Corey Mwamba

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18th Apr 10

Alert! One the most progressive voices in hip-hop [not just U.K. hip-hop, but hip-hop full stop] has released a fantastic album with heaps of jazz-types, and me.

Ty's vibrant lyrics are conscious; the voice is powerful and [a rare thing in rap] with multiple messages, never self-indulgent.

His new album is called A Special Kind Of Fool, and I'm very honoured to be featured on the first track, called Don't Cry. You can watch the video, or better yet, get a copy of the album! I think it'll be fairly easy to get.

Note to self: I really must do the random-word-as-title thing more often.

20th May 10

If you're thinking of trying out an album, now's a good time to do so! I've reduced all the downloads in my shop to a wallet-friendly £3.

The money is a small amount, but much appreciated! All the albums are available in Ogg Vorbis, and some of the newer ones are also in MP3 format. Not only that, everything's Creative Commons licensed, so you can share the music freely. So if you feel like showing some love for my stuff, please head over and pick up something!

27th Aug 10

Ages ago Steve Lawson told me about a service called Bandcamp which allows you to distribute your albums for download, in whatever format a person wishes. After many problems with it, I've finally got it working for me! Here it is.

The two albums there at the moment are open to donations; if you just want the album for free, you just have to leave an e-mail address. Hope you like!

31st May 11

Gary's album is called Moja and will be on iTunes on June 10th.

31st May 11

I don't know the name to Nat's album, and I'm not sure when it'll be out either... but I suspect it will be soon too. Have a look at his site

19th Sep 11

Last week was epic... which perhaps explains why I'm feeling very run down and virus-infested now.

It all started on Tuesday at the Bradgate Mental Health Unit in Leicester with the biblio-therapy project for Everybody's Reading [want an explanation? Ah, well I gave one on the mailing list - do it, you know you want to!] and then moved into Wednesday with Arun's Afro-coustics and Indo-vations project at the Decibel showcase in Manchester. It was a long rehearsal; but a great gig, and new drummer Eddie Hick laid it down.

I then had to prepare Lydia's show: and the CD burner would not play ball. Luckily we had some great technicians in Fiona, Oz, and Bill. My brother-in-music Dave Kane was down for that, and we performed an effective extract of the full show... and I got some very good news... that I will talk about soon...

But anyway. The next day I spent my time waiting for four o'clock: that was when I was going to get into Matt and Phred's to rehearse bassist Gavin Barras' new quintet tunes. As some of you may know I can't actually read music, but I made the effort this time. Tenor sax giant Ed Jones was on the gig - He was sounding immense! The music was also blessed by Dave Walsh on drums and Steve Plews on piano. Gavin had written the music inspired by the Blue Note "avant garde" sound, with powerful statements and great harmonies. Although I think the primary influence was Andrew Hill, some of the tunes reminded me of Tony Williams' Spring [worth checking that album out, if you can get it]. Everyone in the band "got it" and we blew up a veritable storm by the second half. Steve Berry came down to listen, and the audience loved it. Must do that again!

While all of that was happening, I began [and have now finished] my response to what some of us are calling the Group. It's a long story that has been helpfully summarised by Peter Hum.

There are lots of issues surrounding the question of the profile and status of black jazz musicians in this country; it isn't a new question by any means and in fact is something I have been talking about in many ways since 2003, from Nature's Glory, Fancy's Child, through my blog on MyOpera, and the two albums Popular Delusions and Songs for the New Folk. This is in no way a new problem.

But the ways in which we are talking about the problem possibly have remained as stagnant as the problem itself. The fact remains that the profile and status of any jazz musician in this country is not perhaps as we would like. For a small island - and let's face it, it is a small island - the lack of understanding of the national scene is shocking. The conversations are still centred inevitably around London. There's also a sense of polarisation in this discussion, and some very war-like stances that are actually creating more divisions. It's saddening.

It's an emotional issue. It should be: it's important. But the thing about emotional issues in relationships is that they require sensitive talking as well as plain speaking: an awareness of the whole picture. I think everybody is struggling through this now. Some voices are [perhaps unduly] louder than others. We are being treated as a homogeneous mass. There has always been too much shouting and over-simplification, through all the decades that this has gone on.

So I am trying, in my own way, to balance this. My view is that we have a complex situation: and it is a situation that will require some generosity of spirit, some love and care. I love my family in music. There are long yet reasonable conversations that need to be had: and, as When Daniel Barenboim said in his Reith Lecture "peace requires dialogue, a dialogue which consists of sensitive talking and often painful listening".

