During 2013, I had the pleasure of working with Robin Phillips on his new album 'Sing. Play...for Pleasure'.
For the album photos, Robin wanted to combine his work as a jazz singer/pianist whilst portraying his passion for motorcycles. The photography for the album was shot on location in and around Cambridge, with Robin arriving on a retro, yet modern classic...Triumph Bonneville. It's a bike that, in many ways, represents his style of music.
I met Robin at Hot Numbers, the popular jazz themed coffee bar. He was in the process of reviewing his song sheets before a studio session in the afternoon.
Robin is forging a name for himself on the London and UK jazz scenes. He is one of few singer/pianists to concentrate equally on both disciplines and using them together to create a unity only possible when done by a single person. His latest studio album, ‘Sing. Play.. for Pleasure’, demonstrates this approach, as he becomes the first performer to record a vocalese album, where he plays as well as sings the selection of vocalese tunes.
The album, to be launched at the revered Pizza Express jazz club in Soho, London on 2nd Feb 2014, features Tim Thornton (Rising Star, British Jazz Awards 2013) on bass and Chris Draper on drums, both regular performers at the Ronnies Scott’s jazz club’s Late Late Shows. It also features an impressive collection of guest artists including award-winning vocalist Ian Shaw, vocalese specialist and award-winning vocalist Anita Wardell (Best Vocalist, British Jazz Awards 2013). Brandon Allen (tenor sax), Steve Fishwick (trumpet), Sam Mayne (alto sax), and Albert Garza (tenor sax).
The Sing. Play. album project is inspired by the work of one of the originators of vocalese, 1950s/60s singer King Pleasure, who drew Robin to the art form with his clever lyrics and smooth vocal delivery.
The album also features the work of vocalese legends Jon Hendricks, Eddie Jefferson, and Annie Ross, and two original vocalese treatments by Robin. There is also a bonus track where Robin has recorded some 1972 liner notes written by Jon Hendricks about King Pleasure, and written in rhyme.
Robin' new album is launched on Sunday 2nd February 2014 at the Pizza Express Jazz Club in Soho, London.
I wish him all the success with the album and the launch!
"Well done, well sung! … You show great taste and discretion in this entire compilation… Ever onward into vocalese!”
Jon Hendricks, Vocalese Legend
“Paying his respects to the Art of Vocalese, Robin Phillips’ New Album, “Sing.
Play… for pleasure”, is spot on! Great choice of material and wonderful singing and swinging!!”
Anita Wardell, Best Vocalist, British Jazz Awards 2013
“…really great unusual versions, great guests, excellent new vocalese, kicking band!!”
Derek Nash, Producer and Saxophonist for Jools Holland
“Robin Phillips can justly be considered amongst the select group of British jazz singers who also play – in his case rich and resourceful piano. His mastery of vocalese places him way above the ranks of singer/pianists jostling to be heard and up there bopping with the best”
David Gover, Cambridge Modern Jazz
Copyright © 2014 Julian Dann Photography