Self-avowed amateur musician Kevin Ayers left Soft Machine because they were too advanced for him. His claim disavowing pop music ran contrary to wanting to make money, and his attitude about writing critical songs flew in the face of his theory that many musical judgments are generally negative. The ultimate flip-flopper beyond the pale of many politicians, Ayers was admittedly a lazy drunk whose disdain for learning technique branded him not only an anomaly, but in many circles charming via an idiot savant persona.
1960s singer-songwriter Kevin Ayers sings ‘Funny how the situation changes’, at the start of The Unfairground, his first album for fifteen years. How true that appears to be, given the biographical facts surrounding this formerly psychedelic, and almost mythic, ex-Soft Machine operator. Running to seed, as the story goes, in the south of France, he gets re-discovered, hauled back to the UK and a batch of new songs – recorded on the hoof in a range of locations – is conjured around Ayers’ wry, addictive, but ever so slightly broken, vocals.
Cardboard sleeve (mini LP) reissue. Features 24 bit remastering in 2013. Comes with three bonus tracks. Still Life with Guitar is the fourteenth studio album by Kevin Ayers. It found him consolidating his 1988 return-to-form Falling Up with a collection of largely acoustic songs that many critics regarded as being equal to material penned at the perceived heights of his career in the mid-1970s. Ayers produced the album, with his then manager Dave Vatch in England and was accompanied by an impressive cast of musicians, including Mike Oldfield, Ollie Halsall, Danny Thompson, BJ Cole, Mark E. Nevin and other members of Fairground Attraction.
This album, issued in the wake of the stir caused by the Young Lions compilation album on Elektra Musician, is a first-rate mix of originals and standards beautifully executed by a group of studio players who include brothers Robin Eubanks on trombone, Charles on acoustic piano, and David on bass along with tenor saxophonist Ralph Moore and drummer Ronnie Burrage. Eubanks' choice of covers is brave; from Thelonious Monk's "Evidence" and Miles Davis' "Blue in Green" to Wes Montgomery's "The Thumb" and Jerome Kern's "Yesterdays," he offers not only chops, but a keen ear for nuance and subtlety. The treatment of Monk's "Evidence" is particularly satisfying for retaining the pianist/composer's angles without sacrificing the swing quotient.
Kevin Tyrone Eubanks is an American jazz and fusion guitarist and composer who was the leader of The Tonight Show Band with host Jay Leno from 1995 to 2010. He also led the Primetime Band on the short-lived The Jay Leno Show. His first album as a leader, Guitarist, was released on the Elektra label when Kevin was 25. It documented a sophisticated, nuanced voice on the instrument, and was graced by the presence of some peers who are still performing with him today: tenor saxophonist Ralph Moore,(Tonight Show Band member) and his brother Robin. Kevin’s cousins, the late bassist David Eubanks and the pianist Charles Eubanks, also appeared on the recording, which was so well received that it lead to a seven record recording contract with the GRP label, owend by Dave Grusin and the late Larry Rosen.
Cardboard sleeve (mini LP) reissue. Features 24 bit remastering in 2013. Comes with an original insert. Lady June, aka June Campbell Cramer, was a Bohemian artist and poet who was something of an honorary member of the less commercial wing of the early-'70s British progressive rock scene. Numerous musicians lived and hung out in her flat in the Maida Vale area of London, which is most famous as the place where (at a 1973 party) Robert Wyatt fell out of a window, paralyzing him from the waist down.