So I have created a space, here, where I am hoping this dialogue can occur. When there's some content, I'll announce it. It is not the solution: it's just an approach. I hope it helps.

4th Oct 11

Today will be an odd day. It's my last session at the Arts Cafe for the Everybody's Reading project I've been doing with visual artist Sue Clews, Tim Sayers and Lydia Towsey - not as a poet this time but as Arts-in-Health co-ordinator for the NHS.

I've spent the last nine weeks listening closely and watching as people interact and engage with books, each other and themselves. This process was at the heart of the piece I was commissioned to create for the Festival. Since working on Heralds - and that's longer than most people would think - I've been moving towards making map-like scores and "scripts" for the music I want to hear. The older versions of my maps were very directed and quite prescriptive; so there would be a flow from start to finish; the musician was guided to the end point with descriptions as to what I wanted to hear as the writer.

But in this case I was writing for the trio. This is something I have never really had to do, since we neither play "tunes" nor rehearse. We just turn up and create music, through listening and awareness of our environment. So it was a matter of balancing the openness of the group with my intentions for the piece. So I decided to modify process I used on myself for Popular Delusions and Songs for the New Folk, which is more based on emotions and what is said rather than what I think. This is a Flickr set of the score, about 75% finished.

map in full

21st Nov 11

Just got home from the London Jazz Festival - about which there is lots to say - to find a great review of Nat Birchall's album! It looks like I'm the Derbyshire Tabasco of jazz... used sparingly to enhance!

30th Nov 11

Hello! Can I convince anyone to help fund a album by the gorgeous openness that is Corey Mwamba | Dave Kane | Joshua Blackmore?

We're going to ACTUALLY RECORD a proper album next year - and I'm aiming for a deadline of March to release.

Embrace Arts in Leicester has kindly donated their acoustically stunning concert hall to do the recording. The hall has a perfect balance of sound, even at the lowest volumes! It's very exciting...

But we'd really appreciate your help in making it happen. We know times are hard, so we're trying to keep the effort required low. I'm not setting a limit to raise - every little helps and we're very grateful for the help!

All you have to do is buy one [or more] of the current trio downloads, at more than the lowest price (£3!); and share that link with your friends so that they buy it too. It's as simple as that!

If you buy all four albums, I'll put you down for a free physical copy of the new album [which will have your name in the acknowledgements], signed; as well as a free download of the album.

So head to the link and grab some open living music! Thanks very much to everyone that supports us!

5th Dec 11

I'm doing some background tinkering - yes, I'm bored of the site style again. So another change is due. You know things are bad when the most relaxing thing you can do is CSS.

I'm still driving towards an album for the trio, and trying to enthuse people to meet on Thursday about the arts in Derby. So if it all goes a bit quiet, I apologise! But rest assured, I'm busy...

5th Dec 11

Most of my activity is around removing my dislike for Flash. What this means is I can now have Bandcamp embedding, which also means that you will be able to download all of my albums, once I've uploaded them. I'm going to keep the price low: you'll help fund the trio album too. Thanks to all who buy!

The other change that might occur is the retirement of my SVG audio widget for the podcast. I'm thinking of replacing it with Soundcloud's excellent HTML5 custom player, which looks much nicer than the HTML5 standard controls and will allow me to share music I find too!

If you want to have a look at the "new look" in progress, head over here.

24th Jan 12

Anyway, today: a wet morning, spent indoors. I have some more writing to do for the trio album - there are a few things left to do for a couple of the songs, but it's shaping up nicely. Then some prep for Leeds on Sunday!

26th Jan 12

In case you weren't aware - still raising funds for the recording with @[Dave Kane] and @[Joshua Blackmore] - just head to my shop and download all four trio recordings to get a credit on the album and a free copy when it ships!

31st Jan 12

A simple rendition of one of the pieces I'm writing for the trio album. Hope you like!

7th Feb 12

What a jam-packed weekend! The gig with @[Nat Birchall] at Pizza Express was great - @[Arun Ghosh] played on a tune, and there were some really magical moments from all in the band. Lovely. My mood was slightly soured by the staff constantly switching off the lights as I tried to pack away: and then I topped it all off by an always eventful night at Ronnie Scott's, and losing my hat. The snow didn't impede my progress that much; it just made everything very much slower...

I'm still preparing things for One Note Sunday and of course the trio album; so no real rest. But I've also been adding things to cognizance which has kept me really busy - take a look!!

