Guest Playlist: Jamie Leeming

Photo By Brynley Davies

This week we have a guest playlist from fast-rising jazz guitarist Jamie Leeming. The young artist is preparing to release his impressive debut album, ‘Resynthesis’, following his EP ‘Heartsong’ and his collaborative album ‘Flow’ with pianist Maria Chiara Argirò.

Next month, Leeming will unveil ‘Resynthesis‘ via Alfa Mist’s Sekito imprint. While taking on the role of producer, the guitarist hits his stride artistically, exploring fresh sonic realms.

Several close friends and regular collaborators, including Hugo Piper (guitar), Quinn Oulton and Nathaniel Facey (sax), as well as Laura Groves (vocals), helped to create the album.

We are super happy to have him curate a playlist for the site, which features music that influenced the album from the likes of Sam Wilkes, Thundercat, Jeff Parker, Vangelis, Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis, Q-Tip and more.

Let’s hand it over to Jamie, who has put together a track by track guide for us below!

“Run” – I love the vibe and production on this live album, and Sam Gendel’s sax solo on this is incredible 

“Tell Me A Bedtime Story” – this track is such a classic, there are so many elements of the writing and harmony that have influenced me…Herbie is the GOAT!

“The Girl Who Fell From The Sky” – I have always been into movie soundtracks, and I’m a huge fan of all of Joe Hisaishi’s work with Studio Ghibli (this is from the score to “Laputa: Castle In The Sky”). I love how the blend of orchestral instruments and synths reflects the collisions of different worlds in the films, the concept of the movie is tied into the orchestration of the music

“Resting Warrior” – seeing this band live is so inspirational, the way they extend sections and transition between songs seems telepathic….allowing sections for improvising as a group is something I’ve been building into the live set more and more – it’s a challenge but I find it can lead to some really interesting places

“Gnarciss” – This album is a masterclass in writing for guitar, and the mix and sound has really influenced my approach to production. In terms of jazz-based guitarists building on tradition and pushing the music forwards, I think Jeff Parker is someone who’s really leading the way

“Midwestern Nights Dream” – I had wanted to make some trio-based music for a while, and for me this album is one of the greatest jazz guitar trio records ever – each musician brings so much character and identity to the table. Jaco Pastorius’s playing on this record inspired me to write for the bass as a melodic instrument and bring it to the foreground more.

“Journey To Love” – Stanley Clarke is one of the all-time great bassists, and I love the vocals on this track. Jeff Beck on guitar too!

“Wait For Me” – the Blade Runner score is another classic, the retro-futuristic sound world was a huge inspiration for me when writing “Resynthesis”, especially on tracks like “Plateau Trance” and “Still Connected”

“The Last Chieftain (for Big Chiefs Donald Harrison Sr. & Jr.)” – I was listening to Christian Scott’s live album “Axiom” a lot when writing this album. The band is on fire, particularly Corey Fonville on drums (who also plays with Butcher Brown) and Elena Pinderhughes on flute. I love the sense of dialogue and communication between the band, which is something I really tried to bring to the studio for a few of the album cuts like “Zen Garden” and “Meditations”.

“ManWomanBoogie” – Q-Tip is one of my all-time favourites, and this album “The Renaissance” was one of the first things of his I ever heard. I find the production and drum sounds on this really inspiring, there’s so much character and life in them

“No Doubt” – Braxton Cook’s writing is incredible, finding the balance between simplicity and complexity is something I find very interesting. Andrew Renfroe tears it up on the guitar!

Miles Runs The Voodoo Down” – this was my first ever jazz album, and I still come back to it regularly to this day. It’s such a dense recording, every time I listen I hear something new. For me, it’s a masterpiece in abstraction

“For Love (I Come Your Friend”) – Thundercat, enough said! I love the contrast between the dreamy sounds of the opening and the pace of the drums at the end of the track

“Real Life” – Louis Cole has a unique approach both as a musician and as a producer, which I find inspiring. His drumming is so vibrant, he embodies the essence of groove for me. Brad Mehldau is one of my favourite pianists ever, and it’s so great to hear him in this context  

“Kaneda” – from the soundtrack to the film “Akira”. The sonic world of “Akira” really influenced me as a producer, particularly when working on “Procession”, which is a huge soundscape built entirely with guitar

“Timeless Part 2” – Dave Okumu is one of my favourite guitarists and producers around right now. He has such a distinctive sound, and his playing is a perfect balance between control/discipline and freedom/intuition. This is a Ralph Towner cover, from an incredible live solo acoustic guitar album on ECM records called “Solo Concert”

“Lift Off” – I love this album, especially the tracks that are stripped back to guitar trio. Everyone is on fire here – Tom’s playing is so unique and individual, I hear his influence in a lot of younger guitar players

“Laura” – Erroll Garner was a true visionary, so far ahead of his time. The opening chords alone sound like they come from the future! 

Pre-order ‘Resynthesis’ here.

CF Smith

Permeating your ears with good music.

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