A couple of weeks ago I did a video recording session for promotion material to send to agents etc at Holy Trinity Church in Sutton. We had a great team with Ben Samson on Video and Adam Parr on sound (would recommend them thoroughly!) and all went well and I'm glad to say after many hours of editing (I'm learning as I go along!) I have ended up with a fabulous video ideal for function work. A friend of mine, Dawid Wozney who is currently developing his photographic talents, was also there and caught this shot of me above. I'm thinking of using this somewhere on the cover of the CD, maybe on the front or back? What are your thoughts?
I've been working on this version of 'Tico Tico' to go on the CD. I've taken a bit of inspiration from the amazing Italian Jazz Pianist Stephano Bollani who I was lucky enough to hear play a concert at Umbria Jazz Festival many years ago. I decided not to go entirely for his arrangement and change key every couple of bars. Just a few changes in key gives it a lift I think and I like the dramatic, sort of Lisztian introduction. I think this should be a good one to record for the album, it'll need a bit more work but its more or less there, I think?
It has been a busy few months for gigs having travelled the length and breadth of the country. I always have a lot of fun performing with various bands on the circuit and have picked up tips and advice from seasoned jazz musicians who have worked the scene for many years.
Aside from the band work, one area which I think all us musicians (especially pianists) find rewarding is the solo work. With the absence of a band, recording solo is akin to tightrope walking. Its a very different discipline to band work and presents particular challenges. At the same time, the material that I develop on this album is easily adaptable for a trio in the future.
So the good news is I have booked a fabulous studio in Fulbeck which is the creation of Spencer Cozens, a fine keys player and writer himself. My choice of studio revolves mainly the stunning Steinway grand and superb sound and recording! The not so good news is that I'm booked in for July and time has raced ahead, so I've got much work to do, for a complete album of solo music is certainly a tall order!
So for the material for this album. I have taken my inspiration from the jazz piano greats (such as Art Tatum, hence the transcription of Humoresque above). I have been working hard at imitating these artists, so as absorb ideas, licks and techniques. The intended market or audience is very much at the centre of the musical outlook of this project. For this reason the material will be tuneful and largely familiar to you consisting of regular jazz standards, mixed with some arrangements from the pop/classical repertoire.
I intend to be keeping you updated on things and you'll have a chance to give feedback on the elements of the project such as repertoire. Also you'll have an opportunity to pre-order your CD which will be £10 each including postage and packaging.