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Ginger Tunes Quartet Live

Artist: Mike Smith

Date of Release: 01/04/2011

Catalogue no: MSGT002

Label: Ginger Ninja

Price: £8

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Track Listing

No

 

Title

Duration

1

listen

The Sex Pest (live)

6.40

2

 

Drifting (live)

5.38

2

 

Liquid (live)

4.44

4

listen

James (live)

4.35

5

listen

Change the world feat. kayleigh O'neill (live)

3.57

6

listen

Happy People (live)

7.41

7

listen

Song For Bilbao (live)

4.54

8

 

Steps Behind (live)

5.20

9

 

Englishman in new york (live)

7.28

 

 

 

 

Here is a selection of tracks from the recent UK tour.
It features original material from the debut album "ginger tunes" and also some covers from artists such as Pat Metheny, Kenny Garrett and even Sting. This particular gig was recorded at live at Liverpool's famous Parr Street Studios. You can see some YouTube footage from the performance in the links above..

 

Reviews

 

04/05/0011 Seb Scotney

Twenty-six year old saxophonist Mike Smith clearly has performing in the blood. But when I interviewed him about his new CD "Ginger Tunes," the first in his own name, what kept coming through was the attitude: "being bold, scouse and cheeky." He tells me it's something he's known for.
 
Mike Smith grew up in Southport in Merseyside, and first signed up for lessons on the saxophone- in order to avoid maths classes- at the age of 12. He participated in the school's big band, the Sefton Youth Jazz Orchestra, which he remembers with great fondness. But his musical development was also progressing outside school. Smith's mother was the guitarist in gigging band called Switchback. The band played covers of Beatles and AC/DC songs, and so, before long, Smith the teenager was featuring on gigs, starting by taking a sax solo on Lady Madonna, and developing from there, gradually building the respect of the others onstage. For this youngster, music was not so much a rebellion as catching the family bug.

He went on to the Liverpool Institute for the Performing Arts (LIPA). LIPA was co-founded by Sir Paul McCartney, is based in the building where the Beatle went to school. It is known for attracting able and keen students from a wide range of backgrounds. "It opens arms to the local community, it widens participation, and has proved an excellent springboard into the creative professions," says Ben Turner, education correspondent at the Liverpool Echo. It was at the Institute that Smith formed many of his close working relationships. Smith wanted to reflect his day-to-day work with these collaborators- notably bassist and producer JJ Rio, and drummer Jay Irving on the CD. Smith graduated from LIPA with first-class honours in 2005. He still keeps an association with the college- he now goes back there to teach.

Another important development in Smith's journey was performing and touring extensively with the Muffin Men, a Liverpool-based band formed in 1990 which mainly performs the music of Frank Zappa. It was through the Muffin Men that Smith met and got to know Zappa's drummer Jimmy Carl Black, a regular guest with the band. Smith was 19. "I'd never met any one like him before, and I doubt I ever will. He was a rock star in the proper sense. He spent his whole life on the road, but had a real thing about Liverpool." Smith got to know him well, stayed at his home, appreciated his jokes and sayings, every one of them totally unprintable. Black died in 2008.

Smith has a full, strong saxophone sound on both soprano and tenor. Grover Washington an influence, I asked him? No, Smith's sax hero is definitely Joshua Redman , whom he met at the Village Vanguard in New York.

In addition to the Muffin Men, Smith has worked with Stevie Winwood, Craig David, and is currently a regular- on keyboards- with Kid Creole. Smith put together the CD "Ginger Tunes" to be "an honest account of where I am," and the album's inspirations have indeed come from many places.

This is a cheerful album, full of variety.

 

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