Turn on the radio, tune in Jazz FM and drop out…
In two hours, my plane will land in London Gatwick. Thanks to the very good people at Jazz FM UK, this coming Friday, I will present my new Jazzinho album to the British audience at Rich Mix, in Hackney. Well, when I say British, I mean mainly British. Jazz FM has listeners around the world. Back in the early 90s Jazz FM was “The” station that invented the Soul Jazz format now so widely emulated.
Back in my London days, as a busy mum as well as side woman to some of Britain’s grooviest acts, I recall being stuck in the traffic and listening to the Robbie Vincent show or Peter Young’s Soul Cellar. The new sound of London with the likes of Don E, Omar and Incognito was bursting on the global scene and Jazz FM was its standard bearer. This FM station was “Talking loud and saying something”. Twenty years later, an adult Jazz FM is still providing its listeners with a groovy soundtrack to their hectic lives. What has changed is that people are not listening to it through the old “wireless” anymore… in 2014 Jazz FM is digital, and people tune in via the web, on their smart phone etc..
In this day and age music is free and nobody wants to pay for it. Musicians never know where their next meal will come from. The sound Jazzinho loves is not computer generated. It is played by real people who have studied many years to master their instrument. It is social music, played and recorded by people with sophisticated skills. It really helps that a radio plays both classic tracks by established artists and new music by lesser known musicians. Not only this but Jazz FM is going the extra mile and organises many gigs, events and the now famous Love Supreme Festival. All this provides an output for musicians to show their work. Without this push, Veludo, my new album would not exist.
What I really want to say, is “Thank You”. Thank you Chris Philips, Alex Lloyd and all the kind people at the station for giving Jazzinho, as well as many other acts, the opportunity to be heard and seen live. We are immensely grateful, you are keeping music live.
Dear reader, if you like Leon Ware, Gil Scott Heron, Bossa Nova, Rare Groove, Classic Soul etc… then you must tune in Jazz FM. Click here to listen.
Guida de Palma
Jazz FM is now 100% digital through DAB and the internet. It is heard by 700 000 unique weekly listeners in the UK, and thousands more around the world. It is free to air and is also available on Apple TV, Deezer and various streaming platforms.
Jazzinho Live, the revenge of the groove.
My album is Nº 9 in the UK Soul Chart and I am, well…. so excited….
A quick bit of sweet news as I write these lines: Veludo is now Nº 9 in the UK’s Soul Charts. Yeah, Top Ten! Never, in my wildest dreams, would have ever thought that one day I will be eagerly waiting the weekly charts. But here I am, mighty proud! And so excited…
Now, I wish you a happy new year and all the best for 2014, which is likely to be a difficult one. But we’re getting used to this, aren’t we? Stiff upper lip etc…
We have a brand new band
With my partner in groove Graham Harvey (The Gentle Groovy Giant), we have put together a brand new band. Thanks to the very very good people at Jazz FM (yes you Chris Phillips, and you Alex Lloyd) we will debut this line up at Rich Mix in London on February 28th at 20:00.
Come and see me after the gig, I will personally give you a download card for Veludo, our new album.
Alongside Graham and his vintage Rhodes, the drummer will be Richard Bailey and the bassist Julian Crampton. For those in the know, you will have of course recognised members of the early Incognito line up. Veteran guitarist Jim Mullen – Brian Auger’s Oblivion, Average White Band, Paul McCartney – is also part of the stellar line up. It is also quite possible that a few guests could pop in.
Please blow our horns, we need your help!
Keeping a band afloat these days is quite an endeavour, and filling a venue is always a challenge. You could really help us if you not only honoured us with your presence but if you made sure your friends came as well.
Let’s spray! Todd Marrone, the angel of Street Art is now tagging the heaven.
On a sadder note, the blue one, the one we use when we’re sad, I would like to announce that Todd Marrone, the artist behind the artwork of Veludo and the video for Bicho Papão has passed away on Christmas day. Todd is survived by his lovely and courageous wife Heather Hall (You go Girl!) and their two young children.
