Mr Blowout Sax playing House Sax music at an Indian Wedding The Assembly Rooms May 2014

Written by  on June 13, 2014

Mr Blowout Sax playing House Sax music at an Indian Wedding The Assembly Rooms May  2014 very early in the morning around 9am! !

Tradition is they dance their way into the ceremony so accompanied by the sax playing over Daft Punk,Pharrell Williams John Newman and a touch of Bob Marley according to the groom it was great.

They booked him through the agency



Examples of Electronic House Music featuring the sax

Written by  on June 13, 2014
Thanks to Snake’s huge success I asked a brilliant new uni student Paco for a breakdown and this is what the star kindly sent me.
As promised here is a list of examples of electronic music:

House: Eric Prydz feat. Syntheticsax – Pjanoo

Deep House: Deep House and Sax Mix. These days they are actually including many acoustic instruments such as guitar and oriental instruments in deep house, I like where it’s going.

Lounge: Sax  by Alejandro de Pinedo this is the more chillout side of things which tends to be mixed by jazzy beats and tunes

Commercial House: This is the more commerical side of things. Heavily synthesized sounds and you can see the sax is pretty simple just very pumpy. Promesses by Dimmi

These are the genres where sax would fit in. If you want some more inspiration and you don’t know Syntheticsax then check them out (I have a feeling you do). They are pretty much the pioneers of sax in the electronic mix music industry:

Milano –

Review Of Art Pepper’s biography ‘Straight Life.’

Written by  on June 13, 2014

One of my students read on my recommendation Art Pepper’s biog and here is his excellent write-up- Mark Charlton blog


Straight Life

The title of Art Pepper’s biography is loaded and layered with meaning. ‘Straight Life’ is the name of his best known composition: a virtuoso piece from one of the greats of twentieth century jazz. But the tune was always a contradiction; for Pepper’s body was wracked with addiction; his reasoning twisted by alcohol and heroin, and his life-path as crooked and f>>>>-up as they come.

Art Pepper was arguably the greatest alto saxophonist of the post war era. Born unwanted, brought-up unloved, the descriptions of his childhood are as grim as they are shocking. There can be little doubt that his later problems stemmed from a deeply rooted sense of isolation – a craving to be loved and accepted, by himself as much as anyone else.

What follows is a life story that is staggeringly sad. In an echo of his music, it’s as if Pepper is improvising on his own desperate existence: playing ever faster, increasingly off key, out of sync with himself and the world. Ostensibly he’s seeking redemption – but always, and inevitably, his actions resolve into a deeper and more pitiful hell.

It seems to me, that the narrative of Straight Life can be read in two ways.

At one level it is a chronicle of self-destruction, of a life spent in and out of prison, of failed relationships, petty and serious crime; it’s the story of years wasted, in more ways than one – the consequence of a wilful surrender to substance abuse.

At another, it’s a troubling reminder of the fine line between brilliance and the void. Pepper’s life is a tale of obsession, of an uncompromising (if seriously warped) view of the world and what constitutes right and wrong. By any normal standards Art Pepper is a foul individual; the nagging question is whether normal standards should apply.

The book’s format is a transcription of recorded interviews which he gave towards the end of his life. In Pepper’s voice there’s a disarming honesty and a declared self-criticism, but there’s also a less than subtle suggestion that his actions were a necessary consequence of his talent.

My suspicion is that fans of Pepper will sympathise. We often lionise our heroes, tempering our judgements and blind-eying actions that would be unacceptable in others. Art Pepper was as near to genius on the saxophone as they come. Whether that excuses behaviour we wouldn’t wish on ourselves, or for that matter our worst enemies, is a different matter.

Pepper, like his music, is difficult and mercurial – it takes time to figure him out. The book is much the same, and there’s a quality to Straight Life that took me time to grasp – but once recognised, perhaps explains a lot.

Throughout the book, Pepper talks entirely ‘in the moment’ of his recollections. When he describes entering San Quentin prison, it’s as if he’s back there and his attitudes and opinions of the time are expressed as if he still held them now – by the end of the chapter they’ve evolved and moderated, but only as the tale unfolds. It’s as if each moment has to be fully relived – a sort of method acting as a means to honesty.

And just maybe that’s what’s required of great jazz musicians – the ability to live in the moment; achieving a creative dissonance that suspends reality; a sort of nirvana if you like. I don’t know if that’s true, but it seems plausible, and might explain the link between his destructive qualities and musical talent – the flowering of good and evil, but both from the same root.

Straight Life is not an easy read. It’s complex, self-indulgent and frankly, depressing. But there are moments of lucidity that make it worthwhile. The passage describing his first taking of heroin is piece of brilliance – it’s too long to quote in full, but here’s an extract to finish on.

I looked at myself in the mirror and looked at Sheila and I looked at the few remaining lines of heroin and I took the dollar bill and I horned the rest of them down. I said, “This is it. This is the only answer for me. If this is what it takes, then this is what I’m going to do, whatever dues I have to pay…”

Art Pepper died in 1982; his music lives on.

Straight Life
The story of Art Pepper
Mojo books: ISBN 9781841950648


Copyright: Mark Charlton 2014

Cartoon taken

Blowout SaxMadmen

Summer Of Sax 2014-Snake leading the charge on Jubel by Kilngande

Written by  on June 5, 2014
 Check out the French summer track which has entered the charts at number 3  featuring the hooky awesome soul pop skills of the UK’s very own Snake Davis.
I sent him a text saying –

You supersaxmeister – hooky magnetic playing bring the sax back into the world public consciousness on the Kilngande and Changes tracks – over 35 million views – make sure your name is all over the place on these please – I recognised your tone in one note!!Awesome tracks.
Snake as modest and wonderous as ever replied
Hey hey, well spotted Mark! Hope you’re in good shape sir. Wishing u all best Snake x
I replied-
You have such a signature sound my friend-You are the leader of the saxophone renaissance movement this summer!