10th Feb 12

In Derby tonight at Deda! Come hear me play a Roy Ayers tune for the first time in my life, with George Grignon's excellent SoulDeep band. Finally recovered from the lovely soufulness of @[Nat Birchall]'s gig, and concentrating on writing out parts for @[the trio] album... March is looming!!

12th Feb 12

Sad, sad news. Whitney's songs were always in the house as a kid: along with the SOS band, Rose Royce, Marvin Gaye, Aretha... sounds of growing up.

Here's Whitney first ever lead performance, on Paul Jabara's album "Paul Jabara and Friends".

15th Mar 12

Not long until the album recording for @[the trio]: very exciting! This is a bit last minute - but I'm in London tomorrow at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, playing with @[Arun Ghosh], Neil Charles and Cerys Mathews. Maybe see you there?

27th Aug 12

Just dragging my head up from the Orrery to go through autumn, which has become VERY crowded as usual. After the gig with Robert, I\'m almost salivating in anticipation at a scheduled recording session with Adam Fairhall and the fantastic Paul Hession; the new album for the trio is just around the corner and a whole heap of things for next year, including a highly exciting quartet with Chris Sharkey, Mark Sanders and Andy Champion; and plans for a trip abroad...

2nd Nov 12

It\'s my birthday today - so to celebrate, I\'m sharing some of the tracks Dave, Josh and I recorded in March.

On the 3rd November this post will go - so please feel free to grab the album for a quid! It\'ll be released properly soon, and possibly not with these tracks...

11th Dec 12

Just in case you haven\'t seen it - I created an HTML/CSS advert for the new trio album which should be done in January. Check it out!

9th Jan 13

Although I updated the score for it last week, I didn\'t talk about Bereft specifically. But today marks the anniversary of the death of the person for whom it was written.

Here are all the recorded versions: the download also includes the score, in concert and transposed versions.

oemb::http://coreymwamba.bandcamp.com/album/bereft-versions

In 2002 Bernadette Coles was killed while crossing the road after work, by someone who was driving while using a mobile phone. Because we\'d had a bit of a disagreement a few days before, I didn\'t find out until a few days later. At the time I was distraught: Bernie and I used to hang out all the time and chat on MSN [remember doing that?], and were just really good friends. She had a great effect on people and her friends and I know there are a bunch of us that still miss her - we keep in touch.

At the time I had no real way of expressing how I felt, so I wrote three songs. One of them has never been played; the other used to be played by my old quartet and once with Josh when he used to live in Derby; but Bereft was first played on 23rd February 2002, with Walt and Tracey Hague [previously Sutcliffe].

I then stopped playing it, as I found I could not play it. I felt almost detached from the meaning of the song, and thus practised it - playing the melody on the piano or singing it in quiet moments, and reading.

I re-visited it in 2007, first in January with @[Robert Mitchell] for our first ever duo gig; then in March that year for Argentum, with words written by Deborah Jordan. I don\'t remember telling anyone what the song was about: I thought it better to have people interpret it as they wished. The only thing I asked at the time was that people understood what the word \"bereft\" meant.

I hesitated playing it again, after the Argentum gig. At the time I felt I perhaps moved on. But then in 2011 I played it with Robert for the Adventures In Sound gig in November; and I felt more at home with the piece, more able to find the voice I needed to use for the song; and hearing it reminds me of Bernie but in a more positive way than previously. It is a love song, but not of the romantic nature; and it does not have to be sung.

I hope you enjoy listening/playing it as much as I do now.

20th May 13

So - you know how I decide I have too much money and occasionally programme things? I'm doing that again, but this time with some help.

Last year I was approached by Derby Jazz and asked if I'd like to select some gigs, and arrange them into a series to run alongside their usual programme. Second Line is the result; a reference to the drumming style as well as the parallel nature of the series. They're quite spread out; but I think they represent some really exciting new music!

The first gig in the series is Lucian Ban and Mat Maneri. Lucian and Mat have been to Derby before - I know this because I brought them here last time, and they've asked me to join them again which is a fantastic honour. Their new album received a four-star review in the Guardian and the upcoming concert is a Guardian gig of the week, which is great. I really hope you can make it down - 7pm on a Wednesday means most people can make it back home at a late but not unreasonable hour, but with luck still allows time to eat some dinner beforehand. Hope the series inspires you to come out and hear some great music!

