Jazz Junk & Funk (the first FT melodic album)

During 2006 I had two projects begin, the first a call from Mike Stephens, requiring me to be keyboard player / M.D for Alex Park's second album tour (Honesty) and Jazz Junk & Funk, my own collection of instrumental music I hadn't yet written & to be recorded in the newly converted studio/garage. As it happened I managed to combine both. Alex Parks required two weeks of rehearsals before the UK only ( and Scotland ) tour and on the train every morning I took out my sketch book and outlined the 30 tracks that would go on to form the JJF album recorded that year.


Once upon a time I wrote melody directly into the sequencer via playing the chords, then drums etc but i've found over time planning ahead can avoid needing to turn back. The Album was recorded with four drummers, three bass players, two brass section and two guitarists. Comp'd over a period of several months, and many of the tracks are in a fluid form mixed into LCR, mono and several lengths with alternate endings and beginnings.

I couldn't have found the time to write this album without those train journeys (and a bottle of water :) and I often corrected my scribbling on the way home from rehearsal, using the keyboard at Terminal studios to play those ideas I could hear my strengths/weakness and was not reliant on sheer imagination to maintain interest and strength in melody or rhythm (ie guitar strums, hanging on 5th or 6th phrases) . Not all of the beats were composed in the notepad, about 5/10 were made on the day by the drummer. Some elements formerly instrumentals became vocal songs with assistance and collaboration, obviously kept most of the works in the same positions/keys they were written, although i still believe some phrases or cup-lets do chime better in higher registers, end of 2018, 2019 we hope to publish again and the incentive to review the mixes is begging to be finished


Olaf our DIY kid on loan from Douy Martyrs has nailed up (rather hastily if i'm honest) these Japanese Empire & Israelie Hebrew alphabets for me. I'm thankful for not doing it myself, & if i speak frankly it could be just from where they were filmed ,anyway not wanting to be derogatory only to view the grapa-heme's but it never fails to raise a chuckle how free work can be critiqued


V Short piece on why you shouldnt 'give back' birthday gifts

Ten years ago now, at a celebration of my thirty something, Sean Whittle gave me a CD of Chichester Psalms, covered by a conductor i didn't know and an orchestra i'd never heard of. I'm not a great fan of the later psalms i believe they're the Turkish 50 ( Psalms are created 50,50,50 Greek, Hebrew, Turkish ) with only 2 , 23 covered else where and the 23rd unfortunately is only a funeral standard.
Any how on the way to Market Harborough a few months ago i found the CD i'd lodged in the boot after that night out at the pizza express & i thourghly enjoyed the whole disc. I was much closer to his father Tommy, from the Jack Parnel band, Tommys last story to me in 2015 was of Bob Burns and a certain solo at the Elstree Studios, & unfortunately its far too rude for me to print out here.

Grumble, its wipe the bottom time

Quite snowed in here with only the internet and housekeeping to fill this morning, welcome to my world…..


Brief recap of the 1980's music writing phenomenon

There is always some under the table operations in the music industry, usually and often down to everyone claiming rite of passage through the twelve semi tones. From the popularisation of swing and jazz in the 1930's which developed from the progression of Ziegfeld follies (USA) and the music halls in England through to the growth of recording venues with the development of technology in the late 1950's early 1960's, the phenomenon that most often springs to mind is the players / musicians of the 50's & 60's complete distaste of the 1980s technology explosion allowing technology and sequences (not sequence dancing!) to become validated as authentic musical creations and the most obvious transposition of nine tenths of the Motown catalog into chord sequences parts, and patterns, for Boy/Girl Bands soap stars and various number one hts(and if your from the 50's F*** in samplers !)

A Japanese created and fully affordable Akai series of samplers enabled cut and paste music irrespective of copyright ownership or length of time spent in musical education learning riffs, hooks or massaging melodies to carefully
(but not always successfully - the method was release the record and if there is a copyright ownership sending the company crazy, offer the company the total sum of royalties in exchange for the publicity and gamble on the follow up release to be just as successful )
Acknowledgement to writers whom may have steered your music and also your own personal contribution to the existing musical language were vastly ignored and the whole decade often felt like a running memoir to the huge extent of catalog already created in the 50's 60's 70's. Similar to punks infusion, no entry level was required to interpret the music as a genre or entity of catalog or like the book people use ' Huey Dewey deci-hell system'
This reminds me of a musician i know, his lad whom he used to call ' Stevie Wonder ' not cause he was blind , not cause he could play 1000s of tunes from memory or had been in a Rolls Royce driving to ' I Just Called " but as a Jab allegation to his sons admonishment for the 'in his opinion' lack of musical talent that existed in his 'age band'

No doubt that allegory to music of yesterday's year is familiar, when I meet people who like to reminisce over those tales of old i usually say "thanks but i'm off now" or begin that often ignored conversation " but he haircuts the huge regal bouffants and the ease in which it ………