Fergus McCreadie talks jazz and Scotland
Scottish pianist Fergus McCreadie, who won the first Fog Arts-sponsored Jazz Improvisation Prize at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS) in 2016, talked to us earlier this month about why he always wanted to be a professional musician, his studies at RCS in Glasgow, the current state of Scotland’s jazz scene, and the similarities between Nordic and Scottish folk music. Click below for the interview or, if you prefer YouTube, go here.
Date posted: 7 September 2018
In conversation with Ubuntu’s Martin Hummel
Fog Arts’ Guy Jones recently had a long discussion with Martin Hummel, the founder and CEO of London-based jazz label Ubuntu Music. Among many other things, Martin talked about the challenges of developing an artist roster and album catalogue from scratch, the thorny issue of CDs and vinyl versus digital, and – shock, horror – whether musicians should be making records at all. Click on the link below, or go to Fog Arts’ SoundCloud or YouTube channels.
Date posted: 1 September 2018
Date posted: 22 June 2018
Cliff Goldmacher talks to Fog Arts
The American songwriter, producer and educator Cliff Goldmacher has shared his experiences and insights from 25 years in the music business with Fog Arts’ Guy Jones in an hour-long podcast. Based in Sonoma, California, Cliff began his professional career in Nashville, where he collaborated with other writers, musicians and singers in crafting numerous country and other songs. Although he also writes for pop, rock and folk artists, Cliff is particularly active these days in the jazz field, where his collaborators include the US singers Stacey Kent – and her musical partner and husband Jim Tomlinson – and Spencer Day, with whom he co-wrote the song TIll you come to me, which topped the American jazz chart soon after its release.
Click on the link below, or go to Fog Arts’ SoundCloud and YouTube channels, to hear the interview. Cliff is candid, good-humoured, and a mine of useful information for anyone who wants to hone their songwriting skills.
Date posted: 16 June 2018
In conversation with Jim Tomlinson
Fog Arts’ founder and manager, Guy Jones, recently interviewed Jim Tomlinson, the British saxophonist and flute player, composer, arranger and producer. Part 1 of this interview is now up on our SoundCloud and YouTube channels, and we aim to record Part 2 with Jim in the coming weeks. Jim Tomlinson is not only a fine musician in his own right with three albums as leader to his name; he’s also the musical partner – and husband – of prolific American jazz singer Stacey Kent, who appears on three tracks of the Jan Lundgren Trio Plays The Music Of Victor Young album that Fog Arts digitally reissued in September 2016.
Date posted: 20 May 2018
Out of the fog?
Jan’s album Man In The Fog was released in February this year [2013, and reissued by Fog Arts in May 2018] and is already on its third production run. That means there are potentially 30,000 people out there listening to Jan’s first and so far only solo recording. JLN asked Jan for his thoughts on this milestone in his 20-year career.
“I’ll let you into a secret” confides Jan. “I recorded a solo CD back in 2006 for a short series of concerts I did in Stockholm called History Of Piano Jazz [reissued by Fog Arts in September 2017]. But you could only buy it at the performances.”
“Man In The Fog is something completely different. After half a lifetime of trying to perfect my trade, I was finally ready to work on something serious, grown up and consistent. “The temptation when you’re young is to prove how good you are by showing off – too many contrasting styles, too much distracting technique. With Man In The Fog, I didn’t feel the need to show every different element of Jan Lundgren. I wanted to pick a single theme, a feeling, a mood, and see where I could take it.”
How does Jan define this theme? “The album conveys a definite sense of simplicity, and occasionally a little melancholia. This is partly a reflection of growing older and, perhaps, the fact that I’m Swedish. Straightforwardness and the avoidance of fuss are among the things that many Swedes pride themselves on, and I think these characteristics are partially reflected in the album.”
Is that why I don’t want to cry anymore is the only tune on Man In The Fog from the great American songbook? “Unconsciously, yes” replies Jan. “Although I love them, those tunes were not what I wanted to explore on this album. It’s also why we didn’t include the download bonus track Yesterdays on the CD. The treatment was just that little bit too complex and showy, and it jarred with the mood and tone of the album.”
Now that Jan has finally bitten the solo bullet, JLN wonders whether we can expect more solo recordings in the future. “I very much hope so. I’d certainly like to do more. But I want to be sure that, when it happens, I’m saying something which is properly considered and coherent.”