Thursday, September 20, 2007

A New Duo With a New Sound

PROTOCOL is a fully sequenced Guitar/Harmonica Duo specialising in Jazz and Jazz/blues influenced music. But much more than that, They are multi-instrumentalists and vocalists with a penchant for visual comedy and presentation that make them an ideal act for Asia and the Pacific region. The arrangements are absolutely unique but still have the original flavour of the particular song and the sequences are to be heard nowhere else than at a PROTOCOL show.

Featuring rich orchestration that captures the feel and tone of the time, their Jazz standards set new parameters in sequenced performance. To embellish all this, they play some 15 instruments between them including sax, trumpet, slide and dobro guitars, congas and percussion- and keyboard. With about 80 years of music experience between them, PROTOCOL are really a 4 hour concert with superb sound and presentation.

Tappy and Peter are multi-lingual and between them they speak several European languages from fair to good and are both in an accelerated program to master Mandarin. And they can talk to just about anyone about almost anything. Their knowledge of world affairs and the topic of the day is formidable and they will undoubtedly be in great demand for corporate and diplomatic functions.

Their new CD (soon to be released) is a showcase of their very unusual musical approach and Fineline Records predict good sales- especially due to PROTOCOL travelling so constantly. They have worked in or travelled to some 50 Countries between them and Peter, who is British by birth, Lived in Poland during the Communist days and Tappy lived for an extended period in Taiwan- both playing music during this period.

In the following chapters of this blog, the specifics of these two very unusual and talented guys are listed and surely will raise some eyebrows. But the proof of the pudding is as always in the eating and their first CD tells all. It is an excursion into how Jazz standards done a new way can be a whole new sound. The chromatic harmonica adds an exciting dimension to an already impressive sound. PROTOCOL is new, unusual, exciting, highly entertaining and...available anywhere in the World- LIVE.

Contact Protocol

Thailand:  0855 721 452

Who are Protocol?

PROTOCOL is a Guitar/Harmonica Duo but only in the sense of the original instruments Peter and Tappy base their expertise on. The other musical elements of the show are in most respects even more important, such as the sequencing, mixing and recording of the music tracks. They are studio digital quality and are written expressly for the duo. All the live instrument recordings are performed by Protocol- there are no other players in or on any track. That means that all you hear on the show is music played or sequenced by Peter or Tappy, and this is a 100% Guarantee. Their repertoire is extensive and covers many genres of music. But it is quite a story how Tappy and Peter met, considering they were born on the opposite sides of the globe. Tappy was born in Hobart Tasmania and even though he has not lived there for over 30 or so years, he sometimes goes home to see old friends and relatives. It was on one of those trips that he met Peter, who had moved to Hobart to retire. They met at a mutual friends' house and hit it off immediately. Some extended jams resulted and eventually they decided to formalise the whole thing and PROTOCOL was the result.

Pete McLaren has been playing Harmonica since he was a child and as the years progressed, he graduated to more complex music. After the usual flirtation with the blues and Soul, Jazz captured his interest and he acquired a chromatic Harmonica similar to that of the legendary Larry Adler. He discovered it opened up an entirely new world of musical possibilities. Eventually playing in clubs and local venues in his native England, he met with quite a measure of success and when he moved to Mainland Europe (he lived in Poland for around seven Years and Turkey for five), he continued to play and found a way to thread a blossoming musical career through his other major interests- photography, fine arts and research and then as a highly successful restaurateur in Turkey, he perfected his harmonica style in his own venue. Tiring of the hubub of Europe, he and his wife moved to Tasmania where he and Tappy met and started PROTOCOL in June 2006.

Tappy is one of our true music characters. He started to play at the age of nine, by twelve years of age he was running the local dance, by fourteen he was playing in the tent shows and by eighteen he was big time in the Melbourne scene. In 1964 he was in W.A. where he heard a band called Ray Hoff and the Off-Beats playing soul and rock with a Brass Section and fell in love with the sound. He rounded up some promising players, bought a Trumpet and Sax and headed back to Hobart to form the now-legendary J.A.Madison Brass. They stole the show at three finals of "Hoadleys National Battle of the Sounds", getting beaten to third place by half a point by the Masters' apprentices. He was among the first to appear on Australian TV (1961), one of the first to be taped in Colour (1969) one of the first Australian Musicians to be allowed to play on a P&O cruise ship (1966) and he was there at Sunbury, the Wandong Country Music Festival, Channel 9 telethon, Bandstand (1966), and countless other firsts in our Musical History. Many Australian greats have found themselves under the spell of this enigmatic Tasmanian- John Farnham, Wilbur Wilde, Colin Hay, Graeme Russel (Air Supply), Kamahl, Dragon- the list seems endless. Tappy has worked with Ray Stevens, Dick Emery, Matt Monroe, Stephan Grapelli, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGee and countless more. But PROTOCOL is a new, innovative show even for him, and in his own words- "the sound is new and very refreshing, The Chromatic Harmonica in a jazz context is relatively unexplored, and Pete and I are having fun and you can hear that in the M

