- 26 Jan 23
An EP is due to drop this Spring. The track is the introduction to the upcoming record.
Tomorrow, Ben Castle and the Blah Street Band officially release ‘Cut Loose – A Lesson in Jazz’, which features the distinctive voice of Matt Berry of the IT Crowd. Today, Hot Press premieres the band's new track. Posing as a definitive explanation of what jazz actually is, the single is the band’s introduction to their upcoming EP, An EP, due Spring 2023.
Featuring silent movie narrated captions, the video is well and truly a throwback production with a combination of 1920’s, 80’s and 90’s attire in an old-timey type video. The quirky, off-beat jazz explanation is narrated by the IT Crowd’s Matt Berry for a charming definition of jazz.
An EP is a collection of well-known jazz standards which includes the likes of an electronic adventure through 'The Entertainer', featuring the tapdancing and trumpet of Ben’s dad- UK entertainer Roy Castle, who would have celebrated his 90th birthday in August 2022. Set for release on Ben Castle’s Major Record Label, the EP also includes a skewed rock take on 'Take Five' and a Quentin Tarantino-inspired rendition of 'Let’s Face the Music and Dance', with Brit Award nominee, Beth Rowley.
The Blah Street Band is made up of long time friends and collaborators, Mark Edwards, Tim Harries, Troy Miller, Richie Stevens, Bryan Spring and Kevin Jamieson, among many others.
Ben Castle is an award-winning musician, composer, arranger, songwriter and producer. Over his career, Castle has worked with a multitude of artist over a vast array of genres which include Gregory Porter, Radiohead, Blur, Amy Winehouse, Quincy Jones, Villagers, Matthew Herbert, Little Simz, Stan Tracey, Jamie Cullum, Elton John, Paloma Faith, George Michael, Matthew E White, Grace Jones, Lianne La Havas, Sting, Marlena Shaw and Jools Holland. He has also featured on numerous film and TV scores for top composers, including John Williams, Hans Zimmer, David Arnold, James Newton Howard, Stephen Sondheim, Gabriel Yared, and David Brent among many others. Currently, the jazz musician features heavily on the soundtracks for the Netflix hit series Sex Education, BBC’s Staged’ & ‘Motherland and Channel 4’s Toast of London.
Having relocated from London to Dublin in 2015, Ben is currently being schooled in the Irish language by his three-year-old daughter. Since his move, the 49-year-old has worked with some of Ireland's most prominent figures in music, including Villagers, Sinead O’Connor, Imelda May, Neil Hannon, David Kitt, The Immediate, Jerry Fish, Bronagh Gallagher, The Blizzards, The RTÉ Concert Orchestra and The National Symphony Orchestra, as well as continuing his long association with Duke Special. Having worked as a close collaborator on projects with This Is Pop Baby and Una Mullaly, the EP he produced for BBC NI award winning singer, Katharine Timoney received a lot of positive attention. The record’s single ‘Don’t Fret’ was A-listed on Jazz FM for about a month, and is currently working on her follow-up EP.
Most recently, the musician scored the Grammy Nominated, Jazz Fest: A New Orleans Story with Paul Pilot for Sony Pictures. He was a contributor of music to Aoife Crehan’s 2019 film The Last Right as well as to the BBC series Everything I Know About Love. Ben was also one of the musicians that jumped out of the pews in the wedding scene of holiday classic, Love Actually.
Castle’s own ‘The Heckler', from his record Blah Street was awarded first prize in the International Songwriting Competition jazz category, judged by Pat Metheny.
Stream ‘Cut Loose – A Lesson in Jazz’ below.