Jools Holland duets with birds on new album Piano
Jools Holland recorded a duet with birds for his new album 'Piano'.
The 58-year-old musician has made an instrumental LP which is led by the keyboard instrument and Jools travelled around to different locations with his long-time producer Laurie Latham to record tracks on different pianos in different locations to create different soundscapes.
On the opening song 'May', Jools - who was influenced by French composer Olivier Messiaen for the track - played piano in a field and he was astonished when the wild birds began to join in with his playing.
Speaking exclusively to BANG Showbiz, Jools shared: "I went to a garden in Sussex and we played at sunset and the bird songs were very strong there and I played and the birds answered me, it was really weird. That is quite a weird piece of music. When it happened I could barely believe it myself. If you want a dance number one hit then that's not it but it is a really interesting piece. To have birds answer what you're playing, to be there with you, it is a very interesting experience. The ambience of that moment will hopefully come through on the album."
As well as working with Laurie, Jools also recorded a track with producer Brian Eno - who was David Bowie's long-time collaborator and has also worked with some of the world's biggest music acts such as Coldplay, U2 and Grace Jones.
Although the album contains lots of different musical genres, it was Eno who brought the ambience out of Jools.
The 'Later... with Jools Holland' star said: "People don't make instrumental records anymore, like they used to, but I listen to a lot of those records, classical records, jazz records and other instrumental records.
"With this I wanted to just go in and play the piano, sometimes I attack it and sometimes I make friends with it. With this LP I decided I wanted to attack the piano and go to different places and play different pianos ... I've done a piece with Brian Eno whose ambience is amazing, he creates these weird ambient sounds, so with Brian I have recorded a cover of Floyd Cramer's 'The Last Date'. Brian and myself are big fans of Cramer because his music sounds so simple but it's so complicated, just like many things in life.
"There's also ska piano - which my big band is great at playing - there's boogie woogie piano, there's blues piano. It was fantastic to play different pianos. Some pianos when you touch them have a different feel, no two are alike when you play them - they're like human beings - when you touch them they come to life in their own way. Some are very pleased to be played and you can hear that in them. Some of it is contemporary music, some of it is with a big band but it's all piano led."
'Piano' will be released on December 2 and contains eight of Jools' own compositions - including 'Grand Hotel' with Sting - and 10 carefully selected pieces interpreting the work of the piano artists and composers that he loves such as jazz greats like Mary Lou Williams, Sidney Bechet, Freddie Slack and Erroll Garner.
Jools is currently on tour throughout the UK until the end of December and he and his 19-piece ensemble will also be hitting the road in May and June 2017 for their UK tour and will be joined by vocalists Louise Marshall, Beth Rowley and Ruby Turner.
Tickets are available at http://www.joolsholland.com/tourdates.htm or via See Tickets. Go to www.joolsholland.com for more information on the tour and 'Piano'.
2. Grand Hotel
3. Last Date
4. Bumble Boogie
7. Upright And Grand
9. Midnight Hour Blues
10. I Had It but It's All Gone Now
11. How Long Blues
12. Blue Lamp
13. Romantic Ruin
14. Bang And Pop
15. Strange Cargo
16. Red Ragtime
17. Roll 'Em
18. I'm In The Mood For Love