Roan Kearsey-Lawson | Presence in Mind

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Presence in Mind

by Roan Kearsey-Lawson

Great Milt Jackson style cool vibes playing, with Jazz, Film and Classical inspired compositions
Genre: Jazz: FilmBaby
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Splendid Blues (feat. Dorian Ford, Larry Bartley & Dave Trigwell)
4:19 $0.79
2. Bach East (feat. Duncan Lamont Jr., Dorian Ford, Larry Bartley & Dave Trigwell)
4:43 $0.79
3. My Love for You (feat. Duncan Lamont Jr., Dorian Ford, Larry Bartley & Dave Trigwell)
7:07 $0.79
4. Concerto D'afro (feat. Dave Trigwell, Dorian Ford, Larry Bartley & Duncan Lamont Jr.)
10:39 $0.79
5. Presence (feat. Duncan Lamont Jr., Dorian Ford, Larry Bartley, Dave Trigwell & Geoff Mason)
6:46 $0.79
6. Serendipity (feat. Duncan Lamont Jr., Dorian Ford, Larry Bartley, Dave Trigwell, Ray Butcher & Geoff Mason)
4:19 $0.79
7. Empathy (feat. Duncan Lamont Jr., Larry Bartley & Dave Trigwell)
6:42 $0.79
8. Fondness (feat. Duncan Lamont Jr., Dorian Ford, Larry Bartley & Ray Butcher)
4:23 $0.79
9. Saved (feat. Duncan Lamont Jr., Dorian Ford, Larry Bartley & Dave Trigwell)
5:41 $0.79
10. Lullaby of Love (feat. Dorian Ford, Larry Bartley & Dave Trigwell)
7:29 $0.79
11. Brother's Bounce (feat. Dorian Ford, Larry Bartley & Dave Trigwell)
4:14 $0.79
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Presence In Mind - A fabulous new Album from Roan Kearsey-Lawson. As well as performing on Vibes, Marimba, Drums and Piano, Roan has written and arranged all the music for this album. He tells us that everything he has written started with “something in mind”. Some tunes were written with a particular person in mind, others with a particular feeling or emotion, while others with a whole story, giving us ‘Presence in Mind’.
Presence in Mind is bursting full of musical poetry. Each instrument performing lyrical melodies both relaxing and entertaining. An album which should appeal to lovers of classical, melodic jazz and world influenced music. The emphasis and focus is firmly on the melodies (not on long instrumental solos), a perfect Album for the car, or for an alternative to watching the TV.

Roan Kearsey-Lawson Quintet with Duncan Lamont Jr., Dorian Ford, Larry Bartley and Dave Trigwell, plus guests Ray Butcher and Geoff Mason. The band has recently featured on a BBC1TV concert led by Vibes player Roan Kearsey-Lawson from Historic Rochester England. Roan has performed with over 100 top artists as a rhythm section musician, and all the musicians on his new album are of national significance on the UK and international scene.

Roan Kearsey-Lawson MA, MA, BA Hons
With recent work for the BBC as a musical director and stage manager, including live performance on BBCTV to date Roan has performed on Vibes, Marimba, Drum Kit and Piano with over 100 top artists from across the globe. To name a few, the likes of America’s Darius Brubeck and Scott Hamilton, plus UK greats Don Rendell and Digby Fairweather. He has performed all over the UK plus in France, Austria and Germany. Venues include London’s Royal Albert Hall and live on BBC TV and Radio. Recent activity includes inventing and publishing a new 4 Mallet Technique for tuned percussion (see links below) and being Musical Director for BBC TV Children In Need concert. Roan also has an interesting ancestry being a related to Mary Queen of Scotts and Prime Minister Sir Spencer Perceval.

