jazz and fusion

Tuesday Groove – Naima-2003

I’m guessing at around about 2003 for this but I’m not absolutely sure. Tuesday Groove were a scratch band put together to do a small residency in Sherwood on a Tuesday night each week. So short lived was the band that I didn’t get to know anyones surname… So Adam on Sax, Carl on Bass, and Hugh on Fender Rhodes, with a cover of the classic Coltrane tune Naima.


Mirage – Miles Newbold (The sign of Four)

Miles (To Follow)



In Search of You – The Nth Degree – 2000

Nth Degree was a musical collective that performed the song writing catalogue of Guitarist John Maslen throughout the nineties and the noughties. The original line up consisted of John, Bassist Rem Jennings, and myself. From the first rehearsal the band just clicked, and fell into an improvisational philosophy that stretched both the material and the players to the nth degree, hence the name. John gave us all absolute freedom to ride tandem with the random with his material, and it was a very exciting place to be. Rem Jennings moved on to pastures new, opening the door for keyboardist Tor Underseth to join the trio, with equally electrifying results, although during this period, the band moved towards a more structured approach to arrangement with Tor contributing significantly to the melodic base. Continuing the tradition, there were variations in the line up that saw the band operate as a quartet for a while. Bass players, John Thompson, Mik Walker, David Mitchell, David Silburn, making significant contributions as the band took up a yearly residency at the Cork Jazz Festival. In the spirit of continuing the evolution of John’s material the band morphed into a larger unit under the new title  of the Modern Rock Quartet.  At it’s height the quartet was joined by Jon Coles on Guitar, David Langden on Pedal Steel Guitar, Jim Walker on Violin, Miles Newbold on Wurlitzer piano and Minimoog, and various guest vocalists.

This piece is from a three track demo, featuring a trio line up recorded at Confetti Studio’s (as was…) in Nottingham.  John Maslen Vocals, Guitar and Keyboards. John Thompson on Bass and myself with Red Sparkle Ludwig kit drums.



The Mood of Love – RPO and Sharp Edge

Around the mid nineties I signed up for a Jazz course at what was then Clarendon College, I made it clear at the outset that I wanted to learn the vibes, and deliberately did my audition on the Darbuka to avoid the displaying my drum kit skills. But It didn’t really work out, and I got dragged into kit playing for the ensemble classes, which got me down a bit. The promised vibes lessons never materialised and I found it really difficult trying to cram and digest the theory without a melodic instrument to put it all into context. There were two good things that happened however; the first – I got to play ‘Fly me to the Moon’ with a big band. The second; I got to play with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. The RPO were twinned with the Royal Concert Hall, and launched a community outreach project called Sharp Edge, advertised at the college.  Sharp Edge performed semi improvised music with local Nottingham musicians of all abilities. After attending a couple of rehearsals with ‘the band’, usually a twenty odd piece orchestra made up of stella RPO instrumentalists, we’d get familiar with a few loose compositions, and under a conductor, get to perform them at a gig at the Albert hall or such like. For one such gig, one of the RPO guys produced a Sitar, and a composition. A local poet, whose name is lost to me recited “The Mood of Love”. My Darbuka can occasionally be heard ticking away in amongst all of those Djembes. I did three seasons with Sharp Edge, one of them on kit, and loved every minute. Thank you Judith, for holding it all together so well.



Stuck On Hold – The Illogically Sound – 1988

25 year old Cassette tapes sound a bit wobbly these days, so apologies for the audio quality. Originally put together by my oldest and very dear friend David Silburn on guitar, together with Nikki Delsar on Vocals and Sax, and Bassist Mik Walker, TIS were joined for this gig at the Nottingham Peace Festival by Guy Phethean on keyboards. Nobody was much interested in Jazz at a local level back in the eighties, so we were something of a enigma and it was almost impossible to get regular gigs. We suffered also from not being able to get a regular keyboard player. Which is a great pity as there was some very beautiful writing going on in this band courtesy of Mik, Nikki and David. Nikki has a gorgeous Jazz voice that could give Cleo Laine a run for her money anytime, and I just adore that sax solo.  For myself, at the time life was tricky and complicated, trying to juggle precious time as a single parent, and eventually the inertia and the complexities of life just really got us all down.