Todd was an amazing artist as well as an incredibly generous person spreading his most excellent vibe. He had this unique capacity to turn whatever he touched into great Art. His beautiful soul will always be with us.
Esspresso yourself and donta Pizza me off! The comment area below is for you to air your feelings. C’mon, go on….
Bluey’s remix of Abraço da Bossa
If you are reading these lines, it is most likely that you already know who is Jean Paul Maunick AKA Bluey, head man and founder of the legendary Incognito. Needless to say that I am in complete awe of this man’s work. In fact Bluey, under his own name, has recently done a fantastic album which I totally recommend. Well, guess what ? He did a remix of one of the tracks on Veludo, my new album. Wow! I had to pinch myself to believe it. Thank you sir.
Abraço da Bossa is a piece I initially penned on my own and then with the help of Cristina Rajão for the lyrics and Christopher Pedley from the Baker Brothers for the music. Bluey, who often works with my producer Graham Harvey, kindly offered to “help the cause” by doing a remix. Of course we accepted immediately. With the help of his partner in groove, sound engineer, programmer, multi instrumentalist and all around studio wizard Richard Bull, they created an entirely new version of our song. Working on the track, there is also Matt Cooper, an amazing pianist with whom I had a band a zillion years ago, as well as Trevor Mires the trombonist and Sid Gauld on trumpet. The result is this almost lascivious 95bpm lounge mix which should get couples in the right mood; if you see what I mean.
I hope you will like it as much as I do.
Please let me know what you think, and as usual, if you like the music, share it using the Facebook comments below.
Think carefully ! I bet that most of the Stevie Wonder’s songs you prefer are almost all from these four albums:
- Music of My Mind (1972)
- Talking Book (1972)
- Innervisions (1973)
- Fulfillingness’ First Finale (1974)
Well, Songs in the Key of Life is not bad either (understatement).
There might be a reason for this. Alongside Stevie, they were co produced and recorded by two virtually unknown British guys. Bob Margouleff and Malcolm Cecil, using their amazing Tonto synthesiser, the Colossus of electronic music, worked night and day, four years in a row, to craft the idiosyncratic sound of Stevie Wonder, earning him four Grammies. When I say night and day, I mean literally anytime of the day as Stevie, living on multiple time zones, and being blind lives in own time zone. I bet you never heard their names, but the three of them went on to recording 240 songs together, most of them never released. Think of those gritty and funky synths, Stevie’s trademark really, this is Tonto, the mother of all synthesizers. So big, it can…. it must be played by two or three people at simultaneously. Think of the bridge of Star Trek’s Enterprise.
History was not very kind with Bob and Cecil as they were seldom, or more exactly almost never credited properly for their ground breaking work. But, better late than never, now you know.
Please feel free to comment and add information.
What’s it’s all about, Alfie.
Alfie is an excellent film from 1966 starring Michael Caine as a super cool cockney womanizer. Burt Bacharach insisted on writing and recording the theme song. He chose Cilla Black to sing it and organised a mammoth session at legendary Abbey Road studio in West London. He used the largest room to pack an entire philharmonic as well as backing vocalists and a full rhythm section with drum kit, bass, percussion etc… the works !
It took 32 takes to complete the song. Legend goes that it is Sir George Martin, who was behind the desk engineering the session, who decided that enough was enough and sent everybody home. The track was used to promote the film on radio as well as in the final tittle sequence. In the US the song was entirely rerecorded with Cher, but was not part of the film and was a minor hit. Since then the track was covered hundreds of times. My preferred cover being by Eivets Rednow, whose version I’ll feature soon.
Please feel free to comment and add information.
