Jazzwise – Every New Day – Interview – by Selwyn Harris

Jonny Phillips’ Oriole is one of the only surviving lineups from the bands that made up the first flowerings of the influential F-ire Collective. The stability of its personnel contrasts with the nomadic wanderings of the Lake District born acoustic guitarist and composer. His desire to experience first hand the landscapes of the latin world in particular – thats physically culturally and philosophically – accounts for his sabbatical of five years since  Oriole’s previous album release Migration. Phillips continuos his journey with “Every New Day” and his writing and arrangements carry both the sensuous yearning and gentle intoxicating dance qualities of its predecessors. Infused with roots music originating from hot climates, the new album draws from North African and Flamenco music via Cadiz in Andalusia (which has been his home since the Migration CD) and folkloric rhythms from African Brazil (baiao, maracatu, afoxe, samba) and Venezuela (bolero), as well as hints of South American classical music and Gypsy Jazz. Not forgetting that Phillips’ background in classical and church music is also relevant to this world-chamber super potion, which can at times evoke the heady cinematic music of Nino Rota. Drummer Seb Rochford is at his understated best, Oriole occasionally sounds like Polar Bear at carnival time – and now New York based Ingrid Laubrock’s darkly-hued tenor sax tone raises the temperature at the right moments. Just close your eyes and imagine your there.

1/Why a gap of over five years between this and the previous album Migration?


I was living in Spain having a great time, I learned a new language and a whole load of things about music. I lived in Cadiz, Andalusia which is a magical place, very absorbing with brilliant people and by a nice beach. I found it quite hard to think about London and the British Jazz scene to be honest, great as it is. The other reason perhaps is that Cadiz is the city in Europe with the highest unemployment per capita, so as you can imagine its not a great place to save up money for recording and promoting an album. When I finally needed to come back to the UK the Spanish police had stopped many of the concerts in southern Spain meaning I had to busk for a few months every day in order to save enough money to send all my stuff back.

3/You are back living in London now?

Yes I am. My father got very Ill and died recently. I came back to say goodbye to him and help my family, especially my mother who has always 100% supported me as a musician. In fact my mother is a musician and composer also so I was always surrounded by classical music, early music and church music as a child which is a real gift.

4/Would you still consider yourself a musical migrant? 

Yes I still have wanderlust. In the summer I hope to go back to Spain to see my friends there. Check out some flamenco and then go across to Tangiers in Morocco. After that I might go down to Essaouira to listen to some Gnaoua Music and see the castle from Jimi Hendrixs’ “castles made of sand” . Then maybe compose a few tunes for the next Oriole album on the beach. 

5/Where have your explorations of folkloric music taken you recently?

While I was in Spain I listened to a lots of Flamenco like guitarists Nino Josele, Paco De Lucia, Tito Alcedo and Nono Garcia (who I also played with), pianist Chano Domiguez and Flamenco singer Cameron De La Isla, all Andalusian musicians. I also got a better understanding through my Cuban flat mate in Cadiz of Bolero which I love for its melodrama. Recently I was given a whole pile of classical guitar music by a complete stranger which I am slowly studying. Its mainly from folkloric music from Brazil, Columbia, Spain and Italy. I really love early 20th century Brazilian guitar composer Garoto. I’ve also been getting into Randy Weston (not folk music but he’s really folkloric influenced as a player using lots of African influences), the Argentinean film composer Gustavo Santolalla and Calexico who use use lots of Mariachi influences crossed with Spaghetti Weston soundtrack music. I’ve always listen to and studied a lot of styles, later I strive to integrate them into a coherent style of my own.

The Metro – Every New Day – review

The F-ire collective is probably best known for spawning punk-jazz outfit Acoustic Ladyland. Despite sharing a rhythm section with the latter, F-ire guitarist Jonny Phillips’s Oriole is a bird of a very different feather. Their third album Every New Day (FIRE) was largely writen in Cadiz, Spain and is full of full-throated melodies that swoop and soar over delicately intense Latin rhythms – from waltzes and sambas to more recherché styles such as maracatu – all given added texture by percussionist Adriano Adewale.

The Guardian – Every New Day – Review

May 4th – 2012

Contemporary jazz is more often categorized by nervy rhythmic restlessness rather than by luxurious sensuality – but British F-ire Collective guitarist Jonny Phillips infuses swaying Latin grooves with Jazz urgency.
Phillips’s beautiful song-shaped themes are delivered by a F-ire supergroup that includes Polar Bear’s Seb Rochford on drums and New York-resident Ingrid Laubrock. The music, and the recording, quietly blaze like an Iberian summer, but the tautness and punch of Nick Ramm’s keyboard-playing, the borderline atonalisms of Laubrock, the quirkily sublime percussion partnership of Rochford and the Brazilian Adriano Adewale give the music contemporary muscle, and are among the telling elements in a set that sounds like the backdrop to an unsentimentally romantic movie that would be really worth seeing. JF

Ben Davis

Ben Davis – has pursued a varied
musical career encompassing classical,
world, pop, early music and jazz.
Working with the likes of:
Django Bates, Christine Tobin, Jason Yarde,
Kylie Minogue, Julian Joseph,
the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra,
Claire Martin, Jamiroquai, Ingrid Laubrock
and Julia Biel.
In 2009 he was nominated for the
Mercury Music Award.
Here you can find him exploring
early Jazz and Bossa Nova.

