Rest in Peace and light eternal Donald Byrd.

This is a beautiful, haunting recording from his earlier phase before becoming a groundbreaking Jazz funk pioneer. I was so fortunate to work with him on Guru’s Jazzamatazz project and we did some shows in NYC and Atlantic city as well as London. He was a wise and generous man, when he spoke to you he gave you his full attention, you felt as though he could see right into your musical soul! He took some time to show me some chords and harmonic structures that I knew nothng of…and I am forever grateful to have spent time with him, learnt from him and met him face to face.

Now we have countless treasures to remember him by and this kind and generous genius will never be forgotten.

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The orij vid for First Time Ever, my dear sisters beautiful rendition of this timeless tune! This is shot at the legendary ( and now sadly gone) Bass clef in Hoxton , London. We would be there most monday nights dancing our selves crazy in the late 80’s and early 90’s at Norman Jay’s seminal Original Rare Groove Show. Wonderful times that live long and strong in the memory.

The beautiful Alicia Myers gospel song that Chante covered and truly made her own! Singing the song completely from the heart. We had such a wonderful time making this record. Louis Silas, her record label boss gave us a 16 piece string section budget on many of the tunes!! ….  you can really hear this to great effect here….check the end. Beautiful rhodes by Adrian Reid too, of Jazz warriors fame.

Memories of Sunday 18th July 2010

I want to recount my amazing day just this Sunday past…

In the morning my family and I went to St Pauls Cathedral. My nephew Theo is a chorister there ( he’s Joanna Laws boy!!) We heard the incredible cathedral choir perform Mozarts Coronation Mass with the London Sinfonia orchestra under the mighty dome in that glorious building. It was stunningly beautiful , quite overwhelming to me because it was so familiar as I had sung it many moons ago as a chorister at Hereford Cathedral. (This was an extremely formative time for me as a musician, from age 9-14)

Afterwards we had a wonderful family sunday lunch at Carluccios in west Smithfield and then I strolled along the sun drenched Thames embankment to Somerset House (on that afternoon all I could think of was “Yellow was the colour of sunrays!” )

I met all my old friends, and some new! from SIIS. We sound checked, hung out, got ready and then played the most amazing concert in the evening to a fantastic crowd.

Pretty much a perfect day to me…where all this different music made perfect sense. It was simply GOOD MUSIC…..”to elevate your mind and free your soul”

Peace and blessings all, S. xx

BP Gulf oil crisis

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Hi Folks, I wanted to pass this on to you all,

Dr. Masaru Emoto, a  scientist from Japan,  has done acclaimed research and publications about the characteristics of water and how, among other things, water physically responds to emotions.  He has proposed a prayer for the Gulf situation.  He uses the Hawaiian healing prayer, Ho’oponopono, as part of it, at the end.
 
Right now, most of us have felt predominantly angry when we consider what is happening in the Gulf.   And while certainly we are justified in that emotion, we may be of greater assistance to our planet and its life forms, if we sincerely, powerfully and humbly pray the prayer that Dr Emoto, himself, has proposed.
 
"I send the energy of love and gratitude to the water and all the living creatures in the Gulf of Mexico and its surroundings. To the whales, dolphins, pelicans, fish, shellfish, plankton’s, corals, algae and all living creatures…..I am sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you."
 
We are not powerless. We are powerful.
We don’t have to know how……we just have to recognize that the power of love is greatest force.

Incredible song by my talented and soulful sister Joanna. Incredible too that it never got a release?!…Love the whole sweeping vibe of the song. Jo’s voice all over the airwaves again with Way Out West remix of their hit The Gift…which samples her singing ‘The First Time Ever’….cant keep a great voice down!! Watch out for new songs from Jo later this year….

This is the cover of Deniece William’s glorious tune that we did with Chante….originally produced for DW by one of my all time heroes and inspiration: Maurice White.

You can imagine the thrill it was to do this wonderful song with Chante….who does the original total justice in the way a good version should…with respect and honour but also a real reinterpretation….making it her own.

Special mention for Adrian Reid’s beautiful rhodes and piano playing….Ross Andersons always soulful bass and guitar work….and also this amazing slideshow that I found on YT (respect jayb4321!!)

It was the late great Louis Silas ( her label boss and great friend) who came up with the idea of fusing ‘Sail On’ at the end…and I still melt when I hear Chante’s BGs come in and her ad libs weaving about them….she is a beautiful song bird of paradise in our midst!!

Peace and Blessings all….

Heres ‘Feel The Need’… the JT Taylor tune I did from yesteryear …hot off the vinyl…coverted to 0s &1s.

This was the title track from his debut album after leaving Kool and the Gang.
What a singer…and a gracious lovely fella to boot!! And thats my old production partner Ross Anderson tearing it up and grounding everything on Bass and Guitar…such a talented and soulful player. 16 piece strings section…me on keys n stuff, Jeff Scantelbury on perc and Gary Barnacle on sax. We made a joyful noise unto the creator!!

One of my favourites of things I have done…

Peace and Blessings all xxx