For Episode 104 of the Paul Weller Fan Podcast, I am joined by Guy Barker – a man whose career has moved through several distinct phases, travelling along a linear course from jazz soloist and sideman, through bandleader, composer and latterly one of the most in-demand arrangers in Europe, while at the same time shooting off into fascinating tangents, with forays into theatre and movies.
As an Honorary Councillor in the 1980s, Guy played on The Style Council singles Money-Go-Round and The Lodgers, he was part of the live band in periods including the recording of the Showbiz concert film and the Home & Abroad LP.
He also plays on the 1987 album The Cost of Loving (Fairy Tales and Walking The Night) and can be heard on The Style Council Live CD playing on A Stone’s Throw Away, Soul Deep, Strength of your Nature, Move on Up and Down by the Seine.
Guy was also part of the line up for the infamous final gigs – in Japan and at London’s Royal Albert Hall – check out the video below!.
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EP104 – Guy Barker – Honorary Councillor + Bandleader, Composer, Arranger and Trumpet Player… ”If we can make time stop – and keep this feeling…” – Desperately Seeking Paul : Paul Weller Fan Podcast
Guy’s distinctive trumpet playing can be heard across a wide range of genres.
In the world of jazz, he has worked with Gil Evans, Ornette Coleman, Quincy Jones, Wynton Marsalis and many others. The world of the Great American Song Book led him to tour with Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr, Lena Horne, Liza Minnelli, and Mel Tormé. In the classical sphere he has performed with Lesley Garrett, Willard White and the LSO, RPO, Britten Sinfonia, Hong Kong Philharmonic and London Chamber Orchestra.
Guy has also recorded eight solo albums, two of which were nominated for the Mercury Music Prize – namely Into The Blue in 1995 and Soundtrack in 2002.
During the eighties and nineties London’s studio scene was buzzing. As a result, Guy, like many British jazz musicians, found himself playing sessions for the country’s top rock and pop performers. The list is a who’s who of hit-makers and includes Sting, Van Morrison, Elvis Costello, Phil Collins, Grace Jones, Peter Gabriel, George Michael and our podcast subject – Paul Weller via The Style Council.
As The Sunday Times put it: ‘The ability of Guy Barker to adapt to vastly different environments is little short of astonishing.’
The late Anthony Minghella, a long-time admirer, asked Guy to arrange music for two of his films, The Talented Mr Ripley and The No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency. He said of Guy: ‘Guy Barker is that rare thing -a brilliant soloist, a born leader and a generous accompanist. He can play so your heart breaks or your head swivels.’
1983 – The Style Council – Money-Go-Round
The Style Council’s second single was released in May 1983, and gave us Dee C Lee’s TSC debut with Zeke Manyika on drums, Guy Barker on trumpet, Annie Whitehead on trombone, Jo Dworniak on bass and Spegos on percussion. This song was recorded before The Style Council were officially announced.
1985 – The Style Council – The Lodgers
- TSCX10 was released in September 1985 with the cover sharing news of ‘a newly recorded version presented to you by public demand,’ This was the first time that Dee C Lee got a full band member credit on the sleeve, and technically speaking the first time that the line up had the most well-known permanent members of four with Paul, Mick, Steve and Dee.
- The sleeve of the record also highlighted that it was the first time ever that The Style Council had been captured live with the 12″ single featuring Big Boss Groove, Move on Up, You’re The Best Thin and a medley of Money-Go Round, Soul Deep and Strength of Your Nature.
- Guy Barke played trumpet on the new version of The Lodgers with other honorary councillors, including former podcast guest, Ashley Slater.
Released May 1986 – The Style Council, Live – Showbiz + Home & Abroad LP
1986 – People in Progress
JULY 26th 1986 – To quote Iain Munn AKA MR COOLS DREAM
“A largely unknown charity venture results in many musicians attending Sarm Studios – the location of the Band Aid recording, under the banner of People In Progress.
The purpose is to record a track This Is My Song. Paul and Dee would lend their support and honorary Style Council Guy Barker would play trumpet.”
More info here – discogs.com/master/500901-People-In-Progress-This-Is-My-Song
1987 – The Style Council – The Cost of Loving
Released in January 1987, The Cost of Loving (AKA The Orange Album) featured Guy in the Honorary Councillor line up once again. Playing sax on Fairy Tales (mixed by Curtis Mayfield!) and on Walking The Night.
1989 – The Style Council – Japan
Yes, that is Guy Barker that you can spot in the band on this one too!