“…a lot of the time I play music from other worlds …. Welcome to My World”
World premiere on the NEUE MEISTER label: International classical superstar Nigel Kennedy releases his first album of his own compositions, entitled “My World”.
The first album by Nigel Kennedy in which he features his own compositions is at the same time the most intimate view yet of his world: a colourful kaleidoscope of sounds. He has written works inspired by his mentors Yehudi Menuhin, Isaac Stern and Stéphane Grappelli, and artists like Mark O’Connor and Jarek Śmietana, while composing a whole new suite to Anton Chekhov’s play Three Sisters. On My World, Kennedy shows how well string orchestra, rock band and piano go together once you forget the stereotypes.
Nigel Kennedy has been true to his vision throughout his career: making music that transcends all conventions. My W”orld retraces how meeting his mentors shaped his musical understanding and changed his career path. Yehudi Menuhin probably had the most important influence on Kennedy: “I feel that Yehudi Menuhin gives me a direct route back to the music of Bach. Also Menuhin paid for my education at his school so without him I would probably not be playing classical music at all.” Next to Menuhin, meeting Stéphane Grappelli was a crucial moment: “I met Stéphane for the first time when he was playing to us kids in the Yehudi Menuhin School; I surprised him by jumping on the stage and joining him in his performance, which was the catalyst for a long musical relationship with him. He loved it that a 14-year-old kid was into his music and could also play it. From my point of view, it was invaluable to meet a musician who, when playing, proved that serious music doesn’t have to be depressing.”
Listening to My World it becomes very clear how strong jazz music has influenced Kennedy. This is to be heard in the dedications to Polish jazz guitarist Jarosław Śmietana or Nashville based country-jazz-blues violinist and composer Mark O’Connor and also represented in the band line-up. Orphy Robinson, who has already played with Don Cherry, Wynton Marsalis, David Murray and many famous jazz musicians, plays vibes and percussion alongside Adam Czerwinski on drums. Tomasz Kupiec on bass has to lay the groundwork for three guitarists: long-time touring guitarist Rolf Bussalb, young Julian Buschberger and Doug Boyle, who used to play with Robert Plant and is now assistant producer of Nigel’s album. Considering this line-up, “My World” sounds surprisingly calm and classical. The Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra has a permanent role throughout, while the band only plays some of the time. Overall Nigel demonstrates what a great soloist he is: virtuosic but never plays a note too many – just like his musical idols. He has written an album full of great melodies. Three Sisters is clear evidence of this. The inspiration for the suite comes from Nigel’s wife Agnieszka, who has produced the play by Anton Chekhov for the stage. Fascinated by the underlying psychological study of the play, Nigel started writing his own Three Sisters suite.
My World will be released on December 23, 2016, only a few days before Nigel Kennedy’s birthday.
Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra
Orphy Robinson - Vibes & Percussion (Don Cherry, Wynton Marsalis, David Murray and many more)
Adam Czerwinski - Drums (John Abercrombie, Sabian Endorser)
Doug Boyle - Guitars / Assistant Producer (Robert Plant Band)
Julian Buschberger - More Guitars
Rolf Bussalb - Even more guitars (German session musician)
Tomasz Kupiec - Bass
1) Dla Jarka (for Jarek Śmietana)
2) Melody in the Wind (for Stéphane Grappelli)
3) Fallen Forest (for Isaac Stern)
4) Solitude (for Yehudi Menuhin)
5) Gibb it (for Mark O’Connor)
7) Vershinin’s Idealism
8) Rode’s Pictures
Vershinin’s View of Destiny
10) Link Acts 2 – 3 (Fire)
The Sisters’ Fate
11) Link Acts 3 – 4