Life on the road can be more than just getting drunk and throwing radiators out of hotel windows, it seems; new musical ideas can even arise. TM Juke and Jack Baker were on tour with the Alice Russell band, spending half their lives, hung-over, in airports or in the back of vans, cataloguing songs that could be remixed into a South American fashion, and Lo! their ‘Boto And The Second Liners’ project was born.
The original plan for ‘Boto And The Second Liners’ was for an album of covers, but once the pair got to work, original ideas came thick and fast. Written and recorded in less than two months, the final album left aside the cover versions, replacing them with original rhythmic masterpieces. ‘Boto And The Second Liners’ really represents TM Juke and Jack Baker’s last five years on the road together, from glass smashing competitions in Belgrade to drunken jams with Nigel Kennedy in Holland. Having frequented many a club around the world and seen some of the best bands in action, along with their own experience as international DJs extraordinaire, they know what works on a dancefloor. Embracing Junkyard grooves from New York; soul music from Memphis; blending swing music from New Orleans then mixing it with Brazilian samba to unleash a feast of carnival spirited songs; this album is pure party music, high energy, and not a ballad in sight.
The pair have employed the talents of some great players on the record, most notably singers Alice Russell, Kathrin deBoer of Belleruche and Andreya Triana, and Spanish singer Gecko Turner.
TM Juke has built a reputation as a prolific and acutely talented musician, producer and DJ. His previous solo projects have drawn inspiration from soul, funk, hip hop and jazz; with sublime hooks and a spirit of experimentation. As well as enjoying a successful solo career, with two solo albums for Tru Thoughts under his belt, he has also produced and co-written some of Alice Russell’s most highly acclaimed releases (he still collaborates and performs with Alice around the world) and he is one half of dancefloor-bothering duo me&you.
The Jack Baker Trio is, in fact, just Jack Baker – on his Jack, if you will. His other high profile musical endeavours include playing in the Bonobo band, which is how he became acquainted with the magical powers of Andreya Triana and Kathrin deBoer (Andreya is currently co-producing her first solo album with Bonobo, and Kathrin is the band’s live frontwoman of choice).
Photography by Ali Tollervey