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BRUBECKS PLAY BRUBECK

BRUBECKS PLAY BRUBECK

Brubeck Family – overview

THE--BRUBECKS

The Brubeck family is unique in the world of music. Seldom has an entire family been as prolific and talented. Four of Dave Brubeck’s five children are professional musicians and, like the Dankworths, they all take off in different directions coming together at special times.

Darius, the eldest Brubeck son, is a jazz pianist, composer, educator and band-leader. His sold-out concerts at festivals and clubs around the UK in the last couple of years have received very good reviews. Chris, a multi-instrumentalist and award-winning composer, tours the world performing his exciting trombone concertos and is in great demand as a creator of innovative symphonic pieces. He is also an accomplished electric bassist who excels in jazz, rock and folk genres. Dan is a renowned, Grammy-nominated percussionist, acclaimed for his exciting drum solos and has been featured with musicians as diverse as Gerry Mulligan and The Band. His own recording group, The Dolphins, played to critical success at Ronnie Scott’s.

In the 70’s and 80’s the three brothers recorded and toured worldwide with Dave as “Two Generations of Brubeck” and “The New Brubeck Quartet”. Now, in their father’s 90th. year, they have come together to play the music that made him a revered icon of modern jazz. With special guest British saxophonist Dave O’Higgins “Brubecks Play Brubeck” concerts will include famous Brubeck originals as well as standard tunes associated with Dave and a few of their own popular compositions.

While gaining substantial recognition in their own careers, as detailed in individual biographies, playing their father’s music has always been an important part of their professional lives. For over fifty years, Dave Brubeck has been a giant of American jazz, exciting millions of fans with his inimitable improvisation and rhythms. He changed the landscape of jazz in the 1950’s and 1960’s, broadening its scope and audience and recorded the first jazz instrumental album to go gold. In December 2009, Dave received the Kennedy Center Award for a “lifetime contribution to American culture” and this tour will celebrate that achievement and resonate with new and old Brubeck audiences. The Dave Brubeck Quartet has been one of the most popular and influential groups in the last half century and the “Brubecks Play Brubeck” tour underscores its relevance today.

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Dave Brubeck

DAVE BRUBECK
Pianist, Composer
b. December 6, 1920

Dave Brubeck, designated a “Living Legend” by the Library of Congress, continues to be one of the most active and popular musicians in both the jazz and classical worlds. With a career that spans over six decades, his experiments in odd time signatures, improvised counterpoint, polyrhythm and polytonality remain hallmarks of innovation.

Born into a musical family in Concord, California– his two older brothers were also professional musicians–he began piano lessons with his mother at age four. He was 12 when his father moved the family to a cattle ranch in the foothills of the Sierras. Dave’s life changed dramatically. Piano lessons ended and cowboy life began. He worked with his father on the 45,000 acre cattle ranch. When he was 14, he started playing in local dance bands on weekends. When he enrolled at the College of the Pacific, in Stockton, California, his intention was to study veterinary medicine and return to the ranch. While working his way through school as a pianist in local nightclubs, the lure of jazz became irresistible and he changed his major to music. Graduating in 1942, he enlisted in the Army, and shortly thereafter married Iola Whitlock, a fellow student at Pacific. While serving in Patton’s Army in Europe, he led a racially integrated band. After his discharge from military service in 1946, he enrolled at Mills College in Oakland, California to study composition with French composer, Darius Milhaud. Milhaud encouraged him to pursue a career in jazz and to incorporate jazz elements into his compositions. This cross-genre experimentation with like-minded Milhaud students led to the formation of the Dave Brubeck Octet in 1947. In 1949, Brubeck with Cal Tjader and Ron Crotty, fellow Octet members, cut their first award-winning Dave Brubeck Trio recordings. After suffering a near fatal diving accident in 1951, Dave formed the Dave Brubeck Quartet with alto saxophonist Paul Desmond, who was also a member of the Octet. The legendary Brubeck-Desmond collaboration lasted seventeen years and beyond.

The Dave Brubeck quartet’s recordings and concert appearances on college campuses in the ‘50s and early ‘60s introduced jazz to thousands of young people. The quartet’s audiences were not limited to students, however. The group played in jazz clubs in every major city and toured in package shows with such artists as Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzerald, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Stan Getz. The Dave Brubeck Quartet repeatedly won top honors in trade magazines and critic’s and reader’s polls. In 1954 Dave Brubeck’s portrait appeared on the cover of Time Magazine with a story about the jazz renaissance and Brubeck’s phenomenal ascendancy.

In 1958 the Quartet made their first of many international tours. The U.S. State Department sponsored the Quartet’s performances in Poland, India, Turkey, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran and Iraq. Exposure to many different cultures was reflected in the group’s repertoire that sometimes incorporated exotic elements. The 1959 recording “Time Out” experimented in time signatures beyond the usual jazz 4/4. To everyone’s surprise “Time Out” became the first jazz album to sell over a million copies and “Blue Rondo a la Turk” and “Take Five” (now in the Grammy Hall of Fame) began to appear on jukeboxes throughout the world.

Early in his career Brubeck wrote primarily for this Quartet, and some of those pieces, such as “In Your Own Sweet Way” and “The Duke” became part of standard jazz repertoire. His first orchestral composition, “Elementals”, written for an improvising jazz combo and symphony orchestra was premiered and recorded in 1962. Choreographed by Lar Lubovitch, “Elemental Brubeck” is currently in the repertoire of the San Francisco Ballet and several other dance companies.

Throughout his career Brubeck has experimented with integrating jazz into classical forms. In 1959 his Quartet premiered and recorded his brother Howard’s “Dialogues for Jazz Combo and Orchestra” with the New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein conducting. In 1960 he composed “Points on Jazz” for the American Ballet Theatre, and in later decades composed for and toured with the Murray Louis Dance Co. His musical theater piece “The Real Ambassadors” starring Louis Armstrong and Carmen McRae was recorded and performed to great acclaim at the 1962 Monterey Jazz Festival.

The “classic” Dave Brubeck Quartet (Paul Desmond, alto sax from 1951; Eugene Wright, bass from 1958; Joe Morello, drums from 1956) was dissolved December 1967. Baritone saxophonist Gerry Mulligan joined a newly formed Dave Brubeck Trio (with Jack Six, bass and Alan Dawson, drums) the following year. This group recorded and toured the world together for seven years. In this period Brubeck also performed with three of his musical sons, Darius, Chris and Dan billed as “Two “Generations of Brubeck” frequently with Gerry Mulligan or Paul Desmond as guest artists.

In the ‘80s Brubeck led a quartet that featured clarinetist Bill Smith, a former Octet member, with his son Chris on electric bass and Randy Jones on drums. This group toured the Soviet Union in 1987 and along with former bassist, Eugene Wright, accompanied President Reagan to Moscow to perform at the Reagan-Gorbachev Summit in 1988. Since the Dave Brubeck Quartet’s first appearance at a State Dinner for King Hussein of Jordan during the Johnson administration, Brubeck has performed at The White House on several occasions and for many different Presidents.

Shortly after the dissolution of the “classic” Quartet, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, with Erich Kunzel conducting, premiered Brubeck’s oratorio,” The Light in the Wilderness” (February 1968). The following year Brubeck’s second major work “The Gates of Justice”, a cantata based on the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Old Testament, was also premiered by Kunzel in Cincinnati. It has since been re-recorded by the Baltimore Choral Arts Society, Cantor Abraham Mizrahi, tenor and Kevin Deas, bass-baritone, for the Milken Archive of American Jewish Music, Russell Gloyd conducting.

Throughout his career Brubeck has continued to experiment with interweaving jazz and classical music. He has performed as composer-performer with most of the major orchestras in the United States and with prestigious choral groups and orchestras in Europe and America. Dave cites as some of the highlights of his career the premier of his composition “Upon This Rock” for Pope John Paul II’s visit to San Francisco and the performances of his mass “To Hope! A Celebration” in St. Stephan’s Cathedral in Vienna and in Moscow with the Russian National Orchestra and Orloff choir.

Dave Brubeck’s compositions include a popular Christmas choral pageant “La Fiesta de la Posada”, oratorios and cantatas, ballet suites, a string quartet, chamber ensembles, pieces for solo and duo-piano, violin solos and orchestral works. His mass “To Hope! A Celebration” has been performed throughout the English speaking world, Germany, Russia and Austria and was recorded in the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. In 2002 the London Symphony Orchestra and London Voices recorded in “Classical Brubeck” his Easter oratorio “Beloved Son”, “Pange Lingua Variations”, “The Voice of the Holy Spirit” and a composition for string orchestra, “Regret”, all under the baton of Russell Gloyd, who since 1976 has been associated with Brubeck as conductor, producer and manager. A mini-opera based on Steinbeck’s “Cannery Row” was presented at the Monterey Jazz Festival in 2006.

