Wobble and Sharpe dub Fitzrovia with the ghosts of seventies jazz funk

By News Reporters

Album cover.

A new jazz album has a CD cover featuring many of Fitzrovia’s distinctive buildings and takes its name from the neighbourhood.

Entitled Kingdom of Fitzrovia it’s a collaboration between Jah Wobble and Bill Sharpe, and pays tribute to the area’s mix of architectural styles and its artistic past and present.

It was recorded at the Music Sales Studio in Berners Street and has a cover and booklet featuring the BT Tower and the King and Queen pub. 

Jah Wobble admits he would imagine that many people would find his musical partnership with Bill Sharpe to be a rather unlikely one.

Wobble is probably best known as the dub-influenced bassist for Public Image Ltd (PIL) who were fronted by John Lydon (nee Rotten of the Sex Pistols). He also co-wrote PIL’s second album Metal Box and played both bass and drums on some tracks.

Sharpe by contrast was a founding member of the disco and jazz-funk group Shakatak whose musical style was in many respects punk’s and dub’s nemesis.

Nevertheless “we have much in common musically speaking,” he writes on the CD notes. “A shared love of certain areas of Jazz and Funk; Herbie Hancock and Headhunters, Miles Davis, The Crusaders, Art Blakey, Weather Report et al.

“To my ears Kingdom of Fitzrovia resonates with ghosts of seventies jazz funk (the better side) but there’s something else very contemporary and unique about it as well. The sonic shape of it tends towards dub,” he writes.

Between recording sessions Wobble and Sharpe enjoyed lunches at L’Etoile on Charlotte Street.

The eight track CD is out now and there’s a gig at the Islington Assembly Hall on 26 April to promote it.

1. YOU MAKE ME HAPPY (6.47)
2. RUSH HOUR (3.05)
3. KINGDOM OF FITZROVIA (8.01)
4. SPANISH PLACE (6.44)
5. LOQUACIOUS LORETTA (7.58)
6. IN THE BEAT OF THE NIGHT (9.05)
7. MATTER TRANSFER (6.54)
8. SERENADES & SERENDIPITY (8.42)
All compositions by Wobble/Sharpe

Jah Wobble – Bass
Bill Sharpe – Keyboards
Marc Layton – Bennett – Drums
Sean Corby – Trumpet and Flugelhorn
PJ Higgins – Vocals on ‘You Make Me Happy’
Fridrik Karlsson – Guitar on ‘You Make Me Happy’
Jonas Persson – Drum programming on ‘Rush Hour’

CD cover design by Squiff.

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