Adrian Ingram –Guitar
Jeremy Platt - Organ, Paul Smith - Drums.
Internationally renowned jazz guitarist Adrian Ingram returns to the
music that originally inspired him to pick up a guitar. The Cookbook
provide a new twist on material drawn from the likes of early Grant
Green and George Benson. Expect cooking,bluesy grooves!
You don't remember who showed you how to play a ninth chord or how old you were
at the time. Fourteen maybe? What you do remember is that in your parent's kitchen,
you played that chord repetitively for hours, hypnotised by the sound.
You know nothing about music theory. The word “ninth” doesn't mean anything to you.
It's just a name, a name for a shape. You play it again and again. It seems to go with the
sunlight filtering through the kitchen window. You don't think about any chords coming
before the ninth, or any coming after it. It's just a beautiful sound and it seems to have
connected you to some mysterious power. Much later you will learn that your chord is a
dominant ninth and that it can be flattened or sharpened and dropped into standards
on top of the plain sounding dominant seventh.
You hear music all around you. Your Dad playing piano is the sound of your childhood.
He loves Errol Garner He buys arrangements of standard tunes and embellishes them
by ear, resulting in a kind of swinging stride piano approximation. The best gift you will
ever give him will be when, years later, you show him how to read from chord symbols.
Your Aunt gave you a pile of unwanted singles when you were ten. 45s from the sixties
in individual sleeves, a lot of Beatles records. The Bush record player lets you load up
five at a time. You play them relentlessly, worshipping the sound. Playing them again in
the far future you are amazed by the amount of treble and the role the ride cymbal
must have had in creating your excitement. You start to like particular chords in the
songs. Now you are getting a sense of how one chord will lead to another. The ones you
like will turn out to be passing modulations, for example, E7 going to A minor in C or A7
going to D minor in C. You wait for the chord you like. Everything is going in.
The only way to hear new music is through the radio, specifically BBC Radio 1. One day
you hear “ I Need It” by Johnny Guitar Watson. It doesn't sound like anything else
you've heard. You immediately go to Leeds and buy Watson's album “Ain't That A
Bitch”. You play the record and set about trying to learn some of Watson's guitar licks.
It's mainly blues which you've already been playing but with more emphasis on the flat
5. There are also some chromatic notes which take you a longer time to figure out.
What you really like is the way these blues licks happen over rich extended harmony.
Despite his adopted “Guitar” appellation, Watson is also a jazz based piano player and
it is this intersection of styles which fascinates you although you can't articulate this at
the time. One chord in particular, stands out. When you figure it out, it's a revelation
and the discovery continues to permeate your playing many years later.
The chord is an eleventh. You think of it as, for example, F major over a G bass in the
key of C. D minor 7 over a G bass has the same function and F major 7 over a G bass is
When people call it an eleventh, they are thinking of the note C as the eleventh – a
fourth played an octave higher. Other people call it a suspended ninth which can be a
little confusing. The main thing is that it's a dominant chord with a fourth instead of a
third – in this case C rather than B. You notice the chord frequently in Watson's
recordings – often rhythmically repeated as a tension building device. It's all over the
radio in the soul records coming out of Philadelphia in particular. It can function as
chord I or V. In fact you realise later that it can go almost anywhere, but it's mainly
employed as chord V. To you, it sounds sensuous and luxurious but it also seems deep
in a way you can't explain. Somehow the eleventh chord takes residence in your soul.
Even now, when you see Bb7 on a lead sheet you're going to play Bb11 unless
circumstances dictate otherwise.
Music is something you do on your own. It happens in the room with the record player
and the piano. Sometimes you play guitar in the kitchen when your parents are out,
sometimes in the bathroom. The latter is where you take your nylon strung guitar to
really listen. The natural reverb created by the tiles makes everything sound deeper,
more important. You feel like you are plugging into the universe – a mysterious power, a
region where things make sense.
You've been listening to John Martyn and Nick Drake. Hilariously, you try to figure out
some of their guitar parts without realising that they are using alternative tunings. It
does begin a lifelong love affair with open strings, though. You particularly like the
sound of a chord with an open string sounding against a note a tone or a semitone
away from it, often in a different octave.
One day, you discover the classic minor nine shape, which you love to play when it's
based on E, so you get the two open strings on either side of the chord.
This chord also becomes special to you. You play it over and over in the bathroom. It's
got a melancholy quality that comes back to you off the tiles. It fills your teenage mind
with something lovely and fine.
Gradually, you start to get a sense of how strings of chords can work together. The same
thing you felt waiting for the chromatic change in the Beatles songs makes you crave
the sound of surprise. Incidentally, over the years, you've realised that non musicians
are also able to feel this without necessarily being able to explain it - “ I Like that bit!” -
often refers to a passing modulation. Close position harmony becomes your goal. All
those different notes packed in closely together attracts you in a way that you can't
explain. Your Dad sometimes plays George Shearing arrangements. You like the way he
plays chord melodies where the highest and lowest voices are an octave apart and
there are three voices enclosed within the octave. You start trying this on piano
because it seems impossible to do on guitar.
Feelings fade over the years. You become more technical in your approach and
someone will eventually help you to understand that your intuitive experiments are
part of a whole system that has evolved through the centuries. You develop a harmonic
vocabulary and start to think in terms of progressions as well as sounds. You just can't
leave harmony alone. Even when you're listening to pianoless trios, even when you're
feeling some Ornette Coleman, sooner or later something draws you back to chords.
You're still discovering harmony for yourself. People used to tell you that you could
never put a fourth and a third in the same chord but you find out that you can! It
depends on where and how you do it and what your ear will tolerate. This one could
also be rationalised as F maj 7 (no 3) depending on context.
Instead of using tritone substitutions on dominant chords ,you sometimes try doing it
where both chords are major sevenths, e.g Eb maj7 instead of A maj7. Unlike their
respective dominant sevenths, they don't have notes in common so this is rarely
possible under the head, where the melody was composed to fit the original chords.
When comping though, it can be a revelation. You experiment with triads. How about
plain triads with bass notes a semitone away e.g C major with a Db in the bass? You
realise that substituting any major chord for its equivalent minor can change
everything, as can the use of its relative minor. You play “The Girl From Ipanema” and
replace F major 7 with D minor 9 when you come out of the bridge to get a different
slant on the tune.
You continue to experiment with this stuff that started such a long time ago. You
devote yourself to sound. You know that there is still so much to learn. Even so, you
sometimes feel that everything you play is just an attempt to get back to those first
times when it was all new and wonderful.
Videos of Jeremy Platt/ Martin Chung duo "Dual Space" can be found here.
Jeremy Platt plays melodica with guitarist Martin Chung on "Sunny"
Before it is finished, a song can be beautiful. Nascent, full of possibilities, it's just colours, a thought, a dream. Fixing it disenfranchises.
Jeremy Platt's version of Richard Iles' brilliant tune "Silence Again" - available here for free - http://jeremyplatt.bandcamp.com/
Jeremy Platt plays keys on the following recordings.
Illum Sphere "Near The End" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Av5uAV8Vd4&list=PLjfbbAMdAwwN2p9Jm3PResUX64CWTqyrj&index=7
Busy Signal "Tamara" (Swing Ting Remix) https://soundcloud.com/reggaeville/busy-signal-tamara-swing-ting?in=swingting/sets/busy-signal-tamara-swing-ting
Jeremy Platt will be playing keyboard on the upcoming Daniel Pearson UK Tour. See dates here.