Rare Mix started life in 1995 with my idea to bring together musicians from quite disparate parts of the London Jazz scene who might not normally get to play together. I got together with three other composers - Brian Abrahams, Pete Saberton, Jason Yarde - we made a plan and secured a grant from the Arts Council to put togther a 12 piece band and try out some collective composition.
This first phase then was a short term project led by the gang of four, who then invited 12 other musicians to join, composed for and directed the band - the four composers did not play in the band. The funding commissioned us to write an individual piece each and one collective piece between us, made from fragments only assembled in rehearsals with the full band.
The band comprised: Christine Tobin -vocals, Jim Dvorak - trumpet, Phil Walton - alto sax, Simon Picard - tenor sax, Martin Hathaway - flute/clarinet/bass clarinet, Mark Bassey - trombone, Sarah Waterhouse - tuba, Ben Davis - cello, Gabriel Keen - piano, Julie Walkington - bass, Mike Pickering - drums, Dawson Miller - percussion [lower photo]
The second longer phase was an 11-piece band, for which more than half the members composed. This started in 1997 with a Jazz Umbrella gig at the Spitz (promoted as part of the London Jazz Festival) and continued with appearances at the Vortex, and in 2000 a studio recording for the album “Everything Is Possible”, finally released 20 years later on Bandcamp.
- Track 1, From Father to Son (by Loz Speyer) - "composed for my father, Denis Speyer"
- Track 2, Prelude (by Mark Bassey) - "warm up for the clever stuff"
- Track 3, Everything Is Possible (by Jason Yarde, Martin Hathaway, Julian Siegel, Gabriel Keen, Loz Speyer, Rare Mix)
Francine Luce - vocals
Martin Hathaway - flute, bass clarinet
Jason Yarde - alto sax, sop sax
Julian Siegel - tenor sax
Loz Speyer - trumpet
Mark Bassey or Mike Feltham - trombone
Sarah Waterhouse - tuba
Ben Davis - cello
Gabriel Keen - piano
Julie Walkington - double bass
Mike Pickering - drums
Recorded 12/06/2000 by John Wilkinson
Artwork by Sarah Waterhouse
Click on cover art to listen and download on Bandcamp