery of waterfalls and geothermal eruptions creates an awesome backdrop to the musical explorations on stage.

Recycle Collective march gig

Hello lovely people,

Here's a quick reminder about the next Recycle Collective gig.It happens this Thursday,
This monhth features Steve Lawson, BJ Cole and Thomas Leeb. BJ Cole plays pedal steel guitar, thomas leeb plays acoustic guitar. It's going to be a gorgeous evening's
music, in London's coolest venue - Darbucka, in Clerkenwell - 182, St
John's Street, to be precise. £7/£5 (concs) to get in, doors open 7pm,
music starts 8pm. Come early and have dinner in the restaurant (or order
food while you're listening - the food there is outstanding.)
Check out the recycle collective website for a great deal on tickets also.
Steve has also added some new music recorded with Ace Saxophnist theo travis from their recent tour.

Thursday 16th Red Rose gig with Tony Bevan

129 Seven Sisters Road,Finsbury Park,N7 7QG, London, ,UK -
Tony Bevan and Orphy Robinson The monthly Cutting Edge "Back in your town" night run by Springhill Jack member Ashley wales. This month features the high octane duet of the Uk Bass Saxophonist Bevan with Multi instrumentalist Orphy.They first performed as a duet last year, receiving rave reviews from both critics and audience.Both are members of the "BRUISE" quintets critically acclaimed CD release last year.Also Look out for the groundbreaking CD release of last year's much talked about concert with recently departed guitar legend Derek Bailey due for release soon.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Corey Mwamba

Check out the post of Corey Mwamba for an excellent piece of writing. As always I agree with everything he says.Unfortunately quite a lot of youth make the decision to glorify in what they call "Thuglife" as if its something to aspire to instead of to avoid at all costs.When Rubbish like chasing "Bling" Drugs,Cars etc take the place of Hard work and studying and is actively encouraged through the media as some sort of badge of honour,Then Society is in a bad state.When so called street talk pervades society in such a way that young people find it difficult to express themselves in audible sentences without resorting to mumbling most of the time,Then there's serious problems in society.
When to be civil, to have some manners, say please and thank you to someone is seen as a sign of weakness.Then something is seriously wrong.It should be common sense but when we see and hear the rubbish that comes out of the mouths of our politicians, we can understand that sense isn't by any means common.
Another thing I can identify with is where Corey goes on to say that the standards of behaviour set out by his parents meant that being a thug was never a career option and I must say for myself and many of my friends it was never even something to contemplate.Yet I do know of whom I went to school with and others who chose and I do say chose that way of life, who are either dead now or in some place where their liberty is severely restricted.They made that life style call for themselves,nobody forced them into that.Disaffected youth and all the other Buzz words used by people who should know better, help to keep this nonsense going, which in turn leads to Young lives being lost before their full potential is realised. I hope that if their eventual tragic outcomes make some of the youths stop and think before they choose the "thuglife" of Knives,guns etc over one of decent honest hard work, we can move away from this madness.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Elton Dean R.I.P

Sad news about the passing of Saxophonist Elton Dean a towering figure on the UK improv circuit as well playing with the Soft machine band he would feature with the Jazz Rumours musicians in stoke newington etc. an engaging and encouraging personality with a good sense of humour.That's the second giant of the scene to go recently guitarist Derek Bailey being the first around christmas.

The Recycle collective next gig on 22nd February

Press release - Steve Lawson, Orphy Robinson, Patrick Wood
and Roger Goula live at the Recycle Collective

Fast becoming one of the must-see monthly events on the London music
scene, this month the Recycle Collective features the lauded percussionist,
improviser and composer, former Jazz Warrior Orphy Robinson. Orphy
will be playing in a duo with Spanish electronics and guitar wizard, Roger

The other half of this ‘double duo’ gig sees the UK’s leading solo bass
experimenter Steve Lawson paired with the Works frontman, keyboardist/
guitarist Patrick Wood.

The Recycle Collective, started by Steve Lawson, seeks to bring together
noted improvising musicians for evenings of largely improvised music. The
focus is on ‘live looping’ - the process of recording parts as the song unfolds,
and then layering and manipulating the audio without the reliance
on pre-recorded material, leading to highly textured and often beautiful
ambient sounds, electronica and IDM combined with jazz and improv.
Musicians from all over the globe are lining up to be involved, and the
infectious enthusiasm of the players is definitely rubbing off on the highly
appreciative audiences.

Previous performers include BJ Cole, Cleveland Watkiss and Theo Travis.