While increasingly active as a composer, Brubeck has remained a leading figure in jazz, recording for Telarc, appearing in festivals and touring internationally in concert halls with today’s version of the Dave Brubeck Quartet– Bobby Militello, sax and flute, Randy Jones, drums, Michael Moore, bass. As in the Dave Brubeck Quartet decades ago, each is a master musician and their concert repertoire ranges from “hits” from the old Quartet “book” to cutting edge new material.

Throughout his long career Dave Brubeck has received national and international honors, including the National Medal of the Arts from President Clinton, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, the Smithsonian Medal, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He holds numerous honorary doctorates from American, Canadian, English and German universities, including an honorary degree in Sacred Theology from Fribourg University, Switzerland. Recently, Brubeck received the Distinguished Arts Award from the Ford Honors program of the University of Michigan and in 2006 received from Notre Dame their highest honor, the Laetare Medal. He is a Duke Ellington Fellow at Yale University, and was presented with the Sanford Medal by the Yale School of Music

In the year 2000 the National Endowment for the Arts declared Dave Brubeck a Jazz Master. He was inducted into the American Classical Music Hall of Fame in 2003. In 2007 he received a Living Legacy Jazz Award from Kennedy Center and the Arison Award from the National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts.

His international honors include Austria’s highest award for the Arts, a citation from the French government, and the Bocconi Medal from Italy. The London Symphony Orchestra, acknowledging their long association, presented him with their prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007.

The most recent honor from his alma mater, the University of the Pacific, is the President’s Medal of Achievement presented by Donald V. De Rosa. Dave Brubeck serves as chairman of The Brubeck Institute that the University of the Pacific established in his honor.

Dave Brubeck’s most recent recording is a highly praised solo piano album “Indian Summer” that was named 2007 Album of the Year by Douglas Lytle, of blomberg.com.

Brubeck died of heart failure on December 5, 2012, in Norwalk, Connecticut, one day before his 92nd birthday. He was on his way to a cardiology appointment, accompanied by his son Darius.[44] A birthday party concert had been planned for him with family and famous guests. It was recast as a memorial tribute.

The Los Angeles Times noted that he “was one of Jazz’s first pop stars,” even though he was not always happy with his fame, uncomfortable, for example, that Time had featured him on the cover[46] before it did so for Duke Ellington, saying, “It just bothered me”.[47] The New York Times noted he had continued to play well into his old age, performing in 2011 and in 2010 only a month after getting a pacemaker, with Times music writer Nate Chinen commenting that Brubeck had replaced “the old hammer-and-anvil attack with something almost airy” and that his playing at the Blue Note Jazz Club in New York City was “the picture of judicious clarity”.

In The Daily Telegraph, music journalist Ivan Hewett wrote: “Brubeck didn’t have the réclame of some jazz musicians who lead tragic lives. He didn’t do drugs or drink. What he had was endless curiosity combined with stubbornness”, adding “His work list is astonishing, including oratorios, musicals and concertos, as well as hundreds of jazz compositions. This quiet man of jazz was truly a marvel.”

In The Guardian, John Fordham said “Brubeck’s real achievement was to blend European compositional ideas, very demanding rhythmic structures, jazz song-forms and improvisation in expressive and accessible ways. His son Chris told The Guardian “when I hear Chorale, it reminds me of the very best Aaron Copland, something like Appalachian Spring. There’s a sort of American honesty to it.”[49] Robert Christgau dubbed Brubeck the “jazz hero of the rock and roll generation”.

The Economist wrote: “Above all they found it hard to believe that the most successful jazz in America was being played by a family man, a laid-back Californian, modest, gentle and open, who would happily have been a rancher all his days—except that he couldn’t live without performing, because the rhythm of jazz, under all his extrapolation and exploration, was, he had discovered, the rhythm of his heart.”

On the night of Brubeck’s death, right before the intermission of a performance for Chick Corea and Gary Burton’s “Hot House”, a tribute was performed solely by Corea at Koerner Hall at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. The tune played was “Strange Meadow Lark”, from Brubeck’s perhaps most famous album Time Out.

Blubecks Play Brubeck - Overview

WITH:

  • DAN BRUBECK – DRUMS
  • CHRIS BRUBECK – BASS / TROMBONE
  • DARIUS BRUBECK – PIANO

AND FEATURING

  • DAVE O’ HIGGINS – SAXOPHONES

BRUBECKS PLAY BRUBECK has recently toured the United Kingdom twice in 2010 and 2011 and played to full houses at
Ronnie Scotts Jazz Club for extended periods. In 2011 they also played a one off concert in Poland which led to being invited back at a time convenient for the group and most recently ( March – 2012 ) Performed at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival.

The personal and music appeal is huge, being sons of Jazz icon Dave Brubeck, and they of course play all of his perennial hits, like Take Five and Blue Rondo a la Turk.

In addition, performances include popular compositions by the three brothers, who have long been on the international circuit in their own right. Since Dave Brubeck, age 92 this year, no longer tours, the demand for this group is high and given popular appeal of the material, it is tailor-made for festivals.

The Brubeck Brothers Quartet (Chris and Dan) have produced three highly successful CD’s, Second Nature ( Blue Forest Records), Intuition, featuring Talor Eigsti, (Koch International) and Classified, (Koch International), which have all received rave reviews.

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Intuition and Classified were at the top of the Jazz charts in 2006 and 2008. Dan has played at most of the world’s greatest venues and has also taught several clinics over the last few years at high schools and colleges across the U.S.

Dan has appeared on The Today Show, The Tonight Show, The Grammy Awards Show with an all-star jazz group including Dave Brubeck and Christian McBride, BBC specials and the nationally syndicated PBS series Jazz in America and with The Brubeck Brothers Quartet on the Sierra Center Stage Concert Series broadcast on PBS.

Playing with his brother, Darius goes back to the 70’s when he was a member of Darius’ ‘Gathering Forces’ band. He and Chris joined Darius in South Africa recently for a national tour and last year, Dan and Darius played a program of Brubeck music at Ronnie Scott’s. All four Brubeck sons (Darius, Chris, Dan and Matthew) performed Blue Rondo a la Turk in honour of their father at the 2009 Kennedy Center Awards Gala, attended by President and Mrs Obama.

This tour will feature Dave Brubeck’s legendary music and original compositions by his sons.

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Biogs

Chris Brubeck

Chris Brubeck continues to distinguish himself as an innovative performer and composer.  During the 70’s he began touring and recording with his father, Dave Brubeck.  Chris plays bass, trombone, piano, guitar and sings and, in the past few decades, has earned international acclaim as composer, performer and leader of his own groups. On stage, his irrepressible enthusiasm is matched by his fluid command of jazz, blues, folk, funk, pop and classical musical styles.  An award-winning composer, he is clearly tuned into the pulse of contemporary music. The respected music critic for The Chicago Tribune, John von Rhein calls Chris: “a composer with a real flair for lyrical melody–a 21st Century Lenny Bernstein.”

In the last decade, Chris has created an impressive body of symphonic work while maintaining a demanding touring and recording schedule with the Brubeck Brothers Quartet (with brother Dan on drums). Last year the BBQ released its second Koch recording, Classified which features Chris’s composition for woodwind quintet and the BBQ, “Vignettes for Nonet.” This innovative fusion of classical and jazz genres is performed with the Grammy-nominated Imani Winds.  (Classified and the BBQ’s first Koch release, Intuition, were each in the top ten on jazz radio in 2007 and 2008.)

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Chris also continues to perform and record with Triple Play, an acoustic blues/jazz/folk trio with vocals that includes guitarist Joel Brown and harmonica virtuoso Peter Madcat Ruth.

Chris is a much sought-after composer, and in the last few years has been commissioned to write many innovative works.  April, 2009 marked the premiere of “Ansel Adams: America”, an exciting orchestral piece Chris and Dave Brubeck wrote accompanying 100 of Ansel Adams’ majestic images being projected above the orchestra.  Among some of Chris’s other recent commissions are: “Quiet Heroes: A Symphonic Salute to the Flagraisers at Iwo Jima”, a moving piece for full orchestra and narrator;  “Spontaneous Combustion”, a fiery violin concerto Chris wrote for the talented violin soloist Nicolas Kendall.  “Mark Twain’s World:  A Symphonic Journey with Genuine Thespians” was a genre-breaking piece for orchestra and actors based on the life of Mark Twain.

Chris’s second Boston Pops commission, the exciting “Interplay for 3 Violins and Orchestra,” with performances by violinists Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg (classical), Eileen Ivers (Irish) and Regina Carter (jazz) was broadcast on PBS “Evening at Pops” and won Chris an ASCAP Deems Taylor Award for best composition for television broadcast.

