Release Date: Nov 12, 2012
Record label: Slowfoot
Tom Skinner is either a lot smarter or a lot more demented than the average session drummer. Having worked with the likes of Finn Peters, Matthew Herbert and the Owiny Sigoma Band - the European/African fusion group that you can actually listen to - he’s done a lot more than just play tom-tom beats, absorbing ideas from his assignments and shaping them into this LP. Hello Skinny is a collage of bass, banjo, guitars and electronica, switching between jazzy IDM sketches and folk music.
An unforced alliance of player and beatmaker, with measured, apt, concise statements. Kevin Le Gendre 2012 Tom Skinner, whose relatively slight build tallies with the title of this work, is no lightweight on the London jazz scene. His voluminous CV, spanning a good 15 years, features stints in the bands of Denys Baptiste, Cleveland Watkiss and Alexander Hawkins among others.
Emerging from a London jazz scene long intertwined with the changing styles of the city's club and bass cultures, drummer / composer Tom Skinner is already at the centre of a complex web of projects and collaborations. Proving that a decent and imaginative sticksman will never be short of work, his most high-profile associate is probably the near-ubiquitous Matthew Herbert, but Skinner is also a member of the increasingly-acclaimed trio Zed-U, led by fast-rising horn player Shabaka Hutchings, and Hutchings and Skinner also play in Sons of Kemet, where Skinner doubles up with Polar Bear drummer Seb Roachford. Go back a few years, and you'd have found Skinner lurking in conceptual avant-garde soul troupe Elmore Judd, who eventually evolved into the Owiny-Sigoma Band after a trip to Nairobi to collaborate with local musicians Joseph Nyamungu and Charles Owoko.