Is this a ‘jazz’ album? Jazz is a reductive term for a music art form that stretches back to the turn of the last century, and includes a huge variety of styles - a common denominator though, is improvisation, and there's quite a lot in these tunes. So for me, yeah, this is a jazz collection (but don't let that put you off).
About the originals of the cover versions:
Follow Your Heart was written by John McLaughlin. I first heard it on his album, Extrapolation, recorded for the Marmalade label just before he left for NYC to play for Miles Davis. If you don't know this recording I really recommend it. It's unlike anything he's done since - raw, emotional and inspiring.
Goodbye Pork Pie Hat. The original is on Mingus Ah Um - which is...ah um...totally awesome.
Naima - This beautiful ballad by John Coltrane is from Giant Steps.
Strange Meeting. Bill Frisell wrote this and has recorded it a number of times. The first that I'm aware of is on Rambler (1984). He recorded it again on This Land (1992) - there are other versions. A lovely tune, a surreal tango in C minor from Bill's ECM time. There's an ECM sensibility - great cover art and great music art - that inspired the younger me in East Kilbride and kept me going. I tried to bring something of this feeling to Lloyd Cole and the Commotions - honestly, it's there if you listen.
Sweet Rain, by Michael Gibbs who taught Bill Frisell at Berklee. Gary Burton - on whose Berklee course I first heard this - has recorded a number of his compositions. All, I believe, also recorded for ECM.
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released February 22, 2020
Song List - with personnel (yours truly, all guitars and other stuff except drums and bass - Ambrose and Alisdair - where noted).
Naima (drums Ambrose Pottie)
Second Story Sunlight
Follow Your Heart
Black Rock (drums Ambrose Pottie, bass - Alisdair Jones)
Jarman's Garden (drums Ambrose Pottie, bass - Alisdair Jones)
Goodbye Pork Pie Hat (drums Ambrose Pottie)
Compositions Neil Clark except: Strange Meeting by Bill Frisell; Naima - by John Coltrane; Follow Your Heart - by John McLaughlin; Black Rock - by Alisdair Jones; Goodbye Pork Pie Hat - by Charles Mingus; Sweet Rain by Mike Gibbs.
Thanks to the following who helped with their time, skills, encouragement, and feedback: Theresa McKay, Ambrose Pottie, Alisdair Jones, Lloyd Cole, Terry Odette, Dougie Kelso, Alison Clark, Patricia Pearson, Ragnar Kennerland, Mollie McLean Staffa, Caspar Wijers.
Formerly guitarist with Lloyd Cole and the Commotions - co-writer of Rattlesnakes, Are You Ready To Be Heartbroken - player
of Forest Fire.
Currently, guitarist/composer with Lake & Sea, solo, Lloyd Cole (Love Story, Antidepressant ,Guesswork - others -and On Pain) and sometimes jazz trio Sleepers. Preparing for band tour in October with Lloyd Cole....more