Category Archives: Media

Videos & Sound and Nordstrand

Here are some more recordings from my quartet gig a few weeks ago in Leeds, all together in one post for convenience. Videos: It’s You by Lee Konitz, the standard Just Friends, and Bud Powell’s I’ll Keep Loving You. Then, some audio: Subconscious Lee (Konitz), and the Love Theme and Memories of Green from Blade Runner by Vangelis.

In other news, I’m now an endorsing artist for Nordstrand, a great company in California that made my basses and is especially famous for their excellent pickups. Thanks to Carey and everyone else there.



Live video: Anderson/Longhawn/Williamson/Hanley at Inkwell, Leeds

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.

Full video

Trailer for the new album with Brad Linde’s Team Players

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.

Transcription: It’s You (Lee Konitz) from Three Guys

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.

Crossing Fields at Central Saint Martins

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.


Clickbait leftism — The Canary and Evolve Politics

I love the Labour party and hope Jeremy Corbyn is the next PM [March 2018 Update — errrr]. But the good ship doesn’t half carry some lowlifes in its wake. Here’s a quick summary of a sorry episode that got a bit long-winded on Twitter.

  1. The Canary publishes an article stating Laura Kuenssberg is listed as a speaker at the Tory conference. Clear implication is she is *actually speaking*, on two counts: one, just look at it; two, if she wasn’t, why publish the story and why would we “need to talk about” it? Mere invites are commonplace.
  2. Others do C’s work for them and verify LK isn’t speaking. Basic check that should have been done, especially before running what is plainly a hate piece (look at the photo they used, for example). C revises the article, rendering it even more pointless than it already was.
  3. Evolve Politics writes a timely piece of clickbait carefully avoiding implying that LK is speaking, yet still trying to make news out of what is now a verified nonevent.
  4. EP seeks to defend C in two contradictory ways. On one hand, they claim C never actually said LK would be speaking, so was accurate. On the other, they claim C was right to assume and to imply in its article that LK *was* speaking, based on a sloppy PR listing that wrongly indicates this is the case — why shouldn’t C take it on face value?

Either of these defences is weak on its own.

For the first, nobody honest could claim there was a news story here unless LK was actually speaking at the conference. Without that, it’s a story about a routine declined invite and an incorrect PR advertisement. (EP did indeed print such a non-story, but only after the fact, for clicks.)

For the second, C could have checked easily if LK was speaking, and if they had received verification, could have been less mealy-mouthed in their original article. As it was, they stuck to an implication, although an obvious one.

Most importantly, each defence contradicts the other anyway. EP can’t get its story straight: was it right to say, as C originally implied, LK was speaking, or not? They simultaneously argued “they never said that” and “they were right to say it, here’s a screenshot”.

The parsimonious explanation: the Canary article was research-free piece of incitement, for clicks, and the Evolve Politics article was opportunistic, vacuous pinhead-dancing, for clicks. Neither remotely resembles news reporting. If so-called progressive outlets offer this nonsense, how can we tell people they shouldn’t listen to Paul Joseph Watson, Infowars, or Fox? These sites are not worth reading, and certainly not worth writing for.

Finally, the wider context here is a coordinated hate campaign against a very good female journalist. Toxic stuff. Quit your jobs, guys.