Smitty: That’s really cool, man, and that says a lot about his confidence in your musicianship too, you know?
KE: Yeah, it was fun. I mean, it was the first time I’d actually done all the score for a film. I mean, I’d written some music and played on film scores and stuff and then written a few pieces here and there, but it was the first time I’d done the entire score myself, so it was interesting.
Smitty: Yeah, now, did your Dad teach you much about the bass or was that something you picked up on your own?
KE: Well, I think the very first thing I ever played on piano was the left hand part. He was showing me left hand parts to some blues….kinda like some boogie-woogie things when I was really young. So that’s probably the first time I ever played kind of a bass line, I guess. I had played piano for a while and then I had a lot of friends who were musicians in high school and they always needed a bass player, so I just kinda picked up the electric bass and started playing it myself with no teacher.
Smitty: (Laughs.) That’s pretty cool. Well, you’ve come a long way, my friend, and it’s fantastic. Talk to me about this band, man. I love this band. Wow! Ben (Cullum), he loves to sing, doesn’t he? I can tell by just listening to him, he loves to sing.
KE: Yeah, he’s a great musician. I met his brother, you know, Jamie Cullum, when I was living in London for a little while a couple of years ago, and so I met Ben through Jamie and became friends and Ben would come down and sit in at a couple of my gigs here and there around London sometimes, but when I was getting some songs together for NOW and starting to compose for it, I just thought it would be a good idea if we got together and would write some stuff, some of the lyrics for the album, and so he was down for doing it, so it just worked out.
Smitty: Yeah, he’s got some serious pipes, my friend.
KE: Yeah, he’s good. He’s a great singer.
Smitty: Yeah, I really love his work with “I Can’t Remember.” That’s a very nice tune.
KE: Oh, thank you, man.
Smitty: Yeah, it’s just got that nice vibe where you can just kick it and have a good time
KE: Yeah, it came out really well. It’s a really good song. You know, he likes to say he’s a singer. He’s actually a really good musician. He’s actually a good bass player himself. He plays in a band, I think, in London. He’s written songs for his brother as well.
Smitty: Incredible. You’ve got some great people around you and that’s a beautiful thing.
KE: Yeah, they’re mostly guys out of London, actually, the guys I’m playing with, and they’re all really good players.
Smitty: Yeah, and when I heard the first track that I was telling you about earlier, what a great song to open this great album, you know? It’s just got that great introductory vibe to it.
KE: Oh, thanks, man.
Smitty: Yeah, I just love those bass lines, man, oh! I mean, if you can’t dance to that, there’s something wrong with ya. (Both laugh.) You know what I mean?
KE: Oh, thank you. (Laughs.)
Smitty: Yeah, man, that is a kickin’ track. And when I heard the last track, “How Ya’ll Doin’?” I said, oh, this must be a Texas song here, you know?
Smitty: But, boy, when you hear it, it reminds you of that retro scene when you used to go into the clubs and there’d be a DJ and every now and then he’d say something like “Let’s do it.”
Smitty: And this kickin’ track’s playing, you know?
KE: Yeah, actually that song originally just started out with a kind of a jam in the studio and we were just kinda doing this thing and we ended up working it into a tune after a bit, so I thought it would be fun to put it on the album.
Smitty: Yeah, and you’ve got a very nice sax player too, man.
KE: Yeah, Dave (O’Higgins), man, he’s great.
KE: They’re all really great players.
Smitty: And with all of you cats, the arrangement fits so well with these players.
KE: Yeah, all the guys on the record, I’ve been playing with them for the last like two or three years almost, so we’ve really developed a group sound pretty well together right now, so it’s come together really well and it’s represented well on the record.
Smitty: Yeah, absolutely. Now, you toured the last part of ’06 in The States and then you were off to Europe and Paris and all of that….
KE: Yeah, well, I live in Paris, actually, so we play quite a bit in Europe anyway and, yeah, we were over here for a little bit and then we were back there for a bit and then we went to Japan for a week and a half and we’ve had most of December off.
Smitty: Right, and it was well deserved down time and it’s great that the whole world is getting to hear these great tracks.
KE: Oh, thank you. I’m happy with the way it’s come out.
Smitty: Very cool. Now, talk about that whole scene in Europe when you’re touring there. What’s that like, the audiences and that kind of thing, because in The States we don’t get to see that scene over there very much.
KE: Yeah, well, the audiences are good. Especially….France has got great jazz audiences and we were pretty busy in the summer over there ‘cause there are a lotta festivals in July and August around Europe and there are some really nice clubs. There’s just a lot of appreciation for jazz or for a lotta different kinds of music, generally.