Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Celebrating back to the future day in jazz...

Below is my selection of things that happened on the actual Back To The Future days in jazz history/present. Please get in touch (comments, twitter, whatever) if you can think of any more!

12th November 1955: Dexter Gordon Quintet recorded 'I Should Care'

Dexter Gordon!

(My earlier, erroneous entry, which I enjoy too much to delete: Lover Man - Jackie McLean)

Miles had just gone under the knife... but in five days his band were to lay down the first 'Round About Midnight session... but ON THIS DAY, was laid down this gem, recorded at Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, NJ:

  • Jackie McLean - Alto Sax
  • Donald Byrd - Trumpet (sits out, but yknow, he was there)
  • Mal Waldron - Piano
  • Doug Watkins - Bass
  • Ronald Tucker - Drums

26th October 1985: Freddie Hubbard

This was actually recorded on the 25th, but hopefully the gig went on late enough to count?

21st October 2015: Tonight there's a bunch of stuff happening around London, you should go see some of it...

Huw V Williams' Hon album launch at the Vortex (click flier for more info)....

Or alternatively, the Corrie Dick/Maarten Hogenhuis trio with special guests Miriam Ast and Rob Luft at the Spice of Life.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Vula Viel remix EP, plus some nerding out on buzzing gourds...

In the run-up to the Vula Viel album launch, taking place at the end of this month (see flyer below) I wanted to give a bit of love to the remix album. There's a wealth of imagination here that bears deep listening. I think it's worth nothing that a couple of the band members themselves have contributed some incredible cut: Dan Nicholls' remix is an absolute brain-melter, and the additional vocals on the Dave De Rose mix really set it apart. It's really interesting to see how different musicians have latched onto different elements of the original piece, and the overall album is incredibly varied - a million miles away from those 6-remix maxi-CDs from 90s/00s chart music (although they are a guilty pleasure of mine... janet jackson anyone? my guiltiest being deliberately tracking down the cheesiest versions of Kelis' Trick Me).

My favourite moments are where the buzzing of the gourds are brought to the front (as they are even in the original mix). I love all that lovely natural distortion, and it seems I'm not the only one. For anyone else out there who's interested, I found this paper about mathematically modelling the Gyil's sound with an aim "to provide performers and composers an audio effect that can be applied to the signal of any mallet percussion instrument" - ultimately spreading something of this joyful sound far and wide. Just look at those frequencies once you add the gourd:

You can listen to / buy the EP below, and the full album is available for pre-order from Vula Viel's bandcamp.

Smiling music

Here's a great video of Corrie Dick's Band of Joy performing live at Oliver's. I just love the energy in this video - really positive vibes and lots of smiles amongst one another. Sharing sincere happiness is one of the things that makes playing music together so enriching, and Corrie has really captured it with this video, gathering a phenomenal lineup of players, and highlighting that intense energy with the dancers Paulina Lenoir and Luke Bullen.

If you're currently too hungover from the con last night to handle percussion and horns at this time of day, here's that Little Lions track again for good measure. In video form this time. Those smiles, though!