A week ago I took a quartet to Inkwell Arts in Leeds to perform some of my favourite standard and less-standard tunes, along with some arrangements from Vangelis’ wonderful jazz-noir soundtrack to Blade Runner. Ex-Leeds saxophonist Matt Anderson and Leeds-based smashers Martin Longhawn (keys) and Steve (‘Chief’) Hanley (drums) joined me. It’s quite a privilege to have these great musicians and old friends play your charts and seem to enjoy doing so :-).
Anyway, we were fortunate to have Chris Milnes there taking a few videos and sound recordings, so I’ll be uploading some over the coming weeks. Here’ s an extract from Lee Konitz’s line It’s You (over It’s You or No-One). The full video link is at the bottom.
In Washington DC I had the pleasure to meet and play with lots of amazing people. Perhaps the highest joy was meeting Brad Linde and Billy Wolfe at a big band gig in my first few weeks, and joining their avant-garde/americana project along with super-hip New York cats Aaron Quinn and Deric Dickens. (I also eventually joined the wonderful Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra, which Brad leads with Joe Herrera.) We’ve released our second album and I just got round to making this trailer with a few extracts.
I tried to be representative, so there’s a bit of Haskell’s beautiful Starlight, Billy’s quasi-Konitzian original Turkey, Deric’s lilting and folky Pickett Fence, the standard Meet Me Tonight In Dreamland, and Aaron’s terrifying (which can be oiled in different patterns for different techniques). Finally, the video ends how the album begins, with Brad counting off a free blow named Gotta Blast!
Check out more and buy it here.
Here’s a rough transcription of Steve Swallow, one my favourite bassists, playing on the album Three Guys with Lee Konitz and Paul Motian. (Dreamy band or what?). It’s a Konitz composition over It’s You Or No One. So far, I can’t find it online (tiny sample in this article) but I’m reliably informed it exists on youtube.
Anyway, here is the unison line that ends the tune:
It’s You unison line transcription
It’s You unison line (Eb)
And here it is played in somewhat Swallow-y style — very light roundwounds with a pick and loads of tone rolled off:
Connoisseurs will know that the pick should really be copper, and the bass a semi-acoustic with a piezo somewhere, strung E-C, etc.
I have an interest in the relationship between the arts and sciences (see, e.g., here), and today a few of us from the Crick Institute received a guided tour of a nice exhibition at Central Saint Martins. Crossing Fields is a degree show for their almost-unique MA in Art and Science and is well worth a look in the next few days. A few that I managed to get snaps of are below (there are many more fantastic works to see). These ones are by Julie Light, Meri Lahti and Chang Zhou respectively.
My website has had a bit of a tidy-up, long overdue. I tried to organise the music page better, and reduce general clutter etc.
You don’t need to be a biologist to work at the Crick Institute! I’m not. If you are an undergraduate, here’s a way to sample the life of a biological physicist…
As an undergraduate, I hadn’t considered working in research until I fell into a summer research project with the excellent Mike Evans at Leeds. He actually ended up being my PhD supervisor, but in a broader sense the placement opened my eyes to the process of doing “new stuff”; the feeling that what you’re doing hasn’t been done before is quite a special one.
Anyway, this year I’m part of the Crick’s summer student programme, and have a project open on applying quantitative and physical principles to a biological system. Details can be found here.
This Friday (22nd September 2017) I’ll be at a public event hosted by the Institute of Physics — The Physics of Life. If I remember right, this is partly prompted by the IoP’s upcoming move to a location near the Francis Crick Institute, where I work. Many thanks to Toby Shannon from the IoP for getting in touch!
I’ll be considering what we mean by “fundamental” science, how this relates to links between physics and biology, and why the Crick bothers to employ physicists. I’m also really looking forward to seeing Aimee Eckert speak, and she’s a biologist so there’s a nice symmetry to the whole thing. There will be science stalls and demos, and food and drink.