Friday, 13 July 2012

Drew Gress/Claudia Quintet Transcription

For my final portfolio in college I did 2 Drew Gress transcriptions and an extract from a Claudia Quintet song. Since I've had all my marks back and everything, I thought I'd post some of them up here, hope you enjoy!

Claudia Quintet - August 5th 2006

Drew Gress solo on Drew's Blues by Fred Hersch (from Points in time)

Drew Gress, Bas Relief (from 7 Black Butterflies)

If anyone wants and PDFs emailed to them, contact me on

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Current Musical Happenings 4

This post is about a couple of cool gigs I got coming up.
First of which is a band which is a band called "Jack PC's hot fives", which I play electric bass for. This will be a fun gig, load of great open tunes, and check out the poster! (all's explained in the poster)

The second gig I'll mention is my carnage band. Mostly my tunes and some of the other members, the line up is......
Huw V Williams - Bass
Jon Reynolds - Drums
Lloyd Haines - Drums
James Clark - Accordion
Joe Webb - Wurlitzer
Greg Sterland - Tenor Saxophone
Jack PC - Alto Saxophone
Dan Smith - Baritone Saxophone
This gig will be going on in Dempseys on the 26th of June and entry will be about £5.

Lastly...... check out my soundcloud.............

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Joe Webb Trio - Night Song

First self release from Joe Webb Trio.

Joe Webb - piano
Huw V Williams - bass
Lloyd Haines - drums

1. Night Song (Fall in Love)
2. Buddy
3. Dempseys Girl
4. Marbles
5. An Ant's Apology
6. Lost in Paris
7. Doors
8. Brim

Each CD's £5, gimmie a shout if you want one!
All proceeds go to pints.

Friday, 30 December 2011

My favourite albums of 2011

After watching loads of countdown and "2011" programmes on telly this christmas time, I fancied writing a blog with the same sort of concept. So here it is, these are some of the albums that jumped out at me the last few months. I've tried doing each month where a certain album touched me, but unfortunately there are some albums missing, not that I hadn't been listening to cool new stuff, but not much in those months really turned my ear on like the albums listed here.

Steve Lehman Octet - Travail, Transformation and Flow
I saw this band at the Vortex in Dalston in January, my main reason for going was to see Drew Gress live, but the band blew me away and I don't think I've ever really heard writing like Lehman's before. Straight after that I bought the album, a lot of incredible tracks and compositional things going on.

Gruff Rhys - Hotel Shampoo
This is Gruff's third album, his records keep getting better and better. The difference with this album is that all the songs are in english, not like the previous record where there would be some welsh songs thrown in. This is well worth a listen, a lot of nice catchy tunes and a lot of things going on sonically.

Kit Downes - Quiet Tiger

This is Kit's follow up to the mercury nominated "Golden". This album is much darker and a lot more open musically. The trio is augmented by the addition of cello and saxophone on some tracks. Calum Gourlay's bass sound on this album is incredible and features his playing a lot more than the previous album. This record represents the band's live performance incredibly, check it out, keep british jazz alive!

Endangered Blood

FUCK! This has probably become one of my favourite albums of all time. It's Chris Speed's band, with him on tenor saxophone, Oscar Noriega on alto saxophone, Trevor Dunn on bass and Jim Black on drums. I'm so glad I found this album, Trevor Dunn is one of the main reason why I started playing double bass and so great to hear him on this album, great sound, feel and most of all great improvising. The vibe of the band is incredible, everyone gels so well, the tunes are fairly simple in terms of structure, but the improv by everyone is unreal. This is a great document of Chris Speed and Jim Black's musical relationship which has been going since they were 15. I think everyone should buy this album, it's available on itunes and on Chris's record label, skirl records.

Wu Tang Clan - Enter the Wu Tang (36 Chambers)
Classic rap album. I hadn't checked any rap out properly, so a friend of mine told me to get this, it's genius, great MC-ing and amazing flow.

Sonny Rollins - Way Out West
Over the summer just after I had moved to my new place, I found an independent record shop around the corner and found this there. I had been checking out a lot of west coast stuff at that point and this is by far the best. It's a trio with Sonny, Ray Brown on bass and Shelley Manne on drums. Amazing feel on the album, listening to Ray Brown is like education, fills up the sonic space beautifully and still keeps his amazing feel going.