On special occasions, Chris continues to guest on bass and trombone with The Dave Brubeck Quartet.  Chris has worked with many diverse artists, including Frederica von Stade, Ben Luxon, Dawn Upshaw, Bill Crofut, Meryl Streep, Willie Nelson, B.B. King, Gerry Mulligan, Bela Fleck, Bobby McFerrin, Stephane Grappelli, Bobby Womack, Tower of Power, and Patti Labelle.

His compositions have been performed by orchestras all around the world, including the prominent U.S. orchestras of Boston, Houston, Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Washington as well as the London Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Czech National Symphony Orchestra, the Russian National Orchestra, and the Singapore Chinese Orchestra.

Chris’s most recent thrill was performing with his brothers, Darius, Dan and Matthew, in an all-star tribute to their father, Dave Brubeck, as part of Washington’s  Kennedy Center Awards, to be televised internationally in December, 2009.

“Chris Brubeck is probably one of the finest performing jazz trombonists around today.” DownBeat
Chris has become one of the most capable electric bassists, delivering imaginative solos.” Los Angeles Times

Darius Brubeck

During the 1970s, Brubeck led his own groups, played with Don McLean, Larry Coryell and toured the world with Two Generations of Brubeck and The New Brubeck Quartet (Dave, Darius, Chris and Dan Brubeck) as an additional pianist and keyboardist. Several albums were recorded along the way.

His focus changed to South Africa in 1983, when he initiated the first degree course in Jazz Studies offered by an African university. He taught at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), Durban and was later appointed Director of the Centre for Jazz and Popular Music, where he remained until 2006. He currently teaches and plays in Europe.

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For 15 years, “Darius Brubeck and Afro Cool Concept”, with South Africa’s premier alto saxophonist, Barney Rachabane, performed all over southern Africa and beyond. This band’s last CD, “Still On My Mind” was released in 2003 on Sheer Sound. Other Darius Brubeck recordings released by Sheer include “Before It’s Too Late” (2004) and “Tugela Rail and Other Tracks” (2007).

International tours in 2004 included a series of concerts celebrating 10 years of democracy in South Africa and, with his brothers (Chris and Dan), he headlined at the National Arts Festival in South Africa. The Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra commissioned a piece by Darius and Zim Ngqawana that set music to extracts from speeches by Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu. These were read by Morgan Freeman at the New York premiere.

Apart from writing for his own bands, Darius’ arrangements for orchestra and a composition for Dave Brubeck’s 80th birthday can be heard on “Dave Brubeck – Live with the LSO”. The Rockefeller Foundation awarded Darius a residency as a composer at the Bellagio Study and Conference Center in Italy. As a Fulbright Senior Specialist in Jazz Studies, he taught jazz history and composition at universities in Turkey and Romania. He has also toured and given workshops in the UK, Europe, Peru, Australia, Thailand and the USA. His ‘rolling reunion band’ of former students and colleagues, has appeared regularly at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival.

In 2009, Darius and Dan Brubeck appeared together in Ronnie Scott’s 50th Anniversary series playing a Brubeck programme. Darius’ recent releases “For Lydia and the Lion” and “Earthrise” are on his Gathering Forces label. ‘Gathering Forces’ was the name of Darius’ fusion band that featured his brother, Dan in the ’70s and early ’80s. A 90’s version of GF included Deepak Ram, Airto Moreira and Matthew Brubeck.

His current group, The Darius Brubeck Quartet, recorded the well-reviewed “For Lydia and the Lion” and plays to consistently sold-out houses at London clubs and summer festivals.

Dan Brubeck

Daniel Brubeck was born in 1954. Of all the musical Brubecks’, Dan was always the most intense and assertive, so it was quite natural for him to gravitate toward the drums since he had unbounded energy as a child. He learned from two of the best polyrhythmic drummers in the world, Brubeck Quartet members Joe Morello and Alan Dawson.

Dan’s distinctive solos and mastery of poly-rhythms in odd time signatures has earned him the respect of many critics and musicians worldwide. Dan combines melodic phrases with rhythms that often stretch far beyond the bar line with a natural sense of timing that is unparalleled. His solos are compositions unto themselves.

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Dan toured the international music circuit for over two decades as leader of his own group, The Dolphins, which released three CDs that received extensive airplay in the U.S. and Japan. He has recorded with Larry Coryell, Livingston Taylor, Michael Franks, and Roy Buchanan and has toured with The Band, Gerry Mulligan, Jon Hendricks, Paul Butterfield, and Warren Bernhardt. In the 80’s Chris Brubeck, Dan and pianist Andy LaVerne formed The Brubeck LaVerne Trio and their Blackhawk release, See How it Feels, made the top 25 list in national jazz airplay.

In total, Dan was featured on 10 Dave Brubeck albums and appeared with many of the world’s leading orchestras as a member of the Dave Brubeck Quartet. Trio Brubeck with Chris and Dave Brubeck was nominated for a Grammy in 1993 and two of its tracks, “Autumn” and “Jazzanians” were also individually nominated, the latter a rare instance of a recorded drum solo gaining such recognition. “Dan steals the show … His solo is masterful – both well-planned and surprising, accurate, and exuberant. (Stereophile Magazine)

The Brubeck Brothers Quartet (Chris and Dan) have produced three highly successful CD’s, Second Nature ( Blue Forest Records), Intuition, featuring Talor Eigsti, (Koch International) and Classified, (Koch International), which have all received rave reviews. Intuition and Classified were at the top of the Jazz charts in 2006 and 2008. Dan has played at most of the world’s greatest venues and has also taught several clinics over the last few years at high schools and colleges across the U.S.

Dan has appeared on The Today Show, The Tonight Show, The Grammy Awards Show with an all-star jazz group including Dave Brubeck and Christian McBride, BBC specials and the nationally syndicated PBS series Jazz in America and with The Brubeck Brothers Quartet on the Sierra Center Stage Concert Series broadcast on PBS.

Playing with his brother, Darius goes back to the 70’s when he was a member of Darius’ ‘Gathering Forces’ band. He and Chris joined Darius in South Africa recently for a national tour and last year, Dan and Darius played a program of Brubeck music at Ronnie Scott’s. All four Brubeck sons (Darius, Chris, Dan and Matthew) performed Blue Rondo a la Turk in honour of their father at the 2009 Kennedy Center Awards Gala, attended by President and Mrs Obama.

Dave O’Higgins

Jazz saxophonist, composer, arranger, educator

Dave played various musical instruments from the age of 7, finally settling on the saxophone. He moved from Derbyshire to London in 1983 to study music at the City University. Whilst still studying he started his own jazz quartet and began gigging with NYJO, John Dankworth & Cleo Laine, & Icelandic jazz-funk band, Mezzoforte.

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Over the years Dave has won various accolades from the British Jazz Awards including Best Tenor Sax. Sketch Book (Jazzizit) is his 10th solo cd, featuring Dave alongside one of New York’s finest tenor saxophonists, Eric Alexander. Dave regularly features as a part of the Ronnie Scotts Allstars & the BBC Big Band.

Fast Foot Shuffle (Candid) & Push (Short Fuse) were conceived for the jazz dance market and have become favourites in clubs like London’s Jazz Café. The track North Station is also on compilations Brasilia Slim & Messin’ Around. Dave can be seen on many festival stages internationally performing with the breathtaking Jazzcotech Dancers.

Dave has played over the years with “everyone and their auntie” from Martin Taylor, Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra & Matthew Herbert to Salif Keita. He has also done a fair amount of studio work (jingles, pop stuff, films, library), composes & arranges for jazz ensembles of all sizes, and teaches saxophone & harmony at the London Centre for Contemporary Music and Goldsmiths College.

“A stunning player in the neo-bop vein, with an apparently effortless flow of coherent ideas, beautiful time and a highly developed harmonic sense.”
JAZZ GUIDE

and on this wholly enjoyable, powerful album, he nods to the great saxophonists – Charlie Parker, Coltrane, Dexter Gordon chief among them – who so clearly influenced him, without unduly compromising his individuality; In the Zone is archetypal O’Higgins: unpretentious, accessible, no-nonsense acoustic jazz addressed with skillfully controlled energy.”
CHRIS PARKER reviewing In the Zone (Jazzizit)

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Discography

DISC--OG

Concert Programmes

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Reviews

BRUBECKS PLAY BRUBECK has recently toured the United Kingdom twice (2010 and 2011) and played to full houses at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club for extended periods. In 2011 they also played a one-off concert in Poland which led to being invited back at a time convenient for the group and most recently (March 2012) ‘Bs Play B” performed at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival.

The personal and music appeal is huge, being sons of Jazz Icon, Dave Brubeck, and they of course play all his perennial hits, like TAKE FIVE and BLUE RONDO A LA TURK.

