I first came across Barry Douglas through my husband who plays in his chamber orchestra, Camerata Ireland. Barry is one of the most incredible concert pianists out there with a biog that most of us could only dream of. He’s also a great socialite and banishes all the myths about soloists who can’t talk to us normal folk. What a guy.
So Barry, where can we start? Do you like garlic snails (being an inhabitant of Paris)?
No I’m not a great fan though I have tried them a few times. I like riz de veau which I thought I’d never like- but I like small portions.
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Liam Noble is an incredibly inventive pianist and composer, praised most recently by Dave Brubeck for ‘going so far into the unknown’. I saw Liam on many gigs while I was studying but I didn’t meet him until I graduated – at the time I was taking the odd lesson with various musicians as a way of continuing my study. I had a great time with Liam talking about many interesting things, approaches to playing music, how to think about music and the jazz scene – he also introduced me to Henry Threadgill…
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Rory Simmons runs Fringe Magnetic, plays regularly for Jamie Cullum and is also a member of the Loop Collective.
We’re two of many musicians living on South East London and hope to collaborate on a project next year, celebrating new music and improvisation.
Could Catford be the next ‘place to be’ for Jazz in London?
Catford spawned the career of Billy Jenkins I think. That’s a good accolade for any suburb of south east london. Apart from that, we have a giant plastic cat looming over our shopping centre, this architectural triumph is a constant inspiration to my music.
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I first heard Iain on a recording of Loose Tubes when I was a teenager and I think I was about 18 when I had my first lesson with him. I have quite a few memories of Iain playing – here are a couple I’d like to share:
Django Bates was touring with his Quiet Nights band and I went to hear them in Birmingham. They were playing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and there was this incredible moment where the voice of Josefine Cronholm merged into the sound of Iain’s tenor and that memory has stayed with me for life (you can hear it on the album too). In fact it inspired me to mimic that effect in my own band Tangent, but blending sax into cello instead.
Another great memory was hearing Iain play with Kenny Werner at the Wigmore Hall. Iain only played a few tunes but it made such a huge impression on me – they called a few tunes on the spot – one of them was Giant Steps… I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone else reinvent that tune so successfully.
To see Iain’s full biography click here
So, to the interview…
Continue reading “Iain Ballamy”