Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Tony Grey: Unknown Angels (2010)

Sometimes it takes a tragedy to realize one’s true potential, and likely nobody knows it more than bassist Tony Grey, whose life took a turn at the age of 18 after a horrific car accident left him with a broken back. During his recovery, his father bought him a bass guitar and Grey really took to it, especially with the guidance of his guitar hero uncle, John McLaughlin.
Since that fateful accident, Grey has led a successful career with his bass. After graduating from Berklee with high honors, he has played with a who’s who of the jazz scene, including McLaughlin, Herbie Hancock, and Wayne Shorter. He is also in Japanese piano virtuoso Hiromi’s band, but aside from being a sought after sideman, Grey has a healthy solo career where he can explore his own compositions. His latest release, Unknown Angels, is his third album as a leader, following 2008’s Chasing Shadows.
Unknown Angels is an intimate and personal record for the bassist from Newcastle, England.
“Before I started writing for this record I had a complete concept of a story I wanted to tell,” Grey says. “It’s like a journal of what’s going on in my life, from the musicians I chose to the tracks I wrote. It’s all one movement.”
The title track itself recalls Grey’s accident, and the incredible experience surrounding the ordeal.
“We have angels watching us through the different paths we encounter through our lives and maybe we are not aware of them watching out for us,” he explains. “When I had my car accident I ended up lying in a farmer’s field flat on my back. A man and a child came to help us. The man went to help the driver and the young boy sat next to me on the grass. He didn’t speak a word to me; he just sat there very calmly and held my hand until the ambulance arrived. He was so young and brave, it must have been a very scary situation for him, but his presence calmed me.”
Grey adds his personality into his compositions to reach out to people, saying he is more interested in making music that moves others, not just technically impressive tunes.
“I want the music to take the listener on a journey if they close their eyes, and to feel connected to my world. I hope it can help them reflect on their life too.”
Tony Grey was born in Newcastle, England in 1975 where music was just another family member.
At the age of 18 Tony broke his back in a horrific car accident. It was during his recovery he started playing the bass and whilst under the watchful eye of legendary guitarist John McLaughlin, Tony successfully auditioned for a scholarship to the world-renowned Berklee College Of Music in Boston
Whilst at Berklee, Tony took time out to join the newly formed pop band 'Bliss' The group had signed a major record deal with the legendary record producer Terry Ellis who in the past discovered Billy Idol, Jethro Tull, Blondie, Huey Lewis & The News, Pat Benitar to name a few. Tony spent the next 18 months touring with the group throughout Asia. After appering on several TV shows in Aisa, recording three hit singles, filming music video's which were featured on MTV, and achieving a top ten CD, Tony left the group in order to return to the USA to complete his studies at Berklee. During his time at Breklee, Tony studied with some of the greatist teachers - Kenwood Dennard, Larry Watson, Bruce Gertz and Rich Appleman. During his remaining 4 semesters Tony won the prestigious Outstanding Performer Award!
Since graduating, Tony has led many clinics & master classes at Berklee and has appeared in many of the college’s showcase events including a tribute concert to U.S. Pop Legends Steely Dan hosted by the president of Berklee and attended by Donald Fagen and Walter Becker of Steely Dan.
Tony graduated from Berklee with high honours in May 2001. He has gone on to perform with some of the world’s greatest musicians - such as: John McLaughlin, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Gavin DeGraw, Dennis Chambers, Zakier Hussain, Gary Husband, Brian Blade, Mike Stern, Wayne Krantz, Steve Lukather (Toto) Branford Marsalis, Hiromi, Toby Lightman, Simon Philips (Toto), Dave Holland, Kenwood Dennard (Sting, Miles Davis), Russell Ferante (The Yellow Jackets), David Fiuczynski (Screaming Headless Torsos, Meshell NdegeOcello), Larry Watson, Ava Rovatti, Jetro Da Silva (Whitney Houston, Patti Austin), David Garfield, Frank McComb, David Nichtern, Gene Lake (David Sanborn), Dave DiCenso, Chris Dave, Oliver Rockberger, Falguni, Deantoni Parks, Lionel Loueke (Wayne Shorter, Charlie Haden).
In 2004, Tony had the great honour of performing at New York’s Lincoln Centre with David Nichtern’s band ‘Drala’ for His Holiness the Dali Lama!
Tony has released two albums, '...moving', 'Chasing Shadows' and is about to release a new album, 'Unknown Angels' in September 2010.
01. Awake and Dreaming (Grey) 07:03
02. Why Do People Hurt Each Other (Grey) 04:50
03. Unknown Angels (Grey) 05:11
04. Say What You Mean (Grey) 07:47
05. No More Struggle (Grey) 04:54
06. Out of Something (Grey) 08:31
07. Some Are Saved, Some Are Lost (Grey) 04:32
08. Living Underground (Grey) 08:40
09. Song from Above (Grey) 04:13
Unknown Angels
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