In addition, performances include popular compositions by the three brothers, who have long been on the international circuit in their own right. Since Dave Brubeck, age 92 this year, no longer tours, the demand for this group is high and given the popular appeal of the material, it is tailor- made for Festivals

Reviews for ‘Brubecks Play Brubeck’ 2010 and 2011.

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Brubecks Play Brubeck, Ronnie Scott’s, London
John Fordham – The Guardian (Dec 3, 2010)
Tuesday 30 November 2010

Few jazz musicians make it into the pop charts, even fewer for instrumental music of such coolly labyrinthine grooves that audiences could barely shake a leg to it. California-born pianist and composer Dave Brubeck – who did all that in the 1950s and 60s, and whose 90th birthday is next week – is one of the great popularisers of jazz, a visionary who made it speak to millions without selling its audacious spirit down the river. He no longer plays internationally, but his musician sons Darius, Chris and Dan, augmented by British saxist Dave O’Higgins, are rekindling the old magic. The four cantered affectionately through the hit list, but shrewdly didn’t try to clone the original sound. Typically playful, time-juggling themes such as Raggy Waltz emphasised both their composer’s far-sighted fusions of classical and jazz forms, and the current ensemble’s own identity, particularly in drummer Dan’s looser, splashier sound and electric bassist Chris’s slippery and sometimes funk-influenced phrasing. And O’Higgins is a contemporary tenor and soprano player of keening soulfulness rather than an airy, fluttering alto saxist like the late Paul Desmond. But O’Higgins’s edge brought a renewed poignancy to the dreamy Koto Song, and on Take Five his climax-building high-end multiphonics contrasted with Darius’s steady enunciation of the famous 5/4 riff. The pianist’s Lion at the Bar, a boogieing groover that reflected Darius’s playing and teaching experience in South Africa, reminded the audience that sheltering under the Brubeck umbrella is by no means all the maestro’s offspring do.

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Brubecks Play Brubeck, The Bridgewater Hall, 22 November, 2010
Simon A. Morrison – City Life: What’s On (Nov 22, 2010)

‘Brubecks Play Brubeck’ as in: three sons of jazz great Dave Brubeck play music from their Dad’s back catalogue.  Brubeck Snr – 90 on December 6th – no longer flies so if you want to hear Brubeck music, who better than the people who grew with it as much as Oreos and summer cook outs?  Would you rather have Julian Lennon sing you Imagine, or Jedward?

Eldest son Darius takes his Dad’s place on piano.  Dan Brubeck’s on drums, playing a very modern (in the sense of 50’s modern) fractious style, progressing his father’s love of complex time signatures.  Chris Brubeck straps on what looks like a fretless bass, playing the strings high up the neck to give it a double bass sound.  They are joined by limey Dave O’Higgins on sax, who traces elegant melodies before stepping away to let the Brubecks take counterpoint, tag-teaming solos like brothers playing backyard basketball.

The set kicks off with Blue Rondo a la Turk, then progresses through cuts from Brubeck Snr’s repertoire: In Your Own Sweet Way, Koto Song, It’s A Raggy Waltz… each treated with deference, executed with competence.  Dave Brubeck had that smoother, West Coast swing more in tune with Chet Baker and Gerry Mulligan than east coast bebop peers such as Bud Powell.  However things pick up pace with Nomad before concluding with the ever fabulous Take 5 and Unsquare Dance, in 7/4 time (try clicking your fingers to that… it renders the coolest of hip cats a maths geek at a faculty dance).
The Bridgewater Hall is a fair call for such a concert but it’s regrettably undersubscribed – you want jazz to lift the roof off the place and that’s too lofty an ambition for tonight.  However, with four of Dave’s six children now world-renowned musicians, you can only imagine how much fun it was round at the Brubecks come Christmas…

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Brubecks on Brubeck, Town Hall, Birmingham, 29-11-2010
Peter Bacon – The Jazz Breakfast, November 30, 2010

A bitterly cold Birmingham Monday evening, and if outside the Town Hall the German market was lifting spirits a little, inside the Town Hall the spirit of Dave Brubeck was doing a lot more.

The three Brubeck brothers, Darius on piano, Chris on bass and Dan on drums, together with Dave O’Higgins on tenor and soprano saxophones, played a programme which mixed the big hits with lesser known Brubeck pieces. Shrewdly, all were taken from a strongly contained part of the expansive Brubeck canon: the best-selling Time Out and Time Further Out albums, and the Jazz Impressions of Eurasia and Jazz Impressions of Japan albums which bookended them.
Now there were bound to be conflicting desires in the hearts of the predominantly mature audience (that is to say, an audience that has been living with this music for the last 50 years): they wanted to hear Three To Get Ready, Blue Rondo a la Turk, It’s A Raggy Waltz, Take Five, all as they have them stored in their memories. But, if they thought about it, they also wanted proper jazz, ie spontaneous creation in the moment, and the players up there on the stage to be themselves.

And that is what they got. Darius, Chris and Dan may be the sons of Dave but they are also strong and experienced musicians in their own right, and playing cover versions of the Dave Brubeck Quartet’s greatest hits preserved in aspic is not their style.

There were clever references back, of course. Darius favoured the strongly rhythmic, richly harmonised double-handed chordal approach to improvisation that is very much in the tradition of his father; Dan, in the crucial drum solo in Take Five, made just the right references to Joe Morrello’s original while going his own way.

As a tribute to the music of Dave Brubeck, one could not have asked for more.

The Middle Eastern inflections of The Golden Horn and Nomad, from the Eurasian impressions, and The Koto Song from the Japanese ones, provided rich expansions of the Brubeck sound and style, reminding us the huge part Dave Brubeck had played (like Duke Ellington before him) in taking jazz to the world, and feeding the world back into jazz.

Strikingly, for me, the two real high points of the evening were ones when the musical characters on the stage found themselves loosened from the Dave Brubeck Quartet material.

One was Dance Of The Shadows, a recent tune from Chris and Dan’s own band, which brought forth more relaxed performances from all four players, especially from Dan whose natural home would seem to be in a jazz-rock fusion space. O’Higgins, here, felt able to let himself go a bit, and dig deeper into his wealth of tenor power.

The other highlight was still a Dave Brubeck Quartet song, Strange Meadow Lark, but freed from the quartet format. Darius and Chris, this time on his more usual instrument, the trombone, played a truly glorious duet and sounded like this was where they were truly themselves.

The audience clapped along with infectious 7/4 rhythm of Unsquare Dance as the encore, and then queued to meet the band and share their memories with them. Dave Brubeck’s enduring spirit would warm the journey home.

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Brubecks Play Brubeck, Ronnie Scott’s – review By Jack Massarik 10 Nov 2011

Piano patriarch Dave Brubeck rations his appearances these days and rightly so. He’d probably love to jam seven nights a week but he turns 92 next month and is also aware that three of his sons – pianist Darius, bass guitarist Chris and drummer Dave – are perfectly capable of running the family business.
Darius, the eldest and most visually like his father, plays stylish piano and knows the score.

“We have some new tunes for you,” he said last night, “but our family repertoire contains many hits and we play ’em all.” The opener, Blue Rondo à la Turk, was a perfect example. It once spent six months in the US top 40, socking exotic beats and quasi-classical melody lines to unsuspecting jukebox listeners.
Fronting the quartet on tenor and soprano saxes was Dave O’Higgins, a Londoner following in the footsteps of Paul Desmond and Bobby Militello.

O’Higgins, who also works with US tenorist Eric Alexander, is another case of Britain achieving parity in the international jazz world. He sailed through the time-signature test with A Raggy Waltz (6/8 time), Dance of the Shadows (5/4) and Autumn in Our Town (3/4). These tunes inhabit a typical Brubeck set, and if they don’t play Take Five as well you should ask for your money back.

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Friday, November 11 – Brubecks Play Brubeck at Ronnie Scott’s by Clive Davis

At the end of a joyous second set the pianist Darius Brubeck and his brothers cued in the audience’s handclaps on Unsquare Dance. More than half a century after their father invited listeners to start counting in odd numbers, the music has lost none of its poise. If Dave Brubeck was not treated kindly by Fifties critics, who seemed suspicious of his ability to reach out to folk who would never have been caught wearing a beret, history has surely vindicated him.

At 90, the patriarch is no longer a globetrotter, but Darius, drummer Dan and bass guitarist-trombonist Chris are doing a sterling job of spreading the word. (Another member of the clan, Matt, an excellent cellist and sometime collaborator with Yo-Yo Ma, has made a name for himself with bands including the wonderfully quirky Oranj Symphonette.) Launching their tour alongside British tenor saxophonist Dave O’Higgins, the three brothers cannily balanced respect for the past with a determination to push on further down the road.

