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Chiltern Hundreds Area


Royal British Legion Hall
9 Bell Street
Princes Risborough
HP27 0DE


Featuring :-
Rod Mason - Saxes & Clarinet
Richard Weatherall - Keyboards
Richard Hammond - Basses
Dave Walsh - Drums

Took place on Thursday 26th October 2006

[Picture]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.

[Picture]Rod 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 scene.

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.
The band since then the lads have excelled themselves wherever they play.  They recorded another album called WHO TURNED THE LIGHTS OUT and are at present recording the follow up, RETURN OF THE ROOMDARKENER - an oblique reference to Rod's Ample Physique made casually by Alan Skidmore.

other albums recorded


The Current Group - ROD MASON'S ELEMENTS
Rod is now working with his new quartet called ELEMENTS – this features the talents of Richard Hammond /Bass , Richard Wetherall / Piano and Keyboards and Dave Walsh on drums. The new album also features Lea Mullen on Percussion.

L/R Richard Weatherall, Rod Mason, Richard Hammond and Dave Walsh
Richard Weatherall Piano / Keyboards - who moved to the Northwest about 12 years ago and has become one of the most in demand pianists around.  he regularly accompanies visiting US And European Artistes.  Amongst others he is currently working with the Richard Iles band, Oscar Bernhardt Ensemble and the Vocalist Rosie Brown.
Richard Hammond is fast becoming one of the top bass players in the country. As a performer, composer, arranger and tutor, Richard is noted as being an authority in many genres of music. Richard's versatility as a performer has led him to work with artists such as Skip (Little Axe) McDonald, Iain Dixon, Steve Lodder, Tina May, Stuart McCallum, Bucks Fizz, Stuart McDonald, Tina May and Richard Ingham to name a few. Currently Richard is recording an album of original material with his Jazz Trio, as well as playing and writing for the band Elements. Studied at Wakefield College and went on to teach Bass at Leeds College of music at Degree and BTEC levels. Also teaching Bass and Guitar at Wakefield College. 2001 became Course Leader for the Foundation Degree in Music at Hull College. Also studied for a PGCE. Now teaches privately from home due to increased performance demands.  He has played many European Festivals including Dortmund and Cork.

[Picture]Dave Walsh (drums) Dave has an outstanding musical pedigree, studying at Chetham's School of Music, Manchester and at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He is greatly in demand as a sideman working with many of the North's finest bands as well as leading UK soloists including Dave O'Higgins, Anthony Kerr, Julian Arguelles, Ben Castle, Nigel Hitchcock, Byron Wallen and Bobby Wellins. Dave is an inspirational drummer, displaying creativity and musicality in everything that he plays. He is a joyful musician who always plays with a smile on his face. Dave's exciting playing is sure to bring him international recognition in the near future. Dave is the fire in the band he can Smoulder, Burn or Explode with unbounded Energy!  He has his own Band 'Acoustric' and has played with 'Toolshed' who supported Joe Zawinul in 2004.

Concert Programme included
First Set
Burton - John Surman
Underlying Currents - Rod Mason
You don't know what love is -

James - Pat Metheny
Second Set
Mr PhoneBun? -  Bob Minster & Jaco Pastorius
Music for my People - Jan Garbarek
Sentimental Mood - Duke Ellington
Cracker Jack -


The new Elements album - Underlying Current recorded March 2006

CD: ELEMENTS - Underlying current

1   Underlying Current - R. Mason 8.58
2   Alder Lea / Real Lead - R. Mason 8.23
3   Merridale - R. Mason 8.38
4   Do you see it? - D. Walsh 7.02
5   Lay it down Charlie Brown - R.Mason 6.20
6   The Whale Song  - R.Mason 7.47
7   For a short while - D. Walsh 6.56
8   Hoopla - R. Weatherall 6.38
9   Mont Millais - R. Hammond 5.38

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.

Audience Comments:-
The ones that didn't turn up missed a great gig: I was very impressed with the band, particularly Rod. Thanks for organising these gigs, I appreciate your efforts. Best regards, Eddie M

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.
- Rick A

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.
- Angela H

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Last modified: 18/02/2012