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  Protocol 6-CD Box Set

A must-have collector’s item, NOT available digitally — a deluxe, limited edition 6-CD box set to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Protocol, the powerhouse jazz-rock vehicle for the compositions of Modern Drummer Magazine’s #1 fusion player, Simon Phillips!

Includes each of the previous Protocol releases (I, II, III & IV), which have been re-mastered for better sound. PLUS, two full CDs of previously unreleased demo tracks — early versions of the same tunes that would later become Protocol’s finished material.

Phillips, himself, composed the liner notes of a brilliant 24-page booklet, providing deep insight into the genesis of the bands and how they transformed the tunes from the original concepts.

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Protocol 4

Building on his past PROTOCOL projects, Simon has again enlisted the highly talented bassist Ernest Tibbs along with PROTOCOL newcomers, the superb veteran guitar shredder Greg Howe and keyboard virtuoso Dennis Hamm. All compositions were written by Simon while on tour.

"The first time I've really been able to concentrate on writing material on the road. Lots of creativity on airplanes and in hotel and backstage dressing rooms", says Phillips. Perhaps the vibe and energy of touring accounts for the slightly more "metallic edge" to this new album. But, as is always the case, Simon's music defies specific labels as he fuses elements of rock, jazz, funk, classical and even world music into the mix.

In addition to awesome musicianship, Simon's impeccable production and recording techniques shine once more. PROTOCOL 4 is certain to please longstanding Simon Phillips aficionados and is certain to also bring new PROTOCOL fans into the fold.


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Protocol III

Another strong effort from Simon Phillips' Protocol, the lineup features heavyweights Ernest Tibbs (bass), Andy Timmons (guitar), and Steve Weingart (keys).

Eight new tunes highlight this imaginative rock/jazz fusion album. Solid songwriting from each of the members and incredible performances throughout.


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Protocol II

Protocol II arrives nearly a quarter century after the original Protocol. It was a long wait, but Simon packed a lot of music into eight tunes with all stars Ernest Tibbs (bass), Andy Timmons (guitar), and Steve Weingart (keys).

Protocol is band of equals, with all four musicians tearing it up in their respective areas of the fusion universe. Simon throws down during the sinister "Wildfire," gets his shots in during "Gemini," shreds on the brief "Octopia," and unleashes himself over a vamp on the album-ending "Enigma."

But the menu has more than drum solos. Straight up groove work, chilled-out atmospheric material with blues-tinged guitar ("First Orbit"), rip-roaring thrill rides ("Upside In Downside Up") and more await.

"Upside In Downside Up"

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A record of experimental observations.

Recorded at The White House by Steve Parker on April 18th through 22nd, 1988 Mixed at The White House by Steve Parker Mastered by Tim young at C.B.S. London.

Simon Phillips - Drums, Percussion, Keyboards and Sequencing.

Photography by Colin Turner.

Special thanks to Hilary, Steve and Ravi, all at Tama, Zildijan, Remo and Pro-Mark, and Suzie for her interminable encouragement.

My first solo CD - well not a whole one!

Considered in 1988 a "mini-album" - a sort of EP which traditionally had 4 titles on it - Protocol had 5. Originally these tunes were meant for a complete album with a decent budget so I could have my favorite players record with me. However, after chasing a few record companies, no-one was willing to sign me with this kind of instrumental music. So I decided to record these as they were and play everything myself and use the CD as a promotional device to accompany me on clinics. Recorded and mixed in a week with one other person, Steve Parker engineering, at my studio in England. Somehow Music For Nations, a thrash metal company who had signed Metallica and Nuclear Assault, loved it and released it in 1989 with the addition of Wall Street, a drum solo recorded during a clinic in New York in '88. I was on tour with Mick Jagger in Jakarta, Indonesia, waiting at the airport for a flight to New Zealand, whilst on the phone to the mastering engineer, Tim Young, in London at CBS studios, guiding him as to which part of the solo to use. It was a good feeling to have finally released my first solo CD and although not what I had originally planned, it was a start to my solo career.


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PSP: Live

Simon Phillips - Drums
Philippe Saisse - Keyboards
Pino Palladino – Bass

In 2009, Simon Phillips joined with keyboardist Philippe Saisse and bassist Pino Palladino or PSP in forming an instrumental jazz/funk rock trio PHILLIPS, SAISSE, PALLADINO (PSP). They toured Europe in 2009-2010, spotlighting the talents of each performer in the songs chosen for their set list.

