The debut album from the pen of Sam Sharp, Pack of Six burst onto the scene at the tail end of 2005. Built upon a solid Fender Rhodes jazz / funk trio with horn section, a variety of special guests contribute to the success of the outfit’s unique sound. The line-up is a “who’s who” of the young British jazz scene: most notably two of London’s leading vocalists, Victoria Newton and Natalie Williams, who perform 6 songs between them. Sam had recently left a well paid but highly unfulfilling city job before writing these works, which is apparent from the haunting melodies and soulful lyrics on “Hamster in a Wheel” and “City Lies”. Cited by Sam as a major influence, the styling of country singer/songwriter James Taylor is apparent on “This is it” and “May Look Grey”, whilst “Possibly You” takes the listener back to the early work of Jamiroquai and the Brand New Heavies. The remaining tracks consist of Sam’s take on the Pink Panther (“Rinky Dink”) featuring Tom Richards, an intriguing love song combining Elgar and Shakespeare(“Elle”), and the bluesy “Spherical Cow”, which breaks down in to a jamming duo between the two featured horns. Other features include the saxophone trio introduction acting as a call to prayer for Hamster in a Wheel, and the appearance from the UK’s top harmonica player, Jools Jackson, known best for his part in the Oscar winning “Full Monty” sound track.
Pack of Six are: Sam Sharp - Alto Saxophone, Rob O’Neale - Trumpet, Martin Gladdish – Trombone, Pat Levett – Drums, Julian Jackson – Bass, Ross Stanley – Keyboards
Special Guests: Natalie Williams – Vocals, Victoria Newton – Vocals, Tom Richards – Saxes, Mark Brown – Tenor Saxophone, Jools Jackson – Harmonica, Ben Fitzgerald – Percussion
All tracks written and produced by Sam Sharp, except:
* based on original composition, “The Pink Panther”, by Henry Mancini
+ based on original composition, “Salut D’Amour” by Edward Elgar,
words from William Shakespeare’s Sonnet XVIII