Featuring Jim Mullen,
Dave Lewis & Noel McCalla
Sunday, July 24th, 2022
(Rescheduled from August 8th, 2021)
Formed in 1975 while in New York, by saxophonist Dick Morrissey and guitarist Jim Mullen, and regarded by critics and fans as one of the UK's finest jazz funk bands, Morrissey Mullen attracted packed houses wherever they played - including here twice, back in the day!
While in the Big Apple, a six-week residency at Mikell's attracted the attention of artists such as Boz Scaggs, David Sanborn, Steve Gadd, Steve Ferrone, Richard Tee, George Benson, Ray Barretto, and Michael and Randy Brecker.
During their 16-year collaboration, Dick and Jim were dubbed 'Mr Sax and Captain Axe', due to their hallmark call-and-response style between guitar and saxophone. Jim’s searing guitar lines proved the perfect foil for Dick’s fabulous, muscular and hugely inventive sax soloing, which created a unique sound still talked about to this day by MM aficionados.
Between the mid-70s and 80s, the band cut seven critically acclaimed albums - Up (which included the AWB's rhythm section), Cape Wrath, Badness, Life on the Wire, It's About Time, This Must Be The Place and Happy Hour. They also recorded a 12in instrumental version of the Rose Royce hit, Love Don't Live Here Anymore.
Morrissey Mullen's musicians included the likes of Neil Wilkinson, Joe Hubbard, Trevor Barry, Pete Jacobsen and John Critchinson, while it also acted as a springboard for a generation of young British musicians, including percussionist Chris Fletcher, bassist Henry Thomas, drummer Gary Husband, and vocalists Claire Hamill, Carol Kenyon, Tessa Niles, Linda Taylor and Noel McCalla.
Following Dick's failing health, the band dissolved in 1988 and he sadly passed away in November 2000, aged 60. After a long hiatus, a few years ago Jim and Noel decided to reform the band as a tribute to Dick - hence the Morrissey Mullen Legacy!
Backed by a cracking rhythm section of Mike Gorman, Ernie McKone and Geoff Dunn, expect to hear MM classics like Mercy, Mercy and Soul Eyes, along with some new material, plus covers by Noel of legendary artists such as Al Jarreau, Curtis Mayfield, Johnny Guitar Watson and Stevie Wonder.
Apart from co-founding Morrissey Mullen, Jim has played and recorded with a diverse range of artists, such as Brian Auger's Oblivion Express, Kokomo, Mose Allison, Hamish Stuart, Claire Martin, Jimmy Witherspoon, Georgie Fame, Jimmy Smith and Citrus Sun.
Hailed by Blues & Soul as one of Britain’s best soul singers, after rising to fame as the featured vocalist with Morrissey Mullen, Noel then spent 17 years fronting Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, notching up albums with Genesis star Mike Rutherford and also performing with Icelandic jazz funk outfit Mezzoforte. He's also a member of the Derek Nash Funk Experience and co-fronts a Stevie Wonder tribute with Derek, Some Kinda Wonderful.
Known for his distinctive tenor sound and individual approach, Dave’s playing is soulful and funky, with a natural affinity to the jazz and R&B greats, such as Dexter Gordon, King Curtis and Joe Henderson.
A consummate, passionate performer who is well respected in the fields of jazz, dance, soul and rock, Dave has worked with artists such as John Martyn, Bryan Ferry, Tommy Chase, John Mayall, Lamont Dozier, The Blockheads and Eric Clapton. He also fronts his own jazz funk group, 1UP.
Mike Gorman, Ernie McKone and Geoff Dunn have a collective CV that reads like a Who's Who of the music world, having worked and recorded with Marlena Shaw, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Jimmy Witherspoon, Georgie Fame, Candi Staton, Galliano, Sister Sledge, Lisa Stansfield, Charles McPherson, Incognito, Seal, City Funk Orchestra, Paul Weller, Carleen Anderson, Fred Wesley, Pee Wee Ellis, Martha Reeves, Marlena Shaw, Jean Carne, Michael Henderson, Manfred Mann and Van Morrison.
Jim Mullen (Guitar), Noel McCalla (Vocals), Dave Lewis (Tenor Saxophone), Mike Gorman (Keyboards), Ernie McKone (Bass), Geoff Dunn (Drums).
Sunday, March 4th
"Noel’s remarkably supple voice retains the feel, range and power of old, and he effortlessly shifted from his whispered croon to that so funksome howl."
- Record Collector
"One of Britain's best soul singers."
- Blues & Soul
"Mullen’s palette of raunchy blues, graceful bebop and purring tenderness still glows."
- London Jazz News
"His opening solo a seamless narrative of double-tempo runs and cannily bluesy hooks."
- The Guardian