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Damon Sawyer - Struttin' Southî' Note Music 2008.

Damon Sawyer es un baterÌa efectista y efectivo con un buen ëbeatí y un excelente ëtempoí, que tanto toca funk como fusiona jazz de calidad con otros gÈneros musicales. Sawyer es adem·s ingeniero de sonido y productor de discos con estudio de grabaciÛn propio, situado en Wokinham, Berks, Reino Unido. ìStrutiní Southî es un ·lbum conceptual, concebido con ambiciÛn y realizado con clase y talento, un proyecto que abarca b·sicamente jazz fusiÛn instrumental, interpretado con frescura y elegancia, para lo que se ha rodeado de m˙sicos europeos respetables y de mucho pedigree, como el saxofonista Anatoliy Vyacheslavov, quien se erige con sus solos en lÌder absoluto de todo el ·lbum. Un disco con material original que muestra con fidelidad las diferentes influencias por las que Damon Sawyer ha pasado a lo largo de sus treinta y ocho aÒos de vida.

Damon Sawyer is an effective efficient drummer with good beat and excellent tempo, able to play funk or mix high quality jazz with other musical genres. Besides Sawyer is a sound engineer, record producer and has his own recording studio at Wokinham, Berks, U.K. ìStrutiní Southî is a conceptual ambitious album, done with a great talent and class, which basically includes cool tasteful instrumental jazz fusion. Damon is backed by a bunch of respected European musicians with a huge pedigree, such as saxo player Anatoliy Vyacheslavov who, with his amazing solos, becomes the absolute album leader. A cd with original material that faithfully shows the varied influences Damon Sawyer has got along his thirty eight years of life. (Spain)

Struttin’ South – Damon Sawyer - April 2009

Drummer Damon Sawyer has assembled a very accomplished bunch of players for this soulful fusion album, for which most tracks were composed in-house, including ‘On Lombard Street’ by the Impressive Ukrainian saxophonist Anatoliy Vyacheslavov and the excellent bassist George Pearson. The exceptions are expertly played versions of Thelonious Monk’s 'Well You Needn’t' and The Meters' 'Look-Ko Py Py'. Guitarist Sonny Black guests incisively on the latter and plays atmospheric slide on 'Cakewalkin",

Despite the consistently admirable musicianship, the compositions aren’t distinctive or memorable enough to make this a truly great album – but it is one that’s very easy to enjoy.

Trevor Hodge

BLUES MATTERS – Feb 2009 – Norman Darwen

Damon Sawyer is a drummer who has worked with The Sonny Black Band (whose leader repays the favour by guesting impressively on twonumbers here), The Barcodes, Bill Wyman and others. His CD leans a little more towards jazz territory but stillkeeps the blue vibe throughout, with plenty of funk and driving jazz from the eight-piece band. Damon even managesthe nearly impossible feat of keeping this non-drummer interested throughout a three minutes long solo piece! From a strictly Blues point of view though, and if you find vou eninv the jazzier numbers, do try Damon's album, too.

 Norman Darwen

Review: -

Damon Sawyerís new CD Struttiní South is a straight-ahead, fusion influenced package featuring some of Europeís finest jazz musicians. Mr. Sawyer, a polished drummer and accomplished producer and recording engineer hails from England where he runs his own studio. Struttiní South captures his early influences of Weckl and Gadd combined with his experience in numerous blues bands. The result is a powerful, raw statement of high energy material in the hands of an incredible line-up of talent.

Saxophonist Anatoliy Vyacheslavov provides a strong leading voice on the majority of tunes. "Cakewalkiní" and "Look-Ka Py Py," however, feature the guitar more prominently. Rhodes keyboards add layers of sound to the ensemble, especially in the composition "In the Basement" by Nova, Taylor and Sawyer. All but one tune is original material by Sawyer and/or other members of the group. Latin and funk grooves wind their way through the gritty mix of blues infused pieces. Monkís "Well You Neednít" is treated with a refreshing groove with the melody played by the bass. "On Lombard Street" also features a tasteful, melodic bass opening before giving way to an up-tempo groove.

Struttiní South features Damon Sawyerís prominent drumming, but as he intertwines with the entire ensemble, the drums are transformed into a melodic instrument streaming through the music. Conversational texture and instrumental interplay make Struttiní South a refreshing, intensely positive, no nonsense fusion of great writing and great playing.

Zeitgeist - January 2009

Damon Sawyer is a drummer. A drummer who has made a solo album. This is not something that digging out banners and bunting, nor would I bake a cake. But hold hard, for drummer Damon is also a recording engineer and producer who runs his own studio and is a well known session drummer who appeared with Bill Wymanís Rhythm Kings at the recent Led Zeppelin reunion concert at the O2 Arena.

More importantedly than all that, though, is the fact that he's made a cracking record. He's a jazz man at heart, although his time playing with the Rhythm Kings and as on call sub for The Barcodes has put some rhythm and Blues into his music. However, this record sees him heading straight down the road marked jazz fusion. However, it's an old fashioned fusion, something that makes the seventies noodler in me very happy. With brass!

There are ten swinging tracks here, mainly of original material, with a sprinkling of carefully selected covers including 'Well, You Needn't' by Thelonious Monk and 'Look-Ka Py Py', the title track from The Meters second album. Of the originals, it's the opening 'Bread And Salt' and 'Seven Or Heaven' that leave the biggest mark. A special mention to keyboards man Bob Haddrell who outshines even the shiniest performers. An excellent release that comes highly recommended.

Stuart A Hamilton

Blues News - Magazine - January 2008

Note Records has released Before Beyond & Blue' (Note Music NCD 1019) by keyboards player Dave Lennox. This is an affectionate and entertaining recreation of the always bluesy and very popular Hammond organ jazz of the likes of Jimmy Smith and Jimmy McGriff.

Also worth checking if your tastes veer towards jazz is the new album by drummer
Damon Sawyer entitled 'Struttin' South' (Note Music NCD 1017), which includes legendary south of England blues guitarist Sonny Black on two numbers. Damon has worked with many blues and jazz acts'in the past. (

Norman Darwen

Blues in Britain - Magazine - January 2008

Surrey's note-records promises 'the best in blues, soul and jazz' on its web site from an impressive roster of musicians all based in southeast England.

Thirty-something drummer and producer Damon Sawyer's disc is a straight reissue from a few years ago and falls into the instrumental jazzfusion category. At that time Damon was  member of Sonny Black's Dukes and those with fond memories of that line-up (with George Pearson and Bob Haddrell) will certainly want to download the slide led 12-bar "Cakewalkin"' and The Meters funk classic "Look-Ka Py Py".

Jon Taylor