A wild card short-listed contender for the 1995 Mercury Music Prize, Britain’s foremost trumpet star Guy Barker’s classy debut album heralded the start of an amazing year for Ralph.
Ralph Salmins says:
“We called it Into The Red! Guy was the first Brit to sign with the Verve label. It came at a great time for me. I’d just been with Everything But The Girl and they were having their big hit, Missing. I’d also just started with Van Morrison. I remember the Mercury Prize gig at The Savoy and Van came and played with us.”
“There’s a New Orleans groove track called Oh Mr Rex - a tribute to Rex Stewart, Duke Ellington’s cornettist. I love New Orleans things and Guy likes writing them for me to play. I listen to The Meters, but Herlin Riley with Wynton Marsalis is my favourite, absolutely fantastic.”
“Guy’s music is sort of adventurous modern jazz. I’m back in his band now. We’ve just done The Amadeus Project (2008), like a jazz version of (Mozart’s) ‘The Magic Flute’ – fun, wacky, modern big band.”