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Steve's Blog: Solo Bass & Beyond



evolution, transformation and the element of surprise!

February 8th, 2008 | No Comments | Categories: Music News |

So, if you remember back before I went out to the States in December, I did a couple of days improv record with Patrick Wood and Roy Dodds, genius guitarist/keyboardist and drummer, respectively. We had two days in a friend’s studio, where we just played and listened, the played some more. No written material, no overdubs, no retakes, just playing great music and seeing where it went. I was looping and layering a lot of different sounds, and played my 6 string fretted bass more than I have on any other project

When I left to to Stateside I took the rough mixes with me – Lo. and I spent a lot of time listening to the in our various rental cars, really enjoying the open sprawling freewheeling vibe of the sessions, but knowing that they’d have to be edited for any kind of release.

Before I left, we’d said that we’d have a listen and talk more when I got back. Then I get a excited call from Patrick this morning saying that he and Roy have done DAYS of work on the stuff, editing and adding some percussion AND overdubbed the genius that is Mark Lockheart, on soprano and tenor sax and bass clarinet on a few tunes. So I change all my plans for today (which were mainly admin-based and tidying) and head over to Patrick’s to hear what they’d done.

Wow, just, wow. The work that had gone into shaping what was there, adding minimally to it, taking out the bits that didn’t, and in one case splitting one massive improv into two separate tracks. Mark’s wind parts add so much to the overall mix (especially one passage where he and I are soloing at the same time that gets really euphoric!) – hearing the music evolve from the raw unedited unmixed state, and transform into what it now is was such a delight. It’s also hugely exciting to be working with musicians who are so excited about what we’re doing. Patrick and I commented on Roy’s unique approach to drums on so much of this, where he’s playing the kit like an improvised melodic line, but without it being a ‘solo’ per se, just so inventive, to which he replied that this was the one setting where he could do that, to feel so inspired.

Apparently Mark Lockheart rang Patrick after playing on the tracks, really excited about the sound of the stuff too!

So, from here we need to finish the mixes and get a rough master together for us to listen to, and to use to get some gigs – it really shouldn’t be difficult to do, with what we’ve got. We’ll hopefully be doing some trio shows and some others where we get Mark to come and play with us too. It’s really exciting, and I hope I can get a sneak preview of it for you before too long…

Watch this space!

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