Duncan Lamont Jr.
After inviting Duncan Lamont Senior to perform with Roan at his club in Rochester (144Club, Kent, England) Duncan Jr came along too. In the years that followed Roan never forgot Duncan’s Quality and asked him to join in on this album. Duncan Lamont Jr was for many years in the ‘Dame Shirley Bassey’ Orchestra, and has played in the BBC Big Band and BBC Concert Orchestra. Over his career Duncan has performed in West Shows, backed among others Barry White and Amy Winehouse, recorded for Film and TV including for the Film ‘Iris’, and arranged music for BBC Strictly Come Dancing. He also wrote music for the Hong Kong hand over ceremony.

Dorian Ford Not only a fine pianist but a famous actor too! Dorian is one of Roan’s house musicians at the 144Club. Having won the Chick Chorea Jazz Masters award at Berklee College of Music in the USA, Dorian has gone on to perform with the likes of Courtney Pine, Gary Husband and Ian Carr to name only a few. He is also a ‘name’ as a classical pianist and film actor, giving classical concerts and appearing on TV and Film. Dorian as a child actor was in Grange Hill, and since has acted in many film and TV roles including in the Oscar nominated film ‘Mrs Henderson Presents’, both acting and with his piano takes heard throughout the film.

Larry Bartley
Roan met Larry Bartley when they performed together at a festival with the American sax player from Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, Jean Toussaint. Larry is highly sort after on the international jazz scene working with Tony Kofi, Denys Baptiste and Abdullah Ibrahim to name a few and works in the film and theatre industry. Larry is also an actor, appearing in a Simon Curtis film “My Weekend with Marilyn” with Kenneth Branagh.

Dave Trigwell
The last of the crew to be recruited. The album couldn’t go ahead until the right rhythm section was in place. After testing out a few drummers Roan realised that Dave instantly understood how to play on ‘Presence’ and ‘Concerto D’Afro’. Dave has recorded on several labels including Verve/Pollygramme, Jazz FM Records and Spotlight. For 6 years he was the drummer for singer Leanne Carroll and for many years he toured the world with Terry Callier from the USA.

Presence in Mind Programme Notes:

