As is the case with bands that are full of busy musicians it is a nightmare to organise being in the same room at the same time! Fortunately none of us had anything better to do on sunday between 7pm and 1.30am so we managed to get a rehearsal together for our upcoming gig at the Gateshead International Jazz Festival next weekend. Fate was on our side as our studio of choice was available so we managed to record or session and will hopefully be giving you a taster of what to expect from this new band over the next week or so.
It is with great pleasure I can inform you that the 'Northern Monkey Brass Band' have been asked to open next years GIJF at The Sage Gateshead. I know it's a way off yet and you're busy thinking about what to buy granny for Christmas but pencil in 18.30 Friday 4th April 2014.
As a saxophonist I've always thought it was strange that whenever I start to write a tune I head straight for the piano. I have tried in the past to stick to the horn and create a melody but it is normally the chords and groove that give me an idea where the song is heading. This is all well and good you might think but then when I do come to play the tune on the sax it can sometimes feel clunky to play or just doesn't sound right as a saxophone melody. Easy solution - transpose the key - but then this too can sound odd and believe it or not, not every song sounds good in every key.
I guess in my head I always imagined that all the great sax player/composers sat down with their horn, blasted out some amazingly melodic line and then filled the rest in around that, selecting the most suitable chords that go with whatever exotic scales/modes they have been practising for weeks on end. So when I stumbled across this interview with Joshua Redman (whilst trapped in an endless loop of youtube videos) it cheered me up to find out that some of the great front line players also have the same problem as me.