The Making of ‘Metaphysical Attractions’

I have a new album out this year. It’s called ‘Metaphysical Attractions’ and it’s turning out to be my favourite John Irvine Band album yet.

It’s taken me five years to get this one near completion. Mainly because I decided to write a sci-fi book trilogy after the completion of ‘Next Stop’ in 2013. But it has gradually come together.

It’s amazing how that happens; how the brain takes it’s own sweet time making the decisions (or at least mine does) that put things together. Continue reading “The Making of ‘Metaphysical Attractions’”

Being A Polymath: Does All That Math Add Up To Anything?

I often think of people who have concentrated solely on one artistic career – the writer who only writes, the musician who only plays – and wonder if they ever get a hankering for doing something different. Trying a new form or genre?

I’ve met very few people in my time who like to try their hand at a different art form than the one they normally do. Of course, having the time to do other things is hard to find. Continue reading “Being A Polymath: Does All That Math Add Up To Anything?”

Weighing Up The Scales: Does Your Left-hand Know What The Right-hand Is Doing?

So, a while back, I was teaching a bit of compositional theory (as you do) and I asked the students a seemingly outrageous question: “What is the purpose of the harmonic minor scale? Why is there a raised 7th in there?”

Blank looks.

But I was not deterred and thought I’d push them even further… “OK, what about the melodic minor scale? A raised 7th AND a raised 6th.”

Silence. Continue reading “Weighing Up The Scales: Does Your Left-hand Know What The Right-hand Is Doing?”

Michael Brecker’s ‘Itsbynne Reel’ – The Chromatic Stuff

We’re all Michael Brecker fans here, aren’t we? I mean, what’s not to like?

The man was regarded as one of the greatest saxophonists of his generation, and has a back catalogue of albums, both as leader and sideman, that is largely unchallenged both in its diversity and musical accomplishments. Continue reading “Michael Brecker’s ‘Itsbynne Reel’ – The Chromatic Stuff”

Follow Your Leaders? Revisionist Jazz @ The Lincoln Centre

Last weekend, while on holiday in NYC with the fam, I went to see the Willie Jones III Quintet in The Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola at the Lincoln Centre. The Dave Holland Trio (w/ Kevin Eubanks) were at the Village Vanguard downtown on the same evening but they don’t let kids in, at Dizzy’s you can be over 7 years old and they’ll take your money. Continue reading “Follow Your Leaders? Revisionist Jazz @ The Lincoln Centre”