The following is an effort to tell you about some of the music we listen to and respect from the past to the present, and help try to explain what you might expect to hear when you come to a Bees Deluxe gig.
We once spent our entire paycheck on attending every night of Mongo Santamaria’s residency in Ronnie Scott’s in Soho, London. He’s the originating monster of Afro-Cuban rock, and much of what you hear on the present day tour circuit is heavily indebted to his rhythms. His playing starts with the folkloric rumba and seeps into Afro-Cuban and Afro-Latin music and African-American jazz. If you’ve never heard Santamaria - check out a live version his original composition “Afro Blue” – other drummers & percussionists we favor include Trilok Gurtu, Jim Keltner, Bernard Purdie, Omar Hakim, Adam Deitch and too many more to list. And we continue to stick to the adage that “if you have a good drummer anything is possible – but if you have a bad drummer no amount of musical ornamentation is going to make it worth listening to!”
It’s fairly easy to distinguish most famous guitar players from one another by their tone, choice of scale and style – but bass players, keyboard players and saxophone players are a more elusive breed. The universe would be noticeably smaller and less magical without the mysterious magic of Jaco Pastorious on bass guitar. There’s a new documentary about Pastorious out now produced by Metallica's Robert Trujillo that’s well worth watching. It’s on Netflix and here’s the trailer on Youtube.
The alto saxophonist Paul Desmond (original composer of the jazz standard “Take Five”) had a breathless tone that is instantly recognizable and impossible to imitate. Here’s Desmond playing the ballad “Darn That Dream” Live in 1975.
For some reason exceptional guitar players more easily became household names in the late 20th century than other ensemble players. Besides the usual roster of guitar players we also really admire the “not-quite-so-well-known” players like Terje Rypdal, Tal Farlow, Matt Schofield, Wayne Krantz, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown each of whom have their own distinctive voice.
Live music coming out of the South now are especially viable including Trucks & Tedeschi, Lettuce, Galactica, Soulive and always worth listening to. But if we were to be stranded on Mars (the planet) with only one album to listen to for the five years until we were to be rescued we’d pick Glenn Gould’s 1981 recording of J.S. Bach’s: The Goldberg Variations.
But hey - write to us and tell us anything or anyone you think we should be listening to!