Cuarteto de Colores

Jonny Phillips – guitar
Sonia Slany – violin
Mark Hodgson – double bass
Paul Clarvis – drums/percussion

A quartet of many musical colours, vivid and contrasting, all musical colours and shades are welcome here. In these compositions Venezuelan waltzes, Chopin preludes, country ballads, Andelucian Gypsys and Cuban songs sit side by side.

“When I first met Paul, Sonia and Mark I was well aware that between them they had played with nearly every musician and on every film sound track I could think of. I wasn’t surprised by the very high level and openness of there playing but the child like enthusiasm did take me by surprise!” – Jonny Phillips

Violin soloist Sonia Slany has worked with many pop and jazz artists including Mark Knopfler, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Peter Gabriel, Lee Konitz, Goldfrapp and Jim Hall. She leads The Solid Strings, with whom she works with artists such as Michael Brecker, Salif Keita, Elvis Costello, Sakamoto. Her previous group Electra Strings were the resident quartet on LATER with Jools Holland, working with Bjork, The Communards, Massive Attack among others. She also records on many Hollywood soundtracks.

Paul Clarvis brings his unique style to all musical genres and has worked with musicians ranging from Mick Jagger, Nina Simone, Steve Swallow, Harrison Birtwhistle and John Dankworth to Paul McCartney, John Taylor and Moondog. Paul is in several regular bands, Andy Sheppard’s “Learning to Wave”; Stan Sulzmann’s Big Band; “Four in Perspective” – Wheeler, Hersch, Winstone; Henry Lowther’s “Still Waters”; “Bubbling Under” with Sonia Slany. Paul co-leads Orquestra Mahatma which specialises in improvisations on folk tunes from all over the world. He also leads an improvising trio “For All the Saints” with Stan Sulzmann and Tony Hymas.

Since leaving the Guildhall, Mark Hodgson has become one of the most in-demand double bass players on the European scene, playing and recording with artists including Randy Brecker, Cedar Walton, Eddie Henderson, Greg Osby, Scott Hamilton, Jean Toussaint, Ingrid Jensen, Tommy Smith, Rick Margitza, Peter King, Tim Garland and Gregory Hutchinson to name a few.

Jonny Phillips is a member of F-IRE Collective (please refer to the biographies section).

Press
Sonia Slaney
“…One of my favourite musicians, of the highest calibre…” Ryuichi Sakamoto.

“Sonia Slany fiddles like a woman possessed” Phil Johnson, The Independent.

Paul Clarvis
“a master of musical clowning and some damned fine playing to boot.”
Beowulf Mayfield, The Stage.

Jonny Phillips
“Phillips conjures music that is quietly intense, beguilingly beautiful and full of pleasingly robust tunes that stay with you long after you hear them. ”
Time Out.

Groups

[column]

Oriole

Ingrid Laubrock – Sax
Idris Rahman – Sax
Ben Davis – Cello
Nick Ramm – Keys
Sebastian Rochford – Drums
Adriano Adewale – Percussion
Ruth Goller – Bass
Jonny Phillips – Guitar/Composition


[/column]
[col-sect]

Soaring melodies, colourful
South American folklore,
lively dances and emotional ballads of longing.
A world of freedom, of movement, of dusty roads
and traveling musicians in shaded market squares.

“Quietly intense, beguilingly
beautiful and full of pleasingly robust tunes
that stay with you long after you hear them. ” TimeOut


[/col-sect]

[column]Between Two Worlds

Renato D’aiello – Sax
Jonny Phillis – Guitar
Marius Rodrigues – Drums
Gili Lopes – Bass
[/column]

[col-sect] Renato D’aeillo –
one of the
most emotional
musicians in london.

The quartet also
features an incredible,
vibrant and all Brazilian
rhythm section.
[/col-sect]

[column]Cuarteto de Colores

Jonny Phillips – Guitar
Sonia Slaney – Violin
Mark Hodgson – Double Bass
Paul Clarvis – Drums[/column]

Jazz Duos

[column]Ben Davis/Jonny Phillips Duo

Ben Davis – Cello
Jonny Phillips – Guitar

All of me

Nuage

Julian Ferraretto/Jonny Phillips Duo

Julian Ferraretto – Violin
Jonny Phillips – Guitar

Blue Drag

HoneysuckleRose

Jonny Phillips/Renato D’aiello Duo

Renato D’aiello – Sax
Jonny Phillis – Guitar[/column]

[col-sect]
Ben Davis – has pursued a varied
musical career encompassing classical,
world, pop, early music and jazz.
Working with the likes of:
Django Bates, Christine Tobin, Jason Yarde,
Kylie Minogue, Julian Joseph,
the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra,
Claire Martin, Jamiroquai, Ingrid Laubrock
Read more…
[/col-sect]