Philippe Saisse is a French Grammy Award-nominated Smooth Jazz and New Age music keyboardist, producer and arranger. French born Saisse last year moved to Los Angeles after an 18-year stint living in New York. After studying at the conservatory in Paris, he won a scholarship to the Berklee College of Music. He became the protege of Gary Burton and debuted on Al Di Meola's Splendido Hotel. He has also worked in the alternative rock, jazz fusion and rock world for David Bowie, Chaka Khan, Al Jarreau, Paul King, The Rolling Stones and others.

Pino Palladino was featured on Gary Numan's 1982 album I, Assassin, in which his fretless bass sound made a prominent contribution to the overall sound of the album. He went on to play fretless bass with a healthy number of high-profile artists (David Gilmour, Tears for Fears, Pete Townshend, Peter Gabriel, Joan Armatrading, Phil Collins, Chaka Khan and Don Henley). In the 1990s, he was maturing as a musician, and played with artists as diverse as Melissa Etheridge, Richard Wright, Sir Elton John and Eric Clapton. Also in 1991, he joined Paul Rodgers (of Free, Queen+ Paul Rodgers, and Bad Company fame) to form the band The Law. In spring of 2006, Palladino toured with Jeff Beck. He also played with J. J. Cale, and Eric Clapton on their 2006 album The Road to Escondido, alongside other notable musicians, including Derek Trucks, and Billy Preston.

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Force Majeure

Recorded at Freiburg Zelt Festival by Ric Walton on June 20th and 22nd 1992.

Mixed at Last Chance Studios, London by Ric Walton and Stuart Bruce.

Ray Russell - Guitar
Anthony Jackson - Bass
Tony Roberts - Horns
Simon Phillips - Drums

"Still chasing that record deal in the sky", I was writing more and I felt like I was developing my own instrumental style. I had re-kindled a partnership with Ray Russell, with whom I played with in my first band, Chopyn, back in '74. He very kindly played some of the new material to Robert Trunz of B & W Music - a subsidiary of B & W Loudspeakers - and he offered us a deal.

The opportunity to play at the Freiburg Zelt Festival in '92 was offered by Pete York as part of the Super Drumming event. I thought this would be a wonderful way to get a live recording that could be manipulated in the studio. I called Anthony Jackson, one of my all time favorite bass players and Ray called Tony Roberts, a horn player that he had worked with often, and we had a band. Then Ray and I wrote like crazy so we had enough material for a decent length set with more to spare. Anthony flew into London where we rehearsed for 3 days and then it was off to Freiburg. We played 2 shows, one in the Circus Tent and one in the Main Tent - both shows were recorded beautifully by Ric Walton.

Ray and I went into the studio to listen, fix and mix. However, this was around the time that I got the call from Toto so I had to put Force Majeure on hold for a few months. I came back to London just before Christmas to complete the mixing and the record was released in '93.

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Recorded at A & M Studios, Hollywood by Jesse Sutcliffe - June/July 1995.

Mixed at A & M Studios and Saturn Sound by Jess Sutcliffe.

Mastered by Doug Sax at The Mastering Lab, Hollywood.

Ray Russell - Guitar
Mitchel Forman - Keyboards
Wendell Brooks - Horns
Mike Porcaro - Bass
John Peña - Bass
Jimmy Johnson - Bass
Sheila E - Timbales
Chris Trujillo - Percussion
Simon Phillips - Drums

I started writing material for Symbiosis early '93. In fact Force Majeure hadn't been released yet, but I needed to get my ideas down and focus more on developing my writing style.

I was living in an apartment in Studio City and had set up a little writing studio in the living room - no drum kit. I had a DrumKat set up but that is not quite the real thing. However, for composition it was fine, and I believe the first piece that made it onto the CD was "Sea Of Sighs". Ray Russell came over to stay in my new home and we worked together on some new material. Most of it was accomplished with the help of FedEx. I would send a DAT of some ideas - he would send back the same, and then I would arrange all the parts making changes and so on. The little writing studio was pushed to the limit, with various complaints from tenants underneath and around me. Time to look for somewhere else!

Mike Porcaro had a small studio but it was in need of a little sort out. Using my experience and knowledge of running and maintaining a professional studio I proposed that I design and wire his equipment, add some of my equipment, in return for the use of the studio.