1. The album begins with Splendid Blues, an unapologetic groove in the style of the great MJQ. Writing with ‘Milt Jackson in mind’ this track certainly has a need to swing. Larry (bass) and Dave (drums) lay down a classic cool groove, whilst Dorian (on keys) compliments both the rhythm section and the lead tune by Roan on vibes. Not only a great, catchy tune but each quartet member shows what they are made of in their fun, interactive solo’s and 4’s. A blue’s to remember, a great opener, simply Splendid!
2. Bach East is the earliest composition to have been written by Roan. He wrote this with ‘Bach in Mind’. After playing some Bach on the piano (as you do!), Roan wrote Bach East in 2007. This version sees the introduction to the album of the wonderful, lyrical, Duncan Lamont Jr. on flute. The space created between the 5 band members is simply enjoyable and helps to create the Elizabethan background style. Just imagine yourself sitting next to a cosy fire in an oak lined long room in an English castle, while you bridge the gap between Baroque, Eastern influenced scales and American inspired jazz.
3. With the same quintet members performing My Love for You Roan wrote this with, unsurprisingly, ‘Love in Mind’ but also with ‘Film in Mind’. He essentially wanted to capture the gentleness of love, and to give it as an offering to the listener. The melody here is stated by Roan on Vibes, then Duncan on flute, while superb runs on the piano by Dorian begin to emerge played over a sensitive, atmospheric rhythmic lines provided by Larry and Dave. Based on a simple melody there is a definite cinematic feel to this piece. A melody which is full of hope and sentimentality. Just imagine yourself watching the credits go up at the end of a really feel good, gentle film, one in which love wins the day…
4. Referred to during the recording sessions as the ‘big piece’ Concerto D’Afro was written with ‘Roots in Mind’. The inspiration for this piece originally came from a guitarist who wrote music and performed in a trio that Roan first played vibes in. He is the late, great Clive Hicks (incidentally Duncan Lamont Jr’s
father, Duncan Lamont was also in a band with the late Clive Hicks. Roan and Clive made a recording of the trio which has to this date never been released!). The ‘Roots in Mind’ for Concerto D’Afro is designed as a story tracing the roots of jazz from Africa to America. Roan says the roots of all music is from Africa. The roots of western improvisational music are from American jazz, the roots of which are from freed African Slaves (In fact a story close to Roan’s heart since one of his foremother’s is a Black-African slave freed from the Southern States of America).
Roan based this Concerto D’Afro around an early African instrument, the Marimba. He introduces the band around the Marimba using African inspired Cuban rhythms. Then adds in the North African distant sound of the bass clarinet playing a melodic line which carries a sense of sadness or emptiness. Thus far he has taken us from the depths of Africa, through to the West Indies and then suddenly the concerto bursts into the freedom of jazz when it reaches the United States. To assist this change Roan jumps onto the vibes (a modern equivalent of the marimba) while Duncan moves to Tenor Sax. Then after the drum solo by Dave, Roan takes us back to our musical roots in Africa yet with somehow a more mature reflection!
5. Introducing Geoff Mason (Trombone) to the recording and written with several modulations of key signature, Presence was inspired by Roan’s mother. With ‘mum in mind’ Roan develops a conversation which grows throughout the piece. A conversation in which a ‘presence’ hard to understand is being discussed, tossed back and forward. Given the richness of this ‘presence’ found in his mother, the answer is never fully understood (nor indeed the question), but what is known is that there is a solid melody which approximates a response towards some understanding of a deeply felt, and contagious ‘presence’.
6.Boasting a full 7 piece line up Serendipity was written with ‘Fun in Mind’. Roan stumbled across the melody for this tune when he found some notes he had written for a drum tuition book he had published; he thought that was a ‘happy coincidence’. With tongue in cheek Roan set the band up as a
battle between the gentleness of the vibes and the power of the brass section (Ray Butcher, Geoff & Duncan). Basically he imagines a family going off to the park, and after getting a little too giddy, at the end of the track quietly backing out of the park as if no one noticed what they had got up to!
7. Empathy introduces Roan on Piano. He wrote this piece with ‘Empathy in Mind’. After teaching a grade 7 pupil on piano, a few notes from that lesson grew into this piece. Essentially the emotion of the piece is designed to be reflective of someone who knows all the pain life can stir up, but to offer someone all that understanding in a loving, hopeful way.
8. Having performed Fondness with many different line ups, Roan decided to withdraw the vibes and play drums instead. Fondness grew from an introduction Roan wrote for a big band for another song. Ray Butcher (Flugelhorn) plays the lead tune with Duncan on alto. It can be played latin or swing, and is reflective of all the things you look back at with ‘Fondness in Mind’.
9. Written with his ‘Step Father in Mind’ Roan wanted to express
the essential saving nature of his step father, and include the contrast of a previously dark existence. As
such the title Saved has a sub-title ‘Dad’s Step’. This is a jazz waltz with a Step Dad who’s Steps has led those around him to saving love.
10. The sum total of human love. This emotionally moving composition Lullaby of Love was written as an expression of the places human love can take people. Written with ‘Human Love in Mind’ this
composition is best seen as the music to go with the end of an emotional film. Let’s say a couple who have had happy times together, but ultimately the love has to die since the human experience at some point will come to an end for us all.
11. After a somewhat darker, heavier emotions Brother’s Bounce ends the album on a lighter note or two. It was written with the happy feel of MJQ and with the character of Roan’s ‘brother in Mind’. If you want peace and quiet, then don’t invite his brother to dinner. If you want your spirits to be lifted, and to feel alive, then do invite his brother to dinner. The tune bounces around having fun, rises up as if to reach a serious point, then only to bounce back around again having fun, with the last chord leaving you hanging on with no idea as to what just happened or what could happen next!!



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