O’Higgins brings muscle as well as brains to the line-up. On Take Five his solo brought a hint of Coltrane into the mix. If the group’s version of Blue Rondo à la Turk was a mite ponderous in comparison with the original, the remainder of the programme grew in stature. Darius is as cultured a pianist as his father. His own composition The Lion at the Bar — inspired by memories of his time as an educator in South Africa — opened with tremulous, Abdullah Ibrahim-like chords before swooping into an impassioned township rhythm.

Chris Brubeck’s graceful lines on the fretless bass stirred a subtle counterpoint throughout. Brother Dan’s pony-tail may not be the last word in hipster fashion, but his drumming was an immaculate fusion of power and dexterity. Joe Morello would surely have approved of the epic solo on Take Five. Early in the second set, Chris demonstrated his versatility by switching to trombone for a mellifluous version of Strange Meadowlark, Darius supplying the accompaniment. The group’s residency ends on Saturday.

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CHINA CRISIS

CHINA CRISIS

About

China Crisis is an English pop/rock band. They were formed in 1979 in Kirkby, near Liverpool, Merseyside with a core of vocalist/keyboardist Gary Daly and guitarist Eddie Lundon. China Crisis were originally assimilated in the batch of new wave Liverpool acts of the late 1970s and early 1980s, led by OMD and also including The Teardrop Explodes, A Flock of Seagulls and Frankie Goes to Hollywood.

China Crisis had success in the United Kingdom in the 1980s with five Top 40 singles and three Top 40 albums, as well as commercial success in Western Europe, Australia and the Americas.

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Early Days and Chart Success

Early days

Sharing an affection for Stevie Wonder, Steely Dan, David Bowie, and Brian Eno, Daly and Lundon played with various Knowsley post-punk groups. Daly then spent time tinkering with synthesizers and a drum machine. Along with Lundon, Daly began writing songs. The pair eventually asked drummer and percussionist Dave Reilly to join them in 1981, and in 1982 they released their debut single “African and White” as China Crisis on the independent record label, Inevitable.[2] In June 1982, they backed Tom Verlaine at The Venue in London.[4]

Chart success

The band was signed to Virgin Records and recorded their debut album, Difficult Shapes & Passive Rhythms, Some People Think It’s Fun to Entertain, which was released in December 1982.[2] A re-release of “African & White” became China Crisis’ first hit in the United Kingdom, reaching No. 45 in the UK Singles Chart. The follow-up single, “Christian”, made UK No. 12 in early 1983 and brought them to national prominence.[2][5] By the time of this success; Reilly had left the band, but had remained with the band long enough to co-write and perform on “Christian”, along with session musician Steve Levy playing oboe and saxophone. The album peaked at No. 21 in the UK Albums Chart.[5] During this period the band toured supporting Simple Minds (as discussed in interviews on the DVD Live in Concert at the Paul McCartney Auditorium Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts).

Adding Gary “Gazza” Johnson (bass guitar) and Waterboys drummer Kevin Wilkinson to the line-up, a second album, Working with Fire and Steel – Possible Pop Songs Volume Two, was released in November 1983.[2] Tracks included the singles “Tragedy and Mystery” (released six months earlier) and “Hanna Hanna” as well as the title track, “Working with Fire and Steel”, which became a hit single in Australia. The album was a Top 20 success in the UK, and China Crisis spent 1984 and 1985 making their biggest chart run, beginning with their only UK Top 10 hit single, “Wishful Thinking”, which peaked at No. 9.[2][5]

Their third album, Flaunt the Imperfection, was produced by Walter Becker of Steely Dan fame and reached No. 9 in the UK Albums Chart in May 1985.[2][5] China Crisis was so honoured to directly work with Becker that they officially listed him in the group as a quintet consisting of Daly, Lundon, Johnson, Wilkinson, and Becker on the album’s credits. Becker was living on Maui, Hawaii, when he was approached by Virgin to work on this project, and he had to leave his expecting partner Eleanor to assist. He never formally appeared with the band (but made important playing contributions on the album) and the subsequent tour featured new keyboard player Brian McNeill. Johnson was now credited as co-writer with Daly and Lundon.

The album was promoted by the No. 14 UK hit single “Black Man Ray”,[5] which also enjoyed critical acclaim and international success. The follow-up, “King in a Catholic Style (Wake Up)”, was a Top 20 UK single at No. 19, but it would prove to be the band’s last substantial hit.[5] A third release from the album, “You Did Cut Me”, stalled at UK No. 54.[5] They simultaneously released a video compilation, Showbiz Absurd.

In 1986, the band collaborated with producers Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley (who worked with Madness) on What Price Paradise, which included “Arizona Sky”, the album’s first single release, and another Australian hit, “June Bride”. All the band were now credited as songwriters. A second single from the album, “Best Kept Secret”, made UK No. 36 in early 1987.[5] It was to be the band’s final Top 40 hit single.[5]

The five-piece band worked with Becker once more on 1989’s Diary of a Hollow Horse, which earned critical acclaim though little commercial success.[2] It fared slightly better than its predecessor, making the UK Top 60, and spawned the singles “St Saviour Square” and “Red Letter Day”, both achieving the lower reaches of the UK Singles Chart.[5] Becker produced most of the album’s tracks, but this time was not credited as an official band member.

The band’s last studio album, Warped by Success, was released in 1994, following the band’s parting of ways with the Virgin label. The album produced their final studio chart single, “Everyday the Same”,[2][5] which briefly edged into the UK Top 100. Although Johnson and Wilkinson both made small contributions, the band was now listed as comprising Daly, Lundon, producer Terry Adams and sound engineer Mark Phythian. In 1995 they released a live unplugged album and video entitled Acoustically Yours. This featured a live version of “Black Man Ray”, and also saw a return for Johnson, Wilkinson and McNeill.

Since 1992, there have been four compilation albums of their work for the UK and US markets and three live DVDs. The first of these, entitled Collection: The Very Best of China Crisis, made the Top 40 in the UK Albums Chart in 1990.

Mid 1990s to 2014

On 17 July 1999, drummer Kevin Wilkinson committed suicide by hanging himself at the age of 41. Wilkinson had played with a wide variety of bands including The Waterboys, Fish, The Proclaimers, Squeeze and with Howard Jones. In 2000, Daly contributed a track to a tribute compilation to Wilkinson, Green Indians.

Since the late 1990s, China Crisis has concentrated on live performances with only original members Eddie Lundon and Gary Daly being constant throughout; the band alternates between performances either as a duo or with a fluctuating line-up of backing musicians, the most notable of which is Manx guitarist Colin Hinds who spent more than ten years with the band in the early 21st century.

In December 2002, China Crisis’ Daly and Lundon held a one night unplugged venue in Manila, Philippines, with the support of a local band, Rivermaya. They toured the UK during January and February 2007 as part of their 25th anniversary. Gary Daly released his limited edition solo album (‘The Visionary Mindset Experience’) in 2007, featuring collaborations with Megan Kovacs (from the band Kovacs) and Jean Weir. In 2008, it was announced they would be the support act for Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark’s UK October tour. In February 2009, the band performed a fund raising gig for The Friends of Meols Park.

Additionally, gigs were played at The Robin 2, Bilston, Wolverhampton on 20 February 2009, and in Stone, Staffordshire on 22 February 2009. Daly’s art exhibition ‘How To Live & Love Your Life’ was held at Kirkby Art Gallery, Kirkby, Knowsley, Merseyside from 23 February to 10 May 2009. China Crisis played at Fort Perch Rock on the Wirral on 8 August 2009, and at the Rewind Festival in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, on 22 August 2009. The same month they played at The Mathew Street Festival in Liverpool.

They returned to the Philippines to perform at Eastwood City on 20 January 2011 and played at the Rewind Festivals in Perth (Scotland) and Henley-on-Thames in August 2011. Another concert in the Philippines was held on 9 September 2011 at the SMX Convention Center, together with Ex-Simple Minds with further shows in the Philippines, Singapore and Hong Kong that followed. At recent shows China Crisis’ two lead musicians have been joined by Siân Monaghan on drums.[6]

In 2012, the band performed a series of shows in their native Britain, with shows in Upton-upon-Severn in August, Stratford-upon-Avon, Birmingham and Middlesbrough in October, Glasgow and Gateshead in November, and finishing the tour at the Cavern Club, Liverpool in December.

In 2013, the band toured more extensively, playing dates in the UK and visiting the United States and Canada as a three-piece with Brian McNeil, before returning for more UK dates including their regular Cavern Club Christmas gigs, again held on a Thursday and Friday as a five-piece.

In 2014, the band played another UK tour, culminating again in their annual Cavern Club shows. During those shows, they paid tribute to Nicky Lundon, brother of Eddie, who had worked extensively with the band, and who had died in that year. Their song “Wishful Thinking” was performed in his memory.