Sax Gigs from 1 June 2014

Written by  on June 5, 2014

Sax Gigs from 1 June 2014


4 June Fresh Dixie Project the Nest, Bladud Buildings, Bath


5 June Bristol Uni Coriband Coronation Tap, Clifton, Bristol


6 June  Zen Hussies Royal Oak, Lower Bristol Road, Bath

The Blockheads Corn Exchange, Devizes

Regz The Tunnels, Temple Meads, Bristol

Nick Dover Quartet Bebop Club, Bear, Hotwells Road, Bristol


8 June Rhythm Pencils Coronation Tap, Clifton, Bristol


11 June James Gardiner-Bateman Old Bath Arms, Palmer Street, Frome

Akkari & the Bluebirds Coronation Tap, Clifton, Bristol

Chris Potter Hammersmith Apollo, London


12 June Andy Sheppard Fringe Bar, Clifton, Bristol


13 June ‘3 Tenors’ (Themen/Weller/Lockett) Meeting House, Ilminster

Baraka Plantation, Cheltenham Road, Bristol

Monkey Chuckle Eastfield Inn, Henleaze Road, Bristol

The Big Beat Bebop Club, Bear, Hotwells Road, Bristol


16 June Kevin Figes Quartet The Bell, Walcott Street, Bath


19 June Bristol European Jazz Ensemble Future Inn, Cabot Circus, Bristol


20 June Zen Hussies Thunderbolt, Bath Road, Bristol


23 June Geoff Simkins Quartet Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham


25 June Monkey Chuckle Old Duke, King Street, Bristol


27 June James Morton Golden Lion, Gloucester Road, Bristol


27-29 June Upton Jazz Festival Various Venues in Upton upon Severn


28 June Yolanda Brown Iford Festival, Bradford on Avon

Zen Hussies Iford Festival, Bradford on Avon


2 July Dakhla The Nest, Bladud Buildings, Bath


4 July, The Emperials Tunnels, Temple Meads, Bristol


10 July Iain Ballamy Selwood Manor, Frome


11 July The Slackers Fleece, Thomas Street, Bristol

Jan Garbarek Gloucester Cathedral

Lady Nade & the Silhouettes Golden Lion, Gloucester Road, Bristol


12 July Monkey Chuckle Golden Lion, Gloucester Road, Bristol


13 July Pete Gage Band (+Craig Crofton) The Cornerhouse, Frome!gigs/c1c5j


16 July Count Bobo & the Bullion The Bell, Bath


22 July Pete Gage Band (+Iain Ballamy) Babington House, Frome!gigs/c1c5j


24-27 July Womad 2014 Charlton Park, Malmsbury Manu Dibango, Fat Freddy’s Drop


25 July Dakhla Royal Oak, Lower Bristol Road, Bath


26 July Nuttyness the Tunnels, Temple Meads, Bristol


31 July Bobo & the Bullion Square & Compass, Ilminster


1 August  Dean Fraser (+Tarrus Riley & the Blak Soil Band) Colston Hall, Bristol


7 August Kevin Figes The Inn at Freshford, Bath


7 – 10 August Brecon Jazz Festival – Various Venues in Brecon

7 August, Burt Bacharach (not a saxman, but …)

8 August, Alan Barnes, Loose Tubes, Jean Toussaint

9 August, Burum, Stan Tracey Tribute, Don Weller, Marius Neset, Kairos Quartet, Imperial Kikiristan,

Beats & Pieces Big Band, Jean Toussaint Saxophone Masterclass

10 August, Trish Clowes Quintet, Chris Barber Big Band, Lady Nade & Silhouettes, Organic, Polar Bear,

Township Comets, James Clark’s Lonely Hearts Rugby Clwb


13 August Zen Hussies Old Duke, King Street, Bristol


15 August Lady Nade & the Silhouettes Goods Yard, Temple Meads, Bristol


22 August Jean Toussaint The Meeting Place, Ilminster

Zen Hussies Old Duke, King Street, Bristol


22-25 August Scott Hamilton Pizza Express Jazz Club, Dean Street, Soho


23 August The Beat Upton Music Festival, Upton on Severn

Snake Davis Upton on Severn Music Festival


24 August Pete Gage Band (+Craig Crofton) The Green, Devizes!gigs/c1c5j


6 September The Selecter Woolley Festival, Bradford on Avon

The Emperials Thunderbolt, Bath Road, Bristol


7 September Courtney Pine Woolley Festival, Bradford on Avon

Zen Hussies Woolley Festival, Bradford on Avon

                      Kevin Figes / Julien Alenda Fringe Bar, Clifton, Bristol


12 September Norman Watt-Roy Band (+Gilad Atzmon) Thunderbolt, Bath Road, Bristol


24-26 September David Sanborn Ronnie Scott’s, Soho, London


19 October Pee Wee Ellis American Museum, Bath


31 October  Maceo Parker Brooklyn Bowl, O2 Greenwich, London

1 November                                 


1 November Dave Koz Shaw Theatre, Euston Road, London


3, 4 November Dave Koz Pizza Express Jazz Club, Dean Street, Soho


8 November UB40 O2 Academy, Bristol


14 November John Surman Kings Place, London (+ 15 November)

Branford Marsalis Queen Elizabeth Hall, London


21 November The Beat Komedia, Westgate Street, Bath

Nuttyness The Tunnels, Temple Meads, Bristol


5 December The Beat Guildhall, Eastgate Street, Gloucester

Madness Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff


12 December 2Rude The Tunnels, Temple Meads, Bristol