bass, flute, vocals
soprano & tenor saxes
One More Chance
Groovin on the First
Steve Marshall - "The clue is in the title really the our
first CD Somewhere In The City was a record of a highly
enjoyable and worthwhile period working very much in a soul-jazz
vein, but our individual roots were always in jazz fusion not
the elevator music it seems to have become these days, but the use of
electric instruments in jazz-type structures, as pioneered by the likes
of the Mahavishnu Orchestra, late-70s Weather Report. Jean-Luc
Ponty and more recently by bands like Tribal Tech and the Flecktones.
We all felt that with this direction we were returning to the music
wed all grown up with and loved, and Nick Andrew having joined
the band the previous year, had christened us fusioneers
on his website so for our second CD, Return of the Jazz
Fusioneers it was.
What we went for on this CD was a real live feel to capture
the sound of the band after what had been our busiest year ever in terms
of gigs theres lots of first takes in there and very few
overdubs. This means both extraordinary energy levels on some of the
uptempo sections, particularly closing number Zavod, but
also great dynamics on the quieter numbers like the slow melodic tune
One More Chance.
Having Nicks guitar in the line-up not only gave us another voice
and a dazzling soloist (check out Sunrise Boulevard playout
or his solo on Zavod), but also brought a new dimension
to the rhythm section, and the CD sees us start to explore on numbers
like Commuting (one from the early days) the sort of cool
grooves that wed take further on Hold The Front Page.
However, there was still need for a sax player on 3 of the numbers
wed done quite a few gigs with Ed Jones over the previous year,
and he did a fantastic job.
For me the personal highlight is Sunrise Boulevard
most numbers we record have been road tested, ie gigged
to the point where youre totally comfortable in a way that comes
across when you record them, and this was certainly the case with this
one, which first appeared on our 1994 demo and is still our set-opener
on most gigs. Its a tune that whether youre playing to 2000
people (which we did at the Canary Wharf 'Great Escape' a few years
back), or to a more intimate audience (which is much more nerve-wracking!)
it is like putting on a favourite suit you can get comfortable
in it (we sometimes sit on the opening groove for 5 minutes until everyones
suitably chilled) and then head out knowing you look (or sound) cool.
This is a great version Russ really in the pocket
and nice solos from Martin and Nick, with Eds superb tone taking
the melody brilliantly. One More Chance runs it close
as any fellow musos reading will know, quiet numbers are far harder
than loud ones! Its particularly difficult to put real emotion
into a synth solo, but Martin manages it here with ease.
At the time we didnt yet know Nicks abilities as a producer
it would be good to hear a different angle on Return of
the Jazz Fusioneers with given the sort of polish
he was able to give to Hold The Front Page. Maybe a project
for the future: combining some of the great live recordings we have
with Theo Travis and Ed Jones with some remixes of older tracks perhaps?"