Musically, The Jeb Loy Nichols Special twists the radio dial gracefully through the very best in Southern soul, reggae, folk and blues. Recorded in an analogue studio in Dollis Hill with producer Benedic Lamdin and Nostalgia 77, a band of jazz musicians, the goal was to make a record that captured the rawness of the performance on the day.
“I wanted the record to have a freshness, a spontaneity. Never more than two takes. I didn’t want to be pragmatic like I’ve been on past records. I wanted the record to be twelve tracks that just are what they are. What I’m interested in is purely the sounds we made in the studio on that day. When you listen to Archie Shepp or you listen to Coltrane, you never think, “What was Coltrane’s whole life like? What would he have blogged?” Its the sounds he made on the day he hit the studio. Living within that exact moment. That’s what I wanted this record to be – not a trawl through my life for six months.”
The Jeb Loy Nichols Special is Jeb’s ninth solo album, his first release on a major label since Lover’s Knot on Capitol in 1997. Of that period, he says now, “I was less than the maximum. I had a chance and didn’t, for a number of reasons, rise to it.” In the years since then, he has made records with the likes of Adrian Sherwood, Dan Penn and Dennis Bovell. The original vinyl release of …Special was conceived as a collaboration with his friend, the respected illustrator Rob Ryan, who provided cover artwork for the album.
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