I’m gearing up for the United States and practicing the one joke I’ve got for any citizens of that fair country who might be willing to attend one of my six talks on the ‘Perils and Pitfalls of Playing Percussion in Public’. (FYI the dates and details are in the News section of this site). It’ll be weird turning up without a drumkit, but I’m very much looking forward to the trip. The book is continuing to sell like hotcakes and now Foruli Books have turned up and they want to do a limited Edition, with all sorts of bolt-ons, additional extras etc. These things are works of art. Have a look at their website www.foruli.co.uk to see what I’m talking about. I’ll keep you up to speed with developments on that. Great people – ‘Foruli’ is Latin for bookcase, apparently.
There’s been a lot of great music based around the London Jazz Festival recently some of which I’ve got to, and some of which I’ve missed, usually because it clashed with something else. ‘Rudder’ from NYC is a cracking quartet with the fabulous Keith Carlock on drums and Tim Lefebvre on bass, whom I last heard standing in the same place on the same stage a few weeks ago with Mark Guiliana’s Big Beat. It also featured pal Henry Hey, the pianist on Earthworks Underground Orchestra, in this wildly different context. Then on to John Scofield at the Queen Elizabeth Hall with the ever-sensational Bill Stewart on drums. He was the first person I bumped in to in the lobby as I entered the building. I sadly missed Iain Ballamy’s arrangements for Billy Jenkins, and I also had to miss the excellent Laurie Cottle – last bass-player left standing in Earthworks – who runs the best 17-piece big band in town (no question) with Ian Thomas on drums. So, caught some, and missed some, but this was a rich feast. Jazz ain’t dead in London, I tell you.