Whilst recording "Cashin' In" in 198?, Human Chain called upon
Fresh from our South American trip this Human Chain, with Steve Buckley
By '92 Iain Ballamy was in Human Chain. There would be no more changes
The Human Chain has been linked from 1981-2004 thus: Django Dave Trigwell John Eacott Mark Lockhart Mick Hutton Steve Berry Eddie Parker John Paricelli Steve Arguelles Stuart Hall Steve Buckley Steve Watt Tim Harries Martin France Michael Mondesir Iain Ballamy Laurence Cottle Julian Seigel Julian Arguelles Gary Husband
Human Chain Ah-Um 002
DELIGHTFUL PRECIPICE Following the demise of Loose Tubes, Django Bates formed the eight piece Powder Room Collapse Orchestra, a band which produced the highly acclaimed Music for the Third Policeman album in 1990. However, the desire to write for a large ensemble remained and in 1991, the orchestra Delightful Precipice was formed to play new work written by Django. It was an eighteen piece outfit with a small string section, a small brass section and instruments like french horn which aren't usually associated with jazz. Never one to take the easy option, the first project Django undertook was a commission from a major arts centre in London to write a series of new works for the eighteen piece orchestra and one of Europe's leading new circus companies, Snapdragon Circus !!!
This work was performed to sold out audiences under canvas in London for a week, and included delicacies such as a bagpipe playing chicken on a piece called "Scotch Egg" (!). The music was mainly inspired by the late Angela Carter's book Nights at the Circus , which in fact was also the title of one of the most impressive pieces. The critics and the audiences loved it:
"Kids of all ages, as they say, were ecstatic" The Guardian 1991
"Clowning around Fantastic Sounds" The Stage 1991
"Totally brilliant!!! Fantastic!!!" City Limits 1991
The current 'edition' of Delightful Precipice, a similar orchestra but now with nineteen musicians and without the string section, features several ex-Loose Tubes performers such as saxophonists Iain Ballamy , Mark Lockheart and Julian Arguelles , flautist Eddy Parker and trumpeter Chris Batchelor , as well as instruments such as french horn, tuba and violin.
The orchestra undertook a major tour in the UK and Europe in the autumn of 1993 concluding with a date at the prestigious Berlin JazzFest relayed live across Germany by television and radio. Since then they have toured Europe and the UK with performances at the Koln Triennal in Germany, Jazz an der Donau in Vilshofen in Germany, Vooruit Festival in Gent in Belgium, London Jazz Festival in the UK, Saalfelden Jazz Festival
"Delightful Precipice exuded joyous, humane, witty and quite uncategorisable music mingling circus rythms with heavy-rock, football chants, fast bop and some highly original composing" Venue Magazine 1996
"Delightful Precipice was propelled by a desire to play which provoked three encores" The Guardian 1994
"Delightfully different musical approach" Le Monde, France 1994
Django Bates' latest project, was created in Copenhagen in March 1997 as part of Django's 1997 Jazzpar Prize concert series. It is an unusually calm and contemplative group which interprets songs like Speak Low , Over the Rainbow and Quiet Nights , in a fresh way.
The group was formed of Django's regular quartet Human Chain with Django on keyboards/Eb horn, Iain Ballamy on saxophones, Michael Mondesir on electric bass, Martin France on percussion and featuring young Swedish singer Josephine Crønholm.
Since the Jazzpar Prize , Quiet Nights has performed at the Køln Musik Triennale in Germany, the Jazz Encounters Festival at the Wigmore Hall in London and at the Harrogate International Festival.
This is a side of Django rarely heard; soft, intricate, reflective and intensely peaceful...
Quiet Nights was recorded in August 1997 and released in November 1998 on the Screwgun label .
DJANGO BATES: Quiet Nights
(1998) (Screwgun SC 70007)
1. Speak Low (9:12)
Weill/Nash - Warner Chapell Music, Ltd
2. Teach Me Tonight ( 3:11)
Paul/Cahn - Global Music Ltd./Westnimster Music Ltd
3. And the Mermaid Laughed (3:21)
Bates/Ballamy/Mondesir/France/Cronholm - prs
4. Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars (3:14)
Jobim/Lees - Antonio Carlos Jobim MCA Music Ltd.
5. Hi Lili Hi Lo (4:06)
Raper/Deutsh - EMI United Partnership Ltd.
6. Solitude (5:07)
Ellington/DeLange/Mills - Lafleur Music Ltd
7. Like Someone in Love (2:58)
Van Heusen/Burke - Chappel-Morris Ltd.
8. Is There Anyone Up There? (5:47)
Bates - prs
9. Over the Rainbow (6:36)
Arlen/Marburg - EMI United Partnership Ltd.
All songs arranged by all of the musicians:
Django Bates: keyboards, peck horn, distant voice on "Rainbow"
Iain Ballamy: saxophone, bass harmonica, lipo-sax
Michael Mondesir : electric bass
Martin France: wooden and electric drums, percussion
Josefine Cronholm: voice, Tibetan bell