1999 - Onion Records - Jazz FM/Telstar Rcds Ltd.

Say hello to Teddy 01011

Say Hello to Teddy


A.M -
Dot Dobly -
The Office -
Noodlin' with Mr. Big
Oxo Cubed -
Bird meets Norm -
Warm bed, Wet pillow (fast) -
Argy Bargy -
Song for my Father -
Warm bed, Wet pillow (slow)
Say Hello to Teddy -

Sean Chenery - Tour manager...

"Picture the scene if you will... Vancouver International airport police station, a row of three jail cells, one empty, one occupied by someone who looks likes he might be Charles Manson's younger brother and the last houseing three of the most unlikely looking international terrorists ever to have sampled the hospitality of the Canadian police force.
  Terrorists they are not for it is only by some unfortunate misunderstanding with British Columbia Air that myself, William 'Ginge' South and John 'Winky' Wallace are there in the first place. It's July 1995 and Heavy Shift are in the middle of their first world tour and this is just one of many adventures, surreal episodes, Bucowski-esque escapades - call them what you will - that I have had the pleasure of being involved in.
  It all started on Boxing day 1988. I was helping Ginge n' Winky (AKA Heavy Shift), mix their first music foray into the rincey tincey world of the music business, a cover of that 'ol classic Summertime.
  After a mild ripple of acknowledgement they went on the release Obey the Rules of the Night which was soon followed by that underground cult summer classic Come Alive in 1990.
  As well as stretching their musical muscle in the studio, the London bar and club circuit was reverberating and soon, with confidence growing, the duo ventured into the studio to record their first album Unchain your Mind which saw wide critical acclaim both here in the UK and in the US. This was backed up by a UK, European and finally a world tour which saw them, with accompaniment in the form of Julian Fenton (drums), Earl Robinson (bass) and Cliff Charles (guitar) - three men whose CVs read like an encyclopedia of pop music that scans the 70s and 90s - take on Hong Kong, Japan, Australia, Canada and America.
  They returned to old blighty and dived straight back into the studio to record their second album The Last Picture Show, a continuation of the legacy that was set up by the first. At the same time firmly establishing themselves as a live tour de force in and around London.

Jazz FM...

"Following the commercially successful and critically acclaimed albums 'Unchain your Mind' and 'The Last Picture Show' Heavy Shift release their magnificent third opus, 'Say Hello to Teddy'.
  Having spent the late eighties and early nineties pioneering the breakbeat jazz revolution, Heavy Shift first came to real prominence with the release of 'Unchain your Mind' in 1994. A big hit globally, it spawned the jazz groove classic '90 in the Shade' and the band toured the world to much acclaim as the abum topped jazz charts everywhere, including the Billboard jazz charts in America.
  'Unchain', along with its equally celebrated follow up 'Last Picture Show' showed the Shift boys (John Wallace - saxophones, William South - keys) surfing the new breakbeat movement with some fantastically hooky yet deep jazz tinged compositions. The mood was orchestral and Shift predated the Air/Jimi Tenor led loungecore movement by several years in their use of meticulously recorded vintage keyboards - Vox, Farfisa and Hammond organs, clavinets and rhodes, etc, and a range of beautiful antique saxophones all carefully logged and dated on the album sleeve.
  The second album found Shift maintaining its core sound while embellishing it with big vocals and samples from films and children's choirs. The beat got fatter too, with elements of drum n'bass and trip hop.
  And so the third album and time to ring the changes. Shift had seen many bands follow in their footsteps, having success with what came to be known as 'smooth jazz' - sax over beats with some funky keys in between, usually a watered down version of the sound Shift had more or less patented.
  So John and Will decided the only way to go was.. acoustic! The boys had always enjoyed playing the bars as a piano/sax duo and having put this aspect of their relationship to one side for a while started to gig again in this format. Going back to their roots enabled the boys to find out how much they got from playing 'real' instruments and soon the new blueprint was complete. With long time collaborators Earl Robinson (bass), Cliff Charles (guitar) and Julian Fenton (drums) now becoming more committed and full time on the project and after over a year of gigging around London a new sound emerged.
  Taking a snatch of Ernest Ranglin's fluid licks and relaxed vibes, a mixture of rhythms from bluesy shuffles to hip-hop funk to even dub and latin and keeping the rhythm (for the first time) completely live, Shift have gone back to their roots taking their cue from the great 60s jazz groove instrumentals, the world of TV themes and the pure funk of bands like WAR and electric are Eddie Harris
  But hey, these are just convenient pointers. The tunes are just as unique as ever and those already samiliar with the world of Shift will smile knowingly as they devour the sumptuous ear candy that is the new album."

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