2014: New Album
On 16 December 2013, the song “Everyone You Know” was made available as a free download on the Pledge Music website, when pre-ordering the album Autumn in the Neighbourhood announced for release in 2014.[7] On 13 January 2014, the band posted an illustrated account of the track and how it was written and came to be recorded. 87% of the pledge goal had been reached at that time.[8] Ahead of the release of the new album, the track “Being In Love” was premiered on Steve Lamacq’s BBC Radio 6 Music show on 25 April 2014.[9] The band toured in late 2014, playing some tracks from the new album alongside older favourites. As of 5 February 2015,[10] the band had achieved 235% of its pledgemusic target and the album was in final mix and production.

Autumn in the Neighbourhood was released on 3 June 2015 via the Pledge Music website. It was their first studio album for 21 years, and contained 11 songs: “Smile”; “Down Here on Earth”; “Autumn in the Neighbourhood”; “Because My Heart”; “Bernard”; “Joy and the Spark”; “Being in Love”; “Fool”; “My Sweet Delight”; “Tell Tale Signs” and “Wonderful New World”. However, the pre-release taster track, “Everyone You Know”, was not included on the album. The band undertook an extensive promotional tour of the UK from the end of September until December 2015, both as a trio and as a full band.[11] The tour included a special “Flaunt the Imperfection Live” night at The Epstein Theatre, Liverpool on 17 October 2015 to mark the thirtieth anniversary of their 1985 album of that name. The band also played five nights in North America in December under the banner of “North America Merry Christmas Tour”.[12]

In November 2015, a compilation album, 80s Recovered, featuring many 1980s-related artists was released on the Music Brokers label. China Crisis contributed a cover of Carole King’s “It’s Too Late”, with both a regular version, and an extended remix.[13]

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Discography

Live Albums and compilations

Collection: The Very Best of China Crisis V 2613, Virgin, UK – 1990 – UK No. 32
Diary: A Collection CD VVIPD 117, Virgin, UK – 1992
Acoustically Yours (Live) TLG CD 005, Telegraph, UK – 1995
Collection: The Very Best of China Crisis (US-Only Reissue) CD CAROL 1117-2, Caroline, US – 1997
The Best of China Crisis CLP 0350-2, Purple Pyramid, US – 1998
Wishful Thinking (Repackaged Acoustically Yours and Warped by Success) SMDCD 117, Snapper Music, UK – 1999
Scrap Book Vol. 1 (Live at the Dominion Theatre) (Concert from 1985) CHVP101CD, Crisis, UK – 2002
Diary: A Collection (Copy-protected reissue, changed album art) 7243 5 95404 2 1, EMI Gold, EU – 2003
Singing The Praises of Finer Things (Live at Liverpool LIPA) CD CRIDE 75, Secret Records – 2006
China Greatness Live (Souvenir disc, available only for the Philippines 2011 SMX Concert fan signing session)[5] and at after-gig sales during the 2014 UK tour
Ultimate Crisis MCDLX152 Music Club Deluxe 2-CD Demon Music Group/EMI Records – 2012
Fine and Also Rare China (Souvenir disc available at after-gig sales in the UK in 2013)

Singles

“African and White” INEV 011, Inevitable, UK – 1981 UK No. 45, AUS No. 75
“Scream Down at Me” VS 495, Virgin, UK – 1982
“No More Blue Horizons” VS 521, Virgin, UK – 1982
“Christian” VS 562, Virgin, UK – 1982 UK No. 12
“Tragedy and Mystery” VS 587, Virgin, UK – 1983 UK No. 46
“Working with Fire and Steel” VS 620, Virgin, UK – 1983 UK No. 48, AUS No. 47 US Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs No. 27
“Wishful Thinking” VS 647, Virgin, UK – 1983 UK No. 9, AUS No. 57
“Hanna Hanna” VS 665, Virgin, UK – 1984 UK No. 44
“Black Man Ray” VS 752, Virgin, UK – 1985 UK No. 14, AUS No. 30
“King in a Catholic Style (Wake Up)” VS 765, Virgin, UK – 1985 UK No. 19
“You Did Cut Me” VS 799, Virgin, UK – 1985 UK No. 54
“The Highest High” VS 829, Virgin, UK – 1985 UK No. 82
“Arizona Sky” VS 898, Virgin, UK – 1986 UK No. 47, AUS No. 52
“Best Kept Secret” VS 926, Virgin, UK – 1987 UK No. 36
“St. Saviour Square” VS 1168, Virgin, UK – 1989 UK No. 81
“Red Letter Day” VS 1188, Virgin, UK – 1989 UK No. 84
“African and White (The Steve Proctor remix)” VS 1197, Virgin, UK – 1990
“Everyday the Same” 12STA001, Stardumb, UK – 1994 No. 99
“Black Man Ray (Live)” tlg cd 006, Telegraph, UK – 1996[5] “Everyone You Know” – December 2013, digital download only via Pledge Music

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Biogs

China Crisis – A special case history

“Difficult shapes and passive rhythms”

Founded in Liverpool, England by Gary Daly and Eddie Lundon. The two started working together in 1979 after leaving school.

China Crisis debuted in 1981 with the single “African and White”, then followed another single “Scream down at me” in 1982. Both these releases were on a small Liverpool independent label, Inevitable Records.

The band was then signed by Virgin Records who re-released “African and White”, which then became a minor UK hit, reaching number 45 in the singles chart.

The debut album “Difficult shapes and passive rhythms, Some people think it’s fun to entertain” surfaced in late 1982 and hit the number 21 spot in November. Production credits were shared by Pete Walsh, Steve Levine, Gil Norton and Jeremy Lewis. At this stage the band consisted of Gary Daly (vocals, synths and bass guitar), Eddie Lundon (guitar and vocals) and Dave Reilly (percussion).

The album spawned two more singles “No more blue horizons” and “Christian”, the latter peaking at number 12 in the UK singles chart.

“Working with fire and steel”

In 1983 the singles “Tragedy and mystery” (UK no. 46) and “Working with fire and steel” (UK no. 48) preceeded the second album, “Working with fire and steel, Possible pop songs volume two”, this time with Mike Howlett behind the wheel. The album was released in November.

At this stage Kevin Wilkinson (drums) and Gary “Gazza” Johnson (bass) had joined the band. Kevin Wilkinson will further on in his career share his time between his commitment to China Crisis and playing together with The Waterboys, Proclaimers, Squeeze etc.

The guests performers on “Working…” included Steve Levy on oboe and Anthony Thistlethwaite (The Waterboys) on saxophone. The oboe sound of Steve Levy became some sort of a China Crisis “trademark” during this period.

The third single from the album, “Wishful Thinking” became China Crisis’ biggest hit, reaching number 9 in the UK and charting all over Europe. It was voted most popular song of the week on the swedish radio show “Poporama” in the spring of 1984. Later in the spring “Hanna Hanna” reached no. 44 in the UK charts.

China Crisis toured with Simple Minds in Europe during 1984, not recieving that good reviews for their live performance (at least not in Sweden).

“Flaunt the Imperfection”

With a growing reputation after the success of “Working with fire and steel”, China Crisis attracted the interest of Steely Dan founding member, Walter Becker.

Becker came to produce their third album “Flaunt the imperfection”, released in april 1985. Becker has claimed that he was not the band’s first choice as producer, they apparently wanted Brian Eno but he wasn’t available.

The result became very smooth and slick, and very “steelydanish”. The album was to be the bands greatest success to this date, reaching no. 9 in the UK charts and sending them on an extensive tour.

Featured singles are: “Black Man Ray” (UK no. 14), possibly their best song. “King in a Catholic Style” (UKno. 19) with a very entertaining video clip to back it. “You Did Cut Me” (UK no. 54) and “The Highest High”. At the time of the release of “You Did Cut Me” (September 1985) a video, “Showbiz Absurd”, was released, including the promo clips for “Christian”, “Working with Fire and Steel”, “Wishful Thinking”, “Hanna Hanna”, “Black Man Ray” and “King in a Catholic Style”.

“What Price Paradise”

With Brian McNeill (keyboards) having joined the band, they recorded “What Price Paradise” with Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley producing. The album was released in November 1986 and reached no. 63 in the UK. The album is in my opinion the bands best to this date, sadly underated by critics and the public.

“Arizona Sky” (UK no. 47, november 1986) and “Best Kept Secret” (UK no. 36, early 1987) was the only singles from this album.

“Diary of A Hollow Horse”

After a lengthy absence from the limelight, China Crisis resurfaced in May 1989 with the single “Saint Saviour Square”. The single’s lack of success didn’t help rocket the following album “Diary of a Hollow Horse” to any commercial heights. With Walter Becker back as main producer (8 of 11 songs) and recorded on Hawaii, in Los Angeles, New York and London it has the scent of summer and Steely Dan! In retrospect a very good album.

