The Midnight Man set to return again

Johnny Midnight will be making a musical reappearance as he starts work on his third CD release.

Jim Hayes

Jim Hayes, aka 'Johnny Midnight', is at it again.

Hot on the heels of his previous brace of successful CD releases, the principal cornet of the Co-operative Funeralcare Band is preparing for a third recording session with Scotland's most successful contesting band.

Double identity

And as he told 4BR, he is still thoroughly enjoying his double-identity musical life.

"I love entertaining when I perform,"he said. "'There was a gap in the market after Allan Morrison semi-retired and nobody was really making CDs with jazz influences — music that anybody could listen to and enjoy, not just the traditional brass band audiences. That's just what I like doing."

Dedicated fans

Jim has been able to build up a dedicated following of fans — as well as an enviable stable of composers delighted to work with him.

"4BR was really helpful in the early days', Jim explains. "They put the word out, attracted interest, and the response was brilliant. We actually had too many pieces for the first recording and it was really tricky to choose the final set."

No discounts

Jim learnt quickly not to discount anything though. "I always wait until I've heard the band parts. The interaction with them is what makes the whole experience worthwhile.

I remember when Pete Meechan sent 'Apex' — the solo part didn't seem that interesting, but then I played it with the band it was...wow!"

Keep happy

So what can we expect on his latest release?

As always, Jim is keen to make his listeners happy. "The first CD was a terrific success, but if I had to be critical I'd say it was probably a bit too reliant on similar styles. My aim with number three is to ensure a bit more variety."

Reprise role

Jim has struck up a strong working relationship with conductor Michael Fowles, who reprises his role as recording MD.

He adds: "Mike is one of the best around. He makes sure everything is well-rehearsed and has a plan for each session. He's so consistent as well as seriously picky, which means that the final recording is always of high quality.

I remember the first time I turned up to an editing session with one sheet of comments — he probably had twenty!"

Jim is such a great performer, and he has a superb understanding of how to reach people with his music. We're all looking forward to working with him and Mike on another exciting releaseCo-operative Funeralcare Band.

Great performer

Meanwhile, Band Chairman Chris Davies is delighted Co-operative Funeralcare will be working on this project.

He added: "Jim is such a great performer, and he has a superb understanding of how to reach people with his music. We're all looking forward to working with him and Mike on another exciting release.

Hopefully we'll be getting a CD launch concert in the diary soon, so keep your eyes peeled!'

The release date is yet to be confirmed, but Jim will record his third album with the Co-op Band on the 13th and 14th of February.

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