Event Phone: 01890 750099
- 7th November 2018
8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Glasgow-born Jim Mullen is a multi award-winning guitarist whose career spans five decades. He has worked with US stars including Mose Allison, Gene Harris, Jimmy Smith, Teddy Edwards and Jimmy Withersppon. In the UK he has worked with Brian Auger, Georgie Fame and Claire Martin and had a fifteen year association with saxophonist Dick Morrissey in the Morrisey Mullen Band. He has recorded many CDs under his own name and currently works with his organ trio and wife, Zoe Francis.
“I guess I’m from the last generation of completely self-taught players. Where I grew up, there were no music teachers who could correct my mistakes. Actually I am left-handed, but I play right-handed now. The plectrum slipped out of my hand so I got used to using my thumb. Gives me a slightly warmer sound, but it also means that I can only do downstrokes. So I tell my students to listen to what I play, but not copy my technique, as it’s not very practical. The only chance at that time to have serious teaching was the Scottish Academy of Music, and to get in there, you’d have to be very talented and have had private lessons. Well, it’s like learning a foreign language: you learn some words, some phrases, and little by little you learn to communicate. But that doesn’t make you a poet. You don’t get to that level until you’ve learned to express your feelings. And of course there has to be a reason that you want this, plus a wish to be able to express your most sincere feelings in this language. As a jazz musician you have an obligation to try to personalize your expression. If you’re honest in what you do, you can have a personal voice even though you’re not an original. Each generation only has a few originals, but lots of fine, personal interpreters.
Zoe Francis began singing while living in New York and attending weekly jazz workshops with pianist Barry Harris and performing in jam sessions around Manhattan with top US players like Harry Allen and Joe Cohn. Returning to the UK she began working with pianist Dave Newton and recorded her first CD with him. Her second CD saw her collaborate with Jim Mullen and an all-star UK band, featuring saxophonist Stan Sulzmann and pianist Gareth Williams.