Date - Feb 22nd Time - doors 7pm, music 8pm
Venue - Darbucka World Music Bar, Clerkenwell, London, EC1 4JZ
Nearest Tube - Farringdon
Tickets - £6/£4 concessions.

further information, photos, interviews etc. available via Steve Lawson - tel - 020 8361 1190

artist websites -

Steve - site - shop - blog

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Ambrose Campbell

Interesting article in the Observer today about the origins of black music in the U.K.The added interest for me is that One of the original band memebers of the Ambrose Campbell band was Ade Bashorun who's son the phenomenally talented Pianist Joe Bashorun was in my band and played on the 2 albums I recorded for Blue Note records.So I was fortunate to hear some good anecdotes about the British Jazz scene before he died.Anyway check out the article .
Also look out for the compilation albums "LONDON IS THE PLACE FOR ME" as the next one number 3 features some music from the West African scene in the Uk from the 40s.,,1689140,00.html

A little bit of Millenium time fun

 Dear Tech Support:
> Last year I upgraded from Boyfriend 5.0 to Husband 1.0 and noticed a
> distinct slow down in the overall performance, particularly in the
> Flower and jewellery applications, which operated flawlessly under
> Boyfriend 5.0.
> In addition, Husband 1.0 un-installed many other valuable programs,
> such as Romance 9.5 and Personal Attention 6.5 and then installed
> undesirable programs such as: Football 5.0, Rugby 4.3 and Cricket
> 3.0. Conversation 8.0 no longer runs; it simply crashes the system.
> I've tried running Nagging 5.3 to fix these problems, to no avail.
> What can I do?
> Signed,
> Desperate
> ------------------
> Dear Desperate:
> First keep in mind, Boyfriend 5.0 is an Entertainment Package, while
> Husband 1.0 is an Operating System. Try entering the command:
> C:/I-THOUGHT-YOU-LOVED-ME to download Tears 6.2, which should
> automatically install Guilt 3.0. If that application works as
> designed, Husband 1.0 should then automatically run the applications
> Jewellery 2.0 and Flowers 3.5. But remember, overuse of the above
> application can cause Husband 1.0 to default to Grumpy Silence 2.5,
> Happy Hour 7.0, or Beer 6.1.
> WARNING: Beer 6.1 is a very nasty program that will create Snoring
> Loudly.
> CAUTION: Whatever you do, DO NOT install Mother-in-law. This is not a
> supported application and will crash Husband 1.0.
> In summary, Husband 1.0 is a great program, but it does have limited
> memory and cannot learn new applications quickly. You might consider
> buying additional software to improve memory and performance. I
> personally recommend Hot Food 3.0 and Lingerie 7.7.
> Good Luck,Tech Support
> ------------------
> Dear Technical Support,

> 18 months ago, I upgraded to Girlfriend 1.0 from DrinkingMates 4.2,
> which I had used for years without any trouble. However, there are
> apparently conflicts between these two products and the only solution
> was to try and run Girlfriend 1.0 with the sound turned off.
> To make matters worse, Girlfriend 1.0 is incompatible with several
> other applications, such as LadsNightOut 3.1, Football 4.5, and
> Playboy 6.9. Successive versions of GirlFriend proved no better.
> I tried a shareware program, Slapper 2.1, but it had many bugs and
> left a virus in my system, forcing me to shut down completely for
> several weeks. Eventually, I tried to run GirlFriend 1.2 and
> Girlfriend 1.0 at the same time, only to discover that when these two
> systems detected each other they caused severe damage to my hardware.
> I eventually upgraded to Fiancée 1.0, only to discover that this
> product soon had to be upgraded further to Wife 1.0. While Wife 1.0
> tends to use up all my available resources, it does come bundled with
> FreeSexPlus and Cleanhouse2006.
> Shortly after this upgrade, however, I found that Wife 1.0 could be
> very unstable and costly to run. Any mistakes I made were
> automatically stored in Wife 1.0's memory and could not be deleted.
> They then resurfaced months later when I had forgotten about them.
> Wife 1.0 also has an automatic Diary, Explorer and E-mail filter, and
> can, without warning, launch TurboStrop and Multi-Whinge. These
> products have no Help files, and I have to try to guess what the
> problem is.
> Additional problems are that Wife 1.0 needs updating regularly,
> requiring ShoeShop Browser for new attachments and Hairstyle Express
> which needs to be reinstalled every other week. Also, when Wife 1.0
> attaches itself to my Saab 93 Convertible hard drive, it often
> crashes.
> Wife 1.0 also comes with an irritating pop-up called MotherInLaw,
> which can't be turned off.
> Recently I've been tempted to install Mistress 2006, but there could
> be problems. A friend of mine has alerted me to the fact that if Wife
> 1.0 detects Mistress 2006, it tends to delete all of your Money

Saturday, January 21, 2006


Last nights gig at the Music Room in the Boston Arms Pub in Tufnell park was a slamming effort from all concerned.The programme Put together by The Orchestra Pit was well worth the £8.00 admission fee.There was 4 Bands playing on the bill with Clearframe the last band up.The place was Jam packed with Punters who were into PunkJazz and everything Alternative.First up was BLURT a 3 piece band with a full on set of originals led by the singer come Alto sax player Ted Milton.They were followed by the band LED BIB last years winners of the Peter Whittingham award for Jazz led by the drummer Mark Holub from New Jersey they had 2 Alto players as lead instruments.Nice sounds and arrangements with a touch of the avante garde.The third band up was Terry Edwards and the Scapegoats. Terry is a multi instrumentalist who fronted an interesting band that had a great drummer Simon Pearson they played a mix of standards and originals with a real spin.We came on last by this time we all looked knackered as it was quite late and for me having taught for 6 hours a long day.Our set was well received by all the people left in the club who didn't have to catch last trains home etc.Once again it was a real pleasure playing in the Clearframe band with Hugh hopper,Lol Coxhill and Charles Haywood,lets hope we can get some more gigs going this year.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

