March 2018

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…..