“I’d pay anything to make sure this music does what it’s always meant to do: Let people know they ain’t alone. See, we all got the blues. That’s the human condition. But those blues don’t mean we got to grieve. Those blues will warm your heart. When the groove gets to your gut, those blues, brother, turn sad to glad.” – Buddy Guy
Just remember, never show your hand. So if you didn’t feel 100% about your performance, and we never do, don’t let the audience know. Let them decide how you played and how much they enjoyed it. I think you’ll be surprised in their version of events compared to yours as a player.Matt Warnock
The dog charity gig was interesting……..
We set up under the lovely shelter they had erected for us. Then there was a downpour and we were flooded out! We moved to higher ground and set up again. It wasn’t ideal, I couldn’t hear the other guys very well, and I wasn’t happy with my sound. However, I resolved to play like I meant it, and look like I was enjoying the best concert ever. The bass player and the drummer didn’t really know the set that well so we were a bit ropey to say the least. But we tried, and it was fun.
At the end of the afternoon, the woman who booked us came over and said……get this….”So you’re Serge Bardot! You are bloody fantastic!”…..She went on to tell us how much she had enjoyed it. How much better we were than any other band she’d booked, and, booked us again (with a fee) for another gig at a private party. We also had a geezer who runs an internet radio station asking us if we had any recordings as he would love to do a feature on us on his show! On top of that a string of people complimented us and thanked us.
So there you go. I have no idea how that works……but it does.
“A lot of people think that your’e playing like bass notes at the same time your’e playing chords at the same time your’e playing melody, and it’s not like that. It’s an illusion. Your’e playing a bass note sometimes your’e playing a chord sometimes your’e playing the melody most of the time and your’e filling. So it’s all done by doing something with motion. If you try to play a bass note on the chord on every beat, you’d be working for 8 months on one song and then once you learn it, thats the only way your’e gonna play it.” Joe Pass
I had to let that sink in a while…..
No, jazz is not just old people’s music. While jazz has its roots in the early 20th century and was popularized by musicians such as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and Charlie Parker, it continues to evolve and be relevant today. Jazz has influenced and been influenced by other genres such as rock, hip hop, and electronic music, and continues to attract young audiences and new artists. There are many contemporary jazz musicians who are creating innovative and exciting music that appeals to people of all ages. Therefore, jazz is not just old people’s music, but a vibrant and diverse genre that continues to evolve and inspire new generations of musicians and fans.
Well then, do you have to be old to play jazz?
No, you do not have to be old to play jazz. Jazz is a genre that can be played by musicians of any age. Many great jazz musicians started playing at a young age, such as Wynton Marsalis, who started playing trumpet at the age of six, and Esperanza Spalding, who began playing bass at the age of 15. There are also many young jazz musicians who are making a name for themselves today, such as Joey Alexander, a pianist who gained recognition when he was just 11 years old. While jazz has a rich history and many legendary figures who were active in the genre in the past, it is also a genre that continues to attract and inspire new generations of musicians, regardless of their age.
So, how is jazz doing, as a genre?
Jazz continues to be an important and thriving genre of music. While it may not receive as much mainstream attention as some other genres, it has a dedicated and passionate following around the world. Jazz festivals continue to draw large crowds, and there are many clubs and venues that specialize in jazz music.
In recent years, jazz has also been experiencing a resurgence in popularity among younger audiences, as more and more young musicians are incorporating jazz elements into their music. Jazz has also been embraced by hip hop artists, who have used jazz samples and instrumentation in their music.
In terms of the industry, jazz has faced some challenges due to the decline of physical album sales and changes in the way people consume music. However, many jazz musicians have adapted to these changes by finding new ways to connect with audiences through live streaming, social media, and other digital platforms.
Overall, jazz may not be as prominent in the mainstream as some other genres, but it remains a vibrant and important part of the music world, with a dedicated following and a bright future ahead.
Six years ago we released this album. We had such great fun making it. If you didn’t catch it first time around, here’s your chance.
Our first album together!
“Each day we went into the studio with an idea, a notion, a catalyst. We emptied our minds and prayed that the Gods of music might express themselves through us”…
This album is dedicated to the glory and majesty of mother earth
Recorded in France 2016. all rights reserved.
John – Interesting, diverse, mesmerising and most of all extremely listenable. Loved the way the cultures mix and blend superbly on Go-Go-11. That bluesy Stay in bed is a great tune and beautifully handled, however, the best gem amongst all has to be for me, FNIK, that’s awesomely good.
Peter Jezukiewicz Fab album with lots of great ideas and playing.If you start running production coaching courses I’ll sign up!
Steve Trotter – It’s very well recorded….. the content wasn’t what I expected !!! Nevertheless I can hear the work that has been put in to produce such varied tracks … chapeau BenBros for an interesting musical voyage. Hints of Ravi Shankar …Cream …. Al Jarreau …. Alain Caron.
Piers Lane Only had opportunity to listen to the Bhangra track so far. Love it – good drum/percussion sound and lovely freedom to it. Reminds me of Afrocelt Sound System in terms of rhythm/vocals (tho of course different culturally!). Good stuff.
Ernest Taylor What a super eclectic mix of tracks, Steve – very well performed and recorded. Hats off to you and your Bro.
released April 1, 2017
We give thanks to the following musicians for their inspirational contribution….
Madamne Blanc, Tina Chachevski, Rev’ Dave Seward, Serge Baudot, Vihaan Nair, Tim Bragg, The Immaculated Imitators .
“That’s all jazz ever is, you set an intention for a tune, get into that vibe, and see where it leads you.” Matt Warnock
Wayne Shorter’s ‘Footprints’ was the tune of the month in Matt Warnock’s Jazz study group. This is my end of the month submission for feedback.
