I Only Just Got Here.
Available on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify etc etc.
About this recording. Five of the songs are covers – six if you include Black Rock which was written by bass player Alisdair Jones. During the summer of 2015, having just completed a rewarding course on improvisation at Berklee online with Gary Burton, I decided that the time was right to follow through on the simple project idea of covering a few of the songs that I’ve loved for years and presenting them with some original material.
Strange Meeting is one of my favourite Bill Frisell songs. It’s in C minor, with traces of subtle dissonance – the b5 in the C minor suggesting the hungarian / gypsy minor scale. I’ve played this with Alisdair and Ambrose for a while but this time wanted to try a very minimalist approach with almost just guitars, hopefully bringing out the very European,, almost demi monde feel of the composition. I think he wrote this during his time living in Brussels Bill is such a great guitar player but he’s also a tremendous composer.
Naima is just one of John Coltrane’s most beautiful tunes – the interaction of the melody and the harmony as they move through the two tonal centres is sublime.
Follow Your Heart. When I was in my teens my guitar teacher Dave Findlay introduced me to John McLaughlin’s Extrapolation and it remains an album that I always come back to, and where I always find something new. This song has become a standard since its release in 1969 and was recorded for Giorgio Gomelsky’s Marmalade label, so it just predates JM’s ground-breaking work with Miles Davis. It’s a blues in 11/8.
Goodbye Pork Pie Hat. A very well known song. I do it in D. An incredible composition by Charles MIngus. The melody, which is written entirely in the blues scale, is underscored with some chords you definitely wouldn’t expect to find in any conventional blues. I also love the solo section where the harmony moves to the minor key.
Sweet Rain. A beautiful tune by Mike Gibbs – harmonically complex, with a great arabesque of a melody. Just two guitars here – the one on the left comping the chords with the one the right playing the melody and taking the solo .
Black Rock. A composition by Alisdair Jones. Pentatonic melody, then the dorian mode until the turnaround when it gets a little more involved. This is a live band recording although I added a rhythm guitar part. Alisdair on bass and Ambrose Pottie on drums.
Second Story Sunlight, All The Pretty Horses, Strangelove and Jarman’s Garden. These four are originals. The second two with bass and drums by Alisdair and Ambrose. I’ve recorded them all before but I think these are better versions remixed and built on the foundations of the originals.