A celebration of the life and music of
O2 Shepherds Bush Empire
Jack Bruce & Cream
Saturday August 6th
I was recently invited to play at a special celebratory evening for bassist, singer, songwriter Jack Bruce, who died two years ago.
The event — held on Tuesday 25 October 2016 at London’s O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire — was put together by Malcolm (Jack's son) and Pete Brown (Cream lyricist).
This show was a chronological musical journey through Jack's musical career, starting from the early years with the Alexis Korner and Graham Bond era, moving through the Cream era, and to his many solo records, with a nod to some of the other important collaborations during his lifetime.
All proceeds went to Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy and to a hospice in Suffolk.
The evening was amazing, with everyone pulling together to make it happen. There was such respect for Jack
THIS WAS THE LINE-UP
Clem Clempson, Chris Spedding, Malcolm Bruce, Ray Russell, Mick Taylor, Steve Hackett, Bernie Marsden, Alan Darby, Will Johns
Dennis Chambers, Gary Husband, Corky Laing, Ginger Baker*
Neil Murray, Guy Pratt, Jeff Berlin, Trevor Horn, Mo Foster
Pete Brown, Terry Reid, Paul Young, Lulu, Maggie Reilly, Eddie Reader, Maya Sage
David Sancious, Malcolm Bruce
Annie Whitehead, Henry Lowther, Art Theman, Jon Altman
PLUS a string quartet, and backing vocals.
Bob Harris and Chris Welch spoke
* Towards the end of the concert Ginger arrived and made a beautiful speech that was almost a love-letter to Jack.
And I got to play 'White Room' with Dennis Chambers!
Saturday August 6th 2016
Pete Brown And Friends
The music of
Jack Bruce and Cream
Pete Brown - vocals • Malcolm Bruce - guitars • Clem Clempson - guitar • Mo Foster - bass • Jeff Allen - drums
Featuring vocalist Pete Brown, who is regarded as the fourth member of Cream and composer of some of their biggest hits including Sunshine Of Your Love, White Room, and I Feel Free. Also featured is Jack Bruce's son Malcolm Bruce, Mo Foster (ex Jeff Beck and Phil Collins) , Clem Clemson (ex-Humble Pie and Colosseum), and Jeff Allen (ex Mick Taylor and Snowy White)
Saturday August 6th 2016
We are playing at
606 Jazz Club
Monday 1st August 2016
90 Lots Road London
020 7352 5953
Mo Foster - bass • Nic France - drums • Ray Russell - guitar • Geoff Castle - keyboards • Chris Biscoe - reeds
My next illustrated talk will be held at
Abbey Road Studios
Abbey Road Institute
27th May 2016
Abbey Road Institute is a brand-new education initiative based at the famous studios. I have been invited to give a talk to this year’s class. I’m really looking forward to it.
Documentary by director
One More Time
Air Edel Studios
Recording: 6th June 2016
ONE MORE TIME is a feature documentary that tells the story of the UK session players of the 60's & 70's who helped forge the sound of the British Invasion and recorded the music of a generation.
‘From The Beatles to Bond and Ziggy to Zeppelin these are the tales told by the men who were there in London's busy studio scene’.
‘So far we've interviewed Clem Cattini, Ray Russell, Graham Preskett, Mo Foster, Dave Richmond, David Mindel, Alan Hawkshaw, Herbie Flowers, Martyn Ford, Ralph Salmins, Anthony Jackson, Maggie Rodford, Dougie Wright, Adrian Kerridge, Bob Henrit, David Hamilton-Smith, Vic Flick, Brian Bennett, and Simon Phillips’. ‘The film brings the players back into the studios to record as well as bringing together new interviews and some of the limited archive of the UK session players’.
Bass Synch Library 2016
I’ve been working with Mark Garfield of Pop-up Music on some bass tracks.
Featured instruments are:
• Fender Precision Bass • Fender Fretless Jazz Bass • Fender Bass VI • Alembic Omega Series I • Dallas Tuxedo Bass • Overwater Progress 5-String Bass • Czechoslovakian Double Bass
Mo Foster & Friends
Pizza Express Jazz Club
1st February 2016
When Linda Hoyle was forced to cancel her promotional gig it seemed sensible to keep the date, and also to keep the same musicians.
