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BJ Cole

BJ Cole

BJ Cole


BJ COLE is a unique innovator on the Pedal Steel Guitar who has carved out a formidable reputation as a session musician, and established his own artistic identity with the release of five of his own albums. He has recorded with many of the great names in popular music, such as Elton John, Marc Bolan, Scott Walker, Beck, Bjork, Sting, David Sylvian and many others. In recent years such recording activities have led to BJ playing on tour dates with The Verve, REM and Sting. Read more on Last.fm
BJ COLE is a unique innovator on the Pedal Steel Guitar who has carved out a formidable reputation as a session musician, and established his own artistic identity with the release of five of his own albums. He has recorded with many of the great names in popular music, such as Elton John, Marc Bolan, Scott Walker, Beck, Bjork, Sting, David Sylvian and many others. In recent years such recording activities have led to BJ playing on tour dates with The Verve, REM and Sting. BJ was a founder member of the British post psychedelic band COCHISE. He went on to write and record his seminal experimental album 'The New Hovering Dog' (United Artists 1973).

The 1970's saw BJ establishing his session career with groundbreaking recordings with Steve Marriott, Elton John, Dave Edmunds and Gerry Rafferty as well as extensive touring with the bands of Kiki Dee and Andy Fairweather Low. On top of this BJ found time to establish Cow Pie Records which led to his long term association with Hank Wangford. In the 1980's BJ consolidated his status as a session musician with defining work for Shakin Stevens, David Sylvian, Deacon Blue and Depeche Mode. BJ returned to his artistic career in1989 with 'TRANSPARENT MUSIC' (Hannibal Records), an instrumental album that took the Pedal Steel Guitar into an impressionistic musical world. On the album, contemporary classical works such as Debussy's 'Clair De Lune' and Satie's 'Gnossiennes' sat alongside BJ's own experiments in ambient composition.

As a result of 'Transparent Music', BJ extended his activities on the avant garde and ambient music scene; working on recording projects with American minimalist Harold Budd and French composer Hector Zazou, and touring with John Cale in Europe and America. In 1995 BJ and his group The Transparent Music Ensemble released 'HEART OF THE MOMENT (Resurgence), a follow up album to 'Transparent Music' featuring original compositions. For the next ten years, BJ dedicated much of his time to working with DJ's and programmers in the Dance music field. His album with Luke Vibert entitled 'STOP THE PANIC (Cooking Vinyl/Astralwerks) broke down many of the barriers that have existed between performing musicians and DJ's, and opened up a whole new audience for his innovative music. The album was promoted worldwide and supported by a tour by BJ and Luke. Following on from this, BJ collaborated with such luminaries of Electronica as Groove Armada, Bent, Kumo, Alabama 3 and Luke Vibert to produce tracks for his album 'TROUBLE IN PARADISE', also released on the Cooking Vinyl label. BJ continues to be active on the recording session and live music scene and has become increasingly involved in collaborations with other master musicians, such as Uillean piper Davy Spillane, jazz vibraphonist Roger Beaujolais and British slide guitarist Michael Messer.

However, it is BJ Cole's alliance with 'cellist Emily Burridge that is occupying most of his attention these days. With Emily he is pursuing the musical direction he began with his 1989 album 'Transparent Music'. BJ Cole believes the Pedal Steel has to be set free from it's roots in American music and given a new sophisticated and International repertoire. To this end, BJ and Emily Burridge are tackling many classical and chamber pieces by the likes of Debussy, Satie and Purcell as well as composing music that explores similar impressionistic musical worlds.

Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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