About

I have worked often as a commercial session musician and also as a specialist instrumentalist, arranger/producer and writer (Some recordings are listed here.) I currently run a band called Hilife Allstars, and am also developing a project with an interesting singer Adma Newport from Salvador-Bahia. I increasingly work in jazz-related and improvised music as well as this.

Originally self-schooled in punk, blues and mainstream rock, as well as being taught classical guitar I diversified and have mostly performed in soul/funk/hiphop, African, Latin/Brazilian, Reggae- and Jazz-related settings. I discovered Cornell Dupree, Wah Wah Watson, Phil Upchurch, David T. Walker and Larry Carlton and tried to copy them (still trying.) In the process of working out who I was musically I met a few musicians from West AFrica and ended up touring there with some of the musicians from Paul Simon’s ‘Graceland’ band, learning to play highlife music and going on to work with quite a few well-known musicians from this genre. Through regular live and studio work in Paris I also met and performed with many francophone west African musicians; I also developed an involvement and strong love of many aspects of Brazilian music via work with artists in and from Salvador and Rio de Janeiro. This is all fairly eclectic on the surface but I believe these styles often overlap in their history, heritage, and sometimes sonics and rhythmic emphases if not overall swing which often subtly differs…

I have been lucky to perform and/or record with iconic artists from the four compass points of Africa: Khaled (North); Osibisa and Tony Allen (West); Mulatu Astatke (East) and Hugh Masekela (South). This may be unique, I’m not sure… I have anyhow learned on the job from stylistic originators such as these and generally in roots contexts in a variety of genres, but cultural and genre fusion has been a big interest for me as well, as I have gigged extensively with bands like Soothsayers, Dele Sosimi Afrobeat Orchestra, Lokkhi Terra and Cubafrobeat and continue in a variety of genres as a session player, arranger and writer for a diverse selection of labels and projects. Here’s a selection. There is a sample discography here.