Remote Location

A brief story about how Twitter can be great…

A couple of years back, I got chatting on Twitter with an American jazz drummer called Scott McLemore who lives and works in Iceland. I can’t remember how we found each other, but I’m pretty sure it was related to the guitarist Bill Frisell whom we both love. I think he had posted a link to a (guitarless) group he had who played Frisell numbers, I responded that it sounded great, and musical bonding ensued.

The jazz scene in Iceland sounds very healthy, lots of really creative and interesting musicians out there. One major name out there is pianist Sunna Gunnlaugs, who is also Scott’s wife. She has various recordings out, mainly trios and quartets. I can’t recommend them enough: Long Pair Bond by her trio is beautiful, as is The Dream with the addition of alto saxophone. Her music playful, thoughtful, and stays with you long after you finish listening. If you like the music of ECM pianists like Keith Jarrett and Bobo Stenson, you’ll love her. Scott’s dancing drums accompany and push all the way through. And she’s very generous with her music! On Sunna’s Bandcamp page, there are plenty of free live recordings to download.

One of Scott’s groups is ASA Trio, a drums, organ and guitar trio. They too have freebies on their page, including their interpretation of Coltrane’s A Love Supreme. Last year they released the CD and download Plays the Music of Thelonious Monk. I love this album. Seriously one of my favourite things of last year, with great humour, swing, drive. San Francisco Holiday is wonderful. Definitely one for the desert island.

Last summer, Scott got in touch wondering if he might use some of my images in some way for a new album he was working on, and I was thrilled! He sent me a live recording of some of the music – it’s a quintet with electric and acoustic bass, guitar, saxophone, and Sunna on piano and Wurlitzer. Great, dreamlike music, themes weaving their way into my head. 

Last November Sunna and Scott were over in London with her trio for the Jazz festival, so I finally got to meet them. Loved seeing the trio live (even if the Barbican almost hid Sunna away at the side of the stage), and hope they come back soon for more. It was an afternoon and evening of jazz from Iceland, and it seemed Scott was the house drummer, sitting at the back of nearly every group.

And now in late summer 2012, Scott released his group’s album Remote Location. And my photos are all over it!

The cover is this shot from spring last year, taken on Impossible Project PX680 test film. A hot day, sun beating down, walking back to the car in Caseneuve in Provence with my mother.

Road

The back cover is this Polaroid Time Zero image of Pont Julien:

Pont St Julien

Inside is more Time Zero – a bicycle in the Provençal town of Apt:

Bicycle

And the woods near Mildenhall:

Mildenhall Woods in Time Zero

You should definitely buy the download from Scott’s Bandcamp site, because you get an informative PDF. However, you’ll miss out on holding the CD in your hands, and you won’t get any of the images other than the front one! So buy the CD, and you get the download too. Bargain!

Thanks again to Scott for the wonderful music, and for using my images along with it.

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