Thailand 0855 721 452

The CD

East of the Sun is the first CD from PROTOCOL and features a selection of jazz greats with the odd unusual track like "Popsicle Toes" and the Anthony Newly version of the old nursery Rhyme "Pop goes the Weasel". The tracks were carefully chosen to show versatility and taste but also to give a good idea to the listener of how PROTOCOL sounds live. In fact, many of these tracks (or the amended or edited versions of the tracks) are almost exactly the same live (notwithstanding the changes necessary to make the transition from CD to Stage). All in all, they are 10 well-known and admired songs that many great artists like Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Michael Buble' and others have recorded over the years. They feature the plaintive sounds of the chromatic harmonica and the easy vocal style of Tappy, along with great and highly "musical" digital sequences that are almost impossible to pick from live music recordings- maybe because much of it is multi-tracked by the guys and inserted into the digital canvas. All-in-all, it is a listening experience worth the effort to take in. The guys have already started to plan and construct their second effort and many fans are looking forward to that as well.

Contact Protocol:

Thailand: 0855 721 452

Repertoire Sample

Even though the basic PROTOCOL repertoire is Jazz and Blues standards, they actually play a huge range of music including Soul, Rock, some Latin and Pop. Tappy, who has been around since the Year Dot, plays some 1,000 numbers - most of which are sequenced and ready to play, so the chances of PROTOCOL not being able to play certain numbers if asked are quite remote.A small repertoire sample is as follows:

AZZ: Fly me to the moon, Summer wind, Moondance, I've got you under my skin, Baby Just cares for me, Blue Moon, Satin Doll, Don’t get around much anymore, Paper Moon, Try a little Tenderness, Lady Is a Tramp, The more I see You, Hallelujah, I love her So, On Broadway.
Blues: Little Red Rooster, Red House, Stormy Monday, Route 66, Help Me, Baby Please Don't Go, Midnight Special, Payin' the cost to be the Boss, Soon as I get Paid, Automobile, Walkin' the dog, Dirty Low-down and Bad, Still got the Blues, Honky Tonk Women.
Soul: Midnight Hour, Superstition, Treat her Right, Get on the right track Baby, Mustang Sally, My Girl, Dancin' in the Street, Whiter Shade of Pale, Let the Good Times Roll, I Got You, Papa's Got a Brand New Bag, Dock of the Bay, Ain't no Sunshine When She's Gone.

No matter the type of song, PROTOCOL bend the sound and thrust of the song to suit their unique style and the result is a fascinating and highly interesting night of music. If you expect a song like midnight hour to be the same as Wilson Pickets' version, you will be quite taken aback with what PROTOCOL do with it. And basically they all get the same treatment.

Contact Protocol

Thailand: 0855 721 452

Protocol Live

PROTOCOL are well equipped, well transported and feature specially designed lights and sound with full backdrop. The sound system is a 1,500 Watt P.A. that breaks down into three individual set-ups if required and will handle from 40 to 400 people. Four microphones, and boom stands, conga drums and percussion additions, two amps, sax and trumpet, 14 harmonicas and various stands, 9 guitars including slide, dobro and resonator, George Benson type jazz guitar, Les Paul, Strat. and nylon, and a Yamaha Keyboard. Power requirements are minimal"- one 10Amp socket outlet with no other device connected, stage area of approx. 5 metres by 3. Change room or similar facility is required with the usual fittings. A flat, easily negotiated entrance area is greatly appreciated due to the substantial equipment involved. An official confirmation sheet is supplied with all gigs and all management arrangements are handled by FINELINE MANAGEMENT. Fees vary under different circumstances and distances but are quite reasonable. The confirmation sheet covers all and every contingency. PROTOCOL is available World -wide and we are familiar with most venues in most Australian States.

Contact Protocol

Thailand:  0855 721 452

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