Smith influenced a constellation of jazz organists, of the likes of Jimmy McGriff, Brother Jack McDuff, Richard “Groove” Holmes, Joey DeFrancesco and Larry Goldings as well as rock keyboardists like Jon Lord, Brian Auger and Keith Writer. More recently, Smith influenced bands like the Beastie Boys sampled the bassline from “Root Down (and Get It)” from Root Down—and saluted Smith within the lyrics—for their own hit “Root Down. Medeski, Martin & Wood and the Hayden-Eckert Ensemble also were strongly influenced by “The Cat”. Often referred to as the father of Acid Jazz, Smith lived to see that movement return to revive Smith’s organ style.
This track, recorded in NY follows Jimmy’s concerts in Estoril, at one of the very first Jazz Festivals in Portugal. Thad Jones directs the orchestra’s stellar line up in his idiosyncratic style.
Please feel free to comment and add information.
We have made a lovely video of Papão
“O Papão, or how the bogeyman gets down to Boogie”.
Todd Marrone the street artist and Billy Blob the animator, two geniuses from Philly, have created a short Halloween video for Papão, a great track Graham Harvey and I have put together. Papão is Portuguese for Werewolf or Bogeyman – or Boogeyman as you spell it states side. This is the story of a Wolfman who has more than enough of being treated like a second class citizen and finds a way to defuse animosity toward his kind by playing good groove. With the help of his cute Bogeywoman he gets people to see his good side. Read between the lines, and see the social message. I hope you’ll enjoy.
If you liked what you have seen please help us by pre-ordering the album via our crowd-funding. You can even get the digital album in the next two or three days. Just press the button above to go to our Indiegogo page. Sharing this page and commenting on it below also creates traffic toward this page.
All good things come to those who wait.
Phew ! That’s it : finished, done ! A big void in Guida de Palma’s and Graham Harvey’s life; some say they wonder aimlessly not knowing what to do. No more toying around with the bass line or recording new BVs in the middle of the night. Two years of hard work and Richard Bull has put a stop to all that by sending the final digital masters. Done…
Here it is, you can download it now if you want.
Now the digital files of the recording have to be turned into plates between which the hot vinyl will be injected and pressed into actual records. To make these matrices, we have opted for a technique that has almost totally disappeared : “Direct Metal Mastering” or DMM. The good people at Pauler Acoustics, one of the very few companies that not only still owns a copper cutting lathe but also knows how to operate it, will be doing their magic soon. This technique was mainly used for classical music as it allowed packing more Beethoven by the Berliner conducted by Herbert Von Karajan on each side without loss of quality. The good Ludwig did not time his symphonies for 12″ LPs. The normal process uses acetate and the groove is not as well defined as with DMM, hence the loss of dynamics when transferred to lacquer. DMM has its fans and its detractors.
Once this is done, the matrices, go to the Pallas Group, also in Germany, to use them to manufacture an audiophile 180 grams vinyl. Pallas knows its way around with vinyl. They have never stopped making them for the past 70 odd years. Well, Pallas is simply the best vinyl pressing plant in the world. Oh, and BTW, they will also make a CD of the Veludo, but it is less exciting to write about, so please refer to Wikipedia if you really want to know more.
Watch a video on how Pallas manufactures vinyl LPs.
Getting the album into store.
Once the CDs and the LPs will be on the palettes in Germany, they will ship directly to Proper Distribution in London. Proper is one of those sturdy and no nonsense British companies that have survived the music industry crash and are reinventing the music business model for XXIst century. In short, contrary to major record companies being greedy and having very few artists that have to sell loads of hit records, Proper edge their bets by having many medium and smaller acts selling smaller quantities. For those in the know this is called a “long tail” strategy and it is all the rage.
Based in London, these guys have been in the business for a while. They know their stuff. To cut a long story short, their jobs is to put records in specialist shops, bigger stores like HMV as well as all the iTunes and Spotify of this world. Not only Proper takes on the challenge of putting Veludo into a large number of points of sales in the UK, but they will also export it anywhere on the planet. Is that cool or what ? To achieve this they make sure that Amazon is well stocked and also feed a network of importer around the world. For example in the US and across Europe, chain stores and specialist shops say in NY or Paris can also stock a few copies of Veludo. Without companies like Proper, smaller projects like Jazzinho cannot exist. We thank them wholeheartedly for taking the risk. Read an article explaining Proper’s strategy on the BBC’s web site.
