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In the early hours of July 28th 2010 the noted drummer Chris Dagley tragically lost his life in a road accident coming home from his residency as the house drummer at Ronnie Scott’s. Later the same day I wrote this piece with Chris very much in mind.

He was incredibly talented and hard working, but, more than that, he was one of the most generous musicians I have ever worked with—always willing to try new ideas, always supportive of composers and fellow musicians alike; always with a ready smile on his lips, he was a joy to know. No star shone more brightly. Although this is not a jazz album, I wanted to get something of the sense of Chris and his immaculately tasteful playing, so I invited long-time friend Mike Smith—himself an eminent drummer—to contribute some colouristic cymbal textures, which he did beautifully in one take.

Typically though, Mike wasn’t satisfied, and only after we had allowed him to do a couple more takes and some extra overdubs did he declare the performance satisfactory—so very like Chris in the generosity of his talents and his perfectionism!

The piece is a quartet for cello, tuned percussion and cymbals. It follows a straightforward ternary structure—just as a jazz piece might follow the traditional form ‘head – solos – head’—with the central section taking the form of a dance in which the cello plays polyrhythmic melodic shapes against the constant 5/4 of the percussion.

from notes by Mike Sheppard © 2010


Sheppard: The soul rests eternal
SIGCD232Download only

Track-specific metadata for SIGCD232 track 11

Recording date
9 August 2010
Recording venue
Phoenix Sound, Pinewood Studios, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Mike Sheppard & Tonia Sheppard
Recording engineer
Dick Lewzey
Hyperion usage
  1. Sheppard: The soul rests eternal (SIGCD232)
    Disc 1 Track 11
    Release date: November 2010
    Download only
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