Thus Mickey Shoals was born. A modest ADAT studio with a rather fine patch bay - small drum kit, keyboards, Vision sequencing - even a coffee maker! I recorded Toto's Tambu demos there and even one basic track was used on the album - not telling which!

A fellow from a new German Label, Lipstick, had been calling me every time I landed in Germany. Quite how he knew where I was amazed me, but he was sure consistent. I was on tour with Los Lobotomies in '94 and I decided to meet with the fellow in question to see what he had to offer. I drove overnight from Hamburg to Köln in a nice little BMW rather rapidly - I think I made it in less than 3 hours - and met with him over breakfast at the Central Bar. His name was Joachim Becker, and our deal was agreed over Rührei mit Speck, no messing around. At last I was signed to a small, but enthusiastic company.

Recording for Symbiosis started on June 3rd, 1995 at A & M studios in Hollywood and was to date the most successful CD earning a German Jazz Award for 10,000 domestic sales.

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Another Lifetime

“Another Lifetime” features some great Simon moments along with the legendary bassist Anthony Jackson and long time associate, guitarist Ray Russell.

On “Another Lifetime”, Phillips expands his working unit with the additions of guitarist Andy Timmons, saxophonist Wendell Brooks, percussionist Peter Michael Escovedo and keyboardist Jeff Babko. Anthony Jackson’s approach is muscular, slick and extremely “musical” while rarely, if ever conveying an obtrusive presence. Percussionist Escovedo and keyboard ace Jeff Babko provide the complimentary accents yet also maintain a hearty presence while rounding out the colossal and fiery band sound.

Other than the extraordinary soloing and interplay among the band, Simon and Ray Russell get high marks for strong compositional development which should meet or exceed the expectations of most Simon Phillips fans. “Another Lifetime” makes for compelling listening and should satisfy the appetites of those who have been anticipating this release.

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Out Of The Blue

This live set from Simon's 1998 European tour captures the drummer fronting an electric quintet and producing some of the most exciting music in his long career. Phillips, who has held stints drumming for everyone from the Who to Toto, shows not only his powerful chops and tasteful execution, but also his commanding leadership abilities as he drives this tight group through its paces. From behind his massive drum set, Phillips succeeds in offering his own take on modern electric jazz with a very creative rhythmic base.

Images of Tony Williams' Lifetime, another drummer-led band, come through on epic tracks like the frantic title track and the aptly titled burner "Another Lifetime." Other tracks, like the opening "Kumi Na Moja" and "Jungle Eyes" offer a distinct world music feel that Phillips produces in this live setting by inventively using a variety of sounds and grooves on his colossal kit. The final blowout number "Midair Decision" is a jaw-dropping energetic display that brings the crowd to a frenzy and caps off a first-rate set that shows just what this world-class stick slinger can really do.

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Vantage Point

Recorded at Coy Sound by Ed Stasium on September 3rd, 1999.

Spirits Of Trane recorded live at Café Cordiale, Sherman Oaks on September 1st, 1999.

Mixed and Mastered by Simon Phillips.

Walt Fowler - Trumpet & Flugelhorn
Brandon Fields - Tenor & Soprano
Dave Carpenter - Acoustic Bass
Jeff Babko - Piano
Simon Phillips – Drums

I "played out" with the Jazz/Rock Fusion style I had been writing and really needed a change. I had been listening to a lot of old be-bop recordings, namely anything recorded by Rudy Van Gelder. I loved the sound - and the playing of course - and I wanted to experiment with this style which not a lot of people had heard me play. I approached Jeff Babko about a collaboration and we started writing some music. Before long we had a set list together and we played a local club gig. The music worked but the band wasn't quite right. However, with the help of Brandon Fields and Walt Fowler taking up horn duties our next gig was wonderful. It was then when I approached Lipstick about recording an acoustic jazz CD for their Jazzline label. Recorded entirely at my house with an acoustic piano in one day and no overdubs. It was sheer bliss. However I took my time mixing as I had never mixed anything like this before. It took a couple of approaches before I nailed it - and that was quite a learning curve.

I am not sure how this CD was received by my fans and I guess looking at the numbers of people in the audience during the Vantage Point tour in 2001 maybe some were not quite so enthusiastic about my departure from a large double bass kit. However I found it to be a terrific learning experience and I know that the audiences we played for seemed to love every minute.

No live albums in the pipeline for this one but I am sure another studio album is on the cards.

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