I did some more recording with Will Archer recently, and discovered that some of the last batch has now been released as the final track (“Ugly Thoughts”) of Celeste’s “Lately” EP, on Polydor. It’s lovely to appear alongside such a great voice!
On Friday I’ll be in Wrexham to take part in the DARGANFOD//DISCOVER festival that Mike Corcoran is organising. Roughly speaking, it’s a science festival, but there’s a whole lot of stuff crossing over with arts and music too — it looks pretty amazing. Lots of credit to Mike for getting it together, and for agreeing to lend his formidable conversation-leading powers to help my talk make a bit more sense.
Also taking part is the amazing Bryony Benge-Abbott who, among other things, is in charge of exhibitions at the Crick institute.
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
I used to be in a very nice band called Neon Kicks. It featured Chloe Elliott on drums, Natalie Graham singing and Rob Peck playing bass, and I was playing quite an old but good keyboard on which, in a near-perfect reflection of our music, the pitch shift wheel eventually broke due to overuse.
Rob is also quite clever with computers and synths and DJing, and I’ve recently been listening to some of his work. There are some nice long mixes which I’ve found very good for doing work to, and in particular there’s a great tune called Any One which I think (think) might be a Philip Glass remix — only because Rob told me he was working on one and this seems like it might be it [edit: now I don’t think it is, and can’t remember whether Rob told me otherwise..].
It’s one of those things which, as well as being good to listen to, has obviously identifiable musical peculiarities which it’s nice to go on about to your friends. In this case, I love the extra 2 beats on the leading tone which break up the harmonic movement but are smoothed over rhythmically by thumping electro-crotchetz. I also love the way the whole thing is just 3 notes over gradually more exploratory and wandering chords. It’s great.
Since recently discovering that my phone is resistant to water and very loud, I’ve taken to listening to music in the shower. Not owning a purpose-built bathroom audio appliance, the only other option is to open the door through to the kitchen and use that whole room as a sort of giant speaker.
Now, songs are different lengths, and so are showertimes…. so:
- Very short shower (late for work or conserving water): Melt Banana’s cover of Kraftwerk’s ‘Showroom Dummies’
- 3-minute pop shower: erm, McFly?
- Efficient weekday big band shower: ‘Manteca’, as played by the GRP All-Star Big Band
- Scary shower: ‘Shed’, by Meshuggah
- Medium length sophisto-shower: First movement of the Dvorak Cello Concerto
- Latin Jazz shower with an extended live intro: Michel Camilo’s Caribe
- Brilliant shower if you’ve got time: An aged Horowtiz playing Rachmaninoff’s 3rd Concerto
- Normal shower
I’m aware that even by the standards of a blog where the first proper post was a picture of some pasta, this is kind of inane.