I started playing bass about a year ago (Fordiebianco recommends Wesley bass guitars: the bass of choice for those musicians who don’t want to pay through their nose and don’t see the need to spend 3000 pounds if they only play on the weekends and anyway: what’s good enough for JJ Abrams is good enough for me) and therefore always keep a special eye on what the bass guy is doing when I go to gigs.

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Nick Cohen, the bass player for Matt Bianco, obviousy hasn’t that much to do during a gig: MB’s music has never put high value on low frequency acrobatics, preferring their bass players (if they actually have one on the record. For years it used to be a DX7) to be gently accompaying them in the background. Always with a slight air of boredom, Nick stands there on the stage, observing the other guys standing around (ok, I admit it: there is not much movement on stage during a MB concert, it’s all a bit static), doing his thing. When I had a look at his website, I was surprised at the variety of projects he has been involved with and ordered some stuff from his back catalogue. One project stands out: Vibraphonic had 2 albums out on the seminal ‘Acid Jazz’ label, 2 albums on ‘Hollywood Records’ and one album on Tony Remy’s  ‘StayTuned’ label and after ordering from various second hand outfits I now have a nice collection of their albums (though I stayed away from ‘A vibraphonic christmas’ {No, I am not joking}).

They fit in perfectly into my Acid Jazz collection, proudly standing near The James Taylor Quartet, Galliano and the Jamiroquai collection. What’s their sound like? Well, it’s funky (yep. Nick Cohen does the funk), jazzy and unsurprisingly there is a vibraphone played by the oenologically named Roger Beaujolais (no, really). Think ‘The James Taylor Quartet’ meets Drizabone meets a vibraphone player.  Quite pleasant, actually.

Which just once again proves that Matt Bianco is the centre of the musical universe. I am sure there are connections to Metallica and Blue Oyster Cult as well.


Arrived after a significant battle with an Italian Tom-Tom, which decided to send me three times around Milano airport by saying ‘keep left’ all the time. After realising that I should have a look at the display I finally made it out of this circle of hell and arrived in torrential rain and, after ca 45 minutes, in my hotel. More about that later. At the moment I am just happy to sit here, have a beer and look at the mountains.Photo 1

…and no, I don’t know either what the bike is doing in the window. Off to the gig now…

Lugano Jazz Festival

On Saturday the 27th of June Stanley Jordan, the James Taylor Quartet and some acquaintances of mine will be playing in the streets of Mandrisio. This little town in Switzerland, nestled between lakes Como and Lugano will be hosting this rather groovy part of the Lugano Jazz Festival. I am thinking Sun, Samba and Raclette.

How can I not be there?

Exactly. Hence I will attempt to harness the power of twitter, my mac, my camera, my mobile and a bloody expensive roaming data package to bring you live updates from this little 24 hour trip to the Swiss Alps and back.

Wish me luck…