Graham Mann

Biog:  I used to meddle & noodle on the old ‘Steinmeyer’ piano in our house, trying to pick out tunes when I was little, but was told by my parents that if I wanted to do that, I’d have to have lessons too, so I got a job as a newspaper editor to pay for them. That was when I was 7, and I’m still trying to pick out tunes now. I’ve almost worked out ‘Pop Goes the Weasel’. That old piano sadly died in a deliberate sledgehammering accident, but I’ve kept the little ‘Steinmeyer’ plaque from the lid which is absolutely worthless to everyone except me. There’s a picture of it somewhere on this website probably.

I started trombone and percussion lessons (separately – it’s hard to do both at the same time, I’ve tried) when I started secondary school. I made a bad noise in local wind bands, orchestras and jazz groups until I got a bit better and started making a slightly less bad noise in County groups. I then went on to music college where I took trombone as a first study which I now consider my third  instrument, piano second and percussion third, later dropping piano and making percussion second, but ending up doing more keyboard and drums when I left college, thus making trombone my third, piano second and drums first or drum kit second and piano first, but orchestral percussion more like a half way between first and second or second and third instrument. I can’t play the guitar.

Since leaving music college I’ve taught mainly drum kit and some piano & trombone to children who don’t want to and some who do, but can’t be bothered to put in the required 23 hours a day practice. Kids these days don’t know they’re born!

I also do a bit of conducting and I’m the MD of Kent Youth Jazz Orchestra. I play in lots of bands here and there, but by far my favourite musical venture is playing in a band called ‘David Migden & The Twisted Roots’.

Gear: Nord Stage Piano, Conn 8H trombone and various old percussion bits and pieces.

Playlist:

The Vulture by Labi Siffre (Not only does this have great horn & string parts with a funky feel, but Chas and Dave are playing on it too! Actually!)

 Substitute by Clout (One of my earliest memories of a tune in the charts that I liked. There are lots that I dislike.)

 You’re Goin’ Miss Your Candyman by Terry Callier (such a cool tune, also sampled by Urban Species – their version featuring MC Solar. Terry Callier sadly just died at the time of compiling this list.)

Hard To Handle by Patti Drew (A tune considered over-played by some, but this version really does it for me. It’s hard-hitting and raw!)

What’s He Building In There? (Not really a song, but such an interesting listen. I guess it’s a bit of a dig at nosey people who think it’s their right to know what other people are up to. But you do wonder,’What IS he building in there?’)

Hercules by Aaron Neville (This was played a lot when the acid-jazz thing was happening in the early nineties – an inspiration to groovers everywhere!)

Apparently Nothin’ by Young Disciples (Carleen Anderson’s voice, that drum groove, the bass line! A song of its time, inspired by the atrocities of the first Iraq invasion and war in general, but it still sounds great today and hasn’t dated in the same way as other tunes from back then.)

Lucinda – Ain’t Goin Down by Tom Waits (What a great opener to a live album featuring a great band. This hits you right between the ears!)

Give It Up Or Turnit A Loose by James Brown (Energy!!! There’s also a nice Latin American Remix of this too – ‘Fantasista Re-formation’)

Passtime Paradise by Ray Barretto (Well, BY Stevie Wonder, of course, but this Ray Barretto version is pretty damn cool!)

Cravo e Canela by MPB 4 (You know when you quite like a tune, then you hear it on a big sound system and suddenly love it…? That happened to me with this one after I went to ‘Another Sunday Afternoon at Dingwalls’ in Summer 2012– what a great afternoon of brazilian music!)

Aguas de Marco by Stan Getz (featuring the dulcet tones of Astrud Gilberto. Check out the Elis Regina version too. Lovely stuff for a Sunday morning!)

Boogie Woogie Waltz by Weather Report (A tune I had on cassette (remember those?) but lost and didn’t know what it was or who it was by. But then I found it after about 20 years. Hurrah!)

What do I Think Of Animal & Man?

Look – It’s not even on my playlist!

Other Interests

Cooking. Then eating what I’ve cooked. In that order.