New Album by Aaron Liddard, featuring Carleen Anderson, Omar Puente and Miss Baby Sol
‘Nylon Man’ is the new album by saxophonist-keyboardist-arranger-composer Aaron Liddard, released on 7th October 2022 on the British independent label Havis House.
Featuring a plethora of guest contributions from the likes of Carleen Anderson, Omar Puente and Miss Baby Sol, Nylon Man is 12 tracks of modern jazz influenced by and infused with the music of Europe, North and South America, the Caribbean and Africa.
In his prolific and wide-ranging career, Aaron has contributed to many different musical experiences, including working with Amy Winehouse, Prince and Maceo Parker, and in genres ranging from hip-hop and rock to Latin music and gospel. But jazz has always been the closest music to his heart. “Jazz is the only living musical art-form that is not defined by its exclusions,” says Aaron. “At its truest, jazz is an evolving aural tradition. As a musician with myriad musical influences, jazz is the only home that allows me to fully explore.”
He describes Nylon Man as “roughly 12 years in the making” and a summation of his career to this point. 42 musicians in all appear on this project. Five (singer Giulia Marelli, guitarist Harry Greene, bassist Paul Michael, drummer Jimmy Norden, and percussionist Eric Young) appear on many of this release’s selections. Of Giulia Marelli, who is prominent on four numbers, Aaron says, “She is able to tackle every detail and edge with precision and deliver performances with charisma. Giulia comes to my music with the best attitude, capability and emotional energy.”
Nylon Man, which is named after the three cities that most influenced Aaron (New York, London and Manchester), begins with a tribute to the late Chick Corea, ‘Corean Castaway’. It was composed years ago with Joan Viskant writing the lyrics in more recent times. Giulia Marelli has the vocal and handles the wide intervals flawlessly, the strings make a gradual but memorable entrance, and the complex drum solo is played with expertise by Marc Parnell. One could imagine Chick Corea and Flora Purim enjoying performing this piece.
‘Frisco’ was written during Aaron’s first visit to the U.S. One night, he was walking home to his hotel in San Francisco after attending a stirring rap opera and the song suddenly appeared in his mind; he wrote the entire piece that night. Carleen Anderson, who Aaron met while appearing with Norman Connors and Michael Henderson in a London show, is featured. Her singing in a lovely operatic voice recalls Kay Davis with Duke Ellington in the 1940s, although the groove is quite contemporary.
‘Together Forever’ has a vocal duet by Sannaliisa Ilkka and Sam Grimley, the pandeiro of Norman Jankowski, and a mixture of an acoustic bossa nova with heavier drums and bass. A great deal takes place but the overall results are warm and soothing. ‘Chicken Soup’ was recorded in Brazil, has a fine bass solo from Felipe Cortes (who at one point emulates a clucking chicken), and is a particularly rewarding showcase for Aaron Liddard’s tenor and piano. ‘Thru Your Eyes’, which is about the long demise of a relationship, features a dreamy and eerie vocal from Giulia Marelli over an electronic ensemble playing in 19/8 time.
The joyful ‘Apples & Pears’, which was recorded in one take, includes prominent spots for guitarist Greene and Aaron’s tenor over a bluesy and funky groove. A real change of pace, ‘My Kinda’ is described by Aaron
as being about “an affair that starts out with butterflies and ends in emotional torture. It travels from rock to hip hop to electro to highlife to acid jazz and back to rock; it always surprises audiences.” The rollicking ‘Catfood’ is also a bit unique, for it has Aaron joined by two different rhythm sections (British funk and Cuban) for a brief bit of extra excitement. The medium-tempo ballad ‘Snowdrops’ begins with hints of the Yellowjackets and includes a particularly warm vocal by Giulia Marelli and inventive playing by the leader.
Aaron switches to flute for some lively Latin jazz on ‘Manana’ which has infectious percussion work from Eric Young and is highlighted by colourful solos in the tradition by violinist Omar Puente and Harry Greene on acoustic guitar. ‘Beautiful’ is a calming ballad sung beautifully by Miss Baby Sol with Aaron on piano. Nylon Man, a set filled with more than its share of variety, concludes with the political anti-corruption song ‘One Million Children’. The episodic and unpredictable performance is about the sins of the world being viewed through the eyes of the youth, and of a temple in Thailand in which one million school children gather once a year to meditate for world peace.
Aaron Liddard, who was born in Hertfordshire, started out on the euphonium, spent time playing piano and guitar, and then settled on the tenor-sax as his main instrument. While classically trained, as a teenager he found that the freedom of jazz was more inspiring. He spent a decade living and working in Manchester, developing into a very busy musician who at one point was playing regularly with 15 different bands including his Latin hip-hop group Nylon Jungle. Aaron spent a long period as a regular member of Amy Winehouse’s band, toured with singer Beverley Knight, performed with Maceo Parker and Prince, and played rock with the Stargazers and the Boomtown Rats. He also contributed to over 30 albums, performed jazz with Sheila Tracey’s big band, blues with the Sugaray Rayford Band, and toured in three continents with his group Aaron and the Argonauts.
Aaron Liddard sums up his new release which defines his career up to this point. “Nylon Man is how I hear music and its possibilities. I hope that listeners will be happily surprised by what they experience.”
The release of Nylon Man will be supported by a run of UK live dates:
Thursday, 29th October - Manchester, Matt & Phred’s
Friday 7th October - Hemel Hempsted, Arty Barn
Saturday 8th October - London, Temple of Art & Music (TAM)
Tuesday, 11th October - Norwich, Norwich Jazz Club
Thursday 20th October - Newcastle, Hoochie Coochie
Friday 18th November - Abegavenny, Black Mountain Jazz
‘Nylon Man’ EPK: https://linktr.ee/aaronliddard
“All of Aaron Liddard’s music is beautiful” - Flora Purim
"Together Forever is a veritable jazz version of Romeo and Juliet, this band is essential listening" - Blues & Soul magazine
For further information please contact Dave Clarke at: