Live Life Then Give Life
At $10 for three songs, this isn't a cheap CD. BUT - it's designed to be used as a quality greetings card promoting organ donation in general, and living kidney donation in particular - huge discount for buying more than one - it was conceived and recorded with LOVE - AND all proceeds from the sale of this CD go to the great young UK charity Live Life Then Give Life. Oh, and did I mention that it's great music, performed by great musicians. THE STORY Andy Williamson (sax) and Maff Potts (organ) have been playing together on the UK jazz scene for many years, with legendary cult band 'The Honkin' Hep Cats' and the Big Buzzard Boogie Band. In 2006 Andy developed end stage renal failure, because of ADPKD, a genetic condition he'd inherited from his mother. Andy started kidney dialysis in March 2006. In August 2007, Andy received one of Maff's kidneys in a living donor kidney transplant at Guy's Hospital in London. In the three weeks after their operations, the pair wrote these songs together, partly to raise money towards the work of 'Live Life Then Give Life', a great young UK charity which promotes organ donation; and partly to try to encourage more people to think about becoming living kidney donors. While being a living donor sounds like a very scary thing to do, in fact it's no more dangerous for the donor than any other operation under general anaesthetic. During the long process of being accepted as a living donor in the UK, doctors carry out tests so that they are as sure as they can be that the operation will have no long term effects on the donor. This is partly why statistically, living kidney donors actually have a longer than average life expectancy. THE MUSIC All this sounds tremendously worthy! The fact is that this EP is not only a 'good thing', in it's charity (all proceeds go to Live Life Then Give Life' and in it's campaigning message; it's also simply great music, played by a bunch of musicians with a unique rapport after playing together for nearly 20 years. 'Live Life Then Give Life' was recorded on 29 August 2007, only three weeks after Andy and Maff were both on the operating table. It's a powerfully funky song, featuring stunning solos on tenor sax from Andy, organ from Maff and ends with an amazing improvised guitar duet between established star Denny Ilett and 18-year-old Cam Potts, making his debut in the recording studio (although you would never be able to tell!). It's an infectiously funky sing-along number that can't fail to put a smile on your face. 'Have One of Mine' grooves along with sublime funkiness provide by the drumming of Si Potts and Steve Kershaw's bass. Andy's baritone sax adds an unmistakeable fruitiness to the recipe, throbbing away throughout the track and bringing it to an end with a raucously joyous solo. The message here is clear - it's a celebration of an amazing gift of one friend to another in his hour of need. 'I Gotta Go To Work' is a quiet, thoughtful bluesy song written by Maff. It's that resigned Monday morning feeling of someone making the lonely trudge into the office after a great weekend with someone they love. Pete Kershaw's gorgeous guitar solo says it all.