Here’s a quick video of what I’m mostly practising at the moment. It’s from Nigel Hitchcock’s ‘Snakeranch Sessions’ album (on which Laurence Cottle plays), which is downloadable here, and if you listen carefully you can hear that it’s an introduction to Cherokee. The album is full of very fast bass and alto sax unison lines, which is a sound I really like — the poppy attack of bass gives a bit more definition and the smoother, fuller notes on sax sort of make sure that you can actually hear what the note is at that speed. Really good.
Anyway, George Millard has transcribed (and pretty much nailed) this introduction for his recital, which is at 5pm on the 31st of May at Leeds University’s School of Music, and features Steve Hanley, Aron Kyne, Ben Lowman and Matt Yardley, and me. Possibly someone else too.
Here’s a video of practice in progress — I’m not sure if I’ll actually play the unison line next week but in any case it’s been horrible and annoying to practice, which is probably a good thing. Below that, there’s a clip of Laurence Cottle and Nigel Hitchcock playing it even faster than they do on the CD. Madness.
There’s a new-ish and really good jam night on nowadays at Sela Bar in Leeds. It’s probably my favourite venue for jazz here, very cosy and dark, with surprisingly brilliant pizza and posh beer. The jam features a different house band each week, mostly made up of students, graduates, or tutors from Leeds College of Music, and it goes on really late — sometimes you actually feel like there’s a sense of what it was like in certain places and times in the past when jazz was the night-time thing that everyone did. Go and have a look!
I’ve added a couple of rough recordings from last week, when me and George Millard went along. Thanks Luke Reddin-Williams (who’s drumming on these ones) for recording it. Probably next time I’ll take some videos/photos as well and put them up here — very highly recommended.
EDIT — Here’s next week’s event: Jami Sheriff Trio
This afternoon I recorded playalongs to a couple of Anthony Jackson basslines I’ve been working on recently, from his playing with the Michel Camilo Big Band. I’m thinking of doing a few more of these things with better recording to stitch into some kind of showreel, but for now here’s the method:
- Play the original loudly in the background, but through laptop speakers so that no bass comes through.
- Play bass along to it, and record it on my phone.
- Compress the heck out of it in one’s favourite audio editor.
The lines I’ve chosen here are incredibly musical and clever but also super fast, and are really good examples of how Anthony’s playing can be muscular/pounding then extremely dextrous and nimble in the same phrase — it’s almost like he’s playing two instruments. Some of the arpeggios and runs are a bit tricky on a 4-string, and I’m sure if I had a 6-string like Anthony does I’d probably play them better than him. Erm. Enjoy!
And here is the master himself: