Fred Neighbour

As a musician, what I listen to and what I play are intrinsically linked. What I mean is that when I listen to music, I often find myself picking up my guitar soon afterwards, be it the acoustic after listening to some Folk or my electric to get a Rock or Jazz sound. My interest in history has helped me delve into how popular music has evolved, and Jazz – like my other love, Blues – has played a massive role. But Jazz is more than just a history lesson, it’s unpredictable, limitless and yes at times cliché and confined. This makes it all the more exciting when I find an album or musician I love.

I got my first recommendations from an inspiring guitar teacher (Metheny, McLaughlin etc.), and I soon was a regular perusing the fairly limited Jazz section at my local HMV. Occasionally, I’d get lucky at a charity shop where I once remember getting an electrifying Marius Neset CD featuring Django Bates. Neset’s performances with Phronesis got me interested in them, with their equally exuberant and modern approach to Jazz. Blue Note classics never seemed to disappoint either; ‘Maiden Voyage’, ‘Out To Lunch’ ‘Speak No Evil’ to name a few. I was truly beginning my conscious education in this music. The musician in me was coming at it from another angle: how do I learn to play like this? Truth is, it’s rather difficult and requires lots of dedication, but this doesn’t put me off; ‘getting better’ is a fun and fruitful experience in itself. This desire spurred me on to embark on my Music degree, which was where I unexpectedly developed an interest in Music Journalism whilst doing a module on it. Writing about Jazz and other genres has given me another creative outlet and a chance to share my views and impressions, long may it continue to do so.

Joining UK Vibe in 2019, here are the albums I have reviewed so far:

EABS ‘Slavic Spirits’ LP/CD (Astigmatic) 4/5
Medbøe | Halle | Malling ‘Hvor En Var Baen’ 10″ (Copperfly) 3/5
Brad Mehldau ‘Finding Gabriel’ 2LP/CD (Nonesuch) 3/5
Alexi Tuomarila Trio ‘Sphere’ LP/CD (Edition) 5/5
Tom Cawley ‘Catenaccio’ CD (Ubuntu Music) 4/5
Kelvin Andreas ‘Vivid Imagery’ (Self-released) 3/5
Elliot Galvin Trio ‘Modern Times’ LP/CD (Edition) 4/5
Mark de Clive-Lowe ‘Heritage II’ LP/CD (Ropeadope) 4/5
Tom Harrell ‘Infinity’ CD (HighNote) 3/5
The Cinematic Orchestra ‘To Believe’ 2LP/CD (Ninja Tune) 4/5

Astral Travelling Since 1993