Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Duo Recording with Javier Carmona

Went into Snap Studios in Hornsey last wednesday (09/06/10) with drummer/percussionist Javier Carmona - we've been playing duo very regularly for over 2 years now, and thought it was time to make our first document of  it.  The music's completely improvised,  and we've hardly ever even discussed approaching pieces in a certain way beyond setting a vague guideline for duration, so we recorded in much the same way (although we did play a Steve Lacy tune, Deadline, at one point) and ended up with loads of material, way more than we need for a CD.... so now the work starts, editing it into something coherent... it's starting to take shape and I really like the outcome. 
Snap is a great new studio too, recommended by Ben Lamdin (of Nostalgia 77), who recorded the session. I've put a link to it in the Linkagers section at the bottom right of the page. Nice-sounding and -sized room, great mics and desk and a Bosendorfer grand piano. 
Will upload some bits soon!

Jonathan Bratoeff Tour Highlights

In May Jonathan Bratoeff's Quartet - Jonathan on guitar and compositions, myself, Tom Mason on bass and James Maddren on drums - went out on tour (with funding from Jazz Services) to release its new album (first one with this line-up) 'Mindscapes' on F-IRE Records, recorded last year by Joe Leach at The Cowshed.  It's had a few reviews here and there, mostly on blogs, and seems to have been pretty well-received.  The tour was great fun, we all worked hard to get Jonathan's challenging charts right (possibly excepting James, to whom the concept of difficulty doesn't seem to have occurred), and had some good gigs, some of which were recorded - the Rainbow in Birmingham on 26/06/10 by Peter Dixon (in NOT the easiest conditions - there was a party going on in the same room we played in, meaning we struggled to be heard over mojito-d up media types, who way outnumbered the audience, while those poor folk who'd paid to get in were huddled at the front of the stage trying to concentrate over the background noise, and were then ushered out of the way at the end of the set to make room for a fire-breathing burlesque dancer - very weird), The Pheasantry in Chelsea on 27/06/10 by Tom Ward (a much more sedate evening) and The Crypt in Camberwell on 28/06/10 (and several of the others) on my trusty Zoom H2, placed questionably at the back of the stage, hence the guitar came out a bit loud.  

Jon is really quite prolific, and in the few months between recording Mindscapes and getting together for this tour wrote another 2 albums' worth of tunes (!!), 6 or 7 of which we played in over the tour, and should be recording in the studio sometime in the next couple of months.

Here are some live excerpts from here and there, most of these tunes (bar 'Frostbite') were on the first record:

Bird Dance @ The Crypt, Camberwell: 

Ephemeral Light @ The Crypt, Camberwell:

Frostbite @ The Crypt, Camberwell:

Pluto N'est Plus @ The Rainbow, Birmingham:

Transition @ The Pheasantry, Chelsea: