Bass Player, Composer and Arranger
This piece began life with the main groove/rhythmic figure. I would improvise with it and record myself playing variations, taking the idea through several different keys and time signatures to see what would work best, and then used the best versions as the basis for the different sections of the music. I then subsequently composed the melodies and countermelodies over the top. For me, you can hear influences from Claudia Quintet, Polar Bear, Pierre de Bethmann and many contemporary jazz composers who are close to me; like Ivo and other Loop Collective friends, most clearly in this tune. There are more extensive notes on this tune in this article I wrote for Sandy Brown Jazz website
This tune is more of a mood piece. The melody came first and I built the piece around it. As many of these tunes are its pretty much through composed, I try to avoid the obvious Tune/solos/tune structure of standard jazz and aim for more organic development over the course of the piece. I like to take the listener on a bit of a journey and end up somewhere different from where they started. This one starts out sounding like some dark and mysterious film music and ends with a great full-on rock guitar epic solo from Rob.
Lingering at the Gravy
This began life as a Bass improvisation, which again I recorded and wrote a long Bassline based on it. The original idea was to write something as a springboard for Tim’s drumming. His unique fluid style has been one of the biggest influences on my playing and writing over the many years we’ve played together and he starts the tune with a typically inventive drum solo. The melody is inspired by the kind of soaring melancholy tunes you get a lot of in Radiohead songs, which are a big influence on my music.
Catch Me the Moon
This was my take on composing a more traditional jazz ballad. Brigitte has written fantastic lyrics for this tune and adopted it into her own set too. She has recorded it on her latest album with Barry Green ‘Babelfish’. You can hear some influences from English jazz such as Kenny Wheeler/John Taylor and also 20th century classical music in here too. I used to listen to a lot of Vaughan Williams, John Ireland, Britten, etc...
The title comes from the drip-drip of the opening piano figure.
This one was written whilst I was staying in a beautiful old small town in the hills of Spain after which it’s named. I’ve tried to capture some of the sense of history and slow pace of life there in the heat of the summer sun, and also there’s a Spanish edge to the harmony with its prevalent Phrygian key centre. Brigitte wrote beautiful lyrics for this tune as well.
You can’t eat crisps to that
The music is inspired by Bulgarian music, which I love listening to. I’ve played in a few Balkan bands over the years and it’s been another big influence.
Not a Worthless Thing
This is the oldest tune on the album, having been a mainstay of the live set for many years. Brigitte’s lyrics gave an added dimension to the tune, and it’s become the encore tune for gigs which (hopefully) sends people home happy after listening to a lot of complicated music.