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CAMERON PIERRE

Pad Up (get ready)

DESTIN-E RECORDS 777-03052005 [46:15]

 

 



Right Arm Over (Pierre) [4:26]
Mo’ Better Blues (Bill Lee) [3:12]
John Leslie (Pierre) [5:00] 2
Pad Up (Pierre) [5:40]
Yeah Mon! (Pierre) [4:49]
Backfoot Drive (Pierre) [Pierre) [4:17]
Ayo Nubia (solo) (Pierre) [3:03] 1
Karifuna (Pierre) [4:25]
In Your Own Sweet Way (Brubeck) [4:25]
The Bartender and The Thief (Jones, Jones, Cable) [3:00] 2
Ayo Nubia Part 2 (Pierre) [3:16]
Cameron Pierre (guitar)
Anders Olinder (Hammond organ)
Rod Youngs (drums)
Courtney Pine (baritone sax)
rec. 30-31 August 2006, Holodeck Studio 1, London, except 1: "recorded by Cameron Pierre in his front room".

Cameron Pierre, though born in London, was largely raised in his family’s homeland of Dominica. In the Caribbean the young Pierre played in local calypso and reggae bands. He had wanted to play the electric bass but his mother bought him a six-string electric guitar; not wanting to upset her by complaining he became a guitarist instead! And what a good guitarist! When he returned to London he largely played in reggae and calypso contexts. From the late nineties, however, he regularly played with Courtney Pine. An interesting piece by John Fordham in issue 74 of Jazz UK (March/April 2007) relates how it was really only at the recommendation of others, and out of curiosity, that he began to listen to recordings of jazz guitarists such as George Benson and Wes Montgomery. Now, on a session made for Courtney Pine’s new label, he has recorded a superb tribute to the tradition that their work represents, joined by Swedish-born, UK-based Hammond organist Anders Olinder and American drummer Rod Youngs. All have had experience in the thriving West-Indian influenced element of the British Jazz Scene (Youngs is well-known for his work with Jazz Jamaica), and Pierre’s music is no mere imitation of the American greats. Much as he has leant from them, his take on their musical idiom is shot through with a distinctive rhythmic influence and a fondness for particular melodic twists which are distinctively Caribbean. The results are thoroughly entertaining, infectiously swinging, intelligent and alert, at times tenderly sensitive at others exploiting the bluesy combination of organ and guitar with energy and power.

I have heard Pierre play live on a few occasions and enjoyed what he did. But this CD reveals a side of him that I had barely glimpsed before. Some of his tune titles suggest that he has the Dominican love of cricket – this is a CD which ought to make the (jazz) selectors sit up and take notice.

Admirers of Courtney Pine will probably want to know that he makes only brief, supporting appearances on two tracks.

One other note – the title ‘John Leslie’ doesn’t refer to the ex-Blue Peter presenter of dubious reputation: the great guitarist’s full name was John Leslie ‘Wes’ Montgomery.

Strongly recommended to all with a fondness for the modern jazz guitar.

Glyn Pursglove

 



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