More or less at the same time, P-Vine, the legendary Japanese label, will manufacture a local CD version of the album for the Japanese market and it is due to be release on October 2nd. Domo Arigato to our Nihon Tomodachis, we are honoured to be on such a prestigious label… may the force be with you.
If all goes well, and if you are based say in London or Tokyo, by early October you should be able to walk into your local independent record store – we’d love to be available at legendary Honest Jons and the mecca of Soul Jazz, Soul Brother Records – and buy a copy of your favourite band’s album – and a few others a well, like AOR by Ed Motta or Sambadi by the amazing Lucas Arruda . If you are into quality, please buy the vinyl. It is a luxury product, significantly more expensive coming with a download card of the entire album included in the price. If you are broke – believe me, we know the feeling – buy the CD or download from the web. Anyway, we will try to maintain a page with all the local store stocking Veludo.
One favour we would ask you; please do not share music files. This is killing musicians, record shops etc … Instead go to your local record store, bring friends, it a great experience. If you have a turntable laying about gathering dust, put it back in action. Go crate-digging, buy new, buy old records, go to gigs, in pubs, in clubs etc… But please keep musicians busy.
Oh, and on that note, I need to let you know that since we are now officially broke, our next newsletter will be about our crowd-funding campaign. You saw that coming, didn’t you. So start saving 😉
Anyway, stay groovy and keep spreading the Jazzinho vibe. Please leave a comment, share the page… well, you know the drill.
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So, you can’t wait for the new Jazzinho album? I can picture you shaking and sweating; chomping at the bits with anxiety. You haven’t had your fix of Jazzinho and it shows. Poor thing… I really feel for you. Well, I know the feeling and guess what? I too can’t wait to finish it. But rejoice, the good Mamma Guida and her partner in groove Leon Ware are here now to release the tension; to sooth you. Here is a lovely track Leon has written for me, and because he is such a Darling, we sang it as a duet in his trademark style.
Of course, I am beyond honoured. The Man who wrote some of Motown’s best ever songs ; for exemple the entire “I want you“ album for Marvin Gaye, “I wanna be where you are” for Michael Jackson, or “Body Heat“ for Quincy Jones just to name a few, yes, this Leon Ware, the one and only, also writing for little me. Wow ! Not in my wildest dreams. Can you believe it ? I can’t.
Also, to be fair, one must mention the amazing solo from boy wonder flautist Gareth Lockrane who made us the greatest of honours by working on this album produced by guess who ? No less than the literally gigantic Graham Harvey of Incognito fame. Am I a lucky girl ? So, ready to take off ? Press play now and relax: you’re on Jazzinho Airlines and your flying to Soul Jazz Heaven. Welcome to Cloud 9, enjoy the ride.
To thank you for joining my mailing list you can download the track into your iPod and play it whenever and wherever you want. You can play it in the traffic jams, in the shower, while preparing dinner, with friends etc. I personally recommend playing it while in bed with your soul mate; this track works rather well in a more intimate context, if you see what I mean.
But hurry! We will remove the track from the server after seven days…. As, believe it or not, we’d like to sell our music at some point. I know, it’s terribly old fashioned, but, at the supermarket, I tried to barter my trolley full of food against me singing between the vegetables and the organic cheese aisles and it did not work. These people have no taste, they refused; all they wanted was hard cash… Which leads me to remind you that at some point you will be able to order a lovely vinyl LP of the album, so start saving.
IMPORTANT : You liked our music ? Please let your friends and family know. Below you can both comment and share this page on Facebook. You can also email it, Twitter it, etc… to all your networks. By doing this, you are helping us and you are spreading the good vibe ! Thank you in advance.
Love & Happiness.
Guida de Palma