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