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The trip began on 9/8 when I flew in from NYC. Had the nerve to try to re-adjust my body to NY after being in South Africa for 10 days..yikes. After I finally figured out what time it was in NY, I was back on the a plane and jacked up all over again. I landed on Tuesday evening and we stayed at this cool place in Bayswater, which worked out great. The London hotels have a propensity of being extremely small and not too cozy, but we were pretty good at this spot. Thanks, JIMI!!
The music was shipped out days in advance and the boys scooped it up pretty quick. Frank Felix (Bass) and Mark Parnell (Drums) did a respectful job, considering they had to learn about 12 songs, they did a nice job.
(Michael Lington taking control, UK - shot by Jimi King)
Lington did music from some of his earlier works, including "You and I" and "Pacifica", the latter had a nice west coast vibe with a pop-cool jazz vibe and the former was a laid back sound that personally reminds me of Toto - with a nice french horn motif. He also did pieces from his latest disc "Heat", including a tune called "Memphis", which had this very southern-rock vibe. Lington was also featured on Sanborns' version of "Love & Happiness"-originally by Al Green. One of his strong influences as a young contemporary jazz guy growing up in Copenhagen was Dave Sanborn....this particular arrangment has my friend Buddy Williams on Drums and Marcus Miller on Bass. A great closing cut.
Steve Oliver is a multi-tasking maniac, and incredible talent - who has done most of his gigs doing the electronic sequenced formation duetted with a Percussionist. He found some exploring room on his tunes has he was not relegated to running sequences and drum programs. His performances soared on "Chips & Salsa", which was intro'd with a spanish guitar extravanganza with bursts of "Ole" from the audience. On the final night, there was a trade of 4th's between Lington, Oliver and myself. One of his other highlights was a tune called "Magic World", which was very new-agish, but had layers of strings and symphonic flavors and a great tune to perform. "Magic World" is a beautiful composition by Oliver.
Yours truly brought the NY Funk 'n' Jazz with tunes from my book including "The Way She Looked at Me", which is a driving Steely-Dan-ish groove with a bassline that doesn't go away. Oliver laid down a nice rhythm part and sang the hook, which was a special moment.
"Third Wind" was weaved into a couple of the shows and Michael Lington laid a nice chorus pairing with a hot solo on the end...Steve laid some nice guitar work as well.
"Summer Breeze" was a nice highlight for me. The great Seals & Crofts tune is known around the world, even in South Africa AND the United Kingdom. Singing the hook makes my life easier because that just confirms they know the jam worldwide, which is a good thing. All in all, the combination of Lington, Oliver & Baldwin was a good mix.
The club Pizza Express was incredibly cordial and classy. Soufiane was an angel and Jimi King needs to be commended for his efforts in delivering Contemporary Jazz in the UK with NO terrestrial radio, which was pretty impressive.
(Baldwin Lays the Keys down for Lington)
(Holdin' it down in LondonTown)
Baldwin/Lington/Oliver after the show - (Jimi King)
All in all, the combination of Lington, Oliver & Baldwin was a good mix. The club Pizza Express was incredibly cordial and classy. Soufiane was an angel and Jimi King needs to be commended for his efforts in delivering Contemporary Jazz in the UK with NO terrestrial radio, which was pretty impressive. And as JK said on Facebook, "The NuGroove Boys seriously rocked the house.
To add a little flavor to the week, we were able to uncover 3 songs that were recorded in the back of the room.
Baldwin/Lington/Oliver after the bow (Jimi King)
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I had a blast!! When's the next one??
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Baldwin's latest "Lookin' Back" on NuGroove
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