Last one of the year!
Wow. It's been ages. And lots of things have happened... and that means there'll be no links in this article for a few days. It also means that I'm about to turn into a name-dropping fiend.
The furthest back I can remember is Arun's gig with Byron Wallen, Nat Birchall and Rachael Gladwin, which was lovely. I had a whole raft of gigs with Arun as it happens, including one in Cambridge that was packed and heaps of fun; and ending with the Jazz Festival gig with Sona Jobarteh and Kadialy Kouyate on koras, and Shabaka on bass clarinet. I've really enjoyed playing at the Albany—a lovely space.
My brother-in-music Dave Kane and I also had a fantastic duo gig for the Jazz Festival. I was slightly worried that no-one would be there at 11.15p.m., but as it happens it was packed and we played beautiful things. Josh was in the next room, playing with Tom Cawley; it's unfortunate we couldn't play as the three and get a party started! Also got to hang out with Mr Hawkins, Ben Cottrell from the Beats 'n' Pieces big band [and incidentally, their album is well worth a spin], Otto Fischer, Liam Noble, Orphy [of course! And his Nu Savanna band—with Renell Shaw, Jessica Lauren and a superb young vocalist called Chantelle Nandi—is one to watch out for as they are laying down some serious funk and soul], Alex Bonney, Ntshuks, Josh [can you see a pattern?] and LOTS of other people. I also had an extremely inspiring chat with Steve Noble.
I'm feeling in a very wholesome place at the moment—I'm devising more projects and may even go down the minefield of making an album with people[!], and although I'm not necessarily flooded with money [and who is? with a government bent sucking us dry] but I am being filled with joy. I've had some very pleasurable musical moments—and I intend to sustain them no matter how many knives and surgeons' tools the Comprehensive Spending Review uses!