Sunday, December 14, 2008

Harry Beckett the new album

About 3 years ago I was invited to play on Harry Beckett's latest album release.It was a really enjoyable session held at Adrian Sherwoods ON-U sound studio then in Wood Green..The session was led by Adrian himself and Louis Beckett with some wicked soundscapes,samples and Dub Bass lines that had me laughing for days..It's an album that I have been looking forward to hearing the finish product for so long that I began to wonder if it would ever see the light of day! I had wondered what had happened to the released of the album but I understood from Harry that they were dealing with some stuff regarding record companies,distribtuion and release info etc..however it's now finally surfaced on Adrian Sheerwood's brilliant label ON-U sound label and is getting some pretty serious notice from Djs,media etc as it should do!
Harry Beckett being one of the stalwarts of the Jazz scene in the U.k since arriving from Barbados in the fifties continues to play in cutting edge projects to this day not content with easy listening music or the finger clicking Hip cats we see out and about at various gigs!Anyway please check the album,go ask your local store to make sure they get it in and not just for christmas..
Here is a link to a review in the Independent,however ignore the "rather repetitous" line put in by the reviewer near the end of the review as it's silly!After all it's DUB!

Hugh Hopper Benefit 1

Friday night I was invited to Whitstable in Kent right on the coast to play at a benefit gig for the great 70s Jazz Rock Bassist Hugh Hopper of Soft Machine Fame.Hugh had been diagnosed earlier this year with Leukeamia and has responded well to treatment. I drove up with Legendary Saxophonist Lol Coxhill who has played many times over the years in various Bands with Hugh including the "ClearFrame" band that we are both members of. It was a great night with a full house and some fantastic musicians supporting.Hugh and family were also able to put in an appearance to catch some of the evenings performance.
Well done to all the organisers for putting together a good interesting programme plus a real bonus in finding such a great venue..There will be another benefit this Sunday at the 100 club in London..

Sunday, December 07, 2008

The end of a manic week

This week started with a full days rehearsal of the remaining material for the second half of the album I have been recording with the "Burn out Mama"group. A very intense and focused day indeed.This was followed by the first day of recording on Tuesday.
We managed to finish the day ahead of schedule which put everyone in a very good mood for the rest of the week..
Wednesday saw me go first to the Roundhouse to teach a percussion class followed by another 10 hours recording with "BOM".We then finished all the remaining tracks ready for the start of mixing the album tracks the next day.
Thursday we changed over to the mix studio at Livingston studios and started the mixing process plus tidying up of some loops that we have been editing...I then went over to the Roundhouse in the afternoon to set up that nights show with the Jazz Alive students.. Again both myself and Soweto compered the show..There were other performers and poets from the Roundhouse courses plus the amazing Drummer Tony Marsh conducting a piece with the A.S.A.P ensemble who are based at the Roundhouse.A really positive night with some good feedback which is pointing to a regular monthly show in the Theatre there.
Friday morning saw me back at Livingston studios while the band and engineer Mike Buddy listened intently to tracks highlighting stuff that needed closer inspection etc..I then left in the Afternoon for the Jazz Cafe to do soundcheckwith Beggar & Co.That nights show had Some nice music plus some classic soul tracks that had the crowd funking merrily homewards after a 2 1/2 hour set..
Saturday morning saw me driving across town for the Jazz Alive recording session in Peckham.The idea is to record a couple of tracks that show a good representation of the kind
of work they had been doing during the 3 month course it really was an early start for all concerned that unfotunately was held up by some technical issues.This meant us really having to compromise on the quality of the audio sound committed to CD in order to keep within the time constraints of the studio booking..A good insightful lesson for the students into the things that can go wrong in the creative process? Followed by a quick drive to the Jazz Cafe for soundcheck and a run through with Drummer FrankTontoh who was depping for the regular drummer.The gig was one of the best we've done with a full house enjoying a band seriously funking for fun!