The repertoire was essentially some of the titles from my five solo albums plus some re-worked standards. I tried to imagine Gil Evans in miniature. And I promised I wouldn't sing.
The band played brilliantly.
Mo Foster - Electric Basses
Ray Russell - Electric Guitar
Malcolm Edmonstone - Keyboards
Nic France - Drums
Chris Biscoe - Reeds
Corrina Silvester - Percussion
Alan Boyd filmed the evening, and the sound-man Luc Saint-Martin recorded it on ProTools, so there may be a live CD, and there will be some video promotion.
Nigel Kennedy session
I had been invited by guitarist Dougie Boyle to play fretless bass on a Christmas song for Anna Maria Kaufmann. I played in the control room of Studio 3 for the session. Dougie and Nigel were co-producing,
A few feet away from where I sat there was a bowl of fruit on the desk and I noticed that ’Zut Alors’ had been written in felt-tip on a banana. I asked Dougie who had done this. “Nigel” he said.
A memory of the session that will never leave me was Dougie Boyle’s answer to my question "does he sign any other fruit?" He simply replied: "no, he only signs bananas". (How stupid of me to think that he might even sign an apple) He Only Signs Bananas could be Nigel’s epitaph. Or an album title?
Royal Festival Hall 18th November 2015
Simon Phillips invited Ray Russell, Gary Husband, and I to the to see him playing with the brilliant jazz composer and pianist Hiromi Uehara, and the amazing bassist Anthony Jackson.
The music is awe-inspiring, and the playing was flawless — I cannot imagine what the rehearsals were like!
It was lovely to meet them all before the show and to catch up on the news. Hiromi very sweetly brought us each a small bottle of water — so kind. I asked her how long they had been on the road, and she said “one month”. I couldn’t resist adding “and you’re still talking?”
I had never met Anthony before. We shook hands and I told him how much I had enjoyed his playing. He mischievously replied “I know, your parents have got all my records”
A tribute to
Lord Attenborough CBE
former Chancellor of the University of Sussex
The Attenborough Centre for Creative Arts 3rd September 2015
The event for the reopening of the Attenborough Centre (formerly the Gardner Arts Centre) featured a ceremony plus marquee dinner. The speakers include George Fenton, David and Michael Attenborough, Lord Grade, Kevin McNally and Lesley Walker. The evening was hosted by Sanjeev Bhaskar, Chancellor of the University of Sussex
The band for the evening — organised by Jon Altman — featured:
John Altman, saxophone
Ray Russell, guitar
Mo Foster, bass guitar
Mark Mondesir, drums
Mo Pleasure, keyboards
Pete Brown, vocals and percussion
The musicians were the best, and it was great fun to play Cream songs sung by the man who wrote the original lyrics.
her new album
In early 1971 the band split, and disillusioned by the music industry at the time Linda quit and started a new life as an academic in Canada.
In 2011 the University of Sussex at Falmer near Brighton (my alma mater) celebrated it's 50th birthday. I put a band together for a reunion concert
Linda — who just happened to be visiting friends four miles away in Lewes —joined us onstage that night and sang a couple of songs. It was this reunion that sparked her desire to perform again, and she and I began writing and recording.
It was a difficult project because Linda lives in Canada and I live in England, but we got there! The new CD is called The Fetch.
Legendary artist Roger Dean — an old friend of ours from Ronnie Scott days — designed the beautiful cover.
We had planned a launch gig on Monday 1st February 2016 at the Pizza Express Jazz Club in Dean Street but a couple of weeks before the show Linda was taken suddenly very ill and, as a consequence, was unable to travel to play at the gig. Frustratingly the evening had sold out.
Good news: I spoke to Linda recently and I am pleased to report that she is now slowly recovering and hopes that she'll be able to perform again in a few months time.
Mandolin album 2015
Some years ago I was invited to spend a week with friends at their villa in the south of France — 100 kms south of Toulouse.
On the day before leaving I went out to buy some new underwear but came back with a mandolin, which I had found at a musical instrument store called Hobgoblins in Rathbone Place. I had tried every one in the shop. They didn’t sell underpants.
Accompanied by only a glass of white wine and a chord-book I started to learn to play the instrument in a courtyard surrounded by fields of sunflowers and lavender. Bliss.
Had it not been for a lack of underpants, I might never have learned to play the mandolin — one of those Sliding Doors moments.
My new mandolin library album was recorded using Logic Pro software.