Live at The Haymarket

All may have been quiet on the update front, but the playing front has certainly been rather loud of late.

This week I have the great pleasure of playing lead guitar/vocals with The Craze Band, as part of ‘One Man, Two Guvnors’ at The Theatre Royal Haymarket. I’m using the opportunity to debut my lovely new G&L ASAT Classic T…

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New Album available!

People!
Very excited to announce the release of “A Song Cycle for Soho” Original Cast Recording:
Click here to see the album on iTunes

Currently available on iTunes with CD released soon!

Also featuring the multitudinous talents of MD Sarah Travis and cast Claire Moore, Niamh Perry, Michael Cantwell & James Gillan.

All new compositions, was a fantastic show to be involved with.

Enjoy!

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New video: Live from the studio!

Hello hello,

After a fun session yesterday with an exciting new project, I can share this clip of an improvised solo from the playout of a rather epic song:

It’s just the Suhr into a Line 6 POD Live X3 (there was a LOT of tone-tweaking going on that day…) but has a suitably arena-friendly sound I think.

It was a lot of fun to record, and the changes were surprisingly tricky to navigate on-the-fly without sounding too ‘jazz’.

Enjoy!

John.

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13th November World Premiere – Howard Goodall’s Oratorio

What ho, gentlefolk of the internet.

In case anyone’s wondering what is happening in my little world at the moment – next Sunday 13th November sees me in the orchestra playing classical guitar for Howard Goodall’s new Oratorio, Every Purpose Under the Heaven, in Westminster Abbey.

We had a great rehearsal with the choir & orchestra in the beautiful Lincoln Cathedral last week, and everything sounded most marvellous. And it is, as ever, a pleasure to work again with such a fine composer and chap.

More details can be found here.

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Back in the office!

We’re off to a very good start with this new production of “She Loves Me”, so here’s a quick look at my view in the band:

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New Track – Gary Moore’s “The Loner” cover

Hey folks,

This morning I recorded a cover I’ve wanted to do for a while – it’s my tribute to Gary Moore, his track ‘The Loner’. The guitar world will miss his fantastic & inspiring playing.

I hope you enjoy my rendition, it’s a track that has been a big influence to me over the years:

http://soundcloud.com/johngregson/gary-moores-the-loner-john

John.

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“Love Story” Cast CD available

Dear all,

It is with great pride that I can announce the Original London Cast recording of “Love Story” is now available! Currently you can pre-order it at Amazon and Dress Circle, or download it immediately from iTunes here.

We had an absolute blast recording the session at the no-introduction-needed Abbey Road studios, worth hearing for that alone!

Of course, for the ultimate convenient package, you could come to the Duchess Theatre in the West End and pick up a copy there after seeing the show!

It’s official: our limited run will conclude 26th February so please make sure you pop along before then for a chance to see this wonderful show. The chamber music setting makes the guitar chair a delightful challenge, and everyone involved is thrilled to be involved in such a classy, individual show in town.

Hope to see you there one last time!

John.

"Love Story" CD Session at Abbey Road

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Jazz Study Tips

What ho,

Seeing as I’m away from home for an extended period of time with the “Love Story” band, I’ve had to be quite creative with my practice as I only have a finite amount of space & time available to me.

As my show work involves playing the same notes, reading from the same score, 8 shows a week, I’m always aware of the danger of my sight-reading ability atrophying as the weeks go by. Also, as I’m playing purely acoustic-based music, there’s the narrowing focus on stylistic playing that often requires a bit of expanding, just for maintaining my own interest.

So I decided to base a lot of work around Charlie Parker’s Omnibook, an epic tome of be-bop scribblings. My reason for packing this book was two-fold:

1) It’s a marvellous resource as a compendium of Parker’s soloing approach over a large number of standards.

2) The chromatic nature of his soloing makes it superb as a sight-reading text.

As I’m not a be-bopper at heart, I haven’t been as well-versed in Parker’s playing as much as some of my colleagues – something I’m trying to remedy. Besides standards like Au Privav, Anthropology, Ornithology & Donna Lee (which I know fairly well), I’m treating the transcriptions as sight-reading studies.

As I get more comfortable just reading through the book at different tempi, and in a variety of positions (and horizontal & vertical approaches), the patterns & lines cease to be sight-reading studies, and are gradually becoming internalised. I’m noticing, even after only a few days of this, that listening to the original recordings, I’m beginning to ‘decode’ the lines. For someone interested in developing their inner ear for jazz, I’d say this is a hugely useful approach.

Having this sort of time to dedicate to something like this is a tremendous luxury, and hopefully I’m making the most of it. A most satisfying endeavour, indeed!

The always-marvellous chap that is Mike Outram has compiled a Spotify playlist of all of the solos transcribed in the Omnibook – well worth checking out with the book to hand. Many thanks to him for sparing the time to do this.

If you have any thoughts or other tips, do let me know. In the meantime, listen for the changes, and try to keep up!

John.

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“Welcome back, my friends…

…to the show that never ends”, chorus a legion of prog fans around the world.

Yes, it’s that time of year where I plug my latest adventures in the pit – June sees me in the guitar chair for the premiere of Howard Goodall’s musical setting of the classic story/film “Love Story” at the prestigious Chichester Festival.

It’s a lovely score, for strings, piano & guitar (doubling classical & 12-string) – a wonderful and rare blend of lyrical & evocative writing, with some real finger-twisting ensemble moments. Marvellous!

Details for the show can be assimilated here: http://www.cft.org.uk/cft-productions_details.asp?pid=371

Come on down and revel in the sunshine and musical derring-do!

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“Soloing Concepts” videos

Dear all, I’ve started a series of tuitional videos on YouTube under the banner ‘Soloing Concepts’. This is going to be a continuing series of developing ideas that are designed to give you some concepts to apply to your playing and practice.

Part 1: Combining Disciplines

Part 2: Harmonic Variations

Part 3: Rhythmic Variations 1 , Rhythmic Variations 2

There are quite a few more in the pipeline, so please subscribe to my channel for updates!

Thanks for watching.

John.

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