Ace comics artist and painter Chris Reynolds, creator of Mauretania Comics, kindly sent me a copy of trombonist and composer/arranger Mike Hext’s Mr OK, a new album for which Chris has provided the cover.
Mike came to prominence after winning the first ever BBC TV Young Musician Of The Year Competition in 1978 and has since led a versatile career as a trombonist, valve trombonist and composer/arranger, much in demand as a jazz and studio musician, and who also composed the soundtrack to the film Hunters of the Lost Sun back in 2003.
Now, I have to confess I’m not a huge jazz fan, so dropped the CD onto my player with some trepidation. I needn’t have been so worried: it’s a terrific, mellow piece of work, a tribute to the American valve trombonist Bob Brookmeyer. Pleasant on the ear, if you’re a fan of such music it’s well worth tracking down, either from label Mainstem’s web site (www.mainstem.co.uk) or via Mike’s official site, where you can here the title track.
Produced by David Hays and recorded at Red Gable Studios, London, the album features a high quality line up including Martin Shaw on Trumpet/Flugel, Nick Rodwell on Alto Sax, Jim Rattigan on French Horn, Malcolm Edmonstone on Piano, Julian Jackson on Bass and Andrew Bain on Drums.
Chris also directed me to some of his terrific new paintings on his web site Metropoppyfield.com, a collection of stunning art from this talented ‘Stuckist’. Below is just one of them, Ocean Mails, which sort of reminds me of those frontispieces you used to find in old British boys’ annuals. Smashing stuff!
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.