Nigel Price Organ Trio + Guests / Wes Reimagined Album / Cariba Promo Trailer
Nigel Price's next album features the stellar line-up of Ross Stanley (Hammond organ), Joel Barford (drums), and includes Vasilis Xenopoulos (sax), Tony Kofi (sax), Snowboy (percussion) and the Phonographic Strings conducted by Callum Au.
With a career spanning more than 25 years, the award-winning jazz guitarist has become widely acknowledged as one of the hardest working musicians in the business. Musically, Nigel’s blend of flowing bebop lines, deep blues sensibility and his mastery of chording continue to delight audiences and fellow musicians alike. His career highlights include a support show for Gladys Knight at The Royal Albert Hall and an appearance on Van Morrison’s recent album, Keep Me Singing.
Starting his professional career in his early 20s, Nigel toured Europe with various reggae and funk bands before settling on a solo guitar career and turning his attention to jazz. Citing early influences as Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass, John McLaughlin and the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Nigel honed his craft by attending gigs and sitting in with the players of the time. He has played on more than 50 albums including seven as a leader, spent 10 years with acid jazz outfit The Filthy Six, was a member of James Taylor’s band, JTQ, for three years (with whom he recorded five albums) and performed with the legendary David Axelrod. Nigel has also taught at The International Guitar Foundation at King’s Place, London.
Nigel has worked tirelessly to organise his own tours (including a 56-date tour in late 2016 and an extensive tour in 2020, even with COVID-19) and has picked up a Parliamentary Jazz Award (Best Jazz Ensemble, 2010), a nomination for a British Jazz Award (Best Guitarist, 2014) and a British Jazz Award (Best Guitarist, 2016) along the way. Nigel is a regular performer at London’s Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club where he has made more than 500 appearances.
Concerning Wes Reimagined, Nigel’s upcoming release, he explains, “I make no secret of the fact that I’m a big Wes Montgomery fan. Who isn’t? I’ve found his compositions to be great vehicles, especially used in the organ trio format. I couldn’t wish to have a better or more exciting team than Ross Stanley and Joel Barford to help me convey this material. We have some fantastic guests too: long-time collaborator Vasilis Xenopoulous on tenor saxophone, the wonderful Tony Kofi on alto and the legend that is Snowboy on percussion on five of the tracks.
“This album is a collection of the great man’s tunes, played in the same spirit but with a little look at what might have been. Some decisions as to what ‘feel’ a piece will be in are made very quickly, sometimes on the day of a recording session. I got to thinking that there was every chance that many of these tunes could have easily come out sounding very different if Wes had just been in an alternative frame of mind on the day.
“Hey, I haven't tried to reinvent the wheel in any way - it’s just a kind of ‘what if?’ So, ‘Leila’ moves from a cool ‘west coast’ vibe to an out and out burner, ‘Far Wes’ to a waltz and ‘’Road Song’ from a bossa to a grooving shuffle. I also think that Wes’s had an honest, direct and melodic style influenced a lot of the funk, soul, boogaloo and earthy groove music that was to come shortly after his passing. I have no doubt that he would have been at the forefront of that movement. Therefore, I’ve intertwined some of these later styles with Wes’s music.
“I also wanted, to acknowledge the later period of Wes’s recordings so I commissioned the utterly incredible trombonist/arranger Callum Au to write three string quartet arrangements and transform some pieces into larger productions. I wasn’t quite prepared for the depth and beauty of Callum’s incredible writing, not to mention the wonderful playing from the Phonograph Effect strings.
“We’ve been incredibly lucky to have been able to tour this material in late 2020, (a real achievement!) and it’s proved to be very popular with audiences all across the UK. What started out as a little daydream has become an exciting body of work of which I am very proud. I must say it turned out even better than I imagined.”
Nigel continues, "Well, I’m kind of known for wanting to ‘go it alone’ and I mostly have done exactly that over the years but I’ve become increasingly aware of a huge, positive presence within the UK jazz scene. That presence is Ubuntu Music. It’s clear that the boss, Martin Hummel, thrives on his startling ability to cheerfully, efficiently and above all optimistically ‘take care of business’. Looking at the roster of Ubuntu artists it is clear that I am amongst friends and, for perhaps the first time in my life, I am more than pleased to be handing the business side of things over to an organisation that I trust, leaving me more time to actually concentrate on the music. Now, where did I put my guitar...?”