Camilla is a fantastic alto player based in West London. She’s releasing her debut album Isang – pronounced E-S- A-NG (NG as in song) – on Ubuntu Music on Friday 13th January (same as my release date!!) after honing and nurturing her craft by playing with Tomorrow’s Warriors, the Nu Civilisation Orchestra and Jazz Jamaica.
A note on Isang from Camilla’s website:
“Isang is an old Effik/Ibibio word which means journey and symbolises the musical journey that the CGQ have embarked upon. Effik is the language of coastal southeastern Nigerians and is of particular significance as it is where Camilla was born. The album aims to create a fusion of African, Caribbean and American influences. It will include some music inspired by West Africa but performed in the jazz medium such as Mami Wata- a driving blues written to celebrate Mami Wata a West African spirit often taking on the form of a mermaid which is deeply rooted in the ancient tradition and mythology of West Africa.”
I caught up with Camilla this weekend ahead of her ALBUM LAUNCH at Pizza Express Dean Street on Wednesday 11th January 2017.
What got you into the saxophone?
I had heard a lot of saxophone when i was growing up as my Dad had an amazing vinyl collection and we used to listen to Sonny Stitt, Jackie Mclean and Cannonball together. I had my first go on a friend’s sax when I was 8 and that was it I was hooked!
Does your sax have a name? Mine’s called Shirley…
No! I feel left out now! I’ll have to have a think about a suitable name!
You can get back to me on that one then… 😉 Let’s do the saxophone thing…. what’s your set-up?!
I have a 1959 Mark VI Selmer and a Meyer 6 mouthpiece with a ligature that I got ages ago in Italy. I use Vandoren Java reeds strength 3.
For those new to your music, who or what has inspired you the most in your career so far?
Probably the music I heard when I was growing up which was a blend of afrobeats, calypso and jazz. Playing with Jazz Jamaica has been a massive inspiration too!
What’s your favourite practice accompaniment? Coffee or tea? Smoothie? Wheatgrass?… Vodka?!
You can’t beat a good cup of tea!
If you could have absolutely anyone – dead or alive – to a dinner party at your home, who would the invitees be?
Charlie Parker, Sonny Stitt, Coltrane, Kenny Garrett and Nelson Mandela
Where can we buy the album?
From Friday 13th Jan the album will be available to buy from all good record stores and online from iTunes and Amazon.
[Her label’s website: http://www.ubuntumanagementgroup.com/music-1/]
Where can we hear you live?
We are launching the album on 11th Jan at Pizza Express [as mentioned above] and then we’re going on tour- catch us at:
22nd Feb The Lescar, Sheffield
23rd Feb Matt and Phred’s, Manchester
25th Feb Zeffirelli’s, Ambleside
26th Feb Seven Arts, Leeds
27th Kenilworth Rugby Club
28th Feb, The Royal Legion, North Wales
1st March, Dempsey’s, Cardiff
2nd March, The Vortex, London
More details at: http://www.camillageorge.com/