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Ken Stubbs | Big Hush (feat. Simon Barker & Brett Hirst)

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AUSTRALIA - New South Wales

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Jazz: Contemporary Jazz Jazz: Cool Jazz Moods: Instrumental
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Big Hush (feat. Simon Barker & Brett Hirst)

by Ken Stubbs

Lyrical jazz at its best, with a wide selection of feel and moods.
Genre: Jazz: Contemporary Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Tres Palabras (feat. Jason Rebello, Simon Barker & Brett Hirst)
8:00 $0.99
2. I. Mojos de Perros Azul / II. Candida Eréndira (feat. Simon Barker & Brett Hirst)
5:30 $0.99
3. Beyond the Black Suit (feat. James Muller, Simon Barker & Brett Hirst)
7:05 $0.99
4. Steeplechase (feat. Simon Barker & Brett Hirst)
7:03 $0.99
5. For Evan Parker (feat. Simon Barker & Brett Hirst)
3:19 $0.99
6. Old Folks (feat. James Muller, Simon Barker & Brett Hirst)
5:15 $0.99
7. For Riley Lee (feat. Simon Barker & Brett Hirst)
7:07 $0.99
8. Leuchtende Seele (Shining Brightly) [feat. James Muller, Simon Barker & Brett Hirst]
8:10 $0.99
9. Baby Won't You Please Come Home (feat. Jason Rebello, Simon Barker & Brett Hirst)
7:02 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
'Big Hush' features this amazing Supergroup:


Ken became involved with music after being ‘reborn’, after a near death experience. He was 14. It involved a Football ‘Special’ Train, hundreds of inebriated Glasgow Rangers fans, a fire hammer and axe, 2 near fatalities, him jumping from a train travelling at 70 mph, and several broken limbs.

It was then that he decided that this was the wrong game for him, and instead followed his other passion, which was the ‘Northern Soul’ music scene. Before long he was enquiring about the strangely alluring horn sounds that were prevalent within that music, the result being the start of a hot and passionate relationship with the saxophone.

Having been fortunate to experience an excellent music education, at what is now Salford University, Ken’s first professional music experience involved being fired from Pontins holiday camp for performing a loud, spontaneous, Albert Ayler impression, during a Lionel Blair-type dance troupe’s version of Barry Manilow hits – experienced by a large, confused crowd of Pontins-Punters, baying for his blood.

His second experience was equally as bizarre, involving him playing fast improvised lines over the Batman riff, for ‘Mary Chipperfield’s Skating Chimps’ (sic), …this lasted for 24 long weeks.

He knew that this was also not his path and soon followed the trail to London, where he formed his first jazz group – ‘First House’, with fellow ex music biz sufferers, Tube driver and Demon of the double bass, Mick Hutton, the marvellous, number-crunching drum genius, Martin France and the formidable composer and magician-keyboardist, Django Bates.

This volatile group of eccentrics where fortunate to record twice for ECM, with the Perfectionist-German-Sound Wizard, Manfred Eicher. Unfortunately, neither album captured the true essence and brilliance of their music making.

Ken also played and recorded with many other groups and musicians, including Loose Tubes, Chris MacGregor, Mike Gibbs, Kenny Wheeler, John Taylor, Peter Erskine, Jason Rebello, Conrad Herwig, Gary Husband, Phil Robson and fellow Salford-alumni-guitar-gentleman, Mike Walker.

During this London period, Ken’s woefully inadequate implementation of the new Thatcherite business model – implemented by many of his peers in the Yuppie Jazz Movement – compounded by his ‘Metal Ox’ (b.1961) horns, landed him in much trouble, for bad behaviour.

Moving forward, determined to pursue his love of the Art of the Improviser (thank you Ornette), he forged a path to Australia where he now lives in a paradisiacal part of sub-tropical New South Wales, with his family. Here, he enthusiastically tends to his rainforest patch, trying to improve his carbon footprint, so heavily trudged upon during his jet-gigging experiences in 30 countries. However, musically he has never veered off-course, and has during the past 20 years, created what will become a seminal work on jazz improvisation, a tour de force of recorded material, created, to be used, by global-minded musicians, wishing to follow the eternal quest of the improviser.

