To celebrate the release of his new album, Theon has curated an exclusive playlist of tuba-centric jazz.
Theon Cross is a stalwart of the London jazz scene. After making his name as part of the ‘Sons of Kemet’, he released the seminal ‘We Out Here’ on Gilles Peterson’s Brownwood. Cross has now founded his own powerful and eclectic group, where he’s flanked by other strong emerging voices on the current London scene including tenor saxophonist Nubya Garcia and drummer Moses Boyd. To celebrate the release of his new album, Theon has curated an exclusive playlist of tuba-centric jazz, ahead of his set at Corsica Studios.
Youngblood Brass Band – The Warrior Comes Out To Play
Played by Nat Macintosh of the Youngblood brass band. In my opinion one of the baddest tuba solos out there. In the pocket and has incredible use of Multiphonics (singing while playing) and amazing tounging technique.
Howard Johnson & Gravity – Stolen Moments
This Ensemble is lead by the legendary Howard Johnson and features a range of phenomenal Tubists. This track shows the beautiful tone that can be made from a band of all Tuba players and also features some incredible solos.
Dirty Dozen Brass Band – My Feet Can’t Fail Me Now
I was introduced to the Dirty Dozen Brass band when I was a teenager and have always loved them, especially the Sousaphone Playing of Kirk Joseph. The groove on this track in particularly was something I loved playing along to.
Louis Armstrong – Avalon
A great track from the Legendary Louis Armstrong, the tuba playing on this track is particularly significant for me because it features the tuba player (Rich Matteson) doing a walking bass line like a stringed bass, which is something people often don’t associate with the tuba but can be done, and in this case well.
Bob Stewart Sometime – I Feel Like A Motherless Child
Incredible and groovy arrangement of ‘Sometime I Feel Like A Motherless Child’ by the legendary tubist Bob Stewart. His technique and incredible time has been a big inspiration to me.
Hot 8 Brass Band – Let Me Do My Thing
I’ve always been in awe of the Brass Bands from New Orleans and the Hot 8 brass band is one of my favourite bands from the city for obvious reasons. Love the amazing sousaphone playing on this track.
Oren Marshall- Rockin Rhythm
I had the pleasure of being taught by Oren whilst I was studying at the guildhall and he has been a constant source of inspiration to me and is a true innovator of the tuba. Here is a clip of him playing the Rockin’ Rhythm by Duke Ellington.
Youngblood Brass Band- Brooklyn
Hearing this track for the first time changed my perception of what the tuba could do. The whole arrangement is incredible, but the tuba solo is iconic and features sounds that you would never expect to hear coming out of a brass instrument like dj scratching and beat boxing. This track made me see new possibilities of sounds that could be created on the tuba.
I remember my tuba teacher introducing this track to me when I was a teenager. I loved it then and still do now. Jon literally makes all the sounds that you can hear on the track using his tuba, which I have always found incredible and it opened up my eyes to the different sounds the instrument can make.
Theon Cross performs at Corsica on Friday 15 February, you can find tickets here.