on the 31st of November 2011 and recorded in just one day at London’s
Holodeck Studios, and featuring renowned French pianist Mario Cononge,
Cameron Pierre’s Radio Jumbo is a mix of French Antillean rhythms and
influences fused against a backdrop of jazz interpretation.
love Jazz music and it’s tradition for it offers me the unique
opportunity of self expression unmatched by any other art form,” says
the Dominica-reared Pierre, who had only one day of rehearsal with the
musicians prior to recording the live album. Radio Jumbo consists of
ten tracks, two of which see vocal contributions by Dominicans Michele
Henderson and Dave Joseph.
hugely popular in the French West Indies, masterfully covers Stevie
Wonder’s “Another Star”, while Joseph gives a stirring narration on the
track “Traditional.” Pierre debuts his banjo playing skills on
“Traditional” as well as the title track “Radio Jumbo.” A staple of the
Jing Ping bands he listened to as a child; Pierre says he always dreamt
of incorporating the traditional African instrument into his music.
album was named after a radio station from his teenage days in Dominica
called Radio Jumbo and reflects the Creole heritage of both Pierre and
Canonge (who hails from Martinique). Sharing a love for sounds such as
zouk, cadence, kompa, and beguine; and influenced by bands such as Tabou
Combo, Magnum Band, Malavoi (of which Canonge was a member) Grammaks,
Exile One and others; wanting to work together was easy. Pierre first
saw Caononge perform at a party in Paris in 1994 and found his way to
the band’s rehearsal the following day. It took 16 years, though, for
the two to actually get together to record any music.
the recording of Radio Jumbo, Canonge was instrumental in getting
Pierre’s ideas across to the musicians (including a string quartet) who
were not familiar with some of the French-influenced rhythms. Still,
they all shared a Caribbean sensibility; drummer Wesley Joseph was of
St. Lucian descent, and the bass player Michael Bailey and percussionist
Donald Gordon had in common their Jamaican heritage.
is hopeful that a European and Caribbean tour with Canonge can take
place next year. In the meantime he plays the UK jazz circuit with his
own Cameron Pierre Band, and tours with Courtney Pine, who produced the
Radio Jumbo is available online via HMV, Amazon, iTunes and Pierre’s Official Website under the Destin-e Records label.
producer, arranger, teacher; Cameron Pierre is a respected staple on
the UK Jazz scene. The guitarist was born in London and raised on the
Caribbean island of Dominica.