Saxxon’s Modern Jazz Synergy
As Primary Motive once enquired back in 2000: ‘Who has the jazz?’ Well, in this case it’s Saxxon alongside the accomplished Jon Scott culminating in something totally contemporary and ‘classic’ all at once: New Adventures in Modern Jazz. And the evergreen jazz vibe prevalent in that artwork? We found out some more about that too…
Hi Saxxon first off the ep has a great look and title, like something you’d see in the 50s/60s, was this intentional?
Yeah! wanted to reflect that era and mix it with my friend/artist Lola’s contemporary illustration to bring in that modern element.
To ‘The Only One’? This is a beautiful tune, very atmospheric and with different moods. So many aspects to this.
This one definitely throws back to sitting and enjoying Latin American music with my father when I was a boy… projects on Verve and people like Stan Getz, which always made us feel like we were sat with our faces in the sunshine wherever we were.
It was that we wanted to bring to this, but with some extra bass!
You can’t help but note the inclusion of Jon Scott overall, can you tell us about him?
Jon and I connected over our passion for music. It goes without saying that without Jon this EP would be a very different animal.
Jon’s very talented and humble. It was months before I found out he currently tours with Jools Holland’s Big Band and more over. He’s got some history that spans playing with all sorts of people from Sammy Davis Jr to Kylie – but you wouldn’t know it to speak to him. Top dude.
I tried to make sure his talent was expressed in different ways on each of the tracks.
‘Talking Jazz’ has that wonderfully familiar early 00s liquid funk sound to it, it’s sensational.
This one started as a collab with Dave Owen who supplied me some samples, but due to Dave’s touring schedule at the time we never actually got to work on it together… though we plan to work together soon.
We had some trouble getting clearance for the samples and with interest to move the project to completion Bryan Gee put Wednesday Amelia forward for the job of bringing some original lyrics.
Jon was the lead on this track and he really lets go. Wednesday was the just the perfect addition to the atmosphere Jon had already laid down. A beautiful voice!
You touched on them but tell us about your jazz influences.
I’ve always loved Jazz – it was my totally dad’s influence.
I didn’t like everything he played me even then though, but I soon found what I did. So of course I love to hear jazz elements in D&B.
However this project on Liquid V was truly influenced by inspirations outside of D&B… and Jon wasn’t really sure what drum & bass actually WAS when we got started: he was always coming 100% from the jazz perspective.
These are some of jazz artists that really hit home for me:
Slightly off topic, did you ever like acid jazz?
Yeah man all the time I’ve listened to D&B I’ve always had an ear for non-cheesy music that makes me feel good! There was loads of cool acid jazz acts: Incognito, some of the Brand New Heavies stuff – production was amazing.
And then the first Jamiroquai album, an album I was able to introduce to my dad – a name he famously never got right – Jamikoi? Jamearaoke? It was just stacked full of vibes and funk. And not to forget to mention big mood creators Kruder & Dorfmeister!
What eras of D&B most resonate with you over time? Could be Blue Note, could be 2009… you name it… why?
I love my late nineties, loved going to Blue Note too but also early 2000s and the last five years have been awesome!
A tune is a tune, whatever genre it fits into, every year D&B continues to surprise me as it seems more and more producers are realising there is literally only one rule – the tempo.
What inspired ‘Sunset Strip’? It’s going to ignite a club I feel.
The feel-good factor is in effect on this EP. I wanted to go out with a full shot of that with a dose of club energy plus with a little nod to always being true to yourself.
So can you sum up the vision of Saxxon, and how it differs from your involvement in Savage Rehab, for people new to you?
Savage Rehab was, in the main, collab tunes with Symptom and Saxxon came about as a way for me to have an output for tunes that didn’t fit that framework. Saxxon tunes are the truest representation of how I’m feeling.
Although I don’t stick to one sub genre: each tracks means something special to me, whether there’s clues in there for the listener or not.
My solo music is where I store my positive memories & experiences, that includes injecting a sense of humour into my dancefloor tunes like ‘Mr Mac’, ‘Amazon Woman’, ‘Fat Albert’, ‘Big Mumma’ and so on- if I’m feeling fun I get working on working on some naughty roller!
And on the forthcomings tip?
Lots of nice forthcoming business, I look forward to telling more soon! For those interested in the meantime please check my facebook page.
Also watch out for Jon and I performing live somewhere near you too. Huge salutes to all the heads: do what you love and big thanks to Drum & Bass Arena!