This is Ben’s first band project to be released since the 2004 electronic infused jazz album ‘Blah Street’. The record featured the ‘The Heckler’, which won the International Songwriting Competition Jazz Category judged by guitarist Pat Metheny and legendary producer Arif Mardin. Weather Report front man Joe Zawinul asked to record a version of The Heckler but sadly passed away before he had the opportunity.
Since Blah Street, Ben has been busy playing and/or writing with a vast array of performers including Duke Special, Gregory Porter, Matthew Herbert, Radiohead, Carleen Anderson, Stan Tracy, Sting, Jools Holland, Dizzee Rascal, Quincy Jones, Humphrey Lyttelton, Paloma Faith, Jamie Cullum, Marlena Shaw, Matthew E White, Cleo Laine, George Michael and Will Young to name but a few. He has also written songs for film (An Education, Confetti) and composed for television and theatre (most recently Double Feature at National Theatre), he co-wrote Beth Rowley’s top 10 album Little Dreamer and was the musical director for The Big Blue, the big band that accompanied the Pop Idol contestants on the TV show, tour and album. They are most famous for being the musicians that stand up and play in the church during the Love Actually wedding scene.
Credits go to…
The Tombola Theory is Ben Castle’s new band. They play original pop music that’s inspired by traditional jazz.
It features Ben on vocals and clarinet surrounded by tubas, banjos, trombones, trumpets, drums and the delightful voices of Mara Carlyle and Alice Grant.
Ben formed The Tombola Theory to pay tribute to pay tribute to Tommy 'Tootle' Truman, a school janitor and controversial character who played clarinet in a Trad Jazz band in his local pub every Wednesday night for nearly 23 years. He was Ben's first and most enduring musical influence.
Tommy died in obscurity in 2009, leaving behind no known recordings, just special musical memories for a select few. If he'd been more ambitious he would now be remembered as one of the British jazz greats.
More will be told about Tootles when the album appears later in the year but until then, allow Over the Moon to draw you into his musical world.