Martin Klute - Biography:

Martin Klute has been playing jazz bass for over 20 years.

He came to the instrument from an eclectic musical background, having learned the piano as a child, and sung in the church choir. His family background was in church music and light opera, and he spent his early years listening to all the great show tunes on the BBC light programme. Many of these tunes have stayed with him since.

Bass frequencies started to grab his attention whilst in the choir, when he also played the church organ for a while, which has some extraordinarily deep and powerful bass sounds on the pedals. In his teenage years his attention shifted to playing in rock bands at school, playing the bass guitar. His interest in rock bands and pop music persisted, and in his early 20s spent some years touring with a glam-rock band called 'The Classics', dying his hair strange colours and wearing luminous trousers. After this followed a very short stint with 'The Damned', which was slightly less than inspirational.

In his mid 20s he played a few notes on a double bass, and was instantly at home. He picked up gigs quickly from attending the various jam sessions around at the time, most famously the old '606' club when it used to be in a scuzzy basement in the Kings Road, Chelsea. He used to sit in regularly with Alan Barnes at the Prince of Wales in Highgate, who was playing with Tommy Chase at the time, and shortly after was invited to join Chase's band with Mark Edwards and Kevin Flanagan.

Tommy Chase could do no wrong at the time, packing venues all over London, and touring the university and club circuit round the country, as well making some appearances in Holland and Italy. The band made an album 'Groove Merchant' on Stiff records, produced by Trevor Horn, and appeared on 'Saturday Live' with Ben Elton.

After leaving Chase's band, Martin Klute recorded a trio album 'Swing' with Mark Edwards and Paul Cavaciuti, which was very well received by the press, and got some airplay on Jazz FM and at Ronnie Scotts. He ran his own quintet 'The Klute Suit' for several years, featuring at various times Mark Edwards and Dave Gordon on piano, Dave Trigwell on drums, and Jerry Underwood and Dave Keech on the front line. He also played a lot of circuit gigs with Jean Toussaint, Julian Joseph, Claire Martin, Garath Williams, Nick Weldon, Clifford Jarvis, Ray Gelato, and Brian Abrahams. He did some work with Leee John of Imagination, playing jazz, and some of the band's original hits, and he also worked on an ambient jazz project with Duncan Millar, called 'Voltage' which is featured on this web site.

Most recently he has been playing with Jonathan Gee, John Watson, Winston Clifford and Hamish Birchall. He still has an ear for pop music, and likes the funkier end of mainstream jazz. Recent gigs have included the house band at the Langham Hotel, some trio gigs at the Kings Head in Upper Street, Islington, as well as continuing to play at private functions.

 

 

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