Monday 5 February 2007

Remembering Emily Remler

Around 1986 I was living in Istanbul Turkey. A local jazz programme played the whole of Catwalk, an album of original tunes by guitarist Emily Remler. I recorded the show and played it back over and over again. The compositions were inventive, had a direct line back to the jazz tradition, had a relaxed swing, sensitivity and strong sense of purpose. Back in the UK, I was surprised that people were dismissive (e.g. “a Wes copyist”, "mainstream") because, to me, her sound and approach seemed modern and personal. When I hear Emily playing standards, I can sometimes see what people mean. However, she deserves credit for bringing her own unique qualities to the jazz guitar. When she duets with rock-influenced Larry Coryell, I know who I prefer.

Emily has a troubled personal life and sadly died at the age of 32 while on tour in Australia. Now there is a comprehensive website remembering Emily Remler: All Things Emily

Sunday 4 February 2007

Live at Joogleberry Playhouse

Played a great gig with Three Plus One at Joogleberry's in Brighton last week, 26 Jan, with guest drummer Peter Greatorex. Boga Lou is a tribute to the great alto player Lou Donaldson and owes something to Lou's Sixties hit, Alligator Bogaloo. Lou's hit was recorded with George Benson on guitar and Lonnie Smith on Hammond.
If you don't know Alligator Bogaloo, check out this rather unusual video from YouTube:

A few years ago I caught Lou at the Jazz Cafe in London. He was still playing with the wonderful "Dr" Lonnie Smith (sporting robes and a turban) and a guitarist I rate highly - Randy Johnston. Lou played bebop, blues and boogaloo and was a charming MC. The audience danced all night and you could tell he loved it!