We know – it is nearly March and this is the February update!
Keeping it brief…
Work on the “secret” Vocal Big Band album project is progressing nicely – charts are nearly finished and we’ll soon be having a run through with the singer and band (don’t forget that this is a Badger project, but won’t be released under the Badger name – The Badgers won’t be reassembling until after this project is in the bag!)
We’re starting to flesh out the Gig Guide – please let us know if you want your gig considered for inclusion by contacting us through messenger through this link.
The first of our album reviews (Pat Metheny’s brand new album “From This Place”) is up for your pleasure and ridicule here!
And that’s about it – Mr Badger is now off to print out some more charts for the delight of unsuspecting local rehearsal bands.
It is with great sadness that we have to report the passing of our friend and brother, Lyle Mays (1953-2020). He passed today in Los Angeles after a long battle with a recurring illness, surrounded by loved ones.
Pat Metheny: “Lyle was one of the greatest musicians I have ever known. Across more than 30 years, every moment we shared in music was special. From the first notes we played together, we had an immediate bond. His broad intelligence and musical wisdom informed every aspect of who he was in every way. I will miss him with all my heart.”
Steve Rodby: “I had the great privilege of having Lyle in my life for decades, as an inspiration and as my friend. As anyone who knew him and his music will agree, there will only be one Lyle, and we all will continue to appreciate his soulful brilliance, in so many ways.”
His beloved niece, Aubrey Johnson: “Lyle was a brilliant musician and person, and a genius in every sense of the word. He was my dear uncle, mentor, and friend and words cannot express the depth of my grief.”
Following a sojourn in Brighton, Mr & Mrs Badger are back in Warwick settling into the new Badger HQ. The Badger library has been tidied up and neatly filed on bespoke shelving, and Mr Badger is busy adding new titles every week.
As for 2020 projects, the first on the list is preparing the music for a forthcoming album with a fabulous singer. This will be a collaborative project with top rate musicians and so will not be branded under the Badger name, but the quality and passion associated with The Badgers will be very much in evidence. More on this project as and when Mr Badger is able to release details.
After the dust and ink has settled after the donkey work for the vocal album has been finished, Mr Badger is intending to push forward with re-establishing the band – it won’t be a replica of the original band and music, but a 2020 version with some fresh personnel and plenty of new music that will keep things interesting 🙂
Badgers Big Band MD Richard Nield is looking forward to meeting (and hopefully playing with) Terry Pack and his ‘unfeasibly large ensemble’ “Trees”.
With a career spanning more than four decades and including spells with The Enid, Cozy Powell, Graham Bonnet and Steve Hackett to name but a few, Terry has in recent years turned his focus onto jazz and improvised music. His recent musical collaborations read like a ‘who’s who’ of the British jazz scene (Claire Martin, The Cloggz, Ben Castle, Bobby Wellins, Nigel Price, Martin France).The seed for Trees was planted when Mark Bassey (trombonist/composer and educator) encouraged Terry to take his compositions to workshops, ensembles and big bands. An enthusiastic response encouraged him to write and arrange more pieces and the natural evolution of Trees began.
An ‘unfeasibly large ensemble’ performing an eclectic mix of contemporary and groove-based compositions, Trees is now an inclusive and community based group comprising up to 40 musicians at any time and augmented by guest professional musicians keen to take part in one of the most exciting new musical projects in and around Brighton. Imaginative, fresh arrangements of classic tunes fuse seamlessly with innovative compositions by the bandleader and band members alike.
Take a listen to one of their original charts…
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Another track from our concert at the Royal Spa Centre in Leamington.
Pat Metheny’s “Stranger In Town” arranged by Bob Curnow. This is one of Mr & Mrs Badgers favourite charts – a great Tenor solo from Bob Jones, some immaculate drumming from Marcus Ingham, and an emotional trumpet from Karl Steadman.
It’s been a busy 12 months behind the scenes for Mr & Mrs Badger – sadly no live music for The Badgers in the Midlands – but lots of preparing new charts (the band library has been doubled in size!) and making plans for a new start in the Brighton area.
It will be a daunting task creating a new band from scratch, but there are lots of great musicians in Sussex who will soon be exploring all of this great music from Pat Metheny, Bob Mintzer, Buddy Rich, to name just a few.