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5 Songs I Love W/ The Other Way

London jazz-fusion band The Other Way have made a big impression with the release of their debut album 'Learning To Be' picking up support from major jazz outlets including Jazzwise, Jazz Journal and Jazz FM. With a sound that encompasses elements of electronica, soul and even chillout with it's central jazz approach, the new album showcases the range of influences that the band's sound encompasses.

We wanted to know more about what music has shaped The Other Way's sound, so we caught up with trumpet player and composer Rowan Porteous to chat about five of his all time faves:

Joni Mitchell – The Sire of Sorrow (Job’s Sad Song)

For me Joni is the greatest songwriter of all time. We all live in her enormous shadow. It’s lovely that she’s having such a great resurgence at the moment, and that she’s living to see it. This is a song I guess a lot of people don’t know. It’s based on the book of Job in the bible, and it’s Job berating a capricious, vengeful God. I’m fascinated by the way harmony supports and adds weight to words, and this one has harmony that’s a lot more grounded in a key than a lot of her work, to give some solace against the devastating lyrics. The way the backing vocals interact with the main vocal like some demonic hecklers is just total monstrous, astonishing genius, with Wayne Shorter’s saxophone dancing around like some little imp. Unbelievable. She extended the possibilities of what we can express in a song.

Tricky – Feed Me

People don’t seem to talk about this any more. This whole album, Maxinquaye, was an enormous formative influence on me as a teenager. I think it’s embedded in the way I look at life. 

‘Feed me when I’m hungry, drink me ‘till I’m dry

Dream of yesterday becomes another lie

You feed me lies, distortion, the English disaster

No-one’s free, one law for one master’

Still gives me the chills. It’s more relevant now than it was then. The free use of sounds, building phrases out of found samples, the grooves and the lyrics and the compelling atmosphere of the whole thing. It defined that whole era for me.

Carla Bley – Lawns

This is just almost unbearably beautiful. Put it on at some great event in life, like a birth or a death, and you will think “how did Carla Bley know it would be like this?” I think great pieces of music are ontological facts at the core of existence. They bring everything together. They are found, rather than made, by those with the spiritual courage to perceive them and the skill necessary to make them audible.

Ikue Mori – Angler Fish

I love this stuff. Back in the day I used to make a lot of electronic music, under the name Superimpozer. It was kind of in this vein, though a bit more rhythmic I guess. It’s like some alien bio-mechanical process where the sounds give birth to each other, or the workings of an alien mind. I love to listen to this when I’m feeling stuck in a certain way of thinking about music, when things have gone a bit stale. You just have to give up your expectations and float off to where it takes you.

Hiatus Kaiyote – Building a Ladder

I love this neo-soul business. It’s some of the most interesting music around these days. It’s all about soul now. When I first planned to do The Other Way project, I thought it could fit in with this kind of sound, thought it accidentally went somewhere else, which is fine, I like accidents. But I still love the twisty melodies the way it takes what Stevie Wonder might have done and extends it. This is great modern music.

Watch the video for the album's lead single 'Archeopteryx' (a track which is currently on the Jazz FM playlist) below:


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