A manic period all round

I'm going through a real manic period of work at the moment,with too many things going on that if I'm honest,I am really unable to keep up with it all.For once I have dates going right up into November already, this at the start of the year is a first for me.I have travelled all over the country already and at the same time I am trying to catch up with listening to quite a few tapes of music for possible projects in the near future.There are also 4 writing commissions that I am trying to keep on top of these include teaching projects with the LSO,Philharmonic plus one for the Royal opera house I can't complain but I'm beginning to think that the xmas period break was probably too long and has not helped.As getting back into gear as definitely been a bit hard this time around.

Clearframe gig

This Thursday 19th January at the Boston Arms music room in Tufnell park.Clearframe will play their first gig of the year.Last year the feedback about the band was really great.We had numerous amounts of airplay on the Radio 3 Jazz shows plus our recording session at the start of the year was voted one of the years BBC music highlights.So please come check out thursdays gig.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

The L.I.O Warwick Arts concert review

The London Improvisors orchestra gig last saturday at the Warwick Arts Centre has received a good review in the Independent Newspaper this week. Which is a pleasant surprise as you get so use to a lot of really good gigs having no presence in the media at all.Check it out:

Friday, January 13, 2006

Recycle Collective

Slamming gig last night at the DARBOUKA. A real Aural Pleasure was served up by Steve Lawson,Cleveland Watkiss and BJ Cole.Congrats to Steve for putting together these excellent nights of Looping delights.Can't wait for my turn next month 22nd February at with Roger Goula the Spanish guitarist.


Thanks to Corey Mwamba I have just read this wonderful article on line at the Telegraph
arts/2006/01/12/ixartleft.html about the Famous Alpha boys school in Jamaica and their contribution to the history of Reggae and ultimately all its musical step children.Having been fortunate to meet and work with some ex alumni like Eddie 'Tam Tam'Thornton Cedric Brooks,Rico Rodriguez etc.It is definitely a story that needs to be told. look out for the album also coming up on TROJAN records as it should be a scorcher.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

L.I.O at Warwick Arts Centre

Last night the London Improvisors Orchestra had a really good gig in the Shiti Improv festival at the Warwick Arts Centre.With 35 people on stage it was a bit of a spectacle.The whole organisation was fantastic with a coach provided from london,cab fares home,food,drink and very nice people.The Shifti festival dancers did a great piece with us that I hope will be repeated somewhere else in the near future.Hopefully the recording of the gig and videoing will result in a good demo to send out to other festivals.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

First gig of the year

Just back from my 1st gig of the year and It was a totally unexpected one.It was with the London improvisers orchestra at the Red Rose club.I was actually there for a rehearsal for a gig with the orchestra for an Improv festival at The Warwick Arts Centre in Coventry this Saturday are performing with Dancers from the shifti Dance company,so a rehearsal was necessary as they needed to learn some of the language we use i.e. conduction methods. I was only told when I got to the Red Rose club that there had been an offer of a gig in the Red Rose tonight, straight after rehearsal,We could stay and use their regular 1st Wednesday in the month Improv gig (The Free radicals night) as a warm up gig as some of the orchestra members had been booked to play tonight anyway and had kindly offered to give up their gig .It worked out great as all 25 musicians could stay and do it.The 8 dancers of Shifti were very good and the piece we are doing with them went well, The Orchestra then did the second half of the show.There were Some lovely sounds as always,It all made for a very long day as I had taught in school today also. I'm definitely looking forward to Saturday.Although I now need a rest as too many family commitments over christmas has really worn me out.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

For the New Year

God has wrought many things out of oppression. He has endowed his creatures with the capacity to create, and from this capacity have flowed the sweet songs of sorrow and joy that have allowed man to cope with his environment in many situations. Jazz speaks of life. The blues tells the stories of life's difficulties, and if you will think for a moment , you will realize that they take the harshest realities of life and put them into music only to come out with some new hope or sense of triumph. This is triumphant music. Modern Jazz has continued in this tradition, singing the songs of more complicated urban existence. When life itself offers no order and meaning, the musician creates an order and meaning from the sounds of earth which flow through his instrument. It is no wonder that so much of the search for identity among America's Negroes was championed by jazz musicians. Long before the modern essayists and scholars wrote of as a problem for a multi-racial world, musicians were returning to their roots to affirm that which was stirring within their souls. Much of the power of our Freedom Movement in the United States has come from this music. It has stengthened us with its powerful rhythms when courage began to fail. It has calmed us with its rich harmonies when spirits began to lag. This has been true from the early days of the simple Negro Spiritual. And now, Jazz is exported to the world. For in the particular struggle of the Negro in America there is something akin to the universal struggle of modern man. Everybody has the blues. Everybody longs for meaning. Everybody needs to love and to be loved. Everybody needs to clap hands, and be happy. Everybody longs for Faith. In music, especially that broad category called Jazz, there is a stepping stone toward all of these."
Martin Luther King