|Pete Horsfall (centre). Photo credit: Benjamin Amure|
Ahead of trumpeter/vocalist Pete Horsfall’s debut with his new quartet on Friday February 27th at St James Studio, Sebastian interviewed him about it by email:
LondonJazz News: What is special about the gig by the Pete Horsfall Quartet on on Fri 27th Febriary ?
Pete Horsfall: It will be the first gig for my new quartet. I’m launching the group at the St. James Theatre studio, one of my favourite venues in London – and I’ll also be singing, which might be new for some of those who have only seen me play trumpet.
LJN: When did you start singing on gigs? And people have encouraged you ….?
PH: Playing with many early jazz groups (dixieland.. trad.. whatever you’d like to call it) over the past few years, singing tends to be encouraged. Often each member of a group will have at least one song they sing during the set. The basic thought is, I think, that audiences simply like to hear someone sing at some point during a set! My singing really grew from that background and now I’m featured singing in most of the groups I’m currently working with including the Kansas Smittys House Band and Basin Street Brawlers.
LJN: And this is a different style from the Basin Street Brawlers which you also lead?
PH: Yes that’s right, the new quartet is definitely working within a different style. We’ve taken a lot from the small group arrangements of the Nat Cole Trio, the Art Tatum trio of the early 1940s, and other associated acts like Slam Stewart and Slim Gaillard. I suppose you could call this small group swing, if you were forced to label it. It’s worth also mentioning the vocal influences of Billie Holliday.
LJN: Who is in the band?
PH: Multi-instrumentalist Dave O’Brien plays double bass, Dave Archer plays guitar and Joe Webb plays piano.
LJN: And you’ve been doing arrangements for this group?
PH: Yes we’ve been arranging classic tunes like I Cover The Waterfront, alongside other less well known gems like I’ll Be Around – taking inspiration from the tight arrangements of Nat King Cole and Art Tatum.
LJN: And what plans do you have going further?
PH: We have some high profile gigs coming up this year, including a confirmed appearance at Ronnie Scotts – we’ll announce the date later in the year. We also plan to record an album of arrangements and new originals in summer 2015. & I’ll be dropping in to play with Joe Stilgoe next month, too.