Jim Black Trio - Somatic
This album's genius, the most 'jazz' I've heard Jim play drums ever. The trio consists of Elias Stemeseder on piano and Thomas Morgan on bass. I had met Elias in a summer school in Austria in the summer of 2008, at the time he was only 17, but sounded deadly, he's only 20 now and sounds even better, so much depth to what he plays. The tunes on this are incredible and the way these guys play together is really special. I hope they tour the in the UK soon, would love to see them live.

New Zion Trio - Fight Against Babylon
I only got this album through the post yesterday, but I've fallen in love with it already. The band is Jamie Saft on piano and rhodes, Larry Grenadier on bass and Craig Santiago on drums. Essentially this is a piano trio which plays live dub, very well. Craig Santiago's pocket is so deep, and Larry Grenadier's bass sound suits this music so well, it's amazing to hear a massive bass legend play the same groove for 7 minutes straight. This album is available through Jamie Saft's record label, veal records, I think everyone should buy this album, it's sonically genius.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Current musical happenings 3.333333

As I'm currently sitting around doing nothing, I thought this is a great chance to write another blog to catch up on what I've been doing in the past few months.
In the past few months I've been playing with a great North-Wales based poet Martin Daws, we've been doing gigs as a duo, where he recites the words and plays kalimba. We've been working on some new music with piano trio recently, hopefully get to record in the first half of 2012. Here's a video of us playing with a larger group in Edinburgh fringe festival in August 2011,

On December the 1st I had my ass kicked in dempseys. I was lucky enough to get a chance to play with straight ahead jazz guitar legend Dave Cliff in a quartet with Stuart Power also on guitar and Mark O'Connor on drums. We played some standards, some Wes Montgomery tunes along with other post bop classics. Dave's in his mid 60s, but sound absolutely immense, he also has a lot of funny stories from the years of being a travelling musician. It was Stuart Power who got the gig happening, a great guitar player who's based in Cardiff. If you ever get a chance to see him play, do it, he's spent a lot of time studying a lot of Lennie Tristano school and bebop language, so he sounds great over that music.

I've been really busy on some of the pit band side of stuff as well. I did the college musical and my first panto last week. The college musical was 'Merrily we roll along', old school Sondheim thing, I only did a few shows, but good experience for playing with a conductor. The panto I've been doing is Aladdin in the Swansea Grand Theatre on bass guitar, also good experience at the conductor stuff, but a lot more stressful than the musical, had to be on stand by at all times due to all the sound effects we were doing. From both these shows I've realised a few things; conductor don't like to beat on the 2 and 4 when it comes to jazz, that I'm not the greatest at following a conductor and that i should practice following conductors.

I also had my own band play a few gigs over South Wales in October, as you can see from a previous post. I hope to be writing more for this band over the holidays and try hustling for some more gigs over the new year. I've got a soundcloud page with some of the tunes we played at dempseys, it'd be great if you had a listen here

Let's hope 2012 brings a lot of cool musical happenings!

Sunday, 27 November 2011

The Listener.

I've just been wondering about this tonight and thought it'd be a good idea to write it down. The listener these days in my opinion is so easily influenced by 3 mains things, they either check out what people they respect tell them to look into, listen to something that's familiar from when they were younger or associated with a certain memory, or even to go against both these and try and avoid what they've heard before and ignore their friends' recommendations.

I would categorise myself as the avant garde listener, as I usually avoid what people are checking during a musical phase, but also with a lot of the qualities of the nostalgic listener. In many circles of friends I have seen people getting into different movements of music. Very often some get very heavily into styles of music which contradict their backgrounds, of course there's nothing wrong with this, but a very interesting thing. The thing I usually find with music that people check out, name has a lot to do with it. Is it because the listener feels secure with names and usually get so involved with feeling safe listening to the same artist.

With these assumptions in mind I often wonder why I got into jazz and improvised music and what I would make of a completely unknown artist that's exactly to my taste who makes this music and listen to it with a completely unbiased view. 
Just a thought.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Huw Vs Williams 4tet @ Dempseys.

These are photos from my quartet's gig in Dempseys from 18th Oct. There are recordings which I'll put up here as soon as they're finished mixing.

"This is a Joe Webb presentation!"

Greg Sterland

Teddy Smith

Lloyd Haines

Action shot

Huw V Williams.
I'd like to thank Roger Warbuton for taking these photos. Roger also does a guide of all the local gigs and sends it around via email. If you want to get in touch with him about the goings on, his address  is