Saturday, 1 September 2012

Homage to great bass lines

I am indeed lucky to have had two exceptionally brilliant bass players to work with on various projects. Trevor Lines, pictured here today playing a 1930s tenor guitar with hammer dulcimer beaters in the studio session for the Kate Doubleday Band, has been a regular collaborator since the 1980s.
We started to play together in Birmingham, firstly in a group Sharkfin Jazz, then followed all kinds of community music projects for Sound it Out, Indian fusion projects with Sarvar Sabri among others, on the Birmingham free improv scene, performance and sound installations at the IKON Gallery, and lastly an acid jazz organ trio Las Vegas Powercut, with a succession of very creative and original drummers, Jojo Remeny, Miles Levin and Wilfried Chevalier (who was the drummer on the eponymous 2007 album). For our last gig, at the festival Jazz sur Lie near Lille, we were joined by the great saxophonist and composer Steve Potts. It was never meant to be a final gig, although definitely a high point, but the effects of geographical distance and busy diaries has meant that playing together is only occasional, but always a huge pleasure. Rare to find a musician so original, spontaneous, and yet so modest that he didn't take a bass solo on his own quintet album!
Las Vegas Powercut will continue, however, with Stanley Adler, for the moment as a duo. Electric 5-string cello with pedals, keyboards and sampler. I met Stan in Quillan, even though we had lived and worked in the same neighbourhood of New York about 30 years ago. He's from Chicago, and worked on the London jazz scene before moving to France. Again, strange variety of projects and collaborations - Baroque basso continuo, classical cello sonatas, own duo compositions, trio with Deb Swallow, rock'n'roll bands, tango, free jazz, weddings and 'dinner' jazz, accompaniment to silent films, etc.

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