Share & Connect
Dave Morecroft, keyboarder/compositor and leader of the British band WorldService Project, goes on telling Toonari Post about their music and their upcoming plans and projects.
Toonari Post (TP): In regard to the different genres of music you blend, what artists have influenced you?
Dave Morecroft (DM): Late jazz, free jazz, Charles Mingus, John Coltrane, all the way of true sounds like contemporary free great from Evan Parker and that school, classical music is very important to me and then I’d say a lot of groove stuff. With groove I mean all the way from Chick Corea, fusion, true tone, Rage Against the Machine, and also some kind of more popish styles and funk.
TP: Why and how did you approach jazz?
DM: Personally, I came to jazz quite late. Before going to the Sixth Form College, so before the age of 16, I literally had heard no jazz ever. I’d just never heard anything. Then, at the age of 16 I heard a lot of stuff very quickly. The first moment for me was when I went to the Alston College and we had a kind of “open day” and as part of it there was also a showcase and the Alston College Jazz Band was practicing and rehearsing for a gig and I sat down and listened to them. I remember they were playing Chick Corea’s ‘Spain.’ That was indescribably ear opening, I hadn’t heard anything like it before, I didn’t know musical sounds like that. It was incredible, a kind of hurricane, extremely affecting. Before I was a classical pianist. It was like an explosion of music for me.
TP: You are running a project called “Match&Fuse,” can you explain what it is about and how it works?
DM: We wanted to meet up with other bands around Europe and help each other also out of the Peter Whittingham Jazz Award, which led to the first Match&Fuse exchange with Norwegian SynKoke. We went on applying for more Arts Council funding and they funded four more exchanges with the German band Schulbus, the Irish ReDiviDeR, the Italian Tribaco and the French Alfie Ryner, and we have nearly finished this stage of the project.
We tried to find bands very like-minded that had a kind of similar mash-up, bands that are looking to combine jazz and improvise music with more contemporary and popular styles, sort of dynamic and energetic bands. It’s been an amazing fantastic experience, we’ve learned a lot. Each time you book a gig in your own country and in their country, it’s a double tour.
Every sort of risk that you run when you go on tour in another country it’s partially eliminated, shouldering the risks. The audience of contemporary and modern jazz is tiny and there is much competition in the music industry. In Match&Fuse there is no competition, it’s sense of joining, helping each other, introducing each other to other audiences, media and places, it’s creating social occasions as well. Linking up and sharing audiences to create a network. Two bands combine countless possibilities of learning and doing.
TP: You also announced the upcoming “Match&Fuse Festival,” which will take place next June in London. Can you tell us more about it?
DM: The Match&Fuse Festival is happening in June and is a kind of celebration of everything we have done so far. We have four of the five bands coming back to play with us and also bands we plan to play with in the future, 13 bands across 8 different countries, 15th and 16th of June taking place at the Vortex Jazz Club and in Gilett Square in Dalston, East London.
It’s all free entry ,there are a lot of things going on, Match&Fuse Big Band – a mash-up of all bands-, workshops, local school kids, an incredible mix of styles, improvisation, drum&bass, jazz, rock, pop, fusion, punk, experimental jazz, electronica, funk, UK headliners like Led Bib and trio VD. It will be a weekend of music to join musicians and audiences.
TP: What are your future plans and what should we expect from you in the next months?
DM: At the moment, it’s very difficult to think about something else outside of the festival and organize everything to make sure it all runs smoothly. In October, we are going to France for the French lane of Match&Fuse with Alfie Ryner. The 20th of June we play at 12 Points Plus Festival Slovenia, an extension of the Irish 12 Points Festival, similar to Match&Fuse.
We are also doing a recording in Cologne, Germany, for WDR and some gigs. So, June is going to be a very hectic month and in July and August we will take a break. Then we are supposed to be mixing and bringing out the second album that we’ve just recorded and between November 2012 and January/February 2013 there will be other three Match&Fuse exchanges with three more bands.
For news and updates about WSP:
Youtube channel http://www.youtube.com/user/worldserviceproject
Image Courtesy of http://worldserviceproject.tumblr.com