5 7 LISTEN!
I Gordon Campbell is well
known on the Scottish music scene as the man
behind the Music Business
Administration course at
West Lothian College.
writer ofseveral Top 2() songs. 800 metres champion. freelance radio promoter and until recently Head Of Projects at REL Studios. Now he has combined his talents in one organisation. Honey Records/Music Industry Services. The
venture was launched at
the start of March with the announcement of a planned compilation of
‘bedroom dance' tracks
and a series ofshowcase gigs for singer-songwriters underll. Ideally. Honey hopes to sign artists for long-term development. but that‘s only part ofthe story. Other services offered include media
Scotland and the UK. accountancy. placement ofsongs with artists and music industry training programmes at evenings and weekends. Most amazing of all. Campbell claims he sometimes finds time to sleep.
I The song that brought a nation to the brink of secession. Dougie McLean‘s ‘Caledonia‘. as sung by Frankie Miller and now indelibly stamped on every Scots heart after its use on the Tennent's commercials. is now on sale on Edinburgh-based MCS Records. Expect massive media exposure and the sudden. perhaps permanent. decline of ‘Flower Of Scotland's popularity on the terraces.
I Media renaissance man Anthony H. Wilson (Tony
interviewed at length on a Bite The Wax special on Fri 20 on BBC Radio
i Scotland. The Factory
5 Records supremo talks to
Mark Percival about
1 punk. Joy Division/New Order. The Wake (see Bobby Gillespie item).
the falling away of Factory‘s ‘no contracts' policy and forthcoming LPs by New Order and
recent signings The
Adventure Babies. We ,might also be lucky enough to hear tracks from said albums.
I to everyone but himself) is
53 The List 13 — :0 March 1945i
No place like home
Kenny Mathieson looks at the much-anticipated emergence of pianist Julian Joseph.
Julian Joseph has been fingered as a man to watch on the London jazz scene since he first appeared alongside his contemporaries Courtney Pine and Steve Williamson in the mid-80s. but he has taken his time in establishing himselfas a leader. The release last year of his debut album. the excellent The Language Of Truth (East West). marked an important turning point for the ambitious young performer. His album ofsparkling contemporary jazz. shot through with soul and funk inﬂuences. features the quartet which Julian will
bring to The Queen‘s Hall in his first
Scottish gig as leader. although he has played here with both Pine and Williamson in the past. Saxophonist Jean Toussaint. an American based in London. is an ex-Jazz Messenger. while Alex Dankworth (bass) and Mark Mondesir (drums) are well known on the British scene.
On the album. Joseph added singers Sharon Musgrave and Dec Lewis on a couple ofcuts. w hich he admits was partly aimed ‘at having a wider radio play. but that is just sensible. I wrote “The Magical One" a while back. though. and I always had an idea ofdoing it with a singer. We tried an instrumental version as well. but the vocal cut was better. '
Like Tommy Smith. Joseph spent time at the famous Berklee College of Music in Boston. where he linked up with Delfeayo Marsalis. and later toured as a member of Branford Marsalis‘s band. a consequence of ‘being in the right place and knowing the right people. and also being able to play at a certain level.‘ Despite having the opportunity to stay. he opted to return to London. where he feels the jazz scene is about to take
‘Berklee allowed me to meet a lot ofyounger American players. and while they were good. I feel that the talent we have here is at least equal to them. and the level ofplaying is going up like you wouldn‘t believe. It is fresher here. and while we are influenced by the jazz tradition. we are not controlled by it to the same extent. They don‘t really allow musical inﬂuences to mix in the way we do — they maybe have too much respect for tradition. while we have the respect. but without the restrictions.‘
IfJoseph is still at the outset of a career which he hopes will not only establish him as an important jazz name. but also allow him to pursue an interest in classical music. Chick Corea is very much at the summit of his profession. His previous visits to Scotland in recent times have been in a duo with Gary Burton. but his latest trip harks back to a development which began in Miles Davis's ground-breaking late-(ills fusion outfits. and carried on in Return To Forever.
The Elektric Band is the current focus ofthe pianist‘s interest in
Julian Joseph: truth seeker j
fusion and electronic instruments. and hasjust released a typically polished new album. Beneath the Mask (GRP). Many listeners find ‘ the band. which he readily admits is i not a jazz group. hard to square with ‘ Corea's acoustic playing and jazz roots. but Julian Joseph does not hold with the idea that electronics are inimical to either jazz or piano playing. i ‘lfyou hear Herbie Hancock play acoustic. for example. you can hear the way in which his orchestral , perspective on synthesisers has ' affected his acoustic playing. and the same is true ofChick Corea. The , danger is that too much * concentration on electronics can lead to a loss of technique on the piano. but a lot of musicians simply incorporate electronic keyboards alongside acoustic. so there is no loss.‘ The Julian Joseph Quartet are at the Queen 's Hall on Sunday [5. while
( 'hit‘k ( 'orea brings his [flektrie Band
to the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
on Thursday 26. Joseph will also be playing in Glasgow as part o f the May/est programme. at the Moir Hall on 12 May.
Alter several years on the go without so much as a single to their name (until now), The Ruby Suit have had a tough apprenticeship. But such comparative obscurity has its advantages. In their time together, they've built up experience and a strong stock at songs, tour of which appear on the debut release on their own Hook, Line And Sinker label. And singer/guitarist Donna McDougall reckons it won't be
I the last.
“Unless somebody comes up and offers to do it lor us and pay tor it. We've done it all the way up to now, and that’s something that we‘ve delinitely decided. We’ve got to do it
ourselves. I’m going to quote Dave (Ramsden, their manager) here, but the best advert lorthe band is the band itsell.’
The single, though, is almost as good an advertisement, leaturing four songs they have every reason to be proud ol, especially the gorgeous leading track ‘Say Something Good'. To make the best use at their studio time, the hand went into a week of pre-production with
the producer, Indian Giver Nigel Slealord, in which the songs were stripped right down to the basics and built up again from there. ‘Say Something Good' and ‘Head So Cold' got through the process almost untouched, but some songs changed radically.
‘The likes of “Light And Lazy", we used to do that really uptempo and we were dead against slowing it down. Nigel was saying that you can't have a song called “Light And Lazy" that isn‘t light and lazy, and l was going, “Aye, you can! Why not?” But it did work, and i we do it that way live now, because we ; ended up liking itthat way. l
‘We're really pleased with it,’ she concludes, ‘but I'd still encourage people to come and see us live, because there's a lot more grit in there.’ (Alastair Mabbott)
The Ruby Suit play The Music Box. Edinburgh on Sun 22.
l l J