Way It Is
'Home grown talent in abundance . . . .some seriously funky jazz fusion . . . .the fantastic B-Hut put forward a track called 'Herbie' which oozes quality sax licks and a definitive bass line' (Benjamin Mynott, Blues And Soul Magazine) B-Hut was formed in 1987 by Chris Barnes and Marcel Stranis. Stranis introduced Barnes to African based music and of course, 'The Pocket'. Heavily influenced by the likes of Herbie Hancock, Tower Of Power, and the Rare Groove scene, they formed a 6 piece instrumental band playing horn led funk fusion, including D-Influence drummer Pascal Consoli. This marked the begining of a long association between Barnes and Consoli. B-Hut played around colleges and clubs in the UK featuring artists such as Trumpeter Damon Brown,percusionist Karl Van Den Bossche and Sax players Gerry Underwood, John Miles, Sam Frank and Christian Brewer. In 1994 Barnes left to tour Europe and Africa with N'Goi. On His return he reformed B-Hut as band leader, bringing vocals and rap to the ensemble. A recording spree with Freak Street Records / Warner Chapel and Acid Jazz records ensued, culminating in 'The Black CD' featuring guitarist Tony Remy. This marked the begining of a fruitful collaboration with Jazz Vocalist Rachel Calladine, who has provided a major contribution on all levels. The new 'Diet' B-Hut played engagements all around the country as a vocal led quartet (Vocal, keys, Bass, Drums), making the funk fusion accessible to a wider audience. Stranis departed B-Hut, but has continued to work with the likes of Tony Remy and Jean Touissant. This began a sequence of collaborations with different bass players, including Nick Cohen and Carl Holt. More recently Barnes has stepped up to front the band, bringing guitarist Andy Drudy on board. The new line up has proved popular with crowds around the country. Chris Barnes began learning the French Horn at the age of seven, but soon began teaching himself to play the piano after hearing the music of Scott Joplin used in the film 'The Sting'. His first professional keyboard engagement came at the age of 16, playing for reggae singer Big Youth. He left school at 18 and founded fusion act B-Hut with bass player Marcel Stranis. A driving interest in the use of rhythm led to a 10 year study of kit drums and African and Latin percussion, including a 3 year apprenticeship with New York Jazz master drummer Clifford Jarvis at the age of 21. Barnes acted as deputy percussion teacher to Jarvis for 1 year, and ran several successful group workshops, as well as teaching kit drums. At the same he attended the World Music workshop at Morely College in London and went on to play professional engagements with Loose Tubes flautist Eddie Parker. A UK tour with pop act A Man Called Adam ensued, bringing live percussion to the computer driven rave scene. A few months after the collapse of the Berlin wall saw a collaboration with international artists in East Berlin which led to a European and African tour. At the same time, B-Hut provided the vehicle for his work as a keyboard player and has been the focus for his compositions and arrangements ever since. Collaborations have incldued top British jazz players like Tony Remy, Damon Brown, Gerry Underwood and Rachael Calladine. He now writes arranges, scores, records and produces work in a range of styles. B-Hut material has been released and well received by the critics. Several compositions are on contract with publishers Warner Chappel. Pascal Consoli (Drums): has played drums for the likes of D'Influence, Underworld,Bjork,Tom Jones and Sister Sledge, He has written for several Top 10 acts over the last 3 years. He has been a central collaborator in B-Hut for the past 10 years. Many fine players have come and gone over the years, much respect and thanks: Rachael Calladine Marcel Stranis: Bass (co-founder) Tony Remy: Guitarist Duncan Mackellar: Guitarist John Miles: Saxophonist Gerry Underwood: Sax Sam Frank: Sax Felix Fast: Sax Christian Brewer: Sax Damon Brown: Trumpet Tony Mason: Drums Tonna Punn: Drums Sam Maitland: Percussion Karl Van Den Bossche Nick Cohen: Bass Pete Hajof: Bass Carl Holt: Bass.