New music, new countries & new ventures

Ah. Well looks like it's been 8 months since I've been sat here at the typewriter. Better late than never though, and I've given myself plenty of room for improvement on how long I leave it until next time, so there's a couple of positives for you!

Where to begin... I suppose I should pick up from where I left off. Last time I posted on here I had just finished recording Misha Mullov-Abbado's second album 'Cross Platform Interchange', which is now complete and well and truly off the ground. We had a fantastic album launch gig at Kings Place in London on May 19th, and since then it has been receiving some very nice reviews. In April we were hugely privileged to be invited over to Mexico for a week where we played two amazing concerts with some of the loveliest audiences we've ever had, who all swarmed us after the gig for CD signings, photos, and in the case of one woman, a pair of my drumsticks...! Very much not the norm for a jazz group playing original music, but we made the most of it and enjoyed meeting lots of people. Delicious food, great weather and some Mexican wrestling topped off a very memorable week. A wrestling mask sits on my shelves nestled among some tambourines and a bell tree. Getting back on track... the album tour is up next - we've got some dates lined up across the UK spread over the next couple of months and a few more in the autumn. Check the 'live' page to see if we're playing near you! And if not then do grab a copy of the album and you can at least enjoy the band from the comfort of your own living room.

The Patchwork Jazz Orchestra has had a few more London outings recently (606 club, Omnibus Clapham, Dalston Eastern Curve Garden) and we are very excited to have recently confirmed a debut album recording at the magnificent AIR Studios at the end of December. To have a 17 piece big recording its own original music at studios as prestigious as these is a real treat, and we're absolutely thrilled to finally have it booked in as it's something that has been in the back of our minds since starting the band. The track listing hasn't been decided yet (we have in fact enough material to record two albums worth of music) but we will likely be recording one of my compositions, which makes it all the more exciting for me.

On the topic of orchestras, the London Musical Theatre Orchestra seems to be going from strength to strength and had had three very nice concerts over the last few months. First was Alan Menken's A Christmas Carol in December at the Lyceum Theatre. Next in March was Jason Robert Brown's A Honeymoon in Vegas at the Palladium, conducted by the man himself. This was a favourite of mine - right up my street and with plenty of big band influence in the music, and a heavily involved kit part. Most recently the orchestra also performed a concert of musical theatre scores from right across the ages at St Albans Abbey. It was probably the first and last time I'll end up playing Gershwin and ABBA in the same concert. From off the stage to beneath them in the pits, I've been enjoying depping on a couple more West End shows, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (now finished its run), and also Disney's Aladdin, with Annie in the pipeline over the next few weeks which I need to start learning very soon.

Also in the near future I'm planning on launching remote recording from my home studio, which will feature here on my website. It's been a somewhat lengthy process collecting gear, fine tuning my studio space, and learning and discovering more and more about recording technique and mixing (which I realise never really ends) - Drums out of all instruments are very challenging to record well for various reasons, but I'm finally approaching a stage where I'm getting some fairly decent results and feel able to put myself out there. All that's left to say in the meantime is watch this space - hopefully all will be revealed in the next post!

S