Nocturnal Tourist (PVC1029)
UK Release Date: March 2002
Recorded and mixed at Christchurch Studios, Bristol, the album combines familiar Sheppard hallmarks - devastating melody and saxophone solos that are muscular and uniquely lyrical by turn - with an inventive and completely personal use of new technologies. Across the nine tracks - eight Sheppard originals plus an up-to-date version of the Harry Warren-Mack Gordon classic I Wish I Knew - Andy's saxophone improvisations are woven through and into samples of street sounds and spoken word, half-heard conversation, washes of electronic sound, tape loops and programmed beats. Accompanying Andy - who plays tenor and soprano saxophones, WX 11 Wind Synth, electric guitar, midi guitar and keyboards - is French drummer and percussionist Stephane San Juan.
In part, Nocturnal Tourist builds on a solo performance that Andy has developed over the past two years. It also relates to the music that has emerged from collaborations with worldbeat DJs Rita Ray and Max Reinhardt, his duets with pianist Joanna MacGregor and the piece he created with Northumbrian piper Kathryn Tickell for a multi-media performance to celebrate the opening of the new Millenium Bridge on Tyneside earlier this year. Further inspiration for the album comes from Andy's travels worldwide and the extraordinary range of musical partners he has encountered along the way.
Nocturnal Tourist is also a wonderful reminder that after 25 years as a working musician - and one of a very few British jazz musicians to make a substantial impact on the international scene - Andy Sheppard is still going forward with as much enthusiasm, curiosity and creativity that he had when he first burst onto the scene.
During 2002, Andy re-interpreted the music from Nocturnal Tourist as a live concert tour, using solo saxophones and a range of electronics, augmented where practical with live percussion and specially devised computer visuals.
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