Jan 18 2011

Hello 2011…

Happy New Year!

It’s a little late now but happy new year all the same.

Had a funny start to the year as I was struck down with the flu literally as my new year’s eve gig ended, so I managed to spend the entire first week of the new year in bed. Not a great start but things could only get better…

As indeed they did! As many of you know I have just returned from an all-too-short trip to San Diego. The Clare Teal band was asked to play at a rather swanky fundraiser for the San Diego Symphony up in La Jolla. So off we went at the beginning of last week for a three night jaunt halfway around the world all in the name of jazz…

We had such a great time. We were staying at La Valencia right in the middle of La Jolla. The weather was gorgeous and it was such a treat to escape from the cold and rain at home for a few days. We found an excellent breakfast spot called Cody‘s which we visited on several occasions (check out the eggs benedict and the french toast if you’re in the area- they rock!) and spent an inordinate amount of time seal-watching at the beach.

The gig itself was incredible. The venue was a purpose built construction over the host’s swimming pool decorated floor to ceiling in hand-made white paper flowers. The whole room was lit to change colour throughout the evening and during our set and the effect was mesmerizing. The guests’ evening began with a private recital from virtuoso pianist Lang Lang, after which they were brought to our venue and treated to a three course dinner accompanied by a jazz set from the trio; closely followed by a set from Clare. It really was a great night and we were really well looked after by the hosts.

So what other news? I hear you ask.

Well, Duke Special has a new 3-track EP Duke Special Sings The Songs of Ruby Murray. It is available at the Dukestore and all profits go to Depaul Ireland. It really is a lovely EP so go order your copy now..

Clare Teal’s latest album is now finished and due for release in March. Watch this space!!

And finally, theĀ Little Alex project is well under way now. It is a collaboration between me and the fantastic drummer Steve Alexander. You can follow our escapades via Twitter as well as the Facebook page (don’t forget to click the Like button!). We are currently working on tunes combining looped bass (a la Mandala) with Steve’s live drums. The demos we’ve come up with so far sound great and we’re working towards an EP to be out sometime soon this year.

So it’s all happening folks. If you’re around tomorrow night I’ll be playing at The Spice of Life in Soho with Nina Ferro. See you there…