My Fantasy Band: David Brewis, Field Music
Vocals/piano - Richard Manuel
On the first two The Band albums, Manuel's voice is sublime: a perfect blend of on-the-edge and in control. His singing invariably makes me well up, and his driving Ray Charles-esque piano would be a bonus.
Guitar - Richard Thompson
I'll get Thompson in to inject some Englishness but more importantly for his ferocious guitar-playing, skirting the line between fluid and wiry. He's not afraid to leave space, too, which is going to be useful given it's such a big ensemble.
Guitar - Carlos Alomar
I would want my dream band to be able to meld soul music, funk and avant-garde rocking-out, and Carlos has done the lot with Bowie and Iggy Pop. He's the kind of guy who gives session musicians a good name.
Bass - James Jamerson
So much of Jamerson's best playing is relatively hidden underneath the strings and "baby, baby"s on all those Motown hits. Search the web for some of the multitracks and you'll hear why he's so revered. He added depth, melody and rhythmic counterpoint without ever getting in the way of the song.
Drums - John Bonham
I'm sure he gets picked every couple of weeks but let's get serious: he's the best. In terms of momentum, dynamics and swing, as well as being a master of structure and arrangement, he's got it all.
Arranger - Jean-Claude Vannier
J C arranged the strings on Serge Gainsbourg's 'Histoire de Melody Nelson' (about a Sunderland lass, funnily enough). To stop any indulging in muso-noodling, I'd want J C to bring dissonance and tension, and also some dramatic flourishes to spur Richard and Paul on.
Vocals - The Roches
And just in case they start taking themselves too seriously, Maggie, Terre and Suzzy Roche would top things off nicely. Three accomplished harmony singers and knowing lyricists who could counteract any excessive bloke-ishness.
Field Music's new album 'Plumb' is out on Monday. They are currently on tour, playing KCLSU, London on 24 Feb (www.field-music.co.uk)
To mark Tolstoy's 186th birthdaybooks
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