MARK DE CLIVE-LOWE & FREESOUL SESSIONS / “Mark de Clive-Lowe & Freesoul Sessions Mixtape”
The man hails from New Zealand and moved to London in 1998. After a decade on the British scene, Mark de Clive-Lowe has relocated to Los Angeles. BoL has featured Mark before. The reason we’re doing so again is not because he has a new record. There are actually two reasons. One is the music and two is the way he’s distributing the music.
Here is Mark describing the influence of London and describing how the Freesoul Sessions came about.
I got a study grant from New Zealand which basically funded me to go around the world for a year. I went to San Fran, Cuba, London, New York, Paris, Tokyo, Australia. My intention had always been to go to New York. I saw myself in the neo-classical straight ahead acoustic jazz scene in New York. I wanted to play with Branford Marsalis. That was where I thought my heart was. At the same time jungle had happened a few years earlier and that just messed me up completely. It got me back to club music. At the time club music was ruled by acid house and not the funky soulful end. Then jungle happened and flipped me out. I could hear the potential in it. So there was definitely an interest in the UK. But I felt like I was going serious about the acoustic jazz and now and then have fun with the other stuff. I didn’t know it was all about being serious about the fun stuff.The Freesoull Sessions music is available for download at a “name your own price” cost ($5 minimum for the whole album). The Freesoul Sessions downloads are offered in a variety of digital formats. I’ve been purchasing downloads from Clive for a year or so, plus picking up tracks from here and there on my sundry digital search missions. So here is a Mixtape featuring live work from Mark de Clive-Lowe and cohorts.
After a month in London I just started to connect some dots. I remember going to Giles’s party at Bar Rumba. Seeing people dancing to Freddie Hubbard’s “Gibraltar” and shit like that, that was a pretty life changing moment for me. Going to the Metalheadz Sessions and seeing Goldie, Peshay, Photek, all those boys. This is 98. It was a very special time. It was like the golden age part 2. So I hooked up with Nathan Haines, a sax player from New Zealand who was living in London at the time. We caught up and I did some tracks with him for Metalheadz. Then I hooked up with Dave Angel, a techno DJ, and did a track with him. I was basically calling up everyone I knew and it usually ended up in some music. At the time Nathan had just hooked up with Phil Asher and introduced us. Next day we go in the studio and that was my whole introduction to the West London community. Phil hooked me up with the Bugz, Daz, IG Culture, Dego from 4Hero and i came across this thing where everything I didn’t know I was looking for I found all at once. It was an amalgamation of the entire history of black music reconfigured in a completely original way but with complete respect for the past. Now I know, that’s what I look for in music. It’s not about trying to redo the past or just do the future. To be now it has to have a foot on both sides.
Freesoul Sessions basically how it came about was when I was touring for Six Degrees, I had the beats already programed into the MPC. I did a little live arranging but it was mostly all there. I did a gig in Budapest and I had already done the encore and they wanted an encore. They were really insisting. So I went onstage and hit record and banged out a beat and basically improvised a studio production onstage. At that moment it really reminded me about everything that I loved about jazz music. When I was able to bring in the whole spontaneity and improvisation of jazz into the beat culture that made me excited again. So i decided I wanted to make a differentiate between having an improvised event and a repertoire event. And Freesoul Sessions was born from that. Basically I would start with the click of the and build everything around it. It was really something special. It was a way to express the jazz in me. I wound up using that approach to my repertoire gigs.
—Mark de Clive-Lowe
Mark spent a year at Berklee College of Music in Boston and then won a fellowship that allowed him to travel the world for a year. He ended up in London and connections were quickly made. As the say, the rest is… to be continued…
Check out the Mixtape. Mark de Clive-Lowe is serious working on some next step for music combining improvisation and modern production techniques.
—Kalamu ya Salaam
Mark de Clive-Lowe Mixtape Playlist
Unfortunately, except for the last four cuts, the music on this playlist is not commercially available.
01 “Syndrome (Live) feat Bembe Segue”
02 “Leaving This Planet/Caravan” - Live in Japan @ JZ Brat, Tokyo, March 2006
MdCL - MPC3000 drums, synth bass, rhodes, piano, keys
Bembe Segue - vocals
Sharlene Hector - vocals
Cherie Mathieson - vocals
Richard Spaven - live drums
Charles Earland's "Leaving this Planet" features Sharlene Hector and Juan Tizol's "Caravan" feat Bembe Segue. Check the video to see Mark work his magic with the keys. The man is a wizard of sound.
03 excerpt of concert at Southport40 – May 2007
04 “Where Can I Go”
05 “Bahia 2010”
07 “Higher Place”
Tracks 4 – 7 are from Freesoul Sessions vol. 1 and feature:
MdCL - MPC3000 drums, synth bass, rhodes, keys
Bembe Segue, Vanessa Freeman - vocals
Tawiah, Sharlene Hector - vocals
Jason Yarde - saxophones
Richard Spaven - live drums
Kaidi Tatham - live drums, percussion, keys (on “Reintroducing”)
Thomas Dyani - live percussion (on “Higher Place”)
Dave Okumu - guitar (on “Higher Place”)
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