Posts Tagged Jazz
Just heard the sad news of the passing of a true legend of jazz guitar. Johnny’s music meant a lot to me personally as a friend Ed Kettlewell years ago turned me onto him and immediately I was amazed (like every guitarist hearing it for the first time!) at the deftly crafted chord concepts he was playing, I’d not heard anyone do that at that time. It turned out that that whole album “Moonlight in Vermont” was amazing and it still has a special place in my life. I can’t play every note of that album but I know every note!
I was so inspired by Johnny’s original tune “Wally’s Waltz” that I learned it and performed it on a YT vid:
I couldn’t get close to his version of course, the man was something else.
Years ago I was sent a cassette tape of a rare live gig he played in 1981, I uploaded the tape to YT for all to enjoy so sit back and enjoy, Johnny we salute you!
I transcribed this ages ago when I had more time (and patience!) and finally got round to making it into a video, hope you check out more stuff starting with “Live at Smalls” – great album.
I’ve been lucky to see and play some great gigs this year; below are some of the highlights.
Jim Mullen in Nottingham in February, legendary UK guitarist with a smoking rhythm section, in particular a very nice version of the Lennon tune “Love”
In April I saw Jonathon Kreisberg in Birmingham with his trio, other worldly jazz guitar sounds. I was intrigued by him putting his hand in (olive?) oil in between all the tunes, not seen hand lubing like it! Also got to hang out with Howard Alden in Wales and had a little play as well, what a complete jazz guitarist, amazing. In May I had the pleasure of Sheryl Bailey as a house guest for a week and we got to have many jams in the sweltering UK summer, yes, it was the one really hot week we had… Did a gig with her as well on the Sunday which was great fun. Sheryl has worked so hard and got to such a great standard of musicality, I urge anyone to search out her albums. In July I saw Pat Metheny at the Barbican with Antonio Sanchez, Chris Potter and a bass player Ben ? What an incredible band, Pat puts on such a great show and displayed every side of his complex music from solo acoustic to Orchestrion to full on wig out, legend. October I got to see a band I’ve always wanted to check out, the amazing Soulive with the smooth but funky guitar of Eric Krasno. All three are just incredible musicians and play so well and tight, we had unbelievable seats at Ronnie Scotts, my leg was literally resting on the stage next to Neal’s heavyweight Hammond/Clavinet/bass keys set up. I still think I’m deaf from the Ampeg/Vox AC30 and Leslie combos…This month I’ve caught 2 gigs with one of the UK’s best guitarists Phil Robson who is a good friend; man what a smoking player!
Playing wise I’ve done 35 gigs this year (up to now) which have been great fun, still got a residency at Number Five in Derby and done plenty of gigs with the Moja Quartet and various quartets including the Tea Curfew organ band.
I hope to meet and have interaction with of few more of you next year, stay in touch!
All the best, Dan
Phil is one of the top jazz guitar players in the UK and has an amazing CV including stints with Big Jon Patton, Charles Earland, David Liebman, Steve Lacy, Mark Turner, Billy Hart, Kenny Wheeler, John Taylor, Marc Copland, Wayne Krantz, Mike Gibbs, James Genus, Peter Herbert, Bob Brookmeyer, Tim Garland, Tommy Smith, Django Bates, Tom Rainey, Drew Gress, Stan Sulzmann, Jeff Williams, John Hebert, Ben Street, Duane Eubanks, Bobby Wellins, Denys Baptiste, Iain Ballamy, Donny McCaslin, Ingrid Jensen, Jean Toussaint, Cleveland Watkiss, Julian & Steve Arguelles, Gary Husband, Mike Figgis (film director), Jason Yarde, Jiggs Whigam, Sir John Dankworth & Dame Cleo Laine, & as member of BBC BB with: Joe Lovano, Patti Austin, Maceo Parker, Eliane Elias, Giavanni Hidalgo, Rufus Reid, Vince Mendoza, Madeline Bell, Horatio El Negro Hernandez, John Riley, Barbara Dennalin, Anne Hampton Callaway, Mark Murphy, Georgy Fame, Martin Taylor, Michael McDonald, Pee Wee Ellis, Sammy Nestico & Bud Shank. Lalo Shiffron, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Ken Peplowski e.t.c….!!!! Check out his website and in particular have a listen to his latest release “The Immeasurable Code” EDIT: JUST NOMINATED FOR THE PARLIAMENTARY JAZZ AWARDS 2012 or catch him on tour this year. I hear a rumour he may be opening up for Pat Martino at Ronnie Scotts soon as well…!
Q: What/who were your initial influences?
My initial influences which made me really want to play guitar were rock bands, particularly Black Sabbath, Hendrix & Led Zep. The 1st people who inspired me to play jazz were Miles Davis & Barney Kessell.
Q: Are you gigging much at the moment and any projects in the pipeline?
I am doing various gigs at the moment but my big projects for 2012 are a UK CD launch tour with my band ‘The Immeasurable Code Quintet’ in September & gigging throughout the year with Christine Tobin’s amazing ‘Sailing To Byzantium’ & ‘A Thousand Kisses Deep’ projects. I will post full details on my website www.philrobson.net & there is info about all my projects up there.
Q: What’s your ‘desert island’ guitar or have you got it!?
My desert island guitar would be the Gibson L5 which Pat Martino played around the late sixties/early seventies.
Q: Best (jazz guitar) gig you’ve ever seen?
4. That’s a tough one! Have seen so many great ones (Frisell, Martino, Bernstein, Scofield, Kessell, Rosenwinkle, Eubanks, Metheny etc etc). I think Kenny Burell trio was very special in Nottingham sometime around the late eighties.
Q: Which guitarist(s) would you recommend for other people to check out?
All of the ones I’ve mentioned already but I would say Kevin Eubanks to pick 1 as many people are not really aware of him. Seeing him play in trio setting with Dave Holland & Marvin ‘Smitty’ Smith many times in the early nineties really changed my own direction. Ralph Towner is also very interesting. There are also many ones here in the UK which I admire such as Mike Outram, Mike Walker, Alan Weekes, Mark Ridout, Dave Okumu, Colin Oxley to name just a few & there are many really exciting young guys coming up.
Thoroughly enjoyed the gig in Nottingham at the Bonnington Theatre despite the inclement weather! The band consisting of Jim Mullen (guitar), Gareth Williams (piano), Mick Hutton (bass) and Gary Husband (drums) effortlessly did 2 sets packed with a great range of feels, tempos and textures to a thrilled audience. In particular I was really struck with the interpretation of John Lennon’s “Love” which worked really well as a jazz ballad.
I managed to get a sneaky bit of footage of Jim’s solo on “All The Things You Are”. Enjoy!
One from Fender which I’m sure will be a fantastic home/studio/small gig amp. A 15″ speaker will ensure a warm full response and the pure valve amp section will give a classic tone. Look at the spec on this:
No reverb may be the only slight issue for some people and maybe it’ll break up at higher volumes but who knows, it may be surprisingly loud as there’s no gain control, just a master.
Oh yeah….and it’s going to be under £300!!
Oh yeah….and it’s also going to be under £300!!