John Etheridge: More Than a Legacy
Etheridge sounds very cheerful about such gloomy tunes. "The duo covers a lot of ground musically, more than we do in Sweet Chorus. We do some of that material, but we also do loads of looping and improvising. None of these things usually involve more than 10 or 15 gigs a year, which keeps my work varied. I've also got an organ trio with Pete Whittaker and Mark Fletcher. I really want to record that project, too. It's not even listed on the website, but it's the next album I want to do. In the end, what I really like doing is contemporary blues-fusiony electric guitar. I hate the word 'fusion,' but that's really what I enjoy doing the most. I don't do enough of it. I think I enjoy Soft Machine Legacy gigs the most, partly because it's a democratic band, and I'm not the leader. We do have very enjoyable tours. I like them all as long as I don't have to do too much of the same thing."
Etheridge's work continues to be viewed with respect, leading to a nomination for the 2013 Parliamentary Jazz Award for Musician of the Year. "It's my third nomination. It's always very nice to gain that type of recognition. The first two times, I was very pleased to be nominated. I wasn't too upset not to win. I like to be part of things; it's reassuring. I think the profile of these awards has gone up a bit, so lots of people know I've been nominated this year. It came out of the blue. I'll be going along on the night, and I'll be chuffed to win. But it'll be OK if I don't."
Soft Machine Legacy, Burden of Proof (Moonjune Records, 2013)
Soft Machine Legacy, Live Adventures (Moonjune Records, 2010)
Soft Machine Legacy, Steam (Moonjune Records, 2010)
Sweet Chorus, Small Hotel (Dyad, 2009)
Soft Machine Legacy, Soft Machine Legacy (Moonjune Records, 2006)
Chris Garrick and John Etheridge, At The Dimming of the Day (Flying Blue Whale Records, 2006)
Soft Machine Legacy, Live in Zaandam (Moonjune Records, 2005)
Sweet Chorus, Tribute to Grappelli (Dyad, 1998)
Soft Machine, Softs (Harvest, 1976)
All photos courtesy of John Etheridge