2017 – I’ve been getting my mix on. It has been very gratifying shaping up 4 great works of art by some of my close friends and peers – Richard Spaven, Andrew McCormack, Phil Peskett and Fini Bearman
Look out for these exceptional works from progressive uk musicians
Richard Spaven – The Self out now ft. Jordan Rakei
also watch out for an upcoming Boiler room session with the Spaven Trio
Andrew McCormack – Graviton out now ft Eska / Shabaka Hutchings / Anton Eger and me!
Fini Bearman – Burn The Boat out now
Phil’s album is pending a release date. More on that later this year
Steven Wilson (of Porcupine Tree) has made a great new LP, produced by Paul Stacey and with myself on Jeremy Stacey on kit! I think the results are pretty special. Listen here
This same rhythm section plus the mighty Jason Rebello have also been recording new material for the Unidentified Flying Project. Somewhere there lies a hard drive with some incredible playing that will hopefully be released soon.
I also had the honour of playing a few shows with a long-time hero of mine Nik Kershaw. Honestly – the greatest, engaging, harmonically intricate music with a real clear sense of melody. I was over the moon.
I have also been getting stuck into some string arranging with the help of the new Dorico software which is going to radically change the way i work with notation. I’m very pleased with it so far
Look out for my upcoming gigs with the great Parisian pianist Eric Legnini, Jacob Collier, Richard Spaven, Graviton, Soul Family and even Will Young!
Wrapping up a great year we have just finished the amazingly successful, sold out entire weekend of the Soul Family festival featuring Beady Belle, Joey Dosik, Shingai, Tawiah, Native Dancer, Orfan and Scott McKeon. So great to share the stage with many of my idols and peers!
My mixing career is also blooming with the release of Natalie Williams – Kaleidoscope, Fini Bearman – Burn the Boat. See this great review of her new album. I have also just finished mixing Andrew McCormack’s new LP – Graviton and currently working on mixing new material by Richard Spaven and Phil Peskett
There is lots to report so far this year. Only last week I had the pleasure of playing a festival set with my musical idol Laura Mvula and of course thoroughly enjoyed playing beautiful music with incredible musicians.
With Laura Mvula in Belgium 2016
Also, Natalie Williams album Kaleidoscope came out, which was a big deal for me since i produced and mixed the record. Here’s a couple of things we got up to lately – a feature on an episode of the Ayala show and some footage from our Strings-laden labum launch at Shoreditch Town Hall
I have only just got round to adding some of the great Jacob Collier videos we made last year to my site, but take a look in the videos section here. Jacob always inspires and brings out the best in myself and James Maddren, as you will hear.
I have updated the “Rob plays on” playlist to include recent additions including a track from the new album by The Breath featuring Stuart McCallum, Rioghnach Connelly, Luke Flowers and John Ellis which was mixed by Tchad Blake and sounds fantastic. Also some recent tunes from Roisin Murphy, Kindness, Clare McGuire, Dedi Madden and Chris Higginbottom.
Here’s something that happened in January with some legendary British musicians in a rural pub in Lymington!
More recently I have been very busy mixing Fini Bearman‘s new album “Burn The Boat” and it sounds great in my humble opinion so look out for the release in the Autumn
This week i have mostly been on the M6… but Richard Spaven made it worthwhile. This is what we got up to at MauMaus last Thursday.
Incredible crowd down there as ever. It was steamy.
Jacob Collier is preparing for the grand unveiling of his looping/harmonising concept at Ronnie Scotts on July 1st. Quincy will be there so I’ll be wearing my Quincy shirt which has secret information about him inscribed on the inside. I’m serious. We will also play with the trio from midnight onwards. You should also look out for Jacob on Jamie Cullum‘s show as we recorded 4 exclusive tracks for him down at BBC Maida Vale this week. Meanwhile here’s a thing i made from our previous gig at Soho Pizza Express.
The new album from Roisin Murphy “Hairless Toys” is great and it’s available and it has my bass on it and buy it.
What else is new?… oh yeah – i will be supporting Chaka Kahn with various bands through her week long residency in London from July 6th (Ronnies Scotts). One confirmed line-up features Ben Jones, Jake Edwards-Wood and Dexter Hercules. That should warm them up.
Natalie Williams‘ Soul Family will be appearing in Woburn on July 17th and of course with our regular Ronnies slot on 26th July . There is also talk of us playing at the London Jazz Festival with a string section. I’ll tell you more next time.
I have now recovered from mild snowboarding injuries and in the morning, Natalie Williams and i are off to Cheltenham Jazz festival for the weekend, performing with her Soul Family late on Friday evening and then playing with Natalie’s own small band project on Sunday lunchtime in the Jazz Arena playing our new material from the forthcoming EP – Kaleidoscope – which i have spent the last few weeks working on very hard, in the capacity of a mixing engineer!! It will be fantastic as it features all her usual band plus a bit of Jacob Collier on melodica and some Eric Appapoulay on additional guitars.
The other big news this week is that Eska’s long awaited LP is really here!! I mean it exists and you can buy it, like, now. Just read any review from the last few days if you need convincing, but seriously – not that i played any great role, but it is my proudest work. Congrats Esk. It is beyond everything we hoped!
If you listen to much 6Music (which you should) you will have heard Roisin Murphy’s new tracks from upcoming LP “Hairless Toys”. My good friend Eddie Stevens has imprinted his inimitable and uncompromising presence and i contributed some bass to about 5 tracks. So that is out on May 11th. Go here!
Then there’s Zero 7. The new EP may have got you excited again, but i can confirm that a full album is on the cards which will feature myself and Natalie Williams.
After that there’s (my old zero 7 bandmate) Dedi Madden‘s LP which i played on along with Jeremy Stacey and numerous luminous muso luminaries. The songwriting is fantastic and i will plug it further when it exists. Which will be soon.
I recently heard some mixes by the legendary Tchad Blake of our sessions at Realworld studios with Rioghnach Connelly and the manc boys which are genuinely exciting. Musically and mixically! Again more news as soon as i know more.
Apart from that, and our 3 nights as house band @ Ronnies with the Natalie Williams band then on to Budapest Jazz Festival, a gig in Bristol with Eska on May 27th and a couple more nights at Pizza Express with Jacob Collier on 31st May/ 1st June, there’s not much going on really. See you next month.
So it turns out certain Turkish mans don’t like my website and keep taking it down. The reason for which i cannot explain. actually i can but it involves a haircut and i don’t think anyone would believe me anyway. The result is that i have lost 5 months worth of posts, so that’s why it looks a bit “gappy”. No biggie…