26th Sep 13

Steve Albini's inspiring letter to Nirvana - sensible points about making an album. http://imgur.com/a/p0tKn#iS35QsN

30th Sep 13

This morning's highly effective listening: @[Alexander Hawkins]' new album is solo piano heaven. oemb::http://babel-label.bandcamp.com/album/song-singular

13th Nov 13

New music! This is a rough-and-ready recording...

oemb::http://cm-dk-jb.bandcamp.com/album/vortex-iii-dirty

14th Nov 13

I'd been there the week before though, for Schmazz:

oemb::http://cm-dk-jb.bandcamp.com/album/schmazz

18th Mar 14

...and Trio Riot's great new album too!

26th Jul 14

New Ramble: "The Family Album" - big, big news!!

29th Jul 14

Here is the core of "The Family Album" - styling to come later, comments on content welcomed.

31st Jul 14

Slightly more content added to The Family Album... schedule of gigs to come!

1st Aug 14

First four events for "The Family Album"... #newmusic #derbyuk

9th Aug 14

Also: did you know that I've started a series of early evening gigs called @[The Family Album]? Check that out too!

7th Sep 14

Essays now done! Just planning for @[The Family Album] and a 2015 tour for @[the trio]...

23rd Sep 14

Speaking of periods of positivity, @[The Family Album] begins today!

10th Dec 14

@[The Family Album] with Saxoctopus was astounding! Happy kids listening to big sounds: very cheering!

28th Jan 15

Today it's me at @[The Family Album]! Hope to see you there.

28th Jan 15

Arrived to set up for @[The Family Album]. Hoping the lovely carvery lures people down...

26th Feb 15

New Ramble: Family Album update

19th Mar 15

Acquired today: new trio album by @[Alexander Hawkins].

24th Mar 15

Tomorrow's exciting gig for @[The Family Album]...

6th Apr 15

Tidy write-up on The Spirit Farm - @[Adam Fairhall], @[Dave Kane], the Hunters Bros. and Chris De Bezenac! Album drops 27.IV.15!

12th Jun 15

Also, don't forget the last gig of @[The Family Album]...

24th Jun 15

Today is the last run of @[The Family Album]!

7th Jul 15

Acquire some new album goodness from [and to support] @[LUME]!

13th Jun 16

Popular Delusions is four years old. Not a big milestone, but an album that meant something to make.

5th Nov 16

This is one of those status updates where a musician says that they're listening to mixes of an album.

16th Nov 16

Blistering review of the Story Tellers album! Nab your copy from Discus...

21st Mar 17

Nice review of the album with @[Ntshuks Bonga] and @[Andy Champion]!

21st Jul 17

Just seen the album with @[Ntshuks Bonga] and @[Andy Champion] is available to download!

21st Sep 17

And @[yana] album launch tickets are available! It's cheaper online, hope to see you there!

20th Oct 17

ALBUM OUT TODAY! If you're on a computer, watch and listen our web advert!

20th Oct 17

Today is a day of very new things. @[yana] -- which in my mind will always be "Corey Mwamba | Dave Kane | Joshua Blackmore" -- has music on a record label, mainly because Alya from @[Two Rivers Records] believed we should have one, and cared enough to make it happen in the best possible way. We have physical copies of our music, which is not new for us; but instead of them being made by my two hands, the CDs have had a team behind them in terms of design and production. The support and listening we have had from Two Rivers has been wonderful.

As most people who know me know, this group is special to me for a number of reasons. First, it showed me what I could do if I applied my will and stuck with it. I wanted to hear Dave and Joshua together (they had not met previously), and it happened and kept happening because we kept believing it should happen, even when (in the earlier days) people's understanding of what we were doing was limited.

Second, this group allowed me to make the music I wanted to without worrying about... well, lots of things that working in music makes you think you have to worry about. It has always been difficult to get us in the same room as we're all very busy; but when we do get in the same room, things are unbelievably simple.

Third, the musical mind we form is unlike any I have experienced in any other group. It would take me a very long time to talk about what happens inside, but in short there is a love, a language and a groove that I feel palpably, every time we play. And it is amazing to be inside that, and to learn from it. When I listen back to our first recordings, I understand how much we have moved; not away from anything, but deeper into how we communicate. And the time we spend not playing together is immaterial. Today will be the first time we've played together for a year and that is by no means unusual.

I think we have had more support from fellow musicians who have heard/seen us over the years, but also powerful encouragement from audiences over the years. You might wonder why we're doing Cambridge first, but it's for a very good reason (other than Joshua living there). Graham Lee and Carol Garrison are two of the most devoted music fans I know. For us to play for their night is a pure honour; they've travelled with this group from the beginning. There is nowhere else we would want to be.

If you can make it down tonight, it'd be lovely to see you: but if not, then please buy a copy of the album, and I hope you like it.

Open, living music.

