Sunday, 28 February 2016

Shelter from the Storm, Nina reviews and Stars Lazy Video and flower obsessions.....

Obsessed with flowers. Is that wrong? The beauty of the landscape. I'm about to write about it all and the connection of nature to music for a jazz website, and truthfully, if I don't see some trees and a horizon at least once a week, its a bad week. There's something about air and space, and the things that grow in air and space, that makes all of life a little bit lighter, no matter whats going on in the world. So here's the video for the song Laurence Hobgood, who's soon over to tour with me launching the new Shelter from the Storm album, and I, wrote; Stars Lazy But Shining. The lyric came to me when I was in Long Island at John Mcdaniel's lovely house on the Sound, and my window looked out onto a sky alive with stars. There are deer everywhere, there, and out of the window, dense forest growing. The wind was blowing and the night was alive. I sent the lyric to Laurence and he found the verse fast, and then we worked together on the chorus and middle section, bouncing it all back and forth.

The photos are from several continents, and places that I've loved and visited sometimes a lot - like the Isabella Plantation in Richmond Park, where the annual spring azalea display is glorious. There's a glimpse of The Blue Mountains in Australia, which is an utterly extraordinary place. The eucalyptus covered mountains go on forever. Its a holy place to the ancients there, and you can feel it. I've seen Lyre birds on a morning walk on the forest floor, a rare sight.

These pelicans live in St James' Park down the road from me in London, the clock is the mediaeval Astronomer's Clock in Prague, as are the late summer rose gardens. There's some of Central Park and a great view of Manhattan from the Jersey City shore just by Hoboken. A lot of sea views from the Isle of Wight last summer and a couple of fine beaches, one near Chichester, West Wittering and one in Connecticut. There's a little bit of Devon and Dorset, and a little bit of the Nene Valley in Northamptonshire and a country lane near Corby. Some coastal paths and a lot of flowers, particularly bluebell woods - possibly one of the most beautiful things about the British spring.

The Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond had a music season and booked the Nina collection, and it was the most wonderful gig. The music was a river and the audience were just beautiful. Couldn't have been a better night and Alex Ramon reviewed it, here -

Shelter from the Storm is getting great reviews, 4 stars in Jazzwise and a lovely Sunday Times review. They're all posted on the official Facebook page

And the tour starts soon. Tickets available still for some shows - we visit Liverpool, London 4 nights at Dean Street's Soho Jazz Club, Newbury (opening night), Corby, Bury St Edmunds, Portsmouth, Maidstone Pizza Express Jazz Club - its all here...

So, there you have it. Flowers, walking, and touring. Thats a spring, if ever I saw one! See you I hope at one of the shows, and the album is everywhere - iTunes, Amazon and Linn Records - all details here

See you at one of these shows....US shows in May on the website soon and already booking at Joe's Pub now -

Happy Spring !

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Shelter From The Storm is born into the world!

Its here! Its released on friday, 19th February. Shelter From the Storm, Songs of Hope for Troubled Times, comes into being and can be bought from Linn Records at high definition sound and all other levels of sound, by the way, here

Its a plea for Shelter, for us all. Where we find it, and how - how we can exist in these troubled times and find rays of sunshine, glimmers of hope. These things preoccupy me now. In my country I see the dangers of the glittering deceptions of greed and power and what damage they cause. I believe in community. The strength of the bonds that people create and hold together. In the possibility of achievement and hope for all. I believe in equality of opportunity across everything for everyone and in freedom of speech, where speech is used with responsibility for the general good. I believe in access to health care and care for all vulnerable and poor. Now more than ever, we need Shelter from the Storm. The songs are all on that theme. Bali Hai - "some people long for another island, one where they know they would like to be!". The dream of Woodstock shattered and the watchers, watching, All Along The Watchtower. There are three songs written with the beautiful composer and pianist Laurence Hobgood. Venus Rising, Stars Lazy But Shining and Hymn To Nina. I hope you'll enjoy it. There are sound clips on Linn above and I think on Amazon and iTunes.

Here's a clip from The Kate, of Life on Mars live in Connecticut for the upcoming TV PBS series

You can get it from Amazon

and also from iTunes

and HMV

There's a 4 star review here in Jazzwise -

and Alex Ramon's trend setting blog, here

the tour is coming in March - booking now - some tickets still available

And on wednesday next in case you missed the Nina Simone we are doing it at The Orange Tree in Richmond, its selling fast.

So its all go. Hope to see you at one of these shows - all details for all are on the website