Remember the piece of office equipment that was on every executive’s desk in the 1980s, the one that you talk into and then someone else listens to and transcribes from? It’s not what I would consider a musical instrument, but then again, how many drum solos are performed on desk tops every day? Seems that the lowly Dictaphone has been used as an instrument and incubator for one our favorite jazz bands, Down to the Bone.
Digging further, I learned that Down to the Bone isn’t just one band. It had a US set of artists and a UK set, but the common denominator was writer, producer and leader Stuart Wade.
According to Wikipedia: "Down to the Bone is unique in that the leader, Stuart Wade, does not play any instruments at all. Instead, Wade uses a dictaphone to hum tunes into which are then recorded by the band." Amazing!
From their bio on their official website – the first paragraph says it all:
"Down To The Bone is Stuart Wade as producer, writer and mastermind behind the whole groove project, working with other talented musicians and co-writers to bring together a project of good grooves."
And he has done it over and over again since 1995. The list of artists who have played in Down to the Bone is a wonderful who’s who of contemporary jazz. On the current US side of things, the flutist and saxman, Katisse Buckingham is a Los Angeles native who provided the sound for Will Ferrell’s jazz flute solo in the movie, The Anchorman. He won a Golden Globe for his score for the Robert Redford film, All Is Lost, and is a featured soloist on the Universal Pictures animated film, Minions. Rufus Philpot on five string bass and Oli Silk on keyboards and Pablo Mendelssohn on trumpet are transplanted Londoners.
The current album is called Dig It. It was done by the UK band members and released here in April of 2014. Two cuts from it, "The Sweetness" and ""The Bounce," are part of the Smooth Jazz Chicago playlist. Thank you Stuart. Keep that Dictaphone working.
~Lydia Barnes (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Smooth Video of the Day: Down to the Bone live!