Mike Thorne produced the remaining tracks including both singles off the album “Saint Saviour Square” and “Red letter day”.

China Crisis toured the UK with support act The Highlanders, following the album.

Compilations, leaving Virgin and splitting up

In August 1990 the first China Crisis compilation album was released, “Collection, The very best of China Crisis”. Featuring almost exclusively singles, a lot of essential material is left out from this offering. Though, this compilation was released also as a limited edition double CD featuring some of their best B-sides on the second disc. This double compilation is a truly wonderful sum up of their career from 1981 to 1989. A remix of “African and White” preceeded the album as a single. This remix by Steve Proctor gave the song a completely new flavour, excellent!

“Diary – a collection” from 1992 features a few more album tracks and B-sides and is a more interesting compilation than the first one. This one also has some nice liner notes.

After Virgin wanting only Daly and Lundon to stay on the paylist, China Crisis left Virgin since the band was so important to the members after playing together for eight years. The band actually split at this point in time because of financial reasons, being a pop band without a contract didn’t pay any bills for the five family men.

“Warped by Success”

In September 1994 China Crisis returned, now with Terry Adams and Mark Phythian being new additions. Kevin, Gazza and Brian no longer with the band. Kevin and Gazza contribute to one song each though and one song, “Hard to be Around”, is dedicated to Kevin.

The album, “Warped by Success” is far from their best moments but still a welcome return. A few songs show that they still have the ability to write wonderful pop songs, the only (?) single “Everyday the Same”, “Without the Love” and “Hard to be Around” in particular.

“Warped by success” was released by Stardumb Records.

“Acoustically Yours”

Following another change of record company now being with former OMD member Paul Humphrey’s label Telegraph Records, China Crisis set off to record a live album, “Acoustically yours”.

Released in the autumn of 1995 to critical aclaim, it showed a China Crisis as brilliant as ever, being confident about the power in the songs. Showing that though the sound on some of their earlier offerings are quite dated, their songs are not! Most of their “greatest” hits are here and a some more recent songs all in splendidly revamped versions.

The highlights are “Wishful Thinking”, “It’s Everything”, “Black Man Ray” and “Diary of a Hollow Horse”. The album was recorded at the Neptune theatre in Liverpool and a tour followed.

“Black Man Ray” was the single of the album, released in 1996. On the single there was a version from the Neptune theatre show of “Here come a Raincloud” (from “Working…”) that features Pete Coyle from The Lotus Eaters on vocals.

There is also a video from this show available.

Future?

One hopes that the success of “Acoustically yours” will inspire to further efforts from China Crisis, but to this date, this is the story of China Crisis, a very special case history!

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THE RUTLES

THE RUTLES

The rutles

On January 21, 1959 the Rutles story began at 43 Egg Lane, Liverpool, where Ron Nasty and Dirk McQuickly first bumped into each other.

Ron invited Dirk to help him stand up. Dirk, merely an ameteur drinker, agreed and on that spot a legend was created, a legend that will last a lunchtime.

They were soon to be joined by Stig O’Hara, a guitarist of no fixed hairstyle, but it would be another two years before they found their regular drummer, Barrington Womble, hiding in the van.

When they did, they persuaded him to change his name to save time and his haircut to save Brylcreem. He became simply Barry Wom.

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Discography

Shangri – La

  • Shangri-La
  • Joe Public
  • Baby S’il Vous Plait
  • It’s Looking Good

The Rutles

  • Hold My Hand
  • Number One
  • With A Girl Like You
  • I Must Be In Love
  • OUCH!
  • Living In Hope
  • Love Life
  • Nevertheless
  • Good Times Roll
  • Doubleback Alley
  • Cheese And Onions
  • Another Day
  • Piggy In The Middle
  • Let’s Be Natural

Archaeology

  • Major Happy’s Up And Coming Once Upon A Good Time Band
  • Rendezvous
  • Questionnaire
  • We’ve Arrived! (And To Prove It We’re Here)
  • Lonely-Phobia
  • Unifinished Words
  • Hey Mister!
  • Easy Listening
  • Now She’s Left You
  • The Knicker Elastic King
  • I Love You
  • Eine Kleine Middle Klasse Musik
  • Joe Public
  • Shangri-La
  • Don’t Know Why
  • Back In ’64

Live and Raw – 2014

  • Hold My Hand
  • Good Time Roll
  • Questionnaire
  • I Must Be In Love
  • Another Day
  • Living In Hope
  • Piggy In The Middle
  • Love Live
  • Cheese And Onions
  • Double Back Alley
  • Eine Kleine Middle Klasse Musik
  • Hey Mister
  • Easy Listening
  • Imitation Song

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Film Listings

  • All you need is cash
  • Can’t buy me lunch

Press articles

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Posters

Videos


THE URBAN SPACEMAN BABY DADA SHOW

The Urban Spaceman Baby Dada Show

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theurban

NEIL INNES

NEIL INNES

Neil Innes

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Over 30 years ago, the “Innes Book Of Records” was first broadcast on BBC 2 a little after 10 o’ clock in the evening, but more significantly, immediately following a gripping episode of the serialized Daphne Du Maurier novel, “Rebecca”.

It found an instant sympathetic audience as people stayed tuned and a further six programmes were commissioned almost as soon as the first series ended.

Producer Ian Kiell, who had skillfully managed the meager resources of Eric Idle’s “Rutland Weekend Television”, (the smallest and the “poorest” television station in the UK) had telephoned me to suggest we do a “Rutland Weekend Songbook” or something, hastily adding; “of course, we cannot possibly call it that…”

We both agreed that putting pictures to songs was challenging and fun and that the first step should be lunch.

As I put the phone down it dawned on me that I was being offered my own show and my head became a battlefield of “dos” and “don’ts” and the “don’ts” were clearly gaining the upper hand.

Don’t sit on a high stool with a famous guest and sing a duet, don’t be surrounded by thousands of light bulbs, don’t wear a wig, or maybe I should wear a wig… or two…

Over lunch we decided to avoid all the show business clichés and try a more subdued approach to making television. No crash, no bang, no wallop attention-seeking tactics for us, no, we longed for something more akin to the “potter’s wheel” or the “swans” of bygone days when television used to have “intermissions” and even “close down”.

We determined that each programme should be a gentle journey through time with “Songs and Pictures about People and Things” and if anyone should ever wonder, even for the briefest second, what it was all about, we would have failed. But what do we call it?

Ian suggested “The Innes Book Of Records” and I threw my hands up in horror! Surely that was precisely the kind of tackiness we wanted to avoid! There had to be something else…

On my way home in the taxi, I had an epiphany. I picked up the house brick in my briefcase that also doubled as one of the very first mobile phones and tapped in Ian’s number.

Barely disguising the excitement in my voice, I announced that I had the title for the show. It was obvious, why hadn’t we thought of it before? “Parodies Lost!”

I shall never forget the pause that greeted my epiphany or the dismal inadequacy of the words “most amusing” in context with such moments of monumental inspiration.

However, casting all doubts aside, we went into pre-production under the banner of “Parodies Lost” and BBC Bristol would become our “base”.

This was a masterstroke on Ian’s part as it soon became apparent that this was an ambitious project and everyone had to muck in and help one another if we were to succeed. Everyone did. Everyone brought the toys of their own expertise to the sandpit and we all played happily together. We were a Team.

We soon evolved a style, I could request 300 Mongolian horsemen to ride over a hill in Somerset and Ian would come up with something similar, but within the budget.

It was on top of such a hill in Somerset, bewigged, heavily made-up and dressed in white tie and tails as “Nick Cabaret”, (so called because the outfit was “nicked” from a character in the film “Cabaret”) that an elderly couple with a rather fat dog asked me what we were doing.

“Making a programme for BBC 2,” I smiled.
The dog wheezed.
“Oh, what’s it called?” I had been waiting for this moment.
“Parodies Lost”, I beamed.
The dog coughed.
“I beg your pardon?” said the man.

“Par-o-dies Lost”, I articulated, “you know, not “Paradise Lost” but “Parodies Lost”. They thanked me and went slowly on their way, reluctant dog in tow. I felt distinctly uneasy.

Later that evening I saw a can of film, sealed around the rim with camera tape upon which was boldly written in black marker pen: “Paroids Lost”.[sic] And at that moment I realized that Ian had been right all along and so it became: “The Innes Book Of Records”.

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RANDALLS ISLAND – ELLIOT RANDALL

RANDALLS ISLAND – ELLIOT RANDALL

About

randallsElliott Randall’s illustrious career has encompassed a wide and varied cross-section of World Musical forms. These include: record production, composition, electronic research and development, lectures and teaching, and of course, a legendary contribution to popular guitar performance and recording.