Since living in Australia he has been a saxophone tutor at Queensland Conservatorium of Music as well as a saxophone tutor and big band director at both Southern Cross University, Lismore and Northern Rivers Conservatorium Arts Centre, NSW.

He has played and recorded with Australian jazz and improvising musicians James Muller, Paul Grabowsky, Simon Barker, Steve Newcomb, Brett Hirst, Matt McMahon, Scott Tinkler, John Morrison and John Hoffman.


Guitarist James Muller is one of the most exciting and innovative musicians on the Australian music scene today. His distinctive sound, coupled with masterful improvisation and breathtaking virtuosity, has made him one of the most respected and most significant young musicians in the country. Born in Adelaide in 1974, James began teaching himself the guitar at age 12. Initially inspired by the rock guitar legends of the sixties & seventies, the harmonic complexities of jazz soon caught his ear. Armed with the Jim Hall records from his parents’ collection and the support of his high school music teacher, James discovered jazz and for him there was no looking back.

By the time he burst onto the Sydney scene in 1996, at just 21 years of age, James had already recorded his first independent album “No You Don’t”. He was soon playing and recording with some of the biggest names in jazz and rock including: James Morrison, Vince Jones, Katie Noonan, Dale Barlow, Bernie McGann, Don Burrows, Mike Nock, Renee Geyer, Jimmy Barnes, Nigel Kennedy, Rai Thistlethwayte (Thirsty Merc), Jazzgroove Mothership Orchestra as well as US musicians: John Scofield, Chad Wackerman (Frank Zappa, Allan Holdsworth), Vinnie Colaiuta (Sting, Jeff Beck), Keith Carlock (Steely Dan), Bill Stewart (John Scofield, Maceo Parker), Adam Nussbaum (Michael Brecker), Christian McBride (Pat Metheny).

He also has recorded three more critically acclaimed albums under his own name and made multiple tours to Europe, Asia and the US to critical acclaim. Few people have lit up the Australian music scene so brightly and so quickly. Muller is the recipient of numerous accolades including the coveted ARIA award, the highest acknowledgement in the Australian recording industry.

Winner of the ARIA for Best Jazz Album 2000 – James Muller Trio “ALL OUT”

Winner of the National Jazz Award, Wangaratta Jazz Festival 2000

James Muller Quartet “THRUM” nominated for Best Jazz Album ARIA Awards 2002

“PAUL BLEY” taken from “THRUM” winner of the APRA award for Most Performed Jazz Work 2003

Winner of the esteemed Freedman Fellowship 2004

James Muller Trio “KABOOM” nominated for Best Jazz Album ARIA Awards 2006

“James Muller is a mountain of guitar virtuosity…All the things that are the most effective in jazz, rock, blues and country guitar emerge naturally at the right time, in the right place and it can give the listener shivers” – John Clare (Sydney Morning Herald)


Jason was born in Carshalton, Surrey. His father's family is from India. Jason was raised a Catholic in Wandsworth, London. He was classically trained beginning at the age of 19 at Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

He emerged in the late 1980s as a jazz pianist influenced by Herbie Hancock and McCoy Tyner. In his early 20s he recorded three solo albums, beginning with his debut album A Clearer View (1990), which was produced by Wayne Shorter and led to him appearing on the cover of The Wire magazine. He also worked with Jean Toussaint, Tommy Smith, and Branford Marsalis, and presented Artrageous! on BBC television.

In 1998 Sting invited Jason to join his band following the death of Kenny Kirkland. He toured with Sting for the next six years and recorded three albums. He then became a member of Jeff Beck's band, touring for six years and recording three albums. During these years with Sting and Beck, Jason also worked with Chaka Khan, Des'ree, Mica Paris, Carleen Anderson, Manu Katché, Phil Collins, and Peter Gabriel.

In May 2013 Jason told The Huffington Post that after twelve years of touring as a session musician he was now reestablishing himself as a solo artist, specifically in jazz. On 4 November 2013 he released the album Anything But Look on Lyte Records. It features Will Downing, Omar, Joy Rose, Jacob Collier, Tim Garland and Pino Palladino.

