Nick Ramm [keys, composition]
Ben Davis [cello]
Dave Price [percussion]
Finn Peters [flute]
Oren Marshall [tuba]
The original inspiration for the project came from two trips to the circus in Denmark and Holland where Nick played in the house band accompanying acrobats, magicians, trapeze artists, jugglers, contortionists and of course, clowns. “The clown music was so hip! They would bring along their own parts and we had to sit there and play this crazy music while following their steps,” says Nick, “There’s something about the turn of phrase in clown music which always makes you think again.”
Much of the genius of the Clown Revisited sound is found in the choice of instruments, Ramm plays piano and a little organ, he is joined by former Loose Tubes tuba player Oren Marshall and by flautist Finn Peters of Jhelisa and Bansuri-fame. Ben Davis plays the cello and has previously performed with Julian Joseph and Mike Westbrook. The percussion maestro is Dave Price who has recently been seen with both Gwyneth Herbert and Aqualung.
The band has performed at The Bridewell Theatre, The Crypt, The Progress Bar, The Spitz, The Royal Albert Hall (‘Ignite’ lunchtime series), Hyde Park, The Castle Theatre, Bedford and the Vortex jazz club.
The group’s album features colourful and uplifting compositions by Nick Ramm of circus-inspired themes from a fantastic all-embracing line-up called Clown Revisited. After the opening ‘Samba Mal Au Dos’, an Afro-Peruvian groove, we hear the vaudeville harmonies evoked in ‘Nico’. Also found on the disc is a cha-cha-cha, medieval hip-hop, a quick frenzied clown dance and a slow piece with a never-ending melody. Jack Sims (Ex-Men) reads his poem and adds his voice on a revamped ‘There Are Many Ways’, a work which, performed by the F-IRE big band, opened the 2004 BBC Jazz awards ceremony at Hammersmith Palais (where the F-IRE Collective received the award for ‘Innovation’) and was also played by ‘The Future Sounds Of Jazz’ at the Royal Festival Hall.