Sri Lanka

 

I woke up last Monday morning after a big gig the night before thinking 'lie in'... oh yes. Then the phone rang...'Could you fly out to Sri Lanka tonight to play for Billy Ocean'. Result no lie in. In fact a lie seems to be a thing of the past I need to come to terms with. So I packed went to Heathrow, flew for 12 hours traveled to the venue in Columbo and played a gig with Billy (who is a very cool guy x 100!) We then went to the Hotel, ate a meal, slept then flew home the next day. I have to confess I was a little grouchy on the return flight. There is only so much flyinging I can take, I think it's a combination of not being on the ground plus being forced to be in a small tube with lots of people for hours on end.

                      Above you can see a video montage of the gig, I'm not sure about the TV companys sound my sax sounds like a chainsaw however it was a fab gig played to over 5000 people. Ok bedtime, no lie in expected.

Live at the Map Cafe in Kentish Town

The above video is from my first concert this year. As you can hear it's a preview of some of my new material which will be featured on my next album which I'm planning to record live at Pizza Express in April. The above tune is called 'I'm not being funny or anything' which is the phrase that seems to have replaced 'with all due respect'! I used the line as I always find it funny when someone starts a sentence with that phrase, they generally end up never being funny in anyway.

My good friend Zeeteah Massiah also sang a couple of beautiful tunes which the audience really loved. It felt really scary playing in such an intimate venue but on the other hand it was refreshing to be able to hear every instrument so clearly and also a joy to hear them in a non amplified way. Sometimes when I play in other situations after the first few notes have been played in a really loud sound check I can't help but think that we could all do this a lot better at half the volume, or am I just getting old?! Volume is something I need to look at to, when I hear my playing in full flow in this video I ought to drop the volume by a notch to hold onto my tone. It's an ongoing battle playing live and going for it but at the same time not blasting away your audience (and tone) by blowing too hard.

Anyway as I sit here the ground is covered in snow outside, which seems to be a common thing for the UK over the last few years. I look forward to pushing forward and recording new material and then taking that out and performing.  A big thank you goes out to Roger Beaujolais who has been so helpful and inspiring in his approach to preparing the music.

Mary Pearce live at the Hideaway

I'm very much looking forward to performing with Mary Pearce at the fantastic Hideaway club in Streatham on Friday 10th Feb. Mary has 'gears' as I call it meaning she has the ability to step up and up on a gig. It's always a real musical pleasure. Click on the link to check out the club.

      My next workshop is at sax.co.uk (the Sussex head quarters) on Thursday 16th Feb from 7pm to 9pm.

ABC in Berlin

I had a great time last week performing with ABC in Germany. Here is a clip from the gig in Berlin.

'Free To Solo' Masterclass

free to solo altosax

 I am the co-author of a play along book called 'Free To Solo' (published by Schott) which is due for release on Feb 16th 2011. The book has been designed to develop your capacity to play on contemporary tunes. Written in contrasting styles, with an emphasis on having fun. I hosted a Masterclass on Tuesday 22nd Feb to promote the book. This is how the workshop went.........

If you are interested in booking me to host a masterclass please get in touch via the contact page.

Skype Lessons

I'm pleased to announce that I am now offering 45min skype lessons on Sax and Flute. All you need is a good internet connection and a place where you you won't be disturbed! If your interested get in touch via the contact page.

skype

Summer 2011 Update & Online sessions

It's been a busy summer. I've only just found the time to start writing new music, when I'm not writing I really do miss it. I've been performing with various artists over the summer, Particular artists I really enjoyed working with were China Crisis, ABC and Holly Johnson (Frankie Goes To Hollywood). It looks like this might be happening again next month in Australia. The above video is a session I did over the summer. I thought it might be interesting to take a camera in to film it. Having posted it on this page I'm not too sure how interesting it is after all! However the reason I've put it on here is to let anyone reading know that I am available to record online. If you require any Flute, Calrinet or Sax please drop me an email.

It's been an strange August, I normally love this month in London as everyone leaves to go on holiday. London becomes so easy to get around and the place feels more chilled. How wrong could I be this August! London and the rest of the UK experienced what I would describe as summer madness where people decided to loot and burn down buildings! On a brighter note the London Experiment has a gig coming up on Wed 5th October at Boisdale in Canary Wharf, here's the link www.boisdale.co.uk.

Rob Hughes Quartet @ The Old Barge - Thurs 26th May

As you can see I had a great time playing a straight ahead gig again. I've been performing a lot of fusion recently which is cool but I have missed the open style of tunes like Dolphin Dance where it's possible to stretch out exploring a beautiful arrangement of chords. Playing this kind of jazz is like speaking a language, if everyone in the group knows the language the music can be so exciting. This is not one of my best videos visually, in fact I think at one point I am just staring at the camera unaware it's pointing in the wrong direction, but I have put it onto this page as I think we all performed the tune well. The musicians were Steve Creese - Drums ,Gavin Scott - Bass and Rick Laughln - Keys.

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