20th Oct 17

Here's the album!

21st Oct 17

In case you missed it: @[yana] has new album out!

31st Oct 17

Thanks to everyone who has supported the new @[yana] album! CD/downloads here

22nd Nov 17

Absolutely fantastic couple of days doing critical listening for the recording of @[Laura Cole]'s solo album! Incredible music coming soon...

24th Nov 17

Derby. @[Will McGiven]'s set was excellent; the album sounded amazing through @[3 Square Audio]'s speakers; and @[yana] did the best gig we've ever done.

That's right: the best gig we've ever done.

Thanks to everyone who made it down and thus made the night incredible!!

28th Nov 17

If you still haven't checked out @[yana]'s latest album, get it from @[Two Rivers Records]! Or if you see me, I usually have some copies in my bag...

7th Dec 17

@[yana] got a good review in Wire Magazine for the new album!

16th Dec 17

If you're in Derby and would like to buy a @[yana] CD from me over the next few weeks, you can (I even take card payments)! Many thanks to everyone who has supported the album so far, and to @[Two Rivers Records]!

20th Mar 18

Oslo, yesterday. Inside album cover?

10th Apr 18

I've begun grouping the songs in the (s)kin collection by month. Feel free to buy an album: but it might be wiser to subscribe...

26th Apr 18

The first album where using audio processing really came together for me was Sipping Rioja at Home, which in many ways is the spiritual ancestor to (s)kin.

6th Jul 18

(s)kin is an ongoing collection but they are bundled by month so they are easier to find. Non-subscribers can buy each album; but subscribing gives you all of them, and more!

26th Jul 18

Have you heard (s)kin: seven yet? Download the album from Bandcamp; or subscribe to (s)kin from only £15 per year!

3rd Aug 18

Please to share that @[Laura Cole]'s solo album is out on @[Martin Archer]'s great Discus label! Not only is the music fantastic, it's a producing and mixing debut for me too. Acquire!

22nd Aug 18

@bandcamp wishes

4) Album export to CSV, with track/artist/barcode/duration/ISRC fields. I only thought about this yesterday when I was doing my @PPLUK spreadsheet. This would make digital release to PPL a seamless process.

7th Sep 18

You could look into this album, which contains music that was recorded in 2002, was fuelled by a three-year alcohol spree, and was recorded using a £2.99 microphone. It almost won an award!

12th Sep 18

Finally got around to listening to Peter Franks' album, which is a lovely slice of grooves! Here's one of the tracks I played on called "Sirens".

17th Sep 18

Listening again this morning to @[Laura Cole]'s beautiful album, which I was lucky enough to produce and mix. Gossamer and steel.

17th Sep 18

I also contributed some compositions to the album, which @[Laura Cole] magically turned into a suite!

21st Mar 19

Honoured to have a dedication on this fantastic album by maestro @[Martin Archer] -- buy direct from Discus for the CD!

19th Jun 19

Should NOT have had the "special sauce". Must have had mayonnaise (egg) and now my throat and body temperature slowly recovering. Still initial mixes of the quartet album are done. So there's that.

9th Aug 19

Always out (there): my monthly series on Bandcamp. £15 or more a year gives you access to an album a month plus older music!

2nd Nov 19

Such a lovely gig yesterday. @[Zoe Gilby]'s arrangements of Tom Harrell's work were just great. I forgot to take pictures, but Zoe's Aurora project is well worth your listening time. Looking forward to the album!

6th Jun 20

Black Lives Matter. The album is free; but you can pay if you wish.

Support causes that fight for equity, equality, and elevation.

26th Aug 20

@[Rachel Musson] and I have a new duo album out! It's on Takuroku. Hope you enjoy the music!

28th Aug 20

Nice review of the duo album with @[Rachel Musson]

4th Sep 20

Thanks to London Jazz News for this lovely review of the duo album with Rachel Musson!

3rd Oct 20

Nice review of an upcoming duo album with @[Nick Malcolm]!

5th Oct 20

New album alert with amazing trumpeter and soul brother @[Nick Malcolm]!

5th Nov 20

New album! Hope you enjoy the music.

14th Jan 21

Going through old practice ephemera and found the beginnings of a transcription of a solo. Can you work out the soloist/song/album?

18th Aug 21

Decided to play an old song (2002), called "half arc" or "little c". I've lobbed it into the incredibly infrequent podcasts album!

1st Sep 21

I've released a new "shared spaces" album, just for subscribers! You can get this and my entire discography for £15 per twelve months. Hope you enjoy the music, and thanks to everyone who supports my work.