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GHOSTFISH (MASTERLINK SESSIONS)
RSB Records releases ‘Ghostfish (Masterlink Sessions)’ featuring guitarists Mike Outram and Tony Remy. A chilled out instrumental soul track and a possible signpost for a new direction for the band.
It is relaxed, short and soulful.
This tune was recorded during the first Masterlink Session after all the lock-downs. We believe the good vibes of this coming-together manifest themselves in ‘Ghostfish’.
Furthermore it also marks a possible departure from the ‘wall-to-wall’ horn driven Jazz Funk that the band is mostly known for. During the pandemic lock-down years we recorded a lot of different music with many different artists. The Funkestra being the Masterlink Sessions studio band not only started creating music with vocalists, it also fully embraced styles outside the jazz and funk axis. These included americana, singer-songwriter folk, rock, soul, blues and even some neo-psychedelic rock (as Spotify has put it).
I whole-heartedly enjoyed this ongoing multi-genre journey as most creatives don’t want to confine themselves into one thing. Furthermore, growing up and also having been a session player for several decades, I’ve always enjoyed soul music, blues and rock – from pop rock to really heavy stuff too.
The lockdown rules for broadcasting and production studios like Masterlink also played into this. For practical reasons we couldn’t have more than 4 people (2 meters apart) and one vocalist (behind plexiglass screens) in the studio. Consequently we couldn’t have other rhythm section players and certainly no horn players of any kind (because of the airflow).
So apart from venturing from instrumental music to vocal led music and significantly expanding stylistically, practical reasons forced us to create music with a standard size rhythm section only.
Back to ‘Ghostfish’. Of course I will not abandon instrumental Jazz Funk and all the genres in between – even the marmite style ‘Jazz Fusion’ (which some folk seem to passionately love or hate).
It felt like a natural progression to experiment with more chilled out and ‘soulful’ instrumental compositions. Soul Jazz, after all, is a ‘thing’ and makes me think of Stuff and the (Jazz) Crusaders.
The band Stuff had two much revered studio session guitarists in Cornell Dupree and Eric Gale. Two absolutely fabulous musicians with a completely different approach. Just like UK master guitarists Mike Outram and Tony Remy. Hardly a surprise that they feature on ‘Ghostfish’. Big shout out also to the marvelous Joe Glossop who lays down a wonderfully soulful Hammond organ performance and my partners in rhythm crime – Mike Sturgis on drums and Karl Vanden Bossche on percussion. What they do they would describe as ‘not much’ but OMG – their groove and taste is so mega! They are true masters of their instruments as well as musicians with impeccable taste. I feel immensly grateful to be able to create the rhytmic canvas with them.
THE SHORT TO MID-TERM FUTURE
As mentioned above, ‘Ghostfish’ might signpost a new direction for the band and my writing and arranging. As a matter of fact – the band has been in the studio for three days to record new material for the Funkestra. Loads of material at that.
The bulk of tunes will go onto to forthcoming albums – one is called ‘JONKY’ and will closer to what Funkestra fans are familar with. Horns for one but also some heavy Jazz Fusion gems to push the envelope of what we have recorded so far.
And then the other one – ‘HOWLING AT THE BLUES’ (the name might stick but still up for grabs) – is going to be the one with ‘Ghostfish’ on it and a whole bunch of other tunes in the instrumental soul jazz and gospel corner as well as some guitar driven – yes you have guessed it – blues and blues rock.
At this stage it is entirely unclear to me if you and the ‘unknown public’ will enjoy and embrace this genre bending musical adventure. However, I know as much as that I have the strong need to write, arrange and play this music. I’m striving for my creations to become more soulful even heartfelt and to find a good balance with my more upbeat and intense jazz and funk offerings. Additionally I’m ready to experiment with guitar driven blues and rock influenced compositions and see where this will take me, the band and the listeners of course.
ANOTHER SPOTIFY PLAYLIST SUCCESS
Following on from the last paragraph it seems only apt to mention that ‘Ghostfish’ was just added to the Spotify editorial playlist called STRING THEORY. The strapline is:
INSTRUMENTAL GUITAR SHREDDERY.
What a brilliant subtitle to this playlist with nearly 100k followers. This almost tongue in cheek strapline is also a masterclass in being concise and all encompassing, indicating to the listener what they can expect. ‘Ghostfish’ is certainly in this three word punch line paradigm. I hope you’ll enjoy it!
(in alphabetical order of last name)
- Karl Vanden Bossche | percussion
- Joe Glossop | Hammond organ
- Mike Outram | guitar
- Stefan Redtenbacher | bass
- Tony Remy | guitar
- Mike Sturgis | drums
- James Welch | recording, mixing and mastering engineer
- Leo Mansell | videographer (filming and editing)
- Stefan Redtenbacher | single cover
written by Stefan Redtenbacher and Thomas Feurer, arranged and produced by Stefan Redtenbacher
released on RSB Records | catalog number RSB15003