The eminent, even pre-eminent composer arranger Michael Gibbs dropped by to Kings Place yesterday to chat. What an absolute pleasure. He is a fascinating, lucid and great man. We talked about all sorts of things from the dim and distant past to projects under way….
– His two years of university study in Pietermaritzburg – of chemistry.
– How what has always interested him is harmonic possibilities, making things work, rather than the harmonic rules he was taught many years ago at Berklee.
– A wonderful, incredibly exhaustive, indispensible discography run by Helsinki-based guitarist Esa Onttonen.
– The most durable impression he left yesterday was the series of contented smiles and utterly delighted spontaneous “Aaaaah”‘s which came over him when I played him something he hadn’t heard before: Dancing Sunlight from the Christine Jensen Jazz Orchestra‘s debut CD Treelines (it’s like jazz, you had to be there).
He also mentioned some things to watch out for: three CDs with Hamburg’s NDR Big Band, at various stages of the production and release process:
– (1) His arrangements of Pink Floyd will feature on an an album by Nguyen Le “Celebrating the Dark Side of the Moon” scheduled for release on ACT (30th October Germany, 3rd November (UK)
-(2) and (3) Cuneiform Records have, somewhere in their pipeline, two albums with a likely spring / summer 2015 release date: In My View features recent compositions, including a homage to Paco de Lucia. Mike Gibbs and the NDR Big Band Play a Bill Frisell Setlist.
LINKS: See also a recent interview about Joni Mitchell’s Paprika Plains
Our interview about the recent Whirlwind album celebrating Gil Evans