CONCERT JAZZ - LIVE @ The Legion
British Legion Hall
Gig-17ROD MASON'S ELEMENTS!
Took place on Thursday 26th October 2006
Rod Mason is a Midland lad who moved North to study the Saxophone at the now Huddersfield University. He started playing the saxophone aged 12 during his 2nd year at secondary school. Whilst at school he became involved with the local Big Band and discovered the joys of swing and jazz. He played in many local youth jazz orchestras as well as playing with the M.U. Big Band. Upon moving to Huddersfield he began playing with many Northern bands and also started to form his own small groups. One of the big turning points for Rod was one Friday night watching The Old Grey Whistle Test, when he first discovered the Billy Cobham band which at that time included the Brecker brothers and John Abercrombie). This was to change his musical outlook on life. Whilst at college he gained his degree in Music studying all the great classical composers but also did talks for the college on jazz music and for his final assignment wrote about jazz music. At University he formed with others the Northern Jazz Orchestra which played throughout the North at festivals and other venues, Rod was the M.D. for 2 years. He also had a small band playing has original compositions.
Another pivotal point for Rod was hearing John Surman for the first time on an album by Mike Westbrook called Citadel room 315. Surman has long been Rod's main influence as a Sax player. He is not keen looking backwards and tends to always buy and listen to new music hence most of his influences are modern e.g. Michael Brecker, Kenny Garrett, Jan Garbarek and another young Scandinavian called Lars Moller.
also tends to be influenced by guitarists, the main men being John McLaughlin,
John Scofield and Bill Frisell. Rod has played with many of the countries main
jazz stars as part of the Ben Crosland Quintet, some include Alan Skidmore,
Peter King, Don Weller, Art Themen, Guy Barker, Gerard Precenser, Steve
Waterman, Jim Mullen and Mark Nightingale. He has played in Europe and featured
at many Jazz festivals ( Brecon, Grimsby, Manchester and Bracknell) and was with
the Ben Crosland Band when featured on T.V. He also has performed with John
Surman and John Warren as part of the Voice of the North and had to fight
against the likes of Billy Jenkins in one of his Big Fights. Rod worked
hard with his quartet which featured Jez Franks on Guitar, Dave Walsh on drums
and Ben Crosland on Bass. They released an album which has received excellent
reviews called "Who turned the lights out". He has recorded a follow up album
called " Return of the Roomdarkener " which also had Steve Lodder on keyboards.
He also played with The ZAPPATISTAS 2004/5 and is now the sax
player with the legendary BACK DOOR who are once again making waves on the
ROD MASON Quartet: It's
Evolution - the quartet originally started due to Rod hearing young Mike Outram
for the first time, he was a knock out (and he played a Gibson SG) he added Ken
Marley (acoustic bass ) and then Matt Holme (drums). Ken unfortunately had to
move on so he asked his old friend Ben Crosland to sit in ( he's been in ever
since !!!). We recorded an album called EVERYBODYS PARTY, which is now
sold out. Young Outram took the step of moving to London which was going
to prove very difficult for the band so Rod decided to get in Jez Franks in on
Guitar / Guitar Synth. Matt also took the step down to London and the
search was on for a new drummer, and along came Dave Walsh.
OF THE ROOMDARKENER
Richard Weatherall, Rod Mason, Richard Hammond and Dave Walsh
The new Elements album - Underlying Current recorded March 2006
Jazz Eddie - this finely honed quartet are a delight to listen to. Rod's authoritative Soprano, Alto & Tenor Sax work and expressive reedy Bass Clarinet is added to the assertive, singing and probing bass lines from Richard Hammond. The both reflective and fiery keyboard work by Richard Weatherall and the intellectual Drumming from Dave Walsh with Percussion support from special guest Lee Mullen combines to make this an album that will never be far from your reach.
The people who turned up were treated to an entertaining
evening of Jazz music provided by Rod Mason’s ELEMENTS - Rod Mason on
saxophones, Richard Hammond on electric bass, Richard Wetherall on Piano
and keyboards and Dave Walsh on drums. Rod hails from Burton on Trent
and in spite of regaling the audience for being from “the South” he
provided some spirited jazz solo work over driving funky rhythms. The
band featured tracks from their latest CD ( Underlying Current) and
also played Weather Report and Pat Metheny tunes.
I thought Rod Mason's gang were very good, most enjoyable evening. Can't
understand anyone complaining about going to Risborough, it's only just
down the road.
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