Sunday, August 11, 2013

Rocket 88

During the Rolling Stones' recording sessions at Pathé Marconi Studios, Paris (July 1979), Charlie Watts managed to take some time off in order to perform with Bob Hall's Swindon Skiffle Group, now labeled Rocket 88, at jazz festivals in England (Bracknell) and The Netherlands (North Sea Jazz, The Hague). Obviously Ian Stewart, with his responsibility for the Stones' equipment, didn't have the opportunity to leave the recording sessions, so Stu sat these two shows out.

In November 1979, when the Stones were mixing and overdubbing their "Emotional Rescue" album at Electric Ladyland Studios, New York City, Rocket 88 went on the road for a series of shows in West-Germany and England, and this time Stu managed to be around. Basic line-up: Alexis Korner (guitar, vocals)/Bob Hall (piano)/George Green (piano)/Ian Stewart (piano)/Jack Bruce (bass, vocals)/Charlie Watts (drums)/Hal Singer (saxophone)/Don Weller (saxophone)/John Picard (trombone)/Colin Smith (trumpet).

Other musicians who played during the tour included Danny Adler (guitar, vocals), Chris Farlowe (vocals), Pete York (drums) and Dick Morrissey (saxophone). Some kind of who's who in British music! The band's performance at the Rotation Club, Hannover, West-Germany, was recorded to produce a live-album (released January, 1981). Ian Stewart produced the album, with sound engineer Mike McKenna. Listen to the title track of the album right here. And here's a little bit more from Stu on Rocket 88, his musical influences and the album. Finally, the full liner notes to the album can be found here.

Adapted from various websites, including Nico Zentgraf's Complete Works Pages and the Alexis Korner website. Warning: this post contains eight links (and it could have been many more!), don't miss any of them for full understanding!

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