Archive for November 28th, 2010

Christian Scott – Band on the Wall

Christian Scott: Manchester 2010

Christian Scott: Manchester 2010

Christian Scott with Dizzy - the Band on the Wall motif

Christian Scott with Dizzy – Band on the Wall

Christian Scott and I share the same birthday – however he is younger, cooler, more talented and more knowlegdable about music than me – but I still like him!

An incredible player with a beautiful unique tone (made with his beautiful unique horn seen here – photographed with it for the first time I’m told).  I was reminded me of meeting Roy Hargrove in Glasgow in 1992 at a sinilar age on what I think was his first European tour. He was a self-assured, modest, brilliant young musician – who as we know continues to fulfill his great early promise.

Christian Scott too has those qualities, and the instrument has another great young player to help keep it moving. His love of the music, the strong sense of direction he and his band have – and the respect he showed to one of his great predecessors the late Clifford Brown (as he commented on his favourite LP) was both touching and inspirational.

Christian had very kindly agreed to be photographed with his favourite album for the ‘ONE LP’ project, I’m sure you know – a shoot often takes alot of pulling together and I would like thank Malcolm, Simon and Mike at Band on the Wall, Sorcha and Amy at Serious (who helped even in the middle of London JF – their massive main mission at the time) and Martin and Joe – looking after the guys on tour – for making it happen at the sharp end.

A truly memorable gig – catch them next time if you can.

Review from this tour in Birmingham

sndchkChristian Scott_MG_9675©William Ellis

Sound check, l-r - Kris Funn, Jamire Williams, Christian Scott and Matt Stevens

piano Scott_MG_9793©William EllisMr. Lawrence Fields on piano

Mute

Mute

In concert

In concert

The Fabulous Mr. Acker Bilk

I’m playing it now ‘Stranger on the Shore’. I guess we all heard this as children and thought how grown up it sounded and still does, great bass part too. Great to see him still on the road. I saw the band at Brecon JF playing to a sold out Market Hall, great atmosphere and alot of love in the air.

I contacted Les Squires – who takes of things for Acker to arrange a shoot for the ‘One LP’ project and after a little false start we arranged to meet in Crewe where Acker was performing at a charity concert. I was looking forward to meeting him so much – I really didn’t know what to expect.

Backstage I got lost (like you do) and didn’t want to end up as phantom of the opera so I retraced my steps and was escorted to the production office by a charming lady, was given the number of Acker’s room and knocked on the door. I was invited in and began a brilliant half hour in the company of the man with a glint in his eye – and the glorious renegades that are his band.

The maestro himself was ringmaster to some good natured extreme humour along the lines of Pete and Dud.

I’d been photographing all day at the splendid Saxophone Day at the RNCM in Manchester and had driven to Crewe a little fatigued but drove home grinning like an idiot thanks to Mr Acker Bilk and his Buccaneers – thank you gentlemen – and to Les for making it all happen.

The Fabulous Mr. Acker Bilk - Brecon 2010

The Fabulous Mr. Acker Bilk - Brecon 2010

Very Bad Company!

A fine time

‘The Spirit of Django Suite’ – World Premiere

Been very busy. Last week at the London Jazz Festival – including ‘Strayhorn the songwriter at the Queen Elizabeth Hall and the colossus Sonny Rollins at the Barbican. I photographed  3 superb musicians kindly having their portrait taken as part of my One Lp project, (in order of shoots) Acker Bilk at the Lyceum, Crewe, Christian Scott at the Band on the Wall Manchester and Martin Taylor at the impressive Floral Pavilion Theatre, New Brighton where he was the soloist playing Guy Barker’s specially composed for him – lucky chap – ‘Spirit of Django Suite.’

The piece was commissioned by the excellent International Guitar Festival on the Wirral with support from The Arts Council.

Onstage were around 40 other world class players, split approximately half and half – members of the Liverpool Phil and Guy Barker’s Jazz Orchestra – including the ‘Spirit of Django’ ensemble and the wonderful Alison Burns. If I could describe the sumptious sounds of music I would be a writer not a smudger – there has to be a recording made, please.

I like New Brighton, it’s like LA only much cooler, temperature wise that is, we used to go there as a family when I was a kid to the outdoor swimming pool, sadly gone now. I’m not saying that the water was cold but I often saw killer whales and a remote control model of the Titanic on a doomed mission to cross the vast horizonless abyss. People were much more robust then, unfiltered cigarettes and fun (and not a single Parr in sight) – though I do recall spending most og the time trying to avoid being thrown into the icy brine by a juvenile – my Dad.

New Brighton and Blackpool are the places where I first became aware of photography, a shiny camera and little boxes of film were quietly taking up residence in my tiny mind.

Back to the concert –

The composer conducts

The composer conducts

Jack Emblow's

Jack Emblow's

Rehearsal

Rehearsal

Spirit of Django_MG_9858©William Ellis

Guy Barker and Martin Taylor after the final rehearsal

Guy Barker and Martin Taylor after the final rehearsal

The Spirit of Django

The Spirit of Django

Spirit of Django_MG_0120©William Ellis

Introducing Alison Burns

Spirit of Django_MG_0109©William Ellis

The full ensemble - sublime

Guy_Martin ©William Ellis