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Bill Fletcher Cooperative

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Biography of Bill Fletcher Cooperative

60's jazz with gospel, R&B and contemporary influences

Bill Fletcher is originally from Halifax in Yorkshire. His earliest musical influences are from choral church music and from youth military bands, in which, as the tallest member, he was assigned the bassoon as his instrument.

On leaving school he switched first to bass guitar and then double bass. He learned the fundamentals of improvisation with Conrad Cork in Leicester and went on to play with various bands in the East Midlands before moving to South Wales in 1994.

In his adopted home of Cardiff he has played with many ensembles on bass and backed visiting soloists. His mainstream jazz inspirations include Charles Mingus, whose work is featured strongly in the Cooperative's repertoire.

The Cooperative is a quintet which pays homage to Charles Mingus and other 60's blues/gospel jazz greats. Occasionally the arrangements also show the influence of more recent genres such as Jamaican and Urban American popular music. Exuberance and improvisation feature strongly in the set. The Cooperative was formed in May 2001 and is based in South Wales.

Greg Evans is well-established as one of the rhythm-section mainstays on the South Wales jazz scene. His work stretches from small ensembles to big band, on both kit and percussion.

Eurig Morgan hails from Bridgend. He is deeply influenced by the playing of Miles Davis and the melodic style of the pre-bebop era. He finds inspiration in the playing of jazz trumpeters who tend towards a more introspective and thoughtful style as opposed to those who are aggressive and athletic in their expression.

Simon Fenoulhet's earliest influences were from his father, also a jazz pianist. Whilst at art college in Newport he toured with a free improvisation performance group and studied briefly with Gavin Briars. Simon's playing stretches from abstract to blues and from lyrical to pyrotechnic. His main influences are Django Bates and Chick Corea.

Mark O'Connor studied performing arts at Cross Keys and alto sax with Lee Goodall, amongst others. His initial influences on alto were Art Pepper and Cannonball Adderley. His playing features beautifully constructed solo climaxes and fine ensemble work.

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