If you visited a Turin Brakes show recently, chances are you witnessed bass player Eddie Myer plugging his new jazz record Finders Keepers. After interviewing Eddie in 2014 after the release of his first 5tet-album Why Worry? , here’s an update with Eddie on his second jazz effort.
Congrats on your new 5tet album, Finders Keepers. What were your intentions when setting out to make this new album?
“Thank you very much. My intentions were to try and tie up a number of loose ends while simultaneously building bridges, planting seeds and chasing rainbows. Needless to say I got in a complete tangle very soon, so decided to limit myself to making some music that I really liked.”
How do you feel about the response to Why Worry? Are there any particular goals you’d like to achieve with this new album and the 5tet?
“I feel very flattered by the response to Why Worry – it’s been overwhelmingly positive, especially from myself as contrary to expectations it still sounds great to me.”
The new album feels a lot like a continuation of Why Worry?, with very playful, almost tiptoeing melodies and rhythm on Speak Low for example. How would you say these records relate to each other?
“They definitely come from the same place – the Speak Low arrangement actually dates from the Why Worry sessions – but Finders Keepers is older, perhaps wiser, definitely more wizened but somehow more attuned to the mysterious subliminally present vibrations emanating from the steady whirling grind of Fortuna’s wheel, trembling just outside the limit of sensory perception… or maybe that’s just me.”
The line-up has changed since the last album, with two new names coming into the line-up on Tenor sax and Fender Rhodes. Can you tell us a bit about the new guys?
“Mark Edwards is a star of stage and screen and veteran of innumerable records and international tours with everyone from Bobby Wellins to Katie Melua and Tommy Chase to Aztec Camera.. he’s a man who seems to place no boundaries on his music making, who doesn’t recognise the limits imposed by other people’s ideas of genre, and seems to have access to a bottomless cornucopia of creativity… as you can imagine, he’s very much in demand so I was lucky and honoured to secure his participation.”
“Celtic Tiger Riley Stone Lonergan is a real force of nature, one of the UK’s very finest young creative musicians – his technique is so complete and his creative flow is so unstoppable, yet he brings such heart and soul into everything he does that every note he plays has a meaning and a reason for existing. Anyone who’s interested in creative music developing in the UK should keep an eye out for this young man. I should also say that both of them are so easy to work with, so committed and positive but relaxed and easy-going.”
With jazz being as much about the music as the interaction between the players, can you talk a little about whether this changes how the 5tet works? And if so, in what way?
“Well, both Mark and Riley have different voices to bring to the conversation, so it turns out in a different way – we go different places and explore different things together.”
The late Ian Price, who played on the previous album, did contribute a composition to this album, called Amsterdam. How did this song end up on the album?
“I found Ian’s tune when I got his hard drive with his sister’s permission and looked through it for tracks he’d written but never had the chance to record before his untimely demise. It was an emotional affair but it felt a privilege to bring this music to life.”
Phil Marten, former TB keys virtuoso, co-wrote a track as well?
“The track The Great Level War was based on a chord progression that I found recorded from an old writing session I’d done with Phil – we’d just randomly put it down. It seemed to me to have a real atmosphere, calm but heavy, so I worked out the notes from the audio and wrote a melody over the top.”
Does the music on these albums get influenced by the other projects you participate in? In our previous interview you mentioned playing a lot of Colombian cumbia and Afro-Cuban music, for example.
“The Speak Low arrangement is based on an Afro-Cuban rhythm called a guaguanco as interpreted by my very anglo persona. Fortunately Tristan Banks and Luke Rattenbury just eat up those kind of vibes so they helped bring it to life.. plus Tris contributed one of his own Afro-Brasilian flavoured tunes to spice things up even more.”
Where can we see and hear these songs performed live? Are you playing any festivals or gigs with the 5tet?
In 2016 we played the Love Supreme Festival and the Brighton Alternative Jazz Festival, and this year we’ve done the South Coast Jazz Festival and we’ve got the Chiddfest Jazz and Blues Festival on July 14th. I’m looking to program some more stuff in – as long as the TB schedule permits!
If there’s any location in the world best suited to listen to your 5tet albums, what would that location be?
It’s wherever you are, right now.
Why Worry? is for sale online via Bandcamp. Will Finders Keepers have a digital release?
Thank you for your time Eddie!
Thanks for doing this – I really enjoyed answering!
Check out Eddie’s official website here.