Mike Collins | Jim Mullen

Jim Mullen is one of the finest jazz guitarists in the UK with an International reputation that keeps his diary full whenever top US jazz stars ranging from Gene Harris to Jimmy Smith, Mose Allison and Terry Callier are touring in the UK and Europe. Jim started out in the late 60’s and early 70’s, playing and recording with rock bands including Pete Brown’s Piblokto, Brian Auger’s Oblivion Express, Vinegar Joe and Robert Palmer. In the latter half of the 70’s Jim joined ‘white’ soul band Kokomo then toured and recorded in the US with the Average White Band at the height of the band’s success, together with sax player Dick Morrissey. In 1977, Jim teamed up with Dick to form Morrissey Mullen which became the leading UK jazz-funk band throughout the next decade. From around 1987 onwards, Jim focussed much more closely on jazz and has since recorded albums with Jimmy Witherspoon, Georgie Fame, Hamish Stewart and others – and several with Claire Martin. Jim has released several albums under his own name with piano, bass and drums, or with Hammond organ, drums and sax, and two with Henry Lowther.

Mike Collins is a record producer, recording engineer, and versatile studio musician who started his recording career in 1981, co-producing and co-writing a Top 40 hit, “Ride The Love Train”, for the leading Brit-Funk band at that time, ‘Light of the World’. Mike’s 1983 recording, “Rude Movements” by ‘Sun Palace’, became an influential ‘cult’ hit among DJs in London, Paris, New York, Tokyo and many other countries – and is still creating interest today! Since then, Mike has worked with Internationally-successful bands, artists, songwriters, composers and producers including Bjork, David Arnold, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Richard Horowitz, Sussan Deyhim, Eurythmics, The Shamen, The Style Council, The Chimes, Patsy Kensit, Junior Reid, Zeke Manyika, Cameo, Shannon, Joyce Sims, Kurtis Blow, Gwen Guthrie, Barry Manilow, Mort Shuman, Scott English, Gus Dudgeon, Mitch Easter, Phil Harding and many others. Mike is also active as a songwriter with a number of new songs currently under development with various co-writers.

A series of collaborations between Mike and Jim over the past decade are finally able to ‘see daylight’ courtesy of rude note records.

Albums

Rude Note Album RNA 001 – Jim Mullen  – “Thumbnail Sketches”

Cover painting by Norma Ricketts, cover layout by Aurora Colson…

“Thumbnail Sketches” is the first and only album of solo jazz guitar pieces by Jim Mullen. The tunes covered range from pop classics such as “Skylark” and “Sweet Lorraine” to jazz standards such as Horace Silver’s “Sister Sadie” and Miles Davis’s “Blue In Green”. There are more recent tunes such as “Cinema Paradiso”, Disney songs such as “When You Wish Upon a Star”, and even some traditional music such as “Danny Boy”.

Many of the tunes are less than 2 minutes long, such as “Lucky To Be Me” which comes in at 1 minute 25 seconds. Hence the title “Thumbnail Sketches” which refers to the way these recordings represent quick sketches of the tunes rather than the long workouts with rambling improvisations that you often get from jazz players.

Click here to buy this album on iTunes.

RNA 002 – Mike Collins | Jim Mullen  – “Blues, Jazz & Beyond”

Cover pic for Mike Collins | Jim Mullen album "Blues, Jazz & Beyond"

Cover photo and layout created by Aurora Colson…

What do two guitarists play when they get together for the first time? The most popular answer has to be ‘the blues’, so that’s exactly what Mike and Jim started out with. As they warmed up, the music started to get jazzier, then strayed even further out… becoming increasingly challenging for any drummer or bass player to follow… then Blair Cunningham ‘stepped up to the plate’ with some of the funkiest, totally rockin’ drumming you could ever wish for, while John McKenzie laid down basslines to suit. Guesting on double bass, Karl Rasheed-Abel appears on “Demon Dance” – the most ‘beyond’ track on the album… although the quirky version of “Summertime”, especially with its ‘mysterioso’ harp swirls, is a close contender…

Click here to buy this on iTunes.

Track List

Click on any highlighted tunes to listen on Soundcloud:

1. Elastic Blues (Mike Collins, Jim Mullen, Blair Cunningham, John McKenzie)

2. Blues for BB (Mike Collins, Jim Mullen, Blair Cunningham, John McKenzie)

3. Hear My Soul Speak (Mike Collins, Jim Mullen, Blair Cunningham, John McKenzie)

4. Blues for Jacko (Mike Collins, Jim Mullen, Blair Cunningham, John McKenzie)

5. She Makes Me Wait (Mike Collins, Jim Mullen, Blair Cunningham, John McKenzie)

6. Summertime (George Gershwin)

7. Goodbye Pork Pie Hat (Charlie Mingus)

8. You’re My Thrill (Jay Gorney)

9. Stella By Starlight (Victor Young)

10. All Blues (Miles Davis)

11. Moanin’ (Bobby Timmons)

RNA 003 – Mike Collins | Jim Mullen  – “Pop, Rock & Gospel”

Cover pic for Mike Collins | Jim Mullen “Pop, Rock & Gospel”

Cover photo and layout created by Aurora Colson…

Back in the 60’s, most aspiring guitar players wanted to play pop tunes like “Apache” and “Man of Mystery” although if you were a true ‘rocker’ you would probably prefer “Jailhouse Rock”! Gospel music was always around as well – just about everybody played “We Shall Not Be Moved”, “Swanee River” and the like. No exceptions to this rule, Mike and Jim were both influenced by all these tunes…

Click here to buy this on iTunes.

Track List

1. Man of Mystery (Michael Carr)

2. Apache (Jerry Lordan)

3. Jailhouse Rock (Jerry Leiber/Mike Stoller)

4. Swanee River (Composed by Stephen Foster, Arranged by Jim Mullen, Mike Collins, John McKenzie)

5. What A Friend We Have In Jesus (Lyrics by Joseph Scriven/Composed by Charles Converse, Arr. by Jim Mullen, Mike Collins, Blair Cunningham, John McKenzie)

6. Mardy Brown (Jim Mullen/Mike Collins/Blair Cunningham/Winston Blissett)

7. We Shall Not Be Moved (Trad. Arr. by Jim Mullen/Mike Collins/Blair Cunningham/Winston Blissett)

8. John Brown’s Body (Trad. Arr. by Jim Mullen/Mike Collins/Blair Cunningham/Winston Blissett)

9. This Is The Love (Jim Mullen/Mike Collins/Winston Blissett)

10. Old Man River (Composed by Jerome Kern)

11. Georgia On My Mind (Composed by Hoagy Carmichael)

12. Blue Moon (Composed by Richard Rogers)

13. Blue Monk (Thelonius Monk)

14. The Sound of Music (Composed by Richard Rogers)

15. When I Fall In Love (Composed by Victor Young)

RNA 004 – Mike Collins | Jim Mullen  – “Tunes that we know…”

Cover pic for Mike Collins | Jim Mullen album "Tunes that we know..."

Cover photo and layout created by Aurora Colson…

When musicians want to develop their repertoire together, the easiest way ‘in’ is to explore tunes that they know and love… This album starts out with a musical challenge to “Name That Tune”! Jim re-arranged this so well that most people cannot guess it, although it sounds kind of familiar… As for the rest, we chose a mix of show tunes, folk and traditional songs, and themes that were all around us on the radio, TV and at the cinema throughout our lives.

This album is not available yet.

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