Next up on our occasional worldwide discovery trail (now eh… officially two acts deep!) we bring you the work of one Mr Andy Little and his band Mr Little’s Noisy Band. Mr Little came to our attention earlier this month after he debuted a neatly executed video for the band’s new track ‘Drum ‘n’ Bassie’. With the film peaking our interest, it was only a matter of time before the music seeped into our collective conscious, and four to five listens later, we can confirm that it stands up as a hot slice of funkdafied jazz (or ‘funk jazz’ as the band has chosen to coin). Indeed, taking in elements of both aforementioned genres and fusing them with a little drum and bass, leaves the listener with no other choice than to surrender as Mr Little and Luke Walker on guitars and Hoagy Plastow and Paul Jordanous on sax and trumpet respectively take turns to perforate the frenetic breakbeat laid down by Kyle Langley (drums) and Sam Rommer (bass). The composition features on a readily available three track EP, the band’s first, and it’s also worth noting that the first track ‘Narcoleptic Tightrope Walker’, a delicious slice of contemporary funked-up soul jazz, is also firm favourite around these parts.
Originally influenced by the music of Jimi Hendrix (which focused his mind on learning the guitar), Andy soon embraced the blues and soul music too, listening to a whole heap of Ray Charles, Al Green, Stevie Wonder, Buddy Guy, BB King and then at Music College, ‘Blood Sugar Sex Magik’ era Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Eventually he made his way to jazz, a genre he had flirted with before through the medium of Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock, but now the focus was on how to play it. Taking in “some really erratic and exciting stuff” such as Hiromi and John McLaughlin and mixing it with the more traditional jazz of Cannonball Adderley and Art Blakey, he soon found himself heading down the ‘funky’ route, an approach which certainly seems to have benefitted his current compositions. At present his listening habits are more in tune with the likes of Electro Deluxe, Snarky Puppy, Stanton Moore, Lettuce and Esperanza Spalding.
The notion of putting an actual band together started with a firm interest in Redtenbacher’s Funkestra. The group inspired Andy and ultimately it proved to be somewhat of a catalyst when Stefan Redtenbacher (bassist and bandleader) offered him a support slot at one of the Funkestra’s gigs. Andy finished a selection of tunes, and set about recruiting a band, employing first off his close friend Langley on drums, and approaching the rest individually. Jordanous and Plastow were the final pieces of the puzzle and came into play when Andy was given the telephone numbers of “some wicked horn players”. The rest they say is history and the musicians formed to record this particularly promising first set!
Check the video below and if you’re a Londoner (or simply someone who lives in London) you might like to know that you’ve got a chance to catch the guys live at The Macbeth in Hoxton next Monday night (28th October), where they’ll be one of a triplet of bands performing. For more news on that gig and any other dates they may have in the offering soon, we suggest you hook up to their Facebook page or indeed visit Andy’s suitably nice website (also worth checking if you plan to learn the guitar anytime soon). If you’d simply like to spend a bit more time getting inside his music though, we imagine the best place to check all his works so far would be the band’s Bandcamp page where they have ‘Drums N Bassie’ and a few other tracks up for grabs on a ‘Name Your Price’ basis. We can’t say fairer than that!