Oli Morris has warranted the attention of classic acts such as Blues Orchestra and Jool’s Holland’s Rhythm only with his debutant track. As RGM puts it, we’re not very surprised.
Morris makes some activity in his discography with his track Bimal. The track has an interesting story behind its inspiration — Bimal is inspired by Morris’ trip to Goa in India, where he was acquainted with a Naad teacher of the same name. In amazement of their conversation, the track features the teacher’s name in an almost Beatlesque inspiration. The number features multi-varied instrumentation, with Oli Morris on the saxophone in collaboration with the vocals of Chrissy Huntley. It opens up with an ambient lo-fi soundscape of saxophone, guitar and piano flowing over a recorded audio clip of Bimal himself speaking. Subsequently, Huntley’s vocals appear in the track in cohesion with mellow percussive elements which continue throughout the track. In a way, the arrangement features various instrumentation getting married to this dichotomy, including Morris’ characteristically neo-soul/jazz saxophone which really exposes us to the attractive swelter of groovy jazz music. The third-minute witnesses sonic ascendance through Morris’ saxophone solo in tandem with Andee Lieu on drums; the duo rounds off the track with a high-spirited histrionic outro where Morris’ saxophone shines as absolute.
We had the pleasure of speaking to Morris himself. Here is an excerpt from that interview:
Tell us about your interactions with Bimal, and how that helped shape the track!
Bimal is a naad yoga teacher who was teaching under a banyan tree in Arambol, Goa. Me and my friend stumbled upon him walking back from lunch one day, and have been going to his lessons ever since!
With your first debutant track now streaming, are you sticking to a particular genre or are you exploring newer ones in newer tracks?
I think I’d rather just see where the mood and concept of my future tracks takes me, and if that changes the overall colour of the sound then I don’t really have much of a problem with it!
Do you have any jazz/neo-soul musicians whose style you look up to and get inspiration from?
Yes, tons! I loved D’Angelo and Erykah Badu’s music from the 90s. Terrace Martin and Robert Glaspers music have been a staple of how the genre is shaped today. In terms of jazz musicians and saxophonists: I’m always learning from masters like Sonny Rollins, Mark Turner and Chris Potter!
We noticed a lot of multi-varied instrumentation on the track. Run us through some of the artists featuring on the track too!
Oh for sure! It’s made up with some of my favourite artists from Bristol’s contemporary jazz scene. There’s Chrissie Huntley on vocals, Eli Jitsuto (Snazzback) on guitar, Ruaridh Wilkinson (Bristol Lockdown Big Band) on keys and piano, Sam Fox (Rwkus) on bass, and Andee Lieu (Roella Orollo) on drums. They really helped shape the track!
With things slowly opening up, which are some places in Bristol that we can find you playing in the near future?
We don’t have any gigs booked as of yet (everything’s still up in the air with covid-19) but you can definitely catch me at jams at Bounce (at the Social) and the Gallimaufry pretty soon!