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SwingBee


I have long been a Django Reinhardt fan and bought my first Django album when I was teenager. My father noticed my interest and bought me a book: "A Treasury Of Django Reinhardt Solos”. It was written out in conventional music notation and looked totally mind boggling! I skimmed through it and decided that "Stomping At Decca” looked the easiest and proceeded to work it out on my Yamaha flat top guitar. I had made a start!

As time went on I became a fan of Django’s compositions as well as his guitar playing and felt inspired to write my own. It soon became clear however that I wouldn’t be able to exclude the other influences that have inspired me over the years. The tunes on this album reflect my interest in a number of different genres: 

The Swingbee Musicians are:

Brian Bull:

Brian has a background of playing a number of styles. Initially he studied classical guitar before moving on to rock and blues on both electric and acoustic guitar. After a short stint playing trumpet with pop band "The Corporation "with whom he was heard on the "John Peel” show, Brian spent a number of years playing Jump Jive with Kit Packham’s "One Jump Ahead”. After three albums, a few radio shows and hundreds of gigs, he joined the Jive Aces with whom he also recorded an album and appeared on a number of radio and TV shows. During this time he also pursued his interest in gypsy jazz forming his own band "Club Tabou” in 2001 with fellow enthusiast Steve Royall. Brian has been a regular at the Django Reinhardt Festival in Samois in France and has had the opportunity to jam with many leading players such as Robin Nolan, John Jorgenson, Jonny Hepbir and even Hank Marvin! Also during this time Brian had the opportunity to record with Peter Green and Doctor John, appearing on Peter’s album "The Robert Johnson Songbook”

Mike Piggott:

Mike's professional career began playing the guitar, and occasional violin. His first Band, The Bone Idols, played local gigs and toured the South of France where he met Stephane Grappelli. A significant encounter in view of future events. All-nighters at the Flamingo Club were followed by a year with Junior's Conquest, which featured Hammond organist/guitarist Junior Marvin (later of Bob Marley and The Wailers). This was followed by 2 years with Gass with whom he recorded his first album, which featured Fleetwood Mac guitarist Peter Green as a guest. A change to a more acoustic style resulted in work with Paul Brett (3 albums), Paul King (Mungo Jerry - 3 albums), Ralph McTell (6 albums), Bert Jansch (2 albums), and three years as a member of the re-formed Pentangle, replacing John Renbourn, (2 albums). Other bands include The Denny Laine Band (1 album), for two years, Phil Collins' "Zox & the Radar Boys"(a sideline from Genesis). He has also worked with the Kimbara Brothers, Martin Taylor, Jack Emblow, Big Jim Sullivan, Diz Disley, John Joyce, John Etheridge, Gary Potter, Campbell Burnap, Digby Fairweather, Bucky Pizzarelli, Marty Grosz, Ken Peplowski, Herbie Flowers, Peter Ind, Nils Solberg, Jeff Green, The Hot Club of London, Bob Kerr's Whoopee Band (honorary member-3 albums), and The Lord Colwyn Band (society gigs - 1 album), and works regularly as a session musician.

Don Newport:

Don has been playing the double bass for over 40 years. He originally trained orchestrally, but while still fulfilling occasional classical engagements, he is today better known as a versatile bass player working in the acoustic jazz, blues, ragtime and country-swing styles. He is particularly active in the gypsy jazz genre and on one memorable night many years ago had the honour of standing in on a set with the legendary Stephane Grappelli who was touring at the time with Diz Disley. Don plays regularly with a number of line-ups in Sussex and Surrey as well as doing studio work. In a parallel musical existence he is a church organist and choirmaster.