November 2019 marks the worldwide launch of our debut jazz album wholly recorded in Saudi Arabia and brought to life with the help of Real World Studios; Peter Gabriel’s renowned music facility in Box England.
So how did this come about?
Originally fronted as the 49 Degrees, the TheRemedy played in and around the Saudi capital Riyadh and were always well received on the carefully controlled and restricted social circuit. Often swept to secreted venues in a posse of Suburban SUVs, the band would play mainly for the western expatriate community on the ‘Embassy Circuit’.
“The Bikers Ball at Uncle Sam’s was a hoot” commented James. “You can complete a world tour in Riyadh just by playing all of the embassy functions in and around the diplomatic quarter” Ehab reminded the band. James took a call from the British Embassy. “We need a jazz band urgently, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall will be in Riyadh hosting a Garden Party in 10 days time – can you help?”
After some frenetic phone calls and a lot of soul searching and rehearsing, TheRemedy found themselves on stage in the beautiful British Embassy gardens in the late afternoon heat of the Saudi summer. The Band’s debut rock album, Indifferent Hearts, was released in February 2015. Recorded in the infamous and secretive Junction 9 recording studio in the heart of Riyadh. It was mixed in Los Angeles by Ben Gross and mastered in New York by Scott Hull.
It was some time later that Ahmad shared a number of the personal jazz pieces he had been writing and developing and the idea came about to record the material. So the concept of a jazz album wholly recorded in Saudi Arabia from a truly international three-piece band came about – what else could it be called but Late Afternoon? It proved very challenging to record the album in Saudi.
This time the Band tuned into the reclusive V256 studio buried deep in the Riyadh suburbs – building much of the facility themselves. Mazen Lawand the young gifted Lebanese pianist joined the recording sessions and added his unique feel and touch. The band found friends at Real World Studios in the UK too where Tim Oliver and Patrick Phillips led with the mixing process. Ehab stepped in to complete the recording phase, mastering the material at the New York Mastering Centre.
Nancy Paton the award winning Polish / Australian film director also supported the band again recording footage to be used in the Harbour Twilight music video that accompanies the release of the album.
The wait has been worth it. The material speaks for itself – traditional yet modern, international yet somehow so personal and relevant.
So is Late Afternoon the first jazz album to be wholly recorded in Saudi Arabia? TheRemedy certainly think so!