Out of the Blue, Liverpool’s new jazz orchestra, has found a way to beat the ban on public performances, releasing a brand new recording of the classic Blue Skies in support of the Save Our Venues campaign and beating the lockdown blues everywhere.
The big band classic, recorded in multiple parts on mobile phones from the musicians’ own homes using Dolby: On with the assistance of city-based label Jacaranda Records and mixed remotely by the label’s in-house studio team, features an evocative vocal from NHS physio Joan Fearon and – in addition to raising funds for the Save Our Venues campaign – offers a hopeful ray of light for everyone in the wake of the global Covid-19 pandemic.
Becky Bell, Out of the Blue’s Musical Director said: “No independent venues means no music and no musicians. That would be a disaster anywhere at any time, but particularly now, and especially in Liverpool – a city where artists and melodies are an intrinsic part of the DNA.
“That’s why we were determined to do something in support of the Music Venues Trust’s campaign to keep small venues across the city and beyond open. Playing a benefit concert would have been the obvious solution, but with that currently being impossible, we instead looked for a way to both support the initiative and offer a little something for everyone out there who’s desperately looking for a little light at the end of the tunnel.
“We had our inaugural gig fixed up at the legendary Jacaranda club but when the virus hit, I approached Jacaranda Records’ Capomaestro Ray Mia to see if the label could help with recording, mixing, and producing a video under pretty challenging circumstances and they pitched in without hesitation.”
Out of the Blue (OOtb) is a 20 piece jazz orchestra featuring some of Merseyside’s best players, with a repertoire of jazz and blues classics including Jo Zawinul, Glenn Miller, Duke Ellington, Count Basie and a raft of big band standards. Based in the Wirral, OOtB features a wide range of age groups from brilliant young musicians to highly experienced old fossils.
Jacaranda Records Capomaestro Ray Mia said: “We are 100% behind this. Who doesn’t like a Big Band? This is an incredibly tough time for the music community, but our mission to support artists and the wider music industry in Liverpool remains unchanged and actually has become more focused and more vocal. We run an iconic venue, and we’re thinking outside of the box in preparation for when we all get unshackled (safely) from the lockdown. We wanted to give OOtb a home at The Jacaranda, we will provide a home for jazz and blues fans… just you wait and see… plus we wanted to add our spin on the lockdown videos being curated – and we wanted to give a shout out to all the blues and jazz fans out there with a classic track
“Part of our mission is to work with small independent venues across the country and for many, the lockdown threatens to be a challenge too far. These people are not competitors – they’re brothers in arms, and if there’s anything we can do to help support them through these tough times then we will do it without hesitation.
“We know we’re all facing tough times right now, and we know the priority is to focus on the frontline and key workers, we like any other industry are having to adjust and adapt, but one thing is for sure – we will be the heart and soul of the social recovery that will happen… when we can all go out and enjoy the company of friends and punters at a blues and jazz gig in the cellar of The Jacaranda – or any live music performance at any small venue, this will be the bell-weather moment that signals a return to some form of normalcy… or indeed the new normal, like the song says – ‘Blue days all of them gone, nothin’ but blue skies from now on”.