On Matt’s suggestion from last month I switched my focus from technical to musical items. So rather than use x scale and y arpeggio, I used a different idea for each chorus.
As Matt says, “Scales and arpeggios are a means to an end, if you keep focussing on the means, you’ll always play in a technical way. If you focus on what those means can do for you, create musical ideas, then your focus is on the end result, making music.”
“The word ‘jazz,’ to me…only means ‘I dare you.” Wayne Shorter
I played in Em so that I could use open strings. To a drum pattern that I found while practicing to random drum beats on my looper (something I do quite often). I tried to use a theme for each chorus. This was the first and only take after setting up levels. I like this tune a lot……another great month. Thanks Matt.
1:11 Melody + Ornaments
2:19 Single String
2:45 Bend + Tap + face 😉
3:40 Patterns ala Bickert
4:03 Just play *2
5:48 Melody + Ornaments
As you go forward with soloing, switch your focus from technical to musical items. What I mean is, rather than say, “I used x scale and y arpeggio,” say “I used a 3-note idea from the melody and then developed it using rhythms, articulation, and dynamics.”
Scales and arpeggios are a means to an end, if you keep focussing on the means, you’ll always play in a technical way. If you focus on what those means can do for you, create musical ideas, then your focus is on the end result, making music.Matt Warnock Feb 2023
Saw this on Matt’s ‘studio‘ website this morning. Thought is was worth sharing.
“Most of us know that this music is profound; even apocalyptic at times. However, it is so often approached on such a casual social and commercial level, we tend to ignore and overlook the stirrings within our souls and the voices of our ancestral ‘spirits’ that remind us of the fact, that there is a revelation of certain prophetic dimensions inherent in this music.”–Doug Carn
This is a songbook definition of classic. Uno: the whole album is great. Two: Doug Carn’s arrangement and the musicianship are first rate. Tatu: the lyrics are poetry. Yet, all of that great goodness is surpassed by the job that Jean Carn does as the featured vocalist.
In the Fifties, Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, Dinah Washington, Carmen McRae, Ella, and others following in their wake, mostly re-interpreted popular American songs: Tin Pan Alley, Broadway show tunes, and movie music. By the force of their creativity, they turned otherwise second-rate songs into standards. In fact, jazz musicians created the ‘standard.’
Then came the Sixties. A revolution. And of course the music was a hip reflector of the politics. Self determination. Jazz musicians wrote their own songs, not just new melodies fitted on top of pre-existing chord changes, as was the case with bebop and the morph from, for example, “Cherokee” to “Ko-Ko.” Under the influence of Trane, the object was not just to cover “My Favorite Things” but rather to express our own Love Supremes.
By the Seventies, we were bequeathed a body of original jazz music. Doug Carn’s genius was fitting lyrics to this new music. Additionally, this music was issued on the Black Jazz label, a self-determination effort of Black musicians to own and distribute their own music and not be dependent on the entertainment industry for production and distribution. The mid-Seventies were the high point of this social and musical movement. In the late Seventies and on into the early Eighties, Jean had a moderately successful career as a pop vocalist, but most of her subsequent recorded solo work is forgettable. And Doug never did come up with another vocalist to do what Jean does with his lyrics and arrangements. They needed each other to complete each other. Even though they both were talented, together they were exquisite. Elegant. But you know, disco wasn’t hearing none of that.
Anyway, it’s the combination of Doug’s lyrics and Jean’s vocals that makes this iconic early Seventies jazz record so moving.
On the title cut, Jean’s breath control and dynamic range are astounding. So rich, so supple, this is the art of the jazz ballad: from expertly hit high notes to a hushed closing that is so tenderly voiced it could well be the last words of a mother who has just put her child to sleep. “Infant Eyes,” now a staple jazz ballad, is a Wayne Shorter composition. There are hundreds of recorded versions of “Infant Eyes,” however Doug and Jean Carn outshine them all. Listen. Just listen. And if you can get to the album, listen to everything (especially Michael Carvin’s drumming and George Harper’s tenor and flute work).
Here’s our cover of Wayne Shorter’s “Infant Eyes” with wonderful vocals from Lyda Van Tol….guitar work from yours truly. Backed by the Confinement Crew. We hope you enjoy it.
Lyda and I have been exploring the ways to bring classical and jazz together. Looking at common ground, and investigating differences. Wayne Shorter’s jazz standard Infant Eyes seemed like a perfect starting point. Wayne Shorter being heavily inspired by French composer Eric Satie who was in turn inspired by French impressionist composer Debussy.
The story goes that Wayne wrote the melody while trying to sing his child to sleep.
The lyrics were written later by someone else. I cannot find a definitive answer to who and when they were written…..if you know please tell me. Anyway, here they are…
There’s no place beneath the sky, the voice will never arise
That could sing of my love, for my dear infant eyes
Infant eyes, you are my own
Without your smile, the stars would fall
And the moon would lose its glow
And the rivers would cease to flow
I wish you could realize, this love I have inside
A love that never dies, for my dear infant eyes
Some day you will grow up, you’ll grow up and have your problems
Little girl you must try to be strong, for being strong
Is the one thing in the whole world that will save you
And always keep room in your heart for love
For love will teach you to care
And in caring, you’ll find the need for sharing
And through sharing, you’ll live a happy life
A joyous life my dear sweet child
May God be with you all the while
And go on your way working harder day by day
Until your dreams, your dreams come true
Make your dreams come true
Infant eyes you are my own
Without your smile, the stars would fall
And the moon would lose its glow
And the river would cease to flow
You know, I wish you could realize
This love I have inside
A love that never dies
For my dear infant eyes
I love you infant eyes
I love you infant eyes