His guitar solos on Steely Dan’s “Reelin’ In The Years” and “Fame” (the motion picture) have entered Rock history annals.

Elliott has recorded and performed with artists as diverse as The Doobie Brothers, Carly Simon, Seatrain, The Blues Brothers, Carl Wilson, Peter Wolf, Peter Frampton, James Galway, Richie Havens, The Rochester Philharmonic and The American Symphony Orchestra, among many others. In addition, he is a favorite of esteemed songwriters Jimmy Webb, George David Weiss, Don Covay and Laura Nyro. Other credits include: music consultant for NBC Saturday Night Live and Oliver Stone, and projects with producers Jerry Wexler, Joel Dorn, Steve Lillywhite, Eddie Kramer, David Kershenbaum, Bill Szymcziyk, Eumir Deodato, Bob Crewe, Andrew Loog Oldham, Elliot Scheiner and Gary Katz among many others.

In addition to artistic projects, Elliott has also played, produced and composed myriad advertisements (jingles) for television, radio and cinema, for clients including Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Miller Beer, Budweiser, Cadillac, Ford, McDonalds, Burger King, Wendy’s, CitiBank, General Mills, Nabisco, Proctor & Gamble, MTV, ESPN, CBS, ABC, BBC-TV and countless others.

Cutting edge technologies: Since the advent of midi in the early 80s, Elliott has worked as independent consultant for a wide range of companies, including Akai, Roland, Korg and Yamaha, in the areas of musical instrument and amplifier development, recording & sampling technology, software design, and education.

Current projects include recording & production, lectures, and consultancy on multimedia content. Early this year (2015), Elliott began a series of collaborations with Neil Innes. The pair are currently preparing for their first tour, with full band, beginning in December.

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THE RUBETTES – FEATURING BILL HURD

THE RUBETTES – FEATURING BILL HURD

The Band

rubettes

Bill Hurd: – Keyboards/Vocals

Bill is an original founder member of the Rubettes and strongly featured in the band’s success for many years. With a great rock ’n ‘roll piano style and a distinctive soulful voice, he brings a passion and a high level of energy to every live performance. Outside of his Rubettes performances, Bill has worked with countless major artists, both ‘on the road’ and in the studio etc and during the late 70’s, was a member of Suzi Quatro’s band featuring on the hits “Stumblin’In”, “She’s In Love With You” and touring extensively throughout the World.

Mike Steed – Bass Guitar/Vocals

Mike is a ‘top drawer’ Bassist with a rock-solid style and consistency that only comes with experience at the highest level. He has a great track record, having worked with many major names, most recently touring with’ Marmalade’.

An exceptionally talented musician, he also plays Keyboard, Guitar and in addition to bass Guitar, ‘stand-up’ Double Bass. Every good band needs a solid foundation and Mike certainly does the job !

Martin Clapson – Drums/Vocals

One of the most innovative and prolific Drummers around,

Martin comes with an impressive musical history, having worked with the likes of Robin Trower, jack Bruce, Take That, John Lee Hooker , Dave Stewart etc. The list is endless and with a great feel, a driving, solid style and bags of energy, he brings just what the band needs to complete its tight rhythm section !

Kenny Butler – Guitar/Vocals

With a wealth of musical talent, Kenny is very capable Guitarist and a competent keyboard player. Add to these skills an excellent vocal talent, with an extensive vocal range and its clear to see what he brings to the band. He has worked with many names over the years, including the legendary Marty Wilde and also Kim Wilde in her early “Kids in America” days. An experienced session player, Kenny is a recognized and respected performer with a professional, positive attitude.

Dave Harding – Lead Guitar/Vocals

An accomplished and talented Guitarist, Dave has a great feel, with a flair for playing the right thing at the right time ! Coming from the legendary Phil Hilbourne stable, his unique style is influenced in Rock, Country, Blues, etc and he is relishing his role here. Once a member of ‘cult’ 80’s band Tokyo Rose, Dave is a very well respected player who has sessioned with many artists and fortunately for us, he has now committed his talent to the band.

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Biog

The Rubettes were one of the most original and stylish bands of the 70’s Glam-Rock era.

Having rocketed to the top of the Uk charts in 1974 with their classic million-selling debut single ”Sugar Baby Love”, they went to repeat their incredible success Worldwide With their infamous White Caps and a unique Doo-wop/Rock’n’ Roll style, they notched up a string of international hits with ”Juke Box Jive”, ’Tonight”, Little Darling”, ”I Can Do It”, ”Foe-Dee-Oh-Dee” etc, racking up sales of over 30 million records. Now in their 4oth Anniversary year the band’s global popularity is a testament to their enormous success and in most countries of the World, you will s_t_il_l hear a Rubettes song played on the Radio/1V at least once a day.

Not many bands can boast a career spanning five decades, still performing and recording, but the legend lives on with the “Rubettes featuring Bill Hurd” ! With their distinctive trademark harmonies and the musical ability to reproduce and enhance those unforgettable hit sounds, this band is thrilling audiences and winning many new fans, wherever they go. By introducing a freshness and some great new songs alongside the ones we all love to hear, this is a top class quality act, that really delivers, with a passion for each and every performance.

No going through the motions or ’resting on their Iaurels’ here and with their stunning live show, this is 215t Century Rock’n’ Roll at its best.

Discography

Rubettes featuring Bill Hurd – “21st Century Rock’n’Roll “
Album 2010

single-cover

The Rubettes ( Bill Hurd original member 1974 -‘76 / 1982 -‘99)

Singles

  • Sugar Baby Love
  • Tonight
  • Juke Box Jive
  • I Can Do It
  • Foe Dee Oh Dee
  • Little Darling
  • Julia

Albums

  • Wear It’s At
  • We Can Do It
  • Rubettes
  • Sign of the Times

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Posters

MARIA McCARTNEY

Maria McCartney

Maria McCartney has amassed over 25 years experience within the music and entertainment industry. Maria has the ability to relate well to people at all levels, which has contributed to success in working with a wide range of people and organisations.

  • Familiar with all aspects of demands of world wide touring
  • Being used to location and working on location worldwide
  • Skilled vocalist able to co-ordinate all aspects and ensure a successful outcome Working in all sectors in the music industry
  • Providing a professional vocal service for all sectors of entertainment
  • Professional performances in every type of venue

Skills

  • Music Management
  • Vocal Management
  • Music Business
  • Music Concert
  • Music Performances

Experience

Over the past 25 years, Maria covered wide ranging genres of performances within various territories, venues and festivals, including:

Genres

  • Blues
  • Jazz
  • Soul
  • Pop
  • Rock
  • Classical
  • Country
  • Punk
  • Rap
  • Disco
  • Funk

Territories

  • Great Britain
  • Europe
  • North, South and Central America
  • Australia and New Zealand
  • Far East
  • Africa
  • Scandinavia
  • Canada
  • Middle East
  • Russia
  • Eastern Block Countries

Various types of venues plus many festivals throughout the world

  • Theatres
  • Concert Halls
  • Festivals
  • Arenas
  • Stadiums
  • Cruise Ships
  • Ballrooms
  • Discos
  • Hotels
  • Clubs
  • Piers
  • Private Functions
  • Public Parks
  • Shopping Malls

Artists Worked With

  • Randy Brown
  • Madnite
  • Latimer
  • George McRae
  • Eddie Holman
  • Enigma
  • Suzette Dorsey
  • Gloria Gaynor
  • Bill Wyman
  • Blue Movies
  • QFX
  • Abrahams Child
  • Abba-Cadabra
  • OMD
  • Mary Wells
  • Natilie Cole
  • Outer Rhythm
  • DJ Scott
  • Pulse
  • Shakatak
  • Junior
  • Sushi
  • Merrill Osmond
  • Paul Humphries

Producers Worked With

  • Pink Noise Prods – Austria
  • G.Anderson – Shakatak
  • KL Prods – Switzerland
  • J. Springate Prods – UK
  • U-Turn Prods – UK
  • Midnite Prods – UK
  • Dakota Prods – UK
  • Dome Prods – UK
  • Rumour Prods – UK
  • Almighty Records

Various Local + National TV

  • BBC
  • Channel 5
  • Sky
  • Children’s TV
  • Spanish TV
  • Mexican TV
  • NBS
  • CBS
  • TV – El Salvador
  • Granada
  • Carlton
  • Yorkshire
  • Anglia

Artists Supported

  • Natalie Cole
  • 911
  • E17
  • Michelle Gayle
  • Sam Fox
  • Venga Boys
  • Weather Girls
  • Rozalla
  • Boney M Schooch
  • Bjorn Again
  • Gladys Knight
  • Dionne Warwick
  • Randy Crawford
  • Bert Weedon
  • Nightcrawlers
  • Merrill Osmond

Posters

Photos