your latest solo project?
Well, as you know Id already done a couple of solo records, RAW
MATERIAL was a booze & blues type thing, which was really
well received considering the songs were only demos for the Japanese
lads in my band to learn! The other was MAN ON A MISSION which didnt
seem to get the attention I thought it deserved - being largely a hard
rock album and (I thought) close to UFOs material. Andy Simmons
did an excellent job on guitar but you never know how people
are going to react.
So, Id been secretly listening to Rods American Songbook
records, and bought a couple by young Jamie Cullum and Diana Krall,
and even enjoyed Robbies Swing record like
him, Id grown up listening to all that stuff, so I had a stab
at recording a song, How About You? and that was it! I was
off on one!!!
you describe the style of music on your new CD?
Modern Jazz was the term used at the time, but actually that applies
to the 1960s. Its more like easy listening with improvisation.
Not the kind of jazz that is too challenging to the ear.
the musicians that influenced your early career?
I have to say Miles Davis initially. He had the best piano players in
his band. Listening to those early records from the late 50s and
early 60s got me out playing in public. I pick up stuff pretty
quickly I was only 16 or 17 then. At 18 I decided to make a career
out of playing music. I met a new crowd of guys, they turned me on to
Chuck Berry and his pianist Johnny Johnson. At the same time, the Hammond
organ became very popular, I listened to Jimmy Smith and Jimmy McGriff
both jazzers really but a lot of the stuff was kind of funky.
The Stones influenced my rock persona, as did the young Stevie Marriott.
I tried so had to emulate him, but who else can sing like that? Well,
I got the haircut right anyway!!!
Was it difficult
to choose the material for this album?
No! I listen to lots of music by different people, then I think, If
I cover that, can I make it different and interesting? The first
thing I do is mess with the key. A different key will always suggest
something new. Im very proud of The Kinks Sunny Afternoon
arrangement, and the gospel-like version of Lover Come Back To Me. Ive
got a killer jazz arrangement of Doctor Doctor maybe for the
.but then again, perhaps not!!!
you choose to play all the instruments yourself?
I dont know any jazz musicians any more! I havent seen John
Heisman since he was in the Bluesbreakers in 1969. I saw Dave Green
when he was working with Charlie Watts up at Ronnie Scotts. He
gave me a big bear hug and then took the piss out of my hair! Daves
the only one from way back who stayed in jazz and hes right at
the top of his game bless him!
you enjoy most about making this CD?
Recording is always fun because songs seem to take on a life of their
own and making new arrangements for old songs is always a challenge.
When things work out and you find a good arrangement that sounds really
unique its very rewarding.
happy with the finished product or in retrospect is there anything you
would have done differently?
Im very happy with the end result, but if I could do it all over
again, I would have used a producer to help give another viewpoint.
Sometimes I get carried away with stuff and its always good to
have input from an outside perspective.
of audience do you think this will appeal to?
Rod Stewarts! No seriously, Im sure even Rod himself would
admit to being absolutely stunned at the phenomenal success of his American
Songbook albums, which just goes to prove that this kind of music
has not lost its appeal and in fact seems to have bridged not one but
several generations. The most popular musicals in the West End at the
moment are The Rat Pack and a new one featuring the music of Ray Charles.
Do you think
UFO fans will like it?
That very much depends on the individual. If they only listen to rock
music by preference, then I would say probably not however if,
like a lot of people, they listen to different types of music and judge
each offering on its own merit then Id like to think there is
something here that will grab them!
seems to perfectly fit the era of the music you play, where did you
This is a slightly modified version
of Jack Vettrianos painting called Angel. A friend
of mine introduced me to his work and it seemed to fit well with the
title. I think his work is very stylish.
www.paulraymond.info © 26th June 2005