Jason teaches music at his alma mater, Guildhall School of Music and Bath Spa University. Additionally, he composes music for the London-based production music library, Audio Network.

In his mid-20s he took a break from music to pursue interests in Buddhism. He later stated, "I think this was because I was enjoying a level of success that made me feel increasingly alienated." He is the cousin of Star Trek actress Marina Sirtis.


“Barker has few peers worldwide for flexibility, resourcefulness, imagination and a complete absence of rhythmic clichés.” John Shand (SMH 2010)

“Simon Barker is one of Australia’s most extraordinary jazz drummers, playing with an intensity that is virtually unrivalled. Through his transcultural performances, master classes and musical explorations in Korea, Japan, China, and elsewhere, Barker has considerably extended the vocabulary of Australian jazz.” Tony Mitchell (Music Forum 2010)

I studied here in Australia with Jon Collins, and in New York with John Riley, Keith Copeland, Marvin “Smitty” Smith, Kim Plainfield and Mike Clarke. Since returning home in 1990 I’ve performed throughout Australia, Europe, Asia and the US. In 2001, I studied with Kang Sun il. In 2005 I set up Kimnara Records, a little independent record label presenting new music by Australian improvisers. I’m currently working as a lecturer at The University of Sydney/Conservatorium of Music.

I’ve produced a collection of solo drumming recordings, including the recently released Urgency! series, and over the past 20 years I’ve been involved in several ongoing collaborative projects including Band of Five Names (with Phil Slater and Matt Mcmahon), Showa 44 (duo with Carl Dewhurst), Lost Thoughts (duo with Scott Tinkler), and Chiri (trio with Bae il Dong and Scott Tinkler).
Recently, I’ve collaborated with numerous local and international artists including Jen Shyu, Gian Slater, Kim Hyelim, Chris Hale, Tony Malaby and Kris Davis, Jo Jonghun and Lim Mijeong (Byeolsinak), Mary Rapp and Carl Dewhurst, as well as with Henry Kaiser, Bill Laswell, and Rudresh Mahanthappa (on the 2018 recording Mudang Rock).

Along with collaborative groups I’ve been fortunate to play regularly with with many of Australia’s most established ensembles including the Phil Slater Qt, Baecastuff, Matt McMahon trio, the Australian Art Orchestra, Vince Jones, Katie Noonan, Red Fish Blue, the Paul Grabowsky sextet, Cameron Undy’s 20th Century Dog, Stu Hunter, as well as various groups led by Scott Tinkler.
In the past I’ve performed and recorded with a great variety of local artists and ensembles including John Sangster, Mark Simmonds’ Freeboppers, Bernie McGann, Jamie Oehlers, Marc Hannaford, Don Burrows, Dale Barlow, Tim Stevens’ Trio, Sandy Evans GEST8, Mark Isaacs Trio, Judy Bailey, Ian Chaplin, James Muller, Clarion Fracture Zone, Roger Dean, Julian Wilson, James Greening. I’ve recorded over sixty CDs with local and international jazz artists including ARIA winner “Fire” by a great musical mentor, Mark Simmonds, and have been very fortunate to have the opportunity to perform with many international touring artists including Jason Moran, Marylyn Crisspell, Tim Berne, Joe Lovano, Ed Schuller, Makoto Kuria, Claire Martin, Sheila Jordan, Gary Smulyan, John Hicks and Carlos Ward.


Brett hails form New Zealand, he holds a Diploma of Jazz Studies from the Christchurch School of Jazz in New Zealand, and a Masters of Music (Performance) from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in Australia.

Residing in Sydney since 1998, Brett maintains a busy performance and recording schedule with some of Australia’s premiere musicians, as well as international jazz and contemporary artists. His performance and recording credits include: Mike Nock, Mark Isaacs, Sandy Evans, Phil Slater, Matt McMahon, James Muller, James Morrison, Lior, Katie Noonan, Vince Jones, James Greening, Mara, Josh White Jr., Wendy Matthews, Sharon Shannon, Damien Leith, Mary Coughlan, Dominique Fillon, Greg Osby, Ricky Ford, Sheila Jordan, Sean Wayland and many more.



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